Saturday, September 30, 2006

Eight Months of Cuteness

Isaiah loves me oh-so-much. I can tell because his sweet little face lights up the moment he sees me in the morning, and his beautiful little eyes shine with love for me all day long. If I am out of sight for a little while, Isaiah will squeal with joy when I come back into view, and if I come over to pick him up, he will bounce up and down with his legs and hold out his arms to say "Hooray, my mommy is going to hold me." I am so blessed to have two boys who make me feel so beautiful and loved. Thanks Michael and Isaiah.

This last week on Facebook, I got a comment from an old high school friend whom I hadn't spoken to in years. "you're a mom???? oh man.. i remember the days in govt. class when you were telling me that you were never even going to get married..." I couldn't remember saying that, but I'm sure I did. I do remember in high school thinking that being married (much less having children) was such a far off thing that it was difficult to grasp. Kind of like trying to imagine living in a Kenya...with flower pots for feet. It was imaginable, but not very realistic at the time. Reading that comment made me realize how very long ago high school was and how different my life is now. It's odd to realize I'm growing up. (Although I still don't admit to being a grown up yet.)

Isaiah is beginning to really like Sesame Street - especially Elmo. I had the T.V. on the other day while we were playing with the Stack-o-Rings, and Isaiah would glance up once in a while to Ernie or the Count, but he was much more interested in how much of the blue ring would fit into his mouth. Then, Elmo came on the screen and started singing about how much he likes his crayon or something, and Isaiah immediately dropped the blue ring, stared enraptured at the screen. He screamed in delight, bounced up and down, and even tried to clap his hands. It was pretty cute because he can't clap at all. Mostly, he just waved them around. I took a ton of pictures of him just sitting there staring at the television because I loved watching him enjoy something I know I loved as a little girl.

We also watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood the other day. Actually, I watched it while I held him and rocked him to calm him down for his nap. It was a very surreal experience because I hadn't seen Mr. Rogers in so long. Then he began to talk to the kids about how much their parents love them, and he sang a song that ended with him saying that one day "you will grow up and sing to your children too." It was very odd to think that I might have heard Mr. Rogers sing that very song as a child.

Isaiah has been boycotting naps recently. I don't understand why because he likes napping, as far as I can tell. He will get very tired right around 10:15 on the dot, and I will take him potty, rock him and hold him, and put him down for some nursing and a nap. He usually falls alseep beautifully in ten minutes max, but then after I am gone, he wakes up in 15 minutes flat and starts playing. I have tried nursing him again, laying down with him for looooong stretches of time, leaving him in his bed to wear himself out, keeping him awake until 11:00, but his morning naps just aren't consistent anymore. Unless, that is, I hold him on my lap for the entire nap and let him grasp my thumb. Then he sleeps like a baby. I've realized that I can fight this (and probably lose since I can't force him to sleep when he doesn't want to) or just work with it. So, I now have quiet times for myself in the mornings from 10:30 until lunch most days where I just read a book and drink tea and let my baby sleep in my arms where he feels safe and content.

Michael got a new digital camera for his birthday, which isn't until October 3rd, but we were both very excited for the camera, so it has already been opened and used quite a bit. Of course, every picture (and one short video) feature Isaiah. I actually took a quick inventory of all the 500 or so pictures we have taken in the past eight months, and I think I could count nine that
didn't have Isaiah in them. Actually, that's kind of cheating because Isaiah is in the background of two of those. What can I say, though? Isaiah is more beautiful that anything, how could we not take hundreds of pictures of him. I really hope we are as good about taking pictures of our subsequent children, because I know that there are often twice as many pictures of the first baby than the rest of the kids, at least.

Isaiah is just about to break out some brand new top teeth to go along with his bottom teeth. I can see the white lines underneath the gums, and any day I expect to be able to feel the sharp little razor edge of one poking through. Even though he isn't fussing or complaining, I feel bad because his gums do look a little swollen. He's such a trooper. Oh, and he is eight months old today.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sniffles and Snuggles

My two boys are upstairs playing right now, and again I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have them both. I can hear Isaiah giggling through the vents as Daddy does something silly, and I remember the silly things my daddy did to make me laugh. He used to let me walk up his legs while he held onto my hands and then I would flip over onto my feet again. He also made big towers with me with special tubes you could roll marbles down, and we would watch the marbles descend together. He made snowmen with me in our backyard once even though I was too cold to finish after the head and I just watched him through the sliding glass doors. Michael remembers his dad playing "post office" with him and his siblings and laughing while trying not to get "stamped." How did we get so blessed? So many kids grow up without a dad in their lives, but our families are full of wonderful, invovled fathers. Thank you so much to our dads (and our moms of course) for giving us so much love, so that now we know how to love our baby.

We have all been sick this week with some sort of cold. My best guess is that our bodies were all shocked by the thirty degree drop in the temperature that occured early this week. No kidding - seventy-five to fourty-five in a matter of days. Isaiah was the first to contract the sniffles. I didn't really pay to much attention to it until it was bedtime, and then I realized that he couldn't lay down horizontally because the mucus would plug up his nose, so for several hours that night, I sat on the couch so that Isaiah could lean diagonally on me and sleep. I actually got some sleep that way too, but I wound up with a crick in my neck as a result. Then Michael got sick, but he had a nasty cough to go along with his cold, and finally I got a little sick, but not nearly as badly as my boys. I mostly had a sore throat, fatigue, and a headache. The one good thing about everyone being under the weather is that we all wanted the same things - warm liquids, early bedtimes, and lots of blankets. So for the past few days we have been doing a lot of snuggling and drinking tea (or milk for Isaiah.)

I am still unable to get a picture of Isaiah's teeth to put up. He is so good at covering them up with his tongue; you can almost forget they exist. That is, until he bites your finger with them. You really don't forget after that. He also makes new noises and faces because of his teeth. He sometimes puckers up like a fish or sucks on his tongue, and he says "da da" more often. Also, this morning he started making little trumpet sounds. He kept it up for a while because he enjoyed watching me laugh at him.

Well, I think I have found the food Isaiah dislikes the most. Garlic mashed potatoes with butter and herbs. We were having dinner the other night, and Isaiah didn't want to eat his carrots. He kept eyes our plates with steak and the aforementioned potatoes. Since I couldn't give him the steak, I put a teeny bite of potatoes on his spoon. Oh my goodness. He made a shocked and disgusted face, squeezed his eyes shut, and shook his head and hands and whole body in dismay. I think he thought I had fed him rat poisen. I felt awful, but I had no idea he would hate them that much. I mean, I liked them. After he recovered from the bite, though, he ate his carrots very happily. So, I guess it all worked out.

Lastly, Isaiah is getting better at scooting/crawling every day. He gets himself up onto his hands and knees now to go forward, but he usually flops down onto his belly and just scoots because it's faster for him at this point. We're planning on dressing him up as a caterpillar for Halloween this year because it will be so adorable to watch him inch around.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Isaiah has teeth!! Two teeth, to be more precise. Two sweet, adorable little teeth on the bottom, sharpened and ready to bite. I would love to include a picture of Isaiah with his two cute little teeth, but apparently his teeth (unlike the rest him) are camera shy. In fact, it took a whole day and countless tries for us to be able to see them after we were able to feel them with our fingers. On Thursday, August 31st, Michael was holding Isaiah in the evening and decided to massage his gums because that sometimes helps with fussiness in teething babies. Then, he called me in because he could feel the sharp little bumps of a tooth poking through. We tried so many times to look into his little mouth, and to feel his gums with our fingers. Looking back, I realize that all the poking and prodding was a bit of an invasion on his privacy, but we were so excited we couldn't help it. Isaiah refused to let us see them that night, though. He didn't want to open his mouth unless it was for a pear-juice-popsicle, and even then, he covered his lower gum with his tongue. So, we were out of luck until the next day when we tricked him into letting us open his mouth for a split second or two.

He really was a very happy baby all throughout this teething experience. He didn't have sleeping problems or any excess crying or a fever or anything. I don't know why so many parents insisted on telling me stories of unimaginable horror. Some parents really relish frightening younger parents with awful stories of screaming babies and unmanagable toddlers. I know that many parents have had difficult experiences in the past, and I truly do sympathize, but to see the glee on some veteran parents' faces as they describe with gory detail what is sure to come your way is rather unsettling. "Just you wait," they say with maniacle grins, "until he talks back to you." Or, "just wait until the terrible twos," or "the nightmare of potty training." (I really depressed that storyteller when I informed her that I was already potty training Isaiah, and that it was going just fine.) According to these parents, there will always be some horror beyond horrors waiting for me when it comes to parenting, no matter how old Isaiah is. "Wait until preschool, when he'll learn swear words on the bus." "Just wait until middle school, when he will be embarassed by the very sight of you." "Wait until he's a teenager and gets caught up in sex, drugs, and rock n' roll." Unfortunately for these doom-bearing parents, I'm not afraid of the future years with my little boy. Maybe Isaiah will swear like a sailor when he's 6, cease talking for three years when he's 12, and pierce every available body part when he's 17. Then again, maybe he won't. Either way, I love my little Isaiah, so bring it on.

We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend with my family. It was, of course, too short of a visit, but still a lot of fun. It's always so beautiful to see my parents and Andy doting on Isaiah. It's also a good reminder to me of how precious he is, because they marvel at the things I have gotten used to, like rolling over and sitting up. I'm very glad Isaiah is so confortable with them, too. We didn't have any trouble with him being nervous or shy - he knew they were his family right away. I know Isaiah will go through separation and stranger anxiety sometime, but he's such a little people person, it's difficult to imagine right now.

Also this last week, we were able to see the Walzes during one of our trips to the Minnesota State Fair. For those of you who haven't partaken of the state fair, it's sort of our version of Mardi Gras. The big difference is that in Minnesota, most people are good, midwestern Lutherans, and they only wild side of Mardi Gras they do is the eating. So, basically, it's a gigantic eating festival with every imaginable thing fried and put on a stick and a few side attractions such as art and carnival rides. I was carrying Isaiah around in the sling when I decided to get a turky drumstick from a vendor, and I was only two bites into it when I realized there was no way Isaiah was going to let me have it all to myself. I let him gum the meat (this was actually pre-teeth,) and he really seemed to love it. We didn't have a camera, which was a bad move on our part, but we got a cute picture on a cell phone camera.

Isaiah enjoys gnawing on almost anything he can get to his mouth, but nothing more than his toes. "Oh toes!" Isaiah's big bright eyes exclaim each time he sees them, and into his mouth they go. It doesn't matter where he is or what he's doing; when he sees his toes, it's the only thing on his mind. Whenever he sits on the toilet, I have to hold him steady with one hand because otherwise he would topple head-first onto the tile floor in an attempt to eat his toes. When we're in the car and I hear grunts coming from the back seat, rest assured Isaiah has manuvered himself with Gumby-like capability to defy the 'five point harness system' of the state-of-the-art carseat and get his toes into his mouth. At least he has ten toys he will never misplace now.

A list of the things Isaiah likes (and doesn't like) to eat will show his unpredictable, descriminating tastes:

Milk - good
Juice - good
Banana - bad
Avacado - good
Turky leg - good
Peas - bad
Toes - good
Plums - good
Corn - bad
Soap from the bathtub that I can't get out of his reach quickly enough - good
Pears - good
Green beans - good
Carrots - good, then boring, then bad
Infant cereal - good
Infant cereal mixed with applesauce and a little cinnamon - very good
Pickles - good
Fudgsicle - bad
Nectarine - good

At least the good outnumbers the bad right now. I still haven't figured out how soap tastes better than the peas I keep trying to feed him, though. Oh well.