Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zoe Stats and Pictures





7lbs 11.2 oz
20 inches
Born 12/21/09 @ 7:59am


Zoe Elizabeth birth story

We arrived at the hospital at o dark thirty in the morning, deciding they must schedule c-sections so early to prepare you for the sleep deprivation to come. After surrendering my worldly possessions and signing many papers agreeing to hold no one responsible for anything, I dressed in the fashion dujour - a stunning open backed gown with comfortingly neutral tones - and awaited the main event. My anesthetist, sporting an incongruously bright hospital hat replete with multicolored cats, administered the combination spinal and epidural, and as I lost all feeling in my legs I knew we were on the way to meeting our latest addition.

The incision, accompanied by the usual burning smell from the cauterizer, seemed to take forever, as I waited on pins and needles to hear that first little cry. The room erupted in laughter as my doctor opened the uterus and Zoe promptly stuck her hand out (looking for credit cards already, quipped the assistant). A minute later she was out and filling the air with a healthy bawl. As they were almost done sewing me back up and I was drifting in and out of a drug-induced haze, I could hear them counting the equipment - and they were missing some forceps. They ended up being in the asst. surgeon's pocket - ha ha (not!)

They brought Zoe to me in recovery and she latched on right away like a champ. Since I am still nursing JJ, she got milk right away. Everyone was amazed at how quickly she latched on and how long she ate (45 minutes!!) My little chow hound :)

Back in my room, JJ was completely unhappy that Mommy was in bed and couldn't get up. The 2nd day was a bit worse - he came in while I was nursing Zoe and started freaking out (No! Mine!) However, the 3rd day, I was nursing him and they brought Zoe in hungry. I asked him if it was OK if Zoe had some milk too and he said OK. So I put Zoe on the other breast. After a while, he straightened up and leaned over to watch her eat. Pointing at her, he says "Zozo, milk?" "Yes, Zoe is having some milk." he points at my other breast and then at himself "JJ, milk?" "Yes, you get milk too." This huge grin spread over his face and he clapped his hands together and almost shouted "Same!" then went back to nursing. Now, when they nurse together, he'll reach over and hold her hand while they're both on. It is heartbreakingly sweet. He calls her Zozo and corrects people when they call her Zoe.

Overall, I've recovered much much more quickly than last time, have had less pain, have been less drugged out/loopy, and feel able to do a lot more than I should. On the downside, I've come down with an ear infection and am back on antibiotics :( Zoe lost about 10 oz while in the hospital and had started gaining back weight before we left on Christmas eve (in a snow storm of all things!) By her appointment on Monday, she'd gained back nearly all her weight - she's only 1 oz shy of her birth weight now.

Welcome to the world Miss Zozo :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weight and sick

Weigh in today: 215lb. That's a total gain of 25lbs for this pregnancy, and just exactly where I want to be. Hooray!

Unfortunately, I am fighting a really bad cold. Lost my voice on Wednesday. They started me on antibiotics on Tuesday (a z-pak, so they are serious). Bad bad cough today. And contractions off and on all week. The contractions seem to be getting more frequent, even though I'm not doing anything to start them up (like, I'll have them while lying down in bed, drinking water). So far, nothing regular, but it's scary when I think of the dr. telling me I "better not go into labor because the scars from the myomectomy might not hold." Yikes!!!

Zoe, girl, you can make an appearance any time...but it would be sweet of you if you waited until Monday :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Circumfrence update

47 3/8" - 10 days to go. Last time I was only 46" around. This little girl is going to be BIG!

Of course, I managed to come down with pink eye, of all the annoying things. JJ had it last week - I thought I was in the clear. Guess I've been burning the candle at both ends...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another potty update

JJ is doing GREAT on the potty training. He rarely has more than 1 pee accident a day and rarely a poop accident (it still happens, but very infrequently). And 2-3 times a week, he'll go all day with no accidents at all. YEAH! Go JJ!

Belly Measurement!

I'm a little behind on these this pregnancy (what with a toddler and work and a dissertation and all :) ) - so here goes.
Current belly measurement (at 36 and a bit weeks): 44 3/4 inches - I made it to 46 inches two weeks before JJ was due, so sounds right on track (even if I FEEL huger)
Weight: 215lbs (that's a gain of an even 25lbs for the total pregnancy)

Grow baby grow!

I am on self-prescribed bed rest today due to having some nasty cramps this morning and some contractions on top of that. Pretty sure it's just dehydration from the weekend (I tried, but just didn't get enough water in me). Feeling a bit better now, although still nauseated and and achy in my lower back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who's coming tomorrow?

Let's hope JJ isn't showing signs of precognition. Yesterday, we were trying to get him pumped up about all the folks who are coming to visit (not difficult since he LOVES visitors!!). So we told him that Pappy and Aunt Pat and Wheezy and Aunt Ruth were all coming to visit tomorrow. The later we asked him "Who's coming tomorrow, JJ?"
He thought for a second and said, "Zoe!"
Uh, YIKES! Not yet!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where'd my toddler go?

A pregnancy "milestone" I hadn't thought about before.

JJ runs up and grabs my knees, saying "Hold ya! Up up up!" this morning and when I look down to pick him up, I can't see him AT ALL. My belly is officially big enough it can obscure a toddler.

Oh my.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The funny things kids do

Ah, the joys of motherhood! I don't know why anyone would bother with a TV - toddlers are the best entertainment ever :) Here's a few of JJ's latest funny things:

  • Before he nurses at night, he hauls a line up of toys into bed or the rocking chair and lets them "drink" milk first! Last night it was a purple bear, a fire engine, a taxi cab, and a spoon. After he's finished "sharing" he's ready to have some himself.
  • Every time he pitches a fit for no reason other than not getting his way, he starts off wailing, but quickly moves to begging for a bobby pin. Yes, like a bobby pin for your hair. I have NO idea why. But if you give him one, it calms him down immediately and he's all lovey sweet and cuddly good boy again. It even works if he wakes up with a nightmare at night. Behold the magic bobby pin!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Potty training update

In the words of his teacher, JJ is "unique" in his approach to potty training. Apparently, since we've used elimination communication with him, he's got a completely different approach to the potty than most children they've dealt with.

For one, he totally gets it - that is, he knows that you eliminate in the toilet. It's not scary, novel, or at all interesting to him - it's just the way life his. OK, that's good, you say. Yeah...but...apparently a lot of conventional potty training techniques rely on the "Wow isn't this a cool new thing you're doing" approach. Not effective for someone who has "been there, done that." Similarly, a reward system (stickers, M&Ms, etc.) isn't particularly effective because he's like "Uh...why am I getting something for what I do all the time anyway?"

Two, because he's been part-time elimination communication, part time diapers, he looks at going in the potty as an "option". Meaning, well, if it's convenient, I'll go in the potty, but if it's not, well, pants are just as good. It's very interesting in some way because he is nearly 100% dry when we go out, whether it's the mall, or to eat, or in the car or whatever. But when he's at home or daycare - more like 50% dry.

So, it's slow going, but we're getting there. This week he's been VERY good - I'd say edging up to a 70% success rate. I'd love to take credit for that, but I think he's just getting tired of people changing his pants all the time. LOL! And honestly, it'll take as long as it takes - I don't want to push him and I don't really find it frustrating or anything.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Potty training!

Well, this was the big P weekend - the daycare announced that they felt JJ was "ready" for potty training and I sort of agreed. I say "sort of" because I have absolutely no idea. I mean, you can't ever know for sure, and while his communication skills are outstanding for a 1.5 year old, they are still rather challenging from an adult perspective. But, if not this weekend, then the next opportunity wouldn't be until November so...onwards and pottywards!

We opted for the "nekkid kid" approach on Saturday, letting him roam free with naught on but a shirt and a smile. I think the poor little guy learned more about how "not to climb on things while naked" than anything else as he kept getting his dangle caught on things (OUCH!). And, it was a total disaster. I spent the whole day watching him like a hawk and we had maybe a 60% success rate. In fact, we've had better days when he was wearing a diaper than we had on Saturday! I was really discouraged. We had to run an errand in the evening, so we put underwear on him, and he wet himself twice while we were out. I went to bed sure that we had started too early and very discouraged.

On Sunday, we decided to start again with the nekkid kid approach, except this time John was home and could help. The morning was more of the same disaster - accidents all over the place and no apparent interest in getting to the potty. He went down for a nap around noon and when he woke up, we took him straight to the potty and celebrated the success. Then, we decided to say "Well, since you were dry through your whole nap (he always is, so no biggie really) and went potty so well when you woke up, would you like some "special" underwear?" We got out the Cars underwear with Mater on it and he was thrilled (he loves that movie). We told him that in order to wear these it was really important to keep Mater dry. And what do you know? It totally worked. He was dry for the next 7 hours!!! He went potty when prompted and we even went out to a late lunch, to Target for more underwear, and to Brahms for ice cream - all with NO accidents.

At bedtime, we put him in a diaper (we're still co-sleeping, and while he can make it through the night dry, whenever he wakes up with nightmares or night terrors, he tends to pee before we can get him to a potty), and were very encouraged by the whole thing.

Unsurprisingly, he had night terrors last night. I say unsurprisingly because whenever he has a significant change/learning event, it tends to trigger them.

This morning, we brought him to school (dry! hooray!) and let them know how it went. At lunch we had to go home and get more pants because he had 4 accidents in the morning. I'm interested to see how he did in the afternoon - it's got to be a huge adjustment from being able to go whenever you want without interrupting your activities to having to stop and go to a special room and sit down every time you need to go. It would be so much easier if they would practice the elimination communication we started with him full time at daycare. Oh well. Hopefully he'll improve during the week and we'll keep reinforcing at home. And, if it turns out that it's just too soon, well, that's ok too, and we'll just go back and try again later. Although, I swear, I think *I* stressed out way more over the whole thing than JJ did. I kept being certain I was doing something wrong. I think he just thought it was interesting that he got to be nekkid all day! LOL!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The kind of mom I want to be

I want to be the kind of mom that laughs when she gets blasted with the squirt gun and has her suit thoroughly soaked just before she gets to the office not the one who screams.

I want to have pictures of my child with yogurt in his hair and a maniacal laugh on his face, knowing that he just dumped and entire bowl down his pants not pictures of him combed and perfect with red-rimmed eyes because someone has been yelling at him to just sit still for two seconds.

I want to be the kind of mom that says "WOW!" when he notices an acorn on the ground and shows it to me, not the one who grabs his hand and says "Hurry up! We're late!"

I want to recognize that children, clothing, floors, tables, and chairs are all washable and not spend my time worrying about whether I'll ever get the stains out.

I want to be the kind of mom that takes time to explain why certain things are allowed and others are not, not the one who says "Because I said so."

When my child comes crying to me, I want to be the mom who kisses him and asks "What's wrong? Are you ok?", not the one who says "What did you do this time?"

I want to always remember that nothing is more important than listening to my children - and that I cannot do that if I am always telling them what to do.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Night weaning: Progress report

So far so good! We've decided no nursing from 11pm-6am. The first two nights went great - I just made the boobs inaccessible and he went right back to sleep, no complaints. Last night however....well, the poor little guy came down with a bad head cold and at 3am there was NO taking no for an answer. So I caved. But that's normal for when the kid is sick, so I'm not too worried about it. We'll do better tonight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Communication Tip: From JJ

So here is a communication tip from JJ (LOL!): Get a sign language book for toddlers. Teach them sign language using the book. Then, when mommy and daddy are tired and not being very smart, the toddler can get the book and point to the sign in addition to saying and signing the word to get his idea across.

JJ has done this before when he wants John to get me for "milk" but he reached a new high this weekend. He was signing "sick" at us, but we totally missed it (mostly because he never used that sign before). He goes and gets his book, brings it to us, flips to the page with the sick sign, points to it, signs it, says "sick, medsin" John asks him "Does something hurt? what hurts?" and JJ nods his head and signs "pain" and says "Hurt, head." Poor kid had a sinus headache and knew that some medicine (Tylenol) would help. He'd had a runny nose all weekend but it never even occurred to me he might have a headache.

Sometimes I just have to be grateful that at least one of us is on top of things - even if it's the toddler!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Haiku for JJ

Little hands reaching
Wanting cookies, kisses, now
Your laugh in my heart

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cosleeping, Night Weaning and Other Parenting Choices

We're currently struggling with whether to continue night nursing with JJ.

Now I know that, at 18 months, there's a lot of folks who would be all freaked out that we're still nursing at all, let alone, on demand. But there's a strong body of evidence that suggests that allowing a child to 'self-wean' is a healthier (from an emotional attachment standpoint) way of weaning. The thought is that children who wean on their own suffer less abandonment issues/seperation anxiety/etc. than those who are cut off cold turkey as it were. Personally, I think the jury is out on the efficacy of studies in either camp (to wean or not to wean). However, it's clear that letting a child self-wean is not a BAD thing, so, in the interests of continued peace and harmony, we've chosen to go that route. I mean, honestly, it's way easier to just let him nurse than to turn him down. And it's a nice snuggly time for both of us.

BUT - the night time nursing is starting to be an issue. It's one thing if he woke up once and wanted to nurse a few minutes. But he's waking up multiple times a night and wanting to nurse anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. And it's starting to take it's toll. So we're debating on how to best approach night weaning. We don't want to wean him completely until he's ready. Even with a little sister on the way, we can tandem nurse - I don't mind. But the night time stuff...I need more sleep. The question is how? There's a lot of information out there on how to go about night weaning, so we may just try a few things and see how it works. He's a pretty adaptable kid - chances are it'll be easier than I suspect.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Broccoli, Please

Hooray! Last night we had porkchops, rice, broccoli, and carrots. JJ has started that "picky eater" stage, so I figured he'd have some rice then start angling for a cookie. But he dived straight into the carrots, woofed down the rice, devoured the broccoli (giving the pork chops a miss, but hey, beggers can't be choosers).

Then he looked at me and said and signed "More broccoli please!" and proceeded to have 2 more servings of broccoli!

That's my boy :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby in the belly

JJ definitely *knows* there is a baby in mommy's tummy. Every day, he comes up and gets in my lap, pulls down the bellaband and puts his ear to my belly and listens. Then he puts his mouth on my belly and says some things then puts his ear back and listens again with a big grin on his face then laughs. I have no idea what they're talking about, but apparently his little sister is quite the cut up :) It's so adorable! Reportedly, he has also been asking the folks at daycare to put a ball under his shirt, so he can pat it and say "baby". This kid cracks me up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recurring Nightmare

JJ woke up last night, very upset. And I do mean VERY upset. Crying, clearly frightened. I brought him to bed with us, and it got *worse* - the minute he realized I was trying to put him down on the bed, he started throwing himself around, pitching a fit. We finally got him calmed down enough to talk to us (well, communicate as well as an 18 month old can), and he told us that there was a man in the backyard looking in the bathroom window. This is the second time he's woken up with this dream (and it clearly is a dream - he hadn't even been in the bathroom to be able to see if anyone was looking in the window). He wouldn't go back to sleep until John took him outside and showed him the backyard and all the corners to prove there was no one back there! Even after that he slept very restlessly, waking up a lot. Poor little guy.

I feel so bad for him having these nightmares, and at the same time it gives me the shivers. I mean, where would he have gotten the image of a man in the back yard looking in the bathroom window and associated it with being a scary thing? Creepy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

18 month appointment

Ht: 33"
Wt: 24lbs

Got his first fluoride treatment today. And when they gave him his shot, he didn't cry or even get upset!!! What a little trooper :) Now, getting on the scale was a whole other matter (major meltdown). Go figure - what kid is terrified of the scale but doesn't bat an eye about a shot?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

First Haircut

JJ's first haircut - at a real barber shop with Daddy's barber!
Getting to sit in a chair that is older than Daddy....

Here comes the smock....

Oh dear, not liking this at all....

What a handsome little man!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Level 2 Ultrasound - All is well

19 weeks, level 2 ultrasound for the little belly bean and all is well. Obviously scanning tests can't find all cases of Down's etc., but it does catch a goodly number of them and I'm not willing to risk a miscarriage with an amnio to get 100% answer when we wouldn't change the outcome of the pregnancy anyway. We got confirmation that we've got a little girl (yeah!) and got LOADS of pictures of her adorable profile. We're definitely thinking Zoe Elizabeth (so she can be ZZ) for our little sweetie. I'm getting excited about meetiner her too. Almost 1/2 way there to meet my little Christmas girl :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

18 months next week and ready to tutor

JJ is in the process of transitioning from the 3-17 months class to the 18-36 months class this week. There's a little boy in the 18-36 month class that just turned 3 and is transitioning up to the 3-5yr class. So, they've got all these learning materials out for them both that are for the class they are transitioning to. The teacher spreads out these flash cards with sea animals on them (whales, manatees, sharks, etc.) for the older child and asks him to point to the manatee. He's having some trouble, can't seem to find it. So, JJ walks over from where he is working and leans over the child's shoulder and points at the manatee saying "tee, tee" WOW! The teacher was totally blown away and so was I. My little man, already a tutor :)

He's doing so amazingly well with all the work they have, and not just the language stuff - he can even clean windows with a squeegee and he's learning to polish his shoes!! He is so smart - makes his mamma proud :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Night terrors again

JJ had night terrors again last night. Still on a once a month cycle, bless his heart. I will be so glad when he outgrows this - it just tears me up everytime it happens to him.

Finally starting to feel her

I got a tiny little boot to the belly today. Hooray! This little lady certainly is starting off more genteel than Mr. JJ! :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

First night in the toddler bed





Well, my little guy is getting all grown up. We got him a toddler bed yesterday and he was SO excited! Immediately climbed in and was all smiles. And you HAVE to love that smile :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Confirmation: It's a girl!

As the doctor said, "it's the unmistakable sign of the taco!" LOL! I remember with JJ they said they were looking for a "hot dog or a turtle." Will the euphemisms never cease? Too funny!
Well, this was the 16 week appointment, and everything looks good. My weight is steadily increasing - not too fast, but not too slow. The baby was sucking and moving her little hands and feet all over the place on the ultrasound. It was such a relief to see.

I've been really depressed these last couple of weeks. So much to do at work and with school and home and everything. It all seemed hopeless to be able to finish everything. And I was really really worried about this visit. I was afraid we'd had a silent miscarriage because I'm still not feeling movement right now. And we're coming up on 18 weeks when we lost the first baby. I really want everything to go right with this little girl and I just feel like I haven't had the time or energy to be as healthy as I was with JJ. I was sick for almost a month and couldn't work out. And since this was sort of surprise, I had not been very good at taking my prenatals in the weeks before I got pregnant (my prescription had run out). So, it was good to see everything seems to be progressing well and the little tyke is doing good. Hopefully I can relax a little and stop worrying so much.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Madame Zaritska Reading

The day you deliver, outside will be misty. Your baby will arrive in the evening. After a labor lasting approximately 25 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and will be 20-1/2 inches long. This child will have light amber eyes and curly black hair.

Got to love the predictions of the virtual clairvoyant, Madame Zaritska. I supposed she can be forgiven not realizing I'll be having a C-section or that the child will most definitely have blue eyes LOL!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Night terrors again

Another bout of night terrors last night. This one lasted 15 minutes. We were able to eventually get him to wake up enough to nurse himself back to sleep. This is actually something I haven't seen in any of the research I've done on the subject - typically you cannot wake the child and they go right back to sleep when the episode is over. For JJ, it seems like you can eventually bring him to a slightly higher level of awareness and provide him with a comfort (nursing), then he can go back to sleep. Otherwise it just goes on and on until he wakes up. I don't know if this is because he is so young - most night terrors are reported in children over the age of 2 and he started having them when he was only 3 months old - or for some other reason. I wish I knew what his triggers were - my heart breaks every time he goes through these bouts, which seem to come about once a month. Poor little guy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Visiting for the 4th


What an exciting weekend! We got to visit my parents this weekend for the 4th and all my aunts and uncles were there and my sister and even one of my cousins! Tres cool! JJ was very good (of course) and we all had great fun.
My dad organized the family "olympics" with events like Wii handbells, guitar hero (see picture of JJ practicing his mad guitar hero skills - rock out little man!), ski jump, etc. and croquet. I took the silver in handbells (LOL!) We had to leave all too soon :( I wish we lived closer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Family Time

The Matson Clan (or at least part of us) together for July 4th
Mom, Sharon, JJ and me
JJ and his great granddad!

4 generations - JJ, his dad, my dad, and my granddad

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

All in the family cold

Well, that clinches it. First JJ had the horrible cough, then I came down with it. Now John's got it. Blech. Not the kind of family sharing I prefer!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's my turn...

Ugh. Apparently now it's my turn. It's hard enough dealing with the poor little guy not feeling good - now I've come down with it. I coughed so hard today I actually threw up - YUCK! No fever or anything, but still miserable. My throat is killing me. No wonder he sounded like he swallowed a frog. I hope this doesn't last long....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Coughing up a lung

I swear it sounds like JJ is coughing up a lung. It started Wednesday night, so I took him to the doctor yesterday. They said his lungs are clear and that it's just allergies. So, I took him to school today and they called to say he was running a fever. And so back to the doctor. They still don't think there's anything wrong with him other than allergies, but they gave him some antibiotics to head off a "slight" throat infection. Sigh. Maybe I need a 2nd opinion - he sounds terrible!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's (probably) a....

...girl! We had our 12 week ultrasound (complete with NT testing and all that fun stuff) today and what a lovely active baby! Stretching its legs out like its trying to work out the kinks...very cute. The ultrasound tech asked if we wanted to know what she thought it was (gender wise). Sure! A girl. Really? Yup. Apparently, at this stage they can see the orientation of the genitalia. Up usually means boy (why am I not surprised?) and down usually means girl. And our little belly bean's bits are pointed down. So - how often is she right? 80%!!! Oh my!

We'll have plenty of other ultrasounds to make sure everything is fine and the one at 18 weeks ought to be a bit clearer. But it looks like JJ might just have a little sister on his hands.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First day of Splash

At daycare, they have something called "splash" in the mornings during the summer. It's some kind of water play where they get to go out and play in the sprinklers and such. Well, today was JJ first day at splash (yesterday he put himself down for a nap and missed it - and yes, you read that right he put HIMSELF down for a nap - will wonders never cease?) and he LOVED it. Apparently, he had so much fun he was staggering around towards the end all tired! We really need to get this kid a pool!

Second Trimester - and still sick

OK, so totally not fair. Here we are starting the second trimester and I've actually thrown up the last two days!! I made it 12 weeks without *actually* hurling and now twice in as many days. YUCK! I hate throwing up. And on Monday it was at WORK of all places. How embarrassing.

And for the record - Pad Thai is NOT an optimal thing to have to regurgitate. I'm just sayin...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Felt a kick?

Maybe. It seems early and just under 12 weeks, but it could be! One solid "kathunk!" in the side. The little belly bean is jumpin!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Walk, Bar, and other words

I don't even remember when JJ couldn't talk. It seems like he's been chatting up a one word at a time storm forever now! He's so excited he's figured out how to make himself understood that he just about explodes with joy every time you "get" it. My two favorites (because he get soooo excited) are "bar" (as in cereal bar - which he doesn't get very often but LOVES) and "walk" (as in, taking a walk around the block in the stroller, which we do daily). He'll try his best to crawl into the stroller chanting "walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk..." you just have to love it.

He's also started to find humor in slapstick. John will pretend to hit himself in some excessively silly way and JJ will laugh so hard he'll actually choke himself! When he finally catches his breath, he'll look expectantly at John and say and sign "more?" I guess there are 3 stooges movies in my future...sigh...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Week 10: Take 2

Well, morning sickness continues morning, afternoon and now in the middle of the night. Yup - actually waking me up in the middle night to feel rotten. Blech.
At least now I can work out in the mornings. 3 days so far and counting. Still extremely irritable though. Although, I'm not sure how much of that is hormones and how much of that is just being over tired. JJ is still at 6 hours a night in a row, then I've got to help him get back to sleep after that. John can't help until his arm is better so I've got extra kid duty making me tired on top of being pregnant (which makes me exhausted). You do what ya gotta do though.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Poor baby - so sick

Poor JJ. Sunday night, he woke up whimpering and felt so hot! I took his temp and it was 102. Yikes! So I stripped him down to his diaper, gave him some Tylenol, and nursed him back to sleep. All Monday his fever was been up and down, peaking at 104 in the afternoon. We gave him a luke warm bath to get him cooled down (that lasted all of 3 screaming minutes, but it worked). Poor little guy was just not himself all day. You could tell when the fever was going up because all he'd want to do it snuggle.
Took him to the doctor's today and everything is fine - he's got a throat infection, but nothing that medicine can do anything about. His fever is gone and he should be back to his regular self by tomorrow. Oh - and he's cutting 8 teeth right now which explains all the whimpering. I can't even imagine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby or belly?

Strangest thing. Since I've been pregnant, but before I knew, JJ has been pointing at my belly and putting his ear on it like he's listening for something. At first I thought "oh gosh, I've gotten fat enough he's looking at it like another breast", but that's not it. He keeps pointing at it and then smiling and putting his ear to it. Then three of days ago, he does this same thing and says "Baby." Could've knocked me over with a feather! Now, we've talked about the pregnancy in front of him and told him he's going to be a big brother, but I don't really think he understands or has any means of comprehension for such an abstract concept at this point. But here he is saying "baby." Then I thought, maybe he is trying to say "Belly" instead. That would make a lot more sense. Two days ago he did it again, except with John in the room. John's jaw dropped - "Did he just say 'baby'?" So, maybe he did. How would he know?

Quacking in his sleep

Night before last, JJ is in bed with us when suddenly he belts out in a very loud clear voice "QUACK QUACK QUACK DUCK!" then starts snoring softly. Never woke up the whole time. You have to wonder....what was THAT dream all about?

Reading with me

JJ loves books. One of his first words and signs was "book" :) And one of his favorite books is Sandra Boynton's Moo Baa La La La. So, yesterday, he brings me the book and hops up in my lap for me to read to him. I start off "The Cow say" and he interrupts me to say "Moo!" and then proceeded to fill in all the animal noises at all the right places (except the rhinos)! It was really cool - he's never done anything like that before. I was thrilled. Oh, and of course we get to the end and I read the last line "It's quiet now, what do YOU say?" and he says "Woof." LOL

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another ultrasound

So here we are at 7.5 weeks with another ultrasound at the doctor's check up. Everything looks good, strong heartbeat of 167! Go go go little jelly bean!

It's interesting to compare with my last pregnancy at 7 weeks - so many similarities and yet differences too. I've had much worse morning sickness (should be called all day sickness!) this time. I'm nauseated most of the day, especially if I forget to eat enough. I've got nutty cravings for potstickers all the time! And while coffee and tea smell divine, one sip and I'm running for the bathroom.

They had to do a mandatory STD test at the dr's yesterday and ugh - I ended up with some viscious cramps afterwards. Poor John had all kinds of doctor appointments for his arm (since he detached a bicep), but I ended up stealing his exam table so I could get my feet up. Blech. All better now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No more coffee or tea...

Even the decaf stuff is making me want to hurl :( Blech. What a weird food aversion.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eating disorders and young children

Monday, I read this thoughtful story on how many of the "health" messages we are currently bombarding our children with are actually causing more problems than they are solving: http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2009/05/innocence-lost-health-messages-are-not.html

It makes sense.  Children don't have the capacity for discernment that we do - if you say something is "bad if you eat too much" then in their mind it's just "bad."  I found it disturbing to think that the media's over-the-top treatment of "the obesity epidemic" is perhaps encouraging children to starve themselves.  Food as fear.  And yet, am I surprised?  I guess not.  Certainly, I know enough adults who have succumbed to the "good food bad food" characterization - smart, clever people, that, if they thought about it just a little bit, would say that was a silly thing to do.  I can't count how often I've done it myself - having a piece of chocolate even though it's "bad" for me and will "make" me fat.  Silliness, that we let ourselves be drawn into because it's easy.  

So, now I wonder how John and I can make sure that JJ gets a much more emotionally healthy message about food, body image, etc.  Step one is obviously ensuring our own attitudes are well-balanced and sensible.  But after that, it will be teaching him how to examine information that he has been given and evaluate it for himself, to realize you can entertain an idea without accepting it, and to know that just because someone is louder/older/bigger than you, it doesn't mean they know what they're talking about.

Here's to critical thinking!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

15 month appointment

Time continues to fly by as our little man just gets bigger and bigger.
Stats for the 15 month appt.

Height: 31 inches
Weight: 22lbs
Head: 18 inches (and a bit)
Teeth: 13 and still working on more (yikes)
He can say lots of words (milk, book, more, read, dog, woof, cat, meow, baa, neigh, water, mama, dada, this, that, toes, door, out, help, go....and that's just ones I remember at the moment!) and he's getting very good with his signing (milk, more, help, please, read/book, up, down, potty, bath, all done).  He puts together phrases with the words he knows too, like "read book" or "more book" or "more milk" or "out door".  What an amazing kid!

The doctor said he was right on track and "remarkably mature for 15 months." Apparently, the fact that he listens to us and can be reasoned with (for example, he was upset about getting weighed and we told him that it would be over shortly and then he could get a big hug from Daddy - and he settled down right away.)  is unusual for this age.  Who knew? He's growing up fast, that's for sure. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cats...


My cat, Paka, seems to have an affinity for my baby belly, even when it's not a proper "belly" yet. When I was pregnant with JJ and now again this time, she insists on sleeping on my belly. When I'm not pregnant, she sleeps on my legs - but not now. It's almost like she "knows" (although my theory is that I'm just awfully warm with all the extra blood volume). There is some evidence to suggest that pets can sense and do react to the pregnancy of thier owner. All the evidence seems anecdotal at best, but that doesn't stop Paka from snuggling up to her latest playmate and purring away. Of all the cats, she's the only one who lets JJ touch her - in fact, she will seek him out and snuggle up to him, rubbing and purring. Best buds...and hopefully she'll be the same way with the new little one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not fair...

Morning sickness - or rather, morning, noon, and night sickness - and pounding headaches. Granted, I was having this problem last week too, but last week I could blame it on the weather. Now, I've got another 9 months of this, potentially. Yikes! It is definitely going to be a test of wills finishing this dissertation. A toddler, morning sickness and data collection. Wow.

Poor JJ is starting to get so picky about his food too. And not in any predictable pattern either. One day broccoli is the rage. The next, he doesn't even want it on his plate. The power struggle around that is becoming interesting too. He's always game to try something, but once he decided he doesn't want it, he'll pick it up off the plate and drop it on the floor, one piece at a time. John and I have tried telling him "no" firmly, holding his hand to prevent him from doing it, and just plain removing the offending item and he just looks puzzled. Definitely not sure what we're trying to say. Makes me feel stupid - like if I were just a little smarter I could explain it to him. Oh well - maybe Mommy and Daddy will get smarter once we get some more sleep (insert maniacal laughter here).

Monday, April 20, 2009

SURPRISE!

I've been feeling really off lately - clumsily running into things, getting really snappish with John, horrible runny nose, feeling dizzy when I'm sitting for long period of time, constantly hot, sometimes nauseated....and I thought "allergies, sleep deprivation, period fixin' to start" Oh yeah - shouldn't my period have started like 4 days ago? So, just to be on the safe side, I took a pregnancy test. Given my symptoms, I should've known. It came back 2 lines - that's POSITIVE.

Oh my.

I mean, it's not like I don't know what causes this or that we weren't interested in having another. It's just that last time we had to try so hard and have "help" and all and I sort of thought it would be the same going forward. WRONG! I'm scared to death because I haven't been taking my prenatal vitamin like I should, I've had loads of coffee and tea, and I had a glass of wine last night to celebrate finishing my proposal for my chair. And here I am, in the middle of trying to schedule my proposal defense, with the beginnings of pregnancy brain, and not sure if I should be delighted or hysterical.

I think I will settle for cautiously optimistic.


Monday, April 6, 2009

What a helper!


Got to love it - JJ helping clean the spa.  What a good kid!  Now, if he could only reach the lawn mower handle....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The List

I've got a girlfriend who's pregnant and asked me if I would make her a list of what baby gear I found essential.  So I put together what *I* think you need, what you don't and why. Here's "the list":

Important things to remember and general items to get (and not get):

  • Breastfeeding is HARD!  Get a book (I recommend Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett), read it BEFORE the baby gets here, take a class, and make sure you have a lactation consultant or at least an experienced breast feeding mother on hand in the hospital when you give birth.  Most hospitals have one, just make sure they know you want to make use of her.
  • Items sold for babies are often NOT for babies but for adults.  For example, some play mats have all sorts of bells and whistles and bright colored spinning things….none of which the baby gives a flip about.  They are designed to catch the parents eye and make you think “wow, I would love something like that.”  Babies don’t care about all that stuff.  They may find it entertaining briefly, but then they’ll be on to something else.  In general, the more fancy a toy is, the less the child will play with it.  Keep it simple – wooden toys, plastic rings that fasten together, brightly colored dolls/bears – these are the things that they will keep coming back to.
  • Do not get anything that makes noise and doesn’t have an OFF switch.  Trust me.
  • Babies are weird.  They will do strange things (like not poop for 10 days) and you will panic thinking there is something dreadfully wrong with them.  Get one of the First Year books (like What to Expect or Baby Talk) to have on hand for reference.  They are also fun for tracking “milestones” and figuring out what to feed them.
  • Consider signing up for a service like Trixie Tracker.  It’s basically a program that lets you input sleep times, feedings, diaper changes etc.  For a data driven person like me, it was great because I was able to see patterns in behavior, reinforce them, and tailor our schedule around them.  Without it, I’d’ve been lost – sleep deprivation mucks with your memory.

 The List

Worth spending the extra money on:

·         A glider/rocker.  This is an absolutely vital piece of equipment that is totally worth spending money on.  Make sure it reclines far enough and is comfortable enough that you can fall asleep and is wide enough that you would be comfortable having a small child snuggled next to you to read them a book.  This is a really expensive item (can be $500+) but is definitely worth it.  We got one that doesn’t look like a nursery item so we can move it into the living room eventually - and it's a dark brown microfiber cloth so it's easy to clean!

·         Car seat/travel system.  Make sure it is easy to take in/out of the car and that you can put it in the stroller with one hand.  Also make sure the stroller is the right height (or can be adjusted to the right height) for both you and your husband.  Nothing is more miserable than a stroller handle that is too low (or high).  We got a Chicco and were very pleased.  Make sure it folds up small enough to fit in your car. The reason you want a travel system rather than a separate stroller/carseat is because babies fall asleep in the car all the time and you do NOT want to wake them up when you get where you are going.  With a travel system, you just take the carseat and put it in the stroller and the baby stays asleep J

·         Pack ‘n’ Play. Make sure you can break it down easily and includes a changing table.  It is worth spending a bit more on this and getting a really nice one that has all the bells and whistles because you can use it as a crib in your room when you’re transitioning from the bassinet as well as a travel bed.  Make sure it folds up small enough to fit in your car. We got a Graco and have liked it.

·         Breast pump. If you’re breast feeding, this is a lifesaver. I won’t lie – you’ll hate using it. But it is great when you are travelling or when you need to be away from the baby for more than an hour or for letting hubby do the midnight feeding.  It also makes working so much easier.  I have the Medela Pump in Style.  Make sure you get extra shields and a bunch of the 2.5oz bottles with a nipple that fits them.  We called them JJ’s “shooters” and he was able to feed himself with them from a very early age.  Also get the car adapter, some freezer storage bags, and then stock the bag with magazines and a pad of paper/pencil.

·         Nursing bra. Go to a specialty shop that just does bras to get one of these so that it fits right and lasts.  The ones they sell at Motherhood and similar stores are lame.  Make sure you can fasten/unfasten the cups with one hand.

·         A digital camera. You will want to take lots and lots of pictures.  Get a good digital camera you are comfortable using, and practice with it before the baby arrives.  We bought a great digital SLR (Canon EOS Rebel xTI) and it is the BEST thing we bought for the baby.  I use online publishing services to make albums (like MyPublisher.com) and my parents love the grandparent albums I make for them too.

·         Newborn pictures. Professionally done newborn shots are definitely worth it. I recommend doing a search for a local photographer - you can get some great deals and they can be more relaxed than some of the studios.  We went with TimelessbyKelly and were very pleased.


Definitely buy, but don’t break the bank:

·         Boppies and covers.  A boppy is basically a C-shaped pillow you fit around middle that saves your arms from holding the baby up at the proper height for long periods of time while feeding or rocking.  You’ll want two – one thicker than the other, preferably – and two covers for each.  The extra covers are for the inevitable spit up/diaper leak issues so you can wash one while the other is on.  The extra boppy is for the same reason – occasionally, you will get a serious leak or spit up and will have to wash the boppy itself.  Plus, you can keep one on your side of the bed and one on your husband’s side, so you don’t both have to wake up to feed the baby.

·         A sleep sheep or other white noise/nature noise maker.  I like the little Sleep Sheep because it is very portable, velcros to the crib, bassinet, or any other handy piece of furniture, and has nature sounds (although the whales are kind of freaky).  Whatever you pick, remember you will have to listen to it for hours, so “womb sounds” and “vacuum cleaner sounds” might not be the best pick J.

·         Baby wearing system.  I like the Moby wrap – it’s reasonably priced and easy to use.  I also liked the Maya wrap, but it’s a bit more tricky to use (but much much nicer looking).  Baby wearing systems let you do things around the house (laundry, dishes, etc.) while carrying your baby because your hands are free.  I also used mine to go grocery shopping etc. because it’s a lot easier that hauling the baby carrier and stroller everywhere (those things have a huge footprint).

·         Bouncy seat and swing chair.  Both are good for soothing baby and freeing you up to move around a bit and do things like cook.  JJ likes both, but some kids will only like one or another.  These are good items to get used if you can.

·         Bassinet. Make sure it fits in your room because that’s where it will be until he’s too big for it.  Ideally, it should be the same height as your bed, so you can just roll over and scoop the little guy out when he wakes up in the night. You can get good used ones fairly inexpensively, just check for recalls first.

·         Footie pajamas, sleep sacks and night sacks.  It is nearly impossible to keep socks on them when they sleep. When they're really little, sleep sacks are nice because it is an easy “swaddling” which helps them feel contained.  Night sacks (little night gowns with elastic at the bottom) are also great because they're really easy to change a diaper in - and you will change a lot of diapers. When they're a bit older and not peeing/pooping so much at night, I like the zipper PJs. I recommend you have at least 8 pairs of night clothes because they tend to leak through their diapers a lot in the first 3 months, so you often end up changing the pajamas/sleep sack and the diaper both.  

·         Onesies. They will live in onesies until they are about 9 months old. Then you will want pants/shirt combos.  Before 9 months, avoid anything that is more than 1 piece.

·         Changing pad.  We got one of those contoured ones that is supposed to go on a changing table.  We put it on the bathroom counter and it’s been great. (Note: You cannot turn your back for a second while the baby is on the pad, even with the little seatbelt fastened.  They WILL wriggle out.)

·         Bottles and pacifiers.  We used Nuk bottles and pacifiers and never had any issue with “nipple confusion.”  I also have some Dr. Brown’s glass bottles, which are nice but we didn’t use as much because he couldn’t hold them himself (too heavy).

·         A baby quilt or play mat. You’ll want something to put him down on for tummy time.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated – we just used a quilt my mom made for him. 

·         Board books.  You can’t have too many books.  It will be a while before he’s interested, but they will be around for a long time.  I recommend writing who gave it to him and the date in marker inside the front cover.

·        Toys. Get simple things like brightly colored rattles.  Things with lots of colors and textures are good – most everything will go in their mouths eventually, so keep that in mind.

·         A sterilizer. Vital for bottles and pacifiers.  We got a really simple one that goes in the microwave. 

·         Sleep masks.  Important if you have trouble sleeping with the light on.  You’ll want to leave a light on at first because you’ll keep checking on the little guy to make sure he’s breathing. 

·         Baby bathtub that fits in the kitchen sink.  It’s really hard to bend over the tub when they’re really little, so you’ll want something you can put in the kitchen sink so you have better control.

·         Nasal aspirator. The soft blue ones are best.

·         Behind the ear thermometer.  So much easier than putting one up his…um…well, you know.

·         Thin plastic wipes containers.  They’re a couple of bucks each.  You can fill them up with wipes and tuck into a purse, backpack, laptop bag, etc.  You can use them to clean your hands or the restaurant table as well as the babies bum.

·         Plastic clip on rings.  Lets you attach toys to everything – stroller, car seat, high chair, etc. – without them hitting the floor.

·         Convertible, portable high chair.  One that attaches to your kitchen chairs.  They’re much less expensive than regular high chairs and do just as well.  Plus they’re easier to use and to store when you’re done with them.

·         Baby blankets. You can’t really have too many of these.  Keep one in every car/room/etc.

·         Prefolds. Even if you’re not doing cloth diapers, these are great for burp cloths and can be used as dusters later.

·         A blender.  Whether you plan on making your own baby food full time or not, a blender is great tool for quick meals.  Just throw in a banana and voila!  Baby food!

·         Diaper cream.  Eventually, he’ll get diaper rash.  Usually at 3am or some other inconvenient to go to the store time.  Get some diaper cream ahead of time.

 

Nice to have, but not vital:

·         Moses basket.  This is basically a mobile bassinet.  It is really cool, but you won’t use it a lot, and they can cost a lot, so unless someone gives you one, I wouldn’t bother.

·         Diaper bag.  Honestly, an old messenger bag with your essentials works great.  Dedicated diaper bags are, in my experience, poorly made and tend to fall apart quickly.  My favorite diaper bag is an old west German gas mask bag my husband got at an army surplus store. I can put everything I need into it, it looks pretty cool, and it cost $2.

·         Wipe warmers and bottle warmers.  We got a wipe warmer for our shower and it has been nice, but I wouldn’t have bought it for myself.  Maintaining it has been kind of a pain.  We didn’t get a bottle warmer and ended up using a coffee cup filled half way with water, heated in the microwave.  Pop the bottle in the warm water and voila! Cheap and it works great.

·         Crib.  I know this sounds nuts, but we’ve hardly used our crib at all.  JJ stayed in his bassinet until he was too big, then we had him in the pack n play for a while because he wasn’t sleeping through the night.  He only started using the crib about a month ago and honestly we could’ve gone straight to a toddler bed.  I’ll be converting it to a day bed soon.

·         Hooded baby towels and baby wash clothes. Regular towels and wash cloths work fine, but the little hoods are nice to have to make sure his head stays warm and the little wash cloths make it easier to clean behind his ears.

·         Mommy and me anything. Classes, books…there’s a million.  I’ve got Itsy Bitsy Yoga and it was a lot of fun.  But then, so was just making faces at him.

 

Don’t bother:

·         Changing pad covers.  Pain to get on and off and cost too much.  Get some water proof/resistant cloth scraps at a cloth store.  They work great, cost very little and you can get all sorts of cute colors/patterns.  You will get the cover messy OFTEN so you want something cheap and easy to whip on and off.  I just folded the material up and laid it on top of the changing pad.

·         Bumpers.  They look cool, but the reality is that by the time the kid is in the crib (assuming you get one), you have to take the bumpers out because they’re a suffocation hazard.

·         Baby shoes.  They don’t really need them until they start cruising. 

·         Diaper pail.  Waste of money.  Get a good, kitchen trashcan with a step on flip up lid.  You will be able to use your regular kitchen garbage bags (instead of expensive "specialty" bags), and you’ll be able to use the trashcan when the little guy is potty trained.

·         Changing table. You can change a baby on any surface that is roughly waist high.  And you will. J

·         Baby shampoo, lotion, and detergent. Babies do not need special lotion, shampoo, or detergent.  They can use ours.  I do like the no-tears baby shampoo (it’s hard to get a baby to close their eyes when you’re rinsing their head), but for the rest, just use what you use on yourself. Honest.

·         Pants/shirts/overalls.  Cute but a real pain in the tuckus to change. Once they’re 9months+, the little outfits are great and easier to deal with.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

These feet were made for walkin...

... and that's just what they'll do.  Today's the day these feet are gonna walk on over to you!

Well, he's been taking a step or two at a time, but today he walked a good 10 feet across the room.  Go JJ!  Guess I better go get him some sneakers :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Food glorious food!


Most people are unware that yogurt can also be used as a styling aid.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Child labor?

John was outside with JJ today next to the spa.  He saw we had weeds growing out of the flagstones and pulled up one, examined the root to make sure he got it all, and reached down to pull up another.  He looks up to see JJ holding a weed that he's pulled up, examining the root, then tossing it aside to pull up another one.  

Now, if he could only reach the mower handle....

Friday, February 27, 2009

No such thing as too many spoons...


Three in his hands, one in the bowl, and another on the floor.  I mean, I knew he was hungry but sheesh!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Book Review: Doggies

Doggies by Sandra Boynton

A serious look at the multiple dialects practiced by canines. Overlooked by many authors  who have attempted the subject of canine language, many readers may have been tempted to believe that communication in the world of dogs was a simplistic thing, with little opportunity for confusion.  The author walks us through a staggering number of variations on a single missive (most regional), including an outside species translation for comparison near the end.  A must-have edition for any canine language aficionado.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book Review: Blue Hat, Green Hat

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

This poignant tale chronicles the well-intentioned and off beat attempts of a mentally and fashion challenged turkey to fit in with his friends.  Sometimes amusing, sometimes heart rending, the protagonist fails again and again in his attempts, until he finally gets it right in his own special way. Truly a touching tale, although an abrupt surprise ending leaves you wondering whether he gave up too much of himself in his search for acceptance. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book Review: Opposites

Opposites by Sandra Boynton

A study in extremes, the author takes on the task of pointing out the differences in today's society, risking criticism from nearly every quarter.  Individuals sensitive to issues such as extreme weight gain or loss, height differentials, and the proper use of the phone, will no doubt line up in outrage over this cutting edge work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book Review: The Going to Bed Book

The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boyton

An interesting look into life on a cruise ship as evening approaches.  Providing underlying health and wellness messages, the animal passengers prepare for sleep as a group. Generally an entertaining read, though parents should be cautioned about the communal nature of some of personal hygiene activities.

Monday, February 16, 2009

These footie pajamas were made for walkin'....

He did it!  We've had a hesitant step here and there, but tonight he took 3 steps to come to me!  Way to go J squared!  I had best start working out more - before long he'll be out running me....

Must've been the spaghetti....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day dinner

We have a tradition that every Valentine's Day, rather than eating out, we stay home and cook a really amazing meal together.  This works out particularly well since both John and I love to cook.  This year, John grilled a delicious grass-fed T-bone and roasted some yummy rosemary garlic fingerling potatoes.  I made a truffled mushroom ragout and some roasted orange glazed asparagus.  A little boiled shrimp as an appetizer and some purchased creme brulee for dessert - voila!

We've been making a point of giving JJ what we eat so he can participate in dinner and be exposed to the variety of foods that make up the family palate.  The more different and exciting tastes, the less likely that he'll be super pickly later.  At least that's the hope.  So, tonight was no different.  And he absolutely LOVED all of it.  He could not get enough of the mushrooms and ate the asparagus and steak like it was going out of style.  When he got a little bite of the creme brulee, his eyes lit up and he pointed at the spoon and with a most serious tone exclaimed "Dat!"  which, in JJ talk is "I would definitely like some more of that please." And all this after he turned up his nose at the goldfish crackers at daycare on Friday.  That's my boy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

One Whole Year


Well, today's the day.  The little man is one year old - no longer a baby, now a toddler.  He's had his first taste of cake (thought it was pretty tasty, but wasn't overwhelmingly enthusiastic), and soon he'll be walking.  

On my "mommy boards" someone asked what our goal would be with regards to our little ones during this next year.  So many things came to mind - how I want to make sure he is exposed to a variety of foods in a welcoming and non judgemental atmosphere so he can learn good eating habits, how I want to take pictures of him every week because he changes so quickly, how I want to make sure he sees his grandparents and aunt and uncles often...  But here's what I settled on:

To remember when I interact with him that he is a person, albeit a short one that doesn't speak very clearly, and to show him respect and not try to force him to do things just because I'm bigger and in a hurry.

I think that will be a tough one, but worth it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese Birthday JJ!

Happy Chinese New Year!  Today brings to a close the Year of the Rat and ushers in the Year of the Ox.  And, since he was born on Chinese New Year last year, JJ is one lunar year old today.  Way to go little man!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A many splendored thing...

As we approach the one year mark of JJ's arrival, I have to step back and take a look at all the truly amazing things that this tiny human has achieved in such a very short time.  He's gone from being a bobble head baby that asked for everything by crying piteously to a lightening fast crawler-almost-walker  that points at the yogurt on the table to let me know that's what he wants next.  He's gone from looking at books as something vaguely interesting, to being something rather tasty, to being something he selects and asks to be read to him.  And best of all, he's gone from not being able to express much more than a need for food or potty or sleep, to being able express his absolute delight and pleasure at learning a new skill, playing hide and seek, or seeing his parents come through the door.  His laugh has developed from a few chuckles to a full faced smile and belly shaking laugh that sometimes takes his breath away. 

And how have we changed?  We went from being able to do almost anything (go to the movies, go out to dinner, got to sleep...) at the drop of a hat, to needing to plan our every move.  We learned that feeding another whole person isn't as easy as it sounds, especially when they can't speak English.  We learned that a lot of baby advice in books and magazines isn't worth the paper it's printed on and that every child is different. We learned that the greatest stress of having a baby during the first year is the myriad of tiny decisions that have to be made every minute of every day.  We found a love more profound than anything we'd experienced before, a joy in watching our little man grow and learn, and a satisfaction in helping him thrive.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thtuffy Nothe...

Well, they say misery loves company, but I'm not sure that's the case when it comes to getting sick.  John, JJ, and I all came down with the same cold simultaneously on Saturday night and have been laid up until today when we're finally back at work and school. YUCK!  Nothing like feeling miserable while you've got a little one who can't blow his own nose (can you say snot bubble?!?  ewwwww!) and a husband with a sinus headache. Yuck!  Fortunately, we were able to stay home and rest, so it only lasted 4 days - I think if we'd had to go to work/school it would've lasted much longer. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Food glorious food

Over the months, we've progressed to a combination of finger foods and pureed concoctions.  As we approach the one year mark, I find it increasingly difficult to remember the 3-day rule (introduce new foods for 3 days running before introducing any other foods so you can track allergic reactions) since the only "allergies" we've found so far are to persimmons (little pink dots all over him - didn't appear to be uncomfortable, just colorful!) and the Happy Bellies Multi Grain cereal that has quinoa and amaranth in it (he threw it back up - needless to say, that was a "1 day rule" item).   So, it's not like he's having any allergic reactions to, oh, say cheese or steak and it really slows us down in the evenings trying to think about everything that goes into our dinner to see if he can have some (OK...can he have some of my spaghetti?  Did we try garlic and onions yet, or just garlic....)  I never really thought about how complex and multi-ingredient most of our food is.

And now, we're trying to ease him into trying foods at daycare.  If I thought he had a lot of ingredients to contend with before, I was WRONG!  They, of course, have all kinds of preservatives and difficult to pronounce chemicals in their foods and I have to figure out whether I want him to be exposed to any of that (does the 3-day rule apply to micro-crystalline cellulose, disodium inosinate, or partially hydrogenated soybean oil?  and how do you partially hydrogenate a soybean anyway???)

People talk a lot about how difficult it can be to have children - the worrying, the sleep deprivation, etc. - but what they never mention is the constant decision making.  I think that is the most exhausting and challenging part of child rearing - the never-ending cycle of having to make a million tiny decisions for a whole other person.  What should he wear today?  What should he eat?  Is it time for a nap, a diaper, a bath, a book?  Does he need more/less stimulation? Should I give Tylenol, a bottle, or just rock him?  We get exhausted making similar decisions for ourselves all day long - it's not surprising that trying to do it for yourself and someone else is even more taxing.

But I keep reminding myself - it's not forever.  And soon, there's a day coming when I will wish I was still making those decisions for him when he insists on chicken nuggets, day-glo orange pants, and that he doesn't need a bath ever.  So I try to enjoy it while I can :)