Carter: 7 Months

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Month seven has been all about discovery. C has realized he has hands that he can use to reach for specific objects rather than just randomly grabbing for things. It has been fun to watch him figure out this new hand-eye coordination. His own hands have become more interesting to him than some of his toys. Go figure!

Our C has been a pretty happy baby this month, and I was FINALLY able to capture some of those adorable little smiles on camera. I think if I was to caption these two photos, the left would be 'Yaaa! I get to hang out with Dad!' and the right would be 'Hello Ladies!'. Seriously...this kid is going to be a handful. I can tell just by the look in his eyes!

The picture on the left reminds me of Grandpa T, and to caption the picture on the right 'C'mon Mom, can't you see I'm trying to watch TV here!'

C and Dad hanging out. Two peas in a pod!

Cheek kisses
Motor boating 
The words 'chili' 'pepperoncini' and anything with a 'cha' sound

Visiting Uncle B & C in Iowa City...but mostly just C.
Seriously, we've only been to visit the homeland of IC twice since C's arrival, but when we walked in to Uncle B's earlier this month, it was as if C owned the place, and he was completely at home. Oh, and if Uncle B doesn't put a ring on it soon, he better watch out! He's got a serious contender in Carter, who has ABSOLUTELY LOVED C since the very first moment they met this summer. #loveatfirstsight

Water glasses

Napping when Dad is home
Acorn squash & avocado


Photo op with Gma S & Gpa D!

Celebrating C's first Thanksgiving! We started the day with a big group of T's family, and ended with a smaller smattering of mine. To commemorate the day, C got to try some of Grandma J's butternut squash for dinner. He liked it much better than the acorn squash I made for him at home!


Grandpa T 'helping' Grandma J carve the turkey on Thanksgiving. A.K.A. a reason to swipe some samples of turkey before mealtime.

Thanksgiving evening looked a little something like this. C & J were playing nicely...J was very curious about C, while C was just interested in looking at his hands. It was all fun and games until J puked all over C, and then that was the end of happy time! Better watch out J! C is known to throw a punch or two!!

C got to try all kinds of veggies this month. After getting the all-clear stamp of approval to start solid foods from Papa T and C's Doctor, we started C with the orange veggies first, and have now moved on to the green veggies. So far, he's had acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, peas, zucchini, and green beans. Next up, broccoli and then maybe fruit! The idea is to give him all veggies first since it's unlikely that he'll want them after he gets to try fruit. Speaking of baby food, I've been making my own using the BEABA Babycook Pro rather than purchasing the overpriced single serving sized containers at the store. I like knowing that C's food is fresh, and without preservatives, not to mention, he usually wants multiple servings in one sitting, and it's just more cost effective. I can't say enough good things about this baby food maker. It steams and purees C's food all in the same kitchen tool, and cuts down on extra dishes for me to wash. Bonus!

T has been busy perfecting his skills on his new smoker this month. He smoked a brisket nearly the same size as C! Yum Yum!

C has been seeing a physical therapist this month. At his official 6 month checkup, we learned he's a little behind on the muscular development milestones (sitting unassisted, rolling over, putting weight on his legs), so at the recommendation of our Doctor, he's been working out with a therapist once a week ever since. This week, he finally figured out how to roll from front to back without us putting his arms underneath of him. He gets a little closer to figuring out these milestones on his own every week, but for now, he's a little more content to just watch the world around him than the average baby out there. That's our C! #chill

In a last minute decision over the weekend, we took C to visit Santa Claus! He wasn't too impressed with Santa this year (again #chill baby), and I'm honestly not even sure he noticed since he never took his eyes off me to actually look at Santa. We hit up Santa's Village at Arrowood Resort for the last 15 minutes of Santa's visit. From what I hear, there were LOTS of kids and a huge line earlier during the day, but when we got there, we had no line and didn't wait at all. Glancing around, there were about four other families with babies about C's age that had the exact same idea. 
Glad we're all on the same page!

I'll leave you with C's newly minted crinkle face. Usually only appearing when he is really happy about something, this picture was snapped while shopping for wrapping paper at Walmart!

Christmas Wishes: A Lady's List

Monday, December 8, 2014

As for my list this year, I did not have as easy of a time coming up with it as lists for the boys in my life. Maybe I've been too busy with the whole parenting thing and couldn't find a good time to really sit down and give my list some serious thought, but after dedicating a few nap times to really consider what's on my list, this is what I came up with!

