Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Communication 101

One of the hard things about caring for a baby is not being able to communicate in any significant way. The only way for him to get his point across is crying, which is super annoying for the parents. Now that Sam's a full-fledged toddler we're making some strides in that department. He's to the point where he understands a lot of what we say. So if I say "milk" he looks at the refrigerator and if I say, "Do you want to turn the light on?" (one of his favorite activities at the moment) he looks at the light switch. Sometimes if I ask him to do something ("Come here," "Hand me the fork," "STOP!") he'll even do it. It's awesome!

He's not talking yet, though he's starting to parrot some of the sounds I make. The first I noticed was "All done!" He says something that sounds remarkably like it (to me), but there's no meaning behind it yet. He says it all the time, even when he's obviously not "all done." But even without real words, he's definitely communicating. He'll grunt and point at the bananas when he wants one (which is all the time), he'll try to lunge from my arms when he wants to get down, he'll stand by my legs and lift his arms when he wants to get up. Again, it's awesome.

We're also to that less-awesome toddler stage of EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE ON THE FLOOR NOW! Drawers and shelves aren't safe. Not that we have much of anything on shelves anymore. The lone surviving bookshelf in the house is in our bedroom and I have to monitor it very closely when Sam's in the room. I said, "Those are Mommy's books. Mommy's books stay on the shelf." about 1,000 times this morning while I was getting dressed. And since I still can't trust Sam in the house by himself while I shower he pulls every last towel off the shelf in the bathroom EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The good thing with second kids is that you have concrete evidence that it's just a phase. Ben doesn't pull my nicely folded towels off the shelf anymore. He can even put books BACK onto shelves now (though ability has no connection to willingness). It's still not fun to put towels away after every shower, but I can breathe and know that eventually it will end.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


They say you have your first child for yourself and your second child for your first child. In a way I think that's totally true and watching Ben and Sam's relationship blossom has been really fun.

Unfortunately for Ben, right now Sam's not the best playmate. We call him Wreck-It Sam because while Ben loves to build, Sam currently loves to knock things down. Sometimes that's ok, because Ben will build towers specifically for Sam to knock over. But, of course, sometimes Ben's really into building a rocket out of Duplos or constructing a train track and Sam, the tornado of destruction, comes through and destroys everything. Ben's not so happy at those moments and I don't blame him... But there's a small part of me that gets schadenfreude from it because that's exactly what it was like when Ben came into our lives. I don't even remember what it's like to have bookcases or shelves full of things I enjoy. It will still be YEARS before I feel comfortable having our (rather extensive) game collection within easy reach. So I don't feel too bad for Ben when Sam wrecks his creations, especially when I've told him REPEATEDLY if he wants Sam to stay away from it he needs to do it in his room or at the table.

Ok, I'm getting off-topic... I think in a year or two, once Sam can really run and is actually able to participate in building AND destroying, he and Ben are going to have a lot of fun. But I'm so impressed with how good Ben is with Sam already. Yes, there is toy stealing and pushing and yelling sometimes. But there's also lots of hugging and kissing and snack sharing. This morning Ben heard Sam waking up and while I was in the bathroom he went into Sam's room of his own volition and was giving Sam toys in his crib. He protects Sam from other kids and tries to include him in games at home. It's really sweet.

I find having two kids this young very hard sometimes (most of the time), but I'm glad they have each other.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


It's been a hard winter in the Borders household, sickness-wise. It seems like every week or two we're getting hit with something new. Here's how it stands since October:

Ear Infections - 3: Ben (2), Sam (1)
Hand-foot-mouth virus - 3: Ben, Sam, Heath
Pink eye - 1: Ben
Various colds - 4+: Everyone, especially Heath, who had a cold for what seemed like a month.
Stomach flu - 3: Me, Sam, Ben

Heath also switched jobs in the midst of all that, so that brought stress of its own. We're all healthy right now, but the boys and I are headed down to Phoenix next Thursday to visit my parents, brother and sister-in-law, so I'm sure some new, horrible ailment will turn up before then.

Luckily, so far Heath and I have managed not to be sick at the same time. However, that does mean that we're both pretty exhausted. In March we're going to Florida with Heath's family and that should be lovely. A week of lazy days laying on the beach with lots of people around to watch my kids. Perfect.