Monday, April 23, 2012

...

Well I just basically fell off the face of the blogging world.  Unfortunate, really, because my mind is just so jam packed with things to say and get off my chest.  There are going to be mighty big changes in our life soon, but until we have more definite plans (later this week, I hope) I have nothing certain to report. 
Henry and I have been on vacation and keeping very busy visiting family and friends, and already tomorrow comes time to go home to Alaska.  I WILL be back for an update soon.  I just couldn't stay away another minute, I had to come and just put a few words, no matter how few or meaningless, onto the blog.  You know I miss it so every time I abandon it unintentionally.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Details of our baby-tot

Now that we've had Henry's one year checkup, I can write down some stats about him, and other details that I love to put down somewhere where they will never be lost or forgotten amidst all the changes we see each day.  That's why I love this blog, I know I won't lose details if I spill them out in this space.  It's an added bonus that I get to share them with any of you out there who can relate, and in turn share things with me!

Henry at 1 year old-
He is 21 pounds, and 29.5 inches long.  His head is a whopping 47.5cm!  His growth chart looks kind of silly because the nurse at his 6 month check up measured his length and head circumfrence wrong so it looks like he shrunk between 6 and 9 months but got heavier, which obviously isn't the case.  Anyway, he sits at 50% on the growth chart.  Like I mentioned earlier, he is learning to walk, but still prefers speed-crawling or walking holding onto something.  He gets a little ticked when I try to hold just one of his hands, but occasionally he'll let me and for some reason I just love it.  It feels so good to walk hand in hand with my boy, but less so when he's flopping all over the floor and whining in protest.  We'll get there.  When he does walk on his own, it's perfectly wobbly and precious, but he is doing it a little less this week than he was last week.  
He says Dada, Mama, hi, dog, duck (those two sound the same but he knows the animals he's talking about), and just started saying up, and maybe off.  Again those sound the same but he uses them at the right time (when he wants to be picked up, and when he plays the game of taking my glasses off over and over)
His appetite fluctuates but more often than not he eats like a horse!  
Favorites include: blueberry greek yogurt, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries, chicken, avocado, and tofu curry (I cannot tell you how this thrills me, that he wants to eat it as often as I do!)
He is already getting picky about vegetables despite my constant efforts to give him a wide variety of them.  He is pretty disgusted by peas, peppers, broccoli, etc.  He likes corn and asparagus and avocado (we eat a zillion of those each week) so at least it's not every single veggie.  He only eats if he can completely stuff his cheeks full.  As in, his lips  can barely touch each other because there is so much food in his mouth.  It's not ideal, but he insists, so we just watch him very closely.
He's just doing new things constantly and making sense of the world, and has really been letting his attitude shine.  He has a lot of opinions, and he likes to share them.  He has an obsession with the microwave. 
Other big changes in Mr. Henry's world are his sleeping/and breastfeeding schedule.  I have been so conflicted when it comes to my nursing plans.  I think most people tend to start weaning the day time feeds and the night time are the last to go, but I'm taking the opposite approach.  I figure I'll work on the hard stuff first.  He has nights when he sleeps so well and nights when he wakes up like a newborn to nurse, and I went along with it for quite some time because it was fine, he wasn't even a year, we got to snuggle and so on.  But now that he is one I feel more comfortable actively trying to stop those night wakings.  He is often unhappy about waking up, and I want to help him get a full nights rest as well as get some sleep myself.  With a little encouragement from his pediatrician we have made a few changes to our routine around here.  I wanted to do this as gently as possible for him, and of course I thought that Henry would have a fit about it. 
Not the case at all, not yet at least.  The pediatrician suggested that we help him to stop associating breastfeeding with sleeping for starters.  She is fully supportive of nursing for as long as we want but feels we should be helping him to confidently sleep (and I agree).  For as long as he's been here we have nursed right before naps and bed because it's relaxing and easy and worked for us.  For the past couple of days though I am no longer doing it just before sleeping.  I nurse him a little bit before then, and we now read a couple of stories before going in for naps and bed.  To my surprise, for the most part there has not been a peep, not a single care.  At first I couldn't help but to sit there and think, clearly WE are the ones who have been making this so much more complicated than it needs to be.  He usually goes down fairly well after nursing and some rocking, but my hope is that he will put himself back to sleep in the night if he doesn't always think of nursing along with falling asleep.  Going down is not the issue, it's the constant waking and wanting to comfort nurse out of habit.  After a few days of trying he's going down like a dream but still waking at night.  I know it will take some getting used to, and I hope to see a change soon.  It's difficult with him being an older baby, he is always standing when we go in to comfort him, pointing at the door (his room is in our room only separated by a sliding door so he knows just where I am at all times) and has now in the last two days come up with a very clear sign for nursing.  He is able to make his wishes very clear, which only makes it that much harder to distract him.  He loves sleeping in his own bed and his own space, and to be honest I think our beds being so close to each other only makes things more difficult for him.  He generally wakes shortly after I come to bed and I feel fairly certain that this would be much easier for him with a different layout.  We will have to make do with the current set up though and hope that we can break this pattern.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dipping a toe in the big kid activities

