Monday, March 22, 2021

Currently: March

Greetings from the land of the sleep deprived. :/ William is going through his 4 month sleep regression so I am feeling pretty bleary eyed. He was up nearly hourly on Saturday night. Last night was a bit better as we got one 3-hour stretch but then he was up every 1.5-2 hours after that. Thank God for coffee! Here's what's going on in my world!

Reading: A Gentleman in Moscow. I've been meaning to read this for years, but was compelled to read it when I saw that Kae was reading and enjoying it. I'm really liking it so far!

Loving: the spring weather we've had recently. I know we are probably not done with snow for the season - Minnesota is cruel like that - but I'm glad we've had some warmer temps! I try to go for a walk with Will in the baby carrier when the weather allows and we've gone to the park on the weekends which Paul of course loves! 

Masked up for a walk with friends around a local lake. Will is covered up in this photo so he'd stay warm (it was very windy that day!).

Feeling: tired. Phil and I joke that parenting is a young man's game. I'm 40 and he will be 40 in August so we are on the older end of the parenting age spectrum. Sleep deprivation is hard for anyone but I think it's harder the older you are! 

Anticipating: a visit to my parents the week after Easter! We haven't seen them since Will's birth! They are fully vaccinated so we feel safe visiting them. Plus, I will be fully vaccinated by then, too!!!! They will be here in late April to help with Will during my first 2 days back at work. We are having his baptism that weekend, too. I'm glad we'll see them twice in April! 

Struggling: with this sleep regression. I vividly remember going through this with Paul. We moved Will out of the snoo in our room and into a crib in his room so it's probably making the regression even worse, but it was time for him to be in his own space. We are planning to sleep train him when we get back from visiting my parents. We won't sleep train to sleep through the night - it will be get him to learn how to fall asleep on his own. It's not a fun thing AT ALL but it worked well for Paul and I know it will make a big difference for Will, too.

Grateful: that I was able to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine a couple of weeks ago! Minnesota expanded their eligible criteria and I qualified due to my immune compromised status. I had to drive over an hour to get it but it was so worth it! I get my 2nd dose next Wednesday. Hopefully Phil will be eligible by May. Minnesota has done a great job with the vaccine roll-out!

Working: on setting up Will's nursery. It's a work in progress as Phil uses it as his office on days when he works from home so it won't really be fully finished until he is back to working at the office full time. I need to frame some prints to hang on his wall and buy a bookcase. That's the extent of the decorating we will do, though. We are not the types to have really cutely decorated nurseries. Our boys are only in their rooms to sleep so I figure we will put more effort into it when they are in big boy beds - which is probably around the corner for Paul!

Listening: to podcasts as usual and loving my air pod pros! That was the perfect birthday gift to myself and I highly recommend them! 

Watching: March Madness basketball games. I am dead last in Phil's work pool as 2 of my final 4 teams are out, but it's still fun to watch. Plus I love a good upset, even when it busts my bracket. My championship team is still in, though, so I still have a shot at winning. Besides basketball, we are watching the show "Baskets" on Hulu. It's a light comedy featuring Zach Galifianakis. 

that spring would arrive for good. It does wonders for my mood to feel the sunshine. I will say this winter was really not all that bad. We had one long cold stretch in February but besides that it hasn't been bad. The last several years we've had huge snowfalls in late March/April so I'm bracing myself for a return of winter but maybe we will luck out and spring will stick around for good!

Bonus Will photos:

Everyone likes to see a cute baby, right? So here are some extra photos of our little cutie.

We do lots of reading during the day!

He has quite the comb-over going on! 

Big brother showing little brother how one of the toys makes different sounds. Paul continues to be a sweet big brother. If William cries, he will say "Are you ok? Mommy is coming!"

What are you reading, watching and grateful for? Have you been vaccinated or do you know when you may be eligible? I lucked out and had zero side effects, although that might be because of my immune suppressing drugs. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Paul at 3!

Paul turned 3 last week so I am a due for an update post. I do these every 6 months now. It's fun to look back at previous posts and see how much he has changed. It's a reminder that every phase - good and bad - really goes by quickly in the grand scheme of things. It is a little hard to believe that he is 3 but at the same time, I'm not sad about that. A lot of parents talk about how sad they are when their kids celebrate birthday or new stages of development. Phil and I feel like we are in the minority on this as we aren't exactly sad that they are getting bigger/older. I think part of that is because we think we are best-suited to parent kids at age 4 and older. Don't get me wrong, we appreciate and enjoy things about each stage, but the early years of a child's life are so physically demanding - especially for the mom. So we look forward to stages where they have more independence (and fewer tantrums!). Maybe I will come to a time when I will feel sad when they turn a year older but we aren't there yet. 

