Treasury love

Thought I would share one of the treasuries I put together recently. Haven’t had a chance to do too many lately, but squeeze one in here & there when I can. I’m really enjoying the feel of this treasury in particular. Looking forward to sharing Christmas morning with my little family this year.

Eleven whole months

Ok, seriously, we’re only one month from the big 1st birthday celebration!! C-r-a-z-y!

Sam laughing at 11 months oldI have no idea where this little man is at with his height & weight these days. He definitely just finished a growth spurt because for about five days he was a bottom-less pit for food.

One more tooth popped through on the bottom and there seems to be some more teething going on right now.

He is now officially a bookworm. He spends more time with books than he does with toys & has now started to “read” a bit on his own. Very adorable.

Sam is trying to master page turning, but we still have some ripping accidents with the picture books. Board books really do serve a purpose for babies of a certain age.

He is definitely in charge of choosing which books to read these days. Simply read the title out loud and he will let youSam smiling at 11 months old know if he wants that particular book or not.

And seriously, his favorite books are always the cat books. Since last month, we’ve gone to the library twice and both times come away with a new cat book. Each time, the cat book becomes the beloved fav that we read a dozen times a day. The first of these was Kitty Up! by Elizabeth Wojtusik. The second was & still remains I Like Cats by Patricia Hubbell.

The most exciting thing around here these days has been watching Sam CRAWL. Yes, he can crawl, a bit anyway. He just started forward crawling at the end of last week and goes through little spurts of it & then forgets that he can.

Besides the crazy five days of eating everything offered to him, eat & feeding have been a bit frustrating. I think he’s just finally ready to be more in charge of feeding himself Sam watching snow at 11 months oldand we’re going through the awkward stage where he hasn’t figured out quite how to do that. We’re introducing lots of finger foods now that he finally has teeth to chew with & the desire to feed himself. Yay, for lots of mess!

OMgosh! I almost forgot THE most important part of this month!! Sam now takes all of his naps in his crib! I was getting more & more nervous having him napping in our bed or on the couch. We attempted naps in the crib back in the summer, but Sam wasn’t ready then and it totally started screwing up his night-time sleep, so we didn’t push it. I had a feeling though, that he was finally ready for this change. It went so smoothly, a tiny bit of crying, but nothing like before. And now that he knows the routine, he seems happy to take naps in his crib. Big step for baby boy, and a huge relief for this mama (I actually get to craft while he naps now)!Pensive Sam at 11 months old

And could he be more like his father?! Sam loves the cold air, fresh breezes, snow falling on his face. Take him outside and his face lights up with a big smile, even in the cold. Oh our winter baby! We really DO need to get a sled so we can go tromping around in the snow.

Only two more weeks till little man gets to celebrate his 1st Christmas! Can’t wait!

Little hands making rainbows

Last month, while Sam was teething and in need of some serious distraction, I decided to try out some finger painting with him. I’d seen random ideas for doing finger painting with babies on Pinterest and opted for the plastic bag method (as trying to clean up a teething, grumpy baby would only lead to more rage).

Baby finger painting suppliesI used a large freezer bag, some acrylic paint left from my art school days, packing tape and a piece of board intended for an artist palette. I wanted to be able to place it on the floor, so that Sam could get “into it” a bit more than making him sit up at a table.

Baby finger painting prepI squeezed some paint into the freezer bag (next time I will use more paint so it’s easier for him to squish it around). Then closed the bag up nice & tight and taped it down to the board.

Baby finger paintingThen I plopped it down on the floor in front of him. He wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. I showed him how the colours squished & moved around. Eventually he got interested in touching each colour and was soon squishing a bit on his own.

Baby finger painting 2(Getting more into it)

Baby finger painting 3(I love his chubby little hands!)

Baby finger painting 4

Overall it was a nice activity. Quick set-up and clean-up (just pulled the bag off the board and tossed the bag into the garbage). No mess on the baby (I recommend you ensure that baby’s nails are clipped short to avoid ripping holes in the bag). And lots of fun to watch him explore. We will be doing more of this soon, for sure.

