Monday, February 23, 2015

Barrett is ONE!

My baby is 1 year old. Can you believe it? Actually, he is one year and 1 week old. We had a little party for him yesterday. He smashed his cake and eat it off his hands and then was a wired up little ball of happy energy, rolling around on the floor with huge smiles. The other day I heard William sobbing and I walked into the living room to see Barrett sitting in the middle of Will's Duplo train, broken into pieces. Will, who was about an hour past due for a nap, was beside himself: "Barrett keeps wrecking my train! No no no Barrett!" Barrett did a little dance in the middle of the wreckage and looked at me with a humongous grin.

The kid is a card, a ham bone, a little nut case. He's always getting into something. Brian and Will call him "Barrett the Destroyer". His first word (besides mommy and daddy) was Uh oh! And I think that is perfectly appropriate for his personality. Uh oh! Barrett's eating the dog food again. Uh oh! Barrett destroyed William's toy set up again. Uh oh! Barrett pulled out all the puzzles. As a second child, Barrett has had to learn to entertain himself more than William did, and now that he's able to get into anything, boy is he especially good at entertaining himself.

He LOVES stacking toys. He played with the Play dough containers for over an hour, 2 days in a row. He would stack them on top of each other and yell out a huge cry of delight.

The absolute instant he is woken up, he reaches out for the bars of his crib and begins climbing up to stand. I hope I never forget the image of his puffy little face, still half asleep, beaming at me over the top of the railing and wincing away the sunlight from the window. When I get him out of his crib, he gives me a giant little baby bear hug. He is certainly cuddly, even with his independent little nature. He'll often crawl up to me in the kitchen just so that I can pick him up and hug him and say a few things to him, and then he wants to get down again. When I check his diaper and yell poop! he smiles enormously as if to say, what a great joke I've played on you, mom! And this dude poops like 8 times a day. No early potty training for this guy.

As soon as I lay him down for a nap, he scoots all around on his belly, making nom nm noises as he sucks his thumb. When I close the door I hear him begin to chatter. At first I was strict with him and kept laying him back down, but now I give him 10 or 15 minutes to wind down. It doesn't seem to bother Will, who goes to sleep no matter what. After 10 minutes or so I go in, and Barrett is sitting in his crib with his thumb in his mouth and his blanket in his hand. I pick him up and kiss him and then lay him back down and he goes to sleep.

We nixed bottles last Friday. Barrett had his one year checkup. He did great with all his shots and the doctor said he was finally in the 50th percentile. I was excited to hear that he had climbed the chart! Oh, how I wish I would have sooner recognized the problems with breastfeeding. He would have thrived so much better if I would have started supplementing earlier. Oh well. He was such an easy going little baby and my experiences with him will help me if we have any more babies. And I will just give him a hug and say, thank you, precious boy, for being so easygoing while I figured it out. But anyway, the doctor told us it was time to stop bottle feeding. He told me it would just be harder to break him of the habit down the road and I knew he was right. So that night I gave him a sippy cup of milk at dinner, a bedtime snack later, brushed his teeth, and laid him down. He did great. The hardest moment was the next morning when I went in to get him dressed. I normally have a bottle for him, which he happily sucks down while I change his diaper and get his clothes ready. This time I had a sippy cup of milk and it was coming out too fast and it made him sad. The next morning I brought up a sippy cup that was a little bit better and he did just fine. I do miss bottle feeding him, but at the same time I was realizing that this was becoming a dependent habit and so the enjoyment of it was waning. And bedtime is certainly easier when I don't have to coordinate bottle feeding in the pitch black dark silence while entertaining William with something else. (Normally he can hang out with Daddy, but lately Brian has been busy doing work on the house until bedtime and that hasn't been a possibility.)

Barrett is a picky eater. But we manage just fine. Some days he eats healthier than others. My go to breakfast for him has been banana egg pancakes with a little bit of coconut flour and blueberries. However, William doesn't like those so I usually make him something else. I vowing to myself that, if child number 3 should ever come along, that is the end of me being a short order cook. The kids will all eat the same thing at meals. (At least the kids with teeth.)

