Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jam'n Baby Style

Today we took it easy to recover from RSV. This meant a little yoga in the morning, followed by a long nap, some play, another nap, more play...well, you get the idea. A couple days ago I got out this elephant piano, that we bought at a yard sale last summer, for Liam to play with. I showed him how to press the keys to make sounds and he immediately took to it. Today, we jammed together with the piano and a rattle. I would shake the rattle and he played the piano. Liam really got into it! Later on, I even caught him trying to play both the piano and shake the rattle at the same time. In the picture, you can see Liam showing off his musical skills to his daddy.

Liam also seem determined to crawl on his hands and knees today. He rocked back and forth on his hands and knees every chance he got. Occasionally he would try to move forward, but usually didn't coordinate hands and knees quite right. I saw him take a header into the floor a couple times, but he seemed undeterred. Other times he would push up into "plank" pose on his hands and toes. He might just figure it out by the end of the week!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Down with RSV

The past week Liam has not been sleeping well at night. At first we thought it might be from the sleep-training debacle, then we thought it was teething, but yesterday I realized that he was probably ill when he started getting diarrhea. We saw his doctor today and found out that Liam has RSV. I guess it's a nasty respiratory virus that has been going around. He must have picked it up at one of our daycare visits or playdates from the past week. The doc say we just have to wait it out and give him Tylenol as needed. Hopefully, it'll run it's course in the next few days. Otherwise, Liam seems to be doing fine. Everywhere I went today people have said, "He such a happy baby!" Liam does smile a lot! :)

Before our trip to the doctors office, we also stopped in and signed up for the daycare center that we decided on. Liam will officially start daycare on March 14th. We will plan on taking him for a half day to start and then eventually for a full day.

PS - Liam tried carrots for the first time today. Yummmy!

Monday, February 26, 2007

NINO and Mooville Monday

This morning Liam and I went to a meeting of the local NINO group. NINO stands for "Nine In, Nine Out" and is an organization that supports baby-wearing. At the meeting were babies and toddlers of all ages, sizes, and mobilities. It was total chaos!...Liam loved it. He played with some of the babies his size, while the larger more mobile babies ran off with his toys. I got to show off the mei tai that I sewed a couple months ago and see how some of the other asian-style carriers worked. Before we left, I had to hunt down Liam's toys. He was pretty worn out and feel asleep on the drive home.

Later, when Liam's daddy came home, we took a drive to the country to look at a house. It turned out to be a disappointments, but we made a great little discovery in our wanderings. We found a place called Mooville Creamery. It's a dairy bar that sells all sorts of ice cream, cheese, and even meat. We enjoyed some great ice cream cones...and Liam got a chance to eat at the mommy creamery while were there. On the way home, Liam and I played peek-a-boo in the back seat.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Orchids Galore!

This weekend is the annual orchid society show. Sean and I always enter photos and paintings for the art exhibit portion of the show. This year was stiff competition and neither of us won an award. But the show was an excellent opportunity to take more pictures and give Liam a new experience. He got to ride around on me in the new Hoppediz wrap and look at all of the plants and people. Even though we get some weird looks with the wrap carrier, everyone always marvels over how cute Liam is!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Daycare Decisions

Sean and I have been considering putting Liam in a daycare for one day each week so that I can have more time to work on my dissertation. The past couple days we have been checking out a local daycare that was recommended to us. Last night we went for our first visit. As might be expected, Sean was happy with it, but of course nothing is good enough for mommy. I wasn't too impressed upon my first visit.

I wanted to give them a chance though...I'm not against them, per se, just not thrilled with the idea of daycare in general. So this morning, we visited again and spent an hour there with the other babies. Liam had a blast crawling around and playing with all the new toys and babies. He seemed really happy there and the daycare providers were all really nice. Even though I am still anxious, I am starting to warm up to the idea of daycare. Since Liam is so social, I think that it would do him good to be in an environment with other children once in a while. If we have the time, we might stop by another daycare this evening. I'd like to check out a couple of options before we make a decision...

PS - Liam has been super smiley and happy today. He laughs at nearly everything...even me shaking my head or making faces.

PPS - This evening my new Hoppediz baby wrap came! It's a beautiful woven wrap made in Germany. I decided to order this wrap a while ago, so that I could more easily wear Liam on my back. I have a Moby wrap, but I don't feel like he's very secure in a back-carry position in this wrap. So I decided to splurge (for my birthday) and get the lovely "Montreal" Hoppediz. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Zoo Trip

Liam was in better spirits today, after a lot of baby-wearing and attention from mommy and daddy. Today was unusually warm and sunny for February, so we celebrated by going to the local zoo. Our favorite exhibit, the coral reef tanks, were closed for remodeling, but we did get to enjoy the primates, big cats, birds, and reptiles. Liam had the most fun in the primate house watching the mongoose lemurs romp around. That's my little anthropologist! After all he heard me lecture an entire semester of Biocultural Evolution in utero. I tried to capture both Liam and a lemur in the's a little out of focus though. We definitely look forward to more warm, sunny days for more fun outings!

PS - A special thanks to grandma and grandpa Evans, for the box of goodies that we received from them today. Liam is quite the clothes-horse now!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dr. Sear's Says...

I've found some of the information at very helpful, particularly the pages on "High-needs Babies", which pretty much sums up Liam. I'm posting these links, just so you don't all think I'm crazy!

On the topic of "Why high-needs children sleep differently," Dr. Sears has this to say: "Craving constant physical contact and not being able to self-soothe are characteristics of high need babies during the daytime. They are also nighttime features."

Out with "Cry-It-Out"

Ok...for the past week we have been working with Liam to get him to take naps without being rocked or nursed asleep. I've heard and read that babies will typically "learn" to settle down and sleep after just a few days of "crying-it-out" and that they should cry for less time with each try. However, my son is SO stubborn that he will continue to cry unabated for hours. And instead of crying for shorter times each day, he would go longer and longer and longer. I certainly gave it the old college try...we continued the experiment for a week and still no luck. Sorry mom!

All I seemed to have accomplished is:
1) Make Liam afraid of his crib (now he cries whenever I put him in his crib).
2) Make him anxious about me leaving (he also cries when I leave his sight).
3) He no longer sleeps through the night.
4) He is irritable and resists naptime or falling asleep.

None of these things were problems before. So now I have to repair the damage I did and somehow gain his trust back. Suggestions anyone? I can't even rock him to sleep and then put him in his crib anymore. He wakes immediately and starts sobbing. He refused to sleep all day yesterday and very little last night. In a fit of desperation at 3am, I even resorted to taking him for a drive (something I haven't done since he was a newborn). I had to rock him to sleep three times this morning and then lay him in his playpen in order for him to nap.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Picture for the Grandparents

My husband, Sean, discovered this awesome program that makes mosaics with your photo files. I had to test it out with a photo of Liam. Pretty amazing, huh! This ought'a make Liam's grandparents happy. Now you can get a picture of Liam made up of hundreds of little pictures of Liam...every grandparent's dream!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

False Alarm, Let's Go Shopping

It looks like we may have gotten lucky. I see no trace of the rash Liam had last night. Perhaps he had a heat rash or something. My husband thinks I'm a hypochondriac anyways...

In light of the fact that Liam was not sick with chicken pox, we continued with our plans to get Liam a new car seat. As the picture from February 13th shows, his infant car seat is getting rather snug. Of course getting rid of the infant seat also means that we have to upgrade strollers as well. So we went to Babies R Us to look at the latest models of convertible car seats and high-end umbrella strollers...We walked out of the store over $300 poorer, but left with a great Chicco stroller and the Britax Marathon car seat. I can't say enough about how great the Britax car seat is! It had to be designed by a woman, or at least a man who has used a child car seat. Installation is a breeze, the cover easily comes off to wash it, it reclines and adjusts with no sweat, goes up to 65lbs, and has many other conveniences. Let's hope that the Chicco stroller also measures up. You can see Liam trying out his new car seat in the photo above.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Pox Upon Us?

