Wednesday, September 25, 2013

12 month update

Sawyer turned 12 months old last week!  In case you missed it, we had a special photo shoot for his birthday that you can see here.  But we also had to get the last of the numbered onesies.  I had these custom make for me bySharon at Watching Me Grow.  I highly recommend her shop.  She has gender specific or neutral sets and I had her make ours custom in Virginia Tech colors.  I can't believe we are in our last onesie.  But its a good thing - Sawyer is not about sitting still these days so taking photos this month was near impossible. 

Sawyer had his 12 month check up with Dr. Irwin and weighed in at 23 lbs 12 oz (75th percentile), was 30 1/2 inches long (75th percentile) and his head size was holding steading in the 50th percentile.  He's still in size 4 diapers but I think we will move up to 5s on our next order.  He is wearing mostly 12-18 month stuff mainly for length.  Its a good thing most pants are elastic or have adjustable waists.

Developmental milestones
Sawyer has taken independent steps!  He took a few here and there but the day after his birthday we got a good 5 or 6 and he has been doing this relatively consistently since.  He definitely is standing more on his own.

He has gotten his two top teeth in and appears to be working on the next two top ones.

Lots of jabbering and sounds and he knows to look for his puppy, mommy, daddy and his high chair when we say its time to eat.  

We are officially transitioning to cow's milk and so far so good.  My plan is to wean down gradually  starting with day time feedings.  I have fed him here and there mainly for my own comfort and still do the first and last feedings of the day.  He doesn't seem to have a problem with cow's milk so far.

Otherwise, he eats anything and everything you put in front of him.  His favorites are blueberries, string cheese, cheese puffs, and Mum Mums (rice crackers).

Better.  We did some sleep training and he actually started waking up less at night and can now put himself to sleep.  We no longer have to rock him to sleep (he doesn't really like it anymore) rather we just put him in his crib and he puts himself to sleep (sometimes that means he plays for 20 minutes before hand).  He's still an early riser - usually wakes up around 5:45 am.  Since his 12 month shots he's woken up screaming in the middle of the night a couple of times which has not been fun.  Hopefully this subsides quickly.

Likes and Dislikes
His new favorite toys are the push popper toy and his xylophone - both which were gifts for his birthday.  He will play with either of those for long periods of time.  He still loves his puppy dog and chases Charlie all day long.  He likes to empty his toy bin and clean off the coffee table.  At this point he's not really a fan of diaper changes or getting dressed because it means he has to lie down and be still.

All and all we are well on our way into toddlerhood.  He is a milk drinking, near walking, jabbering little boy who is constantly on the move and all about discovering new things in his world.  We have started a Toddler group this fall which is a structured play time once a week where he has lots of friends his age and we do Stroller Strides several days a week.  He is usually a pretty happy boy with abundant smiles and laughs.  I can't believe he is a year old.  Time has gone by in an instant.  Here is a recap of all his month pictures.

Here are a few other pictures from the last month.

an attempt to make him sit


He was very excited for the Hokie game

at the doctors office when he had a fever for a couple days

Baby Mum Mums make everything better

Mid Week Confessions

Hi Friends!  We finally have our house back to normal after a whirlwind week of family and friends around to celebrate Sawyer's birthday.  I have 10 minutes before Sawyer and I leave for Toddler class so I'll throw out a few quick confessions:

- I love opening presents.  I think this stems from the fact that my birthday is a week before Christmas and I only get to open presents one week during the year.  If I can control it I will avoid having children in December.  I have issues.  But I digress.   I got to open all of Sawyer's presents at his birthday and it made me so happy.  I'm actually kind of bummed that its likely at Christmas and at his next birthday that I won't be able to "help" open gifts.

- Per the usual, I got Starbucks on the way home from exercise class this morning.  I set it on the table to go make Sawyer his bottle and when I came back from the kitchen my latte was now all over the table and the floor and Sawyer was playing the empty cup.  My first thought should have been - oh no!  Did the hot coffee burn my child?  But my first thought was "oh crap, my latte is gone!  No caffeine. Sad." 

- Our bed frame broke last night as we got into bed.  Its IKEA and about 3 1/2 years old so its about time.  Still makes me feel fat.  Andrew went and cut a could pieces of plywood as a temporary fix and as I was holding up the box spring I noticed all sorts of crap under the bed including a People magazine with Kim Kardashian on the cover announcing her engagement to Kris Humphries (which was a good two years ago).  Obviously haven't cleaned under the bed in a while.  But, new bedframe means a trip to IKEA!!

