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Monday, November 12, 2012

Connor's Birth Story

Call me naive, but I was sort of hoping that I would have a birth identical to Elliot's again.  I wanted my water to break first, have a nice short labor, and have everything go just as perfectly as it did then.  I knew it was a long shot, but I sure was hoping!  Pregnancy was much harder on my body this time around, between my insomnia, headaches, and pelvic pain, so as I approached the last two weeks I was very anxious to get this little guy here!  I had a check at my 38 week appointment and I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced with baby at a -2 station.  I was pretty happy with that.  Shortly after my appointment my body started showing signs that labor was coming soon, so I got my bag packed and a bag packed for Elliot and waited.  And waited.

I went for my 39 week appointment and the midwife basically said I was experiencing symptoms that meant labor was coming "soon" but no one really knew what "soon" meant - could be that night, could be in 2 weeks.  Yikes! I couldn't handle another 2 weeks!!

Sunday October 21st we went to church and the choir performed in sacrament meeting.  I held choir practice after church.  Then I went home and told the baby he could come anytime now.  I was 39 weeks 3 days, the same day my water broke with Elliot.  That afternoon I started timing my contractions and they started about 12 minutes apart and then got consistently closer and closer until they were 4-5 minutes apart.  The contractions that I was having were not practice contractions - they definitely felt productive and like real contractions - but they were not intense or hard to breathe and walk through.  I went to bed like normal - after writing in my journal, telling Derek and a friend that I was going to have a baby that night! - and the contractions just stopped.  At 2 am  the contractions started up again and were 5 minutes apart.  They continued like that for several hours and I paced in my basement back and forth, then they fizzled out again.  When Derek woke up I told him about my night and I that I was super disappointed I was still pregnant!  I decided to make it my day's mission to get this baby out!  I called the midwife and explained what was going on and said I was confused if it was really labor or not because I knew what it felt like to have a contraction after my water broke but not before.  What if that was what labor felt like without the water breaking first?  (I wish!)  He said it was totally understandable and to keep him informed of what was going on during the day.  I had an appointment the next morning anyway and would see how things stood then.  I went to a get together with friends and then afterwards walked to another friend's house.  When walking my contractions were hard and about 4-5 minutes apart.  As soon as I got to her house they just stopped.  The rest of the day I took it easy and tried really hard to just let Junior come when he was ready!

Monday night I slept great for the first time in several weeks.  Tuesday I basically had no contractions.  I was 39 weeks 5 days pregnant - with Elliot I had a 1 day old, so I was sad!  But I was trying to make the most of it and enjoy being pregnant and my last little while with just Elliot.  I was scheduled for an appointment at 9 am on Tuesday with the midwife and I had planned on talking to her about stripping my membranes, so I was a bit anxious.  Of course it just so happens to be the day that they have several women in labor, so they couldn't see me in the morning - I was finally seen at 3:30 pm!  I told the midwife about the on/off labor I'd been experiencing and we talked about the pros/cons of stripping the membranes and I ultimately decided to give it a shot.  I felt like my body was ready and just needed a little push to get the process started.  The midwife said if it works usually the woman would go into labor within 24-36 hours afterwards.  When I got checked at the appointment I was dilated to a 3 and about 70% effaced and my cervix was no longer posterior - baby was at a -1 position.  She stripped my membranes at 4 pm and then said she would expect to see me back at the birth center on Wednesday evening.

That night we went around running a few errands and I started having some very strong contractions.  I also had a lot of pelvic pressure and felt like the baby had dropped.  My contractions were getting harder to walk through, I had the token "bloody show," and I finally felt like this was it!  I texted with my mom and told her this was it!  I walked around before going to bed and put our bags next to the stairs, made sure I had all my lists ready to go, got our snacks ready for our "go bag," and was all set.  As I was walking around doing all of this, my contractions fizzled AGAIN!  I couldn't believe it.  I was POSITIVE it was real labor.  There was really no way it wasn't!  So I went to sleep around 11 pm.  I slept until 12:30 am and then had some hard contractions.  I got into the shower to help with the pain and my contractions got closer together while I was in the water.  I got back in bed about 2 am and dozed on and off with virtually no contractions and then BAM!  5:15 am, I had a hard contraction.  5:20 am, another one.  5:25 am...again, when I finally made it to real active labor, my contractions were immediately 5 minutes apart.  They were not as intense as they were at the beginning with Elliot, but my water was still intact.  I was able to stay in bed for a while and then had to get up and move through the contractions.  Derek got up at 6:30 am and I told him when Elliot woke up we would need to get him ready and take him over to Liz's.  Liz is our great friend who took Elliot for the whole day for us!  We were so glad he got to hang with his buddy Jay all day!  I called the midwife to let her know what was going on - it just so happened to be the same midwife that I had seen for my appointment the day before!  When I got on the phone she said, "I thought I would see you today but you're calling a lot earlier than I thought you would!"  I told her my body was just really ready and she worked her magic to get me finally on the road to getting baby out!  I talked to her about 7 am and we got Elliot to Liz's house at 8.  We checked in at the birth center at 8:30 am.

We met the nurse, Breda, and Carol was there.  She is the new midwife but isn't certified in Maryland yet, so she mostly just observed.  Joanne was the midwife.  There was another woman in labor but she was getting ready to be transferred to the hospital for an epidural - poor thing had been in and out of labor (and the birth center) for like 30 hours!  We got my blood pressure done, listened to Junior's heart rate - both perfect.  My blood pressure stayed text book the entire labor, which was awesome!  Every time the nurse took it she said it was amazing how perfect my blood pressure was given the intense work out I was having!  I was GBS positive again and so they got the heplock set up and I got my first dose of antibiotics.  I got checked and was a solid 5 and 75% effaced, with baby at -1 station.  5 centimeters, awesome!  This was at 9 am.  I was convinced I would have a baby by noon!

My early labor this time was SO much easier than it was with Elliot.  I was laughing and talking and generally in a great mood until about 12:15 pm, when I got checked again.  The contractions were getting harder but I was still managing.  I was really hoping I had progressed and that Junior would be here soon!  I was a 7.  A little over 3 hours and I had progressed 2 centimeters - not too bad, at least there was progression, but I was a little disappointed!  We talked about the pros and cons of breaking my water at that point and I decided to just let nature take its course.  I was doing good at handling the intensity of the contractions and was concerned that if my water was broken and I didn't progress faster I wouldn't be able to work through them as well.  So we went back to just laboring and chatting.  The nurse and midwives were in and out but of course Derek was there the whole time.  He did a great job at making sure I was staying well hydrated and encouraged me to get out to use the restroom every hour.  It was so hard to get in and out of that pool each time but I knew Derek would catch me if I fell!

Somewhere in between 12:15 and 3:30 things got a lot more intense and I started feeling like I couldn't continue.  While my contractions never got to the point where they were several minutes long like they were a few times with Elliot, they were very intense and very close together for a consistently longer period.  Did I mention I had back labor again?  I didn't feel it in my back as much as previously but it was definitely still there!  I guess I just have a body that is comfy to lay in in such a way that gives me back labor.  So my contractions would last about 45 seconds to a minute, leave for about 30 seconds, and then come back stronger.  About once every ten or fifteen minutes I would get two minutes between contractions, which was awesome!  I swapped back and forth between leaning over the side of the pool and kind of rocking through the contractions and at one point I got on my side to see how that would be and it worked for a while.  At the beginning of labor Derek was applying counter pressure to my back again and it helped some at first and then at one point I asked him to stop!  It was so bizarre how the counter pressure wasn't helpful this time.  Instead he would rub my shoulders and then when I was in transition (for OH SO LONG) I squeezed his hands as tight as possible through the contraction.  It was helpful again for me to have people around encouraging me and telling me that I could do it.  I tried so hard to not focus on the pain but to focus on the fact that I was finally going to meet this little magician who had monopolized my life for 9 months!  I was still fully in control of my body and could feel Junior moving down and getting closer - but I still had it in my head that this process should be going faster!  After all, it was a second birth - shouldn't it be cut in half?!  My body had different ideas.

