Archive for the ‘Aiden’ Category

Love and Basketball

March 5, 2012

Dear Aiden,

I’m not sure how old I was, but back in the day I played a season or two of recreational basketball.  I don’t remember what position I played or if my team was good or how many points I scored or really much about it at all.  It turned out that I didn’t really like playing basketball.  When my dad/your paw paw attempted to get to the heart of my issue, it basically came down to one thing:   I didn’t like people touching me.  You see in basketball, a certain amount of personal space is forfeited when say you are attempting to get a rebound or trying to draw an offensive foul or I thought basically anytime someone just felt like it.  And it wasn’t for me.  I need my personal space and don’t like people all up in my business.

So you’ll understand that every night after we’ve read our stories and turned out the lights and turned back on the lights and you’ve pooped and we’ve turned back off the lights and I brace myself to lay with you as you wind down and fall asleep, that it’s nothing personal when I eventually get up and leave you to fall asleep by your own damn self.  It’s only after you’ve somehow managed to kick me in the face…twice…and pulled my hair and used my boob as leverage to turn over and poked me in eye and maybe,  if you’re feeling extra crazy, head-butted me.  I take it rather gracefully in my opinion, but just as you start to tire, you throw in the grand finale of kicking my leg in a slow repetitive manner as you stare off to space.  It’s right when I feel the urge to crawl out my skin and die that I decide it’s time to say good night and head downstairs despite your “but I’m not touching you” pleas.  Because you are touching me.

Perhaps one day you can fall asleep peacefully in my arms like the good old days but for now I’ll just “send Dad”.

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Love,

Mom

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Fully Trained

December 6, 2011

Based on my last post, you might think we’ve completely wasted the last couple months, but that’s not true at all.  Quite the opposite actually as we used the time around the house to get serious about potty training.  And it’s official: Aiden is fully trained!!  Yay! 

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Two things have led up to us figuring it’s a done deal. 1) He tells us now when he has to go (even poop) and 2) he’s used the bathroom in the night…without our help.

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Everyone keeps telling me that I’m pretty lucky to have a 29 month old BOY that’s doing so well at this and when they ask me how we went about it, only one word comes to mind:  SHAME.

That’s right, we (and by we I mostly mean Dan who very impressively took the lead on this endeavor and made us stick to it) shamed him every time he peed or pooped in his pants.  Some of the more commonly used phrases in the face of an accident: "Why wouldn’t you tell us you have to go?",  "What were you thinking?", "I can’t believe you peed on Super Why/Pig.", "Only babies pee their pants.", "We’re so disappointed in you.", "Sit on the potty or you’re going to time out.  Better yet, we’re taking the potty to time out and you’ll sit on it there."

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I’m exaggerating only a tiny bit on that last one, but you get the idea.  We didn’t rub his nose in it a-la dog-training style, but we let him know we weren’t okay with it either.  I’ll admit that I was not always super comfortable with this method because I didn’t want to give him a complex and they say they’ll train when they’re ready, yadda-yadda.  But Dan stuck to it saying that there is very little that the boy will not do without a fight (which was always the argument that got me), and I’ll be damned if it didn’t seem to work with little consequence (at least that we know of at this point).

Seriously though, way more than there was shame, there was positive reinforcement.  A lot of "good job Aiden" (to the point that he now tells us good job when we go which is great encouragement) and "we’re so proud of you Aiden" and "pee-pee in the potty” dances and high-fives and fruit snacks.  There were also a few weeks of a lot of really disgusting laundry that thankfully cloth diapers prepared me for a bit.  But it didn’t work at all until we made the commitment to throw away the diapers and the pull-ups even at sleep times.  After a naked weekend or two demonstrated to us that he knew when he was doing and could hold it for the most part until he got to the potty, we decided it was time to go all in even despite some hesitation from the school on his readiness.  It took just shy of two months to get here and hopefully we’re here for good.  Good job Aiden!

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Panty Necklace

September 6, 2011

I decided that my post-baby body needed a couple new pairs of panties to help get me through.  My only mistake was bringing Aiden along with me to shop.

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I Want To Touch Her Eyes

August 22, 2011

My mom brought Aiden up to the hospital to meet Emily the day after she was born.  I’m so glad she did considering he hasn’t been able to see her since.  We’ve talked about her a lot though.  I can’t wait for them to get better acquainted.

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Love this video for 2 reasons:

1) The obvious…it’s the first sibling encounter.  You can hear the shakiness in my voice as I try to hold it together.

and

2) If you listen really closely, when my sister hands Aiden over you can hear him ask “I wanna hold you mommy”.  Love that boy.

We just got a call from the NICU this morning.  Baby sister’s coming home today!  Yay!

We’re Gonna Miss This

August 15, 2011

Dear Aiden,

I started writing this to you about 2 months ago with the hopes of finishing it by your second birthday.  Well I’m over a month late, and revisiting it now, I had to give serious thought as to reconsidering the title.

Let me explain.

You see when I originally assigned this title, it was on the heels of a conversation I had with your dad that started with “It’ll be nice when he…” and quickly ended with frowns and bitten tongues.  Because while it was really easy for the first two years of your life to start a sentence like that (“It’ll be nice when he laughs (or just generally looks less dead behind the eyes)”, “It’ll be nice when he walks”, “It’ll be nice when he talks”, etc), it’s getting harder now that you’ve got the basics down because as you add to your life experiences, certain little things that you do now – things that bring joy and laughter to us everyday – will fade and disappear forever.

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And it’s ultimately for the aforementioned reason that I decided to leave the title alone.  Because in the grand scheme of life, we WILL miss this.  We WILL look back on this time and laugh.  We MIGHT even go so far as to one day refer to these as the good ‘ole days .  All this despite the fact that two has brought on a whole new level of challenges for us as parents.  Timeout is no longer simply a means of disciplining you – it now doubles as a time for us to breathe, calm ourselves down, dig deep for patience that we never knew we had, and remind ourselves that we are smarter than you.  It’s an important two minutes.

The fact is that you’re smart.  You may not be the wordsmith that a couple of your friends have become in their short two years (although you certainly hold your own), but you know what’s going on and absolutely nothing gets by you.  You’re stubborn.  I know I’ve said it before, but you’re ALL boy.  You can’t be left to your own devices for a second because you will destroy everything in your path.  The rougher the play, the better and this makes me thankful for your dad regularly even though he takes a small beating in the process.  We can’t believe you haven’t broken any bones yet.

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Your default response to most questions is “no” even if you immediately change it to “yes” and you often just ignore us when you don’t want to do what we’re asking of you (often with a smirk on your face).  You hit when you don’t get your way, and this is the behavior that often drives us to the brink.  We work on it daily.  Almost as if to provide a balance, you’ve become more generous with your hugs and kisses and cuddles.  You love, love, love to dance and sing and it’s magical.  You refuse to watch TV for the most part, but you take your YouTube Sesame Street videos pretty seriously.

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You’re a tyrant particular.  It’s always someone else’s turn to help you or play with you, generally whomever it is the least convenient for. You love hide-and-go-seek.  You’re an excellent counter, but you suck at hiding.    You swim in your legos…literally…like Uncle Scrooge from Duck Tales did in his money.  You crack me up.  You challenge me.  You exhaust me like nothing else ever has.  Yet, I miss you when you’re not around.  You’re teaching me patience and trickery and what being a parent is all about and you have a gift for it.

In a couple of days, you will become a big brother and the real fun begins.  I genuinely look forward to seeing how you step up to this change in our whole family dynamic.  I might be a fool, but given what I know about you, I think it’s actually going to be great.  It’s weird to think that you probably won’t remember life as an only child when this has been such a life changing, wonderful two years for us…

And with that I leave you with a couple of our favorite Aiden-isms from the last few months:

“Hold you” – When you want to be picked up you say “hold you” instead of “hold me”.  Your dad has tried a couple of times to correct you to which I tell him to let this one alone.  You’ll figure it out soon enough without a lesson and that will be a sad day.  Like when you start calling our dog Callea instead of “Ta-ta” or a hippo a hippopotamus instead of a “hippo-thomas”.

Decisions – I love giving you simple decisions to make like which book to read first at bedtime.  You pause. You smile.  You carefully consider each of your decisions while going “uhh umm uh”.  You would never know that you were deciding on something insignificant.  You’re just like your mama that way.

Girls – If it’s possible, you’ve already discovered girls.  You’re best girl is my brother’s girlfriend Aryn.  You want her attention so badly but get super shy when she talks to you.  It’s crazy this is starting already.

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“Right there” – When we ask you where something is, you often reply “right there” even if you have no idea where “there” is.

“I did it Mommy!” – This is what you yell anytime you do something that you’re proud of.  It’s followed by a double high five from yours truly.

