Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Best Things in Life Part II

So, it turns out I have a very frugal kiddo. We have the light up toys and he enjoys them, but when a box shows up at the house? HOLD YOUR HORSES. WE ARE PSYCHED.

Align Left
Zayd's newest discovery is an empty kleenex box. You can put your whole arm in it and then wave it around - awesome. So, crafty momma decided to cover it in robot cardstock and pretend it was an actual toy. Get some blocks and we have a learning activity. We are working on the concepts "in" and "out". The block goes "in" the box. The block goes "in" your mouth. Your head doesn't fit "in" the box, so please take it "out".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Many Shots...

does it take to capture Zayd's first tooth?

Extreme Close Up!

Four! It is just a little nub of a tooth but he can bite you with it! So it counts!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Best Things in Life

Are Free.

Zayd loves to sit in his bumbo while Mommy makes dinner and chew on wooden spoons.

This has really become a favorite activity NOW THAT HE HAS HIS FIRST TOOTH. It is a super cute little bud of a tooth. For weeks we could just see it at the gum line but I think it officially counts as a tooth now. I keep trying to get a photo but Z doesn't like me prying his mouth open and inserting a camera.

Sleep is for the Weak

You know, as I was thinking about what to write about, I realized that the only thing we do around here anymore is try and coax the little lentil to bed. Might as well focus on that. Then, it hit me. I did this to myself. Of couse, the woman (girl? lady?) who calls her blog Catching Some Z would never, actually, get to sleep.

We did seven straight days of baby whispering and things were going very well. The manny and I had it down pat. Then, we enlisted the secondary ranks and all heck broke lose. To top that off, we missed a nap on Thursday while at NTB getting a new car battery. Today it took be 44 minutes to get him to bed. Boo. There is a neighborhood outdoor movie night tonight at 8pm. We parents are considering bundling the little guy up in a wrap and going. The intention would be that he miraculously stay asleep. This is why our baby can't sleep. We are too stir crazy to stay put and let him... (Though in my defense, he sleeps best in the wrap. It just wouldn't get us any closer to independent sleeping.)

So, naps are back to crazy BUT he has been doing pretty well at night. I suppose that is how it goes. The other night he woke up five times between 7pm and 10:30pm. At this point, I was about to go back to a complete Elimination Diet and take everything out that I have added in the last six months. I knew it probably wouldn't do anything but you feel so anxious to try SOMETHING. Anyways, after I brought him into our room at 10:30, he slept straight through to 3:45. That is his longest stretch ever. So, obviously, it isn't his tummy. This presents us with mommy-attachment issues which is a much trickier problem then colitis...

So, I was typing this during what should be his 1.5 hr - 2 hr nap. Its been thirty minutes , after a 40 minute attempt at putting him down. And he is up. So I am out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The View is Better from Up Here

I keep propping up little Zayd and then watching to see what happens. I am happy to report that the little guy is really starting to hold his own. And by that, I mean hold his own body upright in a sitting position!

Look at this, I am bigger than Peter Puppy! (Isn't that a lovely dipe?)

Come here you puppy!

Oops, here I go! (Don't know if you can tell but he is falling backwards.)

Well, I suppose its pretty great down here too. Nom nom nom.

And this is for my brother and Crystal.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baby Love: A Baby Food Journey

So, thanks to a great friend, we received the baby love cookbook as an early baby present many moons ago. I had dappled in its wonders a couple of weeks back when I made their Perfectly Basic Sweet Potato Puree. With a free Saturday night, I decided to get a little more adventurous and accomplished.

Enter my starting arsenal:

That's a butternut squash, delicata squash, avocado, organic peas, and organic carrots. (If you have never had delicata, its a delicious winter squash that tastes surprisingly like corn while having all of the health benefits of a squash - divine!)

I spent the evening roasting, boiling, puree-ing a way. As a tip, I reused the stock water from boiling vegetables. (So, boil the peas, save the water, boil the carrots in the same water, save it again, etc.) That is a trick I learned from a baby nutritionist. She claims that you preserve a lot of the vitamins that way and it is a healthier way to cook. Now, I just need space in my fridge for leftover boiled veggie water... My freezer is full of milk, teething rings, and (now) baby food. Afterward, I had to find space for all of my spoils in our seemingly shrinking freezer:

That's about 45 nights of food for baby Zayd. 12 nights of carrots, 15 nights of peas, 8 nights of butternut squash, and 8 nights of delicata squash. In hindsight, there was no point in photographing the avocado, I can't do anything with it until it is peeling and mashing time (later this week).

