Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble

The other night, Pike grabbed the tissue I'd given him to wipe his nose with and started cleaning. First he wiped up the table, then he moved to the couch. He then presented him with one of his favorite books, told me, "Bubble!" (which means book to him since Bubbles, Bubbles from the Sesame Beginnings series is his favorite), and kept cleaning while I read him the book (Eyes & Nose, Fingers & Toes in case anyone is curious). He then snuck a baby wipe out of the carton while I was feeding the puppies and proceeded to repeat the cleaning with that after selecting another book for me to read.

I'm choosing to believe that this means he's picking up good habits at daycare and not that he's simply inherited mommy's OCD.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day in the Life

Before Pike was born, I was scared. The usual stuff: whether I would be a good mommy, how we were going to afford child care, whether I could maintain my sanity being a full time working mom and Wes a full time working dad.

I can now confidently say that we've got this. Do I mean that we're always perfect and that nothing ever goes wrong? Duh, of course not. I can say that 14 months in, we've found a rhythm that works for all three of us (four if you count Pike's Aunt Kathy, who is with us while she goes to college).

We all get up at 6 (Wes usually before), and Wes gets Pike ready for the day while I get me ready for the day. Since Wes works from home most days, he and Pike and I do breakfast together. Sometimes we just sit, a lot of times we watch The Daily Show. Then at 7 Pike and I head off to drop him off at daycare and Wes heads to work. By 7:30, Pike is settled in and I'm driving to my day job.

Thankfully I really do love my job even though leaving Pike is the hardest thing I do all day, bar none. By 4:30, I'm back on the road to get the baby man. He usually gives me a big ol' grin and reaches for me now, which makes it even better. We head home, and more often than not, Wes already has dinner going for us. It's honestly lucky for us that he's the first home and usually does that - he's definitely the best cook in the house. Most nights we do dinner around the kitchen table, though Friday is movie night and we try to make something that can be eaten on the couches while we catch a flick.

Then it's veg out time - which actually means time to put Pike on the potty for awhile, build towers out of blocks so he can knock them down, crawl after the baby while he crawls after the puppies... you get the idea. It's still one of the most fun times of the day. Right around 7 Pike gets his bath, a story, and then says goodnight to all the fish on his walls before laying down to cuddle his glow seahorse.

Life has gotten fuller and busier since Pike's arrival, not to mention more expensive, but there's nothing I would change. Being Pike's parents is the most important, most interesting thing we've ever done. He gets more interesting and more fun to be with all the time. Believe me, I know parenting isn't for everyone - but I'm glad that it's been good for us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One Year Plus: Food & Fun

Pike is now a year and a month old. He gets cuter and more awesome all the time. I realized the other day that it's been awhile since I did an official update post, so here it is!

  • Pike is crawling for real. No more army crawling, he's got those arms straight, and he's doing things properly now - if there's a proper way to tear across the floor like a madman.
  • He can't get near the stairs without wanting to climb them. Climbing the stairs is his favorite thing. Seriously.
  • Still no walking, but when he doesn't notice he's doing it, Pike can stand on his own. He's just still terrified of it, so as soon as he notices it's happening, he gets freaked.
  • When he's bored with eating or full, Pike starts handing his food to people. He likes most giving it to the puppies, but we do our best not to let him - so he hands it to us. Sometimes when we hand it back, he'll eat it. Sometimes when Wes pretends to eat it, he will then pretend to eat it. See the video below:
  • He's more interested in sounds than words at the moment, though he's learning context for "mama" and "dada." He's also getting better about saying "bye bye" and waving when people leave - though he notably won't do it for me when I drop him off at daycare.
  • Pike's finally learned to walk using the walker toy he got from Jeremy & Cori's little one Sylvia. And he loves it. I think once he realizes the he can have that same range of motion without mommy and daddy turning the toy and helping him steer, he'll be unstoppable.
  • Though he's by and large an unpicky eater, he is learning to hate some things or just ignore them. While he loves meatballs with marinara sauce, we gave him a hamburger patty the other day and he was having none of that. 
  • We're finding a schedule with potty time so he can get used to it, and he's hitting the target of peeing and pooping in the potty in the mornings and evenings pretty regularly now. I know, gross. But I'm still proud!
  • Pike officially outgrew his baby carseat and is now in a convertible seat. He's still rear facing until he gets a touch bigger, but soon...
  • Pike is obsessed with the Roku remote. I don't know why, but that particular remote is apparently the best thing since sliced bread.
  • We're running into the clothing problem that 12 month stuff fits great except for pants, which he tends to be a little too skinny for. 

