Saturday, June 28, 2014

Avery {5 months}

Just when I finally get caught up - the next month I am behind again. This time I have a good excuse... we happened to be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for his fifth month birthday exploring Iceland!

{5 months}


This month Avery checked off a long list of firsts! His first trip to Europe. His first time camping. His first hot spring. His first time in the jolly jumper. So many I cannot even list them...


Avery is getting huge! At least compared to the scrawny baby we brought home from the hospital... not necessarily compared to his friends who are the same age... At five months he is 15 lbs 8 oz and 25 inches tall. He is still at the bottom of the growth chart, especially in height, but he is growing!


Avery is still exclusively breastfed. We are relatively certain he has a dairy sensitivity/allergy which means no dairy for me. It is difficult to consume enough fat/calories to maintain breastfeeding when you can not eat cheese, yogurt or ice cream... man I miss ice cream.

Over the last couple weeks he has started to show a strong interest in food. We are going to hold off for a little longer before we officially start introducing solids to his diet but have started to let him "taste" some of the things we are eating. We even let him taste one of the infamous Icelandic hot dogs and a piece of glacial ice off an iceberg.


The last month has been rough as far as sleep goes. The "four month sleep regression" hit Avery hard and for a couple weeks we were getting up every couple hours, staying awake for hours in the middle of the night and waking up at 5 AM on a regular basis. Things got pretty ugly for awhile...

Thankfully things settled out right before we hauled him off to Iceland. He didn't even seem to notice the six hour time change (probably due to the 24 hours of sun) and maintained his schedule from home just shifted later in the day. Instead of going to bed at 6 PM, he was up until 11 PM or midnight then slept in till about 8 AM. He had no problem napping in his car seat or in the carrier while we travelled the island.

A typical night he goes to bed around 6 PM, wakes between 1 AM and 3 AM to feed and then sleeps until sometime between 6 AM and 7 AM.

The biggest change this month was in his naps. Suddenly one day around 4 months old he essentially stopped napping. He now naps no more than 30 minutes at a time. Needless to say productivity has ground to a halt around our house. I get almost nothing accomplished until he goes to bed for the night.


Avery continues to amaze everyone with his strength.

He still is not a fan of being on his tummy for any length of time but it is no longer a strong hatred. Now that he has the coordination to hold himself up and play with a toy while on his tummy, he is willing to spend a couple minutes playing that way. He can also wiggle himself in a circle on his tummy! He has also figured out how to arch his back and use his head to scoot around while lying on his back. This little guy is getting quite mobile! He is also getting quite close to sitting independently.


Avery is turning out to be such a happy baby. Where ever we go Avery attracts attention with his smiles. He has already mastered the art of flirting and can suck in with any almost anyone we cross paths with. It is quite funny to watch teenage boys shyly smile at him in return.

He loves everything about the outdoors and is the only baby I know who loves the wind. When you take him outside on a breezy day, he gasps and giggles. I have never seen him happier then the 10 days we spent outside in Iceland. It didn't matter if it was damp, cool, drizzling, pouring... he loved it.

He definitely takes after his dad and already shows a strong love of acrobatics. The Jolly Jumper is definitely a favourite but even more so he loves being flipped upside down or up above your head.

He is finally learning how to cuddle. Now David and I almost fight over who gets to put him to sleep because it is the one time he will snuggle right into you.

Likes: hot springs!, being naked, being outdoors, showers, baths, trees, wind, anything that can go in the mouth

Dislikes: getting dressed, car seat, being ignored, loud noises

Nicknames: baby pterodactyl, chubs, bump, triple chin, monkey


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Tuesday, June 3, 2014


At 3 1/2 months old Avery earned his first passport stamp! Taking advantage of a 10 day stretch off in David's rotation, we headed to San Francisco to visit Eric, Yuko and their one year old son Christopher.

I was quite nervous about flying with a baby... we have been on our fair share of flights with screaming children. We surveyed our friends and the internet for tips and tricks... then crossed our fingers. In the end, Avery was a champ. The flight there he slept the entire two hours! The flight back he slept for the majority of the flight but unfortunately woke for the last hour (I blame a delay in taking off...). Typically Avery, once he was awake he didn't want to be sitting so Dave and I took turns walking the aisles. It helped that we were not the only parents walking the aisles either!

I had wanted to go to Maui but David chose San Francisco for its milder weather not wanting to have to be constantly worrying about Avery in the sun... Ironically, a heat wave hit while we were there and for the majority of the week it was around 30 C with not a cloud in the sky. Only on our last day did we experience the typically foggy weather that characterizes the San Francisco area.

We spent the first three days in San Francisco, exploring Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Chinatown, the Ferry Building Market and the streets of downtown San Francisco. Eric's apartment was located right downtown so we were able to do all of our exploring on foot or by bus. It was nice to not have to worry about a car seat, parking or a stroller.

Looking to escape the city the one day temperatures soared above 30 C, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to explore the John Muir Forest and Muir Beach in Marin County. The redwood forest was stunning and serene... and a welcome escape from the city and heat!

For the final four days of our trip we rented a car and headed south along the scenic coastal highway. With no particular itinerary and not being able to travel with any amount of speed, we stopped frequently to explore the beaches, take in the view and enjoy the delicious Californian food.

Eric and Yuko met up with us in Monterey where we explored the Fisherman's Wharf and waterfront parks and then took in the famous '17 Mile Drive' through Pebble Beach Gold Course.

We decided Avery is a good luck charm when it comes to wildlife... we saw countless seal lions, seal, sea otters, pelicans, eagles, vultures, jellyfish and even spotted whales almost every day!

From Monterey we continued south towards Big Sur. David had been skeptical when I chose to drive the coast over visiting the peaks of Yosemite but was blown away by the rugged beauty of the cliffs and beaches. He will always be a mountain man but I don't think I will have any trouble persuading him to go back to the California coast. Him and Eric already gathered an extensive list of places to camp and hike once Avery and Christopher are a little older.

Travelling with a baby was definitely a change for David and I. We are used to spending longs days exploring on foot, clocking countless miles, forgetting to stop for meals until we are starving. We quickly learnt that doesn't work with a baby in tow. Especially when it is 33 C out. Sightseeing had to be limited to a couple hours at a time, being cognizant of meal times, nap times, sun exposure... a lot more planning then we usually put into our travel days!

Nonetheless, we enjoyed being able to spend family time together. Our only priorities were to spend time with our son and to soak up some sun!


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