Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If you kiss your baby...

...you will get sick.  I should know this by now, but I can't help but smooch on the little guy.  So I've got a sore throat and some congestion going on.  Hopefully it will pass soon!
James appeared to be feeling better over the weekend, but woke up with a fever yesterday.  He went to daycare for most of the day, but his pediatrician wanted him to come in and have his ears checked out again, just in case.  Rhonda said he was fine all day, took a good nap, but wasn't really that hungry.  You know James doesn't feel good if he's not eating, normally he can snack all day long.  We saw Dr. Chander at 3 and learned that James' ears are clearing up and that his fever is probably due to having a virus on top of everything.  Luckily, his lungs, throat,and sinuses were all clear.  So we are still keeping an eye on him, making sure he gets plenty of fluids and continuing his antibiotics.
Of course after his trip to the doctor James was up for awhile last night.  It appears that his remaining 3 cuspids are on their way in and he is not happy about it.  On top of his runny nose and ears, the mouth pain was too much for the boy and he woke up screaming.  I feel so bad when he's teething and had hoped we would be done with this phase of life, but we popped some teething tablets in, gave him some Benadryl for his stuffy nose and then dad stepped in for some snuggles.  He went back down after that and we all got some much needed rest.
This morning James seemed to be on the mend.  He didn't have a fever and actually ate some cheerios and a string cheese for first breakfast.  Yes, my son is a hobbit who eats second breakfast as soon as he gets to Rhonda's.  I am here at work for a bit and then off to the dentist, lucky me!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The long awaited cuspid

Freakin' finally, we have a cuspid!  I last updated about James' teeth on October 25th of last year, and I can hardly believe that its been 3 month since he's gotten a tooth.  I suppose I should have known it would be awhile.  James started teething at 4 months or so, but didn't get a tooth until 11 months.  That was a lot of teething for his poor parents.  So now, his first cuspid is in.  We are waiting on the other 3, but not holding our breath!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping up

What a crazy week, between me being tired, James being sick and Adam working long hours, I was ready for this weekend.
We had a nice family weekend, we didn't have any guests or go to see anyone, which seems rare for us these days.  We got some rest, did a little house work, and spent a lot of fun family time today.  Saturday, we all went for a walk around Hilltop Circle aka the UMBC "beltway" - the road that circles the campus.  We are lucky to live so close to campus and have a nice place to walk.  It was a brisk walk, I pushed James in the stroller most of the way and Mac got to sniff out college smells.  About halfway through we let James out to walk and he had a great time.  He couldn't decide if he wanted to walk on the pavement or in the grass and kept moving between the two.  At one point we had a close call, he almost took a header into the road, but Adam caught him just in time.  After that we had a nice dinner at Chic-Fil-A.  Today we mostly hung out at home, but we took a short trip to Target and then headed back out for dinner.  I really enjoy the weekends when we can eat out, mainly because cooking dinner isn't my favorite task.
Speaking of eating out, it really needs to stop.  I know, I just said how much I enjoy it...  With last week being so crazy, we ate out or ordered in a lot.  It has not helped my weight loss efforts and I'm feeling a bit like Jabba the Hut.  But all things work in cycles, so perhaps I can get back into a more healthy cycle in the coming weeks.
This week is going to be another busy one for us.  I have a lot of work coming up as my busy season is starting.  The state fiscal year starts on July 1 and its a marathon of contracts (35+ for the agencies I'm responsible for), plan reviews, and end of year reporting.  Adam has a big project due on Thursday, so I'm sure he will be busy and am hoping that he will be home on time.  As much as Adam works, I think he single-handedly proves all stereotypes about government workers wrong.  I also have a dental appointment and Mac has to get shots at the end of the week.  It never ends!
As busy and crazy and maddening as things have been lately, I am continuing to push myself to be present, to enjoy our time with James, and to remember how lucky I am to have these wonderful boys in my life.  James is more work that I could have imagined, but its so nice to see when it pays off.  This weekend he had no timeouts and when I told him if he continued a behavior he would be getting a timeout (the instance I can think of is repeatedly turning on and off the living lamp) he actually stopped!  Amazing!  James also gave me my first baby kiss that didn't involve his tongue (I know, its gross, but babies think its hilarious...).  I asked for a kiss and James puckered up and laid one on me with a big ol' "MUAH!"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another one (or 2)?

