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.

 

 

 

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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.

Adventures in potty training; and the tale of the disappearing Bubby

It’s been awhile and so this is a 2-parter.

Part 1: Adventures in potty training

It may come as a surprise to exactly no one that potty training doesn’t happen overnight. And bribery only gets you so far. Mini M&M’s gave way to candy corn, which gave way to cookies, which were eventually replaced by $100 IMG_2134bills. OK, so we never got to that point, but the novelty of receiving a bite-size sweet in exchange for losing the luxury of just peeing or pooping your pants whenever you want, with no consequence or repercussions, apparently wore off. Most people have house-trained a puppy before, and while I realize it’s rather crude to compare Hannah to a pooch, I’m afraid our carpet has suffered a similar fate.

It feels like we’re through the worst of it though. From mid-September all the way through October we had a multitude of “accidents.” I use that term loosely because when the little stinker is smiling while soiling, well, it hardly seems like a mistake. There was the time she was hanging out in her undies watching Nemo or something when she stood up on the couch and before I could give the “sit” command she told her bladder to “release.” I saw what was happening and immediately scooped her up like a ladle in chili and futilely tried to stop the leak with my hand. You know when you want to make a hose spray and you don’t have a nozzle, so you use your thumb? Yeah, you get the picture. I think even Cleo got caught in the crossfire.

Want another one? Hannah’s in the kitchen playing with her “clay dough” (yes, in her underwear again…at this point we had pretty much decided her wearing pants at home was just increasing our laundry) when we heard and saw the tinkle start to sprinkle. This time I picked her up under her arms and held her out in fIMG_2500ront of me like a smelly infant and beelined to the bathroom. Sam was less than pleased as she watched Hannah leave a nice wet trail behind. Lesson learned was a big puddle on a hard floor is much better than a line of pee stretching across the room.

So let’s just say if we had one of those metal detectors that you see old guys in sitcoms using to sweep the beach, and that apparatus detected pee instead of metal, then the batteries would wear out in a heartbeat in our family room. Not to worry, though, future visitors of our home, we’ll be getting our carpets cleaned very soon and it will be like it never happened! At least until the carpet gets pulled up and we see yellow spots everywhere on the padding underneath. Hopefully that will be someone else’s discovery, as this carpet is new and will likely remain in this house longer than we will. Until then air fresheners and candles will do.

It’s now been more than 2 months since the potty training started and Hannah is no longer peeing every 20 minutes. She’s getting better at telling us when she needs to go. She’s still occasionally motivated by a candy corn or M&M, and a popsicle is a nice incentive as well, but accidents are truly just that for the most part and are fewer and farther between. Just in time for us to have another one come along and start the process over! Yay us.

 Part 2 The tale of the disappearing Buppy.

Hannah’s best friends are Ducky, Blanky, and Bubby. The first two are obvious – a stuffed duck and blanket that she’s had since her first Christmas when she was just 2 months old. However, her Bubby has been around since birth. We don’t know at what point she named her pacifier Bubby, but she did. We never called it that before and so you can imagine how she lost her mind one day asking for it by name and we didn’t know what the heck she was talking about.

They’ve been through a lot together, Hannah and Bubby. Through doctor’s appointments with what seemed like enough immunizations to protect a colt. As a comfort when we started having to leave her with strangers who became family when Sam went back to work. And as her daily and nightly sleep companion. Sometime a few months back we weened her down to just having it for naptime and bedtime, then it got to the point where she didn’t need it at daycare at all and we simply just enabled her at home to get her to go to bed without too much of a fight. All along though, Sam and I have both dreaded and looked forward to the day when Bubby would have to go bye bye for good. Little did we knoIMG_2393w it would be done for us without a hitch!

We read and talked to people about various methods of disposal. None really sounded like they would work, or we tried them and they didn’t work (0r maybe they would have but we just didn’t give them enough time…don’t judge us). Then someone at Sam’s work had an idea we liked – replace Bubby with a guppy. Well a Glo-Fish to be exact. We thought, that sounds fun, let’s give it a try. Then Hannah got sick, then she watched a movie with us that scarred her (Monsters, Inc…yeah yeah, in hindsight we should have known better), so we just kept putting it off week after week not wanting to rock an already nearly capsized boat.

Then the right moment came along, completely by accident. Grandma Deb came over to watch Hannah last Saturday night so we could go catch a late movie. We failed to leave a pacifier out on the counter or anywhere visible, so when IMG_2391it was time for bed and Hannah asked for Bubby, Deb told her it was gone. I can just imagine the confused and sad look on Hannah’s face, and it would have completely melted us I’m sure. Luckily, Hannah is much more rational when she’s with relatives that aren’t her parents, so she just asked a couple of more times, then meekly went to bed without Bubby for the first time in her short life. Of course, when she got up a 4am I gave it right back to her, but it was the breakthrough we needed.

The next day Sam and I held our ground during naptime and no Bubby was provided. It was then that we suggested to her it be replaced by a fishy. Hannah seemed to think that was a fair trade. Bedtime rolled around that night and again, “no Bubby, but you’ll get a fishy.” Lo and behold, it worked. It’s now been 5 nights of no pacifier and she’s pretty much stopped asking for it. Which is pretty much what we were told would happen and deep down what we expected would happen. However, we were skeptical – she was supposed to stay the night at my mom’s a few months ago during the summer when we neglected to pack a Bubby and she was inconsolable – so we didn’t have the highest of expectations.

Little Jake Jr. (not his real name) is due in March and he’ll most likely get his own pack of passies, so we’ll see how Hannah handles that. If we know her like we think we do, not only will she be pretty pissed about not having her Bubby, but I wouldn’t put it past her to start peeing on the floors again. She’s stubborn and feisty like that…should be interesting!

November 20, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

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