Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome to our semi-regular poop and other bodily functions post. I'm pleased to share with you a story that is actually Tim's experience entirely. But first, an anti-poop story!

About a month ago, Tim and I noticed that Levi had stopped pooping. He hadn't been at home, and our daycare records his "activities" each day and we realized it'd been about six days since he had pooped. We waited one more day and then called the pediatrician. Levi hadn't been overly fussy at all during this period, one of the reasons why we didn't notice at first and then waited so long to call the pediatrician. I learned that many little babies do get constipated, which I didn't remember from the 14 pregnancy/newborn books I read.

We gave him a couple of ounces of apple juice, as recommended, and things were back to normal after a couple of days.

Onto the real "juice" of this post (ohhhh gross joke).

Earlier this week, after Tim had picked up Levi at daycare and brought him home (I don't get out of work until an hour later), Levi had a code brown situation. As he was unbuttoning his onesie, certain noises were still erupting from Levi's bottom, so he let the noise continue for a few minutes.

He cleaned up the very large poopie diaper with about ten wipes and stripped his clothes off since it was everywhere. He was about to put the next diaper on when Levi started pooping again! He already had a diaper out but it didn't quite catch everything. It was at this point that Levi stared demonstrating his new skill of reaching down and grabbing onto his upper legs, flailing his arms about and kicking the whole time. Now there is poop on the changing pad, Levis rear, legs, hands, soon to be on his face (from said hands), his clothes. everywhere.

Tim works on getting everything cleaned up a second time, wiping everything down, putting the clothes in the laundry, etc., and Levi, to continue his antics, starts peeing a little fountain all over everything Tim is working on cleaning up! (I'm giggling gleefully as I write this :)

He's never peed on Tim at all before, and only peed on me I think three times, only in the middle of the night when he was a newborn and got upset when I tried to change his diaper.

So that is our official special edition blog. To make it a little less about poop and a little bit about something else, Levi and I like to play a laughing game when I get home from work. I laugh, and then he laughs back, and then I laugh more, and it escalates until we're both giggling. Or, sometimes, he laughs once and then looks away :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Monkey Mom

Friday morning I was woken up by a punch in the nose.

Tim leaves for work an hour before I do, to accommodate Levi's daycare schedule, and he brings Levi in to our room to nurse right before he leaves. He usually just lays him down next to me on the bed, and Friday Levi selected that exact moment to pull one of his characteristic intense stretches, and bopped me in the face.

He's also starting to be a bit more awake in the mornings - he used to fall right back asleep after eating and not wake up until I was up and ready to go and changing his diaper before we left. Now he hangs out and chats with himself/imaginary friends until I'm ready (note: "until I'm ready" is a maximum of 20 minutes, and that's on a bad day).

I've been working on my monkey-like reflexes as a mom. And by monkey, I mean holding a four-month child, and by reflexes, I mean ridiculous ways to accomplish things. Last week I was trying to bring a load of laundry downstairs. Levi would not be put down, so I picked up a load of laundry in one arm, scooped him off the bed in the other, and proceeded to walk downstairs. However, I was not carrying the laundry in a basket -- just my arm. So I kept dropping little items. Which resulted, instead of the sane method of putting the load down by the washer, and then coming back to pick up the few pieces I dropped, I reflexively picked up the items as I dropped them. At one point, I dropped the same pair of baby pants four times. Each time I picked them up and threw them back onto my arm-holding-pile area, and then would lose my grip and drop them again.

The manner in which I accomplished this intense "picking up" is that I would use one of my feet to try to scoop the item of clothing high into the air, at least to shoulder height, and then swing forward with my baby-holding-hand to try to grab it out of the air, then fling said item into the pile barely held in my other arm.

Needless to say, it took me awhile to get downstairs with the laundry. Levi was happy on my shoulder though, which makes it all worthwhile :)

We have stopped swaddling the boy. He was starting to break out of them sometimes, and I've heard pediatric experts say that around four months you should wean the swaddle because babies start being able to move around a lot more, and moving around in their crib at night is actually exercise.

