Big Kid Things: The Nearly Three Edition

We’re at the end of the age of two.  That means that when he turns three he’ll be completely agreeable and well behaved all the time, right?  RIGHT?

From what I hear three is the new two.  And if that’s true then we’re in for a real treat.

I’ll start with the good: Max is potty trained!  And he has been since December!  AND! He did it all by himself!ThreeEdition_04Seriously though, he really did.  I gave him underwear, or unduway as he calls them, and he would wear them around the house and go pee in the potty (his little potty seat).  Then one day when I said he needed to put a diaper on because we were leaving the house he said no.  I panicked for a moment then told myself this day was going to come sooner or later.  So we left the house with him in underwear.  And he did just fine.  Then a few days later as he was getting ready for bed he said no to putting a diaper on for bed.  I trusted him and let him wear underwear and he woke up dry!  I was blown away.  He was ready.

He went over a month without any accidents at all.  He’s wet the bed a couple of times and recently seems to have regressed and is having accidents all the time now.  But I think that’s more of a Eff You to us because when we see that he needs to go we tell him to go and he says “No.  I don’t want to!”.  And then we argue and there’s timeouts for everyone.  And that seems to be the theme recently.ThreeEdition_03I feel like we’re living in a constant power struggle.  He knows what he can get away with and with who.  He plays me and Rob differently.  It’s kind of funny.  Except that it’s not really and some days you want to drop everything and leave.

But then he starts asking you where the cats are and unless you are myself or Rob you will have no idea what the hell he’s talking about.  You see, Max has an entire family of cats for imaginary friends.  There’s a mommy cat, a daddy cat, a Max cat and a baby cat and they are all named Tree.  Is it their last name you ask?  Who knows.  To us they’re just the Tree cats.  They come with us everywhere and they love to play chase.

While he can be just precious and talk about imaginary cats, he can also test your patience and make you feel like your brain is going to explode.ThreeEdition_01He’s opinionated and knows what he wants, or doesn’t want.  For a while anytime we asked him to do something it was “No.  I don’t want to.”  Okey dokey, Max.  We resorted to bribery, it was literally the only thing that would get him to go to the bathroom, or get dressed, or even EAT.  For the most part we’re past that, for now.  Every once in a while we have to make some sort of deal, and let me tell you that this kid can drive a hard bargain.  Now he’s really into us setting the timer on our phone for a number of minutes of his choosing.  Then he’ll do what we want when the time goes off, supposedly.  I’ve seen no evidence of this.

He’s not napping anymore, which has turned out to be okay.  Basically, he’s so tired at bedtime he just goes right to sleep.  It’s glorious!  No more sitting next to his bed for hours, no more standing outside his door for hours!  The downside?  He’s awake all day.  And in the early evening he gets pissy.  Then I get pissy.  And then I have wine.  Or beer or bourbon.  Whatever’s closest.ThreeEdition_02While he’s a pain in my backside, he’s also just the most fun right now.

Listening to him talk is incredible.  Especially after he had such a hard time with it.  He’s officially done with speech therapy and I’m so so so glad we put him in that program.

Since he’ll be three in less than two weeks we’re looking into preschool.  We visited a cooperative preschool last week and I think we’re going to sign him up.  He’ll only be there for two months, as they follow the school districts calendar.  He was shy at first but warmed up eventually and didn’t want to leave.  I know that when the time comes to drop him off there will be tears.  His and mine.  I also know that it won’t last forever and that this is the best thing for him, and me for that matter.

His 3rd birthday is five days away and I’m starting to feel all the feelings.  He has requested a red cake for his birthday and for dinner he would like hot dogs.



This is my favorite, right here.  This age.  I think.  Everyone’s all But the terrible twos.  Yeah, we’ve got that.  But when he’s not terrible he’s just the best ever.

Every morning when he wakes up he greets me with the most emphatic “HI!” and even if it’s too early to be up it just melts me.  And hugs.  So many hugs.  And he pats your back while he’s hugging you and he rests his big little head on your shoulder and I just want to hold him forever like that.Summa_02With the snuggly, warm good comes the downright awful.  He can throw a tantrum.  He can scream.  He hits, kicks, bites sometimes.  Most tantrums stem from some sort of power control.  He’s very independent and must do everything on his own.  When he isn’t able to it’s the end of everything.  He’s angry, I get angry.  There’s yelling and throwing (on his part) and tears (both of us, sometimes).  It’s not pretty and it’s not easy.  Some days I feel like he’s been sent here to test me, to see just how much I can handle and to find out what my breaking point is.

But I love him.  More than anything.2.5_1Rob and I have those moments every single day where he’s doing something so precious cute adorable that we look at each other with that look.  You know, when you’re both thinking about how you absolutely could not love him more.  He’s full of magic and love and imagination.2.5_2Imagination!  He plays pretend!  We are always pretend eating bananas and pumpkins and going to the zoo and being tigers.  And a “pwisess”.  He loves being a princess.  He picked out a tutu at a children’s second hand sale and I bought it for him.  I don’t even know where he got the idea of a princess, but somehow he did and he likes it.  And I love watching him be a pwisess.

This post was supposed to go up weeks ago but I completely forgot about it, honestly.  And then we went on vacation, Max’s first big trip!  On a plane and a boat!  More details on that will come as soon as I have the time to sit down and sift through photos.  But let’s just say that Max had the best time because of course he did.  

2.5 year old Max is great.  Plain and simple.

Max’s 2nd Birthday Party

It was a perfect day.  There was not a cloud in the sky and it was 75 degrees.  I was hoping all week for weather like this.  Max started his birthday off with a cinnamon roll breakfast, playing with his birthday present from us, a basketball hoop, and then not napping.  Because that’s his favorite thing to not do these days.Birthday_01Of course getting everything ready and set up was down to the very last minute.  Thankfully my brother, Cameron, and his girlfriend, Courtney, came over early to help me out and OHMYGOD they were the best.  They win the prize.  Birthday_07For the party I wanted blue and green and alligators.  I found this great shop on Etsy, Design {on} Paper, where there are pre-made invites and all you have to do is provide a photo and the information and BAM! you have a super awesome invitation ready to print.  Along with the invite I ordered the party kit which came with a happy birthday banner and all kinds of little cutouts (which I didn’t get to use many of because of time and certain things not panning out like I had hoped.  Oh well!).  I printed up all 24 of his monthly photos and had Courtney and Cameron string them together.  I covered the tables with brown wrapping paper from the dollar store and left crayons on them.  Birthday_08Of course I wanted some nice photos of Max in his little bow tie I made before he got filthy and covered with food.  But sadly this was the best I got.  I asked a friend to take some quick pics of us as a family and they didn’t come out great.  We had splotchy shadows all over our faces and in each photo someones face looks ridiculous.  (I made up for that on Easter though.)  I released Max to do what he wanted and we had a party!Birthday_05We also had an Easter egg hunt!  Where I’m pretty sure Max consumed more sugar than he ever has in his entire life.Birthday_03And of course there was cake.  My mom ordered the cake and I was very pleased with the way it came out.  Also, it was delicious.Birthday_02^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_04^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_06^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Birthday_09

Max is a very, very loved little boy.

This time around I realized I needed to do a few things differently:

1) I can’t do it all.  I want to, so badly, but I need help.

2) Hire a photographer.  Seriously.  I was too wound up to run around and take photos and all I wanted was a few nice photos of Max and our little family, and all the details and all the guests.  Ok, I want photos of EVERYTHING.  And I can’t do it on my own.

3) RELAX.  And have fun.

I think Max had a fabulous time.  There were so many friends to play with, and bubbles to pop and it really was a great afternoon.

Check out Max’s first birthday party here.  And check out his 24 month recap here.

