Big Boy Food

So last week I decided to change up Alex’s eating routine.  He is still nursing, taking a bottle, and eating pureed food and organic baby food.  He is going to be one-year-old in a little over a week, and I am awfully tired of putting things in the blender, so I decided to try something new.  For the first time I gave Alex a meal of all real food.  For his breakfast he had organic baby oatmeal and half a banana.  Man, does he love bananas!  For lunch, I made him half a vegetarian hot dog, half a stick of string cheese, some olive slices, and some chopped green beans.

He liked all his food and did a great job!  I think I just gave him too many choices for his first big-boy meal.  He got tired of me only letting him have a couple pieces at a time.  He really just wanted to stuff his face.  Next time I just won’t show him all of his food up front.  Then he will be surprised when he keeps getting more.

On the sign language front, Alex is still doing well.  He has added the sign for “all done” to his repertoire.  He is also getting better at pointing at what he wants more of when he signs “more”.  It is great fun to watch the light bulb flash when he realizes that making a sign for something will get me to respond in the way he wants me to do.    Here he is signing “more”:

We also went by my old job last week: Huntington Learning Center.  I was disappointed that my ex-boss was not in that day, but Alex and I had a lot of fun visiting with Jeannette and the other teachers I used to work with.  Who knows, maybe one day Alex will be a student there himself, working on raising his SAT scores!  A mom can dream, can’t she?  😉

Pictures from his birthday party are still forthcoming…

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One Year Ago Today…

…Alexander James Brantley was born!  After being in labor since the wee hours of Sunday, January 3rd, he was born on Tuesday, January 5th at 3:43 pm.  I never felt so blessed in my entire life.  James and I both felt like our family was finally complete.  It seems like just yesterday that I spent 5 days in the hospital with Alex, stayed at home with him for 10 weeks, and then began the journey of working full-time and being a mom.

Tonight for his birthday I made him his first meal of macaroni and cheese.  No baby food, no grinder, just real (well, box) macaroni!  I figured since that is my favorite meal, maybe he would like it too.  So, I bought a box of organic mac & cheese,

and well… you can see the results below:

We are going to wait on giving him cake until his birthday party on Saturday.  I can’t wait to see how he reacts!  I am sure I will have a ton of pictures to post after that.  Just wait and see!

It is really hard to fathom that our little boy is a year old.  I just can’t wait for all the further adventures that await us!

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And it all started…

Today – one year ago.  I woke up around midnight on Sunday, January the 3rd with what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions.  The contractions woke me up a few times that night, but I got up in the morning and went to church like usual.  Why wouldn’t I?  I wasn’t due to have Alex for another two weeks.  I was positive that what I was going through was not actual labor.  My mother kept telling me that since she had had both me and my sister two weeks early, I was bound to have Alex two weeks early.  I tried to tell her that my OBGYN said things like that aren’t necessarily hereditary, but she was pretty adamant.

So here I am on my blog admitting for everyone to read — she was right!  I spent most of the day Monday curled up on the couch with my mom waiting for my contractions to be close enough together that I could go to the hospital.  I don’t know what I would have done without her.  She rubbed my back, told me I was doing a great job, and did her best to keep my spirits up.

Early labor was miserable for me.  I had been bound and determined to go through labor and delivery naturally, but with as much pain as I was in on Monday, I began to worry about if I was going to be able to make it.  All I wanted at that point was to be admitted to the hospital and deliver a healthy baby.  My birthing plan didn’t seem to matter as much any more.  I just wanted this little guy to arrive!

To be continued…

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Christmas Day!

Christmas morning, even though Alex is still too young to really understand, it was fun to bring him downstairs and see him stare at the tree that was now surrounded by presents. Dressed in his Santa suit, he kept pointing at it while I was feeding him breakfast.

We then opened stockings before everyone came over.  Alex grasped a little better that he was supposed to pull things out of his stocking than he did the day before at Mimi’s house.

After everyone arrived at our house, the present opening commenced.  Alex had a great time, but was a little overwhelmed. He had so many gifts to open and everyone wanted his attention.  He enjoyed every minute of it, though.

Alex got a bunch of great gifts including:

Then Alex napped while we cooked Christmas dinner.  He woke up in time to come downstairs and get his first taste of ham with the family.

After eating, he got his red wagon from his Pawpaw.  He loves being pulled around in it.  I think he might sit in it all day, if only we would pull him around the whole time.

All in all, I would have to say that this has been the best Christmas of my life.  It was great to hang out with my parents, James’ parents, and James’ grandmother.  Spending time with family is one of the best parts of the holidays.  The icing on the cake this year, however, was getting to watch my son enjoy his first Christmas.  I just can’t wait until next year!

Enjoy more Christmas pictures under the photos tab!

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Christmas Eve Fun!

Christmas Eve Day was not only a ton of work for me, but it was fun too.  We got to go over to Mimi’s house and have lunch and open stockings there.  Alex got his very first Christmas present that afternoon.  He wasn’t quite sure what to make of the experience.

Then, Mimi’s wonderful neighbor, Tammy stopped over.  She brought Alex another gift.  It was a fun truck that has a handle so he can carry it and a cow and a pig.  Alex loves it.  It plays “Old MacDonald” and he plays it over and over.

In his stocking from Mimi, Alex got a Texas Rangers’ baseball bat, some socks, and a new toothbrush.  Alex loved it all!

