Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Ole St. Nick

I'm probably the only parent in the world that would be disappointed with this picture.  Usually Robby has a HUGE grin, and of course he did immediately AFTER this picture was taken, but it's pleasant.  So pleasant, in fact, that the elves were giddily telling me, "Ooh!  We got a good smile!" and Santa said, "Are you sure you want him back?  He's a good one."  I think this might speak to how often babies are less than thrilled to be there...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Robby's First Christmas

Robby had a good time with both sets of grandparents coming to our house, but honestly, it was a little beyond him.  He LOVES playing with all his new toys, but only had a vague interest in pulling off wrapping paper.  Seriously, what sort of baby doesn't enjoy mauling paper.  Shame, lil man, shame.  :)

"Why do I have to wait?!?!"

Obviously, the most important thing is how the gift tastes.

I had to get him a truck.  I know it's going to be awhile before it really gets much use, but c'mon.  He's a little boy.  Had to do it.  And it's my contribution to "Made in America".  It's from a great company called Green Toys.

 Harper's always helpful and excited.  Although, this was ACTUALLY a present for her.  Usually she's indiscriminate about her opening.

On the other hand, even though we all went a little "grown up" with our toys, he seems to understand them perfectly.  He has been happily knocking over blocks and cups that we stack, and even trying to place them on top of each other himself.  He has put balls on the space they are meant to go in and hammered them.  And, most enjoyably to him, he has banged on his new piano and walked with his dino walker.

The face may not look excited here, but oh man.  He's been wearing out my back.

Almost ideally, he went down for a nap in the middle of opening presents, so we got a chance to do an adult Christmas before he woke up for round two.  You may notice three outfits in these pictures.  He wore the green and red striped sleeper 1st, then the Santa suit, and then, because he can't walk in the Santa suit, a random onesie and pants.  Chris objected greatly to him not being in a holiday outfit, but I would rather he not get frustrated.  Lil man is loud.  I'll elaborate more later, but there's your first glimpse!

The homemade train set Grandma P sewed for him!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Lion at 7 Months

Ok, this is a few days late, but with Christmas, you can forgive me, right?  And, of course, we don't go to the doctor until the 29th, so I have no stats.  Last time I knew, though, he hadn't gained any weight this month.  Which strikes me as crazy knowing how much the piggie eats!  (He was at the doctor for 2 ear infections a week and 1/2 ago.)  **EDIT: According to the vet's scale he's gained 2 pounds and is at 20 1/2.  Which I also find hard to believe!**

At 7 months, the mental strides are STAGGERING.  I was floored at Christmas exactly how well he understood each and every toy, even though they were mostly for 1 year+.  He was hammering balls, stacking blocks, and walking with a walker (with me hovering).  It's all moving WAYYYY too fast.

He's up to 3 teeth that have cut through and one that is VERY close.  That will give him all 4 front teeth.  And, man, does he like to use them.  Ouch!  He also loves to eat.  His most recent love is cantaloupe, and devours it down to pulp in his solid-food-ring-thingy in about 10 seconds and screams for another.  I don't even know if I need to list everything he eats anymore.  It's a lot!  Fruit: apple, pear, banana, raspberry, cantaloupe, Vegetable: avocado, carrot, parsnip, pumpkin, peas, green beans, (allergic to sweet potato and squash), Grain: oats, wheat, (problem with rice), Protein: turkey.  I'm sure I'm forgetting things.

He is still only army crawling.  It is FAST and very effective, and I think that's slowed real crawling.  He can get up on hands and knees, but then drops down to move.  He can pull up from sitting to standing, and can get DOWN from sitting to stomach, but he has not mastered stomach up to sitting, so that keeps us a little safe.  He has mastered crawling up the one stair that gets him out of the family room into the kitchen.  Which I'm not thrilled about.  And it means that yesterday Chris and my dad were quickly installing the baby gate on the kitchen steps and putting latches on the cabinets.

Robby babbles continuously, using virtually every combination that you can think of.  And...the volume is quite loud.  He doesn't even stop talking or singing while he eats, which can cause quite a mess.  Oh, spoiler, he got a toy piano for Christmas and sings along while playing it at full shriek.  It's cute, but loud.  Words are still hit or miss.  We definitely hear hi, mama, dada, and puppy, but we're still not sure if they're "words" sometimes.  He does wave with the "hi" now.

Social Interactions
Robby is VERY attached to me right now, and if he sees me, he will cry/scream/tell you in a loud voice until he is in my arms.  However, he still loves to be around people, and really plays very well with other children.  It's funny picking him up from daycare, though, because I'll walk in, and Hilton will come flying over (he's a much faster crawler at 10 months) and Robby will just SCREAM that someone else is taking over his mom.  

Oh, sleep.  The past 3 days or so have been better, so I won't curse it too much.  And he did have 2 ear infections and 2 teeth coming in, so the end of month 6 was down right AWFUL.  He would wake up for HOURS at a time, multiple times a night.  I was even waking up Chris and forcing him to take over.  Seemingly, we have solved the "going back to sleep" issue, by no longer laying with him on the futon EVER. But let me tell you how much it depresses me to not get to snuggle with him at night anymore.  I just sit in the rocker, and then lay him down, and he'll fall back asleep.  He is still waking and nursing at least 3 times a night.  Ridiculous, but I'll miss that one of these days, too.

Controlling the Chaos
Robby continues to be BUSY.  I was actually reminded of my fears when my mom was holding him and he was watching me cook, and she said, "See, he's not ADD, he's paying close attention to what you're doing." Yes, I've been a little paranoid on that front.  Anyway, as you can see in the picture, my mom was on baby watch for this round of pictures.  And she was very necessary because he has learned how to rock the glider on his own, and he was having a blast catapulting himself forward.  TERRIFYING.  He's a riot with everything he's learning to do, but I suspect that it's only going to get scarier from this point out!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Christmas Card

Ok, everyone's doing it.  We actually had a few different Christmas cards, but here is one of them.  I don't really feel like this is all that representative, since the photos were taken on October 22.  Isn't it crazy how much a baby can change in just two months?!?!?!  As always, thank you Stephanie with Lighthouse Studios Photography (I'll see you Thursday at Marie's!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Decorations

Again, apologies for being so quiet, but things continue to be hectic.  On to the post.

Honestly, Chris usually does most of the decorating around here.  This is one area that I am not so Martha Stewart-like.  But he does a fantastic job.  There are small areas where I have hang-ups, so they end up being my job, though.  Such as ornament placement.  But we all have our quirks.  Right?

I also help with the all-important task of baby-distraction.

Chris also did a great job in other rooms, and on the outside, but I don't have the pictures right now.  This is still an improvement over complete silence, right?

And...I'll give you an out-take of a little Santa shoot we may or may not have done.

Robby helping to decorate:

Finally, I leave you with the most unintentionally brilliant part of our decor.  The tree is covered in giant jingle bells, which Robby finds IMMENSELY entertaining.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's that you say?

The Lion is now roaring.  Ok, that needs clarification.  He's always been extremely loud and vocal with the babbling.  We now have 3 words.  I've suspected it for awhile, but they've been confirmed.  They are "Mama", "Puppy", and "Hi". 

Last night while Chris was giving Robby a bath, I walked into the room, and he immediately started crying.  Robby, not Chris.  I crouched down and was chatting, and Robby reached out his arms and yelled, clear as day, "Mama!"  Poor Chris.  I really wanted to be excited, but you feel a little guilty when it's at the dad's expense.  The Lion really isn't using the "d" sound much yet, though... 

We had thought we had heard "puppy" before, too, but it was confirmed this morning when I walked downstairs with the Lion, Harper was laying on her chair, and again, Robby reached for her and said, clear as day, "Puppy"!  Lucky girl, he called HER while happy.

And I'm just going to assume after those other 2 that the "Hi" has been real.  He's been saying it while doing his version of a wave, which is more like grabbing, but he's getting it.  So...we have a talker.

(And thanks to Laetitia for the adorable photos from the cookie party this weekend!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Christmas Wishlist

Well, my husband's asking for hints, so here goes.  I know, I know, other people are curious, too.  ;)  Let it be known that I'm all for surprises so I like to either NOT give a list, or over-share vague-ly in the hopes of not knowing.

A new pair of Tom's.  I have worn the heck out of my Olive, size 8 Tom's, and would love another pair in a different color (Since I obviously am still going to wear my Olive ones even if there's about to be a hole in the toe.)  These grey ones look wonderful:

Tickets to the Nutcracker.  It's been years, and I know Chris hasn't seen it.  I know, I know, we had tickets a couple years ago that we wasted, because I got a strep throat (how dare I), but we could try again.

A new black purse.  Mine met an untimely end.  You know very well that I don't care about labels.  It needs to be big enough that I can also stuff diapers and such in there.  Professional looking enough for work.  Needs to not LOOK excessively cheap.  This one's alright, but not attached to it or anything:

New slippers.  Mine are nasty.  Again, size 8.  Hard/Rubber bottom.  NOT these, but they're funny.

Long sleeve, plain colored shirts for layering.  Probably Medium (Small if the boob-area is forgiving enough).  Longer length.  Cotton-based.  Stretchy.  This one is also probably a questionable choice based on how low the V is.  I like it a lot, but Robby might expose the girls.  Like:

One of those facial scrubber thing-ies.

Black dress pants.  Size 4.  Or khakis while you're at it.  (Well, or I don't have navy or brown either, but I don't dress up all that often.)  OK, if they're JCrew, I'd need a 6.

New perfume.  (You know I can't smell well, you choose.)

Date night.

Smallish nice earrings.  Most of my earrings are dangly and that doesn't work with the kid.

Make-up.  Particularly enjoying eyeshadow right now.  This looks like fun, but I know, it's a lot.

Things you'll never get me:
-  Kindle fire or iPad
-  A zoom lens for the camera
-  Trip to get you out of the country.  Not suggesting extravagant, but like Niagara Falls.  Though warm would be nicer.  More expensive, though.  Oh, well, this is fantasy land, right?  Caribbean.
-  A fancy phone with a data package

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yes, I am a Good Mom

Looking cute with "The Godfather"

Yesterday was rough.  Seriously, rough.  Robby wasn't behaving any worse than normal, really, other than he wouldn't take a nap, but it was still hitting me particularly hard.  I think mostly just being unable to kick this cold/cough/sinus infection is wearing on me more than anything.  I started having terrible thoughts like, "What if I was to hurt him."  Which, of course, I wasn't going to do, but when your patience is thin you start thinking about the bad news stories you've heard.

I started texting Chris about how exhausted and overwhelmed I was.  About how I hadn't had a "normal" day in weeks and couldn't take it anymore.  How I needed a break.  It's amazing how even though you've hit a stride, still waking up every 2-3 hours when you really just need a good night's sleep to reboot your system can ultimately get to you.  I ultimately ended up yelling at Robby, "Just stop already!" as he screamed at me as we were on hour 2.5 of trying to get him down for a nap.  I felt terrible, and he looked scared and just cried harder.

Chris came home and was great.  He took Robby without being asked, and fed and bathed him, without being asked, and let me eat my dinner first.  He asked if I wanted to go to the gym.  Which, of course, I didn't because I can't breathe, but the thought was there.  Once Robby was asleep, I was hiding down on the computer, and Chris called my mother.  They chatted (mostly because they hadn't on her birthday), but he let her know I was having a rough time with things, and she insisted on talking to me.

My mom knew what to say.  She told me I was a good mom, and when I said I had lost it with him and felt awful, she responded, "Well, you didn't hit him or shake him or anything right?  Then you're fine."  She told me that she used to have days with me where my dad would walk in the door and she'd hand me to him and leave.  She told how once she got angry with him for stopping for gas on the way home, because she was in such need of relief.  It's nice to be reminded that other people think that being a mom is tough some days.  No matter how happy a little guy he is, or how he's the daycare's favorite, or how most of the time I recognize I'm lucky.  He is also EXTREMELY opinionated, busy, and loud.  And those days when he is on a tear, really are as hard as I think they are.

But I'm a good mom.  He's thriving, and can't get enough of being around me.  We play, and talk, and have a grand ole time most days.  We go swimming once a week, which he LOVES, and I try and take him out in public fairly often (like to the grocery store), because he gets such a kick out of being around people.  I really am patient.  I just need to get back to a place where I'm not so overwhelmed, because I find myself wanting to pull away and not interact with him too frequently.  I know it's ok to let him play with toys on his own, but I know he'd be happier if I was on the floor with him.  I also know the dog's ok on her own, but she's much happier if I include her.  I have to be on call 24/7 and can't just think of myself anymore, and that's hard.  But, after my meltdown I'm trying to give myself a break, and just realize that we all have those days.  I'm still a good mom.  


