Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Gymnastics Fun!

More pics from today's class:
On the balance beam... Griff is just starting to understand how to walk across it with my help.

The boys on the olympic podium.. too cute..

At the end of class, Coach Amanda gives the kids stamps on their hands.  As soon as Griffin hears "it's stamp time", he stops whatever he's doing and hurries over to sit down on the edge of the mat.  He tries to muscle his way through the other kids to sit as close to the teacher as possible to get his stamp first.. he's like a little hungry beggar...

I think the stamps are Griff's favorite part of class...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Griffin and I walked to the Memorial Day Parade this morning in MHD.  Last year we watched from the same spot on the sidewalk outside of Starbucks, but 365 days ago, Griff was a just a little lump in his snap 'n go.  This year he was on the street jumping around in his size 6 Keens.  He stayed busy watching the multitude of doggies (who seemed more entertaining to him than the parade itself), he clapped to the drums in the marching bands, climbed in and out of his stroller, had several snacks, attempted to run into the parade while the boy scouts were walking by, made a "woo woo" sound imitating a fire truck when he saw it, and he waved to he vets as they passed... It's crazy how much he's changed in a year. 

Crane Beach Family Day

Yesterday we spent a beautiful afternoon at Crane Beach in Ipswich.  It was just the 3 of us, which is time I always cherish.  The weather was perfect; it was breezy but not too much so, and the sun kept us warm but not hot.  The tide was on it's way out, leaving little streams and big puddles on the beach that were perfect for Griff to play in.  The sand was silky soft and there were crowds but we managed to find a nice spot that felt private.  Both of my boys happily played in the sand and water; Tom made drip castles and Griff knocked them down while I enjoyed the sunshine and worked on my tan.  It was perfect.

The full photo album is posted at: Crane Beach 5-29-11 Picasa Album

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bad Boy, Good Boy, Bath Time Fun

Griffin is 16.5 months old today.  Whoohoo! 

At school pickup today, guess who was sitting all by himself at the table for a time-out that they call "sit-by-yourself-and-watch-other-kids-play-time"?  That's right, you guessed it... it was Griffin!  I'm so proud of him, but not because of the multiple repeat time-out offenses (which by the way I think he averages about 3 times a day at school for whacking other kids), I'm beyond over the moon proud of him for what he did after bath time just about an hour ago...

Our bath time process goes something like this:  First I help carry or chase Griffin up the stairs enthusiastically chanting "bath time! bath time!"  He gets all excited when he reaches the top of the stairs and he runs into the bathroom.  I have to run in there after him or he will forcefully close the door behind him, press the little circle lock button and accidentally lock me out.  (He hasn't succeeded at this yet, but we've definitely had a few close calls.)  I check his pants for a poop, and assuming a wet-only diaper, I strip him down and leave his dirtied clothes in a pile on the bathroom floor.  I let the tub fill while he helps me empty toys into the bath, and lately he's gotten really into sticking his hands under the running faucet.  This is really nice and convenient because Griff always manages to splash water all over the floor by his feet, and I'm never quite sure if it's just water or piss.  I then help him into the bath and he splashes around, attempts to stand up a few times, which is he not allowed to do, yada yada, I wash the baby, etc.  It's pretty much a guarantee that Griff will unplug the drain at least 3 times during the course of a 5 minute bath, and we inevitably play tug-of-war on the bath plug, which is a ghetto suction cup soap holder I use to plug the drain hole since our drain plug thingy is broken.  By the time there's less than an inch of water left due to premature drainage, Griff likes to lay flat on his belly and either pretends to go to sleep (he makes a snoring sound, but is smiling with his eyes wide open), or he splashes like a flailing crazy fish out of water.  When there's basically no water left in the tub, he will blow fart noises with his mouth face down, and then he proceeds to repeatedly slide himself forward and back on the slippery tub floor.. it's a pretty ridiculous sight.  So.  Back to why I'm so over the moon proud him tonight... Once we were done with tonight's bath, I dried Griffin off and brushed his teeth (which is like torture to him because I have to wrap his arms into his towel and hold him down with a little force to get any of his little teeth remotely clean, and by "clean" I mean, I made teeth to bristle contact).  Then, I put a diaper on him and (get ready, it's finally about to get good..) I handed him his dirty onsie and pants and said, "Griffin, will you please put these dirty clothes into the laundry basket in your room?" And just like that, off he went running.  He ran so fast he almost bit it slipping on his rug when rounding the corner, but thankfully he regained his balance, made it to the laundry basket, and excitedly flung his clothes right in.  Shot.... Score!!!  The crowd (aka I) went wild!!  It was literally the most amazing thing he's ever done.  I cheered and gave him five high fives and big hugs and kisses, and we celebrated that great moment.  Now, all I have to do is get Tom to get his dirty clothes off the bathroom floor and into the laundry too, and I will literally be the champion of the entire world. :)

