Saturday, August 25, 2012

this week's firsts

this week our bud...


--had solids for the first time, in the form of peas.  YAY!!!  to say he was less than thrilled is an understatement.  i don't have any pictures, but i did take some quick videos...

video


--figured out how to spit REALLY well for the first time.  coincidence that it happened right after the above-mentioned peas incident?  i think not.  cue video.

video


--figured out how to really splash during bath time.  it's like a light-bulb went off and he thought, 'so this is what i'm supposed to do with the water'!  and once he started, he didn't stop until all involved were soaked.  :)




--received his first mohawk, courtesy of daddy.  there were simply too many cute pics to post just one...

{we started small...}


{then daddy pulled out the big guns...and used his shaving cream to get the full effect}

 {'hey guys, you wouldn't make me look silly now, would you?'}

{'what's that you say...i look cute?  alright!'} 




--but the biggest FIRST from this week was the LONG-AWAITED appearance of his first teeth.  yep, the bottom two teeth FINALLY sprouted on thursday, after five long months of excessive drooling and a couple of weeks of unprecedented crankiness.  there's no denying it...my baby is growing up.  sob!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

mornings with grandma

i only ever knew one grandmother, my mom's mother.  her name was maria, but as small children, we always called her 'babka', which is 'grandma' in ukranian.  she lived with us from the time i was born, until she passed away in 1990 at the age of 68.

i don't have many memories from my early childhood, and those i have are faint.  but my memories of babka are the most vivid, and those i look back upon most fondly.

i was only 10 years old when she passed away, but i remember it like it was yesterday.  she had been ill for many years, and bed-ridden for most of her illness, so it didn't come as a shock.  but to a 10 year old who had experienced a grandmother's love so constant and so pure, it was devastating.

growing up as the oldest of nine siblings in a home where affections weren't openly displayed, there weren't many occasions to feel special or like someones favorite.  but i knew i was special to babka.  she not only told me she loved me, her gentleness and kindness demonstrated that love.  she wanted me by her bedside to read to her from her worn bible, and it was me she would ask to reach under her mattress, pull out her slim wallet, held together by velcro, and take a one dollar bill from it.  and in those moments, it wasn't about the dollar bills; it was about what they represented.  they were all she had, and she wanted to share them with me.  

babka would have been 90 years old this month.

we shared a bond that to this day brings me to tears.  and even though she wasn't in my life for very long, she made a deeper impression on me than any other person ever has.  i feel blessed to have had her in my life, the true reflection of a selfless love and a kind and gentle spirit.

and that is why i'm exceedingly grateful that my sweet baby bud has his grandma sue.  my heart swells to see how much she loves him, her first grand-baby, and i know that his life will so much richer and fuller for having her in it.  there is something so special about a grandma's love, and it fills me with such joy to know that my sweet bud is going to experience that love.

*********************

- the only two pictures i have with babka - 





-  a few of the moments captured the other morning when grandma sue came to visit -






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

sugar & spice

my sister's little girl, audrey, was visiting the other day and we ended up doing a very quick, impromptu photo shoot.

she's 10 months old, and aside from having the most beautiful big blue/gray eyes, she is sweet in every way.

oh, and she loves to eat grass.  :)

i have a feeling she and my sweet bud are going to be good pals as they get older.













Thursday, August 16, 2012

sweet baby bud {7 month update}

we just skipped right over his 6 month update.

last month was pretty crazy - we were out of town for his 6 month birthday, and we also weren't able to get in for his 6 month doctor's appt until yesterday.

so this is his 6 month update, one month late.  :)

**********

our sweet baby bud at seven months - 

  • weight: 18 lbs, 11 oz (50th percentile) - and my back definitely feels this!  i still carry him around in the car seat and am thinking it's probably time to stop doing that
  • height: 28 inches (75th percentile.  this went up from 50th percentile the last few appointments, so we'll see if it continues tracking this way.  the hubs was certainly excited about it!)
  • he sits up without support for an extended period of time - AND has great posture while doing it!
  • rolls over onto tummy the second he's laid down; he now rolls over in both directions
  • when on his tummy, pushes himself up to his knees and lunges forward - i have a feeling he'll be crawling any day...and i'm not ready for that!
  • moves objects from one hand to another
  • drags objects to himself
  • looks for hidden objects - i usually have my cell phone handy and he's usually trying to grab it, which results in me hiding it under a nearby pillow. it cracks me up the way he tries looking under the pillow for it...
  • wants to grab everything including our faces
  • requires a lot more entertaining than even a month ago - get's bored much more easily, so we're constantly switching activities.  he's most distracted and calm when we're out and about (grocery shopping, running misc. errands, etc. and he can look around at different things/people).  he also remembers toys he's played with frequently, and wants nothing to do with them, so we've learned to rotate his toys, so he goes longer periods between them.
  • hasn't started eating solids yet (until now, he's been exclusively breast-fed and supplemented about 30% with goat's milk).  we were waiting for the green light from his doctor (because of his eczema), and we got it at his appt yesterday, so it's going to be full steam ahead with the peas and carrots!  also found out from his doctor that it's important to feed him rice cereal or baby oatmeal - basically any baby cereal that's iron-fortified, because at his age, he needs more iron than he can get from breast-milk.
  • is much more distracted while he eats, twisting his body this way and that so he can see anything and everything going on around him...even when there's nothing and no one else!  
  • feet are in the mouth A LOT!  he even tries to put his foot in his mouth while drinking milk.  and when it's not in his mouth, he's holding it up by his face.  too funny.   
  • big-time wiggle-worm when it comes time for diaper changes, which makes diaper changes that much more interesting
  • still no teeth, but the bottom two are visible at the gum line - his doctor thinks they'll erupt in the next couple of weeks
  • the drooling has increased, as if that was even possible!  my guess is it's directly related to the teething, but since he'll be teething for a LONG time to come, will he keep drooling at this same pace??  please say it isn't so, or else i should be stocking up on more bibs
  • moments/days of increased crankiness/irritability - again, i blame it on the teething
  • takes 2 naps/day - one morning nap around 9am for ~ two hours and an afternoon nap between 1-2pm for three hours (although the length can vary from day to day)
  • gets VERY excited and starts panting (for lack of a better word) when he sees the bottle - he does not mess around when he's hungry!
  • does a lot of jibber-jabbering/baby-talking, especially in the mornings and when he wakes from naps. but sometimes he's most vocal when he's upset and it sounds like he's really giving me a piece of his mind!  
  • still sings himself to sleep, usually in the car
  • gives the biggest, gummiest smiles that turn me into a big pile of mush
  • is starting to not want to be separated from  mommy/daddy, especially when we put him down for the night
  • LOVES zoe (our frenchie) - unfortunately, she's recovering from a couple of surgeries, so they haven't had much interaction, but if she's around, he stares at her with a big grin on his face.  if we allow it, she loves licking his hands and feet, and he doesn't seem to mind at all.  we can't wait for her to fully heal up - we anticipate they will be good friends!
  • loves playing peek-a-boo
  • sticks out his tongue CONSTANTLY and it's my favorite look on him!
  • his hair has gotten really long, and i'm not sure if it's the length or the heat, but it no longer has the volume in the back it once did - no more rooster feather for him.  
  • loves his jumperoo - basically loves to jump and stand up on his legs, whether it's using the jumperoo or while someone's holding him up
  • loves the water - he's been able to have some pool-time this summer, and he loves kicking his legs once they get in the water
  • now that he can sit up, he loves bath time even more.  he's figured out how to splash, and daddy even got him his first rubber ducky
  • favorite song: 'itsy-bitsy spider', complete with hand gestures and a tickling session
  • favorite game: the 'mama's gonna get you' game - which basically consists of me looking at him in a sneaky sorta way and saying 'i'm gonna get you' as i advance toward him - i swear, he could play this game all day long, and gets hysterical every time!  it's one of the funniest things i've ever seen, and hearing him laughing hysterically at something so simple is truly one of life's joys.

what most people comment on - 
  • how alert & curious he is
  • his eyes
  • how much hair he has
  • his straight back/good posture.  :)
  • his cheeks - they're so squeezable!
  • what a good baby he is - and i agree - we got a good one  :)

challenges
  • still waking up 1-2 times/night - he slept thru the night beginning at 9 weeks (we followed the babywise method and it worked successfully for us); then around the 5 month mark, he began waking up again.  i thought it was due to a growth spurt and /or teething, so i would feed him and put him right down.  but that developed into a pattern, and he's still doing it, two months later.  the input we received from his doctor yesterday was that it's most likely not growth spurt or teething related now, just a learned habit, whereby he's learned that he needs mommy there to be able to fall back asleep.  his dr said he's definitely old enough to be able to sleep thru the night without extra food, and it's just a matter of 're-training' him (unless i want to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night, in which case it's a matter of personal preference).  so, the recommendation was to let him 'work it out' (i think that's the politically correct way of saying 'cry it out') on his own the next few nights, and he should be able to establish a new pattern in a few days.  we don't have a problem with that, but we'll see how it goes, i guess.  we've certainly been guilty of rocking him to sleep on numerous occasions.  on one hand, i want him to sleep thru the night; on the other hand, he's only going to be this small and 'rock-able' for such a short period of time, and i want to soak up every one of those moments too. 

overall, the last couple of months have brought about the most drastic changes in his development thus far!  it seems like he's transformed from a baby to a little boy in a matter of a month and half...he just doesn't seem like a baby anymore.  that makes me sad some days, but this is also SUCH a fun stage that i wouldn't trade it (or him) for anything!








Monday, August 13, 2012

oaks park & pool time

whew, this is going to be my last post of the day.  i'm pretty sure this is a record for me - 3 posts in one day! but i had the luxury my bud taking a long afternoon nap and the lack of motivation to do much else, so this was the end result.  :)  at least now i'm mostly caught up.

on saturday, my bud and i joined my sister and fam (they sure get out and about much, don't they??) at oaks amusement park and later, for a pool party at their place.  my good friend and her boys were able to join us at the pool, and it was the perfect end to a hot summer's day.

my friend also blogged about it here and posted some of the pics she took with her 'good' camera.  i, on the other hand, have recently re-discovered my point & shoot camera, and have been taking most pics that way.  the quality of the photos isn't even close to the same, and i don't put a whole of thought into the composition or editing process, but when all i'm trying to do is quickly document our experience, the small pocket camera is so much more convenient!!   i also found i'm much more apt to download and edit the much smaller files than i am to touch the raw ones i take with my dslr.

a few of the highlights from our day...

{mackenzie going for a whirl}

{mackenzie & madyson on the tugboat - no hands!} 

{just had to make sure he was really sleeping}


{they're still obsessed with his baby toes - and so am i!} 

{battle of the curly fry - i think kadence won that one} 

{he loves the water} 

{being loved on by his cousin madyson and auntie erica} 

{'whatcha got there??' trying to sneak some cheerios}


the first time he saw animals

last friday we joined my sisters and their kiddos at the zoo.  it was my bud's first time at the zoo, and luckily grandma sue was also able to come along.  :)

the day started off chilly, but got up close to 90 degrees by the time it was all said and done.  and although we had only planned to be there for a couple of hours, by the time we left the zoo, we had been there SEVEN hours!  i'm not sure how, because it only felt like a couple, but i guess that's what happens when there are 5 children under the age of 7 in the mix.

it really was the perfect day at the zoo - we saw tons of animals, even after it got warm, my bud got to hang out with all 4 local cousins and his grandma, and i even discovered a place that sells a better than average chicken salad, and that's saying a lot considering what zoo food is normally like!

my nieces' excitement was contagious, and it made me all the more excited for when my bud is older - i can't wait to experience the zoo through his eyes!


{we waited and waited for the hippos to make an appearance, and when they finally did, the funniest quote of the day was heard: 'hippos come to those who wait', haha!}

{yes, the cougar was RIGHT on the window}


{jen & little miss audrey}

{our self-designated tour guide}

{the silly - and beautiful - miss mackenzie}

{the silly three musketeers!}
{miss mackenzie was such a big help - she insisted on pushing the stroller for a good part of the day...and i happily obliged}
{i can't get enough of him in those shades!  so far, he hasn't learned how to remove them}
 {crawling around after her cousin kadence}
{the many faces of precious baby audrey}

{someday they'll play together, but they did a pretty good job of ignoring each other at the zoo}


{they were fascinated with the rotary phone - i guess their generation's going to consider it an ancient artifact}
{they love each other and that makes my heart happy}

{getting a closer look at the zebra and giraffes}
 {love my silly girls!}

{mama and her girls - tired after SEVEN hours!}