Day 282- 7 months!

Dear Asher,
You are now 7 months old!!!  I can't believe it!  You are growing up too fast. You are an active little guy. You love to crawl, pull up, cruise, and step between furniture. You've started remembering your favorite places to play and will head from one room to another to find them. (We have to keep the bathroom doors shut all of the time now!). This month you recently started being able to squat to pick up items off the floor and moving from your belly into a sitting position. 

You sleep from about 7-8pm to about 7-8 am with a dream feed around 10:30 and an occasional wake up around 4. You nap for 1-2 hours at around 10isn and 2ish. You take a variable 3rd nap around 5. You went on a nursing/bottle strike for several days (I think it's over now *cross my fingers*). Besides that crazy little stunt, you normally take 6-8 oz of breast milk/formula 4-5 times a day. You also take solids 3-4 times a day. 

You wear size 2 diapers and 6 and 9 month clothes. You babble like crazy and seem to recognize your name. You recently discovered screaming and you still love doing raspberries on my leg or the ottoman. You can grab smaller items with your hand and drop them as well. But, you don't quite have the ability to pick up small items with accuracy yet (thank goodness)!  You loves baths and mirrors and electronics and anything that Caleb is playing with. You are so good natured and are generally content to explore and play on your own. 

We love you and continue to enjoy seeing new parts of your personality shine through. You are so special and we can't imagine not having you in our family!  I love you, little Asher!


Day 268- Belated 6 months for Asher

Happy VERY belated 6 months of life, dear Asher! Though I've been in a bit of a blogging slump, I want to record your development so that we can remember this sweet time of life!

Baby Asher,
You are a go-getter. At 6 months you crawl everywhere, pull to stand on EVERYTHING, and are learning to sit by yourself. You are a funny child: incredibly active, yet also quite content and independent. You love your family and having attention, but you are able to play and explore on your own for quite some time before needing intervention.

You are currently sleeping through the night most nights (HALLELUJAH!) You are still struggling a bit with naps- most are 30 minutes. We recently started nap training and you've started lengthening some to 1.5 hours to 2 hours! I'm hopeful that it will continue! Most nights you go to bed around 7:30 and wake up between 6:30 and 7:30. We started supplementing formula before bed with you because you seemed hungry and fussy after I fed you several nights in a row. I pumped one night and only had 2 ounces! No wonder you were acting hungry. Since that time, you've been doing better at night. I've been breastfeeding you about 4 times a day, then pumping/supplementing for the last feeding.

You currently wear mostly 6 month size clothes and size 2 diapers. You sprouted 2 bottom teeth in the past month and have also really taken to solids. You eat about 1 4oz baby food container each meal and I've been letting you snack on easily dissolvable (graham cracker) or very tough (celery) table foods. Once you are able to use a pincer grasp, I'll start you on lots of tiny table foods. Until then, you can enjoy being spoonfed and munching on the big stuff. You like to talk and say lots of "m's" and "b's" and a few "d's". You love to laugh, as well.

You enjoy many things in life. Your favorites right now are bath time, standing, each solids, your exersaucers, peek-a-boo, Caleb's toys, and Caleb playing with you. Asher, you love your big brother. There are so many sweet moments these days between you. I can't wait to watch your relationship develop. I pray that you two are able to enjoy each other, support each other, rely on each other, and encourage each other through the years.

I love you dearly and can't imagine our family without you. You are so sweet and so special. I can't believe you are already 1/2 year old! Happy half birthday, dear one.



Day 224- Asher at 5 months

Asher is now 5 months old!!!! He is a total delight (except when he's taking 30 minute naps or waking up at 5 am!)

My darling Asher,
You are such a sweetie! SO different from your brother, yet have many similarities. You always want to be in on the action, or you are on the go seeking your own adventure. If we all go in the other room, you either start fussing or you get really determined and start crawling that way. You talk a lot! Sometimes its hard to tell if you are just making noise because you're concentrating or if you are upset or if you are happy :). You love to laugh and smile at your big brother. As much as you like to move, you amaze me at how chill you are. You definitely spend more time playing independently than your brother did at this age (perhaps the advantage and disadvantage of being the second child). You are almost always happy unless you are hungry or alone. This is similar to your big brother.
You are wearing 3-6 month pants and 3-6 and 6-9 month sized shirts. Your jammies are mostly 6-9 and 9-12 month size. You still wear size 2 diapers. You poop about once a week (most of the times several poops in one day) No teeth yet!
You are currently sleeping through the night about 50% of the time (11 hours). Sometimes you wake up around 3 or 4 and either want to eat or just wake up for some reason. I never know! You also started going to bed earlier, so you have been waking up earlier- oh joy! You wake up for the day between 5-7 (I think the 5:00 times you are hungry, but end up not being able to go back to sleep) We'll work on it. You've had a cold recently, so hopefully your sleeping will improve as it improves. Your naps have been a bit maddening! You have been sleeping for 30-40 minute stretches nearly all the time. Every once in a while you pull a 1.5-2 hr nap, but you've been having a horrible time making it through sleep phases! We're working on it. The past few days you've woken up 30 minutes into a nap and gone back to sleep within 20 minutes on your own.
You are still breastfeeding. You eat about 5-6 times a day, depending on whether you get up at night or not. You eat about 4 ounces each time. You are a good eater (except when you are distracted by your brother) and you also take a bottle pretty well.
Milestones you have accomplished this month include: rolling back to stomach, army crawling very proficiently and trying to crawl on all fours, trying purees, and getting much better at holding and mouthing objects. You are a great roller, but mostly use army crawling to get around. You prefer being on your tummy, but also enjoy holding and eating your feet. You will chew on anything that is big enough for you to grab and hold- you especially like your brother's toys. Thank goodness you don't have a pincer grasp yet- not ready for that level of babyproofing! I started you on purees, which you loved and did well with, but didn't seem to settle well with your tummy. I've decided to hold off for a few weeks before trying again.
I love you dearly son and can't believe we've already had you for 5 months! You are already an important part of our family! You are so special!


Day 197- 3 and 4 months!

Asher is already 4.5 months old!!!!!
A ton has happened over the past 2 months, but here is an update on Asher's development over the past two months.

Here he is at 3 months!  Such a cutie.

All smiles :)
 Asher, at 3 months you were quite the cutie.  You love to coo and "talk" to us.  You love singing, "this little piggie" and peek-a-boo.  You had some good weeks and bad weeks as far as sleep goes.  You slept through the night for about 2 weeks just before 3 months, then had a regression around the time that mommy and daddy took you to a wedding in Eureka Springs.  You were VERY attached to you paci and needed mommy to put it back in your mouth every 1.5 hours at night and after 45 minutes at naptime.  It wasn't long after this started happening that mommy took the paci away cold turkey.  Gotta do what you gotta do.  It only took you a few days to get the hang of soothing yourself on your own and you started sleeping better again.  You took 4 naps each day this month between 45 minutes-2 hours long.  You went to bed around 10pm.  You were eating 6-7 times a day- about 3-4 ounces.  You were just starting to grow out of 0-3 month attire and moving into 3-6 month clothes.  You wore size 1 diaper.  You rolled over a few times from tummy to back this month as well and do well during tummy time. You like to hold things and play under your play gym.  It is fun to see you pay more attention to Caleb and see him give you attention in return.  I love you!

More pictures of the next few weeks...

 1st time in the exersaucer.  You loved it!!!!
 Brothers together!
 Lovin' tummy time.
 Watching big brother play basketball with daddy.
 At the park! (I love your David Hunt eyebrows)
 More brother time!!!
 Walking to the playground at the church across the street.  Our near nightly ritual.  You love the ergo.
 Our family!

Asher, your 4th month of life was a BIG one!  You started rolling tummy to back easily, you started getting on all fours with tummy off the ground, and you started trying to move to get things.  At 4 months, you still weren't very good at being on your back or side, so mommy started practicing that with you more.  You are wearing size 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes and size 2 diapers.  Your disposition is so sweet and you are always ready to offer a smile or squeal.  You love people and will talk to us or try to scoot to get our attention.  You are very easy going as well.  You love to play in your exersaucer, take baths with your brother, have tummy time, and be outside.  At your 4 month appointment (which was at almost 4.5 months) you weighed 14lbs, 9 oz (25-50%) and were 26.2 inches long (75-90%).  You sleep through the night or get up once for them most part (every once in a while there is an outlier).  You go to sleep around 8:30 or 9 and get up between 7-8.  You take 3 naps a day that are 45 min- 1.5 hr long.  You eat about 5-6 times a day and take about 4-5 ounces each time, except for right before bed when mommy breastfeeds you, then feeds you a 5 ounce bottle of thawed milk.  Gotta fill that tummy up before bed!!!  I love you dearly and already feel like you are such an important part of our family.  Can't wait to see what the next weeks and months bring!  


Day 185- Independence Day

This Independence Day was a great day. 
Alan had to study in the morning, but came home at lunchtime so that I could run some errands while the kids napped. After naptime, we went over to our friends' house to go swimming. It was lots of fun to enjoy the pool with our kids.
We ended up staying for dinner and visiting til bedtime. It is just sweet to spend time with friends. We don't do it enough!  After we left, we came home and caught fireflies with Caleb. (The Shelton's yard is awesome for fireflies!). He was thrilled. He was even able to catch some himself. Then, to top it off, we went down the street to a church parking lot to watch our neighborhood golf course's fireworks display. Asher didn't seem to mind a bit. Caleb didn't like them too much until he figured out that it wasn't so loud if he plugged his ears. Then he kept saying, "Fireworks are so pretty. Fireworks are humongous!"  

We put the kids to bed as soon as we got home around 10 and headed that way ourselves. Overall, a lovely day!

* update on Real Food month- yesterday was the first day that I really wanted to cheat. I wanted to go get ice cream so bad to celebrate, but Alan helped me stay strong. I also put Ranch on my salad at our friends' house, but I'm trying to not be a total crazy about it :)

** Honey whole wheat brownies are NOT very good. Anyone have suggestions for moist** brownies without sugar????  Or any desserts (with chocolate) and no sweeteners except honey or maple syrup???


Day 181- Real Food Month

July is going to be Real Food Month at our house. This means:

Eating plenty of foods in their natural form
-dairy products
Eating homemade foods with whole ingredients
Eating store bought foods with less than 5 ingredients

This means NOT eating foods with:
Highly processed oils
Added sugar (aside from honey or maple syrup)

In addition, I am planning to leave out caffeine and alcohol. 

You can find my original inspiration for Real Food month at 100daysofrealfood.com. 

Our family did this challenge in January of 2012. It greatly changed our eating habits. I'm happy to say that I had much less food to clear out this time around and that the biggest challenge in all this is finding snacks and quick foods that we can eat when we don't have time to sit down and prepare scrambled eggs for breakfast or make guacamole for a snack. 

Things I'm hoping to gain:
Lose a little weight
Increase energy
Lower body fat percentage
Find snacks that we enjoy and are healthy
Increase Caleb's exposure to different types of food
Make healthy food decisions for our family while the kids are young


Day 180- 30 by 30 Update

1. read entire bible- I'm into Judges
2. run half marathon- hope to run one this fall!
3. month of clean eating- starting in July
4. fully potty train Caleb- started back up again a couple days ago and we're started back from where we started the first time around. Oh well, what needs to be done, must be done!
5. breast feed for 1 year- still going strong
6. complete continuing ed hours
7. visit Verser relatives
8. create new advent tradition
9. complete 1000 things to be thankful for
10. weekend away with Alan
11. learn how to use my sowing machine
12. learn how to knit or crochet
13. complete family photo albums and Caleb 2 yr/Asher 1 yr albums
14. fit into my old jeans- mostly, still a little snug- having more problems fitting into my old shorts
15. berry picking
16. shop at farmers market
17. spend at least 1 day/month volunteering- didn't go last month- it was crazy!
18. get a massage- bought a Groupon, still need to use it
19. set boundaries for phone usage- working on it, going to do a challenge soon called The Unwired Mom from saramae.com
20. switch over to glass food storage- check!
21. reread Missional Moms
22. write 5 letters and mail them to others
23. plan for and celebrate family birthdays
24. go on a date with Alan at least once a month- check!
25. plan adult vacation for after Alan graduates
26. meet 5 new neighbors- met 3 in the past week!
27. learn a yummy whole wheat bread recipe
28. make my own laundry detergent
29. have a personal retreat (at least 24 hours)
30. commit to a flexible daily routine- had one going at the old house- working on a new routine with work and growing baby, etc


Day 179- Busy month!

I've been a bit absent from blogging lately- and for good reason!
1. We travelled a lot in May! Stacy's graduation in early May, Stephanie's graduation/Al's board prep course in mid-May, and Colby's wedding the first weekend in June. Lots of fun, but very busy!

2. I started back to work in June! I'm only working 8-10 hours a week, but it definitely takes up a little more of my free time, since I'm available pretty much 24/7 to my patients and because I can't separate my work thoughts from my home thoughts :).
3. We moved. Yes, that's right. Again. 5th time in 2.5 years. 9th time in 7 years. Can't wait to settle down. We now live in the Shelton's house sans Sheltons (at least for the time being), since they are in Colorado pursuing dairy business.
(goodbye old house)

(hello new house)

4. I'm working on a balance between social media and REAL life. I'm trying to log less time on my phone, IPad, and computer and more time face to face.
5. Both kids have been staying up pretty late and that cuts into my free time. By the time I get both kids down, tidy up a bit, and pump- it's time to head to bed! It seems that they are going to bed a bit earlier lately, so we'll cross our fingers that it lasts!

Hopefully I'll be back to post more soon...
Real food month- July
3 and 4 month posts
Summer fun
30 by 30 update


Day 137- Fav of the Week {Disney Appisodes}

The world of kid programming is changing.

I recently downloaded a free app (well, it's more of a sample app) called Disney Junior Appisodes. Basically it is an interactive TV show. It requires the child to speak, "help" the characters, and think about what they are watching. I try not to let my son, Caleb, watch too much TV or spend much time on the IPAD. However, he LOVES it, and I don't mind him spending a small, limited amount of time on electronics each day. In the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Appisode, "Road Rally," kids learn stop, go, counting, shapes, observation, and many other pre-academic principles. I think that interactive shows are going to be the future of kids' programming. While the "Road Rally" Appisode is free, I'm trying to decide whether to buy any of the others (they are a steep $4.99 each). We probably will download one for our upcoming road trip to Minnesota for one of my sister's graduation. Children younger than 2 or 3 will most likely need help with this app. Caleb needed help for the first couple times and is now able to do it pretty independently (he is 2.5). My guess is that it would be best for kiddos between the ages of 2-5. Hope you enjoy!

Mickey asks what green means... it recognizes if you say, "GO"

Caleb has to move 10 duckies into the box. The speaker counts with each one that goes in the box. Great for fine motor skills, 1 to 1 correspondence, and learning to speak the number names.


Day 136- Fun in the sun

It's been HOT around here the past few days! As happy as I am to not be freezing, I'm not quite sure I'm ready for summer yet. Thankfully, it's looking like spring will return in a few days :).

In the meantime, we've been spending time outside.

(our friend Paul pushing Caleb and his son Jackson around the yard)

(nothing better than a crane and some animals in a bucket of water- right?!)

(gotta love sprinklers! we only lasted for about 5 minutes though. hose water is COLD!)

(Asher has been getting in on the outside time too!)

(my landlord would flip if he knew Caleb was bringing dandelions over from our neighbors yard and shaking them- hehe)