Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
Happy half-birthday, Sonnie Bear! Can you believe that you’re already halfway to celebrating your first birthday? Mama still feels like you were just born a few weeks ago, so I just can’t believe that you’re my big 6-month-old who rolls over, says actual words, sits up on his own, holds his own bottle and eats dinner with us at the table! These past 6 months have been some of the happiest and busiest for our family. Thankfully, you have been and continue to be our go-with-the-flow baby, always smiling and willing to be carted all over town. You nap on the go, eat on the go and sleep anywhere, even when it’s super noisy. You LOVE your family and laugh at us all day long. You seem to really recognize the people you’re closest too now and give us the biggest smiles while kicking your feet, anytime you see us! You can reach your arms out when you want to be picked up and when you wake up next to Mommy and me in bed, you’ll touch our faces and babble on and on to wake us up. The other morning you actually stuck your finger right up Mommy’s nose to wake her, haha! Mama thought it was hilarious! Sister is still your favorite human and lately she seems to be more into entertaining you too. She gets laughs out of you like no one else can and it melts me and Mommy’s heart, every time.
You are such a “talker” these days and babble to yourself and to us. Sometimes you let out these long “monster sounds”, as Gracie would call them that can stretch for 15-20 seconds, which always crack us up! I know people won’t believe me when I say this, but you LOVE to be tickled. Sister and I will lay on the bed or couch with you and have epic tickling sessions and you just can’t get enough! You eat a ton – way more than sister bear did at your age. You eat so much that the first 30-day batch of homemade baby food I made for you only lasted you 3 weeks. Now I find myself whipping up baby food throughout the week just to keep up with your growing appetite! Such a good eater. :)
Growth Stats | Height: 27 inches (67%) | Weight: 15 pounds, 7 ounces (13%)
You’re still our tall and skinny green bean! You are comfortably fitting in size 3 diapers and you’re wearing 6-9 month size clothing, which are usually loose on the belly, but the length is perfect for those long legs of yours. The shoes that fit best right now are 3-6 month size, as the 6-9 months pairs are still a bit too big.
Nicknames | Sonnie, Sonshine, Brother, Sonnie Booboo Bear, Son, Brother Bear, Willy (Gracie’s the only one who calls you this one, ha!) and Lovie. We pretty much never call you by your actual name. I hadn’t noticed this until mama’s BF came to visit for the Balloon Fiesta. On the last day she was with us she said, “You know what I just realized? None of you have called or referred to Will by his name the whole time I’ve been here”! She thought it was the funniest thing. What can I say, we just really love your cute nicknames I guess!
6 Months | You LOVE…
* Eating all the yummy organic food Mama’s been making you! You started with eating one small cube of baby food per meal, but now you’re eating 2 cubes, 2-3 times a day + organic quinoa baby cereal + 5-6 bottles daily that are 5-6 ounces. So basically, you eat a ton and we can’t figure out how you’re still so skinny! At 6 months old, we’ve introduced avocado, peas, squash, carrots, banana, sweet potato and black beans into your diet. You seem to love avocado, banana and carrots the most. We’ve also started doing a bit of baby lead weaning, letting you hold foods on your own and gnaw on them. So far, pickles are your absolute favorite food to feed yourself!
* You’re happy as a clam wearing hats now and thank goodness because your mama is obsessed with babies in hats! We started getting you used to them at 2 months old, when your head was just big enough for your smallest hat and the rest is history! Mama started buying you all sorts of adorable hats when you were still growing in Mommy’s belly, so seeing you actually wear them fills Mama’s heart with so much happiness. I mean, just look at how cute you look! Ekkkkk!
* You are really into touching faces these days. When someone is holding you, you will reach out and gently hold each side of their face. You also like holding hands with us. Every morning when you come to our bed between 2-4am, you and I will hold hands while you fall back to sleep. It’s the sweetest!
* Eating your hands and really just putting everything in your mouth is another thing you enjoy doing. You started holding your bottle a few months ago but would only make it a few minutes before growing tired. Now you can feed yourself an entire bottle like such a big boy and you don’t even need it propped up any longer! This helps your mamas out in the mornings, but any other time of day we would prefer to still be the ones to feed you.
* You’ve started dancing and it’s just the cutest! Whether it’s to music or to the little songs we sing to you, you’ll kick your legs and arch your back while bouncing up and down. You, of course laugh anytime you dance, which makes you look like the happiest little man on the planet. This is one of Mommy’s favorite milestones!
* You need your binky when it’s bed time and anytime you get fussy in the car and you must have your Boppy to sleep at night. Mommy and I were so worried to leave you sleeping on it, since we would prefer to not have any pillows in your bed, but then you wouldn’t sleep through the night. Since you have the Owlet heartrate and oxygen monitor, we decided to let you have your Boppy and we’ve all been much happier sleepers since!
* Other favorite things include: frozen teethers, your jumper, anything that lights up, watching cartoons with sister, watching your doggie Mavie run around like a maniac, Mama’s necklaces, sleeping with your face touching Mommy’s face, and your Life Factory chewies! You also remain to be such a cuddle bug, which makes your mamas so happy!
6 Months | Highlights!
* You started sitting up on your own at 5 months, 1 week old! When you first mastered this, you made the funniest sounds as you were blown away at your new skill! Mama was lucky enough to catch this on video! Thankfully you learned how to do this right before your 6-month half-birthday photo shoot and we were so happy about that! Way to go, brother bear!
* Mommy and I now have confirmation that your first word is definitely MAMA! You say it 100% clearly and seem to recognize that I am Mama! Hearing you say “MAMA, Maaamaa, mamamamamama” is like music to my ears! In the past 2 weeks, you’ve started saying “baba” (bottle) and “Mum” too!
* You took your first nap in your nursery and were not a big fan of it. Because you’re still so little and sleep swaddled, Mommy and I didn’t remove all your stuffed animals but will once you’re really sleeping in there. I’m thinking your nursery may be just a bit too quiet because you only slept for 45 minutes before waking and calling out to us. Of those 45 minutes, we stared at the screen watching you for most of that time, haha!
* You went to your first college football game and you were, without a doubt the cutest baby boy in the whole place! We joined Nani and Grandpa K at the UNM Homecoming game (UNM is where Mama went to college and graduated from) and along with friends and family, we tailgated and ate lots of yummy food before watching the big game. You wore the same UNM track suit that your big sis wore when she was a baby, which is an adorable hand-me-down Mama was given by a friend that her son wore as a baby. As luck would have it, we ran into these friends and they got to see the adorable little Lobos outfit their son Frank wore 11 YEARS before! Frank’s Dad was nearly in tears at the sight of it and was so happy that it’s still being worn by little Lobo fans!
* We also took you to your first State Fair Day and you did great! You stayed awake for most of the day and loved watching all the people passing as well as the lights on all the rides. Gaga came with us and you and sister were all smiles all day.
You’ve been quite the hit with Gracie’s school buds and a favorite amongst the other parents. We took you to your first school event for Gracie’s Family Science Night and you were wide-eyed and just as into the experiments and activities as sister was! I shouldn’t say this out loud for fear of jinxing us, but you’re just so easy to take places. I always forget this until we’re out and about, around other babies crying as most babies do, while you’re just there chillin’ with a smile on your face. Our friends and family cannot believe just how chill you are and keep telling us that your “difficult phase” will come, but so far – no screaming or hysterics...
The biggest challenge we’ve had over the past month has been helping you deal with constipation. We decided to feed you bananas in one form or another for over a week and it wasn’t until you stopped pooping and seemed grumpy and really uncomfortable for the first time that we remembered you can’t feed babies bananas for days on end! We knew this, but it’s amazing all the things you forget when you haven’t had a baby in 5 years... You really are the happiest baby, but not being able to poop would make anyone cranky! So sorry Sonnie.
In month 7 we’re looking forward to more baby led weening and we’re hoping that you’ll start army crawling in the next couple of weeks! We’re going to the Chinese Lantern Festival this month, which Mama knows you will love and this month we’ll also celebrate our first Thanksgiving with you, our little turkey. Yay!
Happy Half-Birthday, my smiley boy. :)
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
It’s funny, when I’m melting alive and cursing the hot summer temps, it often feels like it’s never going to be fall, and then summer ends and I look back on all we did amazed at how quickly it came and went. This summer was a 30 year record-breaking HOT one in New Mexico, (as I’ve mentioned about 47 times), but gosh was it one that we’ll never forget! Not only was this our little guys first summer as a part of our family, but we managed to accomplish the impossible! We pulled off the out of town road trip + lake trip + camping trip, and that’s just amazing! This is what I refer to as the Summer Trinity and Georgia and I have only pulled it off a few times in our 11 summers together. I’m sure it helped that we were home on mat leave most of the summer, but we were home with a newborn and just having two kids is a game changer, for sure. The fact that we didn’t let this keep us from getting outside surprised even me, a self-proclaimed recovering helicopter mom who hardly left the house when Gracie was a baby. It’s just amazing how much more chill parents are with the second born. It was also our gal’s last summer before starting elementary school, so we had to make it just a bit more special for her too!
Go to the Lake | Happy 4th of July!
Having grown up on the lake my entire childhood, it’s one of my absolute favorite places to be and I’m always so sad when we go through the summer not making it down for a visit! With this being Will’s first summer, my mom scheduled our trip down south for the 4th of July way back in March, before the baby was even born. She wanted to make sure to celebrate Will’s first Independence Day with all of us and knew that we would likely get invited to a few different events, so she locked us down early, lol! Nani then surprised us by renting a big pontoon boat so that we could all be on the water together and not have to take groups of 4-5 out on the water at a time, like we do on her and my step-dad’s boat. It was such a great surprise and totally made our trip. :)
Having the pontoon for the weekend was so awesome that Georgia and I are currently pricing used pontoons because we want one soooo bad! I’m thinking it may be more of a summer 2019 goal, but just like with the new camper, the more we talk about it, envision having one and save, the more likely we’ll be happy pontoon owners one of these days! Between the big boat, our giant water raft, a few Jet Skis and wakeboards, we spent 90% of our days on the water and had such a blast.
Look at this tiny water baby! Will was just 3 months old for our lake trip and it’s crazy to see how much bigger he is at 6.5 months old. You don’t realize how fast they grow when you see your kiddos every day, but video like this shows you just how much they change in such a short time! Our little fish.
Baby boy did great on our trip down and Grace was the most excited little helper ever. Even with the heat and the 6-hour round trip drive in the truck, he mostly slept while Gracie ate way too many snacks and played on her Kindle. I was worried about the sun because our gal burns so quickly and both kiddos have the same skin tone, so we decided to keep the baby out of the direct sun, even on the boat, while still putting hats and sun block on him all weekend and guess what? He got a little bit of a heat rash on day two, but didn’t end up getting burned! Gracie and I weren’t so lucky though… Both me and the bean LOVE spending sun up to sun down playing in the lake, so even with hats on our heads and sun block reapplied every time we would get out for food and water, we both totally over-baked.
This visit was extra cute because it was the first that Gracie wanted to hang out with her friends in the water and not follow me around. They played with water guns, ate all their meals together and had a blast watching fireworks. Grace stayed up way later than she has on past trips, which we agreed to as she’s our almost-six-year-old big sister gal, we needed to just let her have fun and having fun meant staying up until 10:30pm and she was so stoked about it. We celebrated a few birthdays during our extended weekend, did a little shopping at the marina, G grilled her heart out and I took about a million pictures of our 3-month-old water baby and his adorable big sis. These two, I just can’t get enough of them!
We did have a very scary experience during our visit that showed us both that there’s a reason we don’t take our eyes off our kids and never let them run off and play unsupervised, regardless of who they’re with… On the 4th of July, we began lighting fireworks once it started getting dark out. Grace wanted to be able to run around with her buds, so we let her play in-between our camper and my mom’s camper, which was directly in front of ours. About an hour into the evening, when it was still dusk out, I noticed a man walk right through the center of our camp and he gave me the total creeps. Not only did he violate camping etiquette by stomping through our groups’ campsite, but also something about his presence demanded my attention. He was very tall and slender and while he only looked to be 30 something, he had completely white hair, looking almost albino and had a totally removed/blank look on his face that made the hair on my arms stand up. It was right after this that I went to get Grace and let her know it was getting too dark and she needed to play in front of our camp where I could watch her more closely, even though G had been checking on them playing behind us just about every 10 minutes or so. Grace was bummed that I ended the fun but it was time to eat anyway, so she grabbed some food and we had dinner.
About an hour and a half later, the park rangers came to our camp to let us know that there was a situation about a mile down the beach where a man reportedly attempted to kidnap a 4-year-old little girl from her campsite pulling her by the hand and nearly making off with her before being confronted by the little girl’s uncle and then running away into the dark brush. They told us that they had not yet located the man but that he was described as being tall, very thin, looked to be about 40 years old and had platinum white hair. They told us that while they were certain he’d fled and were still searching, we needed to keep our children close. I about died. I literally felt my entire body go numb like all the blood had been drained from me all at once. When I watched that guy who perfectly fit the Rangers description, every mama instinct I had screamed that he was dangerous and it turned out, I was right.
In all of my 35 years of visiting different lakes in the state and in the 50+ years that my mom has spent every summer at the lake, never had we experienced anything like this and it scared the shit out of everyone. It broke my heart to know that there are monsters out there who come to places they know have lots of children, with the sole intention of hurting them. It also reaffirmed that for all the crap Georgia and I get for being helicopter moms, that’s not something that is going to change anytime soon, because we live in a dangerous world full of a lot of sick people and it’s our job as parents to protect our littles, 24/7, 365.
Thankfully, this happened on our last night at the lake so it didn’t cast a dark shadow on the entire weekend, but was so alarming at the same time and left us feeling very uneasy. We spent our last morning enjoying a big breakfast, playing a bit more in the water and packing up our camp. G somehow managed to maintain her exclusive pumping the entire time we were out there, even though we were without electricity most of the time, in the desert and outdoors, which made me so proud of her! Her dedication to exclusively pumping for our little guy regardless of location or circumstance for 5.5 months was so inspiring to me! She’s a super mom!
Go Camping up North | Labor Day with Friends
We started a tradition a little over 10 years ago to camp every year in August or for Labor Day in September with Grace and Will’s amazing Guncles. When Grace was just 3 months old, we took her on her first camping trip and it’s something the bean looks soooo forward to each year as the summer draws to an end and it’s literally all she talks about in the weeks leading up to our annual outing. She has her lifejacket, fishing pole, flashlight and bug spray in a special cabinet in the camper and our gal has become such a camping pro that she no longer even needs our help getting all situated when we set up camp. At the age of 5, she knows where her snacks are to feed herself in-between meals. She knows not to go anywhere near the river without us and her lifejacket and she knows where all her games are, so basically she’s completely self sufficient and only needs us to cook for her and tuck her in at night! My big girl.
Because my wife is basically the Hispanic MacGyver, she has all sorts of camping gadgets and somehow finds reasons to buy more each year, so setting up outside is always her job while I get things organized indoors. Now that we have the new camper, my life setting up is so much easier and I’m just LOVING it! No more cranking up the roof of the pop-up. We don’t have to spend an hour leveling the damn thing, often times in the dark and because we no longer have to completely empty it between trips, I don’t have to load it back up with all our stuff or do much organizing now… But don’t tell Georgia because she still thinks I’m hard at work in there while she sets up outside, when really I’m just enjoying a beer while watching our flat screen TV! I know – I’m an evil genius!
For baby boy’s first camping trip up north, uncle A and uncle B joined us along with a few of their family members who also share the property. We also had our friends C & L and their son come down as well as a bunch of friends who live in the area. There was so much food and we didn’t even have to catch fish this time because our fellow campers were pulling them in like a bunch of professionals! Gracie still loves to “fish” having no idea that there isn’t a real hook on the end of her line, so even though the fish were handed over to us, we still took her out “fishing” and she had a great time!
The camping highchair that G’s mom gave us for our baby shower has been the most amazing thing and has come in handy so many times this summer! We’re able to strap William in safely, attach one to two umbrellas that come with it completely shading him from the sun and it’s been perfect for feeding our boy. The best part is that when he gets tired of us holding him in the carrier or tired of being passed from person to person, we can pop him in there, strap him in and he'll sit happily for 30 minutes to an hour, people watching and smiling away. Thanks Gaga and Papa!
We decided to only go up for two days for this first trip and it was the perfect amount of time. We made S’mores, listened to music by the fire, did a little hiking, had a fish fry and played in the river and when we were tired, we cuddled up all together in our big bed or Gracie’s bunk beds and just relaxed. It was such a great getaway and Mama can’t wait to go again!
My sweet and adventurous babies! There aren't many hand-me-downs that they can share, so when I do come across one, it makes my heart so happy!
Adios summer 2017! Thank you for being so good to us.
30 adventures down - 0 to go!
To read our 2017 Summer Bucket List, Part 2 – click here.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
“Parents actually celebrate half-birthdays? Are you being serious? That’s ridiculous!”
– Kristin, 2016 ;)
I have every intention of sharing a picture-heavy blog post about our main man turning 6 months old, however I could not wait to share these pictures from his half-birthday photoshoot, because – LOOK! I mean really, how is this kid so damn cute? #icanteven
I know what you’re thinking because I used to think the same thing… a photoshoot for turning six months old, get real. So, I’m just going to own this and say, YES! Celebrating half-birthdays is a thing and it’s more precious than a box full of puppies! I wanted to have this sweet boy’s pictures taken for his oh-so-special half-birthday and I’m here to tell you that it was worth every penny! Every single penny. :)
I knew I wanted to celebrate Will turning 6 months old since before he was even born! I say, “I” because even Georgia thought I was crazy for wanting to make a big deal of it, at first. As we were preparing for Will’s arrival, I had lots of time to reflect on motherhood; how it would change with baby #2 and memories of what our experience was like when Gracie was a tiny baby. As I thought about all this stuff, the same thing kept coming to the forefront of my mind, and that is – that babies don’t keep, so you must savor every moment! I look at Gracie and can’t believe that in just 5 months, we’ll have a 6-year-old! I can still remember every bit of her sweet baby-ness and while we certainly made mistakes as new first time parents, one thing that we did right and that I’ll never regret was that we celebrated and photographed EVERYTHING! We had holiday photos taken of our family every fall and still do. We had professional pictures taken of the Bean for every birthday, ages one to four. We dressed our gal up and drove her to the studio for Halloween photos, 3 years in a row and guess what? We’re still completely in love with every single one of those memories captured in time and if our home were to burn down today, those photos are what I would grab on my way out the door. To me, they are worth more than gold.
These past 6 months really have been the fastest 6 months ever! It’s like one minute you’re cuddling this teenie tiny baby who can’t hold their own head up, and then suddenly they’re eating food at the dinner table, rolling over, laughing and grabbing everything in sight.
Will started showing signs of sitting up on his own around mid-September and we just couldn’t believe it! Once we knew that he was almost there, I started practicing with him a little bit every evening and he quickly realized that if he toppled over, Mama would catch him, so that became a fun game for him. He would be sitting up like a champ and then he’d throw himself over with the biggest smile on his face. It was so stinkin’ cute but I also didn’t want him to continue doing this for fear that he would hurt himself if we weren't there to catch him! I ended up laying out some soft blankets and let the kiddo topple over a few times without a mama rescue. Suddenly his sitting started getting better, but I promise he face planted into about 2 inches of softness and didn't hurt his precious little face! By the time our half-birthday session rolled around, this cutie of ours could sit up, unassisted for about 15-20 seconds at a time! Our big strong boy! We were so proud of him.
Our photographer, who’s totally amazing and the same photog who captured Will’s newborn photos was the person we hired to capture his half-birthday pics. I say she’s amazing and I truly mean it, for so many reasons! M listens to what we want with our family photos, she’s incredibly gentle with our babies and between the extra-long sessions and the awesome photo sets she creates for us, she’s spent HOURS creating beautiful pictures of our kiddos and I just can't thank her enough. M will be the gal to take Sonnie Bear’s Cake Smash/1st birthday pics when he turns one and I’m just so happy that she was referred to us back in January and will continue to capture the special moments in the lives for years to come!
Happy half-birthday to our joyful little guy! You bring me, Mommy and Gracie so much happiness and I promise you that your mamas will forever celebrate the little things in your life. This is just the beginning! Xo, Mama