Thursday, September 27, 2012

pierogis & polka

ever since i've lived in portland, i've wanted to attend the annual polish festival.

maybe it's the eastern european in me, but since there's no romanian festival, i figured the polish one would be close enough. plus, i'm always looking for an excuse to attend a festival.

but the main reason i've been dying to go...PIEROGIS!  i'm obsessed with those filled balls of dough.

well, not only did i get to consume a fair amount of sauerkraut (oh yea!!) and mushroom filled pierogis, i unexpectedly ran into a work colleague from long ago and her sweet 6 month old.  but the best surprise of the day was the polka music and dancing.  the sweet, sweet sounds of the accordion instantly took me back to my roots.  then i had an ah-ha moment...i always thought i didn't enjoy dancing because i wasn't good at it, but as it turns out, i enjoy dancing...it just has to be to polka!  :)




{yes, that's a HUGE dollop of sour cream...and no, i didn't eat all of it}


{he's got plenty of eastern european in him - he knows a good thing when he smells one!}

{he's not faking that excitement}


{found this at one of the booths - didn't expect to find a finnish trinket for sale}

{...or a romanian one}


{this guy though baby r was pretty awesome...at one point he even kissed his feet}
 



{thoroughly exhausted after all the dancing we did!}


and a couple of videos...as always, the best ones were too long to post

video

video

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

before & after

our family of three spent a couple of days at the coast last week.

we were supposed to have been accompanied by my sister naomi and her hubby, who were supposed to have been visiting us from chicago, but due to a soccer injury her hubby suffered the evening before they were scheduled to fly out, they postponed their trip to mid-october instead.  we were bummed, but just happy they're still coming.

since we already had the room reserved, we decided to go anyway and enjoy some of the last beautiful days of summer at the coast.

the hubs also had a great idea - since we were returning to the inn at spanish head, where we spent our honeymoon 9 years ago, it would be fun to try and recreate our favorite honeymoon picture.  he still even had the shirt and hat he wore 9 years ago!  just add in our bud and some funky red shoes, and i'd say we came pretty close.  :)



BEFORE



AFTER


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


the day we arrived was cold and blustery and unfortunately, all it took was the minute or so from the car to inside the inn to knock our bud out with a cold (which he still has, 9 days later).  so we spent day one relaxing inside our room overlooking the ocean, eating take-out thai from a decent place we found in depoe bay, and keeping a sick baby as entertained as possible.

day two was a 180 change with blue skies and bright sunshine and temps in the 70's.  bud still wasn't feeling his best, but we bundled him up, threw him on our backs, and went for a long walk on the beach.  later, we explored depoe bay, and visited a friend who owns a shop down there.  the day was capped off with dinner at j's fish & chips, our fav place to eat in lincoln city.  

it was a quick trip, and while having a sick baby wasn't ideal, he was an incredible trooper!  it was a wonderful two days away and having our bud with us this time made it perfect.


taken with the point & shoot - 



{already teaching him how to skip rocks}



{watching the puppies in depoe bay}

{not feeling 100%, but still giving mama a smile}




taken with my DSLR and edited - 





 .














Friday, September 21, 2012

our bud {8 months old}

this month is flying by and there have been quite a few changes!

eating -
baby r started eating solids on a daily basis, and we've gone from one meal of solids per day to three.  not only has he figured out how to swallow his food without pushing it out with his tongue, he's also gone from one serving (contents of one ice-cube tray) to three servings at once, followed by about 1/2 bottle of milk.  so yes, baby boy is growing and so is his appetite!

we've also been experimenting with different veggies.  i've been making his food, and so far have held off on making any pureed fruit, as i really want to get him used to savory first.  so far his menu has consisted of zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots and peas, always mixed with ground whole grain oatmeal for the iron.  it's no surprise that he prefers sweet potatoes to zucchini - so much for not introducing sweets right away!  my plan going forward is to mix a sweet veggie with one that isn't.  after that i'll start incorporating meat (pureed meat, which sounds gross, but we'll experiment.)

mobility -
he's been crawling since the beginning of the month, and every day he's motoring around at a faster and faster speed.  until yesterday, he moved his arms, and scooted both legs forward at the same time.  yesterday, he figured out how to move each leg independently, and that REALLY sped him up.  i still can't believe we have a mover on our hands!  the house still isn't baby-proofed, so we have to keep a VERY careful eye on him at all time.  he's no longer content to sit in his exersaucer or even in his jumper.  now that he has a taste of life on the go, he wants to GO ALL THE TIME!  as unprepared as i felt for a mobile baby, seeing the enjoyment he gets out of motoring around and exploring a whole new world brings me so much joy.  :)  and, i guess it's no surprise that his increased appetite coincided with his increased mobility.  sometimes he moves across a room so fast it leaves him out of breath, as though he just finished running a race.  the boy is burning calories...wish i could say the same for his mama.

also, as of yesterday, he's been mobile via a like-new walker i found at a local consignment shop.  he took to it right away, and the best part is he can be mobile in a confined area, which is the limitation of the jumper.  plus, we have hardwoods in our kitchen, so i can work away with my happy and mobile bud right by my side.  :)

sleep -
his current schedule is as follows:

  • wakes - between 6-7am, eats, i put him back in his crib where he usually talks for about 1/2 hour before he really lets me know he's ready to be up for the day.  on RARE occasions he may fall back asleep for another 45 min-1 hour.  those are the days mama wakes up happy!  :)
  • morning nap - usually around 9am and for about an hour.  on the lucky days, it's 1 1/2 hours 
  • afternoon nap - between 12-1pm and can go 2-3 hours, usually closer to 2 hours.  
  • the trickly part is if he is up again by 2pm-ish, there a 5 hour gap until his 7pm bedtime, during which he definitely seems to need another nap, but if he gets another nap, he won't be ready for bedtime until 8 or later.  not sure what other mommies do, but this is a dilemma for me, and sometimes he gets put down for the night at 6pm, just because he's READY!  i then pay for it the next morning when he's up before 6 and ready to go.  would love any suggestions in this regard...

communication -
he is a master babbler.  most of the time it sounds like 'dada' (i know he's not really saying DAD-a, but it makes the hubs happy to think so and we go along with it).  more and more, he's adding other sounds and syllables, and i have a feeling we're going to have a talker on our hands.  :)

oftentimes, he babbles more when he's tired, cranky or frustrated, so i'm convinced he's trying to communicate in his own way.  i've signed us up for baby signing classes beginning in october, and i'm beyond excited to learn to communicate with him in that way before he can actually communicate verbally.

entertainment 
it takes much more to keep him entertained nowadays.  even new toys become old much faster, and non-toys are typically what hold his attention the longest.  anything that has a tag on it is immensely fascinating, as are zippers and paper.  oh and anything that makes noise when he bangs it.  everything, of course, goes in the mouth, so he's under constant surveillance.

we read books every day, and he's become very adept at turning pages, especially with his left hand.  sometimes he wants to put the books in his mouth, but most of the time he enjoys turning pages, and reaching for colorful objects on the pages, especially ones that are red.  the most read books currently are 'who stole the cookie from the cookie jar' and 'the lttle mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear'.

daddy bought baby r a bag of wiffle balls (his not-so-subtle attempt at introducing baseball from this young age!) and we roll them back and forth - he's become quite adept at pushing the ball back and either scooping it up or picking it up with his pinchers.  it's amazing to observe how quickly he catches on.

being out and about.  when he's in his stroller and outside the house, there are endless things to keep his attention, including other people, and he lasts MUCH longer before he gets bored or tired.  makes me sad that summer is coming to an end, because it's really going to limit our ability to get out, especially now that he's more mobile.  guess i'll have to get creative!

zoe, our dog, provides him with all sorts of entertainment.  he's constantly fascinated with her whereabouts, while she's a bit more wary of him and his ear-pulling tendencies!

but his favorite form of entertainment is OTHER CHILDREN, especially his 3 cousins, mackenzie, madyson and kadence, who fawn all over him.  i've been relegated to the position of chopped liver when he and i are in the same room with them...and that's a-ok with me.  seeing how much they love him and he loves them melts my heart.  :)

everything else - 

the hair - is growing like on steroids!  i was determined not to cut it before his first birthday, but it's now getting so long it's in his eyes, and since i'm not one to put product in his hair, i'm realizing he's probably going to require a haircut soon.  :(  i also think his long hair makes him look older than his 8 months.

his temperment - he is sooo well-natured, sometimes i feel like we'll probably pay for it later.  unless he's hungry or really tired, he's happy as a clam, especially right after being fed.

he's also becoming more and more affectionate, often reaching up and wanting to touch our faces or lean into us and snuggle.  he's quick to laugh, and becomes most giggly in the evenings, after he's fed and right before bedtime.  that's when he's at his cutest, and i'm convinced that's his way of manipulating us to let him stay up longer!

his health & development - his eczema is mostly cleared up, although it does occasionally flare up on his face or legs.  i attribute this to cutting fruit (which he's intolerant to) out of my diet and doing a good job of keeping his skin moisturized.  i've heard eczema can really flare up in the winter months though, so we'll see what happens.

he currently has his bottom two teeth, although i suspect it won't be long till the top two push thru.

oh, and he just got his first cold.  we went to the coast a few days ago, and while there, he developed a runny nose, congestion, and as of this morning, a cough.  a sick baby is no fun...

he loves to... - 
spit
squeal
play peek-a-boo
drool - yep, this hasn't slowed down at all
splash in his bath
wiggle and flip over when mama changes his diaper or his clothes
purposely dropping things from his high chair
have his neck and back of the legs kissed - he's extremely ticklish


**********

a quick photo shoot i did on one of our last really warm summer days about a week ago.  the adorable green car was a gift from a dear friend who has two little guys of her own.