Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hangin' With Mah Nomies

I feel bad for Noah.

His brother gets the spotlight 90% of the time by way of Judah's loud and persistent temperament versus Noah's relatively mellow nature. And it's just so much more interesting for me to interact with a 3.5 year old than a 16 month old.

But that doesn't mean Judah has 90% of my heart. Noah steals it every day.

So in honor of the oft-forgotten brother, here is a monster rundown of all things Noah.

Starting a couple months ago he's become very verbal and learns new "words" daily. Common "words" he says are:

"sh, sh, sh" for shoes
"bow" for bowl
"sss, sss" for cereal
"chuh, chuh" for Judah (apparently pronouncing the 'juh' sound is too hard at this stage)
"goh, goh" for dog in Chinese (this is prob the first word he learned back at 12 months)
"hi" for hi!
"bah, bah" for bye
"mama" for his doting mother
"dada" for his dad
"ball" for ball of course (also one of his first words)
"kuh, kuh" for kai-kai, Chinese for open (like opening a container)
"nah, nah" for Noah and for the word no
"nai, nai" Chinese for milk (another very early word)
"fff, fff" for fen, Chinese for rice
"huh, huh" for hat (another early word cuz we ALWAYS wear hats in this family)

And one of the sweetest words, "buhbuh" for baby. Noah's going through his nurturing phase and loves cuddling with his "buhbuhs", basically any stuffed animal around the house.

Can I get an "awwwww"?

He likes to plop them in his mini-stroller and push them around. And he especially likes swaddling them in burp cloths (which is weird cuz he hasn't been swaddled for over a year now!)

Another word Noah loves is "ruh ruh" which means roly-poly. That is the number one activity that engages the boys when they go outside. I feel like God had toddlers and preschoolers in mind when he designed roly-polies. Finding and collecting them is The Perfect outdoor activity for little kids. They are so slow and defenseless even Noah can spot one and pick it up with his clumsy fingers all on his own. And then, just like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, Noah squishes them dead.

Brother bonding: looking for 'ruh ruh's. Judah likes to set them free. Noah loves on them a little too much.

Noah's also been really into self-feeding the last couple months. He now feeds himself pretty much his entire meal. This makes giant plastic pocket-bibs absolutely essential as 50% of the food on his spoon ends up never reaching his mouth.

Mr. Independent. Ironically Judah still asks me to spoon-feed him!

Every morning Noah wakes up 2 hours before his brother (TWO HOURS! my life is no bueno in that regard people. No bueno indeed) and we have breakfast together. It's always "sss, sss" (cereal) in his "bow, bow" (bowl) with "nai nai" (milk).

During the day Noah is usually very happy to trail his older brother and attempts to copy everything he does. Even when Judah trips and falls, Noah will immediately enact the fall. Funny guy. Noah loves markers because Judah draws a lot but I rarely let Noah touch them because, well, see for yourself:

This is why I never allow myself to pee. 90 seconds away is all it takes...

They play together pretty well at this point (but I do fear for the future). Noah actually acquiesces to Judah's demands pretty readily. If Judah is building a fancy stack-a-doo creation and tells Noah to stay the heck away from it if he knows what's good for him, Noah actually steps aside and doesn't even try to mess with it.

Judah's mean big brother days are numbered now that Noah has actually learned how to tattle on him! Call it little guy survival instinct, but Noah learned to do this pretty quickly. A few weeks back little Noah came up to me and pointed to his head saying "unh, unh, unh" and then pointed to Judah and said "chhh, chhh."

What Noah? Judah hit your head?
Judah, did you hit Noah in the head?
He was in my way! It was an accident!

Judah was so busted.

Noah's day usually ends like this:

Isn't this how everyone likes to end their day? Naked, moisturized, enjoying a video of themselves?

Buck naked, toothbrush at hand, ready to watch a video of himself so I can slather eczema creams all over his dry skin. This is the only way I can get this writhing wiggly worm to sit still for his creaming.

The first time this brilliant idea popped into my head a couple months ago, I said "Noah, let's go watch a video!" Up until then, he had never watched anything but had seen his brother get up on this same chair + booster stool and enjoy plenty of Go Diego Go. Without any further prompts from me, Noah ran to this room, set the booster stool up himself and sat patiently waiting for his video.

