Friday, February 15, 2013

Keeping a long story short (Ha! Who am I kidding?!)...

It has been awhile since my last update on Banner, which is too bad. The little guy has done so much growing and developing recently, it just about blows my mind. Every day he is less and less of a baby and more and more of a little boy. I guess, until this point, his progress has been more gradual. And then *WHAM* warp speed ahead. Even Trevor noticed (which is really saying something).

Banner babbles constantly, but it is mostly jibber jabber. Very rarely does he say anything that makes any sense (at least to us), but he does have his own way of clearly making his wants, needs and desires known.

He will point at Trevor and say "dada", still says either "da" or "ga" for dog and will bark when he sees one (although his "bark" is less of a "woof, woof" and more of a "ooo, ooo" noise). He will also sign to us by repeatedly opening and closing his hand when he is hungry. I think this is supposed to only mean "milk" but Banner uses it for everything from thirsty to feed me now.

He also says "hi" and "bye", but not consistently enough for me to really feel confident that it is anything more than coincidence. On the few situational appropriate occasions when "hi" or "bye" came out, though, it completely stopped me in my tracks. Because, OMG, did my baby really just say that?!

He knows "mama", but doesn't use it like "dada" for Trevor. He WILL, however, say mama more when I'm around or in the room and stop when I leave, so I’m pretty sure he associates it with me. Maybe.  I think he is keeping me guessing on purpose to drive me crazy.  Always the comedian, that one.

Banner also knows how to wave, blow kisses and make fishy faces. Although, he will do none of these things if you ask him to perform on command in front of someone who hasn't seen him for a while, which makes us feel like big, fat liars. He can do them all, though. I swear.

(Really.  He can do it.  Promise.)

Which brings me to the things I wish he wouldn't do in public: Trevor has taught him to shakes his head and go "boo" and head butt. Because? Well, honestly, I have no clue. To be fair, though, last week I drank something cold, got a brain freeze and hit my forehead with the heal of my right hand two or three times. When I looked up, Banner was laughing and hitting himself in the head with his palm. And wouldn't you know he would remember it DAYS later?

So, on occasion, you may see my child toddling around shaking his head nonsensically, attempting to head butt strangers and smacking his head with his hand - all while laughing hysterically at himself.

Yep. That's my boy.

(We might be the worst parents ever.)

Add this to Banner's latest trick (compliments of dad, of course) where he gets right up in your face with wide eyes, and randomly screams "RWAR", and I'm pretty sure my kid is the one all the other parents talk about when they think we aren't paying attention.

He is also on a mission to eat paper. Last week he ate the paper apple off his art project at school. Which is funny since he refuses to eat actual apple when I give it to him. In fact, he refuses most of what I make him. I know part of it is a developmental phase (he just realized that he doesn't have to eat everything we put in front of him), but it is still frustrating when you make him something like scrambled eggs (fresh from my mother’s coop), pasta, chopped up steamed veggies or seasonal fruit, etc. and he spits it back out and gags like you just fed him garbage.

Meanwhile, Trevor makes him buckwheat and quinoa "mancakes" (i.e. pancakes) and Banner will gladly eat those nonstop for days. I try not to take it personally, but OMG.

Speaking of food, Banner's favorite things to eat (other than Trevor's mancakes) are bananas, crackers, breakfast bars, fruit squeezies, crackers, Jammie Sammies, biscuits, crackers, cheese, yogurt, fiddlesticks, buckwheat or flax seed waffles, tofu and, you guessed it, crackers. You can always tell when Banner is enjoying what he is eating because he makes a lot of “MMmmm” noises. He also LOVES these Bistro Bowls made by Plum Organics with quinoa, and would gladly eat them every night for dinner if I would let him. I am much more likely to get a vegetable in him if it is mixed with something else. What happened to my baby that could eat peas, spinach and carrots for every meal with a big ole happy smile on his face?!

Things he HATES:  having his teeth brushed, eggs, meat, most fruit and vegetables (unless they are mixed with something else). I thought I was making headway (everyone keeps telling me to keep putting a variety of food in front of him every day), until I discovered that he will feed the undesirable foods to the dogs when he thinks I'm not looking (I thought they weren’t supposed to figure this out until they were much older!). This explains why the dogs are suddenly Banner's best friends.

We have completely phased bottles and formula out of Banner's routine. The only time he still gets a bottle is if he wakes up in the middle of the night and I can't find all the pieces to his sippy cup in the dark. Then, and only then, does he get a bottle with water in it. He doesn't seem to miss them at all, and is already becoming very accomplished with the Dixie Cup at school.  Such a big boy!

We are making slower progress with the pacis. We've completely phased them out during the day, and he doesn't seem to care. The only exception to that rule is when he is at home on the weekends, because he will, for example, find the paci he threw out of his crib the night before while playing in his room. Mostly, though, they are gone and he doesn't seem to miss them.

Night time, however, is a slightly different story. We have been successful with getting him to go to sleep without one, but he almost always wakes up in the middle of the night wanting it. On the flip side, if he goes down with a paci, he generally spits it out within ten minutes of falling asleep and sleeps the rest of the night without it.

I think the pacis would be completely gone by now if Banner hadn't been sick so much recently and teething. But when he wakes up at two and four in the morning, Trevor and I are desperate to get him back to sleep quickly. More often than not, that involves sticking a paci in his pie hole. I think if we ever get a healthy streak, though, it won't be a problem to get the pacis phased out completely. Until then, we are at a bit of a stalemate - especially with this cough that keeps waking him up three or four times a night. Luckily, the humidifier and spoonfuls of honey seem to be keeping him from coughing so hard that he throws up (last Friday night was a looooong one that involved multiple loads of laundry).  It is amazing how quickly waking up multiple times a night for days and days and days completely drains you.  The three of us are exhausted.

And, in case you were wondering, I did take him to the doctor on Monday afternoon because the cough has gotten so much worse recently. Honestly, I thought it was going to be another ear infection. One more ear infection, according to the pediatrician, and Banner gets tubes. And, while the process of getting tubes makes me a bit panicky, I was actually a bit relieved because everyone keeps telling me what a difference tubes has made for their child.

BUT then it wasn’t an ear infection at all. Even the pediatrician was surprised. Then he looked in his throat and immediately suspected strep, but that test came back negative, too. Which means we are in the just-wait-it-out phase. Part of me is relieved that Ban isn’t on antibiotics again (because that can’t be good), but the other part of me can’t stand it that my poor baby is so miserable that he can’t sleep at night. So, until Banner either gets substantially better or worse, Trevor and I will be daydreaming about getting more than two hours of sleep in a stretch at night.

Things Banner finds hysterically funny: sneezing, coughing, pooping in the tub (especially if I'm bathing him), shoving himself in boxes and random places, going for shoe box rides, mama blowing in his face, peak-a-boo (or just saying “boo”), dogs (especially his own. When he is trying to fight sleep after we’ve put him in his crib, Banner will attempt to call them into his room for company), pulling mommy's hair, telling him "no", "uh-oh" or anything else in a stern-ish disciplinary voice. Apparently, my kid has picked up on the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t take me seriously, and has decided to follow suit. Meanwhile, Trevor can tell Banner “no” when he is doing something wrong or unsafe and his little face will just melt into a puddle of shame and remorse. While I want Banner to take me seriously (discipline and boundaries are a must for his own safety and wellbeing), the thought of hurting his feelings just about kills me.

I know. I need to get over it.

Things Banner loves: music, clapping, opening doors, story time, books that allow him to touch and feel and dancing. We also got him a big boy chair on Super Bowl Sunday at Babies R Us. My mom was going to buy him one from Pottery Barn for his birthday, but we never got around to picking it out with all the chronic sickness at our house. But then he saw one at the store with Mickey Mouse on it. I put him on the floor and he squealed, toddled over to it, climbed in and sat down. Might be the best $40 we’ve ever spent on him. It makes him ridiculously happy. For days after we bought it, Banner would hug us, toddle to his chair, sit down, stand up, toddle back over to us and give us another hug (repeat 50 times). Had we known how much he wanted his own chair, we totally would have gotten him one much, much sooner.

Speaking of toddling, Banner is walking everywhere now. Every week since his birthday, he has been taking more and more steps in a row. One week his high was eight steps, followed by seventeen the next, and so on and so forth. Now he just toddles constantly, and we’ve stopped keeping track of consecutive steps without falling down. The biggest recent development (at least in the last week or so) is his new found skill of being able to stand back up on his own without pulling up on a couch, table or dog.  I'm afraid nothing can stop him now!

And, not that I’m biased or anything, but I think Banner’s toddle is just about the cutest thing ever. He pulls his little arms up like a T-Rex. Amy thinks he looks like he should be carrying a purse. All I keep thinking is:

“Why aren’t you seizing the boy?”

“I have a big head and little arms!”

(OMG, six years later and I still love it!)

In other news, Banner now sleeps with blankets in his crib (since he can’t wear sleep sacks forever), wears 18-24 month clothing and has a new pair of shoes because one of the dogs ate the other pair. He loves to be outside and to climb on things, and HATES having his teeth brushed. At the doctor on Monday, he weighed in at a whopping 25 pounds. He has also done some growing since his first birthday, because his tippy toes barely touched the floor on his Radio Flyer car last month BUT are now flatly on the floor with knee bending room to spare. Everyone is always shocked when I tell him that he is thirteen months. He is just going to be a big guy, I suppose. Now if it were only possible to unlearn how to open doors! I’m worried he is going to escape now that all the knobs are within reach!

I’ve also been a complete wimp about taking him to daycare recently. Banner has been going through a clingy/shy phase lately, and screams bloody murder and reaches for me like I am abandoning him forever when I drop him off at school. It just rips my heart out, and I’ve shown up at work with tear-stained cheeks on more than one occasion. However, when Trevor takes him in the mornings, Banner is fine and sometimes doesn’t even notice when his daddy leaves. All the teachers comment on how “he never does this when his father drops him off”. Which? So not fair.

Trevor thinks Banner doesn’t care when he drops him off, because Banner is hungry and knows that breakfast is about to be served. He just toddles to the sink in the back to wash his hands when he arrives, and then sits on the pint size love seat and chews on a book while he waits for the food to be delivered.

When I take him, though, breakfast is over (Trev gets him there at 7:15 or 7:30, but – when I take him – we generally don’t arrive until closer to 8:45) and it is usually a good 15-30 minutes before snack is served. So, it may be less about being away from me, and more about the rumbly in his tummy.

Speaking of the sink, Banner LOVES that thing. It is in the diaper changing area between the two toddler classrooms. According to Ebony, Banner waits for someone to not close the partition door all the way, and then makes a break for it.  Last Friday, he went through almost all of his extra shirts because he got all wet playing in the water. The thing is, though, that apparently Banner is one of the few babies over the years that is strong enough to turn on the faucet by himself (the knob is intentionally hard to turn).  Which means that while poor Ebony is busy changing another kid's diaper, my son has called all his other classmates over to have a party in the sink.  And the water-based chaos that ensues generally results in multiple wardrobe changes and a need to mop the floor.

Again, that's my boy.

(Poor Ebony and Natasha!)

Hanging with Grandpa Buddy in the backyard.

On Monday, Banner had his first dental appointment. I didn’t know who to take him to, so I just looked up my old pediatric dentist and called the office. Apparently, he is still practicing and ranked as one of the best dentists for little ones (at least according to D Magazine). He also doesn’t charge until the kid turns three (which is nice perk even though we are well insured), and has plenty of toys to distract my very busy toddler.

Plus, the office staff is the same as it was back when I was a patient in college.  Because sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and are always glad you came.

