So first I mentioned doing a blog challenge and then all my blogging just stopped. Pretty rude of me. So, since I doubt I’ll have time to blog regularly for a while, I thought I’d do a little catch up post to let everyone know what we’ve been up to.
The thing that has majorly disrupted our regularly scheduled blogging is the decision we made to try and move. So most of our free time has been spent house hunting and purging/donating/packing our place so we can get it ready to list on the market in spring. Stressful and exciting!
I’m also very excited about Christmas this year! Locutus is old enough to really enjoy some of his presents and I’m just enjoying the fun I know he’s going to have. Plus Benevolance and I have treated ourselves to a few things in addition to exchanging stockings this year too. So there will be some surprised for me too.
One of the Christmas conundrums I’m having is where to store all the gifts. Several are still in progress of being made and none of them are wrapped yet. Though since several cupboards are now sitting empty, I guess I could stick them in there until Christmas rolls around.
Both boys are doing great despite the craziness unfolding around them. I’ve been so thankful for the good weather we’ve had since we’ve been able to get outside a lot for playing and walks.
I haven’t had much time to stop and think about goals for next year yet. I was mulling a few before the real craziness hit, but I’m not going to worry about much aside from the boys and the move for the next while.
So … what’s new with you lately?
Big News this month is that Locutus learned to jump! A whole new way to spend some of his plentiful energy.
Survived Locutus’s first ear infection. In truth the day-time parenting was the easy part. Poor Benevolance got stuck with holding the snot-nosed screaming child for hours at night (while he was also sick) just so Locutus would get a little sleep.
Between Bean’s wiggling and Locutus’s love of being outside and moving, I foresee a lot of fresh air in my future! To give you an idea of how much Locutus loves going out, here’s a typical kind of scenario. We go out after breakfast in the stroller to the playground at the park. Usually he can last about 40 minutes before the stimulation leads to a meltdown. Then we’ll walk some more in the stroller (anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour). Even before we go through the front door, he’ll be requesting more or asking for another walk. He’ll cry when I take off his shoes and wait by the front door in case I change my mind. Sometimes we’ll go out again and he’ll do the same thing when we get home and request another walk later on as well.
My toy rotation is going fairly well, but definitely needs an update. Some toys Locutus has outgrown and others have gone missing. Plus new toys have entered the mix and I think we’re ready for a fourth box and bigger boxes to hold it all. Luckily Christmas is coming.
You weren’t expecting that last sentence, were you. I’m actually serious and here’s why. First, my husband gets a bit more time off work which in turn gives me extra help with the kids. Hopefully that bit of extra mental break will help me get a plan and refresh me so I have the energy to tackle it. Plus a SMALL infusion of new toys should help give us enough to add another box into the mix and/or fill out the current set.
I’ve also been trying to add more sensory play into our days. We don’t have the space to have a sensory bin set up full time, though perhaps one day that will change? Until then I’m starting slow and just trying to do one per month. In October I hid google eyes in a bin of black beans and added some Halloween shape cookie cutters and tools for scooping and pouring. Locutus loved it! Bean mostly stared and drooled at it. There are several cool ‘snow’ recipes I’ve seen so I think I’ll try some of those in December (and possibly January too-haven’t thought that far ahead yet).
Locutus is really into animals and animal sounds lately! He’s been requesting a lot of play from his set of farm animal puppets in particular. So much so that my forearms and wrists are aching from being used so much! But the giggles have been totally worth it.
Some other accomplishments include some more baby wearing, including a 40 minute long errand run wearing BOTH boys! Next challenge to overcome is getting some back carries with Bean on my back. We’ve also started the Christmas craziness with more outings and messed up schedules for the kids. On top of that, we’ve started our search for a house. There’s no rush to move, but we’re looking to see what’s out there.
- Over 13lbs
- Eyes: still blue
- Hair: light brown and a little curly
The whole feeding/gas/crying issue is definitely improving! He’s grown a whole bunch and has a good appetite, which has helped his demand catch up to my supply.
No two kids ever have the same parents. The parenting situation Bean has is shaped by our experiences and by Locutus. Case in point: sleeping. Bean started off doing a fairly good job sleeping in his bed and sometimes in his bouncy chair. However, Locutus was curious and playful so he’d go to wherever his brother was sleeping and do things like bang the bed or scream or just try to play with his brother. Even though I tried to discourage it, he would inevitably do something to wake little brother. So the only way I could keep Bean sleeping regardless of Locutus’s antics was to hold him, or put him in a wrap or Ergo carrier. And now he’s so accustomed to it that he doesn’t really want to sleep any other way.
Another way that Bean is different from big brother is that he seems to get bored with a particular view. Bean will only tolerate being snuggled by my shoulder in a burp hold for so long. He likes it better if he’s angled out a bit so he can see you. And sometimes he likes to face forward so he can see what’s happening on the other side too. The wiggling around makes it hard to hold him sometimes too.
Bean is doing great with making eye contact and tracking. He loves to stare at people and sometimes will smile and coo at you too. He’s even delighted big brother by smiling at him a few times!
I thought I’d been battling diaper rash this month with Bean. I think I’ve gone through as much diaper cream in 3 months with Bean as I used in Locutus’s entire first year! Then the public health nurse saw it and thought it might be eczema. Surely enough, after switching to disposables with coconut oil and other moisturizers the rash is greatly improving! Soon we’ll be switching back to cloth and seeing if our new skin care routine keeps things in check.
Bean has one volume: LOUD. He wakes me at night just with his grunts and snorts. Between that and Locutus waking up several times a night crying due to his cold and earache, it’s been a sleepy month!
After three months he’s definitely getting more used to life on the outside and is generally more content. He’s starting to discover some fun stuff too!
- Thumb sucking
- Pushing legs gives me a different view
- Moving his arms at a toy to touch and start grabbing
Favourite places still involve mostly carrying, but Bean is also getting better with his tummy time and warming up to the bouncy chair too. After Christmas I’m looking forward to debuting the Jolly Jumper too!
I’ve fallen in love with another new app. This one is all about helping people be in charge of their health and medical history. It’s called MyMedRec and if you’ve got an i-device, I strongly encourage you to check it out, especially if you have kids or parents you are taking care of.
I came across it when I was looking for a more permanent tracking solution for my boys’ immunization records. While their health passport is cute and handy, one moving mishap or one house fire is all it takes to obliterate it. This app gives a great balance between automation and customization. I’ll explain.
You can enter in all the vital information and it has many of the common vaccines pre-loaded, but no schedule you’re forced to. So, if you are following a delayed immunization schedule (I don’t know why you’d do this on purpose, but sometimes it is medically necessary) or your health authority has a different schedule than the one the app was written with, you aren’t faced with glaring “OVERDUE” messages when you open the app. Plus, you can add vaccines that aren’t currently in the app.
For each vaccine given, you can enter a lot of detailed information OR keep it pretty basic. I like that it lets you import contact information from your phone to help keep track of which immunizations you got where. I can see this being even more handy for people who may need to get extra immunizations due to international travel.
The other super-handy things this app does:
- Keep track of health care providers and next of kin info for each family member (I see this being very handy if you are sandwiched between generations caring for kids AND parents at the same time). Standard options are given, but you can add specialists. Again, if you already have this contact info in your phone, you can just copy it over.
- Keep track of medications and natural therapies. It lets you set dates for when you are taking them, so it’ll know that by this time, Locutus is no longer on antibiotics. But, the information will be saved in his history, so if I need to look up the info, I can see what type he was taking, dosage, duration, etc.
- You can take pictures of the medications your family members are taking. Again, I anticipate this being super handy for anyone who is helping care for a senior. Get a call in the evening from a loved one who is confused which pill they need to take? You can open the app and let them know that it’s the blue pill from the big white bottle, instead of trying to pronounce the drug name or tell them that it’s their blood pressure medicine or something.
- You have the option of setting up reminders for medications and immunizations and it uses your phone’s calendar system.
- Allergy tracking. That’s all I can say about it at the moment since Benevolance is the only one with allergies and he doesn’t need me to track them for him . . . yet.
