Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Elisabeth Talbot

This photo was taken at about two weeks - she turned four weeks yesterday!

She was three weeks early and "small for gestational age." So at 4 pounds 6 ounces she was the size of a preemie, but as developed and generally as healthy as a regular three week old. She is up to 6 and a half pounds and looks so much different already!

We planned to call her Betsy, but because she is so teensy we've been calling her "Bitsy," instead.

Nicknack was a little clingy for a few days, probably more from my prolonged absence at the hospital (we were there a few days because of my preeclampsia and to make sure Bitsy started to put on weight) than from the presence of his "babyseester." He has really warmed up to her and has shown no signs of sibling rivalry. He loves to give her hugs and kisses, pat her head, and help me by getting things for her.

So now we are a happy little family of four. YAY! More photos soon!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

I woke up this morning at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. My mind is full of to do list items. Then I started thinking about Nicknack, and finally decided to get up and write a quick post to capture a few random things that he's doing these days, that I don't want to forget.

WARNING: this would bore absolutely anyone other than Nicholas's own parents, I'm quite sure.

I absolutely love this age - I think this is where I would "freeze" him in time, if I could. When he's not having a meltdown, he is pure joy.

I just realized that he finally stopped saying "Where eee you?" and now says "Where are you?" Very sad. I loved that. But he still says, "Where is he go?" when he's hiding. I'll sometimes be somewhere random in the house and hear a far-away voice calling "Ready! Ta DA!" and I realize he's started a game of hide and seek all by himself and I'd better go find him.

As his language has developed we've figured out what were once his mystery phrases. For the longest time he'd always yell: "Back! Back a ME!" Sometime around his second birthday it started turning into what he actually intended, "Mack! Wait for Me! Come back!" from Cars, of course.

He was "Bob-builder" for Halloween this year. We had the construction hat and overalls and down vest - I just bought an orange plaid shirt on clearance. Very easy and inexpensive. He didn't really like trick or treating. Penn took him to about five houses in the neighborhood and he ran into three of them and did a lap. Oops, sorry about that. Two year olds just have no sense of privacy.

Oh, and he's back in school. I know, I know. I've flip flopped. I tried to pull him out but he begged every day for school and I felt horrible. So I talked to his teachers and the school director and we agreed that if transitioning from one activity to another was too much for him they'd let him be, as much as possible. Now that he gets the routine, he's doing pretty well with it. He makes crafts and sits down for snacks with the best of them. Anytime the routine is changed drastically, he has trouble. So on the day the firemen visit and on picture day, etc. I help wrangle him. But he really is crazy about school. When I get him out of the car he runs all the way to his classroom and knocks on the door shouting "Come in!" And he is never as happy as at "gym time" at the end of the day, when the kids have the run of the church gym with about 20 tricycles & push cars, slides, kiddie pools filled with plastic balls, etc. And it's only a grand total of four hours a week, so there you go. In future, I will not start preschool until my other children are at least three. Live and learn.

One thing that I want to record because it makes me SOOOOO happy is that Nicknack has moved past his "full-time mess-maker" status. For a while (around age two) he was into making piles. He would take any and everything loose in the room and stack it into a big mound and then sit in the middle and sort of stir it with his hands and feet. I can't tell you how disheartening it is to pick up all the various items and put them away, make a quick trip to the bathroom, and come back to find a new pile. Sigh.

We've been working on developing good habits, since I am naturally a "messie" who has (with a lot of effort and intention) reformed herself. So every day I ask him to do little helpful things and pick up this or that before moving on to new things. I can't believe how compliant he is - he really likes to help. The best part is that so much of it is now routine. For example, every day when I tell him it's nap time he heads to his room singing "Clean up, Clean up!" because we put all the cars in his room in their bins before nap and bedtime. Two days ago I was shocked because I noticed he'd played with some balls and cones and left them in the living room and when I came back later they were gone. I looked in the ball bin and, sure enough, he'd put them back without any prompting. Love it!

Speaking of habits, Nicholas often sends himself to his room. At least three times a week. We send him to his room when he has a fit. He's welcome to express his frustration, we just don't feel obligated to listen. So we ask him to go to his room and off he runs. Sometimes when he's upset he'll run off to his room and slam the door. He comes back in a couple of minutes and we greet him with a cheerful "HI!" He's not being disobedient or naughty, he just needs a fresh start. The bad part is that he sometimes sends himself to his room when we tell him no in just a slightly firm tone. He says, "Go to my room?" and runs for the hall. It's very sad. He also says he's sorry a lot, for nothing in particular. I haven't figured out how to explain to him when he doesn't have to go to his room or say he's sorry.

He also says "Go on!" and "Be quiet!" I couldn't figure out where he heard "Go on!" (he says it daily!) and was worrying that someone at school said that to him. Grr. I was racking my brain until my mother pointed out that I say it when I'm on the phone with her. I didn't even realize that I was telling him to "Go on, Mama's on the phone" or Go on and play." I think I say it in a pretty kind voice, although that is not how Nicholas seems to have interpreted it. And we have a very noisy pet bird and several times a day he (the bird, not Nicholas) drives me to distraction and I tell him to "BE QUIET!" So Nicknack repeats that, too.

Great. I'm sure he says all of these things at school, probably in succession. "Sorry! Go to my room! Go ON! BE QUIET!" They must think we are so harsh with him when in actuality we are quite calm and shamelessly doting.

Moving on.

He has been transitioned into his big boy room and bed for a month now. The first couple of nights were tricky - we basically had to rock him repeatedly and put him in his bed already asleep. But since then it's been surprisingly smooth. He loves his twin bed - and he looks so little in it! He loves his room. He loves his new bigger boy books and having all his little cars in there to play with on his bookcase. (And I love having them all in once place and not in the living room!) Unfortunately, I'm past the point of being able to comfortably rock him. He and I are both too big. But there is plenty of room for both of us in his bed so sometimes I get in with him and sing to him there and it's so cozy. When he goes away to college someday I'll probably set up residence in his room.

Trying out his new bed.

Jumping on his new bed.

Actually being sleepy in his new bed. (Yes, he still loves his "gigi" (pacifier). No, he's not potty trained yet. Yes, he still drinks from a sippy cup.)

Okay, I'm almost finished.

Another thing that delights me - he loves Mr. Rogers now! This is special to me because I watched Mr. Rogers every day at his age. I seriously adore him and I hope I get to tell him so someday, in heaven. Anyway, Nicholas is just enraptured by the show. Every night we sing three songs from the program and it's touches me the next day to see him sing along while he eats his breakfast and watches "Neighbor show" or "Mr. Robbers."

Okay, only two more things.

Nicknack has chosen a nickname for himself. We've always called him lots of things - monkey, pumpkin, etc. One day, several months ago, I came in the living room and said, "Hi, Bug!" Probably because my mother used to call me "baby bug." At least four or five times that day he repeated, "Hi, BUG!" Then a few days later he had the sniffles. I was holding him and said, "I'm sorry you're sick." He answered back, "I'm sorry you're sick, BUG." I repeated that to him and he gave me a huge smile. Since then, I call him Bug or Buggie. If he has an owie or is upset and I don't use his preferred nickname he'll remind me. For some reason he appreciates being called Bug. He did go through a Bug's Life phase...


You know you're a boy Mama when you take note of every single construction vehicle, garbage truck, etc. even when you're in the car all by yourself. And when you squeal - out loud - because you discover new! Cars! cars at Target ("new" Mater, tractor, and Red!). I'm still excited about it, honestly. I can't wait for Christmas!

Whew! That's all for now.