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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's the last day of the year and all I can think about is, "where the hell has this year gone?!" It's still amazing to me as well how much Little Man A has grown over the past 12 months. As of today, he is constantly walking around, can't quite stand up on his own without the help of a nearby leg or piece of furniture. He has two more teeth coming in which would make for a total of four on top. These ones aren't being kind to him about the process either. He's still wearing 12 months clothes, with the occasional 18 month that runs small or in his case his one piece pajamas. His coordination just amazes me on a daily basis and the way he imitates different moves that we make makes me do a double take (just the other day we taught him how to "strum his banjo" to play along with one of his toys).

One of the things that I am determined to finish this year, preferably in the next month or two, is his first year scrapbook. Just looking at his first pictures, his first bath, his first walk around the block, brings a tear of joy to my eyes. Here is one of my favorite pictures of him shortly after he was born.

In some aspects, I'm nervous about what this next year holds for him and his development/changes in general. I'm nervous about changing him completely over to a sippy cup and doing away with the bottle. But what I'm most nervous about is that I can already start to see his little temper begin to form in certain circumstances. Yesterday, I was sitting with him in his tent reading books. Occasionally I would peek out of the tent to either talk to my mom or peek at the football game. Two seconds later, I feel him swatting at me in the face - probably to make me continue reading to him or pay attention to him. I know allot of the temper tantrums come from not having the language ability to tell me what he wants, but if he's anything like my husband and I, which I can already tell he is, he'll be a handful before the age of 2.

Here's to making sure I keep my sanity throughout the new year, to the adventures that I'm sure will be fun and exciting, and to keeping our spills and injuries to a minimum (which I'm sure will by many- he's already given himself a black eye today from tripping over something in his room and falling toward his diaper pail).

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Whore your loot

We were invited by That Chick Over There to whore our loot from Christmas for her Second Annual Whore Your Loot Post. In addition to getting what I really wanted for Christmas from Santa... er, I mean my husband, Little Man A had a blast this year as well. My parents as well as my brothers were able to join us in Virginia for a wonderful family gathering.

Little Man A's biggest present included a "Hide Me" tent from Gramma. It includes a tunnel for him to crawl through, but we didn't add that on and probably won't until next year when he's a little bit better about moving around. I ended up putting a couple blankets in there with some of his board books and he reads in there constantly now.

Yesterday he also grabbed the remote for the tv and crawled as fast as he could into the tent to hide (smart little bugger!). Just to let you know, this was a big step for me because at the same time we put away his entertainment pads that he has had out since he was born. He loved playing with the toys still and crawling in and out of them. This is just another sign for me that my baby is growing up fast!

The other big gift that he received was a 4-in-1 Ride-on bike with Winnie the Pooh and gang. It starts off as a rocker with the side bars to keep him from falling out. Then you can take the bottom off so you can push him around on the wheels with the mother's handle. Next, you take off the side bars and still push him around. Last, you let him scoot around by himself.

The rest of his presents included books, books and more books, a tractor and farm set that makes animal noises, and Leap Frog refrigerator magnet toy. He actually had so much fun opening presents that his morning and afternoon nap lasted 2 hours each. I'm sure most of the toys I'll have to hide and bring out later to switch with the ones that he has out now.

As for me, my father framed a Texas Wildflower poster that he had picked up on our journey to Texas when I first moved there in 1998. It was actually a pamphlet but Michael's did a great job of hiding the creases. My husband purchased for me the murder series by James Patterson, as well as a few of the Toddler 411 books on how to cook for toddlers, how to talk to toddlers, and what to expect over the next few years. He also purchased an under the cabinet cd/radio player for the kitchen. Now A and I don't have to sit in silence while eating our meals! Yeah!

I finally received the Mickey Mouse font disk for my Cricut diecut machine. Now I don't have to cut out Mickey Mouse ears by hand anymore! Our big gift from my parents was a gift card from Lowe's so we can install a new patio door in our downstairs family room.

Since my husband did such a great job at getting all these wonderful gifts, I of course showered him with Cowboys apparel. His big gift was a beer making kit which he has been wanting for quite awhile. With this, he can also make wine for us as well! Double bonus!

I did venture out to the stores the day after Christmas. More to pick up small gifts for family and friends ... oh, and the 50% off candy too! I think I have enough to last me until Valentine's Day. We may not even have to buy any for that event either.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a safe and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Funny Noises for the holiday

I've been a little bit of a video maniac lately, so I have to apologize if you feel like you are getting bombarded by videos. Our little digital Cannon camera does a decent job at getting both pictures and videos. Which is good because that means we can get short videos for now without having to buy a new video camera.

I had to show you this one because it is too funny! Little Man A used to like for us to do this when he was 6 months old. For some reason this seems to calm him. It worked like a charm when we were out all day long looking to buy a house this summer. Now I think he just likes the sound that it makes. I didn't get it on film, but he ended up doing to himself after I took this video. Too cute!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Little Man A Walking

Tonight we went to our previous next door neighbors house for a big family dinner. We became really good friends with three families on the block and they really are the best things that have happened to us since moving to the D.C. area. As we were mingling with friends, I would watch Little Man A in amazement at how he would walk around the house. These videos were taken just 5 days ago and he's already improved this newfound skill since then. He's growing so fast and I'm sure it'll be no time before I'm running after him! Good way to keep the pounds off I'm sure!


My drunken sailor

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dancing with dogs

Okay, I had to share this video. Since I love dressage, which is an art form of dancing with horses, this is dancing with dogs... actually only one dog, but very talented none the less. Enjoy! Happy Friday, everyone!

8 Things I say on a Daily Basis

(Thanks to Prairie Gourmet who gave this as a suggestion to Anxious Moments during her uninspired moment)

1. "Dear." This can be used many different ways. Dear. Dear! Dear? Dear....

2. "Dear, what are you doing?" (Notice how I used #1 already?) This is usually asked because I know he's playing his Playstation games and I really want him to help me with something..... or because he's sitting on his ass and I'm not.

3. "Maggie, just lay down." Maggie is our cocker spaniel and Little Man A absolutely adores her. Unfortunately, when I was training her I wanted to make sure she wasn't getting into anything in the house so I always made sure she was somewhere within my vision. Now she follows me around like a lost puppy dog (which really she is) and sometimes it can get really annoying when you have a 23 pound child hanging on you and a 25 pound lost dog following you around.

4. "Seriously?" Like Number 1, this can be used many ways as well. Seriously. Seriously? Seriously! I'm not sure if I picked this up from Grey's Anatomy or from the Backyardigans.

5. "Son of a ...." Yes, I usually do stop before I finish this sentence. Usually. Since my son has been born, I've been trying to curtail the cursing. It's usually only when he's not around (hence the swearing while playing cards!), but I'm sure one day he'll overhear me swearing when I think he's not listening.

6. "You've got to be kidding." Most of the time this is when I'm trying to drive around the idiots that live here in the metroplex of D.C. or when I'm running into Wal-mart (which is never really a quick stop) for something simple.

7. "Not in your mouth." Obviously, this is directed to Little Man A. I'm sure he'll be in the oral stage of exploring for atleast... oh, the next 10 years... or maybe more. Recently, when I say this phrase, he'll turn the other way and start crawling as fast as he can. It's really quite funny.

8. "Buggaboo, whatcha doin'??" Yes, you can tell that I am a mother. Especially since two of my phrases have to do with my child. I'm not quite sure where Buggaboo came from, but I just thought it sounded good. We call one of our cats, Angus who is 20 pounds atleast, Bubba, so I couldn't call my child that name. Lately, Little Man A has been really good about playing in the living room while I'm getting meals ready. The other day, it was quiet for a good 5 minutes or so. I looked around the corner and he was gone. I found him in his room just looking through his books. Too cute!

Hope you enjoyed my little list. Tomorrow, I'll be trying to download a few videos of him walking.

Oh, and I almost forgot his stats from his appointment yesterday. At 12 months old, he is 24.2 pounds and 32 inches long. Not too bad considering he was 9.4 pounds and 21 inches long when he was born. Unfortunately, mommy was voted the worst mommy in the world yesterday because of the 3 shots and blood draw. Yes, I said blood draw. I asked about a lead test for him because of the recent events with toys from China (not to mention 95% of all of his board books as well are printed or manufactured in China). I thought it was a simple finger prick for the lead test. Nope! An entire CBC (complete blood count) which is a full 3-5cc of blood from my child's arm! Granted this is only a tablespoon of blood - quick biology lesson - but from a 12 month old who doesn't want to sit still and be poked with a needle, it's a lot! He did really well with everything considering (plus the nurses were really good about letting me hold him rather than laying him down on the table). But today he is so miserable, achy, and just plain tired. Hopefully, with a few doses of children's tylenol today he'll be feeling better tomorrow.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh the Transition Stage

As you have read earlier, I've been struggling with Little Man A's changing world. Not only has he started to move around by walking (he looks like a drunken sailor), he's started to change from two to one nap per day. I've heard this process of actually finding the perfect balance with naps can last for several months. So when he was acting fussy yesterday around 10am, and actually went down for a nap, I was pleasantly surprised.

Since I actually wanted to get him to take a second nap so he'll be able to last the rest of the day, I woke him up at 11am. To my surprise and pure delight, he took another nap at 1-3pm. Thank goodness because I have lots of present wrapping still left to do and a surprise gift that I'm working on for my mother (no I'm not going to tell because she does read this every once in awhile). But don't fret, I will take pictures and show you after Christmas.

So right now, I'm listening to the quiet hum (ok, it's actually really loud) of my fish tank light in the background. I'm also dreading our 1-year check up at the doctor's because I know he needs to get shots. And hopefully, they won't roll their eyes at me when I ask to do a lead test (which I've read they are suppose to do anyway, but the military health care world is "different"). I'll let you know his stats and how the event went later. Until then, here are some of my attempts to get a 12 month picture with the special bear.


He keeps throwing the bear away!

Okay, let's try Mickey Mouse?!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Little Man A's first birthday

Obviously, with Little Man A's birthday and then birthday party as well as my husband's birthday only 4 days later, I've been a little busy. Since I don't have very much time right now (I was hoping to get to bed before 10pm) and really wanted to post an entry, I thought I'd show with you a few of the pics from Little Man A's birthday. Hope you enjoy!

He really wasn't in to opening the gifts unless they were in a bag so he could just peak in and pull out the gift (good to know for Christmas!)

He really liked the balloons that we got for him so when he saw them on the cake, he went straight for it and almost threw his toy into the cake (the little conductor toy) We didn't let him dive into it since he wasn't in his highchair (forgot his cake until the last minute).

Look Mom! Pretty colors! You can imagine how wired he was after he got a handful of frosting. It took him about 25 minutes to settle down after we put him to bed. (Note to self: Cake in the afternoon, not before bedtime!)

I also wanted to mention that over the weekend, Little Man A has started to walk! He's still really cautious about holding onto things (aka Mom) and still cruising more than walking on his own. Today he actually walked toward me, turned around and went back to his toy that he was playing with. Tomorrow we have his 1 year check up (uh oh, shots!) so we'll find out how big he is.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Man A!

So, I promised you the awesome announcement made by Purple Stork and here it is:

Happy First Birthday, Little Man A!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things I've learned

To go from not wanting a child at all, to can't thinking of my life without him is a big step for someone like me. Here are a few things that I've learned from my son over the past 12 months.

1. A smile could make your day!

2. A laugh is the sweetest sound - EVER! It has been shown that laughing helps to protect the heart. As well as lowering blood pressure, laughter increases oxygen in the blood, which also encourages healing. I love to hear my son laugh, especially with my husband. Sometimes, when I haven't been able to make him laugh all day, I get jealous that my husband was able to.

3. What Goes in, MUST come out. I'm sure you get this, but like most moms out there, I've been worried when my son hasn't produced a #2. I remember when he was first born, he had 2 bowel movements. Thank goodness that wasn't inside me. That night, he had another 6! Needles to say, this boy can poop.

4. Making baby food is harder than it looks. Okay, it's not really that tough, but what is tough is convincing your child it's really good. And god forbid it's not the perfect consistency. He will give you this look like, "Mom, what did you just feed me?" I'm getting better at it, according to my son anyway. And plus, it saves a ton of money!

5. Sleep is not overrated. For both mom and baby.

6. Children love animals. I am so glad I decided to raise my child with animals in the house. Granted I know there always will be that danger of him getting bit by a dog or swatted at by an annoyed cat. But on the flip side he could grow up being terrified of them and I definitely don't want that.

7. They really do love the sound of your voice. (And talking works much better than yelling.) It still amazing me to this day that my singing could actually soothe a child.

8. A schedule really does work.

9. The little things in life really are the best! A purple pen given by a friend or simply finding your long lost "Abu" in the bottom of the closet.

10. The dishes and laundry really can wait.

11. Take time to smell the roses ... or give the baby in the mirror a big kiss!

12. They grow up so fast. Where have the past 12 months gone?!

And I'm sure I'll learn much more! Thanks Little Man A

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

8 things I'd like to do before I die

I had to think about these a little bit because obviously as the years go by, our priorities change. Of course, I'm not the over adventurous type, so my list doesn't include bungee jumping off of some cliff or sky diving. So here's what I'd like to do before I die at this moment in time:

1. Go on an African Safari. Now as for the vaccinations that I need to get, not too excited about those. But who wouldn't love to see a White Rhinoceros, or an African Giraffe, or a herd of lions roaming the African Savannah!

2. Visit the Galapagos Islands. One of the last remaining places in the world that is semi-unharmed by the damages that we have caused. Many of the plants and animals that live there are found no where else in the world. To be able to walk 5 feet away from sea lions or a Galapagos tortoise because they don't have the innate fear that the rest of the animals in the world have for people would be amazing.

3. Visit Paris, France. Granted my husband has already been there and he was not too impressed, but I studied French for several years in high school and college. Although I can barely remember "Parlez-vous francais?" I'm sure if I took a refresher course I could make my way around Paris or any other city in France. From there I'd love to see the mountain side and visit small vineyards along the way.

4. Ride an Olympic Dressage test. Although I haven't been horseback riding since 2000, I still have the love for it. I miss it on a daily basis and really hope to be able to get back into the sport soon. It's one thing to just ride a horse leisurely around the back pasture, it's another thing entirely to be able to dance with your horse. Dressage is an amazing sport not only to watch (ok, some think it's like watching paint dry) but also to experience.

5. See the Grand Canyon. I've seen the beautiful variations of colors along the Colorado River in pictures, but I'd like to see it for myself. Then I'd like to go on a donkey ride down to the bottom because I'm lazy and wouldn't want to walk all that way. Plus it's kind of like riding a horse.

6. Gallop horseback on the beaches of Hawaii or some other exotic island. Stop at some remote spot and watch the sun set with my husband while we sip wine together. (Little Man A? He'd be with gramma of course!)

7. Zip line through the El Yunque Forest in Puerto Rico and then kayak through the mangrove canals. My husband thought this would be something that would totally scare the shit out of me, but I think it would actually be fun. The only reason why I wasn't wanting to do it was because if I saw an animal that I wanted to take a picture of, I couldn't stop to get it. But then someone made a really good point to me: What animals would be hanging around an area where people were screaming as they zipped through the forest trees?? Good point.

