Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh Boy!!!

Kellen....where do I even start. The boy is such a little sweet heart. He really is such a good little kid! And at the same time he can be a goofball and a menace when he wants to be. Life with him walking is actually so much better. He is soooo much happier. But he certainly loves to harass me now and get into all sorts of things. He loves all the things he shouldn't love, which is what they are supposed to do, right?
He is infatuated with electrical outlets....he is always trying to pull plugs out or get the outlet covers off so he can stick something else in. It drives me crazy and freaks me out!
He loves the toilet or anything to do with the toilet! He would climb right in if he could...believe me, he has tried. He likes to flush it, tries to splash in it, loves toilet paper...I think this boy will be the time to try and flush things down to pot. I anticipate some good size plumbing bills coming from this kid!
He is totally jealous of his baby cousin Brooke. He loves her and tries to be so gentle with her. He gives her kisses and pets her and just looks at her like he wants to eat her up! But if he sees his Mama holding her, he is not a happy boy. He is possessive of his Mama!
He loves to try and get in the trash cans and throw the trash everywhere.
He wants to eat dog and cat food soooo badly. If he gets his hands on it he shoves it in his mouth by the fist full....ugh!!
If I fed him dirt for dinner he would be the happiest kid on the planet.
He is just such a boy! Check him out!
Ravioli for dinner at Grammy's house. If this is what he did to ravioli, I can't wait to see what he does to his birthday cake this weekend!
He is totally attached to his "baba" now that baby Brooke has been around. He wants one for himself any time he sees her have one. We are putting off weaning him until they are back home.

He loves to ride and slide on things. Anything!

See... I told ya!

Trying to eat dirt....he doesn't look as messy in this picture as he was in real life.

Kellen's first sucker! He loved it! And threw a minor fit when Mama took it away. He's just suddenly such a big boy!

Photo Shoot

I think one potential career for Makenna would be a photographer. The girl LOVES to take pictures. The other day she even found Todd's iPhone, figured out how to get it on the camera setting (which I can barely do so I don't know how she figured it out on her own) and took about 30 pictures with his phone :) Most of them were of the wall and the floor, but it was pretty funny. I can now bribe her into behaving in pictures that I take by promising her she can take some pictures herself when I am done. I usually end up being Makenna's subject, so I end up with a lot of ridiculous pictures of myself. So I thought I would share some pictures from our most recent photo shoot.

And here are just a few other cute, random pics...
This was a very touching moment for me...it was the first time that Makenna ever went and, on her own accord, got dressed in her princess dress up clothes. She said she was Princess Kenna and I was Princess Mama....it was so cute! I love having a girl!
This here is funny to me because Makenna insisted upon going to sleep without her shirt on because she was trying to be like Mowgli from The Jungle Book. She also wanted to take off her shorts because she said Mowgli doesn't wear shorts. She's right, but I didn't have a loin cloth for her to put on, so I was able to convince her that they were short, just special jungle shorts. That seemed to satisfy her enough to keep her shorts on. I love my silly sissy roo!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Got Soul...

A week ago Todd and I got to go see The Killers in concert. It was so nice to have a night away and go do something fun and exciting....adult fun and exciting even! I love my kids and love every single minute with them....wish I had even more time with them. But it sure is nice to get away for a little while. It was so good to have some alone time with Todd and get to spend the evening together. It is something we need to be better about doing more often, for ourselves, and I feel like I am a better parent when I come back from a small break. It makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated!
We would do it more if I was better about feeling comfortable leaving the kiddo's with a babysitter. But I get so nervous to leave them with anyone other than family or close, adult friends. I have never left my kids with a teenager (other than my brother) and the thought of doing it freaks me out. I was just feeling like I was getting to the point where I was ready to try it, and then the Makenna 'incident' happened. Now I am right back where I started. Thank you Todd for being patient and understanding with your over protective wife. I promise I will get over it, someday. Maybe the kids will be teenagers themselves when it happens...but it will happen :)
Anyway, the concert was great. Todd got me hooked on The Killers when we were dating and I love them, as does he. The concert was great. We had a blast. It was nice to feel young and 'wild' for an evening. We were sitting next to some creepy old guy that came to the concert alone. Todd said he was harmless but he freaked me out a bit. He just had "the look" to him that says STAY AWAY! But we got out of there without incident and had tons of fun. We had good seats and a great view. But next time I told Todd that we need to just be on the floor. I felt like a caged animal wanting to let loose and dance and go crazy but was confined by rows of seats.
I love you babe and thank you for a great night out. Kiss kiss!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I just need a moment or two...

