Zachary: 5 Months

Zach had one busy month. He spent one week with is grandmother, during which Mom and Dad got a night away for their Anniversary. Then he spent another full week with his NaiNai and was his Papa and Dad’s mascot for hunting season with an all camo outfit for the occasion; but he has a few years before he can join the fun.

Zach turned 5 months on Halloween and went to our church’s Fall Fest for thirty minutes before it was time for bed time routine. For fall fest he sported a coordinating star wars outfit with Dad. For more on our very busy October see ( ).

Although on the early side, the pediatrician noticed Zach’s interest in food and ability to sit well so she gave the thumbs up for solid food. His first food was avocado from his grandma and grandpa’s tree in California. He didn’t like it very much, but once banana was added, it has become one of his favorites.

Most of his food ends up in his mouth although plenty ends up on hands, feet, legs, face, and of courses the high chair. We decided, after a week of very dirty clothes, that for now, Zach eats in a diaper and bib only.

He is learning signs like “more” “food” and “all done”. If you say “all done” and he is still hungry, he will get angry and cry . If you say his name-he will look up at you too.

Zach will mimic our mouth movements while we eat. He now likes mum mum crackers-rice rusks that dissolve in baby’s mouths. He feels so independent being able to hold and “chew” on these teething crackers. They are a great appetizer so Mom can get Zach’s food ready or as a morning snack so Mom can get work done in the kitchen.

As mentioned earlier, Zach is sitting with assistance well. He can use the boppy pillow to sit up for a short while on his own and can even balance for a few seconds on a harder surface without help. He will also use his hands on the ground in the frog position to help him sit up.

A few weeks ago, Zach started babbling. It seemed sudden and happened briefly after Luke showed him how to open and close his mouth while still making vowel sounds-then the flood gates opened and talking hasn’t stopped since. He is so close to the right sound combination for “dada” and is working on his “mmmm” sound mimicking the “moo” of the cow from a toy at NaiNai and Papa’s house. It will be interesting to see which word comes first.

\Zach is currently rolling from stomach to back without a second thought-often log rolling right off his play blanket with a wide grin on his face. He can pivot himself on his stomach to face a different direction, and loves to scoot or rock on a leg. Zach has been working hard to get his legs under himself and push himself forward with a frog-like kick.

He so badly wants to crawl and gets frustrated that with all of that frog-kicking he still hasn’t gone anywhere. But Mom and Dad are in no hurry to see our very active boy that mobile.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

October review 2017

October was a crazy busy month that needs recapping. At the beginning of the month, my Mom came to stay with us for the week. She blessed us by watched Zach overnight so Luke and I could go away for our 5th year Anniversary. Yes, it’s been five years.

It took several months to pump and save up the milk needed for that one night away, but it was worth it. We drove out to Westport where we visited for Valentine’s day last year (for more see Day-cation) and stayed in a cottage on the jetty with ocean views. We toured Westport Winery, they had good red wines. Then we tried a unique dinner from Aloha Alabama, a Hawaiian/Southern BBQ fusion restaurant.  I had my first Poke bowl and Luke of course had brisket and ribs, it was great. We thoroughly enjoyed the first full night of sleep in more than four months. In the morning we stopped by Granny Hazels for specialty chocolates, and a thank you treat for Mom, then got coffee and headed back home. It was the perfect get-away.

That week Mom and I did fall baking and holiday décor shopping. I treated Mom to the Country Chicks Fall Festival  at the local fair grounds. We loved exploring vendor after vendor or shabby chic and country themed fall décor and goods. The place with abundant with pumpkins, wreaths, and holiday signs. We walked away with a felt green pumpkin and a used very cheap Pendleton wool blanket as well plenty of ideas for home decor.

The next weekend Mom and I drove down to Stevenson WA, along the gorge, where I helped Mom-in-law with a day conference while my Mom, once again watched Zach. The next day we met my Dad for lunch in Woodburn, did a little Christmas shopping, then Zach and I drove back home in time for our small group at church that night.

We had one full week and weekend to re-group, during which we fought seasonal colds. Then we left at the beginning of the next week for Luke’s parent’s place. Luke and John left early Tuesday morning for a week of hunting at their “elk camp”. Mom-in-law and I had the week together with Zach. During the week, I got a few Christmas cookies made (yes I have to start this early to get them all done; at least this year). We also did Christmas shopping, went to a few meetings, and Zach did a great photo shoot. Zach’s great-grandmother visited on the weekend, then the men came back on Sunday afternoon.

We packed up and left the next morning headed back home then took the CRV in for work. The next day was of course Halloween. On Halloween Zach turned 5 months (more on this to come)! I drove Luke back and forth to work and used the car to run errands and take Zach to a doctor’s appointment.

