Friday, May 31, 2013

Parent's Night Out...

Guess who wasn't asleep (or amused) when we picked 
him up from Parents Night Out at school?

Of course, Banner was also confused by the continued presence of my college friend, Heather.
Little does he know, she's going to be around for the next several days.

Can you say "Peaches"?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Don't look at me, Mom! I'm mad!

Dear Banner,

Last night you threw your first wall eyed fit when we took the broom away.  You had been "sweeping" for forty five minutes, and it was time for bed.

I am going to remind you of this when you are fourteen and refuse to clean anything.

In related news, you don't appreciate it when we laugh at you when you are hysterical.  But, in our defense, it was pretty funny.  You were just THAT mad...over A BROOM.  Although I'm guessing a similar fit would be exponentially less humorous if we weren't at home and instead, say, in the middle of Target or a restaurant.  It is probably too much to ask for you to never be that kid, huh?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Love you anyway,

Who needs cable when you have a Haskell...

On Tuesday night, Haskell walked in the kitchen and stopped in his tracks.

He looked at the doggie door, paused and then looked at his water bowl.  And then back at the doggie door.  Then the water bowl again.  Doggie door.  Water bowl.  Doggie door.  Water bowl.

You could almost FEEL the wheels in his head turning as he tried to figure out what to do next.

Me:  "OMG, Haskell.  Pick one!"

Trevor:  "Don't rush him.  This is the most difficult decision he has had to make all day!"

God, I love that dog.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ear drama...

I alluded to it in my last post, but Banner has had a really hard time with his ears lately. It is part of the reason that I've been slacking on the blog updates since returning from Baltimore. His left ear was first diagnosed as "infected" back on April 26th. A ten day course of antibiotics were prescribed, but it was clear something was still wrong a few days after the last dose was administered. Sure enough, the left ear was STILL badly (as in snot-coming-out-of-his-eye-again) infected when I took him back to the doctor on May 10th. A different antibiotic was prescribed for another ten day course. 

On the 22nd, I took him BACK to the doctor for a ear recheck and did a little mental happy dance when the doctor announced that Banner's left ear was finally better and looked great. Then he looked in his right ear and...infected. I almost lost it in the doctor's office.

The doctor and I went back and forth about what to do. Apparently, if it was September, this would be a no brainer. Banner would get tubes. But there is something about this time of year that makes him hesitate. He had some valid points (risks associated with anesthesia, summer and water play, tubes sometimes only last six months, and he doesn't want them falling out right before the cold and flu season peaks, etc.), and I had some valid points (too many antibiotics which give Banner terrible diaper rash/upset tummy and make his eczema flair, ear infections and the risk of speech development/delays, etc.). In the end, the pediatrician gave me another prescription for a third antibiotic along with a referral to a pediatric ENT and told me to he'd respect whatever decision I made.

After much discussion and more than a few tears (mine), Trevor and I decided to fill the third prescription and keep our fingers crossed that this round of drugs finally nips the infections in the bud. This wasn't a decision that was reached lightly, and I'm not kidding when I say that I spoke with several nurses (friends of family and coworkers) just to get their take on the situation. They all agreed with the doctor and thought I should try the last round of antibiotics since this latest infection was - technically - in a different ear that hadn't had any problems since January. 

Of course, a third round of antibiotics is not ideal by any means, but it helps that this course of meds is only seven days long and Banner seems to - finally (knock on wood) - be feeling better. It kills me that my baby has been in so much pain for the last month, and I just pray he is finally on the road to recovery. 

In other news: Banner is a big fan of grape flavoring. How did parents get their kids to take their medicine before such a thing was invented?

Sixteen Month Update...

I know I say it a lot, but it seems like every time I look at Banner he has changed or learned something new. It kind of blows my mind. Part of me is thrilled and the other part wants to freeze time for a bit. He is growing up so fast. Just for fun, Trevor and I scrolled through pictures of our little guy from the last six months, and it is ridiculous how much he has changed. Granted, six months constitutes more than a third of Banner's entire life on planet Earth, but it amazing to see how far he has come and developed in such a relatively short time. 

We also ran into friends that had a baby boy on January 1st, 2013. Baby Phillip is so little and I kept thinking "that was Banner this time last year" the entire time we were in their presence. Afterwards, Trevor and I kept listing all the ways that having a toddler is both easier and harder than having an infant. The whole mobility is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is fabulous to watch him be able to run around and explore. On the other hand, though, it would be nice if he'd sit still for just five minutes so I could catch my breath, finish my dinner or, heaven forbid, take a picture.

