Friday, September 23, 2016

Eight Months

THAT FACE. What a goof. Eight months! Goodness time flies when you're having fun. Every month gets better and better and this age is so so fun.

Little homie had strawberries for lunch and I thought I'd got them all off her face, but it looks like maybe I didn't. Whoops! Also holy hell these photos are getting hard to take. She does not want to stay still! And all she wants to do is eat those letters, which she did. The "M" is now rather misshapen. Lucky she's cute.

Big development this month: we have teeth! The first appeared a week ago, a little bottom toothy! So for aaall the folks who told me, "Oh she's definitely teething. I bet she'll have a tooth in a couple weeks!" since Indy was probably TWO months old... that tooth is for you. ;) The matching tooth started peeking through yesterday. They're just little stumps at the moment, but they're there! I'm excited for teeth so she can get down on some more food. She does pretty well with her gums, but teeth probably would help a little in the chewing department. And man, that baby likes to eat! Or at least play with her food and make a giant mess. She has still yet to meet a food she's not a fan of, I am loving it. Girlfriend chows down on raw spinach leaves. She'll eat anything. I know that wont last forever, so I'm enjoying it while I can.

SELFIE, photobombed by Sophie the bear cat

No crawling yet (not complaining), but Indiana is a champion wiggle worm and roller and somehow still manages to get her little butt all over the place. We're working on pulling up. She can pull up to her knees! And she's started pulling herself into my lap; obviously I love that. She has started pointing at stuff. Cutest thing ever, that tiny little finger and that chubby hand kills me every time. Still loving books, every time I get one out she flings her limbs around in excitement. (Classic happy/excited Indy move: jerk around like you're being electrocuted.) Slowly getting better about just reading and not eating the books, and she can turn the pages! When she's in the mood. Thinks all the cat toys are hers. But really, I mean aren't cat and baby toys similar? Dogs too. Our cats have this crinkly tube thing Indiana has stolen, also into the cat scratching pole? Why not? Indiana adores ALL animals. When she spots one she smiles and does her excited dance and tries to "pet" them. Working on petting versus slapping/grabbing. We've been visiting the kitties for adoption at the pet stores here in town; it's heart breakingly cute to see her put her hands on the glass to try to touch the cats. I hope she loves animals this much forever. I'm obviously an animal nut, so to see my kid love them too makes me real happy!

Indiana had two overnight trips this month, and did great. First longish road trip. And first swim in the ocean. Still obsessed with water! She's been "talking" a ton, and the noises she makes are getting more and more varied. And are obscenely cute. She even makes some "mama" sounds, although not at all directed at me. Loves smiling (and staring) at people, although she's still a little wary of being held by new folks. Loves being out and about, next to looking at animals people watching is her fave. We're regulars at Starbucks, HEB, and Target. 

Lol, clearly these on the back photos are the worst for her. She rolls over immediately. I just need them for continuity's sake. 

Definitely used Sophie the Giraffe (who we call Gilly since we have a Sophie the cat) as a photo bribe. It made me think of on A Goofy Movie when Goofy does all sorts of crazy things to get that baby to smile at the photo studio where he worked. Throw back! Mad kudos if you know what the heck I'm talking about. That movie rules. "It's the leaning tower of cheese-a!" Yeesh, when was the last time you thought about Pauly Shore?

Back to business. Honestly this age is kind of the best! Indiana is so happy and fun and all about exploring and playing and learning. She's started reaching for (or throwing herself at) us and when she's reeeeally sleepy sometimes she'll grace us with a head on the shoulder. And she's started nuzzling our chest when she acts "shy" around people. EEEE! 

I just can't handle it sometimes. She is the best. So fun and silly and gah, CUTE. I love her, love her, LOVE HER. I am super sad that time is going by and she's growing so quickly, but it's also the coolest thing ever. I find myself sometimes spiraling down this black hole of "oh my gosh she used to be so small, I don't want her to grow up, why can't she be a newborn again??" (usually prompted by photos) and I have to stop myself because Indiana is awesome. As she is now. And she's getting more awesome everyday and I suspect this will continue for years. And as much as I miss and wish we could go back to the tiny newborn days (so much sometimes that my heart hurts), I love my silly rolly-polly baby days more. Gotta soak it all in. 

