Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Lion at 16 months

Yes, I'm a week late.  It gets away from me.  Robby's busy, we're busy, y'know the drill.

Little man is absolutely not a baby anymore.  I know, it's been awhile, but just look at that.  1 week vs 16 months.  Crazy.  From holding him up on a pillow to him climbing on his own into a rocker and rocking himself.  And then requesting a blanket to cover up with.  When did this happen?

Of course, some holding him up is still necessary, but that's more because he's a maniac, than because he needs the help.  He is climbing everything these days.  He can't get straight up on a couch, but he pulls his chair over, or climbs on a table first.  Fortunately, this does not include climbing out of his crib yet.  We're waiting for it, and planning on switching to a toddler bed at that point, but so far, so good.

He is a pickier eater.  There are certainly things he likes and dislikes.  Unfortunately, he's mostly moving towards liking processed food.  His favorite things are melts and cereal bars.  He's still a fan of bread and grapes, but everything else is a little iffy.  He would rather graze than eat a meal, and would rather eat at his little table than in his high chair.  Apparently, he's still a great eater at daycare, but not always at home.  Still nursing 2x a day.

Talking is improving quickly.  He asks, "This?" all the time, and is starting to have "sentences" if by "sentence" you mean name + action.  "Bye bye truck" or "Mama down" happen, but that's about it.  It's still not always clear to someone who doesn't know him what he's saying all the time, but I'm getting better at interpreting.  He has a couple that I haven't quite figured out.  He exclaims both "AhBah!" and "Bay!" quite frequently, but not so sure what they are.  (He has different "All gone" and "Bye" s)  He signs with more insistency now.  It was hilarious when we left an ice cream shop that he kept signing "More more more" all the way to the car, even though, I promise you he had more than enough. 

He still loves to be outside.  If we take our nightly dog walk, and turn away from the park, he knows and starts screaming.  He REALLY loves playing on the slides and the balance beam, though the swings only last about 30 seconds.  He's always the youngest on the slide play structure, and he's fearless.  He would dive down those slides unassisted if we let him.  We ran into one of his daycare buddies from the 2-3 year old class a couple nights ago, and he ran over and gave him a hug, then was off to the races again.  Very sweet kid at times.

On the other hand, WHOOO boy can he be tiring.  He had been screaming a lot last week because his FINAL TWO TEETH (lower canines) were breaking through the surface.  I had taken him to Target between when I got off work and Chris did in an effort to entertain him.  HE WAS A PIP.  Running away from me, screaming, ate almost an entire bag of melts.  But the second someone came up to us?  He's smiling, and waving, and being adorable.  I felt like a horrible person that I couldn't just let people tell me he was cute.  I always had to add, "Sometimes" or the like.  Breathe, Katy.  He's just got bad days.

A couple days later we were at the car dealership getting an oil change, and I was much better equipped to chase him.  (I've been having some back issues for a month, and sometimes they get to me.  Thank goodness for pain killers.)  He was being a loon, and running between the show room, waiting room, and service area, but was really being quite cute, and people were entertained.  A salesman gave him a balloon, and he gave virtually every person there a high five.  I was happy that I didn't feel the need to say "sometimes" that day.  Oh, and he got to see a truck on a LIFT.  Made his life.  The little man is crazy about vehicles right now.  They all go "Vroom". 

He's still crazy about the animals, and they still tolerate him pretty well.

This is his most adorable thing at the moment.  He "tastes" things with his finger and smacks his lips in appreciation.

And...he's still getting sick an insane amount.  Chris was home with him the day we took these pictures, but I have high hopes that one day soon he'll be healthy.  It'll happen, right?
Little man, you're my favorite buddy, and I'm so glad you've finally started asking to cuddle on the couch.  You may run back and forth across the house a million times with the dog, but under that tornado of energy, you have such a sweet little core.  Love ya, monkey!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mommy Friends

I know, I know, I've missed Robby turning 16 months, but I haven't taken any pictures yet.  And, even these are stolen from other people, and I hope they don't mind.

Ever since moving to PA I've had a bit of a "friend" problem.  You can absolutely blame my husband.  I met him the first week I moved here, and, well, I just never put myself out there all that much.  Don't get me wrong.  We have some wonderful friends, but they aren't particularly nearby.  Getting together takes some serious planning, that, for the most part, just doesn't happen.  Also, as we've all started having children, it's just added a level of complication.

Bring on...the Mom Groups.  There are 3 varieties for me.  The first is my online-only "Month" group.  We all had babies in May 2011, and originally met through the "What to Expect" forums, though it migrated over to a Facebook group, literally, YEARS ago.  I can't believe that I've known these women since we were pregnant back in 2010.  They are from all walks of life, and from many countries, but are such an unbelievable support system.  There is no better source to go to then being able to simultaneously ask a couple hundred moms of kids the exact same age, "Is this normal?"  You can sign on at 2 am and say, "My 6 month old has a 102 fever, when should I worry?" and have 10 responses in 2 minutes.  It's incredible.  Over time, we definitely have come to talk about much more than just children, and developed closer relationships with certain people.  I wish these ladies were all next door, but, in reality, I've met...3 in person, I believe?  They still are amazing.  I had to cheat on pictures for this one.  It's actually from a meet-up with the second group of moms, but it's the only pictures I have of Griselle and her daughter.  I'm very sad that she moved back to Puerto Rico, but you can read her blog here.

Me, Stephanie, Griselle

The second group is a similar WTE off-shoot, but it's moms in the Philly area with kids of all ages.  They get together at least once a month, though, I don't always make it.  Above was at mother's day.  Below is last weekend.  This group's a bit smaller (for awhile it was under 50 of us, but it's grown), and I'm supposedly an admin.  Ok, I am, but I don't feel like I know anything.  I HAVE met most of those ladies in person.  We've done cookie parties, zoo trips, sold things to each other, and gotten together on our own.  Bizarrely, my little suburb is a hot-spot with 6 of us being located there, even though we're kind of in boonie land.

Katie, Stephanie, Kathy, Me

Finally, my neighbor, Laura, invited me to join MOPS with her last year.  It's been a good experience, and we meet once a month, though, I can't really claim to have much interaction with most of the ladies outside of the group.   Maybe that will change now that it's year 2.  They're certainly wonderful people, and it's nice to have those Wednesday nights to look forward to.

Our Table

I really have failed at trying to get together with people without structure.  I keep telling Laura (the red-head above) that I'm going to start having her and Karen (another mom neighbor) over for wine after the kiddos are asleep, I just have failed so far.  And, there's a great mom in this round of swimming (no, famous mom blogger is not in this class) that I thought was going to be a wonderful friend (her daughter's the same age!  they get along!), but then she acted really strange last week.  Maybe it was my crazy poison ivy rash...  Who knows.  

Anyway, I'm trying.  Any tips?  

***Side note, the middle picture makes me really paranoid that I'm huge, and I want to take it down.  But I swear that was 3 days after the picture below it, and is just really awful.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Case I Forget

Sometimes Robby wears me out.  The kid is smart, and opinionated, and energetic, and I have said all of these things since day one.  This is a two sided coin, but admittedly?  Some days can strike me as just too tough.

And then there are days like Sunday, where I am reminded that I have been blessed beyond all measure.  And you know why?  I KEPT HIM BUSY.  Yes, if I try and convince him he wants to sit still and watch football, he's going to throw a temper tantrum every 5 seconds, beat up the cat, and climb every object in a 10 foot radius the second my back is turned.  But if we DO something?  Angel wings, folks.

We started out the day at Ikea looking for a kid-sized table and chairs.  We succeeded with that...and about 10 other "must have" items.  You know how that works.  Robby thought that Ikea was MADE for him.  Especially the kid rooms that were set up with the little porthole doors in between each one that he could run through.  One even had a SLIDE.  He was a maniac.  In a semi-controlled way, though.  He ended up getting a "baby" even though my husband wasn't so sure about getting our boy a doll, but I was firm that encouraging him to perhaps be gentle and compassionate might be good.  While there have been some hugs and tea parties (with his new plates of course), there also has been much swinging of the baby by his foot, and beating of the dog.  Ah, well.  You win some, you lose some.

We went to Qdoba for lunch (skipping the returns we needed to make at Target and Babies R Us), and Robby had a big moment!  He can finally drink out of a straw!!!  He was so very proud of himself.  And, well, happy that he was getting to drink some of mom's lemonade.  Jumping back, he also started saying "tickle tickle tickle" and tickling people that morning, which I NEED to get on video.  Anyway, good lunch, headed home, nap time.

Chris needed to work since he was going to a conference this week, and I decided to tackle some purging tasks.  I got a pretty good sized donation bag of clothes, and cleaned out a couple closets.  They probably need a second run, though.  It's just never ending!  It was a brief nap, and then Mr. Crankypants was up and wailing.

Robby and I decided to hit the outlets for his winter wardrobe so Chris could wax his car.  We shopped and shopped for 2 1/2 hours!  In virtually every store, I had an employee or fellow mom (as we were only in kids' stores) comment how well behaved he was.  Though, one employee commented, "I get the impression he would just smile and walk away with me."  Yeah, yeah, I know...we need to work on that "stranger" thing.  He sat in his stroller calmly playing with a hat, or cup, or watching people for a large percentage of the time.  Then, when he got fed up, he played nicely with some kids in little play set ups in a couple stores.  I did create trouble for myself that I let him ride a little plane, and now we will never be able to walk by one of those coin-operated wonders again.  I really could not have asked for him to be more charming or well-behaved.  And this is what I don't want to forget.  That he can be angelic.  Not all the time, but there are some days that I've got myself one amazing kid.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goodbye Hair

I have talked about cutting my hair off for a long time, and finally did it.  Not as drastically as I thought I would, but it was still 7 inches!  I have tried straightening it since I cut it, and it will NOT stay, so I guess my husband just gets to be happy.  (He prefers me with curly hair, anyway.)  I guess that's all I have to say about hair.  Oh, and I'm finding it really difficult to get the camera to focus correctly when using an auto-timer.'s me.  A little blurry.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Today, my husband turns a very young age.  That I may be turning in a measely couple of months, so I'm not going to make any wise cracks.  He is my rock.  He is the one that drives us forward, is my motivating force, and the enabler of all my dreams.  Chris is a fantastic father who yesterday spent almost 1/2 an hour playing peek-a-boo to a hysterical crowd of 1. 

Love you!  Happy Birthday!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Kitchen Renovation

My mother just pointed out that our kitchen renovation has been done for some time, and I never posted it.  My apologies!  And...I'm too lazy to go take good pictures, so here are some where it is dirty from awhile back.

Since we moved in, we have replaced appliances, redone the floor, counters, painted the cabinets, added one additional cabinet on the breakfast bar wall, changed the railing to the stairs, refinished the steps, removed spindles, built a new column, replaced skylights, put in under-cabinet lighting, changed the ceiling fan, new backsplash, replaced hardwear on the'm sure there's more.  A lot went into it, but we managed to do it fairly inexpensively between not replacing the cabinets, and doing 99% of the work ourselves (we did not install the skylights or counters).  I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  The only think I'd like to change (other than the style of the cabinets, which isn't happening), is getting rid of the horrible swirly pieces above the sink.  I haven't figured out what to do with them, though, so they remain the last vestiges of the "western saloon" that once was my kitchen.  Enjoy!

Just for reference?  Renovations take a lot longer with a toddler.  BIG thanks are owed to both of our parents who helped out by watching Robby on big renovation days, and to Chris who used a lot of vacation time.  Otherwise?  We were doing it at night after he went to sleep.  SOOOO tiring.  He goes down at 8, so we were often up until at least midnight in an effort to get through a stage.   

I appear to generally have avoided taking pictures of what my hideous kitchen used to look like?  Here's a couple were you can see a bit.   There were lots of spindles.  And medium brown cabinets.  And ugly laminate counters and floors. 

And...from the day we moved in.  (Apologies to those people who had hoped these would never see the light of day again.)

And now...all there is to ruin the view is toddler-created chaos.  Which is just fine by me.