Chicken Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings (Slow Cooker)
Easy BBQ Beans and Rice
Watching: Modern Family – received the third season for Christmas so Hubby and I can finally catch up. We watched five episodes last night – no laptops and no phones allowed :) I laugh out loud at every single episode. Cam’s my fav.
Listening to: Lately it’s been O.A.R. – haven’t put their CD’s on in my car in forever. Used to be my favorite band in college.
Thinking about: This quote I found on Pinterest:
Reading: Just started Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. She’s one of my favorite authors so I have high hopes this is another good, easy read. I haven’t read something non-baby or pregnancy related in so long. And last night I read Corduroy to Toby. Brought back memories of me and Sista watching the VHS tape of his story!
Loving: How Toby fell asleep in my arms this morning after he nursed for about 10 minutes. I was just about to move him over to the crib and then he woke right back up and was ready to play. So much for sleeping in, but at least I got a few snuggles out of him which is so rare these days.
Making me happy: All the new charms on my Pandora bracelet! It’s almost filled. And normally I hate snow, but I’m so excited to take Toby out later today. I washed his snowsuit earlier in the week to prepare!
Wishing: That 2013 wasn’t so close. 2012 was a good year for us and I’m not ready for it to be over. There should be a good three weeks between Christmas and New Year’s.
Craving: Special K Chocolately Delight. I could eat a whole box of that stuff.
Working On: Finding some new recipes. The weekly menu planning needs to happen again. We both ate better, didn’t rely on take-out or frozen food as much, and it’s much easier to do grocery shopping by planning ahead of time.
Toby was a trooper this year while traveling! We started off by going down to CT the afternoon of the 23rd, celebrated Auntie’s birthday a day early, opened presents with CT family on Christmas Eve in the afternoon and early evening, and then on Christmas morning we traveled to MA to celebrate with Hubby’s family. Even with all the naps in the car and interaction, Toby still did really well. No meltdowns until we got home on Christmas evening. So grateful he’s a fairly easy kid!
He received a ton of gifts this year and we’re really thankful for our family and friends giving him everything! He’s seen everything he can play with at this point now and I’ll probably hide some things away and bring them back out in a couple weeks. He always forgets about toys and gets all excited for them again.
Here’s some pictures of our celebrations!
Ho Ho Ho! Being silly with Daddy:
Looking cute with Auntie:
Christmas Jammies! Little reindeer on his feet and one on his butt:
Sour puss…apparently not excited to open presents:
Four generations in this pic! :
Finally a smile!
Our big present to Toby…Radio Flyer Wagon. Can’t wait to use it next summer!
I will be totally honest in saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of Christmas in the past. It’s stressful buying presents, budgeting enough money, doing endless mall trips, and then adding traveling on top of everything. I was nervous of how Toby would act this year but he surprised me in doing so well and it made everything well worth it. I’m a little sad we don’t celebrate Christmas in our own house but hopefully he won’t notice a difference as he gets older. We’ll just have to fib a little about where Santa travels to instead!
I was reading one of my favorite baby blogs, Hellobee, the other day and a writer posted about how she did a 365 Day Photo Challenge for 2012. She took a photograph every single day for a year and is now in the process of compiling them together to make a book to look back on. While she said it was definitely a challenge, it wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be.
I think I’m going to make myself do this for 2013! I usually take photos of Toby on my “real” camera at least once a week, and then typically take 3 or 4 photos on my iPhone each week. I don’t think it will be much of a stretch to take more photos. I’ve been starting to use Instagram this past month, so that should encourage me as I like playing around with the different filters and effects. But most of all, this challenge should force me to learn how to actually use my real camera. I’ve gotten better, but mostly because my dad gifted me some pretty good lenses that do most of the work for me. Guess I should find the manual and actually read through it…
As for organization, my computer is already set up so that when I upload photos, they automatically go into a folder labeled with the date they were taken on. I will just need to make sure I’m uploading once a week or so to keep on track and then further organize into month folders later on. I also will have to upload them to Shutterfly every so often as a back-up (which I should be better about doing now).
I’m excited for this! A fun resolution to actually look forward to. Here are some ideas I found on Pinterest for inspiration (wouldn’t necessarily follow these each day, they’re more just to use in case I’m stumped and so I don’t have 365 pictures of only Toby):
Anyone else joining me on this challenge? ;)
Found a little Santa hat and some mini bows at Target today…couldn’t resist doing a short photo session when we got home tonight (with some assistance from Auntie):
Very serious today – no smiles! And lots of biting of the bottom lip so I’m not sure if more toothies are coming in.
Ugh so not looking forward to gift wrapping tomorrow…such a waste of paper and time. Even though we do mostly gift bags now, it’s still a pain in the butt! It’d be nice if Christmas was more like Thanksgiving – lots of good food and no presents necessary!
Yeah, still no idea where half a year went. Some days I’m still in denial we’re mid way through December already.
This past month has brought lots of milestones…sitting pretty well (still needs a little help especially when playing with toys but he’s getting stronger), scooting on his belly backwards, sleeping through the night (more on that later on), and TEETH. Oh, the teeth. The first one came through with hardly any fussies. He was wanting to chew on everything and shove his hands in his mouth all day, but other than that, he wasn’t too annoyed. He slept fine and naps were good, as well. The second one, though…you could tell he just wasn’t his normal, happy self. He wasn’t crying all day, but making lots of whimpers and little grunts. Lot of cuddles were needed (which of course I was okay with). We gave one dose of Tylenol and that seemed to help. For the most part he handled them pretty well; I’m sure it could be a lot worse. I’ve heard when the molars come in later, those are pretty tough.
As for the scooting…Hubby is all about Toby crawling and I’m not. Let’s just say I haven’t been trying to encourage it. I’m pretty used to a non-mobile kid at this point. We did start baby-proofing…the coffee table has been replaced by a stuffed faux leather ottoman/bench. Gives us more storage and I don’t feel like so worried about him smacking his head on the corner. Still need to research baby gates.
Weight: 15.2 pounds. Back up to the 11th percentile! Huge relief when his doctor showed me that today.
Height: 26.5 inches…which is what he was at his 4 month appt. His doctor thinks they may have measured him too long at 4 months since they re-checked him 3 times today. Regardless, it’s the 44th percentile so maybe he’s finally starting to grow wider instead of taller!
Medical Issues: I’ve come to the realization that him itching his scalp at night must be a soother for him. He rarely uses a pacifier anymore and only sometimes sucks his thumb, so I’m assuming itching and picking is what helps calm him. I do everything I can to make it non-itchy but I really think he just likes to pick. Sigh. Using his special shampoo (Mustela brand) and turning on the humidifier at night makes it so at least it’s not scaly anymore. At least it doesn’t get to the point where it’s bleeding anymore. He is very dry everywhere else, too – red rash under his knees, on the other sides of his elbows, under his neck, patches on his back. Eczema oatmeal baths have helped a little (we are doing baths every other night now). We got the okay to layer hydrocortisone cream all over him except for his face.
Sleep: He is always asleep no later than 7:30. He started sleeping later in the AM until 4ish, then 5ish, and right before Thanksgiving he started sleeping until 6AM. He finally slept straight through the whole night (by my standards, sleeping through the night is sleeping past 7AM) on 12/4. I woke up at 7:23AM to him moving around in his crib, so he probably woke up around 7:15 or so. A good solid 12 hours. He’s not consistent with sleeping past 6AM yet, though and this past week he’s been up between 4:30-5:30 again, but luckily he will go back to sleep until 8 after he eats. His doctor suggested trying to delay bedtime by 10 minutes for a few nights and then by another 10 minutes a few nights after that to see if it will move his schedule down in the morning. For naps, he’s taking two daily and sometimes a third cat nap if necessary. First nap is 2 hours after he wakes up, so around 9 or 10AM. Then afternoon nap is three hours after he wakes up from the first nap, so usually around 1 or 2ish. If he only naps for an hour in the afternoon, that usually means a cat nap is needed later in the afternoon. Naps are getting a little longer – will usually sleep for about an hour now, sometimes 90 minutes.
Clothes/Diapers: All 3-6 and 6 month clothes – starting to outgrow a few outfits lengthwise. Still in 2’s for diapers during the day, using 3’s in overnights at night.
Diet: Eating 5 times a day about every 3.5 to 4 hours. Nurses for the first two feedings and then gets bottles of mixed pumped milk and formula for the afternoon and evening. Gets about 7oz in a bottle. For solids, he eats about 2 oz of something each day, usually around lunchtime. In the past month new foods he has tried are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, green beans, and peaches. Loves anything I give him and hasn’t refused anything yet.
Baby Gear Love: Little teether toys, plastic keys, jumper, portable high chair, Go Pod, Boppy (use it for sitting assistance more now). Is also fascinated by any kitchen utensils I give him – a wooden spoon, little plastic tupperware containers, a plastic cup.
Milestones/Firsts: First tooth came in (bottom front left one) during the weekend of 12/3-12/4. Second tooth (bottom front right) came in on 12/5. Slept straight through the night from 7:30pm to 7:15am on 12/4. Started scooting backwards at the end of November. Started to sit on his own in early December. First Thanksgiving 11/22/12.
Likes: Grunting and talking. Jumping. Making a lot of noise – he has quickly realized which of his toys bang when hitting them on the high chair tray or on the floor. Eating…gets so excited when he sees a bottle. Loves when people wave to him. Laying on his changing table in the mornings. Flying up in the air (Super Toby!)
Dislikes: Still being put down for naps. I’ve tried putting him down a little early and that backfires. I’ve tried waiting until I know he’s definitely tired and that makes it worse. He will always fuss for at least 2-3 minutes before falling asleep. I know it’s really not a long time, it just always seems it. And he also hates getting lotion applied at night and getting his face wiped after eating. Such a boy, enjoys being messy.
Things I don’t want to forget: How he fell in love with his jumper this month…and loves to jump even when he’s not in it! He will jump up and down when you’re holding him and it’s too cute. When he’s on the floor on his belly, he will move around in a circle to see everything. He is ticklish all over now – his back, feet, tummy, and left armpit always get him laughing. He is so serious when playing. He pouts his mouth a little and starts panting like a dog because he’s excited and focused. His loves Auntie’s hair, especially when it’s long and straight. She will gently wave it over his face and his eyes close, like he’s so relaxed. We call this the “car wash”.
Postpartum: Made it 6 months with breastfeeding! Granted he’s probably getting half breastmilk and half formula by this point, but I still can’t believe I lasted this long. I thought I would be officially done by writing this post, but I’m still nursing him in the AMs and pumping once at night, usually around 8pm. I asked his doctor if it’s worth it with him getting a smaller amount of breastmilk and she said the benefits are still there and entirely worth it…so I’m really not sure how long we’ll keep going.
P.S. These photoshoots get more complicated every month! Between him wanting to roll off the chair, destroy the lion with drool, and roll all over the place on the blanket, I’m lucky I got these ones!