5 months of milestones

And just like that, another month has passed. Braden has accomplished so much in just these last 4 weeks. About 3 weeks ago, Braden started to learn to sit on his own. He started out by putting his hands down in front of him…the traditional tripod pose. I wasn’t expecting him to be able to do that so early, but there he was, learning to sit on his own. Every now and then I would sit him down so he could practice his sitting. But I didn’t think much of it because I thought sitting wasn’t supposed to happen for at least another month.

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It wasn’t until we went to our first Gymboree class, that I realized how well he sits – all by himself! He is such a champ at Gymboree. The teacher always exclaims about how well he sits up, grabs for objects and his ability to hold onto things. He is so aware of his surroundings. Curious about the people around him. He loves to look at older kids doing things he can’t do yet. You can see him trying to figure out how he can get from one place to the other. He doesn’t know how to crawl, but you can see his mind wondering why he can’t do that yet. I won’t be surprised if he starts to crawl early, he just wants to move!

He’s finally found an adoration for his papa (my dad). It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He truly recognizes him when he walks into a room, and always gives him the biggest smile. My dad is the only one that can get him to just chill next to him on the couch. I don’t know how he does it. Braden thinks I am a jungle gym. Always wanting to crawl all over me, pull my hair, grab my nose and eat my cheek. But not with papa. Braden nestles into papa’s side, holding on tightly to papa’s finger. I’ll go away for an hour and when I come back, he’ll be in the same place, super content, chewing on a toy. I wish I knew my dad’s technique.

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Braden got his first postcard in the mail. I know it may seem insignificant. But it was the first time it really registered to me that he is an actual person. A member of society. It truly was addressed to him, from one of his teachers at Gymboree. It wasn’t addressed to me, talking about Braden. It was a little letter to him, about him. I have it placed in his room atop his dresser. I love to look at it when I pass by.

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I’m such a sucker for a really great photo. And Braden’s 5 month picture was no exception. I had it all planned out. Which was my first mistake. The shoot only lasted 5 minutes. Braden’s little hands got ahold of the balloon strings, and within seconds the balloons whisked into the air. I laughingly jumped, trying to catch the balloons. But no, it was too late…and away they went into the air. I looked down at my little Braden and there he sat with the cornucopia and a headband of paper feathers, giggling away at me.

Braden still only rolls from back to front. He’s moved on from rolling and tries to sit up. If I lay him down on his back, he lifts his head up trying to sit up. I like to gently push his forehead back down and tell him he’s not old enough to do that yet. However, sometimes he gets a good momentum going and pushes up on one arm. I don’t know how he does it. His strength is bizarre!

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Solid foods are a mere few weeks away. I am nervous, excited, terrified, overjoyed, and horrified! I’ve never seen a baby so interested in food. He reaches for it, mimics me chewing and watches my food go from plate – to fork – to mouth. I always said I wouldn’t give him food until 6 months, but he’s ready. So I must let my little baby Braden grow up just a little bit more.

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I’m looking forward to sleeping through the night. But for now I try to be patient and realize this is just a short amount of time in his life. One day he won’t need me to rock him to sleep, or look for me in the middle of the night. As much as I would love for a solid 10-12 hours of sleep, I’m learning to just enjoy each moment. It’s hard to not push for him to learn and grow. But I think it’s important to sit in this moment. To stay present in this time. It will only happen once, and I want to embrace the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

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I love you,

your mama xo

A boy and his toy : )

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5 months of milestones

Halloween

Braden started out his first Halloween by imprinting his foot onto a Halloween canvas. I never would describe myself as a perfectionist, but I could not get this craft right. I tried two different times before I got it “right”. Third times the charm right? Of course, I did the writing, spider and spider webs to my liking, but Braden’s footprint was a little off. He didn’t seem to understand what was going on. I think it looks good regardless. And I will always remember his chubby little feet slipping around in the paint. Not to mention, the little piece of black paint (non-toxic) that is still apparent underneath his toenails. OOPS.

Braden also had his first professional pictures done. He wore his snazzy Burberry jean outfit that my mothers friend so generously gave to him. Unfortunately, Braden was on a nap strike during that week. Only a couple of pictures turned out alright, since he got pouty after about 15 minutes. Babies. What can ya do?!

I took Braden to Pumpkin City – his first pumpkin patch! He was a wee bit too little to really enjoy it. But he was a real good sport when it came to posing with the pumpkins. He loved being inside of the teepee with mama, and riding the hay horse. I mean, who wouldn’t?

