Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello Sunshine!

This weekend we finally had warm enough weather to enjoy some time at the park. There is a great park close to my sister Emily's house that has a toddler playground and a big kid jungle gym.

After briefly swinging in the bucket swings and going down the small slide, Grayson was so over playing in the toddler area. There were several other kids there, but he kept eyeing the big kid play area.

We finally gave in and took him down the big slides. Not only did he love every minute of it, but in true big kid fashion, we couldn't get him to leave.

This slide is for babies.

Who cares about mini log cabins?

Come on dad, enough of this baby stuff, let's show mama how it's done.

We took a couple of videos from one of the medium slides, but they came out kinda grainy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Monumental Occasion

My sister Amy updates her blog Baby Detour literally 4-5 times A YEAR! But despite her lack of posts, I still check it nearly every day with the hope of new material (yes, I am an eternal optimist).

Surprisingly, she put a new post up this week. Click on the link above or the one on my blog roll in the left margin and check out my nephew Holt's new haircut. It's adorable! Don't you love his rockstar PJs too? (That was a trick question, we gave him those for Christmas.)

He's 8 months younger than Grayson and has already had several hair trims, but this is his first real haircut.

Not only does this post satisfy my craving for more news from my North Carolina-based family, but it also gives me a glimmer of hope that there may be an increase in post frequency from my sister (one new post and we're only two months into the new year!). Either way, I'll continue my daily stalking undeterred.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya

When I was at the toy store on Monday I couldn't resist buying Grayson some musical maracas that light up, sing and count when you shake them. He loves music and has begun dancing lately, so I thought they would be a fun surprise.

I video taped his reaction when we first handed over the shakers. It took him a little bit to figure out what to do, but overall I'd say they were a hit. You be the judge.

Here's this evening's performance:

P.S. In the last video it looks like I pushed Roxy off my lap, but she actually jumped off as I was trying to position her for the camera. Mike wanted me to clarify that so you didn't think it was doggie abuse. Crazy dog.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Girl Stuff

Today is my furlough day for work which is a political way to say leave without pay. What's a girl to do with time on her hands even though there's less money in her pocket? Shop of course!

Mike's probably reading this post holding his breath even though he knows I'm not much of a shopper, but I actually wasn't shopping for me. This month marks our niece Kayla's 8th birthday and our pseudo nephew Luke's 3rd birthday (he's technically a second cousin, but that's a minor detail). We also have a friend Eva turning 2, so it will be a big month of partying and cake!

I must say that shopping for both girls and a boy reminded me why God gave me a son. I'm just not very good at girl stuff. Even when I was young, I played office while my sisters played Barbies and school. My older sister loved paper dolls and my younger sister couldn't get enough baby dolls, while I enjoyed playing bank and grocery store with my cash register.

Even now I don't like to buy stereotypical girl gifts (sorry kiddos). I wandered the aisles of Toys R Us aimlessly for a while before finding some semi-educational and battery-free toys that I hope will be a hit. I guess only time will tell how they stack up to the My Little Ponies and Leap Frog video games.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our Big Helper

These days Grayson is all about helping out. When we empty the dishwasher, he puts his sippy cups away in the cabinet. When we change him into pajamas at night, he picks his clothes up and puts them in the hamper. And when we ask him to put his toys away, he's pretty good about that too (most of the time). I must admit this is a very nice developmental stage.

We're enjoying his need to help out and please us, and while we know this phase will be fleeting, we're happy to take what we can get.

Every day it's getting harder and harder to see our baby Grayson because he's been replaced by a walking and talking, independent kid. Before we had a child, I was talking to one of my friends (who has two kiddos) about the stages of childhood and she has an interesting theory about how different parents thrive at different stages of a child's life. Some parents are all about the baby stage, while others love when their kids are toddlers and even others prefer the older kid stages. I think I'm definitely leaning toward loving the toddler and young child stages.

No stage is without ups and downs, but at 17 months Grayson is quite entertaining on a daily basis.

I'm not sure what stage Michael will prefer. It's definitely not the baby stage. He was glad to get through the sleepless nights and novice parenting days and I can't say that I blame him. I think he's going to thrive in Grayson's tween and teen years, when he can teach him how to fix everything from cars to bikes to computers.

