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


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...


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