11 months of milestones

Birthdays. So many first birthdays have approached. The year flew by so quickly. I can’t believe this is the month I can officially call my baby a baby. Well, Braden will always be my baby.

We’ve been blessed to celebrate a few first birthday parties so far. It’s always so fun to watch Braden interact with his friends. He is quite the social butterfly! He loves every person that comes across them – welcoming everyone with a smile and maybe even a slight giggle.

My sister and I took Braden to Camp Snoopy (https://www.knotts.com). Of course, it happened to be the hottest day of the year. But, I lathered Braden down with some SPF, his trusty hat and away we went. He absolutely LOVED meeting the Easter Beagle, riding the balloon ride and smiling for the camera. He was a little apprehensive about the loud roller coaster noises and H A T E D the camp bus ride. It had a slight drop where it made your tummy flip, and I had no idea that was going to happen! I felt so bad because he truly was excited to be sitting in the “bus” and then the first drop happened. Those little tears came streaming down his face so fast. I felt terrible, and the worst part was I couldn’t do anything about it! I have newfound love for https://disneyland.disney.go.com. I feel like that would have never happened in Fantasyland…but to each their own! All in all, it was fun but I don’t think we will be going back for another year 🙂

It was also Braden’s first easter this month. He genuinely loved the Easter Bunny….I thought for sure he was going to be terrified, but he thought he was the funniest thing he’s ever seen. I took Braden to a HUGE Easter Egg Hunt in San Clemente. It was really cute to “hunt” for eggs. Braden caught three eggs and placed them nicely in his basket. AH! I just love him so much. How cute is that!? We got to spend Easter Sunday with all of our family, and it was really awesome to see him play with his cousins. I hope they remain friends as time goes on.

Braden loves to say “bye bye”, “mama”, his version of “grandma” and “papa” and an occasional “dada”. It’s truly special to watch him learn the English language. I can ask him where his books and balls are, and he will go over and show me. He loves to throw his balls over the banister, watch me run down the stairs and throw them back up to him. It may be tedious but his laugh is worth every minute of it.

He has taken a real love for hugging. I even was able to tell him to give a friend a hug, and he did it! It was so sweet. I hope he stays this sweet forever.

Now I must get back to first birthday party planning. I am so excited….it’s a little crazy, but who cares! He’ll only turn 1, once!

I love you so much my little button

your mama xoxox

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11 months of milestones

A little moment

Sometimes I lay awake and watch him sleep.
Sometimes he holds out his little hand, searching for mine.
I think about his future and how big it is. So much growing to do.
I still can’t fathom that I get to know him for the rest of my life.
It still feels like this isn’t real. That this is just a fleeting moment of pure happiness.
I hope I stay forever grateful, forever blessed; to be a mother – his mother.
Because I definitely don’t deserve it.
Thank you.
Sometimes I have to make time to let it all sink in.
Sometimes a little moment is all I need.

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A little moment

A little rough patch

I, well I should say we – Braden and I, had a rough couple of days. The sleep “issue” was getting to both of us. He was doing so great, we had a really good routine down. But then a wonder week happened. Although I didn’t know it was a wonder week, and I was left dumbfounded by his sudden change in sleep habits.
He was waking all the time. I’d rock him to sleep, lay him down and boom up!
Naps were about 20 minutes long at best.
I couldn’t stand it anymore and I thought this is it. I’m going to “sleep train”. Cry it out. Anything. I need a change. I need to fix this.
I tried to do the 5-10-15 minute checks, nothing but tears.
I tried sleeping on couch pillows in his room, but he just cried harder. Not understanding why I wasn’t picking him up.
Then I resorted to a true cry it out. Hours of crying. Watching him on the monitor fall asleep standing up in the crib. It was heartbreaking. And then very frustrating after he woke 45 minutes later.
I lasted a full 24 hours. So many tears, neither of us slept, and I felt guilty. He was so miserably exhausted, no Braden smiles and giggles. When he was awake he clung to me more than ever. Probably worrying I was going to leave him again. I think I cried harder than he did. In the end I decided it wasn’t worth it. Whatever sleep issue he had was fine. I would deal with it. Just no more nonsense sleep training.
I think I was trying to aim for something that just wasn’t working for us. I heard about all these babies that were sleeping through the night, and I was jealous. I wanted that to. I wanted a quick fix. But it’s not in the cards for us. I have to accept that every baby and every mom is different. We have to do whatever we feel is best for our babies.
So I went back to basics. We cuddled all night long and he slept for 12 hours. My happy Braden was there to greet me in the morning with a sweet gentle kiss on my nose.
After a couple days he trusted me again to sleep in his crib. Of course at night time he joins me in my bed halfway through the night. And it’s okay. This works for us. I need to stop trying to obtain something that isn’t us. He is still a baby, and I need to stop pushing him to grow up so fast. One day he won’t want to be anywhere near me, so why not enjoy it now? Who cares where he sleeps!? It’s not going to damage him as a person. I have a sensitive baby that needs his mama. And hey, why not give him what he needs? Isn’t that what I’m here for?
Love you my sweet baby boy!
Your mama xo

