Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our ball of energy

Sweet E, my life would be so boring without you.  

My precious little girl has so much life and energy that sometimes I wonder if I can keep up.  Her language has grown by leaps and bounds the past several months, and it has been amazing to see her put words together.  She has been calling me "my mommy" and Kev "my daddy" which cracks us up.  "My mommy I need help please."  When we're listening to a song she doesn't know, she says, "What's this song about my mommy?" and I find myself trying to describe the theme of a song in words a 2-year old would understand.  The other day when we were driving we were stuck in some traffic and she said, "these cars go to pootball game?"  Yes, we live in a college football town. :)
 There is 2 things I love about this picture.  First, she's wearing her favorite shirt (aka "kitty cat shirt") that she got last year from my mom.  She seriously wakes up every single morning asking to put on her kitty cat shirt and is devastated if I tell her it is dirty.  Thankfully, she has one other shirt she likes (a short sleeve shirt with a puppy dog on it) that we try to alternate with.  Second, her hair is down and messy.  This girl HATES getting her hair fixed.  Hates it (unless Momo does it).  I always think, who would want hair hanging in their eyes, getting stuck in their boogers, but it never seems to bother her.  She does occasionally request a pony tail.  Otherwise, she fights getting her hair fixed like I'm trying to do something really mean.  So sometimes I don't fight it...hence the hair in this pic.
 We had a big month for Miss E.  Two days in a row she sat in the potty and actually went peepee.  Oh the things you get excited about with kids.  Unfortunately it hasn't happened again, and now I think she just wants to sit on the potty so she can wipe.

In this picture she's trying to get my camera which is basically the only way I could catch a smile.  She does not like getting her picture taken, and definitely will not smile for me.  She's an ornery little girl. 
This is the face she usually gives me.  Stinker.

She has really strong preferences: she will only wear this pink hat, she hates wearing jackets but if forced, she will wear a little thin fleece jacket she has, she is obsesses with putting her shoes on but will only wear the blue shoes because the buckle is a challenge, and the list goes on.
Things she has loved lately: reading (especially Clifford...kind of getting sick of ol' Clifford), listening to music (especially Disney songs, and she has loved listening with head phones lately), going to the mall (so we can go to the pet store and the Disney store), Chipotle, special treats, milk, peanut butter and honey sandwiches (, eating dinner by candle light, playing on the monkey bars, swinging "high," jumping on her bed and off her bed, watching Curious George (I think she would actually would watch just about anything we let her...not necessarily a good thing), singing, being "nakey," building tents with dad.
 I love the way her nose wrinkles when she talks. 

Things she hates lately: any adult dressed in costume (the Chick Fil A cow, santa, etc), bed time and nap time (basically sleeping), being told what to do, being told she needs to wear clothes, when I leave to go to work or to go to the gym, being left in her Tiny Tots class at church or the gym nursery
 She certainly keeps us on our toes but she is such a joy!

11 Month Update

Another month has flown by and in 1 more month, we'll be celebrating his birthday.  This month has been so much fun because the little man has really upped his activity level.  However, it has given me two kids to chase after versus one.  Gone are the days of plopping him on the ground surrounded by toys.
 He's still wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 4 diapers.  To be quite honest, we should have moved up to the next size of diapers but I mistakingly ordered a huge box of diapers from Amazon so now we're squeezing them on him, bearing through the blowouts (which don't seem to bother me as much since they almost always seem to fall on Kev's watch).  Poor guy.
He is still drinking 4 bottles a day of 6oz, but his table food consumption has exploded this month.  He eats anything we eat...and has loved almost everything.  Today he ate an entire piece of pizza (don't worry, Mom, I gave him lots of water too).  His favorite thing that I can tell so far is cheese and noodles.  He can't get enough, but he didn't care for canned peaches (sliminess maybe?) and eggs.  He has yet to master the sippy cup (I'm thinking maybe I should try the one with a straw), but he can actually easily drink out of a regular straw (thanks to Momo).  He also can now blow bubbles in his water as well which he thinks is hilarious.

He typically goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up about 6:30 or 7.  He still takes a 2 hour nap morning and afternoon.  2 hour naps make this mamma a happy camper.
His crawling speed has really increased!  He can get places fast, even on the wood floors.  He also stands on his knees to get things.  This kind of surprised me since I found him sucking on a piece of my gum I'd put on the coffee table (wrapper on).  He really didn't understand why he couldn't have that piece of gum.
Love this mischievous little look.
His absolute favorite things to play with lately is the DVD player/surround sound player knobs, remotes, the cover over the fire place, Elliott's little potty (which has now been peed in...sick), and paper.  He is a little stinker and definitely determined to get what he wants.  He still gets really sad when we have to take something away.
This is the best picture I could get with them together.  Ha.
I've found this past month that he and Elliott really egg each other on.  He blows bubbles, it makes her want to blow bubbles.  He touches the DVD and surround sound player, she touches them.  If he eats his food, we can sometimes get that to make her eat her food.  It's interesting to watch.  

When she lays on the ground, he comes and hits her face.  Paybacks.
 Poor guy needs a haircut.  Looking a bit like a mullet these days.
 He still loves to snuggle and loves touching faces.

He got another top tooth and one is on the way.

He still loves playing with balls and loves singing.  He also loves to clap.
Love him so!

Monday, November 26, 2012

More sleep please!

I'm certain I've written about sleep before, but let's face it, isn't sleep/lack of sleep a constant battle with kids?  For me, one kid was easy.  It was when we added a second one to the mix that it started feeling like someone was ALWAYS awake at night.  Maybe that's an exaggeration and it certainly has gotten better, but I definitely don't feel rested a lot of the time.  Maybe that's why I love coffee so much.

Our particular sleep woes right now lie with Miss E...again.  She used to be an amazing sleeper...until Mason was born.  It feels like we have gone through all kinds of sleep battles since then.  We would have seasons (that felt awfully short) that she was sleeping well, but those were usually the times M was up.  Never ending.  Well Mason is finally sleeping great!  He goes to sleep at 7pm and usually wakes up at 7am or a little after.  Amazing!  However, Elliott for the past month or so, started waking up really early in the morning.  It started at 5 or 5:30 then was progressively getting earlier.  Trying to do some trouble shooting, I decided to lay her down earlier at night thinking maybe she was not getting enough sleep.  This caused her to start waking up in the middle of the night...every.night.  And she was not just waking up once, she was getting out of bed MULTIPLE times, coming into our room.  I just thought waking up at 5am was bad.  I would much rather have her sleep through the night and wake up early, than wake up in the middle of the night and then still wake up fairly early.  A friend reminded me about Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (which I owned and would definitely recommend), and by reading the section for her age, we came up with a plan for the middle-of-the-night wake times.

The author's recommendation was to give as little social interaction as possible.  He recommended walking them back to their bed without saying anything, seeming as disinterested as possible.  He also recommended sticking to one parent each night (we were alternating).  I took the first night and it was by far the worst.  She got out of bed 10 times in a two hour period.  Needless to say, I was pretty tired the next day.  Kev took the next day and she only got up about 3 times but then couldn't get her door open for some reason and after screaming for a little bit, went back to sleep.  The third day she got up once and then stopped getting up all together!  Amazing!  I'm so thankful it worked so quickly.  The book told a story of a couple that had to get up 69 times the first night then 145 the second night.  I seriously CAN'T even imagine.  Sounds awful!

However, she is still waking up pretty consistently at 5:30am.  We usually bring her back to her bed about 3 times, but then let her get up at 6:30.  She does get pretty grumpy as it gets closer to her nap but she is able to make it to 1pm.  She is still taking a 2 hour nap.  I'm just wondering now if she needs to go to bed later.  Maybe she's getting all the sleep she needs by 5:30 (that would be about 10 hours).  I feel selfish in saying this, but I kind of hate to put her to bed later because I treasure my time in the evening with Kev.  She has really been fighting bedtime and naps (regardless if she's tired), and she says repetitively, "I'm NOT going night night, I'm NOT going night night."  Any thoughts or words of recommendation?

I am thankful that she takes a long nap consistently in the afternoon, that she goes to bed fairly effortlessly (after she realizes that she WILL lose the battle of going to bed), that Mason is sleeping well at night and at naps.  I know it certainly could be worse.  I even like mornings, I'm just not always ready to deal with a toddler at 5:30am.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Last year around this time, I looked like this.
I was, obviously, really pregnant and waiting in anxious anticipation for my sweet baby boy.  Don't get me wrong, I was excited about Christmas, but it felt like almost an after-thought.
Especially when this little guy decided to come on Christmas day.  Side note...has it seriously been a year since he was born?  Feels like yesterday.  He was most definitely the best Christmas gift ever, but I felt like I wasn't able to give much thought to the season.
 This year has been a different story.  In fact, I have felt so excited about Christmas, I couldn't wait to bust out the Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.  I even got my Christmas cards ordered before Thanksgiving.  I have loved the hustle and bustle of the season...all the deals in the stores and on-line, yummy food recipes posted EVERYWHERE, Christmas craft projects all over Pinterest.  My mind has been spinning with crafts to do with Elliott, potential presents to get friends and relatives, and on and on.
 And yet with all the excitement, I have had this nagging reminder that THIS...the hustle and bustle, the gifts, the decorations...these are not bad things and yet they are NOT what the season is about.  It's about God's gift to the world, His one and only Son that was born a baby and would eventually die a death on a cross so that we might live.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it's a reminder that we are watching for our Savior, Jesus to return.   
 I want these things to be in the forefront of my mind so that I am able to communicate them to my children.  I want Elliott and Mason to be MORE excited that Jesus was born than the fact they are getting gifts.  Sounds simple enough but it's so easy to get caught up in the gift-giving, the sale-searching, the hot chocolate drinking, that the season passes us by and we realize we missed an amazing opportunity to celebrate Jesus.

I have been looking through several resources, and I thought this information on Focus on the Family was really helpful.  It has verses to be read every day and the simple activity of lighting a candle.  I know Elliott and Mason will not understand everything that's read, but it helps refocus our minds which helps us communicate with them more effectively.  I also have made an advent (pictures to come) that they will open each day in the month of December with fun family activities and treats.  I'm so excited to find traditions that make the holidays more meaningful!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The cold

We have been blessed with several beautiful days lately (like in the 50s) and I am so thankful!  But we've also consistently gotten more cold days...days with frost covering all the car windows, days it's definitely too cold to bundle the kids up for a walk.  In some ways, I love the cold.  There is beauty in the changing seasons, great anticipation of what's to come, warm clothes and blankets are so cozy and hot chocolate and coffee hit the spot.  

But I also feel a sense of fear.  How can the kids and I expend energy when there is a foot of snow on the ground?  Not to mention the process of going anywhere is a...well...a process.  The coats, gloves, mittens, extra blankets.  It's hard enough getting out of the door with two as it is.  And did I mention that Miss E is completely against coats of any kind?  That's right, coats.  She hates wearing coats.  I don't know if it's an independence thing or she doesn't get cold, but whatever it is, it is a BATTLE to get her to wear a coat.  Since it hasn't been super cold yet, sometimes we just bring her coat so she can wear it if she gets cold (she never does).  So if you see my 2-year-old child out without her coat, please don't judge.  Things in the world of children are not always as clear cut as they seem.

Back to the expending energy, we LOVE being outside.  We love going on walks to the park...exercise for me and energy out for the kids.  I can tell I'm going to run out of places to go this winter...there is only so many times you can go to the mall or Target in a month. :)  I obviously need to find some better options.  I haven't really found any Gymboree places here and all the library events are on days that I work.  Back to the drawing board.

On a semi-cold day a couple of weeks ago, the kids and I got to spend some much needed time outside.  Have I mentioned that I love kids in hats?  I recently got Mason this hat on a trip to Chicago and H&M and haven't regretted it a second.  I also got Miss E a hat...but she will only wear her hat from last year. Oh the mind of a 2-year-old.
 Truman (or T as Elliott calls him) is a huge source of entertainment when we're outside.  He has been obsessed with all the fat squirrels hanging around our backyard.  He hasn't caught one...yet.

Miss E is a difficult one to photograph.  She does not like looking at the camera EVER!
 Little man is quite the opposite.
Wherever I went, he would find me
Melt my heart.

Ignore the boogers.
I spoke too soon.  She gave me glimpse.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall pictures!

We're going through Momo withdrawals here in Indiana.  My mom was able to come stay with us for almost a week, and it was wonderful!  It kind of amazes me how quickly and easily we fall into our little routines and having the extra help is pretty spectacular.  Kev and I even got to go on a little date which is always an added plus.  I really like my husband and it's nice to have some undistracted conversation over dinner, and it makes the date even better knowing your kids are totally happy.  Elliott's already asking to, "go Momo's house."  Christmas can't come soon enough.

On a different note...we had family pics taken about a month ago, and I'm finally getting around to posting some pics.  Yay!  I had a really hard time narrowing down the ones to there's a lot.  I love pictures and I love my family.  Hope you enjoy them!
 My sweet, independent, determined 2-year old.  My patients has grown exponentially over the past year and yet has so much more to go.  Love her and all she teaches me!
My cuddly, kissable, smily little boy who is so quickly turning into a very mobile, exploring and curious little guy.  As I was holding a newborn yesterday, I realized he is seeming less and less like a baby which makes my mommy's heart a little sad.
The love of my life.  Can't imagine loving him any more and yet my love has grown by leaps and bounds the past 8 and 1/2 years.  So thankful that he loves me and pursues me...and that he thinks I'm hot. :)
 Our sweet family.  Words cannot express how thankful I am that God has blessed me with this family. I am so unworthy.  Even though the chaos can be overwhelming and the uncertainties (in parenting) can weigh me down, I wouldn't change anything.  
 I couldn't believe how much I loved my first born...and then I had a second.  This picture melts my heart because it is a small glimpse of my sweet children interacting.  Interacting with your child is amazing but there is nothing like seeing your children LOVE each other.  Now I know they will fight, and they will go through times they don't like each other, but there is underlying love.
He thinks she's pretty cool...down to her shoes. :)
 Some moments call for a silly face.
 He didn't give us big smiles, but I thought this was such a sweet smile.
 Definitely one of my favorite pictures of ALL TIMES!
 So thankful for sweet Elliott hugs.  Nothing like them.
 She certainly loves her daddy...and I'm so thankful!
 He definitely does way cooler things than mom, like swing you around and build forts and stuff.
 Seriously love this somber face.  Too cute!

 Like father like son.

For those of you who are actually still looking, weren't these AWESOME?!  Sometimes I wish I had a photographer who followed us constantly so he/she could capture daily moments.  Granted, there would probably be some really ugly moments and we definitely would not always be showered and never be color coordinated, but I love pictures that are a glimpse at a certain season in life.  Thanks for bearing with me!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

10 Month Update

Again, 10 days late but whatev.  At least I'm consistent.  10 months sounds old!  It also sounds really close to a year to me which is hard to believe.  I keep thinking about the fact that this time last year, I was really pregnant.  It really feels like yesterday.  So on to the update....
 Wearing 12 month clothes and some 18 month clothes (although we usually have to roll the sleeves/pants).  This picture kills me...little boys in jeans=total cuteness (also makes him look like a little boy and not a baby).

Wearing size 4 diapers still.  They're holding strong!  I think by this time with E we had moved to 5s...but she was also having way more poopy diapers than this guy.  Poor thing still has to take Mirilax DAILY and even then isn't the most regular.  I'm really hoping he grows out of it.

Officially weaned from nursing this month!  Several reasons...I was ready, he was partly ready, and I went away for 4 days for a work conference.  I was going to pump a couple of times a day, but when I saw how little I was able to pump, I just decided to take the leap and wean him.  When I got back, I nursed him a couple of times but he was way more interested in the bottle by that point.  Note to self...good way to ease the transition.  He doesn't drink as much formula as breast milk (usually 6oz 4 times a day), but he is also eating more and more table food (and baby food).  He loves Cheerios, cheese, and any type of baby food.  Not a fan of steamed carrots, avocado, banana.  It's funny to me that he'll eat any baby food but won't eat the same item in small chunks.  Maybe he's a texture guy.
 He got his first cold this month (and is still fighting it), so he's been waking up in the middle of the night having a trouble breathing.  Poor baby.  E's fighting off sickness as well.  Needless to say, we are not getting enough sleep and are really ready for our babies to be healthy again!  He generally goes to bed around 7 or 7:30 and sleeps until 6:30 or 7 (he still sometimes wakes up at 5 or 5:30 looking for snuggles).

He started crawling FORWARD yesterday (although he scoots everywhere and crawls backwards all the time).  He was crawling for....a HARMONICA (that E promptly ran across the room and grabbed).  

He's pretty good about entertaining himself but he still prefers that we are in the room.  Remember how I talked about our need to baby proof?  Well, let's just say we haven't totally baby proofed...Kev found a button in his poop yesterday.  Oops.  On my to do list...keep all small objects off the floor.

Definitely got stranger anxiety.  He is a momma's boy and I'm okay with that (at least for now).

He loves his big sister and thinks she's the coolest (sometimes even when she's being mean to him), but he definitely does NOT want her to take his toys (which she feels are ALL hers...oh the mind of a 2-year old).  She also says all the time, "No Macey, that's MY mommy."

He loves playing with the empty toy bucket, the rolling singing annoying ball, any other balls, and books (especially the ones with flaps so he can rip them off).

I took a few pictures of the kids in the bath several weeks ago and couldn't resist posting them.
Mason kept trying to eat the bubbles.  Yummy.
 Elliott wanted to give him a faux hawk like dad.
Cute kids.
E's telling me all about it.

 "What you looking at?"
 "I know I'm cute."
 The life of the second child.  

What makes me laugh about this picture is he actually looks like he's smiling.  We discourage this but he has never cried when she dumps water on him.

We are so thankful for out little guy!