Thursday, January 30, 2014

Look Who's Talking: 3 months old!

It’s time for our monthly visit from guest blogger, Forest Alexander. Today Forest is 3 months old and weighing in at an impressive 13.2 pounds, which means he’s bigger than 26% of his peers. He’s been playing catch-up since his birth and is leap-frogging those other babies left and right.  In addition to eating and gaining weight like a boss, here is Forest to tell you a little bit more about his developing interests (and dis-interests). 

Hiya folks. It’s really great to be back here as a guest blogger. This Scottish weather is the pits and lately mom and I have been going stir crazy in the house. There is only so much tummy time that will keep a man’s mind occupied, you know? I’m glad I have this blog as an outlet for all this mental energy I have stored up. 

I guess y’all have heard that I’ll be moving to California soon. I hear there is a thing called sunshine there. After spending my first 3 months living in Scotland, I’m not sure what this ‘sunshine’ is exactly, but it sounds glorious.  I’m sure it will be on my ‘likes’ list soon, but for now, here are the things that I’ve actually experienced in my 3 months of life that have made the cut.


Rolling over.  I love tummy time and all, but sometimes I want to give back-time some love too. When that happens I just flip right on over. I’ve technically been doing this since I was 7 weeks old, which is pretty advanced. According to my mom, this makes me the smartest baby in the universe. When she told the doctor about this little skill at my 8 week check-up, he totally thought she was crazy. But me and my mom, we knew the truth. But it’s like I always say: Haters gonna hate.

And even though 'the books' say I shouldn't roll from my back onto my side until about 4.5 months, watch this: 
Boo yah!  

My bedroom door. I don’t know what it is, but this door cracks me up. Maybe it’s all the time we spend together since my mom is constantly shoving naptime down my throat. This door is to me what Wilson, the volleyball, is to Tom Hanks in that movie Castaway. (I have seen way too many Tom Hanks movies in my short life. Another thing my mom shoves down my throat. I also know every word to every Taylor Swift song ever written). Anyhoo, I love when my mom burps me over her shoulder and me and door are close enough to share our ‘inside’ jokes (Haha…'inside' jokes…get it?). Mom always gives me a confused look as I just grin and cackle away at my door. Parents just don’t understand. J’adore door. (That’s right, in addition to knowing all the words to every Taylor Swift song, I also speak a little French. I told y’all, I’m a genius.)

My Igloo. Speaking of French, probably the best thing I own is this cozy 7 AM Enfant “igloo” that fits in my car seat and stroller. It is super toasty; perfect for snuggling with my sleep sheep while I run errands with my mom.  

My North Face Fleece. Dad has me ‘prepping’ for my LSU fraternity days already (haha..get it, ‘prep’ping? I am on fire with the puns today!) by dressing me in appropriate ‘frat-tastic’ clothes. This means I can’t ever wear cargo shorts, my polo’s gotsta be the ones with horsies on them, and I need to rock a North Face fleece when it’s colder than 70 degrees outside. Done and done. 

The Name Song. You know the one. It goes ‘Forest, forest, bo borest, banana fanna fo forest..’, etc. There is something about rhyming words that just tickles me. Especially words that rhyme with my most favorite word: Forest. I also like words that rhyme with my second favorite word: Poop.

My Mom’s singing voice. It’s like the voice of an angel. She should totally try out for American Idol. (Okay, okay, she paid me to say that. American Idol season starts and she thinks she the next Carrie Underwood or something, and I’m the lucky guy who has to listen to her potential ‘audition’ songs all day long.) But seriously, she has a nice voice and it always brings a smile to my face. 

Mirrors. Can you blame me?
Long naps. (Gasp!) I know, I know, I’m usually a nap hater, but occasionally I’ll accidentally stumble upon a long nap and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (Don’t tell my mom. I’ve got a rep to protect.) 
The best part of long naps is when my mom comes into my room after I wake up and she says, ‘Hey there, Nap-a-soraus!'. It is hilarious, though I think it’s one of those ‘had to be there’ type of things. Just trust me. I LOL every. single. time .


The usual. I still hate naptime but I’m coming around to its charms. My mom uses my lullaby seahorse to lure me into a false sense of security and the next thing I know, BANG! I wake up 45 minutes later in my cradle. 
It’s like an episode of ‘The Hangover’ over here.  

Scottish weather. This relentless wind and rain is keeping me from enjoying one of my favorite hobbies: napping in my stroller. The other day, my mom totally faked me out by simply putting me in my stationary stroller so I could catch some shut eye (she's sly as a fox, my momma), but I much prefer napping on the go.

Teething. Yep, that’s right. Apparently an early sign of genius is cutting teeth early. Well, call me Einstein because at 3 months I am a drooling, hand chewing, cranky mess. It stinks because momma got me all these state of the art teething toys that I am not quite coordinated enough to use just yet. Oh well, for the time being, my hands will have to fill in for Sophie the Giraffe.

Surprises. If I were you, I wouldn’t make any sudden movements or unexpected loud noises in my presence unless you want to get an earful of screaming for 5 minutes or so.  For instance, if you are feeding me and your husband asks you a question from downstairs, do not yell the answer. That is what texting is for.  Also, If you’re holding me, do not suddenly move your hand to reach for your coke as the sudden motion terrifies me to my very core. Speaking of which, peek-a-boo is a nightmare. Please stop, mom. And also, enough with the sneezes already. Sheesh.  

Breast-feeding. Ever since my mom and dad started giving me bottles of milk because of my medicine, I’ve found them much more preferable to the old school way of eating. While I eat a bottle, I can sit up, I can look around, I can get a full meal in 15 minutes. It’s the best. But for some reason, a few times a day, my mom still tries to get me to go back to primitive eating and I am not too happy about it. Usually I will just throw a fit until she relents and gives me what I want, but I feel a tad guilty about this because I can tell it makes her sad. 

She keeps threatening me with formula.  I mean, I get the whole ‘Farm fresh. Eat local.’ argument, but I am an American afterall. I’ve got no fear of processed foods. My dad gave me a serious talk about how I should really appreciate breasts being shoved in my face while I can. Whatever that means… 

Well, I think that’s about enough for today. See you in a month!

***A note from Forest’s mom: I have a reader poll type of question. Since Forest was born on the 30th of October, and February only has 28 days, should his 4 month birthday be the 28th of February or the 2nd of March? What do you think?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's the plan, Phil?

Several people have been asking about our moving ‘schedule’, and I generally just stare blankly at them with a dumbstruck look on my face. With Forest being so young, I still feel like I’m a bit in crisis mode. The word ‘schedule’ in my mind only refers to his next feeding or naptime. Planning an international move a month in the future just seems incredibly daunting. 

But….. we do have a few things on the calendar and we’ve started slowly organizing our stuff into the old categories of: keep, trash, donate.  When you move every 2 years, you want to travel light. There is no room for sentimentality which is super hard when you're casually tossing newborn baby items into the 'donate' pile. 

So here is a rough guide to our moving plans: 
February 20: The dogs will be picked up by our transport company. Jonathan will have his ‘leaving-do’ for work. 
They sure will miss Scotland!
February 21: The dogs will begin their journey to Houston where my parents will pick them up. My parents have graciously offered to dog-sit for a few weeks until we get settled and I have never been more grateful for anything in my life! 

February 24&25: The movers will pack up all of our belonging for our air and sea shipments. 

February 26: At 6 AM we take off for San Francisco, via Paris. Because it’s a super long flight, Jon’s company is flying us business class. This includes a ticket for little Forest which just tickles me to no end. His first flight will be in style! Our little frequent flier will have quite an unrealistic introduction into world travel. We will arrive in San Ramon that afternoon and hit the ground running the next morning.

The first order of business when we land is to square away car purchases and a house. I think I’ve decided on a Toyota Highlander for myself though I will also probably give the GMC Acadia a test drive as well. 

We already have a realtor who has been sending us listings. We’ve decided to rent rather than buy since our stint in California is estimated to be under 2 years. My priority is finding a place with a great outdoor space. One of the huge draws of California is the great weather, so I definitely want to capitalize on that, especially after being in Scotland for two years. Bring on the sun! There are also tons of nature reserves and parks with running trails that I would love to have easy access to, so neighborhood location is a big factor too. 

