Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Baby Boy Update

7 mo 1


So, the last time I made a regular post about the Baby Boy, he was three months old. Last week, he turned seven months old. Ahem. Oh, and his big brother had a birthday too. But we'll save that for another day. Today is about Baby Boy. Here is an update on his little sweet life with a smattering of phone and "good camera" photos from the last four months:


4 mo 1

So theses were the photos I took when he was 4 months old. This boy - this boy, is SO mellow. So calm, kind and sweet. I cannot overstate this. It's true. He's the best mannered baby on the planet. He really is. People comment on it when we are out in public all the time. He loves to be held and cuddled and talked to. He loves to stare back into your eyes and gurgle his affection right back to you.


4 mo 2

4 mo 3

4 mo 4


He is also very long and lean - his length is in the 90% and his weight has been anywhere between 15-50%. So, skinny by baby standards.


5 mo 1

On the day he turned 5 months old, we were on our first trip up to Chicago to look around and try to find a place to live. So, I snapped the shot above and the shot below in our hotel room, without the regular quilt and chair to take photos with.

5 mo 2

5 mo 3

BB has always shown interest in LM. But it was around this time that he really started watching him closely, laughing at his antics, and clearly enjoying his company. This is completely wonderful to watch. I love it. 


5 mo 4
And those eyes of his - they are so beautiful!


5 half 1

When we were back home in Texas, I took some "5 and 1/2 month" photos on the quilt and in the chair for posterity. These photos in this batch are from that day. You can really tell his long, thin build in these - he is filling out this 12 month size outfit in length, but not at all in girth.


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5 half 3

5 half 4
In this one, he looks like a china doll to me.

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As usual, LM has to get into the act.
Of course, I'm fine with that.

5 half 6


5 half months
Later in August, BB and I took another trip to Chicago to continue looking at houses.
LM stayed in Dallas with his grandparents and cousins, which he enjoyed.


6 mo
And then, he was 6 months old on the quilt!

I started to worry about his motor development sometime during the 5th month, when I printed off the "ages and stages" questionnaire I had to fill out for the doctor for his 6 month visit. There were many parts of the questionnaire that he wasn't hitting. I took him in early to ask the doctor about it, and I started being methodical about working with him on his motor skills. The doctor didn't think there was a neurological issue, or any reason to worry. He just thought he was maybe a little tiny bit behind. By the time of his 6 month appointment, he had caught up to be in the "normal" range for gross motor skills and only slightly behind in fine motor skills. And, his cognitive, social and communications skills are through the roof. So, I am still working with him diligently on his motor skills every day. 


6 mo 1

Social skills at this age - making great eye contact, smiling at people, especially and more easily to people he knows and recognizes, and making other faces/expressions to those he knows. Communication skills at this age - consonant sounds and lots of vowels and gurgles, high and low sounds, growling sounds, and starting to repeat consonants. 


6 mo 2

6 mo 3

I'm not sure how I ended up with two verbal boys, but so far, that is exactly what I have! We will see if this stays the same as they grow and change. People comment on how their coloring is so different. Indeed their coloring is very different! But, they look a lot alike too. Genes are a funny bunch!


6 mo 4

6 mo 5
This was taken at our "house cooling" party just before we left Dallas,
and just after he turned 6 months.


6 mo 7
I love this one of the three of us.


6 mo 6

I was feeding BB fruits and vegetables, and even tried some rice cereal, once in a while, before he turned 6 months old. He did not do well with the rice cereal, so we have moved to oats. And, since he has turned 6 months, we eat fruits and vegetables with some oats thrown in twice a day. 


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And now,  just before he turned 7 months, he pushed through two teeth!


7 mo

He continues to improve in his motor skills - here he has rolled and scooted once again off the sheet I put down on the floor for him to play on. He also is using his hands more, grabbing for toys and bringing them to his mouth. That photo up there shows a bit of his happy, mischievous personality. He loves to laugh and be entertained, for sure. And, LM is happy to oblige on those counts. 


70 m0 2
And then, last week, he turned 7 months!
Photos on the quilt and in a stand-in chair at the corporate apartment.

