Random Notes: Pre-Holiday Edition

It’s been a little while since I posted about the boys. The holidays are here, works has ramped up, winter illnesses have started visiting us again, and sleeping has been a little bit more difficult. Luckily we are past most of that now so let’s get to it!

Not-So-Silent Nights

Ever since the boys were born they have gone through phases of sleeping. Usually it’s Adam that has trouble but every now and then its both. And it’s terrible. The month of November was one of the worst periods of sleep in recent memory. If Adam wasn’t waking up three times a night with gas or a bad dream Zach was waking up and ending up in our bed after refusing to go back to his own. Better still was when one would wake the other out of slumber making him not only awake but awake and angry.

I decided that I’d make an extra effort to help Sally as she usually handles the evening wake up routine and boy was it a treat. There’s nothing like jumping out of bed at 3 AM on a work day and scurrying down the chilly dark hallway  to pick up your violently screaming son for cuddling. Actually, that’s not so bad, it’s the next time you get up and realize that you’ve only been asleep for 15 minutes. That’s bad.

Night after night of broken sleep starts to get to you and eventually the two of us went to work looking like zombies on a regular basis. Part of our sleep troubles were due to colds so once those went away all we had left was to break the habit of “I scream, Mommy and Daddy come get me”. That took about a week of strictly walking in and silently putting them back to bed every time they cried. We’ve had about a week so far of OK sleep. Not every night was free of interventions, but there were no all-night screamfests.

The “Chee”

We picked up our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly decorating it ever since. One night we put it up, one night we did the lights, one night we did the bulbs, and one night we, well that’s as far as we have made it so far. The boys like the tree a lot. They were very curious while we were bringing it in and setting it up, probably wondering why we were bringing in something from the outside and leaving it in the house. They both point and exclaim “Chee!” whenever they are in the dining room and like to look at its lights and their reflections in the glass bulbs that are hanging on it. They do like to touch it but have been surprisingly well-behaved when we ask them to stop. I think they will find it pretty fun when there are piles of presents under it.

The Hood Monster

Adam went through a phase last month where he fell in love with the hood on his jackets and sweatshirts. Whenever he put one on he wanted us to put the hood over his head. I think he enjoyed being hidden from the world and peering out from under the fabric.

Winter Coat Shopping

Some times we don’t feel like the best parents, especially when we go to day care and realize that we sent the boys with sweatshirts on a day when it was below 30 degrees. Once that happened we figured that it might be a good idea to get some winter jackets. We went to the Kittery Outlets and picked up a couple of nice jackets from the GAP Outlet. They were great until we found jackets at Target that we liked better. Those were great until we realized that they were too big and went back to Target to exchange them but decided to get different jackets. So it took three tries but we finally found jackets that worked. It felt like every day we went to day care they asked us if the boys had new jackets. Half the time it was true.

How Many New Shoes Do You Need

Our shoe saga was like the coat saga but worse. We bought the boys new pairs of shoes only to send them to school and find out that they not only didn’t fit but also left marks on the boys’ feet. Terrible. We took them back to store and picked up new pairs. Those were better but still not great so back they went. We bought a third set and finally had a fit that was reasonable. Zach has black shoes with red soles and straps and Adam has black shoes with green soles and straps. Again it seemed like the boys had a new pair of shoes every few days. Unfortunately its almost time to buy shoes again. Gah.

Where’s Raffi?

You know the way that some girls are obsessed with Justin Beiber? Well that’s the way Zach is obsessed with Raffi, everyone’s favorite folk singer from our childhood. The boys have had a Raffi in Concert CD since before they were one and had enjoyed it thoroughly until Caspar Babypants came around. In fact, Adam was the one who was obsessed with him in the beginning. As time went on we started putting together a YouTube rotation of videos from both Caspar and Raffi that we’d watch at night before bed. Once the boys had seen all of the Caspar videos over and over they started to favor Raffi again.

Well the Raffi Renaissance is in full swing now and Zachary is clinically obsessed! He would listen to Raffi all day long if he could. The first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is stand up in his crib, stretch his arms out by his head, and ask “Where’s Raffi?” When we pick him up from day care he runs up to us and exclaims “Where’s Raffi?” As we pull into the garage at night he chants “Raffi! Raffi!” Whenever he looks at the TV he says “Raffi?” Occasionally for variety he will say “Shake shake” in reference to Shake Your Sillies Out, which is one of Raffi’s songs that they dance to at school every day.

Luckily for Zach we have both a Raffi in Concert CD and a Raffi in Concert DVD which includes three concerts – two from the 80’s and one from the 90’s. We have to be careful though – with all of that poofy clothing, big glasses, wild prints, fluorescent colors, and big hair he might have a warped idea of what modern style is. All three concerts are probably a couple hours combined and Zach would watch them all day over and over if he could. He just stares at the TV and dances to every song. We just bought a Raffi Christmas album to add to our collection and provide a little bit more variety for our car rides. Maybe we won’t go to work singing the Peanut Butter Sandwich song so often…

Dog Mob

One way that we keep the boys happy is with snacks. It’s completely against the parenting handbook but everyone does it: crying child + snack = happy child. It’s simple math. As such the boys often have crackers or fruit or something in their hands as they walk around the house. They like to drop stuff on the floor and watch the dogs eat it but the dogs have learned to start following them around. Now the boys literally run away from the dogs, hold up their food, and say “No No No!” as the dogs chase them around. They usually come running to us looking like the victims of a mob. It’s cute that they don’t realize that the dogs are just following them because they usually drop something.

Zach is especially bad because it takes him just about forever to eat anything and he forgets to keep his hands up out of reach from the girls. In one small stroke his cracker or cookie is snatched and he comes running to us looking for another one to munch on for an hour. Adam at least keeps his hands above his waist but now he is so paranoid that if a dog even looks at him when he has food he starts freaking out. Again, it’s really cute but we still have to keep the peace. Maybe I’ll get it on video some day.
Happy Mardi Gras

Sally recently had a Yankee Swap at work and one of her winnings was a box of shiny Mardi Gras beads. I could never have imagined how much of a hit they were with the boys. It’s like you’ve given them gold. They put them on their necks, they put them on your neck, they push them around the carpet, they put them in boxes, they take them out of boxes, they drop them, they pick them up, they drape them over things, they even put them through the cat door down the basement stairs. The possibilities are endless! Hopefully the beads keep their interest as long as our grill’s cardboard box did this summer.

Dancing with Bears

Zach just started doing something that is ultra-adorable when dancing to his Raffi music. He picks up on of his stuffed bears and dances with it. He holds it close and smiles while he grooves. It’s so cute! We haven’t captured it on video yet but hopefully we will soon. Keep an eye out!

Looking Forward

Well that was a lot, wasn’t it? Christmas is here in a little over a week and it will kick off a big week for the boys. My Dad and Schawnté are going to visit us starting next Sunday and we are having a big Christmas dinner on Tuesday. It will be really fun to see how they interact with the presents this year – probably still not super interested but hopefully a little bit less confused than they were last year. It will also be great to see how they interact with my Dad and Schawnté. I’ll have an update after the holiday has passed. Hope this was good for now!

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