Friday, April 30, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. Marino's love of Jason's Naturals toothpaste continues! The tube has an octopus on the front and he asks for the toothpaste by saying "apus" and then shows me the "apus" on the tube:)

4. We have a skylight upstairs where our bedrooms are. Sunday morning, Evan was carrying Marino downstairs in the morning after he woke up and he waved to the skylight and said "bye bye night night!!"

3. Marino has been crabby in the morning lately, probably because of the medicine he gets at night (which makes him very tired). Yesterday morning, he woke up and was so happy. As I was carrying him downstairs, he was thisclose to my face, beaming a gigantic smile at me. When we got downstairs, he grabbed his Foofa figure and was making her dance and sing. I forgot how happy he usually is in the morning and it was nice to see him happy again!

2. The boy used lots of new words this week (spontaneously and in the correct context), including music, lotion, shimmy and tired. When he told me he was "tired", he rested his head on my shoulder to demonstrate.

1. Marino has started memorizing the words to lots of songs (almost all Yo Gabba Gabba songs, of course). When we listen to our Yo Gabba Gabba CD in the car, he knows lots of the words, but not all of them. He chimes in with every 3 word, or so, like a hype man. It's adorable.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Road Trip to NJ

Saturday, Marino and I went on a road trip to visit Sonia, Cat & Siena. Marino was amazing on this trip. He only slept an hour of the 3 hour trip, but he was perfectly happy the entire time. We had given him steroids the night before and it made an instant difference in his itchiness, thankfully.

We drove straight to Grounds for a Sculpture, a sculpture garden in Hamilton, NJ, where we met Sonia and the girls, and also my friend Karen and her miracle preemie, Brandon. The sculpture garden was beautiful and, in spite of weather reports to the contrary, it was a beautiful day. It was cool to see the kids playing on these art's cool to see art as something that can be enjoyed in many ways. There are also a lot of peacocks that live there, and given that this is mating season, there were lots of tail feathers shaking and "caroooing" going on.

I really love this picture. I love how you almost miss that there is a grand peacock in it and that Marino is looking at the camera like, "do you see this?!!"

This sculpture you could "play" like an was really cool (although here Cat and Marino are playing with rocks instead)

I asked Marino what this was and he said "a monkey."

Siena is a total ham! Whenever I point the camera at her, this is what I get. She is a girl after my own heart!
Cat teaching Marino and Brandon something.
Marino pushing Brandon and Cat on the swing.
This is the best shot I could get of the 3 of them...they never stop moving!!

Peek a boo!!

A Cat in a cage...

Sonia and Siena
Marino climbed in this golf cart and pretended to drive...

Back at Sonia's we had lots of fun! Marino finally started calling Catalina something. For the longest time, he wouldn't say her name (he was confused why we were calling her "cat" I think). He finally started calling her "Keena" which is "Catalina" shortened, I guess. He calls Sonia "Sona", Wil "Wheel" and Siena "Nena."

I can't even stand how cute this picture is! Is this a gorgeous baby or what?!
What could be in this box?
A Cat!
A Mino!
Feeding ducks
Sonia and I with our children:)
It was a great day and we were so glad to get a chance to visit with Sonia and the girls and Karen and Brandon. Can't wait to see everyone again this summer!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Guest Blogging at Early Bird...

If you have an extra hour (just kidding...sort's long!), check out my guest blog on daycare/preemies over at Early Bird blog. Thanks, Charla, for letting me ramble about my experience!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Product Rave!

We'd been having a REALLY hard time getting Marino to brush or let us brush his teeth lately. We tried a new toothpaste tonight, and Marino complained until he tasted it and then he was excited to brush his teeth! The toothpaste is Jason Natural brand (strawberry flavor). It's also gluten-free! If you have a toddler who refuses to brush, I recommend it!!

I Hate Eczema (and allergies)

Marino started having a bad skin reaction to pollen a few weeks ago. I am *almost* ashamed to complain about it, since I realize we are so fortunate he is not having a respiratory reaction. But this skin's brutal. His skin is already so sensitive because of the atopic dermatitis, and he is incapable of not scratching right now. We started him on Zyrtec a few weeks ago and that seemed to help but Monday it flared up terribly (maybe something new bloomed?). I bought Eucerin Calming Creme *, but that only helps for a few minutes. I started giving him Atarax to help with the itching, but he's still woken up at 4 or 5am every day this week complaining of "itching."

I took him to the doctor today to try and get a better handle on this. She recommended adding 1/2 a cup of bleach to one of his baths a week to prevent infection (bleach kills the bacteria...a pool would have the same effect), using the Aveeno Oatmeal Bath packets, alternating his medicines (Zyrtec in the morning, Atarax in the evening), and keeping him in long sleeves and pants (I highly recommend American Apparel leggings and karate pants and long sleeve tees for this purpose - they are amazing quality and lightweight). While we were talking, Marino scratched open his knee and started bleeding, so, experiencing first hand his discomfort, she recommended using an oral steroid for a few days to try and get ahead of the inflammation.

If anyone is curious, here's what we use to treat Marino's (severe) eczema daily:
Evening Primrose Oil (1.25ml liquid in his morning bottle) - homeopathic remedy for skin inflammation
EpiCeram twice a day (non-steroidal)
Prescription hydrocortisone for a flare-up, no more than 4 days a month
Fragrance free bath products and lotion: Aquaphor*, Aveeno (fragrance-free) and Cetaphil
Fragrance-free wipes: Pampers Sensitive

and here's what we're doing for this flare-up/allergic reaction:
Zyrtec - 4ml once a day
Atarax - 4ml once a day
Eucerin Calming Creme for temporary relief of itching*
once or twice a week bleach bath
oatmeal baths when possible
keeping his arms and legs covered

* added bonus - these lotions are covered under Flexible Spending Accounts, if you have a healthcare FSA

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. The boy says the word hippopotamus as 2 words "hippo" and "amas", so it's "hippo...amas". If you try and shorten it to just say "hippo" he will correct you by adding in the "amas."

4. A few new phrases heard this week: "I don't want it" and "I want it." These are alternately endearing and maddening, depending on how many times they are uttered in any given hour.

3. Evan didn't find this as funny as me, but I thought it was hilarious to see Marino snatch up the chicken breast and eat it like a turkey leg!

2. Marino's new thing is to say "sound?" and put his hand to his ear when he hears something he doesn't recognize, much like he used to say "this?" constantly when he wanted to know the names of everything. The other day we walked by some birds and he said "Mommy, sound. Birdies say 'cheep cheep'" (the cheeps were in an extra high pitched voice). It was adorable!!

1. Marino also started saying "goodness" all the time, in the place of "whoa." It's pretty hysterical to hear a toddler saying "goodness" like a senior citizen, but at least it's polite!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Cold Doesn't Stop Our Fun!!

This weather is bizarre. Friday it was 85 degrees and the rest of the weekend it was 60 and windy. We made the best of our weekend, though. After saying goodbye to Pap and Grammy Barb on Saturday, we had a playdate at the Playseum with lots of our friends. We had a great time and, surprisingly, there weren't a lot of other people there, so we really got to enjoy the place with our friends.

We got to spend lots of time looking at the animals. Nicholas and Marino were so excited about the their cages. Once they brought the animals out, they weren't so sure anymore. It was all we could do to get there to touch them.

Here's Nicholas, debating touching the frog.

This picture is hysterical to me. He LOVES frogs...just not so close, I guess.

He actually touched the lizard, although not very gently.

The bunny was less scary. These are the same baby bunnies we so last time...they are teenagers now!!!

Shooting some hoops with Cameron and Evan.

Doing some shopping

Driving around...he actually got stuck under this car and Christina had to help me lift it off him. Only Marino!

Nicholas, loving the sand table

Going crazy in the ball room with Jack and Natalie

He loved this hat! After he put it on, he went up to a bunch of strangers and smiled, waiting for them to compliment him on the hat!

Heated debate with Jack over the ball.

After our playdate, we went to dinner and had a great time (until Marino decided he was ready to leave and said "no" 768 times until we walked out the door).

On Sunday, Aunt RiRi came over for a while to hang out with the boy. She tried to convince him that his sand box is fun, but so far he is unconvinced!