Tag Archives: baby


7 Apr

IMG_0213N is now two and a half, and I can’t let this milestone pass without an update. He’s made so much progress with speech in the last 6 months. He is growing up to be the sweetest boy, shy and observant in new places, wily and gregarious at home. March also marked 6 months as a family of two, and although the drama is ongoing, we’ve settled into a happy little life together.

I’m gonna be posting a lot tonight (mostly because posting happens in fits-and-starts) but it’s better to get things written than leave them ignored since this is the chronicle of a childhood.

So, N at 2 1/2!IMG_0370IMG_0247Nicknames: Angel, Muffin, buddy

Temperament: We’ve reached a nice balance between tantrum-land and not really speaking up at all. N has opinions and he vocalizes them, but he’s getting much better at using words and gestures to communicate. Even his preschool has commented on how sweet he is and how much he’s grown in the past 6 months. He really is growing up! Running, climbing, and wrestling are still his favorite games. By far, he prefers to be outside and doing something. We LOVE the wildlife area right by our apartment where we can walk and look at birds and water. Despite this physicality, N is getting better at playing with cars and trains quietly by himself. As usual, when he’s fussy or cranky, there’s a reason behind it.IMG_0174IMG_0153What we’re eating: I’ve been trying to sit down and eat dinner with N every day because I think it’s a good routine and model of healthy habits, how to use utensils, etc. BUT N doesn’t really like real food 🙂 He still prefers carbs and proteins to fruits and veggies. He is getting more curious, so he’ll try some new foods sometimes. Likes sweet potatoes, blueberries, bagels, waffles (fa-fa!), eggs, chicken (sometimes), veggie burgers, raisins, cereal, graham crackers. .. anything with peanut butter & jelly or nutella.

What N’s Saying: Happily, the word list is getting longer and longer! He mimics a lot and he’s picking up more complex words. He’s also putting multiple words together for meaning (awa-off means “water off” – which to us, means that the fountain he really likes to visit is turned off right now). Tonight, we learned ice cream (aye -ee). He now says hi to people we pass on the street, bye at stores to strangers, and points out airplanes, birds, tractors, etc. He often drops the beginning or end of words (awa, not water) and doesn’t pronounce a lot of consonants. But he’s getting the idea of speech and we have our own little language 🙂

He spent the last few weeks with grandma and grandpa and he does so well with them! I think he just loves being the center of their attention 🙂 He always picks up a lot of words when he’s with them–and they understand him too, so that’s a good thing!IMG_0335Playing with his kitty!IMG_0233Meeting “Dubs” our university mascot

Things I Could Do Without: 8am wake-ups? Now that I’m not teaching this quarter (in order to work on my data collection), I’d love to sleep in just a bit. Maybe in a few weeks we’ll settle into a later routine. More than that, N is SO energetic, but it’s taxing to be moving at his pace all day. Right now he’s obsessed with playing outside at all times, and he loves to play outside the apartment. But we’re right next to a parking lot, next to a busy street, so I have to constantly monitor what he’s doing so it’s difficult to get anything done. He is going-going-going all the time and is even taking shorter naps, so I find that I’m using all my energy just to keep up with him, never mind cooking, cleaning, or getting my own work done. Tomorrow’s a preschool day, so it’ll be a nice break.

Things I Love the Most Right Now: N is my little buddy, my little shadow. I love his personality, and now that we can communicate better we do fun little things together–like going out for ice cream before bed, hiking, chasing ducks, climbing trees…IMG_0283IMG_0282Item/Toy N Loves The Most: Choo-choos! He currently really loves trains: we watch Thomas on Hulu, play with train sets, and my mom even found my brother’s old train sets to play with while visiting. He has a choo-choo blanket he sleeps under and enjoys sleeping with his trains. Or airplane. Or car. IMG_0408IMG_0365Silly uncle Mike!

The past couple months have been busy. We went to a protest in support of Ukraine together & Mama was on TV speaking about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. IMG_0142 IMG_0141Little patriot! 

We drove out to visit the grandparents, exploring practically every rest area along the way. Every day is an adventure!IMG_0328Hiking in my hometown. At Christmas we made it only a short hike. This time we went with Uncle Mike, and although N went most of the way on my back, he definitely enjoyed playing in “Devil’s kitchen” at the end.IMG_0450 IMG_0449 We have many more adventures planned: Wednesday we’re starting developmental preschool through his speech therapy school. Since our schedule is more flexible, there’s no harm in getting a little bit more support (and another activity on the calendar–for free). I’m also going to renew our zoo membership so we have another place to go as the weather gets nice. I’m considering swimming lessons, but I’m not sure if the logistics will work out. I’ve started running with N in the stroller, and we plan to run/walk a 10k with my bro & daddy-o in June, so we’ll be spending plenty of time outside.