...and then hopefully I will be feeling much better.
Sometimes you just need to vent and right now is one of those times. Thank you to all those on the receiving end of this vent who are willing to listen to the small, yet extremely annoying nuances that you get to deal with as a mother. A long with listening to my rant, any advice you may have to impart of would be gladly welcomed.
The closer Kellen was getting to walking the more and more nervous I was. I was worried that he would be so much more of a handful. I thought I was going to be chasing kids all day long. Much to my surprise, Kellen's walking has been a wonderful thing for he and I. Though he does get into a lot, it's not as difficult as I anticipated. And since he has been walking he has been so much happier and more content. He is just so happy to be on two feet and moving around like the big boy that he is. Life with him (as an individual) has gotten so much better. Walking has been a great thing.
However, it has caused some different challenges and problems in the family. Challenges that I did not anticipate at all and have completely caught me off guard.
Since Kellen started walking Makenna has been having a rough time. The first day or two she was very excited for him and was quick to point out every independent step that he took. She would cheer him on and was almost more proud of him than anyone else. But after a couple of days this wore off, and instead some serious jealousy settled in. I think that once Makenna realized how much attention he was getting for his walking, it didn't seem quite as neat. And all eyes on Kellen, paired with the fact that he could now follow her everywhere, get into her things, reach more of her toys, etc. left Kenna quite annoyed with Kellen's new two legged trick. Suddenly I was catching Makenna knocking Kellen over (usually done pretty slyly, but other times very blatant and obvious). And for a week or two she was just down right cranky. She just seemed very annoyed and was being pretty mean and feisty for awhile. Kenna and Kellen were getting on each others nerves, and thus getting on my nerves. It was not at all what I had expected. I had anticipated Kellen's walking being a great thing for them. I thought they would have so much fun together when they could run around and chase each other and have more in common. So it was a bit of a downer for me to have her and Kellen not getting along. And even more upsetting was seeing Makenna so unhappy. The most important thing to me is the happiness of my children, and seeing Makenna that way made me feel like I was failing.
I started focusing on giving Makenna more one on one time. I made sure to take more time to play with her, point out the great things she was doing. I tried to help her see the fun side of Kellen walking. And gratefully there was a big change a week or so ago. I swear one day Makenna woke up in the morning and was back to her old self. One morning I asked her how she was and how she had slept that night and she said "Mama, I'm not cranky anymore!" I did a big song and dance over that and we had a number of amazing days in a row. She and Kellen were playing well again, she and I were having fun, her spirits were lifted, things were better.
And then something new started to happen. Suddenly I was noticing Makenna acting like a baby a lot. She would follow Kellen around and mimic his behaviors. She would ask for baby food, would want snacks whenever he had one, would pretend like she wanted a baba. She would speak in baby talk or want me to rock her or hold her. At first this was almost cute. I know it is very normal for kids to go through this phase, so I just went a long with it. I would let her act like a baby when she wanted to, but I would also remind her that she was a big girl when she was being inappropriate. I have been working hard on pointing out all the good parts of being a big girl...all the things she gets to do that babies can't. How fun and exciting and special it is to be a big girl. But she continues to think being a baby looks much more appealing.
And then suddenly this behavior began taking upon itself a very negative attribute. Suddenly Makenna was mimicking Kellen A Lot, and mimicking him most often when he was misbehaving. Kellen would be pulling on the fan and I would tell him no (the way you reprimand an 11 month old), and suddenly Makenna would be next to him doing the same thing. So I would reprimand her (the way you would reprimand a 3 year old). This continued to happen more and more often. Every time Kellen would do something naughty Makenna would be right there behind him copying his behavior. Obviously Kellen does not understand and/or have the ability to really obey rules right now. He is just too young. But Makenna knows the rules. She knows what is right and what is wrong. And for me it is EXTREMELY frustrating to see a child misbehaving who knows better. So now every time Kellen does something he shouldn't do I have two kids doing it....one who knows the rules and one who I am trying to teach the rules to. When Makenna is copying Kellen my instinct is to be tough on her and tell her she is a big girl and that she needs to act like a big girl and not act like a baby. I tell her she knows the rules and Kellen doesn't and she needs to help me teach him how to be a good big boy. But how can I say that and have that be effective when right now she doesn't want to be a big girl. She wants to be like a baby. And who could blame her. She sees Kellen disobeying and not going on time-out. We just tell him "no no" and move him away. And she see's us tell him No and have him keep doing it. And then she does the same thing and we are much more harsh with her. I feel like this is just making the jealousy and resentment issue so much worse. So I don't know how to reprimand her in a way that will be effective but also not make her resent Kellen for it.
I also feel like this is making me a much more impatient, frustrated mother. I can usually be very patient with babies that are curious and get themselves into trouble. But since Makenna follows him around copying him I dread it when he finds something "naughty" to do. I feel like I am more impatient and more easily frustrated with Kellen when I shouldn't be and it's not his fault. I just don't know what to do. When Makenna sees Kellen disobey then she disobeys right along with him. If Kellen screams while we are out at the store or restaurant, then Makenna screams. She will copy every sound he makes and make it just as loud or louder. When I tell the to stop Kellen keeps doing it, so Kenna keeps going too. And to make it worse this will often make Kellen laugh. He thinks it's hilarious when she copies him, so that just encourages her even more. What do I do?
I know this is a phase like all phases are. I know that this will pass as all phases do. I know that it will be replaced by something new and I will get frustrated with something else and then that will go away too. It is just knowing how to survive while I am waiting for the phase to pass. And making sure I am reacting in a way that will not make the situation worse.
I am thinking about making a sticker chart for Makenna and rewarding her when she is being good. Giving her a sticker to put on it every time she is a good example to Kellen. Being positive when she listens when I am trying to get Kellen to behave...something along those lines. Makenna loves to be praised and loves to help out and responds well to those sort of things. I just feel very worn out with it all. I am sick of having to battle with both of them at the same time when one of them knows the rules.
On the bright side the two of them are having a lot of fun together these days. They are enjoying playing with each other. And one of my favorite sounds in the world is hearing them laugh together. I love my kids with all my heart. They are everything to me and I will take on every challenge parenthood has to throw at me because I feel so overwhelmingly blessed to even have them in my life. I am blessed and lucky to even have my daughter here....to have her running around and annoying me and challenging me and driving me a bit insane. She is a tough, stubborn, wild, independent, determined, strong headed little girl. She is an exhausting toddler....and I wouldn't have it any other way. These are all qualities I am proud of and prayed my daughter would have. They will be good for her and make her a strong woman. It is just a matter of surviving through all this strength and energy when she is only 3 years old.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I now understand...

