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?