I want to model a healthy, active, adventurous lifestyle for my son. Not just say it, but do it every day. I’m not perfect–most of Feb and March I ate quick freezer meals and N lived on “fa-fa” (waffles), but bit by bit, we are living better and living happier. And with the drama that still flitters in and out of our lives, that in itself is a victory 🙂


Early Intervention

27 May

I’m not sure how much I’ve alluded to it here, but N isn’t talking.

By 18 months, kiddos should have approx 10 words, increasing monthly. N doesn’t say anything (except a rare mama or a begrudging papa). I’ve been worried about his speech development, but I can see him trying to communicate in action (bringing me shoes when he wants to go outside, for example). I got the name of a developmental center from a mama in our future preschool where her son went for speech therapy. I called them and set up an evaluation.

Monday two nice ladies came over along with a Russian interpreter. They introduced themselves and got on the ground to play with N. They brought out toys and had him do specific things – put coins in a piggy bank, bang blocks together, play with a wind-up toy, comb a doll’s hair, play with a little car, throw a ball. They asked him to point to pictures on a page. It lasted about an hour. As usual, N was pretty chill–whenever he meets new people or does new things he’s pretty quiet and observant. He played with them and repeated a lot of activities. He seemed to know some language, but didn’t talk at all. He was on good behavior and didn’t get frustrated at all. At the end of the evaluation, they indicated that he definitely knows Russian better than English, and he has ok receptive language. There is a delay but it rates only a few months behind. His spoken language is almost non-existent. He didn’t verbalize AT ALL. He did have a “no” gesture–a pretty funny pointed finger that he swished across his body to say NO.

I wasn’t surprised by this part of the evaluation: that’s why I called. I was shocked, however, by the concern they had for his social and cognitive development. They marked him as 50% behind — i.e. on par with a 10-month old! They were concerned by his hesitation to engage, by not bringing difficult things to me to either ask for help/show off (in this case, with the wind-up car), and they were concerned by him not doing a lot more active play (crashing cars together, etc). He also does a few funny things like spin in circles or close his eyes while walking, which are a warning sign that something else might be going on. He also likes to have an object in his hand, which could be another sign.

I was surprised and upset to hear this on Monday — I have never questioned his development! I never questioned that there might be some kind of underlying factor that is affecting his speech. If anything, I chalk it up to not giving him enough attention, not being around people more, and not socializing him with other kids. But their assessment really worried me!!

It’s been a week now that I’ve been letting it all sink in.

I found this in my drafts folder, and I’m retroactively publishing it (11-20-13) especially as it is relevant to the speech therapy we’re now setting up.


25 Apr

N’s new skill is giving kisses!!

He loves to play games: I’ll pucker my lips and make a kissy noise and he’ll either run to me and give me a big open-mouthed kiss on the lips, or he’ll squeal and run away. It is sooooooo funny!
013He is such a delight!

In other news, he’s sleeping well (generally – we have had a rash of not so great nights, but I think he either had a cold or has allergies so that’s affecting his sleep). His schedule is very consistent: Wake up during the 9 o’clock hour. Go down for a nap sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 and sleep for 2-21/2 hours. Bed between 8:30 and 9:30. He now asks to go outside by pointing to his shoes, coat and/or hat. He’s a good eater, loves his independence, and is shy and serious when in new places, with new people, and when doing new things. When he’s with us, he’s a funny, funny boy.

N is 19 months and 2 weeks!

Spring Break

26 Mar

I’m finally on Spring Break after a busy quarter – I had my RA-ship and taught a class every day. I was juggling a lot but the money was nice 🙂 I’m glad to finally be on break so that I can take care of many neglected tasks (like cleaning, laundry, getting N’s passport, etc).

We’ve gotten a bunch of spring cleaning done already, but we still have the living room, kitchen, laundry room and outdoors to clean and organize. It really is cleansing and relaxing to clean out our things and let some sunshine in.


This morning N got a haircut! His first haircut was on his first birthday and we trim his hair every three months or so. If we don’t trim the sides and back he begins to look a lot like Einstein – his crazy curls take over. He looks so sweet and mature with a trim (and I make sure to leave enough so that he can keep his cute curls 🙂

We’re beginning to schedule our trip to the motherland for the family so that N can be baptized in the church where hubs’s family was baptized, I was baptized, and we were married. We’re not religious but it is an important part of our culture and will mean so much to hubs’s family. I was offered a teaching position for the summer, which means that our trip will have to be this spring!! Just a few weeks away!! So we will take N’s passport pics this afternoon and go to the post office in the next couple days to get his documents sent off. It still amuses to have an international traveler for a son–hehe!

Hubs is in the process of getting citizenship. We had hoped to finish the process before we went abroad, but it seems that the timing won’t work out. I’m not too concerned but he worries about the annoyances of being a permanent resident at customs. If we have to go through different customs lines, only one of us will be with N and if he gets cranky… it could be very hard.

My mind is full of logistics–what to pack, how to entertain N, which stroller and car seat to bring. It is going to be quite the process to haul our little family across the world. I’m excitedly nervous.

We’re also planning for Easter. I think we’ve decided to celebrate American Easter with the Easter bunny, egg hunt, etc. and Orthodox Easter with a good meal. N is a lucky boy–two Christmases, to Easters, etc. We will likely be abroad for Orthodox Easter, which is our favorite holiday there. It will be wonderful 🙂 It will be good to finally go on this trip. It has been hanging over our heads since I found out I was pregnant. We know it will be diffcult to travel, likely frustrating while there, but also wonderful to see N in the arms of his grandparents. They haven’t been in good health (Hubs’s mom has had two small strokes) so it is especially important. We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves if anything happened to them and they hadn’t met our boy. Despite our anxiety about traveling, it is nice to begin to get excited for it!
015One week ’till this cast comes off and N can take real baths!!

18 months!

20 Mar

017The stats: You weigh a lot and you’re getting tall – I’ll update with stats once we’ve gone in for your 18-month appointment!

N went in for his 18 month appointment on April 10 (almost 19 months). These are his stats: he 26.9 lbs (60th percentile) and 34.6 cm tall (94th percentile). Compared with12 months, when he was 25 lbs and 30 inches tall, he has gained only 2 lbs and almost 5 inches of height!!

Nicknames: Chik-a-ti-ta, chi-ka-tulya, muffin, angel

Temperament: Fun! You are still a delightfully fun, chill kid. But you are beginning to feel your emotions more deeply. If you don’t get your way, we know about it! Also, when you are in a new situation, new place, or meet new people you get soooo serious as you take it all in!

What Baby’s Eating: You love mac & cheese – we feed you the fancy organic kind, but you’re still a baby cliche. You love all kinds of meats (meatballs, chicken, fish) and eggs, pasta, and some breads. Fruits and veggies are few and far between–but not for lack of trying. You’ll eat apples for a snack, occasionally blueberries, and raisins are a new fun treat. We also got some awesome fruit leather you really like. Veggies are even less popular. You’ll take a bite here and there, but never with pleasure. I need to get better about blending up veggies and hiding them in your food. You tried pizza for the first time the other day and seemed to like it, although you carefully picked off all the peppers.

What Baby’s Saying: mama, mama, mama! It’s still the only identifiable word you use. You say “fffff” to the cat and carry on conversations with yourself. We can’t wait until you let us in on your thoughts. Just yesterday you finally started to sapy “papa.” It’s actually pretty ridiculous-after months of never saying papa, your papa said it to you in a silly gravelly voice and you immediately repeated it back in the same gravelly voice. Today you asked him for more food (carrot cake) several times in that ridiculous voice! You’re such a funny boy!
Things I Could Do Without: tantrums! You feel everything so deeply: pure excitement and pure frustration! Whether it’s us taking away a treasure or breaking your leg, you’ve had a lot to complain about recently. Luckily, the tantrums easily pass and your laughter is infectious. After breaking your leg, we had a series of difficult days while you dealt with pain and then frustration. We’ve been so glad to have our happy boy back this week!

Item/Toy You Love The Most: right now your faves include: your toy duck, sippy cups, a tv remote we let you use, your blocks, and your mama.
Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Your energy! You can crawl around the room in circles for up to an hour. You love to play with your blocks, building towers and destroying them. You are becoming more and more interested in books and games.

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: You like to eat. We probably feed you 3-4 times a day. You love to play with food, so spaghetti is one of your favoirte things. You still like dangly things, although you’re no longer entertained by simple strings. You like your little monkey and other stuffed animals. You often have a couple with you when you sleep. You also love the remote we gave you to play with, your blocks, and you still love reading your books.
Whenever you’re pleased with yourself, you clap! It’s so funny. You can turn out the light by yourself (it’s part of our bedtime routine–i pick you up and hold you to the light switch and you turn it off) and you clap! Sometimes you’ll stand in your room and clap to yourself. Such a sweet sound 🙂

Finally, you’re still getting teeth. Right now you have the front four on top and bottom (8), the top molars and bottom two (4), and now your canines are coming in. The top left is definitely through and the top right is beginning it’s creep. The bottom two are bulging but not through the gums. You don’t seem to have much teething pain, but occasionally your fingers are in your mouth.

Sunshine and fresh air

10 Mar

Last night went better than recent nights, with babe going down for sleep with no tears . . .but still waking at 6am. He wouldn’t go back to sleep so we played for about an hour and then he went back down to sleep ’till noon.  I had a meeting with a potential business client at 2, but as soon as I was done I picked up my babe and we went to the park.

We went to a favorite park not far from where we live–it is a big area that used to be military and now is reclaimed wetlands. They have all kinds of duck ponds with walking trails around them and then it goes down to the beach.  I probably walked for 40 minutes at a brisk pace–good exercise and good for both N and me to get some fresh air.


The mountain was out today 🙂

N did get frustrated that he couldn’t get out and walk, but as long as I kept the stroller moving he was ok. After our little day in the sun, we went home for a nap and he went down with no problem! 014

The next task is to work on our routines. With daylight savings kicking in, he now goes to bed really, really late. We need to massage that bedtime down by an hour or two. That’s my project for the upcoming week–be super-aware of naptime so that bedtime is normal and keep up the routine!



Sleep, glorious sleep…

7 Mar

016This whole toddler with a broken leg thing has NOT been a fun adventure. It has disrupted our simple quiet routine and created endless frustration for N and for us. He’s so independent and proud of it and this injury has set him back physically by months to a crawling, barely standing baby. The timing of it perfectly aligns with a lot of 18-month developmental hurdles (like extreme emotions) which means that we’re living inside an almost permanent tantrum. I feel so bad for my baby!019
Monday I got up early to call our doctor to get a referral to an orthopedist. The nurse said she’d talk to the doc and get back–by 10:30, nothing so I called. She had some follow-up questions and confirmed that we’d definitely go to Children’s hospital . .and that she’d get back to me with the referral. By noon, nothing. By 1 nothing. I spent all morning anxious about it. I had taken the day off work, baby was getting frustrated, and dad and I were worried about the break.
002 After they took off the splint – swelling is down, just a little bruise left.

So I called the hospital on my own–and it turned out I didn’t need a referral at all! Since my insurance is in the university network and Children’s is affiliated with my uni, I can get into it without a referral. I could have started there at 8am! And they only had one appointment left for the day in a neighboring town 40 min away–but I took it! We drove down, me with the doc, and got babe into a cast.
013 Cute little half-cast!

Turns out he has a buckle fracture low in his tibia, away from the growth plate. Buckle fractures are most common in children and occur because their bones are soft–if there’s too much downward force the bone can buckle in one area. They’re minor fractures and heal quickly! She put him in a short leg cast (i.e. foot up to knee) so he has additional mobility! Best-case scenario!
034A little playtime in the baby bath with a plastic bag over the cast. It did get a little damp so I don’t want to do it often, but good to know I can bathe him if I’m desperate.

BUT now that he’s physically feeling better, he’s getting frustrated. He went to bed easily after getting the cast, but woke up at 3am screaming. Not in pain but in frustration. I tried to calm him – I fed him, I played with him, I rocked him, but for about 3 hours he was MAD.075
Last night he went to bed easily and slept for over 13 hours. It was glorious! This morning he was a cranky pants but we got some good play time in this evening. He has been standing on his leg, but not for long and he gets frustrated when he falls.Tonight has been a nightmare–he took a late nap and wouldn’t go down to sleep. Absolutely refused, even though he couldn’t handle life awake. Screaming until his lips were blue, climbing all over me but pushing my hands or face away. So absolutely frustrated with life. It broke my heart.043Partytime in tantrum-ville!074I think he’s now asleep and I hope he makes it all night. I’ll need a good rest if I’m going to have to deal with him tomorrow. Sigh.