Ian: 8 Months

5

2.18.2014

Ian turned 8 months recently. Hard to believe. It is going by so fast!! I love this little guy so much. Something about the second kid...like you're not as stressed out with them cause you know what you are doing in terms of actually taking care of a baby...and you can't possibly just sit and stare at them 24/7 like you did with the first one and you know how quickly this baby phase is all going to pass, so you really cherish the special one-on-one time you do get with them. And sometimes it is just really nice to snuggle and cuddle a little bundle of softness who laughs and smiles up at you instead of dealing with 3 year old drama!!!!


So, I've been wanting to document Ian as the months go by (like I did with Maura) but I'm just getting to it now. With her I had my act together at 6 months, but as is one of the recurring themes with the second child, I'm a bit behind for him. But I'd rather begin now than not at all. Looking back at Maura's monthly posts are one of the only reasons I am remembering what to do with this little guy (I've been living in toddler land for so long!) and I am getting a kick out of reliving her baby hood. I want to be able to remember his too.

(Warning...this one will be a lot longer than subsequent posts of its kind since its the first one and I'm playing catch up.)

I started taking pics of Ian in an animal critter chair like I did for Maura every week (this one's the Cuddle Plush Elephant from Restoration Hardware) and although it was hard I made it up through like the beginning of December and then stuff just started getting crazy and I missed a bunch of weeks in a row- terrible Mom! But I'm going to try and not be sad or stressed out about it and just make sure I do at least a monthly pic. So here are the first 8 to catch you up on:)





{not sure why this guy is wearing yellow for the last 3 months! he seriously only has like 2 yellow things...with Maura I was meticulous and made sure she never had the same outfit on twice...second kid gets screwed!!!}

Sleeping Habits: As much as I love this little guy, he was a TERRIBLE sleeper until about a month ago. Finally, we decided to go for the sleep training/cry it out Ferber thing because I was just so tired and at a loss for what else to do. It took him like 2 days of minimal crying to get the hang out it and he now goes down for his 2 naps a day so easily (falls right asleep) and is sleeping through the night! Thank you, Buddy!!! It is amazing how much of a difference a solid night's sleep makes. And there is something just so relaxing about heading to bed with the confidence that you won't be waking up in another hour or two.

Ian naps once in the morning and once in the middle of the afternoon and we put him to bed around 8/8:30pm. His going down routine is the same (with the addition of a bottle at bedtime)...new diaper, sleep suit thing, read a couple of books, sing a few songs while rocking in the chair or walking around the room, put him in his crib awake. With "Binkie"/Pacifier. Bam. Done. Amen!


One thing that's different about the second child is that they get a bit screwed in the sleep schedule department. More often than not I have to wake Ian up in the morning to feed and get him ready to bring Maura to school or one of her activities. Then I have to wake him up from his morning nap and throw him in his car seat to head out and pick her up from school, etc. Sorry! Guess that's why he's so much more chill?! The whole world isn't revolving around him like it did with #1?!


Breastfeeding/Bottles/Solids:
I breastfed this guy exclusively until he was almost 7 months old. He wanted nothing to do with bottles (of breast milk or formula). But as much as I loved this special time together (and as proud as I was of both of us for having gotten that far nursing together), I was ready to move on. It took us probably 2 months of literally trying to get him to drink a bottle everyday and failing before he was willing to do it. At first he screamed every time we tried to give it to him, then he progressed to just playing with it. Finally he figured out how to actually suck on one correctly and then took to them like a champ. I weaned him over the course of a month down to where I was just breastfeeding him first thing in the morning and then I think my milk just sort of ran out. So one day I gave him a bottle when he woke up and neither of us looked back:) He just likes to eat so thankfully he is fine with it.

Ian loooves his solid foods (he'll eat any of the pureed fruits or vegetables mixed with oatmeal cereal...like even the nasty green ones such as peas and green beans that Maura wouldn't touch) and he now has three solid meals a day (he eats breakfast, lunch and dinner with us) as well as four (6 oz.) bottles (one when he wakes up in the morning, one just before lunch, one after his afternoon nap and one at bedtime). He's been gnawing on Mum Mum cookies, Gerber Puffs and Crunchies for awhile now but this month we started giving him some real table food and he is in heaven! Loooves it, is starting to prefer it more than the mush...as you can probably tell from his chubby cheeks!  He likes bananas, Cheerios, pancakes, cheese, any kind of bread, mac-n-cheese/pasta, blueberry muffins, sweet potato fries, carrots. Going to just keep trying and giving him whatever we're eating that's soft enough and see what happens. I really hope he just keeps this up and becomes that kid who eats anything/everything (unlike #1)!

Developmental Milestones/Firsts: learned how to sit up from a lying down position on his own, STARTED CRAWLING, got 2 teeth (bottom center directly next to each other), started sitting up in the stroller for walks and in stores as opposed to staying in his car seat


Favorite Toys: Fisher Price Little People Animal Sounds Zoo, FP Laugh and Learn Kitchen, Melissa and Doug Wood Standard Unit Blocks, anything of his sister's that he can get his hands on


Favorite Pastimes: baby class at our local My Gym (on Thursday afternoons), play dates with his baby friends, hanging out in the Baby Bjourn, anything involving food, knocking down towers of blocks that we build for him


{Ian and baby Brooke (Maura's best friend Jack's little sister)}
Buddy, you are just the best little guy!! You are so happy and chill...thank you for being so good for Mama! I love that you still don't have any hair, your big blue eyes, the way you rest one foot inside your other big toe just like Dada, kissing and smooshing those chubby cheeks, sitting on the couch feeding you your bottle first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake, the way you fall asleep with one binkie in your mouth and one binkie in each hand...I could go on and on but I'm actually starting to get a bit teary eyed writing this. Just know that you have captured my heart in a way that I didn't think was possible again after having your sister. Love you so much, Bubs!!!!

PS. Here's Maura at 8 months!

Converting our Family Room to a Playroom: Part I

2

2.05.2014

Here's what Maura and I have been doing the past few days:


Gotta love a 3 year old who likes to paint!

Things are really shuffling around in our house. Up until now we've been rocking two half adult, half kid rooms...our living room (where the fireplace is and where the coffee table got taken over for coloring and art projects when Maura came along) right off the kitchen and then our family room (where the TV is) a step down from that. I knew one day that we would have to completely give in and come to terms with the fact that we have 2 kids and that we weren't using either of these rooms to their true potential or to the benefit of Maura and Ian. Lots of new stuff for Chrismtas really put us over the edge...here's a really horrible pic of how the family room had come to look on a regular basis:

{and yes, there's a 7 month old hiding in there somewhere!...can you find him?!}
Eeek! Embarrassing but keeping it real! So, definitely time for a "playroom". We decided to move the TV (and entertainment center) into the living room and make that more of a general family room (more posts on that later) and keep this large, better lit, more off-the-beaten-path (read not totally visible the second you walk in the front door) room for the kids.

So besides moving or getting rid of a ton of the furniture that was in here, we have the chance to really make this space work for them by getting a whole lot of better storage and pumping up the fun/creativity factor. I knew right away that I wanted a chalkboard wall (plus, secretly deep down I think I wanted a black wall for myself!). When we went to our local Benjamin Moore retailer to get the paint, the nice guy there also pointed out the magetic primer, which would make this wall twice as cool - you can stick things to it and draw on it!!!

Because the Rust-oleum Specialty Magnetic Primer was not cheap and required like 4 or 5 coats to actually hold magnets (trust me, I panicked after the first 3 coats when every magnet was still sliding down the wall but decided to keep going...and it was not the easiest paint product to work with but worth it for the coolness factor), I decided to do just this center area in between the windows in it.


We've now painted two coats of Benjamin Moore Latex Chalkboard Paint in black on the whole wall (to the right and left of the windows too...in the first pic above the chalkboard paint is actually the lighter gray color that Maura is "drawing" with) and need to do one more coat before we're done. Then you're supposed to let it dry for 3 days and then prep it with the side of the chalk before writing on it. For now I'm loving the dark wall and the fact that it has already inspired Maura to do a little portrait gallery of her immediate and extended family - she calls it her "collection" and these little pieces of paper her "bills":)


(Only real strong magnets are working on here. These are her little magnet blocks that you're supposed to build stuff with since they stick to each other, but we realized we can use them as regular magnets and also store them by just sticking them to the wall. I'm kinda bummed that our little plastic alphabet letter magnets are not working on the wall, I guess they're just not strong enough? I had envisioned the kids spelling and stuff on here:( Maybe I'll look for a stronger alphabet set. We have been able to hang up full 8.5 x 11" sheets of paper/artwork if we use these big shape magnets, so at least there's that. I'll let you know how the chalkboard part functions once we start drawing on it.)


Next on the to-do list, a big trip to Ikea for some storage and a new rug.

Ps. If you're curious, you can check out some general inspiration pics on my "Playroom" Pinterest board here.

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