Thursday, December 16

Happy Not A Father's Day!

I only work 3 days (well, nights) a week, but for some reason it feels like I have been working ALL THE TIME lately. Probably because we recently got back from Colorado, then I immediately had to work my 3 shifts, then my shifts were split up. So it would be work... sleep all day because I just worked.... sleep all afternoon because I work that night... sleep all day because I just worked... etc. There was a lot of working and sleeping. Which means there was also a lot of Brit taking care of Corbin all by himself, and Corbin is at the SUPER FUN age where if you're not actively entertaining him, he's fussy. And 6 or so hours into the day with one 30 minute nap, he's often fussy even when you're actively entertaining him.

It's been a little stressful.

So I finally had a couple of days off, and I dubbed Tuesday "Not A Father's Day." I woke up with Corbin, fed him, walked him and the dog, then packed him up in the car with a couple of bottles and headed out for the day. I wanted Brit to have the whole day ENTIRELY TO HIMSELF, without hearing or dealing with a crying baby. We visited my grandpa, drove around a lot trying to get him to sleep, did a little shopping, went to the gym (Corbin did GREAT in the Kids Club for his first time, the workers there were totally charmed), and got home just in time for his last meal and bedtime.

I think Brit spent the day throwing up.

So we did it again on Wednesday, so Brit could actually enjoy the day, but this time we mostly stayed at home- just out of Daddy's way. Tuesday night, Corbin couldn't focus on his last bottle, because he could see Daddy right there and was apparently amazed that he was still alive. I guess he loves best whomever he sees the least.

I think over the course of 48 hours, Brit feels somewhat rejuvenated, and ready to take on the crying baby once again. And Corbin has a slightly increased chance of survival while I'm working.

Wednesday, December 15

Eyes

Do you think it's weird, in all these monthly updates, I've never mentioned what color Corbin's eyes have turned?

That's because, I'll be completely honest here, I DON'T KNOW! They seem to change color every time I look at them. What do you think? Brown? Green? Brownish-green? Bluish maybe? They seem bluish sometimes, to me.


Maybe I'll call it hazel.

Tuesday, December 14

Christensen Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday Extravaganza

Brit's family had a holiday tradition going long before I joined on as a Christensen, and that's to get the whole family together every other holiday- Thanksgiving on even years, Christmas on odd years. This works out with my career, seeing as how I have to work every other holiday anyway. I'm a little sad that I never get to see my family for thanksgiving or christmas, but seeing the in-laws is still TONS of fun.

This year was a Thanksgiving year, and we've started combining it with Christmas and getting it all done in one weekend. So me and Brit loaded up the car and headed out on Tuesday to spend more than a week in a house with 8 adults and 6 kids. It was cozy.

Thursday night was the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, full of good food, lists of things we are thankful for, and yams that immediately clogged the arteries.


Brit and I were in charge of mashing the potatoes. There was a failure in communication somewhere down the line, and nobody told us the 20lb bag of potatoes was supposed to be HALF for mashing, half for baking later that weekend. So we had a lot of mashed potatoes, and poor Brit had a potato-peeling workout.

Friday we had Christmas Eve, set up the Christmas decorations all over the house, and took a lot of family pictures. We try to do this every year we get together. Brit's family is very lucky to be all together so often... I'm pretty sure the last time we got a family picture on my side was in 2006.

Saturday we had Christmas, and the feeling was so total and authentic, several people thought stores would be closed on Saturday. We totally forgot it wasn't REALLY Christmas! The celebration was fantastic, even with so many little kids around. I've decided that Christmas is very hard on little kids... watching your cousins open gifts and get new things while you have to wait around five whole minutes for your turn. Pure torture. Corbin did pretty well, although he had to go down for a nap partway through. I think his biggest present (in my mind, anyway) is the blanket I made for him.

He LOVED IT! He actually smiled when he felt it! And now it's by his side for every nap time. I definitely was not expecting such a "strong" reaction (for a 6 month old, anyway).

The rest of the week involved a lot of Settlers of Catan for Brit and his brothers, and a lot of learning Photoshop for me. Corbin did pretty well, once we figured out that he can't handle too much chaos (is anyone surprised?) and needs a chance to wind down before his naps.


