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!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Seth's Summary: 23 weeks

So, I know this is going a little out of order since I try to summarize Seth's weeks and I've skipped several weeks, but it gets a little hard to keep up with blogging in between getting home from work, sterilizing bottles, spending time with Jason and Seth, nursing, changing diapers, playing, going on walks, etc, etc, etc! And, it's my blog and I can do what I want....even if next week I'll be summarizing Seth's 20th week. He'll be getting younger, instead of older - ha!

What Seth has been up to:
- I think Seth is starting to learn his name, because when I try to get him to look at me, I repeat his name once or twice and he turns to me. Or, as Jason pointed out to me, maybe it's just that he turns to us when we keeping saying the same thing over again, "Seth....Seth....Seth!".:)
- Seth has taken to his sunglasses, but because he's also in the stage of grabbing anything anywhere near him, he takes his sunglasses off!
- Oh, and not only does Seth pull his sunglasses off, but now he reaches for my glasses and my hair! I dangle my hair in front of Seth and he loves to play and twirl my hair in his hands.
- With the warm summer air finally here, Seth hangs out in short-sleeve onesies with his chubby little legs easily accessible for spur of the moment squeezes and kisses.
- Did I say how much Seth reaches for things now? It's not just reaching for a toy that's dangled in front of him. He reaches for toys on the floor beside him. He reaches for the toys hanging from all sorts of contraptions on his exersaucer and playmat. He reaches for the straps and netting on his stroller. I have a feeling this little guy is going to be in a lot of stuff when he gets mobile!
- Speaking of being mobile, Seth is not rolling all over the place.....yet. He rolls from his tummy to back and back to side. We keep teasing him with toys that are just out of reach to encourage him to roll over, but he gives up or gets disinterested.
On Memorial weekend, we didn't have a lot of commitments which made for a relaxing weekend for just the three of us. The weather was so fabulous, so we headed out to a nearby park to BBQ and have a picnic with our friends. Seth was so easy going and he just hung out in the front carrier on me with his cool shades on. It was right during the middle of his typical 5pm catnap, so the little mister just sacked out in his stroller for a catnap. There's nothing more relaxing than taking a nap on a blanket in the park with sounds of summertime all around you.

We are in a nice little groove of three naps each day: a two-hour nap in the morning, a two-hour nap in the early afternoon and then a short catnap around 5pm. Seth usually sleeps all the way through his naps and he wakes up pleasant nearly all of the time.

This little routine makes a great schedule for our days. Seth is able to be up for longer stretches before he gets tired and goes down for his nap. We can go for walks, run errands or have a playdate while he's up and it doesn't interfere with his naps.

Seth is also doing so well with sleeping at night. He nurses at 7pm, goes to sleep between 7:30-8pm and wakes up at 7pm. Knock on wood, Seth has not been waking up at night. I keep waiting for this to change, like when he's able to roll over from his back to tummy or gets his foot stuck in between the crib spokes.
It's hard to believe that Seth is over five months! I have enjoyed and treasured every stage that Seth has gone through. But I have to say that I really enjoy all the ways Seth's personality and development has been shining through in the last month or two. I just want to bottle it up so I'll never forget!

I love watching babies play with their feet. They are so flexible!!

Budding photographer??

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seth's Summary - 22 weeks

What Seth is up to these days?

- Seth likes to touch my face and Jason's face. He wants to touch our cheeks, chin and mouth. I know when Seth is done nursing when he starts to play with my mouth and chin. It's so endearing!

- He's not so interested in sitting in his bouncy chair, now that he can bounce around in his ex,ersaucer. He definitely likes anything where he can sit up or be supported up, like the exersaucer and the bumbo.

- Seth will play with toys when he's on his back and if he drops the toy on the ground next to him, he'll reach for and pick up the toy from his side. If he dropped it before, he'd forget about the toy, but now he's realizing that he can pick it up.

