Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crawling, Standing, Walking, Running!?!

Is it time to practice sitting and pulling up or nap time?

Tofu - yum!

Miles and his cute girlfriend, Nova.

So sweet!

One of the hazards of being close in age to your cousin and having a lot of hair for a baby!

The requisite "cousins" picture. Aren't they getting big?

Reading a book after a bath.

Tonight I'm thinking "where do I start?" It's been a busy week. Here's a quick rundown:

Monday - Before Miles, I was a devoted yogi - going to classes a couple times of week. Since he's been born it has been hard to muster the energy to go but I turned a corner this week and am going to make yoga classes a new part of my weekly routine. For some reason I opted to reintroduce myself to yoga by going to a Monday night yoga sculpt class - which is basically yoga on steroids - using weights with the room heated to 110 degrees. On top of that I was only a few minutes early for the 7:30 pm class (after Miles went to bed) and I had to lay my mat down between a group of Swarm Dance Team members. So here I am with my post-baby, pale body amongst young, tan, in-shape, perky dancers in skimpy yoga outfits. Let's just say it was great motivation for me and I'll be back this week for another beating.

Tuesday - Ahhhh - my lovely husband gave me a spa evening for my birthday. What better way to recuperate from a grueling yoga class than a lovely massage and facial! I told Mike he could do this for me every birthday.

Wednesday - My bookclub got together to discuss "Beautiful Boy" - a good read and a fun time chatting with girlfriends!

Friday - Rach and I headed to Babies R' Us for some quality sister/baby time and shopping. Miles got a new sleep sack (size large) and some more baby food combos like butternut squash with apples - yum! That evening our family visited the Deiterings - Jill, Shawn and 15 month old Nova. They made a lovely dinner for us and we had a great time talking and watching the little ones roam all over and play.

Saturday - Our family enjoyed a delicious sushi lunch with Rachel, Graham and Corey at our favorite sushi spot - Little Sushi on the Prairie and then the boys stayed home to play and nap while Rachel and I got fitted for our bridesmaid dresses for Matt & Janelle's wedding. The fitting went well and the dresses are beautiful. The countdown is on until their September 11th wedding - we can't wait!

Sunday - Today was a nice family day - we cleaned, did laundry, grocery shopped, played, went for a walk and did yard work. Miles went down at his usual 6:00 pm bedtime and Mike and I enjoyed a quiet dinner of grilled chicken, salad and sweet potatoes. We had a wonderfully busy week and are ready for more adventures (Miles' first Easter) this coming week.

New with the little man
Miles is now a very proficient crawler and is not satisfied with staying on the quilts we lay down for him. He wants to constantly be on the go! We thought crawling this past month was a huge step and now he is excelerating his gross motor skill development by pulling himself up to a kneeling position and even standing! Mike and I could hardly believe our eyes - we seriously think he'll be running soon. He also tried tofu for the first time this week. Daycare reported that he didn't like it but I got him to eat some this weekend and he wanted more. He continues to practice eating finger foods - organic rice krispies and the tofu - but most of it just gets pushed around his highchair tray or ends up in his hair, stuck to his face or in his bib. It's good practice though! We made another homemade babyfood this week - sweet potatoes - and now have a nice store of it in the freezer (along with the broccoli that he refuses to eat) to pull out when we need it. Miles has also been jabbering up a storm lately. We even heard what sounded like "maaaaaaa!"

Miles' 8 month photos are in. If you'd like to see them go to www.legacystudiosmn.com and click on "ordering" at the bottom. Type in your email and the password is miles. The pictures are super cute!

Ferberization
So over the last month we've applied the Ferber method to Miles with great success. Basically, the Ferber method recommends that you always put your baby to bed drowsy but awake and to let them cry so that they learn to sooth themselves to sleep. Miles normally goes to bed at night without a problem - it has always been the night wakings that have gotten us up several times each night to either feed or comfort him. We've used this method and although we've had to torture ourselves with listening to him cry for 30+ minutes a few nights he barely cries anymore at night and has actually started sleeping through the night! I only got up to feed him at night once this whole week - and that was after he had been sleeping soundly for 9 hours. He now is consistently sleeping from about 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. Although it has been hard to hear him cry those few nights that he just didn't want to go down (especially because he's not a crying baby) we are firm in our belief that we're teaching him a good life skill - to be able to sleep well at night - and are so happy that we are now also getting good night sleeps. We're a happy, busy family now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ta-Da!

Upside down baby!

He crawls right for the outlets.
(We have since covered all of them.)

So cute & innocent.