I was REALLY sad to have to come back to Utah, and not ready at all to leave. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful in-laws that they feel like my own family.

Pictures taken by my talented sister-in-law, Heather.

Tuesday, December 7

Shutter Bug

I have a new obsession, going on about one whole week now. I've decided I want to become a "professional" photographer. It started in Colorado, watching my amazing sister-in-law line up professional looking photos with her not-professional (though still pretty awesome) camera. I wanted to learn how to do that! It expanded while watching some family work with Photoshop. I decided I wanted to learn photoshop, too. I became obsessed. I read instructions online, I found tutorial videos, I spent every moment of free time (and some of not-free-time) learning all I could.

I've always been a little bit interested in photography. I used to think myself the photographer of the family, the one who got the "good shots" of the kids. Looking back now, I realize they're pretty terrible, but still- it's something that when I do well (or think I've done well), I'm very proud of myself. I also used my rudimentary knowledge of photoshop to spiff up some family pictures in Colorado. Let's be honest, it wasn't very good, but oh how I preened. I love it. 

Now, there's something you need to know about my personality. I can be very stubborn. VERY stubborn. When I decide I want something, I obsess over it. I can't think of anything else. And I make everyone around me miserable until I get what I want. There is no such thing as patiently waiting for the right time when it comes to my obsessions.

So after over a week of pestering, Brit finally caved and let me drop a TON of money on an entry-level professional camera. (Let's not get into how much, exactly.)

Now don't tell him, but I'm suddenly very nervous. Yay, I got what I want, but.... what if I don't like it? What if I dutifully take pictures for a few weeks, and decide I hate it? Or, more likely, I'm terrible at it? It's a little late now, but I do wish I could figure out how to have these doubts BEFORE I spend the money. Somehow, that part of my conscience is always on vacation until it's too late...

Thursday, December 2

Sweet lullabies...

I just made a lullaby CD for Corbin to play in the car when he gets tired and grumpy. Songs include:

Bleed It Out : by Linkin Park
Headstrong : by Trapt
Savior : by Rise Against
You're Gonna Go Far, Kid : by The Offspring
Teenagers : by My Chemical Romance
...among others.

And in case you were wondering, yes, it does work. Less the normal margin of error when you're dealing with babies and little kids, playing this kind of music (as loud as possible) almost always calms him down and puts him to sleep. I also just got a new rear-view mirror for watching him in his carseat while I'm driving, and today I watched him go from mid-cry, to thoughtful, to falling soundly asleep in the middle of "No More Sorrow." It still makes me laugh, and I've known this for a few months now.

6 month update is forthcoming, but I haven't even done the pictures yet, and I'm working this weekend. So it will be a while.

Wednesday, December 1

half a year!!

Corbin is SIX MONTHS OLD! I can't believe it's been half a year already. It's hard for me to think of things to write each month, for some reason I just don't think he changes much from month to month. But looking back over the last 6 months, I am completely amazed at how much he's learned. That's my favorite part of being a parent, I think. I love watching him figure out the world around him. I know every baby does this, but it was the most amazing thing in the world when he learned how to control his movements and reach for toys. And he was the smartest baby ever when he started learning cause/effect to make his toys do fun things. I just love watching him become more aware, learn who I am, and turn into a "real boy."

And now he is...

SIX MONTHS OLD

This month...

-20 lbs (92%), and 29 inches (99%)
-Wearing size 3 diapers, but really should be in size 4
-Somewhere between 9m and 12m size clothes, moving quickly toward 12m (above picture is 12m clothes)
-Sleeping (generally) from 8pm to 7am, sometimes still waking up at 5 for an extra bottle
-Started solid foods!!

We went to Colorado for Thanksgiving/Christmas with the family. After thanksgiving dinner, Nonni helped Corbin try out his first bowl of rice cereal. He was not amused.

Also while in Colorado, Corbin rolled over for (essentially) the first time. He did it once before, front-to-back, several months ago... but then never did it again. Until he was playing by himself in the corner, and I went to check on him, and he was on his stomach! Poor kid, a huge step and nobody even saw it.

He started sitting up more on his own. He still falls over rather easily, but he can balance pretty well for short periods of time.

He's just growing up so much, in ways that I can't even pinpoint to describe in a blog. He loves his momma, he loves grabbing things (like his cousin's hand! and my hair...), he's not a fan of chaos, and he still adores being naked. He's also very, very wiggly... constantly waving his arms around and kicking. It makes it very hard to cut his nails, but it sure is cute.

Corbin and Kiara, Natalie's baby

With cousin LE- it was so much fun to have two little babies around!

He loves his Nonni!!




"Christmas" day, with the blanket I made for him

Wednesday, November 10

Corbin is 5 months old..... and 10 days

Ok, so I'm a little late. But only a little bit.

This month:
Corbin is 20 lbs and 27 inches, according to my own inaccurate measurement.

He's in size 3 diapers, size 4 at night, and eating about 8 oz 4 times a day. He goes to bed at 8:30, and wakes up at 7. I'm still trying to push that back to 8.

He learned about cause/effect this month- he figured out that when he pulls on his ducky toy, it vibrates and makes a fun noise. When he pulls on the rattle ring on his bouncy seat, it comes off and he can play with it. And he does these things over and over again.

He found his toes. It makes me laugh every time I put him down on the changing table.



He got teeth! Teething has been rough, and sometimes it feels like it's still not over, but he now has two adorable bottom teeth.

Technically from this month, but just the other day, Brit turned to me and said "From now on, Corbin will be referred to as Biscuit." Don't ask me why. I love it.

He has recently become a Binky Baby. Since he was about 1-2 months old, he would ONLY take a binky as part of his naptime routine, and would spit it out as soon as he was in bed. If you tried to give it to him any other time, he's spit it out within about 20 seconds. In the last few weeks, he'll keep in a binky for 20 minutes or more. He doesn't really cry for it, but I like that he'll take it. Binkies are cute.





This is what I usually find at the end of a nap:


video


Tuesday, November 9

Monday, October 11

Cuteness Abounds

I've decided that this age (4 months) is definitely my favorite. Everything Corbin does just floors me with cuteness. I want to love and snuggle him all the time, and find myself laughing 50 times a day at the adorable things he does. It's not even something that I can adequately express in pictures. He's just at an age where he's starting to be SO much more aware of the world around him. He has these great facial expressions. Practically every time you look at him, he breaks out in this huge, heart-breaking grin, and looks away all coy. He's grabbing at my face and my necklace, and snuggling into my shoulder when I hold him. He's big enough to hold on my hip, and to pull up to standing by his arms. He cracks up at everything- standing up, lifting his arms above his head, tickling his ribs, kissing his neck. He recognizes me and Brit and lights up whenever he sees us. He sits and babbles at us constantly. He freaks out with excitement every time his clothes come off. This kid LOVES to be naked! He is so funny. I can't believe how much I adore him. Sometimes I look at his tiny baby pictures and miss his itty bitty-ness, but not enough to want to go back. I'm having too much fun. Can I please freeze him right here and never let him grow up?




Sunday, October 3

4 Months!

I was a bad mom this month. I didn't take many pictures, and I haven't even finished the 3 month scrapbook page!

But that's ok. LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS!



Nothing much has changed this month. Still 16 lbs, 13 oz (85%), and 26 in (64%).

He's been sick a couple times this month, which is new. I think his poor little immune system is having a hard time with Mommy going back to work.

He's also regressed on sleeping through the night- he'll often wake up at 3 or 4 AM lately. That's still at least 7 hours, which is good, but 11 hours was BETTER. So we're trying to tweak the schedule again, and see what works. Can't kids just stay the same? Do they really have to keep growing all the time?

I can get him to laugh semi-regularly now. He especially loves being "thrown" up in the air (I never let go of him, but I hold him up high and bring him down toward my face, and he cracks up!)

He's right in the beginning stages of learning how to sit. If we lean him back too far, he'll clench his stomach muscles to try and pull himself up. He likes to be up looking around, but if he's sitting up TOO far unsupported he still tips right over and folds in half. He's working on it.



