Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Just Go On and On

So what's new with us?

Skyler seems to think he's in the terrible two stage already and it doesn't help that he's cutting 3 new teeth. He's been furious about everything, and he's getting violent. He keeps hitting and scratching and screaming, even though we do the gentle but firm "we don't hit/scratch, it hurts." etc. I know it's just a phase and it will pass and I love him so much, I just hope to keep a thread of my sanity through it.

There have been many positive things too though. The reason they call it the terrible twos is because the child begins to assert independence. Which to me is really awesome. He's saying more words, including "up" which he uses every morning when I come into the room and he's standing in the crib. He knows that when he wants to be picked up he just needs to tell us "up" and we'll oblige. He recognizes things, like his rubber duck. I handed it to him in the bath the other day without a word and he said "duck!" He's climbing all over the place, and using everything he can find as a push toy to walk with. He's able to point out where mommy and daddy's noses are when asked. All these things make me swell with happiness, children with septo-optic dysplasia often have intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe. His ability to recognize objects and point to things when asked and even name some of them gives me so much hope. I know I will love him for who he is no matter what, but it makes my heart dance with joy when he says new words and does new things.

I haven't been online much because Skyler and I have started our "preschool home school curriculum" or whatever you want to call it. We start off each afternoon with a little rhyme, followed by some songs and sometimes a story, and then I provide him with different activities to choose from or he can choose his own. I don't make him do anything, but I do bring out different toys or activities that he normally wouldn't have. Like crayons or paint and paper (we don't leave those lying around for him, for obvious reasons) or a piece of string to play with (it's good for his fine motor/pincer grasp). Things that might normally be "forbidden" for safety reasons. I like this time because he gets to try something different under close supervision while I talk to him and tell him what's going on and make sure he's not going to choke or get hurt. The lesson plan I made also gives me an idea of what to do for each day, otherwise I'd sit there staring at him, because most of the time I haven't had enough sleep the night before to form a coherent thought let alone come up with an idea for an activity or song to sing.

He loves the "circle time" we do at the beginning when I sing to him, and he dances and sometimes will sing along. This is usually followed by a story where he likes to turn the pages for me. We have our little routine worked out. It starts usually with lunch, then a bath if lunch was particularly messy as it sometimes is (and he now refuses to eat at the kitchen table, more on that in a minute) and then a bottle while I put on his eye patch. We do his preschool stuff, he wears the patch for two hours (which now goes on without a fuss and he manages the full two hours like a pro) and I will sometimes let him watch half an hour of tv, while standing so close that any normal mother would say "move back you're gonna wreck your eyes". Of course I say no such thing as I know that letting him watch tv for a little bit while wearing the patch will help strengthen his weaker eye because it gives him something to focus on and makes his eye work a bit more.

After we take the patch off it's usually about 5 or 5:30 and time for dinner. The last few days he has screamed bloody murder every time I try to put him in the booster seat/chair (and the stroller..) and it's quite obvious to me that it's because he is just far too busy to be tied down to a chair to eat. So we've begun taking meals on the floor. So much for sitting together at the table. But you have to make sacrifices when you have a toddler. Feeding him on the floor works as he's able to wander away after a few bites and then come back to it. It's a pain though because most meals require some sort of cooked meat or dairy and I don't want it to spoil while he is off wandering around and then there's the whole choking hazard thing. I'm just trying to work through this phase while we look for the right toddler sized table and chair set for him. I'm hoping we can get him his own table for eating and crafts so that he might not have to eat off the floor.

We did buy him a small desk/easel today. It's not quite appropriate for eating off of, but it is cute and it has a clip for his paper and he's shown an interest in it already. I'm thinking it will be ideal for finger painting, and maybe colouring with markers when he's a bit older. Lately he's been very interested in my keyboard (musical one not computer, though he likes that too) and we've been working on playing music together. I love that the keys on my keyboard light up. And it has an option to teach you how to play different songs. It will light up each key as you're supposed to press it and wait for you to do so. Skyler will actually on occassion follow the lit up keys and try to play a song. It's so cute.

