Sunday, December 30, 2007

Two things...

Two new things today- a new fruit, pineapple, and James gained a new skill. He can now scoot himself up to standing and then take off walking. He even seems to be walking much faster now and less like a "zombie". He has much more balance and is tottering all over the house now.

I mention the pineapple because its been a long time since James has had anything new. Our challenge is to feed James enough nutritious foods now that he doesn't take formula. I'm trying very hard to get proteins and veggies into this baby- he only seems to want fruits (bananas mostly), carbs (goldfish, bread, pasta) and dairy (milk, yogurt). Tonight he did pretty well with dinner (chicken, squash, whole wheat crackers) because he dropped a bottle. He didn't have a late afternoon bottle and I was glad because everything I've read says he's getting too much dairy and that's why he doesn't have an appetite for real food. So we will try to consistently offer food before milk bottles and hope for the best. We want James to be healthy and strong :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Whirlwind 2007

Jim and I just thanked each other for a great Christmas. We agreed it was a whirlwind of fun and activity with our families. We've followed our tradition of spending Christmas Eve with the Tauer side and then Christmas Day with my family (the Koldens, the Hulletts, maybe next year the Esteves and Reyes familias?)

Christmas Eve

We spent the morning just the three of us (Jim, James and myself). We opened some of our presents for James but all of them to Jim and myself. We gave James his PBK Everywhere chair and a few little toys. It was a nice morning :) We finished the morning by baking and decorating cookies and getting the house ready for our families. Grandma Laura, Grandpa Roger, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Kathy came over in the late morning and we had an early dinner and then opened presents! James got some great toys, clothing, and college money for gifts. He is already learning to save money :)

Christmas Day
Tia Ana and Tio Rich came over in the late morning and they were able to play with James before his naptime. Grandma Rosie and Grandpa Larry made it to our house in the early afternoon, after a long drive from northern Minnesota, visiting the Hulletts. We prepped all of our dinner items and then decided to open presents before dinner. Yay! There were tons of presents and James liked to carry them around- even if they weren't for him :) Again, he got some great toys, books, and clothing.

We would like to thank everyone for their love and generosity this Christmas!

James continues to have a runny nose and was a little crabby most of the holiday week. He seems to be better now that I put him back on his regular two nap schedule. I tried to do the one nap, like Sandra does, but it was too hard. I really wanted to enjoy my weeks off with James so I reverted back to two naps. I figured too that I was introducing enough of a change by taking him completely off of formula and trying to get more real food in him with meals and snacks too. He's been in a much better mood yesterday and today.

Weekend plans

Jim and I are headed to the Mall of America tomorrow for fun and to make a Cinnabon run :)

On Sunday we will relax and play with our Christmas gifts and help James with his.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Love Sandra!

It was a busy busy day. I had a work party after school so I rushed home after that to meet James and Jim for our daycare holiday party. Sandra had her kids and families come over for a party at her house. Santa was there too! Santa arrived and the kids went wild. Oh wait, they didn't need Santa to be wild. They were running around like crazy when we got there, screaming with joy when they saw James. (At one point I whispered to Jim, "Do you want to have four more kids? Imagine five kids running around like this." I think I scared him :)

It was a bit much to handle, so we kept James safely on our laps. He did get down and show off his walking skills for the other parents. He was very cute :)

James did not cry for Santa this time! Another little girl, Rhea, kicked and screamed but James did great. Can you believe I forgot my camera!?! Sandra took lots of pictures and promised to send them to me.

At the end of the party we all headed downstairs to the Christmas tree and the presents! Sandra had presents for each kid- James got a truck and a toy baseball. The best gift was that Sandra had a homemade gift for Jim and myself FROM JAMES! He MADE us an ornament. When I saw it, I immediately started to tear up. I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride. The gift is perfect and so special to us. I can't wait for our families to see James' gifts for us :)

On the way home Jim said he was so thankful that we found Sandra. She really and truly cares about her families. We were so surprised to see the gifts and all of her efforts tonight. We are so thankful.

In other news, Jim has found a new job! He hasn't given his notice yet but will soon. Its been a great day for this family :)

Oh, and James is completely back to normal. Happy, playing and lovable. He went to bed late tonight (8pm) because we were out partying :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's up with Toddler James?

I picked up James today from daycare and he was crying. Sandra was flying around the house getting organized, and I didn't think anything of it because I was later than usual (I had an after school group until 4pm) She said he had been crabby for about 10 minutes.

