Wednesday, September 7, 2011

John's busy summer, part 1

John has had quite the summer! Not many 2.5-year-olds have to endure so many transitions at once -- having Daddy come home for good from Fort Hood, leaving Grandma Kay Ellen and her house behind in Illinois, moving into a new house in Wisconsin, starting at a new school, starting to potty-train, traveling back and forth between Wisconsin and Illinois to help Grandma.... it is really mind-boggling to think about how well he has done through it all. He's already an Army brat at this tender age!

Month 30 (June 8th-July 7th):

John started off his 30th month with a 2-week summer session of Parent's Day Out at our family church in Naperville. I was so glad he could do the first summer session there before we moved because it gave me four mornings to get some packing done! Miss Lynne was one of his teachers again, and quite a few of the kids from his school-year class were in his summer class, including his friend Evan.

On June 15th, John, Lila, Grandma and I drove up to Wisconsin to close on the house. I was a little worried about having to take John with us to the closing, but everything worked out perfectly. When we did the final walk-through of the house, we brought John into the house so he could see it for the first time. Grandma kept him occupied while Lila played in her car seat. On the way to the title company, I put in a Curious George video for John to watch on his portable DVD player. By the time we arrived, John was completely entranced and Lila was asleep, so Grandma just stayed in the car with the kids while I went in to do the paperwork. I was gone about 30 minutes, but thankfully everyone did fine in the car.

The next afternoon, I got a call from the movers saying that they would be arriving at the house early the next morning (the 17th). Grandma and I decided it would be best to drive back up to the house again that evening (the 16th, after rush-hour) so we wouldn't have to get up really early. I believe this evening trip to Wisconsin was the one when John first watched the movie Cars (yes, he had been sucked into Disney's highly-effective marketing campaign and was already the proud owner of a couple of Cars vehicles, two pairs of Cars pajamas, and a Cars t-shirt). I had ordered the movie off of Amazon the week before all these trips to Wisconsin in the hopes that it would be the perfect distraction for him -- and it was!
So we stayed overnight in the empty house -- John slept in a Pack n Play in his new room, Lila stayed in a Pack n Play in her new room, and Grandma and I slept on a couple of comforters on the carpeted floor of the 4th bedroom. The kids slept really well, but Grandma and I did not!
When the movers came in the morning, we thought we could turn on John's movie again and all would be well, but John only wanted to watch a few minutes of it. He preferred to be a part of all the excitement with the movers! Luckily, Lila took a 3-hour nap right in the middle of when we were the busiest, so Grandma and I could focus on John. But he (of course) wanted to "help" Mr. Ed and Mr. Leonard (our movers). So we finally decided it would be best for Grandma to take him on an extended car trip to get him out of the house for a while and to pick up some lunch.

For some reason, I thought we'd be done with the movers early enough that John could nap in the car on the way back to Illinois, so I didn't even think about laying him down in the Pack n Play at the house. I should have!! John started getting really fussy around 2 p.m., so Grandma took him in the car again so he could fall asleep. I tried to finish everything up as soon as I could so that Lila and I could just jump into the car with all our bags and drive off without waking up John. It was rather stressful. I definitely wouldn't recommend having two kids with you when you have movers come to your house! Steph, if you're reading this, you and Mike did it the smarter way!

Daddy arrived home from Texas the next day, June 18th, which happened to be the day of John's friend Evan's 2nd birthday party. So we all went to the party, and John enjoyed himself with all the other little kids there. The highlights of the party for John were jumping in the jump house and receiving a goody bag from Evan's Mommy when it was time to go home. I believe this was John's first kiddie birthday party since his girlfriend Elise Powell turned 1!

Three days later, we packed up the car and truck and drove back up to Wisconsin to move into the house. John and Lila were in the car with me, while Daddy drove the truck by himself. During the trip, John kept asking if we were going to Grandma's house. He missed Grandma and her house already! (Even now, when we're making the drive back to Wisconsin from Illinois, John will ask if we're going to Grandma's house.) Grandma's house was his home for almost an entire year, so it makes sense that he'd miss it so much.

