Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flying with a Toddler

I was visiting West Philly Mama blog which made me think of our upcoming travel plans. We ar heading to NYC next weekend and then Florida a few weeks after that. For the most part, I'd consider Preston a well traveled baby all considering he's only been on the earth for 18 months. I would say that he's probably flown roundtrip close to 10 times. However, the older he gets, the harder it is to fly with him. For the most part, I fly with him alone. So I'd like to consider myself pretty experienced in this department. I can get through security with a baby, carry on suitcase, diaper bag and stroller in a breeze. However, it was definitely challenging the last two times. He's at an age now where nursing him doesn't put him to sleep instantly which was always my go to plan. He's also curious about everything and everybody. Even though I buy a lap child ticket, we've been pretty fortunate about scoring a free seat so that he can have his own (with the exception of one flight). However, the one flight he literally pulled the shade up and down for half of the flight until I moved his seat. He's also incredibly fascinated by the tray table and yes, no matter how much I try, he's the kid who will kick the back of your seat because what else can you do with your legs on a 2+ hour flight when you can't walk around? I know he must drive the people around him crazy.

One thing I've learned about Preston is that he needs containment in order to fall asleep. This could mean being in the Ergo, strapped in to a carseat or simply being in his crib. We usually don't take the car seat when visting my mom because 1. there's no guarantee that we will get a free seat and 2. they have one for him so it would be pointless to add another heavy item when I'm already traveling solo. Someone told me about a CARES harness which looks good in theory but it expensive (SN- if anyone has one that they are willing to sell, please let me know).

So I'm going to take some tips from West Philly Mama and his Pediatrician...pack lots of snacks, go to the dollar store and buy some cheap new toys that we can pitch afterwards, and download some episodes of Sesame Street or Barney on to my iPhone.

If anyone else has any other tips for flying with a Toddler, please let me know.

Love You Forever

I find this book very strange but oddly enough I'm drawn to it. So drawn that I may actually buy it to add to the little one's library.

It's about the love between a mother and her son that transcends over time. Each night when he's asleep she takes him in her arms, rocks him back and forth and sings to him her own little song. However, she does this little ritual even when he's an adult and living in his own place across town. She takes her ladder, climbs in to his room and rocks him. I almost died of laughter when I read it for the first time. I have so many questions like what the hell does his wife think? What if they were having sex? Why doesn't he wake up? Does she have difficulty sleeping? Why doesn't she ask for a key? Quite honestly, I think it would make an awesome SNL skit.



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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Growing up we didn't celebrate Halloween. The first time I dressed up was in college. Why didn't we celebrate? I had a very proud father who would say "if you want candy, we will buy it for you. There's no need to go begging for it." You can't miss something you never had so it never really bothered me. And while it's typical to carry on family traditions, this is one that we may break.

Last year my friend invited us to TOT in her neighborhood. It was held the Saturday before Halloween and we had a blast. I do have to admit that it did feel weird "asking" for candy. Sometimes I had Danielle do it. I felt a lot more comfortable taking him to the Halloween parties at the library and Barnes and Noble than going door to door.

This year at the last minute I decided to make his costume. We went to the party at the library and the zoo last week. However, he missed TOT with my friend on Saturday because it was snowy, wet and cold. I was totally unprepared for the snow and there was no way I was sending him out in the cold in only a Fall jacket. So we stayed home.

I was all set to carve pumpkins last night but I think because I bought it several weeks ago at when we went to the farm that I couldn't cut it open. So we settled for stickers instead. What better way to start our Halloween celebration off this morning than with pumpkin and raisin pancakes and apple sauce for dipping, playing outside in the leaves, Halloween stories, coloring, and right now...a nap. Later he will help pass put candy to the 10 TOT we get each year.

It's like pulling teeth to get him to look at the camera these days.






So surprised that he ate not only a bite but all of the pancakes. Yay!!!!







If anyone ever needs a toddler bib recommendation, I highly recommend the baby bjorn.







Giddy up cowboy! Making his outfit was so much fun.



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Friday, October 28, 2011

Discovery of Peanut Allergy

A few people are curious about how we discovered that my little guy had an allergy. Over the summer, when he was about 14-15 months old, I gave him some Jif With a Touch of Honey Peanut Butter on crackers as a snack. I did this about three times and he didn't react. We ran out of the PB and a few weeks later while I was in Whole Foods, I picked up a jar of their organic brand. Once again, I gave it to him as a snack on crackers. This time around he reacted. His eyes became red and itchy, he broke out in pimples, and his face turned red and splotchy. He couldn't stop rubbing his eyes. I made the decision to give him Benedryl which he had never been given before and the only reason we had it in the house was because our dog had a reaction to shots the year prior. It did the trick. In the meantime, we had called our Pediatrician but when they called back it went straight to voicemail and because we had his symptoms under control we never called them back. I just figured we would avoid peanut butter.

During his 18 month check up, I added this to my list of questions. I wasn't sure if it was a brand issue or an overall allergy issue. She said it had nothing to do with the brand. She suggested blood work to see if he would test positive and he did.

The Allergist said that because he was exposed and reacted at a young age (<2), there's a likelihood that he can outgrow it. I'm not sure what the theory is behind that but in the meantime, we plan to just stay clear of nuts. He also said that there is a significant increase in peanut allergies among children compared to years ago when we were younger.

We stopped off at Whole Foods today and it was one of my first times shopping since learning of the allergy. A lot of packages indicate if the product contains nuts or is processed in a plant where products containing peanuts and tree nuts are processed. I ended up putting a lot of things back. It's a really difficult decision to make. Do you put the items back or do you get them? For example, I've bought Preston Nutrigrain bars before. Whole Foods had their own brand on sale today but the package said it was processed in the same plant as other nuts so I put it back. The rational part of me wanted to buy it thinking he's had a similar product before but the other part of me said, if he gets sick, I will be ridden with guilt because I knew the warning on the package. On my way home, I decided that I'm going to live by the rule that if he's had it in the past, I will buy it.

I'm starting to see how it may be easier to make my own goodies for him. At least I'll be more aware of what's going in to it. I've been inspired to make my own pumpkin pancakes from scratch this weekend. We will see how that goes!!!

Warning: Peanut Allergy

Last week my little one was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. It's not the worst thing in the world. God, I could think of a million things worse. However, it has definitely added a curve ball to the world of eating and if you read my previous post about food, this just adds another element to the mix.

After getting the b/w results, his pediatrician referred him to an Allergist who said no peanuts, no tree nuts, and no chocolate. Wowzer!!! The last two are just a precaution. His rationale was most places that process peanuts also process other nuts and we don't want to risk cross contamination. The same with chocolate. Most places that process one kind of chocolate bar process ones that have nuts in it. He said he sees a lot of cases where cross contamination is the culprit of a nasty reaction. He even talked about a woman he saw before seeing my son who went to get a smoothie and because the machine was used to make one with pb earlier that day, she had a reaction and had to administer an epi pen in the food court. He talked about a kid whose school provides peanut free cookies at lunch but directly after eating one he had a reaction and was taken to the hospital. So the really frustrating part to all of this is that no matter how cautious I am about not exposing him to nuts, something as simple as as the smoothie incident or a factory not thoroughly cleaning their equipment could lead to a reaction. He's not in the care of others very often but I have visions of him going off to preschool in a year or so and how all of this will play out.

I'm trying to make a conscious effort for this not to rule our lives. But the reality is we are now going to be reading labels for one addition piece of information, being mindful of cross contamination, letting caregivers know pb&j's are off the menu (not that he would eat it anyway- see food post), and asking if foods are cooked with peanut oil when going to restaurants. Yes, it will be a challenge but we will make the best of it.

Food

I've checked out two blogs tonight that talked about bento boxes for their toddler aged children. They look like a neat idea and something I'd love to try out with Preston but here's the problem... my kid won't venture outside of a select list of foods. You don't know how painstakingly difficult this is for me. A person who identifies herself as a foodie, a good cook, a lover of all yummy things. I love to try new foods. I'm always preaching about trying something first before ruling it out so at least you can make an informed statement when you say that you don't like something. And here I have this kid who is very particular about food.

I have all of these great ideas for lunches and he won't eat any of them. I made the fluffiest eggs for him the other day, toast shaped like an elephant and he refused it. I made homemade mac and cheese with a homemade cheese sauce and he refused it because he won't eat pasta. My kid likes unsalted crackers, fruit, veggies, and if you can make it in to a soup he's all for it. So I find myself making soup a lot. Homemade chicken and vegetable or beef and vegetable soup only for the simple reason I know he's getting protein, veggies, and grain in a meal. Now if i separated all of those thing and put them on a plate, he would only eat the veggies. I'm seriously looking forward to the day when he will eat what we eat and I'm not making a separate meal for him.

Do you think it's wise to stop being a short order cook and only present to him what we eat? Sometimes, if we are eating something, he will come up and ask to try it. We always give it to him (if it's something appropriate) but he lets his tongue touch it and it's like if he doesn't like the texture, he spits it out (i.e. he asked for the mac and cheese so i gave it to him. He put it in his mouth and as soon as he felt the pasta, he spit it out). Now if I could somehow put it in the food processor and puree it, he would eat it. So I don't always think it's the taste, I think it's the texture. My doctor doesn't seem concerned and I have to admit that over time, he has increased what he will eat so I'm sure this is only a blip on the map but geesh!

Baby Fever

I couldn't even conceive the idea of wanting another child until a few weeks ago. The idea of having two children scared the crap out of me. Not that I don't love children but I worried that time would be taken away from my son and I also worried where I would get the energy from to care of them. However, lately I've developed a terrible case of baby fever. I see a baby and get all warm and fuzzy and wishful. But at this time in my life, it's just not a good time to entertain the idea.

I wonder what it will be like to ttc again. Will it be as difficult both physically and emotionally? Will it take as long? Now that I'm two years older, will I have more challenges? Sometimes I think back to monitoring my cycles, peeing on a stick and it all feels like eons ago.

I'd love to give Preston a brother or sister. I'd love to give him one close in age. My brothers are 7 and 9 years older than I am. They were great to have around but hardly playmates for me. So on one hand there's motivation to entertain the idea but on the other hand it doesn't seem like the right time for me for various reasons.

Some day I suppose and if it doesn't happen...well I already got my wish and I will do everything to make his life as a single child the best I can.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

18 month stats

Baby boy is now 18 months old. His favorite thing to say this week is "where are you?" it's quite adorable. He's calling for Mama more often but when we answer he doesn't have much to say if anything at all. I think he's just testing it out.

Temper tantrums are starting to happen on a daily basis. Luckily they are not severe. We usually try to ignore them although he's added head banging to the mix. The doctor recommends that we ignore that too instead of me holding my hand there while saying nothing. The head banging usually happens in his high chair while he has to wait for his food to cool down. I know he's frustrated so I dont get too upset by them. Although arching his back and pelvis while trying to buckle him in to his car seat is not fun and makes getting in and out of the car to do errands undesirable.

At this age, he loves books and I love to see him with one or two in hand. He can be often settled by a book or sometimes I'll leave one in his crib while he sleeps and he wakes up and looks through it which buys me about 15 minutes of extra sleep.











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Saturday, October 8, 2011

No more nursies

My boobs slightly ache and yes, my heart slightly aches too. There are some days he doesn't ask to be nursed but when he does, I have a lot of guilt redirecting his focus. It's hard for any parent to deny their child of something especially when it's readily available. He looks up at me with those big brown eyes and signs "more milk" and it feels awful telling him "no nursies this morning. You just had milk in your sippy." However, my little guy is at an age where I feel pretty comfortable ending our breastfeeding relationship. I will definitely miss snuggling up with him in that way or having that one on one time that is so distinctly different from any other quality time spent with him. This week we went three days without nursing and then one morning out of sheer guilt I caved and now we are back to 2 days without.

Thinking back, I was incredibly worried about not being able to nurse. I did a lot of reading beforehand and attended a breastfeeding workshop at my son's pediatrician's office. It was something I wanted to provide to my son and with the help of a local breastfeeding center which is adjoined to my pediatricians office, as well as his doctors (some of whom are lactation consultants), and some other nursing moms, I feel very fortunate to have had this experience.

I remember the absolute joy I felt when I first nursed him after giving birth. The nurses were supportive and helpful in the hospital as I fumbled with getting him to latch. I remember being incredibly stressed in the NICU the following few days while I waited for my milk to come in, learning to use a breast pump, and having only a 30 minutes every three hours to nurse him when he was removed from the isolet for that very reason.

Coming home from the NICU was a whole other experience. I remember asking Danielle to support my wishes of having just the three of us at home because I really wanted to focus on breastfeeding and didn't want the stress of entertaining or having to leave the room. Nursing was definitely challenging in the beginning. I can't remember if I read it or if someone told me that the first two weeks are the hardest and to keep trudging through no matter what. I was never tempted to give Preston formula but there were times I was tempted to give him a bottle of pumped milk. In the end I never went that route and just like that after two weeks it was much easier.

The first bump in the road months and months laer was flying home after seeing my parents. I was nursing Preston on the plane and he bit me. I remember removing him from my breast and telling him no. Later that night he refused to nurse. I was devastated and heartbroken. My kid had never refused the breast from the day he was born. I was worried he would never nurse again. I was hurt when Danielle offered him a bottle of breastmilk which he took without hesitation. I remember crying that same night because I wasn't ready to end. Needless to say I over reacted because around his 2am feeding he latched on. Even at a young age, he was communicating his unhappiness with my response to his biting. Note, he's bitten me about a total of 3 times his entire life and about twice were done purposely after he was done nursing and was testing the waters. I know a lot of people quit at the sign of the first bite but if neither of you are ready to end, this truly is not a reason to give it up. People also assume just because babies get teeth, it's time to stop, it's not.

At 12 months I was happy with making it that far. It was my plan at birth to stop around 12 months but when we got to that point neither of us were ready to stop. At 14 months we revisited it but continued and it wasn't until around 17 months that I felt we were both getting to the end. Nursing had reduced to the morning when Danielle brought him in and sometimes out of boredom during the day but it felt it was done more out of routine than need.

