Monday, December 31, 2012

to need or not to need

With only one sweet bambino under my belt I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert on babies or baby gear, but I thought I would make a quick list of items I thought I would certainly need but didn't -- and items I thought I wouldn't need but did.

Thought these were must haves:

Fancy diaper bag. - I tried numerous diapers bags after getting one for my shower and then having store credit.  I finally settled on one mainly out of frustration and laziness.  It worked well the first few weeks. That's it. All the pockets, clips, hangy things, mesh fabric and snaps cause more chaos than already existed in a bag full of baby stuff. What you need is a big ass tote bag. You won't use all those pockets, snaps, clips and hangy things. You just won't! When you're changing your baby in the backseat of the car before you head in to Target you won't be the least bit concerned if your diapers and wipes are in their dedicated location, you will only care if they are anywhere to be found in the bag. And YAY if everything is there!

Baby hand mittens - These are a joke right? A cruel joke to first time moms. Even if they did work and stay on good luck finding matching pairs or even A PAIR after the first wash and dry. A wonderful piece of advice from my expert go to mommy (my sis n law Jen) use socks.  They actually work better and they don't cost 5 bucks for one pair.

An in bed co-sleeper (this is if you choose to co-sleep)- I bought one of these when Lars was probably about 3 or 4 months. We tried to make it work but who wants to sleep with a bulky miniature crib in between them?  You won't use it.  You will try if for a few nights and then you will just put in away in a closet and go back to snuggling with that sweet little baby.

Diaper Genie - While this may be a 'genius' idea, the refill bags are not a 'genius' price. Those suckers are expensive and for my eco-friendly conscience....not the best choice. Just use a regular trash can and empty it daily.

Shoes (before they are a certain age) - Lars is 9 months and I still don't put shoes on him. I've tried and guess what? We have lost at least one of every pair. He pulls them off, they fall off in the store, they just get lost.  We are lucky he finally stopped pulling off his socks.  Wait till they're old enough to keep them on or actually need them.

Baby Bullet v. Blender v. Food Processor:  Ditch your baby bullet and go for a nice full size blender.  Even the food processors I have didn't quite blend up the food to a puree.  The blender does, AND you can make a lot more food at one time.

Things I didn't think I would need, but DID:

A bottle warmer - We didn't buy one of these until Lars was about 6 months old.  We went back and fourth over getting one and eventually bought one for a trip we were taking where we would be in a hotel room for a few days.  We use it a lot. You set the temperature in the beginning and each time just a add a bit of water and viola in a few minutes you have a perfectly heated bottle.

Crib bumper - I didn't get one of these until Lars was again about 6 months. Maybe because he wasn't ever in his crib until then or that's when he started moving around like a mad man, hitting his head on the bars and getting his feet stuck in between.  We bought the mesh breathable bumper and it's work out nicely.

Bottle sterilizer - Again, didn't think we would use this, even when I was buying it. I thought for sure I'd be returning it. We use that sucker twice a day at least. Because we don't run the dishwasher that often the sterilizer is just perfect. Best 40 bucks spent!

Jar Baby Food - I make all of Lars' food but I quickly realized that things happen and it's a good idea to have a few back ups.  Like the time I went to defrost the only food I had left and I put it in a bowl of hot water and it cracked and leaked everywhere. Or the time I realized that some plastic had gotten in to the ENTIRE batch of food I had just made. It's a good idea to have some reserves stashed away.

Movies - We don't watch a whole lot of tv, but sometimes when dinner needs to made, laundry needs to be done, the crib sheet needs to be changed, the baby food needs to be steamed, pureed and packed up and emails need to be sent (bob), popping in a baby Einstein or finding a sesame street on netflix is a real life saver - ONCE IN A WHILE.




Monday, December 17, 2012

sleeeeeeep

Well it happened! After 8.5 months of 3-5 hours of broken sleep (on a good night) our sweet little angel has been sleeping through the night!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I scream from the top of mountains somewhere? Find me a mountain pronto! And when I say sleeping through the night I mean sleeping from about 7pm-7am and to my sadness he's in his crib.

This has been going on for about a week. We have been working on this very slowly and very gradually for some time now as you all probably know very well.

Transitioning him from our bed to his crib wasn't my ultimate goal to be honest. Bob and I were fine and really  happy with Lars in bed with us, but we started to figure out that our super alert busy little man was being disrupted during the night by us.  So since the end of Sept/begging in of Oct. we started to the process.  We began with a pretty strict schedule which works well for us. We are now to the point where it's no big deal if we change it up a bit or are a little early or late on a feeding but Lars is pretty accustomed to the routine and is generally hungry right on time and sleepy right on time.

Then we moved on to naps. All naps were in the crib, then when he became comfortable with that I began our bedtime routine in his nursery (it use to be in our room) and I began putting him down in his crib. For about a month he would wake up at various times during the night, generally getting later and later, and we would bring him in bed with us and then a little after 8 months he began soothing himself back to sleep and staying in his crib and then for the last week he's been doing wonderfully. I'm sure we are still up for a few rough nights but just knowing  that he can do it and has been doing it is such a relief! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Through this whole process I read so many books and received so much advice and it was all helpful in it's on way. But in the end I took bits and pieces from the books and advice and applied them to our life the way we thought best. We didn't let him cry it out, we didn't stop co-sleeping cold turkey and we didn't use any particular method other than patience. It was really hard at times.  Trying to get up, go to work, be productive, come home, make dinner, enjoy Lars time, get ready for bath bed and then do some cleaning was tough on 3 hours of sleep for a consecutive 8 month stretch.

People would tell me so often that their 2,3, or 4 month old was sleeping sleeping 13-14 hours and I wanted to cry and wondered if something was wrong and if my son was ever going to sleep. I knew in my right mind that nothing was wrong and that he would eventually sleep through the night when he was ready.

I miss having Lars snuggled next to us. I miss having a foot pushed into the side of my face or head wedged under my arm....i REALLY REALLY do. Having Lars in bed with us led to so many special moments that I think we would have otherwise missed. I wake up in the early morning and want to go get him and snuggle but then i look over at the monitor and see him sleeping so peacefully and it makes me very happy.

cheese please. 

i put his toys in the basket and then .5 seconds later this is what i find



Friday, December 14, 2012

A Lars-y Holiday

Well we have been super busy around here.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  My mom and David came to visit and we cooked, went shopping in Wimberley, went to the zoo, went looking at Christmas lights and ate and ate and ate. It was wonderful.  Lars was included in the that eating part. He basically had a Thanksgiving feast all to himself. He had a little bit of everything. He had a little green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, cornbread dressing, lentils (my veggie thanksgiving option), I even let a little turkey sneak in there. And for dessert he enjoyed some apple pie and ice cream. THE BOY LOVES TO EAT! He's an eating machine.

Lars and Nana having lunch Wimberley
cherry pie....YUM

checking out the christmas lights
hanging out with the ducks in wimberley

one of many attempted self taken family portraits

We are now getting ready for Christmas and it's been super fun to have Lars involved with everything.  He's helped make christmas cookies, looks adorable in his 'my first christmas jammies, and loves to play with the wrapping paper. 

helping make christmas cookies! 





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

8 months, 2 teeth and some really tubby cheeks!

Hold on to your hats b/c Lars was 8 MONTHS yesterday! If you're thinking what I'm thinking then we're both thinking, HOLY SHIT! I can't believe it's been 8 whole months since my little monkey man came in the world.

Lars is doing so much these days. He's clapping, and pulling up, he's waving bye bye, albeit to himself, but he still waving. He's working on getting into position and having the strength to crawl but we're not there yet and I'm totally OK with that! He's picking up some of his food and making it in his mouth. He has moments of being Mr. Independent (not sure where he gets that from....wink wink) and moments of being very dependent and clingy.