But talk to me around her birthday and I might be singing a different tune and working on a time machine.

Hi Greg, ya creep. See the rest of Indy's first year so far!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Port Aransas 2016

Port Aransas! How I love you, you weird little place, you. This weekend we went to Port A with Brendon's mama and his brother AJ to celebrate AJ's FIFTEENTH birthday. I remember AJ in diapers, so it's a weird but cool thing seeing him as a (very tall!) young man. We had such a good time. Port Aransas is such a relaxing place. Every time we go I love it more.

And we were obviously super excited to take our little fish to see the ocean! I had a feeling Indiana would like it, as she looooves any sort of water, but goodness, she LOOOOVED the ocean. She was all about it. I thought maaaaybe the waves would scare her, but NOPE. We sat her on the edge to test it out and she was happy as a clam, so we figured we'd try farther out. We jumped in the waves with that baby out in the ocean! She was in heaven. Smiling and laughing and doing those happy screams. I guess when you nickname your unborn child the Seahorse... Destined to love the water.

So here are the pictures! Of course there's a ton.

I love this picture of these two. Too cool for school. We got Indiana some rec spec style sunglasses so she couldn't pull them off and eat them. They were definitely not the most flattering things in the world, but they worked really well! And she looked hilarious.

The view from our condo balcony! Casa Condominiums is our favorite place to stay in Port A, and we've stayed at a lot of different condos. This was our second time there and seriously, I don't think we'll stay anywhere else! It is SO close to the beach, the shortest walk of any condo I've stayed in. The rooms are great (huge kitchens), all of them have a good view, and the whole place isn't that big so no matter which room you're in, you're close to the beach. Some condos, I swear, you spend most of your time walking through the resort to get to the other side! Anyway, that's my schpeal. Best place in Port A.

The sleepy head birthday boy and Indiana, also a sleepy head. AJ is the sweetest fifteen year old I know. He was so good with Indy! It was awesome getting a whole weekend with Deb and AJ. We live far enough away from family that we don't get to see them regularly, so this was a treat! I loved seeing Indiana with them.

Okay here comes the onslaught on Indy at the beach photos. And omg, please forgive the dang confederate flag in the background. I was not paying attention when I was taking photos and did not realize that silliness would show up. Our beach neighbors were... special. We are obviously NOT about that, at all.


There was a pretty spectacular storm brewing over the ocean. We got to hear the thunder and watch the lightening, but it was sunny over us!

Hollaaa at my running "tan"! Palest folks on the beach award goes to me and Indy.

Birthday boyyyy! Indiana's like, yo, can I get some of that cake?

Two goooood looking dudes! They look so much alike here! We've been talking about how strong the bones are in Deb's family. Her baby photos look just like Indiana! I'm forever grateful that that baby has my eyes, because dang, she's all daddy.

And of course, the shark mouth photo. Indiana's first!

What a fun weekend! I am a mountain lover at heart, but man, I do love the beach. And traveling with family is aaaaawesome because, more hands to help! Brendon and I even had a "date night" on Friday! We had a blast with Deb and AJ and are already looking forward to next year's birthday trip. What an awesome birthday tradition, lucky kid. ;)

And Indiana was so good. This was her longest car ride (4.5 hours, without pit stops) so we were a little wary. But she was great on the drive down, although... she did had the most massive blow out we've ever experienced half way to the beach! I mean, it was crazy. All the way up to her armpits. She got stripped down in a gas station parking lot, people were laughing. Other than that though, smooth sailing! We left a later than we should have Sunday so she was a little fussy on the home, but really, she did so dang good. She's the best baby to travel with. She's just so happy and loooves exploring and looking at stuff. That being said, traveling with a baby, no matter how easy going, is exhausting. There's just a lot involved. So much STUFF. It's always good to be home and back in your routines again. We've spent the last two weekends out of town, and I'm ready to not go anywhere for a while!

