Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Baby Boy is One Year Old!

It doesn't seem possible that it's time to write this post, but my Baby Boy is one year old today. I have missed a few month's retelling on the blog...but I cannot miss this day! We celebrated his birthday last weekend, and I'll share some photos from that soiree on another post.

Newly born

On this day a year ago, we headed to the hospital very early in the morning. On the way to the hospital, we discussed the last few names we had on the table to decide on the ONE for our boy. With Little Man, we had one name that came to the front very early in the process, but this time, it took a while to decide on the best choice for our boy. But, we came to a decision on the way to the hospital. We were ready! There are more details about that day a year ago in this post.

1 month
One Month Old

The first three months of BB's life were at home in Dallas, with both of his parents, as S was still on his sabbatical and I was on maternity leave. This was a special time in all our lives for some many reasons - we won't certainly have such a time, perhaps ever again, when we were together full time, all of us. We were getting to know our new son and helping LM get used to having a sibling. It was a time of transition and special memories. We spent some time in Ft. Worth, as well as took a trip to Indiana for BB to meet his Hoosier relatives.

2 months
Two Months Old

3 months
Three Months Old

Just before his third month birthday, I returned to work, and made yet another transition. BB stayed at home with S, and LM was at preschool several hours a week. While I missed being home with my family, I enjoyed my work and stepped back into it full force for the hours required. In the evenings and on weekends, I enjoyed snuggling my boys and spending time with my family. Around this time we also baptized BB and enjoyed some time with family celebrating this important day in his life. 

4 months
Four Months Old

5 months
Five Months Old

Shortly after BB turned 4 months old, and before his 5th month was to pass, S's sabbatical came to and end when he took an exciting opportunity that was to move us from our beloved Dallas - all our family and friends therein, to the Chicago area. It was a lot to take in. I left my job, we put our house on the market, started searching for a home further north, and made plans for a quick move. It was decided I would not work for at least a year to help the family make this transition. I am so glad we were able to do that, as I believe it has helped our family immensely during this time. Through all of this change, BB continued to be a sweet, mellow boy with the most even temperament.

6 months
Six Months Old - days before the big move

7 months
Seven Months Old - in the apartment

Our home sold the first day on the market, so we moved the weekend of Labor Day to Illinois, to a corporate apartment. We spent BB's 6th month there, and a little of the seventh. At his six month appointment, it was clear, while he is a happy and healthy boy, he was falling behind normal development in gross motor skills. While at the apartment, I started working with him to try to correct this slight delay. We spent many hours in front of a mirror on the floor, learning to sit. 

8 months
Eight Months Old - in the new house

During BB's 7th month, in October, we moved to our new home. I cannot tell you how much I, especially as we are now settling in, love this house. We were out of space for quite some time in Dallas, and had put off moving for this reason or that. It is so nice to have a newer home with fewer creaks and moans, and more space. We still have some boxes, but we are getting there. 

9 months
Nine Months Old (visiting Nana for Thanksgiving) 

So, as the fall progressed into winter, we were able to really settle again after all this change, and start to make our new life in our new place. LM is in preschool, I am involved in a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group, S is working diligently at his new post, and we have a new routine. This has to be good for all of us, not the least of which is sweet, mellow BB. At his 9 month appointment, it was clear his motor delay was not better, but in fact perhaps a little worse. He did not stand yet, or crawl. This led us to be evaluated, over months 10 and 11, by Illinois Early Intervention. 

10 months
Ten Months Old - Christmas Day

He shows no delay in any area, except motor skills, so he is now receiving physical therapy once a week to try to help him catch up to age appropriate development. While this is just now underway, it is going very well. The goal of early intervention is to help children catch up when they are most able to do so - when their bodies and brains are so young and pliable, so that by the time they reach school age they are ready to learn with the student body. At this juncture, given everything else, I believe BB will make quick progress in catching up in these motor skills areas, which is happy news. 

11 months
Eleven Months Old

BB loves to eat - he is a good eater, and also not a very picky one, which I hope stays that way! He also, as previously mentioned, has the most wonderfully mellow personality. He LOVES LM, to the moon and back - and watches his every move if he's in view. He, now that he is sitting quite well and leaning from side to side, as well as twisting to reach things of interest around him on his tummy, has begun to play with toys quite a lot, and LOVE shaking links and small objects to get noise out of them, and balls. He also has a zoo train that he loves to push forward and back. And, he loves Mommy's (or anyone's, really) phone. 

A Valentine photo...

He is also a very verbal child - imagine, me with two verbal children - he says Mama, and Ga for the dog, and Baba, dada, haha, ka, etc. He also love to make other noises with his mouth - raspberries, popping noises and the like. His favorite games are patty cake and peek-a-boo, which he will readily show off and play for you at any turn. And, he has an incredibly infectious laugh and the sweetest smile on the planet. 

...and another one

Now that we are hopefully settled for a long while, it is reassuring to all of us. BB loves his own room and his own bed, and his own routine, and this, I believe, will do wonders for the whole family. I could not have imagined a more wild year, in many ways, and I could not imagine a more precious boy. How grateful we are to have him in our family. We love him very much.

Happy One Year Birthday, my son!

Friday, February 13, 2015

This year, I'll be a City Mom


This year, I'm participating in a very cool program put on by the Illinois Farm Bureau - it's called Illinois Farm Families City Moms - and throughout the year, we will learn about where our food comes from and how to feed our families nutritionally. I blogged about the first week. (I know, ME, BLOG??? But, I promise, more to come) and it is posted on their website. Please read it and ask me questions!


The link is here: My first week as an Illinois Farm Families 'City Mom'


See you soon!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Here's to a return to blogging in 2015!

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.

5 half 2

5 half 3

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

5 half 5
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. 

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. 


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.