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20 Month Update

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Taken a few days late on Super Bowl Sunday, sporting Broncos colors. Poor Peyton.

Weight/Length: About 26lbs. Now that he’s walking running, I should get one of those height charts/sticks so I can start keeping track of his growth a bit better.

Sleep: Most nights aren’t bad. He typically wakes up once and tries to coax us to come get him. I usually send the hubs in to check to make sure he’s okay and that his diaper hasn’t leaked and if all is well, he gives him a quick pat and walks out of the room, which only makes him cry harder. We’ve found that if we close his door, he cries hard for about a minute before giving up and going back to sleep. He knows we mean business. If we leave it open, he’ll cry for 15 minutes or more or until we give in and bring him to bed with us.

He’s had a few nights this month of what I can only assume to be night terrors. His cries are different and he’s clearly terrified of something and on those nights, we rush in and scoop him up because we can just tell something is definitely wrong. He usually calms down after just a few minutes of hugs and rocking though. Poor little guy.

Still napping about once per day for an average of 2 hours.

Feeding: I swear he’s getting pickier and pickier by the day, and he’s the only kid I’ve ever met that hates mac & cheese. His favorite meal is breakfast. Typically a Nutrigrain bar, some pancakes, and sometimes fruit. He eats ALL of it. Lunch is hit or miss, and dinner is almost always a fight resulting in meals that consist of baby raviolis, yogurt, applesauce, and graham crackers because he refuses to eat the delicious things we put in front of him, with most of it ending up in his seat or on the floor. The dog has been eating better these days though.

Developments: This month we mastered primary colors. He can pick out red, green, blue and yellow pretty consistently. He’s also learned a couple more animal sounds, my favorites being elephant and lion. Even though he doesn’t watch Sesame Street, we have some books with Sesame Street characters and he knows all their names. And did I mention he’s basically RUNNING now? I noticed him practicing in the hallway with his walker earlier this month, just going back and forth and trying to pick up speed.

As for language though, he’s got his own and isn’t interested in speaking ours. He makes a certain sound whenever he wants something and will point to it. I’d try to type it out but it sounds a little obscene so I won’t, but he’s very consistent with it so we know that’s his sound for “I want that.”

Other than animal noises, the only word he really says with any regularity is “doggie.” Everything is a doggie. Cats, horses, rabbits…all doggies.

When we do his nightly reading to Goodnight Moon, he’s now a big fan of finding the tiny little mouse on each of the color pages. He’s really good at it too!

Firsts This Month: I’m drawing a blank here. Surely I’m just forgetting one or several things. Oh well.

Likes: Same stuff as always with his favorite things being books, bath, and his paci. The iPad is close behind. And hallelujah he’s finally taken a liking to his Jellycat bunny I got him for Easter last year! I was so upset when he wanted nothing to do with it but I pulled it out from the bottom of the toy box last week and he gave it the biggest hug. Now it sleeps with him in his crib, along with a Mickey Mouse and his musical monkey.

I have never in my life seen a child that loves to be chased as much as this one. It’s a little exhausting for this big old pregnant lady, but it’s so much fun. And if you build a fort around him of any kind – pillow, blanket, whatever – he will instantly go from crying to smiling and giggling.

Ketchup. I blame my FIL for this one as he introduced D to ketchup during our Costa Rican vacation, but then again, sometimes adding ketchup is the only way to get him to eat his nuggets so I guess it’s useful for something. And it’s so darn cute to watch him dip his nuggets in a little pile of ketchup. He’s so slow and methodical with it, and if he thinks there isn’t enough on there, he’ll keep dipping it JUST ENOUGH to meet his satisfaction. Hilarious to watch.

Favorite Songs: No new favorites this month, but he certainly loves music. And when I’m catching up on Ellen, he loves to dance when she starts dancing with her audience.

Favorite Toys: For Christmas, he got a GIANT stuffed Mickey Mouse and he loves to tackle it randomly and sit next to it when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

He’s getting more into his cars and blocks, but they don’t hold his attention for super long periods of time. He still likes to play with his bead maze once or twice a day, as well as his VTech turtle. He loves to play basketball with daddy, and is a pro at putting together his chunky Melissa & Doug puzzles. And flash cards. This kid LOVES this random pack of Dr. Seuss flash cards we found in the dollar bin at Target awhile back.IMGP9995

After watching him play with random magnets on our fridge this last week, I went out and bought him some Melissa & Doug magnets from Target (Thanks for the tip, Sara!) and he LOVES them. I imagine these will be at the top of the list for his 21 month update.