The funniest thing I've discovered this month:
Sometimes when I'm driving him around, he'll get sick of being in the car and start fussing. For a while, I started turning off my audiobook when that happened and turning up some loud music to drown him out (I'm a great mom, right?). I realized after doing this a few times that he would actually STOP fussing when I did that. So I would think, ok, he's done, I can go back to my book.... and he would start fussing again. So apparently, the most soothing thing for my son when he's fussy in the car is loud, angry music. Who is this kid, anyway?




Tuesday, September 14

SMASHBURGER!

(In my head, that title was said in a Hulk voice.)

I finally tried Smashburger today. I don't know where I heard about it, but I think I've heard good things. With so many choices around me, though (Five Guys, JCW's, In N Out) I've never had the chance or motivation to try it. I finally did, and the verdict:

Meh, 'sOkay.

The rosemary garlic fries were GREAT, and I might go again just for those. The shake was pretty good, but really expensive, and JCW has more options. I had chicken, so I don't know how the burgers were, but I was a teensy bit annoyed that fancy extra toppings were all 99 cents extra. I like the "one price for a burger, then add whatever you want" approach of Five Guys. Also, I felt pretty ridiculous ordering Smashchicken, with Smashfries, while my mother-in-law had a Smashsalad... why do you feel the need to put your name on everything? We're not Smurfs.

I'm glad I went. But I probably won't go again. Except maybe for the fries.

Friday, September 3

3 Months!

My baby is 3 months old already. Time flies by so fast when I'm working 3 days a week. And I'm not sure I like it. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot!


Corbin at 3 Months:
15 lbs, 26 in. (according to my own measurements, since he didn't have a doctor's appointment this month)
Still smiling all the time. I love getting home from work, or going in when he wakes up from a nap, and watching his face light up when he sees me.
Getting much more coordinated. He is starting to figure out how to reach out and grab things, and likes to hang on to our necklaces (or my hair) for dear life.
Focusing on things for long periods of time. He will watch a full 45-minute TV show with us. I hope I'm not creating a couch potato... but I doubt I have much of a choice in the matter.
We've started singing to him more... or rather, I've started singing to him more, and Brit has conceded to making a song part of the bedtime routine. Some of his favorites:
It's A Big World (my bedtime song of choice)
(yes, I realize that Corbin doesn't really have "favorites" at this point, and they're all MY favorites to sing to him... but I swear he smiles more when I sing him Code Monkey and the Alphabet Love Song.)
In just the last few weeks of Corbin's 3rd month, he started doing a couple of really spectacular things:
-He laughs! It's still a very rare treat, and mostly happens first thing in the morning when he's happiest, and when he's on his changing table (go figure). I have yet to capture it on video, usually because I'm the only one awake when it happens. Brit still doesn't believe me that he laughs at all.
-He's started SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! We put him to bed at 9 or a little after, and he sleeps until 7 or 8. He has a crazy internal body clock that wakes him up at 7 am exactly, and we're trying to trick him into pushing that back an hour, but we're having little success so far. But we're not giving up. Still, the extra sleep is nice.

I like this kid kindof a lot. Sorry my blog has gone into boring mommy-mode, but I feel like there is literally nothing else interesting in my life right now besides my little guy.

Corbin's blessing day


The awesome guys who participated in Corbin's blessing




We've started letting Chess and Corbin interact a little more. She doesn't quite know what to do with it.

Friday, August 13

I'm a bad mom!

Corbin will need therapy some day because I never blogged his monthly milestones. I didn't even start doing "watch me grow" pictures until his 2nd month. Basically, I'm just copying my sister-in-law in everything I do (she just posted her girl's 1 month post, and it reminded me). I am trying to keep a digital scrapbook, someday to be printed into a real scrapbook. Does that make up for it?


Corbin at 2 Months:
...12 lbs 13 oz, 77th percentile (up from 46)
...25 in. long, 95th percentile (up from 86)
...smiles regularly and easily, especially in the morning and after eating
...is a very happy, content baby- if he cries, it's because he needs to eat or go down for a nap. Very easy to figure out. 
...is sleeping for 5 hours stretches at night.
...is starting to coo, gurgle, and talk. His favorite word is "goo."
...has cleared up his crazy baby acne.
...absolutely loves to spit up on daddy, and smile big like he just did something fantastic.
...is just meeting his cousins from my side, and seriously adores them. They can always make him smile.
...is fantastic at playing by himself.
...likes playing peek-a-boo.
...is ticklish on his feet.
...only falls asleep after he buries his face into your arm, and then usually tries to bury his face into something in his crib. But for some reason, a blanket or burp cloth laid over the eyes is unacceptable.
...loves bed time, and will easily fall asleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately, he's pretty obviously a morning person, because he will also wake up bright and early, and sometimes talk to himself in his crib for a while before he starts crying. Not a good sign for his night-owl parents.

