Yogurt Monster!

This weekend was jammed packed! We had friends over for dinner on Friday night, and we ended up visiting till late. It was so great to see them, and have great conversation. We couldn’t be more blessed with the people who are close to us. On Saturday I spent the morning making a birthday cake for a 7 year old boy, and it was so much fun to get back into the business of baking. Since going wheat free, my KitchenAid has collected dust. So it was a great reminder of how much I love baking for friends and family. After taking a pretty decent family nap, we dropped Gideon off at Daniel’s parents’ house. We had dinner with a big group of friends, and then headed to Coney Island for the Light Up The Night International Fireworks Competition. We had such a blast, and the show was very impressive! Although we were ready to see our boy when the night was over, we really enjoyed having some “adult time”.

For memory keeping sake, I want to record a few precious things and successes we had with Gideon this weekend.

1. He is really learning to pray with us at meals, and at bed time. He doesn’t always like having to wait to eat, but as soon as we bow our heads and start to pray he gets quiet and bows his head too. He signs “thank you” every time we thank God for something, and signs “amen” at the end of prayers. We see him beginning to understand reverence, love, and gratitude.

2. At church on Sunday, Gideon did better than he has ever done before. He sat between us, and quietly ate his snacks and drank his water. He would occasionally “sing”, and was moved in one occasion to wave his little right arm during a song. Daniel and I are not “arm wavers”, but we may have to join in with our little man!

3. Daniel was taking Gideon out of the auditorium for nursery hour, and Gideon decided he LOVED the song of the moment. He smiled really big, and clapped his little heart out. I couldn’t help but watch him as Daniel paused in the aisle and let him enjoy the song. People were turning around and clapping with him and smiling. He brings so much life and joy to the people around him, and we are so proud!

Gideon and I shared a laid back day at home today. He had a rough night last night, so were both dragging. Gideon kept waking up in 15 to 30 minute increments until midnight, when I noticed he was tugging at his right ear. After giving him some garlic oil drops, he finally fell asleep. It’s always tricky when he messes with his ears, because I don’t know if he is cutting teeth or getting an ear infection. Even though he coincidentally slept soundly after getting the garlic drops put in his ear, I think a new tooth was the real culprit. Today Gideon drooled more than usual and was putting his hands in his mouth which is not typical. He did not appear to have any ear discomfort at all.

Yogurt with blueberries and bananas! NOM NOM!

Yogurt with blueberries and bananas for breakfast! NOM NOM!

I made some Paleo banana bread this afternoon, so the three of us enjoyed it as a yummy treat for dessert. Here is a picture of Gideon giving me his first “smile for the camera!”

First "cheese!" smile

First “cheese!” smile

At around 7 PM, I told Gideon we were going on our walk. He immediately got my shoes, but was very determined to not get in his stroller. He wanted to run and play, not be restricted to a harness!

Instead he decided he wanted to ride around in his car and collect rocks.

Step 1: gather rocks

Step 1: gather rocks

Step 2: Store the rocks safely away.

Step 2: Store the rocks safely away.

Step 3: Transport rocks to desired location.

Step 3: Transport rocks to desired location.

Step 4: Show off the fruits of labor

Step 4: Show off the fruits of labor

This evening Gideon took a break from helping me put away clean diapers and laundry, and sat in the rocking chair to read one of his books. He pee peed on the cushion earlier today, so it is out of commission for now. I love to watch him focus. I can see the wheels turning.

And at the end he was moved to sing along to Chantal. A boy after my own heart!

Words and Signs at 18 Months

Phew! What a week! It’s been a busy one. My days have been filled to the brim with appointments, a booked schedule, and a toddler.
Active as I am, I did not want to go another day without blogging about Gideon.

I did not make a detailed 18 month update, and since Gideon will be 19 months old soon, I figured better late than never.

Gideon is 35.25 inches tall, and weighs 28 lb.

Gideon is 35.25 inches tall, and weighs 28 lb.

Big Boy

I’m obsessed with his little body. His little hands, his feet, his bum, his yummy neck, his beautiful head of hair, his face, and especially those expressive eyes.

favorite book of the day: any that has pictures of things that move.

favorite book of the day: any that has pictures of things that move.

Bookworm

I’m fascinated with observing and pinpointing the milestones in Gideon’s development. I never intend to rush him or worry if he doesn’t master a skill “early”, but I just like to keep track of his development and celebrate every accomplishment. The speech-language pathologist in me is especially obsessed with his receptive and expressive language. So here go a few jumbled, detailed paragraphs about Gideon’s communication kills.

In the world of motors: “auto” or car is “vvvv”, “moto” or motorcycle is a lip trill, “avión” or airplane is “vvvv” with arms stretched out like wings, “trén” or train is “too too” with a hand motion for pulling the whistle chord. “Boat” is “bope”, any kind of emergency vehicle is a high pitched “oooo”. Tractor is “tah-to” and the sound of the tractor is “takataka”.

He has words in english and/or spanish for the terms mentioned above and the following. As a side note, I want to remind myself that Gideon identifies most animals by the sound they make. Door, drink, milk, cheese (“teh-tn” for queso), book, fork, spoon, mama, papi, baba (Daniel’s dad), mimi (Daniel’s mom), abuelo and abuela (my parents), Asher, Moriah, Elijah, Abby, hi!, bye bye (he says “tao tao” for chi chau), please, sorry, outside, light (he says “luz”), brush teeth, bath, shoes, socks, park, eat, hat, cow, horse, cat, sheep, chicken, lion, tiger, zebra, elephant, snake, duck, monkey, frog, pacifier (“teh teh” for chupete).

Baby signs: mama, papi, grandma, grandpa, water, drink, milk, eat, all done, more, ball, train, chicken, thank you, please, bird, sorry, help, bath, mouse, flower, cat, dog, banana, strawberry, fish, rabbit, bike, car, motorcycle, work, sleep, brush teeth, book,  love, yes.

He is beginning to combine words and/or signs (for example “yes mama”). I’ve noticed that he’s slowed down his acquisition of signs, and is using more verbal expressive language.

Gideon is also learning body parts. He knows head, ears, nose, eyes, mouth, toes and feet very well. When we look at a photo and ask “who is this?”, no matter who it is, he points at himself and says “Nei-nun” for “Gideon”.

The other day while I was making dinner, I noticed that the lights in the dining room were turning on and off. I turned the corner to find that Gideon had pulled a chair up to the wall, and was learning about turnings lights on and off.

And finally a clip from today at the park, showing how well he has mastered the skill of stacking.

It’s past midnight and tomorrow is a busy day, so off to bed I go!

Feeling Under the Weather

Gideon is on the mend! Yesterday he just had a low grade fever in the morning, and a residual cough with clear runny nose. Today he is even better! I still opted out of Mommy Bible Study, and decided to keep Gideon away from people for another day. No need to get other people sick, or put Gideon’s worn out immune system through something else!

Mommy took a turn for the worse last night, though. Drainage and mouth breathing kept me up most of the night drinking gobs of water and tossing and turning. Gideon only woke up once for a drink of water and a quick snuggle, so made for a smoother night for sure.

Daniel was off of work today and was extremely helpful in letting me rest and heal. He got Gideon out of the house for a while, and even made us delicious omelets for lunch. I pretty much camped out on the couch meal planning and playing with Gideon as I got bouts of energy here and there.

The last day Gideon wore a romper. So sad!

The last day Gideon wore a romper. So sad

Gideon has watched his cousins play their cellos so much, that he has begun learning some of their songs. The earliest we can enroll him for classes is at the age of three. But having 3 older cousins who are great at it tells me he might be advanced! He is also getting better and better at being a little helper around the house. The boy loves his routines!

Also worth mentioning, we received these treasures from my parents on the day that they were flying back home to Bolivia.

Treasures

I can’t wait for Gideon to be able to write so he can fill these in.

While Gideon helped Daniel plant some perennials in the front yard this evening, I got the kitchen cleaned up so we could have a relaxed evening together after putting the little one down for the night. We’re having a movie night. I hope tonight goes smoothly!

Growing so Fast

We had another rough patch last night. Gideon kept waking up coughing and crying, and slept for an hour and a half to two hour stretches. He finally slept from 3 AM to 6:15 AM, and then was up for the day.

His temperature was 99.3* at his first diaper change, but he was in a pretty good mood considering the choppy sleep he’d gotten.

Giving Abby some mornings love.

Giving Abby some morning love.

monkey feet!

monkey feet!

Gideon touches the outlets and shakes his head "noooo".

Gideon touches the outlets and shakes his head “noooo”.

Gideon in the Morning

sometimes Gideon will curl up and “snore”. It’s the cutest thing ever.

Throughout the morning his temp went from 99.3* to 101* and back down to 100.9*. These temps are nothing for him, since he usually runs anywhere from 102 to 104. We made it a pajama day, and took it easy at home for most of the day. We read every book in his collection, and watched some Curious George. I only demanded of myself to complete my morning routine. When that was complete, it was Gideon time.

He skipped his morning nap altogether, but signed “sleep” 3 times after lunch, so he went down for a nap without a peep for an hour and a half. I think he would have slept longer, but a coughing fit woke him up.

I decided to go ahead and get Gideon adjusted this afternoon. I would usually wait a day to let the fever do its thing, and then decide whether extra measures are necessary. But today I decided to nip whatever this is in the bud, and take all the preventative and immunity-boosting measures I could think of as soon as the symptoms arrived. Maybe if I help Gideon right off the bat to have the strength and fortified immune system to fight things off, he wouldn’t have to fight so hard later on.

Gideon was more cuddly than usual today, so in order to get anything done I got my trusty Ergo and went to work.

My sidekick.

My sidekick.

Gideon is almost 30 lb., and the weight limit for the Ergo is 35 lb. His growing body is definitely taking its toll on my back. I used to wear Gideon most of the day sometimes, and now I can’t go for longer then 20 minute stretches. He is super active, and likes to  lean back, and rock side to side to see over my shoulder. Little guy doesn’t realize what that does to mommy’s back! My mom gave me a ring sling that is supposed to carry up to 45 lb. kids, so I’m hoping that will work as a baby wearing solution over the winter.

I do what I can, when I can. And since Gideon was not feeling like himself today, I made a little extra effort to ignore the discomfort. My back is definitely yelling at me this evening. But I can acknowledge that our true baby wearing days are coming to an end. This will probably be the last winter that I can cuddle him hands free.

It’s part of being a mother to such a big, strong boy.

It takes a village

 

 

There is nothing pictorial to show for our day today. Gideon did exceptionally well this morning at church. He adapted well to his new teacher in Sunday School, and had no trouble being in the nursery during the church service. I was so proud of him! During the little while that he was in the auditorium with the rest of us, he made sure to greet every single person around us saying “Hi!”, and everyone seemed to find that endearing. I tried my best to keep him quiet, but part of me does not want to quench that sweet part of his personality. Such a fine line between teaching him not to be disruptive, and allowing his friendly and loving personality impact the people around him.

On a completely different topic, I’ve been communicating a lot with a good friend from my Bradley birth class, and it has been wonderful. We’ve gone back and forth discussing our past, how it impacts our lives now, hearing each other out about current stressors in our lives, and trying our best to support each other without judgement. My friend lives about an hour away. We don’t get to see each other often, but the fact that we keep in touch as frequently as we do, and communicate on the level that we do, is a testament to how support without judgement, and keeping open ears and open hearts sidesteps all the common barriers. Tonight she reminded me that “it takes a village”. I was reminded of how true it is that!  I’m so glad to be surrounded with such great mothers, and I was honored that she considered me a member of the village that will support her as she raises her little ones.

If you are a new parent  and get nothing else from the entry, get this: It takes a village! So surround yourself with people you love and trust, because you are going to need their support as you raise your little ones! Take a minute to think of the few major members of your village, and make it a point to thank them.

Here is the daily dose of cuteness with a few pictures I  never got around to posting.

this is how my boys greet me when I come home.

This is how my boys greet me when I come home.

This picture is posted on the wall at our chiropractor's office. Gideon among all the other little ones who got adjusted as infants.

This picture is posted on the wall at our chiropractor’s office. Gideon among all the other little ones who got adjusted as infants.

Sweater weather!

Sweater weather is here!

afternoon nap!

Brand New Shoes

Gideon woke up at 9 AM this morning! Score!

The temperatures this week are telling of a soon-arriving fall season, and Gideon’s sandals are not going to cut it much longer. So the first order of business for morning errands was to do some shoe shopping. Forgetful little me did not get pictures of him strutting his new kicks, but these were the final selections.

Dapper shoes.

Dapper shoes.

Run and Play shoes.

Run and Play shoes.

Gideon is obsessed with shoes. He relates them to being outside, so it’s no surprise to us that he enjoyed being in the shoe section of the store. He was indifferent to his “dapper shoes”, but fell in love with his “run and play shoes” from the moment he saw them. Gideon probably liked the bright colors. He did not want to take them off either, which tells me that they were pretty comfortable.

