Monday, April 25, 2016

Baby Led Weaning & Other Crunchy Topics

We have been sick most of April and we are so over not feeling well!! Gideon had a fever/cough/sore throat/throw up/diarrhea etc for about 10 days.  He's mostly over it minus a terrible cough and congestion at night that flares up. 

Anyone else find that their baby's first sickness was their worst?  This thing is hanging on forever (which luckily my SIL, Anna, warned me it would so I could gird my loins over the insanity!)

I have had a cough, sore throat, sinus drainage, ear pain body aches for almost 2 full weeks and it's not looking like it's getting better.   I've tried to wipe it out naturally but sometimes you just need an antibiotic to kick something in the butt.

Oh and let's talk about know, the immune-compromised guy who lives with us? He has escaped with nay even a sniffle!!!!  How?!?!  I'm thankful for that, it's a pretty insane blessing.

Mama and Gideon playing with Easter basket toys from Grandma

On to granola-hippie topics...

Gideon has been rocking all sorts of natural, crunchy things in his life lately.  He's been teething and has the SHARPEST vampire-pointy-death-razors baby teeth in the world.  Let's just say we've been learning about discipline and gentleness at the tender age of 8 months old while nursing *ahem*

Anyway, I am obviously pro-Western medicine when the time is right.  Ryan is on Remicade every 8 weeks and it keeps his Crohn's in remission.  I gave Gideon baby Motrin and baby Tylenol to get down a raging fever last week.  There is a time and a place.

But on the whole I want us sticking to as natural as possible.  So it's been Hyland's teething tablets, an amber teething necklace, and chilled watermelon to help those sore gums out.  I highly recommend all three!

Also how delicious does this baby look in his bumGenius diaper??  This one is called "Armadillo" ha!  We buy cloth diapers from Cotton Babies and they don't know I exist but I LOVE the sales they have.  We bought a whole stash and Ryan found us a killer deal of colors that were being discontinued for like $12 a diaper or something insane.

I do like cloth diapering a whole lot.  When I have to buy a pack of disposable diapers I wait for a sale and try to have a coupon.  I love saving money and the eco-friendly side of cloth plus what baby doesn't look SO cute in them?

Red hair? Check!  Cloth diaper?  Check!  Teething necklace?  Check!  All of his mama's favorite baby accessories!!!

And finally, BABY LED WEANING!!  Hallelujah this is the best thing ever invented.  When I first started I was pretty scared he would choke and wasn't sure I would like it but just had to learn what to cut up, what I could be given to him in chunks to gnaw on and so on.  I did a lot of reading and research and learning from others who have done this method. 

Generally, this kid will put like a crumb or 1/16 of a teaspoon to his lips but I always see what I serve him out the other end in his diaper later so he must be eating more than I think.

Breakfast time is a favorite time around our house.  Messy but worth it.  We call the floor the "food land mine" when Gid is done eating

I try to get him fats, a fruit, and a veggie in at at every meal.  Mostly I just chop up whatever we are having or set aside components to our meal so he can chomp on that.  These are our go-to menus:

Buttered toast chunks and banana
Watermelon and oatmeal mixed with a little coconut oil
Egg yolk (scrambled or hard boiled) and quartered blueberries 
Whole milk yogurt, sliced grapes and cheerios

Asparagus stalks, applesauce and shredded white meat chicken
Green beans, hummus spread on pita bread, shredded cheddar, and an apple slice
Whole wheat pasta tossed with olive oil, peaches and chopped broccoli
Red bell pepper, sliced olives and chunks of pear

Literally whatever we are having, so special prep or extra cooking!
If we are having black bean burgers I just dice it up.  If we are having stir fry I just scoop a spoonful onto his highchair tray.  If nothing is terribly kid friendly then I'll just give him some version of a lunch menu above because it's normally prepped in the fridge anyway

He has such a blast exploring all these foods in their natural textures and colors plus no extra work for me!

So these are all of the fun "natural" things we have been trying out lately.  They work for us and make life a whole lot easier.  It's fun to share things here on the blog-comment to let me know if you have something natural you like and recommend!  I love getting more ideas.  

Have a good week :)

The heavens are Yours, the earth is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them

Psalm 89:11

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Babies, Dates, & Yoga

We've lived in Colorado forever and Ryan and I are both natives...yet somehow we always forget that April is super snowy and then we get mad about it.  HA!  The problem is that we love summer and fall and really spend a lot of time outside.

Ryan plays frisbee, we walk every single day, we bike to movie in the park, pack picnic dinners, camp, hike, and rock climb.  So when it's raining and snowing all month it's such a bummer.

