Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bye-bye summer!

Drew is 19 months old now! I know I say it all the time, but I just don't know where the time is going!!! My little buddy and I have had such a fun summer together. I am so thankful that I chose to be a teacher. Having my summer off is the best perk ever...especially now that I have a child.

8-27-12   19 months old!

Drew made this summer so much fun for us. We stuck close to home, but it was good nonetheless. Maybe next year we'll go up north and Drew can brave the chilly waters of Lake Michigan. :)

What's new in Drew's world these days? Well, we are officially DONE with bottles. Hallelujah!!! It was my summer mission to be done with the bottle by the time I went back to school. Drew was drinking from the sippy throughout the day, but loved his morning and evening bottle of milk. Last week, I decided to go back to a sippy that we hadn't tried for a while and he took to it like a champ. It is shaped very similar to his bottle, which I think made it easy for him. Oh my gosh, it's so nice having my counter space back from his bottle drying rack. It's the littlest things that make me happy these days!!!
Nuk active sippy cup- Best transition sippy ever! 
The last time we took Drew to the doctor he weighed in at 31 pounds. We will find out how tall he is at his next well visit in 2 weeks. He's growing out of most of his 24 month/2T clothes. His jacket for fall is a 3T, as are most of his shirts. Thank goodness for my best friend who has boys. We have acquired some great hand-me-downs for our ever-growing boy!

Over the last month, Drew has acquired several new skills. He's becoming our little outdoorsman. He's learned how to "ride" his truck, Flintstone-style outside. He's been trying for awhile, but could only manage to go backward. All of a sudden, the other day it all just "clicked" and he began moving forward. Now, it is one of his favorite things to do. Drew also LOVES to go for rides in his wagon. As soon as we step in to the garage, he runs to his wagon, points to it and says "a-wah", which clearly means he wants to go for a ride. He also has been enjoying throwing his ball around and learning how to play with his new t-ball set. We're starting him young! He would stay outside until it got dark if we let him!
Going for a ride in his "a-wah"
Playing with his ball in the back yard
"Flintstone-ing" it down the sidewalk

A few weeks ago we took Drew to the splash park for the first time. He seemed to enjoy it, but was very particular about which splashy features he played with. He tended to stick with the smaller spraying ones or the ones that lightly misted him. He did not like it when his face got sprayed and would run to mommy or daddy for comfort (or to wipe his face on our dry legs). Maybe next year he'll be ready for the bucket that soaks you with water. We'll see! :)
He loved the gentle water sprayers

With the "spider" sprayer

Mr. Observant- taking it all in

Loving the water!

Even though I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer, I know all good things must come to an end. In 2 days, I'll be back to work and Drew will be back to full-time daycare. It's a little bittersweet, but it'll be okay. Soon, fall will be upon us and we'll have a lot of new "firsts" to look forward to.
He fits perfectly in his Tonka truck :)
Mmmm...Mommy's smoothie is yummy!
Tired toddler!

Saying "broom-broom" for his truck

He loves ketchup!
Out to dinner- our self-portrait :)
First bite of a Krispy Kreme donut

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The call you never want to receive...

"Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Pantuso, it's Small Wonders calling. Andrew has had a seizure. The ambulance is on the way. Which hospital would you like us to take him to?"

I think my heart stopped when I heard those words. I immediately lost it and started crying hysterically while I stuffed Drew's diaper bag with clothes, blankets, and his comfort item- a stuffed polar bear. Is he ok? How bad was it? Will he have to stay overnight at the hospital? What is my baby going to look like when  I see him? All of these thoughts and a million more raced through my mind. But most of all, I felt guilty... that I wasn't there for him when he needed me the most.

I quickly made my way to the ER at St. John Macomb (the closest hospital to Drew's daycare). Bill was already there and his mom followed me. The two daycare directors were there too, waiting until I got there to leave.

As soon as I saw Andrew sitting on the bed in his little blue hospital gown, my heart gave way and I started crying all over again. Andrew smiled the biggest smile ever when he saw me and deep down, I knew it was all going to be ok. The ER doctor told me to keep it together and that Drew would be ok. He was hooked up to a blood pressure and heart rate monitor, and his numbers looked good. The ER nurse explained that we needed to stay for another hour, just to be sure he didn't have another seizure. As soon as I came in the room, Drew wanted his mama. He crawled into my lap, cuddled for a little bit, and then fell asleep.

Bill told me that the daycare directors explained what had happened. It was like any other normal day. Drew was playing with a school bus, rolling it across the floor, when his daycare teacher noticed him fall over and starting to convulse. She quickly called the director, while the other teacher rolled Drew to his side. The seizure lasted for about 2 minutes. The ambulance was there within minutes and he was rushed to the hospital. Apparently, he had a sudden high fever of 102, and his body was trying to fight it off. The fever was the result of a mild ear infection.

In hindsight, I think there is a lot to be said about "mother's intution".That morning, Drew just didn't seem like himself when I was getting him ready for daycare. He was really cuddly and lovey, which is how he acts when he's not feeling good. His cheeks were pink, so I took his temperaure, which was normal (98.4). I just chalked it up to the fact that it had been 4 days since he had been to daycare, we had a great weekend, and his cheeks were pink from too much sun the previous day. When I asked him if he wanted to go to daycare, he shook his head "no"... which he never does. Looking back, I wonder if those were signs that I should have kept him home.

Drew is doing much better now and is pretty much his happy, normal self (thank God!!!). I have to say, in retrospect, I am almost glad this incident happened at daycare. They are trained to respond quickly, and honestly I don't know if I could handle the mental image of seeing my child have a seizure. I'm just glad that he's ok. This whole thing has proven to Bill and I to not take any moments for granted. I think Drew has been hugged, kissed, cuddled, and squeezed so much more than he is used to in the last week... and it's not going to stop anytime soon! :)
My brave boy

Happy that Mommy and Daddy are with him
Tired baby

Monday, July 30, 2012

18 months...WOW!

Drew and I are having such a great summer together! Last year at this time I remember wondering what he would be like this summer. What would he be interested in? What would we be doing? What kind of personality would he have?

Oh, BOY! Nothing could have prepared me for the amount of joy I feel in being able to have a job where I get to spend the summer with my child. Drew is my little buddy and I am already dreading going back to work in a little over a month. I just have to keep counting my blessings and looking on the bright side. :)

So, what is Drew like these days? He is a full-blown, rambunctious, into-everything, curious, helpful, funny, personality-plus toddler!
Barefoot in the grass 7/18/12

I am lucky enough to be able to send Drew to daycare two days each week this summer, just so he can still be around other kids and have some structure in his days. Recently, he was moved up to the 2 year old toddler room, where he will mostly likely stay until he is about 2 1/2. Two of his little friends from his previous room moved with him, all because the teachers felt they were developmentally ready to take on the "big kids". Drew is definitely the size (or bigger) than the kids in his new class. It's amazing to see how far along these kids are with their language and development. I can't wait to see Drew be able to do the things these kids are doing! It's only a short matter of time before he will be stringing words together with meaning, feeding himself efficiently, and improving his coordination. Such fun things to come!

One thing all of Drew's teachers have said is that he is very helpful, which we see at home as well. He always helps pick up his toys and even helps mommy put the laundry into the dryer.
Helping mommy "clean" the windows

Since I'm a special ed teacher, I think I may be a little more neurotic about developmental milestones. At Drew's 15 month appointment, I spoke to his pediatrician because I was concerned about Drew's language development. It didn't seem like Drew was speaking with meaning a whole lot. He basically said "ball" and "dog" consisitently, but still wasn't saying "mama" or "dada" discriminately. After speaking with the doctor, he reassured me that Drew is doing just fine developmentally with his language. I realized that he is using the sign language they are teaching him in daycare and that his receptive language (how he receives language) is VERY strong, which will in turn help to develop his expressive language (how his language comes out).

Since his 15 month appointment, I still feel like his language development is maybe a little slow, but I'm not as worried.  One of his little "friends" at daycare who is a few days younger than him was saying "vacuum" the other day. I was like, "Seriously?!?" Vacuum?!? We're still working on "dog" and "mama"!!!".

Words Drew can say consistently:

"ba"- which means ball or bye-bye
"da"- which can mean dog, done, there (when he points to an object he wants)
"mama" and "dada"- he is more consistent with saying dada
"nak"- snack
"ish"- fish
"mmmm-baa"- means I want to get up on something

Words Drew can sign: more, eat, bye-bye, milk, all-done, and blow kisses :)
Signing that he wants "more" iPad :)

My best friend pointed out the other day that while Drew may not be able to say many words right now, he is totally understanding what we are asking him or what he is being told. I think that's why I'm not as worried anymore, because he is so smart when you ask him to get something or if you tell him to do something. He is definitely comprehending language, which is a relief to this slightly neurotic mama!

Maybe he's not saying so much because he's getting all these new teeth, too! Drew's molars came in around 16 months, which added to his top 4 front teeth and his bottom 2 front teeth. In the last week, it seems like all the other "filler" teeth have started erupting through his gums. Right now he has 6 teeth coming through, but he is taking it like a champ. Besides excessive drooling, he seems unaffected. I'm pretty sure this is why God gives us all our teeth when we are babies. Adults would not be able to stand the pain and babies don't remember it!
Fun with yogurt. Look at all those chompers!

In other areas of development, Drew is doing just fine. He's walking and running around, picking up and throwing balls, stacking blocks, starting to use a spoon to eat (very messy!) and is almost exclusively on the sippy. He wipes his face after eating and helps me brush his teeth. He's become interested in the potty all of a sudden, too. He wants to flush the toilet every time we go in the bathroom. I decided it was time to buy Drew his own potty, just to get used to for the moment. We're not starting any potty training yet, but I want him to associate the potty with what's going on in his diaper. :)
He would play with this all day if I let him :)

I just can't get over how BIG he is. At his last doctor visit, he was almost 30 pounds and 34 inches long. He is going to be a big boy! He's comfortably wearing 2T clothes and will probably be wearing 3T by the fall. His current sandals are a size 6, but he'll probably need a 7 for the fall. It's insane how fast he's growing!!!

Drew has definitely become a "mama's boy" this summer and has been my little buddy. We've had so much fun playing with his water table outside, hanging out with friends, going to the zoo, and visiting family. I'm just so glad we have a little summer left, because there is still so much fun to be had with my boy! :)
Fun with the water table
Coloring a picture for daddy
At the zoo with his friends Justin & Jonah
7/27/12- 18 months old today!
How can you resist this face?!?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can't keep up!

Oh my gosh, I just can't keep up! I've been meaning to blog for WEEKS and it just keeps getting pushed to the side. I keep saying, "I'll do it tomorrow... I'll blog this weekend..." No more excuses! It's time for some major updates on the little big guy in my life!!!

Where do I even start?!? Drew has turned into such a big kid since his first birthday at the end of January. The last (almost) 3 months have brought so many firsts. First haircut, first steps, first pair of "real" shoes, first meaningful words, and the first stages of true independence, signalling that we really do have a toddler on our hands. I just can't say it enough... he's getting SO big SO fast!

Playing at the park (3-17-12)

Drew is now in the "walker" room at daycare. For awhile, I would pick him up and ask the teachers if he was trying to walk. They kept replying, "Nope. He just likes to sit and watch the other babies walk. He's soaking it all in." Now, I'm not one to compare Drew to other babies, but I started noticing that when I picked him up, ALL the other babies were walking. Every last one of them. I knew there wasn't anything wrong with Drew, but I kept wondering, "When is this kid going to walk?!?" Drew had taken a couple steps on his own with hubs and I, but that's all it had amounted to. The child did not have an interest in walking on his own, without the aid of a push toy. Finally, one night my parents were over to visit. All of a sudden, Drew pulled himself up to stand and proudly took about 6 steps across the room to get to where I was sitting on the floor. We all cheered and there was the beginning of his walking days. It only took him about 14 months, but better late than never! Now, all he wants to do is walk, walk, walk and it's all we can do to keep up with him.

Starting to walk! (3-27-12)

Wearing big-boy shoes to show off his mad walking skills (4-18-12)

We took Drew for his first haircut a few weeks ago and he did so well! We went to this fun place called Snip-its in Northville. It was bright and cheerful and really inviting for kids. They have a special package for baby's first haircut where they take a picture and give a certificate for bravery with a lock of his hair attached. Drew did so well. He didn't cry at all. He kept trying to swat the hairdresser's hands away, so mommy distracted him with what he loves the best.... snack puffs!

Pre-haircut (4-7-12)
He's not so sure about all this

Commemorative photo 

Drew loves food. I mean, this kid can chow down! Some foods he loves right now: bananas (he has one every morning), peaches, pears, strawberries, kiwi (he LOVES fruit!!!), pasta (especially mac and cheese), cheese and crackers, chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup, Chex cereal, toddler cereal bars, and of course milk. He used to love carrots and sweet potatoes, but recently started refusing veggies altogether. I'm going to have to get sneaky and get him his veggies somehow. Anyone who has tips, please let me know!

He's still drinking from a bottle, and it has been really difficult to transition Drew to a cup for drinking. I tried switching cold turkey in February, but he wasn't having it. It's made it really hard for him to accept the sippy and he just recently started drinking juice out of it. I've tried practically every sippy they have on the market and finally found a few that he'll drink out of. If I put milk in a cup he'll bat it away and won't touch it. I'm thinking I'll just wait until summer to get him transitioned. The bottle has become a security object for him and he's not ready to give it up yet.

Would you like some nuggets with that ketchup?

Drew's first official word was "ball". One day he just pointed to his Winnie the Pooh ball and said, "ba". Just to make sure that's what he was saying, I told him to go get the ball and he did! It's so amazing to see their little brains working and to know that he is comprehending what I am saying to him. Now, everything is "da". He'll point to the dogs and say "da". He points to his daddy and says "da". He points to the tv and says "da". It'll be interesting to see what words come next.

"da"= dog

Drew is all about his mommy these days. Separation anxiety has kicked in and he has realized he does not like for mommy to be out of his sight. When I drop him off at daycare, it breaks my heart. His little lip starts quivering, he begins to pout, and then as he senses mommy is about to leave him, he just starts wailing. Talk about starting your day off on a bad note. I have to hear my little guy sobbing for me all the way out the door of the daycare building. It's so sad.

On a brighter note, the sweetest thing happened the other night that melted my heart. It was just Drew and I, and we were playing on the floor. He was all ready for bed and we were watching his favorite tv show, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (I know all the songs by heart and even sing them in my head at work during the day... I am SO a mom, now). All of a sudden, Drew got up, turned around to face me, and snuggled into my neck. He then looked up, right into my face and said "mama"...for the first time with meaning. I was so taken by surprise that I looked at him and said, "Did you just say mama?!?", to which he snuggled into me again and with his sweet little baby voice, said "mama" again.

He has me wrapped around his finger forever.

He loves to choose books to "read" before bed
Tigers pitcher in training... watch out Verlander! 
Cute Easter boy
Building a tall tower for the first time (4-15-12)
He melts my heart <3

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Drew's Winter ONE-derland

I had so much fun planning Drew's Winter ONE-derland party! I found the idea when I was looking at winter birthday party themes online one day. We had this party at our house, the day after Drew's birthday, on January 28th,with my side of the family. Everything turned out great and Drew loved seeing his house transformed into a red and aqua snowflake scene.

Happy Birthday, big boy! 
My homemade banner turned out better than I imagined!
The invitation (thank goodness for Etsy!)
All ready for our guests!
Ready to party! 
Photo banner that I made myself :)
My Aunt Jan made the sheet cake and Drew's smash cake
Entertaining Sito & Gramps
Giving Auntie Desi some loving
Showing off his mad crawling skills
Party peeps!
Opening his first gift

Family pic
Smash that cake!
Done smashing. Over it! 
Cake with Gramps makes it all better!