Friday, February 24, 2017

Andrew: 5 months old

Um, I'm not sure how you manage it but somehow you got even cuter this month. Did you know that Dad is totally wrapped around your little finger? He adores you. He tells me how he forgets how cute you are and falls in love all over again each time he comes home from work. Daddy changes all of your diapers when he's home and he's even been known to feed you nasty green beans so I don't have to!

Our biggest focus this month was your weight. The doctor recommended a 5 month weight check to ensure you don't continue to drop on the growth charts. I spent a lot of time pumping, taking fenurgreek, and adding solids to your diet. Three weeks into our increased efforts you had only gained 6 oz! I had a mini freakout. After consulting with your Aunt Stephanie and scouring the internet I decided the best thing for you was to add a nightly bottle of formula. In one week you gained another 5 oz which put you at 13 lbs 6 oz.

Thankfully, you are healthy and happy. I love your enormous smiles and the way you kick your legs with excitement. You still don't love tummy time but you're improving. Sometimes your arm gets stuck and you can't roll which makes you incredibly grumpy. You're SO close to hitting my favorite stage-- legs straight up in the air! I've noticed you beginning to lift your legs as high as they go and then they drop back down. Pretty soon those bad boys will stick right up the moment I lay you down. I can hardly wait! 

You despise sitting in the bumbo unless someone is feeding you. If we take even the shortest of breaks you begin to fuss and try to buck out of the chair. Alternately, you quite enjoy sitting up when we balance you between our legs. You try to reach and grab for toys which makes you topple over. You only last a few seconds trying to sit unsupported.

Feeding you solids has gone well. You eat baby oatmeal mixed with milk every afternoon. Each evening we give you a fruit or veggie to try. Since we wait a few days between new foods you've only tried a few: peas, avocado, sweet potatoes, banana, carrot, apples, and your least favorite of all... green beans! Adding solids has helped you nap better. You began to wake up happy and you finally dropped that 4th nap for good this month (Your current schedule is listed beneath the pictures)! And I'm proud to say that you're our best in-arms sleeper. You don't make it easy on us because you like it quiet when we hold you, but you actually take decent naps at church. We probably seem antisocial because when we hold you we try our best to avoid eye contact and conversations. The things we do for you, Andrew!

We've started to lay you on a blanket because you've mastered grabbing toys on your play mat. Having no toys overhead has encouraged you to look around and reach across mid-line to grab toys. It's cute to watch you crane your neck up and over as far as you can. It doesn't seem like you'll roll soon, but you're making baby steps (haha) toward getting there. 

By the end of the month you became a distracted nurser. You can tell where sounds are coming from now! You're constantly turning your head to find Vince & Kate because you can hear them when you should be eating. I can't even watch a nightly show when I nurse you because you try to watch the TV too. Good thing flirting with you is way more fun than watching When Calls the Heart or This Is Us.

Your typical schedule is as follows:

8 :00: Wake up, nurse, kick around on the play mat
9:30: Nap
11:30: Wake around 11 but play happily in bed til I get you to nurse at 11:30. Play on blanket, read books.
1:00: Nap-- This is your worst nap. I frequently have to give you a paci x3 around 2:00.
3:00: Nurse, baby oatmeal mixed w/milk, play outside, go for walk, chill in swing.
4:30/5:00: Nap -- we want you to sleep at 4:30 but your wake time seems to be increasing so you take a while to fall asleep
6:00: Nurse, veggie/fruit mixed w/cereal. Family time, reading, bath, snuggles.
7:30: Nurse again, supplement with 2-4 oz bottle of formula (started at 4 mo 3 wks)
7:45/8:00: Bedtime!
11:00: Dream feed

When you sleep you love to have your kangaroo to nuzzle. You're addicted to pacifiers for sleep and we definitely baby you compared to your older siblings when it comes to Baby Wise/CIO. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

4 Months Old

Andrew William, you are just the cutest little thing. Whenever I catch your eye you give me the biggest, gummy grins. Your hands are constantly finding their way to your mouth so those smiles only last a short while before you start sucking on your fingers.

I cannot brag enough about how well you sleep at night. You go to bed around 8, dream feed at 11 and then sleep til 8 am. If you happen to wake in the middle of the night you put yourself back to sleep. I couldn't be prouder! But let's have a chat about your naps... what's going on!? You used to sleep 1.5 to 2 hours during nap time. Now days you're king of the 45 minute nap club. Instead of 3 naps you frequently need 4 to make up for the short naps.  Not cool, Little Guy. If I had to guess why you've become a short napper I'd point to a growth spurt or the fact that we stopped swaddling you. At least you fall asleep without any help. For now we need to keep working on extending those naps.

You really are my little guy. At 4 months old you weigh a whopping 12 lbs 11 oz and are just shy of 2 feet tall (1' 11.5" to be precise). That has you in the 4th percentile for weight and 2nd percentile for height! That almost has me hoping that your crap naps are because you're cluster feeding and preparing to grow.

You spend most of your time grabbing toys dangling from the play mat or chilling in my left arm. Your neck is strong enough that we even let Vince pick you up for a few brief moments. Whenever you cry, which is rare, your siblings come running to make you happy with a song or a pacifier.

I feel so happy when I see you. When I scoop you up I have to remind myself not to squeeze too hard. It stresses me out when you don't nap but I secretly love cuddling you to sleep. Your squawking cracks me up and your cooing melts my heart. You bring so much joy to our family.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Angels Among Us

When I straighten my hair I often recall a special, touching moment from my Sophomore year of college. It was the end of a long day of studying for my nursing classes and working at the library. I showered and was preparing to straighten my hair when I became so overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, and exhaustion that I began to cry. At the time, I was waiting for a missionary serving in the SLC mission. That particular weekend was General Conference and there was a chance that I would see him. I wanted to see him so desperately and the weight of life's demands plus the emotions that came with the potential of seeing him was too much.

While crying in a heap in front of the mirror, my dear friend Ashley came over. She didn't ask what she should do. Instead, she picked up my straightener and silently began doing my hair for me. Slowly, I was able to calm down and feel of her peace and goodness.

The next day came and I didn't see my missionary. I was sad and that's all I focused on at the time. As I look back on the experience the sadness has faded and the sacred nature of Ashley's actions are what remains. She was my angel that day. An action as simple as straightening my hair was exactly what I needed in that moment of emotional chaos. She didn't hesitate or shrug off her thought to help me. She came and filled up my cup.  

To her it might seem like nothing, but to me it was everything. Never think your act of service is too small, too silly, or insignificant. As you act on promptings to help those in need you are making a greater impact than you realize.

 Read the rest of the talk here.