Saturday, August 23, 2014

27 Months

1)  Potty training progress remains approximately the same as last month.  The other day, I came outside, where Fuzzy was playing next to a large container we've designated as a sandbox.  After a little while I started smelling  I crouched down, and sure enough, there was a suspiciously wet patch of sand.  Knowing that The Pit had just been out here with Fuzzy, I started the following line of questioning:

Me: "Did you pee on the ground here?"
Fuzzy: "Mmmmhmmm."
Me: "Huh, why didn't it get cleaned up?  Did Daddy put sand on it?"
Fuzzy:  "No, Daddy say 'DAMMIT!'"

2)  Apparently imitating myself or Maya, Fuzzy now says "oh dear" whenever anything goes wrong.  Dish falls off high chair? "Oh dear."
Truck breaks? "Oh dear."
Squirrels eating the bird food? "Oh dear."

3)  Similarly, "join me" is now a favorite phrase: "Join me Mama, join me!" as he runs naked in circles around his room, pretending to be an airplane.  "Join me, Mama!" as he heads down to play in the basement.  "Come onnnnnn Mama, basement is fun!"  Sadly, this last was during a day when I was trying to work from home...needless to say, little work was actually accomplished.

4)  My mother was visiting us, and her back started acting up.  I made an appointment for her with the chiropractor.  As she was going out the door, Fuzzy perked up, and said "Where Baba goin?"  I explained that Baba was going to the doctor because her back hurt, and that the doctor would make her feel which point Fuzzy clutched his back with both hands, bent over like an old man, and said "Oh oh oh, my back hoyts! I need to go to the doctor!"

5)  We left the lid off the previously mentioned sandbox, and of course, that night it rained, turning the box into essentially a container of cloudy mud.  The child who refuses to put his face into the clean bathtub water took to this immediately, coating himself head to toe.  He even dipped his forehead in it, allowing his bangs to drip gooey sand down his face.  Then he turned to me: "Let's go show Baba how hansome Fizz is!"

6)  On August 17th, Fuzzy, completely unprompted, turned to me and said "I wuv you...and Sprout wuvs you too!" Since then, he has periodically repeated these sentiments to both The Pit and I, effectively pulling out our hearts and smushing them.

7) The other day Fuzzy wasn't feeling well.  Whenever this happens, he demands to a) hold his comfort toy - formerly called "Any Baby" and now more specifically christened "Dot Baby," and b) be rocked (or wocked, as he says).  On this day, while rocking him, I also started massaging his back.  He quite liked it, and now requires to be "assaged" periodically.  If I stop before he's done, I get ordered to "Assage me again! Again Mama, assage me again!"

8)  We finally converted Fuzzy's crib into a toddler bed.  When shown the results, Fuzzy climbed in by himself, turned to us with a shining face, and said "I like my new bed!  It just like Mama and Daddy, I like it!"

9)  We enrolled Fuzzy in two-day/week preschool, and two weeks before classes started, the school held a picnic to get the kids familiarized with the setting.  They asked everyone to bring some sort of snack, so the day before Fuzzy personally selected a box of crackers at the grocery store.

Of course, as soon as we got home, he also wanted to eat his box of crackers.  I explained that these were special crackers, and that we had to take them to preschool the next day.  Clearly, this made a big impression, because upon waking up the following morning, Fuzzy was very excited.  The first thing he said to me was, "Mama! We goin to take special cackers to pweeschool!!"  Then, in the car on the way to the picnic, the crackers were once again the only topic of conversation.

Upon arriving at the picnic, Fuzzy immediately tore into the box, then bounced around the playground for a bit, helpfully pointing out spiders to terrified children and stealing food from their resulting unattended plates. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

4 Months

1)  Baby Sprout is now rolling over from his stomach to his back unassisted.  However, he continues to prefer standing.  When he's being held, his very favorite new trick is clutching a bundle of hair tightly in his tiny fists, and trying to eat it before it gets pulled away from him. 

2)  After learning to stuff his fist in his mouth last month, in the last few weeks he's refined his technique, and now energetically sucks on a few fingers at a time.  Periodically the sucking gets to be more vigorous than usual, and he will gag himself.

