Take A Walk With Jan #3

I dislike bugs. I really do. Well, some bugs. There are some that I rather enjoy. I’m not afraid of these tiny critters, per se, but I hate when they fly into my face, or get stuck in my hair, or sting me, or fly around my son. They are assholes. I generally don’t bother or kill the bugs, unless they are really bothering me or the baby, or if Kyle demands it because he is terrified of most things with more than two or four legs.

I know it’s not really their fault. They are just flying around their home (which is the whole of the outdoors, by the way), minding their own business, when a giant walks into their living room and starts swatting at them. I’d bust out a baseball bat if someone did that! Hell, I’ve actually gone out of my way to rescue certain critters from imminent death (moths, caterpillars, large spiders, praying mantis mostly).
buggyyyy
This is Jim the Praying Mantis. I saved him from the middle of the street a few weeks ago, and put him on the tree outside of our apartment. Tell your friends, Jim! Tell them to leave me alooone! I leave them alone, and even save them, but do they show me the same kindness and courtesy? No. No, they certainly do not.

This whole week is supposed to be in the 70’s and sunny, so I decided that we would try to get in as many walks as we can before the cold weather comes. Seconds after we left our apartment, as I was strapping Liam into his stroller, a ladybug landed on his cheek. He reached his hand up to touch it, and it crawled onto his hand, then up his arm, before flying away. For a brief moment, I thought, “Aww, that was cute!” But, no, it wasn’t. Because out here in the cornfields, ladybugs are tiny, spotted demons. And I despise them.

The walk to the park wasn’t too bad. It was warm and breezy, and we avoided the sidewalks where the majority of the evil ladybugs seemed to be hovering about. The park, however, was a different story. I had stopped at Subway to grab a veggie sub, and planned to sit under one of the gazebos to eat once we got to the park.

Nope. NOPE.

I forgot that today was Sunday, and there were dozens of teenagers roaming the park, hogging all of the gazebos and picnic tables. I walked all the way to the other end of the park and sat under one of the empty gazebos, but Liam and I were relentlessly attacked by both spiders and ladybugs, and ended up sitting on a bench out in the open to eat. The bench was right next to one of the playgrounds, where there were three teen/pre-teen kids goofing around on the swings, including messing with the baby swing, so we couldn’t use it. Teenagers are such dickbags. Then, I overheard the following conversation:

Girl #1: I hate how young I look, it’s so stupid.
Boy: Why? That doesn’t make sense.
Girl #1: I look really young. I hate it.
Boy: You are young…
Girl #2: Madison, you are, like, 10. Stop.
Girl #1: But I look 10.
Boy: You ARE 10.
Girl #2: But you look, like, at least 15. So it’s okay!
Boy: Why don’t you want to look 10? You are 10.
Girl #1: I don’t expect you to get it. Just shut up.
Boy: Wow. Whatever.

The boy then grabbed his skateboard and went over to the playground, but stopped when he saw us, and walked over.

Boy: Hi. Cute baby, is he yours?
Me: Thanks. Yeah, he is.
Boy: Cool. How old are you?
Me: I’m 25.
Boy: Oh.
Me: …
Boy: …
Boy: Nevermind, I just thought you were young.
Me: … *awkward smile*

Then he waved to Liam and walked back over to the girls.

Wait. Wait a minute. What? Was he saying I looked young? But then called me old? I’m confused. Either way, I now feel old. Thanks, kid.

Then, it happened.

On the walk back, there was a bug hovering around my head. I knew it wasn’t a ladybug, but swatted it anyway. Then it flew out in front of me, and ducked beneath the hood of the stroller. I saw it. Black and yellow. In a moment of panic, I pulled the hood back, and saw a yellow jacket, floating right in front of Liam’s face. He saw it as well, and I was terrified that he would reach for it and get stung. My mama bear instincts set in, and I smacked the yellow jacked out of the air. He flew around me, and I hit him again. He got me back, though, stinging the top of my wrist. No allergies, so I’m fine, but it hurt. Bastard.

We then tried to rush home, but ended up getting stopped a few blocks away by a young couple, who wanted to ask me questions about our stroller, because they really liked it (we have a Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System, Gotham by the way, it is amazing). The walk back was much less eventful, thankfully. I had to give myself, Liam, and the stroller a look over once we got inside to make sure we didn’t bring home and stowaways.

