8 Months Old

EH is 8 and a half months old now, and he is a bundle of fun.  The other day DH asked me what I thought my favorite age of EH's was going to be, and so far, I chose this one.

Think about it -  he's smily and giggly and responsive and gives so much back, but he also doesn't talk back yet.  He doesn't have a strong opinion and doesn't fight when we want him to do something.  He changes a little bit every day and there's always something new to be excited about.   He's not mobile yet so we're not going crazy chasing him around and he's not getting into every little thing or bumping his head off of things and screaming in paining. 

We don't know exactly how much he weighs or what his percentiles are, and sadly we won't know that until his 9 month check-up in May (which is driving us crazy!!!)

We're starting to feel the "pressure" of baby development.  While we are working on and making progress in a lot of areas, EH is still pretty behind other babies his age. 
- He does not have a single tooth yet
- He does not crawl, and does not seem to be interested in crawling at all
- He doesn't get into a sitting position on his own (when he's laying down)
- He doesn't want to hold his own sippy cup

I know, I know, I know... every baby develops at his or her own rate.  And we get that, we do.  But when 5 month old babies are crawling and HE is going on 9 months and still can't stand being on his stomach at all, we start to worry.  We're thinking that he's just going to be one of those babies that goes straight from sitting to walking.

In any case, we're loving him so much right now and enjoying this very fun stage of his life. It's crazy to think about what the next month might bring.

Bathroom Renovation - End of week 3

The progress on the bathroom renovation - which was always pretty slow to begin with - slowed down to a snail's pace with the return of EH, the departure of brother H, and life in general.  The weekend of April 21st we decided that I would take full responsibility for EH care so that DH could make some significant progress on the bathroom.  Since not much happened between days 8 and 21, I'm going to skip those for the sake of everyone's sanity (since these posts are starting to get old) and jump right to the good stuff.

Tasks that were completed in this two day period included:
- Grouting of the shower tile
- Installation of the shower hardware
- Installation of the sink hardware
- Plumbing of the sink
- Installation of the door and door trim
- Installation of the floor trim

Still left to do:
- Install the shower door
- Paint the bathroom door
- Wood putty all nail holes
- Caulk everything
- Sand
- Repaint where needed
- Installation of the cabinet hardware
- Installation of towel rods, toilet paper holder, etc. 

And here is what it looks like:



And a door! (I was most excited about this since it meant we could finally at least use the toilet without having to go downstairs! First world problems, I know....)

We've come a loooong way from this, don't you think?

Bathroom Renovation - Days 6, 7, and 8

Aaaaaand, continuing on!

When we last left off there was finally a bath tub in place, and some purple dry wall.

Day 6 involved a whole lot of joint compounding which was not worthy of photographing.  (Some might argue none of this is worthy of photographing....)

Day 7 the shower tile starting to go up. 

And by the end of Day 8 we had a mostly tiled shower.

So, more than a week has passed by this point.  In the "dreaming" phase of this project, DH actually thought that they might be able to complete this entire bathroom plus redo our small downstairs bathroom as well.  Obviously that is NOT going to happen....

Bathroom Renovation - Days 4 and 5

This past weekend marked the 3 week anniversary of the start of the bathroom renovation project.  Nope, it's still not done.

But a lot of progress was made on days 4 and 5 of the project, and as of the end of day 5, it looked like this:

See that tub? It weighs 300 pounds.  (And I mean the bath tub, not the human.)  Ha!

Anyway, I hear it was a real job carrying that from the garage, up to the back of the house, in through the porch and sliding glass door, through the dining, living room and then down the hallway. I'm glad I wasn't here for that - I imagine there was a lot of cursing involved.

 But now there are walls AND a tub, and it's finally starting to look like a real bathroom.  However, considering that we are now on day 25 of the project and it's still not done, you can make a safe bet that there were some days of very little - or no - progress.   Don't worry, I'm not going to drag this thing out into 21 more posts - this should be wrapped up within the next two or three!

Done Breastfeeding

I am finally done breastfeeding.  EH is 8 months old now, and we had a good run, but it was time to be done.