- I'm so excited for season premiers this week!  Parenthood, Greys, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, The Middle.  This just proves that I watch way too much TV.

-When I was pregnant, I signed up at several websites and have been getting weekly emails - first on the progress of my pregnancy (Your Pregnancy week 22) and then on the progress of the baby (Your Baby, week 30).  This week I got my first "Your Toddler week 1" email.  I almost cried.

That's it.  I've got Sawyer's 12 month update coming up this week (hopefully) and I'll post some pictures from his birthday party.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Sawyer!

Dear Sawyer -

I can't believe it was a year ago today that you became a part of our lives.  Oh what a year it has been!  You have taught me more in this short year than I could have ever imagined.  You have taught me a love that I never knew existed.  You made me realize I would sacrifice anything for your well being.  You've made me laugh, you've made me cry, you have filled my heart with so much joy.

Today marks the day that you are no longer a baby - though I feel like you have been more like a little boy for several weeks now.  You still own a full head of hair just like the day you were born.  So many people comment how old you look with all that hair.  You have had 5 haircuts already in your short little life.

You are certainly showing us that you are ready for toddler hood.  You aren't quite walking independently yet but you have taken a couple steps on your own.  You are a proficient "cruiser" on most any piece of furniture, mommy and daddy's legs, and the dog.  You have begun to stand on your own more and more. 

Your vocabulary and understanding of the world seems to be expanding every day.  There are no definitive words yet but you babble a lot of "ba" and "da" and let out a few screeches here and there to make sure that we are paying attention.  When we ask if its time to eat you look or go to your high chair, you know to look for Charlie when we ask where the puppy is, and you love to push the garage door button when we enter the house and look back to see the door is closing with a big smile.  I love to watch you discover your world.

You love to read books and turn the pages.  I hope this is a trait you will carry with you for life.  Your current favorites are "Bear Takes a Trip", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", and "Jumbo's Jungle Colors".  You can read them over and over again and they are showing their wear.  Most other books you only make it about half way though before you return to one of the favorites.

I think your palate is quite refined for such a little man.  You've eaten most everything we've put in front of you and enjoyed it all including salmon, hummus, rice, macaroni and steak.  You love English muffins, string cheese and most of all blueberries.  We can hardly keep enough blueberries in the house because you go through them so fast.  You also love to share your meals with Charlie - so much so that we've had to keep him out of the room so you eat enough for you.  Charlie comes in at the end to "vacuum".

My how you love your puppy.  Charlie is your go to target during the day.  You crawl, snuggle, pull, poke and grab him and he takes it because he loves you right back.  I hope that your love for Charlie will turn into a love for all animals and that you will always remember that sweet dog.

Sawyer, you love to laugh.  Your laugh lights up your entire face and makes everyone around you smile.  Whether you are being tickled, chased or just laughing back at mommy it is the most joyous sound I know.

As you continue to gain your independence, I know I will miss these days when you relied so much on me.  But I look forward to seeing all that you have to learn and discover. You've already taught me so much about being a mommy and I know there is more to learn.  I look forward to our journey together.  Always know that no matter how big and tall you get, you will always be my baby.

Happy First Birthday my sweet boy. I love you!


*Photos by Ali Hormann Photography

Monday, September 16, 2013

Miss America Superlatives

I love the Miss America pageant.  I don't know why.  I remember watching it as a kid with my family.  We would try and guess the top 10 based in their introductions.  I remember watching Heather French who was the first deaf contestant win and how beautiful her ballet dance was.  Back then they focused a lot more on their platform and answers to the judges questions.   These days I don't feel like the competition is as much focused on brains as it is on beauty.  Now I still enjoy seeing these smart women compete but I also enjoy mocking them a little.  Especially when their major is in cosmetics and perfume.  Or that at least half of them want a career in broadcast journalism (this year Miss Georgia wants to get a law become a legal correspondent for a national news program).

I cheated a little this year and looked at their profiles ahead of time.  Since the show doesn't focus much at all on their platforms or scholastic ambitions, I wanted to know what these girls stood for.  I'm a little biased towards those who are going into the medical field or even law school mainly because you have to have ambition and brains to do that. 

I also wanted to create a superlative list to highlight some of my thoughts of this year's field.

