Friday, May 27, 2011

A Crazy Week

Whew.  I have been wanting to write for a while, but had a crazy week.  This week was clinicals for the CNA course I was in, Xander had his first double ear infection, and I was staying at my dad's house every night.  Therefore, no sleep and no time to write.

I feel like in the five days away from my baby, he grew SO much.  We have pretty much done away with the sippy cup.  We have been using an open cup, which I hold.  He does amazing!  He still spills a lot when he tries to talk while drinking, but can drink without spilling a drop if he stays quiet.  Xander now grabs my hands while sitting and pulls himself up to standing, whether I want him to or not.  Today he started taking teeny tiny baby steps while hanging on to my fingers!  There were very few steps and they didn't produce much movement, but I still almost cried with pride.  (However, I still think he needs to learn to crawl first!)

Yesterday I watched Xander for a little bit while he was in his crib.  He was on his tummy and playing with a toy.  I couldn't believe how well he held himself up with one arm while manipulating the toy with the other!  Just last week he would have done many many face plants into the mattress to try to manipulate the toy.  It reminds me that I don't want to miss a minute because who knows what I will be missing!

On a related note, some of the people in my class, including the instructor, were telling me I should go back to med school like I had originally planned (pre Josh).  They couldn't understand why in the world I would ever want to "throw away" the opportunity if I was capable.  My response was that at the end of my life, when I look back, I will not regret not having become a doctor that much.  However, I would regret not spending every minute I could with my child (hopefully children).   I will never be rich, I won't have a huge house, fancy cars, or exotic vacations.  Regardless, I think my life will have much more meaning as a mother, a role I don't think I could play well as a full time single mother and med student.  It may be the "right" choice for some, but not for me.  I have made my peace with letting go of that lifelong dream in favor of the much more powerful dream.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Books!

Recently I was able to cross two more things off my "To Do Someday" list.  First of all, I made my first Tot Book.  I have seen them around for a while, but with Xander being so young, I haven't had a reason to make one yet.  I decided to use my friend's son, Elijah, as a guinea pig.  I made the Cars one from here:  This set included his name, a Cars Colors mini-book, a Cars Shapes mini-book, and number cards.  It was easier to assemble than I thought and I finally got to put my laminator to use! However, the pages on the mini-books didn't turn as easily as I would have liked.  (If anyone has any tips for getting the laminated card stock to fold easily, without pulling the staples, please let me know!)  According to his mom, it was a big hit.  I am excited for Xander to be old enough to appreciate this kind of thing.  Maybe when he is just a bit older I can make him one with all the pieces separate.

I also made Xander his first photo book!  I have been wanting to do it since he was born, but put it off, partially to accumulate pictures.  Rather than doing a traditional photo book, I made it more of a story.  I used a really large font, simple sentences, and tried to incorporate as many words that he has been taught as possible.  I LOVE the result.  Xander was very interested in reading it also, although he wanted to grab the pages a bit too roughly for my liking.  Definitely a book he will need to read with supervision!  It would be nice to make one of these every six months, or so, with increasingly difficult vocabulary.  Goodness knows I take enough pictures to make many!  I hope he appreciates them as a keepsake when he is older, assuming he can convince me to give them up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DVD Schedule Stress

I was always one of those moms that was adamant about my child not watching television until at least two years old.  YBCR changed our minds about that.  Xander loves them, and I feel he is benefiting.  He still won't be watching broadcast tv (ever?), if I can help it.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I ordered him Your Baby Can Discover, a set made by the YBCR people.  I watched a few before showing them to him, and I really like them.  Madelynn watched with me, and they really held her interest as well.  There are 6 discs that teach pitch, numbers, reading, polygons, in depth colors, patterns, etc.  My goal is to have him watch one every other day, for about a month per disc.  The alternate days I plan on showing Baby Signing Time.  Maybe Trebellina instead of either, about once a week.

Those were the easy decisions.  What has been causing me a lot of stress is what to do about reading videos.  Xander has about a week and a half left on his final YBCR disc.  I don't know where to go from there.  The same company makes Your Child Can Read, which I intend to purchase eventually.  However, I think it might be too early for that yet.  Phrases are longer, shown faster, and repeated less often.  I have contemplated the Preschool Prep Sight Words discs, but am worried they will bore him.  From what I can tell, they are incredibly repetitive (to the point I might go crazy if I have to listen).  I would love to try them before buying them, just to see his opinion.  Instead, I may just end up flashing him the Dolche and sight words, which would get in more right brain learning anyway.

I have watched video clips of Monkisee, but feel like the ratio of words to accompanying video is too low.  I watched some clips of 2020Kids Sight Words, and it just kind of seemed weird to me.  Leapfrog has some cute videos, but they are plot based, so I would like to delay them until Xander is a bit older.  I have also thought about purchasing YBCR in Spanish, intended for native speakers.  It would give him good reading exposure, but none in English (other than LR and our flash cards).  I tried getting Your Baby Can Speak Spanish, by the same company, but it was glitchy and I didn't like the presentation much, so I returned it.  We will probably end up doing Boca Beth for Spanish, as well as custom creating Spanish lessons into LR once we are done with the English curriculum.    Maybe the decision of a replacement for YBCR shouldn't cause me to fret for weeks, but I really want to avoid sitting Xander in front of crap for 20 min every day.  I only get one babyhood with him, and I don't want to waste any of it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day and 6 Month Updates!

I have been meaning to write about a few things, but haven't had much time (or sleep) lately to make it to the computer.

Well my baby is 6 months!  I can't believe it!  Half a year!  He had his 6 month well check today, and is doing great!  17lbs and 25.5 inches, about the 50th, and 25th percentile, respectively.  He is looking less and less like a baby and more like a little boy!  I love this stage, I love seeing him develop, and I love every day with him, but I feel like it is happening too fast!

Today the doctor told us he can start working to three meals a day, which more foods at each meal.  He also told us to go ahead with puffs.  If Xander could have understood I am sure he would have kissed the doctor!  He stares at anyone eating with these huge puppy dog eyes, like he is begging them to share.  He will enjoy having more meals with the adults.  I tried giving him some puffs after lunch, but he was a bit confused.  He ate them if I held them in his mouth, otherwise they would fall out and he would wonder where they went.  I don't think it will take him long to figure out, though.

First time eating puffs.
Sunday was also our first Mother's day.  I was a little nervous about how I would feel.  Mother's day kind of loses its meaning when the father of your infant just doesn't care.  However, thanks to great family and friends, it was great!  Xander made me h is first card at day care!  I don't know if you can tell, but those blue smudges are his fingers.  Definitely one for the memory box.  I was also given some flowers and some balloons on his behalf.  Best of all, I got to spend the whole day with my little guy!  I feel so blessed to get to be his mother.

This weekend Xander also got to use his bath ring for the first time.  For a while now he has been trying to sit upright in his baby bathtub, which reclines him.  I figured he would enjoy getting to sit during his bath.  He LOVED it.  He had been fussy, but calmed right down when I put him in.  We played with some bath toys and practiced splashing.  I am just a bit paranoid about him tipping, so didn't get many pictures.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


As I sit here trying to get Xander back to sleep for the third time tonight, I am reminded just how lucky I am. I get to hold my baby each and every day. I get to see his smile, feel his warmth, and give him my love. What more could anyone ask for? I have a little piece of heaven sitting right here in my arms and I thank God for him every night. As long as my baby is content and healthy, I will always have happiness.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sorting Cups

I was so fortunate to get my hands on some used sorting cups (You can find similar ones here).  There are five different colored cups, and a bunch of little objects to go with them.  This morning I showed them to Xander, putting objects in their designated cups.  He was fascinated.  I gave him some objects and guided his hand to put them in the right cup, but he really didn't like letting go of the objects.  

Of course, dumping them out is half the fun!

After we sorted the shapes, I decided to try some more addition.  I used little bowls, because that is what I had.  I really would prefer to use paper plates, but mine were all too big.  Anyway, I showed him each bowl explaining that one plus two equals three, and a few other equations.  He already knows the quantities for each number, but his only exposure to equations has been with LM, which uses much more of a right brain learning technique.  He hasn't ever seen equations set out like this.  I am SO thankful that he was very very interested.  He paid attention the whole time.  We did it again this afternoon, and he was equally interested.  He also really enjoyed dumping the bears out of the bowls.

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