But real estate in San Ramon is EXPENSIVE so we will just see what we can find in our price range. Well, that’s the jist of our moving 'schedule' so far. Wish us luck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

One Year Ago...

Today marks one year since my PawPaw Lee passed away rather unexpectedly. Two weeks after his funeral, I found out I was pregnant with Forest. 
After 3 years of praying for a baby, I don't think the timing was coincidental. Maybe it's cheesy or sentimental, but I have this image of my PawPaw hand delivering my prayer to God. And though this year brought about the passing of my family's patriarch, it also brought the birth of two new lads to our family. 

Still, we are all missing PawPaw Lee every day, but especially today. Please send your prayers to my grandma, my dad and my Aunt Beth who are certainly feeling the loss most profoundly on this anniversary.    
 "This may be the last time I see you,
forgive me for holding you close.
This may be the last time I see you,
so of this moment I will make the most."
-Ben Harper

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

12 weeks old!

Yay, Forest is 12 weeks today! 
This is likely the last of our weekly posts, since I feel like after 12 weeks, baby age is mostly referred to in terms of months. At 12 weeks ,we are definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Parenting is much more rewarding now that Forest is interacting with us. He is just the most smiley, giggly, cuddly, adorable baby. If we ever are crazy enough to have another baby, I think we will adopt a 3 month old. That newborn stuff is super hard!

Naptimes are still our biggest struggle, but he continues to sleep well at night, so it’s a balancing act. I try not to compare him to all those babies who sleep well during the day AND the night, and just be grateful for those 8 hours of sleep that I’m getting on a pretty consistent basis. Hallelujah! 

And as far as naptimes go, technically he is napping. I’m still baffled by the Baby Wise and Baby Whisperer notions that his naps should last 1.5-2 hours at a time. Jonathan and I have a theory about ‘The Nap Barrier’. If little man can make it past 45-50 minutes, he has surpassed this barrier and will usually nap until 2-2.5 hours.  Right around 45 minutes, we grab the monitor and cross our fingers that he’ll break through the nap ceiling. However, 45 minutes seems to be a normal sleep cycle for him and once he wakes up, even slightly, it’s hard for him to fall back asleep. I try to give him 10 minutes to see if he can drift back off, and about 1 in every 10 naps, he will. Otherwise, we get up for some play time and I feed him a bit earlier than originally planned. 

The biggest change recently is that he’s generally happy, and almost always consolable if he isn't. If he wakes up from a 45 minute nap and is full of giggles and smiles, I usually just get him up. I let him have some quiet time on his sheep skin rug to kick around, roll over, suck on his hands, stare at his stuffed animals, whatever keeps him content. He’s pretty easily amused these days. 
Generally, he’ll give me 20-30 minutes after a nap before he gets fussy so I can still work on laundry, dishes, blogging, etc and he’s pleased as punch just to observe the world around him. Such a pleasant change from his newborn days of: if he was awake, he was crying. 

Big developments this last week were the mastering of rolling over (from tummy to back) and finding his fingers to suck on. Sucking on their fingers is a major self-soothing mechanism for babies, and it usually means the swaddling days are coming to an end. Contrary to popular belief, you want your baby to be a thumb sucker! It saves you from having to pop their paci back in every time they lose it. 

I was going to go to the weekly clinic to have him weighed this morning but it is pouring rain so Jonathan took the car to work. There is rain on the forecast for the forseeable future, which makes me eager for the days of California sunshine. 

I am just so excited to get to a climate where we can play on a blanket out in the back yard and not be cooped up all the time. Baby boy just loves stroller rides and I can’t wait until they are a daily ritual for us. 

Here are his 12 week photos: 

And some more from this week: 

My crib is too small. I need a King Sized Bed.

Lazy Sunday Mornings;)
PS. We just got a new iPad Air and the camera on this thing is fantastic! The only issue is that the case we got for it blocks a bit of the camera and getting it on and off is darn near impossible! So that explains the little shadows on the corners of these photos.

Well, the nap barrier strikes again so I guess I have a baby to attend to...