Thursday, November 30, 2017

7 Months of William & Gracie Update!

You guys, we have a 7-month-old-soon-to-be-8-month-old-big-boy! Say what?! Yes, it’s true, and I just know that in a blink, we’ll have a one year old, because it’s already Christmas time, and then it’ll be New Year, and then we’ll be flying through Valentine’s Day, and then Gracie will turn 6 and BAM – we’ll have a ONE year old! I’ve tried to slow time. I’ve been in zero rush for this baby boy of ours to reach milestones. I’ve been so intentional in my efforts to soak up all of his new baby sweetness; photographing all the moments, taking advantage of every opportunity to cuddle and actually blogging about it all – and still, I feel as though his baby days are slipping through my fingers faster than I can hold on to them.

William is such a happy, calm and gentle-natured baby. The kid never cries. I’ve only heard him produce one hysterical screaming cry in his 7 months and it was just last week when he smacked himself in the face with a giant toy that I probably shouldn’t have let him play with. Even then, he only cried for like a minute. It takes virtually nothing to get the biggest smiles from him and he just loves to be with us. He adores his big sister and she thinks he’s pretty awesome too. A few weeks ago, sister decided that she was a big girl and could pick her brother up and walk all over the house with him, whenever she felt like it… We’ve told her time and time again that she’s not quite big enough to do this, but girlfriend will NOT listen. If he’s doing tummy time, playing in his play yard or laying on our bed, she’ll just snatch him up! It gives me a heart attack every time and I’m just not sure what to do about it… How can I punish a sweet sister who just wants to be a little mama to her brother?! All suggestions on how to handle this are welcome, btw. At the end of the day, it just isn’t safe and I know I need to nip it in the bud (even though it’s so dang cute to see her hold him because he’s almost as tall as she is). It doesn’t help that Will’s extremely light, hello 13th percentile for weight. I’m thinking that because he isn’t heavy, Gracie’s like, chill mom – I got this!

You know that saying, no two kids are alike. My God, is it so true! We were told by friends and family that just because we already had a little one, that didn’t mean we could expect baby #2 to be a repeat of their older sibling and as it turns out, Will and Grace could not be more different! Gracie has been a ball of energy since she entered the world. As a baby, 0-12 months, she never stopped making noise and was always super active. She started talking early, had the vocabulary of a baby 3 months older than her at each stage of development, (according to her pediatrician) and she was and still is as heavy as a bag of rocks! Grace’s always been on the shorter side for height, but soooo heavy. She’s a very emotional gal, which is wonderful and challenging at the same time. She feels all the feels, is super independent and so very vocal. Then you have Will. He’s just this mellow and observant baby boy who doesn’t fuss or make any kind of loud noise, most of the time. He’ll babble to let us know he’s awake in the morning and will occasionally make these funny sounds when chewing on a teether, but for the most part, he’s content to just chill and watch everyone. So far, he hasn’t shown us much of a range of emotion, other than being happy 24/7. He had his first stomach bug 2 weeks ago and was all smiles in-between vomiting all over the place! Unlike his big sister, he’s all legs, tall and super skinny. He seems to be content giggling and saying “MumMumMamaamamama Mama Mum” all day and will let out a bit of a grunt if he’s fed-up with something!

* Growth Stats | Height: 27 1/2 inches | Weight: 16 pounds, 8 ounces

* Nutrition | Another huge difference that we’ve noticed between the two, has been in Will’s diet and food preferences. Unlike Gracie at 7 months, all he wants to eat is the organic baby food I make him and drink bottles. We have this cool mesh feeder that we put fruit in for him to gnaw on and he still loves to gnaw on pickles, but that’s about it. When it comes to weaning foods, he gags, lol! Georgia bought some organic puffs that we’re going to give him this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes.

* Vocabulary | He can say “mama”, “mum”, “baba” and “dada”. Georgia just loves when he says that last one, especially since he can’t say mommy yet, lol!

