Friday, August 31, 2012

Parker: 8 Months

Weight: 19-20 lbs
Height: 26"
Diaper Size: 3
Clothes: 9 months; and outgrowing some of those
Eats: 8 oz every 3-3.5 hours; eats cereal before bedtime; Eats 1 container of vegetables and 1 container or fruit each day; Introduced puffs and rice biscuits
Sleeps: Usually from 9:00-9:30 to 6:30 (averages 8-9 hours); likes to sleep on side or tummy
Naps: 1.5-2 hours around 8am; 30-60 min around 1pm; 30 min around 5pm (we just started to try to go to 2 naps after some waking in the night, but it's definitely hit and miss. We generally still have 3 naps)
Favorite Toys: Shadow (our cat), alligator (alligator was replaced with Hippo), the plastic waffle, newspaper and magazines, any kind of ball, Sophie the Giraffe, the animated dog;  mommy and daddy


* Parker has not only mastered sitting for an extended period, he can also get from laying on the floor to sitting upright all on his own.  Seems like such an easy skill for him now.

* His arms are getting much stronger.  If he has his eye on something, he can army crawl to it.  He will get up on all four's, but only a few times has actually moved forward in that position.  It's very uncoordinated and wobbly.  He quickly decides just to flop down and army crawl instead.  He occasionally will play upright on his knees, but needs his hands supported.

* He tries to pull up on his crib (which we had to lower), the big crock, the couch, and mommy and daddy.  He has even had success 3 times...eeks!

* But coordination is not his forte.  He gets a new bruise on his big ole' head every few days.

* Parker's attention span with toys is very short.  And he still thinks that he has to drop what he is playing with when a new toy is presented.  But, he is learning to manipulate harder toys like hitting the top to spin the top, closing the busy box lids, spinning objects, and knocking down boxes.

* But truthfully, if he could choose anything to play with, it would be newspapers, magazines, mail, any kind of electronics (phones, remote control, computer) and cords whenever possible.  

Don't worry, the cord is not plugged in.

*  He still is fascinated by textures and small details, like furniture knobs, door stops, carpet, tags, etc.

* We just introduced the rice puffs and wafers--which he loves!  He actually does pretty well getting the food to his mouth on his own.  And it gives us a few minutes to gulp down our dinner :)

* Everything goes in his mouth!  Everything!  The harder it is too, the better.

* The bottom two teeth have officially popped through!

* And since those teeth started coming in, Parker loves to suck on his thumb.  It's so adorable!

* Since we have advanced to having Parker ride in the shopping carts, he is such a flirt.  He smiles at everyone and babbles loudly through the stores.  He loves everyone! (Especially kids)

* He started babbling again (mama, baba, hey sounds) and spends a great deal of time with a high pitched squeel and whine. 

* He is starting to be more interested in books.  He mainly just chews them and likes to handle smaller board books.  It's a start!

* Changing his diapers and dressing him is a dreaded task now.  Let's just say he has no interest in laying on his back.

* Parker seems to hate playing in our family room (hmm...maybe we ignore him more there), but loves to play in his room and our makeshift room in the garage.  He has started to notice the tv more so maybe that will make the family room more appealing!

* Bike rides, stroller rides, going to the school's swings, or just visiting with neighbors is the highlight of his nights.

* We are still working on waving good-bye.  He thinks it is so funny and occasionally raises one hand.

* Peek-a-boo (in the crib, with a burp cloth, around the corner, behind the computer)...He loves it any way it comes!

* He is very curious about the world around him.  He inspects everything he can get his hands on.  He doesn't miss a sound outside--and especially loves it when birds and airplanes go by.  And when Shadow enters the room, he nearly breaks his neck to get a better view and then after some giggles, tries to make his way towards her (which rarely works out in his favor)

Highlights from the month (July 29-August 28):

* We enjoy going to storytime every Monday morning together.  Parker loves the songs and watching the other babies.  Mommy enjoys the opportunity to talk to other moms.

* Parker and Mommy went to Springfield to go shopping, then meet up with Mommy's former co-workers for dinner.  This was the first time he sat in a restaurant's high chair.

* We went to Blue Mound for the annual Fall Festival on Friday and Saturday.  Parker got lots of attention!  We watched cousin Caleb in the parade, played some bingo, and introduced Parker to lots of friends!

* We went to Bloomington for the 3rd Sunday Market then stopped by to see cousin Mackenzie at her job at Party City.

* We hosted Sesame Street's first social event--a Back To School Ice Cream Social.  Parker and his buddy, Travis (who is a month younger) hung out together...or should we say wrestled.  Can you guess who won?  It was fun and   we got to know lots of our neighbors better too!

* We went to the grand opening of potentially Parker's grade school.

* Mommy has joined MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), so we went to their meet-and-greet at a local park.  Lots of kids there for Parker to watch.  The official meetings start in September.  

