Friday, October 24, 2014


The Bear loves to dance. He likes fast songs best. If a slow song comes on he'll either get upset or he'll say, "More music!" as if a slow song isn't actual music. He also says, "Louder!"
Here he is dancing full force:

dancing from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

So, he's not the most rhythmic dancer but he goes for it with 100% of his body:

pre bed time dance from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

He has started not liking me recording his dance moves so I did this one on the sly. This is him listening to the Beach Boys. It was really quiet in there so I peeked in and he was sitting their, not dancing (slow song), and watch what happens when a fast song comes on(around the 55 second mark):

beach boys from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Autumn Garden

Making rows for our seeds
We started a garden back in August (I hope I didn't plant too late!) We planted two types of lettuce and snow peas.  Stan B enjoyed helping me dig and sow seeds.

Our lettuce and snow peas popping up!
He helps me water the garden on days that it doesn't rain. He has even helped me weed. He knows the difference between the lettuce and snow peas and the weeds. It's neat that he picked up on that rather quickly. 

There is still a patch of dirt that he can play around in behind the garden but I still have to remind him not to step on the lettuce. He is pretty good about it the majority of time.
Making a mud pit
 And completely muddy:

Once the peas started looking for something to grab on to I built this trellis. I hope it holds up. So far, so good:

The snow peas are now up to my knees and the lettuce is probably 6 inches high. So, I think we are doing pretty good, although we are cutting it close. I don't have any pictures handy but will post some soon!

Also, back in June when my Dad was here helping us settle in we bought some green onions at the store. Once we used them my Dad kept the white root parts and put them in water for a day or two and then planted them in the ground out back. They sprouted into wonderful and big green onions again, look! 
I cut these and did the same thing and planted them back in the ground and they are growing again! It's amazing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Potty

This is in the bathroom at our old place in NC. He would love to sit on the potty and read a magazine. He never would actually pee or poop in the toilet. But it was good practice.
So, a while ago - maybe when he was around 18 months old - he was very aware of urine coming out of his penis and the sensation of needing to pee because he was standing in the tub and he said to me, "pee pee" and then looked down and a second later out came the urine! I had read that as soon as you see the first signs of their awareness of peeing that you should start thinking about potty training.

The idea of potty training freaks me out a little. I don't want to spend 3+ exhausting days trying to get him to pee and poop on the toilet while having to wipe up the floors, furniture, his clothes when he poops/pees on/in them. Props to the people that do it. It's just not in my wiring. On top of all the potty training horror stories people always tell me how boys are way harder to potty train than girls. I have friends who have gone into potty training mode, full force, and had success after 3-7 days. I have had friends who let the potty idea click in their child's head and that works just as well. Here is a woman's story about her child's mental click and how she made a chart for him over at the blog OMG There's Three! I love the idea of a sticker chart, more so than candy rewards. So, a chart might be in our future. I also read the article titled 3 Reason Kids Don't Need Toilet Training (and What to Do Instead) over at Janet Lansbury's blog, which I love (that's where I go to seek a lot of parenting advice; biting, discipline, etc. I really like her philosophy - although I do not follow it strictly.)
I think these three points, from her article say it well:

Child specialist Magda Gerber noted three types of readiness children need for toilet learning:
1. Physical:  there is bladder and bowel capacity and muscle control.
2. Cognitive: children know when they need to eliminate urine and feces and are fully aware of what they are supposed to do.
3. Emotional:  children are ready to let go of a situation they are used to and comfortable with (urinating and releasing feces into a diaper whenever they feel like it), and also let go, literally, of these waste products, which they perceive as belonging to them.
The emotional readiness factor usually comes last, is the most fragile, and also the most powerful. Bright, sensitive, aware toddlers can readily perceive a parent’s agenda. For some, the subtlest nudge toward the potty or being diaper-free can cause holding of urine or feces, delay toilet learning for months or even years, make toddlers feel ashamed, lead to severe constipation.

I think we've gotten to number 2 (not number two/poo, but the second type of readiness listed above!) I think we are now practicing, without practicing, the Emotional part that is written in step 3.

As soon as I realized that the Bear knew when pee was coming I started really talking to him about it. I also began reading him the book, "Everyone Poops" which became a huge hit. I had him watch Papa pee as often as possile, so that he could understand it better by obsercing. He is actually really good at peeing standing and holding his penis while doing so, but he has only done that in the tub, not into the toilet but it's a safe place to practice that. I try my hardest to use my words around him because he can understand way more than he can verbalize. So I say things like, "Papa is peeing standing up and into the toilet. Pee comes out of his penis just like pee comes out of your penis." and "You are peeing out of your penis." If he has a wet diaper I say, "You made a pee pee."  or "You made a poo poo." Which now has become a conversation, "Little poo poo?"
"No, big poo poo."
"No, little."
"Actually, it's big."
"No, little."
"O.K. it's little."
"No, big."
Ha. Really, that's what the regular poo conversation is. And he always wants to look at the poo in his diaper.

Here he is "wiping" although he didn't pee or poop. Good practice though.
I have also placed his little potty in our bathroom right around the 18 month age, when he started being very aware of what was happening. In the beginning he would sit on there and never pee or poo. But he loved sitting on there, so I let him do it. He didn't pee in there until he was 2. When he became really interested in the potty (but still hadn't peed in there) my parents got him the book "Once Upon a Potty" which also became a favorite. When he finally peed in the potty I said something like, "You peed in the potty! Would you like to dump it in the toilet? Would you like to flush it down yourself?" He loves flushing. After that first time peeing in the potty I let him go diaperless in the house and told him that if he needed to pee or poop that he would have to run to the potty. That same day he peed in the potty 4 times! He wore his big boy undies after that but then peed in those. The next day, same thing but then he pooped on the ground. Woohoo! Next day he peed in the potty 2 times then I put him in a diaper and we went to buy more big boy undies which was exciting for him.

Here he is rolling around in his big boy undies.
Now, part of the time Stan B will voluntarily say, "Pee pee!" and run to the potty, attempt to take off his diaper (he can do it sometimes although not very gracefully) and pee perfectly into the toilet (he sits down). He has never tried pooping in there. I try to give him the option of a diaper or underwear on mornings that I have him at home. He probably chooses diaper 85% of the time.
Peeing, playing the harmonica and reading Once Upon a Potty - the ultimate multitasker.
He doesn't love having his poopy diaper changed. Sometimes he will sit in it and not let me change it for awhile. I try to explain to him that it would feel more comfortable if we changed right away. I also tell him that if he wants he can try pooping in the potty instead of in a diaper. I try not to make him feel embarrassed either way. I want him to feel comfortable and confident in his choices.

I will keep you abreast on the pooping and peeing. I know you are thankful for that. Teehee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wreaking Havoc at the Mall

Lying down in front of a display of flip flops in Old Navy.
Someone is obsessed with shoes and his name is Stan B.

Sometimes we go to the mall and walk around. His favorite thing to do is to try on shoes. He always chooses something from the girl section (he's really drawn to pinks and purples). There are two shoe stores that we frequent. In this one he tried on a pair of cleats:
He loved them. He walked up and down the aisles and then before I knew it he was OFF! He split, right out of the store and into the mall! Apparently this happens a lot with the toddler set; that is what the shoes salesperson said anyways.

At the other store he tried on these pink, purple and blue numbers:

If I had the cashflow I would have purchased them for him as they were super fly. And after walking around the store in them he was OFF! He split, right out of the store and into the mall! AGAIN. I got my exercise that day.

