Sunday, November 29, 2009

Puppies and Duck in Wisconsin

I'm still waiting for my sister to send out her Thanksgiving pictures, so I'll talk about Friday first. We took Nick up to Greg's dad and stepmom's place in Delavan, Wisconsin, where we stayed until Saturday morning. We did not shop on Black Friday. I cannot think of anything I want badly enough to risk injury and hour-long lines. As you can see, Nick had fun playing with the puppies. I wish I had taken more pictures, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves.
Nick's grandparents took us out for dinner at a place called the Duck Inn. The food there was delicious, and yes, Nick ate and liked duck. He was relatively well-behaved, although he made quite a mess. His Uncle Matthew was holding him for awhile, and he kept trying to steal his Aunt Sarah's Brandy Alexander. That would not have been good. Don't think for a moment that the boy was deprived, though. We fed him chocolate lava cake for dessert.

Can you see the chocolate smeared all over his cheek? Not a bad trip. We got back yesterday and have pretty much stayed in our pajamas since. Five day weekends are nice. Very nice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A First Birthday Party for Nicholas!

Nick's first birthday party was a success, all things considered. I always get nervous planning these things; I think I worry too much about what other people think. My sister took all of these great photographs, and I'm so glad she did. My pictures never turn out this well. I know that my son enjoyed his first birthday party, despite being sick. Tylenol, hugs, and presents (in conjunction) can work wonders. In the above photo you can see him grasping a balloon with one hand and trying to tear off his birthday hat with the other.
Planning a birthday party is no small feat; I have a tiny house, so I had to put limits on the number of guests. Then there were invitations and decorations and cake and candles and, whoops, the baby grabbed the lighter. I can't take my eye off of the boy for even one second. I like this picture because he's holding the lighter so protectively.
Nick was lucky enough to have three grandmas and two grandpas at his party. (Greg's dad and stepmom celebrated with us last weekend.) So needless to say, he had a turn in every lap. Can you tell that this child was running a fever over 102 degrees at one point? Grandma Linda held him and cheered him right up. They are always saying that "Nick is so well behaved." Yup. Sure. When other people are around. The gremlin in him only comes out when Greg and I are alone with him. Like today, when he whined (under his binky) for ninety minutes straight. But of course tomorrow, when it's Thanksgiving, I'm sure he'll be a perfect angel. Sigh. Back to the party. . .

The adorable hat and book were a gift from Nick's Aunt Sarah, and he immediately tried to rip the hat off. He'll change his mind when it is ten below and his little ears are cold--the hat is not only the cutest thing ever, it is also inordinately soft and has a strap so it won't fall off.
It was great how many people came to wish Nick happy birthday. We ended up with 15 guests, not included Greg and I. I'm glad I bought so many appetizer and drinks. Nick received a ton of wonderful presents, but the real gift was getting to see his family members. We don't get to see some of them often, and Nicholas always loves to have company.

Here's Nick sitting on his Grandpa Ray's lap. Sitting on laps occupied much of Nick's afternoon. This is a baby used to being the center of attention. That's what happens whne you're the first grandchild. He soon destroyed that 1st birthday onesie with blue frosting. . .

Nick was a little perturbed and unsure when the lights went out and we all started singing so loudly. On my mother's side of the family, we sing all 3 verses of "Happy Birthday." Not sure why. That is a long time for a little man to have to wait. Then, he was crabby and didn't want to try the cake. But I put a tiny bit on my finger, and Nick's daddy tasted some to show how good it was. Then. . .
Yup. Frosting from head to toe. This is the face of an elated baby on a sugar high. With a balloon. Check out the blue frosting in his hair. Someone spiked it into a mohawk. Had to give him a bath after this experience. But isn't that what a first birthday is for?
Nick and his Grandpa Mike (my dad) were making faces at one another and playing with one of the balloons. Then Grandma Patty brought in his present. . .

See the joy on his face? Can you imagine a neater present for a toddler? It is a life size, ride on bear. He's soft and huggable and sturdy enough for either riding or using to stand. I would've loved one when I was a little girl. Maybe it'll stop him from wanting to sit on the cats. Or not.

