Pages

Monday, January 30, 2012

Milestones


Last week was HUGE in terms of developmental milestones. Simon went from sitting to his belly and it wasn't just falling on his face, although he still does that too. He also started to crawl! It's a belly crawl and he doesn't go very far, but we are mobile. I'm not sure if it's exciting or terrifying, but I think mostly exciting. He's already improved so much, the first couple of days he was working really hard to drag himself forward, now he's doing a real army crawl with his forearms and trying to use his legs.  Right now that is using one foot that swings up in the air and then sometimes using that foot to push forward.  He's also pretty good at the plank position, getting his belly off the ground, but hasn't figured out how to get his knees under yet. If placed on his hands and knees he will rock a bit and then slide to his belly. He can get across our rug which is 7 feet.  I think he could probably go further, but he has to be motivated.


By electronics, or food, or the rabbit, or a toy. And usually if there is something far away he wants he'll go for it, but the state of our home also means there is usually something on the path closer that will distract him and being closer is the path of least resistance.  Crawling has also motivated him to roll from back to belly more often to get what he wants.


I feel like I'm kind of mean when I keep pushing him to practice by placing him a few feet from his toys.  But he looks so proud of himself when he gets there. Or so confused at me when I move said object just a little further away.
 
Simon's also gotten very busy in the last week.  He'll play with the same object for a good 10 - 20 minutes. Board books he doesn't quite get, but concentrates so hard trying to turn the pages.  And he has one of those shape sorter toys, which he totally doesn't know how to use yet but spends a lot of time manipulating it.  Figuring things out. It won't be long.

And we got a tooth!  I meant it when I said last week was huge.  It's his bottom left and it is sharp. He's really been gnawing on anything hard.  And my fingers. Cold carrots and apples work wonders. This first tooth didn't send us into teething misery, so I hope that is a good sign. Or maybe his sleep is already so inconsistent it just didn't seem all that different)

With his exploding motor skills and development I have a feeling we are going to soon be in a full fledged "I CAN DO IT MYSELF" phase.  He already pulls the spoon out of my hand when I'm feeding him and he's already getting pretty good at feeding himself things to gnaw on - like a crust of bread. And the church nursery worker said she was helping him with a banging toy and he pushed her hands away.  Mr. Independent is growing fast.

And here is the best video I have to post at the moment. It's from the iPod so excuse the quality.
video
The rabbit I think is his new best friend.  This morning he crawled over to the cage and held the bars until I sat him up and then he held the bars and talked to Mr. Monkey for 20 minutes. 
Oh, and the other new thing, so I don't forget is the shredding ad eating of paper. Magazines, church bulletin, junk mail, books I'm sure if I'm not careful.The soggy paper bits are everywhere, but he loves it so much it can buy me some relief during the evening cranky time. The downside are the bits of paper than end up in his diaper. I really a trying to limit the amount ingested...

I am seriously loving this stage.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ten random things for Tuesday.

1. Rob brought me flowers last night. Just because. It made me smile.

2. Simon woke up just before I left this morning all smiles.  But at some point over night he sneezed and there was dried snot all over his face.  Adorable and disgusting at the same time.

3. I've been cooking more lately because Rob's working at night and really, I don't love cooking.  Baking I like, cooking is just necessary.

4. I'm having all kinds of weird food cravings.  Rob told me that's just how I eat.  I'm the crazy woman who craves healthy food when pregnant and the weird combos all the rest of the time.  At least I'm getting back to normal.

5. I weight one pound less than I did when I got pregnant. Ideally I'd like to lose 5 more pounds. In order to do that I need to stop eating donuts.

6. Simon is belly crawling (a post in itself).  Exciting and terrifying.

7. He is also getting his two bottom teeth. I hope they pop through soon because he is chewing off his fist.

8. I can't believe January is almost over.  I am nowhere near ready for the semester to start on Friday.

9. This paper that I am always talking about.  It's the same paper every time.  Multiple drafts. But this time for reals, I only have three paragraphs to go and it will be "adviser to view" ready.