John continued to ask about Grandma's house the first few days of living in Wisconsin. We tried to make things as fun as we could for him so the transition to a new house wouldn't be so rough for him. We let him help us open all the boxes and put things where they belonged in the different rooms. He really enjoyed that because it made him feel like a big boy. We took a bunch of walks in the Bob so we could check out the neighborhood, and we went to the park by our house several times too. By the time Grandma and Grandpa arrived on June 24th, John wasn't talking about Grandma's house as much anymore. He seemed genuinely excited to show off "mine new house in Mis-consin!"

The following week, Grandma and Grandpa headed back home and we drove down to Illinois for the 4th of July weekend and the visit from the Boenitzes. John LOVED hanging out with Uncle Eric, Aunt Chiara and "Baby Kael" (John never called him Kael, only Baby Kael). He wanted to crawl all around the house with Baby Kael and play with him. It was really sweet! He was very gentle with Kael -- even gentler than he had been with Lila.

While we were in Illinois for that weekend, John was sleeping in his Pack n Play in his old room. But he started having trouble falling asleep in it at naptime, and I started thinking it was getting to be too small for him (especially since he had started using a pillow earlier that month, and it took up a lot of room). Then, the evening of July 3rd, I peeked into his room to check on him after laying him down for the night and realized that he had fallen asleep sitting up in the Pack n Play! He woke up when I tried to lay him down, and he said something to me along the lines of "mine bed is too small." Grandma Kay Ellen had been wanting to order a crib for her house, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so we weren't sure what to do. We decided to have Daddy stay with John in our bed while Uncle Eric and I went to the store to buy a crib and mattress. The only store that was open that late on a Sunday was Target, so that's where we got them. Daddy and Uncle Eric set up the crib that night and John slept perfectly in it. (We ended up returning the crib and mattress a few weeks later after Grandma ordered a nicer crib and mattress online.) So we all learned the hard way that John had gotten too big for a Pack n Play -- and a big thank you to Uncle Eric and Aunt Chiara for all the help that night!

At the very end of his 30th month, John started off on a big adventure with Grandma Kay Ellen -- a long weekend together, without Mommy or Daddy! This was the first time John had been away from Mommy for longer than 20 hours (he was away from me for about that long when Lila was born), so it was a big deal. We didn't tell him he was going to be staying with Grandma for a few days until we were putting him to bed on the night of July 6th. Rather than tell him that Mommy and Daddy and Lila were going away, we told him that he was going to be spending some time with Grandma and that he was going to be doing all sorts of fun activities with her and her friends, who would be helping. This trick worked really well, and he didn't get upset at all that night, thankfully, or the entire weekend! Grandma said he did ask about Mommy a lot but that he wasn't upset about me being gone.

To wrap up this post, here are some other tidbits (in no particular order) about what John started doing and saying in his 30th month. He started.....

.....playing regularly with Brayden Capen, the grandson of our next-door neighbor at Grandma's house. (I went to school with Brayden's daddy and uncle.)

.....enjoying different activities at the Children's Museum because he was older and finally understood how they worked.

.....using the conjunction "and" in sentences regularly.

.....saying "get away!" to me or Daddy (sounds like "gi-taway!") when he's mad. This would first prompt a time-out in his crib, and then an apology to Mommy or Daddy.

.....saying "that's mine dog!" about Halley.

.....saying "Hi, Mommy or "Hi, Daddy" while patting our back -- his way of saying, "I love you."

.....asking if his friends love him after we tell him we love him at bedtime.
Mommy: "Goodnight, John! Mommy and Daddy love you, and Lila loves you, and Halley, and Grandma, and Grandpa and Grandma....."
John: "and Jack?"
M: "Yes, and Jack too."
J: "And Brayden?"
M: "And Brayden too."

My favorite quote from the month:

Mommy: (while packing up the car to go to Wisconsin) "John, we're going to Wisconsin today! Are you excited?"
John: (at the top of his lungs) "We're going to Mis-consin!!!! So, goodbye, Lila!!!!"

Photos from the month:
Grandma reading to John in his bedroom at her house:

Having a snack on the rug in the living room of our new house:

Having a snack on the stool in the kitchen:

Looking sullen:
Playing Army with Dad's helmet:
Snacking again!
At the pool with Miss Regan on July 3rd:
Hanging out with Uncle Eric:

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