Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Snow....and another video...

Over the weekend my parents introduced Jacob to playing in the snow. Well, that's not entirely true. He has played with snow at daycare. They brought it in to the infant rooms and put on their mittens and let them go to town, but they never took the little kids out into the snow. As much as I've wanted to take Jacob out to play in the snow at home, there just never seemed to be a good time to do it. We do have a like-new hand-me-down snowsuit, but I was going back and forth on buying him boots, since he'd only use them for a short time (and pretty much only when we were home on weekends at that, since daycare wasn't doing it either). I figured that he'd get more out of it next year anyway, so if we didn't have to spend that $25 this year, why bother? Oh, and $25 is about as cheap as I could find boots in his size. Crazy.

Once he switched daycares, though, he was officially with toddlers and they do go outside in the snow...though I don't think they have yet. So, off I went to Payless to buy some boots. He hated them at first but seemed to warm up to them once he saw them on his feet in the mirror. However, walking was a challenge because he's not used to having such stiffness at the ankles! Of course, since I bought them the snow has melted and he hasn't been able to use them. I keep hoping, though...even if it means we'll have more snow this winter. I really liked the 50 degree temps the other day...but oh, well.

Anyway, this weekend the weather was moderate enough to play outside a bit and Jacob was lucky enough to be staying with my parents while we were in Toronto. As such, he was treated to a long-awaited wagon ride and he got his first experience with snowballs. And for a kid who loves balls as much as Jacob does, does it get any better than that? Here's a little sampling of the fun...



Classic stuff. And one of these days hopefully his boots will get some use! We have a sled just waiting for him!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Success!

Woohoo! Our night away went well! Very well, in fact. Jacob had fun, Grandma and Grandpa had fun, and Mommy and Daddy had fun. It was a win-win-win for everyone! We got quality time alone, my parents got to do the grandparent thing, and Jacob came out of it unscathed. He even slept pretty well last night and was pretty good this morning at daycare when I dropped him off. He was a little more hesitant than usual at first, but once his eye caught something that interested him, he was off...and one of the teachers actually brought him back over to me to say an official good-bye. He had been in a great mood all morning, actually, so that was nice as well. Of course, last night's dinner once we were home was a bit of a battle for some reason, but it was nice to be home again with him, regardless.

The rest of the Toronto trip was nice. We had a pretty low key night out after the lacrosse game. We had planned to make a couple stops, but by 10:30 or so we were tired and unwilling to pay for a cab, not to mention that at least one of the people we were meeting up with was so disgusted by the game that he didn't even go out. So we ended up just walking around the corner to a sports bar and ordering up a banana split, believe it or not. And it was really, really good. It hit the spot perfectly. We got a great, uninterrupted night's sleep on a very luxurious bed (king size, fluffy duvets and pillows...ahhhh) and then headed off to IKEA. Most of what I was looking for was for Jacob, though we were keeping an eye out for any cool things that might work in our new house (oh, to have $179 to blow on this...but we know better). In the end we got out pretty cheap, with just a couple sets of silverware for Jacob and a roll of paper. I'd been on a hunt for new silverware for Jacob recently. We have a ton of baby spoons, obviously, but we only have three forks. Two are plastic take-and-toss ones that aren't sharp enough to really spear most foods. The other is a good Gerber one with a fat, non-slip grip. That one works better, but the rounded tines on the end sometimes do more blocking than spearing. One of the sets I bought yesterday was cheaper and had pretty good tines and colorful plastic handles. The other set cost a little more (ummm...still only $5, cheaper than anything comparable that I've found) and is all metal. I'd been on the hunt for a set like this because Jacob is sort of obsessed with our silverware. He'd much rather eat off our forks than his own. However, my parents have a couple all-metal sets of kid cutlery at their house, and Jacob loves them. The only comparable set I'd seen was $20 in a catalog we get. Everything at the baby stores is at least partly plastic and more expensive than either set from IKEA. And while he'll probably love a set with his favorite characters on it some day, right now I need every trick in the book to get him to eat. So, since both sets were cheaper than anything I was finding at home, I figured I'd give them both a shot. As for the roll of paper, it was a $5 roll of paper that's generally meant to be used with IKEA's kids easel or a tabletop roll holder, but I figure that at this point I'm content to roll it out on the floor or rip off a piece and let Jacob go to town. Someday I may go back and get the easel, but at least not until we're in the new house and have a good spot for it.

We got back to my parents mid-afternoon, and Jacob got a big smile on his face when he saw us. He was hesitant to leave, however, but did do pretty well on the drive home considering he was already too well rested to nap. As I said, dinner was a little on the frustrating side and my tiredness probably wasn't helping my patience either. Around 8pm Jacob started getting a little cranky and I decided it was time for bed. I was practically falling asleep watching him play, so I figured I better get him in bed before he took over the house around his sleeping mother. But apparently that was just in time, because by the time I got him in his PJs and read him his stories, he was starting to zone out, and by the time I rocked him for a minute or two and put him in his crib, he was out. Apparently the busy weekend tired him out too! I myself had just enough energy to unpack, do Jacob's laundry, and read the weekend's papers while watching the end of the Saints-Vikings game before I was off to bed myself. And yes, morning came all too soon! But fortunately Jacob only woke up once briefly this morning, right about when my alarm was going to go off. Luckily Craig got up and calmed him down, but it was still tough getting out of bed and going back off to work!

