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Posts Tagged ‘Fucking teeth’

Before I dive into Ezra’s monthly blah blah I just want to describe to you the moment I just had… My blood started pumping so hard it filled my head, my palms became clammy and my hands started shaking. My chest went tight and I felt like I could feel every single hair on my entire body as I tried to catch my breath. Slowly I attempted to regulate my breathing as I clutched my pounding head in my hands, the only thought swirling around in there… my god. I’m going to have a highly mobile, non-verbal 13 month old and a Christmas tree in my house at the same time for 5 weeks.

AND THEN I DIED.

Which I’m actually quite thankful for because death is a far easier thing to deal with than a baby, that I just know will figure out how to scale the gate I will inevitably have to put up, whose main goal in life will be to take that tree OUT. He will maim the branches. Pull off the needles and eat them. He will get too close, poke his eye and then cry like it was the tree’s fault. Then he will get mad and try to hit the tree but when that won’t prove satisfying he will try to push it and when he realizes the branches just spring back, only to hit him in the face again, he will charge that sucker in a fit of horrifying toddler rage and knock it over. Or he might just look at it suspiciously, like what’s this giant pokey green thing doing in my house and then largely ignore it. I’m betting on option one though and wow, I am feeling all of the fear now, just ALL OF IT.

Alright, time to reanimate so I can throw some bullet points up about mini-budders month of twelve, stepping away from the inviting, warm, glowing orb of light in 3…2…1…

11.26.1

This month in Ezra!

* The biggest change for our guy was the room swap which I think he’s adjusting to fairly well. Unfortunately we did this at sort of a crappy time for him developmentally as he was definitely starting a sleep regression, getting ready to drop a nap and cutting his molars. It was either now or after Christmas though and I really just wanted to get the whole mess out of the way before the holidays. He’s had a few rough nights but it hasn’t seemed to impact the older two at all and most times the wake-ups can be resolved with a simple re-corking of the nuk.

11.26.3

*naps. Ah, naps, BANE of my existence. Since he was nine months old, Ezra has been insistent on napping right at 9:30am after a 6:15 wake up. Since he is so spotty on whether he’ll then follow that early morning nap with a late afternoon nap, I have been trying since September to push back the morning nap. This would give him a more balanced spread of awake time~ that 7 hour stretch of no nap is very rough on all of us. He would NOT have it though. If I tried to push the nap back any more than 20 minutes he would lose his ever-loving mind, and then when he would fall asleep he’d only go down for 45 minutes instead of his regular 2-2.5 hour rest and then still refuse the afternoon nap. Forty-five minutes of sleep during a 13 hour stretch for an infant is not a sustainable schedule. Of course now this week, that of the holiday in which I need him to sleep in the morning otherwise wreak havoc all over our Thanksgiving plans, is the time he chooses to skip the morning nap in favor of reaching over and banging the wood blinds against the window frame and giggling maniacally for 40 minutes until I finally give up and pull him out. He of course went down smoothly at 12:30pm, exactly the time we need to be out of the house and on our way to a day of family stuffs. GAH, this is stressing me out.

11.26.4

* Teeth! After getting 8 teeth between 6.5 and 9 months we had a blessed break until last weekend. He came home from his grandparents’ house with a fever of about 100 and a runny nose which sent me into a panic because of the upcoming holiday and the fact that he had just gotten over a stupid cold that lasted over two weeks. He woke up a number of times that night, needing tylenol, a cuddle and a nuk but by the morning the fever had vanished and in its place I felt the corner of a branny-new molar poking through. UGHUGHUGHUGHUGH. As you may recall, molars are my least favorite things about toddlers. It’s gonna be a fun few months.

11.26.2

{*This photo series brought to you by dumdums, aka: the only way to get a baby to sit still for more than three seconds.}

* Food. Everything gives him a damn rash around his lips. EVERYTHAAAAAANG. We have to put petroleum jelly around his mouth before and after every meal and even then he still gets red and irritated. Before nap and bed times he also gets either a prescription strength hydrocortisone or a combo of lotrimin, neosporin and regular hydrocortisone, which may lessen the redness and irritation briefly but it certainly hasn’t helped to heal it.

We can’t figure out one thing as the cause. He reacts to carrots, citrus and tomato, it definitely gets worse when he is teething and really really bad when he has any dairy. Do you know what toddlers live off of? Whole milk. That makes this whole “keeping the kid alive thing” a little trickier. As if one child with a dairy problem wasn’t enough, now we have a second. I just don’t get it. Bill and I ate ALL THE THINGS when we were little and neither had any food sensitivities or allergies. We exposed all our kids to a variety of foods at appropriate times to minimize the chances and Rowan, my picky child, remains completely food allergy free. The boys would eat anything but can’t and it is maddening too have to pay over seven freaking dollars for a package of dairy-free cookies or snacks. This week his mouth flared up so bad he looked like The Joker, so I finally broke down and am committing to a month of dairy free for him, let the vanilla flavored coconut milk commence. He does still breastfeed twice daily. I was able to drop the before-bed feeding with no problem for him or myself. His need for a morning and afternoon feeding is still pretty strong so I’ll just be following his cues on when he wants to wean from that.

11.26.6

* Ezra has gone from new drunk baby walk to stealthy, speedy drunk baby walk. He still stumbles at times but he can go FAST, and now rarely, if ever, breaks out into a crawl. {RIP cute and creepy baby franken-crawl, I will miss you.} Now that walking is fairly mastered he has started to move on to climbing. Lord help me, Internet.

11.26.5

* Language. Welp. Not much progress was made this month. He makes a vaguely familiar sound when he’s trying to say a word, like “guk” for his rubber duck, “sss sssk” for sock and other similar things but he still doesn’t say anything discernible. The exception being thank you which is a relatively easier to understand “tink ye” as he hands you toy after toy. No intentional ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ or ‘more’ or ‘uppy’ even though we repeat the words and use the baby signs all day long. Listen kid, I think it’s highly adorable you’re trying so hard to say the name of your ducky but maybe let’s focus on something more practical like “up” so you can stop trying to wedge your body between me and whatever I’m standing next to so that you can hang off my shirt and scream. Forming a u and a p sounds with your mouth seems so much easier than these shenanigans.

His sound effects repertoire has become very impressive though and his receptive language and ability to follow instructions continues to grow every day. He is also starting to point much more than he was last month so I’m holding out hope this doesn’t turn into a ‘thing’. {And I know there are tons of you out there with kids that didn’t make a peep until 18 months or later but when your other two kids were absolute motor-mouths at this age… well, the difference is huge and worth paying attention to.}

11.26.7

To sum up, at 12 months Ezra loved: Meowing, walking, dance parties with his siblings, brushing his teeth, baths, snuggling blanky, eating cake, going to the playground, raiding the cupboards, sneaking into the bathroom to inspect the wastebasket and remove anything he didn’t think should be thrown away {i.e dirty kleenex} and removing and hiding his socks. {Where are all the damn socks baby? No, seriously, you only have one and a half pairs left.}

11.26.9

This month has been one of your most adventurous ones yet. It’s been SO fun to watch you explore the world on two feet. One of my favorite things to do this month was to bundle you up, set you on the sidewalk and just let you go. Seeing your little body bob up and down as you carefully lifted your feet in a kind of slow-paced, very deliberate march, filled my heart up to the very top. You are so happy outside {in the wild. Yep, this is total foreshadowing of your personality isn’t it?} that I’m a little frightened of being trapped indoors with you for the next 5-6 months. We’ll get through though {if the Christmas tree doesn’t kill mommy} {again} and I can’t wait to see you racing up and down those sidewalks come spring. We love you, pal.

11.26.8

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Once again I find myself at a complete loss for how the hell we got here. How is it possible that this chubby, rolly, grabby, giggly baby is the very same tiny little human with a wispy coif of blond and sleepy eyes that was born just yesterday? YESTERDAY I TELL YOU.

This month Ezra’s personality has been coming out full blast and it is very… physical. He is constantly moving, whether it’s rolling at lightning speed across the floor to get to a desired toy or flailing in my arms to get a better view of what his brother and sister are doing {or watching on TV}. He is very rarely still, which to be honest… has me sort of worried. Though Keaton is certainly All Boy, I feel he took a lot of cues from Rowan, who is definitely All Girl so he is actually a nice mix of calm and crazy. He has the energy of a boy but doesn’t seem as aggressive as most of the boys we come in contact with. I think Ezra will be a bit more true to the typical boy stereotype which is fine but definitely new territory for us.

Gross Motor: He isn’t crawling yet {THANK SWEET HEAVEN} but is very adept at rolling. When I try to lift his knees up so he gets the feel of a crawl position he gives me a “woman be crazy” look and promptly stretches himself out so he can roll on his merry way. I’m fine with this, more than fine, because although he’s pretty quick he has to problem solve to get himself forward rather than side-to-side, which slows him down a bit. Rowan and Keaton didn’t crawl until almost 9 and almost 11 months respectively so I’m in no rush.

Sitting up is hit or miss. He can do it but the minute he sees something he wants he lunges at it and slams into the ground with his face which doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He rarely stays sitting up for more than a handful of seconds unless I’m behind him supporting him and handing him toys.

And this is how our seven month photo shoot went. I got exactly ZERO usable shots of Ezra with his blocks. And now I know why people use those onsie decals.

Aaaand this is how our seven month photo shoot went. I got exactly ZERO usable shots of Ezra with his blocks. I now know why people use those onesie decals… turns out mobile babies aren’t that great at leaving the props alone OR taking modeling direction. Who knew!

I tried to trick him by putting the blocks up on a basket but he kept giving me this "Why you do this, Lady?" look so I gave up. Maybe next month.

I tried to trick him by putting the blocks up on a basket but he kept giving me this “Why you do this, Lady?” look so I gave up. Maybe next month.