Joanne came in to check on me at about 3:25 pm.  I was exhausted and was starting to feel the urge to push, barely - it was more of an urge to bear down during the contractions - so I was hopeful I was almost there!  She checked me at 3:30 pm - and I was an 8.  And 90% effaced.  An 8!!!  I had labored for three hard hours and had only gone from a 7 to an 8!  I decided I had had it - I had been in active labor for 10 hours, the same amount of time I had labored with Elliot - and it was time for Junior to get out!  We decided on my next contraction Joanne would break my waters and see how things progressed after that.  At 3:30 pm she broke my water and the next contraction, which came as soon as she broke it, I went from an 8 to a 9 1/2 and from 90% to 100% effaced.  That contraction was the hardest one of my life!  My entire labor I had moaned and vocalized through the contractions and this one felt like I was being literally stretched apart (I was!) and I couldn't hold back my yells.  Afterwards Derek told me how surprised he was when I got so loud at the end.  I literally couldn't hold it back!  And I'm not a big yeller in normal life anyway, so it even surprised me.  It was like I had this animalistic urge to yell and couldn't hold back.  So I didn't!  It helped to vocalize, and at that point I needed a lot of help!  Joanne had been planning to go downstairs to do some paperwork and as soon as I started my vocalizing she said no way, this baby is coming now!  She and the nurse went around getting everything ready for the baby to come - usually they have a little longer to prepare they said, so they were in a hurry getting the blanket warmer ready and all of the "just in case" things they have available there.

I immediately started pushing after my waters were broken and it felt so good to push!  It felt like finally having the waters broken made Junior decide that he wanted out and wanted out NOW!  I pushed for an hour with Elliot and was hoping it would go faster this time around.  I had decided I wanted to just go with what my body wanted to do - I wouldn't push if I didn't feel the urge and when I did push, I wanted to "breathe the baby down" instead of pushing, as I was taught in Hypnobirthing.  Well, by the time I got to that point of the birthing process, I was done!  So that plan went out the window and I pushed with all my might, not caring if I tore, I just wanted that baby out!  The midwife coached me on when to push super hard and when to back off a bit - I think that helped so I didn't tear so bad.  I'll tell you, though, it was hard to stop pushing in between contractions.  Again, the pushing process was the only part of the birth where I felt out of control, just like with Elliot's birth.  My body had completely taken over and I just needed to let it do its thing!  After about 20 minutes I got Junior's head out.  The midwife made sure I relaxed as much as possible during the lull between contractions  because I would need some extra power to get the rest of him out.  She encouraged me to feel Junior's head to give me extra incentive to be strong - he was basically here!  And he had a ton of hair!  It felt like an eternity until the next contraction came - I was so anxious to meet our little guy!  It finally came and after several pushes during the incredibly long contraction, he was out!  I think the last noise I made when his body came out was one of pure relief.  

I immediately started crying when I saw his little purple body.  At Elliot's birth I didn't see him for probably a minute after he was out since I was facing the other direction, but I saw Junior as soon as he came into this world.  I will never forget how cool it was to see Joanne catch him in the water and gently flip him under the water as she was bringing him up.  She immediately set him on my chest and we waited.  Just like his big brother, Junior didn't want to cry!  I rubbed his back a bit and then the midwife patted his bum a bit more vigorously and he finally gave out a few cries.  His color was quite purple, but he was breathing fine and didn't even need to be suctioned.  His cute face was a bit swollen and bruised and it took him a while to open his eyes, but he was finally here and we were so happy!  We stayed in the pool for a few minutes while I caught my breath and we took a few pictures.  Then we had the arduous task of getting out of the pool.  It seemed a bit easier this time to get out with the baby still attached to me.  We made it on to the bed and I delivered the placenta and Derek cut the umbilical cord.  Junior started crying a bit then - he was hungry!  Within 20 minutes of being born he was eating like a champ, like he already knew exactly what to do.  I got checked out and I had two very minor tears - so minor I didn't even need stitches!  It was amazing the difference of how good I felt immediately after Junior's birth compared to the first round where I tore pretty badly.  Junior's head did come out cocked slightly to the side, just like his brother's - that's probably why I had back labor again - BUT a 2 cm difference in head circumference surely made a big, big difference.

Our caregivers continued to watch over us, taking Junior's temperature routinely, taking my blood pressure, checking my heart rate, watching my bleeding, "massaging" my uterus.  Can I tell you how much more gentle they were this time with the massage?  And they only did it once!  I was expecting much the same after the birth as far as care for me: stitches, torture massage every 30 minutes to an hour for a few hours, pitocin shot to slow the bleeding, an IV because I was dehydrated - nope, nope, nope, nope!  None of that!  I had pretty minimal bleeding afterwards, and even while I was still in the pool after Junior made his entrance the water was almost crystal clear!  Totally opposite of last time!  

For the first two hours after the birth I nursed Junior and Derek made us some food.  The caregivers were in and out.  After that I was ready to get out of there.  I was anxious to go home and start our new life and ready to see my big Elliot after 12 hours apart!  I got up by myself and used the bathroom - always a bit scary the first time after, but I was just so happy I could walk by myself this time!  About three hours after he was born Junior got his newborn exam.  There had been so much anticipation about how big he was - I was convinced he was about the same as Elliot, but everyone else predicted a lot smaller.  When we checked into the birth center someone even guessed he would be 7 lbs 2 oz!  I guess Mama always knows best, because Junior was 8 lbs 5.5 oz - 1 ounce smaller than Elliot!  He was 20 1/4 inches long - 1/4 inch longer than El, haha - and had a 34 cm head.  He was perfect, perfect, and we feel so blessed we had another perfect birth at the birth center!

After Junior's newborn exam I was able to get in the shower and wash up.  Derek went around getting our stuff together and packed in the car.  The nurses switched shifts and we had a new nurse come in and explain newborn care to us, things to watch for, just like last time.  She took our picture and sent us on our way!  Junior was born at 3:52 pm - we left the birth center at 7:30 pm!  We were so lucky to have had things be so perfect after the birth so we could be on our way quickly!

We went straight to pick up Elliot and chatted with our friends for a few minutes before heading home.  We took some pictures of the three Scheer men, met Grandma and Grandpa Ensign on Skype, and then hit the sack.  So happy to be home, so happy to be together, and so blessed to be a new family of four!

That is the story of Junior's birth.  We don't call him Junior anymore, though.  Now we call him Connor.

Connor Laszlo Scheer
October 24th, 2012
3:52 pm
8 lbs 5.5 oz
20 1/4 inches

A few reflections and notes for the future, if we decide to have a third baby:
Practice your relaxation more next time. Yes, you knew you could do it since you already did it once, but those last three hours would have been a lot easier if you had prepared more!
Labor doesn't always go like "they" say it will - i.e., second labors are half as long as the first.  In reality, maybe your body will decide it should take exactly.the.same.amount.of.time as your first labor.  (I'll just be grateful my first labor was 10 hours and not 20.)  If you hadn't bought into this and expected it to be that way, it would have been easier to labor that long!
Good work for not saying Derek's name.  I think that helped him.
Keep going to the gym and/or working out if there is a third pregnancy.  It helps.
Do it in water again.  That goes without saying!  I swear my babies are easy going and calm because they are birthed in water.  (Who knows, but I like to think that way!)
Don't be afraid to say what you need/want.  The people that are there are there to help you and if you want something done differently, speak up!  
Continue to try to be nice during labor.  It surprises people when you're nice and fairly easy going considering what is going on, and it will help you keep your spirits up!
Positive affirmations go a long way for you!  Don't feel silly asking people to tell you you're doing a good job.  If it helps, it helps!
If there's a third baby, Elliot will look like a teenager when you see him next (even if he's only 4 or 5) and Connor will look like a giant too.  It's amazing how much bigger Elliot looks to me, even though he's still my baby too!
You can do it!  You'll feel like a rock star afterwards!
Your heart will grow even more than you thought it could, and you've already been through this before!
Derek is pretty much the coolest person ever (but you already knew that).

My two favorite comments from the midwife were that she loved how well Derek and I worked together.  There were a few times where I asked him to change something he was doing (counter-pressure didn't work this time, so I asked him to try something else - and I asked him to tell me how good I was doing, haha!) and he did it without question, even if it seemed stupid.  It was cool that both midwives at our two births commented on how well we work together.  We truly do!  I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime!  She called me the next day to check in and see how we were doing and she told me that they had had so many babies born recently that she felt like she was just a machine and getting used to the same old thing, but that Connor's birth was so wonderful to attend that she was on "a high" for a few hours afterwards.  That made me feel great!

We really are so blessed and so happy to have this little boy in our family.  He and Elliot will be good buddies one day and I hope that he'll continue to be a sweetie!




Saturday, June 2, 2012

Almost Halfway There

I'm a horrible blogger, I admit it.  In case you missed our news, below is the proof.  We go for our ultrasound on Wednesday the 6th and are so excited to find out if this little one is a boy or a girl!!  We feel so blessed to be able to be parents to another sweet spirit.  We are due October 25th.

Elliot is 15 months and is your typical active toddler.  He is super fun and easy to be around 98% of the time and I love being home with him.  He has 11 teeth and can say and understand about 25 words.  He can say/repeat probably about 40.  He is quite the babbler but it is so helpful that he has so many words under his belt so we can communicate easier!  Elliot is a walking machine and is almost running.  He loves being outside and loves pointing to his mom's tummy and rubbing it and saying baby.  It is the cutest thing.

