Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Holiday Musings

I promise not to post soley Christmas-related material for the next month. Ok, scratch that. We all know it's probably not true, so let's just say I'll try my best to make them interesting.

The other night we took Preston to see the downtown Santa because we didn't make it to the big lighting the night before Thanksgiving. We bundled him up and stood in the parking lot, squealing and clapping our hands until his eyes finally caught the giant blinking Santa. I think he enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we did. Go figure. Here he is staring at the lights:

Then we raced home to watch the original "Charlie Brown Christmas Special." We watch it ever year, because- truth be told- Kevin is obsessed with it. He loves the message about non-commercialism during the holiday season and even though we try to limit Preston's TV time, dad "felt good" about him watching this! ;) And watch it, he did! This kid was GLUED to the TV screen. I'm not sure if it was the lights, the children's voices, or simply the spirit of the positive message (the most likely reason) that Preston was so enthralled with, but he certainly enjoyed it. Just look at him totally zoned-out while it was on.

During the special, Kevin decided that Charlie and Preston share a resemblance.

You may notice in the background of the picture we have our neighborhood traveling "Red Rider Leg Lamp" from the movie A Christmas Story set up. Preston has been a fan of this the past couple of days, but last night, while Kevin was wearing him in the bjorn, it caught his eye and he started laughing hysterically. The biggest belly laugh and giggle we've ever heard out of him. I scrambled for my camera to catch the laugh fest on video, but could only get this shot. We'll see if it can tickle his fancy again and I'll be more prepared to catch it on tape... it's totally worth it. I'm not sure who was laughing harder, us or him.

Recently, I snapped this and wanted to share because we can't help but crack up at the look on his face. It reminded us of the following video:

In a more general (non-holiday theme) update- Preston weighed 13lbs and 10 oz yesterday at his weigh-in during our moms group meeting. What a big healthy boy he's becoming!!! Last week and the week before, I was in a panic because I thought he might not be reaching and grasping for objects (other than my hair and necklaces) as much as my development books said he should be. Never fear- he has started deliberately grasping and holding onto objects now (phew!) and even began bringing them up to his mouth. His mouth, which just so happens to be constantly drooling lately. I'm wondering if this could mean teething is his next step?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Kickoff!

And so it begins...the holiday season is upon us already. I have to admit- Kevin and I are both giddy with excitement. It's our favorite time of year and we are definitely that annoying couple who put their tree up too early, are in a great mood for a solid 8 weeks and look the other way when department stores bring out Christmas gear in October.

This year, Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning for Kevin and me. Preston has come into our lives and filled our hearts with more love than we could have ever dreamed of. Last year at this time, we were grieving the loss of our twins, and yet balancing that grief with faith that we would be fortunate enough to conceive again. We had no idea it would happen so quickly, nor how lucky we would be to- just a year later- be celebrating the life of our beautiful three month old. Thursday was a wonderful day at my Aunt Laura's house. With tons of food and drink and lots of hands eagerly awaiting their turn with Preston. My cousins, Austin and Cameron loved taking turns holding him and Cam even compiled a huge stash of his favorite books and stuffed animals that he had "outgrown." (Not to mention we snagged a very cool set of wooden block toys...thanks, Aunt Laura!!!) My Uncle Larry who lives in Dallas was also in town and hasn't seen Preston since he was a newborn in the hospital so it was great that they got some time together, too. Preston was a little disappointed that he was unable to partake in stuffing himself with the Thanksgiving meal, but we reminded him many times that next year, he'd have a full plate with the rest of us. (And hopefully the tryptophan will make him nice and tired.)
With Cameron and Austin: (Better known to my family as Cameroonie and Schmosser because we have to come up with nicknames for everyone.)

And with Uncle Larry: (Uncle Orley- but there's a story behind that nickname.)

Friday morning, we made the drive back to Fort Wayne and P was a little fussy before leaving, (see below) so we were thrilled when he slept the entire way home.