Fine motor: He picks up toys and manipulates them all on his own now. Mostly he just shoves whatever we give him, or whatever he finds, directly into his baby maw. This has me constantly paranoid about small toys that the kids leave lying around. We’ve had lots of talks about the seriousness of picking up small things to keep Ezra safe {and, uh, alive} but I still get nervous. I’ve banished legos to the bedroom but somehow they and Keaton’s many many tiny Star Wars and TMNT weapons end up back in the main Baby Rolling Area so I’m trying to train the kids to do several room sweeps a day.

The other thing he enjoys to do with his improved dexterity is Grabbing {yes, with a capital G}. Remember when I used to have a nose, hair, eyeballs and earlobes? Yeah. That was nice. Now they are gone because my baby grabbed them and ripped them right off my head. Seriously though, boyfriend has got a GRIP and it sort of worries me that I’ve already had to break out the “gentle hands” repertoire with an infant. I am now firmly in the strict ponytail/bun, no necklace or earring phase of having a baby, which sucks but is a necessity if I want to avoid any ER visits.

5.26.6

Toes are acceptable to grab, Baby. A handful of mama’s eyelashes are NOT.

Eating: We’re at a solid 4 breastfeeding sessions a day; at wake-up, bedtime and after each of his naps. He can be pretty flexible with the day feedings if I need to push them around a little. He has solids three times a day. So far on the taste-testing menu he will gladly eat anything that is not green, which is apparently not an acceptable color for food. And it’s not just a turning away of his head or pursed lips. He’ll reluctantly take the bite and then dramatically gag on it, not unlike a cat horking up a hairball. His favorites are bananas, apples, pears and sweet potatoes. He likes carrots but they give him a rash. I have to figure out how to get more veggies in him but otherwise he’s doing great.

Diapering: Lieutenant Deborah Morgan of Dexter put it best, since Ezra started solids he has truly become her definition of a baby, “A roly-poly, chubby-cheeked shit machine”. From 2- 6 months the boy only pooped once every 7-10 days and now HOLY HELL he is producing anywhere from 3-6 PER DAY. Baby TMI! For whatever reason they barely smell so we need to check him quite a bit so he doesn’t sit in it and they are of a play-dough consistency so it’s an easy clean-up. We are now exclusively using BumGenius pocket diapers and they are working great. We stuff them with the old prefolds at night for added absorbance but otherwise have retired the prefolds. We keep a pack of disposables on hand for occasional use for sitters or when we get behind on laundry.

5.26.7

Wow. My mom just spent a whole paragraph talking about my poop! Even I know that’s gross, Lady.

Sleep: Very hit or miss. Sometimes he’s up a few times a night and sometimes he sleeps thru until 6am. For the last couple of weeks he’s slept through the night when his teeth aren’t bugging him. He used to wake up around 6:30 and then lay in bed with me while he nursed, dozing or resting quietly for 45-60 more minutes but now he’s up at 6:00-6:15, eats for 20-25 minutes and is all HELLO WORLD, let me thrash about with all available appendages until my lazy ass mother starts playing with me.

Naps are fairly consistent. After a 6am wake-up he is more than ready to go down by 9:30am. He’ll sleep anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to 2 hours. He then goes down at 1:30ish and stays down for an hour to an hour and a half. With the end of school and the normal dance rush, it will be interesting to see how his sleep routine evolves.

Toofers: Two teeth! he was sort of cranky all day on Mother’s Day which is pretty out of character for him. We were out all day so I just thought it was a change in routine issue but he’s normally pretty easy going about that sort of thing. He’s been drooly and chewing on everything for 3 months so I didn’t think to check for teeth but just before bed he grabbed my finger and started chewing on it and OUCH there was his front bottom right tooth; three days later it was joined by the front bottom left.

He has not been a big fan of teething which has disrupted night-time sleep, naps and required more than a little tylenol, which does seem to help. I tried the hippie amber teething necklace which, yeah, NO. He will take the drugs, thank you. He is now constantly chewing which has made nursing… interesting. When he gets chompy I calmly remove myself from his reach to set the precedent of bite = no more milk, while using my favorite cursing combinations under my breath. It’s working for now.

He loves:

His brother and sister. Seriously, when they pay attention to him his grin is ridiculous.

His brother and sister. Seriously, when they pay attention to him his grin is ridiculous.

Stacking toys that he can pull apart and bang together.

His Exersaucer.

Pirate Piggens.

Stroller rides.

Hanging with dad in the Baby Bjorn.

Baby swim. Yes. We are those parents. The ones who sign their small infant up for classes. In our defense we had to be there for Rowan and Keaton’s annual swimming lesson session and the baby-toddler class was right after so we thought we’d give it a try. He loved it! It’s definitely geared toward 1 year olds but he loves hanging with daddy, splashing and gets a huge grin while floating on his back.

Plus, a chubby baby in a swimsuit is one of my very favorite things.

Plus, a chubby baby in a swimsuit is one of my very favorite things.

He hates:

Um. Not much {besides green food}. He’s generally a happy little guy. When he’s ready for sleep he hates everything, but as long as I follow his cues he’s just so smiley. Unless I try to take a picture of him, then he gets all Serious Baby is Serious.

