Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look what I can do!

Just when I thought I had Johnny's horizontal movement handled, he started working on his vertical movement. At first, it wasn't such a big deal since he would climb things like the couch or an ottoman. You know, nice soft things that were mostly surrounded by carpet. Then he discovered how much fun playing with light switches is... and that he can reach them by climbing onto the toilet.

Not dangerous at all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Down and out

Unfortunately, our Internet is down and won't be fixed until Tuesday (hopefully) due to the three day weekend. Tragic, I know. But hope to see you all again on Tuesday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

What Johnny and a teenage girl have in common.

Remember how I wrote about how many "words" Johnny can say and how a stranger would probably only understand the word "yes"? I think there's a new word a stranger would understand.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The weekend

I had a student once who had a stamp that read "EPIC FAIL." Every now and then, he would take graded papers for another class and stamp "EPIC FAIL" at the top of a few... if I still had contact with that student, I'd let him stamp the crap out of my forehead because this weekend? EPIC FAIL. I mean, it was awesome, don't get me wrong, but I didn't take A SINGLE PICTURE.

My brother graduated from college this weekend (congratulations Scott!!), so Friday, Saturday and Sunday were filled with family, friends and food. My dad and his wife stayed with us from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon and did lots of babysitting and cleaning for me, which was AWESOME. My kitchen is cleaner than it has been since before I was pregnant with Johnny and they even washed their own towels and sheets. Oh, and my stepmom and mother-in-law did some nursery prep for me so now all I have to do is buy a tub of Vaseline and diaper pail. Score!

On top of all the help I was given, we got to celebrate my brother graduating with a Bachelor's in Biology and Kinesiology by having a wonderful dinner on Friday, lunch on Saturday and a rockin' backyard barbeque at my mom's on Sunday. The weekend, while exhausting, was the most fun I've had in a while.

Oh, and shout out to my former student, Kate, who babysat Johnny on Friday for a whopping 10 hours and managed to keep him happy and entertained until he went to bed ON TIME. People, even his mother sometimes can't manage this. Okay, I rarely manage this. She did an awesome job.

And now, a random picture that has nothing to do with our weekend shenanigans:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How I know Johnny is related to my dad.

I was cleaning out the guest room a few days ago and Johnny got a hold of some dental floss. I used to keep a little basket of travel-size toiletries for guests in the guest bathroom until Johnny got old enough to open the cabinet and pull all of them out; so I stored them in the guest bedroom, which we hardly go into.

Well, Johnny found the dental floss, figured out how to open it and started stringing it out by the foot in a matter of seconds. I guess I should have been impressed by his problem-solving skills, but I mostly just panicked about him strangling himself with it or eating it (as I have seen a friend's cat do inadvertently... but I guess we put a treat at the end of the floss... whatever). However, once this fun was discovered, taking it away was not an option I was willing to explore. So, I took a good ten minutes to just sit in a chair and watch him waste dental floss. I'm thinking this interest in floss may be an indication he will have good dental hygiene, which will make his oral surgeon grandpa proud. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Play time

As I mentioned in my last post, Johnny has been pretty great about playing independently for a few minutes every day. I mean, I still have to be in the room because he gets upset if I leave (not like separation anxiety, which is another post for another day), but that means I can just sit down, lie down, or do some pelvic rocks to ease that pesky back and rib pain. He's gotten really into trucks and cars, so that's mostly what he plays with by himself. It's pretty darn adorable if I may say so myself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

36 weeks... and over it.

Well, I've hit that point. That point where I'm longing to be over and done with pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Johnny I never got to this point, probably because I was so freaked out about having a child (not the delivery part, the taking care of a newborn part). The killer is, since I've done this before, I know that in about three months I'll be wishing I had a nice round belly to sport instead of a squishy one. Alas.

Last time around was so easy! I ate whenever I needed to, exercised when I wanted, laid down when I felt like it... this time? Not so much. Eating isn't going so well considering I lost weight at my last appointment; this tends to be pretty normal in the first trimester, but kind of problematic in the third. Go figure. The problem? I have trouble finding time to eat. When I'm not chasing Johnny, fixing food for Johnny, putting Johnny down for a nap or playing with Johnny, I'm sitting or lying down because I'm so. freaking. tired. Not so much mentally, but definitely physically. I know this fatigue probably has a lot to do with not taking in enough calories, so I should fix that. And I'm working on it. My midwife told me not to even wait until I'm hungry and just eat every two hours. Set a phone alarm if necessary. High-protein snacks are the name of the game. Add that to all of the water I should be consuming, the milk I should be drinking, and the iron I need.

Otherwise, life is going pretty well. Johnny is being great for me by taking a nap every day and having a little independent play time in the morning and afternoon. Thank goodness he has so many toy trucks to occupy him. He's starting to be a little freaked out by my belly. Every time I lift up my shirt to expose it, he looks at it once then starts shaking his head and saying "nononononono". But he thinks my belly button is pretty awesome. As evidenced by him sticking his finger halfway into it in the picture below.

Friday, May 13, 2011

17 months

I'm 17 months old today!
It's funny how I don't feel like I'm much older than I was a month ago, but people who don't see me often always comment on how grown up I am and how much more I'm doing now. I mean, I guess I have more words for things now ("fouf" being the newest one... "shoe" is how adults say it, but that "sh" sound is really difficult) and can follow directions more easily and consistently, if I feel like it, of course. Sometimes I really don't feel like lying down on the floor so Mommy can change my diaper. What if I like walking around with a nice load in my pants? But most of the time I'm cooperative... when it comes to diapers. 

I'm also totally at home in my big boy room and have forgotten all about that nursery I used to stay in (I think now Mommy and Daddy call it "the poop room" since that's where my dirty diapers end up). I'm trying new foods constantly but still have my favorites, like eggplant parmesan as seen in the photo above. Yep, life is pretty great right now, I guess I should enjoy it before the "big day" in June. Not that I understand that at all, but I'm sure I'll get over it after the whole thing happens.

This blog brought to you by....

the Internet!

I apologize for being MIA for a little while last week. First we had trouble with the cable upgrade and getting that to work with our router. Then our router gave out. Yes, it gave out. It was a much-loved wireless router that took about two seconds to kick to the curb in favor of a newer, prettier router... and I don't feel guilty at all. Hopefully this new Internet configuration will keep us better connected. If I can figure out how to work it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Up until a little while ago, Johnny has been wearing fleece pajamas since it has been cold at night, but now that it's getting warmer we've had to dress him a little cooler. He's been wearing this oversize T-shirt from John's cousin Alison to bed and he looks SO CUTE! Right? Oh, and cut him some slack since Daddy just left for work and he was pretty distraught.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why I'm going to a birth center

Just in case you didn't know, I'm not giving birth at a hospital this time around. Well, at least I'm not intending to give birth at a hospital; an induction like last time would mean a hospital birth, but I'm doing things to prevent that this time around.

Do I feel like I had a bad experience last time? No, Sharp Mary Birch is an excellent hospital and worked out well for my first birth.

However, the more moms I talk to about their birth stories, the more I realize how lucky I was that I didn't end up with a Cesarean. It seems that a good chunk of the moms I've talked to have had a C-section and went into the whole birth experience intending to go as naturally as possible (like me) and then ended up giving birth as unnaturally as possible. Yes, there are a lot of reasons why the C-section rate in the US was up to 32% in 2007 (according to this data from the CDC) including increased use of drugs, women having children later in life, medical doctors fearing being sued, but I think the biggest problem is a lack of education on the part of the parents. So many pregnant women I knew wanted to give birth "naturally" but I didn't talk to a single one taking a Bradley class, Birthing from Within workshop, Brio Birth course, etc. Everyone I knew (myself included) intended to take the quick six-week course from the hospital. That's where the problem lies.

A hospital is a business. If they don't make money, then they can't stay open. I don't think this is a bad thing since they provide a service, they should be compensated fairly. The service they provide is a medical one; they have all of the technology necessary to make a high-risk pregnancy turn out well and that's great. But what about low-risk patients like me? I didn't have gestational diabetes, I gained the recommended 30-35 pounds, my blood pressure was excellent, I ate well and I exercised. Despite all of this, I was still treated like I was high-risk because that's what hospitals specialize in. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I can see that's what was happening. My water broke ten days before my due date and we were instructed to go straight to the hospital to lower the risk of infection. Doesn't make any sense, right? Go to the hospital, with all of those strangers and all of those germs to decrease the risk of infection...

This time around I have done my homework. John and I have taken a Bradley Method course (which is a 12-week, 2 hour per class course) and even though we have been through a childbirth class and a birth of our own, we still learned LOTS of valuable information. We've decided to go to a birth center with a group of midwives and that experience has been a huge difference from my experience with my previous OB. I did like my OB, but there's something nice about being in the care of a woman whose only job is to birth babies.

So, my three main reasons for going to a birth center (in no particular order):

1. I want to give birth naturally. A hospital is not the best place for that because that's not their specialty. As my husband says, "You don't go into a Chinese food place and demand lasagna." A birth center is much more conducive to natural birth and the midwife has already talked to me about different ways to induce labor at home in case my water breaks and contractions don't start again.

2. The birth center is a nice mix of nature and technology. While a home birth would be cool, I'm still a little nervous about committing to one, probably due some lingering fears of childbirth. The birth center has some neonatal tools to help any babies who are struggling with the transition from womb to outside world. They also have a variety of drugs (no pain meds, though) in case something unexpected happens to me (like too much bleeding after birth).

