Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dax riding his scooter

I took Dax roller skating today to "preschool skate" time. We've never been to that before, but they allow ride-on toys and basically anything with wheels as long as it doesn't have pedals. They also allow parents to walk in the rink with shoes, and to push babies in strollers in the rink, too. :)
Dax had a blast. He skated around the rink. Then he rode his push/ride on car. Then he decided to try out his scooter. There was another boy there with a scooter and Dax was watching him pretty closely. So then he rode his scooter and got the hang of it and spent the rest of the time on that. We'll have to go again another week. :) They do it every Wednesday - 90 minutes for $5 at this rink. Other skating rinks have similar preschool skate setup times - so if you weren't aware of that, check near you. :)
Of course, that's assuming you live somewhere that's still too cold for outdoor play. Those of you who are already enjoying the playgrounds, well, I don't wanna hear about it. :P

Anyhow, here's a clip of a video of Dax riding his scooter. To a lot of the songs, he changed his pace to ride "in beat" it was pretty adorable if I do say so myself. Next time we go, I'm bringing his helmet. I didn't think he'd actually be riding a scooter, and didn't think a helmet was necessary for skating since he never comes close to hitting his head. Not that he was wiping out on the scooter, but he started going at speeds that made me a little nervous once he got more practice.

It's too bad the video doesn't really show a good shot of his face or him from the front. He's wearing his t-shirt that says "Powered by Mommy's Milk" :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

39" tall!

Here was my little baby Dax, 1 day old, leaving the hospital in his Graco Snugride car seat.
Leaving hospital

At 4 months, he outgrew the weight limits of that infant car seat, so we bought him a convertible. I looked for one with really high weight limits so that he wouldn't outgrow it again. I was pleased to find one with a 65 pound weight limit, that would allow us to keep him rear-facing to 35 pounds. I've actually seen pictures of a bunch of 4 & 5-yr-olds riding in this seat, so I figured we'd be good for a while.


He happily rode rear-facing in this new convertible car seat for the next 20 months of his life
Trip to OH

At age 2, he weighed 35 pounds, so we had to turn his seat around to forward facing, earlier than we'd hoped. :(

As I was buckling him into his car seat last week, I noticed that the shoulder straps are level with his shoulders, where they used to be above his shoulders.
I measured Dax. He's 39" tall, and most of it torso. Unfortunately, this means he has outgrown his car seat.

At age 2.5, he's on the tallest (17") strap setting in the Britax Marathon car seat. When a child is forward facing, the straps must be even with or taller than their shoulders. It's even right now.
For now, he still fits our other convertible seat, which is a Recaro Como and goes up to 19" torso (the Britax goes to 17" so we have 2 more inches until he outgrows the other seat).
Hoping the Recaro will last until he's 3 years old... and we'll probably have to buy him the Britax Frontier, which is currently the only car seat on the market that goes to 20" torso height in a 5-point harness. Hopefully that will get us to age 4 or beyond.

Awww. :(

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dax is 2.5!

This week, Dax had a half birthday and is now 2.5 years old!
He wears size 5 shirts/jackets, and his size 3T pants are starting to look just a little short on him. He fits size 10.5xw shoes.

He has figured out how to ride his tricycle! And he is one happy little boy! Pedaling downstairs around the basement. He can pedal forwards, he can pedal backwards, he can ding his little bell. Steering... not so much, lol. Although he's amused and says "crash!" when he runs into walls and things. Sometimes he asks for my help because, "I want to go THAT way" and I show him how to point the wheel in that direction. Hasn't quite gotten it yet. He rides in circles mostly because he likes tilting the wheel, so he can't go straight.

Dax can clearly count to 20. Not memorized, I mean he knows numbers 1 through 20 and how much they represent and he's counted items that high. I'm chalking it up to yet another thing he mysteriously picked up somewhere.

He knows his shapes. I don't just mean circle/triangle/heart/square - he knows rectangle, diamond, pentagon, octagon.

Dax loves puzzles. Speaking of puzzles, it's great that he got jigsaw puzzles for Christmas because he absolutely adores them and he's been spending at least an hour a day puzzling. He can do his 12-piece jigsaw puzzles without any help. He can do his 25 piece jigsaw puzzles with minor help (if I turn over all the pieces and place like-colors together, OR if I do some of the border, he can do the rest by himself). He can do his 48-piece puzzle if I do the border and keep him company while he places the pieces in himself. I have a great video of him doing a 25-piece one, & I even edited it so that instead of watching him take 5 minutes, you can watch him do it in fast-forward in under 1-min with a chipmunk voice, lol. But my video program keeps freezing when I try to save it in an uploadable format. :(

He told me the other night, after my husband came home from work, "Mommy, it's your turn to go to work. I want to pway with Daddy now." hee hee :)

His sentences have improved, too. He's started using larger words, which is adorable. "Excewent!" "Mommy, that's fantastic!" "Are you serious, or are you pwaying?"

The only letter he can't pronounce is the letter L. I think his overall enunciation is still kinda poor, though - like he's speaking with a mouth full of marbles. I can understand him fine, and other moms of toddlers seem to, but strangers tend to have more trouble and that reminds me that he can't speak as clearly as I think he can. :)

He has figured out the concept that pictures and drawings can represent real things. We have a painting of a lake in our livingroom. He told me, "Mommy, we shud go there, and paddow a boat in the water. That would be fun!" while pointing to the painting. He's also started noticing more in books. I read him a new library book tonight and on one page in the background there was a playground. "Mommy, I want to go pway in THAT pwayground!"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chicken Pox

Seventeen days ago we intentionally exposed our son to the chicken pox virus, by arranging a playdate with him and another 2.5-yr-old girl who was in the contagious stage of chicken pox.

One day ago he broke out in spots - yay, success! Boo, uncomfortable, itchy boy.

Why we decided to do this rather than vaccinate him for varicella:
1. The chicken pox vaccine was cultured on aborted fetal tissue, and is not available in any other medium

2. Women who have had the chicken pox pass on placental immunity to each of their infants, and this immunity protects the baby from contracting chicken pox until around 8 months old It remains uncertain if the vaccination will pass on immunities to protect the woman's babies, which would leave them vulnerable in infancy. Dax is a boy, but this would be a huge reason for me if he were a girl.

3. According to the CDC, your child has a higher chance of having a moderate to severe reaction to the vaccine, than he has of dying of chicken pox.
"As with any vaccine, there is a very small chance that serious problems could occur after getting chickenpox vaccine. However, after distribution of the first 10 million doses of the vaccine, reports of serious adverse events after vaccination for example, seizures, brain infection (encephalitis), pneumonia, loss of balance (ataxia) and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have been very rare, occurring approximately 1 for every 50,000 doses given."
"A seizure (jerking and staring spell) usually caused by fever may occur in less than 1 in 1000 vaccine recipients. This may not be related to the vaccine."
"before a vaccine was available, there were approximately... 100 deaths from chickenpox in the U.S. every year" (more than half of those deaths were adults)

4. The vaccine does not work for everybody, and those people will be unknowingly unprotected when exposed to the virus (at a potentially much more dangerous age to get it). Statistically, 2% of vaccinated children and 22% of vaccinated teens/adults will later get chicken pox. We wanted to control when he got it and try to make it a young age, as kids who get it when they're young tend to have an easier round of it, and they are less likely to scar. The girl he caught it from was all done with her chicken pox in 4 or 5 days. When this opportunity came up to expose him, we jumped on it. I was especially happy he was able to get chicken pox while he is still nursing, as that will help him get through this. I've also found that breastmilk provides relief on the pox discomfort and itching when applied topically - so yay!

5. As his parents, we've both had the chicken pox already, when we were young. Being around the chicken pox acts as a booster to your own chicken pox immunity, lessening the chances that you will get shingles later in life.

Edited to add: If he (or future kids) did not catch chicken pox by about age 9, the plan was to vaccinate him at that point.
Also - we're willing to share with anyone who would like pox, so if you live local and would like it, just let me know. Visitors have been dropping by to play with Dax. I know it can be difficult to find now that the vaccine is so common.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2011

Dax somehow knew you're supposed to wake up early on Christmas. He almost NEVER wakes before 7am (and lately has been sleeping until 8am) but today, he awoke at 5am!
We're talking wide awake, cheerful, let's go eat breakfast now, awake.
So I got up with him and got him breakfast.
At 5:30 he noticed that there was a tricycle under the tree that wasn't there last night.
"I want to ride that!" he said and started jumping up and down with excitement.
I told him to go wake up Daddy so we could open presents under the tree.
He zoomed down the hallway.
"Daddy! Daddy wake up! Put your glasses on! Daddy! Time to open presents under the Christmas tree!"
So adorable.
So the three of us (2 adults being very sleepy) went and sat around our tree. I had Dax grab a present and read the tag. He can identify & spell his own name, so he knew which ones were for him. Although he can't quite spell Mommy & Daddy, he can tell the difference enough to sort those presents without help, too, so that was pretty fun.
One at a time he would open one up, and play with it.
Daddy got a new wallet
Mommy got a coin holder (yay!)

Dax got 3 books, 2 puzzles, 1 game, and 1 tricycle. Our plans of limiting the number of gifts he got weren't completely successful, lol. It's Daddy's fault for buying 3 new books for him while we were visiting my sister, and my fault for buying the unplanned game. The puzzles are awesome. One is a 24-piece jigsaw by Kodak of a panda bear, and the bear pieces are actually fuzzy. It was unopened, brand new for $1. It sticks together great and is actually easier to do than his other 24-piece puzzles. We haven't yet tried the other puzzle, which is a Melissa & Doug 48-piece puzzle that I found like-new for $2.

He adores his tricycle but doesn't know how to ride it. He puts his feet on the pedals but doesn't push. He turns the steering but doesn't quite have the hang of how that works, either. He knows how to work the bell, lol. We've made a dozen trips to the basement today for him to practice riding. Which he'll do for 2 or 5 minutes and then come back upstairs. He'll only ride it if one of us pushes the handle. At least it's a nice tall comfy handle. :) I personally love this tricycle - I had fun inflating the real rubber tires last night. Hoping he'll get the hang of riding it this winter so that come spring/summer he can ride it on bike trails outdoors.

The game was an unplanned purchase. I found it a month ago while at Salvation Army and it was still sealed in the plastic, which always makes things more tempting to me. It's Hullabalu from Cranium. I think I paid $3 or $5 for it? Anyhow, he adores it. I thought he would since it's from Cranium and when I read the box at the store, it seemed like something he could play. There are a bunch of little pads you toss around on the floor to create the game mat. Each pad is a different shape, different color, and has a picture on it. There's a music box that yells out instructions - like stand on a red mat, or on a circle, etc. The instructions vary a lot, too - sometimes it tells you to put your elbow on a triangle. Dax was cracking up when we had to put our noses on blue. He thinks the game is hilarious and he's played it a ton today. I think it will be fun for him to play when he has friends over, and I bet he'll have a blast playing it with his cousins when we see them again. It's a high-energy game and the music makes him dance around. So this unplanned purchase was his hands-down favorite.

He did like each of his books and we read each one as they were opened, and he's put together the panda puzzle twice today.
By noon, he was worn out and tired and is napping. I think I may join him. It's a quiet weekend for our family, as we're sequestering Dax due to chicken pox. ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

used kids stuff

We've decided we're going to go with 3 gifts for Dax this Christmas. Something to read, something to build, and something for fun. So he'll get to unwrap 2 books that DH already picked out while I was visiting my sister, and a new 24-piece puzzle that I know he'll love (he has 2 24-piece puzzles now and loves doing them over and over), and a trike that will have a big bow on it.
This trike, with a bell.

The trike was more of an accidental impulse buy. When I bought a 6' slide for the basement a few months ago, the Craigslist seller wheeled out this trike and asked if I was interested. I offered him $30 and he took it. When I got home, I looked it up, and think I got a pretty good deal. :) The trike is in "like new" condition!
So my plan is to clear out some of the baby-ish toys in the basement play area and make more space for riding. I'm hoping he may figure out how to pedal the trike this winter, and could ride it around in the basement while we await warmer weather for riding it outside.
He already has a trike - this one that I bought for $5 at a yardsale when he was 12 months old. He loved it as a rocking trike, and he enjoys being pushed on it, but he hasn't figured out how to pedal the thing. I also have very little patience for pushing it because the parent handle is so low that I have to bend way over to push him on it. With the cheap plastic wheels, I was already planning to upgrade it one day.

I boxed up a bunch of toys and plan to attempt to sell them online. If they don't sell, I'll store them in the unfinished section of the basement to await our summer yard sale. I'd also like to see if I can get $5/ea for Dax's winter boots. I have size 6, 8, and 9. He wore a 6 last year. The 8 & 9 I received in a free bag 2 years ago, and I was hoping one of those larger two would fit this year. Nope. I attempted to squish his foot into the size 9 winter boot but that's just not going to work. Fortunately, I got really lucky - my first Salvation Army store visit on Saturday turned up a pair of size 11 Buster Brown boys winter boots, in excellent condition, for $7. Yay!
2-year-olds should not need size 11. Just sayin'.

I also finally boxed up his size 4 shirts that keep showing his midsection whenever he lifts his arms, and stocked up on some more size 5 shirts at the same store where I found the boots. :)

Thank goodness his heavy winter size 4 coat fits just fine because it's really long! I took him outside to play in the snow and he wore his size 4 coat and the size 4 snowbib pants that went with it - and he was warm and warm could be. Phew, I was so worried when I bought that last summer that it wouldn't fit him, but I couldn't resist it - Columbia set, really really warm, looks brand new, for $10. Hoping to add many hours of snow play to that set. :)

As for the biggest items I'm selling to make more room:
This leapfrog table I'm hoping to sell for $25
This leapfrog tube topper I'm hoping to sell for $25
And this indoor/outdoor swing & slide, which is taking up a ton of space in the basement playroom right now.

I love, love, love getting kids stuff used. I enjoy that I live in an area where it's easy to pick up high quality toys in great condition used, for a fraction of the original price. And then that I can turn around and sell them again for what I paid for them, and sometimes even more. Kinda makes his toys free in the long run, haha. Hopefully I can take pictures of them soon and get them posted for sale.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great No-TV trial

To bring you up to speed:
My husband & I agreed on "no TV while Dax is awake" when he was a baby, and we've stuck to that for us. If Dax is awake, the TV in our house is off. When he was younger, we even tossed a blanket overtop of it to hide it so he'd stay away from the buttons.

After he was a year old, I thought I'd introduce a DVD from the library to him. I think he was maybe 13 or 14 months old when he watched his first Baby Signing Time video. I watched it with him and we both signed. I checked out a video each week until we'd seen all that the library had, and our ASL vocabulary had really grown.

Then later, when he was maybe 18 months old, we watched an episode of Blues Clues, because the episode was all about Sign Language. Then he started getting to watch a maximum of 1 show (20-25 minutes) a day of either BC or ST. I was no longer watching with him most of the time, but was using this time to do projects, take a shower, clean up, etc.

So here's the problem - he was never done with TV. No matter how many times we let him know he'd get 1 show, he was always upset when it ended. There were even a few days (when he & I were sick) that I just let it play Blues Clues most of the day... like 5 hours. Okay, maybe it was just 4 or 5 episodes, but it seemed like A LOT and he just turns into a zombie staring at the screen. He's also watched more than his allotted time when I've left him with Daddy so I could go out alone for a couple hours on Saturday, and return to find that's all they did the entire time. I became concerned when he preferred TV even above playing outdoors or going swimming, his 2 favorite things.

Anyhow, I was reading someone's post on about how they cut out TV for 1 week just for a trial to see if they noticed any differences in the family, and were very surprised with the results. Reading about the changes they noticed in their kids, I decided to try it as well last week.
So no TV for Dax, not even his 1 show a day.
He was so mad. He stomped his feet. He had several tantrums. He tried to get the TV on anyway (I unplug it) by pulling the cord and trying to drag it to another outlet. He asked for it all day and would wake up at night asking for it. Sound like an addiction to you? It sure did to me! I was surprised how difficult the first 2 days were for him - it's not like he watched a lot anyway, you know!?

I also noticed, once that passed... he was more calm. He was more into creative and imaginative play. And, his great attention span for things like puzzles and building blocks had returned. He used to be able to build or play with his gears toys, very intently, for 30+ minutes straight... but that had stopped. I thought he'd outgrown it or was going through a phase, until I read about the no TV trial. Nope, it was the TV. Also - he was back to loving books. Reading books on his own, bringing many to me each day to read to him, and wanting books read over and over during our regular reading time rather than him wandering around as I read to him. This was the Dax I remembered and have missed.

I've come to the conclusion that TV is not okay for Dax. Not right now. It's clear to me that his developing brain just can't handle it. I thought it was making my life a little easier by getting a tiny bit of time each day, but overall it made Dax far more difficult to handle the rest of the time. He has fewer meltdowns now. He doesn't get upset the way he used to. All of that started when we started letting him watch daily TV, but I didn't notice at the time because it was somewhat gradual - and you never know with kids when they're teething or growth spurting or whatnot.
We'll try again in a few months, and let him watch just 1 episode as a one-time-only thing, and see if it affects his behavior. Maybe he would be able to handle a once a month or once a week 20 minutes, I don't know. I'm both sad and happy about this. Happy that he's easier to manage again, but sad that I had to take away something he really seemed to enjoy.
Oh, and after the first day of practically non-stop TV requests, the second day he asked for it a few times. After that, he'd ask once a day, usually when he was tired. Also - he's sleeping better, not fighting sleep as much, and not night waking asking for TV like he'd started doing.

So my little Daxling is TV-free again, for now.