My baby is a toddler….

Forgive me, my emotions are going crazy today. So this may not be the most cohesive post you’ve ever read.

First of all, my baby is transitioning to a toddler. He didn’t make a slow transition, more like a quick “OMG, I’m a year old, I’M A TODDLER” leap. Today is the second day in a row that he’s put himself to sleep for his nap. Yesterday I went in just as he was falling asleep and the floor creaking woke him up, but today he put himself all the way to sleep all by himself. Any mother should be thrilled, right? I should be dancing for joy that he put himself to sleep with no fuss, no problems, just went from playing in his crib to passed out in five minutes. But instead I’m sitting here considering taking him out and rocking him just because I want to. I LOVE rocking babies. This is not limited to Mitchell. Rocking babies is just about the best thing in the entire world. When I worked in the daycare, I used to love rocking babies, especially at the end of the day when I usually only had one little girl left and she and I would just rock until her dad came to pick her up. But Mitchell seems to think he’s beyond rocking.

He had a fever Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week. It wasn’t anything spectacular, just a cold, but it was enough to make him a very angry baby. Friday night I almost took him to the ER because he screamed anytime he moved. I thought for sure he had an ear infection. Saturday he was grumpy when we met Grandma for her birthday, but then cheered up when he got to run around and play with the rockers. He was just not the happiest baby Sunday through Tuesday, and I was freaking out a bit, thinking my super cheery baby decided that the toddler stage was the grumpy stage, but luckily yesterday he snapped out of it and he’s happy again.

He may be happy, but I’m a basket of emotions. My parents divorced when I was really little, so it’s really no big deal (you can’t miss what you never had, right?). The result was that I had two childhood homes. My dad has lived in the same house since I was born. It’s definitely home. My mom moved to the house she and my step-dad built when I was six. So almost all of my childhood memories are wrapped up in these two places. Well, my mom’s house was sold and will be finalized at the end of the month. This has been MUCH more difficult for me than I ever believed it would be. I just can’t explain it. I’m a very sentimental person and tend to hoard anything that has a memory attached to it, so losing my childhood home is like losing my childhood. To make matters worse, nobody is living there right now, so when I went home to see it, it looked abandoned.

So, if you don’t want to see pictures that probably don’t mean anything to you, skip to the end. Adorable pictures of a baby toddler will be awaiting you.

This is it. The old house. One time, some Mormons came to our house and Tom the Turkey trapped them on this front porch. For the record, I was just as scared of that bird as they were. You didn't approach Tom without some sort of weapon, usually a baseball bat we kept by the door just for that purpose.

This is it. The old house. One time, some Mormons came to our house and Tom the Turkey trapped them on this front porch. For the record, I was just as scared of that bird as they were. You didn’t approach Tom without some sort of weapon, usually a baseball bat we kept by the door just for that purpose.

These are/used to be our chicken coops. For some reason, one of my most useful skills as a child was catching chickens. Only now am I thinking twice about catching all those chickens, just to butcher them.
These are/used to be our chicken coops. For some reason, one of my most useful skills as a child was catching chickens. Only now am I thinking twice about catching all those chickens, just to butcher them.

This is where the burn pile used to be. I have way too many memories associated with that burn pile. Let's just say there's a bit of a pyromaniac side to me.

This is where the burn pile used to be. I have way too many memories associated with that burn pile. Let’s just say there’s a bit of a pyromaniac side to me.

There used to be hedges in the corner of our yard. I trimmed out the middle of them and used it as my hide-from-life place. I even had a swing in there.

There used to be hedges in the corner of our yard. I trimmed out the middle of them and used it as my hide-from-life place. I even had a swing in there.

This used to be a giant swing set, complete with slide. The slide was bolted to the top by three bolts, one of which was conveniently located directly in the middle of the slide, so every swimsuit I or my sisters ever owned had a nice long rip right in the butt.

This used to be a giant swing set, complete with slide. The slide was bolted to the top by three bolts, one of which was conveniently located directly in the middle of the slide, so every swimsuit I or my sisters ever owned had a nice long rip right in the butt.

