Monday, February 20

Eleven Months

Brock turned 11 months old yesterday! He's getting so big. In fact, he weighs about 24 pounds now (76th percentile) and is about 31 inches long (91st percentile). This may be surprising to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis (and knows how much I can say about nothing at all), but I am just at a loss for anything else to say about him turning 11 months. Maybe I'm in shock.

These are some of Brock's patterns and accomplishments between the tenth and eleventh months:
  • He's a busy kid these days (as you can see from the pictures above). He is not content to just sit around or be held. He wants to move and stand up and play and wiggle. I keep books in the side pockets of our glider rocker, and he's figured out how to get them now, so anytime I sit with him in the chair (or sit him in it by himself to take pictures), he leans over the side and grabs a book to read. I guess I should be happy he loves books so much.
  • He learned how to clap his hands at the beginning of the month and would do it every time we said, "Yaaay!"
  • He also learned how to give high fives. I like teaching him all these little tricks and fun responses, but I think Piper (the dog) still has more tricks in her repertoire than Brock at this point. He's catching up though.
  • He can kind of snap his fingers. Whenever he's whining or being fussy for no reason, Blaine has always snapped his fingers to get Brock's attention and then told him, "No whining." It never really stops the whining, but sometimes it's the effort to discipline that counts, right? Anyway, apparently Brock picked up on the finger snap and started putting his pointer finger and thumb together to make a sound that's kind of like a really quiet snap. He does it when he's waving bye bye too on occasion. I'm still not sure if it's intentional, but that's pretty impressive if he already knows how to snap. I don't think I learned how to snap until I was like 10 years old. Maybe we could get him in the Guinness World Records book (It seems like I've said that before about something else he did?).
  • He knows who "Daddy" and "Piper" are because he'll look for them when I say their names. He still can't say either one of them though, but I think he may have created his own name for Piper because whenever he's looking for her or talking to her, he says, "Ah-ti, Ah-ti" over and over like that's his version of "Piper". Of course, Blaine wants to rename her "Ah-ti" now.
  • He outgrew all his 9 month clothes and is now in 12 month sizes. He still wears size 3 diapers during the day and size 4 at night.
  • He can sit himself up easily now and does it all the time. He doesn't even have to have anything to pull up on. He just crawls around and then sits right up when he's ready.
  • Since he learned how to pull up last month, he now wants to stand up everywhere. He pulls up on the couch, on his walker, on the baby gate, on me, and anything else that is within reaching distance. He loves standing and he even travels some while holding on, but he hasn't taken the first independent steps yet. He did stand on his own for about three seconds last week, but it was by accident and he looked scared to death.
  • He finally cut his top two teeth at 45 weeks. It took almost two months of teething for them to break through the gums, and he was so irritable and fussy with them. He's a completely different baby now though. He hasn't woken up anymore in the middle of the night, and he sleeps longer for his naps now and doesn't wake up crying.
  • Sometimes he knows what "no" means. Actually, I'm pretty sure he always knows what "no" means; he just only obeys it sometimes. He's getting better about it though. I've found that one of the hardest things about discipline for me is just being consistent with it. If I tell him not to do something one day, I have to make sure to stay on top of it every day and not go back and forth letting it be ok one day but not ok the next. That's annoying because some days I'm so busy with or tired from everything else that I just don't care if he plays with the trash can or eats the remote control. But if I want him to understand his boundaries, I have to be consistent and clear about what they are. So that's a work in progress.
  • One of my favorite developments was that he started drinking whole milk at 46 weeks. I have been exclusively breastfeeding since he was born and never wanted to do formula just because I didn't want to have to spend the money on it, so breastfeeding was the easy, convenient, and economical way for us. (It's not for everyone, and I don't have any judgments about anyone who doesn't breastfeed; I'm just a tightwad and didn't want to pay for it if I didn't need to). He was nursing four times a day still last month, but he started only nursing for 10 minutes or less and was acting uninterested. At the beginning of this month, he got a stomach virus and then afterward wouldn't nurse during his lunchtime or afternoon sessions (when I say he wouldn't nurse, I mean he would scream and pitch a fit and get all worked up when I would try), so I was a little concerned that he wouldn't get enough fluids. When I called the doctor to ask, they said I could start giving him whole milk if he would drink it. And that he did. He loved it from the very first sip I think and even drinks it cold so I don't have to worry with warming it up. Now he's taking about 16 ounces of whole milk from a sippy cup (8 at lunch and 8 at dinner), and he nurses in the morning before breakfast and in the evening just before bed.
  • I've noticed more and more over the past couple of months that my little boy is not a patient one. I can't really blame him because he comes by it honestly (patience is not one of my virtues), but man, he can really pitch a fit and throw a temper tantrum. The more active he gets, the more he doesn't like to be held down (i.e., for diaper changes), and the more aware he becomes, the more he wants certain things and wants them immediately. It's kind of sad to me though because he used to be so docile and calm and sweet, and I see that slipping away a little bit as he more frequently acts like a monster. I had hoped he was going to have Blaine's personality, which is pretty laid-back and easy-going and content, and sometimes he's that way, but it seems like more and more he's becoming a little Godzilla baby, roaring to get what he wants and throwing things that he doesn't want and eating people (ok, not really on that last one, but sometimes he looks like he could eat someone!). He's still cuddly and loving, and he's happy more than he's not, but when he's unhappy, he's a terror. There's a little nursery rhyme I remember that personifies what I'm talking about: "There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was really, really good, but when she was bad, she was horrid." That's Brock right there; except he's a boy, not a girl.
  • He may have his bad days/moments, but overall, I think he's kind of a little ham. As you can see from his eleven-month picture at the bottom, he loves to make goofy faces, and he seems to really get a kick out of making people laugh. We may have a future class clown on our hands.