Because of the crazy-busy month we did not have time to work out any creative or special family costumes like you see all over facebook or pinterest. But Zach and Luke were able to show-case what I got Luke for father’s day: coordinating star wars shirts. I was also wearing a black and grey shirt with yellow words “star wars” on it (although no pics of me).

We ate my homemade pumpkin sausage sauce over gnocchi, our Halloween/Fall Fest special dinner. Then we got in the car (for the fifth time that day) and drove over to the church’s Fall Fest. We toured the games and activities checking them out for future years. Since we live on a country road, we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters but think the church’s fall fest will be a fun alternative in future years.

So, that is our October, and why I was too busy to be blogging. How has your fall been going?

 

Save

Save

Kira: 2 years

I know so much of my blog has been centered around Zach. But I am due to give you an update on our dog Kira. Kira celebrated her 2nd birthday in July with us, it’s hard to believe because we feel like we have had her so much longer.

Having a dog door at this new house has been life changing, although sometimes she still looks at the door and waits for our permission to go out. Two huge fenced in yards to play in is a blessing too. Kira spent a good deal of her summer running around the trees in the front yard or laying on her back sunning herself in the grass.

Kira loves that we have property to explore. Every couple of days she goes to Luke begging for a WALK, not just to play in the yards. She knows the route through the trees well and we can trust her off leash. If  her nose leads her down a different trail, Luke can whistle and she will come back to the house within a few minutes.

She is learning some new tricks living in the Northwest.  When we go to a coffee kiosks she thinks “if I poke my head out , they will see my cute face and give me a treat.”

Kira loves her cousin Pepper, the two of them wear each other out playing, which is great for us. We have to not say Pepper’s name for a few days after a visit or Kira looks for her and gets excited. Kira loved going to the beach and Lakehouse this summer. She seemed less scared of the dock then last Christmas and wanted to stick her whole head in the lake on a canoe ride.

She did great when the niece and nephews were here; she loved playing with the smaller humans.

On that note, it has taken Kira a few months to warm up to Zach. At first she didn’t know what he was and was shy. She was a little upset that I wasn’t playing  with her during the day and asked for attention often when I was breastfeeding, I guess she thought I was just sitting and relaxing.

All of a sudden Kira has realized Zach is part of the pack, a young fur-less puppy. She gets excited every morning, or when we come home to greet him. Now we have to keep her from licking his face constantly. A few days ago I filled a water bottle with dried rice as a rattle for Zach. Well, Kira loves water bottles and was unsure why this wasn’t her toy. I gave her one of her own and that seemed to concrete something in Kira’s mind. Now she is protective of Zach too and is shaping up to be a good furry big-sister.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Zachary: 4 Months

This past month Zach has gone through a large growth spurt! The end of August it seemed he was constantly hungry and wanted to cuddle with Mom frequently:  he was changing day to day.

For labor day weekend he went on a long roadtrip (well long for an infant anyway) to visit the grandparents at their Lakehouse . There he saw the lake, deer, and had a beach picnic lunch in the sand. It was windy at the beach so he cuddled up with grandpa and grandma with his hood up.

As summer came to a close, he enjoyed time out on a blanket in the front yard, staring at the trees and watching Kira play. Speaking of Kira, he is showing more of an interest in her and has figured out she is furry, barks, and growls. They also both like toys that squeak and rattle. (More of an update on Kira to come).

Beginning of the month

End of the month

Zach will roll both directions now from his back to stomach, and sometimes from stomach onto his back. He can hold a rattle well and likes sitting up in our laps or the couch. He is learning to use his body to communicate what he wants.

He’s not always happy after a nap

He lifts up his arms to say he wants to be picked up, tightens his core if he wants to sit up, and arches his back if he wants out of a lap or  or even his car seat.

He’ll take all the attention he can get, talk up a storm, and even sit still for a book and try to turn the pages.

 

Zachary has learned the baby signs symbol for “milk”. He does this symbol not only when he is hungry but also when he wants mom or when he sees us eating. On that note,Zach will mimic our mouth movements while we eat, start drooling, and try to grab our plates or bowls. By the next month update he will probably have tried some rice cereal.

He likes being able to face out in our carriers while we explore Costco and on his property walks with dad.  Now that the sun is going down sooner; he’s been going to bed earlier, and is wearing 3-6 month PJ’s at night.

In 3-6 Month PJs

 

Save

Save

Save

Day in the 1800s

When Luke’s brother and family came to town (for more see Zachary:2 months) we took the opportunity to ride the Centralia-Chehalis railroad.  We had the option of sitting in a covered outdoor car or indoors both with bench seating. With two little ones we went for the indoor option.