A Lady's Christmas Wish List

Sarah Chloe Elle Bangle // Since C arrived in our lives, I've wanted a piece of jewelry that I can wear on a daily basis that is a reminder of him. In lieu of a likely very expensive emerald stacker ring (his birthstone, and still on my list in case you're wondering), I'd love this sterling silver bracelet with the letter C monogrammed. This one would be the perfect gift for T...hint hint...

Spa Day // Speaking of T, he is not a giver of back rubs...super bummer...I begged him the other night, and he just told me he was too tired. Ugh. So since the last back rub I had was by a chair at the pedicure I got the day before C arrived (over 6 months ago!), I'd really REALLY like a massage and a pedicure at a day spa. You try carrying a nearly 20lb baby around day after day and tell me you wouldn't need a back rub at the end of it. Our local area seems to be somewhat lacking in the professional massage therapy and spa department, so suggestions are welcome...or T, if you're listening, a little weekend getaway to a spa resort someplace warm this winter would be great! I'd even take Minneapolis or Omaha!

Tommy Bahama Beaded Silver Sandals // I've had my eye on these sandals (size 9) now for quite a while, and think they'd be just the thing for warm weather. Obviously, that season is a long way off, but there's always a potential vacation on the horizon right?

All-Clad Double Burner Grill // Since grill season is a long way off, but we don't just become vegetarian during the winter months, I'd love to have an indoor grill pan that could be used on the stove or in the oven. This 20" x 13" All-Clad version would easily be able to fit a couple of steaks at a time plus grilled veggies, and would work great on the center burner on our stovetop. It's also rated up to 400 degrees for use in the oven when making a roast, and would be a great addition to the morning breakfast routine for preparing bacon, ham, sausage, or even pancakes for the whole family. Heck...I might even be able to convince T to cook on it! Double Burner...Double Bonus!

Treadmill or Indoor Exercise Bike // Getting to the gym is beyond difficult with a little one in tow. Our local YMCA offers day care services at set times throughout the day, but the fact that it's flu/cold season, and 'you-know-who' would likely NOT be volunteering to get up in the middle of the night to do any soothing if C picked up a bug, I'm not too crazy about taking himIt'd be nice to have a treadmill or indoor workout bike when we are stuck inside this winter so that we wouldn't have to spend an hour bundling up to brave the -20 temps in order to get a little exercise. While I love using the exercise bike at the gym, I think the treadmill probably offers a more versatile workout when we're at home. This version that has a supposedly quiet motor and folds would be great with our limited space.

29" Luggage // Now that C has joined our lives, traveling with just two carry-ons isn't very feasible. We'd love to have a couple of solid 29" suitcases to allow extra room for the kiddo's things on longer trips (or when we decide to leave town for longer than a week). Something with wheels and pockets such as Samsonite Silhouette Sphere or Delsey Helium Breeze would be great. On our latest trip, we used a hand-me-down no-name brand that basically fell apart before we got to the airport, so we'd like to stick to a proven luggage brand this time around.

Target Smith & Hawken Rectangle Baskets // We have a tiny laundry room that is always a mess. (I'm sure many of you can relate, and if it wasn't also the main entry from our garage, it wouldn't likely bother me as much...however it is, and it drives me crazy that it's always so disorganized!) I'd love to have three of these baskets (to be used for lights, darks, colors) to help better organize the chaos. Oh...and a shelf to hang above for all of our cookbooks that currently live on the laundry room countertop!

Illume Gilded Amberleaf Soy Candle // I absolutely LOVE my Illume Balsam & Cedar candles, and would love to try a new scent. The Gilded Amberleaf candle smells really nice, and is available locally at The Hen House...or at least was earlier this season...also available online via Illume.

Greenhouse Giftcard // Now that we actually have a real yard (grass, landscaping, plants!), a gift card to a local greenhouse (Fergusons/Dels/4Evergreen) would be just the ticket for picking out some beautiful flowers and maybe some new pots this spring. I absolutely LOVE peonies, and have the perfect spot all picked out for a new plant.

VS Flannel Sleep Shirt // I'm a sucker for new pajamas. I would love to have a cozy new flannel sleep shirt for the winter season. I love the versions with pants as well, but I get way too hot for comfortable sleeping. My favorite prints for a sleep shirt  are White/Red Plaid or Red/Black Glen Plaid.

Tervis 16 Oz. Tumbler // My everyday water glasses are not exactly lightweight, and I wouldn't mind having a few of these plastic insulated tumblers for indoor/outdoor use. I'd love the Sailboat or Iowa Hawkeye styles with lids to prevent major spills with C around! Have I mentioned his fascination with glasses lately?!

Baby's First Christmas Wish List

Thursday, December 4, 2014

 A Christmas wish list for a little boy who will be just seven months old when Santa Claus comes to visit is pretty much one of the most exciting lists I'll put together all season. While C doesn't technically 'need' anything (aside from some new clothes) this is a little gathering of wishes of things we think he might have fun with in the upcoming months.

Baby's First Christmas Wish List

New Clothes // Probably the only thing on this year's Christmas list that is a must-have, new clothes! C has a closet full of outfits to get him through 12 months, but could use some good options in the 12-18 month size. He's currently wearing 9 month, or 6-12 month sizes, but I would expect it'll still be the middle of winter when we need a whole new wardrobe of 12-18 month size options as he's already nearing the top end of the length suggestions for the 6-12 month size. Now that C's a little older, we're not really into the cutesy outfits with things sewn on the butt, but like to dress our little dude just like the handsome little man he has become. If you can find a Daddy/Son matching combination, you will forever be held in high favor with T! A couple of our favorite places to shop for C are Baby Gap and J.Crew Crewcuts, with others scattered in there as well. Closer to home, The Three Sons actually has a surprisingly good selection of high-quality baby clothes where we've been able to score some pretty sweet duds. A few specifics on C's list this Christmas are this Fleece Footsie and Long-Sleeve One-Piece from J.Crew, and these Lined Pull-On Original Fit Jeans from Baby Gap. Pretty much anything from either of these stores would be sure to make a dapper little dude out of C.

Minnetonka Slippers // On all of our lists this year...the Minnetonka slipper. So warm and cozy for the winter months and perfect for keeping those tootsies from getting cold! These run big, so C would just need a size 2. Also available from J.Crew (size 6 months).

Hape Wonder Walker // C isn't walking yet, but likely will be sometime in the next 6 months. This activity walker would be so much fun with it's little puzzles and storage space for any additional toys he wants to load and unload and take with him on his walks.

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical Dino // C loves to watch when T or I throw a ball around. This poppity-pop dino may be just the ticket to teach cause-and-effect and keep him entertained for a few hours.

IKEA Kallax Bookcase & Knipsa Storage Baskets // Since before C's arrival, we've been trying to find a way to get our hands on this eight-cube bookcase and four storage baskets from IKEA. Unfortunately, the shipping costs are astronomical, and the one time we've been near an IKEA since C joined us, our car was packed to the brim and we were unable to fit a single extra item with us. The bookcase and storage baskets would help to organize C's room, and make his books and toys easier to find and put away. Speaking of books, a few books we wouldn't mind adding to his collection are the board books Chicka Chicka Boom BoomCorduroy, and University of Iowa 101. C LOVES to help read, so pages that he can help turn without ripping (A.K.A. board books) are key this Christmas. In an effort to control the sprawl, we aren't looking to add a bunch of random stories, but would prefer to stick to the classics, or books with beautiful illustrations, great stories, or subject matters close to our hearts. We have a pretty reasonable collection already, so if you are wondering if we've got a certain book, just check in with me! Regular paper books are great too...we can just store them until C is ready for them!

B. Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube // So many neat things to discover on this activity cube. Every time I'm at Target, I have to stop myself from adding this Zany Zoo to our toy collection. With five different surfaces of activities, this activity cube is sure to provide hours of entertainment.

Elegant Baby Bath Time Boat Squirties // I hesitate to introduce these squirties to our bath time routine as I'm sure they will lengthen the event, but C absolutely loves the bath already, and I imagine that the addition of some rubber boats to zoom around would make him one happy baby. When he is a little bigger, we'll likely add to the collection, but for now, these little boat squirties are just the right size for his small hands that are just learning how to grab for things.

Baby Einstein Discovering Music Table // C & I listen to music almost all day long most days, and since he was a newborn he has always loved music and dancing. This table has many different musical sounds to learn and discover and is sure to be a hit. The legs are removable so it will sit on the floor to play with before he learns to stand. Hooray for a grow-with-me toy!

What's on your babes' list this year?

Christmas Wishes: A Man's List

Monday, December 1, 2014

T has been giving me ideas for his Christmas list this year pretty much since the day after Christmas last year. I'll take it! Sometimes, he struggles with finding a single thing he'd like, but that's definitely not the case this time around! Thanks T for making your Christmas shopping so easy this year!

A Manly Man's Christmas Wish List

ECCO Helsinki Bicycle Toe Tie Shoes // T has been wearing the same pair of beat up black shoes to work now for about the last 3 years. While they worked great and did what they were supposed to, it's time for an upgrade. You can only clean and polish shoes so much before you just have to pull the plug and get some new kicks. He's got his eye on these ECCO brand Helsinki black lace-up shoes in size 12-12.5 (this is not two sizes, this is one size - just how this brands sizing works) after trying them on and falling in love being impressed with how comfortable they are for standing all day long at work. These shoes are near the top of T's list this year.

KUIU Camo & Browning Strike Force 10MP Trail Camera // We have my brother N to thank for these additions to T's Christmas list this year. Highly knowledgeable and well read on all things hunting and camo, N has convinced T that the KUIU brand of camo is the best out there. Since learning of this new brand of camo, it's pretty much all T can think of, and hovers right at the top of the list as well (He is aware that everything he's got picked out is currently on backorder, and is more than happy to wait for it). Specifically, on his list are: OUTER LAYERS // Guide Jacket (size XL) and Guide Pant (size 34) and BASE LAYERS // ULTRA Merino 210 Zip-T (size L) and ULTRA Merino 210 Zip-Off Bottom (size L) all in Vias Camo color. Also, after watching a VIDEO CLIP from N's trail cam, T is convinced he needs this Browning Strike Force Trail Cam as well. Happy Hunting!

Reed & Barton Windsor Pewter Julep Cups // Since last year's Derby, T has been adamant that he have official mint julep cups before next year's races. He spent countless hours perusing the many different options available, and has landed on these as his favorite. Speaking of barware, these Reed & Barton Crystal Soho Martini Glasses are also pretty high on the list.

Golf Galaxy Gift Card // When the ground isn't covered in snow, T enjoys getting out on the greens to hit some balls. For over a year now, he's been wishing for new golf clubs. He's got them narrowed down to a set he tested at Golf Galaxy over the summer, and wants to get them custom sized for his build. New clubs don't come cheap, so gift cards would be highly appreciated on this quest for new clubs.

Kindle Paperwhite // T is all about a Kindle these days for an easy-on-the-eyes alternative to reading books on his iPad. No, picking up an actual book has never even crossed his mind. The Paperwhite E-Reader is great because not only is it no-glare and compact, but it also has a backlight to adjust the light for reading at night. This leather cover in onyx would be just the thing to protect a new Kindle.

Minnetonka Slippers // Post-workday, there is nothing more that T loves than getting out of work clothes and into something cozy. He spotted these pile lined hardsole Minnetonka slippers in brown (size 12), and has had them on his mind ever since.

iPhone // T's phone has seen far FAR better days. He gets misty-eyed looking at all of the people in the world with iPhones, and would love nothing more than a new Apple product to add to his collection.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer // T got a new smoker for his birthday, and has been obsessed with his new hobby ever since. He's decided he'd like a food saver to help seal up those yummy leftovers help avoid freezer burn for devouring at a later date. The FoodSaver model V4850 has excellent reviews and should do the trick. Speaking of smoked meats...if you know of a good butcher anywhere locally, T would be very interested in a fresh-from-the-meat-locker hookup where he could go to pick out some specific cuts of meat to try smoking!

Spotting Scope // T has a serious love of nature, and thinks a scope would be just the thing to watch all of the wildlife in the area. I know nothing about how to pick one out, but I'm sure many of you reading this have all of the necessary information right at your fingertips.

As of today, nearly everything on this list is fair game. I will likely use a few ideas from this list as well, so if you want to lay claim to any of it, let me know, and I'll be sure to choose something different!
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