Saturday, February 27, 2010

12-13 months

I decided to break Ethan's development recap into one month rather than two this time since he's met so many milestones/had so many firsts over the past few weeks.

-We started off with his first stomach bug after his first birthday party :( He was quite a trooper through it all. He was hesitant to eat for a few days afterward. He only nursed and ate apple sauce for about two days. My poor baby.

-He started a phase where he loves to push buttons (including mine). If a toy has a button to push, he finds it, although his favorite buttons are on the DVD player.

{This is the Little People School Bus. Thanks Emily, John, and Brynne! He loves to push the driver's head and make the bus honk or sing.}

-We witnessed his first attempted to feed himself with a spoon. We're continuing to work on this skill.

-He learned the twinkling hand motions for "Twinke, Twinkle Little Star". He does it when you ask him to get his twinklers out.

-Ethan started stacking blocks

-He experienced more snow! 22 inches on Feb 6th and about 12 more inches on Feb 10th.

We have a great video of him laughing at Matt throwing snowballs at the storm door. I need to figure out how to upload videos to a post or upload it to our youtube page soon!

-He went bowling for the first time at his cousin Scotty's 4th birthday party

{See our ball way down there next to the gutter?}

-He went through a stage where he wanted to use his pacifier more during the day and I think it was prompted by teething. We try to limit pacifier use to naptime and bedtime.

-Speaking of teething, his Upper Left Cuspid, Upper Right Cuspid, Lower Left First Molar, and Lower Right First Molar broke through... All in a 4 week time span. The Cuspids tips have broken through but they haven't come in completely yet. It seems those are taking forever compared to his other teeth.

-His language development is progressing. He continues to say "a dat?" and point when he is inquiring about everything. He says "is dis?" too. For a few days his favorite phrase was "O Gawh" which sounded like "Oh God". At nearly 13 months Ethan said his first unprompted, very clear word which was "Bubble". We were reading this book before bed. We got to the page that says "Where are Baby's hands?" and under the flap it says "Under the bubbles". Before I could even say it, he took his pacifier out of his mouth and said, in the sweetest voice, "bubble". He is also showing word association as he said bubble when I had a bottle of bubbles out to blow for him. Most recently he has been saying "bapple" for apple, one of his favorite foods. He has started to sound like a monkey when he says "eh, eh, eh". He says this when he wants something but can't communicate what it is.

-Ethan's new foods this month were black beans and turkey lunch meat. Both are also current favorite foods. We attempted chicken breast, ground turkey, and ground chicken but he didn't care for the textures. As soon as we put them in his mouth he spit them back out. While grocery shopping one day I asked the deli counter if they had any dairy and soy free lunch meat. They suggested "Just Turkey", no butter injected, no added flavoring, no preservatives. I worry about cross contamination but so far Ethan doesn't seem to be showing any reactions and he absolutely loves it. He ate an entire slice as we finished our grocery shopping and continued to sign for more. Also on the food front... I have been able to introduce decaf coffee with coconut milk into my diet. What a treat! Unfortunately, Ethan showed a reaction to rice. We attempted giving him bananas and rice. Although he enjoyed eating it, he had black bowel movements afterward. Ethan's pediatrician stated that it was not a good sign and for both of us to stop consuming rice.

He loved the tastes of the homemade marshmallow he had for his Valentine photos.

-He also started making a cute, scrunchie nose face when he smiles. I love it.

He started sharing his food with us too. I can't tell you how many slightly soggy Kix I've eaten from his hands.

-He crawled backwards for the first time and started crawling on his hands and knees much more often. Now, at the end of the month he has almost completely given up his army crawl. Once he realized that he can crawl just as fast on his hands and knees he stopped moving to his army crawl. I miss it.

-He learned to cruise around the furniture very quickly and has gained enough balance to stand on his own for a few seconds

-He was given a ride on/walker toy as a first birthday gift from friends. It's an ice cream truck and has treats under the seat. He loves to hide just about anything that will fit in there. He started walking on his knees while pushing it and is up to his feet now. After he became more comfortable walking with this toy he allowed us to hold his hands to help him walk. Previously he wanted nothing to do with that. If we attempted holding his hands and encouraging him to walk, he would plant his feet or sit down in refusal. He knows what he wants and doesn't want and is not afraid to voice it.

{The serious, determined look on his face makes me smile.}

-Unfortunately he started having more aggressive tantrums. He started hitting me, toys, and friends out of frustration, curiosity, and anger. This has been a challenge because of his age. He isn't quite old enough for the discipline methods we had in mind for dealing with behaviors like these (think timeout). At first we tried holding his hand and saying "We don't hit." or "No hitting." in a calm but stern voice. That only seemed to encourage the behavior. He would hit again and more forcefully. If we continued to address the behavior that way it lead to a full-on tantrum with arms, legs, and head flailing. At that point I put him down and the tantrum intensified. I sat on the floor next to him. Once he calmed down and wasn't aggressive, I picked him back up. We took opportunities when his hands were near our faces to say "Nice" and show him soft touches. That worked for a while. Anytime I said "Nice", he stroked my cheeks instead of hitting me. We decided to try to ignore the hitting. This tactic seemed to work much better. His hitting has decreased tremendously. Sadly, he still hit a friend several times last week (so sorry Jackson!). I can't ignore that so I took Ethan away from playing and encouraged him to play nicely when we returned (BTW, Kim, I really liked how you said "Welcome back Ethan" each time. That is a great positive tool). We had a play date yesterday with Reagan and he did not hit her once. He patted her head when he was trying to move around a toy and she was blocking his way. Either it was a good day or he knows not to hit girls :) Either way, I'll take it!

I didn't anticipate having to deal with these behaviors this early. At his one year appointment his pediatrician stated "Children like Ethan grow up to be wonderful, productive, successful adults ... but they're difficult to raise.". I wasn't really surprised by her observation because I know he can be a challenge. A wonderful challenge but still, a challenge. He is determined. That determination can be difficult to handle but at the same time it gives me so much pride and hope for him. If he had a different personality then we could have had even more problems during his infancy. I believe that he survived so well through all of the digestive issues and allergies because he is a fighter.

{First facial bruise as a result of his tantrums. He threw his face to the floor three times during two separate tantrums. Natural consequence?}

Friday, February 26, 2010

40 bags update

I've been busy going through rooms, closets, and cabinets. I've made some progress but I still have more to go! So far this has been a great experience. Our house feels roomier, brighter, and it's cleaner (thanks to my wonderful husband who has been cleaning as I organize).

First post about this here.
My list continues:
11. a duvet cover, shams, and two sets of sheets - donated

12. a smaller bag of clothes - donated
13. outdated papers from filing cabinet - shredded/garbage
14. old client files/paperwork - to my office to be shredded
15. magazines - will be donated to Ronald McDonald House in Hershey. They raised over $30,000 in 2008 with this program.
16. Bag of old handbags, a snowflake candle holder, and a shower curtain - donated

17. Bag with a clock, fake calla lilies and vase, a red hurricane, large spool of ribbon, and a few other random things - donated

18. Two diaper pails. These were given to us used before we decided to cloth diaper. - donated

19. A large box of old stuffed animals. They've been sitting in our garage forever and were in bad shape - garbage

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lover Boy

When Matt was in grade school he was given the nickname "Lover Boy" because he was "dating" several girls in his class. I hear dating at that age included receiving bracelets from girls and holding hands.

We have a new Lover Boy in our family. The teachers at Ethan's school have been saying that he's a lover. Lately he's really been into giving hugs and kisses at home. Hopefully the fact that he's doing it there too is a sign that he is adjusting to his new room (the 1-2 year old room).

Matt came home for lunch one day and was greeted by our lover boy. (Ignore the major clutter in the background. It's not there any more!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

40 bags in 40 days

Thanks to Lillian, I'll be joining the 40 bags in 40 days Lenten Challenge and I'm excited about it. Actually, I think Matt is even more psyched than I am. He de-clutters. I hold on to things. I think it stems from my childhood (likely excuse I know, but this reason is a reality). I had an unstable childhood, to put it briefly and kindly. We had to move often, leaving our friends and belongings behind. Once I had stability and things to hold on to ... I did. Now that I have the things to hold on to that matter (family, love, security), I don't feel the need to keep as many of the other things (material). I won't say that I'm completely transformed but I'm working on it.

In the spirit of the season of Lent, I will simplify.

This challenge couldn't have come at a better time for us. We have decided to change our guest bedroom into a play/craft/work space. We've had 3 overnight guests in that room over the past year. Three in a year. So, 362 days the room wasn't really used. Matt's clothes are in that closet, we've thrown clean laundry on the bed on occasion, and Matt has snoozed in there a few nights when I was snoring. We think we can get more use out of that room while still having room for overnight guests in our home. The next guests may be sleeping on an air mattress though. The bed is out of there and replaced with a desk/table and some toys. I'm searching for toy and craft supply storage now (any suggestions?). I'm also trying to figure out how I'll decorate the walls (suggestions also very welcome).

40 bags in 40 days:
1. bag of various junk from the guest room closet-garbage
2. television from guest room - donated
3. vcr from guest room - donated
4. old computer monitor - donated
5. large picture. I bought two for $10 at a warehouse sale. I thought I'd hang one (below) and reuse the frame from the other but I never got to that project - donated

6. box of books about wedding planning and 2 packs of printable place cards (we've been married for nearly 5 years. I have no purpose for these things.) - donated
7. old pillows - garbage
8. glass hurricane that I never really found a place for and a bag with two other wall hangings - donated
9. a queen-sized comforter and pillow shams - donated
10. a bag of outdoor Christmas bows and a wreath we hadn't used in years - donated

I'm starting off a little ahead but I plan to think about this and work on this for the next 39 days and hopefully beyond. Thinking about how uncluttered our house will become by Easter makes me happy.

As I was leaving the Salvation Army after dropping off these things this afternoon there was a second where I thought "Oh no, am I going to miss any of those things?". Then thought about how someone else will get use out of them and I felt relieved.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

We hope your day is filled with hugs and marshmallow covered kisses. Ours will be, I'm sure.

Friday, February 12, 2010

There's Something About Ethan

Ethan gets small eczema patches on his head and we have to put a little Vanicream on them after his bath at night. It usually doesn't effect his hair very much ... until this day. He woke up looking a little Something About Mary-ish. It was so funny cute that I took a ton of pictures and we laughed about it all day.

I couldn't bare to fix it even when I dressed him for the day.

Even his whining and tantrum were cuter with his new 'do:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Activities around the house

Ethan has toys. Too many toys. We rotate them in toy baskets and around the house. Just like when he was smaller, anything around the house can become a toy. His recent favorites include:

{Pulling tissues out of a box and putting them back in. Don't worry, we weren't wasteful. We used those tissues after his game. Well, except for the few that he shredded.}

{Emptying Matt's sock drawer. We set him up here while we're getting ready in the morning and he's sure to occupy himself for a few minutes. I think he thinks they're balls because he says "booom" or "buh" with each toss to the floor.}

{Emptying laundry baskets is fun too. Here is helping me organize his clean diaper laundry. In the background you can see that he dumped over another basket back there.}

{Banging on the dryer door is still fun but throwing the dryer balls in is even more fun! He also 'helps' put laundry into and pull it out of the dryer. He is never left unsupervised here because he can pull himself up on top of the door and I'm sure would try to climb into the dryer/pinch his fingers/etc. Again, we hear "boom" and "buh" for ball during this time.}

{Unraveling the toilet paper roll. He kind of sings while he does it. Again, we weren't wasteful and we used what he unraveled. I think I let him play this game more than Matt does. I find the roll on the back of the toilet so that Ethan doesn't get to it. I put it back on the holder and smile, thinking about the next time Ethan will see it hanging there, calling his name.}

{He helps me change his crib sheets. Who am I kidding? He just likes to climb over the mattress!}

{Pushing buttons on the DVD player.)

{Loading the dishwasher might be his favorite task. If he hears dishing clanking he comes racing over. He loves to push the drawer in. Apparently he thought that his car, ice cream cone, and snack trap needed to be washed too!}