Friday, November 25

Friday Photo in Motion - Camera, Lights, Action

From birth, Brock has been fascinated by lights. Almost to a point where I occasionally wonder whether there is something wrong with him. He loves to stare at any kind of light there is, and every time we go to a new place the first thing he looks for are lights. Maybe he's going to be an electrician one day or something.

Anyway, I've been kind of excited about Christmas time because I've been looking forward to seeing Brock's reaction to all the lights up everywhere. Today we got out all our Christmas stuff to work on getting it put up. Brock was laying on his playmat just hanging out with his toys while Blaine and I unpacked the icicle lights for outside. We untangled them all and laid them out, then plugged them in to make sure they were all working. As soon as Brock caught sight of all the lights on the floor, he decided to learn how to crawl!

All this week he's been starting to pull himself a little with his hands and has been moving around a little more. But at most, he would only move forward a couple of inches and it was a pretty slow process. Apparently his love for lights was a serious motivator though because he got to them faster than I could get them out of his way. We did it a couple of times and caught him on video, so I thought it would make a good, festive Friday photo in motion.

Monday, November 21

Eight Months

Brock turned 8 months old this past Saturday. He's changing so much now and learning so many new things. This hasn't been an easy month because we had a couple of weeks with some weird behaviors and Brock is developing a lot more self-determination and personal preferences, but I guess that's to be expected. We didn't have to go to the doctor for a checkup this month, but from what I can tell he seems to be holding steady at about 20 pounds and 27 inches. He's moving around a lot more now so I imagine his weight gain will level off for a little while.

These are some of Brock's patterns and accomplishments for the time between the 7th and 8th months:
  • At 30 weeks, his first tooth popped through on the bottom right side. Then about three days later the bottom left tooth came in as well. No sign of the top teeth yet.
  • He likes to have conversations in screams and squeals. Brock doesn't really babble with words like bababa or anything. He will occasionally say some consonants, but his preferred method of communication is just to shriek and wait for one of us to shriek back. We will go back and forth for a while doing this until he has said what he needs to say.
  • He can sit up independently pretty well now. If he has something in his hands that he's focused on, he will stay upright for a good long time, but if he's busy with things on the floor around him, he falls over more quickly. He's not pulling up to a sitting position yet though.
  • Brock found his private parts this month. Whenever I take his diaper off, he will sometimes reach down and immediately grab himself which is really annoying when he has a dirty diaper because his fingers always go right into the poop. Then I have to quickly clean them before they go straight to the mouth.
  • On that same note, it's getting a lot harder to change his diaper because he always wants to roll over on the changing table now. I basically have to wrestle him, hold him down, or distract him with some kind of random object like a clothes hanger or socks or his feet.
  • It also got a lot more difficult this month to clip his nails. In past months, I would normally do this while he was nursing, but he has become so aware of and curious about everything now that he gets distracted when I try to clip them, and he stops nursing and starts trying to grab the clippers. Needless to say, it takes forever to clip ten tiny fingernails (and we won't even talk about the toenails).
  • I'm not quite sure when it happened, but Brock doesn't mind being on his stomach anymore. I think it was sometime between five and seven months actually, but I didn't think about it until this month when he was constantly trying to wiggle away from me onto his belly at diaper change time. He loves to roll around on the floor to get places and can cover a lot of ground in just a few minutes if he's trying to go somewhere specific.
  • He can stand up really well with support. His legs seem to be pretty strong and he likes standing to play with his LeapFrog activity table.
  • Something happened around 31 weeks and he had some very rough nights. He wasn't taking great naps during the day and would get tired really early in the evening at like 6:00 but we would try keeping him up at least until 7:00. Then when I would try to nurse him before bed he would go into an all-out meltdown and scream and cry and basically just freak out. He would also wake up in the middle of the night crying, which he doesn't normally ever do. We tried Tylenol, putting him to bed earlier, doing the routine in a different room, and all kinds of other stuff but he still had the meltdowns for several nights in a row. Finally at some point I tried giving him Orajel before I nursed him and it seemed to do the trick. So I guess it was just teething, but I'm still not positive.
  • Brock got the croup (is it "the croup" or just "croup", I'm still not sure) at 34 weeks and we had to go to the emergency room (our first visit) because he was having trouble breathing at night. That week we again experienced the pre-bedtime meltdowns and night waking for several nights in a row so I'm thinking now that this is what he does when he's either sick or something is hurting him. It's insane though... he's going to have to learn some sign language or some other method of letting us know he doesn't feel well because those nighttime freakouts are disturbing and distressing.
  • He's still somewhere between a 3 and 4 hour schedule. He usually goes between 3 and 3.5 hours for feedings in the mornings and then by afternoon/evening he stretches it out more to 4 hours. He started off the month nursing about 5 times a day and by the end of the month he's averaging more like 4 times a day. He has solids 3 times a day. He has also gotten great at finger foods and self-feeding. He had mastered the puffs by the end of the month and is working on some other foods like green beans and Cheerios.
  • We transitioned through a time change this month. The first couple of weeks were rough, but things started smoothing out during the third week after the change. I realized what a predictable routine he had set up when he was waking up exactly one hour earlier when the time changed. He's still not completely back to his 7:00-7:30 wake up time, sometimes it's more like 6:30, but I think we'll get there again eventually (and then it will be time for the Spring time change probably). He's at least able to stay up later without getting upset now.
Those were some of the most significant changes this month. I love that he is always so happy and friendly and likes to smile and laugh. He is really becoming a busy little guy and is no longer content just to sit and relax unless he's tired. He wants to touch and eat everything and pays attention to all the things we do now, even little things like turning off a light or opening a door. You can just see him learning and discovering stuff and trying to figure everything out in his mind, and it's fascinating to me. I get lost sometimes just watching him and seeing him accomplishing all these new things. I don't think it will ever get old to me.

Friday, November 18

Friday Photos - Good Morning

Most mornings when it's time for Brock to get up, I just go and immediately get him out of the bed to feed him. But last Saturday morning he was in a particularly good mood, smiling and talking, so I thought I'd play with him for a few minutes first. I sat him up in his crib to talk to him and play peek-a-boo and he slowly scooted himself to the crib rail and wiggled his feet through, peeking over the rail. I thought it would make some pretty cute pictures so I grabbed my camera and this is what I ended up with.


It's probably about time to move the bed down to the lower level. Who knows when he'll be able to pull himself up to this position?

Saturday, November 12

A Letter to My Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

I live down the street from you and saw you out sometime last year walking your dog and your baby in a stroller before my baby was born, and I got really excited because I thought we could be great mom friends and have playdates with our kids and our dogs and walk around the neighborhood together. I had big hopes for our potential friendship and figured I would introduce myself after my baby was born and everything would work perfectly from there. But in the meantime some things have happened that I'm afraid may have made it more difficult for us to become friends.

First of all, I want to say I'm sorry about almost backing over you in my car. Technically, I was just backing up to the end of my driveway and then I always stop and look up and down the street before I pull out, but I know it looked like I was about to run right over you and your baby and your dog. I could tell you were a little nervous by how you picked up the pace as you ran past my driveway. I was a little concerned then about our future friendship, but I figured I would just leave my car at home when I introduced myself and you wouldn't realize it was me until we already had a great relationship and then you would just forgive me and we would laugh about it.

Then there was that day when I let my dog out in our front yard to use the bathroom and you were walking up the street. Because I wasn't paying close attention to Piper (my dog), she ran up to you and caused your large black lab to get loose and start chasing her. Then you had to run after your dog with your baby and stroller, and I know that was terribly inconvenient. When they both ran up on my porch and I retrieved your dog's leash, I thought this might be my moment to introduce myself but we were both so flustered with the animals and you seemed like you just wanted to get your dog and leave so we both said sorry and we left it at that.

Even with those two things though I thought we might have still had a chance. But then last week's incident seemed to have sealed our fate. Piper got loose from our yard (because our fence is in need of some repairs) and had been gone for a little while but I couldn't go looking for her because my baby was napping and she wouldn't come when I was calling for her, so I just assumed she would come back eventually. Well, when my husband came home and I drove around looking for her (in my pajama pants and t-shirt, no less) I saw her at the end of the street in your yard barking at you and your daughter as you were playing outside. I thought I might could just drive by unnoticed and maybe the dog would follow me, but when I turned around I noticed the indiscreet scornful look you were shooting my way. It was pretty clear that our future friendship was probably not going to come into existence when I waved a guilty, "I'm sorry" wave and it wasn't returned with a "That's ok; these things happen" wave.

So, I'm coming to grips with the reality that we probably will just remain neighbors who don't know each other's names, but the invitation is always open if you decide you can overlook my un-neighborly actions. And I just want you to know that even though I was walking behind you that day, I wasn't stalking you. We just happened to be strolling our babies at the same time in the same direction.

Shelby (Your neighbor who had hopes of gaining another mom friend)

Friday, November 11

Friday Photo - Puffs

Brock is learning how to chew now. Or at least, he's learning how to suck on something until it dissolves and doesn't choke him. We've been giving him those little Puff snacks that kind of look and taste slightly like styrofoam but they melt in your mouth (or anywhere else if they come in contact with water). I started offering the puffs to him at about 6 months, but he would try to immediately swallow them and would always gag, so I figured I should probably wait a little while longer. We haven't really given him any table food because he hasn't gotten the chewing reflex down yet, but I figured the puffs would be good practice and maybe help him figure it out. The past couple of weeks he has started doing a lot better with them, and he knows now that he has to hold them in his mouth for a few seconds first. Sometimes he chews but mostly I think he just sucks on them. He's kind of figuring out how to feed himself with them too, but it's difficult because he grabs them with his fist and then can't quite understand how to transfer them from his closed fist to his mouth. I took some pictures of him this week enjoying the puffs at snack time.

The camera became more interesting than the puffs at this point.
Check out his two little teeth on the bottom, if you can see them.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of him now. I love his big blue eyes and long eyelashes. His mom thinks he's quite a handsome boy!

The Missing Friday Photo - Halloween

I completely forgot to post a Friday Photo last week for some reason. Blaine and I went on a date that night and were completely exhausted when we got home (even though our big night out was just to the Dollar Tree, dinner, and dessert at Rembrandt's; apparently we're getting old), so I guess it just slipped my mind. I was going to post it on another day, but then it wouldn't be a Friday Photo so I thought I'd just wait and do two this week.

Probably another reason I forgot to post the pictures last week is because they weren't incredibly exciting. I had every intention of making a Halloween costume for Brock this year (he was going to be a sack of potatoes) and maybe taking him to a Trunk or Treat or doing something with his cousins, but the time got away from me and I never got around to buying the supplies for the costume. I didn't want to go spend twenty bucks on some last minute costume from Walmart that would probably be awful because all the good ones had already been picked over, and I really didn't see the point anyway because it's not like Brock would be eating the candy and I definitely didn't need it myself (since I'm still carrying around some extra unwanted pregnancy weight). Sooo, we just put him in a little Halloween onesie my sister bought him and hung out at the house, giving candy to all the kids who have good, selfless, fun moms that took them Trick-or-Treating. I admit that I did feel slightly guilty after it was over, but only for a minute because then I thought of the 10 years (at least) ahead of me that I won't be able to get away with skipping Halloween. Anyway, here are some pictures of what we did on Halloween night.

First, we spent some time playing with the "new to us" Leap Frog activity table

This is his (slightly large) Halloween outfit. It even glows in the dark, so that should get me some points, right?

Then we spent some time outside watching for Trick-or-Treaters and waiting for Grandaddy Vandy to come visit us

Then Brock tried to eat the porch furniture and got mad when we wouldn't let him, so we went back inside
That wasn't too bad of a way to spend the evening. I should've just not taken any pictures at all, and Brock would never even know what we did for his first Halloween; I could've made up all kinds of things.