Thanks Port Aransas for a great trip! We love you and will see you soon! Here are our past trips, if you care to walk down memory lane and watch AJ shrink.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seven Months

Lucky number seven, here we are! Seven months of Indiana. We're on the quick trip downhill to one year. I am in denial.

This last month was a goooood one. They're all good, but she's getting more and more interactive which is fun fun fun! I think aside from the big milestones like crawling, standing, walking, etc, the developments are a little more subtle these days. The biggest thing Indiana conquered this month was FOOD! She loves food. I mentioned before we're doing Baby Led Weaning which in a nutshell is, since I've had people ask, no pureeing and no spoon feeding. No "baby food". We give Indiana food cut into sticks and she does the rest. Unless it's naturally soft, I steam the food so it's soft enough to squish between my fingers. She does the feeding and the eating! And it's been so much fun watching her get better and better at it. At first it was mostly just chewing and spitting out and throwing on the floor (that still happens, a lot), maybe some accidental swallowing, but more and more is making it into her tummy these days. She doesn't eat a whole bunch, barely anything really. It's more of a learning/tasting experience. Plus great practice for her fine motor skills. She's had carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, watermelon, zucchini, bananas, and peaches. Avocado is her favorite, but there hasn't been anything so far she doesn't like! I know that wont last forever, so I'm enjoying it while I can.

Indiana's personality is really starting to show these days. She is silly. She loves playing and smiling and getting into everything. She makes the funniest (weirdest) faces. Her newest one is where she scrunches up her face into this slightly evil looking smile/grimace and makes this sort of pig snorting/grunting when she's excited. It showed up out of the blue this past week and it's been hanging around a bunch. I think it's hilarious.

Unfortunately I think we're entering the stranger danger zone. She used to be able to be passed around no big deal, but these days she's a little hesitant if it's not her parents holding her. She is a big fan of her mama and daddy. But if we're holding her, strangers are totally cool! She'll smile at you all day long! And after a little warming up, she'll hang with other folks too. She just does that crying thing when someone new holds her at first. And then she reaches for her mama and I secretly LOVE IT. Mwahaha.

This last month we had our first real medical "scare". It really wasn't even that serious, but when you're a new mom everything is serious! Indiana had a low grade fever one day and then a couple days later an insane rash showed up. It started on her arms and knees and then eventually she was a tomato. It didn't seem to bother her at all though, thank goodness. She just looked like a mess. I took her to her pediatrician and she prescribed benadryl which cleared it right up. Some random virus I guess. Nothing like seeing your baby sick though, I cannot handle myself.

HA. She is not into laying on her back these days.

I've been trying to trick Indiana into saying mama (since apparently most babies say "dada" first) but all I can get out of her is a "mmmmmm". But hey it's a start. She still shrieks in excitement but thankfully the screaming nonstop for fun thing has died down. Still a huge fan of the cats. LOVES water. Bath time, the big pool, her little plastic pool; she loves it all. We got caught in the rain at IKEA this past weekend and she was in heaven. Smiling and making happy noises. Little fish. Loves going out and she loves Starbucks. We go at least once a week and hangout in the lobby for a while. She's even made friends with some of the regulars. Am I a regular?? AT STARBUCKS? I swear I still like good coffee.

Indiana still sleeps pretty well. Gets up to eat like a ravenous wolf once or twice a night, then promptly passes back out. And she's randomly slept through the night a few times! I think we're close to going from three naps to two, which I'm both happy and sad about. Less mama time, but more baby time! No crawling yet, but I think maybe we're on the way. I'm in no rush. She's a champion wiggler and rolls around everywhere and gets into everything without crawling. I'll have my work cut out for me when she gets around to it. Loves sitting up. Really into sitting in shopping carts at stores, she loves looking at everything. Loves the wind and the rain; we've been sitting on the patio a bunch now that it's slightly cooler. I can't wait for fall when we can start playing outside more!

She's just the biggest ball of sunshine. And so darn cute. This next month brings her first beach trip and I am so excited! She's gonna eat so much sand.

The rest of the monthlies here!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Six Months

Holy cannoli! I actually just had a cannoli, so I feel extra special saying that. But now I'm sad there is no more cannoli. Anyway, SIX MONTHS. Half a year! Indiana's Half Birthday! What the heck? Another six months and she'll be a year? No. I wont hear it. Time flies when you're having fun!