10. I heart daycare. It's awesome.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kickshaw

The list of restaurants we want to try is continually growing.  Rob is a bit of a food snob - and I'm finally coming around to his way of thinking.  There are so many restaurants that why waste our time going to someplace sub-par. I wouldn't say we are foodies really, because there are some places on our list of favorites that could be questionable, but we like them for various reasons (e.g. there is one and only one great dish but the overall doesn't stand up).  There are also some places that are on our "do not patronize" list for bad food, bad service, or both, and we will give it a couple of goes. We are also homebodies, so walking distance is important. 


But back to this list.  The list is growing because we tend to frequent our favorites, we are working on branching out.  So a couple of weeks ago we walked to Astoria to visit Kickshaw. "Specialty coffee, fancy grilled cheese sandwiches , craft beer in Astoria, Queens." Some friends had offered to babysit for a couple of hours, so Rob and I had a real date.  It was nice. The fancy cheeses were awesome.  But what really got us was the dessert.


So a week later we went. With Simon. Our weekend walks will likely be accompanied by "our car" what Mom and Chip have lovingly dubbed the stroller.  So we strolled. And at some point turned Simon around so he could be in a picture too.


Kickshaw has a great vibe with a big communal table, small tables in the back, and a bar. I can see this as a place where you could sit and work and eat and drink for an afternoon.  Not the most kid friendly place we've been, but having Simon wasn't a problem.  We did have to park the stroller away from where we sat, but not a big deal.  We had to sit at the bar this time around.  Planning better around cranky time and padding in time to wait for a table would make it better to return with baby.  Without baby, no problem.


Simon spent the time pounding on the bar and playing with a paper cup. Then he got cranky so Rob ate while I walked him and I ate while Rob took him outside to people watch. It was a very warm day for winter.


The dessert we got was quite awesome.  A chocolate walnut brownie that was very dry, like carrot cake maybe with coffee poured over it. You get your dessert and coffee all in one dish. Amazing. 


On the walk home Simon had about enough of the stroller.  So we carried him the last few blocks.  And he got his first ride on Daddy's shoulders. I think the hair and glasses pulling was his favorite part.


If you are local.  Check out Kickshaw.  With or without the kid.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Half a Year


How has it already been six months? It's gone by so fast, yet it seems like it's been forever. Today is Simon's half-birthday. He's getting oh, so big. This last month has been huge in terms of development.


Just after Christmas, so at 5.5 months he went from not sitting at all to sitting with no support.  Today he went to work in the lab (he's a research subject at my school) and he sat for more than 30 minutes doing different tasks. He's also started to realize that he CAN move to get the things he wants. Now he just has to figure out how to do it. He's been able to roll from both belly-to-back and back-to-belly since mid-October, just choosing not to. Until this month when he will roll to get that toy that is just out of reach. And he's started to spin on his belly to change directions.  This works out well for my surround the edge of the blanket with toys to keep him distracted while I do XYZ trick. And then just today on his half birthday Simon tried to rock up to his hands and knees.  He will be crawling in the next four weeks, I'm almost positive.


Simon also discovered the rabbit this month. If he's fussing and sees the rabbit he gets very calm and quiet and just stares and reaches. He still loves to stand.  And he's quite good at balancing holding on to the rabbit's cage. I think Mr. Theodore Monkey will also end up being good incentive for crawling as Mr. Simon really really wants to get to him.


We did an early introduction to solids. I wasn't really planning on this, but Simon is really interested in our food.  He's at the "if you have it I want it now and I don't care what it is" phase. Especially when it comes to food. Peas and beans and apples are favorites. And pizza. Yesterday I left him suck on my crust with some tomato sauce on it. Wow, that was funny to watch. Bottles are still a nemesis.  But I'm starting to be ok with the fact that this is more my problem (psychologically) than an actual problem. I'm still feeding over night, so if Simon wants to wait to nurse, I can be ok with this. I think.  He's really fascinated with cups and his sippy and straw cups.  Both of which he CAN drink from. But only if there is water (my test liquid in very very small amounts). The second I put milk in there, no way. At least he loves food.