Why they call it the happiest place on earth!
I always enjoyed Disneyland as a kid....but wow, going as a parent is Soooo much better. Last week we took Makenna and Kellen to Disneyland for the first time as part of Makenna's birthday present. I was a little worried that maybe she was still a little too young to really appreciate it, but that worry was put to rest immediately. She loved every minute of it. And even Kellen had more fun and got to do more things than I was expecting him to. Both of the kids were total troopers and we basically spent the entire day there, from when they opened until they closed. Grammy, Auntie Rah Rah and baby Brooke all came with to participate in the special occasion. It was a great day to be there and we got to go on a ton of rides. It was just such a fun day and seeing Disneyland come to life through your child's eyes is just, yes this will sound cheesy, but it's magical. If you are laughing at me right now you are either not a mom, or have not taken your child to Disneyland. If you are a mom and have been to Disneyland and are still laughing at me, then you need counseling :)
Does it get any sweeter than this?

I know you can go on a merry-go-round just about anywhere, but there is something special about the one at Disneyland.
Makenna said the teacups were her favorite ride. I was impressed by the girl! We were going darn fast in that thing and she loved it! We took Kellen on later (can you believe they let a baby ride those??) and the poor kid looked like he was going to vomit. I had to cover his eyes part way through. It was worth a good laugh!
Keeping each other entertained in line. What a good big sissy trying to help her brother get into trouble. It begins so early ;)
"I don't know about this ma! That sword is in there pretty darn tight..."

I love my cute little niece. Brooke was such a good baby all day!
Nothin' like some Grammy love!
Makenna getting her first pair of ears....a very important day in every child's life!
While in line for the rocket ride the attendant advised Todd and I that we may want to ride in separate rockets since Todd was so tall. But we ignored the mans advice after seeing to other grow adults climb out of one together. Well, let's just say the attendant knew what he was talking about. We tried our best, but there was NO way we would have ever fit in that thing together. Quite possibly the funniest moment of the day.

Very proud parents!
"Ooops, somebody better check my diaper...."

Kellen loves to mimic his big sissy.
I love Disneyland, but wow...for being a place that is centered around child entertainment these rides can be pretty crazy and scary. Poor girl came off the first ride crying (Mr. Toads Wild Ride). Luckily she is tough enough to be willing to go on more, and we found that talking to her and explaining things through the ride helped out a lot. But wow, that place can be quite dark and creepy.
For all of those who do not believe me, here is the proof. My hubby can be a total goof! I love him!
My "not so little" babies are looking so big these days!

Makenna in all her minnie mouse glory! She couldn't get enough of it.