Thursday, January 29, 2009

Way too long!

The title is referring to the amount of time that has passed since my last post. I'm trying to keep up the blog, because I really want to remember the day-to-day stuff with Bear, but we just keep getting busier and busier. Bear is getting a little better on the teething aspect--doesn't cry quite so much anymore, but still whines and holds onto my pant leg quite a bit. Keeping him busy seems to help him forget that he's in pain (or that he wants to BE a pain!). I would have thought running him around all the time would make me so worn out, but it's actually kind of exhilarating to have a daily plan. He definitely is down to one nap a day and it's not very long (1.5-2 hours), so I have to make sure he gets worn out enough to actually take it! Today we are headed to lunch with some friends, so hopefully that will do the trick.

Bear has started something new--hugging! It's very, very cute. He throws his arms around my neck and says "Mmmmmmm" or "Ohhhhhhhhh". I love these hugs, even when he's got banana all mushed in his fingers that he's so lovingly running through my hair. He even hugs the dogs. He'll hug on command, as well, so he obviously understands what I'm asking him to do.

Speaking of his level of understanding, he is aware of lots more words than I realized. Either that, or his list of words that he understands is growing very rapidly. It's obvious that he understands bath, bye-bye (he waves now, too!), bottle (even though the doctor told us yesterday that we need to work on getting him off the bottle), baby, puppy, kitty cat, Momma, Daddy, Buddy (one of the dogs), bite (I ask him if he'd like a bite of what I'm eating and 9 times out of 10, he does.) and cracker. I'm sure there are more, but those are the words that come to mind immediately.

He had his one year check up yesterday and we found that he's not gaining weight as rapidly anymore. The doctor tells us that this is pretty typical for an active baby and he thinks Bear will grow up being tall and thin (yay!). Of course, I'd love him just the same if the doctor told us that he'd grow up short and round, but it'll just be so much easier on him not to have to worry with his weight when he's in the 5th grade (like his Momma did). I know that what he looks like now may not have anything to do with what he'll look like later, too. For example, I was TINY until I hit puberty, so nothing that my parents or my doctors thought about how I was going to look as an adult was true at all. I am pretty much the opposite of tiny now! Not skinny at all and not short by any measure. Oh well. None of that really matters in the long run, I know, but it'd still be nice not to have to worry about it.

He's still in the high percentile for his height: 32 inches, which is in the 97th percentile! He only gained about a pound since his 9 month check up, so he now weighs 23.4 lbs, which is in the 55th percentile. His head circumference (if that even matters, but they tell us about it every time!) is 47.5 cm, which is the 80th %.

I think I've said it before, but I really like Bear's doctor! He answers all our questions so that the answer is really up to us, but he makes certain recommendations. For example, my mother in law clued me in to a recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to give kids that are prone to high cholesterol and obesity 2% milk rather than whole milk. I asked the doctor about that, and he said that while we certainly could switch to 2%, he'd still recommend whole. He asked about Bear's diet and we tried to figure out if he gets much fat from other sources. He explained (we already knew this) that fat is necessary for brain development and if he's not getting it from anywhere but the milk, then it'd probably be better to stick with whole. Also, he reassured me that we'd check his weight again at his 15 month check up and if we think he's gaining too quickly, we can switch him to 2%. Max and I are going to stick with whole milk for now, but I just really like how the doctor didn't make it a black and white situation. All kids are not the same: some would do better on 2% and some would do better on whole.

Here are some cute pictures, before I run out of time. Bear's watching a Baby Einstein DVD, so I only have so much time before he's back to pulling on my leg and wanting to be held.

This is one of the best one-year pictures I took of him. I just can't get over how much of a KID he looks like, rather than a baby. I suppose it had to happen...

This one is an attempt at a one-year pic, but I got instead one of his recent strange faces. He's been making this face quite a bit lately, and it's usually accompanied by a "Jjjjjjjttttttt" sound. I have no idea what he's trying to say. Probably just practicing.

Here's the famous hug. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I bought him a doll. His best friend, Kaitlyn, has dolls that Bear enjoys playing with, so I bought him his own. He's saying "Ohhhhhhhhh" while he gives the baby a big "Bear" hug!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Party Pictures

Okay, I'm done babysitting and Bear is napping, so here are the birthday party pics that I was wanting to post earlier:

Here's the birthday cake I made for Bear. It's made up of cupcakes:

Ready to party!

Wow! A candle!

He really wanted to grab that flame!

Not too big of a mess...Momma was surprised!

Frosting on his nose!

Opening presents with help from his friend Saige:

Reading his new books with Kaitlyn and Maxwell:

Bear tried to help open his presents with his teeth:

Bookworm/Birthday Boy

Bear has loved books from the day he was able to sit in my lap and look at them. He prefers books that are simple word books like B is for Bear and First 100 Words, but he also loves Snuggle Puppy, which is more of a song. Anyhow, I've discovered something amazing (or at least it's amazing to me)! I used to have to keep Bear contained whenever I took a shower. By contained, I mean in the Exersaucer, in the Jumperoo or in the playpen. He's pretty much outgrown all of that stuff, so I decided to try just letting him crawl around the bathroom while I shower. All the dangerous stuff like cleaners is secured behind child-locked cabinets, so what could he really get into, right? It turns out that while, yes, he is interested in opening all the cabinets that no longer open for him, but he's also interested in entertaining himself! Who knew!? A few days ago, I put a small box of toys in my bathroom for him, along with a stack of books. He "read" the entire time I was bathing today! It was so nice not to worry about what he was getting into or that he would cry because he couldn't see me. Fortunately, our shower is a stall shower with a glass door, so he still can see my outline through all the steam. The only problem I have now is that when I turn off the water, he immediately crawls to the glass door and stands up while leaning against it. The shower door opens to the outside, so there's a lot of gentle pushing and coaxing to get him out of the way so I can get out! That's a small problem, though...

Bear turns the big O-N-E in two days! We've celebrated his birthday with his playgroup already and he got some great stuff--new books, some trains, a big boy towel with his name on it, a counting turtle and a See and Say Farm toy. He was in a terrible mood for his party (teething), but we made the best of it and tried to have a good time anyhow. He had four friends come over during the playgroup, but we had lots of cupcakes left over, so we invited some of the neighborhood kids over later in the day. It was a fun day despite poor Bear's teething. My dad is coming into town this weekend to help us celebrate a little more.

I'll have to add pictures of the party a little later...I didn't realize that Max already downloaded them to our other computer, which is upstairs. I'm watching my neighbor's kids as I blog and I really can't leave them downstairs by themselves! I will leave you with these cute pictures of Bear. We left one cabinet un-child-proofed so that Bear can play with its contents, but he apparently had different ideas as to what the cabinet's purpose was:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chilly day at the park

Our moms club met at the park today and despite it being a little chilly, Bear and I had a good time!

Here he is on his favorite playground equipment--a tube that leads to a slide. He can't quite crawl up the little incline in the tube, so I can sit on one side of it and he's safe.

Being my little monkey:

Ready to go down the slide!

I absolutely love this picture and wish that I had my camera on the correct setting so that it wasn't so bright. Oh well, you can still get the gist of it--Kaitlyn is attempting to kiss Bear in the little bouncy car. From the look on his face, he's not so sure he's ready. She is 4 whole months older, after all.

Bear's hands were red and very cold to the touch, so I put mittens on them. He threw a big fit and we decided it was time to go. He fell asleep in the car and is still sleeping two hours later (yay!), so the park was definitely a good idea.

I'm finding that a morning activity is generally a good idea with Bear. I think he is just one of those kids that needs all his energy used up in order to sleep. It didn't work out so well yesterday, though. I went to the gym and he stayed in the daycare there. After working out, I was ravenously hungry (no breakfast), so I decided to join my friend Nancy for a bagel and some coffee at Barnes and Noble. Bear and Kaitlyn (Nancy's daughter) had a great time in the children's section pulling books off shelves and just generally getting into stuff. I brought Bear home, but he would not sleep! I have no idea what the problem was, but I finally got him snoozing at about 1pm only to have him wake up about an hour later. That was it for the day, too! Then, he had a terrible night last night. It seems like we are ALWAYS working on sleep. Hope it's easier when we have another baby, or I don't know how I'll survive it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The difference between day and night

Whew! We've had a rough time the past few nights in this house. Bear has still been teething, and while I'm happy to say that his mood has been SO MUCH BETTER during the day, the nights have been pretty bad. He's been waking with more and more frequency. It started with twice a night, moved up to four times a night and then last night, he woke every hour (even with Tylenol with Codeine!!) until I gave up at about 3:00am and slept on the couch with him. He slept draped over my stomach, which apparently suited him well, because he woke up giggling at one of the dogs trying to jump up on the couch. I, however, did not fare so well. I like my bed. I hope we get through this soon! And to think--it seems like this is only one tooth we are dealing with (tooth #9 for Bear, a 1 year molar), so does that mean the other 3 one year molars are going to be this brutal? I pray that they will not! We need a break!

Like I was saying earlier, the daytime has been so much better for Bear, and I haven't even been giving him much ibuprofen--sometimes none at all until bedtime. We had lunch yesterday with our much missed friends, Nancy and Kaitlyn. Bear and Kaitlyn spent a fair amount of time touching each other's heads and "kissing" when they saw each other. What actually happens is Kaitlyn leans in and tries to hug Bear and he smiles or giggles and burrows into my shoulder like he's shy. It's cute to watch! Anyhow, Bear has moved into a phase where it is very difficult to take him out to eat, because he just wants to crawl around on the floor wherever we go. I let him do this the other day at Barnes and Noble, provided he stayed in the children's section and wasn't pulling books off the shelves. At a restaurant however??? No sir. I chased him once when he got away from me and then declared it was time to leave. I suppose it was inevitable that he'd get naughty at restaurants, but it makes me a little sad. I love going out to lunch with my friends or out to dinner with Max! We don't do those things too frequently anymore, but when we do get to, it's enjoyable! I guess I'll be able to go out to lunch again when Bear can walk and we'll go to McDonald's or ChickFilA or somewhere else with a play area. Right now he just scares me in those things!

Speaking of play areas, I took him to the park after lunch yesterday. It was pretty deserted, because it has been raining here FOR DAYS, but the park wasn't as wet as I thought it'd be. Bear played on the swings for a bit and then we moved on to the slides. He went down the slide three times by himself! I caught him of course, but I really think he enjoyed it! He rode, with my help, a little rocket and a little motorcycle on a spring. He tired of those quickly, so I decided to show him the big kid climbing area of the park. I'm so glad I did, because he spent the next 20 or so minutes playing in this little tube that led to a slide. The tube had a little hill in it and Bear tried to climb that little hill forever! There was an older boy in the tube that kept sliding into Bear, and after I reminded him that Bear was a baby and couldn't get out of the way so fast, the older boy slid into Bear very gently. Bear got a kick out of that! I think he thought he was playing like a big boy!

I'm so glad he got the opportunity to go down the slide by himself yesterday, because look what was on our doorstep when we got home!!

Our new Kangaroo Climber!

Bear had a blast sitting up high on the little platform:

And peeping out the little portholes:

And just playing in general:

The neighbor kids, who are a little older, came over and showed him how to use it. He had so much fun chasing them around! We eventually want to put it outside, but our yard is such a swamp due to all the rain, we figured we'd let it dry up a bit before doing that. Thank you so much Grandma and Grandad J. for this early birthday gift! Bear is going to love it!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mr. Crankypants

Barrett got sick on Christmas Eve and stayed that way for about 4 days. I fully expected to have to hold him more than usual on those days that he was really sick, but my gosh!! This is still going on!! He's not sick anymore, not physically anyway, but he's just not acting like himself. He doesn't play by himself and just cries when we don't entertain him. He seems to be happiest on the couch watching Baby Einstein, but that's not how I'd like him to entertain himself for hours a day! He's very irritable and doesn't want to be more than a few feet away from me or Max. Poor Max went to work this morning and had to listen to Bear wailing as he walked out the door. I feel bad, because it really seems like something is bothering him. I called the doctor and he seemed to think it was teething, so he suggested ibuprofen during the day and Benadryl at night (just so he could sleep, we think). So, we've been drugging our son, and you know what? It actually helps! I was apprehensive about giving him so much medicine, but since it helps him to act like himself, I feel a little better. As Max reminded me when I was complaining about it, ibuprofen does not make people loopy, so it must be relieving pain for Bear, or it wouldn't help him act like a boy about to turn 1. I am actually going to call the doctor again today because this has been going on for a full week and doesn't seem to be getting any better. I just want to make sure it's not something other than teething. The boy just seems miserable and I refuse to believe this is just his one year old personality coming out. If it is, by the way, would anyone like a little boy? He's really cute! Just kidding, he is really cute, but I'm not giving up on him already!

My mom was here this weekend and I'm afraid it wasn't a very pleasant visit for her. Bear didn't want to be very far from me or Max and if we were around, he didn't really want my mom to hold him. It made me sad for a few reasons a)Bear doesn't feel well and I don't really know what the problem is, b)my mom really wanted to hold him!, and c)I wanted a break! She did babysit one night and let Max and I go out on our first date alone since one other time when Bear was just born! It was nice to get out, but maybe we didn't stay out long enough or something...I didn't feel very refreshed by the time we got back. Perhaps it was the two large beers I had?? Anyhow, I had to put him to bed (a horrible task at this point) when we got back and I was so tired from the alcohol that I was pretty impatient with him. Also, Bear wasn't very good for my mom, even with us gone. He needed lots of attention and didn't really want to do anything except watch Baby Einstein.

I hope the doctor has some suggestions for us, even if he determines that it is just the teeth for Bear. It's got to get better from here!

So this post ends on a good note, we did manage to take some cute pics of Bear in the bath while Mom was here:

This boy's hair is so curly, but it is also so long! It comes down to his shoulder blades when it's wet!

See how long it is?!

Sorry about the baby butt, but I wanted to be able to show just how long his hair is!