All About John

How does time go by so quickly?

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Well, I have gotten woefully behind on posting on my blog. Life has happened. The baby is still (STILL!) not sleeping through the night consistantly, and when he actually DOES sleep through, he’s up and ready to go at 6 or 6:30 am. That is, after a night of crying out in his sleep. So needless to say, this mama is still walking around in a sleep-deprived fog. I tell myself that I’ll get my payback when he’s a teenager… haha! (I’m totally kidding. But yet not…)

Sweet baby John is nearly a year old now. A YEAR. How crazy is that? He’s pulling himself up on furniture and starting to cruise around a little. He eats like a man- 13-15 4.25 oz jars of baby food A DAY. I pretty much have to suppliment by making as much homemade baby food as I can to offset the cost. (Baby food is expensive at around 55 cents a container. It adds up!) It’s so much cheaper to make my own. For example, for about $10, I made about $60 worth of baby food. Sweet peas, butternut squash with apples, bannannas, applesauce, pears, and prunes are among his favorite homemade foods. We don’t give him a lot of prunes and pears any more, however, because those definitely work well to loosen up his bowel movements.

He’s still on Stage 2 baby foods. He has a pretty strong aversion to any type of texture whatsoever. Even if I mash something like a teeny tiny piece of bananna and put it in his mouth, he’ll gag and throw up. The pediatrician said this is pretty normal for his age and to start brushing his tongue with a toothbrush twice a day to desensitize him. Oddly enough, however, the tongue-brushing doesn’t bother John at all, and he will even hum while I do it. Crazy baby.

He has about four top teeth and two bottom teeth, with two more starting to poke through on the bottom. And he is chewing on everything! I seriously have to make sure I keep my floors swept because he’ll pick up anything from random bits of debris to tufts of cat fur and put them in his mouth. I always know when this has happened because I’ll hear him start to gag. Once, I even had to stick my finger down his throat and do the “finger swoop” to discover he’d tried to eat a piece of paper which had then gotten stuck in his throat. Oh that baby stresses me out with his eating everything! But one look at his beautiful smile and everything is a-ok.

 

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And look, below is a picture of Nathan I put on this blog about four years ago when he was about the same then age as John is now. Look at how similar they look! I love it! My brother and I don’t look much alike- he looks more like our dad and I look more like our mom. So for me, it’s so cool that my boys look so much a like. They even have the same smile! Handsome little fellas, I tell ya.

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Nathan is all-in-all still an amazing big brother, but now that John’s older, Nathan is definitely starting to have his moments. Sibling rivalry, perhaps? I remember picking on my poor sweet baby brother constantly when we were little, so I can’t say what he’s doing is suprising. Thankfully, these moments are still far outweigh by how patient and loving he is towards John. He’s great with keeping John occupied and sharing his toys with him. He’s even “decorated” his brother with stickers!

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As for Nathan, he is about to graduate preschool and will be moving on to Kindergarten in the fall. I can’t believe my oldest baby will be in elementary school. He’s doing fabulous in school, and his testing shows he has far exceeded his peers with excellent scores on his academic testing. I’m telling you, this kid is brilliant. The main issues he lags on is still his fine and gross motor skills and social skills, but fortunately, he’s receiving the appropriate help for those at school (due to him having high-funtioning Autism.) Gosh, I sure do love my Nathan.

Oh! And Nathan lost his first tooth!! It was one of his front bottom teeth- the first one he got when he was 6 months old. We noticed it was loose one day, and a few days later, it was definitely ready to come out. I asked Nathan if he was ok with me pulling it out and he exuberently replied with a resounding YES! So I pulled it out. I didn’t even have to pull hard. And Nathan didn’t cry! That night, we put it under his pillow, and since it was his very first tooth that he lost, the Tooth Fairy left him a Lego set along with a little note. He was as proud as he could be. I, on the other hand, found the tooth-loss to be bittersweet. My baby is growing up. And when I look at that little tooth (which I have saved, of course), I am flooded with memories of all the times he bit me, all the baby foods he ate with that tooth, the transition to table foods… it’s hard not to get teary-eyed sometimes.

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My boys are the most wonderful things to have ever happened to us!! Even with their moments of bickering, they are practically inseperable. I LOVE it! Wherever you see one, you’ll more than likely see the other. It is my hope and prayer they continue to be close as they grow into adults. Having a sibling is awesome, especially one you’re really close to. Just look at those sweet little faces. We are so blessed to have such amazing kids. Our hearts are full.

 

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A day in our life

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Things John has done during moments when I turned my head. As much as I would love to, I can’t be a Helicopter Mom and hover over his every move. I still have to clean, do laundry, use the restroom, and take care of Nathan, to name a few reasons. This little boy keeps me on my toes, for sure!

