Category Archives: Behavior

Weekly Wishes #5

Well, I had basically three weeks to work on “last week’s” wishes and here’s how I did….

1) Get my house picked up. The best part of having company over is the results of the manic cleaning that happens right before they come. It’s been a week since Mason’s party at the house and our house is still looking good. Yay.

2) Not spend any more more (unplanned) money on Mason’s birthday party. Accomplished.

3) In bed by 10:30 every weeknight. Ummm, not so much. But better than before….

4) Get back into the swing of reading all four of my Bible reading plans every day. Accomplished,

5) Scale back – my endless to do list is starting to drag me down. Commit to stop over-committing. Um, did you notice I didn’t blog for two weeks? Well, that was the only thing I let go by the wayside. Oops.

My goal for April – Set my budget and stick to it. I made a budget for March and totally ignored it and overspent in every area. April is the month that I get back on track!

And my weekly goals

1) Finish picking up my computer desk. I posted a picture on Instagram and the 40 Bags Facebook group this morning to shame myself into finishing it and I only got about halfway done today. I WILL finish it.

2) Wean Mason from Wii Sports. This kid is ridiculously addicted to playing tennis, golf, and baseball on the Wii. It’s fantastic exercise (seriously, this kid jumps and dances around until he’s soaked with sweat) but it’s become the root of all tantrums, every conversation, and way too much begging around here so something has to give.

3) Buy my niece her birthday presents. Any suggestions for a girl turning five? I don’t see them very often, so I don’t know what she’s “in to” which makes it harder.

4) List items for sale on Facebook Buying/Selling Pages and get at least half of my consignment sale prep done. The consignment sale starts the 10th and I just got my totes out yesterday. I want to try to sell some stuff for 100% profit on Facebook before it goes to the consignment sale and they take their 30% cut.

5) Be a better friend. I’ve been finding lately that up to a week goes by before I talk to friends that I use to talk to daily. I need to reach out more and make sure that stops happening.

Mason at 4

I keep meaning to sit down and survey Mason for what HE thinks life is like at four years old, but I keep forgetting. So today, I bring you MY take of Mason at four – styled like my old monthly updates I did his first 2 1/2 years!

At four years old, Mason is

  • Still wearing 2T clothes, although some of the pants are getting a bit too short
  • weighing in around 36 lbs
  • still rear facing in his car seat
  • suddenly remembering he skipped the terrible twos – we’re all about screaming “No!” and throwing horrible tantrums these days
  • addicted to Wii golf
  • convinced he’s going to be a speedskater and a snowboarder when he grows up. Thank you Winter Olympics!
  • wondering when it will ever be Spring
  • getting the hang of riding his bike without training wheels
  • into Paw Patrol and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • looking forward to going to “Big Kid School” this fall (aka 4k)
  • great at playing the kid’s version of “Uno”
  • napping some days at daycare and never ever at home
  • taking karate classes
  • having a love/hate relationship with Sunday school.
  • STILL using a potty seat *sigh*
  • more particular about which pair of undies he’s wearing vs what pair of socks
  • always playing with monster trucks or construction trucks or tractors.
  • still the king of bedtime delays (It’s 10:10 and he just finally fell asleep
  • the boss of Charly – he’s the only one the dog ever listens to!
  • knows all of his primary colors and can count to 12 reliably and 30 with help.
  • very into giving hugs and saying “I love you”
  • “Can I tell you something?” is his most used phrase
  • playing with his first Lego sets (birthday presents ftw!)
  • convinced that any time it’s light out that it’s morning.

At four years old, Mason’s favorites are:

  • Favorite breakfast is pancakes or Kix Cereal
  • Favorite suppers are chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza
  • Favorite drinks are milk and water (he’s not allowed to drink anything else)
  • Favorite snack is graham crackers with butter and/or peanut butter on them
  • Favorite vegetable is green beans.
  • Favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.
  • Favorite song is “The motorcycle song” (some adult rock song with motorcycles in the video)
  • Favorite friends are Aaron, Liam, Chloe, and Ethan
  • Favorite stuffed animal is his penguin collection.
  • Favorite game is golf
  • Favorite toy is the remote control digger he got for his birthday
  • Favorite thing to do is play games on the TV (aka Wii Sports) or play with his golf toys (sensing a theme here?)
  • Favorite treat is Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins or M&Ms
  • Favorite thing to do outside is play with his digger (which hauls lots of snow these days)

I’m really curious to see what Mason says are his favorites compared to what I believe they are. Stay tuned next week for HIS answers to his bi-annual survey!

