Baby on Board!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ethan's First Christmas!

Our First Christmas!
We had so much fun celebrating our first Christmas with our sweet baby boy Ethan! I can't help but reflect back on a year ago at this time when we lived thousands of miles away and we didn't know we were pregnant (we found out 12/26/11)! This year, we got to share Christmas with both our families and do it with the cutest guy around!! =) I can't wait to start traditions with Ethan when he gets a little older and can understand the meaning of Christmas.

Ethan loves his Grandpa Joe!
The Christmas festivities started off with having Grandpa Joe, Uncle Jeffrey, Aunt Kristen, and cousin Jayden over to our house on Christmas Eve. I threw some chili in the crock pot and we spent the afternoon together full of eating and opening presents (this was the theme for the whole week!) Ethan got a nice IU onesie that I can't wait to dress him in for IU games, mommy got a beautiful necklace with a pendant of Ethan's birthstone, and daddy got an autographed IU basketball from all the players and Coach Crean! 

LOVE my family!
We headed out to Papaw and Ginka's house for Christmas Eve dinner where we met up with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins that were in town. To say it was a full house is an understatement! Christmas is one of the only times where my siblings and I are all together so it's always been one of my most favorite times of the year. Santa must've thought everyone was extra good this year because he left a lot of presents for everyone to open! Ethan got some new clothes, lots of developmental toys, and an adorable cushion chair with his name on it (cousin Jayden got a matching one)! Oh, our hearts just melted - I can just picture him sitting in it watching cartoons - or an IU game!

Merry Christmas Morning!
Christmas morning we had Mamaw and Papaw Graebe over for more presents!! They got him a really great 'activity seat' that sits on a tabletop and has a tray table that goes 360 degrees with entertaining toys on top. We've already put him in it a couple times while we've eaten dinner - definitely will come in handy! Then we headed back over to Papaw and Ginka's house for Christmas night dinner. We got so many great pictures with ALL our family (including some great Skype sessions with Grandpa and Gigi down in Tennessee and Uncle Chris and Aunt Jenni in Texas)!

We feel so lucky to be back in Indiana so we can share and create these memories with Ethan and our families. Christmas is one of my favorite times and I hope my son grows up to love it as much as I do!

My little Santa baby!
Look at these dimples!!
Melt Mommy's heart!!
Such a proud aunt of these cuties!!
Love my new chair!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Meeting Santa!

I've been a good boy so far this year! 
Ethan got to meet Santa Claus for the first time this past weekend! Eric and I took Ethan downtown so he could get his very first picture with good 'ol Saint Nick! We had him dressed in his cute "Santa's Little Helper" onesie - and I must say - Ethan was definitely the cutest baby Santa saw that day! =)

My diaper's almost as big as me!
Ethan went back to the doctor today for his weekly weight check and he finally made it to double digits!! He now weighs 10 lbs. 13 oz!! He gained 1 lb. 4 oz. in 11 days! He's doing such an amazing job! A couple weeks ago, we definitely felt a sense of urgency from the doctor that Ethan needed to gain weight quickly. Sure enough, because of her direction and Eric and I's hard work, he's gained over two pounds in three weeks alone. Is he still underweight? Yes, but certainly not to the degree he was before. I almost felt like Dr. Newby was saying we could take a breath of "relief" today. We are very excited because she said we could cut down his feedings from six a day to five. We were noticing that Ethan passes out in between his last two feedings - like, "I just want to sleep for the night" passes out. We were always having to wake him up for his last bottle at 8:30 - so now we can give him his last bottle at 7:30 and put him down a little earlier. Ethan's been sleeping about 10-10.5 hours a night so I'm anxious to see how he does going to bed earlier. Babies at this age can sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours so he may do just fine!

Best Christmas Gift!
We are gearing up for the start of a busy couple days with Christmas coming up! All the aunts, uncles, and cousins are coming into town Saturday so we can't wait to have a lot of family time! And LOTS of pictures!! We will be spending Christmas Eve day with Grandpa Joe, Christmas Eve night with Ginka, Papaw, and the aunts/uncles/cousins, and then Christmas morning with Grandma and Grandpa Graebe.

Little man turns four months on Christmas Eve so I'm sure I'll update the blog soon thereafter! Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL, VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our New Home!