Some other basic instructions Griff has successfully followed so far: 
- Can you please go get a book to read?
- Griff, can you go get the car? (me pointing to a toy car on the floor)
- Please sit down/stand up.
- Griffin, let's take your shoes off/put your shoes on? (He knows to sit on the bottom stair and he holds up his foot...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mom's Balls

This morning I was holding Griffin in my arms, and he grabbed my boob and said "bauhhll".  It was one of those moments that I should have corrected him and properly explained how it was not my "ball"... but I just laughed hysterically at him, which will probably positively reinforce his behavior, but whatever, it was so freaking funny. I'm an awesome parent..

Puddle Jumper

Ewwwwwww. The whole "April showers bring May flowers" thing is a load of crap, at least this year it feels like it is.. I can barely remember the last time the sun was out. Despite the dreary wet weather, Griff and I have been managing to have some fun outside. I dressed him in his hand-me-down Spiderman snowboots and some sweats, and I let him romp around in our driveway puddles.  He loved stomping his feet, and splashing the water with his hands and then licking them off... yum. I definitely consider jumping in puddles and getting wet and muddy to be one of those things every kid should do. Griffin can check this off his list!

Here's a video of the action:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bike Ride to Redd's Pond

On Saturday, Tom, Griff and I went on a great little family bike excursion across town to Redd's Pond.  It's been one of those places we've been meaning to take him for ages, or at least since he's become totally obsessed with ducks. ("dahs!")  We finally made it there and we were greeted by a pair of quacking ducks- awesome!  We walked along the pond edge swinging Griffin (who was laughing hysterically) by the arms just like Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger did to that cute little boy in the movie Jerry McGuire. (Mental Note: do not swing your toddler by the arms too much as toddlers are prone to dislocated elbows- we found this out the hard way when Tom was playing with Griffin later in the afternoon.. oooops!  Thankfully, Griff's elbow popped back in after about 10 minutes of loud crying, but it took a call to the docs and was a big scare for sure.)  Anyway, the three of us walked along the pond and up a grassy hill to the Old Burial Hill Cemetary.  We rested, took pictures, and had a snack, and then on our way home we rode past The Landing, where a "tall ship" was docked and on display.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Griffin the Gymnast

Griffin's newest extra curricular activity is Parent-Tot Gymnastics at the Y!  Griff is obsessed, and I also love it because it totally tires him out.  There's everything from balls, a spring floor, bars and balance beams to big trampolines (his favorite) and a giant foam pit.  Every classs, Coach Amanda sets up a huge obstacle course for them to do, and she leads them through stretches and exercises to warm up.  Griffin, to my total surprise, actually follows her directions quite well; he lifts his arms and touches his toes on her command.  Griff and his little gymnastics buddies jump, climb, swing, and crawl until they fall over with exhaustion, and then they get stamps on their hands at the end of class.  It's too cute. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Albany Weekend

This weekend we roadtripped to Albany to spend time with Grandpa, Uncle Alex, Aunt Anny, as well as Great Uncle Frank and Griff's 2nd cousin Doug.  On our drive there we went to the Lee Outlets for lunch and did a little Dad work-wordrobe-upgrading, and we also stopped in for some hugs and a mini playdate at the Catalano's.  Though we had a short weekend in NY's rainy capital district, we were able to accomplish everything on our to-do list:  1) hang out with family, 2) Eat at Bob & Ron's Fish Fry, our favorite!, and 3) Get our teeth cleaned by the best dentist ever!  Check, check, and check!

We rented this funny police car shopping cart for Griff at the outlets.
Ohhh yes- Griffin's first fried clams and fish fry.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nice Touches Please

I'm embarrassed to say that I am raising a cuddly bully.  I'm not sure how my parenting has gone wrong, or where Griffin learned his behavior, but sadly, he is the kid at daycare/playdates/home who occasionally whacks his friends.  His go-to moves are either pushing their faces away or grabbing at their hair/eyes.  I will give him credit however for being one of the most affectionate huggers known to man, though I've seen Griff accidentally knock down several of his friends with his overly aggressive hugs, uh not to mention he also has a thing for hugging strangers. (not actions we pride ourselves in teaching him at home of course)

