Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eight Months

Samuel is eight months! I know I keep saying this, but where has the time gone? Someone, please, make it slow down!

My little angel is so wonderful! The biggest adventure of this month was (drumroll please) sleep training. It was a hard journey but after not-too-long he's gone from having to be nursed to sleep and painstakingly laid down and keeping the house in absolute silence, being "in bed" from 11pm to 7 am AND waking up at least two, sometimes three times a night, we have a wonderful new normal! He is now going to bed around 8 every night, usually waking up once to eat, and sleeping until 6 or 6:30! The best part is that he now cries for 10 minutes tops, sometimes not at all when we put him down! Hallelujah!

Early this month we had a little scare when he was making some wheezing noises. It turned out that he was just experimenting with this vocal chords, but we took him into the doctor to get it checked out. While his breathing was just fine, we discovered that he hadn't gained any weight in over a month even though he had gotten taller. The PA was incredibly helpful and told us to start feeding him solids once a day and work our way up to two-to-three times a day. He loves it! He's eaten everything we've tried so far. He didn't like the pureed meat the first time, but then we mixed it with some sweet potatoes and he gobbled it down after that. It's a little bit messy sometimes but it's so fun watching him get better at eating off of the spoon and getting excited and opening his mouth when he sees it coming.

One of the beautiful side effects of more sleep and more food (and probably just age in general) is that he is even happier than before. He laughs much more easily and smiles at everything. He charms everyone, even random passersby on campus when we're walking to and from my classes.

He has started looking at us whenever he accomplishes something, looking for affirmation that he's done something well. It is darling, and he has lots of new tricks to show off. His scooting has turned to speedy quick crawling, and he loves to go! Before he always stayed in the living room or within a foot or so of the carpet. Now he will make a break for the kitchen cupboards or the bathroom, today he got all the way to my bedroom, and the further he gets from the living room the harder he laughs and the louder he squeals! He either feels ultimate freedom in getting around the house by himself, or he has some sneaky plans up his cute little sleeves.

He has gotten very good at pulling himself into a standing position. He still struggles on using the walls, but anything that offers him a little more grip (tables, chairs, the couch) he quickly uses to kneel and then stand, then look back to make sure we're watching and cheering for him. He has also started to learn how to get down! He'll reach one little hand down towards the ground until he falls onto it then quickly uses it to push himself backwards onto his bum.

He has some new "words," my favorite of which is "mamamama." He first started doing it when he was crying (which broke my heart during sleep training) but now every time he does it when he's happy I say, "That's me! I'm Momma! Mamamama" I do the same thing when he says "dadadada." "Yes, that's Daddy! He loves you. Dadadada." Hopefully he figures it out soon. He loves it when I copy his sounds, which now include blowing raspberries and clicking his tongue (the latter being the one he is most proud of.) He babbles a lot more than he used to, especially if he's excited or frustrated, but likes it when I coo and talk back to him.

Some other smaller things he enjoys are turning off light switches, watching the toilet flush, playing with himself in the mirror, sucking on his toes (an old favorite re-discovered) and bouncing. He's also starting to interact more with his toys, so I'm working on sewing a few more. I'm in process on a plush dinosaur and some blocks. If he's upset (like if we're putting him in his car seat) he cheers up quickly if we sing "popcorn popping on the apricot tree" or "the wise man and the foolish man" (from the LDS children's song book.) He especially loves the accompanying hand motions.

A sad stage to see go is that of the easy and happy diaper changes. He has no interest in lying still anymore. Sometimes we can get him to be good until he's wiped down, but it's usually a struggle to get the new diaper strapped on and his clothes re-snapped. We try toys and singing and anything else we can think of, but diaper time is often a two-man job now.

He's developing so quickly and we're excited to see where these next few weeks lead us! I'm so grateful for my sweet little boy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ramblings on Education and Motherhood.

Today I am grateful for my baby. I love him so much! Since he has started eating more solid food and sleeping better at night he seems happier and happier all the time. There are still rough moments, but his personality is blossoming and it is beautiful to see.

Recently Cameron and I have felt that we need to explore other options for grad school. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time because I will most likely have to do many years of taking classes through independent study to finish my degree if we leave. I started looking at options for graduating and for a brief moment I saw a glimpse of myself and my dear husband standing together in our graduation robes, holding our sweet little boy and walking across that stage together. It would be so wonderful, but unless they somehow decide that being a mom erases the need for completing a major, it's just not going to happen. It's hard to give up that dream. I may not ever dress in blue robes and a silly cap and shake the university presidents hand, because I will probably be graduating from somewhere far away, a long time down the road. It's really hard to just close that door but this is what I chose.

I felt strongly that having Sam when we did was what the Lord wanted for us. I still feel that way. I feel that taking a light load of classes so that most of my time can be spent in being a mother is the right thing for me. I have no regrets. I wish I could get a degree just for having a baby, but it doesn't work that way, and I know that I have chosen the best path for me. This is what the Lord has asked me to do and I will finish it.

My family comes first and foremost. I would not trade Samuel or my time with him for anything! I am so grateful for the joy and love that he brings to my life. Whenever I am tired or stressed his loving smiles and infectious giggles and his incessant babbling of "mamamamama" make everything wonderful! I love him so much and want to be my best for him. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Random Update on Our Life

I haven't written in forever. School has been very busy, being a mom has been busy, realizing that plans for six months from now will probably change drastically (No, we're not pregnant)
so, blogging falls by the wayside.

But life has been full of so many blessings!

Samuel continues to grow. He hasn't gained much weight recently, my milk supply has probably gone down since he has to take a bottle most days that I'm at school, but we caught it early and the doctor is helping us get a routine set up to help him get the food he needs.

I got an A on my first ASL test! Which is awesome, 'cause last semester was not quite so good. I'm also loving my English class. I LOVE the way my teacher sets everything up and forces us to work on our essays slowly by having us turn them in piece by piece, focussing on different aspects every time! It's helping my writing so much.

I have also submitted a piece to a magazine! I think I'd like to do more of that! I don't know yet if it will be published or not, but I've decided that I'd like to try to write more, and if I can get published that would be fantastic! I'm also currently working on two children's books. An illustrating major just moved into our ward, so I may have to ask if she'd like to collaborate.

Cameron is thinking of other options for grad school (we were originally planning to stay here) so that potentially puts me in a tough spot for graduating. Still totally doable, I'd just have to do online classes if we left Provo. But we're praying and counseling together and I'm sure we'll find the best solution. (I just hope it's soon so we can plan for the future!)

General conference was AWESOME. My dad was able to come out early for a business trip and spend sunday conference with us, and Cameron's mom and little sister came up for Saturday conference. It was so wonderful to see them! I also made my mom's oh-so-delicious cinnamon rolls and they were awesome! (I'll probably share the recipe on here sometime because it is SO good!)
and, of course, I absolutely loved the messages that were shared! I especially loved all the messages about being kind and courteous to others, regardless of whether we have different beliefs. I know I struggled with that a little when I was younger, and it can still be hard to respond with kindness when people are cruel or hurtful to me or others, but I have a testimony that God wants us to love each other and treat each other well. I hope that I can continue to try to become more christ-like, especially as I go back and listen to the talks from conference over again.

Sam's sleep training is going really well! (Except last night he woke up several times, but I think that he is legitimately teething this time, so we'll let it slide and hope it doesn't become the norm.) He felt so bad for keeping me up all night last night that he let me take an almost-three-hour nap with him today! It was much needed.

Thanks for letting me just blurt out random pieces of news. I am loving life! I am loving a more structured schedule for Sam, and I love the Lord!
Happy October!

(here's a sneak peak of some pictures my dad took of us over the weekend!)