Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mom, how did you get in this thing?

Andrew took Oliver to his mom's last night so I could sleep through a night uninterrupted. By morning (7am), I was missing my little bear like crazy. I emailed Andrew and told him to come home as soon as they were up!

Twenty minutes later, I got a call from Andrew. They'd been playing, having a good time. He said they'd head home. Then he told me to talk to Oliver, and he'd hold the phone to his ear. I said, "Good morning, Ollie Bear! I miss you so much. I heard you were such a good little boy and playing with your grandma and daddy." Andrew said he freaked out in excitement and started diving for the phone! I guess my little guy misses me, too.

I love you, Ollie Bear! Just a few more minutes until I get to hold you again!

Friday, July 30, 2010

9 Month Well Visit

Oliver is exactly 20 lbs, and that's the 40th percentile for his age. He's also 28.5 inches long, which is the 50th percentile. He's growing strong!

Baby Food

I don't make my own meat baby food for Oliver; I buy it in the jar. Yesterday, I went to Safeway and picked up a jar of Safeway organic vegetable turkey barley dinner. I noticed the picture is of turkey, peas, celery and potatoes, while the ingredients are carrots, apples, turkey and barley. There's no peas, celery nor potatoes in this. Heh.

Nine Months Ago Today

It was nine months ago today that I got to finally hold my baby Oliver after carrying him in my tummy for nine months. I vividly recall all the emotion I felt at the hospital. I bonded instantly to him! I also recall the challenges of bringing a newborn baby home for the first time. Mr. Oliver wanted to be held at all times! He was completely dependent on us for everything.

Now, Oliver still wants to be held most of the time, but we can also plop him on the floor when we do laundry, dishes, or take a shower. Oliver's proto-crawling, and when I hold him upright by the waist, he walks. He babbles a lot, and his current favorite sounds are "Buh," "puh," "Baa," "Wuh," and "Ahh." He still clicks in response to our clicks and sometimes coughs in response to our coughs. Also, he still pats the table when we pat it.

His sleep schedule has gotten a little worse, I think from all the traveling (this month, we've been to Cape Cod and Chicago). We're house-sitting this week, but after that, we're going to stay at home in our own bed and crib for a long time. Oliver now goes to bed at 6:30pm, wakes once at about 2am, and then gets up for the day at 5:30am. Many nights recently, he's been getting up around 10pm or midnight and refuses to go back to bed until Andrew walks him around.

Oliver's napping had gotten much, much worse for a while. There were a few days when he only napped once for about 40 minutes! Once I realized the problem was me trying to lift him up into his crib, I remedied the situation by putting his mattress on the floor, and he's been napping well ever since.

Another change this month has been a big increase in Oliver's separation anxiety. Oliver clings to my clothes when people try to pick him up. If I'm nearby and someone else is holding him, he sobs and sobs and sobs until I go get him. If I'm not around, he does OK with other people. This makes it a little embarrassing because someone will be holding him, playing with him, having a good time, and then I walk into the room, Oliver sees me, and cries! Also, Oliver's definitely a bit shy. He often burrows his head into my shoulder or Andrew's shoulder when other people tell him hi.

People who meet Oliver point out how observant he is, how much he loves his momma, how big his eyes are, how many teeth he has (6), and how happy he is. They sometimes also mention how tall he is and how chubby his thighs are.

Oliver is still nursing every 3-4 hours, but he gets distracted easily and doesn't drink as much. He eats solids three times a day (although he doesn't eat much for breakfast) and drinks a little water throughout the day, too.

Oliver has been working hard recently on climbing over some easy obstacles. He tries hard to pull himself up to a stand but hasn't done so yet. It's also still rare for him to pull himself into a sit, but he does it occasionally.

