Wednesday, January 06, 2016

11 months with Silas...

"But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality."
― Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber 

During the first weekend of the month, a rash started to develop on Silas's face. We racked our brains trying to think if he had eaten anything new that might have caused an allergic reaction. Then the next day he started running a fever. By Monday the rash had developed into swollen blisters and covered his cheeks, thumbs, one arm, and bottom, and it was obvious he felt awful.

His pediatrician said he was a very sick boy and that they would have admitted him to the hospital if they didn't know us (making me glad we hadn't gone in to urgent care over the weekend). After taking blood from both arms (it took two nurses, mom, and dad to hold him still), we went home with three potential diagnoses and four prescriptions to treat them all. We had to check in with the doctor every day, and Silas was out of school all week. By Thursday the rash started to fade, but even now (four weeks later) he still has remnants of the rash. (Turns out that his whole class was out sick Wednesday through Friday, and most with hand, foot, and mouth disease... so we're guessing that he had a really bad case of it.)

Luckily the month ended on a much better note with our trip to Shreveport to celebrate Christmas with my family. Silas got lots of love from his Lovey and Papaw, as well as tried to take away all of the toys from his cousin Luke. It was a long drive and Silas slept horribly while we were there, but it was so worth it for all of us.

We aren't big New Year's Eve people, but we rung in the New Year at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Greenville (Silas ate a whole chicken soft taco, plus some) and then were in bed by 10:30 pm. This boy is headed full steam ahead to the one-year mark, and I'm so proud to be holding his hands all the way there!

What's Silas up to?
Silas is getting a reputation of being "Mr. Personality" at school. He often needs someone to pat his back to help him calm down at nap time, and sometimes won't nap unless a certain teacher is in the room. One day all of the babies were moved to a different room for the afternoon, and he refused to nap until he was brought back to "his" crib in "his" classroom. Stubborn boy... like his daddy.

After fighting his medicines for the first couple of doses, Silas decided to open his mouth and suck the medicine from the syringes. I can't tell you how much easier this made the week. I really dreaded having to wrestle him to the ground three times a day for ten days.

As Silas started to feel better after the onset of his rash, we really enjoyed our time together in house arrest. He would play by himself in the living room for a good part of the afternoons, but take little breaks to come over for a hug and kiss. He is also starting to "dance," aka rock back and forth, when music is played. And, one of his favorite songs comes from his Fisher-Price nativity set. He will also pick out the baby Jesus figurine and give him kisses when prompted. We would repeat, "Give Baby Jesus a kiss" over and over again because it was so cute.

Silas loved pushing the walker toy that Lovey has. His balance seemed to get much better in the week we were there. He is now babbling like crazy; it kind of sounds like "baba" and "mama," but it doesn't really seem to have a meaning yet. After months of modeling the sign for "more," it seemed to really click this past week. It looks a lot like clapping, but it is very clear that he is using it deliberately. He is also starting to give me big open-mouthed kisses on the mouth.

Silas loves trash cans, and especially the two white containers we use to collect recycling. He will leap over tall buildings (or at least the barricade Daddy made with kitchen chairs) to get to them. He also loves paper. He carried around one of my mom's catalogs all day long, tearing out pages and wadding them up as he went. We have to be careful though, or it quickly ends up in his mouth. I find myself saying, "we don't eat more paper" more often than you imagine. (I was only able to get him to lay still for this month's photos by letting him "pretend" to eat toilet paper.)

Three more teeth popped through this month... the one just to the right of his front teeth first, and then the one to the left of his front teeth, and then finally the front right tooth. And, it seems like he's about to get the other front tooth at any time.

Silas traveled so well on the way to Shreveport. He slept most of the way, so we just kept on driving until he woke up from his naps. He spent the first half of the trip trying to figure out how to get Cheerios out of his no-spill snack cup, and the second half of the trip eating them one by one. Cheerios were all over the back seat and stuck in all crevices of his car seat. If he is the least bit tired, Silas hates being buckled in the car seat... he locks his knees and refuses to sit down. Which means it takes us even longer to get out the door and on the road.

From mama's perspective...
I began the month fearing that our breastfeeding days were coming to an end earlier than I hoped. My pumping supply tanked, even though Silas still seemed to be getting milk when he nursed. After a call to the lactation consultant at the hospital, I upped my vitamins and herbs (Calcium/Magnesium and Fenugreek seed) to combat the hormone changes from the return of my menstrual flow... TMI?? Sorry. The week at home sick may have been our saving grace though because we were able to save our freezer stash of milk for January.

Silas is becoming very deliberate with his toys... carefully moving them from one surface to another or taking them in and out of a box. While a month or so ago, Rob and I would wonder aloud about what was he was thinking; now as he plays, it is often very clear what is going through his head.

We were so eager to take Silas to see the Christmas lights at Roper Mountain. We were just sure that he would be amazed by all of the colored lights. However, he was much more entertained by the phone screen. Maybe next year?

This month provided lots of opportunities to be present for my family. With a week home sick (all three of us at one point) and two weeks of Christmas vacation, it was a lot of together time with Rob and Silas. And, given that blessing, I appreciate both of them all the more. Silas is at such a fun age, with his little personality shining through. As his first birthday approaches, I am amazed at how much each of us has grown and changed this year.

A few of Silas's favorite Christmas gifts...
Silas was certainly a very lucky little boy on Christmas morning. In addition to a couple of small Santa gifts, he had many gifts to open from his grandparents, aunts, and friends. Below are a few of his favorites so far. Although he also received several fun gifts that he will come to love in the months to come.

  1. Hape Mini Van : Great wooden "car" that Silas has learned to roll across the floor. With the window holes, there are lots of ways for his little hands to get a grip on it.
  2. Match Stacks Little Hipster : This maybe Silas and Mama's favorite Christmas present this year. I love that the wooden discs were made in the USA and of sustainable products. Silas loves to pour them out and carefully put each disc back in the tube. He can sit and focus on this for ten to fifteen minutes... which I'm learning is really, really long in baby/toddler time.
  3. Oops Imagine! Wooden Forest Puzzle : Magnets in each of the pieces keep these blocks standing upright. Silas doesn't yet know how to put it back together, but he sure likes knocking it down.
  4. Old MacDonald had a Farm Finger Puppet Book : Silas loves a finger puppet book. He likes to watch the puppet "dance" on each page, and sometimes leans in for a kiss. Although this is only one verse of the classic "Old McDonald" song, Silas really won't sit still for much longer yet.
  5. Lillaboo Toy Vehicles : These cars roll well across the carpet and hardwood. And the interchangeable pieces keep things interesting for mom and dad, too.
  6. Countablock : Not your average learn-to-count book. Such fun for kids and parents alike. The illustrations on the die-cut pages are gorgeous. And, there's just enough humor to keep you counting all the way to 100 (Granted, after 20, every 10 numbers are presented on just two spreads.)
  7. Litter Critter Plush Doll : Little Critter was Rob's absolute favorite as a kid, and he is eager to share the classic stories with Silas. Right now Little Critter is getting lots of open mouth kisses over his whole face.   

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

10 months with Silas...

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
― Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

10 months old... better late than never...

My mom/Silas's Lovey came to visit for a long weekend early in the month. She was able to have some one-on-one time with him while I went to work, and then I rushed home to spend the afternoons with both of them.

A few weeks later, after being home sick with RSV for a few days, he went back to daycare for one day before we headed out of town for Thanksgiving. We traveled across the state to Rob's parents house for the holiday. It was a pretty low-key trip with a big feast, a couple of walks around the lake, several sleepless nights, and lots of hanging out at the house.

What Silas is up to?
Silas started pulling up on everything... especially the living room windowsill and the corners of the side tables. And, by the end of the month, he was been cruising, taking a few steps while holding onto the couch, and even climbed the flight of stairs to the second floor by himself (with Mama close behind, of course).

Silas loves to play with cardboard boxes and empty bottles as much as any toy. He has become quite the wiggle worm during diaper changes. Sometimes though you can trick him to lay flat by handing him two toys to bang together. Banging things together is still a favorite pastime: often it's the family photo cards that I printed and laminated for him. And, sometimes he will even give the photos open mouth "kisses."

To show his love for us, he leans in to Mama's shoulder to give her kisses, yet he head-butts Daddy... which we both love respectively. When he gets upset, Silas puts his forehead on the ground as he wails, even if that means folding in half from a seated position.

Silas has learned to wave this month. He spends his whole breakfast waving to me across the kitchen, although he rarely waves on cue yet. However, he is awfully clingy in the evenings after work... I can't easily hold him as I cook dinner because he tries to grab the knife or knock over the eggs. So instead I prop him up on the bar stool or scoot his high chair over to the kitchen, so he can watch me work.

Although still a big eater, he's getting much more picky about what he eats. Often picking around his tray to choose only his favorites (sweet potatoes and corn). He also loves when we go to Jason's Deli because Daddy lets him eat off of his salad bar plate (mango quinoa, black bean salsa, feta).

Things got a little snotty just before Thanksgiving. After a long weekend of fever and snot out the wazoo, we took him in to the pediatrician. He tested positive for RSV; the doctor said that he seemed to be "handling it well," but the symptoms could last for weeks, "into the new year." Oh yay :(

Silas earned his first battle wound after taking on a fight with Grandma's coffee table. As he tried to pull up to standing on the metal and glass table, he lost his balance and bled from his forehead and nose. The first of many, I'm sure.

From mama's perspective...
I feel like we've hit a really good rhythm this month. Things feel good. I'm trying really hard to notice all the little milestones that Silas is hitting. It seems like he learns new tricks every day. On one hand, I know that many of these habits are fleeting, so I'm trying to capture them all with words and photos. But I'm also trying hard not to live with a camera in my hand and to remind myself that the memory captured is only as good as the memory made.

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