Saturday, February 28, 2009

11 Months Old

11 Month Portrait -
His face transforms when he smiles
Squinty, happy, eyes and big dimples

Leo's Obsession

Serious Leo - A very rare scene

Leo turned 11 months old yesterday and he is growing into such a big boy. The biggest change we recently made was to start sleep training with Leo. We were all sleep deprived and something had to be done. Sleep training involves us letting Leo fall asleep on his own, without help from breast/bottle feeding or rocking. Unfortunately there is crying that goes along with this process and I was very hesitant to do this because Joe and I have never allowed Leo to cry without coming to his rescue. We have done sleep training for 2 nights now and the results have been miraculous. Leo cries for a few minutes and then we go into his room, put him back in sleep position (he is usually standing when we walk in), pat him gently and say"night night Leo." We come back every 5 minutes or so until he has fallen to sleep on his own. It only took about 15 minutes the first 2 nights and when he woke up through out the night, after we went in his room to reassure him, he fell asleep again within 5 minutes. For 2 nights now, with minimal wake-ups, he has slept 10-11 hours straight. I just hope this successful streak continues! I have to admit that it is heart breaking when he is crying, but if we all get more sleep, it will be worth it. Plus, it is only fair to allow Leo the opportunity to learn how to sooth himself to sleep.

Leo continues to be obsessed with balls and saying the word ball. He must say ball at least 100 times a day and everything round is a ball...oranges, the soup ladle, balloons.

Leo is close to walking. He can stand unassisted for up to 10 seconds and can travel quite far with the use of his walker. I predict he will be walking by his first birthday. We officially signed Leo up for Gymboree, so he has many opportunities to practice his skills.

I have to admit that this week has been especially emotional for me. Leo has been accomplishing so much and he is growing into a little boy so quickly. He is falling asleep without me, he plays with older children at the gym (and wants to be a big boy so badly), he says words and is almost walking. It is all so wonderful, but he is no longer my little baby. I just can't believe he is almost a year old.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Leo's First Visit to the Zoo

The weather was so beautiful and both my mom and I had the same idea that today would be the perfect day for the zoo. For my birthday, my parents offered to buy me a family zoo membership and even though my birthday isn't until next month, today seemed like the perfect day to become a member.

This was Leo's first glimpse at non-domesticated animals and although he loved them all, he seemed to especially like the elephant, leopard, giraffe and zebras. He would wave goodbye every time we left an exhibit. He also enjoyed petting the goats at the family farm. Leo has always been an animal lover, so he will enjoy the many trips we will take to the zoo this year.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dirt is Yummy

I don't have too much to report other than the fact that I am on the mend after being sick most of the week. Caring for Leo while being ill was incredibly difficult.

We have had a nice patch of good weather, so Leo and I went out to the front yard yesterday. Leo had a blast , but he wants to put all that mother earth has created in his mouth. Bark, leaves, dirt, rocks, you name it... if it's not food, Leo wants to eat it. I didn't realize it at the time, but Leo actually has some dirt remnants in his mouth in the bottom photo. I tired very hard to stop him from putting clumps of earth in his mouth, but he managed a few morsels. If you double click on the image, it will show you how mischievous my little boy is.

On a side note: Could he be cuter? I know I am his mommy and have a ton of parental pride, but I think he is the cutest darn thing I have ever seen!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Things for a Big Boy

Leo has graduated to his new car seat and he seems much happier. No longer is he cramped in the infant carrier, plus, he can see out the window much better.

We also bought Leo his first pair of "real" shoes at the Stride Rite Outlet and he seems so proud of them. The are size 3.5 and they are adorable. They have a very flexible, grippy sole and are designed for babies that are learning to walk. Leo can stand alone for up to 7 seconds, so we predict he will be walking around his first birthday.

After all the shopping, Leo fell asleep in his car seat. I don't have many photos of him sleeping and I think he looks like a little angel baby.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Play Time!

Triumphantly emerging from tunnel at Gymboree

Teetering with pride at Gymboree

Parachutes and Bubbles?
Play time at Gymboree is so much fun!

Honk, Honk! Get out of my way!
Riding the Cozy Coupe at the play gym

This play structure makes my hair stick up!
Static hair at the play gym.

This was a really tough week, but Leo and I had a lot of fun too. Leo has been sleeping horribly, which means that he must be teething. Consequently, I haven't had a decent night of sleep all week. I really am running on empty and to make it worse, Joe has been working so much overtime this week, that I have had to handle the the evenings alone. Luckily, we were able to spend a lot of time at my parents and Leo enjoyed terrorizing their cats. Leo also got a new car seat from his grandparents! Lucky boy!

Normally, I take Leo to the gym late in the morning. This is great for both of us because I get to work out and because my mom works in the childcare center, Leo gets to hang out with his grandma and spend time playing with other kids. Since my mom is off this week, I had to find other ways to entertain Leo. We went to a play gym through our county's parks and recreation center. The gym was filled with loads of toys and kids and it's free until he is one! We went 4 times this week!

Today, we also went to Leo's last free trial class at Gymboree. At Gymboree, the babies have a class lead by a teacher that incorporates both playing and singing. It is such a nurturing and safe environment and Leo has a blast! Gymboree is so fun, but on the expensive side....anyone want to pay for his tuition? Kids are so darn expensive, but worth every penny.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Family Day

Today we had a very fun day. We took Leo to a children's museum in Salem and he seemed to have fun, but was a bit overwhelmed by all the stimulation. He really enjoyed the infant/toddler room, but most of the exhibits were geared toward older children. None the less, we had a great time getting out as a family.

After the museum, we met up with our play group buddies for a valentines celebration. The babies were all so cute and had so much fun playing. I have known these babies most of their lives and love seeing them grow up. As you can see by the photo, it is nearly impossible to get them all in one photo, but we sure had fun trying.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Leo had some friends over from playgroup today, but the little party pooper napped almost the whole time. It was still great seeing the other babies who we have known for most of Leo's life. They are all growing up so quickly.

Yesterday, it was unseasonable warm, so I took Leo for a walk to the library and park. He loved being outside and especially loved the prospect of eating grass. In almost all the blog photos, Leo has a huge smile on his face. These smiles are usually generated as a result of me being ridiculous. Leo has such a sense of humor and loves when I make strange noises and faces. He thinks Joe and I are the funniest people alive and if only there was a hidden camera that could catch our embarrassing dancing and singing in efforts to make Leo laugh...we should be given a parenting award for the lengths we go to to make our baby smile.

However, Leo has another expression that he uses during moments of discovery. This can be seen in the fourth photo in which his little mouth makes a perfect little oval and his eyes are wide and focused on the task at hand. You can tell that he is trying to figure out how things work and it is so darn cute. Yesterday, he really just wanted me to leave him alone so that he could see what was up with all the cool outdoor stuff. "Mom, can't you see that I am photos please."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Steelers Win the Super Bowl!

Today the Steelers won their 6th Super Bowl and as a family, we couldn't be happier. Joe was born in Pittsburgh, which by default makes him a Steeler's fan. That also means that I was married into fandom and Leo was born into it. The Steelers won the game in a nail biting 27-23 was a very exciting game. Leo miraculously napped for the first half of the game and awoke to the noise and commossion of his 2 happy parents. He was a happy participant in the festivities and is already proving to be a great Steelers fan. Yeah Steelers!!!