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New found addiction - Gerber self-feeding snacks

Written on July 31, 2006 by Kevin.

Rylan's doctor seemed to emphasize to us that we needed to feed Rylan more solid foods. While we initially did not see this happening for a few months, we are taking it in stride and seeing the benefits. Rylan has begun self-feeding himself while at the dinner table with us. This is a big improvement from the past when we either needed to hold him or keep him distracted in his playpen while we ate dinner. Now, Rylan sits there in his seat chomping on one of the following items. He couldn't be more happy.

The nutritional value of these look alright and with minimal sugar, we are happy with Rylan eating these. While training Rylan to sit more in his shopping cart rather than being held, these are helping alot. In addition to his hand/eye coordination, we have seen a great improvement in just a short while. We too couldn't be more happy with these.

Fruit/Veggie Puffs - Rylan cannot get enough of these. First off, he is still beginning to learn how to eat these foods so he isn't the cleanest. He drops a good portion of them on the ground or himself. What is odd is that hours later, you will see him munching on one that was most likely stuck to him somewhere. He always seems to be eating these things. He is our little magician.

Biter Biscuits - Rylan seemed to enjoy this alot, maybe too much. After a bit of work on this biscuit, he managed to break off a large amount of it which resulted in a bit of choking. All is well though and Rylan swallowed it like a champ. We decided to hold off on these for a bit.

Zwieback Toast - We used these as alternatives to the Biter Biscuits. We are much happier with these and Rylan appears to feel the same way. He will munch on of these for for 10-20 minutes giving us a great opportunity to eat our dinner in peace. He appears in a trance when he is munching on one of these. They must be mesmerizing.

Fruit/Veggie Wagon Wheels - Another great snack for Rylan as it is perfect size for holding and munching. When he eats these, you can tell that he is proud of himself as he gives you this certain smile. As with the others, he just can't get enough of them.

Week in Review

Written on July 28, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Talk about good eats! Mommy and daddy have been feeding me a wide variety of foods lately. Everything from chicken and rice to tropical delight. For the most part, its all pretty yummy. I however do not like blueberries. They are just too sour for me.

I am now big enough to start eating teething biscuits and other handheld foods. I am really enjoying my new found freedom. I sit next to mom and dad while they eat dinner and now I can eat with them. Of course, their food always looks better. I would do anything for these little flavored puffs that mommy gives me. My dad says he may teach me tricks and then I will get a puff. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Hmmm, what else have I done recently. I really enjoy giving dad a hard time now with changing my diapers. I like to roll around and let him chase me around. I don't think that I need diapers but mom and dad think otherwise.

I hear the mom and dad are going to take me to get my pictures taken tonight. I thought we were done with this whole picture taking deal. I mean, I must take like 5 billion of them while at home, do we really need to sit at the store with some weird lady snapping pictures of me? Is it really necessary? My mom and dad are firm on taking me though. I can't seem to persuade them otherwise. I guess I will just need to go along with it all.

Fatherhood boosts male brains

Written on July 26, 2006 by Kevin.

Here is a quote from a recent NewScientist.com article that I came across...

"Fatherhood produces changes in very high-cognitive-level areas," said Kozorovitskiy at a meeting of the Forum of European Neurosciences in Vienna, Austria, last week. The nerve enhancements may reflect changes in the reward system, she suggests, encouraging the father to bond and care for the infant. It could be the neural basis of parenting, she says.

I think that many parents would possibly have to disagree with this. I know from my personal experience that the moment Rylan came into this world, I felt like a part of my brain had gone missing. I now seem to forget more basic things and more than likely just walk around with little going through my head.

I father Rylan the best that I can including changing diapers, feeding and lots of playtime. My job, when done right is to stimulate Rylan's brain as well as my own. From what I can tell, I have the fatherly gene. I may not have known this in the past but now that Rylan is here, I enjoy my time with him as much as I hope that he enjoys it with me. This is the road towards stimulation to the "high-cognitive-level areas".

People always say that its tough to get money but certainly easy to get rid of it. The same rule applies for your brain. The tough part is trying to figure out how to take the least amount of drop and how to bounce back up. It is just another step in parenting.

Leaky Diapers?

Written on July 25, 2006 by Kevin.

I got in the mail yesterday, two samples of Luvs new leak protection diapers. This got me to thinking, do babies really have an issue with leaky diapers? Why do companies come out with new leak proof diapers every couple of years. Is this really a widespread problem?

Rylan has never really had a problem with leaky diapers. The only time that I can recall having a large issue was after his circumcision and the need for a massive amount of vaseline. This large amount of vaseline caused the diaper to become to slick and non-absorbent.

How much pee does a baby need to make before it starts leaking out? If it is the amount of pee that causes the leak, why aren't they being changed more frequently? Rylan has been known to completely fill up a diaper but as mentioned before, he never leaks. Why is this?

Does anyone have an explanation for this? Do diapers really leak and we just don't have this problem?

Hunger strike or self weaning?

Written on July 24, 2006 by Kevin.

Over the past week or so, my wife has seen a big change in Rylan's feeding habits. In the past, he would feed every couple of hours and go along with his day. Lately though, while he still wants to latch on, he just doesn't do so. At least in the same way.

Rylan now latches on and then drops off after a minute or so. This happens for the duration of the feeding. The final result is a half fed baby and non stimulated milk glands. We initially thought this was caused because of his massive amount of teeth coming in but after a bit of reading, it appears quite possible that Rylan is weaning himself slowly.

Around 9 months, it is not uncommon it seems for babies to begin weaning themselves. This can be caused by a few things. Most likely for Rylan, it is because he has better things to do. Babies appear to think that there is not enough time in the day to do what they need to do so they make the feeding shorter and shorter. I think that we can all somewhat agree with this. The other possibility is that Rylan is becoming more independent. With the advice of the doctor, we have begun feeding him more baby food. It seems that he may be beginning to prefer this. Slowly, we will begin to let him feed himself and see where he can take it.

Only time will tell what exactly Rylan is thinking. We have hope that my wife can feed him until he is 1 year old but from the looks of it, the milk will eventually run out.

Week in Review

Written on July 21, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Yesterday sure was a tough day. I went to the doctor for my 9 month checkup (yes thats right, I'm 9 months old now!). I had to get a tuberculosis test which I had no troubles with. Daddy kept me distracted and I really didn't even move a bit. I know mommy was proud of me. What came next though was pure torture. I had to get blood drawn for a lead test. My mommy had to fill out a form months ago about any lead that I may be in contact with. Even though she clearly passed that test, I had to get attacked with a needle anyways. Why even fill out the information if it doesn't make a difference?

Two doctors, mommy and daddy had to keep me still for the blood to be drawn. It was really bad and I must have cried more than ever. I must have looked like a big sissy. Luckily there were no cute girls outside that would have laughed at me.

Now let me tell you something crazy about this checkup. In the past when I went to my 6 month checkup, the doctor said I was at the 10% percentile for body weight. He told mommy that this was normal for breastfed babies and its nothing to be worried about. This time though they said I was at 3% - 10%. The doctor which was different said that I was way underweight even if I was breastfed. Are you kidding me? Do I look underweight? Anyways, now I get to eat more meals in the day. Me and daddy are confused why doctors have such different beliefs. It seems to me that 3% would be equal to a malnourished child that you can easily see his insides. That is not me. I am the perfect weight and besides, I probably have my dad's high metabolism gene.

So other big news, mommy and daddy are looking to move into a new home. Of course, I will be coming along too. At least I hope so. But anyways, We live in a 2 bedroom home now with stairs so its not the biggest place or the safest. I know that they are looking for a 3 bedroom single floor home. I think it will be nice. I can crawl around everywhere then. Freedom!

Cheap books make parents happy.

Written on July 18, 2006 by Kevin.

As I have mentioned in the past, Rylan has gathered a massive amount of books. My wife and I first began finding them at garage sales but as the summer heat came running in, we quickly stopped. We turned ourselves towards the local Goodwill stores. Luckily for us, we have a large amount of them within driving distance.

We have begun creating Rylan a large library of books for all different ages and likes. Of course, we included books that my wife and I both grew up with and feel would be great for Rylan to read. Some of these books are difficult to find and the Goodwill stores seems to be a great place to hunt them down. It is not uncommon for us to drop by a couple of the stores here on their 50% off day and leave with bags full of books. A quick cleaning and Rylan immediately seems to be attracted to some of them. Books that may cost $10+ are easily found for $.50. A smoking deal as far as I'm concerned.

Another great thing about Goodwill or any charity store is that you can drop off your old stuff and receive a tax break. I know that as a parent, we are always looking for ways to save money or otherwise have extra money. This seems to be a great way to do it while helping out other people at the same time.

What better way to spend time with your child than reading them books? If you can get those books at a great price, I say go for it.


Written on July 17, 2006 by Kevin.

Three teeth at once? You have got to be kidding me.

Rylan has been sporting about 4 teeth for the past couple of weeks/months but just recently my wife noticed that 3 new ones are making their way through the surface. I know from experience that teething can be painful (on my ears) but it must be terribly painful for a child. I cannot imagine how 3 new teeth must feel.

We are not unfamiliar with a screaming Rylan as his teeth come in but as far as I am concerned, these teeth are giving him less of a problem. We went through the entire weekend with few outbursts and overall we were pleasantly surprised. He was even able to go meet some new people without putting up a fight. Could he go both days without crying? I didn't think so and he erupted yesterday evening with nothing that could truly sooth him. Distraction was our best bet and that was my job for the evening.

I think I may need to find my ear plugs again.

Week in Review

Written on July 14, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Arggh! My Mateys! Gosh I like doing that.

Wow has it been hot here in Arizona. I think it has been around 113F for the past couple of days. I think that my butt has melted to the car seat a few times. When is the rain going to come? When I was a wee little lad, there was no rain for around 100+ days, it was fun because it hadn't rained since the day I was born. I was able to count how many days old I was just by looking at the newscasts, everyday they told us how many days since the last rain. I hope we aren't going to go that long again.

I'm working hard on this standing thing. I am able to hold myself up for a split second or two now. My mom and dad sure seem to get a kick out if it. I think my record may be around 4 seconds or so. I was so distracted with something I didn't even realize I was standing like a big boy. Of course the floor to butt contact shortly after snapped me out of my distracted state. Ouchy.

I can't recall if I had mentioned it recently but I now have 5 teeth. Well, 4 but my mom says another one is coming in. Sometimes they hurt really badly while other times they are just fine. My mom is always there to help in anyway, I sure think shes great.

I had a chance to see my great aunt yesterday for lunch. I really like to see her because it doesn't happen that often. In fact, I get to see another great aunt today or tomorrow. She lives out of town so its rare that I get to see her. She says funny things that make me laugh.

I am going to go back to relaxing in the comfort of an air conditioned home. The life of a baby, you can't beat it.

Wipes, a little boys best friend.

Written on July 13, 2006 by Kevin.

There is one thing that Rylan always seems to find interesting, something that always will catch his eye and keep him distracted. A wipe. He has a few favorite routines that go along with the wipe. I am simply blown away that for mere pennies, Rylan can keep focused longer than with a more expensive toy.

1) He enjoys grabbing the bag of wipes, opening it and taking one wipe out. He then shuts the bag and proceeds to play with the single wipe. We find it funny and fascinating that he only takes out the single wipe and then closes it back up so that they don't all dry out(so we like to think).

2) One thing that will certainly get Rylan into a good mood is when he sneaks the bag of wipes and yanks out a bunch of wipes. He just continues to pull them out. When we actually catch him, he knows he has been caught and then will give us the biggest smile.

3) There is no doubt that diaper changing a child can be a difficult task at times. The normal rolling around while you are trying to change them can be stressful at times. We have noticed however that Rylan's love for the wipes continues while being changed. A single wipe can keep him distracted enough for the longest cleanup.

My reaction to a few things..

Written on July 11, 2006 by Kevin.

There is no doubt that when you hear for the first time that your wife is going to have a baby, you change. There really is no stopping this. You look at your own life and life around you differently. You think like a parent. Is it possible that this 'change' never takes place in some people? It certainly looks this way.

Issue: I am walking out of our local pizza joint when my wife points out that the women in the car next to us just sat down in the front passenger seat with her child on her lap and drove off. No seat belt, no nada.

Reaction: WTF! Are you kidding me? Do you not value you and your own child's life? Alright, maybe you do just live right around the corner but does that release you from thinking intelligently? Statistics show that you are more likely to get in an accident near your home than anywhere else. Unfortunately, this is not too uncommon here in Arizona. I think that I need to begin looking into the citizen arrest laws.

Issue: Multiple times a week I am sitting in my office lunchroom hearing a couple of women talking about their children and how they want to go out for the night. These women each have atleast 1 child but most of them seem to have 3, all young in age.

Reaction: I fully understand that as a parent, it would be nice to drop your kid off at the grandparents and have a night out alone but dang, you are a parent. You signed up for this when you decided to have a child. Don't complain about how you can't go out to the club and get wasted. It truly amazes me that they can just drop their kids off at the grandparents house day in and day out without even thinking about it. It is not unlikely that the grandparents are caring for the kids in the first place as these women work during the day. Is it really the job of the grandparents to raise the child? When will these women take full responsibility for their actions? When are you going to take part in your child's life? Regardless of the age, there seems to always be something great to see with your child.

A pirates life for me!

Written on July 10, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Ahoy mateys! In excitement for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, my daddy decided tell me a story about pirates. I was the main character! It was such a great story I will tell you about it.

Let me first say, I was no deck scrubber. I was the captain of the Black Pearl before Captain Barbosa and then Jack Sparrow had to take it. That Jack Sparrow guy sure is a character. I would take him on any day. My sword fighting skills were top notch and desired by men from across the seven seas.

My dad says that I had saved a dozen wenches but I am not sure what he was talking about. Not only did men fear my skills but women desired me for my gold. My dad even said that I tamed a giant squid in my day. No wonder men feared me.

The outfit you see below is authentic. It is a one of a kind piece only worn by Captain Rylan a long long time ago. How my dad came to find it is beyond me. Maybe he found a secret treasure map that led him to it.

Week in Review

Written on July 7, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

My first 4th of July was pretty good. We went to my grandpas house for a few hours and watched some really nice fireworks. He lives very close to where they blast off so it was really bright and loud. I sat in amazement while everyone else ooh'ed and aah'ed. Some people may have thought I would be scared but I had seen fireworks before. My first trip to Disneyland we watched their show and I really enjoyed it. Big bangs don't scare a big boy like me.

I was hoping to see a girl my age at the party but she ended up not showing up. I was a bit bummed but I still had a good time either way. I hear that she is almost walking like I am. I wonder who will walk first. I hope it's me!

Ya know, not much else happened this week. Dad purchased some new goodies for himself. He bought some new lenses for the camera so that he can take even better pictures of me. I hear that people sometimes have a hard time taking pictures of kids but I really like the camera. Normally I even sit still for a moment while mommy or daddy snaps a couple of pictures. Once I am done with that, I hurry over and try to eat the lens cap.

Oh I know what had happened this week. I am working on 2 more teeth. These 2 new ones will take me to 5 I think. Lately I have been rubbing my tongue on the teeth. They are fun to explore. I wonder what they are used for. Is there food other than mushy rice cereal? Oh I hope so!

Review: Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Musical Activity Walker

Written on July 6, 2006 by Kevin.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Musical Activity WalkerFrom day one, Rylan has shown signs of having strong leg muscles. It was just minutes after birth that he was pushing his way around the hospital bassinet that they had him lying in. Months passed and he began showing signs of wanting to walk. Months continued to pass before we decided to let Rylan try out this Fisher-Price Activity Walker.

This thing is packed full of toys. It can be converted into a sitting toy with some slight changes resulting in the child having plenty of things to do. Does it play music? Yes. Is it annoying? Yes. Dang the thing is sensitive. You can literally walk next to it and it will trigger the sound to kick in. Pretty darn annoying when you have a child sleeping right next to it and you want to walk by.

Speaking of walking, Rylan seems to enjoy getting up and pushing his walker across the room. Of course he does a good portion of it on his knees. Regardless of how he gets across the room, he ends the trip with a huge smile of satisfaction. It certainly does the job when it comes to helping your child get around the room.

Overall, I'd say this was a pretty good purchase. I cannot recall how much or where we purchased it from but I would likely recommend this to other parents. There are a lot of these types of toys around so I would suggest researching them to your best ability. We have already found other walkers that we visually enjoy more. Why do they always come out with better things right after you buy yours?

Happy Independence Day!

Written on July 3, 2006 by Kevin.

Yes, I know it is a day early but seeing as I have tomorrow off, I am really taking it off. No blogging.