Friday, July 30, 2010

Just a Lil' Visitor :)

Tonight we had a guest at the Keene household. And more than that, Wes and I had a small little glimpse into what it would be like to have a 3 year old and a 9 1/2 month old.... Of course, our little guest was so good, so well-behaved, so easy, that I can't imagine that's really what it would be like to have two lil ones....

As you can see, Wes and Mark had a great time:

Tucker and Mark also had a great time at the park, but I forgot my camera (don't you HATE that!) and don't have any pics to prove it. But take my word, they had fun climbing on the playground, going down slides, and chillin' in their strollers as Wes and I walked around the park. (And while I'm on the subject of the outdoors, wasn't the weather today AMAZING!?!)

So, the reason for our guest tonight? It was the wedding anniversary of two of our best friends, the Burnett's! I'd posted before about Jeanne just having a new baby, Maddox (though you would never be able to tell it! She looks GREAT at only 3 weeks post baby!). Matt, or "Bernie" as he's known by those of us who love him, and Jeanne went out to dinner (with new baby Maddox in tote) to celebrate their anniversary and Mark hung out with us.

HOWEVER, I'd like to think the REAL celebrating happened back at the Keene's house....
Look at how Bernie is really into it! And he ROCKS on the vocals! He had a few runs of 100% accuracy! (Compared to my 6 phrase note streak hahaha! Yeah, I'm much better on the guitar!) And I was way impressed with Jeanne's ability on the drums, she was gettin' it! :)
And of course, we couldn't leave Mark out:

Happy Anniversary to the Burnett's, an amazing couple, and four people the Keene's love!

Video Monitor -- A MUST!

If you happen to be debating on whether to invest in a video monitor or not, let me be the one to push you over the edge.....GET ONE! Seriously, they are one of the best investments ever! Even after your baby is no longer a baby, you can put it in the playroom, the TV room, the game room, etc. They are definitely worth it, in my opinion anyway.

Wes and I didn't get one initially. I was determined to have one, but Wes was convinced that we didn't need one, that a regular monitor would be sufficient. He suggested we buy a top of the line regular one versus a middle of the line video monitor. He was adamant that we just didn't need a video monitor, so I went with it. If you've been a follower of this blog, you know that transferring Tucker from the bassinet in our room to his crib in the nursery was a H-U-G-E step for me. No big deal for Tucker when the time finally came (at 4 months old!), but huge for me. EVERY single little noise that came over that monitor and I was up and checking on him. And let me tell you, since we did invest in a good monitor, it picked up EVERYTHING! So, needless to say, I was up several times a night just to tiptoe into the nursery to see my Tuckerbug sleeping peacefully away. I think that lasted a few nights before Wes was on board that we needed a video monitor.

While that may not be the case for you, here is another reason to get a video monitor.... You get to "spy" on your little one. I love watching what Tucker does when he wakes up in the mornings or from a nap, or before he falls asleep. He loves his crib. He goes down pretty easy for both his bed time and naps. I used to rock him until he was asleep, but a while back I switched to putting him down while he was still awake (mainly because I know this will be easier for the sitter when I go back to work, not at all because I mind rocking him until he falls asleep....I actually LOVE rocking him and have a very hard time stopping before he's completely asleep....).

Anyway, he has a mobile above his crib. Before I put him down for bed/nap, I turn it on and then read him a story, and rock and sing to him for a few minutes. The mobile plays about 15 minutes or so before the music stops on it. If Tucker is still awake when the music stops, he has started to get up and push the buttons on it to turn the music on again, then he'll lay down with his "silky" (the blanket he sleeps with) and listen to the music and watch the mobile. He sometimes does the same thing when he wakes up. I wouldn't know this if I didn't have a video monitor! And, I even was able to snap a few pictures of him doing this. (Now mind you, the quality of the pictures of the screen on the video monitor isn't very good.)
This is Tucker a little bit ago, before falling asleep for his nap. The music had already cut off, so he reached up and starts it back up:

Then he lays down with his silky and watches his friends circle above and listens to the music :)

(Please also notice that he has untied the bumper....that is something else that he enjoys doing!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Where are all the Smiles at???

