Quinten {18 months}: sweet and ornery in one

My poor second child only gets pictures posted on Facebook and Instagram. He doesn’t have a baby book and there is no documentation of his awesomeness. {Full disclosure: Maximus has a baby book, but nothing is in it.}

18 – 19 months seems to be his sweet spot. {Knock on wood and cross all the crossables} He sleeps. He eats {a lot}. He talks {and yells a lot}. He runs. He plays. He climbs. He gives hugs and kisses. And he fights with Maximus {and the dog}.

Some of his recent highlights:

  • This week he started calling Wrigley by name, “WreeWree NOO!” His favorite ways to communicate with Wrigley: “WreeWree GIT DOWN!” “WreeWree NO!” “WreeWree GIT UPP!” Yes, that’s all yelling. And sometimes he runs across the living room yelling at him with his hand up in the air ready to hit him. He’s bossy, err, he has great management potential. {Probably better work on the hitting part before he gets his first job.} This morning when he saw Wrigley for the first time he said very nicely, “HIII WreeWree! Mommy WreeWree!” This is progress.
  • Kisses. I love when little guys learn to give kisses. We had some hit-or-miss attempts a few months back, but we were a little too close to the biting stage so we tried not to promote it too much least we get teeth marks on our faces. It transitioned into him giving you his cheek so he could get a kiss. It was the most nonchalant, bored look a baby could give. Kiss me if you must lady. {Maybe from all the chubby cheek kisses I’ve been giving him since he was born?} Now, he gives you his pursed lips. Then comes back for two more, each time with his mouth open a little more. It’s the sweetest. All the love and milk I’ve given him over the past year-and-a-half are paying off. 😉

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    Rare quiet moment

  • We had a very short episode of tantrums over things he wasn’t supposed to have. Mostly phones. And Wrigley’s water dish. We had awful flashbacks to Maximus at 18-months and remembered the horrible tantrums he threw. Quinten’s were short-lived because he decided it was really fun to give them to you. At the same time he learned to say, “Dear Doe.” {Translation: Here you go.} At first he always said, “Tank you.” Until he realized that’s what we’re supposed to say when he gives us something.

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    Professional mess maker

  • Getting his own shoes. It’s the little things that help us get out of the house a few minutes sooner. Everyone with thumbs, get your own shoes! However, Quinten spends a good chunk of time bringing everyone shoes, all day long. “Dear Doe!” He’s a doer, just like the rest of the boys in my house.
  • Asking for more food. He’s developed multiple ways of doing this. “Eat!” “More more!” And running to his high chair and yelling non-words.Quinten’s meals go like this: start feeding him fruits before supper is ready, give him the main course and veggies, give him the second round when you sit down to eat your food, and give him food off your plate while you eat, and sometimes give him crackers after you’re done eating. Then he hands you his plate and yells when you clean him up. At some point, Maximus usually pawns some of his food off in a disguise of being helpful. We know it’s just his way of getting food off his plate. Quinten will eat anything. He favorites are broccoli, crackers, and milk. He chugs milk. At 18-months he switched to whole milk 100% of the time. It was a good time for us to end our mama-baby milk relationship and he took it pretty well. He had a few moments of weakness the week after we stopped, but no major setbacks.

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    Hotel living

  • He sings songs. His favorite is Old McDonald. On the weekends {the only time he wakes on his own}, he stands in his crib and sings “ey yi ey yi o.” He also really likes dancing to music. Singing songs has been Maximus’ way of helping calm him down in the car. It started a few months ago after daycare when Quinten didn’t want to be in his seat. Maximus usually sings the ABC’s first and then Wheels on the Bus. Quinten has been known to participate by clapping and yelling, “YA!” at the end of the songs.
  • Over the past week, Quinten has gotten into pointing out semis and trucks. He watches them from our living room windows and when he’s in the car. “Ohhh! CA! CA!”
  • He loves birds, which he also watches from our living room. He sees a lot of them and points and yells “bidie!” He thinks all animals are puppies. And seems to love them all. At a wedding last weekend, there were two cats roaming around and he loved pointing and yelling at them, but didn’t like it when they turned around to come towards him. A beagle showed up during the reception and I told Quinten I saw a puppy like Wrigley. I put him down on the ground and he full on sprinted out of the barn into the grass and ran right up to the dog and petted her. {We know the dog and Bryan was right next to her when I let him down.} He was way nicer to Maggie than he has ever been to Wrigley. He’s definitely ready to have his mind blown at the zoo!
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Loves the park and climbing

