"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, a home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Parenting Initiation

When people discuss parenthood they usually talk about how great it is. They always say that the love between the parents and child is unlike any other. It is a love so deep that it can not be put into words. They always talk about the joy and good times that go along with raising children. People never talk about the initiation process that goes hand in hand with parenting. Parenting doesn't come easy and I have always felt like we were always being slowly initiated into the parenting club. Being peed on and pooped on are the first steps. The next step is being spit up on after you just freshly showered and dressed from a previous spit up mess. Once you stay up all night long with a sick baby, a crying baby, or with a baby that just refused to sleep you move several more steps up the parenting ladder. Surviving the first real injury that your child receives and surviving potty training allow you to take even more steps up that ladder. I have completed all of these initiation steps (several of which have been completed many times over again!). Now that I have survived Landon's first car sickness I consider myself an official card holding member of the Parenting Club! Or at least a member of the Toddler Parenting Club. I haven't had to experience the nervousness of Landon driving for the first time or having to stay up all night waiting for him to come home. I am sure those things will be happening within a blink of an eye. 

Today Landon was in the car and got sick out of nowhere. He was feeling fine all day. He hadn't even had a single cough and then all of a sudden I hear him throwing up in the backseat. I start climbing over the back seat to get to him as Jenn pulls off of the road. It was also his first true throwing up episode. He has only thrown up one other time and that was just mainly liquids. Today it was a full on vomit fest that made it's way into every crevice and crack of his car seat. It was terrible and he just kept repeating "oh oh" over and over again when he realized that he was soaking wet. I pull Landon out of his car seat and Jenn undressed him as I attempted to clean his car seat out. I still have no idea what made him sick, but he was acting like nothing happened. He still isn't acting sick. I am hoping that he does not inherit my motion sickness. I still get sick in the car, especially if I have to read anything...even anything as simple as reading directions makes me sick. I can't even swing on a swing or walk onto a dock above water without feeling queasy. I really hope that he is not becoming motion sick like me. I was really bad off as a child and dreaded car rides. Playing at the playground was also a nightmare for me because I couldn't swing or play on the merry-go-round like the rest of the kids. I also hope that he is not coming down with anything, but so far so good. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beef. It's What's for Dinner

Dinner time was a smashing success this evening! Landon rarely eats meat and when he does it is usually just a few bites. This evening I made meatloaf and Landon went back for seconds and thirds! He gobbled every last bite down. I'm not a meatloaf fan unless it is Paula Deen's bacon cheeseburger meatloaf. In fact, I'm not a big fan of anything other than chicken, but I made it in hopes that Landon would like it. I found this amazing cookbook at the library called "The Milk-free Kitchen" and it is filled with hundreds of recipes that I am dying to try. The meatloaf was one of them. It was so simple to make and such a big hit with Landon that I thought I'd share it with everyone in case you are needing some ideas. The meatloaf consisted of:
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (I omitted this part)
  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I substituted ground turkey)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 slices uncooked bacon (I used turkey bacon)
Mix the rolled oats, salt, pepper, and onion together. Add the ground beef and mix lightly. Spread the meat mixture into a 5 by 9 inch loaf pan and then top it with the ketchup and bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. I added 1/2 cup of carrot puree to the meatloaf mixture as well. I also paired it with Landon's favorite side dish- chicken rice-a-roni with broccoli and carrots. 

Landon loves tuna fish so tomorrow night I am going to try making the tuna fish casserole that is in the cookbook. We'll see how it goes. 