Ever since I started back to work back in November, I had to (chose to) cut down to feeding EH in the morning and at bedtime, and I pumped once at lunch.  In those early days I was able to pump enough that it filled two of the three bottles that he got at daycare, back when they were 4 ounce bottles.  And that lasted for a couple of months.  But then he started needing 5 ounces per bottle sometime around the end of February, and around that time my supply started to thin out, and suddenly I was only getting enough for one bottle each day.

Then, about two weeks before EH was heading to my parents for the week, I chose to cut out the lunchtime pumping. I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't have any problems with clogs or anything like that, with plenty of time before EH was leaving, thus the reason that I started this transition two weeks early.  It was great no longer having to pump at lunch, and necessary, since things got crazy at work and I didn't always have a lot of time to close my door.

At that point I was still breastfeeding every morning and at night, but with 12 hours between each feeding, my body was getting the message that demand was dwindling.  Within a week, suddenly I was no longer producing enough at the bedtime feeding - when EH usually consumed about 2 ounces more than his other feedings to help him get through the night - and I had to start supplementing with a bottle.  First two ounces of formula, then three.

Then the "week away" happened - I dropped him off at my parents house and my super crazy week at work started.  I was working 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with no time to myself, and so for four of the days in that week I only pumped once per day.  My body wasn't happy about it, but I got through it and by the time I was back to being able to pump twice a day, there was no longer much to pump anyway.

When EH came back, I tried to get back to feeding him twice day - morning and night - but the damage was done.  I wasn't producing enough for a full meal so we had to use a bottle at every single feeding.  One of the main reasons I wanted to breastfeed so that there wouldn't be as many bottles to wash.  If we had to use bottles anyway, and since we could no longer feel confident that EH was getting enough to eat, we (I) decided that it was time to be done.  I fed him once a day, and then once every other day and then once every 4 days. Now I'm pretty sure that I'm at the point where I could stop altogether and still be fine, and in fact that may be the route I take.

I thought that perhaps I'd be sad about being done breastfeeding, and in a small way, I am.  I had some really horrible, awful few weeks at the start there, but once things calmed down and regulated, breastfeeding became incredibly easy for me - for both of us.  Twice a day I had some incredibly relaxing moments with EH, and I came to enjoy them thoroughly.

But I also feel a sense of freedom now that I'm done.  No more pumping at lunchtime - if I want to take a nap, I can. If I want to take a walk, I can.  I can do whatever I want at lunch now! Amazing!  I also still have two really relaxing bonding moments with EH every morning and night - it's just that I give him a bottle now instead of breastfeeding.  I thought that I would hate giving him a bottle, or resent being the one who still had to do his feelings, but neither have been the case.  I haven't minded the bottle at all, and at least now I know exactly how much he is getting.

And although it's still "my job" to feed EH every morning and evening, if I really really didn't want to do it, DH could do it for me, and he would.  I have that option now, and somehow, know that I'm not obligated to do something makes me feel more ok with doing it.  Having a choice compels me to chose what used to be compulsory.  It's a weird irony that hasn't been lost on me.

So I am done breastfeeding.  After 8 months.  My goal was to do it for 3 months, and then 6 months, and I exceeded both of those.  I'm going to pat myself on the back and be thankful that things worked out so well - that I was able to breastfeed him, that he was a good little eater, and that we saved hundreds of dollars by not having to buy formula, which we realize now is incredibly expensive when you're using it full-time.  But that's another post.

I'm done.  Crazy.

Easter was good to him

I know that Easter was over a week ago, but I was going through the photos on my phone, and just saw this picture that I took on Easter morning.

No, the Easter Bunny did not come to our house this year.  Maybe next year. (Maybe.)  But the Easter Nana did come, with a glittery, sparkly egg-shaped bag.  EH was most interested in the card that was attached and the tissue paper, but deep down he was super excited about the clothes that he received.

A pair of khaki and a pair of denim shorts!  A monkey tshirt and onesie with matching shorts! A toothbrush, and toothpaste!  No, he does not have any teeth, but he promptly started chewing on the cardboard packaging of the toothbrush anyway. 