This has been such an exciting month, as Parker has really changed so much.  While mainly the changes are in regards to mobility, it seems as though he embraced a whole new world.  His personality continues to unfold and that adorable little smile makes us smile constantly!  Even after those nights where he seems to wake a lot (can we still blame the teeth?)  We are so proud of him.  And I have to admit, I'm loving that he wants to be close to me as much as possible.  Especially loving that he again wants to snuggle at naptime!  There is no doubt that when Daddy walks in the door at night that Parker is so glad to see him.  Boys will be boys and you can already catch those two rough-housing.  Nearly every giggle session ends with hiccups!  Our little baby is growing up.  But it does seem like he just gets cuter and cuter every day.  I wish we could just freeze him right now and keep him just like he is.  But I'm sure in a month, I'll be just as excited to tell you about the new changes that occurred in the upcoming weeks.  

Friday Photo 8.31.12

I get so excited when I pull myself up here!  

Friday, August 24, 2012

To Do: Pray for Quinn

I'm not one to beg for prayers, but today, I'm begging.

It's all we can do.

Pray for Quinn.

I met Quinn when he was just a few weeks old.  Oh my, instantly, this kid had me wrapped around his chubby little fingers.  Those eyes!  Those curls!  

Matt worked with his mom, Sarah.  Yes, his MOM.  Sarah and her husband, Jerry, were chosen instantly (which you never hear of it seems) by the birth mother to be Quinn's adoptive parents.  They brought him home from the hospital and loved him to pieces.  I mean it.  They are awesome parents!  

Lucky for me, Quinn's babysitter was my friend, Kelly.  Lucky for me, that meant I could stop by and see this cutie whenever I wanted.  

And lucky for me, when Kelly took a different job last fall, I got to keep Quinn a few days a week.  I always looked forward to those days.  We had FUN!  He made fun. 

I can still hear him giggle when he got in the ziploc bags and slid all over the kitchen floors.  

The picture at the top was when we made a day out of playing with bottle caps.  He was the easiest kid to put to sleep and the neatest eater...two qualities I wish my own kid had!  I think the only time he cried was when mom left in the mornings (I always promised her that it stopped) and when he wanted more to eat :)  That's Quinn!

Quinn and his parents moved last year to Thailand.  Yeah, what an amazing life experience for them!  It seems like yesterday though that I saw him.  I still want to picture him wearing his adorable plaid shorts, and that cute shirt that said something like "my daddy did my hair today."  Still makes me chuckle.

But yesterday we learned that the Arkansas courts ruled that Quinn had to be returned to his birth father.  Like that, Quinn is parted from the only Mommy and Daddy he knows.  Like that, his world is full of strangers, strange surroundings, a new routine, a new life.  And his Mommy and Daddy are left to grieve.  It's just simply not fair.  As someone said on their Facebook page "bad things shouldn't happen to good people."  

They are so optimistic and turning to scripture for comfort.  But the pain seems unimaginable!  I myself just can't stop thinking about what they are facing.  

Today Sarah posted a tribute Two Years Together  (click here for video) to the two years they have had with Quinn.  I thought I would share it with you too.  It's obvious that Quinn was blessed during those two year.  

So please add Quinn, Sarah, Jerry, and even Quinn's birth family to your prayer list.  I pray that all of them are kept safe and protected and that eventually they can find happiness again.  

Friday Photo 8.24.12

I can't you think he likes swinging?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Do: Tour the New School

I think most of you know why we live on Sesame Street--No, not because we love Elmo. (Not yet anyway).  We loved our house because of it's open backyard that faces the elementary school.  This is a view looking from our house to the brand spankin' new Prek-5 school.  School buses and mini-vans filled the parking lot today as the school bang rang for the first time at 7:40am (whew, that's early).

Last night was the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening.  I don't even had kids going off to school and I was excited.  I mean, watching the construction is my daily entertainment.  Plus, Matt keeps saying this is our forever house so I'm optimistic that Parker will be getting his First Day of School picture there before too long.  

Now take note that the tiny school we both went to is old.  And small.  Did I say old?

I knew it would be wham-bam holy cow man...but, was jaw-dropping stunning!  Definitely 21st century!  I whipped out the camera on my phone so I could share it with you.  I have a feeling I know some teachers who may be a bit jealous.  

A view down the hallway.  Hello kid-friendly.

Half of the gym.  The other half has a stage (which also opens up to the cafeteria...genius!).  It's hard to see, but those bleachers--they are padded.  Seriously?

Here's that cafeteria. 

Now let's go to the library.  A humongous library!  See that smart board?  They are the latest versions.  Gone are chalkboards.  Smart boards were in every single room.  Even in Art and Music.  I heard that the Pre-K and Kindergarten rooms had individual boards for each kid, but I missed that.  

Uh oh.  The library shelves are empty.  No worries--I saw boxes and boxes of Scholastic books ready to be put out.  Never thought that the school would have to order all new books.  Whew--that's a task!  You may also notice there was about 20 computers back there, 2 study rooms, and a giant fish tank.  My neighbor is the IT guy and he said there is like 300 computers in this building.  Did we even have 300 kids in our school??

And how cute is this?  It's a section in the library just for storytime!

Yep.  I did.  Took a photo of the bathrooms.  Had to laugh at the hand washing station in view of the teachers :)

OK...drumroll...the classrooms!  

Try to picture this.  There are 4 classrooms, each claiming a corner.  In the center of that giant square is a big open room, with windows into those classrooms.  

That center area has computer stations, leather recliners, tables, and probably more.  It was designed so that teachers could send a few students out to this area for different centers to to work on other projects, but yet, still have a good view of them.  It just makes each grade seem like friends.

The classrooms were huge!  But then again, they have 25 students.  Eeks!  Check out those snazzy lockers.

The Pre-K and Kindergarten rooms (maybe even 1st), have these adorable carpeted circle times.  It's hard to see, but those are letters randomly on there.  

Lastly, it's like every little detail was thought of.  Even display cabinets in the hallways!  

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  Now we just wait for the basketball court, the soccer field, and baseball diamond to be done.  Ok, just be done digging all that dirt!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Parker: 7 months

Weight: 19 lbs
Height: 25.5"
Diaper Size: 3
Clothes: mostly 9 months, but some 6 months (especially pants)
Eats: 8 oz every 3-3.5 hours; eats cereal before bedtime; Eats 1 container of vegetables and 1 container or fruit each day (introduced this month: Green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, peas, peaches, pears)
Sleeps: Usually from 9:00-9:30 to 6:30 (averages 8-9 hours); likes to sleep on side or tummy
Naps: 1.5-2 hours around 8am; 30-60 min around 1pm; 30 min around 5pm
Favorite Toys: Shadow (our cat), alligator, the plastic waffle, newspaper and magazines, spikey ball, teething keys, mommy and daddy


* Spends a lot of time on his belly, up on his hands.  He can spin in a circle and attempts to scoot forward (but not very successful yet).  He is so determined to reach anything within his sight.

* Rolls in all directions, fast, all around the room.

* Starting to sit on his own when positioned for him.  He can sit 5-10 minutes before falling to the side or backwards usually.

* Loves to play on his side and pushes on the arm that's on the floor (oh, he wants to sit!)

* Is fascinated with various textures--feels the need to touch everything and often bangs his hands or feet on whatever is nearby.

* Holds multiple toys using both hands, but usually just takes the toy that is shown to him.  

* Banging toys (especially on the wood floor) is his favorite.  

* We are working on waving, clapping, and high success yet!

* His favorite songs are 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

* He loves everyone.  No stranger danger.  Eats up all the attention!

* Shadow, our cat, walks in the room and Parker's face just lights up!  He will roll over super fast to get a better view and if Shadow is in reach, Parker is likely grabbing her tail.

* We still spend our evenings outside--Parker doesn't miss anything going by (cars, birds, airplanes, dogs, people, etc.)  

* No new sounds, but I think he has learned to moan and squeal louder!

* So far, he hasn't been terribly miserable while his two front bottom teeth come to the surface.  A little fussy and constant slobbering, but as long as he can chew on something, he seems okay.  If nothing is around, his thumb will do.

* He has decided to fight going to sleep for naps, even though he is rubbing his eyes constantly--I think he tries to convince himself that he isn't tired.  But darn it--mama is usually right!  Luckily, he usually wakes up happy and is content just talking and rolling around in his crib for awhile.

* Peek-a-boo (especially around the corners of rooms) cracks him up!  He even laughs at one of his books that plays peek-a-boo.  And of course, Daddy's tickle session cracks him up!

* Sits up and plays during bathtime.

* Changing his diaper has become a little more challenging.  He refuses to lay still.  And he really hates to put on his pajamas.

* Has become a true boy--Has discovered the remote and well...his boy parts :)

Highlights from the Month (June 28-July 28)

* Spent the weekend in St. Louis at Uncle J.R. & Aunt Sharolyn's house, because we had to take Natalie back home.  The kids decorated Parker's stroller and we walked in their neighborhood's small 4th of July parade.  Parker also went swimming for the first time--and loved it!

* Celebrated his first 4th of July by watching the fireworks in Peoria along the riverfront with some neighbors.

* Went out for a nice steak dinner to celebrate Mommy & Daddy's 9th wedding anniversary.

* Granny B and Papa D (Dave & Beth Calvert) came to visit.  Parker even wore his bookworm outfit :)

* Mommy & Parker went to a shower for Molly, who is marrying mommy's cousin, Jeff.  Later, we met Daddy at cousin Cierra's birthday party.

* Cousin Caleb came back with us and stayed the week, spending every waking minute with Parker!

* We traveled to Blue Mound following Grandpa Ervin's hip surgery and spent the weekend.
* Mommy & Daddy spent their first weekend away from Parker going to Chicago, while Parker stayed the weekend with Grandma & Grandpa Ervin.

* Our neighbor, Finn, is Parker's buddy.  They adore each other!

This has been such a fun month!  There is nothing better than seeing that smile first thing in the morning and hearing his precious giggle all throughout the day.  Parker's personality shines every day.  And it seems like you can just see his little brain churning constantly.  It makes you notice all the little discoveries around you--things that we see all the time but don't think twice about.  He is growing so fast, but we are loving every minute of it!