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A little rough patch

sleepy smiles

When Braden was a newborn he used to smile in his sleep a lot. I just thought he was practicing his smile muscles. Is that a normal thing babies do? I’m not sure. I do know that I used to love watching him sleep to catch a glimpse of a smile.
Today, Braden will occasionally “practice” his smile in his sleep. If I’m lucky I will catch one as I look back at him sleeping in the car seat, or when I’m laying him down in his crib. I wonder when this will stop or if he’ll do this forever. It’s these simple times that I want to remember and be grateful for.
Love you buccaneer!
xoxoxoxoxo
Your mama

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sleepy smiles

8 months of milestones

How did another month go by so quickly? Time seems to be flying by faster as Braden gets older. Perhaps it’s because he continues to grow into a toddler –  no longer my little newborn baby. I’ve never been a “baby person” but I really did enjoy his newborn baby stage. However, it seems to be a lot more fun watching him learn and develop new things. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I miss being able to lay him on the floor so I can grab the laundry and not worry about him crawling away. But, there is something so great about being there to watch him learn something new. The simple things we take for granted.

Braden has taken the big leap into side stepping. His favorite place is to go along the coffee table. He loves to “chase” the coasters around the table. Once he felt more comfortable with that he started to transfer from couch to coffee table. I’m so excited for him to walk, and watch him achieve that all on his own. I feel like one day he’s just going to let go and take off.

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Braden also braved the stairs. It made me so nervous. But I think it’s better to let him learn, so that he can feel confident doing it. He still doesn’t understand the space around him. He will climb a stair and want to sit down behind him, but he doesn’t get that he will fall. So of course he took a tumble down one stair. I was so sad and felt like a horrible mother. He dried his tears quicker than I did.

I think the most special moment of this month is when Braden started to babble. It started off slowly with a, “Ma”. Then the next day a lot of “baba’s” and “dada’s”. The following day…a “mama”. A real “mama”! I couldn’t believe it. I was standing in the kitchen cutting up some pears for Braden. He crawled over, pulled himself up on my leg, looked at me and said, “mama…mama..mamamamama… mama”. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! I mean…my heart melted. I didn’t know what to do. I’m pretty sure I just stood there speechless, watching him. My own son knows my name! It was the most magical word that I could ever hear…and I will never forget that moment. I haven’t been lucky enough to catch it on camera, but I did catch a few babbles. I love him so.

He’s working on his first and second tooth right now, so the nights are a bit rough. It doesn’t matter though. He keeps getting cuter and cuter every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you!!

xoxo

your MAMA : )

 

 

 

 

8 months of milestones

Love

It is a known fact that hate is learned and love is innate. I have never been more sure of this until now. The world through Braden’s eyes is trusting, forgiving and loving. He knows nothing of discrimination – and I wish so deeply that his world would stay that way. I know that inevitably his world will be more than just the familiarity of home, and I hope that as his mother I will have been more than just that. I hope that I will be the teacher he needs. I want to teach him to always love, to always forgive and to never hold onto feelings of hatred.

The other day we were at the farmers market stocking up on veggies for the week. This is the place where Braden gets the most attention. But, it was after this recent trip I realized how welcoming Braden was to every person that garnered him with love. Numerous people love to come up to his stroller to share a smile, a kind word, or a simple wave. Braden loves it – he loves attention (but who doesn’t!). Without hesitation he returns the gesture with a generous smile, the kind that goes from ear to ear. His arms and legs pumping with happiness. Perhaps a little sound of a Braden “Hello” is heard. It warms my heart to see him open is heart to these kind people. He does not care what color, shape or size , rich or poor they are – just the fact that they are adoring him. He is the happiest baby I know (sorry to all other babies). I love that. My heart is so full of love whenever I think about how much joy radiates from him. How did I get so blessed to have such a happy boy? Shouldn’t we all be like that?

It really got me thinking about my own behavior. I wouldn’t categorize myself as someone who discriminates, or hates. But, I think now is the time to really be aware of my surroundings, my words, my actions. Everything I do is involuntarily teaching him to do the same. We all learn from what we see and hear. So, I’m making a personal vow to be the person that I want my son to grow up to be. The role model he deserves to have. I no doubt will make mistakes along the way. But what’s the point of living if we aren’t always striving to be better than the person we were yesterday?

