Friday, April 29, 2011

Mommy's Big Buddy

Iain Pitman-March 2011
Pitman Photography

Oh little boy! I find it so hard to believe that your SECOND year of life is drawing to a close! You are on the home stretch and we're counting down to your second birthday! Sometimes I think you must only be turning one-I just can't believe that you're big enough to be two! But on the other hand, I simply can't remember life without you! Has it really only been two years since we met you?!

This paradox is pretty characteristic of you right now! You are the most polite child in the world...and the rudest! You are the sweetest boy ever...and the most difficult! You pick up on things in an instant; one time and you know a word, a phrase, an expression...and it takes you million repetitions to learn the lessons we try to teach you! The things that shouldn't be a big deal can be disasters, and the things we think will be difficult happen without a ripple! I guess this paradox is what defines the "terrible twos"; the year of stubbornness, difficulty and testing...but also such time of discovery, cuteness and wonder!

Your words continue to grow daily; you are now putting full sentences together, that the casual observer (not just your mom!) can understand! It's amazing! You know how to ask for what you want, and even to tell us what is bothering you. You can answer (and ask) questions, and carry on a conversation! You give us actual (correct!) information when we ask you things! It's so neat to see you communicating! You know how to say "Please", "Thank-you", "You're welcome" and "Excuse me", and use them in context, unprompted. Your favorite phrase lately is "Mommy's big buddy." As in "Look! Mommy's big buddy is running!" and we are quite happy that "Big Buddy" is taking the place of your other favorite persona: "Baby Iain".

Your favorite thing to read this month has been your Bible stories. It's quite amazing the things you can remember when we ask you about them. You can tell us who made the world, who the first people were, what they did wrong, who built the ark, what Joseph dreamed, where he went, what his coat looked like, (he's your current favorite!) what battle Joshua fought, what happened to Daniel, just about every detail of the crucifixion and resurrection, and a whole lot more! While I know you don't really understand all the things you repeat, it's still such an encouragement to me, and I'm praying that these seeds will sink down deep into your (incredible!) memory! We've also been making weekly trips to the library to get some new books for your repertoire, and it only takes a couple of reads before you have them practically memorized!

You still love to play outside, although the past month has not been conducive to this! Oh spring...please come soon! Whenever you get out there though, golf is your favorite activity. We've also been making good use of the basement, and you've had a blast "being in the band" with Mommy and Daddy and anyone else we can coax to pick up an instrument and play along. You love to be a helper; in the garden, with the dishes, the laundry, cleaning etc. And you are getting to the point that you're actually helpful! You can pick up your toys and books, get things we need, put things away and even entertain your brother unaided!

You continue to broaden your eating horizons! This month you tried (and liked) rice (it's your current favorite food!), quesadillas, a carrot (yes...just one), and egg casserole. You still love your customary drink of Ovaltine for breakfast, but can usually be prevailed upon to eat some toast too. Lunch is usually a grilled cheese and some apple slices, and dinner is (a variation of) whatever we are having. I long for the day that you'll eat all the delicious food we make, and realize all you've been missing out on! Eating is just NOT a priority for you though-we have to convince you every single meal that it's worthwhile to stop playing to eat. I am still amazed that a boy who plays as hard as you do can have so little interest in eating. Where do you get your energy from? I fear you are getting too skinny.

Sleep continues to go well; you rarely fuss before bed or naps, and although you occasionally wake up in the night, you almost always go right back to sleep. 9pm-9:30am is customary, but sometimes a bit more or less. Naps are about 2 hours, and if you get less sleep than this, you wake up quite grouchy!

We lost a bit of ground this month in the potty training arena. You flatly refuse to use it. Who knows why? We'll be working on that more as it gets nicer outside. I envision the pant-less boy running rampant in the yard, conquering his potty fears. We'll see! We also lost ground in the "being friendly to people that aren't your parents" area. For whatever reason, you've been quite clingy, and want picked up a lot. But, you don't like going to other people (even your Aunts and Uncles!) and can be quite rude. It's very frustrating for Mom and Dad! You seem to be a bit more jealous of Liam this month too; when we talk to him you say "Oh...Hi IAIN!" and try to steal the attention back. I guess that's what parenting's all about, right? One step forward...two steps back!

Even with all the ups and downs that come with an (almost) two year old, you're still the sunshine in our life! You brighten our day with our sense of humor, keep us entertained with your stories, and makes us happy with your love and cuddles. We love you so much Big Buddy, and we wouldn't trade you for the world!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Parenting Program...

I'm sure many of you have seen this before. But yesterday was "one of those days", so it seems funnier (and more true!) than usual to me. I also figured it was only decent of me to give my soon-to-be-parent siblings a good heads up! So Breha and Brett? Ashlee and Graeme? Consider this fair warning! And for all of my new-mom friends, and my new-mom-of-two sister, I know you'll agree with these sentiments. Most of matter who you are, I'm sure we could all use a good laugh!

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say ‘it’s all worth it!’ Share it with your friends, both those who do and don’t have kids. I guarantee they’ll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you’ll need when you become a parent!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who Says They Don't Look Alike?

I note a striking resemblance, especially around the ears!

Liam-Easter 2011

Iain-Easter 2010

Monday, April 25, 2011

HAPPY EASTA!!!'s our Easter weekend recap! And I'll try to keep this short. I have lotsa (forty?) photos to post, and that's after I weeded through. There's just something about little boys in ties and bunny ears that makes me go all snap-happy! So I will use the photos to tell the story, as much as possible, and talk only in truncated sentences!

