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Ethan Edward – 7 Months

This week my little boy turned seven months old. Each milestone is a joy, just like his squishy kissable cheeks and his infectious gummy grin!

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Some highlights of this past month… E is sitting up like a pro which is a great help for mommy, who can set him down easier right next to her instead of having to drag along his chair. He still doesn’t show interest in crawling, which is fine with mommy and daddy… more time to enjoy this pre-proofing stage.

We tried solids; mashed broccoli, green beans, avocado, squash. So far the guacamole has been his favorite, but even then he barely takes anything and gags. I think it’s a sign he’s not ready for solids, and I’m not stressing about it. He’s doing just fine without solids, weighing in at 18.2 lbs. I’m so thankful for a chunky, squishy, healthy baby!

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Big moments? Welcoming his first cousin into the world! Aunt A and Uncle J had baby Jethro, and Ethan can’t wait to meet his first partner-in-crime. We’re pretty sure it’s going to be epic. Ethan also officially moved to his nursery for nighttime. Mommy was the one getting a little emotional about it, but he was getting claustrophobic in the cradle next to our bed, and he is sleeping better in his crib now. This momma never thought it would take seven months to make the switch, but lo and behold, mommy emotions are much stronger than originally expected!

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Another big first was baby’s first plane trip. We flew to Idaho for “Aunt” Gabby’s wedding, and the little man proceeded to charm his way from St. Louis to Las Vegas to Boise and back again. He did very well until the lack of sleep over the weekend affected his jolly nature on the return flights, and we had a few moments where mommy sat blushing and embarrassed to be “that mom” with the child having a fit. But, we lived, and for the most part E is a happy traveler… which is a good thing because we love traveling! On the trip, E also got to meet some of mommy’s dearest friends for the first time, which was also a highlight.

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And while our little man isn’t crawling yet, he makes up for it with his wide variety of expressions, and now his mimicking noises. He likes to copy daddy blowing, snorting, sniffing, and making noises with his lips. I think we have a ham on our hands…

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And mommy life. It’s great. It’s hard, and the changing of life’s seasons isn’t always easy, especially as expectations and shifting priorities come into play. As much as I want E to grow up learning to be flexible, to go with the flow, to be a part of mommy and daddy’s schedule and not just his own, at the same time we have to be willing to pull back for the sake of our family. And that is hard.

 

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I am by nature a people pleaser, and one area I struggle in as a mom is the courage to tell other people “no” and risk offending. I.e., you can’t touch my baby, I can’t leave my baby at home during this event, we need to leave early and miss out, etc. Even as we want to bless others and be involved in their lives, we do have moments of needing to miss out in order to care for our first responsibilities; our marriage and our family. And goodness, this growing up thing sure isn’t easy, but what better way to grow and depend on the Lord than realizing it’s no longer my parents making the decision, it’s me and my husband.

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And the more my heart fills with love for and fierce protection of my child, the more it breaks over the horrific throwing away of motherhood by countless women in our nation… all those little ones killed and ripped away from the one person who should be protecting their lives at all costs. Ethan fills each of my days with joy and I am loving this season of watching his life blossom, grow, and bring delight not just to us as his parents but to those around us.

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Life is precious, and we are thankful for the one we have the privilege of loving and raising.

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Happy seven months, pumpkin!

6 Months

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I’m sitting down to write this post after just reading a young wife’s painful account of her miscarriages, and her honest sharing of the heartache and grief they are going through as they miss those precious little ones. I haven’t experienced a miscarriage, though I remember the fear and anxiety that started to creep in any time I had a little spotting during my pregnancy. So I hug my little boy closer and try to treasure these days for what they are; moments that are great gifts, and gifts I don’t deserve.

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Our precious Ethan Edward is 6 months old, as of a week ago. He weighs 17.8 pounds, is sitting up on his own now, loves to eat books, scoots backwards and is still trying to figure out crawling, laughs most when he’s tired and hyper, loves his jumper (giggles often ensue), and recently tried his first teeny tiny taste of food- which was avocado, and not nearly appreciated enough by a tired baby.

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We are loving this age! I admittedly did have a “moment” when E basically started sitting up overnight, and I realized how big he is getting. But for the most part, I’m really enjoying the process of moving through the different stages of his (fast!) development. I continue to be amazed at how much more energetic I feel as time goes on and I grow in confidence as a momma. I thought after three months that I was mostly back to normal, but as it turns out, I continue to grow, learn and change along with our little boy. It’s an adventure, and it’s fun.

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His cheeks, when he’s concentrating and they get all squished up… *melt*

And we really can’t complain. E has been sleeping through the night for 2 months now and takes pretty good naps. If we don’t get much sleep, it’s usually our fault for staying up too late…

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How have we been doing in teaching E new things? I’m still giving myself another month before diving back in to infant potty training. He’s been doing much better during Church lately except for when he’s overtired (mostly due to long weekends traveling). I think being able to sit up on his own and have more ability to entertain himself with interactive toys and books has really helped in that area. Our latest thing has been helping him to learn to “be still” in my arms when he’s tired and needs to rest. We’re flying to Idaho (his first plane ride!) for a wedding, so in preparation for having nowhere to lay him down to sleep for most of the weekend, I’m trying to help him learn to fall asleep in my arms. If he’s overtired he still whines and complains even as his eyes are closing, and sometimes he still squirms, but I can tell he’s adjusting. I then lay him down to nap in his crib just as he’s falling asleep. I think this is something I would like to practice earlier with our next baby, Lord willing… teaching them to “be still” in my arms when it’s sleepy time, something E never wanted to do once he could hold his head up off my shoulder. No cuddling for this active little guy!

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Another thing we’re trying to figure out is whining. He definitely whines when he’s tired or wanting a change of scenery during playtime. But he’s also taken to whining sometimes when he’s getting his diaper changed, getting put in his carseat, etc. I understand he can’t use words yet, but once we’ve responded to his need we want to teach him to calm down, so I’m trying to be careful not to encourage whining in the way I respond to it.

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Sitting up with help from mommy

Ethan’s daddy and I are also learning and growing in our marriage as we discover parenthood together. It’s wonderful, but definitely not easy. One particular evening I found myself on our living room floor, crying on Ashton’s shoulder and grieving over how sin affects us, affects me… I desire to be a respectful wife and a loving momma, but there are growing pains in learning how to be both sometimes, and I know that won’t be the first time I’ll be asking for an extra measure of grace in this season of life.

We are having fun taking our smiley, extroverted little guy with us on outings. We’ve taken multiple trips to Omaha to see his grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, we try to take him to as many ministry and community events as possible (showers, parties, conferences, pro life rallies, etc.), and until he starts talking, he gets to tag along on some of our date nights, too. We can’t go everywhere we used to, but we can go most places, so we take him walking, for a scenic drive, out to coffee, or on a short shopping spree or lunch date. He also goes to bed at 8pm, so we easily have two hours together each evening to share over a glass of wine. I’m so thankful for my husband, who also happens to be a wonderful daddy.

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And we are thankful for our precious little boy, who is such a blessing and joy in our lives. We can’t wait to see what the next six months hold for him, and for us as a family of three.