“Mancakes”

IMG_2441My favorite word mis-pronunciation of little J’s these days is “mancake”. He uses this word for pancakes and blankets. I giggle everytime. He asks for a “mancake” muliple times a day because when he’s not asking for baseball and “arf-arf’s” (his word for dog despite our prompting and encouragement to use the real word) books are his favorite occupation and blankets are an essential part of enjoying books in his mind. I haven’t read a whole book on my own in a number of months now but I’ve read plenty of his plenty of times. Here’s a favorites for the record book:

Mine:
A Great Day for Up (part of little J’s Christmas present last year)

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Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site

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Little Blue Truck
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…And his. Though he can’t read he’s got a word or a sound effect for every page of the first two and for whatever reason he stares and stares at the third. He loves it.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

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Mr. Brown Can Moo

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We’re Going on A Bear Hunt

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Love my little J and his love for books and “mancakes”. Reading and cuddling never gets old.

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Nine Months

IMG_4678our SBJ is nine months old today (history nerds unite – today’s really Independence Day…hence the flag!) and I’m pretty sure this is my favorite age yet. Most of our days our filled with fun and laughter and new discoveries. I say most because he’s still teething. He’s been teething for about 6 weeks straight. He’s got five teeth total to show for it and one more about to break the gum.

Life Notes:

  • He’s still not crawling or walking despite some very concerted efforts on the part of my sister who spent the better part of SBJ’s ninth month with us but he’s mobile enough to get what he wants.
  • He loves mealtimes and it’s been fun to see him start to recognize particular foods and he’s only met one that he really despises – broccoli.
  • His hair is now full blown curly. On Sunday for church I had it combed nice and straight before we left and in the car on the way there he twiddled it and rubbed his head on his carseat enough that you’d of thought a comb hadn’t touched it in weeks. Ai-yi-yi.
  • He’s got words…Da-da (most times with intention) and bah (ball) and dah (dog – which he emphatically proclaims when we go on walks and sees – sadly – any four-legged creature) and he’s learned to wave.
  • He’s still a cuddler. His new favorite pre-bedtime position is to be rocked with his head on my shoulder so that he has easy access to twirl my hair. Life doesn’t get much better than the moments we share like this.

What I’m Reading:
I just started reading Grace Based Parenting and though I’m just a couple of chapters in, the perspective it informs is amazing. Most of the examples so far have been about parenting teenagers, but hey – we’ll be there someday and I’ve always been a firm believer in being prepared!

And without further ado..
Please enjoy as we have, the last three months.

*it’s become a thing that Alex and I do whenever I make a new one of these to watch the previous ones (if you’d like to watch those too they’re here and here). Those too are precious moments spent together as husband and wife.

Half A Year Old

IMG_4477like most {all?} mama’s who hit this milestone I find myself amazed that we’re already here but SBJ gets more loveable and more adorable by the day so we’re rolling with it. literally, he’s rolling like a crazy and sleeping on his stomach.

Speaking of milestones we hit another developmental one this month – SBJ is now able to sit for an extended amount of time on his own. He still teeters every once in a while but is getting stronger by the day.

Month six has been fun because we’re starting to see his little personality come out – he’s a determined little thing and he is a cuddler. My sister spent a week of it with us and (among other things) SBJ took his first trip to the zoo while she was here. And finally, spring has sprung in Williamsburg so he’s been enjoying lots of walks these last few days.

Notable things about month six:
our schedule finally feels pretty regular. Eating and sleeping have become predictable and most days we’ve got a nice rhythm. Still no teeth though I keep thinking they’re going to pop out any day!
Favorite things: Johnny Jump-Up and our floor mat (like this one) to keep him from bumping his head on our wood floors. Both are invaluable as I continue to work from home and care for him.
What I’m reading: I read Baby Led Weaning because I wanted information on how to help SBJ feed himself and I have to say I wasn’t impressed with the book. It was repetitive and preachy and not all that practical. I get the strategy but the book didn’t convince me it’s the way to go nor did it help me understand how to actually do it.
Mommy Mantra this month: “The secret of life is enjoying the passing of time”. I’ve long loved this James Taylor song and have found it’s words to ring especially true these last months as SBJ continues to learn and grow. Parenthood is a lovely ride and I’m truly trying to enjoy the passing of time.

SBJ @ 3 months

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SBJ turned three months old in Illinois {hence the delay in this post}. He’s adorably chunky in the arms and thighs and is a smiling, cooing, bubble blowing, little thing. Month three was a blast and SBJ was an absolute champ.

We spent  almost half of it in the mid-west because Alex was off of work for Christmas break (being a teacher has serious perks!). Over the 30+ hours in the car there and back, I think SBJ cried for 10 minutes and despite being passed around to over 45 family members and friends he didn’t once get over-stimulated to the point of tears nor did he get sick (happy, HAPPY mama!). And he got to rock his snowsuit while he experienced his first Chicago winter.

He even was awake for both of our Christmas mornings though he slept right through our New Years’ Eve party 🙂

Quick Stats: 
Weight: ~16 lbs.
Length: 26 inches
Life Notes: Nighttime sleep is getting longer! Our record long to date is 6 hours without a feed. He’s moving his head around a ton, make all kinds of fun noises and blowing bubbles all day long. He’s still not a huge fan of tummy-time unless he can find his fist to suck on.
What I’m reading: This month I finished up Mommy Time: 90 devotionals for New Moms. I totally, totally recommend it for all first time mama’s. I especially loved the first few weeks of devotionals as they were great at checking and informing my perspective. I often felt like I was talking to a friend when I was reading them because of the tone in which she wrote. Additionally, (and I’m sure other mama’s can relate) I love hearing about other moms and their babies so I really liked that she integrated snippets of her first few weeks with her son. I’ve also been reading Shaping a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliott since September and am just about done. I’ve found it difficult to read more than a chapter at a time (as it’s basically a memoir) but the principles she talks about are amazing – things like how to get you kids to trust and respect you and be entrepreneurial and self-sufficient with a different perspective than what I often see on other mommy-blogs. I’d recommend it, just know that it’s a deep book that doesn’t contain a step-by-step list as much as it’s just food for thought and for personal reflection!

SBJ @ two months. getting the hang of things.

IMG_2015SBJ is two months old today! And time doesn’t really feel like it’s flying so I’m thankful for that. Perhaps it’s because we had some good family time in the last month because Alex was off of work for Veteran’s Day and for a 2 1/2 days for Thanksgiving; perhaps its because I’m able to be around him during the day because of my work situation; perhaps its because we’re just doing a good job treasuring. Either way, this has been a nice month. We’re getting the hang of this whole baby thing and enjoying life as a family of three.

Quick Stats:
Weight: 13 lbs. 1 oz.
Length: 23 inches
Life Notes: Naps have been hard recently. He’s reluctant to go down and has a hard time getting back to sleep at the end of his sleep cycle (~45 minutes). I’ve found that I can often get him back to sleep by rocking him, but not always. He’s awake longer during the days and is almost always a happy, cooing, and smiling babe.
Sleep: Our nighttime sleep is in four hour stretches and pretty consistent.
Sickness: Thankfully so far, we’ve mostly avoided sickness. We had a day where he had an eye infection it cleared up quickly with a little topical eye medicine.
What I’m Reading: This month I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (SOTBW) and picked up some good tips. It’s definitely on my recommended reading for new mamas. I had read On Becoming Baby Wise before SBJ was born and found it to be a good foundation, but it set me up to have un-realistic expectations. In the beginning SBJ flirted with being a by the book baby but now wake-times each day are different and maintaining the exact same schedule is too hard for us. So I found SOTBW to be a really helpful read to kind of fill in the gaps. And I think I would totally recommend it for reading between months 1 & 2 because at this point I know SBJ more than I did when he was first born and the things she writes about are much more practical now. I love her list of baby cues and cry interpretations and really enjoyed reading the scenarios of families with which she’s worked.
Milestones: He’s learned to smile and is sometimes waking up happy. And he has great head control when he’s held upright.
Favorite Baby Thing: Our SwaddleMe blankets. These things are amazing at calming him down and getting him ready for sleep.