'We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.'
-Dr. Suess

Monday, October 7, 2013

Get back into blogging

I just examined my blog today and found several unfinished posts.  I always save them and say I'll go through them later and edit them.  You know make sure everything makes sense and that there are no embarrassing typos, and then I never do.  So hopefully I'll run through those and update in the next couple of days, but they seemed so outdated I thought I would just start over.  So updates in the house of Walther.  Jeff and I bought a new car!  Yes it is very exciting.  We have been driving the same car I had in high school, and it has been through quite a bit.  I was surprised though I was a little sad that we would be letting it go.  I've become attached to its quirks.  Jeff and I feel so spoiled now that we have a car that the gas gauge works, the trunk closes first try, the a.c. works, radio works, and the gauge doesn't say that the engine is hot and about to explode.  So we are loving our 2006 Honda Accord.  Nicest car either of us has ever driven, but who knows if that is saying much.
It is crazy to think we have now been in our house for one year.  Wow time really flies.  One year with now school and I really do miss it sometimes.  We have made some improvements in the past year.  We bought our air conditioner, and thank goodness we did.  I don't think I would have survived the summer without it.  We also got our sprinkler system in the front and the back and grass in the front (which is finally starting to look decent).  We also got a bed put into our basement as I have been told I need to have a place for guests since our house is so close to the freeway, and I have an empty basement.  Our next project is going to be cutting down 50 ft trees in the back yard and that is going to be quite a project, but it will be worth it when there isn't the imminent threat of them breaking and falling on our house this winter.
So onto Liam.  Crazy that he is now 19 months old, and in nursery.  Woo hoo.  Still cant say he's a fan.  Every time I look in he is being held, but he stays there the whole time and is getting better.  We are just starting to move on through the stranger anxiety.  So sleep with Liam.  It was going so well for about 2 weeks he was sleeping from 8-6 and them went back to sleep til 7:30.  However, the past 3-4 days he has started waking up 4-5 times a night screaming like crazy.  No idea what is wrong.  Hopefully it is just temporary sleep regression, or I wonder if he has been having night terrors.  So we tried cry it out again, but I just cant do it.  Liam will not lay down and will just stand there and scream.  When I go in after the 3 min, 5 min etc...he would just lay against me through the crib and would fall asleep standing up and then scream when you try to lay him down.  After an hour I just stood by the crib and he eventually calmed down and went to sleep.  I've read all the books on the different sleep techniques and they worked but for the last few weeks nothing.  So currently we put a normal mattress on Liam's floor so we could lay by him at night and get some sleep.  That worked for a few nights, but last night was rough.  Hopefully tonight will be the night that he sleeps.
Other than the sleeping he is doing really well.  Vocabulary has really increased, as we enter the big phase of acquiring language.  He says a lot of words and I was actually trying to add them all up the other day, but then I keep thinking of ones that I had forgotten about.  He loves going places and going on walks, but he doesn't like to ride in the stroller anymore.  He likes to go everywhere himself.  Here is Jeff's favorite thing Liam has been doing recently.  We were watching the BYU football game, and Jeff says "look Liam football" and raises his hands above his head.  So Liam looks at the TV puts his arms up like he is calling a touchdown and yells "football"  (As Liam says it Buball).  So now whenever Liam sees football he does this and he signs that he wants more whenever football goes to commercial.
Liam is also obsessed with watching baby videos on youtube.  It is one of his favorite things.  Liam has never had any interest in movies or tv shows, but goodness he loves baby videos.  He also loves watching Tangled whenever they are singing, but has no interest in any of the dialogue.  He just likes to watch the songs over and over.  The kid loves his music.  When we watched conference he would stop whatever he was doing to watch the choir sing and would cry and sign for more whenever they stopped.
Other than some serious sleep deprivation we are doing pretty well, and hopefully I will get some ZZZs soon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Liam update

I keep wondering what it will feel like to sleep through an entire night again.  There are days when I definitely feel exhausted, but then others I just feel normal.  Is it just that night-time wakings have been happening for so long I dont know how to feel any other way? Or...is the day going to come that I sleep  an entire night and I'm going to come out of some exhausted fog that I didn't even realize I'd been in.  It is a mystery that is yet to be seen.  So the sleep department is still not where I want it to be with Liam, but it has improved since the past couple months of ear infections, sickness, teething, more sickness, more teething, and so on.  He now usually wakes up once at midnight, then at 3 or 4, and then usually wants to sleep being held from 6 o'clock on.  Sometimes I don't really know how good or bad a night was as I just fall asleep in the chair accidentally when I wake up with him.  It is nicer that Jeff can usually put him back to sleep now, so that gives me a little break.  When he was sick he would only let me be with him, so that is a most definite improvement.  As far as napping, he spoiled me last week and would take 3 hour naps every day, but I think he was just teasing me and getting my hopes up since he has gone back to just one nap for an hour and a half.  Nursing, yeah we are still nursing, enough said.

So on to his fun stuff...

Social:  He is super social, it's kind of rough on his anti-social parents.  My family was here a week ago to help us get our sprinkling system and grass in, and he loved it when everyone was here.  He was super low maintenance, hardly ever fussy, and really entertained himself well.  He loves it when there are lots of people to look at him, and applaud when he does anything cute.  He is always really sad when we have visitors and they leave, poor guy.

Speech (and other stuff):  He still talks mostly in his gibberish, but adds lots of intonation and different emphasis.  He is really into pointing at what he wants, and gets mad if you don't get what he means.  We do have a few words now.  He says mama, which he mainly uses when he wants something.  Then its the shriek of MAMA!  He has called Jeff dada as well.  His first really clear word was doggie, and he loves looking at doggies.  He doesn't really like being close to dogs, but will watch them for forever from a distance.  He also says shoes, and the kid has a shoe obsession.  I didn't really have any shoes for him, but recently was given a shipment of a ton of shoes from a cousin to use.  He then brought me shoes to try on for an hour.  The really funny thing was his favorite were these pair of Lightening McQueen slippers.  He loved them and would make us put them on him and he would just prance around the room like he was so cool.  Funny thing is he has never seen the movie, has no real reference to what it is (I've been trying to do the no TV before two).  He does have a Lightening McQueen walker/car, but thats it.  He had to have these slippers with him constantly for a while.  When we were walking they fell off his feet while he was in the stroller, and he just started sobbing.  It took me a while to realize that he was upset because he had lost his slippers.  So when I picked them up from the bottom of the stroller, you heard an audible sigh and smiled so big.

Motor:  Walking very proficiently.  Now starting to run quite well.  He can put different shapes into the holes of whatever those toys are called.  He loves pushing things, the stroller, the grocery cart.  He used to be so easy to shop with, and now he is a nightmare.

Swimming:  Yes, when you are me swimming gets its own category now.  Our new rec center just opened today!  Liam and I went swimming for the first time in quite a while, as Provo has had no pool opened for a while.  Liam loved it.  We were in the pool for two hours.  I was quite impressed.  He went under water on his own...accidentally, several times.  It never made him cry, but would kind of freak him out.  Definitely need to work on that.  We need to get it to where he enjoys it.  He loved jumping into the water to mama so that was lots of fun.  He also liked the slides and playing on the stairs.  Hopefully things will get even better now its summer time.  Woo hoo.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Parental philosophies...will be the death of me

The past couple of weeks have been very rough in the sleeping department.  Which leads to a very strained relationship between Liam and myself, at least in the middle of the night.  Seriously sleep problems seem to be the kryptonite to us supermamas.  It all started with my desire to start weaning.  There are days when I am just like I am done with this.  I want my body back to myself.  Then there is the other side of the coin which is breastfeeding is so easy!  I dont have to take snacks or bottles, and if I feed Liam he is magically asleep.  So that is hard to give up.  Plus Liam will NOT take a bottle, even a sippy he isn't a huge fan of, he likes a normal cup.  Anyway I decided to try to cut out the night feeding for Liam, and then sleep fell apart...he would wake up every hour, and would not go back into the crib.  I've tried co-sleeping several times, but Liam is not really good to sleep with.  He likes to be sitting up in the chair rocking.  So I've given up on the weaning for now.  All the reasons of wanting to give up are just selfish personal reasons on my part, and he finds it comforting and I dont want to take that away.  During the day he only nurses once usually.  After this we had just started getting back and then Liam got sick...curses.  He had the terrible cough, fever, lethargy, etc...I was really close to taking him in to instacare.  So this lead to a few more sleepless nights.  Then I felt what I think to be his molars coming in...never ends.  Last night I only got about two hours of sleep.  I made the mistake of reading an article that says the average mom loses at least 2-3 months of sleep in their baby's first year.  The thought of it saddens me when I think of how magical sleep is.  So if this post is full of typos and poor sentence construction please excuse me.

