Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 6 months!

I can barely wrap my brain around the fact that I have been a mom for half a year.

6 Month Photo

He has grown so much!

He’s been too busy getting better at keeping his balance and trying to sit up to remember that he knows how to roll from his tummy back to his back.

6 Month PhotoWhen he’s playing on his back he rolls over every single time, but then he is really upset to find himself there. He tries to roll back over a few times but he has forgotten what to do with the arm he’s trying to roll over and it gets in the way so he gets frustrated and just screams until someone rolls him over. Little stinker.

6 Month Photo

No teeth yet, but he has his fingers in his mouth chewing almost constantly. Apparently that is a habit I also had as baby.

6 Month Photo

He has really taken notice of Luna and Tonks this month. He stares at them whenever they’re in the room and laughs at them. When he was tiny, he hated for Luna to lick his feet and now he loves it. Tonks even lets him pet her, which is pretty surprising!

Gimme

One of the best things lately is that he is learning to play and is really showing a strong interest in his toys. Sometimes he gets really excited when I pull out a toy that’s been in the diaper bag and out of sight for a little while.
1 Month vs 6 Month

We haven’t had his 6 month well-baby check up yet but I weighed him on the Wii Fit and he weighs 17lbs now!

 

Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 5 months!

In 3 days Samuel will be 6 months old. So here is his 5-month-old update. We had a very busy September with lots of traveling so I got very behind on editing his photos. It didn’t help that I took 111 photos so it took me a while to go through them.

5 Month Baby Photoshoot

What, you may ask, did Samuel do between his fourth and fifth months? Good question!

During the month of August Samuel rolled over on his own from back to tummy and tummy to back.

IMG_7036

Here he is in his Gingiber Bunny Onesie. Thanks, Stacie!

He also searched very hard for his toes.

Samuel finds his toes

And he FOUND his toes. Yummy. My kid’s a genius

Samuel Finds his toes 2

 

He also bounced up and down in his bouncing horse instead of just swaying side to side.

5 Month Baby Photo Shoot

 

Finally, Samuel has grown out of some of his 3-6 month outfits.

5 Month Baby Photo Shoot

 

That’s what happens when you gain 2 pounds in a month and grow to 16 pounds!

IMG_7055

 

He wouldn’t stop loving on his bunny long enough for me to get a good comparison shot.He wouldn’t stop loving on his bunny long enough for me to get a good comparison shot.

Freezing our green bean harvest

This is not a big garden year for us.

Strangely, I didn’t want to be prepping and planting two huge vegetable beds early this spring when I was a zillion months pregnant and wanting to scratch all the skin off my hands and feet. Even if Daniel had done all of the prep-work, I didn’t feel confident that I’d be able to keep it alive while I learned to keep a tiny human alive. So we decided to mostly rest the beds for the year. Lots of people use clover as a cover crop to put nutrients back in the soil. You just till it up into the soil when you’re ready to plant again. Fun fact. Did you know that clover is a legume? Clover is practically a bean. How crazy is that? So we (and by we, I mean my lovely husband) planted the smaller bed full of bush beans and pole beans as a way to refresh the garden soil and maybe have a small crop to harvest after all.

We figured maybe we’d get some beans from them and if it got too hot and burnt them to a crisp, oh well. It looked like that was the direction we were going until we had a week straight of rain.

The rain cleared, the sun shone, and I picked nearly half a bag of green beans.

Bag of Beans

 

It took me quite a while to snap them all but we ended up with four and a half pounds to put up.

Bowl of Beans

 

At that point I was so tired of dealing with this giant stack of green beans and I was pretty intimidated by the thought of blanching and freezing all of those beans. I didn’t think Samuel would stay settled long enough for me to get through them all. I searched and searched and found a lot of people saying they don’t blanch, they just stick their beans right in the freezer. I’m all for going the easy way. Especially if it’s a vegetable I’m not going to eat anyway.

Did I forget to mention that? I don’t eat green beans. I just love my husband enough to make sure he has nice home-grown frozen veggies all winter. Yes. I’m awesome. Where’s my cookie?

I was out of vacuum bags so I had to improvise. Here is how you freeze green beans in freezer bags with no vacuum.

Straw

 

Use a regular freezer bag and a drinking straw. I squeezed most of the air out and zipped the bag closed except for a hole for the straw. Then I sucked as much air out of the bag as I could and pinched the straw closed. At that point I pulled the straw out and pinched the bag the rest of the way closed. Easy peasy. Four and a half pounds made four and a half quarts of tasty (I assume) veggie goodness for the freezer.

I just picked some more beans this morning and there are even more that will be ready later in the week. If I can carve out the time I might blanch this set before I freeze just for a quality comparison.

Not bad for the year we skipped a garden!

Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 4 months!

Samuel is 4 months (and 2 weeks) old!

IMG_6814

He did lots of growing and learning this month. How chubby does he look in this one?

IMG_6833His Granny (my mom) and Nanny (my mom’s cousin) came to visit for a few days and had wonderful time cuddling and spoiling him. They also got to hear his first big belly laugh. He hasn’t done it again since but it sure was cute!

IMG_6795Samuel also perfected his raspberry skills for Granny. The moment you put him on his changing table he sticks out his tongue and blows as hard as he can. Sometimes he just vibrates his little lips but he’s pretty proud of his technique.

IMG_6827He’s also very proud of his “standing up on Mama or Dada’s lap holding their hands” skills.

IMG_6849He is so close to rolling over from his back to his stomach that I always expect to find him on his tummy when I come back into the room where he’s playing on his back in his little gym.

IMG_6788Samuel had a big growth spurt this month. He planted himself on my boobs and camped there for a week or two. He would eat every hour all day long and then crash hard and sleep 8 or 9 hours at night. The extra sleep was good but, let me tell ya, this Mama was in a lot of pain after 9 hours of no nursing following the day’s marathon feedings. Don’t be deluded into thinking I got the same 8 or 9 hours of sleep he did either. Since I sat on the couch with him most of the day I had a ton of stuff to try to get done the minute he went to sleep. I did watch a whole lot of Dr. Who, so I can’t complain. The fruits of his efforts showed at his 4 month check-up where he weighed in at 14lbs and measured 25.5 inches long!

He is growing so fast!

Samuel 1-4 Months

 

Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 3 months!

I’m a little behind on posting Samuel’s monthly baby photo shoot, but I DID take take the photos in time for his 3 month “Birthday.”

IMG_6690 cropped

I keep telling Daniel that I can’t believe we’ve had Samuel home for three months (Three and a half now, actually.) He just keeps growing and growing. I feel like a broken record because I say that every month and, DUH, of course he keeps growing or we’d be worried. But it’s still hard to wrap my sleep-deprived, hormonal brain around.

Monthly Baby Photo 2He his smiling very freely now and has the sweetest little chuckle. It’s not a full on baby belly laugh yet, but he gives us a little “heh heh” that is so funny.

Monthly Baby Photo 6

I don’t know how much he weighs right now, but he started wearing his 3-6 month clothes at about a month ago. He officially does not fit into any of the sweet, tiny things he wore when he came home. We’re about to have change him up to the next size in his cloth diapers, too. I still need to add to our diaper stash because we don’t quite have enough of the bigger size.

Monthly Baby Photo 5

I broke my dairy fast the day before my birthday last month and the crazy poo did not return so we think he either doesn’t have a dairy intolerance or it’s minimal. So I’m back on dairy and trying to be mindful of not gorging on it, just in case.

Monthly Baby Photo 4

He still takes his baby Zantac twice a day and it seems to really help with his reflux pain, but he does still get a bad belly ache sometimes which makes him scream so loud and high pitched that I think I black out a little.

Monthly Baby Photo 3

Still nursing like a trooper. I’m so grateful breastfeeding is working out for us.

Monthly Baby Photo 2

TEETHING! The little stinker has started to drool like crazy, gnaw on his hands and, occasionally, bite my nipples really hard. I do not approve.

 

1month vs 3months Baby Photo

He sure is sweet!

 

Backyard tour and a remodeling challenge

Our sweet little old house needs quite a bit of work. We have thoughts and dreams of a kitchen remodel (I HATE my kitchen) but it isn’t in the cards for quite a while yet. We have lots of other immediate needs that need to be addressed first and we don’t plan on going into debt to make a new kitchen happen. That means we have to check off the other, more pressing, items on our to-do list and THEN save up enough money to pay cash for the remodel. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens before we outgrow our tiny little house.

Lately, most of our focus has been on the backyard. Some changes have been planned and purposeful while others have been beyond our control. I spent my Sabbath afternoon on my mama’s quilt in the backyard with Samuel so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some photos and give a little tour as a “before.” Hopefully this space will be quite transformed by the Fall.

Grapevine Privacy FenceOne of my favorite features in our yard is the grapevine growing on the fence. We don’t get good grapes from it but it comes up thick in the summer, making a natural privacy fence against the road. Since our yard is a little lower than the road, this keeps passers-by from seeing us in the yard if we’re sitting down. Or swimming naked in our tiny pool. Which we don’t do. But we COULD if wanted to and if we’d ever haul some sand in and get a spot set up for our pool.

