Saturday, April 1, 2017

Moving away from the baby stage, slowly but surely

I just looked at the calendar. In less than 5 weeks, Royce will turn one. BRB SOBBING. When Dalton turned one, I wasn't really too sad about my baby not being a baby anymore, since I had recently found out I was going to have another baby. This time, we definitely going to be a baby free household. That's not a bad thing, but it's always going to be bittersweet for me (and pretty much every mom I know). There's just something really special and sweet about having a tiny baby around, and I'll always miss that stage, no matter how many kids I have. I can't deny that I'm sad about fully moving away from the baby stage for the first time in my parenting life.

Of course it's wonderful watching your kids grow up, and I can't wait for Royce to be able to walk and talk. Especially now that Dalton can talk, because I had no idea how much fun it truly is until I experienced it. Royce is at kind of an awkward stage right now, where he is really curious and excited and wants to be part of things, particularly as a second child who always is chasing his big brother. But he can't walk yet, so he's limited in how much he can join in. I try to let him crawl around at the playground or science center or whatever, but all the fun stuff is higher up, and plus he's at risk of getting trampled by the big kids. I'm in no rush to be chasing two fast little runners, but I do think Royce will have a lot more fun when he figures out the whole walking thing. He's standing all the time, and starting to cruise!

As I've extensively documented here, I'm an amazon prime mom, not a Pinterest mom, and I'll be applying that lack of effort and attention to detail to his birthday. Notice, I didn't say party. While I enjoy going to parties thrown by people who are crafty and motivated and all that, I'm way too lazy to throw one. I have a friend generously making him a little smash cake, I'll probably blow up some balloons, and if the weather is nice, we will grill. One thing I am really excited for is to take Dalton to the store to pick a little gift for Royce. He's obsessed with singing Happy Birthday lately, so he's prepared.

Speaking of birthdays, Dalton turned two and a half last week!

He looooves to help us cook, so he was in heaven making his birthday cake and frosting, and, of course, eating it. While I mentioned before that he was likely done with his speech therapy, he was officially evaluated by a speech/language pathologist and he is performing at his age level! Early intervention was a (mostly) wonderful experience for us and helped Dalton so much. A lot of it was teaching us strategies to use as parents, which was awesome, since we were clueless. Yes, we are both teachers, but trust and believe that teaching pre-teens how to analyze the theme of a novel or solve two step equations did nothing to prepare us for parenthood. If anything, it hurt us because we talked up a storm to Dalton, and his teacher taught us that even though he could understand us, he couldn't copy it so we had to start using two word phrases that he could mimic. Fun fact - when your kid is speech delayed, you will get a lot of random people telling you that you should try this awesome innovative strategy that they used with their super advanced special snowflake: talking to him! It's like how if you are having trouble TTC, everyone tells you it's super easy to make a baby, just relax! Now we have a little bag of tricks to use to help Royce (from actual professionals, things beyond "talk to him"). Who knows if it will help, but at least we know slightly more than nothing this time.

So, Dalton is basically ready for college. He's also 30 pounds and over 3 feet tall!

He continues to find new ways to melt my heart. Including, but not limited to, announcing "that's my mommy!" when he sees me, saying "no thank you" to everything ("It's time to wash your hair" "No THANK YOU", and saying "thank you Royce" whenever Royce finds a toy that Dalton previously had no interest in but suddenly needs immediately so he takes it away. He does always find a replacement toy for Royce, but I'm not sure how much longer we have with that. Royce is starting to catch on and he's not pleased.

Royce is becoming an actual little person who interacts with us and is starting to crudely communicate that he has wants beyond what keeps him alive. He plays peekaboo with us, claps, tries to mimic how we use toys, and gets MAD when he take things away from him or move him away from whatever he was trying to get to (usually, the stove). 

I love seeing Royce's personality come out more and more. However, I knew things were going to be tough when being a mother of two moved beyond just keeping them both alive, and we're headed in that direction, fast. We use so much of our mental energy on Dalton, since he is talking and wanting to play and asking for things. Royce just goes with the flow and is along for the ride. I've started to get really guilty when I go to bed and think "Did I even talk to Royce today? Did I do anything that was just for him, to engage with him?". My sister is kind enough to offer to make one of those pinterest-y signs for Royce's first birthday. Last night, we were looking at Dalton's, and realized we didn't even know what to put on Royce's - like we couldn't even think of what his favorite toys were.

#Secondkidprobz for sure. I was all excited today to get some one on one time with him while Eric took Dalton to Home Depot for the craft workshop (they have it free on the first of the month!) and...Royce was ready for a nap as soon as they left. Womp womp. He's so sweet and easygoing, but I really want to try to get better at giving him at least a little more of my attention, even if he's not trying to demand it. I feel like I need to get to know him better, if that even makes any sense. I'm sure it's the same thing every mom of 2+ experiences, but I'm certainly open to advice!

We use the divide and conquer strategy for the most part, although I'm taking some liberties with the word "conquer". 

It's possible we aren't completely ruining them.

An update on my non-mom life: I'm running my second post second baby race tomorrow! Makes total sense right? It's a ten miler, and I won't lie, I'm nervous. I've been running about 3 times during the week, and a long run on the weekends. Last weekend, my friend Casi and I ran 9 miles, and ended at this amazing doughnut shop. So, in theory, I'm prepared. We will see. Eric and I have also been trying to do an upper body weights workout in our basement twice a week, because vanity/bathing suit season. Dalton is obsessed with joining us using the one pound weights, so if we try to slack, he shames us. Best motivation ever. 


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