Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lucky Seven

Outfit courtesy my Synergy bestie Rachel Clark. I need her to do all his shopping - how adorable is this outfit??? I love you, Rach. :)

Seven months has been by far my favorite age yet. He is so much fun and so easy to take care of. Isn't he a doll? I can't believe how old he is looking! A far cry from that little newborn face. Here's the latest on this kiddo.

- He is now strictly on soy formula. I am hesitant to even mention this because I know there is an army of La Leche League enthusiasts out there who are ready to burn me at the stake  - but please let me explain first. Believe me, I know the benefits of breastmilk - I've read every book on the planet about babies, after all. :) Calvin has had a rough time nursing from the very beginning, if you remember my old posts. My surgery made things difficult for both of us, so I pumped and bottle fed for weeks before he finally latched (and only with the use of a Madela silicone shield). Anyone who has not had to do this may not realize the time and energy commitment it is to pump, bottle feed, and attempt to nurse all at once. Since babies eat every 2-3 hours, I felt like it was all I did all day long. It was painful and I was completely exhausted. I was glad the shield helped him latch, but at the same time, I don't think he ever established the kind of latch that really helps maintain supply. When his allergies hit, I cut everything I loved out of my diet to see if it helped. It certainly did, but I can't tell you how stressful it is to worry that every morsel going into your mouth might be hurting your baby. Then, when he weighed in at his 6 month appointment and was so tiny, I worried about supply. I did a few yields and was immediately concerned because I was only producing 2 or so ounces each time. Poor little guy was probably so enthusiastic about solids because he was starving! I thought he was getting enough because I always let him nurse for 40 minutes or more. I tried and tried to increase my supply but to no avail. I cried to TJ that I felt like such a bad mom because I couldn't give my baby what he needed, and he was really kind and reassuring. I started supplementing with formula and saw how much happier Calvin got - immediately. His skin looked perfect, he seemed happy and satisfied, and his nap problems magically disappeared. Because Calvin is now older and eating solids along with milk, formula fits more easily into our grocery budget if I make a few cuts here and there. We just made a prayerful decision to go with formula 100%, and while I hope with all my heart I can breastfeed my next babies with ease, I just feel like formula at this point is what Calvin needs. Anyway - sorry for the novel on that one. It's just been a very emotional adjustment for me. Although I will say - I love being able to eat what I want again. :)

- Like I said previously, his naps are perfect these days. He is down to 2 naps a day, though once a week he might take a third catnap. He naps at 9:30 am and 1:30 or 2:00 pm for a couple hours each time. He goes to bed for the night at 7:00 pm. He always sleeps until at least 4:00 or 5:00 am, but usually these days he wakes up and talks to himself or plays around in his crib before falling back to sleep until his wakeup time of 7:00 am. I generally just get up and put in his pacifier. He doesn't go down to sleep with a paci, but I do use it as a mute button in these circumstances since we share the same room. Honestly, I don't think the night wakings will stop until we get separate rooms. He knows I'm in there and I think he knows if he bugs me enough in the wee hours, I will go to him and put his paci in. Smart kid. :) It's really annoying though. I can't wait until we get a house!

- He has 4 bottles and 3 solid food servings a day. I mix oatmeal with fruit for his breakfast, oatmeal with peas and squash for lunch, and oatmeal with bananas and sweet potatoes or carrots for dinner. I change things up a little each day, but usually this is what we do. I probably need to add more variety to his diet. He also eats little cereal puffs sometimes to practice his fine motor skills. He can't figure out how to put it in his mouth once he picks it up and it's really cute to watch him try to eat his fist. He loves food. We have started giving him little tastes of the things we eat. He gets really mad the second he sees food in his vicinity because he wants it now. Especially his bottle! When he sees his bottle nearby, he screams until it's in his mouth. It's hilarious. 

- He can easily sit for long periods now. He is not interested in rolling anymore - he doesn't do it nearly as often as he used to. I have been practicing with him lately and I think it's helping. He's not very excited about tummy time but we still do it. He can move toys back and forth between his hands now. He loves to hold your hands and pull himself up to a standing position. Every time he does it, he looks at me and beams because he knows I will cheer for him. He is showing no signs of crawling yet, thank goodness. I don't want to babyproof! He is talking more and more, but isn't saying real words. Everything makes this kid giggle, though, especially when Daddy sneaks up on him and bites his tummy.

-  He is a very good baby. At church, he will just sit on my lap and hold my fingers. When we go places, he seems very happy and observes everything (unless he is hungry or very tired). Our Sunday School teens just adore him! He isn't fussy and has a peaceful spirit about him. He is totally content to play on his own on his playmat or in his bouncy chair if I need to get some chores done. He has not shown any signs of true separation anxiety yet, for which I am grateful. I am anticipating it soon, though. We spend our days taking walks, playing with toys, reading Berenstain Bears, eating snacks, and practicing motor skills. It is so fun! I am enjoying motherhood more and more as time goes by. He's the easiest kid these days. 

Here are some more pictures. Just today, I did a side-by-side of me as a baby with Calvin and TJ as a baby with Calvin. I wanted to see who he looked like more. I'll let you be the judge. :) 

I also played dress-up with Calvin today and couldn't help but be reminded of the time Jamie did the same thing with Easton when he was a baby! Jamie, you are seriously beautiful. I would pose with Calvin in his picture, but the lens would crack. :) 

Ok, fine, here is one picture. But only because I can hear Sydney Beames yelling at me from here. :) This is me and Calvin at Grandma Smedley's Easter egg hunt. 

Calvin is the light of my life. I can't quite remember when I've ever been this happy. Little cutie pie! Happy 7 months, Mr. Man.      


  1. He is a doll! I would say a good mix between the two of you. And um, HELLO MCFLY! How can you not see that you are gorgeous!? That was the first thing I noticed when I saw your wedding announcement was how pretty you are. No joke. I don't just pass about unwarranted compliments either, so put that in your pipe and smoke it! I felt so bad for you when I read about your breast feeding experience because I can totally relate! There is NO shame in all formula feeding! Glad things are working out and he is such a good baby for you!

  2. He is seriously adorable. I love reading your blog posts about him (and your life in general ;) ) you give me so much insight into babies and being a mom and it makes me so excited to have kids some day!

  3. Awe!!! I love all these Calvin pictures! And how fun to get my own personal shout-out with my little monkey. I miss how small Easton once was. Everything sounds so happy and great! Sounds like you guys made a great decision switching to formula. I'm glad things are going so well! I can't wait to find out where his percentile will be for weight at his 9 and 12 month check-ups. I hope you have indulged in lots of ice cream. And I think Calvin looks more like you. I don't see much of TJ in him at all. And I would know. Because I remember him that young. Give a big squeeze to my sweet little nephew.

  4. Loved the update! I know you felt you needed to justify your actions to us, but you really didn't need to. Being a mom is such a personal journey that is sooooo not easy! We make decisions and then beat our selfs up over it, in the end we do what we think is the best (based on prayer and TONS of research)! I'm glad to hear he is doing well!

  5. He's so cute...and so are you. :) Glad to see a pic of you in there!