Friday, December 23, 2011

Like Baby, Baby, Baby - Oh!

Like baby, baby, baby - oh!

Okay, I'll stop, but you know where I'm going with this, right?

I'm pregnant.  So, yeah, that's where I've been the past three months.  Sick.

Where have you been?  And by "you" I mean my 8 followers.

I don't remember feeling this sick with Foster, but I guess maybe I just forgot.  They say that women forget or else why would they keep having babies.  And I say, GOOD QUESTION!

Just like with Foster, 12 weeks came and went and I still wasn't feeling any better.  For me the turning point this time was more like 15 weeks.  That's a long time to feel sick to your stomach and so tired you literally have to take a nap right after you brush your teeth.  That is if you can even brush your teeth!

Hello, Gag Reflex!

Anyway, it's Christmas and I'm finally feeling better.  Not quite like myself, but much better.

Food looks and sounds good again, and even tastes good!

Scott says the only people food commercials appeal to are pregnant women because I want to eat EVERYTHING I see.

I've got news for him, though, billboards work too!  (As does simply driving by a restaurant, but I digress.)

I'm now 16 weeks along and scheduled to find out this baby's sex in 2 weeks!  I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

We've been asking Foster whether he thinks the baby is a boy or a girl and he's finally understanding that question and consistently answering, "a little tiny baby girl."

Not just a baby girl, but a little tiny one.

That little tiny baby is big enough for me to feel kicking now and I take such delight in those moments.  As I write this it feels like popcorn popping and it's always low on my right side.

At my last checkup I told the doctor I was pretty sure I felt the baby at 12 weeks in that same spot, so when she placed the fetal doppler there and immediately got the heartbeat, I was not surprised.  Just happy to be right...12 weeks is early to feel a baby.

I'm not really showing yet.  I mean, I can tell, but I can also still wear my normal clothes.  Well, my jeans are unbuttoned, but still...

Today is Christmas Eve Eve and both Scott and Foster are home with strep throat.  They're both on antibiotics and feeling better, but apparently very sleepy.  They've been napping for over two and a half hours!

Here's hoping for a Christmas miracle - that I manage to stay healthy!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The First of Its Kind

So, this is where this blog becomes less about my son, Foster, and more about everything else.

First up, The Five Minute Brownie!


A Facebook friend posted a link to this recipe yesterday, and yesterday I was seriously craving some chocolate!  Only, I had already eaten a handful of M&M's from Foster's potty reward jar, so I decided not to make this brownie-in-a-mug and bookmarked the recipe for future reference.

Future reference = today.  That's right, I. Have. No. Willpower.

As I write this, I'm eating a brownie out of my favorite mug.  Wait, scratch that.  I just drank the crumbs.

The recipe is below and yes, it tastes and feels just like a brownie.  It is a brownie and it was totally worth it.

Best part, I don't have the rest of the pan calling my name.  Making me feel guilty.

Guilty for not eating another and another and another.  I mean, how wasteful would that be?

Guilty for eating another and another and another.

Worst part, I didn't have any vanilla ice cream to scoop on top.  (You know, the whole no willpower thing.)

Enjoy!  I'm going to take a nap.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/3 teaspoon vanilla
small handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk together dry ingredients in a coffee mug, standard size (11 oz.) or larger. Add oil, water, and vanilla and mix thoroughly -- making sure to scrape the bottom and sides so that it's all incorporated. If you'd like, mix in chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The finished product will be soft-ish and chewy.

Cool for a minute. Eat right out of the mug :) Don't wait long, as the brownie will harden with time.

Note: This serving size is pretty generous. For kids or for adults with modest appetites, I recommend cutting all the quantities in half (and decreasing the cooking time -- in my microwave, the half-recipe takes about 45 seconds on high) for a smaller brownie in a mug.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monthly Update: 32

Dear Foster,

You are officially 32 months old, or 2 years and 8 months.  This might be the last time I write a sentence like that about you, as keeping track of the months is just getting too hard.  I mean, I have to count on my fingers every time!

Besides, I've obviously fallen off the mommy blogging wagon when it comes to keeping up with your development on a monthly basis, so I may as well use this blog for other things I want to talk about and like you, I have a lot to say.

Some things I'm planning to write about are home improvement projects and recipes.  (As if.  I couldn't really be a Mommy Blogger if I didn't talk about those things, right?)

Some things I will probably not write about are arts and crafts, because A - I am not artsy, and B - I am not crafty.  I wish I was, though, and every now and again I get a wild hair up my you-know-what and tear the house apart trying to make something Martha Stewart would be proud of.

That said, without further ado, here is what's been going on with you...

As I write this you're at school (Mother's Day Out).  You started after Labor Day and the transition has been smooth as silk.

Your new teacher's name is Gretchen and I made the mistake of telling you that her last name was Lyons, so now you refer to her as Miss Gretchen Lyons.

Over the summer you became quite the napper, sometimes sleeping almost 4 hours!  Now that school has started, though, you are one tired boy.  The two year olds don't go down for "rest time" until 12:30 and then I have to pick you up at 2:00.  That means the most nap you'll get at school is an hour and a half.

I've handled this transition pretty well so far.  Your daddy and I just put you to bed earlier on those nights and then congratulate ourselves on becoming more flexible parents.

It's not that we're rigid, we're just firm believers in a schedule.

You've always been a great kid, we think partly due to your schedule - that you've always known what comes next in your daily routine - but you're getting older (or as you like to say, I'm a big boy!) and it's time for us to move on.  To give you opportunities, rather than predictability.  Adventures rather than comfort.

Despite the fact that you're a big boy now, you are not potty trained.

We're not worried about this or irritated by it.  I think we're more perplexed because before the age of two, you were all about sitting on that potty!  It was once we started rewarding you for pee-pee and poo-poo on the potty that your interest waned, and now when I ask if you'd like to use the potty, you simply say, "no".

Well, I guess I can't argue with that.  (Or the fact that your definition of a big boy is one who can reach da sink!)

One way that you are acting like a big boy is by reading.  Okay, not really reading, but memorizing books.  You often say, "me read it", and all I have to do is say the first word of the sentence and you can finish the page.

You have also begun to sing songs.  In tune and everything.  Two of your favorites are, I've Been Working on the Railroad and God Our Father.  It's really sweet when you sing along with us in the car, or as I'm listening to Adele in the kitchen.  I'll have no idea that you're even listening when all of a sudden I hear your little voice, Rumor has it.  Rumor has it.  Rumor has it...

One thing I didn't expect so early was being corrected by you.

Whether it's being told, Actually, it's a grasshopper, Mama.  Or, arguing with you about the correct past tense of "bite".

You:  Dat bug bited me.
Me:  Oh, that bug bit you?
You:  No, it BITED me.
Me:  Right.  It BIT you.
You:  NO!  It BITED me!
Me:  Oh, okay...

I find myself losing a lot of arguments with you, simply because you do not back down!  It's usually me that has to be right, but with you, I'm much more gracious.

This summer you came down with an unexplained fever that landed us in the emergency room.  We had no intention of ending up there, but your fever was too high to be examined at the minute clinic, which we had only gone to because it was after hours.

It was only once we were waiting and waiting and waiting in the ER that I considered calling the doctor on call.  Duh.

His response?  "Fever means nothing.  How's your child acting?  If he's acting okay with a fever reducer, then he's fine."

Come again?  You mean I've been a parent for over two years and had no idea that I don't need to worry if my child has a fever over 104?  Well, alrighty then.

Your daddy and I were a little put out by the run around we'd been given from the minute clinic and the wait time at the ER, so we left.

That's right, Mr. and Mrs. Rigid Schedule left the ER while you, our beloved baby boy, had a fever of 104.2!  We were so proud of ourselves for making such an irresponsible decision that we celebrated at Chick-fil-A on our way home.

Luckily, your fever was gone the next morning.

At some point this summer you morphed into Captain Destruction and more than once you've gotten a spank for throwing things that aren't supposed to be thrown.

Like that time we were in a restaurant and you found a pebble on the ground and proceeded to throw it at a man.  (Yes, you read that right.)

Only, the pebble landed in the man's shirt pocket, so your daddy and I weren't sure whether to spank you or high five!

In an effort to have fun and burn energy, I've been trying to teach you how to dance.  Usually while I'm cooking dinner and you're starting to get tired and fussy.  That's when I'm rocking out to my ipod.  But, honey child, you. can. not. shake. your. booty.

Now I'm not saying I'm a great dancer or anything, but I can shake my money maker and I thought it would be so cute if you could too.  Fail.

