Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just the face you want to see at the end of the day

After a long day of teaching as well as printing, highlighting, and stapling 42 report cards, I was so happy to finally get home and play with this happy-faced boy. He was in an especially good mood tonight, and just wanted to play with me. So I indulged him and sat on the floor with him for a good hour.
Then, at dinnertime, I decided to let Nick have a Halloween Oreo. Yes, I know that they are messy and not very healthy, but I knew he'd like it and I wanted to see his reaction to this sweet treat. (I also had a craving for them myself, but I kept it under control and only had 3.) I'm hoping my husband quickly eats the rest before I get tempted again. That is usually what happens when I bring chocolate into the house.

Nick did indeed like the Oreo, but he also made such a mess that a bath was necessary. It's neat to see all of the interesting things he'll eat each night. Tonight he had a slice of turkey, grapes, cheerios, and baby cereal with peaches. He's also getting better about drinking from a sippy cup, although he doesn't like the fancy ones with the handles and the "no-drip" technology. No, no, not him. He likes the old-fashioned kind that you can use to drip milk on the highchair. I believe Nick has figured out that the milk gets the kitty to come by him. His bait worked, as you can see.

All in all, it was a relaxing night. Even if I did eat Oreos while watching The Biggest Loser. Seems almost sacreligious, somehow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nick's First Lunch at a Japanese Restaurant

Yesterday Greg and I took Nick to visit his grandma up in Palatine. She treated us to lunch at her favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Para. Nick has never eaten sushi before. And yes, I know better than to feed my baby raw fish. But there's no reason he can't eat cooked sushi rolls and tempura. So he did. And he liked it. I believe he had about as much sushi as I did, although some of it ended up on the floor. He also liked playing with the chopsticks.

Nick also liked flirting with the cute servers in kimonos. He kept grinning at them and then throwing his bottle, binky, and chopsticks on the floor. They inevitably came to pick things up for him, rinsed them off, and placed them on the table with a smile. Nick would then do it again. He knows just how to get a lady's attention.

At this point, I had been feeding Nick avocado and cucumber chunks with my chopsticks. He was staring at my hand, and then he tried using the chopsticks with one hand. No success yet, but not bad for an 11-month old. Plus, I'm very glad to know he likes sushi. He loved the rice but had trouble with the sticky seaweed holding it together. I had to slice it up very small. But every time I held a piece up to my mouth, he opened his. He was like, "Where's mine, Mommy?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nick's First Pony Ride

Yesterday was such a spectacular day, and I think there will be enough pictures to last a week of posts. The pumpkin farm was definitely a hit, based on the huge smiles and shrieks of joy I got from my son the whole time we were there. However, my sister took most of the pictures, and I haven't received copies yet, so I'm going to post the cute ones I do have. I took two small video clips while Nick was having his first pony ride. Watch his face and judge for yourself whether he'll be interested in horseback riding.

Of course, I'm not sure the pony was enjoying all of the mane-pulling and back slapping Nick was involved in. It must be a pony's nightmare to be chosen for festival duty. But for Nick, it was an exciting experience. I believe Greg enjoyed himself, too. I would say that the pony ride was one of the highlights of his first pumpkin farm visit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eleven Months Old Today!

Nick has been chattering away lately. No distinct words yet, but he has full out conversations with his toys. This was early this morning, when he was playing with his frisbee. Tonight he stood up holding on to the table and kept begging for bites of our turkey tacos. I was impressed; my little boy ate turkey, red and yellow peppers, onions, black beans, and avocadoes. I think he has trouble getting food to his mouth when he eats with his hands. We fed him today from our forks, and he did great. Like a little bird, he kept opening his mouth wide for more, while slamming his fists down on the table and screeching.

Whatever evil stomach virus Nick had last week, Greg caught this week. He was miserable from Wednesday until today. He's still pretty weak. No sign of it yet in me (knock on wood). But I have had a ton of little kid viruses, because I spent years working in day care centers when I was in high school and college. I believe you're decently immune once you've had a particular illness. At least I hope so.

When I bought Nick this kitchen set back in July from, I wasn't sure he'd like it. Mostly it just sat in the corner. But lately he's been
loving it. The faucet makes noises, you can set the toaster, and there's a light switch to turn on and off. In the picture above, he's picking up the frying pan. The stove makes sizzling noises when you pick up or put down the pan. Nick thinks that's pretty cool. Perhaps he'll be a chef. He certainly loves his kitchen. He likes our kitchen as well; it's very hard to tear him away from the cabinets and pots and pans.
Nick has also been standing extremely well. I've seen him holding on with only one hand lots of times. Once I even saw him let go until he realized what he was doing. Then, he slowly sat down. I believe that means walking isn't far off. I can't believe he's 11 months old.