As the school year winds down I’m both nervous and excited to get the true dynamic of having three children. Since Ezra’s birth we’ve had to adhere to Rowan and Keaton’s strict daily schedules so I’m looking forward to a summer of hanging with ALL my babies without the pressure of having everyone up, presentable and out the door on time every weekday. Our mini-budders fit right in with this family the minute he was born but now he’s on the cusp of actively being one of us. Yesterday I was holding him and he was watching his siblings run around giggling as they were playing some crazy game, the look on his face as he followed them intently with his eyes and bounced himself up and down in my arms, mimicking their excitement, was one of abject anticipation. I can see already that he can’t wait to ditch me to run around with the other small crazy/wonderful people in this house but for now?

YOU ARE STILL MINE, BABY.

YOU ARE STILL MINE, BABY.

Alllll mine.

Alllll mine.

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At least once a day I look at you and say, “Where did you come from?”. Things that prompt this question besides the above photo, are you standing around in nothing but your underwear, swaying your hips sassily and singing your own little song with your own made up words, like, “I go pee-pee in da pottyyyyy, so I got a jelly beeeeeean… KACHOW!”

Speaking of the potty, you did have a poop breakthrough this month. We were at Old Navy and I don’t know if I just caught you at an opportune time or what but when I sat you on the toilet you peed and then pooped in somewhere other than your underpants for the first time in 4 weeks. Son, I almost cried I was so happy. Since that day you’ve been about half and half, so definitely progress. You accept diapers at nap and bedtime but otherwise won’t wear them at all anymore.

The spring brought us t-shirt weather and when I put on your first short sleeved shirt in months you kept trying to pull down the sleeves. It was hilarious, like a spastic dog trying to chase his own tail.

Bubbles are WHERE IT IS AT for you. And where the bubbles are at, is all over the driveway, your shirt, down your pants and in your mouth. You are a sticky mess when you are through but the happiness they bring you is worth it. Most of the time, anyway.

The amazing bubble maker machine that you've already managed to damage in an effort to figure out just how it made all those freakin bubbles.

Your sister has become your friend this month and it is the sweetest damn thing I have ever seen. You have played side by side and occasionally together before, but this month you two developed your own games, and inside jokes- giving me The Look when I interfere, Like DO NOT BUG US NOW- “we are being little birds in a tree who are orphans” so GO AWAY. You butt heads often enough, when you don’t want to play Rowan’s game or when she takes your prized ice cream truck but I am amazed at how much you genuinely like each other. I knew there was a pay off to having 2+ kids, I just didn’t realize it would be this stinking sweet.

It was your turn to count during hide and seek, but you were totally cheating. Yep. That's mama's boy.

Something that we’ve always known about you but now it seems really pronounced is your short attention span. Rowan has always been able to sit and color a picture until she is done, or engage herself in painting or make-believe play for long stretches but you take two swipes with a paint brush and declare your masterpiece done. I’m a little perplexed at how in that 30 seconds of painting you somehow manage to cover your entire body in bright green, but I think I’ll just chalk that one up to the mystery that is BOY. And it’s not just art activities. You won’t play in the bath for more than 5-10 minutes, watch a full PBS episode, or sit contentedly while I read more than 2 books- you always have to be moving around. To date, I can only think of 2 things that consistently hold your attention that don’t require motion and that is 1. Snuggling blanky 2. playing with your cars. This isn’t a good or bad trait it is just part of you and it amazes me when I finally pick up on something that’s always been there but I never took the time to notice. Am good mom like that.

Go ahead and ask the internet how mama liked those green hands on her white pants, sir...

You have really blossomed in music class this session, singing along and repeating really tough musical patterns. When I think back to the fall and how you spent that entire 10 week session refusing to sing or even sit in the circle I am AMAZED at your progress. Go you!

When trying to exude charm when sweetly asking for something you always add a “maybe” at the end while looking up with big eyes and giving those long lashes a bat or two. Example: “Can I go to the park, maybe?” *batbat* This is very calculating and has obviously led to lots of trips to the park, for we are suckers.

Can you blame us?

You are much pickier about what you eat, but in turn MUCH more neat which is huge. Except for that entire bowl of soup you dumped in your lap today. Now THAT was messy.

Grammy gave you a little stuffed Tiger for Easter and for whatever reason that has become your second best thing (next to blanky, of course). You have to have him in your arms at night and you bury your face into him as we lay you in your crib. The downside? That would be you and Rowan playing Tiger Toss at the buttcrack of dawn. This entails you throwing the Tiger and your sister stomping across the room to retrieve it, repeated ad nauseum or until your dad or I come up to tell you FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY please go back to sleep.

This month you have started to fight sleep at bedtime. Your afternoon nap has stayed very consistent at between 2 and 3 hours, but after we put you down at night you will chatter your fool little head off for an hour or more. Most of the time we don’t even go in to shush you because it’s very entertaining to listen to your chirpy little voice sprout nonsense and you’re almost always happy so, eh, it’s one of those battles we choose not to fight more often than not.

