Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sixty Eight Weeks

New word! He's now saying "wa-wa" for water! He love water, so it makes sense. I am completely in love with his reaction when he learns a new word. The light in his eyes and the facial expression, it's amazing. He's so proud and happy!

For months now, Max has been pulling the cutting boards out of the cabinet. That's one of the two "safe" cabinets that I let him pull everything out of and play. He loves pulling them out and putting them on the floor and stepping on them. If you've eaten dinner at our house and your food tasted like toddler toes, now you know why! Anyway, this week he learned a new trick! While I was unloading the dishwasher, he grabbed a cutting board out of the bottom rack, pulled open the cabinet and put it where it belonged! Then he closed the door and came back to help with more. He's the best, I love having a little helper!

Our poor little guy has the worst luck with his ears. He has a ruptured ear drum last Friday! He woke up in the middle of the night screaming in pain, and I had no idea what was wrong. We went downstairs and I gave him some pain reliever and we cuddled on the couch. He kept trying to nurse, but even that was hurting him. Poor little guy! We just cuddled and watched cartoons until he fell back asleep. He seemed normal when we woke up, and he went to daycare. I figured it was just bad teething, but I was worried all day at work. I just knew something was wrong with him. I ended up leaving early, and got a call from on my way home from work.  He had a fever, and the side of his head was all yucky when I picked him up. His ear drum must have been rupturing in the middle of the night, and his awful mommy sent him to school. Mommy guilt is the worst. He got meds and he seemed brand new in the morning. He's such a trooper. 

We had a busy weekend. Saturday we went to a birthday party and he loved playing in the yard, running around like a maniac. Sunday we went to the Fall Festival for a nearby town, and we got to ride a train! He and I went around the loop twice, he absolutely loved it. We also went on the jungle gym at the park behind the festival. It was his first time on a big jungle gym, and he wasn't afraid at all. The little daredevil was climbing across the bridges and going down the slides like he's done it a million times before. Mommy and Daddy were far more nervous than he was. 

Daddy let him sit in the driver's seat of his car this week! Max had this big-eyed expression with his mouth gaping open as he looked out the window. Daddy drove him up the street in his lap, and Max was loving every second. Don't worry, we live on a quiet road and he was driving like 5mph.

He's learned more about his Action Rhymes book, which is still a huge favorite over here. When I sing the One Potato, Two Potato song, I always point to each potato as I sing. This week he started poking the book as I sing, and he thinks it's so funny. I have no idea how poking things so hard with his index finger doesn't hurt, but he just loves to point and poke! 

The shape sorter has been a fun toy for him lately. He goes through phases with his toys, and he's been very interested in it lately. He's good at turning the shapes to get them into the holes when I tell him which one it goes in. He doesn't know which one goes where yet, so that's why I'm telling him after a few tries. It's keeping him from getting frustrated and walking away, and helping him learn to move things around to fit them in place. Good game for him. 

Sixty Seven Weeks

Max has picked up a new word! Well two words to be exact. Belly button! Well, it sounds more like "bewy bun" but you get the point. He likes to point from his to mine and say the name, and giggle while tucking his head into his shoulders. He thinks it's a very funny word. I'm loving this phase. 

He's also started to sign for more. This is coming in very handy around meal time! He doesn't sign it by the book, he does more of a pointing with his right index finger into his left palm. It's way cuter than the textbook version. It's also just as effective, so it's perfect. You can tell that he feels more power with this new sign, he gets a look of determination in his eyes when he signs it. Yay for communication tools, I love baby sign language! 

So, back to the issue of hunger at daycare pickup. Every time I walk in and out of daycare, I walk by a basket of crackers. I don't think I've ever paid attention to it really. On our way out Monday, I saw another child getting a cracker out of the basket. So I said, hey, why not? I grabbed a cracker for Max and headed out. We got into the car and I opened the cracker for him, and he munched away as I buckled him in. Hooray!! This is the first time he's been tolerant of getting into the car in a few weeks. He munches on a cracker for the ride, and then we nurse when we get home. It's great! Guess what happened Tuesday as we left? He pointed to the basket and looked at me, signing for more. Well, it looks like it's a great trick! It's worked all week. Poor munchkin just needed a snack in his belly before dinner. Note: I'm not upset that he's not having a snack at daycare later in the day. They're purposely not messing up his dinner appetite for us, which I appreciate. 

