Posted in Parenting

Imitation

Well, it’s seasonal allergy time ’round here.  That means that I’m hard at work blowing my nose and generally emptying boxes of kleenex these days.

If you need any proof, here’s Charles doing a particularly well-played imitation of yours truly.

Oh how I adore that kid!

Posted in Parenting

The Mama Bear Effect aka My Standoff With A Bird

When we got home today, Little Dude got straight to the point of requesting he be allowed to partake in one of his most favouritest activities: playing on the balcony.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, this is the one activity he looks forward to the most when we get home.  It’s win-win ’cause he’s outside and I can get some things done (like supper and preparing his daycare bag for the next day) while keeping an eye on him.

Today, though, the little guy hesitated before opening the screen door once I opened the heavy glassed door for him.  As soon as he was ready to head out, we heard a bird screaming.  Loudly.  A few seconds later, said bird started swooping right in front of our screen door screaming at us.  The little guy figured he’d lay low and observe this interesting phenomenon from inside the house.  Eventually though, the bird must have decided that we humans weren’t *that* threatening and flew off into our backyard maple tree.

Charles immediately decided that it was a good time to head out onto the balcony, but as soon as he was out, he started pointing excitedly at something.

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A blue jay chick

Yup.  We had a blue jay chick just chillin’ about five feet away from us.  The crazy birdie that had been swooping and screaming at us initially was most definitely the mama.

And so started the stare-off.  Blue jay chick was observing human chick intently.  Human chick was observing blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay was observing blue jay chick and human chick intently.  Mama human was observing human chick, mama chick and blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay stayed perched atop a branch – probably deciding that the human chick (who had moved on to other things on the balcony) wasn’t a threat and mama human (who had read or heard that blue jays were known to be aggressive) decided to stay just inside the threshold of the home to intervene if needed.

Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.
Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.

Blue jay chick started feeling more confident.  Of course, that probably has something to do with the fact that his mama wasn’t swooping ’round constantly and the fact that my son had become completely uninterested in it (because a squirt bottle is much more interesting that a baby bird) and began exploring the balcony.

Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.
Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.

And then, it happened.

Blue jay chick explored some more and got stuck in a part of our clothesline.  Blue jay chick started screaming wildly.  Mama jay started screaming wildly.  Human chick looked at human mama.  Human mama grabbed human chick and put him inside the house.  Blue jay chick kept screaming wildly.  Blue jay mama started swooping around her chick screaming and not knowing what to do to get him unstuck.

Human intervention became necessary.  I grabbed a hand towel from the kitchen and went out on the balcony.  I planned on using it to swish above my head to avoid being attacked by a panicked mama bird while I worked on freeing her baby.  It worked.  Mama blue jay screamed at me and swooped near me, but couldn’t get close because of the hand towel that I was waving around and I managed to separate the line from the metal bar enough for the little birdie to get free.  I then promptly returned inside the safety of my home as the mama bird screamed at me for getting near her baby and my son sat on my lap wondering what in the world was going on.

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This is where the little chick got caught. Wedged right between the green clothesline wire and the vertical metal bar.

After that, blue jay mama stayed close to her chick and while the chick continued to explore our balcony, it remained very far from our clothesline.

The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.
The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.
Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Almost June

