Friday, November 30, 2012

In case you thought I was running out of material...


It has been a while since my last listing of updates. I don't know why I am always so far behind. The list I keep on my iPhone is ridiculous, and I know there is a lot I forgot to put on there. Alas! At least I remembered to make note of some of Banner's latest antics!

Trevor’s brother got married on November 3rd. Banner wore the little plaid pants, black vest and bow tie we bought him for Spencer’s Wedding/Thanksgiving/Santa photos/Christmas/First Birthday celebrations/Etc. The pants are a 2T because – when we bought the outfit in late October – the 18 month pants fit perfectly (read: NO room to grow). The 2T are a little loose in the thighs and butt, but we hope the space will buy us some time before we have to put the whole adorable ensemble in storage when Banner inevitably outgrows it.

But back to Spencer and Allison’s wedding…

Since Trevor was the best man, Banner and I made our way into the church and sat towards the front behind where Gran and John would be seated. When the music started to play, Banner got all excited and started waving his arms and hands like he was the conductor of an orchestra. Unbeknownst to me, Spencer, Trevor and the groomsmen were watching Banner on a TV in a room just off the main sanctuary. And to think that I thought I was the only one who noticed!

Banner made it through about half of the ceremony before getting all squirmy, so we discretely stepped out of the sanctuary and watched the rest of the service on the TVs in the waiting area at HPUMC.

Both Brox and Caroline are about to transition to the toddler room in December and have started sleeping on mats (instead of cribs) during naptime. It is kind of sad because once Brox leaves, Banner will be the oldest in his classroom. He will also be one of only two boys in Room 2. But the other boy is only four months old and not super mobile yet. So, really, it will just be Ban and the ladies.

The good news is that when Banner does transition in January/February, he will be joining Brox in Room 7. Those two boys are good buddies, so I am glad they will be together for at least another year. Now if we could only get Brox to let Banner give him hugs every now and again we would be all set.

Poor Banner. He is like Lenny. Just a big ole lug that loves to be affectionate, but doesn’t realize how big and strong he is. Speaking of: The baby replacing Brox in a few weeks is a little girl named “Nora”. When she starts she will only be about three months old. Her parents had their orientation last week before Thanksgiving. They came in the morning and observed the classroom and watched all the babies interacting with their teachers. Eventually, they left, but returned just a few hours later with a bunch of concerns. Namely, if Nora would be spending most of the time in her crib during the day.

Teacher: “Oh no! She’ll only be in her crib during naps. We will do lots of things with her on the floor, like tummy time, sensory games…”

Nora’s Parents: “But what will you do to protect her from some of the other babies?  Like him [Pointing at Banner].  He is just so big and so fast!”

That’s right. My giant baby strikes fear into the hearts of new parents. O.M.G.

Banner’s “girlfriend” is Emma. She’s little but feisty. It is funny, though. The teacher’s report that Banner is kind of protective of her, and there have been several incidents where Banner has put his arm around her shoulders or held her hand during story time or while on buggy rides out in on the playground. My baby is such a flirt.

He is still all about climbing the cribs and trying to squeeze into the tiny spaces between them at day care. One day he succeeded, though, and wedged himself behind several cribs and the wall. When discovered by his teachers a few minutes later, he had pooped. So, now the joke is that Banner is just looking for some privacy to do his business when he lodges himself behind or under the nursery’s furniture.

He is also an accident prone mess, and there are days when there are MULTIPLE incident reports for us to sign when we pick up Banner at the end of the day. It has gotten so bad that his teacher jokes that she is going to preemptively fill out incident reports with Banner’s name and information on them. I keep threatening to compile all of his incident reports into a single scrap book for posterity. It is amazing what that boy can get himself in to.

Speaking of which, the door knobs in the nursery are higher than normal, and do not usually need baby proofing (most babies aren’t tall enough to reach them until after they’ve graduated to the toddler room). Except Banner can reach them with ease, and thinks it is hysterical to open the door. However, he can only open them while standing, and hasn’t mastered the art of walking backwards. Hence, until the baby proofing door knob handles could be ordered and installed last week, Banner kept opening the door into his own head.

Now that the door knobs have been baby proofed, he has moved on to climbing. I wonder how long it will take until the concept of gravity finally sinks in?

It has gotten where there is a new incident report almost every day. I’ve gotten so used to signing one when I pick up Banner, that I signed another kid’s by mistake. Oy, vey.

(Daycare is really safe, by the way. It is just Banner’s age and recent attempts at standing unassisted that are to blame. And incident reports are issued by the facility for the most minor of accidents. They are really just covering their a$$ so everyone is clear on the reason behind every bump, bruise and scratch.)

Banner’s school also got new furniture for all of the classrooms last week. The nursery now has shelves, tables and cubbies that are wider and lower to the ground. They really look good. Or did. On the day they were installed, Banner took a wood brick to the new “island” in the middle of the room. It is now lovingly dented in by my son.

He also loves nothing more than pulling apart the classroom’s cardboard books.

(I am so embarrassed.)

