Bubba is already getting better with his words even though it’s been a short time. He is catching on to the idea that I want him to call me “Mama” and pulled my heartstrings at bed time. He wasn’t just falling asleep and I was attempting to lay next to his sleeping area, but in the big bed. Unfortunately, he wasn’t actually as close to sleeping as I had thought, so he stood back up and said Mama in a sad voice. It is so adorable and makes me so pleased that he is finally calling my name! I’m also feeling relief that he is starting to use verbal words several months before he reaches the two year milestone. I didn’t want to reach that wellness visit with the pediatrician and hear more about how he is behind. The doctor was not super concerned about his lack of words at his 18 months and had said we would see how he was doing at 2 years. In the back of my mind, I’ve been worried this whole time that he still wouldn’t be talking at all at that point. Three cheers for Bubba talking in plenty of time to pick up a lot of words before he hits 2!

I started my monthly cycle today and despite feeling completely wiped out yesterday, I was contemplating walking to the store this morning. Ultimately I decided against going because it is about a twenty minute walk one way and because I would have to carry Bubba. I’m glad I made that choice. Later in the evening we took the 5 minute walk to the park and I felt wiped out just standing next to the playground equipment supervising him climbing around. Now that I have the opportunity to physically rest during the day versus being in a sitting/standing or moving position as part of a job, sometimes I forget my limitations until I’m stuck in that situation again. At least we had a good time at the park. Bubba is cautious when other children are around or using equipment near hiimagem. For the first bit, the only other children were on the swings so he climbed up on the landing area near the stairs and the slide to enjoy looking around. He seems to still be a bit hesitant to go down slides. He will go down, but not with a sense of exuberance and a rush to do it again. After a while, we did the swings and another little toddler about his same size came to the playground. He was less hesitant than Bubba and greatly enjoyed the slide with his parents. Bubba on the other hand, was not very interested in climbing any of the equipment near this little boy or his parents after we finished on the swings. I tend to feel an urge to push him to interact with the other children or adults in these sort of situations. I’m trying to temper that because I don’t think it is in his best interest to make a big deal out of it, particularly since other people comment on his being “shy” or not smiling immediately at people he doesn’t know. I don’t want him to get a complex about it. On the other hand, since I’m shy and don’t interact well with others right off the bat all the time, I don’t really know the best way to help him feel more comfortable in when it comes up. I guess time will tell how it all plays out. I imagine it will be helpful as he gets more of a vocabulary and can share his thoughts with us.

Tomorrow we are going to a movie in the park to see Despicable Me 2 with friends. It will be our second movie in the park of this year. We’ve been busy but we did get to see Frozen with our niece and nephew before they left to visit their dad for the summer.

We have some friends who are struggling with their marriage and it has been wearing on us as well. We have considered them to be our best friends out of all the married couples we know and it has been heartbreaking to watch them go through this for almost a year now. It is straining our friendship and is on our minds a lot. It is hard to see others with marriages that are falling apart when all we want to do is help. It seems like saying anything just makes things worse because then it looks like we are taking sides which leads miscommunications all around. At this point we’ve mostly stopped saying what we think to either of them, but that ends up feeling like we can’t talk about anything at all. It feels like there is a huge elephant in the room at least to me. I want to say something that helps, but I also don’t want to say anything that makes things worse than they are. So I end up saying nothing. It sucks.


20 Months

June 4th marks Bubba’s 20 month day, which means…. four more months until he turns two! The early days absolutely did not fly by but now things seem to be moving along much faster. Good and bad, I suppose. He is starting to have a favorite stuffed animal during the last few weeks. By and large he completely ignored this sheep that has been in the corner of his bed since around late summer or early fall of last year. Recently he showed some interest in it and I gave it to him during a nursing session to keep his little hands busy. We also have explored Sheepy’s features, pointing out his ears and nose along with Bubba’s ears and nose. Now he has Sheepy for pretty much every nap and even had Sheepy his in hands when he woke up early yesterday morning to move from his bed to our bed.

Bubba has also learned a lot of body parts, including nose, mouth, teeth/tongue (still working on the specifics of that), chin, ears, knees, toes, and hands. We are working on cheeks and elbows at the moment. He is willing to follow simple directions to copy things in books like clapping, stretching his arms up, and kissing.

Potty learning is still ongoing. Within the last week or two, Bubba has started signing potty occasionally. The kicker is that it is only AFTER going in his trainer. Still a step forward is a step forward.  He seems to be more willing and able to hold it in when we’re out and about. He holds it longer then than he will at home.

We are planning on going camping at least once in July and possibly again in August by ourselves for the first time since we’ve been
married and for the first time with a toddler. We purchased a 6-person tent and I’ve started making a list of supplies to collect or borrow. We are both pretty excited to camp and also to see how Bubba does with camping. He really enjoys exploring, collecting, digging, and playing with water so I’m pretty sure he is going to have a great time. I’m only really worried about dealing with him and the fire and how well he will sleep. We’ve made arrangements to board our dogs. I wish they were better behaved so we could bring them with us. Unfortunately none of our friends or family is available for dog-sitting next month, so they’re going to be stuck in cages for a few days. After our big July trip, we may try some weekend camping (if sites are available) at some of the local area campgrounds. We are fortunate to have a number of options that are very close by. I am figuring we can see how the dogs do on a trip or two when we have the option of driving back home and dropping them off for the day or night if they’re being too obnoxious or loud. I have fond memories of camping growing up and I would like to share that with Bubba. I’ve also been checking out campground options in between our home and where my parents live. They are about 6 hours away, so it would be nice if we could find a middle ground to meet up at if they’re able to camp with us.

In health news, I’ve been suffering through allergies for about a month. I take Claratin but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t help that much because there have been plenty of days where I am laid out unable to do anything but lay around miserable. I ran out of Claratin at the end of May and decided not to purchase anymore because theoretically I should be almost done with my  spring time allergies. I am planning on going to the doctor next year before allergy season kicks in and see if they can give me something stronger. Several years ago I saw a military doctor and they pretty much shrugged it off saying that there isn’t much they can do when the pollen levels get so high. Since then I’ve been just using over-the-counter Claratin but I’m hoping a different doctor will be more helpful. I also won’t be dealing with pregnancy or nursing so I will have more options. My nose hasn’t been running as much the last week or two but now my itchy eyes have really kicked in. I have to say I’m truly tired of feeling lousy all the time. I feel pretty excited when I feel well enough to do a few simple chores around the house in the morning instead of laying back down after doing breakfast for everyone.

I also have developed a lump behind one of my ears, right where the bottom of my ear lobe connects to my neck this last week. At first I thought it was probably just a pimple, but it got bigger and more painful than any pimple. I finally called and made a dermatology appointment because it was freaking me out and very painful. I have to be tremendously careful about laying on that side when I’m trying to sleep. I checked in with “Dr. Google” and found that it might be a sebaceous cyst. Tea tree oil was one of the suggestions which I happen to have. I’ve been using that the last couple of days and I think today it might be smaller. It still hurts if I move my head to the point where it will pull on the skin but it doesn’t hurt so much in general when I’m not touching it. I can’t wait to see the doctor and hopefully get something to treat it.

Bubba Bullets

-He fell down the stairs for real this week. He has tumbled down one or two a few times but always near the bottom so while I felt bad for him being hurt I wasn’t worried. This time I had walked downstairs to let the dogs out and open the curtains when I heard him start tumbling. My heart dropped but by the time I made it to the stairs he had rolled all the way to the bottom and bumped into his chair sitting near the bottom. He cried and clung to me. Considering how far he fell he seemed to be none the worse for the wear and no bruises have shown up.
-He’s had his glasses for about 2 weeks now. It’s still hit or miss whether he will keep them on. I am constantly wiping the lenses for him since it seems like he will want to wear them less if they are smudged. I’m glad they have a 2 year warranty even though he usually hands them to me when he takes them off. I can see them being left on the floor and getting stepped on or chewed on by the dogs.
-We got a sand and water table from Craigslist for $26. He loves it. With water, without water, whatever. No sand yet. We may just do rocks for now. Hev really enjoys moving water around and watching it drip.
-He sleeps through the night! It’s a miracle considering how long he didn’t. It’s nice to know now that if he is not sleeping something is wrong out of the ordinary.
-Learning to use the potty is still hit or miss. One time I swear he signed potty but he has not repeated it. Sometimes he holds it for 2 plus hours and other times I can’t catch a break keeping him dry.
-His first swim class is tomorrow!
-We are learning body parts. He will show me his nose and belly button, and sometimes his mouth. He finds it fun to shove his finger into my belly button as far as he can.
-He loves going outside and is getting over his hesitancy to leave my side. He is very comfortable wandering the back yard and will independently check out things in the front yard or at the park. On the other hand, he is a good hand holder 98% of the time while we walk. He walked all the way to the grocery store yesterday and pushed our small folding cart over half way which was really cute.
-Getting used to the electric toothbrush is still a work in progress. The funny thing is that he is much more willing to let me brush his teeth now while he plays with it. So sometimes he brushes his own and sometimes we brush with either the regular toothbrush while he plays with the other.
-He climbs easily into our kitchen (folding chairs) and can reach thingson the table. Yesterday he realized if he pushed the chair to the counter he can access more stuff. And then today, he realized his car can help him reach the top of our tv stand!

Glasses MIA

No glasses for Bubba yet. They got my hopes up when they said there was a chance we could have then as early as (last Friday). Hopefully tomorrow then.

We got a new sliding glass door installed last week. Today I learned that it glides smoothly enough for Bubba to open if it is started just a little bit!

I am moving to the dark side! I’ve picked out an electric toothbrush to order. Hubby has used an electric toothbrush for a while but I’ve resisted getting one for some reason or another.  Unfortunately my gums are getting in bad shape so I’m hoping to do a better job with an electric toothbrush and a water pick before anything serious happens. Hygiene of all matters went downhill for a while after Bubba was born since there wasn’t enough time or energy in the day and my gums are showing the repercussions. We’re also talking about getting one for Bubba to use as well since the actual brushing motion doesn’t seem to be his strong point right now. His pediatrician said we should just hold him down and brush hood teeth ourselves. It seems like a terrible idea to take away his enjoyment of the process instead of trying to find a better way while we still can. Plus at this point he clenches his lips closed when I try to help him so I’m not sure how well one can actually force a toddler to get their teeth brushed.

So, do you use a regular toothbrush or an electric?

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?