As I mentioned in my last post, I finally got a couple new pictures of Jacob. We were playing a bit on Friday night and he was in a good mood so I grabbed the camera to see what I could get. So here he is playing with his constant companion, his mini hockey stick...

And here's just a cute profile shot that I liked...
And finally, here's a video of Jacob courtesy of my parents showing Jacob playing hockey in their kitchen. In case you're wondering, his "puck" is the bottom of a can koozie. The one cabinet he's allowed to play in there has the can koozies in it, and he likes taking them out and stacking them. Apparently the bottom came out of one and of course it became a puck!


I'll hopefully have another video tomorrow of another fun activity during his weekend with the grandparents...but this is enough fun for one day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A day away...

Today Craig and I are in Toronto, sans Jacob. We're back in a familiar spot, the Air Canada Centre press box, which I have blogged about before. I was here when I was pregnant and Jacob got to listen to Craig in utero when I put headphones on my belly. I visited again back in March, when I was pumping in the press box. Have I mentioned how much I don't miss that? It was good in many ways but I don't miss lugging that pump around! We're staying overnight tonight, which means that Jacob is without us for the night. We haven't done this in a while, since the summer, and I think it's good for all of us. It's always nice to get a little child-free time for Craig and me, and it never hurts to give Jacob a little practice being apart from us. Grandma and Grandpa are keeping him busy, and as of this afternoon he was doing well. I always feel a little guilty when I'm not with him on the weekend, since we normally wait all week to be together for two whole days. I know Jacob loves his time with us so it's always a tough call to forego it for any reason. Hence the reason I sort of shrugged my shoulders when the doctor mentioned this week that I should probably work out more than once a week. I want to be in shape, but really, time with Jacob is just so much more important right now. I feel bad enough about the one night a week I'm not home until 7pm and rush through dinner only to have about 15 minutes with him before we start moving toward bedtime. But having time alone with Craig is always nice, particularly when it's something that we used to do a lot pre-kids. It brings back fond memories and gives us a chance to just focus on each other for a change...minus the pressures of home life, no less. We can eat meals without worrying about what Jacob will eat, sleep as late as we want, and even enjoy an adult beverage or two if we so desire. And all along it's good to know Jacob is getting in some quality time with his grandparents, who are no doubt enjoying him a lot. Of course, the joy of being grandparents is that they can give him back just when they're starting to tire of his constant stair climbing and repeated "ball" references. Oh, and let's not forget that they can get a good night's sleep on Sunday if tonight is a disaster. Oh, and by the way, Jacob does not have another ear infection. The doctor said his ears were fine, so his wake-ups lately are probably just teething related. I think his top two incisors are on their way. Last night was a disaster as we drove to NT late at night. Jacob went to bed around 8:30 and woke up when we tried to get him in the car at 11:30. He whined until we hit Batavia about an hour later, then slept until we made it to my parents' house at 1am. He woke up again, this time wide awake, and wouldn't settle down at all. He wouldn't snuggle with us in bed, he wouldn't lay in his crib, and we were just about at our wits' end by 2am when he finally settled down. He only slept until about 7:45 this morning, but at least we got a few good hours before hitting the road to Toronto. We left Jacob happily pushing my old baby doll buggy around my parents' house, and here we are. The Knighthawks stunk it up tonight in one of their worst losses ever (and they scored an all-time low of three goals), so that wasn't very fun. But we should have a pleasant night out and hopefully a low cost but fun stop at IKEA tomorrow on the way back. I have a couple Jacob-related purchases in mind, but we'll see. Still, I can't wait to see Jacob tomorrow and give him a big hug...I miss his little smiling face! Oh, and good news...I got some cute pics of Jacob last night so hopefully I'll post those soon! Happy weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finally...

For the first time since the big switch, Jacob didn't cry this morning when I dropped him off at daycare. That was a nice change! I'm not sure what did it, but I hope it continues. On the way in this morning I let him help me sign him in. It's a touch-screen system, and Craig mentioned that he lets Jacob help him sign out. So, I figured I'd try it out. Then when we got in the room, there was a floor full of hats and bags and scarves, which is something Jacob always liked at his old daycare. Of course, he had to eat breakfast first, which was still fine with him because the word "milk" is like a Pavlov's dog thing for him. He loves it! But once one of the teachers scooped him up with the promise of milk, he was all set! I gave him a kiss and said goodbye without so much as a pouty lip! It's so funny in the mornings now because when he gets there the two toddler rooms are combined. There are older kids who are talking and quite a bit bigger than him, and inevitably one of the kids will come up to him when we get there and say "Hi, Jacob!" Of course, until today, usually their greeting was met with some sort of scream or cry. Poor kids were probably always wondering why Jacob was so sad!

Of course, it IS Friday and he's had a pretty good week as a whole. He's napped better, ate great, and continued to bring home lovely artwork. Now I just wonder how he'll do on Monday. Although, this isn't going to be a normal weekend so who knows what that will do to him. He's going to be spending Saturday all day and overnight alone with Grandma and Grandpa while Craig and I head off to Toronto for the Knighthawks game and a little alone time. We haven't done a night away since our summer trip to Niagara Falls, so I think it's about time to do it again. I'm a little worried that Jacob will freak out if we're not around (he's been doing a lot of "Mama, Mama, Mama" crying lately), but hopefully he'll have so much fun that it won't even phase him. Still, I'm a little worried that he's going to relate being left behind this weekend to being left behind at daycare, and we'll be back to square one on Monday. Hmmm.

Other than that, not much to report. We've had a rough couple nights in a row with Jacob waking up multiple times. We're wondering if his ear infection didn't go away, or if he got another one. He hasn't been as cranky as before, so it could just be teething, but he's been randomly miserable and a little extra tired lately despite napping better, so who knows. Just to be safe, we're off to the doctor again tonight. Ugh. Thank God for $0 copays!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nineteen Months...

Well, Jacob turns 19 months today. Wow. He has been a part of our lives in some form for over two years now, if you count time from the moment we found out I was pregnant. Even if you just count from the first time we saw him on the ultrasound at 10 weeks or so, we're still looking at a good 25 months. It's really starting to be a long time now. When I thought about the 19 month thing, it hit me that we're officially closer to Jacob's second birthday than his first. That is just insane. And yet everyday I see this little boy wandering around our house, usually on a mission, and I'm wondering what happened to the helpless little baby we brought home. He's now an increasingly independent little boy. Of course, then he has a total meltdown and I remember that that baby is sitting right in front of me after all.

So who is he these days? Well, let's see...He's silly and sweet with a stubborn streak and a nasty temper. We're working on that. He's getting to be a better eater, and he's a decent sleeper most of the time...but don't ask him to nap much longer than an hour and a half because that's never been his style. He tends to be very loving and nurturing when he's in a good mood, giving strong hugs and little kisses to people and stuffed animals alike. He will share his sippy cup with his stuffed animals, too, and loves to feed Mommy and Daddy his food. He says "hi" to seemingly everyone and everything when we're out and about, whether it's a stranger or some inanimate object.

He's still probably more of a Mama's boy than a Daddy's boy, but he has his moments where Daddy is the center of the universe. And most of those have something to do with sports or naps, depending on the day. He can be a great snuggler when he's in the mood. But most of his world these days revolves around sports. It's pretty rare that he's walking around the house without a ball, bat, or hockey stick in his hands. Sometime he's got all three. He says "ball", "touchdown", and "score" more than probably almost any other word, except for maybe "Mama" and "Dada". And even then it's probably a closer race than I think, since he's got about nine Mama- and Dada-free hours each day (sad, I know) and balls are probably closer to his consciousness than we are. Watching a sporting event (live or on TV) is one of the few things that will get him to willingly sit still for any reasonable amount of time. He takes great pride in showing off his baseball swing, and he hit an actual "pitched" ball for the first time the other night!

His smile and laugh are two of my favorite things in the world. His dimple is a hit wherever we go. I'm sure people tell other people that their kids are cute all the time, but we hear it a LOT. And that's before people even get to see his personality! I know that the folks at his old daycare appreciated him, and I think at least some of the folks at the new one are starting to get it too, now that he doesn't spend half the day crying.

He's definietly an observer and can pick out the tiniest detail. I think that's part of the reason "eyeball" was among his first real words--after constantly pointing to the eyeballs on the little animals on the wall next to his changing table. We can walk through the Wegmans bulk foods department and he will point out the one tiny candy dispenser that has a sports ball on it, and from six feet away, no less. I think it's also the reason he becomes almost catatonic when we first get to a hockey or lacrosse game. He's just so intent on taking it all in that he doesn't want to expend his energy talking or clapping.

He's pretty fearless most of the time and seems to have a bit of a daredevil streak in him. He doesn't really understand danger yet, but we try to prevent problems by teaching him to go down steps and off furniture backwards, feet first. He loves being propped up in the air on my feet, being on shoulders, and any other thing that gets him off the ground. I have a feeling I may have a thrill ride buddy down the line, as long as he didn't get Daddy's low tolerance of spinning and sudden drops. As much as the spirit may be willing, it doesn't do much good if the body is weak!

Although the tough times are hard to deal with sometimes, we couldn't be happier with the awesome little boy that's taken over our lives. We enjoy him every day and look forward to watching him grow up more and more!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Doctor...Mine This Time...

This morning I had my annual visit to the OB/GYN. It was funny not having been there in a long time. Ever since my pregnancy ended, any visits there have felt that way. After going there once a month, then every couple weeks, then every week, it has felt odd to stay away for so long. I think I was there for a six week followup, and then maybe once for a post-pregnancy issue, and then once more for last year's annual visit, and that's been about it. That place was practically a second home during my pregnancy, and although I usually had different doctors each visit (they want you to meet them all so you're good with whoever is on call for your delivery), I got to know the nurses and just feel a heck of a lot more comfortable than I ever thought I would at that kind of a doctor.

Going back there generally brings up favorable associations and memories. While I was pregnant I always went there with anticipation. I could hear the baby's heartbeat, or better yet, see an ultrasound, and just generally make sure that I was progressing normally. The uncomfortable appointments didn't come until the end, and even then, I was always eager to check in and see if I was progressing. Sitting in the waiting room today there were a couple pregnant women. One was with her "baby daddy" and the other was this cute pregnant woman wearing a classic but decidedly non-maternity coat over a bulging belly. I couldn't help but smile looking at both of them, knowing I'd been there before and am now on the other side. Still, I couldn't help but be a little jealous, knowing that they were there for a much more "fun" reason than I was. In fact, today's visit was a bit of a downer because all of a sudden they're making me be more proactive about my health in general. I need to go get a cholesterol test (just to check) and I'm supposed to start taking a calcium supplement. Oh, and I should probably work out more than once a week. So, what...now that I'm 31 I've reached the point where my body will start falling apart without careful maintenance? Yikes. Good to know, but when did I get old?

