Sunday, January 31, 2010

Growing in leaps and bounds

Thank you to everyone who read my little rant on sleep habits, the other day. And yes, it has been a little easier. I say a little, because I don't want to jinx anything. But now we are moving on to bigger and bullier problems. We're fully entrenched in the hitting phase.

Sutton was never really a biter. Yes, he did bite a little, but then his classmates starting biting HIM. And I think he realized, "Hey, that f@&*ing hurt!" (And yes, knowing our son, he probably will curse. He has his uncle Tony to blame for that. The man curses like a sailor.)

But hitting is another story. And it's been getting pretty bad. He'll start by swatting the furniture. And he looks at you to see if you're watching what he's doing. And then he's trying to swat the dog. And if we discipline him, and he doesn't like what we're doing-he'll hit us. He's already sucker-punched Dave in the nose.
So, needless to say-we get mad. So into time-out he goes. And he knows to sit in time-out, and he screams his head off the whole time. But he still hits.

Now my dad is a child psychologist. So I turned to him for help. He told me that most of Sutton's hitting is simply frustration that we can't understand him (and honestly, I knew that. It just helps that someone removed from the situation tells me this. You know, and the many degrees help, too.) And that we need to be more concise about the words we use with Sutton. Instead of "No hitting-that's not nice." It's simply "NO HITTING!" And we're supposed to use a loud voice. Sometimes all you need to do is scare them.

And all of a sudden, Sutton is talking like crazy. For a while, I wondered if he had delays. (My friend Sarah went through something similar with her son Jack.) Sutton was born tongue-tied, and all the nurses kept telling me that it would cause speech delays-so of course, when Sutton really didn't start using words until about 18 months, I automatically thought it was because of that.
Anyway, he is talking more and picking more and more words up. He's like a little parrot. And I think that because we're able to understand him more, he's happier. Like last night. He asked me, in his little language, if I would turn on the TV. I told him that he could watch TV for ten minutes. His little face just lit up. It was like, "You understand me!! You like me! You really, really like me!" (Sorry, threw a little Sally Field in there.)
And tonight. He told me that he ate pizza. Small steps, but we're getting there.

Speaking of steps. On Thursday, I took Sutton to StrideRite. We were at the playground at the mall, and the shoe store is right there. So I asked the woman to size Sutton's feet. We had just bought a pair of size seven and a half shoes in late December, and they seem like they're already too small. So she sized his feet and told me that he wears an eight and a half!! I ended up buying a nine! My wallet cannot keep up with this boy's feet! And yes, we have tried other shoes. StrideRite just seem to fit him better. Luckily, I found a pair on sale.
In closing-some new pictures.
Playing with Mommy's sunglasses

Playing peek-a-boo at dinner.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Must be something in the air

I don't know what it is, but it seems like lately a lot of people have been having trouble with their kids sleeping. My college friend Sarah has been having trouble with her two kids ( the whole 3:30 in the morning thing sounds awfully familiar) and my cousin Phyllis was having nap trouble with her daughter.
Is it something in the air? Who knows? For us, Sutton has been sick all week. First it started with the cold that the family has been passing around. Then it turned into a severe ear infection. Bring on the antibiotics. But, because he has been sick, we've been running every time he wakes up during the night. And I think he's gotten used to it. So, now, it's happening anywhere from two to four times during the night.
Yesterday, he took a REALLY late nap, and woke up around 6 pm. So he was no where near sleepy around 8 pm, his usual bedtime. We ended up struggling with him for almost an hour. Rocking in the rocking chair, back rubs, you name it. At one point, he was ready to go into his bed, when the dog barked. All of a sudden, he was yelling, "Daddy, Daddy, what dat? What dat?" Nope, wide awake now.
Finally, we laid him down, kissed him good night, and closed the door. He screamed and cried for almost forty five minutes. We had to shut off the baby monitor. But we could still hear him down the hall.
Today, I had to be at work at 5 am. We have inventory tomorrow, and I needed to be there early for prep. When I got home, Dave had some work that he needed to go out to do. So I watched Sutton while he went out. I was SO hoping that Sutton would go down for a nap, so I could get some sleep. Not happening. We fought for over forty five minutes before I finally gave up and brought him downstairs. He parked himself right in front of the TV and stayed there until bath and bedtime. (We've been very bad about TV today-it's just we are both so exhausted. And it was an easy fix. We're trying to be better.)

And because he's been sick, he's had a lousy appetite. Normally, this kid can eat like a truck driver. But for the past few days, he's been living on bananas and yogurt. Today, he saw me eating an apple, and came running. But when I gave him a piece, he didn't like the skin. Any time we offered something else to eat, he responded with "NO! NO! NO!"

Sigh. They weren't kidding when they called it "the terrible twos."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bedtime Blues

We've been experiencing a few bumps in our bedtime road. For a long time now, we would put Sutton down at night, turn out the light, close the door and he usually did one of two things. He would either go to sleep without too much trouble, or he would talk to himself until he got sleepy. But the past few nights have been a little rough.
Early Sunday morning (and I mean EARLY Sunday morning-around three am) Sutton woke up crying. Now, that in itself isn't anything new. But on Saturday morning, he had gotten sick all over his bed, and I didn't know about it until I got him up in the morning. So when I heard him crying, I wanted to be loving, supportive mama. So I went to soothe him.
He was more than happy to sleep ON me. But the second I went to try to put him in his bed, he would start screaming and crying. I tried this three more times, including one 25-minute screaming/crying fit. Dave even tried it, but our Button just wasn't having it. We ended up on the couch at 4 in the morning, watching Noggin on TV.
Same thing at 1 am today. This time, he was so asleep on me that he drooled all over my shoulder. But the second his back touched the bed, he was crying. I let him cry it out. He woke up this morning with a hoarse voice and a bad cough.
And tonight, more of the same. Why do kids go through these phases?
There isn't enough under-eye concealer to hide these dark circles under my eyes. I am so tired, it reminds me of the days when he was an infant.
Please, tell me that he will get past this. I need a break.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Housing Situation

Back in August, Dave and I decided to start looking to buy a house. With the $8000 tax credit out there, we figured "Why not? We need a bigger space to grow our family." And so began the lengthy ordeal. We looked, and looked, and looked. At houses without air conditioning running in the middle of the Arizona summer. With a very unhappy toddler who wanted to run around and play with the dead bugs on the floor.
Finally, after many different offers (and rejections) our offer was accepted on a house. Yay for us! was a short sale. (Cue sad music here) I personally think the term "short sale" is extremely misleading. But I digress.
Fast forward almost six months. The bank still hasn't decided on our offer, we're on a month-to-month lease in our current place, and our landlord informed me today that he plans on putting the house up for sale. So who knows when we need to move.
So now, I have to start cleaning and packing, in the hopes that we might get our offer accepted soon. In the meantime, I am fighting to keep the mess and clutter at bay. I'm not normally a messy person, but I have moments. But, we tend to be pack rats. So this time, I am going to be ruthless with my purging. Haven't used it for a few months? Get rid of it!! Goodwill is going to know me by first name, I am donating so many things to them.

However, I have one question... do I keep old baby stuff that I clearly no longer need, in the hopes that I will have another baby in the next few years? Or do I donate it? Because if I get pregnant again, all this stuff will be obsolete? I mean, my infant car seat already has a new model out.
So what do I do?

Also, here is one of my new favorite photos of our family. Yes, Dave's smile is a little like a grimace, but still

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Pretty much the whole family is sick. I came down with a cold on Monday night, and passed it along to Dave. Now he's miserable. We're just waiting for Sutton to get it.
I'll write more when I don't feel like I've got a marching band in my sinuses.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dana's Ordeal and a Yummy Dinner

I'm very happy to say that my sister is finally home! She left the hospital last night and is slowly getting back into the swing of things. Slowly.
So here's what happened. As I stated in the previous post, Dana had had some troubles with nursing. She developed a blocked milk duct which turned into mastitis. She went to the doctor and he prescribed antibiotics. But her fever would not go down. So the doctor said she might need to go into the hospital for IV antibiotics. Sure enough, that's what happened.
But here's where things go a little weird. Somewhere along the way, the mastitis turned into an abscess. And the abscess turned into MRSA. Now, if you're not a health-care worker like my sister, or my mother-in-law, or my brother-in-law, you might be confused what MRSA is. From what I can gather, it's like a staph infection. But for her, it was like SUPER MRSA. Very drug resistant, and very hard to get rid of. They finally had to do surgery to clean out the infection.
She was finally released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. I went over today to watch the baby and help out while she rested. She is not able to lift the baby, or do very much physical activity. I'll be sure to update everyone on how she is doing.

In the meantime, check out this yummy dinner that we had tonight. Seriously, it was so good.

It's penne with five cheeses, from Ina Garten's cookbook. Mmmm, so deliciously creamy and cheesy. I had TWO helpings; it was that good. It's not an everyday recipe-LOTS of heavy cream and cheese...that's what makes it so good! Here is the recipe, in case anyone is interested.

Penne with Five Cheeses

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.

Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2-cup ca

pacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

We baked it at 350 degrees, instead of 500. My oven has a tendancy to smoke at high temps. Also, we served it in a large casserole dish, instead of small ones. But still, just as good.
As you can see, it was a big hit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Update on my sister

Just a quick update, since I'm at work. Dana is still in the hospital, has been since Thursday. She had surgery on Monday, and is on some pretty heavy-duty pain meds. My wonderful mother-in-law graciously offered to stay until Monday, so she can take care of the baby.
I'll post more when I have more news.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Today's Photo

Sutton decided to "make" some French Toast for breakfast. Shortly after that, we had the real thing.

Family Update and a Little Reflection

So, my sister had a baby about a month ago. A gorgeous, healthy little boy that they named Jonas. And as his aunt, I can safely say that he is beautiful. But his arrival hasn't been the easiest for my sister.

She has struggled with the baby blues, and had some issues with the whole nursing thing. And those issues have now turned into a hospital stay. Yes, last night, Dana had to check into the hospital and is currently on IV antibiotics. And get this: when I asked her if she needed someone to come and stay with her at night, she told me "Are you kidding? I actually get a night of uninterrupted sleep? I can't wait!" Too bad that it also had to come with a fever and sore boobs. :(

But thinking about what my sister is going through makes me reflect back on my early experience with Sutton. Sure, I went through all the new mom issues. I remember crying hysterically about nothing, and ranting at three in the morning because he. just. wouldn't. sleep!

But really, when I think about it...I'm incredibly lucky. I have a little boy who is the light of my life. And when I see his little face light up, or hear him say "Hi Mama!" I try to remember that.

Even if he is screaming in his room when he's supposed to be taking a nap!