Are you sure about this horseride Godmother?

Riding the horse is fun!

Yee-ha!

So sweet next to the pony.

Hoppy Easter Everyone!

Cousins Corey and Miles - our little bunnies.

"Hey buddy, you've got something on your head!"


He Crawls!

Miles did his first off the belly crawl this week. He's such a fast and proficient army crawler that he moves forward off of his belly a few steps and then resorts to the speedy army crawl to get where he wants to go. Where he wants to go is right to the places we don't want him to go - aka - electrical outlets, wall corners, doors - you get the picture.

Besides the excitement of crawling we had a lovely weekend. Friday morning Miles and I headed to our ECFE class. Miles was up earlier then normal that morning so he fell asleep in the car on the way to school. He continued to sleep in his car seat (never wake a sleeping baby!) through most of class so I did circle time - singing songs, bouncing balls on a parachute, etc. without a baby. It was a good opportunity though to observe the other little ones. When the teacher spoke or showed them different animals they all very astutely paid attention. I usually am so wrapped up in Miles that I've never noticed how well they observe the world around them. Friday night the Sugrues (friends from ECFE) had a lovely fish fry party. The food was delicious and pretty much everyone there had children under 2 so we felt right at home and had a great time. Thanks Sugrue Family!

Saturday morning we trekked to Andover to get Miles' 8 month pictures taken. He was such a trooper - smiling through much of the shoot. That afternoon and evening we hung out with Rachel, Graham and Corey. Whenever we get the babies together hilarious antics always seem to ensue - this time with the bunny ears. The boys could not have looked cuter and we adults all giggled a lot.

This week I knew I was deep into parenthood when:
  • Miles woke up crying so I picked him up from his crib and rocked him. Unsure what woke him up I beckoned to Mike through the baby monitor to come to the nursery. When he came I used hand motions and pointed and whispered "smell his butt." Which Mike did...
  • Crusted boogers on crib sheets, clothes and crib rails no longer phase me.
  • The best gift anyone could give me would be a full nights sleep without interruption.
  • Toys were literally strewn over the floors of every room in our house - including the bathrooms.
  • Miles fell into the kid stereotype of hating broccoli. (I actually bought organic broccoli, steamed and pureed it and froze it in single serving cubes. He took one bite, gagged and threw up on his highchair tray.)
Joyful Moment of the Week
Miles woke up from a nap on Friday and instead of being a wild man and wanting to play he wanted to snuggle. He put his little arms around my neck, burrowed his head into me and hung on tight. He's a great hugger!

Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Forward

This new tub is kind of fun!

Lounging in the bath.

Cruising in a shopping cart like a big boy for the first time!

Thanks Grandma Gray for making me an awesome Mickey cart cover!
(My mom only got a few weird looks taking pictures of me in Target.)

Miles isn't too sure about Great Aunts Sue and Carol...

Partying with Great Grandpa, Great-Great Aunt Lucille, Great Uncle Don and the Great-Nickolay Aunts.

Colonel Sanders? No - just enjoying yogurt!

Is it Spring yet?
It sure feels like it! Today we threw off our jackets and the winter blues and actually enjoyed a lovely walk outside. Yes, the yards are muddy, the streets sandy and everything is still brown but you really appreciate a stroll when it's 60 degrees and sunny after a long, dark winter. Welcome to your first Spring Miles!

Spring Means Babies!
Friday Miles and I enjoyed another fun playdate with his baby pals Piper and Nicholas and I enjoyed chatting with their moms. On Saturday we went to a baby shower for my cousin and his wife, Brian and Brittany, who were in town from Bozeman, MT. They are having a little boy in June and we enjoyed seeing them and celebrating the new little Nickolay on the way. Miles hadn't seen these Nickolay relatives since Christmas and his fear of "strangers" is really starting to kick in. This is a normal part of a baby's development and I appreciate that Miles has a healthy attachment to Mike and I. Poor Great Aunts Sue and Carol though - they were so excited to see him but he was terrified of them at first. He quickly warmed up though and had a great time playing peek-a-boo with Uncle Don's hat. Congratulations Brian and Brittany!

Springing Forward
Miles spent the week perfecting his army crawl. On Saturday, Mike turned his back on Miles briefly while they were playing on the floor in his nursery and when he turned around Miles was almost out of the door! We also caught on camera him completely sitting up from a crawl position. You can also see from the pictures above we retired the now too tiny infant tub and graduated to a fun, inflatable one. The months are going by so fast now. Miles is 8 months old already! As I think wistfully of Miles' quickly disappearing babyhood every moment with the growing Miles is wonderful and fun. One of my favorites today was watching Miles bop to music on the iPod.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fun, Sun & Relaxation

Cruising on the deck in Texas - overlooking the water.

Beautiful boy.

"Grandma propped me up on a pillow - this is the life!"

Eating at a favorite restaurant, Charlotte Plummer's, overlooking the fishing boats.

Grandparents!

Enjoying every moment of sunshine.
(Except for the above 2 photos I was vigilant about keeping Miles safe from the sun.)

Relaxing on the deck.

"What are we going to do now Grandpa?"

View from the deck.

Getting wheeled around in style.

Kayaking.

So smiley.

Here is Miles thoroughly protected from the sun - an umbrella is covering the whole stroller.
(Our tennis game must have been boring.)

Laughing with Grandma.

A guy with a "hooter hider" on.
(Mike was hoping this picture wouldn't make the blog but it's too cute to leave out!)

Fun, Sun & Relaxation

We just returned from a wonderful week in Rockport, in the Gulf Coast of Texas, visiting my parents. As you can see from the many pictures above we had a great time and these are only a sampling of the more than 160 photos I took from the trip. Yes, most every moment is a Kodak (or Nikon) moment for me these days.

We arrived Sunday and had lunch at a beach bum-type place in Corpus Christi - I got my fill of delicious shrimp and seafood throughout the week. The rest of the week we ate more delicious food (because my mom is such a great cook and there are so many yummy restaurants in Rockport, food is always an important part of the trip) - baked trout, homemade key lime pie, and stuffed poblano peppers to name a few. Another food highlight was the authentic Texas barbeque that good friends and neighbors of my parents, Jerome and Charlene, cooked. They slow grilled brisket and chicken all day and then continued it cooking by wrapping the meat in foil, newspapers and put it in a cooler. The meat continues to slow cook and get mouth wateringly tender. Charlene makes a mean homemade Texas bbq sauce and my mom made the "fixins'" - pinto beans, cornbread, potato salad and more. Mike's asking me why I'm laughing while writing the blog - maybe because I'm drooling on the keyboard thinking of the feasts we had!

To balance out all of the Texas cuisine we also went kayaking in the bay, played tennis, went for long walks along the water, played cards and went hot tubbing.

Miles loved being outside - it's been too long since the wind has whipped through his hair and he's seen green grass and palm trees! He was also a very busy boy cuddling, playing and wrapping his Nickolay grandparents even more around his little chubby fingers. He spent many hours playing on the floor with all of the books and toys and even a huge Tonka truck they got for his visit, showing off his army crawling skills (books, legs of chairs and pillars are his favorite items to go after), being rocked to sleep by Grandma or being serenaded by a surprise musical instrument by Grandpa (I won't reveal the instrument because little Corey will also be serenaded later this week). He is such an active baby now that we had fun just watching him giggle and roll around.

Miles' grandpa also tried teaching him to say "ma-ma" to no avail. But for some reason my dad and Miles devised a "coughing" game - my dad would fake cough and Miles would do this back to him immediately. This is cute until daycare calls thinking that Miles is sick because he's coughing - when really he's just trying to talk like his grandpa.

Party All Night Long
Miles was channeling young adult spring breakers during our trip by wanting to stay up all night long to play. The kid would not sleep or stay asleep! I think that the combination of being in a new place, sleeping in an unfamiliar Pack N' Play and having too many fun things - i.e. grandparents, toys, ocean - to look at made it very difficult for him to go down for naps and most nights he woke up every 1-2 hours. Once awake it sometimes took us over one hour to get him to sleep again. Luckily we were on vacation and could nap during the day and we had the support of my parents who allowed us to sleep in while they played with Miles but still we spent most nights frustrated. His grandpa gave us a respite the last night by telling us to just hand Miles off to him when he wouldn't go back to sleep. So at 2 am Mike gave him to my dad and Miles and Grandpa slept together like "babies" on the couch the rest of the night.

The little man has convinced us beyond a doubt now to try the "Ferber Method" of sleep training infants - aka - the "cry it out" method. Miles will have to learn the hard way how to self soothe and fall asleep on his own because there is no way that Mike and I can be up for hours anymore night after night. Wish us luck!

Wonderful, Wonderful
Our little family had such a wonderful vacation (Miles first time in Texas!) that we can't wait until next year's trip and want to say a huge thank you to my parents for making this trip possible. While we were gone Ruby, our four-legged daughter, also got the queen's treatment from my cousin Emily who babysat/housesat all week. Thank you Emily!