April 18, 2014

Let's talk about working mommy guilt

I almost thought I needed to break this down in to several posts because so much goes in to this topic.  Heck, just trying to get out of the house in the mornings could be a own post all on its own!  I know I said that colic was probably the hardest challenge that we dealt with as new parents, but sometimes I wonder if balancing my work life with my mommy life is the hardest challenge I personally had/have to deal with.  I have really struggled with this, although it tends to come in waves.  Like, I'll be fine for a few weeks and think I have everything down to a science, but then that familiar dark cloud comes back and I find myself being consumed by guilt and stress and this sense of being completely overwhelmed.  Guilt because I'm not with my baby all day...stress because I feel like I can't manage it all.  I have to remind myself that this is just the devil trying to discourage me and bring me down.  That's the thing with the devil.  He knows your insecurities and he lives to make you feel consumed by them.  And I'll be the first to tell you, guilt and stress are two insecurities that I have to fight off on a daily basis, particularly as they relate to balancing a baby and a career.

Let me first state that I love being a mom and I love being a lawyer.  I'm equally proud of both, and I consider both to be huge accomplishments.  Both roles are challenging, rewarding and fulfilling in their own ways, and although motherhood obviously trumps in all categories, I am so proud of what I have accomplished educationally and professionally, and I don't think I should have to act like I'm not proud.  In fact, I want to set that example for Asher Wade and any future children...that there's nothing wrong with finding fulfillment outside of being a parent and there's certainly nothing wrong with chasing your dreams.  I was a raised by a very career oriented mother, and obviously that rubbed off on me, and I hope it will in turn rub off on our children.  Nothing wrong with wanting to be able to achieve your educational and professional goals.

Still though, being a working mom is hard!  It's a constant balancing act and I always feel torn between my two "jobs."  When I'm at work, my mind is on AW.  When I'm home with AW, my mind is often on work.  It's a constant battle and I always feel like I should be giving more time to one or the other.  I want to give 100% to everything at all times, but lets face it, that ain't happening, so all I can do is give 100% of what I am capable of giving.  I never really understood that saying, "Give 100%."  I mean, is that even possible?  Can you truly give 100% of yourself to anything?  Even if I am completely focused on a task, isn't my mind going to wander a little?  In actuality, I am the queen of multi-tasking, and sometimes that is a great skill to have, especially when you have a kid.  I'm not saying you should half ass things and just do a mediocre job, but maybe you don't necessarily have to do a perfect job at everything.  Am I going to be perfect mother?  Heck no!  Likewise I am never going to be perfect at my job, or any other area of my life, and that's ok.  It's all about setting realistic and achievable expectations for yourself.  If I set a reasonable expectation, then when I actually achieve it, I feel good and it boosts my confidence.  If I put pressure on myself to do everything perfect, then when I fail to meet that expectation, I feel defeated and my confidence is squashed.  Then the guilt comes along.

Mommy guilt is very real.  I've heard so many moms talk about this and I've come across the term countless times, but until you truly experience it, it's hard to describe.  I'm constantly questioning myself and my ability to be a mom.  Do I spend enough time with him?  Do I tell him "I love you" enough?  Do I hold him enough?  Am I doing enough?  If you asked me these questions, my answers would probably all be "no."  However, I don't know if I will ever feel like I am doing enough.  Again, I set these expectations of what I think I should be doing, and then when I can't meet them, I become consumed with guilt.  Besides my own expectations of what I think I should be doing, there's the constant comparison to other moms around me.  I hate that we do that as women and moms - the constant comparison - but I don't know if that will ever change.  It's just something I have to strive not to do, and ask God to help me with on a daily basis.  It is one of the things I pray about the most...release from the self-imposed guilt that I am not doing enough and a reminder that I was chosen to be Asher Wade's mother.  If God picked me to be his mom, then obviously He thought I was the perfect person for the job.  I'm not a perfect mother, but I was the perfect pick for him, and that's something I can hang my hat on.

April 16, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

What?  You don't eat like this too?
 
video
 
 

April 14, 2014

Over the weekend...Easter egg hunt and shoes


On Saturday we took Asher Wade to his very first Easter egg hunt!  The weather was so gorgeous (the whole weekend was for that matter), so we really enjoyed being outside and getting some fresh air.
 

My sweet little man

We bought this little outfit around Easter time last year when I was about ready to pop.  So crazy that now he is here wearing it...1 year later!

Ready to go hunt some eggs!

So, we determined that AW does not like grass.  I guess we've never had him in the grass before?!

Would not put his feet down

The eggs distracted him a little bit


Loved collecting the eggs, but still cautious of the grass

Sweet thing:-)

We ran in to Miss Hollie on the way out!  AW just adores her.

Another first for AW that day...first pair of shoes!  As you can see, he was thrilled;)  We likened this to the first Santa picture.  We will gloss over the fact that I had to nurse him while they measured his foot in order to get him to calm down enough.  I imagine this was a first for the shoe guy as well.


He got a little more comfortable with them as the day went on.

By the end of the day he was good to go.

April 10, 2014

Lets talk about.....breast feeding

Ok, so all you 3 guys that read this blog can X out if you want, although Matt will probably be the first guy to tell you that during those early weeks, breast feeding is a two person job and it takes 4 hands.  Literally.  That's just one of the things I don't think your doctor/family/friends/random bloggers prepare you for...just how challenging breast feeding can be, particularly in the beginning.  Yes it's a very natural act that women have been practicing for, well, forever, but it doesn't always come naturally.  Even if you have a baby that easily figures it out, you may have your own personal issues.  Or you may be ready to go, but your baby has some issues.  Or, bless your heart, you may both have issues.  Or you may be one the lucky ones where you and baby have it all under control from the very beginning.  I'd say I fell somewhere right in the middle.  Once we got the hang of it, it was, and continues to be, smooth sailing, but it did take a couple weeks to get the kinks worked out.  There are a few things I wish I had known...

For starters, your milk does not magically come in the second you birth that baby.  It may take a few days (in my case it took four).  This can be temporarily problematic.  Baby is born.  Baby is hungry.  Baby wants milk and lots of it.  Mama's body is still trying to figure out what in the heck just happened to it.  The milk is not always there quite yet.  Baby gets feisty, which makes Mama think Baby is not getting enough milk.  Mama gets upset and discouraged and feels like a failure because she thinks she isn't producing enough milk.  Mama gives up.  A good pediatrician knows that it takes a few days for milk to come in, but more often than not, they aren't all that educated when it comes to bf'ing (no offense...it just is what it is) and they put the fear of God in you that you're starving your baby.  This is where a lactation consultant comes in.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough....get a lactation consultant in your room pronto.  They are lifesaving, and unlike a lot of peds, they get bf'ing and they know it takes work and patience, and they will give you that.  They will also help quiet the naysayers in your life and the doubt in your head.  Along with this I also recommend finding a breast feeding support group.  I looooved my support group meetings.  I went every single week while home on maternity leave, and I still try to go when I can.  Not only were these meetings a great opportunity to talk to a lactation consultant, it was so encouraging to be around other nursing mamas.  Sometimes the best advice I got was the advice from other veteran moms.

Also, breast feeding will play mind games with you.  You will doubt your ability to make enough milk.  You will doubt your ability to nourish your baby.  You will doubt your ability as a mom.  Add to that postpartum hormones and those naysayers and you've got yourself set up for throwing in the towel.  Whatever you do, do not give up on a hard day.  That's the worst possible time to give up on anything because you know what, it will get better.  The first step is to stop doubting your ability.  Women have been breast feeding babies forever.  How would babies have survived back before formula was invented?  Women's bodies are designed to make milk.  It's one of the many amazing qualities of a woman's body that God designed.  Trust your body and its ability to provide for your baby.  Remember that if you were able to provide during those last 9+ months, you can certainly do it now.  It may take a few days or weeks to get the hang of it, but you are learning together...you and your new baby.  It's just the first of many new things where you will be learning together.
 
Another thing I think you don't necessarily realize is that nursing is a huge sacrifice...of your body, your time, your energy...it can feel very all consuming at times.  Not only did I feel an incredible sense of responsibility since I was literally providing all the nourishment for Asher Wade, but I felt this sense of not being in control of my body.  It almost felt like he had control of it and that I was completely tied to him and his need to eat so often.  Since he wanted to nurse so much, and it was such a soothing mechanism for him, I really couldn't be away for more than an hour or so, at least in the beginning.  Matt would always offer to watch him so I could go shopping, get a pedicure, or just get out of the house for awhile, but I was paranoid to leave him in case he went in to meltdown mode or got hungry.  This got easier as time passed, and obviously got a lot easier when I went back to work and he got used to bottles.  Still though, even now I try not to be away from him except for work.  Again, just this sense of feeling tied to him.  Not a bad feeling at all, just a feeling in general.  It will be interesting to see how it is when he has weaned and I can leave the house without worrying about whether he'll need to nurse, and being able to wear whatever I want.  Right now it's pretty much nursing friendly clothes only:-)

With all that being said, breast feeding is such a wonderful, joyful, rewarding, liberating experience.  I knew I wanted to breast feed, and I was pretty hell bent on doing it, but I had no idea just how much I would love it.  It's been one of my favorite things about having a baby.  Those moments where it's just AW and me, snuggling, being so close and intimate, they are indescribable.  So sweet and fulfilling.  I dread the day I have to give them up.  Nursing is also the ultimate soother.  If you remember from my colic post, it was pretty much the only thing that soothed Asher Wade during those first few months.  He could be having a complete come-apart, but as soon as he heard the familiar snap of my nursing tank (not even kidding), he would immediately calm down, knowing what was coming.  Even now, when he's upset, scared or not feeling well, he's always comforted by nursing.  It helps him fall asleep and it helps him feel safe and close to me.  Happy, safe, secure, full and close to mommy.  Those sound like things all babies want, huh?  Well here is your one stop shop.  Oh, did I mention it's free?  I think that's what Matt likes to tell people the most.  The bonding is hands down the greatest aspect though.  Of course there are many ways to bond with your baby, but I can't imagine a better way.  There's just something about the act...how it provides nourishment, comfort, security, warmth and love, all at once.  It's so amazing and I will treasure it forever.

Sorry, no pictures to go with this post;)

April 3, 2014

Lets talk about colic

So here it is April. The month my baby will be turning one year old. It just doesn't seem possible that we have been doing this parent gig for a whole year (almost), although it does feel like Asher Wade has always been here. I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately about this past year, mainly about the major changes we've experienced, the good and the bad.  The good times and the hard times.  And the really hard times.  And the really, really hard times;)  I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of the things we've experienced over this past year, so I'm going to do several "big picture" posts over this month about these experiences.

Colic. I get anxiety just typing this word. It was very real in our household for what felt like forever awhile.  Nothing can prepare you for colic.  Heck, nothing can prepare you for a baby, so throw this in the mix and you think you've bought a first class ticket to the loony bin.  Colic was single handily the biggest shock and "what in the heck just happened" moment we had as new parents.  Forget the lack of sleep and poop explosions - colic just about did us in.
 
How could something so innocent cause so much anxiety?

In case you were wondering, no one really knows what causes colic.  You'll find all kinds of varying info on the Internet, and trust me, I read it ALL.  The general consensus is that colic is caused by an immature digestive and/or neurological system.  So basically your baby is really gassy and having tummy pains, or they are way over-stimulated by their new world, or it may be a combination of both, which I think was the case for AW.  The bottom line is that they don't know how to handle all this, so they cry.  A lot.  To be completely honest, during those first couple of months, if Asher Wade wasn't nursing or sleeping, he was crying.  Rarely did he just hang out in his swing or on a play mat.  We pretty much always had to be holding him, and often that didn't even work.  I always say, thank God for breast feeding.  I don't know what I would have done if that didn't work out.  It was pretty much the only thing that soothed him.  Needless to say he was pretty much attached to my boob around the clock.

His "safe place"
"So you bring me in to this crazy world and expect me to just deal?"

 
There is also really no consensus on what the cure for colic is, although there are things you can do to help.  I personally found this website to be helpful, but to be honest, besides nursing around the clock, I can't say that I thought anything else helped.  It's pretty much just survival.  What I can tell you is that having a support system is absolutely necessary.  You have to be able to take breaks and walk away.  Go for a walk.  Go to the grocery store.  Go visit a friend.  Go sit outside and have a glass of wine.  Just get away at least once a day, even if just for an hour.  I remember feeling so bad because I would be home with AW all day while Matt worked, and when he would come home, I would literally hand off a screaming AW to him and leave the house as fast as I could.  By 5:30 I was usually at my wits end and I knew I had to get out, for my own sanity and for the benefit of my baby.
 
"What, you mean you didn't have fun today?"

Colic generally peaks around weeks 6-8, and I would say that AW fell in line with this. I remember those weeks being almost unbearable. There were many tears shed and I had some really cray-cray thoughts during that time that I'm sometimes ashamed to admit. It's hard when you are dealing with colic, hormones, lack of sleep and the general stress of being a new parent. There were many days when I truly did not think I was cut out to be a mom and that we would not get through this and enjoy being parents like everyone else around us seemed to be doing. I remember telling my mom that this was not what I signed up for and where was that sweet image I had held in my mind for 9+ months. Surely this wasn't what being a parent was cracked up to be? 

Just a day in the life;)
The hours of crying wore him out too

I know this all sounds very stressful and negative, but take heart, you will get through!  We are living proof of that!  The really funny thing is that when we were going through the really rough part, I told everyone that there was no way we would ever have another baby.  Ever.  I truly did not think I could ever risk going through this again.  Even though the chances of having another colicky baby are small (definitely possible though), I didn't think I could take that risk.  Yet here we are, almost a year later, and I cannot imagine not having another.  And if the next one is colicky, it doesn't scare me and I know we would manage.  Now I know it's only a phase and it won't last forever.  The best advice someone told me back then was that I shouldn't let this period define motherhood for me.  It's just a difficult phase in a lifetime of happy phases.  I think that's what was so hard for me...I had built up this vision of what motherhood would be like and then when colic happened, I was so crushed and bitter because it was nothing like I had envisioned.  The fact of the matter is, that colic or not, motherhood is probably not going to be exactly like you had imagined.  Even if you don't have to deal with colic, there will be other challenges and surprises.  At some point or another, you probably will question if you did the right thing.  But then those challenges will pass, and you'll move on to the next thing.  It won't be like that forever.  And the bottom line is that the good far outweighs the bad.

It was a turning point for me when he started to smile.  Like, maybe I was doing an ok job after all.

Now here we are.  One year later and we have this precious, spirited, lovable and funny little person.  He's definitely still got a temper and he absolutely has his moments where you'd think the world is falling apart around him, but with those trying moments also come the moments where he's so loving and affectionate.  I've read before that babies that have colic often turn out to be very sensitive children.  They are very sensitive to their environment and the people in it, which can be overwhelming and scary as a newborn, but as a child and adult, can bring about some really positive traits.  This means they are perceptive, caring, passionate, considerate and empathetic.  I think these sound like wonderful traits and I hope Asher Wade embodies them as he grows.  I mean, something positive has to come out out of that challenge, right?  Right?!  :-)
 
The love and affection he shows was absolutely worth the struggle.
 

March 28, 2014

Friday's Faves

Happy Friday, friends!  Is anyone else desperately ready for some warm weather?!  I am!!  This has been a rough a winter and I am hoping that since it is almost April, we'll have nothing but warm sunshine in our future.  Too soon for white pants?  I'm of the mindset that St. Patrick's Day should be the kick-off of white pant season.  Waiting until Memorial Day is for the birds. 
 
Faves of the week...

* Chobani Simply 100 calorie yogurts.  What a perfect, little, healthy snack!  It's hard to find a 100 calorie snack that actually fills you up (and tastes good), but this one does the trick.  Lots of good flavors too.
 
 
* These new Kashi bars.  They are so good.  They come two to a pack, but I'm often satisfied with just one and I save the other for later.
 
 

* This is hands down the most moisturizing body wash I have ever used.  It makes my dry winter skin so soft.


* I've been drinking this hot tea like crazy.  It's so good, and instantly relaxes me for some reason.  Between this and my Mother's Milk tea (for "healthy lactation" so you may want to stay clear unless you are a nursing mama) I am a tea addict these days.


* Everything in Gap stores is 40% off.  Everything.  This includes Gap Kids.  Perfect time to pick up some new spring clothes for the whole family.  We have definitely been taking advantage;)  It looks like there are some sales online too, but for the 40%, you have to physically go to a local Gap.  We LOVE Baby Gap and Gap Kids for dressing Asher Wade.  Their stuff fits and holds up well in the wash...plus everything is super cute!

March 25, 2014

Asher Wade at 11 Months

Asher Wade you are 11 months old!  I cannot believe that we will be celebrating your 1st birthday this time next month.  It just does not seem possible that you are almost 1 year old.  As I've said in the past, I'm always torn about you growing up.  I love each new stage and I love watching you learn and grow, but it's still bittersweet.  I feel like you are becoming a toddler right before my eyes and it makes me a little sad...and gives me major baby fever!  Lord knows you have given us a run for our money, but man I miss those sweet newborn days sometimes.  I long for you to just let me hold you while you sleep (although I don't miss having to be all ninja like when I tried to sneak you in to your crib after you fell asleep), but now you are so busy and active and you rarely have time for snuggling.  Even when I nurse you before bed, as soon as you finish you start to reach for your crib.  You just want to go to sleep with no extended snuggling:-(  I guess we should count our blessings that you can put yourself to sleep.

This was a big month for you developmentally.  You really try to mimic actions and behaviors and attempt to do more things yourself.  It's like you study things to figure out how they work, and how you can make them work for you.  You are the youngest in your class at daycare and your teachers always laugh about how you want to keep up with the older babies.  This determination has created one little problem...you are the class bully!  Yes, you are the youngest one in there, but you sure don't let that stop you from getting what you want.  Supposedly you are quite the snack stealer (see picture below), and you have no issues bopping heads or pulling hair to get your way, or to get things out of your way.  I definitely think you need a sibling to keep this sense of entitlement in check;)   

You are such a joy for your daddy and me.  I can't wait to pick you up everyday and you are always in my thoughts throughout the day.  I scroll through the pictures on my phone multiple times during the day and I never get tired of looking at the same ones over and over.  They always make me smile and fill my heart with happiness.  You are just such a perfect gift and we are so thankful for you.

No checkup this month, so I'll do my best with measurements.

Age: 11 months

Weight: 22 lbs, 5 oz (I did confirm this at a recent sick visit)

Length: Not sure, probably around 29 in

Head circumference: Again, not sure, but maybe around 19 in

Clothing size: 12 months or 12-18 months depending on the brand.  A few 6-12 month things fit.  Size 4 diapers.

Milestones: Started swim lessons...we go every Saturday morning and he does great!  2 more teeth about to push through, which will make 8 total.  Stands unassisted.  Cruises with his walker pretty fast, all around the living room.  Will also cruise around the ottoman, holding on for support.  No more bottles!  He takes his milk in a sippy cup now at daycare.  Had his first cupcake since the other babies in his class are starting to have birthdays...no surprise that he loved it;) 

Sleep: He goes to sleep around 7:30 and wakes up anywhere from 6 to 7.  Sleep is still not quite consistent, but I'd say he sleeps through the night for the most part.  If he does wake, he will usually put himself back to sleep after a few minutes.  If he fusses for more than 10 or 15 minutes, it's mommy to the rescue.  At daycare he takes one long afternoon nap, but at home he takes two, sometimes three, naps.

Eating: Still taking a total of 15 oz of pumped milk at school, in a sippy cup.   He nurses every few hours when we are home.  He eats lunch from the cafeteria at school and loves everything. There's nothing, except honey, that we won't let him have. Favorite foods are blueberry waffles with butter and syrup (his usual breakfast), french toast, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, pancakes, blueberries, strawberries, tangerines, yogurt, fish, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, ravioli, granola bars, veggie straws, puffs, vanilla wafers, goldfish crackers, pretty much any fruit or veggie.  He still loves those Earth's Best pouches as well.

Likes:
  • Crawling all over the place.
  • Pulling up to standing.  He especially loves to do this in the bathtub, which makes me so nervous.
  • Rough housing with daddy.  He loves to play hard!
  • Laying in bed with mama and daddy in the mornings, watching cartoons.
  • Being tickled, especially his thighs.
  • Going for walks in his stroller, or pretty much anything outside. Loves to people watch!
  • Swinging at the park.
  • His teachers Miss Vicki and Miss Harriet...loves them!
  • Music and toys that make noise, especially his tambourine.
  • Bath time.  Quite possibly the highlight of his day.
  • Music. His favorite songs are the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Patty Cake" and any of the theme from his favorite shows, especially Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
  • Other babies and toddlers. He loves his little friends at school.
  • Riley and Maddux. He really loves to climb all over Riley and "play fetch." He hands the ball to Riley and cracks up when Riley takes it. It's hilarious!
  • Watching his "shows." His favorites are Peek-a-boo, Rainbow Horse, VocabuLarry, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins. He's starting to get in to Jake and the Neverland Pirates as well.
  • Eating! He especially loves going to restaurants and trying food off my plate.

Dislikes:
  • The evening hours, right before bedtime...his "witching hour."
  • Sitting in one place for too long.
  • Being hot.
  • Getting ready for bed.
  • The nose sucker. Screams.bloody.murder.
  • Being woken up early from a nap.
  • Being tired.
Here are some pictures...

This child loves food (chicken salad in this case)

Eating out...yet again

Before church one Sunday

My sweet little boy

Enjoying some butternut squash

Random picture they took at school one day, which I thought came out so cute!

His favorite activity these days...cruising with his walker.  Oh, and are those not the most kissable thighs?!
 
Stealing snacks from his buddy Owen...who was the birthday boy that day

Just being his usual wild self

1st St. Patrick's Day

Yes he is:-)
 

March 20, 2014

Family photos by Alisa Sue Photography

Back in late January when Asher Wade and I had our little getaway to Sarasota, we had the opportunity to have some family pictures done with my parents and grandpa.  The very talented Alisa of Alisa Sue Photography did them for us and she did a wonderful job!  I actually went to high school with Alisa, so was fun to catch up with her too. 
 
These pictures are so special to me because of the fact that Pops is in them.  I will treasure these always.  I hate that Matt is not in the shots, but we will definitely have another shoot with Alisa next time we are all visiting.

Words cannot express how much I love this child and his innocent little expressions.
 


Proud grandparents with their first grandchild
 







Precious, precious keepsake
 

February 27, 2014

Asher Wade at 10 Months

Asher Wade you are 10 months old!  You are hilarious right now and so full of personality.  I love this age!  You are so happy and still smile all the time.  Everyone loves your sweet smile.  You're a mischievous little guy and always in to something.  You know when it's something you're not supposed to be in to as well.  You are a super fast crawler now and we can't turn our back for a second.  Your teachers at daycare can't get over how much you have changed this past month.  You used to always want to be held, but now you can't get on that floor quick enough when I drop you off.  You love to play with all your little friends, although you can be a little bit of a bully.  You are the youngest in your class, but you sure wouldn't know it.  You put everyone in their place and you aren't afraid to bop heads and steal toys along the way;)

Words I would use to describe you are affectionate, assertive, energetic, confident, head strong and determined.  You want what you want, when you want it.  I can't talk though, because I know EXACTLY where you get these traits from.  We are going to have to learn to rein in that strong personality.  Future attorney?;)  You can have quite the little temper.  Boy are you ever sweet and affectionate though.  You love to give me big, open mouth kisses and you still love to snuggle.  It's funny because you already have your daddy and I pinned.  You reach for mommy when you're upset or scared.  You know I will baby you and make a fuss.  You love to play with your daddy though.  Rough housing with daddy is one of your favorite things:-)  We adore you sweet boy!

No checkup this month, so I'll do my best with measurements.

Age: 10 months

Weight: Probably close to 22 lbs

Length: Close to 29 in

Head circumference: 18.75 in

Clothing size: 12 months or 6-12 months depending on the brand.  Moved up to size 4 diapers.

Milestones: 6 teeth (4 on the top, 2 on the bottom)...we have to brush them now.  Really fast crawler.  Pulls up with ease and has stood on his own a few times.  Can open cabinets and turn on the bath tub faucet.  Traveled with mommy only (ok, maybe this was more of a milestone for mommy) to Sarasota for a week long vacation.  Celebrated his first Valentine's Day.  Recognizes and shows preference for favorite toys.  Got his first boo-boo, a cut below his eye, which has been quickly been followed by several other bumps and bruises.  Typical boy!

Sleep: Generally sleeps 8pm-6am.  I so wish he would sleep later than 6, but he always wakes up ready to go around that time every morning.  He is sleeping through the night pretty consistently, so I guess I can't complain.  I haven't had to nurse him during the night for awhile now (although I still wake multiple times during the night to check on him...when I will actually start sleeping through the night I'm not entirely sure).  At daycare he takes one long afternoon nap, but at home he takes two, sometimes three, naps. 

Eating: Still nursing well, but it has decreased some as his solid food intake continues to increase. We did go through a little nursing strike that lasted a few days, but he got over it.  Takes a total of 15 oz of pumped milk at school, spread out over 3 bottles, but he doesn't always finish them. He's still eating from the cafeteria and he loves everything.  There's nothing, except honey, that we won't let him have.  Favorite foods are blueberry waffles with butter and syrup (his usual breakfast), pancakes, blueberries, strawberries, yogurt, fish, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, ravioli, veggie straws, puffs, vanilla wafers, goldfish crackers, pretty much any fruit or veggie. 

Likes:
  • Crawling all over the place.
  • Pulling up to standing.
  • Rough housing with daddy.
  • Laying in bed with mama and daddy in the mornings, watching cartoons.
  • Being tickled, or when we "get his belly".
  • Going for walks in his stroller, or pretty much anything outside. Loves to people watch!
  • Swinging at the park.
  • His teachers Miss Vicki and Miss Harriett...loves them!
  • Music and toys that make noise.
  • Bath time. He loves to splash and kick in the water and play with his bath toys.
  • Being sung to, read to, or just being talked to in general. His favorite songs are the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Patty Cake" and any of the theme from his favorite shows.
  • Other babies and toddlers. He loves to be around people in general.
  • Riley and Maddux.  He really loves to climb all over Riley and "play fetch."  He hands the ball to Riley and cracks up when Riley takes it.  It's hilarious!
  • Watching his "shows." His favorites are Peek-a-boo, Rainbow Horse, VocabuLarry, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins.  He's starting to get in to Jake and the Neverland Pirates as well.
  • Eating! He especially loves going to restaurants and trying food off my plate.

Dislikes:
  • The evening hours, right before bedtime...his "witching hour."
  • Sitting in one place for too long.
  • Being hot.
  • Getting out of the bath and getting ready for bed.
  • The nose sucker. Screams.bloody.murder.
  • Being woken up early from a nap.
  • Being tired.
Here are some pictures...

I'm not sure what's up with this look

That's more like it:-)

10 months old! (and does not like the sticker on him anymore)

Ohhhh, water....
 

So fascinated

Standng on his own

First Valentine's Day

This child....

Visit from Nanny and PawPaw

His first class picture...I die.