Category Archives: Parenthood

Enzo Alan: 15 Months

Bad lighting. Will get a better photo later. 

Height: Update after next appointment. 
Weight: Update after next appointment. 

Highlights

The past three months were SO. MUCH. FUN. We have been told many times that 15 months is one of the best baby/toddler stages and we agree.  When Enzo is not teething he sleeps through the night like a champ, and his nap is typically 2-2.5 hours long. While awake, he is constantly amazing us with new words and skills. (And hilariously dramatic tantrums, at times. A preview of what’s to come, no doubt.) 

Talking

Here are some of the words he has been saying: 
Daddy
Mommy
Papaw
Memaw
Uncle
Todd (Ta)
April

Mark
Kelsey 
Bobby
Me
Enzo
Baby
Boy
People
Hi
Bye
Hello
Okay (He says this a LOT, usually while holding something up to his ear like a phone. He picked it up after watching his great-grandfather on the phone one day, saying okay. It’s really cute)
Apple
Broccoli (Broccy)
Cracker
Cookie
Coffee 
Pie
Pepper
Potato (Tato)
Banana (NayNay)
Turkey
More

Hot
Milk
Bottle
Happy
Poopy
Toot
Honk
Car
Tractor
Ball
Bear
Slush
Wow
Shoe
Sock
Toes
Hat
Teeth
Nose
Ear and Eyes (These two are still hit or miss)
Yes
NoNO
Book
Owl (& Owl sound)
Cow (& Moo)
Monkey (& Monkey sound)
Cat (& Cat sound)
Puppy (& Dog sound)
Donkey sound 
Horse
Tree
Pretty
All done (All duh)
Two 
Please 
Thank you (Tay you)
Up
Down
Sit (Sometimes sounds like sh*t, which is not ideal)
Back (As in, put it back)
Help me (Hep me. He repeats us as we try to get him to help us dress him.) 
Love (Wuv)
Hug
Kiss
Off
On

 

He can combine two words or say two syllable things, though that is not super common yet. He can also repeat some of his ABCs when we say them first. It really feels like he can learn just about any word we make an effort to teach him. (Some letters are still hard, like L’s, R’s, G’s, and J’s) He is such a sponge, and that’s what makes this stage so fun. We knew there would be an “explosion of words” as our pediatrician called it, but it’s still surprising and exciting each time we hear him say something new for the first time.  I was trying to create video clips of him saying each of his words but I can’t keep up anymore. 

Walking

He started walking at a little over 14 months and so far I still love it. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of tiny feet, or the sight of a pint-sized human toddling around. Especially when he walks with his hands behind his back, surveying the area. I don’t know where he got that but it’s so darn cute. Maybe I’ll regret it when he can run, but right now he isn’t into anything he wasn’t already into before walking. And honestly I can’t say he gets there much faster on his feet than his knees. 

Playing

Some of his favorite activities/toys: 
His ferrari push car. He rides around and says HonkHonk. He learned HonkHonk from a music class song he loves. 
Making food in his kitchen, tasting it and saying “Yum” and handing us a bite. 
Pretending to clear out his and our noses with what looks similar to a saline bottle from his medical trolley. 
Sliding down his slide and then walking back up the slide to go again. 
Beating his drum, xylophone, and rhythm sticks. 
Climbing. Anything. We have to be careful when we have the step ladder out because he’s on it and to the top in seconds. 
Pushing buttons on remotes, phones, the tree timer, the soundbar, his parents. ;) 
Hide & Seek + Peekaboo (Holding strong with these two)
Up Down (Says up and either stands or moves his top half up then says DOOOWN and crouches or slumps)
Putting on shoes (his or ours)
Taking off shoes and socks. Usually in stores. 
My dad taught him a beat (Bum, Bum, Ba-bum bum. … Bum. Bum.) that he picked up months ago, We do the first part and he does the Bum. Bum. Initially it was with his fist on a hard surface but now he can also repeat it with words or sounds.
He likes to do some of the motions to rhymes and songs such as itsy bitsy spider, five fat peas, where are all the bees, & five little fishies.  

