Just When You Think You’re Safe

I hesitate to post these pictures because they clearly identify me as a bad father. I do so, however, in an effort to warn you unsuspecting folks out there – your kids are sneaky and can show great creativity. Just because the dishwasher has always been a safe place for your kid to entertain himself before, don’t assume that you can walk to the dining room, collect glasses from the table, come back, and find everything as you left it. You might find your kid sitting on the dishwasher door, drinking from the upper sprayer…

First Piano Lesson

Sam had his very first piano lesson today!  The learning objectives were (1) if you press a key it makes a noise and (2) don’t touch mommy’s music!

We both have high hopes that Sam will take an interest in music.  Dave wants to buy him a little-kid-sized cello, and I, of course, want him to learn the piano and the cello.  Sam received 2 comments on his rather-large hands this week (I hadn’t noticed that they were very big), so he may grow some good piano hands!

On the Charts

Sam has been weighed and measured this week, and he is finally on the growth charts for his actual age!! His weight has been in the 5th percentile for a few months, but his length has been lagging behind. Now Sam’s length is in the 5th percentile and his weight is in the 10th. These numbers are for Sam’s actual age (11 months old). For an 8 month old, Sam is in the 50th percentile for length and 55th for weight.

Sippy Cup Time

Sam is making some big strides in his feeding skills this week!  I’ve been absolutely terrified about feeding him any kind of finger foods.  Before this week, I had given him some puffs a few times (those are kind of like cheerios, but they melt away quickly  in the mouth).  He’d suck a little, then gag, and finally cough them up.  Terrifying!

Sam has to learn eventually, though, so I did a mental review of our infant CPR course and put some puffs on his high chair tray this week.  He gummed them down with no problems and had fun picking them up himself and dropping them into his mouth.  Next, we tried teething biscuits, which he LOVES!  Today he had some small pieces of bananas.  A whole new world of food possibilities has just opened up.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Sam has now figured out how to use a sippy cup!  Our baby is growing into a toddler!

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Within a week of Sam’s early arrival, Dave and I had purchased 2 books on prematurity and borrowed another 2 from the NICU library.  We wanted to know what was coming, both during Sam’s hospital stay and afterwards.  We learned about all kinds of scary complications and risks.  We had a lot to worry about.  Now most of those worries are a distant memory, but a few still remain.  Some will be around for a long time.  About 45% of babies born as early as Sam develop learning disabilities, for example.   What kind of learning disabilities, you ask?  Problems with math, according to Sam’s neonatologist.  Also some reading difficulties.   So even though Sam is doing amazingly well, we’re always watching and waiting for some problem to come up.

Lately, we’ve been worrying about 2 issues.  One is feeding.  Many preemies have feeding issues and can develop an aversion to eating.  I know this, so I worry a lot when Sam cries as we put him into his high chair and then joylessly takes a few bites of carrots.  Green beans I can understand, but carrots?!   As it turns out, Sam is not a fan of my homemade baby food but will scarf down a full jar of Earth’s Best and ask for more.   Problem solved!  The other issue is babbling.  Sam makes a lot of noise, but up until today hasn’t been repeating any consonant-vowel pairs.  We were even thinking about making an appointment with a speech therapist to work on it.   However, today a flip was switched somewhere in his brain and he’s saying ma-ma-ma, ba-ba-ba, and wa-wa-wa.  We’re delighted and relieved to hear this!  We’ll post a video as soon as we get one!

Learning to Make Pizza

Arugula & Lemon Pizza

I’ve tried several times over the years to make my own pizza, and I’ve always concluded that it’s best to order from the professionals.  The dough is always hard to work with, and  I end up with holes in my doughy, undercooked pizza crust every time.  However, I have a new cookbook that I LOVE (The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel), and it includes a recipe for arugula & lemon pizza.  I was intrigued and decided to give pizza-making another try.  Dave was a little unsure about the idea of putting salad greens on top of a pizza, but we were both pleasantly surprised!  The dough wasn’t hard to work with and arugula and lemon were great!

Now we’re experimenting with different pizza crust recipes.  We’ve even made a couple of pizzas with different toppings, but arugula and lemon have become our favorite pizza topping!

Last Round of Visitors

The last of our holiday visitors left today.  The house feels a little lonely now!

Natalie, Mike, Caleb, & Sampa came up to Seattle for a visit.  We had so much fun!  Here are just a few of our favorite memories:

Caleb discovers Mario Kart

Climbing together at the Bellevue Square Play Area

Trying on New Soccer Uniforms

Hiding Under the Table