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A Good Day

Today was a good day. Even though Zachary nursed twice – at 2:30 and at 5:30 am – he woke up at 6:30 for no reason and then at 7:30 to nurse some more in semi-sleep (I open the curtains to create “morning” and we curl in bed, nursing. He’s all warm and smells of sleep and milk and a bit of old spit-up, and as he dreamily slowly sucks, he touches my skin with his delicate fingers, It makes my heart flutter.

Hubby and Timothy make a brief appearance, Timothy all happy to see me, giving me a kiss, and then they’re off to have breakfast.

Then Zachary finishes and we cuddle a bit more and then I unzip his sleeping sack – and immediately he’s stretching. His legs go long and rigid, his massive thighs on dimply, his arms sticking out at funny angles… streeeeetch. I grab his feet – they’re always slightly sweaty (we call him Spiderman as if his has sticky feet so that he can climb buildings 🙂 ) and play a bit of pickaboo with his feet.

We change the diaper, coo back and forth (Zachary loves, loves, loves talking) and pop into the washroom to look at our reflection. Zachary always flirts with himself, smiling shyly, hiding in my shoulder, then stealing furtive glances at himself. Cute 🙂

We go downstairs and Timothy rushes to tell me that he pooped and peed on a potty, shining with pride.

They leave and Zachary and I go about our morning, Zachary agreeing to spend some time in the exersaucer as I am having breakfast.

After a short while, he’s ready for his first nap. We’re in the middle of training him to nap in his crib. A week ago, when we started, it took 50 minutes for him to settle down. Now he usually settles down within 5-10 minutes. I rush through shower-teethbrushing-etc.

We have a walk in the park planned with other moms and babies this am, so I actually end up waking Zachary up so as not to be late. We have a nice long walk along the lake, Zachary has another nap while we walk. We stop for nursing and changing, spend some time playing with the babies on the blanket on the grass right by the water in a cool breeze. The breeze brings a rain, which we wait over grouped under the tree and then trek back once the rain turns into spitting.

By the time we’re back – it’s way past lunch time and we’re starving. We waltz into a nearby thai restaurant and end up sitting there for nearly 3 hours, chatting, bouncing babies, nursing. Zachary is pretty cool. He whines a bit, but is for the most part happy to sit in my lap and look around – or jump. He’s all about bouncing these days. I think this must have been the first time he was up for 3 consecutive hours (not counting the screaming runs he had in his first month).

We finally say good-bye to our mom and baby friends at 4 pm and drive to pick up Timothy from daycare. Zachary promptly falls asleep in the car. We pick up Timothy – one peeing accident at daycare today. His teacher says he’s ready to be transferred to preschool, as far as requirements go. So it depends on spot availability whether he’ll transition in August or September. Can hardly wait – that’s a few hundreds less per month!!!

As Zachary is sleeping, Timothy and I linger and play a bit. We pretend that the staircase is a sea and there’s a crocodile living there, trying to bite our feet. We keep running to check whether the crocodile is still there and then running away fast, saving our feet from the cannibalistic crocodile.

We drive home, leave Zachary on the ground floor in his carseat to continue his nap and go upstairs to have dinner. Timothy is enjoying his cereal with milk these days and thankfully he’s getting better at getting the milk in his mouth. Less and less milk gets spilled in the process. Although he still hasn’t figured out which hand is the main one for him. He uses both interchangeably, I can’t notice any preference whatsoever.

Zachary wakes up, I nurse him and then stick him in the jolly jumper, where he happily jumps for half an hour as Timothy and I cook chicken (well, I cook and Timothy pushes the ladder around the kitchen watching everything I do, asking question, and insisting it’s his turn to stir).

Hubby comes home earlier than usual, family is happily busy. Hubby spends some time with Zachary, allowing me to take the long-awaited bathroom break. Then Timothy poops on the potty. Yay!

And then it’s time for bed. More nursing, quick beeline into Timothy’s room for the night’s hug and kiss, and kids are in bed and it’s time for us the adults to chat and dine and relax…

Ah, that was a nice day. Unlike yesterday 🙂

Night Terrors?

It looks like our Timothy is going thru night terrors. For the past week, he’s been waking up every hour or so for the first half of the night, crying.

When I watch him on the monitor, I can see him stretching his hands in front of him, looks like he doesn’t actually see anything. And then when I walk in, he usually fights me off: doesn’t want to be held or cuddled. Just keep crying and crying, and THEN he asks me to hold him.

Google says it’s night terrors. Unlike nightmares, this is a weird feeling of overwhelming fear that seizes the baby when he goes from one sleeping phase to another. They’re crying but not fully awake – hence the fighting you off. They don’t actually realize you’re in the room. Or that you’re their mom.

It says night terrors are often caused by lack of sleep. True, Timothy has been waking up earlier than usual for the past week – and today for the first time (like, ever?) he fought nap time. He kept crying and crying and crying and crying… for like half an hour!!!

He’s finally asleep now, but I hoped he’d have a longer nap today… now that he fell asleep a full hour later than usual, don’t think that’s gonna happen.

I’ll just try to get him to bed earlier than usual today, I guess.

I feel so sorry for him, the night time crying is so heartbreaking… 😦

Horrible Mood

I’m in a horrible, horrible mood today.

My head is aching again. It started to ache yesterday and I was waking up through the night with the headache still killing me just behind my eyes, and it is still aching today. It feels like there’s a ball of pain rolling and rattling behind my eyes. It’s especially bad when I roll from one side to the other in bed.

Hubby has to work today, so I am stuck alone with Timothy who keeps driving me up the wall with his relentless throwing.

After an incident a week ago where he threw a stone right into another toddler’s forehead, we announce war on throwing. So since 7 am today, I keep removing whatever Timothy send flying to the upper shelves where he cannot reach stuff. I even gave him a couple of time-outs in his high chair, although I am sort of against timeouts.

I literally am going insane. His throwing is driving me SO mad. He threw crayons down the stairs. When I took the rest of crayons from him, he started sending his nesting cups down the staircase. When I took those away, he threw a book there. At that point I gave him timeout.

He stopped throwing things down the staircase after that, but he keeps throwing. Stuff. He threw the cucumbers out of his snack plate all over the floor. He collected them when I asked him. He took puzzle pieces out of a box and immediately sent them all flying around the room. I took those away, too. He threw more food, more toys, more puzzles. I am running out of space to put things out of reach.

I am running out of patience. The persistent headache doesn’t help. I really feel furious – because I feel so helpless. Nothing seems to work, he just keeps throwing things.

He threw a car that landed in my lip yesterday. He narrowly misses my head all the time. And while I am fairly agile – other toddlers aren’t. And what about the time when the baby arrives? I soooo worry about Timothy throwing something into baby’s head, eyes, etc.

I don’t know what to do.

I am sure once the headache passes, once I calm down, once the playground dries up after yesyerday’s rain and we can go out, after hubby arrives to bring some relief – things will get better.

But right now I am at my wits’ end.

On Timothy

Timothy is a very busy 19 month boy.

He’s talking a LOT. He has over 50 words in his vocabulary, most of them in English (not surprisingly, English words are short and easy to pronounce, unlike the Russian ones… anyone would prefer saying “cookie” over “pietchenka”, right? 🙂

He says all the obvious ones like mama, papa, no, sit, etc. – and animal sounds (and sign language signs). He has more complicated words and even phrases like “outside” and “what’s that?”. He even knows Mars – the planet. Go figure. He still can’t tell the difference between moon and sun 🙂 But overall this whole talking thing is so much fun – and makes things so much easier! He can say if he wants to drink (that word is one of the few in Russian!), or if he wants cookies, or if he wants to read a book (which sounds more like “buck” :)) He also babbles all the time and comments what he’s doing. Like he would grab a book, sit on a pillow on the floor, and comment: sit! (For a few days we couldn’t understand why he kept saying “shit” 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

He started singing – I am assuming they have been singing “Mister Sun” at daycare cause he bends his knees rhythmically, clutches his hands and chants: sun! sun! sun! Only it sounds more like “thun”. Charming 🙂

Hi finally has figured out how to give real kisses, with the sound. Melts our hearts.

He started having toddler moments when he would fly off the handle in an instant, wailing and crying, and pointing at nothing in particular, declining whatever we offer (trying to decipher what he wants), pushing us away and even kicking/slapping. He refuses to be hugged, kissed, or even touched when he gets in such a mood. And he can keep going for 20 minutes and then finish it just as abruptly and proceed happily with his meal or whatever he was doing.

He had his first unaccompanied ride at a Ukrainian festival the other day. He was extremely happy the first few rounds, laughing excitedly, but then he started stretching his arms towards us, and then crying – so they stopped the ride and let us take him off 🙂

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He loves the playground.

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He is managing to climb increasingly complex ladders. He fearlessly plops on his belly to go downs slides (I guess that’s the way they teach them to go down the slides at daycare?) – although he hurt his hands a few times like that but now knows to keep his hands off the surface of the slide as he rides down.

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He’s terrified of water fountains for some reason, but loves wading pools and puddles. Yesterday he and another boy got SOAKING wet running through a splash pad (after the fountains switched off) and Timothy ended up falling on his bum in this puddle 🙂

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He understands pretty much everything. If we say let’s go for a walk, he runs for the gate, starts shaking it, saying “outside!” If we say let’s get your shoes off when we get home, he runs and sits on the bottom step of the staircase and outstretches one foot. He runs for the gate when we say “let’s go sleep” and attempts to climb his chair when we say “time to eat”.

He is starting to help us – like taking clothes off the drying thingy, watering plants in front of our house – and recently bringing any piece of garbage he finds (mostly pieces of his cheerios) to the cupboard that hides the garbage bin, waits for us to open the cupboard door and the bin – and happily throws away whatever it was. And he puts things away when we ask – like bringing his books back to the shelf or the toys back to their bins. The only thing he refuses to keep in order are markers and crayons. He just loves throwing them all over the room.

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He loves dancing. Not to just any music, mind you. He hates ABBA, for instance (which is like a personal insult to me :)), but loves Gwen Stefani 🙂 And he was dancing all over the Ukrainian festival, attracting all the old ladies’ attention!

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He is so, so cool. In fact, Timothy now keeps exclaiming “So cool!” all the time 🙂

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Best Mother’s Day Gift?

I think – I think – that yesterday Timothy figured out that I am his mom. That is, I think he started calling me “mom’. He was looking at me and saying “mama”. And then kind of trying to get my attention with “ma” here and there. And then some more “ma” today…

If he’s truly started saying “mom” then he picked the perfect day for that – mother’s day!