Tag Archives: Sparrow

Sparrow months 8 and 9

I missed out on the 8 month update because, well, life got crazy.

The day Sparrow turned 8 months old we were in Arizona for Stephen’s cousin’s wedding and then we went to Bakersfield immediately from there for Stephen to accept his job offer and start looking for a place to live.

But we’ve made it through the other side of crazy.

He finally started sitting up on his own around the 8 month mark and I felt like his little personality started to shine through as well. Up until this point he was just this little baby. He had baby mannerisms and just seemed so infantile. During month 8 he started doing this fake cry thing when a toy would be taken from him by a sibling where he’d be on his tummy and throw his head back and let out this half hearted fuss. He also started to laugh at a lot more stuff. He was really zooming with the army crawl too.

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This last month Sparrow has made a few more milestones. He’s perfected sitting up and is no longer super wobbly. He can sign all done now. The last few days he has started to do real crawling, but still favors the army crawl for quick getaways. There have been a few times when he’s used an object like a box or my legs to pull himself up into a knee stand. He’s also decided in the last week or so that he is going to reject all puréed food and only feed himself. I’ve been having to get pretty creative there because there is still quite a bit he can’t handle yet and there have been a few coughing and near choking incidents. Sometimes he comes close to what sounds like Papa, Mama and Bubba. He’s definitely chattering away with all kinds of vocal sounds lately too. Fingers crossed his blue eyes are sticking. The other two kids had their eyes change around 8-9 months, but his are still deep blue-grey. The blue eyes come from my dad and sisters.

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The drool is out in full force right now and I am really hoping that means this last little tooth will finally be coming in. It has been brutal waiting for it to make an appearance.

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He’s also a bit of a mauler! I feel like I’m always getting bitten or slapped or pinched. And I had to get new glasses frames this month because the kid keeps ripping them off my face really fast and throwing them.

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Attack of the killer baby!

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Practice makes perfect

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So yesterday Sparrow figured out how to make a “bbbbwah” sound and he’s been very proud of himself over this fact.

It was kind of a dramatic night around here. In the span of an hour Sprout went from a bit congested to listless, throwing up and then Stephen rushed him off to Urgent Care. In that same time period, my refrigerator door stopped shutting completely and Bean started coughing a lot too and she had some stomach problems of her own, but not as severe. Sparrow became irritated because he wanted to be held so he could show off his “bwah” right in my face.

Stephen got back from Urgent Care and Sprout just has a bad virus that just needs to be waited out. He temporarily fixed the fridge, but I need to call a repair man today. Sprout and Bean coughed all night long.

And then Mr. Bwah decides 4:30am is a good time to start practicing his “bwah” sound again. By 5:30am he is pretty angry about the fact that he does not have an audience for this wondrous new trick of his. I walk down the hall pick him up expecting that he’s hungry and, no, he is not interested in that. He just wants to say “bwah… bwah… bwah” right next to my face.

Being a parent is hard. I miss my sleep. And I would like a quarantine bubble from this germ factory I am in.

But being a parent teaches me a lot about who I am. How selfish I am and my (in)capacity to love. How I need to grow. Become more humble. More of a servant. Care for others. Stop thinking about myself and putting myself first all the time.

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Sparrow, my little foodie baby

The longer I parent, I find myself adapting and reworking various parenting practices depending on the situation or kid and what it/they requires.

When I was pregnant with Bean, I was so dogmatic about attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I thought every practice was the holy grail of right parenting. And then several things did not work for our family at all.

And then Sprout came along and I found a whole different kid requiring a whole different way of parenting in some ways.

So slowly over the last 3 1/2 years the dogma has been chipped away at.

Bean is a very sensitive kid in many ways. On everything from her food allergies early on to disciplining her (with her, a certain tone or pitch can put her in tears) to having everything just right to certain textures of foods and spices.

Sprout is very independent and physical and mischievous. Disciplining him requires physical intervention. We have to go to him, make him stop, put him in time out, etc. and a simple “no” or “stop” never seems to have much of an effect.

Their differences also have come out in their eating. Bean has always been very picky and particular about her food. We did the traditional method of baby feeding with her. Around five months when she started watching our every bite at meal times and reaching for our food, I started her on rice cereal and went on to the various puréed foods, then puffs and yogurt melts, etc. Then there was a month where the only food I could get her to eat were yogurt melts, puffs, freeze dried fruit and the chicken and star pasta toddler soup from Earth’s Best. And she’s been just as picky ever since. Getting her to eat and try new foods is still almost always a challenge.

With Sprout I had read a little about baby led weaning where you just feed the baby what you are having once they show an interest in your food without puréed foods or rice cereal. It seemed like the best fit for Mr. Independent. Even though he had teeth, he had a very strong gag reflex and, I now believe, some pretty serious reflux problems. I even tried puréed foods a few times and he would have trouble with those. So it was probably not until around about 10 months old that he actually started eating solid foods.

And Sparrow is just as different from his siblings. Physically, he doesn’t seem as coordinated as I remember his siblings being at this age, especially compared to Sprout. He doesn’t quite sit up very well, he still has very jerky, flailing arm movements like a newborn, he just barely started rolling over, etc. He has started to seem more observant and interested in us and what is going on around him the last few weeks. I honestly didn’t really think he was at all interested in food and wouldn’t be for quite awhile based on these observations, and then he chomped down on one of my sweet potato fries and started sucking food off my fingers.

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So with Sparrow I’m doing a bit of traditional meets baby led weaning. He clearly wants and likes our food, but his lack of coordination is not conducive to just throwing chunks of avocado or banana on a tray and letting him pick them up to gnaw on. I mash a lot of soft stuff like that with my fingers and he will grab my hand, open his mouth and put it in.

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I am also doing some puréed foods. But not really in the traditional way of just one food at a time or rice cereal. He eats pretty much the same stuff as what we are eating. Of all our kids, Sparrow certainly seems to be the most enthusiastic about food and eating. He gets so excited and giggling during meals sometimes.

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One morning we had oatmeal and smoothies. So for Sparrow I took a little cooked oats, raisins and pears and blended that with a little spinach to hide some greens in easily. He loved it.

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I made lentil soup the other night with root vegetables and grilled sausage. So I just took a portion out for Sparrow and blended it up in the VitaMix. Another win for our little foodie.

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This weekend we went down to Disneyland again. So since I knew I would not have my blender or be able to transport my perishable baby food delicacies, we wound up picking up a few jars at the Whole Foods in Tustin. What other baby gets this excited and happy to eat mashed peas?

His attitude is so great. It makes me look forward to feeding him. Trying new things and eating is so fun for him!

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Sparrow’s 5 month photo shoot

And then this is a fun progression…

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Sparrow is 4 months old

We’re late. This was supposed to be done on the 25th, but Disneyland and travel and Thanksgiving happened. We just love this sweet little guy. Still has some of his newbornishness. Two teeth poking through on the bottom. Teething has been pretty rough. Eyes are still grey-blue for now. Long and lean instead of short and squat like his siblings. Most of his 3-6 month clothes fit him everywhere except his long legs. Has his papa’s big ears. We get a mix of comments of who he looks like from Stephen’s dad, to me, to Stephen, to Ethan. Is not a big laugher like his big brother, it takes a lot of work even to get a little giggle out of him. Loves to watch his siblings.

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Sickness got the better of us, but we still managed to get some more projects done.

Despite my somewhat diligent efforts to keep the germ factories (aka Bean & Sprout) away from the baby, every chance I turned around they were touching him and coughing in his face. So the inevitable happened and he got sick too.

His sickness somewhat overlapped with Sprout’s so Stephen wound up staying home to help out.

It was so sad. Sparrow could barely breathe or cough. And even the doctor said there was pretty much nothing that could be done for an infant with croup besides breastfeeding, humidifier, cold night air, lots of love and very little sleep for us.

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I was so stressed out and extremely exhausted the last couple days.

Then yesterday things started looking up. Sparrow finally started getting some cough-interruption-free sleep.

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And he started smiling again.

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And he stopped wheezing. It was a huge relief. The other two still have a nagging cough, but Sparrow seems much, much better. Breast milk antibodies for the win!

Here are a couple more pumpkin crafts we managed to get done that made good occupiers for the older two while we took turns taking care of Sparrow.

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Felt, yarn & pompom pumpkin patch. The kids glued the pompoms on the brown felt “dirt” and I added all the details. Then we used it to talk more about the pumpkin life cycle.

This next activity got us transitioning to Thanksgiving which we will talk about next week.

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The kids painted orange inside of an orange circle that I painted for them. We let those dry and then I used green paint to make handprint leaves. After they dried we talked about some of the things they are thankful for.

Sprout is thankful for the trash truck (watching the trash truck come is one of the big highlights of his week on Friday mornings, he gets so excited), toys, clothes, food, books, painting, Bean & Sparrow, sticks, Mama & Papa, cars and the step stool.

Bean is thankful for music, toys, cars, movies, flowers, Mama & Papa, her bed, sparkley shoes, good food, dresses, Sparrow & Sprout.

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Tink, Peter and a little lost boy

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This year Bean was very opinionated about our choice of costumes. I kept coming up with ideas and she kept shooting them down.

Bean: What are you doing?
Me: Browsing Pinterest trying to figure out Halloween costumes. I was thinking Fox and the Hound. Sparrow can be the owl, Sprout can be the fox and you can be the hound.
Bean: I don’t want to be the hound!
Me: Do you want to be the fox?
Bean: No! I want to go with something else. Come up with a new idea, Mama.

Next year Sprout might have an opinion too so this might be our last year of a family theme for costumes. It’s kind of sad for me because Stephen and I have coordinated our costumes every year that we’ve dressed up. It was hard enough trying work with his very strong opinions and now I’m going to have two more to add to the mix!

Oh well, I’ll live it up while I can. I finally figured out something that Bean approved of, though about halfway into making the costumes she completely changed her mind and said she really wanted us to do a Tangled theme. I vetoed it.

Anyway, this is probably too much writing about costumes. Here are the pictures:


For Bean’s costume I used a dress she had that was similar to the shape of the Tinker Bell costume as my template. Then I cut leaf shapes from felt and layered them. My inspiration for this was from the Tinker Bell movie that we recently watched. I embroidered each leaf’s veins with gold embroidery thread and then sewed them together. I layed the whole thing back on top of felt and cut out one solid piece to be the backing/liner (the embroidery thread was “too pokey” against Bean’s skin). I used some translucent sparkly gold ribbon for the straps.

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I used a pair of her TOMS to make the felt slippers, but this trial run for photos showed me those things are not going to hold up for Trick-or-Treating. My plan now is to temporarily attach the pom-poms to her actual TOMS.

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I bought the wand at Gymboree and the wings I got at JoAnn’s, both were on clearance too. She’s also wearing a pair of green bloomers that we already had.


For Sparrow’s costume I used a Simplicity fleece PJ pattern.

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I used one of his hoodie rompers as a template for making the hood. I used ears from the Simplicity pattern to attach to my hood. I also added a tail to the body of the costume.


For Sprout’s costume I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest available here to make the hat and shirt.

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For the belt he is wearing one of Stephen’s wrapped around twice. I got the leggings at Gymboree in the girls section (shhhh don’t tell him he’s wearing girl pants!).

I happen to think my kids in my homemade costumes are the cutest things ever, but I am a little biased.

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Happy Halloween or Harvest Fest or whatever it is you do or don’t celebrate. We’re really looking forward to it this year.

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