Sunday, July 31, 2005

Getting the clap

Well, he's got it, he can clap and for three days now. He is so delighted everytime he is moved to do it. His arms straight up in front of his little face, his finger tensely straight, as well, focused entirely on smacking the other hand of fingers. Clap clap clap, high five with mommy's hand, and clap with a big ear to ear grin that beams esteem for his new accomplishment.

Friday evening, Brad went to a wedding and I put Elias to bed. I usually don't relish this task as it is long and tedious and at times seems impossible. I've had a lot more patience these days and understanding for the workings of this little guy. Being around good mommas, like Piper's mom and Oscar's mom, really helps me stay on track! Anyway, we'd been at the sleep thing for 40 minutes and he was really fighting it. We were bouncing around, he, struggling to keep his head off of my shoulder, leans away from me to get a good look into my eyes and starts clapping. "Yes, I know you can clap now, good job! But, now it is time to go to sleep." I really had a big grin after that one. What a sweet sweet boy.

I've been working with Elias to prepare him for his birthday celebration. I sing the last line of "Happy Birthday" to him and then say, "Okay, now you blow out the candles." And, I blow in a very exagerrated way in his direction. He thinks it's pretty silly. He can blow but not sure if he'll do it on command. He's pretty much like a sponge now, though. Like when I do the four and 20 horses rhyme, he will stick out his tongue on cue, out popped the red bull... He's good.

Yesterday, when we were going to PAO, Elias look across the street and said "bal" at a bunch of balloons. I'm fit to burst with enthusiasm for all of this remarkable growth! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Clapping for the lovie!

Elias walked around all day yesterday with a ping pong ball firmly grasped in his little hand. I think this is his new and first ever lovie. Cuddle up!

He is so close to clapping his little hands. He was clapping his hand to a block and then clapping two blocks together. His final hoorah was clapping his hand to his fist! It was very exciting, very very.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If I had one wish... would be to put an end to the carseat screaming. Not world peace or the end of famine, or even scurvy (I just throw that in because Brad thinks it's funny when I bring up scurvy), just no more misery coming at me from the seemingly terrorized little person behind me in the car. This may seem drastic but unless you have experienced it for as many hours over the last 11+ months as I have, understanding this is lost. For me as a mother, there is nothing worse than Elias crying and me being unable to soothe him. The carseat successfully accomplishes both of these. When we're driving down I-5 in rush hour traffic, I can't pull over, take him out to help alleviate his frustration, sadness, anger, despair. It's not safe and it gets us no closer to the end of the screaming. I've tried it before. It lengthens the torture and maybe even causes more pronounced screams. Once one has tasted freedom, it's that much harder to again be enslaved.

Ugh. I try everything, too, and nothing works twice. Sometimes some things work but Elias has definitely been known to "cry all the way home." I think the farthest distance was from Salem to Portland. Talk about nerves being shot? "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills." (a favorite quote of Brad's) I do alot of the following trying to quiet the beast: I sing horrible reditions of Do Ra Me (Duane can attest to this), Six Little Ducks, You Are My Sunshine and a gaggle of other childhood favorites, I rub his fuzz head, stretching my arm around to the back seat and shhhhushhhing gently, I pass him toys, food, and drink, I try a wide variety of musical options from the radio, and of course make up songs to tunes like Farmer in the Dell that go something like, "Elias hates the car. Elias hates the Car. Hi ho the merrio, Elias hates the car..." and "We both wish we were home, because we're going insane. Hi ho..." Sometimes, I cry, too. I can't help it, it's just awful. My emotions are all over the place, probably just like his, frustration, immense helplessness, desparation, ugh.

Today, on the way home from a nice afternoon with Duane, Elias was using his new cry, very high pitched and sounding totally defeated. He started right away, when Duane was still in the car. Duane and I gave singing our best shot, but ended up sounding like dying cows and giggling quite a bit. Our lack of seriousness really rubbed Elias the wrong way and made his crying all the more intense (I believe he can sense insincerity with the singing. If he feels I am really enjoying singing and giving it my all, he calms down. If he senses he is being placated, this seems to anger him and add fuel to the fire). I really felt awful for him all the way home from Duane's house. Nothing worked until I started improvising with my own lyrics to a few songs and combo-ed that with gentle fuzz head massage. About 15 blocks shy of home, there were some breaks in the hysterics. As we approached the light at 33rd and Fremont, all that was heard was my stupid, nonsense song to Farmer in the Dell. I looked back and Elias was asleep, letting out a little sob every few breaths, you know when you are crying really hard and can't really breathe properly anymore. Poor poor sweet boy. I vowed to him to keep car travel to a minimum tomorrow.

