Photo Friday

Hello! I hope everyone has enjoyed a lovely Christmas and New Year! We flew to Michigan and spent two weeks with Chris’ family. It’s always nice to reconnect with them since we only see them once or twice a year. Lewis was a bit shy at first, but warmed up quickly. He especially loved getting in on whatever Uncle Ben was doing, whether that meant trying to play his tablet games for him or sneaking over to steal some of his snacks! The weather was chilly but there was no snow while we were there and we went out to play for at least a little while almost every day. We also kept busy visiting with some of the extended family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, went to the Toledo Zoo to see the lights, and made a trip to the Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor because Lewis had loved it so much when we went this past summer. Our plane flights both ways were pretty uneventful, and Lewis was an excellent traveler.

We have been home for almost a week now and Lewis transitioned seamlessly back into our every day life. He’s had a haircut and a dentist appointment since we’ve been home, and he did awesome with both and got many comments on how patient/polite/cute/etc. he is. He really seems to be growing up more and more each day!

This next week we have another adventure planned. Chris has work, so he will be staying here, and Lewis and I are going to travel to Vermont for a week spent with my family. This will be our first time really spending time away from Daddy and it will feel a bit strange at first but I know Lewis and I will have fun and Chris may even enjoy having a quiet relaxing house all to himself for a little while!

Most of today’s pictures are from our trip to Michigan, with just a couple thrown in from some shaving cream fun today.

Opening presents Christmas morning, in his new moose jammies.

Opening presents Christmas morning, in his new moose jammies.

Testing out Uncle Ben's new shoes.

Testing out Uncle Ben’s new shoes.

Joining Uncle Ben to see what game he was playing.

Joining Uncle Ben to see what game he was playing.

Lewis loved getting to play with some other kids on Christmas.

Lewis loved getting to play with some other kids on Christmas.

Family photo. :)

Family photo. ūüôā

We had fun exploring the woodsy area behind Grandma + Grandpa's house, and Lewis was impressed with how tall the trees were.

We had fun exploring the woodsy area behind Grandma + Grandpa’s house, and Lewis was impressed with how tall the trees were.

Watery fun at the Hands On Museum.

Watery fun at the Hands On Museum.

Lewis spotted a can of shaving cream in the bathroom this morning and requested to play with it.

Lewis spotted a can of shaving cream in the bathroom this morning and requested to play with it.

Messy fun! (With a bonus of fairly easy clean-up.)

Messy fun! (With a bonus of fairly easy clean-up.)

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014 everyone! New Year’s isn’t usually a big holiday around here. Chris and I usually stay up until midnight to acknowledge the passing into the new year, eat a bit of snacky food and have some wine or sparkling cider, but we don’t make a big deal of it and usually just watch some non-new-year related movie/TV or play some games. That being said, the passage into the new year is a great time to look at the year that has just past, remember the good memories, think about what we may have learned, what we would like to change, etc. etc.

I’d say that 2013 was a good year for all of us here. If anything it may have been a bit boring/uneventful but perhaps that feeling comes from comparing it to 2012 when we both got married and had a baby. 2013 was much more low-key. There were a lot of good times spent with family, and a lot of fun activities with Lewis as well as the joy of watching him growing from baby to toddler. We have no major life-changing events planned for 2014, so looking ahead into the new year I am expecting another happy, relaxed, and perhaps somewhat uneventful year with lots more Lewis-fun.

Unfortunately, all three of us caught a cold towards the end of Christmas time in Vermont, so we are all entering into this new year feeling a bit under the weather. It’s good that I’m not superstitious or I might worry that being sick now would “set the tone for the coming year” or something. Mostly I think we’ll all be feeling better in another few days and everything will be back to normal soon enough.

Being sick has been worst for Lewis since he can’t take any medicine, can’t/won’t blow his nose, won’t let me anywhere near him with nasal sprays or the snot-sucker thingy. He seems fine during the day but nights have been hard with his stuffed-up nose causing many fussy wakings. It doesn’t help that we are just coming through a period of teething with five total teeth breaking through in the past month, so his teeth was already a bit disrupted recently! Yesterday he skipped his nap entirely. Today we waited and put him down late for his nap and he thankfully went right to sleep.

IMG_2326Despite all being a little sick, we are enjoying having Chris home from work all this week. This morning we went out for some fun in the snow. The weather is supposed to be very cold the next few days, so we probably won’t be making it out to play at all the rest of the week.

Climbing a big snow-plowed hill!

Climbing a big snow-plowed hill!

Happy New Year! I hope it is a good one for everyone!

 

(un)Wrapping Presents

Lewis and I got to work on wrapping most of our presents today! I would say “all” of our presents, but there are a couple of handmade things I’ve been slacking on finishing up, as well as one thing for Chris that hasn’t even shipped yet. And of course I can’t wrap Lewis’ presents in front of him, so those will be done at some point when he is sleeping. Unfortunately, he seems to be boycotting sleep this week.

We started out by wrapping as many as we could with our beautiful homemade paper. I love it!

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Lewis was quite happy for a while playing with some Christmas decorations, watching me, playing with the tape dispenser and holding my scissors. Yes Daddy, I let him hold the scissors. No, he didn’t cut any fingers off or poke out an eye. They are children’s scissors after all and he was very good about just holding them gently and carefully inspecting them.

After many presents were wrapped, however, the novelty began to wear off for him and started to realize that some of the things that I was wrapping in all this paper were a bit interesting. A few things he tried to steal pre-wrapping, and he also attempted to unwrap one of the presents for Daddy.

So I gave him his own presents to unwrap!

IMG_2068I basically just started taking scraps of wrapping paper, grabbing nearby toys, and wrapping them quickly and messily, then giving them to him to pull the paper off of. He loved it! He didn’t really care what it was inside, it was just the fact that he got to unwrap something that he enjoyed. Bonus: he should be able to handle unwrapping his own presents on Christmas for the most part, with maybe just a little help getting the edge of the paper started.

We had fun with our festive present wrapping and unwrapping, but besides that today has been a bit of a flop. Lewis’ 15 month appointment was this morning and he was not at all happy with it. He was fine in the waiting room, and getting weighed (he got to stand on the big scale this time!) but once we went in the exam room it was all downhill. He tolerated having his chest listened to and his ears looked into, cried his way through having his tummy poked, height measured, etc. and continually tried to escape the room after that. We did manage to wander out of the room and find some toys to play with while the doctor prepped his immunization shots, but of course it was back to tears as soon as we had to go back in the room to get his shots.

Lunch and morning nap were fine, but then his afternoon nap didn’t happen and instead just consisted of him crying for several minutes, my going and getting him, comforting him, re-settling him, only to have him cry again for many more minutes. Eventually I went back to him when it is clear that he wasn’t going to relax, and he happily played (and unwrapped presents) for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Then bedtime rolled around and there was much more struggles and crying in the crib, eventually ending in this:

WP_20131209_003The poor thing wore himself out with his extra long afternoon and all his crying, and ended up falling asleep nursing which he has not done in several months. He is getting two molars in but we gave him some Tylenol, some I’m not really sure if the issue is to do with discomfort from that or just general overtiredness and too many fun and exciting things to do.

Thankfully he is peacefully asleep in his crib now, and hopefully we will have a normal night (which still involves one or two more wake-ups) and a better day tomorrow!

 

 

Christmas Spirit

Things are starting to get Christmas-y around here! I wasn’t sure how much Lewis would “get” Christmas this year, but he seems to be loving everything to do with it (whether he actually understands it or not.) Snow, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, wreaths, Christmas lights, etc. etc. – it’s all amazing to him! To be fair, he was super excited about all the Halloween decorations we saw all fall, but I think he is even more excited now by the Christmas trees and lights and everything.

Growing up the month of December was always filled with festive activities. My siblings and parents and I would all brainstorm activities like “bake cookies,” “make paper snowflakes,” “sing carols,” and “go sledding,” which would then be written on strips of red and green paper and made into a big paper chain. Each day leading up to Christmas we would take down one loop from the chain and that would be the day’s activity.

I look forward to doing this in future years with Lewis, when he will be able to help with it more and enjoy the tradition of it. This year I haven’t been so organized/routine with our activities, but we have been doing a variety of festive activities with plenty more to come!