Pinterest is still so confusing to me. But sometimes I have it figured out and gain great ideas from it. I saw a picture of a baby in a pumpkin, and I just had to put Braden in one. The only problem was, Braden is huge. Like really. I had to find the perfect pumpkin so it could work. I scoped out the scene and found the largest pumpkin I could find. I carved it the top first. Then I cut out where the legs would go. But when I attempted to put Braden inside of the pumpkin, he didn’t fit. I was laughing so hard. Who is this kid? So I had to cut the pumpkin down from the top – making it big enough for his chunky thighs to fit through. His legs BARELY fit through the holes. It was such a close call that when taking him out of the pumpkin, he let out a little cry because his legs were stuck. Yikes. He was such a great sport through the whole thing. Although I do admit he was a bit distracted with the grass tickling his feet and the taste of the pumpkin head. It was fun to watch him experience it all for the first time.

Braden was a monkey for Halloween. It seemed fitting since his dad and I nicknamed him our little monkey before he was born. Obviously, I had to be a banana to complement him. It was perfect. Except by the time Trick – or – Treating came around Braden was over Halloween. It was a lot for his little 4 1/2 month old self. With Grammy K and Auntie Lindsay in tow, we went a knocking down the neighborhood. Well, he lasted about 2 houses before he had enough. It was win for me since I got to eat all of his candy.

I look forward to next year. Holding hands, walking door to door. Maybe even a little Halloween party or two.

I love you,

your mama xoxo

Halloween

You’re never fully dressed without a smile

Braden was the best newborn. He slept mostly all the time. He’d only awake to eat and then straight back to sleep. It was an easy routine to get into, and I seemed to get plenty of sleep. Those days are long gone.
I guess I should still preface this by saying, he’s still a pretty happy go lucky, easy baby. But the sleep… Or lack thereof is killing me. I miss newborn-sleepy Braden. I could watch television at a normal level, listen to music, and have conversations with others in the room. These days I have to nurse in a quiet, dark room. If you call me on the phone during that time… Forget it. I can’t answer. The moment he hears my voice, he looks back at me, and then smiles so big. I’ve lost him. He would rather eat his hand. I have the hardest time getting him to eat again after an interruption.
Everything is a distraction. He’s so curious about everything. He’ll (walk?) into the same room a hundred times, but look around as if he’s seeing everything for the first time.
No longer does he fall straight to sleep after I’ve fed him. Which I guess is better in the long run. However, I now must rock him to sleep. But not only do I have to rock, I must also do one of the following; sing, hum, shush, pat his back or make a sound I can’t even begin to describe. Of course it’s never the same, and it is my job to figure out which way he would like to be soothed. He likes to keep me on my toes.
Luckily, by mistake, I’ve discovered one song that gets me through the changing table, long car rides, and a lullaby to sleep. I stumbled upon it accidentally one day when my mother was getting dressed. She looked at me and asked, “how do I look?” I said, “oh mother, who cares what you’re wearing… You’re never fully dressed without a smile”. She laughed and said, “oh I like that, where’s that from?”. I told her it was from the musical Annie. She couldn’t remember how it went, so I looked it up on YouTube.
With Braden in my lap I started to play the song for my mom. Instantly, Braden stopped whatever he was chewing on and his baby blue eyes went straight to my phone. He could not take his eyes off the screen. He was so quiet, just enjoying the girls sing and dance around. I swear he is infatuated with girls.
Anyway, of course I couldn’t get the song out of my head all day. But Braden didn’t seem to mind, so I kept on singing. It wasn’t until one long car ride (where he would not stop crying) that I discovered this song was like magic!
I was going through all of my resources to get him to stop crying, but nothing was working. I was driving with one hand, holding onto his fingers with my other hand, losing circulation in my shoulder from reaching behind me. And then I remembered, the song. I started singing… “Who cares what they’re wearing…” BOOM. Silence. I looked back into the mirror, a little smile had appeared on his face. I’ll never forget the look on his face, a little Braden grin coming through, tears fading away. I had found it! The one song I can sing to get him to calm down!
To be honest, it only worked like magic for about 2 weeks. He’s a smart cookie and caught on to my secret and so it doesn’t work every time. But for when the times it does, it genuinely melts my heart. My favorite times are changing him on that table, or when he’s just waking up from a nap. I always sing to him, his eyes fixated on me with an enormous smile on his face. He looks at me with such love, that smile filling my heart up. Maybe that’s why he loves that song so much. He’s just never fully dressed without that smile!!

I love you ( more than I ever thought possible),
Your mama xoxoxoxox

20 weeks old!

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You’re never fully dressed without a smile