Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Baby-Gate Search is Over!

Well, it's up. After weeks of trying find a baby gate that would work with our strange split-level stair arrangement, it finally arrived, and it's up. It's humongous but completely necessary. This is really the only way that we could secure both up and down directions of the stairs, because of the configuration of the banister (and lack of anything to attach the gate to in the middle).

I actually like it. It's big, yeah, but that was a necessity for our configuration. And I like that there's a little landing so that you don't have to open or close the gate while on the stairs. Added bonus: it serves to lock the dogs out of our main living room (the floor from which the pictures were taken) during the day when we're not home, so we don't have to worry about them eating Sebastian's toys. They can go up or down the stairs at will, but can't get into the living room. Whee!

It's a Kidco Configure Gate, with one added section. It's well-built, sturdy, and actually looks pretty nice. It actually was a cinch to install, even adding the extra section. It was pricey ($150 for the gate and extension), but definitely worth the cost. It'll last, I'm sure of it...even through multiple kids and dogs.

We've been operating for weeks with a sort of ghetto makeshift setup, using an old gate we used to use for the dogs, wedged in behind a filing cabinet, paired with something else to cover the remaining gap. Here is Sebastian, modeling the not-so-safe arrangement: "Umm, guys? You left this bag here in front of the stairs. Can you move it so I can precariously climb them, please?"

We always have an eye on him anyway, but especially recently, without a sure way to contain him. Other fun baby barricades included boxes, chairs, and dogs (the last option didn't work so well, as it wasn't the most, erm, immovable solution). Sebastian generally found a way to climb onto or over whatever we had blocking the stairs, however, and then grinned and cackled maniacally as he made his way up the stairs (one of us not far behind, of course). The picture on the left says it all: "Aiti, do you REALLY think a silly box is going to keep me away from my beloved stairs?" *eyeroll*

So, at least one of our four landing is secure. Yes, we have four landings. That's what comes from living in a house with five half-levels, I suppose. We live in baby-gate hell. The other landings are actually ok, though, for now. On the top-most level (the master bedroom), we have a door we can close to keep the stairs blocked off. On the middle level (where the two other bedrooms are), Sebastian doesn't have access to the stairs because his room is already closed off with its own baby gate. The kitchen/foyer-level landing is still a work in progress, but we have a makeshift solution there too, for now.

Eventually I think we'd like to get another gate like this one to go on that level. But it'll have to wait until we can afford another one, I suppose. For now, though, I'm pretty happy with this one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Where the Wild Things Are

Our excursion to the Reston Zoo on Memorial Day weekend, with our friends Summer and Mike, and their daughter Jocelyn:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stairs! Ack!

Holy crap, we're so screwed....Sebastian figured out that he could get up one stair today while I was outside with him and my mom after work. Then, when we got inside, he proceeded to climb from the landing up six steps to the main level. Twice. This is the second time, with iPhone bait (he was getting cranky and wanted to go home, but I wanted to get it on camera, and needed a "spotter"). I love how he doesn't generally crawl on his knees, but steps up with his whole foot.

P.S. Please disregard the fact that he is wearing a WAAAY too small outfit...apparently he peed on what he was wearing this morning, and Ken didn't pack a change of clothes. So my mom found this 3-6 month outfit and squeezed him into it. Only one of the crotch buttons was done up. I can't believe it still even fit at all! He's wearing 9-12 month stuff now!

Yeah, so guess it's time to put the baby gates going UP the stairs too...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Potty Training Whiz?

Sebastian peed in (the direction of) the toilet! We were in a rush to get out the door to go meet a friend and her daughter at the mall (but then again when are we NOT in a rush these days?), so Sebastian took a shower with me. When we both got out, he was hanging out in the bathroom in his birthday suit while I got dressed and ready.

So he's pulling up everywhere, as you know if you've been reading previous posts. The toilet is no exception. He's lightning-fast, too...several times I've put him down in the bathroom only to sit on his hands as I went to "go." HA! This time, he pulled up, and was cruising around the toilet, babbling away.

Then he got really quiet. I look at him and he's in mid-pee. Directed perfectly at the base of the toilet. The minute I looked at him, he flashed me a huge grin. If only he was a foot higher off the floor, and he would have made it. Hehe. No pictures evidence this time, but I just had to share.

Maybe this means he'll potty train early. Whee! Or maybe it just means he likes peeing on stuff. Men!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green (with Sebastian Around)

As you can see, Sebastian likes to play in Mummo and Pappa's paper recycling! My dad sent me these pictures today. Sebastian LOVES to pull papers out one by one and then play with the mess. Ha! They actually emptied it a few days ago and he apparently got VERY angry that there was nothing in there for him to pull out. Here's the boy grinning at his handiwork:
And then wallowing in the wondeful mess of it all:
In the words of my friend Angel, "What is it with babies and PAPER?" Meh, there are worse things he could be doing, eh?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Rough and Tumble Life of Boys...

Yep, I'm a mother to a little boy. And boy do I know it! Sebastian is almost constantly bruised or scratched or marked up somehow. Poor kid. He's COMPLETELY fearless and wants to do everything right. now. He is cruising everywhere (walking around while holding onto furniture), pulling up on anything he can reach (and even some things he can't...), and relentlessly crawling all over the house. Over things, under things, through things. He is unstoppable.

Nothing gets in his way! He has learned to crawl over dogs, cushions on the floor, people, pretty much anything. He grabs the legs of table and chairs and pulls himself up. He uses his mouth to steady himself if just two hands aren't enough. He stands on his toes if the thing he's going for it too high. He leans his elbow on the table if he needs both hands to gnaw on a toy and doesn't want to sit down to do it.

If two pieces of furniture are too far apart for cruising, you'd think that would stop him. But no! He just holds onto Thing 1 (say, the couch) and steps toward Thing 2 (say, the coffeetable), reaching as far as his little arms will go. It's not close enough? No problem! He just launches himself at Thing 2, taking a step or two without holding onto anything, and he's there! Then he flashes his most proud grin and starts moving toward the next target.

Of course, all of this scares me to death. Not to mention the fact that now he has to be monitored every second he's awake lest he eat electrical cords or tumble down the stairs (must install baby gates tonight...), but he falls. A lot. I know, I know, falling is part of learning and bonking his head or stubbing his toe won't do any permanent damage. But it still freaks me out! We have hardwood floors, and sometimes he lunges for that second piece of furniture and misses, and BONK head meets floor. He's so fast that even if we're right next to him, we can't always catch him before he lands.

The funny thing is, he doesn't even seem to care most times. I mean, the smack as his head hits the floor SOUNDS like it would hurt, but he just kind of blinks and gets back up to try again. He rarely cries. Of course sometimes he does (like if he falls onto the edge of a toy, or scratches himself or something...), but most of the time, he's totally oblivious.

He IS pretty deliberate about everything he does, though, luckily. He goes up and down pretty slowly and we can generally tell which way he's trying to go. Ok, so maybe slowly isn't the word. Carefully definitely isn't. Let's just go with deliberately. My boy knows what he wants to do, even if that pesky coordination hasn't quite caught up with his mind yet. I swear he'd be running around the house asking for the car keys if he could just manage to walk on his own first...

That's just it, though. He's very persistent. Which is a good trait to have, I guess. Even if it does make our life that much more hectic in the process. Stay tuned...this kid is going places.