Chris and I have yet to get a Christmas tree since we always travel for Christmas, but this year I decided we should at least put up some lights! Before hanging up the lights I used them in two photo shoots with Lewis, trying to get some good pictures for this year’s Christmas cards. It was fun, but I definitely got more blurry photos than anything else! I posted a couple pictures from photo shoot #1 on photo Friday, and here is one from our second photo shoot the next day:

Too bad Mr. Snowman is the only one not blurry! Lewis has been loving this snowman box and carrying it all around playing with it.

Too bad Mr. Snowman is the only one not blurry! Lewis has been loving this snowman box and carrying it all around playing with it.

Once we were done with the photos, I hung the lights up in our living room. I had first thought to hang a strand in each of our front windows, but then realized they wouldn’t work with the blinds there. So instead I’ve hung one strand between the living room and “dining room,” and have a second strand that I haven’t quite figured out where to hang yet.

We’ve been listening to Christmas radio stations ¬†and playing the Laurie Berkner Band Christmas CD during the day. I’ve also been singing Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells a lot as they are the only songs I seem to remember the words to.

Lewis is fascinated with reindeer. One of our neighbors (with a 4 year old boy) has put antlers and a red nose on their car. Lewis and I watched reindeer videos on youtube one day as well which he loved.

We also decided to paint our own wrapping paper with a big piece of paper that was used as packing material in a box we got recently.

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We both seemed to get a bit messy from the paint. I had a tiny handprint on my pants (hurray for washable paint) and Lewis needed a bath when we were done.

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I made a big batch of sugar cookies on Friday. Half of them I baked and decorated Friday, the rest I baked yesterday and still need to get around to frosting them.

Hopefully I will get around to frosting them tomorrow, but it depends how the day plays out. Lewis has his 15-month appointment/vaccinations first thing in the morning. He’s finally getting some of his molars in (one on top and one on bottom as far as I can tell) and his sleep schedule has been a bit out of whack, but I’m hoping for him to take some good long naps tomorrow.

Plenty more Christmas activities still to come including a cotton ball sensory bin (which he played in with Daddy a bit tonight), tissue paper ornaments, Christmas books, and some red and/or green playdough if I ever get around to making it!

 

Teething

As of today Lewis now has tooth #5 beginning to break through! It is his second tooth on the top left. Googling tells me that these two top teeth come in between 9-13 months, so he seems to be right on track.

He is not at all a fan of me trying to look in his mouth, but I have suspected this tooth was coming in for the past week or so. The glimpses I could get of the area seemed to show it looking a bit swollen, but I couldn’t feel anything poking through until tonight. I think it will get harder and harder to tell when he is getting teeth as they get farther away from center since I know he won’t want to open up and let me have a look.

We have been lucky that all of his teething so far hasn’t seemed to affect him too much. He wakes a bit more at night, but he wakes a lot at night anyway (usually 2-3 times a night, this past week with teething it has been 4 times a night.) He has also been nursing A LOT. He has always been a frequent nurser, but this past week he will literally ask to nurse half an hour after just having nursed, and then another half hour after that, etc. Parts of the day he will go an hour or two, but he is nursing a lot even compared to his normal frequent nursing. Besides the nursing and slight trouble sleeping he hasn’t shown much trouble at all, no real crankiness or anything.

I haven’t caught any pictures of the new tooth yet, but here are some recent toothy photos showing off his other four!

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Nine Months

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Lewis reached the Nine Month milestone yesterday! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and that we are only a few months off from having a 1-year-old. I thought it would be fun to write a post about all his likes/dislikes and accomplishments in different areas and whatever other random little facts I think of to add.

Favorite Toys:

Anything with velcro that he can pull apart and stick back together, especially his sandals. Also loves the velcro of his sandals as something to chew on.

Balls. He likes to see me and Chris toss and roll them, and is working on learning to throw and roll them himself.

Animals. He loves his animal toys. He seems interested in all of them, but especially focuses on the ones with big/bright eyes. He gets excited when he sees these across the room or sitting on a shelf.

Food:

Eating is still going great, and he is eating more and more. He loves fruits of all kinds and will it most veggies but isn’t as excited about them as fruit. Yogurt is a big favorite. He also enjoys meats. I often give him a small bowl of Cheerios and Puffs for “breakfast” just to keep him busy while I am doing morning things and eating my own breakfast, and he will pick out all the Puffs to eat first.

I got him to lie on his back long enough to take two pictures. This one was as he was starting to roll over.

I got him to lie on his back long enough to take two pictures. This one was as he was starting to roll over.

Sleep:

He is doing fantastic with falling asleep on his own for both naps and bedtime. He usually goes into the crib with a smile now and likes to wave bye-bye/night-night to Daddy before we go into the bedroom. He still wakes 2-3 times at night to nurse.

Teeth:

He’s had his two bottom teeth for a while now. His top gum is swollen and looks like his first two top teeth are getting ready to come in, but they haven’t broken through yet. He’s drooling a lot but doesn’t seem too bothered otherwise.

Physical Skills:

He is pro at crawling, pulling up on things, “cruising” holding the edge of furniture, walking with help, waving “hello” and “bye-bye”. He will sometimes let go when we are helping him stand or when he is standing holding furniture and stand for a few seconds on his own. These intervals are getting longer and more frequent, but he hasn’t tried to take any steps on his own yet. He is working on learning to throw things and likes to practice with his lunch. Today he was tossing peach slices.

Vocal:

He has always loved making lots of sounds. He is very good at saying “Da-da” and often says it directly to/at Chris, although he also makes this sound at other times. He makes lots of other different sounds too. He likes blowing raspberries, yelling, and yelling into the kazoo:

He is working a little bit on the “ma-ma”/”mum” sounds, but only once in a while.

Outside Time:

He absolutely loves the outdoors and would spend all his time outside if he could. He is becoming a lot more adventurous with walking/crawling on the grass. He still enjoys eating/chewing on sticks, flowers, grass, dirt, and rocks. If he sees a bug he will try to pick that up to eat it too, but he hasn’t been successful in catching any yet.¬†He is loving water play in this warmer weather. We all went to the pool again on Sunday, for our second time there. We swam for about 20 minutes and after we got out he kept trying to pull us back over to the pool to get in and swim more.

"Hey! I see where you put that!"

“Hey! I see where you put that!”

I guess that is all that comes to mind right now to mention. We are loving our little 9-month boy and having so much fun seeing all his learning and curiosity. Can’t wait to see what else he is going to do and discover in the next few months!

Adventures In Teeth Photography

Last Sunday when my parents were visiting I noticed that Lewis’ gum was looking a bit swollen and my mother agreed that it looked like he would soon be getting a tooth. Tuesday I started to feel the sharp little point of it, Wednesday I could just barely begin to see the white edge of it poking through, and Thursday I realized it felt like two teeth coming in at once. I’ve been impressed with how calm and un-bothered Lewis seems by this. He’s been acting pretty much his usual self during the day and has no interest in teethers or frozen things to chew on. There have been a couple of night times and nap times where it seems like the teeth are making it harder for him to relax and fall asleep, and he has been waking a bit more than usual the past two nights, but it doesn’t seem like the painful horror I had imagined.

I’m very excited about his tiny little teeth, and when I first realized they were coming in I was constantly trying to feel them and get a look at them. He hated this and would push my finger out of his mouth with his tongue whenever I tried to feel them. I also have been trying very hard to get a good photo of them. He is so sqiuggly-wiggly and doesn’t want to hold still for a zoomed in photo of his mouth, plus he wants to grab the camera if I get close to him, so this has been a very tricky¬†endeavor. I recruited Chris to try to help me but the camera batteries died after only a few shots.

We got some real gems of photos:

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He was trying to eat the lens cap.

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What a mean mommy prying his mouth open!

This one is surprisingly in focus compared to most of the others, but still no visible teeth:

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Beautiful blue eyes.

And finally, a couple where you can actually see the little white buds of the teeth. (Click the photos to enlarge.)

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Love my happy boy. ‚̧

Grabbing for the camera.

Grabbing for the camera.

Chris says that when the teeth come in a bit more he will be an upside-down beaver.