Monday, May 31, 2010

Roll-y Poll-y

From Felix Rolls...
We are now proud owners of a consistent roller. Take THAT torticollis! Both of our boys rolled in their wee premature days. (Yes, days. Can I get a witness, Mahna? It's not as big of a deal when you are throwing around 4 and 5lbs I guess.) We thought of calling Guiness Book of World Records with both boys because surely we had the most advanced preemies on the block, but the rolls were a tease. I am not sure if Miles ever rolled again...at least he didn't crawl until 11 months.

Felix is an overnight sensation. A rolling fiend. One day he he is fixed supine, the next day giving us Superman yoga moves with the best of 'em. You'll notice we are still sporting disposable diapers--meaning, we are still on antibiotics and have copious amounts of antibiotic smelling poop, which I don't want taking residence in his cloth diapers. I was feeling hopeful that the ear infection cleared this time, but recently Felix's sleep has deteriorated, his nose started running, and he's been spotted sneezing. Uh-oh. Fingers crossed for this weeks ear check. And darn Miles is feeling sympathy pains (at least that is what we tell ourselves to feel better), because he has been up ALL night for the past 3 nights for no other reason we can identify outside of feeling bad for Felix. Just wait until he has a pregnant wife. He'll be barfing in the toilet for 12 weeks (or 20 in my case).
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
From Felix Rolls...
Can someone please slow down time? Okay, so I am investigating the possibility of making a deal with days and nights. I figure we can maintain the space time continuum if we accelerate the hours of 12am-6am. Too many night wakings. And slow down a good 6 hour daytime chunk for me to enjoy my kids. I'm not ready for my baby(ies) to grow up!

And then my Peter Pan syndrome and desire for more children was exaggerated last night. Eric and I had a huge date last night, completely organized by him: hired 2 babysitters (brother and sister team from the family of the Director of the ELC--LOVE THEM!), gorged on Italian food thanks to a generous gift card from a Marist family, and saw the documentary Babies. I know--huge.date.night. It almost felt like a second honeymoon. We attempted to bribe the sitter into staying over night so we could sleep, or bringing her back for a day so we could take a nap. But she laughed. I don't think she knew we were serious (okay, only partly). I highly recommend the movie (trailer linked in the previous sentence). If there is anything that makes me want to have more babies, it's this movie. And I think I even mentioned this to Eric on the car ride home in between pumping and eating Dairy Queen. (Let's not talk about the tummy trouble I caused my own baby with the night's multiple dairy indulgences.) Note to self--don't compromise your driver's attention with platitudes like this-- "I think I want more children"--especially when trying balancing a hand pump and vanilla soft serve. We'll readdress the issue in a another year or so. Gives us time to win the lottery.

I think everyone would enjoy the 80 some odd minutes of adorable babies, but I really think those who have had babies will have a special appreciation. I watched my husband laugh, wriggle in delight and absolutely enjoy every single minute. I am not sure he would have enjoyed it to the same degree before Miles was born...so often we said, "that is totally Miles!" "Felix does that, too." What I learned is that there are such universals with babies--smiling, biting, dancing, laughing, nursing, tantrums, exploration, creativity...and that Mongolians make a mean swaddle and tether...and Japanese babies can throw some serious tantrums...and that I am looking into finding someone from Namibia to serve as my lactation consultant...and that the American family was by far the least interesting and most "contrived."

Don't get me wrong, I love our country, and am not ready to let my 7 month old climb unassisted on a rusty oil drum with his tiddly bits scraping on the side in the (beautiful) plains of Mongolia, or gnaw on discarded broken bone shards of some unidentified bush animal ...but seeing babies explore the world without so many of the creature comforts that we insist upon in our country (and in Japan! They love them some Bumbos and Maclaren strollers) makes me want to scale back...enjoy the moments...and RELAX.

Too many parenting books, too many toys, too much competitive parenting. And in my perfectly imperfect way, I know I get seduced by a lot of it.

Here's to letting babies be babies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mamarazzi Challenge Part 1

From mamarazzi
From mamarazzi
A favorite blog in my Google Reader is of The Anderson Crew: 3 Boys and a Little Lady. First, this mom has 3 boys, and writes the most amazing odes to her little men. Her daughter is pretty stinkin' cute, too! It doesn't hurt that all of her children are gorgeous, her blog has an amazing aesthetic, her photographer captures the most indelible moments (I need that camera!), her writing heart warming and dripping with positivity...oh, yeah...and she is wicked cute and trendy.
From mamarazzi

This week, she has initiated a embrace the camera challenge (mamrazzi).  Please mosey on over to her site to read the details, but the gist is this: moms are rarely in front of the camera with their children. It's time to start documenting our interactions with our little ones--impromptu. No make-up required; or special props, lighting, (or showers); just capture the moments as they are.Your kids will thank you someday.
From mamarazzi

