Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vegas, Baby!

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas visiting my sister, her husband and their daughter. They are planning to move back to Minnesota later this summer so this was our last chance to visit them when they are still within driving distance. We couldn't miss the opportunity.

We started our drive on Friday night in hopes that William would sleep. We got him ready for bed just as we do every night only this time, instead of putting him in the crib, he went in the carseat. He didn't like it one bit and let us know it for several hours. We stopped in Bakersfield, the half-way point and spent the night in a hotel. Chris and I got about 4-5 hours of sleep and got back on the road the next morning to finish the drive. William continued to protest. Not only did he hate being strapped in but he refused to drink the formula I brought with us. . . and my pump didn't work in the car like it should have. (TMI, sorry.) The family road trip was more than exhausting but we were so exited to be in Las Vegas. . . finally.

When we arrived, Molly and I sat down with the babies and let them get reacquainted. Charlotte is just 3 months older than William. They had met before but this was the first time they noticed each other and tried playing together. So much fun!

I had a list of fifteen things I wanted to do with my sister, but I knew that most of them wouldn't happen because 1) we had two days together and 2) we have babies. 

Molly picked up a kiddy pool and the babies joined us for their first "swim." Charlotte and William both loved the water! It was the best way to spend time outside in the 100 degree weather!

Molly and I made it to the mall one night, 15 minutes before it closed. I tried on more dresses in that time than I have in the past four years! I miss shopping with my sisters and wish it could have been a whole day, but I'll take what I can get.

Chris and Quintin spent an afternoon at a casino.

Molly and Quintin cooked and grilled amazing food for us: eggs benedict with asparagus, biscuits and gravy, kabobs, chicken fried rice and egg rolls . . . yum yum.

But most of our time was spent hanging out with William and my niece! William sure loved watching Charlotte walk around with the help of the furniture to hang on to. I had no idea how much he was watching her until we got home and he tried to do the same thing--all day long!

I loved seeing how Charlotte has grown and changed since I last saw her at Christmas time. She's eating, mostly feeding herself, walking some and crawling quickly. All things that William will be doing in the very near future. Charlotte is a happy little girl most of the time and loves "talking." 

It was sad to leave them, but we had to leave early Tuesday morning to make the trip back to San Francisco in one day. William did much better on the way back, the first 10 hours were great . . . the last two, not so much! Teething is never fun, strapped in a carseat or not!

I am so thankful we got to see them before they moved.  Any opportunity to see family is a blessing. And we had such a wonderful time together!

**Now, if I would have remembered my real camera, it would have been perfect. 
Thankfully, my phone isn't too awful**

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Park

Very rarely do I take time to go to the park. Our city as several really great parks, two of which are very close.  I guess I shouldn't say I don't go to the parks, I do. I walk there. And I walk back. Rarely, if ever do I sit down to enjoy the outdoors.

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends invited us to a nearby park for a baby-play date. I want William to know other babies and since I work from home, he rarely gets the opportunity to be around other people. Now that he's a little more interested in his surroundings, it seemed like a great time to explore the park and actually sit down on the grass with a buddy.

It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time. It helped that there were adult beverages and a slack line to entertain the grown ups, but the babies at a good time too--grabbing and poking each other!

It was so great, that a few days later, when the heat wave came causing it to be unbearable inside, I took William to the park by myself to enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze. I had to get out of my house. We only have a couple of little box fans that didn't seem to help at all. By mid afternoon, it was 80 degrees inside!

I didn't just walk there and back. I stopped. I took out a blanket and a few toys and sat under a tree with my little boy. I'm not sure why spending time outside like this intimated me. It was really no different than sitting on the carpet in our apartment except for the added benefit of the fresh air and beauty around me which made me feel so much better. It was relaxing (in a make-sure-he-doesn't-eat-bark kind of way).

Not the best selfie, I know, but it's proof that 1) we are in the park
 and 2) I'm wearing a tank top in SF, which has never happened before.

I know we need to get outside more and it has been my goal to do so on a daily basis. Hopefully we'll have more time to spend hanging out in parks this summer!

Friday, May 16, 2014

First Mother's Day

I realized that although I wrote about my mother for Mother's Day, I'd still like to remember my own Mother's Day, too! Not at all to pay tribute to myself, but to record what happened for my own memory's sake.

It's true that last year, Chris got me a sweet card and flowers for Mother's Day although Baby B was just starting to make an appearance around my middle. This year, was my first Mother's Day that I could hold my sweet baby boy and relish in the fact that I'm his mom.

(And as I type this, I'm aware of many friends who have lost babies this year and my heart breaks. I want to stop writing this right now in case it makes someone hurt more. But I need to continue. I'm sorry.)

His hugs and smiles are the very best part of my day, and although most days have something about them that is hard or doesn't go as planned, I still love spending my days with my son. There is nothing better.

Mother's Day weekend started with the flu. I had a fever of 101 on Friday night and tried to lay low on Saturday (as hard as that was for me). Chris was home so he did all the laundry, chores I couldn't do and helped out with William. I was grateful for the rest. I started a new project which I've been waiting to do for months. But the more I did the weaker I felt so I had to put it away for another day.

Chris surprised me that night with a bouquet of roses, a spoon rest and a wonderful card. There's a story behind the spoon rest so it was a cute, thoughtful gift.

I did feel better on Sunday which I was glad for. It was my Pastor's last day at our church as he had just put in his resignation the week before under terrible circumstances which left my heart feeling broken and sad. I was so thankful I got to attend his last service and say good bye -- as hard as that was.

Chris had to work for the rest of the day so William and I went home and had a sweet day of playing together. We also skyped with my mom for a long time which was really nice. I don't get to have long conversations with her as much as I used to.

I didn't want to be upset that Chris had to work and I had to be home with William. I didn't want to think "this is suppose to be my day" because although it would have been nice to get a massage or go shopping or have alone time, being with my son was special too. He'll only be this little, seven month old baby boy whose trying so hard to crawl for a little while longer.

This mama doesn't sleep regularly or eat regularly or do anything that she used to do in the way of cooking or crafts, but life is still good, if not better because of William.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mother's Day

Today is my Mother's special day. The day I celebrate her. I've written about her before but this year, after having a baby of my own, I feel I have a whole new respect for her, and I find my self being in awe of all she did for us.

I've learned a few things about my own infancy: a) I never took a bottle and b) I didn't sleep through the night until I was a year old. Those two things alone make me question how my mother is alive today - and why she had four of us! Add to that the fact that my dad was rarely home to help her out with baby stuff and I really don't get it! (I rely so heavily on my husband that I cannot fathom how she did it!)

My mother never complained (to us) about how many hours of sleep she missed, how many diapers she had to change or anything. Either she had very realistic expectations of what being a mom would be like or she really loved it - dirty diapers and all! Maybe it was a combination of them both.

Over the last year, I've sought out the advice of my mother on everything pregnancy and baby related. I've been so blessed that not only does she have her own experiences but her job keeps her super up-to-date on the latest techniques and safety regulations. She has a lot of knowledge about labor, breastfeeding, infant message, car seat safety, and so much more. She has been incredibly helpful to me and baby William.

In 2013, I had three very special weeks with my mom. I don't think I've gotten to spend that much time with her since I moved away from home! Last summer, I spent a week at home seeing family and friends. My mom wasn't planning on being home since my sister was due that same week, but Charlotte waited -- so mom and I had a lot of time together.

Then in October, she spent a week with us after William was born. I don't know how I would have gotten through that time without her help. She made every meal, cleaned every (little) room and gave endless advice concerning the troubles I was having with breastfeeding. I was so grateful she could spend the whole week with us!

And of course, we went home to Minnesota for Christmas so William could meet everyone. We didn't get too much time with Mom, but once again, she out did herself again with hospitality and making Christmas a special family holiday. She even hosted a baby shower for William and Charlotte!

One of my favorite things about my mom is the focus she puts on family. If there is an opportunity to see family, or an occasion to have people over, she works to make it happen. Every year, we celebrated birthdays and holidays with grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and cousins and sometimes neighbors.

My mom is a great mother to me and is a wonderful grandmother to William.  She never stops carrying or showering us with her love. We are so blessed to have her in our lives!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Baby B: Seven Months Old

This past month has had a lot of changes for little William Bradley. Five days after his six month "birthday" he began teething and he hasn't had a break since. Only the front two teeth on the bottom have made an appearance but I know others aren't far behind. William is usually a fairly happy baby. He smiles and laughs and seems to really enjoy people. But teething has caused a lot of pain which brings a lot of tears.

He is ticklish! Which I love. He is also getting the hang of peek-a-boo and gives the biggest smiles when you reveal yourself. I love his laugh. Sometimes its a throaty "ah" sound and other times its a high pitched squeal. His mouth gets wide showing off his gums and two teeth, and his dimples appear. It's the best.

He has also been exploring more. He gets up on his hands and knees, willing himself to move forward but can't quite coordinate everything to work as it should. He inches his way around by scooting bit by bit; first his knees, then his hands. When reaching for a toy he slides back down to his belly.

He is able to sit up on his own, but is still pretty unstable. I've always got a hand or pillow inches a way ready to catch his fall. He is enjoying his more interactive toys too. The musical ones with lights always keep his attention the longest. He likes story time too -- at least I like to think so. He's less squirmy now when I pull out the books and he'll grab at the pages too -- even if it is only to put them in his mouth!

I'd also like to think that he is starting to recognize the other babies in our community. He has had a few times to interact with them now and I hope one day soon they'll actually be able to "play." Right now, they grab at each others hands and feet and hope to make it to their mouths.

We've attempted to be more serious with sleep training this past week. Our pediatrician recommended it was time to forgo the nightly feedings. Our timing coincided with teething so it's been a little more painful for everyone. She said it would take three days and he'd catch on, but after seven we are still waking up two to three times every night. I was ready to put my foot down and remain strong this time but after day five, I melted. I can't seem to stay consistent long enough for it to make a difference.

I don't have any new measurements to report, but he's growing! My arms have started to burn with his constant jumping/bouncing when he is in my arms. Standing still just won't do.