Baby and daddy, waiting for mommy to quit being ridiculous and trying to photograph all her memories.

Baby and daddy, waiting for mommy to quit being ridiculous and trying to photograph all her memories.

This used to be a cow or pig pen, depending on the year. One time, a pig got out and I decided that the most logical way to get it back in the pen was to rope it and drag it back. Except that it was a giant pig and I was probably about 80 pounds at that point (ah, high school). I got it roped, then it took off running, dragging me along behind for what felt like ten minutes but was probably a few seconds.

This used to be a cow or pig pen, depending on the year. One time, a pig got out and I decided that the most logical way to get it back in the pen was to rope it and drag it back. Except that it was a giant pig and I was probably about 80 pounds at that point (ah, high school). I got it roped, then it took off running, dragging me along behind for what felt like ten minutes but was probably a few seconds.

This is the path into the tree line behind our house. I'm not surprised in the slightest that this path is still worn down, as it was traveled multiple times per day by all us girls for many, many years.

This is the path into the tree line behind our house. I’m not surprised in the slightest that this path is still worn down, as it was traveled multiple times per day by all us girls for many, many years.

This is a giant tree in the tree line behind our house. I climbed it. Many times. Even though I was explicitly told not to climb trees. Many times.

This is a giant tree in the tree line behind our house. I climbed it. Many times. Even though I was explicitly told not to climb trees. Many times.

The pasture behind our house.

The field behind our house.

There used to be a row of hay bails on the other side of the tree line behind our house. Did you know there are approximately 5831485629 games you can play on hay bails? And we played all of them. Thank goodness I never had hay fever back then. There were usually two rows, so we would play house and each person got a set of bails as their house. Or we would play human ping pong against the side of a bail that was, for some reason, always set apart from the others. It's like they wanted us to jump off the bails against its side.

There used to be a row of hay bails on the other side of the tree line behind our house. Did you know there are approximately 5831485629 games you can play on hay bails? And we played all of them. Thank goodness I never had hay fever back then. There were usually two rows, so we would play house and each person got a set of bails as their house. Or we would play human ping pong against the side of a bail that was, for some reason, always set apart from the others. It’s like they wanted us to jump off the bails against its side.

More pasture.

More field.

A hedge apple. My sisters and I used to play dodge ball with them. Seriously.
A hedge apple. My sisters and I used to play dodge ball with them. Seriously.

Brooke got my room in the basement when I moved out, so we repainted it and decided the closet needed some graffiti.

Brooke got my room in the basement when I moved out, so we repainted it and decided the closet needed some graffiti.

Brooke's freshman Spanish class project. I think it was her freshman year, anyway. Not the point. The point is, it says, "Miranda es muy baja." :)

Brooke’s freshman Spanish class project. I think it was her freshman year, anyway. Not the point. The point is, it says, “Miranda es muy baja.” šŸ™‚

The storage room. The shelves used to be filled with boxes, and my sisters and I would climb up and hide behind them or hide behind them on the floor. In the event of burglars, my plan was always to hide myself and my sisters among the boxes until the burglars left, so I considered playing hide and seek to be practice for us.

The storage room. The shelves used to be filled with boxes, and my sisters and I would climb up and hide behind them or hide behind them on the floor. In the event of burglars, my plan was always to hide myself and my sisters among the boxes until the burglars left, so I considered playing hide and seek to be practice for us.

This is the very top of the closet in my first room, before I got moved to the basement. I used to climb the shelves and then curl up in the very top. Sometimes I would read a book, sometimes I would just lay there. I would always get mad when the bulb got too hot and I had to climb all the way back down to turn it off. For some reason, I always loved hiding or just hanging out in closets.

This is the very top of the closet in my first room, before I got moved to the basement. I used to climb the shelves and then curl up in the very top. Sometimes I would read a book, sometimes I would just lay there. I would always get mad when the bulb got too hot and I had to climb all the way back down to turn it off. For some reason, I always loved hiding or just hanging out in closets.

