Friday, April 27, 2012

discovery museum, slc

i met up with a friend over the weekend at the children's museum in slc.  cindy and i have been friends since we were 14 and her family moved to virginia from new york.  she moved to utah a few years ago and we've seen each other once a year when we'd go up to logan for the annual ms ride.  when we were talking on the phone arranging this get together, cindy then told me they were moving back east--so it'd been almost a year since we'd seen each other, and it was good to catch up before they leave utah.  david came, too, and kept pace entertained while cindy and i sat and talked, and her boys ran around like crazy.  it was a long day, and pace fell asleep in the car before we'd even left the parking lot!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

bubbles, belly buttons, and 17th percentiles

pace had his 18-month check up yesterday:
weight: 21.8 pounds (17th percentile)
height: 32.25" (40th percentile)
so in the six months since his last check up, he grew 3 inches and gained 2 pounds.  we're pretty sure the zeleny metabolism gene jumped from my mom to pace (unfortunately skipping the middleman: me).  pace started whimpering in the parking lot when we pulled up to the building.  he hates the movement of elevators, and since he was already crying, we decided to take the stairs.  he didn't like that too much, either.  he hadn't been to the pediatrician since his 12 month check up six months ago--did he remember this building and stairwell?!  or do dr's offices just all have the same feel and smell?  he hates doctors, whether they are for me or him.  i try and schedule my ob appointments during his nap time so i can just have a friend come over and hang out while he's sleeping, but the few times i've had to bring him to my appointments, it's all drama.   

he calmed down in the waiting room when he saw the fish tank, and was entertained by them while i was filling out his paperwork.  but when the nurse came and called our his name, the waterworks started all over again!  he hated laying on the exam table so i could undress him, he didn't like having his head measured or laying on the wooden board they use to measure length.  he was somewhat ok standing on the scale for his weight, but he was still whimpering.  poor kiddo!  he kept signing "all done", and i kept telling him, "sorry--we aren't done yet--we're just starting!"  once the nurse left and we could look out the window at the meadow, birds, horses, etc., he was ok.  he started drawing on paper and got off my lap to look around.  but the second the doorknob turned and dr. mumford stepped in, pace went into immediate fight-or-flight mode (the flight part)!  immediately crying, he ran and tried to squeeze himself in between the chair and the wall to get away from the dr.  he finally came to me and sat on my lap, but he cried the entire exam.  dr. mumford was nice enough to complete the exam with pace laying on my lap so we didn't have to lay him back on the scary exam table.  he did wave bye-bye to dr. mumford (still crying), which was an improvement, i guess.  he was so worked up over the nurse and dr. that i don't think pace even paid attention to the one shot he needed--the needle was definitely not the worst part of the visit!

at eighteen months, pace is such a timid, reserved, sensitive little boy, but he can also be social, playful, and somewhat flirtatious, depending on his environment, who is around him, and who he is with in that environment.  he's always been much more confident and comfortable when david or i are around, even as an infant.  we've recently started getting sitters--i think we've had a sitter two or three times--and he never cries when we leave, as long as it's a one-on-one play situation with the sitter, and she's coming over to our house, into his environment, and he's the one showing her his toys.  a friend of mine picked him up once to watch while i went to a dr's appointment, and he screamed bloody murder as she was carrying him down the walk, away from me, and buckle him up in the car seat in her car (even though this is a good friend of mine who he knows and we've played at her house on numerous occasions).  he still loves all things soft and fluffy.  in the mornings when i get him up he'll often point at each of his stuffed animals, hug them, give them a kiss, and then hand them to me to also hug and kiss.

pace is very intelligent--those big eyes of his don't miss a thing, and he very quickly figures out how things work, or what they are.  he also gets frustrated and impatient very easily, if those things don't work how he thinks they ought to, or go as as quickly as he'd like them to.  his vocabulary is very fun--both verbal and non-verbal.  verbally, he has skipped single-syllable words and has decided to focus on double-syllable words: isher (mixer--the kitchen aid mixer), dender (blender), dooder (juicer, scooter/motorcycle, david's toy helicopter, depending on the context), behbow (elbow), lyah-lyah (flower--i have no idea how this one developed; he used to say "bower" for flower), bubbo (bubbles), bippo (hippo--stuffed animal), duhduh (water), boooo (balloon).  he calls david dada, and calls me mamo (i have no idea where the "o" came from; we've always referred to me as mama--but it's so adorable, i love it!).  beebee (binky and baby, depending on the context), eeeeeese (cheese--he squeals this word), gock (clock), guh (bug), and of course his standard bao (ball) and buh (bird--although yesterday he clearly said the full word, bird).  he is also very adept at waving his pointer finger back and forth and saying, "no, no, no!"  

