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Monday, November 28, 2011

eleven months

Henry turned eleven months old many days ago but I'm just now getting around to the monthly update. Seems kinda sad that I won't be taking a monthly picture anymore after next month ... maybe I should just keep it going. I'm sure when he's sixteen years and four months old he'll just love that idea. Here are his latest stats...
  • He is fitting, but just barely, into 18-month size clothing. The boy is tall!
  • He is sporting two new teeth on the top, and it appears he will have quite a gap. If you knew me prior to 1998, you know where he got it from. Yes, braces will likely be in his future. But, for now, that gap is just so darn cute!
  • His favorite pastimes include pushing really small buttons, flipping light switches, pointing at anything and everything in the hope that we will name it for him, unloading any cabinet, drawer or basket he can access, playing peek-a-boo, and making this super cute "surprise" face where his eyebrows raise way up and his mouth makes a tiny little "o" shape.
  • He can do two signs (all done and more) and has a few word-like things that he says ("What's that", "Da-da", "Wow", "One")
  • He is showing signs that he's going to be very independent. Yes, I'll call it independent as opposed to strong-willed :) He wants to feed himself, doesn't want to have his diaper changed, doesn't want to be told "no", and doesn't really want to be restrained in his carseat. The other day I told Dameon that I felt like he was really starting to show some toddler-like behaviors with the whole throwing himself on the floor when I shut a door or take something from it that he can't have. I decided to look in our month-by-month book to see what it said about this. The first sentence for this month was something about how your baby will start to exhibit some of these behaviors around this age as they enter the stage of "I am toddler, hear me roar." Hmmmmm. Interesting.
  • We are busy preparing to celebrate the big first birthday next month. This makes me very excited and proud, while also making me want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. I can't believe it's been a year!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the art of sneaking

Before I became a mother, I had a mental list of things that, as a parent, I would never do. I would never take a small baby to the State Fair. I would never let my child have dried-up boogers in his nose. I would never give my kid a pacifier until breastfeeding was well-established. And (this is the most important one, so take note) I would maintain a normal level of noise around the house while the child was sleeping, so that he/she would never require silence in order to stay asleep. Crazy how I used to know so much more about parenting back then.....ahem.
It all began on a rainy April day, as I recall. Henry had been cranky all morning, which was unusual for him. I had worked and worked to get him to nap and finally by about noon, he was asleep. I now needed to take a shower, get supper started, make my grocery list, and fold laundry before he woke up again. Because when you have a baby who lays happily in one spot on the floor and bats his arms at toys for long periods of time, how can you possibly get anything done while he's awake?!?! (Ah, the days before Henry was crawling, pulling up, emptying cabinets, and putting everything in his mouth. I had no idea. But, that's another post for another day.) Anyway, I was so relieved that he was finally napping, that I tip-toed out of the room just as Dameon was coming home for lunch. I greeted him with a "Shhhhhhhhh" and a look of desperation that said, "If you wake that child, I will cry and you will be punished," and the rest is history. I have successfully managed to create the lightest sleeping child on the face of the earth. Yay for me.
In the beginning it didn't seem like such a big deal. Henry was still sleeping in our bed and taking most of his naps with me or on me (in his sling). But around six months of age, he transitioned into his crib, and I quickly memorized every creaky floor board, squeaky door, etc. in our very noisy 1920's home. I mean, it's just common sense that you don't empty or load the dishwasher, get ice from the freezer door, turn the t.v. up past volume level 7, walk past the nursery door, flush the toilet, run a load of baby clothes through the dryer (those snaps are LOUD), or cough while the baby is sleeping. Duh! So, for those of you out there who live in an older home full of creaky hardwood floors, I've developed some ways to help you move around your home while your child is sleeping. But only if you must. And, if you're more of a visual learner, stop by my house (but not at naptime or after 8:00 p.m.) and I'll give you a little demonstration.

1. The tuck and roll. This move is most helpful when trying to get out of your baby's room without him seeing you. You want to basically melt to the floor like a limp noodle and then slither to the door on all fours, avoiding the places that will creak underneath you. It's also helpful to hold your breath. You can come up for air once the door is closed behind you.

2. The skate. You will minimize the creaking if you can slide your feet across the floor, rather than picking them up and actually taking steps. It's just common sense.

3. The straddle. Floorboards closest to the wall are the quietest, so if you can kinda straddle the hallway, you'll be much better off. Trust me.

Now, there are a couple things that can really throw you off. Once your baby is able to pull himself up, the crib ledge has to be raised. In my case, this has to be done after Henry is laid down because otherwise I'm not tall enough to lower him into bed. There have been many times when the clicking of the latch wakes him. I don't know what to tell you on that one. Secondly, your husband can be a real wild card. Dameon tries very hard to follow the rules of sneaking but he's got these wide feet that don't slide very well and tend to kinda slap the floors instead. He also tends to hover over the creakiest areas of the house. He says if he walks fast, it's quieter. We have differing definitions of "quiet". I mean, what guy wouldn't want to come home from a long day of work to be greeted with a "Shhhhhh" and pointing motion toward the nursery and then have to ask permission to walk to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a snack or glass of water?? Sounds relaxing to me.

*Yes, this post is written sarcastically to poke fun at myself for the dumb things I've done. So thankful I have a husband who puts up with my crazy antics! I've worked to tone it down a bit after Dameon said to me a few months back, "I think your shushing is going to wake the baby." Ha! We can laugh about it now. Live and learn, right? Oh, the things I won't do with our second child!! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

uppercase around the house

Back in April, I decided to try something new and become a demonstrator for Uppercase Living. If you don't know, it's a company that makes vinyl expressions for your home, school, business, etc. Since then I've had lots of fun doing parties for people and personalizing our own home. I took some photos for an album I'm putting together, but thought I'd also share them here!

This is in our living room right above the fireplace. The expression is applied to our metal board, so it's easy to rearrange if needed.

This is in our master bedroom:
I shared these nursery photos in my last post, but wanted to explain. This first expression isn't one that is found in the catalog. Uppercase Living offers the option of customizing your own expressions! This was a verse (well, part of a verse) we had picked out, so I just went on the website and created it in "My Design Studio". Soooo happy with how it turned out!

This dandelion is super cute, but also hard to capture in a photo. The petals go up and over the window. They can be placed however you like because they are cut apart and applied individually.
This is in our dining room above the doorway. I like the contrast against our wall color.
Anyway, that's just a little tour around the Place house. Now I'm looking forward to doing a few Christmas-themed things!