Once I was in to see the nurse practioner (my doctor is hard to get an appointment with...one of these days perhaps I'll change to another one in the same practice), she asked when I thought we'd be trying again. I gave her our desired timeline but then lamented the fact that we weren't sure it would be possible because we're just not sure how we'd afford two kids in daycare. I suppose in the midst of all of this house stuff, the question would be, can you really afford to move? Well, the increase in our mortgage is a drop in the bucket compared to another round of daycare, and even if we stayed in our house we'd have to do quite a bit of work in the next few years anyway. So if we're going to spend that money one way or another, it might as well be on a nicer house that will fit us for years to come. But another round of daycare is like a third mortgage, and I'm just not sure where that money would come from unless one or both of us get a substantial raise. And the fact that that's the biggest barrier to having another baby is such a sad thing. Back in the days of my Amerks' career with my terribly low salary, I knew that having kids would pretty much mean that I'd be just as well off staying home with kids, because I'd pretty much be working to pay for daycare. While two kids would get me much closer to that scenario in my current job, we'd still be down a significant amount if I stopped working...an amount too large to be made up simply by curbing spending, using more coupons, not eating out, etc. But another round of daycare would put us in the red as well. I never wanted money to be the reason we didn't have a baby, but shaky finances are a scary prospect. Timing is tough, as well, between not wanting to feel too old by baby #2 or being so past the baby phase that we're too spoiled to go back to that. I always said that if we had one we'd have two, because I didn't want an only child. And now that we have Jacob he's amazing and keeps us occupied on his own, but I still don't think I would consider our family "complete" without a sibling. I look forward to seeing him react to and interact with a sibling. Seeing him around other babies has definitely reinforced that desire, and as he gets older I think that feeling will continue to strengthen.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things go...with work, with the house, with Jacob. Going to the doctor today certainly intensified the itch, if only momentarily. I remember all too well many of the negatives that went with pregnancy and early parenthood, and am constantly reminded how hard it all is each day with Jacob. But I also get the smiles and laughs from him that tell me that I do want to do it again at some point. All in God's perfect timing, I guess. So now we just have to wait and see.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Words and other stuff...

Ahhh, it's been almost another week since I've last posted and I feel like I haven't posted pics in ages. And alas, that won't happen today either. I've been a little lazy with the camera lately, I guess. We had another busy weekend that seems like it should have had a couple photo ops, and it probably did, but I never put the camera in a convenient place and was always too lazy to run and get it when Jacob did something cute, because inevitably by the time I grab it, he's either no longer willing to do the cute activity or he's moved on to something else completely. My dad is bemoaning the show shutter speed of his new camera right now because he can't seem to catch Jacob's elusive smiles, and I have experienced much the same as well...so I suppose my motivation is waning sometimes. Anyhoo...another busy weekend. We're a bit closer to getting the house we want, but we're losing a good chunk of money in the process because our buyers are probably buying beyond their means and as a result have a type of mortgage that screws us. However, that's the best we've got and we've only got a couple weeks to find something better before we'd risk losing the other house. We'll see if we keep our nerve...or maybe it's whether or not we come to our senses. Hmmm. I do know that I keep thinking how much nicer it will be to have more room for Jacob's toys and more storage for all of the baby stuff he keeps outgrowing, not to mention a generally more open floorplan for him to run around!

Jacob has been quite a trip lately. He goes between super fun and very frustrating, but luckily I'd say the fun outweighs the frustrating. He's gotten to be very playful, and I think he really appreciates us these days now that he's back at daycare. He's gotten a little more used to daycare, and his days are improving steadily. He's still not napping fantastically and drop-offs are still tough, but he seems to recover once I leave and apparently he's having more fun each day. I think that the new experiences are probably great for him, because he seems to come up with something new each day. He's really great with pretend play...talking on the phone, feeding his stuffed animals, playing catch with them, washing his hands in the play sink, stirring stuff in the play dishes, etc. He's also getting better and better with his sports. Tonight he actually hit a plastic ball that I pitched to him, and he loves scooting balls around the room with his little hockey stick. Of course, he's also getting the bumps and bruises to go along with the sports, because he's constantly falling into stuff. Not the most graceful yet, apparently. He got a big goose egg on his forehead tonight because he was walking around with his hands full. He's been better with going to bed lately, giving up on crying after a minute or two...or at least having the crying fits be a bit more sparse. Of course, he has taken to calling out "Mama" a lot when he's miserable in bed, so it doesn't leave me much choice but to check on him more often than I might otherwise. He hasn't done any more crib jumping, but we still have a bit of a crash pad under the crib anyway. He does show that same temper that moved him to jump out of the crib, though. He's gotten into a nasty hitting phase whenever he doesn't get his way. He's gotten me good a couple times and doesn't listen one bit if you say no...he'll hit right away again. Ugh. I think learning to talk more will help that, because right now he's got no other way to express his anger.

His vocabulary is growing all the time. He still doesn't say a lot clearly, but we do know a lot of what he says. He finally picked up "Knighthawks" over the weekend, which was a relief because he was calling the Knighthawks the Amerks all the time. He still uses the names interchangably, but we're getting there. He chants "Amerks, Amerks, Amerks" a lot, which is so cute! He had a great time at the Knighthawks game in Buffalo on Saturday. He was transfixed for a good portion of the game, even though we were high up in the 300 level, much farther away than usual. Lots to see, though, including a gigantic screen on the scoreboard. He says a lot of random words...star, apple, stick, socks, hat, shoes, milk, more, cheese, banana ("nana"), all done, and probably lots more that I'm not thinking of. Oh, and he also does "Score" for hockey goals and "Touchdown", complete with hand/arm motions. He's working on all of his grandparent names, too. He's getting better with animals and sounds, and even did a good job with some of the Itsy Bitsy Spider moves last week. You can tell that he understands a lot of what we're saying, though there are times he just says "yes" or "no" without knowing the consequences. There's still a lot more I'd like to see him do, like put words together or sing songs or tell me when something's bothering him, but I guess we're not there yet. Every kid is different, that's for sure!