-Pulled down the floor lamp and banged it on the floor

-Wrapped himself up in electrical cords that I mistakenly thought were secured to the wall

-Dragged a small end-table across the living room while banging it on the floor

-Scooted into Nathan’s room, closed the door, wedged himself in front of it and started crying. It was quite a fiasco to get the door open with him sitting there- I didn’t want him to get hurt!

-Scooted his way into the bathroom and proceeded to get into the cabinet under the sink, throwing things around at his whim. I now make sure the bathroom door stays closed.

-Pulled the wiring out from our entertainment center

-Changed the settings on the receiver so we had no sound

-Hid the remote under his exersaucer. You should have seen how we scrambled to find that thing.

-Pulled books off of the bookshelf. Fortunately, he didn’t rip any of them up. Yet.

-Sniffed and then tried to eat a tuft of cat fur he discovered floating on the floor

-Tried to rip open a trash bag I had just tied up and removed from the trashcan. Fortunately, I saw what he was trying to do and was able to intervene before he succeeded.

-Dragged rugs across the room

This is just a small list of the mischief my little baby will get into in a short amount of time! I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff. When he’s awake, he is literally all over the place!

He says Mama and Dada a lot, and he’s even said “CAT!” a few times as he scoots around, grasping at the air his fingers splayed open with in hopes of getting a handful of their fur. Fortunately, with the exception of Andrew, they are smart enough to run away from him. Oh the sound of him scooting accross the floor is priceless. He slaps those little hands down on the hardwood as he lifts his body up and scoots forward. SLAP!-BUMP!-SLAP!-BUMP! And he’s getting super fast.

He has also pulled himself up into a standing position. He’s only done it once so far, but it’s so crazy to see my little baby in a standing position as he holds on to something for support. What am I going to do when he starts walking? This time really is going by so fast.

He’s been such a grumpy bear the past couple of weeks. I don’t know if it’s teething or what, but it’s been rough. He’s still waking up multiple times a night, and spends most of the day whining and crying and chewing on those fingers. I’ve tried giving him children’s ibuprofen, children’s Tylenol, teething pellets that you dissove in water, gripe water, and nothing seems to help with the exception of gripe water. He had a pretty bad cold last week with a low fever, puking, and loss of appetite. He’s eating better now but is still so dang grumpy. I don’t know if the cold is lingering or if his little teeth just hurt. And he won’t chew on anything but his fingers!! I have all kinds of teething toys, but he refuses them. Poor buddy. Let’s hope this phase passes quickly because this mama is worn out!

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Don’t let that sweet, handsome little face fool ya!

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My sweet baby has been giving us a tough time the past few nights! See, we’ve been very fortunate in that whenever we put him to bed at night, he falls right asleep. I usually nurse him for about an hour while I watch a Netflix show on the laptop. He falls deep asleep and doesn’t wake up as I transition him from my arms to his swing. (Like Nathan did when he was little, only we don’t have to actually turn the swing on for John.) And then, if I’m lucky, he’ll sleep until 7am. If I’m not lucky, he’ll wake up at night to nurse. That’s fine, though, because that’s life with a baby.

However, the past couple of nights, he’ll still fall deep asleep while I’m nursing him. But then for some reason right as we’re finishing, he’ll pop WIDE AWAKE. I mean so awake that he starts laughing and smacking my face with his little hands. I’ll try to cuddle him and hold him to quiet him down, but nope. He’s awake and there’s no changing it.

I still attempt to lay him down because, you know, it’s night time and all. But the second I walk out of the room, the floodgates release complete with a waterfall of tears and shrieking. Of course, I just can’t bear to hear him like that (it breaks my heart) so I go get him. And he’s completely awake! I bring him out into the living room with me and just hold him and hug him. It takes 1-2 hours from there for him to get sleepy again, after which I nurse him back to sleep. By this time, its 11:30 or 12 at night, way past my bedtime. And I can’t go to bed right after I lay him down because he’ll just wake back up if he hears me. So I’m finally crawling into bed around 12:30, which wouldn’t be a big deal if he slept later. You’ve heard the saying before- put ’em to bed later and they’ll sleep later, right? WRONG! He wakes up at 5am and I nurse him. Then again at 6am. And again at 7am. Let me tell you, you just don’t know how important it is to get enough sleep until you don’t get any! He sleeps so much better when he falls asleep earlier, that’s for sure.

I’m hoping this is just a phase because whew! I’m in a sleep-deprived fog here. But then I just look at his sweet face and I know everything will be ok. It has to be!

