Little Milestones 18 Months

He has a beautifully unique personality, and I absolutely treasure this little boy.

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My little Liam is 18 months old now, as of July 23rd… a whole year and a half. How crazy is that? By this point in our lives, we’ve done away with all those silly apps and charts, and I’ve just been going with the flow, enjoying his toddlerhood, and trying not to worry too much about his development as much as I have in the past. I know he is perfect, even ahead in many areas, and I am done comparing him to all these super babies I see online. So, let’s look at Liam at 18 months! Continue reading “Little Milestones 18 Months”

Dream Journal 7/3/16

A barista asked us if we wanted anything, and she seemed very flirty with Kyle, which irked me a bit, but we told her we did not want anything, which did not make her happy.

Kyle and I were about to start our vacation in London. We had just gotten out of the back of a cab, when Kyle’s phone rang, and we were informed that our hotel had a gas leak, and that we could not stay there. Frustrated, we dragged our luggage into a small cafe across the street, and tried to figure out our next move. We were sitting at our table, scrolling through hotel listings on our phones, when a man approached us. I looked up, and there, standing by our table, was Felix Kjellberg… or PewDiePie, as you may also know him as. Continue reading “Dream Journal 7/3/16”

Dream Journal 6/30/16

Outside the church, we found a notice taped to the door, with a schedule of all the activities happening that weekend, and the times. It was written in purple crayon.

I was young again, maybe 11 or 12 years old, and I was camping with all of my grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, just like we did every other weekend in the summer when I was a kid. We were at a large campground, which was connected to a water park, that we had never been to before. On our first day there, my cousin, Nick, and I woke up really early, because we wanted to go to the church at the campground, and… color. So we walked to the church, but when we went inside, there was some kind of Sunday school thing happening, and a nun yelled at us to leave, and that we weren’t allowed to color until the class was over. Continue reading “Dream Journal 6/30/16”

Mom’s Visit | Days 0-1

Day 0:
Hello, friends. I had mentioned in a previous post that my mom was coming to visit me, and meet her grandson, for the first time ever. She was due to arrive in Illinois around 4:00 pm yesterday, and should have arrived to her hotel around 7:00 pm. We decided that she would not come for a late night visit, as Liam would already be in bed, and she would probably be tired anyway. The morning of her departure, I remembered that I hadn’t given her Kyle’s new number (my phone has been out of minutes for ages), and messaged her around 6:00 in the morning, well before she left for the airport. Unfortunately, my mom did not check her computer before she left, and did not know that she could check Facebook or her email on her new iPhone, and this created a few problems.

We waited around for a call or a text, and started getting worried once 8:30 pm rolled around, and we hadn’t heard anything. She hadn’t seen my FB messages, and I was worried she hadn’t seen my emails either. At 9:00 pm, I remembered that I could check her flight online, and discovered that she had been delayed in Detroit for 3 hours, and hadn’t even landed in Illinois until 8:07, much later than scheduled. She wouldn’t even be getting to her hotel until after 10:00. We waited some more, but never got a call. I assumed she just went to sleep. We watched several episodes of The Adventures of Merlin, which we just started watching Netflix, and then went to bed.

Day 1:
We woke up this morning and realized that we still hadn’t heard from my mom. Kyle decided to re-read the email that she had sent me last month, and discovered that she had actually given me her phone number, which I didn’t think I had. Kyle texted her, and we figured out our situation, and then we showered and got ready for her visit.

Her hotel is only a few minutes from us, so her drive was short, and then she was here. Kyle and I were nervous. Kyle had never met, or talked to, my mom, and didn’t know much about her. I hadn’t seen her in over 4 years, and our last meeting wasn’t the greatest. It went surprisingly well.

We greeted her, we exchanged hugs, and Liam cried immediately when she sat near him, which we expected. I gave her the birthday drawing that Liam had made her, as well as the card and bracelet that I had gotten her, and we took some pictures together. We decided to play with his Mega Bloks on the floor, and within minutes, he was building towers with his grandma. He warmed up to her quicker than most. We had some coffee, played some more, and decided that we should do something, so we went on a looong drive to the Fox Valley Mall, about an hour and 20 minutes away. Liam sat in the back with my mom, which made me nervous, because I thought he would get upset, but he was surprisingly comfortable, and even played with her for a while, before falling asleep. We stopped to eat lunch at Golden Corral, since my mom had never been, then continued to the mall.

