the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, May 29, 2009

Talking Troubles?

Should I be worried that my 16 month old only consistently says two words ("bye" and "yeah")? I mean, he understands EVERYTHING. And he lets us know in his pointing, grunting, gesturing, excited way. He communicates, just not verbally. When we ask Max where something is (his cup, for instance), he'll run and find it. When I ask if he needs a new diaper, he runs over to the baby gate blocking the hall because he knows that means we're going in his room. He can point to body parts when you ask him to (he knows head, eyes, nose, tongue, ear, and foot) When I ask if he's ready for a bath, he gets really excited, climbs in my lap, and waves bye-bye to Chad. If I ask if he wants juice or milk, Max will run to the refrigerator and try to open it. And when he wants something, he points to it. When he wants to read, he brings me a book and climbs in my lap. When he wants to go outside, he runs to the back door and tries to open it. When we're at the park and he's ready to go home, he holds his arms up at me and starts saying "bye".

Also, the Max has this habit of saying a word for a few days and then never saying it again. He has done that with "outside", "duck", and "book." His first word was "dada." It meant "daddy" and "doggie." He eventually got around to saying "mama." He rarely says either of those now (although I do hear "mama" a lot when he's upset). There have also been several one-time-only words, including "ostrich", "cookie", and "paper."

I guess there's a wide range of "normal" when it comes to toddler behavior, but it just seems like the Max should be saying more actual words than he is (because he understands almost everything we say, yo). According to What to Expect: The Toddler Years I shouldn't be worried. It says that by 17 months a toddler should be able to use two words and may use as many as six. By 18 months toddlers will be using anywhere from 3 to 50 words. Holy crap! That's quite a range. Also, Max has already achieved most of the milestones listed in the 18 month chapter (point to a desired object, run, use a spoon/fork, point to 1 body part when asked - Max can already do 6, kick a ball forward, stack two blocks). He's barely 16 months old, and he's been doing most of those things for a couple of months now. I was just flipping through the book, looking at the milestones listed at the beginning of each chapter, and jumping isn't even listed until the 22nd month. I mean, Max (usually) holds onto something when he jumps, but jumping in the crib is one of his most favorite activities. I guess he's just focused on things other than talking right now.

But I can't help but worry sometimes. It's in my genes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sweater! In Summer!

I may or may not have told you about my decision to knit a cropped cardigan. Well, I am. Also, I am aware that it is May and, therefore, hot. So knitting a cardigan right now is kind of insane. But I'm assuming it will take me forever, so maybe it will be finished by the time it is actually cold enough to wear it. Plus, I'm just really into cardigans these days.

I've made a surprising amount of progress on my cardigan, and I hope it turns out well. Only it's not so cropped. In the picture on the pattern, the sweater hits above the model's belly button (no, she is not wearing anything underneath the cardigan), so I assumed it was a cropped sweater. Only when I finished the back of it, I decided it wasn't meant to be cropped after all. Because the back (holding it at my neck) hits right at the top of my pants. Which aren't super low rise or anything, but they are below my belly button. So either I'm super short (which I don't think I am at 5' 3.5"; all right, that's a little short) or the model is really super tall. I vote for the latter.

Check out my work in progress:

So far I've finished the border/tie (it's a wrap sweater, and the tie is also the border around the neck and front edges), at the top of the picture. On the bottom right is the back of the sweater (it isn't blocked yet, and I obviously haven't weaved in any of the yarn tails yet). I'll sew the tie band onto the neck edge, so it will look prettier than it does now. On the bottom left is about 2/3 of a sleeve. So I just have to finish that sleeve, knit another sleeve, knit the two front pieces, weave in all the loose ends, block everything, sew everything together, and I'm done! Ok, I've still got a ways to go. But *maybe* it will be finished by fall. Which means late October or November around here. September is still summer. So is most of October.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pilates, You Might Be The Death of Me

Maybe it was because I spent an hour and half grocery shopping and another half hour unloading the car and putting groceries away this morning (i.e., I'd already had a pretty good workout). Maybe it's just because I am woefully out of shape (note that I did not say fat. I do not think I am fat). Either way, if I keep doing pilates I might die. Or get in shape. One or the other.

