To say I'm disappointed in myself for not keeping up with my blog about my bouncy baby boy is an understatement. I've thought about writing this post at least once a day for the past month. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I'd have to combine two months in one post. (I can't believe I used to have the time to write a post each week!) So, to make myself feel better here are a list of reasons (okay, excuses) I have fallen behind on this blog:
1. I went back to work.
2. Hustle and Bustle of the holidays.
5. Being sick.
6. Hubby who works 70+ hours a week.
Whew! Now, I feel much better. But, I have to admit that I am somewhat of a procrastinator which coupled with how much I love every moment with my son makes for many a future belated blog posts!
So, oh my -- there is so much to tell. My little Eli has grown so much in the last two months! I was uploading pictures to Flickr yesterday and looked back at his 0-1 and 1-2 month pictures. He was barely smiling then and now he is ALL smiles -- thank God for Prevacid! In two short months he has grown two inches, gained two and half pounds and changed two diaper sizes!
Eli's first: Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years
Originally, we had planned to drive to TX to spend Thanksgiving at my Uncle and Aunt's house. However, as Thanksgiving approached Eli began to cry so much more and absolutely hate car rides (still does)! Unfortunately, we had to cancel -- bummer! Instead, we spent the day at my parents house. My mom prepared a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner! I don't know if I'll ever be able to bake a turkey less a whole Thanksgiving meal like my mom. Of course, Eli could have cared less about the smorgasbord of tasty food we all got to enjoy that day. All he cared about was the sweet, warm milk mommy gives him. And, unfortunately he decided he wanted some right when we sat down to eat! :( Here are some pictures to enjoy! :
|One tired, tiny turkey!|
|All that milk made me TIRED!|
|I'm so thankful for my "Angell" Family!|
Before we headed to CA, we celebrated Christmas with my family in our tiny home. It is Mike and I's tradition to make a feast of Mexican food either before we leave for CA or on Christmas Eve. Mike has some serious cooking skills, especially when it comes to Mexican. When had so much fun opening all of Eli's gift for him. Eli liked it too but fell asleep before it was all over. I have to admit -- Christmas is so much more fun when you have your own child!
|Me and my baby infront of our tree! What a cute Christmas sweater!|
|Eli wearing the Chunkee Monkee hat Aunt Libby and Uncle David gave him!|
|Eli on his "Elijah the Elephant" rocker his grandma and grandpa gave him!|
We had a wonderful visit! Eli got to meet his Uncle Jason, Aunt Erica (Auntie KiKi), Cousins Taylor and Connor, Uncle Adam, and his great-grandparents! The day before Christmas was nice and relaxed. We hung out, wrapped presents, did a little bit of shopping. That evening we went to Christmas Eve mass with Mike's Oma and Opa. I've never been to a catholic mass and found it to be quite wonderful -- the message was Christ centered and I love to sing Christmas hymns. Eli did a great job during the service too! On Christmas day, we had so fun to watch the kiddos open their presents and Eli got some really neat and sentimental gifts! More importantly, it was incredibly wonderful for all of us to be together! Mike's parents and grandparents slaved in the kitchen all day to feed us a delicious Christmas dinner! That night we enjoyed playing "Christmas" pictionary with the white boards Mike and I gave his parents for Christmas. Pictionary is a MUST while we are at the Stephens! It is always so much fun!
The remainder of the trip was spent enjoying each other -- Mike played golf with his brothers and dad, we played catch phrase, enjoyed the spa, played with the kiddos, watched movies and stuffed our faces! CA is always bitter sweet. We LOVE hanging out so much with Mike's family and then we snap our fingers and it is time to head back to KC! I'm so jealous of families with both sets of grandparents are in the same city!
|Eli enjoying his Oma O and and Opa O!|
|Just got home from Christmas Eve Mass.|
|Eli and his Auntie KiKi!|
|The Stephens Boys!|
|Eli and his Uncle Jason!|
|Eli and his cousins Taylor (5) and Connor (4)|
|Eli and his Uncle Adam!|
|Eli having fun at his Oma and Opa's in CA. They have so many fun toys! He LOVES them so much!|
|Enjoying the nice CA weather in Oma and Opa's spa!|
|Eli and his Oma and Opa! What a good looking trio!|
|The Stephens Family Christmas!|
My bestfriend Mary Beth and her son Noah made their 2nd annual trip to see us during winter vacation. We had so much fun hanging out with them! Noah is a very smart, sweet and active little boy! His smiles are contagious! He kept Mike busy playing lots of Wii! Mary Beth and I got to spend lots of quality time together and she even brought us Christmas presents!
<--Mary Beth and I.
Noah and Eli. -->
On New Years we had some friends over and did the countdown a few hours early with the kiddos. It was fun! Mike hung out with Eli and let MB and I play games until midnight! Happy 2012 everyone!
|Kiddie New Year 9pm!|
|Mommy's and babies!|
Eli was blessed at Outreach Restoration Church on November 27th by Elder Bob Bobbit and Elder Larry Hodges. It was such an awesome blessing. God's spirit poured over us as he was being blessed and we knew Eli was truly being blessed from above. God loves him so much and has some mighty plans for his life! My number one desire for Eli (and all my future children) is that they love the Lord with all of their hearts, minds, and might!
|Eli started out so content!|
|Around 15 seconds into Bob's prayer the wailing began! :(|
|And, then as if God's spirit poured over him he stopped crying.|
Back to work/Grandma's babysitting/Pumping
I have to admit that I was dreading going back to work. As each week of my maternity leave passed I got more and more depressed. I loved waking up and spending my mornings with Eli. He was (and still is) happiest in the mornings. I didn't want to hand these precious moments over to someone else; even when that someone is my own mother. I had started a "mommy" group and it was so much fun to meet, watch the kiddos interact and talk with other moms. I also enjoyed my breast feeding support group and wasn't ready to stop going. But before I knew it, December 8th rolled around and I was driving to work at 6:45am. I've never cried on my way to work before but tears were flowing down my cheeks the whole way. I must have called my mom every hour, if not more, that first day. At 3:00pm I rushed home to my beautiful boy. I made it! He made it! And, my mother, bless her heart, made it! It was nice to get that first day back under my belt.