TTT

  1. A little late in the day for a TTT, but hey, better late than never, right?
  2. By next Monday, we’ll be in June.  Can you believe it !?!  The school year has zipped by.
  3. We’ve been looking at paint colors for Little Dude’s big boy room.  The bottom half of the room is going to be green and the top half blue.  The colors are going to be separated by a road decal and we’ll be adding some car and truck decals on the road.  We’ve already decided on the green that we’d use, but are now hesitating between three blues: Rushing Stream, Yucatan and Perfect Sky.
  4. The little guy has been getting his game on and has been experimenting with yelling, crying and pouting when he doesn’t get what he wants.  It never lasts very long though.  I’m hoping it’s because he understands that yelling, crying and pouting won’t get him any closer to what he wants.
  5. I don’t know if I have bad memory, but I can’t remember Charles ever moving as much as Peanut when I was pregnant with him.  Seriously, I am rudely awoken nightly with well-placed kicks to my bladder and then kept awake by a seemingly hyperactive baby.
  6. Since I’m aiming for a med-free birth this time ’round, I have started to work on a birth plan.  I found an awesome resource here and am happy with what I’ve got down on paper so far.  I like how the author of the post, a L&D nurse points out that a birth plan needs to be flexible because, well, labour and delivery is unpredictable and we shouldn’t feel as though we’ve failed at birth because things don’t go as planned.  Valerie put a great post on the subject earlier this week.
  7. While working in the garden last weekend, my partner found a couple of grub worms.  I fed one to each of my geckos.  They were very happy for the treat!
  8. In a contrast to the nice weather we’ve been having for a couple of weeks, it was really chilly outside today.  Brrr… But I won’t complain, the sun and heat is supposed to come back by Thursday.
  9. I just realized that I’m off next Monday.  I think I will try to get an appointment for a massage.
  10. Tomorrow morning, I’m heading to Charles’ 18 month checkup.  I’m curious to see how much he weighs now!
Posted in Parenting

How to Make Your Toddler Happy and Sleepy

You know it’s going to be a good day when the dada gets up with the kiddo so that the mama can sleep in a little bit.

You know it’s going to be an even better day when you wake up (after sleeping in) to the dada making a big breakfast for all of the occupants in the house.

You know it’s going to be an awesome day when you can eat said breakfast on the balcony ’cause at 7:30 am it’s cool enough yet warm enough to eat outside without freezing your butt off in just shorts and a T-shirt.

Sure enough, we had a wonderful day.

By 9am the dada, the kiddo and myself were out the door and in the car heading to the mall.  We both had some clothes to buy – well, actually, my partner actually needed some pants, whereas I decided I needed that cute dress I saw after finding a pair of leggings I actually did need (but it’s all good ’cause I’m pregnant, so I’m allowed to decide that I spontaneously need something, right?).  We also went to take a look in the LEGO store and bought a summer hat for Charles ’cause the hats he has left are either too small or too big (my MIL seems to think that Little Dude is bigger than he is – oh well, they’ll fit him fine in a year…or two 😉 ) Before heading home, we went to Home Depot to grab some paint samples for the little guy’s big boy room and some mulch and dirt for the vegetable garden.  We then stopped for some lunch and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for supper.

Let me tell you, the little guy went down like a rock for his nap when we got home.  In fact, two hours later, he was still sleeping like a baby and I commissioned my little brother to wake him up so that we’d be able to put him down for bed later during the day.

Of course, when he woke up, the little guy just had to go outside, which was a good thing as the dada and I were working outside anyways.  So I got Charles in a bathing suit, slathered some sunscreen on him, put his hat on his head and sent him out on the balcony.  Since it was quite hot outside, I made a small “pool” for him with a large plastic box which I set down at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the balcony.

Oh boy, he was so happy!

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I  mean, besides being outside, with toys he was also in some water and was able to observe his father working on the vegetable garden.  He stayed in for over an hour before wanting out.  I suspect it had something to do with the very heavy diaper he was sporting (yeah, I forgot that he had a disposable diaper on when I let him get in his “pool” – not my best moment lol).

After getting changed again, he was ready to help out with the gardening.

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You can just see him push with all his might to get the wheelbarrow moving, but it would not budge.  Of course, after all that hard work, he needed a break and came back towards the house asking for some juice.

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Soon enough, it was time for supper and the whole bedtime routine and for the first time in many weeks, the little guy did not chatter for an hour before falling asleep.  He was out like a light in no time!

I hope you all had a great weekend and happy Memorial Day weekend to my American friends!

Posted in Parenting

It’s the simple things that count

Yesterday, Little Dude had a big day. After coming back from his food allergy tests, we stopped to have lunch and I put him down for his nap once we got home. We were almost an hour late on his regular nap time and I’m pretty sure he was asleep before I was even out of his room. Like clockwork, he was awake two hours later.

