Category Archives: Leo

Leo – Month 9

9Month-7

Suddenly this boy is NOT easy to photograph.

9 months old and he is on…the…move.

I put him in the chair, backed up a bit holding the camera over my head and flailed and gesticulated with my other hand long enough to keep him entranced for all of 2.4 seconds.  These were the best photos I could get in order to not risk his life and limb.

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He’s finally crawling in a ‘more formal’ fashion. He’s been scooting around for a while now but has had trouble (or been lazy) with getting up on those arms. Jon likes to joke he inherited both of our skinny, weak arms, but it’s something I worry about. Mentally he seems so quick and determined, but physically I feel he’s going to be a bit behind, at least as far as pulling up and walking are concerned. Sometimes I think it’s because he’s SO TALL that his center of gravity is so high and that makes it more difficult. I don’t know, but he’ll figure it out. Maybe I should enjoy the fact that he’s only pseudo mobile for now.

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One thing is for sure, he LOVES being outside. We’ve been loving the park and our backyard, especially this time of year when the heat of summer has passed.

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Hardest: thing about month 9 has been adjusting from baby to…whatever he is now. Older baby? He’s mobile, wants to eat all day, has the ability to harm himself constantly, and requires much more of me mentally all day. It’s mostly fun stuff but it can wear a momma out!

IMG_8876FIRST ROCKIES GAME!

Easiest: thing about month 9 has been that he’s still such an incredible sleeper.  I worry every time I say that he’ll flip the switch on me, but he still takes two 1:15 naps a day and sleeps 11-12 uninterrupted hours a night. It’s pretty great.

IMG_9055SLEEPING ON OUR FLIGHT TO FARGO

Worst: thing to happen month 9 (don’t take it personally Erin) was a major fail with a babysitter during a wedding weekend. We didn’t manage our schedules correctly and left him with this sweet girl when he was hungry and tired and he just wailed and wailed. I had not EVER heard him cry like that. Thankfully we were just down the street, but I had MAJOR mom guilt. I went against my instincts to try and have a good time and it didn’t end well. So, I put on my mom cape and whisked him out of there and home to the house we were staying in and didn’t leave to go back to the wedding until he was settled and sleeping. It was just another slap in the face of how life has changed. My BEST FRIENDS wedding. I had to leave in a rush right after my speech, missed a bunch of good stuff including the remaining speeches, their first dance and most of the reception, but it was just what I had to do. And I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself knowing he needed me. This mom stuff is no joke. : )

IMG_9038MY WEDDING DATE’S!

Best: thing to happen month 9 was threefold, bringing him to Michigan to the aforementioned wedding (he was like a celebrity), having my aunt and uncle visit for a concert, and also traveling home to Ada for an extended stay. We have so much fun on our travels with him, even though it can be hard!

IMG_8966MY AUNTIE MEGAN AND UNCLE TIM!

Most Unexpected: thing to happen has been how much food he can eat.  He’s still nursing, but he just LOVES to eat. It’s actually impressive how much he can put away.IMG_9183

Most Loved Baby Itemhave been his wubbanubs. I know ‘nuks’ or pacifiers aren’t for everyone but they’ve worked for us and the little animals attached are great. He snuggles with them and plays with them in his crib when he wakes up. It’s so sweet.

IMG_9149Leo had an absolute blast in Ada.  He’s never slept so long or hard in his life! They wore him out and he was pretty obsessed with his ‘big’ cousin Hudson and all his cool toys!

Funniest: thing to happen month 9 is tough for me to pinpoint because he cracks Jon and I up every day. He seems to have a funny/flirty personality which has been fun to watch come out.

Milestones: are eating like a horse, crawling and sitting up.

IMG_9200Favorite Memory: is probably having him in Ada with my brother and sister, parents and his cousin Hudson. It was really hard to come back to Denver knowing how little he gets to see them, how little help I have with family so far away, and just how rare those weekends are.

 

IMG_9128PLAYING IN THE LEAVES AT GRANDMA & GRANDPA’S HOUSE

Favorite Outfit: is this little romper he wore for our family photos and to Auntie Erin’s rehearsal dinner.IMG_8987

Favorite Photo: is this one from our family photo session that I’ll share later.

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Funniest Photo: it’s probably not that funny to anyone else but for some reason Leo in a backwards baseball hat I find hysterical.

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Leo – Month 8

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Yesterday I put this munchkin in the chair and backed up to take the photo. Not three seconds after I looked into the camera I had teared up.  Suddenly I wasn’t looking at an infant anymore.  A baby, sure, but a big boy suddenly.  Maybe it’s the overalls but he just looks so grown up to me!

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As you can see he’s still just the happiest kid ever.  Just this morning we were at brunch with a friend and then Starbucks and both places strangers approached me to say “is he always this happy?” to which  I always have to nod, yes. Sure, he has his fussy moments,  but when he’s awake he’s just so darn happy to be there.  : )

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You see that head tilt? That’s his move.  He’s like a darn puppy and it is SO cute.

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Hardest: thing about month 8 has been his newfound resistance to riding in the car. In fact, his resistance to being ‘put’ anywhere, whether that’s his exersaucer, his stroller, the baby carrier, his bouncer…etc. He tolerates most of them for about 20 minutes or so, but the car he’s terrible in unless someone is in the back entertaining him. This makes my strong ties to home even stronger, which has been isolating and difficult.

IMG_8613First trip to the Denver zoo!

Easiest: thing about month 8 has been playtime because of the basement being finished.  It is SO NICE to have that space with super soft carpet for him to roll around on and he seems to really, really enjoy it.

IMG_8716Wearing dad’s GTC hat!

Worst: thing that happened month 8 was watching him tip backward while practicing sitting up and his head did the ‘snap back’ thing and it hit the floor (carpeted thank goodness) and the look on his face of fear and pain was pretty terrible.  Only have to deal with that the rest of my life.  : )

IMG_8583He loves morning walks to the swings at Wash Park.

Best: thing to happen month 8 was getting together 3 or 4 times with close friends here in Denver with our kids and starting to feel a sense of ‘tribe’ that I’ve been longing for being so far away from family.

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Most Unexpected: see funniest below.

Most Loved Baby Item: month 8 has been our UppaBaby stroller.  It has worked incredibly well using adaptors for our Cybex carseat and obviously works great with the stroller seat it came with.  The flexibility of going back and forth between the two seats depending on the situation is awesome.

IMG_8445Joining mom and dad at their anniversary lunch.

Funniest: thing (sort of) to happen month 8 has to do with poop.  He used to be like clockwork every morning after eating, but lately he’s been keeping us on our toes by waiting until RIGHT around bath time. Basically I was on my high horse for having waited the proper amount of time, he pooped, and I changed him and lay him on the floor to get ready for the bath.  Well, he had more to come and shat all over the bathroom rug, nearly in my hand.

Milestones: are always happening, but the biggest one has been the progress he’s made in sitting up on his own.  Just last night I was watching him push himself up on his knee’s to try and crawl. It’s so fun to watch.

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Favorite Memory: will probably be watching him in the pool in Beaver Creek over Labor Day. We knew he loved the water but he took it to another level with cheek cracking grins and splashing.

IMG_8663Snuggled up in a towel after the Beaver Creek pool day.

Favorite Outfit: Don’t have a photo of it!  Darn.  : )

Favorite Photo:

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Funniest Photo: TEETH

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Leo – Month 7

On August 10th this munchkin turned 7 months old and I cannot believe that’s possible.

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He. Is. A. Ridiculous. Human.

That I made.  With some help from Jon.  MAN I don’t want to screw him up.

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Along with how tough breastfeeding could be, and that you should always make sure your nugget will take a bottle, another thing nobody really prepared me for was HOW FLIPPING messy mealtime is. Woah.

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I have compiled a list to keep track of things we’ve loved and used to death and couldn’t live without (for my own records and to share with friends that have babies) and that Bumbo chair will NOT be on it. So dumb.  SO DUMB.

But this hat will be….

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It’s funny because obviously Leo has had a lot of ‘firsts’.  Most of his life is made up of ‘firsts’.  But watching him experience the thrill of a swing for the first time made me smile so big I thought my face would crack. This parenting gig is really good stuff.

