Give Me Five

Well, here we are. Hannah is half a decade old. When you say it like that it seems like a pretty long time, right? Well, I think most parents would agree that it flies. I’m sure I’m not the first one to say that when it comes to parenthood the days are long but the years 544466_10150888169785940_187973573_nfly by.  I can’t say that it feels like yesterday we were pacing the basement of Sam’s mom’s house trying to soothe Hannah to sleep, encouraging her first steps, or dismally potty training, because when you throw a second kid in the mix it all becomes a bit of a blur. But I do remember quite vividly the exact moment she was born, completely blue and silent, and that hour-long 5 seconds before they cleared her lungs and she let out the first of a million future wails.

We have a remarkable little girl. I know, I know, you think your kids are remarkable too. And they probably are. But it’s so incredible how much of a pedestal we put our own kids on, I’m not ashamed to admit it.  For all the parental training we went to, I think something that would have been the most valuable is if someone we respected told us: “Look, you’re going to think your kid is the greatest thing ever. Everyone does. But that doesn’t mean you have to go around telling everyone, including your kid, such a thing.” Humility isn’t easy and we all know plenty of people who are self-declared super-humble beings.

19424285_10109407802220799_8242603081089313193_n (1)My point is, I’m not going to go into all the amazing things Hannah does that your kid probably doesn’t. I’m not going to talk about how she’s pretty much the smartest preschooler in North America or that she’s funnier than Tina Fey and Chris Rock combined. Or even that she’s stunningly cute and beautiful (fact: if you google “cutiful” she’ll be at the top of page 1), but that’s not what I’m writing about tonight. That would be way too obnoxious and I’m way too humble to do that.

For posterity’s sake I do want to write a little bit about what she’s into. If you don’t care because you already threw up from my previous obnoxiousness then feel free to go back to your Facebook stream.

Hannah’s favorite activities: eating sweets, doing gymnastics, doing anything with her IMG_0179older cousins Monica and Mariah, who she completely adores and admires; spending time with her Aunt Heather and her many loving grandparents; going to the park; drawing/coloring, doing projects with her momma, playing with her world of little animals and people (Littlest Pet Shop, Palace Pets, Disney princesses, etc.), playing with Barbies, playing with stuffed animals, reading books, watching movies/shows/videos, swimming, riding her bike/scooter, playing with her friends in the neighborhood and at school, and, of course, making poop jokes.

Hannah’s least favorite activities: eating vegetables, getting her hair washed, taking naps, and sharing with her little brother. And, sadly, t-ball. Maybe she’ll come around in a couple of years, but since she was about two and a IMG_0096half it’s been pretty clear team sports may not be her thing. And I’m totally fine with that as long as she finds things to do that she loves and involve movement.

Dad’s least favorite things Hannah does: she watches those ridiculously useless and pointless surprise eggs videos on YouTube. I cannot fathom what so enchanting about them but she gets complete zoned in on them. I don’t go around kicking people in the shins a lot, I’ve grown out of that, but if I saw one of the people who creates those videos I’d put a boot on and take a Messi free kick right to their tibia. Also, she whines and throws fits a lot when she doesn’t get her way and that’s pretty annoying. But show me a 5 year old who doesn’t do that and I’ll call bullshit.

Sorry, that took a dark turn there. Back to Hannah. If you’re still reading you’re probably aware of most of these things. But here’s something that really only Hannah IMG_6018and I know – every time I drop her off at school I make her pinky swear that she’s going to have an awesome day, or some variation of that, and I usually get a kiss or five. But, I’ve noticed something the last couple months that shows that she’s getting older and makes me want to cry a little – she’s slightly embarrassed to do our little routine in front of her friends.

 

She’s developing some self-awareness, a huge part of maturing, which is awesome, because I want her to be mindful and confident. But while she’s always been a little shy about being in the spotlight, this feels more like “daaad, the other kids are watching, be cool and just leeeave.” I know she won’t say that for at least a few more years, and maybe she never will because I think she probably already knows that’s just going to encourage me to be even more embarrassing. I’m pretty excited about that part of her getting older. She’s as goofy as I am and the older she gets and the more she understands the real world, the more important I believe it is to have a sense of humor and not take one’s self too seriously.

