Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Baby is So Sweet!!!

My sweet little man is good at a lot of things. He's a fantastic piano player. (Okay, he doesn't make any recognizable music, but he plays it so sweetly like he's really trying, rather than banging on it like most little kids.) He's great at texting. (So they're not really words he's sending, but he knows how to slide the qwerty keyboard out and use both thumbs so it looks real.) He's wonderful at cuddling. (No disclaimer on this one. He's an A-number-one cuddler.)

One of the things that he's really good at is sharing. He's really great about it considering he's an only child. He especially likes to share yellow things with me. Little Man has decided that yellow is my favorite color. I'm not entirely sure why. Every time he has M&Ms, he gives me all of the yellow ones. My mom bought him some one afternoon, and when I picked him up at 9:30 that night, he ran and got this little bowl with all of the yellow and blue M&Ms in it. (The blue ones were for Daddy.)

The other day, I was getting ready to leave for work and he brought me all of his yellow trucks. I thanked him for sharing his trucks and when I tried to put them down, he got very upset. He kept pointing at them and then at me and then at the door. He was insistent that I take them to work with me. He wouldn't take no for an answer. So I took them with me. I tried to give them back to him when we met at the park for lunch, but he wanted me to take them back to work. Isn't he the sweetest little guy?!? I snuck them back into his toy box that evening.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Teri!!!

Teri's turning 29 this Saturday! So . . .

I posted about thirty of these all over the office! lol

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm a total and complete sucker...

...for adorable blue-eyed boys with beautiful blond curls. Especially those who've learned to cry real tears on demand.

We came home from Teri's tonight around eight, and like usual, Little Man didn't want to come home at all. He's like me in that respect. Bryan is somewhat of a homebody. He likes to be in his own chair with his tv and his remote. I'd rather be out and about, and so would Nathan. So when we pulled into the driveway he started to protest. We went inside and he was still unhappy. He refused to take off his jacket and he kept going over to the balcony door, pointing out at my car and saying, "Bye-bye, bye-bye, bite-a bite-a!" (He had already eaten. The bite-a bite-a was just an excuse to go somewhere.)

When that didn't work he started to cry. He squeezed out a steady stream of big crocodile tears and kept wiping them away with the backs of his hands. He's becoming a professional at looking absolutely heartbroken and miserable, and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I couldn't help it. He looked so pitiful!

So we went out to get an Encharito.
I knew I was being played, but I just couldn't stand the unadulterated sorrow that my little guy can emote. Besides, I like to take him out in public. I love when people smile at him and tell him how cute he is. And he is cute! His dimples can just turn your insides to jelly. Even when he's stealing your soda.
I know it seems crazy to take a bunch of photos on a simple fast-food outting, but I do have an awesome new camera and the cutest family in the world.

I love the contrast in these two photos. The first one looks like they're thinking, "Will she ever put that camera down?" They weren't really thinking that, I just caught them off guard.

I think.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Got A New Toy!!

I'm so excited!! I got my new camera! It's a Canon SX10 10 megapixel with 20x optical zoom. I'm totally in love with it. It takes amazing photos and it has a ton of settings that I have to learn how to use. I've had it for two days, and I've already taken over 100 photos. (And that doesn't count all the dumb ones I took and then erased.)

So in this post, I'm just going to show you a bunch of the photos I've taken so far. Basically, I'm just revelling in the awesomeness that is my new camera.

This Teri's cubie-mate, Fred. He's a Fantail Goldfish.

This is my new cubie-mate, Ginger. She's a Black Moor. (Fred and Ginger; Get it?)

This is a picture of Little Man's crazy hair. It's getting a bit out of hand, but I still don't want to cut it yet.

This is Teri and Shawn's puppy, Taylor. Leah named her after Taylor Swift. lol


I love this adorable pout. I think he was mad at the dirt.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fun Things To Do On A Snow Day!!

The part of our weekend that wasn't spent in the ER was kind of crappy because we were snowed in. We were all stuck in our tiny apartment and all three of us were on the verge of a great big cabin fever meltdown at one point. We did manage to find some fun things to do with the boy child, though.

First he decided to dump his whole toybox on top of himself. Note the hard hat. Safety first!!

He would rise up from underneath the toy mountain like the swamp thing rising from the murky depths and then we'd bury him again. Then we buried him inside the toybox. You can't tell by looking, but he really was having a ball. He's taken to giving the super-serious face everytime the camera focuses on him.

On my birthday a few weeks ago, my awesome co-workers filled my cubicle with balloons and wrapped it like a giant gift. I brought home most of the balloons (they filled three garbage bags!) and threw them all on the living room floor for Nathan to play with. They're starting to shrink and go flat, but most of them are still hanging around. After we got done burying Nathan in the toybox, we put him in the play pen with all of the balloons. It was like his own personal ball pit. He thought it was awesome! He'd lay on his back and kick like mad while the balloons flew around like popcorn in a popper. We were laughing our butts off and bopping any escaping balloons back into the playpen. It was so much fun, and what cheap entertainment!

Through the balloon play, I've learned that Nathan has a bit of a problem with gender stereotypes. Everytime he sees a blue balloon, he gives it to Bryan, and everytime he sees a pink one he gives it to me. Maybe it's because I'm a big girly nut for the color pink.

I guess being stuck in the house for the weekend wasn't all bad.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Snow Day

So on Friday, we had a blizzard. An honest to goodness, 50 mph wind, 14 inches of snow, mother nature is a dirty old hag, blizzard. Everything in town shut down early. I got sent home from work at 1:00 (but got paid!) and visibility was less than a block. It took nearly 30 minutes to make the regular 5 minute drive home. The snow was so deep Saturday when Mom cleared her walk she sent us this picture to show Nathan his tractor:

The worst part about the blizzard, besides the fact that it foiled my Saturday night plans to do a little social drinking and see my favorite local band, was that Nathan was supposed to see the doctor on Friday. He's been running a fever off and on for a week. Every time he'd come out of it and seem fine, we'd think he was all better and then the next day the fever monster would rear it's ugly head again. After driving home from work that day and praying the whole time that someone wasn't going to slam into my car, he was feeling fine again and I decided it would be counter-productive to get him out in it.

Saturday his fever came raging back, and even while alternating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen we couldn't get it below 101. Our cars were snowed in, so we called B's dad who'd managed to dig his van out, and headed for the ER. It wasn't a fun day for little man. He had blood taken, swabs in several orifices, chest xrays, and some kind of medieval torture device called a U-Bag that's designed to collect a urine specimen from babies who can't or won't pee on demand. Think zip lock bag with adhesive around the top, stuck to very sensitive skin. Not pretty.

While we were waiting for his chest xrays, his temp started to spike again and when we called the nurse in to check it, it was 103.9! I was so glad we were in the ER at that time, because if he'd run a temp that high at home I probably would've had a heart attack. They gave him some Motrin and we washed him down with a lukewarm cloth and it came down again. The doctor finally came in and told us Nathan had an ear infection (which floored me because he'd showed no sign of it) and bronchitis. Poor baby got a shot in each thigh and a prescription for antibiotics.

He seems okay today. Those shots really worked well. He hasn't had a temperature since we left the emergency room last night. Today they cancelled church so we've been having another snow day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Potty Training Day Two -- An Overnight Success!!

He went pee pee in the potty!!!

I'm sooooo proud of Nathan! He went pee pee in the potty less than 24 hours after the first time he sat on it. How's that for a quick study?

I'll be honest. I've been resisting potty training. I know it was wrong and selfish and I kept thinking that I was probably just giving him more to complain about to his therapist someday, but I was dragging my feet for several reasons.

One of the problems was that I wasn't sure how to do it. There are so many schools of thought and heaps of good-intentioned (if inconsistant) advice out there. How do you know which method is the right method? I read one article that said you can potty train your child in three days. It involved a long weekend where the child ran around completely naked for all of his or her waking hours and the parents follow with a mop. The article then recommended no pants in the house for three months. I decided that plan wasn't for me.