And here is the photo you've been reading this long for:

He didn't exactly "like" peas but he ate his full ounce. He just made angry icky faces throughout the whole ordeal.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tummy time

I love when people call and ask what I'm doing. I never have a normal answer.
"Laying on my belly on the floor making spit bubbles at Zayd!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Long Drive to Houston

The long drive to Houston is certainly lively when you ride in the back with the boss.

"Hi mom!"

"You are so funny."

"OK, give me that!"

*Nom nom nom*

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's go Texans!

Today was the opening game for Zayd's opening season of Houston Texans football!

While Mommy and Daddy headed to reliant stadium to watch the Texans beat up on Kerry Collins' Colts, Auntie Andie and Uncle Jon had a babysitting party. (OK, maybe it was a Texans party attended by my baby but it really depends on who you ask!)

Thanks to our wonderful family (blood and beyond) for taking such great care of our favorite boy in blue.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lazy Days at the Botanical Gardens

The weather is really getting nice around here. Well, its nice in the morning and it was lovely on Labor Day. The lentil and I have been to the Botanical Gardens three times in recent memory. Here are some shots of the babe in the garden and some of my new favorite plants. :)

Zayd in the rainforest area

Foxtail fern - I want three huge pots of these in my front yard.

Sam says I have "no gardening style".

More rainforest pics. (It's air conditioned and misty in there so we spend a lot of time admiring the orchids!)

This matches my house! I want it!

In the fruit tree section - there is so much fruit hanging from those trees in the background and it is all weird stuff like crosses between Grapefruit and Pomelos or Guava hybrids!

Hanging out before sunset.

Zayd's First Meal!

Zayd has been hungrily glaring at us when we eat. It is obvious that this little man wants some food! I had fully intended to wait until he was a full six months but it seems he has other plans. First, we had to acclimate him to his high chair. Check!

It turns out that having MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) is even going to through a wrench in our solid food stage. I went to three stores and scoped out the rice cereal only to determine that they are made with soybean oil. What?!? I think that must be how they get the iron into the cereal.

Anyway, this meant that mommy had to boil, puree, and eventually mortal and pestle some rice into as creamy a paste as possible. We have had rice cereal for four nights now and every night it is a different experience. The first night, he couldn't get enough. The second, he screamed bloody murder. The third he INSISTED on holding the spoon. He was so indignant that I eventually put the rice cereal in a shot glass so we could both hold it. (That I should have gotten a photo of!) We give him sips of water after every few bites because the rice isn't totally obliterated and I think it helps to have water to wash the cereal down.

Here is his official first meal, and Nani got to do the honors. It was his first time eating and he had to work to maintain interest. :)

Here he is during yesterday's adventure:

And a preview of things to come!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby Whisperer: 0, Screaming Baby: 1

So, Zayd's sleep patterns went from horrible, to pretty good, to horrible again. For the past few weeks, he has been waking every hour at night and nap time has just disappeared. I can really only blame myself because I am the one who galavanted across the state and then the country with my little lentil in tow (and, in most cases, literally strapped to my body with a wrap).

I will begin this post with a spoiler: Zayd is still bounced to sleep on the yoga ball, or nursed to sleep, or snuggled to sleep - whatever he prefers. :/

In an effort to provide this sweet baby with the sleep he deserves, I made a Thursday night run to the library and picked up a few things:
  • The Baby Whisperer
  • The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems
  • Raffi Quiet Time Music CD
  • International Lullabies CD
By Friday morning, I had read the Baby Whisperer, made notes, and devised a plan. Operation: Sleeping (like a) Baby would commence with naptime on Saturday.

So, naptime Saturday, I took Zayd into his room with all of the tools and techniques Tracy Hogg (BW author) provides. We dimmed the lights, turned on the noise machine, I gave Zayd a binky (which he took - surprising), kissed him on the head, told him it was naptime, and layed him in his crib. He lasted about 15 minutes while he rolled around and played before he started whining. I let him whine a little and then came to him. Without looking him in the eye, I picked him up, shushed him, patted his little bottom, and put him back down. Quiet...whining. Back up, shush, pat, down. It was so short between whines that I never left the room, and most of the time just crouched down beside the crib. (Alternate title: Crouching Mother, Crying Baby.) Back up, shush, pat, down. 23 times. I lost faith around 17, I remember those being particularly hard. But it worked, the baby put himself to sleep - a first. I was super proud. What a good tiger mom I am! (Yes, hippy dippy me thinks that tiger mom has some very valid points. I may be a hippy but I am also half first-gen american!) Zayd slept for thirty minutes and we called that a win.