I told you yesterday that I bought a pilates dvd. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Way back when, in the Year I Was Blonde (i.e., sophomore year of college), I took aerobics to fulfill one of my P.E. requirements. Tennis was the other one. Bowling was an option, as was ballroom dancing, among others. But anyway, I took aerobics more years ago than I care to count (crap, I counted. It was 7, almost 8 actually. My how time flies), and in these aerobics classes we occasionally did some pilates. At the time, I was living in the dorms and walked all over campus (usually while lugging a backpack full of books) because parking was hell. So I was considerably more fit than I am now. Back then, those pilates sessions seemed easy. Or maybe my memory is a little foggy. But I definitely remember enjoying my aerobics class. It led to my job with Mobile's ill-fated arena football team. But I won't talk about that now.

Today I decided that instead of going for a walk or jog I would try out my new pilates dvd. The one I bought consists of five separate 10 minute workouts, and I did four of them. The idea behind the 10 minute workout is that you can get a better body in just 10 minutes a day. Personally, I think that's crap, but that's just me. Maybe I *could* do one 10 minute workout five days a week and see results.

But anyway, I started with the total body workout. At the end of it, I barely felt a thing. So I moved on to the upper body workout. That one I felt. Actually, I *still* feel it. Out of shape, remember? Woefully so. Then, arms burning, I decided to press on and do the lower body workout. Which actually wasn't so bad. I guess my legs are pretty strong. Finally, I decided to give the ab workout a try. Oh. My. God. SO HARD. Actually, for the first half of it, I really didn't think it was doing anything. So maybe I was doing it wrong. But by the end I couldn't finish all the reps of all the exercises.

I did lots of additional stretching after the workout, so maybe I won't hurt *too* much tomorrow. I'm saving the 'Pilates for Flexibility' workout for next week. In retrospect, maybe I should have started with that one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hurricane Preparedness

I spent $200 this morning. And I wasn't grocery shopping. What did I spend this money on? Lots of things! First, a new pair of Nike running shoes for myself. Also, a new pair of shoes for the Max. Because he has gigantic feet and is about to outgrow his size 5 toddler shoes. I bought him a pair of Garanimals sandals a few weeks ago that I hope will last him the summer. They are size M (5/6), so we'll see how that goes. They only cost me $3.50 at WalMart, so if he outgrows them sooner, no biggie. I'll just buy another $3.50 pair in size L (7/8). Or I could splurge and spend $10 on sandals for him. Yeah, I'm cheap. But I refuse to spend any significant amount of money on shoes that my kid will only wear for a few months. His most expensive shoes cost me $12.

Also, I bought a pilates dvd! Crazy, I know. A total impulse buy. But I felt like I needed something for rainy days when I can't go to the park. I also picked up a pedometer that tracks distance, steps, and calories burned. I'm most interested in distance.

Most importantly, I re-stocked my hurricane kit. You know, to make sure we don't actually get hit by one this year. They always happen when I'm not prepared. And hurricane season officially starts in a couple of weeks. Here's what I bought. Let me know if you think I forgot something.
  • Batteries for flashlights, touch lights, radio, etc.
  • Bottled water
  • Apple juice
  • Various non-perishable food items (including a lot of Max-friendly foods)
  • Toilet paper (I've never bought this specifically for the hurricane kit before, but it occurred to me that if we did have a hurricane, it would happen when we were down to our last roll; that's just my luck.)
  • Paper towels
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Paper plates & bowls, plastic utensils and cups
Chad keeps a stock of ~20 gallons of gas in our shed for the generator. Actually, I'm not sure how much gas is out there now. We used what he had in our cars over the winter, and I'm not sure if he's refilled the gas cans yet. We also have lots of flashlights, candles, matches, etc. And 2 battery operated radios. Hmm, I should probably pick up an extra pack of diapers (and baby wipes) to throw in there too.

So, bring on the summer. I think I'm ready.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anniversary Adventures

Yesterday Chad and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss. Nothing major, just going out to a baby-free dinner, which is kind of a big deal for us. Chad had the bright idea that we should go eat at the beach at this place he went to three years ago. Only he wasn't sure where it was, what it looked like, or what the name of the restaurant was. He was working in Gulf Shores at the time, but he thought the restaurant might be in Florida. Which, as it turned out, it was.

So, we spent two hours avoiding accidents on I-10, then driving all over Baldwin County. Once we got to the beach we just kept driving until we found a suitable restaurant that offered outdoor dining on the beach side of the road. We saw exactly two - Bahama Bob's in Gulf Shores and The Crab Trap in Perdido Key. The Crab Trap was the restaurant Chad remembered, and that was where we ate. It was pretty tasty, although the menu is a bit pricey for everyday dining. Being a special occasion, we didn't complain. Much.

Chad's parent came over and stayed with Max so that Chad and I could enjoy a baby free dinner. But when we were seated at the restaurant, we discovered that they have a playground in the sand with several tables nearby. We both said, "Aww, we could have brought Max!" But anyway, we had a lovely dinner looking out at the gulf.

Being old and crotchety for people in their mid-twenties, we were home pretty early, around 9:30. And when we got home, we discovered that the Max had just gone to sleep. Gah. He is usually asleep by 8:00. And instead of putting him to bed awake after "goodnights" and a cup of milk, the grandparents held Max until he fell asleep. Which didn't happen until around 9:00. Well, to their credit, we were told that they did put Max in his bed awake at first, but he cried so they went and got him. When he cries when we put him to bed, we go check on him every couple of minutes and if necessary stay and pat his back until he falls asleep. I hope this doesn't screw up Max's sleeping patterns.

Oh, and apparently Max also went to bed without a pacifier, which probably explains why he screamed when they first put him down. One day, the Max will be a paci-free baby, but right now, it helps him fall asleep, and I am happy to let him have it.

The Max woke up an obscene number of times last night, and he hasn't been terribly happy today. Here's hoping tonight goes better.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Numbered List for Your Monday

  1. It's storming over here like nobody's business. I am almost afraid that lightning will find a way to zap me through my laptop. That's a good excuse for procrastinating, right? "It was lightning like whoa, and I feared electrocution by laptop."
  2. I just baked the hell out of some chocolate chip cookies. They are super tasty. Supposedly, I baked them to take to Max's daycare teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. And I will, but I also saved a dozen or so for us.
  3. I'm kind of looking forward to the time when Max only has one teacher to appreciate. Right now he has 3 teachers (there are 10 toddlers in Max's room at daycare, but they are rarely if ever all there on the same day). It takes a lot of adults to keep up with a room full of toddlers. I am also taking cookies to Max's three teachers from Infant 2 since he spent so much time in that room. Actually, there's a new teacher in Infant 2 who started, like, a week before Max moved up to the Toddler room, and one of his old teachers moved to the 2 year olds room. So I'm also taking cookies for the new Infant 2 teacher whose name I don't know because she always says hi to Max when she sees him.
  4. I was planning on graduating this spring, but that is not going to happen. Because my dissertation? It is not finished yet. And that is not entirely my fault. I also might not meet summer deadlines. Boo. Which means that I may not officially be Dr. LaTina until the fall. Bah. I need to send a letter to the registrar's office requesting that they move my graduation date. Soon.
  5. The temperature outside has dropped almost 10 degrees since this morning. I'm glad I sent Max to daycare in jeans today. Not that 68 is cold.
  6. I think I might have swine flu. Not really, but I've been fighting one hell of a sinus headache all weekend. And, damn. I forgot to buy more (fake) DayQuil when I was at WalMart this morning. But I did by sports bras. Because I've taken up "jogging" a few times a week. Meaning I walk about 2 miles and jog maybe 1/2 a mile or so. I'm out of shape, people. Plus, when I take Max I don't jog at all. I just push Max around in the stroller for 2.5 miles then we hit the playground. Jogging strollers are hella expensive, and I'm not that serious about it.
  7. The probablility that I actually have swine flu is not that close to zero. Chad had to go out of town last week (to Greenville, MS - where they have a Kermit museum! Like Kermit the Frog!) for some training thing, and one of the guys there was from South Carolina, and his wife was sick. He didn't know then if it was swine flu because she didn't have the test results yet. Guess what? That guy's wife DID have swine flu. It was the first case in South Carolina. But whatever. It's just the flu. You feel like crap for a week and then it's over. But I don't really think I have swine flu. I think I have seasonal allergies.
  8. Is anyone else really sick of hearing about swine flu? Even after the authorities have informed us that it really isn't that bad?
  9. I really have to get some actual work done now.