Friday, April 27, 2012

Preparing for Evelyn

With just a bit over 4 months to go until Miss Evelyn makes an appearance, I am starting to think about what needs to happen to prepare Liam for this.

There are a big events for Liam coming up that need to happen a bit before Evvie gets here so that he has time to adjust to them. I want to have him off the bottle before he turns 2, or the day after that birthday it will be bye bye bottle time. This is based on the fact that with all the milk he is drinking it is meeting a lot of his food needs and he is missing out on other foods because he is having on average 10-12oz of milk every night (6oz to go to sleep on, then 4-6 when he wakes up at night. More if he wakes up multiple times). So he eats less for breakfast, lunch is a bigger meal, but he is not eating much for dinner and ends up filling up those empty spots with milk. And heaven forbid I try to limit the milk, or the cries of "MORE MORE" fill the house along with furious cries of the angry toddler.

There is also the start of potty training, but that is a whooooole 'nother can of worms. He is nowhere near ready and does not even have the words to get ready. We are working on that, with some plans for back yard naked time this summer with a watchful eye and a "hey look, you're peeing!" to see if he can make the connection. As with most things child related, I don't even know where to start on this whole thing and I am going to just try some ideas and see what happens.

Liam does well with new ideas at first, but he is stubborn and will do something once or twice and then resist doing it again until he feels he can do it without getting frustrated. I can show him until we are both blue in the face, and all it will get me is a ticked off munchkin and a loud NO shouted in my face if I push him even one iota too much. Then its almost back to square one for DAYS while he calms down about whatever it was.

He DOES sit on his potty, but only with clothes on. If I offer for him to sit on there while he has a bare bottom he resists it much more and gets upset. I am not sure where to go from there on that issue. But I think that other than getting the words down and making some time to sit on the potty every day, I am not going to push the potty issue until he adjusts after Evvie gets here. Even if I got him use to it before she comes, I will have less time once she is here until we figure out our new schedule and it would just back slide for Liam and that is not the way to do it I think. Once we get the ball rolling on potty time, I think it would be good for his way of learning if we keep it up and not have to stop or pause at all.

I also plan to get out the swing for Evelyn and need to do it before she gets here so that I have time to teach Liam NOT to climb on it. I can just see it in my head, she is swinging peacefully, half asleep, Liam comes up and tries to haul himself into the swing and they both tip over and the peace is shattered by cries from the two of them being scared, confused and possibly injured.

In my mind as well has been wondering how to teach him to be gentle with an infant. I don't think he would be rough on purpose, but he does not know his own strength and at times he will launch himself on to the dog and tackle her or sit on her. He also stomps his feet when he wears shoes, as my toes and Dan's toes know all too well. But I do not know how to show him or teach him to be gentle with a baby until there IS a baby around. He does have a baby doll and is very gentle with that doll, but he DID use the doll as a prop to learn about Eye and Nose and Ear, so he does tend to jab his little finger into those places. Maybe a new doll that all we do is be gentle with? That might be a good idea.

I know there will be some jealousy when Evelyn gets here, I am just hoping to get him as ready as I can before the BIG change comes. I have NO IDEA how to go about this whole thing, so I am making it up as I go. I am sure that Liam will be just fine in the end, it is just in the start that I worry about.

I guess like all the worrying I do, if I worry and plan for it now, I can head off the problems and decide on solutions before I need them so that if it does come up I am not struggling to figure it out at the time. I guess worry can be a good thing some times!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sharing the Garden

I wanted to take a moment to share the garden we have so far this year. I am just so grateful for this yard and for the ability to grow things. I can hardly wait to see Liam eating a tomato fresh off the vine, or some green beans we grew ourselves. Even before winter was done I was out there getting things going. I tore out the blackberries and coming up in their place are what I think are violets and some mint. I planted blueberries in the space where the thorns use to be. It will be nice to not have to keep Liam away from a part of the yard just to keep him safe.

Violets! I think...
The violets in bloom.
Blueberry blossoms
Just getting started with this blueberry growing thing...
We have our rhubarb that comes up each spring.

The rhubarb

The bulbs are up and making pretty flowers, and I am getting the garden ready for some planting.
The red tulips

Liam finger poking a pink tulip
My twine trellis. I needed something for the beans to climb, and didn't want to put in a wooden one, so I made one up. They are strung over a tree branch.

I have a lot of work to do this year, we are getting rid of the old compost piles, as they were full of potatoes which I don't want to have growing in the garden. And I have some lawn patches to re-seed and we want to put in a Japanese maple on the corner where the freestanding compost heap was and just keep the composting to the black plastic bins.We also need to remove some sea shells and obsidian chunks that we found in the decorative heap you see here in the picture. It may have been one of them that cut up Nym's paw last month and I don't want to take the risk with Liam running around in the yard. I want to feel free to let him be bare foot and run around and feel the grass between his toes and not worry about it ending in a trip to get stitches.

The view from the deck, with the grass patch I am trying to re-grow on the right blocked off with a slide and a lawn chair.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Sleeping Baby

There is nothing sweeter than seeing a sleeping baby. I love the way that Liam snuggles his blanket and has his hand up near his face so he can suck his thumb. I love how he now wants to bring his Hot Wheels cars to bed, he likes laying there sleepily playing with them.

But most of all, I love that he goes to sleep with very little fussing. It is so rare that he gets upset about going to bed or taking a nap.

Even if he is not quite ready to sleep he will lay there and play with his cars or his stuffed animals until he is sleepy and goes out.

Somehow I managed to have this amazing baby who is secure enough in his own world to know that it is ok to be alone. I do not know how this was accomplished. If it was in how I put him to bed with minimal "routine" so that it was a simple and easy thing to do, or if it is just in his nature. Maybe it is that I never gave in to any midnight neediness, I met his needs and then just expected him to go back to sleep. He became adept at self soothing. I gave him snuggles and love and reassurance when he was upset until I knew he was ok, then it was time to sleep. I didn't let him cry it out if he was really upset, but if he was just fussing and I KNEW that everything was ok, (as in, had already changed him, fed him, made sure he was not in pain, etc...) I would not go in there for every cry and whimper.

I think a lot of it is just who he is. He is calm and easy to please for the most part. Sure he has his rough moments (or days...) but a lot of the time he is so easy going. I wonder if it comes from my own relaxed approach to caring for him. Lots of love, being there when he needs love and hugs and reassurance, but not hovering. He was always outgoing. I see it a lot now in places like the library story time, when he does not want to be on my lap, but wants to be in the middle of the circle spinning and jumping and running with the other outgoing children. He says "Hi" to strangers in the store, but will not approach them.

Sure, in the beginning I panicked a bit, when he does new and scary things I panic a bit, but hey, I am new to this! I hope that the new little one on the way is as easy going as Liam is. I am not holding my breath for it, each baby is different. But I hope that I can keep up the easiest bed times in the world.
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