Bonding with Grandparents

September 28, 2008

Last month friends of ours got married in Vermont. We decided to take this opportunity to have a weekend sans piglet and let him spend the weekend with Gran and Granddad. Well, turns out he got extra bonding in because he got to spend the weekend with not just grandparents but also his aunt, uncle and two cousins. Plenty to keep him entertained chasing after his 2 year old cousin Lexie and extra hands and eyes to keep him out of trouble.

We drove up Thursday night and all slept there that night. Then Friday morning we spent hanging out with my parents, trying to acclimatize Jace. After an early lunch, Steve and I drove off to Vermont, hoping Jace would be okay. Well, the report back was that he couldn’t care less that we left! He was having so much fun he didn’t even notice.

When Jace was first born, my dad was a little wary of holding him but it sounds like they got plenty of time together this weekend. There was lots of hugs, visits to the next door neighbor’s chickens and rabbit and a game or two of matador where Jace got to be bull while my dad waved a towel at him.

When we got back there Sunday afternoon, I think my parents were happier to see us than Jace. Not to say I didn’t get a fabulous hug from him, but both my mum and dad were exhausted. Their comment was that they had lots of fun, that he was welcome to stay again for another weekend but no longer than that since he completely tires you out!

Meanwhile, Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed having a weekend in a cute inn spending quality grownup time and sleeping in.

Terrible two’s come early?

September 17, 2008

Somebody forgot to tell Jace that he isn’t two yet. Jace has discovered that he has opinions and while he can’t verbalize them yet, he sure can get his point across with other actions.

He is not a big fan of having his diaper changed, probably more so lately since we have been battling diaper rash for the last couple of months. Both Sunday and Monday night, when being carried into his room for a diaper change, he decided that since his squirming wasn’t getting him out of it, that he would try taking a chunk out of the shoulder of the person carrying him. Yes, Jace now bites and it isn’t because he is teething. People recommend that when your kid bites you to sternly tell them “no biting”, put them down and walk away so they realize that biting won’t get them the attention they want. Of course in this case what Jace wanted was to be put down so that would rather defeat the purpose!

Another trick up his sleeve is bursting into tears and screaming when he doesn’t get what he wants. Last night he screamed when I got him undressed for his bath, tried to take him out of the bath, started to put pj’s on and then again when I went to brush his teeth.

And dinnertime is the biggest battle of all. Jace has decided that if he doesn’t like a food, the only place for it is on the floor. When I say doesn’t like, that doesn’t necessarily mean he has even tasted it, just that he thinks he won’t like it. Last night I made him corn pancakes with tuna fish in them. A few months ago he used to love the corn pancakes but last night he poked at them, put it on his tongue, spat it out, then threw it on the floor. And expected me to find him something else to eat.  My question is what to do? Do I become a short order cook and keep making things until I find one he will eat or do I just make things I know he will eat (fruit, pasta, mac and cheese, omelets, trader joe’s vegi pancakes, meatballs and sausage)  or  keep trying new things and getting frustrated when he refuses to even really try it?

I hope this gets easier as he gets some words to vocalize what he is feeling and gets older because otherwise I am going to go crazy.

Winter is Coming!

September 11, 2008

This morning it was in the 50’s when we woke up and a little nippy in the air. Made me realize that winter is approaching and wonder what we are going to do. Most weekend mornings Jace and I head out to the local park for an hour of running around, climbing, swinging and generally letting off steam. At daycare they go outside in the morning and afternoon to play. But soon it will be cold, and icy, and snowing which will put a damper in and keep us much more housebound that we are used to.  Not to say that you can’t go to the park when it is cold out but it will definitely slow us down some. And Jace has far to much energy to be kept inside our little home. I think he will be literally bouncing off the walls at some point (or at least off the couch!)

One thing I did find is that there is a local tumble gym that has open play on sunday mornings from 9am to 11am. Something tells me we might be heading over there a few times this winter in a effort to exhaust our little tornado. Got an other ideas for us? Post your ideas in the comments section below.

