Saturday, April 23, 2011

Getting Creative!

I have the crafty bug.

I want to crochet, sew, color, create....

and I am thinking of turning that attention onto Liam's room.

He is becoming more aware of his surroundings and I think he would like a more interesting room.

At some point in the near future I want to find a good stencil of a flying bird or some other cute/cool creature that can be done without those little stencil support things holding it together.... I don't want it to LOOK like a stencil.

Then, on the darker walls I want to make birds in the brighter blue. On the lighter walls I want to make birds in the darker blue. (his room is two shades of blue... ) And where the wall is painted half one color and half another I will make one bird be both colors.

I want to move his hanging storage thinggie to make the room feel more open. i put it up in a hurry and did not think much about it.

I also want to get him his own laundry hamper/basket. using a cardboard box might be simple and cheap, but it doesn't look cute. It was supposed to be a one day solution, not turn into a 4 month long thing that I just forgot to ever change.

Hopefully I can find a way to do all this stenciling that I want to do.

I have this picture in my mind of this cool design that looks like something you might see on a t-shirt from  or on some nifty fabric. I might even decide to mix in a chocolate brown bird here and there. I like how brown looks with shades of blue.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cousins!

Liam and I went to visit the cousins today. Ruth, Pearl, Grace and Dorothy. And of course their mama and papa.

I always loving coming into their home. Their mama, Nichole, is just so kind and welcoming. She understands babies, understands how they do things and is one of the few people I have ever known who just accepts people. Liam can drool on their toys, play with their toys, chew on the toys, use the furniture and make a mess and in that home, it is ok. I feel like I can do what I need to do to take care of Liam, and anything is ok. In some homes I have felt weird for asking for a place to change him, even in homes with other babies... but today Nichole just offers up her bed as a place to change him. Just all kinds of ok and understanding. I also like it because I trust them enough to know that they keep things nice enough that he won't get sick from playing with their toys!

I always felt a little bit like an outsider before I also had a baby. But once Liam was here I found that with that common thread we had even more in common. I love they raise those girls. They are kind and generous, they share with out even thinking. It is just part of who they are. They are amazing people.
Their youngest girl, Dotty, is my shining light of what kind of baby I want Liam to be. She is adventurous and daring, she is gentle and kind. She shares with the ease and grace of her older sisters and when she wants something she goes for it. She already shows kindness to others and her laugh is beautiful.

Her older sisters have given her this gift of love that makes you feel all warm inside to see. I love seeing them and spending time with them. Pearl and Grace are always together, always seeming to have their own secret world together. Ruth is growing into this stunning young lady, I remember being about her age when she was born and I wished more than anything that I could spend more time with her.

I hope that as Liam grows a bit more and summer comes to Portland we will be invited to tag along on more of their adventures. To get to know more about those girls, to know more about my wonderful cousins.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Least Favorite Development

I admit it, I get frustrated at my baby...

When he rolls over during a diaper change, when he screams and cries and refuses to eat or even just calm down when I know he is tired.

I get frustrated and it shows in my voice. I say things like "Liam, PLEASE!!!!"  as if he would understand me. I show him how frustrated I am, but I think that just upsets him more.
Sometimes I can walk away, just let him be cranky for a bit. But today...

I needed to change his diaper and so I started to lay him down and he rolls over. Repeat. Repeat three more times until I can even get the bottoms unsnapped. This was a super messy diaper. The kind you need about 6 wipes for...  I get it undone, and he rolls! I have to stop him from smearing his bum on the wall above the changing table. I quickly wipe the worst of it off, and then he sits up. I have to pull the diaper out from under him so he doesn't sit in it.  Lay him back down, he rolls, lay him down again. Hold his chest with my one hand so he won't roll away,  try to get him clean. Get out a new diaper, he rolls away. Hold him down with an elbow while he is trying to roll away. Get him halfway into the clean diaper, he rolls, I secure the tab as he rolls away from me yet again.   Of course he is SCREAMING and crying this whole time and I am about to tell him that fine he can just crawl around naked, except it is 45 minutes past his nap time and I know he needs to sleep and I do NOT want to clean up the crib if I put him to sleep without a diaper. This is just not happening.

But I am totally frustrated by this whole process. I am mad at my baby! Why can't he just lay down and let me change the poopy diaper he is wearing? Why must he fight me!

I get him cleaned up and go to make him a bottle, so I set him on the floor with his toys while I go make a bottle and he is SCREAMING again as soon as I set him down. Following me to the kitchen and screaming like his world is ending. And of course I feel guilty. I feel terrible. I am letting him scream while I make his bottle and feeling bad about it. I know he is hungry, and I know I am working on fixing it.... but he doesn't know that really. I understand why he is upset... but it makes me upset too!

I get his bottle made, get him, he is hungry and sucking his thumb and reaching for the bottle. I get him comfy in my lap and bottle into his little mouth and after about 10 seconds he pulls away screaming again. Its not too hot, its not too cold, its not anything other than perfect. The nipple isnt cracked, it isnt plugged, it isnt broken or deformed or ANYTHING.

