Tuesday, February 25, 2014

18 Months Old!

Dear Forrest,


You are 18 months old. It is hard to believe that you are half-way to your second birthday. You fill your parents with awe every single day with things you come up. You are currently 26 pounds, and 4 oz, and 33 inches tall. 

Signing EAT
You are able to make connections between spoken language with signs. You love impressing us by signing DOG DOG DOG when you hear a dog barking on TV, and being able to associate the sign dog with Turkey, our Basset Hound. You are able to sign done when you are finished with eating your meals, or ask for more food. You can sign short sentences such as asking for more food. It amazes Mama how you are able to read signs, and understand her, even though you are slow in picking up signs. Slowly, but surely, you are getting there!

You are still babbling, and even so, you are starting to make recognizable words. The most latest word you are able to speak clearly is both MORE, and BIRD. You are a constant noise machine. It is so much fun seeing, and hearing you talk. While speaking/babbling, you enjoy moving your hands, and it is so awesome watching you develop two languages at once! 

You now have 12 teeth. You erupted a year old molars teeth over the month of December, and it was definitely hard on you. You spent a lot of time cuddling with Daddy, and Mama during this time. There was a bit of fever, and not feeling well accompanying with erupting the molar teeth. Fortunately, you were able to get through this like a trooper. 

You are such a little explorer! You love exploring, and get every chance to wander around. You love digging through kitchen cabinets, pulling out bowls, and stacking them up. Nothing scares you. You love to climb up the stairs to the second floor to chase after the cats, and free-fall your way back down. It is so funny to watch you do that! Sometimes, if Mama isn't paying attention close enough to you, then you would find trouble! You love pulling tissues out of the box, lifting up toilet lid to play with water (yuck), hiding your toys in random places, putting things in the trash bin (which ended up forcing Mama to put away the trash can from your prying fingers), and chasing after the cats.

You enjoy reading, and the books, which greatly warms Mama's heart. More often than not, Daddy, and Mama finds you "reading" with a book in your lap while your head is bowed, and you are babbling to yourself. You often ask Daddy or Mama to read to you with every chance you get.



You love to sit on the window ledge in our living room, and watch the birds fly to our bird feeder. Birds fascinate you, and especially so, when they are chirping. You get excited, and attempt to tell me that the birds are making noises. It gladdens Mama to know that it brings you so much joy to see birds. You love animals, as much as Mama does at your age, and you enjoy cuddling with Mr. Jinxy. Missy is still a bit wary, and impatient with your desire to cuddle with her. Turkey is indifferent toward you, BUT when you have food in your hands, and suddenly, she is your best friend. 

Your favorite game is being chased by Daddy. You can spend hours running, screaming, and laughing so hard. Your laughter is infectious, and absolutely wonderful. Daddy tries to make you laugh as often as he can, and sometime, you get out of breath from laughing so much that Mama has to tell you both to calm down for a bit so you can catch your breath. You love bouncing on the little car thing that Grandpa Dave, and Grandma Jess gave to you over Christmas. You have so much fun stacking, and tearing apart mega block towers. Your favorite is WWE dolls that you play with Daddy when he gets home from work, and Mama suspects that it is Daddy's favorite toy too. 

Mama is looking forward to spring, and warmer weather so she can take you, and Turkey out for long walks once again. It will be nice to get fresh air, and be able to stay outside longer than a few minutes. 


We recently battled with 18 months sleep regression. We had no idea that there was such a thing as 18 months sleep regression, and apparently, we learned that in a very hard way! It was a combination of tummy aches, teething, growing pains, and restlessness that accompanied with growing up. It lasted about 3.5 weeks, and it was tough on everybody in the Russ household. The end finally came once Mama, and Daddy were able to figure out how to remedy your gassy issue by replacing cow milk with soy milk, and rode it out with you until the last tail of sleep regression faded away. 

Your skin is slowly improving with limited dairy. You are itching a lot less, and sleeping better at the night, especially after you've switched to soy milk. Your face occasionally does break out in eczema patch, which is a big clue for your parents, that you are teething! Aside from teething, the patch on you face has faded away, unless if you eat something with dairy in large dose. With limited dairy, you appear to be feeling so much better! You still have a very dry scalp, just like Mama, due to this extreme cold accompanying with winter this year.

After visiting your allergist doctor, we are able to manage your hair eczema by adding Aloe gel on your scalp. To Mama's huge surprise, it has been pretty effective, and you are no longer itching at your head! You have been also diagnosed with a dairy sensitivity/allergy that may eventually be outgrown, or turn into a lactose intolerant type of deal. In the meanwhile, you are strictly not allowed to have any cold dairy produce such as cheese, straight cow milk, sauce with milk in it, and the dishes with cheese in it, such as Mac-n-Cheese. It is not a big deal. You will have to get retested in a year to confirm that you still have peanut allergy, and whether you are still sensitive to dairy. 

You are still in cloth diapers. There is no interest in toilet training, and Mama has no reason to push you yet. Mama isn't in a big hurry for you to pick this up until you are closer to 2.5 years old--probably around this time next year, toilet training may be introduced, and in the meanwhile, you are content in the diapers. You wear cloth diapers during the day, and disposables at the night. It has been working out great for months, and because of this, there is no reason t push you to start toilet training yet.

You are such a big boy. You no longer eat with high chair tray. You enjoy eating at the table with Mama, and Daddy, just like a big boy that you are! You are practicing with your fork, and spoon. You are improving your grip ability with using the spoon. You love eating apple sauce with your spoon. As for the fork, you struggle a bit with this, and even so, you are still doing great at attempting to pork into food piece, and putting it to your mouth! 


You are still sleeping in crib. There is no attempt from you to get out of your crib, and you are pretty comfortable in there. Because of this, Mama, and Daddy have not introduced a toddler bed to you yet. It is possible that Mama, and Daddy revisit the idea of a toddler bed when you are closer to two, and until then, it is all good to keep you in the crib!

You had your first trip to ER! It was an adventure in itself, and thankfully, you turned out to be just fine. It did not deter you from climbing onto things though. Mama, and Daddy predicted a lot of future ER visits seeing how physical, stubborn, and committed you have become these days to do things by yourself. 


You are surprisingly well-adjusted for being taken of by a stay at home Mama. You don't mind to be dropped off at a friend's house, while Mama goes out to do errands, and you love other babies your age. You are definitely NOT shy at all. You walk up boldly to other babies, and want to play with them. Mama believes it is from you playing so much with your cousins from when you were a teeny little baby. However, when it comes to the adults, you are suddenly a bit shy, and want to hide behind Mama's legs. Within a few minutes, you warm up, and walk away from Mama to say hello!

Your favorite thing to do is to help Mama empty the dishwasher, and to help her clean up around the house, especially sorting laundry.

Daddy is looking forward to being able to be done with coaching in a week from today! It will be the first time, since school year has started, that he won't be coaching. Daddy is excited to be able to gain more time to spend time with you, and be able to have less obligations on his plate to take away his time from you. He jokingly says that he is a chopped liver when it comes to spending time with you, because you end up wanting to have Mama's attention, but Mama, and you know how much you LOVE having Daddy home with you.


You are such an awesome little dude, and you're such a blessing.

We love you.

Love,
Mama & Daddy

Thursday, February 20, 2014

GooseWaddle Review & Giveaway: Come On In & Join the Fun!

I am really excited to be doing this. It will be a grand fun, and a reader of my blog is going to walk away with an awesome baby blanket. 


First of all, what is Goosewaddle? 

Goosewaddle is, obviously, a blanket company made for babies, and toddlers. I am not sure what material they use for their blankets, but oh my gosh, they are really soft! It feels like a slice of heaven against my skin, and I kid you not. Upon reading other blogs that also does the reviews for Goosewaddle blankets, mamas swear that the blankets get softer after you wash them, and there is no fear of it becoming all scrunched up like some blankets can after several washing. I haven't washed the blankets, and I am kind of hesitant to, because they are so soft! But I tell you, by reading other Mama's comments about the blankets getting softer after few washing really puts my mind to the ease. 

Goosewaddle is also a Family Choice Awards Winner 2014! How cool is that, really. I tend to go with baby products that are sealed with approval by other mamas, and daddies. 



When I first received the box from Goosewaddle, I was really impressed by HOW CUTE the box was, and upon opening it up, the contents were packaged neatly on the inside, and there was a card. The card was handwritten by someone through Goosewaddle. I appreciated the gesture, and hoped they do include that with every package. I loved it when the seller included personal thank you card with their product that they have sold to me. I had expected to find a large receiving blanket along with a lovey-type of blanket, and I was surprised to also receive a duck doll! The duck doll was incredibly soft, and squeezable. I opened the blankets, and Goosewaddle exceeded my expectation of their blankets. I figured they were going to be soft, like most baby blankets tended to be, but wow, this was incredibly soft. It was very clear that the blankets were made with such care, and quality. I immediately fell in love with those blankets, and it was not just me that loved the blankets. My little guy, Forrest, loved the blankets. Matter of fact, I found him snuggling with the blanket against his cheek last night. How adorable was that. 

Right there, I just KNEW I was making the right decision to host a giveaway, along with spread the word about Goosewaddle. 



If all this is not enough to convince you why this is a really great company, then check this one out. They are sponsoring a program called BUY ONE, GIVE ONE campaign. For every blanket that is sold, Goosewaddle donates one receiving blanket to a child in a need. So basically, if you buy a blanket for yourself, or your loved one, then you are donating other blanket, through Goosewaddle, for a needy child, somewhere in the world, to keep, and snuggle with. How awesome is that. I don't think I've ever seen this being done by any baby product based company. 

Now here comes the fun part. It is time to enter a giveaway, and hopefully, you will walk away with not one, but two blankets (one large receiving along with a smaller receiving blanket)! I am going to keep the contest open until Sunday at midnight, and good luck!

Here is what you need to do:

1) Leave a comment to this blog post with the answer of which color you would love to have. There is blue, pink, or white. Name your choice! 

2) Go to GOOSEWADDLE page on Facebook, and like the page! 

Then enter the contest down below!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: THE WINNER IS AMANDA. CONGRATULATIONS!

The last, but not the least...this is optional, but pretty please do this for me! 

3) Please share my blog with other people, and tell them about Goosewaddle giveaway on my page! 



Monday, February 17, 2014

First Trip to ER

It is funny how your heart will stop the minute your kid got hurt, and you forget how to breath until it is confirmed that your kid is okay. 

Yesterday, Forrest, being a curious little boy, wanted to climb onto the computer chair, and play at the keyboard. Somehow, he lost his balance, hit his face on the desk, and fell to the ground. There was blood everywhere on Forrest's face, hands, inside the mouth, and his shirt. I remained calm, cleaned up the mess, and applied the pressure to Forrest's chin while inspecting the wounds. I saw an opening on the inside of his lip, and another opening underneath the lip. A thought of Forrest biting through his lip ran into my mind, and I thought to myself, gosh, he needs a trip to ER for the stitches. In the meanwhile, Stu called our pediatric office hotline, and talked with a nurse on-duty. She confirmed my thought of needing to go to ER. Off we went. 


Forrest  was barely frazzled by the whole affair. The only time he protested vehemently was when we had to hold him down for the doctor to inspect the wounds.While the doctor was inspecting Forrest, I was able to spy a final molar tooth cutting through the gum! The inside cut was too small in the diameters to require stitches, and the cut on the outside was recommended to be glue-sutured. However, with Forrest being too mobile, the doctor decided against it, and told us to keep eye on it for a sign of infection. The abrasions on the chin was the one that bled the most, which was somewhat ironic, and it took the longest to stop bleeding. We were released with an order to keep eye, and apply medicine on the cuts to keep it clean. 



I had a feeling that Forrest was going to end up with a Harrison Ford scar on the chin, and a matching scar to his Grandpa Dave at that! 

I had a feeling that the trip to ER was first of many to come yet. 

Thankfully, Forrest woke up in a great mood, and acted like nothing had happened to him. Oh child of mine...of course, this has not stopped him from wanting to climb on to the computer chair! Therefore, that meant one very vigilant mama looking over him more closely, ha. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Annoying Things We Deaf People Do

DISCLAIMER: I am a Deaf person. Therefore, it is okay to poke fun at myself, and my culture. And yes, those facts are true, and yes, they can be annoying, especially to hearing folks! Enjoy.

