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  • tomatoes2
    Tomatoes from two years ago on this date.

    In My Head
    I’m thinking about Autumn! I am so thrilled that the weather is thinking of cooling off and am very excited about camping and hiking trips! Going outside in the summer isn’t so bad for myself but we’ve kind of kept Forest out of it since he was so little this year. The heat just isn’t something to joke around with here, especially paired with the humidity. I will be happy to be able to get out in the yard on the weekends and in the evenings during the weekdays for a few minutes with him now!

    I’ve actually been thinking about a whole heck of a lot but I can’t really put it into words here!

    Watching
    Still just watching Masters of Sex, which should be wrapping up soon. I’m looking forward to Homeland starting in October as well as The Paradise—err, I just looked this up, there is no season 3 of this show! I severely disappointed! This was a great PBS/BBC period piece. booo! Ok, well, I guess Homeland is it.

    Our library system is set up with several digital lending options, including one called Hoopla. I listened to an audiobook from it the other day and saw they have a lot of movies to stream as well. One particular caught my eye, Tiny, a documentary about small house living. I think I’ll be checking into documentaries soon!

    Outside My Window
    The changing light. Hummingbirds. Deer. The garden switching to slowly go dormant. Weeds. The neighbor across the pond added some dirt on his yard near the shoreline and now it looks like a beach over there. Right now as I sit typing this the sky is a tinge of pink, the mimosa tree is still blooming, and Chris and Forest ran down to the dock for a morning look-see before they head off to daycare.

    In The Art Studio
    Nothing much but I rearranged it a bit to accommodate our old kitchen table as my new crafting table. Which means I’ll be in there a lot more often very soon! I’m going to be starting my Project Life scrapbook soon as well. I’ve actually been thinking about crocheting once again. That hobby is very much a dark season hobby.

    In The Garden
    I’ve been spending time weeding the path once again. Hopefully the weed growth will slow down soon and it won’t be such a big deal. I need to tackle more weeds this weekend in preparation for Forest’s birthday party. This fall we need to replace several small trees that bit the dust either in the deluge this spring or the heat this summer. I thought we were going to lose our longleaf pine sapling last week—I saw several trees in the area looking like they had just hit that breaking point with the lack of rain and heat—and then we got a bunch of rain over a few days and I *hope* we got that haulted. It’s iffy at the moment. I’ll be disappointed if that happens because it had done really well since we planted it almost three years ago.

    Reading
    On that Hoopla site I streamed The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I had wanted to read it for awhile but didn’t necessarily want to buy it and I figured the wait list for a hardcover check out would be really long at the library. This was a 5 hour listen and very easy. I’ll do a formal review of it next month when I have a few other books to review, too. The main premise was “Get rid of the things that don’t spark joy.” And loosen the emotional tie you have to certain things.

    A few blog posts to highlight:
    +Speed Bumps On the Way to the Mail Box by Pure Florida
    +Finding What’s Essential by Elise Blaha Cripe
    +Scenes from Chesuncook by Patrice and Justin
    +River Lover from 6512 and growing. When the news of the Animas River mining spill happened a few weeks ago I thought of this blog immediately. The family in this blog had recently written about their outings to the Animas and are into a lot of outdoor activities around that area. It’s a lot easier to identify with some disaster when you ‘know’ of someone directly affected, even if it is from behind the computer screen.

    Still reading Wild and Illumination in the Flatwoods. I plan on using September to tie up some loose reading ends.

    Drinking
    Ruta Maya coffee. Water. Pineapple juice flavored kombucha.

    Loving
    +The Matrimoney podcast! Money + Marriage…it’s great! They’ve already given me a lot of good ideas to think about. Definitely worth listening to.
    +This Conrad Anker interview on the Rich Roll podcast.
    +I’m just loving the idea of Autumn! I learned to love it so much when I lived in Florida. I mean, anything from October to April was just the best part about living in Florida. We get those glimpses here in my region of Texas with a just a couple of harder cold months, but I like to soak in what I can of the best months!

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    For an earlier trip here, see this post and this post.