Growth: He's still petite but is up to 9th percentile for weight which is the highest he's ever been since migrating down from his birth weight. He's almost 27.5 pounds and 36.5". He grew 2" since his 2.5 year appointment so is definitely getting bigger. His doctor was really happy with his growth and we've gotten to the point where I don't worry about how much he weighs. 

Words and phrases: Paul is quite the chatty kid and has started to mimic things we say. Like one day when he got home from school with Phil, I asked how his day was and he said, 'It was busy!' Hahahaha. He has clearly picked that up from Phil and me - mostly Phil though since I'm not working right now so I never use the word "busy" to describe my day. Another funny phrase he says is, "I'm tooting out a poop" when he is pooping. Maybe TMI, but that's life with a toddler! One last story - he was sitting on Phil's lap to read a book and Phil got distracted and didn't start reading right away. Paul turned around and said, "You don't know the words?" 

He understands Spanish and uses words occasionally, but he mostly speaks in English. He's starting to learn how to spell words - like Stop is a word he loves to spell. And he loves to yell "stop" when he sees a stop sign. We've been working on spelling his name but he isn't super interested in that yet. 


- Being outside and especially going to the park! We had our first park visit last weekend and he had the best time on the swings. He will still ride in the stroller for longer walks. He also likes to use his scooter but we obviously haven't had that out since we got snow. Our snow is all gone, though, so he'll probably start scooting on the weekends. My MIL has one of those strider bikes so we'll introduce that this spring, too.

- Baking is one of his favorite activities to do with me. My sister got him a little baking set for his birthday so he's been pretending to make muffins. 

- His favorite shows to watch are Curious George, Dinosaur Train and Daniel Tiger. He gets to watch a show while eating breakfast every morning and after naps on weekends. I have relied on tv more when I am on my own with both boys, especially if I need Paul to be quiet while Will naps. But I think the amount of screen time he gets is fine and it's something I try not to feel guilty about as he tends to learn things from watching his PBS shows. 

- Reading is still one of his favorite things to do which makes me so happy! We got him some curious George books for his birthday and he said that was his favorite present! He's mostly moved beyond board books, although the birth of Will has reinvigorated his interest in them as he feels like they are "his" books. But he mostly enjoys picture books which I enjoy reading way more!

- Lastly, he loves to play games. We have Hi-Ho Cherry-O, The Hungry Caterpillar, My First Orchard (our favorite) and Dinosaur matching game. I love playing games so am glad he's at the age where he can play them!


- Getting out the door for school. He does not like to run on someone else's schedule so will get very resistant and crabby. 1/2 the time Phil carries him out of the house crying but he cheers up pretty quickly. 

- Seeing mom read books to Will. I try to have him "read" to Will as he has most of the books I read to Will memorized. But mostly I just avoid reading to Will in front of Paul.

Eating: is still a challenge. He eats more foods than he did in the past but he is still very picky and refuses to even try a lot of things. We talked about it at his 3y appointment and his doctor isn't too concerned and thinks it's typical toddler pickiness. We are told that he eats well at school so we know he CAN eat things. His favorite foods are cottage cheese, banana pancakes, pasta, graham crackers, hummus, applesauce, and taquitoes. 

Potty training: Ugh I wish I had a great update for this but he is still extremely resistant to training at home. He uses the potty at school so we know he can do it. After talking it over with a friend with potty resistant boys and his doctor, we've decided that the pull-ups are going away Easter weekend. So we are basically forcing him to train, but we know he can do it since he uses the potty at school. And he will sometimes tell us when he is peeing in his pull-up, so clearly he's aware of what his body is doing. Wish us luck! I'm ready to be done with having 2 kids in diapers! 

Big brother adjustment: Overall I feel like he's done as well as can be expected for a 3 year old. He definitely gets jealous at times, but he is mostly very sweet towards Will. He will try to comfort him if Will is crying and is always asking if he can touch Will or hug him. We're still working on gentle touch, though! I had the boys take a bath together once last month and while I wouldn't want to do that often, it went pretty well! He also likes to share/show toys to Will which is pretty sweet.

Toddler behavior: We've definitely seen our share of toddler tantrums. Since I have 7 nieces and nephews, I know this is par for the course and will get better with time. It's just not fun to deal with in the moment, especially with a baby on the scene. He is not great listening at times which drives me absolutely crazy but again, I know it's a stage and a way for him to assert his will. 

So that's Paul at 3! So challenges, but lots of fun changes and development, too. I love how more and more of his personality comes out as he gets older. He is a very sweet, loving, and funny little kid and is generous with hugs, kisses, and telling us he loves us! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

February Reads

February was another strong reading month, although I did not read quite as much as January! Will went from being up at least 3 times a night to mostly 2 times, with the occasional 3, so I read a bit less and slept a bit more. Yay! But I still managed to read 12 books! 


