Friday, October 31, 2008

Why did the Monkey and the Chicken cross the road?

To get to the candy on the other side!

Well, craziness at work has left me with no time lately to update the blog... but since it is Halloween, I thought I'd take a quick moment just to give everyone a sneak preview at tonight's attire. Hopefully, I can find some time this weekend to provide a few good stories on Tyler's first Halloween. We do plan to try taking him to at least a few houses on the street. Oh boy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Great Day!"

At the daycare that Austin and Tyler attend, the caregivers fill out daily report cards for each child. Although they tend to be a bit more straightforward and generic in toddlerville, infants get personalized details about how their day went and a brief blurb about something they did that day.

When Tyler was in the infant room, a majority of his reports would begin with "Great day!". If his day was so-so, it would begin "Good day." Once in awhile, it would say "Okay day," and if it was a really bad day, it would just start with the day's activity description, with no mention of what kind of "day" it was.

Up until this point, Austin has had mostly "good" days, and a few "okay" days. But, this past Friday, he finally got the coveted "Great day!" Yay!! Apparently, he also spent the day listening to different types of music. According to Ms. Stephanie (his caregiver), Austin hates rap (made him cry... makes me cry too though) and he likes Country and R&B. Go figure!

The 3-month milestone!

Hard to believe the little guy is already 3 months old! He's growing so fast, and time is really flying! He's adopted a new buddy - a little stuffed ladybug he got as a gift. Tyler's never been into the whole "lovey" thing, but Austin apparently is. He loves to cling to the little bug and gnaw on his antennas.

Tyler's New Chair

As for Tyler, well, if you read my last post, you can see he's ready for his own "big boy chair". So, that's what we did last weekend. We got him one. And it's a nice one too! Ironically enough, most of the pictures we took today actually have Austin in the chair, but not to worry - Tyler loves his new chair and really does spend far more time in it than his brother (who only visits it when we want to get a cute picture of him lounging in it).

And the final news of the week is that we seem to be running a baby infirmary. Austin has now had his second ear infection in his short lifetime of 3 months, and Tyler picked up his own bug of some sort (at least we're hoping it's just a bug and not the result of numerous concussions from all his run-ins with furniture this week.)

Three strikes and you're out... so if Austin gets another ear infection anytime soon, it does indeed look like we could be headed for tube-ville again, just like his big brother. In the meantime, we're hoping those fevers stay away so Austin and Tyler don't get evicted from daycare again. Neither Jeff nor I can really afford to miss anymore work at this moment in time!

And since I have so many pictures of little Austin in this post, here's a few gratuitous ones of Tyler romping through the beautiful weeds that were growing in our back yard until Jeff mowed them all down today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The week in review...

It's amazing how much can happen in a week - or at least how much new stuff you can learn about your kids throughout the course of a week when they're babies!

So, rather than waste time with the formalities, let's just get right to the good stuff!

First, let's start with what we've learned about little Austin this week...

1. Austin is still an angry baby.

No, not joking... we actually have validation now! Even the daycare people seem to agree (although they've been far to nice to actually come right out and say it out loud...) What gives it away? Hmm... well, on one of his report cards last week, the question was actually asked if they could bump him up to 6 ounces of milk to get him through the 3 hours between bottles... or maybe "even though he's just 2.5 months" he might enjoy a little cereal by spoon between bottles? What are they trying to say??

And needless to say, in passing conversations with Jeff, they have remarked at "how different Austin really is from Tyler!" Considering they always referred to Tyler as "such a happy baby", I think this is their way of being polite. Poor little Austin!

2. Austin really likes his bumbo seat.

Austin is a pro at knowing when it's dinner time. Our dinner time. And he likes to make sure we know he knows by crying throughout the entire meal - even when he's just had his bottle moments before and should be pleasantly sedated by his meal.

But, we've finally discovered the secret to a quiet meal... the Bumbo seat! Apparently, all Austin really wanted was to sit with his family during their meal. Who would've thought? So, now, when he gets cranky during dinner, we sit him in the middle of the table in his bumbo, and he bobs away in silence as we dine.