In the evening, we took Alex to his first Christmas Eve service.  He would not sit still!  He loved the singing and making faces at the people in the row behind us, but other than that he just wanted to play.  We kept him quiet as best we could with Cheerios.  He does love his Cheerios!

More pictures under our pictures tab, and the post about Christmas Day coming soon!

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Since it is Christmas Eve, I have a ton of things to do to get ready for tomorrow.  James and I managed to get all the presents wrapped last night, but I still have to clean the house, bake cookies, make a cheesecake, prep what I am making for breakfast tomorrow, and get ready to have the house full of people.  In other words, no time for a long post.

Instead, I have added all the pictures that we have been taking over the break to the pictures tab.  Most of them come from a fun-filled day at the Dallas Arboretum where we took Mimi for her birthday this week.

Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas!

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Happy Holidays!

Alex is growing and developing so quickly.  I hardly know where to start.  Yesterday was the first day that Alex actually did more walking than crawling.  He definitely still crawls when he is in a hurry, but I think we have to call him a walker now.  I officially have a toddler!

We got him a walker for Christmas that we let him have early.  It is a cute dinosaur walker that the seat can be pushed apart to be a walker and then folded back together to be a scooter.  Alex loves it!

Here is a shot of Alex with his walker:

On his first day with the walker, he would walk until he hit a barrier and then either abandon the dinosaur, or he would wait for one of us to to go get it and turn it around.  It didn’t take very long for him to get the hang of it, though.  Now he can maneuver it just about anywhere.  When he runs into something, he just pulls it back and turns it around.  He is a master.

Not only is Alex much more mobile than he was just a couple of weeks ago, but he also understands that when we sign to him we are communicating with him.  He understands and can repeat the signs for to eat, more, dog, frog, horse, and bib.  I would not be surprised if he picks up more before Christmas.  We are super excited to be able to communicate with him.  I’ll take pictures soon.

We have taken Alex to see two Santas this season.  The first was at the mall.  He didn’t cry, but he sure wasn’t happy.  Then we took him to the craft fair at the school I teach at, and it was a more positive experience.  The only complaint I have about the picture is that someone should have told the photographer that parents usually like their child to be the main focus of the picture, but the money goes for a good cause so I can’t really complain.   Look at the two pictures and tell me which one you like better.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

First, let me say sorry for the long absence.  November has been a very busy month for me work-wise.  It has also been a very busy month for Alex.  He took his first step on November 1st!  I wouldn’t technically say that he is walking yet, but he can take 2-6 steps independently depending on how excited he gets.  It has been a ton of fun watching him examine his world from a new angle.

Alex is also trying to imitate more sounds.  He still isn’t associating his sounds with objects, but boy does he talk up a storm!  He has also started imitating other things like smacking his lips, sticking out his tongue, and touching your nose with his finger.

He still loves throwing the ball back and forth.  Alex will also play chase; although, he prefers to be the one being chased rather than the chaser.  In addition, he has started “dancing” to music.  He sways back and forth or bounces up and down depending on the music.  It is adorable.

We went to the Dallas Arboretum this past week with some friends and got some cute pictures.  They still had their pumpkin decorations up and Alex loves playing with pumpkins.

Although Alex has tried a plethora of foods by now, his favorites remain bananas, yogurt, and sweet potatoes.  He got a couple of bites of real mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes today and loved them both!  He also couldn’t seem to get enough food today.  He ate twice what he normally does!  I guess he already understands that food is what Thanksgiving is all about!

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!  See more pictures under the pictures tab.

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Happy Halloween!

Well, even though the monkey costume is definitely cheap (two buttons broke just in the hour he was wearing it today), I have to admit that he still looks pretty cute!

We spent this afternoon trying to get some good pictures of Alex on the porch with the pumpkins.  At first, he was a really good sport – even when I changed his outfit three times to get more pictures.  The part that he had a problem with was when either James or I tried to get in the picture with him.  Then he pitched a fit!  He didn’t want anyone between him and his pumpkins.  I guess he wanted today to be all about him.  And that’s okay too.  🙂

See all of our Halloween pictures under the pictures tab.

We only got a single trick-or-treater tonight, so our candy bowl is still full.  Anyone want some?

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Halloween – Part 1

Alex’s rolling of his ball has progressed to tossing his ball.  It cracks him up to toss his ball towards us and have us roll it back to him.  Here I caught an action shot.  It is kind of hard to tell, but in the second picture, the ball is actually in the air.

The Halloween planning begins.  First, Alex has some cute Halloween pajamas.  I got them used at a consignments sale.  They were totally worth $5.  Don’t you agree?

Then, I thought I had a wonderful costume for Alex.  A friend gave us a purple monster costume a few months ago that is adorable!  I tried it on him a couple of weeks ago and it fit very well.  Unfortunately, when I tried it on him last weekend, I discovered that it is now too small for him.  His feet stick out about 4 inches from the bottom and the hood will no longer pull down fall enough around his face.  Every time he crawls, the bottom snaps come undone.  I went ahead and took some pictures of him in it anyway.  A couple are here and more are under the pictures tab.

Good thing I ordered a back-up costume, right?  Wrong!  The monkey costume that I ordered online from Babies R Us came in, and I am very disappointed with it.  It looks very cheap.  The fabric is thin and flimsy, and it is not half as cute as I thought it would be.  Oh well, too late to take it back now.  More pictures will come soon of Alex is his monkey costume.  Now, we just have to find something to do with him once he is all dressed up on Halloween!  Any ideas?

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