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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Parker's 3-Year Update!

Dear Parker,

How is that you are THREE YEARS OLD?!  I see you run up and down the hallways at school and think, where did my baby go?  Your legs are getting longer and your face is thinning out some—you look just like a little boy, now.  You are definitely tall for your age, most people think you are turning four rather than three.  You certainly act like you know it all, that’s for sure.  So, let’s see.. since your last update, what all has changed?!

Well, one thing would be that you sleep in a big boy bed!  We converted your crib to a full bed.  You helped me pick out your sheets you sleep right in the middle of your bed.  Big Elephant acts as your pillow and I’m not gonna lie.. Big E has a deodorant problem.  He stinks!  Which means your head stinks, too.  But, you must sleep with him, so the stink doesn’t bother you.  Mom has to Lysol spray and Febreze Big E every week!  You didn’t bat an eye at transitioning.  I bought you a book about moving to a big bed  and it had you convinced to have your own big boy bed within a week (thank you Elmo).  You stay in your bed and won’t get out until someone comes and gets you in the morning.

You love reading books at night and we rotate through a pretty large collection pretty regularly.  Some of your favorites are the “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site,” “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site,” “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a Thomas & Friend’s book, “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom,” and the Bible.  You love reading about how God made the sun, moon and starts as well as Noah saving the elephants.  You can recite most of the books back to me, it seems.

You recently mastered making numbers with your hands from zero to five.  This was a big accomplishment to get your fingers to do what you want!  Now you are so proud to show me how you are TWO but you are going to be THREE.  Mom also makes the church, the steeple, the doors and all the people with her hands and that fascinates you, too.  You try to mimic what I’m doing with my hands.  You can count to 10 and say your ABCs (if you are in the right mood). You also like to sing B-I-N-G-O to yourself.  You can even put your shoes on and off your feet and like to do the Velcro strap yourself.  It’s pretty fun to watch you concentrate on this task.

Some of your most favorite things are still elephants.  You love little E, big E and even your gray elephant from Mary Beth which alternates with the name “Mommy Elephant” or “Daddy Elephant” depending on who is your favorite right now.  Mom got you a life-size baby elephant for your birthday and jumped up and down over and over when you saw him.  You also have a fascination with anything Thomas the Train or trains in general.  You refer to trains just as Thomas.  We have to cross railroad tracks to get to the highway from our house and one day while we were crossing the trains I could see one coming, so I pulled into the post office next to the tracks and we watched it go by.  You loved it.  And now you think I can summon a train every single time we cross the tracks.  So, I basically set you up for future disappointments.  Ha!  You also have an extreme fascination with garbage trucks—it would be your life’s mission to see the garbage truck pick up the trash every day.  We see the trucks pretty regularly on the way to school in the morning, so you get all jazzed up about it routinely.

We went to the beach in Port Aransas in late March with DD Nana and T-Pa and you had a great time.  You slept in a bed all by yourself with no problems and really enjoyed playing on the beach (just like you have in the past).  You did really well in the car (of which Andrew did NOT).  You also got your first real stomach bug that lasted for a whole week.  You were throwing up and having diarrhea regularly for a whole week and were miserable.  You also passed on your stomach bug to your mom and dad.  I think Andrew got away scotch free—lucky soul.  It was a miserable existence for those days.  You didn’t understand what was happening to you and you looked so sad.  In general, the month of April was not a good month for you.  You got the stomach bug and a random virus that made you run fever for 7 days, too.  Mom and dad had to miss a lot of work in April, but we all survived!!

You still enjoy splash pads and fixing things with dad.  Mom donated a TON of your toys to goodwill recently, but you haven’t seemed to notice.  You’re back to playing with some of your magnetic blocks and regular blocks.  You also love the train table you got for Christmas.  You do a lot of independent play at your train table.  Play-doh is also a win-win at our house.  You love to use your play-doh scissors to cut your play-doh.  We took you to your first Monster Jam and you had a blast!!  We did that in February and literally, at least once a week, when we get your underwear out for the morning you will hold up an extra pair and say, “I’m saving these for the monster truck show.”  Of course you are.  You also saved a brownie for the monster truck show (don’t worry—mom ate it when you went to bed).  So, monster trucks are big thing around here, too.  You did so great at the monster truck show—you didn’t mind the loud noise and really loved getting to eat popcorn. 