We are officially all moved into our new home thanks in major part to Eric, our friend Taylor, and all our parents! They were amazing and got everything moved on Saturday while I took care of Ethan. We've spent the week sifting through boxes, trying to find a place for everything, and making a huge donation pile! I try and donate stuff every time I move, but this is definitely the largest donation - it feels great! We had so much stuff stored at my parents house from my move from Tennessee to North Carolina - and we also had wedding gifts still stored - so it's been kinda fun unpacking! The nice thing about this house is the closet space! Each room has a walk-in closet, plus several more throughout the hallways. I don't take this for granted since we had NO space in North Carolina! Ethan and the kitties love their new house! Paisley and Max love all the room they have - and they especially love the couches they can sleep on! One of our favorite parts about the house is Ethan's room. We left it painted the way it was for our landlord's little son because it was so cute. Isn't it adorable? Now we just need to hang his name on the wall, get some pictures, etc.

One major thing we had to go buy was a washer/dryer which got delivered today. We've also got a round kitchen table coming our way that will help complete the kitchen. Other than that, we need to get some lamps, decorate, hang pictures, etc. I'm really happy though with everything we've been able to accomplish this week. Our first visitors were Papaw and Ginka to celebrate Ginka's birthday on Wednesday!

We are taking Christmas pictures on Sunday - can't wait to see how it goes! Ethan knows when a camera is on him and shuts off immediately  - haha - he'll be smiling one second to us and then it's gone in a jiffy as soon as we try and capture it! It's been so fun getting everyone's messages after the last blog post about how different he looks! We go back to the doctor next week and I can't wait to see his progress.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Three Months Old!

Hi Family and Friends!

I turned three months old on Saturday! Oh my, how time is flying! As you've been reading on mommy's blog, I've been working really hard trying to gain weight. It's hard being a growing boy, but it's paying off. I went to see my favorite doctor today and guess what? I reached my goal of gaining one pound in ten days and I now weigh 9.9 lbs!! You know what this means, right? During my next weight check, I'll be double digits!! Whoo hoo!! Mommy and I will continue on the same feeding schedule and go back to the doctor in two weeks.

I'm really cute. In fact, I get cuter every day. Putting on all this weight makes me a happy baby. I like to smile and make noises now. Here are some fun things I'm doing now that I'm three months old:
  • I like to sleep 10-10.5 hours every night. I love my sleep. And I now lay flat in my crib and don't need to sleep in my car seat anymore. 
  • I love to look at lights. They are so intriguing! It doesn't matter if they are on the ceiling or from a lamp, I love to stare at them! 
  • I've always liked to eat my hands, but I've now learned that I have five fingers on each hand! I like to put my fingers in my mouth and drool all over them.
  • When I'm on my activity mat, I love to grab the toys that are hanging down. 
  • I'm making a lot of sweet noises now. Mommy says I sound like an owl because I say, "hoo, hoo, hoo" - always three times in a row. 
  • I like to talk to my mommy and daddy. And whenever I talk, they make silly faces trying to get me to talk back. 
  • I love to smile when I wake up first thing in the morning or from naps. You'll see a picture of me in my crib that mommy took when I woke up earlier this week (you'll have to excuse it being off-center...mommy was hanging over the crib looking silly just to get me to smile)! 
I'm excited to move into our new house this weekend. Mommy keeps telling me how much I'll like my new room. I'm also excited for the month of December. I have so much to be thankful for and I can't wait to spend my first Christmas with my whole family! I'll leave you with a bunch of cute pictures of me =) Until next month...


Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Pa and Gigi!
Ethan's First Thanksgiving! It'll be so much fun celebrating all the "firsts" this year! We spent Thanksgiving down in Tennessee with Eric's dad, stepmom, and family. Ethan did great in the car - slept pretty much the whole way there and back (it was a 5 1/2 hour trip each way). We felt like Ethan definitely knew he was out of his normal routine while we were gone...he would wake up in his pack-n-play and just look a little panicked and confused. But, overall he did great and adjusted well to all the change we threw his way. He got to meet some family for the first time - his Aunt Heather, Cousin Eli, Aunt Lauren, and Uncle Michael. They just loved him! Everyone was such a big help feeding him bottles, holding him, playing, etc. Cousin Eli wanted to know where and what Baby Ethan was doing at all times!! So cute! Just another reason we are so thankful to be back closer to family. Ginka bought him a "My First Thanksgiving" outfit back in September thinking it would fit by now - haha - boy were we wrong! So instead, I laid it on him like a blanket just so we could at least get a picture of him in it!
I'm a little turkey!
We came back Saturday which gave us all day today to unpack, get settled in, and get ready for the week. We also got a surprise visit from Uncle Jeffrey, Cousin Jayden, and Uncle Dave! Uncle Dave got some great cuddle time in - everyone couldn't believe how different Ethan looks. They can definitely tell he's gaining weight! Makes me one proud mama! All Jayden wanted to do was "love" on Ethan - most of the time he's really gentle, but we got a couple funny pictures of him patting his head. Poor Ethan, look at this pitiful face!!
These sure don't feel like love taps!
Such good uncles!