Well, we got back home and he was content to watch his Baby Einstein video while I cooked dinner. He sat completely still. No playing. Maybe not weird but unusual.

At dinner he didn't touch any of his food, literally. He would only accept yogurt. He looked like he was going to fall asleep in his highchair.

After dinner I sat with James on the couch. He put his head on my shoulder, sighed, and started mumbling. He fell asleep. We didn't let him sleep for long. We tried a bottle. He perked up a little bit. We ended up putting him to bed early because he looked tired again, his little head was bobbing and he was rubbing his eyes.

Well, two hours later he has woken up several times, crying for several minutes and just when I'm about to go up and comfort him, he stops.

I'm crossing my fingers that he (and we) get a good night's sleep. Poor James! I really hope its not an ear infection again. I know one of the symptoms is loss of appetite and difficulty swallowing (explaining the no food and half bottle). Last time he was crabby and clingy too.

I'm sure he'll be back to normal tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I don't know when this happened, but all of a sudden James is using walking as his preferred method of getting around. I watched him walk from the TV all the way to his Dada's office last night. He looks a bit like a "zombie" (as Jim says) because he's walking with his arms out, but I know its for balance. He's just doing so well! Its amazing to watch him walk around the house now. He still isn't able to stand on his own, from a sitting/floor position, but he has to crawl over to a piece of furniture or the wall and pull himself up.

I've also been really surprised that he hasn't taken any bad falls. Once he did walk towards me, dive at my lap, and hit his head on my knee. He cried for about 10 seconds.

Well, the weekend is over and its going to be one of the busiest weeks ever. Lots of work stuff to do before I have my two weeks off! Lots of cookies and candy to make too :) And last minute shopping, though I think we're pretty much done but for two members of our family. They are hard to shop for!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanks Mom!

Thanks a whole bunch for teaching me how to clean like a madwoman before guests. I just spent the last few hours cleaning/organizing my house because my work friends are coming over for a Girls' Night cookie party. I just found myself cleaning doorknobs and shining the kitchen sink. I figured I should just stop before I go really crazy :)

I have crazy childhood memories of how we would clean our house before we had people over for dinner, holidays, etc. My Mom took a lot of pride in our house and family. I guess they're not bad memories :)

It should be a lot of fun tomorrow night, I think there's about 7 of us total. They are so anxious to see James, and my friend Elizabeth is bringing over her son Alex (he's 2+) and my friend Tatiana is bringing her niece who is 6. So its a girls night with kids, but I know James will enjoy the company. I hope he shares his toys!

We have a full weekend. On Saturday I hope to do some shopping with James, and then I have an eye appointment. On Sunday Jim is going over to Roger's to fix/set up his computer. I'll be home with James but I have a ton of website work I can work on.

One more week of work and then I have TWO weeks off! Yay :) Lots of quality Mama and James time! We hope to visit Dada at his work, and maybe Tia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


As Sandra says, James is back to being Mr. Happy Mellow Fellow. He is doing great. He is even taking his medicine so much better, I think he might actually like the flavor of it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All better!

James is well. Yesterday was the best baby day ever. James was so active, happy, independent, and ate well. I actually got a lot done around the house and for James- I put up Christmas decorations, baked James' favorite squash, washed his clothes, and we had lots and lots of play time. He was like normal, not at all sick. It was still nice to be home with him to give him one more day of Mama time and recuperation.

At this point he is not getting Baby Motrin anymore, just his antibiotics 3x daily for the next 4 days.

When Jim came home from work I know he was surprised to see James so happy and well. It was like a small miracle :) We even commented that we had never seen James so happy.

I forgot to upload the happy pictures that I took yesterday. Check back later.

So I felt pretty confident that James could be at daycare today. When I dropped him off, I watched as he crawled over to his friends and started playing. He loves his friends :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Poor Baby!

James continued his crabby streak and now we know why. This morning James woke us up with very sad, loud cries. We took his temperature and it was 101.9- not really high but reason enough for him to be upset. We gave him more Baby Motrin and a bottle. He was crabby all morning, not his usual self.

Late in the morning, after his nap, he was again very hot and we took his temperature. It was 104! Jim called the doctor's office and they wanted us to come in, since his temperature was high. An hour or so later we saw the doctor and he found that James has ear infections too :( He is now on antibiotics.

James has been sick, crabby, and very clingy all day. We were glad to cuddle our little one. I can't remember the last time James let me hold him on my lap, rocking him. It was sweet but so sad because he must be in pain! He's refused foods for the past two days too.

On Saturday I *knew* that something was wrong. James went to Minneapolis with me for some shopping and he was off. I should have trusted my Mama instincts that something was wrong. Maybe he wasn't quite sick yet, but he wasn't himself. I thought I was being a worrywart, but I guess I was right to sense that something wasn't quite right. I won't doubt myself again.

I'm already planning on staying home from work on Monday. He might not be contagious but he's needing constant attention. I would also worry all day that he's needing me or that he's still feeling miserable. James is always our first priority.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rough night

If this is as bad as it gets, we're still very lucky. All day James was "off"- grumpy, no smiles, little appetite, crying, needing constant holding. He also refused his afternoon nap, so he was overtired, I guess. Finally I got James to sleep, laying on the living room, as I sang "You are my Sunshine". Poor James listening to me singing! He napped for about 20 minutes. We were tiptoeing around him, and then realized we couldn't make dinner because it would make too much noise. I think we just used that excuse to get Chinese from our favorite place.

So I left to get the food, and Jim tried to give James his dinner. He refused. Constant crying. When I got back, we decided to take his temperature. It was slight. We gave him Baby Motrin. As we ate, we let James watch Baby Einstein and play with my wallet (he loves it). It cheered him up a little, or at least he stopped crying. We ate and we watched him fall asleep sitting up! His eyes would close, he would drift off, but then jolt awake. It was kind of funny to watch, but we were so worried about him!

The Baby Motrin kicked in, or his last bottle made him happier. He was almost back to normal when bedtime arrived. He's been crying out a little in his sleep but I think he's okay finally.

So that's the worst. We are so lucky to have a happy, healthy baby.

The cutest moment today: right before bedtime, Jim went upstairs to take a shower. James kept saying "Dada" over and over. So I called Jim back and Jim said goodnight again from the catwalk. James kept repeating "Dada Dada Da-da!" He has the cutest little boy voice! Too bad he could care less about saying "Mama"!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy 13 months!

James is 13 months today. I didn't do a Brownie photo shoot because now that he's a year old, he'll see Brownie every 6 months. I will miss bringing Brownie out every month, but I know it was more for ME.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Mama's Gratitude

Here's a small list of things I (as Mama) am grateful for:

*James' round belly (he is healthy and eats well :)

*Our Blankie book (James lights up when he sees it and it helps with crankiness.)

*A flexible, understanding Dada (he puts up with my moods, goes with the flow when it comes to James, etc)

*A daycare provider that really cares for James, tells me the small details, and is obviously in love with the children. I also appreciate that she says that "Mama is best" when James reaches for me. I know that she is encouraging and understanding of the time Mamas need to spend away from their babies.

*Doting family members. James has all the love he could ever want. He also gets the best, thoughtful presents- handknit hats, homemade quilts (Grandma Julie), cute outfits, wonderful books & toys.

*STTN (sleeping through the night)

*The hour before bedtime. We try to turn off the TV, read books to James, and let James climb on Dada. I think its one of the best times of the day. James is at his best and so obviously happy to play with us.

*Good friends to help me keep my perspective and sanity. (Thanks for the phone call Anna!)

I'm sure there are many more but this is my short list that I thought of tonight.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Family Fun

We have snow! We waited for the snow to finish falling and for the temperature to be okay to take James outside for his first winter adventure. I knew he would do well because he seems to like wind, the chill, and of course being with his Mama & Dada :)

Our little adventure was only in the backyard but its the first time we've ever "played" outside of our house. It was very exciting! James sat quietly in his sled, smiled a lot when he was in motion, and had lots of fun. We only stayed outside for about 5 minutes. Jim doesn't have snow boots yet so we were most worried about HIM. I, however, have adult moon boots. Ha!

The snowsuit that Grandma Rosie bought for James worked so great! The mittens are attached, and there are little footsies that attach (and can be removed) so today we just used those instead of boots. We didn't expect James to get out of the sled at all. Maybe next time we'll be up for the adventure of putting James IN the snow to play.

James just had an unexplained crying fit. He didn't eat well today and has a runny nose. His afternoon nap was very short.

BUT James has skillz: Today he did two new things. One is he can share! I would put out my hand and say "Can you give the _____ to Mama?" And he would very gently put the object in my hand. He did this for just about everything (toys) except for his Blankie :) The second new thing James did today was put toys BACK into his Lego bin. He has always just thrown things out, making a huge mess. Tonight he helped Mama and Dada put away the Legos. Yay! A cleaner living room :)

Here is a longish video of James at play and on the move. Also, please see the video on the home page of James in his sled.