Sunday, March 11, 2012

Civil War Reenactment

About a month ago, a Groupon popped up for tickets to a civil war reenactment. We figured that even if this was super lame, it would still be awesome. We prepped Nicholas for the big day. We described it as a party where people were going to shoot some guns and maybe even a cannon, which was a big gun. He was ecstatic for his "shooter party." (Almost everything we go to we describe as some sort of party.)

It was rainy, but we had lots of fun. We visited the Confederate and Union camps. We walked through the old town. At 11, they did a town raid. The Union soldiers took the town and then the Confederate soldiers took it back. Nicholas loved this until the shooting started. He started bawling very noisily. He insisted, "I need to GO HOME. I need to GO HOME. Mama lets go back to the car. I need to get in my car and go HOME and watch MICKEY. Mama." I pulled out the juice, chocolate pudding, and fruit snacks I take on each outing in case things get rocky. It bought us a little bit of time, but Nicholas bawled through most of the raid.

After the shooting stopped, Nicholas started enjoying our outing again. He made friends with the blacksmith. He loved watching the fire and the hammer. He tried to throw a rock in each of the "piddles" he passed. He took a tumble into some mud, declared himself "all messy," and had a great time holding the umbrella.

The small church in the little village.

Nicholas watching the Blacksmith

Lexi was an angel. She put up with the cold and the loud noises. She was so good that we spent the rest of the day testing to make sure she hears okay. I guess she is accustomed to big brother making loud noises.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nicholas at 29 months

Weight: 31.4 lbs
Height: 3 ft
Nicknames: My Destroying Angel and Squeeber
Security Object: Monkey Blanket

Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. His love for Mickey is extraordinary. We spend a lot of time acting out Mickey when we are not watching it. One of his favorite things to do is to drop things down various holes and cracks. Then he gasps, puts his hands over his mouth, and announces, "Oh dear. My (insert object) has fallen down this hole. We need a mouseketool to get it out. Oh, Toodles." Sundays are hard on us all because we don't let him watch Mickey.

Progress Towards Potty Training:
I asked him the other day if he wanted to sit on the big potty or his little potty. He thought about it and then said, "How 'bout we just go sit on the couch."

Big Accomplishment:
He has been binkie free since last Sunday!

The Terrible Twos:
He is a very sweet, but very busy child. He is the most talkative little two year old that I have ever met. He is always so excited about life and he has the most interesting things to tell me all the time. He also always has an opinion. He loves choosing things and getting to make decisions. He is great at expressing what he needs and that makes life great. He always has a great idea of something he wants to do to entertain himself. He surprisingly is happiest when he is playing at home with me. I do try to get him out of the house once a day, but it is a battle.

He is a great playmate. It does sometimes seem like I have to keep a three ring circus of fun going all day long in order to keep him happy. If I don't give him my complete attention, he goes and finds something to destroy or some mess to make. It just isn't worth the effort to try and do something while he is awake. If I stop paying attention to him for five minutes, I end up spending the next ten minutes cleaning up some mess he made. I'm running out of good hiding places for things. He can now open doors and climb on things to get whatever he wants. It is time for another round of baby proofing. We are contemplating building a big gate to keep him out of the kitchen.

I also never knew that the terrible twos were contagious. When Nicholas has a bad day, I find myself whining to Joseph like a petulant child. "I never get to go anywhere I want to? I never get to do anything I want to do? I don't want to clean my house/room? Nicholas isn't nice to me. He hit me. I'm bored. I want to do (insert activity here) all by myself." Poor Joseph is so good at helping when I get desperate. Some days he calls to check if he still has a son.

Favorite Games:
  • Catch
  • Golf
  • Baseball
  • Shadow puppets on the wall
  • Bubble Baths
  • Craft time
  • Play Dough
  • Playing on the iPad
  • Hide and Seek
  • Setting up his tent
  • Making Forts
  • Sandbox
  • Bug Hunts
  • "I need, I need, I need, I need...."
  • "That's a good idea Mom."
  • "How 'bout..."
  • "Maybe after we sing a song and say a prayer we go to nursery." (We hear this a lot during church.)
  • "Where's my Nicholas?" (He will say this when he wants me to come find him.)
  • "Thank you for making all this food."
  • "Fold those arms Papa" (when it is time for prayer)
  • "I need you to help me get back to sleep."
  • "That's too scary."
  • Nicholas came out of his room after being put down for a nap. Here is how our conversation went: "I'm back. I'm running away." He then started giggling hysterically as he ran around the table.
  • In the morning, Nicholas wakes up and will tell me one of two things. Option number one: "Yeah!!! I woke up." Option number two: "I did take my naps and did not open the door. Now it is time to watch Mickey."
  • The other day I think Nicholas had his first nightmare. He woke up crying, which is very unusual. I went in and asked him why he was cry. He reported, "Mama's two friends came and took her to the movies. She said I be right back." I asked him, "Are you sad because you couldn't come with Mama?" He responded with the saddest, "Yeah." What a sweet little moment. His big fear is having Mama leave him.
  • Sometimes, Nicholas likes to be left alone. He will tell me, "Mama take a break." He usually tells me this when I won't let him destroy something and he doesn't want me to stop him.

Attitude Toward Lexi:
  • Lexi is getting more interactive so Nicholas is starting to take notice of her. He has a few rituals that he likes Lexi to participate in. For example, he likes to take bubble baths with his letters and have Lexi stand in her walker next to the bath. He then makes her letter towers on her little tray.
  • He calls her "my Lexi."
  • He cries in the car if Lexi cries because he thinks it is scary.
  • He likes to lay next to Lexi on Lexi's blanket and watch Mickey. He will keep telling her, "We are watching Mickey."
  • He loves to give Lexi her blanket. We are working on not covering Lexi's face when he does this.

Nicholas loves going on bike rides to Campion Trails. His favorite part is throwing all these rocks into the near by river.
He loves playing with his magnets and sticking them on the ironing board.

We have TONS of crane flies (the ones that look like giant mosquitoes). Nicholas calls them Mister Bugs. He likes to look for them and they are our little pets when they get into our house. Here he is drawing Mister Bug a picture and he had me write him a letter.

Nicholas' first ice cream cone on Valentine's Day. Right after this we got it put into a dish.

We did a photo session after church one day at Nicholas' favorite statue park.

Nicholas all ready for church in his puppy vest and with his glasses.

He loves singing "If you are Happy and you Know it" at story time.

I was trying to teach Nicholas about mixing colors.

He insists on wearing one Elmo slipper and one shark shoe.

He loves arts and crafts. Here he is making a bird at the Dallas Museum of Art.

He wanted a hat like Mickey's crown on Minnie's Masquerade.

He loves blowing himself and Mom's hair with the blow dryer.

He loves it when Papa helps him make a "Nicholas."
Lexi and Nicholas watching Mickey.

Nicholas' leprechaun.

Nicholas loves making shapes and long lines with his magnets. Nicholas loves shapes right now. He likes to make triangles, circles, diamonds, and squares with his fingers.

Nicholas building Lexi letter towers while he is in the bathtub. I love the look Lexi is giving Nicholas in this picture.

Nicholas and Lexi in their "special" chairs
We took Nicholas when we went to play whirlyball. He loved the arcade games. He yelled, "Look at all these toys." He had so much fun pushing all the buttons and driving all the car games. I LOVE that he likes them more when we don't put the quarters in them.

It took Nicholas 30 minutes to drink this chocolate milk with his spoon. It was 30 great minutes!! I love those surprising moments when they happily entertain themselves doing something you would never expect.