He is always doing stuff like this. Showing me that he knows so much more than I think he does. That he is always watching, observing, and filing things away. And that he is growing up way faster than mommy can ever keep up with or admit to herself.

Whatever will I do when my baby is no longer a baby? However will my poor heart recover?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The suburbs aren't all that safe...

If you were to drive by my house last week on a random Thursday at precisely 7:26 pm, you would have seen my naked preschooler urinating on my driveway.

We had just gotten back from a walk in the neighborhood and Judah announced I HAVE TO PEE! Before I knew what was happening he had already taken off his pants and undies and just, well, peed. I have no idea why his t-shirt was off though. Hmmmmm.

I have no deep or witty insights into this episode. But it definitely made my day. Or rather it definitely made my day...more interesting. Life with a 3 year old--a gift that never stops giving.

Let's gather around and watch our little seeds grow

Ack, I'm so behind on blogging! Well, there's no time like the present to catch up...

Let's see...I'm a little late, but happy belated Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day Judah's preschool had a special presentation for moms. I got to sit in and watch them do a dog and pony show (sing lots of songs, do a little skit, etc.) for about half an hour.

And then, the kids "prepared" a snack for their moms. It was hilarious hearing their teacher explain each component of the snack:

First, put a cookie on your mom's plate. This cookie is for your mom, not for you. Don't take a bite. Don't lick it. Just put it on her plate.

Then, take a knife and spread some cream cheese on the bagel and put it on the plate for your mom. Remember, this is for your mom, not for you. Don't eat the bagel. And don't lick the knife and cream cheese. You will have your own snack later.

Then, take a banana piece, peel it, and put it on your mom's plate. Don't eat the banana. It's for your mom!

Judah and classmates begin to plate their food, kinda like in Iron Chef, no?

This was followed by similar instructions on how to put cantaloupe and strawberry chunks on a skewer, and so forth. I was really curious to see if Judah could perform each of these tasks because at home I do everything for him. Was he really capable of spreading cream cheese on a bagel?!

What an amazing demonstration of fine motor skills! I'm never buttering his toast for him again.

Yes, yes he was! He did a fantastic job and I was a very proud mama.

Nothing like a tour de force show of culinary presentation skillz to underscore how much your sweet baby peanut has grown and grown and grown.

Child labor snack service? I could get used to this...

What a way to make a mom cry into her skewered fruit.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Everything In An Instant

I just had to record this memory before it got lost in the dark chasm of my mommy brain...

A couple days ago Judah came home from playing outside and the Spouse made him strip down naked and wash his hands. Our house is kind of like a prison--you need to strip and scrub before entering. The Spouse is a little (and by little I mean A LOT) OCD about dirt.

Judah was really unhappy, as he usually is, to be stripped and scrubbed, and whimpered and whined about how cold he was. My heart leapt with compassion for him (it was a really cold day) and I ran downstairs and unzipped my fleece jacket and put it around him. Then I scooped him up and carried him upstairs to his room to get some new clothes.

The look on Judah's face when he saw me drape my jacket on him is a look I wish I could replay forever. It was like the warmest sunlight had been flicked on. In that instant I knew I had made him feel loved, comforted, and best of all, understood.

And that is all I could ever want for him, and for myself as his parent.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Or So I've Heard

Today the Spouse relayed to me this incident:

While flossing Judah...
Judah: Daddy I love you this much. [Judah holds his fingers very close together, a sign of miserly affections.]

Judah: But I love Miss Lydia (Judah's dour pre-school teacher) this much. [Judah flings his arms wide open. This is pretty damning because Judah often says he hates Miss Lydia.]

Spouse: Why do you love me so little Judah?

Judah: Because you floss me! I hate flossing!

In conclusion the Spouse realized he was "flossing Judah's love away" and so from now on it will be my task to floss the child.


In other news, Judah's babysitter told me that Judah punched a first-grader in the nose today. They were playing at a local elementary school playground and a boy was apparently "getting in Judah's face and really annoying him" and Judah finally just straight-up punched him.

The babysitter was shocked, as was I, since Judah has never punched anyone before and he's not really a physical person anyway.

Maybe his obsession with super-heroes has gone a little too far...

