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Archive for the ‘Phinehas’ Category

It seems that Stephen (8 months old) is learning new skills every day.  And his personality is starting to reveal itself more and more.  And there are times that I think “Did Phinehas do that?” because I can’t remember.  And they’re only 18 months apart!  And I still can’t remember unless I’m prompted by something or someone mentions it.  I don’t want to forget:

  • What Phinehas’ belly button looked like.  For at least the first year of his life, it was a cute little cinnamon roll shaped.
  • How he used to point to the lamp and whisper “Hot”, either like he knew a secret or that he was afraid that you didn’t know it.  I’m not even convinced he knew what “hot” meant at that point.
  • When we called Uncle Kyle for his birthday last weekend and he just knocked out a great rendition of “Happy Birthday” song.  Wasn’t perfect, but I don’t know how he even knew what he did!
  • How he ‘chases’ up after Stephen on the steps, “pretending” to catch him, just like we do with him.
  • How he (kindly intentioned, but not so kindly in action) pulled Stephen down the stairs trying to help him learn how to go down.
  • How lately he wants one last hug and kiss from me when I drop them off at Aunt T’s…that’s a new thing and I love it!
  • The way he says “tickle” when he wants Jeff to chase him around and tickle him.
  • And the way he says “No!” when you ask if he wants you to tickle his tummy, but then he lifts up his shirt so that you have easy access to tickle him.
  • How he asks for “some”.  It used to be that everything is “some”.  Some watermelon.  Some M&Ms.  Some cheese.  Doesn’t matter – he wants “some”.
  • Him playing with my hair dryer in the morning as I get ready.  His love for the vacuum is being replaced by that new toy.
  • How we have to read “Dog” (Go Dog Go) at least 5 times/day even though he rarely seems to be paying attention.
  • Playing in the bathtub asking me to “shoot” which means fill up this little syringe with water and shoot it at the wall.

 

What saddens me is how much I’ve already forgotten and that he won’t remember most of this…but that’s okay.  I’m creating good bonds between us that I hope to strengthen the rest of his life.

June2014

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(I know I already did a “He’s 2″ post, but my heart was burdened to write an actual letter to him)

Dear Phinehas (aka: Mr. Finn):

You’re 2! Already so much is different about you from just months ago. And yet, I can look back at baby pictures and see the same facial features. But, still, things are different. You’ve lost your cinnamon-roll shaped belly button, which was just so adorable! You’re tall and lean and that just had to go. I guess you’ll be grateful for that when you’re older.

You’re a toddler, of course, and not a baby anymore and yet…You ask for “rock, rock” before bed and it’s getting harder for me to do that – you’re just so big now. So, I do the best I can while I sing to you “Jesus” – the song you always ask for. You don’t really know who Jesus is yet, but Jesus Loves the Little Children must be the song you associate with sleeping. I didn’t really rock you to sleep as a baby (and truth be told, I don’t rock you that long now – just a few verses), but “Rock, Rock” was a new thing you came up with a few months ago.

You’re in a major train loving phase and I kind of hope it lasts. You get so excited for your train pajamas and you take your time picking out which 1 of the 4 trains you want to sleep with that night. I just checked on you while you were sleeping and you were curled into a ball, holding that choo choo.

You love the outdoors and I hope that continues as well. You ask for “walk” often, even if it’s not to the park and really, just to walk outside. In true toddler fashion, you’d much rather push the stroller, wagon or buggy than ride in it. You’re kind of scared of the loud sound of the lawn mower, but you keep talking about “mow, mow”, so I think you do like it deep down.

You’re starting to interact more with Stephen, which is good as he’s starting to get more mobile. You certainly can’t play together, but you understand that he has “his” food and you have yours. And it’s kind of confusing to you that Mommy doesn’t want you to share your food with him just yet, although she wants you to share other things.

You’re a huge fan of your dad, still. You’ll point him out in pictures of our family – completely ignoring just about everyone else. “Dada!” You know that your name is Finn or ‘Neas (as you sometimes call yourself) and that Stephen is “The Baby”.

You’re definitely a determined little guy, but are slowly learning boundaries. Not throwing food is still a struggle for you. So is not putting your feet on the table. You know you’re not supposed to do it, but you do it anyway. But your persistance has paid off in many ways as you’re actually quite good at manuvering the vacuum (another thing that you adore) and in other things.

