Category Archives: We Grow

Levi at Nine, Ten, and Eleven Months

Reposted from Parker Haus Grows
Whoops! A whole quarter of a year has passed between formal updates!  We’ve been too busy loving and living life!

Nine Months
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This month really started out crummy, it felt like you (and we) were constantly sick.  Couple that with some teething and Wonder Week fussy periods and things were a bit overwhelming. As you got over your illnesses and emerged from your Wonder Week we were rewarded with so much advancement and new abilities.  You started crawling and quickly started to pull up on things.  You started saying Dada and Maaaaa.  The later usually when you are upset and want to nurse!  At the end of this month you got your first top tooth (lateral incisor) and we can see the whites of 2 more.  You are so excited to be able to chase the kitty and you love to shower Hugo with hugs (tackles) and kisses (eating of fur)!

Ten Months
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Imagine our surprise when you crawled through the pet door on your baby gate! You watched Hugo go through it, thought about it for a minute and then very skillfully put your head through, only getting stuck at the hips. You quickly figured out how to turn your hips to slip through.  You attacked the stairs similarly. You watched Hugo run up a couple of stairs, thought about it and then started climbing to chase him. He would go up a few stairs and wait for you to catch up then go up a few more.  You observe and then execute. I think we are going to have to watch out for you!  This month you started to join us in the kitchen while cooking (you can go through the pet door so there is no keeping you out).  You love to pull down nesting bowls of all shapes and sizes.  You especially like the metal mesh strainers.  We put the strainers over our faces and sing “I’m a baby (or mama) beekeeper. Buzzz Buzzz Buzzz”.  You also love the magnets on our filing cabinet- specifically you like a Chinese mask magnet that a coworker gave me years ago.  You started swim lessons this month.  You love the pool and we have had so much fun alternating which one of us gets in the pool with you.  You aren’t a fan of floating on your back and you twist and turn in our arms every time we try to float you on your back.  You don’t mind getting your head wet or putting your face in the water.

Daycare told us that you are a pacifier thief! You crawl around and take pacifiers out of the mouths of the younger babies and promptly put the paci in your mouth. Strange since you haven’t been interested in a paci for months! You are also very interested in hair.  You find your own hair (which is slowly growing) fascinating as well as other people’s hair. Poor Emily at daycare sometimes gets her hair pulled because she has so much more of it than you and you can’t keep your hands off it. 😦

You are eating everything and anything.  I don’t think you have met a food that you don’t like.  As a result you often don’t finish all 3 of your bottles at daycare.  You tried sushi for the first time and you love it!  You are also a big fan of Korean food.  This month we also worked on drinking from a straw cup in preparation for moving up to the waddler class at daycare.  This month your two front teeth came in bringing your total tooth count to 5.  We can see a fourth tooth on top but it doesn’t seem to be moving very quickly.

Eleven Months
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This month you really seem like a little boy and not a baby anymore.  You surf on everything and you are getting to where you can stand without holding something for support.  You learned that you can climb under things this month and you learned how to climb into (and out of) an empty bath tub.  You are starting to express your displeasure at things vocally- yelling at us if we try to take something from you that you aren’t supposed to have (like eating cat food).  Similarly you are having conversations with us, you answer our questions and you tell us stories complete with lots of hand gestures- we just don’t understand your words yet.  You have been signing “fan” for a long time but we think you are also starting to sign “all done”. You most definitely understand the following signs:

  • “nursing”
  • “all done”
  • “cat”
  • “light”
  • “momma”
  • “dada”
  • “silly”
  • “fan”

At different times we have heard you say the following words very clearly (but not consistently):

  • “all done”
  • “yeah”
  • “kitty”
  • “cat”
  • “light”

You have a couple distinctive “Levi words”. We aren’t sure what they mean but you say them often and with purpose. The one you use the most is “Adat”- I think this means “cat”.

You finished up swim lessons this month. You are a little more tolerant of being on your back, but still not a fan. You love going under water and jumping off the side of the pool into our arms. Your daycare class started going outside on nice days and you love it! You pitch a fit when you have to come in though! Your daycare teachers are bursting to tell us all the silly things that you did that day, like crawling in one of the bins that goes under the cribs and putting yourself under the crib.  They tell us that you are very loving and affectionate with your classmates.  You like to stroke their cheeks and hair (an improvement from pulling hair last month).  You look at the teachers to make sure it is ok before continuing.  However, you like to lean in for kisses too!  With one eye on your teacher you open your mouth wide and lean in for a “kiss”- a quick shake of the head tells you that you shouldn’t be doing that. Persistent boy that you are-you wait a few minutes before trying again.   You also love to hug (aka tackle) your friends at school.  Usually they “hug” you back but if you upset them you usually burst into tears along with them.

The fourth top tooth finally broke through at the end of this month. You were working on that tooth for a long time!  Unfortunately we think you are starting to work on your molars.  Teething is the pits!

One more month to 1 year.  I cannot believe time has passed so quickly.

amy_red

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Levi at Eight Months

This is cross-posted from Parker Haus Grows

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This month didn’t bring a whole lot of sleep, but it did bring another tooth (number 2) and lots of mobility. You are all over the place! You have no trouble getting where you want to go even though you aren’t crawling in the traditional sense. You spin, and creep, and worm your way all over. You also can get up to sitting from laying down. You roll to your belly. Pull your knees up under yourself, push up with your arms and push yourself back onto your bottom. You started to do this in your crib, giving me a heart attack! You love to play on your playmat, taking toys out of a bin and putting them back in. You love to eat books and hug your stuffed animals. You give mommy and daddy big hugs and sloppy kisses.
Towards the end of this month Grandma and Grandpa came to visit. Mommy went on a 4 day business trip and Grandma and Grandpa helped Daddy take care of you. This was the first time that you had to take bottles overnight. Dad was a little nervous about night time as you are accustomed to nursing to sleep but you did awesome. You slept long stretches for Daddy and he became a pro at putting you to bed. He taught Mommy some things when she got home. Overall you enjoyed lots of Grandma and Grandpa snuggles during their visit.
You also started to get really good at eating AND swallowing your food this month. We had to hook up the diaper sprayer, as we no longer enjoy easy to clean breastfed diapers. You love drinking ice water out of a regular cup at dinner and think that spoons are the most fun!
It is amazing to watch you learn and grow. Each month just keeps getting better and better- if that is even possible.

Love you lots!
Momma and Daddy

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Levi at Four Months

Cross post from Parker Haus Grows.
month4-impThis month was a big one.  It was my last month at home with you before going back to work and it was also one of your biggest developmental months thus far.  First, let’s talk about how big you are getting.  You an Hugo are about the same size now- WOW! He better watch out because you have your eye on him.  You light up when  you see him and you watch him intently.  You love to grab big fistfuls of his soft fur. So far he is a good sport about it but I think his patience may run out with your grabbing and pulling.
During this month you went through your 4th Wonder Week– which is a deceiving title as this one lasts multiple weeks.  I’ll be honest, those weeks weren’t the most fun- you started waking up at night more frequently, became more fussy (you went from happy to losing your mind in just a few seconds), and my previously chatty baby became very quiet.  You were working hard on some big developmental stuff so it is understandable.  As  you emerged from this cloudy period you were able to do so much more!

  • You laugh all the time now and the sound of your laugh is music to Mommy and Daddy’s ears
  • You are constantly moving- arms, legs, bootie lifts, squirm city
  • You can grab things with some precision now and you pull anything and everything to your mouth in a fluid motion
  • You love to examine our faces, especially our mouths- putting your hand in someone else’s mouth is second only to putting your hand in your mouth
  • You talk all the time and sometimes you seem to sing- varying your tone and volume. You love to listen to yourself chatter and we are so happy to have our chatty baby back
  • You love to be sung to- L.O.V.E- your favorite songs are anything from Vampire Weekend- especially “Diane Young” and the silly songs that mommy made up including “Levi James” and “Hey there Mr Magoo”

Highlights of this month included:

  • Getting dressed up as Link from The Legend of Zelda for the Penny Arcade Expo.  It was a little noisy and busy for your tastes but we survived the day with use of the convention center’s Mother’s room
  • Listening to David Bazan at Bumbershoot Music festival.  You love music and had a blast strolling around Seattle Center at the music festival.  We took it easy, only catching one show but next year, watch out!
  • You finally started taking a bottle.  Admittedly we weren’t very aggressive in trying to give you one. Thankfully everything worked out well. It took you a while to figure out how it worked but you got there
  • You started daycare the last 2 days of this month.  Napping and taking a bottle were challenging but you did well.

You have been a little personality since birth but I really feel like in month 4 your personality blossomed.  I am so grateful to have this month at home to be able to witness it first hand.  Mr Magoo/Bubba J, you bring me and your daddy so much joy.  ♡ you little boy.

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Levi’s Birth Story

It is a long time coming (almost 4 months) but  finally wrote Levi’s birth story over on Parker Haus Grows.  There will be some bits of bare skin and maybe a placenta photo or two in the series- just warning you in advance.  I  loved reading detailed real life accounts of labor when I was pregnant.  Everyone’s labor experience is different and I hope you enjoy reading our unique experience.

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Photo by Sarah Sweetman

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

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Levi at Two Months

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Little man you are getting so big! Your second month has been so full of developments and milestones such as: your first social smile, beginning to coo, batting and grabbing toys, and recognizing mom and dad. You are more and more interactive every day.
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Your favorite activities include talking to mom/dad, swatting at your bee mobile, making gurgling noises, and “standing” in our laps. You love when I sing silly made-up songs to you. Someday you will realize that mommy can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but until then you reward me with smiles and delightful noises when I sing. You show preference for The Eagles, Tracy Chapman, and Death Cab for Cutie.
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This month you were baptized and you got to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa K, Granddude, and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Pete. You melted their hearts (or was that the Seattle heatwave?). We made more trips to the zoo, but you slept for most of our visits. We took Daddy to the WA Brewers festival for Father’s Day. We also took you to your first photography exhibit/live music event. You tried out your pint sized ear protection and it was a success. You went to sleep in the ring sling while a band rocked out just feet away.
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You have had a couple of growth spurts/fussy periods this month but overall you are going pretty easy on us. When you are fussy you want nothing more than to be held close, the closer the better. We are more than happy to oblige. You are right on the cusp of some new developments, I cannot wait to see what month 3 brings.

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Loving you more and more every day.
Mom & Dad

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Dressed for the Blessed Occasion

I started this post the last week of June, but as I am learning it is hard to write photo heavy posts with an infant… sooooo by the time this publishes Levi’s Baptism has already happened. Oh well.

Mr Levi is going to be baptized into the Catholic faith this weekend and Matt and I couldn’t me more excited.  Our faith is very important to us individually and as a couple so it is no surprise that it was important to us that Levi receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism.  My brother and sister-in-law will be Godparents and both sets of grandparents will be in attendance.

We started to plan the baptism about half way through my pregnancy.  With family coming from out-of-town we needed to have the date set well in advance, we also needed a lot of time to track down the family baptism gown and to find out if I could use it.  Rumor was it was going to be donated to a museum.  Growing up I thought that long, elaborate baptism gowns were the norm.  I had only really ever been to family baptisms and well, everyone in my family was baptized in our family gown so that must be normal right?  I understood that the gown was very special, but I didn’t realize how lucky we were to have such a family heirloom.

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The gown is 124 years old.  It is part of a baptism trousseau made by my Great Great Grandmother in Biddeford Maine for her eldest son, my Great-Grandfather. My Great Great Grandparents had recently moved to Maine from Montreal. The gown was hand-made from wool Challis and french flannel imported from France and purchased in Montreal.    The wildflower silk hand embroidery is stunning.

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The history of the gown and all of those to wear it is recorded in a book.  Hundreds of my great great grandparent’s descendants have worn the gown including my niece and nephew. L_baptism-imp

My nephew barely fit in to the gown. It was made for small babies and babies were also baptized usually 1-2 days after birth because of high infant mortality.

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My niece shows off the beautiful details fo the gown.

This gown is very near and dear to my heart.  There was always an excitement around the time of a family baptism.  The mom would arrange to be sent (or to pick up if she lived in Maine) the family gown.  Sometimes multiple pieces of the gown came with it.  In all the trousseau contained a petticoat, gown,  undershirt, short jacket, quilted robe, hooded cape, two receiving blankets and a bonnet.   The aunts would get the baby dressed in the gown and take lots of  photos.  There was a reverence with which the gown was treated and it was apparent to me as a small child that it was something special. Growing up I took for granted that my children would also wear the same gown.  The last person  I knew to wear the gown was my nephew.  My sister-in-law was the last to communicate with the part of the family who was responsible for caring for the gown and she said there was talk of retiring the gown and donating it to a museum so it could be properly preserved.

With the investigative help of my aunts I was able to get in contact with the “keeper of the gown”.  The big question was would Levi be able to wear the same gown that I was baptized in and carry on the family tradition.  Not knowing was stressful and I went through a grieving process as I came to terms with the knowledge that the original trousseau was in delicate condition.  Ultimately the answer was that it was best for it not to be wore anymore. While this was disappointing, Matt and I decided that for our branch of the family tree we wanted a new tradition, a new heirloom.  In Levi’s generation his two older cousins both wore the gown.  I decided that it would be nice to have an heirloom gown created for my children, and my cousins future children to be able to wear.  I wanted the gown to be similar to the original in design but with some key differences.  I contacted Mary & Peter Designs Inc on Etsy to commission a custom piece.  I was impressed by the baptism gowns in her store, especially the elaborate embroidery.  I provided her with photos of the original set.

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On the left is my rough sketch of what I wanted.  The cross was an element not on the original but I thought it would be a nice element.  I also wanted to make it in cotton- the original was wool and very very hot for summertime babies.  We also made it to fit a 2 month old because the original was made to fit a 6 lb baby 1-2 days after birth.  My nephew and many other chubby babies had trouble fitting into it.  Thank goodness we did- Levi is near 13 lbs now.

On the left, the finished product. I am so incredibly pleased with it.  The most amazing thing is that from the first email I sent to the day I received the finished product was just over a month in time.  I cannot believe the fast turn around and the amazing craftsmanship.

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In the back and forth with the “keeper of the gown” we discussed being able to use one of the blankets which was in pristine condition.  I really liked the idea of the old and the new coming together for Levi’s baptism.

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Before all the family came into town Mr Levi and I had ourselves a little photo session.  When I got him in the gown I had trouble fastening one of the back clasps- Mr Chubs! I hope he fits into the gown on baptism day!gown4-imp

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gown5-impGoing forward, any future kiddos that we have will be baptized in the new gown and I also will make it available for my first cousins to use for their future kiddos.

The baptism was beautiful! He fit in the gown (just barely) and was so well behaved through Mass. We had an amazing time with our families. We are so blessed.

Amy_red

 

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Levi at One Month

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Last friday marked Levi’s first month!  While I didn’t get around to writing this post on the actual day, I did do his photos.

Dear Levi,

This first month has been busy!

  • When we brought you home from the hospital you were “baby boy ParkerHaus”. We had three names that we were trying to decide between and neither of us felt that we could make that decision until we got a bit of sleep.  Levi James had been the front-runner for some time, it just took some sleep for us to make it final.
  • You love to eat! Evident by you weight gain! You are up 3 lbs from your birth weight.  You make lost of grunting noises when you nurse which makes us giggle. When I nurse in public the noises that come from under the nursing cover are startling to folks in the vicinity!
  • You prefer sleeping on your side, or better yet your stomach.  On soft surfaces you are able to roll from back to side and side to stomach. Slow down buddy! We don’t let you sleep on your stomach (except when laying on our chests) but if we did you would be so happy. You like to be swaddled but you are always trying to bust one arm out!
  • You love tummy time, especially on our chests.  You have amazing neck strength and frequently hold your head up to look around.
  • You know our voices and definitely turn your head when mommy comes in the room (food!).
  • You are a snuggly baby who melts into the person holding you.  You love to snuggle up to mommy after nursing (or during nursing) and you fall fast asleep on daddy’s chest.
  • You don’t like to give up the burps which usually leads to gas needing to be tooted out.  You grunt and work on those toots and then give us the biggest smile once you’ve successfully gotten it out.
  • We have officially retired the newborn clothes. I packed the last bit up yesterday after doing laundry.  With cloth diapers the 0-3 are getting a little snug too!
  • Speaking of cloth diapers, you are in cloth diapers most of the time but you are still wearing a disposable at night for now.  You fit in the newborn covers on their largest setting and the best bottom covers on their smallest setting.
  • Grandma and Mrs Heather came with us to our first excursion to the zoo.  You slept in the stroller most of the time but it was really nice for mom and dad to get out in the sunshine.

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We bought a membership to the zoo. I figure it will just be a matter of time before you are pointing at he Meerkats saying “Timon!” For now you are content to snooze in your stroller.

I can’t believe you are finally here and that we are a family. So many prayers and dreams come true.  We marvel at how much you change every day and the little personality that we see emerging.  We love you so much!

XOXO

Mom and Dad

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