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    For most of the summer it seemed as if we were go-go-go or bury our head and do some kind of house project, well, that last part was Chris. August was our month to recuperate a bit, though Chris has been out of town for work a few times so he hasn’t gotten to recoup as much as he has wanted. We layed low last weekend but still wanted to do something fun and outdoors. The summer has been awfully hot as I think it has been for much of the country. Paired with barely any rain compared to the deluge we had in the spring and the summer has been difficult to deal with. For our little excursion we opted for Burroughs Park as I had explored there before and knew it had diverse enough habitat for us to feel as if we were getting some good nature enjoyment in.

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    The perils of a baby on your back! He plays with my hair if he’s on my back!

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    Capsicum annuum along the trail.

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    Erythrina herbacea

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    Forest has grown since we last used this backpack back in June so he was sitting a little higher than I think he should have. We didn’t think to change it until after the fact and well, we didn’t want to mess with taking him out and putting him back in and risk getting a fussy baby, so we left it.

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    Cnidoscolus texanus, bull nettle

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    Ilex opaca, American holly

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    Old barbed wire near the boundary of the park. We stopped to inspect what looked to be a seep.

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    We oohed and ahhed at the lovely water elm swamp as we passed by. It was still as beautiful as it was when I was last there. We could see traces on the vegetation of where the water levels had risen during the flooding in May, at or above my head.

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    Trifoliate oranges

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    Leaf cutter ant trails.

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    American beautyberry

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    This one stumped us. The leaves are in the next two photos. It is obviously (I think!) some kind of cucurbit but I’m not sure if it is native or a stray non-native. Anyone got a clue? We only saw it in a few places so it was not common.

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    Someone fell asleep about halfway into the hike. I need to see how other people manage their kid’s sleeping in a backpack like this. I don’t know if I need to fashion some kind of cushion for him or what.

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    A rain lily from the recent rain the week before.

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    Spring Creek at the north end of the park.

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    I am looking forward to more weekend dayhikes over the coming months to stretch our legs and explore!

    It’s been awhile since I’ve done these but I’m hoping to make them more regular in my blog line-up!

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    I haven’t done one of these in a long time but I’m trying to use my dSLR more often. Last night we headed down to the dock before it was time for Forest’s bedtime to watch Chris fish for a few minutes. I wrangled the camera and an almost 1 year old pretty well but it was a little difficult at times. I’m hoping to start this as a regular post during the week once again.

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    Last last year I wrote about my return to fitness after having Forest. Since then I feel like I have come even further down this path to fitness and wellness.

    Some time after the New Year I decided that in order to really work on losing the baby weight and to get healthy once again I needed to take advantage of my lunch hour to work out. I am lucky that our office is next to a residential neighborhood and that we have showers at work. Working out at home in the evenings was just too much for me. It was doable but I felt like I was cramming in just another thing to do into my already busy evenings of making time for chores, the family, and then whatever personal stuff I wanted to do. At that time, too, Forest was littler and still not in a good rhythm with bedtimes so it made the evenings even more stressful. I was doing the PiYo and other YouTube workouts but losing motivation. I knew I had to return to doing what I enjoyed most and that was to be outside.

    I started off by walking and then running and it all felt good. Over the spring months I was joined by coworkers on occasion but most of the time I took off on my own. Sometime in May, I think, I remembered about rollerblading—why I forgot I really loved it, who knows?!—and dug them out, putting them in my car so I’d have them there when I wanted them. Since then I have switched to primarily rollerblading at my lunch hour. I bought a new pair this summer after I realized just how bad of a condition my old ones were in. It’s pretty amazing how much better I’m able to move down the road now!

    Also in late spring I started incorporating weight lifting back into my routine. I had lost a lot of muscle and strength since being pregnant and having Forest. I know, I could have lifted and done a lot of workouts that are available to pregnant women but I really took it easy on the heavy lifting while pregnant. Lifting weights is something I have always loved since I did it in highschool for softball. Lifting and having a good muscle mass is very beneficial, especially as we age. I would really love to do Crossfit and considered it a few years ago but never bit the bullet. Maybe someday I’ll get to try it.

