Saturday, December 31, 2011

A trip to Little Phoenix

Last night for dinner we stopped by our favorite Chinese restaurant, Little Phoenix.  The restaurant is right across the street from where I worked when I was a Private Investigator, so we've been eating there for about 6 years now.  In that time they've only had 2 waiters, so I feel like they know us fairly well.  James hadn't been to eat there since he was about 6 months old, usually Adam and I go there on Mondays for lunch when Adam works from home.  James had a nice time, he really enjoyed eating the crispy noodles they set out and talking to the waiter.  And by talking I mean saying "bye" every time he walked away from the table.  James was pretty funny, he kept putting his sippy cup into the tea cups on the table.  It actually fit perfectly in there, making him squeal with happiness.  Adam had sweet and sour chicken and I had the spicy crispy chicken.  We ordered James some french fries, but he was more interested in the noodles on the table and the pineapple from Adam's dinner.  Overall it was a nice meal, we were the only ones in the dining room for most of it, so James could laugh and squeal without bothering anyone.  The funniest part of the meal was at the end, when James was eating my broccoli.  The stem was a little stringy, but he kept at it and eventually got most of it down.  Yes, he loves broccoli, so maybe he's not my kid after all!
Today Adam, James and grandpa John are visiting with Adam's grandma Theresa in the nursing home.  James has been feeling a little bit under the weather, so hopefully he isn't too grumpy while he's visiting.  I had a very productive morning alone, taking down all the Christmas decorations and cleaning the house.  We don't have any plans for New Year's Eve tonight, I'm sure we'll just hang out at home and go to bed at our regular time.  We lead an exciting life, I tell ya!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another cold

Just when I was thinking that all of us were on the mend and cold free, it looks like James has the beginning of another cold.  Starting the day after Christmas, his little nose has been running.  He won't hold still for the nasal aspirator anymore, so we've just been wiping it and using ointment to keep it from getting too sore.  This morning I'm noticing a phlegmy cough as well, so I'm hoping it doesn't get too much worse.
Adam was joking that its not the Christmas season if Justin, my nephew, doesn't get us all sick, so I guess he's living up to that with his cold this year.  The back story to that joke is that 4 years ago on Justin's first Christmas (he was 9 months old), he had a massive blow out diaper.  His parents had to cut him out of his clothes and there was Christmas poo everywhere!  We all had a good laugh, blamed it on feeding him too much adult food and went home.  The next day, I flew to California and didn't really hear from anyone.  My mom had shoulder surgery the day after that, so I didn't really expect to hear from her.  As it turns out, everyone had gotten a horrible stomach bug and was hugging the nearest toilet.  When I finally got a hold of Adam I learned that he had been so sick that he went to the ER to get IV fluids!  My mom was well enough to have her surgery, but my step dad was very ill and trying to take care of her.  For some reason, I didn't get sick.
Anyway, none of us are that sick, but it looks like there was some cold sharing going on at the Gill family Christmas dinner!  But after today we will be home for 4 days to relax and hopefully shake this cold!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Alvin, Simon, Theodore!

I loved the Chipmunks when I was a kid and I really love the newer movies that have been coming out.  James really likes the Squeakquel, it makes him dance, which is another post in and of itself.  Its one of few kid's movies that I can watch and not want to pluck my eyeballs out.
Last night, James was playing with a Simon toy.  He pointed at Simon's glasses and said "Momma?"

Adam and I about died laughing.  He's a very observant little guy.  In the last few weeks, I feel like James is really learning a lot.  He's putting 2 words together more and more and does little things that make me think he's so smart.  This is a really fun age and I am enjoying James so much!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas has come and gone

Wow, Christmas really was a whirlwind this year.  I should have expected that, but now it has come and gone and I am back at work!  Boo!  We had a really nice Christmas this year, James got lots of presents and we saw lots of family.  James got to open presents this year, which was fun, if not a little overwhelming for him.  But by the time we saw his godmother on Monday, he knew exactly what to do.  We have lots of presents in our living room right now, I think I'm going to get a storage ottoman/bench to store everything in (and provide extra seating!).
So its Monday morning, I'm listening to all the new music I decided that I really needed to download off iTunes in my blissfully quiet office.  James is at daycare, he woke up really excited to see Rhonda, so I'm sure he'll have a nice day.  Some of the kids won't be there this week, but I'm sure James will be just fine with that.  He has a little bit of a cold now, mainly a very runny nose, so I hope he's not feeling too badly.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So close to Christmas

