Archive of ‘monthly update’ category

20 month update

Little reading before nap time

Wow I am actually posting on the exact day! Evan is 20 months today.  I was thinking that I love reading what “favorites” a child has at different stages. I find it so fascinating that even at such a young age we develop our tastes and preferences.

Today is January 27, 2013 and currently
Evan’s favorites are…..
books: Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton,  
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown,
and First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

Enjoying his first thin mint cookie
Riding his giraffe (and he gets on and off himself!! We are so proud!)

foods: anything with sweet potatoes, cereal bars, white cheddar puffs from Trader Joes, pediasure
toys: ride on giraffe, pull toy alligator, fire truck
activities: bubbles, riding in swing, the pillow game (otherwise known as the ready-set-go game) (otherwise known as tire out Mommy game), and anything involving our dog Zoey.
songs: “On Top of Spaghetti” and “Old MacDonald”

Our little guy has made such huge strides in the past month or so. He is now doing a little pretend play with his play food- he will “feed” Todd his veggies and also pretend to eat it himself.  He is dropping things and taking them out of everything with more and more ease. If you do the alphabet with him very slowly, he will grunt back “mmm” after each letter and he will do that with a lot of songs too.  It makes my day when I say “I love you,” to him and he says back “mmmmmm.” I know eventually that “mmmmm” will turn into “I love you, mama.”

I hope to continue to write down his favorites every few months- I think it will be fun to look back and see how his favorites will change as he gets older.

Houston, we have a toddler.

“I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle”
From the book, “You are my Love You,” by Maryann K Cusimano

Along with all the awesome things Evan has been doing lately, has come a bit of a price. That price to be paid, is toddlerhood. Yup, he is 19 months old, but you could say he is in the “Terrible Almost Two’s” right now. Now, I am well aware that Evan can be a joy, in fact he really is a joy about 75% of the time and I feel very blessed for that.  But that 25% can be a toughie. And as with most other things, the tough parts are the ones you seem to focus on instead of the joys.  I am working to fix that for myself.  

Anyway, the great part of all of this is that when he throws a fit because we take him away from the light cord, or because we don’t want him to touch the trash can lid; we realize he is displaying very typical, age appropriate behavior. Not because of any syndrome or delay, but just good old fashioned growing up. He is figuring out that he has ‘wants’ and if he cannot have them right when he decides he wants them, he is piping mad! He does this fake cry that I wish I could somehow put into words because it is pretty classic. He could give Olivia Hussey a run for her money in the 1968 Romeo and Juliet movie. Come on, she was a ridiculous crier, you have to admit that. He also has attempted to bite a few times, but we have deemed it is more out of a sensory oral motor need than out of anger or aggression.  We are keeping an eye on it.
I think we have been struggling a bit with the new behaviors because Evan has been the exception to the rule most of the time with his love of strangers, no separation anxiety, loving car rides, etc. We have felt so lucky. So when he started throwing tantrums our first instinct was to assume something was wrong. I was checking his mouth constantly for teeth, blaming myself for altering his schedule. Todd thought we should add back in a second nap, that there must be some solution, right?
Nope. We just have to live through this stage, however long it might be, just like the waking up 4 times a night stage. Phew, thank goodness both aren’t happening at the same time!
Some great things that have been happening as a result of Toddler Evan coming to stay-
– can climb up on the couch himself
– copies us laughing and coughing
-will take our hands and hand over hand show us what he needs help with or what he wants us to do
-can get on and off his rocking horse himself
is clapping!
-is taking turns while rolling a wheel back and forth.
-is dropping items into containers regularly
-is sitting nicely for reading of books, no more flipping the books all over while we try to read. (well most of the time)
-feeding himself with a spoon with a little help from mom or dad

We love him, Toddler Evan, Baby Evan, whichever Evan he plans to be today.  He is our wiggle, our wild, our giggle, our child.

Oh how he is our wiggle…. 😉

Post Holiday Info Purge

 Evan on Christmas Eve eying up the tree
Ahhhhh, the holidays have come and gone and another year has begun.  Social networking sites and blogs are lighting up with New Years resolutions, recaps from 2012, and pictures form Christmas morning. I try not to make “resolutions” per se, but rather look at the new year as a clean slate of sorts. I know my own bad habits better than anyone, and it is a good excuse to try to start anew and let go of some ugly unnecessary baggage. (in my case,about 30 extra pounds of it) But who’s counting?

In his Christmas finery
Todd has begun following the Paleo diet and I am back to weighing my portions, and saying NO to a lot of things that I have been allowing to creep into my diet, such as coffee drinks, desserts, cookies, any thing that has the word chip in it, etc.  I also signed up for a 5K in April and started taking piloxing classes. Yep, it’s not a pretty sight, but it is an amazing workout. I think I fell back on food as my comfort a lot this past year, and it is time to get that in check. With the amount of energy our little bug is showing lately, I am going to need to be in better shape to keep up with him. I am hoping to be less tired in 2013 now that Evan is sleeping through the night pretty consistently. We also hope to have more “date nights” even if that means a few hours together at a park while Evan has care, etc. Ok, maybe we do have some resolutions….oh well.
Fun with Emmy

They truly were two peas in a pod

Since our Kentucky trip, things have just been going at warp speed around here. We had a playdate with another WS mama and her adorable daughter, Evan participated in his first “Cookie Day,” Christmas festivities for days and days, early intervention 6 month review, and every day he seems to be doing something new and becoming more and more of a toddler. Next blog will be about that…phew!

Gazing at Grammy

He is continually taking different food risks, and even trying to spoon feed himself. Take cover!  I have really started to sign the word ‘more’ with him and do hand over hand to get him to sign it before I give him more solid foods. I can’t put a whole handful on his tray because he will just drop one piece out to put another one in. Just the other day he was eating pieces of french toast sticks and actually SWALLOWING them. Still about 50% pez dispenser expelling action but more swallowing than I have seen thus far. And somehow I managed to not eat more than a tiny crumb to model for him! Win-Win! New items he has tried this month: chocolate chip cookies, meatloaf, couscous, buttered waffles (second time, but this time he loved them), and french toast sticks.  It is still amazing to me that he is trying all these foods. I just have to continually remind myself that just because he does not do well with a food the first time, I have to reintroduce it. He is that way with a lot of his toys too, he will not know what to do with it at first, or show no interest. Then one day it will be his favorite toy. My next plan is to look up muffin recipes, and try to find one that is packed with nutrients and calories and try that with E for breakfast. He really likes baked goods and carbs. That’s my boy!

Pajamas really are the best.

Early Intervention update: Evan is going to start receiving speech weekly, OT 2x a month and PT 2x a month. He just qualified for PT services this past week. We had an assessment based on Dr. Mervis’ suggestion and our OT also thought it would be a good idea. It’s a hard choice, deciding how many hours are enough, but not too much, since we pay hourly.We understand that we need to follow through with the therapists’ suggestions during our time with Evan, and integrate things into his day.

New Year’s Eve fun with friends

Three months of growth for everyone…

It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”- Francis Bacon Sr. 

At Hershey Museum

Looking like a little referee like Pop Pop

Hanging out with his pal Andrew

 It is hard to believe that over three months have gone by since I blogged about having contractions while eating waffles and cleaning the house. 🙂 I spent so many hours imagining what our little person would look like, what he would feel like in my arms, what labor would be like, what it would be like to see our child smile for the first time, and the list goes on and on. And here we are, close to 4 months later, and all of those questions have been answered.  Evan Robert entered our lives like a rocket (5 minutes of pushing, ladies and gents!) and has forever changed Todd and I for the better. He is not just beautiful to gaze at with those pools of stormy blue for eyes and his droopy cheeks that are just so easy to kiss and nibble on all day. His personality has already begun to shape and I can see little parts of him popping out while he plays, eats, and sleeps. I titled this blog “Three months of growth for everyone,” because I have gone through such a transformation in the past three months while Evan has been growing along side me. I will only speak for myself, but I think Todd would agree that he has grown as well as he took on the role as Daddy. I very naively thought I was going to walk into the role of mother and be a natural. That I was going to start every day with great gusto, and have this whole thing down pat right off the bat. How humbling to so quickly realize that was a ridiculous assumption. 🙂
I was blindsided by sleep deprivation beyond anything I had ever experienced, hormonal imbalance that you cannot prepare for, and this overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t feeling the “right” way or doing the “right” thing. All I wanted was to enjoy our precious new son and get a grasp on being a mom, which is a role I had happily anticipated for years. I spent many a day and night wondering if I would ever feel like “myself” again and if maybe I wasn’t cut out to be the mom I had always wished I would be.  Well…..luckily I have plenty of friends and family to remind me that time can do amazing things, as can the support of some wonderful individuals who I cannot begin to thank enough. And here we are, almost 4 months later and I am enjoying my new life as a stay at home mom for the year, and learning to appreciate the last few months as teaching me SO much about myself. I am so thankful to God for trusting Todd and I with our darling little guy. And I am finally feeling confident about my abilities as a mother. I truly believe that I am not alone in some of the feelings I have had and the struggles I faced in the first few months of Evan’s life.I did have some great conversations with some close friends and family members that admitted they felt some similar things and that I should not feel alone or crazy for how I was feeling. That was so helpful and reassuring. I have such amazing people in my life!  But most women would prefer to keep their feelings and fears to themselves for fear of judgement and guilt.I figured being honest on this blog might be helpful to someone else one day? You never know…

Anyway, moving on to Evan and all the fun things he is doing!!
First of all, he has experienced some exciting things in the past month including but not limited to… a hurricane named Irene, an earthquake (that his mommy didn’t feel because she was rocking him to sleep, a trip to the Hershey Museum and Chocolate World, and walking in a charity walk. Evan is such a big boy, he is rolling over from belly to back and back to belly. He goes in a complete circle in his crib, and I have gone in to pick him up numerous times to find him on his belly. He had been sleeping 6 hours and then 3 hours after one wake up over night, which we were very happy with! Recently he started waking up twice again but then last night he slept for 8.5 hours! A record! I am trying to increase the volume of milk he drinks which can be a struggle but the past two days he has done much better. Praying for another long stretch tonight! He is grabbing at everything, his toys, the mobile on the swing, Daddy’s glasses…you name it! He can sit in his bumbo chair playing with a toy while I clean bottles or get dinner ready. He smiles and laughs, and sticks his little tongue out while doing both. Oddly enough I still think his favorite place to be is on the changing table! He just smiles and giggles the whole time. He also can sit for multiple book readings now. Which makes me VERY happy. 🙂 My two favorite things right now, are holding him and singing  while he is falling asleep, and listening to him “talk” while he is drinking his bottle. He sounds like he is having a complete conversation with me while drinking. It is so precious.
Better get to sleep, in case he is up in a couple of hours. 🙂 Thanks again for reading! 

I’m 3.5 months!!

Appreciating Every Moment

I am stealing a blog post today from a very eloquent writer that I enjoyed reading while pregnant and continue to enjoy reading now as a fellow mother.Here is the link: learning-to-be-present
Check it out. It really made me stop and think when I am running around trying to accomplish things while Evan is in swing, etc- that I need to appreciate the times that I am “forced” to rock him to sleep or soothe him by singing. Those moments should be precious and appreciated, not rushed. Of course we all have moments where we get frustrated or wish that our child could take care of himself for a second….but I know every year I will be lamenting how he needs me less and less. And God blessed us with a child, and that in itself needs to be celebrated.Here are some recent shots. Enjoy!

Evan’s First Bacon

Hanging out in his Bumbo seat

Our family at Evan’s first baseball game

Evan’s friend Andrew 🙂

I’m over two months!!

TWO months, wow!

If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.- Vincent van Gogh

Hello everyone! So sorry for the length between blogs, but it might be more like a monthly thing now that the little man is in my life. It has been such a whirlwind, these two months. Evan has permanently changed our lives for the better. He is so perfectly precious and amazing. Today he officially turns two months old. He just started to make little smiles this past week, which warms my heart.  I have spent a a lot of time with my mom this past week which also warms my heart. 🙂 She has taught me a bunch of things about being a mommy that I never would have known if I hadn’t been able to hang out with her. I feel so blessed by all of Evan’s grandmothers. They are so wonderful. My mother in law, Sara, helped out a bunch this past month and she was an invaluable influence on me and Evan. Mom Mom Debbie is going to babysit Evan this weekend for our first little outing to a Phillies game. So blessed we are to have all these ladies in our lives.
I was reading over my last blog and I mentioned getting 4 hours of sleep one night…well I am happy to report that Evan is now sleeping an average of 4 hours at a clip and then 3 or so for the second clip. 🙂 We are moving towards a full night’s sleep I think? Maybe? Last night he turned himself completely in a circle in his crib.  He is such a little squirm. My mom is always saying he is going to give us a run for our money when he gets a little bigger and I tend to agree. He is already moving so much for only two months.
We have his second month check up next Sat, so I will update with his stats then. I predict he will be approximately 12 lbs at that point. He is a good eater and he seems to be a bit longer too.
We are just feeling so lucky and smitten with our little guy.  Sorry to gush!

Taken on his Two Month birthday

Love this little man

What I want to remember….

Evan turned a month on Monday and I can hardly believe it! I was going by weeks, and thought he turned a month the previous Friday but Daddy T set me straight. We have his one month check up tomorrow and I cannot wait to hear how well he has grown.
Things I want to remember about Evan’s first month here with us:
-The first moment I saw him all blue and wrinkled and I heard his little cry. I have never felt such relief and joy in my life. The day I married Todd and the day I delivered Evan are definitely the two happiest days of my life.
-When he was given to me on my belly for the first time and I held him. I just couldn’t believe that he was the same little guy that was in my belly all those months.
-When we found out that he was coming back up to our room in the hospital after he had been in the ICN for 24 hours. That feeling was amazing. We were jumping up and down so much that the nurses had to laugh. They were happy for us too. Evan was a fighter from day one.
-Watching Zoey interact with Evan for the first time and how adorable she was with him. She loves her little brother.
-The little squeaks and creaks that Evan makes when he is waking up or when is sleeping- especially in the car seat when we take walks or drives. I always think he is starting to get up but it is just him moving about in his sleep.
– The one time he slept for 4 hours straight!! Can’t wait for that again!
– Just looking at Evan’s perfect face. I can’t believe how perfectly created he is by God. His little button nose, his bottom lip that sticks out in a pout, his gorgeous stormy blue eyes. How blessed we are by him.
-When he shakes his bottom lip and says iyiyiyiyiyiyi when he is starting to crank (that is our word for when he gets fussy)
-When he suctions my face or arm when he is looking for food. It sort of looks like he is kissing me, but I know better, he is hungry!
-the 4+ weeks I spent nursing him- those were precious moments of bonding that I will never forget. Such a good little eater.
-Watching Todd hold him on the couch when he has Daddy time. Todd is the best swaddler!
-Our daily walks together, I love getting out first thing in the morning with Evan. Sometimes he is awake and alert but most of the time he takes a little nap while we walk. Thank you to Wendy, Kate, Caitlin, and Sara Jane for joining me on different occasions. It is so nice to have company!
-Watching how he grows every day- his little belly pushes his diapers to the limit!
-When he napped in the bassinet for the first time, I was so proud that he was able to do that, I hope he does just as well in the crib!
-Reading our first books together. I know he doesn’t really know what he is looking at, but the one time he did watch me talk the whole time and I just loved seeing his little eyes focusing on my face.
-The time after he eats in the morning when he is the most alert and he just looks all around with those big eyes completely content. He makes little guppy faces and sighs. 🙂
-His “debonair face” Todd named for him. He scrunches his forehead into little wrinkles and Todd always says, “Oh I need to go get my monocle and ivory tipped cane….” He does this face in his sleep most of the time. 

Things I am looking forward to:

-Making eye contact with him and knowing he can see me and maybe even recognize me as his mommy
-His first real smile (not just gas in his sleep 🙂 )
-Reading a book to him and knowing he is following along
-Going to pick him up from his nap and seeing him smile at me. (I remember Talia saying that about Eliana doing that and how awesome it is)
-When he can hold his head up so we can do more fun stuff at home during his awake time!

I keep saying that I do not want to wish away this newborn time, but Todd and I both are excited to watch Evan grow and do more things every day. I have had a few people say, oh you will find yourself wishing for the days when he just laid around and you could take him everywhere, etc. Maybe, I hope we can find things to enjoy at each point.

Sleeping peacefully at one month old 🙂

Ok I think the little guy is getting up from his nap and will be wanting his meal I am sure 🙂 I’ll leave you with the picture I took today of him with his one month sticker. It is not the “official” one. Todd and I will take that one together.

Almost a month old!

Hi everyone!
I have so much to blog about and so little time! I want to go back and blog the whole birth story so that Evan can look back and see what an amazing journey he went on in those 8 hours or so on May 27th. 🙂 But for right now I just thought I would quickly let all my blog readers (all 5 of you probably?) that I plan to start blogging once a month or so to update you on how our little family is doing and to sort of chronicle this whole journey. A very special person (my awesome father in law) suggested I try to do that as a new mom. It would be fun to look back on this for Evan but also for me to see how everything has progressed.  Including my ability to handle all this NEW motherhood stuff! It’s so funny how it is so true, there is no preparing you for what it is going to be like. The highs, the lows, the challenges, the tears of joy, the tears of pain, there is just so much that hits you in the first month!
But one thing I do know, is that Evan was worth the 10 month wait. He is already developing his own little personality. My favorite time of day with him is after a good feeding when he is alert and just listening to me tell him stories or sing to him. I also love watching him lie on Todd’s belly on the couch together- we must have 10 pictures of the two of them just chilling. I knew I loved my husband, and I knew he would be a good father, but he has far surpassed that now that Evan is actually here. What an amazing man he is.
Evan will be one month on Friday! UNBELIEVABLE.
Big success of the week, he is napping upstairs in his bassinet once or twice a day. So wonderful for him to get a good rest and I can get some things done and see him on the monitor. Must be that box air conditioner providing the white noise 🙂
Looking forward to: Evan following us with his eyes, and knowing who we are. And of course, SLEEPING more. I would take a 4 hour stretch at this point! I hear that will come in a month maybe??
I’ll leave you with a few pictures that you probably have seen but are some of my favorites:

Sleeping angel

Love his little piggies

After a bath! 

On Daddy’s Lap

Serious Cheek Action