Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Wintertime!

It was a little strange reading all of the books at Christmas time with snow in them since we live in such a snow-free area. Today we finally got snow in Ballard! Zane was outside saying, "It's wintertime!" There has been snow in various places since Saturday, but today (Wednesday) is finally our day. Luckily it wasn't my weekend to work, and with the MLK holiday in there I haven't had to be anywhere. Tomorrow we go back to daycare and work, and the snow is suppose to have turned to rain. We'll see.

The snow was still coming down and blowing sideways, but I was afraid if we waited until later it might turn to rain. I bundled Zane up in lots of pants and socks and shirts, found his winter boots from last year (which still barely fit), and bundled us up. Zane was very excited to get pulled around in the sled and was almost bouncing off the walls. We spent about 45 minutes outside with me pulling Zane around up and down the sidewalks. For some reason he kept chanting "Miles and miles and miles..." as I trudged along. I accidentally dumped him out of the sled a few times which was not well received, but otherwise he seemed totally fine. I finally had to make him come inside to get warm. He kept saying "One more time", and threw a squirm fit when I made him come in.

But then we got to have the snow day reward of hot Ovaltine milk and warmed up brownies! I threw all of our wet stuff in the dryer in case we went out again, and we had a wonderful snack while watching the birds at the suet feeder on the porch. After our long break Zane decided to stay in and watch a new kids nature video instead of going back out. I was pretty pleased with that as I was still cold! After nap time it will be getting dark already, but we have a date to go next door and play with a grandmotherly neighbor. As long as the commute is good tomorrow, I'll be well pleased with our wintery break!

Now I can look forward to spring (maybe). I few days ago we picked up a broken branch from a tulip tree, and thought I'd bring it in to see what it would do. During a sun break yesterday it looked particularly lovely in a stark way.

Zane has had a growth spurt during the last couple of weeks. Some shirts are starting to be too short in the arms, but his pants look about the same, so I think he bulked up a little more than he grew up. Maybe that will happen next week. His paper diapers are all of a sudden too small, too, so I got the next size up. His everyday gDiapers still rock, though! Those are the best.

I keep hoping for toilet training in our future. Zane likes his new ladder potty, but lately when I put him on it he complains that the seat is cold. Our bathroom is often very cold as we have no ventilation and keep the windows in the master bedroom/bathroom open for several hours a day. I can't blame him for clamping up when I bribe him onto the potty! I guess spring weather will be better for this. Meanwhile, I can dream!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happiness and New Year

Sorry I'm a little late with this fortnight's post. Just procrastination.

We had a really wonderful Christmas. We made a batch of candy cane sugar cookies and had fun sprinkling them liberally with colored sugar, silver sprinkles, and candy eyes. Zane had an awesome sense of eye placement and sugar layering. My favorite cookie was a heart shaped one we left out for Santa on Christmas eve. He got to experience the electric mixer for the first time, and that was a big hit. No licking the bowl these days, though, since salmonella is a possibility. I had a bit of trouble with the chaos and absolute mess, but I think I hid it well enough for Zane to miss!

I wasn't sure how to introduce Santa, as I felt uncomfortable initiating the lie, but checking Christmas books out of the library ended up taking care of that. Zane learned about Santa, and when Michael asked him if he'd like to go see Santa, Zane said yes. I hadn't planned on "doing Santa" as I thought he would be too young to be interested, but since he said he was interested, out we went. I took Zane to the mall on a Tuesday morning the week before Christmas, so there were no lines of kids or shopping chaos. He was somewhat interested in Santa, and we did some pass bys, but Zane couldn't actually look at Santa close up let alone sit in his lap. He did keep asking to go back and look, though! Luckily, I didn't have my heart set on any cute photos, I just wanted Zane to have a Santa experience. I think Zane had more fun looking at knives in Excalibur and cute erasers in the Japanese store. We enjoyed the mall and had pizza in the Food Court which was just as exciting for Zane as anything.

As Christmas approached and Michael and I wrapped presents one evening, we realized to our horror that Zane was going to be spoiled beyond belief. It was so easy to get a little present here and there, and then hide them away. Oops!

On Christmas day we set up the camera and Zane came upstairs. He was very subdued! He didn't shriek or jump around, he just smiled and enjoyed his loot. The video is a little too dark to post. By the time naptime came around, the presents were so exciting, and there was so much sugar in his system that he had a complete naptime fail. First time ever without a nap all day! I learned my lesson to not leave any toys out on the floor of his room at nap or bedtime, and he went to bed with visions of trains dancing in his head. I think the highlights for him were his tool bench, his Thomas trains, and his four pack of chapstick. He kept saying "My own chapstick!"

To get ready for new Christmas toys I had finally moved my computer upstairs and set up a table for Zane and moved some of his toys into his room. Now he has his very own room! I still need to move the big bookcases and my desk out of there, but it's coming along. Zane seems really pleased to have his "new" room. It actually looks pretty big when you look at it with just him in there! So now we have transition to toddler bed in his own room and gotten rid of the crib. We transitioned to a booster chair at the table and gave away his high chair. We've also mostly ended any nursing by switching to storytelling before bed and nap times. Zane loves the stories of a boy named Zane who finds magic colored keys which run nearby heavy equipment. He's even begun telling stories back to us.

His brain has been making some new connections, and all of a sudden the questions have begun. What's that? Why? Why? He keeps asking why until I just can't explain things anymore. At least How hasn't cropped up yet.

I'm not sure if Christmas has been the problem, but Zane has had a bad case of the re-curring whineys. He's been waking up somewhat erratically and often too early in the morning; when I ask him why, he says he wants to play with his toys! The new room and the new toys are cool, but a little too exciting. Then he is tired and easily breaks down or gets manic. He's been especially cranky about food. I had to give myself a timeout one evening when he refused to eat, and I wanted to throttle him. I resolved to thereafter provide food and he could eat it or starve. I broke my resolve a bit in that I will still spoon food into him if he's receptive, but no more elaborate efforts to distract him in order to feed him, and if he refuses to eat, I just stop and enjoy my own food. This has so far not resulted in Zane taking more responsibility for eating, so some crankiness is no doubt from being hungry. I got a new clock for him which simply says whether or not it is time to get up. Zane seems to have understood this right away, and I think it is helping him know if it is the dark of night or the dark of a Seattle winter morning when he wakes up. I'm hoping better times are on the horizon. Now that we are heading back to our regular schedule, I think things will get better.

Zane has been sad to take down the Christmas decorations, but I'm looking forward to a little bit of "normal" life!