Gideon’s First/My Favorite Valentines day!

Gideon’s first Valentine’s day got off to a great start. He was holding on to his elephant that he sleeps with (the one Daniel gave him a few weeks ago), and we snuggled for a few minutes before getting our day started. His poor little face was caked in dry boogers, so we played in his bathroom for a little bit while hot water run in the shower. We read books and played with his bathtub toys. After that it was time for breakfast. I cut some pancakes I made yesterday into heart shapes, and we both enjoyed a valentine themed morning meal.

Last night I set out Gideon and Daniel’s valentine gifts on the table, so we could enjoy them together.

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My gift to Daniel was a jar of dates! I simply wrote a bunch of ideas of things to do together as stay-in or go-out dates on some colorful paper strips, and put them in an old jelly jar.

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We got Gideon a Fisher Price Rock-a-Stack, wrote him individual notes in a card, and put a DVD about cute forrest animals and some baked goods I made in a little robot bag I found in the dollar spot at Target. It’s about the only boyish valentine’s day item I could find, and it will be re-used to hold his V Day treats and gifts until he’s too old for it.

Gideon went down for his morning nap, and slept for a whopping 3 hours! I got a ton done around the house, and even got ready for work uninterrupted. As soon as I got out of the shower, he started stirring. Perfect timing!

I had to rush to work, because I didn’t want to end up in the thick of the snow storm coming our way. It took everything in me to get out the door. I didn’t want to leave this cuteness.

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So much for not coming home in the thick of the snow storm. Work went a little long, which is not out of the ordinary. I really enjoyed my patients today and got a to do a nice variety of therapies, which made the drive home a lot less tension-filled. Here are some pictures of my drive home.

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slipping and sliding!

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this particular portion of the ride home was quite nerve racking because I was like the only crazy person on the interstate!

There is no way of avoiding uphill driving to get to our house, and there was a particular road where I thought I was going to get permanently stuck. But Daniel has taught me some tricks, and I got home without any difficulty.

I got home just in time to play with Gideon, and then we snuggled up to watch an episode on his new DVD and snack on some treats.  Daniel and I shared a late dinner together, and now we are going to wind down for the night. Daniel was super disappointed that my V Day gift did not arrive in the mail today because of the crazy weather. But let me just tell you. When I saw this on the computer, it made the delay totally worth it!

georgetowncupcakes!

You don’t understand. It’s on my bucket list to eat a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes. I daydream about the day I will get to eat one.

Daniel!!!! You!!!! Are!!!! Incredible!!!!

This, my first time having TWO valentines, was the best one of my whole life. The end.

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Gideon is 11 Months Old!

Gideon is now 11 months and 5 days old! I have been a major slacker at blogging this week. This past weekend I had a headache that didn’t let up. Earlier this week Daniel was home at night, so blogging was not on my radar. The other night Picaboo was having a major sale on photo books, so I made two of them. Life has been busy, and so has Gideon! He is reaching so many milestones, and so many things are clicking in his brain. It’s so hard for me to keep up! So here’s cutting to the chase:

He is meeting most of the milestones for a “typical” 11 month old. He is standing and cruising using furniture and other stationary objects to get around. He is starting to stand for a few seconds without support, and shows more and more interest in walking every day.
As long as Daniel or I are near and/or holding him, he has become a lot less fearful and anxious around strangers. Today at the grocery store, he would smile at everyone who acknowledged him and tried to interact with him. It takes him some time to warm up to new situations, and people but he is very adaptable. We are beginning to leave him in the nursery during sermons on Sunday occasionally, and he did great this past weekend.
Gideon definitely puts forth a lot of effort to express what his wants and needs are, and loves making his own decisions. He reaches, looks and vocalizes towards the object he wants. Our next big step will be working on getting him to sign to us that his diaper is dirty. Process of elimination, fussiness, and sense of smell are the only resources we have right now to let us know he’s ready to have his diaper changed.
He doesn’t have any consistent word to name us with yet. He does say “ah-dah” when he’s done eating, and the last day or two he repeats “sah” when I put his socks on.
I’m trying to be intentional with narrating what is going on or what we are doing any given moment. “Mommy’s putting your diaper on”, “Time to eat”, “These are your feet (holding his feet). We put socks on your feet.” You get the idea.
So far, the main types of play Gideon engages in are independent play and child led play. He spend about an hour a day total playing on his own, and it’s fascinating to observe. Most of the day is spent with Daniel or I interacting with him, and following his lead during play. If he’s playing with a car, we model how to play with it, if he’s playing with his legos we show him how to stack them. Up until a week ago, he was all about taking things out. Just the other night while putting away laundry in his room, he all of a sudden started putting clothes into laundry basket! I was so thrilled and caught it all on video.

My spanish speaking with Gideon has decreased from 50% of the time to 35-40%. I think about it at the end of every day, and I always regret not having talked to him more in Spanish. Tomorrow is a new day, and español is the word!

Gideon’s current likes:

– his pacifier

– turning the lights on and off when we leave or enter a room

– bath time

– our car keys

– bananas

– meat of any kind

– blueberries

– whole milk! We introduced it this week mixed with his formula, and he is loving i!

– balloons

Gideon’s Current Dislikes:

– getting his diaper changed (80% of the time)

– getting buckled into his carseat (he does fine once he’s all settle in)

– having to wait on second or third servings during meals

– having to wait on his milk once he’s asked for it

This week Gideon is struggling with some chest and nasal congestion. He has a stubborn gunky cough that will not go away, and now his nasal secretions are also gunky and not clear (I’m trying to avoid being too graphic). I propped two pillows under his mattress to raise his head a little, and I’ve got the humidifier going with eucalyptus oil. He’s been getting echinacea daily. We’ll see how this “cold” progresses. Gideon already woke up once because his nose was stuffy and he asked for milk. He had no trouble getting back to sleep, but I have an inkling it’s going to be one of those nights. Here are some pictures and then I’m off to bed.

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The cashier at Babies R Us gave Gideon a free balloon! It made his day.

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Gideon and his cousins in Tower A of the train station. It was so cute how he stood on his tippy toes to watch the trains down below.

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Love your more than ever, Gideon!

Making Connections

I know that Gideon is going to be 11 months tomorrow, but I need to get ahead of myself and say that this stage of his life so far has been our favorite. Daniel and I agree that Gideon has never been more fun to be around, or fascinating to observe.
He is making connections left and right, learning how to sequence different actions to achieve certain goals, and we are just so excited to see where Gideon will lead us next on this developmental ride. The more he grows and the more he learns, the more we realize that parenting is a skill that requires a lot of adaptation and flexibility.

Some of our most important roles as Gideon’s parents are to encourage him, teach him, love him, and help him learn to regulate his emotions. All of these roles are universal to all parents, but they look different from one day to the next, from one family unit to another.

Gideon is so methodical about what he focuses his attention on. One week he’ll be all about perfecting his gross motor skills, and when that is mastered to his satisfaction, he takes a break from that and focuses on his cognitive development. Gideon is such a great observer, and grasps new things so quickly!

I’ll go into more detail about all the little skills he is mastering tomorrow evening, but for now here is a short clip of Gideon mastering a very difficulty fine motor skill of using his fingers to push and pull on a small surface. Watch how he does it over and over. He is in the zone.

Project Simplify 365Purged Gideon’s room of some more 12 month clothing items that no longer fit him. He is now wearing mostly 18 month of everything!

Jordyn Is A Cutie Pie!

Today was another fun and busy day. I got to spend it with my boys, and that always makes me a happy camper.

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We made the drive to Mommy Bible Study without realizing that it had been cancelled due to the poor road conditions, and impossible parking on the streets. But we made the best of our outing. We went to the bank and then took the long way home.

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Gideon fell asleep halfway home for his morning nap, so we got Starbucks and then sat in the car playing with our new techie toys. I worked on finding a good meal planning app, and Daniel did his thing on his.

When we got home, Daniel attempted to transfer Gideon to the crib. I guess Gideon had slept just enough to not be pooped anymore, and woke up as soon as they got upstairs. We had leftovers for lunch. Surprise, surprise Gideon was a champ eater.

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Gideon eating leftover zucchini pasta, chicken, and capers.

As soon as lunch was over, we started cleaning up because we were expecting a very honorable guest. A friend of ours who lives a few hours away needed to be in town for some meetings, and we jumped at the chance to watch her little 7 month old, Jordyn.

Gideon and his little friend hit it off, and it was a great afternoon. Jordyn loved playing and watching Daniel play his guitar. The toughest part for me, was that she did not take her bottle. My friend had warned me that Jordyn only took the bottle from her dad, but to hear her cry was so sad! Daniel even tried to feed Jordyn with her propped on his knees like her dad would, but she wasn’t having it. She missed her mama and was so upset that she couldn’t nurse. Poor baby. I loved rocking her and singing her to sleep, though. She’s such a little munchkin, and she felt so light in my arms! Jordyn was such a trooper though, and even took a good nap. It struck me how tiny she looks compared to Gideon! She was in such good spirits considering she went without eating for quite a while.

When our friend got back to pick Jordyn up, we shared a meal together and even got to visit for a while before it was time for them to head back home. We got to talk about the struggles and joys of being new moms, and it was a very uplifting visit.

It’s such a good feeling when I can end my day tired, but pleased with what I did, and who I spent my time with. Makes for a good day!

A Good Day

Today was a great, productive day. We woke up with ice and snow covering the roads, which is not really surprising. Daniel let me sleep in a little, which I appreciated so much. He then took a nap when Gideon took his morning nap. Daniel spent the afternoon in the freezing garage repairing our snow blower. Gideon spent the day indoors working, helping me around the house, and practicing his walking.

Daniel finally called his dad, who is pretty much a genius, and the snow blower was up and running in under an hour.

Daniel’s mom brought Gideon a toy that she made 5 minutes before coming over, and he absolutely loves it. She really motivated me to get busy making activities and homemade toys for Gideon. I’m all about making Gideon’s days fun and full of learning opportunities. Here’s a video of Gideon playing with his new toy.

We enjoyed a little visit with Daniel’s parents, and then it was time for me to make dinner. I made zuchinni “pasta” with chicken piccata, and a lemon caper sauce on top. The boys loved it, and it will definitely be a repeat.

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While I made dinner, Daniel listened to one of his favorite cover bands, Walk Off The Earth, and Gideon always wants in on the fun!

I am so incredibly sorry that you have to hear my horrible voice. I didn’t think the camera would catch it since the music was turned up.

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Gideon enjoys his first caper.

After having some family snuggle time on the couch watching Gideon’s favorite Baby Einstein video, we gave him a bath and he went to sleep for the night. Daniel and I just finished watching the last episode of Downton Abbey (we are both big fans), and now we’re going to sit and relax for a bit before going to bed. Great day overall, and I think tomorrow will be a lot of fun too!

EAT the salt of the earth!

I have been waiting and waiting to run out of my final container of Morton Iodized Salt. On Saturday night I finally shook the last of it onto the mashed potatoes I contributed to Daniel and his dad’s birthday dinner. I was thrilled to be able to move on to better things. We have raised the bar on so many of the staple foods in our home, and salt is next.

Since I left home and began purchasing my own groceries I have reached for the cheapest, store brand salt. Most of what I used to purchase and then ingest was greatly dictated by the price tag. Salt was no exception. Salt was one of those things I would toss in the cart and not think about again until I was running low on it.

Times have changed. Now I’m responsible for my health and the health of two men (one grown, one little) who are pretty much a big deal to me. So today was “salt research” day during Gideon’s afternoon nap. I wasn’t too shocked at what I found. I came across the usual opposing for and against opinions, biased brand websites, and even those obscure websites that you think make good points but – based on what reliable resources?

I was certain of a few things that helped lay solid groundwork before I even began researching the topic of salt:

1. God created salt.

2. Salt can  be found in the ground and in the ocean.

3. I’ve seen salt in its most natural, unpolluted form in:

a. salt accumulations and buildup on ocean rocks and cliffs, which looks white from far away but gray from up close.

b. I’ve been to the Salar de Atacama and remember very clearly the gray and pink hues of the landscape. I also remember a bunch of flamingos flying overhead, which is why I chose this picture.

{ Source } because I didn't take the trouble of digging up old pictures from storage in the basement.

{ Source } because I didn’t take the trouble of digging up old pictures from storage in the basement.

4. Salt in its true form does not even remotely resemble the stark white powder I flavor(ed) my food with.

5. We as a human race have a tendency of messing things up.

6. Salt is more than likely not the exception to #5.

7. God used salt as an analogy of what His believers should bring to the world. In New Testament times, this must have meant a great deal. Salt must have been a very expensive and valuable spice.

8. If God made salt, and then used it as an example to illustrate what an impact christians should have on the world, then it must be rich, nutritious, and good for the body.

9. All I hear nowadays is that salt is directly connected to high blood pressure, fluid retention, and heart disease.

10. Salt is the devil, basically.

10. Something’s not right, and with mankind’s track record I don’t think it’s God.

So.  

After spending about 2 hours reading away, I came to a conclusion that isn’t really earth-shattering. The same goes for salt as goes for the rest of the food we eat. If it’s straight from the ground, hasn’t been stripped, does not contain additives, and is loaded with minerals and flavor, then it’s welcome into our kitchen. The three main types of salt that fit my standards most closely are: Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, and Real Salt.

If you see any of the following terms on your salt container label, it’s been tampered with:

Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Iodide, Silicon Dioxide, Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS),  Sodium Ferro Cyanide (E535), Sodium Silicoaluminate, Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Calcium Silicate, Potassium Iodide, Tricalcium Phosphate, Dextrose (sugar), Potassium Chloride, Potassium Bitartrate, Potassium Glutamate, Adipic Acid, Fumaric Acid, Polyethylene Glycol 400, Disolium Inosinate, Polysilicate Potassium, Iodide 

{ Source }

Tomorrow I’m headed to the nearest health food store (Kroger and Meijer don’t carry it) to buy Daniel’s milk and our latest salt choice, Real Salt. We have Celtic and Himalayan salt on the back burner, but salt straight from a mine in Utah sounds just fine to us. We won’t pay overhead for overseas shipping if we don’t have to.

If you are way ahead of us, good for you! If not, I hope some of these resources are useful to you and that you can learn more about salt if it’s something you are interested in. If you are neither of the above, then have a laugh with this picture of Gideon stuffing his face at his first Superbowl Party last night.

thanks for snapping this picture, Sarah!

thanks for snapping this picture, Sarah!

He ate 4 chicken wings, a ton of guacamole, and black bean and white corn salsa. Gideon loved Superbowl food so much that he didn’t even mind that the Broncos lost.

Soundtrack: Francesca Battistelli and Plumb

Project Simplify 365: I purged the last of the few items from our laundry room that weren’t being used. I have not forgotten my laundry room entry, it’s coming along and I’ll post a few pictures when it’s completed.