From Bean to Sprout

a first time mom's forray into parenthood

8 Months and Counting December 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:05 pm

Well Freddy is getting up there in age. He just turned 8 months on Sunday and is motoring along. It seems he’s reaching all the milestones Henry did at the same time of the year, only he’s two months younger than Henry was at the time. I mean just yesterday his first tooth popped out. Almost exactly two years to the day that Henry got his first tooth.

He’s cruising along like crazy and seems like he can’t stop moving. He gets obsessed with certain objects or items and can’t move on from that. We have a tiny hole in our dry wall where our baby gate used to go (Henry so graciously ripped it out of the wall). Well Freddy is crazy intense with that hole. He’ll seek it out wherever he is in the house and if we’re not paying attention, he shoves his finger in there and tries to make the hole bigger.

I’m constantly finding stuff in his mouth. Like all the time. My poor little second child. Henry never was left to stray long enough to find something to shove in his mouth. Not so for Freddy. I’ve found dirt in there, plastic, pine needles, leaves, dog food. I scoop it out but he does get a taste for it. He also thinks Ginger’s food bowl is a communal dish. I have to keep Ginger’s water elevated so that he doesn’t splash around in it.

Let’s see, what else. He’s deep into the 8 month seperation anxiety mode. He’ll be crawling around following me, crying, begging to be picked up. Often while I’m busy making dinner, cleaning etc. If I leave the room, he cries bloody murder until I return.

On the positive side though, he’s probably the easiest, friendliest baby. When he’s not freaking out away from me, he’s pretty chill. He loves food but hates baby food so we’ve been doing Baby Led Weaning and it’s been great. Hands free, no need to to spoon feed him. He loves to laugh at Henry. Chris and I can’t get the same laughs out of him as Henry does. Sometimes it’s hilarious, other times not so much, like when Henry is misbehaving. Freddy’s laughter and clapping just encourages him to continue acting out.

The best thing about this little guy is he’s a cuddler. He just loves to burrow into you to cuddle and will squeeze you tight. I’m pretty crazy about the little guy.

 

Hey Mama, I'm having the time of my life just standing here.

Hey Mama, I’m having the time of my life just standing here.

 

Freddy's started standing on his own. I caught this pic right before he plopped back down on his bum.

Freddy’s started standing on his own. I caught this pic right before he plopped back down on his bum.

 

His new favourite place to play, under the Christmas tree.

His new favourite place to play, under the Christmas tree.

 

 

 

Beautiful Exotic….Watertown? December 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:27 pm

A few weeks ago, we decided to get away with the boys for the weekend. Chris booked the Friday off and we headed on down to Watertown, NY. Why Watertown you say? Well it’s close by, has great shopping, has a zoo and did I mention it’s close by? We wanted to go somewhere where it would take us less than 2 hours to drive to. Why not Montreal you say? Well we also wanted to stay somewhere for cheap. I got a great discount at the Fairfield Inn (which is the Marriot’s discount line). My “must haves” were 1. a suite, 2. a pool and 3. complimentary breakfast. This place was 3/3. They had great customer service as well despite the fact the Henry almost got us kicked out. Chris and I are so used to his 6pm mania of running around and chattering away that we didn’t think it might bother the people below us until we got a call from reception to keep it down. Note to self, stay on first floor in the future.

We got a ton of shopping don, including Christmas shopping and made sure to have plenty of “kid” time for Henry since last time we went to Watertown, he wasn’t a huge fan. We ended up going to the Watertown zoo which houses animals native to New York State. It’s just a tiny zoo but perfect for toddlers. Plus there was an uber entertaining bear there who got into a violent fight to the death with a large tree branch. The bear won. We watched that bear for a long long time with Henry saying every few minutes “Silly Bear!!!”

The only disappointment from the trip was we were hoping to find more exotic beer and didn’t find any. Come on New York State, you’re supposed to be crawling with microbreweries! Step up for next time!

Happy to rest after a long almost 2 hour drive. Freddy was starting to lose it.

Happy to rest after a long almost 2 hour drive. Freddy was starting to lose it.

 

Product placement shot. Olive Garden, feel free to mail me a cheque.

Product placement shot. Olive Garden, feel free to mail me a cheque.

 

Had I known I was going to spend most of my weekend in here, I would have stayed home.

Had I known I was going to spend most of my weekend in here, I would have stayed home.

 

Hanging out at the zoo

Hanging out at the zoo

 

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Shopped till he dropped

Shopped till he dropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Mama!

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 7:40 pm

Henry broke my heart yesterday, with just a few words, what was a bad morning turned into the worst. Our morning had started off great. We had breakfast, watched Muppet Family Christmas for the one millionth time and made our way outside relatively easy. For those who don’t have a toddler, getting them out the door can be quite the battle. I’ve grown to hate winter just because there are added layers (pun intended) of complication in getting them outside, as in, putting them in boots and jackets so they don’t freeze to death instead of just bringing them outside as is and plopping them in the car. So yesterday, with the promise of shoveling the driveway, Henry happily put his boots, jacket, hat and mitts on. Our routine now with the snow is that he gets to “shovel” while I get the car ready. I put Freddy in the car, start it and clear off the snow or scrape the windows while he happily pushes snow from one side of the driveway to the other. Usually by the time I’m done, he’s bored with his job and is ready to go. Not so yesterday. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Ok, we put the shovel away now Henry?

Him: (very cool and calmly) no

Me: We have to go see Abby (his new daycare girlfriend), she doesn’t like to have breakfast without you.

Him: No

Me: Why don’t we put the shovel away and you can play with it when you come home with daddy later?

Him: NOOOOO!!!!

at this point he actually throws the shovel to the ground and tries to make a run for it into the house. I intercept him, grab him and bring him to the car while he kicks and screams. I’m then fighting him to strap him into his car seat as he twists and turns yelling at the top of his lungs and actually whacks me in the face at which point I get angry and yell “ENOUGH OF THIS!” and he stops just enough for me to buckle him in.

The whole way to daycare he’s yelling and screaming and crying saying “NO DAYCARE, GO HOME! SHOVEL!!! SHOVEL!!!!” and I’m telling him “I’m sorry but you have to go today, I have a lot of things to do”.

When we get to daycare, he usually jumps out of the car, this time, he’s just dead silent. I unclip him and he just sits there not even looking at me. So I tell him “ok, Freddy and I are going in” and start to walk away and nothing. I can’t leave him in the car so I put Freddy down, drag Henry out of the car and put him on his feet and lock the car door before he can try and open the door again. Well then all hell breaks loose. He’s yelling that he wants to go back in the car while Freddy and I are walking towards the door. I couldn’t really just leave him in the parking lot since it was fairly busy and I don’t trust him to not run in front of a moving car while in full tantrum mode but I kept giving the impression I was going in so he’d follow. Halfway to the door he stops and yells loudly “BAD MAMA! I NO LIKE YOU!!!” and that, was the sucker punch. It broke my heart. He eventually came in, still crying and his teacher just took him from me and told me it would be best for me to walk out because if I lingered he might think he’s coming home with me. So I said goodbye while he’s crying and screaming and walked out. When I got into the car I just lost it and started crying myself.

We’ve been having really rough nights with Freddy lately, we’ve all been sick at least twice each in the past month, we’re exhausted and the holidays haven’t even started. Not to mention the constant toddler tantrums being thrown our way. Anyways it was all too much and I broke down in the car and texted Chris that Henry called me a bad mama. When I got home, I was just emotionally spent. Good thing I had my fitmom class yesterday morning. I just pounded out all my frustration, exhaustion, anger, put it all in that workout and felt a lot better afterwards.