I will just be thankful that this wetness will help my garden grow and hopefully revive my very pathetic looking berry bushes out in my garden beds.

Anyway, April happenings and an update!

Thanks to Aunt Linny, Uncle Justin and cousin JJ for keeping Gideon for a few hours so we could have a date night.  Our romantic setting of choice was the sketchiest Pho restaurant on Colfax but seriously it's the most authentic Vietnamese Pho you will ever have!!

We talked life and future, caught up with one another and mostly just enjoyed not have a squirmy baby to juggle while we sipped hot soup.

THIS KID!!!!!!!  He is so scrum-diddily-umptious.  He's such a big boy with a voice, opinions, preferences, belly laughs for days, and some serious 8 month old will power.  I love every part of him and that we get to know him more each day.

Nothing makes Gideon happier than a sock or wearing a majorly hipster baby outfit

We had the great privilege of watching our favorite little Penny Pie last week while her mama rested after a lot of consecutive night shifts.  Penny and Gideon had a glorious time playing, rolling on the carpet, and hallelujah--napping simultaneously!!!  

They are BFF's for life.   And Ryan and I sincerely hope they decide to get married in about 25 years.

These two are two peas in a pod!  I often find Gideon in his carrier on Ryan.  They work in the garage together, do chores, go on walks, or accomplish whatever needs to happen.  The new Ergo 360 is pretty much a necessity for parents in my opinion.  

We just discussed last night as we walked with Gideon in the carrier on Ryan that it's such a millennial dad trend to baby-wear.  I LOVE that my hubs is secure enough in his masculinity to baby-wear and Gideon is happier on him than any place else.

Ryan's work, Healing Waters, hosted a Get Out Give Water fitness event as part of an effort to help end the global water crisis.  The yoga class was at Red Rocks Ampitheatre which was the most stunning place in the world to participate in yoga for a good cause.

My friend Caitlin, who I have been friends with for more than 14 years joined me.  Love her, the cause, the class, and the scenery!

Some starting balancing poses that ended up kicking my butt!

A family shot with all that beauty in the background!

A lot of our days are spent learning and exploring the world around us.  Gideon is standing and balancing when I prop him against something, figures out how everything works, and just enjoys being a curious baby with everything in the world to learn.

We went to baby story time at the library this week and really enjoyed connecting with new friends and the social aspect.  I really was aware of how intentional you have to be to say hello to the mamas and try to connect with them. It's easy to just chat about the babies or focus on your own little one at events like this but we need to engage our brains and encourage one another to be known and appreciated outside of our roles as mama's also.  

We hope you have a week full of goodness and rest and soaking up any nice weather that comes your way.  I know that's what we will be doing!  

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Isaiah 61:1

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Plea To Target's LGBT Bathroom Policy

I love me some Target.  I literally just went there last night to walk around and shop as a stress reliever and recharge time after a busy day with Gideon.  I grabbed a cart, bought a coffee from the  conveniently (and dangerously) located front entrance Starbucks and perused literally every aisle.

It's therapeutic!

Literally, Target is my happy place as my husband can attest.

But they are yet another company that has come out with a dangerous stance on transgender bathroom policies; cloaking the policy in anti-discrimination jargon while neglecting to address even a single word to the potential dangers of this new movement.

I am absolutely terrified by this policy and fad.  

The issue is NOT, I repeat, NOT with the transgender community.  

Those individuals can do whatever they like and it's truly not my business.  But public restroom safety is my business and this LGBT policy is just a welcome sign for the mentally disturbed pedophiliacs and predators in the community to misuse this policy.

So again, my issue?  Not with transgender people.  My issue is with those men who are so perverse and deranged that they will pose as women and then prey on women and children in the stalls.  

A mother's absolute nightmare... and such dark possibilities and potential crimes are gaining momentum and greater risk by the hour.

I reached out to the Target corporation with this message below and I await an answer and hopefully a positive and proactive reply.  My truest hope is that safety measures are put into place immediately: single-stall restrooms, family restrooms, or other creative measures to ensure the safety of vulnerable potential victims.  

If Target chooses to continue on with their policy, we may be finding new places to shop.

I encourage you to also reach out to companies implementing dangerous policies and let them know your dissatisfaction-if one voice can change the fate and safety of someone it is worth the risk of being momentarily counter-cultural.


Hello Target-

I'm writing to you as a severely concerned customer, specifically about the safety and integrity of bathroom policies that have surfaced in the media recently.

The issue is NOT with the transgender community or individuals.  It is with those that will misuse Target's philosophy of equality and anti-discrimination.  How is Target as a corporation, as well as local management and your employees, going to ensure the there is not misuse of this new gender identity bathroom policy?

