Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Illinois, night time stress and emotionally amazing

So much for regularly updating this thing. Well, it has been a busy month. We spent two weeks in October in Illinois visiting all my family. It was the first time Oliver met them. You see, Illinois is like a vacuum and it sucks people in to where they rarely or never leave. Only few escape. So my family has yet to see where we live in the Northwest. And that’s why they had never met Oliver. It was a very precious 2 weeks though. I felt like a piece of my puzzle finally fit. The family knows how wonderful he really is.

He’s walking now, for those who don’t know. And running. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He just now found me hiding in this dark room with the computer and is begging for my attention in just his diaper and a big grin. So this may or may not get posted tonight. I love to watch him toddle around. Now he’s on my lap captivated by the glow of the screen.

I’d say that motherhood is not necessarily less demanding these days...although Oliver easily entertains himself. The hardest part right now is night time. He’s waking up several times crying and since I’m weaning him from nursing at night, it makes it even more stressful. Last night he woke up about 5 or 6 times. But it could be that his 3 tooth (top left) is poking through. Poor guy. (....poor me!)

I think it’s amazing how close we’ve become. Although he is not as physically dependent as a newborn...he needs me emotionally right now. And that makes me feel AWESOME. In fact, I’m probably a lot more capable of meeting someone’s emotional needs than I am with the physical. I just feel like I’m likely to make a lot more not feed him enough, or teach him the wrong disciplines and methods of sleeping or socializing. But I’m totally amazing at being the one who understands or encourages or empathizes. You probably wouldn’t want to be stuck on a deserted island with someone like me. Unlesss, of course, you would rather talk than eat or survive. Then pick me. But I am a good helper. If you know what to do on the island to survive...I would do anything to back you up and keep you going. Haha....anywaaaayy. Way off subject.

Friday, September 19, 2008

the latest

Oliver's poop REALLY stinks now. Not that sweet, yellow, smells-like-cheerios stuff anymore. Solid foods change everything.

When I point at something, he no longer looks at my finger but in the direction it's pointing. Smart kid.

His pincer skills are in full effect (this is a little late news). He can pick up Cheerios and pebbles. He even tries to pick off my moles, until he realizes they're attached.

He went to the Nursery during church for the first time last week. Although he's extremely attached to me these days, he's easily distracted and entertained by toys and other people (especially other kids).

I've stopped being bothered by the common opinion that it's bad to nurse your baby to sleep. This has worked so well for Oliver and I for a long time now, and to keep hearing people say that it will be a hard habit to break, and I should start teaching him to go to sleep on his own now was really stressing me out for awhile. But I read an article yesterday that really encouraged me. I was reassured that babies DO learn to fall asleep on their own...just in their own time, when they are ready. It's not something that has to be trained or forced. So, this is where I stand on that for now.

I pureed vegetables and fruit myself this week instead of spending money on Gerber foods, which was tempting and convenient at first. But 30 minutes of my day spent boiling vegetables and using the blender and I have Oliver-meals to last the rest of the week!

Oliver mimics everything now. He copies sounds, faces, and mostly actions. We taught him to clap last week. And he points to the pages in book like I do when I read him stories. He has also learned how fun hide-and-seek is. I run away and hide and he laughs and crawls to come find me. So smart!

And my most common predicament these days is Oliver's constant need to be by mommy (although it's very endearing at times). So he HATES it when I put him in his playpen or blocked off room so I can get something done....or go to the bathroom for goodness sakes!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Little Boy Blue

Yesterday I noticed how Oliver looks more like a little boy than ever before. He’s losing his babyness. I can’t even point out the things that make him more like a little boy now. Maybe it’s all that gorgeous sandy blonde hair coming in. Maybe it’s because he knows how to get into his own little world and play with his toys and use his imagination. Maybe it’s because he’s sounding like a little boy with all his new words. Even if those words are just “Durhd. Balaaa baa dur dur. Attah ruhcccc. Maaaaaa.” He’s communicating, and it’s adorable. A lot of people told me to enjoy him while he’s a newborn because they grow up so quickly. I did enjoy him. But today as we watched some of the videos from when he was a newborn I realized how much fun he is NOW. He’s so interactive and affectionate as opposed to helpless and inanimate. I love watching his personality unfold. He is so unique! And lately people have been telling me, “It only gets better.” And that’s a lot more encouraging than “Enjoy it while you can.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a short break from teething


I've realized how difficult teething really is. I never thought I would ever not want to pick my baby up. But he is constantly wanting to be held and it's driving me crazy. (P.S. Don't use Tea Tree Oil on gums. It made Oliver puke. Nasty stuff.)