You talking to me?
We have a big week coming up! One, the Hoosiers play North Carolina on Tuesday!! Ethan loves to watch Indiana play basketball. Two, we go back to the doctor on Thursday. Their goal was for him to have gained one pound in ten days. I'm almost positive he has - this kid has been pounding down every ounce we give him! Well, almost every ounce. There's only so much room in that little tummy of his so we have a lot of spit up now =) Three, we are moving into our new house on Saturday!! Thankfully, the majority of our stuff is still packed from North Carolina so we won't have too much to pack up. It's just the process of getting it from one house to the next! Papaw and Ginka (and mommy!) are a little sad, but we keep reminding ourselves at least we're not 15 1/2 hours away like before. Ethan has a great new room to move into and we will definitely post pictures soon!

Thanksgiving 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Road To Getting Plump!

My first IU game - 11 weeks!
Ethan had another weight check this week and now weighs 8 lbs. 1 oz. He stayed on tracked gaining an ounce a day. While the doctor is pleased he's gaining weight, she pretty much said we need to be more aggressive and start implementing formula mixed in with breastmilk. He is still very underweight for his age and the formula should really help in getting him plump in the coming weeks. We definitely got the sense of urgency from our pediatrician during the appointment - but we're on the right track and we will just keep on keepin' on! I couldn't ask for a better set of doctors and nurses that see Ethan...he is getting the absolute best care possible and they've been such a huge help in guiding me in the right direction. Today was the first day we increased the number of ounces in his bottles and he seems to be handling it pretty well. I've only been spit up on a couple times =)

A little blurry, but look how cute
I am at the doctors - no wonder the
nurses love me!
Oh, so last post I mentioned that we had started putting Ethan down in his crib for naps which was exciting since he'd never laid flat before (we always held him during naps or put him in his car seat). Well, my little man is doing awesome and we have definitely established a naptime routine. After we're done feeding, Ethan gets to swing while mommy pumps, then we change his diaper, read a book, swaddle, rock for a couple minutes and he goes straight down. He'll nap for usually 45 minutes-1 hour (and by that time I have to wake him up for the next feeding). Next thing to conquer is transitioning him out of his car seat at night. Honestly, he'd probably do just fine right now if I would try it - I just need to pull the trigger!

We are going back to the doctor Monday for another weight check - we will continue to go every week until we've reached our 'goal' - which is for Ethan to be on the growth charts and to be at the weight he should be for his age. I feel like I have nothing else to write about except him eating - haha! But, that's our sole focus and we're so proud of our little guy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weight Check!

We saw another positive gain at the doctor's appointment today. He gained six ounces in six days and is up to 7 lbs. 9 oz. The doctor is encouraged by his growth as he's keeping with the normal standard of one ounce per day. She wants me to keep the increased feeding schedule for one more week before we make any changes. We'll go back next Wednesday, check his weight, and then see if we can slowly get back down to the average six feedings a day. As you can see in the picture on the right, this is the closest he has to 'fat rolls'!! He's trying!!

I think I mentioned before how we can tell a major difference in Ethan's demeanor now that he's full =) I've actually been able to put him down for solid naps and get stuff done around the house, shower, etc. Before, anytime he would fall asleep for a 'nap' (15-20 min) it would either be in my arms or maybe in his swing. Now that we're able to put him down successfully, we are trying to transition him from his car seat in the crib to just laying flat in the crib (you know, like a normal baby)! Today was a HUGE SUCCESS!! After I fed him, we played for a bit, got him swaddled, rocked him, and put him down in the crib flat. And he took an hour long nap that I actually had to wake him from for the next feeding. The best part? I actually took a nap too!! =) We are still letting him sleep in his car seat at night - we have to start off slow and we will work our way up!

Weather permitting, we are going to take Ethan to his first IU football game on Saturday! He's been tailgating and now has graduated to an actual game! It's supposed to be sunny and 64 - and it's a big game for the Hoosiers so we are very excited! He also gets to play with Uncle Jeffrey, Aunt Kristen, and cousin Jayden who will be in town too!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Operation Gain Weight!

