Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Slice of Bryce (#13): Six Months!!!

I guess it's time that I stop dwelling on the fact that Bryce's first year is flying by. Today, he is halfway there, which, to me, is unfathomable.

Here's what has happened in the past month:

1) Bryce is still not sitting up entirely unassisted, though he can make it for several seconds without toppling over. We gave it a shot with the photo session today, and you'll see the end result in one of the pictures...

2) He HAS, however, started working on moving from one place to another with a mixture of rolls and scoots. No more laying him in a spot and expecting him to stay there, as evidenced by the fact that, twice yesterday, I left the living room for a couple of minutes and heard a THUD!, which ended up being his head hitting the hardwood floors as he rolled his way off of his mat. It took me two such incidences to learn my lesson (much to B's chagrin), and have now begun putting soft pillow barriers at the edge of his mat.

3) His scooting motion is pretty amusing. I've only seen him do it a couple of times, but the ladies at school say he does it all the time. While lying on his belly, he buries his face in the mat, which helps him to arch his back and propel forward with his legs, all with his belly still lying on the ground. Hard to describe. Impossible not to giggle when you see it. This movement has me thinking ahead to what I envision his first crawl will look like. If it's anything like his scoot, it'll be cute.

4) I'm amazed at how B loves to spend time on his belly. Neither of the girls were EVER like that. If they rolled onto their bellies, they would soon be whooping and hollering for help to get back over to their backs. Not B. He'll lay there and play with his toys forever.

5) Bryce's occasional sleeping woes continued this month. It didn't help that he suffered an ear/eye infection that required a 10-day cycle of Augmentin, which quickly became my least favorite of the antibiotic options for kids. It's got a bitter taste, and apparently doesn't do well on an empty belly, which I learned with B the hard way. (Note: If the bottle says "take with food", that apparently means that the kid should eat FIRST, not immediately AFTER the medicine. They really should be more clear in the instructions.) Anyway, as a result of the infection that brought with it a fever and nasty diapers, B and I got to spend a couple of quality days home alone together, and I think feeling below-par caused him to wake up once per night (for a week or so) and need to be soothed by a feeding session with Mommy. Thankfully, he went back to sleep each time, so I can't complain much. But I think he's fully recovered now, and his sleeping pattern is slowly getting back to normal.

6) Bryce has pretty much perfected his rice cereal and Level 1 baby food eating. It's probably time for me to make the jump to Level 2, which will bring some additional textures and tastes. Currently, he's eating rice cereal for a "snack" when he gets to school in the morning, and then he gets a jar of fruit at lunchtime and a jar of veggies at dinner. Still no sign of him cutting back on the amount of breastmilk he drinks. The boy can put down some milk, now.

7) The biggest annoyance at this age is that B has outgrown his infant carrier, but still can't sit up in a high chair or shopping cart when we're out and about. That will change this coming month, I'm sure.

8) As you'll see in the pictures below, Bryce's mouth is seemingly always open these days. And the drool never ends. Which is disappointing, since it means he is always wearing a bib, and I don't get to see much of the cute outfits he's wearing! I remember with the girls thinking that they were NEVER going to stop the slobbering and spitting up. But they did, and I know B will, too, so I'm trying to just live in the moment and be thankful that the bibs keep me from spending all day changing his clothes.

9) The biggest change in the past month that I've seen is that Bryce is really grabbing for his toys now. And I can tell that he's so close to holding his arms up to me when I reach to pick him up. That's one of my favorite milestones - it's nice to feel wanted!

I think that's it for this month. Happy half-birthday, Bugaboo!

Hill Ridge Farms (2011)

After we "rested up" last Saturday (not really, since Dale and I took Nina and Papa to the UNC Football game), we headed on Sunday morning to Hill Ridge Farms, another annual tradition with the Dever clan. (If it's not yet obvious to those of you outside of North Carolina, the Devers might as well be part of our family.)

Upon entry into this wonderful fall playland, Ivie headed straight for the maze (which you can see she took very seriously)...

... and Macie made a beeline for the swings (which were just as difficult to get her away from this year as it was last year). Nina and Papa were happy to assist in her efforts to "go really high".

After conquering the maze, Ivie and Emerson wanted to check out the new "jumping pillow". Watching them made me want to jump, too. Sadly, no parents were allowed.

Macie finally got off the swing and joined in.

I think this was the highlight of the day, at least for Mommy watching from a distance. Not a single picture Dale took didn't catch a smile.

The girls spent quite a bit of time on the jumping pillow, allowing our camera (wielded by Dale) to do a little wandering. To me and Bryce, and Brooke and Danny!

But, in an appropriate act of tit for tat, Brooke didn't let Dale off the hook.

After the jumping pillow, we made a quick stop at the Hill Ridge Farms "Cool Bus". I tried to get Bryce to look out the window, but didn't have much success. Maybe it was because I'm apparently too old to bend down far enough to get his face at window level.

Then it was off to the big slide! If you remember, Macie opted out last year, as it was a bit intimidating for her. Not so much this year, though she did ride down with Nina!

While we waited for the big kids, daddies, and grandparents to come down the slide, Bryce hung out with me (and decided it was time for a little snooze).

The line was L-O-N-G, so the girl only got to go down the slide once. Then we distracted them with talk of a ride on the train, with a quick stop first to measure their height.

The painted hay bales were back for another run this year, with fresh new pictures.

After the train came the duck races. And I'm not just talking about the girls. As you can see, Dale and Danny are a bit competitive, even when it comes to racing plastic ducks.

From the duck races, it was off to the hay jump. I must say that Emerson Dever sure knows how to "strike a pose"!

Before we could blink, it was almost lunch time. Which meant we had to jump aboard the hayride for the trip to the pumpkin patch. Or should I say the place where the Hill Ridge Farms gets pumpkins trucked in and dumped so that it appears to be a pumpkin patch? Oh, well. It didn't matter. The girls didn't know the difference, and this was going to make pumpkins #6-11 at our house, anyway.

After the hayride brought us back, we headed for the cars and made our lunch stop at Sonic (also becoming tradition!). Another GREAT fall outing, officially in the books!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The State Fair (2011)

Last Friday afternoon, as part of our whirlwind weekend with Nina and Papa in town, we ventured to the State Fair. Standing true to tradition, the Devers went with us, too.

It's really fun to look back at pictures of our fun at the fair; it's a good way to see how much the girls have changed. In case you're interested, here's 2010, 2009, and 2008.

Since we went on an afternoon, we were able to leave Bryce at daycare. At almost 6 months, I don't think he would have been tall enough to go on the rides. I'm sure he had more fun chillin' at school with Miss Marie and Miss Joy. Wait 'til next year, buddy. I'm sure you'll be ALL OVER the Merry-Go-Round...

The stories of our State Fair adventures over the years, as I go back and read them, pretty much sound like a broken record. Dale eats his annual turkey leg and candy apple, I struggle with the food dilemma and end up with something boring (this year it was a hot dog) and finish up the night with a Fried Snickers, and the girls start with something decent (can you call a corn dog "decent"?!?) and wind up with straight sugar (cotton candy and ice cream).

The rides are pretty much the same, too. The Dragon Wagon, the Merry-Go-Round, the Fire Chief, the swings, the slide, the boat, and the hot air balloon. At least for Ivie this year we mixed it up and added in the Hamster Dance and the Bungee Bounce (which will likely become a new favorite - next year I'm going to try to convince her to do a flip!).

So there's the story, and here are the pictures. Another successful fair outing. We're so glad we got to show Nina and Papa how much fun it is!