And, while he's not sitting up by himself yet, he can sit for quite a while like this, resting on his hands. We are also going to add some oats and fruit at breakfast as well in the coming weeks, making our "food" eating three times a day. We are still breastfeeding - how simple and wonderful it is to be able to do that for him and not have to pump and make bottles regularly! I feel spoiled on this account, and honestly, probably saved me breastfeeding him this long. With LM I was determined to make it 6 months and then a year. With this sweet boy, the stress of the job was going to make it hard for me to do the same. But now, we can keep doing it as long as the supply keeps up. And, amazingly, when I'm not working and not stressed about a move - now that we are sort of into a routine here in Chicagoland - my supply has been more stable and plentiful. Imagine! Lower stress equals more milk. Ha.


7 mo 3

When we practice sitting up and using our core muscles (both of us - ha) we do it in front of a mirror. This was a trick I accidentally figured out in Dallas before our move. When I put him in front of the mirror where he could watch that baby staring back at him, he was more willing to sit and work. So, when we got to Chicagoland, we bought a cheap back of the door mirror and placed it lengthwise on the floor so we can sit in front of it to help us enjoy our motor skills workouts. 


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7 mo 4

7 mo 5
These two are the best of buds.
I know someday this won't be the case, but I pray they will have each other.


7 mo 7
Oh, how I love these boys!

So, there's a quick and dirty update on my sweet baby boy. Of course, we'll cover more fun things as I get updated on some of the other stuff we've been doing. I love him and feel completely blessed to get to be his mama. 

See you soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

LM's First Day of Preschool

I gotta start somewhere and get back to blogging - I mean, this is my personal account of our lives - my diary - my scrapbook - my memories! So, why not start with the first day of preschool.

We are moved, sort of, to Illinois. We are still in a corporate apartment - closing on a house early next month. S's job is in full swing, I am getting used to being home full time, living in the Midwest, and in the suburbs all at once. I have to say the suburbs part has been the toughest so far - just not like our old neighborhood. But, it'll be fine. I'll get there. Lots of change for all of us.

And, after searching far and wide for a preschool with an opening for LM, we found one! He started last Monday. Here are some photos:

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I made him a sign.

Yes, that's right people, I went to Pinterest, and I copied some idea there, and I made the boy a sign. And, by God, I intend for him to stand by it for the next 15 years. We'll see how long it lasts.

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We visited the school twice before the day he started. At the beginning of the summer, his cousin Alexandra told him she was out of school for summer break. He wanted to know why he didn't get to go on summer break. Ahem. So, when we took him out of daycare in July before our move, we told him he was going on summer break. He asked me the other day when was summer break over, because he wanted to go back to school. He has been craving the stimulation, camaraderie and routine. 

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He was very excited to get back into school, and psyched about the first day. We decided to put him in three days a week, half days, so it's still way less than he was going before. We will see how that goes…

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As an aside - I've been eating my way through this move. If you thought (and I did) I was fat before (because I was) now I am F-A-T. Seriously bad. Hoping to start reversing that trend in the coming weeks. Pray for me. Pray that I don't eat sweets. That's my downfall. Well, one of them, anyway.

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Everybody had their photo with the school-day boy.

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S went in late so he could go with us for the first day. We were a little early, so we showed S around the school, which he had not seen yet. 

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Checking out the class, the class checking out the new kid.

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There are dress-up clothes. Everything will be fine.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't address the backpack. That was S and his choosing - they are two peas in a pod when it comes to getting the most outrageously over the top thing when it comes to something like this. We could have gotten the ninja turtle one at Target. Of course we could not do that. He can hike the Appalachian Trail with that one, as my uncle pointed out on Facebook. Yes, of course he can.

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S talked him into staying, and he had a great time. He's going to love it - love meeting new friends and having a new routine. And, sister, me and BB hit the mall for some much needed clothes shopping for me. I found a couple new tops before we had to go back and pick LM up. Tomorrow, I'm going to get a flu shot. We're exciting like that. 

More later - I have tons to catch up on, and tons going on still. 

See you soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Poor Neglected Blog

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Oh my, oh me, oh my. I have fallen so behind here. And I don't have a really good excuse why. Life. That's what. But, the reason I like to keep this up is so I can sort of chronicle life, so I'm not doing so hot right now. Quickly, with hopefully more to follow soon, here is a snapshot update of what has happened in our lives since my last post on June 4th:

 - LM played a season of t-ball

 - BB was baptized

 - BB is almost 6 months old

 - We went on our annual excursion to Colorado where Mommy worked and the boys played

 - S got a new job!!!!!!