This was about a week ago, at 18 and a half weeks.  Junior is a kicking machine already!  I felt the baby start to flutter at about 11 weeks, got kicks at 15 weeks, and now at 19 and a half he/she is quite the soccer player that Elliot was.  Derek even felt the baby kick a few times already!  He/she kicks the hardest when Dad is watching - show off!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Important Words

Mr. Elliot is quite the talker.  He has always been quite loud and has babbled for as long as I can remember, but I didn't realize how unusual it was for a baby his age to have so many words in his vocabulary already.  I will have to look back at my journal to see when his first word was, but for now here is his list!

Words Elliot Can Say and Knows the Meaning Of:
mama
dada
ball
duck
up
clock
book
block
milk
Luke
Jake

Words Elliot Says:
yes
yeah
dog
car
crack
this
that
cat
monkey
bless you
apple
bye

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Music

A quick note about today so I don't forget - it was ward conference and the choir sang I Need Thee Every Hour.  It was the best we have sung since I got the calling last year and it was just amazing!  We probably had about 26 people sing today and it was our first time with our new black binders.  After sacrament meeting the piano player, a VERY accomplished musician whom I have been trying to "win over," came up to me, grabbed my face, and gave me a kiss on the cheek.  He didn't really say much, just kind of clasped his hands together and gave me this look of "wow."  It was cool.  
At choir we started off by talking about comments we had heard from the ward members.  I passed along that the bishop said the stake president was very impressed and a woman said that her husband, though he's not musically inclined, is very particular about music and he said it was the best ward choir number he had heard.  The piano player raised his hand and said that he is a very musically inclined person (in a non-bragging way) and has sung in and played for dozens of ward choirs and stake choirs in our area and our in Salt Lake and everything.  He said that it was the best he has ever heard a ward choir sing and possibly even on the stake level.  How cool is that!!  He got a bit emotional while he was sharing his thought, which of course made me get emotional.  It was so nice to hear something like that.  It makes me so happy that people enjoy being in the choir and also that people enjoy listening to us.  It truly is a highlight of my Sunday and I'm happy when I hear others say the same thing.
A friend heard a few comments through the grapevine and called to relay them to me - said that the stake presidency was brainstorming about ways to get other wards in the stake as jazzed about ward choir as our ward is.  The bishop told them each ward would need a Sister Scheer!  One of the points of frustration when taking over the choir last year was it was held on a week night and it was hard for most people to make it - there were 6 regular attendees when I took over last year and it quickly doubled as soon as we moved it to Sundays.  As we have gotten better our numbers have grown - just today we had two new people join!  I have learned so much about directing and places to find music and ways to express music since getting into this calling - it's been awesome to learn so much.  It is just fun.  I practice a lot during the week and I don't even feel like it's practicing!  One thing that my friend mentioned to me that I thought was cool - our choir isn't made up of a bunch of amazing singers.  There are probably 3 or 4 standouts that would be great soloists.  I don't even like standing up and singing by myself in front of everyone - I know that I'm much better in a group setting.  But when we combine all of these things together - the amazing piano accompaniment, a director who (sort of) knows what she's doing, average voices that follow directions well, and then of course we have the spirit and are truly trying to relay the message of the hymn we are singing - it is perfect.  I'm so blessed to be a part of such an amazing group when we have those moments.

Friday, January 6, 2012

8 Months/9 Months/10 Months/Happy New Year?

I didn't realize it had been SO long since I did an update!  I will refer back to my journal and post updates for his official months and record stats from his 9 month visit but for now here's the 10 month update:

Elliot is so smart!  He understands the following words: wave, no, come here, give that to me (if I hold my hand out), dance, bounce, jump, walk, milk, peek-a-boo, and stand.  He can point at things and will wag his finger as well, and he can wave both with just his hand and recently added waving side to side with his whole arm to his routine.  El will throw or roll a ball back and forth to you and has really started to copy our movements.  When he and Derek roll the ball Derek will celebrate when he gets it (pick the ball up into the air, wave his arms, and yell in celebration) and then roll it back to Elliot - when Elliot gets it he will pick his arms up and yell.  It is SO CUTE.  When we were home for Christmas he was the center of attention, of course, and loved being around everyone.  He can "say" ball (bah), Jesus (sus sus), Luke (gook), Jake (dake), Mama, and Dada.  In case anyone's keeping track, he said Mama first!  He loves playing peek-a-boo and he will initiate it sometimes.  The day before we came home from Illinois Jake taught Elliot how to high five!  He LOVES to play with empty bottles and will go for hours doing that if you'll let him.  Elliot got his first haircut on December 23rd, right before his 10 month birthday.  I wanted to wait for the year mark but his hair was so long it would get in his eyes constantly.  He looks much more like a little boy now instead of a baby and no one has called him a girl since the cut!

The last several days Elliot has really amped up his enthusiasm for walking with the stroller-walker.  He will do it all by himself and just push it all the way down the hall!  He will let go and balance for a few seconds before he either grabs on again or falls.  We don't think it will be long before he's trying to walk on his own!  Such an exciting time for him.

Elliot stopped nursing at 8 and a half months and I was dried up by 9 and a half, so he's been on mostly formula since 9 months.  It was very sad for me because it was very sudden that he stopped and I wasn't ready for it, but my sadness has mostly passed on that subject now.  He is a VERY good eater and eats everything we eat.  He is still a Cheerio-aholic and starts most of his meals with them, but he loves vegetables and fruits and even spicy food!  He has had peanut butter twice now (mixed with yogurt or oatmeal to thin it out) and he can't get enough of it.  Elliot will let you know that he wants another bite by smacking his lips very loudly and giving you a super intense look.  He is such a funny boy.

Over Christmas Derek and I went with Brian and Ashley to Chicago for an overnight trip (we surprised Derek and Ashley) and Elliot stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.  I'm happy to say that we all survived that trip and we (Elliot and myself) both did a great job!

Elliot and I are still going to the gym a lot and he is doing great at the day care.  I think that he got a lot better once he started crawling and can now hang with the big kids.  I'm feeling good and healthy and enjoy getting an hour to myself on the days we go.

Elliot sleeps great again!  Most nights he goes for 11 hours and he still usually takes three naps a day, depending on what time he wakes up.  Sometimes it seems like he's trying to get rid of the third nap but I don't think he's quite ready for it.  El has 6 teeth and is working on 4 more, though I'm not sure if they're moving at all anymore.  Once in a while they will flare up and bother him and you can tell that they're working their way down but it's been a VERY slow process with these four.

We love having Elliot in our family and he is such a joy to be around.  He is so full of personality and makes us laugh constantly.  I can't believe next month he will be 1 already!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 Months

A quick note to remember all about Elliot as he turned 7 months yesterday!

Elliot is an expert at:

  • sitting and rocking
  • rolling - he is the rolling KING
  • rotating around in circles all day
  • teething - still working on 4 but 1 of those is finally almost through!  The two that he already has are huge!
  • laughing - he LOVES to laugh; definitely my child
  • jumping - this is fairly new but he mastered it quickly.  His specialty is jumping in the exersaucer.
  • mama, dada, baba, gaga, geegee and numerous indiscernible cute baby noises
  • shots - he got a flu booster shot yesterday and totally knew it was coming but took it like a pro
  • nursing - about 5 or 6 times a day, 3-4 hours in between and 8-10 hours overnight.  Usually takes less than 15 minutes now, hallelujah!
  • bath time - this kid LOVES water.  He has recently started plunging after toys that get away from him, so bath time is covered always by two hawk-like adults.  So fun to watch.
  • Skyping - he knows the ring tone and what it means when I set the computer up in front of him.  It is awesome, he is so smart!
  • Eating his toes - I thought we were over this stage, but he is back to eating his toes constantly.
Elliot is good at:
  • sleeping - vacation was hard on us and it has taken a long time to recover from it.  He is now back to sleeping 8-9 hours most nights but it took about 6 weeks of waking up once or twice a night to get back (teething hasn't helped!).
  • napping - again, vacation hurt!  Then when painting his room we moved him to the pack and play for a week, so it took a while but he is now starting to fall asleep by himself for naps again
  • smacking himself in the face with toys - he is getting violent with those toys!
  • solid food - Elliot likes "big people" food more than baby food, it seems.  He LOVES oatmeal and some of the foods we've introduced, and has a special new interest in drinking water from a straw (the only way I can get him to take water currently).
  • Rocking out to the music - we have regular jam sessions and will sit Elliot on the floor and just watch him rock out to the music.  It is hilarious.  Every time a new song comes on he starts to rock again!
Elliot is beginning:
  • the army crawl - he is starting to learn he can pull himself around if he isn't up on his knees.
  • to crawl!  He is now regularly getting up on his knees by himself and rocking and has started moving backwards here and there.
  • to pull himself up on things - he has done it a few times in the crib and the couch and coffee table, but hasn't made it all the way up to his knees or feet.  Most often I catch him still holding on to whatever he's grabbing with a death grip!
Life is very exciting with a 7 month old and we couldn't be happier.  We love having Elliot in our family!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Six Months=Half A Year

