Monthly Baby Photo Shoot – Samuel is 7 months!

It seems like Samuel jumped suddenly from newborn to big baby this month.

7 Month Baby Photo

He moved from his cradle in our room to his crib in his nursery the night he turned 6 months old. That was so difficult for this Mama! Even though it only takes me about 4 steps to get from our bed to his crib. He hasn’t been sleeping very well lately but his Granny sent me a copy of “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley so I have high hopes of some improvement. Waking every 1-2 hours is a little much.

7 Month Baby Photo with Puppy

Our little guy starting sitting unassisted this month.

7 Month Baby Photo with wooden Toy

We sit on the floor and play with all of his toys and he just looks so BIG.

Remember this Toy Box? Our cousin did some work on it for us to tighten up a few spots where the wood was pulling apart and it’s as good as new and taking a place of honor in Samuel’s nursery.

7 Month Baby Photo with Toybox

He has also started listening when I read him his books instead of trying to eat them the entire time.

1-7 Months Baby Photos

Our big, sweet boy weighs 18 pounds now! He’s going to outgrow his carseat before we know it and have to move up to the next size. It’s all going by so quickly!

 

Happy Halloween!

Samuel’s First Halloween!

I tried to take some fantastic seasonal photos on the front porch with my four pumpkins but Samuel-Pumpkin was very serious during our photo shoot.

 

Cute Pumpkin

This was the closest he came to giving me a smile.

 

Fall Porch

The composition is a little off on this one, but I really like how you can see the mums and the fallen leaves on the steps.

Family Halloween

Family Costumes!

We took Samuel to Trick-or-Treat on the Square so that we could say we took him for his first Halloween and also to see some friends who were handing out candy. I grabbed a tiny Halloween bag on the way out the door so that we could pretend Samuel was actually trick-or-treating. I always thought it was weird when parents would come to our door for candy carrying only a child that clearly isn’t old enough to eat the candy. I was just looking for a photo op but something lovely happened. People kept sticking candy into Samuel’s little bag with a wink.  One lady put a sucker in for Samuel (no, I’m not letting him have it) and then grabbed a huge handful of candy from her basket and said, “And THIS is for Mommy!” Oh, Bless that woman. Bless her, Bless her Bless her!

Because it’s his first Halloween Samuel has multiple costumes, of course. We Trick-or-Treated at the neighbor’s house with the cutest bee ever. And by Trick-or-Treated I mean we went over and hung out talking for two hours. We haven’t visited with them in a while so it was great to sit and catch up.

Baby Bee

Keeping an eye on Facebook today, I was excited to see everyone’s Halloween costume photos from work. I hadn’t anticipated how much I would miss Halloween in an office! All of the costume contests and special food and excitement. Halloween was always one of my favorite work days so it was definitely a tiny bit sad to be missing out on it all. It occurred to me too late that there is no reason not to do all that stuff at home! So I’m going to start planning now for making Halloween an all day event next year. First item on the list will be wearing my Halloween costume all. day. long. Hurrah for overkill!

Non-Crazy Rules For Dating My Son

I have a bit of a rant for you tonight.

You’ve probably seen the silly “Rules for Dating my Daughter” lists floating around the interwebs over the years. “I’ve got a shovel and a big back yard,” etc. I don’t think I ever paid much attention to them. I might have laughed or given a hearty “you know it!” including a sassy head swivel that hasn’t actually been cool since the mid-nineties when I learned it from “In Living Color.”  A new-to-me version showed up on my Facebook wall today. (Can we talk later about how Facebook makes me feel stabby lately and if I see one more ‘Like if you love Jesus. Scroll down if you love the Devil’ post I might develop a nervous tic. Don’t tell me what to do. The other day I saw a picture I thought was cute and I almost clicked the Like button but then I noticed the big “Like if it’s cute” text on the photo and I was all “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”)

That’s probably part of why this new version of the dating rules list affected me so strongly today. The other part is harder for me to admit. I have always chaffed when people shook their heads, smiled and patronizingly suggested, “You’ll understand when you have kids someday.” I still don’t totally buy that thought process all the time but here I am having a freaking different reaction to something partly because I’m a mom now. A mom to a little boy.

This is what a friend of mine shared today.

Rules for Dating My Son

 

I want to be clear that I’m not passing judgement on my friend. I see why she shared it and why she thought it was funny. I see more than just the easy humor in the list, though. I see a lot of crazy with a dash of misogyny thrown in. Maybe it’s funny to read, but how scary would it be to actually have someone tell you “I know how to avoid jail?” Or to be dating a guy whose mom keeps telling you that she can make you go away and that your opinion doesn’t matter? It’s funny in the way “Everybody Loves Raymond” made people laugh but they would have been miserable to live with some of those relationships in real life.

I couldn’t get it off my mind as got Samuel down for bed tonight. I absolutely do not want my relationship with his future girlfriends to look like that and I definitely would not want to be giving that type of example for him to follow.  So here are MY rules for anyone wanting to date Samuel someday. I’m assuming this list is aimed at Junior High and High School girls since I find the thought of a mother having these kinds of rules for a grown man to be creepy and bizarre.

 

NON-CRAZY RULES FOR DATING MY SON

  1. While he lives at home with us, our son will be required to work within a basic budget to give some, save some and spend some of whatever money he earns. If he wants to use his spending money to shower you with gifts, that’s up to him. If he runs out of money to buy his clothes and pay for his hobbies, that’s his problem. Sometimes budgeting is a hard lesson to learn. But, if he’s anything like his father or me he’s probably going to be a cheap one. So get ready to be on the receiving end of flowers he picked in a field on the way to your house instead of a dozen roses.
  2. If you show up to my house and I hear my son judging you or any other girl based on what you are wearing, then he won’t be going anywhere because he’ll be at home writing an essay about how words like “slut” and “whore” and “looking like a stripper” contribute to a culture of rape and explaining why we don’t use them in our home.
  3. If I see any “sexts” on his phone (coming or going), you will both find yourselves sitting on my couch having a conversation with my husband and me AND your parents that I’m pretty sure you will find extraordinarily embarrassing. Also, phones will get taken away. And if you are under 18 and you send a nudy picture, it’s child porn. No. Really.
  4. Understand that if I don’t like you it doesn’t matter. I’m not the one dating you.
  5. Understand that I could make you leave our house, but I know that I can not be with my son every second of every day monitoring who he interacts with and I wouldn’t want to be. So, no, I will not try to ‘make you go away.’
  6. My son is not a “Mama’s boy.” He’s a young man with a healthy, respectful relationship with his mother. That’s a good thing for you. It means he’s been raised to treat women nicely and has someone to make sure he doesn’t buy you something ugly for Christmas. You’re opinion on what kind of relationship he has with other people absolutely matters. How he interacts with other people tells you what kind of man he will become. You do not need a ring on your finger to give your opinion value!
  7. You are not in charge of anyone but yourself and it will cause you nothing but heartache if you try to change other people. If my son isn’t the guy for you, that’s ok. It doesn’t reflect poorly on either one of you. Find a guy you don’t need to see as a project.
  8. He is a gentleman. His father and I taught him that. He will treat every girl and woman he meets as a lady because they all deserve it. If he behaves otherwise, don’t you put up with it!
  9. I’m not going to threaten you with thinly veiled suggestions of violence. That’s insane. If a grown-ass woman threatens you or even implies a threat, go immediately to your parents, a trusted adult or a teacher and let them know. 
  10. Do not fake your way to any type of relationship. No one will end up happy. Who you are is enough. My son has grown up in a home that deeply values authenticity, so I hope he is able to tell when people are being fake so that he can avoid them. You are a little young to be worried about trying to get a ring on your finger but, if you do end up married to my son, you will be one lucky woman to get a man who respects women and to have a mother-in-law as cool as I am.

 

 

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