Monday, December 26, 2011


Christmas part 1 (with my folks in illinois) has come and gone. it felt like an explosion of wrapping paper and milo squakings and "ooh, ahhh, thank you!"

and then i got the flu christmas night, and a new sense of explosion erupted. it's awful. i hate the flu and it's been years since i've had it... in fact, i haven't had a full-fledged, toilet-bowl hugging, steam-rolled aches & pains flu since college, 6 years ago. i suppose i'm due. and i have to count my blessings, if you're going to be sick anywhere, why not be at mom's? plus being on vacation and in chicago, it's not like i can just go home. so ben and my mom are watching after milo, and i'm in bed, growing restless and worn out at the same time. i have my own bathroom. i know i have to count my blessings and that there are far worse ailments to be burdened with...

so how 'bout we recount the festivities:

milo has loved the new activity course with all it's challenges and obstacles that is my parents' only slightly milo-proofed house. the stairs especially. we only have one gate, so we're able to section of portions of the house, but there are exciting forbidden treasures, nooks and crannies in every room, so we still have to keep a close eye on him no matter what area has been barricaded.

we eventually added bubblewrap to the marble table in they're "foyer" area, which is right above his line of vision, but still within well range of his cranial circumference. he still has a pretty bad goose egg with slight puncture mark from the corner of that one. whoops.

milo got a plethora of weebles, a few puzzles, a jack in the box, a spinning metal top that you pump a lever to make it go, some bigger clothes for the months ahead, and some other blinking/mooing/singing things.

he's enthralled. and we haven't even had Christmas part 2 with ben's parents' yet.

ben and i have decided it's time to do a clean sweep of all his toys - pack away the ones that are still good for future babies, throw out the broken ones, add to the garage-sale pile ones he never really seemed that interested in, and maybe keep out a few of the ones he still plays with.

over the past year, we'd received quite a number of hand-me-down stashes of toys (plus what he received last Christmas and for his birthday). if we don't clear out some of it soon, our house is going to be swallowed up by milo-stuff.

we'll let you know when the garage sale finally happens :P

Saturday, December 17, 2011


  • it's been several months (at least?) since i've taken a picture of milo... which is way too long.
  • milo likes to squirrel away his "treasures" - the other day i found ben's flip-flops, a sippy cup, a few books, some of his magnetic letters, and a wooden spoon in our front loading washer. when his pack n play is open, he loves to help me "clean" by picking up whatever's strewn about (toys, the paper, the lint roller, more sippy cups, the remotes, etc) and dropping it in the giant cage. he's also recently hidden my nail polish; it's been several days and i still have no idea where he's put it.
  • milo had his first major fever (at it's highest 104 - our pediatrician said he doesn't really start to get worried till 105 or 106). we could tell he was sick when he cuddled with ben for several hours on a saturday morning - this boy normally has too much to do to ever want to cuddle for more than a minute, with the exception of his "i just woke up, but i'm not really awake yet" morning/post-nap routine. even then, 20 minutes later and he's ready to hit the road.
  • we had to barricade the tree from milo. so after a little rearranging, the tree is now in the corner of our living room, behind the couch. it's only decorated from the bottom half up.
  • still in the land of fallen chairs, i had to put our nativity scene on the dining room table - it was the only other prominent safe-spot in our home out of his reach... i dream that some day we'll have fun setting it up together when milo isn't more interested in chewing off the turban of wise man #3.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the good, the bad and the ugly:

the good: milo is not allergic to nuts. on several occasions i've let him have a little of the scandinavian almond cake i make which uses real almond extract. the other day i let him have a sip of my morning peanut butter smoothie (one sip was not enough). and just now he got to try a butter shortbread cookie i baked earlier today that was topped with ground sugar and pecans.

the bad: he has started to assert his defiance. he gets whiney and cranky simply because i'm doing something other than holding him (like getting lunch ready for him so he can eat).

the ugly: in this new attitude-spurt he's entered, milo will often drop food onto the floor while sitting in his high chair. we consistently respond by grasping his hand and very firmly telling him, "no milo, we don't drop our food on the floor!" he will then proceed to grab another handful, look at us to make sure we're looking, and a devious little smile takes over his face as he extends his hand past the high chair tray and he drops the food on the floor once again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

for the sake of our sanity:

we now live in the land of fallen chairs.



that's what happens when i leave the computer open on the couch....

anyhow, this "land of fallen chairs" business means that unless we're sitting in it, the chair stays on it's side... with all the clutter cleared from the table, milo saw opportunity for reaching new heights.

i'm glad to report that he has gotten very good at descending safely from the rocking chair and rubbermade tote which have remained upright.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ummm.... little help please?

so who's got the anti-climbing serum for my child who has not only discovered how to climb chairs, but has also discovered that if the chair is next to the dining room table, he can now reach all the forbidden treasures (like pens and bubbles and the flower vase filled with water and tigerlillies - eep!)

i guess we're back to that ever-vigilant "i've got my eye on you!" (because ears aren't enough for the moment) patrol...

on the bright side, the vase he knocked over didn't fall to the ground and break, my flowers got fresh water (i've heard you're supposed to change it regularly to help them last longer), and this will be extra incentive to keep our table clutter free.

also on the up and up (pun intended), i've been working with milo over the past several days on teaching him how to get down safely - sit down, turn around, touch your toes, then your nose... oh wait, that's something else ;P

but for realsies, my neighbor friend encouraged me to teach him how rather than letting him get frustrated over being stuck up wherever he'd gotten himself to (i was hoping it would deter him, but obviously it hadn't), and just now, as he was up on the chair and i'm sitting next to him typing away, he went through the motions i'd been teaching him, and he got DOWN from the chair. way to go, milo!

currently he's babbling at the back door, my keys in hand, trying to reach the doorknob as he pushes the keys towards it. (what a smartypants!) i don't let him play with my keys often, but i figured he deserved some kind of reward for his newest trick. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

watch out mount everest, he's coming for YOU!

milo's started exploring his climbing capabilities. i have not encouraged this one little bit. but i probably could have done more to prevent it, too.

he's figured out how to shift his weight to get his little torso fully on top of rubber-made totes (you know, those big blue plastic things you use when you're moving away to college), as well as the rocking chair. and while ben and i ate breakfast this morning, he somehow figured out how to get up onto one of our dining room chairs. i missed how he did it, all i know is that i looked over, and there he was, just sitting there, all proud of himself and checking out the new vantage point.

once he's up on whatever object he's most recently scaled, though, he freaks out, because he can't figure out how to get back down. i'm hoping this will be enough of a deterrent to get him to curb his climbing cravings.

Friday, November 11, 2011

close enough

tonight, as i changed milo into his fleece pajamas and 12 hour diaper, i asked him,

"do you know how loved you are, milo?"

to which he responded,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

fractured fairytales

while grandma and grandpa z were here, we took a trip to costco, where grandma picked up a ginormous tub of organic animal crackers for the little boy.

he loves to stick his hands in, one at a time, grabbing great big handfuls of as many cookies that he can hold in one go. i think 5 has been his record thus far.

and does he eat these delectable little treats? oh no. no no no. he drops them as he walks along, leaving them laying around on the floor, hansel and gretel style, in case he loses his way from his toys in the livingroom to the fun filled drawers of mommy's cooking gadgets in the kitchen.

i usually wind up gathering the morsels and eating them myself.

at least he's not a hoarder.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

let's play catchup, shall we?

milo's birthday came and went. it was fantastic and small and perfect. maybe i'll even write an entire post on it, but for right now i just want to catch up on all the things that have been happening with the little man:

  • he currently has his first ear infection, and is on his first dose of antibiotics. he's definitely more irritable than usual, and also a lot more cuddly - not just with me, but ben, too - ben often expresses how milo follows me around the house or will sit in my lap for story time, but not for him... i see how milo lights up for ben when he gets home though, but it is nice to see milo cuddling into ben as much as he does to me. but while i love getting to comfort the little cutie, it's hard to see him in pain and troubled.
  • he has sprouted 11 teeth thus far - the already established four on top, two on bottom, i may have mentioned the three molars that popped through just recently? and then there's been the two next to his bottom teeth that finally decided to join the party.
  • we're finally having milo dedicated at church this weekend.
okay, it's getting late. wow, okay, maybe not - i just looked at the clock and it's only 9:04 pm, but for us that is late. some of ben's younger coworkers think we're really lame for enjoying quiet time at the library or just sitting over a cup of coffee, or enjoying getting to sleep before 10 pm..... i do miss the days of getting to stay up late knowing i'd be able to sleep in on a saturday, but i'm okay with it. i'm convinced milo's laugh is filled with magic, and it's totally worth a 9 o'clock curfew.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

the cow says "moooo"

last night was milo's last bottle of formula. we'd switched to whole milk for his nap-time bottles a week or two ago? (i can't remember exactly when.) but he'd still been getting formula for his bed-time bottle.

last night is when the formula can went empty, so now it's whole milk from here on out.

i also tried giving milo crayons to see if he could discover the most fabulous pastime of coloring. he thought they were a new snacky treat and only tried to eat them, despite my many efforts to show him their magical properties of producing color on a white blank page.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

he's a busy little boy.

