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Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

TODD’S SECOND CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 23 – 27, 2015

Note– I was going to include this stuff in my “Todd the Toddler’s 17th Month” post (soon to be completed), but that post started getting too long.  So here is a separate post just about Christmas 2015.  (I know, I know…it’s February now and Christmas is OVER!  Sorry!)

Over the river and through the woods - December 23, 2015

Over the river and through the woods – December 23, 2015

On December 23rd, we drove to Bend, OR for the Christmas holiday.  We got a later start than usual because we waited until after Todd woke up (at 7:15 AM) to get on the road.  I figured the days away from home would be pretty busy so I didn’t want to cheat him out of any sleep by waking him up.

Unfortunately it took much longer than usual to get there because we were stopped on the snowy highway just down from Mt Hood due to an accident closure.  Despite the long car ride, Todd did quite well because he had the opportunity to get out of his car seat and explore the car for a while.

It was dinner time by the time we rolled into Bend.  My sister picked us up some take-out from Spork (yum).

Stopped on the highway near Mt Hood - December 23, 2015

Stopped on the highway near Mt Hood – December 23, 2015

We stayed with my sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew.  During the visit, we also spent time with my parents (“Grandma” & “Grandpa”), my aunt & uncle, and my brother-in-law’s parents (“Nana” & “Grampy”).

On Christmas eve, my mom & aunt babysat Todd while we did some x-country skiing with my sister’s family at Virginia Meissner Sno-park.  Todd napped for 2.5 hours in his Pack ‘n Play travel bed, which was awesome!

X-country skiing at Virginia Meissner Sno-park - December 24, 2015

X-country skiing at Virginia Meissner Sno-park – December 24, 2015

That evening, we celebrated my dad’s birthday (12/24) like we always do, by having drinks and a lasagna dinner.  After dinner, dad opened his presents and we all watched “The Muppet Family Christmas.”  This year the celebration was at Nana & Grampy’s house.

Me, my sister & parents - December 24, 2015

Me, my sister & parents – December 24, 2015

Todd stayed out of trouble in the new surroundings, and he had fun being bounced on a yoga ball and dragged along the carpet by his cousins.  He even found a “gar” to play with.

Having fun with Todd's cousins - December 24, 2015

Having fun with Todd’s cousins – December 24, 2015

Playing with a car on Christmas Eve 2015

Playing with a car on Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas morning was overwhelming for Todd, so he preferred playing a little further away from the action.  He liked hanging out on the stair landing, above the Christmas tree.

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

The stuffed frog “Relaximal” from my mom was an immediate hit.  He loves pillows and big stuffed animals.  On Christmas Todd gave me lots of kisses, and he kissed his cousin Ashley and his Grandma, too!

Pillow frog from Grandma - Christmas 2015

Pillow frog from Grandma – Christmas 2015

Later in the day, Todd was dressed in his snow gear to try out his new snow sled in the yard (also from his Grandma).  I watched from inside, but he seemed to do okay!

Eric & Todd - Christmas 2015

Eric & Todd – Christmas 2015

Todd napped for 2.5 hours after having such a stimulating morning.  Christmas dinner was at my parents’ house, with my aunt and uncle.  We always get a kick out of this singing doggy…

The day after Christmas included a short walk in the snow near my sister’s house.  In general, Todd hasn’t spent much time in baby carriers, but when he does get a ride in the Ergo carrier, he seems to enjoy it.

Elisa & Todd - December 26, 2015

Elisa & Todd – December 26, 2015

In the evening of December 26th, we all gathered again for our “traditional” Christmas dinner, vegan of course!  We always have Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute.  That meal was at my sister’s house.

Cousins - December 26, 2015

Cousins – December 26, 2015

We listened to festive music and Todd showed off his dance moves to Chuck Berry’s “Run, Rudolph, Run.”

Todd took an interest in Kaiser the cat during this trip.  One time Todd got a little too close for Kaiser’s comfort which resulted in Todd receiving a small scratch.  For the most part, though, Todd followed our instructions to be “soft and gentle.”

Eric, Todd & Kaiser cat - December 26, 2015

Eric, Todd & Kaiser cat – December 26, 2015

By the end of our trip, Todd got somewhat confident walking down the stairs unsupported.  Before that, he first learned how to safely descend them by crawling backward and by walking down with support from one railing or a helping hand.

On one set of just 2 steps (into the play room), Todd accidentally did a somersault down one step.  I caught him as he rolled out of it.  At first he looked surprised and little scared, but wouldn’t you know…he soon tried to repeat it on purpose!

On December 27th, we drove back home.  We made 2 food stops (Baja Fresh & Starbucks).  Todd pooped 3 times…haha!  Pooping while riding in the car is definitely out of the ordinary for him.

Headed back home - December 27, 2015

Headed back home –
December 27, 2015

When I opened the mail at home, I felt so happy to read this lovely card from one very special lady.  I hadn’t heard from her in a while, and it was like getting a big hug!  I love her.

Christmas card from Lillian

Christmas card from Lillian

Todd at 4.5 months old - January 5, 2015

Todd at 4.5 months old – January 5, 2015

FIFTH MONTH (DECEMBER 21 – JANUARY 21)

WEEK 18 (Partial Week)

Todd started his fifth month by having a breakthrough in his sitting balance abilities.  Prior to this week, I could let go of Todd in unsupported sitting for only a few seconds at a time.  On December 22nd, I was able to let go for 30 seconds, 50 seconds and 75 seconds.  On December 23rd, Todd sat unsupported for 1.5 minutes.  Something just clicked for him!

On the 23rd, I was helping Todd open up a present from Eric’s mom (“Grammie”).  I don’t know if it was the gift (a LeapFrog “lap pup”) or the cute Santa paper, but Todd suddenly burst out giggling/laughing.  He did it 3x…so cute!  The last time (the 1st time) we heard him spontaneously giggle was November 17th.  Eric and Eli (Todd’s cousin) were able to provoke more giggles on December 24th (and after).

Coffee break on the way to Oregon - December 24, 2014

Coffee break on the way to Oregon – December 24, 2014

On Christmas Eve, we drove to Bend, Oregon for an extended family visit.  Todd met my aunt Elaine & uncle Jeff and my sister’s parents (“Nana & Grampy”) for the first time that evening.  I cried on Christmas day when I looked at the hand-sewn alphabet book that my aunt made for Todd.  She put so much love and work into it!  We will treasure it forever.

Todd with his grandpa - December 24, 2014

Todd with his grandpa – December 24, 2014

Todd with his great aunt Elaine - December 24, 2014

Todd with his great aunt Elaine – December 24, 2014

Todd's ABC Book from Aunt Elaine

Todd’s ABC Book from Aunt Elaine

Sample page from the ABC book.  Every page so creatively planned and expertly sewn!

Sample page from the ABC book. Every page so creatively planned and expertly sewn!

Todd’s “main” Christmas gift was an Evenflo ExerSaucer® Beach Baby Saucer.  He also got his first baby doll, several books, toys and clothes.  I’m thankful for my generous family!

Todd in his new ExerSaucer - December 25, 2014

Todd in his new ExerSaucer – December 25, 2014

Highlights–

  • 1st unsupported sitting for 30 seconds & longer (12/22)
  • 2nd spontaneous giggle/laugh (3x – 12/23)
  • 1st time using potty seat in public restroom, at my sister’s house and my parent’s house (12/24)
  • 1st time meeting great aunt Elaine & great uncle Jeff (12/24)
  • 1st Christmas (12/25)
  • getting very “wriggly”
  • arches back in bouncy seat
  • holding onto both feet with hands
  • tried bringing his toes to his mouth

WEEK 19

In Bend, Todd’s sleep routine was upset because his overall daily routine was different.  Duh– I’m stating the obvious, right?  Todd resisted sleeping in the Pack ‘n Play travel bed.  For the first 4 nights, we didn’t fight him and he ended up sleeping at least part of each night in the swing or car seat.

On the 5th night (December 28th), I put my foot down because I really want him to learn that the bed is the bed at night time!  So– after he was fed, burped, diapered, etc., and after I picked him up twice, I finally Iet him “cry it out.”  It took about 30 minutes of crying before he finally slept.  On subsequent nights (4 more), he went to bed without much trouble.

In Bend, we cross country skied 3 times (at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park).  On December 28th, Eric and I took turns watching Todd.  On December 29th, my parents babysat Todd in the ski shelter.  Eric and I got to ski together for the first time this season…Yay!  On January 31st, my mom babysat Todd at the house while we went skiing.  On January 1st, my sister watched Todd while we did a short snow hike along the Deschutes River.