James is sick again.  Rhonda called me on Tuesday afternoon and let me know that he woke up from his nap with pink eye.  I'm not sure when he managed to contract the pink eye, but he woke up with two clear eyes on Tuesday morning and by the afternoon had a raging case of pink eye in both eyes.  We went to the pediatrician and learned that he also has a double ear infection.  Because clearly, the pink eye was not enough.  As with his previous ear infection, James gave no indication that his ears were hurting.  We are thinking that perhaps his previous infection didn't clear up and this ear infection is just a flair up.  I didn't even think to make a follow up appointment after we went to Patient First on the 1st, so I guess I have learned my lesson!
James is on eye drops 3 times a day for 5 to 7 days and the antibiotic, augmentin, twice a day for 10 days.  The augmentin is pretty strong stuff and causes all kinds of tummy problems.  So yesterday, while I was busily chasing my child around, I also made a stop at the CVS and got some children's probiotic.  Hopefully this helps his stomach from being so upset and he will get his appetite back.
James is back to daycare today, after being home with mom yesterday.  He was a wild man, running around, body slamming the dog, and experimenting with turning the living room lamp on and off (and on and off again.  And again.)  And as bad as it sounds, I was relieved to drop him off this morning.
We go back to recheck his ears in 2 weeks and I'm hoping this time they stay clear!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He's a lady's man...

As I mentioned earlier, Sunday was my birthday.  It was also the Raven's playoff game, so I'll let you decide which was more important to the men in my life.  We went to a lovely brunch at Matthews 1600 in Catonsville where I had the most amazing Maryland Eggs Benedict.  They use two crab cakes instead of the Canadian bacon usually found on Eggs Benedict and it was so tasty.  About halfway through our meal, two ladies in the booth behind us were getting ready to leave and James turned around and waved at them.  Then, in his loudest voice yells, "BYE!"  They were quite smitten with my boy and continued to chat with him for a minute.  James then laid on all the charm, tilting his head to the side and smiling at them.  One of them remarked that they might be a little old for James, but I suppose he couldn't help but be a flirt.  Adam was so proud.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Weekend

This weekend I turn 29.  It seems like a big deal right now, because its the last year of my twenties and I'm feeling pretty old.  When I told my mom I was feeling old, she laughed at me and told me to imagine how she feels, having her youngest child turn 29.  So she's got a point there.  And really, I don't feel that old, I think I just feel tired!  28 was a good year for me, we managed to not move, switch jobs, or have any children, so there was a lot of stability this year.  We really have gotten into a routine as a family and its nice and calm for the most part.  I can't wait to see what 29 has in store for me!
This weekend we will celebrating with family and friends.  Tonight is dinner at Outback with my mom and step dad, James will be hanging out with his god parents, Jackie and Rob.  Then, switching gears after dinner, I'm going out with Jackie and company.  We're going to PBR, also known as the bar with the bull riding machine, with Jackie's posse, so that should be interesting.  Then on Sunday, my father in law is coming up to watch the Ravens' playoff game, but before that we're going to Matthews 1600 for brunch.  So it should be a fun weekend with lots of good food!  Hopefully the Ravens will win the game and be on their way to the Super Bowl!

Friday, January 20, 2012

He's not so bad

I just realized that my last two posts have been about James and his behavior, timeouts, etc.  I hope I haven't made it seems like James is a total nutcase.  I mean, sure he's mischievous, into absolutely everything and occasionally moody, but on top of being a toddler, he's a Bednarczyk.  Adam claims that he and his father only grunted to communicate for several years in his childhood, so the fact that James uses some words is a step in the right direction.
Aside from his toddler moments, James is a happy go lucky sort of kid.  He's a big helper and loves to chase the dog.  He really likes pony rides on my knee right now, and will finally sit down and listen to a whole book being read.  I think he's cutest when wearing footie pajamas and I love to hug him.  Nothing makes him happier than sitting on the kitchen counter and getting his teeth brushed.
When all the stress of life is getting me down, all I have to do is look at my baby boy and its all forgotten.  I really do love being his mom.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Middle names

