Posted by: mommytoo | May 3, 2010

“gool”

nate has been going happily to daycare every day.  he just loves it there, and he naps on his little cot every day.  amazing.  and it really is a special place.  to give you an idea, here is this month’s calendar.

in case you can’t see it, tomorrow they will be bird watching out on the side porch, and playing board games with their own rules.  this month’s theme is growing, so on wednesday we are asked to send him with a toy animal for each kid to care for all day.  next week they will be planting tomatoes and the following week, they will be weighing and measuring themselves and going to the woods nearby to check on the little trees they planted last fall.  last week i got to nate’s classroom to pick him up, and there was swing music blasting, and they were all dancing around.  every day when i get there, i peek over the half-door to see what he’s up to, and then open the door.  when they hear the squeak of the door, every kid looks over.  nate gets this huge smile and comes running over, and at least one other kid says “hi, nate’s mom!”  he throws himself into my arms, then says “dance!” or “trains!” or whatever he was just doing.  then he says “go!” and leads me out of the room, stopping just to say “bye, friends!” and give a few hugs.

heartwarming!

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Posted by: mommytoo | May 3, 2010

well hel-LO!

it’s been a busy time in our house.  i finished my semester last week – yay! – and i don’t start again until september.  and summer is making itself known — it’s been humid and 80-something degrees outside, and it’s going to be like that for the next few days.  last night it was so hot, after we got into bed at 11pm i got back up to lug the air conditioner out of the closet and put it into the window.  and today, i am trying to get stuff done using the bedroom (with the a/c) as my office.  too humid for me.

we had a fun weekend despite the heat.  my mother (“pomma”) and sister (“dude”) came to visit, and nate got to spend some good time with them.  on saturday we went to a little street fair in our neighborhood, and nate rode a horse for the first time.  we were nervous that he wouldn’t like it, not being the most adventurous kid around.  but he loved it!  the look on his face — so proud, so thrilled — well, see you for yourself.

he took a hard core nap afterwards, and that night after dinner in the city, we came home for bedtime.  he was not having it… he put up a huge fight, one of those overtired situations.  he had spent the whole day showing off for his guests, and then last night he crashed!

Posted by: mommytoo | April 11, 2010

food, glorious food

you may know that i am obsessed very concerned with nate’s eating.  if you know me in real life, you know that i can be both obsessive and compulsive.  i try to be neither when it comes to nate, but i am still myself.  this post is going to be long, so settle in if you’re interested — i’m feeling a desire to share my stories and maybe some methods about (picky) toddler eating.  here’s how it’s played out so far when it comes to nate’s eating…

d breastfed exclusively for 6 months, which was very important to me.  she knew she wanted to breast feed, but i would venture to say that it was at least partly with my encouragement that she became really passionate about it.  i have been looking forward to breastfeeding for the majority of my life, and watching her nurse nate made me exhilarated and envious.  i was better than i had expected i’d be at letting d eat and drink what she wanted, without harrassment.

when nate hit 6 months, i couldn’t wait to feed him.  he had all the usual fruit and veg purees, and we gradually moved on from there.  somewhere along the line, he became very resistant to vegetables and even fruits, which i think is just weird.  what kid doesn’t like fruit?  it’s so sweet.  he goes through food jags like all toddlers, and we try to roll with it.  eventually i resorted to sneaking veggies into food, and i even have that cookbook that teaches you how (granted, my mother-in-law got it at a yard sale, but i read it cover to cover).  i went to a one-night toddler nutrition class that gave me ideas and also calmed me down.  among other things, i learned to think of nate’s nutrition over the course of a week, not a day.  that has given me great comfort.

i am not proud to say that i occassionally do what might be considered a force-fed bite.  just to be clear, i squeeze in little bites of things i am pretty sure he’ll like (not spinach or green beans) or that he always likes, and is stubbornly refusing.  just one little bite, after which he says “more.”

there are some things natie always eats, including pasta, otherwise known as “noo.”  it’s a cinch to sneak good stuff into marinara sauce.  he also loves tofu and soy products (which we eat a lot), as well as black beans, eggplant, and a few others.  fruit is easy, i make popsicles (“pops”) with fruit or pure fruit juice.  i have also been suckered into buying juice that has vegetables you can’t taste.

in the last couple of weeks, nate is giving me a break.  he has happily been eating nuts and baby carrots, and has agreeably stopped refusing his pasta when i stir in a different taste.  chick peas have joined the menu!  every new food he eats, i realize that just because he’s a picky eater right now, doesn’t mean he won’t have a great palate as an adult.  and great palate or not, it’s not the end of the world, either.  i just want him to grow and grow, and sometimes i feel so preoccupied by it.  i really believe it’s related to the fact that i wasn’t involved in his feeding for the first 6 months (aside from pumped breast milk in bottles).

i’m learning a lot through this food stuff.  one thing is that patience is a fantastic quality in a mama.  over the last few months he’s expanded what he’s willing to eat, and i am trying to trust that if he’s done that so far, he will keep doing it, and he will grow big and strong.

