Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Ayden had a great first Halloween!

I still had to teach dance today but before we left I made a huge pot of our venison chili (it ended up winning its category when David entered it in that contest at work!). We offered to provide dinner for everyone at David's parents house tonight.

Dance went well.  I dressed up as a cow girl for my pre-dance class since all of the girls were wearing their costumes.  While I was teaching, I looked over and Ayden had found our snack apple in the diaper bag and helped himself.  It was the first time he broke through the skin on his own as I usually take the first bite to get him started.  He has really gotten the hang of the whole tooth thing!

"Nom nom!"
We got out of dance an hour early and joined my sister, her family, and my parents at David's parents' house for visiting, trick-or-treating and dinner. It was a great night! Ayden was having a blast playing with his cousins and even played on his Grandma's piano a bit.

He fell asleep on the way home and transferred to bed easily. It was a good night all around. The only problem was that since Ayden enjoyed a lot of chili, and was so busy playing, he wasn't interested in nursing which made me get uncomfortably full by the end of the night. When he nurses less during the day he typically makes up for it at night so we'll see how much he wants to nurse tonight... He did a pretty good job of emptying things out when I put him to bed. I'm surprised he didn't choke from the pressure since my let down is pretty over-active when I'm that full! He must be used to it because he just steadily gulped in his sleep until it slowed down to normal.

Well, another first for the record books. It is neat that his birthday is in January because that put all of his "firsts" in his first year. We still can't believe that tomorrow is the beginning of NOVEMBER! Amazing how time flies when you are having so much fun.

Here are some pictures of Ayden in his puppy costume.  We chose it because dogs seem to be one of his favorite things at the moment.  We'd like to think that's what he would have chosen if he could :).  Enjoy!

"Scratch my belly!"
"Woof woof"
Those darn mittens would not stay on!
Hahaha, so cute!
Sit...  Good boy!

My handsome boys.  Love them so much!
Me with my little love. 
It was cold and a little rainy but we had fun!
Our little family :)
Hope everyone had a fun, safe and happy Halloween!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year

I have been filled with so much happiness today! I think part of it is my awareness of all the good in my life and the other part is the time of year. Though Spring is my favorite season, from Halloween through New Year's is always amazing! I suppose the window will probably extend to Ayden's birthday now so from late October through late January I shall be basking in warm fuzzies :).

Here are a few pictures of things that made me happy today:

No explanation necessary...
Found this gem on Pinterest during a nursing session:

So true, though I strongly believe that David loves him just as much as me.  Such a lucky kid :)
 We moved our little pumpkin family to the front porch:

Ayden is surveying my placement.  He's a fan!
 We successfully attempted the back carry in the Ergo.  It made baby wearing + house work = easy!

He then proceeded to take his afternoon nap back there!
 Ayden gave himself a goatee while "testing" his bath water:

He thought the bubbles tasted pretty good I suppose :)

Wrapped up the day with family time.  Can't be beat!
Tomorrow is Ayden's first Halloween! We can't wait to watch him celebrate it with his cousins! They are all dressing up as animals (a pig, a shark and Ayden the dog). Too bad his NY cousins won't be here too!! They will be Bat Man, a mad scientist and a cow (if my sister can keep the cow hat on her littlest one). Such fun traditions and memories to be made!

~ Sarah

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lil' Pumpkin

Today flew by in the blink of an eye! We started the day with our usual snuggles and giggles:

Snuggled up for our morning walk.
The rest of the morning was filled with errands (new light bulbs for the light above my stove, new cord for my external hard drive [FREE from the Apple Store], failed attempt to find a pack of white Carter's 9 month long sleeve onsies, etc). Then Ayden and I met my mom at the pumpkin patch at 2. We quickly got my "tradition" pictures:

Just missing Daddy...
and then had a hot apple cider date in the cafe until she had to leave to go teach dance. I sent David a picture and it made him sad he couldn't be there for it. I told him it was super cute but quick and that he didn't miss much. All we were missing was a family picture on a huge chair that they have out front but the orchard is open through November so there is still time for that. I just really wanted the pumpkin patch pictures before Halloween!