Places

Weekly, we typically go to The Music Playhouse, The Monon Center (toddler open gym), The Urban Chalkboard (We like the fiber optic class and other unique activities they offer), Grandma Bower’s, Papaw and Memaw Bower’s, and Granny and Grampy Zarro’s. Also Target. Always Target. We need to get to the library more often but it wasn’t fitting in with my other classes and to be honest the storytime wasn’t much different than what I do with him at home each day so I didn’t see the point. It’ll be more worth it to me when he’s old enough to go in on his own and do the crafts. 

And we went on our very first family road trip just a week ago.
We started on a Friday night, driving 5 hours to Sikeston, MO. Enzo slept most of the way. Waking up about every hour to holler then falling back asleep. Unfortunately when we stopped at the hotel and unpacked, there was no good way to keep him asleep so he woke up and was wide awake for awhile. This happened at every night stop we made. It would take a good hour or more to get him back to sleep. He woke up a few more times that night and that was frustrating but overall a small price to pay for a mostly silent car ride. 

Saturday we drove about 4 hours into Little Rock, AR to visit my brother and sister-in-law. Enzo was awake the first half and required an exhausting level of attention. I bought him all sorts of new toys for the trip but he just threw them at me after 3 seconds. (He doesn’t care to watch cartoons yet) I really don’t know how people do long trips all in one day. He fell asleep after lunch. 

We stayed in Little Rock until Sunday evening. We left when Enzo was ready to go to sleep and drove the 3.5 hours to Minden, LA. 

We stayed in Minden until Tuesday evening, and drove 4+ hours to Searcy, AR. 

We left the next morning and drove 4 hours to St. Louis, MO. 

We stayed overnight in St. Louis (At Union Station hotel, which was really lovely. We even had a fully decorated tree in our room!) and went on a Polar Express train ride. We overpaid for a booth, since that was the only way we could all sit together, but it was a Godsend since it gave us some breathing room. Our booth ended up being at the very end, away from most of the people and noise. Enzo could observe without getting too overwhelmed. 

The next morning we visited The City Museum (NOT my favorite place. It’s cool and I can see where kids would love it but I couldn’t WAIT to get out of there. It’s super creepy to me.) before making our final 4-hour trek home. Enzo did pretty well on the way home, but completely expired on us about 10 minutes from the house. We pulled into the driveway a hot screaming mess, but we made it! 

Breaking up the drive made the driving part much easier (I assume, considering all my friends who have made 8+ hour trips with their kids say it’s miserable and when they get back they don’t want to drive anywhere for a week) but it was a total hassle to pack and unpack the car so many times, often late at night. And if we were wanting to go to the beach or stay somewhere for an entire week, meandering there and back wouldn’t leave us much time to enjoy the actual vacation part.

Our dilemma had been do we suck it up and get to our first destination in one, brutal shot? Or drag the journey out? Or fly and lug all our junk through an airport and take a gamble that our kid will not lose his mind through 4 flights (no directs) that inevitably mess with his sleep/nap cycle, and then still have to rent a car and drive 4 hours at some point since we wanted to visit family in two cities. The bottom line is there is no easy way to travel with little ones. I think we made the best choice for our situation, and it was worth it. My brother and his wife always make the trip to see our side of the family and when they do it’s a holiday or race time. There is so much going on + Enzo’s sleep needs are such that we don’t always get to spend much one on one time with them. And Enzo had not met his Great Granny Lowe, or any of his southern family yet so we really wanted to make that happen. It was hard only being in each city for such a short time though.

It was a learning experience for sure! Although we know by the time we go on another trip, Enzo will have changed enough we will probably be looking at it with a whole new perspective. (Please Lord Above let him enjoy movies next time we travel.)

Low lights

Teeth

There weren’t many struggles over the past few months, but teething has been rough. He now as 14 teeth, including 4 molars. And I believe teeth 15 and 16 are currently working their way in.

Eating

We also had a tough time getting him to eat for awhile. My brother and his fiance (OT and OT Assistant) helped us and he is doing much better. He still doesn’t love meat. I ate it while pregnant with him and I cook with it now but he tends to try it and then throw it on the floor. It’s a work in progress. He is getting pretty good at feeding himself with a spoon and loves yogurt so that’s a plus.

