Sunday, June 29, 2008

Progress

I made it to the gym 3 times this week, which actually exceeded my goal of twice. I know, not much, right? I haven't exercised, other than walks around our neighborhood, since before I was pregnant, though. I know myself, and if I jump in too quickly I will also get burned out quickly and want to quit. I really don't want that to happen. I've mostly been doing circuit type work. The gym I joined offers a free trainer session, where I learned which machines would be most beneficial to me and how to use them. That went pretty well and hasn't been too hard. The spinning class I took on Saturday, however, pretty much kicked my butt. It was a good workout, but I am so sore today! I walked down the driveway to get the paper this morning and it almost felt like I was on that dang bike again!

Bear is doing much better than I ever dreamed he would in the child care room. He seems to like the women that take care of him--every time I go in to get him, he's grinning at one of them. He likes watching the other kids, too, but it wears him out. So far, he's fallen asleep on the way home each time. I am hoping this gets him somewhat used to being left with someone other than me or his daddy and is a good experience for him. Maybe he won't have to go through the separation anxiety phase that lots of moms have told me about.

Another thing that Bear is progressing at is sitting up on his own! He can't do it for a very long time, but he actually sat up by himself yesterday. I sat him on the kitchen counter so he could watch Max peel some potatoes (got to teach him early on that men can cook!) and I realized that after a few seconds, I didn't need to hold him. I had Max grab the camera:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There has been a tragedy.

Yep, there has been a sad, sad event here in the Johnson household. Bear's rubber ducky is no longer with us. Here he is, where I found him, with his bill lying next to him. BAD DOGS!



I've tried very hard to keep all of Bear's toys out of harm's way, but this one fell through the cracks. A little stuffed lion suffered some injuries on a different occasion, but he was repairable. I'm sure this is not the last time that the dogs will ruin something of Bear's. Of course, when he becomes mobile, he may just start ruining their stuff. I mean, fair is fair, right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monster baby

Today has been one of those days when I understand what people mean when they say that they would go crazy if they had to stay home with their kids. Don't get me wrong, Bear is normally a pretty sweet kid and I usually love my job, but for some reason, for the past two days he has been in serious need of an exorcism. I swear, some kind of monster that doesn't like naps has taken over his little body. Oh yeah, this monster also wants to be held by me. A LOT. Honestly, when Max came home from work today, I handed him the boy just so I could go to the bathroom. I could hear the screams before one whole minute had passed. However, I had to go, so he just had to yell for a little bit. Max handled it well, I think...I had forewarned him. It's possible that Bear is teething (I've thought this before, though and no toofies yet.), because I've noticed he keeps moving his bottle to the side of his mouth and is not too fond of solid food right now. He also uses my shoulder as a teether, so it is soaking wet much of the time. Other than that, I have no explanation for his not-so-Barrett behavior. I really could not put him down for more than a few minutes yesterday or today (especially today). Every time I tried, his tension would build and his screams would fill the house. I gave up. I figured I could just hold him until he's over whatever this is or until my spine snaps in half, whichever comes first. I fed him and gave him a bath early tonight since he barely slept today and somehow, by the grace of God, he's asleep now. Hopefully it'll last a while, just so I can get a little time to myself. It's a really good thing he's so cute! Here's a picture to remind me that he's not always a monster. He actually looks pretty angelic here...except for that long line of drool going from his chin to the floor. I don't think angels usually drool, but who knows??

Monday, June 23, 2008

I took the plunge!

Well, I finally did it. I joined a gym. I have been meaning to do this ever since Bear was born, and I have been so lazy about it. I have not exercised since very early in my pregnancy and I'm not feeling too good about myself right now. I lost about 30 pounds before I had Bear and I (of course) gained all of that and a little more during the pregnancy. Well, 20 pounds fell off within the first couple of months after giving birth, but the extra is just not going to disappear. I decided it was time to admit that and do something about it. I could really stand to lose even more than that, but the goal for now is just to get back to where I was. Something that I think is probably prohibiting me from losing weight right now is all the alcohol I've been consuming in the past few months. I never used to drink at home! I don't know why I've started, but I need to stop. There is no reason for me to be drinking full caloried beer, anyhow. Max and I have decided that as of July, there will be no beer (or any other alcohol) in the house. I think it's fine if we go out to eat and we decide to indulge a little, but that doesn't happen that often. I'm hoping that the absence of alcohol and the exercise will jump start my body a little. We'll see. It should at least make me feel like I'm taking action. Also, Bear went to the child care room for the first time today while I took a tour. He was napping, so he didn't even know he was there, but still, he went and I met the ladies that will be taking care of him. They seem really capable and have lots of experience, so I'm hoping he does well there.

We decided on a new car seat finally. We really like the Britax seats, mostly from a safety perspective, but we read reviews that said that babies seem to find them really comfortable as well. We had almost decided to go with the Roundabout model, but then we read all the safety features of the Boulevard model and picked that instead. I wasn't too happy about the cost, but we found a 2007 model available through Amazon and we saved $80!! That made it not cost any more than the lesser models we were prepared to pay for. It should arrive in just a couple days. The only thing I'm not too happy about changing is that this car seat will stay in the car, so I will no longer be able to take advantage of Bear falling asleep in the car. In the past, I've quietly placed his seat in a shopping cart and gone grocery shopping or whatever else I've needed to do. I found out today, though, that he will sleep in his stroller, so I suppose I could always resort to using that if he seems tired. A few groceries will fit in the bottom, so it could work in a pinch.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Barrett is 5 months old!

I can't believe my little man is growing up so fast. We make it a point to take posed pictures of him each month. Here are a few of my favorites from today:



Note to self: To get Barrett to smile in pictures, say "I'm gonna get you!" over and over again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bear the Pianist

Well, I don't want to spend too much time blogging today since my mom is here visiting, but I just had to share the adorable little piano that Daddy bought for Bear. It was really strange...Max found it on Craig's List on the same day that I was looking at them on Amazon. We didn't talk about it at all, but Max got on the computer and I hadn't shut the page I was looking at. When he realized that I was looking at them, too, and that they were between $100 and $200 on Amazon, we decided we should take advantage of the $35 one on Craig's List. It is adorable, even if Bear can't really use it yet. The cat likes to sleep under it for now, so the picture I took has a mad looking cat under it. I suppose that also lets you see the exact size of the piano, though!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bear the Great

Bear the Great has done it again!! I didn't get 8 hours this time, but I did get 6!! SIX WHOLE HOURS! He fell asleep at 8:30 and woke at 9:00 really hungry, of course. He only drank a little of his bottle before falling asleep again, though. Then he woke up at 11:00 or so for more food. After about 15 minutes, he fell asleep again and slept solidly from 11:30 to 5:30! I can handle that! I may have to take a short nap this afternoon, though. Bear is napping right now, but I couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to blog instead--lucky you! When he wakes up, we are going to the park for some swinging fun. He was really good at Starbucks yesterday. He got all worn out watching other kids, as usual, and fell asleep in the car seat on the way to Kroger. He slept through almost all the grocery shopping and was very quiet when he did wake up. Maybe he's changing---this would definitely be a welcome change! Speaking of change, Max and I just realized that we are going to have to buy him a new car seat really soon here. The one he has has a weight limit of 22 pounds and Bear about 18 pounds now. We expect him to weigh about 21 or 22 pounds at his 6 month checkup, so we started looking at new car seats online last night. Does anyone else have a Britax? We are thinking of going with the Roundabout model, in the Tan Swirl pattern. They are not the prettiest things (especially the "cowmooflage" pattern!), but they seem to get good reviews for safety, which is much more important than aesthetics to us.

Bear was in such a good mood last night, I was able to get this really cute picture of him and the dogs. Don't ask me how I got them all to look forward like that--I have no idea!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sleep "like a baby"!!

I don't know who made up that phrase, but he or she must not have been around babies, EVER. If they did, that phrase would not refer to awesome sleep, but would rather describe the broken up, waking-every-three-hours-for-food sleep that babies are so fond of. However, last night, both Bear and Momma actually slept "like babies" as the phrase is intended! We slept for a solid EIGHT HOURS!! Let me remind you, this feat has not been accomplished since before I was pregnant!! We maintained our normal routine last night--dinner, bath, bottle on the couch--but Bear would NOT go to sleep. He normally falls asleep somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00, but sleep would just not come to the poor boy. He would almost fall asleep, but then he would catch a glimpse of Max or one of the dogs and start giggling or making a bunch of spitting noises (which he's really fond of lately!). So, after he spit on the shoulder of my shirt for like an hour, I took him into his bedroom to try and rock him in the glider. He fell asleep, so I laid him down in his crib, only to have him wake up and start making the spitting noises again. I tried patting his back, but that only woke him up further and he started balancing on his elbows and knees (something else new for him!). He FINALLY fell asleep at 10:30, and I was totally prepared for a night of less than desirable sleep again, but Bear surprised us by sleeping until 6:30!! I woke up at 5:30 in a panic, of course, and I had to go check on him. He was just snoozing away, though, so I went back to bed! So now I feel all rejuvenated and well rested, so I think Bear and I will go have coffee with the MOMS club this morning! Well, I won't let Bear have any coffee...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's been a while!

I feel like we've been so busy over the past few days, but when I look back on it, we didn't do all that much. On Saturday, Bear and I got really bored and restless while Daddy was out doing his usual Saturday running around, so we decided to go shopping. We didn't go anywhere very fun--just Home Depot and WalMart, but it got me a little less bored and definitely wore Bear out. I was looking for a rug for Bear's bedroom and I think I've decided on this one from Lowe's. Home Depot carries a really cute one, too, but you can only get it online and I don't want to pay for shipping. Both are similarly priced at about $20, so I suppose I'll get the one that's already in the store. On Saturday evening, Max and I decided to take ourselves out for Mexican food at a restaurant here in our town. Bear tried sitting in a restaurant highchair for the first time, but it didn't work out too well. First of all, they seated us at a tall table, so they stacked 2 highchairs together to make it tall enough. That didn't seem very stable to me, but I put Bear's new highchair cover on it anyway, only to find that the buckles on the restaurant highchair were too fat to fit in the holes on the cover. Even though all that was working against us, we decided to go for it anyway, and I think Bear sat in it for exactly one minute before crying.

On Sunday, we just took it easy and celebrated Father's Day with Max. Bear gave his daddy a card and a new Wii game to show his appreciation. Max, at his request, made his own Father's Day dinner--he wanted steak and he's the best steak griller in the house! We just relaxed and had a really nice day. I hope Max enjoyed it and felt appreciated! Max and Bear have some cute shirts that are especially for Father's Day, but Bear has been a little grumpy lately, so we've not taken any pictures of them yet. I promise I will post some as soon as we take them!

Then yesterday, I got bored again. What is it with me lately?? Anyhow, Bear took a long nap, so I decided to go out shopping again when he woke up. We went to Babies R Us and Kohl's (one of my favorites!). We bought Bear some new dishes and spoons. We have been using little glass dishes for Bear's food, but now that he is Mr. Grabby-Hands, I was afraid they would meet our tile floor and smash into little bits like my candle holder did about a month ago. So now he has nice, new plastic dishes that suction onto his highchair tray. At Kohl's, Bear fell asleep, so Momma had fun looking at lots of clothes! I don't get to do that too often, so I really enjoyed myself. I only bought one pair of capri pants and a shirt to match, though, so I didn't spend too much. I just like to look sometimes and it's nice to be given the option!

Here's a picture of the boy for you to enjoy. He often gets annoyed with us during picture taking sessions, but I think this is the first time you can really see it in his face. Max and I both thought this was really funny:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Unibaby

Okay, this is the first of many times that I'm sure I will humiliate my kid. I don't know why I did this...chalk it up to us being bored inside and it being too hot outside to go anywhere:



Or maybe I did it in honor of this deer:


Really, I wasn't trying to be mean to the boy. I was trying to make him cool by giving him a mohawk, but I guess his hair is too long. Either that or the gel we have isn't strong enough. Anyhow, he didn't complain one bit when I told him that he was going to look really awesome.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm NOT pregnant...YAY!

Now that I have your attention, I never thought I was! I was just thinking about what I was doing at this time last year and realized that I was hearing Barrett's tiny little heartbeat at my doctor's office. It was a very exciting time, but oh man, I don't want to go back to that stage! Pregnancy is too fresh on my mind still for me to be ready to go for it again. I seem to be surrounded by pregnant women lately, but I am definitely not jealous. Go back a year and a half, though, and it hurt me so bad when my friends and coworkers would get pregnant "accidentally". I was trying so hard to get there and just couldn't do it without drugs. Fortunately, the doctor I found in MS was very helpful and seemed to know just what I needed to do. We lived in Dallas prior to coming here, and my doctor there just acted like it was no big deal and I should just keep trying. Anyhow, aside from few minor issues (blood sugar, lower back pain, wetting my pants for the last few days!) my pregnancy was virtually problem free, but I am just not ready to do it again quite yet. I hope I want to eventually, because I never pictured myself as having only one child. Barrett may be trying to tell me that he's ready for a sibling...he slept all night (with only a few wake-ups for food) in his crib. This is the first time in nearly 2 months that I haven't spent at least some time sleeping on the couch with him! Maybe he's getting over whatever horrible phase he was going through. I've noticed that he was getting better and better at going back in his crib...so let's hope for the best!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ooo whee....2 in one day!

I just couldn't stop myself from posting this article. Like working and having babies isn't hard enough! This doesn't necessarily apply to me since I'm staying home with Bear, but I know plenty of people that it will affect. AND, it will definitely affect my son in that he will have to go to school with and hang out with all those kids whose parents couldn't afford to spend much time with them! One thing the article explains that I wasn't aware of has to do with why lots of workplaces lump maternity leave in with all short term disability. (Lowe's is one of those companies, by the way.) Short term disability only pays people a portion of their regular salaries, so people are encouraged to come back to work as soon as they are able. That just plain sucks, in my opinion! Why can't maternity (and paternity!) leave be considered a totally separate entity, so that moms and dads can spend the time they need with their new baby? Why do they have to go broke to do that? It has been proven (and the article touches on this) over and over again that new babies need to be nurtured, but with even shorter leave times, it is going to be even harder for new parents to do this. And heaven forbid that there be some sort of emergency or required bed rest! The people who experience that are just screwed, apparently.

From my personal experience, short term disability is hard to come by, anyhow. I applied for it, thinking that I was going to be going back to work at Lowe's part time. I was DENIED. Guess why?! Because I took Clomid to get pregnant...apparently that made my pregnancy a pre-existing condition and made me not eligible for disability.

Anyhow, I guess I'm done ranting for now. I don't do that very often, so when I see or hear of something that really gets me going, I feel entitled. Thanks for listening (well, reading).

Water baby

Bear just loves his bath time! If he's ever overtired or just a little grouchy, I can give him a bath and he's perfect for those precious few minutes. He doesn't seem to mind water in his face, either. Of course, I don't push his face into the water or anything, but he only looks mildly surprised when I've accidentally poured some in his eyes. I hope he can sit up on his own pretty soon, because right now, he's getting a little hard to control in the tub. We use the baby tub because he's not that big of a boy yet, but also because I think he would slip from my grip in the big tub. There's a problem with the baby tub right now, though. Bear is getting longer (by the minute, it seems!) and when I lay him back to wash his hair, he just kicks and kicks the other end of the little tub. Well, that often means that I either pour water in his face because he is moving so much or I lose my grip on him and almost drop him in the water. I know that neither of those misfortunes is really going to hurt him, I just don't want him to have a bad experience and get scared of the water. I remember that bath time for my brother was always a serious battle for my mom. My brother was so freaked out by water getting in his face and he would practically gouge his own eyes out trying to hold a washcloth so tight over them. He never wanted his hair washed and would cry when it had to be washed. And that was when he was 14. Just kidding. He was really little...like 2 or 3, I think. Anyhow, since Bear seems to have a natural love of the water, I'd like it to stay that way. We have a pool in our neighborhood, which I have used exactly one time this year. The water was way too cold and a really annoying teenage couple came to swim at about the same time we did. You know the kind-where the girl keeps shrieking because the boy is threatening to throw her in. Then the boy does throw her in, which causes even louder shrieking...annoying! We left shortly after that couple got there, but Bear enjoyed the little time he had in the water. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures...it's hard to take pics when I'm actually IN the water with him! I hope to take him swimming some more this year, because I think he'll really enjoy it once he gets used to the idea. Also, there's a swimming school here that starts lessons at 6 months, and I'd like to at least know if he likes the pool before I pay for lessons.

This is a repeat for those of you that regularly check our picture website, but I wanted everyone to see the boy enjoying his bath:


He really enjoys the part after the bath, as well. Who wouldn't want a little massage done by me??

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quiet weekend

We haven't done too much of interest this weekend, which is just fine with me (and with Bear, too, I think!). We did some shopping yesterday just to get out of the house and bought Bear a couple of cute new outfits. I feel like we're always buying that kid clothes, but I never feel like we have too many. He's growing so fast that we just keep buying bigger sizes, which he'll only wear for a few weeks before he needs the next size. Clothing that is labeled 6-9 months is a very different size than clothing simply labeled 9 months! Bear's biggest problem with clothing is with onesies and anything else that requires his torso to be a certain length. He keeps getting longer and that's typically why the clothes don't fit him anymore, not because he's too wide. I hope he continues to grow that way and doesn't inherit his momma's metabolism! Hopefully he'll be like his daddy and just keep getting taller and leaner. It certainly seems like he's taking after Max in that respect, although it's hard to tell in a 4.5 month old, I suppose. However, we've been looking at our baby books and I actually was pretty small and didn't gain much weight in the first year of my life. Max, on the other hand, was a little smaller than Bear is now, but the way Bear is gaining weight and height is proportional to the way Max did. So, maybe Bear will get the lucky draw and get Daddy's body type.

Oh well, since I don't have too much to report, here's a really cute picture of the boy:



And here's one where you can see that his hair is starting to get curly. He only has two curls on the back of his head right now and they look a little silly, but I am NOT cutting them! I want to see how curly they get. Max's hair was pretty curly as a baby and is wavy now, so maybe Bear's is going to be the same way:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nap time!

I can't believe I didn't realize he was this ready for a nap! He was just jumping and laughing while I was doing some stuff around the house, when all of the sudden, it got VERY quiet. I went to check on him and look what I found!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Reaching!

Bear has really been reaching UP for things lately. He'll reach for a toy if you hold it above him or if it hangs above him, like on his Exersaucer. He also has just been reaching into the air for some reason...maybe for balance or maybe just practicing? Well, whatever the reason is, he looks pretty cute:




I promise I'm not pointing a gun at him in either picture! I guess this means he'll be reaching up for me to pick him up soon?! That will make it a little easier on me, I think. He's pretty strong and when I go to pick him up, if his arms are down, I have to pry them up. He's also been rolling like crazy. Max was playing with him on the floor last night and he just kept rolling over! He'd get frustrated at being on his stomach, so Max would put him on his back again, but he'd just roll right back to his stomach. It was almost like he HAD to roll. I guess once a new skill is gained, babies just practice and practice until they get it perfected.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hot day in Mississippi/Gratitude

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you'll know that Bear has not been sleeping too well lately. Well, I've decided to just stop freaking out about it and to try to stop worrying that I'm screwing him up with every move I make about sleep. I've been doing lots of reading on the subject, and I've come to the conclusion that lots of babies just aren't very good at sleeping, especially at 4 months. It makes me tired just to think about the nights ahead and I don't want my entire blog to end up being a sleep journal for Bear, so I'm going to attempt to let it go for now and not write too much about it. I think of myself as a generally positive person and I am not going to let poor Bear's sleep patterns (or lack thereof) to get either of us down. He is a joy during the day and that totally makes up for anything that happens at night. So, I'm going to try and stick to talking about things that happen in our lives prior to 8 pm, since that seems to be the witching hour for us.

In keeping with that, Bear and I got back from the park just a few hours ago and he got seriously wiped out there. It's so funny that he gets tired at the park, because all he does is swing for a few minutes and then just sits on my lap. He watches the other kids and I suppose that's what does it. Plus, it is HOT (supposed to get up to 92) here today and that alone is enough to make anyone want to take a nice nap, wearing nothing but a diaper. Okay, maybe I'd wear more than just a diaper, but still, the heat makes it so you simply cannot exert your normal amount of energy. Add in the Mississippi humidity to that heat and you've got a recipe for lots of lying around and not doing much of anything, which is what our plans are for the rest of the day. We will just be taking it easy until Max comes home from work and then we'll wind down for the day.

I am coming to realize (slowly) that being a SAHM is probably the best job for me. I'm WAY more committed to it than I ever have been to any other job (hmm, maybe because someone's life is at stake??) and although the rewards for doing a good job are not always as obvious, they will be much greater in the end. I just know this is what I am supposed to be doing. I went into Lowe's (where I worked before having Bear) yesterday and I talked to several people I used to work with and almost every one of them asked me if I was bored at home yet and wanted to know when I was coming back. I felt so bad for some of them that it didn't even occur to them that I wouldn't be working outside the home anymore. I wish being a stay at home mom was an option for more of them...I think it would make them happier in the long run. And then there are those that it is an option for, but they say that they would go nuts if they stayed home, which is fine, too. Anyhow, I just wanted to express my gratitude that I am able to do what I want, which is to stay home with my baby. And I'm lucky that we don't really have to make many sacrifices in order for me to do so. We've always basically made it work on Max's salary alone, so we never had to get used to my salary not being there. Maybe it was actually a blessing that I never made much money at my jobs?! Could be! All I know is that Bear is the absolute best and most important thing that has ever happened to me and I really appreciate being given the life that I always wanted for my family, even if I don't always say it out loud.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Bear!

What a happy boy! Sorry about the loud noises I'm making, but that's what was making him laugh!