Same thing with talking. Banner is right at that age where his desire to communicate is hindered by both his vocabulary and the ability to form sentences. Toss in the adult population's complete and utter lack of familiarity with baby babble (as well as a 16 month old definition of the word "no" that includes meanings that run the gamut from "yes" to "no" to "maybe"), and you have frequently have a room full of frustrated people both big and small. Because OMG, what do you want?!

To help with this, day care did the exact opposite of what I would have done. They gave him a new word to help him articulate a point instead of (for example) throwing a fit whenever so-and-so stole his toy. Which I'm usually all for (yay, language!). Except that word is "Mine!" and I now have a child that says, "No! Mine!" when I try to reclaim the remote control or redirect him away from the electrical outlet or table top lamp that could kill him.

Point taken Little B, but you still can't stand on top of the coffee table.

On the flip side, Banner seems to both understand and accept it if I say "Mine!". I just have to do it before he touches whatever it is and claims it in the name of Banner first. Which is exhausting, and doesn't set a very good example. Luckily, Banner is very eager to share, and will (usually) hand over whatever contraband he has if you ask him nicely.

In other vocabulary-related news, Banner now knows how to say "Emma", "Abby", "Boks" (blocks), "bu-ee" (Buddy), "Happy", "Peas" (please) and can also tell you what a cow, duck, sheep, dog and cat says. He will also happily show you where his ears, nose, eyes, mouth, head, foot, hands and belly button are. He is also very familiar with the songs and their associated hand motions like "If you are happy and you know it", "Old MacDonald had a farm", "The itsy-bitsy spider" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". 

He has also decided that he likes both hummus and guacamole, and will gladly suck it off of a cracker or chip before handing said cracker or chip back to be reloaded.

Go Rangers!

Banner will also - on occasion - watch baseball and hockey when it is on TV. Strangely enough, he smiles and claps at appropriate times. Trevor has taken that to mean that his attempts to brainwash his mini me into a sports fiend have been successful. I just think his ears were hurting and he wanted to snuggle with mommy and daddy in the big bed until the baby Motrin kicked in and he could finally fall asleep.

Banner has also been suffering from bad diaper rash lately, and - since the weather is finally getting warmer - we've let the little guy run around the backyard naked to "air out" on the weekends. He LOVES the garden hose and to "help" mommy fill up the fountain and give the flowers a drink. All of which is so much more adorable (and hysterical) when done with nothing on except a big, blue sun hat. Mimi refers to her gran nephew as my "naked gardener".

He enjoys books and reading to himself.  He babbles incessantly before giggling to himself and turning the page.  I wish I knew what he was saying because it sounds hysterical.  I love that my son can completely crack himself up. 

He also has figured out the doggie door, and will now disappear into the dog run to play with his dogs if we aren't paying attention.  Poor Haskell.  No place is safe anymore. 

In other news, Trevor was the first to notice that whenever you ask Banner, "Where's Mommy?", Banner makes an immediate beeline to master bathroom.  Apparently, whenever I disappear it is to the toilet.  Not sure how I feel about this, but I probably need to figure out a way to fix it.  It just doesn't seem right that my child hears "mommy" and thinks "potty". 

(Shakes head.)

As for other random tidbits:

Image for bullet point #2.
He bruised his earlobe on that green chair.

  • Adding cinnamon to your morning coffee is NOT the same thing as adding cinnamon to the coffee grounds before you brew it.

  • Thanks to Banner, I now know it is possible to bruise your earlobe. #raisingboys

  • During the week, 7 AM feels so early and it is hard to wake up.  But on the weekends, I'm wide awake at 6:45.  Explain this to me.

  • I'm having a very hard time accepting the fact that June is THIS WEEKEND.  It doesn't feel a day later than February.
(The end)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day recap...

I don't understand why we are quite so...ahem..."wide"
in the picture, but I love it anyway.

Please take a moment to appreciate how much my bambino has grown in the last year:

Mother's Day 2012
Mother's Day 2013 with Gran
(He NEVER stops moving unless he is asleep)
My second Mother's Day was pretty fabulous.  Trevor made me coffee and an egg sandwich and Banner got me a beautiful heart-shaped, silver locket from James Avery (the kid has taste!) and a singing Mother's Day card (which he is still fascinated with by the way).  Then, after a quick trip to the gym and Whole Foods, the family relocated to Gran's house for an afternoon of baseball, grilling and backyard shenanigans.  It was wonderful and relaxing...even if Banner decided that Mother's Day was the perfect time to forgo his usual two hour nap.  Fortunately for us there was a silver lining:  the little dude was completely passed out by 6:45 that night.  It felt like vacation.

