Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Pacifier Saga

The days of the pacifier are over for Dashiell.  Last Saturday he put all of his pacifiers in a special bag that we decorated for the Pacifier Fairy, left it near his crib, and when we came back to his room the pacifiers were replaced by a new stuffed monkey and a book.  Very exciting!  He's adjusted okay to not having a pacifier.  The first night or two he was kind of upset, but after reminding him that he gave his binkies to the Pacifier Fairy he calmed down quickly.  It's been over a week now, and though he still asks about it from time to time, he hardly ever gets upset about it.

However, it now takes him SO much longer to fall asleep!  It used to be so easy--we'd put him in his crib, listen to him read to himself for about 20 minutes, then it would be blissfully quiet for the following 2 - 3 hours.  Now he's up for an hour minimum prior to falling asleep!  And his naps seem a lot shorter, too.  So of course I'm a bit worried that he's not getting enough sleep, but since he doesn't seem overly tired during the day I'm just going to roll with it. 

Had I been aware of the fact that he's currently teething like mad, I probably would have waited on the Pacifier Fairy plan.  But with the pacifier, his teeth didn't seem to bother him.  Without it, his teeth hurt.  The act of sucking on a paci must have relieved the pressure a bit, which I hadn't thought of before.  So we're relying on tylenol and motrin to help ease his pain, even though his pediatrician told us to use them only as a last resort.  I'm pretty sure if Dr. Dave was in as much pain as Dashiell is, he'd take some sort of pain reliever.  So there, Dr. Dave!

I have to say that I'm glad we did this no-pacifier thing in such a decisive, "all-gone" manner.  Had we tried to do it more gradually, I know I would have caved and let him use it again.  This was a tough step for me as well as for him.  He's had his pacifier since the day we took him home from the hospital, when he was just a little bitty baby.  We limited his paci use to sleeping-only long ago, but still it was his trusted comfort item, one that he'd know his whole life.  It's weird--none of the other "rites of passage" bothered me, but this one did.  When we stopped swaddling him, I was happy he was able to calm himself without it.  When we moved him into his own room, I was happy that we were confident he could survive without us by his side every minute of the day.  When he stopped nursing, I was happy he was getting enough nutrition from his other food to not need my milk anymore (and I was happy he jumped from being in the 20th percentile in weight to the 80th!).  When he stopped drinking out of a bottle, I was happy not to have to wash bottles anymore.  But the pacifier was one of the last "baby" items he'd been using (that and the crib, which we're so not ready to get rid of!).  As we've been telling him for a few weeks now, big guys don't use pacifiers, babies use pacifiers. While he'll always be my baby, he's no longer a baby.  He's a big guy now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This week

I think I might have time to do another post before I go home, so here it goes!  We've been doing some fun stuff this week so I thought I'd keep the blog momentum rolling.

On Monday Dash and I went to a Pony Party sponsored by the playgroup we frequent (Chelmsford Community Playroom) for their end-of-the-year party.  It was held at Jones Farm in Chelmsford, which is a cute little farm/nursery/farmstand/cafe that I never knew existed!  So I personally am excited to find a new cafe, and a place to buy super-fresh veggies and maybe a plant or two.

The pony ride was met with mixed success.  Waiting in line before the pony ride was kind of a disaster--Dashiell wanted to get on the pony NOW and couldn't understand why he had to wait.  His only-child, no daycare status was shining through!  Or it could just have been that he's a 2-year-old.  So, yeah, there were tears and many attempts to pull me over to the pony and all of that.  Finally he got on the pony:
Even in this photo you can see that he's looking more apprehensive than excited.  I just don't think he knew what to expect.  Pony rides are definitely out of his realm of experience.  But he did well for a couple of laps around the parking lot.

Then without warning he started crying again.  I tried to get him to calm down by petting the pony's mane, but with no luck.  The ride was over!

After that we went back into the cafe to have a snack, plant a flower, and play in the sandbox.  D kept getting worked up over nothing (once again, not terribly surprising since he's 2), so finally we just had to leave.  He did have fun, really, but he also had a hard time sharing the toys and being someplace new with so many people.  When we got home, he took a serious 3-1/2 hour nap.  So, yeah, the pony party might have worn him out a bit!

Yesterday we went to the Stone Zoo, which was really fun!  We bought a family membership (actually family *plus* membership, so we can bring friends or grandparents with us whenever we want!), so we plan on going back to the zoo a bazillion times this year.  Dash loved seeing the animals--he was very impressed with the reindeer, the bats, and the flamingos.  However I'd have to say his favorite part of the zoo was the big fans in the enclosure behind the flamingos.  That and a set of steps near one of the big cats (I thought it was a leopard, but Dashiell informed me that it was a jaguar later that day when he got up from his nap--"jaguar sleeping!").  Grandpa Hanson was able to join us for our zoo visit, which was good on many levels--more fun for all of us, plus he manned the stroller that we ended up not needing. :)

I didn't get a single photo of Dash at the zoo--he was too busy running around to hold still for a photo.

Another fun thing that happened yesterday is that Dashiell officially made his first friend on his own!  Yes he has other friends, but they are all friends who are the kids of Rick and my friends.  He sees plenty of kids at playgroup or at the park, but none of those kids have "clicked" and moved to the friend category yet.  But yesterday I dropped him off at the daycare at my gym, and there was a little boy there (Evan) who Dashiell had met a few times before.  The babysitter mentioned that Evan was just talking about Dashiell before we arrived, and he seemed so excited to see him that afternoon!  They were playing together the whole time I was working out, and when I came to pick Dashiell up he and Evan were sharing a snack.  As I was putting D's coat on him he pointed to Evan and told me "This is Evan!" and was so excited about introducing me to his new friend!  It was totally the cutest thing ever!!

Alright, I think I'm pretty much caught up on my blogging!  Have a good weekend everyone!

Catch up

I feel like I'm just so far behind on my blogging...yay for being busy at work and at home but seriously, I have pictures from weeks ago that I still haven't posted!

Ah well, I'll try to catch up a little now with a quick review of what's been going on the past few weeks, in picture form.  If I have a chance later I might blog again specifically about some fun things that happened this week...we'll see how it works out!

So this first picture (taken about a month ago) is what happens when I ask Dashiell to make a silly face.  The biggest, craziest grin you can imagine!  I thought it was funny that he was eating his breakfast with his foot resting on the table.  I've since tried to lay down a "no feet on the table" law, but with very little luck.  The fact that I laughed and took pictures the first time it happened set the stage...

These next two pictures were taken the day before Memorial Day at the grandparents' house.  First we have Rick spinning Dashiell around in circles, which is an activity Nana hates!  But Dash loves it!  He was also digging the new wading pool...

On Memorial Day, Dash and I headed back to the grandparents' for a parade, which happens to pass right in front of their house!  It's amazing we got there on time since I could have sworn that the parade started at 10:30, not 10:00!  Ha!  But thankfully we made it, since Dashiell was transfixed on this parade!  He sat in his little chair and watched the whole thing, barely moving.  And as you can see, there was plenty of candy thrown to our guy--mostly stuff he couldn't eat, but he did enjoy his lollipop!

Last week we had dinner over at my friend Meghan's house, and her son Crispin decided that Dashiell needed to eat some raisins.  I'm surprised that Dash actually let him put raisins in his mouth--any time we "feed" him something we get an automatic "no!"  Of course, it's different when a friend is offering the food, isn't it?  Sorry the picture is so blurry but that's what you get when you try to photograph two active 2-year-olds!

We've actually had some eating break-throughs lately that I'm kind of excited about...Dashiell has been trying things he normally doesn't try, which makes me so happy!  Rice, for example!  Every time we eat rice we of course put some on his plate, and every time without fail he just refuses it without trying it.  We haven't made a big deal out of it and just keep offering it, in the hopes that someday some of it will make it into his mouth. And it doesn't matter what kind of rice (white, brown, pilaf, fried, beans and rice, etc), he just doesn't even try it.  Until last week, when he had a couple of bites of pilaf and actually seemed to like it!  Victory!  He also ate mashed potatoes, which he formally hated the texture of.  *And* he tried a bite of asparagus and said "mmm!".  Though honestly, I think the "mmm" was said to appease me, since he then promptly gulped down a bunch of milk and didn't try any more, but still, it was nice that he tried it!  He's also been eating a greater variety of meat, too--for a while I thought my years of being a vegetarian somehow got passed down to my child, which would be fine if I were still a vegetarian. :)

Alright this post is getting out-of-control long, so I'll have to continue with it later.  Hope you've enjoyed the update!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Build a House!

A couple of days ago when Rick was taking care of Dashiell, Dash started obsessing over his wooden blocks.  He's had these blocks for well over a year, and has progressed from stacking a couple, knocking them down, having us build bigger stuff that he can knock it down, using various blocks to mimic other objects (one of the blocks made a great phone!), to forgetting that he had them.  Then out of the blue he started playing with them again.  But now he's progressed to building "houses".  Most of his houses are horizontal in nature, though he'll occasionally stack the blocks to form vertical elements.  I'm totally in love with the creations he comes up with!  "Build a house" he'll say, then run over and rearrange the blocks to make some cool-looking block picture. 

We're not exactly sure where this new-found creativity stems from, but I strongly suspect it has something to do with a library book we recently picked up called "Shape by Shape" by Suse MacDonald.  The book uses a variety of cut-out shapes to create a dinosaur, and I think that triggered something in his brain that made him realize that shapes can be used to make any number of pictures, such as houses!  In fact, he has picked up blocks, named their shapes, then said "Like Shape by Shape!" (hence my suspicion that this book has something to do with the houses!).

Cool, huh?  I think it might be time to make another trip to Michael's store see what other crafting opportunities can be found...a world of fuzzy felt and colored paper awaits!