Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend blahs

It was just an okay weekend. On Saturday I was very excited to go with friends for a Girls Day of pedicures and brunch. It was so relaxing and wonderful. I expected to go home and find James safely napping. Well, he had woken up early and was very irritable and sick. It was weird because his sickness only lasted for an hour- runny nose, whiny, clingy, cough. In that hour I felt very upset that I had left that morning, even though he was in the most wonderful, capable hands of his Dada. Just that morning he was a great baby when Jim, James, and Grandma Laura went to breakfast. So the sickness was a great mystery. I was scared that it was leading up to another ear infection, so we kept a close eye on him.

The rest of the day proved to be normal. James played, ate, and then slept well at night. Sunday morning we surprised Dada with breakfast, and then Dada went and ran errands (grocery shopping and such). He came back to a cranky baby again, following his nap. We again kept a close eye on him but he was back to normal quickly.

Well, Sunday night was not a good night for sleep. Again, James woke up probably 3-4 times. The first time I let him cry for a few minutes to see if he would just go back to sleep. I could tell his throat/voice was hoarse so I did get up and check on him. I brought cold water, gave him Motrin, changed his diaper, and rocked him for a bit. I did my usual bedtime routine of saying goodnight to everything in the room, and then laid him down. All was quiet for a few minutes and then crying. Off and on for 90 minutes, and two times checking on him. Finally Jim grabbed a blanket and pillow and slept on James' floor. I'm sure this comforts James, but it can't be a permanent solution. I hope tonight will be smooth and silent. I don't think Jim wants to sleep on the floor every night.

Some recent cute things: Last week Sandra told me that James started saying "Sandra". Of course he doesn't say it on cue :)

I mentioned that I have a nightly ritual of saying goodnight to everything in James' room. We say goodnight to the closet light, the closet door, the neighbors (Erica & Spencer, Drew & Drake), the sky, the moon, the window, the window shade, the hamper, and last TMX Elmo (we also kiss him). Well, the other night I went through this long list but forgot Elmo. James did his "Ehhhhhh!" (standard question sound for everything) and pointed to Elmo. Oops! We said goodnight to Elmo and all was well. It just showed me that James is on top of everything!

Monday, March 24, 2008


If you see our Easter pictures you'll see our Easter baskets. It probably looks like the one on the very left is for me, but it was really an adult easter basket for Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathy, who hosted a very delicious Easter dinner.

James had an Elmo basket, full of little goodies from both Mama and Dada, but also from Grandma Rosie. Dada (Jim) had a basket with little Star Wars gifts. Mama received beautiful pink tulips from Dada.

The Easter egg hunt did not happen as I planned. James found the bag of plastic eggs before we could hide them and he dumped the entire bag on the floor. He did like playing with the eggs and the small toys hidden inside of them.

I really enjoyed my Spring Break with James. We had a lot of indoor fun, though I had hoped for nice weather to take walks and go to the park.

Please see our pictures of James and his Easter basket and then James wearing his new "Mr. Happy" tshirt. I saw the shirt and couldn't resist, since Sandra calls James "Mr. Happy Mellow Fellow". This is very true of James! He is certainly the most happy when he is around Mama and Dada, has spoons in his hands, or when he is eating his most favorite foods- peas, strawberries (new!), or bread. Oh, he is also happy when music is playing :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

End of Spring Break

Its our last weekday of spring break and I kind of regret not doing more, BUT it was very relaxing just hanging out at home with James for most days. We did get out today to meet my friend Jolene, to pick up girl scout cookies from her daughter (she is nine!!) and to have lunch. We met at Northtown so James had a chance to play at Bacon and Eggs again- he loves it!

I also hit the sale racks at Baby Gap :) James now has a dressy/cute shirt for Easter, a pair of athletic pants, and a new windbreaker in navy and white. I've been buying up a size in clothing, I hope they fit.

Also, this week I had a MNO (Mom's Night Out) with two friends- Anna and Erin. We thought we were going to a movie in Uptown but we screwed up and didn't get there early enough. We were perfectly happy with eating a good dinner, having a few drinks, and then browsing the stores in that area. Woot woot- I got home after 10pm!

Well, it was a busy week. James is sleeping so much better- for example, this morning he didn't get up until 6:45!!! For a few months now we haven't needed an alarm clock because he gets up before 6am... well, if this keeps up, we will need to set our alarm so we can get ready for our work day!