Once the steam train started we finished our lunch while farms and houses went by.  There was no narration across the speakers just talking among passengers. As we traveled along the Chehalis River, the friendly staff offered the children a few pieces of candy. We took the shorter of the rides so about a half hour in, the train stopped, drove by us, and hooked up on the other end. Our older nephew Matthew really enjoyed watching this.

On our way back to the train station we saw a civil war re-enactment taking place on a farm not far away; we decided to check it out. We drove out to the farm payed to enter and got our wristbands. Ruth and I stayed at the car to feed the babies while Luke and Nathan took the kids to watch the reenactment. It was loud, even from the car, and we were surprised how many times they used the cannon. The reenactment was just ending as we came into the grounds.  Both sides had period accurate costumes, flags, weapons, and infantry. We saw quite a few women soldiers too.

Afterward we walked around the camps: everyone was in period clothing, some napping in their canvas tents, others making lunch in cast irons and pots. For all of the tents and period displays there were very few historical interactive opportunities for the children and little shade.

We saw on the schedule that a string group was preforming period pieces. Ready to get out of the heat, we found seats on hay barrels under the canvas tent and listened to familiar tunes. Afterward to cool off we enjoyed 50 cent frostys at wendy’s.

And that was our warm summer day set in the 1800’s.

Save

Save

Rainbow Falls State Park

I know I am playing catch-up from summer activities but that is what happens when you have an infant. Last month when my brother and sister-in-law met Zach (see:Zachary: 2 Months for more) we decided to go on a family hike. Rainbow Falls State Park is about thirty to forty five minutes from where we live.

When we got through the main gate and parked we started sunscreen, bug spray, leashed both dogs and put Zach in the carrier. We walked towards the falls ready for a hike. But there was no hiking along the river or by the five foot fall. Instead Matt and Stina followed a short path to the river bank and across a few rocks to get a closer view. We saw several families swimming and eating lunch at the waterfront.

Confused by the lack of trails, we went back to the gate and were told to drive to the other side of the river. So, we packed everyone back in the car and found parallel parking across the highway from a small trail-head entrance.

The hiking paths were all different distance loops connecting to each other. We took one and figured we would on the way decide if we wanted to keep going or not. The trail was quiet and beautiful with speckled sunlight coming through the pines and the ground was covered in ferns and moss. Even in early July the it was muddy in a few places requiring a planks.

We climbed a slight elevation and down as well as hit a few turns along the way. It was not a high exertion trip which was probably good as this was my first real exercise since having Zach. To sum up it was a nice walk but we have similar views from our flat property at home. I would not probably visit this park again, but find a closer hiking trail with longer straighter routes and maybe a waterfall worth exploring.

Still it was great to get outside and spend time with family.

 

Save

Zachary: 3 Months

This month our goal was to introduce Zach to more time with other people and less time with mom and dad. So all of us get a break once in a while.

We started the month with Zach’s first time away from family. The gym hosts a parent’s night out once a month for members. We dropped Zach off with diaper bag and bottle and had time for dinner and to play a board game before picking him up. Zach did great and loved the attention, Mom only looked at her phone about 5 times.

The following weekend, Zach spent a full day with his grandparent’s while mom and dad went to a renaissance faire (for more on this see Renaissance Faire). The next day he spent all of church in the nursery where he took a bottle then promptly fell asleep in the crib.

That next week Zach and I went to the gym so I could attend a Zumba class, it was great to get back to exercise and to take a live class again. Zach did great and only became fussy because he got hiccups near the end of the hour.

We are excited that he is doing so well at interacting and spending time with other people.

Zachary is talking up a storm and adding new sounds all the time. He has learned he doesn’t have to cry to get what he wants, just make the right noise. According to his two-month appointment (more like 10 week) he is ahead in many developmental markers.

Some of those markers include rolling from his back to his stomach, holding up his head on his stomach, reaching out and intentionally grabbing objects, and laughing and smiling spontaneously. He is also quick to get frustrated because his body cannot do what his mind wants it to such as crawl or hold onto objects. He drools like crazy because he’s already teething! And as you can tell enjoys chewing on his hands.

The biggest blessing of the month is that Zach no longer rages against sleep. He can self-sooth, suck on his thumb, to sleep at least for one nap during the day and if he’s almost asleep then he can be transferred to his cradle without many problems. In addition to this, he is now feeding only once in the middle of the night! So Mom is getting four to five hours of sleep in a row! I forgot what it felt like to function with a few REM cycles each night.

Zach is as full of curiosity, determination, and energy as ever.

Save

Save