I don’t often delve into religion and spirituality on this blog. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t actively avoided it.However, I am a Christian, and I have definitely mentioned that fact. I am not ashamed, embarrassed or trying to hide my beliefs.
I have shared the awesome church experiences I have had in my adulthood and how it led to my becoming a Christian.
My understanding of God and the Bible is rudimentary at best, but I know what I believe. I just struggle with feeling like what I believe is the only way. And that is fodder for another blog entry.
Anyhoo….back to Charlie Brown. So Peanut’s A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a staple in my life since I was very little. I try to watch it yearly. Hearing Linus say, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” is a comforting and reassuring phrase to me.
Apparently it is to my son as well.
(This is not A Charlie Brown Christmas, just an picture example of how happy Evan is to read by himself)
Last year after Christmas I bought the book version that has several music and sound buttons on the side that coincide with the story. Each one plays a different tune or lines from the story. This book did not make the holiday boxes because I bought it in January. Instead it lives in Evan’s toy box but lately it has been living on the play room floor where Evan can access it with ease. I was in the kitchen preparing food recently when I overheard the Linus speech ringing throughout our house. Not once, but twice, and then a third time. I entered the play room to find Evan gazing at the book and listening intently. As soon as Linus finished the speech, he would push it again.
Evan could sit by himself and listen to that speech over and over again. He likes to lay down next to the book and listen. And this was not just a one day thing. He goes back to it day after day. He could push the music buttons over and over, or listen to all the different ones but he is choosing not to. He wants to hear Linus over and over.
Now hearing the speech has a whole different meaning to me. But the feeling of comfort is the same.
Thank you Charles Schulz.
Don’t get the wrong idea, this is not a post about things I have invented. I sure wish I had! Instead I thought I would name a few things that I feel have helped us IMMENSELY in these early days with our bug.(and I imagine the husband would agree)
These are in no particular order:
1.) The Pack and Play. When Evan was a newborn up until he was about a month old- he would nap in this with the floor elevated like in this picture. I liked having him on the same level as me, especially when he was taking cat naps and I was still nursing. We also used it (and still do!) as a changing station during the day. When we travel he sleeps in it. And just in the past few months I have used it when I need to do something and I need Evan to be in a place I know is safe and confined. Our dog would not get time in the backyard, the laundry wouldn’t get switched over, stinky trash would stay in the can, and I would never use the restroom (ahem) without this puppy. I have my superfriend/Matron of Honor, Talia to thank for realizing I could put Evan in this for short periods of time and not feel guilty about it. He has a few of his favorite toys in there that he only plays with during that special Evan time and he is happy as a clam while I am able to take the dog out for her bathroom break, or get the laundry up from the basement. Thank you Graco for this awesome contraption. 🙂
2.) Baby Einstein.
The baby video industry has smiled upon our family with this one. It’s no secret that Todd and I are TV watchers. We DVR with the best of them, and even with getting rid of cable, we still have a core number of shows that we watch regularly and get excited to catch up on. We do however, try really hard to not just have mindless television on while Evan is awake and with us. We do DVR Sesame Street, Signing Time, and a few other key shows that we feel okay about having on when we are cuddling with him or he is having his bedtime cup. That brings us to our beloved Baby Einstein videos. Back when I was struggling to get Evan to eat his meals, I tried putting short toddler friendly videos on You Tube while I fed him so he would be engaged and not focus on the food. Along the way, I found Baby Einstein and the plethora of videos that exist on You Tube. Evan’s eyes and mood changed dramatically the first time he watched one of the videos. I’ll never forget when I showed him the lullaby one (on steady rotation here in the Putman house). His eyes were wide, he giggled when the babies came on the screen and he interacted with the screen when the puppets danced and did their little skits. These videos have gotten us through many difficult doctor’s visits, nebulizer treatments, nail clippings, you name it. The really exciting part is that he has started to make noises in the right spots during songs and stories in some of the clips. At this point he doesn’t cry when we turn it off and he is just as happy to watch videos of himself. I knew we wouldn’t be a no T.V. household but I also didn’t want it to be on constantly for fear of Evan becoming fixated on media so early. So we try to sprinkle it in, especially when needed to get through a tough situation like long doctor’s appointments or waiting areas.
3.) The Zoli Bot Straw Cup . To the outside observer, this cup might look a little different but nothing special. In fact, this cup has been an integral part of Evan’s success with drinking a larger volume, and with further strengthening the muscles around his jaw and lips. We actually have to give him smaller amounts now because he drinks so fast, and he will only drink his “milk” from his straw cup or from an open cup. What sets this cup apart from other straw cups is that it has a weight at the bottom of the straw. So when Evan swings his cup around, which he is known to do quite often- the straw connects with the milk so he gets every last drop. It really was amazing when I realized I could give him his cup and he could sit by himself and drink every ounce on his own without prompting, encouragement or assistance.
|Little reading before nap time
Wow I am actually posting on the exact day! Evan is 20 months today. I was thinking that I love reading what “favorites” a child has at different stages. I find it so fascinating that even at such a young age we develop our tastes and preferences.
Today is January 27, 2013 and currently
Evan’s favorites are…..
books: Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton,
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown,
and First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
|Enjoying his first thin mint cookie
|Riding his giraffe (and he gets on and off himself!! We are so proud!)
foods: anything with sweet potatoes, cereal bars, white cheddar puffs from Trader Joes, pediasure
toys: ride on giraffe, pull toy alligator, fire truck
activities: bubbles, riding in swing, the pillow game (otherwise known as the ready-set-go game) (otherwise known as tire out Mommy game), and anything involving our dog Zoey.
songs: “On Top of Spaghetti” and “Old MacDonald”
Our little guy has made such huge strides in the past month or so. He is now doing a little pretend play with his play food- he will “feed” Todd his veggies and also pretend to eat it himself. He is dropping things and taking them out of everything with more and more ease. If you do the alphabet with him very slowly, he will grunt back “mmm” after each letter and he will do that with a lot of songs too. It makes my day when I say “I love you,” to him and he says back “mmmmmm.” I know eventually that “mmmmm” will turn into “I love you, mama.”
I hope to continue to write down his favorites every few months- I think it will be fun to look back and see how his favorites will change as he gets older.