Tuesday, November 24, 2009

3 Months Old

Our little Max is already 3 months old. It still amazes me the way that moments can sometimes d-r-a-g, but times just FLIES!

Max won't get weighed again until his 4 month visit, but I'd guess he's over 12 lbs by now. Last night, I pulled out his 3 - 6 month clothes. Some of his 0 -3 month clothes are starting to get too short or too tight. You can see how short his pants are getting in this picture:

Max is very alert. He loves to watch what's going on around him. He loves to watch his puppy and his big brother. The moving lights of the TV catch his attention. We can't help but love that adorable smile!
He is getting very good at holding up his head independently. I'm putting him in the Bumbo seat more often, but he still likes it only for brief periods. When holding him, it's very rare for Max to just rest his head against you. He'd rather hold it up & look around.

(This picture cracks me up - that goofy little grin...)
He loves to lay under his play gym and bat at the toys. At first, it was accidental. We're almost positive that it's on purpose now, as he hits at them repeatedly, giving the toys big smiles.

Max giggled his first REAL giggle last week Wednesday at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Keith was in Pittsburgh, so he missed it. I was in the other room, but at least I got to hear that precious sound of a belly laugh! Max was sitting in Grandma's lap, I think, and he was giggling at Alex & Maggie (our dog) playing on the kitchen floor.
Max loves to just stare at people until they look at him, and then he flashes them a huge grin. He'll keep grinning and making happy noises for quite a while. Unfortunately, he rarely "talks" and grins at the person who is holding him - which means that most of his giant grins & "conversations" are not with Mama. I do get some good smiles and coos when he's on the changing table, though.

If we have a "stay-at-home" day, Max has a fairly predictable schedule. He gets up for the day between 7 and 7:30 AM. He goes down for a 45 nap around 9 or 9:30 AM. He'll nap again at lunch time, and this is often a 3 hour nap. He catnaps again in the early evening, then naps again around 8:30 or 9 PM. We should probably start putting him in bed at 8:30 or 9, but instead, he just sleeps in the bassinet until we go to bed at 10 or 10:30. I then wake him to put him in his jammies, swaddle him, nurse him, and he sleeps until around 4 AM. Then he nurses quickly and goes back to sleep until morning.

We very loosely follow the "Babywise" plan of eat, wake, sleep, repeat. Most mornings, I swaddle Max for his nap & put him in his crib to watch his mobile until he falls asleep independently. I break the rules by nursing him to sleep for his afternoon nap, as that's the only way he'll take a 3 hour nap...which I like, and it works for him. Then he sleeps on his tummy in the bassinet. For his other naps, I put him on his tummy in his bassinet when he's just starting to fall asleep.

Max still likes to nurse about every 3 hours, which is kind of often according to the books, but Alex was always that way, too. He's a quick nurser most of the time, and I wouldn't trade those snuggly times for anything in the world. To me, that's one of the best things about having a little one!

Max is still taking a bottle every evening, and he's doing a GREAT job! We've learned to wait - to get past a fussy point, holding out until he's truly hungry - and then he'll take 3 or so ounces without any hesitation. He even took 2 bottles over the weekend while Mama & Daddy went on a date. (Ahhh, a date! That was nice!)

He is a generally content baby, although at this point, I don't think his daddy would whole-heartedly agree. It seems that poor Daddy almost always get the "fussy Max". Why? I don't know. (Maybe because when Daddy's around, we don't follow our typical daytime schedule? Hmm...something to think about.) Max definitely has fussy times, and sometimes even has fussy days, but overall, he's a happy, easy-going baby.

We love this little guy so much! Grow slowly, sweet little guy. Mama's cherishing every baby moment!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whassis? Whassat? FWY!!!!

Alex is very interested in little bugs. Pretty much all insects are "fwies" in Alex's mind. Ladybugs usually get, "Mama, Whassis? Whassat?" I tell him it's a ladybug, and then he says, "Fwy!"

He loves to stop & watch the ladybugs as they climb a window, crawl across the couch, etc. He's just totally fascinated.

Unfortunately, these little "observation sessions" usually end in Alex squashing the poor little ladybug. If only he could just admire without the "smoosh" at the end. He's such a boy.

Grandma & Grandpa's House

Keith was in Pittsburgh last week, and we often use that as a chance to spend a few days with Grandma & Grandpa S.

I told Alex that we were going to visit "Papa with the remote control truck", and he got all excited! On the way, we stopped at the school where I used to teach. Uncle Dave works there now, so he got to show off his nephews & I visited with former co-workers. It was an unplanned stop, so I didn't have the camera handy :(

Poor Alex had been sick with a fever & ear infection over the weekend, and we thought he was on the mend. Unfortunately, he got hit yet again while we were at Grandma's house. We now know what it's like to deal with a croupy kid. Poor Alex was just miserable, but he handled it fairly well during the day. He had fun with his grandparents & cousins!

rolling a toy truck on the table with Uncle Dave & Grandpa

I think every grandkid has played on Grandma's stair landing over the years.

Aunt Janice
Uncle Dave & Aunt Janice
Don't tell Daddy he's wearing beautiful necklaces!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Watch the boys grow...

A Few More Pictures

There hasn't been a blog update in a week, but I've had nothing interesting to post. Here are a few pictures...

Grandpa S introduced Alex to the 1 cent pony at Meijer. At least it's only a penny!

Alex helped Mama give the baby a bath one night when Daddy wasn't home. Mama was trying to keep Alex entertained and accomplish something at the same time. For once, it worked!

I haven't been taking weekly pictures of Max in the teddy bear chair, but we do have pictures of Alex & Max growing together.
Not every picture of the boys is adorable...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Everyday Moments

Good morning, Mama!

I love his sweet baby face!

Alex HAS to be in the picture if he catches me taking pictures of Max. At least he loves his brother!

Hanging out in the boring bouncy while Alex was in the bathtub

Alex recently learned how to "swim" on his belly in the tub. He thinks he's pretty cool.

Max. I can't get enough of those wide-open, blue eyes.

Alex "drove" this rocking horse (no wheels - just rockers) from Max's bedroom all the way to the kitchen. EVERYTHING is a car when you're a toddler boy with a good imagination.

Oh, the drama. Daylight Savings Time brings out the UGLY in my kiddo! I told Alex he couldn't watch Curious George because he had to get dressed. He sobbed and carried on for a good 5 minutes. (This was only the beginning of the craziness that included yogurt dumped over his head & later Coke dumped over his head. All before 9 AM. What a morning!)

This must be the newest fashion. I saw another toddler at the mall yesterday dressed (or undressed...) quite similarly. (By the way, he was supposed to be napping when I caught him on his pony.)

Oh, how I love these sometimes nutty, sometimes sweet, sometimes naughty, always adorable little boys!

Lots of Leaves

Daddy & Alex mowed for (what should be...) the last time this year. Our yard has FAR less leaves than we had at our old house, but still enough for a little boy to have fun!

Last year, Alex was too little to understand, and he CRIED like crazy when we set him in the leaves. This year, he was distracted by the neighbors who were flying a radio-controlled airplane...but he still managed to have fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our Three-Eyed Monster

My sister Donna pointed out that this isn't a very scary monster, but he's awfully cute! (That way I'm not bragging my own kid, ha ha!)

We borrowed this costume from my friend Phonesavanh (pronounced Ponn-suh-vonn, if you wondered). Her little guy wore it last year, and I commented on how cute it was. She said she'd picked it up at a garage sale, and she told me to take it for Alex. Unless she objects, we might just hang onto it for Max to wear!

We only had TWO trick-or-treaters, and they weren't even from our neighborhood. We sure are glad that Jackson & Emma stopped by in their adorable costumes! Alex watched them walk away, and he said, "More. More. More!" He stood at the window for quite a while hoping that it would happen again, but there was no such luck. Instead, we have a lot of Reeses to eat...we don't mind one bit!

We didn't take Alex trick or treating, and our church decided to try something new instead of the usual Pumpkin Chase - which is an indoor fall festival with hotdogs, games, and cookie decorating. Instead, they had a bonfire with hotdogs & a hayride. Some of the kids were wearing costumes, and since Alex's was nice & warm (and it was COLD outside!) we put him in his costume for the evening.

The best part of Alex's night was definitely the TRACTOR! Alex was fascinated with it. He even had the privelege of sitting up high on a REAL tractor. What a lucky boy!

Later on, he even got to "drive" the tractor with Daddy. He had the biggest grin on his face, but I didn't manage to catch a picture of it. Just know this, Alex - you were the happiest kid at the bonfire when you got to sit up high on the tractor with your daddy!

Zach R took us (lots of us, not just our family...) on a hayride through the field behind our church, next to our church, through the front parking lot, and through the neighborhood next to the church. Alex just sat quietly on Keith's lap, taking it all in. I think he enjoyed it! (I did, too, but it was a CHILLY night!)

Since it was so chilly, we left Max at home. Not alone, of course! Grandma & Papa offered to come over & watch him while we were gone. So, I guess they were Max's first official babysitters...although I doubt that Max even knew we were gone!

Since a few people asked me, Max didn't dress up for the occasion. He was a baby. Call me practical, but I saw no point in getting a special costume for a kid who wasn't going trick or treating & didn't go to the bonfire! Sorry, Max - when you're big enough to know what's going on, you can wear a costume to the church festival!

Oh, and next year, I think we'll go to trunk-or-treat at a nearby church...since Alex will be big enough to actually use manners while getting candy! Just remind me a friends idea of the "Great Pumpkin" who allows you to trade in all your candy (except for your 15 favorite pieces...or whatever number you choose) for a new toy! That way, you still get candy, you still have fun, but you don't have a crazy sugar high or a pile of candy sitting in your cabinets until spring! ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

22 Months

It's time for the long, rambling, bore-you-to-tears monthly update. Feel free to look at the pictures & ignore the words! :)

We're only 2 months away from having a two year old. Unbelievable!

At the same time, we're both starting to think of Alex as two years old already. In the past few months, everything "baby" about Alex has started to fade away. He is all toddler, all boy now! Snuggles are brief. Kisses aren't quite as readily given. He has a mind of his own. He has a sense of humor. His personality is really starting to show. And we LOVE it!
(giggling and quacking with Daddy after his bath)
We miss our baby, don't get me wrong. We just love the little boy that Alex is becoming. He is challenging and frustrating at times, but he's also a JOY to play with, talk with, and observe!

New words are flying out of his mouth every day, and I can't even keep a good list anymore! Alex is putting words together to make "sentences". He answers our questions with "yeah" or "no". He can find a way to communicate just about anything these days...although it's often an amusing process to get it figured out!

"Kecka doh ock key" = I locked Jessica's door, and we had to find a key to get it open.

It took me a few days to get that one right. Alex kept repeating it. I'd take a guess at it, and Alex would always say "noooooooo". Finally, I got it right, and his little face lit up & he said, "Yeah!"
When Alex wants something, he'll ask for it by saying, "Gogo. Gogo. Yeah?!" I'd 'translate' that as "Could I have some yogurt please?" If I tell him no, he'll say, "Gogo. Gogo. No?" It's not just yogurt - it's anything from a toy to reading a story to having a cookie. One day he skipped straight past the yeah part, and he said in a sad voice, "Cooka. Cooka. No?" I'd translate that as, "You're not going to give me a cookie, but I really want one."
All bugs are called "fies".
Alex likes to "frow" balls.
I'm sure there are more new words, but that's all that is coming to mind right now.

He wants to be our little helper. Alex will put things in the recycle bin for me. He'll take disposable diapers to the Diaper Champ. He puts his clothes in his hamper after his bath. He follows commands well, even if I didn't realize he knew the words.
Not surprisingly, he also "helps" in ways we don't expect. Last night, he brought me a mug of Coke that I'd left on the kitchen table after dinner. He carried it (without spilling!) into the living room & handed it to me. Then he said, "Mmmm, Coke. Yeah?" (Nope. Nice try, though!)
(watching a loader across the street)
He still loves tractors, trucks, airplanes, and anything that can "GO!!!!!!" He has memorized each vehicle in his Big Book of Trucks. We can ask him, "Where is the skid steer?" or "Where is the telephone line repair truck?". He'll point right to it.

I'm always pulling out new books that have been stored away with my teaching supplies. Alex has a few new favorite books from that stash. We read these books at least 2 or 3 times every day:
  • "Geraldine's Baby Brother"

  • "My Name Is Elmo"

  • "Corduroy" (a favorite of mine from childhood)

  • "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything"

(story time at playgroup)

It just THRILLS me that my little boy loves books! I've read to him since he was tiny, hoping he'd learn to sit still and listen to stories. It's so exciting to see him coming up to me - book in hand, hopeful look on his face - and ask me to read him stories. I may get tired of the same old stories over and over again, but it's soooo worth it! I hope he'll continue to love books as he gets older!

His other great love is Curious George. That's the first thing he wants in the morning. He gets out of bed, calls out "HI-YE! when I open his door, and then makes monkey noises while grabbing the TV remote. We'll snuggle together & watch an episode of George...which only takes about 20 minutes since he insists on skipping the non-cartoon parts. Some days, I'll give in & let him watch a second episode in the afternoon...so we're up to 40 minutes of TV a day, I guess!

It's so funny to watch Alex as he watches George. He will stand still in the middle of the living room & stare at the TV. He doesn't move unless he's flapping his wings like a bird (with George) or making swimming motions when someone/something is in the water. He may smile or laugh, but otherwise Alex is absolutely still. That George has mysterious powers of our rambunctious little boy! ;)

The other day, we did some family shopping. Deb & I were meeting at Costco, and my parents came too. Afterwards, they offered to join me at Meijer and watch the boys while I got groceries. Grandpa took Alex to look at tools. I've heard about it over & over this week - "Papa. Toos. Papa. Toos." He even said that to my dad on the phone yesterday. He wouldn't say hi, but he sure loved reminding Papa about the tools!

We have favorite activities at home - playdoh, puzzles, sound puzzles, latches board, sorting noodles by color, driving/crashing trucks, playing on the big box from our new stroller, covering his face & shirt with stickers, painting with water, reading books, watching ladybugs, riding the firetruck in the garage or driveway, riding the toy train in the house - but it's REALLY hard to keep Alex out of mischief!

(sliding down the box from our new stroller)

I do not believe in entertaining my children every minute of every day. They need to learn to play independently, and I'll often try to get Alex started with a toy so I can work on something else. He's good about it, but there are still moments where he wanders that house as if he's determined to find mischief! How, How, HOW do you experienced mommies keep curious toddlers busy with fun stuff & out of mischief?

Alex loves to play with electronics, gadgets, anything that plugs into the wall. He turns the computer off. He takes the phone off the hook and walks away...or stays on the line long enough to hear the operator's voice. He plays with my pump. (I'll leave it at that...my pump. Or "puhp", as Alex calls it.) He loves to sneak into the master bedroom to play in daddy's nightstand drawer or our bathroom drawers - home to all sorts of cool things like nail clippers, chapstick, shavers, mini shampoo bottles, coins, etc. Now that he can open doors, there's no keeping Alex out!

I try to be on top of things, but the boy still escapes me. And you just never know what he'll get into next! At least he can't climb onto the countertops...YET!

Alex still just adores Max. He won't SAY Max's name, but he adores him. If you ask Alex to say Max, he'll say "baby". He loves to give baby hugs and kisses, loves to hold baby, and it's very obvious that he can't wait until Max is big enough to play with him. While Alex was in the tub last night, I was sitting in the bathroom holding Max. I told Alex, "When Max is a boy boy, he can come in the tub with you." Alex grinned, and he held out his arms for Max. Too cute!

Unfortunately, Alex also loves Max's toys. He still wants to sit in the swing, try out the Bumbo chair, lay under the play gym, etc. I'm so afraid that I'll look away for 10 seconds & find Max smushed under 23 lbs of big brother. It happened once already. (Max survived, in case you wondered...and Alex survived, too, but with a good scolding and a sore tushy!)

Alex still loves food. He can't wait to get in his high chair for mealtime! His new favorite (and mine, too...) is yogurt parfaits. Just like the McDonald's ones, but homemade...yogurt, blueberries, and granola. Alex even licks the bowl clean when he's finished. I'd hazard a guess that Alex's favorite lunch is whole grain chicken nuggets & a yogurt parfait. His favorite breakfast is either "cakes" (pancakes) or "gees" with "chee" (Got that? scrambled eggs with cheese)

I let him have Smarties not too long ago, but that's another thing that will be a rare treat. If he adores fruit leather, raisins, and crackers...why should I give him all the sugary treats? (By the way, THANKS to Aunt Donna & Aunt Deb for finding juice-sweetened fruit roll ups with no processed sugars in BULK at Costco! Much cheaper than regular fruit leather!)

He's doing really well at bedtime...still going through the same routine, and he goes to bed willingly. We might hear him stir during the night, but he rarely cries for us, and he sleeps until 7 or 8 AM. His naps are only an hour long, but we've given up. He goes down for naps willingly, wakes after an hour, and he's rarin' to go. I'm still the mean mom who rarely lets Alex skip a nap...but when he misses a nap, he usually sleeps poorly that evening and takes a few days to get back on track.

I just LOVE praying with Alex. We pray together before bed each night, and he sits so sweetly. When we finish, he says "amy" (amen) and snuggles in my arms. When we pray at mealtimes, we ask Alex to bow his head & close his eyes. He does, but as soon as we have our eyes closed, he pops his head up & sneaks a few bites while we pray. He'll learn in time. For now, we quietly smile at his cuteness. At least he knows how to bow his head.

He's interested in letters and numbers lately. He loves the number 2. He'll say it & hold up one finger on each hand to show that he's 2 years old...even though he's not 2 yet! He loves to watch Wheel of Fortune and call out letters: "D!!!...D!!!...P!!...L!!...Fo!!" (Okay, so "Fo" isn't an alphabet letter, but try telling that to Alex!)

Alex loves church nursery. He loves going to church in general. What a change from a year ago when he screamed at the sight of the nursery! He made his first coloring page in nursery with the Nelsons. He colored Job red. All red. It's lovely. It's hanging on our refrigerator. He also loves the infant nursery, where he plays on Tuesday during Bible study. Ms. Toni has up to 9 kids in the little nursery, and I give her a lot of credit. Alex pretty much just sits in the car-shaped walker and pretends to drive it. Good thing he's a skinny kid!

He still says "No" sometimes, and we're starting to see a few little terrible twos opinions & attitudes creeping in. I'm sure we're in for some challenges in the coming months.

For now, though, we're enjoying our happy, fun, sweet, and (usually) obedient little boy...and we're just LOVING this age!