Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The New Do

I decided that after 6 months of mommy-hood, it was probably time to get a real haircut. Not to mention the need to get my hair away from grabbing fingers. The task was harder than normal because my normal stylist has since moved away - bugger! I tracked down a recommendation and make an appointment. Since I got on the schedule, Colleen posted about her post-baby haircut and Jill showed up at church with a super cute new bob. I guess I'm not the only one who needed a refreshing change. Sooo... here's the new cut. The picture is kind of dark and I'm showing my end of the day tired-ness, but I'm pretty pleased.

As an added bonus, I think I've found a new stylist, that's pretty quick, friendly, and reasonably priced. At least I should be able to keep my hair in style.

My wardrobe is a whole different story. I realized that on my non-work days, I'm pretty much rotating 4 shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, and a couple hoodies.
(For full disclosure, the shirts all have some sort of faint stain, so the hoodies get the full zip when we leave the house.) For now, I'm just going to acknowledge and embrace my "mommy wardrobe," but once Owen stops spewing, I'm buying new clothes to celebrate. =)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

COLD and Pets

It's COLD! Not "Burr, put on a jacket" cold. It's "Oh my gosh, I think my fingers are going to freeze walking the 10 feet between buildings at work" cold. When I dropped Owen off this morning, my car thermometer said 5. 5! That looks like a Celsius temperature, but no, it's good old United States Fahrenheit. At least the sun still shines in Bend. Even on cold days, we need our sunglasses for walks. Don't worry, we weren't out walking today. This pic is from last Friday when the temperature was above freezing. We can handle 38 degrees - sounds tropical compared to 5!

We decided Owen had his BEST WEEKEND EVER. He was super happy, smiling, and giggling all weekend long. He's wiggling all over, reaching for toys, and rolling onto his tummy to get closer to things. Even though he had terrible naps on Sunday, we couldn't get over how happy our kiddo was.Recently, Owen has decided that he loves, loves, loves being anywhere near the dog. He will contort his neck to keep Hudson in view while eating or just moving from room to room. And if the dog is moving around, oh man! Owen gets all giggly and starts flapping his arms and stomping his feet. Unfortunately, Hudson is pretty afraid of Owen and will only approach him for a fly by licking on his own terms. We're working with Hudson to increase his comfort level. Scott keeps telling him that Owen is here to stay and will soon be chasing him all over the house - poor dog.

Hudson is just standing by Scott (taking the picture) and Owen is LAUGHING!

Pure bliss - the dog got close enough to touch.

On other pet news: Owen got into his first fight with the cat last week - the cat won. Owen was grabbing Cisco all over, and the cat finally had enough and stuck a claw in Owen's scalp. Not a happy incident. At least Scott and I were both in the room, so we shared equal guilt in letting it happen. Although our cats are both extremely tolerant, we have no illusions that these were Owen's last scratches. Such is life with living pets.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Off the Charts!

I took Owen for his 6 month doctor appointment yesterday. I was excited because we succeeded in a small (and yet still significant) goal of not going to the doctor in December. While we love our pediatrician and the great nurses, I just don't want them to become my social network. This time, we went in because Owen was six months old - not because he was struggling to breath, puking everywhere, or choking on his own spit-up (reasons for visits in prior months). It was so nice to walk in the door because my child is doing well and just needs more shots.

With little ones, they always pull up the the growth chart:
Head measurement - growing (he's a Maxwell); now in the 20ith percentile
Height - holding steady in the 3-5th percentile; 25 inches
Weight - off the chart. The low end, that is. 13 lb, 4 oz doesn't even make the chart anymore.

Oh well, the doctor's not worried, so we're not either. I guess it's common for breastfed babies to lag behind between 6 and 9 months. Owen has plenty of years to catch-up. And hey, it's okay if my kid doesn't get to play linebacker - size doesn't matter in soccer, right?

Recent Events

Here are a couple fun photos from the last few weeks:

Scott recently got his first chance to play Mr. Mom for a whole day. He did great - even packed up the baby and took the dog for a walk (you can see Hudson jumping up in the back of the photo). He even cleaned house a bit, but admitted it was because he was able to keep Owen calm by using the front pack. Not quite ready to be a full time stay at home dad, but they both survived!

When I was pregnant, I attended a pre-natal exercise class for a couple months. We finally had our "reunion" in December. Look at all those babies - 8 boys and 1 girl!