    Another thing that has been on my mind this year has been mobility. It’s one thing to do cardio and get some weight workouts in, it is also another thing to keep joints moving appropriately and muscles stretched right. It’s also an aging thing, too. While I definitely want to be in good shape for vanity reasons and for overall health reasons, I want to be in good shape so that as I age I don’t become susceptible to diseases and ailments that plague our current culture. So, I’ve also been incorporating exercises that help to work various body parts and I can definitely tell a difference when I’m active in doing them. Before I got pregnant I started to have ocassional lower back pain but it has definitely been exacerbated since being pregnant and having Forest. Not only that, I seem to have developed some kind of heel problem, too. Yay, thanks 35!

    One thing I have really appreciated this year has been my FitBit. At first I didn’t think I would enjoy using it but it really helps hit home how much I move and motivates me to get steps in. Some months I’m a lot more diligent about trying to hit 10,000 steps. Other months I’m less diligent but will try to push myself to get another thousand or so if I’m only at 5 or 6K for the day. Just Google ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ and you’ll get a ton of articles about how detrimental sitting can be to your health. I remember feeling just how constraining sitting felt four years ago when I came to my current job after being active for previous last year and a half. I now try to make sure I get up more often during the day and change positions from sitting to standing and trying to move myself out of one position the entire day.

    As for weight loss, I’m not sure what I weigh now. The last times I’ve checked I’ve waivered between 7-10 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, but it has been several months since I’ve done that. I started controlling my portions a little better in May and did notice an impact to my clothing at that point. Many pieces started fitting looser and I am able to get into a few pieces here and there that are what I was wearing in early 2014. For the most part I still sit teetering at a standstill and I know a lot of that has to do with my eating. It’s not that I necessarily eat all that unhealthily but like I said it is more portion control than anything. I still have a bigger than normal appetite since I’m still breastfeeding, too.

    That’s kind of where I am at now. Trying to increase my activity and start pushing myself a little harder. I’m looking forward to cooler weather so we can start hiking again, too.

    Some interesting links:
    +Katy Says: A blog about natural movement. She has a podcast, too, which is fantastic.
    +Mov Nat
    +Lift Like A Girl
    +Sitting Is the New Smoking—Even for Runners
    +Harder to Kill podcast

    It’s hard to believe our thru-hike of the AT ended 5 years ago! As I went back through and put together this video I was sad to see we did not take nearly the amount of videos I thought we had. Times are different technologically than they were 5 years ago. It almost seems like leaps and bounds different, though it really isn’t.

    Anyway, the video is really long. I only cut down or removed a few videos that were multiples, such as the timber rattlesnake and the beaver, and an epically long video at the bird feeder at the hostel in Vermont. But for the most part I kept all the long walking videos through the Green Tunnel. It’ll probably bore some people to tears but I put it together for us. I decided to share it here anyway. Feel free to skip around and watch different parts of it. The first part has more talking than the latter 3/4. I ended up putting a lot more music as a background to those areas. Some things I forgot about in my baby haze this year, like the completion of Make Time’s thru-hike in Dalton, Mass. It was really fun to see that when it came up in the putting together of thise video. Also, I know we have a lot of pictures from our Katahdin summit but I was really disappointed to see we did not take many videos!

    I relived a lot of good memories putting it together! I also remembered all of the blisters, the hiker hobble, and the days when I wondered if we were ever going to get to camp.

    Happy Hiking!

    Last year when we were registering for baby gear it was hard to know exactly what we would and wouldn’t need. There’s a plethora of websites out there with reviews on the best this and the best that. Sometimes you just cross your fingers and hope you’re getting the right things! It all gets a little overwhelming.

    In the end you definitely realize that it is easy to go overboard with items that are just not needed. I know some people swear by wipe and bottle warmers and others eschew them. We were the latter. So, what did we use and totally love? What ended up not being necessary? Well, keep on reading! (These are all my opinions and links are not to affiliates or paid sponsors.)

    What We Loved and Used Often

    +Mamaroo: I remember seeing this on a blog or two before we registered and it was on display right at the front of the Buy Buy Baby store when we finally did register. It was on the pricier side in regards to swings and similar items but I convinced Chris it was worth it to put it on the registry. His mom ended up buying it for us and we used it heavily for Forest’s first six months of life. It tapered off some in the late spring until there was a time I noticed we hadn’t used it in awhile. Back in June I put Forest down in it for a minute so I could use the restroom and that lasted all of 10 seconds because he tried to crawl out despite being strapped in. That’s when I knew it was time to put it away. So, I moved it upstairs—it has yet to be put into the attic—and we rolled the highchair into that location. It took awhile to get used to not looking over in that direction to look for Forest sitting in the Mamaroo.

    We also used a Graco swing that was a hand-me-down from my mom (used on my niece and nephew) and it is still out. Chris uses it sometimes when I’m not around in an attempt to get Forest to take a nap. That worked a lot better when he was smaller!

    +Bum Genius Freetime Diapers: We have not regretted cloth diapering at all. When mentioning cloth diapering people still freak out about the time involved in washing and drying them but really we’ve just built it into our life and it isn’t that big of a deal. If we had different jobs that required a longer commute or something else like that, maybe we’d consider it a hassle. So far we haven’t. We’re definitely at a point now that if we don’t get to washing them in the evening or forget to hang them up that we’re not racing against the clock for running out of diapers. That’s a position we were in during Forest’s first three months of life when we were changing diapers every 15 minutes—or more!—at times. We’re also very grateful that our daycare has put up with the cloth diapering for us!

    Aside from a few times when Forest has had shots we’ve used them continuously since about two weeks after he was born. We’ve taken them camping and on long road trips for weekends away as well. We were given a bag of other cloth diapers from some family friends, and while we don’t regularly use them they did come in handy when we were away for a three day weekend and ran out of our the Freetime diapers.

    +Planet Wise Wet/Dry Diaper Bags: A friend of ours recommended this brand for a dirty diaper bag. We’ve since bought three, two used regularly at the house and one that goes to daycare. They hang on a hook or the doorknob and have held up great. We throw them in the wash once or twice a month because they do get stinky and gross.

    +Seventh Generation Wipes: I registered for these in hopes that I could try them out and decide if I liked them. If all else failed we’d go with something else. Well, we loved them and they are tough. The only thing is they are more expensive than a lot of the mainstream wipe brands but we’ve decided it was worth the slight extra expense. My mom came with a case of the Huggie’s Natural Care once and I also bought some at one time as a little bit of a cheaper alternative. They are very soft but that’s their downfall—they shred apart very easily. So we’ve stuck with the Seventh Generation wipes ever since. Typically I buy them on Amazon but sometimes their prices are more expensive and we’ll buy them at Target.

    +Rockin’ Green Hard Rock Laundry Soap: For our diapers we use this brand and have liked it so far. We were buying it on Amazon but our local grocery store started stocking it at a decent price so we typically get it there.

    +Halo Sleepsack: I remember when my friends were starting to have babies about ten years ago and none of them would use the blankets I was making for their babies, I asked why. That’s when I was informed about the suffocation hazard and SIDS risks regarding blankets in cribs before the age of one. Companies have come in to fill that niche and sleepsacks are that solution to keep babies warm but also safe. When the weather turned colder we switched to the fleece sleepsacks with Forest. I’m not sure if we’ll buy another one this winter or if we’ll introduce blankets. I think we’ll wait and see how he is developmentally in regards to being congnitive about a blanket on his body and keeping it off of his head before we make a decision.

    +Aden + Anais Sleepsack: We started off with the thinner muslin sleepsacks from this company and I really loved them. Forest was not big into swaddling, though we did have several swaddling blankets from this company as well. We opted for the light sleepsack during warmer weather last Fall.

    +Leg Warmers: When Forest became a little more mobile and while it was winter and still cold, I looked into leg warmers for him so that I wouldn’t have to put pants on him and over his cloth diaper. I really loved doing the leg warmers and look forward to use them again this year. The great thing about the leg warmers is he can use them for several years.

    +Old School Cloth Diapers: The typical tri-fold diapers, or even tea towels, are absolutely perfect as burp and drool rags! We had a ton of them from a friend of ours who did use them as cloth diaper inserts but we ended up using them in this method instead. In the early days there was a burp rag in multiple rooms just in case!

