Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Moon: Girl's Early-Morning Out

While I was having a mommy-meltdown last week it came time to go to the premier of New Moon (the second movie in the Twilight Saga). Honestly, if I hadn't pre-purchased my tickets I probably wouldn't have gone! I was a MESS! Thank the LORD I never drink caffeine (like seriously, all I drink is water and milk). You can ask anyone who knows me very well and they will tell you that if I drink some caffeine I become super, mega, hyper. This is a very useful in situations where I need to be awake and in a good mood!

Kye and I ate at Aunt Karen's house Thursday night for dinner then I took him out to Zach's parents to spend the night since duh he couldn't stay at home while I was at the movie! After leaving Charlotte's I hit up McDonald's and got a HUGE iced coffee! It was so good and worked so well :) I was W I R E D! I was mega hyped up and couldn't stop talking, laughing and shaking. It felt like my heart was going to pump out of my chest haha. This was a blessing though, seriously. After my lack of sleep and tons of crying I needed to be in a good mood!

Last year for the Twilight premier Katie, Ashley, Hannah and I all went to Steak and Shake before heading to the theater and so we decided to do it again this year. It's our Twilight Tradition :) This year we added a couple new girls to the group and I'm so glad Robyn and Crissy came with us! They are both moms as well and totally understand the need to get out of the house and have a fun girl's night! Crissy was hilarious, as usual, she came covered in glitter like the vampires when they go in sunlight. So cute!

Here we are (Katie and Hannah were...shocker...running a little late!) at Steak and Shake enjoying some YUMMY shakes!

We didn't plan on getting to the theater until 11:15ish since we all already had tickets but when Ash and I ran by there to get our real ticket (we pre-ordered online) we saw that people were already in line...at 9:30!!!! Luckily we ran into Nontalie, a girl we go to church with, and she texted me and offered to save us all seats because they opened the doors early and we were still at Steak and Shake while all the crazies in line were taking the best seats! We rush to the theater and had some decent seats together so I owe Nontalie big time!

We were over an hour early but we had fun just talking and waiting and taking turns going pee before the movie started. Thankfully there weren't a lot of previews! New Moon was my least favorite of all the Twilight books...it was AWFUL. I also wasn't a big fan of the first movie. It was cheesy and poorly done. This movie, however, was so so so good!!! They turned a crappy book into a good movie and I guess the success of the first movie helped them get a bigger budget for this one! Yeah there were still a couple stupid parts, but overall it was great! Even Katie and Hannah had a hard time finding things to make fun of (okay Jasper was still pretty comical, as was the sexual tension between Charley and Bella and there were those dream scenes with Edward...but still!).

The only thing that really annoyed me was the crowd in this one. Yeah, Jacob has a GREAT body. Yippie. That doesn't mean you need to act like he's a GOD when clearly Edward is much closer to godly status :)  I thought every Twilight reader was an Edward fan and I just don't GET the love for Jacob. Um, hello he sucks! haha! Crissy was fun to sit next to as she only read part of the book and she made sure to tell me when we had reached the part where she stopped reading...which was basically within the first 15 min haha. She also refers to the characters as their real names so I was totally confused when she kept saying "Robert" instead of "Edward" haha!

Overall it was a really fun night and was worth being so tired the next day. Ashley and I got back to my house at 3 am! We had to get up at 7 the next morning to drive to Jacksonville. So after a day of sobbing and a week of no sleep I only got 4 hours of sleep then DROVE 4 hours total in one day. YUCK! We were both soooo out of it haha. It was pretty funny. I had an appointment at David's Bridal to finally pick out a bridesmaids dress for my brother's wedding and I found the perfect one! It's all satin, strapless, short, and has pockets! I love it and it was only $99!!!! Great deal :) We planned on shopping but didn't have any luck. We did however get free massages because Taylor Hicks was performing that night and they had a ton of booths set up! And we ate at Maggianos which was yummy but our service was so bad that I not only didn't tip, I also complained to the manager! Once I got home with Kye I fed him and put him to sleep then I crashed! I was sooo exhausted but we had a fun time and I'm excited to Eclipse to come out in June!!! And to take Zach to see New Moon soon :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cheerio Faces and a Tooth!

I took over 200 pictures of Kye eating Cheerios just so I could maybe capture one of this first little tooth of his...it worked! But of course I love the Cheerio Faces too :) Enjoy!

YAY Kye's first tooth!!!
 

Weekends at Home

Obviously with all the travel Zach has been doing with work during the weeks this month we've opted to stay in town. We had planned on going to Ashley's last cross country race but it would have just been tooooo much so we've been in town every weekend this month! So so so crazy for us!
Surprisingly, it's been WONDERFUL! We just spend time together as a family and most importantly we've been at church each Sunday. I love traveling but I hate that we miss so much church. This past Sunday was our third one in a row and it's the first time Kye behaved well enough to actually stay in services instead of being taken to the nursery within 5 min of the start of worship haha! I really think that this routine of going every Sunday has helped him behave better!

(I love Kye's little smile, you can tell he loves the swings!)
What I've been doing is making little "To Do" lists during the week for Zach and when he's home over the weekends he gets that stuff done. Most of the time these things take like 5 minutes (hang a picture, shave Sadie, etc) and we end up with a lot of free time. Of course Zach's enjoyed watching college football but he's also enjoyed spending quality time together.

(caught one of them swinging together, so cute)
The first weekend with him home we went to the park! Courtney was in the hospital during this time so we just stayed for a little while and played before going to see her. The second weekend we ran some errands together as a family which included getting Zach sized for his tux for Brandon's wedding and stopping by Brusters for some well-deserved ice cream (buy one get one free gotta love it!). Zach also spent some one-on-one time with Kye so I could go to ToysRUs during their big sale and stock up on some good deals for Christmas!

(singing and swinging...what a multitasker!)
Last weekend (after my week from you-know-where) poor Zach had to come home to a miserable wife, STILL fussy child, and then help Katie move! Kye and I stopped by for a little bit but I was so out of it that I needed to be home. We also had Ashley and her new man over! It was honestly a little busier of a weekend than I would have chosen (is this really me talking?!?) but it was still fun!

(confused at how Daddy is swinging too!)
With these weekends home I have decided that next year we need to not travel AS MUCH. Traveling is still mega important to me and I think it's important for Kye too but we don't need to do it every weekend. Being with our church family and teaching Kye about God needs to be our #1 priority! Hopefully Mom will move up here so we won't have to deal with any more Melbourne travels and that will really cut down our weekends away. Other than that I just want to plan on trying to be home at least one to two weekends a month. I know that sounds crazy to most people but it really is hard for me not to plan something every weekend! I don't think I'd choose to be home three weekends a month but one or two is doable

(happy to have his daddy home!)

