Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun Games for toddlers!

I love to read and I love Hayden so I decided, "why not mix the two?" Thus, I am reading "Child's play : Montessori games and activities for your baby and toddler" by Maja Pitamic

I also read "The Playskool toddler's busy play book : over 500 creative games, activities, crafts and recipes for your very busy toddler" by Robin McClure.

I read the Playskool book first but wasn't too interested in it because the activities seemed to be geared more towards older toddlers. As far as I know the book does not specify what toddler ages its for but I found really nothing I could do with Hayden. It is also organized by outdoor, indoor, holiday, seasonal activities, which some may find helpful but I would have preferred it outlined by age or by each activity environment first then by age.
But "Child's Play" I love. It is divided into six chapters for the senses, coordination, art, movement, language, and nature- Mostly toddler developmental points! The games/activities are pretty straight forward and each game has the age group it would be good for printed above the activity. Any game that requires a special material the templates are in the back of the book.
Hayden loves me singing "If you're happy and you know it...", inspired from "Child's Play," especially when it comes to stumping his feet and clapping his hands.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Dog Ate My Post!

Okay, the dog didn't eat my post, in fact I don't even have a dog, but I do have a vacuum and to Hayden that is the next best thing. While he was supposed to eating his green beans for a snack, I decided to vacuum. Hayden loves the vacuum and from his view it probably growls and picks up things. As I am vacuuming around his highchair, a green bean falls and soon I realize its raining green beans. Hayden is tossing them onto the floor for me to vacuum.

But as long as he is giving me smiles like that I don't care...too much.

Plus there is something so cute about how babies are so innocent that...

They don't know Buzz doesn't want to be rode naked.

A Better Me

Diet and weight loss, not my two favorite things, but as it seems I am going for both. Now I don't need to lose weight I am not overweight, when I did my Body Mass Index between 21 and 25 is good I am a 23, so right in the middle. Still I think that I need to start to eat healthy, if a few pounds are shed along the way so be it. Another top priority is to get fit. I believe I am in need of a lifestyle change when it comes to food and plan on trying out weight watchers to teach me to eat more healthy in this change.
So what caused such a new beginning in my physical psyche?
When I saw my 1 year old son, plucking a soda can from the box and trying to drink it or him kicking the back of my seat in the car for a french fry when he see a fast food bag, I say I need to practice what I preach. I give my son only healthy foods, while I stuff myself with whatever I feel like, I don't like the hypocritical double standard there. And I think that it is only going to get harder as he grows, I am nipping it in the bud right here and right now.
I am also starting this blog for me. I see myself changing everyday as a person, as a wife, as a mother, and I know it is for the better. My interests, who I am, and what I want are growing, transforming before my eyes, as I grow up and transform. This blog is that journey.
So here it is folks, a new blog to chronicle all the meal plans, the exercise horror stories, the points, the inevitable pitfalls and so much more on my road to becoming...Well...Becoming a better me. One day at a time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

13 Months! Whoa Baby!

Hayden is 13 Months today. This year is going by way faster than his previous and he is growing more and more everyday.

One year ago today Hayden was two months old. This is Hayden at two months:

One year later...

At 13 Months Hayden is walking (he walked at 9 months), running(could run at 11 months), says about 6-7 words, climbs furniture (this started at 7 months), can kick and throw a ball, and so much more. Hayden has always been my super baby being born holding up his head and rolling over for the first time when he was only a month or so old. He did all his milestones early, even surpassing his cousin in all who is six weeks older. So when he sat up at the end of 4 months and wasn't falling by 5, no one was surprised. And now one year later, he is still speedy Gonzales in his milestones. But as everyone in this crazy gig called motherhood knows, everyone can get surprised sometimes.

Usually Hayden is the most sweetest baby following waking up. Yesterday, we got out of bed as usual and I started our daily routine of changing his diaper and getting him dressed. This is the easier of the diaper changes the happen in a day because he is in a good mood. This day was extra special though. I tell him to lay down, that I was going to change his diaper, he listens and lays down. (This never happens, never!) So I change his diaper without a complaint, then he jumps up and runs to the coffee table to climb on it. I tell him we are not done, I have to get him dressed and he comes back to me. I slip on his pants half way telling him to stand, which he does, and I pull them up all the way. He sprints to the coffee table again and I tell him we have to put his shirt on then we're done and again he comes back, helping me put his shirt on. Of course he ran to the coffee table soon following but I was surprised at how well he listened. I was mentally doing the running man, I was on a mommy high! For the very first time, I felt like I had a kid instead of a baby who I constantly needed to run after and catch.

