Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby's First Christmas

Baby O's first Christmas was so much fun! And although he had no idea how it was different from any other day, Mommy and Daddy enjoyed it on his behalf. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves this week...


Owen has finally started taking to the Bumbo chair, so long as he has something in front of him to play with. We're hoping that he'll begin sitting up on his own very soon!

He went so nuts for this bag of chocolates! He got a hold of it while Mommy was trying to get it wrapped as part of a gift and thoroughly drooled ALL over it!

Snug as a bug in a rug (or a Baby Bjorn) with Aunt Rachel.

All dressed up for church on Christmas Eve.

Like the cap? Owen posing with Papa and Grandma Vera on Christmas morning.

O's new favorite pastime is bouncing around in the activity saucer (or, as Grandma V calls it, "the office"), and when we put his new crawling ball (a gift from Grandma Peterson) on there, he was SO excited!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

5 months

Well, other than turning 5 months, nothing much new has happened since my last post. Owen now enjoys a bit of oatmeal cereal in addition to the rice delicacy he started with. And I am planning to give him carrots or green beans next week as a special Christmas treat...isn't he lucky?

We are looking forward to Christmas next week and getting to be with all of our family. It is so nice that we are already here, though, and don't have to deal with the hassle that is holiday travel. It will be interesting to watch Owen's reaction to getting and opening presents. Since he is currently at the stage where anything put in front of him goes directly into his mouth, I'm sure he'll get a good taste of all his new gifts...and the wrapping paper, and bows, and boxes, etc. We'll be sure to take lots of pictures...


The monthly picture with Curious George.

Daddy helped O on his first horse ride.

Passed out at Aunt Janan's...and those wine glasses have nothing to do with it!

Meeting the big man in red for the first time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving & solid food

Well, last week was Thanksgiving and we have SO much to be thankful for this year. God has blessed our lives in innumerable ways, with one of the greatest joys, of course, being our dear, sweet baby Owen. Also, we are thankful to have been able to share the season with our family (mostly Ryan's this year), and for the health and well-being of each and every one of them.

The most noteworthy event of the week (in my opinion, anyway) was that O ate his first solid food; if you can call mushy, bland, rice cereal "solid." He did surprisingly well and seemed to enjoy it. He tried to suck on the spoon like he does with his bottles, but he still managed to figure it out. Thanks to Aunt Janan for taking video of this momentous event!


Asleep in Daddy's arms Thanksgiving morning (before the crowd arrived).

Hey's baby's first Thanksgiving!

Sometimes O sticks his whole fist so far in his mouth that he actually gags himself.

Family photo

And another one...


This plastic ring landed on O's face and he couldn't figure out how to get it off. Too cute!

Pure glee at seeing Mommy the morning after Thanksgiving! Does it get any cuter than this?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

4 months

Ok, I admit that I've been a bit delinquent in my posts lately. I blame it on not having a wireless internet connection at my new digs. Aaarrrgh!

So....there's lots to share about O's recent development. First and foremost, I am extremely happy to report that he is now sleeping through the night pretty consistently. (That is, typically 8 hours or more!) Praise God! He has also managed to establish a fairly regular nap schedule during the day, which is another blessing for Mom!

He rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time a few weeks ago, but refuses to do so on command. Only when he feels good and ready does he impress us with that trick, so it was a good week or more before Daddy got to witness it. And now, he actually seems more interested in scooting than rolling when he spends time on his tummy, so there's that.

He continues to be a very smiley, happy boy who has gotten quite adept at grasping objects - which all go promptly into his slobbery mouth. I suspect that he may be showing early signs of teething...or he may just like to taste everything you put in front of his face. Unfortunately, he still has a problem with spitting up. Just about every time he eats (and sometimes even a couple hours after he's eaten), he spits up and makes a mess all over himself, whoever happens to be holding him, and sometimes the floor, sofa, chair, bed...whatever happens to be nearby. The doctor referred to him as a "happy spitter" since it doesn't seem to bother him and he is gaining weight well, and says I should just resign myself to a life filled with extra laundry.

At his 4-month check-up this past week, everything looked good. He weighed in at just under 15 pounds (the 50th percentile for his age), and measured 24 1/2 inches (35th percentile). All in all, he's a very healthy baby, and for that, we are extremely grateful! Dr. Omar (who I was very impressed with and am lucky to have gotten to see, thanks to a family friend of the Petersons!) says that we can start introducing solid foods at any point. I can hardly believe that my little baby is already ready to eat from a spoon! That just seems crazy! I think I may wait another couple weeks, just for good measure. Perhaps that will help with the spitting up, though...

Still no formal interest in our house in Washington. We are praying that we get an acceptable offer signed before the end of this month, but are quickly losing hope that it will happen. (Burying St. Joseph in the yard didn't seem to do the trick in our case.) Darn this economy! In the meantime, we are living with Ryan's parents and are grateful for the free rent! But as each week passes, we are growing more and more anxious to get into a place of our own again. Fortunately, Owen doesn't seem to mind where he is, so long as he has loving arms to hold and play with him and smiling faces to smile back at...and there are lots of all of those things around here!


Aunt Jackie carved this lovely pumpkin on Halloween for her favorite nephew.

At cousin Tony's wedding in Indiana. O did very well on his first road trip and hotel stay!

With Grandma at the wedding reception.

O was so excited to finally meet his uncle Chuckie. They're going to be buddies for sure!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome "home," Owen!

We received such a warm welcome home last Friday when we arrived back in Iowa. Papa Vern even took the time to decorate the house with banners and balloons, and both Grandmas have been stocking up on baby gear - like toys, swings, high chairs, cribs, etc. It is evident just how excited our whole family is to have us back! And we are excited, too. Fall in the Midwest is so beautiful and we were lucky enough to make it back in time to see all the leaves changing colors. (Unfortunately, as natives of this area, we are all too aware of what comes after those leaves fall and the temperatures begin to drop. Try as I might, I'm not sure I can be as upbeat about the pending Iowa winter that lies ahead.)

Owen has adapted to life here very well. This was probably a great time to move since he is too young to really even know where he is, so it truly makes no difference to him - Washington, Iowa, China..., wherever! He does, however, seem to feel pretty comfortable at Grandma and Papa Betts' house and proved that by officially sleeping through the night this past week! That's right - a full 10 hours of sleep!!! Again, he's only done it once, but he's come close several other nights with about 8-9 hours at a time. He's just coming right along!

Ryan will be flying back to Seattle on Sunday to gather up the remaining stuff in our house (there's not much - just the things we still needed during those two days and nights we lived there after all our stuff had been moved out.) His friend Nathan who lives in L.A. is going to meet him there on Monday and the two of them will set out on the cross-country journey back to Iowa in the Pathfinder. (The other car was shipped to us and is due to arrive this weekend.) They are planning to make a few stops along the way and see some of the countryside, weather permitting. I wish them luck and safe travels!

In the meantime, O and I will continue to crash the Betts pad, and when Ryan returns, we will officially take up residence with the Petersons. We have not had much luck with the house selling process yet, but are still hoping to get it sold soon so we can get a place of our own - hopefully before Christmas. We'll see........ (Keep your fingers crossed for us.)


Grandma Peterson enjoying Owen on his first night home.

Beautiful Aunt Jackie holding her favorite nephew.

Papa Vern is so enamored by his newest grandson.

The little stinker was giggling when we put his hat on him for a chilly evening walk and we were able to capture this little gem. He's so happy to be here!


