Just Me and My Boy

Today has been a treat for me! Hula Girl took off after breakfast with Grampy. They were supposed to go camping this weekend, but given the low of 21 degrees and the 25+ mph wind speeds with snow flurries expected overnight, they decided to just set up camp at Grammy and Grampy’s house so they could go in if it gets too cold. I should say when. 🙂

Anyway, with Hula Girl gone, I have gotten to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my Little Man, and it’s been so very fun! We’ve spent a lot of time doing really low-key activities and taking it way slower than we normally do with a rambunctious preschooler around.

We started the day a touch later than his normal 6:45, at 6:55. I went in to get him up and nurse him, then he brought me a few books and asked me to read them: “Read-ee? Read-ee?” He is really into dogs and polar bears. When he sees a dog, he will put his little palm down on the page so I can’t turn it yet. Then he puts his other fist down with his pointer finger out and taps his finger on the picture a few times, looks up at me, and says, “Doggie. Woof, woof.” I always affirm him, “Yes, that’s a dog. You found a picture of a dog.” When he finds a polar bear (there are several great illustrations of polar bears in the “Baby Beluga” book), he points to it and says, “Doggie? No. Bay.” Then he taps it several times and says, “Bay. Bay. Bay.”

After reading, I showed him some options of clothes he could wear for the day- a pair of polar bear jammies or a union suit with dogs on it. He smiled really big at both choices, but in the end he settled on the union suit. We went downstairs where it was freezing because my husband is related to polar bears and keeps the windows open until it actually snows. Then Grampy came in and played with Gelato for a while. We ate oatmeal for breakfast, and Gelato asked for more by signing more and then saying, “Eep-meal? Eep-meal?” He also wanted milk and asked for “milt!” When Grampy had a cup of coffee, Gelato asked to “Mell coppee? Mell coppee?” and then wanted to taste it too. We didn’t allow that!

He went down for his nap just before Hula Girl left, so I had some time to catch up on blogging and Facebook. When he woke up, I nursed him; then he said, “Toys!” so I put him in his pack-n-play for roomtime. He played for a while and I got to take a shower. A nice, long, hot shower. Perfect for a windy cold day!

When I went to get him from roomtime, he saw my hair was wet and said, “Peel hay? Peel hay?” I let him feel my hair and told him, “My hair is cold and wet.” The he felt the other side and said, “Ood? Wet? Hay ood wet?”

I brought him down for lunch, which was pizza leftovers from last night. He said, “Peeta? Peeta? Eat! Eat! Hungee! Peeta!” (I wonder if he’ll like the Hunger Games books!) He ate two entire slices of pizza (same as I had). I gave him some pieces that were still quite hot. He felt them and said, “Arm! Bow, bow.” Then he blew on them. He also had a kiwi, which he still doesn’t like. He ate about two bites and then handed the rest to me. When he was all done with lunch, he said, “Down? Walk?” I told him he needed to tell me he was all done, so he did. He just has the sweetest little voice when he says, “All done!”

When I put him down he went and grabbed his shoes and said, “Oos! Out-ide! Walk!” So I bundled him up and took him outside. The first thing he said was, “Ood! Ood!” I told him yes, it was cold and windy. “Eendee,” he replied, as he nodded his head several times to show he understood. Then he walked all around and picked up rocks and sticks and followed the neighbor’s dog. Finally I was too cold, so I brought him back inside.

I decided to bust out the rainbow rice sensory bin, which hasn’t been used since Hula Girl was 2.5. He thought it was great fun to pluck out the kidney beans and place them in the scoop one at a time. Then he thought it was fun to pretend to eat them by putting it up to his mouth and saying, “Mmm, Mummy! Mmmm, Mummy bean!” And then he thought it was hilariously fun to place the scoop on the floor and then tell himself, “Oop on beket,” and then move the scoop back onto the blanket. He giggled at that one for sure.

When it was time to clean up the rainbow rice, I got out the broom, and Gelato insisted on sweeping for me. He did a terrible job, but for a not-even-14-month-old, it was awesome. I left it just the way he did it and cleaned up the rest (aka the bigger mess) when he went down for his nap. After he was done sweeping, it was nap time, so I asked him to go upstairs. He went to his room and pushed the button to turn on his heater, then walked over to the curtains and tried to pull them shut. I thanked him for his help and proceeded to put him down from there.

