I ended my last post with the Peppa Pig show we took Ari to at the beginning of April, leaving Sam home with a babysitter. I worked the next two days, then took Sam’s picture a couple of days after he turned 10 months old.
At the end of my last post, I also mentioned that I was having a hard time at the beginning of April. I completely fell apart one night when trying to get both boys down for bed while A. was at a meeting. It had been a long, tough day with no chance to have my thoughts to myself and I was exhausted. Ari kept being noisy and probably hitting or biting me and waking Sam up and doing things he knew would bother me, as he tends to do, for some reason, when he can tell that I’m already angry and stressed. So I put him out of the bedroom and locked the door so I could focus on getting Sam to sleep and to help myself to stop yelling. But he was out there sobbing and banging on the door, and then I heard him wail, “I just want you to be happy so I can be happy!” And my heart just broke. I opened the door and looked at his distraught little face and burst into tears. We hugged and cuddled for a minute, then he was asking me, “Why do grown-ups cry?” and bringing me his water bottle to make me feel better (first he offered me water, then I heard him in the kitchen muttering to himself about how he couldn’t reach the water in the fridge so he would bring Mommy his bottle). After that, I calmed down and got them both to sleep, but I felt so guilty and angry with myself for making him feel so sad and worried about me! I felt awful that I wasn’t more cheerful and patient and calm and in control, that I wasn’t giving my kids the feelings of peace and security that they need.
I felt that I needed to refocus on the basics of making sure we all get enough rest, healthy food, and relaxed time with each other. So I made some changes to our plans for April and we’re doing better, although it’s always a struggle and I never feel like I’m doing everything right! I guess that’s because I’m not 😉
I’ve been reading less recently, I think, but I did read the book Sleepless in America and have been feeling a sense of urgency about getting the kids and, especially, myself to be earlier! It’s absolutely my favorite book about sleep so far, with what I feel is very common sense, reassuring advice about sleep for babies and children. I want to write a separate post about sleep one of these days, but in the meantime, I highly recommend this book!
Okay, back to the cute kiddos!
When I did my first 10-month photo session with Sam, he kept trying to dive off the couch and none of them turned out:
But I took other pictures that day!
Ari’s scribbling, with more lines and shapes appearing:
Sam strengthening his legs:
Out to lunch at Laughing Planet – I was using a baking liner as a clean surface to put bits of food for Sam. Ari got his pick of dinosaurs right out of the dishwasher!
He set up the dinosaurs to watch him play a coloring game:
Later, bubbles on our porch:
A couple of days later, Sam using his car seat as a climbing toy:
And feeding Andrew:
Plus some other cute ones… Look at those eyes!
A nap! And signs of spring!
Exploring the ADU:
A couple of days later…
Then, finally, a day off while they were in school!
I scoped out the ADU:
And tidied the house, not that you can tell!
Then I worked a day, then it was Easter!
Before Easter, Ari asked me, “Mom, is the Easter bunny real or pretend?” Wow, I was NOT prepared for that question! I really didn’t want to lie to him but I also didn’t want to take the fun away just yet. However, I remember asking my dad the same question about Santa Claus when I was not much older, and I felt so grateful and respected when he told me the truth. But I didn’t begrudge my mom trying to convince me otherwise, either. Now I actually don’t remember what I said to Ari, but he didn’t ask again. I’ll try to be more prepared next time.
We started the day with Easter baskets at home. Sam had a book, his first toothbrush, and some plastic eggs filled with small infant snacks. Ari had a little basket of roses, some dissolving dinosaur eggs for the bath, a toothbrush, a marzipan carrot, a fig bar, a couple of little chocolate bunnies, and some plastic eggs filled with a few chocolate eggs, some chocolate- and candy-covered sunflower seeds, peanut butter cups, letter cookies, fig bars, raisins, and plastic dinosaurs.
After the flurry of activity at home, we packed up and drove to Olympia to meet up with my family there.
I thought Sam was ADORABLE in his overalls:
My aunt put together these really sweet, soft bunny baskets for them, and I wish I had gotten a better picture of them!
My (other) aunt and uncle’s big, beautiful yard was perfect for Easter egg hunts:
I enjoyed snuggling with Sam while other adults played with Ari:
I spent a lot of time trying to get good pictures! I was especially excited about the “portrait” setting with “depth effect” on my new iPhone.
The next day, at home with the boys, I was able to color eggs with Ari:
That evening, we went to a classmate’s birthday party and Ari worked hard to write the boy’s name (Everett) on his card:
The next day, I picked Ari up from school and he’d covered his head in red paint.
When we got home, he stumbled and fell on our front steps from the sidewalk (for the first time), and it looked like he hit his head. I scooped him up and lifted his bangs to check out his head, and panicked for a moment before I remembered the paint!
I gave him a bath, and there was a bruise the next morning, but no bloody gashes!
Earlier that day, with the kids at school, I finally pulled together a vision board for this year!
I couldn’t find any pictures of kids sleeping, so I left a blank spot in case I find some later!
As usual, there’s a focus on simplicity and organization, along with eating well and self care activities, and a nod to saving (and/or earning) money. The car was what we thought we wanted (but we would want an older, used model) but after learning that the rear-facing third seats in Volvo wagons are only appropriate for small humans under a certain weight but not for car seats, I’m back to wanting a minivan!
The next day, Ari went to the dentist, then we drove to North Portland to visit friends, then we drove back home and both kids fell asleep!! This was the last time Sam wore that outfit; I was cracking up at the pants that suddenly only reached his knees.
The next couple of days, I worked. Our babysitter/dog walker took Andrew for a good walk and sent us this photo:
After work the next evening, I took this photo while waiting for the tram:
Then I was off for the weekend. Ari and A. participated in a garden work party at the school, while Sam and I walked in the March for Science with a friend. Then we met up again at the school and then ate at Laughing Planet.
The big glulam beam went up at the top of the ADU! And more framing inside.
The next day, we took the boys to see the Rock n’ Roll Fairy at the wonderful toy store Hammer and Jacks. Sam was really into it! He had his eyes glued to her for most of the show, and when everyone had shakers, he shook his to the beat.
Afterward, we had yummy bagels at Henry Higgins. Sam and A. modeled their matching eyes for me. 🙂
Ari worked on writing his name:
He also pushed Sam around (in his wagon):
And both boys practiced riding things:
Another day, when I was home with the boys, we went to baby story time at the library and Ari was a MODEL child! He was super gentle with the babies and was a great helper, too.
Later in the week, I took the boys to a rally for my nurses’ union. We were supposed to wear blue, and a coworker had the idea to dress them in tiny blue scrubs. We found some on Amazon!
Then we went to Laughing Planet, where Ari had a pretty conspicuous pee accident because at that point he still didn’t seem to be able to stop the flow once it started, and I hadn’t taken him to go frequently enough. He was shouting about his pee going into his boots and I to strap Sam into his seat and scoop Ari up with both arms to try to avoid dripping across the floor, with Sam’s seat dangling from my elbow, and carry both of them across the restaurant to the bathroom.
After that, we went downstairs for Ari’s haircut, and afterward he was playing in their play room and had another pee accident, and I didn’t have any more extra clothes, so I had to kind of wrap him up in something and carry him to the car. I think it was the hardest day I’ve had with the potty training, and it really wasn’t that bad! I think I’ll be much less scared of the whole process when Sam is learning. I think part of the reason kids are “diaper free” so much later these days, in this country, than they used to be, or still are in many other countries, is our obsession with cleanliness. I’ve read about other parts of the world where babies are held over trash cans in the mall to pee, for example, but here we’re so afraid of messy accidents and of the scorn we anticipate from other people if our kid makes a mess when we’re out in public, that leaving the house without a diaper can be terrifying. We’re also so busy and rushed that taking the time for frequent potty trips or cleaning up accidents feels too burdensome. But Ari really had to experience some accidents before he started paying attention to his body’s signals and learned how to “hold it”. I’m not sure if I mentioned this already, but one of his teachers was so reassuring to me when she said, “It’s all part of the process.”