Some other fun pictures from the second month:








This is Bree and JoAnn Righetti (holding Corbin). JoAnn Righetti is a loud, flamboyant, classic Italian from New Jersey, and Corbin loves her. My little Jersey Boy.


Tuesday, August 10

My life is pretty good.

I like my kids to be able to entertain themselves. This is an important skill in my mind, so every day Corbin spends a little while chilling by himself, without mommy or daddy in his face keeping him happy. Yesterday, after about 10 minutes of alone time on our bed just watching the ceiling fan, I put a perfectly content baby down for a nap. He woke up early, so after changing his diaper, I put him back to bed to finish out his regular nap time. Twenty minutes later, he still hasn't cried, so I peek in on him to make sure he's asleep... and find him staring at the ceiling, kicking and waving his arms, just talking to himself.

I seriously have the best baby in the entire world.

Thursday, July 22

Highlights

Two things I forgot about our trip to CO:

1. We discovered just how long Corbin can cry without stopping when he's DONE with being in the car. It's a very, very long time.

2. I felt like a mommy for the first time. Usually it's just me and Brit comforting Corbin, so I have nothing to make me think he "knows" us, because he's never had to deal with strangers. On our first day out there, Nonni was holding him and trying to comfort him and let me eat, but Corbin wasn't having any of it. I finally went in and took him from her, and he immediately calmed down once he was in my arms. He knows me! And better than that, he LIKES me! I'm not super excited about the clingy, mommy-only phase of childhood, but it's nice to be needed right now. I'm a mommy!!

(BTW, by the end of the week, I'm pretty sure he liked Nonni better than me....)

Happy Memories

Corbin has been so good lately. He's going down for naps regularly, going to bed as soon as I put him down without a fuss, being happy and smiley while he's awake... with just one VERY notable exception. He's been waking up every single morning 1-1.5 hrs before his designated wakeup time. Yesterday I finally gave in and adjusted his wakeup time an hour earlier... and then this morning he wakes up 1.5 hours before THAT. I can't win. I am very, very frustrated.

It's time for some happy memories.

Last week we got back from a nice long vacation in Colorado. Since I'm not working yet and Brit's done with school, I thought it would be the perfect chance to visit family, while we don't have any pressing time concerns! It was sooo much fun. I love seeing Brit's family. We went out for a belated anniversary celebration while Nonni and PopPop watched Corbin. I figured out that breastfeeding wasn't filling him up enough, and we switched to formula (he is SO much happier now!). Corbin started smiling regularly. And I took several blissful naps. I love my in-laws! I wish we didn't have to come home. Eventually, I plan on living out there.

Highlights of the week:
~Dinners at the park with the kids
~Going to the dog park with Chess and Corbin
~Date night to see Eclipse and eat at Carrabba's
~Making strawberry jam
~Eating anything I want and gaining 10 lbs (maybe that last part isn't SO much a highlight...)
~Visiting Brit's friends for 4th of July
~Watching fireworks all across the city from the deck
~Letting Nonni take Corbin at 7 am and SLEEPING IN!
~Watching the little kids try boss Chess around ("Chest! No!")
~Corbin's first real submerssive bath
~Getting Corbin to smile at every possible moment


Saturday, July 17

A Post About Poop

Well, we just got through our first Poop Crisis of parenthood. I was holding Corbin, feeding him, noticing that he smelled like he had a messy diaper. When he wasn't eating real well, I took a break to check it out.... and looked down to find neon-green poo all down his leg, on his blanket, and ON MY SHIRT.

Hilarity ensued.

