Thursday, July 2, 2015

Winston 11 months

Oy. Just when I think our months can't get any crazier, they do. Eleven has probably been Winston's worst month since his first month. We've had a lot of health issues but so far everything seems to be minor and for that, we are so very grateful. 

Eating: poor Winston ended up in the ER, then transferred and admitted, then referred to a pediatric GI specialist. So, we took him down to a liquid diet (almond milk + breast milk) for about a week to let his GI system reset. We discovered that the blood in his stools was from me, not him, so we have since fully weaned from breastfeeding [more on that later]. We are reintroducing one food at a time, starting with white potato - so far so good. It's been really really hard, as he doesn't really like the almond milk (especially if we try to give it to him cold) and he wanted table food so bad. Lots of crying and not a lot of sleep. But I am confident things will get better and this is for the best for both of us. 

Sleeping: he's had a really hard time going down at night since we went to the liquid diet. Lots of crying no matter what we do. But once he's really down, he's sleeping normally (until around 6am) and still taking two naps, many of which are in the car. 

Activity: he walks everywhere, unless he's wearing shoes, in which case he acts like his feet are cemented to the floor. Winston is signing more & please, says more, mama, dada, ball, bottle, dog, bye, and waves, claps, gives kisses and hugs, and throws the ball. He had an IV in his right hand and was still throwing the ball with his left hand around the hospital hallway! He is starting to watch a little TV (a blessing with all these procedures) and likes things with music. He dances when he hears a song he likes, or claps along. He's a climber so we have to watch him constantly. 

First: X-ray, hospital stay, IV and ambulance ride. He had four teeth with a few more close behind. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Storm brewing

This morning, the sky was red when you woke up (late for you but still earlier than I'd like). I was instantly reminded of the phrase my dad taught us growing up:

"Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning."

It was the perfect symbolism for our day; the calm before the storm. Before anyone else in the house was up and the chaos of a busy day took over, we had a few quiet moments in the orange light of your nursery, rocking and nursing. I know these days are numbered, and that they'll be done soon. I know that I will miss them. I know I'm doing what's best for you but it doesn't make me any less nostalgic for these days, these moments, these special times of just me and you. 

Today will be hard for both of us. You'll forget the pain but I won't. Please know that everything we are doing is our feeble attempt to take care of you the best way we know how. I'm so thankful God gave you to us and I pray every day for Him to help me be a good steward of such a precious gift. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." [Isaiah 43:2]

The past 48+ hours have been a bit ... overwhelming, I guess you could say? Emotional? Stressful? Busy, for sure. I'm not sure what the right word is. But I know the word that keeps coming up in my head.


I am so thankful I serve a God who has had my precious son in the palm of His hand long before he was ever on this earth. I am so thankful that He is a merciful, HEALING, comforting God who forgives me even when I forget to trust Him in all things. I am so thankful for our family's health, despite all we are going through right now. Because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our Lord has a plan for Winston's life and He is going to use all of this to glorify His mighty name.

Let me start from the beginning. The very beginning. I'll try to condense but feel free to skim over some of these early details.

When I was in labor with our second child, my water broke in the hospital and they noticed there was meconium in the water, so they brought in the special care nursery team. A second bag of water broke, which was clear, so they decided Winston was fine and wouldn't need any extra monitoring. I am so thankful that he had not swallowed meconium and we were able to achieve most of our birth wishes for after delivery. Delivery went well and he nursed immediately. By day two, I noticed "lipstick nipple" and had some pretty intense pain, more than what would be normal for early breastfeeding days. I kept urging the staff that he had a tongue tie, but nothing could be seen as an issue. Five days later, my nipples were bleeding and the pain of his latch brought tears to my eyes. They clipped his tongue in the pediatrician's office, but it offered me no relief. By two weeks, he was still losing weight and we added a number of tools to our breastfeeding arsenal: a hospital grade pump, bottles, nipple shields, Dr. Jack Newman's All-Purpose Nipple Ointment, a feeding syringe, an ENT (and subsequent second tongue clip with the additional lip clip), the rock 'n play sleeper, a medicine cup, reflux meds (zantac and then rantidine) ... I'm sure I'm missing a few details, but you get the picture. It wasn't pretty. I'm so thankful I had friends and professionals who took my concerns seriously and offered us ways to make breastfeeding successful. Months later, Winston was gaining weight fine but my nipples still bled off & on so I had his tongue clipped a third time in case it might help with the pain [spoiler alert: it didn't]. I eliminated dairy, then reintroduced, then eliminated again, then started reintroducing, then did a full / strict elimination. I've carried around dirty diapers in ziplock bags, I've swabbed poop into fecal sample cups, I've cleaned blow-outs off my clothes, Winston's clothes, our couch, our carpet, his sheets, his changing table, his floor, the rocking chair, the carseat, the stroller, the pack n play, the rock n play, the jumperoo, the ergo, and just about everything else he's touched. I'm thankful for other friends who have had to eliminate dairy and offered suggestions, altered meals, and helped however they could.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, June 21. Winston is 11+ months old. He has had blood in his stool off and on as a result, we're told, of the dairy sensitivity. They've always warned me that black, coffee-ground stool is a big warning sign ... and wouldn't you know what I found while changing his diaper sunday afternoon?! So we ended up in the Emergency Room for 7 hours before being transported to a larger hospital with better children's capabilities, where we were admitted for a day. I'm thankful Winston had two more stools like that at the hospital, so there was no question of what was happening, and they were able to get clear and concise cultures done.

I'm not saying this to complain, but rather to shed light on what we've been through. Maybe so I can provide some advice or solidarity to another mom who might be going down a similar road. Maybe so I can make Winston feel guilty about all he's put us through in 15 years (kidding). Maybe it's just to provide myself a reminder of all we've overcome in case the weaning hormones get me feeling guilty about our breastfeeding journey coming to an end. Either way, we've been through a lot together, but I'm so incredibly thankful for our journey over the past almost-year. I have so much to be thankful for.
  • Against all odds, we have never had to supplement with formula or donor milk. I'm so thankful for my commitment and conviction to nurse my children and for my God-given ability to produce enough milk for them even when Winston was not able to transfer it from the breast. 
  • There is a wealth of knowledge (through websites, support groups, and other moms) regarding dairy elimination and every other issue we've faced. I have plenty of places to turn if I have questions, need suggestions, or just need support and hugs and to know we'll get through it.
  • There is a wealth of dairy-free alternatives to foods I like, and they're mostly affordable. Sure, I miss sour cream and alfredo sauce, but I've gotten accustomed to coconut milk ice cream and almond milk creamer and even goat's milk brie cheese.
  • Winston's "scary" diapers happened Sunday, not Saturday (London's 3rd birthday / party). They happened when I was the one who was changing him, as someone else may not have known it was a red flag. They happened while we were at home, rather than on one of our many summer trips. They also happened during the summer, while Ben's dad is off work and able to stay with London so we could both stay in the hospital overnight with Winston.
  • I spoke with a thorough, concerned after-hours nurse, who instructed me to go to the ER despite no other symptoms. We met thorough, concerned nurses and a doctor who didn't discount the severity of his symptoms, despite his overall healthy appearance. We were transferred and admitted to ensure that his symptoms were addressed and safely monitored. We were scheduled with a Pediatric GI specialist the day after being discharged from the hospital, had our appointment bumped up even earlier due to cancellations, and got scheduled for the scan he needs within two days.
  • All of the possible diagnoses that have been discussed are NOT scary! They are fixable issues. Some are hard, some require immediate action, some may be long-term. But no one has used any scary words like "cancer" or "autoimmune" or even "chronic". Whatever is ailing my sweet boy, the medical staff that's caring for him is confident that they can get to the bottom of it and fix it.
  • Finally, and most importantly - truly - is Winston's demeanor. He baffled every doctor who observed him with how happy and healthy he is. Despite all the blood in his stool, his blood levels are fine, he's not anemic, he needed no transfusions or IVs, his white blood count is not elevated and he has no fever. He smiled and flirted with everyone who came into his room, even minutes after being stuck 5x with needles. What we keep hearing is a possible diagnosis, followed by, "but he's too happy / healthy / gaining weight too well / developing normally for that issue". What an unbelievable blessing, am I right? 

So here we are. After blood work, labs, stool samples, cultures, a chest & belly x-ray, and a lot of poking and prodding ... we still don't really know what's going on with Winston. We have a plan:
  • Today, we began a liquid-only diet for the next 7 days (breast milk and introducing almond milk, with the hope to be at least mostly weaned from nursing within a week). I am so thankful he is tolerating half-and-half breast milk and almond milk already!
  • On Thursday he'll have a scan for Meckel's Diverticulum. His GI and regular pediatrician don't think it's Meckel's, but they want to rule it out and I'm in agreement on that procedure. I do feel he has some symptoms consistent with that diagnosis but I am praying with faith that if he has Meckel's, there will be no question about it on the results of the scan, so we can treat it appropriately.
  • After one week, we'll begin introducing one food at a time for a week at a time until we can determine what the problem foods are. We may never know, as his gut could mature or at least calm down enough in this break to be able to tolerate whatever foods were previously causing him issues. That would be ok with me, although hard to swallow, because it means we wouldn't have to restrict his diet after the elimination period is over. 
Right now I'm praying for answers. I'm praying that God shows the doctor a clear answer for Winston's diagnosis, that there is no question about what the problem is, and that the solution is quick and complete. His current diagnosis is FPIES and something within me is not comfortable with that diagnosis, so I'm praying we find a diagnosis that leaves no room for doubt or question. I'm also praying that, through whatever else comes our way, Winston remains his happy self and I remain thankful. 

Thank you to those who have been supportive on our journey so far. Through your prayers, texts & phone calls, and all who have offered to help in someway (especially my friend Jess who brought me a grocery bag of dairy-free goodies to the hospital - with two kids in tow, no less!), we have felt so loved and we have gotten through this mostly unscathed. We have an amazing village to help with London when we both need and want to be with Winston. It's terrifying to see your baby getting put into an ambulance or taken for x-rays, but much less so when you have the comfort of knowing your big girl is being well cared for. I'm also very appreciative of all the advice and experience that's been offered so far regarding Winston's struggles - please keep it coming! And please please join me in praying for our sweet baby, for his complete healing.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Winston - 10 Months

Double digits, which means we are that much closer to Win's first birthday and not having a baby anymore :( I think I've subconsciously been putting this off because it just means I'm admitting to all the growing up he's been doing. That, and all the traveling we've been doing [charleston // OBX // orlando] hasn't allowed much time for blogging. 

Sleeping: two naps is our goal but it rarely works out that way. He went from screaming nonstop every time we got in the car, to sleeping every time we get in the car - certainly a preferred alternative but it makes it tough to get out of the house and//or adhere to his nap schedule. I strive for a 9:00am nap [sometimes earlier if he doesn't go back to sleep after his 5:45am feeding] and a 1:30pm nap to line up with London's. Having their naps sync up is pretty much the best thing ever. 

Night time, still not ideal in my mind. He goes to bed around 7 and rarely makes it much past 5:30am before waking and desperately needing to nurse. It's not terrible, but I have a hard time starting my day at 5:30. The days when he quietly falls back to sleep after a feeding & diaper change are the best days! 

Eating: we are still EBF, nursing at least 5x most days. I'm trying to cut back a little but he's not having it. Winston, hear this: you will never know the sacrifices I have gone through to keep you off formula. You will never know the pain one person's nipples can endure to give their child only the best. You won't understand the physical longing I have to ignore when I decline cheese, just to keep you happy. But your future wife might. And if she does, I hope she tells you to call me and thank me right then :) in seriousness, my boy is healthy and smart and the happiest kid around, and that is worth 10 months of throbbing nipples. 

As for table food, he really likes chicken, broccoli, peas, berries, puffs, purĂ©es, applesauce, okra, craisins and water from a sippy cup. In one overnight [16h] away from me he consumes 25+oz of breastmilk - dude can eat. After 3+ weeks of diarrhea / blood in his stool we are back to a very strict no-dairy // whey // casein diet :( 

Activity: here's the real reason I've been putting off this update - I have to actually put it in writing that my little man is walking :( he's so grown up! He started taking 1-3 steps about a month ago, and just this week he's walking across the room. It's awesome to see how proud he is of himself, and yet still doesn't mind being carried or worn in the carrier - very different from London that way, once she took steps she was off and running! 

He likes the pool, splashing in any water, throwing things and walking - though still prefers the speed of crawling. He says mama, dada, buh buh (bubbles, ball or bye bye), waves & smiles & laughs all the time. He says "mo mo mo" for more and claps any time we say "yay". And his first top (third tooth total) broke through last night - so you can imagine how much sleep I'm getting while Ben is in Colorado (read: not much). 

Clothing: 18m rompers & onesies, 12m everything else. Looks like I'm going to have to invest in some "real" shoes soon.

Firsts: first trip to the outer banks! He wasn't a huge fan and honestly, I was content to keep him in the shade - my poor pale pumpkin! First trip to Florida, first graduation attended (my cousin tori was the salutation of her hs!), first steps, first Popsicle taste (I made them with Dutch chocolate almond milk, he loved them!), first time meeting uncle rich & aunt Becky, uncle pat, aunt Amy & uncle David, great Grammie, and cousin heather. First time strawberry picking (he loves them as much as his sister!), first time in a convertible car seat (he's done great!), first trip to DISNEY WORLD!! (He loved the dumbo waiting area and the tomorrowland people mover). 

Measurements: He's over 21lbs and still growing & gaining well despite 4w of expelling everything he's bringing in. Oh, and the spit up has slowed down quite a lot, praise be!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Being a mom is sexy, too

Since becoming a mother, I have seen countless articles, photos, and even friends' posts about how sexy guys are as dads. Good dads, to be fair - the ones that braid hair and baby wear and vacuum up ground in Cheerios. The ones that play catch in the yard after working hard all day to provide for their family. The ones who get up in the middle of those first few nights with a newborn to change diapers. I get it, it's hot. My husband is one of those dads and I couldn't love him more for it. 

But where's the love for moms?! Where's the article that goes viral in support of the mom bod? Where's the praise for the strong biceps from carrying a toddler on one hip and an infant on the other, or $200 worth of groceries in one trip, or that damn 20lb baby car seat? Where's the Instagram post gushing over a mom's toned calves from chasing her three year old on the playground, or pushing a full Target cart at Olympic speeds, or running up and down the stairs 16 times every morning because WHERE ARE YOUR F-ING SHOES?!

Sure, our breasts aren't as perky as they were in college, but is that any less attractive that a poochy "dad gut"? Isn't it beautiful that we sometimes skip the gym in favor of giving baths, pouring cereal, and volunteering at the school? Seriously, where's the love for all these beautiful moms??? I'm not talking about what goes on within my home - my husband rarely, maybe never, let's a day go by without telling me in some way that he thinks I'm beautiful. But you know who posts articles & blogs about loving their post partum bodies and praising the late nights, early mornings, and day-in/day-out beauty in what moms are doing? Other moms. We have to keep validating ourselves, that we are still beautiful. A different kind of sexy, but sexy nonetheless. I'm waiting for the day when a blog post about the "mom bod" [written by a man, or better yet, a young childless woman!] spreads like wildfire in my newsfeed. But until that day comes, let me say it for you - you are sexy. You are sexier than the extra skin on your belly or the messy bun you've perfected on day three of not washing your hair. You are hot regardless of how many times you've been to the gym this week. Being a mom, a good mom, is beautiful. YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winston Dare is Nine Months

Winston's 9th monthday was spent driving back from Virginia. I feel like we do that a lot these days! He was a trooper as we drove from Raleigh to New Jersey to Virginia and back to Raleigh. If I'm counting correctly, he's been to eight states so far with at least one more coming soon (NC // VA // MD // NJ // NY // PA // SC // FL). 

Sleeping: I'm relatively sure this child will never consistently STTN. Most nights he sleeps 7pm-5am and then cries until I give up and nurse him. He's been starting his day much too early for my liking, and subsequently so has his sister. Still taking 3 naps some days but occasionally just two. He's a chronic car Napper!

Eating: big fan of waffles & pancakes, fruit, frozen fruits // veggies. Chicken, refried beans, all sorts of baby snacks // pouches. Scrambled eggs, too. Nursing is still going well, although he is ... Ahem, exploring with his new teeth. 

Activity: he's starting to stand by himself a little more and gets so excited that he even tried to take a step once or twice today. No balance, though, bless his heart. He likes the walking toy and often falls to his knees but bounces back up without missing a beat. He loves waving and dancing! He also is notorious for pulling the outlet protectors out of the wall, so let's hope that means he's going to be an electrical engineer. 

Clothing: still hanging tough with 12 months and hopefully will for a little while because he has a ton. I'm rarely putting him in onesies these days because he has so many cute "dressier" things. He is so long in the torso than one piece outfits are challenging, which is unfortunate because I love shorts rompers. Shorts & Pants can still be anywhere from 6m - 12m. 

Firsts: [second] tooth popped through this past weekend; first trip to NY / NJ; first zoo [the Bronx]; met his cousin Lou for the first time [she was 3w]; he per a baby chick at NC State Farm days: first Easter  [I put graham cracker goldfish in his eggs]; first long car trip - from NC to NJ. He had his "even Steven" day and has officially been "out" longer than he was "in". He also got to really play at Marbles for the first time!

Measurements: At his 9m appointment, he was 40th % height and weight and 90% head, ha!! Must give the perception he's bigger than he is, because people make comments about his size all the time. He's at 20lb 6oz and I feel every bit of it lugging him around. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

8 months

: well, we (I) finally got desperate enough to do full-on CIO. The inconsistencies in his night time sleep were maddening. Had a few rough nights but he's mostly doing 7/7:30-6 now. Transitioning down to two naps so I'm sure that's not helping but thankfully it means a longer morning nap usually. He's a belly sleeper and snuggles into the corner of the crib most nights. Sleeps with a crocheted blanket, paci and lovie (a tiger from aunt Kiki most nights). 

Eating: he is really getting into food now and it's fun to watch. Loves blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, chicken, bananas, and all carbs. Scrambled eggs with ham, pancakes, sausage are all hits. Still doing limited dairy for me and none for him. 

Activity: pulling up on everything (especially unstable items), crawling fast and starting to get brave enough to stand on his own for a couple seconds. Gives kisses and babbles / shrieks all the time. Laughs a lot, particularly at London. Such a happy dude! Seriously, he still falls asleep in my arms sometimes, loves to snuggle and smile and laugh, loves to be held. He's a trooper in the car now, and still does ok in the ergo carrier. However he does a violent arching / propelling himself backwards if he's unhappy with whatever you're forcing him to do. The kid has a strong will! 

Clothing: mostly 12m. We were give  a ton of 12-18 month stuff in exchange for some of London's old clothes, and much of it still has the tags on! Needless to say I won't be buying anything for awhile. 

Firsts: crawling, standing, first tooth. First st Patricks day (and parade !). Tons of new foods. Met his great papa and ann-ann from Florida!! 

Measurements: pushing 20 lbs and long as all get out. Short legs though, who is this child?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winston: Seven Months

My little dude has been seven months for awhile now; not sure why this one took me so long to write. However I think the only answer that would've changed, depending on when I wrote it, is sleep. Ohhhh sleep. Some day! Let's start there, shall we?

Sleep: he's pretty consistently taking three naps per day, about 30 minutes each. The first is around 8:30-9am depending on wake up time, and may last a little longer than 30 minutes. This first nap is often taken in the car because of London's schedule with preschool, etc. The last nap is around 3:30-4pm and I don't see him dropping that any time soon; he's normally quite cranky by 6:00 or so. We try to get him in bed by 6:30/7pm. Out of desperation for some consistent sleep, I was recommended the Controlled Crying Technique by a friend (link: ). We tried it about two weeks ago, had two tough nights, and then he went straight through to 6am the third night. PTL, am I right?? That happened for a few nights, but now we are back to being all over the map. He has a virus so I'm trying to be patient but also consistent. Like I said, some day we will sleep!

Eating: he loves carbs! Will grab biscuits, rolls & crackers out of our hands, and lights up when I bring out the jar of puffs. He likes canned pears, frozen peas, smoothies (I've let him try a few little sips of mine), water from a sippy cup or straw (dropped into his mouth) and banana. He also likes blueberries and grilled chicken, and frozen peach slices in the mesh feeder.  We are starting to reintroduce dairy into my diet and praying it goes well!! Hoping to test at his 9m appt in April. Nursing probably 5-6 times a day (when he wakes up from naps, before bed, around 6am and sometimes when he wakes up at 7ish). I am still struggling with whether I should have his tongue re clipped, as I have been having a lot of nipple pain and some bleeding again - I just don't know if it's worth putting him through that. Would love input from anyone who has been through it!

Activity: he started crawling last week and pulling up shortly before that - uh. No thanks kid. I love the sitting-but-not-yet-mobile phase, and it was so short for him :( now London & I are experiencing the joys of having to keep things off the floor, as I've already caught him eating paper and chewing on a marker (with the cap on, but still). He still likes his jumperoo and the new ( to us ) activity table I got for $5 but he really wants something sturdy he can pull up on (and mom & dad would prefer it be something safer than the coffee table). Getting him dressed is impossible because he's trying to pull up the whole time! He can go from laying down to sitting but thankfully doesn't do it in the crib very often. He is constantly trying to stand up in the bathtub, so we've switched to using the bumbo to keep him somewhat immobilized. 

Clothing: 12 months one-piece outfits but pants he still needs 9 months. I've been shopping for his Easter outfit and having a tough time finding dressy stuff in his size that won't clash with London's pink & green dress. We were so blessed with hand me down clothes from our friends Josh & Carla, so when I unpacked his 9-12 month clothes I was completely blown away by how much he has - what a blessing!! And of course he's wearing a ton of bibdanas I've made him :)

Firsts: crawling, pulling up, laying to sitting. First taste of meat: lamb, chicken; and pasta: spaghetti from amedeos! First ear infection :( he ran a fever of 103 and scared me a bit. We are OFF reflux medicine, hooray!! But the augmentin for the ear infection destroyed his tummy. He & London were making each other laugh incessantly in the car recently, and I cried tears of joy. I have been waiting for the day they could truly play / interact together and it was so awesome to experience the joy from both of them. First valentines day: He attended his first baby shower for cousin Lou, visited Fredericksburg VA to stay with our cousins Dylan & Christina (and Madison and Jacob) and ikea :) we said farewell to uncle Tyler as he left for his first deployment with the USMC. He's not talking much but he likes to yell as loud as he can to make sure everyone knows he's there. Oh, and he got to "play" in the snow for the first time - not a fan! He also gets to ride in the shopping cart and sit in high chairs at restaurants, very exciting. 

Measurements: he weighed 19'8 at his most recent sick visit. No idea on length, but just assume "huge". He's as big as a 15mo we played with recently. 

He's honestly the happiest sweetest kid. So snuggly and loving and smiley. We still  take him into church and he does awesome through the service. And still no teeth, thank you Jesus!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tomato & Basil Chicken Pasta

It's been awhile since I blogged a recipe. Mainly because, with two young kids and a dairy-free diet, my evenings normally consist of "oh shit, it's 5:00, I have nothing thawed. Bean burritos it is!" This digs is nothing fancy, but it was delicious, toddler approved and includes a bunch of ingredients I almost-always have on hand. 

2 thawed chicken breasts
1 large tomato, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 box pasta of your choosing (I used penne, because I let London pick)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp non-dairy butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
Salt & pepper

In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil on medium-low heat
While oil is heating, begin boiling a salted pit of water for pasta; once boiling, cook pasta according to directions on box
Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper
Cook in heated olive oil until browned on each side
Add tomato, basil, garlic, & butter to frying pan and stir gently until butter is melted
Remove chicken breasts from pan and cut into large slices
Mix sauce with pasta & serve, too with sliced chicken 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy Half Birthday, Winston Dare!

On Tuesday, London and I sang Happy Birthday to Baby Winston and she's been talking about his half birthday ever since. So adorable! I can't even believe he's been here a half year, fastest six months of my life. But what a joy he is!

Sleep: the dude is lucky I waited until 6m and 4d to write this update because our sleep has dramatically turned around the past few days and oh! how I'm hoping it sticks. I got a bit of a wake-up call (pun intended) at the pediatrician's office on Wednesday, came home fully committed to letting him work it out on his own, and then he slept straight though until 4:30am! I told her our struggles with him rolling onto his belly and freaking out, and she suggested it was due to the sleep sack that he was having such a hard time getting back over. So we did two pairs of footie pajamas instead of the wearable blanket (his room is still the coldest in the house) and bam! it's like night and day (ok, I'll stop with the puns). He puts himself to sleep for naps (still 4x at 30min each, though the first one is getting a little longer!) and bedtime, which is huge. He eats between 4-5am then goes back to sleep, sometimes needing a paci replaced around 6:30. I've been letting him nap with a crocheted blanket and only mildly freaking our about it ;) and he gets a lovie at bed and nap. 

Eating: we introduced avocado on Tuesday evening. He doesn't love it, if we are being honest, but it took London nearly 2m to really "take" to solids so I'm just giving it time. I also gave him a green pea, which he gagged on but apparently swallowed whole (ask me how I know that...). However he's been trying to grab  rolls and muffins out of our hands, haha! Soon enough my darling. Nursing is going well, he nurses probably 7x a day but is no longer nursing to sleep at all on a regular day - so huge!! I'm feeling very proud of us. 

Activity: we are starting to really get the hang of sitting! Probably my favorite milestone. He rolls all over the place, scoots on his back and his belly, and uses a combination of those moves to propel himself around the room, crib, etc. Mama is not a fan of mobility, just sayin. He's just started to get his knees up under him. No words or real sounds yet but he squeals and shrieks constantly, sucks in his bottom lip, and moves his mouth while we talk. He gives open mouth kisses while grabbing my face and just looooves his big sister. He also really loves his jumperoo / exersaucer thing and goes wild jumping. 

Clothing: 6mo onesies are packed away and I actually just got rid of a huge tub of the clothes he's outgrown :( baby boy Cox will look dashing in all of Win's hand-me-downs, though! 9m stuff for the most part, still holding onto 6m pants though. My mom bought him the most amazing one-piece suit thing for my Grandpa's funeral - so handsome. Also, he's wearing shoes and clothes that London wore when she was already walking ... Uh, what?!

Firsts: yet another funeral :( my grandfather, who he got to meet once in November. And what a sweet sweet blessing that was! Related, first limo ride (which he did amazing on) and first snow (relatively unimpressed). First Christmas!!! First New Year's Eve / Day / Daddy's Birthday. First NC State basketball game (they lost). First time meeting 2nd cousins Madison & Jacob (my cousin Dylan's children). Half birthday. First food(s). First time sleeping with a blanket. 

Measurements: 17lbs 11oz and 54% for weight, 27.75 in and 84% height, 17.75in and 84% head. The dude is so big and strong!!