Monday, August 29, 2011

9 Months Old!

Tomorrow, Will will be 9 months old! He has officially been out of my belly as long as he was in there! Oh my goodness, it's gone so fast.

He seems to really be growing lately, and we've had to retire lots of clothes. Which is sad, but also fun because we get to buy new clothes! I think he's still somewhere in the 17 pound range, but we will find out for sure at his well child visit next Wednesday. He is now wearing mostly 9 month shirts and onesies, but he's starting to wear a few 12 month things. He is still wearing size 3-6 month shorts, but I'm thinking he won't be in them too much longer. We finally moved up to size 3 diapers. It was nice to actually be in one size for several months. That way I could stock up and not have tons of diapers leftover when he outgrew them!

His little personality just shines through more and more each day. He is so much fun. He loves to laugh and play games. His favorites are peek-a-boo and patty cake. He loves clapping for anything and everything. We watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Family Feud a lot around here, and he gets so excited for the people on those shows. He claps his hands and looks so proud of them. It's the sweetest thing ever.

I have introduced a few signs (eat, more, and all done). I thought he was trying to sign more a few times, but then I realized he was just clapping. He claps no matter what sign I show him. Apparently, he is very proud that his mom knows baby sign language. Maybe he will "get it"  before too long.

He has also started saying more words. He will even repeat a few words after me. He can repeat mama, dada, uh-oh, and ball. Uh-oh is my favorite. It is very dramatic!

He is so close to walking. He pulls up on everything and cruises around moving from one object to another. We got him one of the push-behind walker toys, and he pushes it all over the house. He's not so great at steering, so he runs into a lot of walls. I go help him turn around, and he's off again. He loves to walk around holding on to just one finger, but if you pull that finger out of his grasp, he squats to the ground. I'm ok with that, though. No need to rush the little man. He gets into enough stuff and makes enough messes as it is!

On a not so positive note, his stubborn side has really shown through this month. He has decided that he wants to wake up between 5 and 5:30 every day. Some days it is even earlier. He stands in his crib and screams until someone comes in and lays him back down. He eventually goes back to sleep. Unfortunately, his mom and dad don't always go back to sleep! This has been a source of frustration for all of us. I've tried several different things, including just letting him stand there and scream (after 45 minutes, I gave up). It could be teeth. He could be growing. I think it's just plain stubbornness. Sadly, I can only blame myself for that trait.

Nursing is still going well. I'm hoping we will be able to continue through 12 months, but I'm just trying to take it day by day. He sometimes seems uninterested, and I'm not sure if it's that he's just not that hungry, or if he might just be getting uninterested in nursing all together. We will see. As far as solids go, he prefers to feed himself, so we're hardly using baby food at all anymore. He is a very good eater and does really well with finger foods, so that's mostly what he eats these days. He loves grapes, blueberries, carrots, corn, and cheese (along with lots of other stuff!).

In a couple weeks, I will be leaving him overnight for the first time. Theron and I are going on a weekend trip to Dallas with some of our church friends, and Theron's mom has kindly agreed to come keep Will for us. I have been doing lots of praying about the whole thing, and I'm starting to have a real peace about it. If you think of us, you might say a quick prayer. I know it's just a weekend, but this mama has a hard time leaving her little guy behind. I know he will have a great weekend with his MeMa.

One of my very favorite things that has emerged is Will's love to cuddle. I love to cuddle, too! After he wakes up from his naps, we cuddle on the couch for awhile, and it's my absolute favorite time of the day. I love his sweet hugs, and when I walk in the other room, I love hearing "mama, mama, mama" as he looks to see where I went. He is my sweet boy, and I love him so very much!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adding Activity to Your Day

I took a short...ok...2 week break, but now I'm back, and I've got plenty to write about! I keep thinking things will slow down (I'm a stay-at-home mom for crying out loud!), but they never do. Granted, most of it is stuff I schedule and bring on myself, but I stay pretty busy, nonetheless. I actually love keeping my calendar full and tend to get bored when I have nothing going on.

However, I do like to have a day at home with absolutely nothing to do, other than stupid stuff like cleaning and laundry. That stuff never ends, though, so I try not to let it ruin a good lazy day.

The only problem with taking such a long break from blogging is knowing where to begin once I come back! A lot has happened since the last time I wrote. Since it's technically Wellness Wednesday, I suppose I'll try to write something along those lines and fill you in on everything else later.

As you all know, fitness is a big part of my life. I've written about this a few times before. I've been physically active my whole life, and I really enjoy a good workout. However, since giving birth (almost 9 months ago!), it has been a struggle for me to really fit my workouts in. I've even tried to lower my expectations, and I'm still having trouble. I'm beginning to realize I have to fit exercise into my life however I can. Even if it doesn't look like what I'm used to. I may not have time to go for a 45 minute run or to do an hour long pilates DVD, but I can squeeze little things in throughout my day that really add up. Here are a few ideas that I've incorporated into my daily "workouts."

- Don't sit so much. As a mom, I feel like I am constantly running around, so when Will is napping, I often want to get on the computer or watch TV. Don't get me wrong. I do plenty of this. I began to realize I was doing WAY too much of this. Yes, checking my email, my Facebook, and Pinterest are actually good for me. I need time to sit down and take part in some mindless activities. However, I was finding that instead of spending 30 minutes doing these things, I was spending an hour...or more, which is totally unnecessary. I have tried to start limiting my computer time, and if I watch TV, I try to do crunches, push ups, jumping jacks, and other similar activities while I do it. Just getting up and moving (even if I'm watching TV) burns so many more calories than sitting on the couch or at the computer.

- Make it fun. A lot of times I don't even realize I'm being active because I'm just having fun. Will and I have been taking walks to our neighborhood park every morning before it gets too hot. We don't walk all that fast. We stop to look at dogs and trees and water. We play in the park. I push him on the swing. I take him down the slide. I'm being active, but I'm having too much fun to notice. Will and I also dance every day. Yes, every day. We have several Pandora stations that we love, so I pick one, and we dance. I act ridiculously goofy, and Will giggles and giggles. I love it! Again, it's something active that is so much fun. Have fun. Play with your kids. You'll get a workout, and you won't even realize it.

- Do the simple things. Park further away at the store. Take the stairs whenever you can. Before you put the groceries away, lift each bag a few times. I've even been known to do crazy things like walking in place while I wash dishes, doing lunges across the kitchen while unloading the dishwasher, walking laps throughout my house while talking on the phone. All of these little things add up.

These are just a few ways I try to squeeze in extra activity throughout my day. Yes, I still try to do a "formal" workout a few times a week, but on the days that doesn't happen, I just try to keep moving. Adding any extra movement and activity to your day burns additional calories, builds muscle, and gets your heart pumping.

How do you make time for your workouts? What tips do you have for squeezing extra activity into your day? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's already Thursday again?

Hey there! So...I missed a few days. I'm not really sure where they went. I'm not really sure this whole schedule thing is keeping me on track the way I thought it would. I'm not really sure it matters, though.

Anyway, I'm glad this is supposed to be a random-thought Thursday because I have lots of random thoughts to throw at you. My absolute favorite kind of post! Here they are.

* Theron and I were in charge of taking the youth group from our church to the Youth Evangelism Conference in Norman over the weekend. It was an awesome weekend filled with great Christian speakers and bands. We had a great time, and I hope the youth group had a great time, too! Sometimes I feel like everyone in the church, all ages, would benefit from going to a youth conference, camp, etc. It seems that they tend to worship much more freely and passionately than we do in our churches on a typical Sunday morning. It's very refreshing.

* My parents and my sister came to take care of Will while Theron and I were in Norman. They all had a great time. Will was spoiled rotten, and my family loved every single minute of spoiling him. I am so thankful for them and for my spoiled little boy. Even though I didn't spend the night away from him, it was the longest we had ever been apart, and we both made it through without any problems.

* My baby is transforming into a little boy right before my eyes. He is pulling up on everything...everything! It makes this mama a nervous wreck! I look up, and he's standing at the fireplace (the brick fireplace!). I turn around, and he's cruising around the coffee table (on our hardwood floors!). I open the refrigerator, and there he is...standing up, pulling out whatever is in his reach. He comes and tugs at my hands and pulls at my legs, begging me to help him walk around I try to get him to crawl, to sit, to play in the floor, but he will have none of it. I give in and walk him around the house, bent over and back aching. I know my permanent hunchback is coming soon.

* Preseason football starts tonight! I don't even care who's playing. I'm just ready for football season to be in full swing. There will finally be something worth watching on Saturdays again! Even though I'm more of a college fan than an NFL fan, I'll take whatever I can get.

* My sister-in-law leaves for Russia in just over a week. She is going to be teaching there for the upcoming school year. I try not to think about it because it brings tears to my eyes. I am so proud of her and so happy for her, but I'm going to miss her so much. I admire her obedience and her willingness to go where God wants her. Please keep her in your prayers as she starts on this new adventure.

* It is raining. Glorious wet stuff falling from the sky. It has rained here 3 days in a row, and that is nothing short of a miracle. We have also had temperatures under 100 for the past couple days, and I am loving it! I've always been more of a summer person, but I've never been so ready for Fall! Thank you God for this relief.

* Lastly, I'm just grateful. Grateful for all I've been given. Grateful for God's provision. Grateful that He is in control, and I am not. Just grateful.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Read for Husbands and Wives

Today, I'm combining Tip-Worthy Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday. I'm doing this for a few reasons.

1. I didn't write anything yesterday.
2. It's 112 degrees outside. That makes me feel lazy.
3. This could be considered a tip (11 tips actually) and it will help your marital wellness (that's a real term, right?)
4. I don't feel like writing 2 separate posts.
5. Did I mention that it's 112 degrees outside?

I came across this article on Twitter and thought it was great! I wish I would've written it myself, but I didn't. I DO, however, agree with everything that is in it. Ideally, I think it would be great for seriously dating/engaged couples to go over together before they get married. However, I think it's still worth looking at if you're matter how long it's been. They are good reminders for all of us!

So, here it is 11 Things a Husband and Wife Must Agree On by Mark Merrill.

Read it, and let me know what you think!

Monday, August 1, 2011

8 Months Old

Saturday, Will turned 8 months old. This month, of course, brought lots of changes. It was a month full of exploring, discovering, and making messes!

He has mastered crawling...even though it is a pretty crazy crawl. He can get anywhere he wants to go and has fun crawling from room to room finding things to drag out. My house constantly looks like a tornado just went through it, but I don't even bother trying to pick up until after Will goes to bed. There is just no point. So, if you stop by my house any time soon, just prepare yourself.

Now that he can move around on his own, he is discovering lots of new things. He usually "discovers" them by putting them in his mouth. I am learning all about babyproofing even though I haven't done too much of that yet.

Being more mobile has also helped him communicate better. Several times a day, he crawls to the back door and sits there and whines like a puppy. He loves going outside, but this 100 degree weather hasn't allowed for too much of that. I also think he is beginning to understand what he is saying when he says "mama."  He has started crawling up, grabbing my legs, and saying it over and over until I pick him up. I try to remind myself that this is sweet and not just annoying when I'm trying to get things done around the house.

He is also understanding several words now including: eat, outside, bath, and uh-oh. He thinks it  is hilarious to throw things on the ground, so someone has to pick them up for him. I do not think this is so hilarious. He still loves bath time. There have been several evenings when he has crawled into the bathroom and banged on the side of the tub until we put him in.

Another one of his favorite things is to look at himself in the mirror. He loves to "kiss the baby" he sees in there!

He saves plenty of kisses for me too, though!

He is growing all the time. I don't have an official weight this month, but I think he's getting close to 17 pounds. He's wearing some 6-9 month and some 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. He loves trying new foods, especially when he gets to feed himself! He's tried lots of finger foods this month. Some of his favorites are toast, blueberries, and of course, Cheerios.

He is getting very good at pulling up and prefers walking (with assistance) over crawling. I'm sure walking is in our near future, and our lives will change yet again.

He's so sweet, so much fun, and quite the charmer. I've had to allow extra time for grocery shopping, so he can stop and flirt with all the old ladies.

He is seeming less and less like a baby every day. I love seeing his independence and his personality emerge, but it is sad to see my baby grow up so quickly. Each stage is so much fun, and I'm always looking forward to seeing how he will grow and change.

Happy 8 months, Will! Best 8 months ever.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

This is one of my very favorite casserole dishes! It is so easy, and SO yummy.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese blend
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 can cream style corn
1 (8.5 oz.) box corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles
1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded chicken breast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup of cheese and next 7 ingredients (through green chiles) and mix well. Pour mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until set. Let cool for a few minutes, then pierce entire surface with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Cover with the chicken and remaining cheese.

Bake at 400 for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted.


Our Attempt at a Good Family Picture

I mentioned that Theron and I were in his brother's wedding last month. We thought it would be a great time to get a good family picture. I'm not so sure we accomplished that, but I thought you all might enjoy looking at our attempts. I don't think we win the "Most Photogenic Family" award, but at least you might get a good laugh. I know I did.

Attempt #1:  I have squinty eyes and look like I'm talking, Will's covering his face, great picture of Theron

Attempt #2:  I am laughing, Will is crying, great picture of Theron (again)

Attempt #3:  I am clearly straining, but still trying to smile as Will wiggles in my arms. Theron is looking at us thinking...can't you two just get it together!

Attempt #4:  More squinty eyes from me, Will is distracted by something going on beside us, another great picture of Theron

Attempt #5:  As good as it's going to get. Clearly no one is calling us to pose on their magazine cover.

We gave up after this one. We knew it really wasn't going to get any better. Maybe I will just photoshop our Christmas cards this year.