And man, this last month was fun. As soon as we figured out Indiana's sleeping thing, she became the happiest baby. I mean, even happier than before. That baby needs her sleep, and when you give it to her, she's happy happy happy. I think in her five month post I mentioned we did some sleep training with Indiana, which was life changing. This past month we also nap trained, which was waaay harder, but had a similar effect. Where sleep training took her about a night to get the jist of things, nap training took about a week. It was ROUGH. But sooo worth it. And her naps still aren't perfect. You just gotta watch her like a hawk and if she starts getting sleepy, put her down to nap! And boom, an hour to two and a half hour nap! If you keep her up too long though, it's more of a struggle. She gets crazy and then when she does fall asleep, it's usually a crappy 30-40 minute nap. Respect the naps! Anyway, sleep training is a hot topic but I'm a fan. Indiana too. Nothing like laying your baby down, her falling asleep without a fuss (this does NOT always happen), and then picking up a happy well rested baby hours later! Plus, FREE TIME. What?! I'm still terrified to turn on the sewing machine for fear it will wake her (one day we will not live in such close quarters) but I have cut out a pattern for a baby sized dress. Eeee!

Aside from Indiana conquering sleep, she's done lots of other fun stuff this month! Not quite the dramatic changes from month 4 to 5, but she's still developing like crazy. No major signs of crawling, but she can roll all over the place now. It's her preferred mode of transportation. Front to back, back to front. Which means she's been sleeping on her belly about half the time. More specifically, face down into the mattress. Which means we've been paranoid as hell. But I'm trying to roll with it! Ha ha, punny. She can stand if you prop her up next to something, like the couch. She's really great at sitting up on her own, no hands! Everyday she can do it for longer, and I'm talking a while. She has to be in the mood though, sometimes I'll sit her up and she's just like nope I'm a floppy newborn again. She found her thumb! Some might think that's a bad thing but really we're all about it. She's awful with a pacifier and I mean, if babies suck their thumbs in the womb it's gotta be natural and okay, right? She doesn't do it all the time, but when she's sleepy she does and that's the important time. She's all about grabbing faces and giving open mouthed tongue-y kisses. Gross but sweet. Still very into putting evvvverything into her mouth. We are SO ready to see what she does with solid food. She watches us eat and even mimics chewing motions with her mouth. That girl wants some food. She starts this weekend and we're doing baby-led weaning. Here come the fun poops!

Overall Indiana is just generally pretty dang fun. Smiles and chuckles like crazy when we play with her. We haven't had a full on laughter session, but I'm eagerly waiting. "Talks" more and more. She's learned to scream, recreationally. Like with all her lung capacity. It was really funny at first but now I'm like... dang, my ears. It's awesome when she does it in public. She is very into the cats. She screams and smiles whenever they come into view. And then tries to grab them and give them open mouthed kisses. She loves them. They're still on the fence, but pretty tolerant. Greg is more patient than Sophie. We've started listening to classical music for an hour or so everyday. She mostly seems to not notice it, but I'll dance with her and every now and then I swear she's really listening. I love classical music, I'm hoping if we start her young she will too! I've got a baby piano on her Amazon wish list... I mean, if she's a child prodigy I wont be mad. She likes books, but mostly she wants to chew on them. We read all the time, and every night before bed. Likes to swim! Her little legs kicking in the water are probably the cutest thing to ever grace a pool. And Indiana LOVES her daddy. I've said this before, but y'all. You should see her face when he comes home from work. Daddy is the cool one. Maybe not as cool as the cats, but cooler than me for sure.

The rough parts? She still loses it if you walk away from her. She needs someone close, but oddly enough if there's a cat by her she's probably cool. Hasn't really had any fear of strangers yet though. She flirts with everyone. Oh and this has been happening her whole life, but she cries if you sneeze. It's sad but so cute. Indy gets psycho in the evenings. Not like crying or anything, but just like legit, a crazy baby. It's kind of funny, but also scary. No one needs sleep more than Indiana, I swear. Really this last month has been a good one. Such a change from the month before, that month was HARD. I know we'll have hard phases again soon enough so I'm just trying to soak in all the relative "calm" while I can. We still have rough days where I am just counting down the minutes until bedtime, but mostly it's been goooood.