Last Friday we had Tucker's 9 month pictures taken. I never thought that could be so tiring! Let me tell you, we had to work HARD to get Tucker to smile for those pictures! He is at a point that he is much more interested in what is going on around him and what he wants to get into than to sit still, smile and look at a camera! I think back to his 6 week pictures and his 3 month pictures and how I thought I might have a little model on my hands. At those settings he seemed to look directly into the camera and smile. Even at 6 weeks, he did things that had us cracking up because it was like he was posing! Yes, those days are long gone! My little Tucker Bug would much rather eat mulch and grass, figure out how all the props work, pull at the wires of the lights, you name it. Wes and I pulled out all the stops, trying every trick we knew that usually has Tucker laughing so hard he has tears in his eyes. He just looked at us like we had lost our minds (which I think our awesome photographer probably thought as well!) and tried to crawl away.

Eventually, after he had looked at every toy and became more familiar with his surroundings, we finally got him laughing. I can't wait to see how his pics turn out! Hopefully our photographer will put some "sneak peaks" up on Facebook soon. In the meantime, here are a few from our family session last month. (Again, we were lucky to get a few smiles out of our little busy body!) I wish y'all could see them all (we didn't buy the cd). These are ones that the photographer put on FB. She is so great, and most importantly, so patient! :) If you're looking for an amazing photographer in the area, we HIGHLY recommend her:

(I believe Tucker licked the wood underneath him right after the shot above was taken!)

Hoping your day is filled with lots and lots of SMILES, especially from those little people we love so much :)

Bad Mommy. Bad.

A friend of mine told me not so long ago (when she lovingly brought me dinner shortly after Tucker was born) that it is inevitable that Tucker will one day hurt himself when I have my back turned for a split second. Maybe he would fall off his changing table, maybe he would shut his finger in a door, maybe he would _________ (you fill in the blank). She said I would be hard on myself, taking all the blame, feeling like an awful mommy, but that Tucker would be okay. I have to admit, as I held my newborn baby in my arms listening to her tell me that, I thought, "Nope, not me. Not my baby."

Well, today is that day....

Tucker fell off our bed (a height of about 2 1/2 feet), landing flat on the right side of his little forehead. He was sitting right beside me on the bed. I reached over for something on the other side of me and in that millisecond, he went head first, diving off the bed. It happened so fast that I had no time to react, but somehow it seemed to be happening in slow motion as I watched my Love Bug land hard on the (carpeted) floor with a look like, "What just happened and why does it hurt so bad?!" Of course I swooped him up as fast as I could. He screamed. I cried. I held him close to me saying over and over, "Baby, I'm so sorry! Baby, I'm so sorry!" with guilt-driven tears streaming down my face.

She was right. I felt like the absolute worst mother on the planet. I feel like I failed Tucker. I didn't do my job. I didn't keep him safe. I just feel SO. BAD. (still...)

She was also right that Tucker would be okay. He cried for about 3 minutes, just long enough for the dog dishes to catch his attention as I was carrying him around trying desperately to console him. He has a red bruise on his forehead. No goose egg. I called my pediatrician just to make sure he was going to be okay. He is okay. He has been his usual happy, playful self all day. The redness has subsided somewhat. It helped that my pediatrician told me I am now in a club that about 99.5% of mothers are in.
One of my initial thoughts was, "Wes is going to be so mad at me!" I'm not sure why I even thought that. Of course he was anything but, assuring me that Tucker was okay and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. Actually, his exact text message a couple hours after I got off the phone with him and texted him telling him Tucker and I were going to visit a friend was, "Ok. Be careful and try not to beat yourself up. Tucker is tough! God is good, and merciful! I love you!" Thank you Lord for my amazing husband!

I didn't take a picture of him with his pitiful boo-boo....I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe tomorrow. So instead, here is a picture of my happy Love Bug a few weeks back enjoying his summer.

I hope y'all have had a boo-boo free day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rockin' Out With the Ballards!

What do you do when you're at the Keene's house and a storm knocks out the dish? You rock out, of course!!!

Look at Melissa's concentration!
Eli's already to start a garage band!
This kid can do it all....
Stand on your head....check, check!
Tucker hasn't made up his mind just yet as to which direction he wants to go.
Keyboard perhaps....

Maybe take after Daddy and play the drums....
No wait, he'd MUCH rather play with that cord!
I hope y'all had a good time over the weekend when some bad storms hit home!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

9 Months!

9 months! Wow! I can't believe my baby is 3 months away from being a year old!
To celebrate Tucker turning 9 months we played peek-a-boo (among other things!) in the morning...
built tunnels in the afternoon.... (Even Lacy enjoyed the tunnels!)
and had Tucker's favorite food for dinner....SPAGHETTI! He LOVES spaghetti!
We also had his 9 month dr appointment today too. Tucker weighs in at 19 pounds, 4 ounces (30%) and is 29 inches long (75%). Mommy was a little concerned that we dropped from 55-60% in weight to 30%, but our pediatrician assured us that she is not concerned and that it is not at all unusual for breastfed babies to level out in the pounds department. That coupled with the fact that Tucker is a non-stop (I mean NON-STOP) mover!

At 9 months, Tucker, you are:

* Refusing baby food. I mean spitting and gagging if it is snuck in your mouth. You HATE it! We had about 4 good weeks of you eating baby food. Now you will only eat table food. And even then you have your good days and your bad days. Sometimes you'll eat and eat, other days you don't have much interest in food period.

* You still LOVE to nurse. I think that's why you're not that into food. You are perfectly content to just nurse away!

* You love to drink from a cup. You've mastered a sippy, including the kind with a straw, and you LOVE to drink from a big boy cup (with help of course). Daddy and I cannot take a drink without you insisting that we give you some. You LOVE water! You drink it like it's seriously going out of style.

* You wave bye-bye and give high fives (the high-five thing you've been doing, but since Mommy is so bad at doing these "monthly updates" we'll include it!).

* You clap, especially when we sing "If You're Happy and You Know It". You also clap when you want us to say "YAY!" You'll do something, like throw a ball or knock over a tower of blocks, and then look at us expecting us to cheer for you. If we don't you start to clap as though you're saying, "Hello?! I, TuckerBug, just threw the winning pitch, you're supposed to cheer!!!"

* You dance when we say, "Go Tucker, Go!" You'll kinda throw your hands in the air and bounce. Other times, you get on all fours and rock. I'm not sure if that means we have a future break-dancer on our hands or if Aunt Rachie will be teaching you the 'worm' one day...

* You have 4 teeth, 2 on bottom and 2 on top. The bottom two you got at 6 months and 6 1/2 months and they were no problem. The top two you got at a little over 8 months and they were HARD!

* You typically get up once through the night anywhere from 3:30-5:00 to nurse for a few minutes. I've gone back and forth on whether I should try to break you from this habit and have decided you'll out grow it soon enough. I'm not really worried about it right now. Sometimes you sleep through the night. You're still taking 2 naps a day, one in morning about 10:00 and one in the afternoon about 2:00. Each one is about an hour and a half, sometimes two.

* You are great at going down for naps and for bedtime.

* You LOVE water. You put your face in the water in both the pool and the bathtub, then you just come up, wipe your eyes and do it again. You try to drink the water too, almost like you're licking it up like your doggies do! (I told you, you LOVE to drink water!)
* You rarely take your paci other than for nap time. You made this decision on your own. About the time those top teeth cut threw you decided you didn't want it. Mommy still puts it in bed with you during the night and sometimes you'll put it in your mouth if you wake up.

*You HATE getting your diaper changed. That's just way too long to be still. As soon as I began to lay you on your changing table you start to fuss.

*When we are carrying you, you reach for where you want to go or things you want us to let you touch. Let me rephrase that, you reach and make this groaning sound urging us to take you in the direction you want to go or let you touch what you want to touch!

