Thursday, June 6, 2013

Catching up - Leo is now 17 months!

Since I've last updated, things have been very busy for our little Leo:

  • He got his first haircut.  He wasn't totally sure about this and cried most of the way through it.  It took me a few days to recognize him without this baby wispy hair.
  • He took his first steps one Friday night.  Then he spent several weeks mostly crawling, but doing some walking too.  Now he is mostly walking.  He's been very proud of this accomplishment.  We are too!  Milo is still amazed each time Leo walks a long distance. 
  • Leo still loves animals and bugs now too.  Whenever we see a dog he excitedly yells DOG and really hopes to pet it.  He also loves being outside for any reason, but especially to play in the sand box, dirt or grass.  Leo spends a lot of time entertaining himself with sticks and pebbles and other little treasures he finds along the way. 
  • I went away for a few days and used that opportunity to cut out our last nursing session.  Leo wasn't quite ready for that and has refused to sleep in his crib since that time.  So he takes naps and sleeps full time in our bed.  
  • We've found out that Leo is no longer going to be the youngest kiddo, but instead will be an older  brother to a baby due in November!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Check it Off the List

Just in the nick of time earlier this week as the calendar indicated winter was leaving and spring was beginning, we checked off the last of our Winter Fun List. You wouldn't know it by the super cold temps and occasional snow flurries around here, but it is officially Spring so we were excited to finish our Winter list with a trip to the ice skating rink.  Milo did great on the ice for the first time!  Leo had to stay in the stroller although he kept putting his feet out wondering when he would get skates, too.

It was a fun afternoon of exercise, a few falls and lots of smiles.

Now we are on the Spring list and hoping the weather cooperates soon!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Leo - 14 Months

I recently told someone that Leo is really growing into his toddlerhood.  By this I meant he has been quite a handful recently - he has accidentally flipped himself off the side of the couch, he has stuffed graham crackers in the detergent area of the dishwasher and he is still enthralled with anything and everything he can throw.  It's busy keeping up with the little guy and he's not even walking yet.

Thankfully, Leo does have some fine points, too.  He still gives the best and most heartfelt hugs.  His belly laughs fill up the room with joy.  Even Milo has been won over by Leo's charms (although he will often yell trouble is on the double when Leo is heading his way).  The two boys like to play cars together and Leo makes a vroom vroom noise that Milo is very proud of him for.

We added a fish to our family (Swimmy the Beta) and Leo loves to watch him swim and eat his food.  Each morning he wants to wave to Swimmy and spend some time watching.  Leo is also always excited to see and pet dogs or cats on our walk.  He seems to really like animals.  Although we have offered several stuffed friends, Leo hasn't settled on one lovey (other than a stuffed snake he intermittently steals from Milo and carries around).

For the past few months, we've been going to gymnastics on Friday mornings.  Technically the class is for Milo, but Leo gets to join in too.  He loves it!  He crawls all over the big gym and up and over mats.  He gets me to help him hang onto a bar and then I tell him how strong he is.  He loves the singing and claps along during circle time.  At the end of class he is intently watches the parachute moving up and down.  This week I let him out of the baby carrier for parachute time and he was able to join the other kiddos crawling around on the brightly colored fabric.  He had a huge smile on his face the whole time and Milo watched out to make sure the other kids didn't step him.  It was fun to watch!

I can't believe how quickly Leo is growing up and also how much like a baby he seems.  It is clear Leo would like to be talking - he is constantly babbling and trying to repeat words.  He gets his needs across to us through pointing and grunting, but I know he has so much more to say.  And I can't wait to hear what is going on in that sweet (and stubborn) little head of his.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Year Back, A Year Ahead and a Reminder of Now

A blog I often read for mom advice and other information, too, today asked what is different about your life from this time last year and what do you hope to be different at this time next year.  I hope it's not a copout to say I can't even remember this time last year.  Leo was not quite two months old and Milo was beginning to give up his afternoon nap.  If I had to guess I was a very tired Mama.  And where tiredness starts, cranky often is right there along for the ride. 

This year I am still tired, but not so soul-crushingly so.  Plus it was sunny today so while I had moments of cranky, they didn't stick around along.  The boys and I made a house for bugs out of bark we found outside.  We were able to breathe some fresh air and use our imaginations. 

Next year at this time I hope to do more of that and more remembering of it all.  This life often seems like a blur of days and dinners and getting out the door and sweeping the floor.  I'm trying to stay more present.  To remember to stay in the moment and not get caught up in the details.  

