Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Darn Ears

It's confirmed: Jack has his fifth ear infection. Next up? Consult with the Ear Nose and Throat Doctor. The pediatrician thinks he is a good candidate for tubes, but it's all up to what the ENT Doctor thinks.

I want what's best for Jack, but the prospect of him having surgery scares me. Yes, it's a routine surgery, but he's my child and I am going to worry. I get sick every time I am given anesthesia, so I worry that Jack is going to be the same. I worry that he's going to be in pain and can't help him. The worry is never-ending.

His appointment is on April 7th and Jason is going to take the day off work so we can go together.

My next post is going to be about our trip to Urgent Care on Monday. What a joy that was (note my sarcasm).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What the Boy Eats

Over the past few weeks, Jack has really turned a corner with his eating. Ever since we switched him to whole milk, he is eating more and drinking less. I have to be honest, I was nervous about the switch from formula to milk, but honestly, it's been great! He doesn't miss formula at all and took to the taste of milk immediately. Some days are better than others.

Some days Jack will eat a TON and some days he picks like a bird. He has stopped eating most purees. I still have a few left in the cupboard so he gets a container every once in a while, but ever since he started being able to feed himself finger foods, he doesn't want to be fed with a spoon.

Jack normally eats about three meals and two (sometimes three) snacks. This might seem like a lot to some people (two snacks rather than one), but he really needs to eat every couple of hours.

During the weekend, when Jack is at home with me, this is what a typical day of eating looks like:

Breakfast #1: An organic cereal bar and fruit

Breakfast #2/snack: Some dry Cheerios and yogurt or more fruit

Lunch: Peanut butter and all fruit jam, cheddar crackers and either a fruit or a veggie (peas or green beans are his favorite).

Snack: Annie's Organic bunny snacks or the occasional homemade cookie or banana bread

Dinner: Pasta with sauce and a veggie. Or turkey with a veggie and bread

You can see that my child loves fruit. A lot. Over the course of one weekend, he went through an entire half pint of blueberries on his own.

I always serve water or milk with meals and snack. He loves to drink water from a cup (no lid) and he takes about 6 ounces of water total throughout the day.

Now, here is where I get honest. I try and feed Jack organic food where I can. There are some things that I don't buy organic (bananas and milk and usually not meat) because I don't buy organic for Jason and I. But, I think it's important to feed Jack that way. He doesn't eat organic at daycare. However, I am not perfect. He has gotten the occasional Oreo or bite of my donut from Starbucks. It sounds slightly hypocritical, but I think it's okay to feed him a few junky things once in a while if he eats pretty good the rest of the time.

My mom works on a dairy farm (really, she does), and she told me not to buy organic milk because all that means is that the cows when they are sick and getting antibiotics don't have their milk used in the general supply. I should do some reading to see if that's true because I might change my mind about buying organic. I don't right now but if the cows are getting gross feed, I might want to buy organic. In Oregon, you can buy milk that is hormone free, which I already do purchase.

I also try not to feed him foods that are full of added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. That is why he gets all fruit jam and organic boxed things. Those typically don't have added junk. If I feed him a cheese cracker, I can at least feel okay that it's organic.

While Jack eats a variety of foods, he doesn't eat a huge volume overall. Like I said before, some days he picks like a bird. Dinner is his smallest meal volume-wise. He sometimes only eats a couple of bites. I don't push him though. If he is getting veggies and fruits and protein, I am happy!

What food does Jack totally hate? I try to feed him everything that we are eating (if we happen to be eating together), but he isn't a huge fan of beets or pickles. I guess that is probably not that unusual for a baby. He has eaten some really weird foods that I was surprised that he liked: Black olives, mushrooms (both canned and fresh), lettuce?!?, coffee, and beer. The coffee and beer were from my husband and I was not too thrilled. He only got a finger taste though so I guess it could be worse. Some kids eat poop after all.

The final thing I want to touch on is mealtime. Since my husband works swing shift and I don't cook during the week, Jack eats a different meal than I do. He gets a good healthy meal and I find that I usually eat leftovers or a frozen dinner (I know, I know). I am on Weight Watchers, so I don't want to feed him my "diet food". I much prefer to give him a separate dinner and I don't mind cooking different foods for him.

I would love to hear what you are feeding your little ones and what food strategies you have. Leave a comment!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Woe Is Me

I am feeling sorry for myself lately. If you read my blog, you realize that I hardly complain about my husband or our funky schedules. Until today. It's really wearing on me. Some background: I work a normal (mostly) schedule of Monday through Friday from about 7:00am to 3:00pm. My husband works Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 11:00pm. We have held this schedule for years and I am used to it.

What this means is that I don't see my husband at all, or very little during the week. Maybe a few minutes in the morning when we are ships passing in the night. Since he sleeps in on the weekends, we only get to see each other for a few hours on the weekend.

It sucks.

I am feeling more and more like a single parent these days. I get Jack up in the morning, get him ready, drive him to daycare, pick him up, feed him dinner, give him bath, put him to bed and deal with the whole sleep issue. I do all of the housework. Really, all of it. The only thing that my husband does is take the trash cans down to the curb. He doesn't take out the trash, I do that. Often, he will make himself a meal at night (when Jack and I are sleeping), and leave the dishes in the sink for me to do.

I am tired. I have a huge amount of respect for single moms. They work so hard. I am feeling a touch of that lately. In all fairness, single moms have it harder than me. I at least have a tiny bit of help on the weekends, and we do share about each other's day and are a team when it comes to parenting in general.

My husband goes out with his friends every Sunday night. I would prefer he stay home so he can have more time with his son since he only sees him for a few hours a week. But, I say nothing. It's important to him to spend some time with his buddies and I respect that. But again, I am tired, and *I* want some time with *my* friends.

This is the life I knew when I got pregnant. We have had this same schedule for years, but occasionally, it wears on me.

I feel like an insensitive bitch because I know someone very close to me that has her husband leave for a whole different state every Monday and doesn't come home until Friday. And I never once hear her complain.

I want to have dinner with my husband and our child like most families do. I would love to be able to clean the house together on the weekends, or go out to breakfast. Or heck, maybe take the baby to the zoo before 4:00 in the afternoon as a family. I do these things alone. I take Jack on outings all the time.

Yes, I sound like a cry baby. I will be over it soon. Maybe.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I have been wanting to post about Jack's talking, or lack thereof, for a while, but I didn't want to sound like a lunatic. Even though I still will sound like a lunatic, I don't care.

Jack doesn't talk much and I am concerned. He mostly babbles and uses "baby talk". I know I shouldn't compare babies, but I know lots of other babies his age that are using tons of words. Jack only says a few things: Mama, Dada, Up, Nana, Hello (sounds like Ella when he says it), and some random other things.

Should a 13.5 month old be saying more? I guess it depends right? I need to stop.

Instead of lamenting about his lack of language, I will focus on some pretty awesome things. The other day, Jack was looking at pictures with Nana and he pointed at a picture of himself. Nana said "Jack, that's you. Jack." Jack looked back at my mother-in-law and said, clear as day, "Jack". Good Lord, he knows his name! Here we thought he was going to think his name was "Bug" or "No".

Karen, Jack's daycare provider has been practicing some sign language with him. She did it with her own boys, so she does it with her daycare kids too. I actually didn't know she did this until Thursday when I picked him. She asked me if I practice sign with him. I admitted that I tried a few months ago but gave up. Maybe I shouldn't have, because he knows how to sign. He signs "more" and "milk" when he's at her house. Back the truck up! Now that I know he can do this, I started practicing those words with him at home. I also picked up a baby sign book and am trying other words like "Mommy", "Daddy" and "water".

I would appreciate comments on what words your kids know and how old they were when they first started talking.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Still Here!

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I haven't had time to update my blog. Sorry gang.

Here is what we have been up to:

* Jack has ANOTHER ear infection, so we are working on getting him healthy. Augmentin seems to be working, but honestly, I am so over these darn infections. I am sure my little guy is very much done with them too.

* Sleep is going GREAT! He is starting to sleep at longer and longer intervals. He goes down in his crib for the first put down of the night. Jack sleeps in his crib until he wakes up. This is usually anywhere from 2 hours to 3.5 hours like last night! Progress!

* I am planning my trip back East in May. I need to purchase plane tickets and a new stroller so I can tote this guy through airports easier. I am looking forward to the trip, but anxious about certain things, like keeping a toddler entertained for a day of sitting on airplanes and then long drives from Maine to New Hampshire.

That is really about it. Nothing too extraordinary. When I get more than 5 minutes of "me" time, I will update this thing again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sleep Update

It's time for a sleep update! I officially started this sleep "training" program:

I say *I* because let's face it, Jason isn't helping. Jack is in bed with me since Jason works swing. And training is in parentheses because I think of sleep training in a negative term. This program seems much more gentle to me.

Nights one through four: This is honestly not hard. Jack is used to eating and then being put down awake. This is not a change nor outside of the ordinary.

Night five (Thursday): This was the start of the second portion of the program. I was dreading this portion. The first night wasn't so horrible. Yes, the boy was up many times. At one point, he cried a little bit, but in my arms. He did catch on pretty quickly that he wasn't going to get his bottle though.
I woke up the next morning feeling optimistic and not entirely exhausted.

Night six (Friday): Ugh, this night sucked. Jack had a hard time this night for some reason. He was up a lot. And cried at one point for about 15 minutes. I did not get very good sleep at all. It was so bad that I literally felt like a zombie the next day. I still tried to go about the day like normal. We went to OMSI in the morning and I got my hair cut on Saturday evening.

Night seven and eight (Saturday and Sunday): These nights were pretty bad. But not because Jack woke up a lot. It's because Jack was/is sick and he's not able to get comfortable in bed. He woke up a lot but not for a bottle. Just to be snuggled and find a comfortable position. Lesson learned: Need to run the humidifier and give the baby some medicine before bed.

Night nine (Monday): Technically, this is the night I was supposed to start the third stage, BUT, my kiddo is sick. He is getting over a bad cold so I don't want to implement a new stage. The article talks about these types of situation and I didn't want to go backwards. As a result, we will be still on the second stage until Jack is better.

All in all? It's getting better. Jack still wakes up, but it's less frequent and he's not cranky about it. He doesn't have a bottle fro 11pm until about 6am the next morning. He's not starving. I know this because if I give him a full bottle in the morning, he only drinks about 3 ounces.

What I have mostly learned: I could have started this sooner. I now know that Jack waking up and getting a bottle was his form of comfort to go back to sleep. That's okay though. We are fixing the situation now. Apparently he didn't NEED those calories like I thought he did.

I feel slightly guilty about all this, but you know what? It was no harm to him, just to me. And I can say that I am excited to get more than about 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. One day, that shall come!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bodily Functions

Two stories for you.

Last Sunday, I gave Jack his bath as normal. I usually don't put him down naked after bath because, well, I know better. Cold air + Naked baby = Dirty carpet. He wanted down and I thought "What the heck?". Big mistake. I put him down and said "Come on Jack, let's get our jammies on". He wasn't following, so I turned around to see where he was. He was peeing on the carpet. So what do I do? Well, what any sane mother would do. Went for the camera. I have a picture as proof, but since people are on the interwebs are creepy, I won't be posting it. Lesson learned.

Last night, Jack had his bath (see a pattern here?) and as I was washing my face, I hear him farting in the tub. That in itself is pretty funny. I didn't think much of it since he does it all the time. Just as I was kneeling down to soap him up, I hear him toot a slightly different toot and up floats a turd. Ack! In the tub! I never have moved so fast in my life. I yanked him out of the tub so damn fast. Now, I was getting him ready for bed (quickest.bath.ever) I was thinking to myself "How in the world am I going to get a turd out of the tub?". I don't have any paper cups, I sure as hell wasn't going to pick it up with my bare hands, and I didn't think a paper towel would really do the job. I rummaged through my cupboards and found a plastic Christmas container. Good enough! Before I scooped the poo out of the tub I took a picture for evidence. Wanna see?

Haha! I bet you scrolled down didn't you? I didn't really take a picture you weirdos. Pee on the floor is one thing but poop in the tub is another.

I've reached a Mommy Milestons. Two bodily function accidents in one week! It only took him 13 months, but I officially have a tub-pooer.

For the record, my husband was conveniently not home for either event. Lucky me got to clean up both times. Golly gee.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

13 Months Old

Wow, I thought 12 months would be an eye-opener, but for some reason, 13 months is more so. Yikes. I didn't even realize that today Jack was 13 months old until I typed out the date for the first time. Maybe once you get past the year mark, it doesn't seem as.......concrete?

Kiddo, look how big you are! So handsome!

You are doing a few new things these past couple of weeks.

* You are now throwing mini-tantrums. It's not terrible yet, but it's still not fun. When I take you away from something you are interested in (usually it's something you shouldn't be playing with), you screech or throw a fit. I try and tell you "Dangerous" or "Please don't play with that", but you don't care.

* You are starting to be very independent. Every now and then you will be content to sit and play with toys, but usually, you are more interested in exploring and climbing.

* You are officially on whole milk and eating more! The milk transition was easier than I was expecting it to be which is great! With the milk transition, the eating became a little better as well. You are eating more at each meal now. Grapes, the family spaghetti sauce, and any bread product are your current favorites. You will chow down on grapes like they are the best thing on the planet (which they certainly are!). And you who used to hate any tomato product will stuff spaghetti into your mouth like it's your last meal.

* Running is how you prefer to move these days. You are a pro walker and have started bouncing and jumping and RUNNING rather than walking. Thank goodness you haven't had any bad falls yet. Let's hope that continues!

* You still aren't sleeping through the night, but we are working on that (crosses fingers). Maybe by this time next month we will have made some progress.

* It's so cute to watch you stack your Legos together and put your shapes into your shape sorter. You still need a little help, but you are getting really good at it!

* No new words yet, but you certainly do listen intently when we play with the See and Say and make animal sounds. The cow and turkey are your favorite.

* People can still be a little intimidating to you Jack, but I swear, you are a closet flirt. You hide behind my knee for a few minutes but then peek out and smile. Once you warm up to a stranger, it's like you are best friends for life! My little ladies man!

Jack Emmett, oh how we adore you. Keep making Mommy and Daddy smile!