Nov 29, 2011

...and a few pictures

Love the way babies eat!
Black Friday @ Barnes and Noble with Nonny.  Pretty sure this was the 4th time we were there that day.
Did I mention he's like a rabbit on crack
Still on trip #4 at the bookstore.
My favorite time of day.  Quiet and snuggly... Mmmm

On Christmas

(My so-excited-favorite part of this post is at the end... )

I've shared this before, but a couple years ago a sweet friend posted about an outing with her daughters where they saw a bell ringer collecting money.  The person asked the girls if they were excited about Santa coming and the oldest remarked that the didn't do Santa, they did baby Jesus.  I'm sure my friend had no idea what impact sharing that story would have - but it created a tremendous shift for me.

Before Oliver was born, I started thinking about how I wanted Christmas to look like for him.  I grew up with Santa and loved it.  Santa still comes to my parents house and leaves treats and I still make requests for him since he continues to stop by... :)  I don't want to take away the fun of Christmas.  What I do want to do however, is to create a Christmas that teaches him the meaning of the season.  I want him to know it is a day we celebrate because it's the day Jesus was born.  So... I know lots of people want this and I would love to hear how you do this in your family.  Please share!!

This is our current plan... the first year Chandler and I dated we made a birthday cake for Jesus - (it was chocolate because we're sure Jesus would like chocolate!) - and I'd like to keep this tradition.  When Oliver is older, I can totally see us having a birthday party for Jesus where we invite his friends over for cake and ice cream.  I would also want to involve a project like maybe each child would bring a gift or warm coat and we could take them to a shelter, school or other place of need.  At the party I could see us making Christmas cards and then going to a nursing home or other facility to sing carols and deliver the cards.  I'm sure I'll find more ideas and change plans a hundred times between now and when it's time to plan, but I'm stoked about the possibilities!

I guess technically, the above isn't 'current' since Rover can't walk yet so some other plans include...
-three gifts to symbolize the gifts from the wise men to Jesus
-a stocking from 'Santa' because our parents are having a hard time with not doing Santa and there are only so many things I will fight
-choosing a service project to do as a family
-choosing three alternative gifts again to symbolize the gifts from the wise men

Up until very recently I took my non-Santa to the extreme and didn't want any Santa books, no Santa clothes... I realized I'd become anti-Santa and didn't want to be.  Plus, it's really hard to be against a happy, jolly man that everyone loves.  I consulted my sweet friend and she shared how they handled Santa and well, it made my world jolly again.  It makes sense to include Santa in Christmas for many reasons, mainly because it just can't be avoided.  I think Santa is cute too!  I don't want to be against him.  I do want to limit his importance though.  I am looking for a good book about Saint Nicholas, if you know any, I'd love it if you shared it with me.  More than anything, I want to instill a spirit of giving and the ultimate reason for Christmas - Jesus.

This year will definitely be, as Chan says, a learning year.  I know there will be things we'll have to address later, like Santa being real and things of that nature.  We want 'Santa' to be a fun thing for him as long as he will let it, but I imagine that when he is old enough to ask if he is real, it will be our cue to share with him that he is not and then address how we don't talk about it so he's not the kid in class that spoils it for everyone else.  Another friend is exploring similar things for her daughter (who is a bit older than Oliver) and she is thinking about going with the idea that 'Santa' is what you sign when you don't want someone to know the gift is from you.  I like the anonymity, but I'm not sure how we'd still fill his stocking (note to self: order stocking this week!) using that - I did want to share it though because a few people have asked about how we will 'do' Christmas and I thought that was a terrific idea.

Three gifts for Oliver.
Alternative gifts.
Birthday cake for Jesus.
Lots of Christmas books celebrating Jesus' birth.

My FAVORITE part... there is a strong possibility our project could become a tradition.  I am SO, SO excited to share this!!!

Since Oliver is small and we can't really do a lot with him in terms of a project we've put our heads together and this year we've decided that we'll do a random act of kindness every day.  I am giddy thinking about it!!!  I can't wait for Thursday!!  We made a list of forty or so ideas and while we will pull from them, it's my hope that we will see opportunities each day and can just do something!  I would love to post each day, but considering my track record lately I plan to try to post weekly.  I plan to share a more about this tomorrow.

Don't forget though... if you have traditions or ideas about sharing Jesus, book suggestions - please share!  I'll be sharing some of my favorite books this month too.

December 2011

I can't believe it's been ten days since I last posted... ugh.  I'm really excited to share our plans for celebrating Christmas.  We've been talking about how we want this season to look and feel like for our family and I am stoked about what we've come up with so far.  We figure this and the next couple years will be learning years while Oliver is still little, but I'm so, so excited about what we have planned for 2011.  It may or may not become a tradition for us, but I would really love for it to.  SO excited to share!  I hope it will inspire others to do something similar... can't wait to tell you more!  I should post our decorations too... more soon!

Nov 19, 2011

Nov 15, 2011

9 Months

Oliver is 9 months!
He has officially been in the world longer than he was in the womb.  It's bittersweet seeing him grow up so fast.  I know, I know... it only goes faster.  I got it.  

-At 9 months (and five days) he weighs 17lbs and is 26" long.  This is the 25th percentile which he's stayed in since he was tiny so he was proclaimed a 'smaller boy' today at the doctor.

