Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Today I have a toddler

I am finding it difficult to accept that my baby is not really a baby anymore. Today he has decided that today was a good day to show momma that he's a toddler now! Forget the sweet, little snuggling baby boy. He's a one man disaster waiting to happen.

Here's how the day started. I heard him wake up and turn on his mobile music. Sweet, I had 30 min left to sleep. Sure enough I here him stirring a little while later. As I'm walking to his door I hear his bottle hit to floor. So I wait a second, then I hear another bottle hit the floor. Not sure how he had two in the crib but anyway. By this time I realize he's doing this on purpose. I hear him say "awe snoopy". I just envision him snuggling with snoopy but I open the door to him mid-throw of the snoopy. Hands still above his head, we both watch snoopy hit the floor with a pitiful thud, he looks up to me.... Uh-oh.

 We've been trying to take over the world since. River boy has been learning valuable life lessons today. like paper really doesn't taste good and that sticky stuff on envelopes isn't edible. Pull Mommas hair one two many times and she's going tug on yours too. Dance sessions can be exhausting. Band aids are necessary some times. If you throw eggs on the floor, you aren't getting them back. Super slo-mo fake falls can be hilarious. (Try it sometime. Fall all the way to the ground. Giggle inducing I say!)

Watermelon....oh he finally discovered the sweet summer lovin of a watermelon. We sat on the floor together with a bowl of chopped watermelon between us. Watching him bite into the first piece. You just see the sweetness wash over his taste buds. He smiles and enjoys his first taste. My sweet baby was sitting quietly with me. And two minutes later t toddler is up and running around the kitchen trying to smear watermelon on the floor so he can get to clean it up. He's been doing a lot of clean ups today. Both for things that were done on purpose and for true accidents. I finally just gave him his own washcloth to clean anything he desired.

He has climbed everything. I found him scaling a bookshelf at one point. He has figured out how to get onto the couch and into his daddy's chair. Those little tippy toes are getting a workout today. He is just trying to reach anything that he isn't supposed to have. He's also working on getting his diaper undone. I'm sure he'll have that figured out by dinner tonight.

The day wasn't done. There was so much toddler-ness to get into after his nap. At one point he emptied his toy box, climbed in and then proceeding to scream at me. I'm guessing that one of his animals looked at him wrong and I was to save the day. Nope, he just wanted to scream at me. The afternoon meltdown lasted for about an hour. Full on temper tantrum with fits of hysteria and throwing ourselves on the floor. Yes I had one too.

Dinner went as well as could be expected for the day we were having. Brilliant idea on my part was to give him rice. Yep, tiny little particles of food that are easily flung off the high chair. We've been working on using a plate and utensils. Those were quickly turned into a flying saucer of food and a catapult for said rice.

After a post dinner meltdown (which came from me trying to sweep up his mess, how dare I, right!?) I figured an early bath would be best. We found our happy somewhere in between bubbles and his naked free run post bath. All was right in the world again.

Time for bed and my toddler turns back into my baby. Snuggles and kisses. My sweet sweet baby boy in my arms falling asleep. He may not be a baby anymore but he will always be my baby.

(originally written on 7/6/14)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Camping at Buggs Island

Buggs Island
The husband and I recently got a little weekend away from the boy. It had been over 2 years since we last camped. The weather was going to be gorgeous and I found a great little campsite. We booked our spot on this quiet cove. Didn't really have any other people around us.

Barry our lazy Beaver
We had some of the best animal experiences on this trip. The fish really weren't biting. We only saw 2 and I only got a 
picture of 1. Barry our little tired baby beaver, washed up on shore, put him head down and took a 2 hour nap. He was only about 50ft away. For the longest time we couldn't figure out what it was. I wasn't going close enough to find out. Deemed him a beaver 45 minutes into the saga when he stirred in his slumber. We saw a few bald eagles and ospreys. The camp had a silly raccoon. Who not only stole the catfish liver bait but brushed up against the tent by my head in the middle of the night and scared the crap out of me. Finally our two campfire frogs. They hopped up next to the fire and slowly shuffle in a circle to get each side warm. Love those frogs. 

I just recently purchased my first hammock for camping. I bought the ENO single nest. Let me just tell you, I'm not being paid by this company in any way, but this beautiful sweetly swayin' hammock was a slice of heaven. This momma was so relaxed and at one with the breeze. I spent a good majority of our trip right there. I would've slept in it but I was scared of the raccoon.

It was so nice to have someone else cook breakfast for a change. It's so rare that my husband is home for that meal. He's usually already at work and it's just me and the boy. But this breakfast here...this was really good. 

The work of Barry
I love a good graveyard. There's history and mystery. Who were these people? What happened? Did they have a good life? Did they climb the same tree that I just climbed over? This was a family plot. Some of the graves weren't enclosed in the gated fence. Makes you wonder if they all actually got along. Was that crazy cousin Henry who always rode his horse backwards? Was his wife Margaret sleeping with his brother? Why?

This guy right here…

I love finding love.

The campsite was great! We are quite proud of ourselves for finally getting everything we actually need for camping, organized and in one place. For Father's Day this year I bought my husband a tent. We'd always borrowed a friends and never had one of our own. It says on the box, instant set up. With much speculation, we were proved wrong. It truly was an instant set up. Loved it. 

I will say that we learned a very valuable lesson on this trip. We will never camp again without an inflatable mattress. This hard packed sand / concrete that we slept on officially broke me. Never again will I be without an inflatable mattress. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

17 months and a little on the wild side (July 2014)

    One of my main purpose of this blog is to continue River Boy's baby book. This month he is 17 months old. Everyday is a new adventure. He says more, he plays more, he's up, he's down. Busy, busy, busy. He's a 50/50 mix of "uh-oh's" and "aha's". And 100% amusement. Here's some highlights from this month.

- Climbing on the dining room table. His favorite activity. Drives me crazy. Found him the first time, standing up, dancing and reaching for the hanging light. About had a heart attack.

- Bath time - loves it until soap and shampoo are involved. Then it's torture for everyone involved.

- Post bath naked time has been suspended until further notice. Caught him running behind his crib to squat and pee. Ah the joys...

- Animal noises - we learn a new one almost every day
   Bear "roooaaaarr" - he has a very deep and impressive roar,
   Bird "caw",
   Pig - he does a better pig than I do. He does the snort noise. He doesn't actually say oink
   Cow "moo".
   He still does "awe" for a puppy says but now he does a "woof, woof" for dog.
    Monkey noises

- Loves to help scramble our morning eggs. Gets quite upset if he can't stir them.

- Favorite Foods - eggs, bananas, graham crackers, ham, bread, tortellini, beans, applesauce, zucchini bread. Discovered that he's allergic to something in the hummus. I hate this, hummus was our "go to" snack.

- New words:
              hot, car, beep beep, shoes,
              turn (any light switch that needs to be turned on or off),
              peees (please but it has so many more letters in it when he says it),
              bup (up), uh-oh, vroom, mom, dad, hey, bye, shoes, bread,
              thank you (never gets the you but he nods and its cute)

- Things I swear he says:
              "where'd it go?"
              "i see it"
              "there it is"
              "Babe" (the movie)
              "bit bit" (nanas dog)
              "alligator" (came out clear as day perfectly, one time. He can't do it again)
- Things I never thought I would ever have to say:
              "stop playing with your poop"
              "get your lunch out of your ear"
              "get your foot out of your bowl, we do not eat our breakfast with our feet"

- He loves to play phone with any object. The remote, a camera, a spoon, a stick, etc. He'll stop what he's doing, pick something up, say "Hey" and walk off talking. I'd love to know what he was saying to his imaginary people.

- My iPad and phone are what you seem you desire most. You want it all and you definitely want whatever you aren't supposed to have. But the phone and iPad are what he strives to get his grubby paws on all day.

- He's learning to hop/jump. He doesn't really get both feet off the ground at the same time but he is having so much fun jumping.

- Our dance sessions are daily and contagious. We have a morning dance party each day. You never know when the need to dance is going to take over. Sometimes the boy just feels the music. I have no idea where he's getting his dance moves. I would break something if I danced like that. You can't help but dance along with him when he gets going.

- Drum, drum, drum, drum. Someone loves to drum. During our morning dance sessions, I usually pull up a YouTube channel for live acoustic concerts. When we need a dance break, he'll sit in my lap and play bongos on the desk. I love that he loves watching musicians. He's captivated.

- Everyone needs to have their shoes on at all times. Vacant shoes will be hunted down and returned to their rightful owners.

- Snoopy is still the favorite stuffed animal

- Can't get rid of the one last bottle that is hanging around at bedtime. He does really well with his Sippy cups all day, but that last one. It's going to be a bottle come hell or high water.

- Very ticklish under the armpits, and still can get you on the leg at times. We've been having some good tickle-giggle sessions. Good laughs still result in hiccups.

-  Clothing: There are a few 9mo onesies that he is still wearing but mostly he's wearing 12mo sizes.

- He is starting to blow kisses. Mostly just puts his hand up to his mouth and kisses that but I know what he's doing. He even says "muah" when he does it.

- Gives kisses and the sweetest hugs. He kisses all his stuffed animals when he picks them up. His hugs are true and tight. He's the sweetest little love.

- Goes down for nap and bedtime when wide awake, plays a few rounds of music and goes to sleep on his own. (Insert happy dance here)

- Lots of non-sensical baby jibberish. We-oo-jubbayubbayabba. There are long, involved conversations that only one of us understand at times. You have to laugh when he says his whole entire vocabulary in one conversation. The other night he walked into the kitchen, spouted off a tirade of jibberish. What I got out of it was….Bear and "Awe" Puppy were taking a bath and there was a car that had an uh-oh. Not sure if that's what Riverboy was trying to tell me but he seemed satisfied when I gave him a high five and a "Right On".

- Several times a week we have to go pick apples off our trees. He was in apple heaven! The deer finally picked the tree clean. Now we have to avoid the apple trees because someone has a meltdown when we can't find any good apples.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Harvest

A visit to Yo-Yo's.....

Let me introduce my mother, also known as Yo-Yo. It's been several years since she's been able to do a vegetable garden. With work schedules and life being too hectic she just hasn't had the time to do one. This year she went all out and finally built a fabulous garden. Complete with fencing and flowers and mulch border. I have to say I was quite impressed with it. 
I watched River boy enter the garden. As I was taking the picture I was flooded with memories. I have many memories from my childhood being in her gardens. Everything was just exploding with life. The tomatoes were all turning that juicy red. More beans than you could pick. Zucchini just waiting to  be picked up. Corn starting to sprout. Marigolds lining the perimeter. 
As we showed the boy what to do. We dove into the harvest. Why wait to get back to the house to enjoy a fresh tomato? There's nothing better then picking 
beans off the vine and eating them right there.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thank you Mr. DOT man

Hope you have a great day! 

I drive this road a lot. It doesn't matter what kind of day I've had. As soon as I cross over the smiley face, I'm grinning from ear to ear. Thank you Mr. DOT man, whoever you are. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Naptime Battle - Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Training

This right here is a miracle. Some of you know that we have had terrible sleep issues since day one. He co-slept with us. If he wasn't in the bed with us he was in the pack n play right next to our bed. On a good night, he'd be up 1-3 times and almost always end up in our bed. Naptimes, he would only sleep if someone was holding him. He's never been a fan of his crib and I don't think he has ever slept a night in it.

Then the miracle happened. One glorious May weekend, the boy and I had a meeting of the minds. I was getting ready for him to nap, he was throwing a terrible fit. Didn't want to be held, didn't want to sit by himself. He didn't want his Sippy cup, only his bottle (which we are trying to get ween off of). So things were bad for the River Boy. Nap time needed to commence but he was putting up a valiant fight.

I have talked to several friends who have children with sleep issues. Lots of advice has been thrown around.  I've read blog after blog on sleep training. Some of it was helpful. Some of it may have worked with their children but wasn't going to happen with the River Boy. We were just going to have to find our sleep happy the hard way.

A good friend would constantly say, "If it works for you." She was a big fan of the cry it out method. Not something that I was a fan of.  I just don't see what good would come of making my child sit in his crib for hours by himself, alone, screaming for momma. Oh tear out my heart. So yes. It was working for us. The co-sleeping, the numerous night wakings, snuggling for nap time. We weren't getting great sleep but by-god River boy had his momma.

So back to this glorious May Day.... The meltdown was in full swing. There were tears, foot stomping, hair pulling and that was just me. So being the momma in the situation, I decided to use my authority and put him in his crib. If you don't want me to snuggle then you can just sit and yell at yourself for awhile. I kissed him on his head and walked out of the room. 15 minutes later, I was sitting outside his room listening to him snore over the monitor.

The skies parted, a ray of sunshine shone down on me. It was a miracle! He was asleep in his crib. Not only that he slept for 2 whole hrs!! Later that night I threw caution to the wind and decided to try to put him in his crib for the night. Low and behold, 10 min of fussing and he was snoring away. He woke up a couple of times, only to turn on his music machine for some cool rainforest noise and fell back asleep.

Fast forward to now. River boy is sleeping 11hrs a night, not waking up at all. He hasn't been back in our bed in a month. Nap times are going swimmingly. He puts himself to sleep without any fussing. Just lays down, grabs Snoopy and panda bear and snuggles in to slumber.

It may have taken us 15 months of sleep deprivation but I can finally say we have a sleeping toddler!

Just trying to breathe....

River boy tried to scare this momma half to death last week. About a month ago he had two trips to the ER for bronchial spasms. A couple of nebulizer breathing treatments and some steroids and he was back in action. On Friday last week, he started doing the same wheezing, gasping, heavy breathing thing. The pediatrician had told me the next time it happened to bring him into the office first. So here I was with an out of breath little man Friday morning who didn't sleep all night. Bad mommy moment - I didn't notice his struggle to breathe until the 3rd time he woke up that night. Once I noticed it, I immediately gave him inhaler treatments and his inhaler steroids. He didn't improve during the night, so off to the pecs office we went first thing in the morning.

He sat in the waiting room, waving to everyone else, smiling at a little girl, saying hey to all. Just so happy. I couldn't believe it considering how hard it was for him to breathe. After two nebulizer treatments, which he didn't respond to, the dr sent us to the hospital to be directly admitted. Skip the ER, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Straight to a room. The dr said we'd probably be there for 2-3  days. Oh my heart was breaking.

I threw him in the car. Behind a wall of tears, I drove him over to the hospital. My baby was going to have to be in the hospital for 2-3 days?! I called my husband and mother as I drove. Both were over an hour away. I let the first time mommy panic wash over me while I drove but wasn't going to let River boy see me falter. Thank god for rear facing car seats and good radio tunes.

When we got there a wonderful nurse named Kelly got us into a room and started to get us admitted. I.V.s were started, more breathing treatments were given. Bless his little heart, the I.V. was not a fun time. Having a 16mo attached to an I.V. and not being able to move out of the bed - really no fun. Thankfully the nurse found some toys hidden in the peds nursing station. Side mote -since I only thought we were going to the drs office, I didn't bring any diapers, wipes, his shoes, only had one bottle with me. I was not prepared to be here for 2-3 days. We did have Snoopy, which was a good call.

Within an hour, our room was filled with family members (including 2 nurses), balloons, toys and other distractions. Anything to keep his mind off the stream of nurses and respiratory techs coming in to administer steroids, fluids, breathing treatments, etc. The I.V. alarm kept going off. River boy liked to push the buttons to turn it off. Several hours later, a group (5 to be exact) nurses finally got River boy's I.V. positioned correctly so alarms would cease.

It took all day of medication to finally get his breathing under control. We convinced the nurses to remove the fluids I.V. and just leave his port in. He was still going to need steroids throughout the night but this at least allowed us to get up and out of the hospital bed. Let me just say I was proud of him for being contained on that bed for 10hrs and not completely losing his mind. Now that we were unconnected, we took to the hallways to let loose some of our roid-rage energy. Found a cool fish tank in the nurses station, waved at passerbys, said hey to a handful of people and tried to escape the ward by following a nice looking family.

After a long exhausting day, I sent all family home, including my exhausted husband. I didn't see any use in having him sleep in the wretched chair. River boy and I snuggled up with Snoopy and tried to sleep through nurses, oxygen alarms, and other various hospital distractions. He got decent sleep, this exhausted momma did not. In the morning, River boy was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Lungs were clear and we got the okay to go home.

Cue the happy dance!!

So we are now home. With a personal nebulizer machine, 2 mos worth of steroids, antibiotics and some other medication. This has the potential of being a long lasting ordeal. The final diagnosis was a viral infection but I think there's more to it. I guess only time will tell. Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be another chapter in the great breathing story.