Thursday, October 20, 2011

Varen - 11 months

Varen @ 11 months - October 21,2011

Weight & length - 23 lbs 13 oz & 29.5" long (at 10 months he was 23 lbs 5oz )

Varen 11 months old

Sleeping Patterns - Varen slept in bed with me until about 10.5 months old and then I thought that I should try to get him regularly going to sleep in his crib. So when my mom was in town a few wks ago so that is when I decided to make the switch. (I need the support) I'm still a firm believer in not straight up hardcore CIO until 1 yrs old so I practice the technique of The Sleep Lady based on what a friend told me. Well Varen doesn't have an issue going to in his crib and I don't really believe in the whole self soothing thing, I would nurse him, he would fall asleep I would sort of wake him to burp him and then lay him down, he'd fuss, I'd pop the paci in and place my hand on his chest for a min then leave the room. No lengthy fight, no heartbreaking cries. My issue was that Varen would go down around 830-9pm and wake up around 1-130am to nurse, and after that getting him back into the crib was not an easy task, or maybe I'm just not willing to to give up an hour or two of sleep to get him back in his crib only to have him wake up an hour and a half later to eat again. So my issue is not him sleeping in his crib it's the night feedings. So I've tried since 9.5 mo to try to cut out night feeds but Varen scratches at me and cries, I really think he's hungry, despite what his pedi says I think that for the first yr, those night time feeds are important and necessary. So instead of withholding him of something he clearly wanted (see the scratches on my breast) I thought maybe I can just push the feed back, that will make for longer sessions when he does nurse but also give us longer uninterrupted sleep. I read an article by Dr. Jay Gordon about a less aggressive approach to night weaning and while I'm not practicing that until after a year, I am taking some of the advice and instead of just offering the boob, I'm trying to just hold him tight and push the feed back by an hour or two. That was working out, but once I started dream feeding him before I went to bed I was getting about another hour to hour and a half of uninterrupted sleep in his room in his crib. THEN........ like a like switch turns on and off one day while a friend was playing Varen she notices he had 4 yes 4 teeth coming in at the top. By that night he was a crappy patty and his poor top gums we bright red. He was not sleeping in his crib, in fact he was not sleeping anywhere that wasn't touching or near my breast, and I was not fighting him. I've had many toothaches and I can only imagine the horrible pain he was going through. So I scrapped the routine and until those teeth are all in and he's happy again, he's going to bed with mama again. AND like I said all along, THERE IS NO POINT IN GETTING USED TO ANYTHING WITH YOUR BABY IN THE 1ST YEAR, BECAUSE IN THE 1ST YEAR IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING AND YOU ONLY GET THE SAME BABY FOR 2 WKS AT A TIME, THEN THEY CHANGE.

Eating Habits - Varen has just recently realized he has taste buds. For a while I was wondering if he had any because he would willingly eat anything I offered him. But now he has refused green beans and oatmeal. He's just a great eater over all, it makes me very happy.

New foods he likes - Broccoli

New discoveries - Opening and closing cabinets, emptying out the dvd case.

New Milestones - Super cruiser, but not standing unassisted or walking.

Places baby went - Varen went on an airplane for the 1st time at 10.5 mo and he did great on all 4 flights. We went to visit my mom in CA and I'm very proud of both my boys, who were very well behaved on the plane. :)

Anything else -

How is older brother - Vashon is getting so smart, smart good and smart mouth. lol. But he's doing great, really misses his daddy. He's also playing with Varen more and I'm sure that once Varen is walking well they will be regular brothers, that play and fight, because they have such different personalities.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Deployment Bucket List

So the hubby is deployed and I'm stuck at home with the kids, with no big plans. In past deployments I've gone back to Cali to stay with my parents, there are several reasons why I'm not going home this deployment.

- Vashon is starting pre k and while it's just the school before school, and it's only two days a week, both Vashon and I need this break and adjustment for the future. It's not fair to start him in school in a total different state than he's from and possibly pull him out move him across states again to regain school. And lets face it with Van staying in the AF for the long haul I'm going to have to deal with some deployments during the school year. :(

- We just got back from Cali. Moving from OKC to California is no walk in the park, it's even harder with two young kids. The drive is long, the cost , and lets not forget forwarding my mail, switching our primary care providers and getting adjusted to the time difference.

So for the first time we are staying in OKC, whatever will I do with all my extra free time?

It's suggested that wives stay busy when their husbands deploy. Hmm, am I not busy with two kids already? Am I not busy with the additional chores? sure I get to stop shaving my legs but in my case I now have to take out the trash and do the laundry, I think i'm going to be pretty busy.

It's suggested that wives get a hobby to make the time pass quickly. Hmm the things that I'm interested in doing require me to not have my kids around, in fact anything without my kids is fun for me. lol. Don't get me wrong I love the boys, but if we're talking about "me time" I don't want them around.

So with two kids, additional chores and Vashon starting school and soccer, I think I will stay pretty busy. But I still want to create a lil goal or bucket list. I mean since I don't have to shave my

So before this deployment is done i'd like to :

Lose about 5-10 lbs

Tone up my arms and my butt

Eat 3 servings of vegetables & fruit a day

Drink only water for 26 out of 30-31 days

Actually drink 8-10 glasses of water a day

Curb my sweet tooth at least 5 days a week (limit myself to 1-2 sweet treats 5 days a weeks)

Donate this bag of old clothes that has been sitting in our closet for months now

Get Varen to sleep in some type of bed that is his, toddler bed, crib, pnp all night

Take Vashon and Varen on dates at least twice a month

Set a schedule for the kids and stick to it

Encourage Vashon to try at least 5 new foods

Tone my belly

Remember that Vashon is only 4 yrs old and to speak to him like he's 4 and not 14

Stop impulse buying and save money

Only spend $150.00 on each kid for Christmas

Lead by example of how I want Vashon to treat people

Purge my house of clutter and junk

Take my vitamins and make sure Vashon takes his also for overall health

Read a story to my kids every night aside from the nights they watch the dvd that daddy made reading to them

Say my prayers every night and encourage Vashon to do the same

That's all for now but I'm trying to think of things big and small in order to push myself. I'll print this list out and put it on my fridge. And I guess I'll report back once the deployment is over. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Varen - 9 Months

Varen @ 9 Month - August 21,2011

Weight & Height - 22lbs 8 oz & 27 3/4" long

Sleeping Patterns - Still wakes up 1-2 times a night. Still co sleeps/bed shares. If I can get him to at least drop one feeding I will probably try him in his crib again. Or maybe once Van deploys we'll try it again once we're on a better schedule.

Eating Habits - Varen is a good eater, he tries everything I offer him, has not really refused anything. He has a very seasoned pallet for taste and texture. He is still breastfed and prefers to nurse more than eat food but he still likes food.

New foods he likes - Graham Crackers, yogurt, he just recently started taking a sippy cup of water despite my efforts to give it to him months ago. He'd still rather nurse but has taken the sippy cup of water a few time.

Varen @ 9 months old

New discoveries - Varen has learned that he can pull up on things stand and bounce. So that's pretty much what he wants to do all day.

New Milestones - Varen started crawling at 8.5 months on Aug 11th. He does a wounded solider crawl. He doesn't like to crawl though, he'd much rather make his way to what ever he wants or what ever he can pull himself up on to cruise. He's a great cruiser. Very brave, likes to hold on standing up on something with only one hand.

Places baby went - Last week Varen had to go to the emergency room he had Croup and was just miserable, so I took him in to get a breathing treatment.

Anything else - At his well child check up his dr. said he could be as wide as he wants to be as long as he's breastfed, and that the foods that I'm feeding him are perfect for him. Varen doesn't just look like me, he's totally obsessed with me, he's a super mamas boy, and while sometimes it's overwhelming having to chose hearing him scream or taking him to the bathroom with me, I take it all with a grain of salt. One day he wont want to be around me, but as of now Varen is much more happier sitting next to me or in my lap.

How is older brother? Vashon is doing ok, the countdown to pre school is 2 weeks now and while he is very excited I wonder how much he'll love it after he gets in trouble or doesn't get his way for the first time. We don't allow him to always get his way at home, but it's going to be a whole different playing field in school for him. I hope he adjusts well. He's also going to be starting soccer in a few weeks so we should be pretty busy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Is That Kid Eating?????

Everytime I take Varen out I also hear two things. No matter where we go or what we're doing people comment on how cute he is, and how chubby he is. While most of the comments are made in good humor and the stranger had no intentions of offending me or giving my child a weight complex, lol people are quick say things like "what are you feeding that boy???"

I've learned to smile and laugh the comments off, in the early months as Varen gained rapidly I worried if I was overfeeding him or he had some type of medical condition. After asking the peditrician multiple times there is nothing wrong with Varen's weight or the amount that I am feeding him. Infact he had his 9 month well baby check up yesterday and his peditrican told me that as long as he's breastfed, he can be as wide as he wants to be,because breastfed babies gain good fats and lean out as they start walking. She also jokingly said that I make MILKSHAKES not breastmilk. lol

But since everyone keeps asking and or assuming I'll tell you what Varen eats to dispel the myths that I must be giving him fried chicken, burgers and fries, corn bread and kool aid.
Varen eats what we eat, I delayed starting solids so that I could pretty much skip baby food. I wanted him to have a seasoned pallet and be exposed to textures early on. So does he eat salty sugary foods like we do? Nope. Because Varen eats what we eat I have had to change my cooking style a bit to accommodate him, so I cook with less salt and more herbs and spices and less sugar. If the meal can not or should not be altered I cook his portion separate before seasoning it or make him something different. Varen has helped us to eat healthier. :)

Do I make baby food? No not really. I don't blend things up and pretty much if I can't cut it, shred it, or mush it into small soft pcs I wont give it to him. It may look a lil different than what is on our plates but he has the same meal, so much the same that if I want to encourage him to take a bite, I can take a bite and not want to vomit in my mouth. :)

So what did Varen have for dinner tonight?

Ok we had Chicken Quesadillas, so Varen had 1 tbsp of shredded chicken breast, 2 tbsp of fresh avocado, and 2 tbsp of Mott's Natural no sugar added apple sauce with about 1/4 of a banana mashed/mixed into it. His sippy cup has water in it, (he only takes a few sips) and after dinner he was given a few goldfish crackers. (He only ate about 3 of them, I used them mainly for pincher grasp practice)

So as you can see the boy eats healthy, is not eating adult size portions. He has a variety of different foods that he eats and while I will say that I am guilty of giving him an OREO or a few french fries, those foods are not a part of his regular diet and will never be.

So this is a pic of Varen at 8 months and I know he looks like a 2 yr old toddler but I promise it's the angle in which it was taken and the fact that he is sitting at the edge of the couch and I'm taking the picture from the floor. Anyway I still love this pic because he is absolutely adorable rolls and all.

So what's he eating? Super Breast Milk and a healthy variety of foods.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Varen - 8 months

Varen @ 8 months old - July 21,2010

Weight - 22 lbs

Sleeping Patterns - He no longer needs to nurse to sleep, but he still likes to comfort of someone near him. I'm not able to just lay him in his crib at bedtime and he fall asleep on his own. He goes down at about 830-9pm and wakes up to nurse around 130am. After that he's a beast to get back into his crib, so I recently put his pack n play in our room. Now when he wakes up to nurse I take him in my bed, feed him and put him in the pnp. He then sleeps until around 6am, and nurses again. He wakes up for the morning around 9am.

Eating Habits - He's a great eater in the aspect that he'll try anything and has not really protested against any of the foods I've offered. He doesn't eat bulk amounts of food despite what so many people think, he still loves mama's milk and prefers that over any food.

New foods he likes - LOVES potato's, Mango, pasta, chicken, real green beans, He LOVES pancakes (no syrup) still loves bananas.

New discoveries - He's been blowing raspberries for the longest but now he's learned that he can use our legs or arms to make that same noise.

Varen Jacob 8 mo old

New Milestones - He says da da, mum mum, ba ba, and hi. He got his two bottom teeth at 7.5 months. He cruises, very slowly but he does hold onto the couch and walks. He crawls backwards and is up on hands and knees bouncing, he is so close to crawling. I'm in no big rush, because I have a good feeling Varen is going to be into everything so take your time baby.

Places baby went - Went to visit daddy's side of the family in Muskogee and Tulsa, OK on the 4th of July.

Anything else - I'm still getting a lot of naysayers on Varen's size and while I think they use Vashon as a stepping stone to what a normal baby for me should look like. Vashon was placed on a weight gainers diet at 14 months he was always well below the curve. I love Varen's rolls and I highly doubt i'm over feeding him considering he's breastfed. To those that think that his increased weight is because I feed him table food. I'll correct you on that also. Varen started solids at almost 6 months, and while he does eat what we eat, I alter his portions and the way I cook things now. He does not take in additional salts or sugars.

How is older brother - Vashon is doing well, but he just doesn't have the older brother cling to Varen that I would like him to. I know that he's only 4 and things will change but we really want him to understand how important he is to Varen as his older brother. We often tell Vashon how awesome God thinks he is in making him the big brother, we tell him how he's a great big brother the times we catch him doing something helpful or nice with Varen. I think that Vashon is just not a baby person, he's never really cared for babies, so maybe once Varen is more mobile, Vashon will be a more involved big brother. Aside from that he's excited to start to school, but probably not as much as I am, we fight daily. No one told me how testing having a 4 yr old would be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Closer to My Breastfeeding Goal

When I made up my mind that I wanted to breastfeed, I was all on board to nurse Varen for a full year. As I started talking to more moms and reading up more on the pros and cons of breastfeeding, I got scared and my initial goal to nurse for a year was pushed back to just making it to at least 6 months. Then I started searching for the perfect breast pump and got even more freaked out as my due date approached and my breastfeeding goal dropped yet again to 2 months. About 2 weeks before Varen was born I was just hoping I could nurse the boy for at least 2 weeks.

Breastfeeding started off slow and defeating in a way. Varen was too tired to wake up and latch on. Can you believe it? Big papa 20 lbs 7 month old was too tired to eat! lol I was pumping around the clock while Van would feed Varen my expressed BM. I was hurt, jealous and felt defeated, while I at one point wanted to actually pump vs nursing, at that moment all I wanted was for my baby to wake up and latch on. I kept pressing to get my baby back on the breast, and Varen soon was nursing like a champ.

Before I knew it I grew to love breastfeeding, I feared so many things that never came my way. I enjoyed nursing! Am I weird for that? I grew to hate the pump. The annoying sound it made every time it pulled the milk from my breast. My 2 week, and 2 month goals had already been met. I was smooth sailing to reaching the 6 month goal.

Varen is 7 months old now and I'm still nursing him. I have had no problems and to many I have a life aside from having a baby attached to my breast. I've even stayed away overnight without Varen. I go out in public, I've traveled half way across country twice. I've even gone to Disneyland. Breastfeeding is not what some made it out to be. I've heard some of the most terrifying horror stories from women that said, while they are glad they did it, they hated almost every moment of it. I don't feel that way at all and I even wonder if I truly plan to wean at 12 months.
So if my goal is now 12 months, I've been nursing longer than the amount of time I have left. How cool is that? I can do this, of course Varen doesn't have teeth yet but I'm hoping that even once those come in I'll still have the drive to push forward and continue.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Varen - 7 months

Varen @ 7 months - June 21, 2011

Weight - Guessing 21 lbs but will have accurate weight in about a week - Accurate 20 lbs 12oz

Sleeping Patterns - Trying to get him sleeping in his crib this month, just started it two days ago. So far he sleeps for about 2-3 hrs and then it's up and down for me a lot, so after the first hour of up n down I bring him into bed with me. There is no real reason why I chose to put him in his crib and I do believe outsiders have a bit of influence on this, while at the same time, I have been away from Van for several months and I think we should be sharing a bed and a room alone. I do miss sleeping with Varen though and I don't plan to stress myself out or die trying to get him to sleep on his own, if he's not ready, I will NOT force him to be ready,

Eating Habits - Still Breastfed, he is starting to eat more "table food" or shall I say more of the things I eat. I try to give him a taste of my food within reason at any chance I get. Van thinks it's wrong but I really hate baby food.

New foods he likes - He LOVES bananas, he likes anything I eat that I will share, he's had bits of chicken, roast beef, rice, mashed potato's, potato salad (loved it would scream if I didn't move the spoon fast enough) green beans (real green beans). Gerber puffs, and other Gerber snacks. (Nope he has no teeth) Overall his favorite choice of food is still breast milk and while he does eat he is still not on a regular feeding schedule and I'll admit that if I'm busy one day I wont even give him anything but breast milk. (So all those baby rolls are still mainly from me as he doesn't eat adult size portions of anything food I give him)

7 months in his crib. He stands good, but is not pulling himself up to stand yet.

New discoveries - He spits or shall I say sticks his tongue out and spits. I can't really explain it, but it's really funny.

New Milestones - He's great and sitting unsupported, he's crawling army style backwards (ONLY) trying to be a little copy cat. He has some baby toys and he actually likes playing with them.

Places baby went - Varen went to DISNEYLAND, he was the cutest thing, all dressed up in Disney gear. He had a great time and went on so many rides. It was really nice. To those that think there is no point in taking a child that small to a place they will never remember. I took so many pictures and he was free, no harm done.

Anything else -We're back in Oklahoma City, OK now and I'm just trying to get into the swing of things and adjust to not having my mommy around to help me.

How is older brother? - Vashon is 4 yrs old and he is good at testing my nerves, but we are going to make it through it. I'm starting to teach him to write his name and he's doing really good. He's excited to start pre k in a few months.