I've been struggling lately with the whole working mom thing. I feel like I'm in a great place in my job, and I truly love my school and my kids. I believe that I have the best job I could have because I honestly look forward to work. (At least the part of work where I'm teaching kids.) But I've also been taking a ton of work home, which I hadn't usually had to do the last few years. I'm actually doing as much "homework" now as I did when I was a classroom teacher. I think it's because I have 42 kids on my caseload, and I want to feel like I'm giving every one of them the right kind of supports and lessons.
I feel guilty sometimes that I have so much work to do and I can't play with Nick as much. I do spend a decent amount of time each day playing with him, and we read books together every night without fail. But I have schoolwork, and dinner, and laundry, and I can't pay attention to him every minute. I suppose all working moms struggle with this.
Speaking of which, I'm going to play blocks with him right now. :) I'd better do it quickly, before he grows up some more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adorable. . .But Full of Mischief

This is what happens when a baby meets a roll of toilet paper. It's my fault for leaving it on top of our cocktail table. We're out of kleenex, so I was improvising. Nick decided that he'd rather tear it apart and chew on the toilet paper. Sigh.
I'm a pretty tolerant parent, but I draw the line at letting him slap my computer. I use a sharp "No" when he slaps the computer, but Nick really doesn't like the word no. I do believe he's figured out what it means, because as soon as I say no. . .

This is the pitiful face that I get.

As soon as he gets distracted by the next thing, though, he's happy as a clam. Now if I tried to take away the toilet paper tube, it'd all be over. As a parent, I have to choose my battles.

It's been rough week. Nick has been especially crabby and does not want to be changed, dressed, or undressed. Distraction doesn't seem to work, and he flails around, screaming and crying and hitting and trying to turn over. I'm not sure what the problem is, so I've just been trying to be patient and firm. I guess the words on his onesie are very true: "little monster." But a cute little monster. One who makes me laugh.

Nick was excellent at the grocery store today. His eyes were glued to any kids he saw, and he kept grabbing things out of the cart to play with. He particularly liked chewing on a box of pudding. For some reason, Nicholas is always better behaved out in public. I guess he probably gets bored at home, even with me playing with him and providing hundreds of toys.

I did have a very productive day at work today. I was out for a conference last week for two days, and it's hard to get caught up on planning and grading after an absence. As a teacher, there are some days when I feel like I'm running on a treadmill, and I can't quite find my groove. But my students were really happy to see me. They worked very hard, and I feel like we accomplished a lot. When I see my students really excited to work on a project, it reminds me of why I became a teacher. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Plotting Escape

In the picture to your left, you will notice Nick and his plot to escape his baby cage. He seems very pleased with himself, and he almost succeeded in his evil mission. Lately, Nick hates the baby cage with a passion. Simply placing him down into it results in horrible bloodcurdling screams. How dare I cage him while I go to the bathroom or place knives in the dishwasher? I am so cruel to restrain him thus.

But today he figured out a way to attempt escape. He pushed his Sesame Street toy over to the edge
of the baby cage, climbed on top of it, and started trying to fling himself over the top of the baby cage. If the Sesame Street toy were slightly taller, he would've suceeded. He was thrilled with this new discovery, and repeated it twice. I fear what will happen when he tries using a larger toy. The cage will contain him no longer. I thought that was pretty creative for a (nearly) 11 month old.

Nick is almost able to stand with no hands. I would have difficulty doing this move myself, but he has nearly mastered it. He puts one leg up, then uses his very strong baby muscles to pull almost to a stand. I should try that move. It'd be great for building up my thigh muscles.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Recovering and Relaxing and Eating Cake

Nick is recovering from his tummy troubles, thank goodness. He's still a little crabby, and he's been more snuggly than usual. We did take him to a party for my friend's little boy, who just turned three. I think Nick had a good time, considering that the big boys didn't want to play with him very much.

I think Nicholas' favorite part of the party was the yummy cake and the ice cream. At one point, he was sitting on my friend's lap and grabbed a wad of blue frosting. Then he giggled, sporting an evil grin.

Above you can see Nick enjoying some delicious ice cream. He wasn't very hungry all weekend, but he sure opened his mouth for cake and ice cream!

Lately Nick's had this habit of slapping the tv set. I'm not sure why he does it, but he sure gets a kick out of it.

Here Nick is with his daddy. He was watching all of the little boys play with their trucks and blocks and such. He really wanted to join in.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tummy Bug and Ravioli Mess

Poor Nick picked up a tummy bug today. Greg left work early to take him to the doctor. Just a random virus, but I'm still glad the doctor checked him out.

I guess it's nothing serious, and I suppose the multiple diaper explosions over the last two days were more than just a hint that it's time to switch to the size 4 diapers. Although we'll do that anyways.

He seemed fine all evening, but he was very subdued and kept making the sign for sleep/tired. At least I think that's what he's doing. It sure looks like the sign we've been teaching him, and he only does it when he's tired.

Nick did, however, show particular interest in his dinner. I gave him spinach ravioli with tomato and mushroom sauce, canned pears, wheat bread, and half a slice of cheddar cheese. He ate quite a bit of it for a little guy. I had to take a picture, though, because he was so cute with the tomato sauce all over him. Greg's mom was over visiting Nick this evening, and she gave him a bath. How else would we get him clean? We let him splash around in the warm water for a good fifteen minutes, and he was happy as a clam. Then he went to sleep instantly.

I hope he's feeling better tomorrow. The doctor said he can go back to the babysitters, but I still wish I could stay home and snuggle with him. I can remember being sick as a kid; all I wanted was my mommy. Ah, well. Tomorrow is Friday and after school I can just take him home and relax. I have a three day weekend to look forward to, as well. I really need it, and I think Nick does, too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Baby Skills and the Babyproofing Necessary to Counteract Said Skills

Nick has been displaying some new baby skills lately. Like slapping daddy five, when he's in the right mood. He hasn't figured out "Up high" yet, but he's working on it. As you can see, Nick easily pulls up to our cocktail table and walks around it. He can hold on with one hand and grab his bottle. Then he leans his head back to try to drink, and falls and bumps his head. At least he understands gravity; he knows that he has to lean either his head or the bottle back to get the milk.

Nicholas also climbs stairs. Yesterday he climbed up five stairs, with me behind him, of course. We've been trying to prevent him from going up, but he makes a beeline for the stairs every chance he gets. Molly (one of our cats) sleeps on the stairs, and he likes to chase her as she retreats backwards up one stair at a time. She does not like his "gentle" caresses, his hair pulling, or his face slapping.

He's been teething lately, poor guy. I think it's the upper two that are coming in now. I'd probably be ticked off if my gums were swollen, too.

This afternoon I realized that Nick can strip the wallpaper off of the walls. Then he eats the strips. I'm not sure how to stop him from doing this. (I immediately got the wallpaper from him, but still.) The cats have already started the job, and now he's finishing the wallpaper stripping job. Sigh. He's pretty cute, though, I'll give him that.

We've been using the baby cage to block Nick from all sorts of things lately. We're blocking the stairs, the entertainment center, and the dining room.

Before my eyes, Nick is changing from a baby to a little boy. Even his pout is adorable, although it's also infuriating. It's hard to believe that Nick is 10 1/2 months old. Wow. The difference is astonishing. See him today? Well, below is his picture as a newborn. Huge difference. He's no longer a 6 lb. weakling. Today Nick weighed in at 21 pounds. Carrying him in the carseat is quite a load. I guess we've certainly been feeding him enough. :)

To your right: Nicholas on November 23, 2008. This was only three days after we left the hospital.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Keeping up with posting. . .

I hope you enjoyed the slightly risque video of my son enjoying himself in the bathtub. We tried to adjust camera angle, but I believe some cheek was revealed. You'll also notice our sparkling clean new bathtub. Nick's grandpa (my stepdad) installed a new tub and some awesome ceramic tile, and he did a wonderful job. Nick takes baths every night lately, and he gets really mad when we try to take him out.

I'm very busy and I'm having a hard time keeping up with posting, so I think I'm going to try to do shorter posts. I've decided that shorter posts would be easier to keep up with during the week. That way I can keep posting every day or two without feeling overwhelmed.

I love my job and I feel very creatively fulfilled doing what I do, but lately it seems to be sucking up all of my time. Between writing letters back and forth to my second graders, grading tests for 5th graders, and designing lesson plans for K, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, I feel like my brain is full. I do, however, feel like I'm giving my kids the best teacher they can have. Honestly, I've been working my tail off. Hopefully it will get easier as the year goes on.

This week, I spent most of my time writing journals and watching television. I know, I've said that I don't like tv. Well, the last two weeks I've gotten into a few new shows. I guess watching two or three shows a week isn't bad, considering how many some people watch. So far I've been watching Mercy, Modern Family, and Glee. I have also watched that new show, Flash Forward. I guess it's nice to have something on in the background while I'm grading papers, designing tests, and developing powerpoint presentations.

Now for more cute baby photos.