Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011 ~ Hot Dog!

We started this morning's play with Tangled on in the background. It's amazing how he lights up when the Disney castle is on screen and then when baby Rapunzel appears. I'm not trying to necessarily encourage tv viewing, but I feel sometimes the background noise should be something for him and not the news or Mythbusters or something else that Mommy and Daddy watch. He is definitely intrigued by Rapunzel and giggles and claps whenever she sings. I told Daddy, "Just you wait. He's going to grow up and marry a girl that looks just like Rapunzel".

For lunch I decided to make him a hot dog. I'm lazy, so I cooked our hot dogs in the microwave. When I went to pull them out I picked one up and said, "Ouch! It's hot!" This was more for effect for him to learn about the microwave than me actually hurting myself. But he ran over and grabbed the oven mitt and brought it to me. Last night Daddy showed Billy that the oven mitt helps him pick up very hot food. This is the first time I have seen him positively react to something I said other than a direct command. It's pretty exciting.

This is also the first hot dog he has eaten in it's original form. He's had cut up dogs before, but never on the bun with cheese and ketchup. It was an experience. I held it up to him and he took a timid bite off of the bread. Next he carefully examined the whole thing first with his finger and next with his tongue. Once he decided that it looked okay to eat he began chowing down. Finally, I was able to get him to hold it and eat by himself. He's so proud of himself!

For an afternoon activity we went with Grandma to Valley View Farms to look at pumpkins. It was a lot to take in. He got to see half ton pumpkins, little pumpkins, gourds, corn and all kinds of fall decorations. We even did a hay maze. They also had a haunted tunnel with moving zombies and ghosts and lots of creepy lights. He thinks this stuff is a ton of fun. That's my boy!

(btw parents- totally free)

I noticed through the window some twinkling lights and suspected that while it was Halloween outside, Christmas might have arrived inside. Valley View is where I always go for Christmas decorations. It's an annual tradition to go there to see all of the lights and decorated trees. Well, Christmas is here. (Normally, I hate seeing Christmas stuff out before Thanksgiving, but since the growing season is over and their next big business is Christmas, I don't mind). Billy got to see all of the twirling trees, twinkling lights, shiny ornaments and winter village displays. I asked the clerk and she turned on the antique music box for him to see the thin gold record spin around and hear Edelveiss (sp?) playing. He very intensely studied everything going on- taking it all in. It's a lot to process two holidays in one afternoon.

So we're sitting there eating dinner and all of a sudden this scary looking spider crawls up the high chair and walks right up next to Billy's ear. OMG! I hate spiders. No really- I REALLY hate spiders. I grabbed Billy out of the chair quick as could be, getting tikki masala all over both of us. Then I grabbed a shoe and killed the bastard. Maybe I overreacted a little, but even if it's just a spider, I don't want it on Billy's head or in his ear. That really freaked me out.

Before bed we read a book about farm animals. When it was done, he handed it to me. "Again, Mommy." So I read it again. And he handed it to me again. I read it out loud three times and then we flipped through the pages for another 15 minutes just because it's a cool book. He wanted me to read it out loud again, but I figured three times was plenty.

Then, all of a sudden I became violently ill. I had to throw him in the crib and run to the bathroom. A little later I fixed him a bottle and brought it to him to have before going to sleep. Then I had to rush out again. I passed out on the couch ill with him crying through the monitor. When I woke up later, he was sound asleep.

I hate that he had to cry himself to sleep. Maybe he wasn't tired yet. Maybe he was worried about me. Maybe it was normal bedtime fuss. I don't know. I normally don't let him cry for more than a few minutes. It's upsetting to me, since I was here alone, to have to do that to him. I think I have to give him ice cream tomorrow or something to make up for it.

And of course, my first thought was whether he also has my stomach ailment. Is it something we both ate- the hot dogs? Is it a stomach bug from daycare? He's been fussy the past couple of days, maybe it was his belly and not a tooth. I wish he could tell me if he is feeling sick, but that's a hard concept to grasp. Fingers crossed that it's not the food and that if he has a bug, that it's over. Onwards and upwards!

October 21, 2011 ~ iBilly

Usually, Billy is a very nice, happy toddler. Not when he comes home from daycare. After a day at daycare he is exhausted, picky and wants LOTS of attention. Daddy and I struggle to find new activities to keep him entertained, happy and hopefully learning.

