Sunday, March 25, 2012

St. Patrick's Day and a 7 Month Old!

Happy St. Patrick's Day AND 7 Months to our very own little Lucky Charm!!

Birth Stats                                           7 Month Stats
6lbs. 5.9oz                                            17 lbs. 2.5 oz.
19 inches long                                      27 (roughly) inches long  

In just a few short months my “baby” will become a toddler. This thought gives me goose bumps and a smile. He’s changed so much in the past 7 months that I still can’t get my brain wrapped around it. This has been a BIG month for my little Dumplin…
Mmmmm....more peas please!
We introduced solids! He is still breastfed but he now gets to eat dinner with his daddy and I. We also let him experiment with a sippy cup. When I first gave it to him his instinct kicked in and he immediately took hold of it and pulled it to his lips. Instinct is an amazing thing.   So far he seems to like everything we feed him.  Let's hope we are growing a little vegetable lover! 

Night time is a little easier these days. Between 7:30-8pm, he will start getting “sleepy eyes” and I’ll take him into his room, dim the lights, turn on his humidifier, turn on his sleep-sheep, and rock and feed him. I just recently started putting him to sleep in a polar fleece sleep sack, over a cotton sleeper,  he seems to like it ok. Once he goes down, he will sleep until 4-5:30am. Then I feed him and he’ll go back down until 7am or so. It’s a sleep schedule that I can handle!
Enjoying some time outside
Little guy wants to crawl so bad! He seems to have trouble getting his belly up off the floor. He can push his bottom up and he straightens his arms so he is in the Cobra position, but he can’t get that belly up. He does have the ability to get anywhere he wants by rolling and scooting around. I can no longer leave him on a blanket and expect him to stay put!  Baby boy has gone mobile. 

Paisley has started clapping or at least trying to clap. Sometimes he claps using one hand and the arm of his other hand, and sometimes he manages to get both hands to make contact. He loves to be clapped for! I may give this child a big head because I clap for him for just about anything!
Mom, did you hear that?
Likes:
Sweet Potatoes
Avocado
Peas
Sippy Cups with milk
Dislikes:
Seeing mom or dad leave the room
Having the snot sucker used on him
When mom or dad get tired of pushing him on his push & ride

Firsts:
St. Patricks Day Holiday
Touching grass (He loved it)
Prune juice
Swung at the playground on Momma's lap
We are both enjoying spending more time together since I have gone part time.  As the weather is getting warmer, we have enjoyed some stroller time and the occasional nap together on the couch.  I am looking forward to watching Dumplin experience his first summer and all the outdoor activities that come along with it!  Until next month...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gaining Independence...One Bite at a Time

Mmmm....peas!

I knew it would happen one day…I would no longer be the sole source of food for our baby. It was bittersweet as I mashed up avocado into the creamiest concoction possible. We made it 6 months and now it was time to introduce solids.

The day of his 6 month appointment his pediatrician gave us some guidelines on what we could / shouldn’t feed him. Off to the grocery I went to buy some fresh veggies. I figured it was also time to buy a high chair since we are moving down this road. (We won’t mention the cute little plastic fish bibs I also picked up while I was there.)

We chose to feed Paisley avocado’s first since they are already relatively mushy and packed full of goodness. After smashing it up, I mixed it with a little milk and was ready to go. Dumplin looked so little sitting in his big new high chair. It was almost as if he knew something exciting was about to happen as he anxiously watched us with his big blue eyes. Scott and I sat down with our dinner plates and I would alternate between taking bites of my food with feeding Paisley.  We also poured milk in a sippy cup so he could get used to having a drink with dinner. Plus we figured he may need help washing his avocado puree down. He took to both the spoon and the sippy cup pretty quick. He reminded Scott and I of a little bird they way he would open his mouth, swallow his food without hesitation and open his mouth again. Scott had the camera clicking while I played Momma Bird.
Big guy with a sippy cup!
We fed him avocado for 3 days and after noticing zero signs of rash or reaction to the food, we put it on our safe list. Next I made pureed peas. Our Baby Bullet food processor came in pretty handy for this meal. Dumplin was equally as happy with his peas as he was his avocados. Today will be day 3 of peas and it looks like this food will also make it to our safe list. We plan on starting him on sweet potatoes tomorrow.

After we go through a few more vegetables we will introduce fruits into his diet. I don’t foresee him disliking those either. A rundown of the lessons we are hoping to instill in Baby Fish as he joins the solid food eating world;

-We eat dinner at the kitchen table as a family.
-Patience. Just because you open your mouth doesn’t mean you will get another spoonful that second.
-Sippy cups require 2 hands.
-Trying to get pureed peas out of eyebrows is not fun or easy. 
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Big Changes for our Little Family

Happy Graduation!! (With Poppa and Momma)
After I graduated college in December of 2006, I had every intention of heading back west.  After all, I only left Wyoming to get my degree and spend a couple years with my family.  So there I was with my diploma in hand and my eyes fell upon a job opening in the corporate world.  The only hang up, that job opening was right here in my little hometown, not nestled out west in the mountains.  "What the heck," I thought, I'll apply for the job and if I get it, I'll gain a few years of experience then I'll head back west.  After all...the mountains will always be there. 
So happy together! Happy Wedding Day!
Fast forward 5 years later...I have a house, a husband and a baby. 
Happy "Birth" Day!!! My family!
Here I was 5 years later, living the role of corporate employee, wife and mother.  I was wearing a lot of hats and it was taking a toll.  I returned to work from my maternity leave in October and at first I thought, "I can swing this."  Scott and I would both get home about 5:30 and I would feed little dumplin while Scott got dinner going.  By the time we both ate and got clothes/lunches ready for the following day, it was already 9:30 in the evening.  There was not a lot of time to relax, wash clothes, clean the house, or just enjoy spending time with one another.  Our lives began getting a little chaotic, and that wasn't healthy for any of us!

This is how I longed to spend more time....
In December, Scott and I started talking about alternative ideas.  While I was trying my hardest to be the best mother, wife, employee I could be, I wasn't able to take care of our house, cook meals, and spend time with my husband and child like I wanted to.  This mentally began tearing me apart.  Yes Scott can iron his own pants and find his misplaced belt (that he loses every time he takes off), but I felt this was "MY" job.  Maybe because I was raised in a home with a stay at home mom, but "I" wanted to have dinner on the table every evening when my husband got home.  "I" wanted to be the one that little dumplin has picnics with and reads stories to him throughout the day.  I wanted to be June Freaking Cleaver with a house that smelled like clean laundry and fresh baked cookies and a husband that had a packed lunch in a little brown bag and got a huge hug every evening when he got home from work.  Is that really too much to ask? 
Who's the Chef now? :)
Scott knew I was struggling to find a balance between the 3 roles.  While he was a huge help with laundry and cooking meals, I knew he wasn't thrilled at the idea of making casseroles and sorting dark and light colored clothing.  He never complained and he supported me in every way possible, but it wasn't enough to ease the nagging in my mind and heart.  Something needed to give and that something was the 40+ hours I spent a week at work. 

I didn't want to pull myself out of the workforce completely because I enjoy working.  I enjoy spending time with my peers and contributing my knowledge to an organization.  I like feeling "needed" and having a professional purpose. And I like contributing financially to my family.  I presented my boss with a part-time proposal.  Yes, it was a shot in the dark being that our office is very lean and going part-time would impact the other 8 people that I worked closely with.  Still, it was an option I at least needed to explore.  Going part-time seemed to be the best of both worlds as I would fulfill my need to contribute to society but I would also get more time with my boy and be able to run our household the way I feel I should.  My boss tossed the proposal around in his head for roughly a month before he told me he couldn't figure out a way to make it work.  It was hard to hear, but I understood.  At that moment I knew my time in the corporate world was limited.
See this face or sit in my cube...Hmmm... :)
The saying "When God closes a door he opens a window..." is so very true.  Scott and I talked a lot about if I would be happy if I gave up work completely and the answer made us a little nervous.  During this time, I got a call from a friend that works at a local university.  She said she had a part-time job in the HR Department that she was currently hiring for.  She mentioned the job was from Feb. through Sept., then I would be off completely from Sept. through Feb.  I would basically have my cake and eat it too...working part-time 1/2 the year and having the fall/holidays completely off.  And.. as if that doesn't sound heavenly enough, the university is 10 minutes from my house.  Currently, I was driving 45 minutes one way to my office. 
My whole world in my arms
Scott and I knew the pay cut was the only negative factor to my leaving the corporate world.  I have to admit as my last day came upon me, I was nervous.  Not because I doubted I was making the right decision, but I felt like I was losing a tiny part of myself.  This was a completely selfish thought, but it's important that I admit that thought did cross my mind.  I also knew it was going to be hard leaving the co-workers that had become very good friends over the years.  They deserve a post of their own as I got through a lot of rough days by leaning on them. 

So, I accepted the job at the university and put in my notice in the corporate world.  My last day came and went and yes there were tears...but there was also relief.  The right decision isn't always easy, but it is worth it.  I will never look back and say, "I wish I hadn't spent so much time with my dumplin." 
"Did you say I get more time with my mom?"
I'm looking forward to working on a college campus and getting to know new people.  I'm also looking forward to play dates and trips to the zoo.  Change is good. Now if you excuse me, I have a afternoon book reading date with my little fish. 

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Half of a Year Come and Gone!

I'm 6 months old!
6 months old....I can not believe Baby Fish has been around that long.  Half of a Year!!  Has it really been that long?

Birth Stats                                  5 Month Stats
6lbs. 5.9oz                                      16lbs. 8oz   (25% for weight)
19 inches long                              26.5 inches long   (50% for height)

This past month has been hard!  Probably the hardest of all the months thus far.  Dumplin started acting pretty clingy and not eating or sleeping as well as normal.  I could tell (mother's intuition) that he was not acting like my baby normally acts.  Those sweet little bottom teeth were still just hovering in view but not pushing through the gum.  Could that be the cause of his crankiness or something more?  I didn't stew on it more than a day or two and off we went to the pediatrician.  Good thing we did because Dumplin had a double ear infection.  Ouch!  So this month...he had his first taste of Amoxicillin.  He wasn't crazy about it. 
Not feeling well, but still super cute!
Once we got past the ear infection, my happy baby returned to normal!  His pediatrician did tell us we needed to get him sleeping through the night with the help of some "tough love"...that's a whole different post.  He continues to be exclusively breastfed with the occasional small bowl of cereal.  He's not crazy about the cereal.  We may have a picky eater on our hands.
Mom I can sit up, see?
Dumplin isn't pulling up on objects yet, but he can pull himself into a seated position if he is at a slight incline already.  He wants to crawl so bad, but so far can only either get his butt up or push up on his arms.  He hasn't mastered doing both at the same time.  He reminds me of a little buffalo sometimes the way he tries to push across the floor with his head down. 
Diaper bottom baby...
Dumplin is such a good little stander!  He can hold on to things and stand, but he usually forgets that he is standing on his own and thinks he's in his Jumperoo.  This causes him to try and jump which leads to him toppling over.  He just smiles when he falls and then wants to get up and try again!

Little Fish is a squealer!!  He loves to "talk" to us and loves to scream at the top of his lungs to get our attention.  I'm pretty sure I've heard him say "Mom Mom Mom" but I don't think he knows that is me.  I've also heard him say something that sounded an awful lot like "Hi" which would make sense because every morning that is the first thing I say to him. 
"I think I will put this stuffed Panda in my mouth"
Mornings are my favorite part of the day.  When I walk into his room, he is already awake just waiting on me to come get him.  He'll push up on his arms and look up at me with this huge gummy smile on his face.  I can hardly scoop that boy up fast enough! 
Look at these rolls on my belly!
Since the weather has gotten colder, he has been wearing a lot of winter hats.  He recently learned he can pull hats off of his head and stick them into his mouth.  Everything goes into his mouth.  Everything. 

He's got very busy hands! He wants to grab everything and we have recently started teaching him to be "easy" with our faces.  That boy would go to town trying to pull your nose off or scratching your cheeks.  The other night at dinner, he very quickly grabbed a glass of ice water and poured it across the table.  He's a quick one!
"Mom I've had about enough of sitting in this chair..."

A few other likes;
-Reading book after book after book
-Bath time
-Snuggling
-Having Mom sing to him (favorite song, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac)
-His rattle ball
-His Monkey Jill

Dislikes;
-Amoxicillin
-Cereal
-Bedtime
He really didn't want any more photos taken
I look at my little preemie and thank God for bringing him this far.  Paisley is an amazing little miracle that brings smile and laughter to my life.  Scott and I often ask ourselves how we got so lucky to be his parents.

Until next month...

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Animal Whisper

Hello Kitty Whiskers
Perhaps this is coincidence, perhaps it is something more...

Scott has owned this house for roughly 5 years.  During the time we had the occasional cat visit and spend time in our yard hunting mice and moles.  Scott never let me feed the cat despite my numerous attempts.  We're pretty sure the cat belonged to our neighbor but that didn't stop me from naming him (Sawdust) or pretending that in some strange way he was our cat. 

When Paisley was born in August and we became a family of 3, Sawdust stopped coming over to visit.  In the middle of the night, we would hear a cat meowing, and figured Sawdust just decided to visit us at night.  Since I was up every few hours, I would hear the cat(s) everytime I would get up to feed Paisley.  They would be outside our bedroom window, outside Paisley's window, and on our front porch.  Then suddenly we started seeing a HUGE black cat (Blackie), an orange and white cat (Dreamsicle), a grey and white cat (Smokey), and an all orange cat (kitty whiskers).  These cats weren't just popping in and out of our lives, they took up residence on our deck.  The strange thing is we don't have any food on our deck and nothing has changed on our deck since we have owned the house.  The cats just lay around on our deck and watch our every move.  So if you don't find anything strange about that...keep reading.

About 2 months ago, I started noticing a black and white dog that would run into our backyard and just as quickly run past our house and just keep going.  Scott and I would joke that the dog was in a hurry and our yard was apparently his short cut home.  Then a couple mornings while I was getting Paisley ready I would notice that the dog would run up one side of our deck steps, sprint across our deck, and run down the other side.  He just ran across the deck like he used to run the width of our yard.  After noticing him do this a couple of mornings, I asked Scott if he ever saw the dog on our deck, to which he said "yes," he had seen it run by a couple different evenings.  Why in the world would this dog be coming up on our deck (keep in mind there is NO food on our deck) and running down the other side?  And it isn't like he is after the cats because they all just look at each other and the cats just give him the once over and go back to licking their paws.

So...now the dog has decided he isn't in a hurry anymore and he lounges on our deck with the cats.  We now have 5 cats and a dog.  None of which we feed or pet.  Has anyone ever heard of a baby attracting animals to their home?

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