Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You’re only cool if you celebrate Christmas twice

We traveled to Dallas for Christmas this year to spend it with Chris’s family but didn’t want to take all of our gifts for each other there only to have to bring them back (with the gifts from his family). So we celebrated Christmas last Tuesday; I wanted to do just like it were Christmas, you know, open one present the night before, read the nativity, and then open everything else the next morning. However, it’s time I get used to having to schedule everything around Chris’s work schedule. So instead, we had one little celebration after Miles’ afternoon nap.

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The first gift of Christmas was his first ornament—a holly bell with his name and the year engraved on it; everyone in Chris’s family has one of these, and Chris and I have one for the year we were married.

And of course, it has to go straight in the mouth. As did all of his other presents.

In Texas, Miles was having a hard time adjusting to a new schedule and house and noise, so he wasn’t the happiest baby, but we managed to get a few pictures before he started screaming.

The first picture is after we changed him into his photo shoot outfit—those pictures will come later. The other two are during stocking-opening. He needed some assistance to figure out what to do. Apparently he prefers to just lie down on his stocking.

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And this is the morning after Christmas when Chris was awake with Miles. Apparently there was some sort of blow out, which is why his sleeper is on the floor, and as soon as he was stripped down, Miles was very excited.

Overall we had a great Christmas and hope that all of you did as well. I’m still working on a Johnson newsletter to email out. No promises.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Animal tracks

Yesterday was the warmest day we have had in a what seems like a very long time, so we finally took the dog to the park (and Miles came, too). We had some rain on Thursday, so much of the trail was still slightly muddy and along the way, Chris made a couple of comments about some interesting tracks he kept seeing. After about a mile, he stopped and looked more closely at one of the tracks. It only took me about two seconds to have it figured out: the elusive animal was the dreaded human in shoes.

As soon as I realized that my super intelligent husband who prides himself on his ability to identify all sorts of birds, animals, tracks, etc. had made a mistake, I said, “blog update.” And being a good sport, he even took the pictures from his phone.


He wanted me to point out, in his defense, that he originally was only seeing the heel of the shoe.


As we continued to walk, I saw the following. He must have thought it was a stampede.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tonight’s bath brought to you by the letters M and H

Thanks to our friend Meredith, Miles is learning his alphabet during bath time. Please disregard the major scratch on his face—apparently I need to do a better job of trimming his nails.

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And in other news, he is no longer failing to thrive. This child gained three pounds in the last month. Now he has chunky thighs like his mom.

Miles and the bearded man

Yesterday was the BIG day! The day that all parents look forward to. The day that truly shows that you are, indeed, parents. The day that your child meets Santa for the first time.

I had done my research prior to visiting Santa because I wanted to make sure that we were meeting an authentic looking Santa. And where does one find that sort of Santa? The fancy mall, of course.

We made sure to time our visit to Santa just after Miles’s morning nap because in order to get a smiling picture, one must have a well-rested child. Well, I figured it at least increased our chances. Santa arrives at the mall at 10 am, and we made it there by 11; and there was no line! Bonus.

There weren’t, however, any elves helping this Santa—only a slight disappointment. Before we got in line, we told the two young men working there that we would be purchasing the digital copy of our photo because then, we figured, we could do whatever we wanted with it. I guess you don’t actually have to purchase a photo, you know, in case your child takes terrible pictures, but in order to take your own pictures with your own camera, you must purchase.

Miles and I walked up to Santa, and he explained the best place to set the baby on his lap and the best place for the parents to stand. So I set Miles on Santa’s lap, stepped beside the camera, and started making all sorts of silly noises. Luckily, Miles hasn’t yet developed any stranger anxiety, in fact, I’m not even sure he noticed that he was sitting on an old man’s lap.

After they took their picture, I got to look at it on their screen in order to approve it, and Chris started snapping away. (When we got home, we compared the pictures, and ours turned out much better). After Chris took a few, he stepped away to pay for the picture, and I talked to Santa a bit. It was then that Miles noticed the man with the beard, and he looked up at Santa in the cutest way. I wish we had taken a picture then.

Chris and I talked to Santa briefly (again, no line), and he expressed that he views it as such a privilege to be part of a baby’s first Christmas. A very good Santa, in my opinion. 

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I’m pretty sure Miles told Santa that he wanted for his mom to stop making him wear sweater vests for Christmas.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It’s beginning to look, feel, and smell a lot like Christmas!

Although I decorated the house and put the tree up a week ago, today felt like the real start of the Christmas season around here.  It was the perfect Saturday to get into the festive spirit since it hasn’t gotten out of the 30s and low 40s all day—we even had some sleet/hail/frozen rain mix!

The day started with Chris getting up with Miles so that I could have a morning to sleep in. And what did Miles do? He slept 45 minutes more than he has been lately. And I couldn’t get back to sleep after he woke up anyway. I did, however, lay in bed while Chris got him changed and fed. After I came downstairs, Chris and I both commented that it would have been a great day to go for a jog except that it was so cold. It is highly possible that we said that only to make ourselves feel better but fully knowing that it wasn’t going to happen.

While Miles took his morning nap, I got ready for the day (instead of taking a nap, too) because Miles was invited to his first birthday party. We, of course, were fashionably late because I didn’t want to wake him too soon. But he made an appearance, giving ample time to give the birthday girl her gift—one of those Sing-a-ma-jigs. We got back in the car at about the time he needed his second nap for the day, leaving him about 30 minutes to sleep in the car seat before we got home. I tried to transfer him to his crib, but that only works if he has been asleep for about 10 minutes or so.