Ethan has one goal and one goal only: gain weight!! We had a doctors appointment Friday where we learned that he only gained three ounces in the last month. This was definitely surprising considering we had been noticing Ethan's cheeks and tummy filling out. At this age, babies are supposed to gain approximately one ounce a day - going by this standard, Ethan should be 9 lbs. Friday, he weighed in at 6 lbs. 10 oz. After a long consultation as to why he might not be gaining weight, the end result was this: plump this guy up as quickly as possible! The doctors put me on a strict feeding/pumping schedule that would (hopefully) result in 8-10 feedings a day. I had been doing six feedings a day with him eating every 2 1/2-3 hours so I've definitely had to step it up. In the couple days I've been doing this increased schedule, I've only made it to 7 feedings because, well, I'm exhausted! However, we got GREAT news during his check-up on Wednesday. In five days, he gained nine ounces and is now up to 7 lbs. 3 oz! They were so encouraged by this jump and Ethan seems to be responding so well with the increased amount of food! This poor boy was just hungry!! His whole demeanor has changed now that he has a full belly. Before, he was so fussy in between feedings and would fall asleep for a "nap" 20 minutes before it was time to eat again. Just in the short time I've been feeding him more often, he is so much more content, happy, and satisfied. I've been able to actually put him down for a nap in his crib - hallelujah! It's amazing what you can get done when you don't have a baby attached to you! =)

During his appointment on Wednesday, he also got his two-month shots. They administered one orally and three through a shot in his thigh. Poor little man doesn't have any meat on his bones so they had to use special tiny needles (and she still stuck a vein and blood was everywhere...eekkk)! Ethan did great - cried really hard when they stuck him, but stopped the minute she was done. He held me finger the whole time and just looked at me like, "what are they doing mommy?? HELP ME!!" Naturally, I had a couple tears stream down my face - I just hate hearing him so upset. But, I picked him right up and cuddled him in his favorite blanket and he was happy again. He was asleep before we even left the parking lot!

Starting with the two-month appointment, the doctor will tell you where your child ranks height/weight wise compared to other children of the same age. Most moms brag that they child is in the 90th percentile in height or 75th percentile in weight, etc. Ethan? He's ranked in the third percentile in both categories! Hahahaha. We've got some major catching up to do - but again, we saw lots of positives come out of the increased feeding schedule and we are moving in the right direction! We go in for a weight check on Tuesday - keep your fingers crossed for another big gain!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Months Old!

Hi Family and Friends!

I'm two months old today! It's time for another fun update on everything I've been doing now that I'm two months old. It's been a busy month for me - mommy and daddy had every weekend in October planned! I attended my first IU tailgate, I got to meet my great-grandma Ann, great-aunt Sharon, and cousin Sarah, and this weekend I'm taking my first official road trip to Chicago! Mommy and daddy have a wedding so Aunt Laura, Uncle John, Aidan and Sydney are going to babysit me! I'm excited to see them - I know we will have so much fun!

I get cuter every day. At least that's what mommy and daddy tell me. I am getting really good at sleeping through the night. There are still some nights where I wake up too early, but my parents do a good job of putting me back to sleep. I still eat every three hours. My mommy feeds me throughout the day and then my daddy gives me a bottle around 10pm. That's one of my most favorite parts of my day. He makes me laugh as you can see in this picture.

Here are some other fun facts about me:
  • I like to open and close my hands. I'm learning how they work.
  • I like to grip the fingers of whomever is holding me. They say I have a strong grip.
  • I like to track people and objects with my eyes - I can follow voices when someone is talking to me.
  • I like bath time now. At first, I wasn't too sure - but I like when mommy and daddy pour warm water over me and have a warm towel waiting for me when I'm done.
  • I am starting to make cute noises. Right now, it's a cross between a yelp and a coo. It makes mommy and daddy laugh.
  • I'm starting to smile - although I'll let you in on a little secret - I haven't showed mommy and daddy my smile yet. I smiled at papaw and smiled with my great-grandma, but mommy and daddy didn't see it. I'm secretly waiting for just the perfect time to show them how cute I am.
  • I have dimples! And when I "smile" you can see them even more!
I go for my two month check-up next week on Halloween. I have to get shots. Some of my friends tell me not to be scared. They said my mommy and daddy will be right there holding me and making me feel better. I will also get weighed again. According to the scale at home, I weigh 7 lbs. on the dot! Mommy calls me her little man, but one day I'm going to grow up to be tall and strong.

Thanks to everyone for always making me feel so special. I know I'm one loved boy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Friday!

Will be a short post today as we don't have too much to update you on in Ethan's world! Other than being extremely cute, it's been a quiet week for us! We had a playdate with our friend Cooper, went for a walk, took a bath, snuggled, had lunch with Ginka - ohhh the life of a newborn! We are looking forward to our visit with Great-Grandma Ann, Great-Aunt Sharon, and cousin Sarah this weekend. We also get to see Aunt Kristen and cousin Jayden! Look for Ethan's two-month update next week!