Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hegwood Clan

After Dan's dad, Alan, passed away we decided to fly out to Illinois to see his family and spend some time with them.  I wish we could have made it out before the sad event, but it just was not to be.

A long flight later we were in Chigaco, rented the car, and headed out to Morrison IL to stay with his Grandma Glenda.

Helping with the junk mail

Hanging out with Uncle Dave

     A day later we drove out to Peoria to see his Uncle John and his cousins and second cousins.

Second Cousin Ari giving Liam a ride down the hall
Second cousin Gabriel and his daddy
From Left to Right - Ari, Dan, Uncle John, Diana and Dave
Ari and Dan and John
Liam enjoying some fruits and veggies in a cute old high chair!

After that, his Aunt Mel and Uncle Kurt came to stay with Glenda as well.

Liam giving his Aunt Mel a snuggle while Grandma Glenda rested for a bit
Taking a trip to the park to play at the playground at the picnic shelter Dan's grandpa helped build
A last goodbye with everyone before heading home
I am so glad that Liam got this chance to meet his Dad's side of the family and I enjoyed meeting them as well.  Now I see where Dan gets a lot of his personality from, and I was glad to have the chance to see these people he talks about so often.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simply Parenting

Our 4 bottles are lined up on the window sill above the sink. Next to them are the two small blue ones that only hold 6oz and double as sippy cups (With a truly no spill optional insert, Thank you Tommee Tippee!) Next to that is the other sippy cup that Liam is on the fence about, and then the one that he kinda likes.

I scrubbed out the bottles and washed the nipples, I shook them all after their rinse and left them to dry.

I started thinking about all of the things we actually needed once we got this parenting thing under our belts.

First there were the 8 or 9 BreastFlow bottles that I thought I needed. Oooohboy was I wrong. The nipple part collapsed in on itself during feeding, making it impossible for Liam to get a continuous feeding without needing me to pull the bottle away, there was no air vent to let him have a nice meal without interruptions. There were two parts to each nipple, the ring to screw it onto the bottle, and then the bottle itself to wash. Oh, and the cap. They were supposed to be closer to breastfeeding, but they were a pain in the butt.

The baby chairs were a nice idea, little papasan like creations of fabric and plastic and metal for the kiddo to hang out in, complete with fibrate functions and one of them even slowly moved back and forth, but he didn't care for them. He wanted to swing and be moving. I am keeping the chairs for the next kiddo, but in all reality, I am glad that I didn't pay for them.

I see some moms who, in the first year, have two swings, a playpen, a bouncy seat, a bouncy door swing jumper thing, 12 or more bottles, a bottle warmer... they can't even leave the house without a HUGE bag of things.

I get that some people like having all the stuff, but I have enjoyed seeing how LITTLE I could get away with carrying. I have 8 diapers in my bag or 10... only so that I don't have to worry about refilling it each time we need to use one. A small pack of wipes, an extra outfit, a blanket for the changing table and a blanket for Liam. A container of cheerios (oddly enough, packed into one of the bottles we no longer use) and now that its summer, I am going to add a bottle of sunscreen. I pack a baggie of formula with a scoop in it, a clean bottle that lives in the bag (again, so I never have to worry that it isn't there. If we use it, we clean it once we get home and it goes back into the bag right away) and the only thing I ever need to remember before we leave the house is to fill up the thermos with warm water. Liam hates a cold bottle.

Of all the gear we got for Liam, the ones that served me best have been the activity center bouncer thing, only because it could amuse him for 15-20 minutes at a time... the swing because it gave me HOURS of peace and quiet and the big plastic fence/pen thing. Which I have used as a.... a wrap I guess, around my living room. Keeping Liam out of the wires for the TV/DvD player area, out of the fireplace and out of the DVD shelf.

I love that we only have 4 bottles. I love that all our baby gear fits into a laptop bag for going out. I love that I have finally figured out how LITTLE you actually need in the first year.

I am sure that soon the toy pile will grow, the book shelf will be home to Liam's toys and I will have to put in some shelves in the living room for him. But for now, I am happy to keep it as simple as I can and enjoy going out with him without worrying about bringing everything.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Temper Temper!

HELP! Oh just help!

My sweet baby is turning into a cranky baby!

My little man has started throwing mini tantrums. They even come with their own special cry that is squeaky and probably one of the most alarming sounds I have ever heard come out of this little baby.

He has a fit when he does not get what he wants. And that is a LOT lately.

A fit when I have to take away the dangerous thing/choking hazard he has found, from a plastic bread bag closer to a dead leaf from the floor. Oh and heaven forbid if you take away the pen or pencil he has managed to grab.

A fit when I will not lift him up onto the couch. Sometimes I just do not wish to deal with him on the couch, because he will literally THROW himself off the edge of it because to him it is fun to be caught by your ankles and lifted up by mom or dad. And sometimes, I do not want to play that game. He went to fall once and I caught him and now he thinks it is a game.

He throws a fit if you want to change him or dress him and he does not want that.

He throws a fit over being told "STOP" when he reaches for the power cord to the computer.

If you scold ANYONE, or speak in less than a perfectly sunny voice he throws a fit!

It is especially bad if you stop something before it starts. Move the bad item out of reach or pull it away before he gets his hands on it. If you say "STOP" before he gets that cord in his hands, or just plain refuse to lift him onto the couch.

I know I have to teach him about dissapointment, about not getting what you want. That the whole mentality that you can not spoil a baby is ending now. But oooh my poor baby.

If you try to give him a toy instead of the bad item he will THROW the toy across the room and resume screeching.

I worry that this will get worse as he gets older.

It is terrible with another infant around. I babysit a little boy who is 5 days younger than Liam, and that little boy will do something tiny like touch Liam's arm and Liam has a FIT. Granted, this baby has pushed Liam over before, and taken toys away from him. But Liam does the same to him. That is just how babies are. They are selfish creatures and that is how they are supposed to be. They put themselves first because that is how to survive. But at times just the SIGHT of Forest crawling toward him will make Liam screech. And god forbid Forest goes for a toy that is Liam's favorite, even if Liam is currently showing no interest in it.

How do I teach my baby about disappointment?

I just can't let him play with dangerous things, I can't give in every time he wants up on the couch.

The fits only last a couple minutes until something else distracts him, but they are breaking my heart. And I wonder, isn't this a little early for this sort of thing?  Yes? No?

I am at a loss. Where does being a good mama level out here. What do I give in on, what do I hold my ground on? Am I bad when I don't want to sit there on the couch and keep pulling him back from the edge? I know I am not bad that I don't want him to gnaw on a pencil and risk wood splinters in his mouth and the chance of poking himself with the sharp end when he takes it and goes to stand somewhere. Images of him falling and that thing stabbing him fly through my mind. I'm not bad when I take away the choking hazard... he still does not always understand "NO" or "STOP" He hears you, but keeps on doing it. He certainly gets it when you say it sharply, but then the screeching and crying happen.

I need advice, or someone to tell me that I am doing this right, or to gently suggest something if I am doing it wrong. So hey, all you moms. How do you do it? How does it work when you start saying No?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mama's Day!

Spent the afternoon and evening with my Stepmom, Kathy! She brought some fun books over for Liam.

We went out to a burrito place called the Laughing Planet Cafe, all hippie dippy and fun. Dinosaurs on the table and everything. It was very child friendly and fun. Food was a little disappointing but I may give them one more try. Burnt broccoli and the chicken in my burrito tasted like it was starting to go rancid.

But after that we got a pound cake like loaf cake and some fresh strawberries and brought that back to the house to make a nummy dessert.

It was a pretty good day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Big Boy

My baby is growing up. He has a big boy carseat now and he is at the right height for it. He stands up for almost a minute. He rides in the seat in the cart now, not in his carseat snapped into the cart. One month and he will be a year old.  I can not believe how FAST he changes. And I can not wait to see what he does next!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things I Have Learned About Being a Mom

In honor of the upcoming mothers day thing... well... I have been thinking about my mom. Some of the things she did when I was a child make sense now.

One of the ones I remember was that I was an avid car door slammer. I slammed that door shut with gleeful force as soon as I jumped out of the car.  My mom kept telling me to stop it, but I did it anyways. I kept on doing it. Often before mom could even open her door!  So, one day my mom has me sit in the drivers seat, and she slammed that passenger door! She slammed it with what I now can identify as the force of a thousand angry door slammings. All the pent up frustration of having me slam that door shut and wow. That hit home. OWW! My ears hurt from the air pressure and the loud noise that was MUCH louder in the car!   I don't think I slammed another car door, and to this day I only slam the door when I am pissed off at the person sitting in the other seat and never with my Liam in the car.

She finally realized that she needed to show me WHY not to do something, because clearly saying not to slam it was not working.

While I can not implement this technique with Liam just yet, it is one that I will hold in my memory for those times.

But, onward to the things I have learned so far... in the Almost a Year that my son has been with me.

- Keep your deodorant somewhere you have constant access to. By the time you realize you forgot to put it on that morning you are too busy to go back upstairs to grab it. Same goes for a toothbrush.

- You can use your feet to do many things. Upright a tipped over trash can, move a lazy cat, herd laundry down the hallways, nudge toys out of the way as you navigate the living room. Because you know you can't use your hands, they are full of Baby!

- Everything is washable, even the unwashable stuff. If it grosses you out enough, you can figure out a way to wash EVERYTHING.

- Just because the baby isn't reaching with his hands does not mean he is not reaching. That little mouth has great aim.

- Baby wipes do more than wipe bums. They clean desks, wipe noses, clean fingers and are really good at getting most things off of the walls. Also, they are really fun to pull out of the bags. You will find many of them wasted as soon as that adorable child figures out how to pull on them.

- Never before have you been able to see the staple that is wedged in between the boards for your hardwood floors. But now, when you look across the floor it stands out like it was in the spot light.

- If its sharp, pointy, dangerous or a choking hazard, it is INFINITELY more fun than anything safe.

- that moms have this extra reservoir of energy and time that can be tapped in times of need. Like when there isn't a single clean dish in the house, the baby has a full diaper and is bored, tired and teething and you HAVE to eat something besides cheerios stolen from the highchair and oh yea it's trash night. Somehow you get it all done and everyone is happy in the end as the dishes dry and you sit down to a semi- balanced meal with a nice clean baby who is now cooing instead of crying.

- even when they are covered in dirt, drool and boogers, that is the most beautiful child in the world when they look at you and smile.

- and the last thing I have learned so far about being a mom... treasure them when they are awake, but sing praises QUIETLY when they go to bed and rejoice in time that is just for you.
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