Sunday, January 28, 2018

Parker's 3.5 Year Update!

Dear Parker,

My, oh my, how is it that you are 3.5 years old?  I look at you and all I see is boy.  You aren’t a baby anymore and seem to be growing like a weed.  You’re tall enough to look over counters and table tops and 3T pants are almost too short (though I have no idea how we’d get anything bigger to stay up on your waist).  My first born… I love watching you grow up.

You are so stinkin’ cute and logical.  It cracks me up.  “Mom—it’s not cold out!  That means, when it’s not cold out, we can wear shorts!”  Yep- buddy, we can wear shorts (Hello Houston!).  You can spell P-A-R-K-E-R and know all of your ABCs.  You can write PAR ER.  The K is still giving you some trouble which I’m told is totally normal (A, K, V, etc are hard letters b/c you have to make your line go diagonal).  You can count to twenty and are starting to recognize some words by sight.  Watching you write your letters is so fun.  You’ll say “long line down, circle at top” for P.  What’s also funny is that you don’t know when to stop drawing your lines so your letters are always the full page of the paper b/c you stop your line when you reach the end of the paper.  It’s so cute. 

Each night we look up at a canvas mom made before you were born that has various vehicle sounds (Beep Beep, Choo Choo, etc) painted on it.  We’ll lay on your bed and you’ll show me all the letters and then ask me to tell you things that start with the letters.  Of course your favorite letter is P.  You like it when I pretend I don’t know what words starts with P.  You also know your numbers and can do them on your hands, too.  You can count at least to 20 and when we were doing our Advent calendar you always knew where to put the star.  Mom was very impressed.

You still do gymnastics once a night and you crack me up.  You’ll walk out there all on your own and give be a big smile and wave.  You crinkle your eyes and just smile real big.  You are super cautious still and like to observe before you do anything.  You’re not the first one to volunteer to go first and you really need someone to show you what to do before you do it.  I totally get it baby boy.  It’s so cute when you salute, too.  You don’t quite hold your arm up high and instead just bend it over your head (drives your coaches crazy—who am I kidding—it drives me a little bit crazy, too.  Not that I love you any less).  I’m hoping you’ll get the hang of doing a cartwheel.

You have mastered your balance bike and then also this really cool scooter that requires balance.  You have definitely become comfortable on a bike or a scooter and are starting to get a little fearless.  You’ll go up to people’s driveway with bigger hills and go full speed down.  You like playing at the park and just generally being outside.  You, daddy and Andrew will play “crash-tacular” in the living room where most anything goes and you guys jump, wrestle and just, in general, act like wild boys.  You all have so much fun wresting around and being wild.

You absolutely, hands down, love the trampoline best.  Still want to jump with daddy all the time.  You have recently realized that Andrew also likes the trampoline and we can put you two in there by yourselves and you guys will just run around and Andrew thinks its hilarious.  You still prefer to jump just with daddy b/c Andrew can’t do “big” jumps, tho.  You are also very good at soccer.  You follow directions well and love to run.  I’m excited to see where soccer will take you—I think you’re pretty swell at it for the age of 3.

Puzzles are your jam and I’m pretty sure you’re better at them then me.  You also like k’nex and legos and just building things in general.  I heard you saying the world “propulsion” the other day and I knew that you were just like your daddy.  You like playing with trains and building tracks.  You’ve started having the attention span to watch a TV show and we’re definitely still into the Twenty Trucks YouTube channel.  You sing along to the songs and correct all of your friends when they don’t use the proper names for a truck.  You’ll watch a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then also rocket ship videos we find on YouTube (thank you NASA for recording all of your rocket launches).

You’re still a great sleeper—go to bed at 8:15 and will sleep to around 8 or 8:30.  You still take about a 1.5 to 2 hour nap each day as well.  You like to sleep without pajamas and with all of your stuffed animals.  Sometimes when I go to wake you up in the morning I can’t find you amongst all of your animals!  Little E is still a thing around here as well as Big E.  Though, what’s really taken off in the past six months has been Mickey Mouse. 

You aren’t as big into Thomas the Train anymore—you’re love is Mickey Mouse.  And I have no idea where it came from.  But, you love him nonetheless.  We have 4 little Mickey Mouse stuffed animals and then 2 GIANT (3.5 ft tall) Mickey and Minnie.  You love ALL OF THEM.  They all sleep with you and come downstairs every morning.  It’s so sweet.  When I got you big Mickey and Minnie I had them sitting downstairs one morning before work/school and you came down the stairs and saw them.  So, with a look of pure joy you said “Mom!  Mickey is looking at me!!!!”  You slowly walked up to them and gave them a hug and were just so excited.  You give them a hug and kiss each morning before we leave for school.  You were also Mickey for Halloween and you sometimes where your Mickey costume just for fun at home.

When we go for walks in the evening you call me Minnie and insist on being called Mickey.  You’ll yell down the road, “Come on Minnie!!” and I’ll say “I’m coming Mickey!!”  Parker, I will always be your Minnie.  I know one day that you’ll find a whole new Minnie to love.  I know you will dazzle a future Minnie with your big cheese face and sweet heart.  But, for now, I’m going to cherish being your Minnie. 

You have some good friends at school and I like hearing you talk about your friends.  You’re learning that you have to share with Andrew more and more as well as with your friends at school.  It’s sweet to hear you talk to your friends and Andrew.  We’ve had friends over so you can play with them and, well, what it boils down to, is you’re just growing up!  You will play with Andrew more and more each day and you love following him around mimicking everything he does and Andrew thinks it’s really fun.

You still eat yogurt every morning as well as some pancakes or a waffle.  You also love yellow bars (nature valley soft baked peanut butter bars), goldfish, oatmeal bars, and applesauce for snacks.  Otherwise, your eating habits are about the same--- sometimes you eat great and other times you don’t.  You love spaghetti, steak, chicken, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.  Fajitas with rice and beans is your jam.

You talk about the beach a lot—could be because we went to the beach 3x last year.  I’m already planning our next trip in late March (hopefully!).  You really, really love the beach.  You can just be free and we don’t have to tell you “no” a lot which is why I think you like it so much.  You are always talking about, “When we go to the beach….”  You also experienced two snows since turning 3!  You were fascinated by it and thought it was so cool.  Can you believe it snowed in Houston (and I didn’t even get to experience it b/c I was in NY!). Then, it also snowed when were back in Arkansas where you got to more legit play in the snow.

Me and you had one of the best days the morning we put up the kids' Christmas tree.  You helped me every step of the way and were such a good helper.  I had bought you some special Mickey ornaments and glass displays and you were just floored.  We wore light up Mickey mouse ears just for fun and I hope its something I can remember for forever.  True mommy/son time.  You also really helped me put lights on the columns when we were doing the outdoor lights at Christmas.  I believe your words were "You can just call me the helper!" And boy did we.  You were all over the place helping us with lights (Andrew preferred to just put the lights in his mouth).

Our evenings are filled with reading books, pushing trucks around, and just overall being silly with brother.  We still refer to it as “giggle time.”  You and brother play best while in the bathtub each evening.  I’ll be honest in that the bathroom is a wet mess every evening but I try not to get onto you guys too much so that you’ll play together.  You both love splashing and just being silly in the bathtub.  Bubbles are a hit in the bath as well. 

You also went to the dentist for the first time!  (I know, I’m late in doing this, but I didn’t think you’d handle it very well until recently).  And boy oh boy you did so awesome.  We checked in at the front and were surprised to find your classmate Zeeland there, too!  I think this helped immensely.  But, they called your name back and you grabbed the nice lady’s hand and walked back without me!  I felt like I was watching you go off to college.  SO BIG.  I stayed in the waiting room while they cleaned your teeth.  I came back to find you playing quietly with toys while the dentist explained everything to me.  Then, she asked you to hop in the chair for her to do one more quick exam.  You shimmied up into the chair laid back and followed her directions to a T.  It was awesome.  I was so proud.

Parker, these last few months have been so much fun.  There have been moments for sure where I’m convinced that you can’t be my child, but every evening when you give me a hug and wave to me from your bed, I know that all is right in the world.  Mom and dad love you sweet boy, always and forever.

First time fishing

The beach!

Bath time giggles

My own little Mickey!

*Mickey and Minnie*

Silly boys on Christmas Eve!

