Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On the road again...

The washer, dryer, dishwasher, and Roomba are all running. The baby is sleeping. I'm stretched out in bed with a respectably sized glass of vino, endless Grey's Anatomy reruns on Hulu, the cat curled up at my feet, and the dogs snoring quietly on the floor at the foot of the bed.

And life is good.

Jerad left at 3am for a Solar training thing somewhere up north and will be back late Thursday night. Until then its just me and Marshall holding down the fort. I was a little worried this trip was going to be more than I could handle. Friday night Marshall slept for *11 hours straight* then pretty much wanted to nap all day Saturday. I think he took 4 naps? Something insane like that. Sunday he was a little stuffy and clingy, then Monday he was congested to the point of not really being able to breathe out of his nose. Sad. I think all the stupid weather brought it on.

I'm fine with Jerad traveling, in fact sometime I down right enjoy my time alone. But it is hard taking care of the baby, the pets, the house, myself and still managing to get out the door at 6:30 am for work. Add a sick baby into the mix and no sleeping and that doesn't sound like a fun time.

Anyways, Monday night was pretty pathetic. Marshall had a hard time nursing because he couldn't simultaneously breathe. We subscribe to the philosophy that "symptoms" are the body's way of taking care of business so for the most part when one of us gets sick we don't try to alleviate the symptoms, but instead focus on supporting the immune system and healing the body. I gave Marshall a few doses of Elderberry Extract (our go-to immune boost), some vitD, a steamy bath with eucalyptus, and added a little tea tree and lavender extracts to the humidifier. He woke up juuuuuuust about every hour for the first half of the night. We tried letting him sleep in our bed, and by sleep I mean "suck snot, snore like crazy, and thrash around," tried sleeping with him, and tried letting him sleep alone. Basically no one got any rest. Its a good thing Jerad didn't have to get up at 2:45 am and then drive for 5 hours.... oh wait.

He might have cried when his alarm went off, and I seriously contemplated not getting up when mine went off at 5.

Luckily Marshall woke up smiling and his usual happy self with just a slightly stuffy nose. I decided to go to work for the sheer fact that I was EXHAUSTED and lets face it, it is much easier to relax at work then while taking care of an 11 month old. Plus my mom gets all butt hurt when I call out and she doesn't get to watch him. Luckily he was 100% back to normal by this evening. So basically he was stuffy and fussy for about 18 hours. I was worried it was going to turn into a full-blown sickness and last for days. Looks like we once again dodged a bullet.

When stuff like this happens it makes me realize just how lucky we have it. He cried and screamed for 7 minutes last night while I tried to comfort him. That is the second longest he has ever cried for me (the longest was 10 minutes at about 1 week old). It curdles my blood. I honestly have NO IDEA how parents of kids that cry for hours a day manage to cope with it. It makes me terrified to have another child. Its a double edged sword. On the one hand Marshall has been such a breeze that I feel like I want 50 more babies... or at least a few:) I could single handedly handle 3 of him! Then on the other hand how could we luck out twice in a row? Surely karma will bite us in the ass next time with a super high needs baby.

My friend Beth says that Marsh is mellow because Jerad and I are easy going. Hopefully that's true. And I guess even if we did have another baby and he/she was a crazy demanding child at least I would know it was just the baby's personality and not anything I was specifically doing. It seems like it would be harder having the first kid high needs? I know I would take it personally. Obviously karma doesn't exist because I screamed through the first 4 months of my life and had to be rocked and walked all night. Every night. That was the kind of baby I was expecting to have. Thank God I didn't, because honestly at this point I don't think I have the patience.

I don't remember what I started off planning on writing about but I think the wine and sleep deprivation are making me ramble. I guess in summary; Jerad is on the road again, Marshall had a close call with being sick but is fine and sweet and cute, and, the end. Wish me some sleep over the next few nights?

Oh, also he stood up without holding on to anything for like 6 seconds today. Walking, here we come!

Edit: Actually the longest time Marshall ever cried was on our trip back from Arizona for about 5 hours. It was so horrendous I tend to block it out...

A little Tueday cuteness for you

I hope his eyes stay this color.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My goodness.

I haven't been blogging much lately. We've had 40 days and 40 nights of rain... or at least that's what it feels like.

I've been super busy at work.

Jerad has been traveling a lot for work, so I've been single mom'ing it 1-3 days a week, and did I mention it just rains ALL.THE.TIME?

Anyways, I've started planning Mars's birthday party. Its less than 6 weeks till he turns one. How Did That Happen? I've been going through all of his pictures to make the invitations. Just look at this cuteness:

Melt my little heart.

In the beginning stages we were thinking just a small, super low key party. Har har. Sometimes its like I haven't met myself. We have a theme (spoiler alert!):

and today I designed the invites, which came out pretty cute if I do say so myself. We went back and forth on where to have the party and decided to just do it at our little house. I'm sure Marshall will change alot in the next 6 weeks, but as of right now he is world's sweetest child... as long as he gets naps when he wants them... in his own bed. I don't want to have to be rushing things and having it at our house seemed like it would be the best solution. The reason we didn't plan on that from the beginning is because our house is tiny. And our yard is pretty small too. And did I mention we're inviting around 40 people? As long as the weather is nice we'll be fine. It will be a little snug but we should be able to fit outside. If it rains... I'm just not going to think about that.

This is probably our last year in this house. He was born here so it will be sentimental to celebrate his first year of life here as well.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Top of the Mornin' to you

-From, our little leprechaun.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Today I was talking to a friend that doesn't have any kids yet. She wants a family, but is terrified because of all the horror stories people keep telling her about how after you have children you will perpetually be covered in vomit, be peed on, and never have a time to shower.

I'll admit, that doesn't sound appealing. I wouldn't sign up for that either.

For the record, Marshall is now 10.5 months and I have never been peed/pooped/vomited on. I don't think its a one-size-fits-all babies thing. Just like with being pregnant; not everyone is going to throw up and crave pickles all the time (I didn't throw up once during pregnancy... so its possible).

You've all seen that movie preview where Katherine Heigl has poop on her face and doesn't even realize it. Either I am in denial, or stuff like that doesn't normally happen and is just put in movies for entertainment value.

Its also not true that once you have kids you stop being able to shower or wear anything except pj's and Uggs. Flip flops and yoga pants are a perfect alternative! Kidding. I have quite a few friends that are stay at home moms that are still stylish, showered, and gussied up daily.

Everyone talks about the post partum greasy hair haven't showered in a week phase.

I promise you, you will be able to find 10 minutes in the day to shower.

I'm not trying to say having a baby is always a glamorous job and that butterflys and unicorns will float down from heaven to brighten your day. BUT, I also don't think anyone should ever have to put off having a family for fear of being constantly puked on.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dog Training

Our dogs are at an intensive 2 week off leash training program right now. They learn things like going into a down stay from 150 yards away then each one coming when recalled. Jerad and I keep joking that they are at summer camp because the place is beautiful and when they aren't training they are playing with other dogs and getting to run around and just have a good ol' time.

Its been a nice break not having to take care of them the past few days, but I've been missing them too.

I left a voice mail for the trainer checking in on how they are doing, and he texted me back this morning saying "dogs are great!" and this picture:

Look at all that space, they must be in heaven!

We go hiking, camping, to the lake, and to the dog beach so its pretty imperative that they have good off (and on) leash control. Plus I think dogs are just happier when they are well trained and know what they are supposed to be doing! Both Buddy and Bailey have had a lot of training but when we rescued Wyatt we pretty much taught him to sit then dropped the ball. They all walk well on the leash separately, but forget about trying to walk them all together. The trainer promised when they come home I'll be able to walk all of them at the same time which sounds perfect now that the days are getting longer.

Lets see if I can manage 3 dogs and a jogging stroller!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The One Where I Just Post a Lot Of Random Pics

Not much is new around here.

Just things like Farmer's Market:

Where you can spend $20 and get fresh strawberries, cilantro, green onions, broccoli, lettuce, red onions, spaghetti squash, beets and greens, potatoes, snap peas, and fresh pico de gallo. Try that at the grocery store!

Eating brunch with friends:

Flying high:

Drinking out of straws:

Playing and snacking at the park:

Playing with dog toys which are, you know, soooo much better than "baby" toys:

Driving Boats:

And just staring at our cute little ham-bone:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

10 Months

This has been such a fun month. Everyday Marshall's little personality emerges more and more.

He loves waving, mostly to his Uncle Joey for some reason. When he waves he moves his whole arm in a circle like he's washing a window. He can walk holding onto us with just one arm and can easily go between the couch and coffee table. He initiates peek-a-boo and chasing games. If you say "I'm gonna get you!" He'll laugh hysterically and crawl away. He loves dancing and does it to the radio, Jerad's guitar, or just if things are getting a little boring.

He is always on the move, crawling, climbing, and pulling up on things. We're trying to teach him how to get off the couch feet first because he prefers to just dive off. He loves to bark and growl. Not sure where either of these came from.

He says a few words (when he feels like it). He can say "hi," "bye," "mama," "dada," "mmmmm," and if you call him he will say "huh?" Maybe he'll be an early talker? I was extremely vocal. My parents always tell the story of me saying "welcome to the auspicious occasion of my second birthday." Apparently I was also pretentious. He makes this weird sound that seems to mean "kitty" although it sounds nothing like it.

His favorite things are wheels and balls. Any toy with wheels he will flip over to investigate and he can chase a volleyball around the house for a good 20 minutes.

He is quite the little ham. If he does something that makes us laugh, he will do it over and over again. He also gives gentle (open mouth) kisses if we ask "can I have a kiss?" Besides kissing us he likes to kiss mirrors, cats and dogs, toys, and the floor.

He's going through a little bit of separation anxiety and sometimes only wants to be held by Mommy or Daddy. This is both endearing and annoying. When new people come over or we are visiting someone he will usually sit quietly and observe for awhile before deciding to carry on as normal.

He's getting pretty tough. He falls and bangs a lot but rarely cries, and if he does he gets over it really fast. The new challenge is getting him to stay sitting or on his hands and knees in the bathtub. All of a sudden standing is much more fun. Bath time is still his favorite thing ever. Now that he's eating more frequently, he's bathing more frequently. When he was an infant we bathed him *maybe* once a week. He just didn't get dirty. Now his hands and tops of his feet are always dirty from crawling, and during dinner he manages to rub food all in his hair/face/eyes. So nightly baths it is! We still try to only use soap once a week and no lotions. If his skin is ever red or irritated we just use a little coconut oil and it clears right up.

During the last month Marshall went through a sleep regression where he would wake up every 1.5 hours. This also coincided with Jerad being out of town for 11 days. Awesome. Somehow I survived and he is back to sleeping like a champ. He also is finally sleeping in our bed again. I know most parents *want* the kids out of bed, but for us its sooo much more convenient if he'll just stay there after middle of the night nursing sessions. Lately he's been falling asleep in his bed between 6:45 and 7:15, nursing once in his bed before I go to bed around 10, then if he wakes up in the middle of the night he'll come in our bed and stay there.

We are still doing cloth diapers although now that he's eating solids its a whole new ball game. Since he was born we have only bought 2 small packages of diapers, one for his first few days as a newborn, and one when we went to San Diego when he was 7 weeks old (which we totally regretted using). I don't want to get all preachy about using cloth diapers, but honestly both Jerad and I are so happy that's what we're doing. It hasn't been inconvenient at all -- and I even work full time! Since we're also using cloth wipes, breastfeeding, and feeding him table food in lieu of baby food we don't actually have any monthly "baby expenses." This is great because then I don't feel guilty for the occasional Kahuna Kids splurge.

Now that he's so mobile and not breastfeeding constantly his growth has tapered off. He is wearing mostly 9 month clothes, or 12 month pants depending on the booty size. He is definitely not tall enough for 12 month stuff, but the cloth dipes give him a fluff butt that needs to be sized up. I'm actually glad he's slowed down because for awhile there he was going through sizes so fast that it seemed like I was having to pack away outgrown clothes every week.

I can't believe its only 2 months till his birthday. My goodness. I've been having a hard time deciding what to do. Its tricky because honestly the 1st birthday is really for the family. He won't remember it and isn't old enough to "get it." But, it's still a huge deal. We made it a year! Small family only party? Big party? Theme? Time? If our house was better set up for entertaining, I'd probably have gone for a small family shindig but since its not, we might as well go big. Right now the tentative plan is to have it at a park, invite friends and family, and maybe have a book theme. We've tried really hard to raise Marshall without too much stuff and it makes me twitch thinking of mountains of plastic. Whatever we decide to do, I see a lot of crafting in the near future!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Enjoying his Montessori Room

When Marshall turned 7 months old and began to crawl, we transformed his room from a nursery to a child centered Montessori Bedroom.

I changed everything right before his afternoon nap time. At first we just put the crib mattress on the floor and put some padding around it in case he rolled off. Jerad screwed a mirror into the wall, and we taped up a few calendar pictures and parts of his mobile at his level.

I flipped his little shelf on its side and put out a few books and toys for him to see when he woke up.

When he got tired I put him on the mattress and rubbed his back and cuddled him until he fell asleep.

I was sure there was going to be a transition time for him to get used to the new setup. Instead he slept for 3 hours straight!

When he woke up he was thrilled to find the baby in the mirror. He talked and coo'd and laughed for a few minutes, then crawled right out of bed.

He thought being able to get right out of bed was pretty funny:

He automatically discovered the book shelf:

Crawled right over and pulled the books out:

Day one was a success.

After a few weeks of that setup, we knew we were ready to take the plunge and sell the crib and buy a twin size mattress for the floor. It has been amazing!

Marshall is one of those weird babies that will ONLY nap in his bed. Seriously. Since he was 3 or 4 months old he stopped falling asleep in our arms, and has never once passed out on the floor or under his play gym. Around that time he also started refusing to fall asleep in our bed, and even getting him to sleep in our bed after a night time feeding is hit or miss.

Now his bed is big enough that on lazy afternoons we can nap with him. I can lay down to nurse him instead of one of us having to bring him in our room during the night (although usually that's what we do).

The first night we had his new mattress set up he had come into our bed in the middle of the night but was flailing around and crying so Jerad put him back in his bed and fell asleep in there too. In the morning I heard giggling and this is what I found:

He was so happy to wake up with Jerad in there. It was adorable.

I rotate out the toys in his room as he gets tired of them, normally once a week. Usually there is 3 books, a ball, one toy, and a different "big toy." Like the bead maze, his Melissa and Doug push toy, or the block cart.

The goal is to not overwhelm him, and for me to be able to completely pick up his room in under 60 seconds.

As soon as he wakes up, he is free to crawl out of bed and entertain himself:

At 8.5 months he put himself to bed for the first time. He was playing, rubbed his eyes, crawled over to his shelf and grabbed his paci, then crawled into bed and put himself to sleep.

I love the independence that his room gives him.

I covered him up with a blanket and documented the occasion:

Don't get me wrong, he doesn't always put himself to sleep, and sometimes I do lay with him and rub his back, but it really has been amazing. Believe it or not but naps and bedtime has gotten easier since we decided to forgo the crib.

The way our house is set up, his room is literally 4 steps from our room. We haven't put a baby gate on the door yet because we can hear him the second he wakes up. In the morning sometimes he will wake up and play, or he will crawl into our room and stand up wanting to get in our bed where we'll have some morning snuggles.

If I am going to be outside or in the basement when he's napping, I just close his door. Otherwise if I'm in another room I leave it open and he'll crawl out and find me. If the door is closed, he will crawl over to it and bang on it. Its recommended to put a baby gate across the doorway but at this time its not necessary for us. The way our house is situated (plus he is a LOUD crawler), you can hear him as soon as he wakes up.

Occasionally he will wake up and fuss until I come in his bed and cuddle with him. My favorite thing about this setup is that he is able to communicate what he wants and it is easy for us to determine what it is. Sometimes he wakes up and wants to play alone, sometimes he wants a buddy, sometimes he wants to go to where we are, sometimes he wants some cuddles. And now we are able to figure it out easily instead of him waking up in his crib and automatically crying to be let out.

So far, so good!