I am ready for the cold weather. I thought I wanted it to stay away, but I now realize how foolish and naive I was.

BRING. ON. THE. SNOW.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Advertisements

There Is Always Something

The last few days have been rough. I’ve blogged a bit in the past about our horrible experiences with apartments, whether it be a slumlord landlord, drug dealing (but very friendly) neighbors, or tiles falling on our heads as our entire living room ceiling collapses, there is always something. Our luck, with most things in life it seems, is awful. I have no idea why. I try to have a positive outlook on things, I swear I do, but it can be really difficult to see the bright side of things, when there is something new and awful happening every other day. When there is nothing you can do, and everything is always going wrong, and there is no one who can help you. It breaks you down.

Wednesday started off like a pretty good day. Despite Liam going through a bit of sleep regression, we all woke up relatively well-rested, had some play time, got ready for the day, and went out on the town. Liam had a WIC appointment in the afternoon, where the lady complimented his development and how much he has grown, and talked to us about life, and how great it is that I read up so much on milestones. We were all in a great mood. We got home pretty late, just before Liam’s bed time (around 6:30). I made Liam a bottle, put him in his crib, and stayed with him while he drank. Suddenly, I heard a loud pop, followed by the sound of rushing water.

There are four apartments in our building, and our walls are paper thin. I can hear ever conversation, TV program, and footstep happening in the building. Because of this, I assumed the noise I was hearing was the sound of our next door neighbor using their tub, which is right on the other side of the wall. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was a little too loud to be coming from next door, so I peeked my head into the bathroom, and was greeted by a waterfall of steaming hot water pouring out from the cabinet beneath our sink, flooding our bathroom, and creeping into the hallway.

Um?!

I immediately opened the cabinet doors, and saw that one of the mesh tubing pipe things had exploded. It wasn’t rusted. It wasn’t frozen. It just exploded. What the freaking heck? I wrapped my hand around the pipe to see if I could stop the water, as I simultaneously turned the valve to shut off the water. Then, three things happened: 1) I cut my hand on the jagged mesh around the pipe, 2) I burned my hand and arm on the scalding water coming out of the pipe, and 3) the rusty valve to turn off the water SNAPPED OFF and fall into the water. I freaked out and started calling for Kyle, who was in the living room. Between my yelling for him, and then Kyle’s yelling upon reaching the bathroom, Liam started crying.

While I threw every towel that we own on the floor to try and contain the growing flood (after we had just gone to the laundromat and done several loads of laundry, since Kyle doesn’t have a day off for another week and a half), Kyle ran upstairs to get our neighbor, who is a bit of a handyman, and always helps us out with things (remember my hornet incident? That was him who helped). He came in with tools and tried to help Kyle shut off the water while I comforted Liam, who was now wide awake and upset with the noise. They managed to figure out how to turn off the water to the apartment via the creepy, outdoor storm cellar that the whole building shares, and luckily the water never reached far past the threshold of the bathroom door.

But now, we had no water.

We have a landlord, but we have never met or spoken to him. We pay our rent and make repair requests through a realty agency, which closes at 4:00pm, and we had no emergency number or website to help us out. I called and left them a politely bitchy message, spelling out our situation. Did I mention that we had just re-signed our year-long lease THAT SAME DAY? Yeah.

Kyle went to the store to pick up bottled water and paper towels, and I finally managed to get Liam back to sleep. It only took two rolls of paper towels, and every towel that we own, to soak up all the water, and then it was like nothing had happened.

Except, we had no water.

The realty place got back to me first thing in the morning, and within an hour, our maintenance guy was there fixing our pipe. His name is Steve, and he is super nice. He looks like my dad, which is weird, but he is really nice.

Liam was having a hard time falling asleep for his nap with Steve making noise, so we decided to go out for the day again, since Liam had a doctor appointment on that anyway, but that’s a different story.

Our pipe got fixed, we have water again, and not a single towel (other than toddler towels) to use for the next week. Cool!

I should also mention that I am thankful that our apartment didn’t burn down, considering our breaker box is UNDERNEATH THE SINK, inches away from where the burst pipe was spewing water. Code violation? Yes.

Since we are “celebrating” our one-year anniversary in this apartment, let’s look at all the things that have gone wrong in the time we’ve been here!

1) On the VERY FIRST NIGHT that we started moving in, we were sitting in our empty living room with our friends Joe and Mercedes, who had helped us move stuff, and were enjoying pizza, when suddenly, we heard a crash. Just a few feet behind us, in the middle of our dining area, a river of dirty water was pouring from a hole in the ceiling. It poured for just a few seconds, then continued to steadily drip for, well, the rest of the night. We put a tiny garbage can beneath the leak, since it was the middle of the night and we couldn’t call anyone. The maintenance guy came out the next day to “fix” it. This involved sawing out a HUGE section of our ceiling, and fixing the pipe in the ceiling, which was actually connected to our neighbor’s kitchen sink. It was dirty, dish water. Yum! It took several more weeks before it was able to cut a piece of plaster to cover the hole in the ceiling and drill it into place. It has now been a full year, and he still hasn’t sealed it. And, yes, we have reminded him. See the picture below!
12177421_10205218749607798_1255472141_o
(One year of having to look at this right above the dinner table!)

2) We had been living here for about a month, when we realized that our wiring kind of sucks. You can’t have anything in the bathroom, kitchen, or back half living room plugged in and running when you use the microwave, or you blow the fuse. Microwave + toaster? Blown fuse. Microwave + space heater in the hallway? Blown fuse. We have to flip the breaker at least once a day. Sometimes, it can’t handle just the microwave running. Super frustrating.

3) A month and a half after moving in, our fridge and freezer stopped working overnight, and we lost quite a bit of money in dairy and meat that had to be thrown out. The maintenance guy brought us a “new” fridge from storage, which contained NO shelves. Not even the glass/plastic shelves that go over the drawers at the bottom. This fridge, despite taking up less room in the kitchen, was actually larger on the inside that the previous fridge, and the shelves did not fit in it at all. We had to pile our remaining, unspoiled food at the bottom of the fridge. It took a few days, but we finally got shelves. But it took over 3 months to get rid of the broken fridge. It sat in the middle of our eating area the whole time, so we didn’t even have our table set up. Our guy always had an excuse for why he couldn’t pick it up, and since I was very pregnant, I couldn’t even help Kyle drag it outside. Eventually, he got a friend to help him drag it to the porch. Two days later, some scrappers in a pick-up truck asked if they could have it, I told them they could, and then it was gone.

4) This one is something that we could probably fix ourselves, but I haven’t gotten a chance to after the first time I attempted. We have two doors that lead into the apartment. Our “front” door, is connected to the living room, which goes out into the building’s hallway that the 4 apartments all share. This door is solid as a rock, well insulated, and makes a very loud suction noise when you open and close it. The back door, which leads to the porch, and is in the back hallway where the bedrooms are, is not so sturdy. The outside storm door is completely crooked, leaving a half inch gap along the top of the door. We’ve had spiders, ladybugs, and hornets building nests live between our two doors. There is also a large hole at the bottom of the door, which was covered with duct tape by… someone. The door to the apartment is also crooked, and there is a gap between the door and the door frame. The gap is so bad, that you can see straight outside through it. I’m not joking. Because of this, the back of the apartment is freezing in the winter. We tried to get strip insulation, but it was too thick, and I ended up not being able to close the door at all. I had to pull it all off, ruining the door frame. It is now almost November. Gotta fix it, or we’ll be in for a VERY cold winter this year. Again.

5) When we did the initial tour of the apartment, the woman who works at the realty company told us that his apartment had forced heating, as well as central air. That is the main reason we chose this apartment over our next top choice. But when it started warming out outside, and we tried to turn on the air, nothing happened. The thermostat has settings for the fan and air, but we couldn’t get it to work, so we called the realty people. The man who called me back told me that none of the apartments in this building had air. They never have. Those are just universal thermostats. WHAT? We didn’t have enough money for a window AC unit, and couldn’t even open our windows, because NONE of them have screens. I mentioned this to them, and they promised to come out and measure the windows for screens. That was in… June, I believe. Still no screens! The reason screens are so important? The bugs. Continue reading!