Now on to Tyler...

1. Tyler wants his own big boy chair.

... and we don't mean an adult-sized seat. As much as Austin enjoys his bumbo seat, lately Tyler seems to be enjoying it even more. In fact, he likes to carry it around with him to make sure it's always ready for him when he's ready for a seat.

2. But he's not ready yet for a big boy bed!

Thanks to the close-timing of our little offspring, and their penchant for growing a bit longer than the average baby, a bit quicker than the average baby, Austin will soon be exceeding the length of his bassinette and looking for a more accommodating sleeping arrangement. This means, Tyler will have to vacate the crib for its new occupant.

So, it seems most logical that rather than buying a new crib, Tyler upgrades to a toddler bed. Well, he hates it. A lot. In fact, at 3am this morning, he was curled up on his bedroom floor with a blanket. By 6am, he was curled up under his crib. Yes, under it.

Evidently this will take a little more time than we anticipated.

3. And last, but not least, Tyler understands far more than we think he does...

Tonight, when trying to help him accept his new bed, I was lying in the bed and told him I'd read him a book if he brought me one. Wouldn't you know it, he actually understood exactly what I was saying! I guess it's easy to underestimate what kids know when they can't actually talk using real words.

He set his bedtime bottle of milk down at the top of the stairs, slid down the stairs, then returned a few moments later with one of his treasured Dr. Seuss books - handing it to me to read. Of course, with his short attention span, we didn't get more than half-way through the book, but it's the thought that really counts, isn't it?

And at least for that brief moment, he was willing to snuggle in his new big-boy bed. It's a start, right?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Things that go bump in the night...

I've only ever had two nightmares in my life that I can remember vividly... The most recent one happened in college when my nightmare centered on my getting stabbed and dying. Yes, it pretty much freaked me out.

The first one, though, was much milder and happened when I was just a little kid. I imagined that someone had kidnapped all the characters from Sesame Street and had each one tied up between two plant stakes along a hillside. Okay... sounds pretty silly now, but as a little kid, it had me completely terrified.

Needless to say, my sparse past with nightmares has left me completely unprepared for dealing with tonight's round of night terrors in our toddler.

Heck, I didn't even realize such a thing was even possible until recently. After all, how much life experience does a toddler have that can actually lead to scary dreams? What can they possibly get upset about? All the milk's gone from the fridge? Maybe the red fish and the blue fish escaped from the Dr. Seuss book and are chasing him around the house?

Regardless, tonight we were faced with Tyler's first extreme case of night terrors. He was sleeping soundly in his crib one minute, and screaming his head off the next... completely inconsolable. So, while Jeff was treating Austin to his nightcap, I did what my motherly instinct told me to do, and went in to try to comfort Tyler.

I took him from his crib, sat with him, took him into the guest room to lay with him in the bed, rubbed his back and the hair on his head, offered him a bottle of milk, etc... But, even with all that, it still took at least a good 1/2 hour for his frantic screaming to subside.

In the meantime, I asked Jeff to google "night terrors toddler". Turns out, my motherly instinct still needs major fine-tuning. The article compared night terrors in a toddler to sleep-walking and said not to pick them up or soothe them. Just stand nearby to make sure they don't hurt themselves, let them work through it in their sleep, and be there to comfort them if they wake up.

Too late. We already had a screaming Tyler out of the crib and on the loose.

Eventually, he did seem to "wake up" and calm down. Then, it turned into a game of making him laugh with the assistance of a stuffed monkey, a crazy Loki, and a grumpy Max. But, at least he had stopped crying and finally had a smile on his face.

Much to our relief, he is now once again sleeping soundly in his bed. Hopefully dreaming only of happy things now - like dancing monkeys, a fridge full of milk, and colorful fish in a fish tank where they belong.

Good thing he has that nightmare-proof chicken suit lined up for Halloween -- At least we hope it's nightmare proof... Jeff and I sure don't want any more of those night terror things again if we can help it!