Oliver's Likes:
*Being held by Mommy
*Seeing Daddy when he comes home from work
*Knocking down the rattle tower
*Examining objects, especially buckles, belts, and purses
*Cell phones (I don't let him "talk" into them because of the radiation, but he likes chewing on phones that are turned off).
*Clicking at people
*Singing, "aaaaaiiiieeeee."
*Trying to grab water that's in a cup or bucket
*His pinwheel
*Unfolding laundry
*Unfastening his cloth diapers, even through his clothes sometimes

Oliver's dislikes
*Not being held by Mommy when other people are around
*The car seat we rented in Chicago
*Mommy leaving the room
*Riding in the car for more than 15 minutes
*Getting his diaper changed

Thursday, July 29, 2010

He's Getting Places!

Oliver is getting so good at "crawling." He doesn't actually crawl, but he grabs the carpet and pulls himself forward. He's fast as lightning!

A couple days ago, Andrew was taking a shower. He'd set Oliver in his room with some toys and stepped into the attached bathroom. A few minutes later, he noticed Oliver sounded close by. He peeked behind the shower curtain, and there was Ollie Bear! He "crawled" to his daddy!

Yesterday morning, the same thing happened to me (although I was kind of expecting it after Andrew's experience). I plopped Oliver on his floor and gave him his drums. I stepped into the shower. Literally, it was less than a minute later when I peeked around the curtain. Oliver was right there! He smiled at me and looked so proud of himself.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being a Mom Means...

...Walking through the kitchen, picking up Cheerios off the floor as I go, and eating them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Still Too Short for the Crib

I was so worried about going to Chicago because of Oliver's sleeping habits. He had been absolutely refusing to sleep for me. I'd even walk or nurse him completely to sleep, and then I'd try laying him down, and he'd cry before he even hit the mattress.

As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Oliver went down for his naps and bedtime easily for me there (Although he woke up at night very frequently! At least I was able to put him back down). I finally decided it must be the low Pack 'N Play. It's low enough where I didn't have to heave him upward before lowering him down onto the mattress. In fact, I was able to bend at the waist and gently lay him down.

This morning, I went to put him down for his nap, the first one I've done since returning from Chicago. He was tired and crabby, and he fell asleep on my shoulder. I lifted his legs up to get them on the other side of the railing, and he started crying. Bah!

Then I had a great idea. I took the mattress out of the crib and set it on the floor. I eased Oliver down on that, and he fell straight asleep. His room is baby-proofed, so I'm not concerned about him up there outside of the crib. At night, I'll put the mattress back in the crib, and Andrew can put him to sleep in there for overnights.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cheerios and Gravity

Oliver's always been interested in throwing his toys on the floor. For months now, he's understood that things go to the floor after he drops them. Recently, however, his interest has grown. He loves throwing his food on the floor, and when it's all gone, he whines until I put it back on his tray for him to do all over again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pro Flyer

At nearly nine months old, Oliver continues to show off his skills at flying on airplanes. On the way to Chicago, I swear, the kid didn't make a peep. He had fun playing and cooing at the other passengers on the plane. I can't tell you how many of them stopped to tell me what a wonderful, happy baby he is. There was even turbulence! Other babies and young kids were scared (as could be expected) and screaming, but I was able to keep Oliver calm and occupied.

On the way back to Denver, Oliver fussed a bit before takeoff and just before landing, but it was nothing people would complain about. My parents and I were able to calm him easily and distract him until we were home.

Our next flight is in January, and it's a long one (all day to St. Thomas). I'm nervous about flying with a one year old then, but if there's one thing I've learned about Oliver, it's that he always amazes me!

Changing Tables, Nursing Stalls, and Other Finds

I'm really impressed with the accessibility of baby changing tables and nursing stalls in Chicago. The coolest place I discovered was the bathroom at the eatery at the Ridge Mall.

Sam took me there after Oliver took a poopy, and I was floored. I walked in, and a set of comfortable chairs greeted me. On the wall, there were toys for toddlers to play with. On the opposite wall, there were large closet-like rooms with soft chairs for nursing. There were curtains to pull for privacy. Perpendicular to those rooms was a long wall with a counter that ran along it. The counter had about a dozen insets to lay babies down to change their diapers. Next to each station was a sink and a diaper disposal drawer. Last but not least, there was a vending machine that was filled with nutritious children's snacks, including baby food, a portable container of Cheerios, Horizon organic milk, and Gerber finger foods. It was remarkable! I felt like I was in baby heaven.

