Tuesday, October 18, 2016

7, 8, 9 and 10; I don't know where the time went

The old joke about the first kid having a thousand pictures for every milestone and every subsequent kid having two is very true. The time is flying by and every day is a race to survive until bed. Unfortunately, the Pumpkin's blog is suffering greatly for it. I'll try to remember all the milestones Mr. Man hit in the last four months - there has been some major ones. He has changed so much since the last post and is growing into a precious and determined little guy.

1.  First teeth - two on the bottom around 7 months. And drooling and chewing ever since. No more teeth have appeared but he is adorable with those first two!

2.  Sitting up - happened during our family trip with my parents to San Diego around 8 months. Crawling happened shortly after that. Ever since he has been on the move, he has shown such will and determination (okay, and stubbornness). He loves being able to go, go, go and get into trouble. And he looooves being able to grab his brother's toys. The only thing that gives him greater pleasure in life than his brother is his brother's toys. The baby cage has gone back up and he hates being trapped in there by himself, even if we are in the same room.

3.  Standing - this happened while he was staying at Nana's at the end of August around 9 months. He was so proud of himself and enjoys cruising the furniture but doesn't quite like to walk while someone is holding him up yet. He immediately plants his bottom down.

4.  Sleeping - he's still sleeping through the night off and on. Mostly he wakes up for one bottle but he'll go to bed around 7:30 and sleep about 12 hours. He hasn't started sleeping in the bottom up position his brother favors. Every night when I go check on him, I never know what to expect, except that his crib will look like a college dorm room after a major party with him crashed out in a corner somewhere - legs and arms thrown about, blankie over the head, or sometimes just face planted like he did a belly flop in there. If I wasn't worried about him breathing, it would be hilarious.

5.  Food - bottle is still best but he finally started baby food! It was delayed until about 8 months when he finally got interested and didn't act like the food was poison. He is also a fan of some finger foods and is working on chewing with his gums. He is not a fan of bibs and will pull them off immediately.

6. Trips - We have been on two airplane trips in the last few months. I was a nervous wreck both times but the Pumpkin did really well. He managed to fall asleep for a time on all trips and was really good despite being trapped on a lap for 2+ hours. He is a very good traveler overall. He only gets cranky when he is super hungry and has made numerous trips to Houston more pleasant than his brother did at the same age.

7. Personality - This is a big one that has really started to develop. He, of course, loves playing with toys, especially anything that looks good to chew on as well. He likes anything we don't want him to have and anything his brother is playing with. Don't leave him in the baby cage by himself because he will deafen the room with his cries. He is really starting to like being held and interacting with people. He will flirt unabashedly with anyone and flash that megawatt, mega-dimple smile at people who please him. He likes being the center of attention and getting to do new things. He seems pretty fearless - likes being thrown up in the air, tossed on the bed, and will brush off most rough treatment from his brother. And he is a strong little dude. Changing his diaper has turned into a wrestling match and trying to hold him when he wants down is challenging at the least. He is determined, focused and goal-oriented right now. I don't think calling him laid back is accurate - he is more of a force in the world than flowing with it. But he is good natured and happy for the most part. You can really see him trying to figure out how things work and his relationships with others.

He loves talking, and loudly yelling when he's happy, and makes this strange squeaky inhalation sound when he's really happy (kinda like a cross between a balloon deflating and a donkey braying). It is so funny. He's also excellent at a ton of different sound effects. And just last week he developed The Look. He uses The Look when he is angry, frustrated or disappointed - basically, when he is told 'No' which is a lot. The Look was proceeded briefly by the lower lip sticking out even more and trembling until a full cry commenced but so many people started laughing at The Look, he has started to use it for comedic effect too.

Pumpkin, you are someone to be reckoned with. Even though you are small, you are mighty and won't let anyone forget it. When you are happy you are an absolute joy and draw all attention to your happiness. When you are angry, your cry can make the devil hide. Then, if you don't end up getting what you want, you stop crying and start amusing yourself like nothing is wrong. I think you have already added a dozen gray hairs to my head and you can't even walk yet. I can't wait to see what the future holds with you because I think there is sure to be lots of excitement.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Many Phrases of Sweet Pea

I wanted to write some of these down to remember them when he's older (or really for when we're older)!

