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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

just a classic case of "careful what you wish for"

even with an easy baby, it's not always easy.

i remember not long after milo was born and - having trouble getting him to sleep in his crib, whereas he was content to sleep on our chest or in the swing - thinking "once he starts rolling over, then he'll be able to flip back and forth all the live long day (and night); then i won't have to worry so much about him sleeping at night."

well, now that he's rolling over, and sleeping on his side, sometimes he winds up on his belly. from the monitor, i can't fully tell if his head is turned or if he's smothering himself.

which makes me worry.

do i wake him up to go return him to his back? will he really be able to tell if he's not getting enough air? what if he's creating a carbon monoxide buildup between his mouth/nostrils and the mattress?


i've seen him turn from stomach/side to back when on his playmat, but i can't recall if he's ever successfully done so on his crib mattress...

so last night, when i saw he was on his stomach, i had ben turn him over after we knew he was probably asleep and wouldn't rewake. (it had been a pretty rough night, he woke up lots, was terribly fussy, and didn't want to go back to sleep, but he was fine when i had him on the changing table to change his diaper. i knew he was okay, just crying out of frustration and sleepiness.)

at 4:30 when he woke again, i checked on him, he was able to go back to sleep after some more fussing, he was on his belly again. so i rolled him back over as gently as i could, hoping to copy ben both in technique and success. no such luck - he woke up, fussed some more, but soon enough went to his side and was able to get back to sleep.

i'm okay with side sleeping, or when it's clear that his head is turned. but now i'm looking forward to when he's even more mobile, and when we're past that 6 month risk factor for sids...

i know i need to appreciate each new stage he enters while we're there, because pretty soon he's going to be 10 years old (or however long it takes for a boy to outgrow his mother) and too cool for me. no more cuddles and snuggles, no more being his favorite, no more smothering him with kisses.

and yet even knowing this, i keep looking to the next stage thinking it will be easier. (i'm starting to realize this is probably not true.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

well, it's official...

it's time to get "breathable bumpers" for milo's crib.

i had planned to just skip bumpers altogether, since there's been such a hubbub over anything in the crib and how it could possibly cause SIDS.

tuesday into wednesday, milo had slept on his side all night long. he also didn't wake up much (or to the point that i had to get up and check on sleep training stuff. on wednesday morning, when i went to get milo - as he was fussing and awake - i found that he was actually on his belly (not his side), and his feet were halfway off the mattress, sticking through the slats.

and since he's started his rolling adventures, milo hasn't stayed on his back through the night.

thus - it's time for these breathable bumpers so he doesn't wind up with a limb hanging loose that he can't figure out how to pull back in (since "learning how to crawl" is still on his to-do list).

also, he's newly discovered the "mmmm" sound.

i and even my mom have heard him babble this consonant/vowel combo that sounds like "mum-mum-mum" - which we all know is british for "mom" which means milo has already started making words. (nevermind the fact that he doesn't really know what he's saying, he's just exploring new sounds. i don't care; i say it still counts.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

oh criminy...

i'm posting again because tomorrow we leave for chicago, and i don't want to forget when this first happened for realsies.

milo is now intentionally rolling. and not just rolling one way, but both ways.

before it was more of a "whoops, i leaned too far over while propped up on my arms." but not this. i looked to the monitor after he had stopped making noise, as i'd just put him down for a nap. he had been fussing for awhile, but he was fine, just annoyed that i'm not holding him while he falls asleep. anyhow, i saw that his back was to the camera - this was new. i thought he was possibly on his belly, and worried that he could be face down in the crib and not able to roll back over, i creeped in as quietly as i could, but as soon as i poked my head in, he rolled back over and smiled at me.

he did this to me twice, and then again to ben... what a little stinker!

he was more so on his side than his belly, but he's gotten to his belly as well, and was able to roll back over just fine...

so there's another milestone!


we had HUGE thunderstorms last night. cracks of lightning and rolling thunder and rain that beat down so hard it almost sounded like hail.

when we went to sleep last night after putting milo down, i was mentally preparing myself for the many wakings and tear filled complaints, "but mooommmmmmmm, you used to always give me a bottle to help me fall back asleep, why are we stopping now? waaaaaaahhhhh!"

and while our power went out (albeit briefly), and ben and i both awoke many times to what seemed like lightning right in our backyard, milo slept through the whole thing.


yup. didn't wake up once.

i'd like to think that ben and i are so effective at "sleep training" that it only took us a day and a half (ha!), but somehow i have this sneaking suspicion that maybe all that rain and "white noise" as they call it - even with the bright flashes and loud crashes - helped him sleep better?

anyhow, let's just say, i needed that 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. (well, okay, maybe it wasn't exactly "uninterrupted" as we did wake up a bunch, but the wakings had nothing to do with a distraught little boy, which meant no guilt complex for mommy, and at 5:30 a.m. when he finally did wake up, i was happy and ready to go.)

and while he slept great last night, i'm not about to expect it again tonight, because when i do and then it doesn't happen, i get hulk-like miffed, and cranky-mommy is no fun for anyone.

and now... on with the day! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

i call it "floomphing"

lately milo has been flailing his arms and legs with a lot more oomph than usual.

he's also figuring out how to stick his butt in the air and push his feet on the ground. i think this is an attempt at crawling, but clearly he hasn't really got a handle on how to add all the components together. (and really, he's only up on his forearms/hands, he has yet to discover how to get his knees under his torso.)

and when he gets tired of tummy time, i hold his hands while he stands, a little wobbly on his legs, and tries to take steps. i'm not convinced he realizes that he's walking, or that if he could simply keep himself balanced while standing, he could actually go places.

late last night (or really, early this morning, as it was about 3:30 am?) ben helped me teach milo how to self-soothe. it was both exhausting and comforting - milo just hasn't been sleeping well, but we know he's getting enough to eat. at this point, i know he's just getting up out of habit. ben took over going in and helping him calm down without a bottle, and it was a huge help to finally discuss and decide together how we want to go about this whole business of "sleep training"...

i'm not looking forward to the next few weeks, and perhaps it was foolish to try starting this right before my little jaunt back down to chicago for some pampered chef parties, but i'm tired of being tired and trying to help milo fall back asleep at night when really, he needs to learn how to get himself back to sleep. (he's totally discovered how to suck on his thumb, now if only he'd utilize it in the middle of the night...)

Friday, March 18, 2011

and the follow-through...

ben's off work today, which means he and milo are marathoning "deadliest catch" on netflix, and i'm getting caught up on everything.

soooo.... here's the post i wanted to write two days ago:

fingernails: his nails have been growing way too quickly. i feel like i'm trimming them every couple of days... realistically, it's probably only every 4 days, but that still feels like a lot.

sitting up: milo is so close to being able to sit up on his own for reals. he'll sit solo just fine for maybe a minute, but then he starts to lean, and if i don't hold him or pull him back to center, he'll fall over. however, he's happy to sit (with some assistance) for maybe 10-15 minutes at a time.

reading books: milo finally seems to enjoy story time - at least one or two little (ie - 5 page, few words, etc.) books. before he just wouldn't sit still, the pictures and colors didn't seem to phase him. but now he'll sit and look and listen, which is good, because i've been wanting to get in the habit of reading to him, but it was hard to do so when he just wasn't up for it.

moving in the crib: milo has just barely begun to start movin' and a groovin' in his crib. it only happened a few times last week, but often he would stretch and lift his butt off the mattress and kick his legs, so then he'd wind up laying the width of the crib instead of the length. really this only happened a few times when he was still wide awake and we tried to put him down thinking he was tired. he was not too thrilled about it. when he scooted so much that his head was pressing up against the crib slats, he really wasn't happy about it. it hasn't happened much in the crib since, but when we put him on his back on the playmat, he often scootches around that as well.

hair: it seems to be growing like weeds - or at least it's getting a lot thicker, and a little longer. this silky blond tuft covering his little head, i love it.

monologuing: he babbles and talks so much now, i'm convinced he knows what he's saying and that he thinks he's communicating with us effectively. the fluctuations and variety of jarbles that come out of his mouth are fascinating, but it makes me even more anxious to start hearing real words come out of his little mouth.

tummy time: since dr. bob told us milo wasn't getting enough tummy time, i've been making sure to give him more. he's still not crazy about it, but he's getting more content, and he continues to kick his legs lots and hold himself up.

plus two bonus categories!
bath-time: i think milo is starting to realize that bath-time can be fun. not fully there yet, but there was definitely a look of curious wonderment at his most recent bath on wednesday. i tried to show him the fun of splashing, but i think he'll need a few more baths before he figures it out on his own.

playing footsie: it seems like milo's feet are almost always on the go, with sleeping being his one exception. when he's eating, he presses his feet up against the arm of the rocking chair and almost plays with it with his feet. when we hold him or he's on his back, he plays footsie with himself. when he's in his exersaucer, he kicks and lifts his feet off the floor of it. and of course, when he's in his jumping, his feet are preoccupied with lift-off.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

just a reminder...

i need to write a new post for all that milo's been up to, and good glory, he's been up to a lot, apparently, what with all i've been posting!

however, last night was not very sleep-filled, so i'm just going to do a quick reminder list. maybe/hopefully i'll get to it later today? we'll shall see.

but for now:
  • fingernails
  • sitting up
  • reading books
  • moving in the crib
  • hair
  • monologuing
  • tummy time

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

i knew it was coming...

just the other day i thought to myself, "gee, i have yet to be approached by an overbearing, opinionated, out-spoken mother who wants to give me old-wives-tales advice on some matter concerning my child." immediately following that thought came another: "i'll probably get ten such women in the next two days..."

well, i haven't gotten ten, but today as i was picking up milo from the nursery at mops, they were commenting on how strong milo is, and i jokingly replied that we figure he'll be walking before he crawls at the rate he's going; to which i got: "oh, you don't want to skip that step! crawling is so important; they've linked it to reading, you know. if he doesn't crawl first, he'll have trouble with reading."

i didn't know how to respond. some dear friends have warned me that "wiser" (::ahem:: by which i mean "older") generations had been taught this, but that it's not true. i decided to google it, and couldn't really find any news articles covering the topic, though plenty of blog postings and chat-forums on the subject.

this was the one i liked the most, maybe because so many people "prove" it wrong, who knows. but either way, it's not worth me worrying about. milo isn't even rolling over yet - though he's certainly started trying. (i guess those one or two times it happened a few months ago were flukes, because he certainly hasn't really figured it out again since.) he can get to his side, and he'll lift up his rear and and back off the ground (or his bed, or whatever he's on - luckily, though, he hasn't yet tried it on the changing table, but i won't give him the opportunity to find out on his own), but he hasn't figured out that if he leans to the side while he does this that he'll roll.

so anyhow, if he's not even really rolling yet, and definitely not crawling or walking, well, then what's to worry about? who knows if he'll actually walk before he crawls. and let's say he does, and let's pretend that in milo's case, these studies are correct, and he does have difficulty reading. well then, we'll deal with it. it's not like he'd be the first child to have such a difficulty. it's not like it causes blindness. or something even worse than that. sheesh.

when the lady told me this, (and she was indeed of the "wiser" generation) i simply nodded my head back inquisitively and said, "huh, that's interesting." but while i didn't really find it interesting, i didn't feel the need to correct her or scold her or defend myself. she had just graciously been taking good care of my child; i had no desire to burn that bridge.

now in that matter of childcare, i just need someone so i can go to the zumba class on wednesday mornings at 9:30 am.... maybe they'd let me bring him with, put him in the stroller and just push him around while i do their crazy dance work-out? wouldn't that be a sight! :P

Saturday, March 12, 2011

double bonus post day!


channeling prehistoric

most recently, milo has started to discover a type of squealing...

although he sounds more like a delighted pterodactyl than a delighted baby (but still delighted nonetheless, so we can't complain).

Friday, March 11, 2011


last night milo tried green beans for the first time.

he had slight look of terror on his face. but he ate them again this morning! (granted, he gets maybe a tablespoon of green-bean-mush at time, but both times he finished it.)

the new level of stinky butt we achieved this morning is a whole other matter.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


i had to say something about it. i had to open my big fat mouth.

(last night he woke up at 2 a.m., fussed when i tried to put him back down after a 1 oz. bottle, but then slept again till about 6:30-ish.)

i was really hoping we'd hit four days in a row with this sleeping overnight thing and maybe make a habit out of it.

other things i forgot to mention that he's doing now:

his hand-motor skills are getting more and more impressive - purposefully grabbing the toys on his exersaucer, putting more toys to his mouth (i think for the chew factor), munching on fingers, thumbs and fists, curiously feeling the different textures of toys, grabbing mister hoots during a weekly photo session and flinging him around (i think he's trying to teach mister hoots the art of flight).

the grab-and-drop has become an unconscious regular as well.

he seems to be getting better acquainted with tummy time - i try to help him prop up higher than he does on his own (as in, next movement would be onto his knees for crawling), just so he can get that higher perspective. when he's low on his elbows, he waves and kicks his feet like a merman out of water.

and pretty much any time i look at him sweetly and say "hi milo" he flashes me a huge grin.

(i think he really likes me.)

he also has moments where he can self-entertain and no longer requires my constant, undivided, 100%, take notes 'cause there'll be a final exam on this attention, which is incredibly helpful. i mean, it might only be a minute here or there, but it's a start.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

5 months already?!?!

where did the time go? we're gonna wake up tomorrow, and milo will be 5 years old already. or we'll be 50... one of the two :P

milo really lights up for "how big is milo? .... SOOOOO big!" last night ben even got a laugh out of him with the game.

peekaboo still brings on lots of smiles, "this little piggy..." is starting to gain recognition, and now whenever i hold milo up to the mirror, he's all smiles, he loves looking at himself, and even tries to touch "the baby in the mirror" - won't he be surprised when he gets face to face with a real baby who's 3-dimensional!

sleeping, including naptime, is getting better each day... i don't want to jinx anything, but let's just say we've both been dreaming sweetly for the past three nights, and i'm really hoping to continue this trend. perhaps this time it's gonna stick? we'll see.

i'm getting more and more behind on "milo" things though. the old news is that the owl mobile is still sitting on my desk instead of hanging over his crib. the new news is that i'm three weeks behind in posting his weekly "quacksie and mister hoots" pictures (i've taken them, just haven't posted anything yet).

i'll blame my new part-time gig :P

in an effort to help give our finances a little more wiggle room, i've started doing pampered chef. I have yet to actually do any parties or make any money from it - so far, i've just spent money for it, but i know that'll come back to me once i really get rolling. i do have parties planned out for the next month, though. i'm very excited for this and how i'm able to be a stay-at-home-working-mom in a way that i think will work very well for me and my family.

Friday, March 4, 2011

sleep little lion man...

okay, it's settled: we need to work on milo's sleeping habits.

sometimes he'll sleep from 8 pm - 6 am. this would be fantastic if he slept this well every night, but he doesn't. it's usually random, and happens anywhere from once or twice a week to a couple times in a month? i guess i haven't been tracking it that closely, but regardless, it's not happening every night.

most nights he'll sleep for about 6 hours (usually, for example, from 8 pm - 2 am) and then another 3 hours or so after that.

last night he was up every two hours, and even let out a few complaints between wakings...

lucky me, though, i got together with a friend for coffee yesterday evening at about 5 - i thought, ohhhh, just half a cup with a lot of milk, and i'll be okay, yeah? yeahhhhh....

not so much.

i was in that weird dreamy-half-asleep-half-awake mode pretty much all night, which means every time he started fussing, i was already awake anyhow, so it made no sense to get frustrated about it.

anyhow, i'm ready to be done with this middle-of-the-night nonsense...

my only problem - well, two, really - is:
  1. it'll take more effort to "sleep train" him at night than it would to just get up, sleepily feed him and put him back to bed. (i've stopped changing his diaper at night, because he's also eating less at night, and the diaper can hold it. i've read/heard/been told it's fine to do this, so i'm okay with it, as long as it's only a wet diaper.) getting him to sleep through the night involves waiting 5 minutes to answer him when he cries, but leaving him in his crib when i do go in; helping him to calm down a little; leaving the room. then he'll probably start fussing again, this time i wait ten minutes? (or is it the next week i wait ten minutes? another component of this problem, i'm not exactly sure how to do this so-called "sleep-training," and the library doesn't carry the book by the guy who came up with it.) anyhow, it' just easier to give him what he wants... but clearly this is not the best.
  2. i also really love holding him when he's so peacefully sleeping all curled up in my arms. after he finishes his bottle at those night-time feedings, he turns his head into me, cuddling into my chest; it's unbelievably precious. it's also probably more dangerously addictive than hard drugs and pain killers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

my son the goat (ohhhh, i *kid*)

this morning i was watching milo on the monitor trying to determine if his mumblings and stirrings were because he was really awake, or if maybe he was just getting comfortable to go back to sleep. (fingers crossed...)

i knew it was time to get up and feed him when milo grabbed the front of his sleeper and put it in his mouth.