The thing that really sucks about these tantrums though is that Henry gets over them instantly. Apparently he was cool even before I reached my car. Me on the other hand, it’s taking me longer and longer to calm down from these moments. I also worry his early memories of me will be of me yelling things like “No Hitting! No Kicking! Stop that! I SAID STOP THAT!!!!”

When Chris picked him up yesterday, he asked Henry if he loved me and Henry said “Yeah I love mama”. Well that’s good to hear.

I'm sorry I have zero impulse control

I’m sorry I have zero impulse control

 

Skip, Hop and a Jump November 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 9:01 am

I cannot keep up with Freddy anymore. This kid is in some kind of a rush. I should have known I’d have my hands full when he started commando crawling at 5 months. At 6 months he was full on crawling, at 6.5 months he was pulling himself up on whatever he could find (including the back of my legs as I was making dinner and had to call for Chris to come help me in a panic since I couldn’t move) and now at almost 7 months he’s pulling himself up and cruising along furniture. He’s just so busy all the time. He reminds of of the rabbit in Alice and Wonderland. Sometimes it’s like the compulsion is beyond his control. When I’m nursing him, if he’s overtired, he squirms left and right and then rolls over onto his stomach while trying to maintain a latch which results in me yelping in pain and him getting frustrated. “Mom, all I want is to lie on my stomach to eat, why you gotta stop me?”. Changing his diaper has become a nightmare. It’s like wrestling an alligator. Each diaper change/clothes change ends with Chris or I covered in sweat and frustrated. I thought Henry had moved quickly as a baby but compared to Freddy, Henry was slow. Henry only started crawling around 8-9 months and even then it was a laboured crab walk thing. Freddy can move pretty quickly and crawls perfectly on his hands and knees. I was kind of hoping he wouldn’t be mobile for our trip to Mexico in January but it looks like that won’t be the case. While on our honeymoon, there was a popular song in Ireland called “Can’t Stop Moving” by Sonny J and I feel it’s Freddy’s mantra. “Can’t Stop Moving, Can’t Can’t Stop Moving, Can’t Stop Moving, I Can’t Keep Still”. Who knows, maybe he was a shark in a previous life and this is a survival thing…

Lock all the gates and put away all the tiny toys, I'm coming!

Lock all the gates and put away all the tiny toys, I’m coming!

The first time he pulled himself up he was just as shocked and confused as we were. It was like "woah, did you know we could do this with our bodies?"

The first time he pulled himself up he was just as shocked and confused as we were. It was like “woah, did you know we could do this with our bodies?”

 

Better Late Than Never

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:42 am

Hello all, I got super delayed in posting about Halloween and then debated whether or not it would be even worth it at this point but decided to post about it anyways.

This year, we went characters from Sesame Street. It was our first time going in our actual neighbourhood as the previous years we had gone to my sisters to trick or treat with Logan and Niko. We also invited Loly and Pops over (also known as Chris’ parents) to trick or treat. Loly ended up handing out treats to the goblins and ghouls on our street and Pops tagged along with us.

I had found a Cookie Monster costume for Henry at Old Navy back in September and he was going through a huge cookie monster phase at the time so I snatched it up. Then decided it would be cute if Freddy went as Elmo. I decided to go as Abby Caddaby and kind of created my own costume based on her character. Chris dressed as the Count. We were going to paint his face purple but he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t really want to wear a costume so he just put on a dress shirt, vest and a cape. It was nice and warm which was a plus and the rain held out longer than anticipated.

We ended up just hitting the tiny street behind us. Turns out toddler legs aren’t meant for the long haul on Halloween despite my prodding. Freddy didn’t even last half the street before he was done. We only collected candy for Henry this year, not Freddy. We told people that Freddy was apprenticing this year, getting ready for the next. The only exception were two houses. One where they were giving out full size chocolate bars. That’s a super rare thing these days so when they offered one to Freddy I was like “hells ya!”, the other was this cute elderly eastern European couple who insisted we take an extra treat bag. When we said Freddy was too young, they then said “well for the parents then!”.