Ten whole months (and a bit)

Sam playing with toysThis post is a bit late. And my iPad keeps losing all my previous attempts to write this, so it will be brief. Sam has been sick again. I came down with his cold, just when he was finally feeling better. Hubby’s work schedule has changed over the past couple weeks. Four days off, which is wonderful, but the three days a week he does work, are very loooong days (we’re all still adjusting to that). Needless to say, things have felt hectic, chaotic, a little isolating, and now there’s lots of catching up to do.

A few weeks ago, Sam weighed 24.5 lbs.

He’s still growing, still getting taller.

His one little tooth that started popping through last month, quickly turned into five and now six (he’s quite ambitious).

Sam with Doctor Meow bookLoving his new toothy smile.

His new fav book is Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Llyod (I’m sensing a cat theme, since his last fav book was this).

Story time takes up a good chunk of our days. He’s quite content and very insistent that you read, re-read and read again the same few books.

Some of his evening time is now filled with helping mama & papa with laundry. We tip the basket over, sort diapers, play with clothes pins (he’s fascinated with them) and ride in the basket.

When all else fails, hold a grumpy, crying, sick baby up to the window so he can watch the snow fall. Silence and smiles ensue. Ahhhhh…

Sam with Big Red Barn bookA clean sewing room creates a safe & interesting place for baby to play while mama attempts to do a little crafting (especially since I’ve had orders come in).

A clean sewing room is saving mama’s sanity these days.

A super special, soft, silky blanket with satin binding is saving Sam’s sanity these days. It’s his new fav thing and he can’t sleep without it now. My baby boy has an official blankie!

Still no forward crawling, although he can go backwards a bit.

He can pull himself up into a sitting position from the ground.

He tries to climb into my lap and loves to grab onto my pant legs while I’m standing.

Sam with The Snowy Day bookWe’re realizing just how much of a cuddle bug our little boy is, and enjoying every minute of it.

We’re enjoying the musical stylings of Taylor Swift these days, thanks to a special friend (you know who you are!). Sam likes to bob his head along and thinks it’s amusing when mama dances.

His fav foods these days include yogurt, liver wurst, arrowroot cookies, Annie’s pasta, cheese, and pepperoni sticks.

Three surprising new things he seems to enjoy are my curried chicken in coconut sauce, curried carrot & ham soup, and grits.

Loving his new Padraig Cottage booties (made in Canada)! Thanks for turning on us to them, Lisa! We went with the most colourful pair we could find, of course. Rainbows for my baby!!

And I’m sure there’s just so much more that happens each day that I miss, or take for granted. All the different ways he plays, explores, sleeps, and communicates. Things are changing so quickly. Feels like that’s the way it has been since we welcomed him into the world. And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that slowing. Getting very excited for his first Christmas, and then his first birthday in January! First birthday?!?! Crazy!

Nine Whole Months

Here we go! Nine months feels like quite the milestone and indeed our little Sam has experienced a number of big “firsts” in the past couple of weeks.

Sam in the leavesHe now weighs 23.5 lbs.

He used his passport for the first time to take a road trip (yes, road trip) to Colorado.

We’re all loving the musical stylings of Elizabeth Mitchell, which got us through some tough moments in the car on the road trip.

Sam can be soothed when sung Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Bird song, which hubby & I are now incredible good at singing.

Other fav music choices by Sam is the Backyardigans intro theme song. He only cares a little about the show itself, but loves to bop along to the theme music.

Sam has been enjoying FaceTime with the grandparents. They have to have Sam in leaves 2their Sammy fix even a thousand miles away.

He finally came down with his first cold (all that travelling you know).

He also had his first trip to the ER at the Alberta Children’s Hospital because we weren’t sure what was going on with him (until two days later he got congested).

His first tooth has chosen to start popping through while he’s sick (it’s been really fun at our house this past week).

Favourite ways of dealing with his teething discomfort, chewing on pepperoni sticks, pickles, and pine cones (his choice, not mine).

You can also divert his anger from the pain by letting him shred paper. We have dubbed this “rage paper” time. He seems to find it very Zen. When all else fails just hand him a piece of paper, or better yet, a paper bag.

His current fav book is I Am a Kitten.

He was finally Dedicated at our church this past Thanksgiving weekend, surrounded by family and friends.

Sam continues his love of nature, pulling at the grass, crunching leaves between his fingers and even eating dirt.

And that’s our little man these days. Looking forward to the rest of his very first autumn, my absolute fav time of year. Can’t wait to share it with him!

Eight Whole Months

Sam at 8 months smilingSam at 8 months laughingSam at 8 months smiling2
Yep, that’s my silly Sam. And eight months old now! Wow! That means there’s only four months till his first birthday!! That’s crazy.

Well, this month’s post is going to be a bit different for several reasons. One of the main ones being that this mama is feeling very weary and as much as I love talking about my Sam, I just don’t have it in me right now. But there’s several photos for you to get your fill and I’ll give you the “Cole’s Notes” version:

Weight is now 22.6 lbs.

He sits up on his own really well.

He plays with his toys.

Loves his big trucks (such a boy).

Is slowly outgrowing the Jolly Jumper & ExerSaucer.

Has discovered swings at the park.

There’s an official passport with his photo on it.

He might have an issue with dairy.

Which is too bad since his love for yogurt might revival that of pears & bananas.

Enjoys hanging out in his funky new high chair.

Loves water from his sippy cup.

Is happy to chew on pepperoni sticks, fresh beans from the garden, and juicy plums.

Rolls, squirms, wiggles his way around the house. No crawling yet.

(Still) no teeth yet.

His best friend is Chloe (the cat) who has been oddly patient & loving towards him.

Still naps on the couch with mama after failed attempts to get him to sleep in his crib.

Bedtime and night sleeping isn’t quite as easy as it was, but not as bad as it has been in the past.

Slowly getting more hair, and man, is it red! Looks like we’ll have a ginger on our hands, at least for a few years anyway.

His laughs & smiles & giggles melt my heart.

Playful Sam at 8 months

Sam at 8 months napping

Sam at 8 months sleeping

Seven Whole Months (and a bit)

Sam with milk lipsYes, yes, I’m behind on posting. Busy weekend followed by a busy Monday trying to catch up with everything, but now Sam is in bed & mommy can get down to the business of blogging and drinking wine.

Little man was weighed and measured about 10 days ago and he hasn’t really stopped growing. Yay for super thriving baby!! Plus my arms are looking and feeling pretty buff these days. That’s what happens when you have a seven month old who weighs 21 lbs, 3.5 oz!! And he feels like he’s getting taller every day, although the measurement on this from the clinic didn’t seem that accurate. It only indicated 3/4″ increase, which is silly given the number of things he’s grown out of! And the number of notches he’s had to move up on the Jolly Jumper!

Sam is still nursing away and we’ve been busy introducing himSam making faces with his tongue to all sorts of different foods. Texture is still a big issue. He is slowly liking a bit more chunky things, but only just slightly. He’s still very much a puree kind of guy for now. He has some new favs though. Sam’s absolute favorite is pear, followed closely by banana, then sweet potato. Also, a big hit, blackberry yogurt. Yum! He finally tried his first bit of meat, chicken, and we’re hoping to try eggs and ground beef soon. We’ve started giving him long slices of cucumber and carrots (raw or pickled) to chew on after meals and he often enjoys that. Must feel good on the gums. Anyway, the food thing is quite the adventure for all of us.

Sleep. Yes, last time I wrote about it, we were all quite sleep deprived. It continued for another week and got to the point where he would only sleep if I was holding him. I spent a few nights on the couch with him and got very little rest. We decided that things were just deteriorating too much. Hubby and I were fighting a lot, more than we ever had before, evenSweet Sam through other difficult times. Sam was really unhappy during the day, because he was so tired. We realized we just couldn’t continue on like this. So we picked up a copy of “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” by Dr. Richard Ferber. I know, some of you might be cringing or even getting angry at our choice, but we really felt it was the solution for us. We talked to a number of different couples who had done various types of sleep training with their babies and kids. Some had done the Ferber method, others had used elements of the Ferber method to create their own sleep training. To be honest, I had some hesitation in doing it, but also knew that our little family couldn’t keep on doing what we were doing. Hubby was keen on the Ferber method, so that’s what we went with. In the end, after reading the book, some of my concerns were eliminated. We also quickly decided to stick with our own nap plan during the day, not a Ferber nap plan. The first night of sleep training was pretty difficult. The second night was so drastically better, it was hard to believe!Silly Sam Instead of crying 20 min, he cried 6 min! By the third and fourth night, he was sleeping beautifully. And what a difference the restful sleep made to Sam and our entire household during the day! We had our happy baby boy back!

Now certainly, I would agree, that the Ferber method doesn’t work for every child or situation. Dr. Ferber himself makes no such claim. He’s pretty straightforward in saying, if you see no improvement after 7 days, then reassess the situation. For us, in our current sleep stage, it seems to have helped greatly, and I stand by our choice to do this with Sam. The sleep training encouraged us to develop a consistent bedtime routine, which includes the hour leading up to bed. We try to wind things down for him, we don’t have the TV on, we refrain from putting him in the Jolly Jumper or Exersaucer. Mostly we cuddle on the couch, or have floor time together. Then we have a consistent bedtime and routine each night (feeding, diapering, PJs, story time, bed). Sam LOVES it!! HeSam talking gets so happy when you head to his room to start the bedtime routine, it’s pretty cute.

What else has he been up to…? Oh, talking! Sam is such a chatter box nowadays, with a whole range of noises! It’s fun to see his vocal skills developing and his attempts at communication. Still has yet to say his first word. Not even sure what age that might be a possibility.

Sam has had several babysitting experiences lately. He still won’t take a bottle of milk (even in a sippy cup, although he loves water from his sippy cup, go figure). So that makes it a bit tricky for evenings. Mama has to get home for his final bedtime feeding. Other than that though, he is easily able to go three hour stretches with Grandma Janice. I say “easily” because I get to miss out on the hard crying that inevitably comes while I’m away, but food & entertainment wise he isSam rolling on floor good for that bit during the day. It has been so nice to go the movies, test drive cars, a crafty afternoon with friends, even made it out to the UFC night (my longest stretch away at 6 hours)! That long stretch is not something we would typically try to do, but it’s nice to know that I can pop out for a bit of a break these days.

Doesn’t feel like we’ve had a ton of adventures over the summer months. An occasional trip to the zoo, an attempt at the Riley Park wading pool (not a hit since little man still hates getting wet), some random drives through the countryside as hubby and I look at potential farm properties, and short jaunts to the library. Until we got the sleep issues resolved and everyone more rested, it felt like we were trapped at home for a while. We’ve been enjoying simple activities like eating out on the back deck, Sammy included, and sitting in the grass on a blanket. Sam is getting better every day at sitting up by himself. There’s still theSam's Eye flop-and-bonk and tears, but he definitely enjoys exploring his world from this new view.

We’re trying to get ourselves organized to go on Sam’s first big road trip in the fall. We’ve got the new car, a more comfortable car seat for baby boy, and taking regular drives to get him used to longer stretches in the car. Still need to get his passport and a storage box to go on top of the car. Our destination is Colorado Springs. So ya, that will be our interesting adventure for the year. I think the drive will be enjoyable with baby boy, as long as, we just take each chunk of the day as it comes, let go of expectations, and take the time to explore things we’d miss if we didn’t have a baby slowing down our travels. If it was just us adults, we could do the drive in two days, stay in a hotel a single night, but with Sam along, I’m sure it will take at least three days, four if he has a bad day. Good thing hubby and I like road trips! It’s how we prefer to travel when possible (airplanes & I aren’t the best of buds). In fact taking Sam on an airplane stresses me out more than thinking about being stuck in a car with him for a few days. If I’m uncomfortable on planes, can you imagine how he would be (since these little guys pick up on everything and their moods are entirely influenced by their parents)!? Plus it will be fun to take the new car out on a long trip. AND the best part will be finally visiting all my family in Colorado, most of whom I haven’t gotten to see in about seven years! It will be wonderful for them to meet little Sam!

So here we go, another month down, so many more to go with baby boy!

One Moment

(One moment in a busy week, captured in a photograph. Time to slow down, reflect, give thanks, and enjoy.)

Baby crochetCrochet
Granny square
Crochet hook
One person
Baby boy
Lower half
Bare feet
*Finally a bit of craft time to save my sanity*

Six whole months

Naked Sam at six monthsI can not believe that Sam is now SIX months old!! Oi! And this past month feels like it has seriously flown by. I ws trying to think of things to write for this post and a lot of the month is quite a blur. That might partly be due to lack of sleep, though (more details on that to follow).

Last time we checked Sam’s weight, which was a month ago, he was just shy of 19 lbs and he was 27″ tall. Basically he’s sitting in the 85 percentile for both height and weight. He was still packing on 2 lbs a month, but I’m really, really hoping that has slowed a bit. He’s got to be over 20 lbs now, but just hoping he hasn’t surpassed his best friend Simon, who is seven months older than he is! Oh my not-so-little man who is just too adorable no matter how big or small. When people see him and then find out how old (or rather how young) he is, they usually respond, “Well, you must sure have some good fatty milk!” Yes, yes indeed.

Sam eating green beansOf course, the nice thing that has been slowly developing over the past month or two is that Sam isn’t eating nearly as often as he used to. And just after he turned five months old, we started introducing him to puréed foods and a bit of oat cereal. It was slow going at first, and we still have hit-and-miss days with the food (as to be expected, I’m sure), but there has definitely been improvement. After an afternoon with Grandma Janice, who fed him cereal because he still won’t take a bottle, he really started liking the pablum. And now that I have borrowed my friend’s Baby Bullet, I can more easily get food to the texture and consistency that Sam likes. So far he has tried avocado, sweet potato, apple, nectarine, green beans, pumpkin, turnip, and mango. The sweet potato was by far the biggest hit, followed closely by pumpkin. And I think most of that was due to texture. Oh and a cute little quirk, one we should have anticipated given Sam’s hate of plastic bottle nipples and soothers… he won’t eat off a plastic baby spoon. Ya, I know! So picture me scrambling around trying to find a wooden baby spoon. Found a little wooden spoon spreader at a gourmet cooking shop and now have ordered some hand carved spoons from an Etsy artisan out of Manitoba, Canadian Wood Crafts. Oh my sweet boy…

Sam and MarcusTwo developments on the sleeping front. One, I gave up trying to swaddle him and he is now just in a sleep sack at night. It was a battle I had been kean to give up on for a while, but he just seemed unable to sleep long periods without being swaddled. But then the second thing started happening so long periods of sleep weren’t happening anyways. The second event is still a mystery to me, but basically about three nights a week (sometimes more) Sam wakes every 20 minutes to every hour. The longest period of sleep might be less than two hours. It makes for a looong frustrating night. And this mama is quite the grumpy bear in the morning, as is baby and hubby. We know he’s teething, so that’s part of it. But we suspect there might be more going on, since you can often get him to sleep rocking him in your arms. Maybe that’s enough to comfort him from the pain most nights, or maybe he’s got some issues with not wanting to sleep alone, or there’s that dreaded sleep regression thing…who knows. I certainty don’t, otherwise we would have sorted it out and all be getting good, restful sleep! If you have any advice on this issue at all, please feel free to comment. Would love to hear your opinions or personal experiences!

Marcus holding SamOn the flip side, one of the fun developments this month is his new found joy, the Jolly Jumper! My parents bought him one and it stands in the corner of our living room, where he jumps to his heart’s content! It didn’t take long at all for him to figure out the jumping motion and how to turn around in it. Now he wants to do “jolly jumpums” all the time! Even when you’re holding him! And especially after he’s been stuck in the car for a while.

Speaking of cars, every week he has been getting increasingly more uncomfortable in his infant car seat. And no wonder! He’s almost outgrown the thing! Never could I have imagined that by six months we would be buying another car seat for him! But we did and it arrived on Monday and hubby just finished installing it, so we’ll see if it makes car rides more enjoyable for baby boy (time for a road trip!). This is the one we ended up buying. It converts all the way through to the booster seat stage, so we shouldn’t have to buy anything else for Sam. We have also started using the big stroller seat in his UPPAbaby stroller, instead of clicking in his infant seat. It seems to have really increased the time he’s willing to spend in the stroller which is helpful and he has returned to taking naps in it while we walk around.

I’m sure there’s been other special moments and little things, but can’t think of any more right now. I tell ya, these months are going by more quickly! Feels like we’re going to be writing the post for month seven in a blink of an eye!

One Moment

(One moment in a busy week, captured in a photograph. Time to slow down, reflect, give thanks, and enjoy.)

Baby boy
Nap time
*Naps snuggled with your baby = little slice of heaven*