Outings

We moms are always asking each other where to take our toddlers for fun. We have a handful of outings we keep in rotation that I thought I’d share in hopes that they spark inspiration! I’d also love to hear ideas from you.

Restaurants with play areas

We have a few in town, notably Sweet Haus and Great Harvest! I meet friends at one of these two places for afternoon tea/coffee a lot. We talk and the kids love to play.

Rec Center Classes

Mazen just started his first class – tumbling! Our rec center offers everything from a walk-in gym play time to a $5 drop-in art class to regular sign-up classes like tumbling. It was inexpensive for a 5 week session at $35.

image

Parks + Playgrounds

This is hard when the weather is bad, but when it’s nice we go to the playground all the time! Mazen just loves climbing on the equipment, swinging, sliding and getting his energy out. I CAN’T WAIT FOR SPRING!

Foodblog-2639

Kids Museums

We joined as a family membership ($75 for the year) to our local Discovery Museum and you can bring everyone in your family with you for free. My parents, Matt and I all took Mazen together when they were in town – it’s a good deal considering otherwise each person (adults included) costs $6. Our museum is very small compared to big city versions, but it has a great couple of rooms where Mazen loves to play and explore. We can always count on a great afternoon there.

Foodblog-3790.jpg

Mommy + Me Yoga

Mazen and I have taken yoga together a handful of times, and it’s always a sweet morning. He likes the music and props and I like containing him in a child-proof room and relaxing.

The Mall

When it’s cold and rainy we go to the mall so Mazen can run around. We spend some time in the kids play area or on the merry-go-round but really he just likes to explore the corridors.

The Library

It’s fun to go and try out a new selection of books. Some of the libraries in town have story hour but they haven’t been at the best times for us. I hope when M’s a little older we can go to more of these.

Bounce And Play

I’ve taken Mazen to our Bounce and Play before – a big indoor jumpy gym. He enjoyed the toddler-size jumping and it was a great way to pass the morning.

Foodblog-3785.jpg

I’d also love to hear some outing ideas from you guys – what do you do with your kids to prevent cabin fever?

Baby Signs

{Eat}

Foodblog-0156

I’ve received a few requests for a post on baby signs! I am by no means a signing expert, but Mazen knows about 35 signs, so it’s safe to say we’re a signing success.

Signing has been SO helpful for our family, and we really can’t imagine going through these months without it. What is interesting is there are words that Mazen only speaks and doesn’t know the sign for (like “sit”) and other words that he signs all the time but hasn’t learned to say yet (like “moon”) so in some ways being able to sign has doubled his vocabulary.

{Milk}

Foodblog-0157

Signing is great because babies can gesture long before they develop verbal skills. So signing enables you to communicate two ways earlier. Despite what you might think, babies who sign talk earlier with a larger vocabulary than babies who don’t (according to our sign instructor’s materials!) The signs are the same ones used in American Sign Language (although some are modified to make them easier for a baby). It’s so easy to do, so why not?

{Bread}

Foodblog-0003

We started our signing journey by taking an in-home class that I bought in a local silent auction for about $20: Baby Signs with Gillian. Gillian came to our house and told us how to get started. Her information was good, and it was very simple: say the sign and do it while looking at your baby. Apparently when your baby learns to clap and wave bye-bye they are ready to sign, so it’s probably no surprise that Mazen wasn’t quite ready at 7 months when we took our class.

Here’s what I wrote at 7 months:

“We’ve started trying out baby sign language after we had a class with Baby Signs with Gillian. So far so good! Our most used signs are eat, more, mama, dada and sleep. It’s hard to sign to him when he’s in my arms, so nurse, nap and others are harder for me to remember to do. I really want to keep at it though!”

Maze-2-4

Mazen started doing his first signs around 11 months and that’s when we added a lot more.

Here’s what I wrote right before his first birthday:

“On the communication front we have made HUGE progress this month: sign language!!! M knows “all done” and “milk,” although he doesn’t always use them appropriately. We think he has “all done” down pat though. He started doing milk during nursing one day and I could barely contain my excitement that he had made the connection. He has also started clapping, and I think he might be doing that as “more” but I’m not sure. The sign language break through has been so exciting though, so now I’m using a lot more. I use the signs for diaper change, cheese, eat, cat, thank you, please, book, drink, and water (among a few others) as much as I can. He also has learned to point to things when he wants more of them, so that has been a helpful “sign” too.”

My advice would be to pick 2-3 of your most common moments (like “milk”, “all done” and “more”) and focus on those only. Once your baby gets those, then introduce all the other signs you can muster. Mazen is to the point now (at 16 months) where we can show him a sign once or twice and he’s got it. We don’t even have to continue doing the sign ourselves. When we see he’s into something (like the moon) we Google the sign for it and teach it to him. Sometimes we make slight changes in the sign if it’s complicated, and you can really just create your own if you want. Now at 16 months we sign all the time –

“Do you want an apple or banana for breakfast?” –> sign for apple

“Do you want more bread?” –> sign for more followed by bread

After turning off the water in the bathtub –> sign for more followed by water

“Look at the moon!” —> sign for moon

Driving down the highway —> sign for car plus a car sound!

We were given these two books as hand-me-downs and after just a few reads through M learned most of the signs. “Sleepy” is particularly cute! He loves for me to test him to see how many he knows. Show off!

{More}

Foodblog-0150

A list of Mazen’s signs at 16 months:

    1. All done
    2. More
    3. Eat
    4. Water
    5. Milk
    6. Bib
    7. Cereal
    8. Bread
    9. Cheese
    10. Ice cream
    11. Hot
    12. Apple
    13. Banana
    14. Orange
    15. Moon
    16. Sleepy
    17. Blanket
    18. Book
    19. Stars
    20. Bath
    21. Toothbrush
    22. Quiet
    23. Hug/Love
    24. Fish
    25. Bunny (Cheddar Bunnies!)
    26. Up
    27. Down
    28. Stretch
    29. Hat
    30. Please
    31. Thank you
    32. Open
    33. Close
    34. Broccoli
    35. Light

16 Months!

I have the longest list of update notes taken on my phone for this month, and that is surely a testament to how fast Mazen is learning new things! I’m going in bullets rather than by topic in order to get it all down –

— Knock knock? Who’s there? Matt taught M to knock on closed doors. It’s all fun and games until you’re in the bathroom and he just keeps knocking and knocking… : )

— Another fun game: hide & seek! We play around the dining room table. M laughs joyful belly laughs when we scare him around a corner. It sure looked better after a nice trim though!

 

— Mazen is now obsessed with the moon. We taught him the sign for moon and every night he loves to find it through the windows. He also sometimes mistakes street lights or night lights for the moon. And his new favorite book: Goodnight Moon.

Looking up and signing at the evening moon:

Maze-3611

— He has also developed a love for all things automotive: trucks, trains, cars. He can make car noises and knows both the sign for car and the spoken word train (“tray!”) We unpacked the train set my parents got him for Christmas and he is smitten. He also loves to make his cars and trucks drive all around the kitchen.

— M has developed a real love for his aden + anais blankets. He sleeps with one (usually tucked under his stomach with his butt in the air) and sometimes in the morning or after naps he carries it around, which I find incredibly cute.

Maze-3495

— Diaper changes have gotten SO much better than they were around 12 months – except for changes first thing in the morning (he is done laying down and wants to walk!) and putting on the after-bath diaper, which is always a battle. But most of the time, he cooperates now. He has even cooperated some when I trim his fingernails, which has been one of our hardest hygiene tasks lately.

— Speaking of hygiene, we’ve had some other trouble with teeth brushing. For a while he would let us get a few swipes with his Elmo brush (no toothpaste) but when his 2 molars came in I started to worry we weren’t brushing well enough. Our pediatrician said it’s really important and to hold him down if we have to. I bought two of the swallowable toothpastes (he hates both) and a finger brush and have been trapping him in a corner to brush. After about 5 nights of strawberry-banana torture, he now doesn’t seem to mind as much. I am hoping it becomes a fun task soon! I wish we had started hard-core brushing earlier because I think the finger in mouth was just a bit of a shock to him at this older age.

Maze-140959

— I remember reading about other moms just having to get out of the house everyday and thinking that sounded exhausting. Yes, it is! But I am now one of those people. I can’t remember the last time we just spent a whole day at home. That’s crazy to me!

— M’s vocabulary has really taken off. He says whole sentences, but they are baby talk and we don’t know what they mean. His favorite phrases are “Isa daya” and “tagu!” We ask him: “Mazen, point to the tagu” but so far we haven’t had luck figuring them out. {Quite a few people thought “Isa daya” means “I sit down” or “I sit there” but I am not all the way convinced given its context.

— New words: boots, books, train, more, KK (!), O for orange, grass

— New signs: car, moon, light, broccoli (!), open and close

— It’s amazing how many words he understands.

Maze-161625

— We gave him another haircut ourselves, and again, you would have thought each hair was full of nerves he hated it so much. Even with Elmo and treats on his high chair tray.

— He has turned out to be quite the happy sleeper. He did his first 12 hour night lately, and has a 7pm sharp bedtime now. He will go over to his crib and say “night night” when he’s ready, and he literally dives into his crib from my arms when he is tired. I think he really likes it in there now. Naps are still about 1:45 to 2 hours and are generally from 12 to 2.

–On the food front, things are going a bit better. When the molars were coming in he just turned his nose up at everything. This week he has impressed me by eating broccoli (his one and only favorite veg), spaghetti squash, chickpeas in tomato sauce and a really impressive cabbage, carrot and rice curry dish. On the dislike list: strawberry yogurt. Go figure. Mazen has never liked your typical kid foods (mac and cheese, pasta noodles, I even tried some organic chicken nuggets with no luck). Rather, he seems to really like adult food – particularly Cook Smarts meals : ) He’s still a pretty picky eater, but we’ve seen improvements. His favorite food is a whole apple!

{Note the rosy cheeks? That’s our tried and true sign for teething around here!}

Maze-3609

— And lastly, if you show him a picture of himself he knows to point at himself proudly. He also likes to point out the framed photos of mama and dada around the house. Next up: teaching him to say Mazen!

Love him!

Tips For Hiring A Babysitter

The following is a guest post I wrote for my friend Renee, who has a blog on early childhood from a nanny’s perspective

Babyblog-1437_thumb.jpg

If you are anything like me you are completely torn between a luxurious date night with your husband and the peace in your heart that comes from having your baby close by. Deciding to hire a babysitter for the first time can be quite a scary process. But it’s something you have to do at some point – for both you and your little one.

Lucky for us, my mother in law lives nearby, so we were able to leave Mazen in her loving arms for short periods of time when he was a tiny baby. Now that he’s a big boy toddler, we’re a lot more comfortable hiring babysitters to come and play with Mazen while we get a little taste of our adult lives back.

In addition to my own experience, I asked some of my girlfriends to share their tips for hiring a sitter, and this is our list:

-Our best recommendation for finding a babysitter is networking. Family friends, sitters of friends, social groups, neighbors and the like. But if you can’t seem to find anyone someone already knows, check out Care.com. A friend of mine has found a few of her best sitters through the site.

-When you interview your sitter, trust your gut. If anything about her (or him) bothers you, keep looking. Leaving your child is hard enough, so you want to be 100% comfortable with the person you choose. One friend added that doing a simple Google search of their name or checking out social media accounts can speak volumes about a person’s character.

-While I don’t think having a formal CPR training is absolutely necessary, it’s a great skill to look for when you are searching. You could also go over the technique with them before their first job.

-Before your sitter arrives, be sure to put all important information together in an easy-to-find location. We have a list of our phone numbers and emergency contacts posted on the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets. Another friend suggested drafting a letter of consent for the babysitter to use in case she/he needs to prove permissions to an emergency responder.

-I always give a new person a complete tour of the house and include both safety notes and things like how to use the remote control. I also show them where all the snacks are so they will be comfortable eating if they get hungry. At first I didn’t know if I should provide dinner or not, so I simply asked what they prefer.  My sitters rarely come hungry, so I told them just to let me know in advance if they ever need me to provide something.

-I have a babysitter fund hidden away in my house so I can pay my sitters in cash. I always appreciated cash when I used to babysit, and I like having the money taken out in one lump “babysitting” sum in our budget rather than smaller checks here and there, which can be harder to track. I get out enough cash so that I don’t need to go to the bank more than once a month or so.

-And this last advice comes from my mom: Don’t worry if your child stays up a little past bedtime or eats one too many cookies – your babysitter is there to keep your baby safe and happy.

 

15 Months

Maze-2665

15 months has passed us already and my little man is just growing up so fast. He understands so much these days “Let’s go ride your bike!” or “Time for a bath” and he knows exactly what to do. He is starting to talk more too, and we get so excited when he learns a new word you would think he had learned to multiply already! His sign language is outstanding, and he has learned more and more signs lately. Especially thanks to these two books.

Signs

  1. All done
  2. More
  3. Eat
  4. Water
  5. Milk
  6. Bib
  7. Cereal
  8. Bread
  9. Cheese
  10. Ice cream
  11. Hot
  12. Apple
  13. Banana
  14. Orange
  15. Moon
  16. Sleepy
  17. Blanket
  18. Book
  19. Stars
  20. Bath
  21. Toothbrush
  22. Quiet
  23. Hug/Love
  24. Fish
  25. Bunny (Cheddar Bunnies!)
  26. Up
  27. Stretch
  28. Hat
  29. Please
  30. Thank you

Words

  1. Mama
  2. Dada
  3. Mmmmm (=hungry, does that count!?)
  4. At (cat and all animals)
  5. Isth (this)
  6. Dath (bath)
  7. Outside (out. siiiiiide)
  8. Nano (no)
  9. Nana (banana)
  10. Frwog (frog)
  11. Foot (fruit)
  12. Bawl (ball)
  13. Hat
  14. Hi
  15. Hide
  16. Sit

Animal Sounds

  1. Cow
  2. Bird
  3. Pig
  4. Duck
  5. Elephant (spits!)
  6. Lion/bear (growls)
  7. Dinosaur ( roars <—hilarious)
  8. Cat (nyow, only once)
  9. Dog (woo, only once)

Maze-2799

He has also gotten good at stacking blocks! He impressed some friends of ours by stacking 7 in a row at a party recently. Although I’ll say that was the one and only time he’s done that many.

Maze-082823

Other news….

-He can now kiss on command with little puckered lips and it’s the sweetest thing ever.

-When asked to do his “Happy Feet” he stomps his feet around

Maze-2636

-He has figured out how to climb on things like our ottoman, couch and chairs which have introduced a whole new set of dangers. I can’t really child proof by taking out the couch, so we’ll just have to do our best to teach him not to fall.

-He LOVES apples and eats them whole. Sometimes seeds, core and all. Tell me apple seeds aren’t really bad…

Maze-2792

-HE HAS A MOLAR!! We were laughing one day and I saw a big white blob in there. I knew he was teething (as evidenced by his super rosy cheeks and finger in mouth) but I didn’t know it was molar time! I was very relieved because he handled it without too much grumpiness, so I’m hopefully that molar teething won’t be the Worst Thing Ever. We are working really hard on brushing teeth, but that continues to be a struggle.

-He knows how to tickle back!

-Like every toddler we have our moments. We’ve struggled with tantrums and throwing food. I recently read Harvey Karp’s Happiest Toddler on the Block and highly recommend it. Great back to basics tips and advice. The Toddler-ese language he recommends seems to be helping a bit.

Foodblog-3034Maze-2784-2

-M has gotten really good about reading books. We read twice a day before nap and bedtime for 15 minutes or so and he loves the activity. The Llama Llama books are one of our favorites and M can do all the motions in Llama Llama Hoppity Hop. He’s started reading to himself some too, which is so darling. You know when they sneak away and are quiet it can’t be good news, but I found him with his door closed reading one day recently! We also put a book in his crib for naptime if he’s having a hard time wanting to go to sleep and it works like a charm to settle him down and get sleepy.

Maze-2714-2

-He still loves being outside, and I try to have play time in our yard or a park everyday for at least 15 minutes, hopefully longer (but the cold limits our time these days). I can’t wait for spring!

Maze-2803

-He has learned to knock on doors that are closed and close doors himself.

