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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oxford Trip 2007

So this isn't really mommy related, but I finally finished my photo album for the study abroad trip I took to Oxford in 2007. Yep, six years ago. Better late than never! Anyway, I just thought I'd share my album with y'all in case you're interested. :)

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Clay States - Musical Performance

Just thought I'd share this lovely performance.  Saw this duo perform at an event last year and they were fabulous!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Teething Time! And other random tidbits.

Whew--this is the beginning of a fun ride!  Our normally content, happy-go-lucky baby has become quite a cranky-pants over the weekend.  I've been blaming minor fussiness on "teething" for weeks simply because it was so strange for him to be fussy (unless he was hungry or overtired, obviously, but once his needs were met he was fine).  But this is something else entirely!
So far we've given him a frozen wet washcloth to chew on, pulled out the chilled Green Sprouts teether from the fridge, had him wear his amber necklace, and yesterday finally resorted to giving him two Hylands teething tabs.  Gave him two more again this morning, and after both doses, he was immediately ready to fall asleep.  Poor guy.  :(

On a more positive and cuter note, Charles has been quite the chatterbox the past few weeks.  He was a silent baby for a while, but when we got home from our West Virginia/Pennsylvania trip at the beginning of June, he found his precious little voice.  Every day his sounds get more purposeful, articulate, and varied.  I love hearing him jabber!

He's also just started reaching out towards us.  Often when Trevvor is holding him and he's fussing because he's ready to eat, he'll smile at me and reach towards my face with his precious hands when I come into view.  He's also begun to lift his arms up when he's ready to be picked up--not obviously or insistently like older babies, but there's a definite reaching toward us.

Right about when he turned five months old last week, he started to show signs of "stranger, danger!" mode. It's so pitiful, but also gratifying that he sometimes feels safe with Trevvor and I when he doesn't with anyone else.  I've waited so long to be preferred by a baby as only a momma can be preferred.

I'm really excited to start solids with him in a few weeks.  I'm trying to resist.  Not because I'm tired of nursing--I LOVE nursing--but because Trevvor and I love food and we can't wait to share it with him!  I've got the bibs, little bowls, spoons, and sippy cup all ready to go.  (I am letting him experiment with some water in his sippy cup, especially since it's been so hot.  Not sure how much he's actually swallowed, but he enjoys gumming the nub.)  I also want to get one of those mesh feeder things so I can give him more raw, fresh food to gum on before introducing cooked items.  Apparently they're also great for teething since you can freeze fresh fruits and let them nom on them through the mesh without risk of choking.

The other day he started opening and closing his mouth, working that little jaw, kind of like a fish.  He often does it while watching our faces, so I'm not sure if he's trying to copy us talking or eating!  Either way, it's kind of adorable.  :D

One more cute thing!  He's just started rubbing his soft head while he nurses.  It's precious.  His little hand just rubs and rubs his hair, especially when he's sleepy.

He's also begun chewing on his tiny toes!

Anyway, I suppose that's enough random gushing for one post!  I just feel like I need to be doing so much better about documenting and sharing all these adorable developments!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My little guy is five months old today!

Time flies when you're having fun.  And also, apparently, when you become a mother.

It's so hard to believe that Charles is five months old today.  He is the joy of my life--I never knew how much I could love another person, how immediately and deeply, until I became a mother and got to know my little miracle.

Motherhood hasn't been a cakewalk, and I never expected it to be.  We've had rough days and rougher nights, but it's mostly just been a process of adjusting to the "new normal."  The fourth trimester (i.e., the first three months) was definitely really hard, but it's gotten so much easier like everyone assured me it would.

Breastfeeding has gone really well overall, though the first two months saw a few plugged ducts, mastitis, and two weekends of high fevers.  I've enjoyed being a part of the local La Leche League group most months, and the leader said I'll make a good LLL leader myself one day, which was hugely gratifying (but also humbling as I realized how much I didn't know).

We made the switch from disposable diapers to cloth when he was about two months, and I've loved it!  It's just as easy to wash an extra load of laundry every few days as it was to keep up with buying diapers (especially since we used the "green" ones and those are only sold at far-away stores).  We have been using Green Mountain Diapers pre-folds and Thirsties covers (and Snappis, of course, which have been amazing). We also bought some hemp boosters which made it so much easier to use cloth overnight and when we'll be away from home for a few hours.

Baby-wearing has been really fun, but not as "easy" as I thought it would be.  Charles doesn't always like being worn.  He was never a fan of being swaddled, and I think wearing him is sometimes too restrictive for his active little self.  We used a Boba (stretchy) wrap at the beginning, which was great for distributing weight and keeping him warm and close in the cooler months.  Our Maya Wrap ring-sling has been great for running quick errands since it pops on and off so easily, and recently we've enjoyed using the hip-carry (and the back-of-the-hip carry as he's gotten grabbier).  As summer hit full-force, we've mostly switched to using the Ergo now that he's big enough not to use the infant insert.  It doesn't surround us with as much fabric, and it has a pocket where you can put an ice-pack for super hot days (you can also put a "boo-boo" ice-pack between your bodies).  I learned the ice-pack trick at a meet-up of the Magic City Slingers, the local chapter of Babywearing International.  Southern baby-wearers have to get creative this time of year....

I haven't done very well keeping up with Charles' milestones like I intended to on here.  So far he's been on track or slightly ahead of what the books say he's supposed to be able to do.  He's always loved standing on his own two legs and looking around while holding on to our fingers.  We introduced a borrowed exersaucer last week and he has absolutely loved being able to stand and see what's going on while playing with his toys.  The past week or two he's really started to be able to sit up mostly unsupported (though the Boppy or a pillow behind his back helps him from leaning too far over to regain his balance).  Also for the last few weeks he's gone from being pretty quiet to wanting to join in the conversation at every opportunity (especially at church, haha).  Charles is very ticklish, and that's the surest way to get him to laugh.  He also gets a little "punch drunk" when he's sleepy, and goes from fussing to laughing and back again very rapidly, which is hilarious.

Speaking of sleep, that's been a bit funky lately.  For the past two or three months he's had his little schedule of bedtime at 10:00, nurse at 2:00, then again about 5:00, then wake up about two hours later for the morning.  But starting last Friday night he began waking up every hour to two hours and not being able to go back to sleep on his own--I either have to nurse him or Trevvor has to walk him.  We started aiming to get him in bed between 8:00 and 9:00, thinking he might be overtired, and that's helped a little, but he's still waking up three to four times a night.  Anyway, I don't know if it's teething or a growth spurt or what, but it sure is exhausting for all of us.  Any tips from veteran moms?  I don't mind dealing with it, I just want to help him sleep more peacefully.

Charles is a very happy, alert, and active baby.  He is an absolute joy, and I've already had many people inform me that "he's going to keep [me] on [my] toes" when he gets older.  His favorite two toys right now are a little green car (already all boy), a little teddy bear that crinkles, and Sophie la Girafe.  The first few months he was definitely an "in arms" baby, but since then he's really seemed to enjoy more independence on his play-mat or in his exersaucer (this is both a relief and somewhat heartbreaking).

Anyway, I guess that's all for the five-month update!  I'll definitely try to do better about posting more.  I don't want to forget anything!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Charles' Three-Month Photo Shoot

Here are some of my favorites from Charles' three-month photo shoot, taken by our good friend Rachel Stricklin (  Yeah, I know he's almost five-months old now.  :P  Better late than never!

New Beginnings

I don't know, I felt I needed to demarcate this whole new stage of my life with a new blog.  I'd had my old one since before I started college, and I figure it's time for a change.  A fresh start.  A new focus.


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