Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's all in the message....

Just to document some of life's happenings, this blog is truly a gift. I have a chronological account of my children, some months more frequent posts than others, nonetheless, a documented history. Today is no different, a few words on the changes among Kaitlyn and Dylan, a few surprises, milestones and of course comparisons to note how different they each are!

Kaitlyn launched into the alphabet the other evening when getting ready for bed and for the first time E V E R I hear Dylan singing along. He had it just about nailed, all sang with his deep voice in a grunting rendition of letters. He beamed to be singing alongside his sister. Potential for a duo in years to come? I wouldn't be so surprised if each of them pursued an instrument and/or vocal practice as they respond so well to music. Dylan, especially, is intrigued by instruments. Kailtyn has her days but limits her musical inquiry with fierce opinions and short attention. We'll see what it may amount to.

Copycat syndrome. Did Kaitlyn start this trend? It's a common occurrence around bedtime. She will copy everything I say as she laughs and displays a mischievous grin. I can hardly take it at this time of the day, as generally my patience is tapped, I feel behind and burdened with what lies ahead for my night after their bedtime which that ritual alone can bring me gray hairs. In any case, Copy Cat Kaitlyn appears. Now I see that Dylan is the same. It's not a mimic of me, but rather of his sister down to body language. The poor guy. I wonder if he even thinks for himself sometimes.

Saving grace: I found this shape sorter APP and added it to both the iPad and iPhone today. These two kids are mesmerized by it and thankfully, since it's the same APP, maybe playing a different shape sort, they each are learning, gaining dexterity skills, focusing and in all honesty, they are quiet. Dylan surprised me with his success in matching shapes-Kaitlyn of course was making leaps and bounds narrating her accomplishment with each shape reveal. Oh boy! I really have two children that represent both ends of the spectrum.

Dylan has been AWESOME in preschool. His teacher is an absolute Blessing-because of this the transition from Mommy to classroom is a breeze. Plus, he really wants to be there. He carries his lunchbox into school every day while Kaitlyn leaves it on the sidewalk and says, "Mom, I don't want to carry it. YOU carry it." And then she darts away. Having them both together adds to my confidence in his being there. If he was the older sibling starting school first, I think the experience would be traumatizing. BUT, he's been tagging along for over a year and a half for drop off and pick up and so it's only right that he appears to be more seasoned. All the students in his class know his name and know that I'm Dylan's mom. It's super darn cute!

Kaitlyn has been terrific with being the BIG SISTER to Dylan. She instantly goes from fend for your own self to possessive sister once noticed on campus. She's a bit of a drama queen...okay, she is THE drama queen or maybe I should be more appropriate and say she's a stage hog! She loves attention and the more people notice that Dylan is now going to school, the more she is right next to him as the BIG SISTER role. It's hilarious to watch this behavior unfold! She LOVES attention....

...And, LOVES attention so much so that I am realizing I don't give her enough of that quality attention she'd get if it was just her and not her current 'Share Mommy' reality! In her eyes, I'm constantly with Dylan....and truth be told. I probably am. If my children read this when they are older (which may happen) is it: Kaitlyn, I do struggle with showing my love for you, instead, it's easier for me to say it. Dylan sucks the physical touch out of me naturally so it's an obvious observation to assume I love him more. BUT, to you both, should you be blessed to become parents in this lifetime of yours, you will come to find that love you have for your spouse is one type of love. The love you have for your first born child becomes a different love and the love for your next child is that first born child love, but on steroids. Our heart has a capacity to love each of you beyond imaginable. My job is to figure out how to ensure you experience this unique love for YOU, and not feel shadowed by the love I have for other people/things! For the record...I love you both, individually and quite immensely!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year for New Change

This year I will be 35.
This year Kaitlyn will be 4.
This year Dylan will be 3.
This year Steve will be .... hmmm. Well, we will both be more gray.

I could easily write a novel, sparing no chapter, to capture the events in the Patterson household over these last two months. But, seriously? Who has time to do such a thing when your nights are sleepless, screaming and cat fights become the house white noise and doing dishes is more than a chore, it's a full time job! I've signed up for sibling rivalry battles that start at daybreak and end when the children slumber. Dylan has developed a sour face and won't budge when he wants something...yes, the broken record type of asking. Kaitlyn loves to teach what she knows and of course decode Dylan's conversation, reporting to me the very important statements he makes.