Today I was trying to entertain Billy during dinner. Normally, he loves to eat almost anything you put in front of him. Not today. Today he literally turned his nose up at food he usually likes. It's pretty funny to watch him snub food. He didn't want dinner. He wanted the cookies he could see on the table, the yogurt snacks he could see hidden on the counter and the cheese and crackers Daddy was eating while cooking. I finally gave him a couple of fries just to get him to eat. Those he liked. Dinner... not so much.

The epic struggle over broccoli has come to an end and Billy is victorious. He ate everything I sent with him to daycare (as usual). Except, one container was full of broccoli. Yeah, he picked the broccoli out of the mixed veggies and refused to eat it. Everything else was gone. So long, broccoli. We'll miss you on the table.

After dinner it was off to the races. I tried a pillow pile, musical instruments, airplanes- nothing seemed to catch his attention for long. He just didn't want to play with the toys at hand.

Then Daddy let Billy sit in his lap and help play with the iPad. Here is Billy sliding the images around on the screen. Boy, was this exciting. He was so happy for five minutes. Then he wanted me to find new entertainment for him.

So, with bedtime approaching, we opted for some storytime. We read "Goodnight, Construction Site." He seemed interested and then went to grab another book off of the shelf. I picked up a pop-up book and showed him the pop-ups. He got so excited by it that he ripped the zebra right out of the book. Now that little book will be going to the book doctor (Mommy's work) to get patched up.

He was so tired that he went to bed early- a decision he made himself. I'm sure they keep him busy at daycare. This morning he wanted to show me the big mural he did with his class yesterday. At least he was excited to show me what he was up to and to join his classmates. It makes it easier to leave him when he's not screaming bloody murder when I leave.

And so, early to bed and less to report. I'm sure he's dreaming of tomorrow's adventures, whatever they might be. Until then!

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 20, 2011 ~ We All Make Mistakes

I was reading an article on CNN about the biggest mistakes parents make with infants. This got me thinking about the mistakes I think I've already made, and what their mistakes I made that maybe weren't mistakes at all.

I'm going to skip a few, since I really think those are no brainers- keep your infant in the appropraitely sized car seat, don't give an infant tv time (cuz they don't care) and don't heat bottles in the microwave. Ok, moving on.

Let's talk about their big No No of placing an infant chair on top of a table. Allow me to illustrate:

In this photo Daddy is giving Billy peas for the first time (Febraury 2011). At this point in Billy's young life he was unable to sit up on his own, so he had to be in a reclining seat. Our highchair has a reclinging feature, but he was still too small for it. So, we improvised. Here he is in his bouncy on top of the kitchen table. Apparently this is very dangerous since the child could rock and cause the whole chair to fall off of the table. I'm not sure how the experts intend for parents to get around this... feed on the floor? Buddy would have loved that. This falls into the category of common sense- don't leave your baby unattended while on top of a table.

Next up is to never allow your child to nap in a swing or seated position because of SIDS.

Here's Billy asleep in his swing at about a month old. As you can see he's very comfortable- and proof that some things don't change- he still prefers to have more than one binky. I used to let him nap in his swing (not swinging) and his bouncy. And a few times he spent the night strapped into his swing when he had a cold. Of course, the swing and bouncy were in the den where I could monitor him at all times- again with the common sense.

Next they recommend lots of tummy time but never to sleep, again because of SIDS. When I would put Billy on his tummy for tummy time, he would go to sleep. He LOVES to sleep on his tummy. Now, I never LET him sleep on his tummy and always put him down on his back. But as soon as he could roll over he started sleeping on his tummy. Back is still best, but Billy sleeps on the belly whether Mommy likes it or not.

So this article was prompted by the recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to never use crib bumpers because they are a suffocation hazard. I had already heard this and we removed the bumper when Billy moved from the bassinet to the crib. What they don't mention is how dangerous bumpers are when a Billy is around. He took a nap in a crib with a bumper once and I found him using it as leverage to climb out of the crib. He was halfway out when I walked in to check on him. Leave it to Billy to find new dangers!

I personally think parents need to make their own decisions based on common sense and their specific child. I borrowed a sling from a friend- and she loved using it, but the fit was too big and I felt unfortable putting Billy in it. So, I never used it. I also borrowed a sleep positioner. Billy is so squirmy that he would manage to get his head off of it. After a few tries Daddy and I decided it was too dangerous for Billy to use. Of course, a few months later they were all recalled. I think the trick is to just pay attention. If it seems dangerous, don't use it.

Now for real mistakes. I think possibly one of the big mistakes I've made so far is not establishing a set bedtime routine. He goes to sleep easily at home. The only constant is the bedtime bottle with the lights out. Sometimes a story, sometimes more play after pjs are on- it's different every night. It's going to be very hard to wean that bottle since there are no other activities to the evening routine. Our friends do storytime every night and weaning for them was easy. Their boy also loves to read. I wonder how Billy will be in the next few years.

I'll leave you tonight with a major mistake that I made that I will continue to repeat. One day when Billy was extra fussy I put him in the computer chair and swung it side to side (it's the spinny kind on wheels and has arms too). Well, Billy fell in love with desk chair rides. So, this evening I was pushing and pulling and spinning my little man in the computer chair. His favorite is when I become the pivot point and swing the chair in a wide arc around me. He just LOVES it. Giggles, squeals, hand clapping. If I put him down he asks to get back up. Dangerous? Probably. Tons of fun? Absolutely. Do I keep a tight grip on him? You better believe it. Will I let him ride it again? Of course!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011 ~ It Was A Broccoli Massacre!

Daddy cooked a very tasty dinner for all of us tonight. BBQ chicken with sauteed veggies and baked potatoes. Tonight, unlike most nights, he ate dinner with us. He had already been plied with cheese and apples to keep him happy during the cooking, so he wasn't especially hungry. We skipped the potato- there's no chance that he would eat it. So, he got chicken (off the bone) and mixed veggies.

Well, the first thing he did was go for his juice. When he stuck the straw in his eye instead of his mouth I laughed to keep him from crying. Seeing that I found him amusing, he purposely stuck it back in his eye. Can we say ham? He continued to try to amuse me until Daddy tried to give him broccoli.

Now, we know that he's not the biggest fan. But he's eaten it before. Daddy doctored it up with a little bacon, hoping to convince him to eat it. Who wouldn't want to eat little trees? Billy. He picked up a piece, licked it, and then began ripping to shreds that poor little tree. Kernel by kernel he pulled it apart, depositing the remains onto his tray with glee. When he was done it was on to the next unsuspecting tree. It was a massacre!

Seriously, broccoli goes with cheese or butter. You can steam it, grill it, saute it, stir fry it- and it looks like a tiny tree. Who wouldn't want to eat broccoli? Ok, well, Prez Bush, Sr. won't eat his broccoli. And Billy's namesake wouldn't eat his either. Maybe he's just destined to dislike broccoli.

Beware, little trees! Billy's got your number!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 ~ Elf or Imp???

It's another day of the "Mommies". No matter how many hugs I give him, he just wants more Mommy. Only, he won't sit still, so it's up/down, up/down.

I hear that last night after I left, Billy was tossing stuffed animals out of the Go Crib in frustration and wailing. He didn't go to sleep until after Daddy picked him up and brought him home. It's hard to explain to a one-yr-old why you have to go back to work.

Did you know the sofa is an excellent playground? It has cushions and "throw" pillows and you can climb up the short side and down the tall side. Billy rolled around on the sofa giggling with glee. This counts as Mommy time, since I was sitting there preventing any humpty-dumptys.

He was interested today in rolling things, so I dragged out a bunch of toys with wheels. He pushed things this way and that, and brought a car over to give to me. He wanted to make sure Mommy had a toy to play with too. He wasn't satisfied until I was pushing it around on the floor with him. Then I picked up the remote control to one of his airplanes and started making it move (and sing and flash). That cute little toy put the fear of God into him. He scurried up on to the sofa to hide from it, peeking over the edge to see if it was still there. I showed him how it worked. Eventually, he got down and walked over to it. But when it blinked and talked he ran to hide behind me. Then he snuck around from the other side of me to go up and touch it, and even though it sat there perfectly quiet and still, he startled and ducked behind me again. I had to put it away because he was afraid to play with his other wheely toys while it was sitting there, looking all scary and imposing with its happy eyes and goofy grin.

After bath I got him dressed for bed. In the drawer where I got the clothes out he found a pair of slippers one of Mommy's friends made for him. So, I decided to see if Billy's feet were finally big enough to fit in them.

Almost. One kept falling off. Billy wanted it back on his foot so here he is handing the slipper to me to put back on. The next time it fell off he put the slipper on the floor and stepped on it. He did a little dance on top of it and then looked at me. "Why won't it stick?" I could see him thinking. It reminded me of when Peter Pan was trying to put his shadow back on with soap.

So, now Lil Man has a pair of pointy slippers, and you have to ask yourself... little elf or little imp?!

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17 ~ Say Cheese!

Again, Billy was not in a good mood today. It wasn't the grumps, just a case of "I want Mommy". I'm never sure what's bugging him when these moods come on, but at least once a week he gets a case of the "Mommies".

Clearly, the first thing I did was try the Green Piece of Awesome (his trike), which always seems to cheer him up. Didn't work. It's the first time ever I have seen the GPoA fail. I might have to downgrade it to "Green Piece of Decent" or "Green Piece of Mediocre". It just doesn't have the same ring.

Next, I tried the Pillow Pile. When in doubt, always try the Pillow Pile. I have a bunch of differently shaped pillows and stuffed animals which I throw in a pile on the floor. He loves to dive into Pillow Pile and roll around and try to adjust the pillows and stuffed animals to get the perfect comfort spot. This worked for a few minutes, but like the trike, it let me down. I'm running out of tricks in the bag!

On to the last reserve- cheese. Yup, Billy would jump flips for cheese (if he knew how). Yay for cheese! He ate a quarter of a large block and then went along his merry way playing. We crashed the cymbals, pushed the walker, carried toys around the house. He even sat still for me to read him the book daycare gave him for his birthday. Best line from the book: "What does the Billy Goat say? Maa!" I call my lil man Billy Goat and he's always crying "Maa!"

Well, at bedtime I piled him into the car to head to grandma's so I could go back to work for the evening. He was asleep by the time we got there. Unfortunately, he's such a light sleeper that he woke up while I was getting him out of the car. I spent an hour trying to get him to stop crying, and needing to get to work, left Grandma with a screaming baby. Leaving him at a strange location (he's been to grandma's plenty, but it's not home) was definitely not what he wanted on a day plagued by the "Mommies".

How his day ended I will have to report tomorrow, since I don't know yet. It's safe to say he's sleeping now, but I have to wonder how much of a terror he was to Grandma. That's ok, Daddy to the rescue!

October 16, 2011 ~ Moonwalking with Tin Foil

After a big day yeasterday we spent a "quiet" day at home. It wasn't actually supposed to be so quiet, but Daddy and I made the decision not to take Billy to the Ravens game. We had tickets, but I couldn't imagine Billy sitting in one place for 3 hours with screaming, crazy fans all around him. Nope. No Go.

So today was an at-home day.

This morning he wanted to help me clean, so I put a broom in his hand and invited him sweep. He doesn't have the hang of it yet, but he loves the idea of sweeping and knows enough not to walk through the dirt pile. Boy, was it trouble when I brought out the vacuum cleaner, though. He's seen it, just never on. So I got his attention and explained about the noise BEFORE I turned it on. As soon is it roared to life he started screaming. I turned it off and invited him to come investigate. He came over to look at it. But rather that get excited about the shiny machine with lights and loud sounds, he grabbed Mommy's hand and pulled me away from the evil, scary vacuum.

We went from sweeping to pushing random items around  the room. I noticed that he was starting to pull in stead of push- walking backwards. Then, he repeated the backwards walking when not holding on to anything. This is the first time I have witnessed him walk backwards intentionally. That's my Moonwalking Baby!

Grandma came over for lunch round #2. Billy flat out refused to eat his strawberries, since Grandma had brought cookies for him. What kid wouldn't want cookies for lunch? He was definitely starting on the crabbies when he didn't get them. Hmm.

After Second Nap Billy was starving and the game was on. So I gave Billy some leftover pakoras to nom on (Indian food). He loves Indian food and several other ethnic cuisines. He loves  pakoras; how can you really go wrong with fried veggie balls? He gladly ate them all up and then tried to lick up the crumbs.

When they were gone he discovered that the tin foil they came in is a pretty cool toy. It has expanding and contracting qualities and just giggled with delight over the possibilties. He's got all of these expensive toys, but it's the tin foil he wants to play with. Go figure.

After two naps and a major case of the grumps all day, Billy refused to go to bed. I put him to bed, but he was up again raoming around until Daddy got home. I think he wanted to say goodnight to Daddy. With no excuse for being so tired and such a major case of the unhappies, I'm thinking New Tooth. Boy, are they mean when they come in, but how we love them once we've got them. How else can you eat pakoras?