Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crazy, Beautiful Life

It seems like these posts are getting fewer and far between - life has been ridiculously crazy recently. There are several reasons for that including: my job, grad school, Ellis, Davis working nights, and being in the process of buying a house.

Thankfully, grad school is almost over, and I am so ready. Just a couple more weeks in this semester and one more class this summer. Also, a portfolio, and then I'm done! Figuring out how to juggle everything in my life with Davis working nights has been difficult; I'm grateful that my professor is totally okay with Ellis joining me in class every now and then. (He even gets to walk around with her and help check classwork sometimes!)

I'm also ready for this school year to be over. It has been a challenging year courtesy of a crazy first semester; it has been increasingly difficult to manage behavior as a result. I don't feel like I've done the best I could, and I'm ready for a fresh start.

To make things even more hectic, we've been in the process of looking for and buying a house. Our current lease is up on May 24, so we ended up in a bit of a time crunch. Luckily we (I) found a house that I fell in love with. Davis hadn't even seen it when we put an offer in (and thankfully he likes it too)! It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom in Lilburn, GA. The kitchen is about twice as large as our current one and has an eat-in dining room. There is also a formal dining room between the living room and kitchen that I anticipate using as a playroom (also for our ginormous fish tank). There's a large shed in the backyard that will be perfect for storing tools and lawn equipment. We even have an attic! My favorite part about the house (besides the fact that it will be ours) is the windows - there are tons of windows, so plenty of natural light. There are even a couple stained glass windows.

It's hard to believe that our sweet little boy is already 6 months old! (I know he's the real reason you read my posts!) He is getting so big and developing quite the little personality. In general he has a happy, pleasant temperament; but if you make him mad, he's quick to let you know. For the most part, he's happy if he has a clean diaper, full belly, and enough rest.

I think I've finally figured out how to get him to nap at home. As soon as he starts showing signs that he's tired (i.e. rubbing his eyes and hollering for no other apparent reason), I lay him down on his belly and either pat his behind, rub his back, or give him a gentle, rocking shake. It usually only takes a few minutes for him to stop being furious that he's on his belly and fall asleep.

We've been trying lots of food with him, and he loves it! Carrots, green beans, bananas, blueberries, kiwi, butternut squash, pears, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, peas, plums, peaches. We're going to try cucumber and grapes later this week. If we get the ok from his doctor on Friday, we'll start trying some meat!

Ellis loves "standing", taking baths, exploring new places, and banging objects together. Our house has gotten a lot noisier in the past couple weeks! He is starting to "talk" a lot more and make more varied sounds (including a "mama" sound). When he wants to be picked up, he'll reach out for you and grab onto your shirt. He is constantly chewing on things. There are no signs that a tooth is coming through any time soon, but he's sure working on it.

Well, Ellis is demanding my attention, so I think we're going to go take a walk in the park!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How Time Flies!

Goodness, it's hard to believe that Ellis is almost 4 months old! He has changed so much in such a short span of time that it's incredible. I guess I knew that there was a lot of development that happens in the first year, but I don't think you truly realize it until you experience it yourself.

At this point Ellis can:

  • Hold and shake toys (He loves rattles - especially the one Pops made for him)
  • Gurgle, coo, and use inflection in those sounds
  • Stands with support (We hold his hands and help with the balancing but he does all of the leg support)
  • Semi-sits with support (He usually ends up face planting between his legs if we don't use our legs to hold him up) (Also, the Bumbo is a great invention!)
  • Rolls from front to back, though this is inconsistent (He hates tummy time at home)
  • Wiggles around in his crib at night, often making 180 degree turns
When we went home (MS/LA) for Christmas, he got completely thrown off his schedule, so we started from scratch again once we got back to GA. I think he was also going through a growth spurt at the same time which means he was hungry all the time. This meant waking up every 2-3 hours to eat when he had previously been going up to 7 hours at a time. I think we have finally gotten back on track this week (despite Snowpocalypse!)

Here's what his schedule looks like:
  • 6:00 I wake, feed, and dress him
  • 6:45 we head to school and he usually catches a 15 minute snooze
  • 7:15 - 4:00 he is at school (with some of the best teachers)
    • 8:30ish - 6oz bottle
    • 9:30ish - nap
    • 11:45ish - 6oz bottle
    • 1:30ish - nap
    • 3:00ish - 6oz bottle
  • 4:00 we head home and he catches another 30 minute snooze in the car
  • 5:00 I feed him and we play until bath time
  • 6:45 bath time (our favorite!)
  • 7:15 he has a 4oz bottle of formula and goes to bed
  • 1:30 he wakes up to eat/snuggle and goes right back to sleep
His schedule at school is my best guess based on the daily reports from his teachers. I haven't been able to get him on a napping schedule here at home because he is so resistant to naps. He doesn't seem to want to sleep anywhere except on my chest, but I don't want that to become a habit (as much as I enjoy it as well!) 

We were having a lot of trouble getting him to sleep at night for any more than 2-3 hours at a stretch so we decided to do a mixed bottle with breast milk and formula. We also tried rice cereal until I did some research on it and found that it doesn't actually help a baby sleep longer or provide any particular benefits. Then Davis accidentally gave him a bottle of just formula one night and he slept for almost 7 hours, so I figured that might be just the trick we needed. Now he gets a bottle of formula before bed and only wakes up once in the middle of the night to eat!

Here are some pictures from the past month!

This is a 90 degree turn from how he was originally laying. 
The lamb was in the corner where the ball is, and the ball was at the bottom of the crib.

Steak and Shake fun with Daddy!

Yes, I have resorted to extraordinary measures in an effort to get him to fall asleep. Now he talks to himself in the mirror, tugs on the monkey, and falls asleep. It's a pretty great system at the moment.

He wore himself out from being in his jumper and fell asleep while he was still in it.

Playing with his rattle phone during bath time