Later on I fixed his breakfast and was at the table eating with him, typing on my laptop, when I heard him say something that sounded like "Dad" I told him Dad was at work, resuming my typing, when I heard it several more times. I turned,listening more carefully, realizing he was saying "done." I nearly died, my heart swelled so big, I immediately yanked him from his high chair giving him hugs and kisses and "yays" for using his "words." A while back he had started to squeal and scream to signal he was done, while I was used to it didn't go over too well with my husband, David, so I started to tell him say "done" when he was finished and wouldn't let him out of the high chair until it was said. I did this only three times, and while he was usually good at saying it when I asked, he had never said it without me saying it first.
Yesterday, he was even more of my little helper by helping me load the dish washer for the first time. usually when I am trying to get the dishes in the washer, Hayden comes over stealing silverware from it, or trying to climb on the open door. When he did it this time, I took his current obedient attitude into play and decided to teach him how to put silverware in the washer. After demonstration after demonstration, he finally did it. So I started to hand him silverware and he would put it in. It went pretty well for the most part until he started taking out knives that is when I strapped him in his high chair until I finished.
I also love it when he waves "Hi" and "Bye." Hi, he can also say. In my eyes, he is getting up there and doing more and more things daily. I am sure he does more things than I can think of or remember that rocks my socks. Like the way he can bring me a book he wants read to him or the way he climbs into chairs just to sit in like a grown up or him pointing to everything wanting to know what it is or how he claps to play patty cake.
Bottom line: he is growing up nicely and I'm happpy to be along for the ride. Everytime I get a smile out of him I am happy about this time, this moment, this right here is the best so far.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pancake delight

Saturday Hayden and I got up bright and early (well, bright and early for us, lol) to fix my husband pancakes for Father's day. Two nights prior I decided to make chocolate chip pancakes because I am not a pancake person and thought that maybe I would like chocolate chip. I had to do it on Saturday morning because his job wanted him to work on Sunday morning. We used Bisquick and just added chocolate chips. I had almost no expectations with Hayden helping, I mean he's only 12 months, but I at least wanted him to look, so I pulled up a kitchen chair to the bar (which he was still a bit too short to reach.) Of course if Mommy is doing something Hayden watches to touch and normally I would have pulled my hair out telling him "no touch" and "stop it" instead I gave him measuring cup of Bisquick. Immediately it was jerked and some spilled onto the floor, so I saved it and showed him how to pour it in the bowl. With me guiding his hand most of the Bisquick made it into the bowl, with Hayden clapping at his own accomplishment while I cracked an egg into the bowl. Hayden did the milk a little bit better, but stirring was brutal, he kept wanting the spoon to himself to chew on or throw. Still I survived and Hayden seemed more than happy that he was my helper. I did cheat and ask my husband to flip the the pancakes as he is way, way better at it than I am.
Hayden must have loved the pancakes because he ate a whole one and half of a breakfast burrito. I couldn't believe it! I even had my husband check around the high chair to see if he tossed it! But we never found it Hayden had ate it all up, leaving only a few eggs on his tray. Later he had gallons of fun with my best friend's daughter, Autumn, who is quickly becoming his best bud too. They play so nicely together- She can made him giggle and laugh like nobody else. They even climbed onto my coffee table together and did a little table dance, that had me laughing so hard. I wish I could have grabbed my camera in time. (sigh) Maybe next time.


