Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Well, today it appears that our little guy is a quick learner. Yes, he has turned from the bitee to the biter! Luke has a healthy set of teeth now and has been sinking them into varying body parts of his parents recently, and always received a stern 'No Bite Lukas!' response from both of us. He seems to be learning that this is not acceptable behavior at home . Hopefully this is just a phase he is going through at daycare. Today he bit two of the other kids in the baby room and apparently knocked another over the head with a bucket!
Perhaps he is just practicing his self defense skills in anticipation of the move. As we left the daycare today, he was wrestled to the floor and scratched across the face by an older boy in the pre-tod room (o.k., only four months older) who just minutes later purposefully smacked another kid in the face several times. Yes, it was the end of the day and the little ones were tired, but this little boy (a.k.a. "The Nemesis") seemed to enjoy the painful cries that resulted from his actions and smiled with glee when doing his deeds. The Nemesis is almost a full head taller than Lukas, and a wee bit more aggressive than we have seen in the baby room.
I asked one of Luke's caregivers if this was a phase that all the kids go through and he responded by indicating that he thought Lukas was bored with the infant room and is just ready to move. I agree. He really wants to be interacting with the older kids - the toys are cooler, he gets to sit on a chair at a table at meal time, and there's a lot more room to roam. However, Mrs. LIAYF and I also suspect he is biting because he's learning it from the older kids (perhaps, The Nemesis). Well, only two more days in the infant room and he moves in with the pre-tods. I guess then we'll know for sure!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The town, being in the opposite direction of the way we usually drive to visit home, is not a place we pass through very often, and for good reason. It is out of the way, not unlike most other small towns in rural America, with a few struggling businesses, an identity centered around its High School, and a few well maintained houses amidst many other ramshackle homes with weedy and junk-filled lawns. It is however, the town of my youth, and thus passing through for the first time in a while sparked many fond memories. I learned to play baseball on the old little league field. I spent many evening and holiday nights with my parents at the aged and weathered local Grange Hall (no doubt stirring up some sort of trouble). Those memories, though nearly 30 years old, still managed to bring a smile to my face.
After passing through town, we took the back road to the farm. This was the road the school bus carried me home on so many afternoons. It was once so familiar to me that I could have driven it, with all its twists, turns, and steep shoulder drop offs blindfolded, in my 74' Malibu - the cassette player blaring out some 80's iconic song (most likely a Van Halen ballad). Yesterday though, there was no blindfold. Only the smell of freshly cut hay bales, wrapped the day before by my brother Ron. Those giant marshmallows dotted the fields and reminded me of some life-sized surrealist pastoral landscape placed just so, in a museum, to make you stop, drown out all other thoughts and ponder their meaning.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Not much harm in missing a lunch, but there are bigger things as well, such as completely forgetting that I had a pre-operation appointment a week before my recent knee surgery. Or, worse, forgetting about a high-level lunch with the boss of my boss, also known as 'The Big-Boss'. Luckily, it was a social lunch with several others invited, but still it didn't look good and was precipitated by the fact that it totally slipped my mind, and that I didn't get an Outlook reminder (Yes, The Big Boss was skeptical also). Unfortunately, these things both big and small are happening with much more frequency in the past year and I am beginning to question my organizational approach to life.
Why might this be happening? Let's recount the facts: (1) I am the big 4-0 now. Nuff said. (2) I am a new dad. Ok, Lukas is over a year old so am I really still a new dad? (3) I am an involved dad. Mrs. LIAYF works full time, so we share the household duties pretty evenly. (4) I am blogging regularly now and distracted. And, (5) I have a job that requires me to problem solve all day long, and make decisions on the fly, so I am used to keeping things in my head and not taking notes (this means I am also the type of person who believes that I can use my mental compass to figure out which direction to drive in a strange town, and have generally had great success with this approach).
Personally, I think my memory problems are not the result of one of these factors, but a combination of all of them. But, I am not sure what combination. What I do know is that I want to address this before I forget something really important, or something that could affect Lukas' safety. I am realizing that what I believe I will remember, and what I actually do, don't completely reconcile. So, when Mrs. LIAYF lists four things for me to get at the grocery store and tells me to write it down, I need to do just that instead of rolling my eyes because it is only four things and I can't be bothered. In other words, I need to make good use of the organizational tools at my disposal - pencil, paper and a pocket (or my palmpilot!).
It is a great feeling to know that you can improvise well and solve problems. But, it is high time I concentrate more on making sure there are fewer situations, rather than more, where improvisation is required. How about you? Did your memory begin to fail more when you became parents? Or about when you reached a certain age?
Please tell me I am not just lazy, or just getting old!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Well, they are raising funds for a very good cause. The Joesph Salmon Trust, a charity set up by Dan's good friends Neil and Rachel in memory of their son, Joseph who tragically, at 3 years old, went to sleep one night seemingly healthy and never awoke. Please consider visiting Dan's site, to read more about the walk, or more specifically to make a small donation (or large if you possibly can) to this worthy cause. Just click on the Joseph Salmon icon in the upper right corner of his site or the donate link just below. You can then spend the rest of the weekend with the wonderful feeling that you have just made the world a smaller, and better place. Because you would have done just that. Thanks.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Mrs. LIAYF and I did have one recent daycare issue, though. Now that Lukas is past the one year mark, he is taking all fluids out of a sippy rather than a bottle. As soon as this transition occurred, they pushed us heavily to switch him to cow's milk during the day, rather than supporting our desire to continue feeding him breastmilk out of a sippy cup. This did not sit well with me, and especially not well with Mrs. LIAYF who is making a terrific effort to continue breastfeeding and pumping (and scalding her milk because of excess lipase), knowing how beneficial it has been shown to be for toddlers well into the second year and beyond.
Our daycare would give him the milk in a specific hard plastic sippy cup, which was different from the sippy we use at home, and when he wouldn't drink much of it, they immediately assumed that he didn't want the milk. They made statements to us like "He probably just wants what the other kids are having" or "He is trying to indicate that he is ready to move on to cow's milk." This was despite our insistance that we didn't witness the same reluctance at home and that we needed to give him a bit more time to adapt to their type of sippy. We got the distinct impression that they were trying to transition him for their convenience, not his. I actually had the infant room manager tell me that, they would have to give him cow's milk if he didn't start drinking the breast milk better out of a sippy. This was after only a couple of days without an actual bottle.
All of this was accompanied by an atmosphere where it was not actually said, but implied, that we were being difficult about this decision and that we should just get out of their way and let them do things the way they do for all the other kids. We had to endure a few snide little asides that were laughed off as jokes, odd looks from the staff, and a general sense of tension when I would go to visit or at pick up and drop off. All of this, and we never once raised our voices to them, or were anything but pleasant while dealing with the frustration. Mrs. LIAYF even got off work early a few days to come in to nurse Lukas at daycare and talk to the manager about the health benefits of extended breastfeeding.
Now, I do want to say that these are a very nice group of people who are doing a great job taking care of our son and we totally trust them with his care. The rub was with that fact that we wanted to continue to do what we thought was best for our son and doing so seemed to make things a bit more difficult on them. It was not the what 'normal' parents would do, so we met with resistance. It was uncomfortable, to say the least, for a several days.
In the end we sought out a solution. We asked that they try different cups with Lukas, and it was exactly what was needed. Once they gave him a different cup (one the pre-toddlers were using) and took out the cup's flow restrictor, he began drinking the breastmilk rather well and the situation eased. I applaud Mrs. LIAYF for being firm in her resolve about this. She kept me on point when I wanted to smooth things out and compromise where we had no business doing so. It is the type of decision that is not easy, but needed to be made for Luke's well being. I have learned something from her once again.
It certainly won't be the last time!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
In my previous post 'The Year Without a Santa Clause' I talked about our decision to give up television just before Lukas was born. Yes, we did give up cable and local TV channels and it was difficult at first, but moments and meals like that which I described from this morning, happen much more frequently now, without the background hum and chatter of the previously ever present tube. I will admit (and if you read this blog regularly, both of you will realize) that Mrs. LIAYF and I have not completely given up watching media altogether. After we put Lukas to bed in the evening, have cleaned up the dishes and toys from the evening dinner and play time, and have taken care of any pressing family business, such as paying bills, calling family, or ordering groceries, we will sit down and watch one episode of whichever series we are currently getting delivered from NetFlix. We just ended the 4th season of 'The Wire' (a great series), and are dabbling with a few other shows, while we wait for season 5 to be released sometime in August. We enjoy this time to ourselves in the evening to unwind and are happy that we can have control over how much time we spend in front of our television set.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
In honor of the 4th of July holiday, Luke has been feeling rather independent of late. As the picture shows, he is determined to take his meals with the proper utensils, while doing so himself. He gets so excited when he actually gets the spoon into his bowl of chosen cuisine, and successfully navigates said utensil to his own mouth. This normally results in a huge toothy smile that says, "I do it" even though he can't quite speak those words yet. He is rather proud of himself and woe to the parent who would try to take away his spoon after a few of those attempts have gone awry, resulting in food flying in all directions, ala an 'Animal House' esque food fight!
Eating is not the only activity where our little one has demonstrated a new found Independence. Lukas is very helpful recently when we are getting him dressed or when we are dressing ourselves for that matter. Luke has discovered what shoes of all shapes and sizes are really all about and demonstrates this knowledge by bringing one of 'dada' or 'mama's' shoes over to us and setting it gently on top of our foot for us to put on (never mind he set one of Mrs. LIAYF's red flats on my foot the other day, it's all good). He does likewise with socks too. Currently we are dressing Luke in a pair of sandals with Velcro straps, and just a couple of days ago he also started to grab the strap and Velcro it closed himself. He really wants to do these things himself and shows a great sense of pride when he completes one of these tasks (of course, this is also accompanied by resounding praise from the ever present parental units).
All of this new found Independence, coupled with the passing of Lukas' 1st birthday, serves as further notice to Mrs. LIAYF and I that our infant is an infant no longer. He is a toddler now, and as such is growing into a little boy. A little boy who likes to use his own spoon and put on his own shoes. Tomorrow there will be another development and I will be equally amazed at that.
It has only been a year but I see how 18 of these could go by in the blink of an eye and, as such, am determined not to miss out on a minute of the fun!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
After a up and down day, where Mrs. LIAYF and I split the day at home with Luke, his fever suddenly jumped this evening. His temperature reached 103.9F, he was very lethargic, fussy and glassy-eyed. We called our local consulting nurse who advised us that in addition to teething, he is probably fighting a virus. The nurse also informed us that fevers above 103F cause some babies to have seizures! That was scary news and something we did not have to worry about all through his first year. So, as advised by the nurse, we dosed him up with Tylenol, gave him a luke-warm bath, and Mrs. LIAYF nursed him to sleep early. We have to wake him up at 10 and 2 to give him more 'baby-crack' to avoid a temperature spike while he sleeps.
He is sleeping soundly now. Wish him a speedy recovery!
p.s. Mrs. LIAYF wants you all to know we did NOT pose Lukas for a photo while he was feverish and sick. This is an archived photo!