I handed him to Brit, who carried him up to the bathroom as far away from bodily contact as humanly possible. I filled the sink while we passed him back and forth, trying to get his poopy clothes off and into the bathtub without getting any of it on us. Corbin was not amused. Brit somehow succeeded in staying poop-free, I managed to get it on each layer of clothing as they came off. Perhaps I should have waited to remove the shirt until AFTER we were done. Lesson learned. We plopped naked poopy baby in a full sink of water, which promptly turned disgusting. And because poopy water wasn't bad enough, he decided to pee in it too. Thanks, Corbin. At that point, I gave up and got in the shower with him. He was even less amused. But at least we both got clean.

All our clothes are in the washer, the bathtub and sink are sanitized, and Corbin is clean, dressed, and fed.

Poop crisis averted. I think we earned a gold star in parenting today. So sorry I didn't stop in the middle of it to take pictures. (Not that the thought didn't occur to me.)

Wednesday, June 30

Angry Birthmom Vent

I love the show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." It's a guilty pleasure. But it's making me MAD tonight. I'm going through the marathon recorded on my DVR, and I've seen several episodes now where a single mom is thinking about "giving up" for adoption. But after she sees the baby for the first time, the narrator intones something to the effect of "he was so precious, she knew she could never give him up."

So.... what? Isabelle wasn't precious enough for me to subject her to the life of an unprepared single mom? Maybe I didn't love her enough? Apparently she was a subpar child, and it was was just easy for me to hand her off and move on. Good thing I didn't have a beautiful or precious child like these women. Good thing I have a heart of stone and didn't REALLY love my baby.

Ugh.

Just.... UGH.

/rant

Sunday, June 27

Babywise: My thoughts

A friend recommended the book Babywise when I was very newly pregnant, and I managed to just barely get it (mostly) read before I had the baby. I've heard that it's controversial and extreme, but I didn't see that at all in what I read. It made perfect sense.

Haha, little did I know...

I still like the idea, and I'm still incorporating a modified version, but I see now how it can be "extreme." Babies don't conform to your schedule!! I started out trying to follow the book to the letter, and found supporting information online to further educate myself. According to all the reading, I should be having a regular wake up time every morning, within 15 minutes either direction. From that point, he should eat at the same times every day, every 2 - 3 hours. After eating, he should be awake for some time (no more than an hour, according to the people online who have done this before), then be put down for naps while still awake and fall asleep on his own.

The first issue I discovered in practice is, if he is eating every 2-3 hours (with one 4 hour stretch a day, according to the lactation people), how is it mathematically possible to have the same eating times every day??? It is not. So our schedule fluctuates a bit day to day, but in general we start our day at 10 AM. If he eats well, he is predictably hungry every 3 hours, and I can basically tell you when I'll be feeding him from day to day. If he's growing or something, he'll get hungry in 1.5-2 hours, and that's ok- I'll feed him then. If he's hungry because he was dicking around instead of eating, I'll make him wait and get properly hungry before feeding him again. If he's sleeping past 3 hours, then I'll wake him up to eat (if he's gonna have a 4 hour stretch, it's gonna be at night, thankyouverymuch). And this basically works for us.

And then there's the napping thing. This has been our biggest issue. The online reading says babies have "sleep cues" that you have to read and know when to put them down, and you have about a 10 minute window to get it right or they get overtired and won't fall asleep. Seriously?? First of all, I've known this person for less than a month, and he can't talk... how in the heck am I supposed to know what his sleep cues are? And babies are changing constantly. By the time I get to know him and figure out his sleep cues, they could have changed entirely. So we've never had success with putting him down and having him fall asleep on his own. I've given up on that, and I'm ok with it. We'll hold him and rock him to sleep and let him dictate his own sleep schedule, and maybe he'll be able to teach me what he needs/wants before he's 6 months old.

So things are going pretty well now. He's figured out how to eat without TOO much trouble, most of the time... and he's very good at sticking to his "schedule," most of the time.... and he's VERY good at sleeping at night. Most of the time. He's had a rough few days, but last night he slept for almost 5 hours in one stretch. Coincidentally, I've been happier and more relaxed today than I have been in a long time.

I'm sure next week I'll have something else making me pull my hair out in frustration.

But at least next week we'll hopefully be in Colorado where Noni and Papa will make everything all better.

Friday, June 25

Testing....

Apparently, blogger has a new upload tool.

Also, my family is cute.