I wonder if turning him around, when he's older and big enough, will make a difference?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Elias's acrobatics and the breast

I think Elias is finally starting to enjoy breastfeeding. For the longest time, it seemed to me that breastfeeding was more of a thing he would do to placate the frantic mother, concerned that her baby wasn't getting enough to eat, who presented her breast to him hourly for most of his life. "Do you want some milk?" Relentless as I have been, giving in was the only way he assumed he could get some peace and quiet.

These days, Elias climbs up into my lap, buries his head in my chest and pulls at my arms and shirt. I ask, "Do you want some milk?" (doing the sign for milk, of course) He flops down into my lap and opens his mouth, hands ready to grab the prize. After several sips, he pulls away, holding on firmly to the breast but surveying his surrounds. Has anything changed since I started? Nope, not yet, and back on he goes. Then, his body starts to turn and twist. He puts his leg on my shoulder, he pushes up with the other leg. He's nearly UPSIDEDOWN! He gives a good wiggle to check his foot hold. He brings his legs down and moves them and his torso out of the middle of my lap. As far as he can and still keep slurping down the milk. He turns onto his knees, rotating his head 30 degrees or so. He is kneeling in front of me, now standing, now kneeling, now standing..."How in the world is this not killing my breast?" I think. Brad walks into the room, looks at us and scowls. "You're both weird," he says and walks off.

Then finally, after no more than five minutes, he breaks away, looking refreshed and cheery, and off he is again to playing with whatever he happens upon. Yeah, I think he's really hooked.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crazy day

Just as it sounds, todays was nutty!

First, Elias slept in until 8:30AM! He never does that, but he did and we felt pretty darn good after that! This is not so crazy, I guess. In the afternoon, however, Elias fell onto his face onto Heide's toe and got a bloody nose! I worried that it might be broken so we scooted off to Kaiser and low and behold, it was not broken, just scratched inside. Poor boy, what a scare for the both of us! And not to mention a big surprise to Heide's toe.

Then, something kinda gross happened. I've been letting Elias be free of the confines of his diaper around the house because the heat has been giving him an awful behind rash. Today, he pooped and peed right on the kitchen floor. What a shock to turn to him and see him closely examining his feces on the kitchen floor. No big crisis. Our floor is poop friendly. Crazy, a bit, though, I thought.

Elias can shake his head no. It is super cute. He is also crazy about his tongue. I also think he can walk but is holding back because he likes to be carried. What I have observed from him is that he may be lazy. I could also consider it efficient, though. He likes to find an object he can slide around. Then, he puts it in one of his hands and slides that had whilehe crawls, thus evading the act of using both hands to crawl. As a matter of fact, I witnessed him pushing along a magazone while crawling, entirely eliminating having to pick up his hands at all. I think this approach may have precipitated his nose injury today, though. Efficient but dangerous.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Entering into month 11

I can't believe that tomorrow, Elias will be 11 months old! It is in some ways, very hard to believe that he is almost one. On the other hand, I can hardly remember life without him, therefore, I'd expect him to be 2 or 4 or 15. He seems much older to me than a 1 year old and when I look at him in comparison to other one year olds, Elias seems like an old soul, I don't know why. Someone recently speculated that I must be sad because the baby days are quickly passing. I don't really think I am, though. It's not like a kitten, all soft and fluffy and little, pouncing around and being sweet. Watch his mind grow has been one of the most amazing experiences I have been given the gift to observe and to nurture, but mostly to observe.

In the past few weeks, Elias has been trying to say words and trying to stand and walk. He has figure out how to put things into other things and to take things out of other things. He is a master at flipping pages and his pincer grasp, unfortunately, often demonstrating this on mommy's arm (OUCH!). Elias is not a conventional man. He is industrious and outside of the box for sure. Instead of being in his exersaucer, he likes to crawl under it and push it around the house. He has started playing give and take games which is also very cool. When he likes something (foodwise), he can have a monsterous appetite. His little teeth bite pretty hard and effificently, too. He's eating bigger and bigger pieces of things, and sometimes, when what he has devoured is something he isn't supposed to eat, he will take it out of his mouth and give it to mommy, if she remembers to ask nicely.

Elias is very good at expressing his emotions. He doesn't hold back, which is soo good! He loves a smiling face and can be quite a little flirt at times, too. He's waking up from a nap....