So there's the state of the Pike address for September. How are your families doing?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Best of Baby Vomit

I was reading a list of embarrassing baby stories, and I figured that I'd share mine right here. It's not my only one, of course, but it's my favorite so far.

My best friend is in the navy, so when she was home visiting her family, I brought Pike up to see her and her parents. We went out to lunch, which I wasn't at all worried about since Pike (who was around seven months at the time, I believe) was always so well behaved. Naturally that day he was fussy. Instead of just letting him scream, I decided to distract him with his lunch.

He ate like it was going out of style and devoured everything I'd brought alone. I figured he'd drift off for a nap, but he was still a little fussy, so I picked him up to cuddle him into submission. The waiter came over and was saying how cute he was and, just as our (thankfully very nice) waiter finished the sentence, Pike puked. He didn't just spit up a little. He vomitted everything he'd eaten - right onto me. Naturally I had a change of clothes all ready for him, but I had to pass the baby off to my friend so I could go to the bathroom and clean off as much puke as I could.

It's worth noting that he's only puked like that one time since... and it was right down my back. Yep, mommy's a puke magnet. Lucky me!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mom Thought of the Day: Vacuuming

My floors are not so clean that I would eat off of them. Thankfully Pike's standards are lower than mine, and if I hate a guest so much that I'd make them eat off the floor, they probably wouldn't have gotten in the front door anyway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One Year Later

Today, August 7, 2012, my baby boy is one year old. A year ago today at almost this exact moment, I was numb from the waist down and panicking because I couldn't feel it when I was breathing. The nurse calmed me down, and I was medicated enough that it wasn't hard to do. A few minutes later, I heard Pike cry for the very first time. He was swept away with Wes watching over him and cleaned up. Then I saw my little boy and got to kiss him before he was swept off all over again and I didn't see him for another 32 hours.

This year I've been more proud and tired and excited than I've ever been before in my whole life. Pike has gone from not being able to remember to breathe on his own (literally) to climbing the stairs by himself (his most recent accomplishment). He can babble and laugh and clap and high five and even wave goodbye when he wants to. The tiny little baby who couldn't figure out how to work a nipple on a bottle eats Cheerios like it's going out of style. 

Once we decided to have a baby, there were moments of doubt and fear and worry. Since Pike was born, that hasn't gone away - but it's worry and fear for and about him. We want him to have every chance and do everything he wants to do. I can't see anything but my sweet, beautiful, perfect baby boy when I look at him. He gets cuter every single day. I may miss a phase when it passes ("Oh, that's our last smile with no teeth!"), but it's always exciting to see what he's going to do and learn and how he's going to change.

I can't imagine life without our sweet little goofball of a baby, and I can't wait to see what the next year will be like.

Happy birthday, Pike Alexander Howard!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Evolving Doors

Doors, originally uploaded by ~MeeeeMz~.
Right now, the most fascinating thing in the world to Pike is opening and closing doors. Cabinets, doors to rooms, whatever. He doesn't even get upset anymore when he hits himself in the face while doing it. Apparently it's so much fun he can't be bothered to mind. Why did we buy toys for him when he has such great doors?!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Total Creeper: Pike at 9.75 Months

Time seems to fly. I can't believe that Pike is almost ten months old. I can't believe my baby can do so many things. I look at pictures of him right after he was born and am absolutely FLOORED by the fact that not only has he grown so much, he just gets more amazing all the time. So here's what he's up to:

  • Still crawling. Lots. Quickly. He gets faster all the time. His technique is still the army crawl, but he's an expert now.
  • Creeping. While he can't stand himself, if you put him up against something, he can now hitch himself around and is even working tentatively on transitioning between objects (our ottomans and the couch, for example).
  • Sitting up. Again, he isn't sitting up on his own yet (in terms of getting into the sitting position), but if we sit him up, he's getting pretty good at staying there. He's no expert yet, but he'll get there.
  • Latching onto objects. He's starting to associate certain objects or certain things with certain times or tasks. For example, Wes was entertaining him after his bath last night and he was fidgety and kept looking over the the chaise lounge - which is where I feed him before bed. He also clings to his glow horse in the morning if we wake him up before he's ready since he knows that's what sleeps with him.
  • He's allowed to eat soft foods, and is starting too: mashed up banana and sweet potato are the main ones so far, but we're slowly introducing more. It's weird having him eat something so close to "real" food even if it is mashed up. 
  • He's far more vocal than he was before, and we think he's slowly putting together what words belong to what objects/people, though that's not consistent yet. 
  • Pike's far more aware of his environment - where people go if they leave the room, what happens to objects he throws, what the stuff around him looks like. If he's on the floor in the living room and Wes or I are in the kitchen, he'll start crying and crawl his way in to us so we can pick him up.
  • Puppies! He's finally realized that he has puppies and that he can play with them, pet them, and chase them around. And he loves it.
  • He's trying out a sippy cup, though the technique isn't really there yet. Still it's very entertaining to watch.
  • He knows, in theory, what no means. He doesn't always entirely stop what he's doing, but he'll pause (and often grin). Sometimes after a few rounds, he'll quit altogether, sometimes we have to redirect him.
  • After watching mommy and daddy use them so much, Pike really, really wants to play with computers and Kindles. Which we let him do in limited, observed amounts. It's pretty funny. He's slowly figuring out that touching the touch screen affects what's happening, and it's fascinating.
  • Give him a hand! He can clap now, and we're working on high fives and patty cake. He finds them funny but hasn't totally caught on just yet. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tunes Tuesday: Barenaked Ladies - History of Everything (Official The Big Bang Theory V...

Pike's very favorite song. When we're watching Big Bang Theory and the theme song comes on, the world stops for him - he has to watch.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Sleeping Game

I always knew that one of the most disruptive things about becoming a mom in terms of my life and schedule would be sleep. I like to sleep. My preferred, natural biological schedule is to go to bed around midnight and wake up around 9am. Obviously, that isn't happening anymore. It will likely never, ever happen again except on special occasions.

Pike came into our lives and, after seven months of hopping up to pee several times a night and other good fun like that, I was already on a weird schedule. He spent three weeks in the NICU and I pumped every three hours anyway, sleepy and blurry and playing games on my phone.

We have been blissfully lucky so far with Pike. He came home, and he's always been a good sleeper, only up once or twice a night even when he was tiny. If he's stuffed up (as he has been this week) or sick, he may be more fidgety, but by and large he's slept through the night for months. He's an AWESOME baby. But going to bed at nine in the evening and waking up at 4:30 or 5 am still rubs me the wrong way. I'm not a morning person. I would be if I could be, but I'm not. I don't like waking up, I like staying snuggled in the sheets and drifting back up.

What makes it worth it is that little face. When I go into his room in the morning to pick him up, he pops his head up in the crib, grins, and is always in a good mood. My baby is a morning person just like his daddy - god help me! Thankfully the fact that they're both so happy and smiley in the morning means that even when I'm grouchy and don't want any of it, I'm surrounded by smiles and cuddles and it kinda sorta almost makes it worth being conscious.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pleasant Pumping

Oh boy, breast feeding is soooo boring!

I'm going to talk about pumping here. Some people might not find that super pleasant even though I don't intend to get gory or anything. So... yeah. Be warned! lol Basically, these are just the things that I've found work for me personally to make pumping tolerable. It's dull, it's tedious... it's all the time suck of breastfeeding with none of the benefits and twice the clean-up. But sometimes you just gotta do it.

  • Get a double electric pump. Medela has the fanciest, best ones, but they're pricey. You can rent them from the hospital, but they're $80 a month. Or for that same $80, you can get a Playtex. Mine's taken the abuse of going from home to work every day for eight months now.
  • This is actually just more for breastfeeding or pumping - get yourself some reusable nursing pads. I wish I'd done that sooner. I felt kind of dumb when I realized how much money I would have saved, plus less filling up of landfills. 
  • Find something that makes the experience tolerable for you. Personally, I refuse to do anything productive if at all possible. I read fan fiction, I play Angry Birds... whatever. My Kindle Fire has been an absolute godsend, as was my phone before that. Because I'm not even going to attempt to hold a regular book open and hold pumps on at the same time. Uh uh. 
Those are the big ones. You're already working if you're pumping - by which I mean that the pumping itself is a productive activity. So try not to let yourself feel like you've got more important stuff pressing or you should be multitasking. Give yourself that fifteen minutes or whatever guilt free. You deserve at LEAST that for doing it to start with. 

And if you don't pump or breastfeed... that's FINE. And if someone gives you crap for it, flip them off for me. Things like this are personal, and as long as you and your baby are taken care of, that's all that matters. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nailed It

In the same vein as my previous entry, these are the things I think we've done awesomely well that we wouldn't change:
  • pick a unique but viable nursery theme
  • pick a name that's special but not too weird
  • use the Pack and Play for an in-bedroom sleeper while the baby is young enough to wake up multiple times during the night
  • ask for diapers and wipes on the registries so we are stocked up
  • have the front room set up for receiving visitors 
  • take tons of pictures
  • People from work did a schedule the first week we were home of bringing dinner by the house - and it was AMAZINGLY helpful
  • Don't stress. Even the parts that were rougher worked out. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

If We Did it Again...

What things would you do or want to do differently if you could do it all over again? This goes whether you're planning on having kids again or not since, let's face it, we'll all at least have folks in our lives at some point who can benefit from the advice.

I imagine this list will grow over time, but so far, we've come up with:
  • Be rich enough to stay home with the kiddo (yeah, I didn't say it would be realistic)
  • Get a nursing cover that's a bit better so nursing in public is easier (close enough to weaning now that it just isn't worth it at this point)... not that I'm sure it would help since Pike simply hates being covered while eating. We usually go for bottles or cereal out in public for that reason.
  • Get more pictures printed and hung on the walls sooner
  • Have the nursery done two months in advance (apparently that's how we roll)
  • I'd probably put more clothing on the registries for a wide variety of ages
  • Wes said that he'd definitely pack the recovery room/delivery bag earlier... which he'd wanted to do anyway. D'oh.
  • Put our new knowledge of what baby products work and which ones don't to good use - which means better wish list planning and use of money
  • Get a cosleeper since that would have been nice to have, especially early on
  • Stock up on wipes as well as diapers - for some reason we did great on one but not the other. They go hand in hand, though, so I'm not sure how we missed that one. 
  • My hubby also pitched in that he'd get a membership to CareFlite. Just in case. Would have saved us several thousand dollars, so I can't disagree at all.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven and a Half Months

Pike is seven and a half months old. He's getting stronger and smarter and more awesome (biased? me?) all the time.