Perhaps the best part of having a party was the fact that it forced us to rearrange furniture, arrange Nick's room, and give a thorough cleaning to the whole house. If we didn't have company, when would we ever do that? I know Nick won't remember this first party, but he sure enjoyed it while it lasted. Plus, he's been enjoying the leftover cake all this week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mr. Crabby Pants

I will post the rest of the 1st birthday party pictures tomorrow--this is just a preview. However, this is not the happy face we dealt with today. Nick was definitely Mr. Crabby Pants this afternoon and evening. Greg said that he was a bear all day. He has a cough but no fever; I'm wondering if that's what has his diaper in a twist. I guess he didn't have an afternoon nap either.

Greg and I took Nick to Meson Sabika for dinner, and he was really naughty. He kept screaming and crying with no provocation. Everything was setting him off. He acted hungry and ate calamari and mushrooms and beef and such, but kept throwing things on the floor. He'd reach for my hot plate of mushrooms, then yell at the top of his lungs when I said no and pulled it away. From flinging silverware to screaming and shreiking, Nick made it impossible to enjoy our meal. I suppose we are spoiled because he's usually pretty good. Thank goodness only two ladies were seated in our section, and they were drinking plenty of sangria, so hopefully they weren't too pissed. Sangria makes everything better; if I hadn't been driving, I would've wanted a pitcher myself.

We left without dessert :( and headed home. Nick's attitude didn't improve; he started screaming and wandering around the living room. We never figured out what he wanted. Usually he takes his (liquid) vitamin well, but tonight he knocked the bottle out of my hand and the stinky liquid (with iron in it) spilled all over my couch and new pajamas. We decided at that point to put Nick to bed early, even though it was only 7:20. This baby was not getting more pleasant as it got later. He tried to flip himself off of the changing table, and screamed for about two minutes when I put him in his crib. Then. . . . silence. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

My doctor had some not so good news for me today too; my thyroid is functioning abnormally. That certainly explains the lack of weight loss. I asked the doctor if he had any suggestions for me, and he told me (really) that if he did, he wouldn't be working, he'd be living off of the residuals of his idea. In other words, diet and exercise and good luck. Sigh. I believe I'm going to go on our new elliptical trainer tonight, even if it's only for a little while. Is it bad to exercise just so you won't feel guilty about eating a slice of cake? Even if it is bad, I'm doing it anyway.

Update: I just did 30 minutes on my new elliptical trainer, burned 198 calories, and went 1.47 miles. I'm drenched with sweat and I'm having the cake anyway. Hopefully a small piece won't be more than 198 calories.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leftover Cake is Just as Yummy!

Today Nick experienced the joys of the day after a birthday party: playing with streamers, balloons and new toys, and eating leftover cake. This particular picture shows his Sunday night dinner, where he ate a mixture of tomato, chicken sausage, and black beans, along with raspberries, milk, and whipped cream cake.
Yesterday was Nick's first birthday party, and I think it went rather well. He made a cute and adorable mess with blue whipped cream frosting, and he got lots of awesome presents. I will post about it once my sister sends the pictures. Above you can see him playing with an interactive book that was one of his presents. It sings and reads the story to him. Nick kept pushing the button and turning the pages. .

The only problem was that Nick woke up yesterday from his nap with a 102.3 degree fever. He had his shots Wednesday, and I'm thinking that might have caused his fever. I hope that's all it is. He is still running fevers, just not that high. Poor guy--his first birthday party and he has a fever for it. I think Nick still had a good time, though. His favorite parts were the balloons and the presents. I spent a little more than planned, but isn't that how it goes with kids?

One First Birthday Party=
=$72 in decorations, birthday hat, and balloons
=$140 in appetizers and drinks
=$50 for a Finding Nemo whipped cream cake
=$7 for the "1st Birthday"onesie
=7 hours of cleaning

But the joy of treating your little boy to a day of company, balloons, and fun?= Priceless

This is the face Nick made when he pressed the siren button on his driving toy. Once the button is pressed, a siren goes off and a voice says, "Slow down, little fella." This made me laugh, and Nick laughed, too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nick's First Birthday 11/17/2009

It's been a pretty crazy day--Nick is ONE year old today. :) Greg and I woke him up by singing Happy Birthday to him. He looked at us like we were nutcases and then started screaming for his bottle. Instead of a bottle with formula, he got a cup with whole milk. Nice way to start your birthday. But the rest of his day went pretty well. I didn't want to just take him home, and Greg had to work late. So I went out with my fellow ELL teachers. We went to Olive Garden, because breadsticks are awesome and calories don't count on birthdays. (Anyone's birthday. Really.)

Nicholas was very happy eating Italian food. I think he might have even been babbling with an Italian accent. He ate calamari, fried zucchini, toasted ravioli, pasta, shrimp, and breadsticks. (A very full boy.) Then they brought him a lava cake and sang to him. He loved it, especially the part where he grabbed a fistful of chocolate cake and stuffed it into his mouth. Happy birthday boy. Actually, it's probably the company that he liked best. Nick loves it when the attention is on him, and restaurants are good for that. I'm glad we went out; I feel like he had a nice birthday.

This time last year I was having agonizing back labor. Not a pleasant day, but Nick was the happy result of it. I look at the pictures of him and it's hard to believe this is the same kid. The above picture was after his first at-home bath. The picture below was in the hospital soon after he was born. Six pounds, barely, and 17 inches long. Wow. I think I'm going to post a facebook quiz I did awhile back, about having your first child. I'm just reminiscing. I feel happy that my baby is one, but a little sad, too, that he's growing so fast.

I originally posted this on February 8, 2009, when Nick was not even three months old:

Here you go mommies - a different kind of survey for a change - it's all about your first born! Just copy and paste it in a new note for yourself!

1. WAS YOUR PREGNANCY PLANNED? Yup. My doctors thought that I had a fertility disorder, so Greg and I decided to go off of birth control in February so that I could go on fertility drugs in June. Being a teacher, I wanted to time my pregnancy so that I'd have a long summer maternity leave. The OB said it was possible but not likely that I’d get pregnant without the drugs. But fate intervened.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? Nope. Greg and I were engaged in July 2007, and we got married last June (2008). So I was in the midst of planning a big wedding and had already purchased a dress. Thank goodness I had purchased a dress with ties in the back, so it could be loosened.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? Complete denial, and then fear. I didn’t believe it. It was the first time I could have possibly gotten pregnant. My biological clock must really have been ticking. I was even at the doctor’s office getting a blood test, and the lady drawing my blood congratulated me. I told her I thought it was a false positive, and she laughed and said that there are no false positives, only false negatives.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? Not after I got the amnio results back. I really wanted to have a baby.

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU? 29. I turned 30 before Nick was born.

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? I was very tired and I thought it was due to my graduate school program and working 3 jobs. “Do you see one line or two?!” He said two, and I couldn’t believe it. Plus coffee started making me nauseous. So I bought a home pregnancy test. I had to have Greg verify the results. “Do you see one line or two?!” He said two, and I couldn’t believe it.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? Obviously I told my husband, then some friends at work. I wanted to ask how accurate home pregnancy tests are. I also needed someone to cover my hall duty so that I could go to numerous high-risk OB appointments. I waited to get the doctor’s call to tell my parents.

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Oh yes. Nick is the 1st grandchild for 3 grandmas and 3 grandpas, so we wanted him appropriately attired. I didn’t care if he was a boy or a girl, because I wanted one of each.

9. DUE DATE? November 28th, 2008.

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? A bit. Mostly coffee turned me off which is weird, because I am very caffeine dependent. The bigger problem for me was extreme hypoglycemia during pregnancy. I had to eat every hour at least.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Strangely enough, I wanted foods I’d eaten as a child. Spaghetti O’s, Cheetos, Macaroni and Cheese. Fake, orange, processed foods. I usually steer clear of heavily processed stuff, but suddenly I was craving it. Towards the end I ate a ton of goat cheese and water crackers daily.

