Saturday, July 31, 2010

Infant Feeding 201

101 would refer to liquid feeding. Ellie has been on "solids" for about a month and a half now. The method we learned to approach this period of introducing solids is that you always do the liquid feeding before the solid feeding. When you introduce food, you don't increase the number of meals per day, you simply stick on a little spoon feeding after the liquid. The milk is still the most important source of nutrients for awhile, so you want Baby to get that before filling up on other things. Anyway, that is a great reason, right? Well, tonight, I learned another great reason. We were planning on going somewhere for a little while this evening. Since Ellie and I are still awkward at this spoon-thing together, we typically prefer to do it at home if at all possible. So I usually feed her the "solid" and then bring the milk along if we are going to be out at all in the evening. I decided in the middle of her solid food that it might not be best to take her out tonight, so instead of feeding her the milk an hour or so later, I just went ahead and gave it to her. She finished it just fine, no problem there... but then she had prune and broccoli spit-up when I burped her! Gross!

What's with the tags?!

Above, you see Ellie playing on her little floor gym. This thing is pretty remarkable, and Ellie seems to enjoy it. There are all kinds of things to grab, textures to feel, and even music that plays when she rolls a ball. It is designed to be entertaining for tummy time, back time, and sitting up. Each direction she turns, she is greeted by a loud, colorful thing that seems to scream, "Overstimulation!" Maybe that is why she has lately taken to playing with the one thing on there that is not actually intended for play... the tag. She bats at all of the different things, but the tag is the one thing that grabs her attention for "long" periods of time... like, oh, maybe 5 minutes. :-) I remember that Joshua loved tags as well. It must be a pretty standard baby thing because we even have a book that has all different types of tags sticking out of it for the baby's exploratory pleasure. Who knew?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dinner with Joshua

Last night, we had a pretty random meal. I made chicken caesar salad. Joshua ate the chicken that went with the salad, and I made biscuits to add a little more "substance" to the meal. :-) (And to encourage Joshua to eat his chicken!) Meal time had been pretty hit and miss with Joshua lately. I gave him a little barbecue sauce to dip his chicken, and it worked. (Yes, the chicken had spices on it, and no, the spices should NOT have been paired with barbecue sauce!) Anyway, Joshua did a great job eating his chicken. I brought out honey for the biscuits. Joshua had been happily eating his biscuit, and then he noticed us putting honey on ours. He indicated that he wanted some, and the next few minutes went something like this:

(Joshua licks the honey off of his biscuit and asks for more)
David: Joshua, there is still honey inside the biscuit. You don't need any more.
(Joshua gestures for more honey.)
(David gives Joshua a little bit more honey, then hides the honey behind something on the table.)
(Joshua licks his biscuit some more, then asks for more honey.)
David: Joshua, it's all gone. Eat your chicken and your biscuit.
(Joshua indignantly points to the object obstructing his view of the honey. He clearly knows it isn't "all gone." Guess we have to re-phrase...)
David: Joshua, we are finished with the honey. Eat your chicken and biscuit; you can dip it in your sauce.
Emily: Gross! Don't tell him to dip his biscuit in barbecue sauce!
David: I don't think he cares...
(Joshua dips his biscuit in the sauce and happily finishes his biscuit.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have read that children do well with schedules and order; I have heard that they like it when they know what to expect. We have seen that first-hand with Joshua in different seasons of life. These days, David kind of "does" Joshua in the evening by taking charge of feeding, bathing, and putting him to bed. I do the same with Ellie. Tonight, I bathed Joshua. He started throwing his toys at me at one point, and I was pretty surprised and kind of irritated. I started to reprimand him, and David told me that he usually throws his toys into the bucket at the end of his bath. That made me feel a little better about my wet shorts! Things went smoothly from there as I held up the bucket for his clean-up routine. From bath to bed, Joshua marches his little self around the house because he knows exactly what comes next. It is sweet! After cleaning up the toys, this is how it goes:
  • drain the water and watch it go
  • lay down on stomach and feel the water level lower
  • once the tub is empty, pretend to sleep several times before getting out of the tub
  • dry of and race to the bedroom for diaper, pjs, lotion, and hair brushing
  • go out to the living room and play for a few more minutes
  • brush teeth
  • kiss Mommy and Ellie good night
  • back in the bedroom, read from the Bible
  • clean up bedroom
  • close curtains, turn on fan and sound machine, get "Lambie"
  • turn of light, sing a song, pray,
Na Na! (Night night!)

Baby Sounds

Holding hands. Yesterday when they held hands, Joshua bowed his head to pray with Ellie. :-)

Talking to Daddy

That is a Bumbo chair. For any who don't know, it is to help infants sit up. Well, Joshua thinks it is still his, so he sits in it... and it stays one him when he tries to get out of it!

Now for a little on Ellie and talking. Well, as the books put it, she has been babbling and cooing... and hollering. Mostly hollering. A lot. Shouting, yelling, and hollering. Very ladylike, my precious girl! The first couple of days, it was clear that she was yelling instead of crying because of a tummy ache. Each day, I had a very full diaper to prove it. Unfortunately, those yelling periods coincided with our dinner hour. Nice. Over the past few days, I thought that was just her preferred way of chatting with me. However, as soon as I picked her up, she stopped. Hmmm... yep, Ellie, you got my attention! And Joshua's attention during his nap! And the neighbor's dog's attention... At one point, I wasn't sure whether yelling or screaming and crying would be better. Apparently, it makes a big difference to Joshua. The couple of times that Ellie has gotten really upset for one reason or another, it has made him really upset as well. So I guess we will take the yelling if it means we can keep the content almost 2 year-old!


Joshua's vocabulary has been growing a lot over the past couple of weeks. It has been fascinating to this language-lovin' Mama to witness his speech development. It is funny; as much as I studied language development, I could not have been prepared for this process! Joshua had been mainly using a few sings to get his point across to us, but now he says lots of different "words." I just realized a day or so ago that he probably says 30+ words, but I wouldn't necessarily have called them "words" at first.:-) It seems like I hear him say something nearly every day now and that light bulb blinks in my head.... ooooohhh, that's what that means! It's like we are learning his language as he learns our language! And each time that light bulb blinks, Joshua seems just as thrilled as we are that we understand him, so he says his new word over and over and over again. I imagine it is nice to be understood when he tries so desperately to communicate at times!

On a more nerdy note, I have thought about the definition of a word as this process has continued. It is one or more units of sound that carry meaning. That is what makes me realize that Joshua is kind of speaking English, and we are kind of learning "Joshua" at the same time. :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

Pah rum-pum-pum-pum! Joshua has several little drums. He has always enjoyed playing them. In fact, we have kind of wondered about whether he will play the drums as he grows older. In the last few days, Joshua has reached a new level of love for his drums. He pretty much keeps one with him at all times. He will begin to play in one room and then rotate from place to place. David started putting of worship music on the computer, and Joshua will sit on the couch and play along for as long as we will allow him to do so. David said that he recognizes when the drummer is visible, and it also seems that Joshua requests a song change when there isn't much drumming in it! I think he has his Daddy's love for music for sure!

Eating lessons

Ellie has been eating out of a spoon for just over a month now, and there are a few things I have noticed during that time.
  1. Every baby is different. Of course! Joshua pretty much just started eating... just like that! He gobbled up whatever I gave him, and I kind of scoffed at the books that said my baby was likely to only eat a teaspoon or two at first. Ellie is my dainty little girl; well, she is dainty in the amount that she eats, but maybe not so dainty in the way that she gets food all over everything in the process!
  2. Forget the bib. At least for now, there is really no point in using a bib when Ellie eats. Sure, it might protect the front of her outfit for awhile, but it is no match for my little girl! Even though I am the one holding the spoon, Ellie somehow manages to get food on her hands, her feet, and her arms. Of course, when you are a baby, anything that is on your hands will get everywhere else. Therefore, by the end of her meal that is usually less than 1/4 cup of mush, her bib is soaked with food, there is crusted rice mush deep in the folds of her neck, in her hair, and on the chair around her. Oh, Ellie! So I find that removing her clothes and fashioning a "bib" for the chair out of a receiving blanket is the way to go for now!
  3. How quickly we forget and move into toddler mode! Joshua didn't take his first bites very long ago, but I am amazed at how much I have forgotten about the beginning stages of eating! I puree the food a LOT longer than I had to for Joshua when I stopped making it. Ellie's bites hardly seem like bites at all because they are so tiny, and everything is an experiment... from the amount of food I prepare to watching her reaction to different flavors to the position and chair we use at mealtime. It also takes a LONG time to feed a learning baby! I have said good-bye to leisurely quiet meals for awhile, but I have to allow Ellie to eat at her leisure, for sure! I catch myself ending the meal at times because I am just tired of being patient rather than because she seems like she is finished! (But don't worry, I am getting more patient and feeding her more food!)