Henry was still pretty shy. He’d go up to the door, whisper “Trick or Treat” and then shove his tiny little pumpkin bucket at people. He’d then whisper “thank you” and turn around and leave. We often had to ask him “what do we say?” and then he’d say the thank you. Last year we had that little pumpkin bucket also and it didn’t take long for it to be full so this year I brought a reusable bag as well to dump candy in when his bucket got too full. This turned out great for him, people would assume he didn’t have much candy and would give him extra!

After an hour and just one street, I wanted to keep going but Chris pointed out that Henry had said a few times “go home?” so we hit the houses on the way home and that was it. I get so caught up in the spirit of Halloween some times that I forget that Henry is only 2 years old. We got back home to find Loly handing out candy like a pro, engaging the kids in Halloween related banter. It was effortless. Freddy was revving himself up into full freakout mode since he was hungry.

To top off our evening, we all got flu shots! Now I hate needles. Like a lot. To the point where I will sometimes hyperventilate. But I’ve gotten used to Pops showing up in the fall with flu shots so this time, I requested them to avoid the anxious anticipation. And honestly, Pops gives great vaccines. You don’t really feel it. He gave one to Freddy who didn’t say a peep, just stared at him and Henry just said “Ouch” then kept on giggling.

Once the kids were asleep, Chris hit up Costco (it was dead) and I counted and sorted candy. Quite the haul! Can’t wait until next year!

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Park Fun October 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 1:55 pm

On Monday I brought Henry & Freddy to the park in the afternoon to let him blow off some steam. Both had slept for less than an hour and were climbing the walls so I thought a park outing would help.  We were there about 20 minutes when Henry started getting bored. I figured we’d head back home when another mom showed up with her two sons.  They were 3yrs and 18 months old and exactly what Henry needed. He started following the oldest boy like crazy. Henry can come on a little strong with other kids but this guy was having just as much fun. The mom even offered to help Henry up the rock climbing wall of the play structure since I had Freddy strapped to me, rendering me pretty much useless. She was pretty cool herself. I started having visions of play dates with these kids. She must have sensed I was getting attached because she then dropped the bomb that they’re from Yellowknife and just visiting her parents for a month. Curse you Yellowknife!!!

We ended up spending 2 hours there. Chris even came and joined us there after work. When it came time to go home, Henry refused to leave. He lost it. Like really lost it. Chris had to drag him home kicking and screaming as Henry clawed at his face. It was right around the time where parents are waiting outside for their school aged children to arrive via bus so they got a great show. I was walking behind slightly embarrassed and explaining sheepishly “he didn’t want to leave the park”. Thank god for that one mom who answered “we’ve all been there”.  I think Henry deep down was bemoaning Yellowknife as well.

Henry telling me "you sit on the other side"

Henry telling me “you sit on the other side”

 

Great childminding tool...

Great childminding tool…

 

I Love the swing!

I Love the swing!

 

Me too!

Me too!

 

Freddy playing it fast and loose by leaning waaaay in.

Freddy playing it fast and loose by leaning waaaay in.

 

 

 

 

 

Scrubbing In For Surgery

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 1:00 pm

Sunday, Henry and I did some intense surgery on the weekend. We successfully conducted two pumpkin-ectomies. We went to the grocery store and let Henry pick out two pumpkins. Unfortunately one is a bit of a dud and won’t stand on its own but I won’t hold that against him…much.

Henry was into the pumpkin carving for all of 5 minutes then ditched me to play with his cars.  Carving pumpkins is labour intensive. I didn’t have any proper tools so I used a steak knife. A lot of back and forth sawing gave me a good arm workout.

 

Help me carry these mama!

Help me carry these mama!

 

scooping out the guts. Henry hates getting his hands dirty with food so this was pretty much his worst nightmare.

scooping out the guts. Henry hates getting his hands dirty with food so this was pretty much his worst nightmare.

 

our supervising chief of surgery.

our supervising chief of surgery.

 

our works of art.

our works of art.

 

 

 

 

Masterpiece Theater

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 12:40 pm

Last Wednesday we took Henry and Freddy to see Sesame Street Live. We had waited until the night before to tell Henry we were going since he has gratification issues. Basically he wants things right away. So the night before I explained to him that we were going to see Elmo after “school” the next day. Well drop off at daycare that morning was rough. He kept saying “No daycare, ELMO!” and I kept saying “after daycare Henry” and then communication lines broke down from there. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited myself to go. We’ve become very VERY well acquainted with Sesame Street, particularly Elmo and I’m not going to lie, I’m a fan. I like everything there is about Sesame Street. They’ve “kept it real” for a really long time.

So it was with great chagrin, that when we picked him up early, he was clearly sick.  He was all red and lethargic and cranky. We debated whether we should go or not, but before we could decide, Henry said “we go see Elmo now?” so I couldn’t not bring him. We figured we’d go for a bit and then leave if he got too tired. We rushed home, gave him a bit of Tylenol and headed back out.

He was a bit confused at first, not quite knowing what was happening.  About 10 minutes into the show, it was like I was seeing a different Henry. He was jumping around, dancing, clapping his hands, singing and naming every character as they appeared on stage.  We also got to hang out with my sister and nephew Niko and niece Victoria who scored free tickets from my aunt Francine. At one point, Henry felt it was imperative to reach over to my sister and say “Kiki, that’s Cookie Monster”. I guess he thought she wasn’t familiar with the characters. The boys had a blast. Well Freddy fell asleep in the second half but I’m sure he enjoyed what he saw.  The second it was over, Henry just crashed. He used all his energy for Elmo.

Now for the show itself, as an adult, I thought it was awesome. They really engage the kids with catchy song and dance numbers. I felt bad for the people in the costumes since the whole show is prerecorded so these people are on stage miming along to the soundtrack. I felt Cookie Monster was over-exaggerating his movement but I guess if movement is the only thing you’re allowed to do, you want to make sure you’re noticed. I noticed you Cookie Monster. There were a few jokes that adults could pick up on as well. The best part though was just watching Henry thoroughly enjoy the moment. He was just so happy seeing his heroes up close. I would definitely go again.

I don't feel good but I still want to see Elmo

I don’t feel good but I still want to see Elmo

 

what is going on?

what is going on?

 

Chris got into it also.

Chris got into it also.

 

overacting Cookie Monster

overacting Cookie Monster

 

kind of blurry since Henry was dancing and clapping

kind of blurry since Henry was dancing and clapping

 

Freddy tired and confused. I was wearing a sesame street shirt that i've had for years. Needless to say it was a hit with the kids.

Freddy tired and confused. I was wearing a sesame street shirt that i’ve had for years. Needless to say it was a hit with the kids.

 

mesmerized by the show.

mesmerized by the show.

 

back to being sick and miserable right after.  Ever the frugal shopper, I bought that Grover doll earlier that day at the grocery store for $7 instead of buying a $25 one at the show. We gave it to him at the end and he loved it.

back to being sick and miserable right after. Ever the frugal shopper, I bought that Grover doll earlier that day at the grocery store for $7 instead of buying a $25 one at the show. We gave it to him at the end and he loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Long Nina, Bon Voyage! October 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:27 pm

My sister Nina has moved to Australia for at least a year to live with her boyfriend Josh. A few weeks ago, we had a goodbye brunch for her to send her on her way and I took a bunch of pictures. Thought I’d share a few so that if she misses us all the way over there, she can take a quick look at these and remember why she left… hehe.. just kidding. Good luck on your adventure Nina!

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Victoria is clearly not impressed with the unfolding events.

Victoria is clearly not impressed with the unfolding events.

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Niko smoldering for the camera

Niko smoldering for the camera

Logan and his shadow Henry

Logan and his shadow Henry

Freddy happy to be with the ladies.

Freddy happy to be with the ladies.

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They say don't work with animals or kids. That couldn't be truer for these two brutes. Nina was really flexing her muscles trying to get them to cooperate.

They say don’t work with animals or kids. That couldn’t be truer for these two brutes. Nina was really flexing her muscles trying to get them to cooperate.

Frank and his fiancee Catherine and their crazy energetic dog Disney

Frank and his fiancee Catherine and their crazy energetic dog Disney

tickles from grand-maman

tickles from grand-maman

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Victoria much happier with Mama

Victoria giving some smolder of her own with mama.

This is sadly the best picture I could get of Nina with 3 of her nephews. Niko is doing that face for all of the pics and Henry looks like he's going to cry.... Good memories for you Nina!

This is sadly the best picture I could get of Nina with 3 of her nephews. Niko is doing that face for all of the pics and Henry looks like he’s going to cry…. Good memories for you Nina!

Pic with the parents.

Pic with the parents.

 

Guess What??? You’re Awesome!

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:05 pm

I’m not going to lie, I often find myself doubting my ability to parent. I’m constantly re-evaluating every move/decision I make in the name of my kids. Continuous second guessing. A few times a day I have to stop myself and take a deep breath before going off the frazzled deep end. I look over to Chris who seems to have an infinite reserve of parenting patience and he just seems to know what to say to Henry all the time.

And then, a few days ago, I had one of those “I am mama, hear me roar!!!” moments. One of those moments where I was able to think “I got this!”.  I took both Henry and Freddy to the Valley View Animal Farm. My plan was to have Freddy in the stroller, and Henry walk next to me as we met the animals and walked the grounds. Both kids disagreed with this plan immediately with Freddy writhing around in the stroller like he was possessed and Henry trying to climb in the stroller and kick Freddy out. So I switched to plan B, put Freddy in the carrier and pushed Henry around. Things were going well and then Freddy started doing his “I’m getting hungry” song and dance. From where I was on the farm, there was no spot to sit down and feed and I knew Henry would start showing his toddlerhood if I stopped pushing the stroller. So, I pulled down my nursing top and fed Freddy in the carrier while I continued to push Henry in the stroller. I had always stressed out about the possibility of nursing in the carrier. Thinking “no way I’ll ever be able to do this” and when the time came, it just happened so naturally, with such ease, like I was meant to do this. It was very empowering. It made me realize, yeah, I can do this parenting thing. I may doubt myself, but when it comes down to it, it’s something that comes fairly naturally.  I’m doing the best I can and my kids are turning out alright.

And that’s where you come in. Parents who are reading this, who may be at the end of their ropes and feeling like failures. I want you to know that I think you’re awesome. You’re doing the best that you can and that’s great! I hope you all can have a zen like moment that I had recently and realize that everything will be ok. Just keep doing what’s working for you and don’t overthink too much. Take everyone’s opinion on parenting with a grain of salt. Everyone is living different circumstances than you, so what works for them might not work for you and vice versa. Just keep doing what keeps your family healthy, safe and most importantly, keeps you sane!

I'm getting hungry mom and there's nowhere to sit down.

I’m getting hungry mom and there’s nowhere to sit down.

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I’d rather be in here than use my legs thankyouverymuch

Henry decided he was ok to get out of the stroller to go down this massive slide. He changed his mind once up there.

Henry decided he was ok to get out of the stroller to go down this massive slide. He changed his mind once up there.

Henry kept calling these apples and when I said "Henry, they're pumpkins" he'd say "no, mama silly"

Henry kept calling these apples and when I said “Henry, they’re pumpkins” he’d say “no, mama silly”

posing for pictures in front of the pumpkins. I took a picture of Henry and his friend Avery at this very spot 2 years ago. How time flies!

posing for pictures in front of the pumpkins. I took a picture of Henry and his friend Avery at this very spot 2 years ago. How time flies!