Monday, September 23, 2013

8 Months

My baby boy turned 8-months-old on Saturday, and I swear, he just gets bigger (no, really?) and sweeter by the day.

We're now three-quarters of the way through his first year, and just... what? I've said it before, and I'll say it again, IT'S GOING BY SO QUICKLY. Sometimes, if you're close to something, it's harder to notice the little changes that happen day-to-day. But I swear I go into his room some mornings and I can just tell he's grown, or his face matured a little bit overnight. I know to expect it and yet, it still blows my mind.

Aiden now sits unsupported really well, but he still needs the occasional pillow to soften the blow if he tips over. Because he spit up SO MUCH in the past, and still does on a full stomach, I didn't/don't sit him up as often as I'd like. I think that's part of the reason he developed that skill a little later than other kids. (Though he's still right on schedule.) In fact, he looks like he'll be able to pull himself into a sitting position any day now. But at the moment, it kind of looks like he's just doing some weird floor routine.

He's also definitely crawling, in an non-traditional sense. It's an army crawl, often coupled with rocking, swaying, and rolling; but the boy is going places! I swear, he rolls with pinpoint accuracy. I've already had to do some living room rearranging. Goodbye thoughtful décor.

Solids are an exciting part of his day now, even though by some people's standards, he doesn't get too much besides breastmilk (and that's just fine with me). Within days of him trying Happy Puffs for the first time, his picking up & feeding himself skills drastically improved. He really enjoys his food, and now he squeals with delight when I'm feeding him, and he lets me know if I'm not going fast enough. Sorry kid! 

I'm just really enjoying him at this stage, and I think I'm starting to become more at peace during moments that aren't so easy. He is such a love, and he brings me so much joy and humor and knowledge and wonderment every day. 

He has my whole heart.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Traveling Circus

We leave for California on Wednesday, and I don't know how it crept up so quickly. I'm currently making lists upon lists in preparation, and yet, I have this fear that I'll forget EVERYTHING. Flying with an infant and 4 adults (me, my bro & parents) is going to be... interesting, to say the least. (Zac's catching a separate flight.)

Every time I travel I always make an effort to pack sparingly and fail at doing so, but this time I mean it. I'm only going to check one bag between the baby and I so we don't have to spend a bazillion dollars in fees. Seeing as Aiden's gonna need a million-and-one things, I'm really gonna have to get creative and recycle my outfits and beauty products. Can I survive with only two lipsticks? Stay tuned.

I'm trying to remain calm about the actual traveling part, but the "what-ifs" keep creeping in. What if my family makes us miss our flight? What if Aiden doesn't settle on the plane? What if he takes a huge, stinky dump in my lap and there's nowhere to change him but said lap? What if they lose our luggage? WHAT IIIIIIFFFFFFFF?

It's silly, I know. I'm sure it'll all be fine, and he'll be a perfect angel. I'll just pretend he's a bee. If he can't smell my fear, then we'll be aaaaaaall good.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Smelly Baby, Smelly Baby, What Are They Feeding You?

It's been a banner week for me in the "Babies Are Gross" department. I've been peed on (from the tub: he's got quite the arc!), peed at, nearly pooped on (I've decided to feed him solids consistently, and now his diapers are showing me what we've not been missing out on. *eyes watering*), etc. And the kicker? Aiden FULL-ON vommed IN MY MOUTH the other day. Apple purée, oatmeal, and curdled milk. Holy FUUUUUUUH.

As horrifying as it was, it was pretty much instantaneously hilarious. We were hangin' out in the living room and I was having an awesome time playing with Aiden. Things have lightened up a bit around here; smiles have outnumbered the fits*. I lifted him for airplanes and told him "I'm having so much fun with you lately!" Zac gave us both a huge smile, "See! I told you it wasn't going to be difficult forever!" No more than 30-seconds later... directly. in. my mouth.

It took me a second to get Zac's attention, because he wasn't looking, and he thought the weird noises I was making was me playing with the baby. I'm pretty sure my eyes were bugging out of my head with shock. Once he was like "DID THE BABY THROW UP IN YOUR MOUTH?!" he decided to take a picture instead of help me. Ehh, I would've done the same. There's even a perfectly timed clip of me garbling "this is terrible" because he didn't realize my phone was on video mode. I'll spare you all THOSE images. Even though, for some strange reason, I didn't immediately delete them.

Ahh, the joys of motherhood.

*Of course, in the middle of me writing this post, Aiden had a full-on teething meltdown. I had to wear him in the Ergo AND bounce him on the exercise ball. I haven't had to do that in months!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All Bark and No Bite

It breaks my heart a bit knowing that since Aiden came along, Parker doesn't get as much attention as he used to. Don't get me wrong, we still love on him, and try to include him as much as we can, but it's not the same. I'm not sure if it's lack of attention, coupled with the fact that he may want to "protect" the baby, and our house; but he's started barking a lot more than he used to. 

