Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Boring Bits

We're trying to deal with the roller coaster ride of being parents of a toddler. The highs are so high, and the lows... well, suck.

Max has had more highs than lows lately although he isn't going to bed without a fight, which he's never done up until this week.

Here's a video - it's long... sorry.

And another shorter one of the little Angelito.

Maximo fought me as he went down for his nap today, saying "No Cuna (crib), No Cuna". So I pulled the futon out and plopped it on the floor and he went to bed. He hasn't fought a nap, ever, and thought that it must be the crib, since it's happening at night and during naps, so we decided to make a change.


We took the side off of his crib. He went down easily (the first time in a week) although we're waiting for him to fall out of his bed or try to come into ours in the middle of the night.

We'll see how this goes!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Life These Days

Sweet Max - Posing with Flavius

Not-so-sweet Maximo kicking Flavius

I've been trying to think of an appropriate simile for living with a toddler. The only thing I can come up with is that it's like living with someone with multiple personalities. Some days I sit back and sigh and think I could have a hundred more. And others I'm ready to put him on a plane to his grandmother's by himself.

He does some really cute things and some really not cute things. How do people choose to have a second child when they have a two year old in the house?

Rather than rant or brag, I'll post a few pictures of our week. Sorry I've been bad about posting, work has been busy and exhausting!
Playing with his "digger" and "Dizzy" in the yard.

Surprisingly strong - wheelbarreling around the kitchen

For months we could barely get him in a jacket.
He gets a new jacket tonight and we can get him out of it, so he wore it to dinner.
It's a nice puffy snow jacket, so he could barely connect the fork to his mouth.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

872 days ago

this teeny furry little kid literally almost fell out of my body. In those dark, scary first days, we never dreamed we would be where we are today. I didn't believe he'd ever leave the hospital, we weren't even sure he'd live.

But now, 2 years, 4 months, 19 days after that wild day, we have this strong-willed, smart, handsome little guy that dictates our lives.

Since we're so far away from many of you, let us fill you in with this little blog post.

Maximo LOVES words, books, letters - a true product of English teachers and avid readers. He is always reading. His favorite books right now are: How a Dinosaur Says Good Night, Dinosaur
Roar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, My Truck is Stuck, and Blue Train, Green Train, to name a few. He can recognize some letters: A, B, C, D, M, O, P, T, U, and X and he can recognize 1, 2 and 5. He loves finding these letters and numbers everywhere in his books, on the sides of buses, in stores, and on his clothes.

He loves finishing (or repeating) the last few words or word of a sentence or verses, it would be annoying if he was an adult doing this, but it's cute for now.

He always uses the words two and too. "Two Os, Two apples" or "Daddy poopy too" for example.

When we ask him to talk like a big boy/nicely besides using please, he changes his intonation and his voice goes up about an octave which is a crack-up.

He is the happiest outside. If he's inside too long, we're just asking for a meltdown. He loves to climb and jump. He walks on his tip-toes like I do, especially when he's tired. He's replaced his "telling everyone he loves them when he's happy" to galloping when he's happy.

He loves putting his hands in his pockets. He also loves stuffing his pockets with junk. I can't tell you the amount of crap we find in the bottom of our washing machine - acorns, yen, rocks, stickers.

He has
boycotted sweaters and John and I have decided not to fight this battle (anyone want cute 2T boy sweaters?) after a huge blowout one morning this week. Even though it's cold out, he is going out with a long sleeve t-shirt. We can get a jacket on him, so he should live through the winter.

Let's just say this is not his strong area.
Maximo is a very sweet, loving boy when he is not overtired or hung
ry. He gets really frustrated when he can't get what he wants. He is getting better about sharing, but again, he's not consistent with his willingness to share. He has not totally let go of biting. He bit a kid this week at daycare. It seems to happen more at daycare because he's around more kids and I'm not sure his Japanese is where it needs to be to try to share. We hope he grows out of this soon!

He has recently (past 2 months) started to full-out scream. This is horrible in the middle of the night. Since we live very close to our neighbors, we have a hard time letting him scream it out, so he doesn't get the response of us running to him when he does it. During the day, we're trying to ignore him and tell him that we won't come see him if he screams that way.

He seems quite smart, but can't seem to put some of the emotional-concepts together like, biting your friends is bad and it gives them an "owwie" or throwing your markers all over the floor is not cool. We're hoping this stuff will all end on or before August 28,
2010, since that will be the end of his Terrible Twos (ha).

Between the meltdowns and full out tantrums, he is sweet and loves to give kisses and hugs to everyone. He wakes up and usually has a "Good Morning, Mommy" and he'll just randomly come up and give us a "tight squeeze" which is quite different from a hug, because it also includes a grunt.


Maximo loves cranes, trains, big boats, tractors, backhoes, buses

Maximo loves dinosaurs

Maximo loves expressing cool things by saying, "coo-all" or "W-O-W" or giving a thumb's up.

Maximo loves saying "I did it!" whenever he does anything, and many times when he didn't even really do it!

Maximo loves Japanese food - especially sushi and miso soup

Maximo loves the T.V., but not to worry, we make sure he doesn't sit in front of it all day - he enjoys Dinosaur Train, Bob the Builder House Building, Thomas the Tank Engine the most!

Maximo loves big kids. He is totally enamored with Kai and Luka (below) and Riley and Tess. And it's great for us, because the big kids are patient with him and since he's so in love with them, he hasn't tried to bite them yet.

Making gingerbread with Shina, Kai and Luka!
Everyone left covered in flour!

Monday, January 04, 2010


We had every intention to see Japan (at least more of our neck of Japan) this break. Truth be told, we've been a bit lazy and haven't gotten out as much as we would have liked. Also, Maximo has been either magnificent or pushing EVERY one of my buttons during vacation. We've mostly had good days, but we had a couple of rough sleeping nights, so Max and I weren't doing so hot.

Credit: I stole the tiger (in honor of the Year of the Tiger from

Today, we went to Nara for a day trip. It's about an hour and a half train ride from us to the east. Historically, it was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. It was a really beautiful place. It was a nice mix of city - modern and ancient - with a lot of green space and it was nestled against a mountain range (and we got a beautiful - blue-skied brisk winter day). There are MANY shrines and "wild" deer roaming around. We would have liked to meander around a bit more, but it took us a little longer than planned to get there since we got on a local train for a bit of our journey, and we can't just stroll and take our time like we used to due to Prince Maximo. (We're not saying he's not worth it!)

Strolling up to the deer for the first time!

Fortunately , it was a great place for us all to take a day trip. Once we entered the main Nara Park, he could roam free. He was enamored with the deer - which he kept calling cows. We bought some "deer crackers" and let him feed them. They were a little more aggressive than I expected, so I got a little antsy as one tried to stomp Maximo and another was trying to but him. All in all, they were pretty docile and had their horns cut off, so John kept me cool. In between our deer feeding, we visited a couple of shrines, made a wish, rang the bell and enjoyed the beautiful sunny day.
We headed back sooner than we would have liked because many restaurants were near the train station, so we ate (falafel, yeah!), then headed home, on a rapid express train which almost delivered us back to our doorstep over a half hour quicker than our morning trek. Maximo slept the whole way home, and seriously was fantastic, even with the long train trip on either end.

I've posted a couple of our favorite pictures. The rest are here.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Lazy Days

We haven't been doing a whole lot these past few days. We've had some lazy mornings, that involved TWO cups of coffee, not the boring, regular one, and staying in our pajamas until almost lunch time.Max "helping" John put together MORE Ikea furniture

We had a nice quiet New Year's Eve here, just the three of us. We put together a seafood spread - fish and chips, sushi, cocktail shrimp, edamame and Maximo was in heaven. John and I had to fight him for the shrimp and sushi.NYE Spread

Here are a couple of pictures from the past week... Bridget came over yesterday to watch Max, so we could go over to a friend's house for brunch. She took some cute pictures of Maximo too which was nice!
On top of the slide!


Here's the completed Dec 2009 photo gallery.

And here's the beginnings of the January 2010 photo gallery.