Kellen: One Month

Height/Weight: 10 lbs 12 oz, and around 22 inches (maybe taller? He’s obviously grown since birth…)

Sizes: 0-3 month clothes, and already too tall for some of the footie PJs. Size 1 diapers still – we’ll probably move up to 2s when we run out of 1s…

Eating: Kellen is eating well and obviously gaining weight. Sometimes nursing is still painful but we’re fixing the problems as they come and powering through it. I know it’ll be easy eventually!

Sleeping: Still very varied. Sometimes he’ll only sleep if I’m holding him, then the next night he’ll do a nice long stretch in his own bed. Babies are mysterious creatures and I’m not even worried about figuring it out or ‘training’ him… As long as I can function, and he’s getting enough sleep, I’m good.

New This Week:

Kellen finally had his first real bath. He didn’t cry but I’m not sure he actually enjoyed it either – he just seemed vaguely surprised by the whole experience, lol.

We took Kellen to Sabbath School the past two Saturdays – once to Cradle Roll with Rowen and once to Preschool with Damien. Of course, he was sleeping or eating the entire time, but it was fun to get him dressed up. 🙂

We did a bit of semi-local tourism (minus Dan) and met Kaeli at Apple Hill on a Thursday. It was beautiful weather and I would gladly trade the lack of crowds for the attractions that weren’t open during the week (it is a madhouse on weekends!) It was a little scary taking all three kids out without Dan but Kaeli made it easy – now, one of these days I’ll actually have to accomplish something solo and that will most likely be horrible… Haha.

Kellen also had his one month doctor’s appointment on Thursday, in which we learned he’s completely healthy and doing great! It was nice to have a drama-free appointment – let’s hope they’re all like that from now on.

He’s awake a lot more now and just stares at everything, especially when we’re outside on a walk. He’s even done some limited interactions with toys, grabbing them and checking them out for a bit before getting bored/overwhelmed (with two big brothers, there’s a whole lot of the latter!) Oh, and Kellen has started to make adorable baby noises (everyone loves his “gah”) and happy faces that aren’t QUITE smiles.

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Kellen: Two Weeks

Weight: 9lbs 12 oz, so well above his birth weight. He’s getting chub rolls on his arms & legs & I love it 🙂
Sizes: NB short sleeve onesies/pants/most PJs; his LS onesies are too short in the arms. (Why do clothing sizes vary so widely?) He’s still in NB diapers and they fit fine, but we’ll be moving up to ones as soon as we run out.

Eating: nurses forever and always. Wakes me up 3x/night to eat, which wouldn’t be terrible if he wasn’t awake for an hour each time… 
Breastfeeding is getting challenging again because he still has a bad latch (which I’m 99.9% sure is due to his upper lip tie*) but the way the hospital LC showed me to get him latched isn’t working, either because he’s too big now, or too impatient (he gets angry and fights me and if it’s the middle of the night, when I need him to be quiet, I’ll just let him latch badly and be the one to cry instead, because at least I’ll cry quietly…and no, I’m not joking at all!) I had a few challenges nursing Damien and virtually none nursing Rowen, but I have to say – if this was my first time breastfeeding, I’d probably quit by now. Knowing how good, easy, and fulfilling a breastfeeding relationship can be keeps me going (the newborn stage can’t – and doesn’t – last forever!)

* Neither the hospital nurses nor the hospital LC were concerned about an upper lip tie. It’s possible the LC referred by Kellen’s doctor could help or would have a different opinion, but I haven’t managed to connect with her yet. Maybe next week…

Sleeping: Sleeps better swaddled but is always mad when he wakes up
Wants to sleep with me holding him all the time – especially when he has a stuffy nose at night (we have yet another cold going around our family…ugh)

Still sleeps more soundly during the day than at night, but he’s getting (slightly) better.

New This Week: we moved when he was nine days old. Our new place is really tiny (it’s a studio apartment/cabin but actually has a big kitchen and bathroom so the living space is the challenge.) The tricky thing is unpacking without making the place unlivable; the good thing is how easy it is to keep track of everyone in a small space. I actually really like the family all together – especially because I know we won’t be living like this forever! 😉 

In specifically Kellen news, he’s awake more and more and shows a little bit of interest in people… before going back to sleep. He’s definitely getting more comfortable with Dan, which is great both for Dan and me, so I can get a break once in awhile.

Damien is still very interested in him, always wanting to give him hugs, tickles, and ‘Kellen Kisses’ (which, while adorable, aren’t best received while the poor baby is trying to sleep.) He talks about all the things Kellen hasn’t seen (giraffes! Helicopters! Other family members!) and how he can’t wait to show him, which I love because I feel the same way.
Rowen is more laid back in his interactions with the baby, but is always positive and gentle – he talks to Kellen in ‘baby talk’ (which, coming out of the mouth of a two-year-old, is already super cute) and strokes his head when he cries. 

Kellen: One Week

Height & Weight: Not sure on height but it probably hasn’t changed. As of Thursday, he went over his birth weight, weighing in at 9 lbs 3 oz! Good job baby. 🙂 His weight is 85th percentile and his height is above 95th. (At birth he was 90th per. weight/off the charts height.)

Sizes: Newborn diapers fit great. Most of Kellen’s newborn clothes either fit or are too big, with a few exceptions of footie PJs that are already too short. (He is my tallest baby!)

Eating: Kellen and I struggled more with breastfeeding than any of my other kiddos, which is kind of ridiculous as you’d think with four years’ experience I’d be an expert. (Repeat after me: every baby is different!) He started out with a shallow latch in the hospital, resulting in damage (aka open wounds…ew) that made it difficult to nurse later. Then his blood sugar was low but he wouldn’t latch, so I had to express colostrum into a spoon and feed him for a day (after that he thankfully started latching again.) Finally when my milk came in he was too sleepy from jaundice to adequately deal with it, leaving me engorged (and in All the Pain Ever, plus the pain from before mentioned damage), making it hard for him to latch… It was a bad cycle. 

Thankfully when we had to go back to the hospital (more on that later) we met with a lactation consultant who helped a TON, plus Kellen woke up enough to eat. Thus, he is now above his birth weight, and our breastfeeding relationship continues on. Phew! 🙂

Sleeping: So far Kellen is my sleepiest night sleeper – I actually have to wake him up to eat. (Thankfully he’s pretty easy to get up.) So far, he likes sleeping swaddled, and he makes the loudest noises as he sleeps! The check-in person at the lab thought my cell phone was vibrating, but it was really Kellen sleeping in his baby carrier. 🙂 He still has his days and nights mixed up, so I’m not sleeping all THAT much, but I’m dreaming of more in the future..

New This Week:

  • Regained birth weight at six days old
  • Receives many hugs, kisses, and cuddles from both his big brothers. They may be struggling with the transition (Rowen especially) but are still so in love with Baby Kellen.

Kellen came home from the hospital Sunday afternoon after staying an extra day due to his not getting full GBS+ treatment. His bilirubin levels were a little elevated but no one was concerned. By his first doctor’s appointment on Tuesday I noticed his eyes looked yellow, and his doctor ordered more bloodwork. (His doctor is awesome by the way – she’s a family practice doctor new to the area, she’s young and has a toddler at home, and she’s very positive and accessible – she’s called me on her cell more than once.) 

Kellen and I came back from the lab, and settled in for an evening of just the boys and me – Dan and both my parents were working,vwith Dan and my mom working out of town. Of course, this is when we got the phone call from the doctor – Kellen’s bilirubin levels were very high and he needed to be readmitted to the hospital. I commenced a minor freakout (how do I take care of all three kids??) then got us all ready to go while trying to get ahold of someone. I finally got my dad on the phone and thankfully he could come home, so I said goodbye to the big boys and headed back to the hospital. (And after all that, both my mom and Dan were able to meet me there!)

I wasn’t familiar with the bili light treatment – I knew it looked like a mini tanning booth but had no idea Kellen would be inside the entire 24 hours we were there, except when eating. When the nurse explained that to me I cried! I couldn’t believe I couldn’t hold him for so long (and it made me feel bad because I know parents in the NICU deal with that every day for months on end.) I was also really, really lucky that the hospital let me stay with Kellen the whole time – we even had the same room as before – and Kellen did all his treatment in our room. They even fed me, and I got to see several of my favorite nurses from our very recent stay. 

Even though a lot of things about the experience were tough (like leaving my big kids, AGAIN) it actually went smoothly and most importantly worked – Kellen’s bilirubin levels went from 18 at check-in to 14 at checkout, and were 13 the next day. He’s still a bit jaundiced, which will take another week to clear out completely, but he’s doing great!

So now that we’ve got Kellen home and healthy, we get to embark on another adventure – moving! Dan is currently working 45 minutes away and has the opportunity to live where he works, and for a very affordable price. The one catch? It’s a literal one-room cabin in the woods. As we’re currently staying in my parents’ guest room (with all our stuff filling their storage unit and garage) this will actually give us more room, but will still be a really big challenge. I’m trying to think of it as an adventure (and reading up on tiny house living!) We won’t be there forever (months, not years) but it will certainly be an experience in the meantime. (Also: moving with a nine-day-old baby. Plus a two-year-old and four-year-old. Yes, we are probably certifiably insane. Stay tuned!)

Eleven Months

(One Month, Two Months, Three Months, Four Months, Five Months, Six Months, Seven Months, Eight Months, Nine Months, Ten Months)

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I didn’t have a blank onesie this month, so we used a tshirt/diaper combo instead 🙂

Height: At least 30″… I need to measure him again this month (which he hates, because it requires laying down, so I’ve been putting it off)

Weight: 26.5 lbs

Clothing Size: 18 months in PJs/onesies/pants, 12 months in shorts/tshirts

Diaper Size: 4; he mostly wears cloth except for nights/long trips

Shoe Size: 4/5

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Teeth: Two still, but he’s been extra fussy lately so maybe another is on the way

Sleeping: He’s down to two naps a day – one in the late morning; one in the early evening. He can be convinced to turn that last nap into bedtime if someone lays down with him, but otherwise he wakes up and is up for a few more hours. I have been able to get him to sleep by himself for some hours late at night, so we just may have a(nother) night owl on our hands (no surprise there.) Oh! And he wants to sleep in until past nine every morning! (Which is pretty awesome except that he has a big brother who wants to be up at the crack of dawn, so it’s a constant battle to keep Damien quiet so Rowen can sleep.)

 

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Eating: Rowen has yogurt for breakfast in the morning (plus whatever we’re eating), a baby food packet for lunch, and pieces of what we’re eating for dinner. He likes drinking water from a sippie cup and is learning to drink from a normal cup too. If you’re eating, he’ll crawl over to you and beg for food (fussing or asking “nana? nana?” He does the same thing when he wants to nurse.)

Language: His new word is ‘uh oh’ (which he says as he drops something on the ground, or when someone else drops something.) He’s starting to use ‘nana’ (for nursing, or eating in general) a lot more. His word for dog, ‘gog’, has been shortened to ‘ga’ for some reason (oh, and all animals are ‘ga’s unless we tell him otherwise. Then he’ll call them his closest rendition to their name for about fifteen minutes before forgetting and resorting to ‘ga’ again.)

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Milestones & Memories:

Rowen is a speed crawler and cruiser and can get around the house very quickly, which means we have to be extra careful. He also can open doors that aren’t shut all the way (and all of our doors are difficult to latch, includig the front and back doors, so like I said – SUPER careful.) He’s walked in (well, crawled in) on me in the bathroom multiple times. 🙂 Rowen can stand up without holding onto anything for long periods of time, and can bend over and pick something up off the floor without losing his balance, so he totally could walk if he wanted to (but he hasn’t tried to take steps yet.) He can also pull up to standing from very low things, like Dan’s shoes.

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Rowen loves getting in the dog bed (and he is sooo proud of himself when he does it) and crawling throuhg small spaces (like through the TV tray, between people’s legs, and under the kitchen chairs – they’ll get stuck like turtle shells, which is pretty funny.) He loves playing in the backyard – splashing in the water table, swinging in the tiny swing, and cruising around the playhouse. Rowen likes to get out toys and play with them, meaning we now have two mess-makers on our hands. He wants to do whatever Damien is doing, much to Big Brother’s chagrin. Rowen loves playing “How Big is Baby?” (Damien says when he only raises one arm it means “a little big”, haha) and makes a kissy noise when you kiss him or he kisses you. 🙂

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Because he is so mobile, Rowen is a lot more into independent play this month. He can crawl over to something (like the play kitchen) and play with it/make a mess for awhile, then come back when he wants some attention. I feel like his attention span is surprisingly long for a nearly-one-year-old, but when he wants your attention back, he lets you know! Damien has also taken notice of this and tries to play with Rowen now, only they’re still working out the logistics of this, like ‘sharing’ and ‘not smushing each other’ (and I find myself yelling “DAMIEN! YOU CAN’T RIDE YOUR LITTLE BROTHER!” across the house.) Still, I see hope for the future! They do really great at the water table together in the backyard, because Rowen can stand on the shallow side and can’t reach (or even see) the toys Damien puts on the deep side. (Of course, if he can see, Rowen wants whichever toy Damien has and vice versa.)

This month we took Rowen to the college pool for the first time. He was a little unsure at first but soon got into it and was splashing all around in the water. We also went camping on the beach with my parents, which was equal parts extraordinarily difficult and super fun (there was a night of no sleep and an epic fight between the boys, plus I got a really nasty sunburn for the first time since I was a kid myself, but the rest of the time it was great.)

Aaaand here are some funny monthly pic outtakes:

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Mad because I wanted him to hold still and not rock the whole time

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What it looks like when he’s rocking the whole time 🙂

(P.S. Damien at eleven months – I didn’t get a height or weight that month, so I can’t compare there, but I do think Rowen is smaller based on the clothing sizes they’re wearing.)

compare1 compare2

One thing I can say about both my babies – they have/had great leg rolls, and amazing smiles! (Although Damien had a few more teeth in his… Although if you watch Rowen eat you can see that lack of teeth does not hold him back! Haha.)

Ten Months

(One Month, Two Months, Three Months, Four Months, Five Months, Six Months, Seven Months, Eight Months, Nine Months)
IMG_20150526_115205257Height: 30″

Weight: 24 lbs

Clothing Size: Still a mix of 12 months and 18 months, though I think I should probably just move him completely into 18 months so I can finally put the 12 month clothes away.

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Diaper Size: size 4

Teeth: Four days after he turned ten months old, Rowen started running a fever (it ranged from 101-103) and getting REALLY fussy, totally unusual for him, and sure enough the next morning two little bottom teeth were poking through. So now he officially has two teeth. No more seem to be coming through at the moment, but he won’t let me anywhere near his mouth so it’s hard to tell.

Sleeping: Same as always, except when he’s full of the teething angries.

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Eating: Still really into eating. He’s a little less enamored with the toddler snacks/finger food we’ve been buying him – he wants the same grown-up food that we’re eating. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but Rowen has been able to drink from a straw cup for about a month, which totally surprised all of us. It took us forEVER to teach Damien to do that! (Of course, Damien was almost walking at Rowen’s current age, so every kid has their strengths. Eating is Rowen’s strength, lol.) In all events, I need to get sippie cups in front of him so he can learn to use them – I’m guessing the reason he learned to use a straw cup is because that’s what we give Damien when he’s not sitting at the table.

Language: Rowen’s new words for the month are ‘hi’ and ‘bye’, accompanied by a wave! He also will imitate new words but won’t use them just yet (for example, we fed/pet goats and sheep and Rowen was saying ‘seep’ and imitating the maa-ing goats.) He ‘talks’ all the time though, forming words and sentences that sound real, just not in English.

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Milestones & Memories:

Rowen can officially crawl forward! This also happened right after he turned ten months. Of course, his motivation to crawl is so he can get next to some tall furniture and pull up. Still, I’m glad he finally did it, because he was getting REALLY angry at only being able to crawl backwards (although it was pretty funny to watch him disappear under the bed…)

Speaking of cruising, Rowen is getting better at it, and is letting go to stand for short periods of time without leaning on furniture with any part of his body. It’s so fun to watch him literally practice – he’ll let go with one hand, then switch hands, then eventually let go for a second with both hands. He’s also trying to stand up from a seated position without pulling up on anything, but that always ends with him back on his butt again (after a few precarious seconds where it looks like he might faceplant. So far, no faceplants!)

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This month marked the end of the 2014-2015 school year. Rowen had to say goodbye to his babysitters, although with any luck they’ll come back to college and will babysit for us every now and again next year. Dan is done with College Part Two and is tasked with job hunting, while I still have two student teaching sessions to complete (one during the summer and the first week of school, where I mostly observe, and one from September to December, where I actually teach.) During that time Rowen will be in full time preschool/daycare, although I’m not exactly sure where yet. I applied too late to get him into Damien’s preschool, so he’s #1 on the waiting list; I also applied to the same preschool company in a nearby town (they have two locations) but haven’t heard back from them yet. It wouldn’t be as convenient for the boys to be in different schools, but at least both schools offer a wonderful and well-appreciated discount for college students!

IMG_20150526_115101372I hate not knowing what our future holds, but I’m really looking forward to a few months (well, like 1 1/2) to spend with my sweet boys where I’m not caught up in the craziness of being a college student mom. I have a list of fun things to do and I can’t wait to start! 🙂

Fun standing pics:

IMG_20150526_115240572IMG_20150526_115246481 And here are some comparison pics with Damien at ten months:

10m laying 10m sitting 10mo standingThey have a lot of similarities while still looking totally different. Genetics are fun!

Nine Months

(One Month, Two Months, Three Months, Four Months, Five Months, Six Months, Seven Months, Eight Months)

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I call this his incredulous look 🙂

It’s official: this little guy has been an outside baby as long as he was an inside one! (Actually, that was official as of Friday when he was 38 weeks and six days, but close enough.)

Height: 29″, or 2’5″

Weight: 22 lbs 6 oz

Clothing Size: He has both 12 month and 18 month clothes in his dresser right now, depending on brand and length – kid is tall! (I didn’t buy all that much 18 month stuff for Damien, and it’s all very summery, so hopefully it’ll warm up soon!)

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Love that little tongue peekin’ out!

Diaper Size: size 4

Teeth: Still none! That little tooth is right below the surface and that’s it. No more are sneaking through yet.

Sleeping: It’s okay. He still has the occasional bad night but on average probably wakes up three times to nurse (or to get his pacifier put back into his mouth.) He sleeps in my bed with me and sometimes with Dan as well, when Damien has a good night and allows him to leave. 😛 Someday I’ll get him in his own bed but I’m not worried. They’re only little for such a short time!

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So cute! Too bad it’s blurry 😦

Eating: Rowen still looooves to eat and will try anything you put in front of him. (He doesn’t have teeth so he’s only tried gummable food so far.) He’s all about finger food and eating off our plates, but we still give him a container of baby food a day. Rowen nurses 6ish times a day and takes a bottle of frozen breastmilk (well, thawed obviously) if needed.

Language: Rowen is starting to talk, which makes him the antithesis of the “late talker/early walker” second child you hear about all the time, since he still doesn’t crawl. (He does like to stand up and rolls around, plus does a ‘worm’/backward crawl that results in him going backward, He’ll probably be crawling soon, but hasn’t quite gotten there yet. Which is fine – less baby-proofing!) His words so far, in order that he said them: dada, baba (brother), mama, gog (dog). Rowen doesn’t say anything on cue yet but directs the right term at the right person and even points (especially at Ripley; he’ll point at her and say “gog, gog, goggie.”)

IMG_20150427_091730906Milestones & Memories:

Rowen likes to read books (he holds books open and ‘reads’, aka randomly babbles, which is adorable) and will lift the flaps/touch the touch-and-feel parts when you read to him.

He points, claps, gives high fives, and waves (he LOVES to wave!) Rowen is also starting to pull up on things and take teeny steps to cruise around furniture. He’ll let go of whatever he’s holding onto for a second to clap or point or grab something. He still really wanted to crawl and can take one little nudge forward, but then he either faceplants or starts scooting backward… haha, poor kid. Maybe Rowen will be crawling by ten months – if he’s not walking first!

IMG_20150427_091844334 IMG_20150427_091753071What can I say? I absolutely love this little guy, and time is going WAY too fast. I’ve already started thinking about his first birthday, and we’re 3/4ths of the way there! Where is my teeny little baby going? That said, I LOVE getting to know my little Rowen more and more, and each day goes by I fall deeper and deeper in love with him.

P.S. Baby Damien vs Baby Rowen:

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I had to flip Rowen’s picture, and Damien is laying at a slightly different angle, but still fun to compare!

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Rowen’s hair is getting lighter, but still isn’t quite as light as Damien’s was at this age

Even though in pictures Rowen looks like a bigger baby, Damien was actually an inch longer (30″ versus 29″) and quite a bit heavier (Damien was 26 lbs 12 oz, so 4 lbs 6 oz larger than Rowen.) It’s funny because you can see in pictures that Rowen has more rolls, but is so much lighter. I hope Rowen’s baby rolls stick around and last awhile, because I looooove to nom ’em up! 🙂

Eight Months

(One Month, Two Months, Three Months, Four Months, Five Months, Six Months, Seven Months)

IMG_20150326_191922058Height: 28.5″ – a wee bit longer than last month

Weight: 23 lbs – a pound up from last time (weighed & measured at home; I’ll update if I get more accurate numbers this month)

Clothing Size: 9-12 months are fitting well

Diaper Size: Still using up the last of the 3s but he’s more comfortable in 4s. Cloth diapers are still fitting and working well (and I should do an updated post on that, actually.)

IMG_20150326_191724522Teeth: We’ve got one little teeny toofer about to poke through! It’s on the bottom and on the left, right next to where his two front teeth will be, which I think is kind of an odd first tooth but whatever, my kids are unique apparently. (Damien’s first two teeth were right on top of each other on the top and bottom, optimal for teeth-grinding…)

Sleeping: Rowen hit a little bit of a rough patch with sleeping this month. He’s been waking up fussy every few hours a few nights a week, which is less than ideal. I’m hoping it’s teething-related and won’t last forever. Also, some nights he sleeps fine so I really don’t know what’s going on.

Eating: He’s nursing slightly less during the day, something like every 3 1/2-4 hours instead of every 3. He is still nursing 2-3 times a night so I’m sure that makes up for it. Rowen all about eating and is a pro about picking up little foods or food pieces and feeding himself. Last month he mastered Cheerios, and this month he added Gerber puffs and fruit and yogurt melts (which look exactly like yogurt chip treats for rabbits/small animals, but I assume they taste different, not that I’ve tried either) as well as little pieces of whatever we’re eating that aren’t choking hazards. (On a related note, Damien learned the phrase ‘choking hazard’ this month.)

IMG_20150326_191906521Daily Schedule:

Another quarter, another change in schedule… We’ve also been working to get Rowen on more of a schedule himself as far as napping/bedtime, but it’s difficult with our weird schedules and with another kid in the house. I’m trying to pay attention to Rowen’s natural sleep/wake patterns and fit our schedule to that as much as possible.

Mondays/Wednesdays:

  • Everyone wakes up at 7:30ish and gets ready. Then Dan goes to class at 8 (and then to work from there) and Rowen and I take Damien to preschool at 8:30. Rowen and I are at home until my P.E. class at 11am, during which Maggie (his babysitter from last quarter) watches him. From 12-2pm Dan, Rowen, and I are back home, then Dan and I both have class at 2pm. This time Rowen is with Matthias, who babysat him a few times last quarter but is our second regular babysitter this quarter. At 3:15 Dan gets Rowen from the babysitter and then Damien from preschool, and I come home from class closer to 4pm. Then we have a few hours of family time until Dan goes to class from 6-7:15pm. Basically, Mondays and Wednesdays are crazy!

Tuesdays/Thursdays:

  • We start the morning as usual, but this time I have class at 8am so Dan and Rowen take Damien to preschool. Then when I’m out of class at 10 we trade, and I take Rowen while Dan goes to work. My next class is at 2pm and then I pick Damien up from preschool at 3:30 and we’re all home together until Dan again has evening class from 6-8:40pm. (Yuck and yuck! I’m anticipating late bedtimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, since Damien doesn’t like to fall asleep when either Dan or I are missing.)

Fridays:

  • Fridays are the simplest day of the week! I don’t have any classes; Dan has work and one class.

The bad thing about our new schedule (which we’re about one week into) is that I’m alone in the evenings, in that in-between-dinner-and-bed period where the kids are the most difficult. I feel like I should be getting things done (like cleaning up after dinner or doing homework) but of course that’s impossible, so we end up watching TV while I try to work on my computer. I need to just forget about getting anything done then and take them on a walk, to the library, outside to play, whatever – because otherwise we just may go crazy (especially a certain three-year-old and myself; Rowen is pretty chill all the time and his biggest issue is getting upset because Big Brother is upset.)

IMG_20150326_191748246Milestones & Memories:

Rowen is always ‘talking’; I’m not sure if he’s linking words to people yet but if he is, his first word is definitely Dada. He also seems to use Nana when he wants to nurse and he may even use Baba to refer to Damien (brother?) but although he’s babbled ‘mamamama’, I’m still waiting for him to refer to me as Mama. (Update: he’s done it a few times now but it’s not consistent yet. Still, exciting!)

Rowen is trying to crawl but can’t figure out how to get up on his knees and his elbows at the same time – it’s always one or the other. When he’s up on his elbows he ends up going backward, which frustrates him to no end as he sees whatever he’s crawling toward getting further away… He likes to stand but can’t pull himself up to a standing position yet.

IMG_20150326_191925880Rowen learned to clap this month! It’s really adorable. You can see him clapping at the end of this video (which is the second half of Damien ‘reading’ a book to Rowen, and it’s equally adorable.) Right now I’m teaching him how to give high fives; he’ll do it for awhile after I show him but then he forgets and needs re-taught. (I’m also trying to teach him ‘how big is baby?’ but we haven’t got that yet, although it does make him giggle.)

This month Rowen experienced the ocean for the first time, while he experienced another first, camping. I first took Damien camping around this age (actually, I think he was eight months exactly) and the experience was pretty similar – nothing too complicated. I’ll write about our camping trip later but as for the logistics of taking an eight month old baby, the biggest issue was gear, so we brought our minivan instead of the Prius so we could bring Rowen’s stroller for town. I also brought my mei tai and wore him on several walks. Damien opted to sleep with my parents in their tent and Rowen slept in our bed with us. I brought baby food and snacks, but Rowen mostly wanted to breastfeed or try whatever we were eating (turns out, kid loves pancakes!) He LOVED the beach, splashing in the (cold) water and playing in the sand (and yes, eating the sand.)

While we were there, Rowen experienced one more first… his first sunburn. I felt so bad because I really should have known better and even brought sunscreen, but forgot to put it on. He originally had a hat on but it fell off and blew into the water and was soaking wet, so his poor little cheeks were all red for the next day or so. (Luckily it wasn’t bad enough to peel or anything like that. Lord knows I’ve had more than my share of those!) (Oh, and somehow Damien’s sunburn-free record remains intact. He was still wearing a hat on the beach that day, and he’s older so I guess his skin is tougher, but I’m still surprised that a kid with such porcelain skin can remain sunburn-free for so long. When he finally does have his first sunburn, he’s in for a terrible surprise.)

IMG_20150326_191728952This month I finally put the gallery wall up in the living room, and Rowen LOVES it. He stares at it and smiles at various family members and giggles at himself. He loves looking at photos of himself in general and smiles whenever the camera is pointed in his direction.

IMG_20150326_192008755Damien and Rowen’s relationship continues to develop, which I LOVE. Sometimes they cuddle in my bed before school in the mornings, and Damien will do lots of crazy things to try to make Rowen laugh (which of course he always does, because he thinks Big Brother hung the moon and stars.) We’re working on helping Damien share with Rowen (aka ‘not grab the toy he’s currently playing with out of his hands’) and I’m sure that will be at least a decade in the making, if not longer… At least some point Rowen will be able to grab the thing back on his own, haha.

There’s so much fun coming up on the horizon – crawling, talking, walking, first birthday (ee!) – and I can’t wait to experience all of it! I fall more in love with my beautiful baby Rowen Cole every single day.