8. Work on a wildlife rehabilitation facility. Not one of those places where people bring baby bunnies or skunks or chipmunks, but the real wildlife. Like mountain lions, bald eagles, whooping cranes, or a baby tiger. Although it was hard work, both physically and mentally, I really miss my days in the zoo field. After working at the Dallas World Aquarium which was privately owned, I felt like I could really have a say on animal conservation. My favorite day as a zoo keeper is hands down the day that I got to hold both baby Sumatran tigers at the San Antonio Zoo. Not only did I get to hold them, but both of them pooped down each side of me. I was so excited as I was walking back to the locker room to change, telling everyone, "I just get pooped on by baby tigers!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My precious "Me" time

Is slowly started to go away. Apparently, much to my efforts of trying to alter things, my son is in the process of switching from two to one naps. It's a very horrible thing to lose the precious time you take for granted on a daily basis. That's why sometimes I wish I had gone back to work so I could get out of the house, actually have adult conversations, and have "me" time (granted it would be on the clock, but atleast it's something).

Last week, I tried putting on his ceiling fan to see if that made a difference in the afternoon. I worked for all of about 2 days and then he was back to fighting his afternoon nap. Yesterday, I tried just letting him stay up there for 1-1/2 hours. If he wanted to talk, fine, but he was not coming out of his room. I know, I'm a mean mom. He was pretty much done with being by himself by 2:45pm and in I walked to retrieve him. So needless to say, my child was not very happy by the time bedtime came around (which we moved up to 7pm since he had been awake since 11am!)

Today, I tried waking him up earlier at 10:45am and still putting him down for his nap at 1-3pm. At first he was quiet, rubbing his eyes, laying on top of his giraffe lovey, Jeffrey. Then, 15 minutes later.... "blah, blah, ma, ma..." Go to sleep child!

So, here I sit trying to find "little" things to do again and decided I wanted to make a post. Then I'll go online to order a few more prints to finish up his scrapbook and then maybe sit and start to watch Oprah's made for tv movie, "One More Day" after Mitch Album's book.

Oh, wait... is that silence I hear on the baby monitor?? (sigh) Hopefully he actually went to sleep.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Uninspired as well

I too have been feeling a little uninspired. Well, maybe not so much, uninspired, but rather hesitant to post what's really going on lately. Between dealing with the fact that my baby is turning one year old this week, a very unexpected death in the family, not getting enough sleep, trying to find the perfect gift for my mother, my brother, and my dear friend and her two daughters, life has been hectic around here.

I've tried thinking of things, other things than the above mentioned, and I hit a dead end.

I try to start a topic that I think I might have lots to say about, and then.... nothing.

So, I too may have to take a lesson from Anxious Moments and her new assignment by Prairie Gourmet to become more inspired with blogging. I say with blogging because lately I've actually been very artisticly (help, is that a word??) inspired and have started my son's first year scrapbook. It started off as a project that I wanted to have finished for his birthday party this weekend, but with me taking a roll of film per week as he was growing up I have a lot of photos to sort through. Thankfully, they are organized. It's just a matter of narrowing them down and being able to fit them all on to the pages. My idea: take two main photos and keep them 4x6 size and the rest get to be wallet sizes. That way, I can put 12 photos on two pages and still have room left over for journaling.

I'll try again tomorrow and see what happens. Tootles!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Raising Children is like a science project

I swear this child is going to drive me crazy. It's a good thing I have a Bachelors of Science in Biology so I can do a process of elimination to figure out what's going on with this child.

For the past week and a half, he has not been wanting to take his second nap in the afternoon. And trust me, I know he still needs it. He's cranky and downright still tired by the end of the day when he doesn't get his second nap. But, he's stubborn, I'll give him that (hmmmm, I wonder where he learned that from??) I know, there may be several factors to consider here. He's turning a year old (already?!) and probably going through a growth spurt, he's getting his teeth in, and there are just so many more interesting things to do besides take a nap!

Over the weekend, as you may have read, we tried not giving him his pacifier and Jeffrey back that he threw overboard. The only thing that did was to make him talk/cry/complain even more which, if he ended up not falling asleep, would make him even more cranky by the end of the day. I tried again for the past 3 days and I think I've figured it out.