Another thing we worked on this week was to get rid of his bottles. Yay! It has worked. He hasn't had a bottle for almost three days now. The first bottle to go was the morning bottle. We started giving him a "snack" because typically he would have breakfast at Sandra's. So as soon as he wakes up, we offer a sippy of milk (he pretty much refuses this) and a piece of bread. He LOVES bread. At 7:30ish I've been giving him his usual breakfast- either oatmeal or cheerios and fruit. We did this for a few days and it worked well. So the last few nights we just haven't given James his almost-bedtime bottle. We've let him load up at dinner and then kept a sippy of water out constantly. He hasn't seemed to miss the bottles! He does occasionally say "Ba-ba" but now I just point to his sippy cup.

The video below is James watching Sesame Street. He doesn't need my prompts anymore to say 'Mo (Elmo). We were at the library earlier in the week, looking at the video aisle, and he saw Elmo on the video spines. He very loudly started saying "Mo! Mo!" It was cute :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Break!

We figured this would happen and it did. James' language skills have exploded! He is saying "nana" for banana, "'Mo" for Elmo, "twooo" in response to counting (1, 2), "Go", Bah Bah for goodbye, "Baba" for the bottles we're trying to give up, he's been saying "Dada" for a while but it was in full force yesterday, and of course there is "No". The other remarkable thing is that he recognizes a picture of bananas and will say "Nana". The same with Elmo. Oh, and he baby signs "Bath" when he sees the sign in his book. Other signs (but not as consistent): more, cereal (cheerios), and eat.

James also blew kisses at his Dada this morning as Dada left for work. That was new. He copied us after just watching Jim do it for a few seconds.

We are also successfully brushing James' teeth now! I had a brainstorm of buying non-fluoride kids' toothpaste and using TWO brushes, one for each of his hands. We recline James, give him the brushes to get used to them, and then I'll use one of them and get in his mouth. He will let me scrub away for a few seconds and I think it tickles because he giggles. Hey, its better than screaming. I will try to scrub a few times within 2-3 minutes and I don't push it past that. Any little bit is better than the nothing at all we had before.

Another amazing thing is that James slept until 6:30am!! Oh, relief. He's been falling asleep much easier and without last week's crying for 10 minutes or more. Last night there was not a peep. We think a couple of things contributed to this long slumber: a very full stomach, a short nap on Monday, no night poop, a full day with Mama, and the sleep training is kicking in again. Well, here's hoping that 6ish becomes the new wake-up time.

Oh, speaking of poop. I never changed so many poop diapers. I'm keeping a poop count today because I seriously lost track yesterday. It seemed like it was every diaper change. No 'rea just normal.

Yesterday's fun: We had a very successful coloring session. In the past James would try to eat the crayons nonstop or he would try to walk away with the crayons (and we feared wall messes), but yesterday I very smartly put James in the highchair with his coloring book and crayons. Please see the video!

Weekend: We bought a bike seat and a bike helmet for James! The bike seat is called a "Wee Ride" and it attaches to the front of the bike frame, so James would be nestled between our arms. It looks very cool! He'll be able to feel the wind on his face and see so much more than our backs (if he was in a back seat). I'm looking forward to nice weather so we can try this out! Also, over the weekend, James saw Grandma Laura twice! She is a smart grandma and had tupperware and a ball for James to play with. I learned that James loves to kick. He may be a future soccer player :)

The second video is from when I forgot to lock the kitchen cabinet drawer of kitchen towels. James pulled out every towel and played.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sleep issues

James had a rough time adjusting to the daylight savings time change. On Tuesday night I had to resort to CIO (crying it out) again because it took 90 long long minutes for James to fall asleep. After that long, I was worried that he was sick or something was wrong so I did take him out of the crib, gave him a bottle, and rocked him to sleep. Well, as soon as he hit the mattress he woke up and screamed. Fifteen minutes later he was asleep.

Well, until 2am. He screamed and screamed again. Jim ended up sleeping on the floor next to James to comfort him. It worked but it wasn't going to be a long term solution.

Changing his bedtime the next night really helped. BUT now he wakes up at 5am and screams. We call it a morning at that point. We don't know what else to do.

I am sick with some strange illness. I had to let Jim take over everything (feeding, playing, and putting James to bed) because my head was pounding and I was nauseous. I felt better this morning and I slept in, but I'm feeling not so good again. I'm determined to ignore this awful feeling in my stomach and do something fun today. And NEXT WEEK IS SPRING BREAK! Yay! Nine days with James.

Spring break plans: playdates?, storytime at the library, visiting Dada for lunch, going to the park, maybe some spring cleaning and baking :) Oh, and I'm going to completely get James off of his bottles. They are just habit at this point and not really needed. James is getting plenty of dairy and all of his vitamins through his real food :)

Jim should be back from the store soon and James will wake up from his morning nap soon too. I think we're headed to Babies R Us to find either a bike seat or a bike trailer for James. Getting ready for some exercise!

