aiden's summer 2016 update!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Summer 2016

Now that Aiden is over a year old, I'm switching the format of his update posts from being monthly to seasonally. At the end of each season, I will post an update with some of the fun things we've been up to and how he's been growing! Aiden is currently 18 months old. If you're looking for more frequent updates, I have been posting regularly on instagram. Follow me there! (@marlyssa).

Here's how our Summer was!


Exercise/Weight loss:
Exercise/Weight loss:
Total pregnancy weight gain: 36 pounds
Total weight loss: 41.8 pounds
Weight to lose for pre-baby weight: 0 pounds (goal met)
Weight to lose for pre-wedding weight (last goal): 0 pounds (goal met!)

I don't know if it was the E. coli or what (more on that later), but I was finally able to break through what seemed to be a stubborn weight and I not only lost the remaining weight to get back down to my -yes- wedding weight, but I lost an additional 1.6 pounds! Throughout the summer I had started going to about one workout class every week/every other week and running after a toddler all day helps too. Oh, and the E. coli. 

It's been mostly good but not without hardship - I mean what literal season of life can go by without any difficulty? As people who are friends with me on Facebook may know, my dear Grandma Rita passed away in September. I will write more on this, but I will say that Jason, Aiden and I were able to visit her one last time when we took a short trip out to California in June. We were aware of her condition and so we knew that when we saw her we were saying our goodbyes. In a way, over the last 8 years I have been slowly letting her go as her memories slipped away - loving someone with dementia very much is a grieving process in of itself. It is the loss of a person who you knew and who once knew you. It has been the hardest thing for me to see a family member go through. Though I have had many years to process her memory loss, it was still difficult to say goodbye and also knowing that she was no longer with us here on earth. But I know she is in heaven rejoicing with Jesus, and I have lots of fond memories and things around the house that constantly remind me of her and our special times together, and that helps. (: 
I have been trying to scale back on working from home (hi yes I do work at home most people do not know this about me.) so that I can spend more time JUST being a stay at home mom with Aiden. Yeah I said it, just. Growing up, when I envisioned my future, I always wanted to be especially present in my kids lives by being a stay at home mom. And here I am, a stay at home mom, but I'm often busy working from home and not spending at much time as I could with my baby boy! As much fun as I've had running my own little business, I know this season is coming to a close because I need to be there more for Aiden. I want to be there more for Aiden. It's just time for my priorities to line up a little more consistently. (: 


At 18 months, Aiden is 32.5 inches tall and weighs 22 pounds 10 ounces! This puts him in the 46th percentile for height and the 34th percentile for weight. And his cranial circumference is in the 97th percentile! (: His head has actually managed to get into an even bigger percentile than at the last update haha

Refresher course:
+ At 14 months, he was 31 inches tall and 20 pounds 13 ounces
+ At 12 months he was 30 1/4 inches long and 20 pounds 10 ounces
+ At 6 months he was 27 1/4 inches long and 17 pounds 6 ounces
+ At birth he was 20 1/2 inches long and 6 pounds 14 ounces

Aiden is officially down to one nap a day. (: (He very rarely takes "two" naps but only if/because the first one lasts 10-20 minutes). He usually is ready for sleep around 1-2pm and will sleep anywhere from 1-3 hours. I had been having him nap in his crib in his room while I worked on things upstairs nearby, but even though we did that all summer long, he would never nap more than 45 minutes and he would always wake up upset and unhappy. I finally caved in and started having him nap in our bed again instead and boom just like that he started sleeping 1.5-2.5 hours each day, with 1 or 3 hour naps being more rare.  We had been cosleeping still up until just a couple of weeks ago. The reason why we stopped is because for several nights in a row he was waking up literally (not making this up) 20+ times a night. Roughly every 15-20 minutes. Yikes. At first we thought it was from teething. But then one night I thought I was coming down with something because I was frozen and so I made a bed on the floor next to a space heater just to try and get warm, so I wasn't in the bed with him. That night he only woke up twice. I slept out of the bed (on an air mattress in our room after that) for another handful of nights and every time I did  that, he slept better. (At that point, I just needed sleep, so sleeping on the air mattress was my only option to actually sleep more than a few minutes at a time.) And any time I slept in the bed with him he slept horribly! Haha. It did kind of hurt a little knowing he slept so much better when I wasn't around...but it didn't take long at that point to figure out that what he was really ready for was to sleep in his own bed. Our room is downstairs and his room is upstairs and honestly that just seems too far for me, haha. So we just brought his crib mattress in our room and his bed is very close to ours. Guess what (: He only wakes up twice a night! Once around 4am and again around 6. I usually have Aiden just stay in our bed starting at 4 since I nurse him at that time and to make it easier on myself since he wakes up two hours later again to nurse anyway. He goes to sleep around 11pm (yup) and wakes up for the day between 9 and 9:30am. Night owl like his momma haha