After the first few days back to work, I felt much better about being a "working" mom. In fact -- and I hate to admit this -- work was almost like a break. Eli cried around 75% of the time he was awake from about 6 wks - 14 wks. It is hard taking care of a crying baby all day, especially when your first break is at 9pm when your husband gets home from work. So, going to work gave me a break and I was ready to tackle Eli and his crying for the evening when I got home. Eli hardly ever cries anymore (Yay!) which makes things much easier on my mother and me and lets not forget Eli!
Speaking of my mom, she has got to be the BEST baby sitter ever! She keeps of journal of all the things she does with Eli through out the day. It is written to Eli. He will get a kick out of reading it someday. Her daily routine usually starts with a prayer and then reading, tummy time, feeding, nap, play time, walk, etc. She has even taught Eli a word, "Stretch." He puts his arms up above his head when she says it! How blessed is Eli to have her! Thank you so much, Mom -- your loving care for Eli means the world to us!
Lastly, I wanted to talk a little bit about pumping at work. It is going AWESOME. I pump twice a day. Since I do not have a break until 1:00, my co-teacher takes on the beginning of my 3rd hour so I can pump and then I do again during my 1:00 plan hour. I do not have much planning time during the school day but the result -- Eli getting my breast milk -- is definitely worth it!
One thing I will mention -- I was glad that I had a small reserve (around 30 4oz) bags of milk in the freezer. There have been a 2 days in which I was unable to pump enough milk for Eli the following day and one day that I forgot to put my milk in the refrigerator. These days the frozen milk was a life savor!
|The pumping station I share with two other co-works at my school! How great is this!?!|
Books! I read at least two a day - one with grandma and one with mommy!
Tummy Time (for no more than 10 minutes at a time -- hey, it is better than the 30 seconds we got a month ago!)
|Do you see that cute booty?|
Sammie -- I <3 my dog!
Chewing and gnawing on EVERYTHING ~ blankets, toys, fingers, mommy and daddy too!
My toes are my new favorite toys!
|Handsome little man!|
Eli's first swim was a huge hit! We went the Legacy Center and played in the kiddie pool!
He also likes our jetted tub -- taking baths with mommy is the BEST!
Snuggling AKA sleeping on someone.
|Opa is so comfortable!|
I also like grabbing, kicking, talking, and, most of all, being held!
Eli HATES his car seat and HATES car rides. You hear all these stories of babies falling asleep in the car and how parents would even put their children in their car seats in order to get their children to fall asleep! I wish! Eli screams and screams in the car. He especially hates longer car rides, car rides when it is dark outside and being in the back seat by himself.
Eli has just recently started to dislike walks -- bummer! I think he may associate walks with his car seat?? I hope this changes and soon! Both my mother and I love taking him for walks!
Eli holds his head up like a champ!
Eli has rolled from his stomach to his back, only twice though.
Eli talks constantly. He changes his pitch often and makes a raspy, low razz sound.
Eli can pass toys from one hand to the other.
Eli can do the tripod sit. :)
Eli's Four Month Stats:
26 inches - 84 percentile
16 lbs - 71 percentile
I don't know his head measurement but it was 50 percentile
Our pediatrician said that Eli has hit many of his 5 and 6 month milestones. He gave us the go ahead to start cereal but Mike and I are going to wait until 6 months. I'm looking into the book, Baby led Weaning. Any comments or other suggestions?
Eli had his check up with the Nephrologist today. Eli had an ultrasound which showed that his kidney is still mildly enlarged. Not enough to do anything about -- praise God (I remember when I was convinced Eli would have to have surgery shortly after birth)! So, we have another ultrasound in 5 months and then we will go from there. Prayers are still appreciated.
Mike and I's biggest parenting struggle has got to be sleep. Eli caught a bad flu from Mommy and Daddy in mid-January and ever since has been waking up every 1-2 hours. He has a hard time falling back to sleep and sometimes wants to just be awake in the middle of the night -- which is definitely the hardest on Mike and I. We try to take shifts which sometimes works but most of the time we just get frustrated at each other because we desperately want more sleep. We've also started to bring him into bed with us -- this is something we said we'd never do. Never say never. When you are so sleep deprived you'll do anything to get some snooze, even if it means sleeping with your 4 month old in your arms. I don't think I'd mind sleeping with Eli, I mean people have slept with their babies for thousands of years, but I've got a back issue and whenever I sleep with him I can barely move the next day. So, we've got to get this sleep thing figured out. Mike and I have thought about letting him cry it out but we don't think we want to try this until he is at least 6 months old (if ever)... We'll see!
What are we looking forward to next month?
Eli's cousin Kate is due to arrive on February 12th! We are so excited! Auntie Ali can't wait cuddle with her niece! Eli and her will be so close, both in age and relationship! We are so excited to watch them grow up together!
Thoughts on a new blog approach...
I may, instead of writing a HUGE monthly post, try smaller posts here and there and a medium sized monthly post about his likes/dislikes and milestones. Not sure, we'll see!