Monthly Archives: August 2010

Under the wire

Our new insurance cards came in the mail yesterday so we finally got Curly in to see his pediatrician this morning for his 15 month “well baby” visit.  That would be the day before he turns 16 months.  We weren’t expecting him to get any shots this time around, but we were wrong.  He got 2 sticks, the last of his Hib and DTAP.   His growth is slowing down, just like it should for a toddler.  He weighed in at 23.25 lbs and is 31.25 inches tall.  That puts him in the 50th percentile for height and 25th for weight.

We had a few questions for the doctor.  Curly has 2 very bad, dry flaky skin patches on the back of his hips and down onto his butt cheeks.  She diagnosed eczema as we expected and gave us some hydrocortisone cream to use twice a day.  Our other concern is that whenever Curly gets a cold or overexerts himself laughing or playing, he wheezes.  I had asthma as a child, so we wanted to bring it up. She said that in kids under 2, asthma typically manifests itself as harsh repetitive coughs and that wheezing can just be because their airways are still so small.  But she agrees that we’ll keep an eye on it.

Poor Curly was terribly upset after the shots and the tears pooled in his hazel eyes even after he had some juice and stopped crying.  The pediatrician’s office is across a large parking lot from daycare, so I carried him over there and was rewarded with a rare snuggly few minutes as he went limp in my arms and let his head rest on my shoulder.  He was so tired and we were hopeful that he would sleep even longer than his average 2 hours in the afternoon.  But alas, it was not to be.

When Strawberry picked him up this afternoon they informed her that they’ve begun the transition to the toddler room, which includes napping on a cot.  And he’d only slept for 15 minutes!  Needless to say, he went right to sleep when we got home and only woke up for a quick cranky dinner and bath.  We know it’s time for him to transition, I just wish they hadn’t picked TODAY to start.

Sweet 15

As you may have noticed, we’re not the kind of people who write letters to our son every month, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We do fill out his baby book with his new words, new teeth and new milestones. We’ve noticed turning points in his behavior, the ends of some of the things he used to do, and the beginnings of others. 9 months was a very fun time for all of us, for the most part. And while things have gotten easier since those trying newborn days, I never thought to myself “THIS is the best age so far!” because there were always good and not-so-good things he’s been doing at each.

Until this month. Strange as it may seem, his 15th month has been a blast, with just a couple unfortunate moments thrown in (a tantrum here or there centered around him being overtired). But wow…15 months has been pretty awesome. He is saying more words, his fine motor skills that are not food-oriented have finally increased, and we just ‘get’ him so much better these days. He has become loads more fun than he used to be, even though he’s been fun for a while.

Just to name a few noticeable things this month…he pays much more attention when trying to repeat things we say. He’s started saying ‘Go go go!’ when we’re nearly ready to head out the door in the mornings. When he drinks from his cup at his high chair or a table, he gently places his cup in the cupholder of his tray or on the table when he’s done, instead of just dropping it. When we’re stopped at a red light, if I reach my hand over to his carseat, he’ll take it and giggle. He also loves giving people ‘high fives.’ He’ll beeline for the front door when you ask if he wants to go outside. He has a friend at daycare named Andrew, and will say ‘A-joo’ before we even get inside. He loves play-wrestling with us, climbing on us, being swung by us. He makes crazy faces and squeals with delight when we kiss his neck or belly, or chase him around. We look at him and we usually see a happy, inquisitive little boy…and we just love the child he is becoming.

I don’t know how sappy all of that is, but I know I used to be curious about what he might be doing at a certain age so I thought it was important to note that 15 months was a wonderful time all around. Fingers crossed for 16!

Life rules!

How great is it that we have a kid that is an academic genius, a gifted artist, and an accomplished sportsman?  I tell you, he hasn’t learned any of these things at home, so daycare is surely worth every penny.  I expect he’ll be able to pay his own way through college after we sell off his works of art.  If not, he will surely have schools fighting over him with plush scholarships.  Or maybe he’ll just go pro right from daycare. That would be some kind of record, I bet.  As evidence to you doubters out there, I present photographic evidence of his limitless talent.

Brillant art, perfect spelling, and exquisite penmanship

The ability to turn an ordinary turd into an Elephont

And finally, to our utter delight, he won this on Friday!

If you become a teacher, by your pupil you’ll be taught

Why is it so hard to find things to blog about? Probably because it would be annoying to everyone for us to update the blog constantly with things like, ‘Curly can now say 4 new words’ or ‘Curly threw a 15 minute tantrum last night because he ate all his Trader Joe’s fruit crusher and didn’t understand there wasn’t any left.’ So while we’re working on building up gems like those, we’re turning back to the remaining questions (but we’re quickly running out, eek!)

cindyhoo2 asked: What were the biggest surprises about parenting, both the good and the not-so-good?

Well, we were lucky/realistic in that we did not have rose-colored glasses on about the whole thing. We knew there would be awesome moments, and we knew there would be really challenging ones as well. So, as far as the ‘good’ stuff…for me, it is the pride I take in my son. I think he is beautiful, charming, and intelligent…but I also would never say he is the most beautiful, the most charming, the most intelligent. I’m proud of him, but grounded. We get really excited when he does something new…even if it seems very simple, even if he was ‘supposed’ to know how to do it months ago according to the books. It is just absurdly exciting to see his wheels turn and to see him ‘get’ something, and even more so, repeat it. I am delighted when he learns something new at daycare and does it for the first time (to our eyes) at home. I love showing him off to people, and I love when he charms the pants off of them.

Surprises of the ‘hm..isn’t that interesting?’ sort include our satisfaction with him being in daycare, where we know he is happy, socialized and with people who are much more patient than I am throughout the day 🙂 I thought I would miss him more during the day, but I don’t. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love him, I do miss him at times, but I am perfectly happy with our situation. That said, when I am with him, especially in groups, I am very ‘mama bear.’ I must know where he is, what he is doing, and who else he is with. On second thought, that’s not much of a surprise…

Surprises of the not-so-good variety. Sadly, there are a lot of these. I say this with a huge grain of salt, but we never thought we would have a child who slept too much. We LOVE that he has always been a fantastic night sleeper, but wow…at 15 months he still takes 2, sometimes 3 naps a day. That’s anywhere from 3-5 hours of day time sleep. It makes it so hard to do things sometimes. Admittedly, it’s gotten better since he’s been walking because he pushes himself more, but if we’re at a place where he can’t walk freely, the tired-crankiness can be harsh. I guess we also did not foresee that we would be trapped in our home at 7pm every night. Perhaps we thought he would be able to stay up sometimes if we wanted to go out to eat or whatever. No matter what we’re doing, he gets tired around 7pm and all he wants is his crib. We never thought he wouldn’t nap in his stroller either, ouch.

We thought he’d be more cuddly…or maybe that’s just what we wanted so badly. He does give us hugs now and then, but he never stays still to cuddle more than a few seconds, even at bedtime. Nutella thought she would have a better breastfeeding relationship with him. It was one of the hardest things she’s ever done, and she resorted to pumping for a couple months prior to stopping just to be able to reach her goal.

When he was first born, he was amazing to me, and he still is. But those first few months were so much harder than I ever anticipated, both because of our newness to parenting, and his strong personality (and reflux, you devil!). I thought I would love him with the strength of a million suns the moment he was born. I did not. Over time, I fell in love with him as I got to know him. It took many months, but it makes sense to me now. He is not perfect, there are times he is stinky or stubborn or cranky (or all), but there are times he is sweet and inquisitive and adorable. I accept him for everything that he is and when he’s laughing, time stands still in the most wonderful way. Parenting is everything I thought it would be and then some, times a hundred, for better and for worse.

