Monday, January 29, 2007

Despite my wife taking a cheap shot at my lack of rhythm (which is really just an excuse to not have to dance in public... ever), I decided to share Edward's dance moves with the world. He already looks better than me.

We had a busy weekend indoors as the temperatures hovered in the single digits. John and Ed did get out Saturday morning to the library where they have an all-ages story time on Saturdays. (There are age-specific story times during the week, including a "book babies" session for kids Ed's age and younger, but they're all in the morning when I'm at work.) Turned out that this week's story time was in Spanish. Might be fun when he's older, but since he hardly pays attention in English it wasn't in the cards. Still, they have a couple of low-table toy areas for the kids so they had some fun, and, more importantly, stayed out for an hour so I could finish my homework! I've started taking courses toward an MBA. It's an evening program designed for working professionals, so theoretically we should be able to make it work with an Ed hand off when John gets home as I go out. Classes are only one night per week and you can go at your own pace, which for me is ONE class per semester!

Anyway, on to what you really want to read about. What's new with Ed? Well, I thought maybe since it has been a month since Christmas and his birthday that he might be ready for a few new toys to change things up a bit. Many of his gifts went behind closed doors to wait for winter boredom. So we got out a couple of trucks and a set of blocks that have vehicles inside them, some of which rattle when shaken--always a bonus. These were of some interest, but in the end, he spent the most time playing with our discarded milk jugs awaiting recycling and a shoebox full of the lids from baby food jars. What a simple child. Thank the wisdom of Mom for the jar lids idea. I'd saved a bunch of the jars with lids thinking that there must be some use for them. There may be, but I never discovered it and I really don't think there's an inner Martha Stewart waiting to inspire me, so I was preparing to recycle them and mentioned this to my mom who said, "Ditch the jars, but save the lids!" Who knew? (Well, Mom, obviously.) He LOVES them. They make lots of noise when rattled in the box or banged together and they provide endless minutes of taking out and putting back in the box.

We also watched as he "learned to dance"--pushing the button on one of his toys that turns on the music and then bouncing in place, decidedly NOT with the rhythm. Like father like son. There may be video of this soon, but it's kind of hard to capture. Stay tuned.

Also, I think we forgot to mention in the last post that Ed's top two front teeth have come through. They'd been on the verge for several weeks, but John declared that he felt the sharp edge a week ago Wednesday (Jan. 17--note to self in case I ever managed to update the baby book!) We thought that would maybe put a stopper in the drool source for a bit, but as you can see from the bib, things are as soggy as ever. This photo was taken before 8 a.m. on Sunday!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh my goodness. I can't believe the blog police let us slip a whole week by with no new material! Here are a few to make up for lost time. More snow this weekend and again, Edward was flummoxed by this contraption we call a snowsuit. He refused to do anything but sit, though he didn't seem to mind being out and looking around at the white, white world. We held up snow for him to touch and even gave him a snowball, but no interaction. Maybe once he can walk on his own he'll be more inclined to explore the many wonders of winter.

This is one of Edward's "play stations" in the living room. It's the end table between our couch and chair and it's the perfect height for standing with a puzzle. It also happens to have a box underneath it with just enough room between the underside of the table and the top of the box to make a perfect shelf for hiding the puzzle pieces. There is endless entertainment in moving the pieces between the table top and the box top and with the occasional stop in between to retrieve pieces that have fallen to the floor. We're working on "Cow says, 'Mooo!'" but so far it's just Mom and Dad moo'ing like idiots for his amusement.

For more indoor entertainment, Edward is loving his wagon full of blocks and is even starting to manipulate the pieces into towers. It's still way more fun to destroy towers than to create them so he doesn't get very high before they come tumbling down. Still, he concentrates on fitting the pieces together and making them stand on the wagon handle, which doubles as a building base.

Mealtime is still a challenge. Whatever we offer at first he examines and then throws on the floor--even foods we know he likes and that he eventually will eat, like tonight's pasta, which he clearly enjoyed. He likes to go for the full sensory experience of eating--why stop at taste and smell?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Overnight and this morning we had the first measurable snow of the year in Iowa City. We didn't get much--maybe two inches or so, enough to cover the grass. It wasn't snowing when we left for daycare, but it was when I picked Edward up. He was amused by this new phenomenon, looking up and then looking at me and laughing. Perhaps he was laughing at my hooded jacket though. He thinks it's funny to cover one's head and then remove the cover. Anyway, after the afternoon nap I got him all suited up for his first snowy adventure. He was interested but not excited. He did not want to walk at all, even with me holding his arms. I wonder if he thought that having snow on his shoes would prevent movement. Or maybe it was just the classic "I can't put my arms down" bundle job in his snowsuit. Anyway, he kept sitting down but he did lean over and brush the snow around with his mitten--until it fell off. Once I figured out I wasn't going to be able to keep his hands covered we came back in. Total outdoor time: maybe six minutes! It's much cozier to sit inside with dad watching football (as seen here on Sunday afternoon--a very brief check-in on the day's games.) We just loved Edward's arm draped over John.

Another winter day activity: check out what's for dinner. DO NOT BE ALARMED. This is a brand new oven and very well insulated. It is hardly even warm to the touch when it's on. We checked and re-checked the whole time Edward was watching this turkey breast cook. Unfortunately, he was more interested in the cooking than the eating tonight. He has been offered a number of new foods recently, some with greater success than others. For example, in the dairy family, yogurt has been a hit--several different flavors, though he doesn't like the big fruit pieces, spits them out actually. But cottage cheese was roundly rejected. My sister says it's cruel to even have such a vile substance in the house and that as a person who chooses food based on texture, I should be more sympathetic. In an attempt to sneak in some veggies I made a chicken/zucchini casserole last week that John and I agreed was delicious, but Edward did not concur. We got a few bites in by putting a Gerber puff on the end of the spoon but he figured that out quickly and started picking up the puff and pushing away the spoon. We attempted to serve spaghetti-o's for lunch on Saturday and he turned his face away before the spoon even crossed the tray. This is the same kid who Sunday at lunch devoured a bowl of penne with marinara (Geraghty family favorite recipe--prepared in quantities that lead John to refer to the freezer as a "blood bank.") Is it possible to be a food snob at the tender age of 1? He did enjoy cornbread the other night, but wouldn't touch the red beans and rice I served with it. We used the same "cake ball" method with the crumbly cornbread as with his birthday cake last month. I wonder what else he'd eat if it were squished up into a bite sized lump? Peanut butter also seems to be acceptable to the Edward palate--a thin layer of creamy Skippy spread on a slice of bread and then broken into bite sized pieces. However, this is one of his messiest new foods since he likes to play with the pieces of bread before consuming them. Definitely not sorry for the bald head when it comes time for the wipe down after that meal!

And speaking of meals and their lingering effects, notice the chins in this picture of Ed with "Monkey." This is a favorite toy at the moment, and yes, we are aware that it's not technically a monkey (chimp maybe?), but he doesn't know the difference and we don't care. He just knows that Monkey is very absorbent and doesn't mind a friend who shows affection by chewing on its face. He also can give Monkey a hug if prompted, but that's not usually his first instinct.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Each day Edward seems to encroach a little further into previously inaccessible territory. Over the weekend he learned how to raise himself up to tippy-toes to reach the whole top of our living room bookcase, which had previously served as a depository for keys, change, mail, books and other assorted daily detritus. No more. It's is now empty and of course, no longer of interest to exploring hands. Also, as he gains confidence in his own mobility, Edward is starting to walk along walls and other places where he only has the ability to balance, rather than grab hold. This includes kitchen cabinets, so the safety latches had to be installed. He was pretty disappointed to wake up from his nap the other day to discover he no longer had access.

And now I swallow any sense of pride I ever hoped to cling to by posting this video. Let me just say in my own defense that it's a cold, rainy, miserable day and I opted not to change out of my sweats after an afternoon treadmill walk. At first I swore this would not be blog worthy--way too embarrassing--but in service of Edward's fan base, I sacrifice my own vanity to bring you the following.

The last segment was just before his pre-bed meltdown, which somewhat accounts for the hysteria. But here's what was happening: Ed and John frequently play "hide and seek" from opposite sides of our living room chair. John pretends he's still looking for Ed behind the chair even after Ed has come around to the front. He giggles or grabs John's leg to get his attention. Tonight, John faked him out by pulling down the cushion, exposing a previous hiding spot. Edward was highly entertained by this turn of events.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Edward got some new shoes last week and has been getting used to wearing them. We had him wear them quite a bit over the weekend--even though we were just home where socks (or, to be perfectly honest, bare feet) usually rule the day. We thought that would help him be ready to wear them all morning at daycare. He needed something sturdier to wear there, especially since they will be playing outside, though my earlier suspicions were confirmed as it seems they have a fairly liberal interpretation of what constitutes "too cold" for outdoor play. He hasn't been on their playground yet, but given this wacky warm winter, it won't be long. The first two weeks in the toddler room he was still taking a morning nap each day and that usually coincided with their outside time so he missed the opportunity. This week he's starting to skip that nap and just crash as soon as we get home. So once the weather gods cooperate, he should get some good outdoor activity each morning.

It's hard to think of him as a "big kid" in the toddler room when he still wears a bib most of the time these days. The drool has been out of control. He easily soaks through one of these before noon. When will those teeth pop through already!?

Also over the weekend, Ed enjoyed sharing the Sunday paper with us. His reading habits are fairly violent and rather soggy though, so he got the parts we were done with. John was especially excited to share this Best Buy circular with him, but Ed proved to be a rather undiscerning shopper. The CDs and iPods garnered the same level of interest as the washers and driers--rip, scrunch and chew.

And the biggest weekend news, which does not have a photographic element for reasons that will become clear:

Edward took his first step on Saturday night (Jan. 6)!

And I do mean "step," singular. He was standing at a living room chair, turned toward me (sitting on the floor), let go of the chair, took one step and then flopped into me. We were quite excited about this development but could not produce a repeat performance. He decided that flopping was MUCH more fun and spent the next 15 minutes or throwing himself back and forth between our outstretched arms as each of us tried to coax him to take steps toward the other. All hands on Ed meant none free to operate the camera. Stay tuned though...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Here's Edward surveying the scene this weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's in Des Moines. John's extended family gathered New Year's Eve during the day for holiday festivities. We had a good time through the afternoon, but were cursing the weather forecasters who had inaccurately predicted the timing, track and temperature of a weather system for the day. It made for a treacherous trip home for John's aunt, uncle and cousins, but they all eventually got home safely so we're thankful for that.

Edward likes the toys at Grandma and Grandpa's house and thought John might also enjoy the full sensory experience, including taste. Ed now enjoys offering toys, books and other objects for someone to take and hold until he asks for it back. It's a never-ending cycle. He also started a new vocal experiment that sounds kind of like a siren, but is not used in conjunction with any toy emergency vehicle. I think he just likes hearing the different tones up and down the vocal register.

Today was Ed's 12-month check-up where he weighed in at just under 22 pounds and measured 29 1/4 inches long with 18 3/4 inches in head circumference. The height and weight are proportional in about the 30th percentile, but the head is a bulbous 77th percentile! Lots of room for that expanding brain. Actually, John notes that maybe he's not really as bald as people think, it's just that he has so much surface area to cover it looks sparse. Hmmm...let's think about that for a bit.

The print-out they give us to take home (so we can remember all these vital stats) includes all his official measurements since birth so we can see that we also spent time last Jan. 3 in the doctor's office, when he was a tiny 5 1/2 pounds at nine days old. My sister points out that he has quadrupled his weight this year! He's also grown 10 inches in length. Just for the record, his nine-day-old head was only in the 6th percentile.

One amusing thing about the doctor visit--Ed picked that moment to demonstrate his crawling skills. That's actual hands-and-knees crawling, not the commando/army-style he's mastered at home. We actually have never seen him go more than two or three "steps" (?) on his hands and knees, but he got down on the floor while we were talking to the doctor and was motoring around. It was almost like he had an internal monologue going, "OK, time for that 'crawling' think they've been pestering me about. I don't know what's so great about it, but for some reason it's important for these big people to see it. Whatever..." Then he did it again while we were waiting for the nurse to come back with his shots (yes, three more today.) The room was getting stuffy so I opened the door and let him go out into the hall where he proceeded directly toward the receptionist/schedulers' desks. They were quite amused with his antics. What a flirt he is!

A final observation--with the doctor's light shining in his mouth, we could see how close the two upper front teeth are to emerging. The gums are puffy and he's practically drowning in drool. Any day now...