Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween!




Sebbe was a dragon for Halloween! We didn't let him trick or treat for candy, but we did go to a party at Jenn's place with a lot of our mama and baby friends.

There are a few more pictures in the October web album, but Jennifer's husband Adrian took much better ones. They're here: http://picasaweb.google.com/jennifer.shotton/HALLOWEEN#


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Central Park Carousel


We met up with our friend Eric and his son Kieran (7 months) last weekend in Central Park. The boys picnicked and crawled around on the muddy grass, we walked around enjoying a beautiful day, and we rode the carousel. It's an old-fashioned ride - painted horses going up and down and round and round. It was awesome. I don't know if the boys liked it, but I thought it was wonderful.

Monday, October 27, 2008

cow's milk and other new joys

We introduced Sebastian to cow's milk last week. He seemed to like it, drinking 4-5 ounces from his sippy cup, but then he slept badly and we wondered if his stomach couldn't handle the lactose. So we cut back on the amount and he seems to be adjusting well. He's gotten really good at drinking from a sippy cup - he loves to pick it up by himself, by the handles, and tip his head waaaayyy back to drink.

On Friday we met up with our friends for a playdate at the Dobbs playground. It was, as always, so nice to see all my mom friends and their babies. And some of them are walking!!! Both Nathan and Anabelle are officially toddlers, taking their little steps around (arms outstretched). It's so great. I can't believe our boy, who seemed so close to walking in August, still isn't stepping out! Ah well - he's standing on his own more and more often. He grins when he does it, like he knows he's accomplishing something.

Some cute games from the past week:

While giving him a bath on Thursday, we started a game of back-and-forth splashing. I splashed my hand in the water once, and he did it once. Then I did it a few times, and so did he, and back and forth, until amid lots of giggles we were both splashing with both hands. The bath is so fun.

On Wednesday, I was lying on the floor on my back, with a glass of wine (a tumbler, not a stemmed glass) in one hand. He really wanted the glass, and crawled back and forth over my chest half a dozen times in pursuit of the glass. He would get 3/4 of the way over, and then I would move the glass to the other hand on the other side. So he would finish crawling over, turn around, and head back. I started giggling after the third time he did this, and he just gave me this baffled look (what's so funny? why's everything moving?) and kept going.

He's starting to crawl up on top of things - we have a low ottoman in the living room that he managed to climb up on Friday. He got up there and then sort of sat down and looked around and down. Had no idea what to do. I was impressed that he didn't just immediately try to get off and bonk himself on the head. I'm sure that's to come.

Inspired by the tale of Danica and Werdigo?, I started hiding little pieces of Sebastian's bread at the table. I would cover up a piece with my hand, and say "Where'd it go?". Well, he caught onto that right away, and would pick up my hand and grin at the bread. So I used my thumb to pin the piece to my palm so that when he picked up my hand the bread was gone. Huh!? He was so confused - looked all around, looked on the floor, looked at me. I put my hand back down on the table and he immediately picked it up again, grinning at me when the bread was once again there. Fun with babies...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seb, the artiste

We made playdough this weekend and also bought some crayons, markers, and fingerpaint. Time for the real messes to begin! I was hoping that Sebastian would figure out what to do with his new art toys, and not just eat them.

I borrowed the playdough recipe from my sister-in-law Kim, who is the most freely creative person I know and thus my most trusted source for all things art-related. It was really easy to make, and I like knowing what's in it (salt!). The only problem is that Sebastian utterly hated it. Hated. Feared. He wouldn't come near it, or touch it even with one finger. We tried making it into a ball and rolling it - he just watched. We showed him how it could be squished and reshaped - he gave us a nervous smile and crawled away. I tried to give it to him and he physically recoiled. He has never before shown unhappiness about any toy or texture (he loves dirt and grass), so I don't know what was going on. Maybe we were trying too hard? At any rate, I put it away for now.

Next, we tried crayons. He ate them. Purple crayon was all over his cheek, chin, and lips, but none made it onto the paper. We drew all kinds of things and he sat contentedly chewing his crayons and throwing them around. *sigh*

Finally, at dinner on Monday night, I put a piece of paper on the table in front of him and gave him two markers. Success! He drew on the paper! He also drew on the table, his shirt, his face, and me. He also got beets all over the paper, so it is "mixed-medium". So avant-garde.

We saved his first artwork, of course. I have to figure out how to get a scan of it uploaded to post.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

daycare vs. a nanny

We had a nanny come today to look after Sebastian - he was sent home from daycare on Monday with a fever over 101, and is not allowed to return until he's been fine for 24 hours. Since we both needed to work today, we used a service provided by Columbia called Backup Care. Basically, it's an agency that subcontracts with childcare centers and nanny agencies to provide emergency backup childcare service.

In theory, we love the idea, and it's clearly a necessary option when you both have to work on a certain day. (Kids get sick, daycare centers close, nannies get sick or take vacation, etc.) In practice, we both spent the day feeling terribly anxious. Christie arrived this morning at 7:30 and seemed perfectly nice, competent, etc. But it was very hard to leave Sebastian in our home with a stranger, and very strange to come back at the end of the day and have so little idea of what he and she had been up to. And he cried when we left and was very subdued when I returned, which didn't thrill me. It made me realize more than ever that daycare is the better choice for us (unless the nanny is a family member, like Trish or Mom Raab).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Must scoot to Muscoot Farm!




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We spent Sunday at Muscoot Farm just north of us in Katonah, NY. They were having a fall harvest celebration, with music, a farmers market, and games. We saw goats, chickens, pigs and piglets, sheep, horses, cows, geese, and turkeys. And lots and lots of pumpkins. Sebbe seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all (so many kids!).

Thanks to my friend Arin for the family photo of us! (It's one of her daughters, Emma, that's in the pumpkin patch with Sebbe.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

at the playground





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Ever since he became mobile (and discovered how to climb stairs), it has been so fun to take Sebastian to the local playgrounds. He loves to clamber up the steps, to go through and sit in the tunnels, to go down the slides, to play peekaboo through the bars or the plastic windows. I love to take him and crawl around with him, letting him explore everything and use his little body.

We are extremely fortunate in our choices of playgrounds, as well - there are two in Dobbs, both within a 5-minute walk. One is at the waterfront, and is pirate-ship-themed. The other is brand new - we watched them install it last May - and has great side-by-side slides so that we can go down together. In Hastings, there are three playgrounds - at the waterfront, at Zinsser Park along the trail, and next to the school athletic grounds. The last of these is always packed with children; there are swings, sandboxes, little riding creatures, and two separate jungle gyms for little and big kids. And in Irvington, there's a wonderful little playground just off the trail - the little kids jungle gym is treehouse-themed, and very cute. We've been visiting all of these, and loving them all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

water baby

Sebastian's new favorite time of day is bathtime. As soon as he's finished dinner, he crawls toward the bathroom. (Usually, he's covered in food, so that's a good thing.) Then he stands holding onto the edge of the tub, bouncing up and down in excitement while we fill the tub with water. He has these cute rubber animal bath toys that he likes to throw into the water. He crouches down to pick them up, and hurls them in, while we provide the soundtrack (ploop! splash! yay!).

He loves to sit in the water and put his animals into a bucket, and then dump them out. He chases the animals around the tub. He lies on his belly and kicks his feet, splashing the water everywhere. He doesn't even mind when I pour water over his head to clean his hair and face - just looks down and closes his eyes.

Last night he was so upset when I took him out that he just started howling in despair.

Of course, all of this bath love could be because he has also discovered his little willy. While sitting in the bath, he'll reach down and touch himself (he can't see what he's doing, because his belly is so big that it blocks the view...). Immediately afterwards he looks up at us with the biggest grin ever on his face. Occasionally he giggles with happiness.

No wonder bathtime is so happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

helping out around the house



Steve has taught Sebastian a very important life skill: helping unload the dishwasher. Sebbe loves the dishwasher - the fact that the door opens down and there's all that stuff in there to play with, the sliding tray that he can move in and out, the door to climb on top of...
So now he has learned to take out all the plates and bowls and silverware (not knives) and hand them to us. He takes things out very carefully, with two hands, and then holds them up for us to take away and put onto the shelf. He's very deliberate about it.