Thursday, August 27, 2015

Baby Harrell [8 months old]

How on Earth is our little babe 8 months old already?  Cue all the smiley/crying emojis here…

8 month collage

Stats:
We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 9 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t. 

Health:
JJ had a little bit of a cold in the beginning of the month, it made its rounds in the family and he caught it for a few days.  It was so sad, and we had one night especially that was sleepless for the two of us.  Luckily he didn’t have a fever of any kind, just a runny nose and cough.  We gave him some Tylenol which I didn’t know could cause some issues poop-wise… that with the combination of the apples, bananas and rice cereal that he’d been eating made for some uncomfortable bowel movements. Poor little guy.  We have definitely learned not to combine all those things, plus we’ve swapped out the rice cereal for oat cereal and things have gotten a lot better.  TMI in the poop department…sorry. :)

Still no more teeth, just the two on the bottom.

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Likes:
This month he has mastered the sitting up, and loves to just sit up and look around at everything!  He has also mastered waving, it’s SO cute!  He will randomly wave at us, the TV, himself… not so much strangers yet, he’s still a bit shy, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Food-wise he really will eat any kind of puree we give him.  His favorites continue to be avocado, mango, oatmeal, (oat cereal) and parsnips!  His new favorite this month has been kale, which was a huge shocker to us!

Dislikes:
The stranger danger has gotten better, but he still doesn’t love unfamiliar people talking to him.  He won’t immediately start screaming all the time though… so that’s progress. :)

As for food, the only thing he didn’t like and has ever really not eaten well is BROCCOLI!  We would mix what we had made with lots of mango and he would eat it then… but we will hold off on making more broccoli puree and try and re-introduce it as a finger food later.

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Sleep:
This month was a bit rough for sleep.  We had a stretch of days where he was consistently waking up every 2 hours.  We think it might have been a gas issue, that on top of him getting sick… it was a difficult phase.  Thankfully he is now sleeping from about 7:30/8ish until about 3 or 4, and then I will feed him and he will sleep until about 6 or 7.  Then he will take 2 long naps, or 3 shorter ones throughout the day.  (Depending on if we are home, or have been consistent in our routine for a few days.)

We have been spending a lot of time at my sister’s house helping with Harper and Hadley, and we’ve figured out that when he’s around Harper especially, he doesn’t want to eat or sleep!  He just keeps an eye on her nonstop…it’s actually pretty funny.

Eating:
He is a food eating champ, like I mentioned above… but he is also still nursing about every 3 hours.  However, he is only nursing for about 5 minutes at a time… and that’s only if there are no distractions.  Lately, (and thanks to this article) I have realized how amazing not only the experience of nursing has been—but just the miracle of it in general!  I realize not everyone has the ability to nurse, and I feel lucky at how easy (relatively) it has been for JJ and I to master.  I know that each child is different so who knows how it will be for future babies, but knowing JJ’s interest in it is dwindling, I am reminded constantly at how blessed I feel for this special time and connection that we’ve had together.  Never in a million years did I think I would be such a sap about it. :)

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Our Favorite Things This Month:
Not much to report, just two!

Ninja Master Prep Blender:  We’ve had this blender forever, but it works so well for pureeing up JJ’s food!  It has been so nice and little hassle—I can’t believe how east it is!

MG Baby Diaper Sprayer: We use cloth diapers, and now that JJ is eating real food—his diapers get much messier.  We got this sprayer off of Zulily and LOVE it.  It even comes with a wall mount to keep it out of the way… though our guests have wondered what it’s for. ;)

Milestones:
-JJ is saying more of his B’s, D’s, and M’s!  He will say “Dada” a lot, which Zack loves!  He also makes a noise that sounds like he’s saying, “Hi, Dad!”
-No crawling yet, but he has been getting all fours and scooting around in circles and go from sitting up to the crawling position and rocking.  It’s only a matter of time!  Better start baby proofing.

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-This month we had visits from Grandma Karen and Aunt Krissy, as well as Uncle Mark (pictured above) and Cousin John, we also were at my sister’s house when Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Bruce, (pictured above) and cousins Kelli and James came over!  Lots of quality family time with relatives we don’t see enough!