Let’s see.. you also went to an Astro’s game with your dad on a school night!  You had so much fun with him.  I would say these past few months you have really become a momma’s boy.  I think it stems from you being sick and mom taking care of you the most.  So, I know your dad was happy that you had a really good time with just you and him.  You also really like doing puzzles.  You can basically do a 12-15 piece puzzle all by yourself.  It amazes me.   Mom is no good at puzzles, so this is a skill I can appreciate!  You also love to play with legos, blocks, etc.  You like having to build things and when you’re done you always say, “Look, mom!  I builded you an elephant!”

So, I’ve talked a lot about what you love and things that bring joy to your face, but let’s talk about what you don’t like.  And that’s swimming.  I’ve put you in swim lessons and you hate it.  HATE IT.  You cry, you scream and are, in general, just miserable during the lessons.  The water really scares you.  You like splashing, but you do not like being submerged in water.  But, I’m not going to lie, last night, I stepped out of the bathroom to get your towel for 5 seconds and came back to you blowing bubbles in the water.  This is a HUGE step.  The most you would do at swim lessons was kiss the water.  And you didn’t like that.  So, I’m hoping you’ll come to like swimming in your own time.  We stopped taking gymnastics lessons for the summer so you could do swimming.  So, we’ll revisit in August what we should do about swim vs gymnastics.  We also got you started in Soccer Shots!  You do that at school at 8:30 AM on Wednesdays—and appear to be having a great time with it!

You also are not having the greatest time with your baby brother right now.  You try to play with him, but you generally take toys and say “CRUSH HIM” and then pounce on him like you’re a lion going in for his prey.  But, Parker, Andrew ADORES you.  He crawls after you and just wants to be doing what you’re doing.   I can see his admiration for you.  You are a bit jealous that he can pick up all of your toys and you get even more frustrated when he drools on them.  But, at the end of the day, you still give him a big hug and kiss at night.  I know you love him, it’s just another transition phase we’re going through now that Andrew is mobile.

You love with your whole heart.  You like to run into the house when you’ve been gone and say, “mom!  I’m home!” as though I’ve just been sitting there anxiously awaiting your arrival.  You give big hugs and sweet kisses.  I’ll laydown with you at night for a couple of minutes and you will just talk to me about your day.  You have many friends at school love showing off elephant (and recently turtle).  You’re favorite friends are Beckett, Ethan, Molly, Zee, Vince, Jace, Lily and a handful of others.  You just moved into the three year old class at school and left some of your good friends behind for a little bit.  You had a rough transition, but seem to be getting the hang of it, now. 

You are fully potty-trained during the day, but not at night.  Mom just needs to give you less to drink at night, but it’s hard since we’re so active.   We’ll figure it out one day.  You weight 31lbs, wear 3T shirts, but 2T shorts.  The 3T shorts just fall off your waist.  You wear size 9 shoes, but will probably be a size 10 by the time summer ends.  You still love yogurt—strawberry banana yogurt if we’re being specific.  You also like spaghetti, chicken, steak, quesadillas, chips, oranges, blackberries, raspberries, yellow bars, oatmeal bars, goldfish and a few other foods, too.  Some days you eat great and some days, not so much.

We had your third birthday party at Discover Gymnastics.  You had a ball and were great during you party.  You understood that people “sing first and then blow out the candles” as you kept reminding me throughout the day.  I had so much fun watching you enjoy your special day.  Mom and dad got you some Lego Duplo sets and digger underwear.  DD Nana got you this fun building set and Mimi & Papa Randy got you some balls to play with outside.  We haven’t opened all the rest of your presents, just yet.  I like to leave those for a rainy day.

You will always be our first-born… our baby who made us parents for the very first time.  Mom and dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Andrew's 8-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

You are eight months!  You are getting so big and so busy!  Gone are the times that you used to happily just sit and play with a toy.  Now, you are EVERYWHERE.  Literally.  You figured out how to crawl like a big boy (no more army-crawl for you unless you get lazy) and pull up on everything.  You have even started climbing onto things!  How can it be?!  I feel like it was just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital.

We haven’t done just a whole lot of things this month.  Mom just wrapped up her busiest time of the year at work a couple of weeks ago.  Daddy had to put in a little bit of extra effort in the evenings during that time--- we love our daddy!  Speaking of daddy, you absolutely love your daddy.  He makes you just cackle and appeases you in every way.  You guys are great together.  He’s even started chasing you and you think it’s hilarious.  You like looking into mirrors and bumping your head into them—also something you think is hilarious.  We've been to the zoo where you were a real trooper-- you like being in the baby carrier as well as riding in the "big boy" stroller.

You still love to watch big brother and crawl over to him when he’s playing.  He’s trying to figure you out now that you can move.  He’s not used to you taking “his” toys and "touching" him.  You want to be just like him already.  But, I apologize in advance, for him being a little rough with you right now.  We’re working on it.  He’s learning to ask you for toys and you just look up at him and smile when speaks to you.  You also love to give him hugs at night.

You still only have two teeth—those top ones are nowhere to be seen right now.  You’ve also stayed pretty healthy this month—only one trip to the doctor for bronchialitis.  Basically, you have a cough.  It seems to come and go.  Otherwise, you seem great.  The doc thought you could put on a few more pounds (you were roughly 18 lbs at your visit) and I think you have!  You’ve been eating solids like a champ, though you don’t care for anything green.  Go figure.  Neither does big brother.  Or mom! ;-)  I’m willing to bet you are about 20lbs right now. 

We’ve lowered your crib to the lowest it will go so you can’t climb out.  I think you’d do it if you were able.  I can already tell you are going to throw caution to the wind.  You also put EVERYTHING in your mouth.  You will find the most random objects and start chewing on them.  Then you smile when we catch you.  You know better.  Gosh, you are growing up!  You’ll be toddling around before we know it!  I give it another couple of months.  You still don’t really understand the idea of walking—but you definitely like the idea of climbing!

I’m hopeful your helmet will come off next week!  We have an appointment on Monday—it was supposed to be tomorrow, 5/31, but the doctor had to reschedule.  Poo.  You’re going to have a learning curve though once it comes off.. no more banging your head around.

So, let’s see.. at 8 months you:

  • Wear 9 month clothes and weigh around 20lbs.
  • Wear size 3 diapers and poop 1-2x a day.
  • Drink 4, 6 oz bottles with the last bottle sometimes being 8 ounces.
  • Eating solids pretty well—although some days I think you’d just prefer to drink your milk and that’s it.  You are getting the hang of puffs, though!
  • Sleep from 8 at night to 8:30 AM on weekends (I still have to wake you up) and we wake you up at 6:30ish on weekdays.
  • Take 2 naps a day, with the longest nap being in the afternoon that lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours.  During the weekday, you still need that evening catnap in the car to boost your spirits at home.
  • Love playing on your little gym mat at home.  We’ll fold it up for you so you can climb on it and that really piques your interest.
  • Like splashing in water and don’t seem to mind water just running in your face (your brother hates water in his face).
  • Still suck your thumb when you need to calm down for a moment or when you’re trying to fall asleep.
  • Are a crazy person on the changing table—like you go bezerk with not wanting to stay still.  It’s both humorous and very frustrating.  Gone are the days where you just were still it seems.  Always want to be “doing” now.
  • Really enjoy sitting in your bath seat in the bath tub.  You’ll lay back and relax some and other times you’ll kick your feet and slash with your hands.  Most times you’ll be chewing on some toy that floats past you.
  • Are just overall a really happy baby.  You never cry it seems—and if you do, it’s likely because you’ve tried to unsuccessfully climb onto some object you shouldn’t be climbing.
Mom and Dad love you baby boy, always and forever.