It seems like a buzzword and so very of this time and yet the idea of appreciating the small things of life, of accepting and embracing each moment as it happens is so very timeless.  So I will briefly look back and briefly look forward, but I also want to stay grounded in the here and the now. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's February

This is the time of year when winter in Ohio is no longer fun and the drudgery sets in.  Playing in the snow has lost its luster.  The beauty of snowflakes becomes hard to find after seeing so many of them.  Most of all though, I miss the sun and spending time outside.  Of course on somewhat warm days when the sun is shining we play outdoors.  Quick trips to the playgrounds and late afternoon with the sandbox open sustain our need for fresh air.

I've tried to create some interesting games and experiences while we've been playing inside.  We have played many many rounds of hide and seek (Milo tends to the hide in the same spot each time).  Today the boys had a lot of fun having rides in a laundry basket.  Overall though we are watching way too much television and it is starting to wear on all of us just a bit.

February is the time of lingering colds and cabin fever.  Luckily it is almost over.  Tonight at dinner we talked about what we were looking forward to in the spring: walks, parks and splash pools and Popsicles   It's really just around the corner.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Leo - 13 Months

This has been a busy month for our little one-year-old.  Leo has morphed from a baby into a sweet and lovable, albeit mischievous toddler.  He can make it all the way up the stairs and thinks it is super funny to do so.  He can purposefully only go down four or five steps at a time though.  So the math doesn't really work out on that one and we watch him carefully.

Other favorite mischievous behaviors:  pressing the menu buttons on the television while Milo is watching it, unplugging the computer and emptying drawers of clothing.   He also loves to throw things (food, sippy cups, books) just to watch them fall.

Leo also now gives high fives!  I love this.  He also has a word/sound associated with each high five: bah!  Speaking of words, Leo has a few he used regularly, but is now trying to repeat many other words.  This morning he said "buh bye dudee" to Chris as he was leaving.  It was super sweet.

Leo is a sweet little guy.  As he is playing throughout the day he will often crawl over and give us a hug.  He is also cuddly   If there is a blanket or pillow on the ground, Leo will crawl over to it and throw himself on down for a quick soft cuddle.  He kicks his feet when he is happy and exciting and this is definitely a kick-worthy occasion 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Each Day is Different

Yesterday I gazed out the back window at the falling snow.  My eyes rested on the white dusted sandbox.  It was only two days before we had been out there playing in the sand and basking in the relative warmth of a 55 degree day in late January.

Today is much different.  The snow covers the ground and a virus has hit our house.  Milo, typically in constant movement, has been sent to the couch by a fever and congestion.  I am getting over a cold and Leo has a cough.  I am hoping all the germs stay with their respective person.

Last weekend we had wonderful days full of family breakfasts, sledding, birthday parties and lots of laughter.  This weekend looks like it might shape of slightly differently.  Such is life with small children in the middle of cold and flu season.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Ramblings (Nice)

It's been cold.  Toe freezing cold.  The only place I want to be is under the covers.  Sadly, the children don't see the genius in this plan and insist on playing.  Which means I am often sitting on our cold floors.  We could all use some run around outside time.  That would be nice.


There is sometimes a moment in the evenings when I am sipping wine, making an interesting salad and listening to the Jack Johnson station on Pandora when all of a sudden the guise of being a stay-at-home mom slips away and I remember being someone else.   The reminder is nice.


We have some super silly little boys living with us.  They laugh and dance and tackle and feel things so deeply.  One sings and the other bops his head along.  One laughs and the other laughs louder.  It's nice to hear.


We talk a lot about good and bad choices.  About bad guys and nice people.  We read books and watch shows and tells stories and Milo always wants to know who is nice.  I try to point out the nice things he does rather than focus on the not so nice.  Lately there have been so many not so nice behaviors that need to be corrected.  I try to remember to accentuate the positive.  It always feels nice to have the people we love notice the good we are trying to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Leo's First Book

Using the blog posts and pictures from here over the past twelve months, I just created a baby book of sorts using Shutterfly.  Take a look!  I have these books from Milo's pictures, too, and we all enjoy looking back through them.  The changes of the first year are especially fun to see month to month.  I'm not a scrap-booker (all that cutting of straight lines isn't for me), but this is a special way for me to preserve memories of my boys growing up.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to It

After the loveliness of Christmas with our family, Leo's birthday and my birthday we were almost all celebrated out and ready to get back to our more usual routine.  Plans didn't quite work out that way though because Chris had a conference to attend out of town.  I had the boys for two nights on my own.  I am proud to say I survived and also found a refreshed respect of single parents.

To cap off the fun winter season, the boys and I joined Chris in Sandusky for one night and two super fun days at Great Wolf Lodge.  I wasn't sure if our boys would fully enjoy the water park and hotel, but oh my did they ever.  We all had a wonderful time splashing, sliding, kicking and turning into little prunes.  Both boys loved the water and all the sprayers, pools and fountains in the water park.  Milo also really liked the onsite arcade where (with a little help from the kind employees) he won a Space Angry Bird.  We all enjoyed story time with the talking tree and exploring the resort.  Every detail at Great Wolf is set up in mind for families with young children - our waitress at dinner went out of her way to locate a fruit cup for Leo (okay, so there could be healthier food options) and every other employee we encountered was also helpful.  Best of all, it was a sweet time of reconnecting with our little family in the midst of a busy season of life.  I can't wait to go back!

It's time for back to reality though - back to the gym, back to cleaning the house, back to eating good for us foods at home.  Less special events, fewer cookies with every meal.  More scheduled naps.  And just as much love to share.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Birthday

Leo wasn't the only one who had a big birthday lately.  I turned 35(!) on January 1.  While I am okay with aging (as if there is any choice), this birthday being so mid-lifeish did throw me for a bit of a loop.  I can't say I am in my thirties anymore.  Since I still seem to think of myself as being 27, this is a bit of a surprise.  However, I love my life and where I am at in it.  With that in mind, I chose to celebrate the day and maybe push my boundaries a little.  Just like when I turned 30 I signed up to run a 5k.  Chris was a sport and signed up, too and then surprisingly after mentioning it on Facebook three other friends decided to do it as well.  This made the morning so fun!  
My parents took the boys for the day (and they had a wonderful day) while Chris and I headed downtown for the race.  We knew it would be cold for the race but the path was also snowy and icy.  This made the run a little slower and more treacherous than planned.  It was so icy the organizers actually shortened the course to be 2.6 miles rather than 3.2.  I didn't realize this at the time and was a little disappointed when I did learn this later.  I was thinking I had a rock star (for me) time of finishing in 32 minutes.  In reality, the time was so great because we didn't do a half mile of the course.  Regardless, I am proud of myself for doing the race and it is still an accomplishment.  Plus a great way to start off the new year!

After the race we headed out for a long brunch complete with a few adult beverages.  Being out with friends, Chris and my brother in the middle of the afternoon with no children around was such a treat! We then headed back to my parents to continue the celebration with the traditional pork, sauerkraut and cupcakes.

It was a fantastic day.  I don't think I could have asked for more:  family, friends, good health, fun exercise, good food and many many laughs and hugs.  With a start like this 2013 and 35 is going to be a great year! 

Me crossing the finish line

Friday, January 4, 2013

Leo - 12 Months

Somewhere along the way over the past 12 months, Leo has turned from a sweet sleeping baby into a cuddly energetic toddler.  Nobody is as surprised by this as I am.  I was showing Milo the pictures we took at the hospital last year - of the tiny, red faced, worn out from birth little guy.  Neither of us were quite sure it was actually Leo.

Leo who is now a super fast crawler and a pretty good cruiser.  Leo who now shows his excitement by kicking his little legs.  He is often excited.  Leo loves balloons, dogs, cats, toys, reading books and his people.  Oh how this sweet boy loves his people.  He gives the best hugs complete with resting his little head squarely on the shoulder of the huggee.

We've heard him say a few words here and there - banana, book, mama, dada - but he mainly communicates by pointing, grunting and shrieking.

It's not all fun and hugs around here though, Leo is still not sleeping through the night and his nap schedule is all over the place.  He also shows absolute no interest in weaning.  So there are a few challenges ahead.

Before we tackle those issues, though we had a lovely time celebrating Leo's first birthday.  The day started with a balloon hanging outside his door (this is also the best tradition ever!), which was met with shrieks of delight and lots of playing by both kiddos.  We had oatmeal and bananas for breakfast (favorite foods of Leo) and the played.  That was followed by several hours of trying to nap and finally actually napping.  Later in the day friends came over for playing and cupcakes.  Leo was so happy to see his friends and then also to see Uncle Tony who came over for dinner.  We finished the day with taking pictures, hugs and books.  A perfect way to celebrate our 1 year old! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Intentions

I've been hit or miss over the past several years of making resolutions in the new year and then seeing those changes through.  It seems like I keep going back to the same resolutions, but don't see those through (clutter, less yelling, more exercise).  Still, I think this is a valuable exercise to make these goals and set intentions.  So on New Year's Eve after the kids were in bed, Chris and I opened a bottle of cheap bubbly and sat down with a notepad to come up with this list:

2013 Intentions
Move?  (OMG)
Continue to learn more about our camera and take better pictures
Keep working out a weekly part of both of our lives
Listen more, yell less / be more understanding / show more patience

On my personal list are these additional items:
Spend more meaningful time online, but less overall time (be more active and less passive)
Get back to the mat (again)
And again with the clutter