Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Holiday Photos

December 30, 2011 ~ The Chobani Spokesbaby

This morning Daddy took Billy on an adventure downtown. I got Billy all dressed up for his outing.

Had to make sure he was in Raven's purple for Purple Friday.

When I got home after lunch Daddy and Billy were back from their outing. Billy was crying in his crib and it was already close to 2. Daddy didn't realize he was hungry and needed lunch before nap (Daddy is hopelessly forgetful of these things even if he doesn't mean to be.)

I got him up and gave him his favorite food of all time. If he could eat it for every meal I think he would. He even knows where I keep it in the refrigerator and if I open the door he grabs it and runs. Yup, it's yogurt- specifically Chobani. He eats Chobani every single day without fail.

Today, he was doing a pretty good job of feeding himself with the spoon so I let him feed himself lunch. I turned my back for a minute and...

He ditched the spoon and went for the bare-hand method. Somehow, he managed to empty the entire contents using just one hand. With a photo like this, I am nominating Billy as the Chobani Spokesbaby. As spokesbaby, Billy says for everyone to run out and buy more yogurt- for him! No worries, Billy... Mommy has an entire shelf in the fridge devoted to yogurt.

After a late lunch I sent Billy off to actually take his nap. He's got a cold and didn't sleep well at all last night. Also, Mommy didn't sleep well at all last night. But that's what happens with a crabby Billy that wants to be held all night long. He took a long nap, got up for dinner and cried until he went to bed for the night. He was so tired he only wanted to wake up for food.

Here's wishing you a very happy last day of 2011. See you in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011 ~ A Visit To Billy's Girlfriend

If you can believe it, it snowed at our house today. It was too warm to lay, but somehow little patches of white appeared on the yard and on the deck. Of course, Billy saw snow last winter, but that is so long ago I know he doesn't remember. He stared out the window pointing, "look, look!" at the tiny flakes. I even opened the back door so he could look out of the glass on the storm door to see the snow hit the deck and dissolve. It was fascinating to him.

We also played with the Bell Box today, which he hasn't done in many days. It still astounds me that he can change the songs and has clear preferences. The Christmas songs are ok, but the songs you would here on a calliope at the circus are his favorites and he will turn the knobs until he finds them. They are mostly polkas, so I think perhaps it's the rhythm that is appealing. Who knows? Why does he like classical over rock as well? I don't know. He didn't get that from me.

I've been trying to expose him to all kinds of music but I have to admit that I've been a little lacking. He loves classical. I let him listen to rock and dance music. He loves the songs in Disney movies (ok, that he did get from me.) I make him listen to Irish music and Native American music. I have Spanish and African music for him too. But, I don't have country. It's not that I don't like country, but it's not a preference of mine and I don't own any country music to share with him. But, in the spirit of Grandpop, I think I will have to make sure he at least has some Bluegrass music to listen to. (Grandpop was in a Bluegrass band many moons ago.)

For dinner we went to visit our friends, who just happen to be the parents of Billy's girlfriend. She is a few weeks (but not a month!) older than Billy. The last time they saw each other was for Billy's birthday party. I dressed Billy in his plaid pants and a baby boy blue sweater. His girlfriend was dressed in a baby girl pink sweater with cute girl print pants. Totally by accident they were dressed in their respective colors. They looked like baby models for a clothing line. It was too funny (and I forgot my camera, so sorry no pics). She is just a bit smaller and they kind of look like twins. They are often mistaken for twins when we go out, in fact.

Billy has a new habit of running to the door and waving "bye, bye" when he is ready to go. He was so tired at the end of dinner that he informed us it was time for bed. He's been to enough parties over the last two weeks that it wasn't a fluke, he tells us when we need to take him home. Works for me. I would rather he tell me than have a crankypants.

December 28, 2011 ~ Bare Bottom Hijinks

We started the morning with brunch with friends. Billy was very well behaved. When we came home with the same friends, family came to visit. It was a lot of excitement and Billy got off schedule.

He normally takes a nap around lunchtime, but was way past that by the time we actually got him to sleep. Then he only slept for an hour, waking up at the usual time, but without getting enough sleep. The result? Crankypants.

He was so tired that he was unhappy with everything. The only way I could get him to settle was to dance around the living room with him on my hip. Salsa, Rumba, Cha Cha... didn't matter so long as I kept moving to the beat. Let me tell you, a good way to lose the baby weight is to dance around with a 30lb weight on your hip. Just try keeping the weight on and doing that on a regular basis.

After he got bored with dancing it was on to playing ball with Buddy. I know, I know. No balls in the house. Billy has a large bouncing ball that we were throwing down the hall for Buddy to chase after. Billy would chase too, although Buddy is much faster. Buddy would then get the ball stuck and Billy would say, "oh, noh!"

Grandma came over for a short visit, but while she was here it became apparent that Billy needed another nap. He was laying down on the floor and trying to sleep amongst his toys. We tried to put him to bed, but he ended up unhappily babbling about it in his crib during quiet time. After quiet time I rocked him a little to get him to settle. He smiled and cooed the whole time, thrilled to get some close Mommy time. He was much happier after that.

His unhappy belly over the holidays means that he has an unhappy bottom, so after bath time we had some bare bottom time. Normally, I restrict him to his bedroom (or the deck in summer) but today I let him run around. He thought it was too fun and had me chasing him all over the house. Suddenly, he started doing the Pee Dance. Normally I throw a diaper on him when I see the Pee Dance. But Daddy decided to try the potty this time. We got his stool and tried to stand him up in front of the toilet. The problem was that he wanted to sit on his stool, because stools are clearly for sitting. Daddy tried and tried- Mommy being banished because this was "boy stuff". No Go. Daddy let him run around some more, but he continued with his Pee Dance. We threw a diaper on him and he let fly.

Daddy is disappointed, but I am thrilled. I know he didn't pee in the pot, but he did hold it and wait for his diaper. That's a mark in the win column for me.

A strange thing did happen during bath time. He kept pointing down the hall saying, "Look, look! Momma, look!" Of course, the hallway was empty. I said, "What? What do you see? Do you see something? Do you see someone?" But he just kept pointing, eyes trained on something and said, "I no no". (I don't know in Billy speak).

It's not the first time he's done it and I have no idea what he's seeing. I do believe in ghosts, but then, I've also seen Billy have a conversation with a red Christmas bow. I don't know what to make of it. The only thing in the hallway is the hall light, which is higher than his eye line when he does this. Who knows? It's a mystery. I just hope he learns to tell me what it is that he sees, or grows out of this phase of seeing something where there's nothing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011 ~ Troubles, Tantrums and Peanuts

Billy has a new phrase; oh, noh. To everything he says this. He points at the Christmas tree and says, "oh, noh." He drops a piece of food and says, "oh, noh." We ask him to do something he doesn't want to do and he says, "oh, noh."

Today was the day of tantrums. He was tired but only took one nap and not a long one. I heard a lot of "oh, nohs". At one point Daddy was downstairs and Billy wanted to go through the closed basement door to join him. I told him no. He got so mad that he tried to bite the door, which didn't work out so well for him.

Billy got to try whole peanuts for the first time today. He thought they were so tasty that he tried to take the container of peanuts away from me. He refused to eat his lunch because he wanted peanuts. He turned down his favorite foods for peanuts.

After lunch I had a wet cloth in my hand to wipe up. He wanted the cloth so I gave it to him. He wiped up his own tray for me, just like he's seen me do at the end of every meal, every day. He was very impressed with himself and picked up each crumb and dropped it on the floor for Buddy.

After dinner we were playing in the living room around the Christmas tree. Billy decided to sneak behind the furniture to get to the back of the tree. He was poking at the ornaments on the back of the tree when all of a sudden, the one he was poking fell off of the tree. He was overcome with a look of abject terror and said, staring at his feet, "oh, noh!"

Daddy and I just laughed.

December 26, 2011 ~ Wagon and Dragon

Daddy got up with Billy this morning so that I could sleep in a little. They played with some Christmas toys and watched his new movie, Beauty and the Beast. He wasn't all that interested in his new movie, since it wasn't Tangled.

He was all hugs when i got up and only wanted Mommy. As it turns out, a diet of cookies and crackers causes tummy troubles. Who would have thought? So, he was feeling a little under the weather and Mommy and Daddy had double diaper duty.