* You LOVE balls! When you see one, you almost scream with excitement, make your groaning sound indicating you HAVE to have it, and then grab it and almost kiss it! Then you push/throw it away and want someone to pass it back to you. Daddy and I are hoping this is a sign that you'll like all things sports, especially basketball! ;)

*You are crawling and getting into everything! Your favorite thing to get into are the dog dishes. At first it was easy to just put them up on something that you couldn't reach, but now that you're starting to pull up, that's not so easy!
* You understand "No" and already I see you challenging me when I say it..... And you remember what I've said "NO" to. For example, you will crawl at lightening speed toward the dog dishes, stop right before you reach them and turn around to see what I'm going to say. Of course, I say, "No, no, Tucker" and you try to hurry and get your hands in them before I grab you up.

* You are definitely silly! You do things just to make us laugh :)

* You love to be read to. Your favorite books are still touch and feel books. (As a matter a fact, sometimes you have to lick the books, touching them just isn't enough!) And we HAVE to let you be the one to turn the pages :)

* No matter how many toys Daddy and I buy for you, you would much rather play with the dog dishes, electrical cords, cell phones, doors and door stoppers, magazines, the laptop, the little stones in the fireplace, and of course, anything else that you're not supposed to.

* You LOVE to be outside. If we walk pass the door while holding you, you will start to kick your legs and reach for the door. You crawl to the doors and look out, banging on the windows all the time. I definitely see you as one of those kids that stands at the door and cries, "Out! Out!"

* You no longer are content to ride in the car. Now that you can move, you would rather be doing just that. Car rides are better if planned around your nap. Thank goodness we got our trip to Florida in before this hit. I'm not looking forward to our Hilton Head trip in October....

* You are a Mommy's boy. If I'm around, you usually want me. This was especially the case when you were cutting your top teeth. It won't be long before you realize just how much cooler your Daddy is....
* You are SO observant! You have to look around no matter where we are and take inventory of everything around you! The other day I hung the cross that Aunt Holli and Uncle Mikie got you for your baby dedication in your nursery. The first time we went in the nursery after I did so, you immediately noticed that I had put something new up (even though it's not that big) and you just stared at it. Then, of course, you reached your hand out, did your groaning thing and insisted that I take you over there to touch it! I don't know why I was surprised that you noticed it....
Maybe if Mommy was a little better about getting these up on time, there wouldn't be so many things to list once I finally get the chance to "publish" them!
At our doctor appointment, Dr. White asked us what has gone by faster, the 9 monthe of pregnancy or the past 9 months.... DEFINITELY the past 9 months!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tucker's Cabinet

Tucker LOVES to help Mommy in the kitchen! Whether it's unloading the dishwasher....

retrieving items from the refrigerator.....

or cabinets....

or helping with the cooking....

Tucker jumps in where ever he is needed!

After having him help me this morning in the kitchen, I decided that maybe this:

isn't as safe as it should be!

Yes, Wes and I are in full baby-proof mode, but we're a little behind. We haven't installed locks on the cabinet doors yet. And even when we do, Tucker needs something to do while in the kitchen with Mommy. Giving him a Tupperware container and some wooden spoons holds his ever-changing attention for about 27 seconds! So, this morning Mommy and Tucker made him his own kitchen cabinet.

Now, let me first tell you that my cabinet space is limited as it is. My kitchen doesn't have a pantry, so the cabinets I have need to store dishes, food, Tupperware, serve-ware, crock pots, the griddle, etc. (Luckily I do have a storage space in the basement that houses a shelf with larger serve-ware and other items). So it definitely took some creative finagling to open up an entire cabinet for TuckerBug, but his happiness (and contentedness so Mommy can get small things done in the kitchen) is totally worth it!

After coming up with some perfect items for Tucker's cabinet, some rarely used Tupperware containers, a pitcher, an old colander, some measuring spoons, an extra dish washing basket, and a veggie scrubber, a couple turkey baster, and a Fudpucker's cup just for fun.....

Tucker now has his very own kitchen cabinet!

I think he approves!

I'm thinking this will last for a few days before I'll have to mix it up a little and put some new items in. I'm also hoping that the day he decides to crawl in there himself I have my camera handy!

What do you all do to keep your lil one occupied in the kitchen? Creative/fun ideas are always welcome! :)