Thursday, December 31, 2009

Six Weeks? Already?! REALLY?!?!

Wow--it has been a few weeks since I last posted! It seems like a lot longer though....and at the same time I can't believe how fast the time has gone by!! Has it really been six weeks since he arrived? SIX?!

Gabriel is growing and learning by leaps and bounds. I am absolutely astonished at his progress--it's something new every day!! I could just sit and watch him for hours! COULD being the key word....COULD if I didn't have other things to do like cleaning and eating and showering and helping take care of my niece, Lily.

The first few weeks were so crazy! Just when I thought I had him figured out, he'd change up the game and I had to relearn new patterns. I was trying to stay a step ahead of him, but a lot of the time I found myself struggling just to keep up!! Gabe is settling into a routine (for now) though. He has pretty predictable feeding and napping times and mood patterns. I'm getting into a routine that works really well for the both of us (except bath time--that just happens whenever I can fit it into the day, but I'm going to start doing it in the evenings before bed). I prepare three bottles of boiled/cooled water (4 oz. each) and take those up to my room with me, along with a formula dispenser (one of those plastic ones you can buy that's divided into sections that you portion out enough formula powder for one bottle each--an absolutely necessary item for formula fed babies!!) at bed time. Gabriel wakes up for a bottle around 5am, give or take an hour depending on when he fell asleep--he usually sleeps for about six hours or so. He goes back to sleep for a few hours and then wakes up for another bottle (the third bottle is for "just in case"). I read to him while I feed him is 8/9 o'clock bottle. When he's done eating, he's ready to coo and play with mamma for a while!! Yay!! For the rest of the morning and early afternoon he takes little cat naps and has some active play time between bottles. He drinks around 4oz. (give or take an ounce) about every 2-3 hours. He takes a long nap in the late afternoon and then he's cranky for a little bit (haha). Then evening hits and we all go to bed and do it all over again!

So. Updates. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote! We (Mom, Candace, and I) took the kids to the beach in early December--Gabe's first time! He, of course, didn't really do much. Ha! He just sat in his carseat/stroller most of the time and slept under the shade of his little canopy thing. The sound of the waves knocked him right out!! I drug him out into the sun for a few minutes for pictures, but that was about it for him. Lily had a lot of fun though. We got her some beach toys--shovels and buckets and whatnot--and she had a ball!! I tell ya, that kid is FEARLESS. She charged those waves like she was gonna show them who was boss! A few of them weren't having it though and she took a spill or two. Hahahaha!

Mine and Gabriel's footprints in the sand

Gabe's initials in the sand at Bellows to remember his first beach trip!

This is what I did most of the time...but I love playing with my son!

Ugh...ignore my icky post-baby body...

When we got home, Gabriel got his first real big boy bath in his little tub!!

We forgot to take pics DURING the bath...but we got some immediately after!

Gabe had his one month well baby check. He measured in a 22 inches and 10 lbs. 12 oz. The kid grew an inch and gained almost TWO POUNDS!! I couldn't believe it! My little boy is growing so fast! I swear I can't blink or I'll miss something!

Mamma's little fatty!

The doctor found a heart murmur, but that's pretty common in newborns and they usually grow out of it. There's not much to be concerned about, but he ordered an echocardiogram anyway just to be safe. That's in about two and a half weeks.

December 20th was Gabriel's blessing day. For those who are unfamiliar with what that is, let me explain. First off, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (of which I am a member) doesn't believe in "original sin"--which is to say that we believe all men will be punished for their OWN sins and not Adam's transgression in the Garden of Eden, contrary to the beliefs of other religious groups. Because of this belief, we do not find it necessary to baptize babies or very young children because they are born innocent (they are baptized, if they choose, when they are of an accountable age - no earlier than eight years old). Babies are given a name and a blessing by a priesthood holder (usually the father of the child--in our case, my stepdad Mike), most of the time within their first few weeks or months--but this is entirely up to the parents. It's a very special occasion. We believe that the priesthood holder who gives the blessing is prompted by the holy spirit to know what to say in this blessing. It comes from heavenly father and each is unique. Traditionally, the baby is dressed in white (a dress or suit). Well we bought the most adorable little suit for Gabriel's blessing!! He is the first grandson and the first to be blessed in what will become a family heirloom for the baby boys in the family. It was sooo cute on him! We took pictures of the whole family the day of his blessing, but I got home and realized the memory card wasn't in my we had to redo them the next week LOL. I did get a few pictures of him on the actual day of on my cell though... I also went and had professional pictures taken of him in the suit a few days after his blessing. I can't wait to see them!!

He was NOT havin' it at this point. He wanted the suit OFF!! I think he may have been too warm...

Much happier in his adorable little white tie onesie I bought him before I left Utah

Gamma kisses!

This is the hat that came with the suit...needless to say, he didn't wear it for his blessing...HA!

Me, Gabriel, Mike

Love my lil guy

Hahaha--he got hot again...poor kid!

Gabe and Gamma

Candace with Lily and Gabriel

Lily loves her cousin!!

The sister/cousins/niece/nephew picture!

Hahahaha--love the look on his face. It was really bright lol

Gabriel's first Christmas was so great--thanks to the love and generosity of friends and family! He received clothes and rattles and educational/developmental toys--he even got a bouncer! Can I just say--I never realized how beneficial and pretty much absolutely necessary those are!! I didn't buy him one because I didn't think I needed to, but he LOVES it! It keeps him calm and occupied and he's becoming a lot more active than he already was--which is really saying something!

Another thing that is really helping to promote movement and muscle development is a set of rattles my mom and Mike got for him. There are two that wrap around his wrist and two attached to socks. They are awesome!! Since he can't quite keep ahold of plastic rattles yet, these are essential for his development right now. They are plush rattles and they aren't super loud (so they don't startle him). I put them on him and he gets so excited when he is able to make them rattle and make noise! You should see him kick and wave his arms! It's super cute and really exciting to see him learning new things!

Anyway--I opened his presents since he is unable to for the time being (LOL). After presents and lunch, the whole family (Mike, Mom, Candace, Lily, my brother Adam, his girlfriend Karen and I) went to the beach! Candace bought the family a couple of boogie boards and they all hit the waves while I hung out on the beach with Gabe. It was a beautiful day--hard to believe it was Christmas with no snow on the ground!

So those are the major events so far! I am loving being a mother--what a fulfilling, wonderful calling in life! Gabriel is such a joy to have. I can't believe God gave me this precious, sweet, adorable little boy! Gabe has taught me SO MUCH in these past six weeks. I've learned a lot--not only about taking care of a baby and what it is to be a mother (not even CLOSE to what I imagined!), but also about myself and life and love. There have been some frustrating days and sleepless aggravating nights, times when I felt like I was thirteen years old again with no idea what I'm doing, feelings of helplessness and cluelessness, but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world! I learn something new every day and I get to watch my son do the same. I experience real, true happiness in each of his smiles and in his laughter (a somewhat new development!). I feel the warmth and unconditional love from a child that I get to call mine. Every time he looks at me or falls asleep in my arms or coos my heart just melts. I treasure every second I have with him.

He is my special little guy!


SamBamby said...[Reply to comment]

So cute!! We have the same diaper bag. :)