Anyway I'm sure there's more to say but as of late Skyler doesn't remember what "bed time" means and he's screaming again in his crib. So I'd better go and figure out what to do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yar! Here There Be Treasure

Where have I been all this time? Floating through the days in a daze I suppose. Skyler is doing new things! He has two new words, duck and quack. Coincidence? I think not. He loves to play with his rubber ducks while he sits on the potty, before and after he brushes his teeth. He has several rubber ducks, and we often sing that song about the five litt.le du.cks. You know the one you may remember as the song that made me start sobbing when I was all tripped out on hormones after having him. Haha. Also tonight at the dinner table I kept singing some random melody using only his name over and over and he tried to repeat it and was saying "Kyeh"! That's almost his name. Sort of. Good enough for me anyway.

(Shown here, brushing said teeth. Of which he now has five.)

AND my child is so odd, I love him to bits. We have one of those walking toys (it's a red car that turns into a riding toy, has wheels you push it while you walk, blah blah blah) PT and OT are always asking about that toy because he's not walking on his own yet and it will encourage him. Well I can't get him to use it as a walking toy for the life of me. He will gladly sit and push all the buttons, make it sing all the songs, but the second you try to stand him near it he sits down on his butt. Usually indignant that you would try such a thing. Anyway long story short, I was standing in the kitchen trying to quickly get some dishes done, when he starts ambling over to me, pushing not his toy car but our portable barbeque that we took out of storage the other day. It has a lid with a handle on it and I guess the handle was like the perfect thing because he wouldn't let go of it, even when he kept walking the thing into walls and getting down right p*ssed off about it.

He's really started to become more interested in the world around him in the past week alone. I took him to a play group on Friday with C and normally he would just sit in one spot at these things, clinging to me. But this time he took off, finding every new toy he could, sitting close to new babies/toddlers he'd never met before. He was enthralled. Normally he won't touch anything unfamiliar or even go near it, but now he is all over the place exploring. He also does this weird thing where he moves in a complete circle around an object. I'm thinking he is doing it because he wants to see the entire thing from every angle since he can't see it all at once. He's so smart.

I took him to my mom's on Tuesday and he explored her place like never before, and he found something we don't have at home: stairs. Fortunately we were on the ball and he never got a chance to try them out (or fall down them), maybe next time I'll let him investigate, but for now I'm going with the safer choices. My mom has two cats, one that we've had since I was 14 and one that I got when I lived with my ex. Skyler normally could care less about said creatures, but this time he saw something moving.. he felt something furry, and those cats were not safe. He crawled faster than I'd ever seen him crawl trying to get a hold of those cats. They're pretty calm so they mostly laid there while he petted them gently (and possibly pulled a tail a couple times).

Now on to the most important part of our week. Yesterday was opthalmology. Dr said he's confident Skyler can see out of both eyes, but the left eye is a dominant. It's not really bad, he is still using both eyes, but as he explained sometimes with nystagmus the person will cross the eyes to look at something up close because it makes their eyes stop wiggling and makes the object easier to see. But the issue here is that he is crossing the right one in a bit more than the left. So you know what that means. Pirate baby! Yesterday was our first day patching. We bought the patches right after the appointment and tried it out. The doctor said he didn't expect Sky to let us patch him for the full two hours a day at first, he said not to worry if we started out with 15-30 mins a day for the first while.

Skyler surprised us though. He was mad when we put the patch on (who wouldn't be? we're putting something sticky on his face, and taking away the sight in his better eye) but he calmed down after 5 minutes (and possibly some milk :) and was fine for the entire two hours. Both yesterday and today when we patched him. The only problem so far is the patches ( or whatever they're called) stuck to him really bad when we went to take it off. Yesterday it was awful, worse than ripping off a bandaid and he had glue on his face even after his bath. Today it wasn't as bad. I'm looking into other brands. So far I've seen a few that interest me, but I may have to order them in because our local stores don't seem to carry too many options for toddler size eye patches.

And that's how my week has been going (in as brief a synopsis as I can manage.) how about you?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday in the Countryside

Yesterday we woke up at noon (almost. It was 11:45) packed up the baby, some bottles, and some lunch and headed out into the wilderness. We drove for 2 and a half hours to the goose sanctuary out in one of the provincial parks. It was lovely. We spent the day together as a family enjoying the gorgeous weather. It was much too nice to stay inside. We took a long hike around the beautiful lake where the geese live. As you can see Skyler had a great time, even though he hates putting on sunscreen.

I hope each one of you had lovely weekend as well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Cleaning, organizing, purging and packing are all still underway around here. I find I'm way too easily distracted. I'll be cleaning one closet, then the next minute I remember the diaper liners need to be washed, then I wash those, and then as I'm about to rinse and hang them to dry Skyler wants to play so I wander off to play with him. Then I'm playing for a little bit and remember the dishes need to be washed. And on and on it goes. I'm wondering how I will ever get anything done the way I keep starting things and wandering off to start other tasks. I'm thinking I may need a timer to keep me on task for a while. The only tricky one is the baby because he needs my attention whether I'm doing something else or not. I'd wait until he goes to bed, but I need to do his room and if he's asleep in there I can't be in there. I'd stick him in the exersaucer for a bit but he'd just scream.

Here's hoping I can get at least one or two tasks completed today. As for Skyler he's doing things at his own pace. He's been standing up a little bit more without holding on to anything (still leaning against things behind him, but I will take it) and lowering himself down nice and slow. I've found some infant/toddler curriculums online and I am using them to make my own "lesson plans". I'm going to be done work at the end of June and I am thinking that at the beginning of June once we move I want to begin homeschooling him. So I want to have some activity ideas for us to do during the day. The idea is Skyler will iniate whatever activity he wants to do and I will be there to talk to him and tell him about what he is doing. And the activities are things I want to have available to him each day so that he can choose whether he wants to do them or not.

Some of them are tactile experiences like playing in the water table or digging in the sand. We did this on Mother's day, we had our own little "Beach Party" while Chuck was at work. I took Skyler outside to the park next door where he played in the sand, then since the weather was not beach friendly at all we went back inside and I filled a tupperware tub with water and bubbles and he splashed to his heart's content. Other activities will be ongoing like singing songs and clapping and dancing to music and reading stories. I'd love to let him pick the books to read but he still has little interest in that. Though he will sit and roll a ball back and forth with me for a good 20 minutes and even go to find his ball if I ask him where it is. He's got his own interests, which is awesome.

Cloth diapers are still going well. Most nights we use disposables mainly because both cloth diapers are washed and still drying by bedtime. We still need to pick up a few more, but the store is only open Wednesday to Saturday and we still are short on cash so I'm contemplating what to do. Try to make it with only 2 cloth diapers? Buy another pack of disposables? Buy one or two more cloth diapers? Hmm. I think with luck we might be able to make it to the end of the month before we need to buy more.. We shall see I suppose.

On the 19th Skyler has his opthalmology appointment, and he turns one and a half. It's amazing he will be 18 months, I can hardly fathom. His sight is quite amazing too, I'm noticing him seeing tiny white crumbs on the white linoleum (things I can hardly even see!) and he will go find his ball half way across the room (mind you it's huge and blue, and he might just remember where he pushed it last, but still). He is very visually engaged, he loves exploring things visually and tactually. I'm so lucky to be his mommy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day Three of Cloth Diapering

It's day three and my only complaint about cloth diapering so far is Not enough diapers! In other words I didn't buy enough, which is due largely in part to us having to pay rent for two apartments and not having enough money to buy much of anything. So today cloth diapering is going well, except that he got one diaper dirty, and then peed through the liner of the second one (I didn't put enough liners in, oops) so they are both just drying right now. He should be back in a cloth diaper in an hour or so hopefully.

In other news we probably got the apartment, I think we will know next week. I'm already making plans for how I want to arrange things and how I want to schedule my time. I think it will be much easier to spend time with Skyler in the new apartment. He will have his own room which I am planning on making a completely baby-safe zone. I want him to be able to wander around his room alone if need be without getting into trouble, hurting himself, or eating something he shouldn't. The way things are now (he's in our room and we're in the living room) are not working, I can't let him have free reign anywhere in the apartment because there's just too much he can get into.

The reason he needs to be okay in his room alone is because he will be switching to a toddler bed/mattress on the floor in the near future and I want to know that if he gets up in the night and wanders around his room that there's nothing in there that can hurt him. My plan for the new place is to have "closed door" time with Skyler. Meaning I would leave all my distractions in the living room or wherever, go into Skyler's room with him and close the door and just spend an hour or two with him exploring, singing and reading to him. I want to be able to give him my full attention. I find that right now as it is I'll be singing to him or playing with him and then glance over to the kitchen and remember I have a sink full of dishes to do. So I get up to do the dishes. Or I'll remember the laundry, or someone will text me, or I'll get a message on facebook. You get the idea. There are too many distractions, and I want him to have my undivided attention.

I'm thinking this way we will have a good chunk of time to work on his skills together and maybe I will be able to help him gain some confidence with standing, or get him to start using some words. It doesn't really matter I suppose as long as we are having fun spending time together and I'm not being pulled away by other things which are really less important anyway. I'm also looking forward to having our own room where Chuck and I can relax and be together. It's been so long since we just laid in our own bed together staring at the ceiling and talking about our day. I think it's getting to me. Here's hoping I can make it through May without too many bumps in the road.

Complaint Department

I know I shouldn't complain. I'm just having one of those days. I know I'm so lucky to have my family and Skyler is so wonderful and precious and beautiful. I don't dispute any of that. I'm just feeling a bit frustrated again that he's going to be 18 months in a few days and still won't stand on his own, let alone walk. He furniture cruises like crazy, which is wonderful, but it's been many many months now and he still hasn't made any progress towards walking. His PT suggested a bunch of different activities and I've been trying to do them with him, but the problem is he doesn't want to. And if you've ever tried to make a baby/toddler do something they don't want to do then you will know what I'm talking about here.

I don't want to force him to do anything before he's ready, and it will all come in good time I know this, he will walk and talk when he is ready to and not before. But as a mommy it's frustrating sometimes. We were standing in the store the other day and there was a little guy, about the same size as Skyler with his grama and mom. The grama says all excitedly to the mommy "Look! He's about to take his first few steps!" as the little guy heads towards Skyler. This little guy is standing perfectly on his own, not holding onto anything of course. I gush at how cute he is and ask how old and they tell me he is just about to turn one. And I think wow, I wish Skyler was standing on his own like that. Then we get to the register and the cashier says he's a big boy. I give my head a shake. "Come again?" She says he looks like a big boy. I inform her that he's actually quite small for his age and she asks how old he is. I tell her he's 18 months and she goes "oh, I thought he was 6 or maybe 8 months." Of course you did...

He only weighs 19 pounds with all his clothes on, he still won't say much aside from dada. He's not signing as much as he used to either. Maybe he's just hit a slump and his development will rocket up in a few months. I don't know. He is curious about his world and is engaged and exploring everything, but I'm just waiting for him to make those next steps. To start trying to communicate more and to walk on his own. I know he was born premature, and he's legally blind, I just have to give him time. I guess he's just not in a rush. I don't know why I feel the way I do. And I know it isn't right to want him to do things before he's ready. He will do it in time. I suppose I just hate that thing that all mothers do. They look at your child and go "My child was walking by 8 months. My child can speak in full sentences. My child solves complicated math equations." And even if you don't come across those parents you still find yourself looking at other babies and thinking "well if all those babies can do that why can't mine? Did I do something wrong? How am I failing my baby??"

I suppose I'm probably just feeling like this because I'm alone this weekend and it's Mother's day on Sunda. Chuck usually has Friday and Saturday off, but some other person booked off the whole weekend so now he has to work 12 days straight and I am left sitting at home by myself all night each night staring at the walls or trying to make Skyler eat something at dinner time, and snack time, and well every hour or so I try to get him to eat something. Tonight he managed to eat two and a half bites of his chicken, two tiny spoonfuls of yogurt and a cereal bar. I'm loading him up on milk and formula trying to make up for the fact that he still doesn't want to eat much of anything.

I apologize for all my whinging. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe I will be able to celebrate all the accomplishments and all the things he CAN do instead of the things he can't. But I honestly think that once in a while we all need to take a few minutes to complain, to get our worries/concerns/annoyances/problems off our chest and maybe take the time to figure out a solution or to find a better way to look at the situation. I hope everyone takes the time to do the same when they need to.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Baby

Skyler shows off one of his new cloth diapers. We're on day two now of cloth diapering, and so far I love it. The diapers are adorable, and since we're using liners we don't need to wash the diapers unless he soaks right through. We have a ton of microfibre cloth liners that we tuck into his diaper (two at a time) and once he pees through them we just toss them into the wash pile and put in clean ones and a disposible liner and we're good to go. The diaper itself is sooo soft and he seems to have more movement with it. So far no red lines, no diaper rash, no leaks and no complaints. I'll keep you updated as it goes. Also the colours are just adorable, we got him a bright blue one (in the picture) and a bright red one. When we bought them the shop owner remarked on our choice of "superman" colours. I told her he is our superbaby. We plan on going back on Friday to buy some more since we are loving it so far.

Washing the liners and diapers is no problem. We ran them in a load of laundry to start (with biodegradable specially formulated laundry soap) and dried them in the dryer, and they came out fluffy and clean. And I've been handwashing in the interim and hanging them up to dry. Handwashing them takes only a few minutes and it's easy to do. All in all, I'm loving the cloth diapering thing so far. I can't wait to get him some more tomorrow.

In other news we got (almost) approved for the apartment we applied for. One more step and hopefully we will have a new place to live in June. And I got my course materials from Hadley School for the Blind for my course entitled The Human Eye. Hopefully I can finish my first assignment tonight. I got half way through it and then thought I had better take a nap. Of course Skyler decided to wake up as soon as I almost fell asleep. Sigh. So now I must keep him occupied until bedtime and hopefully then I will be able to finish it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Diapers

So the potty training is going well. Skyler seems to be back to normal. He's been sleeping through the night mostly (though he is definitely teething I can see at least one tooth breaking the gums right now.) waking up around 4am here and there though. He's also eating more, but he whines at times because food hurts his gums. With the exception of how he is fed. He will no longer allow you to give him anything on a spoon or put food into his mouth. He has to pick up the food and feed himself. He's definitely increasing his independence.

Now back to potty training, he is still using the potty almost everyday. Most times he will do both 1 & 2 at the same time. He almost always does 2 if nothing else. Which is fantastic. Also we are almost out of size 4 diapers. We have a bag of size 5s left over from the baby shower, which I think we may try using. But running out of diapers has made me realize that we spend way too much on disposables, and that maybe it's time to reconsider our original plan. When I was pregnant with Sky, C and I had decided we would use cloth diapers, but then we got a ton of disposibles from the baby shower, and he was born preemie and there just wasn't a lot of time to figure it all out.

So now, fast forward 18 months I'm thinking of trying it out. The plan is to buy a couple of cloth diapers (two different kinds) and just give it a try for a few weeks. We'll use them during the day and use disposibles at night. That way we'll get a feel for whether or not we want to go full time cloth diapers or just part time. I like that it's better for the earth, better for baby's bottom, and honestly I think cloth diapers are just so much cuter than disposibles. They're a bit more work, but not as much as they used to be when I was a baby. There are a lot more options now. I think I found a couple that sound pretty enticing so far. There's a diaper store in my city I didn't even know about that specializes in cloth diapers. So I've already decided on the ones I want by looking at their website. The only problem is they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays so I have to wait until tomorrow to go pick them up. Sometimes I hate being impatient.

I know they're a bit pricey, and I will need inserts, but I plan on making those myself. Also they pretty much pay for themselves after a few months because that's less disposibles I have to buy each month. And my favourite part is that they can last for years, meaning I can use the same diapers with Skyler's (potential) siblings as I did with Skyler. So if we really like cloth diapering we can add to our collection and then not have to worry about buying more once we have the next baby. I can't wait until tomorrow. Wish me luck. :P