Zachary: One year old!

Well it’s hard to believe, but our little man is now a year old! This will be my last monthly update on his growth, changes, exploration, and adventures. Don’t worry there will still be plenty of blogs and pictures of our adventures as a family (just not monthly ones of Zach).

This month Zachary loved the spring and summer weather. He points outside and says “outside” or “swing” to let us know he want to play in the front yard. He also still loves going on walks with his Dad through the property and throwing rocks (gravel) around Dad’s Tractor projects.

Zachary has also gotten taller this month. We had to adjust his swing and car seat. He can no longer stand under tables and chairs without bumping his head, which is frustrating for him. We also have to be careful about the tops of tables and counters- on tip toes he can grab anything close to the edge.

This month we also started swim class. Aqua play at the kiddie pool at our Gym introduces the water and water safety basics to little ones like blowing bubbles and floating and putting their faces in the water. So far Zach has had to warm up to the idea but loves it when Dad swings him around through the water. Last week he floated on his back (with support) putting the back of his head and ears in the water.

This month our final front tooth came through on the bottom. And then to our surprise we discovered Zach was also working on his top first molars early! So right now the teeth count is 8 but will soon be 10!

Zachary enjoys feeling more independent and helpful. He is able to brush his own teeth and drinks out of non-handled sippy cup. He helps Mama around the house by turning on and off light switches, pulling or pushing doors or drawers, and he loves pulling clothes out of the dryer and pushing the dryer or washer “on” button.

For play time Zach loves  a soccer bounce ball NaiNai got for him and is beginning to pretend play with the tractors and dump trucks he got for Christmas. Zach will hold things up to us and ask what it is or to show us what he had and is playing with. He will also hand Mama books when he wants to read and cuddle.

Zach is confidently standing on his own. He is not sure yet about walking without help. With encouragement he will to take a few steps from one person to another. When he is holding onto his walker or the couch he will stomp his feet and sway, dancing to music.

We are looking forward to celebrating Zachary’s birthday with family and friends this weekend.

 

Favorite Things

As the holiday chaos hits full swing I am receiving almost daily packages of ordered Christmas presents. I’m sure the post person, UPS and FedEx drivers are getting tired of my long driveway, gated yards, and over-protective “guard-dog”.

Anywhere you go you see advertisements for everything you could possible want for Christmas. Before half of December has finished, you can easily be up to your ears in Cheery Christmas deals. No matter how hard you resist, you feel yourself pulled in by sales and stretching that holiday budget.

The advertisements this year are all about how to make my baby’s Christmas “magical”. In order for that to happen  I need to buy the newest educational toys. I need to pay for photos of my child in a Santa hat in front of a Christmas tree. And I need to take my son to see Santa. Oh and I need to buy him holiday PJ’s and  . . .the list continues. The pressure is: they only have a first Christmas once.

As I open one of many brown boxes, I see the excitement in both my son and dog’s eyes.

But it’s not for the gift inside.

Our dog loves the plastic air insulators. With supervision, she enjoys popping them with her teeth and throwing them up in the air. (When the air is gone we throw them away).

And my son? He has discovered the joy of a cardboard box. It is great to sit in, play peek-a-boo with, push or throw around the floor, it makes a great drum and if big enough (with mom or dad’s help) it can be a nice car or space ship.

A cardboard box and packaging: my family’s favorite things.

It’s a refreshing reminder this holiday season that we do not really need all that much.

I saw posted on Facebook this week “Buy Presents Be Present”.

It’s easy for me to get so preoccupied by preparing for tomorrow that I miss out on the festivities today.

This ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ needs to be more about the memories we make than the tree, outings, outfits, or presents.

Being present in the holiday moment right in front of me; it is the best gift I can offer my family this holiday,

. . .that and maybe a few more cardboard boxes.

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 (October Review 2017 ).

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.

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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.

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SoCal Baby Shower

This past weekend I traveled down to Southern California to celebrate baby Greene with friends and family.

My mom made reservation for a baby shower brunch at Mimi’s cafe for 15 people and a high chair. Because of the time of day we had the whole room to ourselves which made it easy for us to move around and greet everyone.

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The gift table was decorated in bright greens, yellows, and oranges, just like our nursery will be. On the table my mom place a bowl for cards and advice cards for the-mother-to-be.

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Also on the table were fresh flowers and pictures of me and Luke as babies in between the most recent ultrasound  of baby Greene. Last of all was a glass display of post-brunch dessert of mini cupcakes: red velvet and strawberry shortcake from one of my favorite places: cake mama’s.

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It was an all girls event of all ages, minus of course baby Greene. It was wonderful connect with people I haven’t seen in anywhere from two to four years and celebrate with all age groups. After many hugs and belly rubs I sat down under a chair with brightly colored balloons announcing “its a boy”. We then enjoyed a very yummy brunch together while catching up on life.

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As we finished brunch we took the opportunity to take a few family pictures of me with my mom and grandmothers.

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Then it was present time. As I opened gift bag after gift bag I tossed the tissue paper on the floor which made for a very entertaining game for the four girls under 10 that attended.

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I received many items from our baby registry as well as several fun additional toys and outfits. I am so thankful for everyone’s thoughtfulness, creativity, and generosity in their cards, advice, and in their gifts for me and baby Greene.

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Thank you everyone! It was so much fun and I enjoyed every moment.

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