So here we are, 2 days shy of his 18 month marker. I can finally buy new bras because my breasts won't fluctuate in size. I'm looking forward to snuggling with him in bed without him asking to be nursed. It's a new chapter.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Potty training

We are gearing up to start potty training. I read about a three day approach where they go bottomless for three days and essentially you are on guard for pee/poop action and whisk them on to the potty. This is followed by an enthusiastic potty dance. No snacks, no stickers, no fancy singing potty. I'm drawn to this approach because Preston responds well to a cheer and clapping and will often cheer and clap for himself when he's done something positive. So I haven't decided when we will start because the method also requires you to be somewhat housebound for two of those three days. But in the meantime we are gearing up so the potty isn't seen as a scary thing.



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Couch to 5k

My cheap alternative to the gym plus my love of the outdoors have led me to running. I bought a jogging stroller off Craigslist, downloaded a couch to 5k app, and this weekend I will look for better running shoes. It's time to shed the last 5-10 pounds and ward off any I will undoubtedly gain over the winter.

I ran in college for a semester but that was only to catch the eye of a guy I was interested in. Once I got his attention I stopped. At that time I had a fab body and didn't need to run for a purpose.

So here I am at week 1, day 1. Stay posted.




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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teething Hell (part II)

Why does teething have to cause a disruption to our regularly scheduled program? Preston had a good thing going there. Wake up at 7:30am, nap from 12pm-4pm, and bedtime at 8pm. I mean, we could practically set our watches to this routine. But a vacation in Florida and two molars have f***ed this flow up. Why? I want to scream from the rooftop. Why? Our schedule, if you can call it that now looks like this: bedtime at 8pm, won't fall asleep until 10pm and during those lovely hours cries if you leave the room. Then wake up at 3am. If you have the energy to insist that he stays in his crib, it takes him 1-2 hours to fall back asleep (with you in the room) and if we bring him in to our room, he falls asleep instantly. So as I said, depending on our energy level and our desire not to reinforce this new need for dependence, midnight awakening can either be short or long. If it's short, he wakes up around 7:30am usual. If not, then we are looking at 9am/10am. This then pushes nap time back about 30 minutes but also extends it anywhere from 4pm-5:30pm which then affects bedtime. It's a vicious cycle I tell you. (SN: I started writing this entry in his room while waiting for him to fall asleep).

So why the rant? I think deep down I need some reassurance that we will eventually go back to our regularly scheduled program. I'm not opposed to change, but I also don't like the fact that he is not sleeping through the night anymore or that it's taking him so long to fall asleep. Does his nap during the day need to be shorter? Isn't there a cardinal rule that says never wake a sleeping baby?

The confusing thing is that he doesn't foster dependence at nap time. I lay him in his crib, read a book, kiss him and tell him it's nap time and that I'll see him when he wakes up and leave the room. He lays there, chit chats to himself and then falls asleep. No whining, no tears, no insistence on having us in the room. So what's different about bedtime?

Please someone in blogland, reassure me that this too shall pass?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Teething Hell

I paid a $20 copay to be told that my son is teething. Aggrrr, I jumped the gun again. However, I'd rather pay the $20 and find out it's only that than to either worry not knowing if he's truly sick or find out that he is sick and needs meds. At any rate, we cancelled our DC trip and decided that it would probably be best for him to rest up over the holiday weekend which also allows me a chance to rest as well. If you remember, we just got back from Florida midweek, I work nights...enough said.

So we are in teething hell, which has led to snot hell, fever hell, and I won't fall asleep at night unless I'm in the same room as you hell (I use the word hell very lightly because honestly, it's really not that bad). He continues to remain rather pleasant given the circumstances but periodically gets very whiny. We are on day #3 of a fever that breaks for only a few hours if we are lucky and then returns. Consequently, we are also on day #3 of sleeping in our bedroom. I have a periodic moment of worry that he will not return to his bedroom but I think overall, he just wants to be close by. Through his misery, he continues to be a sweet boy and will seek out tight hugs from us in between play, naps, and having his nose wiped. Have I mentioned how much snot this boy has?

His upper molars have sprouted and the doctor said she can feel his lower ones pushing through. He hasn't teethed in almost 8 months. He has absolutely no use for Sophie because I think he's forgotten her purpose and yet I think she would help if he would give her a try. He loved her when he was younger.

On another note, nursing is starting to dwindle down. I think we are both ready although I'm allowing Preston to lead the way. While we were in Florida there were two mornings that he didn't nurse because my parents got him up and gave him milk and breakfast while I slept in. I've also noticed over the past week or so he's been asking for it less and less during the day. The only sucky thing about all if this is that I'm starting to gain some weight back (sigh).

Anyway, my little guy will be turning 17 months next week. Until then...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It just gets better

There are days that I think "oh this is a fun age" and then a few weeks pass and I think the same thing. It seems like each new day brings about a new skill, word, or action that makes us laugh (see pics of him trying on a pair of glasses that were left at our house). Yesterday, he realized it was fun to walk backwards. So as he would walk forward, he would just randomly stop and walk backwards. He's also learned how to ride backwards in his truck which makes him laugh a lot. New words this weekend include: doggie and night night. He also perfected the words nana and diaper. He's still working on perfecting Gracie. He can say mommy and mama but won't call us by either name. When will that start?

I also noticed that he imitates others, especially Danielle. This is pretty funny when she acts silly and he mimics her. He's very focused at times and will work on something until he gets it right(i.e. fastening a clip). I love his determination and love watching him hard at work.

At the end of May, beginning of June, we bought him two pairs of sandals hoping that they would last him the entire summer. One pair were Tevas to play in and the other, a pair from Stride Rite for when he goes out. I think the Tevas are a size 6 and the others a 6.5. Well last week we noticed that he's completely outgrown them (think toe hanging over and marks left from the others being fastened). So we went to buy him another pair and ended up with Keens in a size, brace yourself, a size 9!!!!!!!!! I know 2 year olds who wear a size 7. In Preston's defense, he's truly a size 8.5 but the salesman who fitted him recommended a 9 to give him room to grow stating if we bought the 8.5, we would be back next week for the next size up. At this rate, this child is going to be in adult shoes by the time he's 5- lol.

We are heading to Florida at the end of the week to visit his grandparents. It's a much needed trip. Why? Because my parents dote all over us by making out favorite food, driving us around, taking Preston in the morning while I sleep in. It's great. It a week of no cleaning, being annoyed because the house or laundry isn't done, or cooking. It's just lovely. We are also taking Preston to Disney for the day. What's better than that? The only downside is there's a potential hurricane and I don't want our flight to be delayed or cancelled getting there.

Anyway until next week, here are some pics of my silly bean.










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Sunday, August 7, 2011

16 Months








Preston is a few days shy of turning 16 months. At this point in his life he's gained a few more words which includes "banana (a-naa-na) and eye." I'm sure there's more but I can't think right now. He's really in to giving hugs, like really good tight squeezes, I wanna show you much I love you hugs. He loves to climb and this past month, he's learned how to run which for some reason cracks him up. He loves being chased and chasing others, including the dog and cat.

Last week he went on his first camping trip with me, my best friend and her girlfriend. Being outdoors is so refreshing and I loved that Preston had a chance to get down and dirty. We had a lovely stream that ran steps behind our tent. It was wonderfully cold and refreshing after hiking and playing hard.

Being home with Preston during the day is still working out well. We have tons of fun and still have time to get in a good nap. Preston still naps from 12p-4p. However, the other afternoon he swung his leg over the front of his crib and climbed out. I'm so not ready to convert his crib. Luckily, he only tried it one more time but Danielle caught him in the act and he hasn't tried it again. Someone suggested the crib tent. I think my other option is to put him in the pack and play if things progress or see if I can remove the platform that holds his mattress and put his mattress on the floor inside of his crib (granted there are no gaps for him to get stuck in). I just worry that if I convert his crib, nap time and bed time will become a nightmare. Not to mention that I don't think he's developmentally ready to go in a toddler bed yet. When did you guys convert?

I'm working on maintaining patience while Preston tests limits. I know the situation could be worse so I won't complain but he will purposely look at me while he's doing something I told him not to do (i.e. play in the dog's water bowl, unplug things, go after the cat). I'm trying to avoid giving a huge reaction so not to reinforce it but sometimes it's hard.

Food consistency continues to be an issue. He prefers that his food is pureed somewhat (similar to stage 3 jarred food). However, he will eat fruit, crackers, etc in whole form. He refuses things like cheese, pasta, rice, etc. I'll look forward to the day he eats what we eat. I mean, he will, as long as it's pureed. He's mastered using a spoon and fork for self feeding. My newest favorite baby item is the Baby Bjorn bib. It's catches everything and wipes down nicely.

We are heading to Nana's and Granddad's at the end of the month. My 8 year old cousin is visiting them for the summer and we are going to tag along on their annual Disney World trip. It should be fun.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

13 months



My baby boy is totally awesome. Even after a year, I fall deeper and deeper in love with him each and every day. He's just a funny, energetic, and delightful child. He amazes me with his new skills and antics. I tease that he's "all boy" at times because of his antics.

A few weeks ago, he discovered his penis. And let me tell you that this child doesn't miss an opportunity to touch it. Naked heiny time is now one of his favorite times of the day as well as any diaper change.

Preston has been walking full time for over 4 weeks now. He's great at signing "more", "milk" (which he uses interchangeably for milk, breastmilk, and water), and "all done." We will add a few more over the next week or two. Words include "hi" (which sounds more like "eyeeee", "up", "mama" (which he doesn't use all that much), "dadda" (which he uses a lot-lol), and "oh uh." There are some other unidentifiable words that he uses as well.

With the mention of breastmilk, we are still nursing. I feel like once you pass the 12 month mark, there's some shame attached to nursing. People expect you to stop all together. However, the truth is, we both still enjoy nursing, especially in the morning. It's a relaxing way to start the day. During the day, he nurses here and there but he generally gets water or cow's milk. We've opted not to give him juice because at this point, I see no reason for it. He gets fresh fruit at every meal and I'm not sure there's anything juice can provide that fresh fruit can't.

My little guy loves to play. He especially loves water. So bathtime, washing his hands, and playing with his water table are all at the top of his list. He really enjoys cars, or using things to push around like a car. Everything turns in to a phone for him to talk in to such as remotes, tiles, books, etc. He's learning how to throw, which is both good (balls) and bad (throwing a rock at my glass).

He continues to study things to figure out their function and how it works. I find it incredibly adorable when he tries things for himself like after I cut his fingernails, he'll take the closed clipper and puts it to his nail and then moves to the next one. He loves to try to put our shoes on. When we brush our teeth in the morning, I'll make a noise like "ahhhhhhhh" as I'm brushing and he does it too.

Well enough of me going on and on. I'm not on here that much but when I am, I want to highlight where he's at in his development.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Birthday Weekend


A coworker teases that Preston is a celebrity because he is so loved and adored by so many people. God, writing that sounds so narcessistic but it's true, he's loved by so many of my friends and family. So much that my friend flew in from NY for his first birthday and another friend drove in from DC.

We decided to have his 1st birthday party at Gymboree Play and Music. He attends classes there and it's just the perfect indoor place for a 1st birthday party. They do everything. All I had to do was show up with cupcakes and bottled water. A lot of thought went in to the cupcakes. Yea, I could have bought some from the bakery but I really wanted to feel like I contributed something to this party since they do everything for you. A first I made lemon raspberry but found them way too sweet and a little harsh for little mouths and then I found a lovely chocolate cake with mocha frosting. The mocha frosting is to die for but obviously I omitted the coffee part of it. They were a hit, topped off with a fresh raspberry.

The only thing with being a baby celebrity is that my house ends up looking like Toys R Us!!! He received a lot of cool toys and books. Ideally, I'd like to put some toys away and rotate them in a few weeks but I have to find somewhere to store them. I also have to part with some of his older toys. Half of his large sized toys are geared for outdoor play which helps a lot. We are definitely going to have a fun summer.

The following day we went to our first Pittsburgh baseball game. The Pirates have a pretty bad rep but it was fun to get out in the sun. My friend's husband works for the team and gave us really nice tickets. I would definitely go again. I had no idea what was going on but it was nice to be outside and amongst fans.

And for Preston's actual birthday which was on Monday, Danielle took the day off from work and we went to The Children's Museum.

















Happy Birthday


My beautiful baby turned 1 a few days ago. These past few days I've sat back and relived my pregnancy, his birth and the past year being his mother. To say that this past year has been the best ever would be an understatement. Being a first time mother and working through the challenges most experience the first year has been pretty awesome. I can say that now that we are past some of those challenges but even in the moment, I had a lot of support and knew it was par for the course. Preston is just a pleasant, sweet and incredibly funny baby. There's not a day that goes by that I don't fall more and more in love with him or a day that passes where he doesn't amaze me with one of his antics or small feats. I've said this before and I'll say it again that I truly feel incredibly lucky. Getting pregnant was a challenge and so I never and hope I'll never take him for granted.

So here's to Danielle and I for getting through the first year parenting this awesome little boy and here's to Preston for being that awesome little boy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Steps

At 11 months, 2 weeks and 4 days old, my little boy took his first steps.
video

Saturday, March 26, 2011

11 1/2 months

I can't believe my last post was in February. Time to catch you up.

Job: My body is suprisingly adjusting to the odd hours. Preston and I have fallen in to a nice routine during the day where we have time to play, go out in to the community, and rest. I love spending the day with him. The weather is starting to warm up which means walks in the park and local neighborhoods and lots of playing.

Food: My sugarplum still prefers pureed food over anything else. I think because he doesn't have to put much effort in to eating it. There are a few things he enjoys munching on but he won't eat pasta for me on his own, he hates bread (did this child come frome me?) and he's finicky about picking up most things with his fingers to put in his mouth. However, if I serve it to him on a spoon, he will give it a shot. I'm not too worried about it though. He won't go to college this way.

