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 :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yeah, I heard him say it too...

JJ is getting really excellent about saying the first syllable of whatever word it is he is trying to say.  So "boo" is "book" and "ma" is "mommy" and "da" is "daddy".  He actually has a fairly large working vocabulary, if you can just speak truncated baby :)  Yesterday it was "la"....thank goodness he was pointing up at the "Lights" otherwise I might've thought he was trying to say "llama" or "lassitude" or "Lilliputian."  Actually, he might've been saying Lilliputian and was just indicating how his current lack of stature was merely temporary by pointing up in the direction he is constantly growing.
Or maybe he was just trying to say "light." :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just turn to the funnies, Mom

Yesterday, JJ was sitting in my lap in our awesome nursery rocker and I am reading to him (A to Z by Sandra Boynton - a fairly predictable piece with some questionable terminology in the latter part of the alphabet, but that's neither here nor there).  Since I had been nursing him earlier, I still had my shirt open.  As I finish the first page, he turns to me, nurses for a couple of seconds, then turns back to the book and flips the page.  After I finish the next two pages, he does the same thing again, like someone reading the paper and taking sips of coffee between pages.  What a nut!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You should've seen the other guy...

Poor JJ!  He got his first bloody nose today.  And, in the tradition of his dear mother, not a sole was near him.  He was chasing a ball across the floor of the nursery when his knees got faster than his hands and WHAM! total face plant, the kind that makes you cringe in sympathy.  A brief stunned silence followed by WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Not that I blame him.  Poor little guy had just the tiniest bit of blood trickling out one side.  It hurt bad enough he didn't mind us putting "ice" (we used his teether from the fridge) on it.  I told him that he's got to watch out for that Earth's rotation thing - very tricky. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

When you're happy and you know it...

Clap your hands!  Hooray - we've met that particular milestone.  JJ is a hand-clappin' fool :)  What a great way to start the new year!