{Parker Weekly} 18 Weeks Old

Week 18 will go down in history as the first time in 4 months that we’ve had consecutive full nights’ sleep. Needless to say, it’s been a great week! Getting more sleep has allowed me to get up at 5 and either go to the gym or get some work done before Parker wakes up — without feeling like a zombie by the time I start work in the afternoon.

Oh, and the other nice side effect of sleeping through the night? Yielding results like this during my first pumping session of the day (that’s a LOT for me!).

Another cool thing happened this week: the Cardinals made it to the World Series! Needless to say, Zach is not thrilled…nor was he thrilled when my choice of wardrobe for Parker on the morning of Game 5 of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, Parker is destined to be a Cubs fan like his daddy, but I can at least dress him like a Cardinals fan while he’s still young enough to not know the difference. I’ve also been dressing him in all the fall and Halloween themed clothes we’ve collected, like this “little monster” outfit.

The highlight of the week was seeing Michelle and Jenny and the kids while they were in town. Parker loved meeting his cousins Kaitlin and Jake, and seeing Annabelle again. We had a weiner roast and made s’mores before doing a little pre-bedtime photo shoot. It was a bit of a challenge getting them all posed, looking at the camera, and smiling, but we managed to get some great shots.

Other fun things we did this week included meeting my friend Crystal and her little boy, Grant, at Andiamo for coffee on Wednesday. We headed to baby group at the hospital after that, and found out that Parker weighs 12 lbs, 14 oz. Almost to lucky 13!

Parker is becoming increasingly restless, especially when it comes to being set down (even on his playmat or on a blanket with toys). He seems to prefer sitting up to laying down, so I decided to put together his high chair and let him give it a trial run.

I think he’s a fan! He won’t be eating in it anytime soon (I’m in no hurry to introduce solids), but at least now he can be up at my level when we’re in the kitchen as opposed to laying in his rock ‘n play. This little peanut is becoming more of a big boy every day.

Parker and Pumpkins

Every year at this time, I’d watch my Facebook newsfeed blow up with pictures of children posing with pumpkins. Adorable, yes…but I couldn’t fully appreciate this particular photo opportunity until I had a child of my own.

The theme of last weekend was pumpkins! On Saturday morning, Zach, my mom and I took Parker on a trip to Bomke’s Patch, a pumpkin patch not far from our house. It was so much fun walking through the patch, and of course, posing Parker in a wagon full of pumpkins.

He wasn’t quite sure what to think at first, but after he got over his initial skepticism, he started to enjoy himself and we got lots of smiles. My mom got this great shot of all three of us.

Doesn’t Parker look so grow up in his little jeans and sweater ensemble? We have his Aunt Rebecca to thank for the outfit, which once belonged to his cousin Mason. It was the perfect look for a day at the pumpkin patch.

We also ran into the “other” Parker, whose dad is a friend of Zach’s. They were so cute meeting for the first time! It’s so funny how little Parker looks up to bigger kids when he’s around them — I think he’s jealous that they can get up and walk around by themselves ;)

The pumpkin patch also had a cute area filled with different things for kids to do, so we got a few more shots before we left. By the end of the trip, I think Parker was a little tired of being posed next to various fall items like these mums. But he was just so cute, we couldn’t help it.

After Zach filled his dad in on all the great photo opportunities he missed out on, we decided to go back with him the next day. This time we went all out and dressed Parker up to match the scenery…haha!

It was a gorgeous fall day, and we were all loving life — especially Parker!

It really is amazing how having a child can make just about everything in life much more fun. I have a fresh perspective of everything we do together as a family now, and I can’t wait to experience all the upcoming holidays with him!

In addition to visiting the pumpkin patch (twice), Parker actually spent some time inside of a pumpkin last weekend. Yes, we put our baby in a pumpkin. But believe it or not, he didn’t mind it too much! Zach’s dad got some amazing photos; these might be my favorite EVER taken of Parker.

I think the only reason he tolerated being stuck in a pumpkin was that he could gnaw on it (though I made sure he didn’t actually ingest any!). Seriously, I cannot handle how cute he is. And I’m pretty sure Parker can’t handle another round of ridiculous photo shoots, so we are laying low this weekend.

{Parker Weekly} 17 Weeks Old

Parker is officially 4 months old! He is so full of personality and talking up a storm now; he takes after his daddy in that way! His sounds and “words” are so cute…I love his little voice and I think he does, too :) Parker is also smiling more than ever, and is constantly amused by the world around him.

This week we made a trip to visit the pediatrician for Parker’s 4-month checkup, where we found out he’s gained almost a pound in the last two weeks! He’s still very small compared to other babies his age (4% for weight), but his doctor is happy with his progress and said that as long as he stays on his own curve, we have nothing to worry about. So that was great news, but then came the bad news: Parker had to get 4 shots. There were some tears, but he was a trooper.

Poor baby was not himself for a couple days after getting those shots — he was much fussier than usual and was not sleeping well at all. Despite not feeling the greatest, we had a fun week full of activities: visiting all the other music teachers at a federation meeting, going to baby group at the hospital, walking to Grandpa Alan’s house, and lots of playtime at home.

Parker is loving his exersaucer! It gives him a chance to stand up and use those leg muscles, and he enjoys trying to play with all the toys. During the day we have a whole circuit laid out in the living room — the exersaucer, kick ‘n play piano mat, a blanket with lots of small toys, the couch for nursing, and the swing for naptime.

The weather has been awesome this week. We went on quite a few stroller walks, including one in Washington Park with my friend Jen and her baby Ellie, who we met at baby group. The cooler temps have also given us a chance to bust out more fall clothes, like the cute outfit Parker is wearing in the photo above. He looks so big in jeans and pants, compared to the onesies and rompers he’s been wearing up until now.

Coming up next: some ridiculously cute pumpkin-themed photos from today’s fall adventures. Life is seriously so much more fun with Parker!

The Sweetest Thing

In the beginning, holding a sleeping baby was how I spent most days. And that was just fine with me; there was nothing else I’d rather be doing. But as Parker gets older, he spends less and less time asleep in my arms, and more time being the busy boy that he is.

But every night at bedtime, it’s almost like having my little baby back again. We snuggle up in the glider while Parker nurses to sleep, and then I wait for the perfect moment to lay him down in the crib. Sometimes, though, I just sit and watch him sleep for awhile. I know this time is fleeting, and I want to soak up as much as I can.