Friday, April 27, 2012

Charlie at 6 Months!

Well, I feel like we've hit a pretty big milestone! 6 months! It's that milestone where you can start using a high chair, upgrade pacifier sizes (if you want), feed more and more solid foods, use a mesh feeder, etc etc. Sometimes I can't believe it's already been 6 months. Sometimes I can :) Sometimes it feels like he's always just been a part of our family! And honestly, the world would just be a little less sunny without this cute little smile:
Also, I just love this comparison picture idea that I'm sticking with. You can tell that he really grew length-wise for the first few months, and for the last few months he's just been chunking up all over!
And now, some stats about Charlie at 6 months:

  • Size 3 diapers (we use Huggies Snug & Dry) 
  • Goes #2 less often, which can be nice, until it builds up into a huge blowout :/
  • Size 6 and 6-9 month clothes (but smaller socks and shoes because he has "dainty" feet haha!)
  • Loves books! I've always known that he has, but as he's gotten older, I can just tell even more that they are some of his favorite things (especially his squishy book with pictures of his family and friends in it). Loves it when I read him stories before nap time.
  • He is consistently taking 3 naps a day and sleeping through the night. Wakes up around 8am or a bit earlier. Nap 1 happens around 9-9:30am, Nap 2 happens around 12:30-1:30pm (depending on length of first nap) and Nap 3 is in the evening, and starts usually between 4:30-5:30pm. Bedtime is always sometime between 7:30pm and 8:30pm. It's lovely!
  • Grabs his feet and eats his toes
  • Started going up on his hands and toes (planking) and now he goes up on hands and knees and rocks forward and backwards! (See videos below) He also pushes himself backwards around the room this way... can't quite figure out how to go forward without face planting yet!
  • Things that make him smile and giggle: When we kiss his fingers, when we tickle him, when we make funny noises and get close to his face, dancing with him, and when we "hiss" at him.
  • "Hissing" - his new way of communication. This is what we call it, but it kind of sounds like hissing and  hocking a loogie at the same time. And he LOVES to do it. And he loves when we do it back! That, and the occasional, "OOooohhh" like an owl hoot are about all he does. And "nnnaaahhhh" when he's mad about something or hungry.
  • Still not much of a cuddler, but he'll let us hold him closer when he's sleepy
  • Eats about 27-28 oz of milk per day (all still breastmilk!)
  • Basically feeds himself his bottle all the time. We sit him on the floor with the bottle. He eats and plays with it, and then, when he's done, he just puts it to the side. It's really cute :) And he always smiles when he's done with his bottle, like he feels accomplished!
  • Eating quite a few solid foods. He loves pears, applesauce, and rice cereal mixed with apple juice. He's cool with carrots and squash. And he'll tolerate green beans and sweet potatoes (sort of). Overall I'm pretty impressed. He's not as picky as I'd feared! But it does vary by the day. And right now he'll only eat about 1/2 of a 2.5 ounce container before getting bored or distracted.
  • Loves to spit and blow bubbles. He will also often spit while eating solid foods, and I get sprayed with a nice layer of whatever he's eating. I've learned not to be wearing nice clothes while feeding him!
  • Spits up quite a bit (depends on the day) and drools like CRAZY. I have to change out his bib at least once or twice a day! But no teeth yet!
  • Still loves to exercise in his jumperoo. Sometimes we can leave him there for over an hour and he'll happily jump and play. It's awesome!
  • Not quite yet a sitter. He's much better than a month ago, and can support himself sitting in the "tripod" position for a few seconds. He'll usually fall over to the side after a little while. Sits very well supported, though (like on my lap or in something where he is strapped in).
  • He is very skilled now with his hands. He's super accurate, likes to "feel" with his fingers, has a STRONG grip and will pinch and pull hard on hair, jewelry, or my face/neck/arm (ouch!). 
Aww, just look at this CUTIE! He's going to be so adorable when he has hair. Hats kind of help give that illusion! ;)

Here is Charlie sporting his awesome Navy shirt that my friend Lindsey gave him! (She's in the Navy). He looks like such a "Man's Man" in this shirt. And it really shows off how beefy he is. He's such a thick, solid baby (all except for his little feet haha!):
And now, for your viewing pleasure, some videos!