well, the boy has two molars coming in - both on his left side, one on the top, one on the bottom. two little sharps pokes that have just barely broke through the gums. if your front left center tooth is number one, this would be tooth number four on the top and i think number four on the bottom, too. although he still hasn't gotten the two teeth next to his bottom center teeth - so i'm not sure where they're hiding. maybe he ate em?

the boy eats just about everything these days. he loves getting to eat "grown up" food and getting to shove fistfuls of flavorful cuisine all over his face, and by chance getting some of it in his mouth. mostly i think he enjoys the independence, but the new flavors seem to be quite enticing as well.

peas, corn, deli meat, bread, even cucumber bits. the egg-bake that i made for mops (that must not have appealed to many of the moms because only 4 squares were gone - of which i ate one), noodles, especially noodles. i'm very grateful for his current lack of pickiness when it comes to the new "mommy and daddy" foods that we put on his tray. noodles and spaghetti sauce, roasted butternut squash, spaghetti squash lasagna (spaghetti squash, pasta sauce, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella) as well as our crock pot chili.

those are all the foods i can think of that i know he's eaten with great vocal approval and lip smacking and enthusiasm.

he's also walking, like, walking walking, a lot! he walked all the way from the front door to the back door while i was going back and forth between the kitchen and porch yesterday. i suppose it's more of a waddle than a walk, but he's still getting really good. he does continue to crawl still, especially if he wants to get somewhere quickly, and he still falls down to his bottom from time to time, but i think he'll be a full time walker by his birthday, which is only a matter of 2 weeks from today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

project babyproof still underway...

we finally moved both mine and milo's dressers into the living room to replace the tv stand. while we now have to venture into the living room to retrieve any clothing we want from the dressers, it's worth it to have the tv and electronics higher, and thus out of milo's reach.

we've also relocated my desk - which used to be in the living room - to the bedroom. another one less headache to have to worry about milo trying to scale or maneuver around or bump into.

overall it's been a huge sense of accomplishment to feel the house getting more organized and cleaner as we sort through clutter and move furniture, and not having to constantly redirect milo from the same issue over and over again is probably the biggest thrill of all.

see ben? we don't have to move every year, you just have to let me rearrange the house every couple of months. ;)

now if we can find a new home for the cat. a lady and her 4 year old daughter called on the flyers i put up; they're supposedly coming today to meet kittles. maybe this one will actually work out - the last call i got was from a high school girl who's mom is "kind of allergic" (according to the teeny-bopper)... i'm guessing that one's not gonna happen. mom and 4 year old? i have high hopes for them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

milo's first family vacation

so technically, milo's been on a few trips with us visiting relatives/friends/etc for various holidays and road trips that have happened over the past 11 months... (uffda! can you believe it's been over 11 months already? i'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole parenthood thing, let alone that we've been at it for almost a year now.)

anyhow, we finally took our first trip as a family unit of just us three to northern minnesota - it's our last night here in lutsen, just off lake superior.

highlights from the trip include:
  • milo's first taste of pizza at the famous sven and ole's pizza place in grand marais (he loved it, of course. how could he not, being my son? pizza is one of the main food groups in the zoe book of cooking.)
  • we've given our son the native name of "wampum big mess" (i googled "wampum" to see what it really means, and i'm deciding to ignore the fact that it's the white shells used in beading... sometimes it just helps to ease the frustration of milo dropping food on the floor for the umpteenth time by sighing out "oh wampum, please eat your food instead of playing with it.")
  • not realizing that the window shades we put up for milo were partially closed on the outside of the car door (whoops), we tried to figure out the rattling sounds coming from the back seat. as milo was more or less asleep, we knew he wasn't throwing anything, so we starting coming up with our own stories of bigfoot throwing rocks at our car. ben mentioned how he would be scared if bigfoot was running as fast as our car going 55 mph, and that no wonder no one had ever seen him. we decided a tank would be too slow, and with bigfoot coming after us, it was time to get a hummer.
  • milo seems to enjoy the hiking backpack, and our mini hiking trips - as long as they don't interfere too greatly with napping or eating. even then, we've been able to push the limits a little bit, and while he's certainly a little fussier, ben's reassurance that long-term he'll be just fine seems to be accurate. if in 10 years, however, we're still asking wampum big mess to stop throwing his food on the floor or rubbing it in his hair, i may look back to this time for a scapegoat. fair warning. ;)

overall, i'd say it's been a good trip - good to get out of town, away from the every day rigamarole, away from the hustle and bustle of busy cars and busy people and busy life, to just slow down, see the trees, discover mushrooms growing on logs, yellow ferns, the way my calves feel way too tight from hiking in shoes that are probably a little too small, to invent stories about bigfoot and retell childhood stories of why there are signs for "fallen rock."

it's been good to just focus on our time together and how to enjoy this time as a family.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

he walks!

he did it!!!!

today, after we got home from a grand day out, my mom was getting the last of our groceries while i brought milo inside.

i put him on the ground to get out some wiggles, since he'd been in either the carseat or a shopping cart for the majority of the day.

he saw the cat and wanted to walk towards her, but didn't even bother holding onto my hands, so i was holding him under his arms, but only just barely.

he started walking towards her, and he seemed so steady and focused, so i let go of him completely, and he did it! he took four steps on his own towards the cat.

he's just shy of 11 months old, weighs in at 21 pounds (i checked him on the wii fit this morning) and he's finally taken his first real steps.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"curiosity killed the cat"

i never understood that phrase growing up.... i seem to remember my brother telling me that when i would go into his room and play with his star wars toys while he was at school, and i remember thinking about it over and over, imagining different scenarios of how cats might die from curiosity, but it still didn't make sense.

and no, our poor cat is not dead, but i've decided it's not worth it to me to keep her right now, and curiosity is the culprit. not her's though, oh no. milo's.

aside from the already established fact that he's obsessed with her, but doesn't know how to show his affection in ways that are appropriate, i've started keeping her in the basement so that she can get to her litter box and food, but with the door closed, she also gets no attention whatsoever. she doesn't seem to mind as much, but on occasion when i let her out and leave the basement door open, then i have to blockade milo from the kitchen.

up until now he had not noticed the basement door, the stairs going down, the fact that there's a whole new world (cue "Aladdin"music) down there to explore.... but then he found it.

i knew he was crawling around in the kitchen. if i'm not watching him, i try to keep a vigilant ear on where he is, and thus knowing what he's getting into without even seeing him. i've gotten decent at it. silence is golden when he's sleeping, but awake, it's a red flag. i looked over to the kitchen area, and there he was, at the basement door, staring at the cat, who was on the step, waiting to get out, staring at him.

so now that he's aware of the basement, i have to keep that door closed all the time. and since blockades work better on the cat then on milo, and it just doesn't seem fair to keep her locked in a basement all day long, and we hope to have another baby or two (eventually), which would mean i'd have to go through this whole charade again?

thanks, but no thanks..... sorry cat, i'll at least do my best to find you a good home.

Monday, August 29, 2011

still learning to let go and choose my battles

milo is currently entertaining himself at our in-home movie store: the dvd case. it's basically an open bookcase that's dvd sized. i used to keep them alphabetized, and we had been trying to teach him to not pull them off the shelves.

after trying to put up poster board to remove the temptation (only for him to start pulling and ripping at the poster board) and considering relocating the entire shelf to our bedroom (only to determine that while it would fit, our bedroom is cluttered enough), i'm realizing that the dvds are not a big deal, and i can let go of my ocd desire to have them alphabetized and neatly kept....

what is still a big deal: outlets/wires, the cat, the dvd/vcr/tv, and not eating/chewing on things that are not food or toys (such as people, sticks and those sneaky crumbs that escape my lack-luster effort to keep the floors swept).

i'm still trying to determine whether or not it's worth it to keep the cat in order to help him learn how to be more gentle, at the prospect of tearing him off her a bajillion (okay, maybe only a million) times a day :P

Friday, August 26, 2011

lost in translation

he says "mama" "dada" "nana" and is quite the chatty kathy trying out other sounds, babbling and squealing and sometimes screaming... not crying screaming, just vocalizing louder than i'd prefer...

he's an energetic little fella, there's no doubt about it.

we've been working on establishing which one of us is mama and which one is dada, as he seems to babble "dada" all day long while ben is no where in sight, and then once ben gets home he'll babble "mama" here or there, although he did seem to say "mama" to me earlier today as i bent down closer to him while he was playing in another of the many somethings i wish i could better keep him out of.

we're also not sure if "nana" is for nap, banana, or no. he stinkin LOVES bananas... he'll gladly polish off an entire peel-full even after finishing a meal - definitely still growing. he also is very proud of his "no" head shaking skills, as mentioned in my last post. i doubt it's for nap, but all the same, it's fun to hear him trying out new syllables.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

it's all fun and games...

the "on your head game" led to milo figuring out how to respond to the "how big is milo?" prompt.

we've been playing this game quite regularly for at least a few days now. "how big is milo?" and we don't even do the movement ourselves, he just waves his hands and arms around above his head and smiles triumphantly.

he's also started initiating peekaboo games. when i catch him "hiding" - putting his head down on his high chair tray, holding anything in front of his face, pulling a blanket over his head - and i ask "where's milo?" and then he proudly "reveals" himself, and i act all surprised with an exaggerated "peekaboo!"

we're also pretty sure he understands no - at least to some extent. when i get to the part in his "moo baa la la la" book that goes "no no, that isn't right" he'll shake his head no. and when we tell him "no no" when he's in the middle of doing something he knows he's not supposed to - like pull all the dvds off the shelf, or grab the kitty's fur, or hitting the tv - he shakes his head no. sometimes i'll look over to him about to do one of said offenses, and he's shaking his head no - and smiling of course - in anticipation of us telling him "no."

he's such a cheeky little monkey.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

share and share alike

milo has learned how to open the hutch cabinet doors - they're a push-magnet-type "latch" - push to open, push to close, etc... and he's figured it out. where all my grandma's china is hiding. and my dishtowels. and my casserole dishes. and my fine platters, also handed down from grandma aloise.

so now we have his high-chair - which is also kept in its lowest setting to keep him from scaling it - and one of our dining chairs blocking off the two sets of doors...

we can also play peekaboo back and forth, where he's even holding things up to his face - or mine - and then pulling it off again for me to say "peekaboo!" in full accordance with the rules of this highly complicated game.

and then milo shows the sweetest side of his good natured personality.

the other night, ben was working late, and i was giving milo his final bottle to put him down for the night. his nose has been a little stuffy lately - we went to the dr. to have it checked out after several days of a low grade temperature (between 99 and 101 degrees) only to confirm that his lungs sound fine, his ears look great, and it probably is in fact just teething, or at worst, a mild cold.

anyhow, so i was using his nasal aspirator (fancy wording for "snot-sucker-outer") to clear out his runny nose while he was eating his bottle to keep him from falling asleep. we took a bottle-break and he decided he wanted to play with what seemed like a perfect new chew toy (the bulbous end, of course, not the snotty end).

then, with a gesture that completely caught me off guard, milo holds the aspirator up to me and offers to share his new chew toy for my own pearly choppers.

he also did it with the fridge magnet one day, when i let him into the kitchen and was playing with him at the big white behemoth (note to self: time to buy magnetic letters and numbers). he stood there against the fridge door, putting the magnet on the fridge and pulling it back off, and then he looked up at me, with magnet in hand, and lifted it up towards me, letting me take it from him.

i'm so thrilled to see the little booger learning to share.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

baby steps

milo seems eager to walk, but his balance when doing so is way off. and he tries to stick his foot way out with pointed toes the whole time, almost prancing-pony style.

we've been encouraging him learning how to walk - more so i want him to learn how to better balance himself as a bi-ped instead of a quad-ped. he stands great if he's holding onto furniture, our hands, even a book - as long as he's focused on something other than the fact that he's standing.

so i've started helping him walk along only holding onto one hand instead of both his hands. once or twice, we've encouraged him to take unassisted steps too...

i'm learning the naivety of my wishful thinking that "the more mobile milo is, the more i'll be able to get done in a day because he'll be able to move about as he pleases and not get bored, so he won't need me every moment."

ha! as any mother could have told me (and probably tried to with her looks of concern or muffled chuckle.)

and while he might not need me hovering over his every move - and i do give him time to play alone and unassisted - but if i don't keep a close eye on him, he's pulling the cat's tail, and likely to lose a finger, because i'm really not sure how much longer she's willing to put up with his antics.

or he's practicing his drumming skills with his hands on the tv screen (which remains poorly blocked off by his exersaucer and a laundry basket full of toys to try and derail him from the pure excitement of messing with the electronics).

anyhow, my new hope is that once he starts walking, i'll lose even more weight chasing him around, and my pre-preggo jeans will finally fit.

again, feel free to laugh at my naivety.

okay, so i don't really expect that to be the result, but i just want him to be more stable so he doesn't fall down so much expecting things to be able to support his weight. i suppose that's not such a realistic hope just yet either, but i'll hold onto it for now.

that being said, he took one almost unassisted step the other day to me from the bin that blocks off the kitchen/basement stairs, but before he got to me, he decided to stop trying and fell to his bottom instead.

and the other night, i was helping milo walk to ben, and slyly tried to let go without him noticing, and ben was holding his hands ready for milo to grab on... ben says he wasn't really holding on and that it was totally an unassisted step. i think i'm still holding out for something a little more obvious, but still, it's a start.

so that's milo's baby steps to stepping. he'll get there eventually; from what i can tell, they usually all do. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

milo on the move

we decided it was time to move milo's crib mattress to its lowest setting and put blankets and pillows around it after we witnessed some serious climbing skills exhibited by the little monkey this evening. he pulls himself up to standing at the foot of his high chair and plays with the moveable foot-rest on it quite frequently. he's also realized that he can reach the tray from this position, and i've seen him try to pull himself up, and would keep close watch, warning him to be careful and not pull the whole thing upon himself.

but tonight was new.... while holding onto the tray, he started gripping one of the angled legs of the high chair with both his feet, and was slowly creeping his feet up, supporting his weight by hanging on the tray. standing on the ground, milo's arms are fully extended to reach the tray. with this new climbing ability, ben said he saw milo with his chin at the tray, while i was watching milo's feet and readily waiting to catch him when he let his feet go... this boy is getting too good at the climbing business.

his other new trick came from a new game i've started playing with milo involving a bumble bee beanie baby leftover from my childhood collection. i fly the bee around him with a "zzzzzzzzzz' sound of varying tonal ranges, and end on a high note when i touch the bee to different parts of him, like his ear or his belly or his foot. somehow this got to me putting the bee on his head exclaiming "on your head!" which lead to the other new trick up milo's sleeve... ben and i were both playing the buzzing bee game with him, i put the bee on milo's head, it fell off, then milo picked it up and held it to the top of his head, looking at us with a great big smile.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


it seems milo has a real knack for biting. especially arms, feet, any skin surface he can sink his teeth into. i encourage him chewing on chew toys, and taking good bites of his food, but i'm really hoping we can break this cannibalistic behavior before he starts getting labelled as "jaws" in the church nursery... and i'm determined to cure him of this obsession before he starts preschool. thankfully time is on my side for the latter.

according to one of my baby books, the correct response is to calmly tell the little piranha "don't bite," and remove the afflicted area from his clenched jaw. to overreact negatively, to laugh, and basically it seems to respond in almost any way, shape or form only encourages it.

sometimes he blows raspberries instead of biting, so i've also taken to encouraging that. i'll blow a raspberry too, i'll laugh when he does it, and when he bites, i gently push his head back and as boringly as possible say, "no biting"...

i figure he can't possibly be trying to hurt me at this point... he has no clue of the repercussions of this action, or why it's okay to bite squishy plastic toys, and crunchy yummy food, but not the people he loves.

but if i'm not paying attention, like the other day when i'm talking on the phone to my mom, and i'm holding him on my lap and he's got his mouth on my arm, i tend not to notice right away that the teeth are starting to clamp down... he left a red mark where he bit me and i may have accidentally let out a squeal. it only lasted the day, but still, not okay, little man, not okay.

Monday, August 1, 2011

in the land of nod...

last night milo slept from 8pm to 6 am. he didn't wake up once. (or if he did, i didn't hear it, because i slept from 9:45-ish(?) to 6 am.)

perfect. i'm really digging this whole "deep sleep at night" thing... waayyyyy better than not being able to sleep.

milo is also getting pretty proficient at standing on his own. ben has noticed that he's a lot better at it if he has something in his hands to focus on, but overall, his balance and standing-stamina are totally priming up for those first steps.

as for walking, he'll walk if we hold his hands and kind of walk him along, although he's well aware that he can get to things faster by crawling, so he often goes straight to that over edging along the furniture... especially when the cat is in sight.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


i probably really shouldn't post in the middle of the night when i'm not sleeping well and anxious about not sleeping well and trying to use my blog as journal therapy for my middle of the night anxiousness...

as evidenced by the last two posts. :P

suffice it to say, i got better sleep last night than i have this entire past week, and this "sleep lady shuffle" i've been using for milo's random middle-of-the-night wakings seems to be working, and my hope is that eventually we'll get back to where he doesn't wake up at all during the night.

and with focusing on being more consistent and giving milo wind down time for naps and bed-time, he's getting better, longer naps during the day, so he's not over-tired and over-cranky, which totally helps the day go so much smoother. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

orrrr not.

last night was another sleepless night.

i made sure to give myself wind down time. i didn't feel stressed or anxious about anything. ben and i even had some good laughs over pillow talk, which was nice.

i was exhausted, but i think it was the laughing that did me in maybe?

i found this article here on sleep issues, and so i thought i had it figured out i knew what i needed to do: eat better during the day/before bed and give myself time to unwind after getting milo to sleep. so i did that on sunday, and i actually was able to fall asleep sunday night and even fall back asleep after milo woke up at 3:30 AM and wouldn't go back to sleep for over an hour (ben finally got him back down, because i was too tired and just couldn't do it.) i did that yesterday, too, but then for whatever reason, i couldn't fall asleep. and i try not to let myself get frustrated or anxious as i wait to fall asleep and it just doesn't happen.

so i decided to get up and i wrote the last blog post thinking, "this is what's on my mind, maybe i need to share it? maybe someone somewhere out there in blog-land will benefit from hearing/reading it? etc..."

still couldn't sleep.

i haven't slept all night. i didn't sleep all night on saturday night either... and i slept very poorly last wednesday through friday night. and then milo wasn't napping well, so i couldn't get in a nap, and then i just started pushing through it, because really, what else can you do?

but i'm not sleeping. and milo's not napping. and the cycle just continues.

i've been reading Good Night, Sleep Tight on sleep training, and it all makes sense to me... so i try and follow the directions she gives, but it's hard to figure out how to adjust it appropriately to our needs, where we're at, smaller house, varying schedules, etc.

and so my biggest struggle is staying consistent. or i'll be consistent with something for a little while, and it'll work for a little while, and then something changes, and we get all out of whack, but i think this is the worst it's ever been.

even after milo was first born, and i was having difficulty nursing, and he was waking up every few hours and i was trying to do too much then, too, at least i was so exhausted that i couldn't even think, and i was able to sleep and basically function.

my parents are coming in tomorrow to help out for a few days. that should help... but this morning i decided i was going to try and sleep train milo to sleep until 6 am, since he keeps waking up over-tired, and clearly isn't getting enough sleep, and then is ready for sleep when i give him a bottle barely half an hour after he's gotten up, probably because of sunday's decision to use a bottle to help him sleep...

all these negative sleep associations that "the sleep lady" talks about, and i want to break them all at once so the whole process is quicker. i want to be consistent, but it's so hard to do when i'm going on nothing.

milo is playing contentedly in his pack n play, and that's the problem, too.... he's also learned how to push through it.... and him being over tired, it's difficult to get him to eat a full meal, it's tempting to just keep pushing formula so that i know he's eating enough, but that just leads to grazing. and again, all these "negative sleep associations" that are described in the book....

how i wish i'd had this book and read it before milo was born - but as the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20. i read very few of the books i had before milo was born, except for happiest baby on the block, which was very helpful for when milo was a newborn, but does little to help me now...

okay, i'm done, he's getting antsy and i need to sleep.

i know it will get better, i just wish i knew how to get there, and had the energy to do it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


i've finally decided to start doing "signs" (my own basic, made-up sign language) with milo, as i know both ben's mom and a friend of my parents' use sign-language with their babies/toddlers.

i just started it, so i doubt he'll pick it up any time soon, but from what i've read and just watching him, he does seem to know what's going on and understand what i'm trying to ask of him or tell him.

and then after church today, i was letting him crawl around on the floor with a little girl who's just over 1, and they totally love each other. they both squeal and try to poke at each others' eyes and it's fun to watch. but when she lost interest, and he was getting bored of the floor, he crawled over to me, pulled himself up to standing by holding onto my pant-leg, and then reached his other hand up towards me. this is one of the earliest "signs" that i'd been doing with him, reaching my arms down towards him before picking him up and asking, "do you want to get up?" that and "come here" by holding my hand out and waving towards myself, and - until he gets distracted by the cat or some other shiny-pokey-non-baby-proofed item - he'll start to come towards me and i'll cheer and clap and keep repeating the motion and the command.

this is most exciting to me, as his pterodactyl squeals only tell me that he's excited about something, but for all i know, it could be that either he finally pooped his pants or that the cat is making faces at him again. i'm looking forward to the life-time of communication that's only just beginning with the little man... and to have him be able to simply tell me he has a poopy diaper as opposed to having to check up-close and personal, was that nostril-full of wonderful aroma just a toot or the real deal. the "sign" for that is icky face. ;P

a-ha moments

i haven't been sleeping well, and neither has milo. i've been convinced for awhile now that he hasn't been getting enough sleep, and even though the idea was out there that maybe he just doesn't need as much sleep, i think last night went to show that he does need more sleep:

last night, at around midnight, a huge thunderstorm started rolling in, i mean HUGE. i kid you not, the house was shaking and the windows were rattling; i was convinced that the angels had decided to place all their bowling pins on the lane above our house, and were just chucking their bowling balls all down that same lane, all at the same time. (it is angels bowling, right?)

milo slept through the whole thing.

i've been trying something new, though, the past couple of days. frustrated and tired at both our inability to sleep (his during the day, mine at night), out of desperation, i decided to bring back the bottle right before nap-time. i decided i was going to help him wind down. i decided i wasn't going to let him cry it out, because that just wasn't working anymore. he would only get more frustrated and more upset and that wasn't helping him calm down to take a nap.

ben also helped me realize the importance of as quickly as possible, darting out of the room as soon as we lay milo down and he's out of our hands. like super sneaky black belt ninja - HI-YAH! (but quietly.... hi-yah).

lastly, i decided i was going to let him be over-tired, but not let him get cranky by playing with him and distracting him when he's getting into stuff he shouldn't and letting him chase the cat around the house because he finds it hilarious (even though she's now terrified of him - you can see it in her eyes, poor cat), and i'm learning to control my own emotions so that even if he's cranky, and even if i've gotten no sleep, i decided i wouldn't get frustrated with him, because that was only adding to the crank-o-meter of the household, and that wasn't doing any of us any good.

in all of this, i feel like i have finally found the schedule/routine i was in need of, with the flexibility that everyone has been telling me was necessary:

he wakes up, i give him a little bit of bottle for a snack, i let him play. i try to get him to eat some solids, i play with him some more. then, usually at about two to two and a half hours after he woke up, he starts getting the droopy eye, so i go into his bedroom and put up the airline blankets that we're using to help block out more of the light. then i make him a bottle, and we sit on the couch, and as mister rogers - cool, calm and collectedly - as i can, i explain to him while he's eating that we're going to wind down and it's time for a nap. then we go into his bedroom, i read him a book, i sing the twinkle song, he starts rubbing his eyes, and i know i'm winning. i put him down, i ninja out of there, and he hums a little bit and goes to sleep. then we repeat the process. twice more, once for the second nap of the day, about 4 hours later, and lastly for bedtime, shooting for 7:30 tonight, since he couldn't even make it to 8 pm last night.

he still wakes up earlier than i would like, although today he managed to make it till 6, but he sleeps through the night, and he's generally happy, even if his eyelids are drooping down to his knees, so i can't complain.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

things i have strongly considered since becoming a mother:

  • chopping all my hair off.
  • baby straight jacket?
  • covering everything in plastic.
  • getting rid of any potential baby hazard. including the tv? yes everything. we could totally be those crazy people on the block who pretend they're from 10,000 years ago, but really they have no possessions other than food and loin cloths and maybe a bowl or two. milo can't choke/scratch himself/etc. with a bowl.
  • finding the cat a home where she's loved and appreciated instead of chased around in terror by the squawking, scratching, pinching, tail-pulling baby-monster of the house.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

so sweet, it'll give you a toothache.

this morning i sat in milo's room on the floor with him while he played by his bookshelf and i ate my bowl of cereal.

he had already pulled a few books from the middle shelf, and stuffed animal or two off the top shelf (that 30 inches of height has really come in handy for him).

on the floor was one of his favorite books, sandra boynton's Moo Baa La La La (his other favorite is donald crews' Freight Train... both of which are also my favorite to read to him, so i've read them to him a lot, which is probably why he likes them so much? but that's neither here nor there.)

anyhow, so he see's the moo, baa, la la la book, picks it up and then scoots back to sitting in front of me. it almost felt like a very deliberate interaction. "oh hey! it's that book i love! i'll pick it up! okay mom, i'm sitting in front of you, with my book, can you figure out what i want?"

and of course, i'll take any opportunity i can to have milo sitting peacefully in my lap. so i pulled him over and started reading, and he of course burst into a huge grin - although he usually does when we read the moo book and the freight train book, which is how i know they're his favorite.

Monday, July 18, 2011

time heals all wounds.

over 9 months since "the great PUSH" and i think i'm finally at the point where the thought of birthing another child doesn't totally petrify me.

stretch marks, swollen ankles, itty-bitty bladder, gargantuan belly, stretchy pants, preggo brain, nausea, food aversions, not to mention hot flashes, body parts expanding well beyond anything reasonable, the list goes on, but i think i could do it.

