Monday, August 29, 2011

favorite toys

my toddler is starting to figure out that different toys are meant to be played with in different ways.  this is a big improvement from the days of exploring basically everything by eating it.  of course, i had thought that he finally understood that mulch was not for eating, when he shoveled several handfuls in during playgroup just a few days ago.....

it's still a learning curve apparently. 

he is showing much more interest in books.  he will sit in my lap and read 5 or 6 books before deciding to get up and walk away.  as we turn each page he likes to point to everything in the book, even on pages when there isn't a texture to feel (though most of his favorite books are the ones with textures).  i wonder if he does this because i am often pointing out what things in the book are to him. hmmmm

he knows that blocks are for stacking and knocking over.

he knows that balls are for throwing or kicking.  

he thinks any railing, gate, or elevated surface is for climbing.

he loves to "vroom" cars around by pushing them back and forth.

when he was playing with gabe the other day i actually saw him soaring/vrooming an airplane around in the air!  i am not sure if that was a coincidence or if it was intentional.  there are airplanes in one of his baby sign movies so you never know....

he also knows that babies are for hugging, kissing and rocking.  this doesn't mean that he never throws his baby, but it does mean that he seems to understand a little bit of what nurture is all about. 

i love seeing him play with his little doll and i am so glad that i had no shame about purchasing a baby (it was just from a consignment shop) for my son to play with.  

i would say that hands down, however, his favorite activity doesn't require any toys at all.  he loves to be outside.  especially now that he can walk around himself, he can explore everything in a new way and doesn't need anything else to entertain him.  i am not sure what we are going to do with him this winter.

get him some good snow boots, i guess.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Team Spirit

Hendrix is having a tailgate-themed birthday party next weekend and the jury is still out about which team he is rooting for.  Which colors do you think look better on him?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

my breastfeeding journey has come to an end

It's official. Hendrix is done nursing.  It has been about a week since his last successful feeding and I think my milk is completely gone. The weaning was mostly painless because Hendrix did it all.  He just decided he was done. Just like that.

I am feeling mixed emotions about this.

It was my goal to make it to a year and since we are just a few short weeks away from that I will consider that goal pretty much accomplished.  It is interesting to think back along the journey.

In the very beginning, because he was a preemie, I had to pump to get his milk and then it was fortified (to help him gain weight quickly) and fed to him in a special bottle.  The nurses in the NICU were the ones that did this for the first couple of days.  

Then he got really good at eating, and the baton was passed to me to do the feedings.  It took several hard weeks of transitioning to get him to the point where he could successfully eat from my breast, and even then we had to alternate that with giving him my milk from a bottle so we made sure that he didn't exhaust himself and got plenty to eat.

In the beginning we were waking him every 3 hours day and night to feed him; which included both my pumping, and then giving him the bottle.  Looking back now, I can't believe how hard that was.  
I can't believe that I didn't give up.  
I am so glad that I had the support system of my husband and my mother encouraging me that it was worth it.  It was.  It most definitely was.

When he finally got to the point where he could eat himself and I didn't need to pump, I stopped pumping.  I actually even considered throwing the pump away because I was so sick of pumping!  Oh, and I had a freezer so full of milk that I couldn't fit anything else in it.  It seemed ridiculous because he wasn't drinking any bottles.....but it was really nice when he started eating cereal and I was able to mix it with breastmilk.

My sweet little boy started filling out and packing on the pounds.  He doubled, tripled, and then even quadrupled his birth weight all before he was nine months old.  He had multiple chins and plenty of chub!  It was so encouraging to see him looking so healthy since we were so worried about him when he was born so early and only weighed 5 pounds.

When we first started cereal he was not sure what he thought about it!  It didn't take long for him to fully embrace it but he remained an avid milk drinker as well.  He began to learn the 'baby sign-language' sign  for milk (use your hand to make the motion you would if you were milking a cow) and would use it to tell us he was hungry.

I absolutely fell in love with the bonding and closeness that came with breastfeeding my baby.  I loved the snuggles.  I loved knowing that he and I shared something that no one else did.  I really, really enjoyed it.

And honestly, once we got into the swing of it, I think that it was easy.  It was portable, it required no preparation or cleaning, it was convenient.  It took a while, but I got pretty comfortable about nursing in public - though it did get a bit harder as he got older and stronger and liked pulling the cover off of us.  I don't blame him.  I wouldn't want to eat in the dark either.  :)

When he started venturing into the world of solids, he was a pretty good eater.  I still really liked the comfort of knowing that it didn't matter too much if he didn't eat all his veggies because he was still getting all he needed from my milk.  

When he first attempted drinking water from a sippy cup it was messy.  It seemed like it took forever for him to learn the coordination of managing that thing on his own, and he really wasn't all that interested in it unless we added a little splash of juice to his water. ;)

He kept on growing more and more interested in imitating the things that we were doing, which involved less and less nursing, and more and more eating and drinking like a big boy.  He became pretty good at maneuvering a water bottle and still begs for a sip anytime he sees me drinking out of one.

Then he finally got some teeth at the ripe old age of nine months.  Fortunately for me they were only the bottom teeth (he still doesn't have any top teeth) so I never got bit while breastfeeding.  I consider this to be a major blessing!

As he continued to grow, he basically just didn't have time to nurse anymore.  He was just plain too busy.  He wanted to explore and couldn't be bothered with any activity that required him to sit still for more than 2 minutes.  During this period he reduced his eating schedule to only morning and night, and he started to get taller and thinner.  I sometimes worried that he wasn't getting enough to eat, but his pediatrician assured me that a hungry baby would nurse. 

Now my son walks and talks and drinks {whole milk} out of a sippy cup.  

Sure, I am a little sad to see this milestone happen.  But it is most definitely coupled with excitement as I love watching him grow and change and am thrilled to watch more and more of his little person unfold.

Now we need to go find some room in the budget for whole milk.....

wordless wednesday {along for the ride}

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

running already?!

When he decided to take off, he decided to really take off!  It hasn't even been a week since he started walking, and now he is running. 

I just can't get over how cute he looks as he keeps those arms straight out for balance. ;)  Or how about how grown up he looks?!  Oh my.

He has decided that walking/running is now his favorite way to get around, and reserves crawling for only when he topples (which is becoming far more infrequent) and needs to get back to something he can pull himself up to.  He can't get to a standing position from the middle of the room yet.  I have seen him squat down to pick something up, and then stand back up though.  That balance is really coming along!

He is also getting really good at walking on grass, mulch, and other uneven surfaces.  If only he would keep his shoes on better!

He has already had his first skinned knees, though they didn't seem to deter him at all. What a tough kid.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

playgroup fun

i have been taking hendrix to playgroup since he we just a few weeks old, but last week was the first time that i think he got as much out of playgroup as his mommy normally does.  

he actually interacted with the other kids and tried to join in with what they were playing.  

nevermind that he doesn't understand that sand is for playing in and not eating.

he had the time of his life!

he thought he was pretty cool stuff trying to climb up the rock wall...

...and he definitely thought that he could climb onto the swing.

you have to expect a good appetite after playing hard like that! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Iowa State Fair 2011

Last weekend we took Hendrix to his first Iowa State Fair.  It was about 75 degrees and sunny, so just about as perfect as weather possibly can get.  He had some of Daddy's fresh squeezed lemonade right after we got there, and he definitely approved!

Next we checked out the barn with all the baby animals.  He was fascinated.  As we would walk away from one animal to go see another one, he would holler back at the one that we were leaving....

He tried a State Fair corn dog (man that was huge!).  I imagine he would have liked most of the other food options as well, but since everything is fried and on a stick, mommy packed some fruit and other "boring" foods for him to snack on throughout the day.  
Oh, but I had a red-velvet-funnel-cake which was delish!

We had to take a little break to run around on the playground, and of course, let Hendrix crawl through the tunnel a couple of times.  

We went with my brother and sister-in-law, and also another brother and his girlfriend.  We had lots of fun hanging out with them, and found that it was super nice to have some extra hands to help with Hendrix. 

There was a water feature, and of course we couldn't walk by it without Hendrix taking a little sprint through it. ;)  He was on the verge of getting the whole walking thing figured out, but he didn't do much of it at the fair, unless we were holding onto one of his hands. 

Then a little ice cream sandwich, yum! 

My family! ;)

This was the face that he kept making when we were looking at the animals.  He didn't really laugh and giggle with happiness, instead he just stared with super-wide eyes.  

He liked to get up real close to see the animals, and even got the nerve to touch some of them. 

He didn't ride in the stroller except for when he napped for a couple hours in the middle of the day, but it was nice to have to push around all our stuff.  Instead he took turns being held or riding around on top of our shoulders.  

He handled the crowds really well, and seemed to enjoy taking everything in.  

We love the State Fair!  

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