Playtime with Grandma Vera

Playtime with Papa Vern

Sunday, October 11, 2009

3 months

Owen's 3-month birthday was yesterday and that is one milestone I have been anxious to reach! According to what I've read and heard, after three months, babies tend to cry less, fall into a routine, sleep through the night, start rolling over, etc. Along with the excitement of these things, however, is frustration and worry over the fact that my dear, sweet O-man hasn't actually achieved any of those things yet. I love him immensely just as he is, but I cannot WAIT for at least the first three on that list!

I must say, however, that the night after my last post, the little pistol actually slept for 8 hours - a first! It was just a one-time thing, but he has been sleeping about 6 hours at night pretty consistently this past week. I've heard it explained that technically, 6 hours is considered "sleeping through the night," but I don't accept that, and here's why. Owen typically goes to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8:30, so six hours from then is 1:30 or 2:30 in the morning. Tell me...who awakens and starts their day at that time? So, until he is sleeping from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., I refuse to call it "sleeping through the night." And I realize that probably won't happen for quite some time, but it WILL happen! (A light at the end of the tunnel!) In the meantime, though, only getting up with him once a night now is leaps and bounds better than three or four times a night just a month or two ago!

In other news, this week will be our final week in Washington. I've said it before, but moving back to Iowa is incredibly bittersweet for us. While we are absolutely thrilled to be near our families again (which is truly the main reason we're going), we are also very sad to be leaving our lives here. We have made such remarkable friendships that we will treasure forever. We love our beautiful home and charming neighborhood. We are disappointed to be leaving the Seattle culture, including Mariner baseball games, hiking in the mountains, and walking along the waterfront. And we will most certainly long for the mild Northwest climate come mid-January in Iowa. But our families - oh, how we love them! - trump all of that, and we go.

The movers come tomorrow to start packing us up and they load up and ship out on Wednesday. Then, we fly out on Friday. Look out we come!

Owen sporting his denim overalls; hand-me-downs, courtesy of Will Woodruff. They're still a little big on him, but I just couldn't wait to get him in these, they're so stinkin' cute! The way he's posed, looking off in the distance, this shot kind of reminds me of a senior portrait! : )

Our monthly shot of O next to Curious George. (Check out his growth by comparing this to his 1- and 2-month photos on my Facebook page.)

Getting ready for the cold midwest weather. Poor baby has no idea what he's in for!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

12 weeks - and one big announcement

First things first - if you've heard the rumors...yes, they are true. The Peterson clan is moving back to Iowa in just two short weeks. Ryan was recently offered a position at HON headquarters in Muscatine and we decided that - with Owen now in the picture - it is the right time in our lives to head back "home." The decision was a tough one to make; we certainly love Seattle, our home, our friends, and our lives here. But ultimately, we miss our families deeply - even more so now that Owen has joined us - and very much want him to grow up knowing his grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc. (And vice-versa!)

We leave for good on Friday, October 16. In the meantime, we have our house on the market and are hoping that it will sell - even in this depressed economy. (Things do seem to be picking up a bit, though, and we're hoping that the first-time homebuyer tax credit will incent some other young family to take up residence in this home we've loved so much.) Our plan is to move in with our parents in Davenport temporarily, until our house here sells and we find a new house to buy. We haven't decided exactly where we will take up residence yet, but are considering Davenport/Bettendorf, Muscatine, Iowa City, and anywhere in between...

And now, regarding our little angel (who is napping beautifully - IN HIS CRIB, mind you! - even as I type this)... Patterns are beginning to emerge (finally) and we are moving closer to having some sort of routine to our days. I honestly thought this might never happen! Life has been so random for so long, I was worried I may never be able to anticipate the events of my daily life again. I guess all these weeks of documenting O's eating and sleeping habits, like the neurotic, detail-freak that I am, have finally paid off. : ) My plan is to get him to have a nap in the morning, one in the afternoon, and an optional one in the early evening. The first two seem to be the more critical ones, though, as we've also started putting him to bed earlier than we were previously. 7:00 is a much more reasonable bedtime than 9:00, don't you think?

Napping remains somewhat elusive, however, because for some reason, when O falls asleep in his car seat (after accompanying me on one errand or another), he will stay asleep there for hours and hours on end. When he naps in his crib, however, I rarely get more than 30-45 minutes out him. I am open to suggestions on this one, friends...

And everyone always wants to know if he is sleeping through the night yet. The answer is no. Typically, he still gets up about every 4 hours or so, but about once a week, he makes it around 6 hours. So, I know he is capable of going longer, but am not sure how to get him to do that more consistently. Again, suggestions are completely welcome on this one, too.

Tiny baby in a big bed! (O napping in Mommy & Daddy's bed)

Look how high O can now lift his head during tummy time with Daddy!

"I'm such a big boy!" In this picture, I finally see why everyone thinks he looks like his Daddy.

P.S. The writing of this post was disturbed after all, when Owen woke up from his nap after about an hour. It's better than the 30 minutes he slept earlier today, but still...what the heck?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

11 weeks

Another week down in the record books... This week, Owen slept for six straight hours in the night for the first time! Yay! He only did it the one night, but I am hoping that's a sign that he'll be a good sleeper and start making it through the night soon!

He continues to enjoy lying on his back and watching anything moving...his mobile, the toys dangling from his play tunnel, the ceiling fan, Mommy's hands...whatever. It gives me a nice break once in a while because he's usually content to do that for at least 15-20 minutes at a time. Cheap entertainment! Also, I've been trying to get him to mimic me when I stick my tongue out at him and he finally did it for the first time tonight. Another milestone (however minor) to celebrate!

I am now officially done nursing and pumping (I guess I have been for a couple weeks now, but forgot to mention it before), so O is on a 100% formula diet. He does just fine; I'm quite sure he never knew the difference. I, on the other hand, still wish nursing would have worked out better for me, but I've long since come to terms with that and am now grateful for being able to eliminate the stress of pumping several times a day from my life. I didn't even realize just how stressful it was until I quit doing it. I will just say that I am a much happier, and more relaxed mommy now!

O in his "cancer" shirt (his astrological sign), a gift from Amanda and Will . It says, "born romantic, loves to be thoughtful." Sweet! But the sign is a crab after all, so that must be why he's such a crab sometimes.

At Green Lake in Seattle with Daddy, Colby, and baby Chloey. She is about a month and a half older than O, but he's such a chunk, he looks so much bigger than her!

"I just love staring up at Mommy & Daddy's ceiling fan! Good times."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

10 weeks

This past week we've struggled to get Owen back on some kind of schedule (not that he was ever really on one) after his surgery, but were up against an extra-fussy little attitude. He's finally starting to feel better, though, and we're fast realizing that the better he naps during the day, the better he sleeps at night. Getting him to nap during the day, however, often proves to be a challenge. The only surefire way is to take him somewhere in the car and he's sure to fall asleep...and then stay asleep for hours in his car seat! I've heard that it's not a good idea for babies to sleep strapped into their car seats for too long though, and it's not something I really wanted to get in the habit of anyway, but it does work. Now we just need to figure out how to get him to stay asleep for longer than 30 minutes in his crib during nap time. Hmmmmm.....

Daddy and Owen cheering on the Hawkeyes (despite Mommy's attempts to root for Iowa State).

How can you resist smiling at the pure glee expressed in this picture? This was taken while O was watching the mobile over his crib. I also have some video below.

Mommy trying out a new position in the Moby wrap. O did not like this one very well. We just need to practice some more.

Video of O watching (and smiling at) the mobile above his crib. Good times.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meeting family, shots, and surgery!

It's been some kind of week! Actually, the past two weeks have been quite intense. Last week in a good (no, great!) way. O got to meet his aunties, Rachie and Jackie. (Oh, and Jeff and Todd, too.) We had so much fun while they were here and everyone was so helpful! I didn't even have to ask...Rachel and Jack just jumped right in and did it all; from feeding, diaper changes, bathing, holding, calming, etc. They were great! And they'll both make great mommies one day, I just know it! Rachel, perhaps, sooner than later...because she and Todd got engaged while they were here! (Finally!) Since it's their story, I'll let them share it, but what a fantastic surprise!!! Congratulations, you two!

This week, on the other hand, has been a whirlwind of a different sort. Owen had his 2-month check-up on Wednesday, at which time, he received his first round of vaccinations. He was a real trooper after the three needle sticks and just slept for the first few hours. But that evening, the poor little guy was inconsolable...screaming off and on for several hours. Fortunately, he was back to his happy, smiley self the very next morning.

However, during his appointment, the doctor identified a hernia (turned out to be two, actually), so we visited with a pediatric surgeon on Thursday. The only way to treat this type of hernia (bilateral inguinal hernia) is through surgery (gasp!) and the doc recommended doing it sooner than later because of a risk of serious complications. So, we ended up having the surgery scheduled for the very next morning (today). Although the doctor assured us that this was a relatively common and routine surgery, we were pretty freaked. We were mostly concerned with the risks associated with anesthesia in young babies. But, long story short - all is well that ends well. We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 this morning and were discharged by 5:00 p.m. O is recovering well and, other than being a bit fussy this evening, he is actually doing quite well.

Mommy and Daddy had a few worried moments (to say the least!), but discovered just how loved this little boy is by all the support, kind words, well wishes, and prayers of friends and family throughout the day. We are so blessed!!!

And now, the latest photos...

Thought this was a cute expression on his face.

Brothers. (Someday they'll be best buds, I'm just sure of it.)

Getting pretty good at those smiles!

If this is not the cutest darn picture you've ever seen, there must be something wrong with you! : )

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The latest...

Not much new to report this week, and I didn't take very many pictures either, but here are couple...

Extreme close-up shot of O while I was wearing him in the Baby Bjorn.

A lazy Sunday morning with my two boys.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Play tunnel

Thanks Uncle Mage for the play tunnel! We love it! (And little did you know that it had a hint of Cyclone in it!) : D

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Owen's song

Ok, this post is mostly for Grandma and Grandpa V, who got Owen his own personalized song of nursery rhymes, which he LOVES! He was being very fussy this evening, but then we put on this CD and danced around with him and, voila! Calm!

Thanks G'ma & G'pa V!!! (Be sure to turn your volume up so you can hear the words.)

6 weeks

I love the weekend. I especially love weekend mornings. Having Ryan around to help out is the absolute BEST! And the peaceful quiet of the morning (when Owen is typically quite happy and content) is so welcomed!

This past week, Owen endured a painful right of passage...he was circumcised. Ryan was present for the actual procedure, while I opted to sit that one out. Although I'm sure it was not much fun at the time, he is doing quite well now (Owen, that is; although I'm sure Ryan is fine, too!) It was performed during his 1-month check-up, so we also got all his updated stats: 9 pounds, 5 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long (as of Monday).

I'm pretty sure we also witnessed O's first social smile this week, although it was directed at the wall instead of at one of us. Whatever...we'll take it! We've gotten a few others since then, but never while looking directly at us. As long as he's showing signs of happiness, I don't really care. I was beginning to think that this child was simply miserable, but I guess I just needed to be a little more patient.

Overall, I'm finally starting to see what everyone meant when they said that things would get better and better every day. It does seem like he is a little bit more happy, a little bit more content, and a little bit more fun every day. Sometimes we still have bad days (or just bad moments), but we've certainly come a long way in six weeks.

Here are a few photos from this past week. He's just so unbelievably cute, I can hardly stand it sometimes!

Just chillin' in my doggy outfit. 'Sup?

Owen in the Moby wrap - his own personal little cocoon.

Practicing "tummy time" with a little help from the Boppy pillow.

Bath time! (O's favorite time of the day.)