Happy Father’s Day!

I hope all the Dad’s out there (and everyone else) has enjoyed a nice Father’s Day today!

Lewis decided to crawl over and watch some Mythbusters with Daddy after he finished nursing this morning.

Lewis decided to crawl over and watch some Mythbusters with Daddy after he finished nursing this morning.

We have had a rather typical weekend in that it was somehow both lazy and very busy and of course went by way too fast.

Yesterday Lewis woke us up bright and early at 5:45, getting our day off to a tired start for Mommy and Daddy. A few hours later I was rinsing a diaper in the toilet and flushed it only to start having it fill with water and water pour all over the bathroom floor. I grabbed the plunger but quickly realized it wasn’t normal or just clogged, so I called out to Chris. We shut off the water and called maintenance who came and confirmed that the problem was with the main drain line, which they went and fixed after a while. What a start to the day! I took Lewis out for our usual morning walk while Daddy worked hard to get the bathroom cleaned up, mop the floor, wash the wet towels we used to deal with the mess, etc. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful husband who will jump in and deal with messes like this.

The rest of the day was more relaxed. We hung out and played, I made some tasty egg free pear muffins, and we went swimming again. It was a bit chillier than last time so we didn’t stay in long, but Lewis loved every minute of it.

Today we got to “sleep in” until 8:00. Chris got his father’s day present. (Some awesome Tegu blocks, which he then played with for most of the morning. Lewis also enjoys them, especially when we stick them to the fridge for him to pull off.) The rest of the day was a pretty typical Sunday for us with some cooking, dish-washing, and grocery shopping. We also walked over to TCBY for frozen yogurt since they had “free yogurt for dads” today. Chris and I enjoyed our treat, and I filled a separate dish with fresh blueberries and strawberry pieces for Lewis, which he was equally excited about.

As usual it was a nice weekend spent together, and we all are wishing it wasn’t back to Monday already tomorrow. At least this is a short week for us since Chris has Friday off and we will be heading to the camp for the long weekend. Now I’d better get myself off to bed (where my two boys have been for a while now already) since who knows what time the little one will decide we need to get up tomorrow. Happy Father’s Day everyone!

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Photo Friday

We had fun one day spreading blankets all over they floor. They were fun to crawl over and feel all the different textures.

We had fun one day spreading blankets all over they floor. They were fun to crawl over and feel all the different textures.

Yum, spinach pesto!

Yum, spinach pesto!

First taste of corn-on the cob.

First taste of corn-on the cob.

"Hey, this thing is sticking to my hand!"

“Hey, this thing is sticking to my hand!”

Cloud dough. He liked squeezing it in his hands and putting it on his feet.

Cloud dough. He liked squeezing it in his hands and putting it on his feet.

Oops! He was sitting outside the bin to play, leaned on the edge of the bin, which flipped it upside-down covering him in cloud dough!

Oops! He was sitting outside the bin to play, leaned on the edge of the bin, which flipped it upside-down covering him in cloud dough!

Rainy Day Sensory Play

We have been having some unfortunately rainy weather this week. I always dread the rain because it means Lewis and I will be cooped up inside all day, which often results in us both getting bored of playing with the same old books/toys/etc. When I saw the weather prediction at the start of the week I was not very excited to see rain, rain, and more rain.

At least since I had a warning of the weather I was able to prepare myself ahead of time a bit. I decided it was definitely time to break out the sensory bin again and try some new materials. I also plotted a trip to the library if we got a break in the weather. Yesterday we lucked out and actually had some sunshine. We made up for the rest of the week by going for two walks and also playing outside for a bit in the evening. We went to the library and as usual Lewis loved playing with the toys, walking around exploring, and charming the other kids and moms/grandmas who where there. He caught sight of some globes on a shelf and was extremely excited about these big balls that Mommy could make spin around.

Playing with the bead roller coaster, and excited because of the globe he saw on a shelf.

Playing with the bead roller coaster, and excited because of the globe he saw on a shelf.

I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though. Monday we seemed to keep busy pretty well even though we couldn’t go out. Now that Lewis is more mobile it’s a bit easier to keep busy since he can do some exploring on his own or lead me to where he wants to be, instead of sitting in one spot feeling bored and cranky. By Tuesday we were getting a little sick of being stuck inside, so when he napped I decided to plan a sensory bin for the afternoon. I haven’t done much messy play with him and I decided it was about time we start getting our hands dirty. Last week we played with used coffee grounds “dirt” in his bin outside, which was fun but he ate a lot more than anticipated. (I thought he’d try it, decide it was icky, and just play with it, but he just kept sticking his hands back in his mouth.)

I turned to Google for some ideas and found the fantastic blog Train Up a Child. There are several posts about sensory play and messy play for both babies and older kids. Lots of great ideas! Even though I was feeling inspired by many of the posts I read, I decided to go with an idea that I had thought of myself. (Amazing. Coming up with my own ideas instead of just copying things from Pinterest and people’s blogs.)

I shredded up a huge carrot and also some celery and put it in his bin in the fridge until we were ready to play. Not surprisingly, the celery didn’t shred super well, but it did add some nice color contrast. I left the veggies separated in the bin and let them just get mixed as he played. He’s doing awesome with his eating skills and has had shredded carrot as well as raw celery sticks before, so I knew these were things he could handle if he decided to put them in his mouth. Know your baby and only give them things you are comfortable with them eating. He ended up surprising me and only tried one or two bites of the carrots anyway and none of the celery.

"Ok... I've tasted it and flung the bin around a little. Now what?"

“Ok… I’ve tasted it and flung the bin around a little. Now what?”

He explored it a little bit and tried (unsuccessfully) to dump out the bin, and then didn’t seem to know what to do. He climbed over onto my lap so I scooped some up in my hand and held it out to him. This seemed to spark his interest a bit more and he started grabbing handfuls from my hand and throwing around the kitchen. Throwing is one of his latest skills that he has been practicing on everything he touches, so I should have expected this. After doing some throwing he decided he needed to get a little closer look at this stuff.

IMG_6899I bought him a bigger bin after he tried climbing in his water bin a couple weeks ago, so obviously I should have used that for this activity! I will keep that in mind from now on and start using the bigger bin more often so he can fully experience his sensory materials.

Today is very rainy again and I am planning to try “cloud dough” with him this afternoon. I have seen this recipe before using baby oil which is not safe to eat, but Train Up a Child makes the brilliant suggestion to just make it with cooking oil instead. The original recipe is to mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup oil. I decided to start off small since I don’t know whether Lewis will be interested or not, and most likely it will just end up dumped on the floor. I made ours with 1 cup flour and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. I then had the brilliant idea to try to add some color. I put in several drops of green food coloring, mixed it up, and … why wasn’t it mixing?? Oh! Food color is water based and I’m trying to add it to a bunch of oil. Duh. No wonder the cloud dough I always see is white. Well, I guess I just had my science lesson for the day.

The food coloring did add some little green specks to the dough which is neat, so at least it wasn't a complete waste.

The food coloring did add some little green specks to the dough which is neat, so at least it wasn’t a complete waste.

We’ll be playing with this later this afternoon, so photos will probably make their way into tomorrow’s Photo Friday post. I also have several more sensory bin ideas in mind, so sometime soon I may make a post listing various Baby Sensory ideas. Stay Tuned!

Nine Months

IMG_6831

Lewis reached the Nine Month milestone yesterday! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and that we are only a few months off from having a 1-year-old. I thought it would be fun to write a post about all his likes/dislikes and accomplishments in different areas and whatever other random little facts I think of to add.

Favorite Toys:

Anything with velcro that he can pull apart and stick back together, especially his sandals. Also loves the velcro of his sandals as something to chew on.