-We still have quite a picky eater, but I think that’s just par for the course right now. He has learned to use a spoon much better so we’ve done a ton more meals with spoons. This little sweet potato pack dates back to when he was on purees and I bought some to have in case I couldn’t make my own, and he played with it for months in his drawer in the kitchen before I finally thought – maybe he should get to eat it! He loved it.

Maze-2727

Maze-2726

Sadly some of the foods I have been really excited for him to try he hasn’t really liked: chili, minestrone soup, mac and cheese ( <—what the heck!?)

Maze-2722

-He is big on saying MAMA all the time now, and he’s definitely started having some separation anxiety. I am honored he likes me so much : )

  • Weight: 29 pounds 4 ounces
  • Height: 31.5 inches
  • Teeth: 8.5
  • Naps: 1 at noon, about 2 hours
  • Nightime sleep: 11-12 hours straight through
  • Totally weaned.

Totally cute!

Maze-2495

Christmas Morning

Did you know that Santa makes special trips before and after Christmas Day to accommodate families that travel? When was young, we traveled for Christmas every year, so I had several years with presents dropped off at special times. Santa came to our house a few days early this year so that Matt could be home for the big moment. {Matt was working Mon + Tues mornings before we flew out to Dallas.}

Since Mazen was still a tiny baby last year, this was his first official Christmas morning. Santa debated whether or not to wrap all of his presents, but based on the fact that M has not been the biggest fan of wrapping paper this holiday season, he decided to just bring everything directly from his workshop. It made for a really exciting first look!!

Babyblog-3135

Mazen ran towards the presents, picked up the claw and pointed at everything else with glee. He LOVES Elmo and calls him “La La La” so there were lots of lalalalalalalalalalala’s! It was the cutest thing. He loved everything.

Babyblog-3136Babyblog-3139

Babyblog-3142

Babyblog-3146Babyblog-3144

Babyblog-3149

Babyblog-3150

Babyblog-3153

Babyblog-3154

Babyblog-3155

Babyblog-3160

Almost as much as Elmo, Mazen really loved the tool set Matt’s dad and Cheryl gave us!

Babyblog-3161

xmas

The End Of A Breastfeeding Era

KAY-0084

A little over three weeks ago Mazen and I had our final nursing session. It was simultaneously a huge deal and a piece of cake.

About a month prior, I had dropped down from 4 feedings a day to 1 over the course of a few weeks. Our only nursing session was first thing in the morning and only one one side. I found this to be the best of both worlds: I could have date nights and total freedom during the day yet we got to have our first thing in the morning snuggle time and continue breastfeeding. The thought of jumping straight out of bed and rushing into breakfast seemed jarring, so I was happy to bring him back into bed with me and have more time to wake up. Mazen was always kind of indifferent about nursing. If I offered it to him he got excited, but he didn’t seem to notice when I dropped feedings.

KAY-0200

One morning he slept until 7am. I got up at 6:30 and began making us both oatmeal for breakfast. By the time he woke up, I had his breakfast all laid out on his tray – milk cup included. My coffee cup had just been poured and I didn’t really feel like getting back in bed, so I decided it would be a good day to test the waters of weaning. As I suspected, he seemed excited for the food on his tray and didn’t bat an eye when I brought him straight from his crib to the kitchen.

The next day I tried it again. This time he did the sign for milk, which made me question everything, but when I said “No milk today – let’s have breakfast!” he seemed to be OK with that. Three more days of going straight to breakfast and I knew he was ready to wean.

But I wasn’t.

KAY-0071

I wanted to have one more nursing session. To soak in the emotions. To spend extra time snuggling. To explain to him the milk was going bye bye. And to forever imprint the memory in my heart.

KAY-0077

So on November 18, after 5 days of not nursing, when Mazen woke up I carried him into my bed. I thought about the first time he latched on in the hospital right after birth. The terrible pain I experienced the first month. The sweet 3am nights with just the two of us. The boppy, the millions of disposable nursing pads, the silly shirts with flaps I bought. And all the times we escaped visitors and crowds to have some quiet moments together. Going on 15 months, I thought about what a big boy he has become.

KAY-0075

I snapped a photo of us from above. I shed a tear. And when he was finished I told him “All done milk. Bye-bye milk.”

