Sunday, July 20, 2014

7 Months

Jonas is definitely beginning to make his desires known. He's still a fairly laid-back baby overall, but he has serious grumpy moments. Still, I'd say this is the parenting sweet spot. I know what I'm doing somewhat, we're in a good routine, and Jonas is learning new skills every day. I told Darby that if I could be given children when they were 6 months old, I'd have 10! :)


"Firsts" from This Month
  • First time to swim. I signed Jonas and myself up for swim classes. What I thought would be just a little mommy and me play time turned out to be a water survival skills class. I had to put him under water! It stressed me out so much. He didn't seem to mind too much though. And while he was too young to master floating on his back or crawling out of the pool, he did get very comfortable in the water, so that's something, I guess.

        

  • First 4th of July. We went over to our friends' house for a little party. They live out in the country, so we could shoot off fireworks. Jonas slept through that, but he did come with us to the fireworks store to pick them out.

Aunt Leila and Uncle Matt. Jonas loves spending time with them.
  • First time to roll back to front. He still can't get his arm out from under his body, so no rolling back and forth. But, he does twist his whole torso around, so I'm calling it.
  • First time to sit in a high chair/grocery cart.

  • First night away from mom and dad. While we were in Waco for Darby's high school reunion, we took advantage of the free baby-sitting to spend the night in a hotel to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed downtown and played tourists, walking across the suspension bridge and having fancy cocktails on a rooftop bar. It was so nice not to have to worry about getting home in time for bedtime and being able to sleep in. And Jonas was in great hands with his Mamaw and Grandpa.
Things I Want to Remember
  • He is really experimenting with his voice and goes through phases where he makes a certain noise all the time. For a couple of weeks, he would make a gasping noise. Now, he does a little click.
  • He's obsessed with his "puffs" - little baby cereal snacks. The doctor recommended we give them to him so he could practice with finger foods. But now we've created a monster. For a while he couldn't feed them to himself and would just squawk loudly until we fed him one. He would demand a puff in between each bite of vegetables. Ridiculous. Now he rakes them up and stuffs his whole fist in his mouth to make sure they don't fall out. We have to hide the container or he would eat them all day.
  • He loves straps, buttons, necklaces, and embroidered logos on shirts. If he sees one, he will not rest until he's touched it, or preferably, eaten it.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6 Months

It's very hard to believe half a year has passed. I still feel like I should have a newborn (but I'm very glad I don't!). I have loved getting to know our little boy, and I'm looking forward to seeing his personality emerge more and more. 
It was a lot harder to get a decent picture this month because he kept wanting to eat the chalkboard and blanket.

"Firsts" from This Month
  • First time to sit up on his own. He's still not able to sit for long periods of time and definitely needs a spotter, but he's getting there.

  • First solid food. We started with sweet potatoes and he's also had avocado, oatmeal, banana, prunes, carrots, and pears. So far, he likes everything, and he's really starting to get into it now.
  • First Father's Day for Darby. We celebrated in Waco. Jonas and I bought Darby a computer program he wanted, and Jonas picked out a card. Darby is such a great dad. I've really been impressed with how natural he is. I couldn't ask for a better co-parent.
  • Jonas, Me, and Hannah with my dad.
    Darby, Jonas, and Darby's dad
  • First trip to Auntie Hannie's apartment/First time to meet Carolyn. My friend Carolyn was visiting Dallas for a week from Kansas City. I couldn't let her be within 3 hours of me and not see her, so Jonas and I made a quick trip to Dallas. We got to hang out in Hannah's "bachelorette pad" and have a nice lunch with Carolyn. Another successful mother/son road trip!
  • Jonas loves his Auntie Hannie!

    Jonas and Carolyn at The Twisted Root - yummy burgers!
  • First time to be held by Aunt Leila. My brother got married at the end of May. Leila's been around since Jonas was born, and, since she lives in Abilene, has spent a lot of time with Jonas. But it was still a big deal when she became his aunt officially. She is so sweet with Jonas and is a great addition to our family. 
  • Jonas was exhausted from all the excitement. :)
Things I Want to Remember
  • The big event of this month for me was nap training. I finally decided it was time for Jonas to learn to sleep in his crib at naptime. And it was rough. But after a few days, he really started to get the hang of it. He's still not a great napper, but he can fall asleep in his crib and stay asleep for an hour or so. It's much easier for me to get stuff done. Unfortunately, he now really resists being rocked to sleep, so when we want some snuggles before bedtime, we're out of luck. 
  • When we say "hi" to him, he makes a little happy sigh noise that sounds so much like he's saying "hi" back. I know he's not, but it's fun to pretend. 
  • Jonas has added to his shaking his head trick from previous months and now does a "crazy dance" where he shakes his head, kicks his legs, and flails his arms. It's hilarious and adorable. 
  • After weeks of trying, Jonas is finally able to get his feet into his mouth. He now chews on them all the time. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Books

I can't seem to keep up with posting the books I've read on a monthly basis, so perhaps I'll just do it quarterly or so and only include the ones I really liked.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
This was a book club pick. On the surface it sounded kind of boring to me: a young working-class woman befriends a rich guy and ends up enmeshed in the high society of 1930s New York. And, really, not too much happened in the book. But the writing was so good that it was absolutely mesmerizing. This is the author's first book, and I can't believe it's so good.  

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Another book club book. This novel alternates between modern times and the 1930s. A young girl who is about to age out of foster care befriends an elderly woman and learns the story of the woman's journey on the orphan train and her subsequent foster families. The story was surprisingly compelling - I kept wanting to read more even though it wasn't particularly suspenseful. The historical storyline was much better written than the modern one, but both main characters were very relatable. 

Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt
This must have been a free or cheap Kindle book at some point. It's another one that sounds very strange at first glance. It's historical fiction based on the life of a famous mystic nun, who was forced as a child to become a handmaiden to an Anchorite - a nun who is bricked in a tiny room underneath the church for her entire life. Because of her visions, she becomes famous and tries to creatively use her power to free herself. It was a very powerful story. I didn't even know it was based on the life of a real person until I got to the end - that makes it even more impressive.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I had heard so many people praise this book. It is a very interesting look at how extroversion became idealized in our society and why introversion has its benefits, too. Every time I take a Myers-Briggs test, I am right on the line between E and I. So, I identified with some of the stuff in the book but not all of it. I love pop psychology books, so this one's right up my alley. 

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl was the food critic for the New York Times for many years. I had read her book about that job, Garlic and Sapphires, and really enjoyed it. This one was about her childhood and young adult life (in the 60s and 70s). And, wow, she lived a fascinating life. She's done so much traveling; it made me jealous. The scenes with her manic-depressive mother are darkly humorous. She does share some recipes with each little vignette, but I found the focus to be much less on the food and more on the people in her life.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

5 Months


"Firsts" from This Month

He didn't really hit any big milestones this month. Of course, we can see him getting more interactive and better able to manipulate things each day, but he didn't do anything "big" this month.
  • First Easter. We spent a lot of time in Waco around Easter because Darby's dad had a (successful - yay!) kidney transplant then. Jonas enjoyed wearing his bunny hat from Auntie Hannie and playing with his Easter toys from grandparents.

  • First Mother's Day. We were able to go to Waco again, so Jonas spent the day with his mom, his Mamaw, and his G-ma. He got me a waffle iron and helped Darby make me waffles. 
  • Love being this boy's mom.
  • First out-of-state trip. We drove to Illinois for Darby's graduation. Jonas did great in the car, and we had so much fun introducing him to our Illinois friends. 
  • We stayed with our friends Dick and Billie. We had so much fun catching up and playing cards. We spent so many evenings at their house over the 5 years we were in Illinois. They were our surrogate parents. Miss them so much!

  • Jonas did remarkably well at the looooong graduation ceremony. It was at the stadium and we got there too late to have a very good view, but we were able to see Darby walk across on the Jumbotron.
    My parents made the drive with us. It was great to have their help keeping Jonas entertained.
    Casey, Katy, and I all did a Bible study together, and we all had babies within 9 months of each other. It was fun (and crazy) getting all the babies together. After this, we loaded all of the babies in their carriers and went to Custard Cup. Yummy!
  • First time to meet great-uncle John and great-aunt Susan. On the way, we stopped at my aunt and uncle's house in Rogers. It had been several years since I had seen them, so I was happy it worked out. 

Things I Want to Remember
  • He started doing this thing where he shakes his head back and forth like he's saying "no." We can't tell if he does it to rub his head or if he does it to move his hand back and forth in his mouth. Either way, it's really cute. 
  • He is becoming a lot more cuddly. When he was a newborn, he really liked to be cuddled, but he soon outgrew that and was really squirmy when you tried to hold him against you. Now, he'll wrap his hands around our necks when we pick him up from his crib and lay his head on our shoulders. It's so sweet. 
  • Everyone, and I mean everyone, who sees him comments on one of three things: his big eyes, the fact that his hands are always in his mouth, and how calm he is.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My motherhood experience

I feel like there are a lot of aspects of motherhood that have surprised me. I had a lot of expectations based on what I had heard and read about motherhood, and my experience hasn't always aligned with those expectations (in good ways and bad ways). I'd like to share some of my thoughts to show that there's not just one way to experience motherhood. And just to be clear, I love Jonas and I love being his mom. But I want to be honest about the hard parts as well as the good parts.

  • I did not immediately feel the "surge" of love. Most women talk about an overwhelming feeling of love immediately after their baby is delivered. I did not feel this. I don't know if that's due to my long, difficult labor or just to my personality. I felt happy, but I was not overwhelmed. I had heard women say they didn't know how much they could love until they had a child. I felt like I loved Jonas as much as I had expected to, which was a lot. I did not feel like I had entered some other realm of love. I do feel like my love for him has grown stronger over time. Now that he interacts more, I feel like I really know him. Around the 3-month mark, (which, probably not coincidentally, is when he started to sleep through the night consistently - I do not deal well with sleep deprivation), I started to experience some of those heart-swelling moments.
  • I am still basically the same person I was before (the positive). I had always feared losing myself in motherhood and thought I would have to actively fight against that. So, I was relieved to find that I still have other interests and enjoy pursuing my hobbies and career opportunities. This is one reason I didn't end up doing cloth diapers. When I envisioned myself as a stay-at-home mom, I figured I'd want to throw all my energy into mothering, so why not go all the way. But when I have some down time, I don't want to be washing diapers. I want to be reading or lesson planning or making cards or baking, just like before. (Not that moms who cloth diaper don't do those things - it's just there was really nothing else motivating me to do it beyond the belief that it was a stay-at-home mom type of thing to do.) And, despite the lack of any talk beyond mothering and Jonas on this blog, I feel like I've still done an ok job of having conversations with people about other parts of life.
  • I am still basically the same person I was before (the negative). Like any other major life change, motherhood has revealed more of who I truly am. And, while there are a lot of things I love about myself, I feel like motherhood throws my shortcomings into sharp relief. I am not a patient person. Sometimes this leads to frustration when Jonas doesn't nap like he should or requires multiple rockings to go to sleep. I never want to be frustrated at him - he's a baby. I also have a hard time going with the flow, and this is a major challenge with a baby. I do feel like I'm making some progress in this area. A few weeks ago, Jonas slept late, and I told Darby, "Well, I guess we'll just have to be late to church." He was like, "What?!? I can't believe you just said that." I'm slowly learning to adapt, but I still find myself mourning the loss of control over my schedule. I don't think parents are better people than non-parents. And I think most people try to be better people, whether they have kids or not. But parenting forces you to confront the negative things about yourself on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis, and it can be pretty painful.
  • Even with an easy baby, I can't seem to get things done. I always heard about not getting a shower, having to do everything one-handed, etc. And I haven't experienced that. I lucked out with an easy baby who is pretty content laying on a blanket or sitting in his bouncy seat. But, I've still found it very hard to get things done. I won't go into all the specifics, but all my plans for projects I would do as a stay-at-home mom have gone out the window. I'm having to redefine my idea of what a productive day is. I know this sounds silly, but I didn't really consider that taking care of a baby actually takes a lot of time. I feel like Pinterest/Facebook/blogs are a bit to blame for this. It seems like every other stay-at-home mom is cooking amazing meals, creating beautiful decorations for their house, making "sensory boards" for their babies, etc. So when I spend the day just keeping Jonas and myself fed, clothed, and happy, it seems like I've done nothing.
  • I don't feel incomplete without Jonas. I know a lot of moms don't ever want to leave their babies, and I think that's a very real feeling for them. But I just haven't felt that way. I started leaving Jonas with Darby almost immediately, and when Darby's mom was here shortly after the birth, we both left him with her. I'm always thrilled to come home to him, but I wouldn't say I miss him when I'm gone for a few hours. I still very much enjoy my alone time, time with friends, and time with Darby. I don't really worry about him when I'm away either. I definitely don't worry when he's with Darby. I feel like we're total equals in parenting skills.
So, there's some of the things that have taken me off guard in the first 5 months of parenting. In the midst of the cute Jonas pictures and anecdotes, I want to make sure I'm keeping it real as well. I'd love to hear from other parents about ways your experience differed from your expectations.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

4 Months

This stage with Jonas is really fun. He's responding to us with smiles and giggles a lot more. He's started noticing other babies at church and play group. He's still pretty serious, but he doesn't look quite so skeptical all the time. 

Just for fun, here's a comparison of all 4 months. He hasn't gotten a whole lot bigger than he was at 2 months (his growth is leveling off, so he's in a more average percentile - NO IDEA why/how he was so big at birth). But, he's definitely able to sit up and hold his head up much better than he used to. 


"Firsts" from this Month
  • First mother/son road trip.  While Darby was busy with a work conference, I took Jonas to Waco by myself. Then my mom and I took him to Dallas to see my grandma and aunt. I was a little nervous about traveling solo, but he did great.


  • First time to roll over front to back

  • First time to meet his Aunt Tere and cousin Corrie. They were in Abilene for a school event, so he and I got to run up to ACU to see them one afternoon. 

  • First bath in the big tub. I'm refraining from putting bath time pictures on here in case he objects when he's older. (Aside: It's so difficult to know how much you should share about your kids online. I know people have a lot of different philosophies. Right now, I'm trying to refrain from sharing medical information or naked pictures, but as he gets older, I'm sure I'll add even more restrictions.)
Things I Want to Remember
  • When he's tired, he scratches the top of his head absentmindedly. It's so cute. The only bad thing is that, since his nails grow freakishly fast, he often leaves little scratch marks on his scalp.
  • I go to a playgroup once a week with some women from church. My friend's daughter was laying beside Jonas, and she reached out and held his hand. It was adorable! He was enjoying it until she decided to grab his face. Then he was done.

  • He's really started to fight sleep, especially during the day. So, when I'm rocking him to sleep for his naps, he makes this really nasal "beeping" sound until he falls asleep. I guess he thinks he's keeping himself awake. It's like "mah, mah, mah, mah." Cracks me up. 
  • Speaking of naps, he doesn't like to nap in his crib, even though he sleeps great in it at night. So, I end up holding him for a lot of his nap times. Sometimes I nap, too, or sometimes I just read. I know it's a bad habit to get him into, but I love those times together. There is nothing sweeter than holding a sleeping baby. And I figure I might as well enjoy one of the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom while I can. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

3 Months

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine gave me some advice that a friend had given her. She said to mark a date on the calendar 12 weeks from when the baby is born and to not expect life to go back to any sense of normalcy before then. This has been pretty good advice in my case. Jonas has been a relatively easy baby, so our life hasn't been complete chaos, but we were pretty much in survival mode. I am just now starting to get back into cooking (semi) regularly, exercising, and working more than 15 minutes at a time. The transition to stay-at-home motherhood has been a bit rough for me (perhaps I'll write more about that later), but I'm beginning to feel like I can do this.

Jonas is officially not a newborn anymore. That's bittersweet, but mainly sweet. I'm enjoying seeing his little personality emerge and watching him learn new skills every day.






"Firsts" from This Month
  • First laugh. G-ma just happened to make a noise that he thought was hilarious. Since then we've tried to replicate it, but he hasn't fallen for it. So his laugh count is still at one. I can't figure out how to upload the video here, but I posted it on facebook.
  • First time to lift his head when on his stomach. Yes, he's a little late for this particular milestone. Poor kid has to have a lot of strength to lift his giant head. :)
  • First time to go to Cradle Roll class at church. He's not big enough to sit in the bucket seats yet, so he sits in a little carrier on the table. And this picture is pretty representative of his expression the whole time he's there. I think he likes it because he never fusses or cries, even when he should be hungry, but he always looks quite skeptical of the whole thing.
  • First family vacation. We wanted to go to Austin, but we ended up staying in Georgetown because SXSW was in Austin that week. We enjoyed exploring Georgetown, though. And Jonas got to meet Brittany and Erin. He was a great traveler.
    Enjoying some snuggles while watching HGTV - mine and Darby's favorite hotel pastime.


    Brittany offered to watch Jonas while Darby and I went on a date. So sweet!
    Erin and Brendan drove up from San Antonio to have dinner with us. It was great to see them!
  • First wedding/First time to meet Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Janice/First time to see his CUZNS (Darby's cousins' children). Darby's cousin Hayley got married in Cleburne. It was great to introduce Jonas to a lot of that side of the family. 
  • The Hewitt clan
    All three babies were born within 2 months of each other: Allison and Noah; Darby and Jonas; Nicky and Carter

Things I Want to Remember
  •  Jonas is a very serious baby. He spends most of his time staring, just taking everything in, often with a furrowed brow. But sometimes, he'll just break into the sweetest little grin. I find his smiles even more rewarding since they don't happen all the time.
  • Jonas usually wakes up between 7 and 7:30 and goes down for a nap around 8:30. In order to get a little more sleep on Saturdays, I lay him on the bed between us after he gets done eating. We play with him for a while, and then we all take a morning nap together. It's wonderful. 
  • Like me, Jonas does not like the wind. If we take him out in it, he scrunches up his face and makes this little scoffing sound.