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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under We Grow

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.

Birth Story-96

Photo by Sarah Sweetman

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

Leave a comment

Filed under We Grow

Soaking it up

image

Tomorrow morning Matt and I are going to drop Levi off for a trial day of day care. I plan to pick him up after about a half day. He will do another half day on Friday and again on Monday. Tuesday he starts his full time Monday through Friday schedule.

I have been trying to soak up all the snuggles and just the two of us time I can this week. I am looking forward to getting back to work and for him to be with other kids. I am even looking forward to him getting better about taking a bottle and perhaps getting on a little bit if a schedule.

I am also going to miss him. UGH. I am blessed to have been able to spend the first 4 months of his life with him 24/7.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Needless to say, my arms are going to feel a little empty tomorrow morning.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Day in the Life: Infant Edition

This is a cross post from Parker Haus Grows…. I love reading blogger’s day in the life posts. I wanted to capture a day while I am still home with Levi. With the help of my cell phone camera and the baby connect app here is one 24 hour period in the Parker Haus.

image

4:01 am:
Wake up for second nighttime feeding after a 4 hour stretch. The first sleep of the night was also a 4 hour stretch so I feel like I have won the lottery. The past week had been filled with wake every 2 hour nights. Matt gets up and feeds the kitties while I nurse for 19 minutes, put Levi back in the crib and fall back to sleep.

image

6:34 am:
Wake up for the day. Someone is very smiley this morning! While Matt is in the shower I nurse Levi (11 minutes). 

image

I shower and get ready while Matt gives Levi his medicine (Nystatin for a reoccurrence of thrush-ugh).

image

7:34 am:
Pack breakfast for Matt and take daily vitamins with glass of OJ… not really breakfast but it is something. Levi supervises from the comfort of his BebePod.

image

8:12 am:
We drop off Matt at work. Starbucks on the way. Levi falls asleep 5 minutes before we get to work.

image

He sleeps in his carseat for another half hour while I drive to my first appointment.

image

8:45 am:
We stop at the post office to mail the grandparents these adorable (double sided) photo blocks.

image

9:00 am:
I have a physical therapy appointment. Levi spends half of the appointment with me (sitting on my belly and nursing (14 minutes) and half the appointment with one of the physical therapists who offered to hold him.

image

10:20 am:
Diaper change on the tailgate of our Honda Element before we leave the PT office. I call to check on the time of the drop in breastfeeding clinic. It is at 11:30 and not too far away. I decide to kill some time and drop in. I have lots of questions about pumping and returning to work.

image

10:45 am:
Early lunch, drive-through because Levi has fallen asleep for nap number 2. Drive-through is a lifesaver with a sleeping baby in the car. I check social media while he naps for another half hour.

11:30 am:
The breastfeeding clinic is very helpful! I find out that the distracted nursing is normal for this stage, that he is crying while nursing when he is over simulated, and got lots of good info for going back to work.  He nurses only a little (less than 10 min) because the other babies are a bit distracting and falls asleep around noon, sleeping in my arms for 45 minutes while I talk with the lactation consultant.

image

1:09 pm:
Before we drive home I take advantage of the Dr office’s changing table for another diaper change.

image

1:40 pm:
We arrive home. What a busy morning! I go straight up stairs to nurse.

image

1:45 pm:
Levi is still a bit over simulated and has a hard time settling down to nurse. We nurse for about 15 minutes with lots of breaks to smile at mommy and chatter. Eventually I give up on the nursing and just snuggle him and have “conversations”.

image

2:17 pm:
I offer him the other side and he is much more focused with his nursing. A good 20 minutes of nursing. Cheese takes advantage of my reclined positron to perch on my hip and get some snuggles.

image

2:46 pm:
I strip him down to his diaper because he got warm in his sleeper. Minutes later he is out. Poor little guy was exhausted.

image

3:46 pm:
He is still sleeping. I start putting together this post while he sleeps.

image

5:15 pm:
Still sleeping but I have to go get Matt at work so I wake him up. Not a happy camper.
image

Levi gets a diaper change and a new outfit. I love the baby cargo pants! As soon as I took his diaper off though he started peeing again. Oh the joys of motherhood! When you have a little boy you get real good at deflecting the “open air accident”.
image

5:32 pm:
I called Matt to make sure he was ok with me picking him up late. Levi was quite hungry after a 2 hour 45 minute nap. He says to take my time.
image

5:45 pm:
The natives are restless. It has been over 12 hrs since Cheee and Hugo ate. Cheese is on a gain weight plan and Hugo is on a lose weight plan so they have to be fed separately. While I wait for Cheese to finish eating (under the crib because she “feels safer” from Hugo there) I start a load of cloth diapers. I do a cold rinse without any detergent first. Typically I wash diapers every other day.

image

image

6:30 pm: 
We pick up Matt at work which takes much longer than normal. I stop for gas and traffic is heavy due to rain. Yes you read that right, in Seattle drivers forget how to drive in the rain even though it does so frequently. It is raining hard which is unusual for Seattle and there is thunder which is a rarity in Seattle. One of the roads on my way is flooded so I have to take a detour. We have a Skype date at 7 with Matt’s parents so I text them to let them know we will be a little late. We have a little bit of a wait in the parking lot for Matt. Levi is fussy so I jump in the backseat and get him out of his car seat. What a ham! Matt drives home and I order sandwiches and salad from our favorite pizza joint.
image

7:20 pm:
Levi shows off his bebepod skills in our weekly Skype date with my in-laws. He hasn’t gotten the hang of the Skype screen and is mostly interested in the thumbnail that shows our video. What can I say, my kiddo likes to look at himself! Skype dates are really nice ways for my in-laws to see how he is growing and changing.
image

7:45 pm:
Levi nurses then gets a diaper change while I run the diapers through a warm wash cycle. This is likely the last diaper change before he goes to bed so I put him in a disposable. Usually he gets a double stuffed cloth diaper for overnight but my overnights had to be replaced by the manufacturer so we are currently without cloth for overnight.
image

8:45 pm:
Matt and I enjoy a very late dinner. We take turns eating while the other snuggles and rocks Levi.
image

9:00 pm:
I nurse Levi one last time before he falls asleep for the night. While I am nursing Matt runs the diapers through a final warm rinse. He transfers a sleeping Levi to his crib at the foot of our bed. We spend an hour or so catching up before turning in for the night at 10:30.

What a busy day! Some parts were typical and others were definitely not normal (hello, super late dinner!). I am glad I took the time to document this stage in our lives.  Things are about to change in a few weeks when I go back to work. EEEP!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First illness

This is a cross post from Parker Haus Grows.

image

Really, this is a first that I wasn’t looking forward to. Last week Levi had cold symptoms. He was congested, fussy, and tired. His temp only got above 99.1 once so I just kept an eye on it and nursed and snuggled with him lots. His appetite wasn’t as good as normal and he wanted to sleep more. Wednesday of this week he developed a barking cough.  Matt and I both suspected croup and a Dr visit Thursday morning verified it. Armed with two prescriptions we holed up at home in bed, lots of rest and nursing.
He is sleeping more, eating a bit less than normal, but still his smiling cheery self when he is awake.

image

Playing with Daddy

Matt and I believe that we shouldn’t keep him in a bubble. We have never shied away from taking him out in public, visiting the zoo for the first time at 3 weeks and taking him for a 2 week trip at 2 months. Sure this exposes him to more germs but it also gives him a wider range of antibodies as my breast milk contains antibodies for things he and I encounter.

image

Sometimes you need 3 forms of comfort. Wubbanub, A&A Blanket, and robot lovey.

In a month he will be starting day care. At day care he will encounter germs that I won’t encounter because I won’t be with him all day.  This means my breast milk won’t contain antibodies for these germs. I am sure more illness is in our future but I hope that by taking him out and about I have boosted his immune system these first 4 months.
I like to call this philosophy the “let them eat dirt” parenting style.
It doesn’t make seeing him sick any easier though.
What is your go-to way to comfort a stick baby?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Levi at Two Months

month2-imp

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.
image

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.
image

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.
image

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.

image

Loving you more and more every day.
Mom & Dad

Leave a comment

Filed under We Grow

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.

newspaper-imp

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.

history-imp

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.

C_baptism-imp

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.

drawing_gown-imp

 

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.

IMGP7603-imp

gown1-imp

IMGP7604-imp

gown3-imp

IMGP7680-imp

 

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.

IMGP7663-imp

gown2-imp

IMGP7646-imp

 

 

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

gown6-imp

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

 

2 Comments

Filed under We Grow