You love to “cook”, even if that just means eating the chocolate chips. But we let you help anyway – someday, that will pay off! You love to clean too (maybe that’s the real reason you love the vacuum) as you’ll often want the dishrag after dinner to wipe down just about any surface you’re tall enough for – the chair, Stephen’s high chair, the walls – it doesn’t matter – you’ll clean it! You get super excited when I let you help me clean the bathroom!  “I do, I do” is a phrase that I hear all.the.time.

Your tastes in books is ever changing. For months, it seemed all we read was “I Love You Stinky Face”, then it became Dr. Seuss’ ABC book. Now, you’re all about “Shepherd”, which is a very short story of the Good Shepherd. We’ll read the same book over and over again, but that’s okay – I’ve learned to hide the boring books!

You love routine as well. Wake up. Drink milk. Mommy reads to you. Get dressed. Color. Find your shoes. Go to the “Garage. Car. Seat”.  Go to Aunt T’s. Play with trains. Antagonize Camry & Capri. Come home with mommy. Play with trains. Mommy reads to you. Take nap. Wake up. Get snack. Mommy reads to you. Play with trains. Play with blocks. Stephen wakes up. Go on walk. Come home. Dada home! Do the Dada dance. Play with dada. “Tickle, Tickle!” Eat dinner. Play with blocks. Put on jam-jams. Drink milk. Watch “Wheel!” Pick out train. Go night night with one last “Rock” and “Jesus” and 2 blankets.  You know what each step in the day is. I love that!

I love being your mom. And I love seeing the little boy that you’re becoming!

Love,
Mama

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He’s 2!

A few weeks ago now, Phinehas turned 2!

Some stats from the doctor:

  • Weighs: 26 pound, 6 ounces which is 31st percentile
  • Height: 35 inches, which is 63rd percentile

He’s such a joy to us!  It really is fun watching kids discover new things.  He’s still a huge fan of the vacuum (so much so that we got him a birthday cake with a vacuum on it!).  For his birthday, he got a set of those MegaBlocks and has been stacking them all the time.  He also got a train set from us, which he adores.  We let him pick out 1 train car to sleep with each night.  He also got a kid’s broom shaped like a bug and 3 dust pans & broom sets — kid loves to clean!

He’s definitely learning boundaries too.  That’s been a real eye opener for Jeff & I — what it takes (consistency!) to train him and there are LOTS of times he chooses not to obey.  He’s definitely learned that he doesn’t have to obey; that it’s a choice.  Doing what we should instead of what we want is a life-long lesson to learn!

He sleeps about 11 hours at night (bed time at 7:00 p.m. right after we watch Wheel of Fortune while we drink our milk) and takes anywhere from 1.5 – 2.5 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon.  He usually wakes up happy from overnight sleep, but mad from his naps.

He’s a typical toddler when it comes to eating — usually eats most things, but the quantity varies.  Sometimes, he’ll eat just as much as I do and other times, he doesn’t seem to care.  But he’ll eat just about anything.  Loves cheese and “dip” (ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, whatever).

This being a mom thing is fun!

PhinehasCollage

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(You can see other Everyday Life posts here.  If you wanna.)

Day #30: Big Fat Goose Egg

Phinehas is a fairly clumsy kid, but he is getting better.  He just trips alot.  We asked the peditrician about it, but he wasn’t concerned.  It doesn’t seem to be a balance thing.  His eye sight is great.  He watched him walk and all looked good.  His shoes fit well.  He’s just not quite the world’s best walker.  Doesn’t seem to bother him.  He falls down.  He gets up.

Well, last night, he fell down.  Not while he was walking, but I had gotten out the vacuum cleaner and was going to go plug it in, when he tried to use it to vacuum.  It must’ve knocked him off balance because he fell over backwards and fell down the 3 steps to our tile-floor entryway.  And let out a big cry.  I held him for a minute or so, then looked him over.  BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC goose egg on his forehead.

He’s okay though.  No signs of anything serious.  We called the nurse’s line to be sure and they didn’t have any concerns and told us what to look for.  They did say that it could take up to a week for the swelling to go down.  Luckily, we don’t have any family pictures planned.

Ignore the dirty face - that's just typical boy messiness!

Ignore the dirty face – that’s just typical boy messiness!

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(You can see other Everyday Life posts here.  If you wanna.)

Day #27: Sleeping Under The Bed

So…I thought Phinehas was doing pretty well with the whole sleeping-in-a-big-boy-bed.  Til tonight when I found him sleeping under the big boy bed.

He was sleeping hard!  I was able to drag him out, pick him up and put him back into bed without him ever waking up.  Poor guy.

SleepingUnderTheBed

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(You can see other Everyday Life posts here.  If you wanna.)

Day #24: Big Boy Bed

Phinehas has officially climbed out of the crib.  Onto a big boy bed.  Here he is all tucked in for his first nap in it.

bigboybed

I went in later to see how he ended up faring.  I expected to see him sleeping on the floor, but nope, he was in the bed.  Just “upside down”.

bigboybed_after

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18 months old!

Phinehas is 18 months old!  We did his check up at the pediatrician yesterday and here are his stats:

Height: 33 inches (something like 70th percentile)

Weight: 23.5 inches (somewhere around 19th percentile)

They measured his head circumference, but I don’t remember what the number was (and I can’t find the little sheet that the nurses write it down on), but it was 90% percentile.  He’s always ran a bigger head than his other numbers and all the more so since his skull surgery.  Tis okay.

While his weight hasn’t gone drastically up, he seems so heavy and big to me.  I think it’s because now it’s easy to compare him back to the size of a newborn.  Man, what a difference a year and a half makes!

Some of his favorite things:

  • Planes.  We’ll be inside and he’ll hear a plane, stop, point to the ceiling and say something.  Not quite recognizable as ‘plane’, but he says something.
  • Fruit.  All kinds…except he seems to have fallen out of love with grapes.  Used to love ‘em.  But not so much anymore.
  • Climbing.  Kid is all over the place!  My sister calls him ‘tenacious’ because he doesn’t seem to accept no when he doesn’t want to, is into everything and on top of everything.  The other day I caught him in the baby swing. He had somehow pulled himself up into it and was sitting on top of it.  But then he couldn’t figure out how to get out.
  • Books.  Still likes to ‘read’, but doesn’t sit still for an entire book very often.  Usually, we get 1/2 way through, then he goes and picks out a different book.
  • Milk.  He just can’t get enough of it.  He acts like I’m torturing him if I offer water instead.
  • Re-arranging cabinets. Maybe this is just because he sees me do it, but he’s been taking all the items out of my pantry and cupboards and moving them to different places.  I’ve been doing alot of that as we get settled into our new place, so maybe he doesn’t really have a thing for canned tomatoes, but likes to imitate.  Oh well — keeps him busy and out of trouble!

TheMen

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I only have the 1 child (so far, you know, living outside my body), so I don’t know how typical he is.  But he goes practically non-stop.  From almost the moment he wakes up in the morning until it’s time for bed.  He stops for 2 things: a car ride and meals.  I think that’s typical of a 16-month-old, but who knows?  Typical or not, it’s him.

So, when he does have a “I’m going to go ahead and sit still” moment, we take advantage of it!  It’s time to fill up mom or dad’s Cuddle Cup (that’s what we call it).  Last night, Jeff put Phinehas to bed and I looked into the bedroom to see the two of them just sitting there in the chair.  Phinehas had his sippy cup of milk, but wasn’t really drinking it.  They were just sitting there, Phinehas on Jeff’s lap.  Phinehas was ‘talking’ and gave hugs occasionally.  Every few seconds, he’d take a drink, but he wasn’t really interested in it.  I just smiled and kept on walking.

I asked Jeff later, “Were you filling your cuddle cup?”

Jeff’s answer: “Yup.  The boy doesn’t stay still long enough for me to fill it often enough.  Gotta take advantage of those moments!”

Agreed!  This is the good life.

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We had Phinehas’ 15-month check up this week.  I like recording his statistics, but I’m not sure the best way to do it.  For his first year, I created a scrapbook and had a page for each month, but it wasn’t meant to be done for the rest of his life.  I need to transition out of a “baby book” mentality and into a “documenting our family” mentality, but I’m not sure what format I want to do that in.  Digital scrapbook?  Actual paper-and-pen scrapbook?  Anyway….

  • He’s 67th percentile for height – 31.5 inches.
  • He’s 18th percentile for weight – 22 pounds.
  • He’s 91st percentile for head circumference – kind of a jump from the 70s where he’s been, but that’s due to the surgery he just had. His head is totally fine, but the surgery has intentionally made his head bigger to allow for brain growth and where the head had fused too soon.
  • He’s meeting all the major milestones.  I kind of think he should be able to say more words, but the pediatrician isn’t worried about it.  He looks for 15-month boys to say just 3-5 words, which is just about what he’s doing.

I had friends ask today about how his head looks after surgery, so here’s a few pictures.  They aren’t the cutest pictures of him, but they show his incision fairly well.  It really looks great (I think).  I can see why they have a craniofacial plastic surgery do the incision work.  His hair is still really blonde, but it’s growing nicely and covers it (fairly) well.

It doesn’t bother him – best we can tell.  He doesn’t ever seem to be in pain because of it.  No grabbing of the head nor do I get the sense that he’s having headaches.  He’s just a normal little boy with a scar on his head!

He is so fun, sometimes.  He’s at that age where you can really see what he’s learning.  I can now say “Where are your shoes?” and he’ll go get them.  Or his blankie (which he’s suddenly developed a fondness for).  He loves, loves, loves to be outside…so much so that he usually pitches a fit when it’s time to go inside.  Just in the last week, he’s mastered climbing onto chairs.  Last week, he couldn’t do that.  It’s just fun to see a skill develop that wasn’t there before.  It’s a great age!

3MonthsSurgery

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As I mentioned, the plan is to move Phinehas to a new room sometime this fall before the new baby arrives.  He’ll still be in a crib (thanks to my sister, yet again, for another hand-me-down.  My sister = lifesaver!).

Originally, I had visions of a red/white/gray-ish striped room, but I ending up going in a different direction.  See, I had some leftover yellow-ish paint (a quart costing $2.00 because it was in the Oops bin at Home Depot – LOVE that!), so instead of a lot of stripes, I just did one big stripe at the top as a border.

I wanted something else, something more visually interesting in the room though, so I installed some ‘trim’ as a “middle stripe”.  It’s at the same height as the top of his window and bedroom door.

To make it even more interesting, I made the longest wall into a shelf.  Nothing fancy, but it can hold pictures or knick knacks.  Nothing too heavy until I figure out a better way to secure it.

All of this is thanks to my father-in-law for tools.  My Christmas present last year was an air compressor and a nail gun.  (How cool of a gift is that!?!)  Then he drove down last weekend to let me borrow his miter saw (I think that’s what it is called).  Since the bedroom had just been emptied of pretty much everything, it was time to put my plan into action!

It took me just about the whole week to finish, but that’s because I did so in 30 minute increments – around nap and bed times.

Total Cost:

  • $2 on the “oops” yellow-ish paint.
  • $0 on the white paint, rollers, nail gun nails – I already had those.
  • $7 on the “shelf”
  • $11.50 on the “trim”
  • $20.50 TOTAL — not bad at all and, I think, well worth it!

Basic Instructions:

  • Paint the border.  I wanted the border to be about 12 inches showing, so I painted 13 inches down.  I knew my “trim” would cover up where the yellow met the gray, so I didn’t have to worry about any ‘bleeding’ under my taped line.  I didn’t need a super crisp line.
  • Buy the lumber.  The “trim” around the room is just 1x4s.  The “shelf” is just a 1×6 board.  Home Depot called it “common wood” (aka: nothing fancy.)
  • Paint the lumber.  So much easier to paint them when you can lay them flat on the basement floor than after they’re already hung on the wall.  I learned that lesson from my back entryway!
  • Measure & nail up the trim, piece by piece.  I started by one of the windows, used a level to make sure it was straight and worked my way around the room.  It took longer to set up the saw, air compressor & nail gun than it did to actually hang the trim!
  • Touch up the paint.  You’ll want to touch up some of the corners, where boards meet and where the nails are.  I didn’t need to use any paintable caulk, but that’s always a possibility.

Notes:

  • When you buy the lumber, you’ll want to know not just how many total inches you need, but if you have a couple of long walls, you don’t want to have to use lots of odds & ends to piece it together.  So, for those walls, you’ll want to have pieces as long as you can.  You might still need to use 2 pieces to fit a wall, but better 2 pieces than 8!
  • Little boys love to play with the big machines that appear in your living room.  Be careful with that!
  • The light in that room is horrible.  I have dreams of installing a better light and ceiling fan in there.
  • We have doors that go almost all the way to the ceiling which presented some decision.  Paint a yellow stripe on there too?  Leave it all gray?  What about the fact that I can’t put white trim on the doors as it will affect the way they open?  In the end, I decided not to paint yellow at the top.

Some pictures:

Phinehas Room Collage

1. The room before.

2 & 3. Phinehas playing with the saw.  Don’t worry – there were 4 adults in the room and the power was off.

4. The closet before.  A dumping ground of things that need to be sorted.

5. The walls after.

6. Phinehas playing on the bed and you can see the shelf above him.

7. A different view of the room

8. The closet after – I also installed some shelving in there, which was another cheap and easy project.

9. The closet doors.  I think it looks okay to be all gray and not have the yellow/white stripes.

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