Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Elie nearly pulled himself up

We had a pretty good day today - our first day after Memorial Day weekend when Jeremy was home all day and took Yoav out for most of the days (they went to DUMBO on Sunday and Central Park on Monday). In the morning, we went with Jeremy for bagels at David's Bagels - it was our first time going there in a while and will be one of our last times ever, if not our last...

We spent the rest of the morning coloring, packing and Yoav playing in the playroom and being a general nudnik. In the afternoon, we read some stories from our Waldorf book and then went out to meet friends at the playground. First we went to the Fire Truck playground and met friends for a bit. Then it started raining so we headed home. It stopped right away, though, so we had an enjoyable, leisurely walk home. We even picked up a few boxes that were headed for recycling on the way.

When we got back, we had a snack and Yoav played by himself for a while in the playroom. Then we headed out to play with Mo and Lucy at the train playground. Yoav pretty much always wants to go to the playground now because he's hoping he'll see Stella (who's usually there in the afternoons). Yoav saw Stella as soon as we got to the border of the playground. He stopped to look at her and smile and tell me he saw her, at which point, she saw him and said, "Hi Yoav!" He didn't respond. He seems to be a bit shy around her. He did excitedly run to the front entrance of the playground and SHE ran to the entrance to greet him!! What a romance brewing! He ended up playing first with Lucy on the swings, but later did swings a little with Stella and then we left with them.

In the evening, after Yoav fell asleep, Elie crawled around on a blanket in the living room while I packed. He can really move pretty fast now, and seems to move particularly fast if he sees a scrap of paper ahead :) At one point, he nearly pulled himself with one of Yoav's little wooden chairs - he held onto the seat of the chair and pulled himself up to kneeling. It seemed like he might have been able to pull up to standing had he not had slippery socks on. So much for any need for tummy time! Elie has barely had any tummy time so far and has only napped off of me two or three times. I've never done any formal tummy time with him - the only tummy time he gets is lying on my or Jeremy's stomach and sleeping at night on the bed (and for the time he's asleep in the moses basket before I go to sleep).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Elie is creeping / Yoav's allergy update

So Elie is creeping away (that's the word my mom said it is). He can pretty easily move from one place to another on the floor to get to what he wants. Guess it's sort of an army crawl. It's been going on for a week or so, but in the last day or two, he's really mastered it. This creeping coincides with him being much harder to hold. He wants to be down on the floor some, which he didn't seem to want at all before. He squirms a lot when I hold him and his preference when I hold him is to be standing up on my legs (me holding him under his arms).

We went to the allergist today to get more details about Yoav's RAST test. The RAST test showed the following as positive:
cow's milk
hazelnuts
sesame seeds
peanuts
flounder
cod
halibut
salmon
bass
mackerel
trout
cats

At the appointment today, Dr. Grubman said the test gives a lot of false negatives. My understanding is that if the RAST came back positive, then it is positive, but negative doesn't seem to mean too much. He suggests a scratch test for confirmation. So we did a scratch test for:
peanuts
pecans
walnuts
cashews
tree pollen
grass
ragweed
tuna

It came back positive for everything except ragweed, pecans and walnuts. So, the good news is that Yoav can eat walnuts and pecans. The bad news is that he definitely is allergic to pollen (and grass which I didn't suspect). Blah. I feel bad about that because the food you can just avoid. We can't avoid trees and grass... His nose has been stuffy for about a month. Although now it's really rainy here, so he's been clear for a few days.

Not much else - Dr. Grubman seemed to think there's a decent chance he'll outgrow the milk allergy. I think the number was 1.95 for milk. For reference, salmon was about 3.5. Although flounder was pretty low (around 1.3) and that was the one that Yoav's whole face swelled up after eating.

Dr. Grubman gave me some guidelines for feeding Elie to reduce the risk of allergies, given that he has a sibling with a lot of allergies:
* Breastfeed for at least 4-6 months
* Delay introduction of solids until 6 months
* Wait until age 1 to introduce milk-based formula (I assume this means 1 year for milk also, but it doesn't specifically say that)
* Wait until age 2 to introduce eggs
* Wait until age 3 to introduce tree nuts, peanuts and fish
* Mothers should avoid peanuts and tree nuts during the last trimester of pregnancy and during lactation

Friday, May 16, 2008

LLL Toddler / Packing

We went to LLL Toddler today. Yoav said he only wanted to go if Abby was going, so I emailed Amy yesterday and they were planning to go and did go!!! Yoav really enjoys playing with Abby. She's one of his official "girlfriends". His girlfriends are Stella, Isabella, Abby and Eliza plus the other two girls in music class who he's never talked to - Sonia and Vida. It's funny how he talks about them too. Tonight as he was falling asleep, he was mumbling the names of his girlfriends. He also has Lucy, who is a girl friend, but he doesn't include her as an official "girlfriend". So funny!!

At LLL, Yoav brought Elie some toys to play with. It was really sweet of him. One was plastic and I told him I preferred Elie not to teeth on it because it probably had phthalates, so after that, he checked with me when he picked them out. One he said he got because "Elie was interested in" it... ;)

When we got home, we worked on packing. Yoav really enjoyed it. He was my "tape helper" - I pulled out the tape and he cut it and he helped put the tape on the boxes. One box he packed completely by himself with some books. Not very efficient, but I left it as he did it and we taped it up and numbered it. I wrote "books" on the side and he scribbled something and said he wrote, "Books are in here".

He played with his blocks alone for a bit in the playroom. I was watching from the door without him seeing me. He was using his Cuisenaire rods and cubes. He was so precise with them. And was talking as he was building.

On a related note, he's become more and more OCD in some ways. When we're walking outside, he makes up all sorts of OCD rules when he's walking - like he'll walk only on a crack with one foot exactly in front of the other; or on tiles, he'll walk with his left foot in one tile, right foot directly to the right of the left one, then left one moves forward one tile and right foot moves forward one tile. It makes for VERY slow walking (especially when he doesn't do it exactly as he intended and starts over) and is pretty hard for me to bear, especially on rainy days like today. Yoav wasn't in a hurry AT ALL!

In the late afternoon, I was feeling a little dizzy (tired/hungry) and sat on the couch and said I didn't feel well. Yoav said, "Do you want any water?" There was a glass on the coffee table so I asked him for that and he brought it over. Sometimes he makes for such great company.

Elie's getting very close to crawling. He can move all around on the bed by sticking his tush up in the air and pushing forward.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mailman

Today someone asked Yoav what he wants to be when he grows up and he said "mailman". He's told me before that he wants to drive a mail truck ;)

Also, we took the C train today (same one we take with Isabella, so it's a favorite line now) and later in the day, Yoav randomly said to me, "Lucy has a C in it." He's clearly becoming aware of spelling.

We had a fun, easy day today - we went to LLL Hell's Kitchen today because we have friends there and the leader is great and has two older daughters (9 and 12) who Yoav likes a lot. Then we went to a playground with friends, came home and played with Mo & Lucy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Elie the Explorer

So Elie is really into exploring all of a sudden. Really today felt like the first day. I could barely do anything because he kept grabbing at everything. Like when I was reading to Yoav, Elie kept grabbing for the books; talking on the phone, Elie was grabbing for the phone; trying to put Yoav to sleep, Elie was grabbing at Yoav's pjs! I did lots of photos today of Yoav and Elie rolling around on the bed together. They both love it. They also took a bath together - I knelt by the tub and held Elie in a bear hug. Elie did a lot of splashing! He wasn't laughing, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. Yoav was safe with him in the tub. Once Yoav threw a hard toy in Elie's direction but I asked him to keep the hard toys low and he did. Hopefully bathtime will soon be a fun activity for them to do together (without making my arms fall asleep).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yoav

Just a few quick things -

Today we were waiting for a subway and I said I was tired and Yoav said, "Soon Aba will be home. Then you can rest." Also, someone offered him a seat and he immediately offered it to me. He said, "Do you want to sit down?" I said, "Why don't you sit?" He said, "You can sit down." and it went on until the person next to the empty seat offered us hers too :) He's so sweet. He loves to offer people food/seats/etc.

Also, later we were playing with Lucy and Lucy wanted Yoav to play with her in the hallway. Yoav was doing a puzzle and said, "I *would* play with you when I finish this puzzle. I would do that." (meaning will, not really would) And he did. It was really cute the way he said it, in his singsongy voice that he does with Jeremy.

