Friday, July 21, 2006

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

This week started off with a fun wedding in Wisconsin we drove to. Once again, Isaiah was an angel in the car, and it was a wonderful chance to spend some time talking with Michael while Isaiah looked out the window in back and babbled to himself. The latest sound he has enjoyed making is "Who...Who..." We had a great time at the wedding, and the bride (my former roommate) said Isaiah was the most perfect baby she had ever seen. Those comments make me so happy you would think people were calling me perfect and beautiful.

Isaiah also figured out how to jump in his Johnny Jump-Up. Hooray! We got a little jumping recorded on camera before he noticed Daddy holding the camcorder and stopped jumping to stare at him. I had to distract Isaiah again with a bright red box held up high so that he would jump for it. I kind of felt as though I was holding up a piece of cheese for my little dog, Sparky.

Isaiah really loves all kinds of physical play, not just jumping up and down. The other day, Michael was swinging him upside down over his head while I got ready in the bathroom, and Isaiah was laughing his little head off. Suddenly, the giggling stopped and moments later, Michael opened the bathroom door. I looked at him in alarm only to see one of the biggest spit-ups ever. Michael had it in his hair, in his eye, down his neck, and on his shirt. Of course, being the loving wife I am, I laughed really hard and got the camera. Luckily, my husband has a good sense of humor as well, and after good a shower and a clean shirt, he was as good as new.

Isaiah has also been showing more and more interest in all of his toys. It's so much fun to watch him play with all the cute little things he owns. It's also really interesting to see how toys have changed since I was a kid. For instance, when I was a little girl, I distinctly remember having a toy plastic rotary phone that went briiing when you dialed a number. Now Isaiah has a toy plastic cell phone that rings, has a busy signal, makes a ten-digit dialing noise, beeps, says hello, flashes a green light, and sings four different songs. No, I'm not kidding. Yet, despite all the advances in baby toys, babies seem to have remained the same. This morning, I was playing with Isaiah on the carpet, and I had all of his fancy, flashing, singing, beeping, wiggling, high-tech toys around to entice him. He went for the crumpled ball of paper and played happily with it for half an hour. If only we could all keep our lives that simple.

We tried, Wednesday night, to feed Isaiah some mashed up banana in his cereal. I had assumed that just plain rice cereal was probably getting a little boring and Isaiah would appreciate the extra flavor. I couldn't have been more wrong. The grossed-out faces Isaiah put on were hilarious. At first, he looked shocked, and he didn't even move his mouth or tongue for a few moments because he wasn't sure what to do. Then, he looked absolutely disgusted as he began to "chew" the mush, and finally, when he had mostly swallowed it, he looked confused as to why we would put such a thing into his mouth. But after each bite filled with shock, disgust and confusion, he saw the bowl filled with the banana-cereal and opened his mouth wide like a baby bird begging for more. Then we went through the roller coaster of emotions again. He never cried or made a truly sad face, though. I just think he was baffled as to what was in his mouth, and I'm pretty sure he's not the world's biggest banana fan. I've heard that babies' tastes can change frequently, though, so I might try banana again in a week or so to see what he thinks at that time.

Isaiah can now roll over from his back to his stomach to his back to his stomach to his back again. He figured out the full roll one evening and just looked at us so nonchalantly, as if he had been rolling around from day one. I actually watched him roll half-way across the room to get to a toy, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm so proud of my strong, smart little boy for figuring out how to roll around. Now, though, all I can see are dangers in our house. Isaiah could roll off the bed. Isaiah could bonk his head on the coffee table legs. Isaiah could roll over to an outlet and stick his fingers in it. I'm considering investing in miles of bubble wrap and making our place 100% padded.

Gone are the days when I could set Isaiah down with a toy, go to the bathroom, and come back to see him playing with the toy in the same spot. It's not just a possibility that he will roll and wiggle around, it's a guarantee. Rolling is his new favorite thing to do, and he does it at every possible opportunity. Now every morning when Isaiah wakes up, instead of staring up at the curtains and cooing, he kicks Daddy in the back until he has enough room to roll onto his stomach, and then he wiggles until I get up. I'm not even a little surprised, though. He has been exercising his legs for months, and it's pretty obvious that he goal has been to move as much as he can. I'll just have to get in better shape so I can keep up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Going out...of my mind

Last week Michael and I got down to business getting Isaiah on a regular schedule. We've never really felt the need for putting him on a nap schedule before, and I've always let it be a rather organic agenda. As long as he continued to get enough sleep throughout the day and night, I was content to let him take his two or three naps whenever he needed them, and get to bed whenever he was tired. Lately, though, I realized that I would need to be a little more deliberate about the whole thing, because he was beginning to get to bed at erratic times, and he wasn't sleeping for long enough stretches during the night. So, I figured I would try to have him wake up around eight or eight-thirty (which he always does anyway,) take his morning nap around ten-thirty, his afternoon nap around three-thirty, and have him in bed by eight. What a nice plan on paper. What actually happened most days was a half-hour nap at ten, an hour nap at noon, another half hour nap at three, and a biiig long nap around five, which left him too refreshed to go to bed at eight.

I finally am starting to get it down, though, and apparently Isaiah still needs three smaller naps during the day instead of two long ones. Even though the nap times vary a bit from day to day, we are getting him to bed and waking him up at consistent times, which is the most important part to me.