1.  Super Goo - not quite sure why this was Superman's name. This has turned into Super Lukey - complete with theme song on his airplane. He loves fighting bad guys around the house and when playing, he's always the good guy. He has many super powers like super punches, super kicks and super speed - he's faster than lightning! One time he was on a swing and starting yelling, I'm Super Goo!!

2.  'Nana - a banana / not to be confused with his Nana Emerson

3.  Ooster - as in Happy Ooster! Ooster bunny and Ooster eggs (incidentally, we were having Ooster Egg hunts for weeks after his first one. Big hit!)

4.  When asked for the magic word (I was thinking 'Please') he responded, Miska...Mooska...Mickey Mouse?

5.  Deet Deets - Flies. I don't know why. He doesn't know why.

6.  When finishing Facetime with Gramma and Baba - "but I want to talk to them!"

7.  When making Ooster cards for the grandparents, had to make one for our robot too (the Roomba).

8.  Rocking horse is Super Pony.

9.  Cuckoo - the iPad. 

10.  Skitos - Mosquitos

11.  Walgreen's is the popcorn place because their sign looks like popcorn in a cup to him.

12.  At church one week a little boy came running up to him and he said hi. Then he looked at me and said, 'He doesn't know my name!' I told him to introduce himself the next time the boy came up and he said, 'I'm Lukey and this is my mommy' pointing to me. This was done repeatedly. :)

13.  Cookie dance that he shares with his daddy.

14.  Mayra - Maya.

15. A shopping cart is a trolley (thanks Peppa Pig)

16. Neminems - M&Ms.

17. Dablooms - balloons


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Five and Six Baby Pics!

Well, I have failed and somehow skipped an entire month of the pumpkin’s life. And they were, so far, the most active as far as his development. Things are really blossoming with our little army man. We’ve managed to get his eczema somewhat under control, as well as the rash that had been covering most of his body. These still flare up occasionally but I think he is by far more comfortable. His hair is barely starting to grow out now though he still looks like a tiny marine.  

Food:  He still loves him some bottle. Big time. And if he was to start crying for it, because we are too dumb or slow to get it to him when he wants it…watch out! The cry is ear piercing and will not hush until he physically has the bottle in his hands and is frantically trying to hit his mouth. And yes, he can hold his own bottle now! We have definitely been taking advantage of this development and setting him up in his bouncer to go to town. Real food is not going as smoothly. Every time I try to give him cereal he acts like I’m trying to poison him. The repertoire of expressions this guy has is incredible! I’m wondering if he has a discerning palate or if he just isn’t ready for food yet.
Sleep:  The pumpkin continues to be illusive in this area. There are definitely certain things that he likes before sleep – a full belly, a clean diaper, some music and something soft against his face (or over his face – I don’t know why my babies enjoy scaring me like this). For a while we were trying to get him to sleep in his crib since we worried about him getting out of his rock n’ sleep but he was having none of it…until he did not want to sleep in the rock n’ play anymore. Just one night from the next and the switch was done. Pumpkin is a baby that knows his own mind. He, however, does not know that we would like him to sleep through the night. Or maybe he does and he’s just messing with us. He’ll go 2-3 nights in a row lulling us into a false sense of security and then, BAM! Awake at 3 am several nights in a row.

Movement:  Pumpkin continues to be a very strong baby. He is one that needs to be strapped into any object that he’s placed into because he will roll, shimmy and ultimately work his way out no matter the cost to his safety. He’s officially rolling over from both directions but decidedly doesn’t like being on his belly yet. His sides seem to be okay. Grabbing toys, blankies and anything else he can reach and gnawing on them like a puppy dog is a favorite pastime. So is watching a cartoon about animated crayons called the Color Crew on the baby channel. There are very few things that will calm him down like watching those crayons color in different objects. Is an artist blooming? Likes doing Dada assisted sit ups.

Pumpkin, you’re turning into such a beautiful little guy. Your smile is so readily given and lights up everyone it hits. You love playing with your toys and taking in the world around you. You’re beginning to discover what you do and do not like and have no problem making those opinions known to us. There is nothing you like better than sitting in your bouncer and rocking it up and down with your legs. You do it so effortless you probably have abs of steel under that chubby little belly. And it makes me laugh to see you going but I know it is comforting to you. You even try to translate it to your crib and thump your legs a few times before settling down. Maybe Thumper would be a good nickname.
You enjoy baths and splashing around or sucking on a washcloth. Your brother is still a source of interest and curiosity. You enjoy being outdoors and seem to just want to be a part of the group when we got to restaurants or somewhere else. Driving still knocks you out unless you really aren’t tired or are hungry so your first trip to Houston was an easy experience. You love sitting up or being upright in general so I don’t think it will be too much longer until you’re doing it on your own. Your daddy is trying to help strengthen your abs by having you do sit ups on his chest. It is pretty amusing especially since you get in a few good kicks to his face.
Last, but not least, your Papa deemed your kisses, Sloppy Joes. Don’t take offense, because everyone loves to kiss on you, sweet baby.
Love you!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Four Months and Forgiving

Weight: 16lb 6.4oz
Length: 24.5 in
Head: 41.4 cm

Jess and I try to remember how our oldest behaved at certain points in his babydom for reference with our youngest. Even though it was only two years ago, it seems like a lifetime and it is hard to say whether the Pumpkin is generally behaving the same way. In some ways, I feel like he should be acting different but I don't know how. What else should a four month old being doing besides eating, sleeping, wanting to be held and spending little spurts here and there on his own? I think, we both just want him to be happier, more content or maybe feel he should be a happier baby, that he should be content for longer periods of time on his own than he is able. Whether or not this is because his brother was or just because we know that he one day will be, I don't know. This is a dangerous zone to enter though, one we'll probably straddle more than once in this little guy's life. Not just comparing him to his brother and vice versa (though I've already decided they are complete opposites for a reason), but comparing him to our own expectations, as faulty as those may be. Sweet Pea had the benefit of being born to a fresh set of parents that had no expectations of what a baby is. Pumpkin was not afforded that luxury and is gypped in even more ways. The second born child cannot possibly get as much attention as the first and I feel guilty about this constantly even though it is impossible to prevent. I already worry that he doesn't feel as loved as his brother because he is having to wait a little bit longer to be picked up, perhaps having to cry a bit longer at times and, in general, having his needs put on hold a little longer than his brother ever did at the same moments in life. To be fair, his brother is too learning about patience and waiting and sharing time. And I know these are good things for a person to learn. They are things that most people with or without siblings need to coexist in society but it still makes me feel sad for him; seeing that excited, wide open smile and delight in his eyes when he meets yours that seems to say "Yay! You're here!" makes me think that this innocent child should always have the benefit of looking into someone's loving eyes. But he can't; because something needs to be cleaned, put away, diapered, fed, played with, let outside, washed, put to bed, and left to relax in the moments that Pumpkin is content and happy. And letting that be okay is something that I need to learn, and forgive myself for not giving Pumpkin (and Sweet Pea) the perfect childhood he deserves.

On to more material things: the little Pumpkin is growing up strongly and surely. He's surprisingly in the mid and lower percentiles for height and weight - everyone who sees him comments on how big he is! He's still stuck around 4 oz for every bottle and it is a crapshoot whether he will keep any of it down or not; he eats between every 1.5-3 hours during the day. For several weeks he was still getting up twice a night but going back to sleep during or as soon as his bottle was done. Jess savored this time at night, to have a baby fall asleep on him again, since the Pumpkin was repugnant to do so otherwise. Twice a night is hard during the work week but just when I thought I wouldn't be able to stand another night, he woke only once, then not at all, then twice, then not at all. He is hard to pin down (!) but I think we're moving in a positive direction.  

The Pumpkin is also turning into a chubby snuggle bunny! He loves 'sitting' with his Dada and looking out at the world. And only recently, after hours (minutes) of walking, bouncing and swaying with him in my arms, he actually put his head down on my shoulder! And after many more hours (minutes) of the same, I felt that oh so satisfying sigh and release of a little body giving in to sleep...on my shoulder. I actually sat down and he was still asleep! Since then he has been more willing to put his head down on us, whether to gnaw on his hand (always the right) or just to relax for a little. It's so nice!

Pumpkin, we've made some real progress in the last month and I feel like it is only going to get
better. We finally got you some medicine for your rashes and eczema so I'm hoping that will make you feel better. And I'm so thrilled that you put your head on my shoulder....I can't even say how much. ♥♥♥♥♥ The big events of the month were you getting to meet the Easter bunny for the first time - totally not impressed; and seeing some of your Emerson family for the first time - definitely like that more. Papa was so happy to finally meet you!

You're starting to find your hands and they are delicious. You also like swinging in your swing which quickly turns into napping in your swing. And your finding toys fun to hold on to and put in your mouth. You still love following your brother around the room, trying to see what the guy is up to. And your smile...you are so very generous with that gorgeous smile! It's so easy and yet so gratifying to get you to smile a big gummy, dimply smile; it lights up everyone else that sees it.  Love you my chunky monkey!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Three Months and Thriving

Whenever anyone asks about the Pumpkin, I tell them that he's good baby but we're still figuring things out. We started the month on antacids and that seemed to help a lot. Much of his irritability and physical symptoms like the back arching, crying, gagging, etc. was resolved but there still seemed to be something bothering him. And, me being me, I'm determined to get to the bottom of it, for better or worse. When my parents were in town for the PumpKing's baptism, everyone got sick, including the little guy. I had been starting to wonder if he had a milk allergy too so my parents switched his formula to a soy one while I was sick in bed. Again, it seemed to help and even his eczema was going away but few days later, it came back. He's definitely able to settle down more and isn't tortured by gas like he used to be but he spits up waaaaaay more than I remember his brother doing.

We (I)'ve been putting off his baby photos. I was too overwhelmed at first and figured I'd have time
(HA!); after all, I didn't get his brother's first photos done until after 3 months. On the day of his photos though, the Pumpkin broke out into a rash that covered his whole body. The poor thing looked miserable and was even spitting up more than normal. So Sweet Pea stepped in and had a solo photo shoot which he absolutely loved. Nothing better to him than being the center of attention. Another bad thing about the rash is Pumpkin started waking up twice a night again after he's only been waking up once a night (and slept through the entire night once!!!). I can't blame him though because I'd probably be up all night if I had a rash like his.

Back to Pumpkin, his Baptism on 2/6 went really well. We had it at St. Philips' with several other families and Father McDaniel officiating. My parents and Jess' mom were in town for it, the Chambers were all in attendance and ready to take on the duty of Godfamily-ing and Sweet Pea's own Godfather was able to make it for the Sacrament and both Godparents for the celebration afterwards. Pumpkin was a little crotchety during the lead up to the big moment. Timing a bottle for these things never works out and the little guy was hungry. But as soon as the Baptismal waters were poured on his head, he quieted down and looked into his Daddy's eye, almost with wonder. Again and again, I'll state here how completely and utterly opposite my two boys are. While the holy water made his brother cry out angrily (like it was burning him - I'll say no more), Pumpkin looked like he was experiencing a truly holy moment and it was beautiful.

PumpKing, though we are still 'figuring things out', we have figured one thing out for sure: you love to smile and have the bestest baby smile ever. You smile back at anything with a smiley face...people, stuffed animals, books, cartoons, etc. Your swing was a Godsend from Aunt Jamie - you actually are soothed by it most of the time and will fall asleep in it. Sometimes we let you sleep in it all night because it is the only thing that will get you back to sleep.

You love being held but do not want to look at or relax into the person holding you. You crane your head hard to the left (and sometime to the right) and still push away from the person who is carrying you. It makes you a bit wily to hold and again makes me investigate possible reasons why you would do this - do I have bad breath? It is like you want to look at something behind you, but when we turn so you can face what you are trying so hard to see, you try again to look at what is behind you. Is the grass always greener behind you or are you paranoid and trying to watch your own back? Maybe that is why you've got those crazy eyes..."they" are after you. Hey, are you in the witness protection program? That would explain a lot.

What? No paci?!
You still don't like the paci and it baffles your parents and brother. Especially your brother. He can't seem to understand why a baby wouldn't want one in their mouth all the time and tries to help you out by shoving yours in your mouth. We just wish you would take a paci because it seemed to help soothe your brother a lot. You are starting to find your hands though and enjoy sticking those in your mouth...

All in all, I think you are going to be a pretty cool kid. Your smiley side gives me hope that, once we figure out what is bothering you or you just grow out of being bothered, you will be a happy little guy. And that is what I want most for you.