May 27, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Twenty-Six

How is it possible that my sweet Wilder turned half a year old yesterday?? Time, I hereby command you to stop moving so fast! We had his six-month checkup on Tuesday and my bouncy baby boy weighs 17 lbs 6 oz and is 27 1/4 inches long. I was so proud of how well he did. He sat on the table so nicely while the doctor and I talked about him and then smiled and talked to the doctor while she examined him. She said he looked perfect and that she couldn't think of one thing to say that we needed to do or work on. That made me feel so good :) Then came the dreaded vaccines. In the past he hasn't been too fond of the oral one (much less the shots) but this time he held the nurse's hand to his mouth and gulped it down, haha. The shots this time weren't bad either. He cried for approximately 5 seconds afterwards and then was fine. I'm so thankful for such an easy-going, good-natured baby!

As of Saturday, he has now officially eaten his first solid food. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed until he was six months old but I went ahead and started him a few days early because for the last two weeks he has still been waking up totally famished at 5:30 am or earlier every morning (one night it was 3:45, ugh!). Plus for the last month he could think of nothing but putting things in his mouth and he also acted very interested in us eating, which I read are both signs that he was ready for real food. I was hoping to put it off until after our trip to Tennessee for the sake of convenience, but this past weekend I thought about it and just couldn't see putting it off for another almost two weeks. This boy was ready for food and there was no getting around it. 

I wanted to try making my own purees so on Saturday Wilder and I went to the grocery and picked out some avocados and a sweet potato. I read that both were a great first food and since we're living in California I thought it only proper that his first would be avocado. They are soooo good for you! What I read said that with avocados you could just mash them so that's what I did, but he was totally not feeling it. I think from now on I'll puree it and thin it out with some water. But anyway, as you can see from the pictures below, the avocado didn't go over too well. In fact, I'm not even sure he actually swallowed any of it. He kept spitting it out and then he gagged and threw up everywhere. Poor little guy! It wasn't a pleasant experience for anyone involved, let me tell you. 

"I'm not sure what's going on, 
but I'm excited about it!"
 "You want me to do what with that?!"
 "What have you put in my mouth??!
Get it out! Get it out!"
 Me hoping the next bite will go better...
 Nope... This was about 2 
seconds before the vomiting.

I know you are supposed to introduce one food every 3 or 4 days to make sure they aren't allergic but since he hadn't actually ingested any of the avocado, and I knew he wouldn't want it again, I went ahead the next day and pureed the sweet potato for him so I could keep the ball rolling with the solids. The sweet potato was a huge hit. It took him a few minutes to come around since he was still suspicious from the avocado incident, but by the end of the first meal he was leaning forward and opening his mouth for another bite. We did sweet potato through Tuesday and it is the cutest thing ever watching him eat. He is so proud of himself afterwards. 

"Sweet potato! Sweet potato! Yaaayyy sweet potato!"
 So proud of himself :)

Instead of starting him on rice cereal first, I've been mixing it in with his veggies. The only nutritional value in rice cereal is the iron and, since he's already 6-months-old, I wanted to go ahead and get him started with real food. On Wednesday we switched from sweet potatoes to peas. The peas didn't go over too well at first, but he's coming around to them. Mixing the rice cereal in with them actually seems to make them more palatable. I know I went out of order with the veggies but after the avocado I didn't want to turn him off to food completely with something he wouldn't naturally take to. I know I'm doing things differently, but I'm thinking things through and doing my research and what I'm discovering is that, when it comes to babies, each one is different and there is no hard and fast rule as to what will work. As parents we just have to use our common sense and be flexible. 

Speaking of doing things differently, when I was researching solids I ran across some information about Baby-Led Weaning that I thought was really interesting. It's a method popularized in England where "weaning" doesn't mean weaning off of breastmilk/formula, it means gradually introducing solids in addition to breastmilk/formula. With this method the baby is given slices/strips/chunks of soft food like avocado slices, pieces of potato, etc. -- pretty much just pieces of whatever you're eating -- and allowed to feed it to themselves. It teaches them to chew and to decide when they are full instead of being encouraged to take "just one more bite." It's an interesting concept that people have been doing for years and it seems to have a lot of good benefits so I'm thinking about giving it a try in another month. 

We had a fun short visit with Paul's dad last Saturday. We played with Wilder at our house and then walked down the street to Urban Solace for lunch. I know no one probably cares but I had the most delicious sandwich called the Monte Diego -- smoked ham, grilled pears, marinated onions, and Fontina cheese on custard-dipped egg bread. Oh. My. Word. Soooo good! Anyway, also during Paul's dad's visit we discovered that Wilder may have a slight case of stranger anxiety. Not that his granddad is a stranger but Wilder hasn't seen him in 3 months so as soon as I handed him over to him he started crying and reaching for me. I read that this can start happening at around this age and, since Wilder is only ever held by Paul and me (not by choice but because we don't have family out here and none of our friends ever ask to hold him because they either have babies of their own or are college dudes haha), he's definitely more susceptible to it. So just a word of warning to anyone we might see in Tennessee this weekend... approach calmly and you're welcome to hold him but don't be offended if he starts to cry. He's normally a pretty laid-back little guy so I think it will just take him a little while to get used to everyone. 

Three generations :)

We got into Tennessee last night. We had a bridal luncheon this morning for the beautiful bride and tonight we had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We're totally pooped and the big day is tomorrow so all the details of the flight and the wedding will have to wait till next week. Y'all have a great weekend!

May 20, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Twenty-Five

I am giddy with excitement today because next weekend my baby brother is getting married! And we get to come to Tennessee and see all of our family and friends who care about us! And we get to be a part of the wedding! And it's going to be such a happy, joyful time! I'm also giddy with freaking out a little bit because I haven't started packing! I haven't even pulled out suitcases! We're flying with a very active and noisy 6-month-old instead of a sleepy and easily-entertained 3-month-old! Yeah, it's going to be fun and exciting and exhausting and a little stressful and happy and joyful, but what trip home isn't? 

I'm so happy for my brother and his soon-to-be Mrs.! They have great chemistry together and are so much fun to be around. I just adore both of them... OK, now I'm crying. I know the wedding is going to be so beautiful and I'm so excited to welcome Lauren into our family :) Aren't they a gorgeous couple?
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dabney Photography)

Last Sunday was a day that reminded me why I love where we live. We walked one block away from our house and were in the middle of the North Park Festival of Arts, where there were six music stages, dozens of food vendors, a craft beer block, and hundreds of art booths. We had fun walking around, eating, and looking at all of the art and Wilder was fascinated by all the new and different sights, sounds, and smells.
 Paul with his basket of fried goodness: fried catfish, 
fried hush puppies, and french fries, haha :)

It rained two days in a row this week, which is very unusual. Half of me was perturbed because we couldn't go for walks or get out in the yard, but the other half of me was secretly glad because I didn't have to get dressed or feel like "It's such a beautiful day, we need to go do something." I tell ya, it's exhausting having all this nice weather all the time. Sometimes a girl needs an excuse to be lazy ;) So anyway, we did a lot of playing indoors those days. A lot of practicing standing, jumperoo-ing, walking around grabbing things, loving on the dogs, and finding new toys to play with...
Wilder also finally starting putting his feet in his mouth. He's like way behind on this I think, but since he's so obsessed with rolling onto his belly, he spends almost zero time on his back so he never really had the chance to discover these built-in toys/teethers I guess. This is something I've been waiting on because I think it's one of the cutest things babies do so I'm really excited he's finally doing it.
He's also been loving on his daddy as usual this week. Wilder loves playing with Paul and it makes me so happy to see them together...
And look at this face when Daddy walks into the room. Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever seen? :)

Yesterday Wilder and I met Amber and Henry and my other cousin/Amber's sister, Ansley, in Carlsbad for lunch. Ansley lives and works at Winter Park in Colorado where it's 20 degrees and snowing this week so she was excited to get out of that for a few days and she hadn't met Wilder yet so we were really excited to see her. We had lunch at Bistro West, which I just happened to find on Yelp and it was sooo delicious... very highly recommended if you ever find yourself in Carlsbad. I had an amazing chopped wedge salad with avocado slices, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese crumbles, and gorgonzola dressing. It sounds so simple but it was out of this world! After lunch we went down the street to a really pretty park where we played on the playground with the boys and then we walked across the street to the beach and strolled along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It was such a gorgeous day!

This weekend we are so excited to get a short visit from Paul's dad. He's attending a conference in Las Vegas this week and is flying in for the day on Saturday to see us. We can't wait for him to see how big Wilder's gotten! :) And next Tuesday we have Wilder's six-month doctor's appointment so I'll have his six-month stats next week. 

Here are a few more cute pictures from this week...

Wilder's first shorts
Being entertained by the dogs
Future Zoolander?
Sweet happy boy :)

Alright, y'all, have a great weekend!

May 13, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Twenty-Four

It’s already Friday?? I'm not going to lie, I kind of don’t know exactly what we did all week. I’ve been a little bit of a zombie because for some inexplicable reason, Wilder decided he needed to wake up at 5:30 Tuesday and Wednesday morning. It's been slightly later each morning since then but he's still waking up before the dogs and that says a lot. Some moms I complained about this to this week were like “That’s not bad at all” and then proceeded to tell me their babies’ schedules, after which I realized that I’ve been totally spoiled by Wilder sleeping 7:00 PM – 7:00 AM for the last few months. They’re right  -- 5:30 AM isn’t bad…. unless you didn’t go to bed until midnight the night before because you were counting on not having to wake up before 7:00 the next morning. Looks like I’m going to have to renounce my night owl tendencies until I can figure out what is causing him to beat the rooster to the crowing. I have racked my brain the past few days trying to find the culprit: Soggy diaper? Hot? Cold? Hungry? Teething? Too much light in the room? Scratchy new PJ’s? Alas, I’ve remedied all of these possible problems to no avail. Apparently Wilder’s just decided to take advantage of the only time in his life that it will be acceptable to wake up before the sun and make someone else wake up too and entertain him. Man, babies have the life, for real! Anyway, although I know you're dying to know every minute detail of our week, you'll please forgive me if I just give a brief overview that I'm remembering by going back and looking at the pictures I've taken. 

Apparently on Saturday we hung Wilder's new outdoor swing in the yard. OK, kidding, I do remember that. We finally got it in the mail last Thursday... a week and a half after ordering it from Amazon. I know I should have learned my lesson from the teething products order but obviously I didn't because I ordered from them yet again and again experienced a shipping snafu. A week after ordering it I checked the status and it still had not shipped. I called Customer Service and they said the swing had been backordered, which they never told me, and my order had been placed in "limbo," which in Amazon terms apparently means "canceled." They said if I reordered it they would give me free two-day shipping so, once again, they made up for the mistake but still... DO NOT order from Amazon if you are in a hurry (or want your shipment in a timely manner) and please remind me to not do this again either! Anyway, finally on Saturday we had time to hang the swing. Dads are good for that job...
Wilder wasn't too sure about it at first, as you can see from his face in the picture below, haha...
But we've used it at least once every day since and it's definitely grown on him. Now whenever we walk out there he reaches for it.

Sunday was my first Mother's Day. We had big plans to eat a good lunch and then take Wilder and the dogs to Fiesta Island, but it was totally overcast and chilly so we opted for just the lunch. We walked down the street to Urban Solace, which is one of the best restaurants in SD, in my opinion. They feature Southern comfort food with a twist so it's right up our alley. They have an awesome Bluegrass Brunch on Sundays with a bluegrass band and a menu that's out of this world. Seriously, just drool over the pictures below for a minute...

We started with a homemade buttermilk cinnamon roll
with cream cheese frosting and butter pecan sauce
 Then I had the Eggaroni: cheesy macaroni and egg baked
casserole w/ smoked ham and charred tomatoes
 And Paul had the Kitchen Sink Biscuits: sausage, brown sugar
slab bacon, and fried eggs over homemade biscuits and gravy
I'm drooling now just thinking about it. This meal plus the charming company completely made my Mother's Day. Afterwards, it was probably a good thing that it was overcast because we were so full we wouldn't have wanted to move off the couch anyway. 
Oh, and Paul and Wilder surprised me with a gift certificate for a Swedish massage plus a foot and ankle treatment. Soooo excited!! And, even though Paul totally doesn't get the point of cards, he knows I love them, so he always gets them for me but they never fail to be something crazy. For this occasion, he came up with this gem... Kind of appropriate for a Mother's Day 20 miles from the border I guess. No idea what it says of course, but I'm sure it expresses some very nice sentiments. Thanks Paul ;)

The rest of the week, as far as I can recall, we didn't really do much of note. The only thing we did besides the usual playing at home, going to the dog park, and running errands was have a play date at the home of one of the girls I met at last week's playgroup at Liberty Station. Her son is 8 months old and just as busy as can be. It made me excited for Wilder to start moving on his own but it also made me appreciate being able to still put him somewhere and know that he will stay there. 

I don't think that will last long though. I'm so amazed at how much he has developed just in the last few weeks. He's sitting up perfectly now and can even stand holding onto something for a couple of seconds by himself. He can also spin around on his belly pretty easily and I feel like scooting is just around the corner. He has definitely found his voice too. It's so crazy that what started out a few months ago as the softest little "ooh ooh" is now "AAHHHAAHHHAAHHH" and "GAHH" and "MAHH" and "THAHH" and "FAHH" and "BAHH" etc. He loooves hearing himself talk talk talk and we love it too. 

Earlier this week he scared the crap out of me though. For two or three days every so often while I was feeding him he would start humming out and then doing this squeaky wheezing sound in. It sounded like a person with asthma, but he never acted like it was difficult for him to breathe and he never did it at any other time. In fact whenever I would get his attention and be like "Wilder, what are you doing?!" he would stop and just grin at me. The other night I happened to be reading in my What to Expect the First Year book and a mom had submitted a question about a cough her son had started doing. He wasn't acting sick and he wasn't doing it at night while he was sleeping and she asked if he could possibly just be doing it for attention. The answer was yes! The book said that he probably coughed for some reason once and his mom freaked out so he decided to keep doing it to get a reaction out of her. This sounded exactly like what Wilder was doing so I didn't immediately rush him to the ER like I wanted to and, after a couple of days, the wheeze vanished as quickly as it had appeared. It was like he was just doing it because he discovered he could and because of my reaction to it. Crazy baby, haha! I was telling my mom about it and she reminded me of a story my grandmother always told about when my dad was 2 or 3 and he started limping for no reason. No one could find anything wrong with him and he stopped doing it after he got tired of it. Obviously hamming it up runs in the family. 

Wilder's new favorite thing this week is hitting the globes hanging over his bed. Every time I get him out of the crib or we walk past the crib he reaches out for them until I hold him close enough to knock them around. He hits one and then reaches out for the next one and then back to the first one. It's pretty silly and so cute :)

He's also still grabbing and trying to put in his mouth everything he can get his hands on, including but not limited to, my computer, my cell phone, any lampshade, the dogs, my hair, my cereal bowl...

And what is it with babies and tags? They even make toys with extra tags on them called Taggies because babies love them so much. I just don't get it but the attraction is definitely there...

Wilder, you do know that the book 
is the toy, not the tag, right?

And one last picture of my sweet sleeping angel :) I adore this little guy and I'm so lucky to be his mom...

OH! Aaaand... we found out that our Southern table won first place at the International Fair last week! Mama earned herself a $50 Target gift card, whoohoo! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!