 

The morning hospital visit wasn’t the end of he day’s medical visits, though. Only about a quarter hour after waking from his nap, we were back in the car and on our way to get his 18 month vaccinations. It’s crazy how many times they get pricked for routine vaccinations in their first two years of life, isn’t it? We arrived at the clinic and the little guy busied himself with charming the sock off any adult that passed through.

 

Then, it was time. I sat the little guy on me. And I explained to him what the nurse was going to do. Then, I held him as the nurse pricked his right arm. By the time he realized what had happened, it was already over and he was looking at the small round band-aid with fascination. Then, it was time for the second vaccine. This time, he knew what to expect and he looked at the nurse with a look filled with loathing, but he didn’t try to pull away. The second shot was visibly more “pinchy”, but the little bugger didn’t even cry.

 

It’s a good thing that there wasn’t a third shot though because as soon as the second band-aid was on, Little Dude decided he was done for the day. He slipped off my knees waved to the nurse saying “bye bye” and went straight for the door.

 

After the traditional 15 minute wait, I decided to bring the little guy with me to the pet shop to take a look at all of the critters and animals. He was super happy. But the summom of his day happened when I went to pay for the replacement lightbulb for one of my terrariums; the lady at the cash offered him a sticker.

 

Oh. My. Goodness.

 

Once he had the sticker on his hand, he could not take his eyes off it (nor could he stop pulling it off then putting it back on, for that matter) and he kept showing it to everyone he saw. Seriously, I’m pretty sure that an Olympic gold-medalist who broke a record isn’t as proud of his medal as Charles was of his sticker.

 

It just goes to show how it’s the little things that count. As adults, I think we can learn a lot from kids. They sure know that happiness doesn’t have to come from something complicated.

 

What have been your kids’ most treasured possession?

Posted in Food allergies

Little Dude’s Food Allergies: Progress!

So today we went back to see Charles’ pediatric allergist to retest his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds.  I decided to take him into the city with the commuter train.

He was really excited when the train arrived on the platform and we lost no time in boarding.  Charles happily sat down while we waited for the train to leave, but when it did he had the surprise of his life!  Oh my, he became so startled when he realized that the scenery outside the window was moving, he quickly gestured that he wanted to sit on me.  Of course, his surprise isn’t really surprising, when we’re in a vehicle, he’s always strapped in.  This time, though he had more freedom.  As soon as he realized this, he became super happy and split his time between looking out the window and chattering with the random people who would pass by us inside the train.

We arrived at our appointment with about 20 minutes to spare and were called in rather quickly.  We first went to see the allergist who asked how everything was going and if we had discovered new reactions.  When I mentioned basil, she told me that she thought (given the very small reaction he gets) that it is more of an irritation than an actual allergy.  She was also very happy to hear that the little guy eats a variety of foods and wasn’t bothered when I told her that, besides water and juice, Charles has a variety of non-dairy milks instead of toddler formula (even though she had suggested we keep him on soy-based toddler formula until 2 years of age).  I guess she found him to be pudgy enough to go without the formula 😉

We then went back to the waiting room and Little Dude had fun drawing with the markers while I listened for his name to be called.  It didn’t take very long until it was his turn and back we went for the skin scratch test.  The nurse tested his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds and we were sent back to the waiting room for 10 minutes.  I expected the patch of skin exposed to dairy to react very quickly as it had six months ago, but was hopefully optimistic when, after 5 minutes, there was still no reaction to be found.  By the time we were called back in, Charles had had a very small reaction to dairy (a LOT) smaller than the first time ’round and absolutely no reaction to flaxseeds!

Score 1 for Charles!

Because of the big difference in reactions to dairy after a six month dairy-free period, a second scratch test was then done with a drop of real milk on his skin (as opposed to the synthesized dairy solution that had been used earlier).  This time, we weren’t even back in the waiting room and his skin had already started to puff up around the scratch.  Oh well, we can’t win them all now, can we?