About a week and a half ago, Liam was unknowingly exposed to chicken pox during our Mom-Baby yoga class. A new mom brought in her daughter just as she was coming down with chicken pox and potentially infected the entire class. Since then, I've just been waiting and hoping that Liam wouldn't develop chicken pox. he started getting very small spots on his face, neck, arms, and tummy. I'm not sure if they are the start of chicken pox or something else. Tomorrow shall tell.

Because Liam went to bed really early tonight, I found myself with an unusually long stretch of time to do something for me. So I decided to paint. Before Liam was born I used to do small watercolors on a regular basis. Tonight I got a chance to relax a little and paint a small watercolor of Liam sleeping. I'm sure this is the calm before the storm, so to speak, before Liam gets really ill with chicken pox. Oh well, I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Teething Bites, Part II

Liam's front lower incisors have been coming all the way in and during the past couple of days he's been a little crabby. No doubt his gums are pretty sore. He's also been chewing on me more than I would like. He's only bit me a couple times...boy does it hurt! But what hurts even more is the way he'll squeeze my breast as he's eating. I guess it helps him get the milk out faster (he's always been a voracious eater). Liam's daddy keeps threatening that the "mommy food" may disappear if he continues to be so rough while eating. I'll keep working through it though, because I am committed to breast feeding for at least a year. The cool thing about teething is that his grin is getting toothy. I love to see his little teeth when he smiles real big.

We also seem to be going through another spurt of separation anxiety. He cries when I leave his sight, even for a moment. I'm not sure if it has do with nap time trauma, or if it's his teething discomfort, or maybe just a normal developmental stage. I hope that things will improve because I need to be able to leave him with daddy in the evenings so that I can continue work on my dissertation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Be My Valentine!

Growing up, Valentine's was always kinda a big deal because my birthday is within a few days of it. To celebrate Liam's first valentines I gave him a special treat of pureed blueberries and apples for breakfast. He was already pretty full of breast milk, so he only had a couple of bites. At dinner time, when my husband and I ate the sorbet that I prepared for our dessert, Liam got some more blueberries and apples as a frozen treat. He really loves frozen fruit in those "safe-feeder" mesh bags. I think it helps sooth his teething pain and he likes the fact that he can feed himself. He slurped down his frozen treat in a jiff! I also couldn't resist dressing him in a cute little valentines shirt that I got from Target with a monkey on it, along with matching red pants and socks!

I have been trying to "teach" Liam how to take his naps without being rocked or nursed to sleep every time. He has never been the sort of baby to just fall asleep easily. Of course, many people have told me that I need to just let him "cry it out". However, whenever we've tried this Liam is so tenacious and gets himself so worked up that he will continue to cry unabated until he can hardly breath. My husband and I have come to the conclusion that Liam is what Dr. Sears terms a "high needs baby". I'm not keen on this term, but he is definitely strong willed and wants our attention 24/7.

At nap time this morning he whimpered a little bit when I put him in his crib and turned on the mobile. But after about a half hour he feel asleep. Only a half hour later he woke up again and was still tired and now also angry. I fed him and tried the process all over again. he didn't trust me and sobbed uncontrollably every time I took a few steps away from him or left the room. Of course, I felt terrible for making my son distrust me. Now I worry that he will be afraid of his crib or of me leaving him. There has to be a better and less damaging way for him to learn how to sleep on his own! To make it up to him, I gave him a nice relaxing massage and I think he is doing a little better now...although he still gets upset if I'm out of sight too long.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Crawling Commando Style

Last night while playing with daddy, Liam began to propel himself forward on his tummy...sort of crawling like army recruits under an obstacle course. He continued to do this all day today and pretty much perfected it by this evening. His most frequent destination is to the baskets of toys under the couch. He will be playing along and after he gets bored with his toy he will head over to the baskets to pull out another one. The result, the floor is covered with toys!