The morning after his birthday, I had a rare moment of cuddling with him in the rocking chair after he woke up. He wasn't quite ready to hit the road yet and he just wanted to sit with me. I SAT there and rocked him and just thought, "Barrett, this year with you has been so wonderful. You have brought me so much joy. From the time you were a tiny snuggly baby, to a wiggly 3 month old, to an easy, happy all-the-months-in-between. You always have a smile for me and everyone else. You are never fussy. You are just a wonderful, beautiful, breathtakingly precious little child. I am so, so thankful for you." Being more laid back with the second baby, combined with him being truly the easiest baby I can imagine, made this first year just a blissful time. It gives my heart a little bit of pain to think about the transition and change that this next year will bring. The person William was at 2 years old was vastly different than the baby he was at 1. All I can do is hold on tight and enjoy the ride. God, please help me to do that.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I was just telling Brian today, as we were hauling firewood from the shed to the truck with Will tagging along and Barrett napping in the house, that it's happened so gradually but Will is definitely now at the stage of talking ALL the time. He just chatters 99 percent of the time, and about 90% of the stuff he says is pretty easy to understand. He mixes up words adorably. He is also a little budding conversationalist. He'll sit at the dinner table and ask, "And so Daddy, how is your day?" Then, "And so Daddy, what time is it?" Finally: "Daddy, how was work today?"  He also has started asking new ones, like, "And so Daddy, how is Bo's ear? And so Daddy, how is Bo's nose?"

It's obvious that he doesn't quite understand the purpose of conversation, since he'll often interrupt Brian's answer to ask his next question. But he strikes up a little chat whenever he can. He'll also come up with questions to ask his imaginary people. He never talks to Bob the Builder or Wendy anymore; now it's Bob and Larry and Emma and Morty Bumble from his favorite VeggieTales movie. (Yesterday he was so eager for me to come down to the basement with him so that he could show Morty Bumble his "big new tractor!" Of course Mommy has seen it a thousand times but Morty Bumble apparently has not, so down I went. A little bit later he wanted to show it to Emma and Bob and Larry.) He takes a different toy to bed every night, one night his race car and another night his little white bulldozer.

The last couple of days have been a little bit of a struggle. I can't tell if he's going to be a strong willed child or if he's just having a rough couple of days. He's asking why all the time, usually hurled at me with an angry glare. How do I communicate but that's arguing? Because I want him to be a thinker but that's obviously not what he's doing. He also seems to be developing little fears, many of them. They pop up here and there throughout the day, and I'm beginning to pray against this as something he may struggle with. He's afraid of the vacuum cleaner in the hallway, he's afraid of the balloon shaped like Nemo, he's afraid of the water going down the drain, he's afraid of the Thomas the train engine movie. Things he liked a day ago sometimes are scary to him the next day. I'm often not sure how to handle this. I try to give these items a funny voice to make them more disarming. I also ask him if mommy and daddy are afraid of these things. He'll reply, "No." Then I'll say, "Then why are you scared of them? You don't need to be scared of them. Is God scared of it?" He'll say, "No." Then I'll say, if God is watching over you, you don't need to be afraid of that. But it doesn't seem to be a magic spell that wipes away the fear. Maybe this will be one of those things that takes time. I can relate to him. I was creative and imaginative when it came to bedtime and I remember laying in bed thinking of scary things. My brother, whom William often resembles in personality, was even worse. So I try to be patient and Brian does too.

Will loves people. He loves interaction and being social. He has this agreeable little way of saying, "Oh! Okay!" when asked to do something. He also frequently says I'm sorry even when there's no need to be sorry, which I think he's probably picked up from me. He is learning to be kind to his brother and sometimes he might hug him a little too hard but I know he loves Barrett. He loves presents, chips, and VeggieTales. He loves riding around in the basement on his Christmas tractor. He loves building long trains out of duplos. He calls every meal breakfast. He loves playing with toys at church. He loves Grandma and Grandpa and uncle Matthews 'plane'. He loves being read to more than almost anything. He can be a little bossy, saying, mommy I told you I was playing with those! He helps me put away toys. He gets so excited to see Brian. He is my little conversation buddy and he makes the day a delight.

A while ago I asked him, "William, do you think mommy and daddy should have another baby?" He looked a little hesitant and said, "Yes?"

I asked, "Do you think it will be a boy or a girl?" And he said, "I want Barrett."

Friday, February 13, 2015

The tip of the iceburg

I've got no business posting right now.

Especially - CRAP! - that BARRETT just woke up 45 minutes into nap! Come on, dude! I really needed this naptime!

I just wanted to say that I'm really going to miss when William stops yelling, "All Da-Board!"
And when Barrett stops fishing through the cupboard of mixing bowls seven times a day.
And when Will stops saying (instead of, "I'm all done," or, "No more, thank you,"), "I don't think I like this toast."

Life seems so busy right now, but full of more delight than challenge these days.