He is finally coming around to the idea that food is good! I would say more often than not he is content to eat solid food, however he isn't big on trying new foods without a lot of convincing. It honestly takes a while to introduce any new foods with him, but thankfully over the last several months there have been enough new foods that he's tried and liked that he eats a fair variety of food (: He just won't eat anything he doesn't recognize. Haha. He is still nursing a lot, however I am trying to slowly cut back on the number of times he nurses throughout the day and introduce cow milk as a substitute. So far he doesn't mind it at all. (:

Clothing sizes:
He is still fairly tiny for his age, but he fits in 18 month clothing with no problem. He'd fit in 12 month clothes too, except if it's long sleeves (which we are starting to need more often now that it's getting colder) the sleeves are too short. On any pants he wears that are 18 months I have to tighten them by drawstring or by the little buttons inside the pants otherwise they would fall right off! Haha. He is honestly the same weight as some chunky 9 month olds are. And his pants usually have to be cuffed at the bottom or they are too long. He got his short legs from me haha. 

+ Aiden has 12 of his baby teeth (top and bottom four, and all four 1 year molars). We have been patiently awaiting on the arrival of all four of his canines, which seem to have been bugging him off and on for the last several months :( I am pretty sure one of them is very close to breaking through (maybe just a matter of days) and hopefully the other three will come in soon after that. They often bug him the most at night. I can't believe that after these four teeth come in, there are just four molars left and then he's done with his baby teething!
+ Aiden loves to talk! He knows maybe a couple dozen words, and has started stringing a few together. Some he says together are "I did it!", "daddy home" or "daddy back", "Duke treat" (for giving the neighbor's dog a treat), and "thank you". He has a lot of other words that just get used by themselves too. When he's feeling particularly chatty, he'll tell you all about his day, like a little chatterbox! The only sad thing is when he "talks a lot" it's all still very "baby gibberish" in nature, so it's hard for us to understand what he's trying to say, but we try to carry on the conversation with him and understand what he's trying to talk to us about as much as possible. (: Oh and he still doesn't say any "m" words so...I still never get to hear "mama" :( Although he does call the moon, "boon" and when he's telling me he wants to nurse (milk) he says buh buh (he's hardly ever used bottles so it's not his word for bottle) so maybe someday he will say mama... (: (he's said mama a couple times before, but the times he said it were a long time ago when he used to just repeat sounds over and over like "mamamamamama" and it didn't necessarily mean "mama". I don't think he's said it since he turned 1 anyway). I can point to pictures of myself and say "mama" and instead of trying to say it, he will point to a picture of Jason and say "daddy". Haha. He even kind of knows how to say his own name, but not mama. haha
+ Sometimes he will nod yes when you ask him if he wants something in particular. This has been really helpful for our communication! I can ask him if he wants a cup of milk (or yogurt, cheese, etc) and he can nod yes or say "mhmm" to mark his agreement. 
+ He likes waving and saying "bah bye" when people leave, and when he sees Jason and I hug, he likes to come in and make it a group hug (:
+ We have a step stool from Ikea that I have at the sink that Aiden loves to climb up on and "help" me when I wash the dishes. Mostly it's just a "chore-ified" water table, but he doesn't mind. There's cups and containers and bubbles and water. What could be better? (I usually set him up at the smaller half of the sink with all of his plastic cups and dishes that need to be washed. Little slippery hands and glass would not be a good mix)
+ This summer I really tried focusing on teaching Aiden to swim when we were at the beach. From the start of spring to the end of summer, his confidence in the water had drastically improved! He isn't quite swimming yet, but he will kick and sometimes paddle. He did get to go underwater a few times (this is a part of infant swim/survival training, is letting them dip their head under water for one second) and it didn't phase him at all. He would laugh and continue to want more! I learned to swim at a young age and even though we live in a place where water remains in its solid state for half the year, I think it is very important for him to learn to swim at a young age. I see kids all the time at the beach (keep in mind this is a lake beach with next to no current) who are 10+ years old swimming in life jackets. I know there are exceptions, but for the most part I believe most of those kids could swim without one if they would be taught to swim! (: Thankfully there is an indoor pool in our community we can use throughout the winter, so even though it is/will be cold outside, I am looking forward to swimming throughout the winter and continuing to teach Aiden to swim! (:
+ His personality at home is goofy, silly, loud, wild, happy, when we are around other people he can often be calm and quiet at first until he warms up to the environment (he is a lot like his momma that way too), he is loving, sweet, kind, smart, ingenuitive, resourceful, cuddly, energetic, peaceful, happy...(: 

