Monday, February 9, 2015

Elliot is TWO!

Gosh I'm so embarrassed to admit that this year's birthday party was so poorly planned! I did the invitations and never got them printed, I told Jack I would start buying party supplies way in advance and there I was last minute ha!

I was happy with the way it turned out regardless! Elliot loved it! We had originally planned to invite a lot of friends but since I never sent out invitations, I texted it to a few friends last minute. It ended up being family and a couple of friends only which was actually really nice. We had a really good time.

I can't believe my boy is a toddler and going into his twos in full force. He is one strong minded boy but he is so loving. He tells us "I lah you mama" "I lah you dada" and our hearts are in puddles instantly.

He can count from one to ten in English and Spanish and knows all of the ABC's. Books are definitely his thing over anything else. He loves for us to read to him and learns what the pages say and recites some of the words back. His favorite characters are Mickey and Goofy but he loves watching Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins too. ;)

He sings Twinkle Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Hot Dog song and it's the sweetest thing I've ever seen. He also talks in some sentences and says words I didn't know he knew! I spilled water on his sock a couple of days ago and he tells me "mama, sock wet". Or he tells me "mama, I don't want that", "mama, I wanna play". I love it.

He plays "chucky" with us and chases us around and bites us ha! Thanks to Jack for that one! I love that he plays with his cars and planes and makes the sounds and motions they make. He loves to play "gotchu" and wants us to chase him around while he hides behind the curtains then calls his own name for us to find him. It's so funny.

He still loves bananas and milk, bread and peanut butter, chicken and he can eat edamame like no one's business. He's become a bit of a picky eater but he still eats.

On his actual birthday we gave him a slice of cake and candle. That could have been his party and he would have been happy. He also got calls from family and a video from his cousins singing to him that he still goes back and watches several times a day and now he sings Happy Birthday to himself, including "Happy Birthday dear Elliot". ;)

Let the picture flood begin. Of course, Mickey Mouse was the theme! ;)

His cake was made by my sister in law just like his first birthday cake and it turned out exactly as planned! It tasted so good!

We had burgers and hot dogs of course because hot dog!

Girlfriend needed a manicure but there was no time for that! I got some Mickey Mouse tape at Hobby Lobby and wrapped little flags around the straws.

I made these super simple number twos with a chocolate mold and some free printables I got from Pinterest. I had originally planned on having mickey mouse cookies but that didn't work out so this was plan B!

He was exhausted and fell asleep super early. He had a great time. 

The most important thing for me was that Elliot had fun and he did. He loved having all of his cousins and his friend from daycare there. I'm excited for this year and what's to come!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Ugly Side of Parenting

I thought I'd give the good ol' blog a dust and share a story with you.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Jack was out of town for an entire week last week. It was Sunday morning when he left and I thought to myself "I got this" and started the day with a good breakfast for Elliot and I, we played and read and watched cartoons, you know, the normal activities of a weekend.

That night I gave him a bath and he went to sleep only to wake up a million times at night crying. Okay, we've dealt with this a few times now and I blamed night terrors. Monday morning I woke up, set up the monitor and went upstairs to shower. I was done, went back downstairs to finish getting ready then Elliot woke up. He was okay, his normal self on weekday mornings. A sippy full of milk and Mickey Mouse on the TV. When it came time to get him dressed he gave me the hardest time which isn't entirely unusual but we got it done then out the door we went. It wasn't so bad.

Fast forward to a couple of days later, the morning didn't go as usual. I got him dressed after a million attempts and when we went out the door, it took me a good ten minutes to get him in his car seat. He's never been like that before and I couldn't figure out why! "Elliot please sit down we have to go" "No! I want to walk!" "No Elliot, mama needs to go to work, you need to go to daycare" "No! No Luisa!" (Luisa is the girl that greets him in the morning, whom I drop him off with). "Elliot please? Look at the sky, wow it's so pretty!" "Mama look!" "Yes Elliot look! So pretty!" "Can we get in the car seat now?" "No! No! No!" Okay, so again after a good ten minutes I finally was able to strap him in his car seat while he kicked and screamed and cried the entire way there.

We made it and he greeted Luisa, "Hi Luisa!" You win kid. How in the hell was he okay just like that after the shit fest we had a minute earlier? I thought okay cool he's okay and went to work. After work I went to pick him up and to my big surprise he didn't want to come home with me. Awesome! It took me another five minutes to get him out the door, into the car and another five to get him in his seat again. What's happening! Another cry fest ensued. What a great way to be greeted by your two year old when you were stuck in traffic for an hour after an accident on the highway, race to daycare to get him late and he doesn't want to see you!

We got home and it got even better. I made him dinner and he refused to eat. I took his dinner away and he wanted to eat. I gave him his dinner and he didn't want to eat. Rinse and repeat a thousand times after that. After the morning we had, work, traffic, and not being missed, frustration started building up inside of me. I kept texting Jack telling him I was ready to throw his food away. He told me I needed to take a deep breath. You see, Jack and I have had this conversation a few times before, "we can't yell at Elliot (spanking is out of the question for us), it's only our frustration and we need to take a deep breath then deal with it" well that only works sometimes right? Proof of that right here.

I started yelling at him. Ugly. "What do you want then!" at the top of my lungs. "Tell me! Do you want to eat? Do you not want to eat?!" Ugh. I then got down on my knees and before I knew it I was ugly crying in front of my son. He stopped and stared at me. I let it out then realized what I was doing. I took a deep long breath, gathered myself and after a couple of minutes knelt down again. I hugged him and told him he needed to eat his dinner and he sat down like nothing ever happened and ate and chit chatted with me. What happened?!

It was me. He felt my tension as soon as I picked him up. He felt it in the morning when I was rushing to try to get us out of the door because Jack wasn't home to help me. He felt all of that. It was my frustration to deal with, not his. He also missed his daddy, a lot, and probably couldn't understand why he wasn't there after I explained he had left on a plane. The week went a bit better and he slept better too. I also realized that's not the kind of parent I want to be. I know we all have those moments, but I want to try my hardest to be the best parent I can be and to deal with what I am feeling before I deal with my son. I felt horrible for yelling at him like that. He's going through a phase too. I won't let him get away with bad behavior either but I will be firm, not ugly.

After Jack was back (and all was right in the world again) that Saturday morning we were getting ready to run errands. Elliot was playing in our closet while I was getting ready. He had Goofy and Mickey with him and I heard him yelling at them saying "You're going to time out!" then he sat them both down and yelled at them again "You're in time out!" Wow. He got that from us. From me. That's not the kind of ideas I want to him to have! I get it, he's a kid, but his brain is like a little sponge and everything he learns is coming from his environment, from his parents. Jack and I had the conversation again and just last night I confessed what had happened while he was gone. I hadn't told him about my ugly crying or the ugly yelling. I didn't want him to think I couldn't deal with it while he was gone, but I know that we are parents and we are learning everyday and I know he will never judge me. We needed to talk about it. We want to be the best parents we can be, just like everyone else, and we will make mistakes, just like everyone else. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders and we even slept much better, including Elliot! :)

Moral of the story: Parenting is hard. Really hard. And this is only the beginning for us; the tip of the iceberg if you will. We are barely scraping off the top of the cap of parenthood. We learn every single day as his little life is taking place right before our eyes and it's beautiful, and frustrating, and scary and amazing. All at the same time, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

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