The vines are also useful for craft projects like wreaths or yard projects like fence from vine weaved around bamboo to keep the dog out of the berry bushes.

Grapevine fence

HammockMy hammock is another favorite.

Maple Tree MurderOr it was until the power company came and chopped down the tree that provided the shade for it. I was over-the-top sad about this development. 1) I do not do well with change that I did not expect or plan and implement myself. 2) Now the hostas that I planted here at least 6 years ago from shoots my parents gave me from their house are getting burnt to a crisp. This is not the first change that has taken place in the yard this year. It’s just the only one that made me cry like a crazy modern-day version of “Pat of Silverbush.”

Old ShedThe first change was partly started by this eyesore. This shed has never been truly usable for me. It leaked and the doors didn’t work correctly the day I bought the place. I’ve been meaning to get a new shed for years but it has always worked “well enough” for shovels and the lawn mower so it never made it up to the top of the list. Then we had a baby, and our already full house started bursting at the seams. And Daniel started working from home full time. From the couch. Where I nurse a baby all day long. We’re a little cramped. We desperately need storage space so we can free up an area for a home office for Daniel. Enter our new shed.

New ShedIt’s huge. About 16’x11.5′. Or something. It has taken up the spot where my clothesline used to be but it will be worth it. I’m DYING for it to get finished. It’s going to be VERY useful as well as a beautiful addition to the backyard. So I’ve been inspired to get the rest of the backyard into shape so it will match the pretty shed.

Wicker chairThis area next to the old shed was supposed to be a natural little oasis. I planned to have a clematis grow all over the broken wicker chair but the crazy bush took over instead and it just looks snake-y and messy. Hopefully this will be the new home to our hammock. Once we get the contents of the old shed moved into the new one we’ll haul the metal off to the recycling place and hopefully get at least enough money back to buy some heavy duty weed barrier and mulch so that this area will become the new shady hammock spot.

That little project probably won’t start until the Fall. Right now I have the back deck/porch on my mind. It needs a serious revamp. It’s a big mess. This is me being real and showing just how ugly it is.

Back PorchThe wood needs weather treating in a bad way and it has somehow gathered a bunch of pots full of potting soil and weeds. Somebody must have snuck into our backyard and put them there. Definitely. Yup. Daniel did make me some steps with slices of my poor, murdered Maple tree. These pretties have inspired me to do some work on the deck to make it presentable. I never know where to start so I need some limits or parameters to follow in order to get going on projects like this or I’ll just stand in the middle of the porch staring and doing nothing. This time I decided to turn it into a fun challenge. I’d love to add on to the deck and have a big one spanning the back of the house for entertaining but we don’t have the funds for that now. What I DO have is a piggy bank full of change, though. Not sure how much, but definitely more than $10, less than $50. My goal is to do a back porch remodel/redecoration/revamp using only that cash and anything around the house or yard plus whatever I can find for free or trade. I’m going to devote Fridays to posting about my progress and call it the amazingly unique and inspired series title of “Frugal Fridays.”

I think it will be fun!

Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you sit in meetings and wish for a boss who demands unfettered access your boobs, sleeps while you are at work and screams until you pay attention to them every time you try to eat your lunch? Do you already have a boss like that, but you’d like to enjoy all of these benefits from the comfort of your own home where you cry from happiness if you get to take a shower before 2pm? Then Stay-at-Home Mom is the job for you! Perks include a seemingly bi-polar little blob of cute that will melt your heart by smiling and cooing at you and, literally 0.5 seconds later, will scream at a decibel so loud and high pitched that your ears ring and your vision blurs. You may also suddenly find yourself free to stop by Bacon and Beer night at your neighborhood pub at the unheard-of hour of 4pm before all the bacon runs out, baby and husband in-tow so you can enjoy a half-pint of the beer (you’ll feel like a Hobbit) with the lowest alcohol content because you are still paranoid that your baby will want to eat again before your obligatory 2 hours after a drink are up.

Blogging in my favorite pub with my baby in my lap. And it’s MY JOB. (The baby part, not the blogging part.) Stay-at-home mom is the coolest job I’ve had so far!

I recently turned in my notice and then my laptop and keys at my old job so I am now officially a stay-at-home mom. The transition from working non-parent to stay-at-home mom technically started once we brought Samuel home, I guess. Still, making it official is definitely kind of trippy. This little guy got here and I just couldn’t imagine being away from him all day 5 days a week if I could help it. I’m so blessed to have a husband who agrees that it’s more important for Samuel to be at home than for us to have the extras that two incomes provide so we are now rocking one income, 1950’s style. Except, instead of vacuuming in heels and pearls, I watch JJ Abrams shows on Netflix when Samuel nurses. I’m a totally cheap-o-rama and we haven’t always had two incomes anyway, so that helps it not be too freaky of a transition in that respect.

Who could resist this face, anyway? Best looking boss I’ve ever had, for sure.

Stay-at-home mom's boss

Father’s Day 2013

We Love Daddy Close UpYes, we sure do! We Heart Daddy so much that I finally got around to making celebration bunting like I say I’m going to do for every holiday but never do.

Daniel's GiftsSamuel photo collage for Daddy’s desk (once we get his home office space set up), card with a special gift (3 month subscription to Daniel’s online Lord of the Rings game: he usually plays the free version) and a new bib for Samuel made by Mama. “My Daddy outgeeks your Daddy by a Yottabyte.”  Apparently that’s a lot. If that is even a real unit of measurement. I’m not certain it wasn’t just made up by other geeks.

Samuel and Daddy

My guys at Vintage Fellowship on Father’s Day.

I was so proud to share my birthday with Daniel’s very first Father’s Day this year! What better birthday present could I ask for than these handsome fellows making up my little family? But I’ll still take the gift certificate for a massage that they gave me and the many many crab legs I got to eat for my birthday dinner 🙂  I am so blessed.

Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 2 months old!

I can’t believe how fast my baby boy is growing! It was a few days late, but I’m still impressed that I successfully took and edited some two month photos. Can I get a round of applause for follow-through? His three month will be on the 4th of July and I’m excited to take his picture in the little red, white and blue outfits his Aunt Jo and Great Great got him. For comparison of his weed-like growing, here are his one month and two month teddy bear perspective shots.

1 month vs 2 monthHis cheeks are definitely chubbier. I’ve had to put away quite a few of his little outfits because he’s already outgrown them! *sniff sniff* My big, long two-month-old is now wearing his 3-6 month clothes. I will really miss some of his sweet little Newborn outfits. He has grown about two inches and gained probably 5lbs+ by now. Samuel was almost 22 inches long and 11lbs 1oz almost two weeks ago at his check-up. As much as I miss my tiny little new guy, it’s so fun to watch him develop his personality. He started to really smile at us a few weeks ago and now he is a grinning machine on the verge of laughing. He thinks it’s absolutely hilarious when I ask him if he is a Bad, Bad Baby. We have also discovered that he has a ticklish tummy.

Samuel Collage

His sleeping has improved and he consistently goes down for one 5-6hr stretch almost every night. For this I am very grateful. IMG_6319editedLuna runs up to Samuel whenever he cries so she can check on him. We think she is still judging us to be ill-fit parents since we never lick him. “Poor bald puppy,” she is thinking.

IMG_6317editedHe has been napping in his bassinet in the living room or in his swing during the day (although the motor in the swing is about to die on us so that may change depending on whether or not we decide to get a new swing or stick with the bouncy chair) and he sleeps in his cradle next to our bed at night. I think he’s about to outgrow the bassinet, though.

IMG_6335editedHe does get tired of me taking his picture after a while.

 

Luna is Two!

LunaCollage

I can’t believe our sweet puppy is two! The Christmas before Daniel and I got married we watched this clip on Discovery at his grandmother’s house. I once fostered a wheaten terrier that I rescued from a puppy mill auction, so I knew it was one of the breeds that I’d want if I got a dog again. When I had Thatcher I said I would not be getting another puppy until I lived with someone who would be helping take care of it because I felt so bad about him being home alone so much. Daniel spent the rest of the trip hounding me until I agreed that we could get a wheaten terrier puppy after the wedding. His winning argument was “Don’t you want to be able to have a dog trained by the time we have a baby around?” Well, now we have a baby AND a pretty well-trained dog.

Luna is a joy to have around and we have fairly successfully trained some of the more troublesome Wheaten traits out of her. Namely the Wheaten Greetin’.  While she does still get excited about visitors, she’s pretty good about not actually jumping ON them. And people told us we couldn’t train her not to jump. HA! She also sits, lies down, rolls over, stays, shakes, high fives and does a pretty decent long down. We’re looking forward to doing the Obedience Level II with her at Canine Connection eventually to master some more complicated commands. (PS: We highly recommend their Puppy Preschool class to anyone with a new puppy.)

Soft-coated wheaten terriers make great family pets, great watchdogs, terrible guard dogs (Luna thinks everyone is coming to see her so she’d definitely lick a robber) and loving companions. Their coat, while great for people with allergies, is very high maintenance and their terrier personality means they need lots of gentle but firm training to be manageable. I wouldn’t recommend the breed to anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on their dog. We don’t mind the investment because Luna is the best dog ever and we love having the little muppet as part of our family.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Luna Lovegood!

BoneFocus