I had a dream that I visited my friend Stephanie in New York. I woke up thinking that might be a good idea one of these days. But then I realized I'd have to take Oliver with me. Which makes any vacation a completely different story. It could be fun strolling through NY, right? A little different than our wilderness back yard. Speaking of vacations...we booked tickets for Illinois in October. Very excited to introduce the family to little Oli. Whoa...I never call him Oli. Sometimes I say Ol. Which is even weirder. I should stick with Oliver.

Oliver is pulling himself to a standing position now. Amazing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Creepy Crawler

Oliver is in constant-change mode. Each day is different than the last. He is now crawling, and his first two teeth (bottom) have appeared! Two major changes for all of us. Yesterday he wouldn't eat any food other than milk, but today he ate every last bite of his rice cereal. I can't figure him out. He's also going through an extreme attachment stage. Every time I leave the room he cries his little heart out. In fact, he cries over everything now. He used to be so content!

At church a couple Sundays ago, Kya, a little girl 1 1/2 months younger than him has started talking a lot....and really loudly. She was fascinated by Oliver and was trying to strike up a conversation with him. But her forwardness and loud voice frightened him and he would cry every time she made a noise. Tears and all. It was highly entertaining. Sorry, Oliver, but it was really funny.

We will probably be moving in the next couple months (to who knows where) because we'll no longer be needed at the ranch. Two more horses left to sell. Then we're planning a trip to Illinois to introduce Oliver to my family. We haven't had a vacation since we've been at the ranch, so we're ready! I'm very, very excited about everyone finally meeting him. Mom, Dad, my two sisters and their husbands, my brother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and some old friends I haven't seen in ages. It will be a long-suffered desire finally fulfilled. I will get to show everyone my wonderful little family.

Oliver's uncle Jonathan is back in Washington for awhile. He's taking some time off of school. So we'll probably get to see him more frequently. The more family around the better.

There's a video of Oliver posted on YouTube for the world to witness his cuteness. Take a look at him in live action!!

And of course a picture. Meet Oliver's little buddy, Festis:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meeting and re-meeting family

This is Oliver meeting his great-grandma (Shane's grandma) for the first time. He is her only great grandchild. A special day indeed.

He also met his Aunt Amanda for the first time too! She teaches math in Indonesia, so we rarely get to see her. It was one of the best 4th of Julys ever! Amanda is also Oliver's god-mother. It was love at first site for both of them. I hardly see Oliver respond so affectionately and comfortably as he did with her.

And re-meeting Uncle Jonathan! Buddies for life. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

It was a dreadful noise.

Before I had no idea how early self-will becomes evident in a child. About a week ago my mother warned that it would be soon when I will notice this "I want, I, me, me!" struggle in Oliver. And a couple days later he started letting out this scream that wasn't the normal I'm-just-making-noise scream. It's usually when he's bored or I'm not focusing my entire attention on him. One of the first instances he was forced to sit in his high chair while Shane and I ate dinner. It was a dreadful noise. And we both recognized it and almost simultaneously got onto him with "Oliver, NO, don't do that." He stuck out that bottom lip which makes my heart sink and want to pick him up (what IS it about that bottom lip??), but I resisted and let him sit and hopefully he realized why we didn't like that reaction. There's not much point explaining with words he doesn't understand why screaming at us with impatience is wrong. So I hope the tone of voice we use is enough of an explanation for now. Logic and reasoning come later.

MAN, how do I know though? Do I really need to go to the "experts" on things like this? I've already tried that on a lot of things and end up doing it a different way than advised almost every time. Every child is so different. And how I want to raise my kids may be by a different moral standard than a lot of the world. With questions like these I usually go to other mothers I trust. My mom, Shane's mom, older women at church. How thankful I am for them. They're usually hesitant on telling me a direct right answer, though. Which tells me that I'm probably going to have to figure most things out on my my instincts and pray for wisdom and grace.