H and M B

Monday, June 14, 2010

My son Nemo

Some days I can take motherhood by the horns and drag it down into the mud, then there are days when its impossible to catch a break. This Saturday was a gut-wrenchingly awful day where nothing went as planned. Since May I had planned to get our car smog taken care of this Saturday. Even with prompting my husband over and over again to get up early and get it done, we ended up going a few hours before it was closed. And we were only there for ten minutes before the man told us he could not smog it because of a hose connected to the engine wasn't the stock item. We needed to get the stock hose back on before it could get a smog. I nearly died. Our truck is very old so it is always hard to find the parts for it. After a visit to Auto Zone, we realized that we were going to have to go through the manufacturer to get the part, which would have to wait until Monday.
I was so down from Saturday it carried over into Sunday but I was perked by Hayden playing in his new pool for the first time. I had tried to put Hayden in the big pool several times with it ending in him clenching onto me for dear life and a very dry baby. So when I marched to the pool, I was delighted to see my little man with his aunt loving the water and playing in it. He just turned into a fish on Sunday and didn't want to get out of the water, even when he was freezing. I instantly deemed him Mommy's little fish, Nemo.

But Monday I arose anew. I put the things about the car out of my mind and resolved that I would have a nice together day with my son- That he would be my light in darkness. I awoke to being beaten over the head by Hayden's playful slaps and Hayden's tiny teeth, dimpled smile. I returned the smile, which gave him ammo to straddle me and lean in for a kiss. My heart just melted thinking how my little man has grown: he can give me kisses without being asked or even me taking them. We played together most of the day, with me either chasing him pretending to be a monster (his favorite game) or him finding some toy that we could interact with. It was a real good change of pace to center my day around playing with him, rather than spending it managing him. And what would be a fun day with Hayden if he didn't climb on everything?

On the dining room chair

on his chair to sit at his desk

And his favorite spot: on my coffee table

This video is of my little guy doing a funny dance on my coffee table...before wanting some dinner.


H and M B

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adventures in Baby Land

I'd like to think of myself as a hands on Mom: at 12 months plus, Hayden still breastfeeds, we co-sleep, he isn't allowed to watch television, and I am very health-conscious about what my son eats (he has had chocolate before on one holiday occasion and on his birthday had cake and my mom seems to feel the need to stuff him full of Cheetos whenever we drop by.) I usually am very good at having him nap on time, happily soaking up the two hours of free time his naps give; coming up with nutritious meals for Hayden, who seems to have the appetite of a bird; and stuffing in play time for Hayden and I.
Hayden wakes up really late compared to other babies, about 4 to 5 hours later in fact at around 10 or 11 a.m. My favorite part of the day is Hayden waking up. He is so excited, gives smiles and hugs like candy plus he is so talkative. I get in lots of hugs and voluntary kisses during that time. He even straddles me, trying to give me tummy raspberries like I do him. And usually its all down hill from there.

Hayden sitting in my desk chair

From there we set about our day of me cleaning (often what Hayden has messed up)

Hayden butchering his room

Him supposed to eating but instead screaming his head off as I try to fix his room

Begging for a story

Playing in his newly cleaned room A.K.A another butchering session

But yesterday after he was asleep, I sat back, looking over our day in pictures and a few videos.

And smiling at his new independence, I realized that my favorite part of the day was this: Every part of the day with my little man! (Even with the squealing and struggling to keep him still long enough for a nap.)