 - That job is in the Chicago-Milwaukee region

 - I have left my job after almost ten years, and am home full time for at least six months

 - LM turned 4, and we had a whiz bang party to celebrate

 - As part of those festivities, my dad and Torchy, as well as nieces Cora and Veda came for a visit

 - We "decluttered" our house and then this very talented woman "staged" it to look fabulous and like no one lived in it

 - We listed our house in Dallas

 - We sold our house in Dallas on the same day it was listed

 - S started his new job

 - We traveled to Chicago to look at the area and try to find a home

 - We took a short jaunt to Indy between looking for houses in Chicago. That'll now be about a four hour drive

 - We are getting quotes on moving by the end of this month to a corporate apartment until we have a house

 - We are saying lots and lots and lots of good-byes

 - And some other things I'm forgetting right now, but I am sure were also significant, if I were to remember them.


And none of this is made up. Ha! We've been busy. Life altering busy. And clearly there is a lot to talk about here. So, more to come.

See you soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Soccer Team Photo

Hurricanes

Finally received this "official" photo from LM's soccer team this past spring. As you will remember, he didn't want to be in this photo. That greenery behind them is where he was hiding. And, apparently when forced into a photo not of your liking, it's appropriate to hang on the neck of your shirt. Ahem.

See you soon.

Monday, June 2, 2014

LM-isms

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One of his spring preschool photos.

A first of many posts, I'm sure - I'm trying to be more deliberate in capturing these things my firstborn child says...the logic, creativity and inquisitiveness of his three year old mind. Here are a few recent incidents...

In his new "big boy" pajama bottoms.

Recently, LM went with his father to get S's truck inspected, required annually here in our fair state. They were sitting in the waiting room while that procedure was underway. This entire establishment could probably fit inside my living room and den, so the amount allotted to waiting is very small. Apparently, they were sitting in this space with one other person - a woman in workout clothes. S reports "she" was definitely  a "she" - but this did not stop LM from asking, in his loud LM three-year-old voice - "Daddy, is that a BOY or a GIRL?" S answered, "it's a girl" - and then LM turned around to check this info out again for himself, staring at the woman, while S tried to melt into the floor.

These are clearly phone photos...I wish they were better.

LM finished up his soccer season back in May. His coach is a photographer, so instead of the official team portraits, he set up his camera to take the team photo at the last practice. The kids were told to wear their team uniforms to said practice. While getting dressed in his uniform, LM expressed that he did not want to be in the team photo. We told him he had to be in the photo.

Fast forward to practice - the kids all lined up for the photo, S started talking to a parent for a moment, and when he looked back, LM wasn't there. So, he began looking for him - he looked for quite a few moments before finding him, hidden, in the bushes behind the photo area, standing completely still, so as not to be noticed. This is what he was doing to not have to be in the photo...S retrieved him and he was indeed in the photo...we don't have a copy of it because we missed the team party when we were in Indiana, but we hope to get one soon.



BB has the same aversion to riding in the car as LM did when he was a small baby - if the car is going, he's fine. If the car stops, he cries. One afternoon when we had been running errands and were all ready to be home, we had hit several red lights, and the crying from BB ensued. So, as we approached what was going to be yet another red light, S turned the truck into a retail parking lot and began driving in circles. LM asked what we were doing. S told him we were going to hit the red light, so he was driving in the parking lot to avoid having to listen to BB cry. LM's immediate response was, "Why don't we do this all the time?"   Touche, young man.

In his "basketball outfit" which is on his body anytime it's clean.


One day we were talking to LM about his day, and he was telling us about his karate class at school. He was telling us who went to karate with him, out of his larger class. Max and Harrison go, as well as Syeed, he said. Then he stopped and asked me, "Mommy, what color would people call Syeed?" I said, "People would call him 'black'." He said Syeed was more brown. I said that he probably was, but that what people would call him, which was his original question, is black. Then he asked what color we were. I told him people would call us white. He said, "No, we are tan." I said, well we might be more tan, but people would call us white. Then he said, "Well, YOU are white, but me and Daddy are tan." Uh-huh. OK.

Similarly, LM recently gained a new teacher - a Miss Jackie. His beloved infant teacher is also named Ms. Jackie - that Ms. Jackie is black and one of our favorite people on the planet. This Miss Jackie is white. When he introduced S to her one day, he said, "This is Miss Jackie - not our Miss Jackie, but the one that is the same color as we are." Clearly noting skin color is a "thing" at the moment. The thing I am glad of is that he doesn't think this is any different than noting eye color, clothing color or anything else - it's just one more descriptor in his wheelhouse - not a reason to think differently about someone. I hope the world does ever not corrupt him into thinking otherwise.

Fun with Dad


We headed out to a part of town we don't make it to often to catch Alexandra's first skating competition a couple of weekends ago. On the way there we were getting twenty questions from LM about where we were headed - what was Alexandra going to be doing, would we be participating, what would she be wearing, why was she skating, how would they compete, etc. And, where were we going, of course, was one of the questions. We said we were going to an indoor ice rink facility. He asked if it was the one at the mall - the rink where he had seen her skate at Christmas. I said no, it was not, that this one was just inside a building. He said, ok, but is that BUILDING called a MALL? Um, no. We're not tricking you, son. it really is NOT the same ice rink.

So, there are a few LM-isms for today. Hope to do some more catching up on the blog in the coming weeks.

See you soon.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Three Months Old

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Last Sunday, BB turned 3 months old. Time is flying around here people! The first year goes so fast, and then again, not so fast too. We are still night feeding twice a night, and that is not going by fast. Ha.  But, otherwise, fast it goes!

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What have we learned about this boy in the last month? Well, he is still a good eater, and a happy boy. He loves his parents, and seems especially tuned into his Mama. If I am in the room, he follows my movement and if he hears my voice, he clues right into it. 


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Brainwash 'em early, I always say


The baby boy loves to watch his parents and "talk" to us - he likes to make noises and smile  - and he likes to play the "tongue" game - you put your tongue out and in, and he mimics your movement. If you do some other movements, he watches very closely to see if he can figure out what you are doing. 


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This has become our miracle pooping cure.
Ahem.


He is a little bit prone to not pooping on a regular basis, shall we say. After one four day stint with no poop - and see, here we go again, talking about poop just seems so normal - I called the doctor's office and spoke with a nurse. She informed me a breastfed baby can go 7-10 DAYS without pooping. Wow, I thought. But she did say if we wanted to try some pear juice - 1 to 2 ounces - it might get things going again. So, we did. He ate one ounce. Two hours later - poop! This happened one more time - the four days without poop - and once again, the pear juice came to the rescue like a miracle worker. And, since then, no issues. 



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His new over stimulation center aka activity mat.

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Funny faces

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Serious boy with the blue eyes.

BB has still not  dropped a nighttime feeding. This is starting to frustrate and wear thin on his Mama. She is not getting enough sleep to be a proper human while back at work - and I am back at work - so here's hoping he drops one soon. LM dropped one, like a textbook baby, at 10 weeks, and my work life fared much better under this scenario. But, even sleep deprived, this Mama cannot stay frustrated so very long when she snuggles with her sweet boy.


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Love when I get this one looking up at me. 

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Looks so much like LM at this age in this photo.

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During the last month, we also traveled to Indiana for BB to meet all of his Hoosier relatives. One day I might even put up some photos from that visit! He was such a good boy while we were there really, given that we carted him to and fro, with no real deference to his schedule whatsoever, except that we tried to feed him regularly. He had to sleep on the go - and he did, for the most part. On a couple of days, he was over tired and the late feeding became a cry fest, but other than that, this boy was (and is) mellow and incredibly flexible. 

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Looking like LM here too, I think.

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Three months on Nana's quilt.

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LM is still enormously enamored with his little brother. He smothers him with attention - my mother reports I was the same way with my little brother. Then, on another day, I was talking with my dad about LM's "spirited personality" and my dad reported I was that way too at his age. Goodness - God bless them both. Ahem. But back to BB - the short way to say it is - add LM to the long list of BB lovers - in fact, put him at the top.

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I love this one.

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In this one, I feel they already know they are placating their mother with the photos.

So, another month in this whirlwind first year is behind us, and we look forward to all the happy memories to come with our special Baby Boy.

See you soon.