Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five Weeks
This will be an extra-long post, since I didn't get around to writing one last week. To start off, here are two weeks' worth of orange chair pictures--Arlo at 24 and 25 weeks!
And here are two more from yesterday, because I love his little apple suit.
Arlo has been doing a lot of back-to-tummy rolling this week, which is great! The weird thing is that he seems to have forgotten how to roll from his tummy to his back (or maybe his arm positioning is weird when he gets onto his tummy himself). Every so often, he can do a full 360-degree roll, but he mostly ends up stuck on his tummy, and then the frustrated crying begins. Although he hasn't put all the pieces together yet, increased mobility is definitely on the horizon. Time to baby-proof the house!
As you may have seen in the five-month video I posted last week, Arlo likes to scratch things these days. The toy box is a favorite, but he'll scratch anything within arm's reach. Most of the time, he does it absentmindedly when he's in his quiet alert state. It's pretty gentle--just opening and closing his hand on the surface in question. Normally I think it's cute--it's only a problem when he scratches my face while he's nursing. He always has at least one jagged fingernail hiding in there, and it leads to nursing sessions that aren't super relaxing. Other than that, it's cool to see him exploring the different textures around him.
Arlo's sleep hasn't been great this past week--he keeps waking halfway through his morning nap and refusing to go back to sleep. Before last week, the morning nap was the one nap I could count on to be a solid 1.5 hours long, but not anymore. My guess is that it's due to teething, but who knows. We've been giving him infant Tylenol when he gets really agitated and won't stop crying, but it's hard to tell whether he's actually in pain or is just tired, or something else entirely. I don't want to medicate him when it's not necessary, but I also don't want him to be in pain. Hopefully these first teeth will come out soon so we can get a little break from grumpy Arlo!
Although Arlo's sleep schedule is kind of wacky right now, we have definitely seen some improvements in his sleep habits since we implemented the Sleep Lady plan. He has gotten much better at going down for a nap with minimal crying, and he's able to soothe himself to sleep. We can usually put him in the crib (after our nap/bedtime routine) and leave the room, and he'll babble for a few minutes and then go to sleep. We're definitely grateful that he has developed this skill! One of his favorite ways to self-soothe is to put his blankie over his face. At first, this made us nervous, but he can breathe just fine under there.
The weekend before last, Arlo had all sorts of fun adventures. First, we went out to McMenamins Edgefield on Friday to see my dad, who was in town for BizarroCon. Arlo has pretty much doubled in weight since my dad's last visit! We had a nice lunch, and Arlo fell asleep on Patrick's lap, which hasn't happened in a long time. Luckily, he woke up again so we could take a few pictures.
That weekend, Arlo's Uncle Jay (Patrick's brother) and Aunt Heather visited us. Because of Arlo's napping schedule, we were pretty confined to the house and couldn't go out for dinner, but Jay and Heather didn't seem to mind.
Arlo got to suck on another apple slice during their visit, and he had his first experience drinking water when we were having brunch at Broder. I think the water caught him off guard, and he coughed and sputtered (poor little guy!). We tried again the next day at Little T, and he did better. I think he likes chewing on the edge of the cup more than he actually likes drinking the water, but that's okay.
Heather and Jay spent a lot of time playing with Arlo during their visit, as did Patrick, which let me to get some sewing done for the first time since Arlo was born. I chose an easy project that I've been meaning to do for a couple years--making cloth napkins. Whenever I bought fat quarters at fabric stores, I'd justify it by saying I'd make napkins out of them, and I finally got to do it!
I followed this tutorial, but I cut the fat quarters into 16.5" squares before sewing them together. Instead of drawing the stitch lines for the inner square, I used masking tape to mark 3 inches from the right and 3 inches below the needle and used the tape to tell me when to turn the corner. I'm really happy with how they turned out!
I finished the napkins just in time for dinner with Jay, Heather, Aunt Lorraine, and Matt. I made chicken pot pie with biscuit topping (recipe from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook) and roasted delicata squash, with cranberry upside-down almond cake (from Rustic Fruit Desserts) for dessert. It was a good dinner. I loved the almond flavor and moistness of the cake, though I thought the cranberries were a little too tangy.
Since our first cloth napkin dinner went so well, I was emboldened to invite a few friends over for dinner and a game night later that week. I must be in comfort food mode, because the menu was similar--oven-baked macaroni and cheese (another ATK Family Cookbook recipe, with some broccoli added to make it a little healthier) and the same almond upside-down cake, this time topped with sliced pears instead of cranberries. Good stuff!
Here are a few other meals we've eaten and enjoyed recently:
1. I made a big batch of black beans in the crockpot a while ago, divided them into individual servings, and froze them. I used part of our black bean freezer stash to make a good and healthy lunch a few weeks ago--I sauteed the beans with some baby spinach and served them over quinoa, topped with feta cheese.
2. We've made spaghetti with chickpea sauce twice in the last few weeks, once with bacon and once with pancetta. It's very filling and pretty easy to put together. I served it with our favorite dino kale salad. Eating raw kale makes me feel healthy!
3. The first night that Jay and Heather visited, we had a good and easy dinner--smoked pork chops with apples (recipe from the Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook), braised cabbage, and oven-baked polenta. The pork chops were really good. We got them from Edelweiss Deli, which is full of fun German food and a dizzying array of sausages. It's definitely worth a return visit! The polenta was really easy to prepare, but I'd definitely add cheese next time, as suggested, since it was a little bland.
4. Although a little labor-intensive, these pan-fried salmon cakes sure were tasty! The first night I made them, I didn't feel like making any sides, so we just had them with apples and a baguette. They reheated well on the second night, and I made a little bulgur with Swiss chard and hazelnuts to accompany them (recipe from Whole Grains, Every Day Every Way). I had forgotten how easy to make and tasty bulgur is!
And finally, here's a knitting project I just finished today. I wanted a panel that I could use to close my jacket around Arlo when he's in the sling, to keep us both warm. I decided that the panel should also have a hood for Arlo and a pocket for me. Lee's skoodlet pattern seemed like a good starting point, so I used it to make the hood, and then I knit the rest of the panel based on measurements of my jacket and Arlo. I'm really happy with how it turned out! You can find more information on Ravelry.