In other news, Mother's Day 2013 also marks the first (and possibly last) time I ever by meat.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but raw meat completely and utterly disgusts me.  I can't look at it without feeling ill, and I usually avoid grocery store butcher's like the plague.  Seriously.  If it wasn't for Trevor, I'd probably still be a vegetarian. 

But Trevor wasn't able to go to Whole Foods because he was at home trying (unsuccessfully) to convince Banner that taking a nap was a good idea.  So, it fell to me to buy turkey and beef patties for grilling out at Gran's.  To my credit, I only gagged once.  Unfortunately, I also got light-headed and I'm pretty sure the butcher wanted to kill me.  Since I've never bought it before, I had no idea that there are ground meat options.  In fact, I thought the option WAS "ground".  But since I also cannot cook (or answer any questions related to cooking, for that matter), I was unable to tell the butcher what I was going to do to said meat other than "grill it like a burger".  I finally pleaded with him to choose "something that would taste good cooked between to pieces of bun" for me.  He rolled his eyes, chose the middle of the three ground beef and ground turkey options, molded them into patties and I was on my way. 

OMG, never again. 

(Even if it was the best turkey burger I've ever sank my teeth into. )

(Which it totally was.)

I am totally my own worst enemy sometimes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Recent Art...

Our scanner was malfunctioning hates me, so I'm a little behind with documenting Banner's latest art projects.  Granted, I'm not sure anyone other than me actually cares about seeing these, but - for what ever reason - I get a kick out of being able to go back in time and see all that my son has created.  Plus, some of the projects are just plain cool (Yay, for Banner's awesome teachers!). 
But let's face it:  Some of my kiddo's scribbles are definitely better than others, and many of these projects are ultimately destined for the trash bin (after a nice long run on the fridge).  That said, I don't think I'll be able to ever part ways with projects that incorporate his little hand and foot prints!  I LOVE the Hand Print Butterfly.  What a sweet idea!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ten random things for absolutely no reason whatsoever...

  1. I didn't understand why the potato fueled the clock on THIS recent episode of Big Bang Theory with Bob Newhart.  Thanks to Google and a coworker that used to work at a science museum, I do now, but I can't help but wonder if I missed some sort of critical class back in elementary school where they explained all the basics of science and math.  Because, if so, that explains a lot.  Although, it is still very possible that I'm just an idiot. 

  2. Somehow I made it 32 3/4 years without knowing who Richard Pryor was.  Trevor was horrified.  My coworker, Pam, just shook her head and later called to ask if I had ever heard of Bob Hope.

  3. I started to listen to 1310 The Ticket in order to better understand my husband.  I keep listening even though I prefer the stories that aren't about sports, which on a radio show called The Ticket isn't all that often.  I'm pretty sure this is similar to buying p0rn for the articles, except I also find most of the hosts insulting to women and...well, crude.  Basically, I have no idea why I keep tuning in. 

  4. In related news:  pigs might be gearing up to fly because I know things like who the Ranger's are going to play this week, who the starting pitchers will be and even found myself Googling "Mitch Mooreland" to better understand why people feel the way they do about him.  I also had a ten minute voluntary conversation with Trevor last night about the Ranger's bull pen.  WTF is wrong with me?

  5. I continue to feel very strongly about my local meteorologists.  I will watch (or not watch) a news broadcast based on how I feel about the weather person.  I've given almost all of them nicknames (based on how I perceive them, not on their actual competency or weather predicting accuracy).  Trevor doesn't understand this at all, not that I blame him.  Sometimes I dream about visiting Syracuse, New York just so I can watch Wayne Mahar give the forecast in his red jacket again.  As far as I know, he doesn't even have his red jacket anymore, but there was just something about it (and Doppler the weather cat) back in 1998-2002 that made me trust his weather predictions more than anyone else's to date .  He is the weatherperson that I compare all other weather people to.  David Finfrock is a close second because he is an allergy sufferer.  I am not handling his upcoming retirement in 2018 well.  We might have to move.

  6. I've been trying very hard to boycott the TODAY SHOW, but I'm finding it difficult to do so because I prefer the local weather people on NBC.  Granted, the weather is only on for about two whole minutes AN HOUR during the show.  You would think I could deal with new weather people just to escape Matt Lauer and the distinct lack of anything resembling actual news, but OMG IT IS SO HARD. 

  7. The weather makes me crazy (see #6 and #7).  Or maybe I'm just crazy to start with.  I'm going to go with the latter.

  8. I love spicy, dark chocolate.  It is my kryptonite.  Luckily, Trevor finds it revolting, so I can store a bar in our fridge without worrying that he will eat it (my sister, however, is another story).  Sometimes a single bar can last me for MONTHS. 

