The Most Wonderful Time of the year

Well, late again but feeling less guilt ridden about it anyway.


Here’s the lowdown for this update:




FOUR MONTHS OLD! 11 lbs! Getting YUGE!


Gus continues to grow into a full fledged baby. He’s wearing 0-3 and some 3 month size clothing, and despite thinking we’d wait until after the holidays, he’s in cloth diapers too. We happened to get a haul of G-diapers from a free site and have boosted it with some cheap second hands, so now we have some diapers that are more his size to use (we used a service with Ansel until he was big enough to be in the small flats) I forgot how much I like using cloth diapers, and how adorable a fluffy butt is!

He is also getting calmer, falling asleep more easily, and engaging more. He’s giggling a lot these days – he’s super ticklish on his ribs and under his chin – and while he isn’t as quick or generous with a smile as Ansel was, his smile is incredibly sweet and very genuine, so it’s lovely when they do happen. Recently, we’ve been able to get him to sleep without a complex maze of calming techniques, which feels like a huge win.

He saw the doc for his 4 month visit and his growth had fallen off a bit. Likely, this is because we had gotten less consistent about giving him supplemental bottles, and were mostly replying on L nursing, with a fortified bottle in the middle of the night. Mostly, this was because asking L to pump in addition to nursing and caring for a toddler, without me there to help mitigate some of the demands, was just too much. She was able to pump consistently in the evenings after the kids are asleep, but all the other opportunities – before I went to work, during nap time – were easily messed up by early schedules or poorly napping toddlers or a host of other reasons. We had considered just giving him the formula for a few extra bottles but he was having more reflux when we tried that.

So, after hearing that the doc would like him to be gaining a bit quicker, we decided to pursue getting some breastmilk donations through HM4HB. Since we don’t need to get donations exclusively, we can make whatever we’re able to get last a while. This last week I drove out to Bremerton to pick up 200 oz of frozen breastmilk, which has allowed us to give him between 4-6 oz. of fortified milk in addition to what he gets nursing. L continues to pump at night and get about 2-3 oz to feed back to him, as well. Hopefully, we can get back to the quick gain that he really needs.

Thanks to the petri dish he lives with, he’s had a case of pink eye that he kind of can’t shake, and a cold and cough. Ansel made it to almost a year without sickness but you just can’t make that happen when you have a two year old all up in your grill all the time. The sickness has impacted his sleeping and while he’s still a better sleeper than Ansel, it’s not quite as lovely as it was before the crud kicked in.

He still super cute (and, IMO, getting cuter – as most babies do as they near the golden 6-9 month age range) and a very sweet baby. His eyes are clearly getting darker (L has hazel eyes, donor has blue – seems like Gus’ might be darker brown though) and his hair has stayed quite dark and is coming in full monk style (bald on top, thick around the neck.) I think he still has a bit of the old man look about him, but he’s starting to fill out in more babyish ways.


While Ansel has been well and fully into toddlerhood for a while (including many of the incumbent struggles) he has not been very ‘sassy.’ Until now. In the last few weeks he’s started up with some time honored gems. He has started awkwardly crossing his arms and stomping around saying, “Me mad!” when we’ve upset him, and more eye rollingly annoying, has started saying “No, I take YOU away, Mama!” when we tell him he’ll lose a toy/a privilege if he doesn’t use it appropriately. These things are mostly still cute, though I imagine them growing less so very soon. He is definitely inching towards three, though, and I can feel it. In fact, while I despise the XX months age references after two, I have to admit that he’s now 2 years 9 months (33 months!) which feels quite different than 2 ½ if I’m being honest.

He saw Santa and while he wasn’t scared, he was clear that he did not want to sit on Santa’s lap. Thankfully, the very nice Santa at Bass Pro Shop was quite understanding and had a great option. I’m proud of my kid for setting a boundary and having it heard. I’m also glad we got another solid Santa picture! He’s entranced with all things Christmas – “christcrist lights! Cristcris train!” – and Santa and his elf Red, and all of the rest of it. I’m so excited for him to open his gifts and have the Indiana Christmas experience next week. I now more fully understand why Christmas is so much better when you have little kids. Really, the magic feels so much more palpable and present, and being on this side of making it happen feels really special.

His speech continues to grow and develop, though he also continues to be difficult to understand. I think we’ll likely contact the school district for another evaluation when he turns three, in preparation for public preschool. We understand him quite well, but it does seem like there is a lot more interpretation necessary than for many of his peers. Angus’ PT has also recommended we get Ansel into some OT for his eating issues (he continues to spit things out and gag pretty frequently) and to maybe look at his proprioceptive sense and perhaps get support for that. We change insurance plans in January, so I’ll look into all of that with a new doc then.

My Dog

Might still be dying? But seems perfectly healthy, at least from my perspective. So, we continue apace. As long as he’s eating and seems pain free, we’ll keep on keepin’ on. If things change, we look for new options. He has definitely become SO NAUGHTY because yes, we are letting him get away with more because, you know, dying.


And the rest . . .

  • I used my last 16 hours of paid parental leave this week. I’m sad to not be home as much but feel good about not being quite so split with my time and attention. Mostly deeply grateful that I was able to stretch things out so long.
  • Travelling to Indy next week and can’t decide: Put Ansel in the car seat for the flight or no? It’s a 5 hour direct flight. I feel like we can’t in good conscious keep him strapped in for all 5 hours but also know that if we let him out, it will be basically impossible for us to get him back in. Then again, the seat provides some containment. I am happily soliciting your opinions.
  • I’m so tired, all the time. I can’t make myself go to sleep any earlier though because I really also want the time to decompress or talk to my wife or do something besides work and child rearing.
  • It’s been sunny in Western WA for almost two weeks. It’s magical here in the winter with the sun out. All green trees and misty mornings and Mount Rainier pink lit in the sunrise. But, it started raining today so probably that’s over now.
  • We went to Portland last weekend for a Christmas train/to hang out with Pot + Lid + Kid and other friends. I love living so close to PDX and so many rad people. Ansel almost lost his mind to be on a ‘Cristcris Train’ and keeps talking about it. Now, whenever he hears a train he says, “Mama, that sound is cristcris train?”


  • Thanksgiving was lovely and magical and doing holidays with your friends instead of the way they’ve always been done with your family is so life affirming and empowering and comforting. We had a great time taking them around the area and doing some exploring ourselves. Highlight was this hike on Vashon to see a lovely little lighthouse. Also, the matching shirts. Duh.
  • This is our Christmas card and I think we really knocked it out of the park this year. Wish I knew just how scandalized some of our family members are . . .


  • I think there’s more but I’m so tired I can’t remember.