Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby Food Wars

I haven't posted a BFW post in a while and thought perhaps it was time once again. The current battle is not exactly WHAT foods we're eating and introducing but rather HOW we are eating them. We are attempting to introduce Baby N to the concept of using a spoon to eat with. He still eats with his hands 98% of the time. It's just easy that way. I can cut something up to an appropriate size, put it on his tray and away he goes, (with my supervision of course).  Granted it can be messy and he tends to double fist things that are especially yummy which causes a lot of dropping into his lap. His usual practice of eating with both hands like this results in him jamming as much food into his face as is possible. With his cheeks puffed so far out he often resembles a hamster! I'm proud to say that most of the food DOES make it to his mouth and very little is dropped. However, he still loses a fair amount.  I probably need to get him one of those bibs that is designed to catch dropped food. It might make things a little easier. I've pretty much given up on bibs in general these days, and can't even remember the last time he wore one during a meal lol. *shrugs* just add that to the growing list of my motherly faults I suppose. Anyway apparently finger foods weren't messy enough for me and I decided we needed to up the ante.  On Easter Sunday we ate lunch with part of our family and there were two kids there both eating with forks. They are older than Nicholas but still, it inspired me to start introducing the idea of using a utensil to eat with.  I have a toddler after all, he's not a baby anymore, he should be able to do anything right?

We finally took the plunge a few weeks later and I wish I HAD put a bib on him that day! His first attempt was to eat yogurt out of a little bowl with one of the spoons we already had and had used to feed him baby food with way back when. It's a bit long I suppose and while he almost instantly grasped the idea that the spoon should deliver the yogurt his execution was a little off. Most of the yogurt ended up ON him rather than in him. Adorable to be sure but messy to clean up later. The main issue was that he was holding the spoon side ways so that when he scooped up some yogurt and started moving it towards his wide open pie hole the yogurt would drop out well before making it to it's destination. Lord help me though when I tried to touch the spoon and readjust it in his hand he threw a fit. He's gonna do it his own self thank you very much! OK, little man... go for it. He did manage to eat some of the yogurt and that was reward enough for him to keep working at it.

The next hurdle we faced arose the second time we handed him a spoon. This one was a shorter kids spoon that I had from a long time ago. I didn't tell him that it was a My Little Pony spoon lol. I bought it to get the plate and bowl a few years back,. I am a die hard MLP fan/collector!! Anyway back to the point, Nicholas had a slightly easier time with this spoon and some mashed potatoes. However he was apparently hungrier than a spoon could handle and reverted back to the double handed eating technique. He would spoon up some 'taters and try and to get them to his mouth while at the same time grabbing a handful of them with the opposite hand and shoving those straight into his face. Yum, Yum. Haha.

We are still working on letting him use his spoon and I know he'll get it eventually. However, we don't use utensils very often b/c I am the type of momma that is having a hard time letting go of my idea of a clean baby after meal times. We are sticking to finger foods for the most part and sometimes I hand him his spoon, yeah it's still the my little pony one, to practice with at snack times. For regular mealtimes though I'm finding that I value his ability to eat on his own without me having to worry about him jabbing his eye out. So far he's only tried once. Mastering the use of a spoon will eventually happen and once it does we'll move on to a fork. Forks make me seriously nervous. There isn't tooooo much damage the toddler of doom could do with a spoon but a fork.... or eventually a knife??? Lord, LOL, am I ever going to be ready for that? Probably not, but as with everything we'll do it anyway and be the better for it. For now, so long as he keeps eating his veggies I don't care how he shovels them in :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reading Wars

So apparently I am a bad mother and have not been reading enough to my son. While we are confessing sins I'll also own up to the fact that I don't brush his teeth twice a day every day :/ It's hard to remember sometimes. Anyway little man is 15, almost 16 months old and not talking - at all. At his 15 month check up his doctor expressed concern that he wasn't speaking. She's not expecting him to greet me every morning with a "hello mother, let's have a wonderful day" or anything but she says he should be saying 3-6 words by now. When he was 6 or 7 months old he said mama for the first time and by 8 months he had stopped saying it entirely. I heard a dada yesterday but it was jumbled into all his other random babbling and I know darn well he isn't really saying talking about daddy. The doctor says he should be saying mama and dada and with purpose by now. Anyway she says I need to make sure he hears 5,000 words a day no clue on how I should count to make sure haha but hey I'm a GIRL I can talk up a storm! I am also supposed to be reading tons of books to him. The paperwork she gave me she wrote 20-30 books... I sincerely hope that was a typo and she meant something more realistic. We don't even own 20 books, unless we want to start reading trashy Christine Feehan romance novels. I like them but somehow vampires and sex doesn't seem age appropriate for a toddler. (Dear Mrs. Feehan PLEASE, please hurry and write Skyler's story!! The wait is killing me!!). I cannot even imagine trying to read that many books in a day? Am I the only one out there that doesn't/cant do that. Gosh, that would be almost a full time job. Yeah, sure Doc I'll get right on that right after I do my real job, and all my housework, cooking, and general parenting chores. Wonderful.

So because I felt like a parental reading failure I got started right away with the new reading regime and tried to add extra books to our routine. Previously reading has consisted of picture books with one word to each page and us pointing to and talking about the photos. That's not good enough I guess. Anyway, I sat down on the floor that very day with a copy of The Very Busy Spider totally sure Nicholas would be thrilled and in heaven to have more reading time. I was wrong. He wanted no part of it. Great. I chased him around with the book for 15 minutes before I just gave up. No worries, we'll try again later. I tried again later with the same result. This went on for days. Yay, motherhood is "fun". I tried reading to him in the bath tub and he threw water at me. I tried reading to him in his highchair and he fussed b/c he wanted to do baby signing time. I tried touch and feel books, colorful books, rhyming books, musical books, you name it, and I tried it. Nope nothing seemed to change our routine of looking at a book for just a few minutes at a time and pointing out photos. I decided I would even try to just MAKE him sit down and read a book with me. That was fun. He kicked and struggled and pulled my hair. Yay.... :/ He ended up upside down in my lap me holding onto his hips holding the book out in front trying to yell the words off the page so I could be heard over his loud protests lol. This isn't working!!! At my wits end I couldn't help but wonder how I was supposed to get additional books into our routine when I couldn't even get him to sit still for ONE. I want to cry lol.

The breakthrough came about a week later. At the same time as we were trying to introduce more books and a set in stone story time we were also weaning from the bottle to a sippy cup before bed. Up until this point in time Nicholas has "nursed" himself to sleep, except since I don't have any milk anymore he was using a bottle. Not the best habit but you know what, BITE ME. With Nicholas you take whatever you can get and you are thankful for it. As it turns out story time was the perfect substitute for bottle time. It wasn't easy at first but day after day the habit of reading a story or two (or three or four) before bedtime became stronger and the bottle was forgotten just as easily as it had been introduced in the first place. Nicholas wouldn't always sit still but I found that standing up and walking around the nursery with him in one arm and the book held our in front of us with the other was helpful. My hair became less of a plaything and the pictures in the book became more interesting. He especially likes a peek-a-book book probably b/c of the little pages within a page that you can turn and see what it hiding. The colorful tabs on the books pages are also a hit. :) It was a HUGE relief the night we sat in the antique maple rocker in the nursery and read four whole books and he still wanted more. I wanted to cry then too. Ahhhh, the sweet smell of  SUCCESS!  ugh... wait a second.... I think that's the diaper genie. :/ Anyhow, I tried to put Nicholas down for a nap yesterday without reading a book first and O.M.G. he threw the mother of all temper tantrums. Seems like my little active can sit still for a story toddler has turned into a book lover after all. I gave in and read him a story, which just happened to be The Going To Bed Book. :) Our reading list is a bit short at the moment and we read the same stories over and over again. He, ironically, will NOT tolerate the old picture books with one word per page. That's a recipe for a quick temper tantrum. He really prefers the touch and feel books and the books with story's that rhyme. Anything with actual photos of people or animals is also a big hit over books that are illustrated. I need to head out to barnes and noble and sort through some inexpensive board books I noticed they had the last time we were there. His next favorite book, and my LEAST favorite is a veggie tales books he got for Easter. It has a button in one corner that you can press and hear a REALLY off key, sounds like somebody is strangling the singer, verse of "God make me special" which is what the book is about. He won't actually let me read him the book so I guess that means he doesn't care if God made anyone special lol, mostly he just pushes the button. Over, and over, OVER again! OMG! I'm hopeful that the batteries in that thing are everlasting lol. This morning he picked up a copy of Dun dunnn duuuunnnnn The Very Busy Spider and came running to me with a big huge grin. I love it when I win :)

Side note; we've been reading and reading and reading and even making him watch your baby can read and talking and talking and talking for a month now. No change in verbal skills LoL. He is no closer to forming actual words than when we started and not to say what we've been up to isn't a good thing, I'm just pointing out that it's not helping with anything other than bonding. Lord knows he's certainly already well bonded to me. :P That's not to say he's quiet either, Nicholas has a lot to say but he's going to use his own language for now and as far as he's concerned his doctor can kiss his ragababe!  :p

Second side note: We are always open to suggestions for good books for kids under 2. We need more and more and more! :D

Saturday, May 14, 2011

RaNdoM Restaurant Experiences

Soooo, the better behaved my little man gets the more we can take him out. He LOVES to eat so it's getting easier to assume we can go have a meal out of the home on occasion. This is a good good thing for mommy and daddy, we get to get out of the house and we don't have to worry about leaving the creature.... err the toddler with a baby sitter. So no worries on trying to find somebody and no worries about what time we have to be leave or be back. We are experiencing more and more freedom and less and less of the "If I don't get out of this house I am going to keeeel you !" :) Always a nice change of pace. The only downside to dining with one of the worlds most adorable and handsome little toddlers is that you tend to attract attention. Almost as much attention as you get with a brand spanking new newborn sleeping in a car seat at crackle barrel lol. Anyway, this is a different type of attention. Because little man is so personable and it seems has never met a stranger people talk to him/us ALL the time !! These days most of the attention comes from grandparent types and it's not totally unwelcome. Other times it gets a little annoying. Below are a few of those times.....

This past month the three of us went out for pizza. Nicholas usually gets some veggies from the salad bar, some pasta, random crap that we bring from home for him to eat, and pizza crusts that my husband doesn't eat. Maybe it sounds weird but Cici's Pizza was one of the first places we were able to eat out b/c we could give little man a crust to chew on and it kept him happy while we were able to wolf down a decent meal. Now of course he gets real food but still gets a pizza crust or two. (He recently had his very first real piece of pizza but at the time of this trip he had not been allowed to have anything but crusts yet). We had been there about 15 minutes or so I suppose and Nicholas was happily munching on his lunch and a pizza crust. A pair of rather large ladies came in and sat at the table directly facing me, which would be behind my husband since he was seated across from me. They were both in tight spandex like yoga pants. I just so happen have the same pair of pants for when I am working out, no shame in working out in them.... wearing them out to a pizza buffet when they are practically a second skin and your pushing well past 300lbs... eehhh, maybe a fashion don't.  (Oh and for the record I own these pants in a smaller size, I'm not in the skinny bitch club -yet- but I'm not XXXL either, I was also wearing cloths that fit). So this lady goes up and piles two plates HIGH with pizza and comes back to sit down. She then starts eating her pizza. Me minding my own dang business for a change happens to look up from my own plate and notice her glaring at myself and Nicholas. I ignore her. I notice a few minutes later she is still glaring and now not only is she glaring she is staring right as my son chewing on his crust with a couple bits of pasta and veggie on his plate and shaking her head. WTH? Hey newsflash, check yourself and your own two plates honey! Quit looking at my kid like you want to murder us both, weirdo! She glared at us shaking her head from time to time for the rest of our meal. Creeeepy! Who does that, who glares at a smiling happy toddler (that isn't throwing food or otherwise creating mayhem) I felt like asking her what her problem was with a 14 mo old baby but whatever. Honestly I was afraid to approach her, she looked like she could do me harm lol. I settled for posting a photo of her glaring at my kid on facebook instead :P Mwahahahaha, This was unwelcome attention.

Experience two came just a week ago in a local Burger King. We sometimes get Nicholas a kids meal (chicken nuggets with apple slices and juice). He is happily munching on his nuggets and I notice an older couple, smiling pleasantly in our direction obviously amused by Nicholas. Not such a bad thing so I ignored them after sending them a nice smile in return. This is the south after all, y'all have to be polite ;) When the couple was finished with their meal and their sodas they got up and came over to our table to talk to Nicholas. The usual conversation was exchanged about how old he was and what his name was (why people want to know his name is still a mystery to me as is why people want to know details of his birth. One of these days I fully expect to be asked for his SSN by a complete stranger lol). They mentioned their own grandchildren as grandparents tend to always do and I expected that would be the end of the polite encounter. I was wrong. The older gentleman proceeded to get in Nicholas' face trying to make him laugh and then POP he popped out his lower teeth which apparently were false teeth. OMG! Hey, A-hole we're eating here!!! God Almighty, kill meee.... I almost threw up. I have a weird phobia about false teeth which I guess I can file on the shelf next to my belly button, needles, and spider phobias. The look on Nicholas' face was equally horrified. The man and woman laughed and he did it again. Well, that's one way to get a toddler's attention and after two more false teeth show and tells Nicholas was grabbing at his own teeth to see if THEY were going to come out. I was ready to faint and sooooo glad to bid farewell to this couple. This was unwanted attention!  

Yesterday I took my husband to a new place that just opened up in town to try it out. I had been already and liked it and noticed that they had a decent priced lunch menu. Aside from the dumb blonde waitress (And I can say that b/c I AM blonde) who couldn't figure out that we really DID just want water for Nicholas to drink and not a soda or sports drink of any kind and we really  DID want steamed veggies as a side for his kids meal VS the "smiley fries" that come standard we had a good experience. There weren't many people in the place since it was a weekday just after the bulk of the main lunch rush. The wait staff was in love, as many a wait staff have been, with Nicholas and his antics. The hostess carried him to the table and proclaimed that he must know a grandma when he see's one and the waitresses kept coming by to tickle him as we waiting for our meals. At a table nearby were two older ladies and a teenager, who come to think of it should have been in school but whatever lol. After the two toddler girls three tables over (in the opposite direction) left Nicholas decided he would engage these ladies behind us. He kept turning around and staring like a creepy stalker and then waving to see if he could get their attention. He even went as far as to hold out a bit of half eaten grilled cheese to them. He didn't go unnoticed by them or by several other people who could see him. By the time we were able halfway through our meal the entire dining room had noticed the adorable boy with the airplane toy and the grilled cheese. Nice, I do so love to be the center of attention when a waiter delivers a taco salad that is bigger than my head (a fact I was unaware of when I ordered it!). It was really hard to get Nicholas to eat any lunch which made me feel bad for paying the up charge for the steam veggies with his meal, because he was way more interested in getting the attention of his chosen new friends. They kept egging him on too. Just as soon as I would make him turn around and get him interested in his food they would catch his attention and continue to interact with him. It made it really difficult to eat actually on account of I had to pay attention and make sure he didn't try and pitch his cup, or any food towards their table. Kid's got a good arm, and well.... that's just not Ok to throw food or anything else at other diners. Throw it at your dad or the waitress like everyone else! You're not special lol. Another couple who had been watching the whole thing stopped to talk to us on their way out about the usual how cute and how old and then parted with a rather ominous good luck. Good luck?? WTF?? Is he about to explode or something??? I'm a first time mom, if you know something I don't now isn't the time for secretes.... gosh, do I have enough baby wipes to cover what is about to happen???? I was nervous for the rest of the meal. Finally we were done with lunch and Nicholas' new friends insisted we bring him over to their table before we left to say a proper hello. Friendly folks but still, this was unwelcome attention since it went on for so long. On a side note; it was also an unwelcome experience to have a lady in a ford Taurus try and run me over in the parking lot while we were getting into the car. I sprang to safety, thankfully daddy had the baby on the other side of the car, just in time to avoid being smacked with the car door. Thanks a lot lady! When she got out of her car she shrugged and sort of thanked me for getting out of the way so quickly saying " you must have known I was HUNGRY !!!" Uhhh yeah, you look hungry... hey you also look like that shirt/pants set is four sizes to small. Not to be rude but Kmart DOES carry the extra extra large fo yo hungry ass.... This is the time when it's Ok to go ahead and up size and that car you almost hit me with is brand new so don't tell me you can't afford it. :p

I need a little sign or something sometimes. The constant awww he's so cute, how old is he? What's his name? When's his birthday? Well all that get's tiring after a while. I need a stay away I'm crabby or sick or my baby is rabid and bites sign. Oh or better yet, and perhaps more practical, maybe I should go on vista print and get little baby business cards made with the answers to all the usual questions and a thanks for stopping buy type message. Then I could just smile and hand them out before people had a chance to interrupt a family meal. Then again it's probably friendlier on the wallet and the waistline to just continue to eat all our meals at home. *shurgs* can't win I guess. Dining out is fun, meeting new people is fun, constantly not being able to talk to your husband or finish a meal .... maybe not so much fun.
What's a girl to do ? : P