Size-wise she's bigger? Still wearing six month clothes, but we've moved on to size 3 diapers. I have no idea what she weighs because our scale at home is super inaccurate. She's got a check up on Tuesday (and the dreaded shottttsssss), so we'll know then. She's getting more hair, finally! She's got lots of light brown fuzz coming in, looks a bit like a buzz cut. Still extra golden in the sun. And here we are at six months and she still has blue eyes. I think they're gonna stay. Tell me they're gonna stay!

AND WE'VE EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED FOR SIX MONTHS! WOOOO! This is a big deal for me. Breastfeeding was something I wanted to work so badly and it hasn't always been easy but I'm so glad we've gotten as far as we have. And we're gonna keep on going! I love it. Indiana is so not cuddly, so our nursing time is the closest to snuggles I get. And I love that I am totally responsible for growing and nourishing that little marshmallow baby! It's a good feeling. I know breastfeeding isn't or doesn't work for everyone and that is so okay, but I love love love it. I'm proud of us.

I think that is my current favorite photo of her. She's such a goof. A goof who cannot stay still.

So happy half birthday, Indiana! It's been the most radical and wonderful six months of my life. You da best baby, and we love you so so so much. Thanks for being you and don't you ever quit, ya cutie-patootie.

And it was only a matter of time before this started happening:

These photo sessions are going to get more and more challenging interesting! ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Big Cottonwood Canyon + traveling with a baby

More mountains! Our last day in Utah we drove up through Big Cottonwood Canyon and did some hiking! Originally we were aiming for a mountain lake that was about a 2.5 mile hike each way. But we didn't plan too well and started a little too late in the day. It got pretty hot when there wasn't a breeze and there were some craaazy stinging bugs in the flowers (which were beeeautiful), so for Indiana's sake we called it quits about a third of the way in. I still got a hell of a work out, as the hike in was literally up a mountain. All uphill. And the views were amazing. I'd like to go back sometime and make it to that lake!

So much prettiness! Also so much work! Hiking with a baby is hard. But fun! She snoozed on the way down, she prefers going downhill. Me too. ;)

After hiking we kept driving through Big Cottonwood Canyon and checked out a few ski resorts. We also stumbled across some epic views.

This photo does this view no justice at all. You could see for MILES AND MILES. Mountains as far as the eye can see.

We meandered through Deer Valley and then back to Park City. There are so so so many ski resorts. We were trying to scope it out for potential winter visits, but there are so many to choose from it's overwhelming! Not a bad problem to have I guess.

And that was it! After our big hike and driving through the mountains we headed back to the hotel to get Indiana a nap and to pack up for our trip home the next day.

That's the view from our hotel room! Not bad huh? And here's Indiana on our big bed! We sleep on a FULL sized bed at home so a king seriously made us feel like kings!

And I wanted to talk a little about traveling with a baby! Not that I am by any means an expert with this ONE trip we went on, but I wanted to just touch on what we did/learned/now know not to do. Because I read blogs on this sort of thing to prepare, so I figure I'd return the favor.

I think in a previous post I mentioned we picked a flight that was less than three hours, sort of the time of a long nap. I think she could handle more, but we had to drive to Dallas to fly so that was an additional two hours of driving. Plus airport time. It basically turned in to almost a whole day of travel at the beginning and end of the trip. If we lived closer to an airport the whole thing would have been much easier. Luckily Indiana handled it well! Her nap schedule basically went out the window with vacation, but we tried to get her as much nap time as we could.

We picked a hotel and room that was suite style, where the bedroom was separate from the living area. So worth it. We put her crib in the living room so when she went to bed at 6:30 we could stay up in the bedroom without waking her. We also picked a hotel with a crib. This is where I'd do it differently next time. We called when booking to see if they had a crib, and they said yes! We assumed full size normal crib. We even brought our own sheets and stuff. But we were wrong. They had a pack-n-play and a mini crib, but no sheets! They tried to give us just a regular BIG bed sheet, but duh not safe at all. It was a mess. The manager's wife ended up running to Walmart to buy us a fitted sheet. This was by far the most stressful part of the whole trip; we had been traveling all day and it was WAAAY past Indiana's bedtime. But it ended up working out well once we got it all settled. In the future I'd be clearer about what was available or bring our own travel crib. We did bring what we could to make her nap/bedtime routines as similar as possible to home, which I highly recommend. Routines are your friend! We brought our video baby monitor and our white noise machine. We did the same boob, bath, book, bed routine we do at home and it worked like a charm. No sleep issues at night! Naps were harder, because we were basically gone all day. Luckily Indiana sleeps pretty good in the car seat and took some naps in the ergo. We tried to make sure she got at least one decent nap in the crib at the hotel. She's a tough little thing. She definitely didn't get as much rest as she did at home, but she didn't seem to mind too much! She did so good. Endlessly proud of the little monster.

When preparing for this trip I read something online about picking up a pack of the cheapo white onesies and just using those for the trip. So if there's a blow out you can just toss the thing and it wont be too much of a loss. I wish we had done this. We brought quite a few onesies and a couple dresses and outfits, but really, all you want to deal with on vacation is a onesie. Changing your baby on the fly is a crazy enough without an elaborate outfit to deal with. Real clothes are silly. Indy only had one major blow out, but we did lose the onesie to the trash in the process. And it was a cute Harry Potter onesie. So that stunk. In the future I'd just snag a pack of plain onesies. Or at the very least, bring more. She ended up wearing the couple dresses I brought only because we ran out of onesies due to messes, and I had packed extra. Obviously a vacation in the winter would be a whole different ball game.

As far as flying goes, I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know if she'd love it, hate it, whatever. I nursed her during take off in case her ears hurt, but she seemed completely unbothered by the pressure changes. My ears always hurt! We didn't buy her a seat so on the way there she sat in my lap. She napped a little but mostly just hung out and played with us and her toys. We brought her a variety of things to play with. Too much actually. She really liked looking out the window. On the way back it wasn't a full flight and we were able to bring her car seat on the plane, which was awesome. She fell asleep before take off and stayed asleep until we landed. And she slept through the second most awful turbulence I've ever experienced. I thought I was gonna hurl, Brendon had the barf bag ready. But Indy just snoozed. As we were leaving a lady a few rows behind us said, "I didn't even realize there was a baby on here, she didn't make a peep!" Success! Taking the seat is the way to go, if you're able to. It was awesome. And they'll check your stroller and car seat for you at the gate which is nice. Your goodies are waiting for you when you get off the plane so you're never really without them. Oh and we flew Southwest. I love Southwest and refuse to fly any other airline unless Southwest doesn't fly to that destination. They're just sooo nice! And free checked bags!! Southwest forever. Getting through security/the airport wasn't nearly as stressful as I thought it might be! Having Brendon there though definitely made it easier. It would be a whole different ball game alone, but I think it would be doable. Everyone was nice and helpful. People love babies, even in airports.

I think that's pretty much it! The biggest thing we had to do was just respect Indiana and her limits. We really wanted to hike more, do more in the evenings, swim, etc, but it wouldn't have been fair to her. And we have a pretty happy baby so often we had to remind ourselves... it's been this long since a nap, we should probably make that happen. Respect the naps! Oh and I nursed everywhere. On the plane, in restaurants, coffee shops, on the side of streets, on the side of a mountain, in Temple Square... everywhere. Breastfeeding is hella convenient.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful if you're thinking about taking a trip with your little one. Every baby is different. You know what your baby can handle. I think mostly you just have to be extra prepared, extra flexible, and try not to get too stressed. That last one is my biggest struggle! Obviously vacationing with a baby means more work and sacrificing some stuff, but I think it's totally worth it because... duh, you have your baby with you! And before we know it Indiana will be older and able to do more and stay up later. And then she'll NOT want to be on vacation with her parents... But we'll drag her anyways, because memories!! :)

Oh and ask strangers to take your family's picture!!!