12. WHAT IRRITATED YOU? My growing belly. I felt huge and the doctors kept telling me to eat more protein and iron. Between that and the hypoglycemia, I felt bloated all the time.


14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? Nope. I will want a girl for the next one, though. It’ll be hard if I have another boy, because my husband says he only wants two, no matter what. I would like to try parenting one of each.


16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? I had 3 baby showers, actually. They were great and everyone gave us all the stuff we needed. One at my dad’s, one at my grandma’s, and one at work. Greg had one at his work, too, so I guess we actually had 4. I ended up with 37 outfits in the 0-3 month size. At least Nick was small, so he’s still in that size.

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? Well, I knew there’d be showers, I just didn’t know when.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? I was high risk from the beginning. (Post RNY, thyroid disease, hypoglycemia, etc.) So I saw a maternal fetal medicine specialist every few weeks and had those super ultrasounds done all the time.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Edward Hospital in Naperville.

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? I was induced at 38 weeks due to growth restriction with Nick. After 12 hours of pitocin (and back labor), I was only dilated 1 cm, so they told me we could try again in the morning or do a C-section. Nick’s heart rate kept dropping, and they thought the pitocin was causing it. So I had a c-section.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? My husband. Since I wasn’t actually in labor, we stopped for tapas on the way.

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? Only doctors. They ended up having to give me a general anesthetic, so they wouldn’t even let Greg in.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? C-Section. The spinal didn’t take, even after 7 needle sticks. I guess I had calcification in my spine pretty severely. So they completely knocked me out. Not too bad, considering the morphine.

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Yup. Narcotics during the back labor, and Morphine during and after the c-section. I had a fun little button. I stopped using it after 1 day, though, because it made me pretty sleepy and high as a kite. They gave me Vicodin, too, to go home on.

25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 6 lbs. even. He was short, though, 17 ½ inches. That’s growth restriction for you.

26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN 9:15 p.m. on November 17th.

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Nicholas James. My husband and I had a hard time agreeing on a name, and so we made lists and bought books for months. It was hard because I didn’t want to name my child any name I associated with students I’ve taught. So many names had negative connotations, especially with boys. I even had my 3rd and 4th graders make me lists, and we finally decided on Nicholas. James was after my maternal grandfather, who passed away in 2007.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Learning to Drink from a Cup

Nick is learning how to drink from a cup. Our doctor recommended that at 1 year, we completely switch Nicholas over from formula to whole milk, and from bottles to cups. We've been working on the cups for awhile, and he's mostly got it. Good thing, too, since his birthday is tomorrow. He does drip a lot, but that's more the nature of the cup than anything else. You see, Nicholas doesn't like the fancy cups with the handles and the no-drip spout. He prefers the cheap recycleable plastic cups that drip like crazy all over the front of his shirt.
But he does drink from the cup. Quite a bit, actually. Plus, he's handled the transition to milk very well. We started mixing whole milk in a little at a time, and now he doesn't mind formula, milk, or any combination of the two. Greg rearranged our living room last night; we have to make room for the elliptical trainer, which is coming next Tuesday. Then I'll have absolutely no excuse not to exercise. Nick, on the other hand, does not stop moving. It's exhausting but rather cute, I think. In the photo below, he was dumping out his toys one at a time and chewing on a plastic spoon.
I love this picture because the movement is so clear; Nick doesn't stop crawling lately. It's like he sat still for the first seven or eight months of his life, and he's really happy to be able to move by himself. So he moves. Constantly. And with a vigor I wish I could emulate. This is a kind of crab-crawl that Nick sometimes does. He stands and then puts his hands down and swings his legs around. I always have a hard time waking up on Mondays; today I believe I hit the snooze alarm at least three times. On the weekends, I often take a nap while Nick has his nap. The sleep feels so good, especially now that the weather is getting colder. I feel the urge to hibernate.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Birthday Bonanza Begins