This photo represents a small victory and a major milestone as new parents. That red backpack was the very first thing we purchased for the baby last March. We had great visions of toting our baby all over the mountains of Oregon. However, there have been quite a few times in these last 6 months when I've thought that vision would never be fulfilled. That backpack sat in the closet reminding me of how our vision was so different from reality. How would we ever get our life back with this fussy, refluxing baby who wouldn't lay alone for more than 2 minutes? I was going to write up a post of our challenges and small victories along the way, but I think this photo shows what's most important:
One day at at time, we've worked through the challenges. Owen is now getting a little happier and more independent every month and over New Years we pulled the backpack down from the closet and took him snowshoeing with my parents.
He loved it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hooray Me!

Since mom's don't get enough cheers. This week, I've been saying "Hooray Me!" I want to give myself a pat on the back for making it through 6 months of breastfeeding. It has not been an easy road, but my goal from the beginning was to reach 6 months - and we did it!! This is a significant mommy milestone. I feel like I should get to eat cake and throw confetti. Hooray Me!

I just want to say that the breastfeeding proponents DO NOT do a good job of preparing you for how challenging it is to be a pumping mom. They say, "Get a good pump; you'll have to pump as often as the baby would eat." Lie! I find that I would need to pump twice for each bottle Owen takes, and my other working mom friends have had similar experiences. Owen takes 2 bottles at daycare, but I pump 3 times/day at work and still supplement with frozen milk from our freezer. Now that we've reached 6 months, I'm going to cut back and just pump twice a day at work. We'll use up what's stored in the freezer (probably another month) and then Owen can start taking one formula bottle a day.

Eventually, I'd like to get to nursing just morning and night, but we'll see what happens. For now... HOORAY ME!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Six Months Old!

I cannot believe Owen reached six months old yesterday. I'm working on a post of reflections from our first six months as parents, but for now, I wanted to post some photos from this milestone day and some of the big things at six months.

Sitting - Just like Colleen predicted, Owen had a few days of wobbling and then suddenly started sitting up with decent reliability. We're trying to keep the head thumping to a minimum, but he's really enjoying being able to look around and reach for things. Of course, he's still happiest being held. Our slings and the front pack continue to prove their worth on a daily basis.

Veggies - Carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash (especially squash!) are winners. Avocado got only funny squinched up faces. Broccoli went down okay, but didn't mix well with his refluxing tummy. Friday was a messy day and now the spewage has that rotten veggie smell - sweet! Well, not sweet. Tonight I blended up cauliflower and banana, so more experimenting this week.

Understanding - It's been great to realize how much Owen absorbs and understands throughout the day. Yesterday morning we woke up to several inches of snow. When I took him to the window, he looked around with wide eyes full of wonder - so great! We're trying to work on that understanding and talk to him about what's going on throughout the day: "Nap time in 10 minutes" or "We're going to see Miss Meghan at daycare today."

We're so thankful to be past the colic stage, and we continue to embrace the blessing of a baby that sleeps well. Owen seems to thrive on a schedule, which shouldn't surprise anyone that knows his parents! We're really looking forward to the next six months as Owen becomes more mobile and continues to grow and change before our eyes.

Sitting up is pretty cool - all my toys are now in reach.

Is anything more tasty than squash? I guess I'll find out soon.

I like to practice my standing when mom will give me the chance.

This dog used to tower over me (the old picture is at the very bottom of this page), but I'm close to 14 pounds now. I think I can take him.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year's Resolution: 12 Things

We resolve to make one improvement each month in each of the following categories:
- Going Green
- Household
- Owen
- Faith
- Family
- Finances
- Fitness

Our resolution started with wanting to do something each month to reduce our impact on the environment. Instead of setting an annual resolution to "be greener," we're going to make one small change each month. The idea expanded into making one improvement each month in each area of our lives. By making a series of small concrete changes, we hope to see a nice cumulative effect by the end of the year.

For exmaple, our January goals are:
Going Green - acquire more reusable bags for shopping; Change our air filter;
Household - Clean-up the living room and take all the stuff we've piled about to Goodwill;
Owen - Help Owen sleep without being mummy swaddled; schedule portraits;
Faith - say grace before dinner;
Family - hire a babysitter to have a date night;
Finances - don't make any purchases on the credit card (as opposed to "save money");
Fitness - Scott to run 3 times/week; Alissa to walk 2 times/week and figure out the logistics to start taking yoga or pilates again.

See, none of these things are monumental, but they are small steps toward improving ourselves and our family. We acknowledge that some of the goals (see Fitness) may continue from month to month, but the idea is to check things off and start fresh the next month. I'll try and keep us honest by posting some of our little goals each month.