Hopefully I'll have more pictures soon...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Still adjusting...

Well, it's been a few days since our disasterous Friday night that included the ear infection and Jacob's crib jump. Things are moving along but we're not quite back in the groove yet. Jacob seems to be doing better with the ear infection. We went for his well visit yesterday--the last in a long line of every three months and his last set of shots until kindergarten--and the doctor said it was clearing up nicely. He's been enjoying the antibiotics a lot (where were those flavorings when I was a kid?) and he actually slept through the night last night for the first time in a while. He still had some issues going down, but we're just going to have to keep working on that. I did put together a "crash pad" at the base of the crib with pillows and blankets, so hopefully he'll at least have some cushion if he decides to do it again. His eating seems to be about back to normal, so that's a plus. He lost weight since his last well visit, which I'm sure is thanks in part to not eating for so long after his stomach bug. He is growing, though. He's in the 75th percentile for height, though off hand I can't remember what it was. I'll try to remember to post it another day. Jacob is still coughing up a storm (though I think the frequency of the coughs is less), but as a results he's stuck on his reflux meds for another five months, just in case pulling him off would cause things to get worse. It's driving me nuts because I swear that they're not doing anything--he has no problems if he misses a dose--and it's a lot of money to keep shelling out when we haven't even tried pulling him off it to see if it makes a difference. He's 18 months now, and most kids have outgrown their reflux by now...if his even was a problem to begin with. Sorry, just a little vent there.

We're still definitely a bit out of sorts with the daycare situation. It's gotten progressively worse, in fact. The first day he seemed ok, probably too distracted by the new stuff to notice. He did cry when he saw me leaving through the window. Every day after that has been a struggle. He won't let us take his coat off, he cries and screams, and every day when I come to pick him up he's so happy to see me. I like the end of the day hugs, for sure, but the constant struggle the rest of the time is hard. I think he's finally understanding that we're not going back to the old place. He can't put it into words, of course, but I'm sure he misses his teachers and friends a lot. And as much as I want him to settle into the new place, it saddens me that after a while he probably won't remember most of his experiences at the old place. He had a lot of friends and the teachers loved him, and it's a shame that they won't stick in his memory long enough for us to talk about them someday. Or at least, I doubt they will. But in the meantime he's giving us a run for our money. He's spent a lot of time crying, but apparently he's still eating ok and he's bringing home some nice artwork. Napping is still an issue, though. I didn't get the full lowdown on how he did overall today because we picked him up early for his doctor's appointment and I assumed he'd go back afterward and I could ask when I picked him up. That didn't go exactly as planned because he freaked out when Craig got him there. Craig gave up fighting him and decided to work the rest of the day from home. We definitely need to discuss that, though, because obviously we can't give in on this. He needs to learn that he just has to get used to it and that no amount of crying will get him back home. I don't want to be the bad guy when I take him every morning and make him stay, so obviously we have to be firm and consistent...both of us. It's hard to watch your baby cry, but it's better for him in the long run. Just like when we have issues getting him to bed, we can't be in there every five minutes (despite our fears of him jumping) because he'll never learn to fall asleep on his own. Ahhh, the joys of parenthood.

Anyway, we definitely miss the old place. I miss his little friends and I really miss the teachers. I'm not sure if it's just a different culture, or different people, or just Jacob's current crankiness, but the new teachers aren't as chatty as the old ones. They always asked about his night and told me funny stories about his activities, and I always liked just hanging out there talking to them. Now they don't say much or ask about anything. Not that they're not nice...I'm sure they are. It's just...different. And maybe I have to do as much adjusting as Jacob. It's only been a week now, so I'm sure we'll all get more comfortable as time goes on. On the bright side, I do like his artwork, right down to the pasta glued to the paper that's hanging on our fridge. I like that they have a theme across the whole center each week that the activities are based on. I love my freetime in the morning now that I don't have to pack his lunch, and I like that he's getting a variety of foods. I also like the sheet they send home with him each day detailing his activities, food consumption, etc. The old one had something like that, but it stayed in a binder at the end of the day and sometimes wasn't as detailed. But I did like that I could put morning notes on that same sheet, just in case the normal teachers weren't in the room when we got there. Oh well...I guess it all can't be perfect. We'll see, though.

Keep your fingers crossed that one of these days it clicks into place for Jacob and he starts loving it...for all our sakes!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Seriously....when is it going to end?

