Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Snuffles and Biting and In-Laws.. Oh My!

Kellan and I both have colds at the moment (he passed it on to me). He seems to be feeling better now, but for some reason has allowed the cold to alter his entire personality. Mr I'm-Starving-I-Eat-Everything-In-Sight-Feed-Me-Now! has suddenly gone off his food. Completely. It started at the weekend when he decided that he would only eat tofu and only if I fed it to him from my hand. So, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks he ate tofu, from my hand. At least its healthy. But then by Sunday night he decided that he would no longer eat tofu. He would eat a granola bar, but nothing else in the house would do. So, for dinner he ate a granola bar. By Monday morning, even that wouldn't do. Anything that goes into his mouth is promptly spat back out. And the mere act of trying to feed him is a struggle as he clamps shut his mouth, waves his head in every direction, and frantically signs "all done, all done, all done!". For the past two days he's eaten cheerios off of his tray table. That's the only thing he'll eat. He's not even interested in the old ice cream stand-by. What am I to do?

And the biting. This also came with the cold. He has started biting every single time he nurses. And it is intentional. He latches on, sucks for a second, stops, looks up at me while moving his tongue out of the way, then bites. Over and over again. I tried shouting at him and pulling him off. He cried every time, then started crying whenever I offered him the breast because he thought that he would be shouted at (we don't shout in our house, so its a bit scary to the poor little guy). So, that didn't work. I tried the just pulling him off and not saying anything technique (biting my tongue while he bit my nipple!). He still bit and bit and bit again. We had not nursed successfully in five days. Last night at bedtime I tried a new technique which, although I was bitten three times, seemed to work and in the end we did accomplish the desired result of a long and happy nursing session. I didn't detach him or yell, I simply pressed on the side of his mouth and said "don't bite" sternly. I had to do this three times before he nursed properly, but the main thing is that he did nurse properly in the end. Hopefully this is just a stage.

We were at the orientation for his new music class last night. It starts next week and should be a wonderful experience for him. I hope that he got my musical genes. A woman there had a 7 year old who she'd had biting while nursing problems with at exactly this age, but she assured me that I was doing all the right things and that it did indeed pass. Right now, I'll take any encouragement I can get.

And then there is the matter of the in-laws. Perhaps the biting has something to do with the tension that Kellan can sense in me now that they have given firm dates for their two week trip to Springfield. I do not get along with my mother-in-law. We were fine until Kellan came along, at which point she realised that we have completely different views on parenting and --I'm still not sure that she's clear on this one-- that Kellan is my son and not her own. These two facts have made me Enemy #1. We currently live in rather a small apartment, as we decided to rent for a year when we moved out here, not knowing if we'd like the town, if I'd like the job, and so forth. We got a tiny two bedroom place, Kellan's only small and still sleeping in our room, so we didn't see the need for anything bigger. Nic assured me that when his parents came to visit during this first year, they would stay in a hotel. Guess what? They're not staying in a hotel. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen, but they're coming for two weeks at the end of March / beginning of April and they intend to stay with us. Where they intend staying in our apartment is a great mystery to me. Why Nic has not talked to them about this is an even greater mystery. They are in their mid-70s and I can only assume that he expects them to crash on the air mattress in the office and to sleep around his work hours (which are unconventional because he's at home with Kellan full time). Good plan?

Trust me, you'll be hearing more about my mother-in-law. She is the only stress in my life. Suppose that I'm very lucky in that respect. But she's a big stress, and she's coming here, in two months time.

Monday, January 24, 2005

This is Fun! Posted by Hello

And again Posted by Hello

Tigger on his Horse Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is an amazing programme that we've been involved in since we moved to Illinois when Kellan was 5 months old. They have drop in playgroups every week with all sorts of developmental toys, books, and activities. You can check out materials and take them home for the week. Its a great place for the children to interact and play with all manner of wonderful toys. They also, for a ridiculously small fee ($50/year!), make home visits, developmental assessments, where a specialist comes to the home once each month. They provide ideas and activities for the parents, as well as monitoring the child's development from birth through kindergarten. This is an incredible programme that helps us to be active parents, to provide Kellan with the experiences that will best allow him to develop his motor, intellectual, social, and language skills. When I have the resources one day to "give back" to the community, this group will be on the top of my donation list. I've seen them in action and know where their resources go. They're a very worthy organisation.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Daddy, I'm cold! Posted by Hello

Out in the snow Posted by Hello

Getting ready to go sledding Posted by Hello

A Cold Weekend

We're currently living in a world of ice and snow. Temperatures not even approaching 20 degrees. And thus a baby who is pretty much confined to the house. When we do go out, what an ordeal! The thermals, the snow suit, hat and gloves. On Saturday, as we headed out sledding, the very moment that I had Kellan dressed and ready (20 minutes effort) I smelled "the smell" and it was time to undress for a diaper change. Take off shoes. Take off snow pants. Take off pants. Take legs out of thermals. Change horrible diaper. And then start all over again! Once you're outside enjoying sledding in a balmy 12 degrees, you realise that Kellan doesn't seem to share your enthusiasm and that his little cheeks and nose are dark red. Probably too cold. Time to go in again. And that's your fresh air for the day, Kel!

Today is actually a holiday for us state employees, but I'm in at work because I'm saving the day for our next trip home to San Diego in March. I'm using all of these winter holidays in that fashion. Its not like they need an extra body cooped up with them in the house all day. And this way we have two whole weeks of March sunshine without using much of this year's holiday allotment.

Have been slightly distracted today by La Leche League's request for some translation of working and breast feeding stories for their new book. I'm translating some of the French submissions. A nice break from palynology, though not terribly work related (don't tell!). Should be a good book. Kellan and I will be featured as a story. I'll update you when I know more about when its due to be released.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Illinois Boy in his new John Deere Hat (we couldn't resist!) Posted by Hello

Hide and Seek Posted by Hello

Friday, January 07, 2005


I've been feeling helpless in the wake of the recent Tsunami disaster. So much loss of life, so many children lost or orphaned, and now I'm reading about child trafficking, boats full of infants, those of whom survive may be sold in false adoption schemes. Children who have lost their parents, or even just been separated and confused, are smuggled to be sold into slavery or the sex trade. It gives me such a sick feeling. I know that making a donation seems very American, very small, very safe, and pretty useless. But what else can I do? How else can I try, in some small way from half way around the world, to help some of those children? So, I donated a bit more than I could afford to UNICEF and I can only hope that it makes a small difference in the lives of those who are suffering. I hope that others are doing the same, and together we may afford some relief to the children who have endured so much.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Lou's Diary

A beautiful site written by the father of a beautiful little boy, Lou. I was moved by Lou's story, and even more so by the love that surrounds Lou and by his father's simple joy at parenting this special child. It makes our recent sleep, teething, and early entry into the terrible two's (he's only 10 months old for god's sake!) problems seem totally inconsequential. This is what parenting is all about. Thanks Lou and Luc!