Friday, January 27

Friday Photos - BFFs

Yesterday afternoon Brock and I went to visit his future Best Friend Forever (BFF), Owen. Alright, realistically I know we can't force a friendship on these two, but I'm really hoping they end up being best buddies and want to play together all the time so it will give me and my best friend (Owen's mommy, Kerri) constant excuses to hang out.

Owen turned two months old last week and is just getting cuter and cuter by the day. I know you're supposed to believe your own kid is the most beautiful, most adorable thing in the world, but I don't know, I'm thinking Owen gets that prize in my book. He is the sweetest little guy, smiling and just so content watching everyone in the room. I love his dark, feathery hair that sticks up in random places and his chubby little cheeks. There really is just too much cuteness for one baby in that little boy!

Anyway, I wanted to get some pictures of our two boys "getting to know" each other. Brock has met Owen before, but this was the first time Owen seemed to be aware of Brock, so I'm considering this the start of their never-ending friendship. I think they liked each other.

I started out with Brock sitting a little far away from Owen because I wasn't sure how "gentle" he would be and didn't want any injuries, but they didn't even really notice each other.

So we moved a little closer. "Hi friend!"

Look at that sweet, little smile! They seemed pretty interested and curious.

I had to turn the flash off because it was hurting Owen's eyes.

Watch out, ladies... these two handsome guys might mean trouble.

Friday, January 20

Ten Months (and a bonus)

I'm cheating this week and replacing/merging the Friday Photo with the monthly update, but I'm going to add a little video at the end to make it worth it (which means the majority of you can probably just skip all this reading stuff and scroll down to the bottom of the post).

Brock turned 10 months old yesterday. I'll just give it a second and let that sink in.............. 10 months! That means he's only two months shy of being a whole year old. If you had told me 9 months ago that he would be 10 months before I knew it, I wouldn't have believed you. In fact, I'm pretty sure lots of people did tell me that ("Oh, time flies. Before you know it, he'll be a year old and it will seem like you just blinked your eyes."), and only now am I realizing that I don't really know where the past 10 months have gone. Anyway, this time between the ninth and tenth months has definitely been my favorite so far. He has become more interactive and social and entertaining than ever before, and his little personality is definitely starting to emerge. Things have leveled off with eating and sleeping and his routines have become more predictable this month too, which I'm a big fan of.

As far as I could tell, when I tried to weigh and measure him, he's about 23 pounds (74th percentile) and about 30 inches (84th percentile), but I have no idea if that's even the slightest bit accurate because he won't stay still for more than a second. Those are my ballpark figures though.

Here are some of Brock's patterns and accomplishments for the time between the 9th and 10th months:
  • At the beginning of the month (I'm talking like the day after he turned 9 months old) he moved to a 4-hour eating schedule. I had mentioned this in his 9 month post and was curious when it would happen because I had read that most babies start the 4 hour schedule earlier. Then one day he just decided he didn't want to eat sooner than 4 hours.
  • As I mentioned before, his routine has really started to become predictable this month. Brock is a Babywise baby (which can have its pros and cons, but the pros have significantly outweighed the cons for us) so he has always been fairly structured, eating and sleeping in a regular pattern. But this month he has kind of set a schedule and stuck to it. So now I can know, with about 90% certainty, what our day will look like. He eats at 7:00, 11:00, 3:00, and 7:00 with an occasional 30 minute variation, and he takes two naps, one from 9:00-10:45 and one from 1:00-2:15. (I mainly just wrote all that out for my own future reference). 
  • The amount of time he can tolerate being awake increased this month from about an hour and 20 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes or two hours. Too much longer than that during the day and he's pretty cranky and won't take a very good nap. 
  • At his 9 month checkup, Dr. Smith told us that he wants Brock to be eating everything that we're eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by the time he comes back for his 1 year checkup, meaning he wanted us to start weaning him off of babyfood. So that's what we started doing this month, which caused some serious reflection on the food Blaine and I eat. I'm thinking if Dr. Smith knew what kind of stuff we eat (Spam, pizza, tacos, fish sticks, fast food, etc.) he might rethink whether he wants Brock eating everything we're eating. He probably would have rephrased it and said, "I want Brock eating everything that you should be eating."
  • Brock outgrew all his 6-9 month clothes this month and now wears 9-12 month sizes, which I have found they apparently don't make too many of. I never seem to be able to find this size in the store for some reason. Really he's wearing 12 month pants already because his legs are kind of long, but he still needs 9 month shirts because his arms aren't long enough for 12 months yet.
  • He started doing a lot of mimicking noises this month and imitating the sounds that Blaine and I make. (In case you missed it, here is a video of him doing it - the one at the bottom)
  • He started saying "du-du-du" around 39 weeks, whenever I would talk about Piper (dog) or Daddy. We're trying to get him to transfer that to "Da-da" but he doesn't quite recognize it as a name yet.
  • Speaking of daddy, Brock really developed a strong affection for Blaine this month. He's always known Blaine and recognized him as a person who takes care of him, but he started having an occasional preference for Blaine over the past few weeks. It may have been because Blaine was home for three weeks during Christmas break and got to spend more time with Brock. One morning when Blaine had to go back to work, Brock actually started crying and wouldn't go to anyone else because he only wanted Blaine to hold him. And when I've picked him up from the nursery at church the past couple of weeks, he starts crying for Blaine and wants to go to him instead of me. I guess I'm just chopped liver, but it does make me happy that he loves his daddy so much.
  • Brock recognizes his name now and responds to it about 90% of the time. He sometimes goes off into "Blaine land" (some far off place where Blaine occasionally visits that is sort of a mixture between a trance, a mental check out, and just a long oblivious stare), and if he's there he doesn't respond to his name, or anything else for that matter.
  • He dropped his third nap this month, so now he takes two naps that are between 1.25-1.5 hours long. I thought I'd be excited about dropping the third nap because it meant we could have a little more freedom in the afternoon, but now he wants to go to bed at like 6:30 because he wakes up from his second nap around 2:15. So that's a little frustrating because we had just gotten to the point (after the time change) where he could stay awake until 8:00 and now we're reverting again. It's not a big deal, but it just kind of makes our nightly curfew earlier than what I'd like if we're out together.
  • We had several nights this month where he woke crying around 11:00 or 12:00. It was always about the same time and would take a while for him to get back to sleep. I don't know if it was hunger, teething, or what, but I'm hoping he's over it now.
  • He is no longer content to be still anymore. He is constantly wiggling and squirming and wanting to move around on the floor or crawl all over you. He's got places to go apparently.
  • We're still experiencing some of the separation anxiety stuff, but I've been working on it. I read that giving them independent play time every day can help, so he now spends about 20-30 minutes a day in his room in the pack&play with toys and music, and he does really well with it. Hopefully it will help.
  • Finally, the biggest milestone this month was that he started sitting up by himself and pulling up to standing at 42 weeks (9.5 months). He can only sit himself up very well in his crib, I guess because he has the rails to pull on and doesn't have to use his ab muscles (which are about as toned as mine - meaning not at all), but he's got the standing up thing down now.


And, as promised, here's the video:

Friday, January 13

Friday Photo in Motion - Upward Movement

Finally, Brock has learned how to sit himself upright and pull up. I have been waiting on these milestones for a while now because his little cousin Anna started doing this stuff at like 6 months, so I assumed he would be on about the same track, but he couldn't quite get it until the 9.5 month mark. I think the little guy might just be weighted down a bit by his large head and belly. At any rate though, he's figured it out now and he's loving it!

The sitting up happened first in his crib and came a few days before the pulling up. Then he figured out how to sit up and pull up to standing, but he couldn't figure out how to get back down. Before all this, whenever I would lay him down, he would roll right over onto his side, grab his blankie, put his thumb in his mouth, and go right to sleep. Now, however, when I lay him down, he sits right up and watches me leave, then stands himself up and plays for a few minutes. There were a couple of days where he would start crying once he got himself stood up because he couldn't figure out how to lay back down, but I tried to let him practice while he was awake so he could get the hang of getting up and down (I used my cell phone as bait for getting him to sit back down once he was up), and just yesterday he finally figured it out.

I should note that while part of me is excited about and proud of all these skills and achievements because it's my son, I think there's actually a bigger part of me that is just fascinated in general at how babies learn and grow. I guess my fascination with human beings is part of the reason I majored in psychology, and I remember being particularly interested in my child psychology classes and all the things we learned about how the human mind and body develop. It's just crazy how they accumulate all these skills and how they start understanding things and collect all this knowledge in less than 12 months. Anyway, of course I had to document this new accomplishment with the video camera, so I laid him in bed one day this week and hit record to capture the magic.

Thursday, January 12

Home Videos

I always love watching old home videos of my sister and myself when we were little, and I always wish there were more of them. They're such a fun glimpse into parts of your childhood that you probably wouldn't otherwise remember or know about. With all that in mind, I bought a video camera before Brock was born so that we could capture lots of great moments of his childhood (even if they are totally insignificant or mundane moments). I think it's safe to say he will probably never have to wish there were more home videos of him as a baby.

I thought I'd post a couple of videos I've taken lately that I find entertaining (although that means nothing really, since I'm a partial mom). This first video is just him trying out his new walker that his Papaw and Mamaw (my dad and stepmom) got him for Christmas. I love seeing him run around the living room in it and he really seems to enjoy the autonomy. I would like to preface the video with the fact that this was only a few days after Christmas so there is junk laying around everywhere in our living room. Don't judge me for my untidy house... Apparently I'm too busy videotaping my baby to clean.

This second video is Brock showing off some of his new skills. He's been learning to mimic a bunch of the noises and sounds we make. There are a few different sounds he will consistently copy if he hears us do them: A cough, a squeal or screech, a grunt (contrary to where you may think he originally heard this noise, it was actually just from Blaine stretching at the breakfast table one morning), and a laugh. The laugh cracks me up because when he hears us laughing hard he does it too, but it's not his real laugh, it's some fake laugh that I guess he thinks sounds like ours, and it's just funny to hear him start doing it when we're laughing at something. Anyway, here are his sounds for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, January 6

Friday Photos - Puppy Love

Our dog, Piper, is actually like our first child. She sleeps in the bed with us (under the covers, I might add), and she has to be right in the middle of anything we are doing. We've made her rotten, and she always wants our attention and love. She used to suffer from separation anxiety and would chew up everything in sight when we left her alone (including her beds, the carpet in our previous apartment, and once, my Bible), but we fixed that with some positive reinforcement (like giving her fantastic treats every time we leave the house) so she's really a pretty good dog now. She and Blaine have a very sweet relationship (sometimes it's a little weird) and they love each other like I've never seen a human and a dog love before.

When Brock came along, we were both a little worried how she would react to him. She's never met a person she didn't like, and she's always very sweet to people, but Brock would be taking our attention away from her, so we were afraid she would be jealous and possibly mean to him. She's definitely had her moments where you can tell she's not his fan, but those moments are starting to become a thing of the past as he gets more playful and interactive (and as he's started eating finger foods and dropping them for her). Just in the past couple of months, he has really become fascinated by her and loves to watch her and "pet" (or pinch) her. He even has a little noise he makes that seems to be his way of calling her, just a little shriek that he does when he's looking for her. She has shown a lot of patience and gentleness with him and lets him crawl all over her and grab her tail, which has really been encouraging to me and Blaine because now we know we aren't going to have to kill her for biting him.

One day this week Blaine had Brock on his shoulders and sat down in his office chair for a minute when Piper jumped in his lap (she considers an open lap an invitation to cuddle). So I grabbed the camera to take some pictures of my three favorite creatures in the world.

Can't you just see the patience and tolerance in her eyes?
And here, she's saying, "Can we be done with this already?" (Blaine might be saying that too)

My two guys... I know it's sappy and obnoxious to say it out loud, but I really couldn't ask for more than these two right here.

Tuesday, January 3

Resolution Twenty-Twelve

I like saying "Twenty-twelve" instead of "Two thousand and twelve". It sounds more sci-fi, space agey. (Although the more I look at the number Twenty, the more it seems like it's spelled wrong??) I thought "Resolution Twenty-Twelve" seemed like a fancy, if not slightly pretentious or over-important, title for this blog post in which I plan to discuss my New Year's resolutions for the year 2012. And who doesn't like fancy, pretentious, exaggerations of importance?! So here it goes:

  • To watch less reality television.
    I just love reality tv. I can't help myself. It barely even matters what the show is about. If it's reality, I'm a sucker for it. I think it's because I'm the analytical (translation: nosey, overly judgemental) type and I just love watching real people's personalities interact. But I watch too much of it, and just too much tv in general, so I'm resolving to get rid of some of it (I think I'll already be able to mark one show off the list since this season's bachelor on The Bachelor holds no intrigue whatsoever for me, although that first episode was cuh-rrrazy).
  • To not allow myself to feel a single ounce of bitterness toward my sleeping husband if I have to wake up in the middle of the night for a crying baby.
    Fortunately this doesn't happen too often anymore because Brock has pretty much been sleeping through the night since he was two and a half months old, but there's still the occasional week or series of days when something is going on like teething or sickness and my slumber gets disturbed. In Blaine's defense, he would definitely be willing to take on this task if I woke him and asked him to, but I can't ever bring myself to do it because he always seems so peaceful and slightly dead when he's asleep and he never seems to hear the baby crying himself.
  • To write in my blog posts fewer disjointed sentences in parentheses that make me seem like a schizophrenic with multiple personalities (Although usually the sentences in the parentheses are the "real me" making fun of the "ideal me" so maybe I need to keep the parentheses and get rid of everything else).
  • To lose my pregnancy weight. (I mean, it's only been 10 months since I had a baby... don't rush me!)
  • To stop shuddering in fear/anxiety at the thought of having more babies.
    I really do want more babies. In fact, Blaine and I have talked about having a total of four kids (And Then There Were Six? Yikes!), but I've still got to forget a few more things before I'm ready to have another one. And I'll decide after we have two whether we need to reduce our projected "Number of Kids We Will Have" goal. With each passing month though, it gets easier to imagine having another child (translation: I am no longer getting nauseated and light-headed at the thought), so I guess I'll just give it some time.

So there they are. My resolutions for the year 2012! I'm just going to go ahead and say I'm glad that no one ever expects you to actually keep these things.