A Single Mom Month

This time of the year is the busiest for Zach. It's a blessing because it's the holidays and it's when we need money the most and he makes the most right now! It's also tough though because he has to work this huge account that is spread out all over the south east. He has to go all over Georgia, to parts of Florida, all over Alabama, and all over Louisiana. That's A LOT of traveling!
Last year I went with him for many of the trips. This year, it just didn't make sense to do that. So Kye and I have been spending some mega quality time together these past three weeks. The first week was just a couple days and life seemed to continue on as normal. Zach was home over the weekend and left again that Monday. That second week was great! I felt like Super Mom. I could do it all! And I could do it all with a smile :) Kye and I had so so so much fun together!!!! My only tough thing was if he woke up in the middle of the night but even that I handled okay and he would go back to sleep pretty quickly.
Then week three hit. Ugh! Zach left that Monday morning again and as he was leaving Kye woke up bawling (at 6am). Zach went in there and came back out and said he felt terrible leaving because he could feel a tooth. Let the fun begin! Week three was beyond awful. I was up at all hours of the night with him. Kye has always been a great sleeper at night (maybe not for naps but always at night) and when he does wake up at night Zach always goes in there. So here I am with a crying baby and am clueless as to how to get him back to sleep. Zach told me his methods but they just didn't work for me. I'd pat pat pat him on the back and slowly slowly slow it down and just as I was stopping he'd turn around and smile at me. Over and over. It was miserable. Seriously the whole week I maybe got him back to sleep once in the crib. And the time I did I ended up having to sleep on his floor! I broke my own rules a couple of times and rocked him in my arms. Feeling out of control and like I didn't know what to do with my own child really hurt my self esteem. What kind of mother am I? It's crazy how much my self worth is wrapped up in that child! He was sweet and precious week 2 so I felt on top of the world. He was rotten week three so I felt like I wanted to curl up and die!
It was the worst week of my life since Kye has been born. No joke! Even harder than when we first brought him home from the hospital. We still stuck to routine but he was so so so unpredictable. It just wasn't fair! I actually ended up napping when he napped! I was so exhausted (not only from his many morning wake-ups but also because I am scared alone and most nights had a TOUGH time just falling asleep myself!) and just emotionally drained that every morning I'd sleep during his 9:00 nap. Every morning! Which totally explains why I'm so behind on the blogging :)
I actually got to a point where I couldn't stand to be here anymore. Even though he was awful I went somewhere every afternoon. That 3:00-bedtime awake time is hard to fill with an unhappy baby and worn out mommy. We even went to WALMART! I know Walmart! I loathe Walmart and I especially would never face it alone with Kye. Ever! But we did it. And I bought myself a dozen double chocolate cookies and ate them all. With ice cream :) Pigging out just make me feel a little less depressed haha!
We also went on an almost 2 hour long walk! Yes, almost 2 hours. That's how badly I just needed out of the house. And you should have seen us haha We went to the park and he was wearing this ugly outfit that didn't match and had food and snot all over his face and I was in some old high school t-shirt without makeup looking like I just woke up at 3:30 in the afternoon. And of course a bunch of moms were there with their kids. I think it's the first time I've taken Kye out around other moms and no one said how cute he was hahaha! They were probably afraid of us!
During all this I also had the New Moon premier Thursday night. I didn't know how I'd be able to drag myself to that at midnight. Ugh! I was actually dreading it! That day Kye, of course, threw me for a loop and didn't sleep during his morning nap. I needed that nap dangit! I broke down in tears and bawled my head off. I actually left him in his crib crying for like 20 min and just went in my bed, hugged my stuffed bunny (I know lame) and bawled. I felt sorry for myself and that's ok. We all need to just break down once in awhile! It came time to nurse him at 11:00 and while I was nursing someone knocked on the door. Well duh I couldn't get it and so I sat there with the dogs barking and kept trying to get my child to eat. Finally the person called and said they had a delivery for me. Once Kye was finished I went and checked to see what it was and it was flowers from Zach!!! PERFECT timing!!!! Just what I needed to remind me that I could make it through!
Somehow I survived the week and yes, Kye has his tooth finally! Now Zach is semi-back in town and we get a nice break for Thanksgiving! WOO HOO! While week three was awful terrible no-good very bad it did teach me something. I always think that I have it easy. I'm a stay at home mom and I take that to mean what most of society believes...that I live a life of leisure. I stare in awe at working moms and have no clue how they do it! They have it so hard! To have to perform at a job then come home and be a mom must be exhausting! After this time as a "single" parent I realize how hard my job is. It isn't super easy! It isn't a walk in the park! And it'd be waaaaay harder if I actually WAS a single mom and had to do it on my own every day (and night)! It made me appreciate my own mom more as she stayed home with us until I was 10 and then she became a single mom herself! SO hard! But it also made me appreciate myself more. I work hard everyday to provide my son with the best experiences possible. I do everything I can to run this house smoothly and you know what? I do a pretty awesome job! So gooooo ME!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How I Have Survived The First Tooth

It's been a long, long journey and I'm so thankful that Kye's first tooth is finally here! I've heard that the first one is the worst (at least until the molars start coming) so I hope everyone that told me that is right!!! While this whole thing has been very tough I thought I'd share some teething survival tips to any other parents out there who feel like there is no hope! Here are the things that helped me keep my sanity through all of this:

1. Babywise: Are you surprised I listed it first??? Having a child on a schedule is such a blessing when times are tough. Yes, some rules must be broken (for the first time in Kye's life I had to rock him back to sleep at 5 am yesterday morning...I seriously don't get how some people do that every night! he's HEAVY!) but you still keep the same general routine and it helps you stay sane and helps the baby to be comforted. It's comforting to know what is next, especially when life is tough. For me, it's been wonderful because I have lost sleep at night due to the teething and I've been able to count on his 9:00 nap as MY nap too :)
2. Tylenol: How would I survive without it?? Fill that junk to the 2nd line (0.8 I think?) every 4 hours and you're good to go. Actually the max I've given it to him is three times a day. I'll do it right before his nap (recommended by the Babywise Blog Lady!) at 9, 1, and then before bed. It helps him sleep better and more soundly. I used it occasionally during the teething phase, but the past three days I've used it consistently as he's been cutting the tooth.
3. Hurricane Gel/Hylands Teething Tablets: Both are wonderful. I prefer the Hylands tablets over the gel but both are great because you can do them more often than Tylenol. I haven't used them much during the cutting phase but they were great during the teething stage. If he gets fussy during awake time and I know I can't give him Tylenol yet then I'll use these to get him through. Also if he wakes up mid-way through his nap I'll give him three of the Hylands and it helps settle him back to sleep as it numbs the pain. Side note: I never used Orajel. I tried it once and didn't think it worked so I only used the Hurricane Gel from then on...and if you try it on yourself it really works!!!
4. Raspberry Teether: This was so helpful during the teething stage as he was wanting to chew on everything and this is a great chew toy! It's been somewhat helpful during the cutting stage but I feel like distracting him other ways is more beneficial b/c putting something in his mouth reminds him of the pain.
5. Cold Stuff: When he first started teething he hated anything cold near his mouth (he was only 3 months old don't forget!). As he's gotten older he's really enjoyed a teething ring (kept in the fridge, not the freezer!) but he especially loves an ice cube put in his mesh feeder thing. He will go to town on that junk and it's adorable! It's been great during both phases!
6. Pacifier: When he first started teething the pacifier worked better than anything else. I'm very anti-paci outside the crib but this was one time I allowed it as it soothed him in a way nothing else would. As he's gotten older and the pain has gotten worse it actually causes more harm than good. I think sucking hurts as the tooth is breaking through and this is why he has a harder time sleeping. He "needs" the paci to sleep (gah how I wish he didn't!) but yet sucking on it causes him more pain. This is why the Tylenol before sleep helps so much :)
7. Humidifier: With a tooth comes a VERY runny nose! I went in there two mornings ago and his face was covered in snot. Poor thing :( Since then I've been running the humidifier in his room during naps and all through the night. It really helps. When he's laying flat and the snot drains to his throat he can't breathe and since he sucks on a paci he has a really hard time and wakes up. It's hard to get him back to sleep because he has to lay flat so the humidifier opens up that airway for him allowing him to sleep. It also makes a nice white noise sound that can't hurt either!
8. My Husband: Always a life saver!!! Of COURSE Kye starts cutting his first tooth when Daddy leaves to go out of town again so I was stuck with it during the worst part but I know if Zach could have been here he would have been an amazing help as always. He was great during all the teething and wonderful to get up with Kye every night when he woke up in pain. He's so so good at getting him to go back to sleep, I suck! Even baby aside, it's just a blessing to have another person to vent to and to celebrate with when things go right! I miss him very much right now!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teething is worse than Childbirth

I'm not kidding. Now that my child has his first tooth (praise the LORD!) I feel like it's safe to say that I'm knowledgeable enough on this subject to say how horrible it is. Let's not forget that I gave birth to my child with zero drugs and I pushed for 3 hours and I still say teething is a million times worse! Here's why:

1. You choose (typically) to go through childbirth before you actually go through it. You want to have a baby so you sign up for the pain in order to get one. You don't choose for your child to go through teething, it is totally out of your control (and makes you wonder...do we really need teeth?!)
2. When you are in the pains of childbirth you have a goal and you know that the end is near. Kye started at 3 months old having teething symptoms, yet he did not have his first tooth until he was 8 months old. No one is in labor for 6 months.
3. With childbirth you are in the pain so you can manage it, with teething your child is in pain. Not only does this break your heart but it is annoying as crap because they don't know how to manage it at all.
4. With childbirth if you take drugs they are hardcore and will literally take all the pain away, Children's Tylenol lasts 4 hours, if that.
5. You know you are pregnant. You know that in 9 months you will be in labor. You have that time to prepare. There is no warning with teething. One day you have a happy, sweet child...the next you have a screaming, drooling, running nose, chewing on everything mess.
6. When giving birth everyone caters to you. They feel bad for you and want to help you rest. With teething everyone feels bad for the baby. No one thinks about the woman with no sleep wearing the same pjs she's been living in for three days.
7. The signs of going into labor are pretty clear: your water breaks, you start hurting and BAM baby arrives. The signs of a tooth breaking through are all over the place and not trustworthy: fussiness? low fever? runny nose...these do NOT mean that he's about to get a tooth. There is no tell-tale sign that a tooth is actually finally going to present itself.
8. After giving birth to your husband's child he is so grateful he thanks you over and over again for all your hard work. After all the hard work you do helping your child cut his first tooth your baby will never thank you. Unless of course you have a daughter and then she becomes a mom and understands what you went through (thank you MOM!).
9.When preparing for labor you have a birthing plan that you come up with that you can follow. With cutting a tooth...all bets are off.
10. At the end of childbirth you have a baby, at the end of cutting a tooth you have a tooth and only the promise of the many, many left to come.

Boys vs Girls

I've always bragged to Zach that I will outlive him since women live longer than men do! Now that I have a son I find the differences between women and men (boys and girls in this case I guess) so interesting. I stumbled across an article in Parents magazine and thought I'd share! And of course I included some pictures of Kye doing the typical boy thing...playing with a ball :)
Girls:
  • are four times more susceptible to hip dysplasia where the thighbone dislocates from the hip socket
  • more likely to leak breast milk from their nipples as newborns due to high levels of Mom's estrogen
  • get more UTIs
  • twice as likely to get asthma
  • five times as likely to be born with hemangiomas (raised red spots)
  • feel pain and discomfort more acutely than boys so are more likely to cry or fuss
  • produce more of the human-bonding hormone (oxytocin) and the feel-good hormone (serotonin)
  • less active style of play, stay closer to adults, engage in fantasy and play in small groups
  • typically master the potty four months earlier (35 months old)
  • more likely to be fascinated by objects with interesting colors and textures
  • reach 50% of adult height at 20 months old
  • at 18 months vocabulary averages 90 words
  • weight less at birth (average is 7lb 4 oz)
Boys:
  • are eight times more likely to be born with a hernia
  • four times as many boys are affected by autism
  • three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
  • more likely to have dyslexia or delayed speech
  • don't hear as well but are better at determining the location of a sound
  • explore things more physically yet also have more fluid in their brains to protect their heads from impact
  • gravitate towards packs of playmates and intense active games that involve lots of running and chasing
  • weigh 4 ounces more on average at birth (average is 7 lb 8 oz, bigger because women pregnant with a boy typically tend to consume 10% more calories!)
  • more interested in playing with things that move like toy cars and trucks
  • reach 50% of adult height at 24 months old (late bloomers)
  • reach puberty 2 years later and tend to continue growing for an additional three years
  • at 18 months vocabulary averages 40 words (but catch up to girls by age 3)
  • have larger area of brain devoted to visual-spatial relation so master advanced movements (aiming a throw, kicking a ball, building towers) at a younger age
  • master the potty 4 months slower (39 months old)
 throwing the ball to Mommy!
I thought this was so interesting! Especially the fact that women pregnant with boys consume more calories!!! Does that mean if I have a baby girl that I won't gain so much weight? That'd be awesome! :) I really feel like that boys have the shorter end of the stick. Girls seem to be healthier and more ahead in life overall. While it makes me happy because I'm a woman, it makes me feel sorry for my son and a little nervous too. The whole autism thing is SO scary! One statistic they missed? Boys are also more likely to be color blind than girls! 1 out of every 20 men are color blind...crazy huh?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forgiveness

This is a very personal post but ya know what? Writing on this blog is how I deal. I get it all out and then I feel better...it works when I'm frustrated as a mom so why not with other things too? This is like my little journal, however I do have to be more discreet then I would be in a journal as it's a diary I allow anyone to read.

As Christians we are taught to confess our sins to God as well as to one another (James 5:16). A lot of the time, however, we're afraid to do just that! We'll make our sins right with God but will be too afraid to face the embarrassment or judgment of our peers to actually go down front at church and confess to our church family. This has always bothered me!!! I have told a million people that it's awful that people judge each other when we ALL sin (Romans 3:23)! This past week I've been faced with a situation where I must practice what I have been preaching, and it's much harder than I ever thought.

Our church has been turned upside down recently and it's a really tough situation. The person involved went down front and asked for forgiveness of the church for the sins they have committed. I wasn't there when this happened (Wednesday) as I was home alone with Mr. Kye and I actually somehow managed not to even hear about it until Friday. When I heard I was so upset. My first reaction was to do the right thing. The right thing is to forgive with open arms. But after thinking about it and having it hit me over and over it became harder to get past it. I know that in God's eyes all sin is equal. However, some sins are easier for us to forgive than others. If someone says a cuss word on accident it's understandable. Haven't we all done that a time or two? But some sins aren't accidental. We choose to do some things. We choose to lie. We choose to gossip. Even though those are sins people commit on purpose they still are pretty easy to forgive one another of since they are so common. But what about killing? stealing? adultery? Those sins aren't accidental, and they aren't just a simple choice. Those sins take planning. You have to have the gun, plan out the robbery, plan to cheat on your spouse. They are harder for us to forgive and it seems like a lot of the times that they are worse sins than others doesn't it?

When faced with having to forgive someone of a "bad" sin it's difficult. I know God forgives them, but do I? I know I need to but can I? Can we all? I have been thinking about this all weekend and it's pretty much consumed me (ask Zach he got SICK of hearing about it!). I realized that the reasons I have had a hard time truly forgiving are problems within myself and not the person I'm trying to forgive. Since I'm a "newer" Christian I tend to put people up on a pedestal. When I meet an awesome Christian I think they are perfect. The perfect example of how to be. That isn't fair to that person!!! NO ONE is perfect yet I sit there and think that these people are. So of course when they sin, as we all do at some point, it crushes me. It is hard for me to get past it because I just can't believe that they could do such a thing. This isn't the first time a person who I have thought of as "perfect" falls back to Earth. It happens with each person I consider perfect, so doesn't that show me that we all fall short, we all are less than perfect, we all are human?

The other reason I've had a hard time forgiving as I should is because I am afraid. This person is so strong and so close to the Lord. I hate to admit it but this person is waaaaay closer than I am. And if the devil can get into their life...how do I stand a chance against him? Not that I think I'd ever do the sin that they've done but it just make me scared. It makes me scared for myself and for my child and future children. We have to truly armor ourselves the best we can against the devil as he will do everything he can to get to us (Ephesians 6:11).

I've been communicating with this person and it's been helping me get through this. Like they pointed out to me people who have had this type of sin affect their life in some way in the past may have a more difficult time working through it and getting past it. We get clouded by our own experiences and fail to see that each person is different and they aren't the same person as who ever may have hurt us in the past. I'm proud of myself for seeing past my own experiences and being able to have open arms towards this person and that I do want so badly to truly forgive. I want to mean it and not just say it!

Through this I have become so, so proud to be a member of my church. I expected Sunday to be filled with lots of whispers but instead no one talked about it (at least not to me!). It's made me feel so good to see all the out pouring of love on Facebook towards the person who repented of their sins. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that we can find good in everything, even things that seem awful. Right now our church is hurting but I feel we will become stronger because of this. I pray that this person works through everything and that they are able to see a light at the end of all this. I pray that we welcome this person back into our family and that things go back as they were before. I pray that we all follow this persons example and feel more comfortable to confess our sins to each other. I pray we all learn to show our love to each other more and to be more quick to forgive one another.

For myself I pray that I can become stronger in God's word so I will build up my defense against the devil. I pray that I can teach my son to never let the devil win and that if he falters, as he will eventually, that he can always go to God and his church family and be forgiven, no matter what. I pray that I can work on realizing that no one is perfect and that we are all equal in God's eyes. That I am just as valuable to Him as others and that my faith and love of Him is just as important. I also pray that I can forgive others more quickly and overcome the quick judgments that we all so easily make. 

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beginning the Weaning Process

Warning: I am discussing my feelings in this post and am not trying to offend anyone. However, this is my blog and my opinions and I want to be honest about them!

When I first was pregnant I wasn't sure about the whole nursing thing. I didn't really know if it'd be for me and thought it was kinda strange to think about my baby sucking on my boobs. As I got further and further along in my pregnancy I started reading every book under the sun and learned all the benefits of breast milk and how important it is for the baby and the mommy. I was still not a mother yet and my main reason for deciding to nurse was that I wanted it to help me lose weight. I thought it'd be a great diet plan for getting rid of the baby weight (so not true though sadly!)! I didn't decide to do it because I thought it was necessarily best for my baby, but because it'd be best for me. As all moms know, we put ourselves FIRST until the day that child is born then it's all about them :)

For awhile during my pregnancy I planned on doing both breast and formula because I have such a busy lifestyle and didn't want to have to slow down to nurse my baby all the time and didn't like the idea of having to nurse the baby in public places. Once I learned about pumping I decided to go 100% breast milk as by that time I'd read about allllll the benefits and how important it is for the baby!

Once Kye was born I had the plan to nurse him for 6 months. It was just a number I picked because I thought after 6 months babies were too old to be chowing down on boobs. I had such a hard time with nursing that my new goal became 3 weeks! Once I got the hang of it I knew I'd be able to go for the 6 months and I really enjoyed it. I hated pumping but thought it was all worth it to be able to store up milk so once I quit nursing at 6 months Kye would be able to still have breast milk beyond that.

6 months came and went and I was still enjoying nursing. By then I'd learned that it is the best thing for the baby until they are one year old and really appreciated the fact that it helped build up his immune system so much. He turned 6 months right around the time this swine flu stuff got bad and I've been so thankful that he's such a strong baby and hasn't even ever had a cold yet!!! My new goal became to nurse Kye until his first birthday when he could have cows milk. I planned to never introduce formula and go straight from breast to whole milk at one year.

When we went to NYC last month I realized that while I'm not tired of nursing, I am tired of pumping. I loathe it. I have had to pump all over the world from Paris to NYC to Disney! I cannot stand it. It's such a pain to revolve my trips around my next pump session. I was so over it in NYC that I just didn't worry about it. Sure I pumped the needed 4x per day but I didn't make it a priority and ended up spreading out the sessions too long and got a clogged milk duct. It's annoying that when I am away from my baby I can't fully be on vacation. I still have to worry about when I'm going to pump and how I'm going to get the milk home. GRRRR.

Coming up next month Zach and I are going skiing. I'm very excited for this trip as we haven't been in 2 years! The one thought in the back of my mind though is that I'll be wearing a million layers and will have to stop skiing, take off each layer, pump, then put all that junk back on. I'm dreading it and it's actually making me not look forward to what should be an awesome trip.

Since I've pumped like a crazy woman and saved every ounce of milk I thought I'd add it all up and see when I could start weaning him off the breast. Wouldn't it be great if he could be done before the ski trip and still have enough milk from the freezer to last until he can have cows milk? So I spent quite awhile on Saturday going through our freezer and adding up all my stored milk. It looked like enough to last a lifetime!

Once I added it all up I realized I had 587.5 oz total. That sounds like a TON but it actually averages out to 20 days (4 bottles a day) of 7 ounce bottles. Since the dr. told me I can mix 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 cows milk at 10 1/2 months then do all cows milk at 1 year that means I have enough frozen breast milk to start weaning on Dec. 31st. When I came to that conclusion my heart sank. The feeling I had was disappointment. I was hoping it would be enough milk where I could start weaning him NOW. Of course feeling this way brought on a wave of guilt like no other!!! It made me realize that I am ready to be done. I'm ready to move on to the next phase and not be nursing my baby anymore. :(

I thought about my feelings and analyzed them and realize that my #1 reason for wanting to stop is that I am SICK of pumping. My #2 reason is that I'm ready to be Emily again. Honestly, to me, being a nursing mother is still like you are somewhat pregnant. My body is still not my own and I'm over wearing the nasty maternity bras everyday. I'm ready to be able to be DONE with "maternity" gear. I'm ready to know what size my boobs will actually become! I'm ready to be able to enjoy life without worrying about leaking milk. I'm ready to get dressed each morning instead of living in pjs b/c whats the point of getting dressed when I have to nurse a baby 4 times a day?

Zach asked me why I want to stop and if stopping is the best thing. He made a good point because I realized my reasons for wanting to stop breastfeeding are 100% selfish. That got me thinking and you know what...there is NEVER a reason to stop breastfeeding that is BEST for the baby!!! It may be best for the mom, but never for the child. God made it so that babies thrive on breast milk. It is the best nutrients for children. Anyone who stops breastfeeding at any time really is, in my opinion, doing it for selfish reasons. I felt a lot of guilt for this and for considering making a choice that would not be the best thing for my baby.

I decided to look through the TONS of free formula samples we have because I thought if I incorporated a little formula into the mix that it could speed things along for me. We have 6 sample cans of Enfamil Lipil with Iron and when I Googled around I learned that that one is the closest one to breast milk! As I looked at the cans I saw that two of them expire Dec 1st of this year and I felt like that was a sign (I always look for "signs" when I'm making big decisions haha!).

I worked it all out and talked to Zach and he suggested doing one feeding a day of formula and three of breast milk. It was a great idea! Why did I always think it was EITHER/OR and not both???!!! Duh! In the end I have decided on, what I think, it a very fair compromise. It's not the 100% best thing for Kye but it's also not the 100% most selfish thing for me either. Breastfeeding is a very personal decision and this is a decision I feel good about making! I've decided to do formula for his 11:00 and 3:00 feedings and still nurse him at the 7 am and 7 pm feedings. It's the best of both worlds because the first and last feedings are my favorites (he's the most cuddly!) and when he nurses the best and it will make my life SO much easier. I can nurse him at 7 and get ready for the day not having to sport a nasty bra all day then after nursing him at 7 I can get ready for bed and just wear the nasty bras for sleep! Then when I am away from Kye during the day I don't have to worry about pumping! And on trips I'll only have to pump right when I wake up and before I go to bed which isn't a big deal at all and won't involve any crazy planning!

I felt so good about my decision and decided to start on the formula on Monday. I'm dropping the 3:00 nursing session first as that's what the Babywise Blog Lady did :) I figured since Kye is so easily adaptable that I'd just go for it with straight formula. I made the bottle and was shocked at how much formula looks like breast milk. I know that sounds stupid but for Zach and I formula is this EVIL word!!! I don't know why but we both feel that way! I guess I expected it to be green or black some "evil" color haha but nope it's just like milk! Anyways he took a sip from the bottle and politely pushed it away. He refused to eat it at all! I mixed with with some breast milk and he still wouldn't drink it. Then I pumped and gave him fresh milk mixed with it and he still wouldn't drink it. He ended up totally skipping that meal!!! I was BAWLING my head off. I just kept thinking that he'll never take to the formula and that I'd be stuck nursing him all 4 feedings until he's a year old. It upset me so so so much and the fact that I was so upset made me realize just how ready I am!!!

The upside of being so upset was how sweet and precious my baby boy was! While I was crying he decided to cheer me up by CRAWLING! He crawled from the living room through the kitchen and into the laundry room, never scooting once! Here's a video I took during my crying break of him showing off his new skills!!! It was very exciting! He was also so comforting to me. I was sitting on the floor upset and he crawled over, climbed up on me and gave me a kiss! And he offered to share his toy with me!

I calmed down and decided to give it to him again at the 7:00 feeding as I KNEW he'd be starving! I was shocked at how well he did without his 3:00 meal. I kept offering it until almost 5 just to make sure and he really didn't want it. At 7 he pushed it away again and broke my heart a little bit by grabbing onto my shirt and trying to nurse :( I tried the bottle again and he drank it! It was 5 oz breast milk and 1 oz formula! I was so happy he drank it and I honestly really enjoyed giving it to him. I held him and cherished watching him drink it. Since I nurse I typically am not the one to feed him his bottle as I like to give others a chance to feed him but I enjoyed it! It was cute to see the little dimple he has next to his mouth when he sucks. With nursing I can't really see his face because it's blocked by my boob so I liked being able to look at him and really watch him.

Yesterday I mixed 2 oz formula with 4 oz breast milk and he drank it down no problems at all! He did throw up a decent bit the rest of the day but I'm sure it's his body adjusting. I plan to up it by 1 oz each day and hopefully be the full 6 oz of formula on Saturday. If he drinks all that no issue then I'll stop pumping at 3 (right now I'm pumping for the missed feeding to get milk to be able to mix with the formula) and start letting my body adjust to nursing 3 times a day instead of 4! After I'm adjusted (I hear it takes a week or so!) I'll see how he does with a formula bottle at 11, which should be fine because by then he'll be used to it. I'll continue to nurse at 7 and 7 until I get to a point where I have enough frozen milk to last until he's a year old. Even though the dr said I can start introducing cows milk at 10 1/2 months I don't know that I will. I feel like this formula/breast milk combo is a really great thing and something I will be happy with. I can see myself doing this until he's the full 12 months, but we'll see!
My one regret is not introducing him to formula a LOT sooner. With baby #2 I plan to nurse exclusively again but to give at least one bottle of formula a week once he/she is 2 weeks old. I want them to know formula and to like it so when I'm ready to start weaning it'll be a lot smoother transition. I don't feel guilty at all for my decision to go from 4 breastfed feedings to 2 and supplementing with the formula. I know a girl at church has a baby about Kye's age and she nurses it 8 times a day still!!! Just because her baby is getting DOUBLE the breast milk that Kye's getting doesn't make that child healthier ya know? I don't think giving Kye formula for two feedings will significantly alter his life in anyway...it will just make him have a happier mommy!

I am so excited about the idea that I wish I'd done it before New York so I wouldn't have had to pump in the middle of the day. My plans for the next children are to do this 2 breast 2 formula deal once they are down to 4 feedings a day so around 6 months old! I am so so so proud of myself for nursing for this long exclusively (wayyy beyond my expectations!). I'm thankful that I've had this wonderful special time with my son and am glad that I'm not 100% done with this journey yet!

8 Months Old

At eight months old Kye can do all of the things that What to Expect the First Year says he "should" be able to do including:
  • bear some weight on legs when held upright
  • feed self a cracker
  • rake with fingers an object and pick it up with fist
  • turn in direction of a voice
  • look for a dropped object
 
He can do all of the things an eight month old "will probably" or "may possibly" be able to do and some of the things an eight month old "may even be able" to do including:
  • pass a cube or other object from one hand to the other
  • stand holding on to someone or something
  • object if you try to take a toy away
  • work to get a toy that's out of reach
  • play peekaboo
  • get into a sitting position from stomach
  • creep or crawl
  • pull up to standing position from sitting
  • pick up tiny object with any part of thumb and finger
  • say "mama" or "dad" indiscriminately (just "dada" right now)
  • understand "no" (but not always obey it)
  
Things Kye can't quite do yet include:
  • play patty-cake (clap hands) or wave bye-bye
  • walk holding on to furniture (cruise)
  • stand alone momentarily
  
This months chapter discusses a lot of things that I've already covered. It talks about introducing finger foods and I did that awhile ago!!! I actually referenced this section when I decided to start feeding him finger foods as the Babywise Blog Lady used it for ideas of what to give her children. It recommends: whole-wheat bagels (check), whole-wheat bread or toast, rice cakes or other crackers that become mushy (check), oat circle cereals, wheat or rice puffs, tiny cubes of pasteurized cheese (check), chunks of ripe banana (check), ripe pear (check), peach (check), apricot, cantaloupe (check), honeydew (check) or mango, small chunks of cooked carrot (check), white or sweet potato (check), yam, broccoli or cauliflower, soft meatballs, well cooked pasta, and scrambled or hard boiled egg yoke (check). Re-reading this I think I've done pretty well so far at introducing him to a variety of foods!

This chapter also covers sign language (which I've already been doing), reading to your child (I can't imagine waiting until my kid is 8 months old to start reading to him!), as well as people being concerned with their baby not crawling yet and thinking that when they say "dada" they actually MEAN "dada." Come on people! One thing I did learn from this chapter was that it's not going to kill my child to eat food (and dirt) off the floor. That's a good thing b/c he does it all the time! haha! When something falls off his high chair I just pick it up and feed it to him. And when he's "crawling" around he tends to like to lick stuff and I just let him. I figure that it hasn't killed me yet so it shouldn't bother him too much and so far it hasn't. I also feel like letting him be exposed to some germs is good for his immune system! Thankfully, this book agrees with me!
I also appreciated the section on childproofing. I may not agree on hardcore childproofing like they do (or that my kid has to wear flame-retardant sleepwear, I just don't get that...if there is a fire I don't think his pjs will stop it from burning him?!) but I do agree that people learn from making mistakes and it's important not to hover over Kye while he is on the move. He needs to be safely-curious and learn about his world and he can't do that if I'm always right there protecting him. Now that Kye is mobile he falls alllll the time. If we're playing on the hard wood floor or tile then yeah I try to catch him but most of the time I don't make a big deal of it when he wipes out. It's going to happen and my reaction decides how he will react. If he cries I always offer comfort but I don't go on and on about it. I give him a hug say "that's okay" then let him go back and play. I don't say "oh poor baby" or "bad floor for hurting my baby" or freak out. I keep a smile on my face and a happy tone to let him know that it really is ok! He honestly rarely cries when he falls. He just typically bounces right back to whatever he was doing. Maybe it's because I have a son and somewhere inside me I think boy=tough but I'm hoping that if I ever have a girl I'll be just as willing to let her learn the way I'm letting Kye!
 
As far as childproofing goes I've covered a couple outlets and that's it. We have some "danger" items within reach of my little one including some breakables on our front foyer table but I never let Kye even come close to this area of the house. I am very cautious with the window blinds and always raise them for him and tuck the cord plenty out of reach. I have yet to install anything on any of the cabinets. Even though this chapter says to go ahead and do all these things, my child never has free reign in my home. If he's in a living area of the house he's under constant supervision and if he's in his room or another safe zone he's only left alone for up to 2 minutes at a time. If I'm unable to keep a safe and constant watch on him then he's either in the pack and play, in the play pin, in the jumperoo, in the high chair (when cleaning up after he eats), in the bumbo (watching his movie) or safely secured in his seat in the bathroom (while I'm getting ready). I know at some point we will probably have to do more baby proofing but I don't think there will be a need for it until he's at least walking!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Summary of Month 8

This month has been CRAZY with the many, many changes Kye has gone through. I love that every day brings something new!!! It's such an exciting time in his life!

Ball: While at Disney we got Kye a ball! He's had a little plastic one but it didn't roll very well and he also has had a football that (duh) doesn't roll well either. Even though I hate basketball it was the best ball and it was Disney!!! He LOVES it! Zach will play catch with him which is cute as he will semi-catch it (with some luck) and will (also with luck) roll it kinda back to Zach to do it again. The best part though is how he CHEWS on the ball. I guess he thinks it tastes good? This video shows him going to town on it...so funny!
Reading: Kye isn't reading as much as he used to anymore :( He does still really love the books and has learned to enjoy them sitting up and is starting to master turning the pages. Here's a video of him doing this! While he may not be as into reading on his own, he is starting to enjoy it more when we read to him. He will sit in my lap and actually pay attention to the book instead of just trying to eat it the whole time! This makes it a lot more fun and makes me excited for the many, many books he'll be getting as Christmas gifts this year!

Boo-Boo: Kye had his first real boo-boo. By real I mean that it drew blood :( He was playing in his room and I stepped out for a few minutes. I'll do that from time to time to throw in some laundry or something like that as his room is pretty baby proof I don't really worry. I heard him BAWL as if in pain so of course I raced in there to comfort him and he had a little dot of blood below his nose. I guess he was pulling up on the little table in his room and fell just right to hit it. I felt guilty for leaving him alone poor thing but these things will happen more and more as he gets more mobile! You can see the boo-boo under his nose!
Naps: Kye has been doing MUCH better adjusting to not having his 3rd nap. We actually have sort of rearranged things a bit to accommodate him. I let him sleep longer at his 1:00 nap if needed and we feed him early for dinner. He now eats at 6:30 instead of 7 and is asleep by 7:15 instead of 8. So far that's really helping! We also just try to keep him VERY entertained around 5:00 because he'll still sometimes get a little fussy because he's tired. His other naps have really benefited from the 3rd one being gone though! He goes down at 8:40 (doesn't fall asleep sometimes until almost 9:30 because he's too busy playing!) and will get up around 11. For the 1:00 he may wake up around 2 but typically will put himself back to sleep. I can no longer use the shush-pat method if he wakes up as at this age that will only make him wake up MORE. All I can do to help him go back to sleep is give him the paci and hope for the best. So now I never go in his room during nap time unless he's bawling his head off! And now that he can put the paci in by himself (amen!!!!) life is so so so much better! He really is a Babywise Baby as he puts himself to sleep at the beginning of his nap and if he wakes up during it...all that hard work was welllll worth it :)
 
Car Seat: Kye's infant carrier car seat seems to be getting heavier and heavier while also looking smaller and smaller. He's such a big boy! When we went to the dr. recently and she said he's 20 lb 5 oz I decided it's probably time to start thinking about moving him to the "big kid" car seat. Our infant one only goes up to 22 lb and or 30 inches long. With a full belly and dirty diaper and fully dressed I'll bet he's almost 22 lb! And I'm sure by now he's about 29 inches since he was 28 almost 2 months ago! We haven't installed them yet but I'm so so so nervous about it. Kye LOVES the frog toy Aunt Ashley got for him. He adores that thing and it's our savior in the car...what will we do without it??? Any suggestions for car seat toys would be great! I'm going to buy him a tray that you can hook up to the seat so he can put toys in that and we have a portable dvd player we're going to hook up so he can watch Your Baby Can Read on road trips! Here he is enjoying that car seat and frog before we say goodbye :(
Sitting on Own: I remember with LL (Kye's friend who's a month older than him) that it seemed like she hit a million milestones at once...well we're at that time right now for Kye! A couple weeks ago I was packing for the Disney trip and walked in his room to find him sitting up playing with a toy. I realized that he hadn't been sitting up when I walked out so he must have done it on his own. I walked in again a few minutes later and he was on his belly and looked up at me with this little look in his eyes. So I told him to sit up for mommy and he did it! He went from his belly to sitting! I was so excited! I grabbed the camera and caught his 3rd time doing it on video! Yay!!! I am honestly more excited about this than crawling as it really helps with his independence. If he falls over from sitting he can just sit himself up again! It's really helped him with his independent playtime and now he's up to over 20 min per session! It's also so sweet when I walk in from his nap and he's sitting up in his crib! Such a big boy!
 
Mr Monkey: Kye has started to become attached to his monkey blanket thing that he sleeps with. We wanted to kinda choose his attachment item so we've been having him sleep with it for awhile now. As he's getting older he really does love Mr. Monkey! I'll hear him all the time on the monitor playing with him during his nap time. When he's about to go to sleep I hand him Mr. Monkey and he's sooo precious with him. He'll hug on him and give him kisses. And whenever I wake him up from his nap (or go in there to get him because now he's typically awake) he is usually loving on him! In this video he kissed Mr. Monkey on demand! Such a sweet, loving baby!
 Chewing: I don't know if it's because Kye loves to eat or because he's learning to make lots of different sounds, but whatever the reason Kye loves to chew. He'll just chomp down over and over again making smacking sounds all over the place! This video is so funny of him chewing the pole in our front foyer. It looks like he's pole dancing haha!

Weather: The weather in south GA is always strange, especially this time of year. Some days I lay out because it's 80 and others I'm all bundled up freezing. I haven't let this affect our walks but it's hilarious how I have to dress Kye! The kid doesn't have ANY winter clothes so I bought a well-worn out fleece outfit on Ebay for 99 cents just so he could wear something when we go out in the cold! Courtney gave me an old sweatshirt of Colts with a hood and I put a tight baby hat on him to help keep his head warm. Top it off with some socks and ugly shoes I got at a garage sale awhile back (he doesn't own any shoes yet either...I'm going outlet shopping the end of the month and want to wait for some deals!!!) and we're good to go. I'm so glad I don't run into a ton of people while on my walks (other than construction workers) b/c I'd be pretty embarrassed at how my kid is dressed haha!!!
Talking: Kye's been making vowel sounds for a long time now ("eh" being the favorite) but he's just starting to really learn consonates! So far he's able to make the "d" "s" "g" and "b" sounds! His first word was on October 30th (same day he went from tummy to sitting, I'm telling you it's all happening so close together!). He was in his pack and play having independent playtime and I walked over to help him clean up. He looked right at the basket for the toys and said "bud." Random! I am not one of those moms who thinks he actually meant to say "bud" I know that it was just him putting together the sounds he knows but still, it's a word so I'm counting it. It caught me off guard because up until that point I'd only really heard him say "eh" haha!

Then the morning of my birthday (a couple days later) I was in the bathroom getting ready and I heard him, clear as day, say "dada"! I was so thankful Zach was there to hear that even though, again, we know he didn't actually mean "Daddy" it's still very exciting! Here is a video of him saying "dada" along with making plenty of raspberries. I know "mama" may not come for awhile so I'm enjoying the "dadas" for now :)

It seems like EVERY month Kye invents some new annoying sound. We've had the shrieking, the grunting, and now we have the choking. I loathe this sound as it really does seem like he's choking. I'm glad I capture videos of each of these sounds as they really do come on strong then just disappear. Here's the video of the latest one which will hopefully be gone any day now!

Goodbye Bouncer, Hello Chair: While I was reading through the instructions for the car seat to see when he was too big for it I stumbled across the ones for the bouncer and discovered that once they can sit on their own they are too big! Oops! We just love the bouncer and I hate to see it go as Kye adores it, especially the little owl. Oh well! I washed it and we packed it up for baby #2 someday! Along with it I told Zach to go ahead and pack up the swing. He doesn't use it and hasn't ever really liked it so why keep it out? It's HUGE. I did end up keeping the seat part because it converts into a little chair for him and he really enjoys it! I'm thankful that I found a use for the "swing" as I hated that it was $100 just wasted! Here's pictures of him enjoying his bouncer one last time and now playing in his rocking chair!
 
 
Eating:  Kye is still a great eater. He nurses very quickly and also kills a bottle fast! He's down to abou t6 oz a feeding (which is 24 oz a day) so I think that's okay. He eats all Stage 2 baby food now and loves all of it! Also instead of rice cereal I give him oatmeal and have started giving him whole wheat grain as well. I am still big on introducing him to lots and lots of new foods and our list has gotten pretty long! You can follow the foods Kye eats by checking out this link as I update this post whenever we try something new. He's also doing great with finger foods and enjoys feeding himself. He can pick up the pieces with his index finger and thumb and get (most of) it in on the first try! Here's a funny video of him pretending to eat. I guess maybe he thought it was in his mouth? haha I also let him have some apple juice for the first time in his life (mixed 1 oz juice with 1 oz nursery water and he only took a couple sips). I am not a big juice person but he was a little constipated so I thought it would help. Here's a picture of his first time trying it!
Teething: Kye suddenly stopped showing any signs of teething. So strange! You would think by 8 months old that the kid would had least have one tooth poking through but nope! I hope they come in soon, it does make me a little nervous! However, I've read online that it's a normal thing and even though pretty much all the babies I know had teeth by this age that he'll get them eventually and even being toothless up to 14 months old isn't rare!

Growing Boy: As mentioned earlier, he's now 20 lb 5 oz! It's so funny to me that I used to think that a bag of cat food at the grocery store was heavy. I bought some the other day and thought it was no big deal at all!!! Carrying around 20 lb all the time makes things seem a lot lighter. Maybe I'm building some arm muscles? :) With his big boy size he's now in size 4 diapers. He was leaking out of the 3s a lot during his naps so it was time. He's also still in 9 month sized clothing but is wearing 12 month sized sleepers and ughhhh so annoying. Why do all the sleepers I buy (all different brand names) have such TINY arm holes? Grr! I actually bought him 18 month size pjs from Old Navy for him to wear Christmas morning and they already fit him! I guess pjs just run very very little for some reason. Even though he's a big boy he still doesn't compare to Daddy...I love this picture comparing their feet! hah!
Baby Things: When he was first born I was nervous about all the black thick hair he had! He had that junk on his ears and alll over his back and shoulders. I was worried I had a wolf baby! The dr told me that the hair may actually never go away, and so far he was right! The hair is all still there but is now blond so it's a LOT less noticeable (thank God!) Also the dr. told me that the little bump on his thigh would be there forever as it was a scar. Well on this one, the dr was wrong! After putting plenty of Aquaphor on it over the past couple of months it's now barely even a freckle!

Toy Box: I've started giving Kye a lot of blanket time which is great because it gives him a chance to explore and play with all of his toys. Of course, his favorite toy is the actual toy box I store the toys in! He LOVES that thing and especially loves taking out the bottom of it (it's like a cardboard insert) and playing with that. He will hold that thing and "talk" to it forever!
Crawling: when Kye turned 8 months old he was not yet fully crawling. He prefers to get around by scooting but will take a couple "crawl steps." I don't consider this actual crawling though! To me crawling is when he gets from one place to the next JUST with crawling and not scooting! Here is a video of him almost crawling. He is very close to actually crawling, so close that he'll crawl in his sleep! Zach says he goes in there sometimes (if Kye gets loud while sleeping) to put the paci back in and Kye will be up on all fours rocking while still dead asleep. I wish I had a video of that!

Your Baby Can Read: I know a lot of people don't buy into the program, but I love it. Do I sit there thinking my kid is going to bust out reading? No! I just know that it is something he enjoys participating in and that it may help him with his education but even if it doesn't help him it won't hurt him either. Unlike most tv shows I don't have to worry about something influencing him (like the new Sesame Street scandal!) and I know that he's watching something that encourages a love of reading. What could be bad about that? We do the flashcards as well as watch the movies and I enjoy this time with him together. It's neat because it's a way I can really see him growing up. He used to just stare blankly at the flashcards while I read them but now he participates and responds when I ask him to read the word. Here's a video of him "reading"

Play Pin: I was letting Kye have blanket time just on a blanket in the living room but now that he's so mobile I can't trust it! We got out the play pin gate thing we bought back when I was pregnant and it's great! He plays in there and can't escape so I know he's safe. This also goes along with the Babywise principal of boundaries and not allowing him more freedoms than age appropriate. Doesn't he look like a little caged monkey??? haha!
Laughing: Kye has always been a happy baby. He is growing up though and no longer laughs allll the time like he used to. He especially doesn't think I'm as funny as he once did (I guess he's figured out that I really am NOT a funny person which is true!) Now the only thing that he really cracks up at are the dogs. Occassionally he'll be in a silly mood where making him go upside down or tickling him will get him going but for the most part the dogs make him the happiest! Just seeing them bring a smile to his face and a laughter from his gut!

Standing on own: This actually happened the day he turned 8 months old so technically it should go on next months post but whatever! Kye has figured out how to go from laying to sitting then from sitting to standing all within one week! He first pulled himself up at the window in his bedroom, here's a video of that. While this was exciting for some reason I didn't really consider it actual standing because he couldn't stand up straight (the window is too low!). The other day I was on the phone with Ashley and he was in his play pin playing when I came over and he stood right up! Such a big boy! He's now loving to stand and will pull up on everything. He doesn't walk while holding on yet but I'm sure that will happen before we know it!
Discipline: I know Kye is only just now 8 months old. But I truly believe he is starting to understand cause and effect. Since he is mobile he has to learn that somethings he cannot have. Not just because they aren't his but also because they can be dangerous. His favorite thing to scoot to get is the cord of the fan in his room. I will let him get to it then say "no sir" then move him away. When he keeps going back to it again and again I decided it was time to punish him a little more than just saying "no sir." As a young boy Zach's family used a switch on him, which basically means they went out in the woods and found a little twig and carried that around. Well, I'm not that country haha. I know some people use wooden spoons but I decided to use a wooden paint stick. The main reason is that they are FREE and you can get a million of them! Zach got me several from Lowes and I have them around the house where I may need them. I know some people will say "no no" a bunch of times THEN say "I'll get my stick" and may or may not actually get it. That's so annoying to me and I don't believe in empty threats. The day I decided to start using it I watched Kye scoot to the cable cord in the living room. I went over and said "no sir" and moved him away but he came back again so I popped him on the hand with it and said "no sir" again and moved him away. It really does work! Whereas with just the "no sirs" he'd go back again and again he will now stop after getting popped. Zach even said he can tell that he's learning what "no sir" means because as he's heading towards something he shouldn't we'll say "no sir" and he'll look back at us and stop! I truly believe that disciplining at a young age can help him to learn his boundaries and that it will help prevent him from needing lots of discipline when he's older!
Summary: out of all the months Kye has been on this Earth, I feel like the end of the 8th month and beginning of the 9th month have been the most exciting. It really does seem like everyday he's learning something new and growing up right before my eyes! It's such a fun time and while it does make me a little sad to be seeing my little baby becoming not-so-little, overall it makes me so happy! This is the time where I can start to see my hard work pay off. From now on in his life a lot of the milestones he reaches will be in part from things I've done as a parent. It makes me proud for sure! I'm eager to see what's around the corner...hoping for some legit crawling and some TEETH!!!
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