He cries and reaches for the bottle again, I give it back, and he starts to eat again, and after 2oz he pulls away and screams. He cries and jams his thumb in his mouth and cries because his thumb is not feeding him, I offer him the bottle and he pulls away.

And I think I must be doing something wrong. Even though this is the same food he ate with joy the day before. He rolls around in my lap and gets all sleepy. I go put him in his crib and he falls asleep. He is happy. He is sleeping. I feel like crap because he only has eaten half his normal amount in the last 2 days and keeps fighting me when he is hungry. And it is making me frustrated at him. I see him being hungry, I know he wants to eat, but he just won't eat. Then he gets even more mad because he is hungry!

I think that maybe this is all because he was over tired, except he did this to me at his morning bottle as well, and the one after that. He fights me more on diaper changes, he will not lay there, no matter HOW you entertain him. And it makes me frustrated! I get upset when he shoves against me and refuses to eat, refuses to be held, but doesn't want to be put down. I keep thinking I am doing something wrong. I think he dislikes me. I know this isn't true, but it hurts.

And I feel bad that when he does this my first reaction is to be frustrated. After a little bit I can be all soothing and comforting and just deal with it, but I get mad. I get angry. I sigh at him and snap and say "Just hold STILL! Please!"  I know this does not work, what works is singing to him, or making funny faces at him. But I can't just go right into that mode when he makes me mad.

I KNOW it isn't his fault. He is 10 months old for heavens sake. He doesn't understand me when I ask him to lay still. He doesn't realize that if he would stop thrashing in my arms he might not end up bonking his head. He doesn't think like that yet. He is just reacting to something that is wrong but he can't tell me what is bugging him, even if that same thing didn't bug him 30 minutes ago.

But I hate that I get angry at him. I hate that I get frustrated at him. I know it doesn't help, but I can't seem to NOT be hurt and upset when I OBVIOUSLY am trying to do right by him and he just wants to get away from me. He doesn't understand... but neither do I. I don't get it. I don't know what is wrong.

I seriously hope this ends soon. Its been three days now of him being indecisive, acting out in new ways and seriously fighting this whole diaper change thing. I don't know how much more I can take!!!!!!!

But then, in between all the screaming and shoving and refusing to eat... he smiles. He plays. He crawls into my lap and hugs me. He leans his head on my knee and is content. He laughs at doggies, he laughs at kitties, he plays with me and touches my socks and is a happy little guy.

I wish I didn't get so frustrated and mad when he gets cranky. I wish it didn't bug me enough that I end up communicating that frustration to him. I know it doesn't help.... but how do I stop? How do I go right into singing stupid songs mode to keep him laying there on the changing table and stop thrashing during a diaper change? 

Ugh.  I have a headache. I need to do the dishes, I need to do my own laundry, I need to sweep and mop and clean and..... and I just don't have the energy after all that. I really don't.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Birthday Box Request

This morning Dan forwarded me an e-mail from his family. And the resulting reply was something I wanted to share with everyone.

Here is the original e-mail:

            We received the invitation to Liam's birthday party.  We thought you enjoyed the baby shower in a box so we wanted to put a birthday party in a box together for Liam.  If this is OK we have lots of questions so you don't end up with lots of things you don't want or need.
            Liam's favorite (the top 3 of each)
            Sizes for clothes and how many of each to last through at least the summer
               shirt (long or short sleeves):
               pants (long or short):
               socks (tub or cute)
               hats (yes or no) type:
            Does he own any books (type and titles):
            Jessie/Dan's favorite stores to shop for Liam?
            Does he have a toy box or shelves to store things?

Please send the answer to the questions to both of us.  Thanks. Alan and I came up with this.....   

And here is my reply!

Hey Everyone!

You are right, I did love the box of gifts a whole lot! Liam adores that shapes box with all the little blocks in it. He can pick them up and put them back in the box, but not the hole that is their shape yet. I am pretty sure he will catch on to that soon.

Well, lets see. 

I know you all put a lot of thought into this, so I am going to put a lot of thought into my answers. If nothing else, you all can learn some things about Liam!

So, his favorite color:  He is attracted to the bright colors in toys. Reds, yellows, and even pink. In clothing, he looks the best in earth tones. Tans and Browns, mossy greens, muted blues and grays. He does not look good in super bright colors. Not sure why, just something about his skin tone I guess.

His favorite food: He really loves butternut squash, whole peas, cookies (shhhh, I gave him a bite of a home made snickerdoodle last week! He was a happy guy.) applesauce and bananas. I am starting to head away from the mushed up foods and just give him things like well cooked carrots instead of carrot puree, a handful of peas on his highchair tray instead of mushy peas. He is learning to chew and gnaw on his food, to pick it up with his fingers.

Favorite toy/object.  That one is easy. Right now it is the couch! He loves to be bounced on the cushions, to stand on them and lean against the back of the couch and tap at the window. To crawl across the couch and try to make it over the arm rest before one of us can catch him. His bouncer is on the end of the couch and he likes to lean over that arm rest and play with the toys in his bouncer from another angle.   But his blocks are a close second. He really likes those things.

And his favorite animal is a dog. My friend came to visit and brought her Australian Shepherd to come visit and Liam took one look at Bear and started laughing. Bear licked his toes and Liam laughed, Bear sniffed his face and Liam laughed. Even the cats do not prompt as much laughter as a good playful dog.

Now, clothing size to last through the summer...  He has been right on track with the Carter's sizing, he fits into the 9 month stuff now and I imagine that soon he will fit the 12 month stuff. I guess 12-18 month or bigger would work for most clothing. I know Gerber sizes theirs a little differently, in theirs he would fit into an 18 month size right now.  I am a huge fan of the overalls and a onesie look. Or just a onesie and some cute pants. Shirts just tend to ride up on him, but when I go to look at baby clothes there are more and more shirts and less and less onesies for his size! Then again he should be walking in another couple months and without him shuffling all over the floor and crawling across things I bet there will be less shirt riding up.

In summer I suppose he would be in a lot of short sleeved shirts/onesies. I know that the size will still fit him in the fall though and into winter, so any length really is fine.

I like both shorts and long pants, just has to have a lot of give in the waist. There are some we have found that are really stiff and Liam does not like them, I think they dig into his tummy.

As for socks, the ones that can go up really high on his leg have a better chance of actually staying on his feet. Anything else slips off really fast. I keep finding him sitting there with just one sock halfway on and no idea of where the other sock is. I am sure some day I will find a huge stash of baby socks somewhere in the house. All the ones that go missing.

I can not fit his feet into shoes yet. He has fat feet! I have just been putting him in socks when he needs them, and slipper shoes if we decide we need shoes. Ones that are kinda like socks but with harder bottoms. They are stretchy enough on the foot part to accommodate his pudgy little feet. As long as its flexible enough to stretch with his feet... I really have not had much luck finding shoes that fit him. Perhaps as he gets closer to walking his little feet will flatten out a bit.

He actually needs a sun hat soon. One of those floppy ones that you see on kids at the beach. But he does not like most hats, I have one that I made for him that he will tolerate long enough to get from the car into the store before he pulls it off his head.

He has lots of books. Even some with his name in them. "Little Liam Eagle" and some others. He has board books with puppies and kittens, cloth books that crinkle (Squishy Turtle and Friends, which he REALLY likes) a book of bed time stories, Where the Wild Things Are, The Polar Express, some counting books, 10 Little Monkeys...   He likes the ones with real pictures rather than drawings in them. He points to the doggies noses and squeaks over the kitties and touches their faces in the books. I would love to find him one with farm animals in it. I bet he would like the sheep and the horses. And I like the Eric Carle books. I love all the colors in them!

Our favorite stores to shop in... really anywhere. For clothing I love Osh Kosh and Carters and the brand from Babies R' Us, I think it is Koala or Koala Baby, though I am getting a wee bit weary of the repetitive nature of Carters clothing, but it is EVERYWHERE and hard to get away from and he looks cute in most of it!

For toys my only rules are NO SESAME STREET, ESPECIALLY ELMO (his voice just bugs me, its like nails on a chalkboard to me... and muppets give me the creeps) and IF IT MAKES NOISE IT MUST HAVE AN OFF SWITCH (except of course for things that make noise and are human powered like rattles and drums and shakers and stuff like that).  Really that is about it for my hard and unshakable restrictions on toys.  I would rather he was not exposed to character branded stuff just yet, but realistically it is too hard to stop that anymore when you can't even find a table and chair for kids that isn't Dora the Explorer or Barney. The toys without characters on them are few and far between and way too expensive when you can find them. 

I like learning toys. Blocks are the best, and stacking toys, container toys. He likes balls. I don't have many balls yet. And he likes fuzzy stuffed animals. The longer the hair or more interesting the texture of it, the better. He does like toy cars. Or really, anything with wheels or that rolls. He loves things that move and spin.

He does not have a shelf... I suppose I could paint the one that was in his room before we took it down....And I really should find him a small bookshelf.  But he has one of those cloth cubes for a toybox. I fill it with his toys and he pulls it over and makes a mess, then I pick it up and he does it again. He doesn't have a normal toy box though. He has one of those mesh hanging storage things from IKEA. I keep some stuffed animals in there, but most of his toys are downstairs in the living room right now, not too many in his room.

So I think that covers everything! 

Dan handed this project off to me to do, I think because he knew it would end up being like this and you would get all kinds of information. I hope this helps not only with birthday stuff, but also a little insight into Liam and his life.

And I want to make sure you guys have the address.... I DO blog about our family from time to time, less now that Liam is getting older and I spend more time running around after him and less time sitting about.

and I post almost EVERY picture I take of him. Even the bad ones and the blurry ones... Because so many of you live far away and do not get to see him grow up other than in pictures.  We are up in the thousands now. 
the date on the album is the date they were uploaded.  I do at least one or two a month when the memory card for my camera gets full.

I do post videos on facebook from time to time and I want to upload them to Picasa, I just need to go through them and pick the best ones. Those take up more space and I have to keep enough space for a whole BUNCH of pictures!

I look forward to seeing what is in the Birthday Box! 

Jessie, Dan and Liam

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