“Good job Mommy” – A lot of times when I do something you ask of me, you’ll reinforce my behavior with this.  Nothing makes me feel more successful.

Love you a million boogs,

Mommy

2 year stats taken on 7/20/11:

Height – 36” (90th percentile)
Weight – 32.5 lbs (90-95th percentile)
Head Circumference – 50.25” (75-90th percentile)

Happy You You

July 20, 2011

Aiden’s second birthday was spent in Kissimmee where after feeding the ducks (and more importantly to Aiden, the turtles) any and all bread we had left, we celebrated at the pool.  My dad made an excellent point when he said that Aiden will probably celebrate many a birthday this way given the time of year and the love he seems to have for the water already.

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After naps, we headed to Downtown Disney to eat at Rainforest Cafe for dinner where all grandparents were present and accounted for.  It was certainly a nice treat for my special little boy who just happens to love all things animals and grandparents.  Getting  from the car to the restaurant was a treat in itself and like most new experiences at this age, it was such a joy to watch it unfold.

Excited to see Buzz  ...and Mr. Potato Head

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 Nama and Aiden on safari   Pop and Mema

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Everybody sans Nama

And as if this wasn’t enough celebration for one boy, we had a pool  party in our backyard (again, probably not the last) the following weekend.  It was hot, but I don’t think the kids felt a thing (even if a few parents might have been cursing my name).  And while a party planner, I am not, a few kids cried when they had to leave which I took as the ultimate form of flattery (while their parents continued to curse my name).

 The setup

Best Buddies - Reese and Sunny

The only thing that got Aiden away from the festivities for 2 hours straight (despite his lack of nap and a several hour trip to the neighborhood pool earlier that day) was the cake.  I was really happy with how this cupcake cake turned out.  It was purchased at Wal-mart bakery and far exceeded my expectation in both price ($28) and quality (pretty, easy to serve, AND delicious).  And to think I seriously considered trying to make it myself.

2!  In yellow because the boy likes yellow.

Some would say that a cake shaped like a 2, doesn’t also need a candle shaped like a 2.  And to them I would say “suck it”.

Do I sense a coma coming on?
If the cake isn’t all over your face, you’re not doing it right.

The first time we sang The Birthday Song to Aiden this year (which he sings “Happy you you”) was at the condo on vacation.  When we finished, he cried (but in fairness he had just woken up and we were likely sparing no expense or volume).  However, by this party, despite all these people singing for him…

…he just looked up and said “again”.  And since I neglected to light the candle before we started singing, I encouraged everyone to sing it again (“You heard him people.  Again!”) while we got the thing lit.  That night when he passed out for the day around 6pm, I made sure to tell him what a lucky boy he is to have such wonderful friends and family…because not everybody gets the birthday song twice in one party.

A Big, Sneaky Kid

May 26, 2011

In finally cleaning off my camera yesterday with the intention of flooding the blog with updates soon, I found these.

If you look closely, you can still see the easter basket.  I'm happy to report that it's been packed up now.  Taken 5/10/11

Pictures I’d taken of Aiden as we were leaving for school one day because I thought he looked so cute.  When I came across them yesterday I literally stopped in my tracks and wondered what the heck was going on.  Who the heck is this giant person is in my pictures?  Where did my baby go?  I mean seriously people, when did this happen?

And in case you’re wondering what’s been going on in that beautiful head as of late, here’s a couple of stories that we’ve laughed about on more than one occasion.

First there was the night at the dinner table when we all partook in a round of M&M’s after our meal.  When Aiden *finally* finished his (he likes to savor each one), he looked at me and said “M’s?” – his way of asking for more.  Daddy immediately said no more, but I said “Well maybe two more because Mommy would like more too.  Maybe even three more.”  Daddy came over with the M&M’s and said “Aiden, would you like 2 more or 3 more?”.  Aiden looked up at him and confidently declared “FIVE”.  Dan gave him 6 more for clearly underestimating his ability to count.

Then there was that one bedtime when I laid with Aiden and told him I would sing him one song of his choice before he had to sleep.  He of course chose the Alphabet Song (boy’s a little neurotic with his alphabet).  I sang it once, but as I reached the “next time won’t you sing with me” part, he cut me off and started back at “A, B, C…”.  So I sang it through again. As I approached the end, he once again started back at ‘A’.  So I sang it one more time.  Daddy was listening in the other room and wondered how long this would go on.  But I stopped at 3 times through.  Not for a lack of trying on his part.  I still say I won that one.

