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Todd at 9.5 months old - June 7, 2015

Todd at 9.5 months old – June 7, 2015

(MAY 21 – JUNE 21)


Todd’s first tooth…but not the way you’d think!

On the afternoon of May 26th, I was taking clothes out of the dryer and Todd–always right on my heels– stood up at the open dryer door as he’s done several times before.  He usually picks at the laundry.

This time, something caused him to slip, and he bonked his face against the metal door.  He cried and I saw blood on his left cheek.  I was able to locate the source of the bleeding, which was inside his mouth at his right upper gum.  It appeared swollen.  Todd calmed down quickly with a hug and a bottle of cold formula. (Todd’s been drinking his formula cold ever since he was less than a month old.  This time, the cold must have been soothing to the area.)

Within 15 minutes of the incident, Todd was back to his “old self”:  playing, smiling, and putting toys in his mouth.  There was little residual bleeding.  I made an e-mail inquiry to a local pediatric dentist.

Todd had a good night’s sleep and we had an uneventful morning on May 27th.  Then, at some point after lunch (Todd ate cantaloupe, curried vegetables, applesauce and green smoothie), I found a tooth near where he was standing, looking out the window.  A TOOTH?

Todd's right front top tooth - May 27, 2015

Todd’s right front top tooth – May 27, 2015

It was his upper right front tooth!  I looked at it in disbelief.  I knew it had to be his, but I couldn’t believe that he could knock out a tooth that hadn’t even started to come in yet!  I tried to get a thorough look inside his mouth, but it was impossible because Todd declined my attempts.  I phoned the dentist office, but they made it sound like it wasn’t an urgent matter.

Once Todd fell asleep on me at bedtime, I was able to palpate his upper gums with my clean finger and I could feel a spongy depression in the frontal plane, where the missing tooth had been.  The opposite side had its familiar firmness.  I was able to snap this picture, which shows the bloody area and the “slit” where the tooth must have slipped out.

View of "missing" right front top tooth - May 27, 2015

View of “missing” right front top tooth – May 27, 2015

On May 28th, I decided that Todd should be seen by a dentist.  I called several places, and Dr. Olga Ortuzar, at Children’s Dental Center (Everett, WA), was nice enough to accommodate us that afternoon.  She was fantastic!  She explained that the tooth slipped out because the tooth was still developing, therefore it lacked the full root length and the ligamentous support that would have formed a bit later.  The blow to the mouth was enough to do that damage.

What this means for Todd is:  1)  the permanent tooth will be delayed coming in, 2)  the adjacent teeth may or may not use some of the vacant space, and 3)  there will be bone loss in the area, but the permanent tooth will bring bone with it.

I’m bummed that this happened!  It’s too bad that Todd won’t have a full set of baby teeth.  Fortunately, it’ll just be normal for him.  And I know he’ll still be a cutie pie with one tooth missing.  Needless to say, I don’t let Todd come near the open dryer door anymore.  Gosh, it’s so hard to keep that kid from getting into everything!  (Feeling guilty…sigh.)

At any rate, we found a really awesome dentist for Todd.  She suggested that our next appointment with her could wait until next Spring.

Todd and Dr. Olga Ortuzar - May 28, 2015

Todd and Dr. Olga Ortuzar – May 28, 2015

Developmental highlights:

  • 9 month doctor appointment, including blood draw for peanut IGE (5/22)
  • weight = 18 pounds, 5 ounces at 9 months old (5/22)
  • new sound: “va va” (5/23)
  • he took 11 steps, twice (5/25)
  • instead of couch “cruising,” he does couch running
  • playing pat-a-cake with Eric, on the toilet
  • he opens kitchen cupboards
  • when placed in the grass, he immediately goes over to pick at whatever plants and dirt he can find. (I’m teaching him the word “yucky” every time he tries to put something inappropriate in his mouth.)
Climbing the wall! - May 22, 2015

Climbing the wall! – May 22, 2015

Other highlights:

  • visit to the birth center and Eric’s work (5/21)
  • 1st visit to a beach (on Camano Island, 5/23)
  • visit with Grammie, Granddad and Uncle Jeff (5/23)
  • bike rides, out to eat (The Shire Cafe), hot tub “swim”
  • he’s always super smiley when I brush my teeth
1st time at a beach - May 23, 2015

1st time at a beach – May 23, 2015

May 23, 2015

May 23, 2015

Stopping at a park in Arlington - May 25, 2015

Stopping at a park in Arlington – May 25, 2015


This week Todd started to walk on his own!  In weeks 39 and 40 he took his first steps (up to 11 at a time).  But– those steps happened when Eric really encouraged him.  This week, Todd started to taking steps that he initiated.  When encouraged, he walked even further (up to 20 steps).

Developmental and other highlights:

  • initiated walking 4 steps at a time (without encouragement)
  • walked 12 steps (5/30)
  • likes to slide toys on the floor while he crawls
  • possibly showing a special preference for his large stuffed frog, Gilbert.  And he gave him a kiss (6/4)
  • funny spitting before bed (6/3)
  • likes playing the drums with Eric
  • walked 20 steps (6/4)
May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

Food notes:

This week Todd started doing unsafe movements while sitting on the counter of our kitchen island in his small, portable Fisher Price booster seat.  He’d push with his legs, causing the chair to move backward and/or he’d tip the chair back against the edge of the stove range.  Instead of strapping the booster seat to a chair, I decided that Todd would use his big Chicco high chair for meals at home.

After rollerblading the Centennial Trail - May 30, 2015

After rollerblading the Centennial Trail – May 30, 2015


June 7th was a big day!  Todd stood up twice without holding onto anything.  The “problem” was that I didn’t get to see it!  Only Eric saw it.  (Except– before that– I did watch Todd stand up next to the couch and I was pretty sure that I saw him touch the couch only after he was already up.)  He wouldn’t repeat this important skill again until the start of his eleventh month (stay tuned!).

On June 8th I went into Todd’s room only a minute after he went to bed, to plug in the monitor.  I noticed him already snuggling up to his “pillow blanket.”  (Sorry for the blurry image– it was taken in the dark with a flash.)

I started putting Todd’s pillow blanket (a gift from his cousins) in bed with him during his ninth month (when he had a few rough nights of sleep).  His crib also has a small lamb rattle and a small stuffed baby in it.  When he wakes up in the morning, it’s so cute to seeing Todd sitting, grinning and holding his pillow blanket and/or baby in his hands.

Todd with his pillow blanket - June 8, 2015

Todd with his pillow blanket – June 8, 2015

Developmental and other highlights:

  • initiating lots of walking spurts, starting from a pull-to-stand at various surfaces
  • lower gums feel bumpy, like the teeth are on the verge of coming through
  • crawls fast, then gets up into a tall half kneel, almost able to stand up from that position (6/6)
  • he touches things in books and helps turn the pages
  • 1st stand up from floor level without using something to pull-to-stand (6/7)
June 7, 2015

June 7, 2015

Stopping at a park in Arlington while out on a bike ride - June 7, 2015

Stopping at a park in Arlington while out on a bike ride – June 7, 2015


The first tooth started coming in!  On June 15th, I could see the tip of the bottom left front tooth just starting to break through Todd’s gums.

Todd's first tooth is barely visible - June 15, 2015

Todd’s first tooth is barely visible – June 15, 2015

Developmental and other highlights:

  • instead of getting frustrated when he pushes his Little Tikes car into a wall, he now goes around to the other side and then walks his car from that end.
  • he loves when Eric gives him rides on his car, and he gets mad when the ride stops
  • party at Dan’s house (6/13)
  • 1st hike being carried in the Ergobaby carrier (Anderson Butte, 6/14) (See that post for details)
  • 1st tooth visible (bottom left front, 6/15)
  • started treatment for buttock eczema using 2.5% Hydrocortisone cream (the redness wasn’t resolving using the 1% over-the-counter strength)
Making friends with a dog at Dan's party - June 13, 2015

Making friends with a dog at Dan’s party – June 13, 2015

Anderson Butte hike - June 14, 2015

Anderson Butte hike – June 14, 2015


This week we drove to Bend, OR for an action-packed 3 day weekend (June 19-21).  Todd met his great aunt Ginny for the first time because she was in town for a visit, too.  (She lives in Texas.)

Todd & Eric at our usual coffee stop on the way to Bend - June 19, 2015

Todd & Eric at our usual coffee stop on the way to Bend – June 19, 2015

On Friday the 19th, Eric and I went to Ashley’s dance recital while my mom and dad babysat Todd for about 4.5 hours.  That was the longest I’ve been away from Todd (except when he’s sleeping, of course), and it was the first night that someone besides myself put Todd to bed.  According to my mom, Todd went to sleep within a few minutes of putting him down, after chatting just a little bit.  He was tired.  Then, he slept through the night.  It was just like at home…yay!

On Saturday the 20th, we went to Elk Lake, which is just past the Mt Bachelor ski area.  See the Paddleboarding at Elk Lake post for the full report, but here are a few more pictures:

Todd at Elk Lake - June 20, 2015

Todd at Elk Lake – June 20, 2015

South Sister from Elk Lake (and my mom & dad are paddleboarding in the lake)

South Sister from Elk Lake (and my mom & dad are paddleboarding in the lake)

After the day at the lake, we gathered at my mom and dad’s house for margaritas, Mexican lasagna and homemade tamales.

My aunt Ginny & my mom

My aunt Ginny & my mom

The boys (Eric, Todd, uncle Jason, cousin Eli)

The boys (Eric, Todd, uncle Jason, cousin Eli)

My dad & Gary (Jason's dad)

My dad & Gary (Jason’s dad)


  • trip to Bend, OR (6/19-21)
  • my parents babysat Todd for 4.5 hours (6/19)
  • 1st time being put to bed by someone besides me (6/19)
  • 1st time at a lake and 1st ride on a paddleboard (6/20)



This was definitely Todd’s best sleep month so far:  he only woke up during the night 5 times.  Like “usual,” when he did wake up in the night, it was just once (usually before midnight), and he went back to sleep easily after a bottle offering and some rocking in the glider chair.

Todd’s typical bed time remains between 8 and 8:30 PM.  This month it was a mixed bag whether he was asleep or awake when I put him to bed.  When he went to bed awake, he always fell asleep within minutes.  He slept a solid 10-ish hours per night, waking up in the morning around 6 to 6:30 AM.  Less often, he woke up before 6 AM or after 7 AM.

The swing is still a “thing” for naps, and he still sleeps soundly for 2-3 hours each morning.  The swing technically holds up to 25 pounds but every day I wonder how much longer Todd will accept it.  For now, he’s quite docile (to use Eric’s term) when I strap him in, and he seems relaxed and “at home” there.  He falls asleep within a few minutes.

Afternoon naps are informal and typically of ~30-45 minute duration.  They’re taken in the car seat or stroller when we’re out and about.  Only once this month did Todd take an afternoon swing nap (30 minutes).

Sleeping soundly in his "special swing chair" - May 31, 2015

Sleeping soundly in his “special swing chair” – May 31, 2015


At month’s end, we’re working on can #58 of Todd’s “formula milk.”  He’s definitely starting to go through the cans slower now, though.

He eats “regular food” for 3 meals per day pretty consistently.  New foods introduced this month were:  red grapes, kiwi, cherries, and green beans.  He does what he can with larger finger foods and small cut-up food pieces, but I also help feed him via spoon or my finger.  He seems to like having some help.  He’s got a hearty appetite for pretty much anything I give him.

Balancing his olive and his garbanzo bean with his right hand - June 13, 2015

Balancing his olive and his garbanzo bean with his right hand – June 13, 2015


Things are status quo (meaning Todd goes pee and poo on the toilet daily), with just a couple exceptions.

First, Todd is much more distracted these days sitting on the toilet, so we tend to look at board books there.  Sometimes he won’t pee on the toilet, but yet he’ll pee in his underwear (“trainer”) just minutes later.

Second, Todd’s had more “poo misses” this month:  (i.e. 9 poops didn’t make it into the toilet.)  For all but 3 instances, the “poo miss” was his second poop for that day.  Now that Todd’s eating more solid food (and more variety), he’s “doing a poo-poo” a bit more often than before.  That second poop of the day can be a surprise!

Lizard boy! - June 6, 2015

Lizard boy! – June 6, 2015

Well, that’s all for now!

Mt Baker from the Anderson Creek Road

Mt Baker from the Anderson Creek Road

Sunday, June 14, 2015…

It’s time for a hike!

