13 August, 2014

11 months

So I realized I did a terrible job keeping up with documenting Nolan's first year on this blog. I don't know where the last 11 months went! I had every intention to keep up with every little thing he did so I would be able to look back and have this to remember it, but time just got away from me.

I'm still struggling to believe my teeny tiny baby turned 11 months old. I've started planning his 1st birthday party. Stephen and I have started thinking about what we want to do with him for his actual birthday to celebrate his special day with just our little family. As much as I hate to think about it, it will be here before I know it! I don't know how. I still feel like it was just yesterday that I was uncomfortably pregnant and getting impatient for his arrival.

At first, when he was a newborn it seemed like he stayed in the same phase for a while. Now he changes everyday. Every single day he discovers something new or hits a new milestone and it never ceases to amaze me. I enjoyed him as a snugly little baby bundle, but so far this is definitely my favorite stage. He actually interacts and listens when I talk. I can tell he's starting to remember people besides just Stephen and I. It's cute to watch his little face light up when someone comes to visit him or we go visit someone he recognizes.

His developed an attachment to his blankies. He has two that are interchangeable, thank the Lord, but one of them has to be with him at all times, especially when he's sleeping. So far, we've been able to limit the blankie to only riding in the car and not actually going places with us or being outside, but I imagine it's only a matter of time before that changes. He LOVES to read. Books are his favorite of his toys and pretty much how we spend our days. He picks out a book and brings it to me and shakes it at me until I read it. Then when it's finished he either insists on rereading that book(we have about 6 that we read over and over) or goes to get me another. He has to sit on my lap and turn the pages for me. He started doing that at about 9 months old and I still think it's the cutest thing ever.

He still loves to eat. He eats three meals a day and an afternoon snack. We've yet to find a food that he doesn't like, but he is getting a little more choosy. He eats anything you put on his tray, but if you watch him, he's careful about which bite he wants. He'll feel around with his little fingers til he picks the exact right bite. He's down to just three 4oz bottles a day. One before morning nap, one before afternoon nap, and one before bed. His doctor said he drinks so well out of a sippy cup I could get rid of the bottles all together and just switch to milk in a cup, but I'm surprisingly sentimental about that. I feel like that's my last piece of baby. I'll start weaning him off completely closer to his birthday, but for now I'm just going to enjoy our bottle time snuggles a little bit longer.

He is in to everything. He crawls all over the place and cruises around the furniture. He's starting to get braver and more confident about taking steps, but he's still not quite ready to take off. He loves to explore though. It makes it hard to go places right now because he wants to be taking off exploring everything. He won't just let you hold him anymore. He's a squirmy worm! Since he won't walk just yet, that makes being in public places where he can't crawl on the floor a little more tricky.

He loves to take walks in his stroller. I take him and Natty every morning after breakfast and now he's learned the routine. This morning while I was putting on my shoes, he crawled over and stood up by his stroller and waited to be buckled in.

 His favorite thing right now though is animals. He loves them! I've never seen a baby this young get so excited by seeing an animal. He loves to watch them on tv or movies. If it has an animal(cartoon or real life) he will sit and watch and make his little excited gasps and squeals as long as its on. He loves to see animals out on our walks. He points and gasps until he can't see it anymore. We've started walking over to the PetSmart right in front of our house and letting him check out the animals there too. It's probably his favorite place. We stop in front of each cage and watch the different animal and make the sounds it makes. We can't wait to get him to the zoo! I will have to video that because he will be in his little heaven! We've talked about taking him for his birthday, but it's still so hot we may have to wait a couple more months for it to be enjoyable.

I know most people say the reality of parenting really hits them when they leave the hospital alone with their baby for the first time, but that wasn't the case for me. I still felt prepared at that point. I was excited and anxious. I couldn't wait to get home and just have our little family time. For me, the reality sank in around 4 months old.

I was home with Nolan and Stephen was at work. We had decided we were going to start trying to spoon feed baby cereal because he could sit up so well. It was in those first few attempts with the spoon that reality set in. I realized, I think for the first time, that it was our responsibility to teach this tiny little human EVERYTHING. We would have to teach him to eat, then to feed himself, to use the bathroom, to take a bath on his own, every little thing. At that moment, that thought seemed completely overwhelming. I had never really thought of it in those terms before and it was a little scary.

Luckily for us, he was a pro eater. He took to spoon feeding like a natural and never looked back. I realize now that it's not so overwhelming. He doesn't need to learn everything all at once. He will learn, I will learn, we will all get there. Parenting is a crazy adventure. I have spent the majority of the last 11 months feeling tired with a mix of several emotions all at once depending on the moment. I know this roller coaster isn't for everyone, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

05 June, 2014

Things I DON'T want to teach my son

I knew my whole life that I wanted to have kids one day. The answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up changed daily.(I still don’t know!) But I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.
From the moment I found out we were pregnant my head was spinning (as I imagine every first time mom experiences.) I was constantly thinking about what to do and not do, what I wanted to teach my kids, the kind of things I wanted him to experience. Lately, as I watch the news and read stories, I find my mind formulating a list of things NOT to teach my son. I decided to start writing my list down here so I wouldn’t forget. What’s on your list of things you don’t want to teach your kids?
Here’s the beginning of my list:
*Color- I don’t want my son to see people in color. I want race(gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.) to be a non-issue. I don’t just want to teach him not to be prejudiced. I just don’t want him to see it, period.
*Status- Along the same lines as color, I don’t want my son to judge people based on their “status.” I don’t want him to care what kind of clothes they wear, what neighborhood they live in, what toys they do or don’t have. I don’t want money to ever be an issue.
*Disrespect- My least favorite thing to hear people say is, “I hate cops.”(or marines, sailors, soldiers, etc.)This is a disrespect issue. I want my son to respect all authority and I better not ever hear those words come out of his mouth! I want him to know enough to know when adults are abusing their power but I want my son to have respect for everyone until they show that they don’t deserve it.
*Beauty- I want my son to grow up with his own idea of beautiful. I don’t him to be warped by society. I want to teach him that all people are beautiful in their own way. I’m already cautious about using the word ugly, fat, skinny, gross, etc around him. I don’t want him to learn those labels. I want him to be confident in his own appearance despite what society tells him he’s “supposed” to look like. I feel like this is a more important thing to teach little girls about loving themselves, but in order for little girls to feel that way, all of us “boy moms” need to teach our sons that everyone is beautiful. Differences are beautiful. Size, shape, color, texture, scars, marks.. it all makes people unique and want my son to appreciate that. I don’t want him to grow up and think that only the girls on magazine covers are beautiful.
*Dependence- This sounds odd coming from the mom of an 8 month old, I know. But I want my son to grow up to be independent. I want him to think for himself. I want him to make his own choices. I want him to leave the nest without hesitation(ask me about that again in 18 years!;) I want him to know that we will always be there for him, but I want to raise him in a way that when the time comes I can trust his decision making skills. I don’t want him to be one of those kids that is still living with us when he’s 29.
*Quitting- I don’t want my son to grow up thinking if something is hard, you just quit. I want him to learn to follow through with his commitments, that if you say you’re going to do something you do it.
*To be a sheep- I want my son to have a mind of his own. I don’t want to teach him to just go with what others tell him. This goes for us.(Again, I’ll probably regret thinking this down the road.) I want him to question things. I want him to make his own convictions. I want him to make his own choices. Of course I want him to be a christian, but I want him to be a christian because he found Jesus in his heart on his own, not because we told him he has to be.
*Judgement- this will probably be the hardest for me because I am admittedly over judgemental. But I don’t want that for my son, so I am trying to curb it now. I don’t want him to judge anything without getting to know the truth. Whether it be people, a store, a new food, a new experience. I want him to have such an open mind and open heart that he gives everything and everyone more than just one glance.
This is an on-going list. I plan to add to it for the rest of his life. What would you add? What DON’T you want to teach your kids?

15 April, 2014

Nolan Evan: 5-7 months!

Nolan Evan is already 7 months old. I can't think about it too long or it makes me sad. He is definitely not a tiny baby anymore! *Sadface*

Size: According to his doctor's visit in March he is 15lbs 13oz(gained exactly 2 pounds since 4 month check up) and is just over 28in long(grew 3 inches!!) He is still around the 25% for his weight but he jumped into the 90% for his length now. The nurse even double checked because she was surprised he grew so much in just 2 months. Little man is wearing mostly 6/9 month clothes now and is in size 3 diapers.

Milestones: He is a pro at sitting up. He likes to sit up by himself on the floor and play with his toys. He's working really hard to crawl but still not quite there yet. He pushes up to all fours and rocks back and forth and will attempt to reach out but then just flops down to his belly. He's figured out how to get from sitting up on the floor onto all fours or from all fours to sitting down, but no real effort to take off in a crawl yet. He has started to stand whenever he can and he pulls up on anything he can. He is just starting to wave, but hasn't really figured out the purpose so pretty much just waves to entertain himself. He is getting pretty good at high fives though!

Eating: He eats Everything! Literally everything and is a bottomless pit. I'm not quite sure where he puts it all, but the kid just eats and eats!We started with pureed fruits and veggies and small pieces of things in months 4-5 and it went really smoothly and he loved it but in this month his eating really took off. He prefers to eat bites so I don't puree much anymore. He's tried anything we eat(except the usual chocolate, nuts, shellfish, and honey.) and pretty much just eats "table food" all the time now. He hasn't found anything he doesn't like or won't eat yet. I also quit pumping this month. I had enough stored in the freezer to go two more weeks, but then at 6.5 months we've switched to all formula. He wasn't a fan at first but he's fine with it now.

His daily eating schedule goes like this: Morning- fruit with jam toast, eggs, oatmeal, or pancakes depending on what we make for him. About 30 minutes after he finishes at the table he drinks a 6oz bottle. Lunch- is usually left overs from his diner the night before or lunch meat an cheese with a side of veggie or half banana and 30 minutes later another 6oz bottle. After he wakes up from his afternoon nap he drinks a 4oz bottle and usually has a snack of unsweetened apple sauce or something else quick and light. At dinner he has whatever we're eating(usually eats his share and half of mine!) then drinks another 6oz bottle after his bath right before going to bed.

Sleeping: He has become a champ at night! Ever since his 4 month appointment something just clicked and he sleeps all night. He generally falls asleep drinking that last bottle(I know, I know.. bad.) Then I lay him down in his crib, cover him with his blanket, and he's out for the night. He still stirs a few times every night, usually only once or twice, but doesn't really wake up. I go in to check on him and most of the time if I put his blanket back on him he gets still and goes back into a sound sleep. He sleeps from between 7-8 at night until 6-7 in the morning most nights now. (Momma feels like a whole new person now that I've caught up on my sleep!)

Naps are still a different story. This week I've been sticking to my guns on the crying it out method and it's getting better but it's still sporadic. He usually goes down between 9 & 10 in the morning and then again between 1 & 2 in the afternoon. How long he sleeps is still a toss up. Usually one is a two hour nap and the other an hour, but its a toss up as to which is which.

And the overload of pictures:

04 March, 2014

Nolan Evan: 4 months old

I know I say this every month, but where is the time going?!? Our big boy is already 4 months and growing like a little weed!

 Size:According to his doctor's visit this month he is 13lbs 13oz and 25.75in long. That puts him at the 85% for height and 25% for weight. Big boy! He also had to get all of his 4 month shots this visit :( But he took them like a champ!

Milestones: I feel like he has changed so much from month 3 to 4. He is doing so much. He mastered rolling from back to tummy and now flips right over any time you lay him down. He's attempting to scoot, but still struggling with that one. He's really started "chatting." He loves to babble and blow raspberries and will just chatter with anyone that will chatter back with him. He has really good neck control and is trying so hard to sit up by himself. He loves to stand with help and will not let you hold him like a baby anymore. Too big for those little britches!

We celebrated Nolan's first Christmas and New Year. We definitely enjoyed all the family time! Christmas Eve we went to the 4:00 service at Woodbine UMC then to dinner at my parents, then home to bed so santa could come! Christmas day we spent at home. We enjoyed a couple hours celebrating with our little family after Nolan woke up. Then GiGi, Aunt Brittany, and Uncle Shawn came over for Christmas breakfast. Later in the afternoon Grammy, Poppy, Noni, Pops, Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Carl came over for supper. It was a nice day and this spoiled boy got wayyyy too many presents! He was cute and actually did help tear some of the wrapping paper off of his presents.(Of course then it went straight to his mouth!)

Eating: He's still only eating 4oz and still eating every 3 hours. We started rice cereal at about 3.5 months and by 4 months he had eating with his spoon down pat. He seemed to enjoy it so we've started adding single produce purees with his rice cereal twice a day. We started with carrots which he seemed to like well enough. Then we tried bananas, squash, and pears. So far he loves all of it, and is quite the eater! I usually do food at his second morning feeding and with his "dinner" feeding.

Just this morning he started this new thing where he says "ahhhh" as he opens his mouth for the spoon. The funny part is he started opening his mouth wide and saying "ahhh" to let me know he was ready for another bite as if I wasn't moving fast enough. I was cracking up. I don't know where he figured out how to do this because I've never told him to say "ahhh." We had to show Daddy at dinner and he managed to get a good video of it.

Sleeping: He usually takes a 2 hour nap in the morning an hour after first waking up. Then we try to go for 2 hours awake and one hour nap for the rest of the day, but this rarely goes perfectly. In the evening we read stories after dinner and then he still loves his bath between 6:30 and 7:30. I think that's his favorite time of the day! After bath it's jammie time and a bottle. He falls asleep by the end of his bottle and we move him to his crib for the night. He's usually down for the count between 7 and 9 sometime. How long he stays asleep is still a coin toss. For the last month nights have been rough. Usually 4-5 wake ups and he has been restless in his crib and ending up back in his bassinet.
His doctor said to let him sleep on his stomach if he wants now that he can roll all the way over so I'm hoping that will help!

Now the good part! The picture overload: