Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seth's Summary: 30 weeks (7 months)

Seth is 7 months old! I cannot believe how big our little baby is. He is over the half-way mark to being one years old - not that I'm thrilled about my baby growing up so fast. Seth is such a sweet, good-natured little baby. He is so much fun!!!

But, do you notice how this seven-month old baby boy does not just sit there while his mommy tries to snap his monthly picture? I remember the days when Seth would just sit propped up in the corner of the chair. Now, he just dives for the football toy and I take the picture with one hand poised ready to catch Seth if he starts falling over!

Eating: Seth likes rice and oatmeal cereal. He says "Mmmm!" every time you put a spoonful of cereal in his mouth. He loves peas! Jason offered him pureed peas the other day and he loved them! Much to Jason's dismay. Now we switch up carrots, sweet potatoes and peas for Seth. He looks like a baby bird and holds his mouth open for carrots. It's so cute! I make all of his food at home. It has been so easy and cost-effective.

Seth does very well sitting in his high chair and does not try to squirm out of it. He doesn't try to grab the spoon and opens his mouth when he's ready for more.

I still nurse Seth two times a day during the week and then 4 feedings/day on the weekend. On the weekdays, he still takes two bottles during the day. He is growing bigger - I'm guessing he must be 19 pounds, since he was 17.5 pounds on his six-month appointment over a month ago.

Sleep: Seth takes two 1.5 - 2 hr naps each day and most days, he takes a cat nap at 5pm. By about 9am, Seth is ready for his first nap. He's had his cereal and a little hang out time with Jason before he goes down. For Seth's second nap, he goes down at 1pm and typically sleeps until 3pm. Many times I hear Seth talking to himself a little before I get him up. It's so cute! He just "who's" and "goos".

Seth still goes to bed for the night between 7-7:30pm each night. It's like he knows that he's supposed to go to bed because he gets a little fussy and cuddly, with his thumb in his mouth. It's so weird to me that Seth will go down for the night and then Jason and I have an hour or two of just us.

Playtime: Seth got a new toy this week - a musical table for him to stand in front of and bang buttons, keys and other little gadgets to make them light up and make music. He really likes everything and it's a great way for him to practice standing and strengthening his legs. But he does get a tired!

I always laugh when Seth plays with his Taggies books. Taggies are these fun kids toys and blankets that have "tags" on the toy that resemble tags because babies always seem to find the tags on the toy and just play with them. Despite the fact that Seth has a myriad of tags to choose from on his Taggie book, he always goes for the actual tag!!

We tried a new thing this week - playpen time. Seth plays with one or two toys by himself in his playpen for about 10-15 minutes two times a day. The idea is to encourage independent play and a chance for him to really focus on a few toys on his own. We believe that playpen time is not a way to enforce boundaries, but a way to encourage freedom for him to explore on his own without his parents or caregivers always offering entertainment.

Seth back-wards scoots and pushes himself to where he wants to go to. He often finds himself under the coffee table and then grabs onto the rungs and tries to pull himself up likes he's doing pull-ups!

That's all for this week!

Weekend Wrap-up

It was a very satisfying weekend - and a very summer-filled weekend!

On Friday night when I got home from work, Seth was still taking a cat nap. We got Seth up and ran two errands, then picked up Chinese take-out and headed home. After nursing Seth and putting him down for bed, Jason and I sat outside in front of a bonfire. You know you're a new parent when you fall asleep in front of a bonfire. Or, as everyone knows me, that's just being Carolyn because I can fall asleep anywhere!

Saturday morning was bliss. After nursing Seth and giving him oatmeal, we went for a nice long walk and then Seth took a nap. That gave Jason a chance to sleep in. I'm not big for sleeping in, but I know Jason likes it and since I'm the early bird, I more than jump at the chance at getting up early and starting the day. Jason slept in until 8:45am! I don't think he's been able to do that since before Seth arrived!

I found a fun musical table on Craigslist that I had been eyeing for Seth. I met the gal at a nearby gas station and brought my new toy home for Seth. He loved it! It gives him the chance to hold onto something and play musical and push buttons. Basically, it's just another noise maker but those things don't bother me. I like to see Seth play around with pushing buttons. I think it's learning cause and effect.

It was 93 degrees and sunny, but Jason and I got a little selfish and dragged Seth to our town's annual fair where they have an all-you-can-eat corn feed. Did I mention it was all-you-can-eat....corn on the cob? We were so there! We parked a few blocks away from the fair and walked Seth in his stroller. He loves people-watching! He did not need any toys to keep him interested. Seth watched the guys steaming the corn. He watched kids that ran past him. He watched the people standing in front of us talk to each other. Sitting with our stacks of corn, hamburgers and soda, I felt so content. It made me feel so blessed with my husband and baby boy. My dreams have come true and God has indeed blessed me. I have a wonderful husband and healthy, sweet boy.

Jason and I chided that in a few years, Seth (and maybe a sibling) would be begging us to go on all the kiddie rides. We both remembered from our own childhood how we didn't go those fairs very often - probably because fair rides are not cheap!

We quickly scooted back home to put Seth down for a nap, but he was fighting the nap big time! I think he was over-tired and hot. So, he took a little half hour nap in the swing before he nursed again. We played for a little bit, then Seth took another catnap.

Our friends, Brian and Kay, said they were in the area so they came over with their son (and Seth's future best buddy!), Luke, and we ordered pizza. It was so amusing to watch Luke try to play with Seth and how Seth reacted to Luke. Seth was into playing with his toy, but when Luke came over to touch him or take his toy, he just looked at Luke as if to say, "What are you going to do next?"

Saturday night got really ugly. I mean, tornado warning/bad thunderstorm ugly. It was one of the worst storms that I've seen in a while. Thankfully nobody was hurt from the tornadoes. They were awfully close to us. We brought Seth down to the family room with us when it started raining and getting really windy. He just fell back asleep on the couch with us and when the storm was over, we brought him back to his crib and he went back to sleep.

On Sunday, we went to church and then came home. Jason had a soccer game and I stayed home so Seth could take a nap. We went over to Uncle Dennis and Aunt Patsy's home so they could meet Seth and so we could visit with them. It was really nice to see them. They are very sweet and caring relatives. I have fond memories of being at their home. My parents were over there too, so we got to visit with them as well.

Because it's been so hot and steamy, we've taken Seth's helmet off here and there so he doesn't get over-heated. Already I notice a different that his head is growing and starting to fill in.

Some fun pictures from this weekend:

Check the air on Sophie the Giraffe!

I found out that my dad has the same v-shaped "watermark" on his forehead right between his eyebrows like Seth and I do. I never knew my dad had one. Apparently, a few of my other cousins on my dad's side also have the v-shaped watermarks. They appear more prominent on our foreheads at various times like when we're hot or been swimming. Or, as my husband likes to offer up, when I get frustrated. Which never happens. Ahem. Jason just says, "You're a bunch of aliens". So, if you see the "v", you have been warned - ha!

My mom with Seth and my Uncle Dennis, my mom's brother.

This summer has been like no other summer. Having a little baby brings new aspects to summer. The pace is slower and we're not as busy. I like this pace. A baby's first summer is a fun summer for us all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seth's Summary: 6 months (27 weeks)

I recently read a story about a couple whose baby boy passed away less than two weeks after being born due to a congenital heart defect. I cried for them because I cannot imagine the pain of giving birth to a beautiful son and then having to give him up, never to see him grow up on this earth. Life is so precious and you never know how long you will get to have your loved ones with you.

This makes me really look at Jason and Seth. I mean - REALLY look and soak up everything about them and every moment I have with them. When Jason was suffering with Trigeminal Neuralgia last summer and the "what if" questions tormented me, I had to stop and soak in everything about him. In the weeks after Jason's surgery, there would be times when I would just marvel that my husband is alive and he's making it through this.

I adore my son. When I think about this couple whose son passed away within days of being born, I think about Mary, Jesus's mother, and the pain she would have felt when Jesus was crucified. Oh, the love that a parent has for their children!

Okay - I need some happy thoughts. How about my cute son?

In the last few days, Seth's new friend is his thumb. It goes into his mouth constantly! When it's not in his mouth, his hands are grabbing whatever is within their reach - my hair, my face, your face, your glasses, the wall, the counter, yada, yada, yada! I love the instinctive reaction his hands have when there is something placed within reach.

Seth still sleeps like a log all through the night and he takes two good 1.5 - 2 hour naps and one 45-min nap each day.

We'll get some gut-laughs from Seth over the strangest things that Jason or I do. But my personal favorite is the singular courtesy laugh Seth gives - "ha!".

Seth started eating solid foods at 6 months. We have since tried carrots and he gave the funniest disgusted look after taking a few spoonfuls. He did not like carrots! But he does tolerate sweet potatoes. Up next - peas!!