24 Months Old

My sweet, stinky, loveable Monster Boy,

You’re two!  Two whole years old, but somehow you seem older.  You’re definitely not a baby anymore.  Two years isn’t a very long time in the  grand scheme of things but it also feels like an eternity.  I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said before.  Your dad and I can’t get enough of you.  We sit together watching you play with whatever your favorite toy of the moment is (lately the Kindle, or one of our phones or those squishy light up koosh balls) and we we your fat cheeks tense up as you grin and giggle because you’ve bopped all the gopher’s heads in the Scout’s ABC game.  The way you pur your index finger to your chin and say Hmmmmm when we ask you a question makes me melt.  You’re a tiny little person with your own big huge personality.  You’re easily excitable and not easily tamed, some of the time.  You’re learning so quickly and almost every day you have a new “word”.  Despite the lack of speech, you have managed to communicate so well with signing.  I never imagined teaching you sign language but now I can’t imagine you not using it.24MonthsInstagramWe don’t always see eye to eye on some thing; naps, when to watch t.v., when to come inside.  But even though we get upset with each other minutes later you’re at your sweetest, giving me hugs and kisses.  I’m not going to lie, the last two years haven’t been easy.  But man, they were totally worth the struggle.  You’ve taught me a lot and I know you’ve got more in store for me, and I’m ready.  I’m ready to take on two.  I’m ready to watch you grow and learn and be the feisty, magical, monster  boy that you are.24MonthsOldx4I’m going to miss taking these monthly photos. 24MonthsOldYou are simply the best thing that has ever happened to me and your dad.  I love our little family and I love that you made us a family.  I love you, WE love you.DSC_0136EiHappy second birthday little boy.Me&Max_24MonthsRead Max’s Birth Story here.  Read about Max’s first birthday here.MonthByMonth_24

23 Months Old

I feel like this last month has produced some significant things in the world of Max.  Mainly in the form of speech.  He had an evaluation with the people at Clackamas County Early Intervention early in the month.  At the follow up appointment we learned that he’s totally fine in all places of growth (fine motor skills, reception, etc.) except for speech.  Obviously.  His score was so low that he qualified for in home speech therapy until the age of three.  He had his first appointment with Teacher Jeff on Tuesday and I think both Max and I learned a few things.  I learned the way children develop speech and some techniques to get Max to make certain sounds.  After his appointment he was saying “ball” without being prompted.  And he still is.  Rob and I are both really excited, of course.  He now has a small vocabulary consisting of following words:Eat, Yeah, Ball, Mama, and Dada.  And Ew, as in “Ew, that’s gross.  And of course there’s the animal sounds and cars and trains and airplanes.Max23Months_01This last month Max has spent a lot of time with some little friends.  We’ve visited the Zoo and Children’s Museum and parks with Judah, and we visited Quinn at his house for a playdate in his super sweet playroom.  I’ve noticed a pattern of Max eating all of his friends snacks when we visit with them.  Seriously, he always wants Judah’s carrots but won’t actually eat them, he’s more of a cooked carrot kind of guy.  At least he tries, right?  Also, I think spending time with kids his age who are talking is also helping him speak.MaxandJudahMax23Months_02^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Some of my favorite photos from the last month, all taken on the iPhone.  I’m making myself carry around my DSLR more often instead of relying on the phone, which takes fine enough photos.  I just like my camera better.23Months_03Max has a favorite movie.  You know what it is?  Dumbo.  The kid loooooooves Dumbo.  Of course he’s always watching Elmo’s World and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but Dumbo is special.  For the first time, while he was watching Dumbo, I saw him laughing at the part of the movie where Dumbo’s mom is tickling him and Dumbo hides behind her leg.  He understood that it was funny, and that blew my mind.  He’s learning!  This is one of those parenting moments that only you feel excited by and other people are all Okaaaaaaay.
23MonthsOldLook at this boy.  This boy climbs on everything, is still terrorizing the dogs and generally being crazy.  He keeps us on our toes, especially in parking lots where he likes to bolt when you’re abou to pick him up to put him in the car.  Those are special moments.  That and when we’re outside playing and it’s time to come in it’s like I’ve threatened to kill his puppy.  Good gravy this kid is dramatic.

Remember when he was a wee little baby and he wouldn’t cuddle with me?  Well that’s all changed.  Every morning he and I sit on the couch and watch Curious George together.  He’ll either climb into my lap or nestle under my arm and rest his head on me and it’s the very greatest thing.  I still wish he lay down and take a damn nap with me though.

I’m getting super excited for this guy’s second birthday.

In less than a month I will take the last monthly photo and write the last monthly post for Max.  A part of my heart is breaking, but the rest is bursting with the fiercest love for this kid.