Thursday, December 25, 2014

Abraham, Abraham, Abraham.

There is so much to be said about my Abraham. I could write for days and days! Unfortunately, I have a few more minutes until one of my boys wake up, so I will write what I can and hopefully continue it later. I wish I was better at doing my monthly posts, but goodness... it's harder than it seems! Life has taken us over the last month and a half and not been kind! I will, maybe, get into more of that later. But we are working our way out of it and trying to enjoy the little things in life!

Abraham is truly an angelic, content little boy. My mom says that Heavenly Father sent me a low-maintenance child because he knew everything I was doing with Jude. THANK YOU!!! I am truly grateful for his mild demeanor. Here we go... everything I can think to share about my boy!

He eats anything and everything. He eats mostly everything Jude eats but we also give him Kerrygold butter and yogurt made out of raw milk. Also, some grass-fed beef and other things that Dan and I may be eating that Jude can't have at the time. He has never had a bite of baby food or grains or processed foods! He eats only organic and as close to the Weston A. Price foundation guidelines as we can. We have learned so much in the last few years with everything that has gone on with Jude. We are doing things a lot differently this time around! We are sticking with meats, vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, homemade bone broth and fats for now. He is always happy to eat and never turns food down. Really, he would eat and eat for hours if we let him! After a while, we just stop feeding him because he would never stop. We are so thankful for a good eater with a good appetite! If I make something for Jude and he doesn't finish it, I can always count on Abraham to finish it off. One time I made Jude some broccoli and it fell all over the floor as I was taking it to him. Because of Jude's allergies, I couldn't feed it to him so... I gave it to Abraham! He's still a great little nurser and loves to nurse, but mostly when he's tired. He doesn't love nursing quite as much as Jude did, who would have exclusively nursed for every meal had I let him!

He is a great sleeper! That is another thing I have approached completely differently with Abraham. I didn't even know what a "sleep schedule" or "sleep training" was until Jude was about ten months old! Eek! I reread "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" when I was pregnant with Abraham and reread the applicable parts when he was a few months old. He was not an easy sleeper the first few months of life and had to sleep in my arms. We sleep-trained him at four months old and it has been great ever since! He goes to bed at 6:30 - 7:00 pm and sleeps twelve hours in his bed. I used to rock Jude for what felt like hours/nurse him for hours/rock him next to his crib while nursing standing up! (Why?!) Now I nurse Abraham in bed, take him into the bathroom where his pack n play is where he sleeps, rock him for about 30 seconds and lay him down. Once I lay him down, I will not get him again or look back. I just lay him down and leave. At first he would cry every time but now he usually lays down happily, turns on his side, and sticks his little thumb in his mouth. If he cries, he flips over onto his hands and knees and starts rocking backing forth and moans/sings to himself. It is so great. Then usually sleeps another half-hour to an hour with me in the morning in my bed. So he usually sleeps about 13 hours every night! Then he takes a nap around 10:00 and a nap around 2:00. Sometimes they are only half an hour or so and sometimes they are an hour and a half! I wish he napped longer but I know once he switches to one nap he will sleep longer. It will be so incredibly wonderful when the boys nap during  the same time. Right now they are pretty much on completely opposite schedules!

Dan watched the boys when I work and it has been so great for them. It is always such a bonding experience and I'm so glad Dan has had the opportunity to take care of them for extended periods of time. He will watch Abraham (and Jude) sometimes from first thing in the morning and then put him down for bed at night. He is such a wonderful father and I'm so grateful for him. Abraham has always been a mama's boy and sometimes didn't want to go to Dan as much. After Dan watched him more and more, he really warmed up to him and bonded with him. Here's is Dan's recollection of some of his favorite memories of watching him:

"When I get him out of bed, he just hugs me so tight and rubs the back of my neck and gives me a big squeeze. When we're playing, he'd just crawl over onto my lap and just want me to hold him and lay on me. He loves playing the guitar and every time I play the guitar for him, he gets so excited and comes over and tries to play it and dances and bounces up and down. He would want to come to me more and smile and look at me more after I watched him for those few days. He's so happy and I love teaching him how to crawl and walk and stand. He always likes looking out the back window into the backyard."

Starting around December 20, Dan worked with Abraham and he has been standing up to ten seconds by himself! Yesterday he took his first step after standing on his own! He is crawling so fast. Abraham's favorite thing to do with Jude is probably when Jude gets on his hands and knees too and chases Abraham around. Abraham just starts to giggle and laugh and crawls away as fast as he can. Sometimes when he's crawling and gets going too fast he gets ahead of himself and just plops right onto his tummy.

He is such a social little smiler. Papa calls his "smiles." Anytime someone calls his name, he looks over at them and looks into their eyes and smiles. He is such a happy, pleasant little guy. He has the biggest, darkest eye and the softest cheeks that are just heaven to kiss. When we're holding him we'll say "give me a kiss, Abe" and he'll grab your face with one hand on each side and give us a big open-mouth smooch. It is pretty nice.

We are so grateful to have this little guy in our family. He is such a special little boy and a perfect addition to our little clan. It is so fun (and sad) to see him growing so quickly and see his little personality develop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That bond.

I've been working every night this week from about 10:45am-8:00pm. Tonight I was running behind, and I told Dan to not wait up for me to put Jude to bed. Earlier this morning I had told Jude I would be home to put him to bed tonight and we would read stories together. (To which he always replies, "a bunch?!" And I reply, "yes, a bunch." To which he replies, "In the family living room?" To which I reply, "Yes, under the lights of the Christmas tree!" And then everyone is happy.)

So Dan told me Jude was very sad that I wasn't going to be home to put him to bed. He is famous for this line... "I want Mommy put me to bed!" (And that is very literal. He's okay with Dan getting him all ready for bed but he wants me to be the one to physically lay him down in his bed. It is so funny.) He kept saying, "Mommy said she would put me to bed!!" And Dan said he was just so down. He told him I got held up at work and was so sorry. They went upstairs and after he brushed his teeth, Jude got a big frown on his face and just BURST into tears as he realized I really wasn't going to be home to put him to bed! 

My heart was literally broken and pained and when Dan told me this I could hardly take it. I showered as quickly as possible and hurried into his room. I stared at the precious little soul who made me a mother with so much love and gratitude. I gently caressed his little tummy and a little hint of a smile appeared on his face when he looked at me as his little eyes eventually opened. I scooped him up and told him that I missed him so. He mumbled a reply. We laid down in our spot in the teepee and he just melted right over me, creating the most delicious tummy sandwich. Both my arms were wrapped around him and his little face was nuzzled up so close to mine. I felt his soft, smooth breaths. I heard his little mouth smack open and shut. I grasped his little body in my arms and felt overwhelmed with the adoring love only a mother understands.

That is what waits for me when I get home. A little boy who absolutely adores me and loves his mama more than anything else. I am so humbled by our tender little relationship. I laid him back down in his bed after squeezing his little body so tight against mine. I leaned over and kissed him. He looked up at me and I told him, "I love you so much, baby." He mumbled back, "I love you." Then I caressed his little face and stole one last kiss. I all but wept inside as I looked down at that beautiful little baby!

Sigh. Working is pretty stinky, but moments like that make it all worth it.