To celebrate Henry's new "big boy" status, we took him outside to be introduced and enjoy one of the few things Alaskan breakup has to offer--really massive, street-long puddles!  What kiddo doesn't love puddles?  We expect as the years go by, puddle jumping will only get more and more fun.  He had no idea what was going on.  The boy is not used to wearing boots, and surely can't remember any outdoor ground that wasn't covered in snow since it has been so many, many months since we've seen anything else.  I can't wait for a little more melt, and for him to get a bit sturdier on those new walking feet so he can jump through them and make a big, happy, splashing mess.  We decided to hold onto him this time because his legs went all noodly the minute the boots hit his feet.  Well, that and the fact that the majority of Anchorage is an enormous bumpy ice rink.




Monday, April 2, 2012

Let's talk slow cookers for a minute, shall we?

Every year when the chilly Autumn air rolls around, I vow that I am going to put the slow cooker to good use.  It's all very wonderful and smooth and glamorous in my head, coming home to a new delicious meal each day after effortlessly putting it all together that morning before work.  But let's be honest, this last fall and through the long, very long winter season, I used the thing about three times I think.  And all of the other days I scrambled to come up with dinner plans, and go to the store between work and nap times because, well, I'm a wretched, terrible, anything but organized mess when it comes to meal planning.  I think perhaps I've confessed that to you before.  I get on a good kick and then three days later I realize I didn't get all the ingredients or I'm not in the mood for what was on the menu and it's back to the store I go.  I basically live there, which is fine and all because I love the grocery store like anyone else, but let's get back to the point: there's no time for all of that shenanigans.  Enter slowcooker.  The few times I have used it recently (tonight being one of them) I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for making life so much easier on myself. I did have to run to the store this morning but it was my day off so it wasn't a big deal.  I threw all of the ingredients for honey sesame chicken in the crock pot during nap time, turned it on for the next 3 hours and went about my day.  When Eric came home from work, there was no scramble to get dinner ready.  In fact, the three of us (four, including Finn dog!) headed out onto the nearby trail and walked to the little playground that is sinking in many feet of snow.  When we came back, all I had to do was throw a pot of rice on the burner and sautee some vegetables.  We ate on time, we had way more time to play, and it was delicious.  Side note- I just have to say I'm even more excited for summer now because Henry loved the park!  Half of the slide was covered and we kept falling up to our thighs in snow but it was a special glimpse into the coming months where I feel like much time will be spent at the playground.  Anyway, many of you are probably now tucking away your crock pots and heading out to the grill instead but the neverending winter is still trailing on here.  It's feeling much more spring-like but it's still perfect weather for the cozy slow cooker meals.  So tell me, what are your go-to recipes when it comes to your slow cooker?  It is my goal to use it multiple times per week from now until it is warm enough that I too, want to head outside to grill dinner some nights.  Or, maybe I'll use the slow cooker all year round.  Throw the ideas at me!