He was so tired from yesterday that he was ready for his nap at 11am and slept until almost two. When he got up we went outside to watch Daddy work on the roof. Billy picked up the biggest stick that he could find, nearly twice his height, and dragged it all over the yard and the court.

While we were playing in the court I heard a loud engine noise. I grabbed Billy tightly just in time to see an SUV barrel into the court and swing wildly past us only a few feet away, nearly clipping the car we were standing next to. Billy had been running out from behind the parked car just when I grabbed him and might not be with us if I hadn't heard the SUV before we saw it. The blonde woman drove off in a hurry and parked up at the top of the court. Then she waited with her engine on until a man jogged down the cross street and came up to her car. They had a long conversation, exchanged something. He ran back the way he had come and she drove off. We don't live in a neighborhood with much crime, but it was very suspicious. Billy wanted to go investigate, but I kept him away from the top of the court.

Not long after Grandpop came to visit and brought Billy his presents. He got a dragon and a wagon. I have officially named the dragon Smog, which is taller than Billy. The wagon is a little red push cart just the size for Billy to push around, but too small for him to ride in. It's clearly for Smog to go for joy rides in the court.

Right after Grandpop arrived Billy laid down on the floor right at my feet and didn't want to get up. Nap Time #2. I had to wake him up (in his crib) for us to go out to dinner. We went first to the Macaroni Grill, but they were so rude about taking our name that we left and went to Chilis, where there was no wait.

He wasn't hungry, but had a grand time tossing paper napkins on the floor and talking to the other babies at the restaurant. I think he was too tired to eat. When we came home he went right to bed and fell asleep immediately.

In fact, that sounds likes a great idea,

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 25, 2011 ~ Ho, Ho, Ho! Here We Go!

Last night after Mass and a Christmas party I got Billy ready for Santa. I put him in his green PJs and showed him the tree with no presents under it and all about Santa. We put out a plate of cookies and Billy couldn't wait to get to sleep.

When he woke up this morning he ran right into the living room and opened a present from Santa. Our house must have been Santa's last stop, since he left 5 of his deer in our yard. We watched them eat breakfast before going back to presents. Billy was very happy with his haul.

After present opening it was time to become human yoyos. This is what I always called myself as a child on Christmas, because divorced parents meant that I zinged from one place to the next, barely stopping to breath.

We left all of the mess and presents in the living room, sent Buddy off with Grandma, got dressed in a flash and drove clear down to Virginia to be there by noon. We had a nice long visit with Daddy's family.

Then we zinged back up north of our house to another relative's for dinner. Billy had an awesome time seeing all of his cousins and feasting on cookies.

By the time we got home it was after ten. Billy was wound up the whole ride home, but once he was in his room he went ahead and put himself to sleep. He's had a very long, very busy day. Tomorrow he will get to play with his toys for the first time.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24, 2011 ~ Christmas Eve

We have a full schedule today, so I am posting early.

There's a favorite Christmas song of mine, Mary's Boy Child, by Boney M. It's a Caribbean song if you've never heard it, although it's really popular on the radio in our town. It's a happy song about the whole Christmas story, but this part always gets me:

"So then they found a little nook
in a stable all forlorn,
And in a manager
cold and dark
Mary's little boy was born."

It doesn't really matter what you believe about Jesus. Historians know he lived. And on this day (although I know the actual date may have been different, but his is the day we celebrate) Mary went into labor.

I had a baby boy not so long ago. In a hospital. Surrounded by light, medical professionals, medicine. It's tough enough to have a baby in modern times with modern methods.

I can't imagine what it must have been like for a 14-year-old girl, scared, without help, in a stinking, dirty animal shelter. No nurses, no doctors, no light. Just pigs and cows and a donkey for company. No bed, just straw on the ground. How hard it must have been, how scary. Poor Joseph, there but probably without knowledge of how to help her.

So today, the day before we celebrate Jesus, let's think of his parents and their struggles to get their little baby here. Theirs was a tough road.

December 23, 2011 ~ iBaby ~ ABCs to Vivaldi

I picked up Billy a little early from daycare today, since work closed early. He didn't want to leave. He was having way to much fun with the toys at daycare. So we visited a little with his teachers while he finished playing with the toys there.

They told me that he loves to sing and dance. Sing? Sing??? Now, I've seen Billy dance. It's a combination of a twist, wiggle and sway totally off-beat. He loves music and will start dancing to let me know that he wants me to play music for him. Sure, I know he loves to dance. But sing? Wait a minute... he's hardly talking.

Apparently, he can sing the ABCs. Daddy and I tried to get him to sing the ABCs for us at home tonight. We tried over and over, off-key, to hear him sing. Nope, shut up like a clam. Hmm... hoax? We'll see.

He was fussy today so I gave him my ipod. He's pretty savvy with the ipod. He played Vivaldi over and over. He accidentally pulled up top 40 dance hit and rocked a little bit to it, but then found Vivaldi again and really started swaying and giggling. We listened to Vivaldi all night.

First Christmas cookie.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 22, 2011 ~ Always Send Yogurt

Yesterday, unlike most days, I did not send yogurt to daycare. He takes five containers of food with him every day, plus a sippy of water and another of milk. And yes, he usually consumes everything.

Yogurt is a very easy food to prepare. I take it out of the fridge and stick it in the daycare bag. Voila! Everything else takes time to prepare. But yogurt, well, yogurt is a working mom's friend.

But yesterday I had enough leftovers that I did not need to send the yogurt. So, I didn't.

My picky eater was not a fan of the menu change. I sent 6 containers of food just to give him an extra option. He ate only two of them and rejected the rest. What did he eat? Bananas and mac-n-cheese. Rejects? Hamburger, fries, peas and roasted potatoes.

So, he was hungry. Very hungry. Hungry baby=cranky baby. We've been asked to therefore, always send yogurt.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 ~ Of Monkeys and Billys

If you read my blog on a regular basis, then you already know that I worked until 6am this morning (on my day off yesterday!). So I apologize for being very sleepy while writing this post.

We're shooting a commercial with a monkey. Literal, not figurative. The chimp is a teenager named Chandler, about the same size as Billy. That chimp has been keeping me from my son.

I got a little bit of sleep before my alarm clock woke me up. When you're a mom your alarm clock doesn't come with an off switch. Nope. My alarm clock requires a diaper change, breakfast, and continues to scream louder and louder until he gets it.

I decided to let him play a bit before daycare today, just to get some Mommy time. He chased Buddy around with animal crackers and poked at the tree ornaments. Mommy drank her coffee while Billy chased the dog around.

This evening Daddy took Billy Christmas shopping for a snow suit with gloves and boots. He loves to be outside, so we need to be prepared for the weather. I have been to all of the department stores around me, including the baby stores, and nobody had snow suits for toddlers. Daddy ended up at an outdoor shop, on of his favorites, and came back with a lovely (albeit very expensive) snow suit set.

Uncle Alex also came over this evening. His college has closed down for the holidays and he needs a place to stay until his car is fixed. So, Uncle Alex will be living with us until his car is fixed, or until Grandpop picks him up to take him home (which is not nearby).

Billy was super excited about Uncle Alex's laptop. I tried to get him to play with his own laptop (thanks G!), but having played with the real thing, he shoved his little red one right back in my face. Nope, the real thing is the cool thing. Somehow, I don't think Santa will be bringing my little one an actual laptop for Christmas. SO, when Uncle Alex leaves, he'll have to survive with his little baby laptop.

He was all wound up and stayed up past bedtime to play with Uncle Alex. However, Mommy insisted on bed. And now Mommy insists on going to bed herself.

December 20, 2011 ~ Billy's Holiday Card to You!

December 20, 2011 ~ Postponed

Today's post will be coming shortly. It's 6am and I am just getting off work and have to be back in the office at 9am. I will post later in the day after I get some sleep.

My apologies!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 19, 2011 ~ Looking Forward, Looking Back

Running around in the month of December it's easy to lose track of time. There's decorating, shopping for presents, planning get-togethers. And in my personal life there's been shoot after shoot, a sick little one, and prepping for Santa's first big visit to our house (2nd trip, but last year Billy didn't notice).

Having a little one around seems to be a contributing factor to time slipping away. It seems like yesterday that he couldn't crawl. I feel like projects I did months ago at work were only a week or two ago. And the same goes with seeing friends- having seen them months ago seems like it was very recent.

And so, rushing around with Billy today to prep for Christmas, I completely lost sight of what today is. Or rather, tomorrow.

For thirty years of my life, December 19 has been a planning day. A planning day for mourning. Most people see the December 21 as the darkest day of the year. In Grandma's family, it's December 20.

34 years ago, at a Baltimore Colts game, my grandmother looked over at my grandfather and said, "Bill, I feel funny." She collapsed and never woke up. Two days later, December 20, she died.

Every year since the family has gathered to mourn her premature passing. There were phone calls back and forth about the Mass, who was going, who needed rides. For our family it was a Holy Day of Obligation. And I realized, rushing around with my little one, that there has been none of that this year. Grandma hasn't even mentioned it to me. Maybe it's just me, consumed by all things baby, maybe the family is drifting away from the tradition.

It's a time-honored tradition, this moving on. We are moving on. There is another generation in the family. So many things to look forward to that we forget to look back. We don't forget the people, but we move away from the grief to celebrate the new lives around us.

As I'm writing this it's already December 20. So, with a gracious nod to an inspiring woman, I move on to prepping for the Big Guy's arrival and the joy it will bring to Billy.

Great Grandma (DMF) 1916-1977

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 18, 2011 ~ Billy Made Santa Cry!

Today was the momentous day. We went to see the Big Man In Red.

Now, I've been prepping Billy for a week for this trip to see Santa. I've been telling him all about the presents. I bought him a copy of The Night Before Christmas and have been reading it to him. We even checked out his stocking, hung by the chimney with care.

We waited until after his nap to take him to see the Big Man, hoping to catch him in the best mood. Unfortunately, he's not sleeping well with this nasty cough (neither is Mommy!) and has been crabby all day. When we got there a big line stretched down the mall and we had to wait. Daddy took Billy into a toy store while Mommy waited in the long line.

Just before us a cute baby girl sat on Santa's lap. She wasn't so sure, but finally the photographer and Santa got her to giggle and what a photo op. The next kid was maybe six or seven, an old pro at snapping the photo with a big smile to get to the important part- making sure Santa knew what he wanted. Then it was Billy's turn.

I tucked in his shirt and carried him over to Santa. So far, so good. We had a nice little chat with Santa about procedure, since he's used to the young ones having difficulties. Then I turned Billy over to jolly old St. Nick.

But as it turns out, jolly old St. Nick isn't so jolly. Nope, he's downright scary.

All that crying made Santa cry too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 17, 2011 ~ Shoot Day Gets a Billy Break

I had to work again today, despite it being the weekend. I got Billy up and fed him breakfast just like on a normal workday. Only, I left him with Daddy looking at the tree.

Right after our lunch break (which for you normal people is actually closer to dinner) I left the shoot and came home to visit with my favorite boys. I only had an hour and it went quick. Billy showed off his new words from Daddy "stop!" and "no! no!" These words are for the dog bowl, oven, stove and heater. Hopefully, I gets the meanings of the words.

When I got home he had been asleep for a long time. But, his coughing woke him up. It's a remnant of that crappy, evil disease and he will have it through Christmas. It's a terrible, racking cough. Both Daddy and I have it too. I went in to give him his binky, which normally settles him, but he was sitting up and stood up when he saw me.

I picked him up and he pointed back at his crib. I gave him his binky, but he pointed to his crib again. He wanted his Pooh Bear, but in the darkness couldn't distinguish it from his other animals in the crib. As soon as I handed it to him he nestled up against my shoulder. Then I rocked him back to sleep.

He'll need it. Tomorrow is a big day. He gets to meet the Big Man in Red.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 16, 2011 ~ Not A Fan Of Socks

Billy is not a fan of socks. Nope. Doesn't want them.

I put them on his feet this morning. He ripped them off. I put them back on. He ripped them right off again. He went to bed last night with socks on. I woke him this morning and he had both socks in his hand. When I came home from work late tonight the remnants of Billy's dislike were littered on the kitchen floor. Sockless baby. That's my Billy.

He had a quiet day today, most of which I missed. He was sleepy so I had to wake him and we were late to daycare. I worked until after his bedtime. All I can say is, he had a mostly sockless day.

Billy, president of the sockless club.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011 ~ Peanuts? No One Said Anything About Peanuts!

Well, I guess Billy isn't allergic to peanuts. We haven't been able to find a good time to food test him on peanuts, being a major allergy. But Daddy handed him a peanut granola bar without thinking this morning. The good news is that there was no reaction.

Billy did not want to go to school this morning. Nope. Tree. I would cart him back into the den to try and get his socks, shoes and coat on and he would run at light speed back to the tree. His favorite ornament? Scooby-Doo. I don't think he's ever seen any Scooby, but it's a clear winner.

Today was another crusty eye day. So bad now that he woke up with both eyes sealed shut. It took two parents to wrestle and ornery toddler into getting the yuckis cleaned up. He looked much better after a shower. I hope this illness cures up soon so his poor little nose and eyes can clear up and leave him alone;. I know he's miserable.

Daddy tells me he's so miserable that he cried all afternoon and refused to eat his dinner. Of course, the crying may have been from his getting in trouble with Daddy and being less than happy about getting punished. Also, he cries and throws food when he's being picky about his meal, which may have been the case here. But I don't know, because I had to work again.

So, another day goes by without Billy. Maybe tomorrow I'll get home in time to see him before bed.

December 14, 2011 ~ A Day Without Billy

First, Billy would like to wish his Godmother a very happy birthday!

We're filming again at work and that means that I have to work late. I had thought I would be home before Billy's bedtime, but after three fire drills on set (not literal ones) It was after ten before I was able to leave. I am in charge of the heroes (the product that will appear on camera, especially in close-ups). Therefore, I have to be on hand to make sure the heroes are ready for the set and adjust based on what the talent will do with the hero.

It's always hard for me when I can't see my son. Especially, because he's sick and I know he's missing his Mommy. There's no substitute for Mommy to a little child, even Daddy can't always cut it. I tried really hard to be home by bedtime so I could at least rock him to sleep. But, unfortunately, work got in the way and might again for the next three days.

 There's a song by Abba and the lyrics say "I let precious time go by" talking about her daughter when young. I know how she feels.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011 ~ Eye Boogies

It's insult to injury today. On top of still being sick with that nasty disease that drove us to the ER last week, now he has a clogged tear duct. The result is a crusty, boogie eye that looks like Pink Eye, only the whites of the eye remain pink and he's not contagious. On top of the crusties, it itches him badly, so he's rubbing it and making the skin around his eye very pink and raw.

I decided to try to make a better dinner tonight than he normally gets. However, not having made it recently, I underestimated the amount of time it would take me to make it. I also underestimated how cranky and impatient my toddler could be. By 15 minutes into the dinner process he had fully immersed himself in the dog water, despite the war zone of toys on the kitchen floor. He cried, stamped his feet and carried on to try to get my attention with his bad behavior. The thing is, I had raw chicken, so I wasn't about to pick him up with raw chicken cooties all over my hands.

By the time I finished cooking, he was so tired that he didn't want to eat. So off to bed with no complaints, earlier than his actual bedtime.

December 12, 2011 ~ Me and My Best Friend

This morning Billy didn't want to get ready for school.

Me: Don't you want to go to school? You have lots of friends at school. Who's your best friend? Is O... your best friend?

Billy: Noooooooooooooooooh.

Me: Is V... your best friend?

Billy: Nooh.

Me: Who's your best friend?

Billy: Mommy!

When I came to pick him up from daycare he was in the gym playing with the older kids. I always look through the window in the gym to see if he's there before I head to his classroom, since the gym is closer to the door. He saw me in the window looking in. By the time I disappeared out of his view and came up to the doors he had run across the gym crying.

We got home it was Mommy or bust. I was trying to cook dinner and he pushed against my legs, kicking and screaming and trying to bite. All he wanted was up. Of course, it's impossible to dice or chop or open cans with a baby in your arms trying to steal your cooking tool du jour. It was like that all afternoon. Bubbly in the arms and a fussing mess when put down. I am trying to teach him that this behavior will not be rewarded with coddling.