Sleep is still a learning process. Our lives and schedules have all been changing over the last couple of months. We bed-share more than I ever thought we would. Most nights Simon starts out in his crib and depending on how tired I am or how many times he wakes up he ends up in bed with me.  Or sometimes he and I sleep on the couch from around 3. And on really cranky nights we just sleep in the big bed from the start. Other nights he stays in his crib all night (except for the eating). I'm really mostly ok with the status quo. Getting up once or twice (generally 3 and 5/6ish) at night really isn't bad, especially since that second time is technically an acceptable morning wake-up. It's the nights or weeks where it's 5+ times that are trying.  Sleep training in some form may still happen, but for now we will nurse at night to make up for the lack of bottles.  Ask me again at 7 months how I feel.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

D-Day

***The first two days were great. Then we all caught a stomach virus. It was gross.***

Today is Simon's first day of daycare, or school as I might refer to it. School just sounds nicer to me.  There will be new teachers and friends to meet. In as much as you can learn and make friends at 6 months old, because he is almost 6 months old. When did that happen?

At first I thought we'd never be able to afford daycare, then I found out that a part time nanny would cost more than full time daycare - not at all places, but for the two we looked at.  We visited two centers and one in home daycare.  The in home situation didn't feel right for Rob or I.  Both centers were nice.  One was cheaper, but a bus or subway ride away.  The one we chose is about 10 blocks away.  Simon will go Tuesday - Thursday for this semester.  In the summer I'll probably keep it at 3 days, but change them up, so there will be a break in the 3 days.  In the fall we'll evaluate if we want to send him full time.  I like that my schedule is flexible enough that I still get to be with Simon 2 days and the weekends. But I'm really, really excited about what it will mean to know he's somewhere where he is taken care of and I don't have to worry.

The last five months have been difficult. I do not regret that we juggled schedules and that Rob was able to stay home. Rob doesn't either.  But it was tough at times.  And on the days I was away, I was always wanting to rush home even though I had a ton of work to relieve Rob. And when I was with Simon it was really hard to just "be" with him and not think about all the work I needed to do, but couldn't. I kind of hate how much I don't want to be with Simon all the time. But I want to use the separation productively.  And then really make the time I do have with him count.

Simon isn't exclusively breast fed, but he would like to be. On the days I'm away I pump - oh I hate the pump - and we try bottles. On a good day he'll eat 5 ounces (about half of what he should be eating) but usually less.  This is one reason we are not sleep training.  If he's actually hungry I will feed him, if he hasn't eaten all day, I can only assume he's hungry. Here's hoping daycare can fix the bottle aversion. He is fascinated by the sippy cup, but hasn't quite figures it out.  I got him a straw cup, score, he sucked out a bit of water, so in went the breast milk, and no dice. Oh, how this baby and his eating habits frustrate me.  We started him on a bit of food this month. It's earlier than I originally planned, but he LOVES it so much.  If it's on my plate he wants it now. And he'll pull a spoon out of my hand, but he can't feed himself yet obviously. For the first month of daycare he's bottles only because I don't want him to fill up on what should be food to experiment with rather than milk, which is the primary nutrition. We'll see how it goes. They will provide all food though, which is nice.

The center is also willing to use cloth diapers.  This excites me because it means not having to spend money on disposables.  The state regulations state that diapers must be one piece so they can't use the pre-folds and covers we favor.  But gDiapers with the cloth inserts are fine, as are our BumGenius (which are our overnight diapers). We got some FuzziBunz for Christmas and some Fancy Pants.  I don't love gDiapers as they tend to leak.  If one of the other brands really works then I think I may sell those as well as a few others that we don't love and buy a few more of what we like. It's a little thing, but it makes me happy they will accommodate.

I'm looking forward to this. I'm not worried, but I'm sure I will spend most of the day checking my phone every 10 minutes making sure there are no calls. One upside of starting in January rather than February (that's when the spot was open) is that I am working from home for the most part so there will be a nice transition period where I am close by.  Everything will be fine as we enter this next stage where Rob has full time employment, I have a structure I better stick to in order to get all the school stuff I need to do done, and Simon is starting school, it's exciting.
The daycare bag: crib sheet, light blanket, lovey, extra bibs, change of clothes, diapers, wipes, wetbags, notebook for daily reports, medical form, birth certificate, and check. we are ready.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Words to live by: Intent

The last few years I've seen bloggers choose a word of the year.  I like the concept, but never had a word that seemed right. This year I have a word or words.

intent. intentional. with purpose. by design.

