Saturday, February 27, 2010

Busy Boy

Ace had his eighteen month check up

He's 32.5" tall (57%)
His little noggin' is 47cm (22%)
He weighs 20.6lbs (1.29%)
The doctor was very happy with where he is at - he is growing at just the right speed for him. He's long and lanky and very very busy! He had the checklist test that they use to test for autism and he passed with no concern. He had his Hep-A shot, the last in the series (I think...) and he didn't cry at all - just looked at it funny. The doctor continues to recommend he remain rear facing in his carseat until he is two (by law in the State of WA you have to be 1 AND 20lbs) and she pointed us to her blog pointing to further information, although we don't need any additional convincing - he will remain rear facing until he's two. Which is only six months away. Really? When did that happen?!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flashback Friday


My best friend came to visit last year. It was the first time she had been here since returning from Kuwait about two months earlier. It was the second visit with Ace. Ace had just turned six months and was just figuring out crawling. This is the blog I posted right before her arrival - as I knew I would be busy and not blogging while she was in town. :) She is also the friend that got married this past October.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dentist Visit

Yesterday Ace visited the dentist for the second time. The first visit was six months ago and six teeth ago. He did very well and for the first time actually had his teeth cleaned. He loved it. He paused as he needed water and let Barb his dental hygienist give him a little water and then get back to cleaning with toothpaste! They used the electric tooth brush and Ace couldn't get enough of it. After he was done getting his teeth clean we had a while to wait until the dentist could come and do the 'official' check up.

While we were waiting Barb entertained him with playing with the water and the sucker tools. Ace had a blast and a few tastes of water. He also played with his light turning it on and off - or at least requesting it.
He still is not a huge fan of the actual dentist - which I can't say I blame him - his 'bed side' manner leaves a lot to be desired... and since he really only sees the dentist for 5-10 minutes he'll survive.

To date Ace has 12 teeth - his bottom molars are all the way in and the top two are 80% broken through the gums. The dentist says that he's right on schedule for a boy his age. As I mentioned, Ace enjoyed having his teeth cleaned! He did not love so much having the fluoride paste painted onto his teeth ... but I think it was because the dentist was doing it and well ... as I have said .... he is not a fan. He's gotten a clean bill of teeth-health and they say his teeth are looking great! Still we were encouraged to wipe his teeth off in the night after his bottle - and the added tip of a warm wash cloth was suggested so as to not jar him back awake after falling asleep.

We're scheduled to return the day after he turns two! Until then we are going to continue to brush his teeth twice a day with a tiny amount of toothpaste and floss once a day. We'll see about flossing every day. I'll try... it's not that he doesn't like it - the times I have flossed his teeth he has been very cooperative. We left the dentist with a bath toy duck, which Ace loves, lots of floss 'sticks', a new toothbrush, and high praise for his attentive parents. Ah shucks ;-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eighteen Months Old


Happy Half Birthday, my boy!

Yep, Ace is eighteen months old and is thriving more than ever.

He is adding to his vocabulary every day. In addition to the ones he's said in this post he has added (that I can remember):

foook (fish), park, horse, frog, fooose (shoes), noodle, broco (broccoli), coocoo (cookie), cahker (cracker), puc (cup), pap (clap), hep (help), knife, fork, spoon, knock, bebe bear (baby bear), ring, rain, moon, gas (grass), coke (coat), buckle

He loves to read and his reading patience has expanded. His current favorite (this week) is Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? The other night he sat through the entire Butter Battle Book and if you're familiar with the Suessical delight you know it is one of his more lengthy reads. I was impressed. It's rare we make it through a 5-6pg book but that book is 35 pages of text and there are way more than five words per page.

He had his second visit to the dentist today (look for a full report tomorrow!) and for the most part he loved it. He now has 12 teeth including 4 molars! Time to start chewing that food for real now! Speaking of chewing Ace continues to eat like a bird 70% of the time. But he's still running around with plenty of energy and is quite happy to eat whenever he wants to. He has been exposed to M&Ms and he is a fan. Every now and again I will give him a couple - and we use them to count. He's gotten as high as three. :)

Sleep continues to escape us. We've recently switched to the bottle only in the night - and only allowing 'Mama Milk' after 7am (when it is light outside.) We're on night 4 of that - and the last 3 nights in the first stint of sleep he's had 6.5 hours of unbroken sleep, then 4.5 before the cat jumped on him and woke him up, and then last night he got 5.5 hours before he crawled into bed with us. Granted once he did climb into bed last night (at 2:30am) sleep from there on was broken and miserable... so it's a slow go to true success. However in this last month - he did have giant success in that department..

Ace continues to love the movies Toy Story, Cars, and Finding Nemo - although for the most part he cycles between Cars and Toy Story, we don't watch them every day but at least a couple of times a week. He also knows how to turn the tv on and change the channels until he finds a cartoon... or whatever it is that he wants to watch! And NO we did not show him how to do this, he obviously observed us doing it but we never walked him through the steps. He also can change the tuner (?) on the tv from the tv to the dvd 'channel' and then turn the PS2 on and hits the correct button on the controller to make his dvd go. It's frightening how good he is at it.

He loves playing with his toys and his current favorite are his trucks! He has figured out how to push them around on the floor and is having a great time. He loves his kitchen stuff and has even started to 'help' unload the dishwasher. Often we hand him the tupperware and he puts that away. Other times we allow him to put the silverware away - which always starts out helpful and often ends up a giant pile of silverware mounding up in the drawer - which we of course fix after he's all done helping. We don't want to discourage him, so we show him at the beginning how to do it and then after he gets started we try not to nit-pick or correct his methods. He also loves to help cook whenever he can and has a great time helping.

Ace had yet another haircut this month - that makes number 4! I suppose one day I'll stop counting, but not just yet - every one feels like another milestone and symbol of my baby rapidly escaping my grasp. He's started to say 'All done, mama' siiiigh - sometimes he is done with something and just telling me ... other times he's all done with momma. Siiigh.

He's our joy. He's doing so well and it's been a wonderful eighteen months! It doesn't seem like it's been that long - but it has. He's doing great and I love to hear him develop more vocabulary and actually talk with us. Happy Half Birthday, Baby Bear!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spring?

The weather around here has been beautiful around here lately, hence no blogging since Friday! In the 60s, sunny, and nearly warm! The cherry blossoms are blooming, flowers are sprouting, and trees are starting to bud! It's a beautiful spring... in the middle of winter? Did the good ol' Puxatony Phil get it wrong? Not 6 extra weeks of winter? Or is this a death sentence imminent for our flowers, trees, and blossoms? Is another a winter storm going to come our way and deep freeze all our real spring away? I sure hope not! So rather than question what's going on with this bizarre but delightful weather - we've been enjoying it! Parks, walks, running around in long sleeves and not covered head to toe in fleece! Hurray!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Museum Meatloaf

Did you fear that I had succumb to the traditional failures of New Years Resolutions? Don't fret! Our family is still eating, I am still cooking... I just have failed to blog. Also I haven't been cooking any *new* recipes in recent days weeks... and thus no new and exciting blog. I do have a couple ready to post though so be sure to check back for some yummy dishes.

Now onto this post: Museum Meatloaf? What on earth are you talking about? Well that's what my husband said when he ate it. He said it was fit to be in a museum... and my husband is not one who often over gushes about mundane meals (which I thought this one was going to be when I set out to make it.) He's always appreciative, but he doesn't go out of his way to send praise my way to the nonsensical degree, so when he said that it was the best he had ever had and that it was the perfect blend of spices, I believe him and I thanked Paula Deen ... because well that's whom I got the recipe from. ;-)

Ingredients as adapted by me:
1,25 pound ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 whole white onion chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

Topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon french yellow mustard

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Mix all meatloaf ingredients well and place in bread pan.
  • Spread topping onto the meatloaf
  • Bake for 1 hour
I ended up checking my meatloaf at the one hour mark and found that it was still pretty moist, so I left it in for an additional ten minutes and it was perfect, so check it at 1 hour and then maybe add 10 minutes or less to the cooking time if it still seems too moist.
So wala, my super easy I-am-going-to-be-lazy-on-a-Friday-night meal, ended up being 'fit to be in a museum' - wish cooking was that easy every day. :) It was yummy, but we were piggies and there's only about 1 serving left. :)

Flashback Friday

Four years ago today I was at a debate tournament. I was coaching my team. See I was hired by That College to form a debate team and I had done just that. Yes, that's me in the middle of my students. Yes, I was older than them ;-) I'm just dainty. I loved coaching debate. I loved teaching them how the 'sport' worked and teaching them argumentative techniques. It was a lot of fun I could have done it forever. But I moved to the NW and thus couldn't not continue to coach. However, I will always be known as the person that created the debate team at That College, and the team to date is doing pretty well and that makes me proud that I had a part in that.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

500!