What are your kids up to these days?

Lazy Bones

Over the past six months, we’ve started wondering if Mason is… how do we put this kindly? A bit lazy.

This boy hates walking anywhere. If we try to take a family walk around the block, he’s asking to be carried when we’re less than half way. If we’re shopping somewhere, he asks to ride in a cart instead of walking. Even when we’re somewhere fun where he’s having a good time, after a short while he’ll start whining that he’s tired and he wants to be carried. And if you don’t carry him? Total meltdown which involves screaming about how his feet or legs hurt and he just cannot go on. Totally embarrassing.

Last month, we told him that we would all need to start taking long walks together as a family to get “in shape” so we could walk a lot on Halloween night for trick-or-treating. His response? If he couldn’t ride on Daddy’s shoulder’s, he didn’t want to go trick-or-treating. (Picture my jaw hitting the floor here)

He will more than happily run and play in the yard for hours or ride his bike for a couple of miles. But expect him to walk any distance and he’s complaining within a few minutes.

He has good (high quality brand name) shoes and we’ve tried MULTIPLE pairs to make sure it isn’t a comfort issue. We’ve tried bribing and we’ve repeatedly flat out refused to carry him to make sure it isn’t a power struggle thing and it doesn’t seem to be – he seriously seems convinced that his feet and legs hurt. But never ever complains about such a thing at daycare or while running and playing in the yard. So yeah, I think he’s just tired and tired = “Oh, it hurts!”

Has anyone else ever dealth with a toddler that doesn’t like to walk? What’s a REASONABLE amount of walking to expect a 3 1/2 year old to do? Maybe I’m off base here!  I don’t need to him to walk a 5k with me or anything, but being able to walk around for 20 minutes at an event or in the mall would be nice. Thoughts?

The Problem With TV

The other day, someone online posed the question of “How much TV is okay for my 4 year old who is in preschool full days during the week? Is daily watching okay at this age?” and my reply was something alone the lines of “I see nothing wrong with a half an hour or so every night and an hour or so each day on the weekend.”

As someone who doesn’t watch a whole lot of TV, I have never really bought into the whole “TV is addicting thing” and while I am fully on board with “A lot of TV is bad for anyone’s physical fitness” and “Kids should be playing more than they watch TV” and “Limited to no TV before two is best” I really haven’t given TV a whole lot of thought. Heck, we spent MONTHS trying to find a single show that would hold Mason’s attention for more than 3 minutes to help us do things like cook dinner or go to the bathroom alone.

The question continued to nag at me through the day and then I realized how much of a hypocrite I was being. My two year old watches a HECK of a lot more TV than half an hour a night and an hour on the weekends. Heck, most weekends we kick off with a good hour or two of TV while I wake up, and that’s JUST the TV we watch before 11 am….

 

I started making a conscious effort to cut back Mason’s TV viewing (granted, he’s watching Yo Gabba Gabba and The Wonder Pets, so no “adult TV” and nothing with advertisements since it’s on Amazon Prime) and was pretty shocked by the results. How had I not noticed that the first thing he asks for when he walks in the door, sometimes even on the car ride home, is for his TV shows? How had I not noticed that he’ll sob and scream for ten minutes if we don’t turn the TV on when he requests? Oh, wait, I had never NOT turned it on before.

Little man is addicted to TV. Now that we have three seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba and Wonder Pets on demand at our fingers at any moment, he thinks he should be watching TV from the second he walks in the door until he goes to bed. We’ve never let him do quite that, but man, he’s watched way too much. So now he expects it and is quite angry and confused  when he doesn’t get his way (typical two year old, right?!) 

I started really monitoring his TV this week. He can watch an episode of a show when he gets home from school (because heck, who doesn’t need to unwind – I know I do!) and then, we tell him that the TV is broken. There is a few tears, demands for other options (shows we’ve watched when the internet really WAS broken), and then? He stops asking and starts playing. This has gone much better than I expected. If it’s not there and not available, he maybe will only ask once again a few hours later and that is it.

I’m ashamed to admit I’m retraining myself as much as I’m retraining him. When I am reading a really good book? I’d much rather him watch Chuggington than beg me to drive around his trains for another hour. When he’s begging to go outside AGAIN and we were just out there for three hours? Man, an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba sounds good right about them.