Fun with "Naunie"
I tried cooking a new, to me, squash at dinner.

The recipe I was attempting was "Stuffed Turban Squash" but we ended up eating the stuffing (italian sausage and veggies) without the squash because even though I made the oven 15* hotter than the recipe called for, and turned on the speed bake feature, it still took over twice as long to cook through! Talk about frustrating. I suppose my squash must have been bigger than the squash in the recipe? Who knows... At least we'll get to eat the squash and stuffing together for left overs tomorrow.

After dinner, we went for a cold and windy evening walk and then had our first family pumpkin carving! We kept Ayden busy in his booster with pumpkin lids, the shapes I cut out of his pumpkin, non-sharp carving tools and a little bit of water in his tray. He was content long enough for us to finish his pumpkin, for David to get his pumpkin scraped and carved and I got mine scraped. Then he was ready for bed. I got him snuggled into his crib and then finished mine.

Ayden's first pumpkin carving!
If you haven't guessed already, holiday traditions are so important to me. My mom always made holidays so fun and magical and I have always wanted to do the same for my children. Plus, anything that can bring a family together for some good, clean fun and memory making is always a good thing!

Our little pumpkin family :)
This makes my heart so happy!!!
The wind is blowing like crazy tonight, I hope it doesn't wake our lil' pumpkin while he waits for us to settle in together for the night!

I'm not exactly sure what tomorrow's plans hold. I need to sit down and plan a little more structure for my days. I've enjoyed taking it day by day for a few weeks and now I'm craving more predictability. Perhaps I'll share any schedule ideas I come up with. I see a window command center revamp in my near future!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Making Strides

We had a big morning at out house! Ayden has taken a few little steps on days prior but today we are saying he officially took his first steps :).

He's far from walking (which is okay with us since he is only 9 months) but he's well on his way!  We are just so proud of all of his hard work.

We were supposed to go to the pumpkin patch for our second birth class meet up but the forecast looked cold and rainy. David suggested that we change the plans and have everyone over to our house instead. I was reluctant to agree at first because 1) we had just hosted an event yesterday and the thought of doing it again for even more people was daunting and 2) This was our scheduled visit to the pumpkin patch this season.   Getting pictures of Ayden in the pumpkin patch and next to the growth chart at the orchard are traditions that I want to have and missing out on the first year was not really something I was interested in.  I decided to look at the big picture, though, and realized that nobody would get any quality visiting or playing in at the pumpkin patch today so I finally acquiesced. My new plan is to take Ayden by myself to get my pictures tomorrow. Not quite as fun as a day at the orchard as a family but at least our tradition won't be ruined before it even started.  Lesson learned: go ahead and go as a family in late September or earlier in October and then just go again with other people if so inclined...

The meet up ended up being a success and all of the babies really played well together. It was good to catch up with everyone, as always, and after all was said and done I will admit that plan B was much better.

After everyone left we were all pretty tired (Ayden skipped his afternoon nap altogether) so we made a quick dinner, took our family walk, skipped Ayden's bath and got him to bed early. It's never been hard to get him to sleep, or even back to sleep whenever he wakes up but tonight getting him to sleep was effortless.

All bundled for our walk.  Already so sleepy!

I say this time and time again but I am such a lucky gal. David really stepped up and helped get the house ready for our unexpected company today as well as cleaning up everything after. By the time it ended, I had gone too long without eating and was in need of a snack to give my blood sugar a boost. He could tell just by how I was acting and gave me a snack while I was making dinner. He knows me so well and takes such good care of us. I don't know what we'd do without him!

~ Sarah

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

Last night David got to revisit the newborn days. We put Ayden to bed in his crib, as usual, and we started our movie (John Carter) while I wrote the blog. When Ayden woke up, about 45 minutes later, also as usual, I brought him down, nursed him back to sleep and passed him to David.

Left - 1 month old, Right - last night (hard to see...)
This used to be a weekly tradition but since Ayden had gotten older movies wake him up. Newborns seem to sleep through everything but by the time he reached the 6 month mark it got a little harder to keep him with us during movie time. It's also a little harder now because Ayden won't take a pacifier anymore so I'm the only one who can "pacify" him to sleep. I'm glad we gave it a try because David really does cherish when Ayden sleeps on him and it really doesn't happen much these days.

We hosted a play date today with a little girl (and her parents) who is just a month older than Ayden. I used to work with her dad and we actually have a lot in common with them as far as parenting and our kids' habits are concerned. They are both small for their age, a little ahead in milestones, not so great sleepers and they also put forth effort not to expose her to much TV. Her mom only works part time so we decided that we need to get together more often. Yay for new mommy friends!

Ayden and their little girl played by themselves for most of the play date while we parents chatted. When they did notice each other, it was super cute. He liked her hair and she liked his ears. She only has one tooth and adorable dimples. It was good to reconnect with an old friend and an added bonus that our kids had so much in common. The mom was especially comforted by the fact that Ayden was so small as most other babies they know seem to be the standard chunky babies, same as us.

I didn't take any pictures during the play date [gasp!] but oddly enough, the day we had our own play date, pictures from the last one we attended were uploaded to Facebook. Here was the best family shot:

Other than the play date, most of our day consisted of this:

He is so persistent at mastering his new skills, as always. David seems to think this will be a break through week as far as walking is concerned. We shall see!

Since I went to the grocery yesterday and we cleaned the house before the play date we didn't really know what to do with ourselves for the rest of the day. We have been hyper-scheduling our weekends for so long that we felt anxious with the down time. We sat in the living room floor and played some more, then got Ayden down for his afternoon nap for which I joined him during the second half. David worked out while we slept and then it was dinner time. The rest of the evening went as usual: dinner, dinner clean up, family walk, the 4 Bs for Ayden (bath, books, breast, bed) and now David and I are going to watch a movie from our own DVD collection. We've kind of challenged ourselves to re-watch all of our DVDs and any that we find ourselves passing up time and time again will be donated to the movie lending program at David's office.

Overall, we really had a great day. I think me going to the grocery during the week may have to become a usual thing. We really enjoyed the time it opened up today! Tomorrow we will be meeting the folks from our childbirth class at an orchard. Should be fun!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Warm and Fuzzy

My little morning helper:

"Mommy, I think you should wear this gloss today!"
I spent a lot of time savoring moments today.  I think I do this a lot everyday, but today I was very aware of it.  I really love being a mother of a baby and my baby is growing up fast.  I'm sure I will continue to love every age and stage but there is just something about having a baby that is so special. Every mother says it but it's true, it goes by in the blink of an eye.  I am so glad that I will always have this blog to refer back to.  I have written about the good, the bad, the ups and downs, things I've loved and things that I would have been even happier without experiencing.  I think that the first year seems to go by faster than any other because you are so busy being tired and learning the ropes that you are often too distracted to just live.  Ask me in five years if this is actually true because the first year (almost) is all I've experienced so far...

Though I look back at posts and videos from when Ayden was a newborn and sometimes miss the sweetness of it all, I am also loving the little person that Ayden is becoming.  He is starting to communicate likes and dislikes.  He reaches his cute little hands up when he wants to be picked up.  He  initiates games and repeats sounds back and forth with us.  He is starting to give "kisses" spontaneously and seeks comfort from us when he is hurt.

I often find myself admiring his fuzzy head.  When he was a newborn, he had a lot of fuzz.  He had fuzz on his head, on his cheeks and across his back.  He ended up shedding it all, as most newborns do, and I missed all the fuzz.  Over the past few weeks, the hair on his head has really started to come in again and it is just as cute and fuzzy as I remember it being when he was a tiny newborn.

It is much thicker than you notice at first glance because it is BLONDE.  We never would have guessed that we'd have a blonde haired, blue eyed baby.  I'm pretty sure his hair will darken over time but still, never would have guessed...