He really is one independent, helpful, communicative little guy. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with just him this weekend. It really helps to slow down and be able to show him how much I enjoy him!  I can’t wait for this afternoon- we’re going swimming at the Y. I think it will be way more fun since I won’t have to keep an eye on Hula Girl, too. I can just let him walk in the toddler pool and climb all over the pirate ship- I’m sure he’ll want to do the slide, too. But I am not ready for that one yet… at all. No slide today. 🙂

Friday’s Firsts

Both of my children had some “firsts” in their lives on Friday. I took them swimming at the Y, which was a wonderful break from the monotony. It’s been very cold here lately, so even going outside for a few minutes at a time is just tough. But a nice warm indoor toddler pool was just the thing.

I had to chuckle while I was there because I had Gelato’s carseat/carrier and I had put our towels and stuff in it rather than getting a locker. I brought it out to the pool area with us. I had Hula Girl walk in front of me, I carried Gelato, and I had the carrier swinging at my side. A little boy who was probably 8 or so looked at me with HUGE round eyes and said, “How many babies do you HAVE?!” Ha, guess he thought the carrier had another baby in it!

Anyway, our firsts:

Gelato: first time swimming and blew his first raspberry!

Hula Girl: first kid’s meal and first time she’s ever had her full name used in a “you’re in so much trouble!” kind of way.

Gelato’s are self-explanatory. Hula Girl’s kid’s meal came on the way home from swimming when I realized it was 4:50 and she needed to eat by 5:15, while I had to get Gelato down for the night by 5:30. So we stopped at Wendy’s. Can I just tell you that I hated every second of it!?!? I do not want my kids eating that kind of grossness. Alas, it was what we had to do. Then when we got home, it was freezing so I decided to rush Hula Girl to the front door and let her in to take off shoes and coat while I ran back to the car (parked in the driveway, where I could see it the whole time) to get Gelato. When he and I came in the door, Hula Girl was nowhere to be seen. I heard rustling upstairs (where she is not allowed to be by herself), and I said loudly and sternly, “[Hula Girl’s full name including both middle names!], come downstairs right now.” I heard scrambling, then, “Yes, Mommy! I’m coming!” She knew she was being naughty. Haha! I still don’t know what she was doing. Must not have been too destructive. (Don’t worry- our house is toddler proof. It’s not like she was guzzling medicine or anything like that.)

So there you have it! Would you believe that Gelato’s first swimming experience was literally seven full months earlier than Hula Girl’s? I don’t know why we waited so long to take her. Must have been because we lived in the world’s smallest town that only had an outdoor pool! 🙂 Thank goodness for the YMCA.

Catching Up

It’s officially fall here, folks. Today’s high was 54°. When Hula Girl and I went outside to play on the swing, the wind chill was 36°. Yep. Chilly.

I wish I had posted on Monday. We had a perfect day on Monday. Perfect. I loved my children like mad because I didn’t even have to think in order to get through the day. Hula Girl was on best behavior, she was well rested, and I enjoyed spending every moment with her. Gelato slept well for all his naps and was cooing and smiling up a storm. Ah.  The good ol’ days.

Today I was struck yet again with how very sporadic the early baby days, weeks, and months can be. As soon as we hit our “groove” in the earlier part of this week (hey! We beat the 45-minute intruder!!!!!!), today was crazy because Gelato is now experiencing Wonder Week 8. Basically, his sleeping, eating, etc., are going to be “off” for a few days because his brain is experiencing a huge developmental leap. So yeah. We had a perfect little 3-hour schedule happening for a few days… and today he ate every 2-2.5 hours. It’s not like his naps were short, either. That’s what kills me. With the 45-minute intruder, I felt confident letting him fuss or helping him get back to sleep because I know a 45-minute nap is just not long enough. However, with his naps today, I had no justification for trying to let him/help him fall back to sleep because each time he’d been sleeping for over an hour and a half. That is a decent length for a nap! So when he woke early, I went ahead and got him. We ended up adding a feeding and a nap today. Ugh. SO not my favorite thing.

Also, because of Gelato’s unpredictability today, Hula Girl’s schedule shifted. She didn’t get roomtime until 5:00 this evening… and that was just crazy. She needs her morning roomtime in order to make it to lunch happily. I have made it my personal goal to ensure she has roomtime in the morning tomorrow.

Can I just put another little complaint out there (in the hopes that some of my BW mom friends will chime in)? I have been doing everything by the book since Gelato was born. I made sure we got full feedings. I woke him every three hours during the day, every 5 hours at night. He was on track- sleeping 5 hours at night during his fifth week. Then he regressed during his 6-week growth spurt and we haven’t seen a nighttime stretch longer than 4 hours since. Some might say that I should drop the “dreamfeed” (his 10 p.m. feeding that I wake him for) but even if I do that, he still wakes around that time. And after his late evening feeding (around 10ish) he consistently wakes every three hours afterward. Feed him at 10? He wakes at 1 and 4 a.m. Feed him at 11? 2 and 5. He is so stuck on eating every 3 hours!!! So I try letting him sleep. He’ll wake at 10:30 or 11:30. And wake every 3 hours after that. BAH. By 8 weeks, he’s supposed to be able to sleep 7-8 hours at night. If you ask any pediatrician, babies can “sleep through the night” (general definition of that is about 6 hours) by the time they’re 12 pounds. My kid passed 12 pounds about 2 pounds ago… and here we are. Awake every flipping 3 hours. What am I doing wrong here?!!??!?!?!?!?! Vent over.

On the bright side of things, Hula Girl is getting funnier and funnier and more sophisticated in her conversational skills lately. She has started giving out step-by-step directions. “Here, I will show you. First you… Then you….” So funny to hear her describing things like how to put her blankie in the proper corner of her crib! It’s also a great experience to finally have a child who is able to express every thought she has in her head so that I can actually understand her the majority of the time. Some of her thoughts are supercute due to the fact that she’s two and can’t conceptualize things yet. For instance, yesterday we were talking about how my grandma turned 90. I said, “Isn’t it amazing that Great Gramma is 90 years old today? Do you think you want to be 90 years old someday?” She said, “Yes! I want to be 90 years old. And Great Gramma will hold me!” So I guess 90 years old is actually destination where your loved ones will wrap their arms around you and hold you. Hm. Might not be too bad after all!

Gelato is developing in his own little baby way. He has discovered his little hands and is perfectly content to sit and suck his knuckles all during his waketime. He’s learning to laugh and to use his consonants. He’s good with /g/ these days. He also likes to squeal, coo, and gasp. But his laugh is the best. I also enjoy his willingness to just sit and stare into my eyes while smiling his gummy little baby smile. He knows his Mommy. And I love that.

Something else I want to make note of for my own future reference (as if I could ever forget) is the differences in the ways my children smell. I swear their scents match their personalities. Hula Girl has always had more of a “sharp” smell to her. When I nursed her I could smell her sharpness mingled with the smell of the milk. However, Gelato has more of a soft, fresh smell. I have also not noticed the scent of the milk when I nurse him. That’s probably because he gulps it all down faster than I ever imagined possible.

Jonathan and I have gotten into Grey’s Anatomy. We just finished season 1 tonight. So far, it’s an okay show. Nothing to write home about. But we will continue to watch, because we are deprived of the ability to actually leave the house much. Here’s hoping it gets…better?

Well, it’s 10:00… time to do the dreamfeed. Let’s hope we don’t do another feeding at 1 and 4! Maybe my littlest man will surprise me!