I'm forever amazed at the love these two have for each other and then amazed at the mere fear they give each other when one pushes force first, pinches, scratches or my favorite, grabs by the neck. Oh the physical love is displayed quite aggressively some days!

Dylan got his first pair of underpants this past December. He was pretty enamored about the whole thing, seeing Thomas the Train below his belly or on his rear left him speechless and all smiles. We haven't tackled potty training yet-or at least where it's a priority. I secretly think this child will stay in diapers for another two years if we'd let him. BUT, Dylan starts preschool on Tuesday and it's here that I know his relationship with the porcelain bowl will start! They offer potty training as if it's part of the curriculum!

Kaitlyn still doesn't wear earrings, but asks for diamond rings. She sports leggings and won't wear jeans. She will wear any branded princess or fairy shirt for days on end and will shiver at a simple shirt with ruffles. She can buckle herself in her carseat and thank GOD can't unbuckle. She loves to teach Dylan about anything and everything that she has already learned. For this I am grateful...but then she also loves to act like me and boss him around incessantly. I often have to intervene and remind her that I'm the mommy! For the longest time it was all about mermaids and now it's pretty much all Princess Patterson here. She had a day trip to Disneyland with Steve and cousin Natalia...this sealed the deal. Her fantasy world blossomed in eight hours and more so than ever before, if it's blue, it must be Cinderella's. Yes, that means she'll drink out of the blue cup-Dylan will be subjected to the pink one. It's that simple.

Kaitlyn will get sucked into a TV show and Dylan will not. Kaitlyn will focus on art projects as if performing surgery...she's very particular and detailed. Dylan will shove markers into his mouth, pound the table with the crayons and for no particular reason at all, dump all baskets of toys onto the floor to then walk away. It's fun, real fun!

Dylan actually cuddles. He will get his head nestled into my neck/shoulder and even place his arm around me when I'm laying with him for nap time or bedtime. Kaitlyn will either grab my hand to hold or just ask that I lay down near here. She's sort of over the cuddling days-she's got too much exploring to do. Dylan wakes up at 6 or 6:30 daily. Kaitlyn could sleep til 8:30 daily, if I'd let her (or if Dylan would let her)!

My moments with Kaitlyn have improved tremendously. We get a kick out of girl days together, or just crafting. She's been responding to my direction much better than months ago-but she still finds ways to test my patience and as of lately, really challenge my upset meter. I get livid when I see her bully her brother. I just sense this tough chick mentality forming and then see this angry Kaitlyn show up. It's not pretty. I have to remind her that her behavior is not of the Kaitlyn that I know....this generally can snap her out of her mood...but boy does it get ugly! And of course Dylan, the biggest mimic in the house, just dishes it all right back. So not only do I have one sour Kaitlyn, but two sour Kaitlyns when Dylan mimics.

If they could answer....

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Dylan it's frozen blueberries, juice box, and trader joe's granola bars. Kaitlyn it's Kraft Mac & Cheese (yes, has to be this brand) and salad.

Q: Favorite cartoon character?
A: Dylan would jump to anything with Curious George. Kaitlyn would thrive if her only friend was any of the following: Super Why or Team UmiZoomi (and the princesses speak for themselves).

Q: Most recent tender moment.
A: Dylan asks if I'm ok after I cough. Kaitlyn stops time when eating side by side at a restaurant and gazes into my eyes, places her arm around my neck ever so gently and tells me she loves me.

Q: If I could have one...
A: magic wand to wave and all dishes would be put away, floors would be mopped and toys would be picked up, I'd be a HAPPY mommy all the time!

Q: Marshmallows...
A: Dylan simply looks at the empty mixer bowl and asks, "Momma, can I have some marshmallow, please?" Kaitlyn could live off marshmallow puff if I'd let her. I could probably Biggest Loser here I come!

Q: Baby Jesus...
A: Kaitlyn knows we celebrate the birthday of Baby Jesus on Christmas and that Jesus wishes for all the good girls and boys to have gifts in His honor so He commissions Santa to help with the distribution! So glad we can add a little faith teaching in the midst of our fairly secular life....slowly this is changing. The kids and I started attending a nearby Lutheran Church for the catechism program-been superb to date!

Here's to a New Year of opportunity to learn as a mom, to grow with my children, to become a better person! This year will be better than 2011, anything will be better than 2011!