Abigail's Blog

LOOONG Overdue Updates (January 5, 2014)

January5

Oh my, how much time has gone by since I last blogged. Goes to show how busy life can get between my family and work. I actually cut my hours back at work since I last wrote, probably back in October/November is when it happened. After months, even years, of asking they finally caved in. I work 30 hours per week in the office (8-2) and often from home. I am so lucky to be able to spend more time with the kids and be a tiny bit more of a stay at home mom, which I think I will eventually end up being. More so when we have more children. Not sure how I will ever go back to a 40 hour work week.

Now, on to the kiddos…

Arden has just blossomed over the last several months. She finally got up the confidence to start walking on her own around 5 months (late August, early September). She had been pushing toys and taking steps here and there, but you could tell she was timid and her little tiny legs needed strength. Since then she hasn’t stopped. She is just now starting to run, kind off. It is so cute since she isn’t completely coordinated, but she is getting around faster. She has Emerson and Elliot to keep up with!

Arden is talking up a storm! She has always jib-jabbered and we never understood it, just like Emerson at her age. But all of a sudden she is saying tons of words and repeating (or trying to) most of what we ask…except for Daddy, man she is stubborn on that one. Some of her more popular words right now…

Milk

Oh no!…What’d you do? (more like “wa a do?”)

Elmo

Cookies (the food and for Cookie Monster)…yes, she likes Sesame Street.

Mommy

Babies

Eat

Nigh-Night

Stuck

No, and Nnnooooo…

Shhh!

Cool

Wow

Horsies!

Tonka (more like Tonta)

Nose

Eyes

Where’d it go?

This! (which means here, right there, etc)

Growls…a lot, to try and be scary and funny :)

Teeth keep coming in. She has 12 now, 4 on top (front), 4 on bottom (front), and then 2 molars on top and 2 on bottom. She is eating okay still, not great, but not horrible. She downs her milk, whether it is plain or mixed with Nido or yogurt for extra calories. Her tastes seem to change on a daily basis, but she typically enjoys…

Cheese

Pancakes

Eggs

Blueberries

Cucumbers

Snap peas

Celery

Black olives

Watermelon

Noodles of any kind

Crackers (goldfish preferably)

Anything we are eating when not at the table, she wants in on.

Hot dogs

Lunch meat

Broccoli

Popcorn (or as Emerson says, Pa-corn)

Playing in dog food and water…ugh, such a mess. She is a magnet to it.

We stopped nursing right at about 14 months, August 5th to be exact. She had weaned down to night time only, so it was a quick and painless transition. Much smoother than Emerson :) Holidays, doctor’s appointments, etc. have come and gone. Last weigh in Arden hovered around 18 pounds. We weighed her tonight on the bathroom scale and it said 20, so we will see at her 18 month appointment on 1.10.14! I love how tiny she is, though. I can hold her for so long and my arms never get tired, and she just looks so cute in everything!

She loves music and dancing. We have been taking the kids to a weekly music class like we did when Emerson was younger, with the Music Factory. Emerson just gets bored and runs around, but Arden LOVES it. She won’t sit with me because she must be standing to participate in each song and dance. I enrolled her for another semester this Spring with Elliot, and I think Emerson is probably done with music class :)

Arden has been sleeping very well. For the most part she is done with the Rock n Play, unless she is at Kelsey’s. She sleeps and naps in her crib, and often tells me when she wants to sleep by saying “nigh-nigh”. I will sit in her room for a bit some night until she falls asleep. If she wakes at night, it is brief and just requires her pacifier and her music soother. We recently started brushing her teeth, and she loves that as well. She gets so excited when it’s “teeth time” and must do it herself. It is usually a fight to get the toothbrush away from her, so we have to bargain for a “gooly bear” or her own cup of water.

Emerson has been doing great as well, and growing like a weed. He attends preschool now on Tuesdays and Thursdays at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic preschool in Chatham. He loves it, however he is terribly shy in class and rarely participates. He had an adorable Christmas program for school last month, and stood the entire time and didn’t sing a word with the rest of the class. He just stood and looked out at the audience, but seemed to enjoy it :) He loves his teachers, and they seem to enjoy him and make it their goal to get him to open up. Creighton Weigler is his very best friend at school, and he also plays with Kennedy and Jaxson from what I have heard. Emerson had his first play date a few weeks ago at Creighton’s too, which went well. He spent the afternoon there after school.

I have been lucky enough to get to attend the Halloween and Christmas parties at his school, and they were lots of fun. Each mom handled a craft station or game, and the kids just got to play and have a good time. I love watching him at school to get a taste of how his is away from us. Next is hopefully soccer in the Spring, which he keeps talking about.

Emerson is getting better and better at numbers and letters, and has his colors down pat. He absolutely loves to read, regular books and iPad books, and can’t get enough games on our phones and iPads. His favorites shows vary, but he still enjoys Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Caillou, Arthur, Curious George, and Berenstain Bears. Just as picky of an eater as ever, but loves his milk and vanilla milk. Mandarin oranges are never left behind, as well as black olives and his “favorite bar” (fruity pebbles in a cereal bar). He does enjoy candy when he is allowed, and ice cream and milk shakes of course.

Just this last week we ran out of pull-ups, so we have had a few nights with underpants only and Emerson has done awesome. I think we are officially and completely potty trained, night and day. The pull ups were more of just a support system for me, as he hasn’t gone in them for a long time, so I figured we would just use them until we ran out and be done.

Emerson is very much a lovey, cuddly boy which I adore. He is always up for a snuggle, hug or kiss and loves stuffed animals (like Monkey). Randomly throughout the day we get “I love you Mom” or “I love you Dad”, for no reason at all. I hope it never stops. We still struggle with bedtime, and Dad is the official Emerson putter to bed, and I am the Arden putter to bed. Emerson fights it, but as long he gets to read books with Dad, he is good…also Dewey has to lay with Emerson until he falls asleep, which mean Dewey often sleeps part of the night in Emerson’s bed! Most nights Emerson gets up between 1-4 am and comes into our room and climbs in our bed anyway, but at least we get a few hours of kidless sleep in our bed.

Both kids can be very feisty and loud at times, like when they are fighting over toys and don’t want to share. I think most is their ages, though, and the fact they are siblings. Emerson has a really tough time and is learning not to take things from people’s hands when he wants them. Manners are important and he is too young to understand patience, so from that comes a lot of whining and yelling. His favorites are still going to Grandma’s and Papa’s, fire trucks, school buses, trains, playing outside, and just about anything that someone will play with him. He doesn’t not like being alone.

Some recent happenings…

Christmas! It was great this year. We didn’t visit my mom’s side of the family this year, so things were more low key which I loved. Less stops to drag the kids to. They got WAY to much stuff, but had a great day opening gifts and seeing family at my parents, Sherman, and Petersburg. We didn’t stay at Petersburg long as it was late and super crowded, but the kids had so much fun there with all of the cousins. Hard to name favorite toys as they play with all of them quite a bit (bead maze, doll house, horse clip-clop stable, fire trucks, imaginex city, tinker toys, games, playmobil, music makers, and more, more, more).

Thomas the Elf (Elf on the Shelf) visits each year, this was the second and you really enjoyed finding him each day. We did an advent calendar again of activities, which of course you loved and kept us busy. Visiting Santa and riding the train at the mall was probably your favorite one. On a side note, you and Arden love riding the train and the carousel at the mall very much. My trips there are getting even more expensive! You and Arden both helped decorate the tree and put up Christmas decor…that day was very fun this year! The tree looked great, too…all the of ornaments right up front, center, and to the bottom :)

Dewey and I took time off over the holidays, so the other days us as a family (the 4 of us) went to see the movie Frozen at the theater. It was last minute and on a whim, but turned out so much fun. The kids we so well behaved, and both actually sat through the entire movie eating popcorn and snacks. This was of course Arden’s first movie, and she got to sit in her own seat for a bit and her weight even kept it down! I look forward to doing it again sometime.

We took a family trip to St. Louis for 2 nights back in August before preschool began. The kids loved the hotel (had never been in one before), and all of the things we did (visited the Arch, St. Louis Zoo, Grant’s Farm, walked around downtown). Emerson still talks about St. Louis and how neat it was. The kids were great and overall we had a really nice getaway. Speaking of, for my 30th I went away for a night to Chicago with my Mom shopping. It was the first time I had been away from the kids overnight, and Dewey did great with them. I didn’t worry at all, but I did miss them. Dewey and I might go away for a night soon to celebrate as well, but we will see. Mom offer to watch them, which was so nice of her.

Some Emerson stories…

We let him watch the iPad and often times he will change the show without us knowing. Well, he recently watched a few episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants (which he isn’t allowed to watch). He woke up the next day talking about how Mr. Crab came to our house, came inside, went to his room, etc. I finally deduced he was referring to Krusty Krab, and he had dreamt about him, but doesn’t quite understand what a dream is…so to him, it was reality. He told me that Mr. Crab drove a red car and lived in our neighborhood, and insisted we find he house. Emerson and Dewey walked around the block looking for it after Google Earth didn’t suffice. Emerson needed to give Mr. Crab some toys and soup because he was sick. Of course they didn’t find him, so we instead wrote him a letter and put the toys and snacks in the mailbox for him. Mr. Crab picked them up (Aunt Kelsey and Uncle Wes) and left in it’s place a stuffed crab (from Grandma). I think emerson was shocked something actually happened, and didn’t speak much of him after that. Mr. Crab occasionally comes up in conversation, but thankfully we have moved on.

We visited Lincoln Memorial Gardens this fall with Grandma, and saw a fuzzy caterpillar which Emerson loved. In turn, he asked if we could go to the pet store and purchase one to take home.

He really likes the Katy Perry song Eye of a Tiger from the radio in the car, and when he listened to the lyrics one day notices she sang about walking through the fire. Emerson then said, “Mom, did she say walk in the fire? That’s just really not safe”.

Emerson, angry or annoyed about something Dewey was saying, responded with…”Dad, if you say that one more time…I am going to break this house”.

I could ramble on for hours, but for now I need to get Arden to sleep. I spoke too soon and she is now chewing on the crib rail, talking to herself, and dancing around NOT sleeping.

Quick Update on the Kiddos

July14

Emerson: “Mommy, when I grow up I am going to lift little things and giant things. I am going to lift big cars, and little cars, and monster trucks! I am just going to life houses, and walls, and doors, and really big garbage cans! And I am going to lift buildings with my friends.”

Arden: She is finally walking behind a push toy! She walks super high on her tippy toes, but is taking little steps and moving along. You can tell she is getting very frustrated since Emerson and Elliot move all around.

Arden is also throwing major tantrums and fits more frequently, and very tiny things set her off. I think we are going to have our hands full, and she is learning them from Emerson at his older age. She got super mad at me today when I was changing her diaper (poop) and taking awhile because she wanted down. She started screaming, kicking, rolling, etc. Phew. Hope these don’t last long. On the bright side, she has been drinking a lot more milk to the point her poops this weekend were almost normal and not constipated balls :).

Birthdays!

July6

Well, we have had 3 birthdays since the last post. Emerson turned 3, Arden turned 1, and Tonka turned 5. I must say, these birthdays, particularly Arden’s get my emotional to see how quickly our children are growing.

I will start with updates on Arden. We have been going to weekly speech therapy appointments for her eating “issues”. It is basically the same still, won’t each much variety and hardly any liquids so the poor thing is constipated most of the time and only eats her favorite foods unless she is starving. I did find out though, that is she is hungry enough she will eat about anything you give her, so I think it is more behavioral and picky-ness than anything. She is slowing increasing her milk intake which is great, as long as I just keep offering it all day long.

The funny thing is, she seemed to turn a bit of a corner with the drinking and appetite about two weeks ago when I noticed 5 teeth (no joke) all poke through at the same time. So now, she had 4 on the top coming in, the 4 in the top center, and her third bottom tooth, the one on her bottom left center. Crazy. They very well could be linked, but who really knows. We are going to go a few more times to keep an eye on her weight, which was 15lbs 14.5oz last week, up from 15lbs 13oz the week before, and 15lbz 8oz before that. Slowly but surely she is gaining, so let’s hope it keeps up.

We are down to only nursing at night before bed now, so once per day. Arden has been sleeping like a champ since those teeth arrived as well, so when she wakes during the night pretty much her pacifier gets her back to sleep. I put away the pump, bottles, nursing bras, etc. just last week.

She just today starting pulling herself up on multiple things, including her crib, ugh. She would do it occasionally before, but has been content just crawling and watching. Now I think she has overcome her fear of standing and then falling (sitting) and is pulling up a lot more. It is cute with her teeny little legs. Hopefully it will help bulk up her muscle.

Arden talks all of the time, and it is so darn cute. Not really any clear words except mama, bye, hi, and occasionally dada. The rest is jibber jabber we don’t understand, but she speaks in what sounds like full sentences of her language. Another cute thing she does (kind of) is when she is in her crib awake, but no one has gone to get her yet, she will throw all of her pacifiers out to the floor, mostly between the wall and the crib. She’s content in her crib for quite some time in the mornings, and that is probably why. I do appreciate her letting us sleep in, though. Emerson too.

We did a small family day for Arden’s actually birthday, and gave her our gifts and my parent’s and sister’s. Took off work, and just spent the day at home and grocery shopping for her actual birthday party we had that Saturday the 29th. It actually turned out really nice. Not a ton of people came, which I was happy about. I was worried it would be too crowded. Weather was rainy off and on, but the kids played in it and we got some amazing pictures. Arden did not care for her cake (which I made), as I suspected, but she loved smashing it to crumbs.

We set the party up outside and in the garage, setup the table nicely with food and snacks, and I think most people had a nice time. Arden received clothes and toys, and some tableware too (Minnie Mouse). We got her a kitchen, plus a lot of books and clothes, and a few toys that make music. She loves music so much, and the water – the tub and the pool. Almost every time she hears music she dances – adorable. When I sing she will pretty much stop anything she is doing, even fussing, to listen and watch. Probably because of my beautiful voice :).

We didn’t do a big party for Emerson, as we decided we would have first birthday parties for our kids, and then not again until they ask for it. I’m not big on hosting things. Plus, they don’t need all of those toys. So, we had a family night for Emerson with us, my parents and siblings. We ordered pizza, had cake, hit a piñata, and opened gifts. Emerson had a Thomas the Train cake with Spencer on it, his specific request. It was bubble-gum flavor and he just ate the icing.

He got a new bike, his first with training wheels and not a trike, plus some clothes, books, and a ton of Thomas stuff (trains and tracks) plus bike accessories and some other miscellaneous toys. The piñata was a big hit as well. Between the two birthdays lately and multiple celebrations, Emerson loved opening gifts and definitely had a hard time when it was Arden’s turn. She didn’t care much to open them, though, so he ended up getting to help anyway.

On Emerson’s actual birthday, we went out to brunch with my mom and brother, and he got to open the gifts from us (except for the bike he got during the family party). We also…

Potty training is still going strong. Diapers only at night, and they are dry in the morning 80% of the time. He is still not great going to the bathroom on his own (wiping, pulling pants on/off) but he will get it.

We received the first pre-school email, about this fall and school supplies. Tear. It’s real, but I think he will enjoy it. Now we are deciding if we should enroll him in soccer for the Fall. Decisions, decisions. I am wondering if maybe preschool is enough to start with, and postpone soccer until the Spring.

The things Emerson says crack me up. Tonight after I gave the kids baths, Emerson was standing naked and starting shaking his hips. He said “Look Mommy, my pee-pee is shaking! It’s like a pony-tail!” A few other goods ones…

“Do you have my shirts we got from the shirt-store?”…we purchased some clothes for next season at Gordman’s.

Emerson’s continued use of the word “Collection”. “Is think where the food collection is?” – Drive thru window.  “Can we get a drink from the drink collection?” – Gas station.

“I wish the party wasn’t over and everyone just packed up and leave”…after Arden’s birthday party.

While pretending to be asleep…”Mom, oh no! It’s 21! We are going to be late to grandmas – she’s going to close! Mom, now it’s 20 o’clock! We are so late!”