Mark sure knew what he was doing…

Well, I’m sick again. This time, it’s a minicold, which is far better than the mongocold from which the whole family recovered before our trip to California. And fortunately, I seem to be the only one affected this time around. Symptoms: dry, scratchy (not sore) throat; coughing; chest congestion; slightly runny nose. Moving on…

Hula Girl and I had a good day yesterday. We danced to music most of the morning. Kid songs really put a spring in your step. They also put a bounce in Hula Girl’s bottom. Too cute. After dancing some time away, we went for a quick walk and then I put her down for her nap. She slept two hours, during which time I watched Pride and Prejudice– the Keira Knightley version. Wonderful way to rest my ill body. When she woke up again, she nursed, had independent playtime, then lunch, and then we went to the park. It was a beautiful day! It was the first time I have ever put sunscreen on her. I was terrified that her skin might break out in an eczema flare-up. But… it didn’t! I used the sunscreen made by California Baby. It’s supposed to be one of the mildest yet most effective on the market. It sure is expensive. After that outing, she slept two and a half hours. I finally woke her at 4:40, 40 minutes later than her normal nursing time. I was shocked that she slept that long. We went to the library in the early evening so we have some new reading material around the house. Momma’s getting tired of the board books we own. She was in a great mood all afternoon, and had no problems making it to bedtime at 8:00. Point for Momma!

I love facebook. Seriously. I love that two of my friends, whose blogs I follow, posted new blogs yesterday and I knew to check because of facebook. I also know that 10 people checked MY blog due to a facebook link. What a great networking machine! I also love it for the people aspect- I have been able to stay in touch with some of my treasured students and their families, as well as my own family members and multiple friends from all stages of life. I love getting friend requests from people I knew way back when… It makes a stay-at-home-mom feel not-s0-stuck-at-home sometimes. Ya know?

This weekend we’ll be heading to my parents’ house to celebrate Mother’s Day. I am SO EXCITED because it’s my first one! Last year, Hula Girl decided to wait a few more weeks. So Jonathan got Father’s Day, but I totally missed out. I sure hope Hula Girl got me something special! (Just kidding. But I really do look forward to handmade gifts from her in the future!) Jonathan, if you are reading this, you know that we talked about some stuff for the kitchen, and I’ve always liked diamonds…

Getting Things Done and Planning Vacation

Sickness. We’re riddled with it in our house right now. Fortunately it’s not the totally-incapacitating terrible-knock-you-down sickness. For me, at least, it’s just the stop-to-blow-your-nose-or-drink-a-sip-of-hot-tea sickness. That means I’ve actually gotten a lot done.

Part of that is that I’ve washed Hula Girl’s sheets after every single nap/nighttime sleep. She wakes up with boogies all over her sheets, and I feel bad putting her back down to sleep on stiff sheets. Fortunately she has 3 sheets for her crib, so I just peel off the boogified one and put on a fresh one after each sleep. I think it’s also helping her get better a lot faster.

Hula Girl really does seem to feel better this morning. She’s back to being pretty talkative (albeit raspy), she’s standing up and bouncing, and she’s dancing to her music. All in all, she’s about 60% back to normal. Still very infrequent smiling, not much of an appetite, but drinking a LOT of water (I warm it up in her sippy cup for her).

I told Jonathan the other day that I’m pretty sure Hula Girl will start walking soon after she’s kicked this cold. This morning, she had her doggie in one arm, and she stood up hanging on to her music table, and reached out for her Pooh Bear. She stood there with 2 stuffed animals in her hands, not hanging on to anything else for about 10 seconds. So cool! She’s definitely going to be walking soon. She’s mastered the art of cruising, to the detriment of the tissue box on the end table. She enjoys pulling it to the floor, grabbing lots of tissues out of it, and ripping them to shreds, which she then proceeds to eat. Needless to say, our tissue box has graduated to the computer desk.

In other news, we’re really looking forward to our trip out to California in April. Less than 4 weeks now! We’re going out to visit Jonathan’s family mostly, but we’ve got to stop in San Diego first for one of my best friend’s wedding! Hula Girl is going to walk down the aisle in the wedding (or be carried, either way) in this dress:

Too Cute!

I also got her some little sparkly white shoes and a white bow for her head. I think she’ll be adorable.

The rest of our trip will be spent with Jonathan’s parents and other family members. We are really excited to see his sister, his aunt (creator of a fabulous quilt, seen below), and possibly even my cousins and uncle.

Hula Girl’s schedule is going to be totally demolished while we’re on vacation. I’m anxious about that, but I already asked Jonathan to help me “just deal with it” and go with the flow.  The one thing I’ve really gleaned from her current illness is that she’ll snap back to whatever schedule we’re on really easily- we’ve done it since she was born! I hope to just enjoy our time, get her rest as needed, and enjoy our time. And enjoy our time. I also hope that Hula Girl will be friendly and not quite so wary of new faces. She’s got a major case of “stranger danger” and I don’t want all the relatives and friends to miss out on holding her and cuddling her while she’s still so little.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the quilt:

Soooo pretty- you should see the detail in this thing!

Do you have any traveling with a baby tips?

Evil Neighbor Child

I already did that which I swore I wouldn’t do- I skipped a day. Yesterday was a mess. Hula Girl and Jonathan were majorly sick, and I was doing my best to care for them. But we were all really sleep deprived, too, so that added to the fun.

Hula Girl was exposed to a baby who had an upper respiratory infection on Monday. His mom brought him over to our house to visit, and I let him have a few of Hula Girl’s toys to play with (he’s not a sitter or a crawler yet, so he just got some rattles and mirrors and proceeded to slobber all over them). Hula Girl was really interested in the other baby and she kept petting him and wanted to be next to him constantly. It was pretty cute. However, his mom didn’t tell me he was sick until they were actually leaving. I hoped, I wished, I prayed that Hula Girl wouldn’t get sick.

Friday morning, Hula Girl woke up sneezing and slightly coughing. I called the other baby’s mom to find out what his first symptoms were, and sure enough- they matched. Great. Throughout the day, Hula Girl’s symptoms got worse and more varied. Her nose was runny, she was sneezing, and the mucus was making her cough every now and then. But she still took naps just fine and we put her to bed a little bit early because she seemed really tired. About 20 minutes later, she started screaming. And she screamed the rest of the night.

We tried everything- nursing her again, rocking her to sleep, walking with her, leaving her in her crib, laying on the floor of the nursery, driving in the car, putting her in the swing-everything. Nothing worked. As soon as she would fall asleep, she’d jerk back awake because she couldn’t breathe through her nose. And then she would cry. And the cycle got worse and worse as the night wore on because the crying made her nose runnier and she couldn’t breathe even more. Plus, for those of you who don’t know, an overtired baby is really hard to put to sleep. It’s chemistry- when your body gets overtired, it releases a wave of adrenaline to help fight sleep (fight or flight ring a bell?). It basically acts like there’s a reason you didn’t fall asleep in the first place, so now it’s going to make sure you’re extra-awake to deal with whatever it was that kept you from falling asleep.  As adults, we can sometimes tell our brains to go to sleep anyway, but we often lie awake at night and can’t fall asleep. Imagine a baby doing this- getting more and more tired, but getting more and more adrenaline. Hyperactivity is the result. And hyper sensitivity. And hyper-sonic screeching.

Anyway, after doing everything we could think of, and realizing that Hula Girl had a fever of 102°, we took her to the ER at 4:30 Saturday morning. They sent us away with a dose of Motrin for her fever and told us she has a cold. As if we didn’t know. Uh, thanks, ER doctors! At least they did do a strep test, since both Jonathan and I have super sore throats, and we want to make sure she doesn’t also have strep.

She napped off and on all day yesterday, bringing her to a grand total of 3 hours of sleep in a 29-hour period. Wow. When we put her down for bed last night, she immediately started crying. We waited and waited, but she kept crying. I finally went in, wiped her nose, and laid her back down. She finally fell asleep last night at 7:45- what a relief. We were able to go to bed at 8:30, and she woke once at 9:45 (she pooped) but then she was asleep until 6:40 this morning. A nice night’s rest. She then graced us with a 2 hour 10 minute first nap, and she’s just about to go down for her second nap today.

All in all, this was only our second time having a sick child, and the experience is exhausting- emotionally, mentally, and physically. Especially since we’re sick too!

Here’s to another good night’s sleep and to a fast recovery. Colds last 5-7 days, and the symptoms usually peak on the 3rd day. So, today might just be the worst of it for Hula Girl. I’m looking forward to a week’s worth of catching up on sleep. That means I am going to have to be really cautious with her awake time and nap times.

Do any of you have a story about baby/child sickness that you’d like to share?

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