Sunday, August 30, 2015

1 year!

Guess who's 1?? That's right -- we have officially survived the first year of parenting! I'll admit L's birthday this year was significantly less painful than last years!

L's current stats:
Weight: 24 lbs 11 ounces
Height: 32.5 inches
Teeth: 10 (halfway there on the baby teeth)

When he was born, he was 7 lbs 9 ounces and 20.75 inches long. That means he has more than tripled his birth weight and gotten a lot taller! He has met his milestones, which led our pediatrician to recommend stopping physical therapy. L now not only crawls a lot, but stands and cruises as well. He will likely still be a later walker due to his late crawling, but that's okay. No words yet, but that's not all that surprising. Lots of babbling, though! We have officially baby-proofed all the things, yet somehow L still finds ways to hurt himself (losing his balance, pulling stuff on top of himself, etc). I feel like some of this is good (as long as it isn't actually dangerous). The growth in defiance and doing things he knows he isn't supposed to do has grown in the past month. I'm realizing more and more that he is transitioning from baby to toddler (excuse me while I go cry). Our doctor said we could stop the formula and switch to cow's milk! (Do you even know how much cheaper cow's milk is than formula?? I'll give you a hint -- a lot!). We are working on the transition. We started a week ago, so I am offering milk and water in sippy cups throughout the day. He didn't drink a lot the first few days, but he seems to be getting the hang of it. He also seems to be understanding how to drink out of a straw cup, so that's pretty cool as well. I'm still doing one bottle before bed as he gets the hang of it, but I'll probably be dropping that in the next month. He is such a good eater, but is starting to become a little more picky (noooo!!).

Our biggest change is coming up. We found out a few weeks ago that our nanny is not coming back from maternity leave (so sad). So... we had a frantic couple of weeks figuring out a new child care situation. Unless you have been through it, it's hard to realize just how difficult finding good child care can be. I went to 6 in home daycares (the center daycares were all full) and interviewed several nannies. In the end, I really felt like L was at the age where I want him to start socializing with other kiddos and I think he would benefit from a daycare setting. I went to several in home places where I was literally backing out as I was saying hello. (yikes!) Others were okay, but I didn't feel all that comfortable. We are going to try out one close to our house that I felt pretty comfortable with. Truthfully, I am really, really nervous about it. I don't know how he's going to do, but I'm just going to go with it and trust that God will protect him. I feel like it's the decision we were pushed into making, so I just pray it's the right one. He starts tomorrow! He's also sort of transitioning to 1 nap a day instead of 2, so I think the daycare setting will help him with that transition since all the other kiddos will be napping at the same time. (We shall see).

In the past month, we have gone to Atlanta for a wedding and hosted a birthday bash for L. Lots of good times were had by all. I also made a busy board for L's first birthday.

Trip to the zoo. L was pretty hot and miserable the whole time.

Wearing the new Georgia Tech shirt we got him from Atlanta

We got a bunch of balls for his birthday so I put them in an inflatable pool for indoor fun. 

Food for L's birthday. It was storybook themed. :) 

One picture for each month

Cake smash

The busy board I made him. I already had the board from a previous project, so I just bought the other items on the board from Home Depot and screwed them in! Pretty easy project for a toddler. :) I think he likes the switch at the door stop the best. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Second quilt

As promised, I wanted to post a few pictures of my second quilt. My inspiration came from here. I really, really enjoyed making the quilt. It took many hours of L napping to get it finished. This quilt is for friends of ours who are having a baby girl. The quilt should fit a crib (it's about 37" x 50"). I'm actually really loving quilting. It's a great hobby for naptime and it feels good to do something with my hands that isn't too loud.

Here are some of my original strips. They are each 2.5 inches x WOF (width of fabric). 

Pieced top. It was a little tricky lining up the angles, but I got the hang of it (after messing up several times).

I added a purple border. It's a little unconventional since there is no purple in the pieced section, but I sort of loved the purple and pink for a little girl.

For quilting, I did every other column and followed the chevron (stitch in the ditch). 

The binding ties in the back fabric (a pink mermaid fabric) with the pieced colors. It's the same design as the back, but in white.


Since our friends live in the northeast, I used a super warm batting. I personally love how soft it turned out. I actually have enough of the chevron pieces to make another one. 