You've also learned to make this lovely face when I ask you to smile for a picture. Super handsome. It prominently features your chipped front tooth which DON'T ASK because we have no clue as to what happened. Whatever. It adds character, don't you think?

The biggest change we’ve witnessed this month was when we went on our first trail walk with you. Last fall you happily sat in your stroller, content to watch your sister run like a maniac through the grass, but this spring you asked to be let out and you ran happily beside Rowan, letting her instruct you on the proper way to pick dandelions and show you where the “spooky old tree” and “Mr. Gnome” live. You tire a lot easier than she ever did but I can tell how much you enjoy stretching those big boy legs and running, running, running with a grin plastered on your face. Just don’t run too far away from your mama, ya hear? You wouldn’t want her to think you weren’t her baby anymore, now would you? Let her live with her delusions a little while longer, maybe? *batbat*

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At least once a day I look at you and say, “Where did you come from?”. Things that prompt this question besides the above photo, are you standing around in nothing but your underwear, swaying your hips sassily and singing your own little song with your own made up words, like, “I go pee-pee in da pottyyyyy, so I got a jelly beeeeeean… KACHOW!”

Speaking of the potty, you did have a poop breakthrough this month. We were at Old Navy and I don’t know if I just caught you at an opportune time or what but when I sat you on the toilet you peed and then pooped in somewhere other than your underpants for the first time in 4 weeks. Son, I almost cried I was so happy. Since that day you’ve been about half and half, so definitely progress. You accept diapers at nap and bedtime but otherwise won’t wear them at all anymore.

The spring brought us t-shirt weather and when I put on your first short sleeved shirt in months you kept trying to pull down the sleeves. It was hilarious, like a spastic dog trying to chase his own tail.

Bubbles are WHERE IT IS AT for you. And where the bubbles are at, is all over the driveway, your shirt, down your pants and in your mouth. You are a sticky mess when you are through but the happiness they bring you is worth it. Most of the time, anyway.

The amazing bubble maker machine that you've already managed to damage in an effort to figure out just how it made all those freakin bubbles.

Your sister has become your friend this month and it is the sweetest damn thing I have ever seen. You have played side by side and occasionally together before, but this month you two developed your own games, and inside jokes- giving me The Look when I interfere, Like DO NOT BUG US NOW- “we are being little birds in a tree who are orphans” so GO AWAY. You butt heads often enough, when you don’t want to play Rowan’s game or when she takes your prized ice cream truck but I am amazed at how much you genuinely like each other. I knew there was a pay off to having 2+ kids, I just didn’t realize it would be this stinking sweet.

It was your turn to count during hide and seek, but you were totally cheating. Yep. That's mama's boy.

Something that we’ve always known about you but now it seems really pronounced is your short attention span. Rowan has always been able to sit and color a picture until she is done, or engage herself in painting or make-believe play for long stretches but you take two swipes with a paint brush and declare your masterpiece done. I’m a little perplexed at how in that 30 seconds of painting you somehow manage to cover your entire body in bright green, but I think I’ll just chalk that one up to the mystery that is BOY. And it’s not just art activities. You won’t play in the bath for more than 5-10 minutes, watch a full PBS episode, or sit contentedly while I read more than 2 books- you always have to be moving around. To date, I can only think of 2 things that consistently hold your attention that don’t require motion and that is 1. Snuggling blanky 2. playing with your cars. This isn’t a good or bad trait it is just part of you and it amazes me when I finally pick up on something that’s always been there but I never took the time to notice. Am good mom like that.

Go ahead and ask the internet how mama liked those green hands on her white pants, sir...

You have really blossomed in music class this session, singing along and repeating really tough musical patterns. When I think back to the fall and how you spent that entire 10 week session refusing to sing or even sit in the circle I am AMAZED at your progress. Go you!

When trying to exude charm when sweetly asking for something you always add a “maybe” at the end while looking up with big eyes and giving those long lashes a bat or two. Example: “Can I go to the park, maybe?” *batbat* This is very calculating and has obviously led to lots of trips to the park, for we are suckers.

Can you blame us?

You are much pickier about what you eat, but in turn MUCH more neat which is huge. Except for that entire bowl of soup you dumped in your lap today. Now THAT was messy.

Grammy gave you a little stuffed Tiger for Easter and for whatever reason that has become your second best thing (next to blanky, of course). You have to have him in your arms at night and you bury your face into him as we lay you in your crib. The downside? That would be you and Rowan playing Tiger Toss at the buttcrack of dawn. This entails you throwing the Tiger and your sister stomping across the room to retrieve it, repeated ad nauseum or until your dad or I come up to tell you FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY please go back to sleep.

This month you have started to fight sleep at bedtime. Your afternoon nap has stayed very consistent at between 2 and 3 hours, but after we put you down at night you will chatter your fool little head off for an hour or more. Most of the time we don’t even go in to shush you because it’s very entertaining to listen to your chirpy little voice sprout nonsense and you’re almost always happy so, eh, it’s one of those battles we choose not to fight more often than not.

