Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19, 2011 ~ Me and My Shadow

Billy is my shadow. I use this to my advantage. I don't have to worry about where he's running off to, because he's always running to me. If I get up and walk into the kitchen, he gets up and follows right behind me. Sometimes he even cries if I don't beckon him to come with me. I think he must always worry that I'm leaving him, so he is my constant shadow.

Billy was in a Mommy mood today. All he wanted was to be with me. He was quiet and subdued from his normal self. And extra tired. He didn't eat very much and I suspect some teething might be going on, since he would cry every time he bit down on an animal cracker. Could just be a bruise- there's no too yet. We'll see.

He was so tired today that he fell asleep at 10:30 and had no complaint going to sleep. By for he was done in again and I had to put him down. He cried and cried. I'm not a fan of the Cry It Out (CIO) method. I let him cry for 5 minutes and then if he's still keeping up the rant I go check on him, but if he winds down then I wait until he stops before I make sure he fell asleep. I also hate letting him cry himself to sleep, but to keep him on schedule it's sometimes necessary.

So after five minutes of shrieking I went in with a binky and milk in hand. He was still laying down, but his binky was gone. I picked him up, gave him his binky and some milk. Then I went through the old routine I used to use to settle him and get him to sleep so many months ago. I'm glad to know that it still works and that I still have that magic sleep spell when it comes to my son. In less than five minutes I had him snoring in my arms and back in the crib for a good nap. I don't get to coddle him anymore- my toddler never sits still and gets put down awake now. I miss those days of infant Billy sleeping in my arms.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 ~ The Music (lil) Man

When I picked u Billy today at daycare I got to talk to his teachers for awhile. Often they are gone by the time I arrive and he is playing with children of mixed age groups, because he is usually the last to be picked up. They told me a little story about Billy today.

He was playing with a friend in his class that is several months older. The older friend called out, "Billy". Billy turned around and called out the older friend's name. So, he's not just making sounds, he's got names. w00t!

When we got home he was very fussy and just wanted to be held (a clear sign of not feeling well) so I put on some dance music. We danced around the room together with him in my arms. This always settles him. When he was very tiny this was how I would get him to settle on those very fussy days. It still works. After a few songs and some salsa and cha chas he relaxes and puts his head on my shoulder. Often, however, he cries when I stop if I haven't danced long enough with him (according to his preference). When he was ten pounds it was no big deal to dance cha chas around the room for half an hour. Now that he's 25 pounds it's a lot harder to keep up the pace with a toddler in my arms. Beats paying for a gym, right?

Dinner went by without fuss, thanks to a serenade of classic folk songs from the Fridge Farm (Farmer in the Dell, Skip To My Loo, Oh Susanna, etc). He loves those little songs, especially when I sing the lyrics. He bobs his heads, smiles and giggles. It's the good life- good food, good music.

After dinner he wanted to sit and listen to his Elmo Christmas book umpteen times and then moved on to the music from his standing table. He always wants me to sing along, even when I'm not sure of the lyrics or I don't know the song. It's been a VERY long time since I've heard all of these old children's classics- I was a kid when I heard them last!

Just before bed I gave him a sippy with milk while he was still playing. He decided to attempt balancing it on his push cart. He would gently sit it down and slowly release his hands to ensure it would stay. Then he would test how fast he could push and how much he could turn without the sippy falling off. It fell off every time and every time he would put it back on and continue testing the parameters of teetering a sippy on a push cart.

And then it was time for bed. After I got him ready he was playing over by the crib. I turned out the lights, walked over to the rocker and asked, "are you ready for bed". After a moment of silence I suddenly heard the sound of a toddler racing down the dark hall in escape. I'm going to take that as a "no". I had to chase him down and bring him. Then I tried to rock him and give him bottle. He was more interested in climbing over me to get to the floor lamp behind the chair. "Can you give Mommy a hug?" I asked. He continued to climb. "Please?" He arched back and bumped his head to mine and giggled. Yup, that was a Billy hug with trouble in progress.

After he went to bed I bought him some music in iTunes. He needs some new stuff. So I got him the 50 classical pieces apparently everyone should know (I know about half) and some operatic pieces. I'll see how he likes them tomorrow. He loves to always have music playing, so I think this will be a big hit with him.

November 17, 2011 ~ The Animal Cracker Kiss

I was home sick today (thank you daycare plague) so I picked up Billy early from daycare.

Today was another day of his just wanting to sit in my lap. Now when I say sit, I don't mean the sedate cuddling kind of sitting together. Nope. When Billy sits in my lap it's like trying to hold on to a greased monkey that thinks you're hiding a banana. His nickname is Squirmy.

Today we spent some time playing in the formal rooms of the house. We played Fee Fi Fo Fum around the dining room table (where I thump-crawl and in a baritone voice say the rhyme and Billy runs away squealing gleefully). Then he played with my piano music box for awhile. And then he spent a good twenty minutes enjoying sitting in the big boy chair.

He also spent some time watching mommy's video on youtube. This is a submission for a site I belong to. He watched it three times and then I made him stop. That brought tears. Apparently, he likes Mini-Mommy in the screen.

He refused dinner altogether (thank you daycare plague) so he was on the floor while Buddy ate his own dinner. Normally, Billy is confined in the high chair while Buddy eats. Billy decided it was an opportune time to try and pat Buddy on the head. He hovered over the bowl and every time Buddy came to get food Billy would pat him and Buddy would run away. I was on the phone so I was trying to separate them, but I only had one hand. Eventually, Buddy got tired and snapped at Billy (just a warning, no bite). I know Buddy, he won't bite family, but sometimes when he's really upset he'll let you know. I yelled at both of them and punished Buddy. I'm trying to teach Billy not to touch dog bowls, but he just wants to play with his puppy. My concern is that if Billy is around another less friendly dog he won't know to be more cautious, since Buddy won't bite him.

After the dog incident we played in the den. I had to sing Elmo's Christmas book umpteen times (with Squirmy in my lap). Then we played with Evil Airplane for awhile. He's figured out the remote control part to it and isn't afraid of it anymore. Although he cries if it rolls away from him. He really wanted music today so here is a picture of Billy playing with his standing table.

Just for kicks the last photo is from when Billy first got his standing table back in April.

Since he wouldn't eat dinner I gave him animal crackers in case he was hungry. He did eat those. I don't want him to think he can skip dinner for snacks, but I know he's not feeling well and honestly crackers were the only thing I ate today, so I can't blame him. Anyway, he decided to invent the Animal Cracker Kiss. He would half chew an animal cracker, climb in my lap and try to give me an open-mouthed kiss on the chin. (HE only gives open---mouthed kisses and usually on the cheek or nose). It would have been TOTALLY disgusting if he weren't so darn cute. For that reason I'll say it was only mildly disgusting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 ~ Five Firsts

Billy has a new vocal range. It's not a squeal. It's not a scream. It's the Kitten Squeak, a gentle high-pitched coo of happiness. He was very happy today because I heard that noise over a fifty times in the two hour period before bed.

It's funny that he's feeling so happy because both he an I are sick again. Not a cold, but a stomach virus. It's just proof that when you have the energy of a toddler, almost nothing can keep you down. I know he's not feeling well because he only ate half of the food I sent with him to daycare and about half what he would normally eat for dinner. My appetite has been the same. It's rough, since Mommy's don't get (a chance to be) sick.

I have been teaching Billy about magnets, since he has several toy magnets. I show him what they will stick to and what they won't. Today, for the first time, he took his magnets from the fridge and put them on the oven. Then he tested on his own the magnetic properties of the oven glass and the cabinets. He concluded that the oven and fridge were the places to play.

Today in the bath he, for the first time, he squeezed a squirt toy under water and then lifted it out and squirted water everywhere (to a chorus of Kitten Squeaks). Every time I've tried squirt toys with him up to this point he was either been afraid or indifferent. Not only was he thrilled with them today, but he figured out how to use them.

Also in the bath he lined up all of the yellow and orange toys on the tub. He tried every toy in his grasp, but rejected all of the toys except the yellows and oranges. The others were pushed off of the edge to be played with another day. This is the first time he has ever selectively picked colors.

And lastly, for the first time today, I saw him shiver. When he got out of the bath he was shivering. Not that it stopped him. He streaked around, shivering, pointing Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore in his room. A pair of PJs fixed the problem.

After a day of many firsts Billy curled up with his Elmo Christmas Carols book. It could have easily have been Christmas Eve. Billy was in his green footed pajamas. The book singing merrily.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 ~ Up On The Rooftop

Today Billy needed lots of Mommy affection in the form of sitting in my lap. When I pulled out his box of blocks, he had me sit in front of them and then plopped into my lap to play with the blocks from there. Every toy I suggested had be be able to hang out with Billy in Mommy's lap. If I got up, he wanted to be picked up.

I decided to break out Elmo's Christmas book. Ok, ok, I know. November belongs to the turkey and the Fat Man has to wait until December. But since Christmas is now everywhere (I work in advertising so we've been working on Christmas since August). It was less about the subject matter and more about the fact that the book sings.

Grandma bought the book for him last Christmas. It has buttons with pictures of Sesame Street characters, and each button plays a different Christmas carol. Very luckily for Mommy, the pages of the book has the lyrics written out. It's not that I don't know a lot of carols by heart, but this book uses some really old carols that I don't know so well.

Well, the Count's song is "Up On The Rooftop". And let me tell you, Billy fell in love with this one particular song. Mommy had to sing it over and over while he swayed like Stevie Wonder- still sitting in my lap. When the song would end he'd push the button to start all over again. He even ripped the binky right out of his mouth so he could try to sing along. (all of the words are yah, yah, yah).

Just wait until reindeer really are up on the rooftop. Imagine what he'll do then!

Lullaby- Billy's Favorite

Sung to Brahm's Lullaby

Go to sleep, baby.
Time to sleep deeply.
Go to sleep, baby.
Time to dream sweetly.
Mommy loves you,
Her little sprite.
Mommy loves you.
Go to sleep tonight.

Go to sleep, baby.
Time to sleep deeply.
Go to sleep, baby.
Time to dream sweetly.
Daddy loves you,
His little sprite.
Daddy loves you.
Go to sleep tonight.

Go to sleep, baby.
Time to sleep deeply.
Go to sleep, baby.
Time to dream sweetly.
Buddy loves you,
His little sprite.
Buddy loves you.
Go to sleep tonight.

I wrote these lyrics for him.

November 14, 2011 ~ Having a Ball

And...back to work.

I didn't get to spend much time with Billy today, even though the shoot is done. We had to go buy diapers, so a trip to Sam's ate into our afternoon time together.

When we got home Billy decided he wanted to play with his ball that his Great Aunt and Uncle gave him for his birthday. It's the first time he's wanted to play with it unprompted. He tested bouncing it on different surfaces and tried the floor in every room in the house. He decided the kitchen was best for playing with the bouncing ball- probably because there's no carpet in there. We bounced and bounced and bounced the ball. Buddy joined in, but I had to remind the sharp-toothed sweetheart to go play with his own toys.

So Buddy went to his toy basket and rooted around for just the perfect toy. He likes to do this. Billy watched with great interest. After Buddy finally found the toy he was looking for, he went to the other side of the room to gnaw on it. Billy then went over to Buddy's basket, shoved his head into the toys just as Buddy did and started to root around. It was pretty funny. It sure made Billy laugh. After that I grabbed a tug-of-war toy of Buddy's and invited Buddy to come over and play. Buddy did for a few minutes then walked away. Billy picked up the toy, handed it to me and then sat down in my lap, bouncing up and down in excitement for Buddy to "do it again!" So Buddy came over and tugged and grred and Billy squealed and grred back.

For dinner I served up enchiladas. Don't ever say this kid isn't cultured when it comes to food. This week alone he's had Japanese, Indian, Italian and Mexican. After dinner I fixed us a piece of pumpkin pie to share. Yum! I couldn't resist. I love pumpkin pie. does Billy! More Mommy, more! Tears when it was done but quickly off to play.

Big Lil Man is drinking from a glass all by himself. He even picked it up and put it down without making a mess. We're getting close to trying to drink from big boy cups. After some water it was off to bed with milk in a sippy cup.

Yes, you heard me. Sippy cup. All of the bottles are put away and now I guess I can't call him the baby anymore- no more bottles!

This Weekend In Photos

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 13, 2011 ~ Just Put It On Your Head

This morning's breakfast quickly deteriorated into a full out tantrum. I took his binky away. Dear God- no! If he has his binky while he's eating then he plays with his food instead of eating it. So I swiped it to give him a chance to focus on his milk and fruit and cheerios. This started the crying. Then he started flailing his arms so that food was flying everywhere. I put a quick stop to that, which produced loud screaming and red face. So...

I picked up the sippy cup and bowl of fruit and put both of them on my head. In the midst of crying he looked at me, paused, started laughing, then went back to crying. Are you sure? I made the bowl and sippy cup do a little jig on my head. Ok, peals of laughter. When it comes to my kid, the trick is ALWAYS put it on your head. Solves almost any problem.

From breakfast we went to play in the living room. I gave him a music box shaped like a piano to look at. It plays Fur Elise, so I wound it up for us to listen to. He was thrilled that the lid of the piano opened to show a jewelry compartment, containing a manufacturer's card. He put the card in, took it out, repeat. This went on for a few minutes until he got bored. Then he started looking around for something else to put in the piano. We don't keep toys in the living room, so there wasn't anything at hand to grab. Did that deter him? No, he yanked the sock right off of his foot and shoved it into the piano. Hmm, but now his foot was cold. So he took it back out and handed it to me to put on his bare foot.

What next? Well, he decided he wanted to take a bath. He walked over to the tub and climbed right in. This is the first time he has ever gotten into the tub himself. I would show you a photo of fully-clothed Billy standing in the tub trying to figure out how to turn on the faucet, but Daddy is obsessed with Call of Duty 3 right now so photos will have to wait until tomorrow. Anyway, he kept trying to get the water into the tub, but it wasn't bath time. So then he decided to try playing with the sink. His stool is tucked under the sink and he has now figured out how to step up on the stool with it under there and hang off the edge of the sink so he can reach the faucet. Danger for two reasons: a) he could fall b) he can freakin' reach the faucet in the bathroom without aid. Yikes.

After naptime and a quick visit from Grandma we went outside to play on his trike, but he didn't want to take a turn around the court. Nope. He wanted to watch Daddy mow. Much cooler. At first he was terrified of the mower, but then he decided it was cool. He even started picking up sticks and taking them to Daddy to help. I kept picking up Billy and dragging him away from the mower. There were also airplanes and a huge raven soaring in the sky to look at. Pretty cool.

Then we went inside to watch the Ravens game and have a snack. Billy decided that the cheese and crackers would be more fun to feed to Buddy than to eat himself. He would take a bite and then feed the rest to Buddy. This is just his sneaky scheme to try to touch Buddy. Buddy does not like to be grabbed and pulled, so he stays just out of Billy's reach at all times. Of course, Billy invents new ways to get to Buddy. And Buddy, forever on a diet, will do anything to get more food. (He's a 40lb cocker spaniel who should weigh 30lb and no matter what I do never loses weight). After snack he started yawning so I asked him if he wanted a nap. He came over and pushed me. I scooted. He pushed again, I scooted again. Then he grabbed my back. Ok, got the picture. I put him to bed and he went straight to sleep. He was asking me to carry him in to his crib.

After Nap 2 Billy wanted to watch the game in Daddy's lap. Nothing else would do. Daddy sat with him while dinner cooked on the grill. We ate before the game was over- probably a blessing not to have to watch the misery on the field. We rarely all eat together but at Billy's request (yes, he asked with pointing and grunts) we all sat at the table to eat. He got to have the same meal as Mommy and Daddy, which is also rare. I try to feed him low sodium, low processed, low sugar foods and often give him fresh fruit or some kind of vegetable undoctored. I don't freak out if he does get to eat junk, but I try to avoid it. Daddy and I, however, eat more junky food than we should. But that's the life of working parents.

I'll post pictures tomorrow!