  9. I think onions are disgusting.  I told my dad when I was four that I'd eat onions when I was five.  I lied.  I thought about giving them another chance recently, and decided against it.  Because, ew.

  10. I just realized that I graduated from college ELEVEN YEARS AGO last Sunday.  When did I get so old?  Good thing Trevor is older.  It gives me an outlet.  Compared to him, I'm still young(er).  I love that man and his advanced age.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Between Babies: Nathan and Banner have been texting more lately, which is harder to document...

Subject: Howdy Banner
From: Nathan
Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 11:54:21 -0500
To: Banner

How's it going, Banner Man? I know it's been a long time since I've said hi, but there is just so much going on lately.

I want to say thank you for all of your encouragement to help me start crawling. I love being able to chase after my dog, and it's so funny when my dad crawls after me. The only bad thing is that crawling hurts my knees when I get to the tile floor. I've been trying to figure out how to crawl without putting my knees on the ground. So far, nothing's working. I'm also experimenting with standing. I know you had trouble getting out of the stand for a while, so mostly I practice standing and then sitting back down. Every now and then I need to rub my eyes and forget myself and let go of whatever I'm holding on to. That's the end of standing. Mom says I need something called balance. Now, where am I supposed to get that?

Oh, and I seem to keep getting in trouble at daycare. One day, I was trying to give one of my friends a kiss on the forehead and they told my Mom I bit another baby. I had to listen to this whole lecture about how we bite our food, not our friends. Then, another day, I was trying to help my little buddy stop crying. Obviously he was crying because he didn't have a paci, so I offered my hand for him to suck on. But no, that meant I got yelled at and my mom got a call saying I was putting my hands in another kid's mouth. Grown ups just don't understand me, of course it might help if they bothered to ask me what I was doing.

I am not enjoying my mom's experiments with giving me new foods at all. Mom knows the things I like and she doesn't seem to understand that is what she should give me. Yellow eggs are really yucky, as is cheese and for some reason she thinks I might like avocado again. Avocado's been off the list since February. Don't even get me started on beans. GROSS! She also thinks that for some reason I should be picking these things up and putting them in my mouth myself. Ummm, no! I started just throwing the food on the floor for my dog to eat. I mean I'm not going to eat it and he is nice enough to lick my face after I chase him. I think that merits payment of food.
I have to tell you about this game called peek a boo? Have you played it with your parents? I can put ANYTHING in front of my face and when I take it away they laugh like crazy. I don't get what's so funny to them, but when they laugh, I laugh just to keep the game going.
The other really cool thing I've been doing is playing with gravity. I know you told me about gravity ages ago, but, I haven't found a single thing that gravity doesn't pull to the floor, no matter how many times I drop it. This gravity guy never gets tired of playing with me and my toys.

Oh, and I got something called a "haircut" last weekend. That was super fun. They put a big cape on me. I felt like a superhero, except I wasn't able to fly around. Oh, and there were mirrors ALL OVER THE PLACE! I didn't know which one to look at.
Anyway, that's all the good news for now. I'm getting to spend the day at home with my mom because I have another ear infection. I kept trying to tell my mom that I didn't feel good last night, I don't know why she didn't take me to the doctor until today. But it is nice being home because there are a lot of crying babies at daycare now. They don't know the fun of crawling around the room and getting into everything yet, but I'm trying to show them.

Talk to ya later,

From: Banner
Date: May 10, 2013, 1:03:58 PM CDT
To: Nathan
Subject: RE: Howdy Banner
Dude, you need a balloon.  They completely defy gravity.  Best toy EV-VER.  They fall UP.  Just don’t let go outside because then the balloon goes bye-bye forever.

I have no idea about this “haircut” thing you mentioned, but EVERYONE seems to be getting one except me.  I tried to ask my mom about it, but she says I need something called “hair” before I can have it cut.  Details.

In other news, I’ve graduated to running now.  It is like walking but faster.  I think it is loads of fun – especially when mommy and daddy have to chase me to keep up.  I love to be chased.  I laugh and laugh and laugh.  It sure makes mom and dad look tired, though.  I think they should both start taking naps so they can keep up.

All the boys in my class keep leaving or graduating.  It makes me sad.  My bestest buddy, Brox, moved to Ennis in mid-April, and now my new best friend, Henry, just transitioned this week into the twos down the hall.  I mean, there are a couple of other guys in my room, but I’m just not as close with Taylor or Kane.  So, I’m mainly just chilling with the ladies right now.  But those girls…man, they are nothing but trouble.  Did you know that it is frowned upon to tackle girls?  Yeah, me neither!  I like to lure them in with a hug, and then *wham* I tackle them to the floor.  So.  Much.  Fun.  My teacher ruined everything, though, when she told my mom about it.  Now I’m supposed to be working on something super-annoying called “gentle”.  Boo.  Gentle is no fun at all.

Oh, and I hear you about the ear infection.  I was diagnosed with one a couple of weeks ago, but the medicine didn’t make it better so I had to go back to the doctor this morning and get more.  The only slightly cool thing is that my ear infections get so bad that snot starts to come out of my eyes.  This completely disgusts my mother, which almost makes the pain worth it.  

Your buddy,
Ban-Ban the Tackling Man

Friday, May 10, 2013

OMG, he WAS a farmer! A TEXAS farmer! Duh.

Bad share, good share...

On Sunday, we went to Brook Hollow for dinner with The Fabulous Auntie Mimi, Uncle Bud and Grandpa Buddy.  Banner ate until we thought he was going to pop, and then wanted to go outside and run around.  Since I had JUST gotten a plate from the buffet (Trevor ate first while I cut all of Banner's grilled cheese and fruit into teeny-tiny, toddler-approved bite sizes), the hub-ster volunteered for the first shift of outdoor fun.

Since Brook Hollow is a country club, it didn't take long for Trevor to find an abandoned golf ball in the bushes for Banner to play with.  Have I mentioned Banner's obsession with balls?  No?  Well, he loves them.  Trevor's been teaching him to throw them, and the little guy can spend hours playing a weird little version of fetch with himself. 

(And, yes, I realize that several sentences in the last paragraph sound dirty.  To which I respond:  OMG, BANNER IS SIXTEEN MONTHS OLD!)

(Gutter brains)

Anyway, back to the golf ball.  Banner was happily playing throw, chase, retrieve with his ball until a couple of girls wondered out on the putting green nearby.  They were older (probably 4 and 7 or something like that), but Banner immediately identified them as potential playmates.  Except, like most men, he had no idea how to approach them or engage them in play or conversation.  So, instead, he just stood awkwardly in their vicinity and copied everything they did.  Which was pretty humorous since the girls were practicing their cheerleading/tumbling moves.  Hence, this photo:

They lie on the ground.  I don't get it.
But I lie on the ground, too.  Just in case.

The two girls were very sweet, though, and put up with their pint sized copy cat without a single complaint (much unlike THIS similar situation back at Easter involving several boys).

And then this little guy happened:

Mimi and I had just walked outside to relieve Trevor, and I thought at first that this little boy wanted to play with Banner.  Banner, who is not picky at all when it comes to playmates, was more than happy to oblige.  But then it became very obvious that the boy's only interest in Banner was his golf ball.  WHICH THE LITTLE PUNK PROCEEDED TO STEAL RIGHT OUT OF BANNER'S HAND IN FRONT OF US.

Banner, of course, thought the little boy was playing until he tried to get his ball back, and the little boy screamed, "MINE!" and ran away.

I thought Mimi was going to pound his a$$.

Luckily she didn't need to.  The two girls saw what happened, asked if the boy was Banner's brother (we said no), and then marched right up to the little golf ball thief and demanded that he return the ball to "that sweet little baby over there".

And, publicly shamed by the opposite sex, he did.

But the best part was about five minutes later.  We were heading back inside, and the little ball thief was sulking - ball-less - next to the sidewalk.  As we walked past him, I asked Banner if he wanted to "share" his golf ball with the boy.  Without hesitation, Banner stretched out his arm and handed it to his nemesis. Just like that.  It was awesome.  And once he gave it to him, Banner didn't even look back.  It was like he knew that the golf ball meant something more to the other boy than it did to him.

I don't think I've ever been so proud.

And the little boy?  He said a stunned "Thank You", and just stood there for a second watching us walk away.  I don't think anyone was more surprised than he was.

Of course, when I told Trevor, all he could say was, "YOU LET THE LITTLE B@STARD HAVE IT?  That was a SMU golf ball you gave away!"

Obviously, the concept of sharing means more to some than others...

Monday, May 06, 2013

Banner versus the water hose (or "pick up hose, spray water in face, cry, repeat")...

Just to clarify, he HAD clothes on, but we took them off after they became water logged. 
Also, this was shot on doggie bath day lest you think we are in the habit of tying Gypsy to the patio furniture sopping wet and covered in suds.  Although I did appreciate Woo's efforts to dry off the ugly, bald and extremely wet puppy.