Just a little impromptu photo shoot with good afternoon sunlight in the nursery.
And a few self-timer shots just for kicks. Good heavens, I love this kid.
Bowen :: Five Months Old
Weight: 16 lbs, 8 oz, still holding camp in the middle of the percentile chart. He is SO roly-poly, I'm always surprised that he's right around the 50th percentile. He is all chub. Nom. He's squarely in the 3-6's onesies and 6 mo sleepers.
Eats: He is still doing 6 oz, 5 times a day. He eats anywhere from every 3 hours to 4 hours, with a 11 or 12 hour stretch overnight. This month we added solids in, and he LOVES them. He eats oatmeal and a veggie in the morning, and then oatmeal mixed with fruit and a side veggie in the afternoon.
Sleeps: Sleeping soundly in the crib at night (happy dance!). He's been going down between 7:00 and 7:30 and sleeps anywhere from 5:30 (yawn) to 7:00 (yay!). When he does get up before 6:00, he'll usually go back down for a little more sleep til 7. He takes a short catnap in the crib in the morning (45-60 minutes), a long nap in the swing in the middle of the day (2-3 hours), occasionally naps in the car seat or crib in the afternoon (30-40 minutes) and a little catnap in the evening (45 minutes.) His crib naps are definitely shorter than his swing nap, but at least he is napping in the crib now.
Hair: Blonde, growing in on top, baldish on the back thanks to his new favorite party trick - shaking his head "no no no no no" in the crib when he's overtired.
Eyes: Deliciously blue. Tracks everything - Matt, me, Buddy, the bottle, toys. He is mesmerized by the TV - we try to limit how much it's on when he's in the room because he'll become totally fixated on it.
Nicknames: Bo, Bowie, Biscuit, Shrimp Biscuit, Kiddo Biscuit, Biskie
Milestones: Remember when he was rolling over last month? Yeah, he totally stopped. I guess he decided it just wasn't worth the effort. He's pretty close to make a back-to-tummy roll but hasn't quite gotten there (I think the tummy is in the way.) He has become very intentional about grabbing things and pulling them towards him, and this has opened up a whole new world of toys. His hand sucking has now turned into thumb sucking, so I'll be saving for braces starting now. (Completely dropped the paci on his own.) He has great neck control and doesn't love tummy time, but will tolerate it. No babbling yet, but makes "ahhhhhooooo" noises and lots of happy coo's and shrieks, especially when he's lying on his back under the activity mat or when someone leans over him and he can pat their face (or pull their hair.) He loves to be held up in laps in a standing position and furiously stops his little feet when he's upright. If he's seated at a table, he bangs his (left) hand on the table. Noise noise noise! He’ll sit up with support and I think he is loving this different view of the world.
First: First meal of solids - oatmeal, sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, bananas, peas. All favorably received except the peas. He'll eat them but the enthusiasm is lacking. First Christmas! I think this was more for the grandparents than him. :) First overnight in the pack n play. First time having a friend sleepover at his house (Shelby's son, John. He shared nicely.)
Likes: Pulling hair, sliming cheeks with an open mouth kiss, sweet potatoes, slamming his feet down in the crib (it's noisy), swing naps, dancing to my off-key singing, grabbing Buddy's ears, putting toys in his mouth, any kind of toy with a face, rocking his exersaucer, sneaking glances at the TV, splashing in the bath
Dislikes: peas, shirts going over his head, being tired, accidentally head butting people in the midst of a carefree wiggle session
I think I say this every month but this really has been such a fun month. I always mourn the passing of stages - such as the end of the "falling asleep snuggled on my chest" or "falling asleep in the car seat in a restaurant" stage, but each month does indeed keep getting better and better. His personality is just blossoming, and he is just such a happy baby. He is so generous with his smiles and loves to stand in anyone's lap and entertain them with his display of stomps, facial expressions, noises and waving hands. He's started wiggling to the sound of music and has become very interested in Buddy. (Poor Spuds.) I just feel really, really lucky to be this little boy's mom.
Happy five month birthday, little boy! You are so adored.
Today is my good friend Anne’s victory lap birthday. We celebrated quite early in the morning with hazelnut lattes and scones/cinnamon rolls at Camino. I didn’t take a picture of the delicious food or the birthday girl, just my baby in a bear hat sitting in their corner booth with pillows made of fabric eerily similar to Bo’s bear hat.
Because it’s just four days before Christmas, Anne’s birthday always feels like the official kick-off to the holidays for me. (Did you know that, Anne?) After our coffee date and a quick car nap, Bo and I headed over to Fresh Market for some last minute holiday cooking supplies.
Note to self: when you have to park in a completely different parking lot and walk over, you know it’s going to be bad inside the store.
It was. But, everyone was in a good pre-holiday mood and I just needed a few things so the trip wasn’t too painful. Plus, I had a baby in a bear hat strapped to me. Who wouldn’t smile at that? Even the guy who saw me knock over a display of pistachios with my giant mom-purse gave me a “oh no big deal” smile when I sheepishly turned back to see the destruction in my path.
Cue another gratuitous picture of my baby in a bear hat. (Obsessed.)
It was windy out. I swear I brushed my hair. (Okay, I can’t really swear to that.)
Once we got home, I had a few last night minute preparations to finish up. Two years ago I made a bunch of rubs for my Dad for grilling and they were a huge hit. I decided to repeat it this year for my sister-in-law’s boyfriend who is an awesome cook. They are super easy to make and always well received. Last year, I wrote with sharpie on the bottom of the jars for my Dad and so refilling them as they run out has been a matter of trying to discern “is that thyme or cumin?” from sniffing and tasting. Fail, Meghan. Fail. This year I actually made cute labels for them that described what they were and suggested what to use them on. I was pleased with this round of them.
Then, on a whim while Bo was napping, I decided to whip up some cupcakes and take them around to some of our friends’ house to spread some holiday cheer. I blame my friend Lindsay for this. She had just written a blog post about those moments when you think of something really nice to do for someone, and you get too busy or lazy to follow through on it. I do that all. the. time. (Pretty much anytime a friend has had a baby: “I should make dinner!” and then I don’t. Ugh. I will now ALWAYS follow through on that.) Anyways, after reading her post, I decided I wanted to try and have a little more follow through on my “nice things for others” thoughts that pop into my head. Wouldn’t you know it, a day later, there was one of those thoughts. Darn you, universe.
The thing is, even though it took up all of naptime to make the cupcakes, frost them and put them in little packages, the whole time I was doing it I kept thinking how delighted I would be to find cupcakes on my front porch and it kept me going. Dropping them off at people’s houses – leaving them on the front porch or hanging on a doorknob – give me a little thrill. Maybe nice people who follow through on their ideas are on to something after all. Hmm…
(Although I did find out later that I should have paid better attention to one of my friends’ travel plans and their cupcakes sat on their porch for a week. Oops.)
(I even patted myself on the back for remembering to include an alternative for a gluten-free and dairy-free friend.)
(And let’s be honest, wouldn’t you rather have a can of champagne that a cupcake dropped off on your front porch?)
After playing elf, Bo and I came home to relax before the holiday hoopla started. Our plan for the coming week: my parents arrive Saturday, my brother flies in Sunday. Head down to Matt’s parents on Monday, stay through Tuesday. Head back Tuesday night, sister and brother-in-law arrive Wednesday and do Christmas. Sis and BIL leave Thursday, brother leaves Friday, parents leave Saturday. Whew.
Sigh of relief on Sunday.
(I don’t know why I’m using so many asides in this blog.)
I’m excited for Bo’s for Christmas, even though he won’t remember it or really know what’s going on. It’s just an important first! But it’s sort of a weird feeling to not have an actual holiday break. I mean, I’d much rather be at home and not have a break than be at work to have a break… but basically the holidays were just going to be my normal routine with more people and food around. Fortunately, I like all the people we were going to be around and I certainly like all the food that was going to be around. So, with that Bo and I enjoyed one last quiet day together before his first Christmas officially kicked off.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the moment when Bo was big enough to sit up in the jog stroller. This weekend brought a surprise warm streak – 60 degree days in December – so Matt suggested we test it out. When I first got the BOB, I read on the website that they recommended you wait until they are 7-8 months old. I was shocked you’d have to wait that long and then super disappointed that it would be so long before I’d be out running again. (Of course I could run without him, but I knew I’d be much more likely to find the time to exercise if I wasn’t also having to work around Matt’s schedule too.) Then I read on a number of running forums that people were using them much sooner, basically as soon as their babies had good neck control. Bo’s always had surprisingly good neck control and by now, he’s sitting up (supported) so we figured we were good for a test run. (Literally.)
I was so glad Matt went with me on my first run. Pushing that stroller with a 16 pound baby in it is no joke – especially when you haven’t run in about 25 weeks. Although, in all fairness to myself my last run was at 28 weeks so I was lugging an extra 25-ish pounds at that point too. Anyways! The point is, I’m out of shape. And out of shape plus pushing a heavy contraption with a child inside makes for a seriously tough workout. (Anytime I see someone pushing a double BOB now I want to stop my car, hop out and high five them. Whoa, momma.) But the good news was that even though I felt like my heart was going to leapfrog out of my throat, Bo was extremely content and comfortable in his little seat watching the world go by.
Since then, we’ve gone on a number of short runs together and I’ve actually found it’s a great activity for dreaded and inevitable 5pm witching hour. Also known as whine/wine hour in this house. Even if he’s crying a little while I’m strapping him in the seat, as soon as the wheels start turning he’s quiet and content. Never would have expected “stop baby from crying” would top my list of motivational reasons to exercise, but there you have it.
Of course, as soon as I got a few runs under my belt I started scheming. Could I run a 5k with a stroller? A 10k? Could I train for a half with a stroller and then go run it without and actually clock in a time that wouldn’t be confused for an almost walking pace? I’ve got the race bug again and I’ve got it bad. Problem is, that lovely warm streak we had the first two weeks in December has disappeared. I don’t like running in cold weather – I’m a big giant wuss – but I also don’t think I can bundle Bo up and go for a dash with the wind whipping his little cheeks. The BOB is pretty tricked out, but they forgot to install seat heaters.
So for now, I’m putting my race-again-someday dreams on temporary pause and sticking to the elliptical in our bonus room as my preferred method of burning off the last of the baby weight. I can still hang out with my little guy without worrying that those giant cheeks of his will be rosy from windburn.
But watch out… come spring, I’m going to be tearing up the sidewalks with my running buddy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t double his body weight again over the next four months.
In lieu of our usual Christmas tacky party, we went in the complete opposite direction and celebrated the season with our friends with a fancy-dress up progress dinner party. We missed seeing everyone decked out in their finest tacky knitwear, but I must say our friends clean up pretty good.
We started off with appetizers at Anne + Locke’s, progressed to dinner at Bernardin’s and ended with dessert at Chad + Caroline’s.
It was my first time eating at Bernardin’s, despite having heard so many good reviews about it before. I’m going to double this as a “dining in the dash” entry since that was one of the places on our list. I’m not entirely sure when they moved into the Zeverly House location but I loved it – it just such a cozy little spot for a restaurant. The downstairs has a living room like feel to the front room with the bar, and then there’s one dining room downstairs, a main one upstairs and a smaller private room. Because we were a group of fourteen, we were in the small private room upstairs. It felt as cozy as eating in one of our own homes. Except, someone else did the cooking and dishes. Win.
And the cooking! I rarely order steaks when I’m out to eat (not because I don’t like them, but I try to make it a point to order things I don’t cook very well like fish or risotto) but Jamie had told me that they had the best steaks in town. Jamie’s not a big steak eater either, so when she laid down that proclamation I simply had to follow through. Filet mignon with melted goat cheese on top? Done. I don’t even remember what the side was. Was there a side? Don’t know, don’t care. It certainly was the best steak in town. (Okay, in all fairness, I just told you I haven’t really had any of the other steaks in town… but suffice it to say, this was a great one.) My husband, usually the steak eater, ventured on to the wild side of the menu and tried the evening special – kangaroo. Truthfully, when I give him a few bites of my filet, I think he was pretty jealous he went with the roo. (His summary: like a tough pork chop.) My meal was excellent, the service was top notch, the ambience lovely and the company – well that was the best part.
It was a wonderful evening with friends and I felt like it put me in the holiday spirit for the coming two weeks. Or maybe that was a food coma. I’m not sure, but I liked it.
And I definitely owe a special thank you to Matt’s parents who came up for the evening and baby-sat our little munchkin, so we could go out on the town with our friends. That in and of itself is a Christmas present we’ll remember!