I am a deeply concerned customer, woman, mom, and community member.  Will Target install family bathrooms that contain one stall or "gender neutral" single stalls to ensure protection, privacy and safety?

I do not write this message with the belief that transgender people are pedophiliacs, criminals or the like.  My concern, that thousands if not millions of others share, is about the disturbed individuals who will use this new policy to prey on their victims and act perversely (ex: a non-transgender man who impersonates a woman and then victimizes a woman or child in the female designated restroom).

Surely, Target can see the potential problems and dangerous situations associated with this policy.  What can be done to keep your loyal customers safe?  If there is no plan, this corporation is putting your very logo of a bull's eye on the backs of all vulnerable customers...they will be targeted by those who will misuse and abuse this policy. 

Please, Target--address the media with a plan and be a leader to set safety measures and best practice measures into place!

Thank you for your time and consideration from a customer of nearly 20 years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gideon 8 Month Update

Age: 8 months old.  This time in 4 months we will be letting this kid smash into a birthday cake and celebrating 1 whole year of life on Earth!

This month Gideon has continued to bring us a tremendous amount of delight and purpose and is constantly teaching us new things.  Just last night we talked about how to intentionally parent this unique little boy.  Parenting is super rewarding but also a daily battle of choosing to be a loving, patient, kind parent when there are tough moments.  We processed a lot about what we hope to say is true of our parenting when Gideon is graduating from high school and set some goals in that perspective.  It will be by the grace of Jesus that we are patient, Jesus-following, loving parents! (spoiler alert: we already fail at this a lot but we sure do love our boy and try)

Our best realization about parenting an 8 month old: IT'S ALL UP HILL FROM HERE! So we are buckling down and praying everyday for intentional hearts to shepherd and love this precious gift from God.

Weight: He hasn't been weighed in several weeks so I'm not sure.  We have really noticed that Gideon is not chunking up much as much as he is getting longer and leaner. Tall boy!  He's more mobile so I think that's part of the plateau.  He's a solid little monkey but I would say his best rolls are in his thighs and in those chubby cheeks.

Length: Hmmm I think about 28 inches.  He hasn't been measured at the doctor since his last appointment but he is totally popping out of his sleep sack at night and I think I need to upgrade him to a longer one.  Daddy is 6'2" so it's fun to think about him playing basketball or ultimate frisbee and using that height to his advantage!

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  Not a whole lot has changed here in the last month.  He's rocking the size 4 diapers, 12-18 month onsies and shirts, 12 month pants, 2-3T socks.  His Grammy got him some big kid hats that he wears to shield his white body from the sun.  I think one is a 24 month hat HA!

Eyes:  His eyes are one of the things that people comment on most.  They are so sparkly and big!  You know exactly what this kid is thinking with one look at those eyes-if he's thrilled, mega-pissed, bumming out, or just content.  His eyes tell it all.

Ryan told me yesterday that he read that the combo of red hair and blue eyes is the most rare in the world.  So my son and my sister are pretty much majestic unicorns in human form.

Hair: This kid has sprouted like 1,000,000 new hairs this month!  There is even enough for me to mohawk and I'm going to pick up some hair gel next time I'm at Target.  It's my exact color and OF COURSE 643 people a day come up to him to tell him how precious he is.  He gobbles up the attention, the little sucker.

Sleeping: Gideon has given me up to an 8 hours stretch at night which is a fantastic blessing!  He still has normal baby nights where he is up 2-4 times in a night.  But I would say for the most part he goes to bed at 7:00 pm, dream feeds at 10:00 pm, stirs once or twice and needs a back rub/pat, and sleeps until 6:00ish am.  

Right now he mostly naps from 8:00-9:30 and then naps again from 12:00-1:00ish.  Then a last cat nap from 3:30-4:00 so he doesn't explode into a million pieces from exhaustion by the time it's bedtime.

Eating: This has been one of my favorite parts of him getting older!  We eat a lot of diverse foods at our house and I try to serve us whole, healthy, real foods if possible.  But we need the occasional burger and fries, yum!  When we eat "junk food" I aways prefer to make homemade chocolate chip cookies or banana bread because it just tastes better.  Gideon hangs in his high chair, playing with measuring cups while I bake or cook; we use the time to talk about math, measuring, fractions, etc.

