August 21, 2015

Date Night St. Louis: the Fountain

Life, just like the blog, has been pretty baby-centric for a while now, but for the rest of this post I'm not going to use the B-word (baby. not bitch. in case there was any confusion... We don't call our baby a bitch. Usually.  <<< Did my sarcasm come through there? good.).

Last weekend I decided to surprise Tyler with a date night! We used to plan dates for each other pretty frequently, but it's been a while, and we were definitely due. I got really excited to spend some time just the two of us.

One of the spots we haven't visited since moving back is the St. Louis Science Center. Despite how much fun it is, I never even took Tyler on any of his visits when we were dating. As I was driving somewhere recently, I heard a commercial on the radio for the OMNImax theater showing a film about humpback whales. I decided we had to go! It's been a long time since Tyler has been under the ocean.

It was great seeing such giant creatures on such a big screen. We had so much fun!

After the show we did a brief exploration of the science center, but we're going to have to go back this winter so we can spend some more time playing around. We had to take a few selfies with the dinosaurs though!

Then, for dinner I wanted to go somewhere we've never been, so we headed over to try the Fountain on Locust. It was awesome! Situated in an old Stutz car showroom, the art deco murals and lighting made for a fun environment. 

The food was yummy, and I had to try their dill pickle soup. Yup, you read that right! I'm sure I'll be craving it the next time I'm pregnant.

But the real draw was their ice cream creations. I got a milkshake and their World's Smallest Ice Cream Cone. Tyler opted for a brownie in a cup, covered in ice cream and whipped cream.

We will be back.

It was so nice to have an evening away, but it was also nice to come home to a cute face.


August 17, 2015

5 Months of Hazel

*** I am a day late posting this because we were having internet problems last night, and I gave up and went to bed instead. -- Also, what do you think of the new look of the blog?! I did some updating! ***

Dear Hazel,

My smart 5 month old, you are learning so quickly and your dad and I are so proud of all the milestones you accomplish. You are certainly growing and weigh approximately 15 lbs and are approximately 27 inches long.

You are still mostly in the same clothes you were wearing last month.

We talked to your doctor about starting solid foods and she suggested waiting until you are 6 months old, so you are still only eating mom milk for now. Although, last night at dinner your dad was being goofy and entertaining you with his straw... and he used it to put a little bit of water in your mouth. I think you spit most of it out though because it was so cold!

We hear you gurgling quite a bit lately, and you still talk, and squeal, and carry on quite a bit.

You are really good at rolling, but you only really like to roll to the left (your right). You will occasionally figure out how to go the other way, but you end up getting upset. This means that you roll to the left until you get stuck and can't roll anymore because you ran into the side of your crib or your play mat poles. Then you get frustrated and upset instead of just rolling the other direction. I think you'll figure it out soon though!

We watched you learn to throw recently. I have your keys tied onto your swing and you all of a sudden threw them, but since they were tied on they swung back and hit you in the head. Then a minute later you took your pacifier in your hand, studied it for a few seconds, and threw it too! You have a good arm. You threw both of them with your left hand, which makes us think maybe you'll be a leftie like your Mimi Elaine, but I think it's still a little too early to tell.

You reach for things now, like it's no big deal at all. Your coordination is getting much better.

I think you will be sitting before long. You pull your head up like you want to sit sometimes, but don't have the ab muscles to bring yourself to the sitting position. If you are in the right position, we can take our hands off of you and you will stay balanced in the sitting position for a few seconds before beginning to topple.

Lately, you have been noticing your brother Norbert more and more, and you give him a lot of smiles. You try to pet him, even though you are not good at petting. Your pets consist of grabbing a fist of hair and hanging on tight. Luckily, Norbert has been putting up with your antics.

This month has been the roughest month for sleep. I think there has only been one night that you only woke up once, but I'm really hoping we can go back to that routine. You came down with your first cold, and for a few nights you were waking up every hour or so.... it was pretty rough on your mom and dad. Since you have been rolling more, and you were already sleeping poorly, we decided to transition you out of the full swaddle. Now you sleep with your arms free, and you frequently roll yourself onto your belly to get comfy. We miss our good sleeper, and we really hope she makes an appearance again soon.

Your dad and I have had some good practice changing some giant blowouts at restaurants this month. You've had a couple timed really well... Thanks for that.

We are having so much fun being your parents, even during those poopy moments. There are so many things that we are looking forward to experiencing with you. Keep being the little light that you are!

With all my love,

{  Just chewing on my toes!  }

{  Getting her library bag ready for her first trip to the library!  }

{  Checkin' out the children's library, checkin' out books.  }
{  Not happy after getting her 4 month shots.  }

{  Playing at daycare  }

{  Trying to learn how to properly use her big baby crib... it's not going so well here.  }

{  Wearing a dress that was made by her Great Grandma Irene for her Mimi Elaine.  }

{  About to get a coconut oil hair treatment for her cradle cap  }

{  I sent Tyler a picture of this tutu as a joke while I was shopping once (when I was still pregnant), and he was like, "GET IT!!" --- So here we are...  }

{  She doesn't wear a ton of pink, but when she does... she goes all out.  }

{  Hazel the Lion-Tutu-Headed! Tell me that you don't want to blow raspberries on that belly...  }

{  Big enough for the cow jumper! Thanks, Auntie Monica!  }

{  Booger Bulb Bob and our sick little baby. It was the snottiest, drooliest day of my life.  }

{  Babywearing! Shopping really wears her out sometimes.  }

{  Instead of reaching for a booger wipe, Tyler reached for the camera. This is AFTER she was sick. So many boogers!!!  }

{  Sticking her tongue out is a new favorite  }


August 9, 2015

Dust, go to sleep.

Our house is a mess (and that's generous at best). We try to clean frequently,  but can't quite keep up. The baby's things are slowly taking over the house. At first, it didn't seem like she had that much stuff and the things she did have were contained to her nursery. Not anymore! She now rules the roost, and her stuff is everywhere... because frankly, that's what is convenient. 

Her drool and spit-up is certainly not contained to her nursery. So there's a burp cloth on each couch, one in every room, and two under my pillow at night. 

Sometimes I have productive spurts while Hazel takes a nap - usually laundry, scrubbing up my pump parts and Hazel's bottles, and corralling the dirty dishes into the washer. However, most of the cleaning and yard work is done on the weekends when we have two hands on deck. But the more time we spend cleaning, the less quality time we get to spend together as a family.

Throughout the week our house gets dirty, and then sometimes on the weekends we just need to have fun and get by and let the chores wait. Of course, there is a balance and we have to get the cleaning done at some point, but these days it's just not the priority.  We're with our baby, and as the poem below says... "babies don't keep."

So be warned when you come a knocking, the house isn't kept and we haven't slept, but we're spending these moments with our baby, rocking. 

This poem has been blogged and sung and cross-stitched a gazillion times, but that's a testament to how true it rings in the hearts of parents. My eyes welled up the first time I read it before we even brought Hazel home, and these have been the words I have lived by for the last (almost) 5 months.

Song for a Fifth Child 
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton



August 3, 2015

Hazel on the Go: Arizona Bound and Back

We proudly have our first trip under our new parent belts. It was one of those things that we were excited for but also dreaded the possibility of a screaming baby on an airplane. But we prepared as best we could, and went into the experience with high hopes and a calm demeanor. Stressed parent on a plane = stressed baby = at least 20 other very unhappy passengers.

{  "Hazel is packed!" - Tyler  }
We headed out on Hazel's first trip to Arizona! We were excited to see a lot of family and for Hazel to meet many of them for the first time!

We arrived at the airport and actually had a pleasant experience (if there is such a thing) with TSA... turns out they are pretty nice to babies and their parents. And Hazel loved the airport. It was busy and noisy and she couldn't get enough, so she chimed in with gleeful squeals and screams. Loud ones! I was sure everyone around us was praying that we weren't on their flight.

It was an evening flight and Hazel had been awake all afternoon, and I was also pushing the boundary a bit on her feeding schedule because I wanted to nurse her upon takeoff. She was all smiles as we boarded the plane because it was like her own little runway of strangers smiling at her. She was in her element. We went to the back of the plane and found an empty row. It was a full flight so we knew we'd have someone else sitting with us, but we wanted that to be that person's choice. We didn't want to inadvertently choose a seat next to the biggest baby hater on the plane.  Luckily, a mom of a five month old sat next to us.

We nursed on takeoff and the ear popping didn't faze Hazel a bit, but afterwards, she was TIRED. Possibly a little over-tired. She had a hard time getting comfortable in our arms and started to cry. Tyler was trying to calm her but her crying was escalating, and he got worried saying, "give her a boob!" But she had just eaten, so I took her back and managed to find a position that was comfortable enough for her to sleep. And then I did not move for the rest of the flight. Until we nursed again for landing.

Once we were back on the ground there were several people who complimented us and said, "What a good baby!" One man even said, "I didn't even know she was there!"

Whew! Flight number 1 out of the way! Time for the fun to begin!

We had a great time with all the family, despite some unintended circumstances, and Hazel helped spread some joy by sharing plenty of smiles and even a few giggles. I was convinced I was only going to see her when she was hungry... and I wasn't too far off the mark. She had such a great time being spoiled with attention. She got to see grandparents. great grandma, lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and great uncles, even a great-great uncle (Is that how that works?). I am so grateful to have such wonderful family!

{  Aunt Linz! They are definitely conspiring about something!  }
{  Peekaboo with cousin Ryan's hat! - She loved playing with Ryan! }
{  Learning languages with Aunt Courtney  }
{ Cuddling with Aunt Cath  }
{  Reading with Aunt Whitney  }

{  Matching with Papa K!  }
{ Goofing off with Bammie  }

{  Saying goodnight to Great Grandma. So happy we got to celebrate your 80th birthday!! }

{  Happy to see Aunt Cara  }
From Phoenix to Prescott to Sierra Vista she was a ray of drooly sunshine almost the whole time. We were in town from Thursday - Tuesday, but it went by much too quickly. The plane ride home was successful and very similar to the first. She was tuckered out from all the fun (and it was Tyler this time, that got to stay still the whole way).We can't wait for our next visit!

{  Pau!  }
On a side note: The only issue has been her sleep ever since the trip... It's been rough. She went from waking up once a night to 2 or 3 times minimum. Last night was doozy and she kept waking up over and over. 4 month sleep regression anyone? Send us some sleep vibes tonight!!