I was unsure of the logistics of training a boy, too. Stand up or sit down? Urine guard or not? I was told to put him on the toilet backwards so he has no choice but to aim down. I'm sure this works great for other people, but that concept terrified my little guy. When I tried it, he acted as if I were trying to seat him atop a lit barbeque grill. Think trying to stuff an eight-legged cat into a too-small pet taxi bound for the vet's office. It was all flailing limbs and howls of protest.

Another reason I was putting it off was that I never envisioned potty training in our current apartment. We've been wanting to move to a bigger place since I got pregnant. First I got laid off, then we couldn't afford it, etc. I kept thinking that as soon as we found a new place, I'd set up the bathroom for training and get started. It seems silly, but I just didn't want to do it here, because in my mind we weren't supposed to still be living here when we got to the training stage.

The last and most selfish reason I had been stalling is the fact that I work full time. I didn't want someone else to potty train my child. I love our sitter. She's my best friend's mom and she's just like a second mom to me. I've known her for over 20 years. It had nothing to do with her personally, but I really really really didn't want his first potty training success to be with someone else. I know I'll miss plenty of firsts by being a working mom. I have no choice in that matter. But I didn't want to miss out on something this important. If I had vacation time at work yet, I'd probably have taken a few days off to work with him, but my one year anniversary isn't until next month. The thought of missing out on doing the silly potty dance made me so incredibly sad.

I knew Nathan was getting to the point where he was ready to begin training. He tells me when he needs a new diaper, he wakes up dry, he's curious and interested when we go to the bathroom. I went out and bought two potty chairs, one for home and one for the sitter. They stayed in my car, one in the trunk and one in the back seat, waiting for the day when he when I was ready. Nathan knew what that box was. When we'd get into the car he'd point at it and then at himself. "Yep, that's for you big boy." He'd plug his nose and say ewwwwww (Nathan-speak for going to the bathroom). "Yep, that's for going potty like a big boy." Finally last night I decided that it wasn't fair to him to make him wait for my own selfish reasons. When we got home from Mom's house right at bedtime, I said, "Alright Nathan. You want to bring it in and try it out?" and he said excitedly, "Uh-huh!"

We took it inside and I picked up the dirty clothes out of the bathroom to make room for the potty chair, and I stripped off his pants and diaper and showed him how to sit on it. I had to show him how to make sure it was pointed down into the bowl and we practiced emptying it into the big toilet. He thought it was great fun. He sat for awhile, and then we started his bath. He kept wanting to get out and sit on the potty. I let him sit on it as often as he wanted until I put him down for bed.

The potty chair I'd gotten was a little hard for him to sit on properly. It seemed like the bowl was a little small, and he always had to push his penis down into it. I'd seen this frog-shaped potty chair at Wal-Mart that looked like it was shaped so as to make it a little easier to assume the position.

We brought it home tonight, and he was really excited about it and he wanted to try it out right away. I unwrapped it, stripped off his diaper, and set him on it right in the living room. I asked him if he could push the potty out and demonstrated how to push and grunt, and next thing you know, he was peeing!!!! I was so excited I danced and sang and praised him and clapped and generally acted like a fool. I helped him take out the bowl and empty it into the big toilet and flush it away, then I gave him some Cars fruit snacks for a reward and started calling the grandparents and my sister to brag on him. I couldn't believe he did it so soon after we started! We tried it out again before we put him down for bed, and he grunted and pushed and managed to squeeze out a few more drops. He went twice in one night!! I LOVE that frog! I'm going to take back the unopened potty I got to take to the sitter and exchange it for another froggy potty tomorrow.

This has truly been a banner day in the Ackley household. I am on cloud nine! I have no illusions that this means he'll be accident free within the week. I know we still have work to do, but I couldn't be more pleased. I'm so proud of my big, smart boy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Big Birthday Bash!!

My precious little boy is 2!!

It's exciting and depressing all at the same time. He's growing so fast!!

We had an awesome birthday party! It was a car theme. Without further ado, here are some photos:

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Sometimes I think I should take down the photos I have plastered all over my cubie. They’re 99% Nathan, and they are a little distracting. Often, when I’m waiting for a report to recall, or checking my voicemail, I stare up at his little face and I feel so unbelievably homesick. I actually feel a little pang in my chest, and I miss him so much you’d think I hadn’t seen him in months rather than mere hours. I just want to get up and run home to smother him with kisses.

At first I thought the feeling would fade. Until now, I’ve never had a place to hang photos at work. Before I got my cubie, I missed him while I was at work, but I thought it was just because he was new. I was having new mommy I-don’t-want-to-work-I-just-want-to-stay-home-and-stare-at-him feelings. That's normal, right? That first day back to work (the day after he turned one month old) I was like a junkie waiting for a fix. When my lunch hour came, I broke every speed limit between the mall and our apartment.

The urgency has subsided a bit, but the pangs, if anything, have gotten worse. He's like a real little person now! He makes me laugh and he amazes me with how smart he is. I can't wait to get home to see what new thing he's learned each day. He reminds me of my own childhood. He does these silly little things that I used to do but had forgotten. Like bumping down carpeted steps on his rear, and blowing bubbles in the bathtub.

The best part of all? He likes me. I mean, he really, really likes me. I'm one of his favorite people in the whole world. He believes every word out of my mouth. If he's scared, he wants Mama. If he's sad, he wants Mama. If he's tired, hurt, excited, hungry, etc, he wants his Mama. I've never felt so important in my entire life, and I gotta tell ya, I like the feeling.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who's Really Getting Spoiled Here?

In answer to the charge of spoiling my child, I plead 100% undeniably guilty.

Since the day he was born, either the hubby or I have rocked Nathan to sleep in our arms. I knew as the habit developed that I may regret it one day as I shopped for a rocking recliner big enough to accommodate myself and my 13 year old son while I rhythmically pat his bottom and sing "You Are My Sunshine." I was perfectly aware of the potential nightmare and loss of sanity we were facing when we finally decided to break this habit. My friends, the time has come.

I'm happy to report that it's gone very well so far. The very first night was tough, and Nathan's loathing of anything out of routine was compounded by the fact that we waited too late in the evening in the hope that he'd be too tired to put up a fight. As all of you experienced parents out there are shaking your heads and chuckling at us noobs, I'll readily admit that your suspicions are correct. He was overtired and feeling especially stubborn. Hubby ended up lying on the floor next to the playpen and talking the child to sleep. (Insert playful jab about the Hubster's ability to talk a person into unconsciousness here.)

Since then, at the risk of jinxing us, it's been fairly smooth sailing. A few fusses here and there but nothing major. I've tried to keep to a regular routine: bath, lotion & pjs, one cartoon with the lights off, 5-10 minutes of rocking with the soothing classical music/ocean waves cd playing, and then into bed.

I think the rocking time is built in there as much for me as it is for Nathan. From the very beginning, the nightly rocking habit was spoiling me more than it was spoiling the boy-child. I may have a harder time giving it up than he is. I just love it when he's so sleepy he starts turning his head one way and then another over and over in a futile effort to stay awake, then nuzzling into my neck and letting out the tiniest of snores. I like to bury my nose in his sweet-smelling curls, and his steady breathing and the symphony/ocean cd have lulled me to sleep more than once.

In a way I wish it weren't going so smoothly. I'd like to think he'll miss our drifting off to sleep in the chair together every night just as much as I do. Then again, I'm really enjoying my extra hour or so of free time in the evenings. I guess I'll just have to make the most of that nightly 5-10 minutes of snuggly-wuggly curl sniffing. That is, until he starts telling me, "Mom, do you mind? I'm 37 years old and I have to go to work in the morning."