First Basket

ImageI’ve retreated upstairs to eat my chocolate and type a blog entry in peace. I started opening up my new Villars Coffee Crispies bar and Bubba was right there with big eyes trying to touch it and signing “More” emphatically.

Easter has came and went. We gave Bubba his first basket this year. I have been trying to think of what we did last year and I am truly drawing a complete blank. Oh! It just came to me while I was typing, even though I’ve been thinking about it off and on for a couple of days now. My family was visiting in an attempt to see the cherry blossoms and I made ham for dinner. There was no basket because he was so small and we were lacking energy. The last visit that they came for, my parents remembered to bring my old Easter basket for us to give to Lochlan. My siblings and I always used the same baskets year after year and I thought that was how everyone did it, but I’m seeing now a range in traditions. Some people even use pre-made baskets! Customized basket contents seem much more fun to me and worthwhile. This year Bubba got a number of toys and activities and only one chocolate bunny. We will probably up the Easter candy factor a bit next year, but for now he doesn’t eat much in the way of sweets. I’m also trying a little bit to keep more of the crazy food coloring choices out of his life so he won’t be as attached to them. We got peeps and chocolate eggs and all sorts of brightly colored things, but I know a lot of people with dye sensitivities. I thought it would be nice of Bubba has a bigger range of his palate than I did growing up. Hopefully it will help him make good food choices. Anyway, he got the chocolate bunny, a stuffed whaled to practice buckles and zippers (no buttons, sadly), Play Doh, beeswax crayons, GO! cards (which I won from a Facebook contest and I think I’m going to order the alphabet cards for him as well), bubbles for outside, bubblebath, and a little Ghostbusters character that Hubby ordered for him (a nod to his geekdom). Bubba has really been enjoying the whale and nibbling on his bunny. He does think it’s funny when we make the Stay Puffed do the Ghostbusters song, but it only plays a very short clip. The Play Doh was a bit of a flop because Bubba was more interested in playing with the container. I think we’ll give it another try or two, but if he doesn’t show much interest we’ll put it away for a couple of months.

We had an Easter bbq at the park instead of a more traditional dinner. We invited two families over with children who don’t have family in the area. One of the families ended up not coming which was a bit disappointing. The rest of us had a good time and enjoyed the food. Bubba and his 3 year old friend had a good time together. I really enjoyed watching them both play with the soda cans and water bottles in the cooler and then a bit later playing with the wood chips at the edge of the playground area. Bubbay is really growing up! For the most part before this they have either played separately or just near each other without interacting. Sometimes they would take toys from each other. It was great to see them doing a joint activity together and laughing. They’re going to be double trouble!

I don’t remember if I mentioned in my last post about the pediatrician visit that they recommended seeing an ophthalmologist to get Bubba’s eyes checked. This morning we got up and went to see the doctor for a two hour visit that entailed eye drops to dilate his eyes and lots of flashing lights through different lenses to see what his eyes would do. He was brilliant through the whole thing! Very patient and cooperative and he was great for the eye drops. I held him like I was nursing him or giving him a bottle and they held his lid open to put the drops in. They had to do three different drops and only on the last one did he make a peep. He did struggle a bit to get away, but I was expecting a lot more yelling and crying about it. I suppose maybe he’s been through worse so he didn’t think it was as bad as it could be. Once he had the drops we had to wait 40 minutes for them to do the dilating. Then he had another 20 minutes or so of doctors shining lights through different lenses. I think they were determining exactly what lens prescription would work best for him. One eye is worse than the other but the good news is that we caught it relatively early. The ophthalmologist said this sort of thing can lead to eyes crossing and eventually surgery if left untreated. The other good news is that as he grows and the eye gets better, the farsightedness will improve. There is a small chance the problem will go away altogether, but the idea that it will get better and not worse is great news. I’m a little bummed that he has another challenge and will have to wear glasses. I think I just need some time to adjust to the idea. I’m also disappointed to think that for however long he hasn’t been seeing things up close very clearly. What does the world look like to him? What does he see in the books when he is pointing out balls and cars and trucks to me? We will probably be going to the eye glasses place tomorrow to order his glasses. I’m hoping he takes to them well.

So, what is your Easter basket tradition or an alternative?

Did you have to wear glasses when you were younger or does your little one? How did they adjust?


18 Months Welless Visit

Yesterday was Bubba’s check up at the pediatrician for turning 18 months. We were pleased he broke the 20 pound mark! I was secretly hoping he would surprise us and be more than 20, but alas he was 20.45 I think. The good news is that he is steadily increasing on the growth chart and keeping along a good curve of his own. He is now is the 6th percentile for weight. He wasn’t even on the growth chart at all for a long long time, so 6 is great. On the other hand, we are still dealing with the issue of his special high calorie formula. After switching insurance companies (not by our choice), we found out that the new insurance doesn’t want to cover any of his formula. If we pay out of pocket, it will be $126 a month that we were not paying before. He basically only drinks the formula, with a tiny bit of water or a few sips of juice here or there. He eats significantly better than he did when we first put him on the formula but to me he still doesn’t seem to be eating very much in general. Since he is still on a slow and steady increase in weight versus a huge upswing, we are hesitant to mess with what is working. The doctor and her staff were working on trying to get the insurance to cover the cost of the formula as a medical necessity yesterday. I haven’t heard any updates on it for today. The other negative thing is that they did a preliminary eye test on him with some special machine they have and determined that he may be farsighted. His doctor recommended that we take him to a pediatric ophthalmologist to be further evaluated. I am pretty down that we have another issue to be concerned with him. Granted, a lot of people have eye problems, and his dad wore glasses for a very long time (until eye surgery as an adult). My mom also had surgery for one of her eyes turning inward when she was two. So while it is relatively common, I am just tired of having one more thing to think about and wonder if it’s going to be something bigger. I really would like to go to a wellness check up and come away feeling great about everything. The good news is that we are now at the point of 6 months between wellness visits which is a big improvement over the amount of appointments for parents of newborns or special needs babies have.

I wrote an 18 month letter to Bubba to let him know how proud we are of him and what he is accomplishing in life at this point. I hope someday when he is older he will appreciate them or when he has kids of his own he will find it interesting to know what he was doing at certain stages. I have to go back and edit it because I forgot a few things! He gives kisses and blows kisses with Daddy quite freely right now. He loves giving Daddy kisses before bedtime and sometimes I get them, too. He is starting to do imaginary play now. He will pick up pretend in between two fingers and hand it to you several times. My mom was doing it back and forth with him several times during their visit about two weeks ago and it was adorable to watch. My other favorite thing that he does now is pulling my hands around him to hold him. He will grab my hands when he sits in my lap and put them around his waist. And not just one hand, but both! He will also doing it if we are laying down to cuddle before sleeping. It just melts my heart to know that he wants to be held and snuggled tight.

ImageWe took Hubby and I took Bubba in for his first haircut this week, too! He did really great, even for the clippers. When Hubby first put him down in the car seat at the barber shop he cried and I thought we were going to be doomed to hearing him cry the whole time. This lady sitting next to me started telling me how her son, now 11 and sitting calmly in the barber’s chair, used to cry and scream for his first several haircuts….. Not very helpful of her. Nevertheless, Bubba made us all happy when he started getting interested in a little VW bug with doors that opened and closed. Once he started playing with the toy the barber was able to snip freely and even pulled out the clippers with no reaction from Bubba. He looks very cute with his hair straight and trimmed across the back. The front is only a little shorter so part looks very similar to me. I spent some time later on that day trying to get a decent picture of the back but I’m not sure if any of them came out well. A lot of pictures of Bubba tend to be blurry. I will have to look and post them later if I find any good ones. Do you have any cute stories about first haircuts?

We had to return one of our Best Bottoms trainers (with the set of three liners) because the stitching was coming apart. I was not pleased to have to give it up since our stash of trainers is limited. They are much easier to use than trying to deal with putting diapers back on him, so I hope to get it replaced as soon as possible. We had three trainers with a total of 9 liners, which on a good day was fine, but on a bad day we needed to use alternate combinations of diapers, prefolds, etc on him. The elastic waist of the trainers makes it easier to just pull up and down (which is the whole point) instead of dealing with the snaps on his diaper covers and hoping things aren’t getting bunched up while putting them on. I’ve extended his time between potty times to 45 minutes which is does well with more often than not. He still isn’t letting us know when he needs to pee and sometimes gives us a hard time about sitting still on the potty. Some of it, I think, is him knowing he doesn’t have to do anything and not wanting to sit there when he could be playing. The pediatrician mentioned that we didn’t even need to think about potty training until at least two during our visit. I said we had already started a bit with him and it was going well. I thought it was a bit odd for the pediatrician to be bringing up potty training out of the blue. Seems completely not medically related (baring special circumstances, of course) to me. I suppose if the parents had concerns it would be natural to discuss it with the doctor, but I just thought it was odd for the doctor to bring it up. Oh well.

Toys and Photos

Pounding Bench ExplorerOne of my favorite photographers is doing a Seven on a Sunday challenge to take more photos of her daily family life. I’ve been slacking a bit in that department after my online photography class last year. When I actually took the class Bubba was sitting and smiling and NOT crawling yet. Now he’s quite mobile and quite curious. That is a bit of a problem when I’m trying to keep my fancy camera safe from his little hands. I’ve decided the only way to rectify the situation is to use my camera more often so he gets more used to it and will simultaneously learn that I don’t want him touching it. I had a good photo opportunity this morning after giving him a new toy from the consignment sale that he had not seen. It kept his attention mostly on the toy instead of on what I was doing and I got some nice shots.  I was pleased to find this toy at the sale as well since I had seen a post recently with a similar toy for a 17 month old in a Montessori home. It was a good Pounding Benchprice at only $3.50. Hopefully it will build strength and eye hand coordination for him. He didn’t quite get the pounding the pegs with the hammer concept himself since nothing really happened when he tried it. He really wanted me to do it or he would push them down with his hands. I guess we’ll see if his play develops over time. I swapped out his downstairs toys while he is napping. I am always excited to see if he has a reaction to “new” things after a swap. In addition to this pounding bench toy, I put out a new Fisher Price Little People boat with his helicopter and school bus he already had. He seems much less interested in playing with his toys than with climbing on me whenever I sit down (literally almost every single time to the point where I can’t do anything at to rest in his presence) or seeing/using/touching whatever we are using as adults. Just this weekend he realized he has enough strength to open the center doors of the entertainment center which house all of our gaming consoles, controllers, and other miscellaneous wires and sensitive materials. Hubby is struggling with having the patience and persistence to teach Bubba to respect boundaries, so we are all working on that. For now he is allowed to open and close the doors. If he gets rough, banging them, or starts touching things inside we take him away from the doors. I have to remind myself that I, as the adult, have more persistence than a toddler. Repeatedly. And remind hubby that he, too, is an adult with the capacity for more persistence than our 18 month old. It is kind of funny because kids can have a remarkable amount of stubbornness when investigating new things when all we want them to do is leave it alone. However, it’s best to persevere because the results of showing him that we mean what we say and we expect respect of our things are well worth it.

Hubby and I met up with friends yesterday at Panera Bread for dinner. We put Bubba in a diaper with a thin prefold because we had low expectations since he has not yet really learned to hold it in. We also have not worked with him on big toilets or using public facilities at all. We were both pleasantly surprised when a trip to the bathroom yielded a dry diaper and a success in using the big toilet! Hubby decided to give it a go since Bubba had not used the diaper. Well, low and behold, Bubba went right away in the toilet and then remained dry until we got home. Today I am doing 40 minute segments, which is up from the 30 we’ve been doing since Friday-ish. So far so good with that time range and I even caught him this morning before he pooped in his trainers.

One of my work friends posted an interesting article on Facebook this morning called Serious Reading Takes A Hit From Online Scanning and Skimming, Researchers Say. I personally haven’t noticed a difference, but I have always taken a great joy in reading real books which is less than common in my experience. My biggest issue with reading and my attention span is that I have a toddler using me as a jungle gym. Have you experienced any issue with this?


Potty Training OutfitPutting a toddler on the potty every 30 minutes is a bit tedious. And all the hand washing is drying out my skin and nails…. On the plus side he has stayed dry a lot longer than the other days with our somewhat more relaxed schedule.

Bubba’s typical day at home clothes are now trainers with leggings and a shirt. I’m sure someday he will love to see what kind of horrible outfits his mother dressed him in.

Happy 18 Months little man!


Today was the pre-sale for a local consignment sale that we are consigning things in. It is our first time consigning things (we’ll see how it pans out before we decide if it’s worth the effort to do it again) and one of the perks is access to the pre-sale the day before the regular sale for the general public. Bubba now has a selection of clothes to wear for the summer and plenty of two piece pajamas sets for our potty training experience. He also has Crocs, in lieu of rain boots which I couldn’t find, a rain coat, and some awesome new toys. I was super excited to find not one, but two, Bruder trucks for good prices. Both of which regularly retails for around $45 to $50 and I got for $8 and $12! He is now the proud owner of the cement mixer and probably for Easter will be getting the logging truck. They’re not exactly for his age range so I have to make sure he’ll be okay with them. I want to be sure he is going to take good care of them or they will be put away for a while. I also scored a Pound a Peg from Melissa and Doug, a collapsible tunnel, two new board books, and a Little People boat with the people – all of which are more age appropriate for him. So, other than a chocolate bunny, I think his Easter basket is going to be all set! This will be his first basket. We weren’t up to doing one last year since it seemed a bit silly to be giving a five month old his own basket for Easter.