It wasn't all tears today. He played with Buddy (and beamed him hard across the head, poor old dog). And he danced like mad to the Bell Box. The Bell Box is a present Grandpop gave me a few years back, I think with the intentions of entertaining my future offspring. It plays a selection of Christmas tunes and old time classics with the sound of an old circus organ. It has brass bells that ring in time to the music, much like a bell choir. Billy has already figured out how to change the songs and keeps coming back to "Skater's Waltz". He is much more entranced by the old timey music than by the Christmas songs, but I think it has something to do with the rythyms and more intricate harmonies.

I will leave you with a story from this weekend that I forgot to share out of exhaustion and teething:

I was getting ready to take Billy into the shower with me to help clear his clogged nose. I undressed him first down to his birthday suit. He put both hands up against the shower door and leaned against it, facing it (think...spread em!). All of a sudden, a little stream of pee came pouring down, hitting the lip of the shower and pooling on the floor. I could see it in slow motion, "oh, My, GOD". It was plain across his face, wide-eyed, horror-struck. "I'm leaking!" I could see him thinking. He looked at me in panic. Then, almost as soon as it started, it stopped. In a flash he ran behind me, peeking out from behind my legs at the little puddle and holding on to me with a death grip. He looked up at me. "Am I going to be ok?" he was thinking. I wiped it up in a snap and then picked him up and gave him a big hug. "Next time in the toilet, honey."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11, 2011 ~ Teething. Keeping Parents Awake Since 1949 (bc!)

I have to make this brief, since Billy is crying in his crib. I can't get him to settle for more than a few minutes- just long enough to boot up my computer- before he starts crying again.

He noticed me at the coffee table with my feet propped up, which I shouldn't do, but I live here, dammit. So, he was sitting on the old little stool that I found yesterday. It's very tiny, less than a foot square and fairly sturdy. I pulled it up to the coffee table and served him his snack there. He ate and then propped his feet up like Mommy. The funny thing is that the stool is lower than the coffee table. He has to hold on so as to not fall over.

We were watching football today with Grandpop and Uncle Alex. When we all cheered Billy put both arms straight in the air and said "Toe Doe!" Actually, it was only a very good play, but hey, he's getting it. Let's hope the Ravens have a lot of Toe Does next week.

Ok, he's screaming now. Off to sooth,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011 ~ More Moo Please!

Today was a very busy day for us.

Last night after Billy went to bed, I broke down the makeshift desk in the den and assembled Daddy's old desk. It looks so much better. Unfortunately, now I can't get the big computer to work, having moved it, so I can't add any photos today. I don't understand how unplugging and replugging in the computer causes mass chaos, but with Daddy's computers, it always does. Never have these issues with my own computers.

Well, anyway, Billy spent the morning exploring the new desk and the increased floor space.

During naptime I went over to Grandma's to pick up her tree to borrow for the season (Grandma was sitting). Daddy was supposed to get us a real tree, but being too busy with work, I opted to make things easier on him and set up the artificial one. While he was sleeping I got the whole tree assembled. When he woke up he explored the bare tree.

After checking out the tree I showed him some other decorations. we have a Hallmark singing Christmas dog. He thought it was intriguing and terrifying. He hid behind me and peeked around to watch it dance. Honestly, those things are a little scary, in a fluffy kind of way.

I also noticed that the heat wasn't working in the house, so I called a repairman that works with my family. We had to hang out in the den where we have a radiator and separate heating unit to be warm, especially since Billy is still technically sick. The main house didn't get too cold thanks to the sunny day, but it was a bit chilly. The repairman came during the time that we were supposed to be at a Christmas party, but it's better to have heat. It turned out to be a small clogged tube causing the problem. All fixed.

Before bed I taught Billy "moo", meaning "milk". He keeps trying to say milk, but it comes out either as "ick" or "kah". So I thought him "moo" and he got it on the first try. Now he knows when he wants milk all he has to do is ask for "moo" and Mommy will get it for him.

He's also getting a canine tooth, so he's a grumpy gus. Occasionally, I hear him whimper in his crib. Those teethies must really hurt.

After he went to bed I decorated the interior of the house for Christmas. Outside will be tomorrow. I'm just glad it's done. He'll get to explore all of the non-breakable ornaments in the morning. I still have to clean up all of the boxes, so I'm off to go put them back in their closet. Until tomorrow!

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011 ~ First Soup

When I picked Billy up from daycare today he didn't immediately run to me like he usually does. In fact, he was avoiding the the teachers too. Why? He had swiped some stickers from the older kids and was kidding them for a time to eat them when no one was looking. Well, adults are sneaky and we got the stickers away from him, silly boy.

Billy and I had a big argument today. The TV is the problem. He wants to touch it, bang on it, shake it, etc. There are Billy hand prints all over the screen. This is an ongoing problem. I can't just turn off the TV- he continues to attack it and, besides, he has to learn to listen to Mommy. I had to bum smack again today. Fortunately, that worked this time, after multiple failures with "no!" and hand smacks and distracting him. I would prefer not to use a bum smack and I'm a total No Go on true full-out spanking... yuck! At least the bum smack worked. He let out a fake cry (because there's no way a light rap through a diaper hurts more than feelings) and then went to get his school bus and push it around. Ugh.

For dinner he got to try homemade soup- the first soup he has ever had. I sent it with him to daycare and he refused to eat it, but I got him to eat it at home. True, I added sour cream and pepper as a garnish to help it go down. That's how I like it, and he liked it too. Clearly, soup is not his favorite, but it's a new texture and flavor to him and it doesn't contain sugar, so I wasn't expecting fireworks to go off on the first try. He hated peas for a long time and loves them now. Same with corn. The fact that he ate half of his bowl suggests I can get him to eat more tomorrow without fuss.

After dinner he played tug-of-war with Buddy. The two of them are becoming better friends. Buddy knows that Billy is always willing to share his snacks, much to Mommy's chagrin. And Billy has learned how to encourage Buddy to play, so they play together now. They played for 20 minutes with Buddy's snake. Billy would grab the tail and run away and Buddy would grab the other end and pull. Buddy is sweet too. He doesn't pull very hard so that Billy has a chance to hold on. When I play with him Buddy puts his whole weight into it and I can barely hang on. So I know Buddy is looking out for my Lil Man. That's pretty cool.

Billy also got to learn about the heater today. Blown air is a great toy.

And I'll leave you with this picture from this morning. I'm so proud.

December 8, 2011 ~ Santa Left Me a Big Present!

It has a Billy inside!

Billy went back to daycare today. He is still sick, but not so sick to stay home. He has a bad cough and in the morning some light wheezing. My biggest concern with going back to daycare is exposing the other kids to this illness. But apparently it will be in his system for another two weeks, and I just don't have two weeks of vacation time laying around to stay home with him.

When he got home he was tired but wanted to get into everything.

Here he is in his little fort that he made between boxes and furniture that are still in the process of being moved in. (Aka- hey Daddy, get on this stuff!)

Billy and I had a big fight over the television. I didn't turn it on until after 7 to watch the national news, but Billy was very interested in it regardless of the programming. We're trying to keep him from toughing the TV. It's large and not attached to the wall. The bigger he gets, the harder he can smack it. He's either going to crack the screen (like when he took a swing at it today with a plastic wrench) or he's going to topple the whole thing onto himself (like today when he shook it). I tried "no!" He thinks "no" is funny. I tried the hand slap. No Go. I tried directing him towards his toys. No Go. He just kept touching the TV. Time out? Tried to bite me for that one. Finally, I resorted to the bum slap. I'm not for spanking. But sometimes you have to let them know who's boss. There's spanking- bare bum, over the knee, counting one two three. Then there's the bum slap- one to three slaps to the clothed and diapered bum right at the scene of the crime. He's got to learn to listen somehow and I'm at my wits end trying to get him to stay out of things.

The footstool cube was a big hit today. Hiding behind it, hiding in it, and here's Billy...

Falling asleep on its lid.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 7, 2011 ~ Back To Normal

This morning when Billy got up he was still lightly wheezing, so I treated him with the inhaler.

He was feeling much better, so, of course, he wanted to get into everything. Anything he could find that he shouldn't touch he went after. At one point he picked up something he wasn't allowed to touch, and without prompting from me started giggling and chanting "bad, bad, bad".

He really wanted me to dance with him in my arms today. I would be sitting on the floor and he would come over and grab my sweater on the shoulder, pulling upwards. I would stand up then, as indicated and he would ask to be picked up, which I would do. Then he would start swaying back and forth- his way of telling me to start dancing.

