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6.5 months old - March 4, 2015

6.5 months old – March 4, 2015

SEVENTH MONTH (FEBRUARY 21 – MARCH 21)

WEEK 27 (PARTIAL WEEK)

Isn’t this an interesting way to start a blog post…

On February 25th, Todd started his morning by pooping in the toilet for the 41st consecutive day.  He went a lot so I figured he was done.  After I put him on the incontinent bed pad that I use for his “diaper free” time, I walked away briefly to start some laundry.  When I came back, I discovered that he’d pooped on the mat.  More?!  Yikes!!  Fortunately, he hadn’t yet rolled in it.  Phew…crisis averted!

Later that day, I gave Todd his first taste of (organic) 100% peanut butter by letting him suck a thin smear off my finger.  So far, so good re: food allergies.  Check out this article…

Study finds peanut consumption in infancy prevents peanut allergy (NIH clinical trial)

February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

Here’s a BIG milestone!  This week Todd sat himself up for the first time!  For a few days prior, he’d gotten so close.  On February 26th, he did it for Eric, but I was in another room.  I missed the first instance, but then Todd repeated his new skill 3 more times within about 10 minutes.  He showed that he could do it with a bulky diaper on, too.

To sit up from his belly, he starts on all fours, then he gets himself into something like a “pigeon” yoga pose (with one leg drawn way up so that his foot is right under his butt), then he manages to bring the other leg under/around, and finally pushes up with his arms.

Highlights:

  • 1st sit-to-stand without help – by pulling up with the wooden rods of a chair (at Mission Ridge, 2/22)
  • took one arm out of his long sleeve shirt (2/22)
  • doing “down dog” and “pigeon” yoga poses to attempt sitting up or crawling
  • record sleep, 11.75 hrs (2/24 to 2/25)
  • using fingertip to deliberately feel the corner of a book (2/25)
  • 1st time sitting up from belly (2/26)

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • minestrone soup
  • chickpea fritter & Romesco sauce (made with pistachio, roasted red pepper, kidney beans & more)
  • lick of peanut butter
  • chocolate “shake” (made with frozen bananas, coconut milk, soy milk & cocoa powder)
  • peach oatmeal banana jarred organic baby food
  • angel hair & pasta sauce with Field Roast Italian Sausage
"Green" (brown) smoothie aftermath - February 26, 2015

“Green” (brown) smoothie aftermath – February 26, 2015

WEEK 28

Geez, Louise!  Now that Todd learned how to sit up, he will NOT stay on his back for dressing and diaper changes.  He whips over to his belly and launches himself up to sitting in literally less than 5 seconds.  I had to break out the larger (size medium) cloth diaper covers to give myself more room for error, as I fasten his diaper while attempting to restrain Todd in a sitting position.  It’s not always easy!

In the last week, I noticed that Todd’s ability to weight shift when standing has gotten to where he now purposefully adjusts his feet after he’s up, to seek better traction and balance.  Before, his feet would remain where initially planted.

He's a little boy, not a baby - February 28, 2015

He’s a little boy, not a baby – February 28, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • 1st time sitting up in his bed (2/27)
  • 1st time (briefly) sitting with legs extended instead of flexed (3/1)
  • 1st unsupported standing of ~10 seconds (after assist to be “placed,” 3/3)
  • sit-to-stands with close supervision but no assist, using dresser drawers, couch, and stacked couch cushions. Todd lets go with one hand, then both.
  • from standing, when he “plops” down, it’s more often straight down on his butt rather than doing the “Nestea Plunge.”
Sitting up in bed - March 3, 2015

Sitting up in bed – March 3, 2015

Other Highlights:

  • during his bath, Todd kept wanting to drink the water (3/1)
  • repeatedly flicking the nipple of his bottle with his left index finger
  • started using size medium cloth diaper covers (3/2)
  • started using #4 (Fast Flow) Philips Avent bottle nipples (3/3)
  • tapping toys together to make noises
  • moving mouth like he’s chewing gum
  • loves his daily green smoothies
Bath time - March 1, 2015

Bath time – March 1, 2015

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • dried fig (loved it!)
  • cucumber stick

WEEK 29

Scary moment!  On March 5th, I was going to brush my teeth, so I put Todd in the middle of my queen-sized bed, completely surrounded by 2 body pillows and 2 regular pillows.  He was playing with a toy when I took my eyes off him for just a minute to step into the bathroom. When I came out, I saw him frog-leaping so fast toward the corner of the bed.  He was nearly over a pillow and he would have certainly gone over the edge next, if I hadn’t launched through the air and grabbed him.

It used to be that pillows were an easy way to put up a “barrier” or to “cushion” hard surfaces while he sat.  Now– we have to be very careful because the pillows are acting as an invitation for Todd to leap-frog and scramble over them…or he does a seated lurch toward them…or he tries to use them to stand up.

This video is from Week 30 but it shows what he does…

Eric took a vacation day on Friday March 6th, so we stopped for lunch in Leavenworth, at the Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden, on the way to our condo in Wenatchee.  Eric and I enjoyed the Vegetarian Wurst (made with Field Roast) and a porter.  Todd enjoyed the bun!

Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden - March 6, 2015

Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden – March 6, 2015

Exploring the condo grounds - March 6, 2015

Exploring the condo grounds – March 6, 2015

March 10th was the day that Todd “finally” pooped in his diaper.  It was just a little bit, and I was able to get him to the toilet to finish a lot more.  Then it happened again that evening.  So, for the record, he officially went 52 days without pooping in his diaper.  Not too shabby, eh?

March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • 1st time “butt walking” from sitting (he kind of bounced himself forward) (3/6)
  • from sitting, he started lurching forward with a lot of momentum– toward a toy or something that he wanted to use for standing himself up
  • gets in and out of a half-kneeling position frequently
  • 1st full kneeling, in crib– to reach up for his musical aquarium (3/9)
  • rapid inhales/exhales so that his lower lip moves in and out, often done when concentrating
Kneeling in crib - March 9, 2015

Kneeling in crib – March 9, 2015

Other Highlights:

  • lots of smiles and laughs daily
  • gets very excited about various things:  mouth agape and arms wave
  • shaking toys
  • does not like to stay put for diaper changes and often cries in protest
  • loves to help play the guitar with Eric
  • 1st time using the portable high chair for eating at a restaurant (Cafe Rio, 3/7)
  • visitors at home:  Eric’s parents and brothers (Jeff and Darren, 3/11)
  • 1st time meeting Uncle Darren (3/11)
Todd meets his Uncle Darren - March 11, 2015

Todd meets his Uncle Darren – March 11, 2015

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • homemade corn muffin
  • corn tortilla
  • spicy BBQ sauce with broccoli
Eating broccoli - March 9, 2015

Eating broccoli – March 9, 2015

WEEK 30 (AND PART OF 31)

On March 12th, we had a nice family gathering because Eric’s brother, Darren, was in town visiting from Wyoming.   We went out to eat at Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta, in Stanwood, where you can get a superb vegan pizza.  Todd loved being the center of attention and he enjoyed tearing apart tomato slices!

Todd with his Grammie, Cousin Kylie, Uncle Darren, Uncle Jeff, mama & dada - March 12, 2015

Todd with his Grammie, Cousin Kylie, Uncle Darren, Uncle Jeff, mama & dada – March 12, 2015

Todd with Cousin Kylie & Grand dad - March 12, 2015

Todd with Cousin Kylie & Grand dad – March 12, 2015

Cousin love! - March 12, 2015

Cousin love! – March 12, 2015

Jimmy's Pizza & Pasta - March 12, 2015

Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta – March 12, 2015

On March 14th one year ago, we found out that our 18 week old fetus was going to be Todd Patrick…a boy…instead of Emmy Todd…a girl.  This outfit was one of 3 that I purchased for Eric back then, to tell him the news.  Little Dude, Big Plans!  (See this “20 Week Ultrasound” post for the picture of Eric holding up this onesie one year ago.)

Little Dude, Big Plans -  March 14, 2015

Little Dude, Big Plans –
March 14, 2015

On March 16th, I decided it was time to stop writing down the amount of every bottle fed to Todd during the day and night.  It’s a not a bad idea after almost 7 months, huh?

Standing alone - March 12, 2015

Standing alone – March 12, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • sometimes able to sit down in control (instead of always “plopping” down)
  • more receptive to spoon feeding and helps pull spoon to mouth
  • improving ability to move food in his mouth:  “chewing,” tongue lateralization, managing particles (to swallow or bring forward and out)
  • 1st time “kissing” me and trying to “feed” me some of his dinner (3/13)
  • 1st 20-second unsupported standing and without assist for placement (3/18)
  • 1st coordinated crawl across living room (3/18)
  • 1st stand up in crib (3/19)
  • beginning “couch cruising” after standing himself up with couch (3/19)
  • able to pick up and drop green peas

Other highlights:

  • loves frog-leaping on my bed into pillows surrounding him, like a pinball machine
  • sitting at the keyboard in his booster seat to play piano
  • no more changing table…too unsafe!
  • noticeable preference for rubbing items (including bottle nipple) against his left upper “molars”
  • sucks his lips in so he looks like an old man without his dentures in
  • likes touching our faces with index finger during bottle feedings
  • says “ma ma ma” and “a ba ba” frequently
  • making clicking sounds with his mouth
  • Out to eat at Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta with Eric’s parents, Eric’s 2 brothers, and our niece (3/12)
  • Visit to a friend’s house (Sebastian & family, 3/12)
  • appeared very scared by me folding some tissue paper (3/13)
Playing the keyboard - March 14, 2015

Playing the keyboard – March 14, 2015

New foods this week:

  • dark chocolate
  • tomato slices
  • steamed cauliflower
  • homemade tempeh bacon
  • homemade tempeh Rueben with sauerkraut
  • Gardein Fishless Filet & Crispy Tenders
  • coleslaw & cabbage leaf
  • homemade peanut butter and banana muffin
  • pears and mango jarred organic baby food
  • sweet potato jarred organic baby food
Eating Tempeh Rueben - March 16, 2015

Eating Tempeh Rueben – March 16, 2015

SEVENTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Food–>  Todd seems to be an adventurous eater and his fine motor skills are improving rapidly.  I try to feed him solids about twice per day.  In the morning, I consistently give him green smoothie and maybe a pancake/mini muffin.  In the evening, I give him bits of whatever dinner we’re having.

As of the end of this month, he’s down to the bottom of his 39th can of organic soy formula.  Every time we open a new can, I record the number!  How many cans do you think we’ll go through before he’s all done with “formula milk?”

Sleep–>  Todd continues to sleep ~10-ish hours per night, and he might wake up once in the night ~1-3x per week.  One thing that’s changed in the last week is that he’s back to being basically asleep when I put him in his crib at night.  He literally wears himself out all day and he’s ready to crash after his last bottle feeding.  I’ve been enjoying extra cuddle time rocking him in my glider chair before I put him in bed.

Snuggles before bed - March 17, 2015

Snuggles before bed – March 17, 2015

Toileting–>  After his “off day” on March 10th, Todd’s been back to doing all poops in the toilet ever since!

Well, I guess this post started and ended on the topic of poop.  I swear I didn’t plan it that way, haha!

See you next month!

February 25, 2015

Todd at 6 months old – February 25, 2015

My baby Todd will be 7 months old tomorrow, and I still can’t get over how much he’s added to my life and my marriage.  I know it sounds cliché, but my heart really does overflow with love a thousand times a day.  Every morning is Christmas morning!  My heart melts every time I open Todd’s bedroom door, peer in, and I see him grin back at me so big.  He starts each day excited!

It still feels surreal that Eric and I actually created a little person!  We both trip out frequently because there really is a baby in our house.  Our house?  We have our own little family now.  It’s still weird!

I ask Todd all the time, “Where did you come from?” but I know that he was a gift– from God, the higher power, the great source, whatever you want to call it.  I’m not religious, but I do believe in “something” even if I can’t put a label on it.  I know for sure that we have Todd because we were meant to experience this kind of love and happiness.  Todd was meant to be born!

Yes, I was honestly a very happy childless woman.  We’ve had a very happily childless marriage.  It was a choice that we made over a decade ago and it was not a decision that I ever second guessed.  I felt very secure in it, and I loved our active child-free lifestyle.

All of this means that I can’t get over how quickly I could switch to the “other side.”  How did I become that woman who now loves being a mom?

I’m going to be really honest here.  Before I had my own, the thought of having kids (or even just one kid) used to sound just too mundane to me.  It lacked excitement.  It lacked fun.  Most of all, it sounded like way too much work!  You know that saying about how being a mother is the hardest and most rewarding work there is?

Yeah– well, all I heard was the “hardest” part.  And sure, maybe some people might find that sort of thing rewarding, but I wanted something different for my life!  It wasn’t for me, it wasn’t for Eric, and it wasn’t for us as a couple.  We had our freedom, baby!  We weren’t burdened with such a big responsibility!

No one pressured us to have kids, but my sister did try to gently clue me in quite a few years ago.  She told me it was better than any activity that you could do:  Better than the best ski run!  I politely nodded and remained unswayed.

Of course, I’ve loved being an aunt.  My bond with Ashley is beyond special:  it’s the closest thing to having a daughter.  But, being an aunt was always good enough for me!

So now here I sit in a totally different place.  And what have I learned?

Number one, my life has new meaning.  Now it’s all about caring for and nurturing this new little person.  I’m Todd’s mama and I want him to have a great life.  It feels so completely natural now, that I’d want to do everything in my power to help him grow up healthy and happy.  He’ll know for sure that he is loved and respected.

Number two, if parenting is mundane, then I don’t seem to mind!  There is a beautiful simplicity to life right now.  I’m so fortunate that I can stay at home with Todd.  I needed the break from work.  I’m a homebody, and I’m enjoying the slower pace.  Surprisingly, in some ways I feel less burdened with responsibilities than before.  (Odd)

Number three, watching a baby grow and discover the world is completely entertaining!  There’s nothing boring about my days, and every day brings new explorations for Todd.  (I’ll admit that I like reading children’s books, too.)  I get to be a kid again, and that is fun!  I smile and giggle and laugh for new reasons every day.

I look back on my life “before Todd.”  My pleasure and entertainment in life came from very active recreational activities like skiing and mountain biking.  I thrived on the movement and the adrenaline that those pursuits released.

I do sometimes think about how Eric and I can no longer get up before the crack of dawn on a Saturday and go bust our butts on our bikes all day somewhere, way out in the mountains.  Part of me misses that.  But I’m finding that I don’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would.

I feel confident that my life filled with strenuous outdoor adventures is far from over.  It’s been modified, but that feels okay!  I’m going to love sharing my “former world” with Todd when he gets a little older.  I’ll experience that rush of endorphins again…as I ski and hike and bike with Eric and Todd.

I know it’ll be sooner rather than later when Todd first experiences the thrill of sliding on snow…and that will be a thrilling day for me!  In the meantime, I’ve had plenty of fun taking my turn skiing while Eric watches Todd in the lodge.  Before we know it, we’ll all be shredding the cords and tearing up the pow…together!

Number four, I get it now!  It’s true:  It’s different when it’s your own kid.  I couldn’t get it before because I didn’t have Todd.  No amount of simply “telling me” was going to work.

An acquaintance at the Mission Ridge ski area this winter told me that him and his wife are still on the fence about having kids.  At the time, Todd was about 4 months old.  I reminded Nate that we weren’t at all on the fence (we were as far away from the fence as you could get!)…and yet now we’re so happy that we have Todd.

I still think about that brief chairlift conversation from time to time, and it’s one reason why I’ve been wanting to organize my thoughts on this topic and actually put it down “on paper.”

If I hadn’t become unexpectedly pregnant with Todd, our lives would have gone on as they had before. That would have been great!  We wouldn’t have known what we were missing, as they say.  But since we were surprised in the best possible way, I’m grateful that Todd came along exactly when he did.

I’m glad that he didn’t come sooner, and I’m glad he didn’t come later.  He came along at the perfect time.  I wouldn’t go back and change any phase of my life.  I feel like I’ve gotten to live and enjoy life “both” ways.

That’s the beauty of having a first child past age 40!  For 20+ years, Eric and I enjoyed the “unburdened” lifestyle of the childless, with all of the “pros” that go along with that.  Now we’re in the midst of our next life adventure with child (singular!)  Now we get to experience the depth of love and all the cool things that go along with having a kid.

Yes, sometimes parenting is very hard work.  Yes, I’m positive there’s lots more hard work waiting for us in the future.  It doesn’t take much to figure that out!

But, Todd is clearly more than worth all the hard work…

I get it now!

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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