Dislikes: Lately most of his dislikes have been in relation to food. Diaper changes are pretty challenging if he’s not in the mood as well. And getting this kid out of the bath, lotioned up, and into his jammies is a two-man job. And he hates, HATES, having his boogers cleared. But I have never seen a more booger-filled kid. It’s why I call him “booger” or “booger nose” most of the time. Ha!IMGP9999

What I’m Thankful For: That it’s finally February and we are slowly getting closer to spring. We had only ONE nice day in January where we could take D to the park, but otherwise we’re all suffering from a bit of cabin fever and I am not sorry to see January behind us. 

What I’m Looking Forward To: The end of February for the very same reasons.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’ve been better. I’m getting bigger, which means things are getting more uncomfortable with each passing week. I’m managing the gestational diabetes as best I can but it’s not fun and it’s not easy and I still have my bad days. I haven’t been able to exercise as much as I should because of this stupid winter weather, but all in all, I guess I should just be happy things have been going as well as they have been. It could always be worse. How’s that for a positive attitude?

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16 Month Update

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Weight/Length: Believe it or not, I actually have exact measurements this month! Weight: 24lbs and Length: 31 1/4″. This means he’s around 40 percent for weight and 45 percent for length. So a little on the smaller side which is odd considering how much he was always in the 90th percent for both the first few months of his life. The doc said she thinks he’s due for growth spurt so pile on the calories!

Sleep: Same as last month: Goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 most nights, ends up in our bed once or twice throughout the night, and gets up for the day around 7:30. He’s started dropping his morning nap, or rather, pushing it back until 11 or 12 so that it ends up being his ONLY nap. This makes for a very tired and very cranky baby whenever momma gets home. And even though his co-sleeping habits are a result of our own weakness, we’re going to try forcing him to sleep in his crib ALL NIGHT starting very soon. The doc told us to be prepared for him to cry for maybe an hour at first. AN HOUR OF CRYING. I don’t know if I can handle that. Either way, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to be getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep any time soon.

Cuddles with mommy

Cuddles with mommy

Feeding: Mostly table food that we still cut up into tiny pieces. Lots of grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and lately, apples. He used to love his little maple syrup crunchies in the morning, but most of the time, we find them stashed in the seat of his high chair. He does that quite often actually. If he’s not super hungry or really into whatever he’s eating, then he’ll take it and slyly slip it to the side of him so that it’s in the bottom of his chair where we can’t see it until we take him out of it. He does this a lot with peanut butter sandwiches and most veggies/meats/cheeses. Yet he’ll eat his peanut butter crackers, no problem. So it’s no wonder this kid hasn’t put on the poundage – he pretty much lives on fruit!

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Developments: At the end of this month, he finally took his first steps! The first one was at my grandma’s house a couple of weeks ago, but she was in the other room and totally missed it. Then he took a few consecutive steps at my parents’ house this past weekend. My mom got to witness it since he was walking toward her. We’ve been taking him for walks at the park almost every day and he loves it. He’s no longer content to just sit in the stroller though so we almost always have to go as a family so that one of us can hold his hand and walk and the other can push the stroller that he’s abandoned.
Even with one of us holding one of his hands, I’ve noticed that he’s still really unstable on his feet. I worried that maybe he had an inner ear issue that was making him lose his balance, but at his check-up today, the doctor confirmed that no, he just has very flat feet. Which means that his feet and ankles turn inward a little so it’s almost like he’s trying to walk on a ball, which completely throws off his balance. Guess who else in our family has very flat feet and walked at a late age? His daddy. So when the doc said, “It’s just genetic.” I knew exactly who to blame. ha!
So we have a few options: Do nothing and he’ll probably walk on his own in another month. Buy premade arch support inserts and better quality shoes. Or take him to physical therapy and get fitted for inserts and/or shoes. Since our insurance covers the physical therapy and this is what our pediatrician recommended, we’ll be doing that. We don’t want to risk him overextending something in his feet and battling pain, so best to play it safe and get him properly fitted.
Firsts This Month: First steps (as noted above), first time blowing kisses, first time hanging out at the church nursery without his parents hovering around, first time at a jazz festival, first time saying “HI!” and first time eating his first, from-the-tree, apple.

Likes: Baths, books, dogs, balls, Mickey Mouse, shoes, the iPad or our iPhones, music, swinging, being outside, playing in sand, and clapping, especially if you’re clapping for him.

Favorite Songs: We took him to a jazz and blues festival earlier this month and he was bopping up and down to the music. He also does it to the Little Einsteins opening theme song. Babies dancing might possibly be the cutest thing ever. Sadly, other than those couple of things, we haven’t attempted to expand our musical horizons lately. Our playlists are woefully out of date.

Favorite Toys: Balls and books are his favorite toys, but he will sit and play for half an hour or more with his VTech Touch & Teach Turtle. I don’t think he quite know what he’s doing, but he presses the buttons and flips the pages and it keeps him entertained for a very long time.turtle

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed. I wouldn’t say he’s ever loved it, but if he’s in the middle of playing and he’s interrupted for a diaper change, LOOK OUT! Those feet will start kicking the moment you lay him on his back. He’s also going through a phase now where he doesn’t know if he wants to be held or be put down. He’ll pull up on our legs and act like he wants UP but then as soon as we pick him up, he’s lunging for the floor again. And then wants back up. Down. Up. Down. Ugh. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, KID!20131001-211641.jpg

He’s also taken to doing this awesome (read: not so awesome) thing when he’s told no. He’ll bang his head on the nearest table or floor, or even take the nearest toy and hit it on his head. I don’t know what this is about but I hate it. Fortunately, after the first couple of times he did it, he realized he shouldn’t do it so hard, but he still does it and it drives me bonkers. Where do they learn these things? No one around here goes banging their head on stuff when they don’t get their way so why does he do it?!

And lastly, strangers. We’ve been concerned about his social skills for awhile but when we took him to the church nursery and he took off for the toys among the other babies without even looking back at us, we thought that maybe we were just overreacting. Then the last couple of weeks, we’ve noticed that when there aren’t toys around to distract his attention, he will straight up BAWL when a stranger or someone he just hasn’t seen in awhile tries to interact with him. He used to be this sweet, lovable baby that went to anyone to now just all-out hysterical crying if anyone looks at him funny. And even though he loves to watch little kids on TV, if another baby his age stands too close to him, he gives them the evil eye or pushes them away. Really hoping this is a very temporary phase or else we won’t be too popular at any play-dates.

What I’m Thankful For: A super awesome hubby who is also a super awesome daddy. Very rarely does he ever act like he needs a “break” from watching D all day. Occasionally he’ll take time to go work out, but those two are seriously the best of buddies and never get sick of each other. Which is especially great for me because when I get home from work, and feeling as crappy as I have been these last, oh TEN WEEKS, I’m not always able to be a solo-parent, even if it is just for a few hours in the evening. So even though the hubs has beenon daddy duty all day long, he still usually has to help me out quite a bit in the evenings and on weekends too.

What I’m Looking Forward To: The next stage. Don’t get me wrong, this month has been tons of fun, but toddlers (even ones that aren’t quite walking yet) are WAY harder than infants. Notice I say infants and not newborns. Because newborns are super hard when they have to be fed every 2 hours and your boobs are just DONE, but infants/babies are so easy compared to toddlers with opinions that make no sense. He’s got an attitude and is head strong and I’m terrified that I’m going to wake up one day soon with a very spoiled little man on my hands. I mean, what if my kid turns into “the biter” on the playground. Or “the pusher”. Or “the tantrum throwing kid that lays down in the middle of the store and kicks his feet and flails his arms because we wouldn’t let him have a toy.” I can’t handle that. But how do you teach a toddler to be nice? Ugh, this stage is hard.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’m not quite as tired as I was last month, but the indigestion has been relentless. This doesn’t make for a super pleasant mommy or wife when I get home. And since I’m not hungry, I have zero desire to cook dinner, eat dinner, or do dishes. So we go for a lot of walks and we don’t spend much time in the kitchen. I keep waiting for this wonderful second trimester feeling to hit and at 15 weeks, I’m still waiting. So I do my best, which isn’t much, and we wake up in the morning and do it all again. But as boring as I make it all sound, the days and weeks seem to fly by at record pace and I can’t believe it’s already October and there are only 3 months left in the year. Fall is here, the leaves are starting to change along with our wardrobe, and we have two big trips to take plus a party, a family weekend, and the holidays to look forward to. So other than the normal pregnancy gripes, I have to admit that life is pretty fantastic right now, so mommy is doing just fine.

And now a couple of my favorite pics from our apple-picking adventures this month.

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15 Month Update

20130904-123648.jpgWeight/Length: I should know this but I don’t. 25lbs? Seems average for his age but I don’t have exact measurements.