In the meantime, you're a smart boy and upon seeing the crescent moon one night, you asked, Somebody cwimed a wadder to cut da moon?

How sweet is that?

You're also quite the jokester and often you'll make up some crazy story and when I prod you for more information, you simply reply, I was just joking.

Ah, I see.  (It's cute now, but pretty soon it'll be called LYING.)

Just in time for this post was your first role in a wedding.  The Ring Bearer.

Our next door neighbors and dear friends, Aaron & Ashley, asked you and me to be in their wedding.  What an honor, and you did so well.  Your daddy and I were so proud.

That is until the officiant said, "Let us pray" and you cried out, "No!  I wanna pway!"

I don't think anyone heard your outcry because your daddy immediately scooped you up and took you for a walk.  Poor guy missed the ceremony.

It was a great night, though.  We kept you out waaaaaaay past your bedtime and you enjoyed every minute of the eating, drinking and dancing.  So did we.

We love you, Foster Monroe, and we are so proud of the big boy you're becoming.  A big, smart, sweet, funny and handsome lad.  Even if you can't dance.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monthly Update: 29

Dear Foster,

Today you are 29 months old.

I know.  I know.  I skipped a month or two (or three), but really, who's counting?

April came and went in a flash.  You got your first blister and your first skinned knee.  Blah, blah, blah.

We celebrated Easter and gave you your first Easter basket.  We hadn't given you one in years past because you were sorta clueless, but this year we went all out.

I struggled as a parent to find the balance between teaching you the true meaning of Easter and enjoying your excitement over the basket and all the festivities.  This is something I'm sure all Christian parents deal with at each Christian holy day.

Turns out, you got it.  During your bath that night I asked you what Easter means and you said, "Jesus is alive."

It really is that simple, isn't it?

At the end of April I went to the beach for a girls weekend, leaving you and your daddy to hold down the fort.

You guys had a great time together!  What, with all the playing outside, going to the zoo, shopping at "Pluck-Its" (Publix), eating at "Chik-a-Lay", and fixing stuff with "skroof-divers" (screw drivers).

But, when I returned home, you welcomed me with "I missed you, Mommy!" and "I luff you!"

I luff you too, Foster.  You have no idea.

In May we celebrated my 33rd birthday, then vacation, then your last day of school (Mother's Day Out), and finally, your daddy's 34th birthday.  (He's getting old, eh?)

Vacation was awesome this year!  Not just because we were at the beach, but because you loved everything about it - the surf, the sand, the pool, your own room, your own bathroom, and boiled peanuts.  You are my child after all.

Perhaps my favorite part of those harried months, though, was our lazy mornings in mine and your daddy's bed.

Lazy may not be the most appropriate adjective, seeing as how our mornings start somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30, but being able to snuggle in bed - all three of us - and snooze off and on while you watch cartoons, has felt indulgent.  We linger there as long as possible until you decide you've had enough and are ready for breakfast.

"Wake up Mommy!  Wake up Daddy!  Put your robe on.  Put your slippers on.  I want a fruit cup, peeeeez!"

Those mornings make up for the rest of the day when all I hear is, "No!  I no want to obey!"

I had no idea that two year olds knew how to talk back.  In fact, I was starting to panic and trying to figure out where we had gone wrong in our parenting when I got an email from a weekly parenting newsletter that I subscribe to, and guess what the topic was for this particular week?


Thank goodness!  I'm not crazy.  You're not crazy.  I'm not a bad parent and you're not a bad kid.  We're normal and every little thing gonna be all right.

In between your episodes of not wanting to obey and talking back, is a lot of cuteness, for realz.

One day at your grandparents' house, as we were all sitting down to lunch, we asked if you wanted to say the blessing.  This is something you like to do because you get to thank God for whatever you want. Thunder, hamburgers, blankets, etc...

So, you began, "Dear God, sank (thank) you...

And then there was a moment of silence.

Grandpa finally said, "For?"  And you replied, "five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten."


At night, as we're putting you to bed, you give me the to-do list:  "Put a blanket on me and say me a prayer."

Sure thing.

Then you tell me:  "Take my milk downstairs and put it in the fridge."

Of course.  Anything else I can do for you?


Last month we joined the YMCA, or as you call it, the YNCK.

At one point in your development you knew the letter A, but you have since forgotten and we've stopped correcting you.

We figure we only have a little while longer to enjoy your baby talk, so from now on, you may say whatever you want, however you want.

