My first infograph.

Now that I’m officially a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), the questions went from “When are you going back to work?” to “So… how is it…staying at home.” I never know what to say. 95% of the time I respond with, “I am really enjoying it.” But to not to risk sounding like a total Polyanna, I do say that there are good moments and bad moments, but I am generally really enjoying the time I spend with Wes. This post is not about about whether one should work or stay home. I vow to never pen that post! This post is about how maybe I haven’t left teaching at all… because being a SAHM is eerily similar to being a classroom teacher. Let me count the ways.

(I was feeling extra motived last night so I tried my hand at making my first infograph! I had a lot of fun! Brought back fond middle school memories of searching through clip art for the perfect picture to put next to every copy block.)

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2015 in 10

Before looking forward, I think it’s fitting to look back. Grateful for 2015 – the ups and the downs and the Person who makes goodness and beauty from it all.

  1. We moved out of our first home into a new home. I learned that my heart can find its home in people not an address. And though living in your new home can feel like a prolonged AirBnb at first, it eventually goes away.
  2. We threw Wes his first birthday party! I learned that decorating is a lot more fun when you borrow your friend’s Silhouette. Also if you can swing it, outsourcing the food prep to Miguel and 5 Star Tacos is one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made.
  3. Doljabi Ceremonies are a lot more fun when you throw away all the white collar professions and opt for careers that bring people true joy and happiness – chef, barista, crossfit coach, rap artist and those nice people at the Apple store.
  4. We planned our first church wide retreat and survived to tell about it! I learned that you really need a team of diverse talent to pull off retreat. Also – Mt. Hermon is nothing short of magical.
  5. If your entire family contracts a stomach bug the night before an all expense paid trip by your work and you’re having second thoughts about going… just get on the plane and go. You might as well be sick in someone else’s bathroom and sleep in someone else’s bed that you don’t have to clean.
  6. It is nearly impossible to discern the difference between a growth spurt / teething / sleep regression / wonder week in infants and toddlers. I say just pick whichever one gives you the most hope.
  7. We decided to splurge and get NFL Sunday Ticket. It turns out it was one of the worst seasons for the Chargers since I became a fan 10 years ago. And so many of them got injured, I couldn’t recognize half of the team at any given moment. Oh and it may have been their last season in San Diego. Great. Can we get our money back DirectTV?
  8. We attended a great parenting seminar in the fall. I think about the things I learned often. Haunting words (paraphrased): “You can’t make up for lost time. Your kids just want your attention and your delight.”
  9. Toddlers are really great for sparking joy and wonder in your life. Things that make Wesley say “WOOOOOOW”: The automated clothing rack at the dry cleaners, play kitchen ovens, elevators and coffee machines.
  10. We hosted our first Thanksgiving! Special shout out to our double oven. The highlight of that night was watching Tim’s cousin’s kid (second cousin?) read Wesley all of his bedtime books on our bed. Two Thanksgivings ago while I was pregnant, this sweet girl was trying to convince me to name my future son either Percy Jackson, Niko, Ra or Hot Cheeto. What she didn’t know was that I was going through some pre-term labor drama and if someone told me at the time, “Hey, I promise your baby will make it to 37 weeks but you have to name him Hot Cheeto” I would’ve said “Where do I sign?” Wes made his debut at 37 weeks and 2 days. We are still grateful every day.

2015 collage

 

The Best Bolognese

The story:

For our second trip to Italy, we decided to go to city where the Italians go to eat. Bologna. Italians call this city La Dotta, La Grassa, La Rossa.

La Dotta  – “The Learned” (home to the oldest university in the Western World – University of Bologna, or as the locals call it, UniBo. If you were a student in the late 15th century, you could’ve sat next to Copernicus in Astronomy 101.

La Grassa – “The Fat” (The food here is nothing short of amazing. The food from this region of Italy – Emilia Romagna,is iconic Italian- parmesean, tortellini, balsamic vinegar, bolognese.

La Rossa – “The Red” (The abundance of brick buildings).

It was in a little alley in Bologna that I had the best bolognese of my life.

Tagliatelle al Rag, Serghei, Bologna

Tagliatelle al Rag, Serghei, Bologna (It’s just called Ragu in Bologna)

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Up to this point, most meat sauces I had eaten looked something like this:

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(Ground beef + jarred marinara + seasonings) over pasta

Don’t get me wrong, this is yummy, delicious and an incredible weeknight meal. However this is NOT bolognese. Once I tasted it I closed my eyes and let out a deep sigh. A sigh so deep it was like my body said “this pasta is so good, it must be my last meal. I am ready to meet Jesus.” This dish ruined me for many many moons because I didn’t know how to recreate this at home. That is until I found a Bon Appétit recipe that comes pretty darn close.

Good for when:

  • You find yourself having to cook for Italian Italians
  • You wonder what you should do for a couple hours before dinner
  • You have leftover pancetta

Not ideal if:

  • You are hangry
  • You are avoiding pork, dairy or wheat

The Method:

Copied from this recipe

We first tried to do the lasagna but found that we didn’t care for the béchamel and just wanted to eat the meat sauce by itself. From then on we only used the sauce and would pair it with a flat noodle to maximize flavor absorption.

Bolognese Sauce 

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 4 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I like a Pinot Grigio for this. I wish I could tell you that broth is a decent substitute… but that would be disingenuous and downright mean to sabotage your bolognese.)
  • 1 cup whole milk (Milk is really important! Don’t skip!)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes (I have used non San Marzano tomatoes and it did not turn out so well. Definitely splurge and get the San Marzanos)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided (We almost always use store bought stock.)

  • Pulse onion, carrot, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped. (Yes, definitely use a food processor)
  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add beef, pork, pancetta, and vegetables; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until moisture is almost completely evaporated and meat is well browned, 25–30 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  • Add wine to pot and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until moisture is almost completely evaporated, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes and 2 cups broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, adding water by ½-cupfuls if sauce looks dry, until flavors meld and sauce thickens, 2½–3 hours.
  • Let sauce cool, then cover and chill at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. (Letting the sauce sit will give it a deeper, richer flavor.)

Cooking life lesson I’m still learning … when the ingredients are simple and few… you have to get the best because there’s not much for them to hide behind. Imagine dancing in a room of 10 people vs. 1000. If you are in the former, you better be incredible.

Leave a comment if you give this recipe a try! I would love to hear what you think! If you are too lazy to make this but want to try it, leave a comment too 🙂 I’ll have you over for some ragu!

 

Mooooo (a reprise)

You may know that Tim and I bought a quarter cow from a ranch last year. I had bought a deep freezer with the intent of hoarding breastmilk for Wes for when I returned to work. Well since I decided to take some time off from teaching,  we thought there’s no better way to make use of our freezer than to fill it to the brim with BEEF.

For months we worked through our cow. A pot roast here, some burgers there, some more steaks here… I dreaded each meal with our cow. It tasted unlike anything I’ve ever had before. The flavor was so strong, gamey and lean I started a conspiracy theory that we had bought buffalo and this was all one big labeling mishap! I didn’t want to hurt Tim’s feelings so I didn’t’ make a big deal out of it (at least I thought I didn’t), but I really hated the taste of the cow. Steak nights were the worst because there was no place to hide and there was just so much to eat. I remember holding my breath to swallow each bite hoping I had made a dent in the steak.

Several months later, we get an email from the ranch asking how our experience was with our cow because the other person that shared the cow with us complained that their cow tasted really strong too! YASSSSS. I WAS RIGHT. IT WAS WEIRD!!!  I’ve never felt such validation in my life! The ranch said please don’t eat anymore of the weird cow, bring it back! We’ll give you another quarter! So here we are again. With our freezer filled to the brim with another quarter cow!

Next time I will share my favorite ground beef recipe! Stay tuned.

(Sorry to all of our friends who may have been fed said weird cow. Thanks for grinning and politely ingesting the weird cow. We will make it up to you with normal cow.)

On not being a tech fogey…

One of my favorite teacher discipline moments was when I caught a student playing Guess the Word on his phone during class. I creeped up behind him and whispered “I know the answer to that.” He handed me the phone and I punched in the correct word (of course) and put his phone in my pocket and said “See you after school.”

Being a high school teacher meant that I was always surrounded by kids who were “tech” savvy. (Quotes are there because though they may be amazing at making videos, taking selfies and sharing music, they would be a deer caught in headlights if you asked them to create a two column Word document.) I would always know the latest hashtags, the newest social media app and the best people to follow. Now that I spend most of my time out of the classroom with a little human that has yet to have his own phone, I am more than a little out of the loop.