We love walking around malls, especially when they are enormous. And this mall is enormous. Three stories, and massive. We forgot Liam’s stroller, since we were taking my mom’s rental, and it took us forever to find the rentable strollers. Once we did find them, it was smooth sailing, and Liam was much more behaved. We went into several stores, like Lane Bryant, Torrid, a gaming store, and a few others, and my mom tried to coerce us into letting her buy us everything we passed. We politely declined several times, and she finally stopped, but I know it will come up several times over the next few days.

After three hours walking around the mall, we left for home. The ride was uneventful, and we talked about Kyle’s job, my mom and her boyfriend’s plans to build a new house, and the future and potential moves for us. It was pleasant. We got back to our area, and stopped to get some dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, another first for my mom. Afterwards, we went to Target for a few things, and I got to see my good friends Aubrey and Lindsey, who were both working that night. I introduced them to my mom, and they got to see Liam, who was happy to see them as well, and proceeded to be an absolute little flirty ham. It was SO cute. Then we said our goodbyes, as it was almost bedtime for the kiddo, and came home.

My mom said some goodbyes, and we told her how to get to her email and Facebook on her iPhone, so that she could keep in touch better, and upload the pictures that she took today. My mom has been in the state for a day and a half, and I thought it would be terrible… but it has been surprisingly nice. Her questions and energy can be exhausting, especially when they are deeply personal, and we have been estranged for a while… but it was okay. She will be here until next Saturday, and I won’t always have Kyle with me for morale support, but I am hoping that it continues to go well.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Dream Journal 5/26/16 | Closeout

I was working for a large warehouse-style store, and it was my store’s last day open. Most of the employees had already left, and there were only a handful of us left. My boss, a very tall, attractive, blonde woman, kept coming up to me, interrupting my various tasks, to tell me to get more things done before we closed the doors for good. I was getting angrier and angrier, because she was letting people leave, but giving me more stuff to do. She was also bothering my friend Travis (who I haven’t seen since… 7th grade or so, and doesn’t even live in the same state as me), and he came over to ask me if I wanted to just walk out with him, since it was our last day anyway. I agreed.

As we were walking across the store, which was basically an endless warehouse, I stopped to hug all of my co-workers, and started getting really emotional, talking about how we would never see each other again, and reminiscing about all the good times we had working together. After the 15th or 16th person I stopped to talk to, Travis walked away, and I lost him in the store. I kept walking toward the exit, saying goodbye to people, getting more and more emotional. I stepped outside of the store, into the sunshine, and the street in front of me was completely empty. In the distance, I saw a guy I knew named Elliott (from the show Leverage), and I chased after him because I needed to say goodbye to him. I kept calling his name, but he wouldn’t turn around, and I couldn’t catch up to him.

Suddenly, I was walking, and Travis was walking next to me, and he was angry with me for not giving a hug goodbye. I told him that I was trying to catch up to Elliott to say goodbye to him, and he stopped walking, and told me Elliott was a jerk. I ignored him and kept walking, and he started calling after me.

And then I woke up.

Take A Walk With Jan #11

First off, I get it, I really do. She was frustrated. I’ve worked at a smaller DG store before, so I completely understand. However, it is completely inappropriate to talk like that on the sales floor, especially that loudly and vulgarly, around customers. She didn’t even care.

Hey, friends! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, and in continuation with the theme of being a fantastic day, I was able to get outside with my little one for the first time in a few days, since there had been some nasty weather happening recently. After a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and applesauce, we set off for the park. Once we passed by the high school, I decided to attempt jogging the rest of the way to the park, and that was a mistake. I am so out of shape. It was awful. I also almost witnessed an accident between an older woman, who was driving properly, and a teenager in a large truck, who decided to blow through a stop sign and speed through a school zone. Luckily, I didn’t have to be a witness to something fatal. Kids these days are assholes. People in general are also assholes.

I made it halfway through the park before I stopped jogging. As I slowed to an exhausted walk, we passed by a woman who was talking pictures of her toddler, who was balancing on a log. She also had a another baby in her umbrella stroller. She looked up and smiled at us as we passed by, and I secretly wished that they were on their way to the playground as well. Well, they were!

We were extremely excited to see that they had put the swings back in the night before (they take all the swings down for the winter), and when I put Liam down, he immediately ran over to the nearest little kid swing. And then, he was in absolute heaven.

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Look at that happy faaace! 😀

After several minutes on the swing, the other woman walked over with her boys, and Liam immediately started trying to climb out of the swing. I put him down on the ground, and he ran straight up to them, flailing is arms and babbling like crazy. The woman, who was about my age, smiled and talked about how cute he was. The older boy, who I found out was 3 years old, followed Liam and I up the steps to the playground, and showed me his “I VOTED!” sticker. I jokingly asked him who he voted for, and he informed me that he was too young to vote, but his mommy voted. He was so sweet.

Liam was acting shy at this point, and kept wanting me to pick him up, so I carried him around for a few minutes so that he could watch the other boys play. Her other son, a chunky little 17 month old, was about Liam’s size (Liam was actually 3-4 inches taller than him, and she commented on how tall he was and how impressed she was that he was running around so well), and Liam warmed up to him pretty quickly. I took Liam’s soccer ball out of his bag, and the little boy immediately came up and stole it. His mom seemed embarrassed, but I told her it was fine, as Liam never plays with it, I just bring it along just in case. It was a good thing that our boys were the same size, because her little guy peed through his diaper, and she was going to leave early, but I offered her a spare diaper, and she was grateful.

We ended up staying at the park for nearly two hours, then we left together. She was going home in the same direction that we were walking to the store, and we split up a few blocks from the park. It was so nice to not only find someone for Liam to play with, but to have someone to talk to. We exchanged pregnancy horror stories, talked about teething, picky eating, and watched as her older boy dug out worm after worm from the dirt around the park. It felt nice to have some human interaction, and I sincerely hope that we see them again.

The walk to Dollar General was somewhat uneventful, although I did pass by a woman walking two very loud whippets, who did NOT seem to like that I was on their sidewalk, and then passed by a car with a dead bird on the windshield. Ew.

My trip to Dollar General itself, however, was another story. Now, I’ve worked retail. In fact, most of my jobs that I’ve held have been retail jobs. I totally understand that, sometimes, things get a little crazy when you are just trying to pass the time… however, what I witnessed and overheard at my local store was completely unacceptable, albeit not unexpected from this specific store.

The store manager was complaining very loudly to her co-worker, who was several aisles away, about how they were going to be getting a very large truck the next day, and she said, “I don’t know where the DM expects us to put all this shit. I should tell him to bend over and shove it where the sun don’t shine, right up his ass. That’s where he can put it.” Um… wow.

First off, I get it, I really do. She was frustrated. I’ve worked at a smaller DG store before, so I completely understand. However, it is completely inappropriate to talk like that on the sales floor, especially that loudly and vulgarly, around customers. She didn’t even care. The conversation continued like that for the duration of my visit to the store, and I was not the only one noticing. The older woman in front of me when I was checking out asked the cashier girl to speak to a manager to complain… well, sure enough, the look on her face was of shock and disgust when the manager of the store walked over. So she told them that she would be calling the 1-800 number, and the manager did not seem to care. I wanted to be shocked, but I wasn’t, and that is saying a lot.

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Look at those chicken legs!

Then, we came home. Despite being exhausted on the walk back, Liam did NOT want to take his afternoon nap, and instead chose to run around and repeatedly take off his pants (see above picture). So we played for a while, ate dinner, got ready for bed, and he slept like a rock, even with the insane thunder/hale storm raging outside our apartment.

That’s it! Today will be another beautiful day, and I’m hoping to get outside and do some stuff.

Thank for reading, friends!

Jan

Little Milestones 13-14 Months

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really?

Hello, friends! It has been a looong time since I gave you an update on Liam’s milestones (5 months actually, holy crap!), so I figured, now that he is into his toddlerhood, it would be a good time to share with you where he is at with his development. Like the last few times, I will be using several development charts from the BabyCentre UK site. These charts are not set in stone, and of course all babies develop at their own pace, but I just wanted to share with you all a look at where my kiddo is at.

As of today, Liam is 13 months and 3 weeks old. He wears a size 7 shoe, 18/24m clothes, and a size 5 diaper. I am not sure of his exact height and weight currently, but at his 12 month exam, he was 33 inches tall, and weighed just under 24 pounds. He is a tall boy!  As he is constantly learning and doing new things, I will be showing you the charts for 13-18 month olds. He does at least a little bit from each chart!

13

One of the biggest things that bothers me about these charts, as well as many other charts on other sites, is that they all claim that my barely one year old should have been saying anywhere from 2-5 real words from the age of 12 months. Well, he doesn’t, and I honestly don’t know any babies his age that do. Heck, I know two year olds that still only say “mama” and “dada“. Liam has been saying “mama” to me for months, but as his daddy is hardly ever home, he doesn’t say “dada” very often. He can say it, he just doesn’t. He has also started saying “oh yeah” recently, and just yesterday, he said what sounded like “no” for the first time. I have also been trying to teach him “hello” and “bye bye” to go with his waving. He also freaking LOVES “peek-a-boo” and plays it with me all the time.

