Monday, September 28, 2009

Eleven Months Old

Here's what's going on in Micah's life at 11 months old:

He's still nursing 4 times a day (every four hours) and sleeping 11 - 12 hours at night time.

Sometimes he'll wake up around 6:30 and talk to himself and play until 7:15 or 7:30 when I give him his first feeding.

He's tried just about every type of food except milk/cheese (he has had cottage cheese and yogurt), nuts and honey. Although I'm debating about whether or not I want to start weaning Micah this month. Four weeks before Jackson's first birthday I dropped one nursing a week and replaced it with a sippy cup of whole milk and it seemed to work out well.

Although Micah has mastered self feeding with cheerios and the like we still spoon feed him quite a bit. In the past couple of weeks I've even pureed some of our families left overs (smoothies and pulled apple-chicken sandwiches) and put them into ice cube trays for Micah (FYI: I've found it helps to spray the ice cube trays with cooking spray before I put the pureed food in them so I can get them out easier after they freeze.)

Micah takes two naps. Usually one is 1 1/2 hours and the other nap is 2 hours. However, a couple of weeks ago he was struggling off and on with his naps.

All in about one weeks span he popped 3 new teeth, learned how to crawl, sit up on his own and pull himself up and he had a cold. All of that combined was interrupting his sleep cycles at nap times (and a few nights too).

After trying everything I could think of I finally swaddled him, put him in his crib and put my hand near his face until he fell asleep. I've only had to do it a couple of times when he was too tired (usually when he's been standing crying in his crib not knowing how to sit down again). Once he gets a full nap, he wakes up happy and gets himself out of the swaddle by the time I come in to get him.

He needs a little more time to wind down before he goes down for a nap or for bed. He loves to cuddle for a few minutes before I put him in his crib and I LOVE it when he grabs my face and gives me a big-slobbery-open-mouth kiss two or three times in a row.

Micah's also been jabbering and communicating more. He definitely knows what he wants when he wants it and we are working on changing whining into words through sign language and simple words.

Micah can say and sign "All done." Although it sounds more like "Ah duh." He has yet to clearly sign or say "please" (although he sometimes signs "please" on his leg). Some of that may be due to pure stubbornness on his part. Just this week he started saying "uh oh" sounding more like "uh uh."

Micah lights up when Colin comes home from work. Colin will play with Micah for a few minutes and then go upstairs to change out of his work clothes, which is when Micah starts yelling "DA?! DADA!?" over and over again until Colin says, "yes?"

He mimics Jackson in his intonations and even some rough pronunciations and it is SO ADORABLE!!

He definitely has a grasp of when we say "no" to him and has received a few swats for disobeying, but overall if we say "no" he's obedient.

His favorite toys to play with would have to be anything we'd prefer he not play with (cell phones, remote controls, cords, books, toys with small parts, etc.). He's gotten MUCH better at not putting toys in his mouth though and we've been more lenient with what "big kid toys" he can play with now.

We have made a few drawers and cupboards that he can play in (DVD drawer, sock drawer and Tupperware drawer) and he stays pretty content with those.

He's in a "go go go" stage right now and would walk holding on to our fingers all day if we let him. He's so eager to be running along side his big brother and that day is just around the corner.

That about sums it up. I'll leave you with these pictures. If you have any clever captions you'd put for each picture I'd love to hear them!! ...oh by the way ... that's a leaf in his hand.

edited 10/2/09: my cycle this month was 38 days

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

High Chairs vs Booster Seats

When Jackson was younger we asked our friends who had already had children what they recommended for high chairs and they highly suggested a booster seat with a detachable tray, so this is what we got.

When we moved to Santa Maria and Micah was ready for eating solid food Jackson was still using that booster seat. However, our neighbors (the same generous ones who let us use their trampoline) had a high chair that they said we could use. It's an older model, so I'm sure some of my qualms with high chairs may not be valid if I would get a newer high chair.

Anyway, it was free, so we used it. Here is my list of pros and cons for a high chair versus a booster seat that I have discovered in my experience with each.

High Chair:

Pros :
The trays are much larger and less food ends up on the floor.
It's easier on my back because the baby is higher up.

They take up more room (when you're using them and when you have to store them later).
They are harder to clean.
They don't travel well or at all.
They are more expensive (the cheapest I saw at Babies R Us was $39.99, unless you can get a used one or one given to you).
Babies grow out of them quicker than a booster seat.
I've noticed it's harder for Micah to use sign language because he's much more enclosed.

Booster Seats:

They are much cheaper than most high chairs (the cheapest I saw at Babies R Us was $16.99).
They are very portable.
You can stick most of them into your dishwasher to be cleaned thoroughly.
They are not out grown quickly.
They don't take up a lot of space.
They can be pushed directly up to the table (when the tray is removed).
I've noticed Micah signing more because he's not so confined.

Babies tend to slouch in them at first.
The trays are smaller and more food ends up on the floor.
It uses up a chair (which is inconvenient when we have guests, but if I really had to I could just put him on the floor).

If I had to choose one over the other I'd pick the booster seat. We kicked Jackson out of his first booster seat so that Micah could use it and bought him this one for $12.99 at Babies R Us (it does not come with a tray). So far we're happy with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jackson's First Big Purchase

Jackson has been receiving allowance for quite some time now. (You can read more on our views on allowance here.)

When he first began getting an allowance it burned a huge hole in his pocket every time we went to the store. It was important to have that time though. He quickly grasped the concepts of cost and payment for material goods.

Then we decided we needed to teach him a lesson in delayed gratification/saving. So Jackson picked out a toy in the fisher-price catalog and we cut it out and made a little count down calendar of how many weeks it would take to have enough money to make his purchase (9 weeks to be exact). Every week he could rip off a piece of paper and the last piece had a picture of the toy of his choice.

This week was the last week!! We are so proud of Jackson. He had many opportunities to spend his money before the end of the 9 weeks but he stuck to his goal. When he got his allowance on Saturday he and his dad sat at the table and counted out the amount he needed for his toy. (That was a good lesson too.)
All of the money he used to purchase his toy I put into an envelope and labeled it "Allowance $$" so that I could just keep using the same money over and over ... it makes it a little easier on Colin and me come Saturday (before we were scrambling around the house, car, couch, etc. for loose change because we weren't very good at planning ahead).

I pre-bought the toy (which I'm glad I did because they only had one left at the store) so that he could "purchase" it from me that morning and then play with right away (I even made sure we had batteries for it). He was SO excited and proud.

While counting what he had left in his bank I had the idea to start using dry erase markers directly on his piggy bank to keep track of his money (at least a rough amount) and it works great!

Jackson's already starting to talk about what he's going to save up for next. Did I mention that we are very proud of him? Delayed gratification is hard for most adults let alone a 3 year old.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finger Foods

Micah has begun to feed himself more recently. He's done cheerios, green beans, papaya, etc. Some of the foods are hard to pick up (like bananas and avocado), but he does his best and almost prefers to feed himself now. Although feedings take a lot longer when he feeds himself, so I still feed him ground up food as well.
He wanted his "toy" back.
Don't let him fool you though ... he's a happy boy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teeth 3 and 4

Micah's doing a little bit of cross teething (his teeth are not coming in in the usual order) and it's kind of cute. Here's a picture.
They've only come in part way, so I circled where they are for you. I guess it's more painful to get teeth this way, but Micah's been a trouper.

To answer the question I had in a comment ... here's how Jackson's teeth grew in.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Exercise for Toddlers

It seems like when Jackson turned three something happened. Mysteriously my content-sitting-and-reading-books-child became my spontaneous-bursts-of-energy-running-around-the-house-like-crazy-child.

We are pretty good at taking regular walks, but Jackson was needing more than that in order to get out his excess energy. It's been hard to get him outside to exercise when Micah is still taking two 2 hour naps during the day and I don't have a fenced in backyard to let him run around in. As I mentioned in a previous blog our neighbors were gracious enough to let us use their trampoline. That has really done the trick and here's how I get him to jump on it.

Every morning at around 9:30am (when I'm putting Micah down for his morning nap) I put the trampoline in front of our computer and let Jackson watch playlists on It's really cool! You can pick a character, theme, subject and videos and/or games.

Each playlist has about eight games and/or videos and runs for about 20 minutes (although I've never timed it). I usually let Jackson pick which character(s) he wants and I select sports/physical activities for the theme and do only videos. I figure that way he'll at least get some videos that encourage him to be physically active.

The deal is that he needs to jump on the trampoline for every other video and rest on the alternate videos otherwise I turn it off and he can go play with toys (I don't want it to become an opportunity for him to veg out in front of the computer all morning).

There's also a playsafe feature which prevents Jackson from being able to navigate away from his playlist and from accidentally deleting anything on our computer. It's just a quick download and really easy to use.

Jackson loves his new workout routine and we can definitely tell during nap time and night time when he hasn't had his exercise for the day. Not to mention the fact that he's also getting really good at jumping which is fun. We still get out for walks (and runs), but it's nice to know I have a back up plan on those days when we just can't seem to make it out the door.