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Sleep: Pretty much the same. Goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 most nights, ends up in our bed once or twice throughout the night, and gets up for the day around 7:30. He’s started dropping his morning nap, or rather, pushing it back until 11 or 12 so that it ends up being his ONLY nap. This makes for a very tired and very cranky baby whenever momma gets home.

Feeding: Soon after his 14 month update was posted, we quit bottles cold turkey and haven’t looked back. It’s been nice not having to wash bottles anymore but we haven’t quite upped our stash of sippy cups so it feels like we’re constantly washing those instead. We only have two that we really like.

We found out the hard way that he’s still allergic to sweet potatoes. Let’s just say I learned my lesson and will now read the back labels of EVERYTHING because you never know when a company will sneak some sweet potatoes in their ingredients. There’s even a technical term for his food allergy called FPIES, which I just learned. Fortunately, the only trigger we’re aware of is sweet potatoes, but still. That was not a fun night.

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No mention of sweet potatoes on the front. #1 ingredient on the back. UGH.

Not much else is new on the food front. Not until he gets more teeth anyway.

Developments: Speaking of teeth, for a long time now we’ve had two on bottom and two on top. He’s FINALLY getting two more on top, but it’s a SLOW process. No sign of more bottom teeth or his one-year molars yet.
He’s been waving more. And is better about turning the pages in his baby books, as if he’s actually reading it to himself from front to back. He’s also very much into putting things in baskets or buckets and taking them out again and/or stacking them or balancing things. Of course, he desperately wants to be able to shoot a basketball like daddy, but sadly, the hoop is too high for him still so we have to pick him up and let him dunk it, which he LOVES.
Life is also getting a bit more interesting with all the CLIMBING. We have to watch where we put his little chair because he’ll use it to climb up on the couch. And although he’s been climbing UP the stairs for months now, he’s figured out how to climb back down them. Which, if I’m being honest, I’m really quite excited about because once he can go up and down safely, we can stop fretting over the baby gates.
He’s not saying any new words this month, but his understanding of words is certainly improving. He’ll point to his nose, his hair, and his shoes when asked. He knows the difference between a regular kiss and an Eskimo kiss and it’s so cute to see him lean in for an Eskimo kiss and then giggle when our noses touch. During bath time, he’ll lean his face toward me when I tell him it’s time to wash his face. And when I grab his shoes, he’ll actually stick his foot out for me to put them on. This kid LOVES wearing his shoes. Too bad he still hasn’t mastered the art of walking in them yet. Maybe this month.20130904-123856.jpg

Firsts This Month: First trip to the outlet malls. I feel like there should be more firsts here but I got nothin’.

Likes: Mostly the same stuff – dogs, balls, books, baths – but lately, he’s developed a slight Mickey Mouse obsession. He squeals with delight during the intro to Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and one day I caught him hugging his stuffed Mickey while the show was on. Cutest thing ever. The hubs said he caught him holding two golf balls on his head as ears one day. We took him to the Disney store one weekend and his face just LIT UP when he saw the wall of stuffed Mickeys. We let him carry one around for awhile and he squeezed it so tight. It’s a miracle we walked out of there without buying anything.20130904-123708.jpg

Favorite Songs: Nothing new this month. We need to add some new songs to the rotation. Any suggestions? The Hot Dog Dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is its own earworm from hell so we need less annoying songs to get stuck in our heads.

Favorite Toys: Balls, blocks, books – still the same. I’ve started introducing more books into our nightly routine, which D loves. We have two Sesame Street – Little Black Puppy books that has a “hidden” little black puppy on each page. By the end of the second book, D had caught on to the “game” of finding the puppy and giggled each time he found it. We’re still working on “pointing to the puppy”. Sometimes he does it, sometimes he just looks at it and giggles without pointing. Regardless, it’s been a fun little addition to our bedtime routine.

On one hand, I feel like our house is filled with baby toys, but on the other, I feel like maybe we don’t have enough. Our living room is small and already feels overly cluttered with toys, though some of them he’s outgrown. Any advice for best toys for a almost 1.5 yr old?20130904-123733.jpg

Dislikes: Being told no. I’ve been getting a small glimpse into our near future of tantrums and terrible twos. If we open the refrigerator and we close it before he can crawl over to it, he throws a fit. He wants to play in the fridge SO BADLY. He will also throw an all-out tantrum when he can’t push his beach ball up the stairs or fit in his playhouse with it. It’s made me consider just taking the beach ball away entirely since it’s such a point of frustration these days. (ED to add: I did. He doesn’t miss it.) Most of the time, he’s a pretty laid-back, happy little dude though so I really can’t complain.20130904-123805.jpg

What I’m Thankful For: This month was my last for getting to work from home one day a week. While I’ll mourn the loss of that day, I’m grateful I had that flexibility for the last 10 months. That’s about 40 extra days at home with my boy. I’m not saying it hasn’t been more difficult lately to focus on work and also make sure he’s not in the corner sucking on a piece of dog food, but it was a great experience while it lasted.

What I’m Looking Forward To: In the next week or two, we’ll be making a decision on a daycare. While I’m actually not excited about this part at all, I am excited about the big picture: D will be able to play with kids his own age for several hours, two days a week. And my husband will have two full days a week to focus on his business, which I’m very excited about because its success could be huge for our little family.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’ve been TIRED this month. But I’ve also been going to bed earlier and getting plenty of me-time in the evenings after D goes to bed. I finished Gone Girl in record time (for me). We had a really crappy few weeks earlier this month, following the death of my MIL, but we’re ending it on a high note, getting things figured out, adjusting routines and plans and planning for a lot of big life events in the coming months, like all this TRAVELING we have coming up, our annual Halloween party and a bunch of other stuff! So a lot of good things on the horizon and I’m truly excited about the future.

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Happy 15 months baby boy!

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Two Things

1. After my last post, a few folks left some helpful words in the comments in regards to bottle weaning.

So the next day, we quit bottles cold turkey.  Just like that. We went from a morning and nighttime bottle to no bottles at all. It’s been a few days now and fortunately, everything is just fine. No big deal, really.

That’s the thing I seem to struggle most with as a parent. We get into a routine and before you know it, you’re supposed to change that routine and it becomes this big, daunting thing that I let build up in my head when really, it’s not a big deal. I did it when we moved D to his crib at 10 weeks old. I did it when I stopped pumping at 7 months. I did it when we started introducing solids. And then again, this time, when we stopped bottles. I worried he wouldn’t drink as much milk, but the first night, he sucked down 8 oz in a matter of minutes from his OXO straw sippy cup.  The next morning, pretty much the same experience. It’s almost as if he prefers the sippy cup because he can drink more, faster. Huh. Funny how that is. So now we can officially pack up the bottles. (Until next time!)

2. We’re interviewing nannies. Or babysitters. Or childcare providers. Whatever you want to call them. We’re starting the interviewing process for someone to come in and watch D two days a week while the hubs retreats to his office or goes out for meetings. We used to have this really great setup for the last 10 months where I worked from home one day a week so that the hubs could be free to go to business meetings. Well things changed recently at work and starting next month, I won’t have that option anymore. I was bummed at first, but this is also forcing us to do something we probably needed to do anyway. Now that D is so mobile and dropping his naps, it’s very hard for the hubs to get any work done during the day. When D does finally nap, he uses part of that time just to take a shower and fix something to eat. He barely has any time to work. And on the days I would work from home, I still needed to work, so he was still on daddy duty most of the time, unless he had an appointment or a call. So our arrangement worked for awhile, but lately, if I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t anymore. Still, I hate to lose my WFH day, but having someone come in to watch D two days a week will be good for the hubs. And good for D, because it will force him to interact with other people.

For anyone who has already been down this path, what types of interview questions did you ask? Any tips on what to look for or beware of? Any lessons learned the hard way to share? We’ve never used a babysitter before, other than my mom once or twice, so this is all new territory for us.

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14 Month Update

Well here it is, the middle of the month and I’m now more than 2 weeks behind on D’s monthly updates. Such is life.

Weight/Length: Somewhere between 22 and 25 lbs. I’m guessing closer to 25 since his size 5 diapers already seem like they’re shrinking. No idea on length but I will say that I don’t think his feet are growing quite so fast anymore since he’s still not fitting into his size 5 shoes. And size 4s are incredibly hard to find! He has one pair and he wears them all the time.

Sleep: This month I really started getting strict about his bedtime schedule so that he was in bed by 8:30 every night. Some nights he’ll sit and play until 9 or so but as long as he’s quiet and eventually falls asleep, I’m not complaining. However, this does not mean sleeping soundly through the night. Some time between midnight and 2:30, he wakes up screaming so we bring him in bed with us. He goes back to sleep almost immediately but lately he’s been tossing and turning and more often than not, I’ll find a foot in my face or under my ribcage. And I thought feet in my ribcage was only a pregnancy thing!

Feeding: Still taking a morning and night bottle. (Question for moms of toddlers: how do you get your kid to drink the recommended amount of milk each day without using a bottle? The only reason we are still using bottles is because it’s the only way he’ll sit and drink 8 oz in a sitting.)

He’s eating what we eat some of the time, but we don’t always eat regular meals or foods that he can eat (e.g. too spicy or too crunchy…like, nachos). So we rely on Happy Family and Gerber products quite a bit. He LOVES fruits, yogurt, and PB&J, will tolerate some veggies, but he’s not the biggest fan of Goldfish crackers, home-made cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese, or cheese in general for that matter. Even mac & cheese just seems tolerable, if he’s really hungry. He’ll try anything, but if it’s not sweet, it’s hit or miss on whether or not he’ll take a second bite.

Developments: This kid is a hugging and clapping machine. But only for mommy and sometimes for daddy. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to walk into a room and get a round of applause and then have two tiny arms wrap tightly around your neck while hearing squeals of happiness in your ear. And that’s after only being gone for 5 minutes.
As for new words, I’ve finally come to realize that when he says “ba” he means “baby.” If we’re out and about and he sees a baby or toddler, he yells “BA!” If one appears on a commercial on TV, same thing. It took me awhile to realize that he wasn’t just yelling at them, but that he was actually calling them “baby”. I think I need Rosetta Stone for baby talk.
So here we are, at 14 months, and he’s STILL not walking. He just has no interest in it. Doesn’t even attempt it. He’ll walk with his walker, cruise around on furniture, or if we hold his hands, so I know he’s capable. But it still bothers me that he won’t get up and walk through the splash pad with all the other babies, many of which are now a few months younger than him. My MIL told me before she died that my husband didn’t walk until he was 15 months old, and our pediatrician told us not to worry and not to force it, it’ll happen, but still. I’m starting to get concerned.

Firsts This Month: First trip to the community pool. I know there’s more but I can’t think of anything right now!

Likes: All the same stuff: dogs, balls, water.

Favorite Songs: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the Hawaiian version, and most Bob Marley songs, bring a guaranteed smile to his face every time. It’s a little odd, actually, but at least my kid has good taste in music.

Favorite Toys: Balls, blocks, books – still the same. And he still loves his musical monkey at bedtime. In fact, we’ve completely stopped using the sound machine for white noise because it just seems pointless now with that thing playing half the night.

Dislikes: Being held/cuddled for too long when he’s in the mood to PLAY. Getting his diaper changed. Getting his boogers sucked out (which happens almost every night). Getting out of the bathtub before he’s ready. And grocery shopping. STILL. If I’m not in and out in 5 minutes, he starts throwing a fit. So I’m “that mom” playing Baby Einstein on her phone in one hand while putting grocery items on the conveyor belt in the checkout with the other.

What I’m Thankful For: When I went back to work full time, I used to worry that he’d never be a mama’s boy. That because his daddy was with him all the time, that he’d only want daddy. I’m so thankful that hasn’t been the case AT ALL. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that mama is his favorite person and even though I sometimes wish he was a bit more outgoing and friendly, I not-so-secretly love it when he grabs my neck a little tighter or reaches for me when daddy is holding him.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Just enjoying these last few weeks of summer. The temps have cooled already and it’s just so nice to get outside and spend time together as a family, going for walks, or playing at the park.

And because I can’t help myself from looking ahead, I already have big plans for fall. It’s my favorite season, after all. More on that later.

How Mommy’s Doing: Emotionally, the end of this month has been really hard on my little family, since my husband just lost his mom. But that tragedy aside, I’ve been doing alright. I started the Couch to 5K program a few weeks ago and while it’s not much, it’s SOMETHING and I feel so much better about myself even if the scale doesn’t show anything.
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First 4th of July parade!

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That smile.

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splash pad fun at the pool

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Still loves his bottle

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Holding hands with mama

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Walking – but only with his walker.

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13 Month Update

IMGP8026Thought I’d give up the monthly updates after baby D turned one? HA! Nope. I’ve decided to keep them going and instead of doing weekly AND monthly photos, I’m just going to do monthly photos, in one of my favorite outfits, on the same rocking chair as all his previous monthly photos.

Weight/Length: After his 12 month appointment, where we found out he’s only about 35% percentile for weight, I’ve been trying to feed him more. But the hubs still thinks he’s a tiny baby that couldn’t possibly need to eat THAT much so it took a little nagging encouragement on my part to get him to realize that YES, he does need to eat more than a bottle of milk for breakfast. Even if he’s not crying that he’s hungry. So hopefully he’s at least 22 lbs now. His belly definitely looks bigger these days.

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Sleep: We’re still (reluctantly) a co-sleeping family. He takes naps in his crib and usually goes to bed fairly easily in his crib, but around 1am, he’s screaming his fool head off to come to our bed. We’re trying to work on it but with my parents in town, we didn’t want to do the CIO method so we’ve continued the bad habit and I’m actually starting to get used to sleeping on a tiny sliver of mattress.

Feeding: The two things that stress me out most about this stage are food and sleep. I analyze every piece of food and wonder if it’s too big for him, too salty, too spicy, etc. Sometimes I’ll cut pieces of fruit too small and then he can’t pick them up. And for someone like me who is terrible at meal planning, meal time is a very stressful situation. I want to make sure he’s eating healthy, gaining weight (in a healthy way), and eating foods that won’t make him constipated or too gassy, while also trying to keep some variety going so he’s not eating the same 3 meals day in and day out. But little by little, we’re figuring it out and moving away from purees more and more, though he still probably eats one or two a day.

He’s officially drinking from a straw now. Since he doesn’t tip his sippy cups, I was tired of doing it for him so a fellow mom recommended the honey bear straw training cup. It’s basically an empty plastic honey bear bottle with a piece of clear plastic tubing (sort of like breast pump tubes) that doesn’t close when he bites down on it. The idea is you squeeze the bear a little to get the liquid to come out of the top, and with very little sucking action, the baby learns to sip on the straw. It took all of maybe a minute for D to figure it out so even though I feel like I got a little ripped off by the bear cup ($13 are you kidding me?), it worked, so I guess I can’t complain. Now he can drink out of ANY straw cup. Even the kids cups from restaurants. This is awesome because it means we’re not SOL if we forget his bottle or sippy cup at home. And apparently drinking from a straw is better for oral hygiene so win/win. Although I wonder if I could’ve taught him the same thing with a juice box or Capri Sun for a fraction of the cost.
Now that he knows how to drink from a straw, we’re on the down slope of bottles. He has a morning bottle and a bedtime bottle but only uses sippies during the day. Hooray for less bottle washing!
Developments: No walking yet, but still pulling up and cruising everywhere. Part of me thinks that because our living room is so small, he has no reason to walk. He can’t even push his walker very far before running into a piece of furniture and getting stuck, so he doesn’t use it.
He’s FINALLY waving now. Right after his 1 year check up, in the doctor’s office, he started. I don’t think he quite understands the point in it, so he doesn’t do it often, but every now and then we can get him to do it on command. And speaking of doing things on command, he typically…doesn’t. He’ll blow raspberries or say “lalalala” if we do them first, but that’s about it.
Still has just 4 teeth (two top, two bottom) and the top ones are taking forever to drop all the way down. But it’s so cute seeing him grin with these 4 tiny teeth.
But perhaps the cutest development of all was when the hubs came home from visiting his family and brought back a big stuffed teddy bear with Cardinals gear on it. Apparently his grandma had saved it back in 2006 when we won the World Series and kept it in a sealed plastic bag. (She died in 2009.) He showed it to D and he immediately wrapped both arms around it, pulled it close, and smiled a huge smile. Heart. Melted.

Firsts This Month: First trip to Nashville (and to Tennessee in general). First time (of many) climbing up the stairs. First trip to Grant’s Farm. First time in his baby pool. First time drinking from a straw. 20130715-091456.jpg

Brunchin’ it in Nashville with all the hipsters

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Hitchin’ a ride from Daddy at the Dukes of Hazzard Festival in Nashville

Likes: Still obsessed with dogs, and lately, balls. Particularly basketballs. He got a basket ball hoop for his birthday and while he’s still too little for it, he knew exactly what to do when we gave him a ball and lifted him above the hoop. Future all star. This kid just loves being outside too. He’s been spending a little time with his splash table on the deck but most of the time he just plays with his toys on the concrete or on an old exercise-step-turned-play-table that I keep outside for him. He also really loves climbing up the stairs, which has proven to be a bit of a headache lately since we can’t find any baby gates that will work with our stairs (banister plus unusually high baseboards = baby gate conundrum). So right now a giant cardboard box is doing the trick until we can find a better solution.

Favorite Songs: Still lights up when any of his bath time songs comes on. He also enjoys Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker, On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons, Cruise by Florida Georgia Line and Nelly, Seven Nation Army by White Stripes, and One Love by Bob Marley. He smiles within the first few seconds whenever any of these songs start playing.

Favorite Toys: Balls, blocks, books – still the same. His baby pool. And his musical monkey which he uses for a pillow sometimes during naps.

Dislikes: Sleeping in his crib at night. Being told no. Sitting in his high chair for any length of time if there isn’t food on his tray.

He also apparently doesn’t like grocery shopping. Maybe we just time our grocery runs when he’s tired and cranky but if we’re not in and out in 5 minutes, he throws an all out fit and screams at the top of his lungs, occasionally even head butting the cart handle, until one of us picks him up and distracts him with something. This means that shopping is a two-adult activity so that one person can grab the stuff and the other can baby wrangle. So much for my leisurely walks perusing the aisles at Target.

What I’m Thankful For: I used to worry that as each month passed, I would miss his infancy too much. That he couldn’t possibly get better than this moment RIGHT NOW. I especially felt like that when he turned a year old. No longer an infant, but not quite a toddler. Still a baby, but for how much longer? Time felt like it was moving at warped speed, and I worried that I wouldn’t love the next stage as much as I did the last one.

But that hasn’t happened yet and I’m thankful.

What I’m Looking Forward To: We’re heading to Chicago for BlogHer at the end of the month. (Holler at me, fellow BlogHer goers!) It’ll be his second trip to Chicago and I’ll be working (again) most of the time, but I’m still looking forward to doing a few touristy things with him while we’re there.

How Mommy’s Doing: I know I complain about my weight/diet/lack of exercise every month so even I’m getting annoyed by the broken record. So let’s just assume that unless I say “Hey look at me! I lost 40lbs and feel great!” that I probably still dislike how my body looks, but damn if that smores frozen hot chocolate from Dairy Queen didn’t taste good the other night. Whoever said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels has clearly never had one of those.
But body issues aside, things are pretty great. We had a crazy week at the end of the month with my MIL going into the hospital and my husband rushing off to be with her so I asked my mom to come in town to babysit while I went to work.
I don’t have much time for hobbies and have a difficult time keeping up on laundry, but I spend as much time as possible with D so I feel like things are well balanced, even if they’re not perfect. And as long as we’re all happy, what’s one day of wearing the same pants again?

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Another gorgeous night in the luxury suites at the Cardinals game. 

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Grant’s Farm!

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Riding the tram at Grant’s Farm

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Petting the goats. Loved it.

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Petted the horse. Loved it.

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A little morning stroll to the park to get our swingin’ on.

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Still one of my favorite photos from this month. 

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So remember D’s birthday party post and the glimpse of my weekly photo project?

View More: http://piercedphotography.pass.us/desmond View More: http://piercedphotography.pass.us/desmond View More: http://piercedphotography.pass.us/desmond

I knew I wanted to document D’s growth in a unique way. I love, Love, LOVE what Young House Love did with their daughter’s weekly photos. Exhibit A:

yhlBut the thought of buying 52 pieces of fabric, taking photos, editing the photos, and photoshopping numbers onto a photo each week just seemed…daunting. I knew it would be too time consuming and I wouldn’t stick with it.

Plus, I didn’t love the idea of just using a white onesie every week when this kid had so many different outfits that I wanted to remember. Instead, I decided to keep the background white and use a different outfit each week so that I wasn’t only capturing his growth and changes, but his outfits too.

A few of my faves:

Week 3:

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Week 11:

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Week 21:

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Week 32:

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Week 43:

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For his birthday banner, I simply edited all the photos as best I could (trying to make the photos as bright as possible since I wasn’t always great about getting natural light and white-balancing).  Then I had them all printed as 4x6s at Walmart. I bought a wide ribbon in his party colors (blue and green), mini-clothspins, and some colorful strips of thick cardstock-type paper and a large circle-shape punch-out that I found in the scrapbooking section at a craft store. It took me only a few minutes to punch out 52 circles. Then I used a permanent marker to write 1-52 on each of the circles and made sure my photos matched up with the right weeks. I used 3M adhesive strips to adhere the ribbon to the wall before clipping each of the photos and the numbers to it. And VOILA!

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I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it now that the parties are over, but I’m thinking of getting a large metal clip ring and just keeping them all together on something like that and ordering a separate collage print to hang in my office.

Now that we’re beyond the 1 year mark though, I’m just going to do monthly photos, and stick with a different outfit each month. There’s just something about packing up all those sweet little baby clothes that makes me teary, but I have a much easier time knowing I’ve documented my favorite outfits well with photos so I can always look back on them when I’m feeling sentimental.

 

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