But seriously? It’s time to live up to those ideals. I don’t want a toddler who is in front of the tube for hours every day. The last few months have proven what a slippery slope that is and we’re going to reclaim this summer with NON TV related things. There are trucks and trains to be played with, pages to be colored, balls to kick, and geocaches to find. Goodbye nights full of TV. Soon we won’t miss you!

This time last year – Mason Makes Words #3

Two years ago – The World is My Oyster / Having a Hard Week / Car Ride Lover

*Please be nice with your comments. The obnoxious amount of TV we watch just crept up on me and was something I never intended to happen. If your kid is 3 and has never seen the TV turn on, awesome for you! On the other hand, if your kid watches 6 hours of TV a day and that’s fine with you, I’m not judging, what works for your family is great*

“Alf Made a Mess”

As I mentioned the other day, we’re watching “Alf” (thank you Amazon Prime streaming) around these parts. It’s a good show for us because there is zero bad language, we’re not stuck watching Reruns (I don’t know how many more “WonderPets save the Puppy” I can handle) and Mason doesn’t beg for us to turn it to a different show but also isn’t glued to the screen the entire time.

Well the other day, we were watching an episode where Alf was trying to cook something fancy for the family and he blew up the kitchen.

Mason was absolutely RIVETTED by the explosion scene. Complete with “Home Alone” hands on cheeks horror and “Oh no! Alf made mess!! Alf broke kitchen! Alf made big mess! Oh no!!” His reaction was so heartfelt and hilarious that we just MAY have  rewound and watched the same scene three times….

Well… apparently our laughing bit us in the butt because guess who woke up in the middle of the night because of a bad dream about Alf making a mess?? Crap.

But since then, it’s been hilarious – Sunday night I had laundry spread all over his room while he was playing with Daddy and he came in and saw the mess and he went “Oh no! Alf was here! Alf made mess!!”

He sees something laying on the floor that shouldn’t be there and goes “Mommy, Alf made mess!” Last night, he saw my Reach Flosser without the floss head on it and said “Oh no! Toothbrush broken! Alf broke it, Mommy!!”

I can totally picture him, three years from now going to school and saying “Sorry, Alf ate my homework.” LOL

Guess we’ll be pre-screening our Alf from now on….

What totally random but funny things have your kids become obsessed with?

This time last year – Another Playground / Mason Makes Words / 4th of July

Two years ago – Dreading the Wonder Week / Breastfeeding Help?! / The One Where I End Up in the ER for Pepto Bismol

Toddler Sleep HELP!!

I know I JUST wrote about this, but I figured I would try again and pimp the heck out of this post in hopes that I could get some advice here.

Here’s the scoop. Mason is 27 months old. He’s always been an awesome sleeper, sleeping in his own room and falling asleep easily since he was very young. Heck, sometimes he would  even ASK to go to bed. He’s always demanded certain stuffed animals to sleep with and as long as we’ve made sure they were present, he’s been a happy camper. Recently, bedtime has become a total nightmare and I hope you guys can help because I feel like making things worse instead of better.

Suddenly, he doesn’t want to go to bed and will cry and scream until he is hoarse and having trouble catching his breath. He will cry literally for HOURS if we let him. He’ll demand milk and water and certain toys. Sometimes he will quiet down and go to sleep if we bring him water or the toy he’s asking for, but sometimes not. It’s a total crapshoot.

Two weeks ago, he started waking up in the night saying he was “scared” and would be crying and shaking. Now, he says he’s scared the second we leave his room. He demands his light be left on and sobs for the light if we don’t. Nothing in his room has changed, nothing seems shadowy, and he can’t point out anything in specific that is scary. We tried adding an additional nightlight before we started leaving the light on.

But now, with the light on, he stays up PLAYING with the stuff in his crib. Take tonight for example – been over an hour, and he’s still sitting in bed playing with his tractor. I know the logical answer is “Don’t give him his tractor” but he will literally cry and scream “Tractor! Tractor!” for two plus HOURS straight if I don’t. He will scream til he’s sweating and choking and eventually throws up.  I’ve tried waiting him out many times, but between the chance of choking and gagging, the fact that 2 hours of screaming is really irritating, AND knowing that sometimes, he just wants to lay next to his tractor and will fall asleep within minutes, I give in.

When we’ve tried “doing things his way” to see if something is missing from the routine, he wants to watch TV and fall asleep on Daddy. So not going to happen. He doesn’t have tantrums like this during the day – he never gets anywhere near as upset about anything as he does about bedtime. Nothing is new in his daytime routine – same schedule, caregivers, etc. I’ve tried explaining things to him, negotiating with him, getting mad, giving hugs, everything I can possible think of.

He has to be up at 7 am for school. He’s super hard to wake up in the morning and very crabby. He absolutely cannot stay up past 10 pm playing OR sobbing and screaming. It’s not good for him and it’s not good for my sanity either – this is my only “me” time of the day and dreading his bedtime and having it be a 2-3 hour ordeal is soooo stressful. We’re going on 6 weeks of this behavior and it’s getting worse and worse every night…. I feel like I’m one step away from being featured on “Super Nanny: The Bedtime Special” but am at a loss for what to do. I really miss my well-rested little boy….

Help, internet friends! How do I fix this?!

This time last year – 15 Months

Two years ago – Love this Outfit

ETA – The days where he gets NO nap (twice in the past week) or an hour or less (on occassion at school), bedtime does not go any better….

All Sorts of Anxiety

We’ve reached a new stage in Mason’s life – the stage where he’s afraid of things that we can’t see or understand and it really sucks. He’s really been having issues with sleeping for the last month or so (really ever since we came back from vacation) and now last week, he started having serious stranger worries, even when the people aren’t really strangers, and it’s really sad.

I went to drop him off at daycare last Thursday morning and we walked in, he took one look at the teacher, and turned around and clung to me like his life depended on it. I couldn’t physically peel him off of me and he was trying hard not to cry. Another teacher came in and suggested maybe he was being shy because the girl was new and they’d never met before, but he wouldn’t go anywhere near the teachers that he usually runs to hug, either. The next day, he encountered a Mom who we’ve played with on the playground before and he had the same reaction to her. That night, his Auntie Joy, who he just played with at the park a few weeks earlier was just as scary – total clinging, face buried, and practically crying if she talked to him. This morning? He clung to me when his best friend talked to him, another little two year old. I have no clue what is going on and it makes me so sad – if these were all daycare related incidents, I would think something happened there, but since they’ve happened in stores and elsewhere, it’s like someone flicked a switch in our usually very social son.

Then there is the whole sleep issue. After we came home from the Dells, he started having a hard time falling asleep. Now, Mason is a kid who has been sleeping through the night since he was 7 or 8 weeks old. He’s always been asleep within minutes and if he fusses in the night, he falls right back asleep. But once we got back from vacation, bedtime became an ordeal. First was the stalling – wanting to try to potty, wanting one more episode of TV, requesting certain stuffed animals, not liking his pajamas. Ignoring his pleas led to HOURS (literally) of crying. But even on those nights that he doesn’t have requests and seems super tired? He is still likely to stay up for an hour or two, alternating talking to himself and sobbing for us. We’ve tried comforting, we’ve tried later bedtime, earlier bedtime, later nap, earlier nap, shorter nap, longer nap, letting him cry it out, EVERYTHING it seems and he’s usually still up and crying hours after we put him down for the night.

And then there are the nightmares…. Several times in the past two weeks, he’s woken up sobbing and shaking – you go to him and he’ll cling to you and cry “scared, scared” and just cry his little heart out. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and it takes a long long time to calm him back down. And a lot of times, an hour later, he’s up again sobbing.

He’s got a night light in his room, nothing has moved or changed since he was born, nothing looks scary, he has two things in his crib that he can “light up” if need be, and he can never articulate what is scary, so I’m lost on what else we can do for him.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? Part of me is saying this is all related – like he’s getting such poor sleep it’s causing anxiety issues during the day and the lack of sleep and scary day is causing the bad dreams? Either way, I miss my outgoing little boy who was well rested. Any tips, experiences, or ideas you guys may have would be MUCH MUCH appreciated!!

Lesson NOT Learned the First Time

Saturday morning, Mason was playing in the kitchen while I sat on the couch in the connected living room, reading my book. SuperDad walked in the room and said “Have you checked on Mason lately?” and my response was “Yeah, he’s in the kitchen playing with his trucks. He just moved a chair a few seconds ago.” Much to my dismay, SuperDad walked in the kitchen to find Mason up on one of our super tall chairs, coloring on the kitchen counter… with a black permanent marker. Oops.

Later in the afternoon, I was in the process of buying shoes online for Mason while he played in and around the computer room. He’d rotate from playing with his tractors on the floor to climbing up into SuperDad’s computer chair and poking at his keyboard, to bringing me “food” that he had cooked (usually chunks of pocket lint or animal crackers in a pan). I was pretty amazed at the fact that I had actually managed to accomplish something on the internet without him begging to sit in my lap and bang on my keyboard or demanding train videos.