NOT that we are currently pursuing the option of getting me fertilized. figured i should probably clarify that one.

granted, it would be nice if i could fit into my summer shorts again before i'm reassigned to the land of stretch-panel waistbands and extra-long maternity shirts that still aren't long enough.

i'm currently still exiled on the island of skirts, and it's summer, so it works, but i miss wearing shorts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

40 weeks...

milo has been out of the womb a full week (minus 9 hours, 2 minutes) longer than he was in the womb.

today we tried using some of my hair mousse styling product and gave him a faux-hawk. it was pretty cute, but he was also in desperate need of a bath, so it didn't last long. (he still doesn't like the chicken noodle dinner mush... about 90% of it was on his face, belly, high chair tray, etc. he did however, absolutely love the mixed veggie and roast beef combo. ate that junk right up.)

after the successful trip to the lake, we've also graduated milo to the full size tub. of course we only fill it so it comes to about his bellybutton when he's sitting, but he loves to chase his toys around and splash about and have the extra room to move and play.

next thing you know, he'll be giving swim lessons to michael phelps.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


so for two days, milo slept from 8 pm - 7 am... that was an amazing treat! (especially since one of the days was ben's day off, so we both got to really sleep in.)

now he's back to 6 am, but we haven't had any more middle-of-the-night freak outs like the last post, and i can definitely sing praise for that.

i think we've finally got a pretty decent schedule going - three meals a day, two naps (a one hour little ditty in the morning, roughly 2 hours after he gets up, and usually a two hour stretch in the afternoon after he's had his lunch.) it seems to work, and yet there is still a little bit of flexibility with it, so i think we'll try and hold onto this one for awhile until he finally drops that morning nap.

today, milo has been on a standing streak. i've counted at least four times where he pulled himself up on something (the laundry basket, the rocking chair, the side of his crib), completely let go of that something, and stayed standing. i think 5 seconds was the max, but this boy is on a roll.

monday was also milo's 9 month check up.

he currently weighs 20 lbs 7 oz (48.75 percentile), and is 30.5 inches long, which puts him in the 97.04 percentile for height. meaning he's taller than 97% of the caucasian, male, 9 month olds measured in the 70's. yowza! NBA and ceiling painters, eat your heart out!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

between a rock and a hard place... kinda.

last night milo woke up at 1 AM. for months now, if he even wakes up in the middle of the night at all, he'll let out a cry, and within minutes go right back to sleep. last night he was up for two and a half tortuous hours.

worried that maybe he was teething or sick or something was terribly wrong, since this is unusual for him, i rocked him and sang to him and cuddled him to calm him down. that took awhile to even work, and once he seemed calm enough, i would lay him back down in his crib, and he would just start wailing again.

finally, after we'd been at this for over an hour, ben came in to give it a try. when nothing was working for him either, i told him to go ahead and give him what was left of the bottle in the fridge. milo ate it, but he still wasn't happy.

at two hours, even though he didn't feel overly warm, i tried to check his temperature telling him, "sorry milo, but when you keep us up for two hours in the middle of the night, we're gonna stick you in the butt to make sure you don't have a sneaky fever." only to discover that the battery in our vick's baby anal thermometer is dead. so i used the forehead scanner one, which supposedly isn't as accurate, but several readings confirmed that he was in perfectly normal temperature range.

at two and a half hours, after one and a half bottles, we were done and frustrated and had no clue what the little man wanted, except maybe to play or be held and rocked all night - which, while i love him dearly, i'm not going to get him into that habit, and even last night i worried that all we were doing was reinforcing more bad habits.

we let him cry (on and off, he would stop for a moment, and then start back up again) for twenty minutes, i went in to check on him, laid him back down, as he was standing at the foot of his bed, and that made him even madder. i left the room, closed the door and told ben that this just confirms it for me, he needs to be on a more regular schedule/routine. (yesterday was completely out of loop for him, as we went to a friend's first birthday party. milo was over-tired and wired at best, excited with all the new people, but sorely in need of a nap, as he hadn't slept well that morning.) ben and others have reassured me that it's okay to not have a routine or schedule because that's not how life works. which is true...

after i had left the room, with milo still upset, he cried for maybe two more minutes, and then finally just stopped, and it was pure silence, except for the sleep-lamb sound-thingy. he slept until 7:30, and when he woke up, he just played in his crib and talked to himself. when i went in to get him, he was sitting at the other end of his crib, facing away from the door, but as soon as he heard my "goodmorning!" entrance, he let out a squeal and raced to the foot of the crib to meet me. it was encouraging to see that letting him cry last night didn't seem to have any ill effect on him.

but as i sit here typing this now, milo is still awake in his crib, mumbling to himself. he hasn't gotten a nap yet today either, and i'm debating whether or not to get him up in ten minutes to drive the half hour to church, for him to play in the nursery for an hour and fifteen minutes, to socialize for maybe fifteen more minutes, and then drive the half hour back home... which would mean he'd be up the whole morning without a nap...

if i don't go, he'll have a better chance of falling asleep and getting a nap in... maybe?

if i do go, it's a guaranteed no-nap (unless he falls asleep in the car, which i was hoping for with the 45 minute drive to the party yesterday... overtired, he screamed and cried for almost the entire ride there, and only slept for maybe twenty minutes on the way back... so suffice it to say, i no longer have any hope that he'll sleep in the car.)

he's been up for almost 3 hours now, and is fussing in his bed.

i hate missing church, but the lack of sleep from last night is starting to hit, and i'm hitting a wall.

this is my rock and a hard place...

do we live our lives and try to get milo to be flexible enough to sleep and eat around our schedules, or do i put my life on hold while i get him into a more predictable and set schedule.

or maybe there's some middle ground, but until we figure out what that is or how that works (or if it'll even work for the little guy), i'm ready to embark on the life of a hermit while we get the schedule thing ingrained in him.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

aint no mountain high enough.

over the holiday weekend, we visited some of ben's family in red wing. they have stairs in their home, and while we do, too, ours are creepy gross icky-pooh basement stairs. i will not subject milo to our dungeon basement with creepy gross icky-pooh basement stairs.

but uncle john and aunt jodie's house is a split level, with beautifully finished basement. the stairs are this lovely wood, of even height, and not surrounded by spiders and other dungeon-esque qualities.

so ben sat at the top of the steps, while i brought milo to the bottom of the stairs, and in mere minutes, he had reached ben. seriously, it took him maybe a minute to figure out the first step, and once he had it figured out, he had the polished off those steps like he'd been doing it all day long.

he's also getting better at figuring out how to use his teeth for chewing things like the baby rice puffs so that they don't make him gag, which makes for happy entertainment for both of us. i put him in his high chair with a handful of rice puffs. he likes to double fist it, having a rice puff in each hand, and he eats them one by one. sometimes his finger gets in the way and he bites down a little too hard maybe? but for the most part, i can let him feed himself those puffs while i get other stuff done, like food in his bowl, or dishes put away, or going out for a movie. (ha! not quite...)

lastly, it has become a prerequisite for the changing table that we have an exciting toy to entertain him. otherwise (and even still) he flips over, and gets frustrated when i try to hold him down to finish attaching his diaper, this boy just wants to move, and he is ever so determined to do so.

with that, i'm learning to rotate his toys so he gets excited when he hasn't seen one in awhile and we bring it out again. speaking of which, i think it's time for another rotate.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a standing ovation

my parents just came for a visit, and on the day they were to leave, my mom and i were sitting at the dining room table drinking tea and eating breakfast while milo played in his pack n' play right next to us.

simultaneously, my mom let out a squeal as i heard a thump. worried that he had fallen onto one of the not-so-soft-and-squishy toys, i looked up from my cereal as my mom exclaimed with great delight - "he was standing!"

now, i should clarify, milo the mountaineer-wannabe has been trying to scale anything and everything. granted, all he does is pull himself up to a standing position, but it means i have to keep even closer vigilance on the little fella. he has yet to figure out "cruising" - whereby he starts walking along anything he can hold onto. so when she said he was standing, i didn't think it was anything new. he stands all the time at his pack in play, his crib, chewing, babbling, trying to figure out how he can get higher, how he can escape.

then she added the exciting part, that he was standing on his own, with a bewildered look of "hey..... i'm up in the air and nothing's holding me. wow!" albeit, he was only up for maybe 5-10 seconds, tops, and soon fell back into sitting position, but this boy is determined.

at the rate he's going, i'm pretty convinced he'll be walking by 10 months.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


so far the baby foods have been surprisingly appetizing. although up until most recently, they've consisted of only fruits and vegetables (granted, very watered down fruits and vegetables, but fruits and veggies none the less). if a drop of it spilled onto the tray of his high chair, i would take the opportunity to wipe it up with my finger and see how it compares to whatever it is that it claimed to be. for the most part, they've all tasted like they should, without all the added chemicals, fats and sugars; fresh, healthy, like nature intended.

and then we added meats. milo managed to finish off the chicken and apples with some reservation, but he still finished it. however, when the contents of the jar started to smell more like canned dog food than jarred baby-food (i'm looking at you, beef with beef gravy), milo's interest in solids decreased rapidly, while his stubborn refusal of the pink puréed pulp only increased.

he's also not a huge fan of peaches, which is very surprising, but ben thinks it's because of the citric acid used as a preservative which gives it a bit of a sour tang.

he has, however, gotten better at picking up the peach flavored baby puffs and putting them in his mouth. he pushes them back out of his mouth almost immediately after getting them in, but it's still progress in the right direction. (after he uses his tongue to push the puff past his lips, i put it back in his mouth instructing him that "no, we keep it.")

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what happens when you fall behind...

ben finally got the crib mattress lowered yesterday (i tried to figure it out myself, but i didn't know where ben had squirreled away all his tools, specifically, the allen wrench).

and yet we were still a little late on the matter.

milo and his piranha teeth had a wild time chewing up the crib-rail at the foot of his bed. yesterday morning. of the day ben finally got the mattress lowered.

woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


milo's been waking up a little too early lately.

yesterday it was 5:15; today was at 5:30. i hear him on the monitor, and as long as he's just babbling to himself, i stay in bed. i wait until he starts to sound upset and the squawking turns into sobbing. (okay, it doesn't get that bad before i go in to get him, but i figure there's no need for me to be up and moving that early, as long as he's content.)

sometimes this contented talk-and-play-solo time lasts only a few minutes, but today he almost made it to 6 (which is my goal for when he should wake up every morning, but obviously i haven't fully figured out how to get there just yet).

even at 6 am, he was just barely on the verge of getting upset, but i was awake and ready to get up, so i went into his room to get him, and lo and behold, he was standing at the foot of his crib, holding onto the rail and waiting for me. i've been telling ben for days now that we should lower his crib mattress. i think that "should" just turned into a "must".

Friday, June 10, 2011

can you tell me how to get, how to get to.... ?

i've started letting milo watch sesame street. (it's one of the many tv shows streaming on netflix, although they start with season #35, which is from 2004. hard to believe it's been on that long... i would have loved to start from the beginning with him, but as we don't even get regularly broadcast television, we'll take what we can get.)

he can't even make it through half an episode most days, but of the few minutes here and there that he is paying attention, he seems pretty enthralled.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

quick updates:

milo's front two bottom and front two top teeth have all cut through, and now his left eye tooth has started to show. he's definitely been a little more irritable than lately, but he's still a very happy baby, and i'm still counting my blessings, even when he's fussy.

crawling forward is in full swing. watching him move, i'm often reminded of the sea-witch ursula from the little mermaid, right after she turns back into an octopus-monster-villain-lady and starts propelling herself across the deck of the ship to grab ariel. except that milo is cute and sweet, not hideous and evil. but the way he uses those strong little arms and legs of his to get from one edge of the room to the other.... it's surprisingly quick and agile for only just getting the hang of it last week.

he especially loves to go for our flip-flops and chase the cat.

we also had to change out his carseat for the bigger one that can also face forward and eventually serve as a booster seat as well. ben refers to it as the baby lazy-boy, as it has a cup holder and moveable armrests. we also had to move our seats forward, as it's so big, it wouldn't fit properly with our seats pushed back.... we're thinking it's time to invest in a minivan.

and with milo now mobile, the pack and play has newfound purpose. milo's usually not content to be so confined for long, but i can get maybe fifteen or even twenty minutes of only kind of paying attention to milo while i get stuff done around the house. when he's out on the floor, movin' and a groovin', i'm right there with him, because even when i'm with him, this boy gets into way too much... i suppose it's time to "babyproof" after all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

taking a break

my parents have had milo for almost a full week now. i got to see him and take care of him for a short while on monday after the girls left and ben was still driving out, and we ran into them again as ben and i were walking down a main road, and they pulled up - milo smiled so wide and big. his bottom teeth seem to be completely out - i can't imagine them getting any bigger (although i'm sure they will, they're still so tiny.) his top center tooth started cutting through that sunday night into monday, and my mom tells me that the top tooth just to the right of the one that's already out is starting to break free as well.

i have moments of wondering what milo is doing, wanting to hold him and cuddle him, even moments of wanting to be silly, and realizing that the majority of the time i'm with milo - especially if he is playing and i'm getting stuff done - is being silly and doing things in an exaggerated, playful, goofy character, so that milo stays entertained, but i can finish putting away the dishes or sweeping the floor.

and there's definitely been times where i start to feel guilty that we don't have milo with us - we're parents, we chose this responsibility; it feels a little lazy and free-loader-ish to simply say "here mom, have fun!" .... and i know that's not it, though - she offered to take him, and i know she's loving every minute of it.

anyhow, all this to say, i have been so very grateful for this time to catch up on sleep, to think through an entire thought without getting interrupted by a sweet little boy who just needs me to take care of him, to discuss in depth with ben our plans and desires for life, to read a book!

i look forward to going back to the every day, with renewed energy and enthusiasm, i'm actually excited to keep working through cleaning out the garage, organizing, simplifying, and getting ready for a garage sale, for continuing to work with milo to eat more solids throughout the day and establishing a better nap schedule for every day.

it was a hard point to get to, but forcing myself to rest, to not worry, to let go..... what a difference it makes. i think this has been our best vacation yet. maybe next year i can tackle truly resting AND having milo with us all the while. ;P

Saturday, May 28, 2011

milo the monkey, dolphin, etc.

milo has become more and more aware of his own body and what it can do. lately he's been using his feet as a second set of hands to help hold onto the larger toys.  he's also been repeatedly opening and closing his little hands, almost as if he's practicing a new kind of wave, which would be especially interesting as we have not been emphasizing waving or trying to teach him this basic way of greeting and farewell.

he has also started to explore the higher ranges of his vocal abilities... i believe it was either auntie katrina or uncle jonathan who compared him to a baby dolphin. within these high pitched babblings, he sometimes gets multiple tones in one breath; just the other day he gave ben an "i told you so!" melody. other vocal triumphs include repeatedly chanting "mum mum mum mum" which my mom believes he's intentionally calling out my name over and over.  he's also got Bob Loblaw's name down pat.  despite my mom's enthusiasm over milo "knowing" my name, he has yet to convince me that he understands how to use it, or what a name even is.

and for milo's last set of amazing new discoveries, he has begun the army crawl forward. backwards was getting to be no problem for him, pivots and turns he had figured out as well, but the forward function still wasn't fully operational. well he must have been practicing in his crib, because this morning milo surprised us with a very assertive forward scooch.

this next week my parents will be taking care of milo while i spend a girls' weekend with some of my dearest friends from college, and then ben comes out on monday just when they'll be leaving, so that he and i can get some vacation time together... i'm sure we'll see milo on monday, which will break up the 5 days and 4 nights that he'll be with my parents instead of me, but as his mother, that little worry bug starts to creep back in... what if he misses me? what if he's miserable? what if he won't sleep at night?

i know they'll take great care of him, and ben assured me that i'll probably have a harder time of it than milo will. this will be mine and milo's first night - let alone set of nights - apart from each other since he was born... 

but while i worry i should have started out smaller (maybe do one night apart and see how it goes and move forward from there), i know i won't mind when 5:30 rolls around and i'm still sleeping because i'm not the one with the monitor listening to him play in his crib and wondering if he'll go back to sleep for must 5 more minutes. (thanks mom.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

one, two, buckle my shoe...

well, the very next day after milo's first tooth sprouted, a second tooth began to emerge right next to it, and at this point has already started to cut through as well. on top of this, he's become quite the hungry, hungry hippo when it comes to those mushy solids - even green beans! carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash, he opens wide for all of it, sometimes chomping down repeatedly, like a mini-golf obstacle, and i have to practice my timing to make sure i get that spoon all the way in his mouth while it's wide open.

he's also trying to blow raspberries. so far this has consisted of accumulated drool gathering between his lips, and a little humming noise. sometimes his tongue tries to sneak through, but all it does is bring more drool with it.

and the pièce de résistence? today milo successfully scooched himself forward instead of backward! it was only a few knee shuffles, but it was in the right direction - our boy is officially figuring out how to crawl. we even got a repeat performance after ben got home so he could see it too.

pretty exciting stuff in the land of baby. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

just another one for the books

awhile ago i bought a baby book so i could physically record all of milo's milestones, put in pictures, etc.... i've also thought of simply someday printing this blog out for him and binding it (or getting it bound at kinko's, or something like that...)

i still have the receipt in the book, though, just in case i change my mind and decide to return it. (at least i hope i've kept the receipt...)

the thing is, i think about it, and in the end, it's just a book, with pictures. i look at all our stuff, and i think, why do we hold on to this stuff? memories, i suppose. no one wants to be forgotten. but it seems very few people are remembered forever, and even within families, you could find an old photograph of someone (old as in, before digital cameras.... will milo even have a concept of film strips when he's older?), and it will probably be fun to look at for a minute or two, to feel the stiff paper, remember the warm sepia tones of pre-color photography, study the details contained within that tiny piece of paper: the expressions on their faces, the dated clothing and hair styles, the objects they chose to be photographed with...

now we live in the digital age, and everyone's a photographer, and we can all have our pictures taken, and no one will ever be forgotten, right? except that even when we find that photograph from way back when, and even if we could identify that in said photo is great aunt sally on my mother's father's cousin's wife's nephew's side (you get the idea...), i still didn't know her, nor do i know anything about her, and while i could probably find her birth and death records, whom she married (if she married), how many children she had, etc. etc., i still have no idea what kind of person she was. if she was kind, or impatient. if she sought out the best in other people or was cynical of everyone. if she wore her hair that way because her husband liked it, or because she liked it.