* Developmental Milestones | Will can now waive “Hi” to us! Apparently, his Papa taught him how to do this like a month ago and just didn’t think to mention it, lol. Once Papa told us, we started waiving at Will non-stop until we finally got to see his little waive for ourselves. It melts my heart every time! He can also clap now and gets so excited when he does, which makes us get excited and before you know it, everyone in the room is clapping and cheering! It’s too funny. Will’s also become aware of other babies and tries to interact with them, even if they look back at him like he’s an alien, haha! He’s hung with a few baby bro’s and it usually ends with him reaching out to his fellow baby with a big smile on his face, while the other baby cries bloody murder. Little dude also recognizes himself in the mirror now and LOVES his reflection! Like, his favorite thing is to look at himself in the mirror… I don’t know who he gets that from… ;)

* Clothing | I did the first big sorting and packing up of clothes that Will has grown out of a few weeks ago and it was tough. There are some little outfits we purchased for our babe in the years before he was conceived and while G was pregnant and I have a seriously emotional attachment to them. To have to go through piles of clothing and see just how much he’s already grown out of - is heartbreaking!

* What we’ve been up to | Georgia and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary this past month and spent the evening with the kiddos at the Chinese Lantern Festival, which was absolutely beautiful. We had never gone before and thought that G & W would enjoy the lights and they totally did. Gracie was in such a mood that night, I think she was exhausted, but Will was so into it and stared at everything in absolute amazement. Now that I’m thinking about that outing, I’m realizing just how much he’s developed even since then. This was 3 weeks ago and if we were to take him today, he’d been sitting up trying to get out of his stroller and reaching for everything. It’s nuts how fast these babies grow and change!  

And that about wraps month 7 up for us! Our guy is healthy, happy and learning new things all the time and that’s all his moms could ask for! Here’s a few more pics of our almost 8 month old, because, adorable!

S I S T E R // B E A R

I’ve been wanting to start incorporating mini-updates on Gracie in Will’s monthly posts, because the Bean is doing all sorts of amazing things and I want them recorded in our family blog + I feel guilty not writing about her as much as I used to. So, this is basically going to be a brag-fest about big sis!

* Gracie is Student of the Month right now! We had absolutely no idea because she didn’t mention it, but thankfully Georgia just happened to be in the school’s main lobby a few weeks ago and noticed her picture on the board. The Student of the Month theme for November was “Kindness” and I’m not surprised at all that she was highlighted during the kindness month. Our sweet girl. Her teachers have told us since she was 2.5 years old that she’s one of the most compassionate kids in class. We’re so proud of her! :)

* Our gal learned how to hula hoop and it wasn’t so easy for her, but she did it and now she’s awesome at it! Grace was given 2 hula hoops for her 4th birthday and they just kinda lived in the back of her closet until about a month ago. She took them out and decided that she was going to hula hoop. We couldn’t help her because have you tried hula hooping as an adult?! It’s ridiculously hard and it’s not like I could step in and help her move her hips faster, so she had to just figure it out. There were a few frustrating moments because, like anything else for Gracie, if she doesn’t get something right away –  it drives her crazy! Fast-forward a few weeks and TA-DA…

* In the Bean’s parent/teacher conference 2 weeks ago, we learned that not only is she doing amazing in class (as in, zero deficiencies or concerns), but she’s testing at a first-grade level! First grade, month 2, to be exact. Georgia and I were blown away when the teacher pulled up the bars and graphs showing that she’s testing a year ahead. It almost made me cry, I was so proud. We told the teacher that we still wanted to know what we could work on with her, because we know she isn’t perfect and we want to keep pushing and challenging her, so we walked away with some things to work on, mostly working on spelling really big words, lol. My little smarty pants!

* Our little Sporty Spice joined her school’s soccer team a few months ago and loves it! G took her to pick out some soccer gear before the season began and no surprise, she went with pink, pink and more pink. She has practice weekly and has told us that she’s, “really improving on her skills”!

* Big sister-ing has come so naturally to our gal and the fact that she’s in kindergarten and learning how to read, could not have been timed better. She can read you guys, like actually read books (I’m still so amazed) and she loves to “teach brother” all the stuff she learns. She’ll use her chalkboard to teach him lessons and pretend she’s his teacher. She has her baby bro smiling and laughing all day, everyday! Heart melts. :)

This is a video from two months ago of Will watching sister do her computer homework. It’s one of my favorites!

