Friday, September 19, 2008

Direct quotes

  • When sitting on the toilet he said, "Poop!!" - urinated on toilet. SO proud of himself. Outside did a lot of running - liked when we would say "Ready...Go!!" [just like dad does] Also asked to be next a lot today "neh, neh". [his horse impression sounds remarkably similar to next]
  • Stuart marched and danced like the wind-up toys.
  • Stuart comments on everything - lots of words!

One very important lesson we're learning, Stuart imitates things. I know, it's no surprise really, but we need to be careful about what we say. Most of the time it's just really silly though. More to come on this....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Does he cry when you leave?

People often ask me if Stuart likes daycare and if he cries when I leave. The short answer is yes and no. In fact, there are days he cries when I pick him up. I showed up a little early a few days ago and he was not happy about it, he desperately wanted to go to the gym with his friends but instead he was stuck going home with mom. Another day he was cruising around (sitting still really) in a "cozy coupe" - the plastic cars kids can get in and move with their feet. I played with him for a bit but then said it was time to go and opened the car door, he grabbed the car door and slammed it shut. Poor guy, he probably had to wait a long time for his turn with the car and I ended it before it's time. Today on the other hand was a good day and he was thrilled to see me, took my hand and waved and said bye-bye to everyone as we walked past.

I don't think he ever cried when Geoff used to pick him up, oh well, I'm sure it's developmentally appropriate and he'll grow out of it. But as I often hear from friends with older children, he'll likely grow back into it around 8 or 9.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

As usual

That's how the past few days have been for Stuart, pretty typical. He pushed trucks through the sand, rocked on a boat and sang "row row" and built towers with Legos. He loves pretending so when he was playing with the pretend kitchen he blows on his food pretending it's hot (which is what we had done the night before when he wanted to try our eggplant parm) before pretending to take a bite. He gave his teachers and friends lots of hugs and practiced his animal sounds. "He loves climbing on and off big tricycles and cheering for himself."

The potty saga continues - but I will say that as excited as we are when he pees, it's much less exciting to clean it up.
He still enjoys sitting on the potty and at school apparently likes to sit on the potty and talk about "mama!" What a wonderful time to be in his thoughts....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Drum roll please

Well this seems like a great place to start since Stuart has had a busy couple of days. On our daily notes, one section is "diapering/toileting" and the options are as usual or other. We usually get as usual or nothing (same as as usual) but not on 8/28 we got an "other". It said, "urinated in potty chair!! Yay!!!" That's right, the use the word urinate and not the more standard pee pee like we do, but it was big news. We figured it was a one time deal, but we were wrong, he's done it three more times at home since then - I think the last time when most of it ended up on the floor and on his leg still counts :) We still did a lot of clapping and cheering for him. And now when he looks at the potty or we talk about it he claps and says "yeah". Not sure what can top that, but on the same day he loved coloring with markers, really liked scooping sand with the large spoons and lined by large blocks and knocked them down - all in a day's work for a toddler.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Toddler Daily Information: Message From Caregiver

After starting this blog and not really posting, I was forced (okay that's a bit dramatic) to rethink the whole blogging thing. As it turns out I am just not a blogger, but I am an avid blog reader - probably for the same reasons that I'm obsessed with reality TV. As I've been rethinking my blogger identity I found myself reading friends' blogs - blogs designed to keep friends and family who are miles apart informed of what's going on in their daily lives. Well when I talk about what's going on with Stuart, I usually relay something from his "Message From Caregiver". Everyday when we drop Stuart off at school we fill out the "Message From Home" side, and when we pick him up we get the sheet back and a teacher has filled out the "Message From Caregiver" side. It lets us know what he ate, how he napped (or didn't) and how he spent his time. I love the daily sheets - so for all you daycare teachers out there, keep em coming, and keep em descriptive. For instance, we learned that Stuart does "a great monkey impression" from his sheet (and were able to confirm it at home, it's pretty good).

So in the weeks to come I am going to do my best to post some of Stuart's "Teacher Comments" to keep friends and family informed. And of course I will insert some of my own commentary.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Toddler Peer Pressure

It's official, in the world of daycare (which we prefer to call school), my 16 mth old is a younger toddler. Yesterday was his first full day in the toddler classroom. Last week was his transition week where he visited for part of the day but always returned to the infant classroom.

He loves being a toddler! And we've already noticed some new behaviors, no doubt the result of toddler peer pressure - indirect of course - some good and some bad. He sits at a table and eats (no more highchair) and buses his own dishes, he sleeps on a cot (only 2 inches off the ground), and he washes his own hands - pumps the soap himself, rubs his hands together and then gets his own paper towel and dries them off. Wow, he's learning so much everyday. He also is a lot louder then he was before - which we've decided is because there's a lot more going on his classroom and toddlers are just louder than infants. He is also doing a lot more "limit testing" - a nice way of saying he knows that he's not supposed to do something but he looks at us, does it anyway, and then runs away laughing. The balance for me as a parent is that it's very cute, but I know I don't want to encourage that behavior, and he's also only 16mths so I need to cut him some slack because we're both still learning. No doubt there will be more to come on this.

Until then....

Divided Attention

My son is now 16mths and everyday I am reminded that the ability to divide his attention between multiple tasks is one that he does not have - and one that he won't have for many years. That is why as parents we say things like, "look at me when I'm talking to you" and "turn your listening ears on" (my personal favorite because it adds a little humor to the situation). As adults we know that you don't need to be looking at someone to hear what they are saying but when you are talking to a toddler, the first thing you need to do is get their attention.

What this means is that when your toddler seems to be ignoring you, in fact they are likely just busy doing something else. That's the good news and the bad news. I want my son to be able to focus on particular tasks and get really involved in coloring so much that he blocks other things out (hopefully that will translate to his schoolwork someday). The bad news is that I need to call his name countless times to get his attention. The other good side of that is that I was able to sneak into his classroom the other day, grab my keys, and leave again, without him noticing.

So what I've decided is to keep it light, work on turning those listening ears on, laugh when he's so involved in trying to use his spoon to eat his applesauce that he doesn't notice dad came in the room or his cup fell on the ground, be glad he's working on developing the skill of focused attention, and know that in another ten years he'll be able to divide his attention between tasks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


During the early days, I spent a lot of time thinking about breastfeeding. For this “natural” experience there are lactation consultants, breastfeeding resource centers, and a wealth of other materials. Doesn't sound very natural to me.
But what if you choose to use formula or have to use formula? I haven’t come across any bottle feeding consultants.

And here’s the benefits they don’t tell you about the bottle (this doesn't minimize the benefits of breastfeeding):
You know how much the baby is eating
Anyone can give the baby a bottle, even in the middle of the night
Depending on your own comfort level, it may be easier to give your baby a bottle in certain situations

I also learned that the advice that newborns need to eat every two hours is somewhat of a myth. What they don't tell you is that that is a fuzzy two hours, it could be every half hour, every hour, and if you're lucky every three hours. Some infants participate in what is called cluster feeding, during this time, eating every 30-60 minutes is not out of the question. Plus, you are supposed to start timing from the time the baby starts eating. Well my son could easily eat for 40 minutes, that means as soon as he was done, I needed to start thinking about feeding him again. Breastfeeding is really hard and exhausting.

Sleep (written during week 5)

Right now sleep seems like the most appropriate place to start, since that is what I am missing the most these days.

1. Once the exhaustion really kicks in, if he will sleep 3 or 4 hours at night between feedings, who am I to wake him?

2. Newborns are really noisy. We started out with our son sleeping in a small portable crib next to our bed. What that means is that every time he flails his arms, changes his breathing pattern, grunts, or coos (which is quite enjoyable during the day), I was awake and hovering. Does he need to eat? Does he need his diaper changed? On his 1 month birthday I decided I needed more sleep and he should sleep in his room, that way I wouldn’t hear his every move. Well that worked like a charm and he has been sleeping in his own room, in his crib ever since. As it turns out, not only was he keeping me up, but apparently I was disturbing his sleep as well because he has been sleeping like a champ. I learned that all that hovering wasn’t good for either of us.

3. Checking to see if the baby is still breathing
Babies have immature systems and that means their breathing patterns change from heavy and fast (sort of like a 90-year-old man) to slow and quiet. So of course you check to see if baby is still breathing because a minute ago you could hear him from the other room now you can’t hear him at all.

A real live blog

About a year and a half ago, a colleague and friend suggested I start a blog about parenting - what it's really like. As someone with a degree in human development, he thought it would be "fun" to blog about what it's really like, all the things they leave out of the books. With great intentions, I started a blog, well sort of. I started to blog in a word file - at the time my son was only 4 weeks old and I was too tired to actually figure out how the blog worked. Well, those good intentions got lost and now 16 months later I'm finally starting to get my act together and have started a real live blog! I'm going to start by blogging about the first few months of parenthood - yes, I'm pulling out those old word documents.

And, I have invited a good friend to blog with me. She is the parent of a teenager. So here we go.....parenting live! toddlers and teens.