What is it about middle names that imply some kind of trouble?  Like if your mom busts out your middle name, you know she means business.  I'm not sure if there's some added level of formality that comes along with that fact that you're about to get your ass handed to you, but middle names are quick to roll off the tongue of a mother (or father).
My middle name is Amber and I really don't recall my mom having to use it too often.  I was a fairly obedient child and usually just cried when I got in trouble, so she wasn't big on Chelsea Amber.  Now my grandma, Mary Lou, calls me Chelsea Amber all the time, but that's another type of situation all together.  I can recall my brother getting the ol' Travis James on many occasions though.  Sometimes I still want to pull out a middle name on my brother, but I'm not sure its as effective at 32 years old.
James' middle name is Adrian, named for my dad, Bruce Adrian (named for his grandpa, Maurice Adrian).
James is named for his dad - Adam James, grandpa - John James, great grandpa - James John (I have a whole series of Polish jokes regarding my husband's family - could they seriously not come up with anything other than James or John?  There's also talk of James' great great grandpa named...  ADAM.  Seriously, people...), the aforementioned uncle - Travis James, and great uncle - Ward James.  Depending who we want to placate that day, James might be named after them (including one of my good friends from high school who we refer to as Big James*).
And now here we are, in full on parenting mode, giving timeouts, having stern talking-tos and what is the first thing out of my mouth?

*Funny side story about Big James and differentiating between the two.  Big James is getting his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Texas, Austin.  Over a year ago, they had a gunman on campus situation and I was quite worried.  I texted and found out that he wasn't yet on campus that day and had stayed home during the lockout.  When I relayed the story to Adam, his response was "Of course James wasn't on campus today, he's only 3 months old."  Sigh.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time Out!

I knew that given James' age and his proclivity to hit people (namely, ME!) that we would be starting to give timeouts soon.  And that time has come.  I've watched way too much Supernanny in my time to not give timeouts and I know that is the behavioral modification technique used at daycare as well.  And with that, we are diving head first into giving timeouts.  Right now we only give timeouts for throwing toys at someone (again, usually me) and for hitting.  James doesn't do much else that is worth of a time out and we don't want to make too many rules that could confuse him at this point.  If James hits or throws a toy at one of us, he's given a warning and, if he continues the behavior, we tell him what he's done and that he's getting a timeout.  Then he goes into his high chair for about a minute.  When we get him out of the high chair (where he's been sitting alone, not with us, like at dinner time) we tell him again why he got the timeout and ask him to say sorry.  He says sorry in the cutest little voice and then we get a hug and continue on our merry way.  He got 3 time outs on Saturday and 1 on Sunday, so its not like he's spending his day in there, but it usually gets the point across and he stops, at least for awhile.  He is still a little guy with a very short attention span, but we're getting the idea in his head early on.  I'm sure that over time we will give time outs for other reasons, not listening to mom and dad or maybe being mean to the dog.  For the most part we are very lucky that James is very well behaved and laid back in general.
The really funny part of this is that James has received a total of ONE timeout for hitting at daycare.  Rhonda gave him one timeout and he has stopped hitting there all together.  I'm glad that he at least knows that he has to behave there, even if it takes more work at home.  We're perfectly willing to put the work in and James is obviously worth it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dental Woes

Is it just me or does everyone avoid the dentist like the plague?  Or the plaque?  (Ha!  Dental humor!)
Actually, I know one person that loves going to the dentist so much that her mom used to think she'd become a dentist.  Yes, James' godmother Jackie is crazy, but she does love going to the dentist.
I, on the other hand, am not a fan.  Luckily, I've never had a lot of cavities and I went to the dentist fairly regularly.  Then I got married and managed to avoid going for 4 years.  That was a really bad idea.  So I went yesterday morning for a new patient exam and wound up going back in the afternoon for a cleaning (our dentist does the new patient exam separate from the cleaning, which I think is a racket).  A cleaning that turned out to be the first of TWO cleanings, because I am just that lucky.  Yesterday was the painful, ultra sonic scaling visit, the next is a regular, polish the teeth cleaning.
I also have to go back get two cavities filled.  I am still contending that one of these cavities isn't my fault entirely.  I have a huge space between my last two molars because of the spacers put in by my orthodontist about 16 years ago.  They needed to make room for the evil, palate expanding "quad" they put in and food still gets suck in there.  Totally gross, I know.  (Maybe if you flossed a little, Chelsea, this wouldn't be a problem...)  One of the cavities is right where that space happens to be.  The other I will take full responsibility for.
So lesson learned - do not avoid the dentist for 4 years, even if you're busy and have moved a couple of times and pop out a child.  I will be getting the rest of my dental work on the 25th and after that I will be going religiously every 6 months.
Which reminds me that I really need to find a dentist to take James to.  I've been slacking.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In

