Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Amazement

We went from a baby, to a boy in two years of a blink. After celebrating our son's two year birthday, we then headed off on vacation during the Thanksgiving break. Upon our return, it was all about getting ready for the Christmas holiday season. We really were not sure if our son was really going to get it this year. But, to our amazement he did...he connected Santa Claus to the tree and presents. He also connected the baby Jesus and his birthday. As we woke up Christmas morning, it was truly a magical moment. Of course, the best gift in his mind was a huge dump truck, all else didn't matter.
A few observations to share as we made it through the holiday craze:
* Involve your child - we actually involved him in every phase of the season from picking the tree, to decorating, to wrapping presents and setting up the manger. Each step of the way, we kept reinforcing what Christmas was about.
* Focus on one item - this is a tough one, but we found that when focusing on one gift or item at a time, while allowing time for each to be enjoyed, it seemed to have a bigger impact. During the following days of Christmas, we are making time to enjoy one item at a time to fully feel the excitement of each.
* Capture the moment - of course this is completely obvious, but important. We have gotten into a regular habit of showing recent video to our son to revisit the recent memories...he seems to get as much thrill viewing his birthday and Christmas morning as he did during each day.
Live Appley!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Dark

As I arrive home in the evening, its getting darker and darker each day. It amazes me how our son continues to learn words and understand mother nature. Just the other day, he pointed outside and said "dark...see dark." So we went outside and he continued to say "Ohhh...dark..." He then pointed at the sky and said "stars." Not sure who taught him the word or visual of stars (not me or my wife), but it was a great moment.
So, many evenings we go outside prior to going to bed and feel the cool air, stare at the stars and say "night sky."
I really think by doing such simple activities, he will have a better feel for his surroundings and appreciate the many beauties of the outdoors.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping Busy and Focused

We have entered the 22 month phase where focus is key...our son seems to be interested in everything, and stays attentive for only so long.
What we have found is that less is better - so we may not put every toy out for him to be involved, but rather a few...this seems to definitely help with his staying attentive to an activity for a longer period of time. And it seems to be definitely working as he tends to "complete" or stay on an activity with higher interest.
Try it, let me know...
Live Appley!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nothing Better Than The Hug

Its amazing how our son continues to develop and become more and more of a person.
The latest is the hugs and kisses - there is really nothing better than coming home from work, unlocking the door and having our child run over to me with a big hug and kiss. Added to this is his attempt to chat about his day - some words are becoming understandable, which is really neat...ooking forward to the forthcoming conversations...
Live Appley!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Safety First

It's been a while since I entered some thoughts...our boy is 18 months young and growing fast...its incredible how fast!

So, now that he is into everything, more attention is being made to safety. Literally everything he is around can potentially be harmful - from electrical sockets, to extension cords to a nail clipper left on my nightstand - we have to constantly think of ways to be proactive to avoid any mishaps.

Now, I'm not saying that you have to watch every move your child makes, but I would suggest a quick check on items around the yard and house that can be placed or moved in a safer place in order to avoid any mishaps. A few tips to keep in mind:

*Reach Out - consider items that are within your child's reach; move to a different location to out smart your child - out of reach!

*Lock It - any draws or closets that may have harmful items - i.e. cleaning supplies; etc... don't take any chance - lock it down with safety clamps or other helpful items.

* Watch the Path - move items that are in the common path of your child - yes, it involves bending down often, but helps avoid those common trips and falls

* Step Lightly - stairs are tricky (to say the least); allow your child to attempt stairs, but make sure you are close behind to avoid any traumatic slips and falls

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's All About the Nap

Naps are crucial - not only to the development of a child but for the recharging of a parent...its incredible to see an 11 month old boy hit the wall after about 4 hours of being awake.
One of the things we have learned over time is to look and listen to our son. He will give you signs of when he or she is ready for that critical nap. Our guy does the rub-of-the-eye follow by a few yawns, along with the stare - that's our signal. Believe it or not, infants communicate in their own way - stay tuned-in for those important signs.

Napping Tip
Keep to a routine when putting down your child for a nap or nighttime sleep. By going through the nap routine, your child will understand these signals and connect sleeping the process.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Teething & Apple Picking

For me, it all started with apples...marrying into a family owning the largest pick-it-yourself apple orchard in the NY Hudson Valley-- it was a natural. Five years later arrived the gift of our, combine the two and you get plenty of thoughts on being a first-time dad plus, lots of ways apples come into play with our family.

Our son is now 11 months old and during the last few weeks he decided to start teething for the first time...not one, but five teeth breaking at once...(ouch) So, being first-timers and literally trying to figure it out each day, we decided to go the apple route for a bit of soothing.

Teething Tip: Take a fresh apple, preferably from a local orchard picked during the months of Sept and Oct --- remember buy local. Peel and quarter or eighth, depending on your size preference (although, not too small to avoid the choke potential). Rinse and place in a simple sandwich ziploc bag and then place in freezer. After frozen, keep feeding these cool (cold) refreshing fruit treats to your little one ... it definitely helps sooth the sensitive gums. Only drawback is lots of bits of chomped apples everywhere, but believe me, its worth the clean up.

Look forward to sharing more insights from a dad who loves apples (no choice) and is trying to figure it out one joyous day at a time.

Remember, Live Appley!