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-We also had a photoshoot with cousin Ryder, complete with matching outfits. :)

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-Last, but not least… the highlight of our month was taking JJ’s first beach trip!  JJ loved playing the sand and even got his little feet wet.  The beach is one of my personal favorite places to be, and spending a relaxing day there with my little family was just perfect!

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I am amazed every single day at how quickly time is flying.  Little boy, you are truly the light of our lives and it has been such a joy getting to experience every day with you.

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In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby Harrell [7 months old]

Our happy guy is 7 months old! 

7 months

Stats:
We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 9 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t. 

Health:
JJ has been a healthy little guy!  He is still teething we are guessing—but we have 2 teeth completely through now!

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Likes:
Our little man is such an easy-going baby.  He is so happy 96% of the time and such a joy to Zack and I.  He loves just laying on the ground rolling all over the place.  (We’d better start baby-proofing soon!)  He has definitely tried to scoot around but hasn’t quite figured it out yet.  JJ loves to move his arms like crazy, he has been flapping his arms wildly and loves to just watch his hands open and shut.  It is so awesome to see his wheels turn and watch him figure things out around him. :)

Dislikes:
There’s not much this guy doesn’t like these days… the only thing really is certain foods, and big groups of people.  The stranger danger has gotten a bit better, but I think that’s because as parents we’ve learned how to handle it better.  When we get places I try and hold of on letting people just grab him before he warms up.  I feel bad and like people are judging me or thinking I’m too overprotective… but I just need to stop worrying about that because I know it’s what’s best for JJ.  Unless he’s in an ideal mood—the screaming still happens around unfamiliar people!

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Wears:
The 6 month clothes are getting a bit snug, and the 6-9 fit perfectly.  Just 9 month clothes are mostly still a bit big.

Eats:
We started feeding him food this month and it was a rough start, we kind of had to “trick him” into it.  but so far his main likes are parsnips, (weird, right?!) avocados, and bananas.  It’s getting better, but he still doesn’t love some foods like sweet potatoes, (everyone says all babies love sweet potatoes…not the case) butternut squash, apples, and sweet peas.  We are trying them multiple times, but these ones are more of a struggle.

I have been using this book as a base for his eating—review coming soon!

Sleep:
We have made big steps forward this month in terms of crib sleeping!  When it comes to naps, he still sleeps better (and longer) on the couch for some reason… but at night he is 100% sleeping in his crib!!

He isn’t fully sleeping through the night anymore though, he usually wakes up once or twice—once between 1 and 4 and then again usually again between 4 and 7.  I feed him though and he goes right back to sleep so it’s not too bad.

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Our Favorite Things This Month:
-Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops: A few times this month JJ was really upset and we had a hard time consoling him.  We would get him calmed down but every time we would lay him down again he would start screaming again!  We figured it had to be gas… I was given these drops at one of my baby showers and we finally busted them out!  They seemed to work super fast and he fell right asleep!  Lifesavers.
-Teething Rings: We found a set of these rings in our toys and didn’t really think anything of them…but once JJ got hold of them he loved them!  They are just rings that hook together, but he is obsessed with chewing on them and shaking them around.  We don’t have this particular set—but similar.
-Tigger Lovie: I might have talked about this lovie before—but this month he loves it for a different reason.  The corner of this lovie has a plastic chew part attached that JJ loves…he actually looks for it on the corner of all his little “lovies” but this one is the only one with it… genius really.
-Munchkin Infant Spoons: When Zack’s cousins came to visit they bought a pack of these spoons for their baby and left them at our house.  Now that JJ is eating we use them and they are a great size for his little mouth—and they are soft enough for JJ to chew on and not worry if he grabs hold of it.
-The First Years Teether Beads: We got a set of these teether beads as a hand-me-down and JJ is really loving them.  Besides the rings above, this is his favorite!

He also still loves his playmat which I have mentioned multiple times. :)

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Milestones:
-This month we celebrated Zack’s first Father’s Day!  I had to work :( but Zack and JJ got to spend the day together.
-We also celebrated JJ’s first 4th of July!  We went to my parents’ house for a relaxed BBQ night—but plans changed when my sister unexpectedly had to go into the hospital for some false labor…

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-^^On that note, although JJ’s cousin Hadley didn’t come on the 4th of July, she came 5 days later—and we were SO excited to meet her!