Teeth: He has his two upper and two lower teeth. He has two more lower teeth coming in and two upper. He went so long with just two teeth and now it seems like they are all coming in at once.

Skin: He has terrible dry skin resulting in little dry patches and what looks like a red rash on his cheeks and chin. I bought Eucerin but it doesn't seem too effective. I wonder if I should try aquaphor again. Any suggestions?

Sleep: Cue angels singing! My baby is FINALLY sleeping through the night. It happened when I started my new job. Figures right? I guess he realized he didn't have a boob to wake up to. The other nice thing is that instead of crying when he wakes up, he just chats out loud and waits for us to come get him.

Breastfeeding: This kid is a boob addict. Sometimes I realize he nurses to comfort himself. Other times he really wants to nurse and sometimes I think he nurses out of boredom. He always wants to nurse when he sees me and before I leave for work. I think it's his way of saying hello and goodbye. The only issue I've had is that if he's napping with me and wants nurse, he uses me as a pacifier afterwards which is really annoying. I imagine weening is going to be a challenge. Earlier this week we started to give him organic milk before bedtime. It wasn't planned. I had a 6oz bottle of pumped milk that fell over and leaked out 4oz. I didn't have enough time to pump so we made the decision to give him some regular milk. He seemed to do well with it so we just continued for the rest of the week. I'm actually thrilled with this change. I HATE, let me repeat, HATE pumping. I did it for 11.5 months because it was important to me to give Preston breast milk but man, I won't miss that pump. I think with baby #2, I'll be better at managing my milk stash so that in the later months he can get frozen and I won't have to pump as much. However, I was horrible at rotating my freezer stash and ended up throwing away close to 250oz of milk bc it expired.

Walking: Preston isn't walking on his own yet but will walk with the assistance of someone's hand. For some reason walking cracks him up as he laughs hysterically when you walk him around the house.

Cute things: He loves to wave hello and goodbye very enthusiastically, I might add. He loves to take the remote control and prestend it's a phone by putting it to his ear and talking. He signs the word "more" but refuses to sign the word "milk" and instead just pulls my shirt down (yes, it's embarrassing in public). He says "uh-oh" when he drops things both accidentally and on purpose. He was saying mama and mom-mom the week of Valentine's but then stopped (sigh). He claps at anything that brings him joy. He gives the wettest open mouth kisses with his tounge sticking out. Climbing up the stairs is funny to him and he makes it up there pretty fast when you're not looking. He thinks playing tug-of-war with Gracie is hilarious and this seems to entertain him for a while until Gracie gets fed up and takes her toy away.

Upcoming events: My son is going to be 1 in 2 weeks. It's so hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly. It's been an incredible year. I never knew a love like this. It's absolutely amazing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Changes

Gosh, lots of changes are going on around here. I received a promotion at work that allows me to be home with Preston during the day. I'll be working late evenings in to the early morning. The hours aren't glamourous by any means but as I mentioned, it allows me to spend lots of time with Preston during the day. It also means that I don't have to send him to daycare. However, with that said, we decided that we're going to send him once a week anyway just so that he can continue to have that connection and I can do errands baby-free.

It's going to be a fun challenge being a "stay at home mom." Tomorrow starts day 1.

ETA: Everyone's number one question is "when are you going to sleep?" It's a good question and something that I'm going to have to work out as I go along. Right now, Preston sleeps in until 8:30am when not disturbed for daycare. So I'll sleep when I get in until then. Then he takes a 3 hour nap from around 11am-2pm (today it was 11:45am-2:45pm) so I'll have an opportunity to sleep then as well as long as I remind myself to avoid using that time to do laundry, clean, etc. Then Danielle gets home at 2:45pm so I also have an opportunity to sleep anywhere from 3pm until I leave around 6pm. I'll get sleep but it will be broken which at this point in my life isn't that much different than when I worked 9a-5:30p. It will just happen at different times throughout the day. I know, I told you, the hours aren't glamourous but I really enjoyed spending time with Preston today and the increase in salary isn't bad as well. All I can envision is the spring/summer and spending time in the park, taking long walks, picnics, and the spray park.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

9 months

At 9 months of age Preston weighs 26 pounds and is 30 inches tall. He's between sizes 18-24 months and a 2T. A 3T if buying pajamas. I've noticed this month that he's losing his baby face and naturally you can tell he's getting older.

This has been a challenging month. Sleep continues to be our main issue. Being alone is another. I continue to work by trail and error only to have success for a day or two before regressing. I constantly remind myself that this has to be a phase (someone please assure me it's a phase). Because like everything else I remind myself that what was today's issue only becomes a distant memory.