I Have A One Year Old

The day that simultaneously excited me and put a little pit in my stomach has come and gone- Henry's 1st birthday.  I'm always looking forward to the next stage in Henry's development, but it's hard to say goodbye to the one passing so quickly.  Saying goodbye to those first 12 infant months is hard, they were amazing and challenging and are behind us now forever.  It's the finality of it that is hard for me to accept, not the fact that he's moving on to this next extremely wonderful and fun stage of life.  Toddlerhood is going to be a fun ride, I can feel it.  I wouldn't really call him a toddler just yet, but we are well on our way.  Henry woke up on his birthday (Saturday) with this fire like attitude that pretty much slapped me in the face.  The bubbly baby boy we have always known appeared to be no where in sight and instead was replaced by a version of Henry that I am unfamiliar with.  If I so much as looked at him wrong he would collapse into tears and just whine whine whine.  The kid rarely ever whines like that, and while obviously I realized it would happen eventually I had a moment where I thought, oh please no, please don't let it be like this from here on out. Please don't let the happy bouncy baby disappear with the first 12 months!  Eric keeps joking with me that his happy outlook left with his bangs that I trimmed (quite badly).  He says he's angry that I gave him a bad haircut!  On any given day you can just make the smallest noise or silly face and his mouth opens wide into the biggest grin and he squeals with delight.  On his birthday, nothing we did got more than just a little smirk in the corners of his mouth.  He was not overly impressed by anything. Despite his straight face through most of the day, it was still enjoyable and we tried our hardest to please him.  We took him out to a really fun restaurant for a little family breakfast, which usually is his ideal activity.  Food+social situation where he can flirt with everyone + bright colorful artwork to look at is Henry's cup of tea. Of course not this time, and it was made worse by the fact that I tried to get him to wear a birthday hat for three seconds. How dare I, seriously... the nerve.  At least he got to enjoy good food (eggs, avocado, reindeer sausage, orange slices)
We then came home for a nap, put together his birthday presents (a tent/tunnel and a wooden dog on wheels to ride on) which he loved.  We went shopping for his little friend's first birthday and rode the bikes and cars around the aisles, rested more, and hoped that the next day he would be back to feeling like his happy self.  Sadly, he woke up yesterday just as crabby.  By afternoon, he was essentially back to the Henry we know so well, and I realized that for his birthday, Henry had been given his 7th and 8th tooth- ouch.  They are taking their sweet time pushing through his gums, but I was glad to at least find a reason for his new crab-apple attitude. Hopefully just as soon as they come up, we'll see that big joyful smile again!

It has been such a full week for the little love, and I'm just trying to adjust.  Friday afternoon we were sitting in our living room and Henry's good friend the vacuum was in the middle of the room.  He just stood up and decided he was going to walk on over to it, and from that moment he's been practicing over and over.  He just picked it up so quickly, and it took us by surprise! It was so exciting to see, although I was in no hurry for him to walk.  My word it's cute, watching him toddle around waving his arms for balance.  He is already turning around on his feet, and he accidentally jumped (and landed) moments after his first walk across the room.  He looked a little shocked by that stunt.  I am split between the excitement for him to barrel into all of these new and exciting things, and desire for the changes to just slow down a tiny bit! Mama is trying to keep up.
It's going to be a fun year, and I have been given yet another reminder to just breathe, go with the flow, exercise patience and not overreact when things change.  (One of the main things learned in first year of parenthood, another post on that soon) I of course had to be dramatic and assume that he would forget that he was a happy, vibrant boy when really he was just feeling under the weather with his teeth (I hope), and experimenting with his growing voice and opinions.
Last week before the crankies set in.  



On tonight's menu: Honey Sesame Chicken with rice and sauteed baby bok choy, snow peas, and red pepper.