    +Foscam monitor: We have two cameras and one monitor and I’m glad Chris researched this and got a monitor like this. We have a two story house so if we’re on one floor and he’s sleeping on another we can’t always hear him without the monitor. We also wanted something with a decent range so that we could go outside and do yard work. Depending on which camera he’s at will determine how far I can walk without the signal reaching the monitor. It’s enough that we can keep an ear/eye on him while doing other things.

    +Ergobaby: I am so, so, so glad we bought this. I caught mine on a sale on Amazon for like $70 and we also bought the infant insert which we did use for awhile, though I don’t recommend that insert in outdoor conditions in a hot climate—it is quite toasty. I did end up buying a woven wrap earlier this year I have not used it nearly as much as I use my Ergo. Recently I figured out how to manuever him onto the back position by myself and that’s really only because he’s able to hold onto me a bit now. It’s still easier to have a little bit of help if it is available. I just remember lugging the carseat around so many places in those first few weeks because Forest and I both hadn’t gotten accustomed to the Ergobaby. When we did get accustomed to it things really changed for the better! I would like to get back to using my woven wrap more when the weather cools off.

    +Bob Revolution SE stroller: Considering our outdoor lifestyle this has come in very handy for offroad strolling. I’m so glad we registered for it and that my parents got it for us! We love it!

    +Boon Lawn Drying Rack: I know, at first this looks so kitchy. It was all the rage on the blog reviews and when I saw it in person I wanted it. We have a few of the ‘tree’ attachments for holding lids and parts, too. We’ve used this and continue to use for Forest’s bottles but also for pump bottles. Sometimes I think we could have used two racks but we’ve made do with the one.

    +Boppy: Between my mom and a friend we ended up with two of these. We kept one upstairs and one downstairs. In those early months I relied on it heavily for nursing, to bring Forest up to a level that would help in feeding him. Chris used it to support in bottles as well. Later we used it for Forest to just lounge on and take naps—pre-rolling and crawling!—and later we put it on the floor for him to watch a cartoon or two while we did dishes or a chore. Now they don’t get used very often at all but I plan to keep them out for awhile as he may start laying on them to watch cartoons again. He’s so active now that he doesn’t really lay down unless it is specifically nap or bed time.

    What We Barely Used or Didn’t Need
    +Fancy clothing/pants/shorts: If Forest was a girl maybe I’d dress him up a little more but the kid lives in onesies. They are far easier than dealing with putting on pants or shorts or any of those cute overall outfits, especially in the younger baby days when diaper changes are frequent. Get a few outfits but don’t go crazy with them.

    +Baby food making gear: We bought one set of storage containers that were specifically for making baby food and had intentions of buying more but we never did. We used these little containers for awhile when we were introducing purees to daycare but as soon as he started eating an entire pack or jar we stopped splitting up the food into the containers. I’m glad we didn’t go all out with this stuff. I contemplated buying the refillable pouches but Chris talked me out of them, which I’m now glad for.

    +Special feeding equipment: We bought plastic baby spoons and sporks but never did follow up with special bowls or plates. I have some small plastic bowls that were my grandmother’s that we’ve been using for his food at mealtimes and right now anything he’s self feeding goes straight onto his highchair tray. Maybe eventually we’ll buy something special but I’m hoping I will just be able to use some plastic dishware we have on hand when he’s a little older.

    That’s about it for things we thought we might use but didn’t really. There were things from the get-go that we knew weren’t our thing like wipe and bottle warmers. Options are plentiful in the land of baby registries and really, it is all a matter of personal preference.

    If you have any questions about these items let me know and I will give you more thoughts on them!

    One thing I have really wanted to do this year but seemed to keep forgetting when the time came was to recreate photos I took last year with my baby belly only this time I’d have Forest out in front. Yesterday I was thinking about a set of photos I took in our bedroom last year about this time and tried to find what day I took them on last year. I ended up being a few days behind so I went upstairs for an impromptu photoshoot with Forest. My battery was low and I was running against the clock with a baby who was not interested in cooperating. Thus, I really only came out with one decent shot and a bunch of blurry or not well posed shots. Oh well.