This first one is fun for a couple reasons, but I like it because it shows the process that Charlie has to go through to get his paci back in. But he can do it! And when he does, he gets pretty excited! (I like in this video how he thinks he gets it in, but then accidentally pulls it back out, oops!)
video
This second one shows lots of fun tricks: 1) How he likes to grab his toes and kick 2) His hissing (turn up the volume and listen closely) and 3) How he is more interactive and precise when he plays with toys - good motor skills!
video
If you turned up the volume for the last video, turn it down a little for this next one (lots of loud crying). But I had to show it off because it shows how hard he's trying to crawl. He was so tired in this video, but a lot of times when he is tired and frustrated is when he takes the steps to the next level. It's like his frustration builds up and is let out in working his little body extra hard!
video
And finally, this last one shows how he likes to feed himself. He'll take the bottle in and out and talk to it. It's kind of funny. :)
video

We really do love our little man, and can't wait to see what fun surprises he'll have for us over the NEXT 6 months!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life As My Phone Sees It 4/18/12 - 4/25/12

I just love some of these photos from the last week. I just love April. You can tell the whole world is getting greener and, therefore, happier!

4/19 - This is my 100th Instagram photo! I just love my roly poly baby! He's constantly grabbing his little toes.
4/20 - First outing with Dad of the season to the golf course! We enjoyed a nice Friday evening as a family. T and I got to practice putting and chipping while Charlie made noises and chowed down on Mr. Buzz Bee :)
4/23 - Charlie loves to read, and his new favorite "book" is this squishy book full of pictures of him and his friends and family. It always makes him so happy. And yes, he uses both his hands and feet to read books, haha! You can also see him spitting and blowing bubbles in this picture:
4/23 - Later that day we went out for a walk (it was a toasty 83 degrees that day and sunny!). Charlie got to hold (and get a little taste of) his first dandelion. But don't worry, I got it from him before he could actually eat it. ;)
4/24 - Self portrait of Mama and baby. Charlie was very fascinated with my wavy/curly hair that day.
4/24 - Got a lovely surprise on the label of a package I received! Wow! Haha... I guess I wasn't clear enough on the phone when I said "Shipp with two P's"... Just wow! This is the downside to having such an awesome last name! And this is also why I usually say "Shipp like a boat" or "two P's as in Paul". But hey - I've had the last name for almost 4 years and this is the first time something like this has happened, so I'd say we're doing pretty good!
Have a great week! <3 Post to come very soon about Charlie turning 6 MONTHS OLD today!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life As My Phone Sees It 4/8/12 - 4/16/12

Well, it's that time again! Time to show you all the fun Instagram pictures I took with my phone over the last week or so! These first four photos are similar to ones I posted in my Easter post, but just different enough that I still think they deserve a spot! :)

4/8/12: Easter Sunday:
Charlie's Easter basket
Our little Easter family!
Our delicious Easter dinner! YUM!
Progression of the Bunny Cake I made! Also YUM!
A picture of Charlie's new crib bumper, thanks to my awesome friend Gygi for letting me borrow it!! :)  4/10/12  He was in desperate need, too. The morning before I got the bumper, he woke up with crib "slat marks" on his head from sleeping pressed into the bars! Haha!
Charlie learns to "plank" 4/10/12... I was shocked, a little excited, but mostly shocked at how quickly he learned to just do this:
Charlie is getting pretty good at putting his paci back in on his own... But sometimes he puts it in upside down. I can't help but laugh every time I see it and how hard he's working to keep it in! I bet he's probably thinking... "Okay, this is weird, but it works!" 4/12/12
Just totally in love with this little boy! Gah! 4/12/12
4/14/12: Just 4 days after planking, Charlie learns to put his knees down and rock a little! Dare I say we will have a crawler sooner than we think!?
Getting ready to hang some new art in my bedroom. And it's all even better when the pictures were ones you took YOURSELF (see last "Life As My Phone Sees It" post)!! AND... it only cost a total of $45.00 for all three frames and the prints! (Much cheaper and easier to change out pictures than the canvas prints I was considering for around $50 a piece!) - 4/14/12
And there you have it! Life is good :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Beautiful Easter Sunday

I don't think we could have asked for a more beautiful Easter Sunday this year! It was sunny and a pleasant 72 degrees outside! I was so excited to celebrate Charlie's first Easter, so we made sure that it was a day of spending time with family and having fun!