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Our beautiful life

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It’s been busy, busy, busy around here. From still getting up 1-3 times a night with the baby, to driving Nathan to and from school, to cleaning and organizing, to reorganizing the baby’s room and Nathan’s room, and just about everything in between! Nathan finally got himself a big boy’s bed (as in, a regular twin-sized bed) so we took the toddler bed and turned it back into a crib for John. Nathan loves that John’s taking his daily naps in it! I cleaned and reorganized Nathan’s room from top to bottom and am in the middle of doing the same with John’s room.

It’s crazy how hard it is to get seemingly simple tasks accomplished when you have two little ones. Here’s a look into a small fragment of my day. Take mopping, for example. I am loathe to admit how long it’s been since I’ve mopped. Why, you wonder? Well, first I pick up all the toys so I can sweep. After I’ve done that, the baby invariably needs a diaper change or whatnot. After that, he’ll decide he’s hungry, so I feed him. In the meantime, Nathan’s dumped out his legos, brought me plates of food from his kitchen, and scattered clothes and an assortment of toys all over the place. Me telling him to clean up after himself turns into a battle of wills; he ends up getting sent to his room for refusing to clean. Out of principle, I refuse to clean it up for him. I start a load of dishes. Nathan keeps coming out of his room, whining about how he doesn’t want to be in his room, to which I remind him all he needs to do is clean up his mess and he can come out. He stomps out anyway and throws a fit, so I carry him back to his room. He tells me he doesn’t like me anymore. I tell him that’s fine and he can have his opinion, but if he backtalks again then he’ll get more time. He says he wants to be bad and not mind, and when I ask him if he’s sure about that, he screams yes so I give him 5 more minutes in his room. Then the baby starts crying because he needs another diaper change, then after that, John wants to eat some solids. After we’re done, I hear Nathan throwing toys in his room. I go in there and tell him to clean up his mess and he tells me he doesn’t want to mind. I add another two minutes to his room-time. John then starts crying because he wants to be held and hugged, so I spend some cuddle time with him. When he calms down, I go in the kitchen to do dishes, only the water has gotten cold. I empty the water and start over. So at the end of my day, it appears as if nothing has been done.. and it’s driving me crazy because I spend all day long going and going and going.

Don’t get me wrong, Nathan is still an incredibly sweet and loving little guy. He’s simply going through the same phase every single other kid on the planet goes through. It doesn’t make it any easier,  but I do know that eventually this will pass and he won’t be so damn hard-headed. Oh wait. Maybe that won’t pass… ha ha.

As for the baby, I can’t believe he’s is EIGHT months old already… where is time going? Oh, that’s right. I’ve spent the last few months in a sleep-deprived fog. Don’t get me wrong, John’s smile make it all totally worth it, but let’s face it. Getting up to take care of the little fellow 1-3 times a night is draining!

Guess what? He said Mama just the other day! No kidding. I walked into the room, held my arms out to him and said, “HI, JOHN!!” He grinned from ear to ear, kicked his legs and flailed his arms and said just as plain as day, “MAMA!” My heart may have melted considerably as I looked at his toothy grin (he has six teeth now!)

He’s loving solid foods. I’m still making them for him as well. Peas, prunes, and pears are his absolute favorites. He’s ok with green beans, can’t decide if he likes bananas, and so far he HATES sweet potatoes. I don’t know why- sweet potatoes are delicious! Hopefully he’ll come around soon. He’s sitting up quite well unassisted, only ocassionally flopping over backwards or to the side. He loves to stand up! He has strong little legs. They’re long and thin, but they can really throw a kick. He’s outgrowing his clothes faster than I can pack them up and get out the next size. Size 6-9 months doeslln’t fit at all, and he just started busting out of his size 9-months. We have a big boy on our hands!

I’m simultaneously looking forward to and yet dreading when he becomes mobile. It’s amazing watching him grow, but I am SO not looking forward to chasing him around, wresting objects he shouldn’t be playing with from his spit-soaked little hands, making sure he doesn’t chew on anything that could hurt him, and basically following him around everywhere, whisking him down from the tables and chairs he’ll attempt to climb, putting everything back into the cabinets that he drags out… oh there won’t be a dull moment for sure in this house!

Nathan is an AMAZING big brother. He really loves John and likes to help him when John cries. Anything from making silly faces to handing him toys to dancing and singing for him. And you know what? Everytime I see it, my it feels like my heart is going to just explode from all the love I feel. And Nathan being so sweet and doting to the baby (whom he calls “his baby”) makes Nathan’s backtalking totally bearable.

Even with all the chaos and a seemingly constantly messy house, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Paul and I really love our lives, and we feel blessed beyond measure. I love being mom to my two boys. And I can always catch up on the cleaning when they’re older… right? Right??

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