Nick's official birthday isn't until Tuesday, and his birthday party isn't until Saturday, but Nick's grandma and grandpa (Greg's dad and stepmom) came down to visit today for a little pre-birthday fun. They brought with them a cool new ride-on toy for Nick. He wasn't sure what to think of it at first, but he watched intently as Greg took it out of the package. It's amazing how many of those little plastic ties can be on one baby toy.
He figured out really quick what to do with his new ride-on toy. This one is more fun than any of his other ride-ons; it's short enough for his little toes to touch the ground. Daddy was showing him how to push with his feet to make it move. Best of all, it has little fireman that go around in a circle and play music. Nick figured out really quick how to push those buttons. I think this toy is going to be a favorite; I can already hear the music playing in my head after hearing it so many times. They also brought lots of baby socks for Nick--I was thrilled about that because I have one heck of a time finding two matching socks for this child on a daily basis. I think the dryer keeps eating them.
For dinner, Nick's grandma and grandpa took us out to our favorite Japanese steakhouse/sushi place. Kiku, in Naperville, is our favorite because of the high-quality food. I had filet and shrimp on the hibachi with veggies and rice, and Nick ate lots of it. He also enjoyed eating our sauteed calamari, their special soup, and a few bites of Greg's sushi. We ate a late lunch/early dinner, and we are still extremely stuffed. I couldn't believe Nick ate so much, and from chopsticks nonetheless.
Best of all, when they found out it was Nick's birthday, they brought a chocolate cake with one candle, and they sang Happy Birthday (or some variation of such) to him in Japanese. We clapped along, and Nick seemed pleased but truly confused as to why we were all clapping and singing. He wasn't confused at all about what to do with that cake though; his mouth opened up like a little bird and he kept grabbing for the whole thing.
Not a bad celebration for a baby's first birthday. I'm glad he had today, because Tuesday Greg works late and I don't think we will be doing anything special. I still can't believe my boy will be one this week. Wow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Exhaustion and a Weekly Date

I have been pretty exhausted lately. In this picture, it looks like Greg is pretty beat, too. He was supervising Nick while he perused the travel books. Before having a child, I didn't often lay on the floor because I was tired. Now, I do it all the time. I actually fell asleep sitting up on the couch for about 15 minutes this afternoon. I think something about the cold weather and the dark skies makes me just want to hibernate and eat chocolate chip cookies.

It's funny how when you like a job, it can completely sap all of your energy. I feel like I've done some of my best lessons lately. I prepare PowerPoints, I use cooperative structures, I plan alternative assessments. But I've been doing way more work at home than I'd like. Thus the involvement of caffeine, which is one of my dearest friends. This Tuesday and Thursday, I had to work very late and then pick up Nick from my mom and stepdad's house. The only way I made it through both days was with a 4 p.m. latte. My latte order is pretty crazy, too. Only Starbucks will do, and it is a "tall, sugar-free caramel skim latte, extra hot, with 5 Splendas, an extra pump of the sugar free syrup, and in a grande cup with whipped cream up to the top." Yup, I'm nuts. Today, however, I didn't have my latte and I've been ready to crash since 5:30. I'm hoping once the elliptical trainer we ordered gets here, I'll be able to start working out every night, and maybe that'll give me some energy. Natural energy, perhaps, rather than my $3.75 cup of joy and sanity.
Now Nicholas has absolutely no shortage of energy. Today, I put him on the floor for literally 20 seconds while I laid my purse and keys on the counter, and he had crawled around the corner and up three stairs before I got to him. It's like every fiber of his being is focused on movement, whether it's crawling or cruising.
Above you can see Nick on his new toy. It's not actually new; I bought it last summer for $2 at a garage sale. Yes, I cleaned it with a 10:1 bleach solution and let it air dry before letting my child play with it. This is definitely a little boy. He loves to play with toy cars, motorcycles, and the remote control. He also is mesmerized by bright colors on the TV screen, although we try to keep him from watching too much of that. But he still picks up books to flip through over other toys, and he will sit and listen to between 2 and 5 books every night, depending on his mood.
This afternoon Nick and I had our weekly date. Nearly every Friday, we go to Costco to buy greek yogurt, milk, fruit, wine, and frozen pizza. I do buy other things, but those are the necessary staples of life. You'd be surprised how many yogurts (24) and gallons of milk (3) we go through in a week. Nicholas loves the Costco because of the samples. That, and he also loves flirting with the ladies. Today we sampled garlic bread, smoothies, turkey sausage, mango juice (delicious), and turkey breast. I almost bought him some new board books today, but I held off because his birthday is next week. He also has a bad habit. You see, every week when the cashier hands me the receipt, I hold it in my hand because they check receipts at the door. Nick always grabs it out of my hand and stuffs it in his mouth. Costco receipts must be tastier than most; he grins hugely as he stuffs the long receipt in and chews.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Things I've Lost Lately

I'm usually pretty bad at keeping track of things, but lately it's been particularly bad. I've never been a neat kind of person. Quite the contrary, in fact. Finding two shoes that match on a daily basis is a challenge I have yet to master. The other day I actually had to change my whole outfit because I couldn't find any two matching brown shoes. So I had to find an outfit that went with black shoes. This is not fun for poor Nick, who sometimes has to go through multiple clothing changes because I can't find the matching pieces of his outfits.

When I was a little girl, all of the other kids would get free time on Fridays, and Melissa would get her desk dumped out on the floor and have to clean it. Often the other children would point and laugh. I've never figured out how to organize tangible things. When I taught 6th grade, I'd have some of my girls come in to school early and organize my desk for me. I miss that; I only move piles nowadays. The messiness, especially at home, has only gotten worse since my little man has started crawling around and moving stuff.

Stuff keeps disappearing. Part of the problem, I think, is that I don't put things away immediately, and my husband puts things away very quickly, but not in a consistent manner. He cleans daily, and he'll just take piles of paper and random objects, and dump them in rubbermaid bins or on top of my desk. Greg cleans like I did when I was nine and wanted to go out and play; he dumps everything in the closet or in a box and calls it clean. He also takes any paper in the house and puts it on my desk in the living room.

Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful that he cleans, and he is the only reason I have a clean coffee cup every morning. (Thank goodness for that.) But I organize in a unique way. I sort things into piles and then figure out what to do with them. Unfortunately, I don't usually get to finish sorting my piles, and then Greg just dumps them onto the desk and I have to start all over again. You can see the stack of junk on top of my desk; I haven't seen the surface of this desk in literally months. I'm going to have to tackle it soon; I can't find the ComEd bill. Sigh.

So here's just a sampling of what I'm currently looking for. This is by no means everything I've lost recently, simply the items I haven't given up on yet. I have lost: tweezers, baby nail clippers, two packages of stickers, at least twelve single baby socks (yes, there's one lone sock on the table; it's partner is missing), three pairs of shoes, a glue stick, q-tips, photo paper, a magenta printer cartridge, two memory cards for the camera, my gray thumb drive, a bottle of astringent, two brand new hand soap refill bottles, my last box of checks, three baby pajama tops (I have the bottoms for some reason), my neti pot, a package of mechanical pencils, my brown purse, a push-toy I bought for Nick, five pairs of adult Fiskars scissors, my spare car keys, Yum Tummy Tickly (one of Nick's favorite books), a bottle of Flintstones Vitamins, the shapes that go with Nick's little kitchen, the comb I use to brush the kitties, eye makeup remover, one pearl earring, the cloth I use to clean my glasses, and fourteen binkies.

Wow. I guess I hadn't realized quite how bad it is. I'm at the stage now where purchasing new items is way easier than finding the missing ones. I only find these missing items when frantically looking for something else.

I was trying to organize things around the living room tonight when I got distracted by a silly baby who wanted to play. I'm always looking for a reason to stop cleaning, so of course I played with him for a good hour and never got back to the organizing. Tonight he was fascinated with his turtle toy; he pushes a button on the top and it plays music. Then, Nick dances. Not a bad night, all in all. Although I never did find the ComEd bill. . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Relaxing Sunday Afternoon

Lately, Nick has been playing with his books a lot. We're talking flipping the pages for ten minutes or more. After I read him a particular book, he'll hunt it down on the shelf, pull it down, and start turning the pages. He particularly likes books where he can touch and feel stuff, and books with flaps to open. Unfortunately, he sometimes tears the pages, even on board books. I'm surprised, though, that such a little boy plays with his books just as much as his noisy toys. I love his little onesie, if you can't read it it says, "I'm a Sloppy Kisser." And he is.
Despite having to tutor early this morning, it was a pretty good day. I finished the grocery shopping and made some homemade bread. I tweaked the recipe to make the bread softer and more fluffy. It turned out spectacular; I've never made bread this good before. I put some stew in the crockpot and took a nice, long nap. Naps always feel so good in the middle of the afternoon.

I made my rosemary garbanzo bean zucchini stew today, only I used ground turkey instead of chicken. It turned out pretty good, and Nick absolutely loved it. He ate a pretty big amount for a baby. He also ate almost a whole piece of wheat bread. I'm very glad my kid likes garbanzo beans and zucchini already.
I'm figuring that if I only feed him wheat bread, that he won't be one of those kids who only eats bleached white wonder bread. We'll see. I hope he continues to eat such healthy fare as he gets older and more picky. Actually, though, I think he likes food best when he feels like he's sneaking a bite from our bowls. It must taste better that way. Below is the link to the address with the recipe:

Here's Nick eating a yummy strawberry wafer cookie. I think he's teething, because he's been biting everything in sight. He's been cruising more than ever, and even standing for a second or two without holding on to anything. That baby has some strong thighs.

I think every day would be better if I got to take a two-hour nap. It sure made today extra-special. Now we're going to go and give Nick a bath. He has chunks of stew and broth all over his neck, and his hair has bread crumbs in it. Only a bath will do. :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dancing in the Highchair

This video is actually from last weekend. We took Nick out to a Mexican Restaurant, and he loved it. He loved the music, the quesadillas, and the burritos. Especially the music, though. Lately, when Nick hears music of any kind, he listens carefully for a minute and then starts to dance.

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Costumed Fun!

Lately Nick has been cruising around holding on to everything in sight. He especially loved my mom's dishwasher. We have one at home, but it is white and doesn't show a reflection like this one. He was really excited about seeing himself.

The first picture is me at my first Halloween, and the second is Nick at his first Halloween. I do see some resemblance, but boy, I was a chunky baby. I think I was nearly 10 pounds at birth, and I obviously wasn't missing any meals. I think I was only about four or five months old when this picture was taken. How did THAT baby end up with a son this cute? I have no idea.

This is the first of the Halloween Posse Pictures. Everyone got to take a turn going up to doors with Nick and Trick-or-Treating. Nick didn't mind being passed off. First was my grandmother, and then my mom. Candy all around!
Nick's grandpa enjoyed holding him and walking up to the doors, where some folks commented, "All of you are going along for this one baby?" Yup. It was quite a crowd: me plus my mom, stepdad, grandmother, sister, and husband. Oh, plus the actual trick-or-treater: Nick.

Finally, here's the photographer: my sister, Mandy. She uses Nick as her model, and she takes pictures that are 100% better than mine. In most of her pictures, the lighting and color work, he is smiling, nothing is blurry, and no heads are cut off.
I had a few requests to post all the Halloween pictures, so I'm just going to put them all in this post. Poor Nick ended up wearing his costume quite a bit on Saturday, then again on Sunday for his other Grandma (Greg's Mom). He took it all in stride.

Tigger always likes to play with Nick, and I think the costume only helped. Usually Tigger goes to lick Nick on the face, and he gets made and crawls away. The puffy cat head helped as a buffer.

Tonight Nick was having a lot of trouble calming down. We think it's the adjustment to no more daylight savings time. One great thing about our boy is that he is generally out like a light at 8 p.m. He makes the sign for sleep and wants to go down. But since the time change, we're feeding him later (according to his body clock) and he gets overtired. He was screaming and clawing and buzzing. He wouldn't even take his binky. Greg finally laid him down in his bed at exactly 8, and he was out like a light.