Unfortunately, I am whipped and not in the mood to dance. It's a combination of things. One, staying up and watching him at night. Two, I'm sick too. I probably have the same thing he does, only with fully developed lungs, the virus isn't dangerous, just annoying. Three, I have been working full days at home. Working from home with a toddler, though, isn't just putting in a full day. I have to fit my work in around his sleep schedule. If he's up, he won't let me work.

However, when the Sugar Plum Fairy song came on itunes I did start dancing around, having played the part before. He point and started whining. "You're dancing without me, how dare you!" he was trying to say with "eh, eh, eh".

When it came time for his nap it was still too early to give him his medication. I debated keeping him up, but I want to get him back on schedule and he's so tired. I opted just to put him to bed. He was not interested and cried for an hour off and on with me trying to cajole him into sleeping. I could have given him the inhaler then, but it upsets him a lot, which is the opposite effect of trying to calm him into napping. It worked out, though. When he got up from his nap he wasn't wheezing, so he didn't need it, anyway.

At dinner I gave him chicken pot pie, which he had yesterday and loved. I actually made it Monday night (from a box), but the trip to the hospital got in the way of dinner. He wasn't really interested in dinner. When I wouldn't give him what he wanted (sugar), he threw a fit. He threw the china plate on the floor, spilling everything. Buddy was very glad to get to eat all of Billy's dinner. Luckily, the plate didn't break. Regardless, Billy knows not to throw things on the floor, so I whisked him off to his crib sans binky for a 3 minute punishment. I don't want him to associate the crib with punishment, since then he won't want to go to sleep, but I haven't come up with a better option yet for the really bad behavior. Normally, he gets a light rap on the hand for trying to touch something he knows he shouldn't, and he gets a 10 second sit down punishment, where I hold him in a sitting position on the floor. The latter is usually more effective, since it removes him from the scene of the crime. I have a designated punishment sitting location.

Right now he is crying off and on in his crib- teething. Poor guy. Over one thing and on to the next.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 6, 2011 ~ In Photos ~ Comment with your captions!

Look, Mom, it glows! Like a raver he was mesmerized by the pen for over twenty minutes.

Uh, oh. Driving (remotely) while on a cell phone!

I guess I need to teach him about prints and stripes, because that purse def doesn't match his outfit!

Who needs a binky when you can have a wooden spoon? 

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December 6, 2011 ~ A Much Quieter Day

Because of the breathing issues, I spent the night on the floor in Billy's room beside the crib. I am a light sleeper, so even the congested sounds of his wheezing will wake me up (this is likely why I am ALWAYS tired.) Thanks to the treatment at the hospital, though, he was breathing well.

In the early morning before the sun was up he woke up and discovered I was in his room. The sound of him standing up woke me up. He looked at me and then threw his binky at me. Then he took the binky in his other hand and threw that at me too. I handed both back and told him to go back to sleep. Again, he threw both binkies at me. This process repeated several times until he became frustrated and threw a stuffed cat at me. Apparently, he didn't want me in his room while he was sleeping. I gathered up my stuff and left and he laid right down and went back to sleep.

He didn't get up until 11, and Daddy and I both decided that letting him sleep in was better than keeping him on schedule. For one, he came home way past his bedtime yesterday, thanks to our little ER adventure.

When he got up finally his appetite had come back. He ate two eggs, half a waffle and some cheerios. Whatever it takes to keep him fed.

Later, Daddy was playing around with Billy and a back scratcher. To be funny, Daddy jokingly used it to scratch some unmentionable parts to make me laugh. Then he handed Billy the back scratcher. Billy chased Daddy around the house trying to scratch those same unmentionables until he managed to whack Daddy right where it counts. I don't think that joke will be repeated.

Well, earlier Billy's breathing sounded really good. Now that he's sleeping he's wheezing again, even with the inhaler. We're monitoring him closely and will administer another dose as soon as we can to see if it has any effect. If it doesn't, well, let's hope that it does so we don't have to go out in the dark and ran tonight.

Looks like another night of being pelted by binkies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 5, 2011 ~ A Trip to the Hospital

This morning began with a trip to see the pediatrician- well, the nurse practitioner since the doctor was not available in the morning. Billy was very clearly having breathing difficulties and was not a happy camper. Most notably is a condition called tugging. This is wear the infant is breathing so hard that the skin is tugged through the ribs. I noticed it when this all started and knew this was no cold.

She diagnosed him with brochiolitis.

According to Wikipedia:

Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs. It usually occurs in children less than two years of age and presents with coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. This inflammation is usually caused by respiratory syncytial virus[1]. Treatment is typically supportive[2] but may involve the use of nebulized epinephrine or hypertonic saline.

It is common among infants, only treatable with supportive medicines and in some cases fatal.

They used a nebulizer on him at the doctor's office and that opened up his airways and made his breathing easier. They sent us home with an inhaler containing the same medicine.

After treatment he was a different baby- running everywhere and getting into everything. Fortunately, being able to breath meant he could sleep, so off to nap he went.

Four hours after the original treatment we had to treat him again at home. I had Daddy do it since he has an inhaler for himself. Seems logical to have someone that knows the device use it, right? Again, immediate improvement right after the treatment.

Then Daddy went off to class.

Two hours after treatment he keeled over wheezing and screaming. Per doctor's orders I was to call if the medicine wore off sooner than 4 hours. His regular doctor was on call and recommended a trip to the ER for pulse and to test for RSV.

Here is Billy inbetween tests in the peds ward of the ER. They gave him a gown with koalas flying spaceships. I'm not sure why koalas would want to fly spaceships...

They reconfirmed the original diagnosis and determined that his oxygen levels were ok enough for us to go home. Apparently, the wheezing was our fault, not that we knew it at the time.

Daddy administered the inhaler dosage the same way he administers his own. However, the inhaler with the pediatric chamber is administered another way and, as it turns out, he got half or less than the dose he should have received. I had the nurse in the ER show me how to administer it so that Billy won't have to suffer with the tugging and wheezing.

We are still waiting on some test results, but Billy gets to sleep in his own bed tonight. I am off to his room to keep watch over him tonight.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the worst day of the disease, so let's hope the disease isn't mean to Billy and won't make him suffer more.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011 ~ A #1 Most Miserable Baby

Misery, thy name is Billy.

Billy is teething and has been having trouble sleeping lately. The binky always fixes everything, though. When he wakes up in pain we just pop the binky back in and he falls right back asleep.

Last night it became acutely clear that more than a tooth was at work.

Before midnight he had already woken up three times crying for the binky. But after midnight was a whole different story. He woke up screaming in pain. The binky was not enough to settle him. In fact, he still had the binky in his mouth. He screamed even through trying to rock him to sleep. Finally, exhaustion took over and he went back to sleep.

A half hour later the whole process repeated. Only this time add in dry-retching and difficulty breathing. OMG. I was so afraid. But I got him to settle back down and relax (which relaxed the breathing) and go back to sleep.

A half hour later it repeated. I made Daddy go take care of that round.

Then again. And again, Daddy and I taking turns soothing him.

By 4am I was so exhausted and worried that I gave up trying to sleep. He woke up again screaming. So I rocked him back to sleep and held him in my arms until 7, when I switched off with Daddy. Daddy then held him until 10am in the rocking chair. Then Daddy took him into the steaming shower to try and open up his nasal passages.

I got up at 10:30am. Billy was alternating from looking miserable to screaming. He wanted to be held, but he couldn't get comfortable and would start crying. If it hadn't been Sunday he would have gone straight to the doctor (open on Saturdays too). But being Sunday, it was emergent care or stay home. We stayed home. He was so tired and miserable. I just sat on the floor with him and rubbed his back, trying to interest him in toys. I also had Nemo on to keep him occupied.

By noon it was clear that he needed to sleep. Only, he was afraid to go to sleep. He would lay his head down, then startle and start to cry. I relented and danced him to sleep. Nothing like classic 70s rock to put you out. (I love classic rock- Billy can fall asleep to the 1812 Overture, so that's not a comment about the music.) In fact, concerned that he wouldn't sleep, I moved my ipod and docking station into his room and put on my classical playlist for him. He actually did sleep to the 1812 Overture.