For now, we're both enjoying our new little helper and the daily laughs this kid provides.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Technical Difficulties

As many of you have noticed (and mentioned to me), the videos on my blog are going in and out of working. I've been checking the Blogger forums and help desk and they are aware of the problem and working on a fix.

So far I've done all the suggestions they posted, but now it looks like there's a bigger issue with the website code which they are working on. Hopefully the bugs will get worked out soon and (fingers crossed) the videos won't be lost or require re-posting.

Until they get this issue resolved, I apologize for the frustration.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ladies' Man

This afternoon Grayson's class has a Valentine's party which meant his daddy wanted him to look extra special for school today.

Michael typically gets Grayson dressed each morning and little did they know I overheard their conversation while picking out clothes:

Daddy: "Grayson we've got to look good today to impress the ladies. What do you think they'll like?"

Grayson: "Milk"

Daddy: "Well, you're probably right."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bed Head

You know you've had a good night's sleep when, despite not having much hair, you wake up looking like this...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grayson at 17 months

Grayson turned 17 months last week and I'm in shock at how quickly he's approaching his 1 1/2 year mark. This month he's learned the art of facial expressions. He's had some funny ones before, but I don't think he realized he had control over the expressions and now uses them for our entertainment.

His unofficial weight is just under 25 lbs and I think he's recently had a growth spurt because the 18 month pants that used to require a roll at the bottom now fit him just right. He's still nowhere near filling out the butt or leg areas, but the length is finally fitting.

Music, puzzles and books are still his favorite pastimes, closely followed by emptying out the sippy cup cabinet, standing/climbing on any chair or surface, and taking bites off of any food someone close by may be eating at the moment. Grayson also loves to "dance" and will stomp around in place when you ask him to dance on command.

We've implemented a new strategy when it comes to Time Out, now giving a warning and then counting to three. If he doesn't obey us by the time we get to three he goes into the Time Out corner. It has been effective so far with an added benefit of helping him learn counting as well (or at least the words one, two and three).

He is very into repeating words which has made us extra careful to enunciate in an effort to prevent confusion with inappropriate words that often sound like other words.

Another recent development is self awareness when it comes to bodily functions. He's really into "blowing his nose" which basically means realizing his nose is running and then blowing air out of his mouth into a tissue. Then, last night after dinner things got interesting when he ripped a big one and then looked at me and said, "Pooh pooh." Sure enough, he was right.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Child Labor

It's about time Grayson began earning his keep around the house. He loves the toy vacuum at school and was very interested in our new real one at home as long as it's not turned on. Don't get me wrong, he's eager to flip the "On" switch, he just regrets it once the noise cranks up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Row Row

Grayson really likes to sing and even though I'm not much of a singer, he gets a kick out of it. Of course, we have to do hand motions with each song, so that's part of the fun as well.

Lately, after he finishes his breakfast I ask him if he wants to sing. He always replies, "yes, row row," so we start by singing "Row Row Row Your Boat." He kept doing a hand sign that I didn't know so I thought maybe it was sign language for "boat" or "row" that he picked up from school. He only does it for that song and he does it every single time.

I looked up various signs online and it wasn't matching any of the words I thought it might be. Finally I tried looking up variations of boat and came across the sign for sailboat here. Finally! I had uncovered the mysterious hand motion. That was almost exactly what Grayson did every time we sang the song.

So proud of him for remembering this new sign, I went to his class and told his teachers the story. They gave me a strange look and asked me to show them the hand motion. When I did they told me they've never signed "sailboat" to the class and instead showed me rowing motions they make for that song.

I have no idea where he picked this up or why he does it only for that song, but it happens to be correct so I'm chalking it up to Grayson being brilliant. There is just no other logical explanation.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Driving School

After four days inside our snowbound house, you might expect us to get a little cabin fever. But we were in luck! It just so happened that the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race was on TV. As the name implies, this is a race that literally lasts 24 hours (you can imagine my excitement).

We began watching it Saturday evening, then went to sleep, woke up, took showers, ate breakfast, web chatted with Michael's parents, and then watched about four more hours of the race.

Michael was in car heaven and took advantage of the opportunity to begin training Grayson on the endurance and skills of Grand Am racing.