- One of his favorite toys is Sophie the Giraffe. Oh, my - it's one of the easier teething toy that he constantly puts in his mouth.

- He's back to the shrieking. When we play with Seth, he gets this big, open-mouth grin and shrieks.

- It's hard for Seth to sit still in our laps, unless he's tired or feels like cuddling. He wants to be held up so he can push off with his legs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother's Day

Every week I come on here and document another first. Just when I think the first couldn't be big enough, another first comes! It's just so much fun to see this tiny little human being grow and do new things. But this week, I had a first.....Mother's Day!

My men were so sweet to me on Mother's Day. Every day leading up to Mother's Day made me more excited than before. I was almost more excited for Mother's Day than I was my birthday - that's not hard to believe because celebrating birthdays after 30 years is not quite as fun as before. Jason surprised me with a box full of chocolate-covered strawberries the night before. We had a little date night watching a movie and eating the strawberries.

Seth and Jason wrote me the sweetest cards and gave me an awesome surprise: a spa massage! Woohoo! I need that after carrying and nursing my growing baby boy.

We met up for brunch with my parents, grandparents, Kyle, Jenni and Jenni's mom, grandma and brother. My parents gave me a corsage to wear. I don't know why, but I always wanted to wear one on Mother's Day. After stuffing our mouths with a nice brunch, we headed back to our home for dessert. I know. Why go on to the next place for dessert when you're stuffed? Do you need a reason to have dessert?

I was listening to a podcast in which Dee Brestin was encouraging mothers. She said something that I never want to forget as a mommy: when you think that all you do is wipe snot and change diapers, never forget that you are nurturing an eternal soul. I love that. My objective as a mommy is that I'm nurturing Seth, an eternal soul. All the boogies, all the blowouts, all the fussy moments pale in comparison to the larger picture of being a mom to Seth - that he is not mine, but God loaned him to me and Jason to nurture his soul. Big gulp.

Right now this is easy. Soothing words and cuddles when Seth's gums hurt. Singing "Jesus Loves Me" and rocking him before a nap. Praying for Seth before he goes to sleep for the night. Cleaning him after a blowout.

I get a little nervous thinking that it is going to get harder as Seth gets older. I'm so glad it's not just up to me.:) Seth has a loving daddy and I'm so blessed that he is my husband. We're in this together.

I felt so proud and blessed on my first mother's day: I have a beautiful baby boy and a loving husband. These are the days that I dreamed about for so long. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and for all of these blessings in your timing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Seth's Summary - 19 weeks

We had a lot of big activities this week. Saturday, May 1st, was my brother Jayson's surprise party in southern Minnesota. I took Seth on his first road trip to Jayson's home where the party was, while Jason went ahead of me in the morning with my parents to meet Jayson for a morning of golf. It was the perfect day for a road trip. Seth fell asleep within 20 minutes of driving, so he had a nice 1.5 hr nap. Score!

Seth was loved on by so many people at the party! He did really well, even though he protested an afternoon nap in the pack and play at Jayson and Jen's house. Seth is a resilient little boy and did just fine. He just took everything and everyone in. It was fun to see how he was just gobbled up by his two uncles.

What was Seth up to this week?
- Seth has started to sit up on his own. He's still practicing, but we prop his belly between his legs and he can sit up without our help for a few seconds!
- From laying on his back, we hold Seth's hands and pull him to a sitting position and then a standing position. Seth has the biggest surprised look on his face and he opens his mouth wide like he's going on a roller coaster ride! It's so cute....
- One afternoon I had Seth sitting with his back to my legs and he began arching back until he realized his foot was touching his toy snail. He stopped arching his back and starting playing with the snail using his foot! He did this for 5 minutes -using his foot to push the snail back and forth so it would make music. He's got good foot/eye coordination - future soccer hopeful!
- Seth added a new sound to his vocabulary. he loves to scream! He does these high-pitched screams
- Seth is still sleeping through the night!