While playing before bed…”E – Mommy, can we go on a drive in the car?”

A – “What for honey, it’s late”

E – “It will just be fun. It will be funny, like a joke.”

While driving in the car…”Mommy, when I get big, will you teach me how to drive a car like you? And a truck like Daddy?”

Finally, we had 1-year and 3-year check-ups last week. Stats as follows:

Emerson – 33lbs 8oz (68%), 38 3/4 inches tall (76%), size 3T clothes for the most part, some 2T shorts as his waist is little. Size 9 shoes. Size 6 night-time diapers.

Arden – 15lbs 10oz (3%), 28 inches (12%), 46.5 cm head (86%), mostly 9 month clothes, a few 12 if they run small, and even 6 month in some shorts due to her tiny waist. Size teeny tiny shoes, like about a size 2, if that. Since she isn’t walking though, we rarely put anything on her feet. Size 3 diapers.

No shots needed for Emerson. Shots for Arden were postponed a few weeks as she had been up with a fever the night before (not sure why, as it didn’t last long) and we didn’t want to risk anything. Although now she has a bad cough and cold, so I wonder if that was the sign she was getting sick. Now Emerson had the short fever last night, so we will see what he comes down with.

We took Emerson out for a Mommy/Daddy night the other night to his very first movie in the theatre! We saw Monsters University. The movie was cute and I think he enjoyed it overall. He got a blue icee which he was very excited about, popcorn, and candy that we bought ahead and snuck in. He thought the screen and seats were really neat, and actually sat for the whole movie, in his seat and on our laps. With the previews included it was a bit long and he wanted to leave at the end, but he did very well and I am so happy we got to share that with Emerson. Not kidding, for the 3 of us it was $29.50 to get in, and another $26 for popcorn, soda, and an icee. Definitely not something we will do a lot.

After the movie we went to Osaka for dinner and ate at the hibachi grill. Emerson was not so sure about it, and didn’t like the big flame demonstration, but he seemed to enjoy himself there too. He really liked the mushroom soup and the noodles. It was nice getting out and doing something different, and giving Emerson some one-on-one time with us. I know it is hard at times for him, being 3, and trying to share attention.

Crawling…and other updates.

May30

Well, for a good two weeks now we have officially had a crawler! Miss Arden finally mastered the art of crawling forward, not just backward like she had been doing (or trying to swim or fly, by kicking her legs as fast/hard as she could). Every day she gets quicker and quicker and I just about lugged the baby gates out today after the forth time of pulling her away from our wine rack that sits on the floor. Apparently she likes to pull the bottles off of it. Arden also likes to just roam the house and explore, and I don’t blame her. After 10 months of not being able to go where you want, she really is loving it. It is so cute to watch her crawl around because as slow as she is, she sure feels like she is fast. She is so tiny it is hard for her to get too far too fast. If you try and chase her, though, watch out – she will laugh so hard and keep turning around to watch you chase her again, she really loves it.

We took the kids to the library to play today and I could tell Arden was really wanting to move right to walking. She would push back when I tried to sit her down, and preferred standing. The tough thing is she can’t bear weight without holding onto something, and she really isn’t taking too many steps or anything. I think that watching Eliot and Emerson walk around is making her want to do it more.

Arden also appears to be working on more teeth. I think I see a third on the bottom kind of trying to pop through, but we will see. I’m never good at guessing which teeth are coming through. Little miss stubborn is nursing very little these days, and eating more solids. She is still very picky about what she eats (and drinks from a cup) which has been causing me concern enough to visit the doctor a few times. We have an appointment with a speech pathologist  on 6/4/13 to address what we thing is a texture sensitivity as she won’t drink any kind of milk from a cup, or eat anything with a soft spoonable texture (think yogurt, applesauce, etc) yet she will nurse just fine. She has lost a bit of weight because of it, which isn’t good due to her being so tiny to begin with. She was 15 pounds, 4 ounces last week. Hopefully we get some suggestions, but I really think that’s just how she is going to be. Her new nickname I decided should be Noodle. That stems from noodles being her favorite food. Right now she will eat:

Pasta (preferably Gerber ravioli)

Water from a sippy (most of the time)

Hot dogs

Goldfish crackers

Puffs

Gerber brand cheeto crunchy things

Rice crackers

Blueberries

Apples (to chew on)

Cucumbers (to chew on)

Cheese

Grapes

Crackers

She will eat some other fruits/veggies and maybe things like toast, but they are all hit and miss.

Emerson has had a lot going on lately as well. Almost two weeks ago we jumped right into potty training full force. I hit a wall and got sick of diapers, and was getting nervous that he wouldn’t be potty trained enough before pre-school (which he must be to attend). So, I just put him in underwear and we were off. He certainly has had accidents, but really nothing too terrible. The second day was the worst (probably 3 or 4 tinkles in his pants, and one poopy) but since then it has only gotten better. His problem now is forgetting to tell us until after he starts going, so he will say “Mommy, I have to go tinkle on the potty. I just already went a little in my underpants.” Or an example from tonight after he insisted on going all by himself at Grandmas’s – I stand outside the bathroom door to listen in cases he needs help and I hear an “Uh-oh”. He says he needs help so I go in and he says “It started coming out and I just couldn’t stop it” as I see a small puddle of pee on the ground. But he is learning and soon it will be diapers no more. He only wears them when he is sleeping now.