I had to run out for some errands so once he was sound asleep I headed out to get everything done as fast as I could. He woke up after about 1.5 hours, miserable again. But I wasn't able to come home yet.
When I did make it back, 1.5 hours after he woke up, this is what I fouund:

Billy, sound asleep on the carpet in front of the TV. He slept there, with the football game on, for more than two hours. A phone call from Grandpop woke him up. I would like to note that Billy has NEVER fallen asleep on the floor before.

He was miserable when he woke up and only wanted Mommy. So I held him for awhile. He has started to love football, so he got in to watching the rest of the game and stealing oreos from Daddy. Then Daddy and I played football with him and his inflatable ball. That lifted his spirits some.

I gave him a quick dinner of yogurt and fruit, a bath to clear his lungs and then put him to bed. Again, I had to dance him to sleep. We did rock for awhile and look up at the planets projection on the ceiling. Finally, he relaxed enough to go to sleep. He's in there now, sleeping to classical music to keep him calm. I heard him wake up already, but he put himself back to sleep, and I'm betting it's the music keeping him calm.

In a terrible stroke of luck, Daddy has gotten sick too. Daddy never gets sick.

Tomorrow, I hope thy name is Relief.

December 3, 2011 ~ Fish, Trains and a Big Bump

Thanks to the teething Billy had me up before 8am today. Now, I know other babies get up earlier, but he normally gets up at 8:30, so it's early for him. When I have insomnia, it's really early for me.

By 9am he was bored with his toys and I had chased him from one end of the house to the other more than ten times. He wouldn't stay still long enough for me to make coffee. I tried erecting the baby gate. First he ripped it down. Then I wedged it in tighter, but had to go higher with it for a better fit (the walls aren't straight). So, he figured out how to crawl under it. By 9:30 I corralled him into his bedroom- the only baby-safe room in the house with doors and without sleeping people. Containment is key when lil man has boundless energy and I'm whipped.

Unfortunately, moving furniture around woke him up early from his nap. Always a recipe for crankypants. How to solve the crankies? Food.

Daddy was making fish sticks for himself for lunch so we decided to let Billy try his first fish.

He thought it was very tasty. I know in the photo he looks kind of concerned, but he is merely inspecting the properties of this strange new food. Fish is a success.And Mommy is excited that so far no allergic reaction to fish, yay! (I am always nervous about his health when exposing him to major allergens, like peanuts and soy, etc.)

After lunch Grandma and I took Billy to Kenilworth to see the trains.

If you're not familiar with Kenilworth, every Christmas the mall sets up a huge train garden around the central fountain. It's a big draw for the kiddies. So is Santa, but he was on his break while we were there. Probably out feeding the reindeer or getting some milk and cookies. We weren't there to see him yet, anyway. Have to find a Christmas outfit first.

When we got home we went outside to play. Billy was trying to head for the street, so I was blocking him with my legs from going near traffic. I always do this. He's fascinated with attempting to run to the end of our street and see the cars on the cross street. Mommy is not excited by this. Normally, he grabs my legs and tries to side step me, which never works. Today, however, he decided to run headlong into me. I had no warning, since he was standing still right in front of me and then ran at me full speed to get me out of his path. The result? He hit me, stumbled backwards, tripped over his own feet and belly-flopped onto the pavement. I nearly caught him from falling, but it happened just a split second faster than my reaction. He cried for just a minute and then wanted down to go play again. Of course, he immediately decided to try running down the street again. Ok, time to go in.

After a few minutes playing inside I noticed his face was turning red and splotchy. Because it's so cold outside it must have kept the redness from developing until we came into the warmth. He had a red spot on his forehead, tip of his nose, and all across his face like a beard. I didn't think the fall look that bad when it happened. I tried to ice it but he wanted none of it. He was totally unphased by it. Must look worse than it really was. After awhile the redness faded except for on the forehead.

You can see the little red mark in this picture of laundry basket rides.

Just before bed (and just before the above photo) I had to go on the Great Binky Hunt. We were down to the one cheapie back-up. I crawled under the crib to try and find any that had fallen behind. They get lost under the dust ruffle and behind a box under the crib. All of a sudden Billy climb on top of me, grabs my shoulders and starts bouncing like he were on a pony ride. Mommy doesn't do pony rides, but it was so funny that I called for Daddy through the monitor. Daddy had to finish laughing before letting Billy get a Daddy pony ride (with Mommy following close behind to prevent any spills). Definitely don't need any more head bumps today.

It's midnight and he's been up three times already with teething pain. Poor guy. Hope tomorrow that tooth finally gets here and leaves him alone.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 2, 2011 ~ Under the Moon

Today really began yesterday. I didn't get to see Billy yesterday, having worked late on a project that had to go out this morning. Often, like on Tuesday, I can leave projects in the capable hands of my coworkers, but on this project I took point and had to stay.

When I got home everyone was asleep. But soon enough, as I was getting ready for bed, crying was coming through the monitor. I had to go in and console Billy, rock him back to sleep. An hour later, I had to repeat the process. Then again, at 4am, I had to get up and rock him back to sleep. He was so tired that he pushed me away when I tried to kiss him goodnight again. He either wanted to be in my arms or in the crib, but no kisses.

It was nice to see him in the middle of the night, but I don't like that it's because he's in pain.

It's a bottom molar. And it's hell for us all.

He doesn't want to eat because it hurts. Even french fries weren't very appealing. I gave him frozen raspberries (partially thawed and coated in sugar) to help ease the pain. Since he's on antibiotics for his ears right now I don't want to give him other medicines, especially herbal remedies.

But when Daddy picked him up from daycare he was in a better mood getting to go outside. He looked up, pointed and said "moon!". Then he pointed to the other side of the sky and said something unintelligible. Planet, that's what he was trying to tell Daddy. I have been teaching him the difference between the moon, the stars and the planet currently in the night sky. He knows the words and loves to look at them all. His nightlight is a projection of the planets. I name each one for him and he is starting to get it. It's pretty cool.

Unfortunately, he has already woken up tonight in pain and had to be soothed back to sleep. I suspect it will be a long night for all of us.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011 ~ An Ode to Cock and Caca (It's not what you think!)

There comes a point in every toddler's life when pronouncing simple, common words produces hilarious and often unintended results. Simple English words are transformed by Toddlerish into inappropriate meanings. The toddler, of course, remains completely unaware that what they are trying to say has become something entirely different.

Billy has reached this phase in learning to speak.

I remember when a dear friend of Billy's was learning to talk. Unable to pronounce his R's, he tried to say the word "fork". It was cute, disturbing and hilarious to hear him try to ask for an eating utensil and say something one never expects to hear out of the mouth of a babe.

Yesterday, Billy said to me "Mom, caca. Caca!" I'm thinking to myself, "did my son seriously just say that?" He walked around continuing to "caca, caca!" until, after about a half hour he found caca. He held up his hand to show me an animal cracker. "Caca, Mom." Yep.

Then in the bath he pointed and said, "cock!" Again, dirty word, innocent meaning. He was pointing to his rubber duckie. "Cock, cock!" That is, apparently, what the duck says. Last week the duck said, "ack, ack!" He's clearly trying to get the QU sound, with very funny results.

So here's the thing. What do you do with a kid that's saying something dirty but meaning something innocent? He's so proud of himself for knowing words and gets the sounds close to how Mommy and Daddy pronounce them. I just smile and squelch the laughs that are begging to come out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 ~ Rewind

On this date one year ago Billy weighed less than 12 lbs.

He was only sleeping 4-5 hours at night and only drinking milk for food. His big accomplishment was rolling over from stomach to back. He did get to go on a tall ship and vote with Mommy. Every Friday we went to Mommy and Me and that's where we met a good friend of Billy's.

Now he is running everywhere and talking.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 ~ Hello Yeyow

Today Billy pointed at the color yellow on a toy and said "yeyow!" I tried him with the other colors- no success yet, but yellow seems to be one of his favorite colors anyway, so I'm not surprised that it's his first color to know the name of.

This morning I woke up to the sound of the crib mobile. Now, that little wind up mobile lasts for only 2 minutes (Ok, why two minutes? Seriously? It needs to be on for 20 minutes!). Then...the sound of giggles. Ok, he's up to something. I found the mobile pulled down sideways, still attached to the crib. Hey, at least it kept him occupied. How he managed to turn the crank and get it to spin and sing I'll never know.

Tickle time! Billy wanted to Tackle and Tickle all afternoon. Mommy always covers him in kisses when he wants to Tackle and Tickle. He let out some of the best laughs and giggled all afternoon. He got piggyback rides (his new favorite) and the Mommy Monster came for a visit.

Then it was bedtime. Only, Billy decided it was time to practice death-defying feats on the high wire (aka the rolled up rug sitting in our front hall). We're still not unpacked from the move and mess is everywhere, although contained. I'm going through it but I'm also working so there's not too much time to work on stuff. Meanwhile, the very heavy large rug that will go in our bedroom is sitting in Billy's path. It's an awesome toy. It will be more awesome in the bedroom where it belongs. Anyway, Billy refused to go to bed, but instead kept running away and giggling. Yup, he stretched out bedtime by a half hour. Fortunately, he didn't fight me at all about getting in the crib- he was too tired!

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 ~ The Polite Thief

According to daycare Billy has a new habit. He walks up to another child, rips a toy out of their hands and then runs off, saying "tan-oo!" That's right, he's polite enough to thank the child while making them cry. I'm not worried. He's very good at sharing and I have seen the other kids at daycare rip toys out of Billy's hands. But, hey, he knows how to say "tan-oo!"

I don't have much to report today because Billy came home and took a nap, getting up only to eat dinner. He was so tired that he didn't want to play, he just wanted to lay in my lap and hold a toy. He fell asleep immediately.

When I got him up for dinner I did try to give him his medicine. Do you know what he said? "I don lie dat" and shook his head no. He didn't want to take it and I had to struggle with him to take it. I finally squirted it into his mouth. He had big puffy cheeks and a look of death on his face. He swallowed it down, but he was not happy about it.

If you're feeling confused that Billy went from a few words last week to phrases today, don't be confused. It has actually happened that way and I haven't skipped over him learning to speak. Last week it was Mamma and Daddy. Today, thank you and I don't like that. Yup, just that fast.

Good night,
sleep tight,
don't let the bed bugs bite,
see you in morning's light.

November 27, 2011 ~ Moving Day

We moved today so I'm going to make this super short. We're still living in the same place, but we had to move all of our stuff in today. We're not done but calling quits tonight.

Anyway, Billy decided to growl today. When I play tug'o'war with Buddy I say "grr" to let him know that we are playing that game and not fetch. Buddy "grrs" back. It's not a fierce growl- just a play growl. So, Billy picked up a Buddy toy, walked over to Buddy and started "arrrrrrrrrrg". Maybe it's a pirate growl.

Billy also learned today what a fish says: glub, glub. He repeated it back to me and thought it was so funny that he continued to repeat it an laugh all day. He's very proud of knowing what a fish says.

So, the total list of words we know Billy has in his vocabulary are: Momma, Daddy, plane, cack cack (quack), glub glub, banana and a host of other words he parrots but doesn't know the meaning of.

Ok, signing off out of sheer exhaustion.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011 ~ I'm Not GrumpyPants... I Have No Pants!

This morning started with a trip to the doctor. I knew Wednesday night that Billy's ear infection wasn't gone. I could just tell. The office was closed Thursday and Friday so I either had to wait until today or take him to emergent care or the ER. I opted to wait- it's an ear infection and I'd rather not have my baby in a hospital with sick people.

Unfortunately, there was a back up at the doctor's office (apparently, an overload of ear infections) so we had to wait for an hour to be seen, even with an appointment. Let me tell you, hanging out with a one year old in a waiting room is not a good time. He was surrounded by other little boys, though. Of course, all of the other Moms with boys Billy's age appear to be pregnant. I can't even imagine showing and having a baby Billy's age. With the exhaustion that comes with pregnancy I don't know how they chase after toddlers.

Anyway, the doctor confirmed that the ear is still infected. On to Round 2 antibiotics.

By the time we got through with the doctor Billy was exhausted and went straight to his nap. Of course, the ear is really bothering him so he didn't sleep very long. This meant that he was GrumpyPants all afternoon.

Grandma stopped by for a little and we had some yogurt and he played well enough while she was here. He showed her some of his dance moves and tried to get her to play with Evil Airplane.

After she left he went downhill with the mood. Every little thing made him cry. He wanted to sit in my lap or lay in it and have me sing to him. If I got up, to say- let the dog in- he would cry. I tried to get him to nap again, but he pitched a fit in his crib. When he ran out of toys and blankets to toss out of the crib he ripped off his pants and threw them too. Just Grumpy, not GrumpyPants apparently.

But I know why he's so unhappy. It's not the ear. It's not that Daddy wasn't here. Nope. It's a tooth. A painful, bothersome, bottom molar that decided to arrive today. This makes number eleven. It explains all of the unhappiness, the lack of appetite, the trouble sleeping. I have heard that teething is more painful that anything a person will experience in adulthood. Yikes. I would be a GrumpyPants too.

I'm hoping that since the tooth is in and he's gotten some medicine in him for the ear that tomorrow will be a better day for him.

Cousin MoMo

Friday, November 25, 2011

Novermber 25, 2011 ~ Give Me an "M"

I would have posted some pictures from today, but I'm having an issue on the big computer. "M" isn't working. It's hard to write a Mommy blog without an "M". It's even harder to talk about cousin MoMo meeting Billy for the first time if I can't type "M". Cousin oo cae to eet Billy for the first tie today... yeah, no.

Billy has a new phrase that he just started using. Clearly, the progression from "Nein!" is to "oh, nein!" He uses it when he drops something. It's really cute, but I promise I'm not teaching him German. We have been listening to some German opera, but I haven't heard "nein" in the lyrics (not that I have a clue what they are saying). We did watch Raiders of the Lost Ark today, but the German he heard in that movie can't account for using "nein" over the past week.

He also has a new motion that he just started today. You know how you wipe your hands together when you're done with a task? That. Only, he seems to think it's a dance move. He presses the button on a musical toy, starts to wiggle and wipes his hands. It's really funny.

Speaking of dancing... for the first time today Billy danced on command. He loves the music Evil Airplane plays and I had it singing. So, I said, "Billy, can you dance? Can you show Mommy that you can dance?" He started to wiggle and turn around. I also noticed that he's picking up ballet (from me). He tried to do a pirouette today and I saw him trying to point his toes with his arms in Second. So funny. He gets his little toys singing and starts to dance. At one point today he had his arms over his head and was spinning around. Maybe I should sign him up for a ballet class... nah!

This afternoon Billy got to meet my cousin MoMo for the first time. She LOVES babies. I've been trying to get her to meet him since he was born, but she lives out of town and keeps a tight schedule. So, now that he's 14 months old, she finally got to meet him. He was very shy at first, but soon warmed up to all of her all-over-smooches. If only she lived in town I would usurp her for a babysitter. They were fast friends. Billy cried when she left- no really. He waved byebye and after she and her Mom drove away he cried. Poor little guy.

Sign Billy up for the Ravens roster. We have an inflatable football, and since the weather was so nice today, we took it out into the court. I would throw the ball to him. Then he would pick it up, and at my request he would run away from me. I would chase him and "tackle" him, meaning that I would scoop him up in a Mommy embrace with lots of kisses- almost like being tackled! Sometimes I would let him get away and then I would tell him that he scored a touchdown. He thought this was a ton of fun. Billy 14. Mommy 0. Well, I might have let him win...this time. He is only one, after all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011 ~ Gobble, Gobble!

Billy started my day super early. He got me up before my work alarm, which is way too early for a holiday. But, poor fella, he has another ear infection. Back to the doctor when they open up again. Until then, I guess we'll be getting up early.

I needed to get the meal prep under way so I put Daddy in charge of watching Billy. The result of Daddy daycare?

Some how, in the twenty minutes of Daddy care, Billy managed to lose his pants, a sock and be put to work sweeping the floor. But the turkey made it into the oven and Billy was no worse for wear, so I guess it all worked out.

When Billy woke up after his nap Grandpop, Grammy (or Nana- still working on that name) and Alex were here. Billy had a quick bath and then ran around the house buck naked investigating who was here. Fortunately, he realized he was cold, so he let me put clothes on him. 

Turkey Time!

The family came over and we had a nice visit before dinner. Billy was very shy. For the energetic little thing that he is, he was in a very quiet mood. It's a lot to process, with the table all set and extra furniture in the living room and dining room to accommodate the meal and the people, and all of the people. He did start to get a little fussy so we appeased him with crackers. I think by the time dinner was served he had eaten his weight in crackers.

