Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Things: Jude, 19 Months

I got this idea from a friend of a friend, who posts "Little Things" about her kids from time to time in order to remember their behaviors at different stages. We'll see how this goes.

Jude's communication has really exploded in the past six weeks or so. He says a lot of words now on his own, and copies almost anything we say. A few of his mispronunciations are especially funny. Jude still loves to drink his MUP (milk) and the transition from bottles to cups is going slowly. He also loves to read a BUP (book), especially while drinking mup. He will happily wave goodbye with a big smile while saying DIE! He calls the baby DEEDEE. And he always asks for a DITE of whatever I'm eating. It's funny, because we know he can make the B sound (he says BOBO, BOO, and BUP) but for some words he replaces with a D consistently. Jude loves answering the phone with a cheery HEY-YO. Daddy is now "DADDY-ADDY" and Mama is "MUM". I have no idea where he picked up those names. Jude is also starting to branch out into concepts instead of just things that he can see and touch. He is very clear about when he wants to go UP or NOWN, whether he is ready to get OUT or IN, and whether something should be OPEN or CLOSED. He loves to turn the lights ON and OFF. He will also sometimes admit to being tired, hungry, thirsty, or hot (rarely is he cold).

Jude is officially down to one nap a day, starting around mid-day and usually lasting 2-3 hours. He sleeps for 11-12 hours at night, waking at around 7am (give or take 30 minutes) no matter what time he falls asleep. Sometimes sickness or teething or a bad dream wakes him in the middle of the night, but for the most part he sleeps pretty soundly. Even when he does wake up, he can usually be rocked back to sleep pretty quickly. I can only hope that the new baby sleeps as well as Jude. The bedtime routine includes a bottle of mup and some bups, tooth brushing, diaper change, PJs, and singing a few songs while rocking to calm him. He still sleeps with his binkie and blankie, but is usually willing to leave them in his crib when it's time to get up.

Jude usually has a pretty good breakfast (waffles, eggs, fruit, etc.) and another good-sized meal as well as several snacks. He really like pineapple (PI-APPLE) and a dite of whatever Mum is eating (he knows Mum eats the best stuff). He also loves goldfish crackers and cheese. Jude will accept spoon feeding when he's really hungry, but most of the time insists on doing it on his OWN, often with a spoon or fork. We've switched from baby yogurts to the plain whole-milk Nancy's mixed with fruit, and this makes a big mess when Jude feeds himself, but he is getting a lot better. Now almost every bite makes it to his mouth without flipping over. Jude is also less tolerant of sitting in his baby eating chair, and will sometimes insist on eating out of an adult chair. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get him to actually sit down - he's usually kneeling, standing, climbing, or doing anything but sitting.

Favorite activities include solving puzzles, watching Elmo, cleaning, and playing outside. We have started taking Jude for walks where he actually walks instead of being carried or pushed. He really loves this, although his companions need to make sure they don't have their own agenda. A walk with Jude usually involves a lot of stopping to pick up rocks and sticks as well as testing the rules to see if he can walk into the road or down a steep hill. On the trails, he always picks the downhill option, and just yesterday invented a game called "RUN" in which he grabs someone's hand, says RUN, and runs downhill as fast as he can, tripping and falling all the way down (that's why he needs the hand). He is also experimenting with jumping off of things, like tables and stairs. Another favorite game is "IN" - where he slides himself back behind the bed in his room while Daddy reads to him, then gets pulled out when he decides he is stuck. Jude also likes to hide and he likes to say BOO when he is done hiding. In the mornings, after his mup and bup with Mama, he likes to go IN (i.e. under) the covers with the DEEDEE. Sometimes Mama and Daddy have to stay OUT, and sometimes we can join him. He also likes to play JUDE DOIT, where he stands on the bed and falls backwards onto the blankets while laughing hysterically. This kid is a serious daredevil, much to Daddy's chagrin.

I'm sure there are a million other things that I should be including here, but this is all I have for now...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Situation

Linden "The Situation" Cornett stars in our new reality show - "Two Under Two." Coming in May.

She's a working mom with two children and a deadbeat stay-at-home dad husband. How will The Situation respond to late night baby crying and toddler tantrums? How will the new baby like her bossy older brother? Will the nap schedules ever overlap? How will dad get out for 9 holes of golf?

Stay tuned.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Definitely in "Dreary"

The three trimesters are known as "weary", "cheery", and "dreary" - and there's no question about which one I'm in now. In the past week or so I've really started to feel uncomfortably pregnant (for the first time this pregnancy). I'm tired, my back hurts, I'm having trouble sleeping, and I've started having a lot of contractions as well.

I saw my doctor yesterday, and she recommended that I drop down to about half time at work so that I can rest more and hopefully prevent a preterm labor situation. So, starting this week, I'm going to be working from home 2-3 days a week, and I'll start my maternity leave in early April instead of mid-April as we had been planning.

What I'm feeling now is actually very similar to what happened during my pregnancy with Jude. I remember being in Wallowa County over the July 4 weekend, having contractions every 7-8 minutes for hours at a time, and wondering if the baby was going to be born in Eastern Oregon. I cut back on my work hours soon after that, and stopped working entirely at four weeks before the due date, and Jude ended up being born on his due date (what a surprise!). Hopefully this baby will follow the same pattern! I'm thinking that this might just be what my body does in the third trimester, and as long as I don't overdo it the baby will probably not be premature. But I don't want to take any chances - so I will be resting as much as I can for the rest of this month!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chichen Itza

Here are a few more photos from our morning at Chichen Itza...

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Directives from the Doctor

We took Jude in for his 18M well-child visit with Dr. Jack yesterday. It was a very different experience than previous doctor's visits. First of all, Jude REMEMBERED that the doctor's office is where he gets pokies and other unpleasant things happen to him. From the moment he entered the examination room, he started shaking his head, muttering "No, No, No" and clinging to me. I think this is probably pretty common, because Dr. Jack entered cautiously and tried to make friends immediately by giving Jude some stickers. Jude was unimpressed for the most part, although he was distracted by a bag of dried apples and enjoyed reading "Sheep In A Jeep" despite the surroundings.

Here are his stats from this visit:
  • Height: 35.5 inches (99th percentile)
  • Weight: 30 pounds, 5 ounces (92nd percentile)
If you compare these numbers to previous data points, you can see that Jude's height has been consistent at the 99th percentile, but his weight is creeping up the percentile ladder. He is not overweight at this point, since he is more or less height/weight proportional, but the doctor is concerned that if this trend continues, he could be overweight by the time he is two. He recommended a few things. First, we will do another weight check in three months when we take the new baby in for her two-week appointment. The hope is that he will stay on or below the 92nd percentile line in the next three months. Second, we are supposed to be a little bit tougher about not giving Jude extra milk. We have to limit him to no more than 20 ounces a day, since the extra milk he is getting is most likely causing the weight creep.

In order to decrease his constant requests for milk (and for other reasons as well), Dr. Jack also recommended that we transition Jude from bottles to sippy cups for his milk over the next month or so. This should reduce the amount that he drinks just for comfort sucking and will also be better for his teeth. The doctor said it will be hard to make this transition after the new baby comes, and it is very important to be off bottles by the age of two.

We're also supposed to limit Jude's Elmo watching to one showing a day. We've gotten a little bit lazy and have been letting him watch a part of the DVD a few times a day just to keep him occupied while we get some things done or when we're too tired to do any active play (he asks to watch it all the time). Dr. Jack said that any more than about 30 minutes a day can start to affect language development and is not recommended at this age. Jude is not too happy about this, but I'm hoping that after a few days of us being consistent about this new rule he will understand that we mean it.

Otherwise, Jude seems to be in perfect health and he passed the 18-month developmental screen with flying colors. There were no developmental concerns at all. And the mosquito bites from Mexico that were causing us some anxiety seem to be healing up just fine, so there's no need to worry about them. Jude did have to have one shot, and he was not at all happy about it. I guess the days of blithely ignoring shots at the doctor's office are over for now!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mexico, Part 2: The Yucatan

We spent the last days of our vacation on a little adventure into the heart of the Yucatan. With the rest of the family off to the airport, the three (I mean, four) of us loaded the rental car and headed out for a trip to the inland highlands. We chose the colonial town of Valladolid as a base of operations, and checked in to a beautiful old hotel on the town square.
The next morning we were up bright and early for a visit to the famed Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. As previously noted, this was Jude's 18 month birthday, and he was in rare toddler form. We arrived shortly after 8am to beat the crowds and the heat, but our boy was mostly interested in throwing rocks and picking up sticks. We did catch this rare self portrait in front of the great pyramid. I regret to say that without a guide to interpret the old ruins and rocks, our visit did not give us much insight into the ancient Mayans or their parenting styles. One man did offer us a one hour tour, but we were working on more of a 2 minute attention span.

The family quickly fell into a pattern of morning adventures and afternoon naps. We returned to the hotel and swam in the pool, took walks around the square, and generally enjoyed the end of our vacation. Jude took a liking to spanish cartoons, and we shamelessly picked up meals of Domino's Pizza.

Our final day of adventuring led us to a set up Mayan ruins off the beaten track. The complex of Ek Balaam was a short drive from Valladolid, and it outperformed our expectations. Again, there was very little interpretation of the overall site, so I'm not much better informed about the age, makeup, or general characteristics of the people who once lived there. On the other hand, we had the place to ourselves and the structures were fantastic! We were able to climb all over them, look inside the buildings, and even scramble to the top of the largest pyramid! This was a real highlight for me, and Jude didn't have a bad time either!

Overall, our stay in Valladolid was restful and pleasant. Our room had this large veranda on the fourth floor, and we sat outside each evening reading books, listening to the birds, and watching the action around the square. I had many worries about our ability to enjoy ourselves as a family in a foreign city. I worried about our health, and sleep, and diet, and patience. It turned out that all my anxieties were just the ravings of an overprotective father!
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