Another day, another malady. And actually, make that two. So the last couple days Jacob hasn't had the best days at daycare. He's had short naps that have culminated in long periods of hardcore crying. They couldn't get anything to distract him and both days they've had to call and let me know. Awesome. Today the director called and said that he might have an ear infection based on how he was acting. It didn't seem completely out of the question since he had been waking up miserable at night the past couple nights, and even had random moments in the middle of the day where he'd just start screaming. So, even though we had our inspection scheduled for 4:15 (Craig was covering the first part, before the hockey game, and I was going to cover the second after I picked up Jacob), I made the only appointment they had, at 6:40. With the snow (I think another five inches today) and some other technical difficulties, by the time I was even close to the house I pretty much knew that if I went there I wouldn't have time to go to the doctor, so we had to miss the end of the inspection and get Jacob checked out instead. We have to go there Monday for his well visit anyway, but I didn't want to wait the whole weekend. Thank God for a $0 copay. Anyway, we get there and the doctor said that one ear is infected and she can hear a little crackling in his chest. The crackling probably isn't anything serious, but if we hear him wheezing we can give him some albuterol. He's on antibiotics for the ear infection, so hopefully that will clear up soon.

So fast forward through dinner, a webcam chat with Grandma and Grandpa, and the usual bedtime routine. I put Jacob in his crib and said goodnight. He was quiet at first but then started the screaming and crying that's been happening more and more lately. Whether or not it has anything to do with the ear infection or it's just a coincidence, I'm not sure. But he's been a miserable sleeper lately, both with going to bed and taking naps, and actually staying asleep for a reasonable amount of time. Because he was quiet at first, I picked up the phone to return a call, and while I was talking, the screaming started. After a few minutes I was about to go in and check on him when I heard a BIG thump. We're used to hearing little thumps and other funny noises from over the monitor. Jacob tends to kick the wall between the crib slats and rattle the drop side rail a lot, but this was definitely NOT that. And sure enough, when I walked in, he was sitting on the floor. He was still crying, pretty much the same cry he'd been doing, and of course I freaked out. I whisked him up off the floor and took him over to his changing table to check him out. He calmed down pretty quickly, probably because he achieved his main goal, to get me in there, and seemed like his normal self while I was checking him out. I noticed a couple pink marks on the side of his head, but that was about it. I have absolutely no idea how he got himself out. He's a pretty good climber, but he would have had to have his feet and hands in the perfect spots to get up the rails in the same way he'll climb up Craig or me. Maybe he flipped himself out, or maybe he just figured out how to get his leg up and over. I have NO clue. And it scares the crap out of me that I have no idea how he fell. I got in there pretty quick and he was sitting up, so either he got up quick or that's just how he plopped down....again in which case I can't quite picture how he would have fallen like that. So, of course, I called the doctor for the umpteenth time this week (seriously, at least three times during the puking, once about his fever and his hunger strike, once about his daycare medical forms, once earlier today to make the appointment, and then the one tonight. I may be missing one, but I've lost track.) to see if there was anything specific I should be doing or checking for. They said to watch for vomiting and to wake him up a couple times tonight--once when we go to bed and another time a few hours later--to make sure he's moving and acting normal. I don't know how "normal" he'll be when he's being woken up from a sound sleep. I doubt he's going to want to try to walk or talk or anything, but we shall see. Of course, based on the last couple nights he'll do plenty of waking up on his own, so that may not be an issue. Of course, most of those wake-ups have been pretty incoherent, just a lot of whining and crying, so I'm not sure how much of a help those will be either. I'm going to hate to wake him up when he's finally sleeping, knowing how hard it is for him to fall alseep with his ear infection and cough. I'm definitely nervous, though, so I know it's something we have to do so WE get some sleep tonight. He fell asleep pretty quickly afterward, which could be due to pure exhaustion. It had been a long night already. Of course, in every movie and TV show where someone gets a concussion, they always talk about keeping the person awake. So, of course, that's been running through my mind too. But again, he seemed to be acting normally while I was checking him out--pointing to my eyes and saying "eye" when I was looking into his, then complaining again when I tried to put him back in his crib--so hopefully he just somehow jumped out and landed safely.

Of course, now I'm thinking about the toddler bed. Jacob now sleeps on a cot on the floor at daycare (which, of course has only been moderately successful so far), but I just don't see him being ready for a real bed. First, he'd constantly be up and out of it, which isn't particularly safe either since we wouldn't be in his room to watch him. While his room is more or less safe, there are still a handful of things he could make into trouble if he really tried. Second, his desire to be out of it would mean he'd never go to sleep. Third, he sleeps all over his crib so I'm not sure how he'd ever stay in the bed even while asleep. I just keep hoping that he will miraculously forget that he figured out how to do that, or was at least scared enough by it to not do it again. Maybe it all happened to quickly for him to realize that he managed to gain his freedom. Let's hope so, because I don't think I can deal with this on a regular basis. Ugh. Can't we just catch a break?

I'll say this...outside of the first week in the hospital and maybe a couple scattered weeks of bad sleeping early last year, this has easily been one of the toughest weeks I've had as a parent. If puking and diarrhea wasn't bad enough, a cough, cold and ear infection would have been. But to add in a fall from his crib...ugh. I've had enough for one week. Let's hope week two of 2010 is better than the first. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What a week...

Well, it's been a pretty crazy week. Let's just say that 2010 has been a little more frustrating so far than we'd like. It all started, of course, with Jacob's virus, which Craig then caught. I haven't felt great all week, culminating in me finally getting something last night. I didn't have it as bad as the boys, but I think I got pretty emptied out even without the vomiting. I'm home today getting rehydrated and hoping that my attempts and eating and drinking don't cause me to regress. I got through the night fine despite many little sips of water, so I'm hopeful that somehow my body will fight off the worst of it. Maybe it mutated by the time it got to me, or maybe I have something totally different. Either way, I hope I can't pass it back to the boys. We've had enough issues around here!

