Saturday, November 30, 2013

August Gabriel, 1 year old

Right at 11 months, August started to take a few steps.  And for weeks he would take 4 steps and them get down to crawl to his destination.  Then, at 1 week shy of his birthday, he decided it was time to get serious and started to do the drunken sailor toddle.  Now you are on the move, and you don't want to sit for long.  Not in a high-chair, not in the grocery cart, and diaper/ clothing changes are still a wresting match.

Dancing:  August does this funny little baby dance that we cherish so much right now.  He'll get down and do a little knee-bend bop to a beat, and sometimes a side to side sway.  And, the newest move, is that he'll stomp his right leg and sometimes move into a little high-step stomp.  August loves music, and if you turn on a song he likes, he'll drop what he's doing and get up and dance.

For August's first birthday, we all got the stomach flu.  We were able to rally on the afternoon of his birthday and took him on an outing to the Austin Animal Rescue Zoo.  The following weekend, our friends in San Antonio- Lara, Sheridan, and Truman- hosted a first birthday party for Gus, and we enjoyed getting to see everyone in SAT again.

We kicked off the month of November with family time when my brother Joe, sister-in-law Michelle, and niece Sophia came for a visit to Austin.  My parents also joined us for the gathering of 3 Grandkids.  And we found out Michelle and Joe have a baby #2 cookin'!  Later in November, Grandma and Grandpa Dino and Dolores and Uncle Kevin and "official" Aunt Brittany came to visit for Thanksgiving.  Joe also joined us again for the Turkey, because he was just a hop, skip, and jump away job-training in Mississippi.

Happy birthday, little bub.  We can tell you are going to be funny and silly and happy.  You smile at everyone everywhere we go.  And the old ladies in the grocery store submit their approval, even those old ladies who you know don't give approval readily.  You play well on your own, and love it when your sister is there to entertain you also.  You are starting to realize you can press her buttons, and you both want that thing just because the other one wants it too.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Isla Rose, 3 and 1/2 years old

Isla has adjusted well to our new home in Austin.  It's nice that we made this transition at a time when we could explain and prepare her for the move.  And, I think that's the main difference I see in Isla as of late.  You can really start to reason with her, explain why to her.  We wear a jacket so we don't get cold.  I want you to be buckled properly so you don't fly out of the car and bonk your head.  I can't give you want you want while I'm driving the car because I'll crash the car and we'll all bonk our heads.  You don't feel good right now because you're tired, you need to take a nap.

Isla picking apples at Eckerts in Belleville, IL
Isla started attending a preschool here in Austin, the All Saints' Episocopal Day School.  She really enjoys her school, but I just love picking that little girl up from school.  I like to watch her expression change to happy in the instant she sees me standing at the gate.

"Twin" jammies, just like in Fancy Nancy "Pajama Day."

Fancy.  Isla is a fancy girl, and is very into accessorizing, and pretty dresses.  Her favorite thing to wear is her heart dress, with the matching heart shoes, and heart underwear.  Aunt Michelle gave her this little case of Fancy Nancy books a while back, and right now it is her favorite thing.  Another great development in the life of Isla is that she will entertain herself by reading books!  She has added an extra 1/2 hour to the bedtime routine reading books in bed before she lies down.

Flower Girl Practice
Flower Girl.  Isla was a flower girl for Uncle Kevin and Aunt Brittany's wedding at the end of September.  I bought a couple of Flower Girl books for Isla so she knew what to expect.  And, we practiced with tissue paper down the hallway.  When the day came, Isla was well-prepared and took her job very seriously.  She knew her job was to decorate the isle with flower petals, and she sprinkled them all the way to the very end of isle.  Since Brittany's dress swept them all up when she came down the isle after Isla, Isla redid it, and sprinkled the petals on the way back out.

Flower Girl, Isla

Boy/ Girl.   One funny thing Isla has been doing lately is telling us how many boys, and how many girls there are throughout the day.  When the 4 of us go in the car together, she says "There are 2 boys, and 2 girls."  It's fun to get the boy/girl count throughout the day.

Isla was a bat for Halloween

A mighty cute bat, that is.
Politeness/Helpfullness.  Isla has (finally) started to get the hang of how to ask for things politely, instead of demanding.  While I still have the remind her, she's getting better at it.  Lately, having everything cleaned up and put back in it's place has been very important to her.  She puts her clothes in the laundry basket, cleans up her toys,  and puts shoes in her closet shoe cubbies.  She also has started to get handy in the kitchen, and stands up on the step-stool to help.  Her favorite is to mix the ingredients for pancakes.

The best big sis a lil' bub could have

and how
Naps.  I brought back the naps in an ultimate show-down in for the summer.  Isla's behavior had become so completely outrageous last spring, and I knew it was from being too tired.  After I regained control of the situation, she took good 2 hour naps for the rest of the summer.  But, once school started, I couldn't get the nap going after school.  The 5 day week was too much for her, so I keep her home on Wednesdays to recover.   And she usually naps on the weekend too.

Sophia left her bib!  (note: heart dress)
Isla likes to get her hair cut, and I have been keeping it in a cute little bob for about a year now.  She requests haircuts often, and is having trouble understanding it's not an every day sort of thing.   Isla continues to be a great big sister and is (usually) very sweet towards August, and I have seen her be sweet and helpful towards other smaller kids and babies.  But, she is and always will be the extremely strong-willed child.  And I find myself thinking on a weekly basis, "That girl is going to give us a run for our money."  Then, I think,  "That doesn't really make sense, we didn't buy her."  I am frustrated that I have all this pre-handwriting expertise that would be perfect for use with a 3 year-old.  But, Isla will not have anything to do with me demonstrating how to build letters, she takes everything away from me so she can be the teacher.  But, entertainment value is high, and she does say very funny things.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

August Gabriel, 10, uh, 11 months old

My guy

I can't believe the 1st birthday is just around the corner.  August is just as sweet as ever.  He is so engaging.  He loves attention, but does okay when he doesn't have it.  It's so easy to make this little guy smile, and laugh.  He plays peek-a-boo hiding under his bath towel or behind the curtains; he says "ba" instead of "boo."  He often says a little "uh-oh" sound throughout the day, but sometimes it might mean "all-done."  I can get some good belly-laughs when I crawl around on the floor with him.

11 months old on 10/20/13.  Prefers to crawl.

He can place objects into containers and holes.  He started cruising the furniture in September and the walking with the crocodile walker by the end of September.  Now he'll cruise along just about anything, even a vertical wall.  He does not want to go without something to hold onto, and won't walk with holding hands; so it's still crawling to get from place to place, but he's quick!  He figured out how to back down the 3 steps to the family room feet first (yeah! I don't have to guard the steps).  He just tried to go down the steps from the 1st to 2nd floor yesterday- I was on guard for that one.  And, in the last week, he's figured out how to climb onto Isla's toddler bed, and can get back down.  Today he tried to climb up on his bookshelf- oh no!

Fun couch time with sister
See the tunnel behind the couch
One of August favorite things to do is to flop around and sit-jump on the bed or sofa.  He started this little game where he wrestles and snuggles with Isla's zebra pillow that we got for airplane travel.  August loves music and will shake little maracas, and bop his little torso up and down to a beat.  He has loved crawling through tunnels for a while, but right now, he really like to crawl behind our living room sofas.  Just as Isla was, August is fascinated with opening and closing doors, cabinets, and drawers.  He hates it when he pinches his fingers.  August has no time in his busy schedule right now to be bothered with diaper changes and putting on clothes.  It is an all-out wresting match to accomplish those tasks.
I am going to fall over on this pillow!

Sleep... has been going better.  August continued to wake up once a night into his 10th month.  But he usually slept a longer stretch of 5-6 hours somewhere in there.  And, I was starting to feel more human. Then for almost a week he really slept through the entire night, then came teething.  So, I know he can do it, still he's inconsistent.
Uncle Dan came to visit me in October

Teeth.. at his 9 month doctor appointment, the doctor and I discovered he had a tooth on the bottom, but not one of the front and center 2, it was the next over on the right.  Doctor said she'd never seen that before.  Since then the bottom centers came in, and just in the past week the top centers.  Now he has 5 teeth poking through.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Gabriel, 8 months old

Well, now 8 and 1/2.

1st plane ride
This move and the long to-do list that came with the house has kept me busy.  Plus, Isla home from school this summer and being out of my element in a new city.   The days wiz by a in blur of mind-numbing fatigue and intermittent unbearable cuteness.  I have given up hope that I will ever get 8 hours of consolidated sleep again.  I will feel like crap every day for the rest of my life, and I need to come to terms with this.  Before I continue to spiral down this drain of self-pity, let me give you the August updates.

Going up the steps
August took off crawling right around Jason's birthday at the end of June.  My baby recording has not been the best, but I think this is what happened next.  We made a trip to St. Louis over the 4th of July, and when we returned he started pulling up to stand and crawling up the stairs.  Then we made a trip to the Texas coast.  In the past week (now it's August 12th) he started cruising the furniture, and just yesterday I saw him experimenting with some free-standing.  He's also trying to set a record for speed crawling.  All signs point towards an early walker.

1st taste of sand
8 to 10 months is my favorite baby age.  The crawling is adorable, and so puppy-esk.  I just love the purposefulness they gain.  August shakes his head "no-no-no-no," and splashes the water, and loves to bang the drum, or pots and pans, shakes his shake rattles, then he looks up at you to see if you like it too.  Right now he loves power cords (eating them), opening and closing doors and drawers on fingers, plastic bags, playing in the dog food and water, eating the cap that covers the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor.  He loves when he gets your full attention, and smiles big.  He is such a happy baby, and people notice and comment on that every where we go.  It is the #1 comment- "Happy Baby."  He has fun at the water-baby class we do together.  He loves all things "mom" and will hang his head and cry if I leave the room.  The sad, mournful cry that should only be saved for death-of-a-loved one.

Jammie swinging

Come back in September for your Isla Rose, 3 and 1/2 years old update.

9 months old in Peoria