I Like Your Style

This dear boy is an absolute treasure. His big toothy smile lights up a room, his hysterical giggles cut right to your heart, and he’s so sensitive and good-natured you can’t help but to hug his little face off. But he’s still a stubborn, emotional, rowdy 3-year-old boy. What’s that mean? Well, you ever try to tip a cow? Well, me either, but I imagine that’s what trying to peacefully persuade Logan is like. And have you ever tried to reschedule a dentist appointment? That’s easier than what happens when you change up Logan’s routine.

Something we’ve learned, very slowly and not without having to remind ourselves daily, is everything that has worked or works with Hannah when it comes to parenting is quite often the opposite with Logan. And that’s tough to remember and even more difficult to practice. We spent so much time and brainpower figuring out what pushes her buttons, what motivates her, and what is meaningless, that it’s counterintuitive to erase that experience and knowledge and try to think of new ways to get through to Logan that either didn’t work for Hannah or we never even thought of. We’re getting better daily though.

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Sadly, the last time I wrote about Logan was about a year ago, just after his 3rd birthday. Now his 4th birthday is right around the corner. Damn. Time flies and life just keeps on keepin’ on. So what’s new with the little mama’s boy, you ask?


The most obvious thing is he can talk. And does a lot. You’d never think that just a year ago he was getting help from a therapist, because now there are stretches where he never stops talking, whether he’s telling a story, excited, complaining, or just babbling nonsense. He also loves to sing, mainly church and little kid songs he learns at school, but he also knows the words to a handful of songs from Tom Petty, Imagine Dragons, and some other random jams from my iTunes. There was a stretch where all he wanted to do was flip through songs, sing along for 30 seconds, then go to the next one.


What we’ve noticed, and it started with the music, is that he has a pretty darn good memory. He remembers song lyrics and can name the song/artist in the first 3 seconds of a ton of songs, entire books, colors, animals, and can even count to 100. He knows a handful of books by heart and probably could have even more memorized if he didn’t get so stuck on reading the same ones night after night after night after ni…well, you get the picture. Currently, it’s Pete the Cat books, which isn’t so bad. For awhile it was letters, numbers, and colors books, he knows a dozen or more nursery rhymes.


Another pretty typical thing is he wants to watch the same videos and shows whenever he gets the chance, and of course, his limited screen time is a very important part of his routine. Songs and play videos on YouTube and cup of milk are to Logan what coffee for most adults. Just don’t bother trying to talk to him that first half hour of being awake, kind of like his daddy. And before bed it’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom on Netflixand it’s hilarious when he busts out random quotes from Bartleby (the cat in the show) – hence the title of this post, “I like your style.” If you don’t know the show, but have little ones, you could definitely do a lot worse.

Ceiling tiles. Oh, those ceiling tiles. I’m not positive when it started, possibly when we were at Hannah’s school one night and he watched a maintenance guy fix the gridded ceiling for at least 15 minutes straight. Now, everytime we’re in a building with that type of ceiling he looks for ones out of place, and if there is one, he talks about it for several minutes. It’s really random and fascinating. I think it has something to do with his mechanical mind. While Hannah likes some STEM things, she’s much more art-minded, but Logan can play solo for nearly hours with play food in his kitchen, Play-Doh, Kinetic Sand, puzzles, or just dumping cups of water into other cups back and forth.


Spring and summer can’t get here soon enough and I’m looking forward to Logan playing his first sport. We’ll give soccer a shot and see how that goes. He loves to kick the ball around, but that whole following directions, taking turns, and playing with other kids thing is not his strong suit. Hopefully he’ll be ready for baseball and basketball sooner than later. We just took him and Hannah to their first professional sporting event and he’s asked a few times when we’re going again, so that’s exciting. And if he hears a clap-clap-clapclapclap he instantly says “Mad Ants Basketball” – not to worry though, because we’ll be back to “Let’s Go Yankees” soon enough! It’s hard to remember he’s not even 4, so all this stuff is pretty normal, so the weight room and protein shakes are probably going to have to wait a little longer.

A couple of other random milestones that we’ll always remember – his first stitches when he busted his chin open on the kitchen floor; and potty training was a grand old time and just a bit more challenging than Hannah. He has so many grandparents, cousins, aunts, and an uncle who he loves and talks about so much.


Overall it’s been an awesome year for him as he’s grown a ton physically and emotionally, and age 4 should be even more fun with the little guy.



Terribly Terrific Threes

Let’s just put this out there: 3-year-olds are shitheads angels. I developed a theory a couple years back that was along the lines of babies are super frustrating 75% of the time, but the 25% of the time they’re peaceful, cute, playful, and pleasant far outweighs the negative 75%. But then, when they get to 18 months or so, it flips. They’re a blast 75% of the time, making memories, learning, developing, but the 25% of the time when they’re throwing tantrums, being defiant, and all-around sucking, can make you forget about the amazing 75%.


Obviously, that’s super-generalized and flawed, every kiddo is unique, and I believe that every single one of them is a God-given blessing. But man oh man this is a frustrating time. Hannah has always been emotional and quick-tempered, but Logan, on a daily basis, erases any memory of Hannah acting up when she was 2-3. And what’s ironic is if you read back to posts about Logan when he was a baby, he was so good. Hardly ever cried, all smiles, even pooped regularly. Then, around 9 months of age, he flipped a switch of consciousness and evidently decided that being a rebellious little shit angel is much more fun!

Most of the time Logan is having fun and seems to be pretty interested in cause and effect. He likes pouring things back and forth, sorting things, and other puzzle-type stuff. He hasn’t really latched onto or really seemed to overly enjoy one activity for very long, which is typical for his age. But he can lock in on something, often something very specific and fine, and he stays focused on that for hours (actually minutes, but when he is actually still and concentrating on something it feels longer than it is because it’s rare).


Music seems to be coming to the forefront. He loves to sing – examples here, here, and here. His speech is getting better every day and it’s starting to be easier to understand him, but occasionally his lyrics sound like Ozzy Osborne trying to recite Shakespeare. Of course, he loves to bang and shake percussion instruments, and when he came to Sweetwater with me one day he had a ball with the drum kits and pianos/keyboards. Funny story about that – he missed sneezing on a $3,000 keyboard by about 6 inches. And it wasn’t just a quick, light sneeze. No, this was a mouth opener and on the floor landed a lovely slimy mix of, well, you get the picture. That was a close one.

As expected, running, chasing, tackling, throwing, and wrestling are what we do best, and throw some tickling in there and he gets to laughing like crazy, which is the most delightful sound in the world. Occasionally we get a little carried away and he has to enter concussion protocol, but so far very little blood has been spilled. Hopefully, we can channel some of that energy over to baseball – he starts “Little Sluggers” this weekend, which should be a lot of fun as he’s introduced to the greatest sport man has known. Sadly, he’s not as into watching Yankees games with me as he was last summer, but we’re working on that.


Our household has grown, by the way. We added a couple of rodents. I think they’re actually called guinea pigs, though they are not from Guinea and are not pigs. I’m still a bit skeptical, but they are cute little buggers and Hannah’s learning about taking care of things. But in the first two weeks one has a fungus and the other a wound below her eye, so of course, cheapskate dad just sees vet visits and dollar signs in our future. Logan is interested in them for like 5 minutes at a time, then he’s ready to move on. He’d rather play on sissy’s bed, much to her dismay. They often have a hard time, like most siblings, getting along and sharing, but it sure is cute when they are playing together, like this.

That’s pretty much it for the Loagster. We’re really, really looking forward to the spring and summer weather – he loves to be outside like his mom and dad, so I anticipate many bike ride, walks, and park trips very soon!


From Bam-Bam to Brainiac

Ok so he’s only 2 1/2 years old, so brainiac may be a stretch, but these past few months have been really cool to see Logan develop. If you know Logey you know he’s a boy of few words. But I think he’s a big Teddy Roosevelt fan, because when he does speak he means it and he’s not giving up easily. We thought Hannah is stubborn, she’s not even close to this boy.

Let me back up a bit. I dubbed Logan “Bam-Bam” months ago, because while his little neighbor buddy, Mason, was talking and pointing out colors etc. we look over and Logan is whacking a rock with a bat. He was only saying a handful of words at that time and just didn’t seem interested in learning many more.


Of course, that’s not fair to our lovable little guy, obviously kids develop at different ages. And, while talking has been a struggle, he shows signs of really interesting intelligence. He counts to 30 and he recognizes double-digit numbers on a page or on TV; plus, he knows the alphabet by memory, knows his colors, he can point letters out randomly and he finishes sentences in his favorite books. I only list these things because Hannah didn’t do them until she was older than he is, so he’s doing well in a lot of ways.


There’s no doubt his frustration and temper come from not being able to verbally express what he’s thinking, what he knows and what he feels. When we started getting some help and he started going to preschool regularly with a larger group of kids his age, it was like something clicked and all the sudden he was retaining and repeating things in a much faster pace, as well as starting to express himself clearer. He often says “I don’t like that” and is doing less grunting and pointing and more asking.


Logan switched from a crib to a bed this summer. It started out fabulously, he went right to sleep and didn’t yet recognize his freedom. Then it kicked in. He decided getting out of bed after we left the room was a fun little game. Let’s just say there were some very frustrating nights, though looking back, I know we need to enjoy all these moments, because they’re going by fast.

I was able to introduce Logan to one of my favorite things in the world this summer – baseball. I decided he didn’t need to be watching My Little Pony with Hannah, so every night before bed we sit on the couch in the “new room” and watch baseball while he drinks his milk and relaxes. Inevitably, 15 minutes later he’s asking me to chase him (“mo tickles”) or he’s bouncing off the wall (literally). After that it’s several books and he’s off to sleep.


We have our hands full with this guy, no doubt, but kids are worth every minute of the heartburn. Nothing beats his smile and endearing personality. I’m excited to see what he really gets into. There’s no doubt sports are his blood. But I have a feeling music and other things will be a big part of his life as well. Something that just really stands out with Logan is the way he focuses on and obsesses with specific songs, books, etc. Hannah also had her favorite things that she wanted to do over and over, that’s pretty usual for that age, but Logan takes it to another level.

Having a second kid is such an adventure. You think you know some stuff after the first one. Sure, you’re clueless, you are learning as you go, and you don’t know what you don’t know, but at least you know you don’t know anything. So the second one comes along and you think you have a clue and can anticipate stuff, “We’ve been through this before,” you think, but then the second one does the opposite of what the first one did at that age. And that happens over and over. You finally realize that you once again know nothing and then a light bulb, no, an alarm, goes off in your head and realty sets in – shit just got real. We’re responsible for two little humans and they’re nothing alike, but little combinations of our best and worst traits. Hopefully more of the best!


Still up to no good

It’s taken less than two years for us to realize we are serious trouble with this little guy. I say that in jest, but we may not always be laughing. With Hannah we’ve noticed that she’s a rule follower almost to a T. Whenever she does something she knows is wrong, or is even borderline, she does it meekly. When she says something she knoimg_5114ws is wrong or just might be something she shouldn’t say, she whispers it. She gets hysterical and loses her mind when she’s in timeout because she (a) hates isolation, but (b) hates even more than we might be mad at her. And she’s literally never not had a “green” day at her daycare/preschool. I’m not bragging, I’m fairly certain that’s not my doing – her mom was and is a pretty strict rule follower herself.

Me? I often treat rules, instructions, directions, etc. as suggestions, another person’s opinion, really. Not always, of course, and definitely not maliciously. While I typically can’t stand arrogance in others, I’m self-aware enough to know that I can sometimes walk the thin line between rebelliousness and arrogance myself, and hopefully the humility instilled in me by my parents and other mentors kicks in most of the time and I check myself. Not always, though, I’m sure. Which leads me to young Logan.

img_5008-1Logey will be 2 in March. And it’s easy to see he’s going to be a limit-pusher. When Hannah was upright and mobile we baby-proofed. Safety-locked cabinets, removed wobbly decorations, child-proofed door handles/knobs, etc. But for the most part, she rarely disturbed anything she wasn’t supposed to, and true to her revealing nature, most of the time she listened when we told her no. Not Logan.

Anyone with a second child can probably admit it’s easy to get lackadaisical. The initial nervousness  of trying to bubble wrap your kid is gone. Of course we’re still pretty protective and responsible, I like to think, but we didn’t go to the extremes that we did with Hannah. Why would we? Most of what we did ended up being unnecessary. Well…it’s all now necessary.

I mentioned in my last post that no elevated object is safe. No cabinet or door is ignored. He still spent the majority the past few months opening and slamming every door he could – whether it was a kitchen cupboard or a bedroom or closet or front or back or bathroom door. Constantly. Not just at our house, at others, too. And anytime he finds something somewhat interesting or new inside a cabinet he’s getting it out. img_4994

I think the obsession with doors/cabinets has slowed down, but what’s picked up is his temper. Especially when you tell him no (he just keeps doing it), then physically prevent him from doing what he wants to do. Whether that’s stopping him from climbing, pulling things off the shelves or out of drawers, confiscating a phone or remote, changing his diaper when he doesn’t want you to, or not reading a book or singing a song “correctly” – if it’s not going his way he throws a nice little shit-fit. It can be entertaining and we have some good stories to tell when he gets older, but it certainly causes some frustrations.

Logan has been a little slower to talk than his big sis was. We’re told that’s pretty normal and we’re I’m not too concerned. He has a couple dozen words down by now I think, and he loves making animal noises (his elephant imitation is cutest thing in the history of almost 2 year olds, I swear). But his jibberish vocabulary is quite extensive, and has been for awhile. He likes pointing things out and having you name them, but he’s not big on naming them himself. He does like imitating noises and faces, which can be pretty funny. And his smile and laugh are pretty damn infectious. I said this with Hannah and I’ll say it again, not too many things in the world make me happier than the laughter of my children and wife.

Which leads me to a funny observation Sam made tonight. We watched like 10 minutes of a Full House rerun and it was pretty funny. It was an episode where Uncles Joey and Jessie were telling stories about how they learned how to help take care of baby Michelle. I can’t remember who all was in the scene, but she said “they” (I believe she meant Danny/Jesse/Joey) reminded her of me.

And the more I watched the more I made the connection that I’m a combination of the three of them – corny like Joey, slightly rebellious like Jesse, and deeply loving like Danny. Go watch some episodes if I’ve lost you. It kind of makes sense, because I remember watching a lot of Full House as a youngster and while I was and still am super cimg_4590-1lose to my dad, who is an incredibly loving and smart man, we didn’t live with him, so I probably was pretty impressionable when it came to father-figures on TV and in movies. I say that not to get too deep into my family dynamic, but just because it’s kind of funny to think about and I recognized immediately what Sam observed. I also watched a lot of Who’s the Boss, Growing Pains, and Family Matters (TGIF!) growing up, so that could also explain my (often unrealistic, occasionally just absurd) optimistic outlook.

Sorry, back to Logan, it’s his blog right!

Here’s something awesome. He’s never really paid much attention to the TV unless there’s lively music (we have Pandora or Music Choice on the TV often) or, more recently, sports. Especially basketball and football, and hopefully baseball this spring. This is fantastic. Hannah has never really been too into watching sports, she’d rather watch movies or shows or draw or color or read or just play. But Logan, while he does enjoy playing with his toys or just getting into stuff he shouldn’t, and really loves books, will stop in his tracks and completely focus in on a game on the TV. Which, again I say, is awesome – if you know my brother, dad, and me then you know we’re sports nuts and love going to games together.img_4715

Needless to say, if he does develop an interest in sports I’m beyond excited to go to games with this little guy, coach his teams, watch him play, and practice in the backyard. Same goes with Hannah, of course. This parenting thing is quite a ride, I just have to remind myself occasionally to put down my phone, let Jesus take the wheel, and enjoy it in real-time!


The happy, hungry hellian

I don’t care what your stance is on gender roles, who should use what restroom, doing your business sitting vs. standing, etc. – that’s all for people who have a lot more time on their hands and fancy degrees. I can just tell you this confidentlyIMG_2966, and this isn’t earth-shattering by any means, but boys and girls are so innately different it’s amazing. You hear other people talk about it – baby girl is sensitive and nurturing, baby boy is a pin ball with hands. But until you have one of each it’s tough to see how real that is.

Logan is “all boy” as they say. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like to cuddle and hug and be loved on. He does, and it’s pretty dang sweet. But from the time he started getting mobile he’s discovered crashing, crushing, breaking, flinging, throwing, and the aforementioned chomping. I don’t mean just when he throws tantrums. It’s really non-stop, flat-out curiosity and love of cause and effect. Hannah enjoyed the game of “I drop it and you pick it up” as much as the next baby/toddler. But Logan takes it to another level.

When Hannah was on her way we started the whole baby-proofing thing – moved stuff out of reach of a little bitty person, locked the cabinets, put gates up, the whole deal. And for the most part it was necessary, but we let some stuff stay put that we figured she wouldn’t mess with. Like a potted plant on a not-so-stable stand, for instance. I warned Sam it wasn’t wise to have it out, but we kept it in place, and Hannah never messed with it.

IMG_3160Then along came Logan, who turned one a few weeks ago. That potted plant was doomed from the start. He’s managed to reach places, push/pull/grab things, and knock stuff over we never thought to move. Every room, every closet, everywhere. If it’s loose on a surface it’s getting moved or knocked over. Remotes, coasters, candles, drinks, food, vases, anything. Then it’s probably going in his mouth. And now that he’s walking all over the place, still clumsily of course, he’s discovered stepping up onto taller surfaces. Like step-stools, toy cars, tables, chairs, and whatever else will elevate him to a surface or button he’s not been able to reach before.

Logan is just starting to love to horseplay, too. He’s super-ticklish and loves physical contact, so the best is when I come in the door after work and he comes at me in a full baby sprint, squeal-laughing, and crashes into me. If I don’t drop my stuff fast enough to pick him up or roll around with him he gets pissed. Which is just as cute actually.

We know he loves his momma like a baby boy should, she’s the best IMG_3038at soothing him with a song and some swaying, but he seems to be a daddy’s boy right now. There’s something about my left arm that he’s like a bird in a nest when I hold him. And his little left hand always wraps around my left thumb whenever I’m holding him, it reminds me of how Hannah can always find the tag on her blanket and ducky to pinch and rub with her finger and thumb, even when she’s dead asleep.

Just like with Hannah, who has been so amazing to watch become a beautiful, spirited, active, dramatic, princess “threenager” – I look so forward to seeing what kind of little human Logan turns out to be. Hopefully he finds a way to channel his destructiveness into hitting a ball!


Careful, he’s a biter

Never thought I’d have to warn people about that when referring to one of my children, but the little guy has chompers and he knows how to use them. Well, at least on people. Don’t let that big ol’ grin fool you, the kid is already ornery. You’d think he’d also want to use them on puffs, chIMG_2208 (1)eerios, smashed up fruit, etc., but nope, not really, just on people and the occasional random object. And it hurts, let me tell you.

Logan aka Logi, aka Yogi (which Sam hates and I love) actually popped a couple of teeth through around 4 months, which I mentioned in my last post, and that seemed really early. And we had no idea he was cutting them because he’s so laid back. One day I had my hand near his face and was paying attention to something else when he grabbed my hand and put it in his mouth. I didn’t realize it until he chomped down and I let out a yelp…what the?!?! Pulled down his lower lip and yep, there’s a tooth poking through. He just smile
d and thought my reaction was hilarious.

I’ve been slacking, so an amazing amount of changes have taken place over the past few months. What hasn’t changed is he’s still super-smiley, giggly, and mild-mannered. He’s starting to fight going to bed or down for a nap more, and doesn’t always want to fall asleep on mom or dad, which is fine when he’s willing to go sleep on his own in his crib. However, some nights he’d rather just explore the living room, attempt to scale stairs, or play with Hannah’s toys until 9 or 10 o’clock.IMG_2291

Between November-December he went from rolling around to army crawling to his current status of full-blown crawling and pulling himself up on pretty much everything. If you help him he can walk like a champ and he gets excited to do so, but as soon as you let go he’ll take a step, do a little bunny hop, and come crashing down. He’s going to be walking in no time.

The boy definitely knows how to butter up his daddy. Often when he sees me and is being held by someone else he’ll practically leap out of their arms lunging toward me and will throw a little fit if I don’t take him. And not too many things make me smile bigger than when he greets me with a DaDa and a big smile, which he started doing recently. And he definitely knows when the camera is on him – no need to request he say “cheese.”

Logan just enjoyed his first Christmas, and by “enjoyed” I think he got a kick out of all the new peopIMG_2278le, getting held a ton, and the crazy schedule. But now that we’re into the new year I think he’s relieved things to be back to normal. He received a ton of awesome gifts, which we’re extremely thankful for, but as with most babies, he was more into crinkling and/or eating wrapping paper or climbing on the boxes than he was playing with new toys.