General Preferences:
+ Now that summer has come and gone, the lawn mower rides have mostly become a thing of the past, but Aiden sure got to enjoy a lot of rides over summer! It also often became a napping spot for him in daddy's lap. The noise always seemed to put him to sleep nicely. But we tried to time his mower rides so that he wouldn't fall asleep so he could enjoy the ride as much as possible, since he loves riding along with daddy so much! I think one of these days he will really enjoy going along with Jason to work and seeing all the big machines he runs. (:
+ He loves music, dancing, watching hunting and archery videos, and off-road racing videos. Honestly that last part makes me a little nervous. Lol
+ He enjoys playing with his trucks and has started pretending to use his trucks to build roads, excavate, etc. he really likes loading up his dump truck with blocks and dumping them out slowly and carefully. 
+ He loves watching baseball games with Jason! When he's not watching baseball, he will find a ball, and he has a kids size catchers glove. He hasn't totally figured out how to use the glove yet, but he carries it around with him everywhere when he's playing "ball" with you. From a very young age (younger than 1), the kid has had the arm and the throw of someone who would be a natural at baseball. He can actually throw a ball fairly far for his size and age and with great accuracy too! Most of the time when he throws to me I can catch the ball without even moving. (:
+ He loves the outdoors and he loves his sandbox! (There are more trucks out there you see, haha) He really gets in to the imaginative play when he's in his sandbox. He also enjoys going on walks in the stroller, playing at the park (his first choice is often running away from all the equipment and toward the piano that's under a gazebo so he can play it), and he enjoys going to the beach. Basically he loves being outside! I'm sad that the weather is starting to get cold, because soon it will mean taking a lot of time (and effort) just to go outside. (Minnesota winters are no joke, people.) However, there is a (small) part of me that is looking forward to winter. I'm not a fan of fall for long because it's cold and there's not much to do. At least when it's winter it's stinking cold, but there's snow so you can sled and do other fun activities in the snow. Not a whole lot to do when it's just cold and no snow. Haha. (Which by the way we did already have our first snowfall about a week ago, so there's that.)

What we've been up to:
+ Right at the start of Summer, Aiden, Jason, and I boarded a plane and headed for California! It was a fairly short trip, but in that time Aiden was able to meet a lot of my family for the first time, including his grandparents, his aunt and uncle, and three of his great-grandparents! He was also able to meet my aunt and one of his second cousins (: And he got to meet a wonderful friend of mine! It was very special to me that he finally got to meet all these people and see where I grew up. (:
+ Also while we were in California we went to the beach a couple of times. The first beach he went to was Laguna beach, which holds a lot of dear memories for me from over the years. When we got there it was nearing sunset, and the waves were pretty calm. It is safe to say he loved it! We didn't get in the water too much since we didn't have our swimsuits along that particular day, but I could tell he wanted to get right in the water. (: We  went there right after visiting my grandma and saying our goodbyes to her. To say it was an emotional day would be accurate. But something about watching the calm repetitive waves crash on the shore, and seeing my baby boy explore the place I love most for his very first time...there was an overwhelming sense of peace that I know only God gives. I am so glad we got to see her again for one last time, until we see her again in Heaven.
+ The following day we went to Huntington Beach, which also holds a lot of memories for Jason and I. (We actually got engaged there 3 years ago!) The waves there were much bigger and Aiden wasn't really a fan. But he liked playing in the sand and he took a nap on the beach (:
+ Soon after we returned from California, my sister flew up to spend a few weeks with us over her summer break. She was here for a total of 39 days and it was a lot of fun having her here! Before we went back to visit my family in June, I hadn't seen her in almost two years so it was really nice being able to see her every day for a while again. We had a lot of fun together, spent a lot of days at the beach, and went to garage sales just about every weekend. She and Aiden really bonded and he loved playing with her!

+ I know I had mentioned it in the last update, but I wanted to share more now! We finally got ourselves a real bed only after being married for a few years. haha. I bought it before we left for our trip but only got it put together after we got back (and after the last update post was made). So here's our new bed! I love it and I love not having the box spring on the floor and I love my quilts (: (The blue floral quilt was made by my grandma Rita.)
+ One of the first things we did while my sister was here is we all went to a fair in a nearby small town (smaller than our already small town that is, haha). Aiden really liked seeing all the animals and he liked the petting zoo except he wasn't sure about the goats getting close to him, haha. There was also a tractor parade and lawn mower races and Aiden really liked watching those! At one point he had taken his shoes off and was using his shoes to wave at the drivers, haha! (:
+ On days we didn't make it to the beach, Aiden liked playing in his little blue pool in the backyard and splashing around in the sprinklers (: 
+ On days at the park, his favorite thing to do is go straight to the piano and play some music (: And somehow he almost always finds a cat when we go to that park and makes an instant friend haha (: 
+ During the summer we often have tiny little frogs all throughout our lawn. While my sister loved finding them (and so did Aiden) they kind of (really) freak me out! Haha. So I would often point them out to Aiden and I even held one once to show him, but for the most part I try really hard to avoid them. Haha
+ During all of our stops at garage sales this summer, we were able to find some nice outdoor toys for Aiden, including a trike and a little four-wheeler! Aiden loves pedaling them around our little parking lot. And he even discovered he got to be "just like daddy" when they're both on their four wheelers! (:
+ We spent many, many days at the beach. It really helped having my sister along during the week for going to the beach, because it can be a busy job keeping up with a toddler! All he did was dart from the sand to the water, to the play area, and back again. It was tiring! haha. I took Aiden to the beach a lot last year by myself, but back then he wasn't even crawling yet, so our beach days were much more laid back. (: In all the times that we all went to the beach, there came a day where I wasn't feeling well at all. Like, at all. We live in a small town, so it didn't take long to find out that no one felt well at all, and it was only people who had been to the beach recently who were feeling sick. But here we were, the end of July and all of a sudden something that seemed similar to the flu broke loose. It was later confirmed that it was E. coli and I was one of the lucky recipients of its' poisoning.  So now I can mark that off my bucket list. And hope it never happens again. I don't even have a bucket list.
+ Over Summer, Aiden really developed an interest in books! He didn't seem to care if I read to him before, but now he loves being read to and he loves looking at the pictures in his books and pointing out or saying words for things that he recognizes. (:
+ We celebrated Jason's 31st birthday! My sister was still here for that, so she got to babysit Aiden and Jason and I went on a date. (:
+ My parents and brother came up to visit us from California in the beginning of August. They were here for about a week, and then my sister went home along with them. It was really sad to see her go, but I am so glad we got to spend the time together that we did! My parents also hadn't visited us all the way in Minnesota for two years so I'm glad they could make it too.
+ We also celebrated our three year anniversary! Somehow the third anniversary made it feel like we are in the big leagues now. Like we are't just newlyweds anymore. haha. I mean three years, that's a tenth of thirty years and you guys that's a long time. And we love each other more now than the day we got married. Ahhh (:
+ We went to a few of our town's Music in the Park events. They were a lot of fun to go to. It reminded me a lot of the summer concerts in the park that my hometown had and that I would go to as a kid. We had never been able to make it to any of the concerts here in the past, so I'm glad we were able to this year. (: 
+ We went to our town's boat parade for the annual fishing tournament. Basically when you live in Minnesota and there are 10,000 lakes, there are also a lot of boats. So we have parades of boats here. It's fun and the people in the parade toss lots of candy and other goodies to the kids. Naturally Aiden ate a ton of candy and was super sticky. Thankfully the dentist's boat was tossing kids toothbrushes out to the crowd. Haha
+ I took Aiden to the library on a day they were having a book sale. We found a few books that he liked and we also spent some time in the kids area where he really liked playing with the puzzles and blocks and other toys they had there. It was my first time going to the library here. I think we will go there more often definitely once there's snow on the ground! It should help break up some long winter days. (:
+ At the beginning of September, Jason drove out to Oregon to go elk hunting with his brother. Aiden and I stayed behind so he could hunt for a week, and then we flew out there. It was the longest I've ever solo-parented Aiden (before that was 5 days a week when Jason had to work away from home) but I think we made out fairly ok. There was only one day that was really tough, and the next day Jason's mom offered to take me out for the day which made up for the tough day before. We did some shopping, Aiden fell asleep in her shopping cart (it was so cute! haha) and we went out for lunch and chatted for a while at home. That week Aiden and I also made it to the park a few times and ran some errands on our own - going on errands just the two of us being something we hadn't done before.
+ And yes, I mentioned we flew out to Oregon, just Aiden and I! Aside from flying once as a very young child with my family, I have only ever flown with Jason before. So to fly "alone" so to speak (ie without another adult who may actually know what they're doing better than I do when it comes to flying,) looked a little daunting. But on our way back from California in June, we had had a 7 hour layover in Minneapolis, which was the only airport I really had to navigate (our town's airport is literally so small, it is basically one room with a glass divider - if you get lost there...I don't know what to tell you). During that super long layover in June, we had walked around the airport so many times keeping Aiden occupied and trying to pass time/getting him to sleep that I became pretty familiar with it. So when just Aiden and I flew in September, I was able to do ok. When we landed, I found our next gate first, and once we did that, since we had a few hours until boarding, we spent some time in the kids playground and got some food too. There were a few moments of difficulty, like how Aiden wanted to go running through the airport when there were still hundreds of people around, and once (when the airport was basically empty) that I squatted down to tie my shoe and he went running off into a store and I then had to go running after him around the cash register a couple of times (which was in the middle of the store). We gave the lady running the store a few laughs anyway. haha. He ended up falling asleep right before we got on the plane, which he then woke up again soon after taking off, but thankfully he slept most of the rest of the way without much trouble. Jason met us in Boise where, after spending the night (it was 2am Minnesota time when we landed, and a 3 hour drive to where we were headed in Oregon)  we finished our drive to Oregon. 
+ Aiden and I were in Oregon along with Jason for 3 full days before we started our drive back home. Aiden really enjoyed spending time with his cousins and learned very quickly how fun it is the play with other boys who love trucks as much as he does! We stayed in a guest room downstairs from where the toys were, and every morning, Aiden would wake up, point up, and say "broooom?" (truck noise). He knew where the fun stuff happened (: He also got to see a lot of different farm animals and play in an even bigger sandbox there! Jason and I enjoyed our visit too. (:
+ On our way back home I wanted to take the scenic route which made it take us wayyy longer to get back and every time we wanted to stop for the night, every hotel seemed to be booked up, so it was tough that way, but we eventually made it home (after a needed trip to Ikea and Once Upon a Child while we were in Minneapolis, of course.) And hey we got to see some new cities along the way that we had never been to before. (: So that made it okay. Sort of. haha


