Category Archives: denver

Fall Fun

We’ve been having so much fun around here with the fall activities! I’d write a bit more but frankly I’m feeling lazy and am saving all my brain space for a post about Bean’s first birthday (aka holy shit) so in the meantime let photos suffice.

Pumpkin patches!

Corn mazes!

Leaves!

Pumpkin decorating!

Cold weather! For like, a day!

Halloween costumes! We didn’t actually go trick or treating because we got home too late from work last night, plus she wouldn’t have really gotten much out of it anyway. Next year though. We took her to a trick or treat street at the nearest shopping center and let her pick out a few pieces of candy and get called a boy over and over because she was the only girl there not dressed up as Elsa. When will we be done with Frozen?

It is time to put away the Halloween stuff (and leave the Christmas stuff in the boxes for another month SHAME ON YOU for putting up your trees now) and that means figuring out exactly who has been living in the tote downstairs and chewing up all the lights that were in the box. Murr. Today is shopping for a few presents for Bean’s birthday and tomorrow she gets her 1 year photos done! Woohoo!

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Transition

The summer is starting to close. Kids are heading back to school. The nights are a tiny bit cooler and there are little splashes of color appearing inside the trees. Yesterday, even though it was in the 90s, the sky had that deceptive “fall” color to it–extra bright and clear and crisp. Football is back on and I am officially burning the “fall leaves” candles. And, as I noticed this morning at 5:30 courtesy of Bean’s extra early wakeup call, the sun is staying in bed a little longer. 

All good with me. Fall is my favorite time. What’s not to love? Warm days and cool nights, beautiful color in the foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING, more fashionable clothes (sorry summer). Lots and lots to do with the family. I don’t know about you but I hate super hot temperatures and it makes going out and enjoying things outside really difficult unless you’re in the pool. Once temps start to come back down it makes going outside so much more enjoyable. Zoo, Botanic Gardens, we can go to the park any time of day we want…plus, can we talk about pumpkin patches?? The time between Halloween and New Year’s is, in my opinion, the best time of the year. 

OMG WHAT DO I DRESS UP THE BEAN AS FOR HER FIRST HALLOWEEN??

Fall is a time of transition and that’s sort of where we are right now. Bean is transitioning out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Which is crazy. Cameron recently left his job at Starbucks and will be starting work as a banker with US Bank after Labor Day. We have had some difficult times the last few weeks and we’re transitioning out of that. Time helps. We think we will take a quick vacation this weekend down to Ouray or Glennwood Springs, leave the Bean with my parents, and get some time to ourselves so we can get back to…somewhere. 

Anyway.

Here’s what else is transitioning around here!

So close!
So close!
Hi there!
Hi there!
Holding her own bottle...sort of.
Holding her own bottle…sort of.

Happenings Around the Bean Pod

Happy Summer!

Well, what have we been up to lately? Seems like a lot! I feel like more often than not the last week or so we have been out of the house more than we’ve been in it!

Family Time

Last weekend my brother got married, so we had some out of town family in for that. We got to spend some time with my grandma Linda and grandpa John, who saw Bean when she was about a day old.

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We took another trip to the aquarium with them, since it was too hot to spend time outside. Bean loved it.

Before the wedding rehearsal luncheon.
At the wedding (it was a renaissance theme)

Baby’s first baseball game

A New Beanmobile

The day we went to the aquarium I found myself crawling over the front passenger seat of my car to wrestle the stroller into the back seat because someone had parked too closely to me in the parking lot and the trunk had the baby’s wagon in it, and I decided then and there that it was time to get a bigger car. (I drive a Honda Accord.) I thought initially that we would trade in my car for something larger, since it still has a lot of value in it and that way we’d still only have one car payment, but when we mentioned this to Cameron’s dad and stepmom, they graciously offered to front us some cash to buy a car outright, then sell Cameron’s car so he would drive the Honda and I would drive the new car. We spent the weekend poking around on Craigslist and looking up car reviews. Finally, frustrated with the fact that nobody online seemed to be willing to respond in a timely manner to my inquiries about buying their cars, I popped onto a used dealership that has locations all over the place and immediately spotted a 2009 Dodge Caliber for an insanely good price considering it only had 63,000 miles on it. We jumped in the car and headed down to Park Meadows to look at it. It’s in practically perfect condition and we really liked it so we signed it that afternoon.

Here’s the catch though…it’s a standard. And can you guess who doesn’t know how to drive a standard? If you guessed ME, you’d be right. So, so far I’ve only driven my new car a couple of times under supervision while Cameron teaches me how to drive it. I think it’s going pretty well all things considered! I may even brave a trip to the store this afternoon. (In hindsight, that’s the reason it was so cheap. But I’m happy we got a good deal on it even if it is a manual.)

Renaissance Festival

‘Tis the season for ren faire! We’ve taken Bean to the festival twice now and she has a ball. I dressed up her wagon to look like a carriage and she is without a doubt the cutest thing that has ever happened to the faire. Nobody even notices me and my parents in our (cough) thousands of dollars worth of garb because everyone is staring at the baby. I guess that’s okay though.

This was right at the end of the day before we left–she was TIRED.

Keeping Cool

The temps lately have been in the high 80s and low 90s which is a bit brutal, so I try to avoid taking the baby outside in the middle of the day if I can help it. We go for our walks either early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler. In between, we steal free air conditioning at the mall or hang out in the basement and watch tv. I say “watch tv” loosely, because we don’t have cable so really we’re watching dvds or Netflix. And when I say watching dvds or Netflix I mean Disney movies or documentaries. I know screen time is supposed to be discouraged at this age, but I honestly have no problem whatsoever with Disney or documentaries. I’m not plopping her down in front of the tv alone so I can go do something else, we always watch together, and I’m comfortable with her watching these programs rather than cartoons.

IMG_20140629_193702Plus, this way I get to learn stuff too. This week we have been watching “Blue Planet” which is about the oceans. I may have a future marine biologist on my hands.

Sleep

Maybe it’s because we’ve been keeping busy and have been out and about so frequently, maybe it’s because she’s not teething right now, or maybe it’s because she’s just figuring it out finally, but sleep has been great lately. She’s had 3 nights in the last week where she slept straight through the night! If she doesn’t sleep all the way through, she only gets up once, has a small bottle, and falls right back to sleep. It’s been awesome.

 

 

7 Months

Well, I normally use that chalkboard to write what month we are at as well as the date…but the Bean had other plans for it this month. As soon as I set it down in front of her she grabbed it and rubbed all the writing off. Oh well!

We had a lot going on this month with the Bean! She now sits up on her own, eats basically everything I give her, started chewing real food, has 2 teeth now, and has started saying consistent sounds that seem to be actual concerted efforts at words. We’ve even heard what we think might have been attempts at “hi,” “kitty” (though it came out “tikky”), and maybe, possibly, even “daddy.”

I’m happy to say that the un-swaddling effort seems to be going without much of a hitch. When she’s not teething, she sleeps pretty solidly even for nap times. When she is teething, well, that’s a completely different story, but I guess that’s just part of the package.

I try to give her 2 “meals” a day now, as well as snackies in between bottles. I’m not full-on baby-led weaning (I don’t think) but if I see something on our plates that I think she could handle, I give it to her. Tater tots, beans, small bites of frozen yogurt…she eats pretty much anything and everything. This morning she tried orange juice for the first time and she didn’t even bat an eye at the taste. She loves the yogurt bite treats and apple-sweet potato crunchies from Gerber Graduates. In the mornings I try to give her pieces of fruit, strawberries or blueberries, along with some yogurt, and she snarfs it all. She even likes hummus! I’m so thrilled that I appear to have a baby who enjoys food. She still drinks 4 bottles a day plus usually one overnight, but I’ve noticed that with the addition of the solids she doesn’t appear to be as hungry for as much formula as she used to, which is good because that makes it last a little longer. She can sort of feed herself, but usually I put it in her mouth for her just to keep the mess to a minimum. She is still working on the pincer grip but usually she grabs the food with her fist and then tries to shove her fist in her mouth. So, still a work in progress obviously. We are still working on getting her to hold her own bottle too. (Yesterday we left one of her bottles with handles at a restaurant and I’m super annoyed.) She gets the idea but the application isn’t quite there yet.

If you read my last post you recall that I was fighting with her teeth. She popped one a few days after Mother’s Day and I didn’t even notice. Seriously. I happened to peek in her mouth and there it was. The one right next to it was a completely different story, oh lord. That thing sat right under the skin of her gum for weeks. It finally popped about a week ago, or I’m assuming that’s when it happened anyway because the poor thing was up all night screaming her head off. The next day was totally different and the tooth was out. Yay! My mom estimates that the top center teeth are about 2-3 weeks away. Guess I’ll enjoy the tooth-free time while I can.

She loves getting out of the house and hanging out with us. I take her to the park almost daily (though it depends on her nap schedule, if she gets up too late I don’t take her out because it’s just too hot). She can sit in the front part of a shopping cart now which makes my life massively easier in terms of shopping. We’ve gone to the mall, the art museum, a chalk art festival in downtown, a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery, pretty much everywhere we go she is down. She loves hanging in her stroller and is good in the car…usually. Next weekend the Colorado Renaissance Festival opens, and I’m in the process of hunting down a used wagon for her so that I can transform it into a carriage and trundle her around the faire site. (It’s too uphill and bumpy for the stroller and I’m not carrying her all day.)  At least she is ready for the faire!

She loves her kitties. The best way I’ve found to entertain her recently is put two piles of catnip in front of her. The cats come running and she laughs and laughs at them. Sure, the cats are stoned all day long, but it gives me a few minutes to get a couple things done while she is entertained. On that note, she really is pretty independent and definitely doesn’t require my attention all the time, which I’m grateful for. Now that she can sit up, I can put her on the floor or in her playpen with her toys all around her and she will entertain herself for a while. In her bath, as long as she has her wind-up toys, she will stay quiet for twenty minutes while she tries to figure it out. She is curious and loves to explore and observe. She is obviously a hands-on learner and loves new textures and sounds. Anything that rattles or crinkles has her full attention, so tins with snacks in them and pieces of paper are super handy. She sits in the grass feeling it with her toes which is super adorable. I’m going to be making up some sensory play toys soon because she really likes feeling different things. She loves music too, and she bangs away all day on her little piano and her guitar.

She isn’t too interested in trying to crawl yet, and still usually gets pretty annoyed when I put her on her belly if it isn’t to sleep. On the one hand I’m okay with this because I have a lot of baby proofing to do when it finally happens and I haven’t figured that out yet, but on the other hand I start worrying she’s falling behind when in 1 outing 3 strangers in a store ask me if she’s crawling yet. I know every baby is different and some don’t crawl at all, it’s just one of those paranoid mommy things I guess.

One thing everybody does comment on, however, is how happy she is. And it’s true! I have one happy baby. She smiles and laughs at just about everything now and generally is just one easy-going gal. I feel like if she were an adult, she’d be that friend of yours who is down for anything at anytime because really, she’s just happy to be here.

What a Day!

Dang! What a crazy day we had here at the Bean Pod.

I got out early with the Bean because there were afternoon storms in the forecast, so after her morning nap we packed up and headed over to Washington Park. I’ve been trying to explore all the parks we have nearby and so far this one is my favorite! We got to see a gaggle of geese with all of their babies near the water and several different kinds of water fowl in the lake. While we were walking, I stopped to adjust a strap in the stroller and realized Sophie had fallen out! We have to bring Sophie everywhere with us so I immediately panicked because, well frankly, Sophies are kind of expensive and I didn’t want to have to buy another. So I turned around and we backtracked, and luckily we found her sitting in the grass where we had stopped to look at the baby geese. Phew! Crisis averted. We walked back to the playground and I ate my sandwich while the Bean had her bottle, and then we played on the swings. When I was getting the Bean back in her stroller to finish up her bottle I pulled out a container of Marcona almonds, which were a splurge treat I bought yesterday. (Have you ever had them? They are so amazing. And expensive.) Well, somehow or another I ended up knocking over the container of almonds and lost all but 2 on the ground. I was pretty well heartbroken because I had just bought them yesterday and like I said, they were a splurge because they are expensive. Sigh. But I did make some squirrels very happy.

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By this point I could see the storm clouds rolling in so I figured we’d get on the road. I wanted to stop at CostCo and buy a new convertible car seat for the baby, so we popped in, grabbed it, and by the time we got back to the car it was thundering and the baby was really ready for a nap so I hurried home as fast as I could. When we pulled into the carport it was raining and just starting to hail, so I left everything in the car and ran inside with the baby.

An aside–several years ago I got caught in a wicked hailstorm in my car. It was so crazy and so scary that I pretty much panic during hailstorms now, especially if I’m in the car. The sound sets me off pretty bad.

Anyway, we got inside and I made up a bottle and got the baby ready for a nap. She fell asleep pretty much right away. I popped into our room to check the weather because it was looking pretty gnarly out. Barely a few minutes later a tornado warning was issued, my phone started blowing up with an NWS warning, and the tornado sirens went off. Really?! I knew more than likely a tornado was not going to drop on top of us, but I was worried about hail and wind because we only have single pane windows. So rather begrudgingly I picked up the baby and herded the cats into the basement.

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We sat down there for a while, listening to the sirens go off. The cell passed over us pretty quickly but I waited till the tornado warning expired to come back upstairs. A total of 8 tornadoes touched down between Denver and the plains today. 8! Two of them were in the metro area which is fairly unusual.

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Naturally after all the excitement of the afternoon I couldn’t get the Bean to go back down for a nap, so I had to entertain her for a little while until she passed out. We both got a nice nap in and then went for a walk around the complex after dinner. Looks like we are in for a little more rain overnight and another round of severe weather tomorrow. Guess we will have to hit up the park early again tomorrow!

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Mother’s Day

How I spent my Mother’s Day…

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True to Colorado fashion, the weather turned out to be spectacularly dreary just in time for Mother’s Day. Our friends in Estes got more than a foot of snow, but here it was just a little too warm for much to accumulate, which is probably a good thing because there was a lot of moisture and a few degrees colder and we would have had broken tree limbs. As it is, we need the moisture, so I can’t complain much even if the day was too cold and wet to do anything.

Unfortunately, Cameron had to work most of the day and the baby was a grump, so it wasn’t exactly the magical first Mother’s Day everyone hopes for. I also had to have my mommy privileges revoked after the baby took not one but two tumbles today, one right into the corner of a folded table. Poor thing. I never even got out of my pajamas all day and went back to bed every time the baby napped. Oh well.

Yesterday Cameron and I helped the Bean make this for my mom to thank her for being so supportive and helpful. Without her I am sure I wouldn’t have made it through the last six months. She is the one who really deserves to be celebrated this Mother’s Day.

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Mommy’s little CEO

Anyway, in the end, it’s just a day…and tomorrow is another one. Plenty more opportunities for good days.

6 Months

A half a year old!

But…since I forgot to do her 5 month update, here’s that picture too.

What a happy, spirited girl I have. She has really blossomed in the last month or so and she smiles at everything and everyone. You still have to work at her to get a real laugh out of her (I am the same way though) but she is very jovial.

I haven’t taken her to her 6 month appointment yet (we have to find a new pediatrician) so I don’t have exact stats on her, but when I took her to the doctor for a cold about a month ago she was 13 pounds exactly. She’s been putting on about a pound a month consistently up till now but she seems to finally be getting some solid chunk on so she might be more than 14 pounds now. She is actually fitting into 6 month clothes; she was wearing 3 month sizes up to really recently. I can’t really dress her in footie pajamas for very long anymore because her feet grow out of them faster than the rest of it! Her hair is coming in really long and got really dark! Looks like it will be brown after all. Her eyes are still beautiful gray.