With all his teeth (he has 4 up top and 4 on bottom) he’s capable of eating mushy semi-solid foods, but for awhile wanted nothing to do with them. Just gagged and spit them out. However, the past couple of weeks he’s started to figure out what those sharp things in his mouth are really for. I keep telling Sam he’ll figure it out or he can just live on milkshakes and smoothies, which isn’t so bad really. I think that’s pretty normal on the West Coast isn’t it? I don’t know, maybe we should just make the foodIMG_2248 look like a random object or human body part (that’s creepy) – he has no problem taking bites of those things!

Logan’s favorite things in this world right now are his momma, his daddy, his sister, bathtime, his taggy blanket, smiling, stairs, my phone, the various TV remotes, Hannah’s Elsa doll, and his bottle. Quite possibly in that order.

In all he’s an absolute blessing and treasure. He couldn’t possibly be more loved and I can’t imagine life without him, his sister, or his mom.

Here’s to an awesome 2016 everyone!




2nd Time’s a Charmer


Make fun of me all you want, but back when MTV played music videos I used to love the Paula Abdul video “Opposites Attract.” If you’re over the age of 30 then odds are you did too. If you think about it, that video was tailor-made for 8-12 year old boys. A super-cool dancing/rapping/singing cartoon cat and a hot pop star in her prime? Well played Virgin Records, well played. What does that have to do with Logan Jacob? Well, nothing really. I just happened to think of that video when I came up with the theme of this post, which is how opposite Logan is from Hannah.

They actually look a lot alike. Here they are both a few months old.

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But that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. I know we’re very early in his life and things could change at any point, so don’t think I take this for granted whatsoever, but so far this little boy, compared to Hannah, is so easy-going and happy-go-lucky, it’s amazing. Sure, he has his moments where he’s fussy, once or twice a day probably, but it’s usually because he’s either tired, hungry, or needs to poop. Or he’s just not getting enough attention. But rarely does that turn into tears.

Hannah on the other hand, and bless her sensitive heart, from day one would cry and cry for a couple minutes to half an hour or more, and no matter what we tried, she was inconsolable. We were really lucky with her, though, because she never had colic or anything, but there were still times when there was just nothing we could do – hold her, sway, sing, bounce, rock, hum, walk, drive, and/or just lay her down in a bed or swing – nothing would work. So far, with Logan, we can count how many times we’ve had that issue on one hand.

We’re so extremely blessed, I don’t say this to brag or act like we’re doing something right, it’s just fascinating to me how different they are – and when I talk to others about it I’d say 75% of people say the same thing. Sometimes it’s their first-born that’s the easy one, sometimes it’s the second or third, but I know we’re not alone or unique.

Logan is 4 months this week and he’s cut a couple of bottom teeth already. Even that didn’t really cause many tears. He just chews on his hands and drools like crazy, grunts, groans, and whimpers a little. You can tell he’s uncomfortable, but he just deals with it. Tough kid. He’s a chunky boy, in a high percentile for his weight and length, is ticklish in his ribs/armpits, and smiles more than any baby I’ve ever met. He’s quick to greet anyone – men, women, kids – with a big smile, before he sheepishly turns his face and it in whomever is holding him. It’s pretty dang cute.

The boy is a night owl like his daddy, though, so Sam and I are both still sleep deprived. Much of that is due to the fact that we’re both working full time and my hours are longer than they used to be, plus Sam is a trooper, selflessly pumping every few hours so Logan can still get some of momma’s milk with each bottle, all the extra bottles and accessories, etc. etc. When he does go down by 9 or 10 he’s down for the count, usually sleeping uninterrupted until 6-6:30am. We’re really pretty lucky…but like we learned with Hannah, that could change anytime.

Hannah is adjusting really well. She has her moments, but she’d have them whethIMG_0882er she had a little brother or not. You can tell she really loves him and I think she’s going to be an awesome big sister. I’m really proud of her, she’s a beautiful little girl inside and out, and I am going to love watching her and her brother continue to grow.

I think one of the biggest challenges we’ve discovered now that we have two little ones is feeling like you’re giving them both the amount of love they deserve. The only way we know to do that that is to just shower them with hugs, kisses, and “I love you”‘s – which is exactly what Sam and I try to do every single day.IMG_0507