Bye Bye, Binky

We had Cole’s two year check up today at Elliot Pediatrics in Londonderry. Sometimes I wonder whether I should change pediatricians, because there are a lot of practices that are closer to us. But then Dr. Hajduk’s awesomeness reels me right back in and makes me realize the extra ten minutes in the car is totally worth it.

When you have a baby who is born below the 1st percentile in weight, or if your child has any weight gain issues, you tend to be a bit of a numbers freak. Even after two years of happy and healthy check ups, I still get anxious when Cole is sitting on the scale. Thankfully, his numbers place him in the 35th percentile for both weight and height….not that I’m counting 🙂

The biggest news of the day? I took the pacifier away. I promised myself (and my husband) that when Cole turned two, the binky would bounce.

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It was time…

I won’t go through all the gory details, but he was reeeeally angry that he didn’t have that binky to help him fall asleep at naptime. He cried. He whipped himself over his crib railing and onto the floor (ouch). His lovey stuffed animal, Piglet, took a few punches for the cause, but he did fall asleep after about 20 minutes of fussing.  I felt so bad that I snuck into his room after he fell asleep, picked him up out of his crib, and rocked him for 20 minutes while he slept in my arms.

Thankfully, he still loved me when he woke up from his nap a couple of hours later. We’ll see how tonight goes. Bedtime is right about….NOW! Wish us luck and a binky-less night.

15 month milestones and meltdowns

Peaceful baby by the lake

Mama is thankful for peaceful moments like this one…especially lately!

Arriving at swim class this morning Cole was anxious to get into the water as soon as possible. He decided to start walking over himself, and was promptly picked up by mom since she wasn’t quite ready yet.  Meltdown.

Chatting happily to himself as he sits in the carriage at Target, Cole decides he wants to walk around instead. Mom picks him up out of the carriage, puts him down, and holds his hand as they walk down the aisle.  Fixated on something that he wants to play with, he tries to change the direction they are walking in, but mom won’t let him play with lamps. Meltdown.

Sliding the oven drawer. Climbing on the dishwasher door. Opening the DVD player.  Slamming doors shut. Pulling on the cat’s tail. On the eve of Cole’s 15 month birthday, I’m starting to feel like a broken record as I try to teach him what “no” means.  I know he is listening, because when he tests a limit he looks at me as if to say “This is about to happen, Mom. What’s your move…”

The good news (because let’s face it – we have to look on the positive side to keep ourselves sane) is that I believe Cole’s extreme emotional reaction to things is because he is growing and transitioning from a baby to a toddler.  He’s asserting his independence and experiencing the effects of his motivations and movements.  I can see the wheels in his head turning as he thinks “if I do this, then that will happen…”

I get that. Really, I do…But boy is it tough to focus on milestones when your little one is in the middle of a major meltdown. Especially in public!

Although, often times his curious spirit leads to laughter rather than tears.  Yesterday in the supermarket I gave Cole a container of Cheerios to snack on to keep him busy. This type of container ensures that (most of) the snack will stay inside because it has a snap on cover that he has to reach into.

baby snack containerCole’s been throwing and dumping food all over the place lately so I thought I was mom of the year for finding these containers!  One moment Cole is smiling and munching on Cheerios, and the next moment I hear a loud “POP!” followed by the sound of cereal raindrops on the floor. I look over at Cole; his eyes are as wide open as the top of the container, and he has cereal all over him.  A fit of laughter bubbles out of me, which triggers the giggles from Cole as well.  I did feel bad for maintenance though… 🙂

At the end of the day, regardless of how tough or peaceful it might have been, all I feel is love for this little human that we made. It might take me glass of wine sometimes, but I’m always able to let go of those cringe-worthy moments and just be thankful for my family. Let’s face it, you don’t have to be a 15 month old to have meltdowns. We all have them! I just want to be sure I teach Cole how to get through them safely and quickly.

My Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party

I woke up from my morning nap to the sound of the apartment door opening and closing, opening and closing. “What are mom and dad doing out their?” I wondered, rubbing my eyes. Since I can’t really talk yet I made a few noises and threw Piglet out of my crib. That did the trick. Dad came in, swooped me up, and gave me a squeeze. Out in the kitchen I was sitting in my high-chair enjoying my favorite breakfast of waffles and blueberries when mom walked through the front door. “How’s my birthday boy?” She smiles and blows me a kiss. I smile back and bounce a little in my seat.

After I’m finished eating mom changes me into a caterpillar onesie. I recognize the caterpillar from the book that I always pull down from the bookcase in the room. It’s my favorite because of all the food. I think the caterpillar likes to eat as much as I do! Accept I don’t get stomach aches and have to eat leaves, usually.

The phone rings and after a moment my mom and I are skipping down the hallway and as we turn the corner I see two familiar faces at the door. GG and Mima pass me back and forth, giving my a lot of hugs and kisses. And then it’s time to get down to business, that’s what mom says. In the club room, I see the Very Hungry Caterpillar all over the place! On the walls, on the table and even in the cake. I thought that cake was going to come alive and inch right off the table.

Pretty soon my friends and family arrive at the party. There is so much food to eat and so many toys to play with. We had meatballs, macaroni and cheese, fruit, veggies, and sandwiches. My favorite was the cucumber and strawberry cream cheese sandwiches. Once I had a full belly it was time to play with my friends. I shared all of my toys and we crawled all around the play-mat and through the caterpillar tunnel. Mom even came down with us and read us The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.

The biggest surprise of the day was when mom brought over a cupcake with a candle in it and everyone sang to me. That cupcake was so good! I ate the whole thing and even licked the frosting off of my fingers. I’m not sure why everyone was laughing, but it didn’t bother me. I just kept on digging in. After all, that’s what a hungry caterpillar would do, right?

Mom opened my gifts and I got some really cool things. I have the nicest and coolest friends and family. It was a perfect party and by the end of it…I was ready for another nap! Here are some pictures from my party!

Cole’s 1st birthday

Wow! I am how many fingers old today?!

You woke up this morning with a smile on your face, as usual. Dad brought you into our bedroom singing the Beatles Birthday Song… “they say it’s your birthday!” which we followed up with two verses of the traditional “Happy Birthday to you” song. What a year, Cole! I wish I could freeze you just as you are for a little bit longer. In the past couple of weeks you have really started becoming a little boy, breaking free from your infant cocoon into my handsome little butterfly! You’ve become a chatter box (like your mom) and you make me and your dad laugh all the time when you mimic words we say by repeating the first or second syllable. Duck is “da” and car is “cah” and kitty is “gee” and you love to talk with a mouth full of food. You eat everything that I put in front of you, except for chicken and avocados.  Your favorite meals are waffles with blueberries and vegetable tortellini soup. Your favorite snacks are Annie’s cheddar bunnies, kiwi, and any cracker that you can hold onto and bite your way through.

We’ve had a busy year together. You’ve banged on drums in music class, learned to sign “dog” in sign language class, made lots of friends on baby playdates, used the swing at the playground, swam and took boat rides at the lake, had lunch in Boston, wore a space helmet at the children’s museum, hiked Blue Hills and had plenty of cuddle time with your mom, dad, and the whole family! There is so much love surrounding you each and every day. Our lives are much richer with you in it.

A note from your Dad:

As each day passes I realize how lucky your mom and I are. You are such a special little boy and I can’t wait to share many fun things with you. Thank you for making me smile and putting it all in to perspective.

Love, Dad

Happy First Birthday, Cole!!

He’s almost one, folks

Wow – I can’t believe Cole turns ONE is just a couple of weeks! A year ago I was on bedrest full of worry and not quite sure what to expect. This year I’m full of wonder and amazement at how fast he is growing and how much joy he has brought to our lives. It was around Christmas time that Cole started growing into his big boy face. All of us moms and dads experience this. It’s like we wake up one morning, walk into the nursery, and suddenly a little boy or girl is staring back at us in the place of our tiny baby! In the past couple of months Cole has perfected the pull up on anything and everything and loves to walk along couches, music tables, chairs…mostly to reach for everything that he is not supposed to play with, like remote controls, cell phones and glassware.

He couch surfed for the first time last month, and he happily obliged to reenact it for me a moment later:

Video of Cole Couch Surfing

I’m always amazed when Cole reaches a new milestone. It’s incredible that a baby’s little body just knows when it’s ready to explore a new movement.  We don’t have stairs in our apartment, but the stairs in my mom and dad’s lakehouse peeked Cole’s curiosity this week. He couldn’t resist having a go:

Cole climbing stairs

It’s been quite a busy couple of months for my little boy, Cole. He is full of surprises and smiles every day. As Valentine’s Day approaches I can’t help but be thankful that I now have two loves in my life. I’m so proud of my family.

Baby’s first teeth

A friend of mine captured a photo that perfectly showcases Cole’s first two teeth. They came in three months ago, but we haven’t been able to take a picture at the right angle to show them off!

two bottom teethSerious cuteness, but teething is not fun for my little angel. Watching him go through the process makes me think: babies work so hard for these teeth, and then they just fall out! What crazy jokes nature plays on us. We are expecting more teeth to be breaking through any day now, because Cole is showing signs of teething again. Drool that soaks a bib in 10 seconds, runny nose, hands (and everything else) in the mouth, and random night awakenings. Thank goodness for teething rings to bite on and wet wash cloths to suck on. Anything to make the little dude more comfortable. Before we know it this adorable gummy smile will be filled with a whole set of pearly whites!

 

A letter to Cole – 7 months

Dear Cole,

Seven months have flown by and you are growing so fast right before our eyes.  You were 5 pounds 5 ounces when you were born and at your 6 month check up you were up to 16 pounds 12 ounces!  You went from being in the first percentile to the 30th percentile in just a half a year.

We have gotten to spend every day of your life together and I’m so thankful to your Dad for that.  I’ve enjoyed being present for all of your milestones and firsts, and learning first hand what makes you happy, relaxed, and even sad.  When you were a newborn you loved to sleep in two places.  On Mama and in your swing.  You loved your Fisher Price Zen swing, especially when we turned on the nature sounds.  The swing is also where Mima introduced you to your Aiden and Anais security blankets.  She would put it over your eyes and you would snuggle into it to help soothe you to sleep.  You still sleep with one every night in your crib.

Some other places you’ve enjoyed spending time when we are at home are your blue chair, your exersaucer, and your jumper.  You have always been such a fun baby and you want to play all the time! Now that you have started to crawl you are all over the place.  The items that motivate you to move the fastest are Mama’s phone, the green light-up frog, and books.

You want to play so much that it was a challenge to get you on a good nap schedule.  But you have been doing so well the past couple of weeks.  Right now you are napping for about 1 hour in the morning and 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon.  I’m so proud of the good sleeper you have become!  You sleep on your stomach every night with your little bum sticking up in the air and your hands tucked underneath your stomach.  Dad and I love to watch you sleep.

You smile all the time when you are with people you know.  When a stranger is around, or we are some place you aren’t familiar with, you are more observant.  Eventually you will warm up and the smile and dimples come back.  Lately you’ve been smiling so hard that it makes you scrunch your nose and squint your eyes.  You love to laugh.  Especially when Daddy has you up in the air.  Sometimes for no reason at all!  People stop me on the street so they can comment on how beautiful your eyes are.  And they are the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen.

Being on your back for too long makes you feel agitated, so you get plenty of tummy time.  When you are tired or upset we give you your binky and take you on walks.  You love to take long walks in the stroller.  I think it’s because you like to look at everything around you, and you love to be outside.  You are much happier when we are out running errands or at the park than when we are stuck inside all day! I love you for that.

Your favorite book is The Very Lonely Firefly, but you seem to like to stick Goodnight Moon in your mouth when you are playing.  Daddy gives you a bath every night before bed and you love it.  Usually you kick your legs and splash water at him.  I sing to you all the time.  I’m excited for when you will sing with me!  I also love to dance with you when a good song comes on. You are starting to become a chatter box like your mom! You love to say “Dada” “Hi” and “Yeah” in this deep, raspy voice.

Daddy and I are so proud of you.  We love watching you reach every milestone and seeing your personality come to life!  You are the light of our life and your bright energy is contagious to anyone who is around you.  We love you, Cole 🙂

Love, Mama

Baby on the move

Cole had been quasi rolling over by the end of June, around the time he turned 4 months old.  He quickly became an expert at rolling the second week of July.  We are thrilled that Cole has crossed this new developmental milestone and we’ve given him plenty of cheers and high fives.  It’s even more fun to play with him now that he can roll over, and boy does he get plenty of tummy time!  There are a couple of changes that I’ve had to get used to.  I used to be able to plop him on an activity mat with plenty of toys to entertain him and buzz around the kitchen doing chores and cooking.  Now when I turn my head from him and turn back around a moment later he has rolled himself from the mat onto the wood floor!

It’s also opened Cole’s eyes to new possibilities while he is in his crib.  For example, we still put him down on his back in his crib because that’s what is recommended for babies until they are 1 year old, but he doesn’t stay that way for long!  When he doesn’t feel like sleeping, he’ll roll and wiggle his way all around.  We love our Summer Infant video monitor because we can actually change the position of the camera using the receiver when he moves. Sometimes we’ll look on monitor and find him with an arm or a leg hanging out of the crib bars.  And once in a while he will make his way to the corner of the crib and howl as if he is in prison!

And he sleeps on his side or on his stomach…no matter where he is. Even on the swing he’ll twist around on his side!

And now a quick clip of the baby in action…

I know this is just beginning of Cole’s transition from stationary newborn to walking-talking baby, and it’s so fun to watch him change from day to day…but does it have to happen so freaking fast?!?


Feed my belly

I look forward to Fourth of July weekend BBQs all year long.  Since we were surrounded by so much food all weekend it seemed like the perfect time to introduce solid foods to Cole.  At his four month appointment, the pediatrician said that it’s best to introduce solid foods to babies between four and six months.  Research has shown that introducing food during this timeframe will help prevent food allergies when he is a little older.  Since Cole is gaining plenty of weight on his current diet of all breast milk, it wasn’t a nutritional necessity to start feeding him solids.  Even though it would be more of a social activity for him, we were told that a few signs to look out for that indicate a baby is ready are: eating more often (every 2 – 2 1/2 hours), waking up more often during the night (2 – 3 times), and watching us eat with curiosity.  By the time Fourth of July weekend rolled in we could check off all three if those boxes… so we decided it was time for Cole to try some food.  

We decided on organic puréed pears, simply because it was the first food our pediatrician fed to all six of his kids. Have I mentioned our pediatrician’s name is Charlie Brown?  How could anyone possibly not trust a pediatrician named Charlie Brown.

 It was a beautiful morning on Lake Winnipesaukee when we figured we would give it a go. Sitting patiently in his Bumbo, American flag bib secured around his neck, Cole was ready to eat solids for the first time. And boy did he eat!  It was like he had been taking food from a spoon for months and kept going back for more.  Props to Plum Organics because those pears were quite delicious and my four month old gobbled it right up!  

When did you first introduce solids to your little one?  And what food was it?