Friday: We spent the morning dying Easter eggs with Mom's International Students.
Liam made lots of new friends.Iain made one. (He's a little more put it mildly)
We took a trip to the mall to play, since it was so yucky out. (Perfect solution: coffee for mom and dad, play place for Iain and a stroller ride for Liam...everyone's happy!) This is when we also squeezed in our surprise visit to the Easter bunny. Surprising as well, since we never thought Iain would be interested in climbing up on the lap of a large, (slightly scary) foreign being. However...he proved us wrong, and we have the photo to prove it. Alas, Neil wouldn't let me take any photos, (as per the sign...) so we only have the one from the Bunny people. It's totally awful, but was worth every penny. Maybe we'll get it up here one day soon.

Saturday: We slept in and made a yummy breakfast. We lazed around, and then headed over to the Pitman Parents' for hockey and scones. (Kind of seems like an odd combo! If we're watching hockey, shouldn't we be eating pizza and wings or something? And if we're eating scones...we should be watching a dog show or something more refined!) But...delicious and fun, nonetheless. Iain made resurrection eggs, (he loved beating the nuts...the rest was lost on him...) and got to play with all the Easter goodies from Mom's old school stuff.

Liam snoozed and had a lovely time!
Sunday Morning: We woke up to a beautiful day!We got the boys up and let Iain do a "practice" Easter egg hunt in the living room.

Liam hung out in his bunny ears and took it all in!
"And you're just happy to be here, aren't you?"
We opened up the Easter baskets (the recorder and Easter book were highlights for Iain...the bunny ears were not...).
We dressed the boys and headed for church, snapping a quick photo of Liam in case his new outfit didn't make it further than the car ride!
I was in the nursery, so Iain was extra happy about church, and Neil even took him back out to hear the best day ever. At the end of communion, as everyone was reflecting on the beauty of Easter and the weight of what had been done for us, someone commented that they hoped we all had a happy Easter. To which our little boy responded heartily "HAPPY EASTA!!" He's quite proud of his newly acquired phrase.

Then we headed to Mom and Dad's for the "traditional" Easter egg hunt and brunch. (Note to all Pitmans. You may not recall doing this in the past. But we have decided (in Pitman fashion) that since we have done it once, and since it was so much of this year, it's a tradition!) Iain entertained us all by making faces and we snapped some (decent!) family pictures.

We headed out to hunt eggs and some other goodies Mom had gotten...He LOVED it! Daddy helped Iain while Liam hung out with Mama and tried to eat his tie.

We came back inside for our delicious brunch and then Liam snuggled with Mom and Dad while Iain played with all of his newly acquired treasures-he somehow even knew to eat the bunny's ears first!

After a few failed attempts, we got some photos of the boys in the same frame, both sitting still. The group bunny ears shot was a total loss, however, so we had to settle for the little one alone. He's too little to know to be embarrassed!

We said goodbye, and took our sugar-high boy home for a nice long nap!
We're thankful for a wonderful weekend, a wonderful day. A good time spent with family, a good time spent rejoicing! Lots of yummy food, lots of fun, lots of friends, and lots of laughs. And although most of our celebrations this year were in the silly and less-than-holy realm, we're mostly thankful that we know the true meaning of the celebration. We serve a RISEN Saviour! Praise GOD!

First Flower

My little man came inside with a dandelion clutched in his fist this evening. Prompted by Daddy, he said "I love you Mommy", and delivered it to me with a smile. Wilted though it may be, short-stemmed and all, weed that it undoubtedly is...there never was a sweeter flower! Maybe I'll keep it around long after it's dead, for those tough days, when I need reminded of the great parts of being a Mom!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Actually Can't Believe It!

Two boys with ties on, without protest? Check! Two boys arriving at church in clean, spitup-less clothing? Check! Photos taken? Check!! Photo of the boys together?! CHECK! FAMILY PHOTO!!?? Check, check, CHECK!! More about our wonderful Easter later...for now, we're all going for naps! Hope your day went as (surprisingly!) smoothly as ours!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Easter Duds

What's the fun in having two boys to dress if you can't dress them in (matching) little man outfits for special occasions? Since Neil vetoed my pink and baby-blue sweater-vest idea, ("Oh Iain, you don't want to wear that! That's terrible...!") and they don't make suit and tie sets for kids under 12 months, I had to get creative. I found this awesome tutorial on how re-purpose an adult tie into a baby tie. Since I really wanted coordinating outfits though, I figured that instead of wasting the other 75% of the tie, I could make surely make second tie out of it! So I did! It was so easy...the hardest part was figuring out how to tie the tie when it wasn't around my neck for the second (shorter) tie. Paired with some jeans and a couple of black linen shirts found on clearance, and we've got an Easter outfit on our hands folks!

I post these photos today however, as I have begun to have serious doubts that anyone will be seeing (one of) the boys in this lovingly crafted tie come tomorrow. He's already saying "No thank you!", and in regards to putting something around his neck, and judging from the fact that I've never yet been able to get him to don his lovingly crafted Christmas craft apron, it may be a lost cause. I'm pretty sure Liam will wear his, but it may be covered in drool before we leave the house. Maybe we'll be able to snap one photo in the split second before disaster ensues.

Sure, girls are more fun to dress. But if anyone with boys is looking for an easy last minute Easter it is!