Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sam's 9 month appointment was this morning. We also had Wil in for a weight check since he had lost a few ounces as of 2 weeks ago.
Sam, of course, is doing great. He's still in the 25-50%, gaining weight and height on schedule. He had his iron and lead levels tested, and they were well within normal ranges. On the skills assessment, he tests as a 13 month old. I think it helps that he tries to do what Wil does. Communicating was the big thing there. He also eats like a little piggy and wants what we're having, not baby food. Yesterday he had some Italian sausage. He likes pancakes and bacon.
Wil gained 1 pound, 3 ounces in the last 2 weeks! This is awesome! He is still little, but as long as he is growing and gaining, it's ok. Apparently, we need to keep giving him lots of milk and Pediasure. When I try to cut them back to encourage him to eat more, he loses weight but doesn't eat any more than he does when he gets all the liquids he wants. 
Wil comes by this honestly: Chris was also very picky as a child and still is. Grandma Debi wrote a letter to the doctor to give a little family background, which the doctor appreciated. It helps with assessment.
So, all is well until the next crisis. The next trick is to get Sam to sleep better, which probably won't happen until the last 3 of the 4 teeth he's working on come in.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Late to bed, early to rise....

So Sam is an early riser. How did we get so cursed - I mean lucky? 
The boys used to go to bed at 7:30 (Sam) and 8:00 (Wil), then sleep until at least 7:00, if not 8:00. Here's how the last week or two has gone:
7:30 - Sam's not ready for bed. He screams if we put him in bed.
8:00 - We get Sam in bed, thinking all is not lost. Wil gets his 15 minute warning.
8:10 - Sam starts screaming.
8:30 - Sam still screams (note that he doesn't cry, he screams) when we put him down, but we try to outlast him.
8:40 - We give in and get him out of bed, try to get Wil into bed, and fail miserably because he won't go to sleep while Sam is up. He lays in bed for 3 minutes, gets up and stands at the gate, occasionally calling down, "Night night, Daddy. Night night, Mommy. Want milk. Want downstairs." This repeats several times as we either 1) try to leave him long enough that he will fall asleep or go back to his room on his own, both of which have happened in the past, or 2) give him a drink and put him back in bed.
9:00 - If we are lucky, Sam finally falls asleep.
9:30 - If we are lucky, Wil finally falls asleep. If not, he might be up until 10:00, when we wanted to go to sleep.
Here's the kicker: we can't go to sleep until Wil is out because he thinks it's fun and game time and climbs into bed with us - and climbs on us. He likes to jump on us, mess with the stuff on the headboard, etc. 
The rest of the night isn't much better. Sam usually wakes up crying, which will quickly turn to screaming if he is ignored, at least once if not four times (like last night). And then he gets up early. Most days it has been 6:30-6:45. The earliest has been 5:45. And he won't go back to sleep. All I ask is 7:00, but no. I can't wait until he can get up on his own and go play until breakfast.
On rare occasion, we get some sleep, but not nearly enough. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let the games begin!

We've just wrapped up a very nice weekend house party of game playing with some friends. We had a full house, with 3 guests staying over and 2 day-tripping. And a fun time was had by all. 
The fun started Friday with pizza from Aver's followed by a game of Battlestar Galactica, which is a complex (10!!! decks of cards) semi-cooperative game. It is also very fun. The first game was a little slow as we figured out the mechanics. Did I mention it is complex? You don't have to know anything about the show to play, since the basic premise is that there is a mole (or two) trying to sabotage the goal that everyone is trying to reach. Thus the semi-cooperative: you don't know who is not helping. The trick is to figure it out. We played a second game on Saturday, which went much better, although we weren't fully utilizing some of the options. I'd really like to play another time and explore more.
Saturday, we started with bacon and pancakes for breakfast, then on to Munchkin Booty. Munchkin is a fun card game (there are many varieties; Booty is pirates, navy and merchants on the high seas). It pays homage to D&D type gaming, but you really don't have to know anything about RPG's to play. The fun is in trying to thwart the other players as you try to reach level 10 by killing monsters. Really, fun card game.
After breaking for lunch, we moved on to that second game of Battlestar Galactica. Much better, and I was even a secret Cylon (the mole). 
Dinner was re-fried burritos, one of Chris's specialties, then a quick game of Clue (the new board with the added Intrigue cards and character powers.) Lots of fun as 2 players were "killed" off before the final curtain. 
This morning was a quiet morning as our houseguests headed home. All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend. With everyone spread out, it will probably be another 2 years before we all get together again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kids = worry

I took Wil to the doctor today because I thought he might have an ear infection. Since he was sick last week and had started poking his ears, along with not sleeping well, it was a distinct possibility. Turns out his ears are fine but his molars are starting to come in, which is causing the discomfort in his ears. Good news.
Here's where having kids means stress: he lost a couple of ounces in weight over the last 2 or 3 months. He's always been small, usually holding at the 3% line on the weight charts. As long as he was steady and gaining, there wasn't much to do but watch and try to get him to eat. He doesn't eat much. 
It's a constant struggle because you can't force him to eat, which would only make matters worse if it would work. Losing a few ounces may be due to being sick and teething, so we are going to get him weighed again in 2 weeks. If he isn't gaining again, the doctor is going to do a 'failure to thrive' screening, which involves blood work, etc, to see if there is a problem with his thyroid or anything else. 
She's been keeping an eye on his weight and we get him weighed every few months, but it is very worrying. Making food an issue is bad because it is one of the few things he can control. Getting him to eat is tricky. About 2 weeks ago, he started telling us when he's hungry (not often) which is a start. That he is recognizing the sensation is good. I just hope there is nothing wrong and we can get him to eat. At this rate, Sam is going to weigh more than Wil before we know it. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

A link

This says so much of what I have tried to express before, that I will just post the link:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our garden

It's been a while since I've thought about plans for the garden, but now that April is here, we need to plan, start digging, and generally get ready to plant stuff come May.
So, here are a few things I'd like to grow:
  • a fruit tree - apple?
  • tomatoes
  • green beans
  • cucumbers
  • spinach (I think that should go in the ground soon - maybe a planter box?)
  • sweet potatoes
That's probably a good start for this year. I do need to get a few more herbs too. I really like the herbs both as useful in the kitchen and because they smell pretty and usually take little care. 
I think if we get an apple tree, we either need to plant 2 or see if any near neighbors have one that will help cross-pollenate. A dwarf variety would be best both for size and because it would produce fruit sooner (3 years versus 10 for a full-size tree.) Time to start researching trees!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Changing landscape

Disclaimer: I haven't watched anything at this site yet. But, I read about SnagFilms in PARADE Magazine today and wanted to comment about it. The site offers free online viewing of documentaries. What a great idea! 
Sites like Hulu have standard fare, and I can get documentaries from Netflix, but a site that makes it easy to search and view documentaries, which sometimes are publicized as if they were the embarrassing younger brother of fictional films, is wonderful. We've seen some really interesting documentaries in recent years. I'd like to see some more.
I can see this becoming yet another tool in our movie watching (limited though it has been lately by kids and Chris's crazy schedule.)
By the way, PARADE has a poll this week asking if the U.S. should discontinue the penny. Frankly, I'd like to see it go. It would save the government tons of money. While we're at it, let's change the nickel so it costs less than 5¢ to produce and switch completely to $1 coins. Not new ideas, but certainly ones I'd like to see implemented. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It depends which side of the fence you're on

I don't know why I'm in a political mood lately, other than I am reading "The Audacity of Hope" right now. Here's an interesting exercise:
A democratic country in its last election favored the more secular of major political parties. 
The previous election had gone to the party most closely aligned with religious leaders and faith-based governing. Many claimed the election results were a sign that the creator favored the nation; laws based on religious principle were enacted. 
Have you recognized the United States? If the religion were Islam rather than Christianity, and the location the Middle East rather than here, how many people would be up in arms that the country was becoming a theocracy? 
Law and morality can overlap and have much in common, but our laws should be enacted to protect people's individual rights, not enforce the moral values of ANY particular religion. That is the reason we have religions - to help us as parents teach our children our moral values. 
If you can separate legal and moral as concepts, it makes it much easier to see where laws should be applied. Can we take religion out of the law and hope that people use their own judgement in that regard? Can we trust others to act as we would hope? It's amazing how often people live up to our expectations when we expect them to do so.