Worst Press Photo:  Miss Arkansas.

Runner up: Miss Puerto Rico

Best Intro: District of Columbia - "I'll be listening in on your phone calls, just kidding" Hahaha! Love that she made political humor.

Worst Intro:  South Carolina "From the state where 20% of our homes are mobile cause that's how we roll".  Umm, not sure that's something you should be "bragging" about...

Most Generic Ambitions on profile:  Miss Kentucky.  "Scholastic ambition to graduate with a double major and attend graduate school.  Career ambition to establish a career in public service."  What???

Contestant who's teeth should have their own zip code:  Mississippi

She was also way to skinny.  This photo doesn't do her teeth justice.

Most interesting contestant that we didn't get to hear about:  Iowa.  She was missing her arm!

Best Swimsuit: New York.  She stood out with the Zebra print.

Most Awkward walk - Wisconsin.  I think she might have been having a seizure.

Best Evening Gown: Connecticut

Worst Evening Gown: Georgia - pretty sure she made it from her grandmothers doilies.  And what is with the peplum?

*sidenote - I don't know why they pick white evening gowns.  They look too much like wedding dresses.

Overall most Beautiful :  Maryland

Best Talent: Connecticut with her Irish dance.  New York was most interesting with her Bollywood Fusion dance and I'm sure it looked harder than it was but overall I didn't think it showed that much talent.

Worst Talent: Texas.  Off pitch jazz singing.  I hope it was just her nerves showing.

Contestant who grew on me the most:  Connecticut - didn't like her at first but her evening gown and talent won me over.

Best Interview Answer:  Nobody!  I though no one actually answered the questions.

Stupidest Interview Answer: Oklahoma/Florida tie.  Oklahoma had a softball of a question about Miley Cyrus and she tried to make a joke that no one got.  Florida just bombed it but her question was about the economy.

*Sidenote:  They say that all the interview questions are considered equally weighted.  I totally disagree.  A question about whether you think Miley Cyrus twerking is distasteful or creative expression and a question about whether the US should get involved with Syria are completely different levels of difficulty.

All in all, I picked New York and California from the start to finish 1-2.  Both were beautiful, had good talents and were ambitious in their scholastic and career goals. 

I've read online this morning that some people are upset that an Indian-American won the competition which is heinous.  She is an American, represents herself and her culture well, is beautiful and smart.  That is what the competition is about.  Even worse, people were calling her Arab (which she is not) and her dance Egyptian (which it was not).  Some people.  Lame.

Well that wraps up another Miss America.  I had fun watching and FB chatting with my friend Sara - she and I used to watch it together in grad school.  We said last night that we need to go to the pageant one of these days.

Did you all watch?  What were your thoughts?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stepping up on my soap box for a moment....

*disclaimer - the following post regards a somewhat controversial topic.  However, I consider this my space in the blogosphere to air my opinion.  If you don't share my opinion, please do so respectfully.  I generally avoid conflict, however, when I do strongly disagree with someone I try to do so maintaining my emotions and avoiding impulsive and hostile language.  Sometimes we have to agree to disagree.  And I'm ok with that.

I work in a physical therapy clinic that shares a building with two other medical practices.  We discovered last week that the podiatry office saw a patient with an active case of measles.  We don't share direct space with their office, however, do share a ventilation system.  We contacted the health department and since we don't share direct space with them, they didn't feel it was necessary for us to take any special precautions.  I'm not sure what they did over at the podiatry office but I'm sure the health department guided them appropriately.

Here's my issue.  There are people who are still not vaccinating their children against such diseases.  I read an article today on CNN that stated that the US may see the most cases of measles since 1996.  This is mainly because people are refusing to vaccinate their children.

There are many who erroneously think that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is linked to autism due to a 1998 study done by Andrew Wakefield and published in The Lancet (a medical journal).  He claimed to have discovered a bowel inflammation caused by the MMR vaccine that led to autism.  While the paper itself didn't claim a causative effect, Wakefield made several statements in the press stating use of the MMR vaccine should be suspended until further research could be done.  A journalist investigation found Wakefield had multiple conflicts of interest and many of the co-authors withdrew their support and The Lancet retracted the article.  He is no longer licensed to practice medicine in the UK or the US.  No other research has been able to replicate Wakefield's results (which is essential in the research world) and he only had 12 kids in his initial study (which is hardly enough of a sample size to extrapolate the to general population).

Recently I saw this article circulating on Facebook that supported Wakefield and is still making these claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

I'm angry.

People have chosen not to vaccinate their children because of Wakefield's study, erroneous reporting and these dumb blog posts being published.  As a result, a disease that was nearly eradicated as of the year 2000 is now coming back.

I understand that people are freaked out about autism.  But there are millions of kids who have gotten the MMR vaccines (myself included) who do not have autism.  There is also a study that suggest autism changes in the brain can be detected as young as 6 months which is way before the MMR vaccine is even administered. 

I agree that the incidence of autism has increased dramatically over the last two decades.  Is this because we know more about brain development?  What about environmental factors over the last several years?  We are using so many more synthetic products these days including plastics, dyes, preservatives, pesticides, etc.  Kids are exposed to technology so early these days - could all the flashing lights of televisions, iPads, video games etc be affecting brain development?  I don't know.  Just a thought.  Bottom line:  we don't know what causes autism.

Refusing to vaccinate your kids doesn't just effect your family.  My son is less than a year old and hasn't had the MMR vaccine yet.  A parent chose not to vaccinate their child for measles and that child came to the building where I work.  What if Sawyer had been at my office that day?  What if I had been in the waiting room of that office with Sawyer for some reason and he was directly exposed to measles?  Your decision not to vaccinate YOUR child put MY child in danger.  I am not cool with that.  Measles, mumps and rubella can be very dangerous and potentially lethal to very young children.  I will do everything I can to keep Sawyer healthy and happy but I can't protect him from the ignorance of other people.

Please people.  Your decision not to vaccinate your child doesn't just affect your child.  It potentially affects thousands of others who will be put at risk if your child happens to contract a contagious disease. 

Educate yourself.  Modern medicine is all about evidence based practice. Don't just take the word of some news article or even a blogger like me.  Take the time to do the research, talk to your pediatrician, ASK for evidence and make an informed decision. 

<<I know there are many who refuse to vaccinate for religious reasons.  I don't know which religions these are or anything about their doctrine therefore I cannot comment on their reasoning.  I am unaware of any biblical reference regarding vaccines.  I still do not agree with this decision .>>

By the way, Sawyer has his 1 year check up next week and will get his first round of the MMR.  I will not be responsible for him or anyone else getting a preventable disease.

Stepping off my soap box now....have a fun weekend.  Lots coming next week including my Miss America superlatives and recap, Sawyer's birthday post and his 12 month update. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday Hashtags

Hi friends!  No real theme to today's post, just a few random thoughts with hashtags for a little humor to get you through the middle of the week!

- I just found out they are putting a Charming Charlie's store at Redmond Town Center.  I'm so excited!  If you haven't ever been to a Charming Charlie's you are missing out.  Charming Charlie's is to jewelry what IKEA is to furniture minus the meatballs in the middle of the store.  Since everything is arranged by color, it helps those who are a little OCD.  I can't wait.  #myjewelryaddictionisabouttogetworse

- Fall is coming!  I love fall - read about that here.  And along with fall comes all the icky pumkin recipes #pumpkinspicesucks

- I have been stuck on Candy Crush level 350 for over a month.  I have cruised through the last few sections and this is the last one before I level up and I can't get past it!  Its driving me crazy!!  #Candycrackaddict

- As we were loading the dishwasher the other day I decided to put one of Sawyer's sippy cups in.  I took the lid off and found the rubber stopper that keeps it from leaking that should be clear was green.  Dark green.  Green nasty stuff that flaked off.  Probably algae or mold.  Gross.  #momfail

-Sawyer has learned to play peekaboo!  #seriouslyhowcuteismyboy?

- The Miss America pageant is coming on September 15th.  I love watching that pageant.  I end up mocking them especially if they have a ridiculous platform.  Last year, Miss New York won and her major was in make up and perfume or something ridiculous.  I still can't believe she won over Miss Wyoming who wanted to be a physical therapist. #Imightbealittlebiased

-I plan on doing a blog post with Miss America superlative awards #I'madork

-I see all these back to school posts by friends and I know it won't be long before I send Sawyer off to school.  Next week we start toddler group!  Its a co-op group so I attend with him and I am so excited!  I know most of the other moms and kids from parent-baby class.  I'm excited to see all that Sawyer gets to learn #hewillbethesmartestone

Have a great day!