3)  Sprout's hand-eye coordination is much improved, and he grabs at things much better than before.  Not only can he actually hold on to an object for long enough to bring it to his mouth, but he can also reach out and pull said object to him if it's placed anywhere in his vicinity.  However, he isn't particularly loyal to any one toy, and mostly seems to enjoy being handed every available option in rapid succession.  He will feel the offering to determine if it shakes, rattles, or crinkles, then taste the object in question for a few minutes at most.  Then he gets bored, and turns to you with big eyes and plaintive little wails, demanding something else to entertain him.

4)  When Fuzzy was about 6 months old, his aunt sent him a little car walker, which got much use until he actually learned to walk by himself.  We placed Sprout in it quite a bit earlier than his brother, but he also receives significant enjoyment from being upright and self-propelled.  Although in his case, "self-propelled" might be a little generous.  His teensy tiny toes can just reach the ground, and he uses them to hop forward, while at the same time throwing both arms in the air frantically to propel himself as much as possible. 

5)  We have come up to the screeching milestone, when sweet burbling and quiet spit blowing turned overnight into sounds of delight loud enough to wake the dead.  Thankfully, the baby's banshee wailing period only lasted about two weeks, and he has, for the most part, subsided back into small squeaks of pleasure and occasional bear grunts of distress.

6) Bath-time continues to be Sprout's very favorite time, when he turns the full force of his toothless smile upon a captive audience.  For his first few months of life, the baby expressed his boundless enjoyment of the tub by frantically churning his arms and legs back and forth, generating tidal waves and splashing for his own enjoyment.  Now he instead tries to suck at the fingers and washcloth cleaning him.  The tightness of his grip on said washcloth seems to indicate the following train of thought: "Mmmm, most delicious washcloth...whyfore can I not have it always?"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

26 Months

Our toddler is developing into a real person.

1)  This month, he started saying 'I love you'  ... although mostly only when coached, and not as an independent thought.  However, after a few weeks of coaching, we did have the following exchange, after we heard sirens and I ran him through the entire house in time for him to see a fire truck go by out the front window.

Me:  "Mama ran so fast so you could see that!  Do you love Mama?"

2)  I finally coaxed the child into coming to the public pool near our house.  This took some doing, as when we originally asked him if he wanted to go, Fuzzy said "No! Dat pool too wet!"

However, after pointing out that his hero Caillou had been to a pool, Fuzz finally consented.  The pool we selected has a little wading area for toddlers, and Fuzzy took a liking to it...all except for  two plastic circles on the bottom.  As I was unsure of their function when he questioned me, I made up a lie on the spot, and confidently told him they were drains.  He then proceeded to be terrified of them for several visits, going so far as to warn the other children to stay away.  "Be careful boy!" he would yell whenever one of the other kids ventured too near the drains.

After our fourth visit, he was a little less frightened of the drains, and a lot more willing to independently crawl around in the baby pool.  "I swimmin!  Swimmin is fun!!  I love swimmin!" he screamed.

3)  Dina and Noam visited us this month, and brought a little rocket launcher (similar to this) for Fuzzy.  There was pure joy on his face as he yelled "One, two, fwee...BLASTOFF!!" while throwing his arms ecstatically in the air.

4)  In honor of said visit, my mother made a run to the Russian store, and amongst various delicious and disgusting foods, purchased some sprats.  The leftovers got put in the fridge, and a few days later, The Pit was at a loss for what to give Fuzzy for lunch.  He threw these in a bowl, and the kid gobbled them up like they were candy.

5)  Potty training has remained more or less the same as last month - if Fuzzy is induced to sit on his throne at regular intervals, all is good.  If we forget, his reminding us is rather hit or miss, and will often happen *after* he's already gone in his pants.  Sadly, he is rather resistant to actually using the potty throughout the day, as he appears to be under the misimpression that it only needs to happen once - "NO, I already did dat today!" he will exclaim when we suggest he sit down. 

6)  The other day, I was getting ready for work and Fuzzy was running around naked.  As he ran past it, Fuzzy glanced at himself in the mirror, then paused, cocked his head, and murmured, "So handsome..." before running off again.

7)  When he really wants me to do something, Fuzzy will now ask for it in the following manner - "Little [whatever it is] fwee times?"  Apparently, just one of anything is now for chumps.  For example, if he wants more bedtime songs after I've already announced "last one," instead of saying "one more," as he used to, he will now beg, "Little song fwee times?  Pwease!"

8)  The defining characteristic of this month has been incessant questioning.  "What dat Mama...what dat?  Mama, what dat could be?"  or "Where dat noise come from?"  Over and over and over again, about objects both novel and familiar.  Often, when I ask him what he thinks the thing is, he will answer correctly, or even name the thing in his question - I'm thus puzzled as to why he torments me with exchanges like the following:
"What dat motorcycle could be Mama?"
"Err...a motorcycle."
"What dat motorcycle Mama?"
"It's a motorcycle baby, you just said it yourself."
"What *is* it Mama??"

9)  We ordered pizza for dinner earlier this month, and Fuzzy got very excited when he was informed he could have some.  Then I handed him a slice, and he immediately got concerned "Dis yucky...want CLEAN pizza!" he said.  So I carefully picked off the tomatoes and bell peppers from his slice, handed it back, and set about eating my own.  He studied me critically, and then said, "No, want Mama's pizza!"  Then he shoved his half chewed piece at me, and gobbled up all of my slice.

10)  Fuzzy was given a tricycle as an early birthday present about two months before he turned two.  At the time, he could not seem to master the concept of pedaling.  I'm proud to report that he's now mastered it, although in keeping with Peachy-side-of-the-family laziness, he only pedals downhill.

11)  Fuzzy now pronounces banana as boonana, and mango as manga.  As in, "Want manga juice Mama!"

12)  Other recent exchanges amusing because he's talking more or less like an adult:

The Pit: "Do you want to help me mow the lawn?"
Fuzzy:  "Not wight now Dada."

Sprout starts to cry.  Fuzzy:  "Mama, hug Fpout"
Me: "Do you want to do it?"
Fuzzy, while clutching his Thomas the Train: "No fanks, I holding Thomas wight now."

During dinner.  Me: "Do you want watermelon?"
Fuzzy:  "Not wight now, I eating corn now Mama."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3 Months

1)  Sprout is a...solid baby.  Unlike his older brother at this age, he has a plethora of folds.  So many folds, in fact, that I noticed a rash creeping in, and discovered that it is actually very difficult to get at his very inner neck.  The operation entails much squirming, and requires two adults.

2)  July 1st, the baby did me a solid and slept for 6 hours.  Sadly, apparently I only get one of these respites every month, as the rest of the time he continued his waking twice per night routine.

3)  Sprout finally put all of last month's tongue explorations to use, and started blowing spit bubbles.

4)  Sprout's legs continue to demonstrate prodigious feats of strength...when he is put down to nap on the mattress in the basement (best spot for napping as it is furthest away from Fuzzy), he will eventually wake up and propel himself forward until he travels several feet and falls off the mattress.  At this point, we hear much wailing, although the mattress is about three inches off the ground from carpet, so he is always unhurt.

5)  He's begun grabbing at cloth burp rags, blankets, and his own onesies, trying to stuff them in his mouth...although his hand-eye coordination could still use significant work, as these efforts are only successful about 30% of the time.  He's also made a few attempts at grabbing toys, but only when they've been held directly next to his hands...he makes zero effort to reach for anything dangling a few inches away.

6)  Yesterday Sprout made big progress.  He finally managed to stuff his fist in his mouth on purpose.  I watched him clench his little chubby hand, and then weave his arm all over the place in concentration until he finally brought it near enough to chomp on.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

25 Months

1)  Fuzzy has been exhibiting a surge of creativity recently.  We went to the sandbox, and he used a bucket to make sand "cookies," cut them in half, and then offered one part of each one to me.  Then, when he accidentally stepped on one sand pile, making a slope, he looked at it for a minute, and announced that it was a potty "for mama."  I got bored flipping buckets for him at some point, and stuck a leaf into the top of one overturned pail.  He looked at it, and excitedly told me it was candle.  Then he proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to himself.

2)  This month brought a triumph for Fuzzy:  The Pit's mother visited for a week, and while she was here, started putting him on the potty consistently.  It took exactly one day of this, and wearing his Thomas the Train underwear, for the kid to get the point.  While there have been plenty of accidents since then, I would say he's pretty well on his way to totally potty trained...he even started waking up with a dry diaper a few days in.

3)  There's been a little more insecurity this month on the baby brother front.  Although he hasn't been at all aggressive with Sprout, oftentimes when Fuzzy sees me feeding or otherwise paying attention to the baby, he will announce, "Mama hugging TWO babies!" and climb into my lap.  This gets a little awkward, but is so adorable that I don't have the heart to discourage him.

4)  Although he still prefers a firm nod, a long drawn out "yeeeeah," or an "okay," Fuzzy will now occasionally say "yes."  When prompted.  Repeatedly.

5)  A while back, Fuzzy and I evolved a bedtime routine wherein I sing him approximately three songs, then announce a last song, sing it, and leave.  While at first Fuzzy simply begged for another last song, recently he has taken to more creative measures to draw out the process.  For example, he will wait until I am about one line away from finishing the last song, and then demand that Mama "Sing diff song."  I am then obliged to start over with a different song, which, you guessed it, also gets interrupted near the end.

Another delaying tactic goes like so:  "Sing louder...louder....louder....NO, TOO LOUD! Sing slower."  Although slower and quieter seem to be conflated in his head, the end result is the same...Mama stays in the room longer out of confusion.

6)  Fuzzy usually sleeps through the night, but a week ago he woke up screaming.  When The Pit couldn't get him to quiet down, I dragged myself out of bed and sat on the rocking chair with him.  I asked if he had a nightmare, and this was the response I received:

"Yeah, nightmare.  Man come in Fizzy woom.  Walking...loud."

When I explained that it wasn't real, that there was no man in his room, he went on with additionally details.  "Loud thing...beeps.  Pretty loud."

I have no idea what he heard or thought he heard, but loud things of all types remain firmly in the dislike column.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2 Months

Sprout has spent the last month staying awake for longer and longer periods of time.  One the minus side, this makes things a bit more difficult for us, as gone are the blissful days when we could set the baby down on his lounger and go about our business.  On the upside though, we get to see more of his sweet personality.

1)  About the middle of the month, he started smiling while he was awake, and although it still wasn't clear whether it was truly reciprocal, we all cooed at him with renewed vigor.  Around 7 weeks, or about a week after his first real awake smile, I noted an actual social exchange - I smiled, he smiled back, and the sun came out from behind the clouds.

2)  He started cooing this month too, but at first, it was clearly an unhappy noise, more of a whimper than anything else.  After about a week or so of that, the coos began to take on happier overtones, and now, we have little happy chats whenever he wakes up from his nap or gets his diaper changed.

3)  To go along with the coos, Sprout has been obsessive about his tongue - he will stick it out, and we will see his eyes go wide with interest as he feel it with his lips and licks a little bit.  Then he will move it to the other corner of his mouth, move it in and out of his mouth, and look even more fascinated.

4)  When he isn't entertaining himself with his tongue, Sprout likes to have this tinkling elephant toy dangled in front of him.  This was Fuzzy's favorite toy at this age too, so there's clearly a genetic affinity for elephants in the family.

5)  Sprout's chunky little legs are incredibly strong.  He likes to be dangled from the armpits with his toes on the ground, and he will push and kick himself up and down, exercising happily.

6)  I'm happy to report that on June 2nd, Sprout ate at 10:30 PM, and then went to sleep until 4:40 AM, resulting in a glorious five uninterrupted hours of sleep for Mama.  May this day be repeated soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Two Years

You know that adorable picture of Fuzzy sleeping that ended the last post on him?  I should have known that Fuzzy keeping still and quiet outside of nap time meant something terrible was going to happen.  The pestilence presented itself the next day, when Fuzzy woke up my mom in the middle of the night, said "Fizz tummy hoyts," and proceeded to puke all over his crib, then her bed, then the bathroom.  This went on for approximately one week, during which the rest of us also succumbed, one by one.  Then we had a two week respite, and then we all went through a second round of that norovirus-type crap again.  So...this month could have gone better, all things considered.  However, there are several awesome, non-puking related stories to relate:

1)  First and foremost, the penis-related conversations.  One night in the tub, Fuzz stood up and peed. After surveying the frothy results with excitement, he looked up at me and said, "Fizz made bubbles wit peenis?"

Then, a couple of days later, Fuzzy was observing as I changed Sprout, when the baby let loose and peed straight up in the air.  Watching this, we had the following exchange:

Fuzz:  "Water come out! Water come out of DAT little fing!"
Me:  "That's not water, it's pee.  And it came from Sprout's penis."
Fuzz:  "Fizz have penis too! And Daddy...Daddy have biiiig one!"

2)  All month, Fuzzy has been particularly affectionate and attached with me.  I guess this isn't a surprise, since his baby brother demands an inordinate amount of Mama's time.  However, the result is a lot of Fuzzy wandering up to me and randomly rubbing his face on my legs, in a sort of cross between a normal person's kiss or hug.  When I change him, he will grab by arm, mouth it a little bit, and announce that he's "eating Mama."  Periodically, he will also pinch Mama - not so much to hurt, but because at that moment, he seems overwhelmed with the need to hold a piece of Mama very tight.  Needless to say, I prefer the hug/kissing, even if it does result in lot of tripping.

3)  Given that Sprout is his main rival for Mama's time, Fuzzy has been surprisingly good about his baby brother.  He periodically wants to hold/hug/kiss Fpout, but that is about the sum total of his interactions with the baby....except on those rare occasions that Sprout loses his patience and really starts wailing.  When Fuzzy is around to witness this, he gets incredibly upset, starts wailing too, and requires somebody to hold him while he emphatically mumbles under his breath, "NO LIKE IT, that baby crying."

4)  Fuzzy's been doing some funny non-literal things with the English language recently.  For example, we got take-out Mexican one night, and Fuzzy started devouring the chips.  Then he saw The Pit dip one in salsa, and demanded to do the same.  Unsurprisingly, once he sampled it, the reaction was, "Fizz no like that fing.  Fizz no like that spicy fing."  And that seemed to be the end of that.  However, later that day, we were looking at cars out the window, and I asked him what color the passing red car was.  "WED!" he responded, and followed up with: "Dat car spicy?"

Another time, we were at Target, and I was attempting to pick out a swimsuit for him.  I must admit, they were all pretty garish, but I was not expecting Fuzzy to explain that he didn't want one because it was "too loud."

While I would like to assume that my kid is a genius and is independently making up idioms all by himself, I think the more likely explanation is that he heard these things somewhere.  I just have no specific knowledge of when or where, so all I get is the surreal results.

5)  When I'm at loss as to how to entertain Fuzz, we find rocks, turn them over, and study the undersides for creepy crawling things.  Fuzzy really likes it when we find worms, although he'll take slugs in a pinch.

Despite my numerous explanations that worms like it best in the dirt, for some inscrutable reason, Fuzzy insists on picking them up and placing them in the nearest tree branch.  "Fizz wescue dis worm!" he will say proudly, surveying his wiggling handiwork.  When I suggest that the worm might appreciate a rescue down into that nice flowerpot, Fuzzy will acquiesce only grudgingly.

When we find a slug, Fuzzy likes to place it in a cup, and then go show it to Maya.  "Show Maya yucky sug?" he will say...or, on one memorable occasion when he found the largest slug I've ever seen: "Maya, Maya, Fizz find biiiiig sug!"  Maya is a bit on the OCD-cleaning spectrum, so the look on her face when presented with these treasures is always priceless.

6)  As I've mentioned before, Fuzzy has two comfort toys - his "babies" that are always in his crib.  Several evenings this month, he's unceremoniously thrust them at me and ordered me to put them away in the drawer as I sing him his bedtime songs.  Once I comply and leave the room, these requests are inevitably followed by screaming from Fuzzy 10 to 15 minutes later.  The Pit will go in his room, retrieve the babies for him, and peace will reign once again.  I guess he isn't quite ready to give them up yet.

Since his unending affection tends to leave the babies dirty, it's always a little tricky finding a non-nap/non-bedtime preceding interval in which to wash the things.  The other day, Maya said to hell with it, and shoved them in the washing machine shortly before Fuzz went down for his nap.  Somehow, she calmed him down when he discovered them missing, explaining that they were being washed.  When he woke up though, his first words were: "Maybe babies done washing now?" I was happy to facilitate a touching reunion.

7)  Ever since I got Fuzzy a little toy digger, he's been obsessed with construction machinery, which he indiscriminately calls big trucks...or actually, "tucks." This is already much better than some of his playground compatriots, who refer to them very loudly and excitedly as "fucks."  Fortunately for Fuzzy, there are two nearby houses undergoing demolition/renovation, and every day, Fuzzy demands to go and see the progress.  "Go outfide? Fizz see big tucks!  Maybe man workin?" he will say, and tug at my hand until I agree to take him.  Then he will stare at the machines for hours if we let him.

8)  While my mom was here, she would get up with Fuzz every morning.  Between the illness and his sensing weakness in grandma, "morning" got progressively earlier and earlier, with Fuzzy going from a usual wake-time of 7:30 to 8:00 AM, to something between 5:30 and 6:00 AM.  After her visit ended, The Pit and I decided to divide and conquer - he's been sleeping in the guest room and trying to make Fuzzy sleep later every morning, and I've been up in our room feeding the baby at all hours of the night.  The Pit's strategy includes taking Fuzzy out of the crib to nap with him until at least 7 AM - and he reports that he is now lovingly awakened by Fuzzy fingering circles round and round his mouth every day - apparently because Fuzz likes the way the stubble feels.

9)  Although he still isn't saying "yes," Fuzzy now responds with an "Okaaaay!" when he is asked whether he wants something.

10)  The terrible two tantrums have started...although I have yet to see Fuzz really throw himself on the ground, he has cried hard enough to puke (though that might have been more do with the stomach bug than the tantrum).  Usually he just cries or screams incoherently - when he gets that upset, it actually becomes much more difficult to figure out what he wants, as his language skills degenerate to "MAMA! MAMA!"

11)  We had a locksmith come and fix the deadbolt on our front door, and the man used a drill.  Fuzzy observed with interest, then asked me if he could use it.  After I told him that the drill was just for the repair man, Fuzz thought it over, and then confirmed with me: "Only dis guy can play wit dis dill?"

12)  Fuzzy doesn't have a huge interest in drawing yet, but he will occasionally pick up a crayon, draw
misshapen circles, and sprinkle liberally with dots.  When asked what he drew, he will say one of the following:  Fizz, Daddy, Fpout, Mama, or elephant.  All of us tend to have more than two eyes, apparently.

13)  I've mentioned it before, but Fuzzy has always had a fear of wind-up mechanical toys.  On my mom's latest visit, she brought a small friendly-looking wind-up frog for the bath.  All was well until we made it move, at which point Fuzzy shrieked, skittered over to the furthest end of the tub, and yelled "Fizz scared dis fog!"

14)  Fuzz has been stringing more and more words together into complex sentences.  For example, after he and I dropped a letter in a postal box, he came home and yelled at The Pit:  "Daddy, daddy, Fizz put mail in mail box - man pick up?"

A month or two ago, The Pit planted a bunch of radishes in our backyard.  Some have now attained sufficient size to be worth pulling, and Fuzzy likes to select one, yank it out, and then pop it in his mouth more or less covered in dirt.  To combat this tendency, I've taken to brining a tupperware of water with me, and make him dip the radish in to remove at least the worst of the soil.  This is Fuzzy's description of the process as he dips each one in the water:  "Wadishes!  Fizz pick dis big wadish!  Now tip!"  Then he proceeds to stuff his face.

15)  Fuzz has known that he gets a happy birthday song for a while now, and after some relevant episodes of his favorite cartoons, can even sort of approximate the tune.  When we actually sang to him on his birthday, he demanded that we do it again and again, complete with candle lighting and blowing out.  It was pretty adorable, although not quite as adorable as when he randomly and completely unaware of events sang Happy Birthday in his crib on the morning that Sprout was born.  Here he is, blowing out his candles for the second time on an already partially eaten cupcake.