Monday, November 17, 2008

Three Things

Okay, second thing*: Funny story - a few nights ago Gavin was up around 1am and I was nursing him. He has been congested at night recently, so he sounded like he was snoring (or snorting) every time he breathed. All the sudden he unlatched and said "pig!" and made the pig-snort sound that we've taught him, then went right back to nursing. What a crazy guy!

Third thing: My prefolds have been smelling very strongly like ammonia as soon as Gavin urinates and seem to be giving him a diaper rash. I don't think it's just his urine, because when we've used disposables it smells fine and I don't think he gets the rash. I remember reading (a year ago or more?) that it might be caused by a buildup of detergent in the prefolds, and possibly using white vinegar in the wash to help get rid of this problem, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it. To any of you who have had this problem, what did you do? If you used vinegar, how did you do it? (i.e., what type of cycle did you use, how much vinegar, how many cycles did you have to run until it worked, etc.)

*Yes, I can count. No, I didn't forget to write the first thing. Caltech was quirky. Sometimes I revert. Sorry to all of you who have to put up with it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Advent

Last year we decided to start thinking about the Christmas season a little differently than we have in the past by giving more "relational" gifts - gifts of spending time with people and making things using our talents and abilities rather than just buying (sometimes useless and forgotten) presents. It was part of Advent Conspiracy, a movement(?) among churches in our region to get back to the heart of Christmas - giving something of true worth, giving of ourselves, like Christ gave for us - instead of indulging in the consumerism so prevalent in our culture. And, the money we had budgeted for Christmas didn't spend by giving these relational gifts we gave to those in need - people who don't have clean drinking water, children in our city whose parents can't afford the necessities, the homeless, people living on a nearby Indian reservation.

This year we are participating again and hoping to implement the idea of giving relational gifts even more. We have found that it's a great idea but can be difficult to do when it comes right down to it, partially because we have felt (by our own fault) limited by others' expectations and partially because it requires a lot more time and a whole lot more thought than just buying a gift on someone's wishlist (or whatever other thing we could come up with). I think when I was growing up my family did a great job keeping the focus away from getting stuff and more on Jesus during Christmas, and I want to raise our children to give (and receive) in celebration - and emulation - of God's gift to us of Himself.


Halloween, a little late

We borrowed a costume from a friend to dress Gavin up for Halloween (thanks Rae Ann!!!). It was a pretty low-key evening - we took him to some neighbors' homes to show him off in his cute skunk outfit and then came back home. It was a little late and he wasn't in the best of moods for picture-taking, so we put the costume back on him a few days later for photos.

2008 11 03_6008

2008 11 03_6011

Friday, November 7, 2008

Large Numbers of Photos

I am currently in the process of adding 284 photos to our flickr page taken from July to now. They will probably all be uploaded by noon tomorrow (Saturday), but possibly tonight. Have fun browsing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Teeth, Amended again

Today I noticed that Gavin's first molar on the right bottom has spikey pieces poking through. I'm not sure if I was wrong or not about his right bottom canine, then - I might have mistaken spikey molar pieces for the canine. It's hard to tell, since he really doesn't like me poking around inside his mouth. I did confirm that there are not any more through on the bottom left (yet), but I have no good way of finding out if there's anything going on up on top.

We are still not on the "normal" schedule I described a few days ago; I am not sure if Gavin's later morning waking time (8:15 this morning - yay for extra sleep!) is temporary, permanent, or temporarily permanent. I'll take it for now, though! I think his actively moving teeth must be making him pretty uncomfortable, so maybe when they slow down, his schedule will even back out. Hopefully his mood will even back out, too - we've had a few tough afternoons lately. I feel bad for him because it's obvious that something is really bothering him, but I am not interested in letting him get away with all the things he knows he's not supposed to do (especially when he precedes the naughty action by saying "no," which means he knows whatever it is is not allowed). I've avoided using Tylenol (or any other drugs) almost completely so far in this teething episode, partially in hopes that he will continue to get used to teething and also because it's rare that he is extremely bothered for more than an hour or so.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Video of Gavin "Singing"

The video I mentioned in my post yesterday can be seen on my facebook profile if you're my facebook friend (it's called "Gavin Singing and Dancing"). Hopefully that link worked, but I'm not yet familiar enough with facebook to really know how to link to it.

