When we last saw our heroes, they had completely given up on getting Oliver to sleep. Boy how two months can change things!
After the last post, it got worse if anything. We had him back in our room, but it was unpleasant for everyone. At night he would be tossing and turning in bed like a maniac, punching me in the face, and just generally keeping us all up all night. It didn’t help that he happened to be getting 3 molars at this time, but I remember there was even one night where he was awake for 4 hours right in the middle of the night. Brutal.
The worst part is, the 6 weeks we spent trying to get him to sleep on his own in the other room seemed to have done some permanent damage. He was very, very suspicious that we were going to leave him, so every little sound would bring him instantly to his feet, screaming. Since we would wake him up whenever we went into the room, Sara and I took to sleeping on couches in the living room every night until he woke up the first time. Putting him to sleep was a challenge as well, since he was suspiciously alert for any kind of attempt to leave the room. So turning the pages of my book would wake him up, to say nothing of actually trying to creep out, open the door, etc. My only recourse was to wait for at least an hour until he was deeply asleep before I could sneak out. This was a very frustrating hour! We got used to walking on eggshells to avoid waking him.
Now, we put him into the crib in his bedroom with Evie and he quietly goes to sleep by himself. A couple of times he’s slept through the entire night.
Believe me, being able to type that sentence is more flabbergasting to me than anyone. So what was the miracle cure? Waiting until the time is right!
It’s very clear to me now that there was nothing we could have done to make him go to sleep easily back then. This time it went so smoothly and easily, that it was clear the time was just right. Why was the time wrong before? Who knows. Maybe he just wasn’t old enough to have the skills to be able to do it. Maybe it was the molars. Maybe he was in too much of a “mommy” phase. Every kid is different, and every kid is in different situations at different times.
The first time we tried to let him “cry it out” for over an hour multiple nights, and it didn’t work. This time it took 20 minutes the first night, and that was it. The first time it went on for 6 weeks. This time it was over in a matter of days.
It still hasn’t been perfect. The first few days he was getting up at 4 a.m. But that is a different problem, and that problem we could work on (we’ve had some success in the past with this issue). He’s still waking up a time or two some nights. But again, this is vastly better than it was. And sometimes now he can even put himself back to sleep! Also, his awakenings are increasingly after 4, so I think that it is all related to him wondering when we are going to come in and get him. Hopefully the “ghost light plan” (a lamp with a book in front of it in this case) will solve this issue.
I have to say, the whole thing makes me feel so much better. You hear these stories about parents who let their children cry it out when they’re 10 months old, and it only takes 5 minutes and then they sleep blissfully through the night. I used to think that these stories weren’t true (lies, all lies I tell you!) because the alternative was that I was somehow a bad parent. Now I think they might be true after all. Your kid is ready when he’s ready. Maybe for some kids, that’s 10 months. For Oliver, it wasn’t.
So, just like all Miracle Cures, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to determine when the “right time” is for your child. That part has no easy answers. But the good news is you have permission to stop and wait if it’s not working. I wish we would have done that the first time, instead of trying to force it for 6 weeks.
But when it finally does work, boy is it fantastic! Sara and I feel like we have a new lease on life. The sun is brighter, flowers smell better, food tastes better. We even had two nights in a row where we played board games, since the kids were asleep early at the far end of the house. Board games!
It’s almost like I’m human again.
It seems as if Oliver’s knowledge has just exploded in the past few weeks. After sticking with a few good words for so long, he is suddenly acquiring language so quickly, that it is hard to keep up. I’ve tried to compile a list of all the words he currently uses, but it seems like as soon as I put the list down on paper, he learns a few more.
So I tried to be very conservative in my list, and only include words that he uses often and obviously understands completely. He has a lot of words that he has said just a few times, or that he repeats after you, but has not used independently. So those I didn’t include. He also understands about 100 times more words than this, but I think that’s pretty normal.
So, the list as I currently know it:
- uh oh
- bye bye
- (ba) nana
- go go go
- f (an)
- woof woof woof woof woof (dog)
- f (ountain)
I almost want to count “hot” twice, because he understands two separate uses of the word: when he ate something spicy, he pointed to his mouth and said, “Hot!”, and also said it when I took something out of the microwave.
In addition, he has 4 new teeth, 3 of which are molars. His other molar is looking like it won’t be far behind. Having a molar come through seems like it would be so painful, but he doesn’t really seem to be bothered much by it (other than potentially causing some sleep issues, but that’s another post altogether!). He doesn’t even seem to want to chew on things, other than food, which he has always chewed with abandon.