Daytona 500? Fortune 500? nope! 500 blog posts! Indeed it is true! This here is my 500th post! It doesn't seem possible that in 2004 when I started blogging that I would ever create 500 posts and yet I have done so with this one!

I first started blogging to keep up with friends - college was over and had been for me for two years - people were really starting to spread out and leave the area to go onto bigger and better things. So I started the blog to keep up with them. Originally I was a LiveJournaler my blog was called 'Life, Legal Work, and Law School' it then evolved into 'Life, Legal Work, and Lecturing' - and then I blogged on Myspace - but both of those mediums were all but abandoned by well... everyone and so I merged those two blogs into this one and became The A-Priori Mommy. So all my blogging history is present and accounted for. You can read all about the days leading up to our wedding. You can read about my love hate relationship with the bar exam and I was such a fair-weather blogger at that time I didn't even blog about actually passing! Which I found out I did in May of 2007 and woke a lot of people up in the middle of the night (including my boss!) and celebrated the next day on a boat drinking champagne ALL DAY with my coworkers (a prearranged activity.) Or you could read about my pregnancy and the excitement of first hearing Ace's heartbeat.

Or you could read none of that and that's a-ok; because the point of my blogging isn't to gather a massive following, to please the unknown or anonymous scoffer, or to entertain people (although always a nice bonus if I can!) but to document our lives for myself and my child as time carries on. I love that I am able to go back to my blog to recall an event, to remember details that I wouldn't otherwise have retained in my memory, to share my life with family and friends that are afar.

I love to write and this blog provides me with that outlet. It allows me to channel a creative element that as a SAHM mom might otherwise me stifled because I am no longer writing CYA letters, I am no longer writing briefs, complaints, biting and poignant emails that alter the course of a case. I am writing about far more important things and creating a journal of our lives. Whether my son ever reads it is not important - and I am sure as he continues to age and do things that are more embarrassing that he and his father will starts to spout more and more you can't put that in your blog ... things will get interesting around this here blog ... more babies another baby* might arrive ... I might go back to work ... we might move across the country. Who knows what the life of this blog might hold.

I've evolved through many different things on this blog - some short lived, some very short lived. Tipsy Tuesdays, Java Jaunt with Jo, Reviews and Giveaways. None are dead forever, perhaps I'll resurrect some of these things in the future - but for now I choose to focus on the happenings in our lives and what is going on.

So here it is, the 500th post - and only 186 of them were about Ace. :) So if you're a reader I hope you enjoy The A-Priori Mommy and thank you for following our lives and our stories. I truly have enjoyed the cyber-friendships that have formed from this blog. It is a blessing to 'know' you. Here's to 500 more posts in our future! The milestone should arrive more rapidly since 300 of my 500 were in 2009 alone :)


*No that is not a hint, announcement, or proclamation of any immediate future plans.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Swimming

Ace loves to splash.

Ace loves to get into the pool and for the first time in a long while Loving Husband was able to join us to see how much progress Ace has made since the last time we went to the pool together! It also meant that we got additonal documentation of Ace swimming :) Ace was seven months old when we first started swimming. He took to the water right away, and quickly he learned how to dip! Which at first the concept made mommy very nervous. And now he has extended breath control and is working on reaching for a bar underwater!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

We had an eventful and fun family weekend. On Saturday we spent the majority of the day at the Children's Museum to celebrate one of Ace's cousin's second birthday. Ace had an exciting time exploring all the different things that the museum had to offer. He enjoyed running around, building with tinker toys, driving a fire truck, and running through and hiding in things - and after all was said and done he enjoyed a two hour nap! Whew!

Sunday was Valentine's Day. We awoke and Loving Husband headed off to get breakfast and brought me some flowers too! We enjoyed some Jamba Juice and some delicious donuts. Then we got ready for church and posed for a few pictures before heading out the door.

After church we grabbed some lunch and Ace snoozed in the car for about an hour while we sat in front of Pop Pop and Gran's house :) After his slumber we went inside and spent about 30 minutes hanging out there and then Loving Husband and I left to go out for afternoon alone! It's a rare delight that we enjoy. We went to see Sherlock Holmes - which we found to be a great movie! The last movie we went and saw together was last July when we went and saw Harry Potter. We had an extra hour left of our baby-free time - and so we headed over to the restaurant where we were planning to meet Pop Pop and Gran, and we sat at the bar and had a drink. Pop Pop and Gran arrived around 7 for their dinner reservation with the boy in tow and we said Happy Valentine's Day to them and headed home ourselves.

It was a very nice weekend filled with family time, just-us time, and a few outings.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Garland of Hearts

A couple of weeks ago my friend Stacy posted one of her latest projects. It was the cutest heart garland. Considering I had just brought out my Valentine's decor to discover, I didn't have as much as I thought - this heart garland would be adorable to display.

One of the perks of this project is that it cost me $2.50. I purchased the multicolored yarn, but otherwise I just used yarn that I had from previous projects. Being relatively a new crocheter - I had never done anything with rounded edges - so a heart was a new challenge. The pattern was easy enough to read and Stacy helped me with the decrease issue I was having. After she walked me through that the hearts were super easy to complete.

I had originally set out to make 8 of them, but then upon reviewing the location I had in mind to put them, I realized that I didn't have the space for that many and so I settled on five. I started a little over two weeks ago and worked on these hearts in between other projects. Each heart took me about an average of 40 minutes (I'm not the fastest crocheter.) After I finished the 5, I strung them and hung them up on Thursday evening.

I think the feat I'm most proud of... is that I completed this project before the actual holiday :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday

Loving Husband and I on a very cold ferry to Bainbridge Island two years (and 3 days) ago. Ace was growing away in my tummy, and to that date we didn't know that he was Ace. We went with friends that were all planning to move to the NW that we had been friends with in California, but not all of them were living here just yet... I don't think. It's hard to recall specifically. :) But it was a fun adventure - albeit not a very warm or thrilling one - but we all had a good time ending our jaunt on the ferry in a tiny pizza shop and then back on the ferry to get home. Good times.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Every Mom Needs

I am always up for a good read. I love finding a new book that is uplifting or a good story to get lost in. I was looking for some encouragement and some insight on how best to handle motherhood when you're wanting to scream at the top of your lungs and run to the next stage in toddlerhood and cling to it desperately all at the same time screaming 'don't grow up!' It can be a bit batty, maddening... down right exhausting. Ace clearly has been pushing his independence and in every way daily is transitioning from my cooing sleeping baby to my rambunctious limit-pushing toddler and I don't want to be pulling my hair out. I don't want to miss any of it and I really don't want to fast forward through it all either.

After reading this book What Every Mom Needs I realized I don't have to. I just need to keep things in perspective and know that I am not alone. God is always there as a source of hope and strength. The book points out other details that are beneficial to keep in mind: there are always other mothers out there going through the same thing, join groups for support, and also important is it is necessary to keep your own identity and not just be "mom". So if you are a mom that is struggling with your identity, perspective, feeling alone, lost, or frustrated - I recommend this book. It wasn't in your face 'fix-it'. It offered a lot of other resources and sources to go to beyond the book.

The book wasn't ground breaking, it wasn't a wake up call, it honestly was the chapter on perspective that spoke to me the most. The chapter that helped outline what it really is all about: the moment. The season. It's not just a catch phrase 'they're only this age once' that truly it is just that. He will only be my 17.5 month old boy once. He will only look up at me and grin and beam like I am his hero so long.... and eventually he will nap, he will sleep, and he will eat without effort. A new season will come when I can't keep the pantry stocked, I can't get him out of bed, and he will trade that hero look for a good ol' fashion eye roll. Another season yet to come.

However, it is this season that I am in that I need to cherish. Ace will grow up and I don't want to worry or stress that I just want to 'get through' this phase. I want to enjoy and cherish it. I don't want him to grow up into a surly teenager (and maybe he won't!) but even if he does I don't want to have rushed through his toddlerhood just so that I can get some sleep.

First I was dying to finish high school
and start college.
And then I was dying to finish
college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry
and have children.
And then I was dying for my children
to grow old enough for school
so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am
dying...
And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.

- Anonymous

While I am far from running through life that quickly, this poem helped frame for me exactly what I don't want to do. I don't want to 'get past it' - I want to find the joy and reasons why this time is special. I want to live each day and love my family to the fullest even if I am exhausted. I will continue to keep track of my identity of who I am outside of being a mother, and know that it might not be who I was before I became a mother - and that's ok too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Park

While much of the east is buried in snow, the west or at least the northwest is beautiful and the second that the sun shines, my son wants to walk! And let's be honest even when it is pouring rain he is clamoring to get out and "walk" it honestly doesn't matter. He knows the word, he knows the concept, he knows what it means and he wants to "walk!"

So yesterday after a nap and after lunch we headed out to a local park. We didn't walk to this particular park, because in order to get to it there are several main roads and Ace wouldn't be able to do much walking at all - so we drove. This park was targeted specifically because it has a 'toddler' size jungle gym. Yep - it allows Ace to climb up and all over it all on his own and gives him some freedom to play as he will... and play he did! Over, under, and through!


He had a wonderful wonderful time, but school let out and it became crowded and he's still not terribly assertive and tends to get run over by the bigger less polite children and so we headed home. The plan was to walk to see the ducks after we stopped at the house to grab some bread, but when we got home the neighbors were gathering to walk to another park and so we decided to join them. Ace always has a good time going with the neighbors. There are some older girls (9 and 10) that love to play with him when we get to the playground and they have a fabulous time climbing all over the play area. It was a good day for parks and playing around.
Today was swim lessons again and he had a blast as always! Today was 'Mat' day and that is the day that we concentrate on the kids playing on floating mats on the water. It helps them have some independence in the water and gathering good tummy muscles all at the same time. Ace had a blast playing with all the toys on the mat. Last time we did the mats he wasn't thrilled but today he nearly threw a fit when we took him off! :) He had a great time. He continues to show extended breath control underwater and is doing well at feeling safe in the water. He's doing great and I couldn't be happier than when we're playing in the pool. Although he still seems to feel that back floating is his nemesis.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine Wreath

First and foremost! Let's follow up from yesterday...

I ♥ Garrett Heartley for his glorious *feat* (46yds, 44yds, 47yds)
I ♥ Tracy Porter and his exciting 74 yard return!
I ♥ Drew Brees and his 32 completions (tying the record with Tom Brady.)
I ♥ Sean Payton's belief in his team and decision to
have an onside kick at the top of the 3rd quarter.
I ♥ Reggie Bush... because well I have since his time at USC and he had a good game.

Party time in NOLA! What a wonderful game!

Now back to what I spent the rest of the weekend doing. :)

A few of my friends have been making felt rosette wreaths and so I was inspired to do the same since my front door was lacking Valentine's Day decor. B made one for Christmas and Stacy just recently made one for Valentine's. I used the same tutorial that they both used which is simple yet repetitive. I started after Ace went to bed on Friday night tracing and cutting circles. I cut about 120 and pinned those on and headed to bed around 1am.

I finished on Saturday night with a total around 200(ish) circles pinned onto the 10" foam wreath. I truly recommend getting pins that have the glass balls on the end. I used a box of 200 and then had to move onto push pins without the thumb-saver on them and goodness only using like 10 of those and my finger was burning. So be sure to get some similar to this and you'll be a-ok. Sunday morning I added a few final circles, fluffed, and hung it on our door. Now we're set for Valentine's Day. and if I feel so inspired, it wouldn't be that hard to remove the red coloring off the wreath and replace it with other colors to keep it current with whatever 'season' we're in. We'll see though. It might simply remain a Valentine wreath. :)


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Do I now owe the franchise money for utilizing the words "Super Bowl" - yikes there I go again - I certainly hope I don't! and as far the logo to the left here, I've taken an image and enhanced it added my 'creative' element to it - so while I may be utilizing an NFL based logo and all of New Orleans for that matter - I have certainly added elements to make this adaptation fair use (and even if I didn't because I didn't are they honestly going to care? Yes, no... maybe.) My 'dissertation' in law school was on copyright law - sorry it seeps out every now and again and certainly whenever the NFL is involved as they think anything is their right to restrict and claim ownership over. I digress.

Yes today it is time for the National Treasure that last year 31% of the U.S. population tuned in to enjoy (roughly speaking). It is the second biggest 'snack' day of the year, second only to New Years. 8 million lbs of guacamole will be consumed, along with a healthy 14,500 tons of chips! Which likely attributes to the 20% increase in the sale of antacids and 6% of Americans calling in sick on the Monday after the Super Bowl (oops said it again!) and finally in the random fact section a PSA - there is only one day with a higher alcohol related car accident rate and that is St. Patrick's Day - so be careful!

And yes, I am rooting for the Saints! 100% - no question! It's nice to have a team going to the SB that I have a desire to see win. The last few years it's just been eh pick one at the beginning of the game and root for 'em. However this year the Saints are playing - and while I am a fan of Reggie Bush (his game not personality) and Drew Brees (bet the Chargers are bumming hard they let him go now!) it goes much deeper than that. You see I'm rooting not only for myself but also for my dad who was a die-hard Saints fan all his life. The Saints (as you might have heard) are making their first appearance in the SB today! Yes, the team founded in 1967 is now on the road to their first Super Bowl (last time I swear!) victory!

Go Saints!



The last time Ace (10 weeks old) watched a Saint's game.
New Orleans vs. San Diego - Saints won 37-32!
I think it's a sign of good things to come today!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another great height....

The other day I found him on top of his changing table. I wasn't sure HOW he got there. So I asked him to do it. He hesitated suspicious of my motivations. Knowing that his route would be compromised if he gave it away. He eventually obliged because I told him we could go play outside if he got on his changing table. :) Smart boy! I haven't even rearranged yet.... but I will be very shortly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flashback Friday


Before Ace was even a notion to be had, we had Tort and Nickolas. Here they are three years (and 1 day) ago relaxing in our townhouse enjoying the warm view. They were blissfully unaware that they were about to get outranked in 18 more months. They were happy, cozy kitties.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ace's Advances

I've been spending a lot of time talking about Ace's sleep progress it's true, now before you skip over this post in your reader assuming it is yet another post about that very subject, don't. Fear not, it isn't. No today, I wanted to tell you all about Ace's ever expanding vocabulary, ability to count, know left from right, and colors! Yes, while he is far from perfecting the English language he is well on his way to developing a vast vocabulary. He is getting very good at parroting words - many words - and many of those he's including in his regularly used vocabulary. So what new words has Ace added since these? Well to the best of my documenting....

turtle, owl, copter (helicopter), trash, truck, rock, walk, street, hot dog, bush, crocdoe (crocodile), milk, ownj (orange), baa (bath), bobble (bottle), juu (juice), cook, go, anu (aunt), vower (flower), dog, teeth, feet, poop...

The list I am sure is not exhaustive and perhaps he's even been saying a couple of those since before he turned 17 months and he has uttered his first phrase (a separate post coming soon!) We are very proud of how well he seems to be hearing and understanding language. We read to him several times a day, in fact there are some days I feel all we do is read! Although often on those days it is only a page or two of one book before we're onto another one.
He recognizes what a 'number' is and will point to them in his books - although he hasn't quite associate one with the # 1, or two with the # 2, etc, but of course it is a process and he is well on his way. He can discern between one and two things and now seems to be adding three into the mix as well. However, he does not do it every time and he never does it when I turn the video camera on. Siigh. :)

In the last few days he's been doing very well knowing which is his left hand and which is his right hand. We have tested in a dozen times in various scenarios and so far he's about 85% correct so I feel confident that he's beginning to properly distinguish his left from his right - at least as far as it extends to his hands. In one other scenario dealing with his turtle nightlight I told him he had to turn it on first before he could change the colors. The buttons are grouped three and then fourth is offset from the others. I told him he had to push the button on the right. Now whether he understood 'on the right' to be a direction or merely the title of that button - I'm unable to decipher, but he does know that the 'button on the right' turns on the light and the other three change the colors.
Speaking of colors - he is doing very well at identifying - blue, red, and purple. Yellow and orange are not far behind - green is rare and black, brown, pink, white, etc. I haven't really introduced beyond the books we read on colors.

He has always been very intuitive at identify objects that he has previously been shown. So if he sees a dog he will say dog. If we ask him to point out of a series of flash cards he's reviewed before he can remember which one is a 'heart' by sight and many others. He can translate what he sees in one place and identify it in another. For example he has a wall quilt that has many animals on it, when we use his flash cards he identifies all of those animals from the quilt by sight. So the first time we laid out the animal flash cards and asked him to point to the zebra he did, monkey, elephant, and the list goes on! We are very proud of him!
We have started to teach him the alphabet. He received the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnets as a gift for Christmas and loves to play with it while we're working in the kitchen. So he's *sort of* learning his sounds from that although we try to repeat them as he's playing with it - so he can hear it from a human tongue. I have noticed that the "T" has become much more pronounced since listening to it on the Leap Frog toy. So when he says 'turtle' it is very clearly 'turtle'
The other night we spent an hour reading through one of his favorite books Sesame Street ABCs - it's one of my least favorite books because he doesn't typically want to engage with the point of the book more just flip through it over and over. But the other night he was content to sit with me and learn 'A' 'B' and 'C' and the front of the book has an 'A' 'B' and 'C' on the cover so after spending a fair amount of time inside the book on those letters and word associated with them I closed the book and we went through what does 'cat' start with and he would point to the letter 'C' on the cover. However the next day he wasn't able to recall it when asking him in front of his father. This could be again a refusal to perform or simply that he hadn't retained the knowledge. Either way we continue to review 'A' 'B' and 'C' and add a few more as he seems interested in sitting and learning.
He's still young, not yet 18 months so honestly we don't try to force him to learn anything at this point. He doesn't sit in any chair and have 2 hours of 'school' when we do flash cards it usually is accompanied with running around the house between answering questions and sometimes the flash card sessions last 10 minutes others last 30 seconds. We do read to him every day and we usually go over at least one color every day - focusing on 'red' things in the house or 'blue' things on another day. He's a busy boy and doesn't always like to play along and that's ok. He's developing and learning wonderfully.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Success!

I know some of you may be getting tired of hearing almost exclusively about Ace's sleeping habits, but I am in full force observing them and documenting since my sleeping and memory recollection has suffered as a result of his sleeping habits. We honestly are not doing anything really that different than we have been, but we are trying to be mindful of how we do what we do when we do it. Confusing? Yah so is this whole sleep or lack there of thing. However, sleep has come in the last two days!

Two nights ago, I once again slept downstairs because I was sick, remember Momma hot. So trying to avoid any additional germ exposure and hoping an additional night of sleep would help fight off this achy-ickiness I slept downstairs and Loving Husband was on Ace night time duty again. So Monday night we slept on our different levels of the house once again. LH and Ace on the top level and me on the bottom level - with two flights of stairs between us. Ace slept for 5.5 hours on the first stint, I'd say that we are close to developing a pattern with that sleep cycle! Then awoke and got a small bottled snack from dad and then went back to sleep. Then around 3:30am (an hour after his bottled snack) I heard crying, the door to the guest room was open so at first I was just assuming I was hearing him from his room... hmm no that was a lot louder.... like right outside my door! I got out of bed and there was my little man standing right near my door crying. He was lost! :( It was heartbreaking and adorable all at the same time. He had silently gotten out of bed and crawled down two flights of stairs to come find me and just couldn't quite make it. He had the two previous mornings come down to greet me with his father and so he knew in general where I was and I guess at 3:30am decided he wanted his momma. I brought him into bed and Loving Husband came down to check and see if he needed to take him back upstairs and I said no he clearly wanted his momma and that was fine. I nursed him to sleep and then Ace did something that he hasn't done in my recent (if ever) memory. He went to sleep and did not wake back up to nurse again until it was morning! He slept for 4.25 hours that stint! Woohoo!

Last night, feeling much better I went to sleep in our bed. A little nervous that when Ace awoke he'd take his jaunt downstairs again, but he did not. He slept for SIX HOURS!!! When he awoke Loving Husband went and got him and brought him to our bed. I nursed him for 10 minutes and then he rolled over and was snoring away. LH picked him up and toted him back to his bed, where he slept for another FIVE HOURS and awoke at 8! Do you know what this means?!

Ace awoke ONCE and
slept for ELEVEN HOURS!!!

Fantastic! Ecstatic! Elated! We couldn't be more thrilled. Honestly! I could deal with this sleep pattern indefinitely! Really! We are *hopeful* that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with sleep!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Momma Hot

Today I woke with a raging headache and by noon I had a delightful fever to go with it. By the time Ace went down for a nap (12:30pm) I was spent and went to my own bed to snooze for a while. I managed to get 40 minutes of sleep and then the doorbell rang - damn it! I bolted downstairs unaware of the ringer was one of those that does it multiple times - my sleep was spoiled but I swear if Ace's was that poor Ringer would have had her neck rung. As you might suspect bolting out of bed with a raging headache is not the best medicine. Siiigh. I managed to dismiss the Ringer as politely as I could without killing her and checked on Ace. Still out. Back to bed I went - but sleep did not return to me.

I laid there for another 20 minutes and I heard Ace wake and get out of bed. I called to him to let him know I was in my room and he came to join me. He crawled up on my bed and gave me a kiss on my forehead. And then he sat up and said "hot" ... "Momma hot" Yes, yes I was - my fever was 101.2 - but that kiss on the forehead was enough to melt my heart and make me smile. He laid on my chest for about 15 minutes without squirming or moving. It was good snuggly time with my boy.

Shhh Momma's Sleeping...

Tylenol PM is my friend. Yes this weekend I got to sleep! It's been a long 18 months of broken sleep with sleeping stints maxing out at about 4 hours for me. Otherwise waking every 3, 2 hours, or even minutes apart ... every night. Every night. It's been taxing and downright stressful at times. I am blessed with ability to function on limited sleep. Law school and an excessive propensity to be an night owl has provided me with plenty of 'sleep training' for a non sleeping infant/toddler. However, the difference being that as a night owl it is my choice, if I am exhausted I can sleep and catch up. Not so much with a child.

It has only been in recent months that it's been possible for me to get away for a night of sleep. Ace for the longest time would not take a bottle, and while he wouldn't starve it would be far from a pleasant experience for him or his father. But he has been taking a bottle now for a while and most nights now Loving Husband gets Ace to sleep. It's just once he wakes in the middle of the night, I am the source of food.

Last weekend I took Saturday night and slept downstairs. The problem is that I've been so trained to wake every few hours that regardless of my night of free-from nursing sleep, I still woke semi-frequently. Boo! So during this past week, I got the idea of Tylenol PM. Ahh what a brilliant plan :-D And that's what I did on Saturday and Sunday night this week. I slept downstairs and knocked myself out. I got 5 hours on Saturday night of uninterrupted sleep and 7 last night. Thank God!

Now today I'm hovering in a bit of a T-PM haze and feel a tad groggy. But in another sense I do feel rested. Which is good, because I also think I'm fighting off a cold. Siigh. No rest for the mommy.

So, while I was snoozing away how did Ace do with his his sleep progress? Well not so hot. He slept 3 hours or less for the first stint and then the rest of the night searched for me repeatedly with frequent bouts of waking and migrating around on our bed looking for me. Loving Husband put him back in his bed after him waking every five minutes - literally - for an hour. He slept again then from 4:30-7:15 and then was wide awake, which is fine. Although this is a clear indication that we need to be more proactive to put him back in his bed after he wakes up. And if I am rested enough perhaps getting out of my bed and going to his to feed him when he wakes that first time. ... We'll see.

And how could I leave you with all that verbiage and not provide you with a picture? Ace has propensity to uncover himself as he sleeps, and so after he's been out for about an hour one of us goes in and checks on him to cover him back up... and so last night we both went in so I could give him an extra squeeze before I went to sleep... and we found this:

Ace was happily slumbering away with his head hanging off the bed! Loving Husband hugged him and slid him back into bed ... but not before I snapped a picture :)