After a few more stops we came home to have a quick lunch. I got Gideon some tuna salad at the local meat store, and the whole way home he kept saying “tu…na!”. He loves tuna.

We all took an hour long nap, and woke up refreshed and ready to prepare for our evening festivities. We had the immediate family over for a steak dinner courtesy of Daniel the Grill Master, and a fun time was had by all. I didn’t get any pictures today. So sad. But I did capture my boys writing a card for grandma.

Be still my heart

                                                     Be still my heart

IMG_0310

We love you Mimi!

We ate a delicious dinner and cake, enjoyed live cello performances from the kids, and just spent time being together. A perfect way to wrap up a busy Saturday.

 

Back to Square One

Our diapering routine and lifestyle has been a little off-kilter the last month or so. Gideon has struggled with rashes and yeast infections since he was a wee babe, and we began running out of ideas to prevent and cure his poor bum right around the 16 month mark. No amount of diaper stripping, sunning, and cloth wipe solution-finding seemed to help the poor little guy.

It was when Gideon started earnestly fighting and dreading diaper changes due to pain and discomfort that we decided to start over. Gideon was obviously miserable, and that just was not going to work for us. We decided to take a break from cloth diapering right  around the time my parents came to visit. Our focus switched to getting Gideon healed, giving him more diaper-free time than usual, and on taking some time to mull over our options.

There are a few things that we know for sure.

First of all, this baby is pretty adorable in a bulky cloth diaper.

First of all, this baby is pretty adorable in a bulky cloth diaper.

1. Whatever route we decide to take, whether cloth or disposables, something needs to change.
2. We are well beyond making a full return on our money by using cloth diapers. Financial peace and no regrets, check.
3. We really enjoy cloth diapering. We have a laundry and prepping routine that works for us, and never feel like cloth diapering takes time away from other things that matter to us.
4. We are always aware that every cloth diaper change is one less diaper in the land fill. Cloth diapering is rewarding, and therefore worth it to us.
5. Cloth diapers are incredibly absorbent (when they are not repelling!) and we have fewer leaks at night than with the disposables.

6. We have no desire to say good bye to cloth diapering all together if we don’t have to.

Our final conclusion: The culprit has to be the micro fleece material lining the pocket diapers we’ve been using. This leaves us with no choice but to say goodbye to our trusty pocket diapers, and hello to trying other types of diapers.

Back to square one!

We will always do what is best for Gideon, and for this past month that has meant giving cloth diapering a break and letting him heal. His bum is now back to normal, and it’s time to check out some cloth diapering options that we had not looked at in the past. So I spent a few evenings brushing up on my cloth diapering knowledge, doing some research, and ordered these babies for a trial run off of Nicki’s Diapers.

One Thirsties cover, a Babykicks Organic Cotton fitted diaper, a Kissaluvs organic fitted diaper, a Grovia organic AIO, and a Bumgenius Elemental AIO. I got the baby leggings for free.

One Thirsties cover, a Babykicks Organic Cotton fitted, a Kissaluvs organic fitted, a Grovia organic all-in-one, and a Bumgenius Elemental all-in-one. The baby leggings were a free bonus.

It’s interesting to me that in our voyage to lead a wholesome lifestyle we discover our baby’s bottom does not react well to synthetic material. Organic and pure material diapers, here we come! A year and a half into Gidoen’s life, it’s still not too late to try new and better things.

The first order of business is to find a night time solution that does not send us back to the rash and wet bed days. The second order of business, is to find diaper that fits Gideon comfortably and performs well while he’s at home during the day.

Fitted diapers were definitely the common recommendation for night time diapering that I found. The whole structure of the diaper becomes absorbent, and the material they are made of absorbs liquid faster and tend to repel less (which was a major issue we were having).  So I ordered one cover and two fitteds. I only ordered one cover because if the one does not cut it, I can try to use the Flips covers I already have. Remember, I’m experimenting here!

All-in-ones were always my second favorite type of cloth diaper when I did my research before Gideon’s birth. I finally get the chance to try them!

I can’t wait to get these prepped and ready, so I can see my little man running around the house in nothing but a t-shirt and cloth diaper. It won’t be long before it gets too cool to run around in the bare minimums.

I have two weeks to test these diapers. I hope we find something that works!

Do you have any experience with these diapers? Advice? Please share!