Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy Days!

We're back from the beach and had a really fun time! The only unfortunate thing was that the weather didn't cooperate for us. A big storm blew in Tuesday and hung around until Thursday. There was alot of rain and really strong winds (gusts up to 50 mph at times). Friday was beautiful and we were happy to have one really nice beach day.

Our View showing the dark clouds and big waves, plus how windy it was!

On Tuesday, despite the wind and cool temps, Nick and I actually took a little swim. All I can say is that I would have never gone into that water if Nick hadn't wanted to (really cold but not dangerously cold). Nick loved the pool, although I think he too found it to be a little chilly. He had a little floatee that he could sit in and liked being pulled around. Nick wasn't too happy to get out of the pool and also cried when we left the pool area to warm up. I can't wait to get him in a warmer pool!

On Friday we went down to the beach and Nick seemed to really enjoy it. He played in the sand for quite a while, then we all went down to the ocean where we played in the shallow water when the waves came up. Because of the storm that had just passed we didn't go into the ocean or take Nick in. When we were down by the water Nick would squeal in delight every time the waves came up and got him wet, so cute.

During our week at the beach we transitioned Nick to one nap. I think it went pretty well, all in all. He would get pretty cranky right before lunch and right before dinner but I attribute this to the change. It also seems that he is now sleeping longer at night, almost 12 hours on several nights. I'll take that!

Sleeping Beauty

Since we've been home I've been slightly under the weather, which is part of the reason it has taken me so long to post. I finally went to the doctor today and found that I have a virus that is going around and it lasts 2 weeks! I'm hopeful that mine doesn't last the whole two weeks, it has zapped my energy which is hard when you've got a toddler around. Hopefully Bill and Nick are safe and won't get it, no fun. I am happy to know that its probably just a virus. I had convinced myself that I had picked up a parasite (in Russia) that was just now starting to take its toll on me.

This morning, before we went to the doctor we visited a Day Care. I am starting to get worried about our wait list prospects (we are on three wait lists) of the places we had already decided on. Anyway, we had a funny experience while we were there. We were in the older toddler room and I was holding Nick. A little boy ran up to us and started talking about Nicks shoes, which have Lightning McQueen on them. This little guy was so excited and was going on and on about the shoes, touching them, etc. One of the caregivers called to him and asked him to come to her, which he did briefly, then he came back and started trying to get the shoe off Nicks foot, literally pulling it off and trying to undo the velcro (I'm still holding Nick). It was hilarious. I guess they are pretty cool shoes for a kid. Daddy did good, I would have never picked them out.

We have started working on self feeding with a spoon. Nick is pretty good with acurately placing the food in his mouth. The hard part seems to be picking up the food. He does well with Yogurt and Oatmeal, but things like pasta and peas are harder for him.

With that I've got to go, have a great week all!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To the Beach!

I thought I should post a quick comment for anyone out there still reading!

Nick and I are in the Outer Banks this week and I'm going to try to post later in the week but I can't promise anything. Bill will come down later in the week and then I will have more time.

I will say that trying to pack for a week long trip, for a toddler and adult, with all the toddler stuff required, while said toddler is awake is not easy! We had about a 3.5 hour drive and Nick did great. It was the first time he fell asleep in his car seat and he didn't get fussy until the very end of the drive! YAY. He's such a great boy.

We are having a great time! We have a gorgeous ocean view from the deck of the house and Nick loves being out there, watching the ocean (huge waves), and feeling the wind (its very windy this week). I don't think there will be any ocean swimming this week, but maybe a dip in the pool, which I think Nick views as one big bathtub. Hopefully it won't be too cold to take him in. I think he's going to love it, despite his feelings about his wading pool (not that excited about it).

Have a great week all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Night Out and Happy Anniversary

First off, thanks to everyone for your advice on the pee and the ride on toys. Things have actually been better with the leakage for sure, I'm still using the Pampers Cruisers but plan on trying the Snug and Dry (I think thats what they are). I continue to get the random pee but it has gone from at least once daily to once every few days. I'm trying to make up my mind about the ride on toy. You would think I was buying a house with the amount of research I have done!

This weekend on Saturday I had to go have my hair taken care of (the works, cut, color, etc.). It had been an extra long time since I had it done due to the uncertainty in timing of our trip to Russia and the difficulty in getting an appointment with Kristy. So, I was gone for about 3 hours Saturday afternoon while Bill and Nick hung out. I think they had a fun time together and its good for Bill to get time alone with Nick since he only gets a few hours each night after work.