My parents came down to visit for the weekend and my mom brought our old potty that she apparently had hidden in the garage since I had mentioned getting a second one for Bubba. It’s a bit grungy from being through three kids and sitting in the garage for twenty plus years, but I wiped it down and set it up next to his current one to see what he thought. This one has a flip lid like a bigger toilet. His current potty is the Baby Bjorn potty chair with no lid. When he is done using it I have him lift the lid and the seat of the big toilet, pick up the bowl of his potty and dump the contents in the toilet (which he enjoys immensely). When he saw the new potty sitting next to his current one, he picked the lid up and took the (empty) bowl from his other potty to pretend he was dumping it from one to the other! It was pretty cute. I’m not sure what he will think of using the new one because the bowl doesn’t lift out the same was the Bjorn does. It has to slide out the back which I imagine will be problematic considering we enlist his help with emptying it into the toilet. We’ll see how it goes.

Well, I’m signing off for now. We have a big day of sight seeing tomorrow while the family is visiting. Yes, despite the rain…. We may be a bit soggy.

Awake After Midnight

I couldn’t sleep, so I got up to finish working on the tags for our consignment sale items. Apparently the system goes down for maintenance between 12 and 12:15AM….. Just my luck. I got a few more tagged but I’m clearly not getting done before tomorrow since I’ve lost my mojo. Fortunately I am starting to feel a bit tired, so perhaps I might be able to fall asleep when I go lay back down.

I found another blog on here about parenting a preemie and contemplating pregnancy after that whole bit of craziness. Fortunately for me, I guess, her story is a even more stressful than ours since their little one was a micropreemie and the whole thing was unexpected. I suppose I may post my birth story on here for Bubba soon. I think this may be a good forum to share it with. I enjoy reading other people’s birth stories so I have thought about putting ours out there. I don’t want any negativity or drama to come from sharing it with friends or family, so I haven’t yet.

I think this is getting a bit off centered and I’m having trouble focusing my thoughts. I’m going to give sleeping another shot. Being up so late is especially troublesome since my sleep is a precious commodity that I can never be guaranteed.

Poop Talk


Best Bottom Trainers

Since Bubba was a preemie, had Failure to Thrive, and we’re potty training “early” it seems to be nearly impossible to find appropriately fitted training pants for him to use! I’d rather avoid disposable pull ups and, while we’ve started with diapers, the snaps and bulk with diapers make it very difficult to use. Lately he prefers standing up for changes (after using the potty) or it turns into me being a diaper changing ninja on moving toddler. His current favorite bathroom activity is emptying the little potty into the toilet and playing with the flushing handle on the big toilet. Getting dressed again pales in comparison.

Hah, that reminds me! Today he pooped on the floor. Other than poop smeared on the rim of the potty none of it ended up where it belonged. He started in the diaper and then, after getting tired of sitting on his potty, he got up and played with the toilet. When I was trying to convince him to put his clothes back on (assuming he had finished) he started squatting on the floor….. and the rest is history.

We are trying the Best Bottom Training Pants on him now. They fit overall, but his legs are thin compared to the size of the leg opening. If they had more stretch, it would be fine I imagine. However, they’re not snug so if he ends up with a lot going on down there I can see stuff leaking out the leg holes. We only bought one set which includes the “pant” and three inserts. The small says 20 – 28 lbs so I was hoping they would work. I’m pretty sure he is 20 pounds, but he is a thin 20 pounder which makes all the difference. For now I’m just going to do a bit of a test run with the three inserts that we have before ordering more.  I wanted to get the Gerber Training Pants since they’re relatively cheap and I thought I would be able to see more easily when he wet in them. However, the smallest they run only starts out at 24lbs which is definitely too big.

He gets that the potty is for peeing, but he doesn’t have any concept of holding it in or attempting to go to the potty on his own at the moment. He will use the potty more often than not when I set him on it which is good progress. The last day or two has been discouraging since he has deciding playing with the toilet is more enticing than sitting still on the little potty. I guess we just keep working on it!