  • His communication has blown up over the past month. He is still rear-facing in the car and he calls out to Bryan or I and then tries to have a conversation. He loves saying “hi” to people. Usually people he knows, but the more comfortable he gets with an environment {doesn’t take too long}, the more he starts yelling at everyone else.
  • He continues to love water – splashing it, dumping it on his head, and drinking it. We haven’t made it to the pool this year, but I know he’ll love it and give me a run for my money {along with a couple of heart attacks}.

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    IN the flower pot

His stats are pretty consistent with the past year. He’s 85% in weight at 26 pounds and some ounces. His height is somewhere in the 75% range at 31 1/2 inches. And I think his head continues to be around that same percentage as well. I have reached the dreaded clothes confusion point. Last week, Maximus asked me why Quinten was wearing his shorts. It was the end of the day. It turns out they were Maximus’ shorts. Whoops! So he’s apparently wearing anywhere from 18 months {a little snug} to 4T.

He’s a busy second child. Lobbying {yelling} for attention from Bryan and I. He’s bringing out the competitive side in Maximus, while they both try to get held by me first. Physically climbing and pushing each other over to get up first. He screams and cries when he doesn’t get to go outside with everyone else. He relaxes into the stroller when we go for walks. And he grabs the closest musical toy when the drums and guitars come out. He gives the sweetest, longest snuggle hugs and passes out hard when he sleeps. He’s the best mixture of sweet and ornery in one vibrant, happy baby.

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Two boys with very different personalities

I can’t write things down quick enough these days. A little boy on the verge of turning four and a baby on the brink of 18-month do-it-myself-ness. That’s a lot of new things each day. Things that make us laugh, shake our head, or sigh in exasperation. They are each going to push us in different ways. Where one will be easy, the other will be hard. We’ve already seen this and it only seems to be amplified each day. I think one might be glass half full while the other is half empty. And they will probably switch opinions based on the situation. Their bond is growing stronger every day, but we haven’t been quick enough to document it.

Quinten, the bouncer. 

He recently decided that he likes to sit on people and bounce up and down. I found this out the hard way. He climbed on my stomach when I was laying on the floor. Wrigley has also found out the hard way, usually when he’s fast asleep. Quinten thinks it’s funny to 1. sit on the dog, and 2. bounce on him. Wrigley doesn’t agree with this logic. Quinten took it a step further this weekend. He sat on Maximus while he was on the floor. And when he started bouncing up and down, Maximus started giggling. That made Quinten giggle and the next thing we knew they were rolling around on the floor. There have also been a handful of times when Quinten plopped down on Maximus’ lap and no one screamed or pushed the other. Did it actually happen if there’s no photographic evidence?

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Building up their immune system together at the doctor office.

 

Maximus, the toy giver.

This one doesn’t happen very often. It’s usually the opposite of sharing, but I asked Maximus to get Quinten a car to play with and he worked really hard to find him a toy. He wanted to find the right toy, which wasn’t in the house. We usually have to break up tantrums after they both fight over the same toy. This time Maximus willingly went to find a toy before he started playing with one that we both knew Quinten would want. Progress. Major progress. And much less screaming.

 

Quinten, the spinner. 

Another new trick that he pulled out last week. Spinning in circles. It’s as fast as a 16-month-old can do it, but it’s pretty funny. Luckily, no injuries have been sustained yet. However, since he doesn’t understand when we tell him to move or stop, I suspect this won’t last too long. He spins around a few times and then bobs and weaves a bit before falling to the ground and laughing. What’s funnier than watching a baby sway across the floor? Of course he doesn’t usually do it just once.

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Evening snuggles

 

Maximus, the imaginer.

His mind is always going. Always remembering and always plotting. Always looking to the next thing. Every night we go through a list a questions. “Mommy, what are we going to do after we get up? And then what? And then what? What next?” He got up from his nap yesterday and showed me some blocks he had put together, “Look Mommy! This is the shooter guy.” Sure. He likes making up songs, too. Those are usually too random for me to remember. Yesterday he sang a song about the Easter bunny. “Eeee-aster bunny. Eeee-aster bunny….” My mom brain took over and I can’t remember the rest, but it was something about the Easter bunny bringing eggs and shoes and sunglasses.

 

Quinten, the professional walker. 

Besides spinning in circles, he’s also a master at running. If you need a good laugh, come to my house. His cheeks jiggle when he runs and his little chubby legs carry him much faster than you’d ever imagine. He also has his sights set on where he’s going. There’s no changing that direction unless you pick him up, but beware of the moving limbs! He spent a little time practicing walking backwards in our living room. The look on his face was absolutely priceless. He gave us the side-eye as he  s l o w l y  started walking backwards. As he got more confident, he started grinning.

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The worker and his boss.

 

Brothers, the supporters.

Since Quinten is learning a lot of new things, we all clap for him a lot. When he puts his drink back on his tray (instead of throwing it on the floor), we all cheer for him. Sometimes when we aren’t next to him, Maximus cheers for him when he uses his fork and spoon or puts his drink down. Quinten loves the support! Quinten recently clapped at me for putting him into his carseat. I’m told the day before he “helped” Bryan with the snaps and then clapped. Whatever, I still did a good job! 😉 Maximus has been into walking OVER cracks when we go on walks. (Also, walking and not sitting in the stroller.) “We have to step over the cracks, Mommy.” Last night, Bryan and Maximus were jumping over the cracks. After a few lessons and a few successes, I looked down at Quinten and saw him clapping at them. He did it a few more times before they realized he was clapping for them.

 

For all the crazy, hectic, loud moments at our house, there are just as many sweet, quiet, loving moments. From two boys who love to give hugs and kisses to two hyped up little people running through my house. We seem to see and feel it all these days. Looking at life through the eyes of children is definitely the place to be!

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The closest to a picture of them sitting together.

Preparing for 2014

I’m taking a break from the household duties to sit on the couch and watch Days of Our Lives. The dryer is touching up some clothes from last night, hopefully getting the wrinkles out so I don’t have more work to do. The washer and dish washer are going and there are pots drying on the counter. Eight new meals are in the deep freeze and supper is in the crock pot.

The dog is snuggled next to my leg, Quinten is snoozing away in his crib, and the other boys are downstairs building a bench. I think they are actually working on the legs of the bench, but Maximus says it’s important work. We’ve thrown naps out the window for him and he’s doing rather well for missing out on a couple of hours of sleep each day. We’ve gotten into a good routine over the holiday break. The boys have been sleeping in until 7:30ish every morning and it’s been awesome! We’re all in for a really bad wake up on Thursday morning when we have to leave the house at 7. It’s going to be hard enough for me to go to bed early and wake up to an alarm, add the trying morning routine and Thursday and Friday may be pretty rough days. {Maybe I should plan for Starbucks on those mornings! 🙂 }

I’m looking ahead to 2014 and excited about the possibilities. When I was growing up I never thought of the new year as anything more than a change to the calendar. As a grown up, I look at it as a fresh start. A mid-year chance to refocus. It’s a chance to get realigned in the monotone drone of the winter months. I’m thinking about what I can do for myself, my family, and my home. Later in the week I’ll be thinking about what I can do in the office, too.

I’d like to focus more on my health, including a better diet and more exercise. Not specific to going on a diet, but eating cleaner and getting myself back in shape. It’s pretty cliché for new years, but after a year with a new baby it’s a good goal to have. I want to make more time for myself in the evenings. More time to cook meals and more time to make freezer meals to help make our life easier on the hectic days. Maximus is signed up for another session of swimming lessons and we’re hoping he’ll spend some one-on-one time with the teacher so we can get him ready for teacher-only lessons.

I want to plan more play dates for Maximus so he can get some energy out and have fun. We tend to having boring weekends and he gets bored. When a three-year-old gets bored, they get whiny and annoying. 🙂 He needs some activities and a little more fun. I know Quinten will enjoy them as well. He loves watching Maximus and wants to play along. We’d like to get a swing set this spring so the boys can enjoy the backyard a little more. We’re also talking about a little family vacation.