Well Wednesday weigh ins have not been going as scheduled lately!  I haven't been doing the best at sticking to my Weight Watchers plan, so I've been slacking on the weigh ins as well.  This week I'm really going to try to step things up and get back on track.  I have a walking date scheduled with a friend and am going to stay on top of tracking my food intake!  I've been holding steady the last few weeks on weight, but need to be decreasing in size again!  Fingers are crossed for me to be more diligent in my weight loss efforts.  (At least until my birthday, when I can eat all the cake I want, dammit!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

19 month milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Uses a spoon and fork
Yes!  More and more everyday.
Like a maniac.
Throws a ball underhand
Yes, underhand, overhand, the boy loves to play fetch with the dog.
Enjoys helping around the house
Yes, James does help a lot around the house.  He will put toys away when asked, give you his bowl or plate after dinner, take something to Adam for me if I don't feel like walking into another room, put something back that he wasn't supposed to have in the first place (like pieces of my broken closet door that I haven't fixed and are laying on my bedroom floor), find something for you such as his shoes or coat and hat, and other simple tasks.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Understands as many as 200 words
I can't really estimate how many words James understands, I think its a lot.  For instance, when he sees one of the cats, he will say hi and then meow at them.  Sometimes he will even make a hissing noise at the cats, since that's all they ever do to him.  So he knows that cats meow and hiss.  He does other similar things.  I am trying to think of all the things we tell him on a daily basis and he seems to pick up a lot.  He isn't at the phase where he repeats everything, but he will say a lot of words back to you.  I am going with a yes on this milestone.  Rhonda tells me that he doesn't miss a thing while hanging out with the big kids and will sit still for preschool time with them.  Really, let's face it - my kid's a genius.  I consulted with the genius' father, whose response was "Are you kidding me, of course he understands that many words."  So there you have it.
Recognizes when something is wrong (e.g., calling a dog a cat)
I can't really think of an instance where this has happened.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Washes and dries own hands with help
Points to picture or object when you call it by name
He knows his nose, ears, tummy, mouth, and feet and will point to them.  He knows his sippy cup and bed.  So yes, he will point to a few things.
May know when he needs to pee
Not that I can tell.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Baby snuggles

I am a sucker for one thing these days (and no, its not large chocolate Frosties from Wendy's, although they're a close second....  anyone remember when you didn't have to specify the flavor of a Frostie because they only came in chocolate?).
The thing I'm a sucker for right now - baby snuggles.  I love them.  I can't get enough.  I say this as though something has changed and that I never enjoyed baby snuggles until this week.  But maybe something has changed - James' free will.  When babies are little, you can force snuggles on them.  I mean, they need to be held to eat, so there you go, their survival depends on some amount of snuggling.  But now, James feeds himself.  Or throws his dinner off of his tray and then gets a stern talking to, but you know, close enough.  James also runs around like a maniac, baby tornado.  So when he's ready to sit down on your lap, look you in the eye, and lean in for a snuggle, it means you're on his turf.  You are now snuggling on his terms.  And the fact that he still wants his mom and dad to snuggle him on occasion, just melts my heart.
James' favorite way to snuggle with his mom is pretty adorable, even with my mom-bias.  We sit in our recliner, which rocks a little bit.  I rock it a little faster while he's facing me, so that James gets to sway pretty quickly and once we're moving pretty fast, James pretends to fall into me.  He giggles on his way down, squealing with delight, until his head is on my chest.  And then he stays there, sometimes just for a minute.  And I kiss his forehead and rub his back and just generally love my little man.  We usually repeat this quasi-pony ride, fast rocking move a few times and then he asks to get down.  As a man on the move, James is probably plotting the next thing in my house to destroy, but as along as he lets me get some cuddles in, I'm a happy momma.
Aside from a bit of wrestling with dad and the dog, James and Adam usually cuddle before bed.  After jammies are put on and teeth are brushed, James "helps" us clean up his toys and then goes to sit in dad's lap.  They cuddle and relax for a few minutes until James points upstairs and asks for bed.  We blow kisses and then I put James in bed.  He rolls onto his tummy, rubs the edge of his woven blanket, and falls asleep.
Yep, I love baby snuggles.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Right as rain

Well James appears to have recovered nicely from his ear infection.  After going to bed early for several nights, he was back on schedule yesterday.  He's been running around like a crazy person, so even though it means less cuddles for mom, he is feeling better!  He has a few days left of the antibiotics, but that should keep him well for awhile.  It looks like the cold has spread through daycare, as many of the other kids are dealing with runny noses and coughs.  But it is that time of year, so we can only expect colds!
James has been using a fork very well the last couple of weeks, he likes spoons as well, but tends to use the fork a bit better.  Some of his favorite foods right now are macaroni and cheese, broccoli, applesauce, and pasta salad.  I think the next big thing we're going to tackle is using a regular cup.  Of course he can use sippies (and will use them for some time to come), but eventually we will have to make the switch, so we might as well start practicing at home.
Yesterday, when I was getting James ready for daycare, he tried to put his own socks on, which was really cute.  He held out the sock, opened it up, and tried so hard to get his foot in.  He didn't quite succeed, but we will keep working on that as well.  One of these days he's going to learn how to take his other clothes off, and I'm pretty sure at that point we'll have a hard time keeping them on.  He will lean his head in for a shirt or hat, and slip his arms through when you tell him, so its nice to have some help getting him dressed!
Finally, I'd like to talk about footie pajamas.  How cute are kids in footies?  Its crazy how adorable I think my child is, but when he walks around in footie pajamas, I about die from the cute.  Something about the round little toddler tummy and the bulge of an overnight diaper makes me love jammies and my boy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Ear Infection

I mentioned in my last few posts that James' hadn't been feeling well.  Justin was sick on Christmas and the rest of us seem to have picked up his cold.  Well James wasn't feeling better and had been running a bit of a fever, so on Sunday, when we noticed that he was wheezing a little bit, we decided to head to Patient First.  The wait wasn't long, which was good.  James was pretty grumpy by the time we were seen.  It didn't help things at all that the nurse (or nurse's assistant, I'm guessing) didn't have a great bedside manner with James.  I wasn't too happy with her, but I tried to be as helpful as possible.  She seemed to question that James couldn't have his temperature taken orally.  Well, he's 18 months old, so that might be your first clue.  She took his temperature under his arm, which was fairly inaccurate (97.2 degrees) but decided that was close enough.  Anyway, during all this James was crying and raising his arms to be picked up.  Adam and I both tried to comfort him, but I really don't blame him for crying.  Then the nurse asks if he's an only child.  As though he's crying because he's spoiled and not because you're screwing with him.  Anyway, the doctor came in and I was on the defensive a little bit.  She asked if he had been complaining of ear pain and I told her that he couldn't talk that well, so no, he hadn't complained.  She then revised her question and asked if he'd been pulling on his ear, which he hadn't.  After that I tried to be nicer, but I was just a little annoyed!  Anyway, James' left ear was very inflamed and his right ear was getting there.  His congestion was making it difficult for his ears to drain, so we got him some amoxicillin.  This is only James' third ear infection, which isn't too bad.  Its going to take a lot for him to beat either of his parents records for most ear infections.  When the doctor wrote the prescription she looked at his birthday and said, "Oh, he's only 18 months!  He looks so much older!"  Maybe that's why the nurse was expecting him to be better behaved.  He might be tall, but he's still my little guy.
And that was our New Year's Day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 - A Picture A Month

I will admit that this was not an original idea, but I thought it would be fun to pick out some photos from the year!  James has grown so much and I can't believe what a big boy he's become!





May - Gamma Psi 50th Reunion

June - James turns one!

July - We get our ugly bathroom redone

August - Deep Creek vacation!