Raising Logan:: The Big ONE


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Logan’s first year is one of the best and hardest year of our lives.  And I miss it so much.  I can’t believe how quickly he’s growing.  To celebrate this milestone, we decided to throw Logan a big bash… which really was for the benefit of our family and friends.

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This party turned out to be a huge DIY project.  I went with a Dr. Seuss red/white/teal theme.  I designed the above image for postcard invitations and had them printed from an online shop.

I also decided that it just wouldn’t feel right for the environmentally conscious me to use disposable party goods.  I made cloth cocktail napkins with red/white stripes ticking cloth.  It turned out to be a huge undertaking because we ended up with 50+ guests.  We also used all of our dinner dishware and outdoor dish ware.  To minimize the need for utensils, we went with finger food.  We made all the food and my family ended up coming over the morning of the party to help prep and cook. And blow up balloons and hang decorations.

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To continue with the DIY-focused party, we set up a pizza station so guests can custom make their own personal sized pizza.  I pre-made the dough and KT manned the pizza “oven”.  Our friend, Brad, jumped in to help and he ended up firing up pizzas with KT during the entire party.  Thanks Brad!

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My sister  made Logan two birthday cakes.  We decided to purchase Logan’s smash cake since I didn’t want my sister’s hard work getting obliterated in a matter of minutes.  Logan really enjoyed smashing the cake once he got started.  I was definitely impressed with how he dug in at the end.

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We hired Caricatures By Dominic.  We definitely recommend him if anyone is looking for a caricaturist.  He’s really personable and everyone liked him.  His caricatures were also pretty spot on.

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Photo credit: Thank you Robert for all of the wonderful party pictures!  We were so busy with our guests that we didn’t take a single picture.  I am so grateful my sister had the foresight to suggest that Robert be the designated photographer.  We ended up with some really special pictures.    

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We had a great time celebrating Logan’s big ONE.  We are so glad for all of our family and friends who made his day so special.

ornamenttreesP.S. We also did a lot of work in the backyard to prep for the party.  I’ll write an update for the backyard soon.

Raising Logan:: 9 Months 2 Weeks 5 Days

 

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I’ve been sitting in the living room watching Logan play on the floor.  It’s been an especially rough day.  Logan looked up from his self-appointed job of shredding our junk mail and saw me watching him.  He seemed so happy to see me. He excitedly crawled over to me with this huge grin on his face.  I picked him up, held him close, and just started sobbing into his little body.  He thought I was playing with him and he started laughing.  His beautiful baby chuckles.  In that instant I was so grateful that my tears did not affect his happy disposition.  I can’t help but wish that he’ll never know disappointment or have his heart broken.  I won’t be able to shelter him from it forever but for as long as I can, I want to make sure he’ll only cry for a bottle or a nap or a diaper change.

Some days are just easier than others.  I’m so glad to be able to stay at home with our little man but lets be honest here.   An infant is oh so needy and my patience is tested everyday.  The days are usually so monotonous.  Babies needs to be constantly entertained but their attention span is that of a gold fish.  Then something would happen that makes it all better.  He’ll squeal with joy when he sees me and I would feel like I must be doing something right.  He’ll feed himself steamed broccoli for lunch and my heart would swell with pride.  And at night, when I put him down to sleep and watch his peaceful face, all I can think about is how lucky we are to have such a healthy baby.

Raising Logan:: 8 Months 3 Weeks

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Yesterday I was on a work conference call for about half an hour while carrying Logan around. Surprisingly it was a nice break from our typical day of eat, play, and nap.

I didn’t have much of a plan when we decided to start a family. I bet KT is smiling smugly, thinking I never have a plan for anything. In a way I’m a last minute procrastinator who just does whatever feels right at the moment. But then again I often find myself stressing over the smallest details for hours and hours. I’ll have to revisit this self exploration in another post.

As I was saying, I didn’t really have a plan for starting a family. Sure, we talked about “wouldn’t this be great…?” And “I would love to do that…” But nothing concrete. At least not in my head.

For work, my clients would ask when I’m planning on taking my maternity leave and when I expect to be back at work. My response was that I’ll try to work up until I can’t (or don’t feel like) working anymore and then I’ll see how I feel about going back to work after the baby arrives. Not the best answer, eh?

I figured I would have it figured out by the time Logan was two months old. Or at least by the time he’s four months. But we’re going on nine months now and all I want to think about is planning his first birthday and our backyard projects.

I do know one thing for sure. I know what kind of parent I want to be. I think I’ve always known. I’m the mom who will let her kids fall because that’s the best way to learn. I’m the mom who let’s her kid play on the floor, with dirt, dog hair and all.  I’ll paint his walls with phrases like “mighty oak from little acorn grows”

But I won’t just be mom, I’ll be me. I’ll go out without them and do things unrelated to them. And when I’m asked if I miss my baby, I’m not afraid to say “no.”  Sometimes we just need to get away and be ourselves because being a mom is not what defines me, it’s just a part of me.  And as for “the plan,” we’ll just keep taking it one day at a time until it doesn’t work for us anymore.

What Logan Eats || broccoli & rice

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Serving size:: 4 tbsp or 2 oz (2 tbsp rice cereal & 2 tbsp broccoli puree)

Broccoli purée::

  • cut a head of broccoli into 2 inch florets and place in microwaveable bowl
  • add a cup of water
  • microwave on high for about 3 minutes until soft
  • let cool then purée broccoli and water in blender
  • add water (or breast milk/formula for desire consistency)

Rice cereal instructions here.

*refrigerate portions you will use in the next three days and freeze the remainder for up to four weeks.
*i like to freeze it in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer safe containers.

What Logan Eats || butternut & acorn squash puree

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Serving size:: 2 tbsp of butternut squash and 2 tbsp of acorn squash

Acorn squash puree::

  • peel and remove the seeds and strings
  • cut into 4-inch chunks and place into microwaveable bowl
  • add 1/2 cup of water
  • microwave on high for 5-7 minutes until soft
  • let cool then puree squash and water in blender

*refrigerate portions you will use in the next three days and freeze the remainder for up to four weeks.

*i like to freeze it in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer safe containers.

*each of my ice cubes are 2 tbsp

Raising Logan : 8 Months

IMG_7891 Quick note about this picture: KT was going through the advertisements in our Sunday newspaper and Logan ended up swimming in them (and loving it).

Lately, KT and I have been witnessing how fast Logan is growing, and learning, and changing. KT is having a hard time with how quickly Logan is growing up. I, on the other hand, am…not.

We just finished watching a foreign film (I won’t tell you the name of the film so not to ruin it for anyone). At the end of the film, this couple sends off their young and only son into the world without them. He was probably in his tween. KT’s immediately exclaimed, “how can they let him go?!?!.” He couldn’t bear the idea of being in their shoes and doing that. Admittedly, it was sad. But I thought it was inevitable and I was okay with it.

In a lot of scenarios like this, KT would look at me despondently, like he just realized I must be the ice queen who would toss her first-born to the wolves, whilst I look at him alarmingly, foreseeing a very needy and clingy dad. But you know, when the day comes for Logan to leave the nest, KT will be supportive, cool as a cucumber and I will be a snotty, teary hot mess.

Honestly, I do feel nostalgic when I look at Logan’s newborn pictures but I think I’m more focus on the now and celebrating the present. He started holding his own bottle and feeding himself. I couldn’t be prouder. He’s been pulling himself into a crawling position and I’m just excitedly waiting for the day he crawls on all fours.

The newborn phase is only a few short months.  The infant phase is not much longer.  And it is in these two very short time periods where there are so many firsts jammed packed into them.  So many milestones.  I feel like I’m hit in the face with something new everyday.  It’s exhausting and exhilarating.  We’ll eventually enter the toddler phase and be able to take a breath, but at this moment, I just want to be present to experience Logan sprinting to the next milestone.  I can rest later.  We can rest later.

What Logan Eats || purple cauliflower & peas purée

IMG_7921Serving size:: 4 tbsp or 2 oz

Purple cauliflower purée::

  • cut a head of cauliflower into 2 inch florets and place in microwaveable bowl
  • add a cup of water
  • microwave on high for about 8 minutes until soft
  • let cool then purée cauliflower and water in blender

*refrigerate portions you will use in the next three days and freeze the remainder for up to four weeks.
*i like to freeze it in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer safe containers.

Baby Safety

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As new parents, KT and I constantly get unsolicited advice. We are constantly debating with our parents about how to do things. What prompted this post isn’t how annoying we all find unsolicited advice, but how alarming it is how some people are not familiar with baby safety issues. This post isn’t about what you should or not do with your baby, rather I want to raise the awareness of baby safety. So here’s my unsolicited advice: Everyone should do what works for them and their babies but be aware of the risks so that you stay alert to real possible dangers.

1. Blankets. My mom told me that she used to cover me with a blanket when I was a baby. I don’t do that with Logan because I am super afraid of suffocating him. When Logan was about four months old, I swaddled him tightly and put him in his bassinet asleep. At that time, we were trying sleep training and self-soothing so I didn’t go in there immediately when he woke up crying. After a couple minutes, I got this really uneasy feeling and decided just to peek in on him. To my horror, he wiggled out of his swaddle and got his blanket wrapped completely around his head.  Even now, at six months Logan doesn’t move his arms much.  Not to grab things, not to swat at things.  I put his straw hat over his face and watched what he would do.  He didn’t grab it and push it off his face.  Rather, he just turned his head to the side.  Swaddling is generally safe to do but because Logan is a super fussy baby with super strong baby legs, he can get out of any swaddle.  And because he doesn’t move his arm and hands deliberately yet, the risk is too high for Logan to sleep with any blanket, much less a loose blanket.

2. Temperature.  There’s a lot to be said about this topic.  If you google the safest room temperature for infant, you’ll probably get 65 degrees or 65-70 degrees.  This is a lot cooler than I had expected but the take away is that you don’t want your baby to overheat.  You want to prevent deep sleep and problems with your baby’s ability to wake up.  I don’t know if this is true for all babies but Logan tends to run hot so I’m constantly having to cool him down.  I run cold so when I layer up, I need to remember that Logan probably doesn’t need as many layers.  Right now, it’s super hot here so it’s really hard to get the temperature down to 65-70 degrees at night when Logan goes to sleep.  We just cool the house down to about 78 degrees and make sure he’s not a sweaty mess when we put him in his crib.  The house cools during the night so we’re not too concern about him overheating.

3. Back sleeping.  I assumed everyone knows that it is safest to put babies to sleep on their backs but I’ve been proven wrong.  There is no conclusive reason why it’s better for babies to sleep on their backs but this website gives a pretty clear likely explanation.  Intuitively, it makes it easier for babies to breathe.  You also avoid rebreathing and carbon dioxide poisoning.  For us, I always put Logan down on his back (unless he’s sleeping on us).  But ever since he started rolling over, he would roll over onto his stomach almost immediately after we put him down.  Since I’m not going to tie him down on his back while he sleeps (or ever), or constantly roll him over hoping not to wake him up, we just opted to buy a baby breathing monitoring device.  We don’t completely rely on it.  We still check up on him regularly but this works for us.

4. Car seat.  I’m pretty sure almost everyone knows the importance of infant car seats right?  We don’t want baby projectiles in the event of an accident, to put it bluntly.  My mom told me that she didn’t put my youngest sister in a car seat when she was a baby.  Yes, the horror but my sister is alive and well.  My neighbor who is maybe in her 50s, told me that when she was young, baby car seats were not required by law.  So educate your parents (or anyone as a matter of fact) and make sure they know the danger of not using a car seat if they are taking care of your babies.  Confession time.  When Logan was a couple months old and needed to be fed, I thought I can nurse him in the car while KT drove us home.  FOR A SPLIT SECOND ONLY.  Then I realized the error in that thought and was so shocked with myself.  I blame it on post pregnancy brain fart.  Please don’t hold it against me.

There are many more baby safety issues but I think this is a good start to get the discussions going.  Whatever we decide to do with our babies, I think we should all be knowledgeable and be hyper vigilant.  Be safe everyone!

Raising Logan: 5 months, 1 week, 6 days

We hit a milestone, actually two, in the last two nights.  First, Logan mastered rolling over, just like that.  One day he wasn’t doing it, not even a little (he hates tummy time), and then last night, he just started doing it before he fell asleep as if he was looking for a comfortable position.  Then the next morning, he woke up and just rolled over and over and over like he just realized he discovered a new trick.

The second milestone happened two nights ago.  He finally slept through the night.  With this one, we saw it coming.  Even so, it happened quickly.  In a matter of days.  It started with him waking up content with just lying there on his own for a good long while. I encouraged it by not picking him up immediately.  Then a few days ago, he started going down easier when normally I would have a hard time putting him down to sleep and keeping him asleep for more than a couple hours.  Four nights ago, he woke up three times and I only needed to feed him one of those times to get him to go back to sleep.  Three nights ago, we made it until 5:30AM before I had to feed him.  Two nights ago, he slept through the night.  We didn’t have to feed him.  Last night, he slept through the night again and we are cautiously optimistic that this is not a fluke.  We are thrilled.  High Five and Happy Dance (cuz that’s what we do).

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We are learning as we go.  We didn’t read any parenting books  (Yea, it’s surprising, considering how much I love to read.  In hindsight, maybe I had book aversion the same way I had music aversion while I was pregnant…  I went from reading a new book every few days to none at all).  I knew all the important stuff (like how to keep a baby alive).  Some of the stuff is just common sense. I did read a lot of lists of must-have for babies.  After some real life experiences, here is my list of some of the things you don’t need.  But of course, every baby is different and every situation is unique so my only real advice for parents out there is do what works for you (but be knowledgeable!).

1. Infant bath tub or seat.  We registered for one and got two at our baby shower but really, your baby will outgrow it so quickly.  I knew Logan won’t be using it long before he’s too big for it, but I thought I would use it more than twice.  We’ve been giving him sponge baths on the changing table after we change him.  He doesn’t need anything more than that up until this point since he hasn’t been mobile enough to get himself dirty.  So before you can put him in the grown up bathtub with the no-slip rubber mats, just sponge bathe him on the changing table.  Seriously, he doesn’t need the daily baths.  Enjoy his baby scent.

2.  Bassinet.  I thought I needed him to sleep close by me at night for the first couple months before letting him sleep in his crib in his own room.  Wrong.  Logan hates the bassinet.  And when I do manage to get him down to sleep, I don’t want him in our room where I’m so afraid to make the slightest sound and risk waking him up.  He slept in his bassinet for a month before we gave up.  Now he sleeps in our bed (because his nursery is still not done – true stuff), while we take turn snoozing on the couch in the living room.  If you’re lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps, he can sleep in his crib.  And most likely, you have the baby monitors to keep an eye and ear on him.

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3.  Bouncer/Swing.  This one is really a hit or miss, depending on your baby.  Logan hated the top three bouncers/swings on all the lists out there.  Yes, we tried them all.  Logan did eventually started liking one of bouncers because I wouldn’t give up on it.  Maybe one day he’ll like the swing we have sitting in the corner of his room.

4.  Mittens.  Won’t stay on his hands.  Just use socks.  Really, they work so much better.

5. Pacifiers.  Won’t stay in his mouth. Logan cries because he’s hungry, he wants his diaper changed, he wants to be held, he’s overstimulated, or he’s too hot.  I rather figure out what’s causing him to cry and fixing it than trying to pacify him with a pacifier (while leaving him hungry, wet, lonely, overwhelmed, or hot).  I’ll admit, we tried the pacifiers when we were too tired or frustrated to figure it out.  But they wouldn’t stay in his mouth so we’ve given up.  And I’m glad because I’m learning to read his cues much easier which makes him a much happier baby.

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raising logan

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21 weeks 5 days.  It’s awesome.  It’s tiring.  It’s sleepless nights and sleeping in.  It’s been great.  It is great.  We’re still working out his sleep schedule.  I haven’t quite figure out his nap times yet.  Or his meal times.  The nurses had us trained with Logan’s feeding schedule before we left the hospital.  We followed it to a tee for couple months.  When his pediatrician told us he’s ready to sleep through the night, I threw out his feeding schedule and let Logan take lead.  I let him tell me when he’s hungry and when he’s tired.

That being said, it means we don’t quite have a routine yet.  I have to be completely flexible with my days with him.  Let me tell you though – when KT first went back to work, I was completely gung-ho about waking up at 6AM, doing yoga, eating breakfast, and working couple hours before Logan wakes up.  I swore Logan was going to have a 10-10 sleep schedule.  I was so wrong.

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We tried sleep training.  I don’t mind him crying for a bit if it gets him to sleep on his own and through the night.  But after three nights of it, I noticed his demeanor changed.  He didn’t wake up refreshed and happy.  He woke up untrusting and reclusive.  His delightful demeanor changed.  He was silent.  He stopped his baby babbles.  Sleep training did not work for us. Instead, it broke our baby.  Now I just go with the flow.

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I sleep until Logan won’t sleep anymore.  Normally anytime between 9AM and 11AM.  Then we hang out.  Either in bed if he’s content with just lying down, or we head out to the backyard with Monster and Sugar to water the plants and pick some blueberries.  Or we watch some tv and I feed him.  Whatever keeps him a happy baby.  I hear people joke “happy wife, happy life.”  For me, it’s “happy baby, happy mommy.”

In order to stay productive with Logan calling the shots, I make a mental lists of things to do with him.  I have four categories: w/Logan awake, w/Logan asleep, w/Logan asleep on me, and w/fussy Logan.

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Under the category w/Logan awake, I have a list of things I can do with him either strapped on me, or hanging out within eyesight.  These are things I can start and stop doing in an instant.  These are things that doesn’t require much attention.

  • Water plants
  • Wash dishes
  • Sweep floor
  • Fold laundry
  • Pick fruits in the backyard

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Under the category w/Logan asleep, I have a list of things that require a lot more attention, focus, and details.

  • Work (the stuff that pays me money)
  • Blog/projects
  • Pay bills

Under the category w/Logan asleep on me, I have a list of things I can do on the phone or iPad for when Logan won’t sleep unless he’s in my arms.

  • Research (new printer, new car, vacation ideas, etc.)
  • Brainstorm new projects
  • Pinterest
  • Catch up on news and blogs

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Under the category w/fussy Logan, I usually just have a list of errands I need to run.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this flexible in my life.  In a way, this is my way to have some structure in my unstructured days.  Whatever works.