Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Playroom!

Well, it's new to us, anyway! After the addition of approximately 10,000 new Christmas toys, our living room looked like Toys R Us exploded. So, we decided to turn what was being used as an office into a playroom! This is something that we'd been talking about doing for a while, but never quite had the motivation to actually do, until you could barely wade through the most used room in the house. The room that is now the playroom will eventually be Bear's big boy bedroom, but not until there is another child added to our family. The toys will most likely stay when it is his bedroom, but the television will not! We are not completely finished getting everything arranged, but I wanted to go ahead and share a few pictures:

From the doorway. Notice the big comfy futon for Momma to lounge on while Bear plays:

From inside the room. The plan is to put the many, many books we have on those empty shelves!

As you can see, Bear has already been busy making a general mess of things in here. I built a big tower with his new blocks from Grandma and Grandad J., and the first thing he did when he saw the new room all set up was go over to the tower and knock it over!! Which is fine, because it's the PLAYROOM! How exciting is it not to have to rush around and clean up toys right before someone comes over!? I'm very happy that we were able to do this so quickly! I'm hoping to make it look a little more cheerful without spending too much money. Maybe a new cover for the futon?? Maybe some colorful pictures for the walls from Marshalls or TJ Maxx??

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Virus!

Our first Christmas with Bear was overshadowed by the nasty virus he came down with on Christmas Eve. It involved lots of stuff coming out of all orifices and loads and loads of laundry. Oh, it's nice to finally know what to use the "sanitize" setting for on our new washer! We managed to celebrate Christmas anyhow, among all the dirty diapers and clothes and I think Bear even enjoyed all his new loot. I am grateful that, if he had to get sick, that he got sick while Max was off work for a few days. I know it didn't make for a very relaxing vacation for him, but I couldn't have managed nearly as well without his help. The unthinkable happened the day after Christmas--Momma got the virus, too! I could not have gotten through it without Max! I barely slept the night that I got sick, so I stayed in bed (except for a couple juice/broth breaks) yesterday until 5 pm! Bear and I are both feeling better today, even if we're both a little crabby and tired! Here are some pictures from the parts of Christmas we'd like to remember:

Sick, but still happy to go for a walk in his new WAGON!!

Momma and Daddy are so tired of watching the one DVD Bear enjoys, so we were very pleased when Bear opened this gift from Grandpa and Grammy P:

While Bear was napping after opening all his gifts, Momma put together one of his favorites: a little KITCHEN SET! He was all smiles when he woke up!

Here he is being silly with his new stacking cups:

And again with a shape from the shape sorter:

I hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas! Hopefully yours was virus free!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eleven months!

I cannot believe my child turned 11 months old yesterday. That just completely blows me away! I took a few pictures of him this morning. Here are the few that I think turned out the best:

Devilish grin:

Smile for Momma!:


He's getting so good at going to the gym day care! Almost every day, the ladies that work in there tell me that he's getting easier to take care of. He almost never cries for them anymore, only when I first leave. Most of the time when I come to pick him up, he's playing with toys and is as happy as can be. Yay! It's about time I was able to feel good about dropping him off there!

Speaking of dropping him off, I had a dental appointment yesterday and Bear stayed with my friend Nancy and her daughter, Kaitlyn. He's so used to Nancy, he didn't even cry when I left. Apparently, he was good the entire time, but started to get sleepy right before I got back. Perfect! So we went home and he had a nap. I need a filling (eww), so he's going back to Nancy's house this afternoon. Hopefully, it'll be a repeat of yesterday's good behavior!

I wrote in my last post about how he loves to share his food with me. Well, he's just discovered that our dogs like sharing even more than I do! He spends the end of every meal time tossing food onto the floor and then laughing when the dogs run over to eat it. It's very cute right now, but it'll get annoying when he wastes his entire lunch! Maybe he won't ever do that...I can dream, right?

He seems to be getting more adaptable, too. The past two nights, we've kept him up past his bedtime and he seems to be okay with that. A friend was in town and the only time she was able to hang out was in the evenings, so that's what we did. We went out to dinner and kept him out until 9:00 (his usual bedtime is between 8 and 8:30) and he was just fine. I still keep to the routine once we get home--bath and then cuddle on the couch while we watch a Baby Einstein--so maybe that's what did the trick. Who knows?! I'm just glad to be able to do things with friends when the occasion arises.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Since I keep waking up so early and since I haven't blogged in oh, FOREVER, I guess I should take advantage of the free time that I have. Bear's been doing some new things, so I'll update everyone with those first.

First, he has been getting frustrated VERY easily lately. I try not to help him when I know he can figure things out himself, but my gosh, he expresses his frustration very LOUDLY! We call it his "red tail hawk" noise...it sounds just like when a hawk on television is descending on prey. (We have hawks around here, I just never stick around to see if they are going to attack something, so I don't know if that noise is accurate or not.) Anyhow, it can be something as simple as Bear wanting a certain toy out of the bin and he can't reach it as quickly as he'd like to something like him getting his fingers smashed. It's hard to tell if he's hurt or not, because the red tail hawk noise occurs for all frustrating events. I come running, thinking he's hurt, only to find him angry because he can't reach a particular truck. He also doesn't seem to care if we are in public and will make this noise in restaurants, stores or at the park. We were at a birthday party a few weeks ago and he made this noise when the birthday boy was about to blow out the candles (a normally very quiet moment). Everyone turned around to look at us, and it turns out that Bear just couldn't reach his balloon (a new favorite of his, btw).

Something extremely important in our household is laughter--a similar sense of humor is one of the things that attracted me to Max--and it is so cool that Bear has figured this out. Ever since he was able to, he's laughed along with us, even if he didn't know what we were laughing about. Lately, though, he's started trying to make us laugh and of course, it works! If he's given a bowl at mealtime, he empties it and holds it between his teeth so that most of the bowl is covering his face. While he's doing this, he gets our attention by making a "Mmmm mmm mmm" sound. Of course, we crack up and he drops the bowl to watch us laugh, just before he starts laughing himself. He also does this with the plastic cylinder shape that belongs to his shape sorter toy. The cylinder fits right over his nose and it's red, which makes him look like a pig. This actually makes me laugh even harder than the bowls at dinnertime! I've tried to get a picture, but he's such a ham, he always wants to smile when the camera's out, so he drops whatever he's holding. I'll keep trying, but without the noise and the obvious attempt to get our attention, some of the humor may be lost.

It looks like we'll be spending Bear's first Christmas just as a family of three. At one time, both my mom and my dad were thinking of coming to visit, but it ended up not working out for either of them. We are fine with having a relaxing holiday and can't wait for Bear to enjoy his new things. One gift we got him is a wagon, and I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to take him for a walk in it since Max picked it up the day after Thanksgiving. Our neighbor has a wagon and Bear loves to ride around their driveway in it, so I can't wait for him to have his own. If it's cold on Christmas, then we'll just have to bundle him up so he can enjoy it, because I don't think I'll be able to wait any longer.

We are going to attempt to take him to church on Christmas Eve and hopefully he won't get too squirmy. We last took him to church on Easter, but he was so little, he didn't cause any problems. I'm afraid he'll want to cruise along the pews, but maybe he'll surprise me. He may be excited about all the singing going on, but we might have to skip the candle lighting. I'm afraid he'll try to touch it and I won't be able to stop him. Why are babies and kids so attracted to fire? It seems like there would be some instinct that tells them not to touch it, but every little kid I've ever met wants to touch burning candles. Anyhow, we normally go to church on Christmas Eve for the midnight service, but I think we'll be attending the earlier one this year! The service at 6pm is probably filled with kids that can't make it until midnight. 6 pm is actually kind of pushing it for Bear. We usually give him a bath at 7 or so and sometimes he's pretty cranky for a half hour before that. Hopefully there will be enough new stuff going on at church that he'll be distracted enough not to act crazy!

Even though the week is coming to a close, Bear and I are going to be pretty busy for the remainder of it! We are hosting a playgroup for the first time at our house tomorrow and I've got to clean and bring all the toys into the living room, as well as make a snack. Also, tomorrow is Max's birthday and although we're not doing anything huge to celebrate, we're still going to have a little fun, so I've got a few preparations left to take care of for that. I'm really looking forward to everything and it should be a fun day, provided Bear takes good naps in between all the activity!

Here is one picture we managed to capture of him with the bowl on his face, but it's hard to tell he's being funny. I'll really try to get one with the red cylinder...that better captures the silliness!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's up with Bear!

Bear has been doing lots of neat, new stuff lately, so I figured I'd better do a post about it all before I forget!

First of all, he has been feeding me bits of his food. If he's eating a cracker or a Cheerio (Yuck, by the way! I don't see how babies still love these after they've tasted other stuff!), he'll offer me a bite. I know this isn't rocket science, but it's so cool to me that he realizes that I eat, too! And that he wants to share with me! I'm hoping he doesn't ever hit the phase where he gets mad at me for eating "his" food, but I've seen too many toddlers doing just that, so I have to face reality. Anyhow, for now, the sharing that he wants to do with me is sweet...as long as the food he tries to feed me isn't too soggy

As can be seen in on of my previous posts, he has been walking behind his little walker wagon for a little while now. Recently, he has started walking behind anything that has wheels, and FAST! If we go to a neighbor's house and they have toys out in the driveway, he'll crawl up to one and start pushing it until he crashes into the yard or another kid or whatever! He falls and doesn't get frustrated, which is great! He usually just picks himself back up and starts going again.

He has been saying some new things, too. He says one particular word over and over again..."DOP!". I have no idea what it means and doesn't seem to be in reference to anything specific, but there is an ice cream store here called Bops, so I have tried several times to convince Max that Bear wants to go there. That hasn't worked out so well. In reality, he's probably mimicking me saying "STOP", which I say several times a day, I'm realizing! Maybe not, though. He may just have realized that he can make the noise and likes us to repeat it to him.

He's also been grunting lately and we have no idea why! It almost sounds like he's trying for #2 (gross, I know, but I had to describe it!) but he's not. He sometimes laughs after he grunts and will copy me if I make a grunting sound. Again, I think he's just realized that he can do this and likes to do it over and over again.

I think I'm forgetting things, even as I type! I know there's more that I wanted to add to this post, but my mind is not so sharp before 8am and I'll have to add more later on. Besides, Bear and I need to get moving if we are going to make it to the gym and back before he needs a nap!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baby driver

I know before long, he'll be zipping around the house so fast that I'll hardly be able to keep up, but for now, this is really exciting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekend report/Christmas tree

We had a great Thanksgiving, with the house full of family. We are, however, ready to get back to normal. Bear's sleep routine would be first on my list to get back to some sort of regularity! If he (all babies are like this, I think) gets good sleep, then he is a much better kid for me throughout the day. We kept him in his own room and kept with his regular nap/sleep schedule while everyone was here, but he still got off track a little. For the past several weeks, we've been just lying him in his crib at nap/bedtime and letting him cry a little until he falls asleep. Up until this week, I had never let him cry longer than twenty minutes, figuring if he cried that long then he wasn't very tired. While we had visitors, though, he acted as if he were afraid he was missing something. He cried and cried and cried! I rocked him nearly to sleep a few times and then tried laying him down again, which worked pretty well. The last of our company left on Sunday morning, but I still had to rock him last night. I'm sure he'll get back on track, but I'm missing his routine more than he is, I think!

We put up our Christmas tree on Sunday night, and Bear is in LOVE with it. A couple of years ago, we bought an artificial tree that is prelit with colored lights, thinking that our future children would love it. I am happy to say that we definitely made the right investment! Whenever we go into the dining room (where the tree is), Bear talks to the tree by saying something that sounds like "Hey!" over and over again and reaches out his hand to touch it. He does this whether the lights are lit or not! Also, I babysat my neighbor's kids for an hour or so last night and they were loving the colored lights, too. Apparently, they have white lights at home and they aren't all that impressed with them. Those kids are 2 and 3, so hopefully Bear will be impressed with our tree for a few years to come. I suppose we need to get baby gates to block off the dining room now, because any time Bear crawls away from me, he heads for the tree. There's nothing on it that could really hurt him, I suppose, but I'm afraid he's going to try and pull himself up by the branches and the whole thing will come tumbling down on him. We bought all shatterproof ornaments and squeezed the hooks onto the branches, so he shouldn't be able to get any of those off, but I don't know how to keep him from tugging at the branches. Oh well, if that's my biggest problem, I don't have very many problems, do I?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

I am happy to report...

...that Bear signed his first sign last night! I've been showing him sign language for a few words pretty consistently over the past couple of months and though he smiles when I move his hands to do the correct sign, he's never mimicked me or anything. Last night was different, though! I've been showing him the signs for bath, all done, book, eat, dog, cat, momma and daddy. Which did he choose to do himself first?? It'll make my English professor mama proud--it was BOOK! He loves being read to over and over again, so it makes sense that he would choose book as his first sign. The sign is supposed to be both hands opening like a book and Bear only uses one hand, but it's obvious that he means BOOK! Hopefully this opens the door to a whole new world for the boy and he'll start to understand that communication can happen through different means than just crying!

Also, we did end up seeing Santa yesterday. Bear was confused, I think. He wasn't sure who this guy was and why I backed up real fast after depositing him on said guy's lap (so we could get a picture). He didn't cry, but he did spend a fair amount of time staring at Santa's face. I thought that would make a cute picture, but the picture taking woman waited until he looked our way and sort of half-smiled. The picture we got was free, so it's not the best quality, but I'll try to scan it and see how that comes out. There's also a kind of maniacal looking elf in the background, which I wasn't a big fan of. Bass Pro Shop has a huge aquarium that I thought Bear would be interested in, but he didn't even notice the HUGE catfish inside, because he was too busy staring at the waterfall that fed the tank. Oh well. We had fun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bear is 10 months old!

I can't believe my boy is ten months old already. Some days seem really slow, but as a whole, his little life has flown by for me! We're really looking forward to the holidays with him. For Thanksgiving, I'm excited about letting him try different foods. I know, I know, but it doesn't take much to excite me these days. He's pretty open to new things, obviously some foods go over better than others. He likes (A LOT) just about any kind of bread I've given him and he seems pretty happy to try any veggie, as long as I mush it up to the exact consistency he desires (a preference that changes daily). Meat is another story...he likes those nasty little meat sticks made for toddlers, so I give them to him sometimes (even though my friends make fun of me). Other meat he's not so interested in. He's also taken a liking to any kind of bean and to cottage cheese lately. I'm glad that he likes both of those, so I don't have to worry about his protein coming from meat.

What I'm most looking forward to for Thanksgiving is my family getting to spend some time with him. My dad and his wife haven't seen him since July and of course, he's changed a ton since then. My dad really misses him--he calls to say hi to us and gets cracked up at Bear making a bunch of noise in the background. My dad's laugh is infectious, so that in turn gets me laughing as well. Plus, all the jabbering Bear does becomes background noise to me and it's nice to have someone point it out and make me remember that it definitely sounds like he's trying to communicate something to us. My brother and brother in law are also coming to visit for Thanksgiving and I'm excited that they get to spend more than just a couple of hours with Bear. I've visited Nashville with Bear twice, and that's the only time my BIL has been able to spend with him, so it should be nice to see them get to interact a little more. My brother has been here once to visit, but Bear was only 2 months old, so he wasn't too exciting yet. He's also seen him on those trips to Nashville, but more time would be great.

I'm not sure who's coming to visit yet, but I think Christmas will be a fun time as well. Even though Bear doesn't have any idea that the actual day of Christmas is different than any other day, we can still get him involved in activities that surround that holiday. For example, I think we are going to visit Santa today! Max and I were trying to guess at Bear's reaction to Santa last night. On the one hand, he could be great! He's really been a little ham lately when it comes to the camera. He grins or at least faces us for a picture. He also likes to pull at beards (my dad, grandpa and brother all have them), so he may think Santa is the best thing ever. On the other hand, he may think we're trying to leave him and cry his little eyes out. We'll just have to see. We're going to see Santa at the Bass Pro Shop, oddly enough, but I've been told they have a really great setup--lots of trains and Christmas lights and a big tree. The Santa was reported to look more authentic than the mall Santa and hopefully the lines will be shorter, too! Hopefully, it will be a good experience. I'll report back soon--with pictures!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Upcoming Thanksgiving

I am so grateful that my dad, my brother and BIL (I think) will be coming to visit us for Thanksgiving. That means we don't have to go anywhere! Bear has been a good traveler for us so far, but traveling with a baby is just stressful to me. The biggest problem is the sleeping--Bear gets all off track and doesn't get good sleep, so it's hard to know how he's going to act during the days. I'm sure if we stayed anywhere for any length of time he'd fall into some sort of pattern, but it would probably have to be for more than a week and it's unlikely that we'd go anywhere for that long. The sleep deal is so fragile, actually, that I sheepishly asked my brother if he'd mind sleeping on an air mattress in our living room so that Bear doesn't have to give up his room. My brother happily obliged, and I am so glad. I really think it will be easier for everyone involved if we keep daily routines as normal as possible for Bear.

I really should be focusing on getting the house ready for visitors rather than blogging, but oh well. I'm even in the room that needs the most work (carpet cleaning), but I've decided to focus on that this weekend. Right now, I'm pretty focused on spending time with my friends. I have two best friends here, both of which I've made through the moms club that I'm part of. One of them is moving away shortly after Thanksgiving, so I'm making it a priority to spend as much time with her as possible before she leaves. I'm so lucky to have 2 good friends! I would be really down in the dumps if I had only bonded with one fellow mom and then she ended up moving. I'm not sure that I'd like living here nearly as much as I do without the moms club and the friendships that have formed out of it. Actually, I know I wouldn't like it as much. The town itself is okay, but I need those friendships to REALLY like it here. As much as I liked the actual town in TX that we lived in before moving here, it doesn't compare to how I feel about living here. And the difference is definitely in the friendships I've made. Even before I had Bear, the job I had here was so much better than the one I had in TX. When we moved from TN to TX, I was excited for something new and when we moved from TX to here, I felt kind of the same way. If we had to move from here right now, though, I would be sad. Part of it is that I really like the house we have here and this is where Bear was born, so I'd like to stay for a bit. However, I have to face reality. We most likely will move at some point in order to keep Max on a good career path. I have no idea when that will be, but I do know that when the time comes, it will be the saddest I've ever been to leave somewhere. Hopefully, we'll get to stay here for at least a few more years!

Something else that's been on my mind: PREGNANCY! Now, I'm not pregnant, but there are several people around me that either are or have recently had a baby or are trying to get pregnant, and it has really gotten me thinking. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Maybe so. Are we ready? Maybe so. We've been talking about it almost every day and how now that Bear is doing certain things (like sleeping thru the night!!), having another baby will be easier now than it would have been a couple of months ago. I do wish he'd start walking before I got to the point in the pregnancy where it will be difficult to lift him, but I feel pretty confident that that will be the case. I remember my back hurting pretty early on though, like even before I got very big, so I need to think about that. Oh well, just random thoughts so I can procrastinate on the cleaning for even longer!

Do I really want to look like this again? Maybe so!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is my hair messed up?

We have ourselves a little Lyle Lovett* in training!

*Just the hair, not the face!!

Mr. Independence

Okay, I think maybe I've FINALLY figured out the eating dilemma with Bear: he is DONE with baby food! I thought he just wanted to feed himself, but that's not true. For example, I made some pasta with broccoli and chicken in it and mashed it up and he let me feed it to him. Also, we went out to eat the other night, and we ordered Bear a side of mashed potatoes and he let me feed him those as well. Apparently, he does like to feed himself, but will still allow me to feed him some things, as long as it's not baby food. I imagine baby food doesn't have much taste compared to the dinners we cook, so it's understandable. I talked about it with some of my mom friends and some of their children did the same thing--just decided they were done one day! One thing I noticed about table food, though: it must fill him up more than baby food did, because he certainly doesn't eat as large of a portion. That's fine, because it's actually quite a bit cheaper this way! If I don't have to buy him separate food and instead just feed him what we eat, we'll be saving some money. Now, what to do with the left over baby food in the cabinet?

Something I don't understand, though, is if he is eating grown up food due to the taste, how can he still down loads of formula?? Man, he loves that stuff! If I even say the word "bottle", he gets all worked up and is ready to drink one RIGHT NOW. The last time we were at the doctor, he told us to switch to whole milk at a year and to start weaning him off of bottles at that point as well. I'm not looking forward to that change at all! Maybe, though, like other changes we've made, it won't be as difficult as I'm anticipating. I certainly hope not. That boy loves his bottle, though!

Speaking of change, Bear has recently stopped needing to be rocked to sleep. We used to sit on the couch at bedtime and either just let him fall asleep in my arms, or if he was having trouble getting to that point, I'd take him in his bedroom and rock him. Now, though, he has a serious wiggling problem. When he's tired, he starts climbing all over me and thrashes around, seemingly not able to get comfortable. Max told me that at nap time last weekend while I was out at a movie with my mom friends that he just laid him in his crib due to the non-stop crying and moving about, so I decided to give it a shot myself. AND IT WORKED!! I tried it at both nap times yesterday and then again at bed time. He cries, because he's not used to being left alone, but in all cases, he has fallen asleep in less than ten minutes. I also, due to my mother in law's suggestion, put a couple toys in his crib that he can play with to calm himself down or at least entertain himself for a few minutes. At least once yesterday, I heard him playing with one of them before a nap and I have found them in various spots in the crib, so I know he's at least playing with them for a few minutes. Hopefully, he'll get to the point where he doesn't cry anymore when I lie him down. That would be heavenly, especially if we are to have another child! That way I can focus on just one baby that needs help getting to sleep.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween pictures and other junk

As promised, here are the Halloween pictures my friend took of Bear and his friends.

Here are the three amigos in front of my front door. No one would smile and Bear would not even look at the camera, but HEY, we got a picture of all three of them.

He smiled, but only once, and it was kind of a fake smile--no teeth!

He was much more interested in eating the mulch by our front door. I grabbed it out of his hands quite a few times before we were done with the photo session.

He liked playing with the pumpkins we got from the pumpkin patch. This would have been a cuter picture if we had remembered to carve our pumpkins!

Bear and I have not been sleeping well at all. When we visited my mom and her husband, I tried to keep him from crying at night and waking the whole house, so he got used to being fed bottles in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, he seems to have outgrown his love for sleeping in the pack n play as well, so he spent at least a few hours in bed with me every night. He has tried rejecting his crib ever since we got back, but I don't like that idea, so I've been forcing the issue and not getting very much sleep myself. Last night was better (6 whole hours!), so maybe we're on the road to sleep recovery.

Also, I wrote in my last post about how Bear had started spitting his food out at me. Yay, I may have figured out the problem! Boo, I don't like the solution all that much! I think Bear wants to feed himself. This would be fine if he were just a little older so he could have the dexterity to actually get a spoon to his mouth. Oh, I let him try, but it's not very successful. Most of the food ends up on the floor, his bib, his face, the high chair tray, his clothes, his hair or on his hands. He really likes foods that he can pick up off his tray and he does a good job at that, but there are only so many foods that I can make into "finger foods" and I worry about his nutritional needs. The oatmeal he used to eat every day is fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals, but so is his formula, so maybe I shouldn't fret. I did get him to eat some oatmeal this morning, but only when he was holding the spoon. If I held it, then by God, it got spit out! Yesterday, for dinner he ate peas and pieces of wheat bread that I scattered on his high chair tray, and that actually worked out pretty well. Most of the peas ended up in his mouth except for the lone few that somehow worked their way into his overalls. It was so funny--they kept falling out when he was crawling around the living room! Anyhow, this is just new for us, so it will take some getting used to and some creativity on my part. I've been scouring the internet for other good finger foods for babies and I've found quite a few that I think Bear would like to try. I don't know what to do with the cabinet full of baby food that we have, but maybe with practice, he'll get better at spoon feeding himself.

This whole food issue reminds me of something that I've wanted to write about for a while now. I did not realize how much Bear would change over this first year! Oh, I knew that he'd go from this tiny little wailing thing to a walking, babbling person, but I didn't realize how much went into that! I like consistency in my life and I like to know what to expect, but Bear has really made me come out of my shell in those two aspects! I never know how many hours of uninterrupted sleep I'll get, I never know which foods he'll accept today, I never know how his mood will be and I am learning that this is OKAY. It's okay if he just wants to be held for most of one afternoon (usually due to teething or illness) and it's okay if I just hold him and don't leave the house. I've been so busy lately, running around even when I don't really want to. It's okay to say no and to skip activities every once in a while. I don't really have any obligations other than to be his mother right now and I'm learning to love that fact. I never know what the day will bring as far as Bear is concerned, but this is exciting and not scary! I love watching him learn and grow!

Oh, just so I don't forget, since this is a supplement to Bear's baby book, about that walrus noise that he imitated night before last...well, last night he made the noise upon just being shown the walrus! Max and I got a big kick out of that.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun with Bear

We had lots of fun on Halloween night! My two best friends from the moms club came over with their daughters and we ate dinner and took the kids around the neighborhood in their costumes. Normally, this would be called trick-or-treating, but since none of them can actually say "trick or treat" and none of them can really eat candy, we just took them around to show them off. My neighborhood had lots of kids in costumes running around and it was a really fun night. Unfortunately, my camera battery died, but one of my friends took pics of all three of the kids, so I'll have to post those after she sends them to me. I did get some pictures of him and his friend Kaitlyn taking a bath together that night, though!

Bear has been "talking" more and more. He now says something that sounds an awful lot like "momma", and he tends to say it when I leave the room or when he wants to be picked up by me. Maybe I'm just kidding myself, but it really seems like he's saying it in reference to me. He's been saying "guh" for a while and he sometimes says "buh" and is starting to make a "cuh" sound deep in his throat. Something really interesting happened last night during his bath! He has a toy walrus that we just about always play with during bath time and last night was no exception. I have been holding it up to him and making what I *think* is a walrus sound ever since we received the toy quite a few months ago. Well, last night, he made the sound right after I did! I thought it was a fluke, so I did it twice more and so did he! I had Max get out the video camera and we got some great video of me making walrus noises, but of course, Bear clammed up.

Another fun step Bear seems to have taken involves food. He has been spitting baby food out at me! I don't like this, but I'm not sure how to stop it. I've said a very stern "no" to him and he'll sometimes cry, but he still does it again. The foods that he spits are foods that he's liked up to this point, so I'm not sure what's happening. Max thought that maybe he would do better with thicker foods, so he went out and bought some stage 3 baby food, which can be started at 9 months anyhow. We'll try them today at lunch time and see how that goes. Hopefully better! The good news is, he doesn't seem to be spitting out any of the non-baby food that I give him. For example, last night I made some macaroni with broccoli in it and mushed it up for him. He seemed to love that! We have lots of leftovers, so we'll have to try that again. He also has tried mashed potatoes, pasta salad, bread from a baguette and macaroni and cheese and hasn't spit out any of those. Maybe he's just ready to move on and is trying to tell me.

I also wanted to share some of the 9 month pictures that I took of Bear. He's getting less and less cooperative at these picture taking sessions, but I think it's funny to have some of him trying to wiggle out of the chair or looking out the window instead of at me, so I'm willing to keep doing it!

This is my favorite "nice" one:

Here's an example of how he kept looking out the window:

This is my favorite silly one. Look at those teeth!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home after a long weekend

Bear and I made the six hour drive to Nashville this weekend and had lots of fun. We went mostly to attend a friend's wedding, but Bear also got to spend lots of time with his Grandma Holt and had some fun with his uncles (my brother and Max's brother both live in N'ville). Friday was spent mostly driving around. Because Bear was so well behaved, we made it to Nashville in record time. He spent most of the trip sleeping, with the exception of about half an hour when we stopped and had lunch. We briefly stopped at Grandma Holt's house and then headed to my friend Andrea's wedding rehearsal picnic. I didn't take any pictures that day--it was too cold to mess with it and we didn't look very good due to traveling all day. After the chilly picnic, we went over to visit my friend Julie's 6 month old twins. It was nice to finally meet the babies, but Bear was in a horrific mood by that point, so again, no pictures were taken.

The next day was much better. We went out to lunch and shopping with Grandma. We managed to find a really cool children's consignment shop, where we picked up a fall/winter wardrobe for Bear. We headed for the wedding that afternoon. We were almost late, but it was probably better for us to sit in the very back anyhow. Bear yelled a few times during the exchanging of the vows, but I found some Cheerios in my bag and managed to keep him mostly quiet. At the reception, he spent a good bit of time exploring the floor and getting into my purse:

Then we found him a highchair and he was happy to sit there and eat crackers for a bit.

He got held by lots of people and played a bunch with the other kids that attended the wedding, so he was pretty tired by the time we pulled back up to Grandma's house:

The next day, we shopped with Grandma again and invited his uncles over to Grandma's house for dinner. Bear had a whole lot of fun with both of his uncles!

His favorite thing to do with Uncle Nick was to pull his beard.

And with Uncle Seth, pulling off his glasses was the fun activity.

The next day, we went to the university where Grandma teaches so she could show him off to her colleagues. He loves to show off, so he was ready to go!

After lunch and a nap, we took Bear to a bookstore that had a great kid's area. Bear spent lots of time at the train table.

It got really cold that night, so we had to use Grandma's fireplace to stay warm. Bear WOULD NOT leave it alone.

Overall, it was a good trip. The way home was similar to the way up, in that Bear slept much of the way. We were both a little crabbier, probably just ready to be home. Bear sure was happy to see his daddy! We didn't sleep very well last night, unfortunately. I think Bear got used to sleeping in the same room as me. We'll have to work on that tonight...I just didn't have the energy to deal with a lot of crying last night. I feel at least a little rested today, though, and we have NO PLANS for a change, so maybe I can even take a nap when he does. Judging from the whining little boy on the floor, it's about time for a nap right now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is going on with the world?

I have been upset since yesterday afternoon and things keep happening to make me more upset. Nothing bad has happened to us, but it seems like the universe is not treating people well lately, so I'm keeping my eyes open. I'm not very superstitious and I try to have a positive outlook, but it's hard not to be cynical when total crap keeps happening to people.

I got word yesterday that a high school friend lost her house in a fire on Monday and I am so worried about her. We haven't actually talked in a few years, but we email and keep up with each other through blogs and I still care a lot about her. She has 3 kids and while no one was hurt in the fire, they lost EVERYTHING (including their pets, which is horrible!). Thank goodness they weren't home, but I cannot imagine losing everything I own and having to explain to three kids that their pets are gone.

Today, I opened my myspace account to find that one of my friends from college, who is pregnant with her first child, just found out for sure that her son has a birth defect. A pretty scary one, too. I don't know anything about the birth defect and had never even heard of it until today, but apparently it's a fairly common one. I guess kids can live after the surgery to fix the defect, but the fact that some don't makes me cry. How stressful, to learn that your baby is sick only halfway through your pregnancy! I remember how hopeful and excited I was to be pregnant with Bear and I cannot fathom extreme worry being a part of those emotions as well.

Then, I checked the blogs that I read daily to see that someone who was expecting to start the IVF process today has to wait longer, AGAIN. Now, I don't actually know this person in real life, but when you read about someone's thoughts and emotions everyday, you start to feel like you know at least a little about her and you sort of experience those emotions along with her. This girl has been through some serious crap trying to become a mom and it has lasted a number of years. I was so hopeful for her this week and to hear that she has to wait for better conditions AGAIN hurts me, too, although I'm sure it's nothing like what she's having to deal with.

So there you have it: the reasons my eyes are red and why I won't even bother putting mascara on today. I just hope that things get better for everyone soon.

Just so this post isn't completely sad, here's a picture of me and Bear. My friend took this of us at McDonald's yesterday and it turned out really well! This may have to be my new profile picture. I was just looking at the one from July 4th that I am currently using, and Bear looks so young! He is 9 months today, but I haven't taken any pictures of him yet today. I will later and will post those for your viewing pleasure soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All about Bear

I've noticed that my blogging is becoming more and more sporadic with each passing week. I don't know where the time goes and apparently my mind is shot, because I don't have any really good blogging ideas lately! I don't want to give up the blog entirely, as it's a good release for me when I can find the time. Bear and I have gotten so much busier, though! We've made some friends through our moms club and the activities get us out of the house at least twice a week. Also, Bear is taking shorter naps (which is fine, because he's sleeping through the night most of the time) and it's just harder to find the time. I used to be able to plop him down and write a post while he was playing, and that's nearly impossible at this point. He requires just about ALL of my attention just about ALL of the time. It's not that he can't play by himself, because he totally can and does. It's more about the fact that he's so mobile and into everything that I have to be pretty close by to make sure he doesn't hurt himself crawling onto something or fall over when he pulls up on furniture.