She loooooves food! We are still mostly on purees, but she gobbles them up at light speed. Carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, she loves them! The only thing she hasn’t really been crazy about was prunes, but really, who is. This last week I started giving her puffs and she is still getting used to those. She eats them and I think she likes the flavor, but the texture obviously freaks her out. We’ll work on it. I tried strawberries in the mesh feeder a couple days ago, and she got the hang of it really quickly but the strawberries were obviously way too tart because she freaked out! She even got a bite of my frozen yogurt and she loved it so much she tried to grab the whole cup.

Speaking of eating, she popped her first two teeth a couple of days ago! I was sure that her top two would come in first but she proved me wrong and the bottoms came in. I never even noticed because she wasn’t especially cranky or anything like that, but the other day she was nomming on her Sophie and I happened to look in her mouth and saw two gray things in there, and there they were! She has been wearing an amber teething necklace, so I have no idea if that’s why she hasn’t been showing any additional crankiness over it all, but if so, yay. They haven’t quite come up all the way yet but they are on the way for sure.

Sleep has been okay, but a little bumpier than normal. She was sick about a month ago, and then we moved and she went through a huge growth spurt at the same time, so we went through a hitch where she felt the need to wake every 3 hours at night and put up a fight going back down and then wake for the day at 4:30am. We’re slowly getting out of that now, but man oh man was it nice when she would sleep 6 hours at a time and only wake for a bottle once! (Which she did at my parent’s house last week, I should note. Grumble.) Naps are still pretty normal, once we got out of the moving transition period she went right back to sleeping about 2-2 1/2 hours for each nap.

She still isn’t sitting up on her own and she hasn’t rolled over from her back to her belly yet, and she isn’t very interested in attempting to crawl, but she can stand up! Not independently and she can’t pull herself up, but if I stand her and lean her against something she can support herself. Doing things in the “correct” order would be boring I guess.

My parents bought her a walker a couple weeks ago and it’s like the best thing ever for her. She loves that thing! Especially since it has a tray that I can put her favorite guitar on and make music. She can go pretty much everywhere that we go around the house and be present with us instead of in her play pen which I think she likes much better.

Even though she can’t sit up or roll yet, she still gets around. Those legs of her are strong. She kicks the bars of her crib and the edge of her changing table so hard she gets bruises on her feet! When she lays on her back on the floor she can wiggle herself all over the place and usually when I come into her room after a nap she is completely perpendicular and upside down from the position I originally put her in. Once she figures out how to crawl and walk she is going to be friggen unstoppable.

Her favorites right now are bath time, playing guitar, sitting on the back patio in her new chair, swinging at the playground, and going for walks. She has to bring Sophie with her everywhere we go. She is an observer for sure; she loves watching the other kids at the park and she is happy to sit and watch the geese in the pond in the courtyard. Being in the city opens up so many possibilities for us and she has been out and about with me a lot. We’ve been to IKEA and the aquarium and the book store and I think this weekend we’ll go to the Botanic Gardens. She usually enjoys being in the Ergo, but I think I might have to figure out the back carry soon because it’s pretty obvious she much prefers to be facing outward and looking at things than having to stare at mommy’s neck. She loves her kitties! They seem to have welcomed her into the pack too, especially Sherlock. She smiles and laughs at them and they love to cuddle up next to her on the couch. Whiskey even sleeps on her changing table. Weirdly, when she was at my parent’s house last week, she cried every time their cat Simon meowed at her. For a while she was really interested in Brody and would laugh at him all the time, but since he is living with my parents right now I think she has forgotten about him, because last time she saw him she cried at him too. Oh, and she totally has a crush on Jimmy Fallon. Usually in the mornings I turn on last night’s Tonight Show and she will stop whatever she is playing with and stare.