Jacob seems to be doing better. He had his first day at daycare yesterday. He still has a terrible cough and a runny nose, and going into yesterday I wasn't sure how his pooping would go, but he made it through the day ok. He even (finally) started eating again. He didn't poop, which could mean he'll have a doozy for them today. When I dropped him off, he did pretty well. He liked a picture of a dog on the wall and gladly went with one of the teachers when she offered to get him some milk. However, once I slipped out and he saw me leaving through the window, he started crying. But apparently he recovered and enjoying playing with the many balls in the room during the day. When I picked him up he was happy to see me, and he even ate his dinner relatively well. And considering I wasn't feeling great, that was a godsend!

This morning he cried again when Craig left, but I'm sure he'll get into a groove soon. It's got to be strange to be dealing with new kids and teachers after spending so much time with the same people at his old daycare. I have a feeling it's a bit of a novelty right now, having new toys and new experiences to keep him occupied. And perhaps there will be a period of time where he's unhappy because he's realizing this is how it's going to be from now on and he won't be seeing his old friends anymore. But I assume he'd transition into things quickly after that, getting into a groove and settling in. Let's hope, anyway. Yesterday went well, and that's something to start with.

In the middle of all of this we've been having more house craziness. We need to do an inspection on the new house this week as part of the offer we made, which stinks because the chances of us getting the house aren't particularly great right now. We still need to sell ours, which is looking less and less likely as time goes by. The realtor suggested we drop the price significantly, and we weren't too excited about that. We wish he would have expressed his concern before we put in an offer on the new house and got ourselves financially tied in there. However, we got them to do an open house and put us on their TV show next Sunday, so hopefully that will help. We really hate to lower the price and probably wouldn't go as low as they want us to, but if an open house gets us some renewed interest, that would be nice. We need to sell this one by the end of the month before our offer on the other house expires, but if we don't we'd probably take ours off the market and try again in the spring. It'd be a shame to lose the other house, but if it's not meant to be, there isn't much we can do about it. We'd rather not lose a ton of money getting rid of this one, so if the market will be better in a few months, I'd gladly try again then. The house we want is having an open house this weekend (planned before we put our offer in) so that could be a little scary because anyone could put in a better, non-contingent offer and we'd be done. The realtor joked that we should go and tell people it's our house :) We'll see. But the more I look at Jacob's toys and the bins of past and future clothes and other random baby equipment sitting in our basement, the more I want that house and its gigantic crawl space!

Well, off to shower and try to feel a little more human. So far my morning toast seems to be settling ok, so hopefully my energy will come back soon and I can actually be productive on my day off...without overdoing it, of course!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another illness update...

Well, things still aren't quite back to normal. I'm still hanging in there but the boys are recovering. Craig is home today getting his strength back by finally eating some real food, and Jacob is still not quite himself. He still wouldn't eat much yesterday but was drinking like a champ. He took a nap in the afternoon, first on Craig, then on me, and we both noticed he felt a little warm. Sure enough, he had a fever. His nose also started running like a faucet, so it looks like perhaps he picked up another something somewhere along the way. His nasty cough, the one that kept him awake that I thought was caused by irritation from hours of vomiting, may be part of the new cold instead. The fever was gone this morning but apparently he's kicking out some pretty impressive poops for his day home with daddy. I guess it'll take a while to get his hydration up and running correctly so his system can get itself sorted out. I would think that eating would help with that, but he's still not into that yet either. The past couple poopy diapers have closely resembled the ones he had before the days of solid food. So odd to see! I just want him to get back to normal, both for his sake and so we can finally get in his first day at the new daycare...and have him be the charming, funny little boy he normally is. I want his first impression to be good, you know? We'll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully we're all feeling well and we can get our "new normal" up and running! But, for tonight I'm bringing home the work laptop, just in case. My stomach is still making noises but so far it's held out. I talked to one other mom in my office whose whole family got it and she managed to avoid it, so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Illness Update

Well, two down...maybe one to go? Last night around 2am Craig officially caught Jacob's virus. He was up pretty much all night in the bathroom. Which, of course, meant I was up pretty much all night worrying about whether or not I was next. To add more fun, Jacob was up half the night coughing. I think all of the throwing up the other day irritated his throat, which is probably fairly easy to do considering all he's dealt with in the coughing realm, and he's had a nasty cough ever since. So, from the time I woke up hearing Craig puking in the bathroom around 3:30am, I think Jacob was awake as well. He may have been coughing in his sleep a bit, but how high quality sleep can that really be? At one point I went in to give him some water in hopes that might calm the cough a bit, and there he was, staring right up at me. I'll give him credit, though...he hardly cried at all and remained pretty content the whole time he was awake. He was actually in pretty good spirits the whole night when we were awake together. I brought him into bed with me to see if I could cuddle him into a sound sleep, but that barely worked and we probably only got an hour or so tops. On the bright side, Jacob didn't have any more diarrhea overnight, so hopefully he's in the clear.

Craig finally seemed to get a break from the bathroom camp-out around 10:30 or so, at which point Jacob and I headed out to Wal-Mart. I'd been on a quest to get him winter boots this weekend, but all of this illness had prevented that. I wouldn't have gone out at all this morning (i.e., we skipped church, for a multitude of reasons including my insecurity about my own health) except that Craig wanted some ginger ale and we needed a few other things. So off to Wal-Mart we went. It was a miserable drive and I'm just happy we made it there and back unscathed. Jacob fell asleep on the way home so he went into his crib when we got back. I immediately headed out to the driveway and shoveled the whole thing because there was a lot of snow there and I'm the only one who can do it right now! So, now I'm back in the house, Jacob is waking up, and I'm getting myself hydrated to make sure that I am good to go in the event I do get this bug. I'm feeling like an endangered species right now considering I'm the only one in the house without it, but hopefully I'll somehow power through this. And if not, I guess I get another day or two off and hopefully it'll be over fairly quickly. We shall see...