And now, an ode to Summer with my world's favorite people.

As  always, you can check out more of our adventures (with frequent updates)
by following me on instagram - @marlyssa  

Happy Summer, Aiden! Daddy and I (and your Auntie Nunu too!) had so much fun spending the Summer months with you, basking in the warm sun.  There's no better time than to be outside all throughout the day, letting the sun kiss your skin and to wear nothing but a diaper (I'm talking about Aiden here). It's been fun seeing you take an interest in the things your daddy does: basically anything with a motor and wheels or trucks and big machinery, and seeing your heart light up learning about the way different things work. I love seeing you, fearless and without abandon, playing at the beach and learning how to swim. I love seeing you watch trains with such wonder in your eyes, and I love the extremely loud, high pitched, excited squeals you make when you see a slide or do something you think is HILARIOUS. Now the warm days of Summer are behind us, and the days of romping around outside whenever, wearing whatever are over until next year, and most of the leaves have fallen off the trees...but even so, I look forward to the snow. But only because I know you will love it. I can imagine you (trying) to walk through several inches of snow in big ol' honkin' snow boots that will come up almost to your knees while wearing all kinds of puffy layers to protect you from the cold - and I think about making a sledding hill in the backyard like we did last year, and pulling you around in the sled. (Yes, I know there will be a Fall update, but we live in Minnesota, trust me, there will be snow long before "Fall" is over. haha) Oh Aiden, I look forward to all the days ahead. I catch myself from time to time, looking at you while you're playing with daddy, and wondering just where in the world you came from. I mean, it used to be just your daddy and I, and then daddy and I got married, and then it was just us for a little while...and then you appeared. Just thinking about the fact that there was a time when you weren't here and now here you are and you have filled both daddy's heart and my heart SO full of love and adoration - it's this mysterious, awesome concept that I know I won't be able to fully grasp this side of Heaven. But until then, I am just so thankful that God gave us you.
I love you Aiden, you keep pushing me to do better and be better every single day.
Love, momma

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