Sunday, September 27, 2009

First Bottle

Max had his first bottle on Wednesday night after we got home from church. It was a hectic night, and it was tempting to just skip it...but we'd already put it off a couple of nights because of busy evenings, so we gave him the first bottle.

Once again, Daddy did the honors of giving the first bottle . Actually, he'll probably be doing it almost every night as I get Alex to bed. Max had about 2.5 ounces of milk, but he took it without any trouble. The next night, he had 3.5 ounces of milk, and he did even better than the night before. He's continuing to take about 3 - 3.5 oz in the evening, and he's doing a good job!

Max seems to have a much more "relaxed baby" temperament than Alex did, so I'm guessing he might be good with the bottle. I guess we'll just have to wait and see! If he doesn't continue taking a bottle, I won't be heartbroken & I won't force the issue...I'll just enjoy the sweetness of nursing my baby boy, knowing that it will come to an end all too soon!

For comparison:

Alex was born on December 26th, and he had his first bottle on January 22nd at 4 weeks old.
He stopped taking bottles at around 8 weeks old.

Max was born on August 24th, and he had his first bottle on September 23rd at 4 weeks & 2 days old.

Here's a picture of Alex's first bottle:

Friday, September 25, 2009

21 Months

Our big boy is now 21 months old. Where has the time gone? Alex has grown a bit in size & weight, but he has also grown by leaps & bounds simply by comparing him with tiny little Max.

Alex weighs about 23 pounds now, so he's still on the small side for his age, but at least he's growing...and that's what counts! He's a pretty healthy eater, and he eats a LOT of fruit; maybe that's part of the reason he stays so skinny. He's right on the border between size 3/size 4 disposable diapers. We ran out of size 3s today, so we'll be moving up to size 4s. (Yes, we're still using cloth diapers...for both boys...but we also keep disposables on hand.)

He's becoming a very friendly boy, and he's no longer afraid of being "left". He happily goes to nursery to play. He doesn't mind being left with grandparents or our friends. He says "hi" and "bye" to everyone we see while on walks or shopping trips.

I realized the other day that he understands what it means to smile. I said, "Smile for Mama" when I took his picture, and he gave me the silliest, cheesiest grin. Now he does this every time I take his picture or say "smile". It's so funny, but it should make getting his pictures taken professionally very interesting! :)

Alex loves to eat. He has a "thing" for crackers of all kinds right now, and as the crackers are right at his eye level in our pantry, he is often asking me for crackers to snack on. He polished off a small box of Wheat Thins in less than a week. Thankfully, he can't open the pantry without help. He enjoys sitting at a "big boy" chair at the kitchen table, eating his crackers out of a bowl.

Alex also loves "go-go" with his breakfast every morning...a cup of kefir/drinkable yogurt. I've been making it about half milk/half yogurt lately, and he doesn't seem to care. I don't put a stopper in his yogurt cups, as it's a thicker drink than just juice. Sometimes, that leads to a mess. Alex will wait until I'm not looking, then pour his yogurt all over his tray...or shake it and splatter yogurt all over the kitchen. He's getting good at being mischievous when Mom isn't paying attention.

Since he can't have peanut butter, we tried soy butter. It tastes like peanut butter until the aftertaste hits. Then I find it very gross, but Alex likes it. He's finally had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich! Grandma P also introduced him to Nutella, and we bought some to have at home. Alex sure likes that stuff, and I can see why. Yum!

His favorite toys these days are trucks, trucks, and more trucks. I love to "play trucks" with him, but I also love to sit back and watch him use his imagination as he plays with trucks independently. It's too cute! He loves his fire truck, his plastic dump truck, and his little Fisher Price school bus. The school bus MUST have "guy" in it, though - and only one specific "guy" - the little plastic man from his Fisher Price garage toy.

Alex is also loving his new-to-him tool bench, which Aunt Deb found for him at her neighbor's garage sale. Thanks, Aunt Deb! He loves to play with the hammers, screwdrivers, and tape measure. He also enjoys hammering the plastic nails into the holes...using the side of the hammer, silly boy!

We're also doing a LOT of puzzles in the past week or two. He's very fascinated by puzzles, especially the ones with animals or vehicles. We'll spend 30 minutes just focused on puzzles some days!

Of course, we can't forget the still-so-very-cool choo choo train from Karen. We'll return it before Christmas so Lillie can use the train. We still have to decide how to best go about replacing it.

The one other thing that Alex adores is Maggie's cage. Alex will happily play in Maggie's cage for 20 or 30 minutes, taking a few of his toys in there and playing quietly. Hey, as long as he is safe & happy, I don't mind! Maggie isn't sure what she thinks, but she "allows" it. :)

When we're outside, Alex is still in love with his toy fire truck. When it's raining, I'll sometimes just let him ride it around in the garage. It breaks up the day when we're tired of the indoor toys! He also loves to find sticks & leaves, then throw them in our side ditch. He discovered our doorbell recently, so that's a fun thing to do on the way in/out of the house. The water table has gotten pretty yucky lately with dirt/falling leaves/dead spiders, so I think it's time to rinse it out and put it away until spring.

Alex has become a very good big brother! He had jealously issues in the first week, but now he just LOVES on little Max...sometimes too much! Alex asks for Max as soon as he wakes up in the morning. He brings burp cloths and blankets for Max all day long. He loves to "kiss" Max, which involves an open mouth and a lot of slobber on poor Max's head. Alex lets me know when Max is crying by saying, "Eeeeee, Baby!" until I take care of Max's needs. We just have to be careful that Alex doesn't tip over the bassinet, place burp cloths over the baby's face, or literally smother the baby with love!

When Alex moved to his big boy room, I started changing his diapers on his bedroom floor. We still have a box of books on his bedroom floor, and Alex decided that this is his new changing table. Whenever I say, "Let's go change your diaper", Alex runs to lay on the box. He's so goofy! Since he likes it and he's cooperating with instructions, I just go with it...we tossed a changing pad on top of the box, and it's his new changing table.

Alex is getting interested in colors lately, and I think this is a skill that we can work on. He likes colors, but the only color he truly knows is "wewwow". It's so cute to hear him say this! He really does recognize yellow, but he also calls all colors "wewwow". He has said "bwoo" a few times, too, but I don't think he really understands. I'd like him to be able to correctly identify (by pointing) blue, green, yellow, and red. We'll work on that through PLAY in the new few months, but I don't want to make it boring for him by drilling him on his colors.

Alex likes to do the paint with water book that Grandma S got him, but only if we sit at the bar stools in the kitchen. I'd read a suggestion about using ice cubes & a 9x13 pan to "paint" the pictures, but Alex thought that was a great opportunity to throw a handful of ice cubes across the we'll just stick to the paintbrush!

He's just starting to understand that playdough is not for eating, so we're trying to use playdough a few times a week. Karen got him a Playdoh Octopus as a big brother gift, and we're having fun with that!

Other crafty things have not gone well yet. Crayola's Color Wonder markers? Well, we put those away when Alex ate the tips off the markers. Crayons? They're good for 5 minutes in a restaurant, but frustrating at home...and he colored the changing table drawers red a few weeks ago and I once changed a diaper full of blue crayon bits, so we can guess what happened to that crayon! I may pick up some new bathtub crayons, as Alex did like those...and it was easy to supervise his crayon use in the tub!

We're reading 6-8 books a day right now. I'd like to read more, but our active little Alex is just not able to do that much sitting still! We read while Max nurses, read before naptime, and read a Bible story at bedtime. We also look at his truck book & tractor book, but we just talk about the pictures, so I don't include that in the book count. His current favorites are a children's book about Psalm 8 and Harry The Dirty Dog.

Alex usually asks to watch Curious George on tv at some point each day, so that's been his only tv lately...that, and the introduction to Sid The Science Kid...but then the tv is turned off. A Curious George episode consists of two segments - and each segment concludes with real video of children doing an activity. Alex does NOT like that part. Since we usually watch Curious George episodes that we've recorded on DVR, Alex will grab the tv remote & hit the forward button (or have me do it) to get to the next cartoon segment.

Alex also likes to watch a few short YouTube video clips on occasion. "The Eensey Weensey Spider" by Super Simple Songs is his YouTube of choice lately.

Alex is starting to repeat a lot of words lately. For example, Grandma P gave him a bean from her chili at lunch last week. She told him what it was, then Alex said "bean" when he wanted another one.

Here's a list of new words in the past 2 months:

"key" (before, he called a key "car")

"hnnn go" = here you go

"go??" = where did it go/where are we going?

"aw gaw" = all gone

"ahhhh-peee" = peek-a-boo

"nnn mo" = one more

"no mo" = no more

"gark" = dark

"kaw" = cloth (washcloth or towel)

"nain" = rain

"guy" = little people characters or other small plastic people

"doot" = zipper (the sound a zipper makes)

"baby nigh nigh" = put the baby down & pay attention to me

"nooooo" or "yeah" (his answer when you ask him a question)

"eeee baby"= the baby is crying

"tir, tir, tir" = stir, stir, stir (while helping me in the kitchen)

"mwow"= meow or kitty

Mom/Dad (rather than always saying mama or dada)


"Geeg" or "Gaggie" = Mag or Maggie

"boo-woo-woo" = tractor (also must make a silly hand motion with this)

Overall, Alex has become a fun-loving, friendly little boy. We just love seeing his personality as he gets bigger, and we're so happy to have such a sweet, happy boy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Keith was on the living room floor one night last week, and Alex got down on the floor, too. It took a little while for us to realize what Alex was doing, but I think these pictures will make you smile like we did...

First Tub Bath

On Saturday night, Max had his first tub bath. I expected him to get upset when his little body hit the water, but he just kicked back, relaxed, and totally enjoyed himself!

Just to compare, here is Alex's first bath:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Life With Two

With a toddler, it's hard to just sit still & cherish those little baby moments. Rather than snuggling on the couch with a newborn, I'm convincing the toddler to stop shoving his shoes down the floor vent and other crazy things that would never have crossed my mind until I saw the act in progress!

It's nice, though, every once in a while to snag some cuddle time with my sweet little one. Keith got Alex's bath started the other night while I just sat & enjoyed Max. He was calm, content, and awake. It felt so good to just sit there & look at his wide-open eyes. Here's what I saw...not a great picture, but I love looking into those big blue eyes.

Then I lay the baby down & head into the bathroom to give Alex his bath while Daddy has some Max time. I find Daddy turning around to get something while Alex dumps his clean pajamas & diaper into the bathwater. Sigh...and we're back to the "new normal" at our house! :)
(unrelated picture of my mischievous toddler)

Life with 2 kids is easier than I thought it would be, actually! I expected mischief from Alex, nights with often-interrupted sleep, and all the other craziness. Maybe since I knew what to expect, it just seems easier than those early months with Alex. For the most part, the sleep-deprivation doesn't get to me and I'm not really frustrated or stressed very often. (I didn't say never stressed...there are moments!) I know these baby days go by far too quickly, so I'm trying to enjoy every minute!

We've managed to find new routines that make the day go fairly smoothly. The house is not perfect, but usually good enough to suffice. We're all wearing clean clothes and eating 3 meals a day (well, Max is eating 8 or 9 meals a day...the little piggy!) We've done a major grocery shopping trip with Mama & the two little ones...and no one cried, screamed, or struggled. We've made it to Bible study (ON TIME!) two weeks in a row. We've had no problem getting out of the house by 9 AM, with everyone showered, dressed, and organized. This is far better than I handled it all with Alex at this age. I'm definitely not bragging - just saying it's easier this time around!

Of course, there are "those days". When I looked up last Wednesday morning to see the bassinet falling on top of Alex & the baby rolling out on to the floor, the day got stressful in a hurry! I felt bad for Alex when he was wandering the house in boredom all day because Mama was handling a fussy baby. I got grumpy when Alex (who woke up at 6 AM) took only a 45 minute nap, leaving me with a crabby boy by 3 PM. Wednesday was a day when Keith couldn't come home soon enough! Thankfully, that's been our only truly rotten day so far.

Overall, I am LOVING being Mama to these two little boys! They are a wonderful blessing, and I am enjoying (almost...) every minute with them!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who Let Him Grow?

Max had his 2 week pediatrician visit this morning, and he's a healthy & happy little guy. Keith & I were making guesses last night, and Keith guessed that Max might be up to 8 lbs by now. I guess that he was about 7.5 lbs. As it turns out, Max has exceeded both of our guesses...

He is 8 lbs, 4 oz already! He's also grown 2 inches. Needless to say, the Dr. Brewer was pretty happy with that. Mama, on the other hand, is only a little bit happy...Stop it, little boy! You & Mama have a deal that you're going to stay a newborn forever, remember? ;)

Of course, we're thrilled and blessed beyond measure to have a healthy, growing baby boy. Good job, Maxwell!

Other things to note -
I asked if we could weigh Alex as long as we were there, and he's now 23 little pipsqueak! At 18 months, he was 21 he's making progress. That ought to make Dr. Brewer at least a little bit happy. :)

We don't need to return until he's 2 months old unless we have concerns. Since we're "experienced parents" now, Dr. Brewer suggested that we just skip the one month visit.

We LOVE Dr. Brewer! I wish she could be my doctor, too...but I'm not sure that I qualify for a pediatrician anymore. She's the BEST, kindest, most patient & understanding doctor around...she let Alex wear her stethescope and "help" her examine Max today. So cute! She even gave us cloth diapers & cloth wipes as a baby gift when Max was born! Pretty special, if you ask me! If you live in our area & need a pediatrician, we'd highly recommend her!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day weekend

Well, life is never dull in this house! On Friday night, we went to Grandma & Papa's for dinner. On Saturday night, we went to Deb & Tony's for dinner. On Sunday afternoon, we took Alex to a new park that we've been wanting to visit for quite a while. On Monday morning, we went to a very LONG Labor Day parade...but it was still fun!

We're definitely not over-doing it, but still trying to make sure that we have family time & that Alex gets to do some special things, too. He's about to have a rather boring week while Daddy is at work, so I'm glad he got to enjoy some fun activities and extra attention this weekend.

Nothing gets to interfere with naptime at this point, as Alex is in definite need of good naps these days! If only we could get him to nap for longer than 1 - 1.5 hours. I think he needs more sleep, but nothing in the world will make him sleep longer. Same is true at bedtime. He willingly goes to bed at 8 PM, but he's been waking too early in the morning (6ish, sometimes even earlier...) and won't go back to sleep. It's sad when the little baby sleeps better than the "big baby"!

Here are some pictures of our weekend fun...and a few cute pics of the baby, just for the fun of it! :)

a little more family...

Deb & Tony invited us for dinner on Saturday night - YUMMY pork, by the way! Thanks!
Alyssa, Tony, & Derek hadn't met the baby yet. I only managed to get pics of Alyssa with the baby. Derek was taking off with friends, and Tony was busy with his little buddy Alex. (Alex got his first ride in Uncle Tony's old car!)

After dinner, Donna/Emma/Greg and Grandma & Grandpa S came to visit for a while, too. Alex had his first slice of strawberry pie, and he quickly learned the word "pie" that night! He LOVED it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Meeting Family & Friends

(there are two new posts today...this one is long, so scroll w-a-y down for the other one)

Just a bunch of pictures of Max's first visits with our family and friends

(has Papa been hiding from the camera?!)