Posted by: mommytoo | April 5, 2010

sprung.

is there anything like the coming of spring when the winter has been setting snow and cold records left and right?

no.  there is nothing better.

we spent the weekend in northampton, massachusetts, where d went to college (i went to college a few miles away, and we both love it there).  we stayed with friends we’ve known forever, and their two daughters, one of whom is just 7 weeks old.  it was a long drive, but well worth it to spend time with the four of them.  nate loved both kids, following around the older one and snuggling the baby.

we went to a kids’ concert saturday morning in town, a favorite  little band that does great music for children.  it was so sweet and great watching the kids dance.  besides that, though, we spent as much time as possible outdoors, for the most part.  poor nate spent way too much time in the car over the weekend, so we wanted him to get as much energy out as possible!

nate is doing so great at school.  he doesn’t cry when we drop him off any more, and when we pick him up, instead of seeming upset and out of sorts, he comes running for a big hug.  we no longer have to carry him the three blocks to school in the morning, instead he leads the way.  and this morning while we were all getting showered and dressed, he said “gool” (school), gave me my shoes, and led me downstairs and out the door.  needless to say, we are thrilled.  he still barely naps when he’s there – he cuddles with one of the teachers on the couch and dozes off – but that just means that he’s nice and exhausted at night.

i am so relieved that he’s doing better, it means i am more comfortable, too.  i always knew it was a wonderful place, but now i can see how great his little friends are, and really appreciate the care they provide.

here’s a picture of nate, d and our friends’ kids — love nate’s curiosity.  the other is him walking to school the other day.  he happily wore his little “pack” the whole way!

Posted by: mommytoo | March 23, 2010

24 fantastic months

tomorrow is nate’s big day — he’s turning two!  right now we’ve got cupcakes in the oven, which we’re sending for his class to enjoy after lunch, and there are a few different colors of frosting as well.

we had a birthday party over the weekend, and it was so fun.  we had it at a playspace nearby, and it felt like the social event of the year!  there were 14 toddlers there and two little babies, plus parents.  normally that would be really stressful, but having it not at home was perfect.  we didn’t have to worry about clean-up, and because the space is perfect for toddlers, no one got hurt.  it was just tons of tumbling mats and balls and hula hoops, and other soft things.  the oldest kid was 7, but even she had fun, running and jumping and all the stuff that wears kids out.

i was so happy for nate, he did really well.  sometimes he sort of retreats in social situations, and becomes really shy.  we got there a little early, though, and that helped a lot.  he already had the lay of the land by the time the other kids got there, so he was confident and excited and seemed to know it was his special day.  seriously, he seemed to strut a little bit!

one of the best things for me as a mama was seeing how many people came to celebrate.  granted, nate is irresistible and very popular :) but it just spoke volumes about the little community we’ve created in philadelphia.  i was really touched and so proud of all three of us.

Posted by: mommytoo | March 20, 2010

vacation recap

i think i mentioned we had a great vacation last week in the dominican republic.  we went with friends – another couple and their little girl – which ended up being great.  we’ve only become close in the last 6 months or so, and weren’t sure how the travelling would go.  but it went smoothly.  the 6 of us spent time together in different combinations and also got time alone, as families and even as individuals.

we’ve often felt like travelling can be a particularly difficult time to be gay — navigating new people, different cultures, sometimes red tape (straight people might be surprised how often you have to come out to people at airports, restaurants, hotels, etc).  being at a resort with a kid, sitting by the pool or on the beach, i have gotten sick of hesitating before being physically affectionate, referring to d as my wife, etc.  i think i’ve come a long way, but being in a different culture, and having a language barrier, sometimes it adds another element.

one interesting aspect of this trip was that the other couple is straight.  they suggested that next time we go somewhere more gay-friendly, or even to a gay place that welcomes straight families too, which i think might be really nice.  but i think they also had never realized how weird it can be, to be around almost all straight people, and constantly have to come out and not be sure how others will react.

okay, and now a few cute pics.  nate just looked too cute in his summer outfits, we could hardly stand it.  the one of him crouching is him learning to throw rocks into the water, he was so proud.  the nudie pic of him is on our little patio, playing with his cars in the early morning.