all this to say, milo is 7 months to the day, and he's cutting his first tooth. i can feel it. and see it. it's the bottom front tooth, i think a little to his right, but it's hard to tell. it feels sharp, and i can't imagine how it hurts, but i'm sure it does. overall, he's still a really happy baby, and while in the grand scheme of things, 10 generations from now, no one will really care that on may 9, 2011 my son milo was 7 months old and was cutting his first tooth, i figured i should still make note of it, just in case i decide to keep that baby book after all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

what's new, pusscat? whoa-whoa-whooooaaa!

milo has discovered the cat, and the cat doesn't seem too happy about it.

it probably doesn't help that the other night, ben was holding milo in a super-man pose as they chased the cat around the house, ben chuckling maniacally as milo laughed in pure delight at every lunge towards the furry feline. it was hard to tell what ben was enjoying more: getting milo to laugh or tormenting the poor cat (and i'm still not really sure, to be completely honest).

meanwhile, he'll probably grow up to believe that the cat's name is "be-gentle" as whenever the cat is nearby and milo is grabbing at her face, her tail, her ears, her fur, her many extra folds of skin, we help guide his fingers to avoid her eyes, her mouth, her butt, and we repeat the phrase over and over while helping him learn what it means to "be gentle" and giving the cat some much needed love and attention. the cat does seem to enjoy those moments with milo when we have him harnessed in our arms and under our control.

then there's the food. today he tried squash! he wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the orange-goop as he was about the pea-green-mush, but he also didn't refuse it as stubbornly as the rice-cereal-slop and the green-bean-gunk.

yesterday i didn't get around to feeding him any solids, and he woke up at 1 am angrier than a freshly-woken-previously-hibernating bear with its head stuck in a newly-established-void-of-any-honey, hornets' nest. probably hungrier too. despite my worries about introducing a middle-of-the-night-bottle after having weaned him from the habit so successfully, nothing was working to calm the little guy down, and i gave in. he guzzled down a whopping six and a half ounces.

lesson learned: make sure to feed milo at least one serving of solids, every. single. day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

he likes them! he *really* likes them!!!

today he finished off the peas - which means he had half a container yesterday, and half a container today. not only does he open his mouth wide for every bite, looking at me with pure contentment, but he even leans towards the spoon. it's so fantastic.

we also got him up on all fours today. i held his knees in place, and he propped himself up on his hands. we did this several times today, but even better was when i was showing ben by helping milo into this same hands and knees maneuver on the kitchen counter: he held himself up all on his own! usually his knees will slide out from under him, and he'll still be holding his top end up, but from the waist down he's practically connected to the floor.

ben told milo that he expects to see him crawling in a month or two... i'm not so sure on that one, as he's only just finally figured out how to keep his butt up and his knees under him, but milo has listened and adhered to ben's wishes so far... (from the very start, milo arrived the weekend ben told him to, so i guess ben has some pretty good pull with the kid.) so perhaps we'll see him crawling in a month or two after all?

AND - the case of the missing clippers has been resolved!

turns out they were in milo's duffel bag all along, at the very bottom of the side pocket, kind of hiding in the corner. i found them yesterday when i was tidying up his room, putting away all of his clean clothes and emptying the contents of the bag. we trimmed his little talons immediately, and it was a huge sigh of relief. with how long those little nails of his were getting, i was worried he was gonna freddy krueger my face.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

just two peas in a pod...

and then a whole bunch more that milo gulped down his gullet this morning. it's a little bit funny (and perhaps a little bit sad) the things i get really excited about since becoming a mom. i just about cried tears of pure joy as i fed him, spoonful after spoonful of green pea mush that he readily ate.

so far rice cereal and green beans have been depressingly difficult. getting milo to eat them involved trickery of the most treacherous kind: silly songs and an unsuspecting open mouth. i would sing "old man by the window stood" (old man by the window stood, looking out into the wood, saw a bunny hopping by, knocking on his door. "help me! help me! help!" he said, "before the hunter shoots me dead!" "come inside and stay with me; oh how happy we will be!") including the most obnoxiously silly singing voice i could muster and accompanying hand motions.

he would look at me bewildered, but his mouth was open, and that's all i needed. in went the spoon, and then came the furrowed brow and a look of total disgust and betrayal, as if he were saying, "how could you. here i thought you were entertaining me, but no. just putting more of that nasty gunk you call 'food' into my mouth."

it worked most of the time, but we also often had to resort to prying the spoon into his mouth. he would turn away, or try and grab the spoon, or put his hand up in front of his face trying to stop us...

all this to say, green beans and rice cereal have been a struggle, and so far, milo has wanted nothing to do with them.

but peas? oh peas! glorious peas!

normally feeding milo in his highchair takes a minimum of half an hour. and for only maybe a tablespoon of food? (and that's before it gets derailed to his cheek, hand, bib, the floor.)

i gave him one spoonful of peas. he seemed a little unsure, but when i presented the second spoonful, he opened his mouth wide and readily accepted it. no singing or silly songs required. it took him maybe five minutes to eat what i had portioned out, so i decided to try for a second helping, and milo took in every bite.

like i said, it might be a little bit sad that i'd be so excited over peas, but these are the things my days consist of, and anything that'll make my job of feeding milo - helping him to learn and grow - easier is totally something worth getting excited over.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the case of the missing clippers

we used to have two sets of nail clippers for milo - one that i kept in the drawer of his changing table, and another that we kept in his diaper bag.

recently, those have not been getting put back after every use - perhaps because i could only get partway through and needed to finish the other hand when i had ben around to help me, or maybe because milo and i were playing, and it just didn't seem necessary to put them away when i knew where they were...

then we cleaned house. and then we went down to chicago to spend easter with my parents.

and now i can find neither the changing table nor the diaper bag set of nail clippers.

and the poor little guy's nails are getting so long. they definitely need to be trimmed.

it's very possible that i left one of the sets at my parents' house, but how is it that when i clean house is when i'm most likely to forget where things are?

i remember seeing them while i was cleaning, holding them, putting them down... somewhere - thinking "i should put these in his diaper bag/the changing table drawer" but not doing so. and trying to remember where i set them down last - on the table? the tray with all the miscellaneous papers and objects that seemed too important to stuff away in a cupboard? the playmat? my desk? a drawer?

i'm sure they'll turn up, i just hope i don't have to tear this beautifully organized home apart in order to find them.

(i can see it now, poor ben gets home after a long day of work to a house that was clean when he left only to find the zoe-tornado-monster went through and disheveled everything from every single nook and cranny imaginable. the floor is missing, doors ajar, clutter on every flat surface available for spreading out our accumulation of things - "zoe, what happened?" "oh nothing. i was just trying to find milo's nail clippers...")

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

so much for "lessons learned"

i ended milo's 6 month-post with a sweet sentiment on how i know i needed to give myself more grace, and what i thought that looked like. this mothering business makes me feel so foolish. i have no clue what i'm doing. every once in awhile i think i have a little bit more figured out, only to trip over my own feet and fall flat on my face.

ben said it again to me this morning, "zoe, you need to give yourself more grace."

and maybe that's true. but in reading the "the sleep lady's" chapter on 6-8 month olds, i'm learning of all the things that i'm doing wrong - or at least all these different things that, according to this one person's opinion on the matter, are hindering my child in his ability to "learn" proper sleeping patterns.

including but not limited to:
  • we have no set schedule. we eat and sleep in compliance to milo's fussiness and what i've been able to tell are his "i'm tired" signals. but sometimes we go out and do things, and he's too busy taking in the world, being entertained and interacting with others to really complain about being hungry or tired, so his feeding or naptime gets pushed around accordingly.
  • i still use feedings as part of my "put you down for a nap" routine.
  • we do not have set meal times.
  • we do not have two weeks (or more) of uninterrupted schedule to focus on nothing but adhering to a napping and eating schedule for milo. the biggest interference is church on sundays... everything else i'd be willing to skip for a few weeks, but then we have our easter road trip coming up not this weekend but next... and would that even be enough time to start "nap-training," or would the trip just set us back to square one?

so sure, maybe i still need to not be so hard on myself, but at the same time, if i'm continuing patterns that i've been told are going to inhibit his ability to nap and grow and develop and learn, wouldn't it be wrong to simply give myself grace? say "oh well, better luck tomorrow."

i dunno, maybe my definition of "giving myself grace" is off.

i feel like this hits at a core weakness for me - self-discipline. sure, i can get things done, complete tasks, etc, etc, but it's been a long hard process of learning how to get things done when they're due, or when i'd said i'd have them done by. i very well could have been a straight-A student if i had devoted my afternoons to focusing on homework and getting things done in a timely manner. but i knew i wasn't going to be a doctor or astronaut; i had no driving motivation to get straight A's.

when working at my various jobs, my ability to self-discipline depended on the task and nature of the job. youth ministry was difficult for me. how to gauge what task was most important and needing immediate attention; how to not avoid and procrastinate over the more vital tasks because i feared failure. being a barista was easy. it was all technical mastery of frothing milk and timing espresso shots. a customer puts in their order, you make it, you give it to them. when no customers are waiting to be served, you clean up, restock, put everything back in order. a customer comes in, repeat the process. i loved it, because it was so easy to succeed with flying colors.

with housework, it was more difficult than being a barista, but not as crucial as work or school related tasks. yes, keeping a clean and orderly house would keep ben happy and help him to feel more sane, but at the end of the day, a paycheck or a grade to complete a class was not depending on it. i truly want to make ben happy and have our home be a place of peace and comfort, and i too love having it be clean and orderly, but some days my own selfishness got in the way - i was too tired or worn out from a hard day at work, i wanted to paint instead, or write an uber long blog post. (ahem... clearly i still get in my own way...)

and now i have something that feels crucially important before me. something worth caring about, but something that is far from easy: raising a child.

i know i'm not perfect, that i'll make mistakes, but i still want to do the best that i possibly can, and when i know of something i should be doing better, i have a hard time giving myself grace, and yet, because i have no clue as to what i'm doing or how to go about it, as i haven't taken the time to fully study the different opinions/ideas/ways of doing things, i hesitate to change my patterns until i know what i'm doing. i don't want to create an environment that is even more unstable because i keep trying and dropping every new idea that comes my way...

but then comes the problem that i don't know how to focus on only being a mother - and i don't feel like that's the right answer either. i'm also a wife. and sometimes even a contributing member of society. (at least half of every week we don't get out of the house, let alone talk to anybody besides ben, or maybe my parents.)

and while i'd love any and all the advice i can get, i'm also tired of hearing so many conflicting views and opinions.... how am i supposed to know who's right? who's wrong? whose way of doing things is closest to what milo needs and is best for our family?

and i'm not octomom or the eldest in a set of sister-wives, so i think my maternal instinct has yet to develop, as it's been of very little help to me in discerning "what's best" for milo.

oy. that's enough of milo's nap-time spent venting my frustrations, time to focus on something new and not so daunting....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

6 months *to the day*

i feel like such a milestone should be marked with words that are moving and memorable.

(or maybe i'll just use as many "m" words as i can think of to mark milo's 6-months here on earth? movie! mandarin! mazeltov! meh, any "m" words from here on out may not be merely coincidental, but were not chosen solely for their starting letter; i just like alliteration.)

anyhow, i thought about writing on how fast it's gone by, but that's an overstatement, and an obvious one at that.

i thought about highlighting new things he's doing, but today hasn't really brought on any new tricks. (in the past week, he seems to be waking up again more frequently, though i can't figure out why, because he had been sleeping relatively well. i wouldn't consider this something to be excited about.)

i thought about gushing over all the sweet little things i love about him, and there are so many, though probably not so much because they are there, but because i'm his mother, so of course i'm going to find a million little things to love about him.

but really, all i can think of on this day is that i'm tired from not sleeping well - granted, not entirely his fault. though he did wake up three or four times last night, he went back to sleep on his own within a minute or two each time. more-so my lethargy, i think, has to do with stressful dreams and an hour or two where i couldn't fall back to sleep...

plus this gray rainy weather isn't very inspiring.

so i'm tired and feeling unmotivated, and the house needs cleaning. and the clean dishes need to be put away so the dirty dishes can be loaded, and ben's at work, so this saturday doesn't exactly feel like a "day off" to me either; i feel like i should be working just as hard. and there are bills and such that need to be sent out and paid come monday. and errands to run.

and all the while there are still so many thoughts that run around in my head that i wish i had the answers to...

will ben and i ever find a house, which we can afford on his salary alone, in this town, that is in livable condition? or are we not able to find anything because we aren't meant to be in this town for long? and if that's the case, then where are we going next? and when? and will we always be moving? and how long will it be before we decide that we're ready for child number 2? will we still be renting then? could we realistically fit two children in this cozy little home? should we adopt? and what about the house we still own in red wing? (and is mine the only brain that goes on forever like this? because sometimes it sure does feel like it...)

he's 6 months old, and my mind gets caught up in all this petty stuff that in the long run of our lives won't really matter.

i want to remember how milo laughs so hard when ben turns him on his side and playfully growls while munching on his ribs. i want to remember how milo's eyes get wide and almost paranoid looking when he first wakes up from a nap and he's not in his crib (or we've just pulled him out of his crib, and he's not sure of what's going on). i want to remember how chunky - excuse me, "solid" just like his daddy was as a baby ;P - that his little legs are. i want to remember the bird fuzz that is his blond hair. i want to remember how he rubs his eyes the same way i did (and still do) when feeling sleepy. i want to remember how he cuddles into me when he's tired, the variously-pitched mumbles, sighs and babbles he makes through the day, how excited and contented he is to be in his jumper...

perhaps being a mother, these are the things i'll never forget.

and yet i wonder, because i still can't stop my mind from thinking of all the things i should be doing, or doing better - the housework, introducing milo to rice cereal more consistently, catching up on quacksie and hoots pictures... i'm still too caught up with all the other stuff.

and while it's draining, it seems fitting.

this is what it seems motherhood is all about: always going, never gone. (until i'm 6 feet under, that is, which, God willing, is a long way off from now...) but really, from all the mothers i know and watch and talk to, it seems the work is never finished. we're always mothers. and then someday, grandmothers?!?

so 6 months have gone by, and what have i learned?

being a mom is stressful, because all i want to do is keep him safe and raise him right, and i feel like all moms struggle with this mother-cub attitude, and yet no one seems to be able to offer a tangible solution other than having more kids...

also, in principle, i'm realizing more and more that i need to give myself grace. (others - and especially ben - have been telling me this from the get-go - thanks, ben, for being such a supportive, encouraging and understanding husband! - but man is it a hard thing to do - especially when the job is raising a child.)

and i think part of it may be that i need to play more and work less - as in, instead of viewing my time with milo as "educational" or a means to helping him develop properly, i need to meet his needs (has he been fed? yes. does his diaper need changing? ben, your turn!) and then simply enjoy my time with him.

again, this is all in principle. i'm guessing these revelations won't sink in until he's 18. or having children of his own. or maybe never?

well, i guess that's enough rambling for one post. miraculously, milo's still napping. i suppose i should use these quiet moments effectively and get something done before ben gets home.

***happy 6 months my little man! even though it's a lot of work to have a kid, you're totally worth it, and we love you oodles!***

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

hello mouth; meet foot.

milo has begun to discover his feet.

especially on the changing table, while he's bare-butt and fancy-free, he likes to pull his knees up and grab at his feet before i've had a chance to put a new diaper on him.

and today he found that he can get his foot into his mouth.

class size is limited, so sign up now for milo's find-the-flexibility-you-were-born-with yoga class, meeting weekly at 5 a.m. from the comfort of his changing table. prices may vary.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

behind the times...

i've never been good at sticking with a schedule/timeline/etc...

after milo was born, i started taking weekly pictures with a duck and an owl to help chart his growth in a visual way that turned out to be pretty fun.

but i'll let you in on a secret - i often fell behind or forgot to take the picture on saturday (his week-iversary day), and would make up for it by taking the picture on monday or tuesday... sometimes even wednesday or thursday, and then would try to take it on monday of the following week, and then back to saturday so that the "weekly" pictures weren't so close on the calendar.

i'm now 2 weeks behind.

also, in our "sleep training," i've been reading how beneficial it is to have a more consistant schedule or routine.

this makes me cringe, if even just a little bit.

on sunday morning we go to church, every other sunday evening is small group, every other tuesday morning is mops and every wednesday morning is a moms group at church. while the three morning things are relatively close in time proximity, they're still not identical.

i've always been a little too "all or nothing" black-and-white for my own good. i've gotten much better about simply putting forth the effort and not letting my perfectionist tendencies prohibit me from moving forward with tasks - especially when it comes to milo.

but this routine idea is still too black and white for me. i feel like i should be trying to get milo on a schedule: 6:30 am wake up, eat, play, eat, 8:30 am down for a nap, 10:30 am wake up, repeat, etc. etc. (or whatever his natural routine may be...)

but he's a baby, not a teenager at school.

i know we need more structure, but then three days a week interfere with that structure, and i haven't taken the time to figure out how to work around it.

it was also suggested to me by my dear friend that for helping milo get used to eating rice cereal, one good thing to do would be to feed it to him at the same time every day.

maybe it's because nothing feels spontaneous anymore, but i just don't want to do it.

i will, because i want him to get used to eating so we can start introducing more solids (although there's very little that's "solid" about this mush they call baby food) without the whole experience being treated like treason on our part.

and the whole "bedtime routine" - again, i know it's good for him, helpful, and is well worth the effort - however, i haven't really gotten past closing the shades (or turning the bedroom light off), turning on "sleep lamb" to the rain or ocean waves recording, feeding him, and singing "twinkle twinkle little star" (the song is a new thing i thought i'd try).... anything more complicated, and i feel like i'd have to write down instructions for when ben (or anyone else) tries to put him down, and when written instructions are involved, you know it's gotten much too complicated.

and the middle two of those routine are considered "negative associations" according to this sleep book we're reading.


sometimes i wish raising children was more like baking... if babies were recipes i'd totally have milo perfected by now.

but then again, i'm glad he's not a cupcake.
and that no one's going to eat him.