Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Favorite

We have been though countless phases with Greyson over the last year and a half.  And each time we enter a new one, I think "THIS is definitely my favorite!  This is the best!"  Every single time.  Well, there were a few exceptions.  Like the first 4 months of colic.  But I digress.  Anyway, my point is that this stage, where Greyson is right now, does not disappoint.  DEFINITELY, this is my favorite stage.  :)  Here are a few of the things he is doing right now that make me say this:

*He says "thank you" and "you're welcome" at appropriate times.  Nearly every time.  It definitely comes out like "tay-too" and "elcom" but he totally know what he's saying.  And I don't remind him.  He just knows when to say them and says them.  Now "please" always needs a reminder.  We'll keep working.  :)

*He can tell us why he's upset.  Thank you, Jesus!  They told me this day would come!!  It takes a little coaxing, especially if he's really mad, but if we ask him what he wants, he will usually tell us or point or something.  Its a beautiful thing.

*He is constantly making connections and loves that he is learning things.  He recognizes sounds he hears even that are outside the house: dog barking, bird singing, airplane, truck, etc and can identify them.  He understands that he isn't the only one with a nose, mouth, eyes, etc and points to matching body parts on others and himself.  I read the other day that from birth to age 3, babies develop 1000 trillion nerve connections in the brain.  Amazing, and I can totally see it happening! (I know, I know, nerdy science factoid)

*He recognizes himself in photos and says "shay-shan" (his name for himself, no laughing!) and gets excited and points to himself.

*He can recognize and name all of our extended family members when looking at photos.  I am so proud of this and so happy he loves doing this just because we don't get to see our family as much as we (or they) would like.  It doesn't seem to stop those connections :)

*The other day he was playing games with my parents through the computer.  He was trying to feed grapes to my mom and playing peek-a-boo with my dad.  It was so sweet.  And then he gave them kisses through the screen (don't tell Dan!).  So the other night we were looking at a picture book with our family's photos in it and he stopped on Grandma's page, got really excited, and gave her picture kisses.  It was so so sweet.  :)

*He LOVES reading books.  This has been a slow one coming because he is just a busy boy.  But now he gets so excited to read them and identify what he sees.  This morning I was getting ready for work and he kept bringing me books and showing me the pictures he was excited about.  He is getting to be such a big boy!

*Dan has started having logical conversations with Greyson, and it cracks me up.  But, he totally gets it. Here is their going-to-bed routine conversation.
Dan: "Ok, Buddy, its time for night-night.  Are you ready to go in your bed?"
Greyson:  "Yeah"
Dan:  "Ok, lets get in your bed.  Do you have your blankies?"
Greyson:  "Yeah."
Dan puts him in bed.  Greyson starts fussing.
Dan:  "Now remember, its bedtime, and we don't cry.  How about I leave the door open for you?  Will that make it better?"
Greyson:  "Yeah. Doh (door).  Doh."
Dan:  "Ok, I will leave it open.  Good night."
Greyson (nodding): "Yeah."
Its seriously the best part of my night.

*One more:  Greyson is starting to pretend play.  I LOVE this!  I really didn't think this would happen so early, but it totally cracks me up.  Its just little things, but they totally make my day.  Like yesterday I was doing something in the kitchen and Greyson got into the pantry and started pulling out soup cans and pretending to drink them.  He was making slurping sounds while "drinking" and then would pull the can down and say "ahhh" like he does after a drink of water.  Or the other day he saw a picture of grapes on the iPod and made chomping noises and pretended to eat them.  Hilarious, I tell you.  He also pushes his cars around while making engine noises and then crashes them and makes crashing noises!  I love it so much.  And he knows he's being funny, because he laughs at himself too.

Ok, so I know that was a long, wordy list.  And I know that this stuff is probably all pretty normal for any other mom out there, but I am just having so much fun with him right now that I had to write it down.  Seriously, this is THE BEST stage ever (so far)!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Operation Binks Removal: Night...?

I thought I'd give a little update on how the boy is doing without his binks.  It has actually gone really well, surprisingly.  Dan and I were talking tonight that it has seemed relatively easy so far (knock on wood!)  Since my last post, we did have one bad night when he just wouldn't go to sleep, but overall I feel like the transition is mostly complete.  He is going to bed (and nap) without even seeing binks at all, which is an accomplishment in and of itself!  But, he sometimes wants to be rocked, and always wants us to leave the door open, which is a new development.  Anyway, just a quick recap.  I am really proud of us and proud of Greyson for doing such a great job.  And thank you God for helping it go so smoothly!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Operation Binks Removal: Night 3

Not much to report today, actually.  For naptime, he did ok, but wouldn't fall asleep unless his door was open.  So random.  Tonight we came back from a meeting at church and sat down with pizza and Dinner For Schmucks.  His usual bed time is 7:30, and he was asleep on my lap on the couch at 7:40.  He stayed there for an hour, and when the movie was over at 8:40 I laid him in his crib, jeans and all.  Not rockin' that boat, people.  :)  Here's hoping for a good morning.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Operation Binks Removal: Night 2

Well, this morning started off EARLY.  And cranky.  He has been waking up at 4:00 or so, and we've just been giving him binks and laying him back down.  Well, this morning he woke up at 4:30 and, of course, we didn't have a binks to give to him.  He SCREAMED, again, for an hour.  Finally at 5:30 we were both about to do something insane, so we let him get up.  (You thought I was going to say we let him have binks, didn't you?)  We stayed strong.  But he didn't want to come to bed with us or watch tv or anything.  He just wandered around crying, looking for binks.  We both went out and laid on the couches and put tv on in the dark, hoping to get a few extra winks before the sun came up.  I found one of the broken binks and he finally calmed down when I let him carry it around.  That's all he wanted was to hold it.  But, it was up, down, happy, sad, snack, milk, poke in the eyes, up, down, etc etc so while Dan slept soundly on the couch I dealt with the boy.  :)

Anyway, nap time went ok.  I only let Greyson scream for about 5-10 minutes before I went in and rocked him again.  He went right to sleep, binks in hand.  Seriously, its the sweetest thing.

Same thing tonight at bed time.  No crying.  At. All.  I just rocked him and he went right to sleep even before seahorse stopped singing.  Binks in hand.

My thought at this point is that if I can get him to fall asleep without binks, even if that means rocking him, we can wean the rocking off a little later.  Everything in stages, people, everything in stages.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Operation Binks Removal: Night 1

Well, folks, this is it.  We have decided that 18 months is long enough for Greyson to hang on to his pacifier (or lovingly referred to in our house as "Binks.")  You have to understand how insanely addicted he is.  Its a bit ridiculous.  Binks is only for bedtime and naptime, but he still can't live without it at those times.  Anyway, since we are done with family visits for awhile, we deemed this weekend to be THE ONE.  So tonight, we snipped the tips of of his binks' so when he sucks on them all he gets is a mouthful of air.  Yeah, we know, we're super mean.  Here's how the night went:

7:25:  Bedtime routine.  We read a book in his rocker.  He always gets binks during the book reading, so tonight was no different.  He put it in his mouth, promptly removed it, and studied it, confused.  "Uh oh!" he said and continued to study it with a worried look.  "Looks like Binks is broken.  Oh well," I responded.  We read the book and gave kisses and hugs.

7:30: Laid in his crib with blanket, seahorse, and broken binks.  He realized that he wasn't getting a real binks.  Thats when the screams began.  And I mean SCREAMING.  We left.

7:45: Still SCREAMING.  Dan went in to try and help.  Immediate quiet.  He pointed to all the items he had thrown out of his crib.  Dan picked up blanket, seahorse, and binks.  Reality set in.  More SCREAMING.

8:00: Still SCREAMING.  This time I went in to see what I could do.  Immediate quiet.  I picked up Greyson, his blanket, and turned on seahorse.  I tried rocking him.  He would have none of that.  He wanted to pick up binks too.  So we did.  **this is the best part** He didn't try to put binks in his mouth.  He just held it in his hand against his chest while we rocked.  Like a pet that had died or something.  And we rocked to sleep.

8:10: Asleep.

Not too bad for the first night.  We are hoping that it only takes a few nights of screaming before he can sleep without it.  We will see.  I'll keep you updated.  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Christmas(es) Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1, scroll on down and do that first, then come back up.

We made it to CA in 12 hours, which was less than we were planning on.  Greyson did so great the entire trip, with just a little impatience at about hour 10.  I was impatient too.  :)  We had such a great time with my family, and they blessed us so much.  We are so thankful to have such great families. We got there late the 23rd, and Amy and Chris arrived on Christmas Eve to announce they had just gotten engaged!  Yay!!  They were so excited and her ring is beautiful!

Greyson just wanted to play the piano.  :)

We had a great time on Christmas day with just my immediate family.  It was so chill and just nice to enjoy each other (and make wedding plans, haha).  This is my dad reading the Christmas story and Greyson listening intently and nodding in agreement.

The next day we celebrated with my mom's side of the family.  It was so fun to see everyone.  All the cousins were together for the first time in several years, so it was really great.  This is Greyson playing the piano with my sweet cousin Garrett.

We had such a great Christmas and were definitely reminded of what's important.  We hope your family had a great time too.  Dan's parents are here this week for his birthday and New Year's so there will be more photos coming soon.  Happy New Year everyone!

Our Christmas(es) Part 1

We had such a great Christmas this year!  It was busy, but we were definitely reminded of how blessed we are and how loved we are by our family.  This year, Greyson is at such a fun age so it was such a great time opening gifts, baking cookies, and just enjoying one another.  This year we headed up to CA to visit my family for actual Christmas, so we faked Christmas morning down here in AZ a couple of days early.  Here are some shots of our Christmas and then I will post another one of our trip to CA.

One of my favorite memories of Christmas growing up was baking treats with my sister and mom.  We always made so much yummy stuff to take to neighbors and parties.  I wanted to continue that tradition with our family, even though Greyson is still young.  Here are some shots of that fun few minutes that his attention held.  We did make an entire batch of Magic Cookies together and he LOVED eating the chocolate chips (duh!)

 Helping me wrap gifts....Well, maybe not really HELPING...

 We worked it out with Santa that he would come on the night of Tuesday the 21st so we could have Christmas morning on the 22nd at our house.  He was happy to check one house off his list early, and Greyson was not disappointed!  Here he is with his stocking...

 And the amazing photo that he actually let me pose him for.  I couldn't believe it!

 Playing with his new cars:

I am so proud of this, I might just make another post all about the car play mat so you can see it better :)  I sewed this for Greyson's cars and it has a house for each of our family members so he can drive to Grandma's house, etc.  I have since put pictures in all of the houses so he can see everyone's faces.  It was a ton of work, but I love it.  And most importantly, so does Greyson!

Greyson also loves his cute rocking moose!  Thanks "super elf" for putting it together!

All in all, we had a great time as just our little family.  It was so much fun this year.  The next day we piled in the car and made the 12-hour trek to Modesto.  More to come...