Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Most of you received our card already, probably...but for those who didn't:




Friday, December 19, 2008

11 Month update

Daddy is "driving" Alex around in his cardboard box "car".

Okay, so he's almost 12 months...but I refuse to admit that my baby is days away from being a big boy! Here's what Alex is up to these days...
  • Alex is feeding *us* instead of the other way around. I know all babies do this, but it's always cute when they decide they're big enough to take care of you.

  • Consistently going to bed between 8 - 8:30 PM and waking around 7 AM. Now if only we could break him of that 5 AM feeding. I told Alex a while ago he won't get that once he turns one. That's only a few days away. Now we'll just have to deal with the screaming, I guess.

  • Standing up everywhere and walking along everything. Sitting is for babies, you know.
  • He's standing in the closet to reach my belts, a favorite toy.
    Thanks for the halo, Angie! We're not so sure he's an angel, though. Ha ha!


  • Barking. Yes, Alex is barking. Maggie loves to bark when she runs around the backyard. Alex likes to stand by the back door and watch. A few weeks ago, he started barking at Maggie. Now he does it all the time. I've tried to catch it on video, but no luck.


  • Climbing stairs. About 2 weeks ago, Keith went up to the bonus room & left the door open. Alex crawled towards the stairs with me right behind him. I wondered what he would do. Well, he just started climbing the stairs without a second thought. He gets a little faster all the time now. (He often says "up" or "bup" when he's climbing. He never says "up" other than this, so I'm thinking it might be a word.)

  • I originally said no TV before Alex turned one. I came pretty close to sticking to that. In the past 2 weeks, I've allowed Alex to watch Praise Baby's Christmas dvd, an old Mary Rice Hopkins concert video, and a few episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba. (It's a strange show, but the characters are cute. Kids can learn a LOT by watching the show. We used to watch that show every day when I babysat Brent, Rachel, and Haley.) TV will continue to be a pretty small part of Alex's life, though.

  • We've put all his "messy" toys upstairs, so the upstairs is now his playroom. He gets all excited when we open the door to the bonus room. (Only his big toys with very few small pieces get to stay in our living room now. Less mess!)

  • At church a few weeks ago, there was no one to work in the nursery during Bible study. I kept Alex with me during class. My class is at the bottom of the stairs. Nursery is at the top of the stairs. When Bible study was over, I set Alex on the ground while gathering my things. He immediately headed for the hallway, climbed the stairs, and went straight to the nursery. Smarty pants.

  • Eating EVERYTHING. He loves food. His newest favorite is chicken nuggets. Oh, and you MUST put just a touch of barbecue sauce on them. This kid loves flavor & spice. Alex has this little almost-whiney noise that he makes to let us know he wants to try what we're eating. At Alex's "request", Keith fed him a very small chunk of jalapeno from his sub sandwich last weekend. We expected him to pull a face, but he LIKED it! A few other favorites are spaghetti/mostaciolli, any soft fruit, mixed veggies, corn, muffins & breads, and graham crackers. No more baby food here.
  • Mmm, pasta!

  • Tolerating foods with "hidden" milk. We haven't tried straight milk or cheese, but he's had scrambled egg made with just a touch of milk, garlic bread made with regular margarine, and a few other things. No troubles other than tiny patches of eczema. Progress!! :)

  • Operating his own CD player. Alex now knows how to work the CD player in his bedroom. He regularly starts the music when he's playing in his bedroom.

  • FINALLY starting to get the hang of a sippy cup! He has understood what it is before, but now he's actually starting to suck on it rather than just chew on the rubbery spout. He still won't drink a whole cupful of anything, but it's progress. I think the white grape juice idea might have helped. Thanks, Deb. (Don't tell Alex, but he's going to be "all-cup, no mommy" by the end of May. Mommy insists.)

  • Finding trouble everywhere. "Hmmm, what happens if I pull the water resevoir off of the humidifier?" "Hey, I think I'll push this button on the carbon monoxide detector." "Hey, somebody left the toilet seat up...let's splash!" "Oooh, a straw holder...let's spill 100 straws on the kitchen floor and have a really fun time scattering them everywhere!" "Oh, wow! The computer printer opens up and it has lots of gears and cartridges inside. Fun!"




Can't you just see the mischief all over his face? :)
Enjoy standing under the table while you can, Alex...your head almost touches!

As usual, there are probably some things that I've forgotten. Just thought you'd all enjoy the pictures, and I will enjoy looking back on these facts someday to remember at what age Alex accomplished different things! :)

Edited to add: In the 2.5 hours since I wrote this post, Alex has...

  1. broken a lampshade
  2. eaten part of a dog treat (GROSS!)
  3. knocked over a picture frame on an end table
  4. gotten the cordless phone & pushed many buttons.

(Three of the four happened while I was on the phone...guess I'll have to stop answering the phone!)

In each of these instances, I was no more than 3 feet away. The kid is quick! I'd like to think I'm a fairly attentive mother, but apparently I'm only an oblivious mother who hangs out close to her mischiveous child! ;)

That reminds me to add some other current "Alex Favorites"...

  • standing to reach everything on the end table
  • stretching to reach things on the entertainment center or kitchen table
  • opening kitchen drawers to search the contents
  • dumping all the dog's toys
  • putting his socks in the dog's water dish.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Why You Should Never Leave Pens On End Tables"


It was a click-style pen, and it was off.

I turned my back for less than a minute, and he was only about 2 feet from me.

I guess I'm glad that Alex's artwork isn't on the furniture. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Elf Yourself


We're not spending the $5 to download the video, so click on the link below if you want to see Alex, Daddy, and Mama disco dancing! ;)

http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/LAMfeJ4UAvaQfQgUev9k

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thankful

Thanksgiving, to me, is the best holiday of the year. Most other holidays get too commercialized or overshadowed by Easter Bunnies and Elves. Thanksgiving has turkeys, but the meaning is clear - giving thanks for our blessings.

We are very thankful for many reasons. We are blessed to have:

  • a warm home
  • wonderful families
  • a job that provides for all of our needs and many of our wants
  • the opportunity for me to stay home with Alex
  • a great church family
  • a happy, healthy baby boy
  • freedom to worship God
  • health
  • plenty of good food to eat...and not just on Thanksgiving Day
  • good neighbors

I could probably go on all day! Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving time with family.

(This pie crust turkey is made from Alex's handprint.)


We celebrated at our house with the P family on Thanksgiving Day. It was your pretty typical Thanksgiving Day - football, family, food. Add in a little Fisher Price Ring Toss, and you've got our day.

Thanks for the cute bib, Aunt Deb!Turkey, stuffing, corn, carrots, roll - all dairy free!
Uncle Jim helped Alex 'play' football.
Kari took Alex on a little walk.
(Nana - the only picture of you is your arm & leg...sorry!)
My mom had her usual homemade soup & bread night on Friday night. It's a wonderful, yummy tradition that she started a few years back, and I hope she keeps it up for a long time! Family, games, and Mom's delicious homemade bread. Yum!
Uncle David, usually you let someone else give you bunny ears!)

Grandpa fed Alex apples & sweet potatoes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Almost Thanksgiving...

Keith was able to take off of work from Tuesday - Friday, which meant that he was home with us. How fun having Daddy all to ourselves! I know Keith enjoyed the time away from work, sleeping in just a little later, and having lots of quality Alex time. I thorougly enjoyed having the time with Keith, too!

As I write this, we're waiting for the Bears game to end & then heading off to bed. Tomorrow starts reality again. Yuck, but it pays the bills!

This first picture is a little dark, but it's Alex's new "thing" - headbutting. He'll headbutt you and then giggle like crazy. He's obsessed with cars & trucks, likes to growl, and now he's headbutting. Yep, he's a boy.
Keith asked if I'd like to bring Alex outside while he raked leaves. Alex LOVES to play with the leaves that Maggie tracks into the house, so we figured he'd really enjoy playing in a big pile of leaves.