Today I chuckled as I walked into the infant room to pick up Griffin from daycare.  Griff was sitting by himself at the lunch table (trapped in the seat that is built into the center of the table used for communal eating).  Whether he realized it or not, he was learning one of his first lessons in consequences and serving a brief "time out" sentence for hitting one of his friends.  Not my most proud Mom moment ever, but one that I can certainly laugh a little at.  I am constantly telling Griff "Nice touches", or "Gentle please" every time his strong little arm/hand gets a little too rowdy, and I do all I can to be consistent with my responses- redirect his behavior, tell him 'no' each time he crosses the line, and I try to positively reinforce his "nice touches", which are becoming more frequent.  It's progress, but a frustratingly slow snail's pace. Ugh. He'll learn eventually, right?

Mother's Day 2011

Another year, another Mother's Day.  Tom did much better this year at helping me celebrate (he got the first year of this blog printed in book form as my gift, filled out some entries that I had missed and added in a sweet message of his own). Despite having to leave in the morning for a work trip (worst timing ever, but not his fault), he redeemed himself from last year's Mother's Day debacle/re-do. 

After our family breakfast at Starbucks (there's nothing better than enjoying a venti vanilla soy no foam latte and toasted butter croissant with the two people who made it possible for me to even celebrate Mother's Day- Tom & Griff), things got a little inconvenient, dramatic, and stressful:  I got my period (I know, TMI, sorry, at least I'm not knocked up!), which was accompanied by a pile of crazy lady hormones that took their toll on me big time throughout the latter part of the day.  Griff was a little out of sorts, red cheeked with slight temp (99.2) which is common for him when teething.  After his blink of a morning nap, the two of us got out of the house for a change of scenery and to use up some leftover carnival tickets at Devereux Beach.  We had a spin on the merry-go-round, and got dizzy on the big golden bus ride.  We stopped at Baby Gap to buy some not so practical, but unbelievably cute sun dresses for Bump Vytopil (the cute baby girl clothes increased my "I want to have another baby" scale from a 3 to a 3.8 on a scale of 1-10..), and exchanged Red Box DVDs (returned Love and Other Drugs, rented The Switch).  By 2pm, I got my exhausted little guy back for what I thought was going to be a nice solid nap, but 40 minutes later, poor Griffin was an awake/clingy/whiny/ sack of hot potatoes.  His "teething" symptoms had turned into a full blown 102.2 fever.  Bummer!  I was so convinced the rest of my day was ruined, that I promptly burst into ridiculous hormonal I'm-alone-on-Mother's-Day-tears when I stepped out of my car in Pat's driveway with cupcakes and hot dogs in hand.  All of us abandoned Moms hung out for a playdate and dinner.  In the 2 hours we were at Pat's, Tylenol and fresh air seemed to cure Griff, as he was back to himself and fully recovered by bath time.  (BTW, what kind of lamo fever only lasts 2 hours!?)  Anyway, once my sweet boy was in bed, I called Tom's Mom and chatted a while, then housed a few more chocolate cupcakes and spent the rest of my evening hanging out with Jennifer Anniston and Jason Bateman.

Overall, the day was harder than I hoped it would be, complicated, a little tiring, but it turned out ok in the end.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Carnival @ Devereux Beach, Griffin's First Ride!

Ohhhh boy.  Each year as a fundraiser, the MHS senior class transforms the Devereux Beach parking lot into a fun little amusement park complete with rides, games, and deliciously unhealthy food stands.  This was a "must do" on our weekend bucket list, so we managed to make an appearance today just minutes before it started raining.  Tom and I are totally amusement park people, so we were psyched to bring Griff on his first ride: the Merry-Go-Round!  I think Griff was a little confused by all of the hard plastic colorful horses, but he made a few horse noises and rode happily.  I also took him on the only other ride he was tall enough for, the car ride with old classic cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks where every rider has an extraordinarily obnoxious horn button to press, which Griffin loved and I got dizzy on!  He asked for "more" when the ride stopped, so after we walked around a bit, Tom who had just downed a plate of fried dough went on it with Griff a second time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Babble Babble

Now that he has mastered walking, Griffin seems to be focusing his mental energy on learning to talk.. and by 'talk', I mean babble.  In the last few weeks Tom and I have noticed a lot of new sounds and syllables coming from our little sack of potatoes.  He's quite the chatterbox.  He tends to talk a lot while riding in his carseat, probably telling me about the trees, birds, and trucks he sees out his window, and I'm sure he thinks he makes complete sense.  It's so cute and entertaining to hear his little voice. The first 2 word phrase he said was "bye bye da da" (this was yesterday).