Playing in leaves!

Snow day in Arkansas!

Mickey helping me add ornaments to the kids' tree!

We all love everything Mickey around here!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Andrew's ONE YEAR Update!

Dear Andrew,

YOU ARE ONE!  We made it!  I really can’t believe it… time has just flown by.  You are becoming your own little person more and more each day.  For your birthday we had a small gathering of family and few of mom’s friends from work.  It was a WILD ONE theme with chick-fil-a as lunch and of course you had your own smash cake!  The rest of us had cupcakes that were delicious.  You didn’t seem to like eating the cake, but once dad put your hands in the cake you quite liked smashing it and throwing it on the floor.

This past month we went to the beach with Uncle Ryan, Aunt Stacy and cousin Asher!  We rented a house on the beach and stayed there for 3 nights.  We had so much fun.  You loved the beach!  The sand didn’t phase you one bit and you also liked splashing in the water.  You HATED wearing a hat so you had really, really crazy [and somewhat nasty] hair because of all the sunscreen we had to use on your head.  We had to watch out for the seashells with you because you very much loved putting them all in your mouth.  And there were A LOT of seashells.  You even cut your tongue on one.  But, you didn’t let seashells, sand or salty water rain on your parade.  You did great.  A real trooper and super easy at the beach.  We’ll be returning since we all had so much fun!

You also ended up with a double ear infection in September…  Which explains a lot of your behavior in early September; I wish I would have taken you to the doctor sooner.  You were super grumpy and it was because your ears were hurting!  Something also started messing with your tummy and gave you a really, really bad diaper rash.  We’d been lucky on the diaper rash front this first year, but you almost made up for it two weeks ago.  You were in so much pain and even woke up while sleeping because your bottom was burning.  We’re all better now, though!

You are enjoying being in the toddler classroom at school—not napping super great at school--- but really like being able to play outside and do fun stuff in the class.  You can clap your hands and sign more, which is sometimes a clap, and also sign all done, which can turn into just waving your arms above your head.  You are a good eater--- eat everything we put in front of you as long as we cut it small enough to your liking.  The only thing you don’t like is drinking whole milk.  Going to have to figure that out bubba.

So, let’s see my sweet baby boy.  At ONE YEAR, you:
  •         Weigh 21.3 lbs (47th percentile) and are 31.5 inches tall (96th percentile).  Your head is still small, at 17.52 inches (10th percentile).
  •  Wear 12-18 month clothes and size 4 shoes although you’re really close to growing out of the size 4 shoe.
  • I’ve heard you say mama, dada, gaga and recently I really thought I could hear some form of all done come out of your mouth.
  • Enjoy knocking over towers we build you and doing whatever big brother is doing.  You’re never far behind from big brother.
  • You love playing chase with Parker and giggle time in his room before bed.  You also love bath time with brother and climbing the stairs with him.  You just cackle and laugh with brother whenever you’re doing those things.
  • You like playing outside and pushing different scooters around while brother also does the same.
  • You really like the cozy coupe and you can get yourself inside and close the door all by yourself.  Getting out is a little bit harder for ya.
  • Still drink 4 bottles of 6oz of formula--- but the day is coming soon with no bottles!  Will probably be a rough few days from that standpoint.  Hehe!
  • Nap 1-2 hours at school, but still need 2 naps a day when you’re at home for about an hour in the morning at 2-2.25 hours in the afternoon.
  • Sucking your thumb and rubbing your ear is still something that you do to soothe yourself.
  • Sleep from 8-8 on the weekends and we wake you up around 6:45 AM in the morning.
  • Busted your lips several times over the past month because you run around with things in your hands or your mouth and then you trip over something and fall with those items.
  • Have 8 teeth with FOUR MORE on the way.  Your gums are all swollen and I can tell your are very irritated by them.

You are so much fun at this age and starting to show when you’re upset when things don’t go your way.  You’ll be giving your brother a run for his money very soon!  Mom and dad love you baby boy.  Always and forever.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Andrew's 11-Month Update!

Oh my goodness, baby boy!  You’re one month away from being ONE!  How can that be?!  Time has just flown by in the blink of an eye.  You are still a great baby… a mobile, walking baby!  You learned to walk this past month!  You’re my little part-time walker.  You haven’t figured out how to get from your bottom to standing without holding onto something, so you still crawl a lot once you plop down.  It’s pretty stinkin’ cute.

Everyone always compliments how great a baby you are.  You’re always having a good day, it seems.  And you really are… you’re always great.  As long as you are full and not tired, you’re great!  But, you definitely still need to nap about every 2.5 to 3 hours.  You get cranky for sure.  This is going to be a problem for a while since you are starting the toddler classroom this very week where you will only have one nap a day.  So, you’ll be napping a lot in the car on the way home.

This month you have really figured out that you prefer table food.  No more baby food for you… and you eat just about anything.  You love yourself some creamed spinach and spaghetti.  Not necessarily together. Hehe.  You eat 3 meals a day plus a couple of snacks.  So, you’re well fed.  You weigh probably around 23 lbs and have 7.5 teeth!  The .5 tooth just popped through the gums in the last couple of days!

You and your brother have been playing a little bit more together and I love watching you two laugh at each other.  It mostly involves your brother chasing you around the house and you just cackle.  Parker calls it “playing giggle time with Andrew.”  It’s super sweet. 

You’re little personality is really starting to come through.  I’ve seen you walk up to your brother, grab his toy (which, to be fair, was yours not his) and scream bloody murder.  You wouldn’t tolerate him taking your stuff.  Good for you.  It’s OK to give brother a hard time about this—he needs the lesson.

I’ve discovered you seem to have “tall” feet!  I had to buy 4 different shoes to find some that fit you!  I think this means maybe you have a high instep?  It’s more than your foot being wide—it’s like you can’t get the shoe to open up enough to put your foot in.  But, Nordstrom’s for the win!  I found some shoes that fit your feet and you look super adorable in them.

You traveled to San Antonio for a family reunion (Mema’s 80th birthday) and did really well with the car ride.  You also went on your first car ride to Arkansas!  You did amazingly well—hardly cried at all and were super patient about the whole thing.  Mom was impressed.  Houston got hit with a crazy amount of rain during hurricane Harvey and we decided to head to Arkansas to escape all of the rain and floods.  Turns out that was a wise decision… we’re having way more fun in Arkansas.  But, we know there has been severe devastation back home and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone.  Lots of clean up headed our way.

So, baby boy, let’s see… at 11 months you:
  •    Eat 4, 6 oz bottles a day and 3 meals a day
  •   Wear size 3 diapers and poop 1-2x/day
  •   Wear 12 month clothes and size 4 shoes
  •   Take two naps a day with one nap lasting around 1.5 hours and the other 2 to 2.5 hours
  •   Sleep from 8-8:30 on weekends and 8-6:45 on weekdays
  •   Love all foods… seriously; I’ve found nothing that you don’t like.  You particularly love eggs and sausage, spaghetti and yogurt.
  •  Have curly hair still in little ringlets at the back of your head.  I hope you keep these for forever.
  •  Walk!  But, you can’t get from sitting to standing without crawling onto something to pull yourself up.
  •   Love climbing on everything and then also putting everything in your mouth!
  •   Realize when things are taken away and make it known that it made you mad
  •  Love “playing giggle time” with big brother.  I gave you guys a big box and you two just played for a long time going in and out of the box.
  •  Still suck your thumb and rub your ear at the same time when you’re sleeping or need to calm yourself down.  It instantly soothes you.

 We love you baby boy, always and forever.

All of those curls!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Andrew's 10-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

Hey there baby boy.  I can't believe it's only two months until you turn one!  How can that be?  Your personality shines brighter each and every day.  You're full of big smiles, big laughs and, of course, mischief.  You're very favorite thing to do is climb the stairs at home.  You race over to them when we aren't watching and climb them as fast as you can go.  You'll give us this sly look and just head out on this race with a big laugh.

You love to climb-- you climb in boxes, up the stairs, over and under anything you can find.  You also really like to stand and have taken a couple of steps!   You're not ready to walk yet, but the desire is definitely there.  It will be this month, I think!  It's so fun to watch you try and figure it out.  You'll just let go of what you're holding on to and stick your hands high up in the air with a big grin on your face.  You'll take 1-4 steps and then plop back down on your bottom.

You've pretty much given up eating baby food-- only table food for you.  This makes it better and harder on mom and dad.  Better in that you'll eat whatever we're having for dinner.  Worse in that I have to scrounge up something to feed you for lunch b/c you can't have a catered meal yet at school.  One day soon!  You totally dig this creamed spinach that comes out of the freezer section.  Like, totally love it.  It's 100% your favorite.. except for maybe spaghetti.  That may rival your attention, too.  You love it.

We haven't gone any fancy places this month-- just more of the usual.  You enjoy splashing in the pool and are an overall easy baby... except you're on the move.  If I blink, you'll be gone.  We had to install a legitimate gate on the stairs because there was no deterring you from them.  You do really well at school and will be moving up to the next class next month (aah!!!).  Since you've really taken to eating table foods I feel like you have really put on the lbs.  You are definitely chunky and have pretty much outgrown the infant car seat.

You love taking big brother's toys and you always want to be doing what big brother is doing.  At night time, you and Parker have "giggle time" in Parker's bed.   Parker loves making you giggle in his bed and watching you laugh.  He'll hug you (which you think is hilarious) and you'll hug him back.  You love exploring Parker's bed and all of his stuffed animals and Parker even lets you put your mouth on them.  It's a pretty special moment watching you two play together for a short amount of time.

You love sucking your thumb still and rubbing your ear.  I recently gave you a lovey in your crib and cuddle up with it each night.  It's pretty stinkin' sweet.  You're still a great sleeper and milk drinker.  You're often cranky on weekdays since the school day is so long, but you're a real trooper on the weekends.  You definitely still need two naps (switching to the new class in a month is going to be really rough in that regard) each day and drink four bottles.  You have three solid meals a day in addition to the bottles with some snacks as well.

This month we did have something exciting happen... you got a new cousin!  Baby Beckett was born on July 28th!  You're pretty fascinated with him and we're very excited that you are going to have a new play mate, soon!

So, let's see, at 10 months you...

  • Weigh about 20lbs and are 30 inches tall.  You wear 9-12 month clothing for the most part.
  • Drink 4, 6 oz bottles a day and have three table food meals a day.
  • Sleep from 8-8:30 on weekends with two naps (one for about 45 minutes in the morning and the other around 2 to 2.5 hours in the afternoon)
  • Have four teeth!  I can see an additional two teeth on the top growing in and an additional bottom two also are coming in.  The ones at the top are closing to appearing than he bottoms.  So, you're well on your way to having six teeth!  You handle getting the teeth really well... you chew like crazy, but you're not overly cranky (and, most importantly, you still sleep).
  • Use your mouth like this insane sensory tool.  Anything you find you put your mouth on--including the floor.  You just test it out--you're not necessarily looking to chew and swallow it.
  • Have 1-2 poopy diapers a day
  • Love your big brother
  • Enjoy pushing trucks with your hands and chewing on everything else.
  • You're really good at pushing the walker and have just recently discovered how to make it turn (thank goodness-- otherwise, we had to follow you around all the time).
  • Are definitely a little explorer-- going everywhere.  We have to keep all the doors shut around here and the stair gate locked.  Before we had the gate, we put up two chairs to block it off.  We turn around and then find you halfway up the stairs!  You  had climbed under the chairs and over the wood to get yourself to the step.  Very clever!
You are so much fun to be around and are my cool little dude.  I can tell you're going to be a wild one, but that you have a big heart.  I can't wait to watch you grow more and more each day!  Mom and dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Your face, all.the.time.

I can do this, guys.

Learning how to walk!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Andrew's 9-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

You are nine months old!  Wow!!  What a month!  I can’t really believe it myself.  I have to start thinking about your birthday party, soon.  WHAT?!  This has been a fun month for you.  Your personality is really shining through and you are helmet-less!  Woo hoo!  Your helmet journey was short and sweet, blessedly.  Now you can grab your ear effortlessly when you get tired and suck your thumb at the same time.