Oh! And I have my cell phone back. The student told the detective she "found" it. Whatever. It is reconnected again. Yay.

Monday, March 10, 2008

16 months plus a few days

Baby James is a little man. He amazes us every day! His favorite things to do are "sing", dance/move to music, and read books. (Please see today's video clips and last week's for examples of these things!) He still isn't talking much but I know his words will just explode one day. I'm a little sad that he doesn't say "Mama" much- but he knows Elmo from his doodlemat and books and says 'Mo. I'm sure this is to drive me crazy!

James continues to charm everyone he meets with his beautiful brown eyes and the longest lashes you've ever seen. We are very lucky to have a beautiful, happy baby.

I realized that I haven't sent an update to everyone since his first birthday. Please visit this babysite whenever you'd like, of course. I've slowed down with the journal entries and picture taking but to make Grandma Rosie happy, I try to add new pictures at least every week.

This month's shout-outs: Welcome to the world, Baby Lucy Q.! and Happy Birthday Esme B.! We can't wait to see both of you :)

The videos below:
1. "Read me a book?" in James-speak
2. James "dancing" to the beat of his own drum
3. Baby sign language- "Bath"

In unrelated James news, I have "lost" my cell phone. Actually, it seems as if it was stolen by a student. While I am waiting for my assistant principal to investigate and as I am working out the phone bill with many calls/text messages on my account, I am without my phone. It was a student who stole it because they were silly enough to call a number we could identify. Not too smart! I will email when I can be contacted again :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


James and I had a great time tonight. He was very good while I baked cupcakes (student party tomorrow) and ate well for dinner. After dinner I captured the video below. Please ignore my singing. I did this for ya'll cuz James is the cutest when he "sings" along.

Note to self: Please don't name any other future children a name that will be ridiculed or laughed at. I have a student that is starting at my school by the name of Shaquille-Oneal. That is his whole FIRST name. All of the adults in the office chuckled, including me. I hope this kid goes by Shaq or Neal or something. I wonder how much grief he's gotten from others his whole life? How awful for a parent to do that to their child. Jim and I once joked that we would name a child Eiffel, but we were never serious! Eiffel Tauer. That would be mean.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Books and more books

If you look at the picture closely, you will see every book that James owns on the floor. I sat with him before bedtime to read books. He tolerated a couple of the books well but then he would grab the book from my hand and slide it to the floor. I guess he doesn't like some of them! We went through his whole bin of books and he probably listened to about 10 of them. His favorites right now are the Leslie Patricelli books, Hola Jalapeno, the Baby Signs books we have, Mama Mama Papa Papa, and I Love my Daddy Because...

Sunday was a good family day too. If you read Saturday's journal entry, we went to the Science Museum. On Sunday we went shopping for deck furniture. We also went to Bacon & Eggs again to show Dada James' climbing and playing skills. James had a GREAT time! There were tons of kids running around wild, and we were a little afraid that James would get knocked down but he was fine. He did get knocked down once by a little girl that pursued him. James is quite the ladies' man. The little girl followed him around to hug him. She got a few hugs in before James tried to walk/run away. She accidently knocked him down and then she dropped to her knees to hug him. And then she kissed him!!

Speaking of kisses, James does a cute thing now when he wants a kiss. He will lean forward and give you his forehead. Jim and I both know that this means he wants a kiss. We are happy to comply :)

Also, at Bacon & Eggs an older boy tried to get James to "play" with him. He followed James and tried to tickle him (after he saw me tickle James once). The little boy kept reaching and tousling James' hair, saying "Tickle Tickle". James ignored him. James was more interested in watching the big kids and climbing.

After our shopping and play, we stopped by Uncle Joe's house for a quick visit. He was glad to see James and James loved exploring a new place.

We don't have any plans for the week. This weekend we want to go shopping for a bike trailer! Nice weather will hopefully happen soon and we can get outside with James! Oh, and just two weeks to get through and then this Mama has Spring Break!

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Today we became members of the Science Museum! Yay! We will be returning in June for the Star Wars exhibit. :) We got a special discount because I'm an "educator". Nice.

Jim thought of going to the museum because of the Cartoon Network's exhibit on animation. We were really impressed with the interactive displays and experiments you can do. Please see our video for the videos we took at the Animation exhibit. We had a lot of fun! James was very impatient with the stroller and wanted to walk around wild. We let him and he loved the simplest things- the child sized chairs, the lights, the people. Someday he will love the idea of a science museum :)

It was nice to leave the house this weekend after a confined weekend at home last weekend due to James' fever and ear infection. Yay for a nice winter day :)