This is a tough one. Kelsey's bulletin board.

This is a tough one. Kelsey’s bulletin board.

You still with me? Goodness gracious, why? Well, as your reward, cute baby:

By themagnificentms

Thanks, I’ll just help myself.

I guess sweet potatoes just aren’t good enough for Mitchell.

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Also, “what’s in the box?”

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Yep, my child, playing in a beer flat. This is parenting done right, people.

By themagnificentms

He’s a toddler!

Mitchell has entered his toddler years with a bang. Seriously, a bang. Lots of bangs. Which are the sounds of mayhem moving through the house. I’m calling this stage the Destruction Stage. We went to meet our friends’ beautiful new baby, and Mitchell spent the entire time showing them every little aspect of their house that isn’t Mitchell-proof. He would just walk by the fridge and tear things down. He wouldn’t even pause. But, of course, I bragged that he’d never run a fever before and failed to knock on wood, so today he started running a bit of a fever. It’s nothing serious, but just enough that he wants to do nothing but cuddle. He’s been making his daddy read him the exact same book for a couple hours now, and I rocked him for over an hour this afternoon.

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Cuddly babies definitely have their advantages, though. He hasn’t broken a single thing today. And hey, any time I get to cuddle with him is nice.

He still has the will to play with his puppies, though. I think poor Laika thinks that if she just rides this out, he will lose interest in her. But bless her heart, she deals really well with it. Play time!

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By themagnificentms

Birthday Party!!!

We had so much fun at Mr. Man’s very first birthday party!

I put quite a lot of time into these decorations. So it’s entirely possible that Mitchell will be having superhero-themed parties from now until eternity! Plus it was just darn cute. Superhero rubber duckies? YES PLEASE! And a superhero skyline that ISN’T Gotham City with its creepy probably-villain Batman? YES! ADORABLE cake that matches the super great shirts I made for us? OMG YES.

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So, Mitchell was already well-loved (my way of describing his amount of toys without calling him spoiled). Now he’s just plain spoiled. He got ONE SHIRT. Other than that, ALL TOYS. Spoiled. I guess I should have put an addition onto our house on his wish list, because I don’t know where everything can go! I sure did have to put away some toys that he still plays with just to make room for the new toys. He hasn’t noticed yet, though. Go figure.

 

Everyone looked great in their little capes, but I have to say that him and his little womb-buddy were the cutest superheroes ever.

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He was being so nice and neat with his cake. He was just taking little bites. Everyone was teasing him and me for it, but I have to say, I do not think having a neat eater for a son is a sign of failure as a parent. His trouble with his cake resulted in oneĀ of my favorite pictures, though. “Here, let me show you how to do that. I did it last week and was WAY better.”

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Carousel!

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While we were eating, I didn’t make Mitchell sit in his high chair. I just put the food on it and decided to let him eat while playing. But he couldn’t even take a long enough time-out to come get bites off his chair. He just took his chair with him.

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This picture looks like superhero training to me.

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And…way more pictures. WAY MORE.

 

By themagnificentms

Life with baby + dogs

Life with baby + dogs sometimes results in hilarious moments, such as this. For the record, he was totally doing it intentionally abs had been for awhile before I could get to my phone.

By themagnificentms

More birthday

Continuing with the theme of getting away with everything day, pictures of Mitchell being rotten!

He followed Kingsley into his kennel, then shut the door. He would open the door, then when Kingsley tried to get out, slam it shut again.

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Then he destroyed an entire roll of wrapping paper. So his gifts may not be wrapped.

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And with all that destruction, he couldn’t help but pass out after his birthday beer!

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By themagnificentms

52 Weeks, 12 Months, or 1 Year

However you choose to say his age, my baby is no longer technically a baby. He’s a toddler.

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He’s been getting lots of calls from people wishing him happy birthday, and he LOVES talking on the phone with them.