1) NOISY EATERS. 


We Deaf people are really noisy while we are eating. We scrape, nick, and hit the utensils against the plate as we enthusiastically dive into our food. Suddenly, something exciting comes up during the conversation, we gasp with our mouths open while eating, and expose the mushed up items in our mouths. While we are nom-noming our food, we send a shiver down a hearing person's spine while we scrape our fork against the plate, creating a perfect chalkboard screeching sound, and be completely unapologetic for it. As someone once said, should we be forgiven for our noisy way of eating for that we must maintain eye contact while talking, and because us being Deaf, we just can't  hear how noisy we are? 

Side note: I promise I am not that of a noisy eater....especially when I am around a hearing person. 

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2) DEAF TIME. 

Seriously, we Deaf people are very notorious for this. Deaf time is when you tell a Deaf person to be at a specific time, and surprise, surprise, that person shows up between half hour to an hour late. Is that rude? Nope. That's a Deaf thing, I tell you! During my grad school years in DC, when my friends, and I are hosting a party, and we want everybody to be there by 10 pm, we just spread a word for them to come at 8 pm, and sure enough, everybody shows up at 10 pm. Perfect. Why is that, you ask. Well, you see, Deaf people have to squeeze a few days worth of conversation in such a short span of time, especially if we don't get together very frequent, and we just CAN'T say good-bye then leave at that very moment to save our lives. This emphasizes what I am trying to say so perfectly, "And signed conversations can't be interrupted, closed down, or shortened--perhaps because they depend on the two people being visually engaged with each other, and they MUST ABSOLUTELY run their course." Therefore, we have to prolong our good-byes, and it takes forever for us to leave.....it takes us maybe an hour to say good-bye then FINALLY leave. 

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3) BEING TOO BLUNT. 

Sometime, Stu has to kick my leg under the table, and give me a warning look. Then I shrug, and nod my head in exasperation. Once in while, I feel that the hearing world can be too complicated with their subtleties, hidden agendas, ulterior motives, and treading too carefully through the murky waters. In the Deaf world, I am comfortable, because I can say whatever is on the mind, and be at the ease of knowing that other Deaf person won't take an offense by my directness. I don't take an offense by other Deaf person's questions: ARE YOU MARRIED, HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE, HOW OLD ARE YOU, & so go on. A hearing person has to dance around, get to know you more in depth before asking you basic questions, and be careful with what is being said during a conversation. A deaf person sits down with other Deaf person, and start rattling off questions like there's no tomorrow. 

*Again, side note, I do have a social filter, and I am not saying that Deaf people DO NOT have a social filter. We do. It is just that our cultural norms differ from a hearing culture norms. It is why sometime we can come across as being very abrasive, head-on, and a bit too forward. And yes, there can be such thing as being TOO blunt in Deaf culture. 

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4) TALKING ABOUT OTHER DEAF PEOPLE AS IF EVERYBODY KNOWS WHO THEY ARE. 

This happens all of the time in the Deaf world. I can count beyond my fingers, and toes how many times a person's name has been brought up in a conversation. I can tell you that about 80% of the time, I actually know the name of a certain Deaf person, or at least know of that person by reputation. Deaf world is so small. Everyone knows everyone pretty much. Even if I don't know the person by the name, and reputation at first, then we still talk about the person as if we know him/her, and by doing so, we have established that we now know who they are. It is kind of funny, I make this comparison that all Deaf people are "B-Lister" Celebrities, because hell, we know who we all are. It is funny how sometime I have never met a Deaf person, yet I know his entire life story, and how sometime, my friends talk about someone like they are Tom Cruise. It is why Deaf people introduce themselves with full first name, and last name, where they are from, and what school they went to at the beginning of the conversation. Ah, this is probably why I like trashy gossip magazines...I need a long hard look at myself. 

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5) KNOCKING EVERYTHING OVER ON THE TABLE.