One of my favorite times of day is becoming the time when I wash his bottles. I know, sounds weird, right? But I can put him in his high chair and give him a sippy cup of water and a snack and he's as happy as can be watching me clean the kitchen. I talk to him and he babbles back at the appropriate time, so that it almost seems like we're having a conversation. He has just started babbling a "guh" sound and he'll say it over and over again and then laugh. I have no idea what he's talking about, but it's definitely the beginning of language development. It's so exciting to think about the day when he will communicate something to me! I do some sign language with him, but he hasn't signed anything back to me yet. He's still a little young, according to the books that I have, but that doesn't mean he doesn't understand when I sign.

He has also started understanding what I mean when I say "no", which is great! He likes to play in our gas fireplace, which is just not a good idea. Unfortunately, it's not very high up off the floor and is just at his eye level when he's crawling. It has lots of little heat conducting rocks in the bottom and I don't want him to choke on them, but also, I just don't want him to think that the fireplace is a toy. When he first started crawling, I put a piece of cardboard in front of it, because he would just smile and keep on going when I told him "no". Now, though, he turns around and looks at me, sometimes still smiling, but he stops. Sometimes he'll try again, but I just repeat "no" and he moves on to something else. Every once in a while, he'll cry when I tell him not to do something, but that's usually only when he's pretty tired already. I use "no" sparingly, too, because from what I understand, if you say it all the time, babies tend to tune it out. I only say it when he's going for the fireplace or the dog food bowls or when he pulls my hair or bites me. It's just so neat to watch him processing the fact that he's not allowed to do something.

We have to go shopping later today, because one of Bear's playgroup friends is turning 2 soon. We have a playgroup meeting tomorrow and we are going to be celebrating her birthday by dressing up in Halloween costumes. I'm glad for Bear to get to wear his costume because, honestly, there aren't very many opportunities for little ones to put them on. It's not as if I'll be taking him trick-or-treating or anything! There are lots of fun activities around here at the zoo, at parks and at churches, but most are in the evening and Bear would just be too cranky to attend. The moms club is going to visit a nursing home with all the kids in costume, but Bear and I will be out of town for my friend's wedding. Oh well, I'll dress him up on Halloween so we can greet all the older kids in the neighborhood when they come by for candy.

Speaking of my friend's wedding, we are getting ready to head to Nashville for a long weekend to attend it. We decided it would be best for Max to stay home and for Bear and I to go by ourselves. That saves us money by not having to get our dogs boarded, but it also will make it a more pleasurable trip. Don't get me wrong, I would love to spend time with Max, but it would have to be a rushed trip if he went, so that he could get back to work. This way, I can spend time with my mom and some friends that I haven't seen in a while. I have one friend who has 5 month old twins that I would love to meet and another friend that I just miss a lot. I lived in the Nashville area for most of my life, so I still know lots of people there and enjoy spending time with everyone. I do not, however, enjoy the traffic! I have gotten used to the not-so-crowded ways of Mississippi. I can brave it for one weekend, though. It's worth it to get to spend time with everyone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Separation anxiety

I think separation anxiety has officially hit my poor Bear. I just don't know the best way to get him over it. The only time I leave him with anyone is when I go to the gym, which is usually 2-3 times a week. He was fine with it from the beginning (when he was around 5 months old)--he had a favorite lady and he appeared to even have fun with the toys in there. Ever since a week or so ago, he has absolutely hated it. He has not wanted to go to anyone, even his favorite person, and has been clinging to me so that I have to loosen his grip on my shirt before I can hand him over. Then, when I come back from working out, usually in about an hour, I am greeted by a red-eyed, snotty-nosed baby that can't calm down until we are on the highway back home, where he falls asleep. I'm just not sure what's best at this stage and I'm getting conflicting advice. My mom friends tell me that I should leave him for shorter periods of time so that he starts to realize that I'm coming back. One friend told me that she did this with her son and started with only leaving him for 15 minutes at a time. Call me selfish or whatever, but I am not driving all the way to the gym for a 15 minute workout. So I tried half an hour today and that's probably what I'll do the next few times to see if it works. I did get grilled by the childcare worker today, though. She wanted to know why I wasn't gone for as long as I usually am, so I told her what I was trying. She told me that she's been working with kids for a long time and that he'll get over it, even if I go for my normal hour. So now I don't know what to do. I don't want to traumatize the little guy and sometimes I feel selfish for even going to the gym. But, dang it, I'm supposed to go the gym! I need to lose weight, I need some alone time and I need to make exercise a regular part of my routine! So help me out--if you have any words of wisdom, please share!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Bear and I went to a pumpkin patch with our moms club yesterday and it was so much fun! I, for one, am still a little worn out from lugging my heavy little boy all over the place, but it was still a good time.

We were one of the first ones to get there, so we had to wait for the rest of our group. We spent time looking at all the animals on the farm. Here's Bear and his friends (notice they are ALL girls!) sitting in a row under the rabbit cages.

The pumpkin patch had some little photo op areas set up that we took advantage of while we were waiting for the hayride to start. It started to rain a little, so we had to hurry. This is a cute picture, but I could not get the boy to smile!

When we finally started the hayride, Bear was very interested in the hay.

He played with it, threw it and I think he even tasted some.

Then he got bored.

He woke up when the tractor stopped at the actual pumpkin patch. Just in time!

There is another patch not too far from our house that I'd like to visit as a family. Hopefully we'll do that soon and I'll post more pictures then!

Oh, I almost forgot...I wanted to post a picture of him happily swinging. I've been putting him in the swings at the park ever since he could hold his head up, but he never looked like enjoyed them much. He didn't complain, so I figured he liked it, it was just that he never smiled. He just started really enjoying himself the other day, and I was amazed at how much he laughed and kicked his legs.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Busy times

My best friends in the moms club each have a little girl, so Bear is often surrounded by shrieks, hollers, temper tantrums and the like. That's not to say that these particular little girls are badly behaved--not by any means! They're just normal little girls with big voices. Anyhow, Bear hardly ever makes a peep when we're in public. At home, he's always making tooting noises with his mouth and lately he's been making these little high pitched noises that sound an awful lot like the beginnings of actual language. My friends have rarely heard Bear's little sounds, but today, when we were out to lunch, Bear yawned and made the loudest sound I've ever heard him make! My friends looked at me with surprised faces and couldn't believe he'd yelled out so loudly. We all started cracking up.

I just realized today that I am having the best time of my life. Up until this point, college has always been what I would call the best. I had a ton of friends who were always up for fun, no real responsibilities other than attending class and basically a lot of free time on my hands to do whatever I wanted. I made the first friends that I really felt that I had something in common with, some of which are still my friends today. Of course, I was always poor and I hadn't met Max yet, so those are some downfalls, but there are bad sides to any situation. I also could never figure out what it was I wanted to do with my life...never felt sure about my major and didn't feel passionately about much of anything. After college was also good, because I met Max and had lots of fun dating him, but I missed having lots of friends around. I also started thinking that my job was not a very good one, but I still didn't know what to do with my life. I got a graduate degree, but I had trouble finding work and then we moved to Texas. I still couldn't find a good job, so I accepted one that was less than desirable. I made some friends there, but no one that I keep in touch with. Then we decided to move to Mississippi...again, not a great job to be found, but the one I did find is the best I've ever had. I worked for a bit and then got pregnant, not realizing all the changes my life was about to go through.

I always knew that I wanted kids, but I never realized the world that would be opened up to me once I had one! The moms club (and no, they're not paying me to say this!) has been a lifeline for me. I've never been as involved in a club as I have been in this one and it has been well worth my while to get involved. Since I stay home with Bear, I didn't have a whole lot of friends to reach out to. My friends from college don't have kids yet, so we can't really swap kid stories about middle of the night puke or changing explosive diapers. Through the moms club, though, I have found all of that and more. Bear and I attend most of the activities that the club offers and I think both of us are better for it. I have friends that live nearby again and Bear gets exposed to lots of other kids of various ages. I have much less free time than I've ever had in my life, but I'm mostly happy to do the things that now fill my time, even if it involves cleaning up gross stuff. I'm so thankful to be have a club that exists in our area and am so thankful that I've found other moms that I have more things in common with other than the simple fact that we have kids. I feel really lucky to be able to stay home and to have a husband that wants me to be able to do that.

Hmm...this post turned a completely different direction than I meant for it to, but that's okay! I am grateful for everything and I should say it more often. I'll have to post pictures tomorrow of Bear all happy in the swings at the park.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Story of Sick Amanda

I am starting to feel like I am one of those people who gets sick easily! Yep, I'm sick again. I have yet another cold and I just cannot believe it. This is the third one in a matter of six weeks or so. I have also been on antibiotics three times over the last six weeks, twice for sinus infections, once for a UTI (sorry if that's too much info!) that I didn't even know I had but was discovered at a routine checkup. I think I've taken enough for now, so I'm going to let this cold go for at least a week before I visit a doctor again. According to the online research I've done, it's really hard to distinguish between a cold and a sinus infection. Antibiotics won't do anything for a cold, but they are needed for sinus infections. I'm not convinced that the last two colds I had were really sinus infections, but I was prescribed antibiotics anyway, I guess to be on the safe side. I don't want my body to get immune to the antibiotics, so I'm going to try to wait this sickness out and hope for the best. Thank goodness Bear doesn't have it yet and hopefully he will not get it.

I skipped a lunch the moms club had today, which I hated to do, but I don't think I would have been very good company if I kept blowing my nose at the table. I got a little stir crazy, though, and decided to venture out to WalMart to pick up a few things. On the way, I got really thirsty for a diet coke, so I went to the drive through at McDonald's. The drink I was handed was filled way too full, so it spilled all over the front of my shirt when I picked it up to take a drink. A year ago, I would have headed back home and would have probably ended up skipping the WalMart trek. But ever since I had a baby, stains on my clothing just don't phase me as much. Imagine that! Anyhow, I still felt a little gross, so I just hoped I didn't see anyone I knew. Of course, I did, though. I ran into a fellow moms clubber with three of her four boys, none of which could I remember their names. I can remember the 4 names of her boys, but I always get the actual kids all confused and call them the wrong names, so I didn't even try today. I bought some cute fall stuff at the store, hoping that it would make me feel a little perkier if I decorated the house for the season (even though the temperatures here are no where near fall temperatures!).

Bear is especially needy today, but I think he's teething. He's been crying more than normal and hasn't been eating as much. He's sleeping a little more than usual, too, but I think that's a product of our busy weekend. He attended his first birthday party on Saturday and we went to our community's German Fest on Sunday. We had to leave both events earlier than we planned because Bear was not in a very good mood. It was okay, though. I didn't feel too good, either!

One cool thing about today: Bear was doing this whiny cry thing that he does when he's overtired and he said something that sounded an awful lot like "Momma". He's done it about five times since then, too. I don't know if he's actually crying for me or not, but it sure sounds like it. He's made lots of "Mmmmm" sounds for a while, now, usually when he's crying, but also when he's just playing. He hasn't made any consonant sounds yet like "da da" or "ba ba" like lots of babies do at this age. I'm sure that's coming soon, but it'd be pretty cool if he wanted to say "Momma" first. I'll think it's awesome no matter what he says first, though, so it doesn't even matter what it happens to be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Rowdy Bear

I haven't had nearly as much time to blog lately! It's not just that Bear and I have been busy, it's also that Bear is so active recently that I just don't have the time. I have to wait until he's sleeping or until he's ready to be plopped into his exersaucer or jumperoo, which is getting less and less often. He wants to be on the go constantly and gets frustrated if I try to keep him in one place. He LOVES to stand up and try to walk, but honestly, he isn't very good at it yet. Just now I had to stop typing and help him up off the floor. He was attempting to cruise along the couch, but he tripped over his own feet and went down. He fell onto his new train that his Grandma J. just sent to him and the smokestack got stuck in the leg of his diaper! It just kept making animal sounds as he rolled to get up. I laughed, which probably made him even more frustrated, but hey, it was funny!

There are things that he's getting into and places he's crawling that I just haven't anticipated. I fully expected him to get into the dog food, open cabinets and drawers and get anything off low shelves we have, but he surprises me nearly every day. I think it's going to be a while before we are fully childproofed, simply because I have to learn (through trial and error, mostly) what needs to be moved or protected. Yesterday, we went to the park with the moms club that I belong to. I was sitting on a blanket with him for the majority of the time, but he kept eating the woodchips that line the playground, so I picked him up and sat him on a piece of playground equipment that was about as tall as my waist. He sat there for the longest time, watching older kids and exploring the little holes in the base of the climbing equipment, when all of the sudden, he took off crawling along the steps up to a slide. I freaked out and jumped up on the steps to grab him. I must have looked panicked, because all the moms asked me what happened. It probably wasn't a big deal, but there aren't rails or anything on the edges of the steps to keep him from toppling off, so I was more than a bit nervous.

Something else that he got into the other day that I wasn't expecting--our wine rack! When he first started crawling, we emptied low shelves, but didn't really do so in the dining room. We hardly ever use that room and I didn't even remember that we had a wine rack in there. I was emptying the dishwasher and Bear was crawling around the kitchen floor behind me. I saw him crawl into the dining room, but I didn't think too much of it, because he had done that so many times before. He usually just crawled through and went into the living room. I can see the living room from the kitchen, but I cannot see the dining room from there. I kept expecting him to show up in the living room, but when he did not and it was very quiet in the dining room, I decided to go check. Bear was very close to getting a bottle of merlot off the wine rack! I envisioned red wine, broken glass and a hurt baby all at once and I yelled "NOOOOOOO!!", which of course scared him and made him cry. I got it away from him in time, but I'm sure that there are other things I'm not thinking of that he'll break before I get there or before I can anticipate that he might get into it. Like I said earlier, I guess it'll just have to be trial and error. I try to be one step ahead and think about things from his point of view, so low on the floor, but I can't fathom everything! He's a creative little boy and I'm sure he'll continue to surprise and amaze me, which, in a way, I love. I don't want him to get hurt, obviously, and I don't want him to break our things, but his personality is really starting to show and we think he's going to be a mischievous little guy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It happened right before my eyes!

Bear is turning into a big boy and I just cannot believe it. So much is happening so fast! I sort of want to slow it down, but I also was ready for a change. Just a month ago, we were still getting up with him three or four times a night and now he pretty consistently sleeps through the night, as long as nothing's wrong (like teething). As a matter of fact, he's still sleeping right now (at 9:00 in the morning!). I've already showered and am ready to start the day, but I'll let him sleep until he's ready to get up. He only ended up taking one nap yesterday and then tried to go to bed at 7:30 pm. I, being the smart momma that I am, knew that would not work, so I woke him up at 8:45 and let him stay up until 11 or so. We've realized over the past couple of weeks that it is ideal for Bear to go to sleep around 10, because I prefer to get up around 8. And, let me tell you, you can't get a baby to sleep longer than he wants to! My mom has told me many times that it never seemed like I slept as much as other babies did and I think Bear may have inherited that gene. Oh well, I mostly like our time together anyhow.

More than just sleeping habits have changed around this house lately, too. Over the course of the past month, Bear has learned to sit up for long periods of time with no support, to crawl, to pull up on furniture, and to entertain himself for periods of about 20 minutes. Just in the past week, he has begun to learn which furniture it is safe to pull up on and he's now getting down by himself. I was having to frantically run behind him to make sure he didn't fall after he stood up, but now, he'll start to stand up, realize it's not a good idea and bend back down all by himself. Also, last night I sat him in a chair to take his 8 month pictures, and do you believe he let me take a few pics and then GOT DOWN OUT OF THE CHAIR BY HIMSELF??!! I was completely floored! Of course, I was right there to catch him in case he fell, but I don't understand how he knew what to do. He first went from a sitting position to lying on his back in the chair. Then he rolled over onto his stomach and edged his feet off the end of the chair until they hit the floor. He then just stood there for a few seconds, probably trying to decide what to do. He completely surprised me by then bending down to the floor and crawling away! I guess he was done with the picture taking!

I hear him waking up now, so I'd better go get him, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to write all this down. Things are changing so fast and I don't want to forget anything!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy week

Oh, how things have improved since that last post! I was just rereading it and I sounded exhausted! Apparently, that was just a bad night for Bear. He's been mostly sleeping through the night for almost a week now (with Tuesday as an exception, obviously). I'm hoping that this is becoming his new routine. We've had to work on it, but honestly, not that hard. We decided to let him start crying it out and we've never had to let him cry longer than 20 minutes. I had heard stories that horrified me--from parents that said they just couldn't take the screaming to parents who were proud that they'd made it through a four hour crying spell. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to stick it out (and there was no way I was going to let him cry for hours), but luckily, so far, I haven't really had to. I suppose that means Bear was ready to start sleeping through the night and just needed a little help getting there. We do, however, have to keep him up until 10 pm, which is not exactly ideal to me. If I had my way, I'd put him in bed by about 8, but if we let him go to sleep much earlier than 10, he wakes up incredibly early and I'm not a very good momma when it's not light out yet. Bear sleeps about 9.5 hours uninterrupted and I'm really happy with that. According to some of my mommy friends, he may start sleeping more later--as he gets more active and as he drops some time off his naps.

I went to the doctor yesterday to get a physical, but also to hear the consensus on my tailbone. If you don't know, there was a possibility that I fractured my tailbone during childbirth. It has been hurting on and off since I was pregnant and it's gotten to be a real annoyance. Anyhow, it's not fractured and I don't have a cyst or any fluid buildup or anything like that. According to my doctor, it probably just got injured during pregnancy, further injured during childbirth and just keeps getting re-injured or bruised. Basically, I just have to wait it out and it'll get better on its own. My main concern was that we'd like to have another baby in the not too distant future and I don't want it to make me ridiculously uncomfortable during the pregnancy. My doctor seemed to believe that getting pregnant wouldn't make it hurt any more than it's already hurting, but I'm not sure I believe him. I mean, it hurts most when I rise from a sitting position when I'm holding Bear. My thought was that it was the extra weight of Bear that was irritating it, so wouldn't being pregnant and having even more extra weight further damage it? I just don't know. I guess I'll talk to my OB/GYN about it and see what he thinks and go from there. Even if it's going to hurt some, I probably won't let that stop me from having another child. I'm just really worried that if it hurts too bad, I'll have to be on bed rest and then who would take care of my boy?

We've been very busy this week. We've been to the gym a couple times, to the park, to the doctor, out to lunch, out for coffee, and on lots of walks. The weather has been pleasant and optimal for evening walks. Now if I could just get all the mosquitoes to go away, it'd be perfect. I seem to be a walking target for those dang things. They always get me and my legs are usually covered in bites all summer long. I don't like using bug spray, because I'm afraid Bear will lick me (which he often does!)when I have it on. It's poison, so I assume it's not a good thing to ingest. But I digress...my point is that we've been busy! And today, we have a playgroup to go to where we'll be celebrating Bear's little friend Kaitlyn's 1st birthday. I know he won't know that it's her birthday, but maybe I'll let him taste a cupcake. I love watching Kaitlyn and all my other friends' babies grow up...it just lets me see what's in store for Bear and I get so excited for him!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Worst night ever

I'm pretty sure I had the worst night ever with Bear last night. Just now am I regaining the energy that was sucked out of me over the past twenty four hours. He's been sick with a cold, a sinus infection and some sort of stomach mess, but never has he had a night as bad as last night...not even as a newborn!

It started off okay--Max went out with a friend to watch Monday Night Football and I stayed home to enjoy some much needed mindless television. Bear had dinner and a bath as usual and after his jammies were on, we played in the living room for a bit. He started to get very sleepy around 8:00 and all I could think was Awww crap! You see, the prior two nights were blissful. He slept approximately 9.5 hours each night, without waking up AT ALL, IN HIS OWN BED! However, he didn't actually go to bed until 10:30 or 11, which is fine with me. I should have known it was too good to be true. So, at 9:15, I just could not keep him awake anymore. He fell asleep in my arms and I put him in his crib, where he slept until 10. I rocked him for a just a few minutes and he quickly fell back to sleep. I thought everything was good, but he woke up again at 11. I tried to rock him again, but it was a no go. At 11:30 when Max got home, I was still trying. I tried for what seemed like a very long time and at 12:30 I decided to just let him cry for a bit. He was very obviously tired and going nuts from not being able to sleep. Everything seemed to distract him, including me, so I just laid him in his crib and turned on the monitor. He cried, then screamed for a little bit. After about 15 minutes, he started coughing. After a tiny coughing fit, he went back to screaming. In the past, the screaming part has not lasted for long, so after about 20 more minutes, I decided to check in on him. I am so glad I did, because he had vomited all over his bed! It was in his hair, in his ear and even in his eye. It was all over his pajamas and got all over mine in the process of picking him up. I cleaned him up in the sink and attempted to put him back in his crib. He was having no part of that! I ended up taking him into our bed at about 2:00, where he slept very soundly until 6:45 when he got up for the day. And yes, that was all the sleep I got. The night was complicated by the fact that Bear thrashed around so that Max ended up spending some of the night on the couch. That, in turn, confused the dogs who normally sleep with us. They weren't sure where Max was and they wanted to sleep next to him. I had to get up a couple times to let them in and/or out of the bedroom.

Who knows what tonight will bring?! I'm going to attempt to keep the boy awake until at least 10, when I feel like he'll sleep better. I hope I'm right and I hope I can stay up that long. I'm pretty tired since I slept all of 5 hours or so last night. I did take about a 30 minute nap while Bear napped. He took 2 naps today, which is normal for him, but they were much shorter than usual. I've got my fingers crossed that tonight goes better than last. I certainly don't see how it can go any worse!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goody two shoes

I decided it was time that the boy had some shoes. It's warm in MS for a LOOOONG time and up until this point, he really hasn't needed them. Now that he's wanting to stand all the time, he and I are constantly battling about the fact that he wants DOWN. RIGHT NOW. I don't want his bare feet to touch certain things like the floor at playgrounds at places like Chick Fil A and McDonald's, outdoor playgrounds, restaurants or shopping malls. I don't really care if his feet get dirty, because I can always wash them, but he tends to put his toes in his mouth when I'm changing his diaper or when he's bored in his car seat. Anyhow, I bought him some CUTE shoes at a consignment store this morning!

This pair was an especially good find to me, mostly because we have 2 black and tan dachshunds, but also because I'd been looking for a pair of these leather booty type shoes for a while and the brand name ones are $25- $30!! I paid $10 for these, which retail for around $25.

These are just classic and I knew I'd buy some for my child before he even existed. However, they retail for around $20, and that's a little steep for shoes that probably won't get much use since he can't walk yet. I got these for $8. I love good deals!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The list

  • Bits of dead grass
  • The dog's tail
  • Pieces of cardboard
  • A piece of tape
  • Daddy's shoes
  • The dog's foot
  • A spoon
  • Momma's t-shirt
  • Pages of a magazine
  • A spider web, with a dead spider still in it!
  • Dust bunnies
  • String
  • Dog toys
  • The wire screen on the fireplace
  • Random fuzz found on the floor
  • Momma's hair
  • Fringe on a blanket
  • A table leg
Yep, that is a partial list of things I have either wrenched out of Bear's hands before he ingests them or that I have had to dig out of his mouth before he swallows them. Reading over that list, I realize that it sounds like I never clean my house, but I promise, I sweep every day! Bear just has a particular knack for finding things that the broom missed. And that is all from this week! He can't even crawl that fast yet! I think I'm in trouble.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I decided to try something new with Bear last night--crying it out. I've always said that I didn't want to do this, at least not the true definition of it, but I was about at my wit's end last night. Bear has been sick and has been falling asleep and waking up with no pattern at all since Friday night. And he was waking up a LOT! Now, when he was actually sick, I understood. He couldn't breathe well, was coughing and just generally didn't feel good. He usually seemed like he just wanted to be held, and I was all for it when he was at his worst. Now, though, I am feeling seriously sleep deprived. Last night, he fell asleep at a decent hour (9:00) and slept for a few hours until about 12:30, when he proceeded to wake up every 60-90 minutes. This is how it has been since Friday and it doesn't seem to matter if he's in his own bed, in our bed or in the dog's bed. Okay, kidding about that last one...we've never put him in the dog's bed, promise! Anyhow, when he woke up at 4:00 last night, he was in our bed. He was inconsolable--writhing around and crying. I could tell he was still tired, though, so I got a bottle and a fluffy blanket for him, rocked him until he was pretty close to asleep and I laid him in his crib. He cried, yes indeed, he cried! He expected me to come get him, and why wouldn't he? That's been the status quo for the past 7 months, but no more! I am ready to work on him sleeping through the nights! I turned the monitor down but not off, that way I could still see the lights on it that indicated how loud the sound in his room was. The lights stayed on, so apparently he was crying, for at least 20 minutes and I don't know what happened after that because I fell asleep! I woke up after he'd been alone for an hour, though, and he wasn't crying anymore. This feels like at least a small victory to me! Now that I know I can stand the sound of his crying (much easier after he cried so much while sick, by the way) and that he WILL fall asleep, I feel much better about trying the "crying it out" deal. I always feared that he'd never go to sleep and just cry and cry or that he'd need something and feel like Momma wasn't there for him. Now I know the difference between a hurt cry and a mad cry, so I'm more comfortable. I'd like to try it again tonight, since we got a little head start last night. The plan is not to just let him cry for hours and hours, but to go in and just let him know that we still exist after 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 40 minutes...as necessary. There are a couple of things I'm not sure of: 1) How long do we let him go on crying before we decide it's not working (hopefully we won't have to figure it out) and 2) If we pick him up to console him at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc., are we ruining the whole thing? I just want him to realize that he doesn't need me at night. When he's feeling good, all I do when he wakes up is rock him back to sleep. Since I'm not going to college with him to do that, it's time he learns to get back to sleep on his own. I hope it works and that we're doing the right thing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad Momma

I had yet another bad momma moment today. Lately these moments have been occurring when Bear falls, and even though I'm right there, I don't react quickly enough to catch him. His cry is very accusatory, by the way. Today was different, though. A fellow mom friend called to ask if we wanted to go to The Play Place today, which, from what I understand, is a place that has all these different toys to play with for a flat fee (Bear would have gotten in for free). There's a dress up station and a little kitchen station, among other things. We've never been, but there are apparently things there for a kid Bear's age to play with and it sounded fun. Bear had several little coughing fits last night while he was sleeping--nothing bad enough to wake him up, but nevertheless, he was coughing. So I let my friend know that we should probably skip the activity for today and maybe try again later this week when Bear might be feeling better. I was feeling like a good mom for making this decision. Bear needed rest and I didn't traipse him all around town so his nose could run on other people's toys. Anyhow, when he woke up this morning, he seemed to be in a great mood. He ate a little, he played and just seemed generally like he was feeling better. Since we'd already canceled the Play Place trip, I decided to make a trip to the gym and leave him in the child care room. He was just fine when I dropped him off, but an hour and fifteen minutes later when I went to pick him up he was anything but fine. They had him in a swing and he was all humped over with his nose running into the tray of the swing. He was sound asleep, which never happens at child care, because he's usually too busy playing or getting attention. He woke up when I stopped the swing and he just stared off into space. The woman working there handed me a tissue so I could catch the nastiness that was coming out of his nose and I asked if his nose was running the whole time. Her response? "Yeah, A LOT." Well, that made me feel like crap. I stammered something along the line of "Oh, I'm so sorry! I thought he was feeling better, or I never would have dropped him off here." Then I made the mistake of asking if he cried at all before falling into the deep stupor he was in when I arrived. Again, she said, "Yeah, A LOT." Crap. I hate being a bad momma.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My sick baby

Well, no doubt about it, Bear is definitely a sick boy. When his temperature reached 103 yesterday, we decided it was time to call our pediatrician's after-hours clinic. We were the only patients there, so it was a quick appointment, thank goodness. The doctor says my Bear has a sinus infection. Go figure. His momma had a little trouble with that recently! So now, we're shoving some mixture of antibiotics, decongestant and Tylenol in his mouth every 4-6 hours. Let me tell you, he loves taking medicine. Okay, that was a lie. He's so grumpy and I can tell he wants me to fix it, but I just can't. He's had a couple tiny illnesses in the past, but this one kicks all those in the hiney. He's not interested in sleeping, eating, playing or having his nose wiped. He's mostly concerned with me holding him. Last night was pretty bad--probably the worst night we've had since he was a newborn. He and I slept on the couch for much of the night, because it seemed better for Bear to sit up a little. We made it to bed around 4 am, when Bear finally conked out for 3 solid hours. And let me tell you, I treasured those 3 hours. Anyhow, the fever is mostly gone, so hopefully this sickness is on its way out with it. I'll let you know in 10 days when we're done with the antibiotic!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This too shall pass, right??

Poor Bear! He's not feeling so great today. Last night was one of those dreaded nights where he woke up every hour or so. And then, woke up for good at 6:45, which is a little early for us. So, I'm sitting on the couch, with a sore back from trying to maneuver around the little boy in my bed almost all night, while Bear is playing in his Exersaucer and watching (somewhat) Sesame Street. I don't like just parking him in front of the tv this early in his little life, but I'm too tired yet to chase him all over the floor. I thought he was teething last night, since there's a nice white line on his gums where an upper front tooth would be, but he's coughing a little this morning. He went to his first playgroup yesterday and I'm hoping he didn't pick up the sniffles from one of the babies there. It seems like lots of kids always have a runny nose, so it's hard to determine who's actually sick. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a second little cold--he's been to the gym child care room a few times this week and then there was the playgroup yesterday. I hate for him to be sick, but it's not too big of a deal for him to have a little cold every now and then, I suppose. He's at least building immunities, right? I just don't want him to be too big of a grouch today. My mom's here and I want us to have a good time with her. I'm sure if we feel like we need to stay home, we'll still have fun, though. He's getting pretty grumpy being confined in the seat in his Exersaucer, so I suppose I should stop writing and tend to him before he wakes everyone else in the house! Maybe we'll go play with the new music and learning table that his grandma brought him...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trip recap

Well, our travels were better than I ever imagined. The whole way there, Bear slept. He woke up every few hours, so we'd stop for a bit. Whenever we headed back out, he would just fall asleep again. He got a little cranky near the end of the trip (14 hours!!), so I hopped in the back with him to keep him entertained. He was such a good little traveler!

We did so much and visited so many people while we were there, and luckily, Bear was happy to do anything we wanted. We got lots of comments about what a good baby he was and how he was very UNLIKE his mother. Apparently, I was not such a good baby. I tried to tell all my relatives that Bear was a good boy because of my parenting skills, but they knew better. He's really gotten happier and more relaxed in the past few weeks, actually. I think it's all because he's able to move around on his own now.

And guess what???!!! He started crawling while we were at my grandmother's house! It blew me away! I was very glad that Max brought the video camera. My grandmother said something about him crawling to get a toy, and I thought she meant he scooted on his tummy like he had been doing for the past month. Then I actually saw him crawling and I got all excited. My grandma didn't realize we'd never seen him do that! He's now started pulling up on furniture and he's already fallen many a time. He hit the back of his head pretty hard yesterday, so we decided that we should move our coffee table out of the living room until he gets better at balancing. It's just too tall for him to pull up on and we couldn't get him to stop. Our living room looks like a day care center for the time being. It's full of toys and little rugs for Bear to play on and it's only going to get worse! My mom is coming to visit tomorrow evening and is staying through Sunday, and I'm sure Bear will acquire some new loot during her stay. We're also planning on buying a foam play mat in the hopes that most of his falls will occur on that. I know kids have to learn to balance on their own, but I hate to see our boy hit his head so much. We just don't have a lot of carpet for him to play on.

The way back wasn't as ideal, but we were all tired of being in the car, so I completely understand Bear's semi-meltdown on Sunday night. It wasn't all that bad, when I think back on it, but he was upset for a couple of hours and did NOT want to be in his car seat any longer. We ended up driving for just a few hours on Sunday night and then spending the night in a hotel. Bear was in a much better mood on Monday morning when we took off again. I can tell he's glad to be back home and back to normal. Me too!

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Bear and his Great Grandpa Poziwilko

Excited about crawling!!

Watching the boats in Lake Michigan

In front of my favorite lighthouse with Daddy

Not sure about this sand and waves business.

With all of his great grandparents

He loved my cousin Hanna and she loved him!

See? Look at all that love.

Swinging at Great Grandma Pullins' lake house

This lake is cold!!

He loved this little motorized car! And so did Momma--it was powered by a pole on the back.

Getting ready to take off on his first boat ride. He's not a fan, by the way.