We enjoyed a wonderful Stake Conference meeting from 10am-12pm, with lovely messages about the Resurrection and Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a great reminder of the importance and true message of Easter: that He Lives! And because He lives, we can too!

On our way home from church, we had a neighbor snap a family picture in our Easter Sunday best:
Later, after Charlie took his early afternoon nap, we headed down to the duck pond south of BYU. Charlie had a lot of fun looking at the turtles, ducks, and fish! I just love how he is happy to sit there and just soak it all in. I can't wait until he gets excited and wants to throw bread at the ducks too!
After the duck pond, we traveled further south to Springville to have dinner with T's sister, Meghan. I had previously purchased everything we needed to make a nice Easter dinner, and when we got the invite the day before to join them, I offered to bring my food and cook it there! :) I'm not going to lie, it was fun to cook with Meghan in her large, gorgeous kitchen... complete with granite counter tops! Every time she went to set a hot pot down on the counter, I almost freaked out, but then remembered you could DO that with granite. Can't wait until I have that luxury one day! :D

We enjoyed a feast of honey glazed ham, sweet potato casserole, green beans, and Meghan's heavenly homemade rolls!
For dessert, we had the Cadbury Mini Egg cookies that I made (see recipe here) as well as my beautiful masterpiece bunny cake (I really think it's my best one so far!) :D... Here's a picture of this year's edition:
Oh! Of course, no Easter would be truly complete without a trip from the Easter Bunny! And happily, he did drop off a little something for our sweet Charlie, even though he can't eat any of it yet! We were all excited when we woke up to see what he left!
What a fun day! I can tell that holidays are just going to be so much more fun now that I have a little one to share them with. It gives me the desire to go above and beyond what I've done in the past... to make the day meaningful and memorable.

Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Learning the Hard Way

I feel inclined to write a blog post about something that happened to me on Friday, March 30th. It's something that still makes me squirm and shutter whenever I replay it in my head. It's something that is very sensitive to me, but now I feel that I can possibly write about it without breaking down or wanting to curl up into a ball and never leave my house again. I write this post more for the cathartic experience, and also so I can record my thoughts somewhere (like a journal) to look back on one day. Please keep any comments supportive and non-judgmental. Okay? Thanks :)

So, what happened? In a few words, I dropped my child. On his head/face. On the pavement. From about 3-4 feet in the air (out of my arm). It was absolutely horrifying. I cannot possibly describe how I felt the moment I realized that, not only was I dropping something, but it was my son! I vaguely remember letting out a small yelp, or a "NO!" or "OH MY GOSH" or something of that sort...or maybe all three. I remember realizing that no one was around to see what just happened and being grateful. I remember scooping up my child, who had started screaming (and, in hind sight, I've learned this is much better than picking up an unconscious child... could have been worse, I guess), and running into my apartment to assess the damage.

Once inside, I laid him on the sofa, saw the scratches on his face, and grabbed a cool wash cloth to blot at the cuts. I don't think I was crying by this point, still filled with the sensation of adrenaline mixed with sheer panic. When I took a couple seconds to collect my thoughts, my first inclination was to call the pediatrician (thank goodness it was 4pm on Friday and not later!). They asked me a bunch of questions like "Does he seem alert?" "Are his eyes rolling back in his head?" "Is he vomiting?" "Is he crying hysterically?"... to all of which I could answer no, except for the last question (because of COURSE he was crying hysterically! .. he just hit pavement!). The nurse said she thought he sounded okay, but I wasn't going to even take a slight chance that something could be wrong, so she told me to come on in and he could be seen.

Longest. Car. Ride. EVER! Screaming baby, and I'm pretty sure I hit every single red light and ended up behind every single slow car in Provo. And by this point, with adrenaline wearing off, I was sobbing. I had probably told sweet Charlie that I was sorry at least 100 times. I felt like the world's worst mother. And how was I supposed to tell my husband that I dropped our child?! I felt so ashamed, and T would still be at work for a couple hours, so I didn't call him. I just couldn't tell him yet. So I handled it on my own. Well, and with the Lord's help too. I had been sending prayers to heaven every second since it happened, just praying that he would be okay - that I didn't inflict brain damage, or even permanently mar his cute little face forever.

When we finally arrived at the pediatrician's office, we resembled something of a train wreck. They got us both out of that waiting room ASAP (I think we sat there for maybe 30 seconds) so as not to scare the other patrons. Looking back, I can now laugh a little at what an awful sight we probably were - Charlie still screaming, and me crying too.

We had to wait for the doctor (Dr. Adams in this case) for quite a long time. Or, at least, it felt like it. Charlie finally fell asleep for a minute. (Oh, did I mention I dropped him literally right before nap time, so he was exhausted anyway!) But every time he would stir, he would cry again. It was the saddest, most pathetic little "pain" cry. And it just broke my heart. The only thing that alleviated any of my guilt and anxiety in the moment was the fact that Charlie would only calm down when I was holding him close. To me, it was like he was saying, "I forgive you, Mom. I know you didn't mean to. I love you".

By the time the doctor saw him, it was about 1 hr post-"incident". His head had started to swell up a little, and even though he was still acting okay, the doctor and I agreed that it would be a good idea to take him to get some x-rays done on his skull... just to make sure there wasn't a depressed fracture, or that his skull plates hadn't been knocked out of place. Fortunately, the hospital is 3 blocks from the pediatrician's office (and just down the road from my house!). So, we packed up to head over.

The elevator ride down to my car was shared by another young couple and their sweet 2 month old boy. They saw how sad Charlie was and made a comment about "Ooohh, is he okay?" (Probably thinking he had gotten shots). Although I was somewhat composed before this moment, I couldn't help but say, as the tears began again, "Well, I accidentally dropped him....Don't.. don't ever do it... It's awful!" I will never forget the look of pity/horror/sadness/compassion on the girl's face. She asked if I was okay, and when I told her we were on our way to get x-rays, she asked if I needed help. I politely declined, saying "thank you". She was so sweet for caring, but I hope she didn't worry about me too much. Maybe she'll learn from me that it can happen to anyone, and she'll be more careful than I was.

Upon arriving at the radiology department at the hospital, I had to get Charlie back out of his car seat, because he had worked his way up to hysterics again. Poor little boy... little tiny body... on that big, hard, cold x-ray table. I had to help hold him still, and he was SO upset about it. But, with a couple tries, the technician was able to get three different shots of his skull. I was so glad when I got to just hold and comfort him again. They took us to a consultation room and said that my doctor (pediatrician) would call me in about 15 minutes once the radiologist had a chance to look over the x-rays. By this point, Charlie was exhausted, in pain, and HUNGRY!, and finally I had a chance to let him eat. By the end of the bottle, he was finally asleep in my arms and we enjoyed a few moments of peace.

It's strange, waiting in a room with no windows, with just a sofa and a phone, for a telephone call that will let you know whether or not you really messed up your child. It's lonely, really. When, finally, the call came, the results were, well, un-telling. The doctor said there may or may not be a small fracture on his skull. They said they can see something, but they can't tell if it was there before from the natural growth and movement of his bones, or if it was something new, inflicted by the day's event. The good news was that the plates hadn't shifted, and there didn't seem to be a depressed fracture (which can be more serious). I asked him what all of it meant. He said, if it is a fracture caused by the fall, then he'll just need to be given some Tylenol for the next few days and it will just have to heal over time by itself.

I wasn't sure exactly how to feel. Was this a good thing? A bad thing? Well, regardless, as I was pondering upon the results, it was a little after 6pm and my hubby, on his way home from work, was calling my cell phone. I had to answer it... but how to tell him!? I answered the phone. "Hi Honey!!!", he said, "How are you?". *Gulp, breathe* "Well... Charlie and I are sitting in the radiology department at the hospital..." And thus the tale began. And the tears again, too. I am so glad to say that I am one lucky lady: He was so kind, patient, and understanding as I described what happened. He was, of course, worried sick... but he didn't think I was an awful mom. Which, I know that sounds silly, but I seriously felt like I was a horrible person, and that everyone else would think so as well.

I let Charlie sleep in my arms a little while longer, and then around 6:30pm, we ventured home. I was so surprised that upon waking, Charlie no longer burst into hysterics! Thank heavens! In fact, he was a little tired and put out, but he never got upset about his injuries again. That night, before bed, we gave him Tylenol. During the night, I woke him up once just to make sure he was still himself and alert. He was happy, smiling, playing... and I felt so much better! In fact, after that night, he never even needed Tylenol!

General Conference was that weekend. It was nice for many reasons, but one additional one being that we didn't have to take him to church on Sunday looking like he had been abused. I probably wouldn't have gone... too many questions and/or assumptions. By Monday, he was completely back to himself, still working on healing up the scratches. We had a followup doctor appointment and all checked out well. I even got to see Charlie's little x-rays! (But darn it, they couldn't print them!... I'll have to go to the hospital sometime to have them printed. I really want copies!)

Thank heavens that my little man seems to be okay. Here's a picture of the healing process over the week following his fall:
But now, just briefly, I want to touch on the subject that many of you have probably been asking since the get-go: "But WHAT happened? What caused him to fall?". I put off writing about this because it's still the hardest thing for me to think about, to admit to, since it really was my fault. We had just gotten back to our apartment from a nice walk around the neighborhood on a beautiful day. I had taken him out of his stroller and was holding him in my right arm. And, knowing it would be tricky, I was trying to load everything back into the car while holding him. And BAM! It happened. He fell backwards over my arm and straight down, face-first into the pavement. Horrifying. And all because I was just trying to do too much at once... not wanting to make a second trip out to the carport. But, sometimes, I guess, we have to learn the hard way. It SUCKS. But now I know: Go put the baby safely in the house first, THEN go load up the car. It's not worth the risk... not to save a few minutes of time.

Not a day goes by that I don't replay that moment in my head. It's a silent memory - his little tiny body hitting the ground without so much as a thud. It's a nightmare. But every day gets better, and every day I heal a little more, and I forgive myself. Again, I'm just SO glad that he's okay. In fact, by now, you can't even tell anything happened really. Except I can. There's a little teeny tiny dent in his head... and sometimes, when I look at him... it's all I can see. For my sanity's sake, I hope that heals up and goes away, because if my child has a little dent in his forehead for the rest of his life, then I'll always always remember what I (accidentally) did to him.

Just learn from me, Moms out there: Take it easy! Don't try to do too much! And, if something like this DOES ever happen to you (heaven forbid!), then just remember that you're not the only one. Over the last week or so, I've had lots of loving mothers remind me of things that have happened to their children, too. Sweet (and sad) reminders that it probably happens more often than we hear about, and not to be so hard on myself. I know that accidents happen, I'm learning to forgive myself, but I truly hope that I can avoid something like this happening again.

I really, truly love my sweet Charlie boy. And I'm so glad to have him here with me, still healthy and happy <3

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Life As My Phone Sees It 3/29/12 - 4/7/12

The above three photos were taken on Saturday, March 31st, between sessions of General Conference. It was a beautiful spring day, and I can't believe how gorgeous the flowers are! What a glorious time of year!

Charlie has recently discovered the talent of grabbing his feet (4/3/12). First it was one foot at a time, now he can do both at once ("Happy Baby" pose in yoga haha!). And he even tries to eat his little piggies too!:
Enjoying some peaceful yoga 4/3/12:
It was a beautiful day on 4/4 to hang out outside and eat socks ;) :
And then, of course, two days later on 4/6, it snowed:
But we had some good indoor fun learning how to stand up with Daddy (I love the look of admiration and happiness on Charlie's face here!):
Friday night 4/6 was also spent baking cookies and getting some things ready for Easter Sunday:
Lazy Saturday 4/7... learning how to sit up without help on Mom and Dad's bed! So proud of how well he's doing!:
And yes, it's FREAKY how much my child looks like me, especially in the above picture! He's got my eyes, for sure :) Love that little boy with all my heart! <3

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Photo a Day

Last month, I participated in the "March Photo a Day" challenge. Each month, a popular blogger named Fat Mum Slim produces a new list of topics, one for each day of the month, that you are supposed to base your picture around for that day. Pictures are taken with my iPhone, and then published to the internet via the Instagram app.

Just to start us off, so you can get an idea of what I referenced each day for these photos, here was the list I went off of:
 
And now, let the magic begin!! :D (Oh, also, I realize a couple of these photos have already been posted in one place or another on my blog, but I have re-posted them here in order to show all 31 photos in order!)

1 - Up : Learning how to hold up his own bottle :)
 
2 - Fruit : Costco trip today
3 - Your Neighborhood : At night, no less ;)
4 - Bedside : Lamp, BYU graduation tassel, books, hair ties, Kindle, and iPod <3
5 - A Smile : From the sweetest boy on the planet :D
6 - 5pm : Just woke up from a good nap after a long day of getting shots at the doctor.
7 - Something You Wore : My very favorite yellow coat!
8 - Window : "The eyes are the window to the soul" (Our souls must be happy!)
9 - Red : Fun shopping trip to Target (red logo!) today in our red Honda CR-V!
10 - Loud : My dishwasher is awfully loud (but thank goodness I have one!!)
11 - Someone You Talked To Today : My beautiful friend Jessica ... we got to chat during Relief Society! :)
12 - Fork : Salad, Dinner, Serving
13 - A Sign : Right outside my door. Well then, tell me, what CAN I do?? :)
14 - Clouds : I live in a seriously beautiful place...
15 - Car : My CR-V again. If you look really hard you can spot a little Charlie...
16 - Sunglasses : Little one stylin' with the sunglasses and overalls :D
17 - Green : Happy St. Patrick's day!
18 - A Corner of Your Home : My decorative Mexican pottery spicing up the corner of my living room
19 - Funny : I never ever thought I'd share this photo, but this was too funny to pass up for today's picture! I guess this is what I look like when Charlie gets a hold of my nose!! Ouch! :)
20 - Before and After : He wasn't exactly happy about having to put a shirt on today... hehehe
21 - Delicious : Hawaiian BBQ Chicken for dinner (before cooking, and after!)
22 - Kitchen Sink : Had a bit of ice cream today after going to the park. Can you spot me?!

23 - Moon : Since the moon wasn't out in the sky (it was a new moon), I had to get creative for this one! Love this little wrinkly "moon"
24 - An Animal : My little 'monkey' playing with his hippo toy!
25 - Breakfast : Granola cereal with frozen blueberries... MMM!
26 - Key : Charlie's little keys and my keys
27 - Your Name : Engraved in my scriptures
28 - Trash : Not even cute vintage filters can make my trash can look pretty :/
29 - Feet : Both mine and Charlie's cute little feet
30 - Toy : Charlie playing with a fun rattle toy (this is the only picture of the 31 that was not taken on the day that it was posted... this picture was taken one week before... I'll explain why in some later post)
31 - Where You Relax - My nice, clean living room on a Saturday night!
And that's all, folks! I truly hope you enjoy some of these photos as much as I do! I've never felt like much of a photographer, but Instagram has helped me feel like I can see the world creatively, and then make art out of my photos!

Please feel free to comment and let me know which ones are your favorites!! (Or, as the Aussie Fat Mum Slim would say, "favourites") ;)