Billy liked everything that he ate and ate plenty of it. He got to try out his silver set, a gift from Grandpop (it was Grandpop's silver). He especially loved the turkey and the cranberry sauce- it is the best part!

By the time we served the pie Billy was rubbing his eyes and falling asleep on his tray. It was a long and tasty day for him. Looking forward to leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2011 ~ What Did the Great Pumpkin Leave Under Your Turkey Tree?

Do you feel like the holidays are confused? Everyone was in the grocery store today buying cartfuls of feasts with Christmas music playing in the background. I still have bowls of Halloween candy floating around, table dressed for Thanksgiving and a baby incessantly playing Christmas carols. Welcome to Hallowthankmas.

Normally I try to avoid stores at all costs the day before and after Thanksgiving, but the need for a birthday cake drove me to the store. So Billy and I were mixed in with all of the last minute holiday cooks trying to pick up a cake. Such is life.

We got in to the box of old baby toys today. When I say old, I mean old to him. They are the smaller toys, the rattles, the teething rings that he used to play with so much before he was mobile. They long ago became boring and I tucked them away. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, so we played the whole afternoon away with the old toys. I wonder if he even remembers them.

For dinner we had mac'n'cheese. He decided that squeezing his hand in the bowl of pasta was much more fun than actually eating it. I'm sure it's got a pretty cool texture. Makes a great mess. What little boy wouldn't want that?

He had another tantrum at Going-To-Bed-Time. I'm wondering if we are starting a new behavior trend- and not one that I want. He screams and calls and if I go in he is standing up in the crib, usually throwing toys and blankets onto the floor. The binky, of course, is the first victim of the tantrum, which only sends him into further screams. He wants me to rock him to sleep until he is so deep asleep that he doesn't notice me put him down. Often that is more than an hour. That's just not going to happen. Every night I rock him for 15 minutes, but I don't want to establish a routine of longer bedtime rituals. That would impact my dinnertime and the short amount of time for chores in the evening. I am contemplating, however, of moving his bedtime to a little later so he is more tired by the time he gets to his crib. Then again, I don't want a tired, cranky baby either. It's a quandary.

Billy and I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and hope your table is plentiful and tasty. Until next time...Go Ravens!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 22, 2011 ~ Not My German Baby

Every parent dreads when their child finally learns the word "no". After that there's no turning back. The most common word you'll hear from your child is "no". Well, Billy has learned "no"... sort of.


Yeah, that's right. My little baby has decided he's German. And his favorite word is "nein!" I have NO idea where he picked that up. I don't speak German. Daddy doesn't speak German. The daycare ladies are from India so I don't think they speak German. My baby isn't German... but apparently he can speak it!

Today was an icky horribly rainy day. For some reason in this town whenever it rains everyone forgets how to drive. It took me an hour and 45 minutes to get from work to daycare. To all the drivers that clogged the highways today- daycare charges for being late. Thanks for costing me money. Thanks for costing me an hour of time I could have spent with my son instead of in my car. Thanks for nothing.

So since an hour of time was lost driving, there was only time for story time an dinner before bed.

After dinner I gave Billy a piece of pumpkin pie. I would post a pic but Daddy is running a work program on the main computer. SO I Will have to describe it. I put the whole piece on his tray. Next thing I know he picks up the whole piece of pie and chomps down right on the center of it. He went for the thicker part of the wedge first. Then he decided to be civilized and put it down and try to use his spoon. After stabbing it a few times to no avail, he went back to picking up the whole piece and devouring fat side first. Nothing was left when he was done. Pie=yum.

At bed time we played with his night light. It is a projector that displays and image of the solar system on the ceiling. He has discovered that if he waves his hand in front of the projector, his shadow appears on the ceiling. He makes shadow puppets with his hands in the light. He thinks this is the coolest thing.

After the night light Billy wanted to cuddle. I tried to do the normal bedtime routine, but he definitely needed some Mommy time. There was a bit of a tantrum, but given that he was good for the rest of the day I relented and rocked him for a long time until he was sleeping in my arms. You know, it's not bad to be loved like that. It's ok with me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 21, 2011 ~ Total Toddler Meltdown

This morning began with Billy throwing his strawberries on the floor. He thinks it's funny to watch Buddy clean up the mess. Mommy and Daddy don't think it's funny, although we do appreciate that Buddy cleans up the toddler food messes around here.

Daddy witnessed the initial event and me verbally punishing Billy followed by a rap on the back of the hand. (We use a light smack to the back of the hand when he is being really bad. It only hurts his feelings.) In defiance Billy picked up more berries and tossed them. No! Then Billy got mad and threw his sippy and tried to toss the entire contents of his tray. Daddy picked up the cup and held it in place so he couldn't throw it. Initiate Total Toddler Meltdown.

You would have thought we removed his hand or something with the screaming that went on, face red, vocal chords reaching epic heights. He wailed for 20 minutes over not being able to throw food on the floor. Even the binky didn't appease him. He had to just calm down on his own. Eventually, he realized he was hungry and decided to eat the strawberries that weren't sacrificed to the dog.

Dinner was a repeat. He wanted to throw baked beans around the kitchen. While I don't mind him making a dinner mess, I'm trying to keep things clean for Thanksgiving. I wouldn't let him hold the beans- he could use a spoon, but no hands. When he tried to use his hands anyway and I took the bowl away... initiate Toddler Meltdown (take two).

And what happened at bedtime? Take Three! Yeah, he threw every animal and blanket out of his crib in a tantrum. Binky two- to his dismay after he realized he wanted that. Luckily, he wore himself out with all that screaming, so it wasn't hard to get him to sleep after that last tantrum.

Let's hope tomorrow brings a happier, better-behaved Billy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 20, 2011 ~ Touchdowns and Baked Beans

Billy has discovered that toys with strings can be pulled behind him. This is new an exciting. He has three pull toys, but his current favorite is a lamb on wheels from my cousin.

Here is Billy pulling his lamb. You might notice the Wii remote on the floor. Billy decided that, since it comes with a string, it must be a pull toy. After a few tries it was not as fun as the lamb, so he pulled the lamb in circles around the Wiimote.

Since it was morning I was drinking my coffee. He watched me carefully as I stirred my mug. He thought this was highly interesting. So he tried to sneak the spoon from me and stir my coffee for me when I wasn't looking. Best way to resolve this situation?

He spent twenty minutes stirring his own mug. Is that an original Care Bears mug you might be asking? Yes, it's from my youth. He loves it. He even put his binky in the mug and carried the mug around with him.

When it came time for lunch he still wanted to have the mug and spoon with him. So, I let him keep them in his hand. The result?

I'm not sure how he managed this, but I eventually had to untangle the spoon and binky for him.

After naptime it was time to watch the Ravens game. Billy had on his purple and so did I. He doesn't freak out anymore when I cheer, which is good. I think he's just learned that Mommy is silly when it comes to football. Daddy isn't a big fan, so he's usually not watching the game. When the Ravens got a touchdown I did the arms up move in celebration. A few moments later the Ravens had the ball again and had a really good play. I clapped and cheered. Billy threw his arms in the air into the "touchdown" pose and looked at me, "now?" It was too cute to tell him there wasn't a score.

After watching some football Billy wanted to go help Daddy.

Billy is helping Daddy rake the leaves, although in the photo it looks like he's directing Daddy to the leaves. Billy got tired of it quick. He fell and rolled a little down the hill. He didn't like that one bit. He didn't cry, but he didn't want to go down the hill anymore.

For dinner Billy got to try a new food. Baked beans! Not only that, but I made baked bean casserole. He was super excited about it and refused to eat anything else he thought it was so good. Lucky for him, there's plenty left over.

After Billy went to bed I was going through an old box and I found something. A little silver cup. A baby cup. The man it belonged to was born in 1855. Unfortunately, his old daughter died young so I guess that's how his cup ended up with my family line. Last summer Billy and I stood on his grave. We were out looking for family records in cemeteries. I don't have a morbid cemetery thing, I just think sometimes the best records are the ones written in stone. I've been working on the family tree. I wonder how this man would feel that a baby cousin born 160 years after him could use his little cup? Maybe someday some distant posterity will find Billy's little silver cup. What will they think?