Midway Airport was not quite as impressive, but they still outdid themselves. I arrived for my flight about four hours early. During my wait, Oliver, of course, needed to be nursed. I was nervous about nursing him by myself in public. I decided to search for a private area. First, I stopped in the family bathroom to change Oliver's diaper. It was perfect! It was a large bathroom with a changing station and a wide chair for nursing as well as a toilet for me. Best of all, it was private. I was able to change Oliver, nurse him, and use the bathroom without a problem. I wish I could personally thank the person who took the time to build that!

Now in Denver, we've returned to the land of bathrooms with no changing stations and no nursing areas. At DIA, Andrew took Oliver to the men's room to change his diaper. He returned a minute later with the news: there was no changing station. I took Oliver in the women's room. No changing station there. I checked the handicapped stall. No changing station there. Back out I went. Andrew and I changed Oliver on the carpet of the baggage claim. At least that's better than changing him on the tile of a restroom floor like I've been known to have to do many times!

Hopefully, Denver will start to make strides in making their public areas more accessible for families with young kids. In the meantime, mind the naked baby on the floor.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friends and the Ridge Mall

I met my friend, Sam, and her husband, Jim, and son, Charlie, at the mall in my hometown of Chicago Ridge. Oliver is currently half of Charlie's age, and I love hearing (and now seeing!) what Charlie's up to. It let's me know what to expect during each of Oliver's stages.

Eighteen-month old Charlie has an incredible amount of energy! He'd run from activity to activity, easily able to run and climb and work the more interactive toys at the mall's play area. He'd get a little peeved at having to leave one fun thing, but just as quickly as he got upset, he was happy again. What amazed me the most was how quickly he went down for a nap. Sam mentioned it was his nap time, so they gave him his pacifier and sat him in the stroller. Within minutes, he was sound asleep.

Oliver didn't know what to make of all the kids in the play area. He doesn't see many other children, so he just sat and stared at them in awe. At one point, we moved away from Oliver's owl toy, and a little girl (who couldn't be much older than two) picked it up and handed it to him. It was so cute!

Sam's expecting her second baby in January (the same month of Charlie's birthday), so we browsed the clearance racks, looking at newborn baby outfits. I have to say, little girl outfits are always cuter than little boy outfits. I told her she's in trouble if she has a little girl!

After a couple of hours, Oliver and I left. I knew it was getting close to his nap time, and, unlike Charlie, my little man doesn't typically go down for naps as easily. We left just in time because Oliver threw a fit the whole way home! I bet Sam and Jim won't believe me that I said that because my Ollie Bear was the perfect gentleman at the mall. He can get pretty upset, though, let me tell you!

Sam, it was wonderful getting to meet your family. Your husband is so nice, and your son is so smart and fun! We're both very lucky ladies, and I'm glad I got to see you again after all these years!

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Raining; it's Pouring

While in Chicago, Oliver enjoyed his first big rainstorm. It rained all night, every night we were there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baby Chomper

Oliver's sixth tooth has officially arrived! It's on the top, next to his right tooth. He now has four up top and two on the bottom. Chomp, chomp.

These last two teeth that have appeared recently explain his weird new habit. He's been sticking his thumb in his mouth and kind of sucking it. He's never sucked his thumb before. Actually, that's a lie. He sucked his thumb a little when he was a couple months old. I thought it was weird that he'd suddenly picked up the habit.

I now see that he's rubbing his thumb against the new teeth and not actually sucking. He's doing it with the back of his fingers, too, and they're a little red. He's definitely noticing something new going on in his mouth.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Oliver's gotten quite good at easing himself out of a sit and onto the floor. Consequently, I've stopped worrying so much about plopping him down on the hard floor when I'm doing dishes and laundry.

Last night and this morning, though, he took a spill! Last night, I sat Oliver on the floor, peeled a nectarine, and gave it to him to gnaw on. He had a grand time with it. Then, he leaned forward and fell onto his face! I went to scoop him up, and he was sobbing like crazy. It had to hurt. Between Andrew and me, we were able to calm him before long. I decided the floor must have been slippery from the nectarine juices.

This morning, he was playing with his toys on the floor as I emptied and loaded the dishwasher. I saw him lean forward and then fall down again. This time, he didn't smack his face, but he still cried hard. I soothed him and played with him. I even called the wambulance ( That's when I noticed a little bump on his upper lip. There was a little cut. I'm not sure if it was from last night's fall or this morning's fall, but he definitely bit his upper lip. Poor little man.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Baby Drinks From a Cup

Oliver's practicing drinking from a cup! He's been working on it for months and is just starting to get down the art of tipping it to drink.

I said, "No nap!"

Oliver's been really fighting his naps hard this week. At first, I thought he didn't want to sleep for me (a possibility) because he'll sleep when Andrew puts him down. That doesn't help me on the weekdays. But, then, I thought he might not be feeling well. He had a little diarrhea yesterday and has been farting up a storm. Finally, I decided his new tooth that's erupting might be causing him to sleep fitfully.

I promised myself I'd get up with him as often as he wanted last night since he might be a little sick. He woke up at midnight! What? I fed him, and he wouldn't go back to sleep without Andrew. Then, he woke up at 4am. I fed him, but he wouldn't go back to sleep at all. This is after only napping once yesterday for 40 minutes. Poor baby must be so tired.

At 6am, I nursed him in bed so I could rest my eyes for a little while. Wouldn't you know it; the little man fell asleep!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mommy's a Flake

I used to take pride in myself for being a very reliable person. If I said something, I'd do it! Integrity is important to me. However, I have to admit to myself, I haven't been as trustworthy in recent months. This weekend, I set a new record. I cancelled plans with four groups of people in two days.

As a new mom, I find I have no energy for activities. In my heart, I'm doing it all. I'm spending quality time with my husband, engaged and listening to his stories; I'm going out with my friends for coffee and to the gym; I'm calling my loved ones and keeping those connections thriving. In reality, though, I spend all day playing entertainer to my little one (which I love), and when Andrew gets home, I just want a few quiet moments to myself. He'll tell me about his day, and I nod along, trying to listen, but really thinking about all the things I have left to do around the house. If I've made plans with friends, I think, "There's no way I can make dinner, eat, have family time, give Oliver to Andrew to put to bed, and then drive across town to see my friends." I'd say I cancel plans I've made four out of five times I make them.

My loved ones have been so forgiving of me. I feel badly for being unreliable and rarely seeing them, but I'm so grateful they understand. I'm trying to make more plans during the day, when I have more energy, and I'm making a point to ask Andrew for time to myself as soon as he gets home from work, that way I can give him the focus he deserves when I'm more mentally capable of doing so.

Being a mom is the best, but now I'm starting to realize why so many moms have difficulties maintaining their friendships!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tooth Number Five

Oliver's fifth tooth just came in! Maybe this is why he hasn't been wanting to nap. It's next to his top left tooth. Hurray for chompers!

You Farted!

Every time Oliver's made an audible fart, I put my hand to my mouth, giggle, and announce, "You farted! Air came out of your butt! Teehee!" These days, any time he passes gas, he looks up at me with a big grin on his face and starts laughing or cooing as I tease him.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oliver's a Mischievous Little Man

We took Oliver to the grocery this evening. I grabbed a box of Cheerios, and I showed it to Oliver. He recognized the bright yellow cereal box and started kicking his feet in excitement. I set it in the cart behind him. He stretched and twisted trying to get at it, and finally started to cry. I was able to soothe him pretty quickly.