So these difficulties have lead me to examine my philosophies on parenting, or my lack thereof.  I've researched all the different sleep training methods, cry it out, baby whisperer, etc...I don't know.   Since Liam was born we have always had the established bedtime routine.  Bath, lotion massage, book, bed.  Overall I tend to lean to the more baby led parenting I guess.  I decided to keep breastfeeding since it stressed Liam out when I tried to stop, so I decided he is probably not ready.  Then there is sleep training.  The other night I was so tired I just said that we had to try letting him cry it out.  Yeah did not work.  I did the whole thing where you stretch the times that you go in, but everytime I went in he would get more and more upset.  So we did this for over an hour and he just stood in his crib and cried.  It's not in me to do it.  I'm a wimp.  I guess in the end every kid is different and I will just do what works for master Liam.  I want to keep bedtime and sleep a positive experience and not something stressful, but again every kid is different and no judging how other parents do it.

The other sad thing is Liam will only do one nap now.  Sigh.  I tried and fought it but now I've given in.  The odd thing is that he wants his nap in the morning not in the early afternoon which is better for timing out waking up and bedtime.  So we are slowly working on that.

Anyway on to his cute stuff.  He is a lot of fun, and super cute.  He is a very straightforward kid in that he will just do things when he is ready right on track.  He never really showed interest in crawling and then suddenly was like ok it's time to crawl and he did.  He has been the same way with walking, which he now does very proficiently.  He walks everywhere, and he wants people to be watching him  and  he will smile at them and look so proud of himself.  Still such a ham.

So language wise Liam does say mama, but still usually just when he is in his crib and wants me.  Its more a whine then a happy word.  He also says baa, moo, ruff, and quack with his animal see and say.  Also when we are out walking and dogs bark at us he barks back.  He also will say uh huh when we are talking to him.

Socially he still loves attention, and loves to perform his stuff for everyone

Motor as I said he is walking, he turns around, stands up on his own from the floor.  He also dances.  Baby dances are so cute.  He loves to turn our keyboard onto the automatic drum beats and he just sits there and bobs to the beat.  Then to music he'll stand up and do his little squat dance.

Wow it's been quite a post.  How am I?  Alive, I guess that's whats most important.  TTFN (tata for now)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Little Monster just turned ONE

Hard to believe but my not so little baby is now one!  We had lots of fun on his birthday and Liam enjoyed all the attention and commotion.  Since so many people were up here I tried to have a little monster theme around his birthday  (inspired by pinterest).  It seemed fitting since Liam has a hobby of roaring at everything, and he thinks its so funny.  I'm always trying to find new projects to occupy myself with, so I really enjoyed making the stuff.  I first made Liam this monster onesie.  I need to get away from all the onesie projects, I'm getting an obsession, and its getting to be so it wont be worth it as Liam isn't going to be able to fit into onesies for much longer.  So here is Liam in his monster outfit.  I was quite pleased, he looked really cute.  I was going to be really ambitious and attempt a fondant cake, but everything was so crazy that it never happened.  My one other project for his birthday was to make these monster stuffies for all the kids.  I had them in a little tote that said "Adopt a Monster" I wasn't sure how it was going to go over but all the kids seemed to like it.  I'm sad I forgot to take a picture of all of them with their monsters together, but here is the one I made for Liam.

All the kids had fun and Liam especially enjoyed having cake for a couple of days.  Here are a few more pictures from his birthday.  He was stained blue for the rest of the day.


