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My girl & My boy

4 Oct

When my son was a newborn I was always asked if it was different having a little boy since my firstborn was a little girl.  I really didn’t notice much of a difference between my two during the newborn period, so I always joked about the one thing that was obviously different with a boy…the dangerous diaper changes {you know, surprise showers?}  Otherwise, my newborn babies were pretty similar.  But, things have changed…

There is a very distinguishable difference between my two little ones these days.  Olive defines girly girl…she adores the color pink, requests princess hair and to wear dresses, loves to dance and twirl, plays mommy to her babies, and dives into her dress-up box almost daily to don her tutu and crown.

AJ is ALL BOY!  He likes balls and toys with wheels.  He is rough, loud, and always into something.  He pushes the safely limits every chance he gets.  He eats more food than seems physically possible.  And the best part…he may just be a Mama’s boy!

I couldn’t be more blessed with these two little children.  There is no one in the world I love to hug more than my daughter…she squeezes me so tight and sincerely.  And my son…he is the best snuggler {when he’s not busy exploring, of course}.  I eat up every minute we spend together cuddling in the rocking chair…even if it is before the sun rises.

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Future plumber??

1 Sep

I’m don’t enjoy an emotional roller-coaster.  I’m romantic-comedy girl all the way.  I know that life is full of good and bad, happy and sad…I choose to focus on the good times.  But, I’m all about prevention, so sometimes talking about the dark side equals fewer sad times.

I spent a short semester in nursing school on the infant unit at a children’s hospital.  I declined every opportunity to go to the cancer floor because I didn’t think I could handle the emotions of it all…I didn’t even want to try.  I thought I was safe with the babies, but in reality, I hadn’t dodged any bullets.  The infant floor was not just infants, there were toddlers and young children as well.  There were acute and chronic diseases, cases of abuse and neglect, and there were accidents… a precious two-year old girl who had fallen head-first into a cooler and drowned while her grandparents were babysitting her.  Because babies and toddlers are top-heavy {because their heads are large in comparison to their bodies} and they lack great strength and coordination it is easy for them to fall head-first into many things, making an accident like this one, not so uncommon.  It wasn’t always a cooler with a few inches of melted ice…sometimes it was a mop bucket, sometimes a bathtub…whatever the case, they were all horrible and preventable accidents.

My little guy is becoming more mobile and capable every day.  I’ve talked about his passion for the dog-water bowl {I now remove it from ground-level every morning when AJ gets up} and now I must too confess that he is obsessed with toilets.  Yes, TOILETS!!

Last week while my husband was at work, I was in my daughter’s room combing her hair when I heard the toilet flush in the nearby bathroom.  AJ had climbed on his sister’s bench and flushed the toilet on his own…I was impressed and snapped a picture for proof, but it scared me…and that was only the beginning.

My husband embarrassingly reported to me when I got home from work last weekend that AJ had grabbed a wad of used toilet paper from the toilet as my daughter got off the potty and……he WAS going to put it in his mouth!

It may sound a little funny {because this little boy makes my husband and I look like parenting amateurs}, but not only is playing in the toilet disgusting, it is also very dangerous.  Toilets can be just as threatening for a baby as any other {even small} pool of water.  For now, we are diligently closing all the toilet lids and reminding our 3 year-old to do the same {and flush immediately!}.  I see toilet locks in our future!  BOYS!!!

My little Swiper

16 Aug

The first year of a baby’s life is packed full of dos and don’ts and many of those come in the feeding department.  Do start solids at 6 months, do only introduce one new food at a time, do start your baby on vegetables before sweet and delicious fruits….it goes on and on.  The don’t list is probably longer.  Don’t start solids early, don’t add cereal to your baby’s bottle, don’t add any seasonings to your baby’s food, and….DON’T give your baby egg whites, citrus juice, strawberries, honey, nuts, and ESPECIALLY not PEANUTS for the first year of life.  If you haven’t heard, there is a little something called a peanut allergy.  It affects tons of children and even adults.  Guidelines for introducing peanuts and peanut butter seem to vary by physician, but some of the more recent guidelines are suggesting well past the 1st year of life…maybe not even until kindergarten-age.  Seriously?!?!

This was the pb&j culprit. These may not be a dietitian's dream, but they make packing a picnic-lunch simple. And, they are even available with whole-wheat bread!

I know the rules, and even though they aren’t fun, I abide.  But, my little guy…he’s a rule breaker!  A few weeks ago he got into my daughter’s lunch box {while mommy was busy cleaning the kitchen} and smashed a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over his face and in his mouth.  He was in heaven and quite proud of his accomplishment!  For the record, that’s peanut butter AND strawberry jelly…two things on the no-no list  for year one.

Last week something similar happened.  It all started with AJ finding the dog-water bowl {gross, I know} and splashing that all over the place.  I cleaned up the mess and got him in dry clothes.  I was happy to see him playing in the pantry a few minutes later, {I keep the bottom two shelves “kid friendly”…no glass or heavy cans that could hurt them…all fun and “safe” stuff.  I think exploring is healthy and great for development} until he bit a hole in a bag of instant oatmeal and dumped it all over the floor.  While a member of the clean-up crew {my term of endearment for my dogs…they are awesome} and I cleaned the pantry AJ moved on to bigger and messier things…like playing splash-park in my daughter’s orange juice on the living room floor.  OJ {yes, a third food from the “avoid first year” list} was in his hair, on his face…everywhere.  In about 15 minutes I had cleaned up 3 disasters, given 1 sponge bath, and 2 outfit changes.   I waved my white flag.  Is this life with boys or just life with two kids??  I never remember life being this chaotic with my girl or with just one child.

So now what do I do about introducing all the “off -limit” foods that have been introduced??  Our pediatrician said to go ahead and serve them since AJ has already been exposed.  Hmmm…hasn’t she heard that most allergic reactions occur with subsequent exposures, not the initial one??  I think I’ll just pretend none of this ever happened and re-introduce all these “swiped” foods when they were originally intended to be…sometime after my little guy’s first birthday.

Boys will be boys??

11 Jul

Last summer my motherly intuition was confirmed…I found out that I was expecting a boy.  I was thrilled…but, I’m a girly girl with a little girl… and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with a little boy.  In my mind, all  little boys  were wild, dirty, and dangerous.  Basically, nothing like me or my{precious} little girl.

———

One hot summer day I took a short walk to the community mailbox on our street.  I was expecting  AJ and was trying to wrap my head around having a little boy of my own.  A new family had just moved in a few houses up the street from us.  Their two little boys {maybe between 8 to 11 years-old} were playing in the front yard.  They were riding their scooters, playing, and  talking so cutely.  They had darling haircuts and perfect clothes.   They melted my heart!

I turned to unlock our mailbox as I started to daydream about maybe having two boys someday…brothers…just like those two precious little boys.  Then I heard the following… “SHUT UP, M—ER F—ER!!!” {you can fill in the blanks}.  No, there wasn’t a construction site nearby or a domestic dispute taking place on our street…it came from the mouth of one of those {previously precious} little boys.  I was mortified {and not because I have virgin ears or because I have never cursed before}.  I fought back tears as I hurried back to our house.  My husband knew something had happened just by the look on my face when I walked through the door.  His response??  “That’s what boys do when their parents aren’t around.”

———

I told this horror story many times through the remainder of my pregnancy.  I thought about it on a daily basis.  Those boys terrified me.

A few months later something magical happened; I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time.  He was precious in every way and he still is.  He has forever changed the way I feel about little boys.  When I share my “neighborhood boys” story these days it brings a smile to my face…I can even laugh about it.

I have high expectations for my little guy {and little girl, too}.  I don’t want to find myself developing a double-standard or writing off poor behavior as “boys will be boys.” I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know one thing remains constant… whatever happens, I love my little boy unconditionally and with all my heart {♥}.