* And our girl’s an awesome sous-chef, always there to help mama with making Will’s baby food. She’s so into it too. She wants to be the one to cut the veggies and fruit and she loves pouring the finished product into the ice trays. Does it take twice as long when you have a 5-year-old sous-chef? Sure does, but it’s worth it to see how excited it makes her. My sweet girl.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Halloween… Mama needs a drink!

First, before I get into my rant, look how cute! This year Gracie was Owlette from PJ Masks and picked her very own costume with parts coming from Target and others from Etsy. Georgia was in charge of Gracie’s costume and she did awesome! Will was a baby skunk and I could just die with how cute his costume turned out! They were both the most adorable little Halloween kiddos I ever did see. :)

With that being said, I’m just going to be real honest here, folks – the month of October stresses me the f-out and it’s a stressful month of my own making, which makes it even worse. October is my birthday month, so as an extroverted-introvert (yes, that’s a real thing), I have to make myself be super social with all the friends and family who wish to celebrate my birth. Now, before you think I’m a total asshole, let me remind you that I still deal with some borderline anxiety and that I’m 100% a homebody, so knowing that my mom is going to force a birthday celebration on me that she’s going to photograph to death and post all over FB, annnnnd that I’m going to have to find the “perfect outfit” and go out 2-3 times throughout the month, well, it just leaves me feeling kinda, ugh... October is also the birthday month of like half my immediate family, so we’re typically looking at lots of celebrations and a whole lot of shopping for gifts and whatnot.

In addition to this, I decided when Grace was a baby that I would be an overachiever and sew her Halloween costumes. This was born out of mom guilt that my mom handmade all our costumes and they were amazing, so how dare I even consider going out and buying my kid a plastic, mass-produced costume... irrational ideology, I know. This means that for at least one week out of every October, I’m parked in front of a sewing machine night after night, after having worked all day, killing myself to make the advanced skill pattern I always seem to pick even though my sewing skills are in no way advanced, lol! It’s a love/hate thing, these stinkin’ costumes. I LOVE that I get to create unique and special costumes for my precious babies and that I feel like I’m honoring my mom in doing so. I don’t love that it costs 3x as much to make the damn things as it would to just buy them, or that it eats up so much of my time. Again, why do I do these things to myself?!
Also, October is the month of the Balloon Fiesta here in New Mexico (blog post on this coming soon), so we have to get the camper ready for camping onsite and it’s the one time of year that my sister comes home to visit. This means, more late nights, more time off work, more spending, more family functions and more dealing with my extremely emotional little sister who always gets mad at me at least once during her visits, for absolutely no reason. And yes, she sure did get mad at me again this October because I didn’t have time to do a week’s worth of grocery shopping for her before her arrival (with one day notice) – and – I didn’t give her and her friends all the beverages we purchased for our house guests. As in, she literally wanted to empty the bar we had just stocked, right into her cooler an hour before we were to have a full house of guests and was super pissed that I said no! Whomever said that bratty little sisters stop being bratty in their mid-30’s, lied. That’s all I’m saying… 

Then you have all the usual October stuff like the visit to the pumpkin patch + the purchase and prep of Halloween gifts for classmates and teachers + the school Halloween festival + the pumpkin painting and carving with friends and – oh you know, all that other everyday stuff like school, work, parenting, cleaning the house, cooking, helping with homework, keeping the children alive, etc. It’s ri-god-damn-diculous!

But even with all of this, here’s the crazy thing… It’s still my favorite month of the year! What, how… I don’t even know, but I just love it so much! I’m certain this is the only reason I’m able to survive and actually get through the endless list of Halloween to-do’s, because I LOVE HALLOWEEN! Like, love, love it! And yes, Gracie’s school Boo-Bash did add to our list of to-dos’ this year, but it was soooo much fun! We got to meet more of her new school buds, who LOVE her! We got to check out what she’s working on in her class and we got to visit with our #momsquad while all the kids played and danced the night away. The event made me feel like such a mom with my big girl in Elementary School and it made me feel just so damn happy! Georgia and I both had a smile from beginning to end. :)

I instantly forget how labor intensive it is to make these little costumes the moment I see how cute our babies are in them! I mean seriously, check out this skunk! So stinkin cute #icanteven! I committed to churning out handmade costumes for Grace until she was old enough to ask that we buy one she liked. For her, this happened last year for her 5th Halloween. We were going with a superhero theme as a part of our pregnancy announcement and she fell in love with a pink and black Batgirl costume she discovered at Target and just had to have it. For Will, I’m hoping he’ll make it 5 Halloweens before he wants to pick something from the store, because I have so many ideas for cute costumes for him for years to come! Little Mister’s baby skunk costume was a doozy because again, I ordered an advanced pattern and discovered just days before Halloween when I started working on it that I bought toddler size and not infant size… big difference, huge mistake. Thankfully, my mom was there to help me downsize the pattern and we just kind of figured things out as we went. I knew that Will was in nearly the 70th percentile for height when he had his last check-up 3 weeks before, but didn’t truly grasp how tall he is or that he would grow so much taller in just a month. Long story short, once we were nearly finished with the costume, we tried it on him and it DIDN’T fit! OMG. The legs were literally 3 inches too short, so the top didn’t reach his shoulders. As luck would have it, the skunk fur material camouflaged the fact that we extended the legs, lol! I was so stressed out and ready to say, screw it – he’ll just wear Gracie’s Lion Costume from her first Halloween, but my amazing Mom wouldn’t let me give up. Thank goodness because – look! Now, in hindsight, the drama just added to the happy memory.

We spent Halloween doing the usual fun stuff, starting with a visit to my work for some trick-or-treating and games. My office puts together a few contests every year including best costume, best potluck dish and they have a pumpkin-carving contest. Everyone brings their kiddos to the office for the last 2 hours of the day and all the kids trick-or-treat, run around like crazy and eat way too many sweets! This year, Georgia brought her parents and we all cheered when she won 2nd place in the pumpkin carving contest! She was so excited and won movie tickets (which made me super excited). Everyone loved Gracie’s costume and adored our little skunk and because Will was too small for candy, his big sis got two from everyone and you know she just love that!

Following my work event, we headed to Georgia’s auntie M’s house to see all of her niece’s and nephews (her cousins kids) in their costumes and have a bite to eat. Georgia’s aunt is going through some serious health stuff right now, so our visit was quick, but I could see how happy it made her to have us over and that made me really happy. Auntie M has always been the aunt who I’ve connected with the most in Georgia’s family, so I love our visits with her! Will’s the only baby on G’s side of the family; so all the kids are basically obsessed with him. Between the aunties and his cousins, he was 100% entertained from the moment we arrived, right up to when we were walking out the door.

We ended the night at my brother’s house, where we go every Halloween. They always order pizza, have drinks and the kids play before heading out to trick-or-treat. This year was the first that Gracie and our niece who is the same age went trick-or-treating with the big kids and they were so excited about it! Gracie begged to let her climb in the truck to head a few blocks over where all “the best candy is”, so we decided we would jump in to and we all headed over. Will was beyond tired at this point, having shuttled from one place to another all day long, so he stayed behind with Nani and Grandpa K. According to my mom, he lasted about 10 after we left before passing out in her arms where he stayed asleep until we returned an hour later. The kid’s made out like bandits and Gracie had the most fun! The funny thing is, that for how excited she was to collect candy, she completely forgot about it a day later and never asked for another piece, lol!

It was such a busy, fun and memorable Halloween, made especially awesome because it was our little skunks first! If I had the chance to do things again, I would have started Will's costume earlier, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a single thing about our first Halloween as a family of four! It was pretty great. :)

I hope you all had an awesome Halloween too!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Two Brides | Eight Years

Year seven will be a hard one to beat, but I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for us! First birthdays, new trips, elementary school adventures and big career changes are on the horizon and it all leaves me feeling blessed beyond measure. Happy 8 year wedding anniversary, baby cakes. Thank you for always making me feel so loved and supported. I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else. 