This realization really came to a head when I downloaded Snapchat a year ago when I saw my sister always on it. When I first heard about it, I thought OMG GROSS. An app that allows you to send pictures that magically go away in seconds? Clearly everyone is using it only to send nudes. Though I felt like an overreactive parent, I thought my concerns were legitimate. Why would you not fb, or instagram or tweet a picture! Obviously you want it to go away because it must be naughty.

I would take a few pics and send it to a few people but I didn’t get it. There were no pretty filters, no fancy bokeh and most of all no hastags. Just a silly text box with a MS paint tool that is so tacky. And in all honesty, I was a complete noob at it. I kept taking pictures of the floor/ceiling… could not swipe the right way… kept clicking on the wrong thing… I felt like a fogey. I thought “I cannot do one more thing! I can’t remember one more username and password!!” And just like that I became my parents.

I realized I cannot give up this quickly! Wes is only 17 months. If I can’t figure out snapchat, I will be hopeless when he’s 17 years old. Enter my attempt to get with it. Two days in, I am really loving it.

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Quick impressions:

  • Time and Space Saver. It’s nice to not open a camera, open a text, attach a picture and then hit send to share a moment. eg. I love seeing what people eat for meals… I don’t like it enough to take up phone space.
  • Feeling connected. I love sharing mundane moments. With Instagram and Facebook, I feel the need to be “editorial” – take a good picture, write a good caption, create a witty hashtag. I also don’t want to overshare. I also wonder if my friends are sick of seeing my baby.
  • No likes or hearts or comments. As we all know these things can be double-edged swords.
  • Kaitlyn and Shawn are freaking cute on Snapchat. Add them. Snapbackbean / Shawn_Booth Add them.

Let’s be friends!!

xo,

candiedscone

Month Eleven

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Dear Wes,

Happy Eleven Months big guy! Let’s first talk about this couch that you are sitting on. It’s not the couch we normally sit you on for these monthly portraits. In fact, we’re not in the same room, zip code or even city. We packed up the home we brought you home to, bought a new one and sold our first home all in a month.

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Escrow Day! (Look at how happy we are to be in debt!)

Since this post is not entitled “Our Homebuying Story” or “The Masochists: Moving with a Baby” or even “How to Pack” (That post would be easy. Don’t. Hire packers. The end.) this post is going to be all about you.. and how oblivious you were to all of this.

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This was happening while I was trying to pack up our bathroom. Worth it. All day. Errrrday.

One of the great things about having you around is that there is a rhythm to our days. You are blissfully unaware of the craziness of buying/selling a home. You just did your thang*. There were so many moments that I would think about all that I had to pack, all the places I had to clean and all the preparation that needed to go into making our home seem like a pristine model home (not to mention all the feels about moving)… and these thoughts triggered fantasies of being in bed with a margarita, kleenex box and a TV running a Friends marathon. Had you not been here, I would have been a mess. Having you around was like having a very blunt friend shake you and slap your face while saying “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. NOW WIPE MY ASS.”

Thanks for teaching me that it’s okay to hang out and play. You could not care less about the piles of laundry or dishes,… you just want someone to laugh with when you wiggle the door spring for the 20th time. In the midst of a move, those times we spent hanging out getting nothing done were so good for my soul. I always thought that it would be my job to care of you but in your little baby way, you really took care of me this month. You are turning my world upside down and I could not be more grateful for it. And for you.

Love,

Mama

*thang – eat, poop, play, sleep

Month Ten

Dear Wes,

Happy 10 Months sweet guy!

10months

In this month of your life, you returned from your first international trip, visited Grandma and Grandpa in San Diego and celebrated your first Christmas! It’s been a whirlwind of a month for us as a family (as you can see by the timestamp of this post) but everything is bearable because we’re together.

Just so that there’s no confusion, our family celebrates Christmas. We celebrate Christmas not because we love gifts, Santa, decorating, food or family. (Those things are good, but that’s not really the reason why). We celebrate Christmas because we believe that Jesus really came many years ago and His life brings true joy and peace into ours. In hopes of celebrating Jesus and the season well, your dad and I have been trying on traditions for 5 years now in hopes of figuring out what felt right for our little family. I am proud to report that we still haven’t figured it out. Christmases were always variable growing up. They were always full of celebrating Jesus, enjoying family, eating too much and opening presents but every year was different! And though that is fun in its own right, I wanted to create some traditions for our family. Maybe because I love the idea of culture building and maybe this is a small way to get going on that. (Wow. That last statement was so Silicon Valley-esque. I am not sure how I feel about that.)

Onward to the subject of traditions. Here are some things that your Dad and I have tried over the years. Warning, many of these things are not spiritual. We are working on that. :X

  • Eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas Morning I love this idea. However that precludes that I spend a couple hours in December making cinnamon rolls and several days after cleaning trying rid myself of cinnamon buttery residue. If you have made cinnamon rolls, you know that you have to use melted butter and it gets EVERYWHERE. Not to mention you have to use yeast and I am scared of yeast. I like working with the lifeless baking soda / baking powder. The fact that I have to resurrect yeast and feed them and make them gassy makes me very nervous every time I make rolls. Consecutive Christmas Score: 2 years out of 5.
  • Building Legos with the Lego Advent Calendar We got this idea a little too late in 2013 and they were sold out everywhere. We had our act together for 2014 but then traveled so much we were so behind we ended up having our friend my brother put them all together. This year we went with the Star Wars Advent Calendar. Since I am not that familiar with the story nor (something about the protagonist finding out that his arch nemesis is his dad?), I don’t think I appreciated all the little figurines to their fullest potential. Maybe I should stick to the Lego City version. Consecutive Christmas Score: 1 year out of 5.
  • legoadventPicking out a tree at the local tree farm (read: Home Depot) I realized that touching trees makes me itchy and boy do they shed! Not to mention that real trees are so expensive and it seemed strangely not green to use a real tree only to throw it away after a month). I am on the hunt for a fake tree for next year. Consecutive Christmas Score: 4 years out of 5. (We missed a year when we left our families on Christmas Day for Milan.)
  • Reading out of the Jesus Story Book Bible. Last year when you were still in my belly (since your mom is a Biology teacher, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify by saying that when I say belly, I actually mean uterus. But no one really wants to hear that so thus we stick with the more socially acceptable and less vivid – tummy). The Jesus Story Book Bible is one of my favorite books in the world. Before I was even pregnant, I would read a couple stories to myself and choke up at the words. This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but times when I was feeling so blah about reading my “adult” Bible, I would reach for this one instead and it would kindle joy and wonder in my soul. This Bible is arranged that there are 21 stories that lead up to Jesus’ birth. So if you do it right, you can read a story a night (skipping a couple here and there) in the month of December and land on Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day. I tried this with you this year, but you are a little wiggly and only sit still for about 3 words per page. Preferably words that have me barking, quacking, mooing or oinking. Can’t wait to snuggle with you and read these stories together Wes! Consecutive Christmas Score: 2 years out of 5

Milestones

  • You weigh about 19.5 lbs. (Unofficial)
  • 4 teeth
  • Helmet is off! I was so sad at first because I missed it, but I love seeing more of your face! I also don’t miss the smell of a sweaty boy’s gym every time I took off your helmet.
  • Waving (When others wave at you, you generally like to awkwardly wait for about 26 seconds before you wave back at them. Nice.)

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  • Climbing up stairs! You have yet to master coming down the stairs in a manner that does not illicit a heart attack from either of your parents.
  • Last month you were crawling, pulling up to a stand and crawling. But now you just do it faster. (Insert cold sweat emoji)
  • Still size 3 diapers. But you wear size 4 diapers at night.
  • Still fit in 9-12 month clothes
  • Latest Sleep/Poop Drama: MOTN Cow Pies. Why Wes. Why.
  • You want to do everything for yourself. Exhibit A:

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Likes

  • Food, car rides, smiles, puffs, rice cakes, cheese,

Gripes

  • Diaper changes. It is full on WWF these days with you.

Favorite Toy

  • Anything that is not intended to be a toy. Tupperware, plastic bottles, starbucks cups, socks etc…
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Socks provide at least 3 minutes of fun. This fun can be extended by putting socks on your hands. It drives you crazy!

Memories from the Month!

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“Guys I have no idea why you are complaining. I have so much legroom here.”

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So jet lagged.. you fell asleep on the hardwood floor mid bottle.

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You and your Aunt Phoebe being silly together.

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This was a low in our month. You got a skin allergy test because you broke out in hives in Asia. Twice. We confirmed you are allergic to sesame (super allergic), eggs, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and wheat. Womp womp womp.

IMG_5150This was your first Christmas haul. I started a gift giving tradition. You get 4 things. Something to read, something to wear, something you need and something you want.

Sohn2014Xmas

lamxmas14

Month Nine

9monthsDear Wes,

Hello sweet guy! Happy 9.99 months to you!

(Mommy blogging procrastination really hit the fan this time, but my very subjective logic tells me that as long as you are not really 10 months yet, which is tomorrow, I am not late.)

This has been such a crazy month in your life. To sum things up in numbers…

  • 5 flights
  • 3 countries visited (Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong)
  • Hugged 1 Great Great Grandma, 2 Great Grandmas, 1 Great Grandpa and many Granduncles and Grandaunties
  • 3 shots (flu x 2, pre-trip mmr)
  • 162 diaper changes
  • 2 episodes of hives  -__-
  • Rode on subways, trains, taxis, minivans, planes and buses

One day I will regale you with stories of how you would charm flight attendants and passengers like a cheesy car salesman, but my favorite flying memory has been this picture of you:

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We are flying somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and it was 3am PST and they turned on the lights to force feed us breakfast. You popped up from your bassinet and gave us this precious face.

This month we got into our first fight. I was on my way to Palo Alto to run some errands and somewhere along the 15 minute drive you pulled your car seat sunshade down to cover your face. I was not a fan of this because it blocks my rear view mirror view of you. (Which is incredibly valuable when trying to figure out if you had fallen asleep). During a stop light, I reached back and pulled your sunshade up so I could see you. Five seconds later you pulled it down again! We went back and forth: me pulling up, you pulling down… part of me was just amused at the whole situation and wanted to see how long you would play. Well I found out you are quite persistent. We kept fighting until we reached our destination and when I came around to get you, this was the silly face I got:

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You totally know.

The naughtiness has begun.

I know at this age you must just feel like Mommy and Daddy are just killjoys. In addition to pulling up sunshades, we take away your favorite teething toys (read: pulling wires out of your mouth), scoot you away from ledges, cup sharp corners with our hands, wipe your poopy butt 5-7 times a day, make you go to bed and suck boogers from you nose. These days you get the angriest about the butt wipes and booger vacuuming. Son. This is only the beginning. One day you will get angry about curfews, computer time, chores, homework and eating your vegetables. We kinda think it’s cute that you get so angry at us. Lately I have been snarking back at you saying things like “Sorry for clearing your nasal passages SO YOU CAN BREATHE.” (You usually just look at me like I’m crazy and then proceed to complain). I am going to join the cliché chorus of many parents before me and boggle at how parenting your own child makes you marvel at God’s love for us. Even though you and I pretty much get into an MMA fight every time I change your diaper, I will not stop doing it because it’s good for you. And yes in a perfect world I wish you would burp rainbows and giggles every time I changed your diaper, but regardless of his perception of the matter, I am committed to keeping his butt clean. Yes there are times (so many times) parenting is so exhausting, draining and life-sucking. But even in those moments, you never want to stop giving your kid good things. I hope I remember this more often this year. One day I hope you will know the love of your Heavenly Father and how He has given you everything. Then we can laugh at how silly we must look fighting the “diaper changes” in our lives.

Love,
Mama

Milestones

  • 19 lbs (You are heavier, but you look skinnier. Please share your secret.)
  • Baby Puberty Hit Big Time. In a span of 12 days you crawled, pulled up to a stand, cruised, popped out your top two teeth and sprouted your first chest hair. Okay one of those may not be true. But everything else is true! Parenting is all hands on deck now.
  • Favorite Words: Dada (everything is Dada), “T” (the consonant sound), Ah-Da (we think she’s your girlfriend), AHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHH,
  • Clothing Size: 9 month-12 month clothes fit the best
  • Latest sleep thing: We are a officially down to two naps a day with you still doing a big 11-12 hour chunk at night.
  • 4 teeth. And the top two are really gappy. It’s kinda cute.

Toy of the Month

cups

I don’t understand the magic of these things, but I am just rolling with it. I have gotten really good at stacking them and nesting them quickly. My trick is to remember that it goes by stoplight colors and then blue!

Current Nickname

Little Man Man

Month Eight

Dear Wes,

Congratulations! You are officially two thirds of the way done with your first year of life.

More than ever, I wish I could be Ms. Frizzle and travel into your brain. Every day you seem to become less like a baby and more like a little human. Though I do miss the days when your eyes were closed for 75% of the day (which meant lots of cuddles all day long) this new eight month you is so much fun.

(I was taking these pictures on my own that day hence the un-portraity look we got here. #thisis8months)

Wes 8 Months

 

 

The days when you would generously smile for no reason are long gone. Your brain realized that smiling requires work on your end and in turn should require some measure of effort on us to earn those smiles. This month turned your dad and me into groveling jesters. We will deny this to any other living soul, but we may or may not have engaged in strange behaviors such as booty popping dancing, operatic singing and violent raspberry blowing in order to get a laugh from you. I would go as far as to say that I would give up my first-born son to see you laugh but then that would be self-defeating.

 

 

We have been calling you Puppy lately because we will find you chewing on wires (woops), nibbling our toes (gross), and our couch looking like this (ugh):

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Your dad and I held off on getting a dog because we knew it was a lot of work and we just thought we would just have kids instead. I guess we get the best of both worlds in you!

 

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Love,

Mama

Ps. Yes this newsletter is short. No it is not because we don’t love you. One day when you have a 8 month old, you will understand why.

Milestones

 

Since your debut, you have grown about 10 inches and more than tripled your weight. For any adult, this would be horrifying. But this is totally acceptable (and even commendable) for you. Live it up son because take it from me, there will come a day when people won’t think that having chubby cheeks, muffin tops and thigh rolls is essential to being cute. What is worse, one that day you may have to wear pants that aren’t elastic. (I know, it’s a cruel, cruel world).

 

  • Size 3 Diapers. This happened many weeks ago, but I don’t think I have mentioned this officially. We are most comfortable wearing 9-12 month clothes.
  • Weight: Actual weight – 18 lbs 4oz; feels like 25 lbs.
  • New foods: chicken, greek yogurt, parsnips, mom’s leftover penne with meat sauce, apricots, baby mum mum rice crackers, raspberries, happy baby puffs in green apple, sweet potato and purple carrot + blueberries
  • Drinking: Wes is really good at getting water out of the sippy cup. Wes is not so good at knowing when to swallow. He often gets too much water in his mouth and gags and drools water. During mealtimes, I feel like the cautious goodie goodie cautioning a frat boy at a party, “Okay Wes, that’s enough drinking. You don’t want to puke!”
  • Chewing: I have nothing remarkable to say here except that it’s happening. Hurray!
  • Hand to mouth coordination. This was a struggle for Wes for a long time. I would place a puff in the palm of my hand and either he would face plant into my hand in hopes of reaching the puff or push my hand up into his mouth. Wes quickly realized that his pincer grasp was not his forte and would result in only a 30% mouth retention rate. Thankfully with more practice (read: 2 cans of puffs later), he can now grab multiple puffs at a time and bring them to his mouth. The hope is that upon releasing his grasp, one of the four puffs will make into his mouth. This has been relatively successful.
  • Crawling: For the first 2 weeks of crawling, Wes would do the worm in which he would face plant and thrust his hips into the air and inch his way toward us. (This kid will be awesome at dance parties) Though lots of fun to watch, this method of locomotion is exhausting and he was not inclined to crawl unless the reward was really good (like our phones). Now that he is army crawling, he is more willing to move for mundane items like name tag stickers, paper, puffs and sometimes a parent.
  • Our current sleep thing: Bedtime around 6:30pm, pre-dawn milk guzzling around 4:30 am and then back to bed until 7:00 am. The Tiger Mom in me says this is not perfect but the realist mama underneath says I am SO GRATEFUL.

Likes

  • Tags are still a hit, but this new toy has been fun for him (Thanks Uncle Y and Auntie C!)

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  • Undivided attention. Unless you are going to share your computer, phone or ipad with him during play time, Wesley would like to say “Give your alllllll to me… give me allllllll of you”

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Gripes

  • Being asked to stay still during diaper changing times. Wesley will stay still all the way up until the final wipe and then he starts flipping and arching his back. “HOW DARE YOU put a diaper on me!! Clothing is an abomination of my freedom!!!” Newest Future Nudist Colony Resident?(This was taken after Wesley was put in his first time out for an especially rebellious changing session. As you can see below, it went over a little too well.)

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Month Seven


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Photo Credit: Auntie Tina Photography, 2014

[This month I invited Wesley to be my guest blogger.]

Thank you for inviting me to blog! I appreciate the acknowledgement that even though I don’t say anything remotely intelligible, it does not mean I do not have profound thoughts running through my 80+% head.

Dear ______,

Sorry, I don’t really know your name. I know it’s been over seven months that we’ve been living together (you insist that it’s 16 months but whatever, I don’t remember seeing much during that time). It’s definitely gotten to the point in our relationship where so much time has passed, it would be painfully awkward to ask you what your name really is. Thankfully I’ve never really have had an occasion to say your name because you are always following me around. I wake up and you are there. I eat and you are there. I run errands, and you are on the other side of the car listening to Taylor Swift. Heck I can’t even take a poop without you pantsing me within minutes (This is especially embarrassing when you do this in public places. In front of my friends. Even the girls.) The only time you will leave me alone is if I take a nap or go down for the night. What is really puzzling is that when I wake up from my 35 minute nap or anytime before 7 am, you groan like you’re unhappy to see me. Excuse me? Who is the one who won’t leave me alone during the day?

Thinking back on this past month, I would have to say my favorite thing has been hitting up the gym. Gymboree that is. It’s nice seeing other people my age and hanging out together to get a break from just hanging out with our grownups. My favorite thing is this thing they called the Air Log.

 

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It’s this awesome contraption that rocks back and forth. The point of it is to maintain good tummy time posture while the log moves underneath me. As this picture shows, I am kinda awesome at it. Look at that vertical my double chin is getting. My buddy next to me is in awe. Who can blame him? (Hey bro, you gotta lock out those arms.)

Foam Shapes

My second favorite gym activity is when they bust out the foam shapes. We all make a grab for them and stuff our faces with them. Sometimes we take them from each other and then grownups say “Shaaaaare.” I never really hear this word at home. I think it’s what you’re supposed to say to someone else when you take their stuff.

Another fun thing this past month is all the new things I’ve gotten to try. I think when I decided to sit up and grow some teeth, it gave me the license to eat other things. (Don’t get me wrong. I still love milk. There’s nothing like warm milk that makes me go omnomnom.) But when I want something to cleanse my milky palate, it’s been nice to be offered some fresh local fruits and vegetables cubes zapped in the microwave. So far my favorites have been butternut squash, carrots, apricots, peas, sweet potatoes, peaches, pears and bananas. A non favorite of mine is green beans. Blech!!

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I hate green beans. Despite my obvious distaste for them, I know you sometimes you hide them amidst other vegetables. Because I don’t want to offend my personal chef, I often oblige. May I suggest hiding them in ice cream? I hear that’s a winning pairing.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Hugs and drooly kisses to all,

Wes

[back to Candy blogging]

Milestones

  • Weight – 17.8 lbs (home scale approximation)
  • Sitting up! We think that bringing him to Gymboree actually accelerated this milestone as he saw everyone else around him sitting and crawling. hahaah he was shamed into sitting!

 

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  • Longest sleeping stretch 6:15 pm to 7am. Hallefreakinglujah. I definitely do not claim to have any idea on how to replicate this with any consistency but will be more than happy to share my experience in a future blog post to provide fodder for discussion or encouragement to the sleepyheaded parents.
  • But long sleeping stretches mean shorter naps all day long. Crap. I am realizing that I need to get to bed a lot earlier so that I can spend all day playing with Wes.
  • We have 2 teeth making their way through! They are definitely visible! We are now regretting the teaching Wes the game of letting him gum our fingers now that those gums have very very sharp incisors attached to them.

Likes

  • Tags. Babies love tags!! This toy is currently getting so much love in our household:

 

Gripes

WARNING. POOP TALK.

  • Pooping – When we started solids, it naturally made his poops solid. Wes was not into pooping solids. There is this relaxation that needs to happen before pooping. Well when you are scared of pooping and clench, it only leads to discomfort and trauma when trying to poop. There was definitely an afternoon on the changing table when I was holding his legs while he was crying, tears streaming down his face and pooping while I yelled “Push!! Push!!” TBT to labor and delivery!