Monday, December 13, 2010

What a difference a week makes

A week ago, I was going crazy. Daniel was not feeling well and was having a very cranky day. We were all tired and exhausted, coming off of two 90-100 hr work weeks for Dave (and for me!). But this past week, Dave only worked 55 hours! In case you don't know, that is unbelievable for a resident. He was home before 6:00 FOUR nights out of five. Plus he had the whole weekend off. I can't believe what a difference it made to have a husband and dad for the weekend. A friend took Daniel for a couple hours and we had a date Saturday morning. We got a Christmas tree. We went to church. Daniel got to play with his Daddy. Dave and I got to interact like normal people and talk and laugh together. I started the week more refreshed and not so far behind. Is this what life is really like for normal people with normal jobs?

Today I had three goals: do laundry, play outside in the snow, and go to the produce market. And if we were really doing well, maybe clean the bathroom too. Three loads of laundry are washed, dried and put away. We spent 10 minutes getting all dressed to go play in the snow, 10 minutes playing in the snow (it was really cold!) and another 5 minutes getting out of our snow clothes. We cleaned the bathroom. We went to the produce market (had I known how bad the roads were, I probably would have skipped it!). Plus I kept all the dishes washed as we used them. Daniel helped me with most of those things, so I didn't feel like I did them at the expense of focusing on him. Then after dinner, I could just relax and play with Daniel without worrying about anything else I needed to get done. It feels so good and empowering to have had such a good day, and it's a wonderful blessing after the last few weeks of craziness.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

15 months

Daniel is 15 months old and he won't be for much longer, so I'd better go ahead and write about it. I'm writing instead of doing dishes, cleaning up, returning phone calls and doing several other things I should probably be doing, but if I don't, I won't have anything to remember these precious days!

He's 33 inches tall and weighs about 25 pounds. Yes, that is very tall. He is as tall as or taller than most of his friends who are several (or many!) months older than him. Sometimes I wonder why he isn't doing some of the things they're doing and then I remember that he isn't as old as they are and he's doing just fine.

Daniel jabbers a lot, with animated expressions and lots of pointing. It all sounds very interesting, but we can't understand a word of it. He has said a few words, though he doesn't use many of them consistently: mama, dada, uh-oh, bye-bye, kit (kitty) and chs (cheese). He signs "all done" regularly, "milk" sometimes (the kind from mama, not from a cow), and his new favorite is "please." He finally got that a few weeks ago and a whole new world has opened up to him now that he can tell us that he wants something. The other day, he was pointing to something on the table and signed please. I didn't have a clue what he wanted (usually I know), so I asked him what he wanted and he very emphatically signed please. Hmm. Two days ago, he signed banana (more or less) and cheese.

Daniel loves turning the lights on and off, so I've been holding him up and letting him do it as we go in and out of rooms. He also loves standing on the stool at the bathroom sink playing in the water. He likes to wet his toothbrush and suck the water off. I give him a toothbrush to chew on and I hold a second one to brush his teeth. Often he brushes my teeth while I do his. Whatever works, right? Speaking of teeth, he has 16 of them. We should have a break for at least a couple months before his 2yr molars come in.

Daniel loves to be outside. He enjoyed playing in the leaves during the fall and watching the snowflakes coming down yesterday. Hopefully mama can stay motivated to get him outside to play even when it's cold out.

Daniel is a climber. The other day I turned around and he was standing on the coffee table. He can easily go up and down the stairs and get up and down on the chairs and couch. He's getting pretty good at sliding down from our bed too. It's been really fun to watch him playing at the playground lately, now that he's getting so much better at doing things himself. He runs now too and gets such a thrill out of being chased. We can chase him around and around the loop in our house. It's pretty good exercise for me too, especially if I pick up things off the floor and put them away as we go between all the rooms. He likes music and dances decently to it, though his favorite is to dance around the room with me while I hold him.

Daniel is still a good eater. He likes his food well seasoned (no bland food around here!) and he feeds himself pretty well with a fork and spoon. He wants to hold the bowl himself, thank you very much, and wants to drink out of a real cup, although he might be content with mama's water bottle.

Speaking of water bottles, one of his favorite things to do lately is screw and unscrew caps on and off of bottles, jars or anything similar. He likes to fill them up with toys and stir with a spoon. He opens up all the drawers and pulls things out. He likes to knock down block towers. He can stack the blocks too, but knowing them down is so much more fun. I try to see how many I can get on top of each other before he knocks them down. He likes to color/write, but only with a pen. With crayons, he's more interested in putting them in the box or eating them than he is in coloring with them. He also enjoys typing at the computer and can even climb up in the chair himself.

Daniel is very busy, but very fun. It's wonderful to watch him explore the world and I'm so glad I get to be his mom and spend all my days with him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Snot Snatching and Suturing

A while ago, our beloved hospital grade nasal aspirator (aka a snot-snatcher!) burst at the seam (literally) and we no longer had a good way to clean out Daniel's nose. I browsed online and found some but Daniel got over the bad cold he had and I never did order one. We tried gorilla gluing it and it held for a whopping 5 seconds! Dave mentioned off-hand that we could try suturing it if the glue didn't work, but it started it's second life as a chew toy instead.

Fast forward a few weeks and Daniel has another bad cold. The same one that Dave had all last week and this week too. The one that I hope doesn't mess up our Thanksgiving plans. So when Daniel pulled out a random pack of suture from the bedside table today - and no, I don't know how it got there - I decided to try my hand at that most essential surgical skill. It takes a little practice to get used to the curved needle. I could see why people accidentally poke themselves with it, at least until Dave came home and reminded me that you're supposed to hold it with another instrument and not just your fingers. I tried out the aspirator and it still leaked a little air, so Dave added a second layer of suture to fill in some of the gaps, then went over the needle holes with a layer of glue. It worked pretty well on Daniel tonight, but he still couldn't breathe when we put him to bed. :(

I was going to say that this was my first experience with suture, but then I remembered that wasn't true. I used suture last year to string up parsley stalks to dry. It worked very well and was much easier than tying them. Now when we go to Africa, I can be Dave's surgical assistant! (Totally kidding - about being his assistant, that is)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So much for that!

So much for NaBloPoMo-ing it this year. I can't seem to keep up with my life, let alone write about it. This has been a very busy season for us. We had a couple weeks where Daniel was teething, sick, and/or injured. Right now, he's into everything and I just can't seem to stay far enough of him to keep him busy and get the things I don't want him into away. I am thoroughly convinced that we were not intended to live in isolation and that we were not designed to be parents alone, without the support of family and community. We're really struggling with that right now. As much as I've tried to find people who can help me, it's just not working out. Right now, I'm 0 for 4. It makes me wonder if it's time to quit asking and just do it myself. It makes a difference emotionally. When I was doing it on my own, I was mostly managing. But once I decided (realized?) that I really did need some help, I feel even more overwhelmed when I'm all on my own. It seems like it would be easier to just quit thinking that I need any help and then not be disappointed when I can't get it. Or maybe I just need to hold out a few weeks and see if I can get one step ahead. Maybe I'll get lucky and 15 months will be slightly less intense than 14 months has been :)

Monday, November 01, 2010


Although it's hard to believe, it's November again, which means that it's National Blog Posting Month. I did it last year and (mostly) enjoyed it, though my dad kindly suggested that I "not try that again." But I have lots to say and lots of pictures to share and I don't because I haven't made it a priority. So I'm considering NaBloPoMo-ing it again this year. Am I crazy?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Walk in the Woods

We love to go for walks in the woods. Especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. The hardest part of living in the city is that we have to drive so far to be in the woods, though we're slowly finding all the places we can go. We've been to Heritage Park in Farmington Hills quite a bit recently. In addition to a playground and splash zone, the park has hiking trails and is only 20 minutes away. We hiked there the first time when we were looking for some place closer just a few days before Daniel was born.

We had peak fall colors this past week so we HAD to go out for a hike. Here are the highlights:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More firsts

In the last week and a half Daniel has:

- stacked blocks on top of each other
- spun around in circles
- found lots of "toy" cans, bottles, lids and egg cartons in the recycling bin to play with
- screwed lids on and off jars
- colored his first real picture
- really started imitating EVERYthing we do
- gotten 6 new teeth
- started the "I'm not getting what I want," scrunch-up-my-face cry
- gotten pretty good at scooping up (or stabbing!) his food with a spoon and fork

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Please don't throw away my socks!

Daniel has taken to carrying things around the house. Last week, we almost had to leave the house with two different shoes because I couldn't find a whole pair for him! The other day, he pulled a handful of dirty silverware out of the dishwasher and took off towards the dining room. In the last few days, I found my favorite pair of socks and then a block in the newspaper recycling bin. Daniel's also been quite intrigued with the garbage can and has been able to open the lid for a little while. Today he managed to pull out several things while I was washing dishes. Fortunately it was nothing really bad, but I'm starting to worry that we're going to throw away something important because we didn't realize he'd put it in the recycling or the trash!

In other Daniel news, he's now able to squat down, pick something up and then stand back up again without holding onto anything. He's also getting pretty good at going up and down the stairs by himself. Whenever the gate isn't at the bottom of the stairs, his favorite game is to scramble as fast as he can up the stairs so mama will come and get him, with lots of squeals ensuing!

Daniel is walking like crazy - practically running. It's really fun to watch him explore and interact with the world around him. He loves being chased and loves chasing the cat. Unfortunately Daniel doesn't understand yet that Marshall swatting at him means that he doesn't want to play at the moment.

He's found the button that opens the microwave door. It's hard to warm up lunch or defrost something in the microwave when the door is being opened every five seconds! The thing I try to remember, though, is that Daniel is curious and learning about the world and he's fascinated by how all these things work. The times that I get frustrated that he's trying to get into the trash or into the toilet or whatever it is are the times that I forget he's a curious little boy. I get more focused on what I want him to do - "Will you please just quit doing that!?" and lose sight of the fact that he's a little person who's thinks these things are fascinating.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You know you live in Detroit when...'re out for a walk and somebody you don't know gives your baby a dollar for the ice cream truck!

Daniel held on tight to that dollar all the way home, even after he fell asleep :)

We didn't buy him anything off the ice cream truck (we don't really do that and Daniel doesn't know any better yet) but we've been speculating how long it would take $1 to grow into enough to buy an ice cream truck (he did say, "for the ice cream truck.") Then again, I don't think we could, in good conscience, profit from selling ice cream to kids around the neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Daniel is one today! What a year it's been! I'm working on a post, but all the photo sorting I did in the last few weeks got lost, so I'm starting over again. In the meantime, here's a picture of Daniel's first horsey ride:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daniel is Nine Months Old

Wow. My baby is nine months old today! He's grown and changed so much in the last few months and even in the last few weeks and days.

He's army crawling and finding new things every day to explore. Today it was the cat food dish and recycling bin in the kitchen. Yesterday was the drawers and diaper sprayer in the bathroom. And you should see him move when he's after a cord or anything electronic! While we have our work cut out for us, this is a nice stage because he can actually get where he wants to go and is a little less frustrated. Plus it's fun to see him move and to see the intensity on his face!

He'd almost always rather be walking or standing, though. He can do either hanging on to furniture, but his preferred method is holding on to mom's fingers. He can move pretty fast across the room that way. His balance is getting better every day and he's learned to grab on tighter when he starts to tip instead of just falling over. The other day, he was leaning against the tub and kept pulling his hands back - I could tell he was getting quite a thrill out of it!

He's eaten lots of foods, even though we've been a little slow about it. So far, he's had apples, bananas, pears, blueberries, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, avocado, mango and black beans. I'm working harder now to keep introducing more things every few days. I'm not totally sure how to make the transition from pureed foods plain to more solid foods and things we're eating. I've been giving him small pieces of soft foods like bananas and avocados and he does pretty well with them. It kind of makes me wish that we'd waited a little longer and just started with more table foods. Maybe he'd like green beans better if they were in a Thai curry like ours!

He loves his daddy and gets very excited when he sees him. That's really fun for all of us! He likes to play "the shy game" where he looks at you and smiles, then hides his face, looks at you and smiles then hides his face again.

He likes to clap. He loves splashing in the bath tub. He's getting pretty good at turning the pages in our board books.

He adores his kitty (who has been very patient with him!) though he shrieks sometimes and kitty goes tearing away.

He loves playing outside and is captivated by all all he can hear, see and feel.

It's really fun to listen to him jabber. He's not quite saying words, but he definitely has sounds he makes for dad and kitty. And I'm pretty sure he was trying to say banana and dandelion. He has 6 teeth now and a couple more on the way. This is his "my teeth hurt" face.

The past nine months have been a blast and I am so glad to be Daniel's mom.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Daniel is mobile

After weeks of trying, Daniel is mobile! He's not very fast yet, but he can get where he wants to go.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Laundry Baskets are Fun!

Daniel enjoys playing with and in the laundry basket while I'm sorting and folding laundry. This morning I set him in the empty basket to play while I was putting laundry away. I was about to leave the room for just a minute to take a pile of clothes into my room when he pulled himself right up to standing using the sides of the basket! If I hadn't been right there to steady him, he would have toppled over and banged his head on something. Whew, that was close.

(These pictures were taken about a month ago)

Monday, March 15, 2010


We went swimming today for the first time and Daniel loved it! After he got over being startled by all the new sights and sounds, that is. That's all for now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daniel loves Marshall

Oh, there's my kitty!

Wait, let me feel the chair.

I love my kitty - he's so soft.

I think I've had enough of this kid! [cat runs away]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I was thinking about how I managed to post every day for a month, but now it's been a month and a half and I haven't posted at all. Then I remembered that November was that crazy month when Dave went almost a whole week without seeing Daniel awake. That's how I blogged every day. I put Daniel to bed then had a little while most days before Dave got home. With a husband actually home, it just isn't a priority.

But tonight Dave has a journal club so he won't be home until late. I was all set to post some pictures of my adorable little guy - a quick and easy post so I can still get to the other exciting events of the evening (cleaning up the kitchen and balancing the checkbook!) - and blogger won't upload my pictures! So you'll all have to wait in eager anticipation...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My life in 15 minutes a day

I made myself a sticker chart. I know it sounds crazy, but it works wonders for me. I like putting a sticker on when I finish something (yes, I'm also one of those people who adds things to the list just to be able to cross them off.) Knowing that I will have an empty space if I don't do it is very motivating to me. Plus, I decided that if I got 75% of the sticker spots filled, I could get a new fancy diaper I've been wanting to try (way on sale, of course)! I put big things and little things, things that would be a stretch and things I knew I would do. The one item that was blank all last week and so far this week is blogging.

I liked the discipline of writing every day in November, but I also found many days when I didn't have the time or energy to craft a real post. When I write, I enjoy it, but after a while of not writing inertia sets in and I just don't get back to it. It really is a discipline. So I decided that I would try writing 15 minutes a day. Whatever I write in that time is enough. If I'm not done, I can come back to it the next day and write more. I still have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head that just never make it out. I thought for sure if I put it on my sticker chart, I would be motivated to write. Nope. I did everything else, but no blog. The inertia is too much. But here I am. Ready to go again. 15 minutes at a time. A sticker for me today!