One last story that is more for us to look back on. I mentioned Hannah can shy away from the spotlight and can be a little self-conscious when it comes to other kids.

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But she surprised me a couple of weeks ago when she showed some grit and “who cares what others think” spunk. She ran into another kid at the Y and knocked some teeth out of place – it was pretty nasty, a lot of blood, pain, and tears and we thought they were going to have to pull the teeth. And that would have been the start of an interesting couple of years. However, instead of the teeth coming out they went back into place, but are turning gray, which you can kind of tell from the photos. Hannah told me one of those days that she doesn’t care if the teeth fall out or turn gray and she knows that it might look odd and other kids might make fun of her – “I don’t care dad, it’s OK.” she said. I absolutely love that attitude and hope she carries it with her long after her old goofy dad is gone.

Happy 5th birthday to my lovely little girl. I can’t imagine life without her.

 

 

 

June 27, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 2 comments.

Look at those beach birds!

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end and it feels weird to say it’s September (happy birthday Sam!). We probably all say that every year, but we really do have a pretty short summer compared to, you know, warm states. This was definitely a fun summer, one of many firsts. The biggest highlight was our first family vacation – we went to Silver Beach in July. More about that in a bit. Other firsts include itIMG_3766 (2) was our first summer having two mobile kids instead of one; first Chuck E. Cheese birthday party (Hannah turned 4); Hannah’s first amusement park visit; our first vacation without the kids (technically that was April though); Hannah’s first helicopter ride; I’m sure there are more.

What I was planning to focus on is the first family vacation. First, from Hannah’s perspective. Then I’ll write a post from Logan’s.

Hannah is at an incredibly fun, cute, challenging, and frustrating age. She’s such a beautifulfun-loving, goofy, artistic, energetic ball of fire. But sometimes that turns into a wildfire and the defiant, moody, grumpy Hannah comes out to play. Four out of five times I can find a way to break that mood by getting her to laugh and smile. But there’s often times when I’m either not having it or she’s holding out and is just incredibly irrational. Such is life with a
daughter I’m told (sorry ladies, that’s just what I’m told!).

So vacation from Hannah’s perspective was a blast. There were some moments of frustration, but for the most part she was super well behaved and had the time of her life. She got to swim in a beautiful, clean, giant lake. Play on the biggest beach she’d ever seen. Play in the biggest splash pad she’d ever seen. Ride a carousel a dozen times. Explore a couple of children’s museums. Sleep in her oIMG_3806 (1)wn big hotel bed. Color and draw. And eat lots of ice cream and other treats.

Something we thought was pretty cute and funny was when Hannah saw some seagulls
she said “what are those?” We told her and she said in her cute high pitched voice, “noooo, those are beach birds!” So now anytime she sees as seagull it’s a beach bird.

If you read my last post on here you know Hannah loves art, “projecks,” drawing, crafts, etc. and she still absolutely does. She also has quite the imagination and flair for the dramatic so we’re thinking she might enjoy some kids drama classes. Of course, we love sports and want her to be active in them IMG_3894 (1)too, and her favorite by far is gymnastics. She also has enjoyed soccer and I’m pretty excited to see if she likes tee ball next year.

We did find out this summer that Hannah loves heights, roller coasters, or pretty much any kind of thrill ride. She got to ride in a helicopter at the Sweet Aviation open house, here’s the video. She sang and smiled the entire time. We also went to Paige’s Crossing and we’re sort of doomed now if we go back because we had unlimited rides, which resulted in riding the roller coaster approximately 25 times, and I’m not exaggerating. Here’s a video of that, I believe it was our 3rd run. There were 20+ more and she loved it the final time as much as the first.

That’s pretty much all that’s new with Hannah right now. She still eats like 5 things so that’s a bit problematic at times. We’re probably as much to blame for that as anything because we let it slideIMG_3506, but she is getting better at trying new things at least one or two bites at a time
.

Oh and we got a crazy ass dog. His name is Chance and he is really good most of the time. But I’m sure I’ll share some stories down the road about our adventures with him. He won’t be getting his own blog though.