Sticking his tongue out - like he's doing in the picture above - is his new favorite thing.  He does it when he's thinking, when he's playing, when he's smiling - pretty much all of the time.  It's super cute but it means LOTS of extra drool coming out of that mouth of his.  We go through 2 or 3 bibs a day these days.  Perhaps bibs should be what the Easter Nana brings next year!

Bathroom Renovation - Day 3

There was some decent progress made on day 3 - the floor was put down and the framing was done for the new walls.  At some point during day 3 it looked like this:

It was starting to look like an actual bathroom again instead of a disaster zone.

But then they put the tarps back down to protect the floor, moved the ladder and other tools back in and by the time I got home from work it looked like this:

*Sad face*

Bathroom Renovation - After Days 1 & 2

Our bathroom used to look like this:

But after 1 day of work (aka demolition) it looked like this.

Then, after a 2nd full day of work, it looked like this.

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but it actually got worse between days 1 and 2.  When I got home from dropping EH off at my parents, I came home to this disaster.  I was tired, sad, and was preparing for a 14+ hour work day the next day. I was not excited at the state of my bathroom, to say the least.  I was hopeful that the coming days would show quick progress, but I was wrong.  Oh so very wrong....

Bathroom Make-over - Before Pictures

Last week DH started renovating our main bathroom. We are trying to update every room in our house, and this room was next on the list.  So far we've done the basement family room, laundry room, garage, dining room, office/spare bedroom, and the baby room.  Still on the list is the main bathroom, the master bedroom, the living room, the hallway/entryway, the downstairs bathroom, and the screened in porch.  I'm not sure if we'll ever actually get to all of those, but when I write it down like that, we're actually already halfway through!

Anyway, our current bathroom leaves a lot to be desired.  First, it has two entrances - one from the hallway and one from our bedroom.  While this works/worked out well for us when it was just the two of us, it has proven to be awkward when we have guests and with a little one in our lives now we decided to do away with the door from our bedroom.  It's not a master bathroom, why treat it like one?

We're replacing the vanity and mirror:

Moving the tub from it's current location (behind that wall) to the wall where the window is (and yes, we're covering up the window, which makes me sad, but it's not a very functional window anyway):

Opening up the wall that makes the bathroom two separate rooms and getting rid of the door (see above.)

Tiling the(nasty) tub and putting in new fixtures:

And replacing all of the lighting.

It's costing us a small fortune but it's going to look sharp, and we're hopeful that it will make the house more valuable should we ever go to sell.  (We change our minds every other week about whether or not we should stay in this house or move.  If we stay, we could pay off our mortgage fairly quickly and use the extra cash to make our lives more enjoyable in other ways.  If we sell, we would probably upgrade to a four bedroom and go somewhere where we would have neighbors, something that DH now wants.)

The transformation is going to be shocking, and I'm going to slowly reveal it this week.  You won't believe what it looked like after the first day of work!

He's back!

And so am I!

Did I mention that EH left us for a week?  At only 7.5 months of age, we sent him away for an entire week to stay with my parents.  It was heartbreaking, and oh so sad, but I had to work ridiculously stupid long hours so fortunately I was either too busy or too tired to take much notice that EH wasn't there.  Even if he had been at home, most nights I wouldn't have seen him anyway.

But he's back!

And while I was working long days and late nights, DH was teaching and slaving over our bathroom renovation.  Did I mention we were renovating our bathroom? We did.  Or we were.  Are.... we ARE renovating our bathroom. I clarify because it's far from done, but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'll be so happy when my showering experience doesn't involve cinder block and I don't need to go to my basement to use the bathroom in the middle night.

MUCH more about the bathroom renovations coming very soon, starting with "before" pictures tomorrow.

Oh, and EH celebrated his first Easter, a rather exhausting experience since he did not adjust well to being back home and was up until midnight on Saturday night.  We all got a nice long nap Sunday afternoon.

So yeah, a LOT has happened in the last two weeks.  Time to get caught up!