We also tried going out on our first date without Isaiah this last week. Michael and I both wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean, so I began pumping milk four or five days ahead of time and storing it for our big night out. Uncle Peter agreed to watch Isaiah, and we decided to go as early as we could so we could be back for his bedtime, if possible. We decided to go to the AMC inside the Mall of America because it was a short drive should we need to run back home for any emergency. Unfortunately, Uncle Peter couldn't get off work as soon as we had hoped, so we would only be able to make the 6:45 show. Then, when we got to the theater, we realized they had posted the time wrong in the paper and it was actually a 7:15 show. I had already called Peter in the car on the way to the theater, but I figured I should call him again to let him know of the later showing and make sure once more that Isaiah was fine. He was just fine, of course, but I was still very nervous.

The movie was great, but halfway through, I called Peter again to check in. Isaiah was still just fine, so I went back into the theater and watched the rest of the movie with enjoyment. When it was done, I made Michael call because I figured Peter probably thought I was already insane. Unfortunately, this time Isaiah was crying and had been unhappy for a half-hour or so. Although it had been smart to go to a theater that was a short drive from home, it had been less smart to park in a ramp that could only be accessed through a department store, which had closed for the night. So what do I do as a rational, sane human being? I begin sprinting through the Mall of America in my heels looking for an exit. I'm sure everyone I passed thought I had shoplifted and was trying to outrun security, such was the look of horror and guilt on my face. As I was running, knowing how strange I looked, a thought occurred to me: I am no longer an independent woman; I am attached and bound to Isaiah and completely under his control. We finally got to our car (it took so, so long to get there) and we raced home. The entire time, Michael reassured me that this would not permanently scar Isaiah, that he was only crying because he was tired, that Isaiah wasn't hurt, that Peter was doing a fine job. All I could think of, though, was that I was a terrible mother and an idiot for choosing such a long movie for our first night out.

Finally, we arrived at home. I raced out of the car in my bare feet (they were quite sore from running around the mall in heels,) and sprinted through our back door expecting to hear those heart-wrenching little sobs. Instead it was completely silent. I found Peter in the living room watching the news with Isaiah fast asleep on his lap. Peter smiled and said that Isaiah finally just tired himself out and fell asleep. I felt so relieved that he was no longer crying, yet so awful that Isaiah had to fall asleep uncomforted. While Michael and Peter chatted in the living room, I walked back to our bedroom, sat down on our bed, and burst into tears. I cried for a solid five minutes before Michael brought sweet little sleeping Isaiah in so I could snuggle with him in bed. He slept in my arms, and I smelled his soft head, and I knew that we were both fine.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Serious Business

This past week, Isaiah has absolutely exploded developmentally in so many ways. After we had both recovered from our road trip, Isaiah began playing with everything around him, which was so adorable. He is getting so good at reaching out and grabbing objects, and he's becoming acutely aware of all his surroundings. He really began discovering and paying attention new things in South Dakota where he discovered his feet and his right ear. (It wasn't until we were back that he realized he also had a left ear.) Now that he is paying more attention and has more coordination, Michael and I really have to watch out for dangers within his grasp.

This past Sunday, we were eating burritos after church at Chipotle when Isaiah began to get a little bored. I really don't blame him because he didn't have a burrito to munch on or even just play with. I got an extra piece of aluminum foil from the server which distracted him for quite a while. However, he knew that what he really wanted was Daddy's food. So, out shot a little arm with a little grabby hand attached and in a millisecond, he had a grasp on Michael's food basket and was about to toss the burrito onto the floor in a swift, jerky movement. Luckily, Michael had his guard up because he really loves Chipotle burritos, so he was able to catch it before it had even gone off the table. I have a feeling that it was just a warning of the hazards to come, though. It was a good reminder to me that I need to baby-proof our home some more. I have more outlet covers to stick in and corners to soften, and I should really get to it before he starts crawling.

I don't think crawling is really that far off because Isaiah is becoming stronger everyday. He pushes up higher when he's on his tummy, and he can roll to his back whenever he wants to. He even rolled from his back to his front once. Of course, both Michael and I were looking away at the time. He's actually trying to crawl with all his might, but he just hasn't mastered the concept of picking his head up off the ground when he pushes with his legs. As a consequence, he drags his poor little face on the carpet, and I worry that he'll get a rug burn on his cute little nose. He continues to work on it, though, and he has already mastered pivoting. He pushes with his legs and pivots around his stationary head, and sometimes he moves six inches in the direction he ends up pointing. It's alright with me that he's not too mobile yet - I have a lot of baby-proofing to do.

He also began showing mighty interest in food a few weeks ago, making chewing movements and watching forks go from the plate to people's mouths. It's pretty hilarious to watch. At one point, I was eating yogurt for breakfast and he was so fascinated that I let him suck on my spoon after each bite of yogurt. Even though there was no actual food left, he took his job very seriously. The look on his face told me that he knew he was becoming an adult because he ate with a spoon, and that I better start taking him seriously too.

In fact, he has become so interested in solid food that Michael and I decided to let him try some baby cereal. He has shown so many signs of readiness and interest that even though I wanted to wait until six months, we knew it would give him a lot of joy to try. So, we broke out the high chair and mixed up the cereal. (I Tbsp cereal to 5 Tbsp breast milk) We figured out that we pretty much could have just fed him milk with a spoon because it was so liquidy anyway, but Isaiah loved it. He ate, once again, very seriously, and he got possibly one third of it into his mouth. Of course, we had to give him a bath after that, and then we decided he was so cute that he kept him naked and put a white sheet down on the bed for an impromptu photo session. The conclusion? He's the cutest baby in the world.