Monday, May 30, 2011

First Art Project

One thing I know for certain about myself is that I am NOT crafty whatsoever. The creative side of my brain is seriously lacking, and art projects just aren't my thing. But when I heard about this painting idea for young toddlers, I thought it was perfect for Ryan.

Simply put some paint on a piece of paper. Seal in a ziploc bag. Double-check the seal!

(I added green after taking this picture)

Baby then "paints" with their fingers and there's no mess. Ryan chose the artistic approach of painting with the bottom of his shoes. He threw down the paper and stomped on it, then got bored with it after a few minutes. I think we'll try it again next month.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little Helper

I have decided that Ryan is old enough to learn how to do chores. He has become quite the little "helper".

Unloading the dishwasher

Doing Laundry
Mowing the Lawn


I figure within a couple years he'll be running the household while I relax on the couch eating bonbons.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Carb Crazy

Ryan is a confusing little boy. A few weeks ago we met with a food therapist due to his issue with texture. He was still only eating purees and refusing anything with texture, besides puffs and shredded cheese. The therapist had a few good ideas, such as letting Ryan "dip" finger foods into pureed foods, making them more fun to eat. She also said that for some reason, Ryan just has a really sensitive gag reflux. I have been giving Ryan bigger chunks of finger foods to try, and gradually over the past couple weeks things have improved. He has started eating pretzels and crackers and whole cheerios.
But once he started eating these finger foods, he started refusing pureed foods. Even things he used to love, such as yogurt. I would be okay with this, if I thought he was eating a good variety of finger foods. But did you notice something about the list of finger foods that he will eat?All Carbs! Puffs, pretzels, crackers, bunny grahams, cheerios.....all crunchy carbs. I think it's a texture issue. Ryan refuses to pick up anything that is soft or squishy. This rules out fruits, vegetables, and most proteins.It's like he's on the anti-Atkins diet. It's all carbs all the time for this boy. What's a Mama to do?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Ryan has learned how to kiss. It's adorable. I love it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Favorite View

There is something special about seeing your husband with your child. It makes a mother's heart all warm and fuzzy. This was my view yesterday afternoon from my kitchen.
Doesn't it look like Ryan is telling Daddy how to fix the car?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vitamin D

Yesterday we spent the afternoon outdoors at a birthday party. Ryan's friend, Andrew, turned one earlier this month. He is Ryan's only "boy" friend close to his age! Ryan enjoyed the party, mainly because it was outside. Have I mentioned how much Ryan adores being outside? He cries when I bring him in.It was nice to get outside and enjoy the sun for a few hours. I recently found out that my Vitamin D levels are a bit low, so in addition to taking a Vitamin D supplement, I've been trying to get outside more. Being low in Vitamin D could be one cause of my fatigue (in addition to not getting enough sleep at night).
I am very thankful for the nice weather where we live!

Friday, May 20, 2011


One of Ryan's new talents is to somersault. I have actually been trying to teach him for the past couple weeks. I would put his head down and roll him over.....and now he's doing it on his own! Here are a few action shots. It's hard to take pictures of my squirmy little monkey!Whew! That was tough work. Time for a Mommy snuggle.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Write It Down!

I want to mention a few really cute things that Ryan is doing now, before I forget. He changes so much these days! As my Mom reminded me yesterday, if I don't write these things down, I will surely forget. I took a look at my baby book yesterday and was surprised by the details my Mom recorded about me. Things like how I used to be really frightened by loud noises (I still am sometimes), or how I asked if I had "rocks" in my arms when feeling my bones. What also surprised me was the many similarities between Ryan and I in terms of our development:

I rolled over at 2 months, Ryan at 3 months.
I scooted around at 5 months, same as Ryan.
I stood up at 7 months on my own, same as Ryan.
I walked at 9 months, same as Ryan.
It took me longer to start saying words, same as Ryan.

So here are a few cute details about Ryan right now. I plan on writing these down in his baby book as soon as I can, but want to at least put them on here while I have a moment.

~He has a new fascination with his tongue. He likes to stick it out and then grab it with his fingers and feel it.

~He is quickly learning how things work. He picks up his baby hairbrush and "brushes" his hair. He points the remote control at the TV. He sees my blow my nose, and then picks up a kleenex and pretends to blow his nose.

~He mostly talks with his mouth closed these days. It's quite strange how he refuses to open his mouth, yet keeps on talking, as if his mouth is stuffed full of marshmallows. I keep telling him "Ryan open your mouth!"

~He understands many words I say. He touches or points to the correct object when I say the following words: fan, eyes, yogurt, shoes, doggy, outside, belly button.

~He loves to hide. I often hear him disappear down our hallway. When I come looking for him, he is standing behind our bedroom door, as still and quiet as possible. He giggles when I "find" him.

*Sorry for the lack of photos lately. My camera keeps producing pictures with a fuzzy haze in the middle of the photos. Perhaps it's time for a new camera?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Response

I would like to say Thank you in response to your sweet words about my post from last week "Am I Normal?" I received so many calls, visits and e-mails about my post. I am still trying to process all the advice I got (I really do appreciate all of it! It's just a lot for me to think about).

I think one of the core issues is sleep. There is no way around it....both Ryan and I would be happier if we were both getting more sleep. I am reading some books and trying to formulate a plan for improving his sleep habits.

Another issue is that I thrive on routine. For some reason, God has blessed me with a little boy who is anything but predictable. (Although what child is totally predictable?) Ryan has no routine whatsoever, other than the times that he eats during the day. It kind of drives me crazy, and I know I would enjoy motherhood more if I could expect a little break every day in the form of a nap. Motherhood is not a logical, black and white problem that I can "figure out". This is something I'm going to have to adjust to. I'm praying about it.

Finally, another issue I struggle with is comparison. Ever since I gave birth, I have been comparing my son to other babies his age. It is a very vicious trap to fall in to. Just the other day I met a woman with an 18-month old and I asked her about his moods/tantrum throwing. She replied that he was very easygoing and hadn't thrown any tantrums. I immediately started feeling sorry for myself, because I have such a strong-willed child. But this is so selfish of me! I could compare Ryan to any other child and find something he does better or worse than them. Ryan is his own person, created by God for a purpose. To constantly compare him to others and ask "Why isn't he more like them?" is kind of like questioning God.

So that's where I'm at! For me, motherhood has already taught me SO much about myself. I feel like I've learned more in the past year than Ryan has. Maybe that's how God intended it?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Open and Close

Lately Ryan has become obsessed with doors. He loves to close them. Almost all the way, but not quite. When the door is almost shut (with his fingers often in the way) I can be heard from a few feet away saying "Watch your fingers!). He stops just shy of shutting the door on his fingers and then opens it back up. And then closes it. And then opens it. And then closes it. And then opens it.

You get the picture.

So I knew it was only a matter of time before he got tall enough to reach the door knob and smart enough to figure out how it works.

Ryan figured out how to open the front door today. The above was his reaction when I walked over and locked it. Good thing he can't reach the lock yet!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I am sad to say that Adam's Grandpa, "Jack" passed away on Mother's Day. He was a great man and he will definitely be missed. I am really glad that he got to meet and hold Ryan one year ago, when Ryan was just a couple weeks old. Sorry the picture is so dark. Here they are together:
Yesterday was the funeral and afterwards we gathered together with Adam's relatives. It was really nice visiting with them. Ryan got to meet his third cousin, Pepe, who is almost 6. (Adam's cousin's son) Aren't they cute?

It was a sad day but also a good day spent with family. We will miss you G-Pa.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Am I Normal?

I feel like motherhood is slowly wearing me down. It has always been hard, although many aspects of it have gotten easier for me. Honestly, I wouldn't want to go back to the infant stage with Ryan no matter how much you paid me, because it was pretty horrible for me. But for some reason I thought it might get a tiny bit easier as time passed.

Lately everything has become a battle. This is probably completely normal for a 1-year old, but that doesn't make it any easier. Here are a few examples of what our days are like lately.
Ryan often wants to be picked up, but the minute I do that he squeals and wiggles out of my arms. Once I put him down he bursts into tears because he wants to be held.

Ryan still doesn't nap. Or sleep well at night. This results in no break or shower time for me. This results in a cranky stinky mommy who walks around feeling like a zombie.

Every diaper change is a full on battle. Ryan kicks and rolls over and screams until he turns red. Many times I have to pin him down with one arm or sit on him on the floor.

Ryan is not capable of playing by himself. He screams anytime I put him into his playpen.

When I do get a break from Ryan I often want to lock myself in another room and not come out for a very long time.

So I realize most of those examples are completely and totally normal. I understand that being a Mom means having to deal with tantrums and lack of sleep.

But if I'm being 100% honest, I sometimes feel like I'm not enjoying motherhood enough. I hear other moms talk about how happy they are and how much they are enjoying being a mommy, and how sweet their kids are. When I hear this I think 1 of 2 things. Either A) They are lying. Or B) Their child is easier than mine. Maybe I tell myself this in order to feel better. Like "Oh, well no wonder they love motherhood so much....their child SLEEPS!!" But then I second guess myself and wonder if my feelings are normal or if maybe I'm not that great of a Mom because I don't love it like I thought I would.

I think this was the most honest post I've ever written. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. I guess I just really want to know if what I'm feeling is normal. Please be honest.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I had a nice Mother's Day yesterday that concluded with Adam making me dinner! It took him a while, but he made me Emeril Lagasse's BBQ Salmon over Andouille Potato Hash with Crispy Fried Onions. He took on a really difficult recipe but it turned out great!! Even the BBQ sauce was homemade. It was definitely a restaurant-worthy plate of food. (BBQ'd asparagus not pictured) He even made me a Mimosa to go along with dinner!Ryan was pretty crabby all day. His gift to me was his 15-minute nap. Woohoo.Maybe next year he will give me a 30 minute nap!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stinky Mischief

Ryan is very curious these days. He likes to get into trouble, as you would expect from a 1-year old boy. For example, one of his new favorite activities is grabbing the end of the toilet paper and then running away, watching the long stream of paper roll out behind him. It's mildly annoying, but still quite cute. Good thing I can put him in shirts like this one, which make him even cuter. It makes up for how destructive he can be.
But then yesterday Ryan took his curiosity to a whole new level. He discovered how to take off his diaper. He was napping around 3pm, for the first time all day. (Thanks to all 4 of his molars cutting through right now. Not much sleep going on in our house lately!) I heard him talking, so I went to get him. I found my sweet baby standing bare-bottomed in his crib, smiling at me. His diaper was on the floor, along with some poop. There was also poop on his sheets, smeared along the side of his crib, and all over his hands. (You're lucky I didn't take a picture!) Needless to say I immediately gave him a bath and changed his sheets. It was quite funny after the fact, and I was even a tiny bit proud that my 1-year old is clever enough to remove his diaper. But come on! He's 1, not 2. Isn't playing with poop something older toddlers do? Not my sweet baby!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1-Year Checkup

Ryan has his 1-year visit at the Dr.'s earlier this week. I always enjoy taking him for will well-checks because I get to see how much he has grown and talk about all his new talents. "Can he walk independently?" Oh Yea! "Can he clap his hands together?" You bet. "Does he ever wave goodbye?" All the time! It's fun to make his Dr. proud, but not fun to learn he's lagging behind on certain skills. (More on that in a little bit). Here are Ryan's growth stats as of 1 year.

Weight: 21 lbs, 2 oz (24%)

Height: 30.25 inches (65%)

Head: 18.5 inches (68%)

In terms of growth Ryan is looking great. It was when we started talking about his eating habits that the Dr. seemed a bit concerned. He said that at 1 year of age, Ryan should be feeding himself finger foods. He should be able to swallow tiny chunks of food and not have to rely on pureed baby foods for all his nutrition. I explained about how he mostly refuses to put food into his mouth, and when he does, he gags over the tiniest bit of texture and often throws up his entire meal. So Ryan's Doctor has now referred us to a food therapist. I have no idea what they will be able to do to help Ryan get past this issue, but I'm hopeful that it helps.

Speaking of gagging, here is the beautiful no-eggs, no-sugar, no-butter cake I made for Ryan's birthday. It was an apple spice cake and I actually thought it was pretty good. (It had buttercream frosting on top with tons of butter and sugar in it. It's all about balance people)

Here he Ryan when he first tasted it.

And a moment later, gagging on the tiny crumb of cake in his mouth.

Scares me every time!! I really hope the food therapy helps him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Marching for Babies

On Saturday we participated in the March of Dimes with our friends Jon, Danielle and baby Carly. It was a 3 mile walk in San Ramon that benefited premature babies. It started out pretty windy and cold. Carly was happy. Ryan was grumpy.Luckily both babies fell asleep by the end of the walk and the sun finally came out.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Feeding Himself

As you probably know, Ryan still eats pureed baby food. Each day I spoon-feed him his mushy food while dodging his hands that are trying to grab the spoon. I realize someday in the near future he will need to start feeding himself. And he won't learn unless he practices. So I grudgingly began the process tonight. I don't like messes! But messiness comes along with having a baby, particularly a little boy. Here are some pictures from tonight. Ryan was "feeding" himself yogurt. He thoroughly enjoyed himself!