On Family

My mom really cherishes the memories she has of us kids when we were little. She’ll tell us stories of cute things we did (sometimes rather repeatedly 🙂 ). Because I’ve heard these stories so many times sometimes I kind of have flashes of déjà vu when E does something my mom told me I used to do as a child myself.

his weekend E ran unprompted to the corner of our yard set aside for a garden (but which is currently only growing dandelions) and carefully picked a bright yellow flower. And then he ran back to me and proudly thrust his little flower up at my face and said “Flower for mama!” It was very sweet.

I did the exact same thing when I was two or three. My mom relishes retelling the story, delighting in the toddler sweetness. I’ve heard it recounted so many times that sometimes it feels like I almost remember when it happened, fist clenched tightly around a yellow weed as my chubby little legs pump across the grass.

Like most people, my family is of essential importance to me. My religion teaches–and I believe–that families are able to be together after this life. The more I live and I experience the same things as a parent that I did as a child the more I feel like a link in a gleaming chain that stretches on and on.

Very Polite

Good manners are pretty important to me (probably because I grew up with a Korean mom and a dad from the south) and I’ve been trying to instill them in E. He has saying “thank you” and “please” down pretty well so now I’m trying to teach him how to introduce himself.

This morning it kind of seemed to click. During breakfast he looked me in the eye and announced, “Hi! I’m eeeott!” I praised him effusively and he beamed.

But my parental pride promptly dissolved into giggles when he continued on: “Hi, I’m Mama!…Hi, I’m cereal!…Hi, I’m milk!…Hi, I’m bowl!…Hi, I’m chair!…”

E’s Birthday Celebration

E had a great birthday yesterday. My sister-in-law Miranda and I took the kids up to Discovery Gateway, a children’s museum in Salt Lake. They loved it. There was lots for them to do and explore.

L and E in a fire engine conveniently built with two steering wheels.

E and L at a construction play site.
(Lately E has been really into hats. If there’s one around, he’ll put it on. Last week he was wearing some other kid’s hat when I picked him up from daycare at the gym.

Clambering around in a defunct Life Flight helicopter than was donated to the museum.

A, Miranda’s daughter, was a trooper while we were there.

After we got home I baked E some dairy-free, egg-free cupcakes from a mix by Cherrybrook Kitchen and then E and I went to the store to buy him some balloons (still one of his very favorite things). When N got home from work we had dinner and then cupcakes and presents.

The cupcake (and frosting) was well-received.

We gave E a Yo Gabba Gabba themed toy guitar. (He keeps unwinding the strings on his ukulele so we thought he’d do better with a string-less toy.)

And this toy car. Both were big hits.

E had a great day. He learned the word “birthday” and kept shouting it in excitement. It was a lot of fun.

A humbling moment

This morning E asked for a drink as soon as he got up. So I went and got him a cup of juice (he still won’t drink soy milk but his doctor said it’s find as long as he takes a calcium/vitamin D vitamin). We went back upstairs to N’s and my bedroom to hang out while N got ready for work.

I don’t remember what set him off, but E shouted something and threw his sippy cup on the floor–which is definitely not allowed. So N and I asked him to say “sorry.” E wiggled and squirmed and flirted and danced around the room, doing everything he could to avoid saying sorry. We talked about how we shouldn’t throw cups on the floor. We took turns telling him he could get his juice back as soon as he said sorry but nothing seemed to work. This went on for about ten minutes.

Then a bolt of inspiration struck and N asked if maybe E had trouble saying the word “sorry.” E does pretty well with some two-syllable words but even then he sometimes drops their initial consonants. So I asked E to say “ree” and he did so immediately.

I handed him his juice and he ran around the room giggling. I felt like a bit of a dolt. Here we thought E was just being stubborn and refusing to apologize when we were asking him to do something he was incapable of doing. E sometimes seems like such a big kid when he’s being sassy or following instructions. But I need to keep in mind that he’s not even two yet.

Lucky Girl

It started with the haircut.

I like E’s hair on the longer side but lately it’s been threatening to enter mullet territory so this morning on the way to the gym we stopped at this place that specializes in kids’ haircuts. I was bracing myself for the worst: the first time E had his haircut he cried and almost fell out of the little car he was seated in, the second time he really freaked out and repeatedly tried to to stand up.

But this time E was a dream. He was excited to sit in a little car and watch an Elmo video and graciously condescended to let the stylist snip away at his hair. He didn’t cry once, even when the stylist trimmed around his ears with the clippers. I felt so proud of him. He suddenly seemed a lot older. (By the way, if you go to the local Cookie Cutters ask for Weston. He’s great.)

The beginnings of a toddler mullet–it had to go.

The long suffering customer.

The dapper young gentleman.

