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

Monday, June 3, 2013

August Gabriel, 6 months old

OH NO!!!  You're 1/2 birthday is already here.  My sweet baby boy, I just can't express what a sweet little cuddle bug you are.  Really, I can't, because I'm too tired.  In April, August began to sleep 5-6 hour stretches more consistently- Finally!  But, in May, he went back to waking up about every 3 hours, and pretty much wakes up just as much as he did when he was a newborn- as a 6 month old!  Being this sleep deprived for this long has really taken it's toll on me.  I don't do well on little sleep.

But, here's what else has been going on with baby boy.  On April 2nd he figured out how to roll.  He's gotten much better at sitting up.  Now, he loves to sit on a blanket with his toys and play.  With the boppy pillow around his backside, he can sit there for quite a while.  In April, he loved to play and bounce in the doorway bouncer, but now he thinks it's too constraining, and prefers to be on the floor where he can sit and roll about.  And, the day I've been waiting for- to make grocery shopping with baby so much easier- he can sit in the cart!  

He is all smiles and giggles, and smiles at any familiar face who goes by, sometimes even unfamiliar.  He solicits a lot of attention from passer-by's.  He loves his toys, and seems like he's always gotta having something to play with, or he'll grab something he shouldn't have.  He's got the baby babble going on and loves to talk back and forth with me.  He has a great sense of humor.  When I'm silly with him, he stops, and smiles at me with this little glint in his eye.  Like, he gets it, he's in on the joke.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Austin Bound

Hi all, We are anticipating another big move.  In a couple of weeks we'll be moving to Austin, TX.  Jason's job with Techstars is taking us there.  We are excited about the move, and sad to leave San Antonio.  But, it's nice to know we'll just be an hour down the road, and can visit our SAT friends easily.  And, I have another beautiful home to look forward to.  We found another century old home in Old West Austin.  It is just 3 blocks from the Original Whole Foods!  We found this home on our second day of house-hunting with our Real estate Agent.  When we walked through, I knew it was the one.  Apparently a home is not a home to me unless the wood floors squeak under your feet as you walk.  Pictures to follow once we move in.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Isla Rose, 3 years old

Big Girl, Big Sister Isla

All the baby is gone, Isla is officially a little girl now.  Isla is very proud to be a big sister.  Her conversation opener at the moment is "I a big sister, have baby brother."  One of the funnest moments as a new family of 4 was one morning when Jason was about to carry August downstairs.  Isla reached arms out to him at the top step and asked to be carried too.  Then he shifted Augie over to make room on the other side and scooped up Isla.  Isla said to him, "You have two," pointed to August then herself, "Two animals."  Sometimes she introduces August to people, "This is baby August.  He was born."  She is protective of him and when other kids get too close, she gets upset and yells "He's Mine!"

Too much is not enough

One peculiar aspect of Isla's personality is a lack of moderation- or as I like to say "Everything to the nth degree."  When she is excited about something she has to use it up, pile it high, and often plays with it until it is broken.  For example, I bought mickey mouse foam hand soap to encourage after toilet hand-washing.  Isla was in the bathroom washing her hands for a long time, leaving her hands chapped for several days.  After watching me tape her picture to the wall, she was excited about the tape, and created a vertical tape mound on the wall.  Here's a picture of Isla's valentine box.  I feel this box is a physical representation of my daughter.

3 is the new 2

For Isla's 3rd birthday we went to the Magik Theater and saw the children's play "Rapunzel."  And then played on the Hemisfair playground.  And, for her party later that week, we had our friends, plus Gma and Gpa Lontai to our house for a skunk-themed birthday party.  My strong-willed girl has been putting me to the test.  Isla loves non-stop activity and excitement.  With the full attention of one adult, Isla is perfectly happy.  Without (even for just 10 minutes), she often turns to "very naughty deeds." VND's.  VND's to date: dispensing all the wipes onto the floor, emptying baby powder bottle in her bedroom, smearing Desitin all over upholstered rocking chair and rug in her bedroom, pulling tape out of a cassette (vintage 1980's Disney book on tape cassette meant for Isla to have "quiet time" as napping has ceased), taking a permanent marker to furniture, and cutting the strap of the doorway baby bouncer.  While her stubborn personality sometimes has me banging my head against the wall, I have been told that she will grow to be a very successful adult.  And, I remind myself that Isla was born into the right family.  A family with the time, resources, and patience to deal with a little girl who demands a lot.  Isla will tell you exactly what she wants and how she wants it.  Sometimes she is sneaky.  After being told "no more cookies" she said, "I'm thirsty, can I have some water and some cookies?"  I am glad to see in social situations Isla stands up for herself and uses her words- ie: "I don't like pushing, it's not nice!"  She said to the girl who pushed her in the bouncy castle.  You're right Isla, pushing is not nice.

 *37 month update*  Isla has dropped that nap.  But will still fall asleep in the car in the late afternoon.  After a month of being very cranky and unreasonable, we have adjusted to an earlier bedtime... and things are better!  Turns out the little girl just needed a bit more beauty sleep.  VND's have ceased.  Also, after several months of potty training regression (waiting to poop in diaper at bedtime) she decided it was time to poop in the potty again- yay!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

August Gabriel- 4 months old

Mr. Personality!  August's sweet personality is starting to show.  He is a sensitive guy and wears his heart on his sleeve.  You can read every little emotion as he is experiencing- Proud to be standing, Determined to get that toy in his mouth, Hey look! It's Daddy... I like that guy, Oh sad... Daddy walked away, You're silly mommy, Big sister is a little to close for comfort... I'm scared.

August is a drool-bug and soaks bibs and the front of his shirt.  He is trying to roll, but can't quiet make it over yet.  He is getting less fussy than he was in the beginning, and can stay happy in his stroller while I teach Stroller Strides classes.  But, he still doesn't like car rides and usually cries the whole way.  He plays with toys.  We can make him giggle.  He is sitting up better, but just needs a bit more head control and neck strength before we try solids.  He talks and sings baby songs.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

August Gabriel, 2 months old

Baby August is growing!  Now 11 lbs 15 oz and 23 inches long at his 2 month appointment.  Apparently that mommy milk is doing the trick.  He now likes to interact with us, and smile, coo, and have little conversations saying "agoo."  He sometimes has a little smirk, like he is holding in a funny joke.

He is sensitive, and doesn't like it when I sneeze when he is nursing.  He likes a moving car, but cries at the stop lights.  August has moved on from binkies, and acts like they are an assault to his mouth.  But, if he's tired, we swaddle him up and stick him in the swing, and that usually does the trick.

Around 2 weeks, he began a ritual of crying throughout the evening.  That has now subsided.  Gassy Gus!  This little guy farts and burbs like a sailor.

He often has a gassy tummy, and will not let you put him down for a couple of hours when that is the case.  After hours of holding this 12 lb bowling ball my arms, shoulders, and neck get sore.  But, then he makes up for it with a sweet smile and sometimes a chuckle.  His ginger hair is thinning, will he be a red-head, or something else?