3. Being the capitalists that we are, John and I are voting with our dollar. We don't agree with the high C-section rate of hospitals, nor with how pushy they are about drugs (any drug, not just pain medications), so we're doing something different than the norm.

And... that's all I have to say about that. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Beach time!

John was spending last Saturday getting some work done in the yard, so Johnny and I went to the beach in the morning to get out of his hair. We got to meet Grandma Nancy, Uncle Dylan and his girlfriend, Aunt Lindsay that morning for some play time and relaxation by the ocean. And what a beautiful day it was!
Johnny leaving the rest of us behind to follow Aunt Lindsay to the ocean... which he is kind of scared of... man he loves that girl.
Johnny's so funny about sand because when he first touches it, he's not thrilled that it sticks to his skin. Then he gets over it as he starts to play, at least he did on Saturday. However, when we started eating, my mom washed off his hands and then he got really picky about what he would pick up and what he wouldn't so he wouldn't get sand on his hands again. Oh yeah, he's my son for sure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I've been getting all kinds of questions lately about whether Johnny is talking or not. It is my duty to inform you that no, Johnny is not talking. I mean, he says a few words here and there and can get me to guess what he wants, but we are not having full-on conversations.

Before I was a parent, I thought children started talking around 1 year of age or so and I had it in my head that this was a magical milestone when children would start spouting philosophy in short phrases. Apparently that's not how it works. I realized this when Johnny had been saying "da" for "dog" for about two months and the pediatrician was stoked that he has "words" for things. So really, this whole talking thing is entirely subjective.

And here is the subjective list of words that Johnny uses:
  • dog
  • daddy
  • this
  • that
  • mom
  • hot
  • cat
  • car
  • truck
  • bus
  • giraffe (to be honest, I know he's saying giraffe, but the rest of you would hear "af-va!"
  • phone
  • water
  • yes
  • no
  • bye
  • hat
  • spoon
  • fork
  • berry
  • vacuum
  • bubble
  • blue
  • duck 
I'm probably missing a few, but you get the gist of it.

Of all of the words listed, the only one that a stranger would understand is "duck." It sounds a little more German in that the "k" sound at the end comes out as "ach" but it's way closer than giraffe. Here's the thing: I'm the only one who understands all of these words. If we were taking a walk in the morning and he says "bva!" I know that he's pointing out a truck. So does that really count? No idea. I guess since I get it, I should say it counts, so according to me, his vocabulary is not half bad for a nearly-17-month-old.

Anyway. So all of this was to bring you what I consider Johnny's first real word:

I was just absently asking him if he wanted a protein shake one day and he says, "yes" complete with "s" sound at the end... and I almost dropped him out of shock. After only saying "da" for months on end he busts out this one. Way to keep me on my toes, kid.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Parenting decisions: the bottle

Johnny was breastfed until he was a little more than 10 months old, then I switched him to formula at my OB's suggestion (apparently breastfeeding can stimulate strong contractions and then miscarriage in some women) and so he has been using a bottle ever since. He switched to cow's milk easily and he dropped the morning bottle in favor of a sippy cup awhile ago and quite readily.

But he still takes a bottle before his nap and before bedtime. And apparently that's a bad thing.

The pediatricians I've gone to have all been surprised that he's still bottle fed. "If he has no problem taking milk from a sippy cup, so why haven't you switched him over entirely?" "You know that his teeth may be adversely affected by taking a bottle for so long, right?" "Taking it away is only going to get harder the later you do it."

I can't decide how I feel about this issue. On one hand, I know it's a big part of his soothing process for sleep since he doesn't take a pacifier or suck on his thumb and it's one of the only times I get to cuddle with him since he's such a mover and a shaker. On the other hand, I know that if I don't get rid of it before the baby comes, he'll end up being two and a half years old still drinking a bottle. Does that bother me? I'm not sure. I've had people tell me that when they get older, you can reason them out of using a bottle/pacifier/sucking the thumb by telling them it's what babies do and they aren't babies any more. Then I have other people telling me how difficult it was to get their toddler to drop the bottle and they wish they had done it earlier.

I'm writing this because I just put Johnny down for his nap without a bottle (or being breastfed) for the first time ever... and it was a fight. I finally managed to calm him down after screaming loudly for fifteen minutes, but he had to fall asleep in my arms before I got him into his crib, which I'm pretty sure is just replacing one crutch (the bottle) with another (me). I had decided a month ago that when Johnny went into his big boy room, we would drop the bottle a week or so later. This decision was made easier by the fact that his nap schedule has gone to hell in the last three weeks... but that's a story for another day. I figured that getting rid of the bottle couldn't possibly make his napping any worse, so this is good time to try it.

But now I'm second-guessing myself. Which, I suppose, is the core of being a parent, right?