    Last year:
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    This year:
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    In more somber news today is a year ago that we said goodbye to Samson and two years ago that my grandmother passed. It’s hard to believe and yet time just keeps flying by.

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    Another month down! Only a month left until his birthday!

    • Food: Forest’s eating took a hit the first week of the month. He was still devouring his food right when we arrived in Port Aransas but he had a mild stomach bug before we all got hit with the bigger stomach bug, and paired with being in a new place, his solids intake went down to nil until we returned home to a normal routine. He has continued to eat the food I buy at the store but over the last few weeks we’ve tried going the yogurt puffs more often and he’s been eating them mostly with ease. He’s even biting them in pieces and will take his time with them.

      A few weeks ago I had a coupon for some Gerber containers, which I of course forgot to even use when I checked out. I picked up some that had chunks of food in them so he could start working on his texture more. It took him several tries at daycare before he started getting used to it and now I can feed him that without him freaking out about the chunks. I still take it easy, giving him just one bite that has a chunk in it instead of a bite with several chunks. I can easily see him either chewing it or smashing it on the roof of his mouth with his tongue before he swallows. I’m so glad that is going better now!

      Recently we started noticing random food notes on his daily daycare sheets that did not pertain to the food he was sent to daycare with. At first it was the yogurt puffs which didn’t bother me since we’d been trying to give him those for awhile. Then I noticed crackers. What had been happening was that as the teachers were feeding some of the others his age chunkier table food Forest had shown interes. They had tried giving him bits of that to see how he did. Seeing as he’s had so much texture and gagging issues we were definitely concerned. The crackers turned out to be Ritz crackers and he had handled them well but I ended up talking to one of the managers about the situation because we wanted to be informed before new food was tried. I had tried earlier in the month a few more times with pieces of food but none really made it into his mouth, however it sounds like he is showing a renewed interest in it. I guess it is time to try that again!

      As for how much food Forest is eating during the day, he’s typically eating 1.5-2 jars at daycare and then 1/4-3/4 of a jar in the evening with us. Sometimes he’s just cranky and we don’t bother giving him food, or we attempt it and he protests the moment he gets put in the highchair so I just have extra nursing sessions instead.

      Not necessarily related to food but in the same realm is sippy cups. He had pretty much never taken to the sippy cups we’d bought months ago but had liked the old-school Tupperware one, however he dribbled quite a bit with that one. I was at Dollar General recently getting other random household items and decided to see what they had. I ended up buying one sippy cup and another straw sippy cup. That’s been a little over a week ago and he has really taken to both of them. It took Forest a little longer to figure out the straw cup but now that he’s got it figured out he gets excited for it! Score for some random cup that isn’t on some ‘Best Of’ list for babies! Isn’t that how it always goes?

    • Nursing:
      Not much has changed nursing wise. We still nurse every 2-3 hours when we’re together or on demand. As I am coming up on my one year goal of breastfeeding I cannot fathom weaning him yet. At this point I will continue letting it be his choice to wean and follow his lead. I hesitate to set a goal after one year but if I did I’d do them in six month stints. The only downside is still needing to pump at work. Since he has sort of dropped a bottle, if not two, during the day I may stretch out my sessions at work and pump twice at work and once before work instead of thrice a work and once before work. The two afternoon sessions are 2 hours apart whereas the rest are typically 3 hours apart. I don’t know. We’ll see how he continues with his solids and if he starts dropping any other feedings. I need to read about navigating this issue, how other women do it without losing their supply totally. *I did end up reading about it and this is what folks do, slowly drop pumping sessions as time goes on.*

      I need to look into donating more milk very soon.

    • Sleeping:
      Alright. My one word of advice to other parents or future parents or ANYONE…never, ever, ask if someone’s child is sleeping through the night. My apologies if I ever asked that question to anyone pre-Forest. It has to be one of the most frustrating questions for a parent of a baby and/or toddler to get. It’s the easiest way to throw some guilt onto the receiving party, intentional or not (usually not). Sure, there are all sorts of guidance that says by such and such age or weight they are capable of sleeping through the night, which I’ll be honest to all of us that have a child that doesn’t ‘sleep through the night’, it sounds like total b.s. That said, Forest kinda/sorta *does* sleep through the night. He just gets up to nurse, which is still totally normal for breastfed babies to be doing. Aside from a few random times he’s decided to ‘wake-up’ at 5am only to fall back asleep at 6am, he generally sleeps ‘through the night’.