We got home, and as a reward for being patient, I let him have the box of Cheerios. Less than a minute later, he gnawed a hole in it, so I had to take it away.

I took him to the kitchen to play while I put the groceries away. I gave him a baby spoon. After a few minutes, he slid it under the fridge. I took a lot of work, but I retrieved it and gave it back to him. He slid it back under the fridge. He did it three more times before I finally decided he was going to keep doing it over and over (yes, it took five times for me to decide this).

I moved him a few feet away, and, within a few seconds, he slid it under the washing machine! There it remains.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Little Independence Goes a Long Way

Oliver's been growing a little bit in his independence. He is usually OK for me to leave him in his baby-proofed nursery so I can go downstairs and grab the laundry. If I'm gone for more than about 2 minutes, he gets mad. Still, there's no reason for me to be gone longer than that. He's also OK with me taking a shower. We're re-caulking our shower, so we've been using the one in Oliver's room. I set him on the floor with his toys, and then I can grab a quick shower before he gets upset. Awesome!

Oliver loves interacting with Andrew and me. He's OK with not being held all the time now, but he'd prefer it if we sat on the floor and watched him play with his toys. Better yet, he'd like for us to shake his rattles and spin his electronic toys. Whatever we have (say, a book or a remote), he wants!

With more frequency, he's happy to play on his own while I do chores. I can unload and load the dishwasher as he looks on, for example. Sometimes, I can even get dinner on the table before Andrew gets home.

Yesterday, for the first time, he played completely on his own while Andrew and I talked. Oliver sat on the floor, banging his shovel and dragging his spoon on the ground like a paint brush. Andrew and I would glance at him to make sure he was OK, but that was the extent of our direct interaction with him. Oliver didn't even whine or complain! He just played. It was amazing.

Obviously, I don't intend for Oliver to play on his own a lot. I enjoy playing with him. However, having a little independence is good for him, and it helps with my sanity. Plus, it helps us to enjoy a different kind of family time. Nice!

Further, I wrote this whole post in one sitting with Oliver awake! Usually, I write while he's napping or nursing. Right now, he's playing with his booster seat and the buckles on it. Good times!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Son, the Puppy

So far this morning, Oliver has bit a chunk out of one of his baby books and ate it, dragged his splash pool around the kitchen and pulled out all the folded clothes out of the laundry basket and tossed them in the hallway.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Colorful World of Finger Foods

Our friend, Meghan, posted some photos on her blog of her daughter, Murphy, eating carrots for finger food. Murphy's about two weeks older than Oliver. I looked at the photos and thought, "Man, I wouldn't feel comfortable giving Oliver carrot sticks. I'd freak out that he'd choke."

So I emailed her to ask about it. I told her I had only given Oliver Cheerios, pea halves, peach slivers, smooched blueberries, and toast pieces. I asked how she worked up to something like carrots. I'm glad I did. She explained to me (duh!) that she steams them first so they're mushy.

And so I followed suit. Here's Ollie eating some soft carrot sticks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Son, the Crier

Oliver's crying has been increasing the last week or so. He's gone from rarely crying (maybe once a week?) to getting a little hysterical once or twice a day. It's weird having things get more difficult with him because I'm used to things always getting easier.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Splash Pool

I went to Babies R Us today and saw a splash pool for $6! It had Oliver's name written all over it. At Target, I picked up a small coil hose to be able to fill the pool, and then I took my purchases to my parents' house, where I was going to be for the morning.

I filled the pool, stripped the baby down, and sat him in it. Three seconds later, said baby was red-faced and screaming. I plucked him out and decided he must hate the cool water. So, I pushed the little pool out into the sun and decided to let it warm up all afternoon.

After the Rockies game, my mom grabbed some bath toys for Oliver. I stripped him down again and set him in the (now warm) pool water. Oliver was good for about half a minute, but then he resumed his crying. Apparently, my little man is not a fan of his little pool.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


Oliver's been able to undo his disposable diapers for a couple months now, but he hasn't really even tried to undo his cloth diapers (they secure with velcro). Yesterday, I had him playing in just his diaper, and he started to scratch at the velcro. He liked the texture of it. Before long, he found the tabs and started pulling. He got one end done and--voila!--naked baby.