I’m not setting any goals for myself, but thinking a lot about the things I’d like to do. These things may change over the year, but right now I’m having fun dreaming up all the possibilities for 2014!

What kind of goals are you setting for yourself or your family?

“Santa doesn’t want us to make a big mess, just a little mess.”

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Christmas was lots of fun this year. Maximus was really into it, especially the presents. They got to see Santa twice! Did you know that Santa lives at their daycare? Well, he does. Just ask Maximus. It took a while to convince Maximus that Santa would also be at the mall so we could go see him there. We love our mall Santa, he is so nice and friendly. Maximus got a little shy when we got there but we had plenty of time to look around at all his trees and chat before it was time to get serious about what he wanted. He told Santa he wanted monster trucks, but we’re unsure if he really wanted them or was confused because that’s what he got at daycare when Santa came to visit. Either way, Santa did not bring him monster trucks this year and he didn’t even notice on Christmas morning. {This was a major parenting question: should we go out and buy him monster trucks?!?!? Not doing it worked out well, this time.}

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Quinten enjoyed all the festivities, even if he didn’t know what was going on. He knew there was lots of yummy food and lots of wrapping paper to chew on. The toys were ok, but mostly because it’s not worth really enjoying any of them because Maximus Law states that if Quinten has it, Maximus needs it. Regardless of who the gift was given to. Poor second child doesn’t get to play with anything that is new. Mostly, he enjoyed the comfort of mommy or daddy and didn’t want to venture out to others too often. He did use a few people for their hands so he could walk around a little, so he’s not completely biased about who touches him.

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Now that Christmas has passed, Maximus is even more into Santa. “Quinten, NO! Don’t make a mess. Santa doesn’t want us to make a big mess, just a little mess.” We really could have used this attitude in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but we’ll see how this can work in our favor for a few weeks. When you live with a three-year-old, you gotta use whatever you can to stay one step ahead! You spend 90% of your day repeating yourself and convinced that he can’t hear a thing. Then out of nowhere he says something to let you know he was listening, he was just choosing not to obey. 

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We feel so fortunate to be able to spend an extended holiday break with our boys. Even though I feel like I’m stuck in this awful rotation of cleaning! laundry! cooking!, we’re going to enjoy the next five days at home. It’s what we all needed. A little down time to get back on track. Some of us {the three-year-old crowd}, needed a lot of one-on-one time so we could get rid of the whines and have a little more fun. Right now he’s doing big important stuff, man stuff. Buying wood and searching hardware stores for some important piece to go on something. I don’t ask too many questions, I just scoop up the baby and distract him so they can leave. Because when they come home, Maximus will give me the full report. And that’s one of the best things about being a mommy!

Maximus vs. the pool

Maximus is two weeks into a parent tot swim class. {Cute play on words, huh?} The age range for the class is six months to three years. If it didn’t cost double, I’d put Quinten in it too. But, it does, so he’s going to have to be satisfied with the bath tub. (And he is. He loves the bath tub.)

I wanted to enroll in the class because it was the last time parents could be in the water with the children and I really didn’t think Maximus would be ok with us watching from the side. Since I pushed for the class, I’m the parent taking him. Well, week one was successful but not exactly good. It was only successful because we went to the class. He didn’t like it. He was scared and told me to take him out. About 35 times. I’m not exactly sure how he kept the tears away, but tears were the only thing he didn’t do. He clung to me the entire time and was not into the class at all. He barely talked to the teacher or his friend. Then the next day he asked if we had swimming lessons again. It was almost as if he had liked it. Toddlers are weird, right?

I anticipated week two to be just as trying. I rushed home to pick him up and tried to prepare him on the quick drive to the Y. I didn’t realize that Bryan had also been talking to him about it. My main goal was to convince him not to be scared and to trust that I wasn’t going to drop him in the pool. Otherwise, there is no teaching to him. It’s a little hard to kick or move your arms or blow bubbles if you’re busy clinging to your mom. I felt good about our conversation and hoped for the best while expecting him to be just as nervous. {It amazes me when we have actual conversations that go well. Like he’s a big kid.}

He did amazing! He talked to the teacher right away and helped her sing songs. He crawled along the pool in the zero depth area and tried blowing bubbles! His hair was wet before we even got into the big pool. We can barely wash his hair in the bath tub. He didn’t walk down the steps into the pool and he was a little nervous when we got in, but he sang the songs and splashed along to them. He was a completely different kid! He even worked on his back float and kicked too. Last week it took me 10 minutes to turn him around and then he was still holding on to my neck. He used a kickboard and had a lot of fun floating around the pool kicking his legs. He even practiced getting in and out of the pool. I had ahold of him, but once he bent his knees and jumped into the pool! Last week, I got him to get out once and then he wouldn’t get back in and I couldn’t get him to come within two feet of the pool!

