Friday, October 26, 2012

16 Months!

Disclaimer- this is a long post and there are tons of pictures, I know- but I just don't want to forget any of this stuff. 

Caleb turned 16 months old yesterday. Seriously, and I know I say this all of the time, but I just can't believe he is getting so big. It seems he learns something new everyday. I know I say this a lot, too, but he is at such a fun age- maybe every age is just a fun age (I should remember that on my own birthdays).

Let's see... Caleb weighs about 24 and a half pounds. I didn't measure his height though- but my guess is that he hasn't grown much since his 15 month check-up a month ago. He is still wearing mostly sized 12 month clothes, some 12-18 months and a few 18 month things (but they are too big).

This month has probably been one of the hardest for us (well, at least for me- he doesn't seem too affected). He's had a really hard time sleeping and there have been several nights where he is up for hours at a time. The night before last though, he went to bed easily and slept until 3:30. If I could just make that happen every night, that would be good. Last night, it took him an hour to fall asleep (Jeff went in like every 15 minutes) and he woke up around 12:30. I just put him in bed with me (which is what I've just started doing) so that I could get some sleep. Each morning, he's up by 6 usually. Hopefully, with the new month coming soon, we'll get back on track and he'll start sleeping better.

I'm hoping by the end of November, we'll have the new nursery ready so that he can move in and adjust to being in a new sleeping environment before our new baby arrives. We'll see.

Though, this month has been somewhat difficult, due to lack of sleep, it has definitely had it's ups. Caleb is just such a pleasure most of the time on most days. He is so funny and just such a fun little boy to be around. We've had the opportunity to go to the sealing of our friends at the temple, play with new babies, go to Carter Mountain, enjoy the Children's museum and the park and just enjoying the outside. We've just had beautiful weather.

Here are some pictures from the month:

Painting with his cousin, Aaron.

At the pumpkin patch.

Sharing a moment with dad- laughing about the cow, maybe?

Enjoying his first little tractor ride.

We love the corn pit!

He loved running around in the corn maze.

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Our little family!

He rode all by himself!! He was definitely the youngest/smallest kid to ride, but he did great (and don't you just LOVE that dimple?)

Seriously, his favorite thing in the world (besides actually being outside, of course).

I am so in love with this kid. 

Haha!!! I just thought this was funny. He was eating cheerios and spilled some on the floor and then sat in it. And then he did this beautiful pose and I just had to capture the moment.

He's had a couple of sick days this week... and his finger has been in his mouth a lot! I finally just discovered the other day that he is growing one of his molars. (Look at those dark circles).

Trying to learn to climb up the wall. 

First time down the slide all by himself!!

Loving the swing!!

Helping/watching the wheat grind.

"Kneading" his bread.

Having a little taste.

He's gotten so good at stacking blocks! 

And he's always so proud of himself and likes to show us his accomplishments! :)

So beautiful!

Loving that apple!

Picking apples.

That pumpkin's as big as he is!

I realize this picture is not very flattering, but I had to include it because Caleb has recently become obsessed with sticking his tongue out. 

This month:

*Caleb has really started talking more. It's so cool!! He doesn't label anything yet- just says, "dat" to whatever it is he wants us to look at or tell him about. But he does say:
- "Dod it" (Did it).
- "I get it"
- "I got it"
- "Dat"
- "What is it?" (which kinda sounds like he's cursing- and he often whispers it).
- "What's that?"
- "What is that?"
- "Daddy!"
- "I dropped it!"
- "Bahduh" (bottle- any kind of bottle).
- "Nah" (no)
- "Stop" or "stop it"
-"Dipah" (I think he's saying diaper)
- He also signs, "please"

I hope I'm not forgetting anything.

* He also babbles a ton (and changes the tone of his voice)- so maybe he's saying more and I just haven't figured it out, like sometimes it sounds like he says things, but since I'm not sure, I don't include them. He has yet to call me "mama" or anything of the like. I can't wait for that day. He doesn't say "hi" or "bye" yet and he doesn't wave yet, but if you say hi or bye to him, he'll look at you. It can be kind of awkward sometimes when people look at him and wave and continuously say, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" and expect him to respond with anything more than a look in their direction. Sometimes I will  take his hand and wave for him or sometimes I just explain that he doesn't wave yet (you know, he's not trying to be rude or anything).

* He seriously understands everything!

* He is so clever, too, and tries to fool me sometimes... poor child. :)
- examples include putting food in his mouth, then spitting it out so fast that I might have missed it if I weren't paying close attention, then telling me "dod it".
- If I ask him not to do something waiting until the precise moment I turn around then proceed.

* If you ask him to show you his belly or "Where is your belly button?" He'll lift up his shirt.

* If you ask, "What do you want?" often times he'll walk to the refrigerator or pantry to let you know he's hungry or thirsty. He'll also just go, "Mmmm... mmmm" to let you know he's hungry.

*He loves to be helpful and will help me do anything. If he's playing and I ask, "Caleb do you want to help me/mommy ____", he'll usually come running.

* He's been helping me cook a lot lately. He loves to stir and pour in ingredients.

* Dancing is one of his FAVORITE activities. If you ask if he wants to dance and make up some music if none is available, he'll dance around and laugh about it.

*He loves to climb over and wrestle with mommy and daddy.

* He grew a new tooth this month and is in the process of growing one of his molars.

* He is such a good listener. If I ask him not to do something, he'll often stop. If I ask him to wait, he'll often wait. If he doesn't stop doing something after I ask, I'll usually let him know that he has two choices: to stop or to sit in time-out. Usually that will get him to stop, if my simple asking did not. At the park, I'll tell him it's time to go after going down the slide one more time and he'll leave with no problem. He's just a good kid. Sometimes, it'll take him a minute to comply though- but he doesn't run off and do something else, he'll just stand there and I let him come when he's ready rather than force him (unless it's a dangerous situation) and we hardly ever have any issues. Since he's a headstrong, determined and independent little boy, I've just learned that the more "freedom" (or forced choices) and independence, I give him, the more he complies- it's like we have this mutual respect for each other. For example, last night, we all had prayer in his room and then it was time for bed. Jeff and I take turns rocking him before putting him in bed. I sat down in his rocking chair and told him it was time for bed. Jeff left the room, leaving the door ajar behind him. Caleb put down his beads (he's been playing with this string of beads lately) and heads towards the door. I remind him that it's not time to play, but that it's time for bed. He paused at the door for a bit, then turned around and came to me and sat in my lap so I could rock him. There was no arguing, crying or forcing. :)

* He's so smart. :) This morning I asked him to get his shoes- they are in a little cubby in his room. We were in his room with him. He went and grabbed a pair of white sneakers- first, I didn't realize he could match his shoes. He put them on the floor, then pulled out his green crocs, brought them to me and signed, "please". I think it's cool that he can make a decision like that.

*He loves to fetch balls. He'll bring a ball to us and we'll throw it. Then he'll say, "I get it" and go get it.

* If he needs help with something, he'll usually say, "get it" or "dat" over and over again.

*He continues to love to read and will bring me books for me to read to him. Then I'll give him a book and ask him to read it to me and he will. He's done this for awhile, "read" books, but it's neat to see how his language is progressing as he is getting older.

* I've learned this month that if he is super quiet, I really better go check on him. He loaded the toilet with clothes, including a sock that he was wearing, a ring toy and baby wash.

*I've also learned that if he says, "Dod it" and we're not in the same room, I'd better check to see what it is that he did. For example, yesterday, he grabbed the wii remote off of the table. I asked him to put it back. He left the room. Then he comes back in and stands in front of me and says, "Dod it. Dod it." So I asked him to show me. He leads me by the hand, into the kitchen and over to the trashcan. He lifts up the lid and points in. Inside, I see the wii remote. He's done other things, too... like throw other things away, put items in places they don't belong, etc. He's often so proud of himself, that you can't help but smile.