"I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now." - N. Roberts  

Monday, November 6, 2017

6 Months of William // Happy ½ Birthday!

Happy half-birthday, Sonnie Bear! Can you believe that you’re already halfway to celebrating your first birthday? Mama still feels like you were just born a few weeks ago, so I just can’t believe that you’re my big 6-month-old who rolls over, says actual words, sits up on his own, holds his own bottle and eats dinner with us at the table! These past 6 months have been some of the happiest and busiest for our family. Thankfully, you have been and continue to be our go-with-the-flow baby, always smiling and willing to be carted all over town. You nap on the go, eat on the go and sleep anywhere, even when it’s super noisy. You LOVE your family and laugh at us all day long. You seem to really recognize the people you’re closest too now and give us the biggest smiles while kicking your feet, anytime you see us! You can reach your arms out when you want to be picked up and when you wake up next to Mommy and me in bed, you’ll touch our faces and babble on and on to wake us up. The other morning you actually stuck your finger right up Mommy’s nose to wake her, haha! Mama thought it was hilarious! Sister is still your favorite human and lately she seems to be more into entertaining you too. She gets laughs out of you like no one else can and it melts me and Mommy’s heart, every time.

You are such a “talker” these days and babble to yourself and to us. Sometimes you let out these long “monster sounds”, as Gracie would call them that can stretch for 15-20 seconds, which always crack us up! I know people won’t believe me when I say this, but you LOVE to be tickled. Sister and I will lay on the bed or couch with you and have epic tickling sessions and you just can’t get enough! You eat a ton – way more than sister bear did at your age. You eat so much that the first 30-day batch of homemade baby food I made for you only lasted you 3 weeks. Now I find myself whipping up baby food throughout the week just to keep up with your growing appetite! Such a good eater. :)

Growth Stats | Height: 27 inches (67%) | Weight: 15 pounds, 7 ounces (13%)
You’re still our tall and skinny green bean! You are comfortably fitting in size 3 diapers and you’re wearing 6-9 month size clothing, which are usually loose on the belly, but the length is perfect for those long legs of yours. The shoes that fit best right now are 3-6 month size, as the 6-9 months pairs are still a bit too big.

Nicknames | Sonnie, Sonshine, Brother, Sonnie Booboo Bear, Son, Brother Bear, Willy (Gracie’s the only one who calls you this one, ha!) and Lovie. We pretty much never call you by your actual name. I hadn’t noticed this until mama’s BF came to visit for the Balloon Fiesta. On the last day she was with us she said, “You know what I just realized? None of you have called or referred to Will by his name the whole time I’ve been here”! She thought it was the funniest thing. What can I say, we just really love your cute nicknames I guess!

6 Months | You LOVE…

* Eating all the yummy organic food Mama’s been making you! You started with eating one small cube of baby food per meal, but now you’re eating 2 cubes, 2-3 times a day + organic quinoa baby cereal + 5-6 bottles daily that are 5-6 ounces. So basically, you eat a ton and we can’t figure out how you’re still so skinny! At 6 months old, we’ve introduced avocado, peas, squash, carrots, banana, sweet potato and black beans into your diet. You seem to love avocado, banana and carrots the most. We’ve also started doing a bit of baby lead weaning, letting you hold foods on your own and gnaw on them. So far, pickles are your absolute favorite food to feed yourself!

* You’re happy as a clam wearing hats now and thank goodness because your mama is obsessed with babies in hats! We started getting you used to them at 2 months old, when your head was just big enough for your smallest hat and the rest is history! Mama started buying you all sorts of adorable hats when you were still growing in Mommy’s belly, so seeing you actually wear them fills Mama’s heart with so much happiness. I mean, just look at how cute you look! Ekkkkk!

* You are really into touching faces these days. When someone is holding you, you will reach out and gently hold each side of their face. You also like holding hands with us. Every morning when you come to our bed between 2-4am, you and I will hold hands while you fall back to sleep. It’s the sweetest!

* Eating your hands and really just putting everything in your mouth is another thing you enjoy doing. You started holding your bottle a few months ago but would only make it a few minutes before growing tired. Now you can feed yourself an entire bottle like such a big boy and you don’t even need it propped up any longer! This helps your mamas out in the mornings, but any other time of day we would prefer to still be the ones to feed you.

* You’ve started dancing and it’s just the cutest! Whether it’s to music or to the little songs we sing to you, you’ll kick your legs and arch your back while bouncing up and down. You, of course laugh anytime you dance, which makes you look like the happiest little man on the planet. This is one of Mommy’s favorite milestones!

* You need your binky when it’s bed time and anytime you get fussy in the car and you must have your Boppy to sleep at night. Mommy and I were so worried to leave you sleeping on it, since we would prefer to not have any pillows in your bed, but then you wouldn’t sleep through the night. Since you have the Owlet heartrate and oxygen monitor, we decided to let you have your Boppy and we’ve all been much happier sleepers since!

* Other favorite things include: frozen teethers, your jumper, anything that lights up, watching cartoons with sister, watching your doggie Mavie run around like a maniac, Mama’s necklaces, sleeping with your face touching Mommy’s face, and your Life Factory chewies! You also remain to be such a cuddle bug, which makes your mamas so happy!

6 Months | Highlights!

* You started sitting up on your own at 5 months, 1 week old! When you first mastered this, you made the funniest sounds as you were blown away at your new skill! Mama was lucky enough to catch this on video! Thankfully you learned how to do this right before your 6-month half-birthday photo shoot and we were so happy about that! Way to go, brother bear!

* Mommy and I now have confirmation that your first word is definitely MAMA! You say it 100% clearly and seem to recognize that I am Mama! Hearing you say “MAMA, Maaamaa, mamamamamama” is like music to my ears! In the past 2 weeks, you’ve started saying “baba” (bottle) and “Mum” too!

* You took your first nap in your nursery and were not a big fan of it. Because you’re still so little and sleep swaddled, Mommy and I didn’t remove all your stuffed animals but will once you’re really sleeping in there. I’m thinking your nursery may be just a bit too quiet because you only slept for 45 minutes before waking and calling out to us. Of those 45 minutes, we stared at the screen watching you for most of that time, haha!

* You went to your first college football game and you were, without a doubt the cutest baby boy in the whole place! We joined Nani and Grandpa K at the UNM Homecoming game (UNM is where Mama went to college and graduated from) and along with friends and family, we tailgated and ate lots of yummy food before watching the big game. You wore the same UNM track suit that your big sis wore when she was a baby, which is an adorable hand-me-down Mama was given by a friend that her son wore as a baby. As luck would have it, we ran into these friends and they got to see the adorable little Lobos outfit their son Frank wore 11 YEARS before! Frank’s Dad was nearly in tears at the sight of it and was so happy that it’s still being worn by little Lobo fans!

* We also took you to your first State Fair Day and you did great! You stayed awake for most of the day and loved watching all the people passing as well as the lights on all the rides. Gaga came with us and you and sister were all smiles all day.

You’ve been quite the hit with Gracie’s school buds and a favorite amongst the other parents. We took you to your first school event for Gracie’s Family Science Night and you were wide-eyed and just as into the experiments and activities as sister was! I shouldn’t say this out loud for fear of jinxing us, but you’re just so easy to take places. I always forget this until we’re out and about, around other babies crying as most babies do, while you’re just there chillin’ with a smile on your face. Our friends and family cannot believe just how chill you are and keep telling us that your “difficult phase” will come, but so far – no screaming or hysterics...

The biggest challenge we’ve had over the past month has been helping you deal with constipation. We decided to feed you bananas in one form or another for over a week and it wasn’t until you stopped pooping and seemed grumpy and really uncomfortable for the first time that we remembered you can’t feed babies bananas for days on end! We knew this, but it’s amazing all the things you forget when you haven’t had a baby in 5 years... You really are the happiest baby, but not being able to poop would make anyone cranky! So sorry Sonnie.

In month 7 we’re looking forward to more baby led weening and we’re hoping that you’ll start army crawling in the next couple of weeks! We’re going to the Chinese Lantern Festival this month, which Mama knows you will love and this month we’ll also celebrate our first Thanksgiving with you, our little turkey. Yay!  

Happy Half-Birthday, my smiley boy. :)

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