      What people fail to realize is that sleep changes constantly with babies…unless you are just a lucky parent with a kid who has never had a problem going to sleep and staying asleep. Things may be great for a few weeks with Forest and then I get a week of random stuff that is just ridiculous, like what he’s been doing lately—protesting bedtime. And it isn’t even protesting, he will get kind of to sleep while nursing and I think he’s good to lay down in the crib but he immediately wakes up and cries and then sits up and stares at me like I’m the worst person ever! And then he’s awake—there’s no nursing back to sleep. Sometimes I sit with him on the bed where he plays drunken-sleepy baby—sits up and then falls over on his side/belly/back, mumbles something, rolls over, hits his head with his hand in an act of soothing, and squiggles about. This can go on for 30 minutes or longer until I finally just give up and we go downstairs and he plays or watches a cartoon and I try to get something done. Chris has tried his hand at this sleep thing a few times but for the most part I’m the person Forest associates with bedtime.

      He’s still sleeping in his pack and play upstairs with us and a lot of the time (ok, like most of the time) he ends up in bed with us after a certain point at night. I just fall asleep while he nurses and the next thing you know it’s hours later. I’d like to work on him sleeping in his crib downstairs, and I have in recent months, just not lately. I don’t forsee him being in his crib consistently until he stops nursing often at night—which is who knows when. The times I have put him in his crib I was still getting up several times a night. It’s just easier to walk across the room instead of downstairs.

      So, sleep…be flexible and try not to lose your patience! Sometimes that doesn’t always work and there are tears from everyone. I know some day I will miss all of the cuddles and the time nursing him to sleep.

    • Developmental Stuff:
      July was a month of developments! He had started pulling himself up in June and that’s just continued escalating further in July. He searches anything out that he thinks he can use to pull himself up. He’s not quite got the leg strength yet for trying to walk or standing on his own so I’m not sure if he will be walking by his birthday or not. That was my original estimation but now I’m not so sure. Who knows, a light bulb could go off in his brain one week (cue one of those crazy weird sleep weeks—that’s when developmental stuff likes to happen) and I might have a walking toddler on my hands!

      With the walking he’s started navigating in his walker a lot better. It used to be that he’d walk into things and get stuck but now he just takes off around the house making a beeline for things that he can get himself into trouble with, such as the bookshelf with the cookbooks. He can reverse and turn and really steer that walker like nobody’s business!

      Also in the last week he decided that he was going to start crawling-crawling instead of army crawling. Chris and I noticed one day that he took a few more crawls than he usually did when he got up on his knees and we were all amazed. Then a few days later he just went forward with a crawl, got down on his belly again, and kept alternating that until now I think he’s probably abandoned that army crawl for the most part. I really didn’t think he was going to be a full on crawler!

      Oh, I may have mentioned in the June post, or maybe not, but Chris started teaching him how to do the stackable rings sometime in June. He has gotten *really* good at it and you can just hand him a ring and he’ll slide it on with no problem. He will sit there and entertain himself with that for awhile, taking the rings off and repeating it. He does try to put other things onto the pole that are definitely not going to fit or work! I got out the shape game where you stick the shapes into the same shaped hole but we haven’t worked with him on that much so far. Right now he just likes to chew on the shapes.

      I can definitely tell his cognitive functions are getting sharper by the day!

      *And one more thing*…I always think of these things after I get a post written…I forgot that I taught him how to clap on the drive up to Dallas a few weeks ago. Now he does it all the time! It’s so cute!

    • Health:
      Aside from a little stomach bug earlier in the month he’s only had a mild cold that he got at the tail end of July. I noticed some snotty babies in his class at daycare and knew that we’d be facing that later in the week. Sure enough…now I’m getting it! Oh, daycare!

      He’s got 7 teeth right now, with his top incisors breaking through the gums quite well. All in all July was a good month for him health wise. I hope it stays that way for a long while!

    Here’s some more photos and videos from the month!

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