Along with the thumb-sucking comes some very sweet cuddly moments with Seth and I am loving it! If it's early in the morning when I get Seth up or before bedtime, Seth will suck his thumb and lay his head on my shoulder. Sweetness that I just want to bottle up and look at 13 years down the road when he's a teenager!

Ahh, these are some sweet days and I'm oh so thankful to God for these sweet blessings!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The market

I love the town that we live in. It has the neatest farmer's market at the community center every Thursday afternoon - lots of vegetables, baked goods, gluten-free baked goods, meat and flowers. The market is at the community center, which is next to what is now called Town Green - a lake right in the middle of town with walking paths surrounding it, a gorgeous new library and an outdoor bandshell where they have concerts and movies. I am so excited for when Seth gets a little older when we can keep him out a little later to go to things like that!

Seth and I went to the farmer's market for the first time this season. I was on the hunt for some carrots or sweet potatoes for making Seth's first vegetable. I found a bunch of carrots - with the stems still attached! I hung them over Seth's stroller and Seth got a kick out of the dangling carrot stems.

Seth gets quite the comments and coos from passers-by - especially now with his helmet. I think people are afraid to ask why he needs a helmet, so they assume something is really wrong with his head. Seth just soaks in the attention!

It was kind of hot, so we didn't stay for long. I can always tell when Seth is getting too warm because his cheeks get rosey!

Today was one of those days that I always anticipated before having Seth. I love taking Seth out to places like this so he can absorb new surroundings. I loved today!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Seth's Summary: 26 weeks (6 months!)

The news is out: Seth really is a stunt, stunt baby. That's why he needs to wear this:

Not really. :)

After meeting with a craniofacial surgeon and an orthotist, we received enough evidence showing how Seth's head had become mis-shaped (plagiocephaly) as a result of the torticollis condition Seth had since birth. We made the decision for Seth to wear a cranio cap to help re-shape his head to a nice, rounded shape like it's supposed to be.

So, we're just fixin' his noggin. Seth may need to wear the helmet for up to 4 months. But because he has a moderate case of plagiocephaly, we are hoping and praying that Seth will wear it less than 4 months.

Seth's Summary: 25 weeks

What do you think this shows?
Yep - our little boy broadened his horizons this week and tried his first solids! Seth took to rice cereal as if he'd been eating for a long time already. He eagerly accepted the rice cereal from the spoon.
See how happy Seth is with this new food? He loved it!
"Mmmm....I want more!"

I think one of my favorite parts of the day is when I walk into Seth's nursery to wake him up in the morning. I always open his door and say really softly, "Good morning, Seth!" I peer over Seth's crib, he opens his eyes in little squints, raises his arms and breaks into a smile. Melts my heart every time!

We spent the day on Saturday at Jason's mom's home in Woodbury. There are only a handful of times we'll be over at her house until she moves to close to us. I've wanted to get pictures of Seth and Jason at Jason's childhood home. Because we were gone most of the day during Seth's naptime, Seth had to take a nap in his pack-and-play. He has only slept in it a handful of times and we wanted him to get used to taking naps in it for our summer trips. Seth took a 2-hr long nap in his pack-and-play at Joyce's home! Yay! I hope this means that Seth will be comfortable taking naps and sleeping in his pack-and-play.

Here are some pictures of Seth while hanging out at his Grandma Joyce's home:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Seth's Summary: 24 weeks

It has been a week of more firsts!

Seth rolled over from his back to his stomach for the first time. We practiced and practiced. Finally on Sunday, Seth just had to get the toy that was just out of his reach and he rolled over!

A second tooth made its appearance. I love it when Seth smiles and his two little baby teeth sitting on the bottom just shine for the world to see.

We've also been quite surprised walking into Seth's nursery to check on him while he's sleeping or to wake him up in the morning. When we laid him down for the night before, his head was on the right side of the crib and he was facing the door. When we went in to get Seth, his head was on the left side of the crib and he was facing the window. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall watching Seth wiggle his way around the crib!

Seth also assumed a very adult way of sleeping - on his side! One night we walked into his nursery and he was sleeping contentedly on his side. This seems like a very adult and un-babylike way of sleeping.

Our small group met at our house and our friend's daughter, Natalie, wanted to play with Seth. Seth got a kick out of Natalie and just bounced up and down in his exersaucer and reached out to try to touch her. It was so cute!!