Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Noah's Birthday Party

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Noah's ONE YEAR Update!

Every parent in the history of the mankind has probably shared in this sentiment, but I can't believe my little baby is a year old! It's crazy how much has changed in the last year.

Meal time is quite an event and usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. This month we introduced chicken, black beans, garlic, parsley, bread, red bell peppers and oranges. He also got cake for his birthday and loved it (it was made of applesauce, bananas, and whole wheat flour...still cake though, right?).
During this month,  Noah got his first haircut. He absolutely hated it and I'm glad he forgave Chelsie so quickly afterward. This is the only picture I could get. Every other one turned out blurry because he was thrashing and screaming.
We put corner guards on our tables so that he doesn't hurt his little noggin if he falls but it's proven to be useless because he rips them off, sticks them in his mouth and crawls around the house like a dog.
This month he learned to throw balls and take off his bib. He's also getting his four top teeth.

Temperatures are dropping and I love bundling him up in his snowsuit. He gets irritated though because he can hardly move when he's in his winter gear.
He's started hiding things like my makeup and the remote.
Caught in the act.
He crawls over everything
He also likes emptying things (drawers, cupboards, the diaper bag) and unfortunately hasn't yet learned how to put things back. The day that occurs, my life will become much easier.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Sunday, November 3, 2013

5 Ways Working Outside of the Home Has Made Me a Better Mom

Disclaimer: My intention is not at all to say that you need to work outside of the home for these things to be achieved. I am a firm believer that the most important work a person can do is within the walls of their own home. I work outside of the home so little that I still consider myself a stay-at-home mom. And stay-at-home mom's? They rock. Working feels like a break to me because being responsible for another human being's every need 24/7 is hard.  My only intention in writing this was to point out some of the less obvious benefits of working outside of the home and how it has changed me personally.

I adore staying at home with Noah, but a few months ago I started to get a little itch to re-enter the workforce. I wanted more adult interaction (especially since our move to a new town where we don't know anyone), to contribute to our family's finances, and to keep myself in the game, so to speak, for the sake of my future educational and career goals.  I was so lucky to find a job that I love, that allows me to use my degree, and that only requires me to work 10-15 hours a week. I work afternoons and evenings, so Noah spends a few hours at our house with a babysitter he loves, and then spends the other few hours with Josh. I love that I'm still home with him 90% of the time and that I also get to work. I have the best of both worlds and, although it's always hard to leave Noah, this setup has been beneficial for our family in a few ways:

1) I use my time more wisely. Knowing that my time with Noah is limited motivates me to really utilize our time together well. We're doing more reading, playing, singing, park time, and finger painting together. Having more restrictions on my time has also made me more productive/efficient in terms of my household responsibilities.

2) The additional income will allow us to pay off our student loans and save for a down payment on a house more quickly. There are so many things a child needs to function optimally and quality time is at the top of the list. I also want to provide my children with opportunities to play sports, visit museums, and take family vacations. I  want them to live in a comfortable home in a safe area, and I'd love to help them pay for college. All of these things will be more easily achieved with additional income.

3) My time at work is teaching me how to more effectively interact with and teach children. I'm learning about how to reinforce and shape behavior. I'm learning how to teach children about emotions, social skills, responsibility, family dynamics, problem solving and so much more and I think that this experience is preparing me to be a better mother to Noah as he grows.

4) I want Noah to see me as someone who works hard, treats people well, and helps those who are less fortunate. I work with underserved, low-income children with mental illnesses. I'm helping them. I'm teaching them. My time with them requires a significant amount of patience and empathy and I like the example that I'm setting for Noah by doing this job, even though he's not yet old enough to understand it.

5) The division of household responsibilities is more equal than it was prior to me working. I felt resentment at how much of the house work I did, and although it was totally fair because I was the one staying at home, I still hated it. Since I've started working, Josh has had to take on more around the house, and it's been beneficial to our marriage and family because that resentment has been totally eliminated.

Noah's 11 Month Update

Noah is about 21 pounds, wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 9-12 month clothes.
He learned how to crawl up the stairs (with one of us right behind him, obviously) and started pulling himself up on the furniture and walking around. The first time he pulled himself up in his pack and play, he was so proud! He also loves standing up in the tub, which freaks me out even more now that we've moved him out of the baby bathtub.
First time standing up on his own.
This month we introduced cantaloupe, pineapple, beets, apricots, cinnamon, strawberries, barley, eggplant, potatoes, purple carrot juice, and Cheerios. He's become way more interested in finger foods and feeding himself. He adores apples, especially sharing them with me. I love the way he furiously crawls to me and sits on my lap when I have an apple because he knows he'll get some.
Speaking of apples...we took him on his first apple picking expedition this month. He loved the apple part but was even more entertained by the dog running through the orchard.
The apple Noah picked.
After months of giving me awesome kisses, he'll finally kiss dad. Before, Josh would try and Noah would turn away.
Sitting is not something he does often.
He's started pointing his finger, though I'm not sure if he's pointing at things with intention yet.
He's totally fascinated by the train behind our apartment. He'll hear it coming and start almost hyperventilating because he's so excited. Then he books it to the back door or I'll pick him up and we'll run because it's faster and he'll watch it in awe.
This boy has such a feisty personality! He's opinionated, social, energetic, vocal, and totally perfect. What a blessing.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Family Pictures

Noah's (very late) 10 Month Update

(I wrote this long ago but am posting it so late because our laptop hasn't been working!)
It seems like Noah is learning something new every day! Right after I posted his 9 month update, he started going from laying down to sitting up on his own, and then on 8/24 he started crawling, which has revealed his love for all things dangerous and disgusting, including stairs, shoes, and power cords (he makes a mad dash every time he thinks he can get away with it). He follows me whenever I leave the room, which I totally love. He also learned how to open and close drawers and how to pull himself up on his knees (which he loves doing in the bathtub).
He's wearing 6-9 and 9-12 month clothes, size 3 diapers, and is about 20 pounds and 28.5 inches long.
This month we introduced him to apricots, tofu, cranberries and cherries.
He learned how how to turn pages of board books and loves looking at them.
He's obsessed with animal books and loves banging things together (such a boy).
He likes riding in the shopping cart and always bounces up and down when I put him in.
He's started "sharing" things like food and his binkie.
I'm in love with his big, open mouth kisses (that he only gives to mama) and his cute little wave.
He officially dropped his third nap and, as always, gets super giggly when he's tired.
And most of the time he goes by Mr. Noah or Boogs.

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