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Losing My Mind

I am not blogging, because I've reached a new level of insanity.  Thursday we had a gas leak in our front yard, so I was kicked out of my house with a dog, cat, and baby.  We've had 2 fridges die, and 2 new fridges delivered.  We lost most of the food.  Most of the baby food.  The pumped milk is hopefully surviving in the daycare freezer, though it was half thawed.  We have a baby who is boycotting sleeping.  I've been sick for 2 weeks.  Robby's been sick for 2 weeks.  Chris is having the courtesy to pretend to get it.  My boss quit.  I suppose any or all of these could be lengthy blog posts, but I can't deal with it.  Off to do laundry, since I actually have a second.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just a Quickie

HILARIOUS moment of sleep deprivation last night. It was about 2 am, and the baby was crying. I wake up, and think, "Oh, I better bring him back to his crib." This is odd, since he doesn't sleep in our bed. I spent 5 minutes picking up the CAT like the baby (under his arms), then dropping it, thinking, "Wait, that's the cat, he's got to be here somewhere" before finally realizing, "Oh, if I hear him over the monitor, he's in his room." Yay for 2 am.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Big, Crazy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the primary holiday for my mother's family, but I didn't realize that the big, crazy tradition of all of us piling into my parents' house didn't start until I was 18.  Apparently, I declared that I had no desire to travel to a secondary location after travelling home from college, so everyone met there.  Who knew I had such power?  I simply remembered a few prior Thanksgivings at my aunt and uncle's, but they certainly weren't every year.  Or quite as insane.  This year there were *only* 19 humans, 5 dogs, and 2 cats.  14 humans, and all of the animals stayed at the house.

Usually, I'm fairly involved in the cooking, but I really didn't do too much this year.  I was a little preoccupied with the Lion.  Fortunately, there were plenty of hands to help in the kitchen.  Including my talented sister-in-law who managed to even look gorgeous while getting her hands dirty.

There also is a fair amount of parade, dog show, and football watching the day of.  However, we begin arriving on Tuesday and don't all leave until Monday, so there are MANY opportunities to be responsible for cooking.  Our tradition includes Greek food on Friday night, a movie, and usually running a race and ham and scalloped potatoes, though those were altered this year.  People still ran on their own, and my mother, aunt, and I hit up a Zumba class, but no race.  And the ham was substituted for lasagna on Wednesday, but did make its appearance on Sunday.

Fortunately, there are plenty of rooms to spread out, though Robby did get a little over-stimulated at times.  He found it a little rough to sleep until it quieted down on Saturday, resulting in my never sleeping more than an hour at a time.

 Thanksgiving dinner starts with everyone listing something they are Thankful for.  We start with the youngest, and go to the oldest.  Some are serious, some are funny.  I was thankful that my parents were such good role models for me to now be a parent.  Chris was thankful that Robby has more hair than he does, that I have supported him by listening to his heartbreak over Penn State, and our son.  However, the highlight of the list was my grandfather starting with, "I have slept with this woman since the 50's..."

I am truly thankful for both my little family and my big one.  It is my favorite time of year.

And Robby has no choice but to get used to it.  Even if it requires changing into pajamas as the party continues late into the evening.

Happy 1st Thanksgiving, Lion!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Lion at 6 Months

1/2 a year old.  Seriously.  Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, but it does not seem like it has been that long.  Although, in reality, it is 6 months and 1 week.  But since last week we were travelling, I am just pretending that we're on a week delay.  In a couple days you'll get a Thanksgiving post.  We only even took these photos today, but they're still pretty accurate as to his size.

This month has brought on a world of advancements, and again, they were more mental and physical than size.  Thank goodness.  He is starting to slow down.  He has moved exclusively into 9 month clothing, though he has a few 12 month items that we rotate in.  Mostly because they are collegiate attire that we don't have in 9 month sizes.  He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon, where we will find out the length, but we were there the day before his 6 month birthday for a terrible rash and he weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces. 