I.hate.pictures.of.myself.
From mamarazzi

That's why I had children--to take the focus off of me! (joking)

Put me on stage, in front of large crowds--I'll talk a blue streak. I love performance, I just don't ever want it documented for me to review. But I am going to start to embrace it--or at least pretend to.
From mamarazzi
Here are my first offering from tonight. Of course I wanted to change, put on lots of make-up, straighten my hair...but you all get me and my kids from the 5-7pm shift. Sweaty, cranky...and full of love. Eric was kind enough to help me with some shots. Apologies for the absurd orange hue in Miles's room. Those creamsicle walls do a number with our camera. If I had any idea how to operate our flash, I probably could make them better. But that wouldn't be embracing the mission--would it?

My goal is to do the Mamarazzi challenge periodically, so you'll see I have titled this Part 1. We shall see...

The rest of my Mamarazzi photoshoot here

And here are another few just because. Felonious being Felonious. And Miles and I doing our gang symbol for "I love you" (bump the index fingers, and then kiss the tips of them. Too bad he overshot and hit his nose.)

From mamarazzi
From mamarazzi
From mamarazzi
From mamarazzi

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Day In The Life...

...of a TWO year old.
From I'm 2

Hello, my name is Miles Linus Heintz. And I am TWO!
Hello, my name is Mommy Heintz. And I am in DENIAL!

Miles turned 2 last Sunday and I am still trying to process it all. We opted for the more subdued celebration and did a morning at a local park with a host of friends. It was so low key, I don't have 1 picture of this child on the playground, enjoying his balloon and friends, or even blowing out candles, which, I may add, he did rather well! In fact, I think we blew out candles a good 5-6 times over the course of two days. It's all that harmonica he's been practicing.

And look! One of his gifts from Nuncle and TiTi was a harmonica shirt!
From I'm 2

Skuut Balance Bike


Eric and I got Miles a bunch of Christmas leftover gifts. Yeah, we're up for parent of the year award with this move. He wasn't old enough for a few of our gifts (e.g., balance bike) in December, so we hid them away and took them back out. The little cars we got him were a hit, but that darn balance bike is still too big for him. Hello Christmas 2010!
From I'm 2
Perhaps it is because he is still in the "peanut" category for growth: 9% for weight at a whopping 24lbs. He crept up to 20% for height, and down to 70% for head (from 90%!). His darn fontanelle is still open a little, so we are off to Children's for blood work to rule out hypothyroidism. I would be shocked if that were the case. Sluggish metabolism?? Felix eats his weight in milk five times a day, and it goes straight to the thighs...whereas Miles's metabolism goes at rocket speed. And I think sometimes his digestive track forgets to digest food, and just sends it to the colon for processing and elimination (read: 3 fully loaded diapers a day at least.)

Even though I am always one to recommend foregoing gifts for my children (the minimalist in me), Miles ended up with some great booty from family, friends and childcare buddies! We got some: cute clothes from both the grandparental unit; Eric and I got him an awesome organic elephant t-shirt I found on sale; there was also his first Duplo set; a wooden train whistle (hooray!); band in a box (thanks Grunkle and Shirl!); car carrier (thanks Mrs. JoAnn!); sidewalk chalk; puzzles; and idbids organic doll; some amazon gift certificates (we are ordering a kid sprinkler and Wellington boots!) and then books. Oh sweet Melissa, I love books! I think we added almost 10 books to our library. (Sorry for the poor image placement. This new Amazon associates from where I pull images is troublesome.)
Wooden Train Whistle

Melissa & Doug Band in a Box


Melissa & Doug Car Carrier


Idbids Scout Eco-Friendly Starter Kit in White


There is this Mommy Blog imperative that at your child's birth milestones, you either a) write a poignant letter to your child (did that at his 1 year), or b) rattle of a litany of your child's developmental milestones. Kind of like a brag list. I love reading when others do this, but it's just not my style. I'll certainly write a blog letter to Felix when he turns 1, too, but I'm not sure I will continue that at each birthday, or month milestone ("Miles, you are 18 months, and here is a list of what you do..."). I'm more of the "experiential" writer who doesn't think in checklists for this blog, but rather moments. Strange, because I am the type to create checklists to remind myself of checklists to create...

1. Create checklist
2. Stay sane
3. Shower
4. Breathe
5. Laugh

Truly, Miles is more than a laundry list of "what my child is doing, saying and eating." I think I spent most of the day thinking in broad terms of how much I love him--how much fun we have--how far we have come---and how every day of my life is defined by this little boy who flew into the world so early and so tiny. (Can you stand how cute he was? Or how tiny?)
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
So, I thought I would invite you to a typical day in the life of Miles. Actually, it is more a typical morning, and maybe a few details on our evenings. First, Miles is in childcare 5 days a week (I love my childcare, but would give anything to have a few days at home with my boys) so most of the day he is playing, pooping and tantruming on someone else's turf, and second, writing out a whole day's events with a two year old is exhausting just thinking about. I will lose steam and creative editing around the 2nd hour we are up (umm, yes, that is the 7 o'clock am). So, here you go. It's wild; it's loud; there's nudity; and it all starts before 6am. Pull up a potty seat and enjoy.

Miles at 5:30am (or on a good day, 6:17am):

"WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"

Ali has either just finished nursing, or is spooning her infant, because she is way too lazy to put him back in the co-sleeper in the middle of the night. And let's be honest, for parents who feel comfortable co-sleeping, there is nothing better than milk breath and a sleeping infant right next to you. The milk breath is his...not mine. 

Ali kicks Eric.

Ali: "Miles is up."

That's Eric's cue to stumbles into Miles's room and do some sort of mystery song and dance for 30+ minutes until the door to the kitchen whooshes open. Grumbly-grumps gets into his high chair. Water is boiled for tea, and the pyrex dish of already prepared yogurt, flax, and berries emerges. That's his b-fast every morning. You'd think this 2 year old would want to assert his independence and feed himself? Heck no. At least not this early. 90% of the time, Miles lounges in the Stokee while Daddy feeds him. We're whipped. Good thing it is just a breakfast thing. Path of least resistance; have you ever fielded a tantrum before 7am? At least we require he ask for each spoonful:

Miles: "More Yo-gurrrr Peez!" times a zillion. Boy's got manners.

Most mornings I sit in our dark room, and listen to Miles and Daddy time. I love it. The conversation usually centers on one of the various toys that lives on our kitchen counter, inevitably crusted in weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This morning, it was roll your tongue adventures. 


Miles: "Daddy! Daddy!"

Miles rolls his tongue into a hot dog bun, and coaxes Daddy to put his finger in the bun. You know what I am talking about. Eric cannot reciprocate. Damn cancer...so Miles slowly draws his finger toward Eric's mouth and half bun, and right as they are about to touch, Eric goes 

"ARF ARF ARF!!!"

His version of "bark jaw." If you don't know that joke, your loss.

Inevitably, Eric will have to go to the bathroom and leaves Miles in his high chair, sometimes watching running videos online so that he doesn't try to escape from his chair, take a flying leap to our floor, and send us Children's hospital. Of course, I am almost certain his fall would be broken by the layers of dust and food particles taking up residence on our rug and floor. What makes me laugh is that the entire time Eric is gone, he talks to Miles:

"Miles! Daddy will be right back! Daddy is just going to the bathroom! Be right back! Don't worry! Daddy is just using the potty! Sit tight, bud! Love you! Almost done! Coming back! Stay in your seat!  Here I come!"

And it is said in quick succession, just like that. No break in the script, lest Miles takes that flying leap to the garbage pile of a floor we have. And then, it's diaper change, and then Miles flies down the hall to our bedroom door. The anticipation could be cut with Felix's death nails. Like a trained dog, Miles stands at the door until given the "okay" by Dad to bust in and interrupt my spooning and/or nursing session. 

Miles: "MOMMY!!!!! Baby. Pane. Baby. Mommy. Mole." (translation: "MOMMY! There's that baby with a blanket that has planes on it. I still cannot say "L" with that word. I'm working on it. Ooo! Mommy, I see a mole in between the udders that I need to point out every morning. Isn't it amazing how that is more alarming to me than the fact that you have no shirt on?")

Miles crawls up onto the bed, continues to point out things in the room, and then makes a B-line for the co-sleeper.
From Early May 2010
At this point, he spends a good 20 minutes playing with bedroom toys (you have to have a bin in every room of entertainment), or cast offs from a kitchen drawer (we've moved the pizza cutter and just leave him with the dangerous box grater or measuring cups), or Mommy's eye lash curler (that he thinks is a "bike") and spare change he finds in some dark corner of our house that he will shuttle back and forth between his legs ("Mommy! A Tunnel!"), and ultimately shove into the creases of the mattress. We point out every picture on the co-sleeper sheet, and identify every blessed vehicle that appears on the local news. Don't get me started how excited he gets when he sees the 7-day forecast (Mommy! Daddy! Sun!) And then we find ourselves singing the family version of "Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun." And sometimes it turns into "The Wheels on the Bus" or "Skiddamerink"...then it is deodorant time. This consists of us distracting Miles by asking him to put on deodorant. He goes into our cabinet, pulls out the deoderant, and applies it--cap on--all over his body. Kindly, he applies it to our legs, too. Then he tries to feed Felix my face cream, and then we need to find a new distraction. 

Miles loves watching us get changed, and announces just about everything in real time. "Daddy! Poop!" (Translation: Daddy is changing into his pants, and for some reason, not only do I think it is called "poop" when I see someone sitting on the potty, but also when I see someone in underwear.) We change Miles, and he runs and throws his clothes in the hamper without instruction. Trained like a champ. 

On special occasions, Miles brings us to the second bathroom and informs us it is potty time. He sits on his little Bjorn potty (fully clothed), and asks us to sit on the "Mommy. Daddy. Potty." And then we "HSSSSSSSSS" together and he says "ALL DONE!" Yes. You will do these things with your child--make peeing noises and sit fully clothed on a potty repeatedly. And you will enjoy it. Up until it's the 11th time and you need to get to work. We may not get fully potty trained for another year, but we are taking this as a really positive step. If only he cared when his pants were full of rankerous (I made that word up) colon deposits. 

Then it is mass chaos. We all fly around the house trying to get everything ready to be out the door by 7:20am at the latest. Miles is usually good about finding some toy to entertain himself, usually by lying on the ground and driving it around.
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
Unless he gets himself stuck under the living room chairs. Then everything unravels...and you know it's going to be a great day. Sarcasm. Everything culminates in Miles body slamming Felix in the car seat, and then demanding a family hug. We all say our I love yous, and then Eric takes the boys to school, and I head to work. 

5 out of 7 days, the boys are in childcare, and I call Eric throughout the day to get the 411 on how the boys are doing since he has the luxury of seeing them on campus. I also usually get great e-mail updates from the Director, who feeds into my need for hearing how my children are doing. I cannot dwell too long on how hard it is to be away from my children so much, so let's just skip to pick-up. 

I have a love hate relationship with pick-up. I love seeing my boys, but the process of getting a 2 year old and infant into my car is a Herculian task. I used to watch the "matriarch" of the ELC leave with her Dad last year and take what seemed like ages to exit the ELC vicinity--dilly dally all the way. Wow. I thought. Why doesn't he just pick her up and go go home? Then, I realized he, too, is a PLR parent--path of least resistance. Somewhere around 18-24 months, toddlers are as excited about the outdoors as I am about a 6 hour stretch of sleep at night and daily showers. It's like Groundhog Day, though--the same thing over and over--and it never gets boring to them.

Mommy! Water! Stick in Water! Mommy! Ant! Mommy! Bird! Water! Bird! Ant! Water! Woooorm! Pane! Cawf Cart! (i.e. golf cart). Buh! (i.e. bus). Daddy-car!

Yes. THAT enthusiastic. We look at the same puddle every day. We throw sticks in that puddle. Every day. We crunch the same pile of leaves. Every Day. We go up and down the concrete steps counting to ten. Every day. We mistake pollen pods for worms. Every day. We are responsible for the death of at least 3 ants. Every day.

I hate it! Right? No. I secretly love it. At least for the first 10 minutes. And then both Felix and I are over squishing ants, depositing sticks in puddles, and scaling concrete steps. Especially because our nature exploration always continues at our house when we get out of the car. It's like the 10 minute car ride is just enough time to press an internal "reset" in Miles, and he is just as excited about being outside as he was at the ELC. And it's not like this kid doesn't spend the majority of his day outside with his ELC buddies.

The car ride home we inevitably sing songs to a CD. Currently, my brother's Alligator Sally is on tap. And once we get home, the real fun begins...

More ants, sticks, water, leaves, and generally being amazed by nature's granduer. One thing I love about toddlers is their fascination with nature, and desire to announce everything they see to you.

One thing I hate about toddlers is their reaction when you tell them that it is time to go inside.

I am thinking I might pitch a tent for Miles and let him sleep outside alone. 2 isn't too young, right? There's that parent of the year award staring me in the face.

Let me spare you the details of the time before story time. Basically. Insanity. Miles and I usually both end up topless. Hey, nursing on demand while cooking dinner and containing a toddler just demands easy access to the goods. And Miles? No, he isn't lactating, but continues to enjoy the air on his chest. Or maybe it's sympathy nudity. Or maybe it is that I am too lazy to put on a bib and figure his chest is easier to clean than his clothing. After dinner, Skyping with family, running/marching around the house in delight, a tantrum or two bathtime, the "dry dry" song, throwing clothes in the hamper ...it's STORY TIME.
From I'm 2

My favorite time of the day. Every night. 20 minutes of reading and cuddling and saying "I love you...TOO!" I've read to hundreds of children at bedtime over the course of my life as a babysitter and nanny, but nothing compares to bedtime with your own children. Nothing. Quiet. Peaceful. I just love it. Lights off. Miles plops in his crib, starts stroking his hair and cuddling his stuffed monkey. And all is right in the world.

...until Felix starts crying.

And then there is the laundry.

And dishes.

And getting meals for the next day.

And showers.

And work e-mail.

And nursing.

And then "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"


5:30am, Ali: "Miles is up."

Rinse. Repeat.
 
I LOVE YOU MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2
From I'm 2