Friday, May 29, 2009

Falling asleep in the car seat: Blessing or Curse?

I'm not sure how much I like Jacob falling asleep in the car seat. Usually it is a great gift for us, but consider what has happened this week.

Wednesday morning, Jacob and I went to play date at Elana's up in Woodstock, Maryland, about half an hour away. We left a little before 9 so we could get there for 9:30. About 9:20, Jacob gave in and fell asleep in his car seat, as he often does. I wondered what to do, because we were just about there and I didn't want to bail out on the play date at the last minute. So I parked in the driveway, got stuff together to take inside and finally bit the bullet and took Jacob out of his car seat. He showed some signs of waking up. After we got inside he started to perk up quite a bit. By the time Elana served yummy pumpkin muffins, Jacob was in full play mode. Having a ten to fifteen minute nap seems to have done him well, because he stayed awake and was chipper the whole time (except when he overflowed his diaper and needed to change everything). We even left without any big conflicts/blow ups with any of the children. It was a great play date.

On the way home, he resisted falling asleep until the very last minute, which was harrowing for me. He didn't quite make it to his bed asleep, so I had to sing him back into sleepiness. I find that singing the same song over and over and over and over helps bore him back to sleep. Luckily, my tolerance for boredom is higher than his.

Today, we were going to the library for story time to be followed by the grocery story for shopping time. We left at 9:40. The library is only ten or fifteen minutes away. Five minutes into the trip, he was out like a broken light bulb. What to do? Should I stay the course and wake him up at the library with another 15 minute nap? Since the babysitter is coming today for her 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. gig, I thought it best to let him continue to sleep in the morning, rather than wake him and have him fall asleep at 12:30 and sleep through the time that the babysitter is here. I hope I made the right choice.

Why has car seat napping become so fraught with peril?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Return of my sister

My sister Rosemary has moved back from Georgia and will be staying with us for a few months. She brings with her two dogs and two cats, so Jacob's world has been infused with new and exciting interactions.

Jacob has seen the dogs before (see this and that video). He is older now, which means that he can do more than ride and point at noses. He has tried to grab on to them and hold on as they walk away. So far, this has only yielded little fistfuls of fur. He must remember that he rode one of them once, because when they lie down he tries to get on their backs. We've been pulling him off before he gets in trouble. Luckily, the dogs are very sweet and patient and put up with a lot that others would not.

The cats are fairly new to Jacob. He's seen them maybe three times before now. They are hanging out in the basement so Jacob doesn't see them too often. When we go down for laundry he gets extremely excited, i.e. he squirms and squirms until he is free to pursue them. The younger cat, Cyclopes, is smart enough to hide under the couch when Jacob is wandering around. Romulus, on the other hand, has been venturing out into the danger zone. Jacob has tried to sit on him as if he was one of the dogs! He has also tried to pet him and drum on him. Romulus has been amazingly patient and keeps coming back for more. I wonder if he will hit a breaking point or not. And if Jacob will ever get to see Cyclopes!

Angie and I are most worried about the possibility that Jacob will want to have a pet after Rosemary is gone. Hopefully he'll be satisfied with a little sister.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Scientific Progess Isn't That Great

Jacob has resumed his experiments in zombie forming this week. He's woken up a few times the past couple of nights and is getting up before 6 a.m. again. When I got home last night from Tae Kwon Do, Angie was dozing on Jacob's floor. She must have been trying to soothe him to sleep and did too good a job. She was her own collateral damage.

Jacob has made some other scientific progress too. Specifically, he has discovered doorknob technology. The first door knob he opened was the bathroom door--not when the bathroom was empty, either. Poor Angie, lucky me. He has not opened other doors yet, but it is only a matter of time and practice. I guess we'll be up for another round of babyproofing. This time, it's door knobs.

Now that he has access to the bathroom, he is making use of the facilities. No, he has not self-potty trained (though that would be totally awesome). He decided some of his little stuffed animals need to be cleaned. No, he didn't use the bath tub or the sink. He put them in the toilet. We've fished out the poor animals (ironically enough, none of them were fish) and run them through the laundry machine. I guess we have to babyproof the toilets too!

I no longer believe that scientific advancements are always a good thing. Someday, I'm sure Jacob will make a helpful discovery. I don't need a cure for cancer or the common cold, I'd be happy for vacuuming or lawn mowing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monthly Social

Today saw PATH's monthly social at the Savage Park picnic ground/playground area. Jacob and I went to have a good time with other stay-at-home parents and their children.

It was a new park so I was hoping that Jacob would like to try out new things and maybe some old things that were new variations. This park had nice climbing structures, a couple of fun slides and some swings. Instead of mulch, the ground was covered with this new, soft pseudo-concrete that is all the rage with parks these days. Since PATH was hosting the social, members also brought some fun activities: a kiddie miniature golf set with three holes, a bean bag toss, bubble mix and wands, pinwheels, sidewalk chalk, and a treasure hunt table.

Jacob showed no interest at all in the slides, swings and climbers, just like our local parks. Since there was no mulch to pick up and give to people, he decided to hand out pieces of sidewalk chalk to whoever would take them. Most everyone got one or more pieces (except me, even when I begged for it!). He then discovered the treasure hunt table, which was a toddler-height play table with little toys like plastic rings and little plastic animals buried in bird seed. Most of the kids enjoyed searching through for a little bit. Jacob became a permanent fixture of the table. He didn't so much want to find treasure as to spread around the bird seed wherever he could. I tried to get him away once and he had a little fit. I tried to coax him with food and apple juice but he just let me bring those to him at the table. He had a good time, so I guess I can't blame him.

Finally, he tired of the table and walked back over where the chalk and bubble mix were. Once he got hold of a bubble wand, he did not want to let go. He did manage to get some bubbles to form when he frantically waved it in the air. He also managed to spill the bubble mix all over the concrete border of the playground. Luckily, the other kids didn't get soaked. When I took him away from there, he made it clear that he was ready for his nap by pretending that I was the worst parent for taking him away from the bubble mix. Guilt-trip crying is starting to backfire, though; it's only toughing me up, even though I feel a little ashamed in front of the other parents. Until I realize that they are probably on my side!

Jacob got his nap at home and had a fun afternoon of hanging out in the backyard and playing with Mommy when she got home. He even enjoyed some leftover Guinness beef stew for dinner. Now he is sleeping sweetly, hopefully till late tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jacob's new discovery

We went to the park today with Jacob so that he could play on all the equipment. The only problem is that he is slowly abandoning all the equipment there.

First, he loved to ride in the infant/toddler swing, that was about all he would do at the park. Then he started climbing the wooden structure for a while. After a while, he discovered that it's lots of fun to go down the slide, so he'd only climb on the structure to go down the slide. Consequently, he realized that he could climb up on the bench and sit there with us which somehow is more fun than the climbing the structure. Then he discovered the wobble board and would only run over and stand and shake on it. Now, even that is losing its appeal.

So what's left? There's the mulch scattered on the ground. He loves to pick it up piece by piece and give it to us. Of course, if someone else is at the play area, he will give it to them instead. I am starting to worry, though. He has picked up a new interest. We've come to the time of year when little brown caterpillars are all over the place, especially at the park. Realize when I say he's picked up a new interest, I mean that literally. He's gentle at first but then I found him squeezing. Luckily that little caterpillar didn't pop. Surely it's only a matter of time though before he finds out they have a gooey center. I just hope it's a matter of a long time!

Or at least he will abandon this interest soon. But what is next?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jacob relents?

Sorry for the delay in reports from the frontiers of the new science of zombie making. It seems that Jacob is starting to relent in his scientific experiments on his parents. Today he slept in till 6 a.m.! And he took a four-hour nap for the second day in a row. I kept doing small projects today, thinking that he would wake up at any minute. So I managed to do a great deal of cleaning in the basement, I moved the War and Peace game from the basement to the study (in anticipation of the coming of Rosemary's cats), I cleaned and vacuumed downstairs (playdate is tomorrow here at the house), and did more organizing in the study. If only I had blogged!

The other big breakthrough for Jacob (that's also a break for us) is using a fork. He's been on and off putting forks and spoons of food in his mouth after we get some food on them. For the past week he has been trying unsuccessfully to pick up food with a fork or spoon, but tonight he was able to eat his carbonara with a fork all by himself (mostly). He'd get some pasta on the fork and get it into his mouth. It was very exciting for us; we can eat our meal while he eats, rather than feeding him and trying to feed ourselves at the same time. I'm sure he won't be using utensils all the time just yet, but this is very promising. Every day is a new adventure!

I am setting myself a new goal of at least two blog entries a week. Plenty of stuff is going on, but I haven't taken time to blog like I used to. I will set up a new calendar with goals to check off. That worked well during Lent, I am sure it will work again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jacob continues his campaign....

Jacob is still at it. He is inventing new sleep patterns in order to keep us off our guard and under his thumb. I guess he has to be creative since his thumb is so small.

Today, he woke before 6 again. I stayed up with him for half an hour or so, then Angie took a shift. Eventually, all three of us were awake at the same time and had breakfast. His new trick for today is to pretend he doesn't like to eat. We know he is faking because he will still eat raisins, graham crackers and bananas. Other items he refuses initially (and sometimes continually). I'm not sure if he is holding out for the good stuff or just trying to manipulate us. Either way, he is driving us crazy...zombie crazy!

He took a shorter nap in the morning (just about 2 hours) and then was really excited in the afternoon to see Kaylee here. He loves hanging out with her. They went to the sand box at one of the local parks to play. They ran into some other kids and their mom. Kaylee was able to give her number to the mom, so maybe she will get some more babysitting opportunities. We were going to have Kaylee sit for us this weekend so we could see Star Trek, but that was before we realized it's Mother's Day weekend. Our schedule is already full, so hopefully maybe next week we will get an opportunity to see the movie.

After Kaylee left, we went to pick up the blue car from the shop. Jacob fell asleep on the way home. He slept long enough that we were able to cook dinner, but then he got up so we wouldn't have a quiet meal alone. He kept nodding off in the highchair. I felt bad for him. Finally we forced him to eat by feeding him a banana first. Then we fed him bread and chicken chili. We finally got him to bath and bed an hour later than usual. So much for going to church tonight. Hopefully he'll be more cooperative on the weekend.

If anyone knows any tricks to make him sleep into the morning hours, let us know. Please, we beg you!