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Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby's First Christmas Crafts

These adorable keepsakes are the result of a crafting playdate with one of my mom groups. We foolishly thought that we'd be able to make our crafts while the six 8-10 month olds "played" with eachother. Ha!! All I got accomplished at the playdate was outlining Jackson's hands and feet on paper (I finished the rest at home after Jax went to bed).

Supplies:
  • baby hands and feet
  • pencil
  • cardstock
  • scrapbook paper
  • gluestick
  • scissors
  • googly eyes (is that the technical term?)
  • gem embellishments

General Directions:
  • trace baby's footprints and handprints onto a piece of cardstock (while this may sound simple, it is by far the most complicated step- at least with my squirmy little guy)
  • cut out footprints and handprints to make templates
  • use templates to make as many hands and feet as you need

Reindeer:
  1. adhere two handprints to a larger piece of scrapbook paper for the antlers (I used a brownish-gold cardstock)
  2. adhere footprint for the head of the reindeer (I used cream cardstock)
  3. add googly eyes to the footprint (I used self-adhesive ones from JoAnn)
  4. adhere red gem for the nose
  5. add baby's name and date (I used stickers initially, but they came off right away so I ended up just writing the name and date with a red sharpie)
Santa:
  1. adhere one handprint for Santa's beard (I used white cardstock)
  2. adhere Santa hat (I happened to find this in a dollar bin at JoAnn, but you could easily make one with scrapbook paper or felt)
  3. adhere googly eyes
  4. cut out oval and adhere for Santa's nose
I'm planning on framing one, or both, to display every year during the holidays. These would make great gifts for grandparents, too.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    9 Months!

    Well, my little man, you are now topping the charts at about 21 pounds and 31 inches.  You are a very busy guy and it's almost impossible to get you to sit still for your monthly photo shoot.  Your favorite activities these days are swinging cabinets and doors open and closed, climbing, poking and prodding KG, playing with electrical cords, and pulling lights and ornaments off the Christmas tree (so, pretty much anything that could harm you).  You sure keep me on my toes!  Some other favorite past times include:
    removing everything from the console in the living room
     watching cement trucks with KG (they're building a new house down the street, so there has been a lot of action out our front window)
    ...and riding on daddy's shoulders.
     
    You have developed a pretty predictable eating and sleeping pattern (at least for now).  Most nights you sleep from about 7:30 to 6:00 and you eat four 8oz bottles at around 6, 10, 2, and 6.  You also are up to two jars of food each day, plus some finger foods.   You're getting much better at feeding yourself.  In fact, I think more ends up in your mouth than on your lap now.

    Naps are still all over the place, but I'm going to try to straighten those out after the holidays, once our Rolly Pollies class is over...  For now, I'm just going to enjoy the fact that the only way you'll nap longer than 30 minutes is if I'm rocking you (even though that means I don't get anything done).  Snuggle time!

    You currently have your fourth cold of the season.  I've heard the average is 12 colds!!  I sure hope that's not the case...  They've just caused you to get a runny nose- no fevers or ear infections, thankfully.  This one is coupled with more teething, though, poor thing!  Just in the past day your 3rd, 4th, and 5th teeth broke through (one more on the bottom and two on top).  Hopefully, you'll get a little break now!

    At your last orthotist appointment we got some great news!  According to your scan, your cephalic ratio was a 92 (which was a vast improvement from the 99 where you started).  The goal is to get it below a 90, which will hopefully happen by your next scan on December 21.  Your doc said that it will probably be pretty close, but even if it's not below that you will most likely have outgrown your helmet by then anyway.  We're keeping our fingers crossed!  This is the silly cap they make you wear when you get your head scanned (and the cool toy they distract you with).
    Of course you experienced several more "firsts" this month.  We had the first snowfall of the season on November 19.  It was the perfect opportunity to try out your new snowsuit!
    You loved sitting in the snow and hitting it with your hands.  Then you fell backwards (your balance was a little off with that puffy snowsuit on) and some snow landed in your face.  You thought this was hilarious.

    Then, you fell forward and face planted in the snow, you did not find that to be as hilarious and we quickly went inside to warm up.

    I found this ridiculous turkey head gear and couldn't resist making you wear it on your first Thanksgiving.  I know you'll probably hate me for it someday, but look how cute you are!!
     
    We celebrated Thanksgiving at your great-aunt Char's house with grandpa White's side of the family.  Unfortunately, you weren't able to eat any turkey (or lefse), but you did eat several bites of mashed potatoes and cranberries.
    (you were eying great-uncle Jim's lefse)
     
    We tried to put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving like we usually do, but when we plugged it in this is what we got:
     
    At least you still were pleased with our defective tree.  Daddy and I stayed up past midnight stripping all of the lights off of the "pre-lit" tree.  We bought some new lights and decorated it the next day.
     
    The most exciting event of the month had to have been when you got to meet Santa last weekend.  
    Okay, maybe you weren't quite as excited about it as I was, but at least you didn't cry!  Another first, that had been a long time coming, was your first overnight babysitter!  Dad and I went to the Foster the People concert at First Ave. and then stayed at a hotel downtown.  Grandma White, very graciously, took Monday off from work and stayed at our house with you.  I have to admit that I shed a few tears as we pulled away from the house, but we ended up having a great time.  You and grandma had a great time, too.  You even slept through the night for her and didn't seem mad at us when we returned home the next day.

    Finally, we lost another dear family member this month.  Your great-grandma Vose passed away on November 18.  This is the first time you met her (when you were 11 days old).
    I'm so thankful that you were able to spend some time with her, but am sorry that you didn't get a chance to know her better.  She had so many great stories- we'll be sure to tell them to you some day.  Losing both great-grandma Vose and great-grandma Berg over the past two months has made me realize how short life is and the importance of slowing down and appreciating each moment...  You make that easy.

    Happy nine months, peanut!
    Love, Mom

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Pinterest = Crack

    Hi, my name is Erica, and I am addicted to Pinterest.  If you haven't already checked it out, I strongly suggest you do.  Browser beware because soon it will be three hours later and you'll wonder where your day went.  I know you're probably thinking "just what I need, another waste of time," but I promise you pinterest is so much more than that.  It took a few weeks (of crazed anticipation) to get an invitation after I requested an account.  (I have some invites left, so message me if you're interested).  It sounded up my alley, but I had no idea how quickly I would become obsessed with it.  Back in the old days, I had to actually cut out pictures in magazines that inspired me to cook, redecorate, or make a project.  These scraps of paper would sit in various corners of my house until they mysteriously disappeared my husband threw them away.  (Needless to say none of those things were ever created or cooked).  With pinterest you can do this with a click of the mouse.  Anything that strikes your fancy (as you're surfing the web) can be added to a board for you to reference later.  Or, you can repin any of the amazing ideas that are being shared every second.  You can create as many boards as you like of anything that interests you!  Some of my boards include home decor, recipes, DIY projects, and gift ideas.  I have to admit that my boards are quite scattered as I'm learning how best to organize all of my pins.  Nevertheless, I have been cooking and crafting way more than usual.  (Which isn't really saying much, since I didn't do either very often in my pre-pinterest life).  Now, I have a whole slew of DIY projects that I have been meaning to blog about.  Ironically, I haven't found the time since I have been crafting so much (oh, and taking care of my baby boy).  Just this weekend I made these cute little wintery decorations in about 2 minutes!
    Plus, I found all the materials (mason jars, epson salt, and candles) around the house so it didn't cost a thing!  Thank you pinterest!

    I will do my best to add some of my other projects in the coming weeks- stay tuned!

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    8 months!

    What a fun month we've had!  It seems like you are doing something new practically every other day.  As a matter of fact, you pulled yourself up for the first time during our photo shoot today!
    You have just reached 20 pounds and are about 30 inches long.  You only have another two inches to go before you grow out of your car seat.  We registered for one that had a higher weight limit, but we failed to notice that they also have a height limit.  I decided to take a closer look at the manual when a friend commented on how far your little feet were hanging off the end of the car seat and found that it's max height is 32 inches.  Needless to say, we are now shopping for a bigger one...  Speaking of long legs, all of your 6-12 months pants are starting to look like capris, so we've had to buy a couple pairs of 12-18 month pants!  It's hard to believe that you were swimming in newborn sizes just seven months ago.  You're even big enough to sit in the cart at Target!

    Much to our delight, we made some huge progress with your sleeping "schedule" this month.  Your sleep began to unravel to when you got your helmet, then you started teething, which was followed by a growth spurt (at least these were the excuses I was coming up with).  Your daddy kept telling me that we should let you "cry it out" but I wasn't ready for that yet.  However, it got to the point where you would scream at the sight of your sleep sack and wouldn't even allow me to rock you to sleep because you were so upset that it was bedtime.  During this time you also developed an aversion to your pacifier.  As soon as we would put it in your mouth you would take it out and literally throw it across the room (we got the hint and have stopped giving them to you).  About two weeks ago, the sleep deprivation had really gotten to me and I was willing to try anything including "cry it out."  The first night we tried it you cried for exactly 12 minutes (during which I practically had to be restrained not to go in and comfort you).  However, after 12 minutes you were fast asleep and you slept ten hours!!  I was sold!  (Score one for daddy).  The next night, you only cried about 5 minutes and then slept through the night.  Now, when we lay you down you only cry momentarily (if at all) before drifting off to sleep.  You typically sleep from about 8pm to 6am.  (Although, thanks to day light savings time, you have been waking up at 4:30 or 5am the past few days).

    You practice crawling every chance you get and it's paying off.  You can get up on all fours now and you've started to move a little forwards and backwards like this, but usually you lunge forward and then collapse to the floor (which makes you really frustrated).  In the meantime, you have developed a very efficient army crawl and are happiest when you're exploring your surroundings freely. 
     This is you in the center of the room at Rolly Pollies.  You have toys all around you, a scarf on your belly, and (obviously) a bowl on your head.

    You have also figured out how to pick things up with your thumb and pointer finger.  Couple this with your curiosity and intense desire to put anything and everything in your mouth and you have a very nervous mommy.  I now vacuum at least once a day and you still manage to find little things on the floor that you want to eat!
    video

    You don't like to snuggle very much anymore (or be restrained in any way).  The only time you allow me to cuddle with you is when I'm feeding you.  The problem with this is that you can now suck down a bottle in about 8 minutes.  When I want a little extra cuddle time I switch to a medium flow nipple.  Sometimes you notice and get mad, but usually it buys me at least another 5-10 minutes...  Changing your diaper and getting you dressed have also become quite challenging because it's very hard for you to sit still for more than a minute!  (I think you may have gotten that from me, so I understand.)  The other day when I was changing a particularly dirty diaper you decided that you wanted to roll over.  I was holding your ankles, trying desperately to wipe you clean, but your very full diaper started to fall, so I grabbed it and got a handful of nasty.  When I realized what I had just done, I immediately let go and your diaper hit the floor face down.  There was shit everywhere, literally!!

    In other news, you have officially graduated from physical therapy!  We just need to keep an eye on you to make sure the torticollis doesn't come back.  Supposedly, it often reappears when babies start crawling and walking.  You've continued to make good progress with your helmet, but it's getting really tight.  We have an appointment with your othotist this week to see if he can adjust it a little because it doesn't seem very comfortable, although it doesn't seem to bother you.  You're such an easy going, happy litle guy- at least when you're not being restrained!  (In fact, according to a baby personality inventory I took in one of our baby classes, you're as easy as they come!)
     Look at how straight you can hold your head up!  (And also note the high waters).

    We celebrated Halloween all month long.  Because I was a little over eager on the costume front, you ended up with two.  Back in July, while shopping online, I came across a puppy costume that looked just like KG.  I was so excited about it that I ordered it immediately guessing that you would be in the 12 month size by then.  Well, when it came it was way to big for you and I couldn't imagine that you'd ever grow into it.  So, I bought a back up dinosaur costume that was a size smaller.  Fast forward three months and the dino costume was a little too small and the puppy costume fit perfectly!!
    Luckily, you had several opportunities to dress up!  Earlier in the month we had a dress rehearsal at the Donnay's.
    You as KG, Luke as Uncle Fester, and Caroline the caterpillar

    You had another costume party at our Rolly Polly class:

    We also went to parties at the Edina Community Center and at Amma Maternity where you reunited with some of the girls from our very first class.  It was so much fun to see how much you've all grown!

    And, of course, I had to get a picture of you with the real KG:

    Happy eight months peanut!
    Love, Mom

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    7 months

    You are now a very active 7 month old.  The most common description we hear about you (besides how cute you are) is how curious you are.  It's so much fun to watch you study your surroundings with your pensive little face.  You absolutely love visiting new places and meeting new people.  You are an expert roller and can get wherever you want surprisingly fast (let the baby proofing begin- we should have started that a long time ago).  A few days ago, I left you playing in your room alone for approximately 3 minutes.  I almost had a heart attack when I came back in because you were nowhere to be found.  Then, I heard you kicking the floor and realized that you had rolled under your crib!  I guess you needed to find out what was under there...  The next day, I left you on your activity mat and found you across the room (with the mat) just a couple minutes later.
    You continue to grow like a weed!  You are now weighing in at around 18 pounds and are 29 inches long.  You had your 6-month well-visit a couple of weeks ago and we found out that you are in the 47th percentile for weight and the 93rd percentile for height (not too surprising).  Your hair is long and wavy and your eyes are a very "peculiar" (in your doctor's words) greyish/bluish/brownish color.  You are also pretty much on track for all of the developmental milestones:
    You can sit independently (with only an occasional topple over).
    You can even stand now (with a little support).
    You have also started to try to crawl...  You seem to have all of the pieces, but haven't quite figured out how to put everything together.
    video
    Our suspisions last month regarding teething were correct.  Your middle two teeth on the bottom are now peeking through.
    The most exciting development this month (in my opinion) is that you can now say da-da and ma-ma!!!  You said da-da first, but ma-ma followed just a few days later.  Supposedly (according to all the baby books) you don't really know what these words mean yet, but I beg to differ.  A couple of times you have said ma-ma while reaching for me (I almost died)!  Maybe you're a genius in the making..

    We had an appointment with your orthotist last week and he did another scan to see how your noggin' is progressing and we got great news!  You are now in the normal range for pretty much everything.  He couldn't promise anything, but you'll probably only have to wear the helmet for another 2 months (which means we're already half way through)!  Woohoo!

    We've started all of our new fall "classes."  Mondays we go to storytime at the library, Tuesdays we have Rolly Pollies at Amma Maternity, and Thursdays we have ECFE at the Edina Community Center.  Your favorite seems to be storytime at the library.  You have really started to enjoy books!  You sit on the floor in front of me and listen and touch the pictures on the page.  We usually get through several books before you get bored.  You also like looking at them on your own:
    Every Sunday daddy decks you out in Vikings gear and you two watch the game together (too bad they haven't won a game yet).
    You attended your first 1st birthday party this month.  It was for Caroline (your future wife, just kidding, sort-of)...
    It has been a very warm fall, which we have taken full advantage of.  Last Wednesday, which was a record breaking 88 degrees, Leslie and I subjected you and Christopher to a pumpkin photo shoot.  We felt bad sticking you guys inside of a pumpkin, but you both seemed to like it!
    And, because I obviously don't take enough pictures of you, we had another little photo shoot by Lake Harriet and in the surrounding gardens.
    Daddy was off today and we took a little road trip to Taylor Falls to look at the leaves.  We didn't think this through completely because rocky paths on the edge of cliffs are not baby or stroller friendly...  Needless to say we didn't get very far, but we were at least able to enjoy a little bit of the scenery.

    Last, but certainly not least, your great-grandma Berg passed away this month.  I am so thankful that you were able to meet her, but wish that you had a chance to get to know her better because she was an amazing woman.  On our last visit with her, just a couple of weeks ago, we played Bingo with her and her friends.  Then we went back to her apartment where she held you in her arms.  I'll never forget how she would hold your little hand in hers and gaze at you so lovingly.  We'll miss her dearly!

    Happy seven months peanut!
    Love, Mom