On top of being gone most of the day, Bill and I also had our first night out alone since we've had Nick. I know that attachment-wise they say not to go out and leave your child with someone else so soon. However, I'm not sure I'm completely on board with that (for sanity sake). I'm still trying to figure out all the attachment parenting stuff. I might do a separate post on attachment, mainly with my questions and skepticism of some of the suggested parenting techniques.

Back to Saturday, Bill and I attended the wedding of our friends Cathy and David on Saturday evening. I used to work with Cathy and Bill still works at that company as well. There were many dear friends and previous co-workers at the wedding. The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time at the reception seeing friends we hadn't seen in a while and sharing pictures of Nick and tales of our time in Russia. What also made this particular night special is that our 6th anniversary was Sunday, so we secretly celebrated one night early!

We were able to attend because Jill and Carl (sister and brother in law) agreed to stay with Nick. We are so lucky to have family close by, and thankful that Jill and Carl were available to watch Nick. By all accounts Nick did great with Jill and Carl and after the initial tears he settled in with them and had a great time.

We took it easy Sunday with an early trip to Whole Foods which has just opened near by. Bill tried to go there last week and it was a mad house so we thought Sunday morning (early) would be a good time and it was. It is a beautiful store, with great produce, cheeses, meats, prepared foods and bakery! The main drawbacks I see are the prices and the fact that I can't get everything there in one stop, I generally hate grocery shopping and like to do one stop shopping. I will always have to go to another store to fill in the things they don't carry at Whole Foods. I guess the long and short of it is that it isn't going to be our primary shopping place, its more of a place to go for special items. I think we'll go once every few weeks or so.

Sunday afternoon was spent with Bill and Nick watching the Redskins and playing. I am including some really cute (and maybe blurry!) pictures of the two of them in their matching Redskins gear!

Nick also had a visit from Elisa and Doug. Nick is probably starting to think that weekend afternoons are for people to visit him, dote on him, and bring him gifts. Elisa and Doug have recently had the last of their children move out and have been empty-nesters for about the same amount of time that we have been home with Nick. So they are now enjoying going out, spending time together, etc. We've switched lifestyles!

On a more somber note, I need to ask for some prayers, thoughts and good vibes to be sent to my mom who had a very bad fall on Monday night and fractured two bones in her spine. She is going to have to wear a collar for a while, but will not have surgery and has no concussion. She is still in the hospital and we hope she will be able to go home either today or tomorrow.

I hope everyone is having a good week. More later!

Nick helping water plants

Putting the gnome in the pot

I am including a video (please excuse the wandering lens, I'm still learning) of Nick trying to get onto the chair by himself. The range of emotions is quite wide!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why do I get pee'd on so much?

I get pee'd on daily, pretty much. As hard as I try, as many precautions as I take, I either get pee'd on directly or leaked on. Its like Nick has a second sense about when I am "unprotected" from the pee. So far I have tried Huggies Natural Fit (I think thats what they are) and Pampers Cruisers. The Huggies leaked constantly so I switched to Pampers. They seem better but we still have leaks. When the Pampers leak it is on the front rather than on the legs, odd. I change him all the time as well. Any advice, or is this just part of the drill?

This week has been quiet. We've had two outings. The first was a trip to Stranges, our local Garden Nursery, to buy some flowers for the deck. Due to expecting to travel all summer, I didn't buy any new flowers for the deck because I thought they would die from neglect (even though the plants that we did have out there thrived while my nephew Sam stayed at the house). Now that we're home and spending more time outside I decided it was time to beautify the deck.

So, earlier this week I packed Nick up and we drove over to Stranges. I went to the back of the car to get the stroller and it wasn't there. OOPs! We had gone for a walk the day before and I forgot that the stroller wasn't in the car. We drove back home to get the stroller and then back to the store, I was determined to get the flowers. I thought this additional trip back and forth might not have been the smartest move on my part because I wasn't sure whether Nick would be able to last, turned out that he was fine.

Pushing a stroller around along with one of those large plant carts is not easy. I'm glad they weren't crowded because I would have been running into everyone, not to mention I think it was quite the spectacle (I kept losing control of the cart). I probably should have ditched the stroller for the Ergo carrier, except there is the small issue that I usually get leaked on when Nick is in the carrier, so I have only used it at home!

We picked up a few mums, a bunch of winter-hardy pansies, and a couple decorative cabbages. I had a small issue fitting all the plants in the car with the stroller, I forgot how much room it takes up. After a bit of rearranging I fit everything the car and made it home safe and sound. It only took me the next three days to get everything potted and arranged outside. I am glad though, it is much more pleasant out there with some color!

Our second outing was a trip to my office, to see my coworkers and introduce Nick to everyone, plus I had a bit of business to tend to. My original intent was to try to get in and out in an hour or so. I thought meeting so many people might be hard on Nick and didn't want to overdo it.

We had a great visit and it was so sweet that everyone I contacted (on short notice too) came to meet Nick and say hi! My coworkers were so supportive of me through the process, thanks everyone.

Nick is a bit slow to warm up to new people, but before I knew it he was playing peek-a-boo with Will and James and football with Rick and Disha. I have to thank Disha for keeping an eye on Nick for a while so that I could chat with everyone. Nick was on the move the whole time and I couldn't finish a sentence without him running around a corner or down the opposite hallway.

Our visit ended up lasting 2 hours, much longer than I had planned. By the last 10 minutes I was just trying to get us out of there before Nick went completely ballistic. I definitely overstayed and need to remember that he has his limits.

Other than our little adventures, I have a couple of updates and need some more advice.

Eating: Nick has started showing signs of self-regulation. What I mean by this is that he has started indicating that he is done at meal time. I have tried showing him the sign for All Done. He does this sometimes. The other indicators that he is finished are that he spits out his food (after chewing it up; but sometimes he chews the food, spits it out, and then puts it back in and eats it...nice) or he reaches for the back of the bib where it attaches.

Signing: We are still working on signing with Nick. His signing repetoire consists of More, Drink, Cheerios, GoldFish, All Done (sometimes), Yummy (not really a sign but thats ok) and Hat. He sometime mixes up the sign for Drink and Cheerios. I am going to work on Please next, I don't quite know how I'll get this across.

Advice: I'd like to get Nick a ride on toy and I'm looking for suggestions. I have a couple of ideas but can't seem to narrow it down. Plus there are so many options. I'm looking for something that he will ride and that will keep him occupied for more than one minute.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Sharing lunch with Abby

Preparing to kiss Spike

Hugging Spike Gently

Where's Dinner?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where Did the Week Go?

I can't believe its already Sunday! I have waited so long to blog that I'm not sure I can remember what we did last week.

Tuesday afternoon we broke out the wading pool for Nick to try. He loves his bath so I thought he would really dig the pool...not so much. He didn't mind standing in the water but did not like sitting in it at all. Maybe it was too chilly for him? We tried it several times since Tuesday and each time Nick seems to like it more and more. He loves splashing the water and throwing the toys out of the pool. He also likes to put his foot on the edge of the pool so that the water runs over the edge of the pool. We'll keep working on this. It stays hot here in Virginia through September so we should have plenty of other opportunities. Unfortunately, our neighborhood pool has closed for the season so we'll have to wait till next spring for that.

On Wednesday afternoon Nick and I went to have his blood drawn for the myriad of tests our doctor ordered. I was very concerned about how this might go. If Nick wiggled and squirmed like he does sometimes when I'm changing his diaper, then this was going to be a very difficult appointment. I was not put any more at ease when the technician said to me upon seeing the test sheet, "Why do these doctors order so many tests on these little babies?".

We waited a few minutes, not long at all really, and then were called back. Nick sat on my lap as the phlebotomist looked at his arm for a good vein. She said she found one so immediately proceeded to put the rubber thing on his arm, tie it up, etc. At this point the crying began, but no struggling, just crying. I thought it might escalate and I was really wishing I had brought the cheerios out before we sat down so that I could distract Nick. To my surprise, he cried steadily but didn't thrash around at all and stayed very still. I was so proud of Nick, what a trooper he was. It went so much better than I imagined it could. We should get our test results back in the next few days.

Thursday we met my friend Heather and her daughter Emmaline at Maymont Park. We visited the Children's Farm and the Nature Center. It was a great way to spend a few hours and I think Nick enjoyed it, but I think he'll enjoy it more when he's a little bit older. The Children's Farm is set up so that the kids can touch/pet some of the animals. The closest Nick came to petting any of the animals was to touch the horn of one of the goats. We did see the two bears playing together, that was probably the highlight, at least for me.

Nick loved the aquariums in the nature center, and even more, loved walking up and down and around the ramps through the exhibits. He had a blast and I can't wait to take him to some of the other aquariums around the area.

On Friday we did a little shopping at Target. So far, the extent of Nick's retail therapy has been in Target and thankfully he seems to love it. We had to go Friday for a shower gift for a friend and we were probably in the store for at least an hour. I think Nick likes Target because it is colorful and there is a lot to look at, there are lots of people and kids to stare at (he loves to check folks out), and lots of people that smile and talk to him.

Saturday morning I had a bridal shower to attend so Bill and Nick hung out together and watched Georgia Tech play Boston College in football. They looked so cute together, both in their Georgia Tech gear. Good thing Georgia Tech won! I don't think Nick was paying much attention to the game, but I'm sure there will be more than enough opportunity to enjoy football with his dad.

Nick met lots of new people Saturday, beginning with our friend Eli, who stopped by to meet him and brought him his new favorite toy. Its a pull toy that looks like a big bug that plays music and also has shape sorting, colors and numbers. Its really cool and Nick loves it!

We had some friends over for dinner Saturday and Nick met a new kid friend, Colby. Colby is 2.5 and was so good and sweet with Nick. It was really cute to see them playing together. Dinner was kind of crazy since Nick's dinner/bedtime routine goes from about 7 - 8 and one of us needed to take care of him, leaving the other to finish dinner. Since Bill is the main cook in the house (yes, I totally lucked out here; I would rather bake!), he did the cooking and I did the bathing and bedtime routine. Our guests pitched in too, setting the table, etc.! After dinner we dusted off the Wii Guitar Hero which hasn't been played since right before we got the call to travel in April.

Today we took it easy. My sister Jill had us over for lunch. Nick loves flirting with his Aunt Jill, and playing peek-a-boo with Uncle Carl and cousin Sam. But, after about 2 hours he was starting to melt down so we hit the road and came home.

That pretty much wraps it up. I'm including some more pictures and hopefully I'll have a slide show one of these days...promises, promises.

Have a great week all!

Nick and Abby Hanging Out

Nick Keeping Tabs on Abby While She Eats

We're working on wearing hats!

Nick on his slide

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Doctors Appointment and Meeting Relatives

Once again, more time has passed than I would like between blogs. My goal is to blog every 2 or 3 days, I'm going to try to be better!

Thank you everyone for your kind and helpful comments on the last blog. I really appreciate everything that you all said and I am trying to not put too much pressure on myself, Bill or Nick. Also, after the first two days last week, things definitely improved through the end of the week.

The first thing is that Nick is not waking up at 4am any more, YAY! We are very happy about that. He is also settling into his schedule and has been averaging 11 hours of sleep each night and a total of about 3 hours of naps, twice a day. We are going to try to move him to one nap a day, probably in a few weeks.

We had Nick's first doctors appointment last Thursday. I was originally going to go alone, but after reading a few other blogs decided that going alone would be a big mistake (at least for the first visit), so thankfully Bill was able to go with us.

I was apprehensive about the visit because we had not interviewed the doctor prior to choosing him. We chose him based on recommendations from other families. Based on this first visit, I couldn't be happier with the Doctor and the practice. Our wait was minimal and the doctor didn't skimp at all on the time with us.

Nick wasn't too thrilled with the checkup. Its interesting because we had seen him examined twice in Russia and he didn't get upset at all. This time, he lost it when the stethescope came out and basically fought the whole process. I think the difference is that the doctors in Russia could talk to him and comfort him about what they were doing, whereas now he didn't really understand. The good news is that it was over fairly quickly.

After the checkup and all our questions, we waited a few minutes prior to having Nick vaccinated. The doctor suggested that we start over on the vaccinations because of not having 100% knowledge of the quality of the vaccinations already administered, etc. Nick did really well during the shots, much better than he did during the checkup. It helped that the nurse was very skilled and quick as lightening with the shots. This week I'll be taking him to have blood drawn for all the tests that we're having done. I am not looking forward to this at all! The nurse told me it would be about 5 vials of blood, YIKES!.

Bill's family visited over the holiday weekend. Everyone came Saturday afternoon so we had a full house with his Francine (mom), Bill (dad), Mary (sister) and Dan (brother in law). Nick was a little standoffish at first but did warm up to everyone throughout the weekend. Aunt Mary and Uncle Dan both spent alot of time playing with Nick and I know he loved it! Bill's mom brought Nick tons of gifts from family friends, co-workers, and relatives. Thanks everyone, cards are coming, I promise!

We had a fun time with everyone spending time with Nick and also catching up with the family. Mary brought the most awesome lasagne and Francine brought a yummy seafood casserole so that Bill and I wouldn't have to worry about cooking, this was really great! We also had a chance to teach everyone how to play Killer Bunnies, which was alot of fun and will hopefully make an appearance during future beach trips.

My one regret from the weekend is that I did not take any pictures, I don't know what I was thinking! Clearly I wasn't thinking. I'll have to take double next time we all get together.

On Sunday we also had a visit from my dear friend Christine and her daughters Nicole and Kelly. It has been at least a year since I've seen Christine and a few years since seeing the girls. It was great to catch up with them and see what lovely young women Nicole and Kelly have become. Nick flirted with all 3 of our visitors and I was really glad Nicole and Kelly were here to help set up the pet clinic they brought for Nick.

After our busy weekend we're settling back into our quiet days. I hope everyone out there had a great weekend. I can't believe that summer is basically over! Wow.