The good news is that he is a very adventuresome eater, and is always willing to try new things regardless of taste, texture or color. I was so proud when he sucked down the plain spaghetti squash on Wednesday. Trevor thought he would hate it, but – just like his mom – he loved it. I wish I had set aside more for him.

He also LOVES Trevor’s buckwheat and quinoa pancakes. Yum. Whenever Trev makes them, we set a bunch aside for Banner to snack on throughout the week. They might be Ban’s favorite.

Trev calls them Banner's "man cakes".

Gypsy waiting for something to "fall".

Banner doesn’t usually (with the exception of Trev’s pancakes) like it when you give him the same thing more than a couple of times a week. For example, he ate loads of raspberries over the weekend and loved them. But when I packed him some for snack today he completely rejected them. You just never know with that boy.

After a brief break, Banner is teething again. This time, though, the painful culprits are his molars. My lower wisdom teeth came in when I was in high school, and it gave me a whole new appreciation and respect for what babies have to go through. I completely empathize, and just hope they break through the gum soon so he can have some relief. None of us have slept through the night since before Thanksgiving, and are all exhausted! Banner loves the frozen teethers, but screams when they cease to be cold. If they weren’t so effective, I’d almost say they weren’t worth the trouble. They just don’t stay cold very long at all!

In other news, Banner thinks that balls, trucks and leaves are the coolest things ever. He LOVES to play peek-a-boo with his towel after he gets out of the bath, and always squenches up his nose when he smiles.

His favorite book is PEEK-A-WHO. He will actually let you read it to him multiple times in a row without squirming (of course it helps that it is all of five pages long). It is the first book I’ve read to him where he will actually giggle and pay attention.

He now says “Hi” and “A-DA” all the time. Uncle Adam thinks “A-DA” is Banner’s way of saying “Adam”. It is funny, though, because Banner DOES seem say it more when Adam is around. Maybe there is a connection?  Or maybe it is just that Adam always reacts to it?

Banner has now had two play dates. The first was with Grant on November 5th.  Grant is the son of a girl that I was in a playgroup with 30 years ago. He is 18 months old but he and Banner are the same height. I never realize how big my baby is until I see him with babies nearly twice his age.

The second play date was with Connor. Connor’s mom and I went to high school together in Maryland, got married on the exact same day (9/5/2009) and had the same due date last December. Of course, since Banner was two weeks late and Connor one week early, the two are three weeks apart, but it is still pretty amazing how closely Ashley’s life has paralleled my own.

Connor and Banner also attend the same daycare, and share the same fabulous babysitter. We are going to be so sad when Ashley and Connor move to Houston in a couple of weeks.

Banner is still fascinated with TV remotes, and has an uncanny ability to find U-Verses Santa Tracker. Trevor and I joke that he is trying to tell us something.

But my favorite recent story is from a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting with Banner in the rocking chair in the nursery reading a bedtime story, when Trevor walked in the room to say “goodnight”. Banner reached for his dad, and Trevor picked him up to give him a bedtime hug. No sooner did Trevor lean in to give his son a kiss on the forehead, did Banner let one of the loudest and stinkiest burps loose right in Trevor’s face. It is very possible that you needed to be there to find it funny, but every time I think about it I smile. Sometimes it is the simple, little things in life.

Love this little guy!

In other non-Banner related news, I am having a difficult time with Picasa web albums (who hosts the images for this blog now that Blogger is now owned by Google).  It keeps telling me that I have reached my image upload quota, so I went through and deleted hundreds of photos.  I ONLY use Picasa for this blog, but some of my pictures were uploaded multiple times when I thought the upload had failed, timed out, etc.  Except - unbeknownst to me - they had all uploaded just fine.  So, since before Thanksgiving, I've been going through YEARS of blog-related photos and deleting the duplicates.  Which sounds simple, but is actually surprisingly stressful since it is impossible to tell for sure which images are tied to an old blog post.  

Anyway, I was able to free up nearly 30% of space, and uploaded some of the pictures from Thanksgiving.  But - less than 30 pictures later - I had reached my quota again (odd since I had deleted hundreds already).  So, I purged again.  And...nothing.  It doesn't seem to matter how many more I delete, I am still hovering at 99.85% of my quota.  It just isn't right.

After doing some research, though, I have learned that this is not a unique problem.  Lots of people are experiencing the same thing, but no one has done anything to fix it.  Picasa says it is Google's problem and Google only says that it is a "known problem" and they are working on it.  

Some pictures - like 95% included in this post here - were uploaded before the problem started.  But I have a whole bunch of drafts that are waiting for a picture or two.  I find all this to be very frustrating.

I'd pay the $2.49/month for upgraded storage, but it makes me a little wary to pay for something that obviously has so many problems, so I am - instead - trying to do what Google recommends:  be patient.    I'm falling so behind, though, that I don't know how long it will last until I start using someone else to host my photos.  Years ago, I had pretty good luck with Flickr.  Sigh...I guess it is time to start weighing my options.

In the interim, please forgive the back posting and (possible) lack of images.  I'm working on finding a solution.  Here's to hoping I don't fall too far behind in the process!

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