Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

If so, this post may change your mind. We're currently experiencing the Blizzard of 2009, something that Oklahoma rarely ever sees.

Oklahoma City is the crossroads of three major interstates and numerous turnpikes, all of which are currently shut down. There are multi-car pile-ups around every bend, people stranded in the cold and the National Guard has been working since this morning to assist drivers.

Meanwhile, we're passing the time by opening a few gifts early, making arts and crafts, cooking and dancing to Christmas music. The timing of this storm just happens to coincide with the week that Michael has decided to train Roxy to potty outside. She's been pad trained her entire life, and is now refusing to pee outside during the blizzard. I don't blame her one bit, but I must say Michael's patience in continuing the training is admirable. Here they were this morning on one of several failed attempts to potty in the backyard:

Notice Roxy's ears. That's from the crazy blizzard wind.

Despite her doggy coat, Roxy is not excited for some outside time.

My dad and Susan are housebound with us and brought an ornament making kit with Grayson's hand print. That kept us entertained for a good portion of the morning.

By 3:30 Mike and Grayson couldn't stand it anymore and they decided to venture out.

It took about 10 minutes to get him dressed and about 45 seconds to decide he didn't want to be outside anymore.

Here's the view down our street a few hours ago.

Our house which currently has 2+ foot snow drifts surrounding it.

The accumulation by the garage door.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Party time

Last Friday Grayson's school had their Christmas party. For one-year-olds this basically means singing a few songs and then eating a bunch of junk food. I took a few party pics to mark the occasion.

Here they are singing and waiting on their plates of junk food to be delivered. Notice the girl next to Gray sucking her thumb. Her daddy cut her bangs a few weeks back and now she has a full-on mullet. Her mom was not a happy camper, as they had yet to take their holiday picture.

Now do you see what I mean about junk food? Cheese puffs, cookies, marshmallows and cupcakes just to name a few. Grayson enjoyed the cheese puffs, sliced cheese and juice box, but didn't care much for the sweets. I was in shock that he could even maneuver the juice box straw, but he managed quite well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Roxy at 5 years

Today is Roxy's fifth birthday! She may be a little grayer and a little more crotchety, but she's still as spunky as the day we brought her home. I remember trying to pick out a name with Michael the day we got her (which was actually in February once she could be weaned from her mom). I was dead set on naming our dog Bella (that was well before the Twilight series character phenomenon), but when we met her it just didn't fit. I don't remember how we came up with Roxy, but it suits her well.

This little lady has been through a lot over the last five years. She's lived in two states, three houses and gone from being the queen of her domain to low woman on the totem pole. She's had a hip joint removed, survived Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and dutifully makes car trips to Houston despite her auto anxiety.

Roxy is a great cover stealer and for being such a little thing, manages to take up just as much bed space as a human. But despite these nuances, she's a snugly companion who is fiercely loyal (as long as you rub her belly from time to time).

Roxy's reign may have officially ended 15 months ago, but she still gets to be queen for today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Three Amigos

We recently got together with two of the couples who were part of the 2009 baby boom you may recall from last summer. Baby Liam and Baby Cora are now around six months old and as adorable as ever.

To mark their first Christmas together, we wanted a nice picture of the trio that we could look back on over the years. Here's a glimpse at how the brief photo shoot went.

Don't worry, Grayson wasn't really punching Liam in the eye, it just looks like it from the angle.

The rivalry over Cora's affection has begun!

And, we're done.

I must say, Liam was quite the trooper during the entire thing. I think he's going to be laid back like his parents.

Here's a link to our Flickr site where I've uploaded the rest of the pictures.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Little Explorer

This week, Grayson discovered the toilet. I don't mean in a "I need to go potty" kind of way, more like he wants to put his hands and toys in the water kind of way.

We've been keeping the lid down, but were trying to avoid using a baby proofer strap on the lid since the bathroom he plays near is also our guest bathroom.

Instead, we've been trying to keep the doors closed as much as possible, but this week he managed to get past us and not only drop a small plastic bowl in the toilet, but then stick his own hand in to fish it out.

He's also enamored with the shiny silver flush knob and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he discovers the toilet paper roll as well.

Ah, the fun times we have ahead. Guess we should locate our plunger for quick recovery of Little People figurines and small toy cars. Fingers crossed our cell phones or iPods don't land in there as well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Day in the Life

Lately we've had several family members ask what Grayson is in to these days so they can search out a Christmas gift he'd like. The problem is it's difficult to describe to people some of his favorite activities, much less buy things to go along with those pastimes. Here's a short list of Grayson's current hobbies of choice:

Opening up boxes of his Gerber Graduate Entree meals and also stacking them on his highchair

Wearing hats and gloves and pulling them on and off himself

Opening and closing the door to our laundry room

Playing in the cabinet where we keep his Gerber entrees and his sippy cups (there's also a lazy susan in there which is all kinds of fun to spin around)

Giving hugs and kisses

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Kodak Moment

Last year for Grayson's first Christmas, Michael and I decided we were not going to take him to see Santa at the mall until he was old enough to ask for it. We didn't want him to be traumatized by the big red guy.

Then this year, Grayson's school decided to have Santa come to them so all bets were off. After forking over ten bucks, we got this wonderful keepsake photo of Grayson's first visit with Mr. Claus.

Not only is Grayson quite the disheveled looking boy with pants riding up and holding some random toy to distract him from crying, but to top it off, Santa isn't even looking at the camera and his belt is held together with a paperclip. Ah, the joy of the holidays.

I hope Grayson asked for a refund for Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight we celebrated the start of Hanukkah with our friends the Brooks family. They host an annual Latke Fest which involves a house FULL of people and enough latkes (a sort of potato fritter pancake thing) and food to feed an army.

I believe host Adam said they peeled and shredded 20 lbs. of potatoes this year. Wowser!

We always enjoy attending this annual tradition and were excited that Grayson could partake of the wonderful party and food this year as well. He ate this entire plate of food all by himself:
It was unbelievable. Here's his first bite of latke:

He then immediately wanted more:

I did snap a quick picture of our hostess Lori manning the stove and turning out latkes like nobody's business. (Random side note: Isn't her apron adorable?!)

I hope your holiday season is as festive and fun as this tradition was for us.

Happy Friday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Santa comes to visit Grayson's school tomorrow so we've been practicing what Santa says.

I have a stuffed Santa from my childhood that we've been using to explain the whole white beard, red suit, bowl full of jelly thing.

When Grayson finally meets a live Santa he'll probably freak out and start crying, but for now he knows that Santa says, "Ho Ho Ho."

[Video disclaimer: apologies for the dark footage. It looked like there was more light when I was viewing him through the camera.]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Must. Get. Sleep.

When you have a newborn, you get used to functioning off of only a few hours of sleep. Unfortunately, that skill is quickly lost once your child consistently begins sleeping through the night.

Grayson has been past the night waking stage for nearly a year, but recently has had several bouts of sleep issues. Last night was the latest occurrence. He woke up at 3:30 a.m. and I finally crawled back into my own bed around 6 a.m. I debated about going back to sleep at all since the alarm was close to going off, but I needed sleep so badly, I really didn't care.

He's waking like this because of his terrible teething, but even though we immediately give him a pain reliever when he wakes, he insists on crying hysterically if you do anything besides hold him. If you put him back in the crib before he's totally asleep the crying cycle starts all over again until you pick him up. We've tried letting him cry it out (which worked well in the past), but he just stands in his crib and gets himself so worked up that I'm afraid he'll make himself sick from all the crying.

Luckily it's not happening every night right now (knock on wood), so I've been able to catch up on sleep again before the next round of sleep deprivation hits. The bad news is his final three molars still have not cut through, which I'm afraid means we've got many more sleepless nights in our future.

At this point, I'm open to any and all suggestions. We've tried teething tablets, gum gel, teethers, motrin, tylenol, biting on cold washcloths and on and on and on.

While you fill up the comments section with your brilliant ideas, I'm going to go put my pajamas on. Who cares if it isn't even 8:30 p.m. yet?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grayson at 15 months

Today Grayson turns 15 months old and we marked the occasion with a well baby check up and three vaccinations (not so much fun).

In dramatic fashion, Grayson began crying early on in the appointment when we went to weigh him and take his height and head circumference measurements. The nurse put the measuring tape around his head and he began sobbing like she was somehow hurting him.

Little did he know she was really going to hurt him a short while later when he got three shots in his thighs. Maybe he had a sixth sense about her.

At any rate, the rest of the appointment went well. Gray enjoyed displaying all of his mobility tricks and new teeth for the pediatrician and even managed to demonstrate some of his vocabulary on cue.

He weighed in at 22 lbs. 6.4 oz and is 32 inches long. He's still measuring tall and skinny, around 25th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. His head size is right at the average 50th percentile.

What the statistics don't show is that these days our boy enjoys puzzles, shape blocks, riding on his truck/car toys, and talking up a storm. He talks non-stop, but only really knows a handful of words. It's amazing to see how much he understands beyond his spoken vocabulary.