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He must know it’s his birthday, and he must have taken notes from the best birthday celebrators, because he’s definitely living it up today. He insists (even more than usual) on being the absolute center of attention. If he’s playing with the blocks, we’re ALL playing with the blocks, including the dogs. If he’s bouncing a ball, we’re also all expected to partake in this fun. I think the dogs are learning a new fear of blocks and balls, since Mitchell’s version of playing with them right now is just throwing them. If I’m doing something out of his reach, he wants picked up so he can see (which isn’t terribly unusual, he’s just more insistent today). For goodness sake, the kid can’t even be bothered to chew food today. All-liquid diet, please! But, as I’m sure anyone in my life would tell you, I can’t exactly point fingers when it comes to taking birthday fun to the extreme.

I’ve decided there are two types of parents: those who are super excited when their child turns one because they look forward to a little more independence and time to themselves, and those who feel a panic attack coming on just thinking about their child getting past the baby stage. I definitely fall into the latter category. I thought I was doing pretty well today. I’ve stayed pretty active (see previous paragraph). Then I decided to take down the bassinet. He hasn’t slept in it for probably two months. He spends the first part of his night in his bed, then [insert shame face] in bed with us for the second half. He crawls into the bassinet to play in the mornings, so I figured I could use the extra square footage more than he could. As soon as I started folding it up (it’s one of those Arm’s Reach ones, so it folds like a play pen), I started getting a little anxious. I worked through it, and was doing pretty well, until Mitchell came into the room and saw what I was doing. He started crying and trying to push the bassinet back up against the bed. I have no idea if he knew why he was doing it or even what he was doing, but it doesn’t matter. I didn’t cry, but I sure felt like it. My baby doesn’t WANT to grow up! I thought about leaving it up, but I stayed strong: it’s packed up and ready to be carted off to storage. Look at me, acknowledging my baby growing up. I bet Justin thought that bassinet would stay by our bed until Mitchell was 5! I showed him! Now I just have to work up the guts to kick Mitchell out of our bed…*sigh*

Believe it or not, I’m STILL unpacking from our weekend at the lake. Seriously. I really don’t think we took this much stuff to the lake. Compounding the issue is Mitchell’s enthusiasm at returning home. I didn’t know how thankful I should have been to have a child that doesn’t insist on pulling all his toys out. Ever since we got home, I swear he’s gone through the house going, “OMG I MISSED YOU!” and pulling every single toy he owns into the living room. Which, it turns out, is a lot. He may be spoiled. I didn’t realize how many toys I had just scattered throughout the house. But they sure add up when he insists on having them all within a few square feet. He is also still pushing everything around, so he even brings his tubs of toys in here.

Mitchell is pretty much exclusively walking now. He crawls every once in a while, but mostly when he’s trying to get somewhere quickly. So if you see him crawling, FOLLOW HIM because he’s about to get into something he knows he shouldn’t. A fun new thing: he’s been trying to get Kingsley to chase him. He runs up (okay, walks quickly), touches Kingsley, then side steps away, giggling the whole time. He’s totally trying to get him to follow him. When Kingsley doesn’t oblige, Mitchell does the second-best thing: he chases Kingsley, yelling the whole time. Kingsley isn’t a huge fan of this game.

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This week he insisted on “helping” me get ready for his pictures. He kept wanting to put the pillows and blanket into the tub, then take them out. It was pretty adorable.

Oh, and just because it cracks me up, a picture of Mitchell’s new thing: yelling for attention. It might look like he’s crying, but I promise he isn’t. He’s just yelling for attention.

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By themagnificentms

Birthday Weekend 3.0

Daddy turned old (30) this weekend. There were games, drinking, and carousing, but what did I come away with? A hundred pictures of my child being adorable. Which is ironic, because one of the things I did for Justin’s party was round up a bunch of pictures of him and his friends. It turns out we used to take pictures of EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything. The lesson to be learned from all those pictures is that we used to LOVE taking pictures. Oh, and another lesson is that those pictures will be locked in a dark place once it comes time to teach Mitchell lessons about maturity and acting appropriately. Apparently those are lessons our parents didn’t impart on us very well! Oh, the times, they are a changing.

By themagnificentms