Instead, I fed him again, changed him into something fancy, and we headed out to his first symphony concert. The Charlotte Symphony and Orchestra does a concert every December called, “The Magic of Christmas,” in which they play a variety of Christmas music accompanied by various vocal groups (and sometimes the audience). Chris surprised me with tickets to the concert last year, and I was excited to take Miles this year. Chris wasn’t too sure about taking a 7-month-old to a concert, but I thought he did remarkably well. We made sure to get seats on the aisle in case we needed to get out, which we did. We met some of our friends there; and between the two babies in the group, there was always someone standing in the aisle with a baby. During the first half, Miles was enthralled with the loud music and lights. He was tired, which usually means he wants to snuggle against my chest, but he really wanted to be facing the music to see what all the noise was about. Also, we discovered he really likes applause. Chris stood with him until Intermission, but it wasn’t until the second half when there were two slower songs in a row, that I got him to fall asleep.

After a stop at Panera for dinner (because it was a soup kind of night), we headed home to finally trim our tree. Around here, we always wear Santa hats and listen to carols as we decorate, so of course, I had to get Miles his own hat this year. Unfortunately, the only one I found (that I was willing to spend money on) had silly ear straps.

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You can really see that Miles has lost his blue eyes here. They’re still in between brown, green, hazel.

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I attempted to wear antlers instead this year, but soon after this, Chris made me put on the hat because it was too hard to get the top of the antlers in the pictures.

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This is what Miles wanted to be doing instead of looking at the camera.

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This was after we turned off the flash in an attempt to get more ambiance in the photos, but it also made everything a little blurry—especially because Miles doesn’t like to hold still.

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This is what happens anytime we are on the floor because Scout really likes attention. It makes for a VERY blurry picture.

And here’s the big moment—hanging the first ornament.

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But the biggest reminder that it is the Christmas season is the cold I am in the middle of. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into the sinus/ear infections of last year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miles: 7 months

Officially Miles turned 7 months yesterday, but Chris took the laptop with him to Colorado, and the desktop decided to “take a break” last night, so this post is a day late. But I’m pretty sure not much has changed since yesterday.

Since his 6 month appointment fell a few days after his half-birthday post, I didn’t get a chance to update on his stats, but it wasn’t what the doctor was hoping for, I guess. Everyone is always telling me how healthy he looks because of his chubby cheeks, but he only fell in the 10th percentile for weight. I wasn’t too concerned about it because he is in the 90th percentile for height (but really length because they measure him lying down, whatever). I’m not saying that Chris and I are the skinniest people in the world, but we are both relatively long and lean, and the doctor has met both of us on several occasions, but she was still concerned because he has dropped two percentile groups in his last few appointments. She suggested that I start adding pureed meats to his food rotations, add some butter or olive oil to the food that I prepare for him, which I was already doing, and maybe start supplementing with formula if I wasn’t opposed to it, which I’m not. She did make me a little bit worried because I know I am not producing as much milk as I used to, and because I only produce on one side, I thought maybe he wasn’t getting enough to eat. So I’ve been giving him formula before he goes to bed at night (no, it is not making a difference in getting him to sleep longer) to see how it goes. He has to go back in two weeks to get a flu booster shot, and if he hasn’t changed weight significantly, I might just go back to all breast milk because it’s cheaper than formula.

Overall he is still a very happy baby. He really only cries when he is tired, which can be fixed by putting him down for a nap. He is napping consistently two times a day for about an hour and half (ish) each and taking a shorter naps most days in the late afternoon. He goes down without a fuss on most days, but I can’t say always because every time I do, he screams. And Chris is always here for those ones and is very quick to point out that I was wrong. He is going to sleep at about 6:30 most nights, waking up one or two (sigh) times, and getting up anywhere between 6 and 7 in the morning. I would really love for him to sleep through the night again, but I haven’t seen those nights since he was almost four months. Not sure what happened, but I know it will come again.

He is consistently eating pretty much anything I give him: sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, pears, squash, avocado, banana, and yogurts. I think he has had enough “first tastes” now so that I can start mixing things up a bit. He did not really enjoy the turkey that I gave him on Thanksgiving, but he did enjoy the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that we let him taste at the restaurant. Chris is always trying to put things in his mouth, mostly ice cream and things of that nature, and I think I need to give up trying to stop him.

Miles is definitely developing a personality, which is so fun to watch. Now that he is mostly sitting up, he will turn and look at me over his shoulder, smile, and then turn back around. Just checking to make sure I am still there or something. He loves to jump in his jumper/activity center, but only if he can see me while he does it. When he’s done, he’ll start yelling at me, so I walk over to get him, and he now reaches up for me to take him out. He screams a lot when he is playing on the floor, but not in an angry way. He just likes to hear himself. So far he hasn’t done it at church, but that will be fun. But the best, the experience that showed me he is truly a boy, was the other night as I was burping him after his bottle. He let out a huge burp, and then turned and smiled and laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh at that.

He loves his daddy now, which has been great for me. He gets the biggest smile on his face when Chris comes home and reaches straight for Chris’s face. He still is a little unsure of Chris putting him to bed at night, but now that he is getting a bottle, we will remedy that situation.

He has been able to roll over for over two months now, but wasn’t interested in it at all until this past week. He used to just lie on his stomach and scream until one of us rolled him over. But he seems to be more interested in his toys, so there is added motivation. And because he is falling forward still while he is sitting up, he has no choice but to get into a better position on his own.

And because Chris took the laptop with all of the photos on it, the only ones I have are from his first Thanksgiving. These were taken on our smaller camera, so they never look as crisp, but that’s all I got.



His hair is getting a little unruly in the front and over his ears, but the thought of cutting it breaks my heart.

I sure do love this little guy. But I sure am looking forward to Chris coming home tomorrow and giving me a day to sleep in.