Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Some way or another we have fallen into a different sleeping pattern. Logan has not been napping much during the day lately; which is not fun for me considering I use his nap times as the time to get everything done in the office.

Yesterday was another no nap day. We ran around the house playing, built a village out of blocks around his train track he got for Christmas, watched a movie, and just had fun. I thought all of this play time, followed by a hot bath would knock the kid out...nope.

Usually without a nap more temper tantrums flare up, but this was not the case. He was pretty good all day. Finally after dinner, with red cheeks and rubbing his big brown eyes, my little guy could not fight it any longer. Around seven-thirty he was out. It is well past eight in the morning now and I can just hear him stirring.

I think my sleeping beauty needs to get back on mom's schedule.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is There a Santa Claus?

I have been laughed at in my adult years for still believing in the magic of Santa Claus.

In today's society there is too little of the "pixie dust" in the eyes and hearts of our young. Children at school who no longer believe bring down those who still do. I remember how angry my older brother got when a kid at school told my nephew that Santa Claus was not real.

I read an article the other day from a mom who's son came home and asked her if Santa was real. The little boy's father had told him that Santa was a lie parents tell their kids. Wow! Dad of the year there.

Even some of the media is in on it; I've heard them voice that "scientist so and so proved that there is no possible way Santa can deliver his gifts to all the children of the world in one night, even with the time difference." Um...it's MAGIC. Why voice over the radio, t.v., etc. something like that for the children with still a spark of innocent in their eyes to hear?

I pray that my little Logan will always keep the spirit, wonderment, and magic of this wonderful time of year and of Old St. Nick.

So I leave you, dear readers, with a few quotes from the ever so popular news article: "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" I urge you to click on the link www.newseum.org/yesvirginia and read the full story written in 1897 by Francis Pharcellus Church. It is truly heartwarming.

"Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist..."
"No Santa Clause! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree


























We finally went up into the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. I am one of those people that get their trees the weekend before Christmas and then leave it up well after the new year; it's just another family event I look forward too during this time of year.

Logan was pretty excited, he kept pointing at the trees and telling us...something (I couldn't understand him.) He was in the tree and kept trying to help dad saw it down.

Once the tree made it home and the hot chocolate was warm in our hands, I strung all the lights on, and began carefully unwrapping ornaments that have been with me since I was a little girl.

Logan was so enthralled with the whole process that he tried to take some ornaments off the tree and ended up pulling the whole tree down. I had just finished filling the stand with water which now was all over the carpet. As soon as the tree was back up and the water soaked out of the carpet, the decorating began again.

We spent the rest of the day watching movies and hanging out. As soon as nightfall hit, we drove into Madrid (an old mining town about 20 minutes away from us) which is always covered in colorful lights this time of year. Of course, Logan not having taken a nap throughout the whole day fell asleep before we even got off the ranch. So when we got into Madrid, we took him out of the car, the cold frosty air nipping at our noses and our cheeks; walked a little ways looking at the lights until the little munchkin woke up.

Back in the car we drove through the town, Logan smiling and pointing at all the lights saying, "Ah" and "Look at that!"

When we reached home yet again, our little Christmas tree was glowing. Logan took my hand, got his dad, and brought us to the tree. We all sat beside it (even our dog Biscuit) and enjoyed the last hours of our Sunday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Angels by Day

I read somewhere that toddlers tend to act up more with those who they are most comfortable with - those they are around the most. Therefore, I get the brut of the temper tantrums, while Dad usually gets the fun, loving Logan.

To kill time before the Christmas party/Rosary we attended last night, we decided to run some errands and do some last minute Christmas shopping. In public and at other people's houses Logan is an angel; since he has been able to walk we've let him walk on his own. He always grabs our hands and never wanders too far. Sometimes he will go up and show someone something of his (but never without mom or dad there.) At the Sportman's Warehouse, he decided to show one woman (who was actually on her cell phone with her 2 year old grandson at the time) and her husband his shirt underneath his coat. She thought Logan was so cute that she gave him a five dollar bill for a Christmas present.

Logan slept through most of the Christmas party. When he did wake he sat there quietly watching all of the people talking and eating. I showed Logan the host's Christmas tree (always spectacular), from then on whenever Logan wanted to see the tree he brought someone with him.

A while back we were at our friend's house in Albuquerque visiting, Logan sat there on the couch with his hands folded in his lap. When our friend let their dog's in and Logan wanted to play with them, he wouldn't unless he had our friend with him.

He sits in the cart at the stores nicely and looks around, sometimes pointing at something and telling me about it. When in a restaurant he'll talk with us and eat is food; watching others around us.

Once we get home, the little angel (as my friend puts it) sprouts horns. He runs frantically throughout the house getting into everything. When I tell him "no" to leave something alone, Logan gives me a dirty, angry look and screams.

For the most part, Logan is a good kid. When he is not acting up he is loving, affectionate and a little jokster. But once the evening comes and the tiredness sets in, the little demon emerges and I do my best to put him at rest.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boys = Demolition

Remember that old song we used to all sing as a kid: "Girls are made up of sugar, spice, and everything nice. Boys are made of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails." For one reason or another this song as been chiming through my head. Perhaps it's due to the recent discussions I have been having with people on the never ending debate between boys and girls.

It has been said time and time again that boys are easier to raise than girls. Only twice have I heard that girls were the easier ones. At our company Christmas party, I was talking with one of the wives who had three girls all grown now, she was telling me how quiet her house always was. The girls would go about whatever it is they wanted to do. She continued on with her story to when her grandson arrived, the house was no longer quiet, she couldn't keep him out of anything!

Another couple friend of ours has two girls and a boy. The dad told us, "you could childproof a house for girls and not have to worry. Boys on the other hand, go right through it all. It is impossible to childproof for a boy."

I have been contemplating all of these discussions and realized how right everyone was. Now I don't have a girl so I can not compare the two, but with Logan all the stories have been right on. My father-in-law came to visit not long ago and put child safe locks on all my cupboards - Logan opens each one.

A little toy horse that Logan received last year for Christmas is now his mobile step stool to get into anything and everything unreachable. From the kitchen sink to the top of the washing machine.

My house is constantly covered in toys; last night Logan and I picked them all up and put them in a box. Next thing I know, he is running around the house laughing, pushing his box of toys and chasing our dog Biscuit with it.

I have discovered that little boys are a walking demolition machine. Nothing is safe, nothing will go untouched no matter how many times you say "no." They will take the time to sit there to figure out how things work. I've watched Logan take apart an item and try to put it back together again. You could see his little mind working out how each item fits and what it does.

One thing is for sure, there is never a dull moment when you have a little boy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Puppet Master

Before our little ones learn to voice their needs, wants, and concerns; they communicate by body language, pointing, or in my son's case taking my arm and "controlling" it to the item he is wanting at the moment. For example, we were eating at the Texas Roadhouse in California with a cousin and her daughter. Logan wanted to eat the peanuts from the bucket on the table but they were out of his reach. He took the sleeve of my shirt, lifted my arm and placed it in the bucket. I, in conversation with my husband and cousin, without thinking grabbed some peanuts, cracked them and gave them to Logan.

Our cousin watched all of this and while laughing compared me to a marionette with Logan controlling the strings.

I have been accused for Logan's lack of verbal communication because of this; and though I was offended and a little angry at first I realized something. We are all in a way some sort of puppet. As parents we love our children unconditionally and want to give them everything - whether that be love and support and/or all the materialistic things we didn't have growing up, therefore we leave ourselves vulnerable.

Children learn at an early age which "strings" to push or pull in order to get what they want or need. They know the strings to our emotions, our hearts, and they know how to manuever the strings to toy with our feelings.

Though Logan is becoming a little chatterbox, somehow I don't think our family will ever let me forget how I am a puppet, and my soon to be two year old the puppet master.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mimicking

You never realize how closely your son/daughter is watching, learning, and doing the things you do. For example, the other day I was playing video games (yes, I am a closet gamer) I was getting frustrated with Mario for missing his jump (I know, I am the one controlling him but I can't yell at myself!) I shouted out to Mario, "OH MY GOD!" Then I heard a little voice behind me say, "oh my God." Mental note to self, be more careful about what is coming out of my mouth.

Sometimes I will see Logan walking around the house with my purse over one arm and a cell phone on his ear talking to someone. Whoever it is, they sure are having an enjoyable conversation because Logan is always laughing when they talk.

Another situation approached itself last night. I was at the table going over our budget, when I decided to get a glass of water and make some tea. I turned around and found that Logan was fine tuning my calculations. (I was also lucky enough to get a picture of it!)

I have a friend with a boy a year older than Logan, she has called me on some of the things her son has mimicked her on. I always laugh at the situation, then she tells me, "Just you wait, it's coming! Soon Logan will be doing this to you." And sure enough, as I watch closely, Logan is doing everything Mom and Dad are. From what we are saying to how we go about our days.

It's a little scary to think that we are this little person's teacher. That he is learning from us the way to work; how to have and be in a relationship. He is learning from Mom and Dad all about the world, who he is, and who he is going to be.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tis the Season

What is it about the holiday season that makes your normal happy go lucky people turn into complete monsters? Or those who have relatively predictable moods turn into a 9 month pregnant woman in summer heat?

Personally, I love the holidays. I love when the brisk autumn wind comes blowing in because then I know, three months of absolute chaos and fun are about to begin.

The kids' excitement on Halloween. Each child in his or her costume that, if old enough, took hours of contemplation to decide on (I'm always interested to know why that child picked that particular costume.) You can hear their laughter echoing through the night along with "Trick-or-Treat". Pumpkins line porches and send off an eerie glow with jack-o-lantern faces carved in them.

Good friends and family gathered around the table for Thanksgiving; the drone of chatter while they are complimenting on this dish or that and the laughter from the latest stories or events happening in their lives.

The day after Thanksgiving, the holiday lights come up. Festive music is played over the radio. Soon you start seeing cars driving around with trees strapped to the tops. Families gather around to decorate the tree, hang stockings, and bake holiday goodies. The kids anticipation start to show as the days get closer to Santa coming.

Then on to the New Year. How each person is going to bring in the next, their resolutions that they swear they are going to keep this time may be posted on the fridge to remind them of what they want to work on during the year. Laughter and drinks are passed around until the countdown to midnight.

And as quickly as it came, another year is gone. Everybody falls back into the same old routines they had back before the frenzied bliss began.

This is definitely my favorite time of year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good Days and Bad

As with everything, there are better days than others of motherhood.

Some days in the office Logan is fussy and unmanagable. Others, like today, he played quietly with his toys.

Last night he decided to pour 6-7 loads of liquid laundry detergent on the floor. He knew he was in trouble the moment I caught him because he started to cry as soon as I did.

Today, Logan was all smiles, playful, and loving. We spent the morning chasing each other around the house and playing other games. It has been snowing so we tested out his new snow gear. We even took our time coming home from work so we could play a while in it before it got too dark.

Whether the days are difficult or easy; this is just another stage in all of our lives that we will remember in the years to come.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Negative Four

Negative four - that is the temperature outside right now as I write this. It's funny how when I was a kid living in Alaska, I never seemed to be cold. Maybe the 50 below temperatures froze my memory of those days. I do remember having the beginnings of frostbite on my fingers a couple of times; but not much else besides ice skating, sledding down the piles of hills that the snow plows made, and just plain lots of kid fun.

Yesterday was not so cold, 15 degrees with 20 mile an hour winds. I had to take Logan out and meet the guys to give them some paperwork before heading to the office that afternoon. We had bought Logan a new pair of snow boots; I looked down at him, a big smile on his face as he trudged through the snow. And then it happened. He tripped and fell face first into a pile of white, wintery, bitterness. I felt so bad! My poor little boy with his face and hands red with cold (the wind was not helping the situation), screamed until I got him back in the house and warmed up.

It's amazing to me how little cold weather gear there is around here (of course it's not Alaska.) My husband and I had to go to three different stores just to find snow boots. And the gloves, thin knit ones (for adults and kids.) Apparently the only place to find any good outdoor gear is REI and though I love shopping there, I felt they were too expensive for little boys who outgrow their stuff in a week. However, I was ready to break down and spend the $35-$50 it cost for toddler snowboots; until I found a pair at Target.

Thankfully my mom, having four kids and living in Alaska, is an expert at kids cold weather gear (and finding it); and has mailed Logan a thinsulated pair of mittens with some other cold weather needs. I think until they arrive, we will be spending most of our time playing indoors.