After the haircut the rest of the day was a dream. We went to the gym and E went into daycare without fussing. I worked out on the stair machine and read a good book. Then we went home and we ate lunch. E went down for a nap and I folded laundry and watched an episode of Primeval. When E got up we went to the store to run some errands. As we were leaving the store it started pouring rain–it was coming down in sheets. I hadn’t brought an umbrella so I bought one at the store and gathering my bags and holding E I ran out to the car. E thought the rain was super funny and even though my pants and shoes got soaked I was laughing too.

N was already home when we got home and was doing the dishes. E and I played the piano (i.e. he sat on my lap and banged away at the keyboard) for a while and then I fed E dinner. It was N’s turn to make dinner and so he made a delicious kimchi jjigae. While the soup was simmering I did some stuff for work and then we ate and watched a tv show. And then I went to bed.

I know it sounds like a fairly uneventful day. Nothing really newsworthy happened. But all day long I was struck over and over by how blessed I am. I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself for the occasional days when everything seems to be going wrong and I wallow in self-pity: I’m blessed with a wonderful family to love and who loves me. I enjoy a standard of living that 98% of the world can only dream about. I have a healthy body as does my family. I have the means of working for my own satisfaction and to help my family. And I have enough income that if I need to buy a $12 umbrella I can do so without worrying about if I’ll be able to pay my other bills.

Pretty awesome stuff.

How about you? Is there something that you’re especially grateful for today?

A seat at the table

E has always been kind of a late mover: he crawled late and walked late and it wasn’t until this last week that he really figured out how to climb up on chairs. But now that he’s figured it out he LOVES siting in the chairs at the dining table. Unfortunately he’s not always aware of where the edge of the seat is and we’ve had quite a few spills. But he’s getting the hang of it.

E is on strike

For over a week now E has refused to drink any soy milk and I don’t know why. (In case you didn’t know, E has serious food allergies to several things including cow’s milk which is why he drinks soy.) For the last several months he has been taking a bottle of soy milk before his nap and one before bed time but over the last few weeks he’s been drinking less and less of his bottles.

Then about a week ago he just quit cold turkey. He doesn’t want anything to do with the soy milk. If I pop the bottle in his mouth he’ll fill his mouth up and then let the milk dribble out the corners of his mouth and down his neck. He thinks it’s hilarious (but predictably, I disagree).

I’ve tried putting it in a sippy cup but as soon as he tastes what it is he spits it back out. I’ve also tried a couple different brands of soy milk and even chocolate soy milk but it doesn’t make a difference. It’s pretty frustrating. He’s been drinking soy formula/milk for eight months. What changed? What’s going on inside his wee little brain? His behavior is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

I worry that because he can’t have other calcium-rich foods like yogurt or cheese he’s not getting enough calcium but he does takes a couple of those gummy calcium vitamins a day which should help. I don’t want to overreact but I just don’t what to do. Should I just let it slide for a while or if I should call his pediatrician to see what he says?

Meh. What do you think? Any ideas?

Fun was had (eventually)

I had been wanting to take E to the local pool for a while now. I decided to take him yesterday because school gets out today and I figured it would be better to go when it wasn’t super crowded–you know, in case he freaked out. Which he did.

I honestly thought he would really like it. E loves taking baths. Anytime I turn on the water in the laundry sink that we use for his baths (it is super deep so he still fits) he runs into the room and hopefully starts tossing his bath toys into the sink. When he realizes that no, we aren’t taking a bath right now, he usually has a mini tantrum.

Anyway, the whole experience started out poorly. E was totally freaked out by the swim diaper. He did not want to wear it and kept trying to take it off. I changed him at home because E hates public restrooms (he is afraid of loud toilets) and so I figured the less time spent in the locker room the better. But, novice that I am, I forgot that swim diapers don’t really absorb anything: they’re just there to catch poop. So when we’re walking through the lobby and E slips and trips on some water on the floor I was first annoyed at someone having split something and not having cleaned it up but then very quickly the annoyance turned to embarrassment as I realized that E had probably um, made the water himself. But they were very nice about it. (Lesson learned–change into swim diaper at the pool.)

E was fascinated by the pool and the people in it but the fascination quickly turned to horror when it became apparent that, surprise, surprise, we were going in the water. The pool includes a little toddler section where the water’s only 6-12 inches deep and there are two small water slides. My friend Kristin and her little boy were meeting us at the pool and were already in the water when we arrived. As soon as I carried E into the water he started freaking out. He was terrified. When I sat down in the water he scrambled around in my lap trying to climb up me so the water wouldn’t touch any part of him. I was seriously thinking that we might have to leave. But little by little we splashed around and he got more and more comfortable in the water. After 15 minutes or so he was okay sitting in the water by himself and even going down the water slide on his stomach.

We ended up staying for about an hour and a half and E cried and cried when we left. I loved swimming when I was a kid and I’d like him to be comfortable in the water so I think I’m going to try and take him to the pool maybe once every other week or so. Hopefully next time we’ll skip all the histrionics and go right to the fun part.