Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Year

I'm a little late with this. I've been super busy this past week and it's hard to find the time or desire to sit down at the computer. So I figured since I'm so late with Grant's one year post that I'd just wait until after the check up and do an all-in-one update :)

It's hard to believe that we've already gone from this:

One day old
To this:
One year old
According to yesterday's appointment Grant now weighs 19 pounds 9.8 ounces - which means that his daddy can continue to use the infant carrier car seat (at 22 pounds he'll reach the max) even though I think he needs to switch because - regardless of the weight requirements - he is just too big for it. He is 29 1/2 inches tall and his head measured 18 inches (if anyone cares - she said it's growing well which is all I needed to hear). We've been given the green light for whole milk which means NO MORE FORMULA. Hallelujah! That crap is expensive and I can't imagine that it tastes great because it smells terrible.

Grant is such a little man now. I've been asked recently "At what point can you call him a toddler?" And I say now. He's been ready to be a toddler for a few months now. So independent and ready to give his opinion. He is almost never fed from a spoon anymore. He always wants to feed himself and has no interest in baby food (except the Gerber ravioli - he tears that up). I do have some learning spoons that we practice with and he seems to like that.

Thanks to our trick the switch from bottle to sippy became easier and Grant only got a night time bottle until last night. He seemed ready to start moving away from that because he would only drink a couple ounces of the bottle or refuse it completely. He's always awake when I put him in the crib and puts himself to sleep, rarely waking during the night. So last night it was a sippy before bed, which he didn't want much. I'm thinking that we'll be getting him in a totally non-bottle routine very soon and - knock on wood - it seems like it won't be that traumatic.

Grant's thing right now is "uh oh". We would say it every time he fell or dropped something. When he first started to say it back we'd get so excited. He soon made the connection between "uh oh" and our big smiles. But now it's "uh oh" all the time. He throws his sippy cup on purpose so he can say "uh oh", he drops food on the floor for the dog so he can say it, and bath time has be come a 20-30 minute game of Grant throwing his bath toys on the floor finishing with -  you guessed it - "uh oh". It's really cute, though. It's hard not to say it back when he does it, but that definitely encourages him and we seem to have done enough of that in the "uh oh" department. He also loves to clap and high-five (he's so proud of his high-five). When I start saying the words to patty cake he knows he's supposed to start clapping. Same thing if I start singing "If You're Happy and You Know It". It's really amazing to realize how much he's understanding. He points to things he's curious about and seems to be trying hard to communicate with words.

Growing up so fast. Trying to be so independent. So fearless that it's scary. All boy all the time. My little guy :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Daycare Call

Yesterday wasn't a great day. My morning started off with a phone call from one of our assistant commissioners. Believe me, I am low enough on the food chain at work that those kinds of phone calls are enough to make me nervous. Or at least they used to. Ever since I saw this man rudely sleeping through presentations at meetings, I'm slightly less intimidated by him. And the phone call was just so he could talk down to me and give me something extra to do because, of course, I must have nothing else to do. It all could have been done through e-mail but the guy is about 107 years old and probably doesn't really know how to use it.

Then about 10:30 came the day care pone call. "Grant's ok but he bumped his head. He wanted to look out the window and lost his balance. We wanted to let you know because he is going to have a bruise when you pick him up. We put ice on it and we've checked his eyes to make sure they're dialating properly. We just always like to let the parents know what's going on when they're kids will look different at pick-up than they did at drop-off." I appreciated the phone call and it wasn't the first of it's kind. I thanked her and told her that I understood. He hits his head at home too. I briefly wondered about them checking his eyes. He hit his head hard enough for that? I texted Husband who immediately went into Freak-Out Mode. I repeatedly had to say that if Grant wasn't ok, they would have insisted we take him to the doctor. He was happy and playing, I was sure he was fine. Husband picked him up from daycare at the usual time and promptly texted me that "Grant looks bad." I have said in the past that I rarely freak out. And rarely do I say that anything looks as bad as Nate makes it sound. It looked bad.

Bumped his head? I can't believe he didn't split it open.

I will say that he was completely Grant-like the entire night. Fussy from refusing sleep. Pissy because I tried to feed him dinner when he and all his Independence wanted to do it himself. And then, after a brief nap, ready to go for bath time. All signs point to him being ok. But that is one nasty looking bruise. Just in time for his birthday. I think he just wanted to give us one more good scare to cap off the year.

*Side note: right after lunch I had to have a first aid report filed for me. I was trying to move my chair - which is supposed to roll - closer to my desk. I moved and the chair did not. I ended up on the floor but in the process did temporary damage to my arthritisy hip trying to keep my balance. They seriously filed a first aid report for it, I guess in case I needed medical attention later. I should have just gone home when the day care lady called about Grant.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Recipe: Crockpot BBQ Chicken

I love, love, love my crockpot. Crockpots - I have three. And I love them all. I firmly believe crockpots are magic. You put in a bunch of ingredients and in anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on what you're cooking, you have a delicious meal. AND you get to claim you cooked it. When, really, it was the magic of the crockpot.

This recipe came by way of Pinterest which is a website that I'm currently addicted to and is causing some serious ADD at work (and anywhere else really because I also have the Pinterest app on my phone). So anyway, I came across the recipe on Pinterest and it looked so yummy and easy that I had to give it a whirl.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

4-6 pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 18-Ounce Bottle BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1/4 cup Vinegar
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Mix the BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. Place the chicken in crockpot.
Pour the sauce over it and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Recipe source: Stick A Fork In It

  • The blogger who posted this recipe put her chicken in the crockpot frozen. I didn't, I like to trim my chicken before cooking. So make sure your cooking time is adjusted to your chicken. My chicken was done before 4 hours and I had 7-8 chicken breasts in there.
  • I felt like it cooked a little fast and so the chicken was a little dry. Not to worry, the sauce was GREAT so we just put a little more on the chicken and all was well with the world.
  • I made this recipe on a day when my mother-in-law was coming over for dinner. It's a little scary making a new recipe for company but it was Husband, Mother-in-law, and even BABY approved. Even Grant had a little bit of Mama's chicken.
  • Make the sauce exactly how it states in the recipe and you will not be disappointed. It was really good. I was scared of the pepper flakes but they weren't too much. And I think I ended up using a whole teaspoon of garlic powder, but I love garlic.
I served the chicken with twice baked potatoes:

And also some homemade garlic cheddar biscuits that I'll be posting the recipe for soon :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Guy PJs

When Grant came home from the hospital and was still my tiny peanut, he slept (I mean, when he slept) in a onesie and was swaddled with a receiving blanket. And when he got "too old" for that, we moved up to the sleep sack. I reluctantly switched to one-piece pajamas at Husband's insistence and that's where the PJ progression has stalled. Until recently. We went shopping a few weeks ago and, lacking the ability to find a single thing that I would willingly wear in public, I turned to baby clothes. Buying baby clothes is never painful (ok, maybe a little when you look at the tiny ones you used to buy compared to the gigantic ones you're putting in your basket) and they always fit :) However, it almost all winter stuff. Since I have been unable to convince Husband to move to Alaska, we were not yet in need of winter stuff. "We should buy something, you have that coupon they e-mailed you" Husband said. Oh, twist my arm. PJs! I thought. He never seems to have enough and they were all on sale. So I decided it was time to try some "big guy" PJs. The two piece kind without the feet in them.

They are two-piece but it's hard to tell.

Adorable. I tried to get one of him while he was sitting still - no, wait, no I didn't. Because he doesn't sit still anymore. Ever.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Party Decorations

Another birthday post? That's what you're thinking, right? Sorry, aside from our adventures in "real food", it's what I've got going on right now. Somewhere I saw an idea for a decoration - pom pom garland. It's basically a bajillion of those yarn pom poms that everyone used to make as a kid tied to fishing line, or twine, or something. You can buy them on Etsy, but I won't. Because of course, I look at it and think "I can make that". And so begins a DIY party decoration.

I have no pictures - yet - of a finished project. Because the pom poms are still in the process of being made. My mother-in-law, bless her, came over on Saturday to help make some and now has a bunch of yarn at her house to make more in her spare time.

I actually started this amusing project two weekends ago. For some reason that I can not explain I decided to start it at the tail end of Grant's afternoon nap one day. So, of course, he woke up mid-pom pom. A diaper change and a snack behind us, I put him in baby maximum security prison and sat down to churn out some more pom poms. With the sudden realization that there was a plastic barricade between us and I was otherwise occupied with something that was not him, Grant got fussy and that quickly turned to severely unhappy. Ok, how much harm could be done by letting him run amok while I crafted?

Yarn. Apparently more fun than baby toys. (Um - yes, it's
around his neck. No, it wasn't tight around his neck. I'm
not a fabulous parent but I'm not an idiot either.)


It was everywhere. First he started pulling from the package (spool, ball, whatever) of yarn and running all over the living room and kitchen with it. But I had a bunch of loose pieces I had cut for a project that didn't work out well so I gave him that to play with too. That's what he's got in all the pictures with the orange yarn. He had so much fun with it. I can't say that I got too many pom poms made (mostly because I couldn't put the camera down) but he was so much fun to watch. Such a silly guy :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making Martha Proud

I like to make things. It doesn't always - almost never - turn out the way I'd like it to. But I enjoy attempting craftiness. A few weeks ago, I decided to price a custom onesie or t-shirt for Grant to wear at his birthday party. I don't know what I expected...but I certainly wasn't expecting to pay as much for a tiny shirt he would, likely, wear that one time as I would for something new for me to wear. I couldn't do it. I'm sure it would have adorable and well crafted. But, as I've said before, I over-think and I just couldn't do it. I had talked myself into having him wear just a regular outfit that day and show off his handsomeness. But then my inner Martha Stewart said "What makes you think you can't make him something to wear?" I explained to inner Martha that I don't own a sewing machine nor do I have oodles of time. But she calmed my fears and even got me a little excited. Like said...I enjoy being crafty.

So here are my end results. First, a picture of one of the monsters on Grant's invitation (I went with a monster theme "Our little monster Grant is turning 1!" So adorable).

I had no luck finding a plain onesie that was any color other than white. So I went with a red t-shirt. I removed the pocket and washed it to remove the Wal-mart germs and to get rid of the thread holes where the pocket was. I had bought some white and black felt for the eyes and mouth. So I cut my pieces and started sewing them on. By hand. It would have been easier had I thought it through. The project was a bit of an impulse decision. But one I'm glad I made because I'm pretty happy with my results:

I can't wait to see my little monster tearing around the park in it :)

(Stay tuned for my endeavours in making the party decorations - I had "help")

Best Advice Yet?

The switch from bottle to sippy cup has been super stressful. To say the least. And incredibly unsuccessful. So much so that we entertained the idea of just going back to the bottle for the time being. My problem with that being that we've already started and going back to the bottle would just be giving Grant what he wants. Most babies are spoiled, but I'd rather not have mine be a spoiled brat because he always gets what he wants.

Grant will not take formula from a sippy cup. Absolutely refuses it. Screams when you put it in front of him. But give it to him in a bottle and it's gone before you know it. And IF you can get him to take even a sip of formula from the sippy, he will gag and then open his mouth so the liquid dribbles out. But he will take the water/juice mixture we give him. So weird. However, we've quickly learned - as I'm sure so many parents do - that our child is definitely aware that we are trying to pull a fast one. And he's trying to let us know he's on to us.

The new day care has been a huge help to us and it's such a relief to not hate the place where we leave Grant every day. They've gone a long way with helping us work real food into Grant's diet and now, bless them, they're helping us with the sippy cup. We had no idea where or how to start. One lady, Ms. Rutha, told us to bring two sippy cups with formula and one bottle. She said they would offer him the sippy and if he didn't take it - he just didn't get the formula. By day two, she said, "he gonna take that sippy". Yesterday was day 6 and he was having nothing to do with the sippy. I was starting to get very worried. I don't worry often, but when I do, I want a solution. Grant had gone from about 28 ounces of formula per day to less than 7 ounces. I was to a point where I didn't know what to do. I called the pediatrician and they told me that as long as he was getting calcium elsewhere then he "should be fine". But I was not ok with that answer.

Husband mentioned the problem to Ms. Rutha. She said she'd seen that problem a lot. She suggested maybe putting some chocolate syrup in the formula. I thought: GENIUS! But instead, I went with:

Strawberry Nesquik. I figured it had extra calcium and what-not in it. I had absolutely zero hope that it would work. After a doctor's appointment for an ear infection yesterday we went home and I made a sippy with 4 ounces of formula and a 1/2 tablespoon of the strawberry nesquik. Nothing. So I let Grant watch me open the cup and I gave him a spoonful of the formula. He took it and cried. Another spoonful. He took it and cried. He watched me put the top back on the cup then I gave it to him with a graham cracker and went about my dinner preparations. I looked back a minute later and he was chugging the formula! His head was tipped back and he was devouring it! I was so relieved I cried. It's stressful wondering if your baby isn't getting all the nutrition he needs. Thank you Ms. Rutha! I need to bake her something. Hopefully - I'm keeping my fingers crossed - it goes just as well at day care today.  

Update: While Grant didn't drink all his formula at daycare today, he did make a good dent in it. And even drank some this evening at home before and during dinner. So it looks like the strawberry Nesquik is working it's delicious magic and is helping us out for now. I do know that this is just one more thing we'll have to break him of in the future but the pros out-weigh the cons.
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