Posted by: mommytoo | March 17, 2010

catch-up

hi.  been a while.  we were on vacation last week, 5 days in the dominican republic.  we had a great time, lots of swimming, eating, playing.  we went with some friends and their little girl, nate’s favorite friend.  it was over too quickly, but really refreshing nonetheless.

nate spiked a fever the last day we were there, and it stayed for a few days.  yesterday d brought him to the doctor, and it turns out he has his first ear infection!  last night when i gave him his antibiotic i got some on my hand and licked it off.  the taste… oh, it’s like the taste of my childhood.  that sticky pink liquid was always in our fridge!

between vacation and being sick, nate missed a whole week of school.  apparently he had a rough day today.  before we left for vacation, though, he was doing better and better.  he even did the drop-off without crying once last week!  i didn’t see it for myself, but i hope it continue to get easier for him and for us.

going to school is making nate so much bolder.  he is still a cautious little guy, but he likes showing off things he’s learned.  before he started there, he would barely go down the stairs even holding our hands, and even on flat ground he walked ever so carefully.  now he loves to go fast and yell “RUN!”  and at the playground yesterday he had a fantastic time on the stairs.

Posted by: mommytoo | February 24, 2010

some shots are just irresistible

the sunglasses shots are cliche, but we had so much fun at t@rget yesterday having a little fashion show in the accessories section.  i do need to point out that i couldn’t get him to look at the camera, because the mirror was to his right, and he couldn’t take his eyes off himself!

Posted by: mommytoo | February 24, 2010

this isn’t funny!

philadelphia is about to get our fourth “major” snowstorm of the year.  any one of these big storms would have been unusual in the winters i’ve spent here so far — we’ve had winters when we only had to shovel once.  this year we’re learning new vocabulary, including bombogenesis and now, snowicane.  you can imagine what a snowicane is — i attempted to wiki it, but there is no entry (bad sign).

the heaviest part of the storm is supposed to be while i’m at work, which is really annoying because the last time i drove home in the snow, i really regretted it.

okay, done complaining.  for now.

Posted by: mommytoo | February 22, 2010

and on we go…

sometimes i don’t post for a while because i have nothing to say.  these days, though, i have so MUCH to say that i can’t find the time and energy to put pen to paper… er… finger to keyboard.  here are some highlights:

nate is now in his third week of day care (or “school,” as we call it), but this is the first week he’ll do his full three days — the first week he had a snow day, the second week was presidents day.  i think the lack of regularity may be making it more challenging, so i’m hoping it will help to have more of a routine (in so far as a 2 year old recognizes monday/wednesday/friday as regular).  the adjustment to school is really difficult for all of us, perhaps more difficult than i had anticipated.  it will probably be a few more weeks before drop-off isn’t torture.

i’d say there are three major issues, and we’ve made progress on two of them.  the first is that nate is not a big eater in general, and he didn’t eat anything there until this past friday, when he nibbled a bagel that i’d brought, hoping to give him breakfast when dropping him off.  today he ate his lunch, which was a major accomplishment!  number two is naptime; he refuses to sleep there, the most he’s napped is 30 minutes, out of two hours, and even then it was in someone’s arms, not on his cot.  not surprising, considering we co-sleep, and considering how hard it is to sleep in a place where you’re stressed.  i imagine he will eventually just be so exhausted that he’ll fall asleep there, and hopefully realize it wasn’t so bad.

number three is how “off” nate is when he gets home.  in the first week, he was in a weird mood not just that day when he got home, but on the following days, too.  last week, he was moody and clingy when he got home that night, but totally his normal self on the other days.  and today when i picked him up, he was chatty and snuggly and when we got home, we had a great afternoon reading, playing with cars, chasing each other around the dining room, and drawing.  that’s what i’m most pleased about, because last week was so upsetting for him and for me.  he started doing what i can only describe as hoarding — he wanted me to hold him, but standing up, and for us to hold about a dozen of his favorite things: a book, his babydoll, three cars, his sippycup, etc.  it’s similar to what he does when we pick him up — he won’t leave without the blanket we’ve brought for nap time.  also, we went for a little family trip this past weekend, and when we got to the hotel he refused to take his hat and jacket off, and just wouldn’t settle.  it was really distressing for me, because it was clearly about being in a new place and not trusting that we would stay there with him.  he usually adjusts to new places pretty well, as long as d and i are there.  the whole evening, in fact, he refused to take his hat off.  that was improved today, too, he took off  his hat as soon as we got home.

so all in all, i guess it’s getting better already.  if it were anyone else’s kid i’d say things were going pretty well, but every drop-off feels like torture.  when we walk into the building he starts in with “home,” and as we progress toward the classroom – taking off his jacket, putting his lunch away, etc – it escalates.  by the time we leave, he gets pretty hysterical.  it doesn’t seem like it lasts long, but trust me, it echoes in my ears all day.

we did have a fantastic weekend in lancaster, which is in the heart of pennsylvania dutch country.  the major attraction for us was the railroad museum and train, which did not disappoint.  we had lunch in the dining car — the food was terrible, but the views were great, especially when we saw all the old steam engines.  he was so enthralled that he wasn’t even really smiling, just wide-eyed and wide-mouthed.  and then we took a horse and buggy ride, during which he said “farm” and “horse” about a hundred times.  even funnier in person, because he leaves out the R and S, respectively.

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