Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Porter's First Birthday

For Porter's first birthday, we had a family party at our house. Even though it was only family, we had 18 people there so our little "sugarhood" house felt quite small. Porter had a gotten a cold the day before and had a slight fever, but he handled the party pretty well overall.

 We had BBQ pork sandwiches and a lot of side dishes. More food than we knew what to do with!

 Cody and Levi especially loved playing with someone elses toys. And Porter loved having other kids around.

 The Hanson's gave Porter this cute rocking chair.

   These three just sat around and made fun of each other and told stupid jokes the whole party. I'm pretty sure they loved every minute of it. 

 I made Porter his own little smash cake using a mini bread tin. I stole the idea from my sister in law Holly.

 No, this picture is not posed... ;)
 Time for the cake. It took him a brief minute, but once he dug in there was no looking back!

 Maybe sometime along the way we should have ended the cake fun, but he was loving it so much I didn't want to take it away from him.

After devouring the cake and taking a bath, Porter went to bed, only to wake up coughing and throwing up in his bed. We brought him into the living room, where he began to cough even more violently, and then threw up more than I have ever seen him do before. Again, maybe we should have cut him off from the cake at some point. After that though, he was super happy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Adventures in Food Eating

You realize quickly when you get pregnant that everyone has an opinion on everything and anything baby. I do too, of course. From sleeping to eating to disciplining and beyond, people love to tell you what you should do with your kid. So I hope it doesn't come across that I think everyone should do what we did, rather I just want share our experience.

Porter is almost a year, and is great little eater. His grandma said he 'eats like a fish'; he will eat just about anything you put in front of him and he eats A LOT. He loves to eat. I really think that he is such a great eater because of the way we feed him.

Porter never ate baby food. I had one or two containers of baby food someone gave me, and did eventually feed them to him when I was looking for variety for him, but I have never bought any baby food. Nor did I make any pureed food for him.

When it came time to start transitioning him from bottle/breastfeeding, I started seeing things about a method called Baby Led Weaning. The more I read, the more interested I was. I don't want to take a bunch of time explaining it so please read that link and maybe this one too. We decided to postpone feeding him food until six months and skipped over mushy cereals and purees and went right to giving him pieces of food. Was it scary? Yes!! It was. Were we worried about him choking? A little, but the more I read the more comfortable I felt that I needed to trust him and trust the human body that he would not swallow anything he couldn't handle. We trust that a new baby, only minutes old, can suck and swallow milk without choking so it makes sense that you can apply the same thinking to an older baby and chewing. Did he gag? Yes he did! And that was scary. He gagged a decent amount the first six weeks or so. In fact, the first six weeks were a bit tenuous. We talked about discontinuing and going to purees, but we really believed in the philosophy and just watched him closely. One of my favorite things about this period of time was it was summer and we ate on the back patio almost every evening. Porter sat there with us in his booster chair and tested out whatever foods we were eating that night. He learned what it was like to sit at the table with the family and eat. The best part was I didn't have to interrupt my dinner with spoon feeding him baby food.

For the first few months he didn't swallow or ingest much, but that was okay. It was all about exploration and learning about food. Learning how to hold it, how to bite, how different things taste. Quite often he would pick something up, taste it, make a face and drop it, only to pick it back up a again a minute later and eat it. I remember the day I felt like he finally 'got it'. I had given him some peach slices with the skin on, and he munched on a slice, completely cleaning all the flesh off the skin and discarding the skin. He loved it, and even still peaches are one of his most absolute favorite foods.

Porter has tried so many different foods this way. Cantaloupe, brussel sprouts, asparagus, blackberries, tomatoes... so many to even name. We try really hard to incorporate him into our dinners, giving him small portions of whatever we are eating. Now that he is almost a year, I realize yet another benefit of giving him table foods from the start. He doesn't need to make another food transition from jarred or pureed foods to table foods. He has been eating them all along, so they are just a part of his life.

I am always nervous to tell people we feed him this way. I don't want to be called a hippie, looked at strangely, or have to answer the dreaded question (Aren't you worried he is going to choke?). I remember having my mom over for dinner shortly after we started baby led weaning. I explained the method and the reasoning and the data and such, being very educational about it and hoping she would understand. She just smiled and said "so, you are just feeding him table food? I did that with all you kids". It was such a relief to realize that yes, at its essence that is what we are doing. Not everyone 'gets it' and that's okay. His other grandma watches him twice a week and was not comfortable with it at all. That was okay too - we would just bring whatever we were feeding him at home in a mushed up version for her to feed him. We aren't complete purists about it. We feed him with a spoon if the food calls for it. He loves greek yogurt and oatmeal. I tried to make oatmeal balls for him to pick up and eat, but could never get them quite right. Sometimes we give him soup. But mostly, he feeds himself. And I have to say, he is pretty darn good at it!

Porter is about 7 1/2 months in this video, and really enjoying sucking all the flesh off of a tomato.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am a different kind of mom

I've thought about this subject a lot the last seven months. I'm a very different mom than I was when I had Tyler and Nathan, but that doesn't necessarily mean I am better. Just different. I do truly believe I was the best mom I could be and did the best job I knew how raising them. I think thats all you really can ask of any parent - considering what you know, who you are, and what resources you have. I was such a young mom! I knew nothing about being a parent (although I had many years of babysitting all kinds of kids under my belt), I had no friends that were parents, I had very little educational resources to turn to. I was a very traditional parent, and tried hard to 'follow the rules'. Following the rules meant I was a good parent. What my doctor said was gospel, any advice my mom gave me was truth, and the things I read in the few books I had was the way things should be. I couldn't imagine disagreeing with a doctor or thinking there was more than one way to raise a baby.

Again, I am not saying I am better now than I was then. I mean, look at my older boys! They are awesome. They grew up healthy, learned the things they needed to learn at the right times, and for the most part I think they had a happy childhood and a good life. I almost have a hard time taking much credit in their growing up and would deny I had much to do with it if I hadn't been there myself to witness it.

I am so different now. The world is so different as well. I am a parent of a baby again. A whole different parent it seems. There are so many ways to raise a child these days (and I assume there was also back then, I just didn't know it). I have access to more information on babies and child rearing than I ever could have imagined in my young adulthood. I only have to do some searching on the internet to find out everything I need to know on any subject I want. I can't imagine what it would have taken to find out all the different methods of feeding, sleeping, and raising a child back in the early 90's. I also could not fathom looking at other's opinions and wisdom as advice back then, instead of word. I have a whole different perspective on it all now. I sometimes think the 'me' then would be appalled at the 'me' now.

But here I am, the 'me' now. Raising another boy in this world. Ultimately, I am still worried about the same things I was worried about then. Will he be happy? Will he have a good life? Will I be able to give him everything he needs, and some of the things he wants? In that respect, I am still the same 18 year old mom I was. Still hoping I will be the best me that I know how to be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Porter has been working on his crawl for a while now. We figured he would be a traditional crawler when he would get up in the crawl position and then get on his tippy toes, sticking his butt high in the air. It took him longer than I thought it would for him to start moving though; he would get up in the crawl position and just rock back and forth like he was starting his engine, but then finally the other day he figured out how to move his hands. He also just learned how to go from the crawling position back to sitting. Sorry this video is so lame. Every time I try to film him on my Flip he seems to know he is on camera and stops whatever it is that I'm trying to film. So instead I was able to get him on my phone which obviously does not have very good quality.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have balls

So as Porter approached 6 months of age (and has now passed it) I started to think about my thoughts of being a father for the first time. Sure, I have step father status, but that is different than this in a lot of ways. Porter has been such an awesome addition to our family. As he gets older, I am fascinated at how quickly he is changing, how much he is learning and how big he is getting. I spend more than one moment a week amazed that Porter is here and that we get to be his parents. The whole thing blows my mind.

Porter has really become quite the reaching and grabbing little kid. He rarely sits still. If you are holding him, he almost always will see something that he wants to hold and lean and pry his way in that general area, forgetting the fact that he does not know how to walk to get to the item. His crawling is slowly coming around, but at this point it is more of "lean, get up on my knees and push my face across the floor" kinda crawl. Not real efficient. He also sucks on everything. You really have to watch him, as he is an equal opportunity sucker, and will put your flip flop in his mouth if he can get to it.

Another thing that he has recently discovered that just kills me is he now realizes that there is something in between his legs and it is kind of squishy and he can reach and squeeze it. Every time he is getting changed, he immediately goes for his balls, grabs hold and starts wrenching. It makes me queasy. He seems to love it, while the whole time I am saying "soft hands Porter" (he has no idea what I am saying) in an effort to get him from tearing his nuts off his body!

Anyway, I had not written on this blog in quite sometime, so I thought I would just share a few thoughts of the changes Porter is making. He is a wonderful kid and we are really lucky to have him in our lives. Oh and he wanted me to say GO UTES!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beautifying the Backyard

Our home has such a nice yard...mostly. The side, which is almost always in the shade, has beautiful shade plants and ground coverings. The front yard is really pretty with a nice flower bed in the corner. But the back yard didn't have much going on other than a bunch of junky trees and shrubs along the fence line and a really sad old apricot tree in the middle of the yard.

One of the first things we did last summer was turn a random dirt hill (leftover from a driveway expansion I think) into a small flower bed. This year we edged it with rocks and the plants and grasses have just gone nuts. It is so pretty!

This spring we decided to take out the apricot tree. It only took one season of an overabundance of infested rotten fruit, bugs, dead branches almost falling on our cars, and sticky tree mist on our cars to decide it was time for it to go. The tree was very old and half dead, which made it pretty easy for BCH and a friend to chop it down in about 15 minutes. Then, there was the stump to deal with...

 These are various bones and items found buried near the base of the tree.
 After it was all dug out, then the challenge was to get the stump out of the ground.
 Obviously it required more than the strength of two men...
 So then our other friend, Geoff, showed up with his Jeep and tow rope, and a minute later the stump was out

Friends with equipment and knowledge are good friends to have!

BCH cleaned all the debris away from the back fence and edged this area with random bricks we found around our property. We bought some little bushes, flowers, and bark.

Now the back fence area looks a lot nicer. We have a ways to go with the back yard, including putting sod down where the tree used to be (which we will do this fall) and trying to figure out what to do with our ghetto back patio. If you have ever been over to our house at hung out on the patio with us, we have most likely asked your opinion on what we should do. Hopefully we will have something figured out next spring, and a little bit of cash to be able to do something with it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Newborn pictures

Porter has grown so much that he doesn't even look anything like these pictures. But the pictures are really nice and I still wanted to share them. They were taken by my sister in law, Angie McFarland, at Fotosynthesis Photography and Design. She was unable to use her studio, so they were taken with natural light and I think she did an awesome job! Check her out next time you are interested in a photographer.

 Porter has no choice but to be a Ute fan. There could be worse things in life, for sure!

 We hadn't planned on having Nathan in the pictures, but Angie suggested a couple with him and Porter while wearing his hoodie and they are some of my favorite!

 Look at that hair! It has all fallen out since, but he had a lot more hair (and darker) than we thought he would.