  • He's tried pretty much every kind of veggie there is to try in a pureed form. Next up will be fruits.
  • Pike is perfecting his own version of my "one eyed crazy look" to be administered to people who are saying or doing stupid things. To the left, you can see him looking at me that way. Punk kid.
  • Blowing rasberries is his absolute favorite activity (see him doing it with daddy below). Mostly he just pushes air and spit out of his mouth at this point. It's gross, but hilarious.
  • He can army crawl like a baby possessed. Okay, maybe not that fast, but it's pretty fast when you're used to him not moving. Crap!
  • Pike is ticklish. Awesomely ticklish. And sometimes in odd spots, like his ears. Making him giggle is one of the most awesome things possible. 
  • He's at the stage where everything must be tested by shoving it in his mouth. Which means we're having to clean and vacuum more. I do not love that. I hate cleaning floors. 
  • I damn near decided to wean him a half dozen times, but he seems to be getting over his desire to pinch every time he nurses. Cuz that sucked. Though he does seem to be moving himself toward weaning. It's just not as exciting as solid food, it seems. Which is both sad and freeing at the same time. We'll see how I feel when he really makes the call of what he prefers.
  • Though he isn't quite able to do it himself, he's starting to experiment with signing when we do it to him. We only really do mommy, daddy (those are the most common ones we use), and milk, and we're introducing hungry and tired. The other day when Wes was signing to him, he started trying to do some mimicry of the sign, which was super cool. It's nice to see him really paying attention to things like that now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Toads & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Cute toad is cute, originally uploaded by Marji Beach.

Pike met his first toad this morning. It had been raining gently overnight, and there was a little toad hopping away from the driveway when I brought him out to get in the car. I scooped it up (okay, after chasing it down for a minute... they hop fast) and showed Pike. He seemed amused by my excitement if not by the toad itself. I think I was grinning like an idiot, so he felt that it would be polite to grin back.

Then I washed my hands up and got us on our way, but it was still super neat. I kept toads in a pen in our backyard when I was little, so they're one of my favorite kinds of critter :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

So What Now?

Much like marriage inevitably leads to questions about when you're going to have babies, having a baby leads to questions about when you're going to have more babies.

The thing is? I'm not lying when I say I don't know. We're still debating the when and the if. There are so many things that are amazing about it just being the three of us, and right now we're lucky because my sister is living with us while going to college, so we have a built in baby sitter for date night. Awesome! But by the time baby #2 comes along (if they do), she probably won't be there, which means finding a REAL sitter. Less fun. Then there's family vacations becoming paying for four people instead of three, wrangling two kids instead of one - which means we would no longer outnumber the child portion of the house population.

On the other hand, we both love being parents. After spending most of our lives thinking we'd never do it... it's amazing. Pike is amazing. Watching him grow and change is probably the coolest thing I've ever seen (no offense to my sister since it was also super fun watching and experiencing that with her). He's smart and gorgeous and, I'm sure, will continue to be super fabulous. So if one baby is fabulous, why wouldn't a second be?

But what if they weren't? What if we had a second kid and they were terrible and cranky and mean and ugly? Not likely since we're so amazing, but it could happen.

So what thoughts make you want - and not want - to do it all over again?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Critter Crazy

Yes, those are my boobs. You're welcome. (kidding... sort of) Most importantly, that is our hamster - well, was. Sadly our little Ed passed away quite a few years ago, but isn't she adorable?

See, I know most parents look at the moment their child starts wanting pets as a downside. Me? I'm excited for it. Pike already loves the puppies as much as he can when he mostly just wants to put stuff in his mouth, so I'm hoping his love of critters holds. The thing is, it's a great excuse to get more pets. I think if we didn't take such good care of the fuzzies and scalies and other odd animal babies we take in, we'd end up being hoarders. Thankfully the care means we don't have time to reach that level. Still, a hamster or a fish or a new snake... I wouldn't say no :)

What weird kid things are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baby McFussypants

Given his fussiness the past couple days, the sucking in of his lower lip, and the general "I'm going to eat everything put near my face or at least chew it into submission" thing, we're pretty sure Pike is working on cutting his first tooth. I personally can't tell the difference when massaging his gums, but, let's face it, I have no idea what I'm feeling for.

So god have mercy on our souls. I hope it comes in fast... I think. Or not. Maybe it's time to wean. Eep!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

6 Month Stats

Weight: 13lb 9oz (2% on the curve)
Height: 26in (25% on the curve)
Head Size: 17.5 (75% on the curve)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tunes Tuesday: Soft Kitty

Luckily for me, I too have a husband this awesome. Everyone should marry geeks, seriously.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tunes Tuesday: Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al

Since we were talking yesterday about raising Pike with a proper appreciation of comedians like Chevy Chase, Steve Martin & John Candy, I give you one of Chevy's many moments of comedic brilliance.

Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pike Update: 24 Weeks

  • He's teething. Definitely teething. Our little boy is chewing on his hands, our hands... whatever's close to his mouth. He was already drooling like a faucet - now at least there's a purpose to it. I don't think any teeth are close to erupting just yet, but it'll get there.
  • He is trying SO HARD to crawl. He can propel himself forward a little through sheer force of will, but he hasn't figured out the sequence of events that leads to movement yet.
  • Chewing is becoming a thing. Like I said earlier, he's grabbing things and thrusting them into his mouth. He's just not great at holding yet and not good at keeping them there, but he's learning. Mommy will likely be getting a haircut soon for this reason. Baby drool may not be quite as gross as grown up drool, but it still has no place in her hair.
  • More often than not now when we go to get him after he wakes up, he's on his back instead of his stomach. He's getting great at rolling over. The same is true of tummy time.
  • Now instead of sobbing when he wakes up alone, he's usually okay with being a bit noisy (talking to himself) when he's lying in bed but otherwise being fine to wait on us to get him.
  • When he's tired now, he doesn't want to be held and comforted. If he cries, he either wants food, a diaper change, or he's super super tired - in which case he just wants to be laid down someplace comfy so he can sleep.
  • He's also doing what I call "baby flirting" - grinning at people and then ducking his head or looking away when they smile back.
  • When Wes or I pick him up at daycare, he recognizes us (or at least seems too) and gets all smiley and excited.
  • The 0-3 month clothes are now all being put aside as too small and he's in 3-6 month territory. I'm guessing by month 7 he'll probably be on to the 6-9 month stuff primarily, so he's on track growth-wise. It's strange looking at pictures of him when he was just born and pictures of him now and realizing just how much he's really grown despite the fact that he's still so small.
  • Pike's hair has shifted to a lighter color with a lot more red and blond highlights. We still aren't sure where it will ultimately end up color-wise, but it's intriguing watching it change. 
  • He's making his "concerned baby" face less and less, and his expressions seem to be matching more closely what he's actually going through and processing internally. He's learning the connection between what he's projecting and what that expression "feels like" or means. 
  • If Wes sneezes, coughs, or laughs really loudly, he gets very, very startled now. In fact he has been reduced to tears a couple of times by this very thing. 
  • When he hears Wes or I, he will now actually lift his head and crane it around to look for us. 
  • We've started reading chapters of The Wizard of Oz while he has his bedtime snack so that we have an official "reading time" during the day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pike's First Meal (5 Month Update)

Monday night, Pike had his first solid meal. Okay, well, snack. I think more rice cereal ended up on his face than in his mouth, but it went fairly well. He wasn't disgusted, and by the end, he was swallowing at least some of it.

As of Sunday, Pike is officially five months old. I can hardly believe that. I know all parents say that, but it's just crazy. I guess we got a head start on the "oh my god" portion of aging since he was almost a month old before he ever came home, but it's still nuts how fast the time goes. He's getting bigger and stronger every day.

Slowly Pike's starting to figure out scootching. It's now crawling yet, and he doesn't go far, but he's definitely starting to wiggle himself forward when he really wants to, and he's putting together that he can interact with things on his Jumperoo. Soon I suspect he'll stop just staring at most of the things he finds interesting and wanting to grab them and probably eat them. Yay?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tunes Tuesday: Glee Cast - Hey, Soul Sister (Glee Cast Version)

Because it was stuck in my head, one of the first songs that I sang to Pike after he was born. Along with "Teenage Dream." Yep.