Dewey and I attended our first preschool meeting tonight which was to be training on prevent sexual abuse in children, so not super exciting. Hard to believe only a few months and he will actually be in school. He has grown so quickly. We really need to work on listening skills with him, though, as that has been an issue lately as well as temper tantrums. It all comes with the age, but we have a hard time with it trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Parenting is tough because no matter how we handle things like that I always feel bad or like we did it wrong. I do love how cuddly that boy is, and how loving he is. I’ll really miss the day I can’t lay down and cuddle with him and get big hugs. Arden actually just started being more cuddly lately, as she really never has been. I love it so much when she lays he head down on my chest at night…so sweet.

A few things to note:

Each day when I drop Emerson off at Kelsey’s and I leave for work, he insists on walking me to the door and opening it for me. After I step out he never fails to say “See you tomorrow Friday!”.

Arden is a kissing machine. She loves to give them. I love to get them.

Emerson: Skeeling = Ceiling

Arden loves to talk. Not many actually words at all, but she sure babbles and yells and it is adorable.

Emerson’s imagination develops more each day. I often find him singing to himself, or making up stories or characters as he plays. I love it.

Mother’s Day

May13

Today is Mother’s Day, and boy have I had a good one. A good weekend actually. It started with Friday morning…I got up as usual to get ready for work. As I was sitting watching the news on the rocking chair, dosing off before I woke the kids Dewey comes out and tells me…”You have the day off, and don’t have to go to work. I took the day off too, so the day is yours”. How amazing!! He had worked with my bosses and planned the entire thing. I was too excited to go back to sleep, which was my first instinct, so instead I saw in the rocking chair relishing in the quiet morning before the kids woke, enjoying my coffee and surfing the internet. Emerson and Arden woke soon after, and we deciding to all go out to breakfast at Cafe Moxo and also stop by and visit Grandma at work since they are nearby. Breakfast was good and the kids did great. They had fun at Grandma’s work too. From there we deciding to check out the Lincoln Museum since Emerson had never seen it. We spent most of our time in the kids room, but he did enjoy the other sites as well. The kids kitchen was a hit where he cooked us dinner and built a fire, wondering “where is the sink?”.

We headed home after that to have a late lunch, relax and take naps, which was so nice. Just sitting and doing nothing, no place to be. My mom graciously offered to take the kids so Dewey and I could have a night out and we took her up on it. Dewey and I ran a few errands (Target and Scheels) and then had a nice dinner at Osaka before heading back. Overall, such a great day.

Then today when I woke the kids gave me some great gifts (hand picked by Emerson): orange vitamin water, a green frisbee, an old man finger puppet, Apples to Apples travel cup game, and pigs flying Duck tape, all wrapped in an Elmo gift bag. It was so sweet and thoughtful. Dewey didn’t do too bad either and gave me a gift card for a massage and pedicure…ahhh, can’t wait to use it! He then went and got me breakfast and coffee and really just took care of the kids so I didn’t have to do much at all.

Dewey then went to visit his mom and grandma, so I took the kids to kill some time and we wandered around Target. They were both so great and well behaved, and each got to pick a toy (Arden a tablet thing and Emerson a Curious George movie). To Grandma’s house we went after that where she gave me a wonderful canvas print of a photo of Emerson and I when he was sick and we were rocking together. I love that photo. We gave her a Lisa Leonard necklace, coffee mug holder/warmer (to which she thought was a baby hat and I might be preggo), and Emerson’s gifts of a handwritten card of things he loved about Grandma, a rubber duck (for him to use in the tub when he bathes there), and a spray bottle in the shape of a snail (for her to use if she pees on the floor to clean it up).

Yesterday, though, was her gift to me and Kelsey. We went to the bead store in Chatham (Beads n More) and used our wedding flower beads to finally make some jewelry. It all turned out really nice and was a great time. I made a necklace and bracelet, Kelsey made a necklace, and Mom made a bracelet. We also made bracelets for the mom-in-laws.

Arden is basically crawling, but slowly. She gets on her hands and knees finally and can take a few “steps” but quickly gets frustrated and goes into her “swimming, kicking motion”. It also looks like a third tooth is coming in. She loves to dance and has quite the personality. Arden’s hair also is very red, so we will see if it sticks.

Emerson is really gaining an imagination and I find him talking to himself and using his imagination to play and entertain. It is adorable. He also loves telling stories and is so animated, it’s hard now to smile and take it seriously sometimes. Over the last week or so both kids have also appeared to come out of there shells and not be so frozen by shyness. They are interacting more with others, and not hiding their faces. That makes me happy as that is one of the things I love about Dewey is his outgoing personality and I want them to have that over my introversion.

All in all it was such a great weekend. No stress, got some pictures with the kids, and just had fun quality thoughtful times with everyone and now I lay in bed with Emerson and Dewey, while Arden and Tonka sleep. I feel very loved and so, so lucky.

More Sickness

April21

Well, I spoke too soon. A few days after Emerson got sick, and we thought he was getting better, Arden got sick as well. Her very first fever, first ear infection, first medication. It has been quite the week, that’s for sure. I think I only worked a total of about one day in the office, and a lot of work from home as the kids slept. Oh…and Arden still HATES the doctor. When I took her in this week to be seen she screamed the ENTIRE time we were there, and even on the way home. Did I mentioned no shots or anything, either??

I still don’t really know what they had, most likely a virus of some sort, but both ended up on antibiotics and both with ear infections (which they NEVER get), so who knows. Both ended up with two different rounds of antibiotics too (got changed mid-cycle) because Emerson’s wasn’t doing anything and Arden’s dose was way too high to get in her, so we had to up the concentration. Emerson fights his medicine, but gives in…Arden doesn’t give in and fights the whole time. We have to pry her mouth open and force her to swallow. It is NOT fun at all. I can’t wait until the medicine is done.

On a side note, Arden has started giving kisses. She opens her mouth and just rubs it on your cheek or lips, and say “muah!”. It is so cute. She also does her own version of “more” in sign language, which just looks like she is clapping. It looks like another tooth is about to pop through too, so hopefully it doesn’t cause her much pain.

I got back to work tomorrow assuming no one gets sick overnight, and as tough as this week has been I am really sad to go back. I never want our kids to be sick or not feel well, but this week made for some high quality cuddle time and mommy time, making me feel especially needed. We had the best excuse to spend days in pjs, sleep in, nap a lot, and just bum around and watch tv (too much tv, but hey, they were sick).

Both are still not 100%, and completely crashed today after our first day out of the house in a week (we went to Grandma’s), but hopefully they continue to get well. It’s all my fault anyway, I brought some sickness home from work and passed it along. Ugh. Guess it’s part of working outside of the home. Darn work.

Random, but another Emerson word before I forget:

“To-part” = apart

On another topic, not involving the kids, I ran my second race yesterday – just a two mile run in Chatham called the Nightcrawler. It was at night, hence the name, and ran around our neighborhood. I did better than expected, but not that good for two miles. I think I ended up around 21 or 22 minutes, but considering I haven’t worked out in a few weeks and have been sick, let alone only ran one time, it’s not too bad. At least I ran the whole time, and finished :). It did make me feel good though and I think my Mom, Kelsey, and I are going to plan on running more. They are fun goals to work towards and hopefully next time I will actually work out before hand.

I need to do a better job of taking care of myself so that I can be here for the kids and for Dewey. They need their mother, and I need them.

Sickness

April16

Well this week marked our very first “big” sickness with Emerson outside of the stomach flu (which is equally not fun). I have been sick over the past week with some mysterious thing (hard to breathe, deep cough, running nose, etc) and it must have hit Emerson, but harder. Monday morning we got up to go to work and Kelsey’s and Emerson had a slight fever. We went about our day anyway as I knew Kelsey would keep a close eye on him. Turned out I had to leave work at about lunch time to go get Emerson and take him home, as his fever was just getting worse. Arden stayed with Kelsey, and Emerson and I took it easy at home together that afternoon until Dewey got home.

Of course since I have horrible timing, come 9pm that night I ended up taking Emerson to Express Care as his fever had been steady at 101.5 all day until about 8pm where it climbed to 103. He had never had a fever that high, so I was worried. My mom tagged along with us since Dewey had poker and also needed to stay back with Arden.

The saddest part of it all was when I asked Emerson if there was anything he needed, he said “yes – to not be sick, Mommy please make me not sick”. Talk about heartbreaking. He also kept asking why he was sick and why he wasn’t getting better. It is just so tough for him at this age and I just feel so awful, wish it was me instead.

The doctor put Emerson on antibiotics for a possible ear infection (which I still doubt) and round the clock Motrin. It was a rough night as Emerson was clearly in pain and not feeling well. We all stayed home today as his fever never did subside, and stay at 103 to 103.5 most of the day. We called the doctor again, but they couldn’t do anything so we are waiting it out and pushing the medicine hoping he gets better as soon as possible. That is a whole other story, too. Medicine and Emerson do not mix – he HATES taking it, to the point he will spit it all out. However, after a fight each time he is due for medicine, he has been taking it like a champ which is so good. Especially since we have 9 more days of antibiotics to get in him.

Right now his fever is down to about 101.5 or 102, but I am not sure if it is the Motrin or if he is in fact getting better. I just hope the fever breaks soon. Between me being sick and now Emerson, I have definitely missed a ton of work…but my family comes first. A couple of times he spontaneously told me how much he loved me (and missed me – I think he gets them confused as he says he misses me a lot) and how he loves Daddy, Arden, Tonka, Grandma, Grandpa, etc. I think he was just so thankful to finally be feeling a bit better.

Arden on the other hand is doing well. He first tooth is about halfway up now, since it first poked through a few weeks ago (her front right). She has been doing really well with solids (finger foods, not purees) and loves her sippy cup. She isn’t crawling yet, but is pushing herself backwards and pivoting around so she does move – just not the direction she wants to. She kicks her legs a bunch like she is trying to fly, or swim…so I don’t think she quite understands crawling yet.

This past week she also starting saying Mama! Not sure if it is intentional, but she definitely says it…usually mamamama, but I like to think she means me. She says that, dada, baba, and a lot of other sounds that seem like Hi, or Yeah…but with a lot of syllables, kind of like yodeling. It’s super cute.

She sleeps fairly well, as it doesn’t take much to get her to fall asleep and she will sleep in pretty late – she just wakes a lot in between. Arden is definitely not a cuddler, which I miss as Emerson was a huge cuddler and still is. It is probably my fault since I didn’t want Arden to rely on anyone to fall asleep, which makes me feel guilty. She is independent, which is good, but I can’t help but feel I should cuddle and cling to her more.

Easter 2013

March31

Today was Easter. We all had a great day. It actually started off last night with both kids going down very early (Emerson at 8pm, and Arden about 7:30, which is pretty normal for her). This helped them both rest up, though, for the busy day ahead.

The family woke up at about 8 or 8:30am, and after I got a few things ready (camera, coffee, let Tonka out) we let Emerson and Arden leave our bedroom where they come when they wake up in the mornings and venture out into the living room to see what the Easter Bunny left them. Both kids were very excited, and I was actually surprised Arden even paid much attention. Emerson didn’t know what to say except for showing us the things the Easter Bunny left for him, and getting really excited to see and find eggs around the house.

Arden proceeded to sit next to and empty her Easter basket, talking and babbling the entire time. She has quite the personality these days, and seems to be doing better since her very first tooth actually poked its way through her gums this last week. Her bottom, center, right tooth. She’s been eating like crazy since then, so I can’t help but think a lot of her eating issues must have been tied to teething. Lately, though, just about any finger food you give her she will eat, and and LOVES her sippy cup with water. Still not a fan of much pureed, though, which is fine by me.

Arden also just had her 9 month doctor appointment, which went much worse than expected. We took Emerson with since I had the day off work and this was a no shot appointment, so we figured it wouldn’t be bad. However, it appears Arden is now recalling the doctor’s office and her past experiences because as soon as the nurse went near her she just melted down and freaked out, crying and just whimpering the entire time. Poor thing, I can’t imagine what her 12 month appointment will be like since she has to get shots. Emerson wasn’t sure what to make of it either, so I hope we didn’t scare him by bringing him along to witness how she acted.

The doctor prescribed a new, stronger cream for her face to get rid of those stubborn rough, red spots so let’s hope it works. Otherwise everything looked great. She is steady in the 7th percentile for weight at 15 pounds 3 ounces. Her length was 26 3/4 inches, at the 18th percentile, and her head was 45 centimeters at the 80 percentile.

We went and got ice cream after the appointment which I think cheered everyone up.

Getting back to Easter, though, we spent some time at my parents house where the kids got a wagon, candy, and other fun toys (nerf gun, mickey night time animal, playdoh sets, blanket sleeper animal, books) on top of what they got at our house (there should be pictures, but a grill, rocking horse, books, candy, outfits, pjs, trains, sleepers…). Emerson and Arden definitely made out, because we also ended the day at Aunt Jaime’s where there was an Easter egg hunts and tons of candy (and even money).

The day was relaxing, and it was nice to spend it with the family and have such nice weather for once. I took tomorrow off work, and I am so excited to have day at home with the kids to play, and do a little cooking and cleaning too.

Updates on Life with the Littles

March5

Wow, have these 8 months been a whirlwind. It seemed we had so much more time before Arden arrived, and I should have taken advantage of it. I used to be semi-okay about blogging, and trying to keep up and capture things going on with us, but that definitely dropped off as life got busy.

So, I wanted to take some time to document some of the high points of Arden since she arrived 8 months ago. I can’t believe she is already 8 months old, and Emerson almost 3.

Arden still doesn’t have any full blown teeth yet. Just last week one sort of started to poke through the gum (on the bottom right side, not in the center like expected). Hasn’t changed much since then, but she will get teeth someday.

Not sleeping through the night, or anywhere close. She wakes up multiple times per night whether it be to nurse or for a pacifier. We just transitioned her to her crib a few weeks ago, which I can’t say is better or worse. She was in a bassinet on my side of the bed before that, so at least I didn’t have to get out of bed to sooth her. Before the bassinet she slept in the Fisher Price Rock N’ Play, which she still actually naps in pretty well. Those things are lifesavers. We also just got this crib aquarium thing you put on the side of crib for babies to watch and listen to in order to fall asleep. It worked the first night, not so much the next, so we will see if that provides any relief.

We have also transitioned out of swaddling. She was swaddled until about 6-7 months old, and starting getting out of it so I moved her to a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (look it up, pretty cool) which worked well, and then no swaddle at all. There were a rough few nights, but now we are sans swaddle and she doesn’t seem to mind.

Arden is also sitting up on her own completely. She still topples over occasionally, or dives head first to the floor so she can be on her tummy, but other than that she’s got it. She started doing that at about 7 months and keeps getting better. No crawling yet, pulling herself up, or standing on her own really. She loves to bounce, but doesn’t take steps or seem to interested in walkers or anything. I wonder if she will be a late walker. Crawling I don’t think is too far off, though. She is too interested in all of Emerson’s things to just sit still.

She is talking more and more. Right now aside from yelling/screeching, she says “da-da” and “ba-ba” and sometimes “ma-ma” but that is mostly when she is upset. She doesn’t cry very often at all, but definitely whines if there is something she wants or isn’t happy about.

Rolling over has long ago been mastered, both ways. She knows which way to roll to get the direction she wants to go. Somehow, too, she can rotate 360 degrees when on her back or belly. She pivots around in circles, so like I said, I think we will see some crawling soon.

Hair is still very minimal, but coming in more each day. The ongoing debate is the color. Some days it looks blonde, others red. Only time will tell.

Arden is very much a girly-girl. From her high-pitched voice and laugh (the most ADORABLE laugh) to her pointed toes, and dainty fingers, and skinny little legs…I think she is going to be a little princess all the way, which is completely fine by me.

Eating is a touchy subject. She will nurse and take bottles all day, no problem (although she’s always at 4 ounces bottles, rarely anything more). However, when it comes to solids her interest is scarce. We started food at 4 months per her doctor, but there are really only a handful of times she has actually eaten a good amount of food. I even had to throw out tons of homemade baby food I made as it got too old since she wouldn’t eat it. Lately I have been trying the baby-led weaning and moved passed purees right to finger foods. Arden is definitely interested and puts them in her mouth, but then spits it all back out. Very little makes it to her belly. Right now I am just waiting it out and we make sure to try each day. She’s bound to eat someday, right?