Highlights–

  • 1st scrape (forehead bled when he fell forward and hit a Lego piece – 12/26)
  • Tough love “Pack ‘n Play Training” (12/28)
  • 1st times leaving Todd with a “babysitter” (12/29, 12/31 & 1/1)
  • after being propped, sits unsupported with more confidence…i.e. he moves his arms and legs and “rocks” himself…until he falls over.
Eric & Todd playing in the snow at Meissner - December 28, 2014

Eric & Todd playing in the snow at Meissner – December 28, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner - December 29, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner – December 29, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner - December 31, 2014

Cross country skiing at Meissner – December 31, 2014

Snow hike along the Deschutes River - January 1, 2015

Snow hike along the Deschutes River – January 1, 2015

WEEK 20

We drove home on January 2nd.  That morning, we found Todd sleeping on his side in the travel bed.  Leading up to this day, Todd seemed increasingly frustrated by having his legs “trapped” inside the sleep sack.  That night, I started dressing him in footed sleepers for bed.  He proceeded to sleep for a record 10-hour stretch!

On his side in the travel bed - January 2, 2015

On his side in the travel bed – January 2, 2015

We stopped at a Chipotle Grill for lunch on January 2nd.  Inside the restaurant, I sat Todd on my lap while I ate most of my Sofritas salad.  Then it occurred to me that he could probably sit up safely in one of the high chairs, with close supervision.  Todd looked pretty proud of himself sitting up like a big boy!

1st time sitting in a high chair - Chipotle Grill - January 2, 2015

1st time sitting in a high chair – Chipotle Grill – January 2, 2015

At home, on January 3rd, we tested our own high chair.  Eric tried feeding Todd some formula with a new spoon that Todd got for Christmas.  It was cute to see Todd’s reaction.  At least one time he actually sipped and swallowed.

On January 6th, Todd saw the pediatrician for his 4-month check-up.  He was 13 pounds, 6 ounces, 24.6″ tall and had a 41 cm head circumference.  His growth trends have remained unchanged since the 2 month appointment, except that his height is up 2 percentiles.  (Weight = 6th percentile.  Height = 12th percentile.  Head circumference = 18th percentile.)

Todd was given the same vaccines as the 2-month appointment, and he only cried for a few seconds.

This week Todd started making a variety of sounds.  For a few consecutive days, he literally seemed to practice a different sound every day.  It’s fascinating to witness his language development!

Highlights–

  • No more sleep sacks. Started wearing footed sleepers to bed (1/2)
  • 1st 10-hour sleep stretch (1/2 to 1/3)
  • 1st time sitting in a high chair (Chipotle Mexican Grill – 1/2)
  • 1st time being spoon fed (formula – 1/3)
  • Moved swing from living room to bedroom for naps (1/4)
  • 1st time visiting family at Eric’s parents’ house (1/4)
  • 2 fast rolls from belly-to-back (1/5). (He still doesn’t roll belly-to-back very often.)
  • 4-month pediatrician appointment (1/6)
  • making distinct “m” sounds with lips pursed together
  • making “b” sounds
  • sticking tongue out and/or blowing spit (and grinning about it)
  • making “squeak” sounds and squealing

January 4th audio clip, “m” sounds:

January 5th audio clip, “spit blowing”:

January 7th audio clip, “squeaks”:

3 Generations - January 4, 2015

3 Generations – January 4, 2015

WEEK 21

On January 10th, we took Todd on a short hike to the Big Four Ice Caves.  He seemed to enjoy his first trail ride in the 3-wheel stroller and checking out the scenery (including the morons down in the cave).

Big Four Ice Caves - January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves – January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves Trail - January 10, 2015

Big Four Ice Caves Trail – January 10, 2015

This week, I decided it was time to get a library book and DVD on baby sign language.  On January 12th, I started learning signs and teaching them to Todd (and Eric).

Here are some of the signs we’ve used so far:  mama, dada, “formula milk,” eat, toilet/bathroom, diaper, love, more, “all done,” bird, frog, cat, fish, monkey, animal, ball, book, car, snow and apple.

This is a good website resource:  Baby Sign Language. Highlights–

  • 1st giggle provoked by mama (1/9)
  • 1st time using the 3-wheel stroller on a hiking trail (Big Four Ice Caves – 1/10)
  • 1st 10.25 hr sleep stretch (1/12 to 1/13)
  • making “growl” sounds
  • making sounds:  “om-pa” & “up”
  • silently opening and closing his mouth & “mouthing” sounds:  “ma”
  • waking up “chatting” to himself in his crib in the mornings

January 11th video clip: January 15th audio clip, “chatty”:

WEEK 22 (Partial Week)

On January 16th, we went to our condo in Wenatchee once again for a ski weekend.  I’m pleased to report that Todd slept in his Pack ‘n Play travel bed without a struggle:  On the 16th he cried for just a couple minutes and on the 17th he went to sleep without any crying.  Phew!

Both days at the ski area, we put Todd in the day care for a couple hours.  He did just fine and Eric and I got to ski together.  Win-win! Highlights–

  • “accidental” quick belly-to-back roll (1/18)
  • making sounds:  “ba”

January 20th audio clip, “baba”:

FIFTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Sleep–

After we got back home from our Christmas holiday in Oregon, Todd had a span of 7 out of 9 nights when he’d wake up crying/hungry after only being in his crib for ~2.5 hours.  Just as I started getting used to this “11 PM Wake-up,” it suddenly stopped.

Todd closed out his fifth month with a super awesome night time sleep pattern.  On January 12th, Todd started a record, 9-day stretch (and we’re still counting…crossing fingers!) of sleeping from the ~8 PM hour to the ~5/6 AM hour without interruption (8.25 hr minimum per night and 9 hr average per night).

Since I’m an “early to bed, early to rise” person, I go to bed shortly after Todd does.  Seriously– I’ve never felt more rested in my adult life!  And it is nice that Todd wakes up before Eric leaves for work so that they can spend at least a few precious moments together in the morning.

Daytime naps take place in the swing (at home) or car seat (away from home).  The morning nap is the more predictable, longer nap (up to 3 hours).  The afternoon nap is shorter and really unpredictable.  Sometimes Todd “decides” he doesn’t need it.  To his credit, if he declines his second nap, he usually stays pleasant and then he zonks out real quick when it’s time for night night!

Ready for bed - January 2, 2015

Ready for bed – January 2, 2015

Toileting–

There’s not much new to report regarding Todd’s toileting.  We continue to “potty” him on the toilet throughout each day.  This month, he peed up to 10x per day in the toilet (average ~6x per day).  Occasionally he pees on me, on the way to the toilet!

Todd pooped in the toilet on most days.  There were 13 “misses.”  That includes a few times that he went a little bit in the diaper and then finished in the toilet.  For 3 mornings in a row (1/3, 1/4 & 1/5), Todd woke up with messy poopy diapers, which was very unusual.  Fortunately, that didn’t last! As I’ve mentioned before, his soy formula poops are typically formed “logs.”  A couple days recently, Todd had a couple “pudding poops,” and he did have his first legitimate “blow-out” on January 15th.  Fun stuff, huh?

Todd has shown that he is comfortable going “pee-pee” or “poo-poo” in toilets in a wide variety of locations (public restrooms, family’s homes, and friends’ homes).  In fact, the “tide turned” during the Seahawks playoff game on January 18th right when Todd did a big poop in our ski friend Scott’s toilet…haha!  AKA “Todd’s Magic Poop.”

As of month’s end, Todd is transitioning into size 3 disposable diapers for night time.  He’s wearing mostly 6-month size clothes.  Some 3-month clothes still fit but they won’t for much longer.

Physical Skills–

Presently, Todd prefers to sit and play on the floor or stand and play in his ExerSaucer.  He can sit unsupported with close supervision and stay balanced for several minutes at a time.  He can maintain his balance a lot of the time even when he turns his head, looks up, moves his arms and legs, rocks himself, and reaches out for toys.  Of course, once he does lose his balance he can’t stop himself from falling over fast (usually backward).

Todd tolerates some tummy time but that’s about it!  He can press up with arms extended and hold his head up vertically.  He can roll both ways but he doesn’t roll every day.

Playing in Todd's bedroom - January 13, 2015

Playing in Todd’s bedroom – January 13, 2015

Todd actively seeks out anything he can put in his mouth.  If I read a book to him, I make sure he has a toy in hand or else he tries to suck the pages.  When I put him in his bouncy seat, I make sure he has a toy to hold.  When I put him in his swing for naps, I give him a toy to play with before he falls asleep.  He sucks on any part of his clothing (or mine) that becomes accessible to him.  If I put a bib on Todd, he just gathers it up and puts it in his mouth (I don’t use them much for that reason).  He sucks on his “face wiper” washcloths.

With his hands, he tries to “pick” the prints off fabrics.  He tries to pick the moles off my arm.  He grabs at my hair (ouch!).  He’s starting to be able to hold his own bottle.

January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

Feeding–

Todd drinks ~4-8 oz of organic soy formula at a time, totaling ~30-34 oz per day.  We’re looking forward to introducing solid foods in another month.  He seems to be getting interested in our food. That’s all for now!

Snuggle pile - January 19, 2015

Snuggle pile – January 19, 2015

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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