Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday to My Plumpkin

Today is Patrick's birthday.(If you didn't guess that by the title of this post, as well as the numerous FB and Twitter updates I made today) I just can't believe that he is 2 years old. It doesn't seem all that long ago that he was this itty bitty wriggly thing. Ok, he was never very itty bitty, but to me, he was tiny. So much has happened since he was born, not all of it good, but I have managed to keep his world happy and safe, and isn't that the entire point?

While he has said loving things to me before, and repeats after me when I tell him I love him, and tells me he loves his trains and "autos"... Today, for the very first time, he hugged me tight and said "Love you." What a wonderful, amazing, fabulous feeling. I know he loves me, but to hear him say it all meaningfully and sweet, that is a pretty special thing.

He had a lot of fun today. While his Mimi was still home, we all went to a park where he got to run up and down hills, play in the dirt, just "be free" (That is what he says when he doesn't want to hold my hand) And he got to eat cookies for breakfast.
After his nap we went outside to draw on the sidewalk. I think he could sit out there all day drawing and never get bored. We also drew a lot inside. He doesn't have a set of train tracks yet, so we draw them.

We played chase through the house, played with autos, watched "Chitty Bang Bang Bang", ate yummy food, and just had a wonderful day together. Patrick also received 2 birthday cards in the mail (How cool is that!) One from his Aunt Jenny & Uncle Tim, and one from his Papa & Gigi and Uncle Josh. He wanted to snuggle both of the cards when he went to bed. That's his new thing for all of his toys - they have to come to bed to "snuggle"

It was a pretty awesome day. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Plumpkin & The Pumpkin Patch

A couple of weeks ago, just before Halloween, Patrick had his very first pumpkin patch adventure. We went with Crystal & Roger, and we had a blast (despite the fact that the weather turned quite a bit warmer than we had expected).
The place actually opened a little later than we thought, so we passed the time with a walk at a cute little park in Dunnellon. Patrick enjoyed running around, especially when we taught him the words "Diabolical" and "Inconceivable" There is truly nothing more hilarious than watching a toddler run, arms flailing around, shouting those words as loud as he can and laughing gleefully.

Once we got to the pumpkin patch, Patrick was more than ready for more fun! He rode in the little wagon for a while, exclaiming "Oh! Pumpkin! BIG pumpkin" and "Oh! Another one!" over and over again. Then he decided he wanted to help Uncle Roger push the wagon.

He helped us pick out the best pumpkins (including Mimi's "Pickle Pumpkin" a giant long green gourd thing) and helped me pick out the prettiest sunflowers.

It was a truly wonderful pumpkin adventure!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Patrick's Summer Adventures

Since it is technically not the end of summer until tomorrow, I figured I still had time to write about Patrick's summer. I really need to start doing a better job of keeping up with this blog, not just for those who enjoy the updates, but so I can look back and remember all of this stuff later on.

So, Summer 2011:

Germany - It was during the 3 weeks in Germany that Patrick's already astonishing vocabulary really started to expand even more. He also started saying and remembering people's names. We went on many adventures - forest walks, museums visits, trips to the zoo, visiting with family and friends, eating cake. If you don't consider eating cake an adventure, that is because you don't have an almost 2yr old. Trust me when I tell you, it is an adventure :)
Patrick danced with Omi, bonded with Andreas, fell in love with Eva, and stole the hearts of everyone he met. The plane ride home was a bit of an adventure as well, but not in a good way at first. He cried almost the entire 8hr flight. Yup, the people on the plane loved us. But I figure, as many airplane rides as he has been on, we were probably due for 1 rough trip. The short leg of the trip he made friends with the nice lady sitting next to us. When I say made friends I mean, she said "Hello, what's your name?" And he introduced himself and Louie and jumped into her lap...and stayed there the entire flight. At least he didn't cry.

Beach Fun - Towards the tail end of the summer we spent two weekends at the beach. Patrick LOVES the ocean, even more than he did last year. He also enjoyed the sand more this year. Last year he wanted nothing to do with it. This was the first year that I actually saw the dolphins. Patrick saw them too and was very excited about them! He still talks about them and the sea olives. It was during the beach weekend that Patrick fell in love with drawing. He "borrowed" a drawing pad from his cousins and filled it with colorful scribbles that he gleefully announced here trucks. Trucks, autos, dump-trucks, firetrucks, bicycles... I now have notes books filled with his wonderful happy drawings, as well as the things he politely requests (i.e. demands) I (or whoever has been told to sit and be drawing) draw for him.

Definitely a summer full of wonderful fun and new experiences! <3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime - Striking Fear in our Hearts

There has been an influx of articles about the dangers of summer: The dangers of swimming and the beach; the dangers of travel; the dangers of foods like popcorn, grapes, and hotdogs; the dangers of sunscreen; the dangers of no sunscreen; the dangers of playing outside...

The articles are filled with horrifying stories. Stories that kill you inside, just a little bit. Stories that make you want to lock your child up in a room with nothing but padded walls and mush to eat.

I realize that these articles are there to raise awareness. There are horrible stories out there because people don't pay attention to signs of heat stroke, or do tragically unthinking things like leave a child in the car "for a few minutes" or feed them chocking hazard food and don't watch them, or leave them unattended (or just don't pay attention) while they are in a pool...
I get it. Make people aware of the dangers to minimize tragedy.

But seriously folks, do we have to actually strike fear in the hearts of parents everywhere?
Like I need these constant panic attacks thinking of what "could" happen? As if these are not thoughts lurking in the back of my mind anyway? Must there be awful stories and DANGER! WARNING! DANGER! everywhere I turn?

How about this - if you are a parent, or taking care of a child at any time - do these things:
1. Watch them 200% percent of the time, especially around water, whether they can swim or not.
2. Read up briefly to see what foods are potential choking hazards for their age. For example, Under the age of three: Popcorn, whole grapes, hotdogs (even cut in round pieces) and anything round could be a hazard. Also, children under the age of three should be supervised when eating.
3. Knowing CPR is a very good idea!
4. If you are hot and sweaty, your child is even hotter. Children get heat stroke much easier and more quickly than adults. Keep them hydrated and keep them cool, even if that means pulling over during a road trip and hanging out for 30 min. in an air-conditioned building. Easy right?
5. Don't leave your kids or animals in a car, even with the windows open. It can quickly reach over 100 degrees. By quickly, I mean within minutes. Remember that heat stroke thing we talked about? So, just don't do it. It isn't worth it.
6. While it is not the best idea to lather your little ones (especially really little ones) up with sunscreen all the time, a bit of chemicals on their skin is better than a horrible sunburn. So, use good judgement. If you are going to a park where there is plenty of shade, they probably don't need to be lathered. Plus, that Vit. D is good for them. If you are going to the beach with very little shade in sight, well, sunscreen is your friend.

There, I have informed you of dangers, but not scared you senseless. Go forth and enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet Little Helper

In just a few days my little baby boy will be 19 months old. I know I have been saying this since he was about a month old, but they really do grow so fast!
It has been such a joy raising this little boy, and as quickly as it goes, there is still so much ahead, and I can't wait!

He's been morphing from "baby" to "toddler" rather quickly lately. Hilarious tantrums, the "Happy Patrick Dance" that he does pretty much on demand, and just recently helping me wash him during bath time, and helping me dress him. He has always been very independent. I'm actually really happy about that, though it does make me a bit wistful for those tiny baby days where we just snuggled together for hours. More and more he is able to do things on his own, and I have noticed that as he can do more on his own, he's been a bit more snuggly too. Not just with me either. If grown-ups ask him for hugs he will sometimes give them. Other babies don't even have to ask - they get hugs before they even get a hello, much to their surprise.

I definitely have a sweet little helper on my hands. Now, I wonder if I can get him to help me clean?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

18 Months

Patrick is 18 months old today! Can you believe it!? I sure can't.
He's growing so fast!

He is now 26 lbs and 10 ounces and 33.5 inches long. Growing, growing, growing!

The pediatrician said that temper tantrums are a good thing. I'm just going to believe her, she is very wise.
And they are kinda cute, those little tantrums...most of the time.

He loves music, words, food (even though it is pretty much impossible for me to feed him) It is just so amazing to watch his little personality develop. What am I saying, his BIG personality. There's a whole lot of oomph in that little guy!

We have a few exciting trips coming up too! A visit to see his Papa and GiGi in June, almost the whole month of July in Germany, then the annual Beach House fun in August. He has an exciting life, that baby boy of mine <3

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day

I had the most wonderful Mother's Day weekend! I celebrated with my mom, and Patrick, of course. We went to Disney both days and had such a fantastic time! It was the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, so it was even more lovely than usualt. On Sunday we even pretended to be tourists and bought a bunch of stuff. It was such a treat!
Patrick LOVED Epcot! He was delighted by all of the people, the sounds, the sights, and the "bath" (Any moving or body of water)

It was such a special time. I will remember it always!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy, you should clean that!

Patrick and I were sitting on the couch looking at books with Aunt Crystal, when he peeked down into the couch cushions and said "Pfoi!" (This is "Yuck" in German) We laughed and tried to keep reading with him but he was obsessed with the stuff in the couch. Then he starts saying "Dog! Pfoi!" So apparently, there was too much fur in the couch. He was not satisfied until I vacuumed it up. He looked at the lack of fur, laughed, and went back to playing.

It looks like I might have a little neat-freak on my hands. Haha!
At least he will keep me on my toes (and help me keep the house clean!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life's Little Blessings

How did I get so lucky with that little boy of mine?

We have our frustrating moments, our off days. He has temper tantrums. He refuses to let me feed him most of the time now. He kicks and screams more often than not when we do diaper changes, though this is finally starting to get better.

But he is amazing, healthy, happy, brilliant, adorable...He's just perfect.
I wish I could capture every moment on film. The tickling giggles, the cute little words, the sweet little hugs, dancing and songs, even the temper tantrums. I hope I will remember it all, always.

We never know what life will throw at us, we never know what the day will bring. But we all have some blessings in our lives... Things that make the day brighter, add color to our world. The things that make our hearts smile.
Patrick, is mine.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Haircut

How can he be old enough to have had 2 haircuts!? He really needed them too!
Every time his hair is freshly cut, he looks a little more like a child and less like a baby. Always adorable, but growing so fast!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Little Boy

My little munchkin and I have survived the weirdness of the last couple of weeks...either that or I have just gotten used to it? Either way, things feel more normal now. He had an awful diaper rash that is finally almost all healed up now too.

Patrick walks about 85% of the time now. He also tries to run, which is very cute. He has learned the word "Ooops!" It is so adorable when he says it too! Every time he takes a tumble he says "Ooops!" And laughs and gets back up again. Could he be any cuter? I sure don't think so!

Yesterday he put four words together to make a demanding little sentence. "Mama! Ba! Auf! Num!" Translation: Mommy, I would really like you to open the snack container and give me something yummy! Thanks!"

I think back to when he was this absolutely helpless little thing that could only flail little arms and legs. And he made all these cute little baby sounds. Now he's walking, talking... now he is starting to look like a little boy. Not a baby. A little boy.
How on earth did that happen!?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Faeries Switched My Baby!

For days now I have been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why my little guy is so ornery lately. He's always been a willful little thing, but usually so very happy and easy to please. Yesterday was difficult. Today was worse. Along with beating me up, thrashing during diaper changes, and a few short tantrums, he had a complete meltdown. It totally broke my heart.

Finally, it dawned on me. I have made one major change in his little life.
He is no longer nursing. The first couple of days he asked for it often, and I would distract him and feed him, and he would be fine. Now he'll ask once or twice, and then go off to do something else.
Today I seriously considered just giving in. I knew it would make him feel better...but then we would be starting all over from beginning, and those first couple of days were very hard, for both of us.

He finally calmed down though, for the most part, and we went on about our day - filled with baby chasing and quite a few giggles...and only a few more difficult moments.

I love giggles.
I love giggles so much more than meltdowns.
I know that babies/children just have meltdowns sometimes, but it makes me feel as if I am doing things wrong.

Also, I think I am permanently injured on the left side of my face. My mom says she is going to get me a helmet to protect me from the baby. She's pretty funny that mom of mine.

I can only hope that things will settle more back to normal over the next few days...and that this is not some new phase, like the "Terrible Twos"...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

15 Month Update

Patrick had his 15 month checkup yesterday.
He is a little over 25lbs and 32.5 inches. They said he is in the 75% for weight and 90% for height. He got to show off his words and his walking, which made him super happy. The Dr. was very impressed with his language skills.

Patrick is walking even more today and hardly falling! He has been combining words consistently too. And, he's learned a few new words. The cutest is "cracker" which he calls "coocoo"

He's one awesome little guy!

Now, if I could just figure out how to make diaper changes less of a mess...that would be fabulous! Is it too soon to potty train? =P

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Patrick = Awesome!

Today was just a normal day. Nothing special about it...except for Patrick, of course!
He loves grocery shopping. Everything about it excites him. It is just the cutest thing!
When we were at Costco he enjoyed sampling the tasty treats. At one point I was tickling him and saying "I love Patrick". He giggled and said "Love a mama!" Now, I realize he may not quite get what this means...but I don't care, whether he understands it or not, having him tell me he loves me was just amazing! And maybe he does understand what it means, because whenever we snuggle I say, "Love love love" and he hugs me tight and sometimes gives me kisses. I totally melts my heart too. =)

Our second stop was Publix. They have these great big airplane/race car shopping carts. The second he saw it he went nuts ooohing at it. We put him in, and he started steering. It was so cute! It looked like he was driving. (It wasn't very easy to get a picture, because every time he saw the phone he wanted it.)

