Kanan Turns Two!

3346189558_17b634d02bHis birthday party was awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who came and for those who couldn’t come, we missed you! Kanan loved all of his friends, jumping on the jumper, playing in the park, hitting the pinata, and of course eating his cake. He loves all of his presents too. You all spoiled him! 🙂 Thank you again, so much. I wish I could have talked more with everyone who came, but Kanan did seem to have a bad case of Mamitas on his birthday so he kept me busy. I’ve posted some pictures on my Flickr account so check it out to the right.

I heard a lot of guests commented on how divine the cake was, which is exciting because my good friend Rebekah Gusman made it. If you ever want to order cakes, cupcakes, or entrees (she is a personal chef !) from her, she offers great prices and delicious meals. As a matter of fact, when I had Kanan, she made me almost two weeks worth of amazing meals, which she she packaged and gave to me to keep in the freezer. So after having a c-section, I just had to pop the meal in the oven (she provided the temps and times too). This was such a great help and I’ll never forget her for it.  You can find her at www.cravepcs.com.

 Kanan said the cake was “yummy” and has been saying even more since then. He has developed in language and in growth since two weeks ago when I bragged about him. Within the last two weeks, he can say “mano” (animal), “oh man!”, “oh dude,” “Hailey,” “Nono” (for his friend Nolan), “Rara” (Grandma), and “C-Duck” (for his Uncle C-dog, real name Chris).  He is also starting to play a little make believe. He excitedly fed juice to his Manny doll given to him on his birthday by his Great Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bernie. He also has these miniature father, mother, and child that he sets up and puts in his trucks. He also has them hug and kiss all the time. He calls them “Mama” “Dada” and “baby” too, so I was a little intrigued as to why he puts “Mama” in the back of the truck, while “Dada” and “baby” get to ride in the driver and passenger seats. Hmmmmmm 😛 Well, regardless, it is so cute. Especially since he hasn’t taken Mike’s and my seperation in a negative way or even shown it in his reinactment of a family with his little dolls (except for putting Mama in the back of the truck part I mean) . That makes me happy.

It is crazy to believe that a year ago my little boy who weighs now about 31 pounds was born. He is such a joy and with every milestone, he just gets better and better.

Kanan…or ask he likes to call himself–“Kanans”

presidents-week-2009-010Kanan will be two here in couple of weeks. I’ve got the invitations set for a birthday party on March 7th and can’t wait to see him blow out his two candles. And normally I brag about all the cool things Kanan can do on these posts but I just can’t wait two more weeks to share.

Food News !

Broccoli, kidney beans, roasted red pepper, carrots, sauteed onions, asparagus: not the typical foods one might imagine a toddler would eat. And for months now, I’ve been having to sneak pureed veggies into Kanan’s diet because he indeed refused these vegetables. He even refused steamed cauliflower smothered in cheese sauce! It had cheese on it for goodness sakes! But, I am now delighted to say, those days are over. Well, at least for now. Over the course of the last month, Kanan has slowly been eating more and more vegetables and the last week, he has finally crossed over to veggie-lover side. He ate the broccoli on his plate two nights ago and asked for more. He ate some of my salad last night at my parents anniversary dinner at Claim Jumper, and tonight my son did the best of all—-he ate five asparagus spears from tip to stalk! He kept stealing them off my plate too. I actually only got to eat one! I seriously have the biggest smile on my face. And I hope he stays this way. I grew up eating and loving vegetables and want to have Kanan grow up the same way. In another food subject, he has finally developed the teeth and the manual dexterity to eat burritos and sandwiches without needing them cut up. He can just pick up a rolled bean and cheese burrito now and eat it up. And he LOVES turkey and cheese sandwiches with mayonaise and mustard. He’s growing up to be such a little man.

Words!

Well, I can’t even list all the things that Kanan can say now because he just says more and more each day. But some of the words come in phrases now—

  • “whats that mean?”
  •  “where Papa?”
  • “Where Dada?”
  • “I want Nana!”
  • “where moon?”
  •  “I want down”
  • “Jumping”
  • “Walking”
  • “All done”
  • “Bunny eat rass!”
  • “Kanans”
  • “Penis”
  • “Oh Man!”
  • “I want go livingwoom”
  • “Ding Ding Dong!”
  • “Bagel”
  • “Please”
  • “Mama Fall”
  • “Is stuck!”

 He also stirngs some novel sentences together and talks all the time about everything. This morning he talked for about five minutes about noses. He talked about my nose, his nose, the kitty cat’s nose, his babys’ nose. He pointed at them, touched them. It was adorable.

Spiritual Intelligence!

Tonight I was cuddling with Kanan and whispered in his ear, “I love you son and Jesus loves you too.” He looked at me with bright eyes and a big smile, so I went further. I asked, “do you know who Jesus is?” And he nodded his head yes and said, “Uhuh” confidently. I laughed and asked, “okay, then where does Jesus live?” He looked to his left and pointed toward the pile of books in his book basket. He said, “In da book.” I couldn’t believe it. Could he be talking about his bible? So I said, “Bring Mommy the Jesus book.” And he walked over and grabbed his bible out of the book basket. Amazing. I didn’t really know if he understood the stories I was reading him, but I guess he is grasping it. Now I’ll have to explain that Jesus lives in his heart and in heaven and not in the books, but its a great start! 🙂

Animal Lover!

Today Kanan and I went to the park. There was a little white rabbit running around the jungle gym and Kanan loved it. He chased the rabbit, pulled out grass and tried to feed the rabbit (it did actually eat some!), and tried petting the rabbit too. No worries everyone, it was someone’s pet rabbit they brought to the park, so it wasn’t rabies infected or wild. Kanan couldn’t stop talking about it after it went home. He asked where it went, talked about how it ate grass, and he talked about its nose. He loves the cats in the neighborhood too and as far as our dog goes, well Kanan always asks about “Wiley.” According to Mike, Kanan calls Smokey and Bandit, “boys” and cuddles with them all the time as well.

Now for the Challenges:

1. Teeth brushing. The kid loathes having his teeth brushed. It is a huge ordeal. I’ve tried different flavors. I’ve tried characters on the toothbrush and tooth paste. I’ve tried letting him brush first. I’ve tried letting him brush my teeth. Its ridiculous. Any advice? Help me please. My dentist says Kanan is due for his first checkup on his second birthday. That’s in two weeks! If he won’t let me touch his teeth with a toothbrush without having a wrestling match on the bathroom floor (which we do have every morning and evening) then how will he let a big strange man prick his teeth with a pick? The dentist told me he could give him nitrous oxide if needed….gah!

2. Temper Tantrums. Need I say more?

Enjoying MLK Jr Day

martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-006Today was such a wonderful day! Aside from Kanan waking me up at 530 this morning, it really was grand. And thankfully I own a delicious blend of espresso I bought at Sprouts and my favorite creamer in the world–Italian Sweet Creme, so I was able to make it through the 530 A.M wake up. Kanan and I started our morning off cuddling in bed for about a half hour and then cuddled on the couch and watched Martha Speaks and Clifford on PBS while I woke up with my morning cup of java. We then had breakfast, went for a walk, and played at the park. Kanan climbed up the rope ladder about three times in a row all by himself. He is so cute when he says “up, up, up”  every time he moves his feet up each rung.

The real fun came in mid-morning when we went to Lake San Marcos and fed bread crumbs to the ducks. Kanan spent more energy eating his white bread than throwing it into the lake, but he certainly enjoyed watching the ducks while he munched and did throw a few crumbs here and there.

martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-025Afterward we went to my sister’s house and Kanan ran around with his cousin Harley for about an hour before passing out for his afternoon nap. My sister, Grandma, Dad, and Linda chit-chatted a bit. Then I napped too to catch up after waking up so early. After Kanan woke up, my dad, grandma, and Linda left for downtown Carlsbad to snoop around. Kanan was great. He snacked on cookies from Starbucks, played with his toys in his stroller as we walked the streets, pointed and smiled at cool decorations at a local import shop, and ate well at Coyote Bar and Grill where we ate dinner. The salsa there was delicious and Kanan liked the salsa so much, he ate all the salsa I poured on his plate and then when he finished, grabbed the salsa dish, pulled the straw out of his water and started slurping it up! No joke and I promise you no one at the table initiated martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-049that! My salsa loving son came up with that brilliant idea all by himself! He then saw a little boy in the next booth and decided to talk with him in his little baby talk. I’m not sure all what he said, but I did hear “truck” and “shoe” and Kanan did kick out his foot and point to his shoe as he told the little boy all about it.

He is sleeping well now, clean from his bath and teeth brushing, and warm from his blankets and his first pillow. I blessed him before he went to sleep. What a joy it was to spend the day with my family today and of course, watch my son grow and learn and laugh.

Halloween and Kanan

pic-01471This year’s Halloween adventure was much better than last years. Check the archive for my details on that although I warn you, the crying skunk pictures are adorable. This year, Mike had Kanan on Halloween, but because I couldn’t resist spending time with my son on such a fun evening, Mike allowed me to not only tag along on their adventure, but even allowed me to direct us where to go. So where to? We went to my Church’s Harvest Festival! It seemed like a fun, wholesome place for Kanan to go and we wouldn’t have to worry about Kanan running in the streets or getting hit by cars or having big kids steal his candy. Mike dressed him in a wet suit and messed up his hair. He was the cutest little surfer there and danced to the band playing music, played bingo, rolled over-sized balls around, and made friends with a little girl dressed as the Cowardly Lion. He even introduced me to her in his little baby gibberish. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, I did forget my camera, but asked Mike to take a shot of Kanan with his cellphone camera. Here is Kanan taking a break from dancing as he gazes at the audience. He was exhausted at this point in the evening and we left shortly after. All in all, Halloween was a success. Kanan had one piece of candy—a tootsie pop and loved every lick it took to get to the center.

Kanan update—the good, the bad, and the ugly!

The Good:

Kanan went to the doctor’s last Friday for his well checkup. Mike was there for most of it, but I came in for a short time to drop off my new health insurance information and came in just as tge pediatrician was telling him that Kanan is advanced for his age in his verbal skills and he is right on target for other milestones for his age. He is in the 75th percentile for his weight and height (I don’t remember the actual weight and height though because I came late and saw only the percentiles while Mike got to hear the details).

Two really cool things he said recently include:

  • “Momma, what wrong?” ( I was crying about something when he said this….so cute. Showed empathy and good language skills)
  • “I want breakfast! I want breakfast!” (This was right after he woke up last week during his growth spurt).

He has a total of 10 teeth. Four on top, two on the bottom and four molars. He finally can chew raw veggies which excites me. Of course, the only raw veggies he will eat is salad if it is doused in Italian dressing. But that is good. It’s a start. He still doesn’t fall for steamed veggies covered in cheese sauce or peas mixed in with his Mac and Cheese so I’m still using Jessica Seinfeld’s technique of blending veggies and sneaking them into sauces and other foods. It works.

Kanan is also starting to experiment with the potty. He hasn’t actually gone to the bathroom in it yet, but he sits on it. And he even asks for toilet paper and tries to wipe himself. So funny!

Finally, Kanan loves his new place here at Grandpa’s and looks forward to the weekends when he gets to see his grandparents. He loves spending time with his Dad of course. He eagerly runs to them when they are home and gives them hugs and kisses before bed on Saturday and Sunday nights. On my days, Kanan and I go on bike rides, play with Kanan’s new friend across the street named Hailey (and her super cool Mom who is now my new friend! Yay!), go to the park, and go on walks (Kanan’s newest self-made ritual is a walk to the park after dinner. He initiates the walk and I spend the whole time following him where he wants to go—so cool! We also draw together and read books. Kanan often reads books by himself too. Tonight I came into the room to find Kanan with one of his books and he was jibber-jabbering to himself about choo-choos. I looked at the book and there on the page was a picture of a train. So he knows what he is talking about! 🙂 Good “reading comprehension” I suppose. As for his other life—Mike tells me that Kanan is learning to boogie board and is even trying to balance on the board, so hopefully surfing will be a natural next step. They go the beach almost every day they spend together. They also go out to eat a lot with Mike’s buddies. And Mike recently took Kanan to the Birch Aquarium where Kanan had a wonderful time.

The Bad:

At this recent checkup, they gave him 4 shots. Of what I don’t remember, but I must say, he was a miserable mess the next day. I took him to Bate’s Nut Farm (Folks around here call it Nate’s Butt Farm—just rolls off the tongue better, ya know?) with my Dad and Linda expecting for Kanan to have a great ol’ time jumping in the jumper, sliding down slides, going on haystack rides, petting the animals, etc. But instead, my little grumpy baby screamed his head off until I layed him down in his stroller and stuck a pacifier in his mouth, whereby he instantly passed out. We hadn’t even made it to lunch yet. When he woke up, he was interested in the ducks and Turkeys but could care less about the jumper which is crazy because he LOVES LOVES LOVES jumpers. He normally jumps around in it with all the other youngsters and screams “jum, jum!” But not this time.This time, after the birds, he was obsessed with going on the haystack ride. He called it a choo-choo. It was a train of wagons pulled by a tractor so I can see where he saw the resemblance. We waited in line. Well more like I waited and he screamed with impatience. I was exhausted to say the least.

The Ugly:

It was a tough day. And to top it all off, I made the mistake of trying to cheer him up with a sip or two of Sprite. Well, it attracted a honey bee and the bee stung Kanan on his eye! At that point we decided to go home. Poor kid. I pulled the stinger out and we put some medicine on his eye to prevent any swelling. He was okay. He had a reddish ring around his eye the following day, but otherwise, no deadly reactions.

He is finally starting to get back to his old self today aside from one temper tantrum, and some night wakings but the temper tantrums just might be his new self given he is at that age. We are all practicing ignoring his fits and hoping that he figures out they just don’t work at getting what he wants. Cross your fingers for me, please! 😛

The Truth:

Regardless of the good, the bad, or the ugly—my child makes me smile everyday. He is a joy. He is a blessing. I love him so much. I truly know now what “agapeo” love is. And I hope this update made you as happy as it made me while writing it. If you are not mentally ill or severely irresponsible, I strongly suggest you have child if you haven’t already done so. You will not regret it! 🙂

The Potty

Yes, it is that time. Now I am not expecting anything grand. I know Kanan is a boy and chances are he won’t be fully potty trained until he is three, but I thought I could start now. And so far, it has been quite interesting.

Kanan and I bought the potty at Walmart on Wednesday. Nothing spectacular, just a simple $9.95 potty from Safety First that can sit on the floor, fold into a stool, and also can have the seat removed and inserted into the adult seat on the big potty.

That night, I pulled out  the potty and showed it to Kanan. I told him what it was and asked him to sit on it. He was quite eager to do so. However, instead of approaching the seat from the front side and backing up and then bending down to sit on it like one would expect, my little guy approached the potty from the backside and straddled it like a ride-along toy. I laughed. Then I pulled his legs to the front of the potty and watched. He sat happily, smiling his amused smile and babbling as he always does when content. I talked about pee-pee and poo-poo and how we do it on the potty. He listened and then he got up and moved on to bigger and better things. It was a good start.

About an hour and a half later, right before it was time for Kanan’s bath, I tried again. I pulled it out and he happily sat on it (straddle style again) then I sat on the big potty and told him that we could both go. He sat amused, but was over it in like 2 minutes. So into the bathtub he went. And what happened? He played for 5 minutes and then got this funny expression on his face and then he grunted and looked relieved. I ran toward the tub (I was standing at the sink) and shouted “no, don’t go poo-poo!” It was too late. There floating in the white bubbles amongst orange shovels and blue toy cars was a long brown turd. I pulled Kanan out immediately, took the bowl out of his toddler potty and scooped up the turd and dumped into the toilet. I showed Kanan the turd in the toilet and flushed it. He looked quite perplexed and then reached for the flusher to try it out himself. Then he walked away dripping wet to go play. I wanted to dry him off. But the images of bacteria infesting my bathtub and toys haunted me. I couldn’t do anything but solve that problem first. I quickly poured bleach into the tub and turned on scalding hot water to soak his toys as well. I threw the potty bowl in there too. Then I attempted to find my wet son but didn’t take long because I heard him shouting in the bedroom “eh-eh!” and pointing at the ground. There on my freshly vacuumed carpet was a second turd.

Maybe this potty training thing will be harder than I thought. 😛

Did Sesame Street Do it?

When Kanan was an infant, there were days when he didn’t want to go down for a nap. What I got was a fussy baby until he finally gave in, but his schedule was thrown off because of the catch-up nap. But it has been many moons since I experienced that and Kanan has turned into an amazing sleeper. He naps everyday for 1 and a half to 3 hours and still sleeps 11 to 12 hours at night without waking up (and if he does, he just finds his pacifier and goes back to sleep. ) Well that changed yesterday and I am in the process of analyzing the situation and determining what exactly happend. Why would I go through such trouble? You ask. Well, when an 18 month old is already down to just one nap, skipping it can really mess things up.

Oddly enough, yesterday went fairly well despite his refusal to go to sleep. He made a big fuss about going down. I tried twice to put him down. But when the second time seemed futile, I decided that given I had nothing really planned for the day, I would experiment with the results of giving in. What was I supposed to do anyway? Let him cry it out for 2 hours? I don’t do that. Sorry CIO moms, I’ll let it go 15 minutes max. Kanan faired very well. He was cheerful and playful and full of energy. By 525, I was looking at my bright-eyed child and thinking, did he squeeze in 5 minutes of sleep before he started screaming and this just helped him enough? But the truth screamed in all its glory at 5:30 when Kanan stopped mid-play, stared at nothing for about 30 seconds and then threw himself to the floor and started crying non-stop. I knew then and there that it would be a rapid race to bed. I quickly bathed my screaming child, dressed him in a dry diaper and some jammies and took him out to say goodnight to Grandma and Grandpa. They were worried. You are going to put him down at 6? What if he wakes at 5? But I did anyway. I raced him into the room for story-time in fast forward. I got to page 3 of Winnie the Pooh’s Big Adventure, and looked down at Kanan to see his head slumped forward, eyes closed, and mouth open. My son was passed out!! So I put him in bed without dinner and the boy slept fitfully but continuously until 620 this morning when I woke him because I had to leave for work. I had to help him go back to sleep twice because of how fitful he was. Lack of sleep produces worse sleep in children contrary to what many people believe.

So what happend?

My conclusion—- Sesame Street.

We watched Sesame Street for the first time yesterday. And of all the times to introduce this lovely puppet show, I did it  yesterday after lunch and before he was supposed to go down for his nap. Why else do I think Sesame Street is the culprit? Well because after I did release him from his barred crib, he came out merrily to the living room and pointed at the tv and said “eh-eh?” Which is his baby jargon for “I want this.”

So, we will see what happens today. Hopefully he will go down for his nap at daycare so I can spend time with him tonight. Its one thing for him to not go down for a nap on the weekend because I see him all day. But when I don’t see him all day due to work, the last thing I want is to lose an hour and a half of quality time with him because he needs to go to bed while my daycare provider reaps all the benefits of gaining more time with her favorite child. And yes, I do believe my child is her favorite. Its an extra sparkle I see in her eyes when he’s around her even when the other kids are around. Or maybe its just my own bias interpreting everything completely wrong. Either way—I want my child to stay up until 730!

Let the Chaos Begin

The school-year has begun again and this time, I took off with a bang. Kanan and I moved into my Dad’s house two weeks ago. It is a couple of cities away but the move will save me some money for 18 months and help me get really grounded on my feet. If the market continues the way it is going, I’ll probably buy a condo at the end of my allocated time I’ve planned to get set. So yes, while I have seemingly taken a step back in my life, this is a necessary step that will help me get further ahead than I would have had I not taken it. And there is no better time than now to do this. In many ways, it has sweetened the sour taste of being a single mom because it has given me a hopeful future. But moving is stressful and so I’ve been running around the last couple of weeks trying to fine tune the details—-getting rid of stuff I’ve horded, lending things to friends or family to save room in our little room we share in the guest bedroom of my Dad’s house, and buying other things to help me organize the small space.

Then my work situation has changed—I had to move classrooms. I had no idea, I have collected to so much stuff in my classroom after 5 years of teaching. It is crazy! But I’m settled in my new class and I love it. Its a great location and I have more space. This leaves room for me to focus on the classroom management needed for my classes this year. My schedule is nuts!! I went from having two preps last year (that’s teacher jargon for two different classes which require me to prepare two different lessons) to four preps this year! I have two sections of ninth grade English (one prep), a two-hour-block with my ESL kids (2 preps), and a sheltered English 9 class for my first and second year ESL kids (another prep). Needless to say, I will have to figure out ways to plan these lessons, run my academic league team, and my adjunct duties,  and take care of my son and squeeze in some social time, along with just-me time, and Jesus time! I just took up an offer with the women’s ministry in my church to write the script for a dramatic scene they need for the women’s retreat coming up in October. I am going and am so excited to get into my creative side. I was originally planning to take another Masters course this semester, but decided to hold off until  next semester once my machine is working by itself. Yes, my life is a machine.

But to help me get focused, I’ve come up with a schedule and I also bought a devotional bible so I can read a section of the bible each day and read the whole thing in one year! I just finished the new testament last week and loved every bit of it. I know that may sound crazy to some of you, but I learned so much and it wasn’t difficult at all. Especially with the New Living Translation, understanding it is so much easier. But I wanted to read the old testament while still staying connected to the forgiving side of the new testament. that’s where this devotional comes in. It is great. I get one or two chapters from an old testament book, one chapter of a new testament book, one Psalm, and one Proverb a day. And already I am seeing connections between the books. It truly shows how divine the Bible really is. I’m on my third day of the devotional so far and bought a journal to journal my thoughts and connections in. So far, it has been a great way to end my day and get me focused on what really matters. Life distracts us from the truth!

As for Kanan, he is adjusting well. It didn’t take him more than one day to adjust to the move and I don’t think he has even noticed that I’ve gone back to work. Thank God he is already used to going to daycare since he did that during the summer on his dad’s days when he had to work. I had him every day he was in my care because I was on vacation and wanted to use every second to spend time with him. Going back to work has been hard in that area. I’ve lost my leisurely Monday’s with him and Wednesday days! But excited news is that Kanan is teething right now. I think he has like six or seven teeth coming in at the same time! Crazy, eh? I can’t wait to give him salad and other yummy veggie options he hasn’t tried because his six teeth couldn’t help him. He is leaving me this weekend to go up to Mammoth with his dad and his grandparents. It will be good for him, but I am going to miss him so much. I plan to just keep myself so busy, I can’t dwell on the fact that I am not with him. Sometimes I think I need him more than he needs me, you know?

So…..we will see how this year pans out. Normally I’m a crazy mess by now, but God is seeing me through as he promised. I prayed for patience this year and peace. And in effect, I have noticed less anxiety and I having been taking the stresses in stride much more. I hope this sticks! 🙂