On a completely different note: I laid out on a blanket in the sun yesterday with Oliver for about 30 minutes just enjoying the gorgeous weather and playing with some favorite toys. Of course I lathered baby sunscreen on every little exposed area of skin and stuck a hat on his head. But he still got a slight sunburn! How thick do I need to put that stuff on?? Babies are soooo sensitive. But thankfully they heal so quickly. But mother-paranoia is getting worse.

And more photos! The first one is on our front porch. We spend a lot of time here when the days are warm and sunny. I just love how goofy he looks. It's such an Oliver look.

And the second one is when I made Shane take pictures because I got a new haircut and Oliver just makes me look less full of myself. Hah. But I ended up really liking this picture of us. He's wearing one of my favorite outfits too. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meet Oliver.

A little over a year ago Oliver Jackson Morgan was conceived. Jackson is the middle name of his grandfather and late great grandfather. Oliver means "Olive Tree". So does Olive, my grandma's name, and Olivia, my older sister's name. In Scandinavian, which is a big part of his heritage on his father's side, his name means "kind; affectionate."

Oliver is my firstborn and he's only been out of my womb for almost 6 months. I'm sooo new at this.

I am more proud of him than any other accomplishment in life. And if there is one thing I have learned from being his mother thus far, it is that I am really important and totally insignificant at the same time. He has revealed more levels of my humanity than anything else. A talent most likely inherited from his father. :P Actually it's probably just the experience of marriage and parenthood together that make me feel so human. Isn't it weird that it takes something so natural and common in life to convince us we aren't invincible and immortal? This little big-eyed world wonder falls into my lap and suddenly my life is under a magnifying glass. Both my strengths and my flaws are bigger than the mountains I live in. It's no longer the big things that matter in life....EVERYTHING matters.

I'm mainly keeping this blog to regularly update friends and family on little Oliver, and also to talk and reflect on what I am learning as a new mother.

I've broken most of the book rules of new parenthood. I frequently nurse Oliver to sleep for naps and bedtime. I don't brush his gums twice a day. We don't have a set wake-up time (or a set schedule at all for that matter). I'm a breastfeeding mother who drinks coffee and occasionally a glass of wine. Shane takes showers with him, and when he does take baths we don't use a baby seat. And we let him sit and watch movies with us (covering his eyes for the scary scenes of course). So I guess one of the biggest things I've learned so far is that the books are just suggestions. Don't take them to heart and soak them a filter, not a sponge, as I frequently say in life. Because there's no way everyone is right about everything. And every home has its different needs and adjustments to changes such as parenthood.

Our home is particularly one that cannot be compared to "normal" homes. We live in the back woods of Idaho on a Christian horse ranch currently not in use. (In fact it may or may not be sold in the next few months, so who knows where we could be moving to next?) When I say back woods I seriously mean it. We're on 144 acres right on the edge of a huge National Forest. Shane and I are both stay-at-home parents since Shane's job is to take care of the ranch. Sometimes we wonder how this sort of home will affect him in the long run. How awesome is it that he has both mom and dad to teach him, care for him and play with him all day long!

The recent Oliver news:

He's rolling over from back to tummy all the time now. If put on his hands and knees he can balance for about 30 seconds to a minute. He's learning he has large lungs that can produce loud squeals and babbles. He knows when we're upset with him and sticks out his bottom lip. He's starting to recognize familiar faces, and resist strange faces. He's recently obsessed with his own hands and he rotates them and slowly wiggles them in front of his wide eyes. He absolutely adores his own image in the mirror. He's easy to make laugh and loves to play rough. He's content for longer periods of time when he's outdoors. Ever since he was a newborn he has loved to stare at the trees. He now likes to pet Festis, the barn cat and I think considers him a dear friend. He smiles and talks at the pretty ladies in movies. And finally, his favorite words are: "ehhhhhmbAH" "pbtpbtpbt" and "amamama."

Here are a couple recent shots of our Father's Day fishing trip. We lost 3 lures and caught zero fish but had a blast.