I'm a little stumped about what I want my next project to be. I plan on updating L's crib skirt next, but that's a pretty quick project. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

11 months

(Title misleading.. he's 11 months tomorrow). I've been behind on posting. It's been hard. The past 2 months have been so, so busy. Summers always are. And I had been getting pretty frustrated with Luke's rather slow progress with physical therapy. I wanted to wait until I had something. I finally do! L has accomplished a variety of milestones in the past 2 months. I am really proud of him. And it's been cool to see the things we have been doing with PT finally pay off. The waiting was hard though. I saw the envy and pride in my own heart through it all. And it was ugly and totally selfish. He actually started making a lot more progress when I started to let go. Funny enough, our nanny has been saying for months that L would start crawling when she left for maternity leave. She started her maternity leave last Friday... the day L started crawling. So, for the cool new things L can do: CRAWL!, get from laying down to sitting and vice versa (controlled), get from sitting to kneeling, sort of pull up (he did it a few times in June and then hasn't since. I actually don't really count it since he cannot do it consistently), stack rings on the ring stacker, sort some shapes in the shape sorter, point to objects, flip light switches (thankfully he can't reach them without us holding him), wave (? he was waving consistently for a few weeks and then just dropped it since he has been learning to crawl. I miss his waves), and lots more babbling (but no words). I feel like he has gained a lot more control and intention in his movements in the past 2 months. He is also much more steady while standing (although not very close to walking quite yet). For other mamas who want to encourage baby's gross motor skills, I highly recommend I have used this site quite a bit for supplemental ideas for working with L to gain strength.

With his favorite toy, the Mozart cube.

 Was not a huge fan of the pool

 At a winery

 At Nats stadium

 Pulled to standing

 Working on PT

New skill: grabbing his own pacifiers. This is so amazing!

We have been to 2 very fun weddings in the past 2 months. L stayed with my folks for one and J's for the other. We had a lot of fun dancing and seeing friends. We also took L to his first baseball game at Nats stadium and took him to our pool to swim. I also turned 30, and J celebrated his first Father's Day. We recently went up to J's family's lake house for the weekend. It was a little cold for L to swim, but we enjoyed the beach and watching the boats.

I have been keeping busy with a new hobby -- quilting! I'm in a mom's group and everyone seems to quilt in it, so I thought I would pick it up. After reading/watching tutorials online, I pieced together my first quilt! This one is for our nanny who is having her baby this month. I've actually completed another quilt since then, but since the recipients haven't received it yet, I'll hold off on posting.

 Top piece

 Squares sewn together


I've also really gotten into the show, Pretty Little Liars and watched the entire show on Netflix. So addicting. I also fan-girled out really hard when I found out the author of the books is from my hometown and went to my high school. I kept seeing references to the area I grew up in the show, so I looked it up and got really excited. There are also references to my college alma matter. So cool, right? J is not amused.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

9 months

9 months in, 9 months out. Our LO is 40 weeks this week, which means he has hit his inside-out day (spent longer out than in). I technically gave birth 3 days before my due date, but whatever. Close enough. I actually meant to do this post last week, but it didn't happen. I had to read my last update to remember what has happened in the past month (maybe I should write these things down).

9 month stats:
Weight: 22.75 lbs
Height: 30 inches
Percentile: 97th for height, 92nd for weight
Diaper size: 4
Clothes: 6-12 month or 12-18 month. We use both right now. The long sleeve 6-12 month are getting really snug, but the short sleeve still fit perfectly.
Milestones/Physical therapy: Claps hands, much more babbling in the past month (lots of "dada", "baba", "yaya", and some "mama"), little guy wants to be mobile so badly - he actively gets from sitting to his belly by starting to crawl, but doesn't have enough strength to sustain the position so he ends up on his belly wiggling around. He has started pushing up from his belly, which means he essentially goes backwards, which is very frustrating for him. He has gained more trunk control and is reaching all over the place/lunging for things he wants. We started PT yesterday and the occupational therapist gave me a lot of good suggestions for showing him how to sit up from laying down, stand from sitting and teaching him to crawl. I'm excited about working on those things with him, since I can tell he really wants to do them (he tries really hard). The goal is that he is crawling by August.
Feeding: We do a combination of finger foods and purees still. He is pretty good at grabbing the spoon and bringing it to his mouth. He is also good at making a mess. He still gets 3 7 oz bottles a day, but doesn't always finish them. Considering how much he weighs, I don't force him to eat. His growth has been fine. As it gets hotter, I'm just trying to offer water, so he doesn't get dehydrated.

We also got family photos done this month. I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

I guess that's all that's new right now.

Friday, April 17, 2015

8 months

It's definitely time for a blog update. This past month has been a whirlwind to say the least. L is now 8 months old! It's crazy that he is only 4 months away from being a year old. How did that happen? Anyway, we are doing well. A couple of big changes happened this month. The first is that I weaned L completely. I had been breastfeeding him once in the morning, but L now has 2 teeth in and umm... ouch! I would like to say our last session was sweet and wonderful, but it was much more, "ow, that really hurts. You want to try again? Oh, no. Ow! Okay, we're done here." Once we stopped our one session, I just wanted to be done. I pumped twice a day for a few weeks and then just once a day in the evenings for a little. My milk turned watery blue. I tried every other day. The first time I went 48 hours, it hurt quite a bit, but then I was done. I pumped one last time and then it was over. I cleaned and sterilized the pumping stuff and put it all away. And it was good. I accomplished my goal of 6 months. I exceeded my goal. And I was ready and L was ready and so we stopped. The biggest downside is that formula is expensive compared to free, but it's okay. L takes 4 bottles a day of 6-7 ounces each and 3 solid meals a day. It works for us. I think in the next month we may be dropping one of the bottles. He barely drinks/loses interest in the morning bottle, so I may drop that one and see how he does. He eats a LOT of solids, so I think he may be okay if we do that. I just may have to slightly increase his solids. He eats mostly purees, but he is showing clear signs for being ready for finger foods, so we'll probably start that soon. He also eats the teether crackers and puffs. 

The other big news is that L rolled back to front this month. Finally. Actually, he was so delayed in rolling that I met with his pediatrician who suggested we contact early intervention. We are still waiting for an assessment. We did do the screening and they suggested moving forward with that so we are. He's still a bit behind with gross motor skills (and communication), so it really can't hurt to meet and see if we can improve his skills. He is not crawling (people keep asking me that, but he literally just rolled over so it's going to be a while). He can sit for long periods of time, but cannot sit up on his own or go from sitting to laying down unless it's accidental. His fine motor skills are pretty good. He is working hard on developing his pincer grip. He is also trying to clap his hands. He will give us "high five" a lot, but doesn't seem to want to do it against his own hand. He shakes his head "no" when you say no. He thinks this is very funny. 

I think the whole situation with L being behind was rather hard for me. I didn't want my baby late for milestones. I was comparing him to other babies. And it wasn't really fair for him or for me. The reality is that my value as a mother and his value as a person is not based on his abilities, but based on who he is. He has inherent value as a child of God. Each of us has inherent value as an image bearer of God. There is reason to celebrate when he reaches milestones. There is reason to work with him more effectively. But there was no reason to be disappointed or less proud of my child just because his accomplishments took longer to achieve. Watching him develop is really cool, even if it means I have to be patient. And it's something I am still working on. And in the meantime, I'm trying to do the best for him that I can. And he is such a sweet baby with a calm temperament. He is curious and thoughtful. And very cuddly and warm. 

This month was also hard for me because my old nemesis, insomnia, came back. Sigh. This last round was fairly intense for me. I don't know if it was the sudden hormonal change with stopping BFing, Luke getting sick or what, but it was rough. However, God really worked in my heart. I feel like he laid bare all the minor things I was consumed with and made me realize how insignificant a lot of those things were. And the importance of relying on Him for my daily bread and strength during the day, rather than focusing inward. 1 Peter 5 was part of my daily readings during this time, and I feel like really helped bring focus and clarity to the situation, especially knowing that my suffering was temporary. 

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[a]
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I think God finally gave relief when I submitted fully to His will and laid it all down before Him. It's a daily struggle that I am working through, to not let anxiety rule over my life. I am trying to value and enjoy each day rather than worry. But, it's tough to stop negative thought processes that have been there for a long time. 
This is getting long and I'm pretty sure L will be up from his nap soon. So, if you've made it this far. Here are some pictures from this month (or one day in the park last week).