- You can also track your blood pressure and cholesterol in the app. And I’m thinking I might start keeping track of my own blood pressure. It’s never been anything but normal, but I’d rather have a baseline of normal recorded, in case anything comes up in the future.
- Email backup for the information – handy if the app is ever discontinued or we need to send someone’s info to a doctor or specialist. And the option to password protect access for increased privacy.
Got any other great solutions or ideas for keeping track of this kind of information?
I decided a little while ago that I would do my month-long blogging challenge of reflective year-end stuff. I’ve done them a couple of times before. But now I’m waffling.
That much navel-gazing is a bit much, even for me. By the end of the month, everything gets a little bit rambly. I’m not sure if people read the posts much and what they thing of them. That’s what happens when you have a small audience who doesn’t comment.
I’ve got a list of prompts ready that I’ve used in the past but I’m trying to think of a hashtag to unify them with that isn’t totally cheesy or too long. (There are good blogging rules, don’t ya know). Got any ideas or suggestions?
So I guess you’ll just have to wait and see if you’re hit with a daily flood of blog posts this December or not.
I love lists. I even have a book called “Lists to Live By.” I keep lists in several different forms in several different places. And this is definitely the season of lists! I have a love-hate relationship with them all. Love to make them and read them but it’s so overwhelming!
It starts with lists of things to be thankful for. Which, thankfully, I don’t participate much in. I don’t really need to read a lot of ideas to decide what I’m thankful for, and I’m not interested in the lists of random people.
Next comes lists of costumes for Halloween which is moderately interesting. I’m always looking for different theme party and cosplay ideas.
But around this time in November, the real flood starts. The gift lists, followed shortly by the goal and resolution lists. Now that Pinterest is a thing it’s even better/worse too.
OCD organized part of me wants to mine all the lists for ideas to add to my lists. But it gets overwhelming and I can’t always keep up or keep track of which lists I’ve read already.
So if you don’t hear from me in a while its because I’m over here reading and making lists.
The second month has also gone by in a flash! Here are a few of the highlights for how I’ve been doing.
Happily, I’ve had much fewer meltdowns, both my own and those of the toddler variety. My mood is pretty good in general and it definitely helps to have a blonde munchkin toddle in each morning smiling and wanting cuddles.
We are getting outside a lot! Locutus has nonstop energy and loves the playground and other kids. This will be a bit tricky during cold and flu season since we want to keep Bean from getting sick. But he also likes long walks in the stroller (rain or shine) and we’ve taken to feeding some local ducks. I’ve got to figure out a few other long walks to keep him happy, since an hour just isn’t long enough some days.
The only drawback to getting outside so much is that I can’t really keep up with any housekeeping while we’re out. I can get errands done, but there’s a limit to what things I can do with 2 kids along and Locutus gets frustrated when we get in and out if the car a lot.
We’ve gone to several gym classes now and Locutus loves it! Still likes to do things his own way though and is trying to go down the ladders facing forward. I guess since it worked for stairs he thinks he might have the same success. The day ends up being a little crazy and Locutus usually has a meltdown at some point during class, but it’s important to let him build social skills and be exposed to more structured activities. Things are definitely easier for me if a helper comes along to hold Bean (who usually just cries) so I can chase Locutus and get involved.
Locutus has achieved the toddler milestone of lying! He will point to a picture with a cat and call it a dog. Let the fun times begin!
I’ve started looking at different postpartum exercises. But since I had a hernia as well as ab separation it’s hard to know where to start. But I’m getting loads of walking in each day. I’ve also changed my mind about tracking our walking expeditions. I may as well see how far we can walk between now and the end of the year and get some Fitocracy points for my efforts.
Babywearing is going great! I’ve managed to feed in the Ergo and the wrap this month. I also managed to do a brief tandem carry with Locutus on my back and Bean on my front. The hardest part was convincing Locutus that he really could climb on my back, since I’m usually telling him not to climb on me when I have Bean. The next step will be starting some back carries with Bean.
If you’ve got any questions about things I haven’t addressed, leave them in the comments!