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He looks like a little bald potato in these outdoor photos.  Haha.  It’s tough when your hair doesn’t show up!  : )

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Hardest thing about month 7 was all of the traveling and moving around we did.  It hadn’t affected him in the past but the last trip we took (to the lake and Ada, right on the tail of a weekend in the mountains) he bounced ALL over the place and it affected his eating habits, weight gain and sleep schedule.  It only took us a week to get back on track but it gave me mounds of anxiety until then.

Easiest part of month seven has been the transition to solid foods.  This baby LOVES to eat and he’s made it a breeze for us (save for the mess).

Worst part of month seven has been his newfound disgust with riding in the car in his carseat.  He’s not a fan.

Best thing that happened was Leo gained a bit of independence by spending a night with Grandma Mindy, and taking several bottles!  He did great and it was awesome for this momma to have (wayyy too many) cocktails out on the lake with our friends!

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Most Unexpected thing about month seven is how much he already seems like a little kid…not a baby! I feel like his personality is so clear (I hope) and I always have to remind myself of how little he still actually is because he seems so grown all of a sudden.

Most Loved Baby Item in month seven has been his Ikea highchair!  $20 and a breeze to clean.  I also purchased this cushion to go with it as he likes to bounce around a ton and the highchair isn’t the cushiest. I’m not a huge fan of the red and blue striped so I also ordered a custom chair cover from this Etsy shop (the one I ordered is sold out, here’s one similar) and this genius mat that I hope helps with cleanup!

Funniest thing he’s started doing is mimicking me saying ‘mama’.  Pretty sure he’s just copying what I do with my mouth – but it sounds like mama to me and is music to my ears.

Milestones are plenty again.  Adding tons of food to his diet, working hard on sitting up solo, scooting across the new basement floor, mastering the art of picking up cheerios, and olympic swim training in the bath.

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Favorite Memory from month seven HAS to be spending time with Leo at the lake (THANK YOU JANET) just the three of us.  The cabin is an incredibly sentimental place for Jon and I and it was beyond special to have time there, just us, as a family.  I know this might sound like hyperbole, but it made me so happy and feel so fulfilled, that when it was over I cried for almost a day straight.  : )

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Funniest Photo: 7Month-13

Leo – Month 6

When it comes to music, I’ve always been a lyrics kind of girl. It’s not that I’m NOT an instrumental kind of girl (hello, I love DMB) or the kind of person that can’t just appreciate the ‘feel’ of a song. I can, and I do. HOWEVER, my heart belongs to the words. If, as a musician, you are able to combine all of the above I will crumble into a puddle of love for you.

A few nights ago Jon and I were discussing concerts we’d been to (which as it turns out is A LOT) and which were our favorites and why.  For example, my favorite vocal experience is Ray LaMontagne (before he hit it big) at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver.  It was him, alone on a stage with a spotlight and a guitar, hiding behind nothing.  It was ABSOLUTELY breathtaking, magical and gut wrenching. Favorite ‘band at a bar’ experience was Shovels and Rope at the Ogden Theatre.  I argued that show might be the best show by a band I’ve ever seen. Electric is the only word to describe it. My favorite concert ‘memory’ has to be Jon and I watching Dave Matthews play on the beach in Hawaii with Tim Reynolds. Once in a lifetime.

But, when it comes to combining ‘all of the things‘…one show stands out.

Four years ago, my mom and aunt were in Denver for a visit. Their visit ‘wish list’ included a concert at Red Rocks (if you live under said rock, it happens to be the greatest music venue in the world). I needed to make it happen for them. One of the concerts while they were here was The Avett Brothers. This ended up being SO perfect as it fell on a weekend, we were able to get a group to go, and they are one of my brother Greyson’s favorite bands and I had wanted to see them forever. They had a world class opener (Shovels and Rope) and everyone was so pumped.

It’s interesting because for the first time, I went in with zero expectations.  We were ‘only’ going because my mom and aunt wanted to see a show and this was the option that weekend. To say our expectations were exceeded is an understatement. Shovels and Rope (see above) opened the show and they were awesome. Jon and I already wanted to see them again before they even finished their set. Then came The Avett Brothers. Their gratefulness to be playing Red Rocks, the excited fans, their energy, and be still my heart…the lyrics. They combined ‘all of the things’ and I did turn into a puddle, brought to actual tears by the lyrics in a song called Offering.

Babe I’m lost
Cause I don’t know what to say
Hmmm I love you
Want to make you my wife someday

Don’t wanna steal you
Of a young woman’s light
To me it’s perfect
Just wanna do you right

And I’ve known others
And I’ve loved others too
But I loved them cause they were stepping stones
On a staircase to you

Sometimes I act foolish
I don’t know what to do
Please babe try not to judge me
For my offering is true

And I dream of children
We can call our own
Watch ’em run around in the front yard
From the front porch of our home

To me it’s perfect
Just wanna do you right

Nothing spectacular about the song, but we were in the early stages of our fertility battle and my heart had temporarily set up shop in my throat. We were realizing that our dream of having a baby was going to be much more difficult to actualize than we ever imagined and I was pretty heartbroken about it. I’ll never forget hearing it for the first time. That concert experience solidified the The Avett Brothers as one of my favorite bands to see live, and we do, every chance we get.

They usually come to Denver on or around the 4th of July and we had planned to go this year with some good friends of ours.  It was going to be a big night for us, our first night out leaving Leo with a sitter. He would be just shy of 6 months old and I was ready. Ready for some independence, ready to reassure myself I could still be who I used to be, ready for a night out with my husband at one of our favorite places in the world seeing one of our favorite bands. I was ready for that full circle experience and so hoped they would play Offering and I would maybe be brought to tears again, but this time with my heart back in my chest and full of gratitude.

Well, Leo had other plans.

This has all just been a long winded way of getting to the point of this post.  I have sung Leo’s praises in these posts for months now, and I still do, but boy…month 6 was without a doubt the toughest.  All at once he had a MASSIVE sleep regression, going from waking only once a night, nursing, and going back to sleep until morning to waking every 1.5 to 2 hours ALL…NIGHT…LONG. He also insisted on sleeping with me in bed and I am not a co-sleep kind of girl.  Then on top of that, out of the blue, he refused to take a bottle.

Needless to say we did not/could not go to the concert.

It was tougher on me than I was willing to admit at the time due to my sleep deprived stupor and the fact that he’s never really been too demanding and I knew this was part of the deal of parenting. We just sold the tickets and moved on. We finally got the sleep issue under control THANK GOD, but the little stinker just would not take a bottle. Not from my mom, not from Jon, not from anybody. If the baby only eats from momma then momma has to stay put.  Therefore, I could not attend my best friend’s bachelorette party in Park City and I…was…crushed.

I remember sitting looking at him while he was nursing and I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. It really sunk in that if he wouldn’t take a bottle I could never be away from him for more than three hours. That’s tough to understand if you haven’t been there, but (excuse my french) it feels fucking intense.

Leo has been such an easy baby that I knew we were due for some adversity around here. I definitely snapped at Jon in the middle of the night a few times, and had a sobbing meltdown over missing the bachelorette party, but other than that I was proud of how he and I navigated through those few tough weeks (which felt like months). It was also eye opening to realize just how hard it’s going to be for us going forward having isolated ourselves from family by living in Denver.  ‘We’re an island’ I like to say.

I’m not sure how to end this post other than to say I did find a silver lining in missing the concert. I was able to reflect on just how much Jon and I got to do and experience in the 4+ years we waited for Leo that would have been much more difficult (if not impossible) with a baby.  I’m grateful for that time with him and the living we did in those years.

Anyway, soon enough we’ll be back in action going to concerts and on trips…right?!?!

Just nod your head yes, please.

Here are some photos of Leo on his 6 month birthday, July 10th.

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I can’t believe he’s 6 month’s old.  I love him so much.

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He looks like such a little geek in this collar.  : )

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I love the little animal details on this outfit!

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Hardest thing about month 6 were the three weeks of sleep deprivation.  Brutal.

Easiest thing about month 6 was sleep training, once we decided to do it. It was amazing and we should have done it sooner.

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Worst thing that happened month 6 was, as stated above, missing Erin’s bachelorette party.

Best thing that happened was taking Leo to Ada and Pelican Lake for the 1st time.  Post to come on that.

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Most unexpected thing was his eagerness to start solids and all the teeth popping through.

Most loved baby item is his adorable teether from my friend Emily.  It’s currently his favorite toy and has been a life saver during teething.  The brand is SweeTooth.

Funniest thing that happened was his first interaction with a dog in our front yard who’s name turned out to be…Leo!

Milestones: most notable is getting teeth and starting solids!

Favorite memory (though I have a million) I’ll say was having Auntie Erin and Stanley in town.

Favorite outfit…must be the hat.

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Favorite photo…because I actually made it into one!

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Funniest photo…from when he blew out his diaper and all I had were these pants.  LOL.

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Leo – Month 5

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What can I say that I haven’t already said? This child radiates happiness out of every single pore. He is so happy, so content, so loving and I CANNOT get over it.

He just turned five months old and, as I predicted, THIS is now my favorite age (as will be every single one to follow). I don’t say these things to project some sort of ‘fairy tale’ life that we’re living with our ‘perfect baby’.  I say them because they are 100% true and I feel so insanely lucky (not blessed…lucky) that he is ours.

Here are some photos that I took a few mornings ago.  No lie, I spent less than 20 minutes taking them and had tons to choose from because he is a gosh darn natural in front of the lens.  Just you wait.

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…..WHAT is happening?  Oh, that’s just my heart bursting.  Carry on.

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This one makes me laugh because he is LITERALLY doing a ‘senior photo’ pose.  On his own.  In a diaper.

He kills me.

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If anyone dares to claim that babies cuter than this exist…I will require proof.

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Also if you’re looking for me later, you can find me in his dimples.  I live there now.

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We’re teething over here if you can’t tell.  : )  Thank you Emily Woltjer for one of his favorite (and cutest) soothers!

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GAH!

I’m sorry but I just love his stinking face SO much.  And yes, I’m his mom and therefore find him cuter than likely any other human alive does, but I just want to get through to you what a beautiful soul this little boy is.  He is more than I deserve and I spend every day trying to soak up every bit of the love he gives me.  I knew I would love my baby but I didn’t anticipate that I’d love him so much for who he is, not just because he was mine.

As Jon tells him every day, ‘Leo, you’re just the best’.

Hardest thing about month five…don’t kill me but it’s really hard to even come up with one.  Hmmmm….I know.  The hardest thing about month five is how sunny it’s been and if you know CO you know that the sun is INTENSE here so we’ve had to wear sunscreen (which is a pain to put on) and alter our outside schedule to avoid the heat of the day.  I know, I know, what a great problem to have.

Oh, and duh.  Being away from family and friends.  Absolutely gut wrenching if I dwell on it for too long.  That’s the hardest part of life currently.  We were very fortunate this month to spend over a week with my parents in D.C. and a long weekend in Minneapolis where we saw many of our favorite people.

Easiest thing about month five was the transition to a four hour eating schedule because the little angel just did it on his own.

Worst thing about month five was how busy Jon was with work and personal travel.  It’s all good stuff, but it’s tough on all of us to spend that much time apart.  Thankfully, it’s smooth sailing for the rest of the summer!

Best thing, for me, about month five has been his capability to reciprocate my love and adoration for him.  He’s always been an ‘affectionate’ baby, but suddenly he’s like a little human being and he interacts with me in such a real way that just fills my heart with so much joy. Kid lights up like christmas every time he looks at me.

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Most unexpected thing about month five was FOR SURE his ability to roll with the punches we threw his way (May was CRAZY), specifically our trip to D.C. and then leaving him with babysitters for the first time in MN.  He’s just a champ and I don’t know why I ever doubt him.  : )

*side rant: this blog is going to get REAL boring if all I can come up with every month is what a gem of a human I birthed.  : )

Most loved baby item for Leo is without a doubt these dumb wooden balls I bought from Pottery Barn kids for purely aesthetic purposes in the nursery (I’d link them but they aren’t on the website anymore).  They are his (totally random) absolute favorite.

My most loved baby item this month has been his…play gym?  I don’t even know what it’s called but he LOVES it and would entertain himself in it for about an hour if I didn’t get so needy and scoop him out before that.  : )

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Funniest thing to happen in month five was maybe this, and I can’t explain it, you had to be there…

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Milestones are abundant.  Out of swaddle, two teeth, belly laughing, extraordinary hand eye coordination, rolling and scooting every which way, and I’m pretty sure he’s a genius.

Favorite memory of month five, and maybe of his life so far, is when he and I were lying together outside of the Jefferson Memorial in D.C.  It was SWELTERING hot and we’d been running him ragged for days and he was cooked and needed a break.  We just plopped down in the grass and stared at each other and giggled and smooched.  It was epic.

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Favorite outfit might have to be this one because…collar.

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Favorite photo is obviously a tie between these two because no mere mortal could EVER choose.

 

Funniest photo…because photo shoots are never as glamorous as they seem. #faceplant

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IMG_6941Jon and my first ‘date night’ sans Leo – Chad and Anna’s spectacular wedding!

IMG_6929CHEEKS!!  Typical flight with this guy.

IMG_6892Celebrating Uncle Greyson’s birthday!

IMG_6661I was lucky to spend my very first Mother’s day with my very own momma.  : )

See you at 6 months!  (tear)

 

Leo – Month 4

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Well hello there cutest baby alive.  : )

Leo is 4 months old (4.5 at the time of publishing) and I was right about a 3 month old being the best because while a 4 month old is pretty great – they come with the 4 month sleep regression which is no picnic.

Life for me these days revolves completely around sleep. HAHA – no. Not my own. His. We’re just doing it all at once over here, transitioning out of the swaddle, taking naps in the crib instead of his rock and play, one feeding a night, and putting him down awake so he puts himself to sleep. Whew.

Anyway, here are some cute photos.

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Hardest thing about month four was a developmental leap happening at the same time as a sleep regression. I think we’ve made it through to the other side but there were a tough couple weeks in there.

Easiest thing about month four is forgiving him for his sleep issues because going in to get that kid after he wakes up is one of the GREATEST THINGS that happens in life. He is so happy and pumped to see you and smiles so much it seems like his face will burst.

Worst thing that happened month four was Leo and I both got sick at the same time the night before Jon left for Mexico for 4 days.  Again, combined with a developmental leap and a sleep regression.  It. Was. Rough.

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Best thing that happened month four was the INSANELY incredible response I got to this post. It’s one of my most read posts to date and certainly my most commented on. I received texts, emails and Facebook messages that were so kind and thoughtful and it truly means the world to me that people read this blog and then take the time to personally respond.

Most Unexpected thing about month four was how much easier getting his shots was than the first time. He took it like a champ and I was way less tragic.  : )

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Most loved baby item is Sophie the giraffe. I always thought people claimed their baby liked it because they liked it so much (because it’s cute) but he’s seriously obsessed with her. I think it’s because she’s ergonomically perfect for holding and chewing. In short, she’s not overrated.

Funniest development from month four is his apparent love of ‘blondes’. His favorite thus far seems to be Jon’s aunt Janet, but he’s yet to meet a blonde he doesn’t love. I like to tell myself it’s because he’ll only ever love one brunette (me).

Milestones are many.  Blowing bubbles, screeching, finding his feet, reaching and grabbing, and my personal favorite…opening his mouth like a baby bird and ‘kissing’ my face.  He also went through an upchuck phase which thankfully has passed. But I looked like this multiple times a day for awhile…IMG_6447

Favorite Memory from month four is of two parts. First was Leo meeting his Grandpa Bob for the first time over Easter weekend. The second is when Finley met Leo.  SO adorable.  IMG_6418IMG_6395

Favorite Outfit…seems pretty obvious.4Month-6

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Funniest Photo (Leo didn’t get the memo that it’s called HAPPY hour…)IMG_6498