Already, "truck" has evolved from GOO-WA to KOO-WA to KOO-WAK and now to FRUCK.  What the fruck?

(You know I couldn't pass that one up!)

Lately you and I have had a lot of errands to run during the day, and since you're starting to ask questions, I've had to explain what "running errands" means.

Yeah - not easy, and I must not have done a very good job because one day after your nap, when we were scheduled to "run some errands", you said to me, "I no want to walk errands."

Well, if it's any consolation Foster, I don't want to walk errands either.  I'd rather drive.

Or would I?  I mean, the whole time we're in the car you're driving me crazy asking questions.

"What's dis song bout?  What's love means?  What's dat, Mommy?  What's dat for?  What you doin, Mommy?  Why we stop?  Where's Daddy?  Why he at work?"

Foster, you're only two.  You aren't supposed to start asking "wh" questions until you're three or four!

The worst is when you see someone different and incessantly ask questions about him or her.

Like last weekend at the YNCK,  you saw a paraplegic woman in a wheelchair and immediately started asking a question for every answer I gave you, "What's she got, Mommy?  Why she got a wheelchair?  Why her legs don't work?  What her legs broke for?"


This week your Uncle Rob, Aunt Pam and cousins from Taiwan are visiting.  You've had a ball playing with Caleb, Anna & Rebekah.  They're leaving tomorrow and I'm so sad for you.  I know you're going to miss them.

Anna & Rebekah are three and you speak just as well as they do.  I like to take credit for your speech and language skills, but I know that I had very little to do with it.

You are your own person, and we've been teaching you about God and how He made you and put you in my belly.  Thankfully you don't ask questions about that yet.

We've always pointed out the hospital where you were born, and now you talk about it every time we pass because it's the same hospital where a doctor "cut Grandma's neck open."  (Your words, not mine.)

As I write about the hospital, I am reminded of little children, your age, who are there because they are sick.  There are two specific children I have been praying for these past few weeks, Scout & Sadie. 

Scout's family are local folks.  They are Christians and I feel a connection to them, even though I don't know them.

Sadie is a distant relative of yours...her mom is your Grandma's first cousin once removed.  I'm not sure what that makes you, but her family are also Christians, so we are all related in Christ.

These girls are fighting for their lives.  Both need healing, Scout's heart and Sadie's brain.  Reading about their daily struggles brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.  I simply do not have words to express my gratitude to Our Father for your health.



May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monthly Update: 26

Dear Foster,

Last month you turned 26 months old.

That's right.  I said last month.  This blog is late because it has been another whirlwind of a month.

It started when a bad cold turned into a bad stomach bug.  And, I mean B-A-D.  As in, you woke up in the middle of the night vomiting and vomited all. night. long.

The tummy bug lasted for a week, and all I heard, all week, was, "I no want no temperature."  Or, "I no want no fever."  Or, "It ba-woke." (Referring to your fever.)

Yeah, it broke all right.  Then came right back.  And, right back.  And, right back.

We could not keep your fever down, which was beyond frustrating.  You were such a pitiful little fella and it broke my heart knowing you felt so bad.

My heartbreak, however, was quickly balanced out by shock and awe over some "typical two-year old" behaviors that you displayed this month.  I am worn out and worn down after finally becoming "that mom". 

You know, the one that gives in to her child's temper tantrum.  The one that all the "how to discipline your child" books are written about.  The one that Super Nanny chastises on national television.  The one that all the other mothers scowl at when in public.  Yeah, that one.

I never thought I'd be "that mom", but what's a mama to do when her baby is sick, yet acting a fool?  It's a catch twenty-two.

I wanted you to drink fluids so that you wouldn't get dehydrated, so if you wanted "clock-it milk" (chocolate milk), you got it.

I wanted you to eat because an increase in your appetite meant that you were feeling better, so if you wanted "Chik-a-lay" (Chick-fil-A), you got it.

Those treats, however, became expectations once you were feeling better and when we said "no" (because, NO, you can't have chocolate milk and chicken nuggets every day!), the !#$% hit the fan, if you know what I'm sayin...

You ripped off your bib.  You threw your cup.  I yelled.  You cried.  I cried. You screamed.  You intentionally banged your head on the floor and then cried and screamed some more, "I hit my head! I hit my head!"

Because of this behavior, your daddy and I established a "cry chair" and now we put you in that chair every time you start in.

It's kind of like a time-out chair, but we only use it when you're pitching a fit.  Otherwise, we make the punishment fit the crime.

You don't want to wear your bib?  Fine, don't eat.  (Although, I must admit, after this battle I quit making you wear a bib.)  (I pick my battles, buddy, and so should you!)

You want to throw your cup?  Fine, you must be all done and I put it away.

You cry, scream, bang your head on the floor and don't want to stay in your cry chair?  Fine, I'll ignore you. 

Yesterday I actually walked around the house picking up CRUMBS in order to ignore you as you followed me around, pitching a fit over God Knows What.  And, guess what?  You stopped.

It worked!  Ignoring you worked.  Eventually.

Today you pitched a fit over God Knows What (really, I have no idea!) and when I put you in your cry chair, you did the whole arching-of-the-back-contortionist-thing and wouldn't stay in the chair, so I put you in your crib instead.  BINGO!

Surprisingly you still haven't climbed (or fallen) out of your crib, so putting you in there means you're stuck, which means, I WIN!

When you're not having a meltdown, you're a very sweet boy and you love playing with your "fa-wends" in your "ca-wib".

You and your "fa-wends" sleep together, eat together, watch movies together, go outside together, ride in the car together and even, sit on the potty together.  Sometimes you ask to bring all of them and we end up compromising on a few at a time.  Bear-Bear and Kitty Cat are your favorites.  Pooh-Bear runs a close third.

Because Bear-Bear is your BFF, he's always on your mind and you love to talk about him.

"Bear-Bear has no feets.  He has no legs.  He has no tummy.  He has no penis."

Sometimes you get a little sentimental about Bear-Bear, and ask, "Where's Bear-Bear's mommy?"

I'm never quite sure how to answer that one, so I say something different every time.

Maybe she's still at the store waiting for someone to buy her.
Maybe she's in the woods with all the other bears.  Eating honey.

You also love our pets and this morning when you woke up you began calling for Lucky.  Not me.  Not your daddy.  Lucky.

"Come in hee-ya, Lucky!  Lucky, come in hee-ya!  Come in my woom!"

The other day you and I were reading a book together, when up jumped Pumpkin.  She was purring, and your immediate comment was, "Pumpkin's snoring!"

I thought that was the cutest thing ever.  Almost as cute as you calling a street-sweeper, a "sweep-sweeper".  Or, nipples, "noodles".

It's true, you call them noodles!  So, as I'm getting dressed in the morning, you're pointing to them, "those are mommy's noodles." 

That's right, Foster, those are my noodles.

Another funny thing from this month happened one evening after your bath. 

We were all in your room, playing on the floor, when your daddy passed a little gas. (A-hem.)

He immediately said, "Foster, did you hear that frog?"  (Trying to distract you and me from what he had just done.)
You thought for a second, then said, "I hee-ya dat fa-wog in daddy's boo-utt!"

IN DADDY'S BUTT!  Ha, ha, ha!  No fooling you!

Naturally, a few days later you passed gas and without missing a beat, said, "dair's a fa-wog in my boo-utt!"

Daylight Savings Time started last month and instead of ushering in a season of you sleeping in later, you've been waking up earlier!

Are your daddy and I ever going to get to sleep past 6:30 AM ever again? (Yes, I meant to say EVER twice!)

Since you're up so early, you're all up in our business when we're trying to get dressed.  You won't watch cartoons, ya know.  Cartoons are for amateurs.

That explains why you're always pointing out my noodles, and at two years old, already wearing deodorant.

You don't put it under your arms.  No, you just put it under your shirt and rub it around wherever you can reach.  Once you got it up through the neck of your shirt and rolled it under your chin and another time you dropped it down your pants and it got stuck in the feet of your pajamas.

That kept you occupied for a while, so I just left well enough alone.  I figure deodorant can't hurt you unless you eat it, and luckily you're not one of those kids that eats non-food items very often.  It's a risk I'm willing to take if it'll keep you occupied for a while.

Because you're over two years old, we thought that maybe we'd start rewarding you for using the potty, so we bought some M & M's.  The miniature ones.

We keep them in a clear jar in the bathroom and whenever you try to pee or poop, you get one.

We were going to make you actually go pee or poop, but we're not sure you can control all of those functions yet, so we require you to push a little and since you've done both on the potty before, we know you have the ability to push something out some of the time.  Usually it's just a toot.

Either way, you get an M & M, or as you like to say an M & N.  Red is your favorite.

Another favorite thing or things, are koo-wucks (trucks).

I have neglected to write this down before, but you know all of the names for things with wheels, including construction vehicles.

Excavator, grader, scraper, feller buncher, cherry-picker - these are the ones I never knew.

Next to Bear-Bear, this is your favorite topic of conversation.  And, it makes for an easy activity.  There's always something with wheels wherever we go.  And, your Grandpa and Daddy have both taken you to construction sites just to watch the vehicles work.

More impressive than your truck knowledge, however, is your language development and I'm constantly blown away by what you understand and what you're able to say.  When I'm not surprised by it, I'm amused by it.

One of my favorite things to hear you say is "now", pronounced nay-ow.  Two syllables.

And, your newest words are "nope" and "hmmmm".

So, instead of just saying, "no", now (nay-ow) it's "nope!"

And, nay-ow when I ask you an open ended question, you answer with "hmmmm", as if you have to think about the answer.  (Which, I guess, maybe you do!)

Apart from all the drama this month, there have been some sweet moments too.

Cuddling with you.  Watching you play with your fa-wends.  And seeing you change ever so slightly, every day.

One of my fondest memories will be you saying "Don't ka-wy (cry) mama."

I don't know if I was really crying at the time, or if I was pretending to cry because you were being a turd.  Either way, you saying that is a reflection of what we say to you.  How you treat your friends is in direct correlation to how we treat you.  Maybe you're sweet because your daddy and I were first sweet to you.  I hope so.



We love Him because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monthly Update: 25

Dear Foster,

Today is President's Day and you are 25 months old.

I thought I  might stop updating this blog every month now that you're two, because usually a child's development starts to slow then.  I mean, you're walking and talking.  What else is there to say, right? 


I could write a blog each day just about the stuff that comes out of your mouth!

For instance, the way you say truck.  KOO-WA.  It used to be GOO-WA, so you've developed the "k" sound, and sometimes it even comes out, KOO-WAK. 

You're getting warmer.

Then there's, BOO-TEES, which is what you call my breasts and anything having to do with them.  Boobs are BOO-TEES.  Bras are BOO-TEES.  Even panties are BOO-TEES.

While I'm on the subject of private parts, you are very interested in yours, and in who has and hasn't got one.

"Dada has penis?"

That's right, Foster, Daddy has a penis.

"Mama has penis?"

No, Mama doesn't have a penis.  Only boys have a penis.  Mama is a girl.

"Boys has penis."

That's right, all boys have a penis.

Thankfully, no one other than me and your daddy are ever brought up in this conversation.  But, if Grandma was, she would be BA-WA, a variation of BA-BOO-WA, which is what you used to call her.  And, Grandpa has evolved into PA-PA.

Another obsession you have is who has shoes on and who doesn't, and what has wheels and what doesn't.  I have no idea why shoes and wheels are so interesting.  They just are.

"Super Why has shoes on."  "Dada has shoes on."  "Mama has shoes off."  "Me shoes off."

"That's right, Bud, Super Why has blue shoes on.  Daddy has to wear shoes to work.  Mama's bare foot.  Do you want your shoes off too?

"Airplane has wheels."  "Heater has wheels."  "Table has wheels."

Yes, airplanes do have wheels.  They go fast when the airplane is on the ground.  You can't see them now because the airplane is flying up in the sky...

It's exhausting keeping up with you.  Just as we're in the middle of explaining the wheels on an airplane, the little wheels in your head start to turn and you're on to the next thing...

"Airplane big.  It gone be loud!"

You get the "gone be" honestly.  That's my southern twang coming out.  The southern twang I will deny until the day I die.  I'm from Florida.  I DO NOT have a southern accent.  I just happen to say things short-hand like.

Be careful, it's gone be hot.

Or, maybe it's a Yankee accent I've got.  Sometimes you sound like a Kennedy.

Foster, where's your cup?


What's on your head?


Say ear.


Or, maybe it's a Chinese accent I picked up while in China a few years ago that's rubbed off on you.


Interpreted, "I can't see anything!"

Southern, Yankee or Chinese, none of those describe the way you're saying words that begin with "s".

You used to say, S-NO, for snow.  And, S-MALL for small.  But now you scrunch your nose and blow snot out while saying SNOW and SMALL.  I don't think that's something you've picked up from me or your daddy.  But once gain, you're getting warmer.

Keeping you warm this winter has been an issue.  We have a portable heater in your room (you know, the one that has wheels!) and earlier this week you said it was scary.

"My room carry."

Huh?  What'd you say?

"My room CARRY!"

Your room is scary?  Where'd you learn that word?

"Heater CARRY!"

Your heater's not scary!

"Heater have eyes!"

Your heater does not have eyes!

Honestly, Foster, where do you come up with this stuff?

You've been wearing a "SleepSack" to bed since birth.  It's basically a zip up sleeping bag.  No sleeves.  A wearable blanket, if you will.  To keep you warm while you sleep, since you won't keep a blanket on.

(No, not a Snuggie.  A SleepSack.)

But, since you've learned how to unzip things, this is the first thing to be thrown out of your crib.  Sometimes the only thing. 

Your daddy thinks you're doing it on purpose.  To show us who's in charge.  But I know better.  You're just expressing your independence.  Your creativity.

That's why as soon as we leave the room for you to go to sleep, you stand up, unzip your SleepSack and toss it overboard.  Sometimes you proceed to toss every stuffed animal out too.  Ending with Bear-Bear.  And, you know what happens when you've realized Bear-Bear got caught up in the fray, don't you? 

That's right, you start calling and crying for me.  And, as soon as I walk in, you're all "Where Bear-Bear go?"  Shoulders shrugging and everything. 

As if.

Anyway, once I've got all your friends picked up and back in your crib, I put your SleepSack back on and that's the end of that.  You go right to sleep.

You've only been two for a month, but you're already asking, what we call in the field of child development, "W-H questions".

"Hey, what's that, Mama?" 

"Hey, what's those?"

"Where Bear-Bear go?"

Your daddy's favorite is, "Hey, what's that noise?" 

And now, he walks around the house all day knocking on walls, doors, windows, anything, just to hear you say it.

I'm not sure what the child development term is for saying "hey" prior to every question, but it sure is cute!

The other day, as we were eating dinner, you reached up to your eyes and said, "I want more eyelashes."

You want more eyelashes?

"I want more eyelashes."

I just looked at your daddy and shrugged.  I mean, what are we supposed to say to that?

First of all, you're two.  What two year old even knows they have eye-lashes?

Secondly, you're a boy.  (Never mind, I'm not going there.)

Your Uncle Steve came for a short visit this month and you really enjoyed his company.  What with going on dinosaur hunts and riding the horsey down to town.

Then you got sick, and as I write this, you have had a fever for four days.  It's a low grade fever, otherwise you'd be at the doctor's office.  But, I'd like to see if you can shake whatever-this-is on your own, without an antibiotic.  You did read the last update, didn't you?

Despite being sick, you can still be a turd.  Today, for instance, I cleaned up not one, not two, but three messes!  Not just any mess, mind you, but FOOD ON THE FLOOR messes.

I can handle the usual messes.  Toys scattered across the floor.  Sticky hands.  Runny nose.  Accidentally dropped forks.  But, we have been over and over and over this.  And you've gotten at least that many spankings.  Throwing and/or squishing food on the floor is not acceptable.  Fever or no fever.

So yeah, just prior to your nap today, you got another spanking.  Happy 25th month birthday to you, right?

It's no picnic for me either, bud.  In fact, the mommy guilt is so overwhelming that I wrote about it on my blog.  And, guess what?  It didn't help.

The only thing that will help, I'm afraid, is a good cuddle with you when you wake up from your nap.  Oh, and maybe for your fever to go away.  Yes.  That would help us all.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monthly Update: 24

Dear Foster,

Happy belated birthday!

You turned two last week, even though you've been acting like a terrible two year old for weeks now.  Partly because you were sick, I think, and partly because it's your job.

It started with an off and on fever that lasted for a week before I finally took you to the doctor where you were diagnosed with bronchitis. 

That week was awful, I tell ya.  Your daddy and I would just stare at each other like deer in the headlights because we had no idea what to do with you.

You whined.  You cried.  And, you had tantrums.  Two year old tantrums.  You know, the kind where the kid is screaming, "NO!" and waving his arms back and forth, sometimes even smacking his parents. 

Yeah, THAT kind of tantrum.

Thankfully those kind of tantrums are rare for you.  Usually you fall out because we can't read your mind, or because we told you no, or because you can't get the square peg into the round hole, or because, well, JUST BECAUSE!

To make matters worse, giving you medicine that week was not unlike trying to give medication to a cat!  Prying your mouth open with the syringe and then shooting it as far down your throat as possible.  Only to have you gag and spit it all back out.

You normally like medicine and get excited when we ask if you want some.  "It'll make you feel better" is what we always say, and lo and behold, it does!

But, since you didn't like this particular antibiotic, it took an extra day to finish the coarse of treatment.  The 'ole "it'll make you feel better" line didn't work, so I had to be firm with you and then love on you when it was all over.  I made sure to have something ready to offer afterward that would "help" with the taste and now that is your favorite thing to tell me...

"Juice will help, mama."

Once the antibiotic kicked in, you became your old self again.  My happy, chatty, busy boy!

I had no idea that turning two meant becoming bossy, but my gosh, all you do is tell me and your daddy what to do!  Life with you is a constant dialogue.  Like we're in mediation all. day. long.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  And then, at the end of the day, after we've each compromised on this point and that point, we're all exhausted and needing some sleep in order to have the energy to do it all over again tomorrow.

First thing in the morning is not, "Hi mama!  Good morning!  I love you! You're the prettiest mama ever!" 

No, it's more like, "Light on, mama!  Vaporizer off!  Heater off!  Ga-Ga (Foster) do it!  Want fruit-strip! Open it, mama!  Want more!  Banana!  Peeeeeeeeez.  Mama, hold you.  Hold you, mama!"

I'm telling you what, just talking with you is exhausting!  There isn't anything you can't say.  Granted, your words aren't all clear, but you try to say anything and everything.

Sometimes you get hung up on a word, but you are very persistent and even if it takes you three tries, you eventually get the sentence out.  Meanwhile, your daddy and I have turned into a puddle, willing the words out of your mouth, wishing we could say it for you, and then gushing with praise once you've said your peace.

We went to Florida for Christmas, and boy was that challenging  fun!

The ten hour drive to and from was exhausting for your me and your daddy.  I'm sure it was exhausting for you too, but in a different way.

For some reason you refuse to sleep in the car.  I don't understand it.  You are your father's and my child, so WHY DON'T YOU SLEEP IN THE CAR?!

Your daddy and I are champion sleepers.  I bet we could win the Olympics if sleeping was a sport. 

Before you were born we could log at least twelve hours a night on the weekends.  And, we were both great car sleepers growing up.  But, for some reason, you did not inherit this gene and the most you'll sleep in the car is an hour and a half.

Honk if you agree that that is not enough time for a toddler to sleep on a ten hour road trip...



Anyway, the only way we were able to get you to sleep, even that long, was to tell you, "Foster, it's nap time.  You had lunch, you played, and now we're going to turn on some music.  You need to close your eyes and take a nap."

Funny thing about you is that you actually obeyed us.  (Ha!  One point for Team Mama & Daddy!)

While we were in Florida you got to play with your cousins and get reacquainted with the rest of my family.  You were a great sport while we were there and I'm always so proud to show you off.

You're sweet, smart, a good eater, full of energy, and a good sleeper.  You make loving you so easy, you make loving fun.

(I was torn between which song title to post there, so I went with both.  Thank you for your understanding.)

We weren't back from Florida very long when your daddy went out of town on business.  For a week. 

Honestly, I was dreading being a single parent for that long, but once again, you came through, and we ended up having a great time together.  You even started counting to ten and singing the Alphabet Song that week.  (Ha!  One point for Team Mama!)

Maybe it was all that Mommy & Me time. No silly distractions from daddy. No hide & seek. No wrestling.

Or, maybe it was the fact that you're TWO now and those things just come naturally.  I'll go with the latter, because seeing and hearing you play with your daddy is totally worth losing that point!

When your daddy came home from his trip, he said, "I missed you (meaning me, of course he missed you!) and "I missed our family."

I thought that second part was so sweet.

I mean, yeah, we love each other and miss each other when we're not all together, but something about being all together is grander than each of us, just being each of us.

Maybe that's what Aristotle meant when he said, "The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

We celebrated your birthday with local family and I think you had a good time.  You ate up your cake and ice cream, and because you are my child, after all, you asked for seconds!

Then, that night, after we'd put you to bed, I heard you singing the Happy Birthday song to yourself.

If only those baby monitors came with a record button...