Sweet Moments

We’re in the middle of a big move. We bought our new house last week and move in at the end of next week. There’s so much going on, it makes for an extra-stressed Mama. And wouldn’t ya know? An extra-stressed Aleksander. It’s amazing how these little ones tune into our emotions and end up acting like little mirrors, reflecting back at us whatever we’re projecting out.

Of course, I could also add that Aleksander is getting his 2-year molars (a little early). Plus he’s missing my parents, who were here last week (and are luckily returning on Saturday!). And maybe starting a new phase?? Well, whatever the cause, he’s been a little extra cranky lately. I try to get work done while Kelly is here to watch him in the afternoon, but he just wants his Mama.

Through it all, though, he still is his sweet, funny self. So not only does he show me that I’m stressing too much, but he reminds me how to laugh!

Today he did not want to read a book before his nap. He looked at it, but then decided he’d had enough. In his fussiness, he flung his arms … and hit me square in the face with the book. OWWWWW!!! (Yes, I did yell out in surprised pain.) But I managed to take a breath and keep my cool. We came to the conclusion that we’d put the book away and just move to the window for our lullaby. Still, I was so hurt – more emotionally than physically – by what he’d done that my voice was cracking as I sang while I tried to hold back tears.

Next thing I knew, he was looking at me – really looking – right into my eyes. That alone was enough to melt my heart. But then he leaned in for a kiss (we’ve been practicing this lately). More melting. But then he did something that pushed me right over the edge…. He made the sign for butterfly and leaned in for a butterfly kiss. That was it. Out spilled the tears. It was just so sweet. He must have felt the wetness on his own cheek. He then looked at me quizzically and started gently poking at my eyes, as if to wipe away the tears.

Come on – does it get any better than that?

Even when he has his cranky moments, that sweet little boy of mine is still right there. Sigh.


Checking Back In

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written. In part, I’ve been devoting what little blogging time I have to my other blog about raising a bilingual child in English and German. But I also felt like I wasn’t really accomplishing my goal of offering words of advice and comfort to new mothers. But I just read back through some of my previous posts and had a small revelation: I’m not really writing for others, I’m writing for me. What a great documentation this is of Aleksander’s growth! So I thought I’d try to get back into it.

Aleksander isn’t just walking now. He’s running! He seems to have two speeds: stop and fast 🙂  We’ve had some pretty hot weather this summer  –  too hot to go outside. So he just does laps around the kitchen! He hollers away as he takes the corners at lighting speed. It’s especially fun when I hide behind the different walls and pop out with a “boo!!”

Lately he is also becoming even more opinionated and demanding in what he wants. Now he actually tells me where to hide in the kitchen! Or he’ll point to his Daddy and then to a chair to tell him to sit down. It’s pretty funny … at least for now.

He is very particular about what songs he wants to hear. We’ll go through dozens on my iPod before reaching the one he wants to hear. Sometimes I get so frustrated I turn off the music, convinced he doesn’t really want to hear anything. But no  –  then he tells me again that he wants to dance and points to the iPod.

No, he isn’t talking much. But he’s signing a lot!! He has about 25 signs now, including dance, book, fish, cooking, and butterfly. He is also saying a few things like Ada (Dada) and Ama (Mama). His favorite word to say is “truck.” He must have said it 20 times yesterday when the garbage truck was coming up the street. As usual, we stood at the windows and waved to the guys. I think they get as much of a charge out of it as we do!

I’m convinced that Aleksander has another tooth coming in – a 2nd-year molar. He already has all his other teeth. But he’s been chewing on his hand for weeks now. And this week, he displayed all the signs of the tooth popping through – crankiness, no bowel movement, little appetite. I have to say, though, it hasn’t been so bad. I’m really working on being patient with him when he has a rough time. And I try to go with his flow. For example, he really balks at having his diaper changed. Trying to hold him down is futile. Today I tried letting him roll over and sit up. Then distracted him with a toy and told him he couldn’t have it unless he laid down. Guess what? He did! I still had to distract with a song (ones with motions work well, like “Itsy-bitsy Spider”), but it was relatively painless in the end. Whew!

The most frustrating thing has been trying to figure out what DVD he wants to watch. (We try to keep it to a 30-minute-a-day max, if at all.) After about 20 minutes of him crying and stomping his feet the other day, I accidentally figured out that he did not want to watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar (his recent favorite). Once I put in a Sesame Street DVD, peace was restored, and he sat down happily in his little chair. Today, I caught on a little faster. But he was still beside himself as I tried to figure out what he wanted to see. I tried to explain to him that we’d figure it out and he didn’t need to get so upset. That kind of worked a tiny bit. On the third try, we hit a bulls-eye with Baby Mozart, the first DVD he ever watched and a long-time favorite. I guess it’s true what they say about children reverting back to old habits when going through something difficult like teething!

Oh, and my afternoon sitter project is still working like a charm! The timing is perfect. You know how 4-6 o’clock can be the “witching hour”! So he has someone to play with, and I get some time to myself. And even when PER is home, he doesn’t have to take over the second he walks through the door. We both go for a walk and do bathtime with Aleksander.

Only right now, things are more chaotic than usual. We’re buying a new house! We close on Monday and move in early August. So I’m trying to organize and pack. It’s nearly impossible with Aleksander under foot. I’m trying to use my sitter time to make some headway, but it’s slow going. My parents will be here three out of the next four weeks, so that will be an immense help!

Despite some occasional drama, I have to say, we’re having so much fun! He cracks me up the way he laughs at a bouncing ball or spilling puzzle pieces on the floor. Most of the time, he’s his happy little self 🙂  And so am I!