I made rice krispie treats for dessert, but Landon refused to try them. I made them with his vegan butter and it didn't alter the taste at all. I know he would like them if he tried them, but he won't even try them. Kellogg's cereal was BOGO this week at the store and when you purchased two boxes of cereal you received a free Kellogg's reusable shopping bag. Landon picked out the Tony the Tiger bag and I purchased Fruit Loops along with the Rice Krispies thinking that Landon would like those. Apparently, Landon hates Fruit Loops. I'm beginning to think that he is not my child! To this day I can eat an entire box of Fruit Loops in just a few days time. Add in the fact that Landon hates rice krispie treats and pop tarts and I am beginning to wonder where he came from!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Names

Kevin and I put a lot of thought into Landon's name. When we found out that Landon was going to be a boy we had no names picked out, well at least not boy names. I'm sure Kevin did, but I didn't want to discuss boy names before that day. Several days passed and we still hadn't discussed potential boy names. In fact, so many days had passed before we picked out a name that a friend of mine from work started calling the babe in my belly Kirk. She somehow thought that Kirk was a good mix between Kevin and Amanda. How she ever came up with Kirk from the combo of Kevin and Amanda is beyond me. I grew tired of hearing my baby being called Kirk by everyone at work that I finally told Kevin that we have to come up with a name. Kevin handed me a list of names that he liked and I shot them all down. In my defense he had names like Jackson Daniel (Jack Daniels) on there. I'm sure there was even a Hank Aaron on the list followed by a Bart Simpson. I couldn't help but laugh at his list, but he took some of those names seriously. Especially the Jackson Daniel one.

As the saying goes...when the going gets tough the tough get IHOPS! At least that is how it goes in our house. IHOPS was always a late night favorite for us pre-baby days. There was never an issue that couldn't be solved or a discussion that couldn't be had over a middle of the night stack of pancakes. It was only natural for us to come up with Landon's name over a plate of pancakes. I remember jokingly telling Kevin that since it was a boy the name choosing would be completely up to him. I always liked the name Landon, but didn't think that Kevin would go for it. Kevin seemed to be leaning towards more common names such as Christopher and Andrew. I know that Landon is not an uncommon name, but I had never come across a Landon at that time (now it seems like every friend of a friend has a new baby boy named Landon). Luckily for me Landon was one of the first names that Kevin said once I told him that the name was all up to him. Within seconds I called my mom to tell her what her first grandchild would be named. She was ecstatic and I could hear her yelling for Alex to tell him and then Alex's excitement could be heard as well. Not everyone took Landon's name as well as we would have liked. We even had a family member ask us "what kind of name is Landon?" They didn't like the name and wanted us to change it. We held our ground and had a Landon Hunter. 

The reason I brought all of this up is because recently I ran into someone who I hadn't seen since I was pregnant with Landon. She asked me what Landon's name was and I told her. Her reaction was "oh (followed by a long pause) ...that's different". I could sense her disapproving tone in the way that she had said it. I wasn't sure how to take that. I knew she didn't like his name, but there were so many other things that she could have said. I would never put down a child's name, especially in front of the parents. I know how much work and deliberation goes into picking out a child's name. The decision is not an easy one,  nor is it something that is taken lightly. 

Celebrities are the only ones who I think come up with crazy names on purpose. I always imagine all of the celebrity moms-to-be drinking coffee together and being like "so and so named her child Coco so I am going to one up her by naming mine Apple." I don't think much thought goes into naming your child after a food that you were craving. For the rest of us, a child's name holds a lot of meaning and love behind it. So if you come across someone and find out the name of their child is something that you do not like and you can not come up with something nice to say then just smile and nod.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bubble Bubble!

Here is a quick funny story about Landon today. Landon has been congested the past couple of days. As I was getting dressed today he came running to me yelling "bubble" "bubble" over and over again. I knew I had placed his bubbles in the closet out of his sight and reach so I looked to see what he was talking about. He managed to blow a snot bubble and was so excited that there was a bubble coming out of his nose. He kept blowing snot bubbles over and over again while excitedly yelling "bubble"! It really gave me a good laugh.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Mother's Touch

A bond between mother and child is unlike any other. Each day I am continually amazed by the bond that Landon and I share. He always knows exactly what I am feeling without me ever having to say anything. Of course, it should go without saying that this bond is mutual. This morning I was sicker than I had been in a long time. I am on antibiotics for my eye infection and they have been making me incredibly nauseous. I very rarely experience side effects from medication. However, this time around I am sick enough to make up for all of the years that I have managed to escape side effects. I spent the entire morning throwing up. Landon had woken up and came looking for me. He found me in the bathroom and he kneels down to me and says "aww" and pats my leg and then kisses my leg. It was as if he instinctively knew that I was not feeling well and had been up since 4 a.m. He knew that I needed his sweet little pat and kiss to make me feel better.

We also had a rather long day today. We started the morning out with a doctors appointment for Landon and then we met up with a family friend who is visiting from Texas. She also has a little boy who is just a few weeks younger then Landon. They spent the evening playing together and Landon was so tired out by the time we headed home. The last 15 minutes of the drive he spent it screaming. I am talking about an eye piercing, shrieking sort of cry. The type of cry that you get from a newborn in the car. I finally found a way to reach my hand over the top of his carseat so that he could hold my hand. In that exact moment Landon stopped crying. The moment that his hand connected with mine all was well again. All he needed was that special Momma touch to make everything better.

That simple act of hand holding made me take a second to appreciate the bond that we have. It made me stop to think about how special a mother's touch can be for a child. I love that Landon and I have such a strong connection and I can not wait to see how this connection between mother and child deepens over the years.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring is NOT in the Air!

Lately I have had to double check the date on the calendar. It has been feeling unusually chilly considering it is Springtime in Florida. There have only been two days so far where we have been in shorts. Usually we are roasting to death by now, but not this year. At least the cooler spring weather has allowed for Landon to get some more wear out of his jean jacket. Tinkie was even able to wear her's as well. The two of them walked around all day long yesterday matching one another. We took a walk over to PetSmart and everyone in the store commented how cute they were together. Especially since Landon insists on being the one to walk Tink on her leash.

I'm glad their cuteness was enough to distract people from looking at me. For the past 5 days I have had to keep Landon cooped up inside because I have horrible swelling on my eyelid. It turns out that I have a stye that has caused quite a bit of infection. I wound up at the hospital last night to finally have someone look at it because I could no longer take the pain. They had to make small slits in my eyelid and drain it. It still looks horrible, but hopefully after the antibiotics take effect I will be looking back to normal. In the meantime I will just walk around like a rock star and refuse to take my sunglasses off in the stores. Or I could always match Tink's and Landon's outfits and take the both of them out together everywhere we go! Landon would thoroughly enjoy that option!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

The words "come here" or "lay down for a diaper change" never have to be repeated around here. If by chance they did have to be repeated over and over again, then most certainly I would never have to be stern about it and follow those sayings up with "now". Nope, not me. I would never have to continuously use the word "now" to follow up a command for Landon. Landon always listens so well and follows orders the first time that they are given. He would never hear "now" so often that he then looks at me, points his finger down, and then says "now" just like I do.  Even if he had started to mock me in such a way I would never find this behavior cute and catch it on video. Nope, not me! I most certainly would never laugh at the little dance that he does after he mocks me. I have far too much composure for that!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Booty Shake!

Landon has known all of his body parts for quite some time now. Usually when we ask him where his booty is he will point to it or turn around to show it off. Lately, when we ask him where his booty is he shakes it! Kevin and Landon have this ongoing thing where Kevin gets Landon to shake his booty. Kevin will ask Landon to do things, such as to pick up his toys or get his shoes. Once Landon has completed his task then Kevin will ask Landon for a high five and a kiss. Kevin then follows the kiss with asking Landon to shake his booty. Landon will then put his arms up in the air and start shaking his booty! It is the funniest thing to watch. So now when we ask Landon to point out his body parts and we ask him where his booty is he now gives us a shake!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poop, poop, and more poop

Warning: The subject matter in this post is not suitable for those with a weak stomach. This post is about poop and lots of it!