Ok besides the mini-homeschool sessions ;) He has been trying A TON of new foods:  

Broccoli, hummus, olives, whole wheat pasta, shredded white meat chicken, banana-quinoa-baby-bread, egg yolk,  toast with butter, pita bread, blueberries, mahi mahi, mac & cheese, peas, cheerios, baked carrots, black bean burger, bell pepper, pear, potato, and peaches.   Mostly I just chop up whatever we are having and serve it to him so there's no special prep.  Everything is size appropriate and I would say about 1% of it even makes it to his lips. But he has the grandest time squishing it, throwing it on the floor, rubbing it on himself, and shoving it down his diaper.

One difficulty in the eating department is that Gideon refuses to nurse anywhere besides his nursery.  He prefers his room, dark, and quiet.  I absolutely cannot convince him that nursing in a quiet room at someone else's house or in the church nursery is a good idea.  I can usually get him to take 1-2 oz from a bottle but it's such a pain in the butt to remember and keep cold and then heat up.  It's one of the most draining experiences of the last few weeks because it's very hard to get to an outing, enjoy it, and make it home without him getting to a bad spot.  I offer to nurse him consistently when I know he's hungry but he refuses with a mighty and unwavering will!  Please pray for Gideon to be more flexible and want to eat via nursing when he's not at home!!

Milestones:  He mimics head shake "no",  claps his hands or two toys together, will sporadically wave "bye-bye", SO close to getting the forward crawl mastered, pincer grasp is really refining, a steady sitter, will balance pretty well when propped up to a short table, feeds himself with hands (if he's lucky a spoon will make it to his mouth), can reliably hold a cup or bottle himself to drink, and babbles his favorite sounds.

And two teeth officially sprouting!  He had two poking out a few months ago and in the last few weeks they went back up-UGH!  But the bottom two front teeth are sticking out and causing him so much pain.  He looks adorable though and hopefully they will be fully out in the next few days.

This is sort of a milestone...his first sickness.  Poor baby cakes!  He ran a low grade fever for about 4 days, experienced a lot of congestion, throwing up, diaper rash, coughing, and generally felt terrible.  He just wanted to be held skin to skin and nurse all day.  He's actually on day 10 of this sickness and just has the tail end of a cough.  I'm praying it's all gone soon.

Left, Our nightstand of "get-better tools" (the cough drops were mine FYI).  Right, at the doctor waiting for get his ears checked out.  I was convinced he had an ear infection because he kept clawing at them but apparently just a super red, inflamed throat that referred the pain out to his ears

Memorable outings:  We met our friends Ali, Bowen and Declan at the downtown REI for a playdate.  The babies did tummy time in the play area and stood holding onto the fake tree trunks they have.  There were so many other big kids running and showing off so that kept them entertained.

One of my favorite outings has been the pool.  Gideon went down the REALLY big kid slide with Daddy.  We splashed and played and realized this child is a water-baby to his core.  We also have ventured out for story time at the library and he has a BLAST with the other kiddos.

Favorite toys/activities:  Loves laying on the floor with Daddy and watching the ceiling fan whirl, evening walks, giving kisses, wooden puzzles, playing kitchen, cousin time, having a bucket of toys/objects placed in front of him to explore, watching the world out the front window, and petting Poppy.

Gideon will contentedly play by himself for a really long time.  I'm always surprised how happy he is to just sort through a pile of toys.  But he LOVES his people and friends so he's a dynamic guy.  Also, this little baby cakes wants and loves everything that is not for him.  He is fascinated by watches, cell phones, my wallet, anything shiny or metal, big water bottles, and more.  We say, "if it's not for Giddy, then he will want it!"

Words/sounds:  I swear (and Ryan will agree) this kid babbles "ma-ma-ma".  Score!!  He doesn't say it directed to me but I'll take it.  He has a lot of indistinguishable noises but when he creates a sounds he likes he will repeat it for awhile.  Endless giggles, lots of loud fusiness when something makes him upset, and plenty of squeals and babbles to just hear himself.

Nicknames:  Lou, Little Love, Giddy Con Queso (from daddy), Giddy Lou Who (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Puff (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Face (from Maggie), Giddy Pantz (from Maggie)
The usuals...Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney, G (from Uncle Clint), Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments: We laugh when Gideon finds something funny.  What comes to mind is when Ryan launches him like a rocket or when I pop out from behind a door to surprise him.  Gideon laughs and laughs.  We have had him cracking up so hard before that he has literally fallen backwards!  HA!!  He has such a sense of humor this boy.

Looking forward to:  We would really like to get up the mountains  to camp and out for some longer hikes this summer.  I really look forward to seeing what he thinks of the trees, mountains, and nature.  I want him to get dirty and explore!  Also he is like 1 second away from crawling and I think that he will be truly pleased with himself when he figures it out.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring is for Living Well

There are too many wonderful things to even post about but here are the highlights as we dive into spring!  We are thrilled about an early spring-the warmer weather the better, we even ate on our back patio outside this evening :)

First, we spent Easter as a family at church and then walked a really scenic trail on the way to Easter dinner.  We had dinner with my side of the family and stuffed ourselves on a truly delicious meal cooked by my parents.

