Jack... our first born. Not ever so happy about being a big brother these days. LOTS of sassiness, LOTS of tears and whining...and my personal favorite, acting out with body fluids. At least he's only peeing in the shed outside, but still. He knows where pee-pee goes, and it AIN'T in the shed!! This morning he spent some time scrubbing the shed floor. It seems harsh, but it's a clear case of a direct consequence for an action. There was no screaming or accusation, just a calm statement that the pee needed to be cleaned up so the shed wouldn't be yucky to play in. Since he pee'd in it, he cleaned it up. Over and done with. We're trying to create more time in the day for him alone, but it's still really hard. I'm going to take him out to lunch and to see Toy Story 3 this week. He also starts summer camp on Monday for three hours each morning with his good friend Jake. I'm hoping that will help him regulate a little bit. He's trying so hard with the boys. He keeps patting them on the back, hugging them and offering them words of encouragement. We keep telling him what an awesome big brother he is. He really is.
Cooper... the middle child. Wow, what a dramatic change! The out right screaming-Nelly tantrums have almost completely abated. He'll still avert his gaze and freeze when he's corrected, but is quick to re-group and re-attune with me. *Me* being the operative word. He's still not too sure about his Daddy! Poor Lance is doing everything except pulling candy bars out of his butt to help him attach, but Cooper isn't having it. If I'm not around, he'll tolerate him. If I'm here, Lance doesn't stand a chance in hell of getting his attention or cooperation. EXCEPT... today Jack and Lance were playing Wii and Cooper wanted to try. He actually stood between his legs and let him help him play "Speed Slice". It required some pretty close contact between the two of them. Cooper was having so much fun, he didn't notice. Lance had to come help me at bedtime tonight and he smiled and blew him good night kisses. Slow and steady wins the race folks, slow and steady. He is so darn SMART!! He's using a bunch of words in English, still says a couple of Russian ones and his language comprehension is staggering.
Carter... the baby. He used to just love Lance, now he screams like he's being attacked by Flying Monkeys when he picks him up. I get slobbered on and pretty generally adored by him, poor Lance gets arching and crying. It will change, I know that. He's doing what he's supposed to do, bonding with his Mommy. Once he's more secure with me, he'll be able to start hooking up with his Daddy again. It's getting harder to put him to bed at night. He's decided that night time is the right time to make out with Mommy. I've never been on the receiving end of so much toddler spit! He thinks it the best thing ever to grab my cheeks (or ears, or hair) and pull me in for smooches. Thank God he's learning to keep his mouth closed! He takes his bottle like a champ, calls me "Mama", and is starting to use some baby signs. He just turned 17 months old, but acts more like a 9-10 month old. He's been having trouble sleeping through the night lately. He partially wakes and cries about every 90 minutes or so. Most of the time he settles back quickly, sometimes he needs a quick cuddle and rock to go back down. I remember Jackson did the same thing when he was little. Most mornings find Carter in bed with me, snoozing happily.
Now for the good part... photos. First a couple of before and after shots. The "befores" were from our first trip. The "afters" are from the last couple of days.
The first day we met. We called this look "Stink-Eye".
Today, playing in the tent with Jack and Carter.
Very serious, wouldn't you agree?
Swinging in the yard and loving it!
Playing "camping" in the dining room... aren't they CUTE?
We're finally feeling like a family... and it's pretty darn great. I think that child slobber will turn out to be the next fountain of youth. My skin has never looked better!!