Arden has a bit of a temper sometimes that I am noticing lately. Specifically if you take something she wants, or don’t let her have something she wants. Get ready to hear it. Last night she wanted my sandwich and got really angry, crying, when I wouldn’t let her hold it/eat it. It makes me smile though as her personality is developing.

Recently Arden has starting waving, and clapping a bit as well. Bath time is one of her favorite things to do, especially when her and Emerson get to take baths together. She sure does love Emerson, too. She loves to watch him, play with his toys, and gets so happy when he talks to her and plays with her. I think at times, though, he gets annoyed by her and he is having a really tough time sharing. When I see those moments though, however few and far between, when they click and share moments, it just makes my heart melt.

Emerson is growing like a weed in so many ways. His speech and vocabulary are amazing and so clear. We can carry on conversations and he is beginning to tell us stories and also talk to/for his toys and use his imagination when he plays alone. It is so cute. Whenever Dewey or I hear something he says that makes us smile, we email it to each other. Some of the latest ones are:

“Magmin” – Napkin

“Lellow” – Yellow

“Ellyick” – Elliot

“Nana” – Banana

“Bike-a-cytle” – Bicycle or motorcycle

“Freezerator” – Freezer

“Watergun Shooter” – Water gun

“Rocket Ship” – Jet streams

“Nilla milk” – Vanilla Pediasure

“Mommy’s Elbows” – where milk comes from for Arden

We just had his very first dental appointment on 2/25. I really wanted to get started on the right foot with dental care since Dewey’s teeth are so bad. I was really worried about how he would do (will he open his mouth, cry, etc). However, he did so great. He didn’t speak to any doctor (shy gene) but he listened, opened his mouth for the most part, let them clean his teeth, and got to play and get a prize. I think it helped that he got to sit with Dewey on the dental chair and he felt safer. I hope it goes as well the next time around.

Emerson likes to do more and more things “by myself” lately too, which is tough sometimes as it takes much longer, but exciting to see him grow. He likes to brush his teeth by himself, climb into his bed, put on his hat and mittens and socks, pull up his pants, take off his diaper (see story below), climb into the bath, pouring his own milk, take off his shoes, and one of the latest is taking a shower. He finally overcame his fear of the shower head and loves to shower now (with one of us) but he stays in there forever (and falls sometimes).

Speaking of the diaper things, the diaper removal had been dangerous lately. He did it the other day, alone in his room, with a diaper full of poop. That was not pretty smelling, or to clean up. Yikes. We have been backing off the potty training a bit as he is losing interest. A few weeks ago he was rocking it out and I thought we had it in the bag (wearing underpants, telling us when he had to go, getting stickers and marshmallows) but then one week it just stopped. Right now he doesn’t want to use the potty or wear underpants, but he still tells us when he fills his diaper which is good.

We have to have him potty trained completely by September or no pre-school, so I have hope that will happen. We just enrolled him in the Catholic preschool where Owen goes (St. Joseph’s). I am nervous about it, but also excited he can get out and meet friends. We visited another school in town which we both didn’t like, and we may still visit a few more but we wanted to at least get him a spot if we could.

Emerson still absolutely loves movies, TV, and games on the iPad and iPhone which we really try to limit. He is awesome at puzzles, and some of his favorite shows are Thomas the Train, Berenstein Bears, Chuggington, and of course Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We are getting to the age where we have to be careful about what we put on TV when he is around but he is paying attention more and noticing what is on.

I think we have officially transitioned our bedtime routine as well. It used to be me only, never Daddy and we would read a few books, brush teeth, milk, and bed. Now Daddy has taken over that role while I put Arden to bed. However their routine usually ends up with Daddy and Emerson both falling asleep together in Emerson’s bed. Either way, I miss our routine sometimes, but it is good for Emerson and Dewey to have that time while Arden and I have ours.

One of my favorite things to do with Emerson is when he and I go grocery shopping together. He is a big helper and keeps me company and enjoys riding in the grocery cart. I also have fun when he and I go get milkshakes or ice cream together. Banana and Vanilla is the latest favorite (Steak and Shake). We have been having a lot of family dance parties lately too, which is awesome and all thanks to Dewey (who knew). We blast the music and everyone dances to burn off steam and just have fun. Emerson is starting to like it more and more and even shows off his moves. It is so much fun.

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Life with Mr. Emerson

September17

I don’t think there is enough space to write about Emerson and the funny things he does and says, and how much he has grown! He is doing so well with Arden. He loves to help us care for her, get her pacifier, her blankets, talk to her, etc. He is such a great brother to her. Emerson doesn’t show jealously or resentment toward her at all. I couldn’t ask for anything better there.

He is talking up a storm, though. Some of my favorites:

“I’ll be riiiight back”.

“I’m busy”.

“Can I see that for a minute?”

“Buckle-buckle!”

He knows his ABC’s, can count to 20, knows his colors and shapes and is just so smart. Last weekend Emerson showed us how he could pedal his tricycle all by himself! He loves to show us how he can run fast, and jump high.

Mickey Mouse is his favorite right now, although he is moving to Thomas the Train too. Poor Elmo has taken a backseat.

That’s all for now…kids are up :)

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