KAY-0228

It’s been over three weeks and there have been a few times he has done the sign for milk or pulled on my shirt and I’ve reminded him that the milk is gone. To say this process has been bittersweet is a huge understatement. Yet as hard as it was to say goodbye to nursing, I knew this was right for us. Now on the other side, I’ve been really happy with the decision and timing. And I’m so thankful we had such a positive experience.

KAY-0244

Other breastfeeding posts:

The Road To Weaning

Breastfeeding: Angry Bird In A Swamp

Hours Of Milk

Breastfeeding: Large & In Charge

14 Months!

Maze-112824

Mazen has been so much fun lately! He has gotten to be so affectionate and loves to run into my arms. I am loving how much he gives now! He sure is a mama’s boy.

Maze-2060

His language is also exploding – in all ways.

New spoken words:

  • Outside (said all the time as “side!” “side!” “side!”)
  • Uh-oh (also uttered 100 times a day)
  • No, which he uses to answer questions most of the time. In fact, I over heard his talking puppy say “Will you hug me?” and Mazen said “No.” Ha!!!
  • Hi
  • Sit, which he learned after too much standing in his rocking chair
  • Hide when his dad plays hide and seek
  • “Stays” for stairs
  • Roar (what does a dinosaur say!?)

He has questionably said “yes,” “OK” and “I do it” but only once or twice so we’re not totally sure.

Other older words include:

  • Mama (love!)
  • Dada
  • “At” for all animals
  • “ish” for this
  • “Mmmmm” for eat
  • “Ni-ni” for night night
  • “Rerow” for hello

Sign language is also expanding with new words apple, cheese and water. I taught him please and he picked it up so fast – probably because he knew he could get whatever it is he wanted if he said it first!

Lastly, his language comprehension has really taken off. We can tell he understands so much of what we say “Are you hungry?” “Do you want to go outside?” “Sit down in that chair!”

What impressed me most is he was able to point to different pictures in a book. We have a book of baby words and if I ask him “Where is the X?” he can point to the slide, stairs, bathtub, cat, ball and more. It was shocking how much he knew on the first try! I took his hand in mine and showed him how to point.

Maze-2166

Other than talking, he’s doing other cute things too : )

At the end of his bath Matt always sends him in naked to see me while I’m cleaning the kitchen to give me a good laugh. After a few weeks of this, when Matt pulls him out of the tub he starts saying “Mama! Mama!” It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

Matt and Mazen play hide and seek now. They both say “hide hide hide!” and one hides while the other seeks around the house, particularly around the dining room table.

After learning the word “outside” we been spending a ton of time in our backyard. It is quite exhausting, but good exercise I guess! I think all this time playing has led to better napes too (either that or we’re just lucky). We have not had a nap less than 2 hours it the past 2 weeks, and I am holding my breath hoping that it continues. He goes down at about 12:30 without too much of a protest. Some days he dives into his crib! He’s been sleeping for 2-3 hours from there. I. am. so. happy.

We have had some trouble at bedtime – he has given us some protest, but it hasn’t been all that much.

Maze-1995

Eating has been all over the place. His current favorite food is apple! I’m quite surprised he can eat it in hand and just bite right in. Only problem is that apple gets dropped more than I’d like to admit. Now that he knows the sign for apple it’s easier to give him what he wants.

He loved grapes 2 weeks ago but now won’t touch them. He has also rejected chicken, French toast sticks, ravioli (all pasta) and sweet potato fries. I have no idea what to feed him each day!! So unpredictable.

Maze-1967

Our nursing session in the morning has taken a turn for the …long. When we were nursing 4 times a day his morning session was less than 5 minutes and then he’d crawl off the bed, but now he wants to linger for 20+ minutes. He’s not getting a steady stream of milk this whole time, but he is cute and snuggly and he can stay on as he wants in those early morning sessions when we both just want to stay in bed a little longer.

Maze-1938

Also – my baby can run! When did he learn to do that?

Mazen’s Hideout

Babyblog-100926

In our basement family room, tucked under our stairs we have a little finished space for storage.

Babyblog-100918

In the years past it has held everything from old paint to horseshoe sets to beach chairs to extra baby toys. And now it’s a fun little hideout for Mazen!

Babyblog-085201

I cleaned up the walls, which were terribly scuffed, with a magic eraser and some extra paint. If my name was Sherry Petersik I might have put some some wallpaper or chalkboard paint, but for now the simple walls are just fine. Maybe Mazen and I can decorate it together some day. Or perhaps it will become a space where he is free to write on walls ; )

Babyblog-100908

I filled it with some animals, books and toys. And I finally found a good spot for that fluffy rug I bought last year!

Babyblog-100853

I love that it has a light – with a baby-height light switch!

Babyblog-100943

So far Mazen seems to dig it. He loves walking over the threshold, and I bet in the years to come he will bring friends in to play all kinds of imaginary games : )

Babyblog-085214

13 Going On 14

In just a few more days Mazen will be 14 months old!

Babyblog-1422

Of course children are always learning, but lately Mazen has been showing us that he is taking in and processing information. He has learned the signs for “eat” and “water” and when I do “cheese” he imitates my hand movements (although he doesn’t do them back yet).

Babyblog-1423

The cutest processing tale is a bit of confusion that we have caused about cats and pumpkins!

Pumpkin = our neighbor’s real orange cat

Pumpkin = Mazen’s stuffed puppet orange cat

Pumpkin = the big round gourds all over in the fall

So Mazen has started pointing to real pumpkins and saying “At at at!!” {Cat} So very cute, but I feel bad for making the words cat and pumpkin so confusing!

Babyblog-1421

He has learned the word for “egg” and I cannot make him a scrambled egg fast enough in the morning! He’ll dance around the room shouting “eh eh eh!” until it comes off the skillet and we spend a few minutes blowing on it together until it’s cool enough to eat.

He is much better on his feet now and falls less than he used to. He’s getting better at climbing too, and keeping him off stairs continues to be my #1 challenge when out in public. He wants to climb them all day long! I can barely wash his high chair tray without him climbing up the steps of the chair, so I have to be very careful I don’t turn my back at the sink or he’ll be standing up high off the ground before I know it. He is inches from being able to climb up on the couch all by himself, which will be a problem because he lacks awareness of how not to fall off backwards.

Babyblog-1426

The other day when it was nearly naptime I said “Mazen are you ready for night night?” He responded by saying “Night night night” a few times and started to walk toward his room and crib. Once in his room he went to the crib, asked to get in and laid down to sleep. These moments are likely fleeting, but never have I seen him that willing to take a nap! It was like a motherhood dream world. His naps continue to be about an hour and a half (with the occasional 1 hour or 3 hour day!) from 12:30 to 2 these days.

Babyblog-1420

Our mornings start at 6:30 or so with breakfast for us both followed by playing at home. Around 8:30 we head to the gym where he has his snack and jumps around with other kids for an hour while I workout. We heart our gym!!

11/11:30am-ish is lunchtime followed by some playing while I clean up and then his nap.

We try to get out of the house again in the afternoon around 2:30 or 3. This is the time I usually run an errand or go over to a friend’s house.

By 5 we’re back home for M’s dinner. Bath is usually around 6 and bedtime wind down starts at 7. He’s usually asleep by 7:30pm.

Babyblog-1437

We’re still nursing once a day. Matt asked me the other night why I haven’t stopped completely. I’m just not ready! First thing in the morning is so easy and convenient. If I can, I want to know it’s the last day when it comes, and that makes me even more sappy and I don’t want it to come. M still asks for milk as soon as he’s up, so I’m waiting to see if it loses its appeal in the coming weeks. There sure doesn’t seem to be much milk in there, but he will nurse for 10 – sometimes 20 – minutes each morning. I think he’s holding onto the routine as much as I am and just staying on for comfort.

I have started giving M cow’s milk at lunch and dinner. He usually sips a few ounces, but he doesn’t chug it down. For the first month I gave it (maybe a few times a week) he just let it dribble back down his chin, but lately he’s actually been taking sips. One time last week he drank the whole cup and asked for more. I’d love for him to drink a 4-6 ounce cup at both meals.

That’s about all I can remember that our little guy has going on!!