You went to spend a week at DD Nana and T-Pa’s this month.  You did great, except you weren’t a terrific napper.  You did sleep through the night though, so we’re really not complaining.  You went to the lake where you were a trooper but you hated your life jacket.  You don’t care if the boat is moving or just anchored somehwere—you prefer to be crawling up and down the boat regardless.  You also really wanted to touch all of the buttons at the captain’s seat.  You liked playing on the lily pad at the lake and floating in the water.  You figured out how to make splashes with your hands and also in the bathtub by standing up and plopping your bottom back down.  You thought that was hilarious.

You are starting to figure out that we’re giving you baby food and it seems you want the real people food instead.  Except that you haven’t gotten past the gag reflex with the adult food.  If it’s super, super tiny you can get it down but you can’t pick it up if it’s super tiny.  And I’m not one to just stuff it in your mouth—so we’ll figure it out one day.  Some days you’re a great eater and other days you are not.  I think once you get past the gag reflex, it will be easier on us.  You really liked trying lasagna and baked beans on your vacation.  You’ve eaten some chicken and steak if it’s in miniscule pieces that happen to end up in your mouth.

I can’t leave you anywhere.  You’re turning mischievous!  You crawl constantly and always want to go where you shouldn’t.  The stairs are a real danger right now.  You’ll head towards them and look back with a big smile on your face because you know you aren’t supposed to be heading towards them.  Then you’ll turn around and continue to the first step.  Look back.  Smile.  Play a game of peak-a-boo with the banister.  Then I’ll head your way and you will laugh and race up the stairs.  Then I’ll pick you up and you’ll laugh all over again.  I can see you are going to get into lots of trouble around here.  If I can keep you in a room contained, you do better about playing independently and just observing what’s there.

You definitely use your mouth as a sensory tool.  Everything and I mean everything must go in your mouth.  This includes lake water.  If you’re interested in it, it’s going in your mouth.  You find everything on the floor and eat it.  I’ve fished so much out of your mouth its ridiculous.  Obviously I need to keep a cleaner house. Ha!

You are not walking and I’m still not sure you’re that interested in walking.  I don’t think you have figured out the coordination of your legs moving.  You are starting to balance yourself up on your knees, but you haven’t really started moving those legs once you’re standing up.  You LOVE, LOVE to climb and stand.  But, no walking.  I think it may be a couple more months before you walk.  You love that big brother though.  You just crawl for him and his toys all the time.  We’ve had lots of boo boo’s, too with you being mobile.  You’ve face planted a few times and then you also had to adjust to a helmet-free life.  That was a rough few days.

You have curly hair in the back just like mama.  You’re also super tan thanks to all of your lake trips in Arkansas.  I think you take after mom and my dad (and also Aunt Kirkie).  You drool like crazy and I can see your top two teeth coming in as well as a third one on the bottom.  Everything ends up wet that’s within your vicinity.

So, let’s see.. at 9 months you:

Are always on the go!  By way of crawling and exploring every nook and cranny you can find.  You also like climbing the stairs (to mom’s chagrin)
Eat 4 bottles a day at 6 ounces and food 3x a day.  You love yogurt!  That’s always a win for us.
Weigh just under 19lbs at 18 lbs and 9 oz.  Your 9-month well check is this week, so I’ll figure out how tall you are soon.
Wear 6-12 month clothing and size 3 diapers.
Suck your thumb and play with your ear all at the same time to soothe yourself.
Love puffs, but anything bigger or harder you have a hard time swallowing.
Have the sweetest laugh!  You are ticklish on your tummy/rib cage and daddy can really get you going when he tickles you.  You also laugh really hard when someone is chasing you.
Enjoy chewing on EVERYTHING.
Sleep from 8 to 8:30 on the weekends and we wake you up at 6:45 am during the work week.  Take two naps on the weekend but still need three naps at school.  We have to work on this during the school day to get you down to two naps because when you turn one you will only be able to have one nap a day!
Say GA GA and MA MA.  You aren’t saying “mama” asking for me, but just the sounds.
Are a mischievous little booger!  You know when you aren’t doing something right, but you do it anyway with this goofy grin on your face and twinkle in your eye.

You are just getting so big!!  We love you so much baby boy, always and forever.

Oh mom, I don't need to sit in the circle! 

We were blowing bubbles and this turned out pretty cool.

Camp DD Nana & T-Pa