He's been practicing using a spoon all by himself and is working very hard on growing hair. His wispy hair is getting long enough to flip out in the back, but is still pretty thin on top.

Overall, Grayson is a happy and outgoing little boy. And let's face it, who wouldn't love having this in their life?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bottomless Pit

Despite moments of hard core teething, Grayson is pretty much back to his old self. He's into everything and has his appetite back. In fact, we can't seem to keep him full the last few days.

Last night he ate his regular dinner and then helped Michael finish off some ham, green bean casserole, corn and mashed potatoes. He then ate a jar of applesauce before we finally refused to feed him anymore. His little belly was distended, but happy.

I'm not sure if he's having a growth spurt or just catching up from being sick. Either way, it's giving us a glimpse at what our grocery bill will be like during the teen years.

Here's a video from tonight's dinner. Michael was breaking up pieces of ham, cheese and bread about as fast as Grayson was shoveling it in. He has perfected the two-handed method for faster food intake.

Grayson has also learned a new gesture for when something is all gone...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Progress

This morning Grayson woke up without a fever (yay!) but is still overly sensitive and fussy. He played a little this morning, but by 10 a.m. couldn't handle being awake anymore and fussed until I laid him in his crib.

Hopefully we're on the downhill slope of this and he just needs a day or two for rebuilding his energy. Unfortunately, the timing of this illness meant we had to cancel our trip to Houston for Thanksgiving. Michael's parents are driving up here instead, but we are disappointed we won't be seeing the extended family until Christmastime.

I'm sure his Nana and Popper will enjoy the extra snuggle time Grayson is currently demanding, even if it comes with a few meltdowns in between.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The "First" We've Been Dreading

Grayson had his first trip to the ER on Sunday. We took him in around 10:30 p.m. when his fever spiked to 104 degrees. He had kept his food down all day, but his fever continually rose despite giving him Tylenol & Motrin.

The doctor checked him out and couldn't really do much. They gave us a prescription to help with his stomach if the vomiting came back and basically said all we can do is try to manage his fever. We did that all day on Monday and his fever broke briefly around 3 p.m., but came back later that evening.

This morning when I went in to get him up, he wouldn't move anything but his hands and his fever was back up to 103. When Mike tried to make him walk over to our bedroom, Grayson cried like he was achy and would only take a few steps. We got him in to the doctor at 9:30 a.m. and they recommended we get some blood work done to check his electrolyte and other levels. They put a rush on the lab work, so I am hoping to get a call by noon with the results.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to treat his fever and trying to enjoy the extra snuggle time. All he wants to do is cuddle and/or sleep. After having such an active child, it's scary to see him so lethargic. I'll keep you posted once I hear from the lab. In the meantime, here are a few shots from our ER trip. While I was rushing around trying to pack a diaper bag for Grayson, Michael managed to remember the camera for posterity.

Not a happy camper in his ER room.

Lying in the hospital bed with Daddy, waiting on the doctor.

Trying to play on Monday, but kept wearing himself out.

UPDATE: 12:54 p.m. -- Just heard back from the pediatrician's office and his lab work looked good. He woke up at noon, ate some lunch and is now back in bed. He woke up a little sweaty so hopefully his fever is starting to break. Still seems to not have much energy and sobs whenever I put him down to walk or stand on his own. Keep the little man in your prayers!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Clean Up, Aisle Grayson

This has been quite the weekend. My dad and Susan are in town for a short visit and Grayson marked the occasion by vomiting for most of Saturday and then hard-core teething from his one year molars beginning at 5 a.m. on Sunday. Nothing says Welcome! like an inconsolable, puking toddler.

Luckily today he's kept his food down (so far), but he's still running a small fever and he can't seem to get relief from his gum pain. It's such a helpless feeling to watch him get so worked up when nothing seems to soothe him.

He was super hungry for lunch since he lost all his food yesterday, but then when he ate it made his gums hurt which would send him into sobbing fits. He would barely calm down between bites of applesauce. It was so sad.

Michael has Grayson calmed down now and is trying to get him to take another nap since he's worn out and fussy. Say a little prayer that these molars break through quickly! The first one on top wasn't this bad, but I think he's getting the bottom two at the same time. Yay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dads Do Things Differently

Say for instance your son's pants seem to be slipping off due to his itty bitty waist. Most moms would swap out the pants for a different pair or even take them off all together. Not dads. Instead, they do things like this:

I'm surprised duct tape was not involved somehow. Kinda makes his Cool Beyond My Years shirt ironic, don't ya think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jesus Loves Buses

Tonight we met up with my dad and his side of the family for dinner after work. My cousin's nearly three-year-old son Luke was there too and spent some quality time with his little cousin Grayson chasing him around.

Luke was entertaining us with several songs and started singing Jesus Loves Me in the most adorable little boy voice. After a couple of lines, he got distracted and it went something like this:

Jesus loves me this I know.
For the bible tells me so.
The wheels on the bus go round and round...

So hilarious! I told him it was an interesting remix to an old classic. He just smiled and handed me one of his blue M&Ms.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Building Life Skills

Some dads teach their children how to tie their shoes, throw a ball, or burp the alphabet. Not Grayson's dad. Instead, he teaches his son the golden rules of racing cars:
  1. Accelerate into turns
  2. Learn how to change your own oil and flat tires
  3. And finally, the most important to make engine revving noises with your mouth
Our son may not be able to tell you what sound a cow makes, but he can mimic car shifting noises while pushing his toy cars around all day long.

[Video disclaimer: the red mark you'll see on the middle of his forehead is Gray's first official bite mark from a toddler classmate. The girl left quite a mark, but he's doing okay.]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Zombie Boy

I think we may have a sleep walker on our hands. I found out this morning that during yesterday's naptime Grayson got up from his cot halfway through his nap, walked around the toddler room and then laid back down and slept some more.

The teachers said his eyes were open, but they could tell he wasn't fully awake. Spooky!

Since he still sleeps in his crib at home, we've never known him to sleep walk. I guess he could walk around in his crib in the middle of the night and we'd never know.

Neither Michael or I have ever been known to sleep walk, but my little sister Emily used to do it when she was younger. She was several years older than Grayson is now, but from what I've read it can run in families.

I also read that 15 percent of toddlers experience a sleep walking episode. It's often caused by sleeping in a strange place, lack of sleep or having a high fever. The toddler room is a new place for him to sleep and he's also been more tired lately due to officially dropping his second nap, so maybe that's what caused the incident.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see if anything more comes of it. My sister eventually grew out of it with no harm done, so I guess we'll just watch and see.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It can't be this easy

Grayson has been successfully pacifier-free since Friday. I'm still quite shocked by the entire thing.

He fussed briefly on Saturday and we gave him a teether which satisfied him and he moved on. Then the true test was school today. I was afraid he'd digress once he saw babies in the nursery using their pacis, but apparently he thinks that's such a baby thing to do, and he's moved on to toddler status.

Surprisingly, he seems to miss it more when we're commuting in the car than he does for sleeping. I wouldn't of predicted that, but then again I've been blind-sided by this entire milestone.

Knock on wood this cold turkey bit keeps up. I'm kinda liking it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Great Paci Debate

There are many parts of child rearing that can spark debate among parents (and even opinionated non-parents), but one that seems to open the flood gates is the use of a pacifier.

As you know from this blog, Grayson uses a pacifier for sleeping and typically car rides, and has been quite addicted to it at times. As a child, I was a long-term thumb sucker and would prefer my child use a paci instead of going straight for the thumb which is more difficult to take away.

But now that he's one, it's getting to be time to break the pacifier habit. We've known this was coming for a while, but this week at school I found out that the toddler room will only give Grayson his paci for naptime over a three week transition period. After that, no more paci.

Once I heard that, I though about just putting all the work on the teachers' shoulders, but this weekend things took an interesting turn. Mike put Grayson down for bed last night and he didn't ask for his paci so Mike didn't offer it. Then, for his nap today he also went down without a paci.

I've scoured the house and hidden all the pacifiers I could find, so we'll see how long we can go. I find it hard to believe breaking this habit will be this easy, but if we can do it twice we might as well keep going. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rough & Tumble

Grayson is finally making a permanent transition into the toddler room at school due to other kids aging up to the next class. He's been ready for this for a while now, but after a few run-ins with the big kids today, he may be rethinking if he really wants to be in the toddler room.

He spent the better part of the day there, eating lunch at the table instead of a highchair, napping on a cot and establishing himself as a non-pushover when it comes to toddler turf wars. Apparently there's a girl named Shelby that tends to be a scratcher when she doesn't get her way. She got Grayson on the forehead today, but it didn't do much damage and he managed to shove her down a time or two. After that there were some biting incidents with a different kid, where he was both bitten and then bit back, but again, not enough to even leave a mark.

Before things got too rowdy, Grayson was sent back to the nursery for the last hour of the day. I think they wanted to separate him from some of the bigger kids before the real initiation began. As his teacher was explaining how Grayson's day went, I imagined a mini-toddler gang, scoping out the fresh meat and testing him to see if he was going to be weak or stand his ground.

Of course, it thrills Michael to no end knowing that Grayson "defended" himself with the scratcher and the biter, but I just hope it doesn't go too far. Guess time will tell.

And if transitioning rooms wasn't enough change for one kid, this is also the week another tooth decided to pop up. He's been slightly fussy the last day or so and I just noticed tonight that a tooth on the bottom left has barely broken through the gum line. Oh what perfect timing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grayson at 14 months

I'm technically a few days late with this post, so you'll have to forgive me.

It's difficult to sum Grayson up these days. He's quite the busy bee, walking and talking non-stop. It seems like his brain is working overtime and he's mastering new skills or figuring out new ways to push the boundaries every day.

For example, he's always been infatuated with the wall of built-in cabinets in our living room, but has learned new ways to get into them. All of the cabinet doors are child-proofed except for the one where we store his toys. He's learned that his little arm can still fit in the child-proofed cabinets and find mischief. He particularly likes the cabinet that holds the stereo.

By squeezing his arm into the cracked cabinet door, Gray manages to push buttons on the stereo, making it light up, change CDs and play music. So much for child proofing.

For all his mischievous ways, I will say that he is pretty good about minding when you tell him no. Usually this is in reference to touching a breakable object or plugged-in cord. Most times he'll stop doing whatever you want, but if he's tired he'll throw his body on the ground, get red-faced and sob. This is the point where Michael and I walk away and as soon as we're gone he gets up and acts normal again.

Despite the occasional pre-terrible twos drama, Grayson is overall a very cheerful kiddo. He loves making objects into phones, frequently holding the TV remote, blocks and even his hand up to his ear to "talk." Of course, when we hold the real phone up to have him talk to one of his grandparents he immediately goes mute.

At school he's become quite the soother and has frequently been seen patting crying babies or his BFF Baxter after a tantrum. His teachers tell us that he'll go over to Baxter or any of the other kids and squat or lay down next to them and pat them when they are upset. So sweet. A definite improvement over biting them.

I don't know his height and weight stats since we won't go back to the doctor until next month, but I'd say he's still right around 22-23 lbs. Even though he's getting longer, Grayson keeps thinning out from all the mobility and one of these days I'm determined to plant a pedometer on him and see how far he walks. It has to be a staggering amount.

Monday, November 2, 2009

So busy

Thought you might enjoy this recent video of Grayson moving around our living room pillows. Some of them are bigger than he is, but he muscles them around until he's satisfied with their placement. It may be hard work, but once he gets tired they provide a convenient place to take a brief rest.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Fall

After weeks and weeks of overcast and rainy weather, we finally had a perfect fall day here in Norman. We celebrated by taking a drive and checking out the gorgeous mums on the south oval of OU's campus.

Grayson is very inquisitive when it comes to the outdoors. He loves picking up fallen leaves, but not the bright yellow or red ones. He prefers the crunchy dead brown ones. Lucky for us, leaves of all shapes and colors are in abundance around our house.

I tried taking Grayson's picture next to one of our Japanese maples that's currently a fiery red, but instead of posing, he was way more interested in picking off the leaves and then showing them to me.

Once we arrived at the south oval, Grayson enjoyed running through the rows of mums and "balancing" on the garden border.

He also discovered that picking grass is just as much fun as picking up dead leaves. Of course, he had to show us each blade as well since they are all so interesting.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Potluck Halloween Fun

This is probably the last year we'll be able to get away with no official Halloween costume or trick-or-treating, but we still managed to have some Halloween fun.

Thanks to his Auntie Jennifer in Houston, Grayson at least sported a cool glow-in-the-dark skeleton shirt (which matches his big cousin Blayne as a bonus!) for dress-up day at school.

This afternoon he spent some time in the toddler room for their "harvest" party. Since Gray goes to a church daycare, they don't officially celebrate Halloween. At any rate, he got to dress up and have a cupcake snack and that's really all he cared about.

Grayson with the pumpkin he painted at Auntie Emily and Uncle Levi's house (oh, and that skeleton bear he's holding is his new friend Boneses. He was also a gift from Jennifer and they are now inseparable.)

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of "fun" socks (aka holiday or patterned socks....I know, random right?) Anyway, these are the socks my mom surprised me with this week and Grayson received his fun striped socks last Halloween from our good friends Mark & Agatha in St. Louis. He wore them last year and was surprisingly still able to fit in them this year. So adorable!

And finally, I'll close with this random picture because it really doesn't get any cuter that that folks!