Here he is on his way out.
At the Old Navy he LOVES the mannequins. He goes up to each one and grabs the legs and gives them a gentle shake. Or sometimes he'll just stand there and stare at them. I think I was mesmerized with mannequins when I was little too. They also have a coloring table in the Old Navy. One day instead of coloring he would take all of the crayons out of the silver bowl and then put them back in and say, "poo poo" over and over again. It was hilarious. And then he discovered that the bowl could be taken out of the table. Have a watch below:

old navy shenanigans II from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Daycare : First Week

His monkey

The eve of the first day we talked about bringing a big blanket for nap time, so I showed him this cozy quilt and I asked him if there was a lovie that he might want to bring to daycare and he chose a monkey that I crocheted for him while I was pregnant. I explained to him that he would use the blanket at naptime and then we had our regular daycare conversation that we've had almost daily in the past several weeks.

Day 1: When he woke up after 6 am I went to get him and bring him to nurse in our bed and he said, "Daycare blanky?" So I grabbed it from his crib(he wanted to sleep with it that night to become better acquainted) and brought it with us. I nursed him for maybe 15 minutes and then it was time to get up and going. He knew what that day was because he said, "Daycare? Play? Kids?" We got ready and hopped in the car; the drive was less than a minute! We went inside and he was the second child there, so it was pretty quiet. He went directly for the play kitchen. I talked to the present caretaker and then I told Stan B that it was time for me to go and he frowned and started to cry. I wanted to cry with him, but I held it together and just gave him a hug. I grabbed his monkey and gave it to him and told him I'd be back later and that I knew he would have fun. The caretaker picked him up as I walked out the door and they waved bye bye to me as I waved back - Stan B still crying. Then off to my first sub job! (I subbed for a Special Ed. teacher/aid in elementary school and worked with 5 different students - one at a time. It was a nice way to break a new sub in - plus I got to sit in real classrooms and observe other teachers teach which is awesome.)

When I picked him up he was sitting at a table with many other kids (it was lively) and he turned around, still sitting, and said, "Mama! Mama! Play-doh! Clippers!" (he calls scissors, clippers.) Aw. Those Mama, Mamas are music to my ears (most of the time) but especially today. It was both of our first times away from eachother in ages. Only one of us cried but now that he's asleep in his crib and I'm sitting here reminiscing there are tears down my face. Oh, how I missed him...but I loved trying something new, for myself, too. Parenting and adulthood are so complex and full of emotions. I love it (most of the time). The two caretakers that were there said that he did great but that he had a hard time during transitions: moving from play to nap, waking from nap, moving from play to lunch - apparently he would cry a little for me. One caretaker said he needed snuggle/lap time after nap and then they went outside which almost immediately calmed him. (She said that when they went outside it wasn't raining and when she asked him if it was raining he said yes...and then it immediately started to rain - he and mother nature are partners in crime.) Snuggle/Outside Bear, that's him.

Day 2: At home while I was making breakfast I reminded him that we were going to leave soon because I had to work (2 day subbing assignment at another elementary school for Special Ed! I worked with a blind girl and a 3rd grade boy with some learning disabilities.) and he said, "Mama come?" and we had our conversation again...but this time he responded, "I want Mama!" which is so sweet to hear but man, does it break my heart and make me want to cry, forget teaching and stay home with him FOREVER - but I reined it in and just said, "I know you do but you had fun yesterday, didn't you?" and we went through all of the fun things he did which distracted him a little. Then he said again, "Mama daycare?" Oh, my heart. I didn't think I'd get him to the car voluntarily but he did. He repeated "I want Mama" - tears in his eyes on our 1 minute drive to daycare. He got out of the car while we talked about cars and dinosaurs (he pronounces dinosaurs, "Dennis" - which makes me the happiest person on earth.) When we got inside the daycare he started bawling. I handed him over to the care provider and told him that I would be back and that he would have fun and that I loved him. That was super hard...the hardest it has been.

When I picked him up he was playing in the yard and having a blast. The director said he did much better today with transitions, he didn't hang on to his monkey nearly as much, yay! He helped make blueberry muffins in the kitchen and got to plop the blueberries in his very own muffin! Stan B heaven! As we started to walk to the car he saw that I was holding his monkey and he said, "Monkey night night in der." and pointed to the door. So we went back in and he put the monkey on the counter. I showed him where his cubby was and I put the monkey in there instead and he said, "Night night, Monkey." I think that was a good sign.

Day 3: This was the worst drop-off day yet. (Big frown.) I decided to walk to daycare and then from there walk to my sub job since it was fairly close(second day at the same school, working with the same two students.) On our 5 minute walk Stan B cried on and off and often said, "I want Mama!" When we turned up the drive to the center tears started pouring down his little face and he started sobbing. Oy. I took him inside I handed him his monkey and said goodbye. Stan the Man (one of the care providers names is Stan too!) swooped Stan B up and comforted him. I then walked out the door.

When I came to pick him up he had just woken from his nap (I got there earlier today because the schools get let out early on Fridays) and one of the care providers was squatting down to his level and it looked like they were doing high fives. Apparently he had just woken up from his nap and was asking for me. When he saw me he ran over and gave me a big hug. Then he put his monkey in his cubby and the caretakers asked him if he wanted his snack because they made him one. So, I stuck around while he ate his snack. They said that he asked for me around lunch and after nap the most. They also said that he really liked his snuggles. Aw. And caretaker Stan apparently has a sense of humour because whenever someone says something like, "Have you seen Stanley's jacket?" He will respond, "Yeah, it's on the chair in the office." And the questioning caretaker will look in the office and find big Stan's jacket not the Bear's jacket. Or, "Stanley, do you need your diaper changed?" "No, I didn't wear a diaper today." etc. Ha.

So, I hope next week gets better. I think it will just take a bit more time to get used to it all...afterall, his Mama has been at his beck and call for over 4 months straight! Change is hard but change is essential. I know he will adapt.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Things He Says

Sending Papa off to work

His language and comprehension are really starting to blossom. It's fun to witness. They other night we went on our after dinner walk (and it's dark out) and I said,

"Look Stanley, what is that up in the sky?"
"Moon! Touch!"
"No, it's to high in the sky."

He wakes up in the morning around 5 am. I go and get him and bring him to my bed and nurse him. When he is done he used to say, "Side." Meaning other side. Now he says, "Other side." and if he's in a super good mood he'll say, "Other side, pease." When he's really up for the day he put's his hands up in the air and says, "All done!" He usually then runs to the fridge, opens it and shouts, "Pancakes!"

When Mike rides his bike to work Stan B will stand at the door and say, "Bye bye, Papa!" over and over again until he can't see him anymore. It's really sweet.

The other week I wrote about his S and F words and couldn't think of f words but I finally remembered:
Shoot = Foot (not like shoot a gun but the oot sound of the word foot.)
Shy = Fly
So, Fs are usually sh sounds although he can say food/foodie well...
That's another thing, he adds an ie/y at the end of some words like,
foodie and helpie and guess is that it comes from saying blanky and birdy and bunny...I don't know. Hopefully it will pass.

Instead of saying yes he says, "Kay" as in o.k. "Do you want to go to the park?" "Kay." "Do you want juice?" "Kay." etc.

Mike said dangit last sunday and Stan B kept saying dangit. I think our mistake was sorta laughing yet saying, don't say that. So I think we should have just ignored him. Oh least Mike didn't say F*%#!

Here he is making his typical jibber jabber noise on one of our walks:

always talking from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


We made up a sign for "patience" or maybe not so much a sign but something for the Bear to do while waiting for something rather than him repeating, "Mama! Mama!" "Yes?" "I want food!" "Yes, I am making you lunch." "Mama, Mama! I want foodie!" "Yes, I heard you." "Mama! Mama! I want foodie! Foodie! Foodie!"


Now we say, "Be patient and put your hands together in patience." This ACTUALLY works or at least quells the MamaMamas! He now will put his hands together and say, "Mama! Mama!" "Yes?" Holds clasped hands up, "Pashence." "Yes, thank you for being patient."

Love him.

Demonstrating patience while the high school band takes a break from their practice...he loved watching them and kept saying, "More! More!"
Bonus pic of him watching the band and completely enthralled: