Sunday, November 30, 2008

Laughter

This is what Sawyer is like when he doesn't go to sleep. It's hard to be frustrated when he's so happy. :)

video

Mirror, Mirror

From what I've read, babies don't recognize themselves in the mirror until they're two or so. We like to show Sawyer the Baby in the Mirror, but usually he'll just smile at the reflection of whomever happens to be holding him at the time. However, yesterday while shopping with Denise and Lynn, Sawyer fell in love with his reflection. He got a little fresh, actually, and I think made it to first base. My sweet little Narcissus. I'm sure the salespeople did not appreciate the mess he made on the mirror, but I thought it was adorable!




Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Part Two

We went over to Buck and Lynn's today for more leftovers and Sweet Potato Soup (yum!) with Paul and Denise and their four boys. The boys all played frisbee and football while the girls (plus Braden and Sawyer) went shopping. It was a fun day!
Lynn and Denise admiring Braden.
Sweet Braden! I can't believe Sawyer was ever this little!
Here's someone who looks cute in antlers!
Hanging with Uncle Paul.
Playing with big cousin Bryce.

Daddy Cuteness

Robbie took a bath with Sawyer this morning after Saw ate his rice cereal. He pretty much needs a bath after eating. I thought this was adorable!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sawyer on Solids, Take Two

After three days of trying avocados, with no adverse affects and NO excitement from Sawyer, we tried rice cereal this morning. A good morning to try it, after being bitten. Sawyer's getting all pumped milk today, yessiree. He wasn't terribly excited by rice cereal, but did not hate it as he did avocados, and I can see how he has progressed in the past few days from choking on his first bite to now working food into his mouth and swallowing. Yay! He would much rather be feeding himself, and by that, I mean playing with the spoon and the bowl and the rice cereal. Only in your dreams, buddy.

Uh oh, not a great face.
Just kidding! I like food! Maybe.
I only wish I could play with this spoon.

Sleep-Crawling

If you've been reading for a while, you may remember that Sawyer's sleep routine became kind of crazy when he started rolling over a lot. Without waking up, he would roll over in his sleep, and then run into things and wake up. Now that he has figured out crawling--oh, yes, a video is to come--we are going through the same thing. I put him down. He sleeps for a little while, then starts really crying. When I go in, he has crawled to the edge of his bed and is ramming his head into it, or is stuck in a corner. The rolling passed, and I remember someone commenting that with every developmental stage, their sleep changes, and I'll hope we pass through this sleep-crawling one soon!

First Blood

It finally happened--Sawyer bit me when nursing. I had been worried about this since he got his two bottom teeth in, but noticed as he nursed that his tongue usually covers them as he's nursing. This morning, however, apparently I read cues of hunger when really they were cues of boredom, so when he latched on, it was more like a pit bull than a baby. Yes, it bled. And let me just ask--have you ever had to put hydrogen peroxide on your nipple?? Not the way I wanted to start off my Friday morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

T-Day

I'd been looking forward to Thanksgiving food for a long time, and today did not disappoint! I was sad to leave my family, but we had a nice small Thanksgiving with Buck and Lynn (aka Pappy and Mammy), Daniel, Peter, and Norman, a family friend. I made apple/pecan/sausage stuffing, which was yummy but inexplicably turned purple, and garlic mashed potatoes. Robbie injected and fried two turkeys, which were delicious, and Lynn made a great salad, green beans, pumpkin mousse and her blueberry dessert. Yum! Is it bad that I already want leftovers? I'm drinking coffee instead.

This bird may look black, but it was so juicy and fantastic!
He may still not like avocados, but he would take some turkey.

Sawyer's Thanksgiving Food

Here are a few photos from Sawyer eating this morning. I think we're giving up on avocados now, as it's been three days and he has NO interest in them. He is better now--you can see him moving it in his mouth and swallowing, but he does not want to eat them, even when mixed with breastmilk. Next up, rice cereal or bananas! These pictures are a great show of how he feels about the green stuff.
This is blurry, but I LOVE his expression.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I Love Texas

It's like 80 degrees here today, which is amazing considering a few days ago in Richmond we had a few highs of 40-something. I took the Bible out onto my back patio, put Sawyer out there in the exersaucer, and even Tex came out for a nap. What a great way to start the morning!

Sawyer's New Do

Sawyer's enjoying the floor a lot more now that's he is so close to crawling. Here you can see him hanging out in the kitchen with his new trim. Still got that superman curl in the front!

A Few Last Family Photos

Here are a few last family photos from my time in Richmond. I love these of Dad playing peek-a-boo with Sawyer!



The house I lived in from fourth grade on. Look at all the leaves!
We took a last walk in the sunny, cold weather.
Mom took the stroller off-roading.
A last nap together. Aww...

Starting with Solids

I thought I'd post a few helpful hints on solids that I've been reading as we are beginning this new stage.

Wait until baby is ready. Though people seem to be starting earlier and earlier, much research shows that waiting until around six months is a good idea because of the maturation of enzymes and the baby's ability to coordinate tongue and swallowing movements.

Choose an ideal time for the first feeding. Since the first food will really be an addition, not substitute, for formula or breastmilk, don't feel that it has to be a meal time. Choose a time where baby is happy and or hungry.

Forget the spoon and try your finger. Baby will be used to your finger being in his or her mouth, so think about letting him eat from your finger rather than introducing two new things--food and spoon at first.

Limit one food at a time. To keep an eye out for allergic reactions, keep to one food for four or more days before starting another. Consider keeping a food log of what baby eats, when, and his or her reaction.

Watch for allergic reactions. A few common symptoms include: rashes, diaper rash, hives, runny nose or sneezing, diarrhea, irritability, temperment changes, puffy eyes. If you notice this, make note of the food and talk to your healthcare professional.

Don't expect baby to love anything the first time. Though I knew this going in, I still had high expectations and was disappointed that Sawyer didn't take to it. Remember this is a totally new thing and a totally new taste. As you continue with the same food for those four days, baby's reaction may change as he or she gets used to this new action of eating and the new taste.

Don't overdo it. Baby's tummy is about the size of his or her fist, so don't expect her to consume a lot of food, especially the first few times. Remember that at first, solids are not the primary source of food and nutrition for baby, so eating just a tiny bit is totally fine.

Be patient.
This would have been good for me to remember, as I was SO excited and then SO disappointed by our first day of solids. I need to remember that this is a whole new concept for Sawyer in terms of taste and motor coordination. Soon I'm sure he'll be eating like a champ, but it will take time to integrate this new stage! If you're entering this arena as well, especially with your first baby, give yourself some slack and take it easy!

Sawyer on Solids, Day 1

I have been really excited to start Sawyer on solids for a while. I wanted to wait until I got home from Virginia, so I wouldn't have too many new things while traveling, but I know he's ready. He's been diving into our food for months now, and at six and a half months, I feel assured it's time.

What's interesting is that in all the books I have and most of the sites I visited, there is information on how to do the first feeding and what to give, but not how to integrate this with breastfeeding--do you nurse before or after? Do you have to nurse as much? I had to search a lot to find anyplace that talked about it, which was disappointing to me. What I read was that you'll probably nurse as much, at least at first, and that it's a good idea to nurse first, since baby is getting the best nutrition still from milk. A few places said not to try and make the first feeding a meal, but to pick a time of day where baby was happy, or maybe bored and ready for something new.

So in the afternoon when Robbie came home, we got Sawyer all set up in the high chair with bib, and I got food ready. I wanted to start with avocado, which I've read great things about. I mashed it into almost liquid, per instructions I read, and Robbie put a tiny bit on his finger for Sawyer to suck.

I took a video, but I will never post it here, because the first thing that happened was that Sawyer started gagging and choking, which was terrifying to me, and then he spit up EVERYWHERE. We picked him up, rinsed him off and rinsed off the tray, then tried another tiny bit. While he's super excited about our food when we're eating, he was NOT excited about eating. He maybe ate a miniscule amount, but did not seem to enjoy it, and was not particularly adept at knowing what to do with something that's not milk.

I know that first feedings often go something like this, but I was really disappointed. I thought he would love it, since he's been wanting to eat our food forever. I never expected it to be difficult, or for him to choke. Today we'll keep on with the avocado, since it's good to keep the same food for four or so days to monitor allergic reactions, but I think I'll puree it with breastmilk and see how that goes. More updates, and hopefully pictures, to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We Made It!

I miss my parents and brother, but boy is it nice to be back in my house and with my hubby! And with 75-degree weather to boot! I love Texas.