Also, regarding potty training, by mid-April Ari had started to use his potty independently, announcing that he had to go, stopping what he was doing and going to his potty, and pulling his pants down and back up on his own. That was so exciting for us! I think because of that we started to relax about taking him there frequently, so we had some more accidents for a brief time, until he got better at holding it.
Anyway, here he is at the cute haircut place!
Later that week, when I picked Ari up from school, he and his best friend were playing hide and seek. They both hid this way from me or from the teacher, and they were under there giggling hysterically!
The next day, Sam and I participated in the Climate March. It was really a conglomeration of anti-Trump, social justice, and environmental justice messages. As I was preparing, I had the song “My Generation” stuck in my head for some reason, so I made a sign inspired by the lyrics:
Here’s Sam playing with stacking cups. He was obsessed with those for a while, until he he figured out how to put one inside the other consistently.
Another day, Ari was excited about these “balance beams” and wanted to walk on them without holding my hand. He’s been challenging himself more, and now (mid-June) he’s wanting to try big, twisting slides that he used to say were too scary. First he wants me to wait at the bottom, then he’ll say, “I can do it by myself now! You go way over there!”
At the beginning of May, just before Sam turned 11 months old, we met up with friends at Sellwood Park. Our friends left early and I stayed with the boys for a while, and we had a lot of fun together. It was a beautiful day so I took a ton of pictures.
Here’s the same photo without and with the depth effect (“portrait”) setting:
Cute and brave Sam:
After the park, I wanted to enjoy the warm weather some more so we took the Max train downtown to visit the fountain at Director Park.
Ari told the people sitting around us on the train all about how we were going to “Daddy’s fountain” (because it’s across the street from his office). He also talked to me so much about the snack the guy next to us was eating, that the guy dug around in his bag looking for one to give him, and when he didn’t find one, he put his away!
Right before I took this photo, Ari ran toward me squealing, “Mom! Dad! I’m having SO MUCH FUN!!”
Sam made faces with a woman sitting by the fountain for a while, then he crawled around happily. I wasn’t prepared with a swim diaper so his regular one swelled up to a huge size!
Some developmental notes and memories from the month:
Ari loves to do laundry with me and always wants to be involved and see what I’m doing and asks me lots of questions. One day, I pulled the lint trap out of the drier and he said something like, “I’ll do that for you, Mom,” and pulled all the lint off and put it in the little trash can, then put the lint trap back, without any help! I said, “Ari, how did you know how to do that?” and he said matter-of-factly, “I’ve watched you do it.”
He’s also been feeding Andrew (with lots of help) since he was about one and a half, but in April he started doing it by himself. We pull the big bin out of the cabinet and open it, and he’s now able to get full scoops out of it and count the right number of them. One day he specifically told me to go away, where I couldn’t see him, and call out to him, “Ari, are you done feeding Andrew yet?” He had the whole scene worked out in his head. 😀
At the boys’ school, the teachers will discourage inappropriate behavior by saying something like, “I see you’re eating the play doh, so that tells me you are done with it.” So one day Ari wanted to use play doh at home, and he told me, “When I’m done I will eat some so you know I’m done.”
Sam started getting clingier with me in April, and we kept thinking he was teething but his next teeth didn’t come out until the beginning of June. He was also crawling all over on his hands and knees (since the beginning of April, right about when he turned 10 months old), pulling up to stand, and climbing on things more. Maybe some clinginess and fussiness was related to his developmental changes. Getting him to sleep also became a lot harder, since he wanted to crawl around in his crib he would pull himself up and just stand there wailing, instead of lying down and fussing a little and falling asleep. So we started lying down with him on the bed and I’ve been nursing him to sleep more, just like I did with Ari. Most of the experts would say I’m giving them bad habits, and I’m sure I would sleep better if Sam got through the night without nursing, but I just can’t let him stand there and scream when it sounds like real distress!
Okay, that’s it for now! I have to catch up with posts about May and then Sam turning one!