-He is in a combo of cloth diapers and disposable diapers.  Mainly because I am not so committed to cloth that I really want to carry around stinky poop until I'm home.  When he nursed exclusively it was not a problem even in the middle of summer, but now - nothankyou.  If I'm totally honest, if I know he's going to poop soon, we use disposable.  The sprayer is amazing, but his poop is a mix of well, I won't go there, but it's not pretty since he still nurses 90% of the time with a little solids mixed in during the day.  Anyway... I'm back to bG AOIs because they're easier to spray.  For disposables, we're using Huggies Pure and Natural and honestly, I like them better than Earth's Best and 7th Generation.  They are so much softer inside and they have the wet indicator line.  He's in a size 3, but I think he could do a 2.  At night we use Huggies Overnites and they do the trick for the most part.  We've been using disposables at night for a while because cloth seemed to leak pretty much every night.  I'm happy with our diapering routine for now.
-... and speaking of... see this face?  See his hands?  No?  Yeah.  He found his penis.  He found it a couple months ago (a few now maybe?), but it's only been recent that he realized it was a fun thing to hold.  Usually he will play with his toys but if they happen to float away and I don't catch them in time, penis seems fair game.
-We went to Maryland in October for Henry's 1st birthday party - so much fun!!  Oliver had a blast playing with Henry!  They hadn't seen each other since July so it was fun to get together again.
-He wears 3-6m and 6-12m in Gymboree and 6m and 9m in Carters clothes.  I'm mostly buying 9m sizes for him to wear now and 12m sizes for later in the winter.  I hope that doesn't bite me like summer clothes did.  I bought 6-12m size things for late summer and he's just now able to fit in them.  Nice.  I wish clothing companies would size their product by weight instead of age.  Some put the weight specs on the tags but most don't and it's incredibly annoying.  He has one 12-18m long sleeve t-shirt that is big on him, but not so big that he can't wear it with the sleeves rolled up.  
-Wheels are still super fun to play with and spin - maybe this will be the month he learns that wheels roll and not just spin!
-Since he never took to a bottle, I'm determined to get the sippy cup down.  We've tried six different kinds and of those, three seem to be acceptable.  He plays with it and gets water out occasionally, not not often enough to know how to do it yet.  We're hopeful he'll learn soon!
-He loves his toys.  Toys. Toys. Remote Controls. Toys.  Phones. Toys. Toys. Toys.  And he's into everything.  Seriously, this kid is like a rabbit on crack.  He's everywhere.  We recently rearranged a few rooms and that made space for a playroom and boy am I glad we did that when we did.  The child is always on the go and the playroom has created a nice, safe place for him.  We still have to get some furniture for storage in there, but it's a great space for now.  This is our downstairs set up in the living room.
-He says 'mama,' 'dada,' and 'bye-bye' really well, but doesn't make any associations with them yet.  He also waves, but again, doesn't really associate 'bye bye' with the waving.  His 9m appointment was fun today.  We saw a new doctor and it was also the developmental appointment so we talked a lot about what he was doing, skills, words, etc... Dr. P also commented on his smile :)

-He nurses 4-5x/day and eats solids 1x/day at dinner and we'll probably keep it that way as long as possible.  He eats just about everything now and so far doesn't dislike anything.  He didn't care for yogurt at first try, but I realized it's because it was so cold so I let it sit on the counter a few minutes and he eats it fine.  If we go out to eat we give him solids so every now and then he gets more than just solids once/day, but that's usually just on weekends.
-He just got his 5th tooth and so far I haven't been bitten.  He's tested pressure but nothing that really hurt.  That said, it was enough pressure that I jumped - but not enough that I yelped.  I learned early on that the key to no biting was to watch for him to be done nursing.  Gone are the days where he could just hang out and coo, smiling and playing with my hair or fingers.  Now, while it's still enjoyable, it's more about protecting the nipples.   That's all I have to say about that.

-Did I mention he's like a rabbit on crack?  He's everywhere.  He's crawling and pulling up and tasting debris and dragging clothes out of drawers and throwing laundry out of baskets and pulling cat tails and if you're not careful he will try to eat your face.  Don't think I'm kidding.  

-He takes a morning nap that's anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and then sleeps two and a half to three hours in the afternoons.  It's bliss!  And it allows me to get some good work done!  He is pretty good about independent play and loves finding things so I plant toys in random places and watch him delight in discovering wheels under a pillow or a light up key in a box.  The time change was not fun for us.  I'd anticipated the early wake up on the first morning of the new time, but it was almost a week before we got the schedule down.  He's normally up around 6:30 AM and usually goes to bed before 8 PM.  He gets a bath every night, I think it helps him settle and it's good routine in that he knows it's almost bedtime.  He goes to sleep pretty easily. 

-He is so much fun right now!  Crack rabbit jokes aside - I love that he's such an explorer.  We took him to the park so he could swing and he seemed to like it.  We have three parks within walking distance and I'm excited to take him there as he gets bigger.  He is such a good baby and is turning into a really fun little boy.  

Nov 7, 2011

Summer fun

I scanned this months ago to post and forgot until I was going through old files on my desktop.  Oops.  I think Oliver was 4 or 5 months old when we did this at the mall.  We need to do it again soon!
"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub