Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Caleb at 19 Months

Caleb is such a joy to Jon and I. He astounds us with his ability to learn, his love, his humor, and so much more every day. He has grown and changed so much since his first birthday. Though he is still a baby in many ways (as the youngest kid in his Sunday School class this is starkly evident), he has grown into a little boy! And this post is all about the things I love about Caleb at 19 months. If you're a big Caleb fan, well read on. If you just stop by for the general baby-related posts, this may not be for you!

About Caleb
  1. When he pulls up onto something he shouldn't (an unstable stool, for example), he says, "Teefoo..." meaning "careful," which is what I'm always telling him!
  2. He loves to color (and I love to watch him; it's fascinating to see how his mind works) and understands he should only color on paper, and only on his table in his room. So now, he scrounges paper from all over the house and dutifully carries it into his room to color on. Coupons, brochures, maybe important, usually not...but definitely not his pre-approved coloring pages! Stinker.
  3. We have a tickle monster in our house! Caleb will attack anyone and everyone with wiggly fingers and "teetoo! teetoo!" ("tickle, tickle") and lots of giggles. He's even tickled his grandma on webcam!
  4. Caleb has started showing empathy for his stuffed animals, giving hugs and kisses and setting them up in his booster seat for snack time (even buckling them in). Of course, snack time involves one bite for his puppy and one bite for him!
  5. "What is your name?" "....Tabob." "Good job! Can you say 'Norvell'?" "....Niffle." That's my son. Tabob Niffle.
  6. In the last little while, Caleb has discovered his running legs. It's more talk than action, with his legs pumping fast and a declaration of "Run! Run!" as he speeds by.
  7. Caleb loves people. He remembers names (Todder=Tyler, Duck=Bro. Doug, Neen=Miss Eileen, Nitty=Miss Nicki, Aden=Adrienne, Abby, Tammy, Betty, and more, including many pet's names) and is so excited to see all his friends. He greets everyone with a good, long, squeezey hug and many times a kiss. The other day we ran into Miss Eileen (the church secretary) at Wal-Mart, and he insisted on giving her a big hug. When he did, he said, "Pieces, pieces." I told Eileen, "Well I don't know what that means!" She said, "Oh, every time he hugs me in the office I tell him I could hug him to pieces!" I couldn't believe that he remembered that and associated it only with her.
  8. The truth is that Caleb is not really potty-trained. I'm not sure what he is! He will "hold it" for long periods of time (even when he's in a diaper), and will wait until I put him on his potty to go. But only very rarely has he told me he actually needs to go potty. If I am on top of things, we can go several days without accidents. However, if I lose track of time or forget, then Caleb will have an accident.
  9. Though we've tried, I don't think Caleb understands the concept of being a brother, yet. He will give my tummy kisses sometimes, but it just hasn't clicked that we're going to have a baby in the house in two months.
  10. Things Caleb loves to eat: cherry tomatoes, strawberries (calls them "boobies" which makes me laugh), grapes, cheese, pretzels, and pickles. He's still a varied eater, and will try many things--today he even tried cole slaw! But he can be finicky in that one day he'll refuse a food he ate the day before. But we can generally find him something he will eat. We are growing cherry tomatoes in our garden. One day I had picked a bowl-full of them and set the bowl within Caleb's reach without realizing it. I had turned away, and turned back to Caleb handing me a tomato stem. I took it, trying to figure out where he got it, and then watched him nonchalantly pop a fresh-from-the-garden tomato into his mouth and walk off.
  11. Caleb's sleep habits: We are officially down to one nap. It seemed like a rocky transition, but in retrospect it went fairly well. His one nap occurs from about 11am-1pm, right across the lunch hour, so I'm trying to push it back further into the afternoon. Some days it works, but it usually means he's more tired and cranky than hungry at lunch time. He's sleeping a solid 11 hours at night.
  12. Caleb's favorite playtime activities: coloring, playing with stickers, and blocks. He also loves to read. We've just moved up from his regular books (which he knew very well) to the Little Golden Books of my childhood. They're a little above his level, but he still likes them. We've also started attempting some crafts, mostly with construction paper and a glue stick. Maybe I'll get more adventurous at some point. And this boy LOVES his movies. He's the kid in Sunday School who knows how to work the DVD player and stands 6 inches from the screen through the whole show. At home, he would look at me innocently and expectantly, "Movies? ....Movies? ....Barney? ....Thomas? ....Movies? ...Mouse? ....Barney? ....Barney?" We use movies at home as a chance for him to sit still for a few minutes on the potty, and when I'm cooking something in the oven that is unsafe (broiling or lots of opening the door to baste or hot oil popping from the skillet). So they're not on all day, but he is like me: easily addicted to TV!
  13. Caleb's personality: Gentle, sweet, funny, smart, needs time to adjust, a cuddler, helper, growing independence, happy, and a pretty clean kid. He likes to wipe his hands and eating area with a napkin, and will often put away what he's playing with before moving on to the next activity, even without my bidding.
  14. Changes in the last few months: Caleb has become more expressive. When he was younger, his expression was mostly through his nose, crinkling it up when he was upset. Now he raises and furrows his eyebrows, shapes his mouth into a dramatic "O" when he's surprised, and gives a cheesy smile when the camera comes out. He is also more strong-willed, with a quick and high-pitched "NO!" whenever something is not quite going his way. However, he is no longer throwing to-the-floor tantrums, and can be settled and redirected fairly easily. He has figured out ways to ask us for things, taking my fingers and pulling me in the right direction. "Tummer tummer" is his plea to "come here, come here." Then he adds a "please" to make sure we really come. He'll pat the floor with a direction to sit, and if we're in his way, he pushes through with a "beep beep!"
  15. I love Caleb's little language. If the act of bringing out the video camera didn't halt any and all cuteness that Caleb was doing at the moment, I'd get a video of Caleb saying his many words. He has yet to really make sentences, only a few pieced-together bits that mean something, like "Hon-ry...eat!" to tell me he's hungry. And lately he's added an initial syllable to many of his words. "Milk" has become "Muh-milk." Frog is fuh-frog, Shoe is shoe-shoe, etc. It seems like a step back in communication, and I don't know where it came from, but I'm sure it'll go away eventually, just like someday his "boobies" will be "berries" and his "bapples" have already become "apples."
Caleb is a sweet, sweet boy. We love him very much and are blessed to be his parents. Sometimes I think he's so great because of the great parents we are, but I know that's definitely not true! We make many mistakes every day. And there are frustrations with Caleb every day, but the good far outweighs the bad. After we lay Caleb down to sleep at night and the house goes from toddler hubbub to stillness, Jon and I smile at each other, very content with our little boy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Belly Pics, 29 Weeks

Just thought I'd let you see the 29-week belly!

I look a little perturbed in the second picture, but I really needed to blink and my eyes were starting to water and I'd been smiling for awhile while Jon zoomed or focused or did something that seemed to take way too long, even though it really didn't. But it shows my belly better than the other pic, so there ya go. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Do you see this? This girl holding my newborn a year-and-a-half ago? This is Leanna. My best friend since 8th grade. This picture was taken 4 days after Caleb was born. My family had gone home, and I was pretty sure that the times I was being the best mother was when Caleb was in someone else's arms. I was very insecure about what to do with this tiny thing. He demanded so much and so little at the same time. We were still figuring each other out, and I was very much the newbie.

You realize that, right? That the whole "Newbie" part of the blog name refers to Jon and I?

Yeah, even I didn't realize that for awhile.

Well today--18 months after that picture was taken--Leanna is having a son of her own. I hardly slept last night thinking about Leanna and praying for her. I told her if I had to get up and pee in the night (and what prego doesn't?), I would be sure and pray for her. It turns out that she got prayers from me just about the time her water broke! I know, it's like we've been friends for so long, I just knew. Crazy, right?

Leanna was so confident with Caleb, and has loved him so much (and so well) through his little life, that I know she'll be a great mom. She was confident enough to hold Caleb when I didn't feel I could do it. I know there will be times that she'll feel that same insecurity about her own newborn, and I'm praying that there will be someone there (since I can't be) to hold him for her when she needs it. I'm so proud of her, and can't wait to hear when little O'Baby is born!

Friday, June 11, 2010

27 Weeks

It's been 27 weeks and I had an appointment on Wednesday. Here are the stats:

Weight: Total gain of 22 pounds
Blood pressure: Holding steady at 120/70
Uterus: Finally a concrete measurement at 27cm (she hadn't actually measured before)
Baby's heart rate: "good" was all I could get out of the nurse. Hmph. Doesn't she know I like numbers?

All of these things are "perfect" according to my doctor. "Perfect" is her favorite word. The nurse takes my blood pressure and listens to the baby's heart beat, so the first thing the doctor does when she comes in is have me lay back so she can measure my uterus. Every time I lay down, her eyes brighten and she smiles a beaming smile. "This looks just perfect. This is great!" Seriously, I feel like I've given her a great gift or something. Because I really have control over what my uterus looks like....

I got my Rhogam shot at this appointment. Because I'm Rh- and Jon's Rh+, I will have to get a Rhogam shot during every pregnancy, and after the delivery of every baby that is not negative. So that was this appointment. Bad news for me: unlike last pregnancy, the doctor does not provide the shot in the office. I have to pick it up at the pharmacy and take it to the doctor's office myself. Inconvenient, yes, but the really bad news is that prescription insurance doesn't cover it. Considering I have a high risk of miscarriage if I do not take the shot, this makes NO SENSE whatsoever. The nurse advised I check with my medical coverage and see if they would cover at least some of it.

I also had my glucose test, and the nurse did an awesome job taking the vials of blood she needed. Probably the best experience ever for me. I won't hear back from them about the test results unless I need to have further testing, so I'm going to assume everything's fine.

Questions I had:
Have I gained too much weight? Dr. W says I'm right where I should be (to quote: "perfect"). It's definitely more weight than I gained with Caleb, but who knows. I'm trying not to worry about it, but sometimes I still do.

Will I need to be monitored through the entire labor? Yes. But the good news is that the monitors are wireless. With Caleb, the monitors were attached to a printout machine with about a 10-ft cord, and I was confined to that area (bed or near the bed) except to go to the restroom or take a brief walk in the hallway. Because of the induction last time, the nurses wanted to monitor me constantly. Evidently this hospital requires constant monitoring of everyone, but at least I can move around some more. Dr. W said it was very important that I move as much as possible, and they would take the monitors off if they interfered.

Will there be a birthing ball available? Yes, as well as a large shower with a seat. Because of being hooked to the monitors last time, I didn't take advantage of the shower, and it intrigues me. I'm wondering if it'll be helpful or not.

When can I first feed my baby? What happens right after delivery is up to me. I have the option of holding my baby before the cord is even cut: the nurses would lay a towel over me, put the baby on top, then a towel on top of him. They would rub him down a little while I got to hold him.* He wouldn't nurse at this point, though. Whether I hold him before the cord is cut or not, the dr. always waits for the cord to quit pumping blood (which I read is a reaction it has when it hits the air...a water-birthed baby's cord won't stop until the baby is brought up from under the water...just a little trivia for ya). Anyway, I like this approach. Dr. K (my doctor with Caleb) had the policy of immediately cutting the cord unless the baby was a little listless, and then she would allow that last bit of blood to get pumped into the baby for an extra boost.

So back to the nursing question, Dr. W said I really needed to let my pediatrician know what I wanted, and while he wouldn't be there, he would send his instructions to the nurses. So I can choose to try to nurse before the baby gets his shots or his eye goop. The advantage to this is that the baby doesn't have all these different hands poking and prodding him, and he's not got stuff in his eyes to keep him from opening them (if you ever saw our first photos of Caleb, his eyes and eyelids are all shiny because of putting the eye goop in immediately). So waiting allows the baby a little extra measure of calm to try nursing for the first time before getting jostled around by the nurses. On the other hand, Caleb did fine with it. He didn't really nurse, but he was quiet and willing to try. So I guess I find out from the nurses if it's a big nuisance for them to have to wait to do all that. If it's not, I think I'd like them to wait while we try to nurse.

I don't remember any other questions, except that we got to talking about how most of Dr. W's responses lean to the more natural methods, and I found out that she trained under a physician who performed not only the basic medical births, but also births using natural methods: water births, etc. And while Dr. W was a fan of those things, she cautioned that she would always have a birth at a hospital instead of at home, just in case of an emergency. While I see some really great advantages to home births, I also have a much greater sense of peace knowing that we're where we need to be if something were to happen.

And that's it on my side of the tummy. How about little Newbie2?

Well, he's up to 2 pounds now! That means he's doubled in weight in the last month--no wonder I've been tired! As with every update lately, he is our little jitterbug, doin' a dance all the time inside Mama's belly. Today when I laid down for a nap, I felt a definite bump up by my ribcage. Whether it was a head or rear end, we couldn't tell, but Jon gave it a little kiss anyway. We love our little boy!

*Funny note: It was at this point in the discussion with my doctor that I started beaming. "I'm going to have a little baby! And I get to hold him! This is real!!" Wow, what a cool thought. However, it was also at this point in my relaying the discussion to Jon that he got very disinterested in what I was saying. I even stopped to ask if he wanted to talk about it later. "No," he said. "I just got really sick feeling all of the sudden." The day of labor and delivery was really hard on Jon last time, and he's not looking forward to it at all! It was pretty rotten for me, too, but I can't help but forget it and remember the sweet moments with my newborn!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Random Outdoor Fun

Some random outdoor fun pics from last Saturday, the same day as the slip-n-slide. This was the last day of potty-training boot camp, so pardon the undies.

Sitting down for a picnic

Getting a ride with Daddy

Being the alpha male to the Scottie who lives behind us. He's saying, "Hush! Hush!" which is what I do when the dog barks (which is always). The dog is usually indoors, but when he comes out he's very territorial.

For once, Caleb is pretty quiet, so it doesn't really work like it does when I do it.

Hush, puppy!

Caleb enjoying a snack of grapes. I love the top of his head!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Slip-n-Slide Water Fun

Daddy, I want to play in the water....

All right, son. But we're going to do it the way your daddy did it when he was a boy. With a slip-n-slide!

I see, Daddy. This is neat!

Hook 'er up, Daddy!

I'm goin' in!

Oh, so THAT's why it's called a SLIP-n-slide.

I don't think I liked that very much.

Look Daddy, I turned the water WAY up on my own!! Now you can get wet, too!

It does make it a little harder to get through, though.

I'm a splashin' machine!

Hi Mama. Whatcha doin' still dry?

You need a hug!

(At which point Mama got a very cold, very wet hug, and decided to put the camera away for the rest of water playtime.)