Saturday, July 20, 2013

8-Month Update

Owen turns 8-months old today, so it's time for an update!  I had the hardest time narrowing down what pictures I would use for the blog, because it has been a really great month full of cuteness!  Here is our monthly picture:
Owen has been trying new foods, and he is normally eating approximately 2-3 small meals per day.  Some days he goes on solid food hunger strikes, but I give him food when he'll take it.  I've had to forgo some of my baby led weaning due to some pretty bad constipation issues.  After researching foods that would help, I had to start purees to make sure he actually consumes a descent amount.  He eats a lot of prune puree, avocado and pear mixtures, banana, etc.  I still try to give him chunks of food, because he really does prefer to feed himself.  He does the windmill trying to block me with purees, but he'll gobble down a chunk of something.  He even ate some pieces of salmon last night while we were out to dinner.  He doesn't take a bottle, making it pretty much impossible to give him water, so I'll give him chunks of watermelon.  He LOVES watermelon...who doesn't though?!
Owen now has 3.5 teeth.  He has the two bottom front teeth, one of the top teeth to the immediate left of where his front teeth will be, and one that is just breaking through to the immediate right of where his front teeth will be.  I can see a bunch of them just waiting to break through, so we've got some serious teething going on.
Owen is a seriously happy guy that loves to play with all of 'Jack's' toys.  This leads to some frustration on Jack's part, but the sibling sharing had to happen eventually :).  
Such a cutie laughing it up at a restaurant:
He's sitting up really well, but I don't trust him without a pillow nearby.  He would rather be on his stomach, so he takes nose dives or falls backwards to get on his back and roll over to his front so that he can commando crawl around.  
The big developmental things that have popped up over the past month include:
  • He started saying ba-ba, da-da, and ma-ma about a day or two after turning 7-months.  I think he was saying ba-ba a little before that, but I can't quite remember.
  • He moves things back and forth between his hands.
  • He has the beginnings of the pincher grasp.  He tries to pick up blueberries with his pinchers, but he's not quite there yet.
  • As I mentioned before, he's commando crawling.  He is still pushing up and straightening his arms, but he hasn't gotten up on his knees yet at the same time.
  • His sleep has been erratic to say the least.  While in Chicago and the week after he was waking up about 2-3 times per night, sometimes up to 4 times.  I think a lot of that was the perfect storm of having a cold, teething, traveling, bed changes, and constipation.  This past week has been better with two nights where he woke up only once, and the rest of the time he woke up twice per night.
  • He is a really good napper who takes 1-2 hour naps twice per day with an occasional short third nap.  He even had one nap that lasted 2.5 hours earlier this week.
  • He has some separation anxiety related to me.  I call him my little koala, because he hooks his arm around my arm when I hold him on my hip and if I try to hand him off or put him down he tightens his hook grip.  If he decides he wants to hang out with me I can't even hand him off to Jonathan without him crying.  One night I was trying to sit down in the nursing chair to read him books, but he thought I was trying to put him in bed.  He clung on for dear life as I was trying to pry him off of me to sit in my lap.  Once he realized we were reading books he calmed down and got happy.
  • He really loves walks and facing out in the stroller to see what's going on and look at the trees.
  • His favorite book is the Sandra Boynton book "Moo, Baa, La La, La."  He looks up at the reader (me or Jonathan) and smiles when we make animal sounds, particularly the cat, duck, and horse sounds.
Jack has his moments where he doesn't want Owen around or doesn't want to share with Owen, but he is a really great big brother overall.  I think they're going to have a lot of fun once Owen is a little bit older.  They make each other laugh every day.

Jack's new thing is to bury Owen under blankets and pillows.  It's all in good fun, but I officially cannot leave them alone in a room together for longer than about 10 seconds.  Jack has tried to put giant couch cushions on top of Owen.  Owen thinks it's funny and gets a kick out of the attention from his big brother.
Jack led Owen between the chair and ottoman and said they were crawling through a tunnel.
Jack has also started taking his position as big brother more seriously by always wanting to help with Owen.  He tries to comfort Owen when he cries and says, "I make Owen happy."  He also loves feeding Owen.  Messy but cute:
Jack also helps bathe Owen:
Jack has been cracking me up lately.  He has quite the sense of humor, and he is into everything.  Jack was using the Mr. Potato Head pieces to be silly the other day:
He is also obsessed with the jumper.  I constantly find him in it, and I have to help him out since he always gets stuck.
I think it's time for Jack to graduate to a normal pair of kids sunglasses, but he still loves wearing his first pair.  He will walk up to strangers while wearing them saying, "I wear sunglasses.  They're blue."  He thinks they are so cool!
I'm attempting to remedy making Jack mildly OCD when it comes to messes.  I let him finger paint the other day, and he was very hesitant to dip his fingers in the paint.  He kept saying, "I'm gonna dooo it.  I'm gonna dooo it," but he would pull his finger back afraid to get dirty.  When he first stuck his finger in the paint he said, "Oh no!  Mommy get a towel!"  By the end, though, his hands were covered in paint, and he was saying, "I'm doing it!!" 
Our everyday activity is taking a walk around the block or to the park while Jack rides his push bike.  We sometimes even do it twice a day the boys love it so much.
Jack is starting to exercise his will a little bit more these days, but he's still one of the sweetest little people around.  Every day he spontaneously tells Jonathan and me, "I love you sooo much!" and gives us hugs and kisses.  I really need to get it on video so I can watch it repeatedly during the teenage years ;).

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Nichols Go to Chicago- 4th of July

We spent the week of 4th of July in Chicago, which meant flying approximately 4 hours each way with our two little people.  I knew there would be some rough patches since Owen's waking periods are only around 2.5-3 hours, and he does NOT like falling asleep in my arms.  
There was a period of around 20 minutes where Owen was shrieking like a mad man until he finally passed out and took a 45-ish minute nap.  The rest of the flight we had to do a lot of entertaining, but it went smoothly.

Once in Chicago the fun started.  We visited several lake/river/park areas while there so Jack could run around and enjoy the outdoors.  He got to feed ducks:
One of the river walks we went to had a really great playground with a kid-sized zip line.  I was kind of surprised how well he hung on. 
The first half of the week was amazing weather in the mid-70s, so we tried to fully enjoy it while it lasted.

We spent one afternoon at the DuPage County Children's Museum, and I really wish it was located where we are.  They had a little infant area where Owen practiced standing at the bar.
Jack had the best time with all the mechanical activities they had.  He was obsessed with these walls where the pieces had magnets.  You stick them into different configurations so that the ball rolls down the track.  We've actually contacted the museum since we got back to see if they sell pieces or if they have building plans he loved it so much.  They don't though :(.
 Here's Jack in the wind tunnel:
They also had giant light bright boards where you insert the sticks to make a picture:
Their whole light section was really neat.  You could go in a room where an insanely bright light would flash and your shadow would freeze on the wall.
Who doesn't love these?!
There were two other track systems you could build that Jack loved.
A major percentage of our time was spent at this making different ball tracks:
We also rallied the troops and kept them up way past their bed time to see the fireworks at Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn, IL.  It was a lot of fun, and both kids enjoyed the show.  Owen lost it near the end from exhaustion, but he was a happy guy the majority of the time.

We took the train downtown one day.  We went to the bean and got a few pictures:  
We also walked over to the Buckingham Fountain since Jack is a fountain lover:  
It was a really hot day, so the water being blown on us by the wind felt really good. 

My parents took a few family pictures for us:
 Thanks to Yelp, we had some great dining experiences.
We also had a lot of fun just hanging out at my parents' house.  One of my mom's co-workers lent us baby items and toys for our trip.  Jack and Owen loved the bowling set.  
Fun on the floor:
My mom had some schoolwork to do while we were there, and she had a great study partner.
I wish that this picture depicted the truth of our entire plane ride home.  The guy across the aisle from us hated us and kept glaring, particularly at the end of our trip when Owen had a meltdown.  What do ya do?!
Owen was not the greatest sleeper the entire week and traveling is always a little difficult, but we had a really great time on our trip.  It was our first family vacation, so great memories.  Spending time with family, lots and LOTS of neighborhood park trips, and Jonathan and I having several date nights was a good way to spend our vacation!