Saturday, February 18

Friday Photos on Saturday - Two Front Teeth

Oops... I completely forgot to post the Friday Photos yesterday. I had them but just got busy and didn't remember them. So they're a day late this week.

Brock's top two front teeth finally came in last week, so now he has a total of four: two on top and two on the bottom. He's happy because he can chomp things and grit/grind his teeth together to make a new noise. I'm happy because he's no longer excessively irritable and fussy and whiney and because he can sleep again without waking up crying. His pediatrician doesn't believe in teething (as in, he doesn't believe it causes them pain), but I have a difference of opinion on this matter because Brock is like a different baby now that they finally broke through. Anyway, I took some pictures of his little teeth this week. He has a gap in the top two which may be hereditary; his aunt (my sister), uncle (Blaine's brother), and two cousins all have one. I like his little gap-toothed grin though; it gives him character.

This is his new "ugly face" he likes to make with his nose scrunched up and his lip snarled and his teeth showing. We're not huge fans. Blaine says he looks like some kind of parasite off of X-files.
This is him grinding his top and bottom teeth together to make an awful, nails on a chalkboard noise
And these last two have nothing to do with his teeth. I just like them a lot. Love my blue-eyed baby.

Friday, February 10

Friday Photo in Motion - Boogie Fever

First I should mention that I did change my blog template, in case anyone was worried they were in the wrong place. I just needed a little aesthetic update because my eyes were tired of looking at the same colors/patterns. Anyway, on to the main point...

Brock has learned how to dance. Well, sort of. It's his version of dancing at least, and really it's probably not much different from the way Blaine or I dance (which is not very well and not very often and generally not in front of people). He has a little Fisher Price Dance & Wiggle dog that my dad and stepmom gave him for Christmas, and he has been fascinated by it from day one. A few weeks ago he learned how to push the buttons to make it play, and in the past week or so I noticed he would start bouncing/dancing to the music when it was on. Sometimes he really gets into it. This video was kind of just half-hearted dancing because he was distracted by the video camera so you don't get the full effect, but I thought it was cute anyway. Other noteworthy moments in the video are the weird cough-laugh that he starts doing for some reason and then the glimpse of his lazy-man crawl at the end (instead of getting on his knees, he still just kind of drags his legs behind him like they're paralyzed, but oh well, whatever works).

Monday, February 6

Last Week's Lessons

I don't know if I was just in a learning mood last week or what, but I was thinking yesterday about several realizations and epiphanies I had over the past seven days. Of course, any time things like this occur to me I have a compulsion to either post them in a Facebook status or blog about them. Maybe I'm a bit of a mental/verbal exhibitionist, but I'm pretty sure the random thoughts and experiences are what make Facebook or a blog worth reading. At least that's the only reason I keep my blog, so if for no one's entertainment other than my own, here we go...

Life Lessons From Last Week

Lesson #1:    Grocery shopping with a baby saves time and money. To clarify, this doesn't mean if you have a baby you'll save time and money because quite the opposite is true, I think. The savings I'm talking about only occur if you take the baby with you to shop for groceries. You might find it surprising, but up until this point I have not had to (nor have I wanted to) take Brock to the store by myself. Either Blaine or a grandparent would keep him while I went by myself or Blaine would come with us and entertain Brock. I'm not sure why, but I love to take my time grocery shopping, even in the obnoxious Walmart. I just like to be able to compare prices and coupons (and sometimes calorie contents) and go at an easy pace up and down each aisle. It's almost relaxing to me. I even used to take my ipod and listen to music while I shopped. Counting drive time, checkout time, and loading/unloading time, the whole process could take me up to 2 hours. The week before last (I only shop every two weeks) my nana and papa came by to see Brock and while they were here I said, "Hey, you guys want to stay here and let me go get some groceries?" To which they replied (as all wonderful grandparents do), "Of course!" Two hours and about $200.00 later, I made it back home with a trunk full of food to relieve the grandparents from their (maybe longer than expected) baby-sitting job. Last week, however, my need for groceries snuck up on me and I didn't really have any good opportunities to go other than at night after Brock went to bed, which I don't really like because then I don't get in bed until after 10:00. So I sucked it up and said, "You're coming with me kid." From previous experiences when Blaine was with us, I knew I only had a limited amount of time before he got bored and irritable (Brock, that is... although the same could be said of Blaine too probably). I also knew that time frame was probably even smaller because he would be strapped in the buggy (which I was told when we lived in Louisville is an exclusively southern word for what the general population refers to as a grocery cart) with no daddy to fly him all around the store. With my list in hand, my purse filled with at least five different toys, and my running shoes on (not really, but that was a funny picture in my head) I zoomed through that store and got $100 worth of groceries back to my car in 45 minutes! (I should say I did pay for them... I didn't just take them to my car). 45 minutes! I was amazed, and even more so because I still had a happy baby who didn't cause any scenes. I promptly called Blaine to tell him what a SuperMom I am and give him an opportunity to admire and be in awe of me. Then I thought to myself, "I hope I got everything I needed... how did I spend half the amount I did last time?" So who needs coupons, just take a baby with you to the store. It's like racing a ticking time bomb to get groceries!

Lesson #2:    Always keep some backup toys in the front seat of the car. This sort of tied in with my grocery learning experience. We went together to get groceries on Wednesday; we got home just in time to unload groceries, have dinner, and get everything ready to go to church. After 20 minutes in the car going to and from the grocery store, 45 minutes strapped into the buggy, and 30 minutes stuck in his high chair, Brock was a little restless so he was understandably irritated when we got back in the car to go to church (another 20 minute drive). However, he didn't voice his irritation until we were well on our way, of course. So here I am driving down the road with a wailing baby in the backseat who is making my eye twitch, and I'm feeling a little guilty because of all the activities of the afternoon. He's normally perfectly content to ride in the car so I'm not used to having to deal with temper tantrums while I'm driving, but I looked over in the passenger seat desperate for something to toss back to him to take his mind off his issues, and I happened to luck out. One of his snack bowls was sitting there from earlier in the week, and he loves chewing on them because they have these rubbery grippers. I eased the bowl behind me over the top of his carseat into his hands (all while still driving and trying to maintain the correct speed and stay in the correct lane; parenthood is dangerous for so many reasons), and he instantly stopped crying! For three minutes. Ok, that worked for three minutes, and I've got about 10 minutes left in the drive. I need three more items to give him. Fortunately, I'm a slob and never clean out my car so there were several things to choose from. By the time we got to church, Brock's carseat was filled with his bowl, a pacifier still in the car from when he was three months old, a rattle that just happened to be in my cup holder, and my keys. Honestly, I could have just let him cry because I'm not one of those, "Never let the baby cry, always keep him happy" kind of people, but my main concern was that he was going to get in such a bad mood that he'd pitch a fit with the nursery ladies at church, so I was just hoping to keep him content and happy for them. Anyway, now I know. And next time I'll probably start with the keys first because even though I'm sure they are a safety hazard, they kept him busy for a good five minutes longer than the other baby-approved items.

Lesson #3:    My neighbor doesn't hate me. Ok, this isn't really a lesson but just a realization. I wrote a heartfelt blog post to my neighbor a little while back (found here if you didn't see it before) about how sorry I was for all the ways I had ruined a potential future friendship with her. She has a little girl who is maybe six or seven months older than Brock and I kind of had hopes of setting up some playdates or just neighborhood strolling dates and getting to know her since we now had the one thing in common that can create instant bonds between women - Motherhood (note: it can also create instant tension, jealousy, competition, and irritation between women too, so it's not all rainbows and roses). Anyway, Blaine and I were taking Brock outside one afternoon as she was walking by with her daughter and she actually looked up at us and smiled. Blaine (who knows the whole sad story) said, "Hey, how's it going?" and told Brock to wave, and then she didn't just smile and say hi back. She actually turned her stroller into our driveway and told her daughter to say hi too! As she continued on her walk, I whispered to Blaine (with probably a little too much joy to be considered normal), "She doesn't hate me!" Either that or she just thinks my husband is hot.

Lesson #4:    The Backyardigans theme song is my baby whisperer. Every now and then I'll pull up a random children's show on Netflix (we don't have cable) if I'm trying to kill a few minutes before bedtime or something, and sometimes Brock is interested, sometimes he's not. One show that I find particularly cute and entertaining is The Backyardigans. I had turned it on enough times to learn the intro theme song and would occasionally sing it during the day. Well, apparently, that made it interesting to Brock because now all we have to do is turn on that show and for the entire minute that that theme song is on, he is glued to the tv. Hardly anything will distract him from it and as soon as it's over he starts wiggling and squirming and whining to hear it again. He doesn't care too much at all about the show itself, just that song. Now all I need is someone to make that one minute song into a 30 minute recording that just plays over and over, and I could make dinner every night without interruption.


Here's hoping this next week provides just as many helpful insights!

Friday, February 3

Friday Photos - Sunny Days

We've been taking advantage of the amazing weather this past week and soaking up some afternoon sunshine in our driveway. This is one ridiculously warm and pleasant "winter" so far, but I'm fine with that because it definitely beats being cooped up in the house with a newly adventurous baby who quickly gets bored. Brock likes having his snack while roaming around in the walker, which apparently has a magnetic attraction to the road because that's where he always ends up running as I chase after him. Anyway, I went a little camera crazy so I've got plenty of pictures to share this week.

"What? Is there something in my new teeth?"
This is the busy kid I was referring to... He is constantly trying to get into something or play with something he's not supposed to or turn something over. And he can't even walk yet...
"Yaaay!" He loves to clap his hands these days

He has to wave bye to all the cars that drive by

Piper: "Hey, Brock, what's that over there?"
Sneaky dog is also a fan of the snack that smiles back (Goldfish)

Then we had to turn our hat backwards and do a little car maintenance,
complete with tire grease on the fingers and everything.