Friday, October 30, 2009

Potluck Halloween Fun

This is probably the last year we'll be able to get away with no official Halloween costume or trick-or-treating, but we still managed to have some Halloween fun.

Thanks to his Auntie Jennifer in Houston, Grayson at least sported a cool glow-in-the-dark skeleton shirt (which matches his big cousin Blayne as a bonus!) for dress-up day at school.

This afternoon he spent some time in the toddler room for their "harvest" party. Since Gray goes to a church daycare, they don't officially celebrate Halloween. At any rate, he got to dress up and have a cupcake snack and that's really all he cared about.

Grayson with the pumpkin he painted at Auntie Emily and Uncle Levi's house (oh, and that skeleton bear he's holding is his new friend Boneses. He was also a gift from Jennifer and they are now inseparable.)

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of "fun" socks (aka holiday or patterned socks....I know, random right?) Anyway, these are the socks my mom surprised me with this week and Grayson received his fun striped socks last Halloween from our good friends Mark & Agatha in St. Louis. He wore them last year and was surprisingly still able to fit in them this year. So adorable!

And finally, I'll close with this random picture because it really doesn't get any cuter that that folks!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coast to Coast(ers)

As we were driving home from Houston today, I was in my sixth hour of trying to entertain Grayson in his car seat and getting toward the bottom of the bag of toys when I realized we likely have the world's most-travelled set of coasters.

You see, our son is in L.O.V.E with a set of rubber coasters we bought for about $3 nearly five years ago. They are round and come in three colors - black, white and red. If you've been to our house or on a trip with us, you likely know exactly what I'm talking about.

He likes to bend them and stack them and chew on them and so on. They are probably the closest thing he has to a "lovey" or sentimental item. They've gone with us to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in the car across three states to Mississippi, on many a roadtrip to Houston and pretty much everywhere in between.

He's been infatuated with these coasters since he could roll over and grab them and I'm amazed that they still continue to entertain him even to this day.

I love them because they are lightweight and easy to take anywhere, but they are also a silent toy that does not require batteries (whohoo!).

I'm curious to see how long this will last. I really thought once he started walking he would care less about the coasters, but now he's discovered new ways to play with them. He can take them in and out of cabinets and his toy truck with storage in the seat, or he can put them in the mailbox of his Learning House like they are a letter.

Now that he's mobile, we find random coasters all over the house. I'm beginning to wonder if he'll have to have a couple of coasters in his kindergarden backpack or, worse yet, in his stuff for college. At least he'll have a place to set his beer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hello again

I'm back from my work trip and love coming home to my boys (and Roxy, of course). Both Michael and Grayson survived taking care of one another without too many bumps and bruises.

I must brag on my husband for a minute because he tackled a mound of dirty dishes, grocery shopping and keeping up with his weekly trash/recycling chores all while I was gone. They even managed to work in a Sunday afternoon drive in Blauhai (Mike's classic BMW that rarely escapes our garage).

Grayson picked up some new skills as well, including a love of Cheezits, pointing out mama and dada in pictures, and my favorite, learning how to blow kisses. What a difference 2.5 days makes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brief Hiatus

Before you obsessively check and recheck this blog over the next few days (you know who you are peeps), I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be taking a brief blogging break.

I'm headed to a conference this morning for work and will not return until Tuesday evening. It will be an intense couple of days since my employer hosts the conference and I know I won't hardly have time to sleep, let alone blog.

I'll try to post a few Twitter updates which will show up in the margin, but can't make any promises.

Say a little prayer for Michael as he holds down the fort. He's a great daddy, but I know playing the single parent role is tough.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bite Me

There have been some new developments with Grayson's biting phase. I don't want to jinx anything, but I think we may have made some progress over the last day or so.

Yesterday he bit one of his teachers and he bit me for the first time last night while we were playing. I took my mother-in-law's advice and immediately bit his pinky fingernail back (apparently this technique worked on Michael as a child, so we see where the biting genes originate...but I digress). My bite wasn't very hard, but definitely got his attention.

After the look of betrayal and the crocodile tears, he got this far-away look and began tapping his teeth like he was putting two and two together. I think he was actually figuring out that his teeth can be linked to pain.

I was anxious to see how long the biting ceased, and it turns out he had a bite-free day at school today. Maybe he learned a lesson, or maybe it was a coincidence. It's still too soon to tell for sure, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Kid for the Day

Grayson spent the entire day in the toddler room at school. He ate at a table instead of a highchair, took one nap instead of two and slept on a cot instead of in a crib. A lot of changes for one day!

Luckily, he handled all of them well. He loved playing with all the kids and new toys, and surprisingly went to sleep about two minutes after hitting the cot for naptime. I cannot believe they actually got him to stay on a cot, but I think it helped that he was tired from not having a morning nap.

He did take a catnap during the car ride home, so I think he was worn out from trying to hang with the big kids.

He loved the new room so much that instead of running to me when I came to pick him up, he walked over and said hi, then returned to the block shelf. I began walking toward the door thinking that would prompt him to follow, but instead he just waved and said, "bye, bye." He would have been content playing there all night.

Guess it's not cool to be clingy with mom when your big kid friends are watching. I'll try to remember that in the future.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Surely not my kid

Over the last few days Grayson has refused to take his afternoon nap. I'd be fine with him moving to one nap a day but he is so cranky and fussy in the evening, I know he still needs more sleep.

On top of that, when we went to pick Gray up today one of his teachers said, Well, he refused to take his afternoon nap, but the good news is he didn't bite anyone today.

To which I replied, What?! My kid is the class biter?!

This was the first we'd heard about Grayson biting other kids. Since he's still in the nursery room, he's the biggest kid in class and preys on innocent immobile babies doing tummy time. Apparently he takes their hands and sticks them in his mouth. Chomp!

Needless to say, it must have happened multiple times for him to get a reputation as a biter. I can't believe we're just now hearing about this.

Maybe this will motivate the center director to move him up to the one-year-old class. So far, we've been waiting on a spot to open up, but I hope the transition happens before Grayson's bully ways are solidified. I have a feeling he'll get knocked around and put in his place in the next room since he'll be the small kid.

As much as I don't want him to be the bully, I don't particularly want him to get bullied either. This parenting stuff is really tricky...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our budding artist

After the pumpkin patch debacle on Sunday, Grayson headed over to his Aunt Emily & Uncle Levi's house to paint pumpkins. Emily blogged about it here and from the looks of the mess, I'll be happy if this becomes a tradition at her house (along with dying Easter eggs and other art projects).

As if messy finger painting wasn't enough, once they were done Grayson tested out opening and closing all their doors. I'd say it was a fun afternoon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin patch fun...sort of

This afternoon we braved the chilly temperatures and headed out to a pumpkin patch just south of Norman. It has a corn maze and hay ride for older kids and adults, plus slides and a hay maze for smaller kids. Grayson is still a little young for all of that, so we stuck close to the bins of pumpkins and let him feel the strange gourd textures.

Despite the overcast weather this farm was ripe for photo ops, however Gray wasn't having any part of it. We took about 50 pictures and he didn't crack a single smile the entire time. I've never seen our happy child so serious.

Sadly, here are the only photos I could salvage from the day.

Finally caught Gray looking up and his eyes are closed. I give up! Time to call it a day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Busy Bee

These days Grayson is exploring his toys in all new ways. He received the Fisher-Price Learning House from Michael's Aunt Karen & Uncle Steve for his birthday and he can't get enough of the thing.

One side is "outside" and the other is "inside." It talks to you and sings songs and does all kinds of things. He stays very busy going through the door, opening and closing the window, flipping the light switch, and checking the mailbox.

I will admit, Michael and I probably enjoy playing with it as much as Grayson, but lately he's content without us joining in the fun.

His other current favorites include "answering" his toy telephone, playing with his rideable truck and climbing in and out of his rocking chair.

He just figured out how to hike his leg and climb in the chair over the weekend, but now he's testing the limits by rocking in it backwards. I'm sure many an injury are on the horizon. Here are a few videos of him in action.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Our Walkie Talkie

Seemingly overnight, Grayson has gone from taking a two or three brave steps to nearly running. He is testing his mobility and free will to the max.

From discovering the cabinet that houses our pots and pans to deciding he wants to play in his room instead of ours in the morning, Gray is now able get where he wants to go.

Today at school he even got to go outside for recess with the toddler room. He hasn't moved up to the next class yet because there isn't an opening, but they let him play outside with the "big kids" and he spent part of the afternoon in their room as well.

I will admit, it's a pretty rough crowd in the toddler room. Lots of biters and pushers, some of which are nearly two years-old and quite a bit bigger. I guess it will toughen him up once he's in there full-time.

He'll have to kick the pacifier addiction if he wants to fit in with the toddler room. It's one of the only baby habits he has left and it's going to be a hard one to break. As you'll see from one of the videos Michael took tonight, he had a paci in his mouth and then found one while playing and decided he needed to carry it around, swapping them in and out occasionally for good measure. He just can't get enough.

Here are a few new videos so you can see his walking skills. In the first one he's walking to daddy and the second he's chasing Roxy around. She is not a fan of this walking stage by the way. I've caught her a couple of times up on her hind legs trying to push him over. Such a bully big sister.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Switched At Birth

When I was 10 years old or so, my mom, older sister and I watched a made-for-TV movie about two girls that had been switched at birth and grew up with the "wrong" family.

The movie was the perfect ammunition we needed to scare our little sister into thinking she was switched at birth whenever she did something strange or outside of our sisterly approval.

The days of her believing us are long gone, but today I've discovered hard evidence that Grayson may have been switched at birth. Disregard the fact that he has my eyes, his father's busyness, plus other hereditary traits, I am certain you'll see this proof as indisputable as well.

My son does not like the taste of barbecue sauce. How can this be? After all the barbecue kettle chips I devoured during my pregnancy, you'd think he would have developed a culinary palate for the flavor.

At school today, they served barbecue chicken for lunch and he would barely eat any of it. I know he likes chicken, so it had to have been the barbecue sauce.

I must say this news was deeply troubling when the teachers told me and after thinking about it all the way home, I can only come up with one conclusion. He was switched at birth.