Baby + dog = adorable!
Lately it seems that our family excels at being sick (I find it telling that autocorrect keeps changing sick to suck). Poor Mitchell and Justin have allergies yet again. Our bedroom was a symphony of snores last night. Mitchell was having a heck of a time napping today thanks to his nose, so I made him a nest of pillows and even got the vaporizer out. He’s snoozing happily now!
Oh yeah, and see if you can find the toy that doesn’t belong!
My baby is ADORABLE. And I haven’t shown a sleeping baby picture in a while, so here you go.
Isn’t he adorable? Ok, here he is doing his favorite bathtub activity right now: chucking the rubber duck at the wall and watching it bounce back to him. He giggles SO HARD.
And now, his favorite outside-the-tub activity: making Mom and Dad mimic him. He loves it when we repeat whatever he does, mostly raising and lowering his hands.
And a few randoms. Balls in a box! Blocks in a truck!
I recently had a family planning discussion with a friend. You know, how many, how far apart, yada yada yada. I realized that I’ve been picturing my future family for years. And my future family totally resembles a sitcom family. So, introducing….
I’m still working on a theme song. But it’ll be catchy. Trust me. Probably early Julie Andrews-esque.
Ok. Picture this. A quirky Midwestern family living on a small farm outside a college town but still close enough to town to get delivery (hey, it’s a fictional show. It could happen). The homestead is quaint and charming. The house is large enough for the family and many visitors, which always seem to appear. The barn has an awesome underground tunnel that links it to the home, which the kids love showing to their friends. The home’s basement is a kid’s (and adult’s) dreamland: foosball table, pool table, ping pong table, full bar, and big screen. Somehow it never needed child-proofed because the children were all so well-behaved. The farm has a large stock of animals, BUT NO POULTRY. Those things are evil. There’s a basketball goal in the (very large) driveway, beautiful gardens, a wooded area, and a pond. Maybe even a saltwater swimming pool, depending on how fictionalized we’re making this.
Dad: A professor at the local college, Dad is loved by his students and consistently voted Best Professor. He wears blazers with elbow patches and his lectures resemble Indiana Jones’ lectures (even though he isn’t an archaeologist). His wife and children regularly visit him on campus and even sit through his lectures. They may even insert a few funny anecdotes that make him more “real” to his students. Dad is the strong silent type at home who chooses to impart life lessons with well-timed genius. These life lessons are usually doled out while tackling some science experiment (that usually ends hilariously) or construction project. His wife and children always know they can come to him for an objective answer to any question, and he dutifully tries to pretend to believe them when they say they’re asking these questions “for a friend”. Dad’s a genius, so his children know they can go to him with any homework question and he’ll know the answer and know exactly how to teach them. Dad is also spectacularly athletic and teaches every child how to play all the sports.
Mom: Mom’s entire life is her family. She does economic development work for the town on a consultant basis, but her main focus is always her family. Luckily she gets paid outrageous amounts for consulting, so she can afford to do it part-time. She’s an amazing cook and there’s always a freshly-baked cake or batch of cookies on the kitchen counter. The family is comprised of a bunch of freaks of nature with ridiculously high metabolisms, though, so they can eat all the sweets they want and never gain a pound (seriously, I LOVE fiction). Mom is a constant fixture in each child’s life. She’s on a first-name basis with all their teachers and bring treats to the school often. She makes all their Halloween costumes and makes every holiday special with weird traditions nobody has ever heard of. She throws awesome parties and never minds when the kids bring friends home from school without notice. The kids always come home from school to sit on the counters and help her prepare dinner and tell her of their day.
M1: As the oldest, M1 is fiercely protective of his younger siblings. He’s athletic but considers his academics to be more important. He is mischievous and Mom regularly responds to news of his antics by smiling and shaking her head. She knows it’s all in fun. M1 is voted Class Clown.
M2: Also a boy, M2 isn’t quite as athletic as his older brother. M2 can regularly be found tucked away in one of the dozens of nooks and crannies and hiding spots in the house, reading a book. Nobody at school ever teases him for being a bookworm, though, because he’s so darn nice and besides, M1 would kick their butt.
M3: M3 may be a girl, but she was raised around two older brothers and is a tomboy through and through. Mom sometimes tries to make her dress up, which causes tension in their relationship, but nothing a cookie and a hug can’t solve. M3 loves playing sports with her dad and insists she’ll never leave the farm.
M4: As the baby of the family, M4 is adamant she’s a princess, and her family agrees. She’s frills and lace and Mom finds her digging through her jewelry on a daily basis. Animals follow M4 around like she’s Snow White. Even though she’s a princess, she doesn’t fear getting dirty and makes mud pies and climbs hay bails with her older siblings.
Mom, Dad, and the four children are very close to one another and spend lots of time together. They never have to plan family activities because every day just seems to turn into an activity. As the four children grow, they may leave for college but they always return to the area. They all marry orphans who had been searching for a mother and father figure all their lives, so they’re immediately enveloped into the family and holidays are never divided. The family never faces a crisis or situation any worse than maybe the death of a goldfish.
Basically, ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY.
Obviously, this is a ridiculous dream and I’m sure will not resemble my family whatsoever. I have no idea why I’ve pictured my future family like this, but I won’t mourn when it doesn’t come true. The only thing that I’m absolutely adamant will come true is the ending: ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY. Ok, and maybe the underground tunnel. You have to admit, that would be awesome.
But I have to say, I think we’re off to a great start. The roles of Mom and Dad and M1 have been cast, and so far, everything is going swimmingly. Brady Bunch, eat your heart out.
This is just darn funny.
…is going to tell some killer scary stories someday. This is his nightlight, which turns into a flashlight when it’s unplugged. Mitchell was also trying to plug it back into the wall. And the switch isn’t baby friendly, so he keeps accidentally hitting it, and then if he slams it against the ground he hits it again and turns the flashlight back on. Great precedent to set, I’m sure!
I realized I hadn’t done a good development update on Mitchell in a while, so here goes. He most definitely has a personality. You know, in that way that people say it so they can’t be accused of saying something bad. Just kidding. He’s hilarious. He throws temper tantrums sometimes, and he definitely gets into a lot of things, but all in all, he’s just a nut. A hilarious nut.
He doesn’t talk much still. I’ve read and heard that boys’ vocabulary is much slower to develop than girls’, so I’m not terribly worried. He knows words, he just doesn’t say them. And he doesn’t have a problem making his wishes understood, that’s for sure! Here’s a partial list of the words/phrases he knows (I’m sure I’ll miss some):
Inside, outside, front door, back door – If he’s inside and I say “let’s go outside,” he runs for the door. He knows the difference between front door and back door. If we’re outside and I say “let’s go inside,” depending on his mood, he either bolts in the opposite direction or heads for the door.
Shoes, coat – When I tell him it’s time to go bye-bye or outside, he runs for the door, then when I say, “we need shoes,” he sits down and holds out his feet. When I say it’s time for a coat, he holds out his arms.
Mommy, daddy – He knows who both of us are, but he only says “dada”. I think he’s rebelling. He greets Justin every evening with “dada dada dada dada dada” and sometimes starts saying it during the day while searching the house.
Goldfish, cracker, bite – He is very food-motivated, so “bite” was an early one. He runs for his high chair or the couch, depending on the time of day (we’re terrible people and eat dinner on the couch). His snacks are kept in a cabinet in the kitchen, and if he wants a snack at any point during the day, he runs to that cabinet and starts fussing. He knows the Goldfish package and starts giggling when it comes out. He’s obsessed with these rice cracker things right now, though, probably because they’re so easy to carry around. He also loves these veggie stick things.
No – He knows the word “no”, that’s for sure. But his reaction to it depends on your tone. If I say “no” in a lighthearted way, he giggles and shakes his head. If I say “no” very sternly, he melts into a pool of tears. Like, complete meltdown. Which is really rough in this house, because I tell my dogs “no” a lot. Laika barks at a squirrel a mile away every time she goes outside, so I holler “no” at her and then have to come soothe a baby who thinks his world just ended. It looks a little like this:
Yep, that’s just him thinking he got yelled at. I’m a total novice at this parenting thing, so I have no idea how to handle it. My first instinct is to grab him and hug him and tell him he’s fine. But I also don’t want him to continue having a meltdown every time I raise my voice at the dogs, so sometimes I let him cry for a couple minutes before I move in. Or long enough for a picture. Of course, he also has this meltdown if I say “no” to him very sternly. Which makes discipline even more interesting.
Shower, bath – He loves the shower, so he comes running whenever I say it’s time for a shower or bath. And when we’re in the shower or bath, when I say “wash a baby” he reaches for the soap.
Diaper – He heads for the changing table when I tell him he needs a new diaper.
Boobie – Heh. Yeah, he knows this word. If I ask him if he wants a boobie, he usually goes running for the rocking chair in his room. Luckily he doesn’t try to pull my shirt up, but if I’m ignoring his telltale signs of boobie craving while we’re out in public, he’s not above copping a feel.
Ball – Pretty self-explanatory. He fetches better than any dog I’ve ever owned, too.
Book – He LOVES books. He knows the difference between several of his books and will especially get Giggle Baby, Wheels on the Bus, or Peekaboo Baby on command. Justin and I can repeat those books from memory. It was funny, at story time the other day they did wheels on the bus and it was different than the version we usually do, and the poor kid was so confused. He kept trying to do the motions he knew, like “swish swish swish” or “beep beep beep”.
Open and close – God forbid you close the refrigerator, freezer, or diaper pail door yourself. You HAVE to let Mitchell close it while you say “close close” and then say “YAY!” afterward.
Yay – He immediately starts clapping, no matter what he’s doing, when he hears someone say “yay”. The other day I was trying to put him down for a nap while Justin and Kaylee were playing Mario Kart. Every time a race finished, one or both of them would say “yay” or “way to go” and Mitchell would start clapping. He was so tired, his eyes weren’t even open, but he still kept clapping.
Where’s Baby – He loves playing peekaboo, either with us or with his peekaboo book. So it’s pretty easy to distract him by saying “Where’s Baby?” and watching him try to find something to hide himself with.
I’m sure he has a much more extensive vocabulary, but right now he’s making it quite clear that he’s feeling neglected. I know this because he’s brought the majority of his balls and books to me and laid them at my feet. So I better go play with him before he moves on to more troublesome ways of entertaining himself, like climbing in drawers.