Some milestones this month include adding ba ba to his vocabulary. I'm still dying to hear him say ma ma. He's incredibly adorable when it comes to practicing mama. He watches our lips with deep concentration and moves his own lips in an effort to say it but no sound comes out.

He's also become very aware of what you're feeding him and will peer in to the bowl and decide if he's going to open up his mouth for the next bite. Finger foods are just becoming fun, especially if it's fruit. Halved blueberries are a must have. Mangoes are good but a little slippery to pick up. He has no use for toast or bread though. Texturally, he hates having to chew. He would rather have his food very smooth.

Our boy loves to play. Especially with Gracie who is very gentle with him but at other times has no use for him and will take her toy and run. He loves to climb and "walk" if you hold his hands or he uses his walker. However, one if his favorite pastimes is people watching. Some call his nosey or nebby which is a Pittsburgh word. I say his is exploring his environment. Whatever it is, the kid is just freaken adorable and continues to light up my life.

Weight: 26 pounds
Length: 31 3/4 inches

I brought in a bowl of snow the other day after dinner. Here are a few pics. Clearly, he had no idea what to do with it at first.










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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cry or not to cry it out?

Last week, during Preston's 9 month check up, his doctor spent some time giving us sleep advice. Preston, who was a great sleeper, has totally regressed. He pitches a fit and has a complete meltdown with snot and tears whenever he sees us leaving the room. Once upon a time, we could leave Preston fully awake in his crib and he would fall asleep without protest. He also started to wake up several times a night. The doctor we saw that day assured us that he should be sleeping through the night. He also strongly advocated the cry it out method, complete with handout. While crying it out didn't really gel with either of us, we listened to him, read his packet and decided to give it a while. Being a therapist, I completely understand behavior modification, conditioning, etc so it made sense that by going in whenever he started to pitch a fit just reinforced the behavior. But on the other hand I've spent the last 9 months creating this nurturing relationship that it seemed kind of harsh but I went along anyway.

Well lets just say, we're all still traumatized from trying it out. We did what the doctor instructed us to do... follow through with our usual routine: bath, nurse, story, and putting him in his crib. Allow him to cry for 2 minutes. Go in and reassure him that he was okay and then leave for the rest of the night. The poor kid was melting horribly. The wailing was insane. Three minutes after going in to check on him, we heard a loud thud, no crying, and then intense wailing. We rushed to his room to find that he had fallen out of his crib and was crawling towards the door trying to get to us. I will never forget that scene. He was a complete mess. Probably the worst I've ever seen him. Needless to say, we failed the challenge because we brought him to bed with us for the rest of the night.

The rest of the week was spent problem solving. By Thursday we remembered that we had a pack and play and set it up in our bedroom. I'm not sure if we are taking 3 steps back but it's working. Thursday, he woke up only once during the night and last night he slept the entire night. Maybe he just needs us close by right now. The goal is to get him to the point where he sleeps through the night (or waking up just once around around 5am) and then transition back to his room and hopefully back to his crib. The crib is on the lowest setting and right now, I'm just really apprehensive about placing him in it. The bruise on his face is a constant reminder and doesn't make me really eager to put him back. We actually placed him in the crib one evening and he attempted to get out again by swinging his arm over as though he was reaching for the floor. Luckily, we were there and intervened. but I suppose that's how he fell the first night. I also think that we tried to work on his sleep issues at the wrong time. We just got back from vacation 2 days prior to his 9 month check up. He had us 24/7 for 10 straight days. The only time I wasn't with him was for an hour on my birthday when I went to the casino on the cruise ship. He spent half of the cruise in the Ergo so it's not surprising that he developed some separation anxiety.

So for now, we will not be following the cry it out method. I'm not sure what I'm doing is the best thing for him overall but it feels right and I've parented so far by what feels right so we'll see.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sleep

Sleeping through the night was awesome but short lived. The following week Preston got sick and it went downhill from there. He still has a cold and we are leaving for our annual cruise vacation in the morning so I don't see sleeping through the night returning any time soon. It's not even sleeping through the night that's my issue as much as it's going to sleep.

We have a pretty set nighttime routine: pj's, nurse, story time, kiss, bed. However, as soon as he senses that we are getting close to the door he starts to cry and stands up. I lay him back down telling him it's bedtime and leave. This goes on for about 20 minutes. I remember the days where we could leave him in his cradle fully awake and it wouldn't phase him. Eventually he would go to sleep. Now, even if he is incredibly tired, he fights it.

My brother assures me that all night sleeping is around the corner and this will all be a distant memory.

When we return from vacation I'm determined to put a little more effort in to getting him to sleep and not taking the easy route by bringing him in to bed with us and nursing/cuddling him back to sleep.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

2011

2010 was pretty amazing due to the birth of our son.

In 2011 I hope to:
- try running.
- if running takes off, try a 5k
- move
- buy a new car


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