The second naptime was a breeze. It took six shush-pats to get him to sleep. I ran out to the grocery store. When I returned, Zayd was STILL SLEEPING, a full two hours after he'd gone down. This was unheard of. I demanded that Sam refer to me as the Baby Whisperer. He refused but Ella obliged me. :)

Two more whispering events for the day, the third was tricky but bedtime was a breeze. I couldn't wait to finish my three days of training and have a baby who could self soothe!

Day two, nap one - easy. It took just a few shush-pats and I felt like we might be in the clear.

Nap two is where the whispering was overcome by the screaming. I left Sam to put the baby down and went with my mom for a much needed pedicure. Now, Zayd and Sam have a hysterical relationship. Zayd becomes overly excited by Sam, in a good way. While he coos at me, he shrieks in delight at his daddy. While he babbles with me, he makes smiley loud dolphin-pitched yells with his pops. So, I should've known that though I can just shush-pat this wasn't going to work for Sam. I left them to their own devices and texted to see how it was going. Zayd was playing in his bouncy seat. Hmmm, I told Sam he had to sleep and that Sam had to stick it out. He made an earnest second attempt but it all went to heck pretty quickly.

I can now report that Zayd now knows how to let out blood curdling screams. Mind you, we are not Crying It Out, we are HOLDING THIS BABY WHILE HE SCREAMS AT US. It turns out the lentil is pretty demanding. For subsequent naps I went back to being the boss. It took two hours on Sunday afternoon and only resulted in a 40 minute nap. Monday morning wasn't looking much better. After an hour of shush-patting and my angel-faced baby was still making demonic screams and I called the whole thing off. I think he had learned how to get his way and he was going to use it. He screamed so much that he got worked up to the point where you would think this wild-eyed monster wasn't going to sleep for days.

When Zayd and I emerged from his bedroom after that trying hour, Sam greeted baby Zayd with triumphant pumping fists, "You won, baby Zayd!" (Another alternate title.)

I still believe in Baby Whispering, and I will go back to this exact same method. But I am going to wait a month down the road. Hopefully by then, Zayd will have forgotten all of this and we can just start new.

I am hoping for a 23 shush-pat initiation into Baby Whispering for my second go round. More on that in Mid-October.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Goodness Golly, Zayd's 5 Months

We started out the day the way we always do, lazily hanging out in Mommy's bed. Since Zayd wakes up so ridiculously early, it doesn't matter if I am working or not, there is always time for snuggling as the sun starts to peak through our blinds. (More on sleeping in the next post - Zayd has a new penchant for waking up at 3 or 4 am!)

It was only 76° at 7:30 and I scooped up the lentil and we headed for a walk around the neighborhood. I am extremely melancholy to report that Zayd-pie can no longer sit in his stroller with the hat on - he is too tall!

After morning bath and "nap" time (again, a post on this child's refusal to sleep is forthcoming) we sat to play with our new favorite toy - a Sit to Stand musical wonderland.
Zayd seems to think that he is old enough to stand at it, but he is silently supported by mommy's hand. I propped him in the bumbo so he could lean forward and have full access to all of the noise making delights, but he thought my propel was much more interesting. He tried to tip it up and "drink" from it the way we would. This kid learns quickly, let me tell you!

Finally, here is Zaydie wearing himself out before bedtime. He spends quite a bit of time in this everyday because he seems to always be on the go!
So, what all has changed in the last month?
  • Zayd can now "talk". It is more of a shriek but it is adorable and we love the shriek at each other. I will admit that he likes talking to his daddy best...
  • He can roll over and over and over till he hits a "wall".
  • He loves to chew on his feet.
  • He loves to jump in his jumparoo.
He just has a ton more personality and a grip stronger than pliers. So, keep your hair up, don't let him get his hands in your mouth, and you'll be fine. Also, keep your nose away from his mouth, or he will start nursing on it.