I want to be more thoughtful about my actions in all areas of my life.  I want to continue on the path we've slowly been moving toward. We are pretty good about creating less waste, we use cloth napkins and rags for cleaning. We cloth diaper. We have learned to distinguish between wants and needs and buy so much less than we once did. But there are still the occasional splurges and binges. I want to buy with purpose and try and buy used when possible. I want to find ways to create less waste. We really don't NEED much. I am pretty content with the material things, and would like to purge more.  I want there to be intent behind things we bring into our home.

I eat a lot of junk food.  I have a sweet tooth.  Rob like vegetables, so that has changed my diet some. Last summer we joined a CSA and ate so many vegetables I have never tried.  Who knew I loved beets? I want to be more intentional about the food I buy and prepare. I really do buy into the whole "whole food" movement.  But I am lazy and prepared foods are so darn convenient. The CSA made us eat healthier than I ever have before, I want to continue on that path.

I need to be more intentional with how I manage my time.  I waste so much time checking email a million times a day or facebook when there are no new updates. With Simon and school and being a wife and all the things I have going on I need to be better at using my time wisely.  So working with intent and staying on task when I am at school or with students will allow me to be more present when I'm with Simon and at home, and not distracted. I also need to have purpose with my time on line.  When blogging or checking email or Pinterest or whatever I may be doing, I need to be more intentional with my time and when I'm done, shut down. And then go back to focusing on my family.

We'll see how this all goes.  Nothing is a huge change, but some readjustments to how I approach life.

Welcome 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Obligatory Year End Post

I was going to write this yesterday. Then decided not to partially because I didn't quite know how to word it or what I wanted to say. So here I am on January 1, New Year's Day. I don't see the need for a recap of my year post, the blog archives are here, and needless to say this has been a life changing year.  I did have a baby after all.

But I also completed two more semesters of my PhD program (only one more semester of coursework) and presented my research at poster sessions at two national conferences. There was a lot of stress - I don't remember the month of March and didn't blog, so I really have no record of what I did.
What I really want to recap though, is the state of the blog. It starts in the summer of 2010 when I went to BlogHer and was so timid I didn't really network like I could have. But I did get new blogs to read and at the start of 2011 I became active on Twitter. In the archives I saw the first outreach of my new blog friends - I ordered Girl Scout Cookies from a fellow blogger. I also started commenting regularly on blogs.  Mostly smaller blogs like mine, and I got responses!  Wow, more blog friends. The summer of 2010 I was also hoping to have a baby, and started reading infertility blogs.  The IF blog community is amazing. Since I never blogged as an IF blogger and got pregnant after only 2 treatment cycles I hesitantly eased into this community.  These women are knowledgeable and were more helpful throughout pregnancy than any book. I found a few NYC bloggers and started commenting some.

Throughout all of this I started getting comments back!

My little blog is read by people, I did install a counter at the bottom, I average a couple hundred views a month. And occasionally I get comments from people I don't know on blogs I've never heard of, so more blogs for me to read. I kind of love blogging.

This year was my fourth blog-o-versary. I have plans for year five. I want to continue to comment on blogs and make more bloggy friends.  I am attending BlogHer again this year (it's in NYC) and my goal is to be less timid. And hopefully meet some more bloggers, maybe get lunch or coffee.  We'll see. I want to get my own domain name, I'm excited about that. I'm toying with the idea of adding adds. I don't plan on ever making a living from blogging, but it's a hobby that isn't going anywhere, so why not profit a little from it? If I can figure out the Amazon affiliate program (it is more of a taking the time to do it) then I can get a bit back from my own shopping on Amazon anyhow. It's really time for me to take my blogging seriously.

This year I noticed the biggest change in how I right. I don't classify myself as a specific type of blogger, I blog about my life since this started as a way to keep my family informed about my exploits in the city.  I am a mom now, so Simon will figure in as heavily as Rob always has.  But with my pregnancy my writing became more of a journal for me at times. I like that record of my feelings.  And because I'm not just blogging for Mom (who doesn't read the words anyhow, she's more of a picture type of gal) and people are actually out there, I have changed to write for my audience, whoever that may be. I want to keep journaling some and write openly. I want to find a way to write a bit about school - in a way that won't get me fired.

I'm excited about how this little blog has changed in 2011 and am looking forward to what this new year brings.