Bottles

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t broken him from a bottle yet. He even gets one right before bed still. I keep hearing how he should have been on a sippy, with no night bottles, a long time ago but honestly I haven’t felt the need. He is proficient with a sippy and I give those to him as well, but he prefers the bottle. He doesn’t use a pacifier and that’s kind of what the bottle is for him. I see other kids with pacis or breastfeeding until 1.5 – 2 years old and I really don’t see how that is a whole lot different from a bottle. We’ll get there by the next update. That’s my goal anyway. 

That’s about it! If you made it this far, you are probably my parents. ;) 

Caught trying to nab great grandma zarro’s cookies.

 

Playroom Planning: Before

Now that Enzo is getting more mobile, we’re working on creating some designated play spaces for him in the house. Currently, he spends most of his time in the dining room. It’s the most convenient place we have, but he has outgrown it. Clearly.

It was ideal when he was contained to a jumper or an activity center but now that his toys are all up in my business 24/7 I want to find ways to contain it. The immediate solution is a rolling toy box (that will fit in a nearby walk-in closet) for main floor fun. I plan to dress it up with some decorative adhesives. 

The long term, permanent solution is to turn our screened in porch into an all-seasons room and make that a play room.That is a big project though, so in the meantime we are planning a play nook in the basement. 

 

It’s not a huge space, so I’ve been strategizing for months on what to include and how to organize it. I want it to be a space Enzo will love, of course, but I also want it to appeal to a range of ages so other kids can enjoy it when they come over. 

After talking with numerous caregivers of little people, we got a fairly clear idea of what some long-lasting toys might be. With those in mind, we’ve ordered 4 things so far. A slide, ball pit, tree, and bookshelf with a reading nook
(Photos obviously not mine, found on Google Images)



I am aware he will try to climb the tree. He tries to climb everything, so I’m pretty used to saying No and enduring the tantrum 5875030656 times a day.

I am super excited about these pieces, I can’t wait to see how Enzo reacts to the slide and ball pit. Once they get here and we see how they look, we’ll move to Phase 2 (final large pieces). We already have an awesome easel from my brother and his fiance. We are thinking about adding a small play kitchen and/or tool bench, along with a large acrylic mirror for babies, a felt board, and a magnetic board. Phase 3 will be decorations. <–Yes I promise, there will be color. It won’t all be gray, black and white. Although monochrome is trendy and I like it, there are no windows in this area of the basement so I plan to bring some bright and happy to it before it’s finished. 

If you have any suggestions on what to add in Phase 2, things your kids can’t get enough of, let me know! 

Enzo Alan: 12 Months

 

Age: 12 Months

Stats: Height 29.5 in (50%), Weight 22.8 lbs (42%), Head 46cm (45%)

Life Lately:

Not walking on his own, but basically running while pushing a walker. And chairs. And barstools. And anything else he can scrape across the hardwoods.

Working hard on eating more than puffs and veggie straws. The struggle of mealtime reached a boiling point a couple weeks ago and we have been working with my OT brother and his fiancé ever since, trying to steer behaviors (Enzo’s and mine) onto a more healthy, successful course. We’re improving, for the most part. Enzo has been skipping meals and that stresses me to no end but I’m trying very hard to let go and believe everyone when they say He’ll eat when he’s hungry.

Relatedly, when I ask him to point to certain foods, he almost always does so correctly. That was super impressive to me the first time he did it. I may or may not have scared him in shouty excitement.

Otherwise he has been in a wonderful mood lately (knock on wood.) Sleeping great at night, sleeping IN until 8 or 9, and repeating Daddy over and over all day long because Dad’s the cool parent and I’m the one that tries to make him eat nutritious foods he’s not interested in.

When he does say Mama it’s in a super creepy Walking Dead voice that makes me laugh….and maybe wonder if I should be sleeping with one eye open.

Other notables:

He likes to play with kitchen items (usually more than toys), clap, hug, point, and occasionally “dance” (bob up and down). It’s cute as all get out.

And last but not least, he has, on occasion, done all the moves to Itsy Bitsy Spider. For which I was prepared to give him ALL THE AWARDS. Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, his wash the spider out motion wins them all.


 

After Enzo’s birthday party, my brother asked: How are you feeling, now that he’s one? I didn’t know what to say really. I feel so many things at once.

I feel like God dropped the mic after He made my son.

I feel like I could not be happier, and that makes me uneasy.

I feel like if this is how fast life is going to go from now on…I am not pleased. I have no choice, I understand that. But just let it be known, world. I AM NOT PLEASED. It’s so hard to properly appreciate the magic of childhood when the days rush in and out, like a whisper on a breeze.

I feel like I want another baby, but I also really enjoy sleep. And fitting into my jeans.

Sometimes I see people bite their tongues, when I joke about jeans and sleep. No doubt wanting to chide me for my selfishness. It is a joke, for the record. I know now that the struggle of the first three months won’t last forever, and I can claw my way back to my fighting weight over time. Even so, that doesn’t mean the mere thought of doing it all again doesn’t make me cringe.

But the more pressing truth of the matter is a positive is not a promise.

Just because we had one beautiful, healthy boy, doesn’t garauntee us the same outcome again. We will try of course, but we don’t expect it to be all blissful sunshine and ignorant roses now that we have Enzo. Instead I imagine it to be like what a race car driver feels when he continues to race after surviving a catastrophic wreck. Even though he has gone on to compete again, every time he gets in that car…he remembers the potential price.

So yes. We hope to be pregnant again. Soon. In the meantime when you hear me joke about sleep and jeans just know that I really do enjoy those things. A lot. But underneath that jest, is a knot in my chest. Shaped like a question mark. Made up of fear.

A positive is not a promise. I know that well. Better than you may think. So try not to worry so much about my biological clock that you are tempted to turn my jokes into serious conversation. What will be will be, it’s in God’s hands. In the meantime, laugh with me. And tell me how good I look in my jeans. ;)

Enzo Alan: 10/11 Months

 

Age: 11 Months

Stats:
Next appointment is 1 year, I’ll update then.

Life Lately:

The last 2 months have been So. Much. Fun.

Enzo has become super interactive with us, and seems to master a new skill every day. He loves to stack toys, wave, give hugs, play hide and seek, chase and be chased, feed us things, crawl around in small spaces, open and close doors + drawers, and raise his arms up in response to “How big is Enzo?” “Up” “High” or his favorite song from music class, where we make the motions for a dolphin jumping in and out of the water.

He is always so proud of himself when he raises his arms. Probably because we make a big deal out of congratulating him. Sometimes he even does it at night when I’m trying to put him to bed, as if to distract me. Hey mom look what I can do! Aren’t you proud?? Yes I am son, now GO TO BED. ;) 

He has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on bottom. He is always chewing on his fingers with the back of his mouth so I suspect there are some trying to come in back there but I haven’t seen them yet.

He sleeps through the night, averaging 11 hours (except for the past week and a half. He and I are sick with a cold that never ends, so I totally understand. I haven’t been able stay asleep either), and his morning nap is now pretty solid, 1-2.5 hours. The afternoon nap, on the other hand, is dicey. Sometimes he sleeps for 2 hours, sometimes not at all. It’s often not at all. He shouldn’t be ready to give up his second nap yet, so I still fight the good fight but MAN battling him can wear me out. 

He likes to say DaD-EE now, but has completely dropped Mama. He jabbers a lot but hasn’t picked up any other words yet.

I have been working with him on clapping and blowing kisses but he’s not interested. He will hold onto the outside of Ron and I’s hands and make us clap but he won’t do it himself.

He walks while holding onto things and is really quick about it but he doesn’t seem to want to walk on his own yet. He sits down when we try to hold his hands and help him walk.

He’s very picky about food and we’re struggling to get him to eat more finger foods. He will eat rice rusks, yogurt melts, crunchies, and occasionally nutrigrain bars but everything else, small bites of our food, he rejects. He still mostly eats chunky purees and half the time he doesn’t even want that. I have to sing and dance or take him outside to walk around while I feed him so he’s distracted enough to not throw a fit. I dread meals. I don’t see that changing anytime soon but I can hope! In the meantime I just keep trying new things while keeping our regular winners on hand as backup. 


Yesterday I posted a blog about my first year as a SAHM. I want to add a couple things to that. 

Parenthood is not a competition. Whether you are a working parent, SAHP, or a mix of the two, every choice has its pros and cons and hard moments. But I do want to give some love to those who juggle a job and parenthood. High fives to you all, for keeping your ships upright despite all that is demanded of you.

I want to make the most of my time at home so I set a lot of goals and expectations for myself. When I fail to meet those self-imposed standards, I get frustrated, overwhelmed or stressed. And that’s nonsense. My deadlines and projects have no negative consequences if I miss them or mess up. Meaning much of the stress I feel (some struggle is definitely legit) is manufactured. In those moments I compare my life to that of a working parent to give myself a perspective adjustment. Is this something I should be fretting overUsually it’s not. So I take a deep breathe and mentally fist bump all of you who don’t have the luxury of cutting yourself slack at work. Or who will never see a day this side of high school graduation when you can address some of the home projects I can. 

But on that note I thought I would give you an idea of what I DO do all day. So this is a rough outline. No two days are the same because kids are unpredictable and love to throw a wrench in perfectly crafted schedules. It’s seriously Enzo’s top hobby, I think. But this is what I attempt: 

7am Wake up, feed Enzo milk. 
7-8am Play in Enzo’s room. We read books, count, stack, and turn on the CD from his music class to sing some of the songs. 
8-9am Make breakfast, feed Enzo, then clean up the kitchen while he plays with his toys in his playpen. 
9-10am Shower and get ready. Enzo hangs out in his pack n play while I do that. We have a glass shower so I can make faces and play peek-a-boo with him to keep him entertained, if he’s not interested in his toys. Those glass doors are SUCH a huge help. I’m sure he would not be as content if he couldn’t see me. I also know once he can climb out I will have to go back to working out and showering before he wakes up. I’ve gotten lazy this summer because I know if I have to I can put it off until the very end of the day, since the weather is nice and it stays light so late.

**On days we have music class, storytime, or a playdate in the morning, I condense play time and breakfast so we can be out the door. 

10am If we have been out and about Enzo usually falls asleep in the car on the way home so I will sometimes use that opportunity to run errands. We are still utilizing his infant car seat because when he does fall asleep I can usually transfer him in and out of the car to his stroller without waking him. Those days are numbered though. If we are home I give him more milk, turn on the instrumental lullaby music, or read more books as I try to get him down for a nap. 

10:30-12:30 On a good day Enzo will nap 1.5 – 2 hours and I will do as much as I can of the following: my devotional, laundry/clean the house, meal plan for the following week, workout, write a blog, work on his baby book, make plans for his nursery or birthday party, organize one of the many areas in the house that somehow manages to end up in total disarray, make phone calls to contractors, do my volunteer work for the church, catch up on e-mails and group texts, get started on dinner prep, look up new rhymes, songs, and games to play with Enzo, study from a stack of parenting or landscape books (we’re wanting to re-do our front landscape this fall), or some other random task like taking measurements for wall art or putting together our front porch rocking chairs. 

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch and clean up 

1:30 – 3:30 I try to get us out of the house. We go to the store, library, park, splash pad, or visit friends/family. 

3:30-5:30 Nap 2 Attempt. If successful, I clean, workout, or finish dinner prep, whichever didn’t get accomplished in the morning. If not successful, I try to survive with a crazy moody munchkin until Ron gets home. This is the most common time for him to receive distress texts. 

5:30-7:30 Dinner, Clean up, Playtime with Daddy, Bath. 

7:30-8 Storytime and bed. 

8-11 Workout if I didn’t get it in that day, finish cleaning up dinner, hang out with Ron. 

You may be wondering how many days it would take me to get through a naptime to-do list and the answer is I never get through it because there is always more of all of it. By the time I complete one task, another is ready and waiting for me.

I realize none of it is anything super impressive. I’m not over here dancing backward in high heels or anything. But I do put my whole heart into being home. I try very hard to make sure our days are meaningful. That I’m keeping life fun, new, and interesting for Enzo and I’m doing things that matter when I’m not focused on him. Whether that’s something that will make life easier for Ron and I (never underestimate the joy of an expertly organized closet) or writing something that will hopefully one day help someone. So that’s what I mean by never bored. I am not over scheduled or too busy, but there will ALWAYS be something up next. And on deck. And in the hole. ;)