…I was going to end there, but something occurred to me while writing this entry; it’s not so much the surprises of parenting in general, but of parenting our child. The way he is affects the way we are, the way we handle everything, the changes we’ve had to make. You can have a lot of preconceived notions about how you’re going to do things, and you may be able to apply some of them, but ultimately, it will be (or rather, should be) your child that makes your experience of parenting what it is.

Tootin’ the horn

A heartfelt thanks to the ladies (and little man) over at bluedaisyus for giving us a ‘Beautiful Blogger’ award. We’ve been enjoying reading about their adventures, and are so pleased that they’ve been enjoying ours as well. Blue is currently doing a ‘picture a day’ theme, so pop on over to see some inspired creativity, along with their sweet ‘Monkey’ son.

It’s hard to pick others for an award, perhaps because there are so many wonderful bloggers out there and everyone deserves one. But in keeping with the Beautiful Blogger theme, here are a few that have us hungry for more…

Gayby Rabies are expecting their twins any minute now! We’re so excited for them and can’t wait to meet their new additions. Gayby has been a thought-provoking blogger, asking deep questions of herself and her readers along this journey. We hope they’re able to keep up the blogging some amidst the lovely chaos of their babies (but do not expect them to award others since they’re a little busy at the moment…)

kraftykay over at Knotty…but Nice has been keeping us up-to-date on their family, including their precious daughter who is 2 months younger than Curly. They are extremely cool and crafty, and the one-year birthday post was particularly poignant and relatable to us.

Finally, our dear friends at Looking for a Little Turtle (or should that be Turtles?) are newly expecting twins after a long, difficult journey and we are over the moon for them. The blog is written with raw emotion, and you can’t help but want the absolute best for these women.

We hope our readers are following along with these blogs, or decide to. And thanks so much for following our path as well.

Working for a living the whole day long

We haven’t forgotten about the questions!

mama deux asked: Do you both want to work, or would one of you rather stay home / take on the stay-at-home mom role? Related to this – what would your ideal job/work situations be like?

We love our lifestyle and are reconciled to working out of the home to sustain it.  Neither of us are working in our dream jobs or even our dream fields.  If you’d told my 17 year old self what I’d be doing at almost 34, I would have been horrified.  Strawberry feels much the same.  All of that aside, we like our jobs as much as we can, but we don’t love them.  We do our work well, but at the end of the day and on the weekend we leave it behind for the most part.

If we could maintain our lifestyle with one or both of us not working, would we do it?  Yes, but neither of us would want to be a full time stay at home mom.  I’d love to be home most of the day and then working in my chosen field (it’s theatre) in the evenings.  I would still want Curly to be in daycare at least part time, because I think he really benefits from the social interaction and the structure he gets there. Yet, even if I could work that sort of schedule, it would put a real strain on my marriage if Strawberry were still working a 9-5.  If she were working her dream job of travel writer/ critic, then we could probably work something out.

There are definitely things about our current schedule that I would change slightly if I could.  I’d much rather spend more hours with Curly while he’s awake and maybe spend some of the hours he’s sleeping doing work.  Sadly, that doesn’t really work with my career.  It might be a possibility for Strawberry, if she were to change employers or freelance, but that would come with additional concerns.  We’ve done well at maximizing our time at home with short commutes, and cherish our mornings and evenings with Curly.  And we never take the weekend for granted.

Oh, and Mama Deux?  If your baby was waiting until we answered, you should be good to go now 🙂

The kid’ll be all right

We were lucky enough to find a friend/neighbor to come over last night after Curly went to sleep so we could pop on down to our local movie theater and see The Kids Are All Right. I’ve heard from others that you either love this movie or hate this movie, so in typical Gemini fashion, I loved-hated it. I’m going to put the rest of this entry under a cut because I’m going in depth and if you haven’t seen it yet, it will spoil it for you (so if you’re on reader and the following isn’t cut, stop reading now)

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