He's hot. The sun has been shining for the past 5 days (not that I'm complaining because it's snowing now) and with his room in the front of the house, his room gets really hot. I turned on his ceiling fan and left him in just a long sleeve onesie and he fell right to sleep today! Hallelujah!

Because if this didn't work, I was going to try and wake him up in the middle of his morning nap just so he would take an afternoon nap. In case you didn't know, they are suppose to drop their morning nap and keep their afternoon nap so they can last the rest of the day.

I know all of you out there who don't have children (or for that matter even if you do but aren't extremely anal about every little thing with your child) think I'm totally crazy. But, damn it! He's not even a year old and they aren't suppose to drop their first nap until after a year... maybe even when they are 18 months. So I still have another 6 months atleast! And did I mention I'm trying to work on his first year scrapbook, so now's not the time to drop a nap!

I know, I know. These damn children don't go according to the same manual or any manual for that matter. Well, damn it, maybe the should. Can I just say, I am so in trouble if I have another one!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Do you think they realize?

Yesterday was not a good day for Little Man A. Yesterday, I was the meanest mom ever and didn't give him back his pacifier for his nap. You see, for the past 2 or 3 months now, Little Man A has been throwing his pacifier and his lovey (we lovingly call "Jeffrey" because he's a giraffe) and his wind up music stuffed giraffe (no I don't have a thing for giraffes - it just happened that way) overboard while taking a nap. He thinks it's a real hoot to have mommy come back in, collect all his valuables off the floor, and look at him in a stern way. Which does not work at all, by the way.

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Little Man A doesn't use his pacifier throughout the day, only when he takes a nap. And he definitely does not use it at night. That was one thing I wanted to make sure of when we started putting him to bed awake. Actually he did it more himself the first couple of times. He used to fall asleep with the bottle and we would gently put him to bed after he burped. One night, he decided to wake as soon as an inch of his skin toughed the mattress. Since then, he's been putting himself to sleep every night. Sometimes he'll lay there and talk for a few minutes and toss and turn, just like anyone else does before they get comfy for the night.

But, yesterday, I knew he was thinking it was a game and with him fast approaching the year milestone, I knew he knew what he was doing. So after checking on him to make sure he didn't poop his diaper, I left the room without giving him his pacifier. I left it under his bed where he threw it, more so he wouldn't drape himself over the side of the railing because he could see his beloved pacifier abandoned in the middle of the room.

It took him about an hour and a half before he finally settled down and fell asleep. Yes, I know - I'm the meanest mom ever! Of course when he woke up, he was upset as well. So I tried to comfort him by rocking him, but he probably thought I was trying to put him back to sleep, so that made things worse. I finally took him out of his room and to a living room window to show him the leaves blowing outside. Once he calmed down a little and started to smile, I warmed up his bottle and got him fed, which obviously all that crying made him really hungry.

While I was holding him, I started to feel really guilty for what I had done. I've heard of parents letting the child have the pacifier until the child is ready to give it up, not the other way around. And since Little Man A only gets to have it while taking his naps and in the car, I wasn't too concerned about him weaning himself away from it later. But when I saw how excited and funny he thought it was for me to come back into the room while he was suppose to be taking a nap, I knew he thought it was a game.

I started to think, "Does he realize I would do anything for him? Does he realize how much I love and adore him?" This is a human being that I NEVER thought I would be holding and caring for and for that matter loving probably even more than I love my own husband (sometimes). So I really hope he does. And I hope I show him every single day and every single minute that I love him with all my heart.

They say the sooner you make them give up their pacifier, the easier it will be and they won't remember a thing. So far today, besides the fact of waking up at 5:45 am (I really can't start my day any earlier than 7am), he seems to be in a good mood. And on top of that, while I was feeding him his oatmeal with fruit breakfast, he signed "more" before opening his mouth! I have been working with him for the past 6 months with a few signs, "more', "milk", "please", "food"... and he's finally signing "milk" and now "more"! I felt so proud!!