However, Levi sleeps not as much without the swaddle holding him still throughout the night. It's not terrible, but he was sleeping entirely through the night (yes, other moms, you can punch me when you see me for that if you'd like), and now he wakes up at least once to eat and usually two to four other times because he's concerned and can't go back to sleep by himself. We just stop back in, rub his tummy and put his pacifier in (and wrap his right arm tight in a blanket so he doesn't try to yank it out). He still doesn't really move at all when he sleeps, stays prone on his back, appendages outstretched.

Levi is getting better at holding his pacifier in by himself, however, he is also getting better at holding onto it with his hands. He loves to grab stuff - his clothes, my clothes, things laying nearby, and so on, and his paci is a fun object to hold. However, he doesn't seem to equate that when he grabs the paci when it's in his mouth and moves his arm, that the part inside his mouth is inextricably connected to the part outside of his mouth, and if you yank on one, the other moves as well. so he doesn't want to let it go from his waving-about hand but he also wants it back in his mouth. Brilliant, this one. He'll probably figure it out the week before we wean him from the paci entirely (yes, we'll be removing the soother from his existence in about another five months. I have a soapbox about toddlers and older children with pacifiers).

We're also working on introducing the Bumbo. Levi likes to stand, but hates to sit. His legs are super strong, he can pretty much hold his weight up by himself, but he has no core control when he's sitting at all. So we try to practice with the bumbo, however, Levi has been surrounded by very soft fabrics his whole life, and the plastic feel of the bumbo upsets him. Plush is what this guy needs, apparently. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Legs and the Boy

I have an announcement: The spit up. is gone.

Or, well, to be honest, the spit up is nearly gone, and as Levi has just finished eating while I type this, I'm sure it will return in a karma kind of way with ferocity because of my announcement.

However, the fact remains: seven days ago, Levi spit up what seemed like an entire breakfast shortly before leaving for church. His tummy seemed practically empty, and the shirts of at least four people, including the hardwood floors, his own clothes and possibly my sister's bed were covered in wet, sticky spit up.

But no more. This week he has spit up, if at all, only once each time he eats, and nowhere near the quantities of before. He seems no less happy, so it seems nothing has gone wrong in his tummy, which is good.

In perfect tandem with the lesser spit up, Levi has begun to enjoy being held up in the air like an airplane. Always a poor proposition previously, because no matter how long ago he had eaten, the holder was bound to receive at least some of his last-eaten meal. Levi also used to startle strongly when lifted up into the air even slightly higher than our shoulder height, so we refrained. Now, though, the little man loves himself some faux-flying through the air!

One of his daycare workers announced to me this week that Levi is "very touchy feely," which I at first took to mean that he likes to cuddle, which is true, especially by grabbing at the skin of my neck, but what she actually meant was that he likes to touch things (I used the word tactile. Tim one-upped me by saying he's kinesthetic. Which, we've just discovered by looking at, is not actually a word. BOO YA. One point for Holly, for using a real word instead of a made-up one, to Tim's 561 points standing) It's true, I've always surrounded him with super soft fabrics and the couple of stuffed animals he has are fun to touch because of their soft texture. He actually started holding onto his diaper changing dog (the toy only for diaper changes to make it more fun if he's sad) in the mornings on the way to daycare. We gave him a small blanket on our walk tonight and he spent the whole time playing with it in his hands.

In the park at the play
Levi went to his first two live theater performances this week, though it will likely be many years (read: toddler naughtiness, primary school can't-sit-still, and middle school boredom) before he sees another one. Lancaster is a pretty artsy town for such a small place, and staged a free performance of George Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man" in a park very close to our house on Thursday. The performance was nicely done, and Levi either watched, slept or cuddled through the whole thing like a good little boy!