You've also learned to make this lovely face when I ask you to smile for a picture. Super handsome. It prominently features your chipped front tooth which DON'T ASK because we have no clue as to what happened. Whatever. It adds character, don't you think?

The biggest change we’ve witnessed this month was when we went on our first trail walk with you. Last fall you happily sat in your stroller, content to watch your sister run like a maniac through the grass, but this spring you asked to be let out and you ran happily beside Rowan, letting her instruct you on the proper way to pick dandelions and show you where the “spooky old tree” and “Mr. Gnome” live. You tire a lot easier than she ever did but I can tell how much you enjoy stretching those big boy legs and running, running, running with a grin plastered on your face. Just don’t run too far away from your mama, ya hear? You wouldn’t want her to think you weren’t her baby anymore, now would you? Let her live with her delusions a little while longer, maybe? *batbat*

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Ho boy. This month. This month was, well… it is over now and for that I am glad. That sounds shitty doesn’t it? I know, I know. Childhood passes in the blink of an eye. Before I know it, I’ll be packing his blanky away and tripping over video game contraptions. I’ll be dropping him off a block from school so none of his friends will have to see his super embarrassing mother. I’ll be waving from the driveway as Bill takes him out to practice parallel parking and merging onto the highway (because let’s face it, I would rather remove all of my teeth with a pliers than sit shot-gun with a 15 year old behind the wheel). I get that it all goes so fast. I’ve been told by reliable sources. I’ve even witnessed it myself.

But.

That doesn’t make every experience a joy. It doesn’t make every day easy to get through. There are so many occasions where I want to scream STOP TIME. Don’t let him get any bigger. Don’t let the way his hair brushes his eyelashes change. Don’t let his pudgy hands and cheeks slim down. Don’t let him stop saying “Come schnuggle wif me, Mama”. But like any good yin, there is always a yang. There are also times I pray that I will get through the next morning, next hour, next ten minutes without yelling at him to stop hitting his sister, or without threatening timeout for the 476th time that day orĀ  without creating an ad for him on e-bay “Two year old. Gently used but in good condition. Likes trucks and making his mother wish she was never born. Free shipping!”

Everything this month was No, I Don’t, Go away. I know you are two but at some point over the last few weeks I started to believe that we’d be living in The Negative for the rest of our lives. That we wouldn’t be able to say anything without being challenged by you. It’s hard and so very tiring. We know you are not evil incarnate but sometimes we really had to work to remind ourselves. And to remind you that there are lots of other words in your vocabulary. I’d like to blame your second set of Unholy Molars for a lot of this behavior, and I’m sure they do play a role, but I think that the bigger player here is the newfound realization that you are your own person and you can assert yourself. The realization that you are YOU and can decide if you want to make things easy or hard. If you want to be pliable or immovable. If you want to hit or snuggle. You’re not a passive bystander anymore. You have jumped in with both feet and with your arms swinging.

You also had your share of amazing moments. Like at the museum when you got to stare down a giant dinosaur, and when you figured out how to work the trap door on the racing boats; something that I had to help you with on previous visits. And dad reports that in swim class you now lay on your back in the water, the water around your ears no longer so scary. And that you jump off the mat into the pool with reckless abandon, instead of squatting down with your arms outstretched, waiting until your paws were locked onto us for dear life before you gingerly slipped into the water. And now when we go for walks around our little circle you walk yourself, stopping at each street, repeating “Stop at the street! Look around! No cars, safe to go!”

You’re getting bigger. You’re getting better. I know this is going to sound like I’m giving WAY too much credit to a 2-year-old but I think you are so aware of this newfound freedom that you cling to me unnecessarily during downtime. You sense yourself moving up and away and to balance this out you insist on me sitting down with you and not with a “Please sit, mama!” but with a “YOU SIT RIGHT HERE. NOW.” You climb in my lap and balk when I have to get up for any reason. You cling to me like a little sucker fish stuck to the side of the tank. It feels like you spend half your day running away from me when I’m trying to get you to do something and the other half wrapped around my legs when I need to get things done. It can get exhausting. And overwhelming. And some times *I* feel like shouting GO AWAY.

But I don’t. I don’t want you to go away. I want you to keep getting bigger. Keep getting better. I want you to figure out this place you live in. Where you fit in our family, where you fit in this world. Today we ventured back out to music class, where last week you made a bit of a scene. I was scared. And I decided that if you couldn’t behave (and by behave I mean not cause bodily injury to anyone) I wasn’t going to tough it out, that it was OK for us to leave. To try again next week. And you did… awesome. You sat in my lap and laughed as we sang silly songs. You used the rhythm sticks to, you know, keep the beat, instead of for a beating stick. You hugged our friends instead of bullrushing them. It was awesome. You are awesome.

Yes. This last month has been trying. It has challenged my patience. Patience that already seemed to be in a deficit. But we made it through and we’re all in one piece and sometimes that is enough. Sometimes it’s OK to admit that I don’t love every minute of being your mom. But I love every inch of you, and at the end of the day, the week, the month, the year- that’s all that matters.

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18g

18 months: Decidedly less GRRR SMASH and much more Carefully Crafted Trickery.

Keaton, Sir! Clearly you did not get the memo I sent, instructing you to stop time and quit with the growing already because today you turned eighteen months old. Lots of times the age milestones don’t really correspond with the developmental ones so a lot of the months go by with a woopty-friggen-do kind of feeling. Not this one though. You have been on a roll verbally and physically and it has been so fun to witness. (But, still. My memos are important son, and should normally be obeyed with robotic-like attention to detail so work on making time stand still, OK? OK.)

Remember a few months ago when I complained that you couldn’t just tell me what you wanted by saying words like “please” and “help” and “want”? Well. Now you can say all those things and more. Instead of getting frustrated and smashing your banana down on the floor and smushing it into my carpet when you can’t pull the peel down, you bring it over to me and say “help”. When you want toothpaste on your toothbrush you point up to the shelf and say “Peese!” (please) and when you want another cracker you say “more Cracka” instead of the extremely irritating “eh! eh! eh! eh!” we’ve been getting since you were six months old. You are starting to communicate on such a higher level and wow it’s making life a lot easier for all of us.

This last month your language comprehension also just blew through the roof. Yesterday dad said “Keaton, time for dinner!” and you shouted down from upstairs, “Coming!” What?! Babies don’t tell you they are coming when it’s dinner time they say things like “eeeeeetttt” and “din-din”. Dad was playing a game with you and he kept repeating “No way!” and you came right back at him and said “Yes way!” It’s so clear you’re really starting to get the back and forth of conversations and we just love having them with you. Your dad and I are both blabber mouths and it’s entirely possible your mama has some kind of disease that makes her narrate everything she does so this should come as no surprise but it is still such a cool thing when you respond to us like an actual human being.

This is how we start out most mornings:

“Good morning, Sir!”

“Brayfeck?”

“Yep, breakfast time!”

“Ooo, Pancake!!!!!!!!!”

“No, silly. Oatmeal.”

“Pancake?”

“No. Oatmeal. Oat. Meal.”

“Pancake. Pancake.”

“Oatmeal.”

“PANCAKE!PANCAKE!PANCAKE!PANCAKE!PANCAKE!”

This is only still cute because you get so excited your voice squeals with joy while saying the word pancake. I really need to get off my lazy butt and record it. I’m pretty sure it’s superior cuteness could bring about world peace or at the very least solve the economic crisis.

I don’t think you will qualify for services from the state but you have a speech impediment that causes you to put an “a” or “y” at the end of 70 percent of the words that come out of your mouth. Example: Shuea, walky, toesy, brusha, ouchy, Rowey (Rowan), booky, uppa (or uppy!) etc etc.

You can also say “All Done” but you usually say it as or after you have thrown your bowl of oatmeal off the highchair tray with a big grin, so hows about you keep working on that one. The trick is to NOT THROW YOUR FOOD. OR mash it in your hair.

Speaking of hair, you totally have hobo hair because both of your parents are too terrified to take you to get a haircut. The last two times you have screamed bloody murder the entire time and tried to gouge out the hair-dresser’s eyeballs with a shiv you hid in your diaper. Pretty soon we are going to be able to put it in a ponytail.

And by pretty soon I mean now.

And by pretty soon I mean now.

Bitch, tell me you did not just put a ponytail in my hair.

Bitch, tell me you did not just put a ponytail in my hair.

You love our trail walks and even though you are an active boy you don’t mind at all being schlepped around on my back in the Ergo. You cuddle with your blanky and nukka and take in the scenery while your sister pretends she is a dog (this entails following Luna around and “peeing” and “pooping” along with her. Nice.)

Your teeth are still the bane of you and your parents’ existance. They are coming in so painfully slow and most recently caused a 6 week-long goopy runny nose and more fish-gut-stink diapers than any human being should ever have to endure. Dear Keaton’s teeth, I know this is unnecessary and you’re only trying to get a reaction out of me so I’m going to ignore this assholery and not even use the eff word. (FUCK YOU). That was in parentheses so it totally didn’t count. Check the by-laws of blogging. It’s there.

Here is one of your new favorite pastimes:

Sparkle Pony's untimely demise. Death by chubby finger fling.

Death by chubby finger fling.

FUNNY. NOW KNOCK IT OFF.

Poor Sparkle Pony

Poor Sparkle Pony. RIP.

Changing your diaper gets harder and harder each month. It’s gotten to the point where I put on a pair of silk shorts and jump up and down on the balls of my feet to prepare myself for each change. It’s flippin’ Diaper Wrestlemania over here.

Your favorite place to be is outside. It’s getting to the point where your dad and I have to spell out the words “walk” or “outside” because if you here them you run to the gate and shout “Outside, Outside” and if you are not out there within the minute you get very indignant.