Here are some pictures from this week:

Here we are with the birthday boy! Uncle Ray doesn't miss a photo op!

Jen's mom, Marcia, is so sweet. I've had so much fun getting to know her and spend time with her. And she loves babies! Seth was quite content being held by Marcia.

Seth and his uncle. Someday they're going to be throwing a football around, but we'll make sure Seth's uncles and Jason teach him how and NOT his mommy!

Seth loves to reach for things that are dangled over him. I was explaining my Tiffany's bracelet to Seth and how it's important that every man with a girlfriend or wife knows the significance of the little blue box!

Choosing Seth

Kelly's Korner is one of my favorite blogs to read and today she has a "Show Us Your Life" tour about why you chose the name you did for your child. And, of course, I can't resist talking about Seth!

Jason and I have talked about our kids' names for years. In fact, we thought for sure that our son's name would be Hunter, only because one of our favorite Minnesota Twins' players (at the time) was Tori Hunter.... not to say we were going to name our son after a baseball player.:) We just liked the name Hunter.

But then when we were actually pregnant and found out we were having a boy. It was very important to us to name our son after Jason's dad, Roger, who passed away in 2008 from cancer. We had told Roger that we would name our son after him. So, Hunter Roger didn't really have a good ring to it...."er" and "er"

I'm not exactly sure how "Seth" came on the radar. I think it was on my list.:) But, we liked that it was a name in the Bible (Seth was Adam and Eve's third son, after Cain and Abel). It also means "appointed by God", which means to us that God appointed our son to be born to us at this exact time.

I love thinking about names. Confession - I already think about our next child's name! But, I prefer to keep everyone in suspense, so my lips are sealed for our favorite girl names.:)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seth's Summary: 16 weeks

I remember when Seth was only SIX weeks old. Now he is SIXTEEN weeks's amazing how time flies by and everyone tells you that, but you just don't want to believe it.

Naps: For the last week, Seth's naps have gotten longer to about 1-2 hours each. He doesn't wake up every 45 minutes like he used to. He also only wimpers a little when you first put him down for a nap. Then, he finds his fingers and he's content. Sometimes you can hear him talking to himself for about 5 minutes before he's out. Is it too soon to say we've turned over a new leaf in the nap department?

Night sleeping: Knock on wood. That's all I'm going to say. But can I brag just a tad with how well Seth sleeps at night? I keep reading about the 4-month sleep regression that so many babies experience. So, I'm going to say here and now what a good sleeper Seth has been. He has slept through the night (8pm - 7am) consistently without waking up since 8 weeks old. And even before 8 weeks, I had to wake Seth up for middle-of-the-night feedings. Seth's 4th month may be the end of our glorious sleep, but I'm going to enjoy each night until something changes.

Fun Seth facts:

- Seth purposely focuses on a toy placed in front of him, aims for it with his hands and guides his hands to grabbing the toy. It is so fun to see him reach out and grab things, when before he would wave his arms and hands around the hanging toys, but not always purposely grab them.
-He's "grggle"-ing his thoughts to us all the time! He coos, who's and now "grgg"-les.
- He brings objects up to his mouth and "gums" on them. It's typically the green frog or soft soccer ball.
- He has good focusing ability. When Jason throws a ball up in the air and catches it, Seth watches Jason throw the ball up and holds his focus on Jason's hand until he catches the ball. Pretty soon he's going to be catching the ball if Jason tosses it at him, that's how advanced he is. ;) Ha!

-He smiles and coos back when people talk animatedly to him. If someone just talks at him, he doesn't always indulge you with a smile but he'll just study you and wait to see if you're going to entertain him with an animated voice. :)

- He's started to play little "games" with me when I'm nursing. If I start talking while nursing, Seth stops, leans back and watches me with a stoic expression. Then, I giggle. I stop giggling and he continues to nurse, but then I can't stop giggling. Seth stops, leans back, gives me a sly expression and then dives back to nurse. We go back and forth like this for at least five minutes.