September 22, 2013

the beach!

I traveled home to Washington last weekend to remember the life of my most favorite great Uncle, Warren Albrecht. He passed away in August in Alaska, and his funeral was last weekend. Since him and my Aunt Bea live in Long Beach, Washington, we had a little bit of a road trip to the funeral.

I haven't been to the beach since I was 17, the summer before I started my senior year of high school. Needless to say, it's been a while. Walking the boardwalk and driving around Seaview brought back so many memories.

It was also Calvin's first trip to a beach! He was enamored with the waves, but a little unsure of the sand. If it were warmer I would have let him sit in the sand and explore it a little more. Alas, it was a typical Washington beach day, overcast, breezy and a little chilly. My grandpa described it as "soupy," probably the best, and most accurate, description ever for the weather.

 He's just so dreamy
 Rolling around on the very uncomfortable hotel bunk bed.
 Not quite sure about the sand, cousin Austin was excited to bury his feet in it
 Part of the crew

 Snoozin' through the funeral

He LOVES sitting in the front seat! He likes to take after Grandma, driving with one hand, reaching for the Dr. Pepper with the other.

I truly loved my Uncle Warren and it was so great to have the opportunity to travel home to remember him, and it was also wonderful to see not just my mom and sisters, but a tone of my extended family.

Rest in peace, Uncle Warren. I'll think of you whenever I see the beach.

September 19, 2013

8 months!

Since I only blog once a month...

Our little man is 8 months old now! It's so crazy to think that he'll be turning one here really, really soon. I have such mixed emotions about him growing up before my eyes. On one hand, I am loving this age! I love that he sleeps better, can eat real food (it's so fun to feed him), doesn't go throw a million diapers in 10 minutes and communicate his wants and needs more. However, I so miss that sweet, tiny, cuddly little baby. But I don't miss the nursing every 1.5 hours. Yeeks! My boobs and I are much happier nursing every 3ish hours.

Anywho, enough about my boobs... but hey, they've provided him life for the past 8 months soooo...

 All I think of is the gerber baby when I see this picture. And his funny eyebrows.

 Mid "dadababadadababa"

 His signature stink face, whilst gnawing on the monkey.
At 8 months, Calvin:

  • Mostly sleeps through the night. He has his off nights. He was sleeping like a champ for a whole week, then he started teething and it's just kind of gone downhill from there. But the point is, every once in a while, I feel like a human being because Cal has given me 6-7 straight hours of sleep.
  • OMG teething! The drool is out of this world! He's so cranky too! I'm wondering if he's really teething or if he's sick. He's been like this for so long I'm worried I'm ignoring something.
  • Is such a good eater! He will pretty much eat anything that I put on a spoon for him. Even avocado, which he hates. But if it's on a spoon he'll still eat it. However, he does not like touching any sticky food. He will gladly eat puffs and bread on his own, but diced kiwi, no way. Banana is the only exception.
  • Tries so desperately to crawl. He gets on his tummy, which he usually loves, but now he wants to crawl so he gets mad when he can't get any where. So, he resorts to rolling to get to something. Or sometimes, he'll push himself backwards. Today I heard him crying his "I'm hurt/stuck" cry (I left him in his room to get some water for myself) and when I came back his front half was sticking out from the chair. It was quite hilarious. I can already tell he's a curious one. In the last week he's gotten his arm stuck between crib railings after he shoved the bumpers down, got his arm stuck in his hamper, grabbed the cord to his camera monitor and started yanking it. And I thought I did a good job of baby proofing his room...
  • Does not seem to grow out at all, simply up. He's SO long! His footless 9 month jammies are already high-waters on him, so are his 9 month pants. The footed jams seem to be holding out for longer, but not too much longer. I weighed him and he's now 17 pounds. Such a porker! (I kid, I kid). We'll see how much he's really grown at his pediatrician appointment next month, when he'll be 9 months! What?!
  • Still nurses every 3ish hours or so. Sometimes I can push him to 3.5 or 4 if we're out and about, and he's nice and distracted. It's so nice to not have to plan every trip around his nursing schedule and count down until I have to nurse him again. Oh the joys of having an older baby! However, the nap schedule is completely different.
  • *If* we are home, he's usually a great napper. He takes a morning and afternoon nap, and if I time my errands between or after, then I'm golden. I've learned just how vital getting him down for his nap really is. And it's even more critical to be home for his naps. 
  • Goes to day care two days a week. He's probably there for a total of 8 hours a week, which isn't bad at all! He has never cried when we've left him. He did cry a little when I picked him up the first day, but other than that, he always has good days. He likes his care givers and seems to play with the other kids really well. I had a super hard time with the idea of day care and had to convince myself it would be good for him. And it really is. It's also really nice when I show up and he's pooped his pants and the teacher will change it for me. Total perk. But the cost. Yikes! That part blows. It's only temporary until Brett finishes school. And I think next semester he'll only be there 1 day a week since Brett will only have 2 classes.
  • Is quite the talker. All the brainwashing to get him to say mama has failed. He babbles or says dada. When he says dada with Brett around, he's very earnest about it. He'll put his little hand on Brett, look at him and say "dada." It's quite adorable. In fact, he's a very earnest talker. He furrows his brow and just talks away. It's so cute, like he wants his little voice to be heard.
  • Still spits up. Maybe he has reflux and we just never knew? It's getting grosser as the months progress and he eats more food.
This age has really been the most fun for us and I'm getting so excited for him to talk more, eat more foods, and grow more into his own little person.

August 16, 2013

7 months

So blogging has definitely tapered off. I'm so sorry! Between working and entertaining this little guy of mine (who has transitioned to two naps, aka he's up more) I've barely had time to brush my teeth, let alone blog. But somehow I find time to blog once a month? I could put forth more effort, but that's what instagram is for right? Microblogging at it's finest.

Anywho, Cal is now 7 months. My heart hurts a bit. What is happening to my baby?? But at the same time, he's so much fun, and getting to be so easy. It makes it really easy to be happy about this growing boy of mine when I look at how much he's developing and becoming his own little person. I am so lucky to be his momma.

His favorite toy to suck on is my phone. Who cares about water damage, right?

At 7 months:
- Cal pacifies himself. Probably my favorite skill of his. He'll just pop in his pacifier when he needs it throughout the day. Unfortunately, this skill doesn't really connect in the middle of the night. He also cries with the pacifier in his mouth. That's fun...
- Wakes up twice at night, which isn't all the awesome. But I can deal. It's better than 5 times like he was doing a few months ago. I just can't bring myself to sleep train. Maybe in another month or so.
- Sit's all the time and we don't really have to worry about him too much, as long as he's on a soft surface. He falls every now and then, but it's not too big of a deal. He just rolls onto his tummy and then continues to roll all over the place.
- Sits in his little tub for his baths. He loves playing with the bath toys we have for him, which really means he's just sucking or chewing on all of them. So fun for him!
- Has been slobbering a lot lately. He gets agitated easily, and will chomp down on our fingers so hard! It hurts! I'm 90% sure he's teething, but no teeth yet. And he's really not too keen on frozen toys or foods to suck on, so I don't think a tooth is going to break through any time soon.
- Eats more solid foods. He still likes his purees. But he can handle banana slices, avocado chunks and pretty much anything we put his way. He'll eat anything, which is so nice! I call him my baby bird because I'll chew up whatever I'm eating and feed it to him, he loves it when I do that and I find him begging for tastes when I'm eating. That makes three beggars in our house now.
- He still breast feeds, which I love. We've had to give him formula when I'm at work because I can't pump enough out for him, and I hate pumping and feeding him at the same time. I really like breast feeding, it's so relaxing and calm. Having a pump with it just disrupts the whole peaceful process. At first it was really hard for me to accept that we would have to feed him formula, that I was somehow failing, but I'm over it now. As long as he's fed and happy, who cares if he gets a bottle a day!
- Moves his mouth like he's talking, but no words come out. It's the cutest damn thing. He does sing and babble a lot. No words yet. That's probably the thing I'm looking forward to most, when he starts to talk!
- He's transitioning to two naps a day. It's a little hard when he hits that three hour mark and isn't asleep yet, but it's really good for him. He takes two 2 hour naps, and I actually think it's better for him than the three he was taking.
- He rolls and rolls and rolls some more. It's his main mode of transportation. He'll roll all the way under his crib, which he thinks is the coolest thing ever. Instant fort! I really want to get him a tee pee for his birthday, I think he'll love it!
- He will turn the pages of the books we read together. Board books have become our best friends because he's come really close to ripping the pages in Green Eggs and Ham. Scary times!
- Will pet the dogs. He also grabs their lips, which they don't like too much, but have never come close to biting him. He throws most of his food overboard to them, which they love. It's all about trade offs.

We just love hanging out with this little guy! He's so much fun! I just love how happy he is when he wakes up in the morning. How happy he is when I walk through the door after work. As tiring and sometimes boring the days can get, I wouldn't trade them for anything!

July 17, 2013

6 months. Just please!

 Oh hey there.
 You have arms too?
 Let's plaaaaaaaaay!
 Ok, you can get off my chair now. But let me yank your tail first.

This is the first month Cal has really noticed the sock monkey. It was really funny to watch him play with it. And since then, it's become a favorite toy of his. He gnawed on a foot today, which should say a lot, but he gnaws on everything these days so I guess it just means he's accepted the sock monkey into the fleet. 

 My god. He's cute.

 No more mom!
 I'm done with this!
Ooh wait, give me that!

We got a new cover for our ikea chair and put it in Calvin's room. I got rid of the rocker because it's not like it helped him fall asleep or anything, and this chair is so much more comfortable. I'm not sure if we'll get a new rocker or not, for now the big-bulky-semi-ugly ikea chair works just fine. And I can back into it half asleep in the middle of the night and know I'm not going to fall out of it. 

This kid. Oh I just love him so! He's becoming a ton of fun! But also a lot of work. He doesn't nap as long, and needs a lot more attention when he's up. Kids do get harder as they get older huh? What happened to my sleepy tiny baby? He's long gone! 

I mean, just look at how much he's grown!
At six months:
  • He's now in a big boy tub. Ok, it's a blow up duck, but he has to sit in it, instead of lounge like he did in his other tub.
  • Sits for almost a minute at a time.
  • Has the shrillest scream I've ever heard. He especially likes to use it in public.
  • Rolls all over. But loves rolling most onto his stomach at night while he's asleep, which I hate. I wake up all panicked that he's suffocated because his face is literally smashed up against that mattress. Now I know why they make those mattresses so hard.
  • Coos all the time. Plays with his lips. Cries if he can't see me. He's become quite vocal in the last month.
  • Can hold his weight standing. We can prop him up on an ottoman and he can stay there for a bit.
  • Moves those legs like crazy when he's on his tummy, I foresee crawling in our near future (heaven help me)
  • Absolutely loves getting kisses from Jazzy. Milo is still uninterested in him. 
  • Eats solids! Oh man has his poo gotten smelly. Yuck! But he looooooooves food. Loves. We started him on bananas, and he loves just about any fruit we introduce to him. Mangoes are by far the stand alone favorite. Then plums/prunes and berries. I'm lazy and don't make his food. We buy a lot of plum organics, which are awesome! And they taste really good!
  • Is back in disposables. I barely have time to keep up on regular laundry, let alone diaper laundry. I loved cloth diapering but I just wasn't committed enough. I feel like I've failed, but at the same time I'm really relieved. I buy chlorine free diapers to ease my conscience a bit. I hate creating so much trash and throwing away money with every diaper, but not enough to go back to cloth. Plus Cal was having bad diaper rash issues. If I were to do it all over again (and I might) I'd go the natural fiber route. It seems to be much easier to clean, doesn't have stink issues and is still great for baby.
  • Gnaws and chews on everything. Sophie has become a favorite toy, which I give him often because it hurts when he chomps on our fingers! Ow Charlie! Alas no teeth have cut through yet (!!!)
  • Is one terrible sleeper! My midwife told me night nursing is really great for keeping my milk supply going, so I'm torn between sleep training him and us all getting more sleep, and keeping my supply up, which is so critical with me working. I think I'll try some gentle sleep training methods at 7 or 8 months if he hasn't figured it out yet. Unfortunately, Cal goes from 0 to 40 without much in between. He doesn't have much of a fussy cry. It goes straight to screaming, which makes the prospect of sleep training terrifying and also exhausting.
  • Has met his cousin Kassidy, great auntie Ellen, and grammy and grampy Spaulding. He is still a huge fan of the ladies (any lady, seriously). In fact, if he's grumpy while we're out and sees a lady make eyes at him, he'll perk right up and give her a big ol' grin. He's already a flirt at 6 months. Oh boy.
We sure love this little guy. He has quite the personality, and we love seeing more and more of it each day. But golly! Slow down kid! He's growing so fast!

I'm kind of proud of myself. I had such a hard time breast feeding that I made it a goal to make it to 6 months. If I could just make it 6 months, I would feel like I did my duty. Welp, I made it! And we're still going strong! I drink mother's milk tea on the daily, pump while I'm at work and everything seems to be going great! I have come to love breast feeding. Like a lot!

As Cal gets bigger and becomes more active, it's nice to take a break every few hours and get some snuggles while feeding him. And really, he still prefers my milk over food, which I like. Now I want to make it to a year for sure, and maybe beyond, we'll see. As much as I've come to love breast feeding, I'd like to have my body back for a bit and not have to worry about guzzling water, gobbling calories and getting engorged if he sleeps for more than three hours. Breast feeding is such a labor of love. Seriously.
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