Later at home, while eating his dinner, he was very obviously pooping. (Totally comical by the way.) When he was finished, he smiled proudly and said, "Diaper!"
Seriously! This kid is brilliant!

He has also started telling me what he wants. He'll say "mama" then the word for whatever it is he's wanting at the time, which is usually a snack. Haha.

This all started today.
It was a normal every day kind of wasn't...Because Patrick is totally awesome! =)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Plumpkin Speak

A little bit ago I made a list of all of Patrick's words. I was asked to continue the here goes (Including keys to understanding "Patrick Speak")

He now says "Mimi" (The name he has for my mom)
Owls now make a sound! "HooHoo"
Some dogs have names. Patrick can say "Dash" and "Thor"
All dog toys are "Bone"
One of our cats in named Inca, so now Patrick says "Ahng" to all cats
Try as I might, I can't seem to convince Patrick that airplanes are not "Autos"...Airplanes are "Autos"
(Remember, "Auto" is the German word for "car". Pronounced "Ow-toe")
"Bock" is Box
"Locka" is clock (though sometimes socks and shoes ("Yuck") are also "Locka", just depends on what he is pointing to at the time)
While almost all fruit, and food for that matter, is called "Apple", lemons are "Leba", and sometimes bananas are "Angnana"
He has snacks called Fiddlesticks. These, and all other snacks, are called "Deetdee" He is very demanding about these. Ok, he is very demanding about almost everything =P
He says diaper pretty clearly (as he tries to remove it)
Lions are "Low" (ow sound) and so are flowers actually.
Snowman is "Nohma!" (He is always very excited about snowmen)
"Bim" is any dinging sound. In Germany we say "Bim bahm" when something rings. Patrick discovered the doorbell. Now it, and all lit up buttons, are "Bim"
Button ("tuhn") has actually morphed to "Bim" also...just in case it makes a sound after all.
Bird ("eeee") has changed to "Beeee"
Baby is now very clearly "Baby"
Train is "tga tga" (Because I call it a "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo Train") So far, it is the only thing with wheels that is different from an "Auto"
Phone (and all phone like objects) is "Dome"
Cows say "boooo" or "baaaa" (He gets them confused with sheep)
"Down" is one of his favorite words right now, aside from "Auto"
Dinosaur is "DohDoh"
Door is sometimes "Doh" and sometimes "Dohr"
"Auf" (which is German for "open")
Oh! And he says "ByeBye!" =)

Sometimes Patrick says a bunch of stuff that seems very important, but I have no idea what he is saying. He gets mad though if I don't understand, especially if he is saying the same thing over and over. So I'll just nod and repeat the word and that usually makes him happy. If he is pointing to something he wants, but doesn't know the word (and says "Dat! Dat!" over and over) I'll just say the word as I touch each object in the direction he is pointing. I usually know I have the right one when he cackles at me and gets even more excited.

Sometimes he says a bunch of words he knows, for no reason other than to say them. He just really loves words. He practices them and plays with them all the time. It is so cool!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sharing and Baby Steps

We try to teach our little ones the importance of sharing, just like we were taught. Some don't learn the lesson as easily as others. A few don't really learn it at all. Being an only child, I didn't really learn the art (yes, it is an art) of sharing until early adulthood. What can I say, I was a late bloomer.
The thing about sharing is that it often becomes even more difficult and complex the older we get. This is even more true of parents, especially when the family is...let's use the word "expanded" instead of "split"...

My little baby has been so very close to walking for months now...each week or so he'll get closer and closer to taking multiple free standing steps.
Just the other day he took 2 steps before falling! So very close...all those little baby steps, leading up to the huge walking milestone! It has been so very exciting!

Yesterday, while visiting his Grandparents D and his daddy...he walked!
He walked...and I missed it.

And I want to be so excited that they got to see it, because those firsts are so exciting! But I am a little (ok, maybe more than a little) sad that I missed it. Sure, he will do it again, and maybe I'll even be able to catch the early walking on video...
But I missed the first.

Sharing is not always easy. They don't tell you that in kindergarten...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vocab and Yogurt

Patrick's new game is to play "I spy" while eating breakfast. He will name everything he that can in the vicinity. The dogs, the cats, the boxes (to which he says "Bock, auf!" meaning he wants it opened. Auf is German), toy cars, cows (on the yogurt container), the fruit flavor of the yogurt (which is also pictured on the container and is always either "apple" or "lemon"). Then he will point to the things he doesn't know and ask me what they are. Sometimes he'll try to repeat the word, and sometimes he will laugh and move on to another word he knows...Or like yesterday, he will keep pointing to it because he thinks it is very funny to here me say "Frog, ribbit ribbit" over and over again.
His favorite word this morning was "lemon" since that was the flavor of his yogurt. Every bite he said it over and over again. It was very funny, and very cute.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I think blue is Patrick's favorite color. He has the Twilight Turtle, which can be switched between 3 different colors: Amber, green, and blue. He goes through all the colors until he gets to blue, then says "Boo" and nods all matter-of-fact and keeps it on blue. If I change the color he changes it back to blue.
It is so adorable!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nursing & Weening

I never was one of those women who wanted to nurse much past one year (more power to them though) I always said that if my child can walk up to me, lift my shirt, and latch is past time to ween.
Well...he didn't walk up to me...he crawled. *Sigh*

Not that he hasn't been slowly weening as it is. For the most part he only nurses in the morning and evening. And the last couple of days he's been skipping the pm feeding.

So, it is time to get serious about this weening business.
It isn't easy, because we both enjoy the nursing. It is our snuggle time. I know he'll be snuggly when he gets a bit older. Right now life is just way too exciting to slow down for even a moment. I get a squish and a big wet kiss, and he's off to explore and be chased, and get into trouble.

My goal is to have him completely weened by the end of this month.
I'll miss it though.
Letting go of babyhood is really hard.
Now wish me luck with this. Patrick will not be very pleased to have his boobies taken away! LOL!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

(More) Words

I thought it might be a good idea to write down Patrick's first few words, before there are just too many to keep track of anymore. He's been learning a word or two almost every day now! He is incredible!
These are in no particular order, but they are all the words he knows and says. He actually understands even more words than this...but that is just too long of a list already.

Mama and Dada (obviously)


Woof and dog


Baum (German for tree)


Book "Buhp"



Ja (German for yes)

Button "tuhn"

Bird "eeee" (This is because, as much as I like to avoid baby talk, I said "Birdie" once or twice, so "eeee" it is. I should note, baby dragons and airplanes are also called "eeee")

Flower "ow"

Baby "baba"

Blue "boo"

Balloon "boon"

Bear and Ball are both "Ba" (but he knows the difference between them)

Turtle "LdlLdlLdlLdl"

Spoon "Gohk" ( idea...)

Yellow "e-ow"

Cup "up" or "babababababa"

What's that? "Ow?"

I want that! "Dat!"

He also says "Owa" when he wants to tell me what something is

Yum! "mmmm num num num" (Ok, that doesn't really count, but it is super cute!)

And, we aren't sure, but we think he says "Agua" for water.


He also says "bowl", "auto", and "more"...Oh! And his newest word is "Light" He is very proud of it and repeating it over and over. Very cute!

Obviously I should have done this list a little sooner...I am already loosing track of the words.
Not quite 14 months old, and he has quite the vocabulary! When people ask me if he's walking yet and I say no, and they get that look (you know, that slightly rude look that just screams "Wow, shouldn't he be? What's wrong with him?") I smile and say "He's decided to use his brain first, he already has more than 10 words in his vocabulary. That usually wipes that silly look right off their faces. Don't they know that all babies develop differently? I have heard of 6 month old babies walking, and babies not walking until 18 months, and both are normal. I am sure there are other babies out there with a very high vocabulary for their age too.
I just is more than 20 words! Wow! (14 if you only count words he actually says "properly" and clearly)

The one thing those snobby people (What is with those weird baby snobs anyway? Subject for another post...) can still stump us on is when they say "Doesn't he say bye-bye?" It is supposedly one of the first words babies learn, right up there with "Mama" and "Dada". Patrick does not say "bye-bye"
Kinda hard to be worried with all the other words he knows. It is a bit odd though. I think he just doesn't believe in "bye-bye" =)

He does give high fives though, which is pretty cool.

I just read on BabyCenter that a 14 month old should know around 3 words. So either people just aren't paying attention and are missing the words babies know, or Patrick is just absolutely brilliant. I'd like to think it is a little of both.
I also think that speaking to your baby like a real person, reading to them, and repeating words and making them fun, makes a really big difference too.

Only 3 words? That just can't be right! Babies, all babies, are a lot smarter and know a lot more than people think!