Sunday, April 15, 2012

The best of Motherhood

It's been 13 months since the incredible night I became a mother. I knew my life would change, but I couldn't imagine how much I would love this role. I feel so grateful that I can stay at home full time and soak up every moment of Ibes' development. Here are some of my favorite things about being a Mom.

LIVING IN LIGHT OF ETERNITY
I have more appreciation for my time with my husband and other loved ones. It seems like you gain a better sense of eternity when you look into your baby's eyes, and I want to use each day to the fullest. I have grown in my Christian walk, and have more time to meditate on Scripture and pray.
I pray for Ibes constantly, and my prayer is that he will one day put his trust in Jesus Christ as his savior. I feel an incredible responsibility to model the Christian life to my little one, so he sees Jesus in me.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER MOMS
I love getting to know other moms, especially moms with little ones who are close to Ibes' age. I've had the opportunity to get involved with our church's MOPS group. MOPS is Mothers of Preschoolers. Our group gets together once a month, and gives moms a chance to get together for food, fellowship, and the encouragement that comes from being with other women who are going through similar experiences. It's been so good to develop relationships with women I've wanted to get to know for years, but never had the time or opportunity to build deeper friendships.

NURSING
I did a lot of reading about breastfeeding before Ibes arrived, but nothing could prepare me for the reality of being a nursing mom. It's a demanding role, especially during those early weeks, when Ibes was still learning how to eat and it took so long to complete a feeding. Then there were the growth spurts, when he was attached to me more often than not. I'm grateful that I have a mother who nursed three children, and could give me encouragement and advice. She told me that cluster feeding was normal, and that it was right to let my 6 week old baby nurse as often as he wanted, to boost my supply and ensure that he was getting all the milk he needed. I feel very fortunate that I had great lactation consultants, who helped us through a rough patch and gave me the moral support I needed. I'm still nursing on cue, and don't have any plans to wean anytime soon.

RELIVING CHILDHOOD
It's incredible to see the world through a child's eyes. You start planning your day around what will excite and enrich your child, whether it's a trip to Grammy and Pops, a visit to the park, or an extended reading session with his favorite books. Ibes has such a sense of wonder about little things - like seeing butterflies. I can't wait for Christmas this year. It's such a beautiful holiday, and has always been my favorite day of the year. I love experiencing it with my son, and those experiences will grow richer each year.

BABY SMELLS
I love the way Ibes smells! His skin has such a sweet scent, and I can't help but breathe in deeply whenever he's close. I bathe him in Mustela baby wash, and shampoo his hair with Johnson's baby shampoo - two of my favorite scents. I even love A&D ointment, and admit that sometimes I apply it to his little bottom just because it smells good.
When Ben was traveling for work, he told me that he missed the smell of Ibes' clean diapers. I thought he was crazy, until I changed him and realized that I enjoy the scent too.


Sweet little Ibes

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter and the Introduction of HAM

We had a beautiful Easter! Ibes enjoyed his first Easter basket (he was too little for one last year), and looked adorable in his little church outfit.

A basket MUST have Peeps!

Ben and I were in the church nursery this week, so we had the privilege of watching Ibes in a different environment. He really latched onto an infant bouncer seat and decided that he'd enjoy pushing that around like a lawnmower.

Vroom!

It's impossible to get this fast-mover in focus
He was totally worn out from playing, and almost fell asleep on the way home with his little Bunny.



He tasted some new foods, including ham and lemonade. He LOVES ham, and devours it whenever we put it in front of him.


He even whispers "ham" when I tell him what I'm feeding him. He's starting to mimic our words, and sometimes he gets pretty close. "Ham" is one of those words. It won't be long until he's asking for ham!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time for a new carseat

Ibes has been using his Chicco KeyFit 30 carseat since birth. It's a rear-facing infant seat that's approved for babies weighing 30 pounds or less. I assumed that we'd use this seat until he hit the 30 pound mark, but when you have a tall, thin baby, that's not practical. He's almost too long for the seat!



When babies hit 20 pounds and one year old, they can be moved into a front-facing carseat. We decided to make the upgrade now, instead of holding off the switch for as long as possible.

After researching different brands and models, I knew I wanted to invest in a Britax. They're built like tanks and incredibly safe. They have integrated steel bars, honeycomb insulation that explodes like airbags in case of an accident, and lots of head support. 

L: Chicco KeyFit 30; R: Britax Boulevard 70 CS
We chose the Boulevard 70 CS model in Onyx:



I had to watch several videos and read the instruction manual thoroughly to figure out installation. But once I made sense of the straps and locks, installation was pretty straightforward.

I let Ibes sit in the seat for a minute, and he seemed to like it. I can't wait to go for a car ride and watch him take in his new view!


We did also get some new shoes, since he's starting to take steps. Aren't they adorable?! The little crab shells are touch-and-feel!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Puppies!

Ibes got to meet some adorable pups this week!

It's so fluffy!!
My sister and brother-in-law are puppy-sitting two 12-week-old puppies. They are thought to be shepherd/lab mixes, and are just as friendly and playful as can be. They're just Ibes' size!


He started waving at the dogs as soon as we arrived, and was really curious about them. He wanted to get down on the ground with them, so I obliged.

Puppy attack!
Both puppies lunged at him at once, covering his little cheeks in licks.

Ear nibbles
After about 10 minutes of playing, Ben and I noticed a couple hives starting to develop on Ibes' forehead. That's when it hit us: HE'S ALLERGIC TO DOGS!

We had this information from Ibes' allergy testing that took place in January, but since we don't regularly come in contact with animals, hadn't thought too much about that allergy. And in true MOM FAIL form, it totally slipped my mind during this visit.

We hurried home and thew Ibes in the tub with some Aveeno oatmeal bath, poured Benadryl down this throat, and waited.

Poor little allergic baby
He played in the tub, and was acting normally with minimal eye-rubbing. The hives started fading soon after the Benadryl kicked in.



Feeling better
Despite the allergic reaction, Ibes enjoyed petting the puppies and getting lots of kisses. We'll make plans to visit again - but enjoy them from a distance next time!