Thursday, May 01, 2014

My Double Rainbow

More and more it's looking like this is the future for Noah and Judah:

Everyone we meet (whether at the grocery store or the doctor's office) never fails to proclaim that Judah and Noah look like twins. Yet at Noah's visit to the pediatrician last week it was revealed that he is now only 30th percentile in height, a precipitous drop from how he started in life, at 90th or so. But at Noah's age, Judah was still a very tall 75th percentile, I think.

Gotta love Judah's fake obligatory smile.

If we continue on this trajectory Judah will probably end up being at least 6 feet and Noah will be a nice, compact 5'6'' maybe?

Just one of the many delightful differences I'm noting in these brothers. I have to say, when it comes to having 2 kids, I'm realizing that (to borrow a phrase from the queen of teen-pop--I love you Taytay!) two is better than one.

There is no greater joy or entertainment for me than watching my 2 kids interact. Even if they're being nasty to each other it's just straight up hilarious.

Noah experiences the fine line between affection and annoyance...all the time.

Their interactions usually fall into one of 3 categories: (1) intense jealousy/covetousness, (2) Noah copying Judah, and (3) benign neglect.

In the first category, it never fails to amaze me how intensely Judah will want something that Noah has simply because Noah has it and likes it. Even an object that Judah has scorned mere SECONDS ago, becomes like the Ring of Power to Golum when Noah starts to treasure it.

Judah has no interest in being in this toy...until Noah is enjoying it.

A few weeks ago they were fighting over a stupid tiny pink guitar that plays horribly off-key tunes when you press it's buttons. It was a secret Santa present from Judah's preschool and he didn't care for it that much. But when Noah grabbed a hold of it all hell broke loose.

Future school bus bully--parents beware.

Thankfully Judah's not a physically aggressive guy or else he could just easily pummel Noah and grab things from him. But Judah is quite the physical pacifist. Instead he screamed and cried in anguish for his toy back, yet never lifted a finger against him.

Noah on the other hand knew exactly what was going on and proceeded to goad Judah on by offering him the guitar and then jerking it away as Judah got closer. The little bugger can definitely dish it out. He would also run away on his short stubby legs and hide in plain sight, like in the corner of the room. So freaking cute right?

Of course I let this go on way too long as I haven't laughed this hard since I can remember.

The second category of interaction, Noah copying Judah, is probably the cutest darn thing I've ever seen. Noah doesn't smile much but he beams with pride and joy whenever he is successfully copying Judah--like when he wears Judah's superhero cape and/or sunglasses.

This is the look on Noah's face when he's about to attempt a 'big boy' activity--sheer determination and joy.

Last week I turned around to find my sweet little guy poking Judah's foam sword into my leg and giving me a look like "I gotcha Mommy!" Of course my heart melted and I pretended to die the same way I do when I'm playing with Judah. That little Noah just slays me, in every sense of the word.

And just yesterday Judah was roaring ferociously in the back of the car, when I suddenly hear this tiny high-pitched vocalization. At first I couldn't figure out what Noah was doing, but when that little noise was emitted consistently each time after Judah's roar I realized Noah was "roaring" too. At the stoplight I turned around and said "Good roars Noah!" and he beamed like the sun.

But most often, Judah and Noah are in category three, benign neglect. They enjoy being in each other's presence, each doing their own thing. Judah will build a spaceship from stackadoos or read his comic books and Noah will just putz around, picking up a ball, fingering a car, flipping through a book, what have you. Noah is so good at entertaining himself around the house that way I call him my putz-er. Just putz, putz, putzing around.

The Don and his pet pool boy.

But once in a great while, there will be a fourth category of interaction--a shining moment of great and incomparable joy when my two kids are actually making each other smile and laugh, on purpose. Recently it's in the form of Judah chasing Noah, Noah squealing in delight at being chased, Judah tickling Noah when he's caught him, and then Judah letting Noah go so he can get chased again.

So cute it makes me want to force them into matching outfits every day.

Sometimes it's Judah handing Noah a toy that he knows Noah would like or entertaining Noah when he knows Noah is prone to fuss (like on the changing table or in his car seat).

And often it's when I tell them "Kiss your brother!" and each kisses the other because the command could've been intended for either one.

And they always love each other just enough to comply.