Off to get my baby boy now...stay warm!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yuck!

Well, it's been a yucky couple days in our house. If you've got a weak stomach, you're probably better off scrolling to the bottom of this post for a bit of fun. But for the rest of you, you might not want to eat while you're reading.

Jacob wasn't quite himself yesterday morning, and he wouldn't nap for long or eat much lunch. Well, an hour later we knew why. What he did eat was splattered on the living room floor. We were hoping it was just a passing thing, that something just disagreed with him and he had to get it out of his system, but before we knew it he had thrown up four times in two hours. It was so horrible to watch, not only because it was disgusting, but because it's hard to see your baby find out how to puke. You'd think after months of spitting up you'd be prepared and they'd be used to it, but throwing up solid food is such a horrible, jarring experience. I dealt with it only once before with Jacob, the night he was bouncing in his jumperoo too soon after dinner and threw up green beans all over his crib. Nasty. But this time around, it kept happening and it was so hard to see him uncomfortable. Sometimes he'd be ok in between episodes, but as a whole he got weaker and more tired. It made for a long afternoon, because even once he had emptied out his stomach, he spent two hours with dry heaves every 15 minutes. He was still getting up a little here and there--presumably mostly saliva--but for the most part it was pretty fruitless and extra painful to watch. We minimized the mess pretty well with old towels and a bucket, and just held him for most of the afternoon, trying to perfect our technique when he started whining again right before another round.

After four hours of frequent heaving and a couple calls to the doctor's office, they said we could go into the emergency room if we were worried. We knew he wasn't that dehydrated yet (still had tears and drool) but he hadn't peed in four hours (did you know eight is the standard worry point? Yikes.) and the constant episodes really got worrisome. I knew it was probably just an overreaction of relatively new parents, but the peace of mind was worth it. So, off to the ER we went, two months after our last trip. As we were leaving, Jacob started asking for something to drink. Of course we didn't want to give it to him right then and figured we'd hold off until we were safely in the hospital with one of those little puke containers and people who could change linens if necessary. It turned out that the dry heave episode that convinced us to go was his last, and he spent most of the time we were there complaining for a drink. He was very tired but was still in decent spirits. We did a lot of waiting and finally they were ok with giving him a drink. He's a FAST drinker so we really had to monitor his intake when the 16 oz. cup of diluted juice arrived. I was constantly wrestling the straw out of his teeth to keep him from drinking the whole thing. Sip by sip he drank it all, and kept it all down. Finally. It still took a long time to see the doctor and get discharged, but he got a nerf football from a nice nurse on the way out. Long story short, there's a virus that's been going around since the day after Christmas. It lasts 24-48 hours and vomiting and diarrhea are the main symptoms. It's apparently quite contagious. My stomach had been a bit off that day as well, but nothing really came of it other than some gurgling.

This morning we took things slow and he seemed to do fairly well. But by lunch he wasn't eating again and later we knew why. Apparently the virus moved south and Jacob now got the diarrhea portion of it. He had a couple big BMs, and then it just started coming out as mostly liquid. He leaked out of his diaper almost every time, and in addition to being smelly, they were also hard to clean up because what solid stuff came out was in little pieces that never stuck to the wipes. Ugh. We went through a lot of pants today. He pooped out (no pun intended) a lot earlier than usual tonight and I still made him go through a pre-bed bath to try to clean off his body of any remaining yuckiness from the last couple days. Hopefully he'll be back to normal tomorrow and Craig and I will avoid the worst of this. Neither of us felt great today, but other than some minor GI discomfort, we weren't nearly the disaster Jacob was yesterday.

It was definitely an unpleasant experience that I hope we avoid for a long time, but I guess it's nice to know we survived it this time around. All bets are off for overnight illness, though. Handling it while awake is one thing, but dealing with it when I'm super tired and having to change pajamas and sheets? Yuck. I think I read somewhere once about making a bed in the bathtub, and that sounds like a great idea. Let's hope it's an idea we never have to use.

Now, to perk up this post, let's rewind to the other night, before this craziness started. Jacob was having an off night on New Year's Eve too, perhaps the start of his illness for all we know. He was tired early and we ended up putting him in his jammies before he even ate dinner (which was late because he slept through ours). I ended up giving him some apple for dessert, and he kept asking for more after he finished his couple sections and I ate the rest. So I grabbed another apple and decided to let him bite into it himself. He loved it! He even knows how to say "Apple". I tried to get video of him saying it, and he got close in this one, but I just thought he was so cute biting into the apple himself. Ok, so maybe I'm biased and most of this video is like watching paint dry, but I still like it. Notice the "All Done" he throws in at the end...

We hope everyone had a great (and puke-free) New Year, and we wish you all the best in 2010!

P.S. - We got a counter-offer today for the offer we put in on the house on New Year's Eve. It was within the ballpark of what we were hoping to get it for, so for now we have a deal. It's contingent on us selling our house before the end of the month, so we need to hope we start getting some traffic ASAP. We could also get squashed by another buyer who offers more or doesn't have a contingency, but we won't be able to help that so if it's all meant to be, it will happen. Otherwise, we'll just keep looking...