We pretty much stayed home during the day due to the impending threat of a blizzard here. I talked to both my mom and mother-in-law (both of whom live south in Indiana). They got over a foot of snow down there! We're not likely to get as much here. It started to snow around 3pm. Unfortunately, my husband and I had scheduled a viewing of a house this evening in a town 20 miles from our apartment. Liam was a real trooper on or trek out in the blizzard. We made it there and back with no problems, only disappointed that this one wasn't the home for us. The house itself is really awesome, hardwood floors, lots of room, etc., but all the electrical and plumbing systems were a total wreck. We'll keep on looking...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Throw Out Your Baby Walkers!

Today was Liam's 6 month check-up. He weighed in at 21 lbs and measured 28 3/4 inches. This puts him in the 94th and 97th percentiles for weight and height. If you know my family, than these stats are par for the course. Everyone is freakishly tall in my family.

While at the doctor's office, the nurse handed me the usual packet of information for this stage of Liam's development. Right after the page on diaper rash (they ALWAYS include this one) there is a sheet on the evils of baby walkers. I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at the alarmist information that the sheet contained. Did you know that "most walker injuries happen while adults are watching" because "parents cannot respond quickly enough." Apparently "a walker can move more than 3 feet per second!" Oh, my! Did you know that babies can drown in a toilet or be poisoned by having greater access to "high objects" in a walker. Ironically, they suggest that a high chair is a safer place for your baby to play. Because, apparently, they can't reach "high objects" in a high chair or possibly fall more than three feet.

Maybe I'm just callous, but if you're stupid enough to leave your baby at the top of stairs or unattended in the kitchen or bathroom in a walker, then you probably shouldn't be having children. Just like many things in this world, a little logical thinking could have avoided the "estimated 8,800 injuries to babies" due to baby walkers in 1999. My in-laws purchased a walker for Liam for Christmas and it is perfectly safe. It won't actually move on carpet and is too large to fit through any doorways. Since I don't have stairs either, I don't think I have to worry about any of the possible injuries they mention. Walk on baby, walk on.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

No Sleep for Mommy

The past few days Liam has been sleeping well – pretty much through the night. So I took the chance and stayed up late to work on a grant application. Needless to say, I rolled into bed around midnight. Then at 4am, my husband woke me because he couldn’t sleep and wanted to talk about the house that we are considering buying. At 5am Liam woke himself up by sleep-crawling into a corner of the crib. I could tell it was going to be one of those days...and I was right.

We ended up going to the laundromat first thing, since one of our neighbors was nice enough to dry gum and those little cheddar fish crackers in the drier...what a mess! Liam snoozed most of the time in daddy’s arms while we were at the laundry. Afterwards, we spend the afternoon at a local “paint-your-own pottery” studio. I got to pick up the plate that we did for Liam’s 1/2 year birthday party last Sunday. His hand-print came out really nice (see photo)!

We ended up meeting our friends and their baby, Aidan, at the pottery studio. Together we all painted up a storm. The boys were super good. Although, I wish Liam had Aidan's knack for falling asleep anywhere. Liam willed himself awake until we got in the car to drive home. He just can't bear to miss out on any of the action.

After an 1 1/2 hour nap, Liam woke and was ready to go again. We played on the floor. Liam can't quite crawl yet, but he pushes up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth. This usually just results in him moving further away from where he wanted to go. I the meantime, he gets around very well through a combination of rolling and pivoting around on his tummy. I was trying to encourage him to come over to me (holding a favored stuffed elephant that plays music), but he was too smart for that. Instead, he decided it was far easier to maneuver over to the couch, where his toy baskets are hiding underneath. In a jiff he was pulling out a basket and looking for another favorite toy, as if to say: "Mom, I know you don't have the only toy around here." Only six months old and he's already too smart for me!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Teething Bites

This is the opening post of ArchyMommy. A blog devoted to sharing stories about my son Liam. He just turned six months old last Saturday. This week was full of surprises, such as getting his first tooth on Tuesday...quickly followed by his second tooth today!

Not only am I a mom, but an archaeologist as well. Occasionally, I might diverge from the topic of my oh-so-cute son and talk about my work as well. Enjoy!