(Ha!  Sorry, the jingle was just on TV and I couldn't help myself.)

Playing with all the dentist's toys.

In all seriousness, though, dentists (and teeth in general) have always kind of freaked me out.  So it was nice to at least be in a familiar location with people I recognize and trust.  Especially if we are going to be poking around my son's mouth and talking about teeth erupting.  Which?  Volcanos erupt.  Acne erupts.  Teeth should not erupt.

(Thanks for going along with me on that.)

And because this post could go on forever, I'll wrap up before this entry surpasses the 3,000 word mark with the following: 

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and all the kids wore PJs to school.  Too bad Banner's cowboy boots still don't fit, or he would have totally been wearing him with his "bear bottom" pajamas.  They also had a party and card/gift exchange in Banner's classroom, so I purchased eight board books with little vintage pop-out Valentine's attached for Ban to give to each of his little classmates.  Because I'm cheap and not crafty enough in the kitchen (Ha...not crafty enough IN GENERAL) to even pretend to compete on the same level as all those full-time working moms with Pinterest accounts.  Hell, I'm not even in the same league.  In fact, I was clear across town on Wednesday night trying to find eight copies of the same board book at Half Price Books to go along with my $2 sheet book of punch out Valentines.  Because I am nothing but last minute when it comes to planning anything.  It is just how I roll, and motherhood hasn't changed that particular personality trait one bit.

(To be 100% honest, I would have forgotten about the gift/card exchange completely had Trevor not called to remind me about it on my way home.  I know:  Worst.  Mother.  EV-VER.)

By the way, since when do you need a Mensa membership in order to successfully assemble punch out Valentines?  Because, OMG.  I really thought all I would have to do is punch and go.  And don't even get me started when I got to the part about cutting, folding and pasting together my own envelopes.  I think I actually laughed out loud.  Obviously, they were only $2 because of all the effort involved in making them presentable.  Which is why Banner's classmates got a bunch of partially assembled, unfolded Valentines without envelopes taped to the top of their individually wrapped, gently used board books.

But it is all good because we ran out of wrapping paper somewhere around book four or five, so some of the books were only 3/4 wrapped. Because if you can't do something well, do it half a$$ed and just hope that the 12-20 month olds aren't paying attention. In fact, I was all about making that my personal motto for the rest of 2013 when I thought the kids would be opening their Valentine's Day presents at school. Because I'm sort of okay with the teachers knowing I'm a complete slacker. But then I went and picked Banner up yesterday afternoon and realized with horror that all the wrapped presents went home so parents could open them with their child as a family. 


So, there are probably a bunch of parents out there that are wondering why Banner's mom and dad allowed him to dole out shoddily wrapped, gently-used board books with partially assembled Valentines haphazardly taped to the top.

Which?...Oops. I wish I could promise to do better next year, but I'd probably be lying. Some kids have to walk seven miles uphill in the snow to get to school, and Banner will have to overcome having a neurotic and terribly sarcastic mother that doesn't plan ahead, can't cook (much less bake) and gets blisters on her thumbs trying to assemble cheap, pop-out Valentines after dinner on the 13th of February while watching The History Channel. Poor kid. I foresee years of therapy.

And because this post is now officially over the 3,000 word mark, I'm going to stop tying now. Happy weekend, y'all!


That corgi :) said...

He's so cute; looks like he's doing really good. Honestly, I wouldn't worry that much about the pacifier, seems like you are making good efforts to get rid of it. I know the pediatricians would want the usage stopped now, but you know what works best for your little guy :)


Deals On Wheels said...

Actually, the pediatrician is totally cool with it, but there isn't any medical benefit to having it after a baby's first birthday (apparently it can help prevent SIDS in the first 12 months because the babies are breathing if they are sucking). The dentist wasn't even horrified. I just keep hearing about how hard it is to wean them off of it the older they get, so I'm trying to be proactive (key word: trying). We will see how it goes. We regress every now and then.