Ayden has grown out of the comfort of nursing pillows.  I still used one when we were at home because I enjoy being hands free.  He's big enough now to rest in my lap and still be able to reach.  He is actually quite fidgety when he nurses and will even stand while still latched on and the pillow made it worse.  I used to read or mess around on my phone while he would nurse and now I have to put everything down and focus on him and keeping him situated so that I don't get frustrated.  It has been a blessing in disguise, though, because without my phone in my face I spend more time stroking his fuzzy head, singing quietly to him, and looking into his big, blue eyes in an attempt to keep him still enough to fall asleep.  It is actually quite wonderful.

Getting so big.
Today was an ideal Friday.  I cleaned out our refrigerator, which is a task I've been wanting to do for weeks.  I used to keep it so clean and organized and that habit has fallen by the wayside since Ayden's arrival.  I spent several years working in retail and love for my refrigerator, pantry and cabinets to look like the ones you'd see in a retail store with all the label facing front and everything in rows.  It didn't take long and made me feel so good!  Totally worth it.  I also meal planned, made a grocery list and went to the grocery.  I also spent some quality time with Ayden.  We read books several times today, played outside, in his room and in the kitchen.  He took wet things out of the dryer while I was trying to put them in ( a new favorite game) and we practiced going up the stairs.  Tasks seem to take twice as long these days as he makes messes while I try to clean them up but somehow I don't care a bit.  I can see him learning and having fun and isn't that what life is all about?

Here are some clips from our day to enjoy but be warned, it is 5 minutes long :).


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Same Ol', Same Ol'

I've been writing on this blog every night for over 9 months now.  Some nights my topics are a no brainer.  Other nights, I feel like I've written about the same boring things all week and that is how I feel tonight. How could me writing about our day over and over again actually be interesting?!? It seems as though when we are in a pleasant phase, there's not a whole lot to talk about.  Isn't that how it always is?  You never really hear people shouting, "Everything in my life is wonderful and I don't have a single worry or complaint in the world!!" from the roof tops.  When reading friends' status updates on Facebook or even hearing news headlines, it always seems like negativity, drama and things going wrong are always at the forefront (especially now that it's election time).  When something goes wrong, it is easy to get on a rant and fill pages on the topic. It's a bummer that when things are great, you sit and stare at a blank screen, uninspired...

Overall today, Ayden was a bit clingy and fussy but to be honest, I kept the right perspective/attitude about it, stayed patient and made myself even more available to him since he obviously needed to be close.  I find on days like these, if I keep my multi tasking to a minimum and just focus on him when he needs me, he stays happier and looking back at it I always feel like it was a good day.

"kisses" = awesome day!
I didn't feel the stress of his fussing until the day was almost over and we were trying to make dinner.  He kept trying to play in the cabinet where we store the cleaners and was getting so mad when we'd redirect him (we shall be putting a child lock on it this weekend...).  He'd end up standing, holding onto my legs whining, "Mamamama."  It is hard to not multi-task when it's crunch time for food you are preparing.  David will usually keep Ayden busy while I cook, or vise versa, but David and I were cooking together tonight because we were making a double batch of venison chili (David is taking half to enter in a chili contest at work tomorrow).  But I can say that by the time we all sat down together, I was able to take some deep breaths and re-fuel (which was also part of my problem) and all was well again.  It also helped that Ayden LOVED the chili and it cheered him right up too.

I suppose the moral of this post is that we should put forth more effort to focus on what is going right in our lives, instead of what is (or could be) going wrong.  Get on your Facebook page or wherever and take the time to spread some cheer.  Share something you are proud of or excited about and challenge your friends to do the same.  If you do find yourself having one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong, challenge yourself to focus on two wonderful things for each bad one.  As I've said before, attitude is everything and keeping the right perspective could just be the key to keeping your sanity.

So, here it was.  Another "boring" post about how we had a pretty good day.  I hope that is all I have to write about tomorrow too! :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Road Rage

On our morning walk!
Today was a great day! Ayden had a good night as far as sleep goes so I woke up ready to take on the day. I made it through my morning routine and even got the diaper laundry done early enough to let the sun work its magic on the stains.

Before and half way done.  When I got home they were super white!
I also vacuumed and made tonight's dinner all before leaving the house to go teach dance. There was also playing, book reading, stair climbing, Ayden's nap and such sprinkled In there.

I left a little early because I had a few errands to run on my way. I stopped by Whole Foods for a few things, took Ayden to David's Mom's office for a quick visit while I picked up my forgotten sunglasses from her, shipped something at the post office and checked out a book from the library. Even after running all those errands I still made it to the dance studio 15 minutes EARLY! Yay me :). Ayden had fallen asleep on the way there so I hung out in the car and planned a killer work out for my flex class (I usually resort to winging it, at which I'm luckily decent).

The evening went just as well. Ayden has gotten pretty comfortable at the studio and keeps himself pretty busy while I teach. I tried putting him in the walker my sister keeps there from when her babies were younger but he just used it like an exer-saucer. He didn't use it for walking until I took him out.

He loves to push things these days.  He has a little push cart that he loves and he now pushes the laundry baskets around.  I am definitely okay with the fact that he prefers to push the walker rather than use it correctly since his way exercises the walking muscles properly. Some folks are on the fence about whether or not walkers are appropriate for development. I personally feel about them as I do any "babysitting" device. If you leave them in it all day, every day they'll probably develop issues related to it. If it is used sparingly and the baby enjoys the time they do spend in it, it really can't hurt anything.  He pushed that walker up and down the 90 ft. hallway and then took a couple of laps around the room in the video above.  His persistence impressed me again, he is such a hard worker.  The funniest part of this activity was his "road rage" as I called it.  The hallway at the studio is very long but narrow and he kept pushing the walker at a diagonal thus kept hitting the wall.  When the wall would stop him he'd let out an angry little scream at it.  He did not want anything to stop him from his hard work, that's for sure!

The best part of our day, as always, was coming home and having time with just the three of us. It's always awesome to see David at the end of the day. Busy days are nice because you feel productive but they sure take a lot out of you! I am hoping I can make it into bed early tonight!

Here are a couple of bonus videos from the past couple of days that didn't make it into posts:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taking A Stand

Ayden had a fussy morning this morning.

"Who me?"
I'm pretty sure he's cutting his 7th tooth.  This kid teethes like a maniac and at this rate he'll have all of his baby teeth by the time his first birthday rolls around!  He was content if I held him but I needed to a few things that required two hands so he resorted to hugging my legs and looking up at me while crying, "mamama."  I rushed through my tasks, then scooped him up and strapped him into the Ergo so he could fill his mommy tank.

Much better!
The weather was beautiful so I made myself a mug of Chai tea, leashed up Maverick and we went for a nice, long walk.  I decided I wanted to go for a jog during Ayden's morning nap so I got dressed in my athletic gear before our walk.

After walking Maverick around what we call the "big block" we dropped him off at home and I transferred Ayden to the jogging stroller.  I jogged our usual short route to our neighborhood park and back.  Ayden fell asleep on the way home and finished his nap in the stroller in our foyer.  It was nice to breathe the Fall air in so deeply on my run.

I spent the rest of the day keeping our little man happy and finishing a few household chores.  I cut up a cantelope, made kale chips, sweet potato fries and dinner while Ayden had his afternoon nap.  David got home just as I was taking our stuffed peppers out of the oven.  After dinner, I headed out to a documentary viewing hosted by The Kentucky Home Birth Coalition (KHBC).  The documentary was called "Freedom For Birth" and was about a midwife in Hungary who was actually imprisoned for practicing home birth midwifery and the journey one of her clients made to help change the laws and in their country. Though midwives in Kentucky aren't imprisoned for attending home births, it is a misdemeanor.  KHBC is hoping to build support for their efforts to change legislation so it will allow Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) to become legalized and licensed in Kentucky.  The idea is that women deserve the right to choose where and how they give birth.  Since a lot of women are going to do it their way, whether is legal or not, it would be in the best interest of these mothers if all aspects of home birth were legal, midwives could practice openly and everyone be properly licensed and held accountable.

As it is now, midwives have to "hide" to protect themselves, it is difficult to find one when you need them, and you can't always guarantee that you'll get one with the proper credentials since there is nothing formal in place to monitor such things.  I got lucky with finding a wonderful, experienced, certified midwife but I did have to be careful about who I shared her name with in an effort to protect her and her practice.  It is not illegal to have a home birth in Kentucky but it is illegal to attend one.  Doesn't really make sense does it?  It is because of this that some women end up attempting unassisted births which isn't safe for anyone.

Though I am on board with home birth, I do not feel it is for everyone.  I do, however, feel that it is a woman's right to birth in an environment where she is most comfortable.  For some mothers that is in a hospital with access to pain relief and the reassurance of immediate care in case of an emergency.  For other mothers it is in the comfort of their home with their own bed and the freedom to eat/drink/do whatever they want.  The efforts of the KHBC are attempting to honor the rights of these mothers and give them safe options in providers for whatever route they choose.  I am going to do what I can to help support these efforts and maybe by the time we are preparing for our next baby, my midwife will be able to legally attend our home birth.

Find something you are passionate about and help take a stand. When many people come together to support a common cause you can make a difference.

I ended up staying out until 10:00pm!!  I thought I'd be home by 8 to put Ayden to bed but the video started late because they gave everyone time to eat and talk before hand.  David told me not to worry about them and to enjoy the movie and being social.  He thawed some milk from our freezer stash and put Ayden to bed.  He's such an awesome dad and husband and I am such a lucky gal.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Mrs. Social

Today I abandoned all of my to do's to get out and get social! As a stay at home mom it is easy to get stuck in your bubble and forget to take care of your social life. There are a lot of days where Ayden and David are the only people that I talk to. For the most part, I'm okay with that because I've always been more of a quiet observer in social settings and also value alone time. At the same time, I think it would be healthy for me to have more mommy friends so today I took initiative.

We have a local cloth diaper store/Yoga, Pilates, massage studio and boy have I always felt at home there. We always run into a wide variety of folks whenever we stop by and everyone is usually crunchy to some degree. David and I took our natural childbirth class there and when we signed up for it I was given a free class. I'm not sure why I waited this long to go. In the early days I suppose it was sleep deprivation that prevented me from making it to a 10am class across town. Then I suppose it was Little Miss because she came on the days they offered the mommy and me type classes. I'm just glad I finally decided to go because I loved it!

The class I chose was Mommy and Me Pilates and was set up so the kids just played or did whatever during the class.  Each mom was in charge of their own baby and it was just understood that there would be some distractions.  There were 4 moms with kids, including myself, and the instructor had a baby with her as well. 2 of the kids were boys around a year old and the two other babies were both 8.5 month old girls, so pretty close in age to Ayden.  It was so cute seeing the three babies because though they were the same age, they were all so different.  One of the little girls just sat and quietly chewed on her Sophie giraffe the whole time.  Her mom said that she isn't on the move yet and that her pediatrician said not to worry about it because even if she is physically able, without motivation she's not going anywhere.  Some babies are perfectly content to observe the world around them and see no need to be mobile. The other little girl army crawled like nobody's business and her mom, the instructor, speculates that she'll go straight from army crawling to walking.  Then there's our little cruiser who was all over the place as well.  When we first got there he stayed right by me but after a few minutes I suppose he decided it was a pretty cool place and he made his way to the baskets of toys that were provided.

It's hard to see but he has a HUGE smile on his face.
He crawled around all over the place, checking back in with me every now and then.  He liked that I was lying down for most of the class and would spend a couple of minutes using me as his own personal obstacle course before venturing off again to find another toy or pull stuff out of another mom's diaper bag, etc.  I wish the class packages weren't so expensive at this place because this type of setting (mommy and me) is definitely more my style.  But, alas, I probably won't be back with it costing $11 per class since that will add up pretty quickly.

After Pilates, I stayed for my first La Leche League meeting.  Again, I have no idea why it has taken me so long to attend.  Our LLL meets twice a month, once in the morning and once in the evening.  I've always had a lot of support so there wasn't a *need* for me to go I suppose, but as with everything else, it is nice to be around other people who share your interests.  I am also very enthusiastic about breast feeding and enjoyed being part of a gathering that was supporting and encouraging women through their journey.  We sat in a circle and went around one at a time sharing stories, concerns, asking questions, etc.  Mine was about what changes to expect now that Ayden is starting to take in more table food.  I plan to implement extended breastfeeding up to 2 years, as long as there is mutual interest, and since mobile and therefore busy babies can become distracted and "forget" to nurse I wanted to know if I needed to do anything to keep my supply up.  The general consensus was that after six months of well-established breastfeeding, your breasts are so regulated that it takes a lot to adversely affect your supply.  In other words, I don't need to worry too much if he goes a day or two  of nursing less because my supply should stay pretty steady.  One of the leaders also mentioned that I should expect more frequent night nursing after days like that which actually explains a lot...

 I suppose since we had been there for so long Ayden felt nice and comfortable.  He still crawled all around, smiling at random women, looking at sleeping babies, attempting to climb on shelving the way he does the dishwasher door at home, etc.  He hung out in a corner of the room watching a couple of older boys play for a while.  At one point he even crawled to the middle of the circle and started doing his guinea pig laugh while looking at everyone.  He probably thought we were all there to play with and look at him...  I was so proud that he had such a good morning and allowed me to attend both the class and the meeting.

He liked looking out the window
By the end of the morning I had exchanged numbers with 4 ladies and had some great conversations.  Even if you are confident in your parenting decisions, it is always nice to have them validated.  Being in such a large group of women, I was bound to find at least a couple of like-minded mothers to relate with.

I'd say my efforts to be social today were a great success and hopefully new friendships can form in the future.  If you are breastfeeding, or pregnant and thinking about it, you should definitely attend a LLL meeting!  Here is a glimpse of how our evening ended:

When I was pregnant I would sit in Ayden's room in the glider and daydream about the three of us hanging out in his room before bedtime, reading books and playing together and that is exactly what we did tonight.  Ayden's sweet giggle is definitely music to our ears!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

9 Months Old!

Happy nine month birthday to our sweet baby boy!

9 months old!
8 months, 7 months, 6 months, 5 months,
4 months, 3 months, 2 months, 1 month
Here are a couple more cute ones:

We seriously cannot believe his first birthday is so close!  Officially 3 months away so we better start planning.  We don't want anything big but we do want it to be special.

As with all of the months in the past, I always like to skim through my milestone App to see where we are and what we can be working towards:

He is doing everything on the 9 month list.  We aren't really sure exactly how many words he is understanding but we notice more and more everyday!

He has met all of the 10 month physical and social milestones, and is just beginning to explore inside/outside relationships.  He doesn't have any words besides mama/dada yet but he is beginning to use those with more purpose for sure!

A lot of the milestones repeat since there is such a wide range of "normal" for meeting them.  Again, he has met all of the physical milestones for even the 11th month list.  He's doing all of the above intellectual milestones except saying words other than "dada."  As for social, he definitely protests when you try to take something he has deemed as awesome, but I'm not sure he is entirely aware of his ability to make choices at this point.  He doesn't point to things he wants but he does kick his little feet and make certain sounds to indicate he wants something you have.  He loves loud noises like the vacuum but does become startled by loud noises coming from a source that he can't see (eg. our neighbor's dogs barking on the other side of the fence).  Stranger, separation, and unfamiliar surrounding anxiety has definitely started over the past week or so.

Overall, we are very pleased with where Ayden is.  He can still be fussy at times and just isn't himself in a new place or around people he doesn't see daily (so everyone but David and myself) until he's had a chance to warm up.  He's funny because he actually warms up around the folks at Whole Foods faster than he does his own extended family.  I suppose it is because we are in Whole Foods 2-3 times a week (once for our weekly grocery run, a second time because we walk over with my sister after story time just to hang out while she shops, and sometimes a random run for something we forgot or discover we need mid-week) and he only sees our extended family once a week.  All I know is that all of the people who work there tell us that he's their favorite baby and he is always all smiles when we are there.

We celebrated his 9 month birthday by doing his 9 month photo shoot today.  We got outside for this one and really got some great shots.  Here are a few un-edited sneak peeks:

Our current favorite outfit.
Eating a whole apple :).
Aren't we festive in our fluff? 
Ayden has almost been out with us for as long as he was in my belly.  These past 9 months have been a whirlwind of all kinds of experiences and emotions.  It's gone by so fast yet it seems like we've known him forever.  Now I shall leave you with a video of our big boy feeding himself some smoothie at breakfast this morning.  He sure has come such a long way!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ayden's Favorite Things: 9 Month Edition

Since Ayden will be turning NINE months old tomorrow, I thought I would devote a post to a few new things he is loving.

All bundled up for a hike today
He has been saying, "Dada" while happily babbling away but now he is also saying, "Mama" regularly. The funny part is that he reserves mama for when he is sad or upset. It's funny that even at this age it seems that he has categorized us. Though Daddy can (and does!) comfort, he is an awesome play mate and Mommy sure is fun to play with but her specialty is meeting serious needs. I wonder how the names Mommy and Daddy came about in the first place. I'll bet it has something to do with what is going on here...

Ayden is still LOVING baths. While his little tub is filling up he waits patiently on his tip toes sticking his little fingers in the water. The cutest part is his little butt when he does this while he's already nakey. Once he's in he still likes to suck on the head of his smallest rubber ducky, as well as a wash cloth. I always get out 2; one for me to wash him with and one for him to play with. He also likes dropping things over the side of the tub then looking for them. I always say, "Uh-oh!" whenever he drops something and can't wait for him to start saying it too. I always think it is so cute when babies say it. He loves to splash in the water and actually likes when he splashes himself in the face and gets water in his lips. He splashes and then blows wet raspberries over and over. He is always bummed when he gets out of the bath and often fusses until we get dressed and in the glider for story time.

When he is trying to pull something out of the dishwasher and it gets stuck in the trays he screams at it. For now we think it is amusing but I'm pretty sure he will have a temper to tame so we are careful with how we react...

He used to love diaper changes and getting dressed but he definitely went through a phase where he hated it.  He still complains sometimes but we have some pleasant diaper changes sprinkled in there as well now.  The things that seem to work the best are when David sings "Bushel and A Peck" or when I play the, "What's a _____ say?" game (during which I ask and answer all of the questions).  I think Ayden is entertained and therefore distracted by me making funny faces and animal noises.  He attempts to repeat Moo and Woof and it is pretty cute.

As for toys, his favorites are pretty much any non-toy item.  He still loves any strangulation or suffocation hazard.  We are constantly racing him to iPhone sync cords and plastic grocery bags.  We try giving him shoe strings or pull toys with strings but they just aren't the same I suppose... He's also a fan of used dryer sheets that he fishes out of the bottom of laundry baskets and anything he can fish out of trashcans.  He enjoys the picture frames on our entertainment center, the house plants, the dishwasher and the swivel of the full-length mirror in our bedroom.  He has figured out how to open Maverick's food bin as well as all of our cabinets. It's like he's on a game show finding the various treasures behind all the doors.  He still loves door stoppers!

Ayden is so super playful and enjoys peek-a-boo, chase and walking practice.  He has a little push toy that he is mastering and we see that little temper and hear that scream I was talking about earlier when he's happily walking along and then runs into a wall or other barrier.

We still wear Ayden a lot but definitely not as much as we used to.  He still enjoys it but we have to stay on the move.  He'll nap well in a carrier in public but doesn't nap well at home like he did when he was little (as if he's not still little...).  I suppose he needs a lot of background or white noise because noises that I make wake him up when we are in our quiet house.  Unless we are out and about, we save baby wearing as a wake time activity these days.

A couple of new "tricks" that he will do on command *most* of the time is dancing, nose grabbing and tongue clicking.  If someone besides David or myself clicks their tongue at him, he looks at them like, "You can do it too?!?"

We are having so much fun with him and cannot believe he is going to be 9 months old tomorrow!  We are going to have his 9 month photo shoot on my parents farm tomorrow.  We are looking forward to the decreased stress of not having to worry about back drops!