I'm not sure if I've already mentioned this but we are COMPLETELY done with the swaddle. AMEN! Wheww...that was pretty frustrating at times! I would say we've been swaddle free for about a month now and it is just as wonderful as I had hoped. It took about a week for him to fully understand how to control his flailing arms but he got it! He's so much more comfortable now. He sleeps on his tummy, on his side, on his back and can find his paci if he wants it. It's fantabulous!

Lars still eats EVERYTHING! I hope one day I don't regret bragging about him eating but he hasn't turned down anything...not one thing and we haven't held off. Lately I've been making a kale, carrot, squash and apple mixture and he's pretty into it and when I say he's into it, I mean he literally like to get INTO it :)  He gets so proud when we let him hold the spoon and feed himself and when i give him the bowl and he makes a complete disaster he's even more proud.

I think he is currently working on another tooth or two but I'm hoping this time is a little less irritating and painful. We shall see.

Lars is the coolest kid around and we are enjoying this age so much! He's our little angel man!








Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorites

Lars,

You beautiful, precious perfect little creature. Being your mom is the greatest prize I've ever received. I never knew this kind of love until you arrived and I want to thank you for showing me the greatest love anyone could ever know. You're mine and I'm yours...forever. The joy you bring your daddy and I is unimaginable and simply untouchable. I wish I could just hold you forever and we could just rock and rock and rock. Your sweet little head on my chest and those tubby little hands grabbing onto me is enchanting bliss.  I hope, one day, you know just how much love surrounds you.  You're just a little puffin muffin in a swirl of love!
I love you my precious angel.



Bob,

My best friend...the one who started all this love stuff :) Where would I be without you? I have no idea, but it defiantly would not be as wonderful as where I am now. I love you endless amounts.  There are just no words to describe how much I deeply appreciate and love you every single day. I thought I loved you as much as I possibly could and then Lars arrived and seeing you with him makes me love you even more. We're talking a crazy ass amount of love going on here. BIG LOVE! You're my sanity and my favorite. I love you.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Larsy Pants

That's one of the trillion nicknames I have for my little puffin muffin. Life has been pretty busy lately and Lars being the little nosey angel that he is, is just soaking it all up.

He has cut his TWO bottom teeth and I already see/feel more that are working their way through. I can't imagine how irritating that must be for babies. He's hanging in there though. We are getting excited for the holidays and can't wait for Lars to see be a part of all the excitement.

Does it get annoying that in every post I tell you just how happy this little man makes me?  I wish I could bottle up his smell and keep it forever, I wish I could capture every single moment of the day and keep a video, I wish I could sit in the rocking chair for hours and hours kissing his forehead and staring at him.  I smell him all the time, I take pictures at every opportunity and I rock him as long as I can but all of that is still not enough. He's intoxicating!!

He's growing up so much and it's so fun to watch...sometimes sad and overwhelming but very fun. He's talking up a storm. He says ca-ca-ca-ca- when he sees the cats, he says ba-ba-ba-ba-ba for his bottle and when he's pissed, upset or both it's ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.  He's working on clapping and mimicking noised and sounds we make. He eats like it's going out of style and is growing out of clothes left and right. My little peanut of baby is no longer.

first little bonfire


playing outside



weeeeeeee


we're teaching him to fold clothes

we probably shouldn't encourage this, but he was having way to much fun!

favorite time of the day...mornings with lars

precious...just plain precious. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rockin' Lars

I feel like I'm an expert now on baby sleep. That may seem to contradict the fact that my son is still working on sleeping through the night, but I/we have read every single book out there that had anything to do with sleeping for babies. We have implemented different techniques from each book.  I guess I should insert here (embarrassingly so) that we actually hired an infant sleep consultant. Talk about desperation. She was helpful but not has helpful as we had hope for the small fortune we paid for her. But nevertheless we did get some sound advice that has helped us through.

With each book, advice, thread or article I read I discover something new. Some may think we're trying to hard, but we didn't try anything for 4 months and it got us nowhere, so that's when we decided we needed some help. I'm not one for a rigid schedule or routine, but after putting Lars on one for about 2-3 weeks, the improvements were significant! We have relaxed a little now that the routine is in place and things are going...shall I say smoothly????

The title of this post, Rockin' Lars comes from the idea that I've ran across through all my investigation, that babies should learn to fall asleep on their own, without the help of a paci, holding, nursing, bottle, rocking, singing. Lars has done this several times and I'm excited for him each time he does it but let me tell you one thing...I will forever and always LOVE LOVE LOVE rocking my precious little angel. And if he wants/needs to me to rock him whens 1 or 2..bring it on. I'm away all day during the week and there's one huge time in the evening I look forward to, well really two:

1) walking in the door and seeing him get so excited he can't sit still or contain himself
2) ROCKING him. Sitting in his nursery, with the sound machine on and a little night light and a sweet sweet baby boy laying on my chest is pure and utter BLISS. I sing to him, i kiss his forehead, I make up songs about taking trips, I tell him stories, I rub his back and head. It's our moment and to be honest, no matter what any book or expert says, I'm not going to stop this. I know they don't these sweet babies don't fit in your lap for long and I'm going to cherish every second I have. 

Lars, 
You are my everything and I can't imagine my life without you. I wish I could hold you in my arms forever and kiss your forehead and sing you sweet and sometimes weird lullabies.  Don't grow up to fast puffin muffin!

Bob,
I'm going to start this letter the same with as Lars' letter. You are my everything and I can't imagine my life without you. You are the best Daddy in the world and I appreciate you always being so patient and willing to help. Lars is only lucky fella and I'm one lucky lady! We love you.  

I'm not the only one addicted to a sleeping Lars. 



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Park n' play

It's been pretty chili here lately and we have been loving it. We've been spending a lot of time outside and I don't think there's anywhere else that Lars or us would rather be.  We took him to the park yesterday evening and he had so much fun!

Kisses and puppy ears!
momma and her moneky...just a swingin'

"oh momma...you're just so funny"



Monday, November 12, 2012

yawwwnnnn.....

The Question: "Does your baby sleep?"

The Answer: "Well, yes, for forty-five-minute stretches, but not during the night, and only after I conduct a two-hour-long routine including feeding, swaddling, singing, rocking, and an ancient tribal sleep dance"

I read this on a website and thought it was hysterical and pretty dead on. While we may be passed this dreaded place (not by far), we were there for a very long time and I get it! 

I will be the first to admit that our little Lars is a pretty terrible sleeper. Maybe it's because he's the first and we had no idea what we were doing, maybe it's just his constant curiosity and desire to NOT miss a single thing, maybe it's our right of passage into parenthood. Whatever it is, I have accepted it and to be honest once I accepted it, it got a little easier. When people would tell me their 5, 6, or 7 month old baby was sleeping 10-12 hours a night, I wanted to punch them in their face and then throw up. Lars has NEVER slept that long, even when he was 2 days old....it NEVER  happened. When I would hear or read about these babies sleeping so soundly through the night I would get on this kick of trying to make Lars sleep. The harder we try the worse it is. That's not to say  that putting him on a schedule and some sleep training hasn't paid off, but it when I get into this zone of trying to make him do it, it just seems harder! I should be the one to understand that, b/c when someone tries to MAKE me do something, I tend to want to NOT do it :) 

Lars is very slowly getting better at sleeping and we have lots of days where we regress back and I feel discouraged and frustrated, but I know he's getting the hang of it. As you all know, he's teething which has made this 'sleep training' even harder and is THE cause of our regression and frustration. 

People still ask us if he's still in bed with us and the answer is yes and no. All of his naps are in his crib and he was perfectly fine transitioning to this place. At night I put him to sleep in his crib in his room and some nights after 2 or 3 wakings  we put him in bed with us. Other nights he'll make it with only one waking and make to 4am or 5am. This may not seem very exciting but it's a big step for us. Lars generally give us a 5 hour stretch most nights which is all I ask for right now because a 5 hour stretch compared to waking up every 2 hours is glorious! He will generally go down around 730 and wake once or twice between 730 and midnight and then he will usually sleep from midnight to 5 or so, wake up then and need to be patted, shhh'd, paci or rock and then he's back to sleep till about 730. 

It's been a long 7 months in regards to sleep or lack there of, but it's been the greatest 7 months of my life. We just take each day at a time and enjoy every second with our sweet angel even it's 4 in the morning....sometimes those are the sweetest moments. Through my sleepy daze and slight frustration, I look down and see the perfectly healthy, perfectly chubby little miracle looking back at me chewing on his tongue b/c his teeth hurt and my heart melts. 

Lars showing the avocado who's boss. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

crazy chaos and a cute baby


Things just seem to be getting crazier and crazier by the minute at our house :)

Lars is like a little busy bumble bee. If this is any insight to what he's going to be like when he's 2+....we are going to have our full and then some. He doesn't want to miss a thing, not a damn thing. He doesn't want to miss the cat walking by, the garage door opening, the refrigerator opening, mommy or daddy walking by.  He is SOOOOOOOOOOOO alert and SOOOOOOOOOOO nosey. There are times that it works in his favor and there are times that it is utterly exhausting to get him to relax and calm down bc his little mind is just going...going...going...going.

The times that I'm thankful for his abundance of curiosity is when we are out and about b/c it doesn't matter how little sleep he's gotten, how bad his gums hurt or how cranky he is....if we are in a public place with a a million and one things going on, Lars is has happy as a lark. The grocery store, walking around Wimberley, the pumpkin patch, out to dinner. For example, we were all in line at the grocery store this weekend and Lars was in the buggy and the lady behind us was ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over him (of course) and she then asked us if he was always this good.  I responded, "yes, if he's got 10,000 things to look at, a lot of noise and is moving."

Lars is also happiest when he's guess...wait for it....OUTSIDE. Oh my goodness! Throughout this whole fussy, teethig period we've been going through, outside is always an escape. It instantly  makes everything all better and we use this tool very very often. We are outside a lot anyway, but lately there's been a significant amount of outdoors time.

It truly breaks my heart to see Lars suffering so much with his gums.  The teething bug has hit us and it hit hard. He is just miserable. pure misery. Not everyday, not all day, but when it's a bad day it's usually a B-A-D day of no sleeping, not wanting to be put down and fussy.  On those days I see my sweet boy trying to have fun and trying to laugh but the laugh quickly turns into a wimper and then comes the humming and chewing on his tongue to soothe those damn gums. We try everything available to us to keep him happy. Teething rings, teething tablets, ice, motrin, fingers, wash cloths, you name it we've got it our house.  Sometimes somethings help and sometimes it seems like nothing helps. I hope with all my heart that this misery passes very soon for my little angel's sake.

Even though things have been rough, we haven't stopped and I haven't stopped documenting every single detail or Lars' life. So here you go :)

this pillow was my great grandmothers (my mom's grandmaw) and Lars' great-great grandmother. i found it years ago and fell in love with it. took it to college with me and have had since.  it is 100% Lars' most favorite 'toy' yet. it makes him very happy. thought the whole idea was kinda neat :) 

"Beer...making babies like me since 1876"

who doesn't love a sleeping baby?

swing and a beer. makes my boys very happy. 

we went to aunt anns saturday and the weather was amazing. this pictures makes ME very happy. 

well we discovered what to get Lars for Christmas. I've said since the beginning, I think he's going to be a drummer. 

impromptu photo shoot. i couldn't resist. 

best friends. 

momma and her monkey

yes, he's THAT cute. 

he couldn't decide which he like best. 

first time at a playground. he was a little unsure of everything

weeeeeeeeeee

playing on the bridge

swinging with daddy

swinging by himself....this is where things got a little 'shaky' ...he had fun though

now we're talking.




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