Our Modern Family



Growing Up & Settling In

IMG_20130408_194843You have two kids, two houses and have been working for the same company for over 9 years…face it you’re an adult.

As one of my co-workers casually explained when I commented on getting older, but still feeling like I really wasn’t an adult yet. Now that I am officially closer to 40 than 30, I guess I am an adult, but I just don’t feel that old (if Jenn wouldn’t cringe at my poor fashion sense, I would still be rockin Vans). Continue reading “Growing Up & Settling In”

A Lesson in Nursery Games & Development

Yesterday, Jenn took Nolin for his 9 month check up (9 months and 1 day to be exact) and everything came back great.  He is now 19 lbs 1 oz. and 27 & 3/4 inches tall.  The head circumference is still between the 50-75%  which to me means he is pretty much perfect.

Leading up to this appointment they gave us a check list of developmental milestones that he should be reaching.  We simply needed to indicate he does this regularly, sometimes or never.  Some of them were easy to check off

  • Go from sitting to lying position – check
  • Crawls or Scoots easily – check. He doesn’t stop.
  • Pulls himself up on his own – check
  • Will repeat sounds after you – check
  • Throw toys or objects – definite check
  • Looks for hidden toys – check. He now thinks every carpet has the rubber puzzle mats underneath like his playroom which he enjoys ripping apart.

Most of these he has been doing for what seems like forever, so we must have a super baby right?  One would think so, except like all developmental objectives, the baby industry needs to make you think you are not doing a good job so that you stay on your toes.

On the list, there were things like pick up a piece of string between his thumb and forefinger…well I don’t know if he has done that because we have never had him chase a piece of string like a cat (although maybe that would be a fun party game)…and what if he picks it up with his thumb, forefinger and then adds his middle finger in there (for good gesture of course) does that mean his pickup doesn’t count?

The worst one was interacts and plays nursery games.  Nolin and I play catch and he will grab the ball and then when I count to three he throws the ball back to me (actually he drops it between his legs and then laughs as he kicks it back to me).  Would that count as a nursery game since we do that in his play area?  Probably not because they specifically mention patty cake (which by the way I have nightmares about since hearing it repeatedly growing up…stupid game, stupid name).

So for the past two weeks, in a desperate attempt to ensure that our child is exceeding all developmental milestones we have been working with him to see if he will actually do some of these things that he was missing off the checklist.

Jenn and I would sit there playing patty cake with each other.  Nolin would sit simply staring at us like its official these people have lost their freakin minds (don’t worry Nolin as you get older we will find even more ingenious ways to embarrass you).

First Jenn would sing it, then I would sing it, then back to Jenn…now it’s Nolin’s turn.  Jenn would guide his hands in the motions as I sang it and then I took my turn guiding his hands.  At this point without fail Nolin would start laughing hysterically at us and lay on the ground right about the time he was supposed to “mark it with an x“.

I guess it’s a negative on Patty Cake and nursery games.  Although I am sure that he probably sits up around midnight in his crib and plays Patty Cake when no one is looking simply to spite us.

Well apparently Patty Cake, chasing string, nor pulling cheerios out of a small jar are necessary check boxes for good development.  The doctor told Jenn that he was doing fantastic, had a lot of energy (I guess she noticed as he was trying to climb the walls to touch the animals painted on it), and that he has 3 more teeth coming in up top.

I guess today’s lesson is simply that there is no need to get too hyper-sensitive about your child not performing exactly what the “experts” say they should.  Because out there somewhere is a boy Nolin’s age who is “rolling it, patting it and marking it with an x”, but not yet pulling up carpet and ripping apart rubber plastic mats…so in the end, they are nine months old, so enjoy the little things while you can because it is all going by way too fast.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

It is something that is bound to happen to every parent at some time or another.  Something that I had already prepared myself for, but was crossing my fingers would not happen to me.  At least not yet, not this early in the game…I missed a major milestone in Nolin’s life.

I have been away from home for four days with work, and during that time, Nolin has started crawling.  I knew it was going to happen, and even sat him down on my lap before I left Monday morning and told him that he better wait until I get back.  Let’s just hope that Nolin not listening to me was simply the result of a child eager to become mobile and not the start of a future trend of selective hearing.

Once I walked out the door, he didn’t waste any time getting his butt in motion.  Jenn called me Monday afternoon when she got home and simply said, “guess whose crawling?”  There wasn’t a whole lot of mystery to that question because unless Teresa had decided to try her hand at doing the worm, there really was only one possibility.

It was a moment of instant excitement and happiness yet at the same time the thousands of miles between us became very apparent.  It made me realize how difficult it must be for military parents deployed overseas and made me grateful that I was only a four hour plane ride away.

I think Jenn has been trying to make me feel better by down playing the achievement slightly.  She keeps telling me it is more of an army crawl than a traditional crawl, but she can’t deny that he is definitely on the move.

So here I sit typing away on my computer during a late night flight waiting desperately to get home and witness this for myself…like all good things I will have to wait just a little longer because like most people, he probably wont have a burning desire to get moving at 2am.

Baby vs. Food

Sunday night we got Nolin bundled up (yes in Florida it has started to get cold), and went to the Boys Town Christmas Party.  It was neat to see the kids dressed up and in a setting outside of our weekly run.  They had cleaned up their houses and decorated them and you could tell how proud they were to talk about the program and give tours of their homes.  They were also all very excited to see Nolin again, who has not been joining us lately on our weekly runs.

As we toured the houses and talked to the kids, you got the feeling that although they would all have difficult roads ahead of them, there is still hope because these are good kids.

Boys Town even had one of Santa’s helpers fill in and talk to the kids.  Nolin seemed pretty excited when he came into the house we were visiting.  With feet kicking and arms flailing, we handed Nolin over to Santa for a quick photo op.  It was a relief to know that when he meets the real Santa on the 24th, he won’t spend the time screaming (hopefully).

We left the party and headed back home to get Nolin ready for bed and so that I could pack for my upcoming work trip.  Jenn took Pancake for a walk and Nolin and I proceeded to our bath time and dinner ritual.  After his bath was over, it was time to eat, something that Nolin thoroughly enjoys.

As he gets used to foods he really gets into dinner time.  Sunday night was a dish I like to call Sweet Potato Di Jour (sweet potatoes, oatmeal and formula).  Nolin couldn’t get enough. Every time I started in with more food, his eyes would light up. He would pull the spoon back to his mouth as I would take it away. If I wasn’t fast enough with more food, he would pretend to eat his high chair and then start laughing.

Nolin was putting on a show.

And for the grand finale, Nolin began to growl like a monster, grabbed his bib with one hand and ripped it off from around his neck.  Whoa incredible hulk baby, I guess that means you’re done?!

Nolin instantly began to laugh and then turned his eyes back to the empty food jar.  He had a proud look on his face as if he had just conquered Mt. Everest.

We spent a little more time upstairs playing before he went to bed.  I brought out the guitar and sang a few songs to Nolin, who sat more attentive then anyone I have ever played for.  When I stopped, he rolled (no he had not started crawling yet, that happened on Monday when I left on my work trip) over to the guitar and started trying to play himself.  It went well until he tried to grab a handful of strings and pull them to him…yep time for bed.

I took extra time putting Nolin to bed as I wanted to savor every minute before I left for a four night work trip.  I finally said goodnight and started packing for my trip.  I guess Nolin wanted to get the most out of his time with me, because he woke up several times before we finally brought him to bed with us.  Yes I know that goes against all of the parenting books, but I figured it was just one night…

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