28 October 2007

A Little Lapse

Sorry for the delay, everybody. I've been a little under the weather, so I've been procrastinating my duties here on the blog. And what a time to get sick! We have quite a few things to mention and some pictures to post.

The most exciting thing (to me) is that Gabriel said his first word!!! He said 'Mama' and used it to get my attention. I don't think he understands that I am the Mama he's talking about, but he does know that if he uses it I get way excited and he often gets to get out of his walker or out of his highchair. He has said 'boom' many times before, but Mama is the first word he's actually used. Yay for Mama!

Other exciting moments include a couple today! He finally got his first haircut. He did really well with Mama doing the cutting and Daddy doing the distracting. We hit a snag when Gabriel decided that he could not live without holding the comb for me, but we managed to get the job done. The other exciting moment happened just afterward: he was crawling around on his mat, and suddenly he was sitting up. We almost missed it! I'm not sure Gabriel understood how it happened, but he can now officially go from crawling to sitting. Whoa baby!

Hmmm, it seems like he's done a few other amazing feats this week, but it's been a bit of a blur. He has started eating non-pureed foods, and it's a ton of fun. He likes to hold the food, and sometimes it even ends up in his mouth. So far he's had toast, Cheerios, banana bits, mango bits, mushy carrots, salmon flakes, chicken bits, and graham crackers. He really likes to eat things that Jake and I are eating, and now he can finally taste a few things. I can't believe that he's already starting to eat like a big boy. Here he is after a particularly exciting supper! Yes, he does have spinach everywhere and mango under his eye.

Another big moment: we let Gabriel stay in the nursery during church last week!!! He usually sleeps through the service, so we have just kept him with us in the past. He's starting to get very vocal now, so we thought the time was right to let him play with the other kiddoes. We go to Second Baptist in Houston, and the nursery there is great. They even give the parents pagers, so if your baby has any problems you'll know to come back to the nursery right away. Gabriel did really well, although it was a little traumatic for his mother. I have never heard less of a sermon before! Jake said it was good, but I was too busy worrying about G! Gabriel got to go on a buggy ride with a bunch of babies, so I am sure he loved that. He doesn't get to play with other kids often, so we hope to take him again very soon.

He also got to ride on a big kid swing all by himself! He loved it, and we spent forever just swinging and giggling! The final exciting moment this past week or so is that Gabriel finally got a walker. It has been so great... for both of us! He likes to be on his feet, but I can't hold his hands all day long. The walker is a great compromise. He can follow me all over the house, and I can play with him while I do a little housework.

As an update for the Cry It Out experiment, I would say that it worked. Gabriel still does not need a lot of sleep, and it seems like he really only needs seven or eight hours at night. That is way better than we were getting before, so I am happy. It was very hard, and we went a few nights without much sleep, but it's getting better. It's kinda hard to judge since I've been sick, and the medicine I'm taking zonks Gabriel out, too, so the real test will be this week. On the downside, Gabriel has been extra clingy and wants to be within a foot or two of me at all times! He's dealing with a little separation anxiety now, which wasn't as much of a problem before. And I'm not crazy that every night starts with a few tears, so I hope that goes away. He often only cries five minutes at bedtime, but I would rather it be more peaceful. I have to admit that CIO is not for everyone, but it is awfully nice to have more rest and be more cheerful for my little family!

I think that's about all for now. Time to hit the hay. I hope you enjoy the little pictures of our big boy!

Gabriel's Latest Acting Gigs

In the Austin County Fair Parade:


15 October 2007

Double Dose

Okay, so I've already posted something today, but I thought I'd add a few pictures and a few notes to encourage anybody that is going through what I am right now. I'll start from the beginning...

Gabriel is the best baby ever. I am so lucky. He is soooo easy and happy! He eats well, naps well, hardly ever cries. He is patient in restaurants. He loves a ride in the pram/stroller. He looooooves going outside, but is happy to play with his toys indoors as well. He's slow to warm up to some people, but once you're in his good books, he's ready to play! He loves to take baths, loves to be tickled, and is just all around a happy little fellow.

Unfortunately, although he naps well and goes to sleep easily, he wakes up a lot. We are trying to let him learn to fall back asleep using the Cry It Out method. That totally goes against what we have done so far. We are supporters of Attachment Parenting, and it has worked for everything else except his nighttime sleeping patterns. It was okay for a while, but now I am sleepy. And groggy. And some days I can only plan from one nap to another.

He's been able to fall asleep alone before, but this last bout of bronchitis messed us up (not to mention a move 6 time zones away...) and so we have tried a few different approaches. Okay, so close to 10. None have worked. Not even the Ferber method, which is a cry it out method. It only made him mad. So, we had a chat with our pediatrician, and now we've gone cold turkey with Cry It Out, and boy do I feel awful!

He's crying right now, and to make matters worse, he's being really sweet. He's learned to clap, and he often claps when he wants attention. I peeked in to check on him, and he had stopped crying, but he had his feet propped up and was clapping and clapping. Oh, it hurt my heart!!! 10 minutes later he was sound asleep, but my heart can still hear him clapping!!! I think we'll only CIO at bedtime for the next few nights, but we'll do it all night long starting on Thursday, when he is 8 months old. He has a new crib, a new bumper, and the timing is right. Keep me in your prayers... I'm sure Gabriel will survive just fine, but I'm not sure if I can handle the pressure!!! For anyone trying the CIO method, this webpage has helped to encourage me. I still recommend trying no-cry (or only a little crying) methods first, and then talking to your doctor before jumping in to a cold-turkey CIO method, but every child is different! I've added a picture of him clapping... :(

On more exciting notes, Gabriel is now a carnivore!!! We went to dinner with Jake's Granny and Papa at Pop's on the Square, here in Bellville. I had salmon, so I let G try some. He liked it, as well as the potatoes. Today he had Chicken Devine, which I made from a baby cookbook that Jake's Aunt Rosie sent us. The food in there is great, and I even stole a nibble :). Gabriel almost liked it, but he's not sure of the new consistancy yet. I mixed in some rice cereal, and convinced him to eat quite a bit. He'd still prefer to eat peaches, bananas, and melons at every meal!

Our meateater and his messy mouth

Helping Mommy make beans and cornbread

Learning about Pop's moustache

First time in the high chair I used when I was a baby

Chillin' like a villian with Gramma Alice and the yoga ball

A happy baby!


Gabriel is officially a cowboy!!! This past weekend was the Austin County Fair, and on Thursday we got to ride in the parade... on a mule-drawn covered wagon. We have close friends that own the mules and the wagon, and they were pulling it in the parade for Monk Realty here in town. So, they invited us, and the rest is history. Gabriel really liked petting the mules. He did really well during the parade, but the last 5 minutes was about all he could take. He gave me a big hug, laid his little cheek on my shoulder, then slept for over half an hour. How he could sleep with all the noise of the people, animals, trucks, tractors, sirens, etc. is beyond me!!!

Our friends came over for lunch (they're Gramma Becky and Papaw Gary to Gabriel) and then we took to the fairgrounds. Gabriel loved all the animals, especially the baby ducks. He liked the pigs, but I was too afraid he'd get bitten to let him pet the pigs! This boy has no fear of animals. I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad one. Give him a toy animal that moves or makes noise, and it will scare him silly. The real thing is just exciting and fun. Go figure!

Today we had a big storm come through, complete with wind, thunder, and lots of rain. Gabriel and I took a long afternoon nap, and I just curled up under a blanket with him and enjoyed the weather. Rainy Fall days are the best days for naps!!! Gabriel was dying to get outdoors, so I finally let him go out. He quickly changed his mind about that, but it was so cute to see him put his hand out to catch the raindrops and give me an excited but confused look! I think he would have loved going out in the rain if it hadn't gotten a little chilly. Yea for Fall!

Well, enough puttering. Time to get to some housework. Jake should be bringing home new pictures, so I'll add them tomorrow.

04 October 2007

Happy October!!!

A new month and a new experience... Gabriel is sick for the first time :(. He has a little bronchitis, but he's already healing. I never realized how scary a high fever can be until my own little baby had one. I just prayed and prayed for it to go away! And now that it's finally gone, but I still find myself checking his little forehead to make sure. The timing was perfect, as we just found a pediatrician and already had a well-visit planned. I guess God is in the details!

On a lighter note, the weather has been so brisk in the mornings and evenings that I just can't help but spend some time outdoors. The only problem with that is that once we go out, Gabriel doesn't want to come back in! That's fine with me. I finally have someone to spend time outside with while Jake is at work. We pick up pecans, sit on the swing, chase grasshoppers, and water or look at all the flowers. In the mornings we jog and play at the park, and in the evening we check the mail and look at the withered leaves in the front yard. Gabriel loves every minute!

I just have to tell you, if you want a CD/Book to help your child learn French, we have the one for you! It's made by a company called KIDZUP and is called Comptines: picotines, rigolotes, ratatouilles, and we bought it from Petite Librarie online. It's lovely, and Jake and I love it as much as Gabriel! It is full of stories and rhymes set to music, and the voices are just wonderful. We also listen to Spanish CDs about Cri-Cri, which are equally wonderful. They are songs and stories about a little cricket, and Jake and I enjoy it immensely. I have a new French book and CD that I'll try out tomorrow, so I'll let you know what I think of it as well. [The new book is great... Jake likes it even better than the other one but I am undecided. It's called Mon imagier de l'alphabet, and the CD is beautiful as well. The artwork really could be in a gallery. We love it, and so does Gabriel!] Jake and I really want Gabriel to grow up with a foundation in English, Spanish and French so that as he gets older it will be easier for him to learn to speak fluently if the opportunity arises. I've read that the brain sorts out what sounds it needs by the time a baby is 9 months old. If you can make other languages a part of a baby's daily sounds, it is supposed to make it easier for the child to pronounce words in those languages correctly later on. We'll see... I guess he's our little experiment!

It's late, and everyone is in bed but me!!! I'll add a little picture of our little sick baby in the morning. Boy is he pathetic and cute. He just wants to be held all the time. He'll grab a little handful of my hair to twiddle, then he'll sit there and moan with his cheek against my chest. Talk about a sad little baby! Only a few days left of the medicine, and I hope to see a happy Gabriel again. Keep him in your prayers!