As a side note, he must be the only kid in the world who won’t eat cut up fruit, only whole fruit.
He’s sitting in the booster seat at the table now, instead of in the high chair, and took to eating with utensils pretty easily. Although he hasn’t exactly mastered it, it seemed to go much better with him than Evie. Maybe that’s just because he loves to eat so much, especially compared to her. They both were pretty good at using a regular cup.
He looks so grown up sitting there in the chair with a spoon in hand! He’s our little polite boy, wiping his face after a bite, and wiping any drips up from the table. On the other hand, he still inexplicably dumps his milk in his lap, just to see what will happen, and he loves to put his fork or his food in his milk cup. Still, overall, pretty good for a one year old!
Oliver has been a busy boy lately!
When we last saw our hero, he was just starting to pull himself up to stand. Once he figured this out, he doesn’t want to do anything else. Stand, sit, stand, sit, all day long. He hasn’t completely mastered it yet, specifically the drop onto the padded diaper to avoid injury, so he has had a little up-tick in the number of minor bumps and bruises. He’s even starting to try and climb up on things now, specifically his favorite standing place, the dishwasher. He did figure out that he can get into more mischief after all, especially grabbing all the dirty dishes out and generally making a food mess.
The most exciting part is that Oliver might have his first word! He has learned to say, ”Ba!” for ball. He says other things, like “ma ma” and “da da” but there’s no connections between those things and the object they represent. If you hold out a ball to him and say, “Oliver, what is this?” he (usually) says “ba!”.
As far as signs go, he hasn’t really caught on to those yet. He’ll give high 5′s, and sometimes will sort of lift his arms for “So big!”. He kind of pounds his hand for “more”, but he pounds his hands other times too. We’re trying hard for more, all done, bath, and bye-bye. He always seems to be on the verge of getting it, but not quite there.
His teeth on the top and bottom seem to be pretty close. His teeth on the bottom in particular seem like they’re going to be through any day now.
With all this great new stuff going on with him, and just how interactive he is (almost like a real person!) I think to myself, “This is a such a great age!” And then other times I don’t think that.
Oliver has more or less stopped sleeping at night. This is not at all unusual at this age; there’s just so much going on. He wants to be awake and exploring, not wasting his time sleeping. At least this time around I know it is limited. We just need to make it through this period until he goes back to normal. But that doesn’t make me less tired! Lucky for me (and unlucky for Sara) there’s mostly not a lot I can do. At this point, only mama will do. I’m usually good for getting him to sleep once per night, other than that I can pretty much just hold him while he sobs until Sara gives up and takes him back. He is not happy to see me at night, no siree. So sometimes Sara tells me to go sleep on the couch for a few hours so I don’t fall asleep and die on my way home from work.
I still think the positives outweigh the negatives. This is, in fact, a really fun age and I’m trying to make sure I appreciate it!
Note, for the explanation of the title of this post, see this video:
At this point, Oliver has pretty much just given up on sleeping. Maybe he has been turned into a vampire.
I guess we won’t know until he gets teeth.
Well, the big news is, Oliver is now crawling!
He started last Thursday or Friday. It was slow and difficult at first, but he’s been improving every day. He already could roll and pivot to get pretty much everything he wanted, so only the straight ahead part is new. It’s surprising how much more trouble he can get into, even though he’s hardly crawling at this point. However, I think the cause and effect relationship is reversed: I think he finally started crawling *because* he wanted to get into so much more mischief! It gave him the required motivation.
He’s doing pretty well eating solids. He certainly has his likes and dislikes. His likes are baby cereal, pumpkin, and anything he can hold in his hand. He really likes apple slices, cucumber slices, green beans, potato wedges, etc. I don’t know if he likes things like that so much more than Evie, or if we just never figured out that it was so much easier to occupy her with something like that. Certainly food seems to be going better with him than with her, although we have a much smaller sample size.
This has changed his…bathroom habits quite a bit. He goes a lot longer in between poopy diapers, but when he goes, watch out! (You can ask Sara and the bathroom wall about this one)(and the floor, and the bath mat…)
Also similar to Evie, he’s not keen on sleeping through the night. A couple of times a week he wakes up at 4:30 or so and just stays up for an hour, usually crying. He’s crying because we’re trying to put him back to sleep and he doesn’t want to go; I’m sure he would be perfectly happy if we just let him get up. However, this never seems like a good idea at the time, so I usually just end up tired and irritable. Sara has to remind me that we went through all of this with Evie and it didn’t last that long and we all survived.
Oliver is as rashy as ever, with no end in site. Some days are better and you think something you’ve done is working. Then the next day he will be as bad as he’s ever been. We’ve sort of gotten used to that at this point, and gotten a routine down. But I still feel really bad for him, because he still seems pretty itchy.
Evie and Oliver’s relationship continues to be a little strained. They are now getting into that area where Oliver wants to “share” her toys (read “eat” her toys). Naturally, Evie doesn’t like that too much. She is constantly yanking things out of his hands and telling him he can’t touch anything. However, I think she is starting to crack. Lately she has been designating things that he is allowed to touch, or giving him one thing so he doesn’t take something else. Also, she will occasionally “play” with him by building towers for him to knock over (which he finds *hilarious*). However, this usually ends in her deciding she would have even MORE fun if he wasn’t involved, and cutting him out of the action.
She still doesn’t quite get that she can’t force him to do whatever she wants him to. Something tells me he might be stuck with that for life.
So far, no good.
Oliver’s eczema is worse if anything. We’ve been going through all the clothes, washing them without detergent, Vaselining him morning and night, changing our sheets twice as frequently, trying not to touch him with clothes that may have touched detergent, etc. It certainly doesn’t seem to be helping. I even switched shampoos.
He has good days and bad days. Some days he looks better and I think, “Maybe what we’re doing is working!” and then the next day he looks worse than ever.
The worst part of all is that he has now discovered scratching. Before, I could always pretend that he wasn’t really bothered by the eczema, even though it looked terrible. Now, however, he tries to scratch his chest and face whenever you give him an opportunity. At this point it takes two people to change his clothes; one to hold his hands back, and the other to dress him. We have to put him in a double shirt and put socks on his hands to prevent him from scratching in the night.
It makes me so sad to see him desperately trying to scratch. It wasn’t so long ago that I myself had to deal with insane, full-body itching, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I certainly wouldn’t wish it on my precious baby. And I certainly can’t pretend that he’s not bothered by it anymore.
I feel very helpless, and that’s not a great feeling when it comes to watching your kid be miserable.
I defy anyone to watch this video and not get a big goofy grin on their face.
I mentioned that Oliver has developed a really bad rash all over his body. Despite our best efforts, we just couldn’t beat the thing, it was a monster rash. Finally we did some Internet searching, and eventually our doctor confirmed that he had a textbook case of eczema.
I always thought that eczema was just like really bad dry skin. It certainly looks like it, and it’s certainly itchy like dry skin is. However, since I have been learning about eczema, it actually has nothing to do with that. Well, I shouldn’t say nothing to do with it, since dry skin can bring on a bout of eczema. But really, eczema is about allergies.
Regular allergies are when your body overreacts to something. Eczema is no different. However, not everybody who has eczema is necessarily allergic to the same thing. So eczema is something of a mystery, since there’s no root cause and everybody’s body is a little bit different.
We were already doing some things, like slathering on the Vaseline every night and using some hydrocortisone cream on the bad patches now and again, but that didn’t seem to be enough. So Sara hit the books, looking for anything that could help. Many people recommend eliminating dairy, but there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence supporting that theory. However, one study stood out: bleach baths.
It turns out that bathing twice a week in a bathtub of water and diluted bleach significantly helps reduce eczema. It sounds pretty crazy, especially since bleach is so caustic, but the study was pretty clear: it works. The doctor gave us the go ahead, and we gave it a try.
The results weren’t as dramatic as we were hoping (or as the results of the study implied). The eczema certainly wasn’t worse, and it may have been a bit better. But certainly there was no miraculous recovery. We’ve only been doing it for a week and a half or so, so we’ll continue for a while and see what happens. However, our hopes for a quick cure have been dashed.
Lately our efforts have been focused on detergent. It has been theorized that a lot more kids are allergic to detergent than is generally thought, and that is to blame for more than just eczema. However, the research does seem to show that detergent allergies absolutely can cause eczema. So we are currently trying to keep anything that has been washed with detergent from touching Oliver’s skin. This is more difficult than it sounds, or at least it is at first, until we manage to get everything re-washed with different soap that does not have detergent.
This has only been going on for a few days, so it is too soon to tell, but it seems like it is having a positive effect so far. However, we need to wait and see. At this point there is a lot of, “But it looks better on his chest, right?” or “Don’t you think his neck looks better tonight?” So we don’t want to declare victory before victory is to be had.
As long as I am doing an Ollie Update, I might as well throw in a few other things:
- He is rolling all over the place like a maniac. He hasn’t really been crawling yet, but he looks like he’s ready to at any moment. However, he doesn’t really need to crawl, because he can get where ever he needs to by rolling, pivoting, and rolling some more.
- He likes to “talk” which mostly includes “Da da da da!”s. He just looks so serious when he’s saying it, and he proclaims it so loudly, it really seems like he’s trying to say something.
- He really likes the idea of eating solids, but he gets tired of actually doing it pretty quick. He will still try to grab anything in sight, and he may even try to eat food out of your mouth.
Some of you are probably wondering, where’s Oliver? I haven’t been talking about him too much on here. Well, that’s because, quite frankly, he doesn’t really do very much!
I am very sensitive about slighting him, time-wise, but it keeps happening despite my best efforts. I feel like I talked about Evie a lot more, though I haven’t looked back on the blog to confirm. I know for sure that we haven’t been taking as many pictures of him, compared to Evie at this age. In fact, even now, I think we tend to take more pictures of Evie!
I can’t really help it though. Oliver sleeps pretty much all the time. This is quite a bit different than Evie, who was awake all day. I never thought I would have complained about a baby sleeping all the time, but sometimes I wonder like, “Shouldn’t you be awake? Looking around? Learning something?”
I think that this is all extremely not fair to Oliver. I don’t think he’s doing anything less than any baby this age. With Evie, everything was new and amazing. Now that some of the shiny has worn off, being as it is the second child, everything isn’t so awe inspiring anymore.
Not to mention the fact that Evie has been a little more (intentionally) mischievous lately. Pretty much to be expected, however, it makes it a little bit harder to just sort of enjoy Oliver. You can’t stay in bed all day cuddling him when your toddler is out breaking things in the kitchen.
So if you’re wondering where Oliver is, he’s mostly sleeping in someone’s lap, forcing them to spend all day on facebook. It’s not like you have a choice, you can’t wake up a sleeping baby!
So Oliver was big, obviously, though that didn’t register right away. Mostly I’ve noticed that in retrospect, like in situations where I remember noting how small Evie was. The car seat is a good example. I remember when we took Evie home that she looked so tiny in that seat! I sure didn’t think that about Oliver!
The first thing I really noticed were his huge feet and long fingers. Huge feet in particular are sort of a family trait, on my dad’s side. The rumor is that when I was born, the doctor, having delivered many babies in my family, recognized my feet immediately. So at least there is one thing about Oliver that I can really say come from me (I gave Evie my dimple).
Sara had no pitocin for her labor, which was apparently quite remarkable. Everybody who came in mentioned it, especially the residents. Sara asked the nurse what percentage of people get pitocin, and the nurse said, “100%.” Well, she had to amend her statistic to 99.95% later, because Sara went au natural, as it were.
And, despite the lack of pitocin, everything went really fast. Well, I should amend that maybe. Every time I exclaim, “It went really fast!” someone says, “Wait a minute. She had contractions for like 29 hours!” Well, first off, 29 hours seems pretty quick when the first one was 62 hours. And second off, every time they checked her, there was major progress. Compare that with the first one, where every time they checked they would say, “Nothing yet!” So, not only was the first one a lot longer time-wise, it also felt a lot longer because of the lack of progress.
As for me, the birth story is really all about allergies. Holy smokes, there was something with that hospital. From the minute we got there, until we left, I was pretty miserable, even with medication. I don’t really know why it was so bad, but I was a little frustrated that this wonderful, important moment, was being ruined by the stupid poisonous air! Plus, you could tell in all of the pictures that I was miserable, with my red scratchy eyes and stuffy nose. It’s hard to see that kind of thing in a picture, so you can imagine how bad it was (although people usually just say I look tired, which was also true).
I wasn’t the only one who didn’t look good in my pictures. Poor Oliver (You thought I was going to say Sara didn’t you? Well you were wrong, she was pretty much radiant the whole time, with perfect hair) had a case of Erythema Toxicum, which is a bad looking rash all over, common in babies. It’s not as bad as it sounds; it’s not painful or itchy (or toxic) or anything. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t make for very nice pictures.
So, lets see, where was I? They tried to get us a bigger room, but in reality, the room we ended up with was much nicer. It wasn’t huge, but it was on the corner, so we had two walls of windows looking out onto a boulevard with flowering trees (everyone would say, “Look at that beautiful view!” and I would just sniff and claw at my eyes). Plus, it was at the very end of the hall, so we were more or less alone. It was downright luxurious.
Evie’s reaction was about what I would have guessed. She has just been so excited for baby Oliver to get here, so I knew she would be really exited to meet him. She is very reverent around him, with a lot of soft, ”Hello Oliver”‘s and “Good morning Oliver!”‘s. At the hospital she sang Happy Birthday to him. Overall though, she was probably more interested in all the other stuff at the hospital, than in Oliver. There were a lot of interesting tubes and buttons and other things she wasn’t allowed to touch. She likes to hold him and give him smooches and pet his head, so much so that sometimes we have to tell her to give him a little room.
We bought some presents to give her from Oliver, and she gave him some presents as well, including the book Ollie the Stomper.
We told her she could pick something out at the toy store for him, and she picked out a piggie bank. It’s really cute, and she was really excited. Even to the point that when she found change on the ground, she put it in his piggie bank instead of her own. Oliver got her a book about being a big sister, a baby dalmatian (so that the one growing inside of her could be born at the same time), and a little heart full of M&Ms. Evie said, ”Oliver gave me a heart because he loves me, so maybe I can give him back the heart, because I love him!”
So far she hasn’t seemed too jealous, but there are a few things here and there. For example, the first time Sara put Oliver in the sling, Evie started quietly sobbing. I said, “Why are you crying honey?” and she said, “I don’t know!”
So that’s about it. Overall, everything went better the second time around; no ridiculously long induction, no weight problems for the baby so far, no premature discharging of mommy from the hospital, etc. He seems to sleep waaay more than Evie, and I’m not complaining about that. Of course, now that I’m mentioning it, I’m sure I’m doomed.
And now we have 2 kids. We’re officially an old couple. You can probably get away with being kind of cool still when you just have one kid, but 2? The first thing I noticed about having 2 kids is that you can’t accomplish anything! With one kid, one of you can watch the baby while the other one takes a shower, does the dishes, does some laundry, etc. With two kids, there’s no one left over to accomplish anything! So we’re already going down a rough path in terms of the cleanliness of our house.
(and the timeliness of our blog posts…)
On Sunday, Sara started feeling contractions at about 5:30 in the morning. However, they didn’t hurt, so she wasn’t sure if they were the real deal or not. By about 3 in the afternoon, they started to hurt. However, ever since they began, the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. So even after they started to hurt, we still weren’t sure they were the real thing. I mean, everything you see or read or people tell you agrees: contractions start far apart, maybe 10 minutes or so, gradually getting closer and closer together, and when they get between 3 to 5 minutes apart, you go to the hospital. So it didn’t make much sense that they were 3 minutes apart to begin with.
So we didn’t really want to mention it to anybody, since we really didn’t think it could be the real thing. Plus, we were just really sure that Oliver would be late, not early. In fact, I was talking on the phone to my mom during this time, and I didn’t mention it. We just didn’t want to get anybody worked up. Finally, around 8 p.m. or so we called Sara’s parents and told them what was going on. We didn’t want anybody to miss any work or anything, especially if it was just a false alarm. On the other hand, Evie was sleeping and her parents were 3 1/2 hours away, so if we waited too long to call them, we might have some trouble. After some deliberation, they decided to make the trip.
In retrospect, it was a good thing we called them when we did, because the contractions continued to get worse. Sara was breathing through the contractions and spending some time in the tub. The warm water seemed to help. She was lying under a towel and periodically I would dump warm water on her.
Me: “This reminds me of when they transport whales.”
Sara: “You’re going to make me pee!”
Me: “You wanted the water to be warmer!”
(Sara would also like to point out that I may or may not have referred to her look as “humpty dumpty” one time while she was pregnant)
So, by the time her parents got to our place around 11:30 p.m., we decided we should go right to the hospital.
It turns out, that was a pretty good time to go. After watching the World Series of Poker for an hour in the waiting room, I was finally allowed to come back to where Sara was, and found out she was farther along than we were hoping she would be. Sara asked for an epidural around 1 and they finally got around to administering it at about 3:30. It was kind of ironic, because Sara mentioned how it took 2 hours to get one last time and everybody was aghast. Well it took even longer this time! Sara made a joke about how badly I took the last epidural, but the doctor didn’t find it all that funny, and I was relegated back to the waiting room for another 30 minutes or so.
The epidural wasn’t as strong as it had been with Evie, so the contractions were still painful, but they were better than they had been with no epidural. I slept for about an hour, but Sara wasn’t able to get any consistent rest. At about 5 a.m. Sara was still making good progress, and they broke her water. They checked her again at about 7 and we knew it would be soon. We were sort of led to believe it would be like any minute, but really it wasn’t until 8:30 or so when Sara started pushing. Finally, at 9:13 a.m., Oliver was born!
Stay tuned for our next installment: Oliver, Born at Last!
Oliver Charles was born at 9:13 this morning, April 12th. He was 9 lbs. 4 oz. and 21 1/4 inches long (that’s even longer than Evie), so he’s a pretty big baby!
It was a bit of a surprise, since he wasn’t due for another week, but everything went smashingly. We expect to be home on Wednesday, after which, there will be details of course.
The blog updates will most likely be non-existent for a while, so talk amongst yourselves.
Well, for those of you that we don’t see very often, we have some big news…baby #2 is on the way!
It’s a boy! Sara is 21 weeks. Evie has periods of more and less excitement. She wants to buy her “baby brudder” everything. She just walks through the story saying he’ll need socks, mittens, dresses, boots for in the rain, toys…she even wanted to buy scissors to cut her baby brudder’s tags off his new pajamas.
Sara hasn’t been as sick as last time, but she’s been plenty of sick. The most traumatizing thing of the pregnancy so far is when Sara threw up in Evie’s sand bucket. Evie was inconsolable.
We asked Evie what she would name the baby, and she decided on “Refrigerator Baby”. Since then we’ve asked her a few times, and she’s always stuck with it.
So far, Nathan had the worst reaction – when I told him, the first thing he said was “Oh no!” (I told you I wouldn’t let you forget that)
I really can’t conceive of how we will have the time for 2 kids. It seems like we barely have time for 1! But people manage it I guess, so I guess it all works out.
By the way, anybody that was previously under instructions not to tell anybody, the ban is now officially lifted.
(You may want to turn your volume up a little bit)
How can you not like “J K Elmomenomenomommy P”
She gets shy in front of the camera and won’t do it, hence the covert filming of the puzzle.
In addition to that song, Evie has been singing a lot lately. She especially likes “Mary had a Little Lamb” and “Yes, No and Maybe” (from her music class).
She can now count to 10. Sometimes you have to get her started, but by 3 she is ready to go. Sometimes she just starts at 3 and counts up from there. We have yet to get a video of this, but we’re still trying.
She is getting her shapes down. She knows circle, triangle, diamond, square, star, heart and oval.
Colors she already knows a decent amount of. She is really good with blue, green, pink, red, yellow, orange, white and (her favorite) purple. Sometimes she gets brown and sometimes black. She doesn’t do very well with grey.
I think that’s it!
We’re back from the hospital, ears freshly tubed. Evie is fine, you would never know anything happened at all. At first they said that we wouldn’t be able to be with her when she went to sleep, but they ended up letting Sara go back with her.
Here’s to no more ear infections!
And, as usual, a nurse said she looked like Shiloh Pitt.
First, let me just say
So, in addition to just being generally sick every week for the last year or so, Evie has been dealing with a rash of ear infections. As you recall from my other posts, this originally started back on Halloween. So it has been over 2 months, several antibiotics and many, many doctors appointments, and after all of that time she still has fluid in her ears.
The surgery to put tubes in her ears is scheduled for the 13th. It is a pretty simple procedure, it supposedly only takes 5 minutes, but you always have risks with anesthesia and stuff. Still, it really isn’t much to worry about; I myself had tubes put in 3 times when I was little. They should fall out by themselves in about a year, so the hope is we make it through this winter and next with them.
As I’ve said, I had many, many problems with my ears when I was little, so I should have seen this coming. But it stinks and I don’t have to like it!
In regards to the title of this post, I have always been enamored with the way the titles of Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes always had “blah blah” or “blah blah”, usually involving a pun or two of some sort. Something hilarious like “Axe Me Another or Heads You Lose!” I would title all of my blog posts in such a fashion except I am not nearly that clever. And as for the series of tubes thing, perhaps you don’t live on this planet (planet nerd I mean) and you missed the whole series of tubes meme. Why in god’s name am I spending so much time explaining the title of this post? Who knows. But just so you know it is this sort of agonizing that causes me to spend hours and hours to bring you high quality posts such as this.
::sigh:: Okay, I’ll stop now.
This year for Halloween, we got something kind of scary…last night, Evie’s eardrum ruptured.
Now apparently it is not as bad as it sounds, and it is actually quite common. In fact, it is apparently the best thing that could have happened to her because before it happened she was in a lot of pain and supposedly when it ruptures it releases the pressure causing her to feel better. The doctor said it should re-seal in a day or two.
Anyway, she has severe infections in both ears. I feel really bad for her since I had chronic ear infections when I was little. I had tubes in my ears 3 times and probably had hundreds of ear infections through childhood. As a result I really really hate them and know what she is going through. I’m really hoping that this is just an isolated incident and she didn’t inherit my tiny ear canals.
Saying she has her daddy’s ears isn’t necessarily a compliment.
Sara: “Do you think they named Elmo so it sounds like ‘L M N O’?”
Evie: “P! P!”
It seems like every time I turn around I have to write another one of these updates. She’s just learning things so fast it is hard to keep everybody up on it!
She says a lot of words now, well over 100. My favorites are the really long words like “applesauce”, “exercise”, or “avacado”, and I’m also a fan of “monsters”.
If you ask her to count something that you see in a book for example, she will carefully point to each one and say, “two three”. You’ll get the same answer if you ask her how many of something there are. ”Evie, how many clocks do you see?” “two, three.”
She is eating a little better now, especially if she can eat off of her mommy’s plate. She LOVES tomato sauce. So any kind of tomato chunks or spaghetti or anything like that, she wants to eat. Unfortunately everwhere the tomato sauce touches her skin she gets a rash.
She likes to eat the little jars of Gerber meat. Because they have a picture of the Gerber baby on them, she calls them “babies”. ”Evie, what do you want to eat?” “Babies!” Sounds a little sadistic. Maybe I can get a bumper sticker, like ”My baby ate your baby”.
She can correctly identify the color “orange”, but I think that’s the only one. She can point to the orange crayon or play the orange key on her piano/xylophone (side note, her piano/xylophone is probably the greatest toy I have ever had…but I digress). We think she learned that particular one because she has these alphabet books that she got for her birthday. O is one of her favorites because she likes to say “hoo hoo” on the owl. So we read that book a lot and it also has a page of oranges.
So she has some favorite letters that she can reliably find if you ask her. Her favorites are X, O, F, B, H. The last 3 are mostly due to the fact that we picked up a couple of random letters in a book set at a used book sale and the books have Elmo in them. So we’ve read them about a million times.
Based on all these letter books, she has lately gotten into the “ABCBs” song. She likes you to sing it and then when you get to X she yells “Exth!” I don’t know how she remembers where exactly in the song that falls, but there it is. She sometimes sings her own version of the song which roughly goes ”A B C B FG..” and then a few more random letters that she’s already said, finally ending in “B B B B B…”
She will draw with crayons now, but she insists every picture is of a cat (Well, actually, the other day she also added a fishy). She is consistent though, even when she’s shown a picture she has drawn previously, she points to it and says, “Cat!”
We bought her a Halloween costume, so we will probably have pictures of that shortly.
So today Sara got the bright idea to show Evie two websites on the computer, kitten war and the related site puppy war. All of a sudden, comprehension dawned in Evie’s eyes…”Now I understand what a computer is for! This is what my parents are doing on that machine all the time!” Needless to say, those websites were right up her alley and she loved them. She likes to vote for a few and then yell “Cat!” or “Doggie!” to make you switch to the other webpage. I had completely forgotten those pages, I haven’t been there in probably 4 years or something. I remember there used to only be like 8 dogs, so you had basically had them in every possible matchup. In fact, we would know when someone added a new dog because we knew all the existing dogs so well. Wow, what a pathetic loser I am.
Over the weekend we went to see a friend of ours, Katie, get married. Let’s just say Evie had a BLAST! I’m not joking, I think it was literally the time of her life. Between the dancing and the tons of other little kids and just the ability to run around all night, she was in seventh heaven. Sara and I took turns running after her, but even still, we were exhausted at the end of the night. She certainly wasn’t shy either, she was constantly running up to a table of people she didn’t know and climbing into a free chair as if to join the conversation. At one point I started to wonder if someone spiked her sippy cup. I said to her, “Evie, you are a crazy girl!” and she said, “CRAAAaaaaAAAaaaZY!” and kind of slowly fell over backwards. So, to recap, Evie – fun time, mommy and daddy – exhausted.
Lately she has been kind of getting obsessed with things. Like she thinks of something and then she just repeats it endlessly until it is in her grasp. Like, she’ll wake up in the morning and suddenly start shouting, “Baby! Baby! Baby!” or “Elmo!” or “Flower!” or whatever else. However, she is very easily distracted, so she switches topics very quickly. Therefore, she has been tending to gather up a lot of things, like “Baby! Elmo! Horse! Boop! Elephack!” and then she starts dropping things because she can’t hold it all. And you have to be careful what you mention around her because there are so many words that will set her off, like casually mentioning “water” in a sentence.
Finally, today I felt rather manly as I managed to install this water sprayer thing into the toilet to help clean the cloth diapers. It only required two trips to the hardware store, so I hope you bet the under!
Yesterday Evie learned a very important word: Pirate! So, maybe it comes out like “Pie-rop”, but she can still say it when she points to a pirate (thanks Uncle Nate for the bath toys!) Too bad she didn’t get it out in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
You can also see the video of her saying “exercise” which I think is an impressive word for a not quite 14 month old.
There is also another video of her in her favorite new shirt. This was the first time she’s worn it, but every time we open her closet she says, “Cat! Cat!” and points to it. She was very proud to wear it all day and kept showing it off to everybody.
I haven’t had a chance to update lately because I have been wicked sick. Sicker than I have been in a long time, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Evie had been sick before me and all I could think about was, “I sure hope this isn’t how she felt!” Also unfortunately, we were in Fort Wayne for the Johnny Appleseed Festival, and it always sucks to be sick anywhere besides home. To say nothing of a brutal 3 hour ride home. (Although, someone did point out that I have probably spent more time being sick in that house than anywhere else on earth) I would also like to state for the record that Ron’s apple pie tastes exactly the same coming out as going in!
Johnny Appleseed was pretty cool. I didn’t get an apple dumpling like I wanted, or any food for that matter due to sickness, but we did manage to eat apple baked french toast for breakfast and apple pie for dinner, so I think I made up for it. I was kind of concerned that it wouldn’t be as big as I remembered since I haven’t been there since I was quite small, but it was pretty huge. We didn’t buy anything (it was indeed as expensive as I remembered), but we had a good look around and also saw Casey, Margaret and Isaiah who is only 1 month older than Evie.
Speaking of Evie, we had a discussion about how many words she can say. We had been saying 25 words as a rough estimate, but when we sat down and actually counted them, we came up with I think 63. She certainly understands a lot more, but those are the ones she will spontaneously and reliably say, and not counting things she just repeats after you say them. She loves books more and more every day (a child after my own heart) and practically doesn’t play with any other toys. She knows all of her books and you can ask for them by name and she can go over to the shelf and find them and bring them to you. This is including her set of alphabet books that she got for her birthday, but only certain letters that she likes. For example, she can always find ‘O’ (octopus, orange and owl to which she likes to say “hoo hoo”) but other letters give her trouble.
She is eating a little better especially if it is finger foods. She’s not very good with a spoon. However, soon after a meal starts she starts yelling, “Chee! Chee!” because all she wants to eat at every meal is cheese (as I said, a child after my own heart). You have to be careful what you say because you might accidentally remind her of cheese and once she gets going, she wants nothing else. It is the same for water.
She still loves shoes and clothes and spends a lot of time ineffectually trying to dress herself with anything that resembles clothes. She doesn’t even come close. My mom gave her a purse and she likes to carry that around now too. She’s going to be something when she gets old enough to really know about clothes!
I almost hate to say it because I don’t want to jinx it, but the last two nights rather than rocking and singing her to sleep, I have put her in her bed and read her a story until she fell asleep! Granted, she was very tired both nights, but if that sticks that would be a huge deal! But of course, now that I have told all of you it can’t possibly happen.
That is all.
I’ve added some new videos to MySpace. Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to embed MySpace videos, so you’ll have to click on the links. Maybe someday I’ll upload them to youtube or something.
The first video is an older video showing some of Evie’s first steps.
The second video is a newer video of Evie after she had been walking for a while. We got her some new shoes and they were a little stiffer than the shoes she had when she was learning to walk. She did not like them!
The third video is brand spanking new video of Evie being a genius. She has had an explosion of words lately. It seems like she is learning a few new words every day. We’ve lost track of how many words she knows now, but our rough guess is about 25. Anything from “tree”, to “house”, to “key”, to her personal favorite words “fishy” and “cheese” (well, actually, she is still very fond of “no”).
I can’t wait to see what month 14 brings!