Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 Months Old

Leo is now 5 months old and life just keeps getting better. He is so much more fun now and although he is still quite a challenge, caring for him is much easier. Leo has had a couple of great nights of sleep (once he slept from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m.!), but he still usually wakes up twice a night. He has recently discovered that grabbing mommy's hair is fun and forget about wearing jewelry! A recent development is very precise hand/eye coordination.

Unfortunately, Leo loves the television, so I try to have him watch kid appropriate programming such as Baby Mozart or Sesame Street. He also had a very positive reaction to the movie Happy Feet. During the movie, he was interjecting with all sort of adorable cooing noises.

We have also had a few visitors recently. Leo's cousin Jacob spent the day with us last week and we had so much fun. He is a great little boy with tons of energy and a very sweet demeanor. He provided us with a glimpse of what life would be like with two children....yikes!

Leo's Grandma Laurel is also staying with us for a few weeks. Leo is soaking up all the love from his grandma and he really is bonding with her. Since her arrival, we have many fabulous homemade meals and Leo is being showered with the love that only a grandma can provide....lucky boy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Nature Walk

Today Joe, Leo and I went to the Tualatin Valley Nature Park and introduced Leo to the great outdoors. Leo had a fairly good time until we discovered that he needed a diaper change and we had neglected to bring his diaper bag (rookie parent mistake). I think Leo may have been a bit overwhelmed by the whole scene too. After all, he has never been surrounded by so many large trees. However, we will continue to make trips back. The park is very close and the trails are quite short.

In addition to the walk, I also got my hair cut today. I was really getting sick of the new mom ponytail style.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thank You!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank Joe, my wonderful husband. He has been so instrumental in helping to shape the person that Leo is and will become. He has sacrificed sleep to help me care for Leo during nigh time feedings and awakes every morning at 5 a.m to go to work. He does all of this without complaining simply because he loves us. He is such a wonderful provider and has made it possible for me to stay at home with Leo during these early months. I couldn't be happier that Leo is a "mini-Joe" and I look forward to seeing the relationship between Joe and Leo develop and grow over the years.

Thanks honey! I love you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Play Time!

Leo is so cute in his new walker. Now that the weather is rainy and gray (thank goodness the heat wave is over!), Leo is a happy chap. Today, I combined two of his favorite things: the great outdoors and his new favorite toy and I was rewarded with one very happy baby! Leo is just so much fun now.

Joe and I often reflect on the first few months of Leo's life. The inconsolable crying all day long was so much to take. We kept thinking, "if we can just make it until his first smile." Not only are we now showered with smiles all day long, he now loves to giggle too. There is nothing...nothing in the world that can top that! This is the little boy we always dreamed we would have and we feel extraordinarily lucky to be his parents.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heat Wave!

Uggg! We have just had a 3-day heat wave of 100 plus degrees and it was miserable. Leo did not fare well, which made things especially difficult. However, we did have 2 outstanding moments in the midst of the atrocious weather:

1) Leo tested out his swim trunks and sunglasses and was the cutest thing I have ever seen. We filled his bath tub and "attempted " to have him take a dip outside. Unfortunately, he cried upon emersion, so that didn't go as well as planned. As you can see in the photos, I did not manage to get a shot of him smiling. The poor boy was just not happy, but he does look super cool!

2) Leo also slept about 6 hours in a row last night!!! He slept from anout 9:30 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. He now rolls from back to stomach in his sleep, so we often find him in bed this way. The doc said he may sleep better on his tummy, so maybe that is why he had such a great night sleep. It was awesome getting 4.5 hours myself (I went to bed at 11 p.m. after watching Michael Phelps earn his 8th gold medal). Go USA!

The heat wave should be over now, so hopefully we will have a happier Leo this week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

4 Month Doctor Visit

Yesterday Leo had his 4-month check-up with Dr. Crowley and we are pleased to announce that he has jumped up the growth chart in both length and head circumference. He is now at the 50% for both, but remains in the 5-10% for weight, which just means that he is long, lean and terribly strong. Leo is now 25 inches long, and 12 lbs. 10 oz. Dr. Crowley was extremely pleased with his progress and after a complete exam, he was declared "perfect."

In addition to the exam, he also had his second round of vaccinations and since Joe was unable to make this visit, both Leo and I had to be brave. It was so hard seeing his face turn bright red as he screamed from the pain and shock from the 2 shots. The nurse kept saying "breathe!" Poor little boy. Since the shots, Leo has been quite grumpy and I am trying to get him to sleep as much as possible. Last night, Leo was up every hour or two, so neither of us have had ample sleep.

Leo is teething now and wants to suck on anything he can get his hands on. He also now uses both of his hands simultaneously to grasp objects. It is amazing to see how far he has come!

Monday, August 11, 2008

So Much Fun!

Leo is 4 and a half months old now and he is so much fun! His growth and development over the last month have been tremendous. His hand eye coordination has improved immensely and he is able to interact with us by talking, reaching, grabbing, etc. This might mean an end to jewelry wearing for the time being, as Leo has a very strong grasp.

Leo always wants to stand. This can be very tedious as a parent and makes getting anything done impossible. We decided to combat the situation by letting Leo test drive some walkers, jumparoos and exersaucers at Target and Babies R Us. In true Leo fashion, he gravitated towards the cheapest, most simplistic one (pictured above), and immediately he was mesmerized by all the entertainment it had to offer. Leo is still a bit too young and small for such toys. But he has strong determination to stand and explore and we figure it will be a wise investment. This may give me a chance to get a bit more done as well.

As you can see, Leo is also being groomed into a Steelers fan. Really, he doesn't have a choice being born Joe's son, but the Steelers are a great team, so there is no harm done in shaping his preferences. Joe is already looking forward to watching football in the fall with his right-hand man.

Leo and I are pretty much best friends. My favorite moments are when he grabs my face, "kisses" me and coos in my ear. He is such a sweet boy and I am so happy that he is content in my arms.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lots of Firsts for Leo

This week was filled with lots of firsts for Leo. Among them were his first flight, his first wedding, his first time leaving the state etc. Leo and I accompanied my mom to California to attend my cousin Tina's wedding from August 1-4. I would lie if I said it was easy, because it was anything but, but there were certainly some good times to be had. Leo did well on the flight over, but the flight back, from Orange County to San Francisco was dreadful! Leo must have had some horrible ear pain on the descent, and although I had read to have him swallow with either the aid of eating or the pacifier, he would not take to either. It broke my heart and there was nothing we could do to help him and at that point, I did not even care how the other passengers felt. I just wanted my baby to stop hurting. We did make it safely and Leo eventually stopped crying.

Leo also did not fare well in the car. Even though I was in the back seat with him, he cried nearly every time we were in the car, which was often. These car rides nearly made us pull out our hair.

Leo also knows exactly who his mommy is and only wants to be held by me. Once when we were going shopping, we decided to leave a sleeping Leo in his car seat and in the care of my Grandma, who was going to relax while my mom and I shopped. When I returned 15 minutes later to check on Leo and Grandma, a customer was trying to sooth a screaming Leo and looked at me like I was the worst mother in the world for having left him in the care of an elderly lady. It seems that in the 15 minutes, he screamed bloody murder the whole time and had created quite a scene. My Grandma was surrounded by several store clerks, customers and the store's security guard. Of course, as soon as I picked him up, he stopped crying and even had the audacity to smile at me....little brat! In retrospect, it is quite amusing and we all had a good laugh over it.

On the bright side, Leo was a champ in most social situations. We had a few lunches out with relatives and he was well behaved provided I held him. He was also a hit at the wedding. He was awake the whole time (5-9 p.m.) and didn't cry at all. At one point, every guest was dancing, so we had great fun. Everybody loved meeting Leo and I was a very proud mommy.

If given the chance to go again, I may have opted out. Leo is only 4 months old and a fussy baby too. I am thrilled that the family was able to meet him when he is still so new, so that was very rewarding. It was also great to be able to see relatives I haven't seen in many years. I just look forward to the day when travel is a bit easier and Leo can tell us what is bothering him.

Now that we are home, I feel I can handle any situation with Leo. I have a lot more confidence in myself as a mother. Leo and I were both excited about being reunited with Daddy. He missed us so much and the time apart makes us feel even happier that we are a family. Joe also swears that Leo looked much bigger upon our return. Leo ate very often on the trip (probably to soothe himself), so this may be true.