Nonetheless, our allergist was super positive about the results.  She encouraged me to try flaxseeds again, starting with very small quantities mixed in with other stuff and working our way up to bigger quantities if Little Dude doesn’t react.  She also explained that since Charles had hardly reacted to the first dairy test of the day, we should go ahead and try to use cows milk when we bake (and work our way up from there).  She explained that the solution they first used didn’t contain all of the proteins that fresh milk does and that this usually indicates that though I very clearly still can’t give the little guy a glass of milk to drink, I can use it in recipes because once it is heated up and mixed with other stuff, its composition changes enough that Charles’ body doesn’t recognize it as being a danger.

Perhaps, in January, when we have another follow-up appointment, I’ll have more good news!

So….score 2 for Charles, right?

A part of me is excited by the news, but another part of me is still fearful.  I mean, I know I should try flaxseeds and dairy in baking recipes, but this is my little boy we’re talking about.  We always have benadryl on hand and an epinephrin injector, but still…

I will try though.

Does anyone have experience to share in the realm of disappearing allergies and progressive re-exposure to the past allergen?

Posted in Parenting, Toddler

Rosy Cheeks

Today was an awesome day!

Since it was a holiday, I was off work (yay!) and it was a beautiful day.  Sunny, hot (but not too hot).  Perfection.  Needless to say, the little guy was thrilled.

You see, he absolutely loves to play outside.  Now that he’s understood that outdoors = fun (because it was kind of hard for him with all the snow this past winter) he wants to go out all the time.  Seriously.  Yesterday morning, he was up at 6:15 am and was asking to go out 15 minutes later.  Dude, let mama wake up, will ya!

Today was no different and he spent loads of time outdoors.  After getting up, we had some breakfast.  Then I got him dressed and we walked his dad to work.  He started getting tired when we were almost home (as the trip to work and back is a little over one kilometer), but he immediately forgot his fatigue when we turned onto our street and he saw the park.

Oh boy, he was excited!  He practically ran to the park and we spent quite some time there on the swings.  Then, he decided to go down the slides over and over and over again.  He wasn’t super pleased when I coaxed him back towards the house, but he didn’t make a big deal over it so it was all good.

Once we were back in the house, he helped me with the laundry (he especially loved handing me the clothes to hang on the clothesline ’cause that meant we were back outside 😉 ) and I phoned my parents to ask them if they wanted to go have a picnic and take a walk with Little Dude and myself.  They, of course, agreed.  I mean seriously, who can resist spending some time with Mr. Cuteness?

Incidentally, it's getting really hard to take pictures of my boy.  As soon as he sees a camera, he comes in as close as possible to try to grab it.
Incidentally, it’s getting really hard to take pictures of my boy. As soon as he sees a camera, he comes in as close as possible to try to grab it.

We ended up going back to the Ecomuseum and, after having some lunch, got to see some of his favourite animals (namely, the turkeys).  Once again, he walked almost the whole way despite the fact that we had already passed his nap time.  He was tired, but also wildly happy about observing everything around him which meant that he wasn’t cranky.

Quite predictably, Charles fell asleep in the car and wasn’t very pleased with me when I changed his extremely wet diaper (the little guy drinks so much when it’s hot out and our bamboo inserts just aren’t cutting it), but went down for his belated nap happily.

I woke him after two hours and off we went again to get daddy from his workplace.  This time, though, I brought the stroller along and Little Dude was grateful for the ride.  We stayed outside when we got home and helped the dada start setting things up in the yard.  Charles and I cleaned the patio set while we let his father do the heavy lifting.

Of course, every good thing must come to an end and though we had spent some (read: a LOT of hours of) good time outside, it was time to get in, have supper and get the bedtime routine rolling.

This is how happy my son was with me when I brought him back inside.

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But why can’t we stay outside just a little while longer?

He did end up calming down when I took out the DS for him to play with and he ate like an ogre at supper.  And now, after chattering a storm in his crib for the last hour, he’s finally asleep.