6) The bugs. Oh, the bugs. Every day, since the day we moved in, I’ve had to kill a minimum of 2-3 cellar spiders a day that have crept into the apartment. They don’t bother me too much, but Kyle hates them. So I squish. One day, the corners will be free and clear of webs, but by the next morning, there are webs in every corner of the living room. We get a couple garden spiders, or jumping spiders, that wander in as well. We’ve also had a few silverfish and carpet millipede sightings. And, of course, ladybugs. But the worst? The yellow jackets/wasps/hornets. There is something about the outside of this apartment that attracts all the worst kinds of creepy crawlies. During the day, there are flying, stinging bugs all around the building. They build their stupid nests everywhere, and the exterminators keep having to come out. By night, the outside of the building is covered with big spiders, who magically appear and rappel down the siding on their butt string. They are awful. Yeah, yeah, they’re harmless. But I don’t like them. And since our windows don’t have screens, we can’t open them at all because of this. Have you read my story about the time a fuck ton of angry yellow jackets burrowed into my apartment while Liam and I were home alone? You should read that. Good times. >> CLICK HERE TO READ <<

There are more things I could list. Like the lack of parking for all the people living here, and how our Mustang got stuck EVERY day last winter. And the time a giant tree branch fell on Kyle’s head when we were trying to dig out the car, because no one trims the branches. Or how shitty my neighbors across the hall are, and how her demon children wake Liam up several times EVERY night, despite me asking them to keep it down (now I’ve just started pounding on the wall angrily). Ah, the joys of living in shitty apartments because you’re broke!

Now, does anyone have any towels they can loan me for the week? Haha… no, but seriously. I’ll be air-drying all week.

Happy Halloween, friends! Stay safe, stay spooky.

Jan

EDIT1

Negative Dunkin Donuts Experience

Yesterday, we decided to take a family trip to Walmart, mostly just to get out of the apartment, and to top off my supply of frozen vegetables and bubbly, flavored water. Our local Walmart has a Dunkin Donuts inside, and to be honest, we almost never have positive experiences going there, and this time was no exception. But we love Dunkin Donuts, and it is the only one around (there are 2 or 3 Starbucks, but we were already there), so we keep going to it.

Before I tell you what happened, let me tell you something about Kyle and myself. We are both the type of people who avoid confrontation. We are easy to please, and we’ve worked with the public (we both have worked years of retail, and I have fast food experience as well), so we are pretty understanding when it comes to mishaps, slow service, etc. In fact, unless our order is completely wrong, we almost never correct it. I will eat anything and everything given to me, so if I get something I didn’t ask for by mistake, I will still eat it, no problem. Kyle is a lot pickier, unfortunately. No vegetables of any kind, no mayonaise, blah blah blah. So sometimes we have to go in to correct his order. Or if we are charged for something we didn’t get. Stuff like that.

And we are always sickeningly polite, because we’ve been there.

I am also the type of person who enjoys filling out satisfaction surveys, because I love free food, or a chance to win money! Walmart, Target, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, you name it. However, I very rarely fill them out in a negative way, even if we didn’t have a 100% satisfactory experience. Because no one is perfect. I enjoy praising employees by name, and giving specific, positive feedback (for example, I said nice things about a Walmart employee yesterday who smiled and said hello to us, which has NEVER happened in the 5 years I’ve been coming to this location). If I have something negative to say, I don’t usually call out an employee by name, and like I said previously, I am very polite. It goes a long way!

This was not the case yesterday.

After walking around Walmart for a little while, we decided to stop by Dunkin Donuts after we checked out. Since starting my vegan diet, I’ve been trying to avoid Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, even though they do offer non-dairy options. Trying to be all around healthier, ya know?

I went to one of the tables to feed Liam, while Kyle went up to order an Oreo Coolatta, which is something he has gotten dozens of times in the past. While he was waiting, I noticed a large group of people sitting at the back of the DD, chatting loudly. Two of them were in DD uniforms, the rest were in street clothes. They were gossiping and talking loudly, though I didn’t really mind, and assumed the girls was on break, or off the clock.

Kyle came back to the table, noticeably upset. The drink he held was black, and you could see tons of chocolate syrup on the inside of the cup. Definitely not an Oreo Coolatta. I took a sip, and it honestly made my teeth hurt, it was so sweet! He refused to go up and have them fix it, because he hates confrontation, despite the fact that he didn’t like the drink, and we paid over $3 for it. So I offered to go up and do it for him.

I walked up to the counter, 3rd in line behind two other customers. The elderly man in front of me turned to me and asked about my drink, making small talk. I noticed that no one was at the counter, and assumed the girl was making the guy’s drink who was at the counter. After a few minutes, the guy at the counter cussed loudly and turned to us, asking if we saw the girl working. I told him that she might be sitting at the table with the others (who were now laughing very loudly), and he said some expletive words, before walking off angrily. I noticed that there was no “Be back soon” type sign on the counter, and poked my head around the corner, asking if anyone was working the counter.

The entire group then stopped talking, turned to look at me, and GLARED, as if I had just called them all something awful. One woman, who I believe was a manager, stood up and asked me what the problem was. Her tone was not pleasant. I told her that there was a line waiting, but I just needed her to fix my drink. Then another girl, the one who had made Kyle’s drink in the first place, said very loudly, “Those AREN’T supposed to have coffee you know!

I told her I was aware of that, but the drink was still not right. The manager realized what I was saying, and got to work on making the correct drink for us, while trying to show the girl how to make it properly. It all would have been fine, but the girl had to say an a snarky tone, “Her boyfriend ordered it for her, that’s probably why it was wrong.

To which I replied, “It was HIS drink, which he has ordered dozens of times before. The drink was made wrong.

She ROLLED HER EYES and mumbled something about, “I ain’t never seen it made that way” to the manager, and proceeded to take the order of the man who had been waiting in line with me, while the manager woman fixed my drink. This is how their conversation went:

Man: Do you have mocha in yet?
Girl: What?
Man: Have your mocha flavors come in yet?
Girl: Huh?
Man: … Mocha. Do you have mocha here?
Girl: Oh, you want a mocha?
Man: Well, I want a mocha coffee-
Girl: Coffee?
Man: Yes, a mocha coffee. With the coconut as well.
Girl: What?
Man: A mocha cappuccino, and can you add the coconut stuff?
Girl: Toasted almond?
Man: … No. The-

At THIS point, a third employee, with at least half a dozen dermal piercings in her face (I didn’t think people working in food could have those, I know I couldn’t have my eyebrow piercing in), came up and started talking to the girl taking his order, who then proceeded to stop taking the man’s order, cutting him off mid-sentence, turn around, and talk to the other girl. And no, they were NOT talking about work. In fact, their conversation was very inappropriate to be having at the counter in front of customers.

The man tried to continue his order, now talking to the girl’s BACK, but she completely ignored him. Right. In. Front. Of. The. Manager. Who did nothing! The man looked at me, flabbergasted, then looked at the manager, who had just put my drink on the counter in front of me. She said, “Maybe now we can finish our meeting.” to the girl at the register, then she walked away without saying a word to me, or the man at the counter.

We never even got a receipt, so there was no way for me to fill out the survey, but I did have my Walmart receipt, and decided to include our DD experience on that survey instead.

They give you 1,000 characters to talk about your experience… I used 933 of them.

I was not happy. And neither were the other two customers who were in there.

This is not the first time we’ve had a bad experience at this location, with both managers and regular crew people. We’ve had employees casually swear while talking to us (literally, there was one guy who dropped the F-bomb 4 or 5 times while taking our order and chatting to us, and even though he was nice, it was super inappropriate). We’ve also had bad experiences in the past with both of the female employees who were there last night (not the manager), where they argued and said rude things, despite being wrong about the situation, and refusing to correct it.

And there is no one you can complain to, because the management is just as bad.

I guess I just wanted to rant about it, haha. I have NEVER been rude like that, to anyone, no matter where I worked. If you are that miserable at your job that you have to treat your customers like shit, who are just trying to get what they paid for, maybe you should quit and let someone else, who won’t be a snarky bitch, have your job.

Thanks for reading, guys!

Jan

October BabyVote Cutest Baby Competition

Fall20Park20011_zpspdj0navgHave Facebook? Vote For Liam By Clicking Here!

Hello, friends! As most of you who follow me on Twitter or Tumblr have seen, I entered my little boy, Liam, in this month’s BabyVote Cutest Baby Competition. It is one of the largest baby competitions on the internet, and they do a new contest monthly. Each month, there is a nice cash prize for the winner, and it seems to be getting bigger each month. Out of the tens of thousands of entries, I’ve managed to get my handsome, little guy into the top 300, thanks to my amazing friends and family who have been voting for him. Unfortunately, the only way that you can vote is through a Facebook account, but if you have one, you can vote for your favorite entry once per day, but you can also spent points (which you earn each time you log in to vote) on additional votes of various amounts. You can also purchase large amounts of points, to purchase larger amounts of votes, to really help!

points
points2

Today, for the next 12 hours or so, all of the points packages are 50% off! You can spend just $4.98 and get a total of 130 votes! There are also cheaper packages!

If Liam makes it into the top 20, he then goes on to the finals, where people will vote again for their favorites. The winner takes home the cast prize (which is at $608.20 this very second). If we win this cash prize, it would be incredible. We would be able to give Liam an amazing first Christmas and birthday, and any extra can go into his savings account. Thank you so much to everyone who has been voting and sharing our entry around various social media platforms, it means so much to us! We have a looong way to go before we reach the top 20, but I think we can get there!

If you don’t have the ability to help, that is okay! You can help me get 1,000 points for Liam just by entering your cutie into the contest by clicking on my referral link HERE. It is completely free, and it is fun!

We only have 14 days left, so every vote helps!

Thank you all so much!

Jan, Kyle, and Liam

Little Milestones 8-9 Months

483aa901-52d3-4ef9-82ad-54a786410f31_zpskwnrxnyb
Hello, friends! My little munchkin is now into his 8th month here on this planet, so I thought it would be a good time to update you on all of his latest milestones!

If you haven’t read my “Little Milestones 7-8 Months” post, you can click HERE!

So first, a couple stats on my kiddo:

As of today, Liam is 8 months, 1 week, and 5 days old! He hasn’t had a wellness check up since his 6 month shots, so I’m not entirely sure about his current height and weight, but he is now wearing mostly 12m clothes, with some larger 9m sizes, and size 4 diapers. He also wears a size 5 shoe on his giant baby feet! Tall and skinny still! I am just guessing here, but I feel like he’s around 26-27 inches, and maybe 22-24 pounds. Something like that, maybe? I could be waaay off, haha!

And, no, he has no teeth yet!

He eats 3 meals a day, and drinks 4 bottles of formula (26-30 oz. a day). For breakfast, he generally eats around 4 tbs. of oatmeal, mixed with 2 oz. of a fruit or vegetable, as well as some Cheerios if he still has room. Lunch is almost always a 4 oz. jar of fruit, with Cheerios/toast/smashed fruit on the side. Dinner is always a 4 oz. of a jar vegetables, with either toast or a different, chopped vegetable on the side.

I haven’t introduced too many new our exciting finger foods, and still haven’t introduced any meats. Peas and green beans continue to be favorite finger foods, but he also enjoys black beans, hummus, salt-less pretzel pieces, raw tomato pieces, rotini pasta, and toasted whole wheat bread. And Cheerios, obviously. Since I’ve recently gone meat and dairy-free, I want to try to get some different, healthy finger foods for him to try, that I can eat as well. I really want to look up tofu recipes, but tofu is scary. We’ll see! I have also started adding spices to his foods, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic powder. So far, no allergic reactions to anything we have tried, although, I’ve noticed that green beans make him pretty gassy. Not uncomfortably so, but gassy. Green beans make everyone gassy though, don’t they? I think it is a green bean thing.

And I suppose that’s it when it comes to food.

Just like my last post, I will include charts! I pulled both of these charts from the BabyCentre UK site, which is my favorite website for all my baby questions and needs. And, yes, I do like the UK site more than the US site.

888

Here is the 8 month development chart, and if you scroll down, you can find the 9 and 10 month charts as well. The first column contains Achieved Skills (things that most babies at this age can do). The second column contains Emerging Skills (things that half of babies at this age can do). The third column contains Advanced Skills (things that few babies at this age can do).

I’m very proud to say that Liam has mastered everything on this list, aside from two things, which we are working on. He does reach for items, but hasn’t really gotten the hang of pointing, at least not with one finger. He kind of points? But it is probably just him reaching. He also doesn’t really say “dada” still. He is very fluent in “mama”, but has only said “dada” on a handful of occasions. Kyle isn’t home very often, but whenever he is, I try to push the “dada” talk, but so far it hasn’t improved too much.

He completely mastered crawling over a month ago, and is still getting into EVERYTHING. He is now able to pull himself into standing position (which he was able to do at 7 months, if you recall), and is also able to stand on his own if he lets go. He can almost stand himself up from crawling position, without holding into anything, but his core and balance aren’t quite there yet. He also jumps and bounces very well, and is able to sit and kneel himself back down from standing. He just recently starting being able to slowly cruise while holding onto his crib or play yard, but he hasn’t been as daring when it comes to holding onto the couch. So proud of this!

His fine motor skills are developing nicely from where they were at before. We took his doctor’s advice from his 6 month exam and started giving him his finger foods at 6.5 months with each meal, if only just to help with his pincher grasp, and it has definitely improved. He still prefers to rake, mostly because he likes to squeeze and smash his food in his fists, but he is definitely able to pick up his Cheerio’s with his thumb and pointer fingers. He has also gotten a lot better at getting his food to his mouth, but still hasn’t grasped the concept of letting it go so he can eat it, and ends up just sucking on his in his fingers. He eats probably 2-5 Cheerio’s/beans/peas/etc. himself during meals, sometimes more, and the rest I have to give to him. I also recently started giving him a spoon to play with during meals, because he was always trying to grab at the one I was feeding him with (which resulted in huge messes), so now he has started showing an interest in trying to feed himself with a spoon. Sometimes, I mash a pea or a bean onto his spoon, so he can see it and try to aim for his mouth. We’re getting there!

999

I’ve already covered a few of these from the previous chart that Liam has learned already, but he also has been banging things for quite a while now, but more recently starting dropping and throwing his toys out out of his crib or play yard. He also throws and drops food while sitting in his high chair (my kitchen looks like a graveyard for Cheerio’s every day, seriously). He doesn’t sit still long enough for me to really play games with him when we are on the floor, other than peek-a-boo, which he likes, but sometimes we roll a ball back and forth! He likes to hit it with his hands and crawl after it. We actually haven’t tried the pat-a-cake game, even though the song is on his Scout toy, so we’ll have to try that when he is in his high chair!

101010

Just for fun, I wanted to post the 10 month chart as well. Liam recently started waving by opening and closing his fingers, so every time I put him down in his crib, or pick him up from his crib, I try to wave to him. He doesn’t do it on command, like if you’re saying hello or goodbye to him, but he can do the motion of waving! And he has gotten excellent at babbling and talking, and it sometimes sounds like he is forming real words! I swear, it sounds like he is sassing me on occasion!

We transitioned Liam to a sippy cup with handles at 6 months, and he has been using one ever since. He holds it and drinks from it on his own, both while sitting in his high chair and lying down, but we are still using the nipple lid, as opposed to a spout lid, because he refused a spout. We tried again recently to switch, but he was not happy. I have tried giving him sips from cups, we even bought him tiny, colorful drinking cups to use, but more spills out than gets in his mouth usually. We’re getting there though!

I’ve reeeally been trying to stop using so many cutesy nicknames, and have started trying to just call him by his own name (though I slip and use a silly nickname sometimes, because come on), to get him used to hearing it, so that he responds more. So far, nothing. However, he does respond to the word “no”. Kind of. If we are sitting on the floor, and he crawls over to my DVD shelves or tries to crawl under my computer desk, I sternly tell him, “No.” and he stops and looks over his shoulder at me. It actually makes him laugh! I have to repeat it several times sometimes, but he does listen! I’ve been trying to say the word “no” while picking him up and moving him away from where he isn’t supposed to be, so that he knows to associate the word with me taking him away from it, and it seems to be working.

And just a quick little bit about his sleeping habits, Liam has been sleeping through the night since he was around 2 months old. When he isn’t going through a sleep regression stage, he generally sleeps for about 11-12 hour stretches, only waking up once or twice in the middle of the night if he has a bad dream, or bumps his crib, etc. We moved his bedtime forward an hour, from 8pm to 7pm, after noticing that he seemed overly tired and cranky when we tried to put him down. It worked beautifully, and he still doesn’t wake up until around 7:30-8am. He is also still taking 2 naps a day, ranging from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours each, depending on how busy a day we’ve had. He just got out of his 8 month sleep regression phase, which luckily only lasted a few days, because it was so awful! We were both so tired and cranky that week. Now, he’s kind of teetering on being back in his separation anxiety phase, and has been having little fits whenever bedtime rolls around, but it looks like that may only last a few days as well.

This kid, such a freaking champ!

So there you have it! We have his 9 month shots coming up this month, so I will probably write in a more accurate height and weight in an edit, and let you know what his doctors say about his development. I just wanted to give you a good idea of where he is at right now!

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Dream Journal 10/1/15

Future/present age.

I was walking into a large, futuristic gym, with glass ceilings and chrome everywhere. I was with my son, who was about a year old, and this girl who apparently was my best friend. She was nearly half a foot taller than me, blonde, and was ridiculously pretty. Definitely don’t know her in real life.

We walked into the gym and talked to the man at the front desk about a membership. He gave us a tour, and I dropped my son off at the in-gym daycare center, which looked like a mini amusement park, and then we went to discuss prices. Apparently, this gym was $200 a month, and I was able to afford it, so my friend and I signed up and got two free t-shirts out of it.

Then we were being walked to the CEO’s office, because she interviews all the new members. The hallway was long, dark, and resembled the halls of my deceased grandmother’s apartment complex building that she used to live in. It was drastically different than the rest of the building.

The CEO was a very attractive, older woman, and she stood to shake our hands. She was really nice and asked us about our personal lives and my son, and I noticed that over her shoulder, there was a huge wall of monitors, watching over the various sections of the massive gym complex.

She lead us out of her office and down some stairs, and then we were in a field, completely with gym equipment. The treadmills, weights, etc. were all scattered around the field, and were being used by other gym folks.

My friend took off her clothes, to reveal that she was wearing a bikini, and started running on one of the treadmills. In a bikini. I went into a small shed/cabin, which was massive on the inside, and found a huge, empty pool. I got in the pool and started doing laps.

And I swam and swam and swam.

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 9/30/15

Present day/present age.

I was the new manager in a huge store, which looked eerily similar to a Super Target, only it was two stories, and was so much cooler.

I was sitting in the coffee shop inside the store, waiting for my drink, and I was watching the young barista be really rude to everyone waitng in the line. She was shouting and cussing, and no one was reacting or doing anything about it. I didn’t want to do anything about it, since no one knew who I was apparently, so I just got my coffee and walked around the store.

I was drinking my coffee on this obscenely large esclator, when someone bumped into me, spilling my coffee all over my khaki pants. The coffee stain was unrealistically massive, and I got really angry because he didn’t even apologize to me.

I got off the escalator and approached an employee, telling him that there was a spill on the escalator, and he told me to, “Fuck off.” I just stared at him for a minute and walked away.

Then I was sitting in the break room, watching a weird, coloring movie on a big-screen TV on the wall, when a guy sat next to me and started talking to me. I told him who I was and that I was everyone’s new boss, and he got really angry and walked out. Then my walkie went off and someone announced that there was a food fight happening in the grocery section.

When I got there, the barista from before was holding a really big bowl filled with some kind of batter or sauce or something, and she was just throwing it at everyone, but they were all laughing. There was a pedestal next to me with another bowl, and when I went to pick it up, everyone looked at me, and the guy from the break room started screaming for everyone to run, and they all ran from me. I didn’t know why.

I put the bowl down and went back to the break room, but I was stopped by a customer who was complaining about the coffee spill on the escalator, which had now turned into a stream of coffee just flowing down the steps. I told the woman that I was a manager and  that I would have someone clean it, and she just walked away. I went to go find someone to clean the spill, but the store was completely empty, even all the customers were gone.

Then I walked back into the break room to see if I could find anyone, and the guy from before was in there kissing another employee, and they looked at me angrily when I went in and left the room together, so I sat and watched the movie I was watching before and ate a bowl of pretzels and popcorn that was sitting on the table.

I could hear someone singing a weird song over the walkie, and people were starting to come back into the break room.

And then I woke up.