He looks sad, but really, it's the look of lazy.

We rescued Parker in September 2010, almost exactly 3-years-ago. For the first couple of years, I always told people that it was nice that he didn't bark that much, except for when he was in the backyard and he could hear neighbors outside (sorry neighbors). Even then, he'd stop reasonably quickly.

But now? It's just super annoying. He barks at the kids playing outside. He barks at neighbors coming home from work. He barks at neighbors leaving for work. He barks at people visiting neighbors. And he still barks at people in their own backyards. I often feel bad for our 'hood, and I tell him "It's their space, too, doggie! The whole world isn't your territory." I'm not sure he got the memo.
It's been worse this summer because we have the windows open most of the time, so it's easier to hear everything that's going on outside. I guess the one positive thing about the weather changing is that it might help alleviate our problem.

We did a session of dog training back in March 2011, but got a little lax with the up-keep. We've started to be on the ball more now lately, especially since he needs to behave around the baby. I've tried using bitter spray to deter barking in the past, but I'm not sure that I was consistent for long enough for it to be effective. I'm at the point where I'm actually considering a bark collar. I've always been against those in the past, because I've felt that it's treating a symptom and not the problem. But now I'm not so sure. With Aiden in the mix, it's going to be hard to try to correct Parker myself every time he barks incessantly.

Have you ever had a dog with this issue? Did you try a bark collar?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye To Summer

As much as the internet wants it to be fall already, IT'S STILL SUMMER. And uh, it's supposed to be 90 degrees here in Seattle today. Take that, internet! Basically, you're gonna have to pry Summer from my cold, dead hands.

We got kind of spoiled with ridiculously awesome weather this year, and I hate to admit it, but I almost feel like I wasted it. Aiden's eyes are sensitive to sunlight (he squints and turns his face away immediately, and doesn't always like his hats), and I didn't want him to get a sunburn or overheat. So, in an effort to keep him comfortable, we stayed indoors a lot. Just typing that makes me sad, because I love me some sunshine and warmth. Now that we're really down to the wire, I'm trying to get outside with him more, especially when it cools off a little faster.

Aiden in his bouncer on the patio while I painted on the lawn.

I cruised him around our backyard the other day, showing him our garden, and was telling him that next year, he'll be able to run around and enjoy Summer a lot more. It was kind of weird saying that because I know how fast it'll get here. And he'll be so... big. He's growing right before my eyes. And I swear sometimes when I peek over the crib after a nap, he's bigger than when I laid him down. (Coincidentally, I always sing to him "did you just groooow?" after he's taken a long nap.)

As much as I'd love for him to stay my sweet, tiny baby, him getting bigger does have its perks. Just last night, we took him to a local park and put him on the swings for the first time. He absolutely loved it. He'd kick his little legs and feet like he was swimming in air. CUTE.

I planned on bringing him back to the same park for a dip in the lake this afternoon; but uh, he still hasn't taken a single nap yet. (He woke up at 7, and it's now 2:15.) Soooo, we'll see how that all pans out. But I do know one thing, this lady is DEFINITELY going to the lake no matter what. Zac might have to hold down the fort while I relax, float, and ponder the meaning of life.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate-Cinnamon-Raisin No-Bake Energy Bites (Great Lactation Aid!)

Dude Von Dudenstein. These no-bake energy bites are legit. Seriously, I'm in love. I wanted to start off with a double batch, but decided not to if I didn't like them that much. I immediately regretted that decision! I love the subtle crunch the chia seeds give, and I'm having a moment with Costco's Saigon Cinnamon right now. It's probably the best cinnamon I've ever tasted or smelled. There's just something about it. And no, you don't have to be breastfeeding to enjoy these. Even my husband liked them!


Chocolate-Cinnamon-Raisin No-Bake Energy Bites
1 1/4 c oats
1/2 c peanut butter
1/3 c honey
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c flaxseed meal
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbl brewer's yeast
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

I dumped all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl, and then lightly combined them before adding the wet ingredients. (Not necessary to do it separately, but I just wanted to make sure it was all evenly incorporated.) 

Mix everything together. Roll into 1" balls (the heat of your hands helps bind the ingredients). Chill & store in the fridge for up to 1-week.

Yield: approximately 28
Nutrition Info: Per Bite (based on 28): 91 calories, 12g carbohydrates, 4g fat, 3g protein, 7g sugar, 22mg sodium 

Adapted from this recipe
I entered the ingredients into this nutrition calculator. (Next time I'll halve the chocolate chips; I also think mini chips would be perfect.)

Because of the brewer's yeast, these are perfect as a lactation aid. Traditional lactation cookies that call for brewer's yeast are known to be more effective if you eat the dough raw, so this essentially the same thing. You could even up the amount of brewer's yeast in this recipe, but you'll have to remember the taste will be more potent. Or, you could omit it all-together. That's the beauty of this recipe: do what'cha like. I'm all about customization. I'm already coming up with different variations in my head!