msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



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Take it Outside

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« April 2005 | Main | July 2005 »

May 04, 2005

Take it Outside

Things have been quite exciting around here lately. So many new developments! Not sure where to begin, so I'll just jump right in.

Yesterday Julian was watching a documentary on Ethiopia with me and all of a sudden he got up, opened the sliding door screen, stepped outside, closed the screen behind him, *peed* outside (he was hanging out nakeybutt, as usual), then came back inside and sat down next to me again. I didn't really pay attention until I looked over and saw him peeing outside, at which point, flabbergasted, I told him what a good boy he was to go outside for peepee. I am also amazed that he shut the screen door behind him each time. Hell, *I* don't even do that. I usually leave the door gaping open for the flies to come in.

So how's that for a 14-month-old? Pretty damned impressive, if you ask me. Contrast that with the typical American kid still crapping in their pants until age 3 and beyond and I have to say...this potty training effort has TOTALLY been worth it.

Other new stuff this week:

  • Says "Hi!" while waving. He's a real greeter now, waves from the front porch to all the neighbors passing by.

  • Waves bye-bye to poop/pee in toilet after flushing, insists on throwing in a token piece of toilet paper, whether he needs it or not.

  • Likes to wash hands, complains if his hands are dirty, sticky or sandy.

  • Started making a loud "hoo hoo" noise all of a sudden. I was sure I had heard this before somewhere, and sure at least two of his books there is an owl hooting. When he sees the owl he starts saying "hoo hoo". He is a little bit confused about the owl hooting and a rooster crowing, sometimes he also hoots when he sees a rooster.

  • Says "chick" when he sees a chicken.

  • Uses sign language for "eat", "milk", those are old signs already. New signs are "swing" and an especially useful one..."hurts". If he bonks his head he makes the "hurt" sign and then pats his head where he hit it. Where this REALLY comes in handy is teething pain. It's so hard to tell when fussing is due to teething or something else, but it's much easier when he makes the "hurt" sign and then holds his jaw. Baby Tylenol coming right up sir!

  • He uses the "milk" sign for three different purposes.

    • He wants to nurse.

    • He wants to sleep (usually accompanied by laying his head down on my shoulder).

    • Potty. Not sure how he has associated the "milk" sign with this, but somehow he has. If he is already nursing and he makes the "milk" sign, then it means he has to go potty.

  • Yells "DIE!" over and over like he's possessed. This is actually very funny, at least for now. It's especially funny when he says "DIE DADDY!" or "DIE DOGGIE!". You know, funny in a gruesome way. But it's not like he knows what he's saying, he just likes the way "DIE" sounds, and then "doggie" and "daddy" are his only sure-fire rock-solid words, so what else is he supposed to add? I'm just glad that for now I am still She Who Shall Not Be Named. ;-)

He is still a little bowlegged when he walks, his baby legs haven't straightened out all the way yet. He looks like a cowboy fresh off his horse. Well, actually he runs almost everywhere. It's quite the cardio challenge keeping up with him. I can't believe all moms of toddlers aren't rail-thin with all the chasing, lifting, and corralling going on. Plus, who has time to sit down and eat? I just grab stuff when I can during the day and then pig out at night after he sleeps. Weight is still coming off though. Now I'm officially thinner than before I got pregnant. I never thought it would happen, but it has.

So you know how pregnant women are advised not to gain more than 25-35 pounds? Well, what's the big deal, I figured. I'll lose that weight, and after all, it's for my baby's health, right? Plus, ice cream tastes really, really good. So I gained 65 pounds while pregnant with Julian. I was all chubby and round, with several chins to choose from, but I felt good and looked healthy and all that. No big deal.

At first I had a hard time losing the weight, then it just started coming off like crazy. And THAT'S when I found out the hidden downside to weight gain and loss. Skin. Your skin can't keep up with the expansion and contraction. So whereas my fat face was smooth and youthful, my skinny face is droopy and wrinkled. Damn. No one told me about that. I thought it was just about losing the weight and magically returning to your former self. No such luck. Grace Kelly said that at a certain age every woman has to choose between her face and her ass, and she chose her face. Now I know what she meant. Hrumpf.

We are getting back on a regular sleeping schedule. After Julian was sick, we started salsa lessons, went out to dinner a few times, and had other nighttime activities going on. He started getting to bed later and later, then slipped in an extra nap around 5:30-6pm just to ENSURE a late bedtime. Ugh. One night he didn't sleep until 11:15pm. I kept trying to put him down and he just kept popping up like a jack-in-the-box until I got sick and tired of it and just let him run around and play until *I* was ready to go to bed. Another night we tried letting him cry it out...yes I know, I said I would never do that again, and it didn't work this time either. He howled at his door like he was being tortured over hot coals. FOR 45 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Dan couldn't take it anymore and went in. He got him asleep in no time, but then he couldn't squat low enough to put him down in bed. When I finally came in the room Julian was just beside himself. I put him in bed and laid down with him and he was asleep in an instant. Poor baby.

So now we are on a fairly strict schedule:

Wake up by 7:30am.

Naptime at 11:30am.

NO late afternoon napping.
Bath and books at 7:30pm. Bedtime at 8:00pm.

Keeping to a strict sleep routine has been working just great. So much for free-form laissez-faire bedtimes. He sleeps so much better when he goes to bed earlier. He went to bed at 8:00pm last night and didn't wake up until 2:00am. Then he peed, went back to bed with me and stayed asleep until 6:45am. My life is much better, since him going to bed at 8:00pm means that I actually have some baby-free evening hours to spend with Dan again. Ahhhh. The downside is that we can't go out in the evening. We missed our weekly salsa lesson. But I'm willing to sacrifice occasional nightlife for sanity the rest of the week, and wanting to cuddle my baby instead of throw him out a window.

One annoying development: throwing. Julian's latest thing is to get right up close, about 6 inches away, and throw objects point-blank right at your face. He doesn't mean to hurt, he's just not that great at throwing far, so he wants to make sure he gets close enough. It's very, very annoying. I'm sure it's a phase that will pass, but right now it can't pass soon enough for me.

I ripped out the lawn to the right of our driveway and instead I have a big, fat, fantastic vegetable garden on a drip irrigation system. Or I *will* have a garden once I start planting. I'm a farmer now! After years and years of tiny little scraps of dirt and container plants, I now have more available acreage than I know what to do with. So far I've got heirloom tomatoes, artichokes and jalapeno peppers. There's still tons and tons of space, must fill it all up. Back to the nursery!

Here are some new pics of the boy. I haven't had time to put them on this page yet. Oh, and we're going to Kauai on vacation. Hooray!

Crap, only 50 minutes of babysitting time left before Ashley leaves. Sounds like she's having a rough time of it, too. It's raining outside, so no outdoor play for the Little Man today. Gotta go, I still have a lot to do during my limited baby-free time.

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