Monday, March 30, 2009

Jonah's 15-month Doctor Visit

Well, Jonah had a very good doctor's appointment today. His pediatrician determined that he is a superbly healthy little boy.

On the down side, he refused to be weighed even though there were really nice horses on the wall and beautiful boats hanging from the ceiling, but we estimate he's about 24 pounds, which is about 2 1/2 pounds more than he was at his 12 month appointment. Seems like a big jump to me, but he certainly seems to have lengthened out and gotten more muscular, less round. He was also just getting over being sick at his 12-month appointment, so his weight was probably down a bit.

He is 31 1/2 inches tall (Tall! We can finally say tall!), and his head is 19 1/2 inches. Basically, right on track.

He got one shot and clearly has learned that shots are not fun and that they happen in a certain place with a certain person. He refused to nurse through it and was really pissed about the whole affair, but recovered very quickly. He has also started resisting other parts of the exam -- looking in his ears, having his belly felt -- but his doctor is so patient and kind and explains everything to him like he's a real human being, which I love, and shows it on mommy first. It really helps. Plus, his doctor is completely unfazed by his resistance and only did the things that he was willing to do with some coaxing, never forcing him, which I think is wonderful.

She said he is right on track developmentally. He is walking really well. Walking faster and longer distances. Falling less. And, clearly overjoyed with his new abilities. And, his language is taking off. She said verbal skills are considered fine motor skills so she likes to see a kid develop his gross motor skills first THEN start really talking. And, we definitely saw Jonah's verbal accelerate right after he mastered walking. He loves saying words that start with the letter "D" like duck, daddy, doggie and digger. He also likes practicing words for some of his favorite things like truck (guck) and book (gook). Other words he's good at are kitty (of course) and Dani (one might say, of course). Even better, in a way, is the fact that he clearly understands my words. He understands sentences and I can actually communicate with him on a whole new level. It's truly wonderful.

Jonah's doctor was pleased to hear how well he eats, though I think that is truly just the luck of the draw and not anything we necessarily did to make him a good eater. We try to present him with the best food possible, but it's up to him to eat it or not. We eat most meals as family, which is really nice, but he has always had a good appetite, even when he ate pureed mush at random hours. He just likes food! I feel lucky for that because it's one less thing I have to stress about and frankly, after so much lost sleep on SLEEP, I am thankful for one less worry.

Poop warning. Yes, I am going to talk about poop. If you have a kid, you will totally understand, and you have probably had more conversations about poop than you care to admit. If you don't have children, you won't enjoy or appreciate this topic, but, hey, you have been warned. Jonah's had some harder poops lately. Nothing too troubling for him or me, but just something to notice. His doctor thinks his hard poops mean he needs more, well, fiber. Duh! Why I needed a doctor to tell me that is too funny, but basically he needs more watery foods, like veggies. He likes his veggies most of the time but I will admit that when we are on the go I tend to chose less messy snacks (rice cakes, crackers, bananas, raisins), which aren't necessarily the highest in fiber. Nothing of major concern, but I think I may start giving him veggies for breakfast, when he is hungriest.

I still remember how much I used to hang on every word at Jonah's doctor's appointments when he was a newborn and small baby. I always knew he was OK, but there was always worry when things are so new and strange when you are a new mom. I'm the mother of a toddler now and it's kind of hard to believe. But, then I think about how far we have come as parents and how far Jonah has come. He's so great and being with him just gets more and more fun, along with the new challenges. When I think this way, I start to think in cliches, but I guess I am starting to understand why people say things like, "We are so blessed." ~ Nicole

Monday, March 23, 2009

I don't even know what to call this one

What a morning! I feel like I've been sprinting all morning long and have just plopped down on my ass at the finish line, completely wiped out. It started out nice enough. Despite yet another cold, Jonah slept until 6:37 a.m., relatively late for him. However, he was up 3-4 times last night, most likely due to congestion and also, I suspect, teething, and Matthew tended to him each time he woke. The last time he woke up was around 4 a.m. When I got Jonah up out of his crib and brought him to our bed for his morning nursing, Matthew told me that he had a lot of trouble falling back to sleep after getting Jonah back to sleep. So, when Jonah was finished nursing, rather than letting Jonah play with us in bed for a while like we do most mornings, I brought him into the living room so that Matthew could catch a little extra sleep. Before I left the bedroom, I told Matthew that I did need to take a shower and get myself ready before he left for work. Then, I spent the next two hours dealing with a very cranky baby. It was understandable that he was cranky and out of sorts. But, anyone who has dealt with this mood in a baby knows how hard it is to do much beyond hold them. But, there are still things that need to get done, like preparing and eating your breakfast, and preparing and cleaning up after the baby's breakfast to name just a few. The only solution was to alternate some close cuddling or reading books to Jonah with quickly going about my morning chores while Jonah clung to my legs all red-faced, snotty and crying. On top of everything else, Jonah pooped three times between waking up and 9 a.m.! And, diaper changes were clearly not on the top of Jonah's list of favorite activities this morning. When I needed to, I simply had to plow through, move forward, change the diapers, wipe up snot, read 10 books, including several over and over and over, make the oatmeal, clean up the oatmeal and so on, with a pretty cranky little boy in tow. I felt terrible when I had to focus on a task while Jonah cried, but it was my only choice if I wanted to allow Matthew to sleep. And, I did want him to sleep. He took care of Jonah all night while also fighting a bit of a cold himself. However, that didn't stop me from checking the clock every now and then, especially once 8 o'clock hit. I kept thinking, "Oh, I bet Matthew will be getting up now." And, then another 15 minutes would pass. Luckily our 9 a.m. play date canceled because she didn't want to risk her twin boys getting Jonah's cold, and I sure don't blame her. But, as 9 a.m. approached I realized I needed to get Jonah out of the house somehow, even for just a short stroller walk. We both needed a change of scenery. I considered a 10 a.m. story hour at the library for babies Jonah's age, but before I knew it it was almost 9 and I still needed to take a shower, get dressed, brush my teeth, prepare snacks for my ever-ravenous little boy (even with a cold) and pack the diaper bag. Finally, Matthew emerged from the bedroom. I tried really, really hard not to unleash because I really wasn't mad at Matthew. I could have woken him at any time. (Hmmm. Lesson learned, perhaps?) But, I really wanted him to get as much sleep as possible in case tonight is difficult, too. I did say something like, "Hi. Jonah is having a rough morning. He needs a new diaper. Can you change him? And, I need a break. I need a shower." Then, I handed off the baby and retreated to my lovely, hot shower. I thought everything would seem better after a shower. After I was dressed, but before I had dried my hair, I peaked out into the living room, partly as a way to let Matthew know I was almost ready and we could switch roles, but also to see if Matthew had had any better luck cheering Jonah up. When Matthew saw me, he said, "OK, Bud. Daddy needs to take a shower." (I'm sensing another "lesson learned" here.) I took that to mean that Matthew probably had to get a move on to get to work on time. So, I decided to see if Jonah wanted to "help Mama blow dry her hair." This didn't work out so well. It ended up that all three of us were all in our tiny bathroom together, me blow drying my hair while also trying to keep Jonah happy by giving him my hairbrush or pretending to blow dry his hair (everything takes three times longer when you involve a little toddler but it's usually worth the extra time and effort), and Matthew just kind of standing there in his underwear waiting for me to finish at the sink so he could put his contacts in before showering. Finally, I said, "I'll finish my hair in the bedroom." Then, I was off to the races again and the calm of my shower was quickly dissolving. Jonah was still in a bad mood, so I just tried to finish getting us ready to get out the door as quickly as possible. He was interested at first in putting on his shoes, but didn't want to sit still anymore when I had to finish tying the second one. He flailed and cried and protested. Then, he didn't mind having his sweater put on but he fought letting me button it. He flailed around as I tried to get his coat on, but then stopped to let me zip it up, and finally we were out the door, with Matthew seeing us off in his underwear. We walked and the chilly breeze felt good to me. I put Jonah's hat on his head and he pulled it off. I put his hat on again and gave him his sippy cup and he tossed it on the ground. I gave him a toy and he was happy. It was cold so I decided not to go very far. We stopped at a coffee shop for snacks. Jonah was mostly happy in this new environment, swaying his head to the music and waving to people, happily eating his slices of apples and small bites of my croissant. We stopped at the dog park on the way home. It was still early so I decided to make a quick stop at the playground so Jonah could burn off some energy by walking around in the hope that he would take a nice, long nap. He had a lot of fun, but was very upset about having to leave. Then, he cheered up when he saw some construction equipment. He loves diggers. But, he cried when we had to say good-bye to the digger. He cried as I brought him up the stairs and into the house. I wondered if I could get a quick lunch into him but he cried at the mere suggestion of applesauce. He cried when I took off his coat and his sweater and his shoes. He cried as I used the bathroom and washed my hands. He cried and clung to me as I cleaned and refilled the humidifier in his room. He cried and squirmed as I changed poopy diaper number 4, flipping himself all around on the changing table. I decided to put him down for a minute to see if he would calm down before putting on the new diaper. Bad idea! He peed on the carpet, while also crying, and also peed on his shirt and socks. Then, he bumped his head on the door casing while trying to maneuver into his room. Screams! Sobs! Meanwhile, I had to get a clean diaper on him and completely change his outfit. Not fun for this little guy or this mama. Finally, I told him it was time to say good night. To the door. To the window. To the shade and curtains. "Good night, good night, good night," I said. Finally, he cheered up and even seemed to get excited. It was finally time to nurse and lay in my lap and rest and relax and listen to me sing to him. It took a little longer than usual, understandably, but he finally, finally drifted off to sleep. I lay him down in his crib, covered him with soft blankets and closed the door. Then, I took a deep breath and made some tea. Phew. Please, nap gods, please, oh please, let him sleep a long, long time. Mama needs a break. ~ Nicole