Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Eight Months

Dear Owen,

Each month has been awesome but there is something so magical about a baby's first Christmas and your eighth month with us was truly special.  Celebrating the holidays coincided with so many of your biggest milestones to date.  The first week of the month, you started to babble in earnest.  You have so much to say and I love it when you talk.  Sometimes it's almost like you are shy to speak and you wait until you think that no one is paying attention to you to have a little conversation with yourself.  Your biggest sounds so far have been ba-ba-ba, da-da-da, blah-blah, ra-ra and la-la (and variations of all of the above).  We love your little voice and you get very vocal at meal times.  You even growl like a little bear.

You are working so hard on mobility.  You started by really pushing up onto all fours and doing a lot of rocking and by the end of the month, you have mastered army crawling.  You mostly only like to crawl when you are going for something fun that you shouldn't have like the curtains or a cell phone.  You've taken a few steps toward really crawling with your bottom in the air but you get frustrated pretty easily.

You have two teeth!  They are coming in on the bottom.  Your ear infection that would not die was still going on and you started having a pretty upset stomach at the same time.  I just assumed that it was related to the ear infection and/or antibiotics but then your dad found two teeth right around the time that your tummy got better.  Unfortunately, you make it pretty hard to get any pictures with said teeth, so you'll just have to trust me that they are in there.

We had the "Icemageddon" storm here in Dallas.  It meant that we had Daddy home for an extra day that week and you got to go out and "sit" in the snow/ice for a few minutes.  We were lucky to have power throughout the weekend since so many people in our neighborhood did not.  The snow and ice didn't melt for almost five days!  The first night of the storm was my birthday so you were left with a babysitter (that wasn't Mimzy) for the first time.  Miss Courtney came to watch you while we enjoyed my fancy birthday dinner out.  

You are still enjoying meals and we try to eat at least two a day with you.  Greek Yogurt is still probably your most favorite food but you continue to try just about everything we give you.  Your teeth are seeming to help you make progress with eating but you're also starting to master the pincer grip and getting better at putting food in your mouth.  Other than yogurt you love: broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, sweet potato fries, carrots, meatballs, and bread of any kind.  You got to eat at some special restaurants for Christmas and birthday occasions.  We went to LARK on the Park with the Smiths for my birthday, Savor with your grandparents at Christmas and Tillman's Roadhouse to celebrate Mimzy's birthday.  You were so well behaved at each place.  You even got to sit at the chef's table at Savor.  Little man, you are special!  Not even eight months old and you've already enjoyed some very fine dining.

Christmas was so fun!  Your Papa arrived on Monday morning and Grandpa River and Grandma Bean got here shortly after.  You sat in church with us for the Christmas Eve family service and went up for the Children's Sermon for the very first time.  We had a bunch of people at the house for tamales and chili on Christmas Eve and you were great at the party until it was time to leave out cookies for Santa and go to bed.  Santa came to visit you and you were very blessed this Christmas with so many things.  We even started a little savings account for you for some of the money you've received.  Daddy made us a fantastic brisket and we had a great Christmas lunch with Mimzy and Papa.  Alli Rae and Gram arrived on the 26th and we just kept right on celebrating all weekend.  Among other things, you got tons of toys, an activity table to stand at, and a very special swing for the backyard.

It was a big month!  We had so much to celebrate for the holidays this year but most of it was related to you.  You are such a happy little man.  You charm everyone you meet no matter where we are.  Each month we see a little more of who you are and somehow you become even more lovable.  Your little voice is so funny and you have a special laugh noise and smiles for those of us who are around you the most.  It's pretty special, just like you are.

Love always,

Stats and Milestones:

Height and Weight: close to 30 inches, right around 25 lbs. (measured at home)
Diaper Size:  size 5 (made the switch this month)
Clothing Size: 12 and 18 month (mostly 18s) and you have a couple of 2T things that fit

First fancy dinner out (LARK on the Park): 12/7
First dinner at the Chef's Table (Savor):  12/23
First Christmas (!): 12/25

You sleep from around 7-7 every night.  I can't remember the last time you woke up during the night.  You are drinking about 30-35 oz. a day and we started eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together this month.  You eat Cheerios, fruit and applesauce for breakfast and usually what we eat for lunch and dinner.  

You usually take two naps a day.  About 45 min-1 hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.   

You are an army crawler and will move to get something you want, which is very rarely a toy.  You prefer cell phones, remotes and computers.  

Nicknames:  Owen Bear, Mr. Bear, Beary-Boo, Mr. O, The Baby, Beary
Things you love:  food of all kinds but especially greek yogurt and Ritz crackers; your swing; having someone help you stand up; your activity table; having family around to celebrate the holidays
Things you don't love:  diaper changes and getting dressed; when we don't feed you fast enough for your liking; being told no when you want to do silly things like pull on the curtains 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

To Do in 2014

My 2013 To Do List didn't turn out all that bad, despite that I really had no idea what to expect of my life with all of the changes.  I accomplished most of the things that I set out to do, so that is pretty great. Onward and upward, here's my 14 for '14.

1.  Get back to pre-baby weight and more importantly pre-baby body self-image.  I'd like to be able to wear the things in my closet.

2.  Only shop for and buy quality pieces for my wardrobe.

3.  Throw a super fun first birthday party for Owen.

4.  Continue our family Christmas traditions that we started this year.  We had a great holiday and it was perfect for our future as a family of three.

5.  Get my own cycle class.

6.  Enroll Owen in Mother's Day Out for the fall and along with that, teach at another gym/studio that is out of my comfort zone.  (This might end up being #5 as well!)

7.  Attend at least 2 classes that are not my own yoga classes per month.  This is, sadly, a big challenge right now.

8. Ride in at least one organized bike ride.

9.  Run a half marathon in under 2 hours.

10.  Find a place to volunteer and/or get more involved with our church.

11.  Continue to be involved with my mom's group and Owen's playgroup. (This turned out to be one of the best things I put on my list last year!)

12.  Continue to write Owen's monthly update letters for 2014.

13.  Travel more.  Make Vegas happen.  Take Owen to Boston.  Go on a trip that is just me (maybe DC or San Diego?).  Better plan for our 4th anniversary weekend.

14. Read 10 books.  Turn off my phone at 9:00 every night and read before bed.


The annual Sundry year-in-review

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
had a baby and all the various things that accompany being a parent for the first time - what a roller coaster! 

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did make a "to do" list and I accomplished several, if not most, of the items on said list.  

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
other than myself, a ton of people did and there were 4 of us that gave birth within three weeks of each other 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
no funerals in 2013, and that is enough to make it a pretty good year in my book

5. What countries did you visit?
just stayed here in the good ole US of A this year.  

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you didn't have in 2013?
this is a tough question, probably a better self-image.  After having the baby, things have been a  constant struggle of gaining and losing the same few lbs.  I still have anywhere from 10-20 lbs to go to get back to my pre-baby weight, which was a pretty happy body place for me. 

7. What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
April 29-30, labor and delivery.  I definitely see that as a defining moment in my life. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Making it through the first month of Owen's life.  I was woefully unprepared for what being the mother of a newborn was really going to entail.  Also, the hormones.  Not cool. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm... I don't really see our breastfeeding journey as a failure but it was a struggle.  My biggest failure is probably failing to just put my damn phone down and quit scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was hospitalized for dehydration in January.  Blech.  

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably the Rock N Play that I ordered when Owen was a couple days old.  It was so much easier than trying to hold him and sleep on the couch with the coffee table and pillows preventing me from dropping him.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Adam, definitely.  He was my rock throughout what turned out to be a difficult pregnancy and he has been the most patient and amazing father.  I also think we got pretty lucky with a very happy baby who likes to sleep.  Carry on with the good behavior, Owen! 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Appalled and depressed are strong words but probably Higgins dog.  We had a rough year at times, he had a tough time adjusting to Milo and the baby.  Overall though, he's wonderful with the baby and has really rehabilitated himself.  If only he'd quit being so curious and escaping our back yard!  

14. Where did most your money go?
A huge chunk went to the condo foreclosure settlements.  That sucked but we're so thankful that it's over now and we can move on with our lives.  Car payment, rent and having a baby sucked quite a bit of cash away too.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having the baby!  Getting said baby out of my body! Being a mom!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Clarity by Zedd.  It was getting pretty popular right before Owen was born and even made it as one of the only super upbeat songs on my labor playlist.  It was one of those rare songs that had staying power and they were still playing it fairly regularly on XM though the end of the year. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) happier, all of the life changes have been hard at times but mostly awesome and rewarding
b) I think I might weigh a little bit more than I did last year at this time, despite being 22 weeks pregnant.  BOOOOO.
c) richer, in life without a doubt.  Probably break even in the money department, despite me quitting my full-time job.  Adam had an unexpectedly awesome year at work. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
traveled but that might always be my answer 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
This was the year of starting new traditions: we went to church on Christmas Eve and then hosted an Open House afterward.  Christmas morning, we had my mom, father-in-law, dad and stepmom with us to open presents with Owen.  Dad and Eileen left after presents and we ate a fantastic Christmas lunch of brisket. Adam and I spent the entire day in our pajamas, which I hope can be a lasting tradition. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Duh!  How could I not fall in love with this little nugget?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Same answer as last year, "House People", aka just about anything on HGTV.  Also, Dateline with Lester Holt (I love Lester a lot).

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
I thoroughly enjoyed Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Spotify.  It's the best.  

26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby.  Too many other possession-y things to count.  As usual, I am spoiled by my sweet husband.

27. What did you want and not get?

Probably nothing! 

28. What was your favorite film of 2013?
Argo was awesome

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
The big 3-2!  I taught my normal 6:00 a.m. class, hosted Owen's playgroup, spent Owen's afternoon nap on the couch just snuggling with him, we had a babysitter watch Owen and we went to a rockstar dinner at Stampede 66.  It was the start of the great Ice Storm in Dallas that night but we had a great time. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Again, probably nothing.  It was a banner year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2013?
yoga pants and/or whatever else stretches and can fit.  Womp womp womp. 

32. What kept you sane?
teaching yoga, friends that have been there done that with babies that told me things would get better

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
exactly the same as last year
I have a list but most of it can be attributed to so-called "Christians" who use their "religion" to judge other people for their actions.
-Men who talk about abortion.  My thoughts are as such:  You have no uterus, you have no say.  I also don't understand why America constantly needs to argue an issue that is between a woman, her doctor, her beliefs and potentially her sexual partner.
-Anyone who is against gay marriage.  What harm does it cause to you?  Live and let live.
-Assault weapons.  I have yet to hear a good argument about why anyone needs one of these other than maybe our military.  Deer don't need to be shot with a semi-automatic rifle. 
for all three things, I continue to wait for someone to make a valid and/or sane argument as to why I should change my mind.

34. Who did you miss?
my Grandmother, she would have loved to meet Owen.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
do you really have to ask?

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Absolutely it was "this too shall pass" just when I thought I couldn't take one more night of broken sleep, Owen figured out how to sleep all night long.  Just when I hit a breaking point with basically everything parenting related, we magically figured it out.