I’m so proud of him! He got nervous once or twice but didn’t ask me to take him out. He talked to the teacher without me being the translator or urging him to answer. At the end of the class the teacher told him he did such a good job and he got really shy and turned away. It’s so neat to see him in a new situation like this. He’s been at the same daycare since he was a baby, so he doesn’t have a lot of experience meeting new adults who are also authority figures. I’m excited to see how much he grows over the next month. Last week, my only goal was to have him not freak out every time we got in deep water. Now, I’m thinking he might actually learn some things!

Some of the funny things he said about swimming lessons:

  • “Mommy, are you going to wear your really tiny shirt? Why don’t I have a really tiny shirt?” My swimming suit.
  • “Why did I listen to the teacher?”
  • “Why did I do a good job?”
  • “I’m going to get in and go under the water and swim.” To which I replied, “No you aren’t. You only get in the big pool with mommy or daddy. You don’t go under water.”
  • “I’M SWIMMING!” He was crawling in the zero depth, but that’s ok!

Lock up your daughters!

We’re having another boy!! 

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Our dreams may have been wrong, but our hearts are happy. I woke up this morning feeling very guilty if I was going to give my two-year old a little sister for Christmas. It felt wrong. Now I know why it felt wrong! We couldn’t be more excited about Maximus having a LITTLE BROTHER! {Although I’m sure we would be just as excited if it was opposite} Bryan’s first comment was, I always wanted a brother! That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his sisters, but I can understand the desire for a brother when you’re surrounded by girl things. {I was a little nervous about having a girl and a house full of BOY things.} 

We spent 40 minutes watching our little boy move around, hiccup, open and close his mouth, and move his arms with vigor. At one point he was stretching out, much like Maximus likes to do every morning. Another time we got a good high five. This ultrasound was different than our first. I think it was because we know how special it is to have a child. We know what to expect and it seems to only get better. We both agreed that we wouldn’t be able to pick out the gender any better, so she gave us some real good looks that seemed pretty obvious. 

Maximus is too little to understand what “you’re going to have a little brother” means. He did give me high fives, but that’s always one of his favorite things to do. And because he’s a toddler he didn’t cooperate for any pictures. We’ve got lots of blue in our house, so we tried to get creative. In true toddler fashion he quickly said, “no cheese.” He did follow some instructions and gave my belly a kiss. We ended up with zero clear pictures out of more than 20 attempts. So, you get the picture. We have a toddler and he’s getting a little brother for Christmas. {Heh, wouldn’t that be easy enough. I have a feeling I’ll have to buy him actual presents!}

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I suppose I should provide some information from the ultrasound. Everything looked great. No one had any reason to believe this isn’t a healthy boy. The ultrasound technician said she’s never 100% certain, but she was 98% certain about this gender. Heart beat was perfect at 148. He was measuring about 8 days ahead of my due date, but we decided not to change my due date. If by chance I don’t go early like we all expect, they won’t let me go past my due date since it could be off a little. I’ll just have to wait it out and see and hope that he doesn’t try to stay in there too long! 

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Now, to find the perfect name!

Starting young

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Kicking back at his counsin's game

In my family we make baseball players. We’ve had a couple softball players along the way, but for the most part we make baseball players. We make ’em and my dad coaches ’em. He teaches them at a young age how to play and who to root for.

To some 9 months might be a little too young to start playing. To us you’re never too young {or old} to enjoy the game! Maximus may not own a bat or a glove, but he’s got a few balls lying around the house. He’s also got the “right” colors in his baseball outfits.

Whether he plays any sports or music, he’ll grow up with an appreciation for the game that the rest of his family loves so much!

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Not happy about playing on his tummy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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In his "practice" gear