A few milestones worth sharing

James has officially reached my favourite milestone… sitting. It’s been a few weeks now since this little guy has enjoyed the comfort of sitting (while assisted), but in recent days he’s been doing amazing sitting without any support.

Thomas is able to play around him much more now and isn’t as hesitant to bring toys to his brother when they are out of reach. It’s great seeing both of them interact. James smiles every time Thomas comes near and of course Thomas puts a great deal of effort in making his little brother laugh.

James sitting

July 18

There’s been a few other firsts that deserve a little sharing…

Both bottom teeth are now out and last night was the first time I didn’t get out of bed. At all. Until 6:30am. There was a tiny little waking at 1am, but I nudged daddy to get out of bed to go stick the soother in James’s mouth. Voila! That did the trick. At almost 8 months, he’s finally given me a full night’s sleep.

We also made the decision to switch James to formula about two weeks ago. He was fussing so much while I was trying to nurse him. After an almost instant wean, I realized the reason he was fussing was that my milk production was very, very low. Nothing there to feed off of. So now I have a happy bottle-fed babe.

We also went through significant backyard renovations last weekend that turned Thomas into a foreman.

Keeping an eye on things.

Keeping an eye on things.

After saving up for a year, we set a date and had our deck built. We hired a friend who does this for a living, but daddy was on hand every step of the way. The results are amazing!

Before and AfterI finally want to spend time in my backyard. It’s been so long since I’ve just sat outside to enjoy the sun. My feet were always sandy and there were so many weeds I simply preferred to stay inside the house and pretend my yard wasn’t in the condition it actually was in.

The summer has been so good to us to far and in just a few days daddy will be home for 5 weeks! It’s going to be great and I just can’t wait for our vacation together. Plus, the boys love each other so much it’s bound to be the best vacation ever right?

July 23

July 23

 

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The day the tooth came in

A few weeks earlier than his big bro, today at lunch is the first time I felt a little chunk of tooth in that beautifully swelled gum.

James has been suffering for about two weeks now and I knew they were coming, but as I learned with Thomas: this isn’t a one day in next day out kinda thing. Teething has also resulted in excessive irritability and my twice-a-night waker is now waking several more times. The nights have been brutal and we’re actually worried we’re creating bad habits for James by going in all the time.

Thomas learned well and early on to sooth himself. But James is a completely other story right now. He went from falling asleep on his own for naps to needing extra snuggles. Not sure if it’s the teeth or just because he loves me so much. Hmm…. that’s a hard one to figure out! Probably a bit of both.

And so the snuggles will continue until he’s doing a little better with his sleep.

As for the getting around… he’s doing amazing on his tummy. Pushes himself backwards and works so hard to get a toy that’s out of reach. Problem is, he still hasn’t figured out how to get from his tummy to his back. Argh! It’s the most frustrating thing since I constantly have to go to him and help him out. If not, he stays on his tummy and cries until snot starts coming out of his nose and his eyes get all puffy. I know this because I’ve tried to ‘let him figure it out’. It’s just not working.

He’s the cutest little guy and he’s definitely Thomas’s new best friend. Giggling at his brother’s silliness has sealed the deal.

James, June 20

What’s for lunch?

Oh, and he loves his toes.

Six months of brotherly love

James has been growing up so quickly these days. He’s rolling onto his belly but still doesn’t know how to roll back, he loves to eat everything although I’m suspecting an intolerance to zucchini of all things!

Thomas has become an incredible big brother. He’s caring and considerate. He’s starting to share his toys, although it’s what I’ll refer to as selective sharing. I’m eager and dreading the day James can actually crawl around and grab some of Thomas’s toys. The sharing will probably end there.

The other day we were heading to Ottawa Race Weekend where daddy was about to run a 10KM race. We were in downtown Ottawa and in a bit of a rush, so I decided to sit Thomas in the double stroller with James. Within an instant, Thomas reached over and took James’s hand in his. He held it the entire way the the start line. My heart burst with love – and this is a dangerous thing since it’s making me consider a third.

I know this love will sometimes be hidden by the fights, annoyances, frustration, etc. But right now, seeing how much Thomas loves his little bro makes me think adding more little people to our family might be the way to go.

I’m also hesitant to put this thought on paper since just a few months ago I was satisfied with my two. Only two. No more.

Only time will tell.

 

At the races with daddy.

At the races with daddy.

When the sun comes up

Despite being completely in love with his baby, Thomas did have a few behavioural changes when James entered our lives.

For one, he can’t stand to miss a single thing that occurs in our household. That means he now gets his potty in the bathroom and brings it into the living room where he does what he needs to do. The proof…

Potty Time

Potty Time

Although this annoys me somewhat – especially when it’s poop time and I’m still eating dinner and he needs to be as close to me as possible – it was a relief that we didn’t have to go back to potty training. He’s even accident-free overnight which has been amazing. The only downside is that I almost tripped over a full potty hanging out in the middle of the hallway at 3 a.m. when I went to feed James the other night. We’ve now set up a night light in the bathroom so the potty can stay there and not be moved to the hallway where there’s more light!

The more annoying aspect of behavioural changes was when he decided he wanted to come in to our room in the morning for a little snuggle when he woke. So adorable at first. I loved snuggling with my big boy. But the the 7 a.m wakeup became 6:45, then 6:30 and even 6. The problem is I don’t really sleep when he’s next to me. He pokes me in the eye, kicks, rolls around, takes up all the room – you get it right?

And although I’m a pretty firm mom, I really didn’t have the energy or willpower to battle him back to bed for fear he would scream and James would wake up. Really not what I wanted.

So we came across the GroClock!

My new best friend.

My new best friend.

It’s a great little clock that you set to change from the stars to the sun when it’s time for the child to ‘wake-up’ or in our case leave his bed and come to ours. There’s also a naptime setting which has also taken away the ‘you need to keep resting’ conversation that was becoming quite common.

For Thomas it’s a great game. He gets to look at the clock and now knows that he wakes when the sun wakes. For mommy, it means I can gently remind him that he can come for snuggles when he sees the sun. That almost guarantees me a 7 a.m. wake time – unless of course James wakes earlier and invites the entire house to join in on the party.

I initially thought the $50 price range was high… but there really is not price tag one can put on rest and sanity is there?

The sweet sound… of silence?

As each day starts I look forward to the potential new development from Mr. James. Will I hear a giggle today? Will be grasp something in his hand? Will he start walking? Ok.. that last one is still a long time coming, but when Thomas was little I was always looking forward to that next big step.

I’m taking things much slower with James. Considering he is most likely going to be my last baby, I’m appreciating things a lot more this time around. The fact that he doesn’t latch on to my leg when I try to step away from him for a minute, or that I tell him what he’s having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and I’m not told it’s yucky, blah, or that he doesn’t like it.

When Thomas started talking I wanted the speed of his learning curve to reach 100 words a day. I wanted my little guy to start communicating with me, verbally, immediately and perfectly so that I understood everything he would say. As he nears his third birthday (in less than one month), there are moments when I wish he had as many words as James: none.

I find myself constantly being verbally harassed for milk, snacks, to look at his pee, poop, snot. It just never ends.

Car rides are sometimes unbearable. Mommy… where’s the police car? Where’s the fire truck? Where’s the tractor? I want to see another! I want a snack. Mommy, mommy, mommy, I want a snack. Mommy whose house is that? Mommy, where’s the police car? Where’s the fire truck…. you get the point.

There are times when I want to bury my head in the sand and ignore everything around me. Just for a moment enjoy pure silence.

Thomas has recently started using his words a lot more when he’s upset instead of just yelling. Here is a list of his favourite sentences:
1. Don’t touch me
2. I don’t like that
3. That’s not nice
4. That’s not ok
5. Mommy… Daddy did (insert anything my husband has done here)

I’m happy he’s asserting himself more, but my goodness… can you please just be quiet for one minute? Just one little minute. I’m not asking for much, just a bit of time to rest my brain.

But at the end of the day once we’ve read our bedtime stories, brushed teeth and went potty, the one sentence I cannot get enough of is “je t’aime maman”. That’s my cherry on top. A really good cherry.

Take That Rosetta

I’m bilingual: French and English. I always spoke French at home, but went to an English school and embraced the English pop-culture.

When we chose to have children my husband and I also made the decision to raise them in a bilingual household. We speak English to each other, but I speak French to the boys and my husband speaks English to them.

The other morning Thomas was enjoying an episode of Cat in the Hat – one of his favourite shows. The Cat was taking Sally and Nick to see a Monarch Butterfly. Exciting stuff! But what drew even more excitement for me was when Thomas said “on va voir des papillions?”

Yes Thomas, you’re going to see butterflies. There is no doubt that even one month before his third birthday my little guy is bilingual.

It started happening about a year ago when the words really started to flow. He would tell his dad something in English and tell me the same thing in French when I walked into the room. It always amazed me how he could switch so easily from one language to another and know when to use each one. All this at such a young age.

I grew up in a French household and was fortunate enough to attend an English school. I was bilingual by the time I entered Grade 1. Thomas, is already ahead of where I was and James will be too. That begs the question… what language will be imposed as a third one, and even fourth?

I know what I like

The other day my mother was over visiting my and the boys. She picks Thomas up from daycare every Monday and often takes about an hour or so to stick around and play with Thomas and now see James.

James was spending time on his activity mat – which he’s actually been enjoying quite a bit lately.

My mom couldn’t resist picking up this little munchkin and give him a snuggle. Moments later James started to howl. My mother was so upset. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “You moved him,” I replied.

You see, James is really starting to entertain himself and doesn’t always need to be in my arms. And that’s great, but sometimes I need to move him to bring him with me to another room – and that doesn’t always bode well with him. He gets quite upset when he’s enjoying himself and we take him away from his entertainment.

The same thing will happen when he’s hanging out in his crib watching his jungle animal mobile. If you let the animals stop dancing you’ll hear about it!

Although it can sometimes be a challenge, I love the fact that he knows what he wants and tells us when we’ve crossed the line. I’m not sure how much I’ll love this when he hits his terrible twos… only time will tell.