Anyway, we did make it back, and with a better flight. I gave Sawyer some benadryl in the airport right before we left, but the flight also coincided perfectly with nap-time and feeding time, so we got on, he nursed during take-off, fell asleep and stayed asleep for half the flight. The second half, he was awake and VERY wiggly, but not fussy. He really liked smiling and making faces at the teenage boy across the aisle. Other than the passive-aggressive stewardess, who was insanely obnoxious and told me in a really sweet voice that I was a "catastrophe," we had a good experience.

Now we're trying to settle back into life at home. The cutest thing ever was Sawyer's face when he saw Robbie. I have never seen him light up so much. When he saw Rob, he got this amazing smile and just BEAMED at him. It made me a little teary, I will admit. It's funny, as we get older, we tend to kind of put a damper on our emotions and hide them to a degree. If only we all greeted people we love with the gusto of babies or dogs, the world might be a much better place.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Price of Crawling

Sawyer is saving his first real crawl for home with Daddy, I think, but he has made huge strides this past ten days. He now does planks a lot--coming up on just his hands and feet. I think he'll be one of those foot crawlers, not a knee crawler, and will probably rush right from crawling to walking when he can. He is really wanting to cruise, and with help, will pull up on furniture and take little steps. He also figured out how to go from crawling position to sitting up on his own, which is huge! But, he has been working and working at the crawl and getting closer and closer, from going backwards pushing hard with his hands to hopping with both feet together and face planting, to almost making. Here's the catch--since he hasn't quite got it, his face ends up on the carpet a lot, which has resulted in rug burns on his cheek. This is the best evidence, though in person it's much redder. My poor little man!

Tribute to My Fam

My trip to Virginia is coming to an end, and despite missing Robbie terribly and being sick almost the whole time, it has been wonderful. I wanted to say a little about my family and how special they are, especially now with Sawyer.

First we have my Dad, Grandpa Turkey. He calls Sawyer Bo almost exclusively, a remnant from my pregnancy. Turkey likes to take Bo walking and talk to him--in adult voice, not baby talk--about things like the stock market and the fall leaves. Sawyer can also count on Turkey for fun chair-bouncing and dancing and nose rubs and raspberries. You could not have a more fun Grandpa!
Then there's my Mom, whose name we haven't settled on--Gammy, Gummy, Grandma... Anyway, she is the go-to girl for Sawyer time, from holding him and showing him new toys, to letting him fly around the living room, to keeping him happy when he's on the verge of meltdown. She even donned a bathing suit to take a bath with little Sawyer, which he enjoyed immensely, being the little froggy he is. They took naps together, walks together, and played for hours. Sawyer's lucky to have a great Grandma, no matter what he decides her name should be!

And then there's Unckie Geoff, or Uncle G. It was hard for anyone else to get their hands on Sawyer because Geoff spent so much time with him. I don't know that anyone could make Sawyer smile as much as Geoff with his boy noises, funny faces, and boy-play. Geoff was the one who taught Sawyer it's more fun to stand outside the exersaucer than be in it (which I'm going to hate when I get home...) and Geoff carried a fussy Sawyer around the house for hours when everyone else was exhausted. Sawyer is lucky to have a ton of uncles with Rob's huge family, but Unckie Geoff holds a special place as the only St. Clair uncle, and boy does he make that count! When no one else could make Sawyer happy, Geoff was always the one to win that great big Sawyer smile.

Thanks family for such a wonderful visit and for loving and taking care of Sawyer and me! (And for letting me eat you out of house and home...)

Triple Yikes

Last night while flipping stations trying to find the perfect show to watch on my last night with cable, I found a description of a show I missed that was horrifying. Here is the description--I did not actually get to watch the show for more details. A 75-year old woman was having health problems, and it turned out that she had a full-term, calcified baby in her that had been there for FORTY-SIX YEARS. Can you imagine?? I am so disturbed that I don't think I want to know anything more about this story...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gene Simmons Would Be Proud

Sawyer's known about his tongue forever, but he goes through phases where he loves it. Since we've been in Richmond, he's decided it's his favorite new toy. I get told pretty frequently that I have a long and strange tongue, and apparently Sawyer inherited this from me. I told my mom today that Gene Simmons and I could really have created a superior breed of humans with superior tongues. But I like Robbie better...

Visits with Friends

We've had lots of friend visits this week, though I was scared to get together with Sarah and little Sabine since she's so little! Our sickness is better, but with a slightly runny nose and an occasional cough, I didn't want to risk the little Bean! But we did hang out with my high school friend Katy (sister of Molly from previous post) and her little guy Charlie.
Charlie literally crawled circles around Sawyer.


Aren't they cute!?!?

Later in the week, we hung out with Jenna and Liam. I think Liam and Sawyer would have a great time wrestling together, and if left alone, would surely assault Bailey the dog.


Some of the wrestling. They both wanted the same link, of course. A house full of toys and they want a link.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blog Tag

Courtney tagged me via comment. Her blog is linked to the right and talks about her life as an ESL teacher/missionary in Peru if you want to read about her adventures. I am now going to share seven facts about me, and tag seven people to do the same.

1. I was once bitten by a pig at Maymont. I have a scar.
2. Once a crazy English guy proposed to me in Richmond Park in London. I happily said no. Then an amazing American guy proposed to me in his backyard. I said YES.
3. When I was little, I dreamed of being a professional roller skater.
4. I am always the last one up at night.
5. For a long time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids.
6. I hate cold weather, but miss Virginia falls.
7. I don't like surprises.

I am tagging Laura, Laurie, Emily, Jenna, Mollie, Natalie, and Kelly. I'm too lazy to link here, but they are all linked to the right if you want some fun reading!

My Crazy Dancing Family

Here are two videos from tonight of my insane and lovely family. In this one, Dad helps Sawyer strut his stuff. I may or may not have peed my pants a little during the making of one of these.
video

My Crazy Dancing Family, Pt 2

Here is Geoff corrupting Sawyer while dancing to a song I love.


video

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Bird--I Mean, BIRTH

I am at liberty to watch my parents' ten thousand channel cable while in Virginia, and while flipping between E! News and Food Network Challenge, I caught a bit of Freebirthing on Discovery Health. I heard about freebirthing when researching home birth, and the site I found was really wacky. If you don't know, freebirthing is exactly what it sounds like--giving birth to your baby with no assistance whatsoever, usually with only a spouse in the room observing or offering support.

When I first heard of home birth, I did think it was crazy. Then I researched it, and I think that anyone who does may come to the same conclusion I did: home birth may not be for everyone, but with a certified midwife, it can be an amazing and safe and healthy birth experience. The people who are freebirthing, from what I can tell, offer some of the same reasons that home birthers do for their choices. They would like an intervention-free, natural birth that is more as nature intended. The reason to not have a midwife is that they tend to believe that having any outside presence in the room will cause undue stress, and that birth is meant to happen as it happens with NO intervention, even the non-invasive and gentle care of a midwife.

I'm not putting any links here, because I didn't find any great sites that distinguished themselves from any others about this, but if you want to read more, you can find plenty of sites and stories online from and about freebirthing women. I have to say that I understand the desire to have a natural, empowering birth, but I think the choice to go it alone is, at the least, unwise. With home birth, the more I read, the more I felt assured of the safety of this choice. With freebirth, the more I read, the more I felt uncomfortable and frightened.

Not that you want to assume that things can go wrong in birth, because I do believe in most cases, your body would do what it needs to on its on. But there are all kinds of very common birth issues, from major to minor, and I feel that having an advocate and helper who is trained and experienced in birth is the responsible choice. As to the argument that having any presence in the room can cause discomfort, if those women have a relationship with their midwife like I did with mine, there will be nothing but peace and comfort resulting from the presence of a midwife in an ideal situation. I think it can also be empowering and encouraging to have other women like a midwife or doula present to cheer you on through labor and delivery.

I talk a lot on here about people making informed choices, and I respect the right of these women to freebirth. But I have to say that after being informed, I don't know that it is the most responsible or best choice for anyone. Anyone catch the Freebirthing documentary or have thoughts about this trend??

Sleep! That's Where I'm a Viking...

This has nothing to do with sleep, only vikings. (The post title is a Simpson's quote.) We got Sawyer this hilarious hat in the Williamsburg Toyshop. I'm glad I didn't get him the matching sword or we'd probably all be missing eyes by now. Sorry for the bright second picture--my camera stinks.

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