Lake Life

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

As the end of the summer season at the lake draws to a close, we've been enjoying our time spent outdoors by the water. Living in a summer tourist area, the 'summer season' is a very specific Memorial Day thru Labor Day. With just one week to go before everything really slows down (a.k.a. shops and restaurants close up shop until next summer), these past couple of weeks have been extra nice as the crowds have diminished, and the lake traffic has died down as the upcoming school year gets underway for both K-12 and college students. We have also been enjoying some refreshing cooler than 90 degree temps, and finally had a chance to take G for his very first boat ride on Lake Okoboji. In case you're wondering how it went, he loved it...and each consecutive ride, and pretty much spent the entire time sleeping. The hum of the motor...the rocking of the boat...pure bliss for an infant. Now I just need to figure out how to recreate this environment when he gets himself all worked up at home!

First boat ride...August 20th. G was just five weeks old, and loved every minute. Don't worry...we did have a life jacket on the boat for him!

Can you tell that I have a thing for chubby little baby thighs? So kissable!

C spotted the watering can in the garage on our way home, and couldn't be convinced to leave the lake house without watering Grandma's flowers before we left. He may have just watered the dirt, but it counts, and he was sure to inform me that he was 'helping'. He's been on a big kick with adding 'ing' to everything lately, and even if he did just water the dirt, who am I to refuse a little 'helping'?

One of C's absolute favorite things about days spent at the lake is playing in the kiddie pool and splashing around in the water. We don't have a pool at home, so visits to the lake house are extra special when he can convince us to set it up for him. He typically spends several hours figuring out how to fill the pool up with the hose, pouring water back and forth between cups, and splashing around either from outside...or after he gets brave, inside the pool. As you can tell, he doesn't have any fun at all!

This past weekend, Great Grandpa K was teaching C all about water guns. I'm not sure who had more fun! Lucky for me, C isn't quite able to handle them on his own, so thankfully I don't need to duck for cover just yet. I have a hunch that we will wind up with an entire water gun collection before it's all said and done!

Another beautiful night at Okoboji!

Graham: One Month Update

Friday, August 26, 2016

Apologies for being a bit behind on this update. I've been busy soaking up the snuggles with our newest little one who insists on being held pretty much 95% of his day. In my 'down time', I've been trying to catch up on never-ending laundry and cleaning, take a shower, or plan and cook a meal so that none of the rest of us starve. Aside from wanting to be held most of the time, G insists on eating every 1.5-2 hrs during his waking hours, so this past month has been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least. Newborns are so much work fun. One month. It's amazing how such a short period of time can have such a huge impact on our lives.

Little G has already brought so much joy to our lives, that we can't imagine not having him around. From day one, he has been a much different baby than C was at this newborn stage. The minute G came into the world, he immediately stretched out his legs as straight as he could, and he's pretty much kept them stretched out ever since. He particularly likes to kick one leg straight while he is nursing, and prefers to be looking right at me most of the time. Speaking of nursing, G nurses like a champ, and is a super efficient eater...seriously, this kid is finished eating about 10-15 minutes after he starts! After dealing with some reflux issues the first week after coming home, I cut some things out of my diet (red sauces, spicy foods, dairy, chocolate, caffeine), and he seems to be more content. Thankfully, we discovered that his reflux issues were mostly stemming from red sauces, so I've added back most of the other foods in moderation...praise God it wasn't the caffiene! While I don't drink an entire pot of coffee like T, I do enjoy a cup or two to start my day.

Baby G at two days old...fresh home from the hospital!

At his two week checkup, G was 7lbs 4.5oz., and still 21 inches long. He was 6lbs 5oz when we left the hospital, so gaining a whole pound in just two weeks was a pretty big deal! Shortly after the two week mark, G began to fill out more noticeably, and his skinny little newborn thighs and cheeks started to become just a bit more kissable. During the day, G is still eating every two hours pretty consistently, and many days, he is eating more like every 1-1.5hrs which makes getting anything accomplished or getting out of the house pretty difficult! The exception to this rule is when we are road tripping. He made it the entire three hour ride between my hometown and Iowa City without having to stop for a roadside feeding on our way to my brother N's wedding on July 30th. 

G is super alert for such a young age, and has the biggest BLUE eyes that watch everything when he is awake. He has great focus for such a little guy, and will turn his head to whoever is speaking to him, following with his eyes. I broke down and ordered him a bouncer seat the other day (something we never had with C) so that he has a perch that will allow him to have a better vantage point than the Rock'N'Play...or my arms...for watching the world and learning all the tricks from Big Brother C. 

Here's G & I on July 27th...his due date. He was 12 days old this day!

At one month old, G is starting to transition out of his newborn clothing into 0-3month size, and is likely on his last package of newborn sized diapers...insert tears here. We've had a couple of up-the-back style blowouts in the last few days, and I'm terrible at getting stains out of clothing, so rather than chance it on another package of newborn diapers, I think we'll switch over to size ones for good. 

In other big developments, I gave G a bottle with some breastmilk on his one month birthday, and while he had no problem taking it, keeping its down was a completely. different. story. Unfortunately, before the bottle was even gone, most of it had already come back up. So far, I have only been able to pump enough to try bottle feeding once (insert frustrated face emoticon here), so I'm hoping to meet with a lactation consultant to see if there is anything I can do with my pump so that I'm able to occasionally have the option of feeding G a bottle if I have other obligations or want to enjoy a glass of wine here and there. C never took a bottle, and went straight from nursing to sippy cup, so I'm hoping that if I introduce a bottle early enough, that G will learn how to use it and won't be quite so attached as C was. I have strong hesitation about introducing any sort of formula at this stage in the game as it would directly affect my milk supply, and my goal is to breastfeed at least six months, and potentially up to a year. (C nursed until just after eight months, so I'd be happy if we could hit that milestone...formula is expensive!). T insists that I should at the very least have some formula available in the house in case of emergency, so I think I will appease him by picking up some single packs for his panic attack moments when G is melting down in hunger and I'm still at the grocery store across town. Like I said...true emergencies.

One week old today!

Both T & I, and pretty much anyone who was around C at the newborn stage, has been amazed at G's strength. (C didn't have great muscle tone as a baby, and spent much of the time all curled up rather than stretched out.) When we first did tummy time with G at four days old, it lasted a whole of 30 seconds before he flipped himself onto his back. He is a little wiggle worm, and is constantly lifting his head off my chest to look around and see what is happening. Great for muscle building, but at times a bit scary when I am not prepared for him to flip his head off my shoulder! He has been doing pretty well with tummy time, and ironically seems to enjoy being on his tummy more than he likes to be on his back (complete opposite of C). Yesterday, I laid him on his tummy in the middle of a blanket in our main room, and next thing I knew, he had scooted himself all the way off and over to the coffee table...a good two-three feet. T joked that G has had enough of this tummy time business, and decided he'd just get up and walk instead. He has on occasion been testing putting his full weight on his legs and standing up, and when he is uncomfortable while being held, he'll pretty much crawl right off my shoulder...on the move this one!

As far as sleeping goes, personally, I don't think it's too terrible. Aside from the fact that G hates to lay flat on his back, and either wants to be held or in the Rock'N'Play, during the night, he has been going about three hours between feedings. Usually, we go to bed around midnight after his last meal of the day, and he'll sleep until 2:45-3a.m.. Depending how long he eats for, he then sleeps until around 5:30-6a.m. Since we are blessed with C, who is a rockstar sleeper and often sleeps until 9:30a.m. or later, G & I are usually able to go back to sleep until 8:45-9a.m., and then sneak in a nursing session before big brother C starts stirring and we get up for the day. C's sleep schedule has seriously been one of the very best things in terms of making our transition easier. Keeping up my energy during the day is still a struggle at times, but being able to get that little extra sleep in the morning has been a lifesaver. There is no more 'sleeping while the baby sleeps' when you have a toddler in the house!

Eating & Sleeping
Being held
Being carried in the baby wrap
Trying to get his hands in his mouth
Kicking his legs straight out
Looking around
Being outside

Laying flat on his back
Being swaddled...does not like his arms to be tied down!
Bath time? 

Before G could have his first bath at home, big brother C had to check out the baby bathtub to make sure he knew what it was all about.

G is on the fence about getting a bath. After initially liking his first bath, he changing his mind about 30 seconds in, and cried for the remainder. Following this apparently awful experience, I've taken to bathing him in the master bathroom instead of the kitchen (a bit less drafty perhaps?), and filling up the baby tub less since he doesn't seem to enjoy being submerged, but prefers the water just to run over him as we rinse. Quite the particular little fella!



In G's first month, we have crammed in soooo many adventures, that it's hard to know where to begin. At just 11 days old, on July 26, the boys & I piled into the car for our first road trip to my hometown since G's arrival. Normally, T would have been with us, but he had to work, and I either had to get my bridesmaid dress altered, or I was going to be tripping all over it at my brother's wedding. G did fine on the car ride, and only fussed a little bit right towards the end of the 1.5hr ride. Upon arrival, he wasn't too sure about his grandparent's house (they were both at work when we arrived, so he didn't get the usual welcoming party). He warmed right up once Grandma J arrived and he got the full tour, discovering the basement with its lower light was his favorite spot to chill. C, of course, was all about this plan since he'd been on a temporary hiatus from Grandma's toy room with all of the diggers, race cars, and farm equipment left over from when his uncles were little.

Later that week, we were on the road again for our first overnight away from home. Thursday, July 28th, we started our trek to Iowa City with an overnight stop in my hometown. It was a late night by the time T got off work and we stuffed all of our gear in the car and got to town, but both boys did a great job.

 The rest of the weekend was spent in Iowa City, where G got to experience staying in a hotel for the first time, and attended his first wedding and dance (Uncle B & Aunt C tied the knot). T & I were both in the wedding, and we were very lucky that T's parents agreed to tag along to help with the boys while we were busy with all of the wedding festivities. It was a beautiful day, and we were so thankful that G decided to join us two weeks early so that we could attend! In other highlights from the weekend, we of course had to make a stop at Kinnick Stadium for a photo op, and grabbed lunch in downtown Iowa City before hitting the road for home. I maintain, if for some reason T decided he wasn't all about his current practice, I could be convinced to move back to Iowa City in a heartbeat. So much love for that city!

While I wouldn't say that G is a hard baby...he is very particular about his day, and pretty much wants to be held at all times. When we lay him down flat on his back, it is like watching a hungry and very angry bear wake up. He can be completely zonked out in my arms, but no less than 30 seconds after laying him down flat, he'll be up and crying. He has a terrible time with gas, and pretty much thinks he is starved the minute he wakes up. We have not tried to introduce a pacifier yet as I want to firmly establish nursing, but we may have to see if he can be convinced to take one so that anyone besides mom who happens to be holding him doesn't get panicked at the first sign of fussing. In other news, he loves to be outside, so we've been getting in as much time outdoors as we can when the weather has been cool enough.


At four weeks old, we were on the road again for my cousin's wedding. G did great on the trip, and after an overnight stop at Grandpa & Grandma N's, we hit the road for Des Moines. We had a great time at the wedding (at The Tournament Club of Iowa - absolutely gorgeous for the evening wedding!), and C enjoyed tearing up the outdoor patio with his dance moves, dragging all of our family over by the hand to get their groove on. Surprising no one, Aunt C was his favorite dance partner, but he did have fun dancing with the rest of us as well. G, true to form, wanted to be held for most of the event, so I was so happy to have had the foresight to bring my baby wrap carrier along. He was perfectly content to snuggle up next to mama and dance the night away outside on the patio with the rest of our family. The sleeping aspect of the event could have been a bit smoother...we were all in the same room, so C woke up and cried every time that G woke up to nurse. Sunday, we were all a bit exhausted, but we got to stop and shop at both Target and the mall, so in my book at least, the trip was a success. Did I mention that we snuck in a stop at the Cheesecake Factory and topped off the trip with a delicious slice of pecan turtle cheesecake? A perfect end to a wonderful first month with our little G!


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