Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Months!

Our darling little boy is 5 months old! We can hardly believe it. He is a complete joy. Just when we don't think he could get any cuter, he does. We see more and more of his personality every day. He learns new things all the time.
-Is super smiley. The pictures are evidence.
-Has mastered grabbing things! It's been fun to see him get better at it all month. He's a pro now!
-Chews on everything and slobbers constantly.
-Loves the activity center my mom & sisters gave him. It has absolutely saved my life. It's the only thing that can entertain him for longer than 5 minutes. Sometimes I even get a good 20 min. of entertainment out of it!
-Much to my dismay, has started to hate our walks. They are my sanity so I'm super depressed about this. I end up carrying him and pushing the empty stroller.
-Went on the slide and swings for the first time! He loves them both. The slide makes him giggle every time.
-Had his first Halloween. He went to two parties: he was a chicken and a pumpkin.
-Loves to be held. Loves attention. He is very happy and smiley as long as those two things are happening. He is usually screaming when these needs aren't met. This means I get absolutely nothing done.
-Is super chunky. I'm guessing he's about 18 pounds now? He only spent a month in his 3-6 month clothes, and is now in 6-9. Whenever I tell people how old he is, the response is always the same: "What a BIG boy!" I think this is mostly because of his gigantic head. As my mom told me while skyping a few days ago, his head is the same size as mine.
-Loves to put everything in his mouth! Including his feet. He has loved the discovery of his feet this month. He is always grabbing them.
-Is a wiggler. He wiggles and moves alllllll the time.
-Is starting to the grasp the concept of books and stories. By this I mean he actually looks at the pages rather than sitting there clueless that anything unusual is happening.
-Still loves songs! He loves when I sing along with the Pandora Disney station.
-Loves sitting in his bumbo on the counter while I cook.
-Still loves to stand.
-Can sit up! This is the big accomplishment of the month. He's never lasted longer than a minute without my help though. We're working on that one.
-Still hates tummy time, but I finally witnessed him rolling over a few times this month.
-Makes all sorts of sweet noises.
-Unfortunately, he's discovered his ability to make high pitched screams.
-Is still the sweetest nurser ever. Though it's frustrating at times, it's mostly sweet how he unlatches constantly to stop and smile and to talk. Cameron and I have to make sure we don't talk while I'm nursing because Andy stops and looks up to listen.
-Is not a good sleeper. In fact, he's gotten worse. He wakes up 2 or 3 times consistently every night. And his naps are horrible. He has about 4-5 mini naps every day. We tried the whole month to work on sleep training--getting him on a schedule and getting him to fall asleep unassisted. It was horrible to listen to so much screaming and there was virtually no improvement. I've been so frustrated and depressed about all this, but I'm actually feeling better after reading more in "the book" (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) and realizing he doesn't fit in the "normal child" category because he was such a colicky baby, which I guess means it takes longer for his sleep habits to develop. Even though I'm depressed I'm not getting more sleep, I feel better knowing it's not because I'm doing something wrong. We'll just have to give him some more time. And I need to stop comparing his sleep to other babies because it is so discouraging. He's his own person and that's okay. We love him just the way he is!

I kept my resolve to be better at taking pictures this month. We have tons! Here are some favorites:

Friday, November 18, 2011

the beautiful new addition to our home

I've been meaning to post for a while now about our new PIANO! My parents were generous enough to let us sell an old piano they had and use the money to help buy a new one here in Texas. Looking for a piano was quite the experience. We knew we didn't have room (or the money) for a grand, but we needed a piano nice enough for me to teach on. So we settled on finding a Yamaha U1 or U3, both fantastic upright models. At first we spent some time looking around on Craigslist, but not many pop up and they go really fast. (Random: we almost bought one from the lead bassist from the band Fastball. Remember them?) We eventually decided to go with a refurbished one from a store. We missed the selection you'd find in Utah--there are so many piano stores there! There are maybe two stores that sell Yamahas here? After visiting this horrible music store here that seriously tried to sell us a Clavinova (okay...nothing wrong with them for certain purposes, but I couldn't believe they were trying to convince a teacher with a piano degree that a Clavinova would be a much better choice), we ended up at this great store called Strait Music where we found a gorgeous refurbished U1 with an absolutely gorgeous sound, tone quality, etc. We fell in love and got it a few days later. It felt like Christmas Eve the night before it was being delivered...we were both soooo excited we could barely sleep. Though neither one of us have been able to play it as much as we would like, we are so happy to have music in our home. We're hoping Andy gets a little better at a schedule by January so I can start teaching.

We framed some of my most favorite pieces I've played above the piano:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Gems

I found these gems on Cameron's phone the other day. Didn't even know about them. It made me miss when Andy was super little.

A few minutes old:

With my sweet Grandma:

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We had a really fun Halloween this year. The festivities actually began the Friday before Halloween with our ward party. We found this adorable chicken costume for Andy, so we decided to make a theme of it and be farmers. It was such a fun party! There was a chili cook-off, a bake contest (which I sadly didn't win), and a bunch of other stuff. As you can tell, we don't know how to use our camera.

On actual Halloween, we went to a party thrown by our good friend Kasee. She threw such a fantastic party...I decided I'm never going to host anything again because it would just look horrible to everyone after going to her party! (You should all check out her fantastic food blog: We did a little costume change so Andy could wear the adorable pumpkin costume that my mom gave him for Christmas last year (before he was born).

And what better way to introduce our new friends than to show them in their costumes?
Juan and Cami (honey bear and flower):

Amelia, their beautiful little girl who closed her eyes in every picture I tried to take: (She was dressed up as a bee at the ward party.)

Matt and Andrea (Zombie Steve Jobs and a Witch): sidenote--they had their beautiful little girl Adelaide just 3 days later...yay!

Janssen and Landen sans husbands:

Kasee and Jason: (Cop and Inmate)

Blakely, Lindsey, and Little Charlie: (Jazz fans and a skeleton)

Speaking of Charlie, he is Andy's new best bud!

Sadly, I somehow didn't get a picture of Allison and James who were dressed up as Twitter and Facebook.

Some pictures of the spread:

It was an awesome party--thanks Kasee! We love our new friends here!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Sleep is all I think about these days. No, it's not MY lack of sleep that's constantly on my mind (though I long and dream for the day when I can sleep through the night again). I'm constantly trying to help Andy develop healthy sleep habits. I've heard so many people swear by the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," and I love and feel good about using the principles it teaches. So, I've pretty much been trying to do everything it says since Day 1.

He's never been a very good sleeper, but we've worked on one thing after another and he's gotten better. He now actually sleeps at night, which is AMAZING. I can pretty much plan on him going to bed about 7 PM and waking up about 7 AM (with a couple feedings in there). However, he's never been good at taking naps. They used to be about 15 min. long and we've worked to him getting to 40 min. or so. Anyway, I've been long awaiting the day we'd get to the chapter titled "Months 4-12" in the book, so that I could begin an actual sleep schedule and hopefully help him take more substantial naps. Part of that plan includes letting him cry it out so he can learn to fall asleep unassisted. We tried the Ferber Method of this at about 6 weeks (as the book calls it, "graduated extinction") but didn't have much success and decided it might be a little early. Now we're doing what the book calls "total extinction," where we let him cry it out as long as it takes at night without going in, and with naps we let him cry an entire hour before we'll go in. The point being that he learns that no matter how long he cries we won't come in, and he just needs to go to sleep. (I know some people think this is horribly mean, etc....but we choose to think it means we care about him enough to let him sleep, which is what he really needs.)

Before we started all this, I had lots of people tell me their experience with it and how it just took their child a few days to learn, and then they wouldn't cry anymore. Consequently, I had high hopes. (Although, knowing that Cam and I both were horrendous sleepers as children, I should have known better.) Like I said, night time actually isn't an issue for him. He maybe cries about 15 min. and gives in. But naps are a whole other story--we've been doing it for about 10 days and I am ready to pull my hair out. It absolutely breaks my heart to hear him cry. I spend so much of my day sitting on my bed (which is just about the furthest I can get away from Andy's room) with my door shut, with the monitor on, but turned all the way down, so I can see it light up to indicate if noise is coming from his room but I won't hear it. Sometimes he only cries for 15 min. before he sleeps, but it's not uncommon for him to go the entire hour. And even if he falls asleep, he'll usually only sleep for 15-30 min. and then I have to let him cry some more in hopes he'll fall asleep for longer. And I still worry about his night feedings. Should I not feed him at one of them so he'll stop waking up? But what if he's hungry? Blah, blah, blah. All I think about is his sleep. There are definitely times when I see some improvements, but I feel like they should be far more significant. I feel like he should have caught on by now? Perhaps he's just incredibly stubborn like his dad? He certainly couldn't have gotten the stubborn gene from me. ;)

Anyway. I know I'm an overly worried and concerned first-time parent. This is such a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but I swear it is consuming my life. I wish he would just learn to nap a little bit better!