Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ferber update and more silly Olivia

Night three (Sunday) was frustrating. Lots of up and down. It didn't take Leo long to get back to sleep each time, but the fact that he was up so much was tiring. I held off nursing for 8.5 hours. Night four (Monday) was the best so far. He went to bed awake after our bedtime routine with NO crying and fell asleep on his own in his crib with his little stuffed lion. I held off nursing from 8 PM to 5 AM, but he was up at midnight and three and required one check at the 12 minute mark on both occasions, but fell back to sleep on his own before the next 15 minute check. I thought he was going to be up after the 5 AM nursing, but he went back to sleep and I let him. He took two naps falling asleep on his own today. (The bad thing about this sleep schedule stuff is that it is making me stick to his 10 AM and 2 PM nap schedule, so Olivia misses gymnastics and story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. We went to CHOM today after Leo's nap, so it was no problem, though.) Tonight Leo went to sleep with very little crying. He was not crying at the 15 minute mark when it was time to check on him, so there were no interventions for him to go to sleep. The maybe not surprising thing about this night-weaning-sleep-in-your-own-crib business is that Leo has wanted to nurse a lot during the day. I guess we will cross that bridge (day weaning) when we come to it.

In other Leo news, he is really understanding a lot lately. Tonight at bath time, I asked him to put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and he did. (He's been doing that off and on for a month or so.) When Olivia asked for bubbles after dinner from the bubble machine, he walked over to the cabinet where we keep it, tried to pull it open, said "bubble" repeatedly, and then cried when he couldn't get it open. Then when I told him it was time for hugs and kisses from Daddy and Olivia, he walked over to them expectantly. And when I said it was time for bed, he walked to his room and tried to turn on the humidifier, which is what I do at the beginning of our "in the room" bedtime ritual. So cool!

And while Olivia was playing in her room while I was putting Leo down for his nap, she used the glue stick to stick lots of papers to her wall. When I saw it, I explained to her that that hurts the wall and that we would have to take them all down and wash the glue and stuck-on paper off. She said something very close to this, "Does it hurt our whole house? Will our house be weak? Will the big bad wolf come and huff and puff and blow our house down because I hurt the wall?" Ummm....no. Maybe I made too big a deal out of it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our life in pictures

I've been taking a lot of photos on my phone these days even though I have that fantastic camera that Nicholas bought me for Christmas. I'll get back to it, but I have my phone everywhere (almost). Just to recap some of the photos I have in my dropbox from my phone, I thought I would share!

This is Olivia on Valentine's Day night loving the card that Uncle Chuck sent her. She slept with it that night and took it to school the next day! So sweet! It had Cinderella on it. She did ask why Uncle Chuck didn't send candy in the card. I said it was because he thought she was sweet enough, and she seemed to think that was a good reason. Nicholas and I got cards and Valentine's books for the kids and  celebrated that morning. We exchanged our cards later...that night was when Nicholas really got sick and we were gearing up for Leo's tubes the next morning.

This was a picture of Leo in the waiting room before getting tubes. He really liked all the other people in the room. (And an update on the tubes: we went back for a follow up at the ENT on Thursday. Leo's hearing is now normal in both ears, and he has picked up several words this week to prove it!)

Tuesday I took the kids for doughnuts before gymnastics. Olivia was super excited about the pink milk! Leo couldn't have cared less about the doughnut or the milk!

Leo continues to be a great eater! Here he is devouring what is left on his plate. I think it was corn, potatoes, and ham. 

Olivia got sick on Wednesday night with a fever that continued through Thursday and Friday. Sometimes it is hard to be cooped up in the house because it is hard to find things for kids to do. (The cool, damp weather has been just yucky!) So, on Thursday, we started a "Does it sink or float?" science project. Olivia LOVED it!

And asked to do it again later that afternoon! (She wore pajamas all day because she was sick. Sweet girl!) 

Leo has had a fabulous week at school. Something I don't think that I have blogged about is that Leo has been having major separation anxiety since November. Mostly the only way to keep him from crying at school was for the women to hold him. And they did. Literally.all.the.time.  But, since getting his tubes (and hearing again!) he has had a great week--taking naps without being held at school, playing, smiling at his teacher, and he didn't even cry on Friday when I dropped him off! Hooray! Here we are in the drop-off line on Friday. Leo's a good driver!

Turns out that Leo is just like his dad when it comes to escaping in stores and hiding in clothing racks. I have heard stories about Nicholas doing this from his grandma ever since we started dating. And so we begin with Leo.

I mentioned to some of my family that I was having a hard time getting Leo to eat fruit and had been continuing to offer baby food fruit because he wouldn't take regular chopped up fruit, but that is no longer the case. He is wild about strawberries and blueberries, and also likes cantaloupe and grapes! Here he is telling me that I am killing him by withholding food.

In other news, we are on night three of Ferber tonight. Leo has done much better than I expected given our previous two attempts when he was 5 months old and 9 months old. (Read that there was literally hours of crying that I just could not accept after several-10 nights and no progress.) This time I read the book and just decided it has to work because I am too exhausted for it not to. (Read: I have to stop nursing and co-sleeping because I just can't do it anymore!) Friday night it took him about an hour to go to sleep on his own as we checked on him in 3, 5, and 10-minute intervals (and then 10, 10, 10). He woke again an hour later at 10, but went back to sleep on his own after the first 3-minute check. Same thing happened at 11. At 2:30 I nursed him and he went back to sleep. At 4:20 he got up and stayed up. I was pretty tired Saturday. So was he. He took two good naps, falling asleep on his own after 10-15 minutes each time. On Saturday night, Leo went to sleep on his own after about twenty minutes as we checked on him in 5, 10, and 12 minute intervals. He woke next at midnight and went back to sleep in about 45 minutes. Nicholas was on duty and was up with him at 1:30 and 2:30, but Leo went back to sleep on his own within 15 minutes each time. I nursed him at 4:30 and he slept from 5-6. Then we were up. He got one great nap this morning, but not one this afternoon. He went to sleep on his own after the first 10-minute check tonight. I see progress! Hooray!

And in Olivia news, here are some conversation tidbits:

Me: Olivia, you need to play in your room quietly while I put Leo down for his nap. I'll come get you when I am finished.
Olivia: Okay. I am going to pretend my room is Daddy's office and I am Daddy. I have a lot of work to do. I might be late. There might be a car accident. (Nicholas was late for dinner two week ago because there was a car accident and he had to take the long way home.)

Nicholas: What would you like to drink?
Olivia: Kool-Aid for my high fever. Say, "What a good choice!"

Me: I need to put dishes away. What do you want to do?
Olivia: Let's make a hide-out under the kitchen table. Then I can eat my popsicle happily!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The ear saga

As I mentioned last post, I am ready to "fix" Leo's sleep and so ready to wean him, too. But...something always seems to get in the way. Monday I took Leo to the doctor in the afternoon and it turned out he had a double ear infection, although he had no other symptoms than rubbing his ears and fussiness. Dr. Petit prescribed a new antibiotic and said one more ear infection, and he would refer Leo to an ENT. I took matters into my own hands, found an ENT, and made an appointment for Thursday. I wrote down Leo's medical history since October when he had his first ear infection, and I noticed some patterns: (1) On follow-up appointments and well-visits, Dr. Roberts always said Leo's ears were clear; (2) On every sick visit that Leo saw Dr. Petit, he said there was fluid on Leo's ears and/or they were infected; (3) We had been to the doctor for Leo seven times since the end of October and had gone through four antibiotics prescriptions. I cannot believe they hadn't referred Leo! On Thursday, Leo's hearing was tested and he couldn't hear hardly at all out of his right ear, and failed part of the hearing test in his left year, too. Not surprisingly, he had fluid on both ears, and with his history, Dr. Benoit, the ENT doctor, suggested tubes. He also said that different doctors see different things when looking in ears, and it wasn't that surprising that one doctor would see an ear infection while another wouldn't. He said that is why they cheat and use a tempometer to see if there is fluid on the ears, every time. We scheduled the tubes for the next morning (Friday). 

Leo and I headed for the surgical center at 5:45 AM, and he was gregarious with all the other patients. They took us back around 6:45 and we spoke with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Benoit. At seven, the nurse took Leo and I went to the waiting room. I was there less than five minutes when Dr. Benoit came out and said everything went great. They cleaned out both ears and inserted tubes! The anesthesiologist just used gas, no IV needed. Leo woke up a little bit later and was pretty fussy for a while. I got to take him home a little before 8. Leo took a nap and woke up happy. Dr. Benoit said to treat it like getting a cavity filled. Leo could play, just be sensitive if he is fussy. 

Since Leo was happy and Nicholas was too sick to go to Olivia's Valentine's party at school, Leo and I went on Friday morning. I didn't take any pictures--there was too much frosting everywhere and kids in my lap, but it was a great time! Olivia had a little mailbox with eleven little Valentines in it, and she was delighted!

Leo goes back to the ENT on Thursday for a follow-up. I hope all is perfect then and we can start the sleep training next weekend. I am working on giving up the morning feeding right now. That is an easy one to give up because he already does it three mornings a week at school!

And because the grandparents (and others) really just want to see pictures...here they are!

Leo lounging with a book (a few moments earlier he was looking at it and sitting up more):

Almost every night after dinner and before bathtime, we have a bubbles dance party and dance to the album "The Wiggles Greatest Hits." Super fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dear Diary, 2/9/2013

The days are just packed! Last Monday, I worked and the kids went to school. After hitting the playground on the way home, Leo took a nap and Olivia had quiet time while I got dinner in the crockpot. Then we left for Kindermusik. Olivia went with Nicholas for a short CHOM trip and some frozen yogurt while Leo and I had a great music class. Leo is a natural drummer (see below)! (I'm just kidding. I don't think my kids are going to be something or do something just because of what is happening in their infant/toddler years. Everything is so random now!)

Tuesday was Leo's 12-month well-visit in the morning. When we got to the doctor's office at 8:15 for our 8:30 appointment, they said they didn't know why we were there. The woman who had changed our appointment from his birthday (because he was sick), forgot to save it in the computer. Great. So, we waited an hour an a half to be worked in. And I swear the nurse didn't weigh Leo correctly because according to them he lost 1 lb 8 ounces since the previous Wednesday when I had taken him in for his high fever and shortness of breath. Ugh. According to them, he weighed 22 lbs 7 ounces, which is just a one pound gain since his 9 month appointment. No, I don't believe. That would mean that Leo weighed less than Olivia at 12 months. No way. And also that he is shorter, 30.25 inches, which I do believe. He still had some fluid on his ear, so we are going for a check later.

While Leo took a nap, Olivia and I made some Valentine's for a play group party we were going to on Thursday. She had a great time!! She loved the potato heart and star stampers I made...and just using her hands!

I'm not working a long day on Wednesdays anymore. The babysitter didn't work out. Olivia didn't like her and started begging not to go to school for fear that Alex would pick her up. Then she started waking with night terrors. And she was so clingy, it just wasn't worth it. We decorated Leo and Olivia's Valentine's mailboxes on Wednesday after they had a snack and watched an episode of Backyardigans on the computer in the living room. I think this photo is hilarious! Leo doesn't really watch, but he sometimes sits and eats for a little bit.

Thursday we went to the play group party in the morning and got lots of Valentine's! So much fun! Then we hit the playground in the afternoon!

And again on Friday afternoon/evening we went to the playground. It gives me exercise, so I am glad to go. Olivia has taken to walking home, which gives her more exercise, too, so it is a win-win!

Sometimes I can get Olivia to do some yoga with me. Today, she insisted on wearing "yoga pants" and a "yoga top," so that she could "play yoga." She's hilarious! I get about 5-20 minutes of yoga in this way, which is more than I had been, so I am pleased!

Leo started saying "bubble" and "sister" this week. They sound like "babal" and "sisa." He also got two molars and two more are on the way. He's in some pain, you can tell. His sleep continues to be the biggest disaster you can possibly imagine. (Can you tell I am getting frustrated?) I am almost finished reading the book, "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem," and have already started to implement keeping him out of our bed as of last night. Disaster, but we did keep him out of our bed. I am ready to wean, too, now and we have introduced cow's milk. I think it will take about a month to be totally done.

Olivia has uttered some gems this week:

When tucking her in:
Me: Olivia, do you want Pinky to sleep with you? (That is her little pink puppy.)
Olivia: No, he's too loud. He barks all night!

On the way to the playground in the stroller:
Me: What are you doing Olivia? 
Olivia: I'm just being quiet so that I can look at the beautiful blue sky.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

And now Leo is one. A toddler. Sigh.

I have a backlog of pictures and stories, so I am just going to lay it all out there in one post.

Olivia is really enjoying playing Go Fish lately. She is getting better and better at recognizing her numbers.

I made this picture big so you can see that Olivia is standing on her toes. She does this a lot. I have no idea where she got this idea!

Leo continues to do great with solid foods. He has eight teeth now and is cutting the top and bottom molars on his right side. Here is a "messy me" picture. Notice the milk in the hair. He is eating chili and is totally covered.

Last week Leo got really sick. But back up. On Monday when I was picking Olivia and Leo up from school, Olivia tripped and scraped her knees really badly. She was afraid to stand and walk that night. Her pants stuck to the wounds because I couldn't get band-aids on them for the screaming. We had a hard time with her. I thought it would be better the next day, but she woke up very upset and wouldn't go to gymnastics, which is her favorite thing. So, we had an at-home day, which was nice and fortunate since Leo started feeling badly that day. He had had a terrible night of wakefulness, but I didn't really understand what was happening except that he was SO FUSSY. Tuesday night he had a fever of 103 and woke up with shortness of breath. I took him to the doctor for their first appointment, and Dr. Petit said the shortness of breath could be associated with the fever or the congestion. He said it was just a virus going around and the fever should be gone within 48 hours. It was, but we had two more rough nights before it was over. And Leo still has congestion, runny nose, and coughing. I feel like poor Leo has been sick since November! 

This is a picture of Olivia in our bed. We were playing "Dora and Abuela," which is where she pretends to be Abuela (Grandma in Spanish) and I bring her a basket of treats because she is not feeling well. She has her me-reader and eight books to go with it, plus juice and fruit snacks, so she was set!

And because Leo was sick, we canceled his birthday party which was supposed to be on Saturday. I had used photo invitations, hired someone to do a cool cake, and gotten all the supplies for the kids to make drums. But, alas, Leo was just too sick so we had an at-home party with just the four of us. Here is the mantel I decorated for the party that never was.

Because Leo was sick Friday, I kept him home. He took a two-hour morning nap Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He must be healing, because that is unheard of! He loved the balloons we picked up for him Friday, too!

After school on Friday, Olivia really wanted cake. So, with Daddy's go-ahead since he was still at work, the three of us partook. They both loved the icing!

I cannot believe Leo is one!!

Friday evening we had our at-home party. I went ahead and got balloons. And Olivia opened her sister present, which she adored!

Leo loved all his presents, too! Thanks Bill and Tamara for the giraffe!

I'm not sure what is going on in this photo, but I thought it was hilarious!

Thanks to Grandma Dorothy and Grandpop Steve for the banner!

Nicholas and I got Leo (yet another) bubble machine and Kindermusik classes. Those bubble machines are popular in our house and don't seem to last long! We started the Kindermusik classes last Monday, and Leo didn't really know what to think. Looking back, I think he was starting to get sick Monday evening.

This is a "I am a big boy" picture. He climbed up into the chair himself and wanted to play at the table. He is so physical. He climbs onto the little lamb rocker we have and rocks himself. He climbs into the dishwasher and pulls the racks out. He is everywhere now! We've had to baby proof again for him!

And some other random things I want to write down:
  1. Olivia has taken to liking olives. She asked me for the things she ate at Grandma Dorothy and Grandpop Steve's house at Christmas about a week after we got back. So, her lunch for school often looks like cocktail hour: cherry tomatoes, olives, pickles, and a cut-up hot dog. Bizarre.
  2. Olivia is going through a phase of lots of fears. She has been waking at night with nightmares. She saw a commercial on one Dora episode that we had DVRed of a science project volcano blowing ketchup everywhere in a kitchen and became so terrified of it that she hadn't watched TV for three weeks. She watches on the iPad or the computer, but not the TV. Yesterday while she and Nicholas were on their way home from B&N, I put in a Baby Einstein DVD--something believable for Leo to be watching and something with no commercials. She bought it and wasn't afraid of the TV. Tonight we watched the Super Bowl for a few minutes and she didn't freak out. I hope that continues.
  3. Olivia's vocabulary is great!! Friday she told me that bears hibernate. (They are doing a unit on bears at school.) She knows the word kaleidoscope. And she is using and testing new words everyday with success in pronunciation and context. Here are two other funny little exchanges (not really about vocabulary):

The Baby Einstein I had in the DVD player was "World of Poetry" and there were some poems. One was something like, "A train is a dragon that roars through the dark..."
Olivia: Why did she say the train is a dragon?
Me: In poetry we sometimes call one thing by the name of another thing that it is like. In that poem, she pretended a train was a dragon. Just like you pretend to be a princess sometimes.
Olivia: Yeah. Just like Leo pretends to be crazy.

Today during Olivia's nap, she didn't wear a diaper, although she normally does. She woke up without an accident.
Me: Olivia, I am proud of you for keeping your panties dry.
Olivia: It is my pleasure.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Leo!

Dear Leo,

I cannot believe a year has past since you came into this world. What a wonderful--in the literal sense--year it has been! You have brought so much joy to our family, and you are just the coolest little boy now. Laughing and cooing, swatting at your playmat, rolling over, sitting up, and smiling when we sang to you in the first half of the year and then crawling, beginning to talk, and walking in the second half. Now you say Dada, Mama, Brubba (which is you trying to say Brother, which I call you all the time), Uh-oh, and I think you call Olivia "Ga!". You pick out books to read and bring them to me. Your favorite right now is The Foolish Tortoise followed by Llama Llama Nighty Night. You take things to me or Daddy when we ask you to and you are beginning to know your body parts and the rooms of our house. You still love music, snuggling, and having me sing to you. What a year it has been, and what a year this next one will be. I don't want this beautiful age to end, but I am so excited to see the explosion of understanding and language that is about to come. I love you, sweet boy!