We had big plans on Wednesday to get our Christmas decorations out and put them up in the evening, but let me tell ya- we were SHOCKED at how difficult that was to do with a non-mobile baby! I can't imagine how women with more than one or with a walker/crawler do it! Good Lord, what used to take us all of 2 hours to complete inside and out, took the course of an evening and we still weren't finished, so thankfully, Grandma Judy came to the rescue. (Yet again!) And watched Preston during the day so that we could get it done. Here are some shots of Preston checking out the lights as we passed him back and forth while decorating the tree:

Friday evening, we attended the annual “Festival of Trees” celebration at Fort Wayne's Embassy Theater. We've gone a few times before and it's a beautiful wonderland of decorated tress and lights. I was so excited to take Preston this year and even though he slept through most of it, when he woke up, he was amazed at all there was to be seen!

We are so excited for Preston's first holiday season! Stay tuned for more pictures of him exploring this time of year throughout the next few weeks. Off to do some Christmas shopping- Hope everyone enjoyed their Turkey day! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What a week!

Wow! I haven't posted here in over a week. Time just seems to get away from me these days. Where has the fall gone, by the way? I can't believe we are getting ready to celebrate Preston's first string of Holidays!

I'm currently experiencing my first big bout of maternal guilt. I totally over-scheduled us this week. Constantly making sure we get out of the house is a big priority to me, but sometimes in my quest to do so, I begin to wonder if I'm doing too much for Preston's little newborn self. Finding activities and joining groups has actually been easy, it's been allowing Preston to adapt that has been the difficult part. Although, probably more difficult on me than on him. Sometimes I tell myself that it's good that he can sleep on the go right now and to take advantage of it. However, we "feed-on-demand" so that often means attempting to nurse in public, or sometimes in the car, a dressing room, or a quick stop home in between errands only to run out the door again. I know that we want him to be adaptable and able to feel comfortable with an occasional change in routine, but there are definitely times that I worry we are doing too much. I guess that worry just comes with my new job-description as a mom. If we weren't out and about so much, I'd probably worry then that we were being hermits.

However, we do have fun when we stay busy and Preston seems un-phased at this age- usually oblivious to the fact he could be snoozing at home. This week for example, we had so much going on, but he did exceptionally well and other than some occasional fussiness, I don't think it threw him off too much.
Here he is telling me about how busy we were this week:

"I think therefore I am"

Monday- Grammy Dawn came to Fort Wayne and we spent a fun day of lunch and shopping. He got some new goodies from Gymboree and we had a great meal at Casa. Overall, we were gone about 5 hours and he did great and never fussed. He napped in the car and at the mall. I always say the mall is an easy place to take him because I can feed or change him easily in dressing rooms.

Tuesday- We started our Mommy and Me Yoga class at the Kachmann Center. It was so funny to see all of us moms try to relax as their babies fussed and squirmed, but so worth it to enjoy their company and get some fun bonding time with my little man. It begins at 10 - right when Preston has been putting himself down for a nap lately, so he actually slept through the first half of the class! We worked on some poses that help with digestion, which as many of you know, he really needs! After class, we popped into the art museum so that the staff could meet him. They are such wonderful people and sent a generous gift when Preston was born, so it was nice to finally take him in and show him off a little! Then, we met Karen and baby Eduardo for a bite to eat, so we felt like total social butterflies.
At mommy and me class:

Wednesday- Preston and I actually went to look at a house in our area that is for sale. We are constantly keeping an eye out for something larger and affordable. Afterwards, we headed to a Le Leche League meeting, then out to run errands with Aunt Holli, who is finally (knock on wood) starting to feel better as she enters the second trimester of her pregnancy!

Thursday- It was Nana's birthday, so we drove to meet Daddy at work, and lent the Passat to a marketing project LaBov was doing with Volkswagen, then headed up to Angola with Ruby to hit the outlets, a purse party and dinner with Great Grams, Aunt Rosanne and Uncle Bob, Papa Sherm and Nana. It was a cold and yucky day to be at the lake, but again, Preston slept in the car for most of the ride and did pretty well being out of town for the day.

Friday was a fun day! P sat in the bumbo for the first time which was a big deal. He liked it at first, but after awhile, decided he was much too small to be expected to sit in a seat all by himself and that naturally, he should be held at all times, so our bumbo adventure was cut short. But at least mommy got a picture first!

As I mentioned before, Friday morning we had plans to get together with the talented Betsy King, her husband, John, and their *adorable* and sweet son, Miles at a local coffee shop and they were kind enough to take some absolutely phenomenal pictures of Preston. I am so thrilled to have some shots of him at three months old. I've said before that I try to catch good snap shots on our little digital camera, but these are so beautiful and really capture his expression. They even got one mid-yawn! Here is a sneak peak of a few of my favorites, but check back for a more extensive collection soon!!


Lastly, Kevin's brother Mark got married this weekend so there was much excitement and many festivities to attend. Preston came along with us to the rehearsal dinner, but thankfully skipped the wedding and reception. After the rehearsal on Friday night, we got home late and Kevin was walking him around facing outwards, like he often does, when I looked up and noticed Preston had crashed in Daddy's arms (understandably after a day of bumbo-sitting, modeling, and rehearsal dinnering.) ...check this out:

CONGRATULATIONS, MARK AND NICOL!!!! What a great ending to a busy but fun week for us.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

sleep strike

It seems Preston has been inspired by the current Writer's Guild strike and has decided to stage a strike of his own- on sleep. The catch phrase in my books and amongst new moms seems to be "good sleep begets good sleep." Which means good naps during the day = good sleep at night. Yesterday he didn't nap well and last night he was up several times and didn't fall back to sleep well. So I don't think it was a coincidence. As I type, he's in the swing- babbling away to himself, so let's just say I don't have high hopes for tonight, either. No naps during the day means no break for mom and that makes for a full day of rocking, soothing, nursing, playing and unfortunately, on mornings like this one- cleaning up dog puke in the midst of being exhausted.

BUT- I don't mean to complain. Every single day he gets easier, and even despite the lack of sleep, he's really beginning to enjoy play and interaction, which we are LOVING! Preston's favorite book right now is "Brown Bear Brown Bear" by Eric Carle. If you are familiar with Eric Carle"s books, you know that the illustrations are perfect for babies. They are large, colorful and almost geometrical which is great for Preston at this stage. I love watching him stare at the pages and change his facial expressions with the cadence of our voices. Ok, ok...I know that every mom thinks her baby is smart, but for an 11 week old, I feel like he certainly focuses for a long time during books and play. He also smiles HUGE now and laughs or talks with us when we are playing. He's starting to like hand-type games like "This Little Piggy," "Pat-a-cake," and "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." And although my IQ has probably dropped a good 10 points in the last few months, I know that his is developing and for now, that's all that matters. It's such a treat getting to interact with him.

He had a doctor's appointment on Monday of this week and he's now up to 12 pounds, 12 ounces- more than doubling his birth weight and his length was 23.5 inches. 4.5 inches longer than he was when he was born. Holy fat baby- this kid is getting big!! Which is easily felt when we pick up his infant seat. We are still exclusively breastfeeding, so I love knowing that every ounce he's gained is because I've been able to meet his nutritional needs.

However, he's getting so big that he's outgrowing some of his DARLING 0-3 month outfits, (which of course breaks my heart) so I decided to set him up in the glider in his room and snap a picture of him each morning when we get dressed in order to remember him at this stage on a daily basis and "preserve" all the cute clothes he won't be wearing much longer. Here's a few of them:

Going to vote on election day:

Can you tell I love this kid in hats?


And just for fun- some love from Ruby:

As you can see, I'm no photographer, which is why I was planning on getting some professional pics taken of him at 3 months old. Not knowing where to turn, I cleverly tricked a newish mommy-friend, Betsy, who just so happens to be a talented photographer in the midst of building a wildly successful photography business, into "meeting for coffee" next week. (insert devious laugh here) Just kidding- the poor thing has kindly offered to take some shots of P, so I am eagerly taking her up on it, while getting to enjoy some adult conversation and caffeine. Caffeine that is badly needed during this sleep strike. Come to think of it, maybe we should be meeting for drinks.

Stay tuned for more- this weekend is a big one... an Erb family gathering on Friday, and his first road-trip to Elkhart on Saturday. Crossing my fingers that Preston decides he LOVES his carseat before we embark on a long drive.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

P the Pepper

Preston's Halloween costume was a big hit! He was a chili pepper and I thought it was adorable. He wore it to the costume parade at the breastfeeding mom's group that I attend on Wednesdays and also around to visit family and friends in the neighborhood last night. As you can see, he didn't love it as much as we loved seeing him in it and by the end of the day, he'd had enough and needed to call it quits on trick-or-treating a little early. It was so much fun to see him all dressed up for his first Halloween!

With Karen and Eduardo:

With the whole group:

"Get me the hell outta this thing!"

Little Pumpkin: