Thursday, July 28, 2011

The trials and tribulations of Forrest....

Oh Forrest, the 2 year old. He is quite the mess these days. And is driving us a bit crazy. He can turn from a sweet, lovable, talkative, amazing, interactive boy to a 2 year old hellion faster than you can repeat his name.
Of course, he has had big changes recently in his 2 year old life...
Okay, more than big, to his eyes, I'm sure his little world has been rocked!
I mean, just the new big brother role is enough to cause some major behavioral changes. And then add a new daycare, and then add a two month at home stint with mama and the new baby just PRIOR to starting the new daycare just for a REAL contrast shock, and you've just about got it covered. Oh yeah, and then the constant stream of family and friend visitors, and potty training just for fun....Whew.....
Couple all that with the typical needy, often whiny, very often, (in F's case) tendency to be a bit agro and agressive when he cannot communicate and WHAM, you have a character that is for all intents the Tazmanian Devil  Forrest Fulton!!!
Except this is our son we're talking about. And violent fits of yelling, hitting, screaming are not in my ideal scenario of a peaceful family home. And, more realistically, are not in my scenario of my often messy, chaotic, but loving home of a 2 year old and infant. And....when the hitting is making it's way into the new daycare, well, just not tolerable. Forrest is a very physical kid. Physical in mostly good ways until recently. He can hike up 200 vertical feet on our river trail and loves doing it, loves the challenge, won't let us help him! This hike makes most adults sore for days, and many just avoid it entirely because of it's difficulty. Not Forrest. He's walked over a mile on dirt roads all while pushing his bike when he was not much older than 12 months. For the most part we conquer his need to be physical with good, healthy physical activity. But lately this balance seems a bit out on sync.
I so love Forrest. And I feel so bad for him really in this time of change. Dropping him off to his new kiddie care as he looks at me with sad eyes, or starts to cry right from the get go is absolutely no fun. I also know that this is completely expected for weeks, even months when a toddler starts a new school. I also know hitting is VERY common and very normal in the life of a 2 year old and maybe even beyond. It just doesn't seem so normal when it's so prevalent in our home.
I know a lot of it has to do with his language skills or lack there of. Don't get me wrong, his talking has actually taken off recently. He knows too many words to count and understands most others better than we even realize. But I think he still lacks the ability to express himself when he is upset, mad, scared, angry, etc. And he is very emotional I'm sure in all of the new experiences he is taking part in over the past few months. When that happens, he hits or screams instead of telling us how he is feeling.
We do timeouts, reminders to use his words, etc. but we seem to be at a stale mate.
I also must acknowledge that maybe this daycare is not the right place for our little boy. On paper, it's perfect. They have animals that Forrest loves, (horses, dogs, goats, pigs.,) They're easy going attitude and relaxed way of doing things more closely mimics our lives, and they also have a preschool program which Forrest can easily transition to so we don't have to move him again to another school. reality their setting may include just a few too many kids for Forrest's liking, (he's a kid that enjoys the social interaction of kids but can very easily get freaked out and scared by a group of kids, he likes his personal space...) I'm not ready to throw in the hat and trust the care givers to let me know if they feel this is not a great fit for him, but still, it does make a mama worry.
And worry,
and worry....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 weeks young...

Our little Talin is in the double weeks that is. He seems to be getting cuter by the day all the while staying cuddly and lovable. He is sleeping pretty darn well at night giving his mom some good 4 hour stretches every now and then  and is still the champion breast feeder. Bottle feeding breast milk and pumping for his mama is going much smoother this time around. I'm keeping a good little supply stocked in the freezer so far. Forrest was rather voracious in his eating, making it hard to keep any supply, but so far Talin is living up to his mellow personality.  This next Monday will bring his 2 month physical and shots...not looking forward to that one....
Sister Natalie just left yesterday and has been visiting for the last week from Massachusetts. We all loved having her here and her visit was all too quick. Forrest loved the great Aunt Nat play mate and Talin was always up for a good cuddle from his auntie.
My mom is still here, helping out so SO much. We were lucky enough to get all of us on a float down the river. Yep, ALL of us, kids included! At 9 weeks and some odd days, Talin has done his first river float. He slept like a champ in his car seat, waking for a little look around and snack before going down for another nap. It was a fun adventure to say the least. Probably not so relaxing for my mom who had the job of entertaining the Forrest boy in the drift boat, but very memorable, that's for sure!
We can't believe how quickly time is flying by. Talin is flashing smiles all the time, gaining head control by the minute it seems, and can now bat at his toys with his hands a bit, I'm sure looking forward to the day where he and his brother will do more than JUST smile at each other.... ;-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Liz and my Mom...notice the "FUN" spelled in the sand! Pretty much sums up these two!!!
 My mom is here visiting! AKA, "Granny" came to visit with great family friend Liz. Liz unfortunately was only here for a week, but my mom is here for the month of July and boy oh boy are they fun! Our kitchen has never been so spotless, Forrest is just loving all the granny and Liz attention, and our whole family is loving the visitors.
Liz and Mom, at the river