Random List

More random things I thought about that should be included in the Gavin updates:

Gavin has been occasionally putting two words together for a couple weeks now, but there's usually at least a second or so between them. Like "water... drink", or "up... please". I forgot to mention, too, that he loves to make lots of animal sounds or, in some cases, motions - like "waddle waddle" for penguin (while waddling himself - it cracks me up every time).

He's also been starting to pretend lately, maybe beginning about 2-3 weeks ago, mainly with telephones. He picks up pretty much anything, puts it to his ear and says "hello" - including his monkey's tail tonight in the car. He also has started playing pattycake with his own feet (and asking us to do it with him, too, specifically the "prick" part) and tried to do it to my feet yesterday and his monkey's feet today.

We are on day 3 of starting to teach Gavin to read, and I think he's starting to like it. I am using only 3 words at once (so I don't max out his attention span), and he started repeating them after me this morning. It seemed like he was excited when he started to understand the concept that the letters he is seeing are the words I am saying. We haven't exactly followed the book's outline any day so far (the first day I think I did it totally wrong), but I think it is still going well. By the way, the book we are using is How to Teach Your Baby to Read by Glenn and Janet Doman.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Teeth and Rock Band

We discovered today that Gavin has actually cut 2 teeth (lateral incisor and canine) on the left side very recently, rather than the one I thought previously. No wonder he's been irritated! I think both of those are starting to push through on the left side, too.

This afternoon we hung out with some of Chad's high school friends and played Rock Band. Gavin tried to help Chad play the drums but wasn't super great at sitting and letting Chad direct his hands for more than a couple seconds. He loved dancing, though, especially when we happened to play his current favorite song - Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet (I actually sang this one, since it was one of the very few that I knew). Yeah, I know it's probably not the best song to be his very favorite, but at least he doesn't understand the words yet. :) He loves the beat and my mother-in-law had it on her phone as a ring tone for a while, which is how he heard it in the first place. She would play it for him and lip-sync to it, and for a while every time he heard it he would move his mouth and furrow his brows during the singing parts (as long as he didn't notice people watching him!). Now he does the funny mouth gesture thing to ask to hear the song. I think someone got a funny video of him doing it at some point, but I don't currently have access to it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Autumn!

I guess it's time to quit my blog hiatus that's been going on for over a month and a half! There have been many fun things happening in the Young household as of late, most of which are centered around that little redhead who is currently sleeping downstairs. The autumn season here in Portland has been absolutely beautiful, and I am so glad that I am not working and that Gavin and I have been able to be outside enjoying the leaves and sunshine!

Vocabulary: Gavin's verbal skills and vocabulary have continued to develop rapidly. He will be 15 months old in 4 days, and he has somewhere between 120 and 150 words in his working vocabulary. Many of them sound exactly correct (like apple, bus, mama, daddy, Amy, Papa, bubble, bath, etc.). Quite a few are close and recognizable by other people, but not exactly pronounced (like applesauce, strawberry, bicycle, avocado, piano, picture etc.). Then there are many that are good attempts, and we know what he means but others wouldn't (like guitar, shake, tower, truck, etc.). And then there are a few that it takes us several days (or weeks!) to figure out (like zebra - pronounced "ah-bee"). Probably the most amusing right now is "truck," because about half the time the "tr" comes out as a very clear "f". We are hoping he learns the "tr" sound soon so we don't get lots of funny looks when Gavin gets excited about seeing trucks! When he's in the mood, Gavin will repeat every word you say, often quite well, and sometimes add them to his vocabulary. He is probably learning (and adding to his working vocabulary) 2-3 new words every day, on average. He also loves to read books with us and points out and names all kinds of things, often asking what new things are and sometimes remembering a particular picture (like a baby) and flipping through the book until he finds it.

Mobility: Gavin loves to walk and run and lately has been jumping (on the couch and in his crib but not on the floor yet) and kicking (boxes, not people!). He still has never done the traditional crawl, but he did come close while on our bed the other day. He pretty much never crawls (Gavin-style) anymore since he can get from the floor to standing without any outside assistance. He still randomly falls down for no obvious (to us) reason sometimes. He likes to do somersaults, but has to have (major) assistance in flipping all the way over.

Other Fun Stuff: We are currently working on learning colors, and Gavin knows yellow and purple, mostly. I asked him today to bring me a yellow block, and he found both of them in the pile (he only has 2) and brought them to me. But on the other hand, he keeps pointing to lots of things and saying "yellow," although I am not sure if he is actually trying to say "color" instead.

We are also starting to teach Gavin to read. My mom and Chad's dad started teaching each of us to read when we were very little (somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old, I think), and we thought it would be a fun thing to do with Gavin, especially because he has always loved books so much. The key is that we want it to be fun for him, partially to teach him that learning is wonderfully fun and fulfilling and not a chore. We both feel like our parents did a great job instilling in us a love for learning, and we want to pass that on to Gavin, too.

We went to the zoo today during the few dry hours of the afternoon so Gavin could see the animals and had a good time. Gavin got a zoo pass from Chad's parents for his birthday, so it makes it easy to go just for a short time and not feel like we've wasted $20 if it starts raining half an hour after we get there or if we don't have a lot of time.

Eating, Sleeping, etc.: The last week or so has been a little out-of-whack for us - I think Gavin is teething, having a growth spurt, and is a little stopped up in the digestive area, so he has ventured into some never-before-seen territory. Like taking a 2-hour-long nap. Two days in a row! And sleeping 14 hours one night, 12 of it straight through. I think today we might be back to normal, though, since I'm pretty sure the tooth came through and he has had reasonable bowel movements today. Normal currently is defined as we are back to ~7am waking, ~7pm sleeping, and one 45-minute to 1.5-hour nap around 12:30 or 1pm. Speaking of teeth, he has 4 on top (the central and lateral incisors) and, as of today or maybe yesterday, 3 on bottom (central incisors and right lateral incisor).

Gavin's nursing habits seem to increase significantly if something is bothering him, but "normal" is once when he wakes up, once before his nap, and once before bed. Sometimes there is an additional nursing during a quite time around 9am (when he used to take a morning nap), and sometimes he wakes up around 5:30am or 6am and nurses and goes back to sleep and then often doesn't nurse when he wakes up for the day.

As far as his main nourishment goes, Gavin eats all kinds of things and is getting better at dealing with tougher textured foods, like chicken. He has definite likes and dislikes, but they seem to change fairly often, and it seems that sometimes he gradually accepts something he hasn't liked previously if we continue to offer it on many occasions (but don't force him to eat it when he rejects it). I think we need to do a better job at giving him a wide variety of vegetables - it seems like we slacked a little while we were getting our vegetable CSA this summer because Gavin couldn't eat or didn't like most of the vegetables we got (like lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, etc), and we certainly didn't need to buy any more vegetables - we had a hard enough time figuring out what to do with everything so it didn't go bad. (We still really liked getting the farmshare, though - we certainly ate a lot more vegetables ourselves, and it will work out better for Gavin next year when he has more teeth!)

Gavin seems to actually like a little spice (meaning heat) in his food - we gave him bites of our Mexican beans and our gumbo when we were eating them, and those immediately became his favorite thing to eat. Neither of these would I consider "hot" by any means, but there was detectable spiciness in them even to me, and I like the heat.

Okay, enough of the updates for now - I need to save something to write later! I am going to try posting every day this month (but probably won't sign up fro NaBloPoMo since we are going to be visiting Georgia and Tennessee at the end of the month and I don't want the stress of trying to find internet access every day while traveling without a laptop and with a small child). Perhaps I will make it a priority to get our photos uploaded to our flickr page, too, while I'm updating our blog more regularly. :)

At the Zoo