Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two Year Stats

Yesterday was Grant's two year check-up. Here's what's up:
  • Weighing 25 1/2 pounds. I think this is wrong. He doesn't like their scale and was moving way too much to get an accurate weight. On more than one occasion he's weighed 26 pounds and he's been eating like a champ. Just sayin'.
  • Height 34 3/4 inches (a.k.a. a couple inches shy of 3 feet tall)
  • Under average in weight (30%) and average in height (50%). I asked if he was too skinny and the doc said no. She said there's nothing wrong with having a skinny kid (and that it's actually good) so I'm satisfied with that :)
  • Advanced talker! I kind of knew that. She was very impressed with the sentences he speaks and how well he is doing with his talking.
  • Apparently Time Out should only be two minutes. I was told my five minute Time Outs are a bit excessive (what would she think of the times that Husband says "Time out...uh...forever!")...she advised us to go down to two minutes next time it's needed and work with that. Humph!

  • His regression in potty interest is not an issue. She said he'll get used to it again. To maybe let him sit on it with his clothes on and read if that's what he wants to do. So I'm not worried. He'll get there.
  • In the next couple of months, she suggested the switch to a toddler bed. Grant loves his crib, which is great because it's safe, but lately has been using it like a trampoline while holding onto the side. When I told her that I was worried about him catapulting himself out of there she suggested transitioning soon.
  • No shots this time! Not until he is four (which I have no doubt will come before I know it). Just a flu shot to be scheduled in a few weeks.
We were surprised at how well Grant did with this appointment. He's been such a grown up little guy lately. First no tears during his last hair cut, even walked back to the chair with the guy instead of with his Daddy. Then yesterday at the doctor the only time he got upset was with being weighed. He even giggled some with the doctor and high fived and hugged her when he left! Note, she did give him an awesome monster truck sticker. She gave us a checklist of sorts of what we should be expecting at this age and I can tell from the list that he's doing great. She did mention that he's got some molars coming in so I'm expecting an ear infection anytime (keep your fingers crossed that doesn't happen!). But overall we got a great report for our little man!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Two Years

My little man is officially two, hard to believe. Time really does go by fast. He is getting to be such a big boy!

Two Years Old

  • I'm not going to guess how tall he is or how much he weighs. His two year check up is Tuesday so I'll do an update then.
  • PACI FREE!!!!!!! I've been attempting it for a while, but two weeks ago before bed he reached for it and I asked him if he wanted to sleep like a big guy. He said yes and went to bed without it and has done really well every since. Hooray Grant!
  • Huge appetite lately. Like a bottomless pit. I hear this means growth spurt!
  • Loves to brush his teeth. If I try to do it without his hand at least touching the brush he says "I do it!!"
  • Which brings me to talking...and a lot of it. Nonstop. I love it! And we're actually understanding a lot of what he's saying now. Complete sentences all the time and he's very big on repeating.
  • He watches more TV than I'd like right now and I want to try to get away from that. But his favorite things right now, besides Monster Jam which remains #1, are Chuggington,Thomas the Train (very into trains), and Octonauts.
  • Potty training has stalled, not that we were trying very hard anyway. But ever since he had his accident on the floor he hasn't wanted to sit on the potty. It's totally a comfort thing because he knows what's what. He tells us when he goes in his diaper and if I ask if he'd rather where underpants, he says "No, diaper!". He's hard-headed like his Mama and he'll get there, I know. When he's ready (much like the paci).
  • Loves bath least until he actually has to get washed. But once his hair is done he pretty much gets happy again. He likes to ask for soap so he can "wash" his squirty bath toy Percy (from Thomas the Train).

  • Very independent. He doesn't like to be held much when we're out (or ride in a cart). "I walk!" he tells me. He doesn't like to be fed food anymore, even if it's coming from someone else's plate "I do it!". He just wants to do everything himself.
  • Loves to play the "got your nose" game. He'll say "Gimme 'at noseth!" while pinching your nose. Too cute.
  • Husband would tell you otherwise, but I think he listens pretty well for a two-year-old.
  • Has some manners! We still have to prompt him with "please" but he almost always says "thank you" when he should. He even said "'cuse me" when he burped this weekend. It's so cute!
  • Pretty good with sharing and I'm really hoping it stays that way!
  • We've been working on colors, numbers, and ABC's. He can identify some colors (red, green, and yellow mostly but sometimes purple). He can count to 10 but can only apply it up to two. Doesn't sound like a big thing but I'm so proud of him. And he'll do his ABC's up to D and after that he starts over :)
  • Time-outs, when needed, have escalated to 5 minutes. So far they seem to work when we need them to.
  • He has learned how to work his Mama. Several times over the past month when I was trying to scold him for something he shouldn't do (nothing big) and he'd just look up at me with this big grin. I can't help but smile back at him!
While outside for pictures he heard a motorcycle.
"Hey! Mo-cycoo!" He loves anything with an engine.

Never sits still for long.
So that's that for now! I'll have another update after his check-up...but this is going to be the last of Grant's monthly updates. But I know he's got lots of stuff in store for me to post about!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grant Turns 2!!!

So yesterday was the big day! Actually, today is technically the big day because today Grant actually turns two! And yesterday we had Grant's birthday party here at home where he got to celebrate with lots of family and friends.

I decorated a little out front because I ordered WAY
too much of that checkered flag banner stuff. Look at
my adorable balloon wreath!

A little cheesy but I think it's cute

Grant loves his monster truck tattoos!

 Some checkered flag chocolates for the party-goers to take home.
 So...the cake. I had told everyone I was going to make Grant a big 3D monster truck cake. In my head it wasn't going to be too hard. I figured that I've made harder stuff before. As it turns out, I was wrong. It was definitely going to be too difficult with the amount of time I had. So I made this instead:

A monster truck rally complete with spectators and
the Monster Jam logo turned into Grant's birthday logo :)

And he loved it! The first time he saw it he said "Oh man! Oh man!"

Posing with his cake in his birthday shirt
and his spikey new 'do
 After we all had lunch and visited some, Grant got to open his presents! It was a little tough to keep him focused, he really wanted to play with them as soon as he opened them. He kept saying "Open it? Open it?" or "Get it off" pointing to the box. He really loved all his presents!

Showing off his tattoo


Monster truck pop-up card!


Silly Husband

He loves to play with his Daddy's drill but
now he has his own!
And there were a couple presents outside...

His very own tractor from Auntie Hollie and soon-to-be-uncle Travis!

It has pedals but until he learns I think it's going to be parent-powered

Handsome little farmer wannabe

He abandoned his tractor when he saw the trampoline from
Grandma and Grandpa

Having a great time :)

 We managed to get Grant inside to have some cake.

He has a sweet tooth like his Mama

But it wasn't long before he wanted to go back out and play with his toys. Since he still had guests...Husband made him compromise.

The tractor came inside...where he found a new use for his legos

And poor Brodie, who was stuck outside all day, got
to come in for a little treat of his own.

After the party was over - and Husband and I were struggling to stay awake - Grant asked to watch trucks (which means one of the 12 episodes of Monster Jam we have saved in the DVR). He started gathering up all his trucks to play with and that seems to be when he realized how big his collection has gotten...

I love his excited face!
Grant had the best day! Thank you SO much to everyone who came to celebrate with us!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sprinkler Fun

Growing up we didn't have a pool. Our neighbors did, which worked out great because we got to use it. A lot. But we also loved running through the sprinkler. Wasn't that the best? My dad even had a length of hose that he had poked holes in that the would run up the back hill and we'd run down the hill going through the "homemade" sprinkler. It was great.

Now I'm a grown up and I still don't have a pool. I've been contemplating all summer about a kiddie pool but never committed. While we were on vacation, my sister's neighbor (formerly known as my parent's neighbor) gave Grant a gift of an Octopus Sprinkler.

It looks something like this:
And it's pretty freaking fun.

We didn't get to use it on vacation, but that's ok because there was lots of swimming to be done. But not long after we got back home I decided to bust it out of the package. It was a hot day but luckily there was a shady spot in the front yard so we set up there. I got Grant in his [adorable] swimming gear and me in my [not so adorable] swimming gear and headed outside. He was leery at first, didn't quite know what to make of it. So started running through it to show him how fun it was. He caught on pretty quick.

He liked grabbing the arms and spraying them like a hose.

 We hadn't been playing with it long before I realized that the arms weren't flexible enough so it wasn't spraying really well. So I decided to pull off the foamy part and found there was a plastic, much more flexible tube underneath. After that, we had even more fun because it was spraying like crazy.

My favorite picture of the day, a bit out of focus but I love it
because it shows how incredibly happy he was!

My second favorite picture of the day. Look at that face!
We played with the sprinkler for a long time. I was getting worn out and Grant was breathing so hard the neighbors could probably hear him. I put away the sprinkler while Grant cried because he wanted to keep playing and Husband came out to wash my car. The crying abruptly stopped when Husband showed Grant how to use the hose and Grant got to help wash the car.

His little shorts were soaked so I just let him run
around in his swimming diaper. CUTE!

It was such a great Sunday. And writing this post has made me realize we need to do it again really soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Recipe: Spicy BBQ Peanuts

I love food gifts. Making them, giving them, receiving them, all of it. So I'm always happy to find a recipe that can be used that way. This recipe comes from my Aunt Betty. She made a batch of these yummy peanuts for our 4th of July cookout. Husband loves spicy stuff and he loves BBQ sauce so I had to have the recipe, which she gladly shared with I'm going to share it with you!

I spelled spicy wrong. Oops.

I think my favorite part of this recipe was that the only thing I actually had to get was the peanuts. Every other ingredient I had on hand. I love when that happens.

That's all you need!

Mix together everything but the peanuts

Then add your peanuts

Mix 'em up until all your peanuts are swimming in BBQy goodness

Spread them out on a greased baking sheet (or pan)

Mmmm...look at 'em. How great would those look in
a special package to give to someone for the holidays?
Spicy BBQ Peanuts

  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used Kraft original because it's what I had)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) dry roasted peanuts

  1. In a large bowl, combine sauce, butter, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Add peanuts, stir until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer peanuts to a greased 13"x9"x2" baking pan.
  4. Bake [uncovered] at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  5. Spread on wax paper; cool completely
Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 3 cups
Recipe Source: Aunt Betty :)

  • I followed the recipe exactly, only using 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne because these were for my in-laws and I'm not entirely sure how spicy they like stuff. I tried a couple - not being a huge fan of spicy - and I didn't find them too spicy. If you want them with more heat definitely use more than 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Use the full teaspoon of garlic powder, I didn't find them overly garlicky (however, I'm a big fan of garlic so take that into consideration).
  • I can't wait to experiment with other BBQ sauces!
  • I put it in the recipe, but be sure to grease your pan! It makes life easier.
  • My 13x9x2" baking pan had brownies in it at the time, so I used a jelly-roll type pan instead and it worked fine. I just had to be a little more careful when stirring the peanuts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Breastfeeding vs. Formula

Anyone who's been reading this blog for the last [almost] two years or anyone who knows me, knows that breastfeeding was just not for me and Grant. I wanted to, I tried, I did it for a while...and I hated it. Every time. That is not an exaggeration by any stretch, it was awful. I can remember just one feeding that made me think "If it was like this everytime, I wouldn't mind this a bit". But, for the most part, when he was hungry I felt like I was raising a tiny piranha that was bent on my destruction. And I dreaded every feeding.

So, having said that I need to point out that I am not anti-breastfeeding. I think it's wonderful that there are mom's out there that are able to nurse their children and it works so well for them. And I know that every situation is different so it gives me hope that if we have another baby someday, I could try it again and it may work better for us.

What I am against is the constant guilt placed on mom's who can't or just simply decide not to breastfeed. It was the guilt placed on me starting in the hospital that kept me going when I so desperately wanted to quit. After trying and trying and failing and failing AND in my very emotional state feeling like a failure, I finally said "I really want to give him formula". I was told by a nurse that No, you don't want to do that because that's not what he needs. Instead of the rage that I feel now looking back at being treated like I couldn't make a decision, I felt guilty for wanting to quit. Guilty for feeling like I was doing wrong by my child. I cried so many times in the hospital out of sleep deprived frustration because it just wasn't working. Part of me wanted to leave the hospital so bad to get away from the opinionated, pushy nurses but part of me wanted to stay too. Because what happens when I get home and I have no one to ask for help and I can't do it?

Then I got home and it was working a tiny bit better because I was able to figure out what was better for me without the nurses hanging around telling me I was doing it wrong. But it was still terribly painful and every time I had the feeling of needing to quit. So the guilt continued. And I felt guilty confessing to my husband how badly I hated it and I felt like he'd be disappointed in me if I did. Like I was a bad mother. (For the record he never said or did anything that made me think he felt this way, it really was all in my guilt-ridden head.) I am no longer ashamed to say that I hated feeding my child. I even resented him some because of the pain. You should NEVER EVER feel that way. I was supposed to love holding him and spending that time with him because it was just for us. But I didn't. For how ever long he was attached to me, I knew it wasn't supposed to be that way [for us]. Afterwards when Grant would be all sleepy, I would cuddle with him, no longer in pain. I'd think about how great it was to be his Mama and then I'd feel bad for how much I hated nursing. And sometimes I'd cry some more.

I was told time and time again by our pediatrician that if we switched to formula full-time (because I did substitute it when I had to) then everything would be fine. She said the formula they make now is awesome and that she has plenty of patients who started on formula day one and that there is nothing wrong with it. My mother-in-law said the same thing, that she never nursed either of her children. And I knew it, I knew he would be fine if I switched...but there was guilt. And it was there when I finally did quit but I just couldn't do it anymore. I pumped for about two weeks after that but then quit that too. And you know what I realized? I loved feeding Grant a bottle. I loved his feedings from start to finished and the more I did that, the more that guilt subsided. My guilt ruined my 9 weeks of maternity leave and I so wish that things had been different. But you live an learn.

So, what's prompted this post? THIS ARTICLE about the mayor of NYC's breastfeeding iniaitive. No man should ever be allowed to implement something that they can never fully understand:

"Michael Bloomberg is now launching the Latch On NYC nursing iniaitive in early September, which will encourage hospitals to keep formula locked away so it will need to be signed out by nurses like medication.  Moms who want to formula-feed will still be able to, but they will first receive a talk outlining the benefits of nursing. The hope is that this voluntary program will promote breastfeeding as the default option and make it a bit harder to reach for formula."

Are you kidding me?? Mom's who choose to formula-feed have to sit through a talk? I can't even express how angry this makes me. And it makes me sad. Sad for any new mom giving birth in one of the NYC hospitals that are implementing this program. Because even if they go in there intending to breastfeed but maybe, like me, they just have a hard time and know it's not for them they will have so much guilt pressed on them by this program. It's disgusting to me that someone who can't ever know what he's doing to those women because he can't ever understand what an experience (either good or bad) like that feels like can put a program like this into effect. He shouldn't even be allowed to present to anyone in order get it underway. I guess I just need to be thankful that I don't live in NYC.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Birthday Balloon Wreath

I love wreaths. L-O-V-E them. And I firmly believe they are not just for Christmas...that just happens to be the only time I've hung one on my front door. But Pinterest has opened my wreath-loving-heart to wreaths for all seasons.

It was there that I discovered birthday balloon wreaths. It's about as much fun as front door can possibly have.

I loosely based mine on the one shown here. I say loosely because hers is much more impressive than mine. And she used more stuff.

But I have to say, I'm loving mine.

The post that I linked to above has great instructions and all the supplies you'll need. I didn't use all the adorable ribbon and tulle like she did. I went with just balloons and then added some twisted pipe cleaners when I was done because I felt like it needed something else.

Your base is a straw wreath (leave the plastic on!) that you can find at any craft store. I had contemplated a bigger size but ended up using a 12-inch wreath. Once I got all the balloons on I was very glad I didn't get anything bigger. You pin each balloon using one floral pin per balloon, also available at any craft store. Note: If you're in the Raleigh-ish area, I found Carolina Pottery to have the cheapest pins at .59 per box. I used somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 assorted balloons, the 12" size. I found them in bags of 72 at Party City. Four bags later I had pretty much covered the wreath. That's a lot of balloons. P.S. They stink.

How much fun is that?!
Close up to show the twisted pipe cleaners (also
attached with floral pins).
I started this project thinking it would be an inexpensive party decoration that I could keep using for at least the next few years. Since I used the assorted color balloons, it can really be used for anyone's birthday. HOWEVER, inexpensive it is not. Balloons aren't cheap. Ok, they are when you buy one bag of 72 but not when buying 300. Husband's jaw hit the floor when I told him I spent between $50-$60 on this thing. I tried the "I can keep using it!" justification but he just shook his head at me (he wasn't actually mad, but I know he thinks some of my crafty adventures are a little ridiculous).

Anyway, I'm super happy with how it turned out. It will be so perfect on our front door welcoming people to Grant's birthday party.

Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that it stays attached to the door. Because if a hurricane comes through like it did last year, I'm likely to lose that wreath. Considering last year's birthday hurricane took the side door off the house.

Anyboday else have some fun birthday decor ideas?

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