Forrest and Talin loving the Granny and Liz play mates!!!

One of many stories with Granny....

Baby T and Granny meet....
As soon as Liz leaves, Aunt Nat comes! This is coming right as I make the transition to go back to work and it is just perfect to have extra sets of hands to help out. It does TRULY take a village....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The good, the bad, and all the little stuff in between...

 I'm not going to pretend that being at home with our new family of two kids has been all roses. It's been, well, TOUGH! From the needy 2 year old with the defiant streak, to the endless diapering, laundry, meals, etc. it is quite an adjustment. Just the adjustment from being at work, to being at home, and from Forrest being a daycare three days a week, to now being at home 24/7 is tough, not to mention gaining a newborn. We've had good and bad days, or more like good and bad hours. That is what is really amazing, how quickly a bad set of moments can morph into great memorable times.
Such as.... when your 2 year old has beamed you and his little brother with the cold hose water for the 18th time, thoroughly soaking the both of you and waking the little guy from his brief sleep that was OH SO NEEDED on this fussy infant day, you snap. You yell...perhaps even loose your temper and feel the need to spray the hose on yourself to cool off your hot head. He goes in time out for the 10th time, (hmmm I wonder if it is working....) and when you release him from his hold you decide to go on a walk...right then and there. Wet, naked 2 year old, (yes shoes on,) postpartum flabby mama in her bathing suit, and all. So down the dirt road you walk, without the stroller as you know the toddler has energy to burn, and you are finally happy that there is some quiet as the 2 year old is happy as can be walking up the "big hill" and you would do anything for the peace. The infant is FINALLY sleeping, albeit a bit steamily, in the sling. You start to enjoy yourself. Your 2 year old starts to sing the cutest song about the butterflys, the bears, and do a little jig, naked, in the middle of the dirt road. You laugh to yourself and contemplate your neighbors expressions if they were to run into you in this hot, dusty, naked, and beautiful moment.... Then the dad drives up in his big truck and the 2 year old screams in delight as he heard the big truck coming and you give a sigh of relief at the sight of your partner in crime here to help, as you know the walk can't last forever.
Moments like this happen ALL THE TIME. I wish I would write them down more. On this same crazy afternoon we had also painted, as shown in the pictures below. I was *trying* to have different activities for Forrest so we could avoid the meltdowns, endless defiance, and mama crazy times that seem to be occuring more frequently. It was great, for about 10 minutes, and then the whole hose thing happened and well, you know the rest.

In looking back at this great day of blue and green feet I will remember the good times, the precious times, and I hope NOT the poorly tempered mama moments. After days like these I really WANT to be a better mother, and not loose my cool.
I think I'll be taking lots of walks in this long journey of raising kids...:-)

Happy 4th of July!

We had a great day today, celebrating the 4th on Arcata plaza with good ol'4th of July fair Humboldt style complete with reggae music, organic free range hot dogs, balloon animals, hula hooping and lots of beer and oysters for the adults. This was my first time at the festivities and Forrest, Talin, and I had a good time with good friends for several hours this afternoon.
Talin was a trooper! Either wide eyed at all the excitement or sound asleep....

Forrest and neighbor Jerry

Forrest's first sparkler...VERY wary at first, I think I like that!

Liking it more!
Naps were had by the boys and then for the evening we went to our good neighbors house for a good neighborhood fireworks show! They don't blow off the real kind of fireworks out here where we are due to fire danger and the Eureka show is often covered in fog so this was it for us! Strawberry and vanilla icecream as well as more drinks topped the evening off and Forrest got his first real show of fireworks. He liked the sparklers okay but wasn't too much of a fan of the bigger fireworks that were noisemakers. A bit too much for him!
It was a great day none the less. One tired Forrest boy hit his bed hard tonight!