***UPDATE: He was 27 1/4" (80th percentile) and LOST weight and was 18 pounds, 2 ounces (60th percentile)***

Sitting?  No sweat.  He can lean forward or back and right himself at this point, though he still tips over frequently.  He has to be watched but not supported.  We have moved past rolling as the primary means of movement, and onto the army crawl, or if he can convince someone to help him, he'd prefer to walk holding hands.  He is up on hands and knees, and we anticipate true crawling to occur in the next week or two.  He can hold onto something and stand much more securely, and enjoys playing at the coffee table, or watching his bathtub filling while holding the edge.  He is very good at manipulating his pacifier in and out of his mouth, or toys in the direction that he wants them to move.  Today we had a new development in that he was in his crib where he was SUPPOSED to be falling asleep for a nap, and I was sitting on the floor putting his clothes away.  He spun around, crawled up next to the side, and pulled down the bumper and gave me the BIGGEST grin.  Very cute, but not what he was supposed to be doing.  At least he's not pulling up yet.

Mentally, it is extremely fun that we can now hold some conversations with him.  Simple, mostly one-word conversations, that he doesn't vocally answer, but understands.  He understands "sit up", "give me your hands", "where is your puppy", "do you want paci", "go to sleep", "do you want to eat", and other simple phrases.  We were truly floored, though, when on our way to Target a week ago Sunday, he was fussing, I turned around and said, "Buddy, can you put paci in?" and he DID.  Really hadn't thought he was there.  He continues to babble and sing, and has different sounds and tones for different things, but no actual words...until, perhaps, tonight.  Chris and Robby were playing with Harper on the floor, and we both SWEAR we heard "puppy" come out of his mouth.  I'm not counting it until we have confirmation, but we both independently thought we heard it.

The Lion continues to love to sing, but doesn't want to sit still long enough to read books.  His favorite songs are those that I sing him daily, namely "Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls, which I sing during diaper changes, and "Everything's Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar, which I sing before bed.  Chris currently HATES Bushel and a Peck because it's always in his head.  His favorite activity is swimming.  He splashes and plays as long as I'll let him.  He loves being out in public, too.  The more people around, the happier he is.  Robby's favorite toys are anything he can teeth on.  He enjoys things that are loud and that he can bang...but mostly if he can also chew them.  Can you tell that BOTH of the bottom 2 front teeth broke through last week?  Little man is no longer all gums.

He continues to be almost exclusively breast fed.  He might get one ounce of some fruit or vegetable at night, but that's it, and he usually won't finish it.  We think he's not doing well with rice, so he is currently cut off from rice cereal and mum mum's until further notice.  We bought oatmeal, though, and will be trying that for his cereal.  We didn't start it tonight, though, because he was on his first night of pears, which he seemed to enjoy.  So far, he is a fan of: squash, pumpkin, apple, pears, and parsnip.  He dislikes: avocado and peas.  He is debatably allergic to and/or has a bad reaction to: rice and sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes will be tried again in the future, though.  They might have been the cause of the rash, but it also might have been viral, so we will try again later. 

Last month, I had to swoop in and sit him back up.  This month, I was taking the pictures.  So when he removed his sticker-tie....It was Chris to the rescue. a rare thing.  Robby is currently eating about every hour and 1/2 to two hours during the day, and waking every 3 hours at night to eat (and it was hourly while we were travelling).  I get that he's going through a growth spurt, but I have been reading many sleep books, and am starting to lose my mind a bit.  He's doing alright with this, but I am exhausted.  He goes to sleep by himself and is set down while awake, so he doesn't have negative associations, and he self-soothes, but he's just such a PIGGIE.  I hope it slows down soon.  

And, finally...5 and 6 months side by side.  He looks like a bit of a lump in this photo.  He is wearing different pants, but you can tell that the shirt fits a bit better.  Again, not a huge change size-wise this month.

Lil man, I LOVE spending time with you.  You are so vocal and opinionated, I relate quite well.  No one can get you to do something you don't want to do, unless of course it's changing your diaper (which you HATE) just because that's not optional.  You are an absolute flirt, and already show a preference toward blondes.  You enjoy talking to men with deep voices the most, though.  Or puppies.  Puppies actually beat both blondes and deep voices.  If Isaac Hayes was a "blonde" golden retriever or something?  Your mind would be blown.  

It is so nice that there are now games we can play that are interactive.  You will peek from behind blankets, or smack your lips and expect that someone will smack them back at you, and you even have taken to throwing things for us and the dog.  The days fly by.  Except when you're screaming, but, y'know, you're a baby.  Though, that excuse won't last forever, mister.  ;)  I continue to wish time would freeze.