Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OK, where were we?

The last two weeks have pretty much been a blur. I expected this would happen once I returned to work. Its like starting back over with a new routine. And now, we've done it for enough days that Nick realizes it isn't just a temporary thing.

I think the last time I posted, I was kind of upset that Nick wasn't getting upset when I dropped him off in the morning. I know that sounds messed up, its just that he seemed to care less that I was leaving him for 8 hours. That all changed last Thursday morning when Nick was slightly clingy and didn't want me to leave. Friday he cried when I left, and this week on both Monday and Tuesday he became very upset as soon as I took his coat off. His teachers tell me that he calms down after about 5 minutes, but it still breaks my heart. Hopefully, he will quickly move past this stage and come to grips with the reality that I'm going to leave, he will have fun with his teachers and friends for several hours, and then I'll come back to get him and we'll go home and have fun.

That just tells you about drop offs in the morning, we have had equally trying times at pick up. The minute I walk in, Nick starts signing for a snack/drink (I can barely tell the difference between his signs). I asked the teachers about the afternoon snack and they say they get it around 4:30. Maybe he isn't eating it, or it isn't enough, I don't know. I do know that it seems that Nick is starving by the time I get there, usually between 5:30 and 5:45. It took me 3 days to figure out that I need to have a snack to give him in the car because if I don't he is going to fight getting into his carseat. It took me 15 minutes one day last week to get him into his car seat. He is really strong and was really fighting it.

Today, we had our first "sick" call. I got a call from Daycare telling me that Nick had thrown up while playing outside and we needed to pick him up within the hour. I was surprised because Nick had a great morning before Daycare, and didn't seem to be feeling bad at all. In addition, he had never full out thrown up since we've had him. He has spit up, but hasn't thrown up, at least not by my definition. Anyway, I called Bill because I had an afternoon of meetings and a project deadline. Luckily Bill was able to leave work for the afternoon and pick Nick up. Nick seems fine now, and we think something just didn't agree with him, or he may have overdone it on the snack. Hopefully he will be fine tomorrow and for the holiday weekend.

We are really looking forward to our first Thanksgiving with Nick. We have so much to be thankful for this year, and are excited to spend it with both our families. Thanksgiving day we'll go to my sister Jill's house with Carl and our nephews Josh and Sam, and my dad and stepmom, Oma Gretel. On Friday we'll head to Wintergreen where Bill's family and close friends are celebrating, maybe we'll have snow!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Routines and Strange Dreams

We are home from our trip and doing well. The trip was really fun, although quite tiring for all of us (Nick, myself and Jill--thanks Jill for all your help!). Now we're back to our day to day lives which changed drastically yesterday when Nick spent his first full day at daycare.

By all accounts, Nick did really well at daycare yesterday. He did not cry when I left him. I struggle with whether I should be concerned about this or not. Do I want him to cry, to demonstrate his attachment to me, or do I want him to wave bye and continue eating his snack? I don't know. I do know that I lost it while I was walking to my car, and called Bill sobbing that I had just dropped him off. It was really hard to leave him. I could see him on the playground and he just looked so little.

The teachers tell me that he was extremely well behaved, he didn't eat much at lunch or snack time, and during nap time he sat on his cot, chatted to himself and signed for More. I hope that soon he will start sleeping during nap time so that we can maybe avoid the meltdown that occurred once I picked him up.

When I picked Nick up he was happy to see me and came to me and gave me a hug. As I was getting his things together he started to get upset, he was signing that he wanted a drink. I told him we would get one at home. He whimpered most of the short drive home and once in the door I immediately gave him apple juice-water. He took a few gulps and chucked the sippy cup. I apparently didn't get it right. So then I thought maybe he had been asking for cheerios (drink and cheerios sign are very similar). He tossed the cheerios and continued to sign urgently. I finally realized that he might want Milk. That seemed to settle him down somewhat, but he still managed to fuss and cry for the next 30 minutes. I guess he was saving up all his unhappiness for home.

We decided that with the lack of a nap, we should put him down for bed earlier than normal. He was fussy and difficult through dinner, which is not normal. He did pretty well during bathtime and went to sleep with no issues. I hope today will go better.

I think I am definitely experiencing some anxiety about all the changes that are in process (daycare, new job). Its not surprising but the way it is manifesting itself is slightly odd. I have been waking up for the past few nights in a row, and even a few times before the trip, looking for Nick in our bed. Two nights ago I woke up and was patting the bed sheets around me, trying to move the dog (yes, all 70 pounds of Abby sleeps with us!), looking for Nick. Bill woke up and asked me what I was doing and I told him that I'm looking for the baby. Bill calmly explains to me that Nick is in his room sleeping in his crib. I say ok and go back to sleep. Then I wake up a second time about 3 hours later and do the same thing. Bill tells me Nick is in his bed and I say he's supposed to be in bed with us. I go back to sleep once I'm sure Nick isn't in bed. Then last night I wake up again expecting Nick to be in bed with us. I can't find him, and I know that I haven't brought him to bed with us, but that doesn't stop me from getting up to check on him. Very strange!

Hopefully later this weekend I'll be able to post some pictures from the trip and also update on how the second day of daycare went.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Visiting Daycare and Developmental Update

Today Nick and I spent a couple of hours at daycare together so that he could begin to acclimate to the new environment. The plan is that he is going to attend a few hours today and tomorrow this week, then he and I go to Illinois to visit relatives with my sister, then next week he will go half a day Wednesday and will start full time next week Thursday.

I thought today went really well, of course I didn't have to leave him, ask me how I feel about this next week. Anyway, when we entered the room and I put Nick on the ground, several of the children swarmed him. Those toddlers have no sense of personal space! They were so excited about having a new friend in class. It was very sweet and borderline creepy. Once the teachers convinced the children to give Nick some room, he checked out the room and took it all in. It was Circle Time so most of the children were listening to the story. Nick was more interested in figuring out the lay of the land. I left the room at one point for a few minutes but Nick didn't cry or have any issues, I think it may have been during snack time, now I can't remember.

The day went really well and the teachers were great with Nick. One of the teachers grew up in Russia and was very excited to hear that Nick had recently come home from there. So far I think this will be easier than I originally thought but I may change my tune next week.

After daycare Nick and I made a stop at my current employer so I could turn in my resignation. Yes, I have found another job and will start the new gig in two weeks. I was due to return to work at my current employer next week on Friday. I think it could be slightly stressful to be experiencing all this change at once, but I really think its for the best and I am very excited about the new job!

I think I am way overdue on an update on Nick's development so here goes.

Sleeping: Nick is still sleeping like a champ. He goes to bed at 8pm, or close to it, and usually wakes up between 7 - 7:30. He generally doesn't wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes we hear him around 5:30 or 6:00, he may sing or babble, but then goes right back to sleep. He is taking one nap in the afternoon, for 2 - 3 hours. He will wake up occasionally after about 45 minutes of napping. I can usually get him back to sleep, but we have had a few days where he wouldn't go back to sleep.

Eating: Nick has started to reject some foods that he used to devour, specifically peas and green beans. We have tried brocolli and he spit it out. He did like spinach quiche when I made it a few weeks ago so I may have to start making that a daily meal in order to get some green veggies into him. He will now stop eating when he's full, and unless I specifically ask if he is done, he will either spit the food out or throw his spoon, or both, when he is done eating. He still chugs his juice water. He doesn't chug milk and will actually put the cup down before its gone. For a while we were able to get him to drink milk with no Ovaltine, but then he started throwing the cup and wouldn't drink the straight milk so now we're back to chocolate milk, with barely any chocolate. He also won't drink straight water, it has to have a shot of juice before he'll consider it. He can feed himself with a spoon or fork, and does pretty well, but midway through whatever meal it is he will usually throw his spoon. If anyone has any ideas on how to work with him on this I'd love some advice. I try not to make a big deal about it but it is frustrating.

Diapering: Still Hates it, hates it, hates it. The one thing that works sometimes is singing. His favorite is my made up version of "If You're Happy and You Know It". I don't know all the words so I have made my own up where we touch different parts of our faces and feet, etc.

Music: Still LOVES music, loves dancing, now with swaying and little pumping fists have replaced the jazz hands. We often listen to our Music Together CD, and I have gotten him some instruments that he likes to play. We haven't watched the Wiggles much lately at all.

Communication: Nick hasn't really learned any new signs. But, over the past two weeks has started mimicking our words more and more. I have to say, I love this because I feel that it is a breakthrough in his ability to communicate with us and its so cute when he says a new word. So, at this point the words we think he can say are: Mama (not specific to me), Dada (mainly specific to Bill), Da (dog), Abba (we both thought we heard this yesterday when Abby (the dog) came into the room, he pointed to her as he said it, but this was the only time), Tee (teeth), Mou (mouth), Eye and Hi. He can also point to his eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and belly button.

Raspberries: Bill taught Nick how to give raspberries and now I am the primary recipient. At totally random times Nick will tug at my shirt or pant leg to move it so he can give me a raspberry. It is hilarious and if we ever get the video recorder recharged we'll get it on video and post. Nick is very proud of himself after giving an especially good one and gets giddy.

I guess that is about it for now. I probably won't post for a week or so because we'll be out of town. Have a great week all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First Sniffles and Happy Halloween!

Early last week Nick came down with his first case of sniffles since we've been together as a family. All in all I think it wasn't too bad, a mild fever (just one day), runny nose, coughing and sneezing. It didn't slow him down at all. The main impact we saw was at nap time when his cough would wake him up prematurely.

I was really worried that this would impact his being able to go to Music Together on Friday where it was costume and picture day, and also that he would have to miss the neighbor's Halloween Party. Luckily his fever only lasted a day and by Friday he was pretty much back to normal.
I have to say that I am the worst photographer. I still haven't completely gotten the hang of my camera and I've had it for a long time. The problem is that Nick moves so fast and in the time between hitting the button and the picture actually being taken, Nick is usually in my face by that time, or out of the picture. Its funny but frustrating. I managed to get one good picture of Nick in his costume. He was a dragon and was ok with the body part of the costume but he hated the hood. So, it didn't stay on his head long and if it was on his head, there were often tears. We didn't push it too much, therefore one picture and he's not even smiling in it...oh well.

We didn't take Nick out trick or treating because he's so young and our neighbors were having a party for the kids and adults after trick or treating, so we thought we would just take him to the party and everyone could see him there. I was also worried about all that time in the costume for him. I'm kind of glad we didn't take him out because he loved watching all the kids that came to our house. He is fascinated with the big kids (anyone older than him)! At the party one of my neighbors gave me a hard time for not bringing him around so they could ooh and aah and say how cute he looked. I didn't know :-)

He did look adorable and we had a fun time at the party. The neighborhood kids are all so sweet to Nick, especially the little girls. There are a bunch of them and they just fawn over Nick. They all want to lead him around and play with him. It is too cute!

Now for a few pictures from the past week!

Nick and Oma Gretel playing the piano

New Monkey PJ's

The Rear View of Nick the Dragon, with Tamborine