Friday, July 16, 2010


(Pronounced like a sing-song "bye" without the "b")

Joshua has been playing "pretend" lately. There is some special term for it, but I can't remember it right now. He takes his little metal pail, waves and says "Ayeiiii!". He heads to the door and tries his hardest to open . Thankfully, even I have trouble opening it, so we should be okay for awhile! Now, I am not sure exactly what he is modeling. Perhaps Daddy heading out the door with his lunch? Well, Joshua is never awake at 5:45 when David leaves for work. (Thank goodness!) And Mommy avoids carrying a purse at all costs! Either way, it is pretty cute! Joshua also had his first encounter with a doll a few weeks ago, much to David's chagrin. He did exactly what any toddler with an Ellie would do. He fed her a bottle, and he gave her licks - I mean burped her.:-) Joshua also enjoys making his animal crackers gallop around on the table. He also made his Ritz cracker gallop around on the table last night. It is so sweet to see his little imagination at work!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dressed to impress

I don't know about other Moms, but I have a hard time really dressing little babies. Don't get me wrong, I love to look at and imagine sweet little put-together outfits, but I just have not generally put them on my kids for long. Those decorative little dresses or accessories may sounds like a good idea, but both of my kids have mostly worn onesies for most of the first year of life. They sleep so much, I feel badly leaving them in much else! I mean, who wants to nap in a dress or a pair of jeans and shoes? Some of the outfits, while not uncomfortable, are simply not practical. For example, why wear something cute as a newborn when you are likely to have to change it after the diaper explodes, and if the diaper doesn't explode, you know you will change said diaper about 15 times in a 24-hour period? Ellie's little dresses seem comfy enough, and they aren't much hassle. She wore one to church, but she just ended up chewing on it, and when nap time came around, we just worried she would pull it up over her face and get disoriented! The exception would be what you see pictured, an outfit donned so that we could get a picture of the shoes while they fit Ellie. I mean, they are sooo cute, but what use does she have for little sneakers?! I thought she might humor me and wear them for a little while, but she was unhappy for most of the time she was wearing them. I tried to imagine how heavy they must feel on Ellie's very busy, kicking feet, and I took pity. She probably got quite a workout with those little weights!


Joshua loves his music. He would listen to it all day long. I think that he recognizes songs better than I do at times! Some of Joshua's current favorites are David Crowder, World Mandate 2010, and Humpty Who? Recently, I decided that he should learn to say "different" rather than whine or have to run over to the speakers when he would like the song to change. Each morning, each afternoon, in the car, after lunch, any time of day, Joshua gestures for music by dancing with his arms. He then says, "Di-di!" until we find a song that he likes. I think he also says it to inform me of the end of a song lest I be surprised by the beginning of the new, "di-di" tune.:-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

or playin'.:-) Last week was pretty rainy. I realized it was my first really rainy week since I have had a busy little toddler. Everything was fine as long as we got one little outing each day. Joshua likes water any way he can get it, so he even laughed gleefully when we ran to the car and got absolutely drenched after the doctor on Thursday. Since it is light so late these summer days, we usually have about an hour between bath and bedtime. Last week, we were able to go to the park one day, and then David and Joshua went to the water park in our backyard one evening!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Joshua's first report card

Today was a very big day for us. Joshua went to Mother's Day Out! Before we moved back to America, Joshua had been away from us for maybe a total of 12 awake hours of his life. (And I should mention that those 12 hours all occurred since Ellie was born!) Since we returned, he has really enjoyed participating in the Children's Ministry at our church. For a few weeks, we were taking a class, so he stayed for 3 hours on those Sundays. His "camp," as David prefers to call it, is for 5.5 hours, and nap time is included! Joshua brought home some artwork and a report card from his day. Here is what his report card says:

Art: creating nighttime pictures
Today's Theme: summer fun
Today I was: happy and friendly
Lunch Time: Ate well
Diaper changes...
Nap time: No

Did you catch that last one?! Joshua loves people, so my main concern was what he would do when they tried to get him to sleep in a room full of people. When I went to get him, (to take him to the doctor, I might add,) they said that he had not slept AT ALL!! The ladies told me he was in bed simply playing. They tried different things to help him fall asleep, but he stayed happily awake. After 45 minutes, they felt bad for him and let him get up to play. Apparently he never cried or got grumpy. I was dreading the trip to the doctor with a kid who never misses a nap and already detests the doctor, but Joshua stayed relatively pleasant for the rest of the day! In case you haven't read about our typical doctor visits, I will tell you this was probably the first visit in nearly a year that Joshua didn't scream the entire time the doctor was in the room. All things considered, I think it was a successful day!