You also love going to the playground where you spend most of your time climbing, climbing, climbing. You also go down the twisty slide by yourself which is pretty fun to watch- your Uncle John baby-sat you this month and he said you even went down the big slide backwards. The daredeviliness reality of little boys is starting to set in and I’m not gonna lie to you son, mama’s a little terrified.

Don't forget extreme messiness and unwashability.

Don't forget Extreme Messiness and Unwashability!

I always refer to you as my baby but it’s getting harder and harder to get away with that these days. It’s clear you are intent on growing into a full fledged rowdy ruffian boy and I guess I’ll have to accept that, (baby) boy. (I can still do it in parentheses! By-laws! Huzzah!)

There you are. There's my little glimmer of baby.

Aw, there you are. There's my little glimmer of baby.

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Keaton, Sir! You are 16 months old!!

Here are your stats:

Height: 31 Inches (41%)

Weight: 23 lbs. 3 oz. (25%)

Noggin: 18.5 In (41%)

Every time anyone sees you they think you are such a chunk, but here are the numbers to prove them wrong. You’re only in the 25% for weight! I think most people who say that are using Rowan as a benchmark and if that’s the case then you ARE a chunk.

The last month was dominated by teeth and sickness. Your mouth is now the proud owner of 3 molars, 2 eyeteeth on top and the bottom eyeteeth and that last molar are well on their way. Your pediatrician assured us you are almost done with The Great Fucking Tooth Eruption of Aught Nine. Oh please God LET IT BE OVER SOON.

You got your first bout of the stomach flu. That was fun.

You’ve also spent the better part of the last two weeks with a really icky cold. You do not let colds go easily- you hang on to the snot for dear life. Although I will admit it is disgustingly cute when you take a tissue and attempt to wipe your nose by yourself. You do get in a couple of good wipes before you put it in your mouth. Disgusting was the key word there.

Baths have somehow turned into your arch enemy. Before you got the stomach flu, you loved bath time and we can’t figure out what about that experience made you hate them other than that we took you in the bathroom when it was time to throw up. The bath didn’t make you sick Keaton. THAT honor belongs to your sister, so hate her- not the bath. You get really stinky, especially when you do that awesome trick where you mush a banana up into a fine paste and then rub it in your hair. You need to forgive the bath because mama and dad are sick of the thrashing and the kicking and the what-have-yous.

Speaking of baths, I know you walked off with and hid that bottle of 10 dollar organic baby shampoo/bodywash. TELL MAMA WHERE IT IS, BABY!

You have graduated from shouting “eh, eh, eh, eh, EHHHHHHHHH” when you want something, to saying “meeno meeno meeno meeno” repeatedly until you get what you want. Believe it or not this is a HUGE improvement.

Now when you trip and fall or bump your head, you give a pathetic sigh and say “Owwww”. So cute.

Here’s what’s not cute: You hit now. Me. The cats. Your dad. The dog. Your sister. Especially that last one. You and Rowan got into your first fist fight this month (sadly, the camera was not handy and I had my hands full peeling you off each other). We’re desperately trying to curb this behavior, and have been saying “ouch, no hit!” and walking away when you get hitty. However you are persistent and will just follow behind me and hit the back of my knees. Knock it off, mean baby.

We had our last breastfeeding session this month. Ours was a long journey but so worth it. I cherish and am so proud of those 15 months worth of feedings. You’re a hard bugger, Keaton, but also a really amazing little guy.

You have finally attached to a lovey. You and Banky and your nukka-nuk are inseparable, which results in a precious little phenomenon we call, The Snuggles.

Oh, I almost forgot, you are a genius, now. You can count to eight! We walk you up and down the steps and you count them as we go. Well, the first eight anyway.

Your vocabulary has continued to grow, here are some of your shiny new words: Sock, sheep, ouch, phone, cup, banky, potty, block, shoe, car (which you say with a Bostonian accent) and hot. Also, we can tell you understand most of what we say to you and you can follow one to two step commands like “Go to Rowan’s room and get the ball”. Your communication skills are improving everyday. We also love to watch baby signs. You adamantly refuse to sign but the DVDs teach you new words, which is great!

You love to play in the dishwasher when mama is cleaning the kitchen and you love to play with Rowan’s toy kitchen. Good, baby. I smell a future chef! Someone’s gonna have to cook for me when your dad’s gone.

Whatever your sister is doing or has, you also need to be doing or have. This has resulted in you getting suckers and doing your first painting way earlier than we would have planned for.

You also love to play with “caaas” (cars), the big blocks, the wooden stacking train, Curious George flash cards, and phones of any kind (but mostly the real one that you can now reach, press the talk button and leave lay for 78 minutes and 34 seconds before I find it).

You are completely weaned from Organic Gerber baby mush. Yay!

This month we made the big switch to cloth diapers. We were a little nervous about the upfront cost, increased laundry and more hands-on-ness they require but, wow, we love them. And you look SO cute in them, which has resulted in all this months pictures being taken without your pants on.

Enjoy the baby ba-donk-a-donk butt!!

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