Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trials in Eating

At Shepherd's four-month check-up, we were given the go ahead to start him on rice cereal. When we set down for the first feeding last night, we were very optimistic.

This here is how that went:

When I succeeded in getting zero food down my son, BJ decided to give it a try. And this here is how that went:

We then gave up. The good news is that tonight, it went much better.

Shepherd actually swallowed most of the food. The only draw back was that I got more rice cereal on my clothes than he got on his bib. Oh well. We made progress, at least.

Monday, February 21, 2011

4 months

(Shepherd listening to music with BJ.)

Shepherd had his 4 month check-up today. We learned a few things. Mainly, we learned that he is long. Shepherd jumped from the 40th percentile among boys his age in height to the 75th percentile. This essentially means he has had one mean growth spurt. The main thing that is wonderful about this is that it explains his recent fussiness. He was just growing, perhaps a little faster than is normal, and his body is trying very hard to keep up with it all. What was funny is that he is only in the 25th percentile in weight. Basically, he's my little string bean.

When visiting the pediatrician, a parent is encouraged to divulge all of their child's recent developments. About 3 minutes into the appointment, I realized I have a near irrational pride in just about everything about Shepherd. I found myself basically being a giant braggart. My son can (already) roll over both ways. He makes eye contact with everyone he meets, and he almost always smiles for them. When music comes on, he listens. When I read him books, he looks at the pages. He can lift up his torso and move his legs in crawling-like motion. His eyes are so big, I'm pretty sure they catapult him into the 99.9th percentile for cuteness in boys his age. Somebody stop me. It's like word vomit. I can't stop telling people that my son is like every other baby, except somehow better.

What was even worse is that I ended up bragging about my dog as well. Gus is so empathetic. When Shep cries, he runs, whimpering, towards the baby and licks Shep's feet or legs. He sits by us until Shepherd is fully pacified. He stands between Shepherd and visitors in a protective manner. He is essentially the best dog ever.

Please forgive my bragging. I'm going to end this blog post before I start talking about how gracious BJ is and what an amazing father he is becoming. No really I'll stop now. But he is awesome. All of my boys are awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Elegance with a Smudge

Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I knew that this is my best opportunity to start selling my art. Since the beginning of the new year, I've been focusing all of my free time on starting an online shop. After painting and planning and reading up on craft businesses and a lot of other prep work, I am starting to post items on my Etsy shop, Elegance with a Smudge. You will notice that on the side of this blog is a feed that shows items as I post them. I'll have many paintings going up in the next few days, so keep an eye out. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"Home" with Shepherd

Shepherd had a bad day today. We think he is teething (or, at least, that is what I tell myself to give the hours of crying meaning). To complicate things, BJ has been gone four to five nights a week for the past month, leaving me wondering how in the world single moms do it.

By the end of today, I was haggard to say the least, so when BJ left once again at 7:30ish, I didn't know how I would make it through the next half hour until Shepherd's bath and bedtime. Suddenly, I remembered a day a month ago when Shepherd and I listened to indie music from NPR's tiny desk concerts. He actually seemed calmed by the music, so I ran with my crying baby on my hip to the computer and pulled up Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros singing "Home". I started twirling and dancing silly and singing and basically doing anything I could think of to make my baby smile. And in a moment of pure grace, it worked.

There is something about dancing in circles singing the words, "Ahh, Home/Let me come Home/Home is wherever I’m with you/Ahh, Home/Let me come Home/Home is when I’m alone with you," to your giggling baby boy that just makes the world seem like a wonderful place. When I was a child, I was told that heaven would be a place where we would sit around singing hymns all day. That sort of sounds like torture. I hope instead that heaven is simply a place where the feeling I had tonight dancing with Shepherd is multiplied infinitely. At the end of this very long day, my mind is too exhausted to be sure of much, but I am sure of one thing: I see God's creativity, grace, and beauty in my four-month old son everyday, and it is astounding.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Highlight of My 26th Birthday

Today, I turned 26 years old. It was a good birthday full of card games, family, and good food. However, the highlight of the day came at the end when I was changing Shepherd's diaper. I had put him to bed, but he woke up angry over a soggy diaper. Shepherd has quite a temper, and in a fit of anger, he rolled over. It was the first time I'd ever seen him accomplish this feat. He was buck naked and red with anger, but I was so proud of him and immediately began clapping and cheering. When I rolled him to his back, he looked up with a confused grin that clearly said, "I can tell by your reaction I did something awesome, but I'm not sure what exactly it is I did." That moment alone made for a very happy birthday.