We're desperately looking for an apartment in Park Slope. We just saw a gorgeous 3bed/1bath with garden on Sunday, but someone else beat us to it :(

Friday, May 2, 2008

More Stella

We did laundry this morning and then went to Trader Joe's. Grocery shopping with two kids (one being 3.5yo and not in a stroller) is so exhausting. I don't know why I keep doing it. Jeremy's traveling so much this month, there's no time to go to the store alone :( I want to try Fresh Direct. As much as I like looking at things I buy, it would probably make things a lot easier to do Fresh Direct. I just need to be organized about it.

On the way home, who did we see but..... drumroll please.... Stella and her mother (Cheryl)!!!!! They were coming back from signing up for a summer art class. Yoav was SOOOOOOO excited. It made his day. As soon as we headed in different directions, Yoav asked me to tell him about his day (at the end of the day, he often asks me to tell him the story of all the things we did during the day). Really he just wanted to hear the Stella part. He was laughing excitedly as I told him about seeing them - and I embellished with how I saw a little girl in a stroller with reddish/blondish (should have said strawberry blond) hair and I thought it looked like Stella and then I looked closely and, yes, it WAS Stella with her Mommy!!! Yoav was carrying cereal he got from TJ's and Cheryl saw it and said it looked good and maybe she should get it for Stella. Cheryl also said maybe they'd see us later at the playground if it didn't rain.

So after the food came (we got delivery), we called Mo and Lucy and went out to play. Sure enough, Stella was there!!!!!!!! Yoav was soooo excited. When he saw her, he said her name over and over and laughed hysterically. They all went on swings together and it almost seemed like Yoav was hyperventilating :) At one point, Stella started crying to go on a baby swing instead of a regular swing that she was on. I told Yoav why she was crying and he immediately said he wanted to trade. Later they played on the swings and in the train some. And Stella tried the cereal that Yoav had packed up for her and she liked it!!! Yoav was very happy about that!

We left with Stella (Yoav always wants to leave at the same time as her now, even though we weren't going in the same direction).

On the walk home, Yoav and Lucy played in a mud puddle. (Later, Yoav told Steve that they had played in a lake - I think he just doesn't know what a lake is.) Yoav was brushing the water with a stick with leaves at the end and said he was doing a watercolor. He said first he was using blue paint and then gold. He was really enjoying himself, even though it was really cold!!!

When we got in, Mo told Lucy that Lucy needed a bath and Lucy got really upset and started crying that she didn't want to take a bath. Yoav, in full seriousness, said to her, "If you don't want to take a bath, just don't take a bath. And if you do want to take a bath, then you take a bath." Even Mo was laughing. I love when he explains things to other people based on his own model of a free/consensual life (which he thinks is the norm).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Biting / Frustration

I haven't been writing at all - seems like there's so little time lately...

I went down to Park Slope today to look at an apartment. Our lease ends at the end of May and I would like to move to somewhere quieter. The apartment was on a beautiful block - 12th Street between 8th Ave and Prospect Park West (so it was about a quarter block to Prospect Park!). After looking at the apartment, we met Jackie and Phoenix at the playground. At one point, a boy pushed Yoav off the slide (Yoav was sitting at the bottom of the slide, so it wasn't a big fall) and Yoav got very frustrated/angry and hugged me some, teared up and then bit the side of the slide for a few seconds. Later, I asked Jackie if she thought that was within the realm of normal behavior () and she reminded me that last week when we were playing with her and Phoenix, when Yoav got frustrated when Phoenix didn't want to share something with the Play Doh they were playing with, he got upset in the same way, but released the frustration by biting ELIE! He has also bitten me in these same situations before. So Jackie pointed out that he was able to release the aggression from the frustration in a safe way today. Wow! On the train home the day he played with Phoenix, he tried to bite me when he got frustrated and I said things right out of an Aldort article called "Helping Children Resolve Emotional Hurts". Basically, I said something like, "You are a wonderful person. I see that you are very frustrated and want to bite me. It is normal to feel that way. I love you just the same when you are hurting me, but we cannot hurt people - I need to be safe. When you grow up you'll be able to control yourself. For now I'll help you." and I held his hands. Who knows if it was what I said or what it was that helped him today. He hasn't bitten either of us though since that incident and I hadn't even remembered it until Jackie mentioned it.