Monday, April 21, 2014

8 months

Sophia 8 months old
Every time I sit down with Sophia for a photo shoot I take at least a hundred photos. Mostly, I'm lucky to get one true "money shot". Something that's in focus {babies move around a lot!}, where she has her eyes open, and she isn't making some crazy face. This time around, she posed like a pro, and I had literally dozens of money shots. So many that I couldn't decide which one to use for her 8 month photo. In the end, I decided on the handful you see here.
When she was six months old she was hospitalized for RSV, and one thing we learned from her dreary stay there was that she looks absolutely precious in the color peach...which happened to be the color of her hospital gown. I bought her the spring dress she's wearing in these photos knowing that she would look adorable in it. It's been too cold to wear it outdoors yet, but I loved trying it on her for these photos. Have I mentioned how much fun it is having a girl yet?!
Her eighth month has brought many changes along with it. The biggest one is that she's now officially crawling! I started writing this post a week ago, but had to edit out the part where I mentioned she hasn't gotten very far with her new skill yet, because as of this morning, she's off to the races! Life as I knew it with a stationary baby is OVER.
Sophia Collage

Monday, March 10, 2014

7 months

Sophia 7 months
My chunky little cherub is 7 months old! Oh my...where has the time gone? I have first hand experience with just how quickly time flies when you're raising kids now that I have a twelve year old and an almost ten year old, but this third time around is moving at warp speed...and I just want it to slow down!
I remember with my boys, I was always anxiously awaiting the next milestone. When they could sit up, I couldn't wait for them to crawl. When they crawled, I couldn't wait for them to walk. When they could walk, I couldn't wait for them to talk. Then one day I opened my eyes and my round little boys were long and tall, and suddenly acting like mini grown-ups. I regretted all the rushing to the next milestone I did, and longed for the days when they'd sleep in between my husband and I, waking us up on a Sunday morning demanding to be cuddled.
I recently had a conversation with my sister, who's in the throws of that stage now - wondering if she'll ever have her bed to herself, but also enjoying the closeness she has with her girls. I told her that it had been years since my boys came crawling into our bed in the middle of the night. Years. Realizing that, in that moment, was so heartbreaking to me. You can't get that time back, but how blessed am I to get to start all over? It's like I've been granted the opportunity to hit the reset button and I'm loving every minute of it!
People are always asking me what it's like to "start over". To have to go back to diapers, sleepless nights, bottle washing, hauling around twenty tons of crap. They seem to expect me to be exasperated at having to give up my freedom again, after only recently getting it back in many ways. But I couldn't be more happy about it. Of course, it helps that my baby is simply the most perfect, happy and delightful baby that ever lived, but even at the rough moments, I couldn't be happier. At seven months old, Sophia is still not crawling yet, and I'm totally okay with that!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Best Banana Bread

The Best Banana Bread | The Parsley Thief
I found this recipe a little over a year ago, buried deep within the February 2013 issue of Bon Appetit. It was such a tiny article that if you blinked, you'd miss it. But somehow I managed to spot the "Julia's Banana Bread" title and something about how it was the world's best banana bread. I tore the recipe out, intent on making it as soon as possible.
Since then, I've probably made it a dozen times. My whole family loves this bread cake...I mean, they really love it. When that banana bread smell creeps out of the kitchen and begins permeating the house, I hear, "Mom, you're making that banana bread again?!".
Dry Ingredients
The thing is, the deliciousness of this banana bread isn't the only reason I love making it. It's one of those perfectly easy and practical recipes. The kind, like a family pancake recipe, that you can easily memorize after only a few times making it, and it's ingredient list contains items you most likely always have on hand. Including the bain of my existence - those two lonely and bruised bananas that inevitably end up in the bottom of the fruit bowl every week, and look too beat up for anyone to bother eating. Sometimes they end up sliced and frozen for adding to a smoothie bag. Other times, they end up being baby food. But the best is when they end up in this bread!
Mashed Banana

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

6 months

Sophia 6 months
Once again, I'm terribly late posting this. For the past week the nags from family have gotten loud enough to get me rolling. "Where's Sophia's 6 month picture?" is all I've been hearing about! I can't blame them though. If I didn't get to see her every day, I'd be begging too! In fact, I can barely stand being away from her for even an hour. She's a little ball of sunshine that lights up everyone's world. I don't think I've ever met a more happy child.
But it's been a very chaotic month, and her happy disposition was put to the test when she spent a recent long weekend in the hospital with RSV {a.k.a. a very nasty chest cold}. Unfortunately, her sixth month birthday included being hooked up to a bunch of tubes. It was a very scary experience for all of us, but she was such a trooper! She barely cried and smiled at every nurse and doctor she met, even when they were coming to poke and prod her.
Since then, she's made a full recovery and has had many fun adventures. We started solid foods this month, which has been an at times, funny, and others, frustrating experience. She does not care for pureed foods yet, and much prefers eating tiny bits of "big people" food. Like I did with my boys, I've been trying to make some homemade baby food with mixed results, but I'm determined to have another child who loves a wide range of foods, so I'll keep at it!
In the world of physical milestones, she's shown absolutely no desire whatsoever to crawl. Both my boys were crawling by 7 months old, but I can tell you right now, that won't be happening with Sophia. She is perfectly content sitting up, watching the world go by around her, and chewing on whatever it is she's managed to get her hands on. But who can blame her with two big brothers who do everything for her?
She's also traded in long naps for sleeping through the night. Which is wonderful on one hand, because now I can get a full nights sleep as well, but the lack of daytime sleeping has left me little time to accomplish anything. It's been a whirlwind, but I also know how quickly time flies, so I'm just soaking it all in! I know the day will come when the laundry will get done.

Monday, January 13, 2014

5 months

Sophia 5 months old
I'm very late getting this post up. Sophia actually turned 5 months old on Christmas Day, in the midst of all the holiday craziness. But I'm just now catching my breath {somewhat} after having my boys home from school for two weeks, only to get slammed with a winter snowstorm. Not that I'm complaining, because I love snow days!!
This month has been a big one for Sophia. As with all babies in their first year, each month brings a whole new set of accomplishments. Like her big brothers, she was early to sit up and was doing so unassisted at 4 1/2 months {she can thank her strong daddy genes for that one!}. Because she was early at holding her head up, and now sitting up, she's also been eager to eat, so in the past week or so we've introduced some rice cereal. She hasn't quite gotten past the innate baby reflex which causes her to promptly spit all foreign objects out of her mouth, so it's a mostly fruitless undertaking, but we're taking baby steps. I can't wait to start making her some baby food!
And, while on the subject of food...I've recently tried some excellent new recipes {adult food, that is!} and I'm hoping to share them with you very soon. I hope you all had an excellent New Year. I, for one, am looking forward to a great 2014!
{photo credit: my 9 year old son, Miles}