Loving Kisses and Hugs,

H and M B

Friday, June 11, 2010

No End In Sight

"He's one already?" "Wow, he got one fast!" "Didn't that first year just fly by?" These are the statements I got the most from family, friends, and even strangers, my usually answer is a tight lipped "hmm" and a slight nod, to which they of course take as "those were tough times I don't want to remember." Truth be told: Hayden's first year was the longest year of my life! Maybe its because that first year is so connected to pregnancy, I have unconsciously lumped in pregnancy's ten months with the first year of motherhood. I am not sure. But I know that my first year of motherhood was a little bit more weird than most.
I remember some milestones of Pregnancy. I always go back and laugh at how I took my pregnancy test to quiet my Grandmother, who wouldn't stop chirping that I was pregnant after I had told her that I was a bit nauseated but could still help move my cousin. I took it and two lines showed up. After 8 months of baby lust, I was pregnant and so excited that I ran out the door screaming "I'm pregnant" bypassing my husband and went straight to my Grandma's house.
The first trimester was the longest for me: constantly waiting and going to the bathroom to check to see if I was bleeding. And I had longer to wait in that trimester than most women, I found out I was pregnant at only 3 weeks along. The second trimester and the first two months and 3 weeks of the third were my most favorite time. I wasn't impatient to get the pregnancy over with or uncomfortable until the last week. I loved, loved, LOVED pregnancy and was in no rush to have it ended.
My birth was not gruesome or filled with screaming and horror. Instead I was calm, laughing, and intent on having a remembered birth experience and I could not wait to push thinking that it would be fun. I labored six hours, I was induced upon requesting it, my contractions were not unbearable- In fact the morning I went to be induced, they checked my cervix and I was already in labor at 3 centimeters dilated. I felt nothing. At 5 centimeters, I got an epidural that didn't work and instead made me violently itchy, that took two doses of benedryl and something else to stop. I felt everything but it wasn't painful. I went from seven to ten in an hour and it took me only thirty minutes to birth Hayden into this world.
I was not overwhelmed or nervous as a parent but confident and anxious to breastfeed and know what it felt like. I loved snuggling with Hayden, breastfeeding him, and even reading to him.
Hayden was a dream as an infant. He never cried, slept long hours, when awoke he was totally alert- So alert that when I took him to the emergency after seeing a spot of blood in his diaper, no one believed that he was sick. It took a week to have him hospitalized for a UTI. That was very hard and the most stressful time for me as a parent, when they put the IV in his arm I left. I felt horrible for leaving, crestfallen for hearing him cry as they poked him, but I didn't want him to see me cry and I bawled.
That didn't even get him down the nurses at Children's Hospital were amazed at how quiet and alert he was, and that he slept through the night so young. After 3 days in the hospital, Hayden took off.
He completed all his milestones early, amazing everyone, and he still amazes me. I was hesitant about him turning one and I love it. It is as if he has come alive. I could see him changing a little at eleven months: saying new sounds, playing games, copying Mommy and Daddy, as well as taking out clothes from the hamper or dishes from the washer "helping" us. But now he is climbing things he never tried to climb: the toilet, the entertainment center, even his small toy shelf. He can say a few words: "stop it" is his favorite, "i did it," "this," "that" "nan" meaning no, "down." Today I heard a few new ones "done" and "dog" and "tree." he even waves bye-bye without being told!
His personality is merging like wild fire. He loves me reading to him, he loves anything with animals in it, he loves outside and nature: anytime the door is open he skyrockets to the door with his goofy run. Another thing that has shocked me is his memory to people. He knows Grandma now on both sides and anytime one of them stops by or he sees their houses he instantly lights up. He is starting to realize that Daddy comes and goes on weekdays and is not always here. He cries when he sees David, his Dad, leave for work or Grandma leaving. And while he learned to point at 9 months, now it has turned into the name game.
Hayden is developing so fast and thankfully there is no end in sight. I love to see him learn and grow (try to type on my computer.)It is what parenting is all about. Now he has run off somewhere with my nail clipper.

H and M B

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Growing up and growing bolder

Hayden had his first birthday about 3 weeks ago and I can surely see a big difference in his persona and abilities. He interacts more; starts games with his Daddy and I; babbles up a storm, throwing a few real words and sounds in there; waves bye-bye without being told to; and gives kisses and blows tummy raspberries. Things he is still doing: running around getting into only everything; taking clothes out of the hamper; calling himself mopping or sweeping with the broom and mop; inspecting the vacuum; and everything in sight.
I took him to the doctor on Saturday the 5th and he is 22lbs 1 oz and 31 inches. since he was last seen at about 10 months he has gained only a pound. But my how he has grown so much in one year he gained 10lbs 7 oz and 10 inches. When I look back at his baby photos its hard to believe he is even the same same baby I brought home on May 22nd, 2009 weighing 7lbs and 10 oz.
Even with experiencing such a lovely first year with Hayden, I was very relieved once his first birthday came and went. We didn't have his birthday party on his actual birthday instead it was on the Saturday after. And can I say that it was an experience. The entire time I was running around doing something. I had to run back and forth between the park and my house several times for presents, for clothes, to air up balloons, even for a can opener. And what sucked the most about the can opener is that because I had to leave one last time to pick someone up it didn't even get used! My husband, who was supposed to be the cook, ended up not cooking most of the things that were supposed to be cooked. I missed the first hour of the party, as soon as I got back I didn't have time to eat instead I was thrust into present opening and, thereafter, cake. I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off and was so tired. Still overall it was a great party and the most important thing of all: Hayden had a nice time. Hey that's all that matters, isn't it?