This morning, I was changing him slowly because I was still drowsy from sleep. Before I could get his onesie on, he had his diaper off. Repeat again two hours later.

I remember my mom telling me that she had all of us sleep in our diapers our first summers to help deal with the heat. I know I couldn't do that because I'd come in to a naked baby laying in a pool of pee!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oliver Works on Crawling

Scooting Backwards

Oliver and I worked on crawling this morning. I used the camera as bait. He worked so hard! He tried to push off his toes. Then, he tried to push with his arms. He pushed so hard, he started going backwards. Ha! Not a bad practice run.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Support Group

I am a lucky person!

Yesterday, I continued to feel worse and worse. A little before noon, I called Andrew to see if he could come home because I wasn't able to hold Oliver. I was so weak! Anyway, I felt terrible asking him to come home because he had just returned from vacation and had a back log of work. I knew he needed to catch up, but he told me not to worry. He came home to help, and he assured me his boss was very understanding. I'm so grateful.

Oliver took a nap at noon, and I crawled into bed. I basically slept from noon to 6am, getting up only to nurse Oliver when Andrew brought him to me.

At 6am, when Oliver got up for the day, I tried to go to his room to let Andrew sleep. I felt so sick to my stomach just from walking across the hall. I got Oliver out of his crib and laid him on the floor next to me. The little guy was so disturbed by this that he started screaming, thus waking Andrew up. Doh! Andrew helped me change Oliver and carry him to the bed, where I nursed him. I was too sick to get up with him, so Andrew did. He's so kind.

I called my mom to see if she could possibly take the day off because I knew I was too weak to care for my baby. My mom is so good to me. She took the day! Andrew dropped Oliver and me off there, and my mom watched Ollie so I could nap. I napped twice! When I woke up the second time at 1:30pm, I was really feeling much better.

Now, I feel completely better except for some stomach pain. Andrew thinks that's probably hunger pain because, in the last two days, I've eaten two bowls of cereal, a hard-boiled egg, some crackers, a croissant, and some carrots. I hope he's right. I'm going to try eating a meal (peanut-tofu stir fry!).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I think I've caught the flu. Who catches the flu in July? Yesterday, I noticed that some parts of me (like my waist and hips) felt sore. It seemed weird, but I dismissed it as unimportant. This morning, I woke up at 7:30am (Andrew let me sleep in!) to feelings of nausea. The nausea has stayed, and the soreness has increased. I'm also feeling dizzy. I feel so feverish, but I don't have a fever.

This is the first time I've been sick since having Oliver, and, I have to say, it's not easy. I'm too exhausted to carry him much, and I keep zoning out. I'm dealing with it by just continually handing him new toys and trying to keep him occupied for as much as possible. Rough day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It

Oliver learned to clap his hands yesterday! He was sitting up on the Thorne's table (which is probably as expensive as our townhome. John said Oliver's the only one allowed to sit on it) and started smacking his hands together. I did it back to him, and he did it back to me. Before long, he was clapping and laughing, much to the delight of all his relatives.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oliver, Where Are You?

Oliver woke up at about 2am for a feeding. He sounded so upset! I got to his crib, and I felt for him but couldn't find him. After a few more seconds of patting, panicing, and searching, I found him sitting up in the corner. My little guy pulled to a sit!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flight to Boston

I'm proud and happy that Oliver was so great on his flights to Boston. We had a two hour stretch that took us from Denver to Chicago, and then another stretch from Chicago to Boston. After that, we had about a two hour drive to our place in Cape Cod. Would you believe our 8 month old barely cried during all that? He slept for an hour on each stretch of the flight. For the other hour on each, he played. Of course, there were times when he started to get frustrated, but Andrew and I were able to keep the crying at bay. Good job, Oliver!