Balls. He likes to see me and Chris toss and roll them, and is working on learning to throw and roll them himself.

Animals. He loves his animal toys. He seems interested in all of them, but especially focuses on the ones with big/bright eyes. He gets excited when he sees these across the room or sitting on a shelf.

Food:

Eating is still going great, and he is eating more and more. He loves fruits of all kinds and will it most veggies but isn’t as excited about them as fruit. Yogurt is a big favorite. He also enjoys meats. I often give him a small bowl of Cheerios and Puffs for “breakfast” just to keep him busy while I am doing morning things and eating my own breakfast, and he will pick out all the Puffs to eat first.

I got him to lie on his back long enough to take two pictures. This one was as he was starting to roll over.

I got him to lie on his back long enough to take two pictures. This one was as he was starting to roll over.

Sleep:

He is doing fantastic with falling asleep on his own for both naps and bedtime. He usually goes into the crib with a smile now and likes to wave bye-bye/night-night to Daddy before we go into the bedroom. He still wakes 2-3 times at night to nurse.

Teeth:

He’s had his two bottom teeth for a while now. His top gum is swollen and looks like his first two top teeth are getting ready to come in, but they haven’t broken through yet. He’s drooling a lot but doesn’t seem too bothered otherwise.

Physical Skills:

He is pro at crawling, pulling up on things, “cruising” holding the edge of furniture, walking with help, waving “hello” and “bye-bye”. He will sometimes let go when we are helping him stand or when he is standing holding furniture and stand for a few seconds on his own. These intervals are getting longer and more frequent, but he hasn’t tried to take any steps on his own yet. He is working on learning to throw things and likes to practice with his lunch. Today he was tossing peach slices.

Vocal:

He has always loved making lots of sounds. He is very good at saying “Da-da” and often says it directly to/at Chris, although he also makes this sound at other times. He makes lots of other different sounds too. He likes blowing raspberries, yelling, and yelling into the kazoo:

He is working a little bit on the “ma-ma”/”mum” sounds, but only once in a while.

Outside Time:

He absolutely loves the outdoors and would spend all his time outside if he could. He is becoming a lot more adventurous with walking/crawling on the grass. He still enjoys eating/chewing on sticks, flowers, grass, dirt, and rocks. If he sees a bug he will try to pick that up to eat it too, but he hasn’t been successful in catching any yet. He is loving water play in this warmer weather. We all went to the pool again on Sunday, for our second time there. We swam for about 20 minutes and after we got out he kept trying to pull us back over to the pool to get in and swim more.

"Hey! I see where you put that!"

“Hey! I see where you put that!”

I guess that is all that comes to mind right now to mention. We are loving our little 9-month boy and having so much fun seeing all his learning and curiosity. Can’t wait to see what else he is going to do and discover in the next few months!

Photo Friday

Yum! Following in Auntie Anna's footsteps - as a kid she would only eat peppers whole, she didn't want any cut up pieces.

Yum! Following in Auntie Anna’s footsteps – as a kid she would only eat peppers whole, she didn’t want any cut up pieces.

Sensory play - coffee grounds "dirt."

Sensory play – coffee grounds “dirt.”

We played outside in the evening one day when the sun wasn't too harsh, so I let him go without the hat.

We played outside in the evening one day when the sun wasn’t too harsh, so I let him go without the hat.

He was very interested in picking (and, yes, eating) the little white clover flowers.

He was very interested in picking (and, yes, eating) the little white clover flowers.

Exploring Daddy's fun Skylanders toys. Yum! Pirate ship!

Exploring Daddy’s fun Skylanders toys. Yum! Pirate ship!

Water Baby

We had some very warm weather last week and over the weekend, which meant fun water-play time for Lewis! We played with ice and water in a bin outside again Friday. I dressed him in his new swim diaper, swim trunks and swim shirt. The swim diaper and shorts were perfect, but unfortunately the shirt is on the small side.

The sleeves are a bit short and it kept gaping around his lower back and tummy.

