Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our studious little guy

 I don't post many pictures of our little guy around here BUT these were taken at JC Penny's and I wanted to share.  I loved all the pix that were taken but these are some of my favorites.  He's almost 7 months in these.

It was so hard getting him to keep that hat on. 

Mrs. K

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baby K: Month 7

 Happy 7th Month Birthday.  Here's a recap from Month 6

 Week 27:  
-You are still such a good baby with a great temperament.  I'm not just saying that because I love you and you are mine.  You are just smiley, cuddly, giggly and so much more.  You do fuss a little when you want your way or more attention but that's not very often.  You are full of life and laughs.
-This week you've been wearing a lot of hats.  You look so cute in your hats.  You wore the cutest outfit to church that also had a hat (don't wear a hat in church when you get older, ok).  We have different style hats, but I think my favorite is your blue baseball cap.
-I think you know that you should be on your best behavior when you are in public.  Whenever we go shopping or elsewhere, you are so good.  You observe and sit quietly in your stroller or carrier without fussing.  
-This week you, your dad, and I spent some quality time in the hammock.  The hammock is usually where you two chill out on a regular basis but I got to share one of the hammocks with you guys.
-You are doing so much babbling.  I REALLY think you said "dada."  I think you like hearing your voice.  I do too.
-You went for your 6 month check up and you weighed 16 lbs.  You're still a little squirt but you're coming along ok
-You went swimming (kind of) for the first time with daddy this week.  Well initially you just got your feet wet but later I stripped you down into diaper only and you got you entire body wet, except your head.  You seemed to like it but you were a little confused.  I don't think you were used to it.  I bet next time, you'll be very excited.

Week 28
-This week was the first time you spent the night (actually a few days) away from home.  You did pretty well.  We stayed in a cabin the Smoky Mountains in NC (near Asheville).  It was a lot of fun.  Your dad and I and you teenage aunts and uncles went hiking, white water rafting.  We had a great time but you stayed in the cabin with my mom.  I did hike some with you in the Baby Bjorn.  I think you enjoyed being out in nature, hearing the peaceful water from the nearby creek, and just being outdoors in general.  I think you'll be like your dad and love the great outdoors.
-This week you were started on peaches that I made at home.  You like them.  It's so funny because you still make a face whenever we start you on a new food for the first time
-Now you are drinking 5-7 oz breast milk every 3 hours or nursing plus 3 small meals per day.
-You love eating in your high chair.  You are seated by the large kitchen window and you like to watch the dogs "horse play" in between bites.  
-You like the dogs a lot.  We regularly go outside to watch them goof around.  I like watching you turn your head from side to side and follow them with your eyes.  As soon as you see them you start smiling.  You are also very brave and stretch your hand out for them to lick it.
-Sleep is still fairly good.  You go to bed around 6-7p and wake up around 5-6a on average.  You do (sometimes) wake up during the night and fuss for a few minutes then go back to sleep.
-OK you are saying dada and a few other things that sound like real words. It's pretty cool.

Week 29
-This is the last week that you were taken care of exclusively in our home by family.  Next week you start at a home daycare.  I'm dreading it but I know this is what is best for our family at this time.  I think you'll like it.  There are only 2 other kids, the caretaker is sweet, and so are the other kids too.  I'm just having some anxiety about this transition
-This week you are spending more time on all fours and also lunging forward.  I think you'll start to crawl very soon.  You get up on you knees and hands and stay there for a while, then you take one step forward then collapse to your belly.  You're so adorable when you do that.
-You are still Mr. Smiley all the way.  You just brighten everyone's day.  Your dad calls you "ridiculously cute" and I must say I agree.
-You laughs just tickle me.  It's so contagious.  You love when I act goofy to make you laugh.  You also like when I play peek-a-boo with you.
-Earlier this week you were really clingy, mainly wanting me or your dad to hold you but this got better towards the end of the week.  If we put you down for a second you started fussing, even if we were right next to you.  With some distraction and chewy toys you got better.  I've been practicing putting you on the ground more so that you can be more physically active and also so you can start developing some independence. 
-You LOVE baths.  Well, you like pulling yourself to a standing position while in the bath tub as I try to prevent you from falling out.
-This week you had mangoes (homemade).  You liked it a lot.  Making you baby food at home is so easy.  I love doing it.  And I love watching you try all the new flavors.
-I'm still nursing you and giving you expressed breast milk.  Not that you are to know but I'm very excited that you are almost 7 months and I'm still giving you breast milk.  I feel very accomplished and I'm glad I'm doing what is best for you.
-Surprisingly I can tolerate you crying a little better.  I've noticed that this week.  It's still VERY hard and it still makes me anxious but it's not as bad.  I guess I'm starting to get that it's ok for you to cry and not harmful.  I guess I just want you to be happy all the time, but I know that's not realistic.  Your dad tells me all the time.  You'll find out--your dad is a wise man.  :).  No, he didn't pay me to say that.

Week 30
-The biggest milestone this week is starting daycare.  It was a huge deal for both of us but we managed.
-For starters you are at a home daycare with 2 other kiddos (girls).  You caretaker is sweet, kind and caring (which is exactly the type of person we were looking for to care for you).  There was another place that was bigger and more expensive but less personal.  We wanted you to have someone who would grow to love you (quickly) and treat you like family.
-Drop off on the first day was so tough.  It's definitely on the list for the most challenging things I've had to do.  You rode quietly on the 12 minute drive there.  You even dozed off the last 5 minutes.  When we got outside the house, you looked around curiously.  When we entered you did ok.  I handed you off and you started getting fussy.  I stayed with you for a little while as she held you.  You continued to fuss (like you knew what what happening).  I kissed you by and started crying as I walked out the door.  I cried several other times that day and also called to check on you about 3 times.  Your caretaker was very sweet and gently throughout the process.  There was only 1 day this week when you didn't cry but you eventually settle.  I haven't been letting you stay the full day.  I've been picking you up between 3 and 4.  It's so crazy how much I miss you while you are there.  But I feel like you are in good hands.
-This week you are no longer interested in hats.  Well, you don't like them on your head.  You are much more aware when they are there and you rip them right off.  I can still distract you where you forget they are there.
-You got your first real cold this week at daycare.  The two girls were sick and you got what they had--itchy runny nose and some congestion.  Thankfully you haven't had a fever or anything else.  This has made breast feeding more challenging.
-You are mainly eating peaches, mangoes, peas and carrots this week.
-You are still getting on all 4s but only take on step forward before collapsing on your belly.
-You are so active.  I bought you some age appropriate toys and you are so into them.  You wiggle out of my arms to play with them for a few minutes then you fuss to get back in my arms.
-Your dad's grandma passed away this week.  At the end of the week he went to Cincinnati to sing in her funeral.

Week 31 Part 1:
-You are home alone with mommy because daddy is on a medical mission trip in Nicaragua for the entire week. We've been having fun together but we greatly miss him.  You are so cute.  You look around the house trying to find him.  You lean over, looking around me trying to see if you can catch a glimpse of him (but he's not here).
-We've been sending your daddy daily videos of you and every night he begs me to send him more pix of you.  Before he left he said "I'm really gonna miss [Baby K]."  Not his wife but his son.  Just kidding.
-This week you tried pears and apples.  You like both a lot.  I really like making you baby food.  The apples tasted just like applesauce (or even better).
-You are doing so much socially, physically, emotionally.  It's just so amazing.  I just love watching you grow and explore the world.
-Motor: this week I've noticed more that you are picking up tiny objects by scooping with your hand.  You are also unsuccessfully :) trying the pincer grasp.  You try to assist me with feeding by holding on to the spoon.  I've resorted to giving you your own spoon so you can try to feed yourself while I feed you.  Needless to say meal times are messy BUT oh so fun.  You are crawling, although unconventionally.  You still do the military crawl but you also get on all 4s and take one move forward then give up and get on your belly (then repeat).  You have started this week crawling on all 4s but kind of lopsided.  It's the cutest thing ever.  You also do this thing where you try to sit up on your own from being on belly.  You're successful doing this a few times but other times you just topple over.  I laughed the first time you did this and since then you look at me and laugh every time you do it.
-Socially: you interact so much with me and others.  You have the funniest facial expressions.  I think you get that from me.  It's easy to tell your likes and dislikes nowadays.  You also grunt  whenever you want something to go your way.  The best thing is when you try to sing with me when I sing to you or when you hear music.  You also try to talk when you hear me talk sometimes.  It's so adorable.  I think you are developing some separation anxiety because you freak out sometimes when you can't see me however when I'm in the room with you, you go off exploring.
-Emotionally: you are still my sweet and cuddly baby.  You stroke my arm or touch my face when I nurse you.  You like to be held (which can be challenging at times).   You love to laugh out loud, especially when I blow on your belly.  You even start laughing in anticipation of me doing it.
-Week 2 of daycare went well.  Ms. T really likes you.  I think you like her too although you still cry when I leave.  She tells me you settle before I even get to the car (which is good, I guess).  
-You sleep great at night but you have started to boycott day time naps.  We have to work on that.

Overall you have enriched our lives in so many ways and we feel truly blessed to have you.

Mrs. K

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm no Martha Stewart but...

I just love cooking for my baby.  I'm not talking about my big baby (hubby), I'm talking about my little baby (my son).  I wish I loved cooking for hubby and myself.  Anyway, Baby K started solid foods about 2 months ago and it's been an awesome experience for both of us.  I love cooking for him and watching him try the different foods.  I love introducing a new food and looking at his initial reaction to the taste (which is usually hilarious).  That boy is so expressive.