I have been guilty of doing this so many times to the point where people wonder if I am drunk, and no, I am not drunk. On top of being a bit klutz, I am also very animated, especially while I am talking. I am at the point of my life where nothing frazzles me anymore. A drink is knocked over. Ah well. A plate of food is swept over all over my lap. Alright. You see, when Deaf people are really into their story, we take up a whole space around us with our arms flailing, hands flying, and body jiving, and hearing people are clutching their drinks to their chests in fear of having their drinks knocked out of their hands. It doesn't phase us Deaf people at all. It is why when you attend a Deaf gathering, you don't see anything nearby us while we are talking!

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6) CLOSING OUR EYES WHEN WE DON'T WANT TO TALK ANYMORE.

This can be maddening to a hearing person when a Deaf person closes her eyes, and go NOPE, not listening. I have been guilty of this. Hey...at least a hearing person can just stick their fingers in their ears, and go nananana. Closing our eyes is the same difference.



7) SIGNING WHILE DRIVING.

Hearing people are holding on to their dear lives while a Deaf driver is behind the wheel. It is proven that Deaf people have a better peripheral vision (which is why it seems like I have eyes behind of my head sometime). It basically means we are able to spot things quicker out of the corner of our eyes more than hearing people can. I assure my hearing passengers that they are in VERY good hands, yet once when I reach to our destination, they come out of the car with ashen look on their faces. Hey, I got them there alive, and safe, right? 

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stinky Ole' Basset, A Giveaway, & Upcoming Posts


A little update on our ole' stinky Basset Hound, Turkey (Layla, if I must insist on using her given name), has gotten a clean bill of good health, from our vet. What a relief. She is getting in her years, and will be turning 9 this fall. Turkey is certainly no spring chick. Nonetheless, she is a family. As much I sometime want to wrangle Turkey's neck for stealing Forrest's food out of his hand, for barking incessantly at unseen something out of our bay window in the living room, for being a miss grouch, and having an accident in the house that only seem to occur when Stu comes home for a brief time, then leave again: she is still our dog, and I can't imagine NOT having her around in the house. Same goes for our cats.

I have an exciting news to share.


I was contacted recently by a premium baby blanket company, GooseWaddle, and they asked me to review their blanket. That was not all. They also wanted me to host a giveaway on my blog for a lucky reader to win a blanket from their company.

So if you know someone who is expecting, or if you are expecting, then come on over, and enter your name in this giveaway. Perhaps, you will win?

I will know more when I receive their blanket, and how GooseWaddle want me to host a giveaway. I am thinking that it will be pretty much me hosting a giveaway on my blog, having you readers enter, then I get to determine a winner. Once a winner is picked, I will contact GooseWaddle with your choice of color, and have them mail you their blanket!

I will definitely keep you guys posted with more details, hopefully soon!


Here is what to expect from my blog in the upcoming few weeks: GooseWaddle Blanket Giveaway, 18 months letter to Forrest, & a terribly, terribly, terribly OVERDUE "It's the Deaf thing" post.

I feel bad for neglecting that topic of my blog, because it is the most popular, and well-liked by many of my readers. It is just that I don't have much to say about that topic of late, and I blame it on the Winter Blues. I don't want to make my blog STRICTLY just about mommy blog, you know, and I am guilty of leaning toward to that direction these days.


Well, guys...stay warm, and have a great weekend!!!! And stick around, alright, for upcoming fun posts! 



Monday, February 3, 2014

So Now I am 29.....


I turned 29 a couple days ago. Being 29 is no different from being 28, I tell you.  Just one year older, one year wiser, and one year prettier. Heh. Matter of the fact, the other day, I found a white strand in my hair, and plucked it out, then thought to myself, I look forward to having a salt-and-pepper hair someday. I've always liked that color. But for now, I'm content with dying, and covering it up, ha ha.

Mom, and Aunt RO came to visit to spend the day with us for my birthday. It was really nice having them over. Mom brought over my favorite desert  from O&H Bakery, and inside the box was full of yummy Kolaches! 

For those who aren't sure what a Kolach is; it is a pastry, the recipe originating from Czechoslovakia, that is filled with your preference of a fruit, or filling. My favorite filling is poppy seed. The pastry is stuffed with your liking of whatever filling, and topped with powdered sugar. So unhealthy, but so good. 

I was really excited to get a lot of nice sewing things from Mom, and Aunt Ro. I had asked for an used table for my sewing machine. They ended up getting me a really nice table, and a matching stool to go with it. It was from goodwill, believe it or not! I was so excited, because I had a perfect space for my sewing machine in the bedroom! Our bedroom was really spacious, and one area in our bedroom was seriously lacking. It looked empty, and boring. It totally threw off the chi of the whole space. Once I had my sewing station set up, the chi of the energy was restored, and it became more of a home feeling. The nice thing was that I was able to set up a baby monitor video nearby, and work while my little monster was napping. 


My first project was to make a sewing machine cover, and I had a perfect fabric picked out. I had it all cut up, and pinned up. It was ready to be sewn together, easy peasy. Unfortunately, I had a bit of glitch with my machine. I had struggled with the bobbin under threading part. It was not threading properly for the fabric to be sewn together. It drove me crazy, because I knew I had set it up according to the instruction, and it was a really simple fix, yet my dumb brain was unable to resolve a minor issue! I decided to just call it night, and revisit the issue today during my little man's nap. I knew it was something really simple, so simple like the bobbin thread not inserted clock-wise for the thread to be pulled out while the machine was sewing the fabric, and it was going to be a quick fix.

Forrest received a doll. The doll had a very curl pretty red hair just begging to have its hair to be pulled, and played with. Forrest gave it one look, and threw it to the floor. What a sad day. Of course, I rescued the doll, and put it on the play table where it now resided until Forrest showed some interest in it. 


We also went swimming at a hotel. Forrest had outgrown all of his swimsuits. Crap. I thought he was going to fit in some of his 12m swim suits. I was sadly wrong. Our local store had no swimsuit out for sale. Of course, it was in smack of winter, and swimsuits were not a strong selling item at this time. I had no time to venture out to next town to Target, Carter's, and Kohl's to check out swimsuits for Forrest. Fortunately, Kmart had disposable swimming Finding Nemo diapers along with Pepto-Bismol for my poor husband. Whew. Crisis adverted! And oh yeah, Stu was struck with a bug, and did not feel well. He slept away for the most part of the day. He did feel really bad that he was sick for my birthday, and I assured him that it was not a big deal! I would rather have him to be sick on a weekend instead of during the weekday, and have to miss out on work, then be thrown off the schedule for rest of the week. 

Anyway....

The funny thing was, when Forrest, and I went swimming at a kiddie pool section in the hotel, we met other parents with babies around Forrest's age, and I was surprised by the fact how BIG Forrest was compared to them! It made me really curious to find out how much Forrest had grown since his 9m check up (at his 12m check up, he had not grown at all except for his head, ha ha). 

I can't believe how big my boy is getting to be these days. In only a few weeks, he will be 18 months old, and for those who don't really care for months=age thing, it means that Forrest will be a year and half old! Every morning, when I pick Forrest up from his crib, and I am struck by how heavy he is. Then I think, geez, stop growing buddy!!! No really, I'm glad that Forrest is thriving, and doing so well, yet at the same time, he is my baby, and I am not ready for him to be such in a hurry to grow up. And yes, there will be a 18 month letter to Forrest post coming up (I plan on doing it every 6 months as opposed to monthly letters). 

Forrest is such a big boy. He loves helping me to empty the dishwasher, and help me to clean up around the house.  I love how he is so helpful, and considerate. 


In other news, I am planning on calling our vet today for Turkey. We recently found a lump on Turkey's lower stomach, about a size of grape, and we are a bit nervous about the location of the lump. Turkey does not seem very affected by it, and her demeanor has not changed at all. We would rather be safe than sorry, though, and have her looked at. After all, Turkey is getting in her years, and she's an old cranky lady. Nonetheless, she is special to us, and very much a part of our family. I won't be surprised if it turns out to be a fatty tumor, which is really common in older dogs, and that would be a better diagnosis than what I am thinking of right now. 

Well, I see that the dishwasher is done running, and it is time for us to empty it out. Until next time....stay warm!