Nope.
He was afraid.

He ended up totally panicked & screaming.
Poor kid.
Mama tried to calm him down while Daddy finished the leaves. Alex still loves to watch Daddy on the tractor, so we stood in the shed (out of the cold breeze) while watching Daddy. Alex spotted his little ride-on toy that Grandma S & Aunt Donna picked up at a garage sale over the summer. He loved it!

My birthday was this week. I had to subtract 2008-1976 to figure out that I am now 32. I truly couldn't remember. Aunt Deb & Grandma came to visit & to help hang some photos and hang my birthday presents from Grandma S. (You'll see the new wall art in some of the Thanksgiving photos in the next post.) This was after they took a few wrong turns & took the scenic route to our house...ha ha! We also enjoyed lunch at Subway...Thanks, Grandma! Thanks for the fun day!


After enjoying a date night with Keith, we came home to relieve Grandma & Papa of their babysitting duties. Thanks for watching our boy while we enjoyed burgers & ice cream! (...and a little grocery shopping, too...what a birthday treat - grocery shopping...but it was my idea.) I opened my birthday present from Grandma & Papa. Alex play the paper. Both Mama & Alex loved it! Thanks, Grandma, for the book & chocolate & socks & basket! All have been used & enjoyed already!

One last thing...on Friday, Seth made an adorable turkey hat at school, and he came home all excited about helping Alex to make one of his own. Alex wasn't so sure about having it on his head, but loved to look at himself in the mirror. Can you see his big smile?


That's it for now...but Thanksgiving posts are coming soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Picture Post

Updates on the important things and the little things that make us smile *Ü*

A few weeks ago, Alex & Mama went to visit for the day to hang out with Phonesavanh & Jen - two wonderful friends who we don't visit often enough. Here are some pics of Jen & me with Phonesavanh's kids. I don't know where Phonesavanh is, but she's not in the pictures...





See where Alex likes to play now? It's a new form of Peek-A-Boo!

Kyle was baptized on Sunday, November 16th! What a big decision :)
On Saturday, November 15th, we went to see Danielle's volleyball game. I enjoyed getting a chance to see my alma mater & how it's changed since I went to school there. Lucky Danielle has the benefit of all-new furniture in her dorm! See the message that Alex wrote on her door? It's on the bottom left corner.
Watching Danielle's games...which they won! :)

Danielle is serving.

Grandma & Alex at the game

Alex & his cousins (where are Kathryn & Matthew, and how did I miss getting them in the picture?!)
Grandma P came over last Friday to bring an early Christmas present for Alex - The Fisher Price Nativity. Alex loves to eat the camel's tail & push the angel. The angel plays Away In A Manger...over and over and over...but we do LOVE it! Thank you, Grandma!

See what Alex can do? Last week, it was sitting by the drawer. Yesterday, it was standing by the drawer. How long before he's *IN* the drawer? Ha ha!
I'll leave you with this last picture to make you laugh:
Look closely at the name on the pizza box.
I knew I should have kept my maiden name.
(Click on the picture to enlarge it if you can't read it. Thanks, Marcella's Pizza.)


A Visit With The Fishies

Last weekend, we took Alex on his first trip to Shedd Aquarium. We didn't think he'd get much out of it, but that kid talked and talked and talked to the fishies. We have no clue what he told them, but we're sure that Alex loved the fish!

I should have made the picture below bigger. The look of awe on Alex's face is so fun!
Hopefully you can click & enlarge it.
Can you see that cute little smile on the picture below? I think he wanted to grab the fishies.


The video is dark, but if you can see it, watch the look on Alex's face :)

video


On another note, it costs an arm & a leg to visit the aquarium! By the time you pay parking, admission, and buy a hotdog and a drink...you're BROKE! Next time, we're bringing our own lunch...which we normally do, but for some reason chose not to on this day. This day just about blew our entertainment budget for the entire month of November! Wow!

Oh, and Keith was a pretty happy guy - we parked in the garage under Soldier Field. We went to the Bears gift shop. We walked by the stadium turnstiles. Only problem - No game that day. ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alex at 10 Months

I just posted the 9 Months post...now that Alex is 10.5 months old! It's been here for a while in draft mode, but I just remembered to actually hit "post". You can click on the October tab and look for "Alex at 9 Months" if you're really curious...but it's probably not that exciting.

Alexander at 10 Months

These are just a random assortment of facts about Alex at this age...

  • eating almost everything we put in front of him...even a dill pickle and a chunk of raw onion. He made funny faces with the pickle, but kept asking for more. He loved the onion!
  • FINALLY willing to eat breakfast! I made a bunch of milk-free pancakes, froze them, and thaw one for him in the morning. Or I give him some banana or diced pears with Cheerios. He does NOT want rice cereal or any other mushy cereal (oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc) for breakfast.
  • Eating pretty much anything we're eating, as long as it's dairy free. He loves spicy foods - spanish rice, jambalaya, shredded taco chicken, etc. He's not a huge fan of ground beef.
  • He still eats a little baby food (or applesauce) for lunch & supper most days, but only after he's had "real" food.
  • SCREAMS when he can't eat what we are eating. He's so jealous if he can't try our food...that's tricky with the dairy thing.
  • May be outgrowing the dairy allergy!!! I'm slowly working dairy back into my diet, and it doesn't seem to bother Alex. I'll probably offer him just a little bit of something with dairy at 12 months, wait a few days, try again, and just see how it goes from there.
  • loves froot loops, cheerios, diced fruit, applesauce, spaghetti, jelly bread, graham crackers
  • getting very good at throwing his food to the dog...and at crying when we scold him for this! (Why is pouting so cute?! It's so hard not to laugh!)
  • still not too interested in a sippy cup, but likes to sip water out of a regular cup
  • Standing much more often, walking along furniture a little, but not too much
  • Crawling like a pro..and getting into everything!
  • Good at entertaining himself for long periods of time...but ya better watch closely or he'll entertain himself with dangerous things.
  • Likes us to "chase" him as he crawls or hide around the corner to surprise him as he crawls into the room. Daddy likes to chase Alex and then pull Alex's legs out from under him. Alex giggles!
  • Loves cords & wires on computer, phone, lamps, etc.
  • loves to pull out all the CDs in the office.
  • attempted to put a toy in the toilet for the first time. (Gotta be consistent about closing that lid!)
  • loves remotes, cell phones, all things shiny and grown-up, knows how to turn on the computer printer..and is doing so right now ;)
  • has his own computer keyboard - an old one with the cord removed - so he can type while Mama or Daddy types
  • loves to shred magazines, newspapers, etc...loves to play with all my expired coupons. I dump them on the floor when I'm sorting, and he's entertained for 15 - 20 minutse.
  • dumps the dog's toy basket on a daily basis
  • makes me wonder why we own Fisher Price & Little Tykes when he prefers the dog's squeaky toys & bones.
  • loves music, especially if kids are singing...so we now have 2 CD slots in our car dedicated to Alex's music.
  • Still fighting naps - he might miss something if he sleeps
  • lately, he's whimpering when I carry him into his bedroom...even if it's just for a diaper change. I think he's afraid that I'm putting him in bed again. That makes me sad; I don't want him to dislike his bedroom. I try to bring him in there & play on the floor a few times a week, just so his bedroom is fun.
  • If I didn't mention it, last month we removed the mobile & music box from his crib. Instead of laying down, he would sit up and play with everything. We just removed his excuses for not sleeping. The music box is on the floor, and he still plays with it when he's crawling around.
  • Still a light sleeper...so much for vacuuming while he slept as a tiny baby...that did nothing for helping him sleep soundly. The ringing phone, the dog barking, the hair dryer...it all wakes him! Sigh.
  • "TALKING" constantly. Some might actually be words, but there's no way to prove it...He often says "Muh" for more, mama, daddy, "Dee" for dog, "Bah" for ball. Ah-ma (when looking at a picture of Grandma) is a new one that I've noticed 2 or 3 times.
  • plays ball - I roll it to him, Alex picks it up & hands the ball back to me
  • He loves to jabber with lots of expression in his voice.
  • smiles when we look at all the family pictures on the wall and name everyone
  • LOVES his nightly bath! He gets very excited & crawls into the bathroom as soon as he hears the running water.
  • Sleeping pretty well most nights. He usually is asleep in his crib by 8:30PM at the latest (unless we're out...) and doesn't wake until about 4:30 or 5 AM. Then he nurses and goes back to sleep until a little after 7 AM. We were trying to eliminate that early morning nursing, but Alex wasn't cooperating. He'll scream for an hour if I don't nurse him...guess he still needs it! I think I'll try again when he's 12 months unless he changes his own schedule sooner.
  • Understanding the signs for milk, all done, eat, doggy, and maybe a few others. Signs milk. Holds up his hands without twisting for "all done".
  • Does 'So Big' on occasion. Likes clapping when we say "yay!" Has picked up the scrunchy face again, but does it with a twist. Instead of fast, huffy breathing through his nose, Alex now does one deep breath with the scrunchy face.
  • Doesn't like to hold still for diaper changes
  • still fascinated with tags
  • still loves outside
  • enjoys picking up almost-invisible specks/crumbs from the floor with his thumb & pointer finger
  • loves to eat leaves that Maggie brings in on her fur. Sigh.
  • loves the mixer, terrified of the blender
  • loves the hair dryer, terrified of the vacuum
  • fascinated by toy cars & trucks
  • loves to grocery shop & see all the people/things in the store
  • loves to watch the trucks as we drive down the interstate.
  • loves to watch the traffic go by when we pick up Seth from school
  • loves Seth, for that matter...it makes Alex very happy to have Seth around :)
  • doing very well in church nursery...as long as he's not wanting to nurse, that is. He loves to play with the toys, and he rarely cries when I leave him. We keep him in church during the singing at the beginning of the service...he just LOVES the music! Then we go to the cry room during communion (to nurse, but still hear communion meditation), and then it's off to the nursery.
  • loves to go for stroller rides, although we're gonna have to start bundling up for our walks soon! He sits forward, holds on tight, and bounces if we're not going fast enough for his liking. It's cute!
  • Just last night, he learned how to crawl up a step at Kevin & Jen F's house. They have a sunken living room with one step, and Alex repeatedly crawled out of it.
  • snuggling is a very short-term thing, but I usually get one 30 - 60 second head-on-my-shoulder snuggle from Alex each day... LOVE IT! :)

October Picture overload

A few events, a few random moments...the rest of October in pictures :)

So Big!

Big Foot! (These are mine, but Alex likes Keith's shoes better because of the laces.)

BOING! (door stoppers are the best toys, and he can find them in almost every room now...)
Alex loves, Loves, LOVES to watch Daddy on the tractor. He used to sit in his high chair & look out the sliding doors. Now he stands at the back window and watches. He will stand like this for 30 minutes just watching Daddy go back and forth.

Skooby (John) and Julie got married! Keith stood up in the wedding, and Grandma & Grandpa S babysat. This was the day that Alex started getting so sick...Mama's first time leaving her sick little boy :(

Congratulations, John & Julie! We've been waiting a long time for this :)


A very rare picture of Keith & me on the dance floor. One of us isn't very coordinated...and it's not Keith! ;)

The wedding was all-around nice, but they added a few fun touches to show their personality. The wedding cake just cracked me up! As soon as I saw it, it made perfect sense why Skooby was excited to have picked the cake-topper.




A random picture of a rare morning when I brought Alex to our bed after his early morning nursing...isn't he cute? He slept there for quite a while.

Grandma & Grandpa S called to say they were taking Emma & Joshua to the dairy farm. We joined them for a fun afternoon! :)