I kept surfing and Mason kept playing. After a while, he was back at SuperDad’s desk, scrubbing away. He likes to help clean and can often be found rubbing a paper towel or rag across a surface until it shines. Definitely not a behavior I discourage! A few more minutes pass and Mason says “Mason all done. Mason color! Mason color!” and I reply “Okay Mason, you want to go color? Let’s go color, you’ve been a really good boy!” I get up from my computer chair, turn around, and see this…

Yeah, he didn’t want to GO color. He’d been coloring the ENTIRE TIME. And again, with permanent marker. Crap.

Did you know that while 409 can clean permanent marker off a kitchen counter, it doesn’t touch marker on wooden desks? Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

Yeah, we’ll be finding a new place to store our permanent markers, that’s for sure…. Lesson learned, a bit slowly, but learned.

This time last year – First Finger Painting / Happy Birthday Chloe!
Two Years Ago – Happy 1st Birthday, Chloe!

Bedtime Procrastination

Mason has always been a super sleeper *knocks on wood* 3/4 of the time, you can put him into his crib and he’ll go to sleep without a peep and the other times, he may fuss for 30 seconds or so and then goes to sleep. Sure, he’s had his days where he stays up talking to himself for half an hour or drops a toy out of his crib and cries about it, but for the most time, super easy bedtimes.

On Monday night, when I went to put him to bed, he instantly began crying “Eat! Mason eat!” We’d had an early supper at a restaurant that night and he hadn’t eaten much – a cup of applesauce and a toddler jug of milk, so I could see why he would be hungry. I asked him if he wanted a pouch (so easy AND he could have it in bed!) and he said no. A banana? Nope. Crackers? Nope… My child, turning down crackers?! We were already an hour past bedtime so there was no way I was cooking him any food and finally. he ended up having a glass of milk and a few crackers and fussed for quite a bit after I put him back to bed.

Then last night came…. He’d eaten well only an hour earlier and was fresh out of the tub. I put him in his crib and before I even let go, the requests started. First, it was “More bath??” Then it was “Neena??” (banana) and so I got him a  little piece of banana. Then he started crying out for something starting with an R that I couldn’t figure out. Sounded like Reeko. So I took him to the kitchen and asked him to find a Reeko. He couldn’t but wanted some more banana. I gave him more banana and we went back to his crib. I put him down and he instantly said “I pooped! I pooped!” Lifted him back up and did the sniff test and he had NOT pooped. So I told him he must have farted (we have this conversation a lot) and put him back down and he says “Wet. Mama, wet. Diaper wet!” He’s never identified a wet diaper before, so this shocked me. So I said “Is your diaper wet, Mason?” and he goes “Yeaahhh….” and I said “Do you Mommy to change your diaper?” and he replies “Change diaper, Mommy. Wet!” At this point, I’m totally thrilled by what seems to be another potty training readiness sign. I bring him to the changing table, unzip his pajamas and… his diaper is not only poop free, it’s also dry. *sigh*

I ended up telling him that it was really time for bed and leaving him in his room to cry and scream alone for quite some time. What on earth!?

I totally remember the old “I’m thirsty mommy! I want some string cheese mommy! I have to pee! I’m thirsty again mommy!” thing when I was little, but I want to say I was like 5 at that time, NOT barely 2!! (At least Mason isn’t screaming “You don’t really love me, you never wanted me!!” like I use to do after my parents started ignoring my requests LOL)

So, what do you guys think? Is it just a coincidence that he is suddenly starving and needy the second we put him in his crib or is this little man playing us? Have your kids done something similar?

This time last year – Big Boy Carseat / 11 Month Photos / Plagio Update

Boys and Trains

What is with little boys and trains? Is the love of trains somehow embedded in their male chromosones? We never set out to have a train lover and never did anything to put this love into his head – he had toy trucks and busses, no toy trains. We watched Sesame Street (not much) and Yo Gabba Gabba, and no trains. Yet? This little boy is OBSESSED with trains.

He will sit with his Daddy and watch train videos on YouTube for hours if we let him. He cries “Choo choo!!” when he sees trains, train tracks, or railroad crossing signs. He begs all day for us to put on his train DVDs (which came along after his obsession)

This weekend, we are taking him to a large model train show at a local mall. I fully expect it to blow his mind.

Image from South Tampa News

How about your kids? Are they obsessed with something that you never imagined they would be?

This time last year – First Urgent Care Visit / Missing Cracker