Saturday, August 29, 2009

Milk: It Really Does Do A Body Good

Grayson has had a big day today and it's only mid-afternoon. This morning we got up and strolled over to the Dustbowl Arts Market on Campus Corner. The weather was perfect and the handmade jewelry and craft booths were amazing. Kudos to our friend Katie for organizing such a great festival!

After a quick nap, it was time for lunch and Gray's first taste of whole milk. He gulped it down out of his sippy cup and couldn't seem to get enough. It must have been just the fuel he needed, because he then decided to take his first steps!

Over the last few days he's been gaining confidence with standing independently and it finally "clicked" on how to go from standing to walking. For your viewing pleasure, we took a few short videos of his new ability. As you'll hear, the excitement of walking brought out a few shrieks, but we didn't seem to care since they were the first of the day and for good reason.

I guess I'll have to start thinking about dressing him in shoes when we go out in public in case he wants to practice his new skill. Now, if I could just get him to keep them on his feet...

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One more cousin!

The last of the babies has finally arrived. Charlotte Reese was born to my cousin Windy and her husband Wayne on Aug. 27 at 7:56 p.m. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 20.5 inches.

Charlotte completes the bevy of babies we've been expecting this summer and I'm so thrilled we have another girl in the family!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Knock on Wood

As I write this post, I realize I'm probably jinxing myself but it seems like Grayson's shrieking may actually be improving. That doesn't mean we don't go a day without hearing it, but he is doing a lot better at using his "words" instead of high pitched vocalizations.

I really think the intense shrieking is his way of expressing himself when he can't find words. Every day I can see the wheels in his head turning as he thinks about and practices new sounds.

Michael and I have been trying a combination of ignoring the shrieks, completely leaving the room/situation, or saying "use your words" then inserting whatever word makes sense at the time. Depending on the situation, our reaction typically gets noticed and the shrieking ceases.

Car rides have become much better and on this evening's commute, Gray contentedly played and babbled with no need for shrill noisemaking.

Tonight at dinner Grayson began shrieking while I was feeding him so I spun his highchair around to face the wall. He immediately stopped and calmed down so I turned him back around and we continued. Once he was done eating, he spent about 15 more minutes munching on puffs and babbling at the table while Michael and I ate -- not one shriek.

I'm sure we'll have good days and bad days in terms of the shrieking, but I must say today was a good day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recess

This past weekend, Grayson enjoyed playing at a park near my parent's house. He LOVED the bucket swings, but took a little time to warm up to the seesaw animals. I don't think he quite knew what to do on them yet.




Saturday, August 22, 2009

Video Diaries

A few video updates from this week:

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When Grayson is learning to master a new trick, we cheer and clap once he's achieved it. His latest trick is to clap for himself once he succeeds. Guess he understands clapping = good.

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This week when Michael went out to mow the backyard, I couldn't get Grayson away from the window. Luckily, the video camera was close by so I could capture his non-stop repetition of dada.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gray's New Smile

Here are a few new pictures of Grayson's pearly whites. He only has four teeth on top, so there is a big gap between his two front teeth. Of course, I think it's the most adorable thing ever. Ask me again in 10 years when we're writing a check to the orthodontist.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A little shadow

A few weeks back we visited my parents in Mississippi for a mini family reunion. My Aunt Karen and Uncle Bill came along with their daughter Suzanne and her son Luke. You've seen Luke before on this blog (usually in pool-related posts), but I couldn't pass up showing you some pictures of Grayson and Luke together.


Grayson thought Luke was pretty cool and he spent most of his waking moments trying to be just like him. Luke loves to color, but Gray didn't quite understand colored pencils just yet. Instead, he was happy stealing them out of Luke's pencil bag and chewing on the ends. Luke was not amused.


A few days into our trip, we realized that both of the boys have the same pajamas. Here's Luke and his little shadow sporting their alligator PJs.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Track Mind

I finally have the time and energy to sit down and write a post and all I can think to write about is Grayson's shrieking streak. It seems to have taken over our lives.

Grayson has always been a vocal baby, but lately his babbling involves A LOT of screaming and shrieking. To say it's ear piercing is a gross understatement. These shrill screams are mind numbing and seemingly constant. Honestly, I don't quite understand how he can physically scream so much without it hurting his own ears or vocal chords.

The really crazy part is these shrieks are typically out of happiness. It seems like it's his way of expressing his ultimate excitement for a toy or person or situation. He'll be talking and babbling or laughing and then it escalates into a shriek.

This phase cannot pass fast enough for our liking, but I have a feeling it may be here for a while. We've tried many different tactics to make it stop. Telling him no, putting our finger on his mouth to get his attention, pushing the pacifier on him so he'll suck instead of scream, ignoring him altogether while he's shrieking (which is difficult since it happens so often and unpredictably). I don't know what else to do.

Any and all suggestions (and prayers) are welcomed at this time. For now, Michael and I will be nursing our bleeding ear drums.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Down But Not Out

My posts have been few and far between lately due to the wave of sickness that's enveloped our family. Grayson kicked off the fun with projectile vomiting early last week. He never ran a fever and was happy as a clam right after vomiting, so we didn't think much about it. According to his teachers, this short (but not so sweet) stomach bug was quickly circulating around his school.

I was next up with strep throat. This lasted about five days before my medicine finally kicked in and I was able to rebound. Luckily, Grayson and I were both well just in time for our trip to Mississippi to visit my parents and family. We celebrated my dad's birthday and enjoyed relaxing while spending time with family.

We got back on Monday and late Tuesday evening I picked up the stomach bug that Grayson endured last week. Now it's Thursday and I'm still running a slight fever and have some symptoms, but I've been able to keep food down nearly 24 hours.

Time will tell if Mike will succumb to either of these illnesses. He's been a trooper, playing Mr. Mom without complaint, but I know he's ready for me to be able to touch and care for Grayson again.

I'm ready to get over all of this and catch you up on Grayson's latest happenings. Every day I see him changing more into a boy as his skills develop and looks change. It's exciting and heart-breaking all at the same time. More on that later. Right now I need to focus on keeping my Gatorade down.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Grayson at 11 months

So, this monthly update is a few days late because I'm just now rebounding from strep throat which came on last Thursday. Michael has done a great job taking care of me and playing single dad to our extremely active son.

Grayson took advantage of this weekend's home time to work on his mobility. He's all about cruising these days, whether it's around the furniture or holding on to his Playskool car. He hasn't taken his official first independent steps yet, but I can already see our lives will never be the same.

Another favorite is putting things "in" other things. I'm actually amazed at some of the hand/eye coordination he's showing. He can put different-shaped blocks in their appropriately sized hole, small balls in their shoot (like the video below) and rings on a pole. So far he shows equal skill with both hands, so we can't tell which will be dominant. I'm right-handed and Michael is a lefty, which means we're both pulling for the opposite hand.

Grayson's peach-fuzz hair is finally starting to grow wispy in the back. It's still thin (if non-existent) on top, but seems to be starting to grow.

As you probably saw from our vacation pictures, he has six teeth now. Four on top and two on bottom. I don't see any others breaking through, yet the drool continues at full volume.

This Thursday we get to introduce Grayson to my step-mom Susan's side of the family. We're driving to my parent's house in Mississippi (notice I said driving, not flying) for a mini-family reunion, complete with my sister Amy and nephew Holten. I haven't seen this side of my family since I was about 6 months pregnant, and I'm sure he will enjoy showing off for his grandparents and extended family.

For now, I'll leave you with a few new videos of Gray's recent party tricks.

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