• When You’re Called…

    Leon called me over from the other side of the house, while he was eating lunch and while I was making a spreadsheet for the house…to tell me he wanted tickles.

    (He got tickles, because you really only go through that kind of effort when you’re desperate for tickles.)

  • Bartering with a Toddler

    Leon: “Time for night-night?”
    Me: “No, not quite yet.”
    Leon: “Five minutes?”
    Me: “No, fifteen minutes.”
    Leon: “No. Five minutes.”
    Me: “Ok, five.” 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Sometimes My Kid is Pretty Darn Cool

    Sometimes motherhood is about wiping butts and calming tantrums, but lately it’s been about being silly and loving openly. 

    Leon has been making me laugh constantly lately — sometimes unintentionally on his part. On Sunday night, he realized that a certain facial expression he did made me laugh, so he did it constantly for the next 30 minutes. And the night before that, Minh asked him if he’d share one of his chips, and Leon broke off the tiniest crumb of a chip to share.

    He’s also got a sensitive, sweet side. One night he was still sitting up in bed over an hour after his bedtime, and when I went upstairs to see what was going on, he said, “I need a band-aid my knee.” So to humor him, I went downstairs to get him a band-aid, covered his week-old scab with it, and tucked him back in. As I was leaving, his raspy little voice whispered, “I need kiss, please.” So I kissed him and left the room. He was asleep five minutes later. 

    He definitely went through a phase of tantrums several weeks ago, but I’m chalking that up to the fact that he’s cutting his last two molars. That means we won’t have to worry about teeth coming in for several more years!

  • #MomLife

    When you dress your kid in an oversize t-shirt, grab the canvas bags, put on shoes, and head out the door to go grocery shopping for the week…and your kid reminds you that he needs shorts and undies. 😬😳

  • Bedtime Rituals

    Leon was still sitting up in bed over an hour after his bedtime, so I went upstairs to see what was going on.

    Me: “What’s up, buddy?”
    Leon: “I need a band-aid my knee.”

    So to humor him, I went downstairs to get him a band-aid, covered his week-old scab with it, and tucked him back in.

    Me: “Ok, here you go, bud. Good night, I love you.”
    Leon: “I need kiss, please.”

    So I kissed him and left the room. He was asleep five minutes later.

  • All Kinds of Attitude

    Yesterday was Leon’s 30-month wellness checkup — he’s 36.5 inches and 28 pounds! The doctor said he seems to be ahead developmentally but expressed some concern that he hasn’t gained any weight since his last checkup six months ago. She said she often sees a dip in BMI between ages 2 and 4, so we’ll just keep him on whole milk and full-fat dairy and keep an eye on it.

    He’s had some attitude lately, so I’m wondering if his upper molars are coming in. I made a list of things he threw a full-blown tantrum about in the span of two hours on Saturday, mostly because it was funny and made me feel better about having Mr. Hyde for a son.

    1. The piece of cereal he was about to eat broke in half
    2. I told him he couldn’t eat Play-Doh
    3. He thought there was a hair on his cup (there wasn’t)
    4. I gave him the wrong color bowl

    All in all though, he’s a generally happy kid. He sings to himself all the time, and his favorite songs are “The Wheels on the Bus” and, of course, the alphabet song. He gets so excited sometimes that he can’t control himself — so I can’t complain too much when he has a bad day. 🙂

    “I making eggs like Daddy!”
  • Bedtime Upgrades

    Last weekend we took a road trip to visit my family in Missouri! I was a little nervous because it would be our first road trip since potty-training Leon, but he did great and honestly, due to my coffee habit, we had to stop more for me than for him. There was only one hiccup during the trip and it was at our first stop — Leon was afraid of the loud fan in the bathrooms and wouldn’t relax enough to go, so I had to take him to the side of the gas station building with his potty chair. Other than that, he peed at each stop and had minimal tantrums during the ride itself. We even learned during our stay in a shared hotel room that Leon was waking up in the night when he had to pee, so he may soon be able to ditch the one diaper a day and be 100% potty trained.

    I think my family had fun seeing Leon — and likewise, as he was all smiles the entire trip. He got a ton of new books and enjoyed playing outside with his second cousins. Thanks to Elmo Doll, his toddler pillow, and his Sesame Street blanket, he still felt comforted at night in the new space.

    The night we got back, after Leon was put in his bed, he shouted that he had to poop and tried scaling his crib to get out. I really wasn’t ready to move to a toddler bed, but as Minh pointed out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We put the mattress on the floor that night, and the next day Leon came home to a big boy bed. He was pretty excited about the new sleeping accommodations, but come bedtime he became apprehensive. I’m not sure if he was scared of the dark or of being alone, but it was tough to hear him crying like how he was. On the one hand, we want to instill independence and the confidence that he can work through his troubles — but on the other hand, Minh and I both remember what it’s like to be scared of the dark as a kid, and it sucks. We took a moderate approach the first few days and stayed with him for a while before leaving the room, then consoling him through the baby monitor. It only took a couple minutes before he calmed down enough to go to sleep.

    Anyway, Leon’s becoming a chatterbox and actually has a few jokes. His favorite joke, which he picked up after reading a Sandra Boynton book, is putting his clothes where they don’t belong (sock on nose, shoe on head, etc.). Another joke is “Where’d [daycare owner] go?” The answer is “To see [teacher]!” Cue giggles. We’ll have to work on his sense of humor.

    My favorite thing to hear him say (besides “Good night, Mommy — I love you!”) is “Mommy silly!” Granted, it’s not difficult to make a two-year-old laugh, but it sure is a good feeling.

  • Where’s Daddy?

    Minh: *hiding under blanket*
    Me: “Hey Leon, where’s Daddy?”
    Minh: “Hey Leon, I think Daddy’s outside!”
    Leon: *runs to put on shoes so he can go look outside*
    Minh and me: 🤔🤔🤔

  • Reflections

    I’ve been spending my free time lately drawing, cleaning, and organizing my video collection of Leon. I’ve worked the past two evenings and renamed/filed 188 videos, but I still have 1,011 to go. It’s slightly overwhelming…but absolutely necessary.

    On another note, Leon’s doing great. He speaks in crude sentences, he’s back to being generally pretty happy when he wakes up, and he hasn’t had a potty accident in who-knows-how-long. He’s down to one diaper a day, and I honestly just really haven’t had the desire to wake myself up in the middle of the night so we haven’t attempted night training. But he understands that diapers are now just for nighttime, and he even gets a big gray sticker on it (AKA duct tape, which we’ve used keep him from pulling off his diaper and throwing it across his bedroom, which he has been known to do since he realized he doesn’t like the feeling of a diaper anymore).

    Three years ago yesterday, I found out I was going to be a mom. It’s cliché to say, but I had no way of knowing then how my life would change — but it’s so much more fun. Sure, I have less free time, and sometimes I have to negotiate with a creature who’s literally half my size. And I still don’t know how I ever made it through those first few months. But 2-year-old Leon is so funny and silly and full of joy. Don’t get me wrong — he has strong opinions about taking a nap, turning off Sesame Street, and Reese walking too closely to him (how dare she, right?). But moments like this afternoon, when a big box was delivered to the house, he thought Minh hauling it in was literally the funniest thing he’d ever seen; he couldn’t stop laughing. When’s the last time you laughed over a big box?

    He’s getting quite the vocabulary, too. Every week my dad and my friend Amanda comment about how much more articulate he is from the week before. When he told me my favorite cardigan looked like a “pink towel,” all I could do was laugh — because doesn’t it though? Or when he sees his reflection in a storefront and makes sure to tell me, “I see Leon shadow, mommy!” Or my favorite, which never fails to make me chuckle: “Uh-oh — I farted!” I couldn’t have imagined these goofy little Leon-isms three years ago.

    His favorite things are climbing on Minh, watching Sesame Street (oh, how he loves Elmo), reading books, and eating. He can count to 20 in English (with a couple numbers missing, but who needs 14 and 15 anyway?) and eight in Spanish. He knows all his ABCs, plus a ton of other kids’ songs, like Wheels on the Bus. He knows his shapes, including hexagon and octagon. He’ll do anything for food or a sticker. We’re working on days of the week, and thanks to a chart on the refrigerator, he’s starting to grasp that weekdays are for Ms Brittany (his beloved teacher at daycare), and weekends are for Sesame Street.

    His chores are putting his plate up to the counter, wiping down his seat at the table, and cleaning up his toys. Occasionally he’ll feed Reese and walk with me to get the mail. If he makes a mess, he’s expected to get a towel and clean it up by himself, and if he needs a tissue, he’s expected to get one by himself and then throw it away (although we had an issue today where he took baby wipes and flushed them down the toilet, and the kept flushing when it wouldn’t go down, but I digress…)

    Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. More soon!