Clearly we’re going to have to watch out for this boy.

Moon, Moon, Moon

April 18, 2011

Undoubtedly one of my favorite recent developments in Aiden is his singing.  He has started singing along to songs that we’ve listened to in the car and around the house since he was a baby.  And it’s amazing.  I already have fond memories of his voice – the sweetest voice – trying to keep up with the words and Dan and I laying in bed at night laughing about his throaty renditions of “B-O-O-T-S BOOTS”.

A couple of days ago Dan shot this video of us while trying to get a video of him hopscotching.  I’m pretty sure he just sat down and started singing this out of the middle of nowhere, but to be fair, I do recall him pointing out the moon (visible in the late day) when we came out so maybe he was thinking about that.  I don’t know.  All I know is the next day, I kept hearing his “moon, moon, moon” in my head on the way home from work, and I couldn’t stop smiling.  So I knew I had to share.

Aiden Singing “Moon, Moon, Moon” by The Laurie Berkner Band

Crack for Toddlers

April 8, 2011

This past Christmas my sister, aka Aunt Bebby, really wanted to get Aiden one of those kiddie trampolines with the bars.  I was really excited about the prospect of the gift as a means for Aiden to burn off energy indoors during the winter months, but Dan, aka fun-killer, said “NO TRAMPOLINES” (and I literally made him say it like 50 times before I told my sister it was the final word).  Something about debilitating injuries or something of the like.  Whatever.  Fun-killer.

So then it became my responsibility to tell my sister what she should get Aiden.  I pointed her to the drum at Target with all of the musical instruments inside, and since she insisted it wasn’t enough, I suggested getting him a musical DVD to go along with it…you know something he could play his new instruments along to.  But that’s all I said.  And here’s what she bought:

Crack

At first we just thought it was a good selection because Aiden instantly identified Elmo on the cover (pretty sure babies are just born with the ability to identify Elmo), but boy we had no idea what we were dealing with.

It started as with any addiction. You’re just going to try it once.  You know, try it out.  You like the way it makes you feel so you decide you’ll do it again whenever the mood strikes you.  But you aren’t addicted.  You can stop whenever you want.

But gradually you stop wanting to do the things you normally enjoy doing, like going outside and eating dinner.  You come home from school, and without realizing it are standing in front of the TV pointing and crying and honking and dinging and wondering why mom and dad won’t just give you what you need.

Well simply put it’s because they’ve picked up on your little addiction and they are scared for you.  Scared that you’re going to stop using your words, choosing to communicate in only honks and dings and yips.  Scared that we may never get you to eat dinner again without a knock down, drag you away from the TV fight.

So we’ll keep a steady eye on your addiction and only enable you when you deserve it…or we just really need an uninterrupted 30 minutes.  We believe that you can be a functioning Sesame Street-aholic.  And I know I’ll secretly miss your enthusiasm when your buzz wears off.

Aiden Watching the Honkers and Dingers and Yippers and Elephants

Genetic Bad Habits

March 17, 2011

I’m not sure when I acquired my worst habit of picking my lips, but my first* memory of acknowledging it was in high school when we had to write about a bad habit.  I remember writing in that paper that if given the chance I would subconsciously pick my lips until they bled.   The same remains true today, although I try desperately to keep it in check.  (As I finished typing that, I stopped to go back a re-read it and my hand – or more precisely, my nails – went instantly to my mouth.  It’s harder to control when I’m concentrating on something.)  Well now that I have Aiden and his lips to worry about, whenever he has a piece of skin dangling, it’s all I can do to not reach over and pull it off, forcing myself instead to get the boy some chapstick.

But the other night, when we were watching Aiden’s ALL TIME FAVORITE SHOW, I couldn’t help but watch him deep in concentration…

Not sure if it’s really genetic (doubtful) or if he’s just mimicking my behavior (much more likely?), but now I guess I really have to watch it.  Now that I’ve noticed it, I catch him doing it all the time.  Oh dear lord, what have I done?

 

*Actually my first memory of anything lip-picking related was in fifth grade when I wore lipstick to school and told one of my friends that the lipstick was to cover up my bruised and battered lips.  Really I just wanted to be prettier (interesting since I don’t think I’ve worn lipstick since), but where would I come up with such a lie?  There had to be *some* truth to it.