Vacation number 2

September 7, 2008

What do you get when you take 15 families, 20 kids, 1 dog and a big house in Vermont? If you answered insanity, you aren’t too far from the truth but a better answer would be a great time. For July 4th we rented out entire Bed and Breakfast outside of Stowe Vermont. The house was beautiful with a pool and huge common space for eating and playing. This vacation is an annual event that started the year Steve and I got engaged. Back then it was a slightly smaller place with no kids, lots of beer and Jello Shots. My how things have changed. The trip is very casual with group dinners and whatever else you want to do. Feel like taking a walk and want company, just announce your intentions and somebody will be bound to join you. Want to go off and do you own thing? Nobody will feel left out or ignored.

This year we invited Julia and Nicholas with William and Koos, Stef and Xander. It was nice to increase the social circle and William and Jace got to share toys, meals and lots of fun. Apparently Nick and Julia want to rent Jace for dinner occasionally because William ate so much more with Jace as a role model.

To see what the trip was all about, check out our photo section.

Jace brews beer, part 1

September 2, 2008

To brew your own beer, first you need to climb up near the top of the hop plants to get to the hop flowers:

Climbing the ladder

Next, sort through your harvest to select the ripest hops and minimize leaves and stems:

Sorting hops

Tickle Monsters

August 30, 2008

A few weeks ago, Steve’s mom sent Jace a book with accompanying finger puppets — The Tickle Monsters! Jace absolutely loves these (thank you!), and he instantly figured out how to operate his tickle monster finger puppets on his own (so that he can be the tickler and not just the ticklee).

All four Tickle Monsters:

Four tickle monsters

Jace preparing to engage a Tickle Monster:

Preparing the monster

Tickle Monster!

Tickle Monster!

Climbing in

August 28, 2008

Xander, what are you doing in that baby cage?

Xander in pack'n'play

Don’t worry, I’ll save you…

Climbing in

(photos courtesy of Xander’s parents)

Little Monkey

August 27, 2008

Jace’s nickname has definitely morphed from piglet to monkey. The other morning I look over at where he was playing in the corner with his garage and found him standing on top it. This evening he climbed up the down side of the slide and then later, onto the coffee table.

And the best part is when you pick him up and he clings to you like a baby monkey. Those are some of the best hugs out there. Well, until you need to put him down and find that after you have let go, he is still hanging there.

Independence

August 27, 2008

Jace has been trying to declare his independence of late. If you try to hold his hand while walking and guide him in a certain direction (like your intended destination), he plants his feet and tries to wriggle out of your grasp. If that fails and you try to pull him, he sits down.

He is also trying to feed himself. Sometimes the spoon even goes into the mouth, the right way up, with food on it! And sometimes it is upside down, backwards, and the food splats on the tray.

Right now the food has to be something sticky like oatmeal or hummus but we are heading the right direction.

Walking and Talking

August 23, 2008

Though we didn’t manage to say anything about it here at the time, Jace has been walking for a couple months now. He spent a couple days acting as though he was being followed around by a basketball referee (take just two steps and keep a pivot foot), and then went straight into walking as the primary mode of transportation, never really crawling again. This turned out to be a bit hazardous, since he hadn’t yet (still hasn’t, really) learned to look where he’s going, and the sport of being a toddler has resulted in a few minor injuries. Nevertheless, he’s more or less survived thus far.

His next big trick is talking and singing.

So far his vocabulary consists of the words “Uh-oh” and “Hi” (I think actually that’s probably the Japanese “Hai!”, used to indicate agreement). He occasionally comes out with the word “No”, and when we left him with the Sim clan for the weekend, Caroline tells us that he finished a bottle, lay back, stretched, and said quite clearly, “Ahhh… I like that.” Jace also chatters away, combining random collections of D’s, G’s, and Zh’s in unbroken sentences, the length of which easily rival those of my world history professor in college.

And then there’s the singing. Despite the inability to say any of the words, he does easily recognizable renditions of the happy birthday song and the alphabet song. I’m about to get started working on teaching him Stairway to Heaven, just so he can expand his repertoire a bit.