Oh, and a new food this week! Daddy shared his chocolate chip ice cream with Max tonight. He seemed to love it, and kept signing for more (yup, he's signing that a lot now that he knows how!). They were having so much fun together with the ice cream, taking turns and going "mmmm" together. 

Grapes! I never thought we could pull it off, but we kept our grape vine alive long enough to grow grapes! There are a ton! Max loves grapes, and he happened to be with me when I discovered the grapes, so guess what happened? He started munching away. He was going crazy, he was pushing them into his mouth before he could even swallow. No choking or anything, don't worry, but the munchkin was just loving the grapes. Now when we go outside, he runs from plant to plant. Tomatoes, blueberries, and grapes. Yum yum yum. Stuffing his face at each one until he wants to go to the next. It's so fun to have these plants in our yard for him to munch away like that. Plus, it's free and organic! How can you go wrong with that? 

Max isn't just using sign language to tell me what he wants. When he's done with bath time, he will point to the toy holder to tell me that it's time to put the toys away. I pull it down for him, and we put all of the toys in it together. He's all business when he's putting the toys away, such a serious little guy. Then he stands up, and holds his hands together on his belly as he waits to be lifted out. He's such a character. Next, I put him on the towel and he stands there to wait for a towel to be wrapped around him. He's not trying to run out the door anymore, he knows the routing. Plus, he loves to look at himself in the mirror with his monkey / bear / etc hooded towels on. That cracks him up. 

We have new silly games with him. Daddy and Max each hold a napking or a piece of paper and wave it up and down as fast as they can. Max thinks this is the best, and laughs and laughs. The whole time this is going on, he's looking up at his Daddy with the best look of love and admiration. It's so fun to watch. The new game with Mommy is a bit different. Max will grab my hand, pull my fingers into his mouth, and then laugh his head off when I say "ow!" He laughs his awesome belly laugh and lets my hand out, and once he's done laughing he pulls the fingers in again. He thinks making me say "ow" is hilarious! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sixty Six Weeks

Max is getting great with knowing body parts! He now knows where nose, eyes, ear, head, mouth and belly button are. He love the pointing game to tell me where each is. He's also learned to do a bark when I ask what a dog says, and a quack for ducks. He loves quacking with his rubber duckies in the tub. 

So this weekend we played in puddles again. It's a little different when you play in a puddle AFTER a rain storm rather than during. For one thing, it's a lot dirtier. We still had a blast, and I actually got pictures this time! We went out to play right after we woke up, even before breakfast. So please ignore the fact that I'm a naughty mom and let him play outside in his pajamas. 

I went to pick Max up from daycare Wednesday and he was drinking out of a cup! A real cup! He was drinking like a pro! It was a small clear dixie cup, and he looked so confident with it. He was spilling on himself a little bit, but it is huge at this age. I'm very excited for my little man. I'm also excited that I happened to have my phone on me (I never bring it in when I get him at school) and was able to snap a picture!

The sleep issues that I mentioned last week have gotten a lot better. We figured he just needed time to adjust, and it seems that it's working. That's a good sign. I was feeling bad that he was missing lunch with his classmates because he took an early nap. Speaking of food, the little monster seems to be starving when I pick him up from daycare now. He's on a different eating schedule in the toddler room, so he's hungry by 5:30pm. He's signing to nurse as soon as he sees me, and he is not a happy camper unless I nurse him in the car before putting him in his seat (note: I have tinted windows and a nursing cover in my car, do not be alarmed). 

We had a family trip to Home Depot this weekend, and Max was able to sit on a few lawn mowers. He was ecstatic! He wanted to sit in the seat by himself and hold onto the wheel. It was so cute. He went between three different lawn mowers, and we kept calling them tractors for him. Big green ones, just like in his book. He didn't want to leave the store! This little guy loves his trains, cars and tractors! 

Max has started doing the sweetest thing. When he's tired he will pull my hand to his side to rub his back. It helps him fall asleep, and it's the sweetest thing ever. It definitely tells me when he's ready for bed time. 

Oh! Another fun trick! He's unfolding the changing pad, putting it on the couch or floor, and then laying on it. Guess what that's his sign for? He looks so serious when he's unfolding it, so much concentration, and then he lays there and just looks at me. Come on, Mom, what are you waiting for? 

Sixty Five Weeks

Max has been clearly pointing at objects that he wants for weeks now. His new trick is to use his arms to turn my shoulders towards what he wants. He's steering his Mommy like a horse! Little monster. It's so cute. So he'll steer me into a specific room, and then point to what he wants. Smart kid, and he certainly knows what he wants. 

He's getting really good with utensils! He's properly using a fork to pick up his food, which is his favorite utensil. He's getting really good with a spoon too, he's getting lots of practice with his yogurt! Oh, and he has a new trick with a utensil that is most likely unique for toddlers. A steak brush! He love running around with it everywhere and playing with it like a toy. But the best part? He's using it to trigger the water dispenser on the fridge door! This kid loves water so much that he's figured out a way to get it on his own. My jaw just dropped the first time I witnessed this. Looks like I'm going to have to use the lock feature on that thing! 

It looks like Max likes to organize nowadays. His recent organization trick? He wants to put his food in containers while he is eating. He wants everything in a bowl, nothing on the tray any more. He's so proper! I used to open a plastic container and empty its contents onto his tray to pick up. No more! He requests the container and eats out of that. He started this by asking for the bowl after I emptied it onto the tray, and he picked everything up one by one and placed it in the bowl. Smarty pants. Then he ate it all. He likes things neat I guess. I have no idea where he got that from... hehe.

Last week he loved Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He loved his song book and requesting it by flipping to that page. Now we'll be in the car or out and about and he will tap his head to request the song. Then we sing it and I get some big smiles out of him. His adorable smiles just kill me. 

School pictures are this week! I'm so excited to see them. He's a total ham for the camera, so I know they'll be great! 

Sixty Four Weeks

Max doesn't use his swing much anymore. These days he prefers to sit on the couch with Mommy and Daddy instead of the swing. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that he doesn't want to sit still and be strapped in, but that's to be expected. The weight limit is 25 pounds, so he's almost too big anyway. Last week he asked to sit in the swing while he watched Caillou, which he hasn't done in weeks. So he sat in it for one last time before Daddy packed it up for good. That swing served us well, he loved that thing. Big milestone, smiles mixed with tears. 

This kid loves water. He's always running his hands under the water in the sink, pointing until I let him put his hands in it. He also has a new love for putting his hands in the stream of water on the fridge door while I fill our cups. He thinks it's hilarious and looks up at me with a huge smile. His love of water also comes through with bath time, he just smiles and laughs and plays in the water with such happiness. 

Something that I have always loved to do is play in the rain during the summer. I love splashing in puddles and looking up to let the rain wash over my face. Apparently Max is a big fan too! This weekend we went out and played during a rain shower, and we had a blast. We ran through puddles and splashed and giggled our heads off. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures, but I'll hope to capture it next time. 

This poor little guy has had eight teeth coming in for a few weeks. EIGHT teeth! At the same time! I can't imagine the pain he's in, poor guy. He's acting like his normal self for the most part, but I can tell he's suffering. It's affecting his sleep of course, but I'm hoping it passes soon. The outside edge of one of the bottom ones is almost completely out, so that's a good sign! Please Tooth Fairy, make them finish soon! 

Speaking of sleep issues, he's having a tough time with his sleep schedule lately. He's gradually transitioning from the infant to toddler room, so there's a lot of new and exciting stuff going through his head. On top of that, he's adjusting from napping whenever he wanted in the infant room to a schedule in the toddler room. Typically he naps twice a day, 90 minutes each, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. In the toddler room, they take one mid-day nap around noon. Needless to say, he's having trouble adjusting. He's falling asleep after school for a little while, and then waking up for dinner. It will be an adjustment, like all things, and he seems fine emotionally. He's loving all of the new toys and older kids in the toddler room! He's handling the transition better than Mommy is. 

This past weekend was the annual cookout at his Gramma and Grampa J's house. There are always a ton of people, and he was more social this year than last. Of course the day was spent running around like a mad man. There was a big wheel bike there, which he loved. Also, a tractor! He loved it, he's always pointing at tractors in his books. 

Books. His favorite book now is Action Rhymes, which is a book of songs. Just by looking at each page he knows which song it is. He'll start clapping when he sees Patty Cake and tap his head for Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes. He loves that song so much. We've been spending a lot of time flipping through that book lately. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sixty Three Weeks

Max seems to love holding my hands this week, and I'm loving it. He will ask to hold my hand to go down the steps, and then he will hold on for a few more steps. Usually he would just let go after the last step, but now he holds on until I'm slowing him down. He's a little man on the move, he doesn't need a slow old lady holding him back!

While nursing, he's also wanting to hold my hands this week. He's been holding my hand on his foot (he still loves his feet to be rubbed), or on his leg, or even his belly. I love the baby cuddles! 

When we sit to read books this week, he wants to hold on to my left hand with his left. Right hands are for holding the book (mine) or for turning pages (his), not for holding each other. All business. Favorite books this week are Two to Cuddle and 100 Machines. He's also holding my hand while he watches TV! So sweet!  

Steeling tomatoes out of the garden!

Going up the stairs backwards. Yes. That's a new thing this week. He goes down them one by one, while holding onto my hand. Once he gets to the bottom, he starts feeling his way back up the steps with his feet. This requires flexibility and balance, and he's got both! On about the third step, he starts giggling too much to continue and we go back down again. Silly kid. 

Last week his kisses were all open mouthed and crazy. This week he is back to putting his lips on ours. I think this is his Daddy's favorite thing right now. 

He's been riding his tricycle and truck outside this week. He thinks it's a great time! He especially likes to put his feet up and get pushed around. Going down the driveway is especially hilarious for him.

He is really starting to love the sunglasses that his Grandma bought him! He makes cute little poses, and walks up to us to see him. He's a little show off. A cute show off though :)

Wednesday (8/28) was Max's one year anniversary at daycare. I was glad that Daddy dropped him off, because I was emotional as it was. Max's sweet daycare teacher sent us a photo collage to mark the date, and I started crying at work. I'm such a sap! I loved seeing it though, it's awesome to have something like that from someone who genuinely cares about your child. We love that place! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sixty Two Weeks

Buttons! Max has learned how to use two important buttons/switches this week, and he's thrilled. First, there is a button on a fire truck that he received for his birthday. It's kind of hidden, and you push it in an odd way, but it turns on the sirens! I've been showing him the button for weeks, and helping him understand how it works. This week he started pressing it himself! He gets so excited and looks up at me like he's surprised, each and every time. Over and over. I haven't snapped a picture yet, because he picks the truck up and heads for the camera when he sees it. He's such a ham :)

The other button he learned about is the one that operates the light in our bedroom. It's one of those buttons on the cord, which is on the floor. He likes to use his foot to turn it on and off, and giggle at me when I act like I can't see him. This is part of the nighttime routine of course, and he thinks it's the best. 

Max isn't the only one learning new tricks. This week I learned that I can say the word "bath" when Max is doing anything in the world, and he will stop and walk into the bathroom. Trying to break into the locked cabinet? I say the word bath and he stops, walks into the bathroom, leans against the tub, and starts going "ahh ahh" in excitement. Good trick! Of course, the help with cleaning up his bath toys is still awesome. 

He's still in love with music. Last night we sang songs for twenty minutes before bed. To request "If You're Happy and You Know It" he claps and holds his hands. To request "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" he holds his hands on his head. He isn't too into "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" yet, but we are working on it. 

He's getting so good at kicking the ball around. He and Daddy play ball in the kitchen and out in the backyard. Max loves chasing the ball when Daddy plays keepaway, but Max is quite good on his own. His hand-eye coordination is impressive to me, he's better than I am! 

He likes his swing again! For a week or so, he hated his swing. It was the craziest thing. But he loves it again, and he had a blast in it. He always wants to swing higher and higher, and squeals so loud. He's a little daredevil!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sixty One Weeks

More words! He's more vocal than ever, and even getting some words down too!

Whenever Max hands us something (which at this age happens a lot), I always say, "Thank you!" This week he started saying, "gake-oo" when he hands me things! It's the best! Today I saw him give something to a boy at daycare, and he said it to him too. Adorable :)

Max doesn't love being woken up (well, who does?), so I was goofing around yesterday to wake him up. I had a romper with a big dog face on it, and I was having it bark as I wiggled it around. He was laughing and then started barking back! He was more than excited to put the romper on after that. As we were going into daycare later, he was pointing to the dog's face and going, "ak ak ak!" He's so smart and cute! 

Other words... He says "mulka" to mimic me when I ask if he wants milk. "Hullo" had been pretty fun this week when greeting people. "Cah" is still his favorite though! 

He's getting better at pushing himself along while he is sitting on his tricycle. He often stands up and just walks while over it though, when he's in his rushed baby mood. He has places to go and people to see! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fourteen Months

Max is fourteen months old today, on the fourteenth! 

He's running everywhere! Sometimes he stumbles because he doesn't want to slow down. Reminds me of his mommy in that way. 

We are still nursing, and he doesn't seem to have any interest in slowing down anytime soon. I've dropped pumping sessions so that I'm pumping just enough to keep up with his intake at daycare. Sometimes I get stressed because I'm not making double or triple what he consumes, but that's just silly. I'm making enough, and still keep a small stash in the freezer. 

He's loving solid food. We are basically feeding him whatever we eat for dinner at this point. He loves pizza! We focus on veggies and fruits for the most part, but he loves dairy and carbs. Bread and pasta? Yum! 

Cloth diapering is getting even better! I finally found the best way to strip the diapers. I've read that it can be a lot of ti and error (due to water types, washer, etc), and that was true. I can't believe it took me this long, but I'm thrilled! 

Max has one month left in the infant room in daycare.  He transitions when he is fifteen months old. Eek! That will be such a big milestone! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sixty Weeks

Max is such a good little helper! He loves sweeping the floor for me when he sees me trying. He thinks the broom is funny and tries so hard to sweep with it. We are looking for a toy one for him now, he will have a blast with it. He is picking up all of the sticks on our porch and handing them to me, it's adorable!  

Gramma got him some new sneakers, so he has been wearing them a ton! He's had to be wearing shoes for weeks now, he loves having nothing but sneakers and a diaper on. Sounds like his daddy! :)

We went to the zoo this past weekend. Max loved running around, and watching all of the other kids. They animals weren't really interesting him, but he had a good time with us. His favorite part was the splash park, he was running around an getting sprayed by water and laughing. It was a blast! 

Max walked into and out of daycare Tuesday, like a big boy! He trots around there like he's a little celebrity, making faces and waving for everyone that walks by. He's such a ham!

Kisses! Max is giving us lots of kisses now. It's probably my favorite thing this week. He's such an affectionate little boy, we are so lucky. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fifty Seven Weeks

This was a tough week for me, I didn't get to spend as much time with Max as I would like. He had a great week though, it's just that his mommy missed him while she was taking a class. 

Max loves shoes so much! I think I've written about this before, but it's great. He brings us our shoes every time he sees them. He will put them at our feet and wait for us to put them on, and then he gets all excited. He also likes bringing us his shoes and putting them on him, followed by some proud strutting around. He's adorable :)

I think he's starting to catch on to the "diaper" sign, which is great! He's also getting a lot better about coming to me when I ask him to. These things combined are really helping with diaper changes, which is key for a busy toddler. 

Thirteen Months

Wow, thirteen months!

Big milestone updates:
Still breast feeding, it's going very well. 
Still cloth diapering, and finally found a way to strip the diapers! Took long enough, huh?
Still walking, yay! 
We are working on sign language, but he's learning to respond to verbal cues much more as well. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fifty Six Weeks

This past week was great! I loved having four days straight with my family. I really needed that, and it was perfect. 

Max started nodding to say yes! He signs for milk, I ask if he wants milk, and he nods. It's great! All of these little pieces are so great together, and it's making life easier too. So far he signs for milk, and now the nod (which I say counts as dialogue). He kind of claps for "all done" but he is getting closer. When I'm teaching him signs, he usually giggles. All a big joke for the monster. But will get jt soon, I'm in no rush. 

We spent most of the Fourth of July in our backyard. He loves his swing, so there was plenty of that. We both wore our bathing suits and played with the water table, splashing and making a mess. It was great! Daddy brought him into the kiddie pool, and we even used the sprinkler. It was a relaxing, but fun day. We finished the big day with a trip for Max to have his first soft-served ice cream! He loved it, for the first ten bites at least. We even got to see some fireworks, he loved looking up and seeing all of the lights. 

One year ago on the Fourth of July, and today:

Max went swimming for the first time in a lake Saturday! He took turns hanging on to mommy and daddy, and he had tons of fun splashing. Once in a while, he would be brave and lean forward or backward into the water. We loved watching his faces as he got used to the crazy sensation of being in water, it's been a long time since he was submerge in liquid :)

Max loves putting things away. He moves things around, puts things in containers, sorts things, everything you can think of relating to organizing objects. I was taking pictures of him while we played in our sheet fort, and he grabbed my lens cap to put it back on! It was adorable, and I was lucky enough to snap the perfect picture to capture the moment. 

As I was sweeping the floor this weekend, Max went into the other room to find the dust pan. He came in and started following me around with the dust pan, bent over like he was going to catch the dirt. It was so cute! I ran to grab my camera, and what does he do? He grabs the broom and tries to finish the job for me! He was moving quickly, so my phone didn't capture a great photo, but it is still worth sharing. 

He also wanted to feed himself his yogurt! As I was feeding him, he started moving his hands like he wanted to scoop with a utensil. I handed him his spoon, and he started picking yogurt up and heading for his face. He was far better coordinate than I expected, but he still got the perfect amount on his face :) 

This little kid is incredible. We were playing on the deck, and he was slapping and kicking a ball around. Then he found the wiffle bat nearby. What does he do next? He started to use the wiffle bat to hit the ball, pushing it around the deck! In between the legs of the chairs, around the chairs, all over the place! It was crazy and I must have had my jaw dropped for a good few minutes. I caught a couple minutes of it on video to share with Sean, because it seemed too crazy to be true! It looks like he might be a hockey player some day! 

Max and I like to sit on his push toys and chase each other around the house. They're tough to turn, so we don't go very fast, but he thinks it's hysterical! Here he is, sitting on his push car! 

He is still so intrigued by stacking toys on their stands. He's constantly playing with the small wooden ring stacker and a wooden car that has pieces that stack on rings. He likes to stack, un-stack, and stack again. 

Unfortunately, Max has another ear infection. We know that they often accompany teething (note: molars are evil), but it's still tough to see that he's still getting them. This is his sixth ear infection! He's acting like himself now, after a couple of days on antibiotics, and I'm so grateful for that. Watching him in pain is so difficult for me. He's been doing lots of sleeping, like in this adorable photo of him napping on the couch. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fifty Five Weeks

Max is growing up so fast! He's really enjoying wood puzzles lately. He likes to take out the puzzle pieces and put them in a pile (like in this picture below) and then put them all back on the puzzle board. Sometimes he's going back and forth quickly, piling them separately and then on the board and then back again. Other times he actually puts the pieces on the spots where they belong! He's not turning them into their spots yet, but watching him match the pictures up with the pieces is incredible. He loves looking up at my proud face when he does it. Smart boy! 

He's also enjoying interactive books. For months (like six?), we've been reading his Brown Bear, Brown Bear religiously. Sometimes several times a night. Lately he likes to slide the panel to look at the picture of the next animal. He waits until I'm done reading the page, and then he slides it across (and often claps after). Then I make the animal noise for the next page, and he giggles while he turns the page. It's quite fun! We have a few books that have flaps to look at hidden areas on the page, and he likes to look under each flap. He's always sure to put the flap back flat before turning the page, it's quite cute to watch. 

When we are stuck in the car for long rides (for him, that's a 45 minute drive), he and I play a little game. I point at my nose and say, "Mommy's nose" and then point at his nose and say, "Max's nose." He giggles, and  I repeat a few times. It's a fun game when he's slipped and fallen, or is cranky. We're working on other parts of our faces too, but he likes the nose the most.

Max likes to pick up our shoes and take them to us, he's just started doing this recently. I usually take it for a cue to go outside and play, unless it's dark out. Anyway, he brought my shoes to me  last night and I said, "Are those Mommy's shoes?" Guess what he did? He pointed at his nose (I had him repeat it again, immediately, for the picture below) and then clapped like a happy and proud little boy. This is his new favorite thing, to point at my nose or his nose when prompted. His aim is a little off, but we are he's understanding!

Today was a great day. I had the day off (Happy 4th of July!) to enjoy with my family. We had a lot of time outside today swinging and playing with his water table. We even spent some time in the hammock while he nursed. That, by the way, was wonderful! We had a "stick out your tongue" contest, and here's a glimpse of how that went: 

Today Max stacked five blocks! He has been stacking up to three for a few weeks, and I was waiting with my camera to capture him stacking up to four today. He beat that goal, and went right to five! We did lots of happy clapping after he finished knocking the stack down and laughing. He's getting really good with his aim! He's constantly grabbing his miniature ring stacker (thank you Auntie Ashley!) and a little wooden car that has stacking pieces also, and taking them apart to put back together again. He focuses so intently, and is great with his aim! He also likes to make Mommy bite his toys, which is fun too. Plenty of giggles! I love watching my little boy learn! 

I'm very excited to have the next three days off with him too! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

BabyBeads Nursing Necklaces

Once my son turned about eight months old, he was no longer content quietly nursing. He wanted to play, move around, anything but stay still. In general, he doesn't like to stay still, so this was no surprise. I have an active little boy! I've heard that once your child stops laying there quietly to nurse, that they should no longer be nursing. That is completely not true. My son still loves to nurse, he simply wants something to occupy him while he eats. Something that has really helped is a nursing necklace!

When I'm wearing a nursing necklace, he's busy playing with the different beads or pulling on the necklace. It keeps his mind busy while he's nursing, and he thinks it's fun! I think tugging on it is his favorite part, he's a little munchkin. Luckily, the nursing necklaces from Baby Beads make me feel safe letting my (very strong) baby yank on the necklace. 

Baby Beads is a company run by someone that understands the safety of children, a mom. Jo (the owner of Baby beads) makes all of the necklaces by hand, and is sure that they are safe for mommy and baby. The beads are strung onto a very strong cord that has multiple knots. This makes the necklace strong, but also ensures that any breaks will result in the fewest amount of beads coming loose as possible. Great idea!! I can't imagine that the necklace would break though, and Jo has never heard of one breaking. 

There are many color choices available for these necklaces, and I chose the unisex aqua one. I absolutely love the colors! Lots of shades if blue, my favorite! The necklace is comfortable to wear (even when being tugged) and my son loves the texture of the beads. It's the perfect length for him to grab into it and play while he's nursing.

If you're looking to keep your toddler (or active baby) still while nursing, I highly recommend a nursing necklace from Baby Beads! Check out the Baby Beads Website to see the necklaces available. 

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Fifty Four Weeks

Here's a photo of Max and I having a raspberry blowing contest. He loves these games! 

Max is obsessed with the stairs! I think this is probably common, but it's hilarious. 

He's bringing toys up while he climbs, all of the way up. Or boxes of tissues, bags of dirty diapers from daycare, clothes from the pile mommy is folding, anything. If he can't carry it in his hand while he climbs, he throws the thing up the steps ahead of him. When he gets to it, he grabs it and throws it further up the stairs. Over and over until he's at the top.

Once he's at the top, he throws the object(s) down the steps. Laughs and laughs. He likes it when it bounces all of the way to the bottom, but sometimes it doesn't  make it the whole way. If that's the case, climbs down to the object and throws it down again. Over and over until it hits the floor. Then, you guessed it, the process starts again. He's so happy when he's climbing up, and it's so cute that he doesn't want help but constantly looks behind him to make sure I'm right there. 

This past weekend he was doing his backwards feet first approach to getting down the stairs. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to have him sit on my lap while we went sliding down the steps on my bum, step by step. There were sound effects of course, and he giggled and giggled. So that is how he goes on his own now, and he thinks it's a blast. 

I love watching him pick up his toys and put them on the seat of his push toys. It's so cute! He still likes to run around the house with them while shrieking at the top of his lungs. He's walking nonstop too, but he likes to mix it up and use his push toys also. 

Stacking rings are his favorite lately. He's really good at getting the rings onto the pole, and he's so happy when he gets them all on. Stacking blocks and cups is also a blast, but his favorite part is knocking them down and pushing them all over the floor. This just cracks him up, and he laughs and laughs. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Year of Breast Feeding: Toddler Positions

My son turned a year old eleven days ago. I'm still blown away by how fast this year has gone by, but it feels like so much longer when I think about different pieces. I feel that breast feeding is such a big part of who I am now.

At first it was overwhelming and challenging, which I knew it would be to start. We got through those difficult first days, and it became a wonderful experience. The period of thrush were a painful time, but we fought through and I'm a better person for it. Everything since then has been, to use one word, beautiful. I love the bond that we have, and breast feeding makes me feel so connected to my role as his mother. Things have certainly changed though, and nursing a baby is definitely very different from nursing a toddler.

I would like to say that the fact that Max can sign for milk has really made life better. Knowing what he wants before he gets fussy is amazing, and I can tell that he loves the power of communicating that to me. This is definitely a huge change from his early days as a baby, as he can actively explain his needs. Watching for him to root around was easy as well, but this is just different. I love it.

So what do we know about toddlers? Well, they're toddling. Max does not want to just sit/lay there to eat. He's all about moving around and getting comfortable or just keeping himself moving. Here are some examples of new nursing positions:

  1. Side-lying in the crook of my arm, so I can act as a pillow as he falls asleep. 
  2. Downward-facing-baby. Yup, you got it. He likes to nurse with his legs straight and his butt in the air (while I'm laying down). How does he manage to swallow? I have no idea. 
  3. Sitting at the bar. Yup, I'll be on my side while he sits up and just bends over. Sometimes he will ONLY nurse in this position. This is sometimes accompanied by another typical bar activity. He fills his mouth with milk and then lets it all out on me. Why? I have no answer for that either. He thinks it's hysterical though, and goes back for more. Boot and rally, right? 
  4. Laying perpendicular to me. Perpendicular? How does that work? Well, I'm laying down, he lays with his head next to me, but his feet are as far away from me as possible. Then... he tilts his head back as far as he can and latches. Really? Yes, really. He actually starts from a regular side-lying position and just wiggles his legs further and further from me, while never unlatching. Tricky kid. 
  5. Laying ON me, belly down. Yes, he will be latched and pull his body over mine, and just lay there with one leg on either side of me. Lots of wiggling accompanies this, but he enjoys it. 
  6. Laying on me, belly UP. What? Yes, that's right. BELLY UP. He starts with the laying on me face down and somehow manages to roll over. So he's laying on me, facing the ceiling, with his head turned so that he can still nurse. Weird duck. 
  7. Baby rolls. No, not the cute rolls on their legs. Actually rolling. Nurse five seconds while turning slightly, until the neck won't turn anymore, unlatch and complete the turn and relatch. Repeat. Yes, this happens. He thinks it's funny! Silly kid. 
Although it's not a position, he does another funny thing. He will pull his head back, look at the nipple, and go "ahhh!" as he opens his mouth, as wide as it will go, and leans his head in for more. It cracks us up!

All of this is hysterical to me. He actually nurses through me laughing at him. He's a little goof. He will stop sometimes and look up at me, with a huge smile, and just giggle with me. It's great. Sometimes Daddy is there to giggle with us. These fun memories are the best. I wouldn't take back a single moment of this awesome experience. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fifty Three Weeks

We officially have a walker! Sunday morning, as a Father's Day gift, Max started walking! He was walking from room to room, different from the spurts of ten steps or so before that. He's loving it! We were so excited to see it, and the big proud smiles he gives are the best. 

Tonight he actually walked a full lap around our house (there is a stair case in the center of our house). I couldn't believe it. That wasn't enough though, nope, he wanted more. He crawled right up the stairs! All of the way to the top! A few times he has made it halfway up before getting bored. Tonight he went the whole way, and then right into mommy and daddy's room to play. 

This week Max loved playing a new game in our bedroom before story time. I sit in the center of the bed, and hide behind pillows as he runs in a U shape around the bed. It's peek-a-boo with running! He laughs his head off and we have such a good time. I ask where he is as I hide behind a pillow, and he runs over to my head and pulls it away. Sometimes he gets really quiet and inches his face up to my head nice and slow, to sneak up on me, and eventually he starts giggling because he can't control himself anymore. It's so sweet! I love how playful he is, it's the best :)

The hugs he's giving are more and more obvious. It's amazing. We brought him in to daycare on his birthday to get a present he had made for daddy, and he ran right up to his friend and gave her a huge hug. They both toppled over in their little embrace, but they were both smiling. I have a feeling that happens a lot with those two! He is always coming up to me for hugs too, and just holding on. I absolutely love it, he's such a lovey baby! 

Max tried strawberries for the first time this weekend. He was a little confused by the new flavor and texture, but after a few days introducing them, he seems to enjoy them. He's also eating yogurt now and loves it! 

Another crazy thing to worry about, he's trying to turn door knobs! He's been playing with them all week, and apparently he's been opening doors at daycare to get to the push car that he loves. Crazy kid! He's growing up so fast!