Socks. Lots and lots of socks. 

When I used to get baby and toddler socks, I thought they were so cute. Our most recent gift was a bunch of crew cut mustaches. MUSTACHES! As if my two-year-old could possibly exist without mustache socks. seriously. I don’t even care that the colors don’t match his outfits. They make the outfit. 

Socks. Small socks. They have become my thing. That House Thing that drives me a little nutty. Thankfully, Wrigley could care less about socks. That’s good for our budget and my sanity. 

These little socks are everywhere. Every room I walk into, I see socks. Sometimes next to their mate, but usually strung about hanging out with other misfits. It’s maddening. These socks that are never clearly labeled clean or dirty

People say dryers eat socks. I don’t believe it. My house eats the socks. More specifically, my small children feed their socks to my house. And then they whine and plead for an adult to go get them socks from their room. Quinten is obviously the worst. Having a toddler is a lot like living with royalty until you can teach them to use those little legs and hands to do it themselves. 

Where my socks? Go get them. Get my socks. 

It’s a super cold May day and I’m feeling extra bitter about it. If it wasn’t so cold out, they wouldn’t require socks. If it was nice out, I could put them in boxes! Forever. 

These adorable little sport socks that are inside out and in all the wrong places. Never where we need them to be and probably worn for days at a time. These small socks that are in constant need to be picked up, washed, sorted, matched, and put away. Only to be flung around the house before they make it onto little feet or tossed aside after coming in the house. 

  

These socks. 

Socks. Lots and lots of socks. 

Little brother stereotypes, unlocked.

When it comes to second-child stereotypes, Quinten is the poster-child for many things. Ornery and sweet are the most common descriptions of our little blondie. Other names we call him: turkey, firecracker, and trouble maker. Although ornery shows itself more often than the sweet, he still gives killer hugs. Like, squeeze as hard as his little two-year-old arms can squeeze and wrap those chubby little legs around your stomach hugs. He’s made his own bedtime routine: go to bed, listen to Maximus go to bed, and request another hug from whoever is leaving Maximus’ room.

More, more hug. Pease. Hug.

2015 Easter
2015 Easter

He has these looks that can stop you in your tracks. He loves a good pout face with eyes downward and a serious scowl. But there’s always a smirk right behind it. It’s a bit scary to watch the transformation between a mean look and a smirk that says he knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.

It’s no surprise that he can do everything his brother can do. Including stealing his brother’s car seat when Maximus isn’t around. {I forgot that 2-year-olds move their chest clip around. In this picture he’s moving it up to his neck. We taught Maximus to teach other people where it needs to go, on his tickle. That was the best way to ensure he was buckled in properly. Totally forgot this kid doesn’t know that and that he probably won’t listen to us or tell others.}

Car seat swap
Proud of his car seat swap

He loves hard and fights harderThis weekend I heard Maximus and Quinten yelling at each other outside. I went to the window to make sure everything was ok. I watched the yelling stop, Maximus push Quinten, and Quinten turn in the opposite direction. Before I could scold Maximus for pushing his little brother, Quinten veered around and charged after Maximus. It ended in Maximus hurt and screaming. After he was done, Quinten walked away and picked up a wheel barrel and walked away. So. Don’t be worried about the baby of our house. He’s doing just fine. It’s the rest of us who could use some prayers! We all struggle with how to handle our “baby.” How to play with him when he doesn’t share very well yet, how to discipline him when he likes to climb out of timeout, and how to reinforce the good behavior so he’ll keep doing it.

Rare picture of just the three of us.
Rare picture of just the three of us.

After a trying weekend with both children, he’s soaking up the single child thing while Maximus is at preschool. He’s all sweet and funny and not even a little bit naughty. Other than his hair sticking up, there’s almost no trace of ornery. This morning he’s been playing with a dump truck, sound effects and all. Picking up cars and dumping them off at what I can only assume is a construction site.

He’s all manners and helpfulness this morning. Except, of course, when he wants you to do something or get him something. Then he’s pretty demanding and yelly.

 Get my shoes! In Maximus’ room. Get them! Get my shoes MOMMY!

Cheering on the Cyclones at a spring football game.
Cheering on the Cyclones at a spring football game.

 

Another stereotype he’s locked down is sneaking into Maximus’ room when Maximus is gone. I was putting groceries away while he sat on Maximus’ floor playing with blocks {and ruining structures}. Then, sitting on Maximus’ bed reading books. While big brother is away, always hang out in your brother’s room.

I have the rare luxury of spending a couple of hours alone with my little guy. I’m not sure who’s having more fun, but I need to make an effort to do this morning often. With both of them. Everyone benefits from some alone time with only one child {or a husband, too}!

How do you make sure you spend alone time with your little ones? Or husband?

Little brother stereotypes, unlocked.

Moving forward

This weekend Quinten got to join the rest of us and face the front of the car! We had reached that point in car seat occupancy where the child does everything in his power not to sit down. If you’ve had an 18 month old, you know what I’m talking about. Boy do I remember Maximus throwing absolute tantrums at that age. At least Quinten skipped those. The struggle has been hit or miss for a while but we knew we wouldn’t switch him around until winter was over. No sense in taking a chance with winter weather and safety. He consistently stands up instead of sitting down when I put him in his seat. This is the boy who I’m not strong enough to change a diaper on. {No joke. Bryan has been on dirty diaper duty for almost two years.} 

So it was time to switch his seat around. When I opened the door he said, “I a big boy! I see Maxus. I see daddy. I see mommy.” 



Unfortunately, I took a picture when they were all singing. Oh well, they all still look cute! 

His mind will really be blown when he gets to watch a movie instead of just listening to it. 

Moving forward

Guess who turned two!

When you’re the second baby you don’t get as much blog time. Then again, if he had been born first he still wouldn’t have much blog time. He’s a handful and a half! Put them together and it’s a little wild around here. In the best way possible, obviously. 🙂

Quinten turned two yesterday. It’s very fitting with his personality lately. He talks non-stop from the minute he wakes up to the last second before he falls asleep. No, really. The other night Maximus was turning on a nightlight and Quinten was yelling at him. “Dehdeh! Nooooo!” Most of the time he speaks in three to five word sentences. He’s great at copying Maximus with stories or giving play-by-play commentary. It’s pretty awesome watching a little guy take in the world. I forgot how cool this stage is. For all the tantrums that are to come, the learning part is important to remember.

Yes, that’s what Quinten calls his brother. No, we don’t have any idea where it came from. Yes, sometimes he can say Maximus. In the best two-year-old voice.

He’s been rocking the 28-29 pound range for a long time. I didn’t see his height but he’s been getting a little taller, which makes him look a little smaller. The blonde hair on his head helps him look older, too.

Like his brother, he’s currently obsessed with all things movable. Everything with wheels gets pushed around our house. (And fought over.) He got a lot of car toys for his birthday and has actually been playing with Maximus. We had a Little Blue Truck party so they’ve been play Little Blue Truck. The best thing about the new toys? They are both entertained and can be distracted by something new if they start fighting over the same toy.

I imagine that two will be a challenging year for Quinten. And it might be even more challenging for the parents as we navigate life with an preschooler AND two-year-old. Two was hard enough with just one kid!

IMG_6870.JPG

No more writing tonight. I need to wrangle Quinten into pajamas before he takes his diaper off. Shouldn’t be hard since he’s dizzy from spinning circles and falling down. “Whoa mommy fall!”

Guess who turned two!

The gift of children

It’s quiet on Leger Lane. Only adult things are filling up the space. Parenthood marathon on the tv and laundry in the washing machine. The lights are turned down and the Christmas tree is letting off a colorful array of twinkling. I spent almost two hours picking up, switching out decorations, and putting lights on the tree tonight. {Biggest mom accomplishment this week: waiting until the boys were asleep to tackle the Christmas light situation.} The house feels put together. It makes me feel content. It gives my mind time to recharge. Gear up for another day. The days don’t always go as anyone would like. Maximus spends 10% of each day whining that we didn’t do anything fun. Even right after we do something really fun. Quinten doesn’t always get along with anyone. And sometimes I raise my voice too much in an attempt to get someone to listen or everyone to stop fighting. Days can be hard and nights can be worse. The witching hour. A clean house and clear mind can erase the worst days. Tomorrow is another day and another set of challenges. It’s also another day of happy moments. There are always lots of those. Snuggles, kisses, hugs, kind words, funny toddler talk, and mind-blowing preschooler learning.

Quinten talks non-stop now. It started about two weeks ago and only stops when he’s sleeping. He’s a little parrot, know-it-all, and play-by-play commentator. He is definitely a toddler now with only a week-and-a-half to go before his 2nd birthday. It’s funny to see what he likes and doesn’t like. He wants to talk through every step involved in going to the bathroom but refuses to try it himself. He doesn’t like confined spaces, but hides in the pantry and yells, “Daddy! I hiding!” When I tell him a snack is all gone {because he doesn’t know how to say no to food}, he’ll tell Maximus 10 minutes later. Even when Maximus wasn’t talking about a snack or food. It’s a challenge to convince him that I can change his diaper and then an even bigger deal to get him to hold still while I do it. He loves to say, “No, mommy!” and run away when he doesn’t want to do something. When he doesn’t like what we tell him, he takes his frustration out on anything close – toys, people, dogs, water bottles. Quinten loves to dance, sing, and play music.

Maximus also talks non-stop. He is a little sponge. Constantly bringing things up that he learns in preschool. When we pick him up he can’t remember what he did in school. He mostly remembers gym time and story time. Yet, he says things to me like, “Mommy! I see the moon. The newest moon that our favorite man made. Do you know who that man is? You do mommy! It’s our favorite man way up high in heaven! It’s God!!” The other day he recognized a remix of a song before I did. Bryan plays it a lot and Maximus sings along. He walks around the house making up songs and singing really high. It’s hilarious! If he wants, he can be super sweet and helpful with Quinten. He loves drawing and coloring and talking about what sounds a letter makes. He likes to know what our plans are. He does better with life when he knows what to expect. His current obsession is watching toy reviews on YouTube. Seriously?! He loves playing music with Bryan but has strict rules on when Bryan can sign. Mostly it’s just “music bands and not singing bands.”

Tomorrow is another day. A big day. Thanksgiving is full of food, family, and a screwed up routine. I’m hopeful for well-behaved children! And an easy bedtime after the chaos of the day. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! 

The gift of children

The name calling begins

It didn’t happen how I expected it to. And Quinten won’t realize it until much later in his life.

 

Maximus: “Mommy, does Quinten have a baby in his tummy?”

Me: “No, he doesn’t have a baby in his tummy.”

Maximus: “Then why is his tummy so big?!”

Me: “Because he just ate …”

 

Edit-5401
The body in question

 

To be fair to Quinten, his belly has looked like that since he was about eight weeks old. To be fair to Maximus, he has two friends at daycare who are going to have new babies. And Quinten’s stomach does resemble that of a pregnant woman…I assume he’ll grow out of it eventually.

The name calling begins