For almost two weeks now I have been up to my elbows in poop...literally. Ever since Easter Sunday Landon has had horrible diarrhea. At first we thought it was from some sausage that Kevin gave him. He didn't realize that some sausage contains milk. I figured we'd wait it out a few days and then all would clear up. We have had no such luck. Landon has pooped through several diapers a day, every day since Easter. I'm talking major diaper blow outs to where it runs down his leg onto the floor. Every time we run out for even the quickest of errands I am making sure to pack two spare pairs of pants and we are usually returning home with Landon wearing his last pair of back up pants and needing to be changed again. 

I then thought that it could be caused by the beef ramen noodles that Landon was eating. Most beef flavoring contains milk, but this particular package did not. I read and re-read the packaging before I bought it and saw that it did not contain any milk so I picked up a few packages. Since Landon was still having issues several days after eating the sausage I thought that maybe it was the noodles causing the problem. I was worried that they contained milk after all and that the company just didn't mark it on the package so I stopped feeding Landon the noodles and gave the remaining packages to my brother. Several more days go by and Landon is still having issues.

Kevin and I then thought that his Easter candy was causing the problem. Landon has never really had much sugar and he was on sugar overload since Easter. He has had more then his fair share of peeps, lollipops, pixie sticks and jelly beans since Easter. We thought that the sugar could be causing the problem since Landon wasn't use to all of that junk. I got rid of all of his candy and we are still having issues with his poop. I am at my wits end. I am tired of changing poopy diapers followed by stain treating pants and scrubbing poop off of the carpet. To make things worse, all of this poop has caused Landon to be in tremendous amounts of pain during diaper changes. His skin is cut open, bleeding, and is red. He screams through diaper changes and is even hiding when he goes to the bathroom to prevent from getting changed. 

People are telling me that I am over-reacting by making a doctors appointment, but this is unlike Landon. He only ever does this when he is having an allergic reaction to something. If it doesn't clear up by Monday then I will be making him an appointment, even if not everyone agrees with it. I may be told that it is nothing, but I would rather be told it is nothing, then worried that it is something. 

I'm hoping that Landon is not allergic to some sort of food dye that is found in the candy or other food that he has been eating. I guess we will find out soon enough once I make his appointment.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Festivities

Easter was very low key this year. We took Landon to two Easter egg hunts at two different parks this year. I was so excited to take him on his first Easter egg hunt and I couldn't wait to see him run after all of the eggs. However, that is not exactly what happened. At the first Easter egg hunt Landon had a complete meltdown right before the egg hunt started and wound up not collecting any eggs. The egg hunt was suppose to start at 10:00 a.m. but didn't actually start until 11:15 a.m. Over an hour of waiting around + a missed nap = one very cranky toddler. The egg hunt was divided into several age groups, which sounds good at first. In reality it was a complete mess. They had the 0-3 age group on one side of the park and the 4-9 group on the other side. All of the moms with several children couldn't split them up so most of the older kids wound up on the side for toddlers. They also limited the number of eggs to three per child, but try enforcing those rules to kids who had been looking at those eggs on the fields for over an hour. By the time we got Landon to stand up from his fit and go looking for an egg there were none left. Another mom overheard me saying how disappointed I was in the disorganization and the fact that Landon didn't get an egg. She had her daughter give Landon an egg. That egg actually contained the prize. I offered to give the prize to the little girl, but the mother insisted that we keep it. Landon won a sand bucket overflowed with goodies!
Landon was pouting because he had to wait to get the eggs
Looking into his prize loot!
The saving point to that whole egg hunt was the bounce house that they had there. Landon loved the bounce house.

The next egg hunt that we did Landon was well behaved and found eggs. Although every time he found an egg he would place it into another child's basket instead of his. Landon loves to share and egg hunting was no different.
Waiting patiently for the egg hunt to start
Landon sharing his egg
This year we were also able to have Landon dye some eggs. I was a little skeptical at first because I didn't want a mess. I kept envisioning dye all over the table and floors. We decided to take the egg dying outside. I put my guard down and allowed Landon to dye his eggs all by himself. The eggs were 100% the work of Landon. Even if I wanted to help him to make things a little neater, Landon would have no part of it. He wanted to do it all by himself. I must say that his eggs turned out really well. I may be a little biased, but I think Landon's eggs are the best that I have ever seen!
Easter day was filled with lots of candy and bubbles. Everyone knows that Landon can't have chocolate so each family member went out of their way to find candy that Landon could have. As a result, he now has every type of marshmallow to last him until Halloween! Kevin and I made Landon a "welcoming Spring" type basket. We included bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, anything that could be used outdoors.
Easter afternoon we had an Easter egg hunt at my mom's. It was such a big hit with Landon that we had to have a second one after dinner. Landon loved searching for all of the eggs. Landon's uncles hid over 50 eggs for him. I think there are one or two still out in the woods somewhere. Maybe we'll come across them next year!
The only thing missing this year was a picture with the Easter bunny. Landon was terrified of the Easter bunny every time we got up close to him. I'm disappointed that we don't have a picture with the Easter bunny from this year, but we are living in Landon's World. Life is now according to Landon and not everything goes as planned. Maybe next year he will be older and ready to handle to big scary bunny.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Bright Side

It has taken nearly two years, but I think I have finally found the bright side to Landon waking before the sun each and every morning. This morning I had planned to take Landon out for breakfast at our home away from home- Chick-fil-a! I forgot that today was Sunday meaning that Chick-fil-a was closed. I wound up making him breakfast and thankfully Landon didn't mind the change in plans. After breakfast we then attempted bath time. I say "attempted" because bath time around here is usually less bath and more play time! Landon insisted on Tinkerbell getting into the tub with us so she too got a bath this morning. After we were all bathed, dried, dressed, and brushed we headed out to the grocery store. We then came home, Landon took a nap and I proceeded to put the groceries away. Putting the groceries away then led to cleaning out the fridge and organizing the pantry. You may be asking what the bright side to all of this was. I think it was the fact that all of this was done by 10:30 a.m. We now have to rest of the day for walks, bike rides, and coloring time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

If the Shoe Fits?

What could make Landon smile this big? Shoes ofcourse! He sure does take after his Mommy! When Landon came across a bag of shoes that no longer fit him he was so excited that he could barely contain himself. He kept exclaiming "ooos" over and over again. He insisted on wearing a particular pair around for hours. There was only one problem:
They didn't match. Maybe there were two problems:
They were also way too small. Landon's heel was hanging way over the back of his shoe. That sure didn't stop him from wanting to wear them though. Once he gets his mind set on something, then there is no changing his mind. Even if it does mean wearing mismatched shoes that are way too small!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Party Location

Landon's party location has been driving me crazy. Kevin and I only know that we would like to have it at a park again. After all, we had Landon's 1st party at a park and we spend most of our days playing at the park so it only made sense to have Landon's party at a park again. The only problem was which park. Over the past year we have gone to many parks. We also love a number of parks so it has been hard to decide which park is ideal for Landon's party. I have heard a lot about Clarke House park over in Orange Park. We never get a chance to head over that way, but Kevin stopped by the other day and took a video of it for me to see. Kevin really liked the park, but I had a hard time putting that park location on Landon's invites without seeing it for myself.

Since the weather was amazing today we headed over there and enjoyed a picnic lunch at the park. I was so glad that we did. Landon absolutely loved the park. We were there for 4 hours! The only reason we left is because I felt a few sprinkles of rain. There are 3 over sized pavilions with grills, a toddler play area, a butterfly garden, a large playground, a sandbox, and numerous swings. To top it off there is a window at the top of an old barn like building that has Winnie the Pooh painted on it. Landon was in playground heaven there!

I think Landon's favorite part of the park was the sandbox and a rocking horse that was right next to the sandbox.
I asked Landon if he wanted his party at this park and I think I got his approval!
As in true Landon fashion, his final word on the matter was him sticking out his tongue!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

23 Months Old!

Yes, it's true. Our Landon love is just one month shy of turning two! What is our almost two year old up to these days? Well, he is now starting to mimick every single word that comes our of our mouths. Yesterday we went out for a walk and came across a bee. I told him to look out for the bee and he went around saying bee all day long. The cutest part of it was that he would scrunch up his face as he said bee. I really need to get it on video so everyone can see the cuteness for themselves! Landon is also starting to learn his colors such as boo (blue) ello (yellow) een (green). Landon also loves to pitch in a hand when it comes to cleaning. Every time I vacuum he runs and get his toy vacuum and vacuums along side of me. He even loves to dust, sweep, and fold the laundry. Landon can be found most days running around with endless bursts of energy while clutching his Tigger. Landon loves to go sleuthing for birds, ducks, dogs, and squirrels. He loves to play peek-a-boo behind trees and blowing bubbles (bubbles is also another new word of his).

Landon's birthday is just a month away and I feel like we haven't made any progress with his party. It is so hard planning a party when so many things have to be taken into consideration. Last year all I had to do was plan everything and have everyone go along with it. This year I feel as if I have to ok everything with everyone to make sure to please every last person. It's so stressful planning his party this year and there are times that I don't know whether the hassle is worth it. There are days where I want to say forget it all and just have a birthday dinner for Landon, Kevin, and I. Come the day after Landon's party I will feel as if it were all worth it. We will look back on pictures of Landon eating cake and opening presents with a huge smile plastered on his face. Those moments will make all of this stress completely worth it. I just hope we can make it to that point without any major issues. As of now Landon's party is going to be held at a park again (location still undetermined) and it will be a jungle theme. We will be picking out invites tomorrow and hopefully coming up with a guest list tomorrow as well so that we can get those mailed out this week. Until we get the invites I think I am going to take my cue from Landon and Tink and just relax and stop stressing.

While we are on the subject of birthdays I would like to wish Grandma (Kevin's mom) a Happy Birthday! I'm sure you are reading this and I hope that you got the card and painting that Landon made for you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Not My Child! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Landon did not fall down the stairs and let out a horrific cry causing me to think that he split his head open. When I ran to him he started pointing towards the ground which is when I realized the real reason for his crying- he dropped his Tigger in the fall. Landon would never cry more for his dropped Tigger then over his fall. Nope, not my Landon! My Landon would never scare me like that.

Landon did not go on an Easter egg hunt and walk away without any eggs. My Landon would never be so tired that he throws a tantrum during egg hunting and misses out on collecting eggs. Nope, not my Landon! Landon has more composure than that.

Landon did not require 3 outfit changes in one day. There was no possible way that my Landon would require 3 new outfits in one day because he couldn't keep clean. Nope, not my Landon! He would never get ketchup and poop all over himself three times in just a couple of hours.

Landon did not wake up the other morning wanting to eat a popsicle. Even if he had, Landon most certainly would not proceed to pull a laundry basket filled with folded laundry over to the fridge to use it as a stepping stool to get to the freezer. He most certainly did not do this after I told him that 7:00 a.m. was too early for popsicles. Nope, not my Landon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Love is...

Love is daylight savings time that makes outdoor playtime after dinner possible.

Love is that high flying feeling you get when you swing above the trees.

Love is evening walks in perfect weather with my two loves.

Love is holding an itty bitty hand.

Love is Landon's silly expression.

Love is simply Landon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cheap Entertainment

What is Landon pointing at?


That would be me!! Landon and I were sitting on the floor reading one afternoon. He got up and walked behind me. I continued reading thinking that he was getting another book. Boy was I wrong. Before I knew it, I had a laundry basket placed onto my head. Landon thought it was the funniest thing and kept sticking his hands through the holes in the basket. Every time I tried to take it off he would push down on it so that I couldn't move it. I was a good sport and allowed him to have a good laugh and plenty of fun at my expense!

My view of Landon for 10 minutes or so!
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