The rest of the chart he has mastered, and we are especially proud of his cup drinking abilities. At 12 months, we switched to a cup with a real straw, not a sippy cup, and he picked it up within two days, and has only used a straw ever since. He can also grip and tip a real cup, without the lid and straw, but I need to hold it so that he doesn’t spill.

14

This is where things get frustrating, as far as these charts go, because several of these same things were listed on earlier charts, from 8 or 9 months old. He has been finger feeding since he was 7 months old. Most babies definitely are at this point, right? He does everything in this list, except for pointing. He does not point. He does not point to things he wants, he just grabs them, and he doesn’t point to body parts. We have been trying to learn “tummy“, but he still hasn’t picked it up.

15

This is where we get into the supposedly advanced stuff for someone his age, which seems odd to me. I already covered the talking bit, and as I said before, he just used “no” for the first time ever yesterday. The rest? He’s done it all. Liam has been walking since 10.5 months old, running since 11.5 months, and going up and down steps, and walking backwards, for the last month. He loves running around at the park, or at the store. He also tried to “help” me sweep by carrying around the dust pan, and also knows how to put his toys away, and the laundry into the basket. We also started coloring at 12 months, and he can grip and use a crayon pretty well now, although he doesn’t snow much interest in it. I never would have thought that all of these things didn’t come until 15 months.

16

Another confusing chart. Aside from the talking bit, Liam does all of this. He can turn the pages of his board books when we read, he throws EPIC tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, he is obsessed with both his Scout and Froggy toys, and makes sure to let me know that he needs to bring them to the living room in the morning and after his naps, and he has developed fussy eating habits over the last month and a half. Some days, he takes two naps, but most days it is only one. He can also unzip and pull ff his coat or sweatshirt, pull off his shirt by himself, and drop his pants, but needs help stepping out of them. He can put a shirt on over his head as well. He’s been able to stack his blocks for months. He also climbs onto the couch, climbs at the park, and climbs onto his activity table. He has yet to get out of his crib, thankfully.

17

I only wanted to include this list because, once again, it contains two things that Liam has been doing for a little while now, and one thing that he is starting to do. He has a riding toy that he got for Christmas, and has been able to get on and off of it on his own for about a month now. He can also dance, and does it regularly. He also recently started being able to get about half of his shapes into their correct holes on his shape sorter. He also responds to the phrases “sit down” “give me kisses” and “come here“.

18
Now, this chart, he doesn’t do too much from, obviously. We started brushing his teeth twice a day when he got his first tooth at 10 months (he still only has 4), and I will often hand his toothbrush to him to “brush” them himself while I am changing him for bed. He also can take apart block towers, and put blocks together, and has one amazing throwing arm.

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really? Am I not giving him enough credit, or are these charts catering more to parents of children who may have slower development? Who knows.

Anyway, there’s a look at where my kiddo is at in his development. 🙂 As far as feedings go, he is drinking about 20-24 ounces of whole milk every day, and water for the rest of the day (no juice for us). He also eats 3 pretty hefty meals, and two snacks, every day. This kid eats like a high school football player, I swear. We haven’t really had any issues with constipation either, though some days he only poops once, and strains a bit, but he does go 1-4 (sometimes 5) times a day, depending on what he ate. No allergies so far! He’s also had every possibly seasoning out there (no salt!), and has loved them all. He has started his fussy eating phase, and has all but stopped eating vegetables, unless I sneak them into something he really likes.

His current favorite foods:
Broccoli and cheese omelette/scrambled eggs
Toasted English muffin with cheese and garlic
Baked cinnamon brown sugar apple bites
Soft carrot chunks with brown sugar and butter
Elbow noodles with shredded cheese and garlic
Cinnamon apple/banana/cinnamon raisin wheat pancakes
Black olives
Mozzarella cheese cubes
Plain broccoli and butter
Banana slices rolled in crushed Cheerios or graham crackers

Okay, maybe he isn’t that fussy, but he no longer eats sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, or raisins on their own, and it has been a pain to sneak those particular foods into things!

Okay, I’m done now, haha. What do you guys think about these development charts? Are they just really loose guidelines? Did/do your little ones seemed further in their development as well?

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan