Summer Vingettes

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IMG_2232 IMG_0903 IMG_0891 IMG_0888IMG_2231Summer, summer, summer! My favorite season is here and it’s glorious.

A morning play-date at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and then showing my brothers a “pretty-good-it-was-alright-except-for-the-heat-and-then-everyone-got-the-stomach-flu-and-you-got-stuck-in-Richmond-on-the-way-home” kind of time. CW (it’s it gorgeous?), Jamestown Beach, and more blueberry picking (and pie making) were on the agenda for the extended weekend.

And then the whole Kelley Fam (mom and dad too, just not pictured) was here for Father’s Day 2015 so we got some pictures taken (hence the matchy-mathcy). Other fun first’s for little J this month – his first baseball game (he was terrified of the mascots!) and his first round of golf.

Oh summer, won’t you stay forever??

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Celebrating One Whole Year of Loving

well – our little one is one.

and blogging has taken a hiatus so that the blogger can enjoy the family that’s been in town to celebrate, go on a business trip and plan a party to actually celebrate the big birthday. {unscheduled evenings are few and far between these days}

Here’s a quick peek into our celebration.

We started at 12:01am (the time he was born) on the 2nd. Alex and I set an alarm so that we could wake up and pray over SBJ.

When SBJ woke on his birthday he wanted a bottle and thus he was officially weaned. {success!} and after reading the morning paper, I saved it and put it in his memory box.

His birthday included a trip to the park, lunch at Chick-Fil-A and presents when Alex got home. Quite proud of myself that we spend a whopping $10 on his birthday presents because of some great garage sale finds and some gift cards. That giant wrapped thing behind him a vintage Fisher Price kitchen just like I had when I was little. He loves it already!

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Dinner and cake followed presents. Despite a very delicious cake (if I’m allowed to say that) SBJ was cautious and ultimately uninterested. The smile below is because he did love having Alex and I and my parents sing to him. Kid loves music.

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He ultimately choose peas over cake which lead me to question whether or not he’s really my son. Could be worse though and it’s a very funny memory.IMG_4885

And then yesterday we threw a “bluethday” party for friends and neighbors. Everyone was asked to wear something blue. In all, we had about 30 people for blue themed drinks and desserts {simple, simple!!} and though we were hoping for a sunny afternoon so that we could be outside it was cloudy and a little rainy so we just had an inside party. Wii, movies, foosball and good conversation served as entertainment. On the menu blueberry lemonade, cupcakes, blueberry cheesecake bites, watermelon blueberry bites, white and blue chocolate pretzels, popcorn, and divine meringue cookies made by this lady.

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A fun evening. A delightful year. A precious boy.

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 @ 5 months

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The last month has been FULL of firsts. Some that have already been documented – first solid food and first plane ride – and others that have not including his first time rolling over from stomach to back and then about a week and half later from back to stomach. He loves the of his own voice and is quite a loud thing despite his size. We’re definitely going to have to work on learning what an inside voice is.

Naps are totally unpredictable right now (though he is sleeping just fine through the night!) and perhaps it’s because of his new-found skill of rolling over. I think at some point during the day, every day for the last week, I’ve found him more-or-less wedged in the corner of his crib on his belly and not knowing what to do about it.

We’ve said good-bye completely to the pacifier as part of our sleep routine and we’ve also said goodbye to the SwaddleMe blankets. I’ve switched to using sleep sacks – like this one – and he’s taken to them well. I like that they slightly restrain him, give him a sense of comfort, and allow us to still have that marker that it’s time for a nap. Additional niceties are that he can still have a blanket to hold on to while he sleeps and that I know they’re not going to get in his way if he’s rolling around.

His hair continues to become a lighter and lighter shade of blonde. Alex and I always joked [and to be honest dreamed about having] that we would have pale, blonde, blue-eyed children. So far that is so accurate and frankly amazing considering how dark his hair was when he was born! Check it out here.

Solids – Life Just Got A Lot More Complicated

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JCV the night that he ate his first solids!

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(I think I’m learning that I have anxiety about things until I’ve done them once and am confident that I can do them again or at least have my expectations better informed from the first time around. See my recent post about air travel.)

When SBJ went for his 4 month doctor’s check up, I was told that because he’s a big baby and we’re doing traditional feeding, we’d both be helped by the addition of solids to his diet. The doctor encouraged me to add solids to two feedings a day and to slowly add things into his food arsenal. I left the doctor’s office feeling overwhelmed. Feeding had been so easy up to this point and required no planning. Now we were going to have to plan ahead. (yes, I love planning things, I do it for a living, but this was and is still so unknown!). For now, I’ve decided it’s easiest to feed him while I eat breakfast and while Alex and I eat dinner unless we have plans for dinner or are having people over, then he eats by alone. Needless to say, it’s gotten us back in the habit of eating at the table and not in the family room!

In addition, before he was born I decided I wanted to make my own baby food since I’m convinced it’s healthier and better for baby. No preservatives, no unnatural sugar, and organic when I can find it. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of nights in my kitchen recently (after SBJ is asleep) using this book, my food processor, a Baby Bullet that was so kindly given to me as a gift, and lots of freshbaby ice cube trays and little Tupperware containers. I’m proud to say that SBJ has been eating solids for almost a three weeks now and we have yet to buy a can of baby food though we do use a pre-made organic rice cereal.

I’m hopeful that we’ll keep up the making of our own food (though it certainly is a lot of work!) through the time when we’re ready to start him on table food in two-three months.

{and no SBJ did not eat a Chipotle burrito nor has he had any Tabasco sauce. He just has a silly daddy}

SBJ’s First {and second} Plane Trip(s)

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The occasion was sad and unexpected (a death in the family that took us to Detroit) but SBJ was an {almost} perfect travel companion though I certainly learned a few things about traveling 500 miles along by plane with an infant. So – I thought I’d share and recount our recent journey at the same time.

  • take baby’s birth certificate. My mom suggested this because she had been asked for it when I was young. I wasn’t asked for it this time, but would hate to have been caught without it
  • both a stroller and a car seat will gate check for free. Since I have the clip-in kind, it was an easy enough system to manage. TSA workers helped me get it through security and it certainly saved my arms and kept SBJ happy because I could do laps while we waited in the terminal.
  • baby will have to come out of their car seat to go through the metal detector with you – even, unfortunately if they are sleeping as was the case both times for us.
  • consolidation into one carry-on bag {I used a backpack} and one checked bag was key. I was fortunate to have help on both ends so I didn’t have to push both the stroller and a pull a bag. I wore my coat but packed SBJ’s snowsuit in my checked bag to avoid having to deal with it through security.
  • I have a new found appreciation for family bathrooms!  They were the perfect quiet and private place for us to nurse and stay out of the way when SBJ got fussy with the wait.
  • Our first flight was full so I had to hold SBJ the whole time. This was fine, but a little uncomfortable when it was all said and done. Our second flight wasn’t full and I was way fortunate not to have a seatmate. I took my car seat on-board and let SBJ spend sometime in it, including the time that he slept.
  • Speaking of sleep – both times I tried to replicate our at home sleep conditions as best as I could while airborne. This included using a SwaddleMe blanket, a heavy blanket to make it dark, and a pacifier. SBJ took a nap on each flight, so I think it worked!
  • Lastly, speaking of pacifiers, I was hoping to help relieve the pressure on SBJ’s ears by nursing but when I really thought about it that would  have been rather awkward and additionally, I was told on our first flight that I was suppose to hold him with his head in my hands facing me during our decent which made it down-right impossible. SBJ will take a pacifier so I used that instead and I think his little ears really only bugged him once on the way there and he only cried for about 30 seconds.
  • Finally, if I travel with a stroller again, I will remind myself to plan extra time. Taking elevators instead of escalators takes a ton more of it!

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I had a lot of anxiety about taking this trip, but I am so glad that we went as it was a wonderful time with family despite the circumstances and SBJ was a great comfort to many. And looking back, I really think SBJ was near on perfect. He wasn’t inordinately fussy or unhappy on either plane which is all I really wanted.