Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No longer Amish

We can now say that we've survived Hurricane Irene, because as of 5:30am this morning, we have power!  Yay!  Even though it was a pain in the butt to not have power and we ended up pitching most of what was in our fridge, life wasn't too horrible.  James goes to bed before the sun goes down anyway and after that we just listened to music on my laptop and hung out.  It was actually nice to have some adult time where we weren't online or watching television.  We go to bed fairly early anyway, as we are freakishly early risers, and had no problems with our hot water.  We have a gas hot water heater, which I'm told still uses electricity, but either way, we had hot showers.  They might have been hot showers by flash light, but luckily I am not the kind of woman that needs to blow dry, flat iron, and otherwise mess with my hair.  You can chalk that up to sheer laziness, but in times like this it was nice to not look totally gross (just my usual level of gross).
So we are rolling on with our usual schedules and hectic life.  Nothing too exciting on the horizons for us, James has his 15 month check up next month and football season is upon us.  Adam's dad has season tickets for the Ravens, so we lose Adam's company every other weekend when they play at home.  The Maryland Wine Festival (aka Girl Time with Jackie and Sarah) is also September 17 and 18, which I am definitely looking forward to.  Other than that, we are still on the look out for James to take his first steps!

Monday, August 29, 2011

An evening with Irene

Well the storm of the century has come and gone and left us with no power!  Irene rolled through Saturday night and finally died down around 7am on Sunday morning.  Sometime around 1am on Sunday we lost power.  And it hasn't been on since.  It really hasn't been that bad, the weather is cool so we opened up our windows and let the breeze in.  We also went to Sam's club and bought a bunch of ice for our cooler.  The food from the fridge has been nice and cold in the cooler and life goes on!  Yesterday, we headed out to Arundel Mills Mall (with the rest of Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties, it seemed) and had dinner with Adam's mom at Chevy's Fresh Mex.  James went to bed at his usual time and Adam and I hung out in the candlelit and listened to music on my laptop until it died.  Today, I am at work, James is at daycare (although their power is out too), and Adam is going to the dentist in a little while.  Obviously, since I am writing this, there is power at work and I am charging all of our electronics in preparation for another dark evening.  The State of Maryland has liberal leave today, but I'd rather be here in the lights than at home in the dark.  My building is pretty empty, so we'll see who ends up here throughout the day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One more tooth...

James' teeth are still coming in slowly, but surely.  We noticed his lower left lateral incisor yesterday at dinner.  Here is James' updated tooth chart!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sleep Study Results

I went in this morning for a follow up with the ENT regarding my sleep study and issues with my tonsils.  According to the study results, I don't have sleep apnea (which I figured would be the case) and I snore "more than normal" (which I also figured.)  The ENT did a scope of my nose to check for any obstructions that would be making my snoring worse and also to check that my adenoids, which were removed 15 years ago, had not grown back in.  If you've never had your nose scoped, I don't suggest it.  In order to numb your nose, a spray gun full of "banana" flavored lidocaine is shot into it.  This stuff has got to be a most foul tasting liquid on the planet, with the exception of that barium stuff they give you before a butt scope (AKA flexible sigmoidoscopy).  Yep, I've had one of those too, but that's another entry....  Anyway, I got to see the scar tissue from my original surgery, where my deviated septum was fixed, nasal linings were trimmed, and adenoids were removed.  After I scan it, I will post the picture of my empty adenoidal cavity. 
Sidebar - I love when celebrities say that they didn't have a nose job (rhinoplasty), they had their deviated septum corrected (septoplasty), yet their noses look totally different.  My deviated septum correction didn't change my outward appearance at all (thank goodness, you really can't mess with perfection.  ha!)
So long story short (well, sort of, since I'm going on and on...) my adenoids haven't grown back in and my nose is fine.  The ENT didn't have strong feelings one way or another on taking out my tonsils, stating that I am "clearly a candidate" (Really, that's all you've got for me?  The medical profession drives me crazy sometimes, just tell me what to do.  I'll do it.  I'm easy, I don't argue.)  He did suggest that if I do get them out, that they microwave my soft palate.  Microwaving a straight line on the soft palate causes scar tissue to form upon healing, making it more firm and less jiggly.  This makes your snores quieter.  So I am going to be weighing the pros and cons, discussing with Adam, and trying to come to a decision on surgery sometime in the coming weeks. 
The best news of all - he didn't charge me a copay for the follow up!  Call me cheap, but $25 a pop adds up quickly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

He's a sleeper...

Hey, did you guys hear about the earthquake we had on the East Coast yesterday?  Oh yea, you did? 

Well, James slept through it.

That's my boy! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to the ol' grind

After our vacation, we are back to work.  Well, James and I are back, Adam has to get FIVE (count 'em) cavities filled today so he isn't back to work yet.  But I have to say that I am looking forward to getting back to our regular schedule.  This morning wasn't so bad, I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to walk the dog, but got to nap on the couch a bit, since James slept until almost 7 a.m.  He didn't go to bed very easily last night, so I'm sure he was making up for the sleep he was missing.  When we walked up to Rhonda's door, James saw Crackers, the 11 year old beagle and he was so excited.  He started to say "Da" over and over, so I'm wondering if that means Rhon-DA.  Lately, it seems like James has been calling Adam a hybrid of Dada and Adam - sort of an "Adaaaaa" kind of noise.  Who knows what goes on in that little guy's head, but I was glad he was so happy to go back to daycare.  It takes so much stress off of me to know that he likes going everyday, loves all the kids, and loves Rhonda.  Rhonda once joked with me that parents have a hard time letting their babies go to daycare, until they hit about 15 months.  Then the parents drop them off and run.  I wasn't really running out the door this morning, but I understand what she means.  Toddlers are demanding and I know that James isn't even that bad.  James has one more week of being the baby though, on August 29th a 3 month old starts and I'm hoping its an easy transition.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Toys I hate

I'm not sure if its a part of the design process, but children's toys are really annoying.  Seriously, do the toy designers think. "What would make parents the most crazy?" when they make toys.  Now, I can't complain too badly, James is in daycare and Rhonda gets to hear the most annoying toys for the longest amount of time.  But really, even 2 to 3 hours a day of some of them is too much.  The number one offender: the Lightning McQueen Activity Car.  James loves this thing.  He can push it, ride on it, or just hit the buttons over and over again.  Lets be honest, he does the latter more than the first two put together.  Lightning McQueen is arrogant, he's cocky, he drives me nuts!  Over and over again I hear "I'm a preeminent world racecar!!" and "Ka-Chow!"  But really, since James loves him so much, I will grin and bear it!  This is just a first installment, there are plenty more toys I hate.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cleaning up!

Awhile ago, I posted about James and the messes that he makes.  We've been calling him the "James Tornado" for some time and I know its no shock that a toddler makes a mess.  But on Saturday, after a long car ride home, James was playing on the floor.  But we noticed that after he was done with a toy, he was putting it back into his toy drawer.  I think Adam and I were both surprised, and we made sure to tell James what a good job he was doing.  We'll see if this was a fluke or not, but he really amazes me everyday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

James' Deep Creek Dunk

Ready for the beach
I started to title this post "The First Swim", but really, this post isn't about James' first swim.  He had a little taste of the water back in July when he went swimming with Jackie.  But he was grumpy, and teething, and not really sure what was going on that day.  So we weren't really sure what James would do when we took him swimming in Deep Creek Lake on Tuesday. 
Overall, James was pretty underwhelmed with swimming.  He didn't take to it right away (I've always been told stories about my immediate love for the water), but it was fairly chilly for swimming on Tuesday.  In the mid-80's and a fairly windy, it definitely wasn't ideal weather.  But we took a quick dip and James screamed with each dunk into the lake.  He could cling on me, then we he'd decided that I was the mean parent, he'd reach for Adam.  When he realized we were both the mean parent, he was cold and turned on the drama, chattering his teeth as though it was below freezing. 
Such a tired boy
On Wednesday, we gave the lake another go.  James had more fun on his second swimming adventure, actually smiling and squealing when we'd lift him all the way up in the air and then lower him into the water.  I'm not sure that James has a future in the Summer Olympics, but I think next summer he will have more fun in the water.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I want the camera, Momma!

Deep Creek Sneak Peek!

The view of Wisp Resort from our house

On our way to go swimming

Cool dude

Sleepy boy, post swim

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We should go on vacation more often...

Vacation has been very relaxing and fun so far.  On Sunday we drove to Deep Creek and set up our house.  Adam, James and I have the basement floor of a large, 3 level house near Wisp Ski Resort.  Adam's parents are on the main floor, and Michelle is upstairs.  On Monday, Jackie came from West Virginia to visit with us.  We had some hot tub time and took James to the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center.  He was relatively unimpressed.  Later, after Jackie went home, we went to dinner at the Santa Fe Grille.  Its in the building that used to house the Deep Creek Brewing Company, making me long for one of their micro brews, but the food was still very good.  Today we attempted to let the dogs swim in the lake (don't even ask my why my poor Sheltie needs to swim, but apparently that's important),  Now James is napping, Adam is kayaking, and I am figuring out the rest of the day.  I love vacation!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Almost vacation time!

Well, James (and his parents) seems to have survived his first sleepover!  He had a great time with Charlotte, Grandpa, and Aunt Michelle (Adam's 15 year old step-sister).  He didn't have a good time with Snow, the puppy, because they were kept separate while James was there.  Snow is in the "I'm a teenager dog" phase, so he's still not trained enough to be with the baby without running him over.  But James went to bed around 7, woke up around 6:30 and was a very good boy, from what I'm told. 
Adam and I had a great time on our evening out.  We ate dinner, walked over to Merriweather Post Pavilion, and watched My Morning Jacket.  The concert was amazing and I know Adam really enjoyed seeing one of his favorite bands.  We got home around 11 and since Adam woke up with the dog and then went to pick up the baby, I got to sleep in until 10.  It was amazing.
Today we're just trying to pack everything up for our trip to Deep Creek Lake tomorrow.  James is napping right now, so I am taking a little break.  We will finish packing this afternoon and spend the rest of the day relaxing.  I love vacation!

Friday, August 12, 2011

His first overnight...

Tonight, Adam and I are going to a concert and James is going to spend his first night away from home without mom and dad.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous.  James will be with Adam's dad and step mom and I fully trust them (ok, her...) to take care of him, but still I'm nervous.  I try very hard to not be too overprotective, to walk the line of being close enough without hovering.  Since James hasn't been away before, I do have a hilarious page full of instructions about his lunch, dinner, bedtime, and breakfast routines.  Luckily, James is a pretty go with the flow kind of guy, so I'm not really worried about that.  Although we both work, Adam and I are very hands on parents and its going to be very odd to not have him at home.  I know that it will be good for us to have some adult time and I am very excited for an evening with my husband!  Now if we could just find a dog sitter as well.... 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make like a banana

...and split.  That's what James and Mac are trying to do in this video, get out the front door.  Or at least bang on it and make a lot of noise.

Silly boys.  (Note:  Not the best video quality, as it was taken on my cell phone, but you get the idea.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words update

As promised, I am adding to the list of words that James says...  although sometimes he'll say something and then not repeat it, so I never know if he's actually said it or not.

What he's saying right now (in addition to the words on the previous list):
thank you (sounds more like danks you)

We're starting to think he might be really talking before he walks.  We will see though!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The not so sleep-filled sleep study

Last night I went for my sleep study.  I didn't sleep that much, but it wasn't too horrible and I was home in time for Adam to go to work on his regular schedule.  I am now at work, James went to daycare where he squealed and said "Jacob" when he saw his 4 year old friend named, you guessed it, Jacob.  He is really amazing me everyday, I will have to update his words list soon!  Without further ado, here are some hilarious pictures of me, in full sleep study glory.  My technician Mariana (who had a very thick Russian accent) and her student technician, Mike, were very nice and had me hooked up in no time.
Sort of a smile...

These belts did not do wonders for my figure

Monday, August 8, 2011

14 month milestones

Here we are for another installment of James' monthly milestones!

14 months
Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Eats with fingers
Yes, James definitely can eat with his fingers.  He loves food!
Empties containers of contents
Yes, this is another definite.  James will empty anything he can get his hands on - usually his toy drawer at home, toy box at daycare, and the dog's toy basket.
Imitates others
James imitates people, especially if asked to repeat words.  He likes to make silly noises like the cats and has his own way of talking wtih Kippy, the 2 year old at daycare.  They just make funny noises at each other.
Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Toddles well
James is getting there, but only in secret...  hopefully he'll debut his new walking skills in front of an audience soon.
Initiates games
James makes it clear when he wants to play, he will hand you a toy or look at you for help when he can't get something to work.  I'm not sure if that counts as initiating a game or not.
Points to one body part when asked
It never really occured to me to ask James to point to something, but we talk about where his tummy is, etc.  So no, I guess James isn't doing this yet.
Responds to instructions (e.g., "give me a kiss")
James can respond to instructions, but doesn't necessarily follow them!  He understands things like coming when called, giving something up that he's not supposed to have or moving away from something (usually the cord to the lamp in the living room).  He also seems to understand opening his mouth for food and giving back his sippy (not throwing it when finished).

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Uses a spoon or fork
James can use a fork or spoon, but that's a pretty liberal interruptation.  If you put food on a spoon or fork and hand it to him, he knows to put it in his mouth.  He sort of understands dipping the spoon back into a bowl to get more food, but often looks like he thinks the food magically ends up on the spoon.  So we are working on this!
Matches lids with appropriate containers
Much like the pointing to body parts, this never really occured to me to have him do.  So this one is a no.
Pushes and pulls toys while walking
James loves to push his ride on car.  He isn't walking on his own, like I mentioned, but he will push his car while he walks behind it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Incompetent Dad Syndrome (IDS)

This is not a safe parenting method
As I make my foray in the world of parenting and blogging, I find myself struggling to fight a common myth of IDS.  Many people assume that as a father I know nothing about my child, that I would gladly throw him to the “wolves” disregarding all aspects of child safety, ignoring him as he metaphorically took a long walk off a short bridge.  As a child my father subscribed to the parenting philosophy of “benign neglect” (his term not mine), letting me explore my surroundings and providing “just enough” supervision to prevent permanent physical deformation or intense psychological trauma (Chelsea would argue that he was not successful).   Many people of our parents’ generation were subject to the what I would coin the “leave it to Beaver” method of fathering where dads would come home from work expecting dinner on the table, have the occasional pitch and catch session in the yard, and be the disciplinarian when your child would get into the inevitable trouble.
My experience with today’s fathers is more nebulous, some Dads attempt to be Mom 2.0, some subscribe to the “begin neglect” method, and still some are the stereotypical 1950’s father figure. If you have seen me with my child, I am not a helicopter parent, however I am not afraid to get wrist deep in a poopy diaper, snuggle my child when he is tired, or “guide” him away from what seems to be all children’s proclivities to finding situations which can lead to instant death or disfigurement.  I hope that by blogging I will be able to provide a fathers’ prospective on raising James and show my attempts to find a middle ground between Mom 2.0 and “1950’s dad”.

The names I go by are Dad and Adam and I do not have IDS.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eye doctor update

This morning was James' appointment with the eye doctor.  Adam was going to take him since I did last year, but then he ended up having a meeting.  So it was mom to the rescue.  I have to say, the visit wasn't that bad at all.  James was a perfect patient and handled the lights, eye drops, and both doctors wonderfully.
In the waiting room
First we checked in, waited for a few minutes, and then went back to get his drops.  Dr. Choi (who we also met with last year) took a quick look at his file, peeked in his eyes, and put the drops in.  The drops take 30 minutes to work, so we went back to the waiting room, had a quick bathroom trip for a fresh diaper, and played with some toys.  James sat next to me for most of the time, then played on the floor for a bit.  After about 40 minutes we got called into the next waiting room, and about 10 minutes after that we were seen by the doctor. 
Dr. Andorsky, who was new to us, was very nice and pretty funny.  He did a pretty quick exam, shining lights in James eyes and using various lenses.  The verdict?  James is a little bit near-sighted (not shocking considering how blind I am) with a slight astigmatism.  There is no need for glasses at this point, but the doctor said it was more of a "not yet" rather than a "no" on the glasses.  The blood vessels and back of his eyes were perfect, with no need for concern.  We go back in a year, but mainly to check the near-sightedness, not the blood vessels, etc. that were a concern due to James having oxygen after birth. 
After his appointment, James and I swung by his Grandma's office to say hello to her and her coworkers.  James wasn't sure why he had to go see all these people, but he was well behaved and ate a little snack in Grandma's office.  We only stayed a little while, then it was off to daycare and work for the two of us!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shopping update...

Well, I got everything on my list, except the pedicure.  So I will call it close enough for now!  I even picked up a couple of things for myself, which I don't really do a lot these days.  There isn't much I really need and baby clothes are so much cuter (and smaller) than mine. 
I did buy a second swim suit yesterday.  I got one a few months ago from Lands End and paid far more than I ever imagined I would for a swim suit, but its a great quality and since I don't swim often, I am sure I will use it for years to come.  But I thought since we're headed out to a LAKE for vacation and the rental home has a hot tub, I should get a second one (ok, a second one that doesn't show my crazy, stretch marked, "mommy" tummy).  So I looked at the clearance rack at Old Navy.  I found a tankini, in my size (XL on bottom, L on top), that was pretty cute and chocolate brown.  When I tried it on, I actually felt good, like my kickboxing classes have been helping.  Its rare that I try on a swim suit and feel good in it.  Then I noticed that it wasn't marked, but since it was on the clearance rack I figured that they could ring it up and if it was crazy expensive, I'd just tell them no thank you.  I get to the check out and and James' hat, sun glasses, and jammies are all on sale, Adam's shorts and swim trunks are also on sale, so I was pretty happy.  The bottom of my swim suit rings up for $3.99!  What a score!  The top wasn't on sale for some reason, so it was $24.94, still not bad for the set.  But I asked the girl, "Oh, is the top not on sale?" and she gave me kind of a funny look, and said "No, just the bottom."  So I figured the funny look was for me even asking about the sale items.  But I figure, whatever, not a big deal if she wants to give me a funny face.  I pay for my stuff, go get James' crocs, maybe stop and buy myself some shoes....  (they were 30% off!) and head home. 
I get home and decide to try the suit on again.  And then I realized why the check out girl was giving me funny looks.  ITS a MATERNITY swim suit!  I might be a little chubs, but I'm definitely not pregnant looking.  And no wonder it made me look skinny, its designed for someone carrying a watermelon under their shirt...  Adam says it doesn't really look like a maternity suit, so I decided to keep it.  I'll post pictures from vacation and you can let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation shopping!

We leave to go on vacation in Deep Creek Lake, Western Maryland on the 14th.  We found out yesterday that our rental home is under construction, so we had to pick another home last night.  Adam is calling the realtor today to let her know our decision.  If it was me, I would asking for some of our rental fee back, since it was kind of a pain in the butt, but we'll see if Adam gets aggressive!  Before then I need to do the following:
  1. Buy James sunglasses (well I need to do this before Friday, his eye doctor appointment)
  2. Buy James Crocs or other beach friendly shoes (even though he's not walking, I don't want his little tootsies to get hot)
  3. Buy James a baseball hat for the car ride, his floppy hats tend to fall off in the car and I thought a baseball cap would work better
  4. Buy Adam another swimsuit and a pair of cargo shorts
  5. Get a pedicure
I hope to get most of this done today, note that I am only buying things for the MEN in the house.  Blasphemy.  And I may not get the pedicure done, but a girl can hope, right?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First steps

James, quite secretly, took his first steps yesterday...  While no was looking!  When I picked James up from daycare, Rhonda told me that she'd caught him taking 3 steps out of the corner of her eye.  After his 3 steps, he noticed Rhonda and quickly put his elbow on her coffee table and laid his head down.  Maybe he was thinking that if he couldn't see her, she couldn't see him either.  So far, Adam and I haven't seen him walk or even stand on his own very much.  He's been very secretive!  I'm sure when he is ready, he'll be running and we will wish we had our little crawler back!

Monday, August 1, 2011

James goes to college...

"This sign tastes pretty good!"

You might remember that James took a trip to Towson University with Jackie, back at the beginning of July.  Jackie had to get some transcripts to send to College Park to get her Masters of Library Science started (do I sound like I'm her proud mama too?  Well, I am!  haha)  Here are the pictures that Jackie took, maybe one day he'll be a Towson Tiger!  According to Jackie's report, James was well behaved and charmed all the ladies in the office.  I am not shocked at that, James loves the ladies.

"Aunt Jackie, is it time to go now?"

So much more room for activites!

No, this is not a post about bunk beds (if you've seen Step Brothers then you get this reference), although we do have bunk beds in our guest room and they free up a lot of room for activities.  This is a post about going to visit Jackie, James' godmother*, in West Virginia over the weekend.  Jackie and her husband have a lovely summer get together every year.  We went last year with our tiny, 2 month old and this year we brought our crazy, active almost 14 month old!  I was a little worried about the trip for a number of reasons, mainly the fact that it takes almost 90 minutes to get there (not that long, but I didn't want to bring a tired, cranky toddler to a party).  I was also concerned because James can be a little shy and I didn't want him to cry at people all day. 
But both issues ended up being silly worries.  The morning of the party we kept James up a little while later than usual, let him sleep about an hour for his morning nap, fed him lunch, and then put him in the car a little later than his usual afternoon nap.  So he slept all the way there.  When we got there (a little early) James had time to get acclimated before more people showed up.  Jackie's house has a huge amount of space on the main floor.  The living room, kitchen, and sun room are all very open, so James had plenty of room to crawl around.  And once he realized that he could go where he wanted, he was all over the place.  So much more room for activities!  We had fun and so did he, crawling around, smiling at people, and getting fed (a lot!).  I think James might have eaten more than I did.  He had pasta salad (and he even ate the peas in it, which I picked out), hamburger, hot dog (oh no, not hot dogs!), cupcakes and so much more. 
James really was a ham, smiling, "talking", and laughing.  I'm glad he had fun and wasn't grumpy, because I don't want to be around a grumpy kid and he's mine, let alone inflict the grump on others.  Jackie's grandmother, Mavis, was there and she was a labor and delivery nurse for a long time (30 years or so), so she obviously loves babies.  James sat on her lap for a minute or so before he decided that he wasn't into being held.  We left around 6:30, James' usual bed time.  He fell asleep in the car, but the sun going down (and shining in his eyes) woke him up about 20 minutes before we got home.  He made a little noise, not really screaming, just letting us know he was ready to be out of the seat.  It was 8:00 by the time we got home, and after some milk and cuddles, James went to bed.  Overall, it was a really fun day and I'm glad we all got out of the house!

*Side note on the whole godmother title:  Jackie is James' godmother, but its sort of funny because James has not and will not be baptized or christened or whatever until its something he wants to do.  So really godmother is a way of saying "extra super special nonrelative that we love and loves our baby".  When talking about having more kids with Adam recently (no, I'm not pregnant...) I told him that Jackie will have to be the next baby's godmother too, because she's awesome and it wouldn't be fair to the second one.