I love you dearly my beautiful son,

your mama xo

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Love

7 months (and some change) of milestones!

I ran into a friend a little while back, and she asked how Braden was doing. I told her he was amazing (of course). She then asked me how it was to raise a baby – but before I could respond she said, well actually it’s more like he’s raising himself. This comment really stuck with me. She is absolutely correct. He is raising himself. He’s teaching himself how to crawl, pull himself up, and stand on his own two feet. I am merely there for words of wisdom, kind encouragement and  loving guidance. I parent him, but I think it’s equally important to let him learn on his own. Of course, I am there for the falls, tears, hugs and kisses. But watching him learn to challenge himself to become mobile has been such a special treat.

I wasn’t expecting him to crawl at 6 months, but he was ready. Not long after crawling (on Christmas Eve!) he quickly pulled himself up and loves to stand! His favorite place to pull up is on the wine the cabinet. I think it’s because it’s glass; he can see in but also a reflection of himself or whoever is behind him. AND their is a bar he holds onto that he loves to gum on. It’s a great distraction when I am trying to cook!

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Braden is officially teething! The top and bottom 2 teeth are coming in strong. I have yet to see any break through the gums yet, but they are making their way. Whenever I ask Braden to show me his teeth – he just sticks out his tongue. He’s still in love with tongue.

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Speaking of his tongue….he gives me kisses now! It’s more like a French kiss, and you may or may not be stuck with a hickey afterwards, but regardless – they are kisses. The sweetest kisses I will ever know.

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He was able to move up a level in Gymboree. I was so glad since he is just a mobile monster! He really enjoys playing with everything each week. His favorite is to climb up the cheese mat, crawl through the tunnel, listen to his teacher sing, and watch the tiny bubbles. I look forward to going every Thursday.

I am terrified that he may be walking at 9 months. What will I do?! I guess I will just have to wait and see. Such a strong and smart boy I have. But I am so grateful for every day. It’s a true joy to watch him grow and be more independent.

I love you so much my little cuddler. I look forward to your snuggles every day. What a love bucket you are.

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your mama xox

7 months (and some change) of milestones!

Tis the (was?) the Season!

The Holiday Season came and went – in a whirlwind! I swear I blinked and it was all over.

Thanksgiving was held at my parents house. It was supposed to include my cousin, his wife and their daughter – but their second baby decided to be born that day! So it was an unlikely small event. It ended up being great, as I could give my full attention to Braden on his first Thanksgiving. He enjoyed sitting up for everyone in the kitchen, while the grownups cooked. Once it was time to eat, we brought the bouncer into the dining room so he could be with us. We ate as we listened to the soundtrack of Braden babbles and bouncing legs. It made for a comical Thanksgiving dinner.

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Christmas was incredibly special this year. Personally, I’ve never been too into the “Christmas Spirit”. But, with Braden here now I was anxious to experience it as if I were a child again. Christmas Eve is traditionally spent at my parents house. It is also my cousins Birthday, so we really like to celebrate! It was fun to see Elyse (my “niece”) run around, little Baby Jax (my “nephew”)  sleeping away, and Braden taking in all of the Christmas cheer. He really liked opening his presents. Of course, he really liked the wrapping paper more than the presents – but what can ya do!? I think the most special part of the day was when Braden crawled for the first time! It was truly a Christmas Miracle!

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Christmas morning we woke up super early to see what Santa had brought! I was really looking forward to leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, but I totally dropped the ball. And I forgot to leave something for Braden in his stocking. Good thing he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. I better get it together next year!

The morning is always spent surrounded by the tree while we open our presents. We then make our way into kitchen to open our stocking and enjoy a Christmas breakfast – Polish sausage included. YUM!

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Christmas night we made our way down to San Diego to spend time with Braden’s dad. It was really special to open presents with his Aunt, Uncle and Dad. Braden also got to Skype with his family that lives in Vegas! I am sure they were quite amused with Braden’s antics as he opened their presents. He is so lucky to have so many people that love him!

Braden spent most of New Years Eve asleep, but he did make the giant leap into pulling himself up! It was an exciting December to say the least.

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I think I lasted until about 10pm. Until then I enjoyed playing Cards Against Humanity with my family. We waited about 5 hours to eat Goose for the first. But after 9pm rolled around, we decided to call it a loss. This Goose would not cook. But hey, I’m not complaining – who eats Goose anyway!? Braden woke up just in time for midnight – for a cliche midnight feeding. I could barely keep my eyes open.

