Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Acelyn: 9 Months

Can it really only be three more months until this little babe's first birthday!?  Say it isn't so!!!

I am loving Acelyn and this stage of her life.  As much as I miss the newborn cuddles, smells, sleepy smiles and delicacy, I sure do love seeing this little chick move and groove and learn all the new things she's been doing, lately!  Her personality is really developing this month, and she is definitely making her presence known with lots and lots of happy screams and screeches (as well as a few feisty diva screams, when she's angry)!  Her and Nolan have started playing "together" and they have both sweet and sour moments together, as any sibling duo- it begins!  She still idolizes her big brother and she wants to be around him at all times.  Her favorite thing is to play catch with him, and she's learned how to throw the ball back which is adorable and Nolan loves it.  She's also learned to scream bloody murder when he takes a toy away from her, and throws quite the dramatic fit, complete with a trust fall backwards, when it happens!  She has found a new love for music, and can often be found shaking her head, waving or clapping her hands, or bouncing up and down when she listens to music or a song.  She's grown a particular fondness for Sesame Street over the past couple weeks, and the second she hears the theme song (even if it's not on T.V. and we just sing it), she drops what she is doing and searches for where she can find her Sesame friends!  She is obsessed with a Sesame sing-a-long book that we have, and it's the first toy she goes to grab when we're in the playroom.  She gets so excited, she yells at both the book, the show, or whatever type of Sesame toy we are playing with.  At first I couldn't tell if it was an angry scream or a happy one, but she also does this with animals, so I'm thinking it's just her way of sharing her excitement!  

Baby girl finalllllly cut her first tooth right before her 9-month birthday, and quickly followed two days later with tooth #2!  Both that came through are the bottom teeth and she sure does look adorable when she shoots a cheesy smile and they peek through!

She's become quite the explorer now that she's mobile, and absolutely loves getting into trouble and going places she's not allowed.  A few of her favorites are the bathroom, the pantry, the sliding door blinds, and any lamp she can beeline towards!  She's gotten herself stuck under many things including the dining table, Nolan's lego table, our front entryway bench, her exersaucer and our beds.  With the weather warming up, we've been venturing outside to more parks and going on walks, and she really enjoys being out in the sun and experiencing new surroundings.  She loooooves to swing and lights up with a crinkle nose giggle each time.  She's a pro at crawling everywhere, but she also enjoys walking with someone holding her hands or using her push-walker.  She's not big on cruising furniture but definitely likes to practice any other way.  She has stood up unassisted on a few occasions, too!  She loves venturing out and about to go shopping or run errands, and will either give a shy smile or a mean muggin' stare to people when they talk to her... she's hit or miss!  With familiar faces, she's still a complete goof ball and loves to giggle and slowly reach out to you to grab her.  

Here's what else Acelyn is up to at 9 months: 

Height, Weight and Sizes:
Acelyn had her 9 month well check this time around and clocked in at 17 pounds, 13 ounces (31st percentile), measured 27.5 inches long (44th percentile) and had a head circumference of 16.5 inches around (2nd percentile).  She is wearing mostly 9-12 month clothing, with most of it closer to 12 months, especially leggings and bottoms, which are strictly 12 months.  She's quickly outgrowing her 9 month jammies so we need to size up and get some new, lighter ones for spring!  We switched to size 4 diapers and will be in those for a while.  Her hair has finally started getting a bit thicker in the back and around her ears, but still not growing up front (haha!), and like stated above, she's cut two new teeth on the bottom!

Acelyn has enjoyed more and more table food this month, and we're starting to get in the habit of feeding her a little bit of what we are eating (if possible) at every meal.  Girlfriend is not picky when it comes to food- she will pretty much eat anything and everything she can!  Because we've been introducing finger foods and "real" people food, she has become pickier with her purees and being spoon fed, because she wants to do it all herself!  We introduced pouches to her this month and she loves the independence that way, plus they are a great way to give her meals on the go.  Her favorites include: breakfast: toast with butter, scrambled eggs, bananas; lunch: grilled cheese and veggie soup, pieces of peaches and apricots, string cheese, avocado, macaroni and cheese; dinner: bbq (or any other type) chicken, pasta, any type of rice, quesadillas, and soft steamed veggies like peas and carrots.  She typically will eat one half to a whole puree container, plus pieces of whatever we are eating, so she's definitely a foodie!

She still nurses 4 times during the day, once before bed, and most recently sometimes started sleeping through one of her nightly feeds.  When she does wake, I think it's more out of habit rather than hunger, but because she sleeps right next to us, I don't foresee her giving that up until she's out of our room (which I'm in no hurry for... can I keep her next to me forever!?)  Her nursing habits have taken a turn this month, becoming much more rough than they used to be; lots of kicking, scratching, pulling, twiddling... needless to say she beats me up when she's nursing!  It's a hard habit to kick and I've tried lots of things to distract her hands, but again, I think it's just a comfort habit that's here to stay until she weans!  I'm thankful we are still going strong with breastfeeding and it amazes me the stark difference between kiddos- I can't believe the huge sacrifice I made exclusively pumping with Nolan- I haaaate pumping now and do it very, very infrequently!

Acelyn's schedule is pretty consistent to exactly what it was last month.  Like stated above, she sometimes will sleep through her early AM feeding which is a welcome break when it does occur.  Her naps during the day are shortening, and she will typically nap for 45 minutes to an hour in the morning and usually about an hour in the afternoon, not a second longer.  Again, another stark difference between my babies- Nolan loved (and stills does) his sleep, and this girl can go on very little and still be full of energy!  She's still flexible about running errands or going out, and can easily take a nap in her carseat, which we usually try to plan our trips out around (roughly).  Of course, she's always more rested when we stick to our schedule at home, but it's nice to be able to get out every now and then with no issues, too!

Exploring through crawling!  
Sesame Street 
All foods!
Playing with the blinds
Pushing her walker, walking with holding hands
Pulling books off the bookcase
Swinging on the swingset/playground
Screaming and screeching during dinner
Eskimo kisses

Changing her diaper/clothes
Being put in something stationary- this girl has places to go!
Still hates initially getting into the carseat
Being left alone for a second
Stranger danger, it's hit or miss

Happy Nine Months, baby girl! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nolan: 3 Years

It's unbelievable to me that the little baby that made me a Mommy for the first time is now THREE years old!  He is growing up so fast and is so smart, witty, shy, goofy, stubborn, excitable and sweet all rolled into one.  He has grown leaps and bounds from the last update and is more of a little boy now than a toddler.  His vocabulary is amazing and he can talk, switching from stories he tells (how to drive excavators) to questions he asks (what time is it? what is this? where is this from?) to statements he makes (I'm feeling happy! and I have a belly button, it's mine)!  He says most of his words correctly, but he has select words that he still can't pronounce fully and I'm obsessed with listening to him say them, because I know one day soon enough, he'll start saying them correctly and the baby talk will be gone.  His 3 year old interview video is a little further down in the post, giggles, stories and miss-pronunciations and all! :)  

His favorite thing in the whole world are trucks.  Garbage trucks, construction trucks, pickup trucks, fire trucks, rescue trucks... you name it, he can tell you what kind it is and all about each of them.  We have a collection of them around the house and he plays with every single one of them!  When driving around, he looks forward to all of the trucks he can spot out the window and gets so excited when they are "working".  Nolan also enjoys trains and plays with his train tracks daily.  On trash days, we watch out the window, waiting for the garbage trucks to go by, and he loves waving to them as they pick up our bins.  

He also loves board games and to play games, such as Hide and Seek, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Yetti in my Spaghetti, Wash My Undies and Cooties.  He loves doing puzzles, and is stuck in a weird limbo where wood handle puzzles are too easy for him, but smaller sized jigsaw (12 pieces) are too hard, so we're practicing and working on it.  Although he enjoys painting and coloring, when given the opportunity, if it were between that and being active, he would always choose the running around/wrestling/sports activity over sitting and crafting.  He loves playing catch or tossing a ball back and forth, and still loves to play basketball with Dad after dinner.  His aim and his throwing is impressive and we think he'll be a decent athlete if he chooses!  When outside on the playground, he is capable of almost everything that includes climbing, jumping, swinging and sliding.  He is still timid and isn't reckless (which I'm thankful for in a boy!), but can usually get around well on his own and if he gets stuck, I usually hear "MOM! HELP!"  He can't quite swing on the big boy swings alone yet, but once I help him on he can sit without falling and is learning to kick his feet to swing.  Nolan still isn't a fan of sitting and watching movies or shows, but loves his iPad time when he gets it (limited time during the day, mostly when I'm cooking dinner).  He watches mostly trucks and trains on YouTube kids, with nursery rhymes and songs here and there, too.  He loves to sing and dance, and knows the words to a ton of songs, some of which I don't even know!  I love listening to him sing along in the car to songs on the radio.  His current fav. is Starboy by The Weekend and always asks for it when we're driving.  

Although comfortable with his close friends and family, Nolan is extremely timid when put in new situations and has some social anxiety that we're working on.  He has a hard time separating from Mom and is always very stubborn about trying/going some place new, especially if there are larger crowds of other kids.  We're excited that we've recently found a preschool that he seems to enjoy (and no tears on both times we've visited!), so he'll be ready to start in the Fall, two days a week.  I know it will be hard on him initially, but I also know that he will love going to learn and making new friends.  

He's had a big year becoming a Big Brother to Acelyn, and, through all the changes, hasn't had the easiest time adjusting to her being around.  Although we've had to work through a lot of pinches, tugs and roughness, Nolan really does love his sister so much and it's evident just how much when she's the first thing he asks for in the morning and the last thing he wants to say Goodnight to in the evening.  He loves making her laugh, and his favorite things to do with her are give her horsey rides on his back and play chase or Hide and Seek (and wrestle, when we let them!).  She just thinks the world of him, and I hope as they grow older, their bond only gets stronger!

Nolan is still super sweet when it comes to interacting with friends and family, and gets so excited when he gets to be around them.  He is full of hugs and love, and will talk your ear off if you let him. If you come to our house, be prepared for him to show off all of his toys to you!  Contrary to his social anxiety in new/larger settings, he willingly talks to strangers while at the grocery store or out shopping, volunteering information like, "I have a big boy seat!" (his new car seat) or "I can go potty standing up, now!" so we're working on what to say/what not to say to people we don't know!  He is constantly asking to go out to do things, even if it's going to the grocery store, out to dinner or running to Target... He loves to get out of the house and enjoys being around other people in a smaller, more familiar setting.  I love that he will always ask, "When can we see ___?  I want to give them a big hug when I see them!"  Sweet boy.

Height, Weight and Sizes:
At his three year well check, Nolan weighed in at 32 pounds (51st percentile) and 38.5 inches tall (72nd percentile).  He still remains quite tall, especially being a product of Jason and I!  Nolan wears sizes 3-4T in everything, with all 4T pajamas, mostly all 3T pants and a mix of shirts, depending on the brand.  He wears big boy undies in Disney, Thomas and Superhero prints now that he is potty trained, and wears mostly size 9s for shoes.  He still wears pull ups at night time since he can't quite make it through the whole night without an accident.  He is working on taking his clothes on and off independently, and is pretty sufficient at taking everything off waist down but hasn't quite mastered his shirts on and off, yet.  We're also working on pulling our pants up after using the potty, something we hope to accomplish before Preschool comes around! 

Nolan is pretty independent and easy when it comes to food- he will eat mostly everything and is always willing to try new things (although he may not finish them if they don't taste good to him)!  He has favorites in chicken, pasta, sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and fluff, cucumber and avocado), cheese quesadillas, grilled cheeses and vegetable soup, waffles, and salad and croutons (HAS to have croutons) with ranch.  He always eats what we are eating for dinner, minus the exception of steak- he hasn't come around to that yet but has gotten better with other meats such as ground beef, chicken and pork.  Of course, his favorite time of day is dessert time, where he favors any type of cookie (chocolate chip and M&M being his favorite).  He only really drinks milk and water, since that's all we really have in the house!  He doesn't like juice, so we don't buy it, and no one else here drinks soda, so that's a blessing in disguise!  Nolan can use his utensils well, always asks for a napkin (no, seriously... he has to have a napkin), and can drink out of a cup correctly.  I love this stage because he's curious about everything we eat and wants to try it, but I know it will probably be short lived before he starts forming his own tastes and opinions and refuses the good stuff!  

Nolan still loves/needs his nap in the afternoon (thank Goodness, Mama needs a break), so he actually has quite a similar schedule as to our last update a year ago.  He typically wakes around 7AM, we wake, play, eat breakfast and get ready for the day, either running errands, meeting for playdates or staying home and playing in.  Lunch is around 12/12:30ish depending on the day and our activities, and nap time is usually anywhere from 1:30-2:00 where he naps for a solid 1.5-2 hours.  Our evening continues and after dinner, bath and bedtime routine happen around 7:30, with lights out by 8:15.  Nolan sleeps in a big boy bed now- he has a whole full sized bed (with side rails) to himself!  He likes to snuggle with a variety of stuffed animal friends, his favorites include his Paci Puppy, Bessy the Cow (my old stuffed animal), Geoffrey the Giraffe, Pluto, Arlo and his puppy lovey from when he was a baby.  He likes to sleep with his muslin blankets but doesn't really "use" them, just wants them in bed with him.  We use his sleep sheep still to provide some white noise, mostly to help when Acelyn cries, in hopes it doesn't wake him up.  He is much more likely to wake her than she is to wake him.  He often cries out in the middle of the night for us, sometimes because he is scared of something in his room or because he had a bad dream.  We also sometimes wonder if he has night terrors due to this constant screaming out, which unfortunately, we can't do much about.  They happen less when he is well rested and not overtired, so we try to keep to our bedtime routine well.  He uses a pillow, but he's a mover like his Mama, so half of the time he's not actually even on his pillow when he's sleeping.  Watching him sleep is still the best thing ever, and I find myself sneaking into his room before I go to bed to get an extra snuggle or peak at how big my first baby is really getting.  

Making his sissy laugh
Trucks (every and any kind)
Hide and Seek
Getting out of the house- Target, the park, Ikea, play dates with friends, PetsMart
Snacks, especially pretzels
Playing with and feeding Harley 
Throwing/catching/playing basketball
Dancing/singing songs
Checking the mail

Not being the center of attention 
Oranges and strawberries 
Brushing his teeth
Larger, unfamiliar social functions (indoor play places, rec center preschool classes)
Going to bed 
Separation from Mom

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day 2017!

 Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We hope your Valentine's Day
Is as sweet as us two!

Of course we had to have a mini photoshoot for V-Day, because celebrating holidays is always on the top of our list!  These two are so fun to watch bond and when they are sweet to each other, my heart melts into a puddle and bursts into a million pieces all at once.  Of course, there are always the sour moments mixed in with the sweet (as documented below), but the way Acelyn looks at Nolan is something I'll always cherish, and the way Nolan wants to make his sissy happy and laugh makes my heart happy, too!

And of course, Acelyn couldn't be upstaged and had to have her own photoshoot, showing off her new standing skill!

Happy Valentine's Day!