The Magic Of The Second Child

When we decided it was time for Sean to give up the binky (he wasn’t going to do it willingly), it took a total of three weeks to totally wean him off of it. (Story here) We fought tooth and nail to do it too. (3-hour struggles just to get him to nap.)

On night 2 of “Operation Bye-Bye Binky” with Allie, this is what happened:

  1. She laid down in bed and cuddled with one of her baby dolls.
  2. I handed her the 3 cut binkies (with more cut off than the night before).
  3. She dropped said binkies on the mattress next to her.
  4. She hugged her baby and closed her eyes.
  5. She went to sleep.

That’s it. No crying. No fussing. No throwing things at me. Its kind of like she just sighed and said “OK, whatever” and was over it.

And, at nap time on Wednesday, when they gave her the cut binky at day care, she popped it in her mouth, pulled it out, said “yuck”, and gave it back to her teacher. They put it on her cot, just in case she wanted it, but she never did. And although it took her a little bit longer to fall asleep, she napped with no issue.

I was bracing for several hard, tantrum-filled nights. I was ready to dodge toys, binkies, and whatever she could get her hands on. Because that’s what it was like with Sean. He and I once engaged in a THREE HOUR battle of wills because he didn’t like the cut binky and wouldn’t nap. Until he fell asleep from exhaustion. And then this second child comes along and just kinda decides on the second night that whatever. I don’t need it anyway. Goodnight!

Except that I just talked to Hubbs and she had a regular binky in her mouth this morning. Clever little squirrel had one hidden somewhere in her crib. Which means I’m ransacking her room tonight.

But honestly, I’m not really worried about it. This is the same kid that, around 12 months old when she was off formula, decided that since her brother was using a sippy cup, she wanted one too. And that was the end of the bottle. Just. Like. That. (I had to snip the nipple of Sean’s bottle to make him give it up. He retaliated by refusing to drink milk for a good 5 months.)

Also? She’s starting to self potty train. At least, she’s interested in the potty because her brother is potty training. This means that when he’s going pee, SHE wants to sit on the potty next. Without her diaper. And then uses up 1/4 of the roll of toilet paper to “wipe” herself (aka shoving the TP into the toilet bowl and barely touching her skin). And when she’s done, she flushes the toilet, says “bye-bye!” to the TP, throws her hands in the air and says “I pee-pee!” At that time, everyone must burst into applause and tell her how wonderful she is — she is — and what a big girl she is — I can’t believe its happening already.

And that monkey-see, monkey do thing is the magic of the second child. She idolizes her brother. And what he does, is the coolest. And while that can be infuriating at times (thanks for teaching her to spit, gah), it also makes other things a million times easier.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a room to scour.



Mushy Brain = Bullet Points!

Lots of things are going on these days and I’ve got “this” much time to blog. Not to mention that my brain is fried from staying up too late all week. So bullet points! Weee!!!!

  • We’re breaking Allie of the binky 100% this week. (At present, she only got the binky at nap time and bed time.)
  • I’m trimming the nipple on the binkies, which is what I did with Sean.
  • Last night, she threw them at me, then cried for 20 minutes before falling asleep.
  • Sean’s school/day care has brought a gymnastics class to the campus. Every Wednesday, he gets to jump around and go through the little course they set up for him. He loves it. Allie is super jealous, because she can’t participate until she turns 2.
  • I took the kids to the doctor for their well checks yesterday. Allie jumped up to the 30th percentile for height, but fell to the 8th percentile for weight. Since she eats more than her brother (and a wider variety of foods), the doctor isn’t worried. “She’s just going to be petite,” she says. I don’t call her Mighty Mouse for nothing, folks.
  • Sean’s in the 58th percentile for weight (33.8 lbs — amazing, considering all the colds/stomach flus he’s had this year), and 47th percentile for height. He wowed the doctor by saying “Hi doctor” when she walked in and telling her his favorite dinosaur is a “brack-ee-a-saurus” aka brachiosaurus.
  • He also impressed her by telling her “I have to go potty” during his exam, and by making it to the bathroom in time.
  • Potty training is going really well. For once, peer pressure worked for the good, because the boy had no interest in it until he moved to the 3’s room — where there are no diapers and everyone goes in the potty.
  • I tried to sweeten the potty training deal by buying him Cars and Toy Story-themed underwear.
  • We’re trying to teach/get him to poop in the potty. Hubbs has taken control in this regard, and so every night, he and the boy watch YouTube videos of animals pooping. Because everybody poops.
  • And then they found THIS video. Which launched a NEW discussion that we hadn’t anticipated: We don’t eat poop. EVER. And we don’t play with poop.
  • Sean thought the gorillas eating poop was hilarious. Mom was not so amused. Oh to be 3.
  • Ohmygurd.
  • The headsmack Hubbs gave himself for the gorilla video was priceless.
  • Also on YouTube: You can see a snake poop. I hate snakes. They are probably my top phobia. I H-A-T-E snakes. I was so grossed out by the video I nearly yacked. But the boy is very interested and scientific about it. “Mommy, even SNAKES poop. He poops on the floor. Sean poops in the potty.”
  • On Saturday I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic I was on for my sinus infection.
  • I got a rash.
  • A horrible, body-covering, plaquey-looking rash. Just in time for family pictures.
  • Luckily, it never hit my face.
  • I’ve got 4 more days of antibiotics left and I CAN ACTUALLY BREATHE.
  • Unfortunately, it feels like I got punched in the nose. Actually, it kinda looks that way too, cause the bridge of my nose is all puffy and sore. I wonder why it’s like that.
  • Massaging it kinda feels good. In a hurt way. And now my face is all oily. Fabulous.
  • After the kids’ doctor appointment yesterday, I bought them toys. Because they had to get shots. And shots are no fun. Sean picked out dinosaur toys and a car. Allie picked out a car and a baby.
  • Allie is obsessed with babies. There are a couple new ones in her room at day care and she LOVES them. She likes to give them bottles and hand them toys. But she mostly just points and tells me “baby.”
  • After I got her locked into the car seat and handed her the baby, she hugged it, called it “baby”, and kissed it on the lips before saying “love you.” (sounds like “yuv yoo.”)  And then my cold, black heart shattered into a million pieces and I turned into a puddle of goo.
  • That baby got about 20 kisses in the 2 minutes it took us to get home.
  • Both kids are into kissing right now. Sean will now pucker up on demand. Its adorable.
  • He melted hearts on Saturday. He kissed his great-grandma twice before we left and told her he loved her. I think one of my aunts got verklempt at that one. (Who’s the favorite great-grandchild?!)
  • Allie didn’t give real kisses, but she blew kisses and said “love you.”

And I think that about covers it. Happy almost Friday, ya’ll.

Still Life: Family Photos

We had some family photos taken in June by the amazing Sophie Maher. She does weddings as well, so if you’re interested, drop her a line! We’ve done family photos with Sophie before, and I have to tell you — she’s fabulous. My children adore her. Sean was chatting incessantly with her, and Allie followed her around when she wasn’t getting her picture taken.

Here are some of my favorites:

Sean is very affectionate with her. She gets lots of hugs and kisses. Although we still have to remind him not to squish her in his enthusiasm.

She has the most kissable cheeks I’ve ever seen.

My mom found this dress — obviously a former flower-girl outfit — at a thrift store for $2. When I put it on Allie for the first time, she held her arms out and twirled from side to side.

He was seriously flirting with the photographer here. He kept running up to her, touching her leg, saying “hi!” and then running off.

The dangers of frilly, twirly dresses: Little girls like to lift them up. If this were a video, you would have heard me telling her to be a lady and to put her dress down. That being said, this is my favorite solo picture of her from the shoot.

Just watching.

I can’t tell you how much these pictures mean for us as a family. I take tons of pictures of the kids every month. But those pictures don’t have the quality that these do. I could never take my own kids to the park and try to get them to pose while I took the pictures myself. It wouldn’t work. I’m not that talented.

If you’ve ever considered hiring a professional, I highly recommend it. It doesn’t have to break the bank and if your schedule is flexible, you can get some amazing pictures.

(Another amazing photographer who took pictures of Sean when he turned 1, John Stubler, can be contacted here.)