Levi and I also staged a trip back to my parent's house last weekend, and Levi saw my sister act in The Diary of Anne Frank, which he slept through the entirety of. We hung out with my parents, grandma (GiGi), and Pat's girlfriend Sarah, whom we picked up in New Jersey on the way. I'm not sure I'd make that drive again by myself - it took me eight hours each way with stops to feed the man, getting lost a couple of times on the way there, and also having to try to calm Levi a couple of times on the way home. But it was great to spend time with my family. Pat took over carrying Levi's car

seat around for me, and once when he was sitting in the back on the way to church, I told him that Levi doesn't really seem to understand the point of funny faces yet - when I make fishy faces or anything else at him, he just looks at me in confusion. A few minutes later I hear Pat say from the back "huh. I guess it's true."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This week was my first week at my new job, a full-time writing position for the regional business journal (yayayayayay!) -- but I had training almost an hour away for the first four days of the week, which necessitated changing around our schedules to get the little man to and from daycare. We only contracted to have him there for 8 hours/day, from 8 to 4, and with me leaving the house around 7 and not returning until after 6, I couldn't really pick him up.

Our neighbor Joelyn came to the rescue! Tim switched up his hours at work and Joelyn picked Levi up every day in the afternoon and hung out with him until Tim came home. Yay for great neighbors who are flexible and take care of my kid even though they have a nine-month-old of their own.

With his favorite Diapee Dog in his favorite place, the changing table

I realized from this week that even though Levi brought my morning prep time up to an hour instead of my good old 15, I do miss having that time with him in the mornings. He's a good little boy for most of it - he goes back to sleep after I feed him, giving me time to do up the makeup, hair, clothes and jewelry (still only need 20 minutes, boo ya), and then we hang out while I get him up and going. But this week, other than seeing him for a few minutes while he nursed in the a.m. (during which I mostly doze), I didn't get to see him until the very end of the day! and I miss him! Wednesday morning while he was eating, we were both lying down on my bed and his little feet kept slowly stretching out to touch my leg now and then, it was SO sweet.

Levi is "becoming an outdoorsman," as Tim termed it. Sometimes, he likes to yell for no reason, and if we take him outside - instant silence while he looks eagerly around. The second we walk back inside? screaming resumes. At the grocery store, I've taken to putting him in the moby wrap facing out, because he'll fuss in his seat sometimes if he can't see everything around him. He's starting to wave his hands around towards things (when he's not still and spellbound by the awesomeness that is a row of boxes and bags of food), but he's way too uncoordinated still to be able to actually grab anything. Except my hair. and my necklaces. And my earrings. And my shirt. But other than that.

He's pretty tolerant of my own mommy foibles as well though. I nicked his thumb while trimming his nails (in my defense, he is NEVER still - he startles abruptly when I try to do it while he's asleep); and I may have gotten a bit of spray paint on him last week. He was sitting well away from where I was using it outside, and I had my back to him to make sure no rogue spatters flew in his direction, but when I turned around after the spray can had run out, he definitely had some black specks on his head. whoops!

As you know, I need to always have a project going on. Even on an entirely free weekend, I must invent a project. yes. So last weekend I took a toy box that we had kept from awhile back for when we had a kid, which was painted a dull tan color, and painted it (with my brother's help), poly'd the inside (with water-based poly) and added some fun truck stickers. Now it's ready for his room!

Levi has also begun to love to giggle. Mostly when we laugh, he laughs back, but sometimes he just laughs randomly. Also at himself in the mirror, which is pretty entertaining to watch :) He also laughs in his sleep, and yesterday he laughed so hard in his sleep that he woke himself up, looking quite confused.

And lastly, a conversation between Tim and I early in the week while getting ready to go to a church party for dinner:

Levi: (yelling)

Holly: (shushing gently)

Tim: I'm hungry.

Holly: (begins to stand up) Here. (Hands pacifier to Tim)

Tim: (looks at pacifier strangely) I don't think this will work on me like it does on Levi.