non-verbally, he understands everything we say to him--commands, double request commands, if we tell him to go find something in another room, he'll come back with it, go upstairs, brush teeth, time for bed, etc.  he loves, loves, loves his abc's.  he consistently tells us the sound that 15 or so of the letters make when we point to them, and he'll voluntarily say the sounds if he sees the letter somewhere.  he knows and points to all his basic body parts: head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, cheek, neck, shoulders, belly, belly button, arms, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers, legs, knees, ankle, toes.  he also knows all these words written out--if you write it, he'll "read" it and point to the body part.

we have a little puzzle game he's starting to do, as well.  one side of the puzzle is a picture, and the other side of the puzzle is the word.  we've started laying them all out in a big pile, and we'll pick up the picture and ask him what it is.  he'll either do his little sign for it, or point to it (shoes, hand, eye, etc), and then we'll ask him to find the word that matches the picture from the pile.  he does it every time!  we've gotten through about half of the puzzle pieces in this box.  it's pretty fun to watch him--he usually sits on my lap, but when i ask him to find the word, he'll get up, walk over to the pile, and look at all the words until he's found what he wants--you can watch his little gears turning, and he is even starting to sound out the letter he knows the word starts with, and trying to find the word that starts with that letter.  then he'll very proudly come back and sit on my lap and clap as we put the pieces together.  he also knows square, circle, rectangle, triangle, and heart--if i draw all the shapes on a piece of paper he points to each one i name. oh--and pace draws and eats left-handed, but throws right-handed...

pace is a little helper.  i've said this before, but he loves, loves, loves helping more than playing!  he'll help me unload the dishwasher, change laundry loads, set the table for dinner (i'll tell him to get his plate, fork, and bib from his drawer), help cook anything i am cooking, pull weeds, etc.  if i tell him i have to go to the bathroom, he runs into the bathroom, sets the toilet lid up, lets me sit down, and then pulls down the toilet paper for me.  i'm hoping letting him do this (and telling him every time i go that this is where big kids go potty) will lead to a very quick and positive potty-training experience!

pace is turning into a daddy's boy--the first thing he asks for in the morning is his "dada", lights up when i tell him we're going to go see dada at work, and loves it when david is able to come home for a lunch break.  he loves being outside, loves going for walks in his stroller, and loves going to the park (although once we get there he's more content to sit and watch the other kids play than swing or go down a slide himself!).  he's also very musical--the second he hears music, he'll start dancing, and he helps conduct the music at church.  he loves looking at hymnbooks, sings along with his jibberish, and has lately started requesting songs (i'll ask him what he wants to sing, and he'll say "upababa" for twinkle twinkle--he remembers the 'up above the world so high' line--or "whoawhoawhoa" for row, row, row your boat, or "gagagaga: for child of god).    

he is a great eater, although his little waif-child weight doesn't reflect that!  he isn't picky at all, eats four meals a day, and is pretty content to eat what i place in front of him--from fruits and veggies to chicken curry and rice to salmon and lentils.  there are days where he'd rather have pancakes for breakfast than eggs, but everyone does, right?!  example menu from yesterday: breakfast: probably 1/2 cup total of oatmeal with greek yogurt and jam, fruit smoothie with protein powder.  snack: half slice of cranberry banana bread, and a whole orange.  lunch: probably 1/4 cup of steak with pasta salad--including roasted broccoli, cauliflower, fresh tomatoes, and cannelinni beans (leftovers from dinner the night before), a whole slice of sourdough bread with apricot jam, half mozzarella cheesestick.  we did a costco run and he LOVES free samples, so he had a bunch of samples there, then when we got home had another little snack of crackers, a kiwi, dried blueberries and cranberries, a handful of lucky charms (he picks out the marshmallows--who taught him that?!).  dinner: probably 1/2 cup total of salmon and spinach and cheese strata.  and he's drinking milk and water all day long.  oh, and he's mastered the art of blowing bubbles into his drink through a straw.  teeth: four bottom front teeth, all four back molars, top incisors still working their way down.

he is still a morning person, waking up between 630-7, naps 9-ish to 11-ish, 2-ish to 4-ish, and in bed between 7-730.  he's starting to phase out one nap a day, and it's always random--sometimes it'll be the morning nap, sometimes the afternoon nap, and sometimes he'll go down later and combine the two into one big nap.  sometimes i'll hear him jabbering and singing to himself when he wakes up, but most of the time he'll quietly sit in his crib and play with his stuffed animals, perfectly content to just hang out there until i come and get him.  i took away his binky last week, thinking it'd be an easier fight now than later, but of the five days he went without a binky, i think he had a combined total of four hours of naptime sleep (binky is only used for naptime and bedtime).  when i'd put him down for his morning nap, he'd sit in his crib for literally an hour jabbering to himself, singing, shouting--but not sleeping.  afternoon naps were the same--he'd sing/jabber for about an hour and then maybe fall asleep for about 45 minutes.  bedtime--jabber/shout for an hour before finally nodding off.  so i decided to give him the binkies back, and he's gone right back to normal sleep schedule.  he knew when he was done nursing, so hopefully he'll do the same with the binky. 

phew!  i think we're all caught up with our little pace-boy!  here he is, blowing bubbles after dinner last night (and sporting a great farmer's tan!), and the last few photos are him pointing to his belly button when i asked him where it was.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

making pizza

what's better than pizza for dinner on a friday night?!  pace is my little helper--we have to convince him it's ok to play at the park, but he'll come running at any chance to help me unload the dishwasher, change laundry loads, or help out in the kitchen.  anytime dinner is going, he runs up to me and says, "up!  up!"  for me to pick him up so he can see what's simmering away in the pots and help stir them.  we have a little step stool he asks to climb up on, as well, so he can help out with whatever's happening at the counter.

at this point, he's such an obedient boy, and listens to and follows the instructions i give him that i have no qualms with him "helping" in the kitchen.  he knows to stir things in a pot "soft and gentle" so it won't splash out on him, he'll stay away from the oven when i open it (even though he's crying the whole time because i won't let him stay next to me), whenever he's sitting on the counter or the step stool, i am right there with him so we won't have any more "stunts" happen.  i explain each step i am doing when i'm prepping or cooking something, and he seems to enjoy it!

here we are, spreading semolina to roll out the pizza dough--he had a lot of fun with this step--i think more semolina ended up on the floor than the counter!  i showed him to keep it in a circle, but i think he just loved feeling the new texture and seeing it fly across the counter!  this was the first time he'd seen and used the rolling pin, but knew just where to hold it (i guess from watching me the first few times), and was ready to jump in and roll out the dough.  pace is such a good little boy--i love my kitchen time with him!  ps:  please excuse me in my third trimester "glory"--this trimester certainly isn't my most shining moment...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

just because he's cute

for some reason pace loves sticking his fingers in his ears during mealtime.  here's pace's sweet, sweet smile, and in the other photo i asked him to make a fishy face.

new garden area

we saw blueberry plants on sale at costco and that sparked the garden reinvention.  with the beds in the garden area, we had mostly mulch in that area, and not much gardening space.  we wanted to better utilize the area--and grow more plants!  we thought it'd be really fun to have the blueberry bushes, but in researching how they thrive, we learned they require an acidic soil.  so we decided to use the smaller beams from the existing beds and create a square bed for just the blueberries with the different soil.  david cut up the longer boards to make a border around the electrical box and at the base of the garden so the soil won't run out into the cul-de-sac (we ran into the mulch floating away after a few really good rainstorms last year).  our neighbors have raspberries in the small spaces by the electrical and cable boxes, and they grew shoots over the winter that were popping up in our garden area and their lawn.  we asked them if we could dig them up and replant them in our garden area and they said of course.  so we have 3 raspberry shoots and 3 blackberry shoots (wild from the church lot next to our house) that are now a part of the new garden!  the rest will be a ton of tomato plants, zucchini, and tomatillo.  from the past years we've learned these are the only plants we really eat and use, so we'll just plant them this year.