I feel like I am missing a few things (and I know this is long enough)- like I said, I guess he's just at that age where he is constantly learning. It amazes me how much he knows and how much he understands. I love and appreciate the little boy he is becoming. Seriously, I'm convinced that I have the coolest kid- even when he doesn't sleep.

And here I am at 25 weeks (and 1 day pregnant). I can't believe that I am 26 weeks pregnant already. Just 14 weeks to go (you know, give or take).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Confessions of an Exhausted Mama

So for the past two weeks Caleb has not been sleeping well at all. In fact there have been several nights where Caleb was awake throughout the night more than he was asleep- which means this mama was awake more than asleep. And let me tell you, it has been hard. During these past two weeks, I have had a hard time feeling like I was a good mama and I've just been so overwhelmed with everything that I had to get done but didn't have the energy or the state of mind to complete.

There were times where I would doze off while Caleb played. I have to say that during those times, I am so grateful that he did not get hurt at all. There were some days when I just sat on the sofa or in the recliner much of the day and would ask Caleb to bring me a book to read to him or to sit in my lap and sing songs with me. I would get up the energy to get up and feed him and change his diapers and play with him on the floor for a few minutes or sit with him outside, but then that would drain any energy that I had and I would be back in my seat, just watching him play, talking to him and singing with him. I felt like an awful mother, neglectful even. Caleb deserved so much better than that. I thought, how can I possibly do this with two children? I felt so bad because I want to be able to spend as much time with Caleb and give him as much attention as I can before our new baby comes and I just couldn't do it.

These last two weeks, it's been overwhelming because of all that was said above and also because there would be days where we wouldn't go anywhere- just stay in the house (the good news is that it saved on gas). But also because if anyone came to my house, I'd be so embarrassed by the dirty dishes in the sink, the toys all over the floor, the dishtowels and tupperware all over the kitchen floor (Caleb loves to empty out the dishtowel drawer and tupperware cabinet).

We have tried so many things to get Caleb to sleep, but nothing has worked so far yet. He's been sick with a yucky cough and so I felt bad letting him cry. But, Jeff thought we should let him cry some, so we did. We let him cry for a few minutes and then went in and checked on him and loved on him. We didn't let him cry and instead held him. Nothing seemed to work, but perhaps it's because we weren't being consistent for long enough. So we, decided to try this: We'd let him cry some, but then go in and pat his back and tell him we love him, but not pick him up out of his crib. He'd continue to scream until we I couldn't take it anymore and then I'd just end up holding him until he fell asleep. He'd go to sleep and I'd place him in his crib where he would sleep for no more than 3 hours. Then he'd wake up and we'd do the same thing all over again. Sometimes he would go back to sleep quickly, after just a bit of consoling from his mama (me holding him, rocking him and singing to him). Other times he'd be up for hours. If he did go to sleep, he'd sleep for another couple of hours and then wake up. At this point, he'd be up for hours as if it were time to get up. He'd point to his door and say, "Dat. Dat."- letting me know that he wanted to leave his room. He'd also point to anything else in his room that he could see, his clock, mostly. If I was holding him, he wouldn't cry, but he also wouldn't go back to sleep.

But, after we decided to not pick him up anymore, even if he woke up in the night, he'd just cry in his crib. He would then realize that he wasn't going  to be picked up, so he'd stop crying, but still wouldn't sleep. The other night, I lay in his room while he talked to me. He would lay down sometimes for a few minutes at a time, but if I moved at all he would start crying again. I had to assure him that I wasn't going anywhere. We did this for 5 hours until finally, a little after 5 am, he and I both fell asleep. We slept until 7:30. So that night, we got 3 hours of sleep, then we were up for 5 hours and then we got about 2 hours of sleep. I was in pain and freezing from sleeping on his floor with nothing but a little baby blanket. But when he woke up, he was in a great mood. I'm grateful for that at least.

Last night, since Jeff didn't have to go to work until 8 this morning, we agreed that he would take Caleb. So we went through our regular routine, and he put Caleb to bed. Caleb cried and cried, Jeff went in patted his back, but didn't pick him up. This continued several times until Caleb finally went to sleep. He slept until 2am! (We count even the littlest victories). He went back to sleep very easily. Jeff just went into his room and Caleb immediately lay down and went back to sleep. He didn't wake up again until around 5 and that time Jeff brought him into our room where he lay in our bed until about 6:30. Caleb and Jeff got up and I continued to lay in bed for another half hour. And when I did get up, I felt great! I was in a good mood and I felt somewhat rested.

So today, Caleb and I decided to be more productive- we had breakfast, sang some songs, read some books, cleaned, read a talk from General Conference and we both took a nap. After our naps, we made and ate lunch and then we commenced to making bread. First we had to grind wheat though. So I got out the grinder and put it all together. I warned Caleb that I was going to turn it on and that it would be loud- he doesn't like noises that are too loud. He was sitting at my feet playing with the tupperware. When I turned it on, he literally became paralyzed with fear. He grabbed my pant leg with one hand, continuing to hold a piece of tupperware with the other hand. But looking down. He sat perfectly still. I felt bad so I picked him up so that he could see what was happening. I sat him on the counter beside the mill so that he could watch. He did watch and seemed much more relaxed. However, even when the mill was done, he wanted to be held for awhile.

After grinding the wheat, we got to making the bread and Caleb helped throughout the entire process. He stood in a chair by the counter, poured in flour and helped to stir. He was so happy to help his mama. It was really cute, because he would say, "mmm" while stirring and sometimes smack his lips. I had to explain to him that it wasn't ready to eat yet.

While we waited for the first 30 minutes, we talked about what we saw outside. Then we went back and added the rest of the ingredients and again stirred. He loved helping to stir. It was then time to knead. I put some flour on the table in two spots, some for me and some for him. I gave him a little dough to "knead". I worked my dough and helped him with his, as at first he just poked and prodded at the dough. Then I showed him what to do and he pushed into the dough. Finally, he decided that he just couldn't resist a taste.

Finally, we put the dough in bowls to let rise. We headed to the store just a few items. While I was at the store, my sister called and said that her van broke down on an exit ramp on the highway. She needed a ride and a ride to pick up her daughter. So, I checked when Jeff would be home- he was already on his way. Perfect.

Caleb and I came home, Jeff was home soon after. I gave Jeff instructions on when to put the bread in the oven, when to take it out and to butter it lightly on the tops. I showed him Caleb's dinner and after his shower, I headed out to get Ashley. I was kind of disappointed because Caleb and I worked pretty much all afternoon on this bread and I wanted to be able to follow it through to the end with him and be with him when we ate the first pieces warm from the oven. Alas!

Anyway, I got Ashley, we picked up my niece and headed to her house. By the time I returned home, Caleb was in bed and Jeff was hand-grinding wheat (I had asked him to grind some more so I could make some cookies).

I made myself some french toast from the yummy bread we made and then got to making cookies. They were a total fail. The wheat was too course, so they have a strange texture. Also, I didn't put quite enough sugar in them so they just don't taste very good. So sad I wasted those yummy chocolate chips.

Anyway, the point of this is to say that sleep made so much difference for me today. I felt more renewed and productive. It was wonderful. Caleb and I had a good day today and it was so wonderful to be able to have him join in with me to make bread. He was such a good helper and so happy to help, too. It was just perfect!

Here are a couple of pictures from our bread making antics:

My cute little kneader.

If you look closely, you can see that he took off several pieces to eat.