The boys got out of this world Easter baskets!  They were "summer-themed" and my mom clearly put a lot of thought into them.  They got personalized beach towels, a pool bag, swimsuits, hats, bubbles and stuffed bunnies.  She put together baskets for the parents too which was way too generous!

Gideon and Jay don't even know what's about to hit them with these unbelievable baskets!

We've been getting to have lots of fun with all our short friends and their mamas lately :)  Gideon has so many friends that he loves to interact with and the older the better because they can hand him more toys haha  

I see parts of his personality that makes me think he's a little introverted (enjoys some recharge time alone with toys after a busy event) but other times he just lights up with people and other little ones like he's hit his jam.  He's a complex little guy that's very versatile.

Gideon and Isaac getting to play while Hannah and I packed up their house

Every single year since Ryan and I have known each other, been dating, engaged and now married we have gone to Colorado School of Mines (Ryan's alma mater) E-Days.   The only year we missed was when we were living in Saudi Arabia!

 There is a cardboard boat race that is so unique and fun to watch.  The students can only use cardboard and duct tape and have to make it down Clear Creek.  It's FREEZING water and while a lot sink, many make it to finish.  How fun to have Gideon join us this year!

We are the whitest family in all of history so we sport all the sun protection gear!  Hats, SPF 50 sunscreen and both Gideon's hat and Ryan's shirt have SPF built in #dorks

We went to the races with the Clarks, some of our absolute favorite people.  These are the friends that we literally laugh with non-stop but somehow also manage to talk real life with too.  We love them (and wouldn't be sad if Josie became Josie Decker later on in her life :) )

Gideon literally could not have been any happier about his life that afternoon.  His bouncer was STUFFED with toys that Peyton and Josie so generously handed him.  He adored Peyton and I am thinking about asking his parents if I can contract him out one day a week to keep Gid entertained

The UP boat!  A crowd favorite for sure and it didn't sink!

Living well in spring has meant for us spending as much quality time as possible as a family.  We have dinner when Ryan gets home from work and then always a 45 minute walk.  On the weekends we are getting together with family and friends or just having "family dates".  We went to the Apex Rec Center and had seriously the best time!

Ryan took Gideon down the big (I mean BIG) slide.  Like they had to climb 2 flights of stairs to get to the top and it winds outside the building in the pitch black at one point.  My 7 month old is brave!  We went in the lazy river, splashed in the big pool and warmed up in the hot tub to round out the morning.  I love time with my boys!

Gideon in swim trunks, I can't handle it!

Two weekend ago I hosted a brunch for some friends from nursing school that I have stayed close with.  No matter how much time has passed we always pick right back up where we left off.  While I am not currently working, I live vicariously through these ladies and hear about their crazy adventures of nursing.  I'm so proud of them!

Nylah and her daughter Moriah, and myself holding Penny (Ashley's daughter).  We all stuffed ourselves on quiche, french toast casserole, bacon and fruit.

I feel like Gideon just needed a few solo pictures as we near the end of this post.  This child is the absolute light of our lives!  He had a harder week last week for reasons unknown to his mama but this week he has just lit up back up and is soaking up life again.  

Every single day that passes he reveals something new about himself, shows off a new skill, or makes us laugh in a new way.  If there were more Gideon Deckers in the world, it would be a better place :)

Ugh is he not THE MOST scrumptious in a hat and having his tiny bits of hair spiked?  The picture on the right was at the doctor's office.  He got 2 vaccines and was the MOST brave I've ever seen.  So proud of him persevering through some temporary pain to stay healthy.

Our adventures continue!  Georgie & Ylo came up for a visit a few weekends ago and then we all went to dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, Cafe Jordano.  It was phenomenally delicious per usual.  Go there immediately if you want the richest, most decadent Italian food of your life and get a frickin homemade cannoli--heavennnnnnn!!!!!!!! 

How red-headed does Gideon look???  And so happy as usual.

Last pic.  This sums up our daily life a little better.  Many days we read, walk, play with our toys, work on new skills, explore new foods, and enjoy our daily rhythms.  So thankful for a post full of people we love, events that have enriched our lives, and one bubbly red-headed little boy that makes our lives so tremendously full.

Gideon is notorious for ignoring us while we enrich his mind and help him develop a strong love of reading...he would rather play kitchen :)

They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear...

Psalm 112:7


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