The 5 books above were my favorite reads of the month. You can't go wrong with any of these 5. Everything I Never Told You was a re-read and I think I loved it even more the 2nd time around. The Push was a total page turner about a new mother who struggles to connect with her daughter and wonders if something is off. Code Name Helene was based on the true story of a woman who worked for the Resistance during WWII. I appreciated it even more when I learned how much was based on the life of the woman who inspired the book. I'm Still Here was a quick read about being racial injustice, particularly for women of color. The author is female - her parents named her Austin because they knew when she was older and applying to college/jobs, people would think she was a white male and might have a better shot at what she was applying for. What Could Be Saved was about an American family who moves to Bangkok for the husband's job and their son goes missing. When the book starts off, the sister of the missing boy receives an email saying that her brother has been found. It's been something like 30 years since he went missing, maybe more (my memory of the details is foggy). This was a total page turner for me! 

Pretty good

These books fall into the 'pretty good' category. 


Interestingly, 2 of these 3 books - Hamnet and The Song of Achilles - are based on previously written works that I had not read. I think not having read either of the source works impacted my reading experience and I felt pretty meh about them. The same goes for The Jane Austen Society. I actually do not like Jane Austen at all - I just don't understand the hype. I've read 2 of her books and felt so meh about both of them. But I thought this book sounded cute but I'd only suggest reading it if you are a Jane Austen aficionado! 

Paul and Will's Reads:

I love this picture below of Paul cuddled up on the couch with a book my parents sent him for Valentine's Day! He loves books so much and it makes my heart so happy!

And here's Paul "reading" a book about animal tales to William. Such a sweet moment! Will was very captivated as he is quite interested in his big brother!

One discovery I made this month is that Paul has the book, "The Mitten" memorized! We received this Ukrainian book from a good friend at work and it's become one of Paul's favorite books. It shocked me when he took over the reading of it the other night and basically knew every word. These little minds can store so much information. He has memorized other books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but memorizing The Mitten is a step above that as there is dialogue - it's not just pictures/repetitive phrases like the other books he'd memorized! So that was a very cool discovery!

Did you read anything good this month? Do you remember memorizing books when you were little? My mom talks about how I had the book, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" memorized. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Paul is 3!

Paul turned 3 today (insert the cliche comment about how fast time flies)! Since his birthday fell on a Monday and he's at school, we decided to start the celebration on Sunday. I mean during COVID times, we need an extra dose of joy so figured a 2-day celebration was a good idea.

On Sunday morning, after Will's first nap of the day, Paul and I made his cookie cake together. Paul is very particular about desserts and does not like cake (or ice cream!) but he loves cookies so we made a giant cookie. He is a very good helper in the kitchen and it's a great way to incorporate some math as I talked about how 2 1/2 teaspoons make 1 teaspoon, etc!

He got his dino costume out while the cooking cake was baking. We have definitely gotten our money's worth for that costume!

That morning we FaceTimed with Phil's mom so she could see him open presents from her. She got her 2nd dose of the vaccination last Monday so wasn't quite fully protected enough to join the celebration. But we will see her next weekend and can't wait! 

The book was a hit, of course, but he loved these "number bot" that she got from Lakeshore Learning (local store that many teachers frequent) - the numbers all turn into robots. The set also came with plus, minus, divide and multiply signs so it's a toy we'll use for years as he learns math. 

After his nap, we FaceTimed with my parents. They are in AZ visiting my sister/meeting their newest grandchild so Paul also got to see his aunt, uncle and new cousin! He loved the gifts from my parents, which included this awesome dinosaur blanket. We'll probably use this on his bed when he converts from a crib to a big boy bed.

After dinner, we had his birthday cookie cake, which I had decorated with homemade buttercream frosting earlier in the day. I am glad I did not use much frosting as it turns out he doesn't like frosting either. I am not at all surprised as he is so picky! 

The cookie decorations are NOT GREAT. I am not good at things like this. Give me a spreadsheet or math problem over something that requires creativity! Ha! But it's the thought that counts and it tasted delicious. Paul only had about 2 bites, though. I don't know if he ate too much at dinner or was too thrown off by the shape of the dessert? Toddlers, man! But hopefully he'll eat more tonight!

Other highlights of the day included playing all the board games we own - a matching game, Hi Ho Cherry-0, My First Orchard (our favorite!) and The Hungry Caterpillar game. I am glad he's at the game playing stage as I also love playing games!

We ended the night with me doing bedtime. I had us read "On the Night You Were Born" as one of his 4 bedtime books. After he was in bed, Phil and I reminisced a bit about the night he was born. You can read all about his birth story here. It's more fun to reminisce about than it was to experience it. Ha! 

Next week I'll do a "Paul at 3" post! 

What is your birthday treat of choice? I'm also not a huge fan of cake, especially GF cake. I'd make this cookie cake again, though. My other favorite treat is French macarons!