Archive for the ‘milestones’ Category

Over the Smith family dinner tble we have a lot of interesting discussions, ranging from what we did that day to national and international news. Gideon participates, asking questions and adding quips. He usually interrupts the more boring conversations to him, the news, with requests to help him spell (sound out) words, his new favorite thing to do.

Last night, I was recounting Wash’s doctor’s appointment to Ries over dinner. Washington’s stats at 4 months are:

Weight: 16.03 lbs (60% percentile)
Length: 25.25 in. (50% percentile)
Head Circ.: 17.25 in (95.88% percentile).

We were laughing that the short, fat, large meloned babies the Miesmers are famous for definitely did not skip our boys as infants. I told Ries that the doctor said that his head was big because it has to “hold all those brains.” I added that Wash will be smart, just like his brother.

Gideon looked at me from across the table and said, “Now that’s a problem for you.”

I laughed and told him that indeed, it was going to be a problem for me. In fact, it already is most days.

Washington is progressing just like he should, babbling, laughing, grabbing things (and putting those things in his mouth), and doing push-ups during tummy time. He eats great and sleeps like a champ, going to bed around 9pm and waking up between 3:30 and 6am. That is a whole lotta sleep for this momma!

My boys keep me on my toes, with those big brain-filled melons, and I would not have it any other way.


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I wanted to have this post up earlier, but it has been busy around here. We are all adjusting, recuperating, and learning our roles all over again. Everything is so markedly different than last time. In many ways, we are parents for the first time again, since we have never really had a newborn at home before. Washington’s name was not a sure thing until we got to the birth center. I made an executive decision. We has been waffling between two names. We liked Washington, which was a unique first name, but not a name that was so weird no one would have heard of it. Nathanael is one of Ries’ middle names.

I prayed, and so did a lot of other people, that we would have a normal birth with a healthy baby and the Lord was very good to all of us. After a short 8 hours, Washington made his arrival on March 21st, the first day of Spring. We got to the birth center just in time, around 5:15 am and he made his appearance by 6 am sharp! I plan on writing a longer post about the labor and birth, but no today. Washington was born in the tub because that is where I happened to be!

Washington was helped into the world by the two ladies that were there for Gideon’s birth, Jackie Griggs and Camilla May, two wonderful midwives that have been huge blessing to our family. Ries was, as always, an awesome coach. Daddy was happy his son waited until the last basketball game was over Sunday night to start making his arrival known.

While I was being tended to, Ries took Washington out to meet his big brother and his Gammy and Gampa. Gideon asked why Wash was not talking yet. We stayed at the birth center for a few hours.

Washington and I were both fine, great actually, so after a few hours of rest and lunch, we all headed home. Here is a picture of us with Jackie before we left.

After getting home, Washington was surrounded by grandparents.

Washington and Papa

Washington and Oma

Gideon wants to hold, kiss, snuggle, and poke Wash at every opportunity. I know this will only get worse/better. Gideon is enamored of his little brother and does not seem too disappointed that Wash does not play with him yet. Gideon seems to be taking the addition in stride. He is enjoying having his Daddy home and the full attention from Daddy he has been getting. His tune may change when he is home alone with Momma in a couple weeks.

Our first day home, Washington also had visits from Aunt Katy, Uncle Keith, Cousin Kaiden, Uncle Christopher, and Aunt Sydney. We handed out bottles of homebrew to visitors and Ries toasted with a glass as well.

As I said in the beginning of this post, we are learning about newborns all over again. It has been fun having this tiny thing here with us. He eats like a champ, a marathon sucker like his brother, who thinks eating every 30-40 minutes is life or death. Good thing I am already used to that kind of eater. My milk came in yesterday, so Wash has been happily filling his belly.

He looks very different from Gideon at this age. I am looking forward to seeing his little personality as he gets older.

We have been very blessed.

There are more pictures on my flickr page here.

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This picture features Gideon in his new Big Boy Boxer Briefs with a green Skittle in his mouth. That’s right folks. No more diapers!

We spent last week in Potty Training Bootcamp. We basically used the Three Day Potty training method which involves a lot of nakedness and who does not love a little naked toddler running around the house?

Here is our experience with this method.

Overall, it worked great. I say worked because after 1 week, Gideon is potty trained. No more diapers (except at night) and he is now wearing real underwear!

You spend three days giving your child lots of water and juice to increase urination and then whisking them to the potty when they start to go. We also asked Gideon often if he had to go to the potty.

With a couple of exceptions, you are mostly homebound for three days. We used a combination of praise and Skitttles. The first day was very successful because both Ries and I were home to keep an eye on him. The second day, Gideon had two accidents and it happened both times because I turned my back for a second. They say you have to watch them like a hawk and you really do. You literally can do nothing but pay very close attention to your kid for three days. It was the worst thing about this method. I was exhausted by the end of the day, even after taking a nap with Gideon.

We started on Tuesday and by Friday, Gideon was telling us when he needed to go, holding it during errands out of the house, and waking dry from naps. I still need to ask him often if he has to go potty, just so he thinks about it. I heard that kids will often say no when they mean yes, but Gideon says yes when he does have to go.

Gideon is doing great. He does have an accident every once in awhile, but he goes whole days without an accident. He even did pretty well during church yesterday, though he was out of his normal environment. If you have been dreading potty training or are sick of diapers, I highly recommend this method.

Hallelujah, no more diapers!

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Sorry this is delayed but we were busy, doing birthday stuff and trying to fit our lives around it.

Gideon's 2nd Birthday

Gideon turned 2 years old yesterday (already!?).  We went out to eat pizza and then came home and had cupcakes and opened his present.  He received a multi-compartment bio-dome that contains an aquarium for triops (triops and food included) and areas for other ants and bugs to put in there.

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Almost 22 months

Gideon talks a lot. All the time. About everything. I have no idea where he got that from. He likes to be bossy too. Some of his current favorite phrases are:

“Mommy, whatcha doing? Whatcha doing, Mommy?”
“Where are you, Daddy?”
After I tell him to be careful: “Fall down. Hurt yourself.”
“Go away, Mommy.” (or puppy dog or Daddy)
“Read (fill in the blank).”
“Come on. This way.”

Over the weekend, I gave Ries a kiss and Gideon asked to be picked up too. I picked him up and then leaned us all in for a “family kiss.” Gideon now demands a family kiss all the time and will push Ries’ head and mine together while he leans in making a kissing noise. He then leans back and laughs and repeats the process a few times, each time saying, “family kiss.” Hilarious and very sweet.

Gideon just crawled up to me and said, “Mommy, love you.”

Gideon loves music and animals. He loves to read and be read to. He adores his Daddy and needs Mommy. He plays with Pullo all day, using him as a horse and a step ladder. Gideon’s favorite playmate is Caleb, which Gideon always pronounces as “Cable,” who is his size, but about three months younger. It is fun to watch them interact.

I know one day very soon, Gideon will be a stinky teenager, so I am trying to imprint this sweet smelling baby on my brain.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

When we went for our check-up in December, we walked by Pod C, where Gideon was when he was the most sick. It made my heart flutter to look at him, so big, and remember him small and hooked up to the ECMO machine. Here are my boys, almost two years later.

Sometimes, I can not believe what a gift we have been given. I know that God has plans for our family and we never forget why we have each day.

Every day is a gift from God.

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It is staggering to realize that this person living in my house has been here for almost two years. He comes up with new strategies everyday for taking over the family, but lucky for the adults, we can usually see right through his machinations. Here are some tidbits about Gideon.

Gideon had his last, until Kindergarten, developmental checkup at Texas Children’s in mid December. He performed 6 months to a year ahead in all skills. He does talk a lot and is very good at figuring things out. It was nice to have a doctor confirm our belief that we have an amazing kiddo.

They did ask us how many words he knows and I was like, “We are supposed to count all of them?” He knows hundreds of words, he can identify a lot of animals (including the noise they make and what they eat), he knows colors reasonably well, he can count to three (sometimes), he can identify his name and some letters, he remembers things that happened weeks ago, and he can make pizza dough like a pro (admittedly, I help a bit). It is sometimes hard to figure out what he is saying because he mostly knows nouns, only a handful of verbs, though he seems to be gaining verbs daily, and no articles or conjunctions.

He does like commands the best. Sit down. Come on. Mommyyy! Dad Daddyyy! Read Book. Eat! Hungry! Play! He does think he is the boss. I have noticed that he is easily frustrated and can’t imagine where he picked up that!

Gideon adores watching football and bball (basketball) with his Daddy. He does his own commentary as well, which is often more entertaining than the actual game. “Run!” “Tackle!” “Fall down!” or in the case of basketball, “Bounce!”

His favorite toys, and boy did he get a lot of them for Christmas, are: matchbox cars, wooden puzzles, books, a little people airplane and airport, and plastic animals.

He still only really likes animal shows on TV and that is ok with me.

Gideon only has four teeth, but he uses them well. He eats almost everything and in large quantities. Gideon loves to cook and make dough.

During bedtime, Gideon gets to pick three books and three songs. He requests songs and has recently started “singing” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with me. By singing, I mean he sings every fifth word. The first time he did it, I almost died from the cuteness.

We got serious about potty training this week and so Gideon, who had previously been telling us when he had to go potty, went on strike and refused to cooperate or else he threw fits when we suggested sitting on the potty. Willful is definitely in his vocabulary. The last couple days, we have had some successes and he likes that he gets an M (M&M) when he poops on the potty. I think this will be a process of time.

Gideon keeps us laughing. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He loves his grandparents and great-grandparents. He likes to play with his friend Caleb (who he calls Cable) and his cousin Isaac. Gideon finds new things to learn, say, and do everyday. He is a blessing.

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