Since Todd was born over 9.5 months ago, we’ve gotten outdoors with Todd to do lots of active and fun activities:  skiing, walking/hiking, rollerblading, and bike riding.  It’s been great!  But– before this weekend, our hiking was limited to a few stroller-friendly trails (Bagley Lakes, Rainy Lake, Big Four Ice Caves).

Now– it’s time to start carrying him in a pack.  We’ve had our Ergobaby carrier ready for use since before Todd was born.  Testing out the pack in the house revealed that Todd looked a lot more comfortable sitting on my back (compared to Eric’s).

We chose Anderson Butte for this week’s destination because:  1)  it’s within a couple hours driving distance from home, 2)  it’s a short hike (1.4 miles one way), and 3)  it offers spectacular mountain views.

We’ve been to Anderson Butte, Watson Lakes, and Anderson Lakes a few times before– long ago (~13 years ago!)– when we used to do a lot of backcountry skiing.  (The highlighting on our map shows our previous trip routes).

Anderson Butte hike on our Green Trails Map (Lake Shannon - No 46)

Anderson Butte hike on our Green Trails Map (Lake Shannon – No 46)

The Anderson Butte trail is located just east of Baker Lake (near Mt Baker, WA).  You take Highway 20 and then the Baker Lake Road.  You cross the dam (which has a neat view waaay down the spillway) and then you go a few miles on the gravelly, switchbacking, and sometimes steep Anderson Creek Rd (#1107), to the Anderson-Watson trailhead (Tr 611.1 and Tr 611.2).  The trailhead elevation is 4300 feet.

Anderson-Watson Trailhead

Anderson-Watson Trailhead

Todd slept in the car on the way to the trail, and then woke up for the hike.  He enjoyed looking at all the scenery on the way up.  The trail is fairly rocky overall, and we do always hike with a pair of old ski poles.  Eric mounted our GoPro camera on one of his poles.  The camera has a nice, wide angle lens.

GoPro group selfie!

GoPro group selfie!

GoPro group selfie

GoPro group selfie!

The temperature was perfectly “warm but not hot,” and there was a good bit of shade from the forest canopy. I put a little sunscreen on Todd’s face, but he does still need a proper sun hat.

Elisa & Todd

Elisa & Todd

Elisa & Todd

Elisa & Todd

Family photo

Family photo

As you can see from the map, the trail gets much steeper after you take the left turn for Anderson Butte (after 0.9 miles).  The views looking to the north/northeast open up once you reach the ridge line.  I’m not sure which mountains are pictured here, but Mt Blum, Hagan Mountain, and Bacon Peak are in the foreground, somewhere.  The Picket Range (Mt Challenger, Crooked Thumb Peak, Phantom Peak & Mt Fury) is somewhere further away.  These 3 pics form a scene from left to right…

View from the ridge

View from the ridge

View from the ridge

View from the ridge


From the top (5400 ft), you can also see both Mt Shuksan…

Mt Shuksan

Mt Shuksan

and Mt. Baker…

Mt Baker

Mt Baker



Todd & Elisa

Todd & Elisa

Mt Baker from Anderson Butte

Mt Baker from Anderson Butte

We had the summit to ourselves, and Todd was happy to get his hands in some dirt.  He tried his best to taste the various rocks and plant matter.  “Yucky,” I kept repeating.  (I wasn’t able to soak in too many mountain views at the time, or else I’d have risked having a choking victim on my hands.  It’s nice to have these pictures now.)

Dirt loving boy!

Dirt loving boy!

Playing in the dirt

Playing in the dirt

Before we headed down, Todd had a quick snack.

A nice refreshing beverage.

A nice refreshing beverage.

Note that we did have to negotiate one blow down on the trail…

Headed down the trail

Headed down the trail



Blow down negotiating

Blow down negotiating

"I hope she knows what she's doing"

“I hope she knows what she’s doing”

On the way down from the top, it was clear that Todd was getting tired of being confined, but after a short bit of fussing, he fell asleep for part of the descent.

We got back to the car 2.5 hours after we started.  We kept a leisurely pace.  Our first “real” hike with Todd was a success!

Mt Shuksan

Mt Shuksan

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