All in all I would have to say it was a very blessed and special Holiday season. I am looking forward to years to come and making more memories with Braden. He is one special little man, that I am proud to call mine.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I love you,

your mama xo

 

 

Tis the (was?) the Season!

6 months of milestones (a little late)

This last month seems like it was the craziest month yet! I guess that’s what happens when it’s the holiday season. Where do I even begin?! I think what stands out the most is that Braden is becoming more and more mobile. He’s been sitting up like a pro for a couple months, but now he’s about a couple weeks shy of crawling. He tries to crawl – and he wants to crawl so badly. As soon as I sit him down, he will lunge so far forward to whatever object he wants to touch. He’ll get onto all fours and rock back and forth. After a short time he’ll slide down to his tummy. Up until just recently he would start to whine. He is not a fan of laying down. But a couple of days ago he has officially begun the attempt at an army crawl. If he really wants something he will slither and slide his way on over. As excited as I am that he has begun to be mobile Braden, I am slightly scared that I will be chasing him all over the place. Guess it’s time to baby proof!!!

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I took Braden to see Santa for the first time. He was very concerned about who this Santa person was – but he didn’t cry. The first time I took him, it was just the two of us. The second time, we went with the whole fam bam clan. He was sleeping right up until it was time for picture time, so he looks a little confused on where he is. But it’s a cute picture nonetheless.

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Braden also helped Grammy trim the Christmas tree. He loved the lights! He kept wanting to pull at them, so I took it as an opportunity for a mini photo shoot.

He also took the big leap of pulling himself up! I always put him in the crib to play around when I’m cleaning and can’t give him my full attention. I know he’s safe in there, or so I thought… I took out the trash one day, and I came back to him standing in his crib! Not just standing…but literally trying to pull himself up even higher. I was so shocked – not expecting for him to do that already. Of course I had to take pictures and plenty of video. Then I had to lower the crib – twice. He’s a strong little fellow!! Watch out work – Braden is coming at you!!

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We also went to his first Christmas Party! We got to spend it with the lovely ladies and babies that we met at Mommy and Me. It was so fun to see all of our babies growing up! Some are crawling, sitting up, eating solids, and sleeping through the night! Wow! Where did the time go?! I hope we all stay friends and get to watch our kids grow up together.

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Braden took his first bath in the big peoples tub. I wasn’t planning on it, but he had no choice really. He had the biggest poop explosion of them all, and I just had to throw him in that tub. He was so fascinated with the faucet and the drain. And then he kept trying to crawl. It was a challenge that’s for sure. I think I’ll stick to giving him a bath in the kitchen sink, it’s a lot less work!!

Braden handled his 6 months shots like a pro! He let the pediatrician check him out without a single tear or whine. Of course, he let out a cry when the shots came. But as soon as I picked him up and sang a couple lines from his favorite song, he let out a smile to the nurse to let he know he wasn’t mad at her. It was really cute and sweet. He picked out a Christmas sticker for doing such a great job! But he was trying to eat it while he was in the car seat, so he was only allowed to look at it on the seat.

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Braden is such a trooper when I take his monthly pictures. I know it’s a bit much, but now that I’ve started I can’t stop. This time he would NOT stop laughing at the balloons. He thought they were the funniest things in the world. It was really cute.

I’m SO proud of my little man! He’s slowed down on gaining weight so fast (thank goodness). He’s a healthy 19 lbs, but killing my arms. Let’s see what happens after he starts solids…

I’m not usually big on holidays, but I am really looking forward to his first Christmas! Ah! I can’t wait!

You make my heart so happy little buddy. I love you!

Your mama,

xoxo

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6 months of milestones (a little late)

My smiley little buddy : )

On the night before you turn 6 months old, I can’t help but be so proud of the little person you’re already becoming. What specifically comes to mind, is your genuine happiness and love towards people. I’ve never seen such a beautiful smile. So happy and welcoming to others around you. The other day I was putting you in your car seat. You were looking out the door with the biggest smile on your face. I was so curious to know what was making you smile so big! I looked over, and across the street was our neighbor. You noticed her all that way, and she brought you such joy. She of course, walked on over and exclaimed how happy you are. It filled MY heart with happiness. You ARE happy! Almost always! You show such kindness and warmth towards the people around you. I know you’re only 6 months old, but it’s true.
As I sit here and reminisce about the past 6 months, I think about what I want for your future. Mostly, I want to you to stay this way; happy, joyful, open, and kind. You truly are a blessing to me, and deserve the whole world my little buddy. Thank you for always waking up with a smile and trusting me with your world. I promise to always be here for you, protect you, and guide you. I will do my best to ensure you stay as joyful as you are.
I love you!!!!!
Your mama xoxo

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My smiley little buddy : )