Monday, July 29, 2013

New tricks

The past weekend was a big one for Levi. He learned many new tricks. Mummy and Daddy are thrilled. Hear that sarcasm?

1. He can now open the toilet and is thrilled to giggles to splash in the water. Yay (!)

2. He delicately takes the end of the toilet paper roll between thumb and forefinger and then runs away until the roll runs out or he gets distracted by something shiny.
 (yes, we try to keep bathroom doors shut, but you can bet your bottom dollar when we forget he's all over it)

3. Climbing on the speaker by the tv and 'patting' the screen, pulling the other speakers onto the floor...and shouting "ha ha" and stamping his feet excitedly when we head over to remove him.

4. Climbing on the couch and pulling the lamp over or playing the blinds like an accordion.

5. He has realised he can scale the ottomans that we have used to keep him penned in and flip over backward to get to his freedom. Joy.

6. Drinking water from his sippy cup is now just an excuse to suck in large amounts of water and spit it out all over the house. Its like living in our own personal spray park.

7. It is suddenly hilarious to drop every piece of food we put on his tray over the side. Even when he is hungry. He will look us straight in the eye and hold the stare as he drops it and then looks over and laughs a deep belly laugh.

8. He has become quicker than lightening about getting into the cupboards we don't have locks on and I distributing their contents across the house. I walked through the living room last night to find a cheese grater sitting in the middle of the floor, and I have no idea when he put it there!

9. He has taken to pulling out the 4 foot+ length of wood we keep in our sliding door base, and walking around with it like some kind of ninja warrior. I don't even know how he can pick it up let alone walk around with it!

We love him to pieces but I wish he would pick up tricks at a slightly slower pace so we could keep up. I confess we think he is hilarious even when we are fiercely keeping a straight face to be stern and show disapproval. He's has a strong will, which will serve him well in the future, but for now it is proving to be a new facet to our parenting adventure.

I love that I know him well by now enough to anticipate some of his next moves. For example, the other morning j and I were both getting ready in the bathroom and Levi was playing and making messes as we did :) It was at this moment he discovered the toilet water for the first time. J literally took him away from The toilet 5 times and over and over Levi yelled and showed his dislike of our choice before going right back even more determined and eventually even more frustrated. He finally threw a way bigger strop, big tears and everything before running off. J smiled and said something about him finally getting the message. I knew different.
I told J, "I don't know where he went but I bet he is doing something he knows that he shouldn't be" j returned a few minutes later baby under arm, retrieved from under the desk where he had been pulling cords out and unplugging things...something else he knows his daddy does not let him do, but he needed to show us how upset he was that we had not let him have his way.
Love this kid...but pray for us :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Avocado pants and other gross consequences of parenting

Late this afternoon, after I had been to the zoo with a friend all morning and run some errands I was sitting down and realised I had a huge smear of avocado all down one leg of the capri pants I had been wearing. I suddenly remembered that when I had lifted Levi out of his highchair last night from dinner, he had some avocado hidden in his lap that made itself at home all over both of us as I carried him. I had made a mental note to put these pants in teh laundry pile and wash them asap. Apparently my mental notes are not worth the paper they are written on. Seriously?! What in the world happened to my brain? This kid. Thats what.

Not only is my memory shot, this Mum business has kept me so busy that I didn't have a moment to sit and notice that I was wearing the avocado until almost 12 hours after I had put the pants on! It''s truly a miracle I haven't left the house yet, totally missing a shirt or shoes. It's not like I am surprised, I hardly have time to go to the bathroom these days! And even then, I have to strike quite a pose to make sure nothing Levi is holding ends up in the bowl, and that he isn't running off with the toilet brush or the plunger, taking a bite out of or unrolling the toilet paper or just pulling the flush over and over - it is quite the balancing act!

J has been out of town on business the past couple of days so I have been flying solo with the boy. He has been a champ in terms of napping well, putting himself to sleep at night and sleeping through (Thank you baby boy, mama appreciates it so!) However, I do find that there is ususally a "crisis" of some sort while J is away. This trip was no different.

We had a lovely morning out at the zoo with some friends this morning and got back in time for Levi to have a bottle and go down for his afternoon nap. We were in his room reading books in the rocker to help him settle, as he finished his bottle = like he does every day - and then I was singing to him as I rocked him gently. It had been about 5 or 10 minutes and he was getting super sleepy but was still a little wriggly every now and then so I was still holding him because I wondered if he was about to poop and I wanted to be able to deal with it right away and get him settled. That turned out not to be a problem. He sat up in my arms, looked at me and this belch came from deep within him, followed promptly by the entire contents of his bottle and some undigested peanut butter sandwich. It was disgusting! It pooled down my shirt, in the top and out the bottom, it flowed down my pants ( on the leg without the avocado!) and sprayed over the crib, the quilt, the floor as well as all down Levi. Levi found the whole even highly amusing and giggled to himself as I stood. Shocked. Unable to decide what to deal with first. I stripped us both down and then dealt with the floor and the linens. So gross!!!

Luckily, after everything was clean and we had read a few more books, Levi went back and after about a half hour of rolling around he settle himself for a great nap.

More grossness to come I have no doubt. Good tihng my weak stomach seems to be toughening up :)

Feeling so ready for Jeremy to come home in a couple of hours and for the it Friday yet?!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In to everything - Part 2

Levi continues to be into everything. I spend my days following him from one thing he isn't allowed to do to another. He seems to know exactly where to find everything that we have put in a place that we think is out of his reach - we are learning "his reach" is way longer than we anticipated. He has been able to get things off higher shelves by standing on tip toes, not to mention learning to climb on objects to get to higher things. Today he figured out how to haul himself up onto the couch! Seriously!

We have an almost hourly melt down when I take him away from the kitchen cabinets that hold our heave casserole dishes and glassware. He is so dramatic! We have the door lock things on a few cabinets with the trash etc. but we will be investing in some for all the rest so that I don't have to be the bad guy all the time. I can't handle the tears and the "Mama, Mama" cries.

He is curious. A quality which will take him far I have no doubt but while his physical skills are still developing it will be a constant battle where we set limits for safety that get in the way of something he is wanting to do.

I love him with my whole heart, but he is a handful. He isn't a child you can leave to play quietly while you nip upstairs to change laundry or even pee for that matter. We have the stairs gated off even though he is pretty steady on his feet going up (and very fast!) and has picked up Jeremy's "come down the stairs backwards" lessons too. I am not comfortable with him going up and down at will. We and by that I mean me, because I am the one who is home all day, am looking for some indoor fencing to make a penned in area that works better than the ottomans we currently use because I would estimate we are just days, possible a week away from him figuring out how to pull himself up and over those, and I want to be prepared.

I feel as though we need to be three steps ahead at all times because sometimes he skips right over a learning step and just staying one ahead would not help us at all!

Levi goes to bed between 6 and 7 and on average he is asleep by 6.30pm. He is now (deliciously) sleeping through the night, and while this means he gets up usually around 6am (sometimes closer to 5.30am yawn) and while we have had friends suggest we move the bed time to see if he would sleep later - honestly, by 6.30 I am spent! I need him to go to bed then for my sake as much as his! Plus it means Jeremy and I have some good solid hours of kid free-ness and can still get to bed at a time which makes 6am not such a shock to the system when it comes around.

Levi still naps twice during the day as well for between 2 and 3 hours total. I think the amount he sleeps shows how hard he plays when he is awake! When its time for a nap he can barely keep his eyes open and the drama certainly heightens as he loses the ability to have any control of his emotions at all :)

I wouldn't trade me little fiddler for anything, I love to see his little mind thinking things through and watching as he tried different methods to try and accomplish a task.I am thinking we may have a little engineer or something on our hands in the future.

Below are pics of him when he figured out how to climb up on the couch all by himself - so proud! And also when he climbed on an old formula can (that he uses as a drum) to reach the next shelf! Stinker.

It's been lovely sitting here with my feet up, letting dinner go down and sharing some thought about our busy days, now if only I could figure out how to do this when Levi was around?! No such luck!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dear Levi - Eleven Months Old

Well here we are. A few short weeks from celebrating your first year of life. Happy eleven months Sweetheart! You continue to be the source of so much joy and laughter in our family. It's hard to remember what life was like before your sweet smile and infectious laugh were a part of our days.

You finally cut more teeth (yay!!) after working hard for the past 4 or 5 months you cut three of your top teeth in just a couple of days and the fourth one is about to pop too. You were a drroling mess but didn't seem as bothered by these teethies as you were with the first two which I am so thankful for.

The biggest change for our family is that you are sleeping through the night (Praise the Lord!) After our trip to Barbados we decided to wean you to see if you would eat more during the day if it was in a bottle. You were so distracted that getting you to nurse longer than a couple of minutes at a time was near impossible. I wondered if you were waking at night just because you were hungry having not eaten during the day, and once we switched you to just take 4, 8oz bottles through the day you immediately slept through the night! At first we thought it was just a coincidence but its been almost a month now and you are pretty much sleeping 6.45pm - 6 or 6.30am. I feel like a new woman, Levi Rhys and I hope it shows in the energy I have to play especially first thing in the morning!!

You have learned to wave and say "bub ba" which you use as a hello greeting as well as a farewell. I am trying to help you say "Hi" or some variation but right now you are not interested in saying anywords that don't begin with a 'b' you look and point and say "Ba" to mean,"ball", "bottle,",bath", "boat", and even words that don't begin with that letter or sound, "truck", or wheels" are "ba." For a little guy who doesn't really have any words other than "bye bye", "Dada" and Mama" you certainly are not a quiet baby. You have a lot to say all the time and I am eager for you to add to your words so we can hear your voice.

You have developed such a wide understanding of the world around you. It's a joy to see you figuring out more and more about how life works. You can now follow directions when asked to bring something or find something, you toddle off and (unless you get distracted :) ) can return with the item. You are also very sweet when its time to change your diaper, I say "time to change your bum" and you wander over to the shelf and bring me a clean diaper and then sit on the change pad on the floor. It's so cute!! You have even become less squirmy during changes which is a welcome relief!

You have started asking questions by shrugging you shoulders and turning your right hand palm up. Like when you hear a noise but you don't know what it is, or especially when Daddy leaves the room and you don't know where he's going, you turn to me and make a bleeping noise as you shrug and wait for me to tell you what's going on. I think this might be my favourite new trick (besides the sleeping through the night).

Your passion for trucks and everything with wheels only continues to grow. You are constantly pushing something around the floor and "brumming", you like to load you the back of you dump truck and then dump the contents out - however, when you tip it out by mistake which pushing the truck it's a big deal and you throw quite the little hissy fit. Sometimes this results in the truck being slung across the room in frustration! You certainly make your opinion known, but I know we are going to have to start some simple correction soon to help you express yourself in an appropriate way...whatever that looks like?!

Your sense of humor is growing and when you find something funny you scrunch up your little nose and snort a laugh, looking around to make sure that everyone in the room is watching you and finding it just as funny!

You continue to eat well. Your favourites are still avocado and blueberries but there is not much you won't chow down on except broccoli which you put in your mouth but promptly spit back out before dropping the rest that is on your tray onto the floor so it can't contaminate the rest of your meal! I think its a texture thing more than anything else so I want to try and make some sort of pasta sauce with broccoli in it but blended so that you can't tell what you are eating!

Just in the past week you have started to pop up to standing without needing to learn on something for support. This will be very good news to all your little buddies who are not walking just yet and who you used as a prop to get to your feet during play dates! You are pretty steady on your feet but you want to move more quickly than your little body can and you often tumble but at least now you can get right back up if it wasn't a big deal. You are a pretty tough cookie, you usually don't make a fuss when you just tumble, so its good for us to know if you do get hurt we can count on you to let us know by your reaction.

You are great company for me during the day and I am savouring these days of just the two of us. I love that we sing in the car when we run errands or that you laugh at my silliness and give me big hugs, just because. When you come at me, arms raised above your head and just fall into my lap wrapping your chubby little arms around my neck, it's the best feeling in the world. Only made better by your raspy little laugh as you do it.

My baby boy you are growing up fast. I am enjoying planning for your birthday party. I am trying not to  go too crazy but I am also not going to deny that celebrating your first birthday IS  big deal and one I want to celebrate in a big way!

We love you baby and we cannot wait for the months and years ahead to know who you will grow into. You amaze us every day and we are so proud of you.

Love you x

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Camping with a Baby

Last week there was a long weekend here celebrating American Independence Day. We decided to take Levi camping for the first time. J had bought us a new tent and was eager to try it out. We needed something big enough for us and for the pack and play for Levi to sleep in and our new turned out to be perfect!

Camping trips used to mean sitting around reading and playing cards, and not much of that happened this time with Levi around :) He was into everything, walking around the campsite exploring. He was fascinated by being outside and with all the trees and the tent and he loved that there were so many dogs with their owners around too, and he perfected his royal wave just in time for our trip and used it to charm the all the other campers!!

Levi had a hard time settling at night, mostly because it was so light in the tent and he usually goes to bed between 6.30 and 7pm when it is still very bright and sunny without the blackout curtains he has in his bedroom, so he had a  couple of late nights settling around 9pm. J and I made a fire and let him settle himself in the pack and play in the tent while we roasted s'mores or hotdogs. We still had some good evening time together but we were taking turns trying to rock and settle the baby too :)

The first night was July 4th and we were staying on a camp site on a reservation - where fireworks are not illegal like they are in many cities except for formal displays - and we hadn't thought that through. I swear it felt like we were in a war zone! Huge booms going off all through the night. Thankfully it kept J and I awake more than it bothered Levi, who once he was asleep slept through undisturbed until 5am. The tent get light with the sun and Levi was up. Jeremy decided to get up with him and take him out to play  (Yes, I married well, I know it!) and I woke up a few hours later and looked over to see Levi taking his nap snuggled in the pack and play. I didn't even hear them come back inside but I so appreciated the extra z's!

After Levi woke and I got up and dressed we headed out to La Conner, the little town nearby.In the afternoon we came back to hang out at the family center lodge on the camp site where we watched the Mariner game and Levi ran off some energy and made lots of new friends with some of the older campers!

The next night was better, and there were hardly ay fireworks! We all went to sleep at good time despite the obnoxiously loud campers who pitched their tent in the site next to ours and were constantly getting thing from their car which they didn't seem to be able to do without slamming the doors and then making the lock beep...over and over, to well passed midnight. This only seemed to bother me to the point of waking me up but Levi was stirring a lot too. I lost my cool at one point and very loudly shusshed them from my bed. I know they heard me, because they shut least for a few minutes - and at that moment I had decided that if Levi was up bright and very early, I would encourage him play with all the musical toys we had brought. Don't mess with this mama, Campers.[I never got that opportunity in the end]

At about 6.30am we woke up to Levi standing in his pack and play looking over at us, so we got him and snuggled him in bed with us because by that time, it was actually pretty chilly in the tent. I think he might have been cold because he is not really a snuggler anymore but on that day he snuggled in and without really making much of a sound, his eyes blinking hard, he snuggled down and before we knew it he was back asleep. J and I looked at each other and smiled as we turned over ourselves and went back to sleep. We all slept another couple of hours, it was blissful!! And I just loved waking up all snuggled together. I wish I would have thought to take a selfie pic of all of us just lying there in our camping glory. It was certainly my favourite moment of the whole trip.

All in all the trip was a sweet time for us as a family. It was busy, but life with our little guy is busy wherever we are :) We found playgrounds and played in the sunshine, we ate meals out, we threw rocks into the water at the beach, took walks, and generally just enjoyed our time together. Levi certainly appreciated all the Daddy time he got over the weekend and waving "bub ba" to Daddy on Monday morning when he left fro work was quite dramatic as he realised that Daddy was leaving and he was staying. Broke my heart a little to see him sad like that but it made me understand even more he importance of spending time as a family and especially for Levi and Jeremy to get good guy bonding time.

J loves to camp and be outdoors and I can already tell Levi has inherited that love. I am the homebody, but I'll go along for the ride with my boys. I'm looking forward to many more camping adventures in our new tent and I look forward to all the memories we will make over the years.


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