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-We also celebrated the birth of my cousin’s baby, James!! Growing up will be so fun with all these cousins around so close in age!
-This month JJ learned to “give kisses.” He opens his mouth and leans in!  It’s the cutest.  He’ll even give kisses to himself in the mirror!

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-JJ also started to “play” peekaboo!  He will pull the blanket or towel over his head and then throw it off and laugh!  He is just the cutest.
-This month JJ’s arms have gone crazy—he has discovered his hands and spends a lot of time watching them open and close.  It’s so cool to watch him discover things!  He will “wave” although he doesn’t mean to I’m sure, but we are working on it.  He will also repeatedly flap his arms up and down and just laugh.  It’s so funny, but we have to make sure that he doesn’t whack himself in the face with his toys.
-We are also working on sitting up.  He’s getting really good at it, but is still a little wobbly.

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-This is not a “milestone” per say, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning that this month it has been so fun to watch JJ and Harper interact.  It is crazy to think that they won’t remember what life was like before they really knew each other—and it has been such a joy to watch their relationship blossom.  She is obsessed with him and says “JJ!” over and over and over again, and gives him plenty of kisses when they’re together.  JJ is still a bit wary of Harper, but he is getting much more comfortable.  He even kissed her back the other day!  Another cousin was over the other day and got a little too close to JJ for Harper’s liking and her protective instincts kicked in.  It was so cute to watch, and I can’t wait to see them become friends!

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-Finally, this month JJ’s grandpa, uncles, and great-grandpa came to visit!  He had a great time spending time with all the guys, and I was so proud that he didn’t scream around them… because the stranger danger is still in full force.

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-The big milestone, of course though, (as mentioned above) is that JJ got his first two teeth!

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We love you so much, little boy—We could not feel more lucky to have you in our lives.  I can hardly believe that you are 7 months already!

In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Family Olympics 2015

3 years ago we had our first “annual” Family Olympics.  I say “annual” because although our intentions were to have it every year, life happened… babies happened… and another one wasn’t planned until this year!

10868173_10206554047160023_36157967166479921_nAll the babies!  6 under the age of 2, and one more on the way in a week! :)

Anyways, the 3 events we had this year were ladder golf, cornhole, and flimsee.

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We picked teams randomly, to make it fair… and my dad had the cutest little foam fingers to hand out to each person!

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For prizes we, of course, had medals for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  We also gave the gold medal winners a 100 grand candy bar… clever, right? (We thought so!)

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This year’s Olympics were extra special because we had one of my uncles and his whole family here from Florida.  They haven’t all been back to visit since 2007, so it was so awesome to have everyone all together again.

My cousin from California happened to be visiting the same weekend too, so we were only missing a couple from our big crew!

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It was extra amazing to have my dad and all his siblings together again!  Of course we had plenty of pictures to take… and they all hated it!

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Unfortunately, we didn’t get many actual game/action shots, but trust me when I say… a lot of fun was had.

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And in case you were wondering, the kids had a blast too…

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Overall, it was such a fun time.  Days like these make me oh so thankful for my big, crazy family. :)

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Baby Harrell [6 months old]

6 months old…half a year already! 

Our little guy really has developed quite the personality, and it has been so fun to “get to know him.”  He, for the most part, is super easy going and has been such a great baby.

6 months old

These monthly photos are getting harder and harder to take!!

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Height & Weight:
At his 6 month appointment JJ was measured at 26.6 inches long (50th percentile), 17.5 lbs (52nd percentile) and his head circumference was 17.7 inches (92nd percentile!!)

Health:
JJ continued to teethe this month but no sign of any teeth (yet!) We keep saying, “Any day now…” but haven’t seen anything yet.

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Likes:
JJ’s biggest like this month has been putting things in his mouth! I’m sure this has to do with the teething, but once he grabs hold of something you can guarantee it will go straight to his mouth! He also very recently has started to “throw” things.  I will put him in his high chair while I’m cooking or doing things in the kitchen and he loves tossing his toys off the edge of his high chair.  The first time I thought it was an accident but then he continued to do it over and over and found it so amusing! 

He has really loved grabbing and playing with his feet and even chewing on his toes!  Now that he can roll better he loves just rolling from side to side and scooting around on his back.  If it weren’t for the fact that he still doesn’t love being on his stomach, I would say he would start crawling soon… He has also started to turn on to his side once he falls asleep.

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Dislikes:
Being on his stomach is still not something he enjoys, and his crib!!!  We have been trying and trying to get him to sleep in his crib but he ends up waking up like every 20 minutes in there for some reason.  More on this below…

Wears:
He fits into 6 month clothing as well as some 6-9 month jammies and pants.  We also just switched him into size 3 diapers.  (We use cloth diapers, but disposables at night.)

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Eats:
This month JJ continued to be exclusively breastfed.  He didn’t really start to show interest in eating until right around his 6 month “birthday.”  More on real food in his next month’s update. :)

As for nursing, he would still eat around every 3 hours and then up once or twice during the night to eat.  I don’t think he was hungry necessarily, but it would put him right back to sleep immediately so I would feed him… I know we don’t want to get into that habit, but you do crazy things in the middle of the night and you’re not thinking clearly. :)

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Sleep:
This month we experienced some of the worst nights we’ve had…ever.  I honestly don’t know how parents do it!  We were so spoiled with JJ being such a great sleeper, so when he stopped sleeping through the night it was rough for us.  I am going to blame the teething, because we had a few nights in a row where I probably slept a total of 3 hours a night… it was not fun.  This was towards the end of his 5 months and *spoiler* we had a tooth pop through after these crazy nights… (though, after he “turned” 6 months old. :)

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We have really been working on trying to get him in his crib, but he honestly hates it.  We haven’t put him in there at night because during naps he wakes up so often… Since he’s bigger and starting to roll now, we don’t want to keep him in the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper anymore so we have started to put him in the pack ‘n play at night in our room.  We are hoping that this will get him more used to sleeping flat, and he will learn to like his crib.  Here’s hoping!

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Our Favorite Things This Month:
-Sophie the Giraffe: I might have mentioned this before, but this month while teething, Sophie continues to be one of JJ’s favorite toys.  Who knows what it is about this little giraffe, but JJ truly enjoys gnawing on her little leg.
-Infantino Go Gaga Block Set: We brought this block set out this month and JJ Mostly loves to chew on them…but he also likes to knock over the towers that Zack and I build for him.  It’s fun for the whole family, really. :)
-Tag Crinkle Blanket: <--My mom made a little blanket for JJ (similar to the one linked) and he LOVES it.  He loves playing with & chewing on the little tags, and squishing the crinkle fabric in the corners.

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Milestones:
-This month JJ has started to play with/grab/chew on his feet and toes.
-He has started consistently rolling from his back to stomach, and has done a few rolls in a row to get where he wants to be.
-In addition to above, he has learned (sort of) to scoot on his back to get where he wants to go.
-JJ has really found his voice!  He loves to make high pitched screams to get our attention and babbles away.  It’s funny to see that he seems to be pretty reserved around groups of people, looks like he might be bashful like his mama was when she was little…but at home he has no limits!

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-JJ’s new favorite face to make is sucking in on his bottom lip.  It’s pretty cute.
-His hair is finally starting to grow again!  When he was born he had so much hair, but then it dwindled… Now his bald stripe on the back is starting to grow in and he’s getting more on top.  It’s a lot lighter than when he was born so I’m really curious to see what color it will be!  He has one super long hair on his upper forehead that sticks out.  It’s so funny… Zack wants to cut it but I will not let him!

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-My best friend and her husband came to Oregon for a couple days and JJ got to visit with them!
-JJ’s hand eye coordination is getting so good! It’s so funny how much joy I get out of watching him take his pacifier out of his mouth and then putting it in again over and over.  #momprobs
-This month we left JJ with someone other than grandparents for the first time while we went to a movie.  He did fine, of course… but we missed him so much! :)
-We celebrated Grandma Karen’s birthday! :)

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-We celebrated cousin Hadley’s Baby Sprinkle!  She will be here next month and we are SO excited!
-JJ went to his first Family Olympics! (Post on this to come…)

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JJ is truly such a joy in our lives.  Having him around hasn’t always been easy, but we are learning our new normal… and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old