The sleeves are a bit short and it kept gaping around his lower back and tummy.

I guess we’ll have to head to Target and see if they have the next size up. I had ordered this one online because when we were at Target last they were sold out of almost all their baby-swim items.

Saturday we took advantage of the pool at our apartments and took Lewis for his first swim! We weren’t sure how he’d like it, but he was very happy to be in the pool and to have new people to look at. We waited until the evening to go, so we left off the too-tight swim shirt, although I did smother him in sunscreen.

Dipping those little feet into the pool for the first time.

Dipping those little feet into the pool for the first time.

Of course once we had swum for a while Lewis also had to explore all around outside the pool and the chairs and such.

My little beach baby.

My little beach baby.

Fun fact: Chris and I have lived in this apartment three years and this is the first time we’ve used the pool. In general I’m not a huge fan of pool-swimming since swimming laps doesn’t appeal to me, nor does having people watch me swim. However, I think it is great fun for kids and I’ll definitely be taking Lewis in more this summer, especially when the weather gets hot again.

 

 

How To Wash The Dishes With Baby

Once you become a parent and have a baby to care for, entertain, and keep out of trouble it can be quite an adventure to do housework like washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. Some things can be done while baby is sleeping, or when someone else is around to help watch them, but other times you just have to do some things with baby literally underfoot. This is a step-by-step guide to the process of washing dishes with a baby.

Step 1: Notice that there are dirty dishes piled up from 1 or 2 meals and decide that you really need to wash them before more dishes are made dirty.

Step 2: Empty out the dish drainer. Half way through baby will probably come crawling around your feet begging to be held, so carry him around while you do the second half.

Step 3: Get busy with baby. Play, change diapers, have a meal together, etc. Oops! That meal made more dirty dishes. Now you really need to wash them.

Step 4: Finally, baby seems very busy and engaged with something. Go into the kitchen, empty out the sink, and fill it with warm soapy water. Get a clean dishcloth ready.

Step 5: Uh-oh! Here comes baby crying and tugging on your legs. He wants to be held/played with but you already filled up the sink! Time to get out something new/unusual for him to play with to keep him busy so you can at least wash a few things. You’ll have to get creative since once he’s played with something 2-5 times it is no longer interesting. Some ideas: Random objects from the recycling (no tin cans please). Vacuum cleaner attachments. Clean pots and pans.

Lewis is really interested in the broom. Maybe this will keep him busy.

Lewis is really interested in the broom. Maybe this will keep him busy.

Step 6: Finally get down to business. Wash 5-10 small items, or 3-5 larger items.

Step 7: Hear that familiar whiny baby cry and feel that tug on your pants. Darn, that didn’t last long. Dry your hands off and quickly try to find something else for baby to keep busy with. The dish water isn’t that dirty yet – maybe you can scoop out some bubbles into a bowl and let him play with that.

Step 8: Ok, baby seems busy again. Quick, lets see how many more things we can wash now.

Step 9: You manage to wash 3 more things but here’s baby again and this time he doesn’t seem like he’s willing to be distracted. Wash one more thing while he cries and pulls on your legs. Pick him up and admit that you won’t get to wash anything else right now. At least we made it through a few things!

It's not the full dish strainer you had imagined, but at least it is progress, right?

It’s not the full dish strainer you had imagined, but at least it is progress, right?

Step 10: This dish water is still so clean and bubbly looking. Maybe if we leave it in the sink we’ll make it back over here to finish the job.

Step 11: Get busy taking care of baby again. Play, read some books, crawl under the table, have some milk or a snack, diaper change, etc. etc.

Step 12: Get thirsty from all that playing and go into the kitchen to get some water. Realize that you can’t get any water because the sink is full of now-cold dishwater. Admit defeat and drain the sink. Allow that half-full dish strainer to taunt you for the rest of the day.

 

…. I wonder why we never seem to catch up with the dirty dishes around here?