Check back for an update on Logan’s vacation perspective here: https://adventuresoflojac.wordpress.com/ in a few days. Needless to say going on a trip with a 1 and a half year old is completely different experience. A year ago I was amazed at how laid back he was, how much he slept, how little he cried, etc. Well, things change.

 

September 1, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 1 comment.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

And the start of a whole new one. This just occurred to me. With Logan Jacob due any day now do I rename this blog, or start a new one for him? Feels like maybe he’s getting a raw deal. But considering the last time I had the combination of time, energy, and wits to write a post was last November, I don’t know how I’m going to keepIMG_2932 up with two blogs. Then again, that’s sort of symbolic, isn’t it, considering we’re soon going to be trying to keep up with two kids? Maybe that’s a little too deep for 12:30am on a school night.

So what’s happening with Hannah you ask? Well, when I last wrote she was on the cusp of mastering potty training. Or so we thought. Now it’s 3.5 months later and while she very rarely has a potty accident, her pooping, or lack thereof, has become the most talked about subject in our household. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I never thought I’d be so desensitized to human shit than I am right now.

We did have a bit of a scare a few weeks back, and we’re still not 100% sure what the hell was going on. Many of you know this, but she was having a really hard time using her hands for a couple of weeks. At first we thought she just had pins and needles from sleeping on them. Then we realized she was only using her pointer and thumb, first on one hand, then on both. Straightening her other fingers out caused immense pain, which as a parent is such a horrific feeling. This went on for a couple of weeks, we saw the family doctor, saw a neurologist, and finally it went away after a 10 day stretch of steroid prescription. It hasn’t come back so far, so that’s a good sign, but it was pretty scary and freaky for awhile here. That, combined with her being constantly sick all winter, and the fact that she’s back to waking up 2-3 times a night to insist Sam or I squeeze into her little twin bed, has made for an interesting 2015.

You hear people say all the time – “oh she’s at such a fun age” – and she truly is. Hannah is so quick to laugh at my dumb faces and noises, maybe she’s just humoring me, but I don’t care. I love it. It just tickles my soul that she cracks up at my flatulence, every single time. Cheap laughs be damned, I don’t care! She has a great sense of humor already, it’s amazing. Speaking of amazing, she’s become really good pals with a girl in her day care class named Amazing. I’m not kidding. It’s pretty damn cute watching those two dance, spin, and talk jibberish to each other.

It’s not all smiles and giggles though, as anyone with a toddler knows. Hannah will throw herself into a whining or wailing tantrum over the seemingly dumbest things – I dare anyone to give her a broken granola bar or piece of cheese, or God forbid you IMG_2637don’t peel her banana right. We have to pick our battles and we’re doing our best to not let her get her way when she throws a fit over something we deem minor and petty – but in her world it’s a travesty and she’s going to let you hear it for a minute or two. It’s fascinating to watch her mood flip 5 times in 15 seconds.

Like the title says, with a baby boy joining us soon life is going to turnIMG_2628 upside down. It’s such different feeling compared to when we were getting ready to have Hannah. That was a mix of nervousness and excitement, we read every book we could get our hands on, were completely prepared months in advance, and couldn’t wait for her birth day to arrive. This time around, I think because we know what it’s like having a newborn at home and at the same time know what kind of havoc Hannah is capable of unleashing on us at any time, I’d say that mix of nervousness and excitement are still there, but it’s like they’ve been thrown in a blender and it’s impossible to tell which we’re feeling at any given time.

I couldn’t love my daughter any more than I do, and I can’t wait to have a son, it’s a dream come true. But I know we have our work cut out for us. Luckily I’m married to an amazing woman and we are surrounded by a wonderful, loving support system, so bring it on. Just don’t hold it against me if these posts get reduced to bi-annual nonsense. Like Aladdin said, it’s a whole new world.

March 5, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

M&M’s will never taste the same

7823DD17-AAD6-4F17-A473-89EC720AEB72_zpsrrrbmria (1)A few weeks ago, about a month after her 2nd birthday, Hannah started showing signs of being ready for potty training. She’d pull at her diaper and say something to that resembled “change diaper” and she showed interest in using the little pink toilet that we had sitting in the bathroom. One of my favorite stories that I’ll be telling until I can no longer talk is the first time she actually took off her pants and diaper and went into the bathroom because she knew she had to potty – she proceeded to put her hands on the wall, lean forward, and spread eagle over the toilet so she could “pee like daddy.” She was about as accurate as me too.

Because our beloved sitter Vicki wasn’t up for potty training toddlers (she had 2 others in her care) we decided to expedite the inevitable and enroll Hannah into daycare about a month and a half earlier than we planned. This wasn’t an easy decision, for many reasons, not least of which was the fact that we’d soon be paying about 50 more dollars a week at a daycare compared to what we were paying for in-home care. However, because it’s all about the munchkin and no longer about the Benjamins, we got her signed up and enrolled. After a series of snafus with our first choice (to put it nicely) we pulled a switcheroo, and now we’re loving her current “school.” (I know Joan will read this – we love your school as well and may end up there at some point 🙂 )

Hannah is now at Grace Point’s Kiddie Prep School and doing great. They are very hands-on with the potty training. We’re a week in and she’s having 1-2 accidents per day, usually one at school and one at home. It’s not going to happen overnight, we understand that, so it’s a fairly taxing ordeal. Every time we go through things like this I have more and more respect for my brother and sister-in-law – man, I just cannot imagine doing all this x2 with twins.

While the daycare is successful with getting Hannah to sit on the throne using stickers as collateral, we’ve resorted to mini M&M’s, fruit snacks, candy corn, whatever it takes. And talk about a rampant little mind – all I want her to do is take a leak and Hannah goes from being engrossed in Little Mermaid to dancing to dropping her drawers in the bathroom and sitting for half a second to running around the family room giggling pants-less to back to sitting on the potty for 3 seconds then to a meltdown about Ducky not being with her then another meltdown about Mommy not being in the room…then finally finishing that potty session. And this is every 30-45 minutes. Exhausting.

Something no one tells you until you’re in the thick of it is that it’s called “potty” training and not “potty and poop” training for a reason. That’s because apparently learning how to drop a deuce on a toilet is not the easiest thing for a 2 year old to grasp – even one that’s related to me! Not surprisingly, it’s much more comfortable, natural, and satisfying to just let it go in your diaper, or now in our case, undies. There really aren’t too many messier situations than changing a poo-filled pull-up diaper or size 4T underwear. It’s become second nature with the regular Pampers – just undo the velcro, lift the butt, and slide the diaper right out. Now, it’s much more complicated than that with pull-ups or panties. And by complicated, I mean shit gets everywhere. Maybe I’m just bad at it, but it gets on her legs, feet, my hands, the changing pad, the dresser, everywhere. A couple of times I’ve felt like the kid in Slumdog Millionaire who really wants that autograph.

We’re looking at the bright side, though. We really don’t want to have two in diapers at the same time. And the second one will be here before we know it (the OB’s crystal ball says March 10 as a matter of fact!)…so no pressure or anything Hannah. She’s well on her way, but we know there’s a long way to go, and this road isn’t exactly paved with gold.

September 9, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Uncategorized, Updates. Leave a comment.

Things we learned after throwing a birthday party for a child for the first time…Part 1

Did you know…Latex balloons filled with helium do not float for 24 hours unless you specify that you need them to? We found this out the hard way in preparing for Hannah’s first birthday party. Thinking we could get ahead of the game, I went to Party City Saturday afternoon and had a bunch filled. When I got home I put them in the spare bedroom for safekeeping. On game day Sam went to get them and gasped at what she found: there they were, slumped pathetically on the floor, like scolded puppies with their ribbon tails between their legs. It was a shocking, confusing, heartbreaking and appalling scene. Just senseless, they were less than a day old. Later in the morning I went to Kroger to pick up the cake, ice, some other accessories and grabbed a half dozen more. It was then that I was enlightened to the 6-hour rule…apparently helium is a precious and rare gas these days, so they “water down” the air in the tank with oxygen, and you’re only guaranteed 6 hours of floating time. Complete rip-off, I know! Luckily for all the little balloon enthusiasts attending the party, the helpful helium tank attendant introduced me to “Hi-float,” which is apparently helium with a double-dose of Cialis, because it which lasts, much longer than 6 hours. Much to Hannah’s delight, those babies were still floating proudly today!IMAG1102

July 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Observations and musings. 1 comment.

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