it rained all day yesterday, and the sun came out around 5.  just in time for pace to have some run-around time before dinner and bed.  he loves all the dandelions in our yard, and had fun finding all the poofy ones and blowing them all over the yard.

scripture study

pace and david reading scriptures together.  i think this was the story of alma and nehor--we seriously condense the captions, so when it got to the part about alma contending with nehor, all david said was, "no, no, no, nehor!"  shaking his finger back and forth.  pace joined in, waving his finger back and forth and saying, "no, no, no!" in his little boy voice.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

advertisement: toddler stunt double school

do you want your toddler to barrel roll down a flight of stairs with ease?  how about crab walk off concrete porch stairs while playing outside?  or face-plant it from the height of a children's plastic bus?  if you answered yes to any of these questions, call the coombs' toddler stunt double school today!  we have two on-site trainers, medical personnel, and a guinea pig who has already tried and tested each stunt so that we have perfected it for your own child!  

the barrel roll:  starting at the top of 15 carpeted stairs, your child will learn how to "walk" unsupervised downstairs without the aid of a bannister or railing.  within 2-3 stairs, your child will naturally fall from the bipedal position to the barrel roll, and continue his/her journey to the bottom of the flight of stairs.  The barrel roll has proven so successful (vs. the head-over-heels method) that your child will lie at the bottom of the staircase dazed, scared, and crying, but unscathed.  we will strip your child down to the diaper to fully examine limbs, joints, and soft areas for bruises, fractures, or (heaven forbid) breaks.  If your child is anything like ours, the barrel method will prove successful once again and your child will be up and reading books and naming body parts 60 seconds after the spill.

the crab walk:  this move includes only two stairs, but it is outside, and they are concrete, not carpeted.  your child must love throwing a tennis ball from the front porch down the walkway, and then crab walk from the porch down the stairs to the walkway, and run after the ball.  this move is best accomplished when wearing a newly-purchased, somewhat large pair of shoes that are still a little clunky.  having learned the barrel roll down the stairs wasn't quite so fun, your child may learn that crab walking down the stairs is a slightly better method.  however, when adding the newly-purchased, somewhat large pair of shoes that are still a little clunky, your child will very quickly learn that even crab walking will result in a spill.  multiple scenarios are foreseen, but the best case spill is when the child catches himself mouth-and-nose-first on the concrete and your husband rushes your child inside screaming with a bloody mouth and fat lip.  this is where our medical personnel will expertly step in.  most mouth injuries are very bloody because of the thousands of blood vessels there, and all they need is a good rinsing with cold water.  the trained medical expert will rinse out your child's mouth, examine gums/teeth/lips/etc. to verify there is no lasting damage, find a binkie, and cuddle him to sleep for a good nap.  later in the day, we will be playing throw-the-ball-and-crab-walk-after-it again.

the face-plant:  this move requires equipment.  more specifically, a plastic bus purchased on clearance from a cheap department store with a 3 foot piece of stereo cable tied to it to pull it along the sidewalk.  it is best to purchase this cheap toy because they really aren't designed as an outdoor toy, and especially tying a "rope" onto it as a pulling device that wasn't originally there will make this toy even more prone to tipping over.  tip-overs can occur on sidewalks, paved roads, hills, and even flat ground.  be sure to have your child wear his/her favorite pair of sun glasses while riding the bus.  some kids are naturals, and others may need to be instructed to be sure to--no matter what--never let go of the steering wheel, even when tipping.  if they were to let go of the steering wheel, this may result in catching themselves with their hands, and they would completely miss the chance to face-plant it, breaking their sunglasses and getting a mini-goose-egg above their eye.  

these experiences can all be yours--within a time frame of a few short weeks--but you must call now!  toddlers grow quickly, and it's a very small window that you can capitalize on their awkward stumblings! **

**we would attach a testimonial here, but our guinea pig was busy nursing his fat lip...         

trying out new kicks

this is pace's fourth pair of shoes, not because he has worn through the shoes, but because his feet keep growing!  he is now in size six (for toddlers)...hopefully baby #2 will be able to wear some hand-me-down kicks!