I've been thinking a lot about my own Christmas memories lately, it is that time of year and having a little guy tends to make me more sentimental than I might have been in the past.  I was never one of those kids that super loved Christmas, I've always been more of an Easter person myself.  Something about the candy was always so tempting, although Christmas presents are pretty sweet too.  This of course is extra hilarious given my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) at this point, but lets face it celebrating either a virgin birth or the resurrection of a guy who's been dead for 3 days is pretty crazy.  Unless you're into that kind of thing, in which case, carry on.
I won't even get into the "war" between Santa and the Easter Bunny that was waged through the notes they'd leave for me.  For some reason Santa always wanted a beer and not milk...  My father really is a character.
Where was I?
Oh yes, my Christmas memories.
One of my first Christmas memories involves my dad dressed up as Santa.  That pretty much put a wrench in the whole "Be good so Santa will give you gifts" idea.  I believe that Christmas we also got to see reindeer on the radar screens at his shop.  We were in semi-tropical Okinawa, Japan at the time, so it probably didn't seem too holiday-esque.   I don't remember much else from those Christmases.  (I just googled the weather in Okinawa right now and its exactly what it is here in Baltimore - mid-60's....  go figure the only difference is that we're at 50% humidity and they're at 72%).
Wow, I am prone to tangents today, aren't I?
Another thing I loved about Christmas as a child was decorating the tree with my mom, dad, and brother.  Every year I would be so excited to see "my" ornaments from years passed.  Almost every year my mom bought an ornament for Travis and I, so there was a good collection of them.  Even now when I look at those same ornaments on my own tree, I feel that excitement, if only for a second.  We always had fun putting up the tree, taking bets on which of our cats would climb it first, and making Christmas an exciting time.
Something that I didn't realize about my childhood Christmas experiences until I was older was that we were never with family during the holidays.  As a military family, we were always out on our own and while part of me envies that (because really, going to 3 different people's houses for the holiday is a bit overkill), but the other part marvels at my parents.  They always made the day special for me and Trav, but I know it must has been hard to forge ahead with new holiday traditions without their own parents.
I think that leads to a favorite Christmas memory - the scavenger hunt.  One year (after I woke my sleeping brother up, because he would have slept until noon without his nagging little sister) we found a clue, which lead to another clue, which lead to our present - two new bikes in the garage.  It was so fun to have to look around and find our clues, occasionally going to ask mom and dad for help when we were stuck, and then find our presents.  My mom will now admit that they thought it was a great way for them to sleep in a little longer!  I can see her point, I was definitely an early riser and eventually there was a "Don't wake anyone up until 9AM" rule in our house.  The next year we also had a scavenger hunt, I believe we found a Sega Genesis under Travis' bed.
So those are some of my Christmas memories.  I am so excited that I get to help makes these memories for James.  And since part of me is still a little kid, I can't wait to open my presents!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A new skill

James has a new skill, and let me tell you, its adorable.

He blows kisses now.  It seriously melts my heart everytime.  He doesn't know the kissy sound yet, but he will put his hand up to his mouth, hold it out to you, and say something that sounds kind of like "boo".  He is so sweet!  Ok, he is so sweet when he's not busy being a toddler!

I will try to get a video of James and his new skill soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

It is Wednesday again!  It comes once a week, so why I am surprised?  I am really looking forward to my telecommute day today, even though I had Monday off, I have been very tired.  So I am going to try to relax a bit today.  I am going to go get a manicure and pedicure, but that is just across the street and I think it counts as relaxing...
I did my weigh in and I am now at 217, so I lost a pound this week!  I am so excited to be continuing to lose weight, it has been a lot of effort, but I know it is worth it.  I recently found out that my kick boxing class will be starting back up again in February, so I am looking forward to that.  Exercise combined with my Weight Watchers routine should really kick the weight loss into high gear.
My other plans for the day include stopping by Old Navy to get James a holiday shirt and getting Rhonda's gift card to complete my Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

18 month check up

Yesterday I was off work, Rhonda was closed and James had his 18 month check up with his pediatrician, Dr. Chander.  The appointment was early, 8:30, but we were up and out the door in plenty of time.  We had to wait for awhile, which sometimes happen at Dr. Chander's, but James was a good sport and ran around the exam room in his diaper.  The nurse yesterday was new, so James whined at her a bit, but it wasn't too bad.  My little guy now weights 25.2 lbs and is 33.5 inches tall.  That puts him into the 90th percentile for height and the 50th for weight (still adjusted for being 5 weeks early).  He's a skinny little guy, but that is no surprise, given how much he runs around.  James sat patiently while Dr. Chander listened to his heart (his murmur still sounds the same as it did 3 months ago) and checked his eyes, ears, and mouth.  James also received his first of 2 Hepatitis A shots.  Everything was fine at his appointment, he is meeting all his milestones and we got a referral for a few pediatric dentists.
After his appointment, we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  We got home in time for James to play a little, eat lunch, and go down for his nap.  After nap time, I took James and the dog our for a walk.  James did well, toddling down the street.  He made a break for it a few times, but we caught up and kept him for escaping.  Our street is pretty busy, so I was a little unnerved by the walk, but we survived.  It wasn't a productive walk for the dog, but at least we got some fresh air.
Around 3, a switch flipped in James' head and he was pretty grumpy for the remainder of the day.  I'm pretty sure his shot started to hurt, so I gave him a little pain medicine to help.  He was happy when Adam got home, but them promptly went back to being a grump.  He woke up this morning in a great mood though, so I think the mood has passed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 AM Target Trip

Wednesday is my usual work from home day, I drop James off at daycare and head home to do some work.  This week, I took a slight detour on my way home.  I knew Target was opening at 8 AM, so I went to get some last minute Christmas presents and it was magical.  Target at 8 AM is quiet, peaceful, full of friendly employees and very few other shoppers.  It was amazing!  I got a chai tea latte, perused the aisles and was in and out in 30 minutes.  I don't often go shopping so early or without James and Adam with me, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The only bad part was that the Old Navy next door wasn't open until 9 AM, so I didn't get to buy the shirt I wanted to get for James.  But I think I will sneak over there sometime before the 23rd.  So my advice for everyone who needs to shop - go early!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Almost Christmas

I can't believe that it is almost Christmas again.  This past year has really flown by!  I knew that it would, but I really don't know where the time has gone.  We are almost done with Christmas shopping, we just need to get one last thing for Rhonda and everything will be done.  Most of it is even wrapped too, so I'm feeling very on top of things!
Adam and I haven't ever really decorated for Christmas, I think I did back in 2007, but its never been a big thing for us.  So I'm happy that we're more in the spirit this year.  Also, for the first time since we've been together, we haven't given each other our presents early!  So we will actually have presents to unwrap on Christmas morning. Last year, Adam left the house briefly on Black Friday and came home with a laptop for me.  Merry Christmas! I didn't mind, but it was pretty funny.
We are going to have a fairly relaxing weekend, but we do have a little bit of running around to do.  My mom is coming to hang out tomorrow, which should be nice.  James likes having his grandma over and we don't mind either.  On Sunday we're going to have brunch with Adam's family.  His little step sister, Michelle, is going to be 16, so that's making both of us feel pretty old!
So we are ready for the holidays and in a few more day they will be here!  I can't wait to have a little time off work to celebrate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

Wednesday Weigh In!  Pretty uneventful this week, I maintained at 218.  I think I would have been half a pound to a pound less than that had I not woken up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar.  When my sugar is low in the middle of the night, I don't usually grab some fruit or a healthy snack.  I generally grab cookies or crackers or something sugary and bad.  But I'm trying to make sure I get my sugar back up without incident, so it is what it is.  My work holiday party is today, and I am going to try keep the gorging to a minimum!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Word List Update

Here are some of James' newest words:
Ba (I think he means bath)
Bug Box (one of his most favorite toys)

He gets more and more chatty all the time.  Rhonda can really decipher him well, but she hangs out with kids all day, so its not surprise that she can carry on a full conversation with him.  James is also following directions well, he helps clean up his toys if you ask and will pick things up and give them to you when asked (ok, if he's really in the mood, sometimes when you ask for something he will run away from you with your cell phone/the TV remote/his shirt because that's obviously the funniest thing ever).  He also knows (and runs away) when you want to change his diaper.

I can't believe how quickly he's growing up.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Again

I haven't posted much lately, I've been a bit uninspired and busily working on getting this infection out of my poor lungs.  I spent the majority of the weekend coughing and blowing my nose and I think most of the gunk has left the building.  At least I'm hoping so.  James and I both finished up our antibiotics and James seems to be feeling 100%.  Although he did have a random fever yesterday afternoon.  Some Tylenol brought it down right away, so I'm thinking it was just a fluke.
This weekend was very relaxing, we hung out around the house and I did some cleaning yesterday.  James ran around like a maniac and we had a nice time.  He is talking and communicating more and more, which really takes the pressure off to figure out what he wants, either based on his non verbal cues or his usual routine.  As well as you know your baby, its really nice when you ask if he wants a snack and he says, "Yea".  So much easier!  Then you just get him the snack and he doesn't whine at you!  Aside from yogurt, James gets very mad if you even attempt to put anything in his mouth.  Unless of course he's feeling lazy, then he will only eat if you put food in there for him.  The only way to discern these moods is to test the waters.  But overall, James continues to be a laid back kind of guy.
Lately at daycare some of the boys have been acting crazier than usual.  There was Kip and the biting and lately Joel (who is 3 and a half) and Kip (notice the repeat offender here) have been having lots of fights.  They both have very strong personalities and tend to butt heads.  But Rhonda always reports that James has been well behaved and pretty much ignores the boys when they're being crazy.  James will sit and snuggle with someone for awhile, so even though he's growing up, he's still got a little baby left in him.
So we are back to work and daycare this week.  Next week James has his 18 month appointment on Monday when Rhonda is closed.  His Christmas party is on the 23rd and then we head straight into all of the holiday madness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

18 month milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Will "read" board books on his own
James will sit and look at books on his own.  One of his favorites right now is his book about Farms.  There are all kinds of animals and tractors, etc. in it and he will look at it for awhile.  He will also bring you the book and ask, "dat?" meaning what's that?  We will go through the book over and over, telling him what the pictures are that he is asking about.  On Thanksgiving I thought my son was a genius, he asked me repeatedly what the turkey was.  It was like he knew what day it was!  (Yes, I know he didn't know what day it was, but I like to think my child is a genius, perhaps he is!)
Scribbles well
Oh yes, when James isn't busy eating crayons, he loves to scribble.  

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Strings two words together in phrases
James is starting to do this more and more.  He will say things like "My Mac" and on Sunday he told Mac "My Da" and pushed the dog away from Adam.  We got a real kick out of that one.  
Brushes teeth with help
James likes to play with his toothbrush, so he doesn't brush them on his own yet.  He is very cooperative with teeth brushing and doesn't put up a fight, which is nice.  
Stacks four blocks
James doesn't like to stack things, he likes to knock them over.  

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Throws a ball overhand
Yes, he plays fetch with Mac a lot.
Takes toys apart and puts them back together
James does this to some extent, for instance, he will take bugs out of his bug box and put them back in.  He also has a toy that pops open when you push a button, so he will put it back together after it pops.  
Shows signs of toilet training readiness
James is showing some of the signs of toilet training wellness, but not enough of them for me to think we're at all ready to potty train.  I put stars by the ones that James currently meets, so it looks like he is meeting the physical signs, but behavioral and cognitive are lacking.  I'm thinking sometime in the spring or early summer we will actually start working on potty training or at least determining if its worth the effort yet.  In the spring or summer he can run around the house naked, which I think will help things a bit.  I've heard some interesting/good things about the 3 day potty training technique, so I think we will probably start to do some research on that soon.  Also, Rhonda is going to be key in James' potty training, so we will be seeking her advice as well.  Kippy, who is 2 and a half as of yesterday is fully potty trained, so I do have hope for James.  

Physical signs
*Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
*Urinates a fair amount at one time.
*Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
*Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.
Behavioral signs
Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes. - HA!
Can pull his pants up and down.
*Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
*Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).
Gives a physical or verbal sign when he's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.
Demonstrates a desire for independence.
*Takes pride in his accomplishments.
Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet.
Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.
Cognitive signs
*Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy."
Understands the value of putting things where they belong.
Has words for urine and stool.
Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

I had a good week this week, I lost another pound, so I'm down to 218.  I have finally gotten rid of the weight I put back on after Adam's birthday party.  So lesson learned there, I should not go that crazy.  But it happens, so there's not point in beating myself up over it.
I started an antibiotic yesterday for this never ending cold I seem to have.  Apparently it has turned into a minor respiratory infection, so I am hoping this Z-pack clears it up.  Adam was on antibiotics for bronchitis a few weeks ago and James has been on them for his cold, so I guess its just making its way through the house.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Godzilla baby

James has lots of hobbies, he likes the phone (real and pretend), animals, wrestling with dad, and ravaging Japanese villages.  Okay, maybe the villages aren't in Japan and James isn't really Godzilla.  But one of his most favorite things to do is break anything that you are building.  It doesn't matter if its a train set from Ikea (Thanks Grandbear!  We finally took it out of the box a few weeks ago!  Yes, I know it was a Christmas present...) or a set of wooden blocks (Oh, I guess those are from Grandbear too...  James is a lucky boy!).  If anything is set up, James quickly knocks it over.  He likes to yell "Boom" as he does it, with a big smile on his face.  In the words of Kip, "He knock it over!"

Friday, December 2, 2011

My kid is the cutest

I know, everyone says that about their kid.  James is just really cute though.
And I have evidence!
Yesterday, Baby Landon arrived at daycare before us, which doesn't usually happen.  He was laying in the pack 'n' play where James usually takes his naps.  James looked at me and said "Baby?  Bed?"  He pointed up to the ceiling when he said it (at home, when James asks to go to bed, he points upstairs, where his bed is).
Seriously, that's cute.
Also right now, everything is a phone to James.  His Fisher Price cell phone, hair brushes, and as of last night, Chicken McNugget containers are all phones.  We got McDonald's for dinner last night because I've been sick and the thought of cooking dinner just didn't appeal to me.  We don't often give James fast food, but it does happen from time to time.  He also ate carrots with his Happy Meal and he would have had apples to go with it if McDonald's wasn't full of incompetent workers.  But I digress.  After his nuggets container was empty, James help it up to his ear and said "Hi" then he handed it to Adam.  I keep saying that we need to get him to say something other than hi into the phone, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
And more proof that James is cute?
Well, he looks like the best of both me and Adam.  My blond hair and Adam's bright brown eyes.
My kid is the cutest.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weigh In and Illness

I weighed in yesterday at 219, so I didn't gain or lose.  Since it was Thanksgiving, I am giving myself a pass.  At least I didn't gain anything, and I am back on top of things this week.  Not that I wasn't on top of things last week, I counted all my points, but there were a lot of points to be counted!
James is getting over his cold nicely, we decided on Monday to start him on antibiotics, just in case there was an infection brewing.  He had a bit of a fever a few times over the weekend, so we wanted to be sure that he wasn't getting more sick.  James was very sweet to his mother, he kindly shared his cold.  I haven't been feeling great the last few days - sore throat, congestion, and a cough.  Since we diabetics are super lucky, there are very few cold medications that we're allowed to take.  I've done my share of experimenting with that in the last 15 years, so I've narrowed it down to what is really bad (Nyquil and Dayquil both make me hallucinate like crazy and NO its not as fun as it sounds) and what isn't so bad (like Theraflu and Sudafed).  Yesterday was my telecommute day, so while I wasn't the most productive, I got some rest.  I woke up this morning feeling better and am hoping this continues!