After Liam's birthday Jeff and I got to go to his work  Christmas  Christmas/Valentines party.  It was quite the event.  It was up at Thanksgiving Point in their ballroom.  They did a 1930's casino theme, so we had a lot of fun dressing up.  Plus it was definitely our longest  date since Liam has been born.  Probably our first real date since Liam.  We have been to a movie I guess but usually it was just rushing to the theatre and then home again.  Anyway it was so much fun.  They had the Utah swing band play, and they had given us dance lessons the preceding week.  When we got there they gave each person a chip  worth $500 and then had a bunch of games like blackjack, roulette, craps...(Jeff had to tell me what they all were).  So I learned how to play blackjack right there.  All the other games usually had too big of a crowd around them so we mainly did blackjack.  Then at the end of the night every $100 you had bought a raffle ticket for prizes.  They did a drawing for a ton of stuff like paid days off, ski passes, spa passes, golf, 5 big tvs, a wii u, ipad mini, just to name a few, but of course we didn't win anything.  One day I might actually win at something.  I had a professor at BYU say whenever you're in a drawing to fold your paper in half so we did that with all our tickets, but it failed.  A lot of other people did it too, I guess we all had the same professor.  Here are some pictures from our extraveganza.  So it was an exciting weekend, hopefully I'll post some of the projects I have been doing next time I post.  Here some extra pictures of Liam.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Confessions of a Swim Teacher

In my search for subjects to post about, I decided to go on a little rant, hence the post title.  I have taught swim lessons for several years now, both in large classes and privately, and I've been a swim coach.  As this has come up with various people in my ward, other parents I've come across, and just past interactions with the parents of kids I've been teaching, I've been amazed at the attitudes towards teaching a child to swim.  Granted their are both good and bad teachers out there, and not everything works for every single child, but many parents just think that one negative experience means their child just isn't cut out for swimming.  I've also taught scouts and I am amazed at how many 12-13 year old boys can barely swim.  It shocks me.  I've always thought of swimming as an important life skill that could save my life one day, and I have been able to save lives with it, and it provided me with a great job for years and years.  As I try to think of what to tell parents to make their kid a good swimmer, I thought of the advice I would give moms in the "mommy and me" swim classes I taught, and thought I would write them so I remember to do them, and perhaps if someone reads this you can try to incorporate it.
          #1.  Never....NEVER EVER teach a child to plug their noses.  Ugh biggest pet peeve ever! It is such a habit that is nearly impossible to break.  How can you swim under the water with two arms if one is holding your nose.  If you blow the air out of you nose and mouth I promise no water goes up.  I do back flips under water and I never (well almost never) get water up my nose.  My mom in teaching us to swim never let us plug our nose, as she does and cant swim without doing it.  When I was teaching mothers would be behind me miming to their child to plug their nose...DONT DO IT.
      #2.  You want your kid to be a good swimmer?  You need to take them to the pool often.  One or two sessions of swim lessons will never cut it.  The kids that are good are the pool rats that are there every day.  As a teacher I cant work magic, being comfortable and familiar is necessary.  Its like any other skill and requires frequent practice.  So mothers, fathers take them.  That is the most important thing.
     #3.  If you want the kiddo to be more than just a proficient swimmer.  Skip swim lessons as soon as they can make it 25 meters (or depends on particular teams qualifications) and go to swim team.  Swim team gets them the endurance, and provides the competition.  Its lots of fun, and usually a lot more value for your money.  Don't underestimate kids.  Kids as young as five (some younger) compete and can do great.
     #4.  Hold off on goggles as long as you can.  Parents sometimes introduce goggles way to early.  Although sometimes this is the only way to get a kid interested.  I never used goggles except for racing and even there I would do ok without, but then I was cursed with having to wear contacts.  I miss the days of no goggles.  Opening eyes under the water wont hurt them and you get used to it.
     #5.  With babies introduce them early.  Let them get water in their face.  Don't be too fast to wipe it off.  Let them get used to the sensation.  Bring toys.  Diving rings happen to be my favorite.  You can submerge babies.  Blow a gust of air in their face and they will inhale, and you can dunk them really quick, but only if you're comfortable.  I've done this with Liam several times.

So there is my long rant of the century.  Sorry its been on my mind as I've been considering starting to teach private swim lessons again.

So as far as what has been happening.  We have just been freezing in this frozen wasteland of Provo.  Even though I was finally able to take my running stroller out on the sidewalk today, it felt so nice.  I hate being trapped indoors and I seriously do not remember this much cold and snow in Provo.  Liam is turning one in just a couple of weeks which I can't believe.  Time has flown by.  He is doing great and is what I describe as "high maintenance happy".  Overall he is very happy and goofy, but he isn't one who just likes to be left to his own devices.  He likes to be played with constantly and entertained.  I gave him his first drink of cows milk the other day and wow did he love it.  It was a really cute reaction.  Sleeping was going really well and I thought I had finally made the major breakthrough, but then things just got really bad and I was just about at the end of my rope, then things have started going good again.  Now I guess I just better not get used to it.  He should be walking pretty soon, but he sure crawls really fast.  So in next post I will have less ranting and pictures of our one year old!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Generic Blog Post

I keep thinking I should blog more frequently, and I always think I have lots of things to say, but then I start writing and draw a complete blank.  Here is what we have been up to.

For Christmas we went down to Toquerville hoping for warm weather because can I just say I DO NOT remember Provo being this cold in the past five years that I've lived here, and it probably doesn't help that we keep our house at 60 degrees.  Anyway so Christmas was full of fun.  We went sledding Christmas Eve, which still hasn't gotten to the point where it is fun with Liam.  He does not like being restricted by a bulky snowsuit and his hands covered by mittens, but I got to sled a couple of times which was fun.  Christmas day we hiked out to Devil's hole, nearly every couple lugging a baby as 3 of my siblings all have babies the same age as Liam.  We also went swimming in St. George which Liam loved, and went out psuedo-hiking at Dixie Rock.  Then everyone got sick (with the exception of us fortunately) which ended most of the outdoor fun.  It was great and Liam got a bunch of empty boxes because we are cheap and a ride-on/push car (so you know we aren't heartless).  I wanted to get him something that he would like for a few years and all the 3 and 5 year olds really liked it so I think I succeeded.

Now I've been staying home with Liam all day, which usually means I go out with him all day because if I stay inside all day I tend to go nuts.  It still is weird that I wont be going to school or buying books,  I got my real deal diploma in the mail and it just hit me that I had really graduated.  Anyway, winter makes things much more difficult though because then I have to lug my baby, who is already plenty bulky on his own, in full snow gear.  Then you go inside and have to take it off and put it on.   So there is my rant on my dislikes of winter.

So its hard to believe, but Liam will be 1 next month.  So crazy, but here is what he has been up to.
        -Social Skills:  He is still a real show off, but now we are starting to see some separation anxiety.  Mainly if I'm around he just has to be clinging to me or climbing all over me.  It's been driving me slightly crazy.  He loves people looking at him, but likes to keep me close.
      -Sleeping:  Some slight improvement.  Last night he woke up once right before I went to bed, and then one time in the middle of the night.  He also woke up at 6 and then went back to sleep until 7:30, but I guess that's technically not in the night.  So hopefully we are almost there
     -Eating:  He recently got sick again.  Grr.... sickness up here has been outrageous.  So he stopped for a while and is now just starting to get back into it again.  My main problem has been that he doesn't like me to cut things up small for him.  He wants it whole just like I have it, but of course he will just shove the whole thing in his mouth, but he gets mad if I try to feed it to him or cut it up.  So independent where I don't want him to be, but less independent where I would like him to be.
     -Motor:  Still crawling but he is fast.  He just found where our stairs are so I will probably have to break down and buy a gate.  He can crawl up just fine but he is still trying to figure out how to do down.  He can walk behind his car but isn't really showing any interest in trying it on his own yet.
     -Language:  Lots of jabbering and imitating.  He loves it if we repeat whatever he jabbered.  He will say mama if he is tired and whiny but I still don't think he has linked it to me yet, still just sound play.  Jabbering has adult like prosody, and he definitely likes to experiment with voice volume.  Here is a video of him jabbering away.