It is hard to believe that Elliot is already six months old.  Time has flown so fast and doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.  We have had a great month and he is just growing and learning so much all the time!

Here are the things that Elliot is very into right now:

Scooting - backwards for a while and forwards started yesterday!
Sitting - he is solid as a rock and loves to bounce while he's sitting.  He is starting to try to get to a sitting position by himself but still has a ways to go with that.
Reaching, grabbing for everything.
His feet.
Screaming - Elliot is very into his voice right now.  He will do a happy scream/shriek every few minutes.
Babbling - 10 days ago Elliot started using syllables more and his "vocabulary" has exploded.  High on his list of favorites are ga, ba, da, ma, goo, ka, ya, and his most favorite - mmmm (SO CUTE).
First Word - HI!  A few days ago Derek and I were talking and he shrieked for our attention and I said hi and he said it back!  We were completely taken aback so Derek said hi again and he did it again!  Yesterday he said it to us again (when prompted), so I think we can count this as his first word!  Did I mention how cute his voice is??
Sippy Cup - the thing that has saved my life.  Did I mention I'm GOING ON A DATE TONIGHT?!?!  Here's to you, Nuk Learners Sippy Cup - Elliot (and I) love you dearly.
Solid Food - we have introduced several things to Elliot so far.  Of the baby food variety: split peas (liked), sweet peas (no way), green beans (eh), sweet potatoes (liked), carrots (love love loved).  Waiting to try still are bananas, peaches, apples, prunes - maybe pears too.  Of the real food variety: white rice, plain potato, avocado, bananas, grapes (no peel), peas (out of pod).  He loves ALL of it.  He is very into our food and has really not been digging this whole baby food thing.  Last night we fed him carrots and he hardly ate them!  He wanted my potato more!  So we'll see how that goes.  We also have started giving him water in a sippy cup once a day.  The doctor said a little every day is a good idea to help his teeth.
Teeth - the bottom front two are both out almost all the way.  The teeth surrounding the bottom front on both sides are coming up.  One of them I noticed a whole month ago and it still isn't out!  The other one has been trying to come up for about 3 weeks.  They are very slow movers.  Earlier this week I noticed Elliot has been playing with the roof of his mouth more and so I looked up there and he has two other teeth (I'm pretty sure) coming in up there too.  Instead of being the front two like I expected, they are the teeth that surround the front two!  He's going to look like a vampire!  We will have to see how fast they come up.  In the meantime, he has been coping very well with all of these weird things popping out of his mouth!
Sleep - he is averaging about 10.5 hours a night.  Sometimes he wakes up after 8 or 9 hours to eat and sometimes he doesn't.  We moved his bedtime up so now he goes to sleep between 830 and 900.  He has dropped his evening nap, so his three naps during the day get him about 4-5 more hours of sleep (1.5-2/1.5-2/1).
Health - at his 6 month check up Elliot weighed 16lbs 2.5 oz (with a new diaper on), was 27" long, and had a 44cm head (25/70/70%).  I was a little concerned that he had only gained 1.5 pounds in 2 months but his doctor wasn't worried about it since he is much more mobile now.  While we were on vacation Elliot got an ear infection and we took him to the E.R. in Tennessee since we were traveling.  He also got a cold, which thankfully went away without turning into something bad like last time.  He had antibiotics for the ear infection and we dealt with bad diaper rash because of the drugs, and we are grateful that that is over!  One thing he liked about that week is he got to hang out naked on a blanket a lot to help with his rash.  Nothing cuter than a naked baby!
Water - Elliot LOVES water.  We took him swimming a few times while on vacation and he loved to just splash and splash, even when the water was pretty cold.  He has started sitting up in the bathtub and loves to get us wet while he splashes.

Elliot is a very happy baby and we feel very blessed that he is part of our family.  We love you, buddy!