I am more than fulfilling my wishes for him as it pertains to food.  Firstly, I wanted to nurse him but thought I wouldn't be able to because I'm a coward when it comes to pain.  Although the first few weeks of breastfeeding was uncomfortable it got better and now it's so natural to me.  I'm so glad that my little guy is 7 months old and I'm still nursing and giving him expressed milk.  Because I'm working my supply is dwindling but I'm still hanging in there.  My future plan is to do half formula, half breast milk in the future.  Secondly, I've always thought it would be cool to make my own baby food because of cost and because I know exactly what he's getting.  I also like the idea of cooking for my baby.  I didn't think I would be able to do this because of work and other obligations.  Fortunately, I've been able to.  So far my baby has eaten rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, avocado (least favorite), green peas, carrot, yellow squash, bananas, prunes, pears, mangoes, peaches, and apples.  Everything except the cereals and the prunes have been prepared at home.  The non-DIY baby foods are store-bought and we mainly use Earth's Best or Plum organic baby food.

So cooking all this stuff is actually not that difficult.  I have to give credit to my little helper (well big helper), the Beaba Babycook.  I love this thing and all those foods (except the bananas of course) were cooked in this little gadget.  It does all the essentials--cooks and purees the food.  It can also defrost frozen foods.  It's pretty neat because I just chop up the fruits or vegetables, put it in there to cook while I'm doing something else, then puree it, then serve or store.

I usually make a week or 2 (the most) at a time and then stick it in the freezer.  I've tried several storage containers including:

I think I like the bottom set the best (from Dr. Brown's) but I use all of them.  We mainly use these spoons (which he also loves to chew on):

The entire spoon is made out of soft silicone so it's very easy on the gums.  It helps that the handle is silicone because sometimes he'll put it in his mouth from the wrong end.  Recently whenever I feed him, I give him his own spoon since he frequently reaches out and grabs the spoon that I'm using.  He wants to help so I give him his own spoon to experiment.  This actually works out great and makes feeding easier because he's not fighting to get my spoon.

To serve food we use several things:

We have also served bananas in these (which keeps him busy in the high chair while I do some other things in the kitchen):

I've discovered that the broth the fruits make after they are cooked usually taste really good (especially the apples).  They taste very similar to juice but of course without all the added "stuff."  I've put a small amount the apple juice (from the fruits that were cooked in the Babycook) in a sippy cup and given it to my baby so that he can get practice using a cup.   I don't like the idea of just giving him plain water or diluting fruit juice.  He actually hasn't had much juice yet because we are just practicing using the cup.  We prefer the Avent sippy cups.  The cover also can be used on the Avent baby bottles that we use.

We also like these bibs the best when serving solid foods:
And of course, meals are more exciting for both of us when it's served in a high chair.  We love our high chair.  I think it's very nice (it was handed down to us by a friend).  Needless to say that I have to clean the high chair and the area around it after almost every meal :).
Of course this is just what we use.  Half the stuff we probably don't need but they make meal time more exciting for us, or maybe just me.  Next week we will try butternut squash and maybe papaya.

Mrs. K

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Update on childcare

So my baby made it out fine the first week of daycare.  Now, I can't say the same for myself.  Just kidding.  The first few days were really rough for both of us.  And it's still difficult but we are improving.  He still cries when I drop him off but I no longer do.  When I drop him off, he fusses and makes the most pitiful cry face.  It's actually pretty sweet to see the little face he makes.  He settles down after a few minutes which is great.  His caretaker is great.  She's very loving to him.  I can't tell you how good it is to know that you are leaving your child in good hands with someone who will love him and treat him well.  Knowing this makes it easier for me to function at work.  When I drop him off it feels like I'm taking him to family.  I feel very blessed to have found her.  She also puts up with all my phone calls and nonsense (aka somewhat crazy requests).  He's so tired when he gets home partly because he's not doing so well with naps (they are a lot shorter) and also because he's got two other little girls keeping him busy.  Here's a pic of him after his first day.  He was out as soon as he hit the bed.  Poor little thing.  Anyway he did not make it through his first week unscathed.  He unfortunately picked up a cold.  I was mad, mainly  because I thought him (still) being breastfed would have protected him.  I guess not.  He's got the runny nose, itchy face thing going on.  He fights me when I suction his nose and we've been using the humidifier all day when he's home.  Anyway, back to the daycare adjustment.  So, I think my kid is a trooper.  He's very social and smiley which makes it easy to love him and take care of him.  He also adapts remarkably well.  I know he'll be ok.  I also know that his caretaker won't be able to live up to my standards but that's ok too.  I can't even live up to my own standards.  What matters is that she's doing a great job so far.

Thanks for all your supportive words and prayers!

Mrs. K


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