Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G: Great Friends

(it's been awhile, I know...) This is a part of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series.

Being a mom/parent is hard work. You're constantly critiqued, criticized, and stared at for every single decision you make. You get random (horrible, usually) advice from everyone who happens to notice that you have a child, especially when said child is in your belly. Add all of this to the fears, doubts, and insecurities that every new mom experiences, and you have a pretty lethal combination. Thankfully, this is where a good support system comes into play. If I didn't have people to use as a sounding board and to validate my thoughts, I would have gone absolutely mad by this point. It's so important to get out there and meet other mommy friends (as hard as that may be) so that you can keep an ounce of sanity in your life and enjoy being around other people who "get it."

I'm so incredibly happy that boredom+ a horrible case of baby bug led me to stumble upon The Bump. There, I joined in on other people's journeys to form their own families, as well. From there, I am now a part of a great support system that has helped me tremendously since even before the BFP. Even though there are differences in parenting styles, there is no judgement. THAT is the important thing. Along with being able to just hop on the computer and feel a sense of connection, it's also introduced me to some great women that actually live here! It's pretty amusing to think of them as friends I met online, but whatever works! Jeffrey has managed to get three (almost four!) friends out of the deal, too.

Along with my internet clique, I'm branching out and continually trying to find other mommy friends in the area. I need to socialization. I go to a weekly New Mom's group, La Leche League once a month, and am part of a babywearing group that meets once a month. I'd love to find more to do on a weekly basis. My days always go substantially better when I get out and meet people. That's what having those friendships does- makes the days so much more enjoyable. I cannot imagine going at this alone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

7 Months!

Yeah, I'm a bit late. I just realized that, since we were on vacation on the 19th, that I forgot to do his 7 month post. I also haven't even put up his 6 month picture. I'm obviously behind. Anyways...

He's officially closer to his birthday than his birth day, and that is insanity. His personality is growing and growing; he is a little jokester! I have a feeling that we're in for some good and hilarious times with this little guy. He's all over the place and will consistently find the one thing in the room (at least) that he's not supposed to play with. I can tell that he's really starting to figure things out; he can remember where stuff is (like the door stopper in our room, which is a favorite at the current moment) and is able to manipulate his toys correctly. He amazes me with what he can do each and every day. Although exhausting, this is such a fun age.

7 Month Stats:

  • he's finally crossed the 16lb threshold!
  • still in 3-6 month/Carters 6 month clothing. He's been in this size for forever it seems like. He is starting to chunk up now instead of just getting taller/longer, so I'm sure that's contributing to that. We're getting some good use out of this size!
  • sleep is getting substantially better. He's got a signal to alert us when he's tired, so I nurse him. He goes down with zero issues and is napping for at least an hour, usually more. We're only getting about two naps a day- sometimes just one long one! We still have 1-2 wakings a night, but they're real easy so I'm not concerned.
  • He is eating SO WELL! He loves being a part of meal times and is mastering chewing. He still has issues with taking too big of bites, but he's learning. It's obvious from his poops that he's getting something. He's had quite a bit now- even some turkey sausage (loved.)
  • crawling like a mad man- whether it's a normal crawl or up on his hands and feet
  • pulls up like he was born to do it
  • cruises around the furniture and can even transition from one to another if they're close enough
  • He's working on his balance and has made attempts to stand unassisted/walk. Yikes.
  • babbling a bit: ba and ma seem to be the preferred sounds
  • holds hands in the air when he wants to be held

Friday, June 25, 2010

Clap clap!

I've got a clapper! It is SO cute. He does it all the time now. Hilarious.

Please excuse the "mommy voice"

Clap clap! from imavera on Vimeo.

Cruising Along, Part 2

This type of cruising has nothing to do with being on a ship (although he did do it on the ship). Jeffrey is most definitely on the go. About a week or so ago, he perfected the art of pulling up and getting down. So, he began working on cruising. He's pretty decent at it now, although the corners of the coffee table still throw him for a loop. It's so weird to see my little peanut of a baby moving around on two legs. It's also contributed to many scrapes, scratches, and bruises. Especially since he doesn't quite have a grasp on that he's able to "walk" because he's holding onto something and likes to let go and try to go on his own. Doesn't work out so well. Thankfully.

We're now just mere weeks away from the point that Jony started walking. That freaks me out. I'm so proud of him for all of his accomplishments, but I just want him to stay put for a bit longer and remain my little baby.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cruising along

Jeffrey's First Cruise Adventure...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm on a boat!

Well, I was. For three days, I was cruising in the Atlantic courtesy of Royal Caribbean (sort of, since I did pay them.) Jony, Jeffrey, and I were joined by 22 other family members on Jony's side- half of whom he'd never met before! It was fun getting to know family better and getting to see family members that we rarely see since they live all the way in sunny Florida. We flew into Miami on Friday morning, hopped on the cruise ship, sailed to CocoCay and then to Nassau, and then back into Miami on monday for our flight home. It was a pretty short trip, but it was long enough. You don't want to be surrounded by family TOO long. Plus, we were on an old ship with not a whole lot going on. We did have a great time, though, and we managed to avoid getting too burned. That's a major feat with our pale complexions. Jeffrey had an amazing time and soaked in each and every second of all the admiring and attention that he received from everyone. He's turned into such a flirt.

Some tips for cruising with baby:

1. Be flexible.
2. Choose the early dinner. We were scheduled for the late dinner and had to deal with a fussbot one evening since he was so tired.
3. Get an upgraded stateroom or be prepared to bedshare. Space is a luxury.
4. Pack the necessary items. We took a pop-up sunshade and a portable fan and couldn't have managed without them in such a hot environment.

I'm open to answering any questions you may have about going on a cruise with a tot, so ask away! Check back tomorrow for some pictures of our little traveler.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Treating Myself

I haven't really done all that much for me since Jeffrey was born, and it was starting to wear on me. I love devoting my time and energy to the little guy, but neglecting myself in the meantime wasn't going to get either of us anywhere. So, I made showers a priority. I time them right when he's falling asleep at night (Jony puts him to bed), so that I can take as long and enjoyable a shower as I want. It's awesome. Lately, though, I've been craving a little more time outside of the house. By myself. A few appointments were made- all with the cruise this weekend being used as an excuse!

  • I got my hair cut yesterday. Apparently, it was really healthy for not having been cut since October. I always get such a boost of confidence regarding my hair after haircuts. I go to the Paul Mithcell school, so it's all students that are about to graduate. It's cheap, and I get a good haircut. Plus, all of the students come to look at my hair. Now, you must understand that I hate my hair. It's ridiculously thick and ridiculously curly. It's also pretty freaking long because that's the only way it doesn't end up looking like a brown cotton ball on my head. Especially in the Houston humidity. It's a hairdresser's dream hair, though, I've found out. So, that was nice. If I could, I'd have them come wash my hair every day. That always feels SO good. 
  • Last night (I know- two outings in one day!), I went out for a Starbucks date with my good friend who is due in August. We had a good time catching up and discussing our life and babies. A real true adult conversation. Something I have lacked without having to watch a little pipsqueak to make sure he doesn't get into trouble, something he's become very good at. 
  • This afternoon, I'm heading to another type of "hair" appointment. One that is good to have done before a cruise since you're in your bathing suit a lot ;) It won't be the most relaxing of things to do, but it is something.
  • This past weekend, I also ventured out to get my eyebrows waxed and buy a few things (for myself!!) from Old Navy with a gift card I got for my birthday.
All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about my quality "me" time. Now, I can start getting my head in the game to go on our big family vacation this weekend.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Swimming, swimming...

One of the best things about my parents buying a new house is that said house has a pool! That, along with a pool party for my SIL's boyfriend yesterday, has meant that we have hit the pool more in the last few weeks than our whole dating career, I'm pretty sure. That's eight years- not a super short amount of time. It's been pretty fun! Jeffrey LOVES the pool and squeals and laughs the whole time. Unless he's relaxing, of course. He almost passed out asleep yesterday in his little floaty thing. Hilarious. I have a feeling that he'll be quite the water baby. Thankfully, we're already all signed up for swim lessons in July. With our fearless little man, it's essential that we teach him how to be safe in the water. Of course, he won't be alone in any regards around the pool, but you have to be ready!

He's quite adorable in his swim get-up: super muscular under his slightly too small rash-guard, looking like a cool dude in his sunglasses, and rocking the swim shoes.haha!Getting him all decked out for the pool is almost more fun than the actual act of getting in it. There is a LOT more swimming in our future over the next few months!

Wanna see my baby crawl?

It's my little man heading down the hallway for a hug from his mama. He loves that hallway.

Jeffrey crawls! from imavera on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Causes

No matter where I am financially or how busy I am, I will always find the time to help out a great cause. I'm counting on the fact that most people are the same way- especially mothers. Especially when the cause is related to parenting and the fact that it could happen to any one of us.

There's a sweet little girl named Lillian who is absolutely amazing.She's breaking all sets of rules and meeting milestones left and right. A huge reason for that is that she has the most fantastic mother I have ever seen. Talk about an advocate. Sarah is all about doing everything she possibly can (and more) for her daughter in order to make sure that she has the best quality of life that is possible. In just eight months, I'd bet that she knows more about her daughter's disorder than most. She's in contact with the best doctors and therapists around, and she does what she needs to do for Lillian.

Lillian has Prader-Willi Syndrome. While it's obvious that she's on the greater end of the spectrum in terms of milestones and growth, some are not so fortunate. The best way to change all the lives of children and adults with PWS is to find a cure. In hopes of that, two great women, Vanessa and Beth, are running a 10K in honor of Miss Lillian. You can find a link to the right to the donation page; every dollar is a benefit to finding a cure. Also, make sure and follow their blog: Running For Lillian. There, you can learn about Lillian and PWS while also following Vanessa and Beth's journey to finishing that 10K.

I am so excited for them, this opportunity for all of us to help precious people like Lillian, and for all of the accomplishments that Lillian has achieved so far in her short life.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TV Induced Anxiety

I've begun to open up a lot more about anxiety and slight paranoia that I feel on a day to day basis. Both to myself and to my husband. I assume blogging about it might help, as well. For forever, I've been a very paranoid person. In almost every situation, I think of all the negative things that could happen. I've alway hated it, but I don't want to do anything about it. What if something bad did happen? Then, I wouldn't be prepared for it like I would be if I had already anticipated it. I used to sleep with baseball bats and scissors underneath my bed, along with a phone nearby, just in case someone broke in while I was asleep. I have to assume that at least a portion of this little vice of mine is genetic, but I know that environment tends to make it worse. I cannot watch scary movies. It's not that they scare me (I actually enjoy watching them and typically enjoy the story lines), but they put a major dent in my life for the weeks following watching them. It does get better, but it never really goes away.

Anyways, Jony got me into watching Dexter. I love the show. For the most part, it's therapeutic. A guy goes around killing all the bad guys; I like that. We just finished season 3 yesterday, and I've been struggling since then. It ends with Dexter's wife having been murdered. The haunting aspect is that their son was just sitting their crying in her blood. I already have such extreme fear of leaving Jeffrey alone, so it's been a struggle. Jony feels bad, as though it was his fault that I watched it. So, I'm clinging to my little man a little more lately. And I'm starting to open up more and more about how I feel in hopes that I can overcome it. At least a little bit.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

F: Food

This is a part of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series.

I've had a few posts already about introducing solids to Jeffrey, so it's probably already pretty obvious how we're approaching it. Basically, we're taking it easy. We've been doing a modified Baby Led Weaning approach, but I'm thinking that's going to be changing here sooner than later. I, being slightly type A when it comes to my child, made a list of what and when we were going to introduce foods to Jeffrey. We've already started veering off the list, which we knew we would do. So, we're getting closer and closer to just regular ol' BLW where we just give him what we're eating. We're still going to use the list as a reference for what we should be making so that he tries all sorts of foods. For example, we'll be making roasted sweet potato sticks as a side dish for dinner tonight. This should definitely make us starting eating healthier again, too!

For the most part, Jeffrey has been doing famously with solids. He does much better when he's given his food at the same time that we're eating. It's almost as though he understands that it's not meal time when we're not eating. Banana still seems to be the preferred food, but he still at least attempts to try everything. He has more fun playing with the food, but that's par for the course at such a beginning stage of BLW. Eventually, he'll be eating more and not causing as much of a mess. In the mean time, we're just enjoying watching him experiment! So far, he has tested out banana, apple, avocado, rice cakes, puffs, cornbread, and scrambled egg.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bullets and Pictures

I'm still working on getting back into the groove after our vacation. I've managed to keep myself pretty busy and haven't been on the computer nearly as much. I used to do my internet time during nursing sessions, but 10 minute feedings and an active baby have managed to keep me away. So, here's a few updates in bullet form...
  • We have a crawler. Yup, a full out actual crawl. 
  • He's becoming quite adept at pulling himself up
  • his baptism is tomorrow morning
  • he has now had avocado and it's quickly becoming his favorite food
  • he has consistently been sleeping in longer stretches and only waking up once to eat- all with ZERO issues going to sleep. YAY!
  • separation anxiety is beginning to rear it's ugly head
Now that you're basically filled in, here are a few pictures from our trip...

Chicago- riding the train, gazing at the giraffes at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Skydeck at Willis Tower
Michigan State University/Odyssey of the Mind World Finals:

Is this not he cutest thing you've ever seen?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I'm definitely feeling that post-vacation haze/exhaustion, but it's good to be back. Overall, it was an amazing trip. Jeffrey is a superb traveler and could not have been a better baby. We're still trying to get all settled it (we just got back yesterday), but I'll try and get some pictures up in the near future. We've only got a little over 2 weeks until our next vacation! It should be a much calmer and more relaxing trip- a cruise to the Bahamas. I'm pretty excited about it.

As for travelling with a baby, I'd say to not worry about it. Jeffrey took to everything with no problems and just had a blast taking it all in. Super stimulation. It made for some great sleep progress! He was napping amazingly and sleeping great at night! We even got SEVEN hours one night!!!! Awesome. We're hoping that it carries over into our normal lives. Last night showed that it was- only woke up once and fell back to sleep on his own. Maybe vacations are the new sleep training?