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Entries in toddler (45)


About Face

Happy with his new view.

After much anguished internal debate, I’ve turned Z’s car seat to be forward-facing. It’s well-documented that it’s safest to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible, so I wanted to keep him backward until he was three. However, I’ve been having significant shoulder pain for more than six months and lifting my 30+ pound boy in and out of the car is counter-productive to all of the effort I’m putting into physical therapy.  

Z is SO happy to be seeing the world in a new way (“Mommy, I can see you! Mommy, the light is green!). And I’m happy that he’s able to climb in and out of the car seat on his own (at an excruciatingly slow pace). But I’m still nervous. I know that he’s a big strong kid, but I just feel like he’s so vulnerable back there. It’s like that feeling of driving your newborn around for the first time.

I bet I would have felt this way when I turned him at his third birthday, but I’m still second-guessing my decision. I suppose I’ll just do some extra-defensive driving! 


Ice Skating with Toddlers and Preschoolers


We tried ice skating with Nic when he was about two. It was a total bust. He was a wet noodle we tried to pull around the rink.

We made our second attempt at ice skating yesterday with Nic, almost five, and Z, almost two and a half, and it was much more successful. Although it almost wasn’t.

I’d received an email about a local pop-up ice rink that had “bobby” skating aids—basically ice strollers that you could ride on or use for support. This seemed like a genius idea, so we decided to go on New Year’s Day. (Full disclosure: The rink comped our skate.) However, when we arrived, they were out of “bobbies.” (A hazard of going on a holiday, I suppose.) We got on a waitlist for a bobby, but it didn’t look like one would open up before our session was over. The boys were doing pretty well on the ice, but we were all a bit disappointed that we wouldn’t get to try out the bobby.

Then a Christmas angel swooped in and let us borrow her bobby for a few trips around the rink. It was amazing! The boys took turns riding on and pushing the bobby and it was fun for all. It also gave Nic a lot more confidence on the ice. After our turn with the bobby was over, he went back out with Daddy and even let go of the edge a few times.













The moral of the story is: Ice skating with little kids is a lot more fun with a little help.

Info for Bay Area Ice Rink:

The Little Ice Rink

South Shore Center, Alameda (Who knew Alameda was so cute? This center is really nice too.)

Open through January 19th

Thank you to the Little Ice Rink for our family skate!


Top 10 Reasons my Toddler Loves Sick Days 


Nic, age-four-and a-half, has a nasty bug. He’s been lazing about the house with a fever all day. As unhappy as Nic has been, Z has been in heaven since I declared this a “Sick Day.” That’s because although Z feels fine, he still gets to enjoy all of the sick day indulgences his brother is getting. It’s too hard to tell Z “no” when he sees brother getting the good stuff. Here are Z’s favorite sick day perks:"Sick days rule!"

10. Unlimited juice.

9. Unlimited TV shows.

8. Unlimited iPad/LeapPad time.

7. Being brother’s “nurse” by bringing him juice and snacks for Mommy.

6. Cookies for morning snack.

5. Ice cream for afternoon snack.

4. Not having to be loaded into the car for preschool drop off and pick up.

3. Jumping on brother’s bed while he’s asleep on the couch.

2. Mommy’s undivided attention for playing cars or building train tracks.

1. Brother is too sick to wrestle or steal toys. 

The sad sickie.


Baby Z is Two!


Sweet Baby Z,

Good natured. That’s the best way I can describe you. When I think about you, I smile inside.  You’ve definitely become a toddler, with all of the stubbornness and moodiness that entails, but I’m confident you’ll come out of toddlerhood with a smile on your face.

Here are some things that I’ve come to know about you:Birthday balloons!

  • You carry your emotions close to the surface. When you are happy, you bounce with glee, but when you’re mad, watch out! Your daddy has a hard time keeping a straight face during your face-down-on-the-ground, kicking and screaming tantrums. I’m just thankful that they are very short-lived and that you’ve stopped banging your head against hard surfaces when you’re mad.
  • You’re slow to warm in new situations, but you are so affectionate with the ones you love. One of my favorite memories of you this year was one morning a few months ago when I gave your brother a kiss good morning while he was eating his breakfast. I had already given you good morning kisses when I got you from your crib, but that wasn’t enough for you. When you saw me walking away from the breakfast table without kissing the top of your head, you said, “Zachy kiss too please.” It melted my heart. It also made me take notice that you are watching how our family relates and making sure you get what you need.
  • You’re funny. You have excellent comedic timing—like your daddy.
  • You share willingly (please don’t let saying this out loud be a jinx). I’ve never seen a two-year-old take turns with such relative ease. This is likely the by-product of being a sibling, and it makes me so happy to see you and Nic facilitate turn-taking on your own.
  • Eating is hit or miss. For the first year, you were a reliably good eater (except for breastfeeding, which you hated). However, at around 14 months, a switch flipped and you got picky and unpredictable. Some days you’ll still take down 3 bananas in a sitting, but other days we’re lucky if we can get a frozen waffle and some chips in you. I’m chalking this one up to being a toddler and expect you to be a hearty eater again in a few years (fingers crossed).
  • You are a mama’s boy. There are so many people who love you and who you love, but if you got to choose who you’d be with all the time, it would be me. I love this. It can make things difficult, but it’s so worth it.

Zachary, you are a silly ray of sunshine who loves balloons and long walks around the neighborhood. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings out in you. 


On the Eve of Your First Birthday 


Dear Z,

That smile!You are so big and so small. Yes, this is possible. It’s hard to believe the way that life has expanded in the last year with you here. Our house is so much more full with smiles, messy floors and your endless range of noises.

I feel like I’m really getting to know you. You love games, and routine. I’ll be shocked if your first word isn’t “ball”—the only thing you love more is your brother, and “Dominic” is an unlikely first word. And you LOVE to eat.

You are finally getting much more of the attention you deserve. We’re all learning to share our time better, and that leaves me feeling much less anxious about giving you the focus that I want you to have. We have many moments together these days, and I treasure them. And the benefit of the few months that it took to find that balance is that you are a very patient little boy (except when you are in your highchair).

You and brother have loved each other intensely since you were born, and now you can actually play together. You roll the ball back and forth, chase each other around the house and sometimes even share toys. You even gave brother his first baby-induced owie—a scrape from a dino swipe to the face (I’m calling it revenge for an incident when you were three months old that involved a dino dropped from a height).

I know when we bring your birthday balloons into your room in the morning that your face will light up. Your morning smile is joy. It’s your joy. It’s Daddy’s joy. It’s Brother’s joy. It’s my joy. You are our joy.

All my love,