Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Family photos

As you all know, I take a lot of photos.  I like to document things.  I take photos because it helps me remember long down the road.  You know, like a year later...or a month.  My memory is failing me and I use my camera to help me out.  But, for as much as I like to take pictures, I have very few of us all together as a family.  It's tougher to get those done, seeing as we need someone else around to do the snapping.  

The last time we had proper family photos taken Emmett was 6 months old!  My friend, Kiplyn, took the photos while we were in Fayetteville for Thanksgiving.  They are some of my favorite photos (click here to see them).   After Theo was born I knew I wanted to get some more photos taken, so when a neighborhood friend and photographer announced a "mini session" I was in.  Twenty minutes is probably about all you can ask of a 4.5 year old and an 8 month old anyway.

On the day of the shoot, we all dressed in our coordinating blues and greens and just hoped that the boys would cooperate.  Emmett wanted to do anything other than what we asked, but we did get some genuine smiles thanks to some new jokes.  And Theo, for all his joyous smiling, couldn't really be bothered to look at the camera.  I was worried that the photos would not turn out well.  But all my worrying was for naut because I really love what our photographer, Megan, captured.  They aren't perfect - Emmett has a goofy smile in most of them and Theo is more concerned with Emmett's hair than the camera - but that's life!  I love having this particular phase in our lives captured.  Maybe I'll even get some more photos taken in another 4 years. ;)  You can see all 15 images online here

Remember when it was Emmett between our feet?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

9 month check-up

Oh hai. (7.5 months old)

It's been 3 months since we last checked in with ol' Theo, so here are his stats from this morning's doctor visit.

Weight: 25 lbs. 7 oz. (over 95th percentile)
Height: 32 in. (over 95th percentile)
Head circ.: 45 cm (48th percentile)

He’s up 4 pounds and 2.75 inches since his 6 month check-up.  For once, though, his weight is secondary to his height, which has skyrocketed!  He’s in the 75% for 15-month old kids.  I went back to check out Emmett’s stats at 9 months old and he experienced a similar peak in growth during the 6-9 month period.  The biggest difference between the two boys at this age is that Theo is 4 pounds heavier!  It’s all belly and thighs.

At around 7 months old Theo started crawling and now he cannot be stopped.  He is surprisingly quick, especially considering he doesn’t even really use one of his legs. 

Emmett was also a fan of the one-legged crawl, but unlike Emmett, Theo wants to explore and when he gets to an obstacle, he conquers it.  We have levels from our kitchen and foyer down into the living room and I had naively thought that they would keep Theo contained to the living room.  Well, he mastered the level up into the kitchen after a week of crawling.  (Note: he has not mastered the level down just yet. #faceplant) Just today I decided to let him go and see what he could do and damn it if he didn’t climb our ENTIRE STAIRCASE.  I have video evidence:

Guys? I’m pretty scared about what this kid can do.  We’ve known he was strong from the get go.  Here he is doing his morning work out:

Downward facing dog (7.5 months old)

One-legged push-up (7.5 months old)

As you can imagine, this "little" guy can really tear into some food, and he's been doing so quite regularly.  He nurses 4 times a day (3 in the day and once at night) and eats 3 meals a day.  He has slept through the night about 10-15 times now off-and-on and after chatting with the doc about it today, it looks like he might be "crying it out" from now on because "I mean, he's huge" (her words). Sorry, dude, doctor's orders!

"I don't understand the 'Food as Decoration' concept." (almost 8 months old)

"Why these straps so tight?" (8 months old)

SPAGHETTI FACE! (8 months old)

I really thought he'd be more into the turkey leg at Thanksgiving. (almost 9 months old)
SPAGHETTI FACE PT. 2! (almost 9 months old)

Theo is still such a happy dude, except when he's not.  Trust me, he can wail when he needs to, but most of the time he is a content, smiley, adorable little boo-boo and I want to squish him with hugs all day.  He is a huge flirt while we are out and he smiles primarily at ladies of all ages.  One time at the grocery store he was so obviously leering at a young girl (age 3 or so) with her mother that she stopped and said, "You're in trouble."  Duh, lady.  DUH.

Oh, like you could resist squeezing this face? (8 months old)

The dimples get you every time. This bear jacket is what earned him one of his nicknames, but you must say it like "BUHHR" because that's the rule.  (8.5 months old)
So stinkin' happy. (almost 9 months old)

Theo loves to crawl around our living room and playroom, checking out new toys that he can either chew on, manipulate with his fingers or move on wheels.  He has the benefit of having all of big brothers toys out, too.  He loves this poppin' turtle toy that rolls and makes loud popping sounds (yippee) as it goes.  He gets that thing in his hand and he is off poppin' away!  He can really scoot with it.  He also loves music and he gets the biggest grin when he hears music or a ringtone or melody.  He likes to rock back and forth to his music table.

"You know Robin deserves more credit than he gets, if you ask me." (8.5 months old)

On a playground in Fayetteville (almost 9 months old)

Lastly, Theo is still very enamored with his big brother and Emmett is quite happy to put on a show for him.  Em loves making Theo laugh, even if it means throwing his body on the floor over and over again.  Theo is becoming more interested in Emmett's toys and that has prompted many conversations about sharing (many, many, many...), but thankfully Theo takes it in stride when Emmett grabs a toy away from him.  I don't know how long that will last.  

"I'll drive." "NO, I'll drive." (7 months old)

Is it just me or does Theo look especially ginormous here? (almost 9 months old)
So that's what Theo's been up to for the last three months.  I put a bunch of videos up on my YouTube channel of both Theo and Emmett, just some random stuff they've been up to lately.  Grandparents, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Month by Month: Nine

The nine month mark is sort of a big deal - at least sentimentally - for me as your mom.  You have now been out in the world as long as you were growing in my belly.  When I think of all the ways that you have grown and changed in that relatively short time it blows my mind.  

I hear it all the time from moms young and old, "Enjoy it, it goes too fast!" and I always smile and say, "I will!" But, you know, our day-to-day can be a grind.  Wake up, nurse, change diaper, make breakfast, clean up the resulting big mess, play, nap and then repeat.  I'm lucky if I know what day it is half the time.  The routine can get a little mundane after a while.  

But then, on the first of every month, I take a step back and look at what you've done in just 30 days time.  What a humbling exercise this proves to be each month.  I sift through the hundreds of diaper changes and countless meal times and find little gems to celebrate.  For example, this month you learned to wave.  You first waved at your Daddy while eating dinner.  You beamed with pride when we made such a big deal about it.  What a treat it was to see your brain working with your little hand.   We enjoyed that moment.  

Also in the last month, you started to crawl like a mad man and pull up and climb up the different levels of our house.  It took you almost no time at all to learn the latter two things after you mastered crawling.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that just a couple days after you started crawling I saw you climb the step up into the kitchen as though you'd been doing it for years.  I stared at your dad with my mouth hanging open thinking, "We got our work cut out for us with this one."

Day in and day out, we go through the motions.  I try and keep up as you keep growing, learning little things each day.  There will come a time when I won't think twice about you waving back at me.  And I think that's what all the moms out there mean when they tell me to "Enjoy it!"  So, I want you to know, that I am doing my best to enjoy it, because it goes too fast.  


PS. You can see all of Theo's nine month photos in the December photo album.

Monday, November 24, 2014

School pictures!

Emmett has been in some type of Mother's Day Out/Pre-school program since he was two years old but this is the first year that we have gotten school pictures.  The MDO in El-Do didn't do any, but his school last year did, he was just sick on picture day.  Note: they don't feel the need to schedule re-takes in preschool.  

So this year I was determined to keep him healthy for pictures.  Thankfully, he was healthy as could be!  His folder came back about a week later with 1 inch tall pixelated proofs.  It was really tough to tell which one was the best, but one thing was for sure: he had come down with a case of Fake-Smile-Itis when he got in front of the camera.  

Ultimately, I picked the one that I thought had the most natural smile and least staged pose.  However, I did not notice that he was biting his bottom lip in the photo.  That only became clear when my 20 copies of the photo came in!  

So, yeah.  Not the worst, but not exactly a natural smile either.  I really wonder if these professional children's photographers are going in yelling, "SMILE!" at these kids when that is the last thing that works.

I'll bet you are wondering what the other two photos must have looked like in order for me to only order copies of the one above.  I took the liberty of visiting the Lifetouch site so that I could show you.  There, they intend to sell you more photos of your child looking super awkward.  Poses include: 

Just Hangin' Out Casually with My Ladder and these Books
What?  I stand like this all the time.  Also, it's bright in here.

This Ladder Makes a Great Seat ... It's Not Uncomfortable At All
Is it snack time? Because I brought my whole apple!

Ah, the delightful pastime of school pictures.  It's a fun one.  If anyone would like to order any of these, they are like $20 for a 5x7.  Ridiculous.  I did get some wallet sizes of the Lip-Biter that a select few can have.  Don't all send your requests in at once!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A family visit

Earlier this month we welcomed Mike, Karen and Justin to Dallas for a nice long weekend visit.  It had been several months since Mike and Karen saw the boys and Theo especially had changed so much.  Uncle Justin hadn't seen us in two years!  The last time he saw Emmett was in a diner for breakfast and it's hard to really get to know someone in that short time.  So, we decided to let those two bunk together and really do some bonding.  ;)  I'll let you guess who got to wake up with Emmett "at the seven!"  

Of course, everyone was quite smitten with the "little" man, who looks like he's really had enough of all the picture-taking.

"I like Grandad, but you better stop it with the camera. NOW."

"What did I tell you about the camera? Nana, make them stop."

"OK, well at least I look like a little baller in this one. Thanks for the hat, Uncle J-Bird."

As with the last visit from Mike and Mom K, Emmett really latched on to Grandad.  He was his little shadow, always requesting to sit by him, walk near him, whatever.  I'm not saying it was based entirely on the delicious German chocolate eggs filled with toys, but it certainly didn't hurt!

Emmett learns how to shave.  Better study up now, kiddo.
On Saturday we decided to pay a return visit to The Heard Museum to see the animatronic dinosaurs again.  I think Emmett was pretty happy to be there...

The boys led the way through the exhibits.  There were some new dinos this year and some that we missed (where you at, brachiosaurus?!), but all in all we had a good time.

Someone's got a real rage problem.

New dino alert! Quetzalcoatlus.  Emmett had to tell me what it was called and I then had to google the spelling.

The star of the show.  As Uncle Justin and Eric theorized, they blew the budget on T. Rex and the other dinos suffered a little...

Oh look, a new dino fan!

Emmett explores the Frontier Village with Grandad and Nana.

Time to look at the exotic animals, like...deer!

Both boys fell asleep on the ride home and Uncle Justin took all the credit for it.  Must have been those soothing lullabies he sang all the way back.
Another fun visit in the books!  We are so glad that Nana, Grandad and Uncle Justin came to stay with us for a few days.  We'll see y'all next time!  You can see all of the Heard photos in the November photo album.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Month by Month: Eight

Little Theo, you've earned a reputation for being a super happy, easy-going, smiley baby.  And yes, those are appropriate characteristics for you...most of the time.  But it's time to shine a light on the darker side of your little persona.  The side that sends a shiver down my spine.  The side that most people are unlikely to see.  When you get mad, Theo, you don't mess around.

I've already talked about your affinity for grunting, and it has worked quite well for you in terms of getting what you need when you need it.  But there have been times when, heaven forbid, you've had to wait an extra 15 seconds for another raspberry, or you can't be picked up right away, or when you've bonked your head trying to escape from your crib.  You'd think that the World's Happiest Baby would be able to roll with the punches, but well...you'd be wrong.

Listen, I know babies get upset.  The thing that gets me with you is the speed with which you take it from calm, content, happy little guy to rage-fueled, crazed, zombie-baby with scary sound effects that totally creep me out!  I'd say the most common appearance of your Mr. Hyde Side is during meal time.  As soon as I buckle you up in the chair, the grunting begins and your limbs start to shake in preparation for your upcoming meal.  I've really only got about a minute before things start to get bad.  I'm not joking when I say that you have made noises that have legitimately scared me ("Is The Walking Dead on in the background?!").  Half the time I feel like a zoo keeper throwing meat into the lion's den just hoping I don't lose an arm!

It's only natural to have a little bad to balance out the good and I think that even with the case of the quick-tempered baby we've still been pretty lucky with how amenable you have been.  I used to worry all the time about how you'd handle car rides to drop-off and pick-up your big brother.  Stress about the timing of your naps.  Fret over when your feedings would overlap with scheduled events.  But, it's just been...fine.  You are a quiet backseat passenger, you wake up in a good mood even when we have to cut a nap short and you'll nurse on the go like a champ (although you do like to try and pull the nursing cover off which is not so fun for me).  You've made it all pretty easy.  Not to say that it's no work at all, but it's a lot more fun when I get to see your smiling face...most of the time.


PS. To see all of Theo's 8 month photos, check out the November photo album.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

I hope you're ready for a costume-stravaganza because I've got two cute kiddos in some awesome costumes this year!  We'll start with Emmett... I mean, Raphael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Take a good look at that costume - it's homemade!  I do not possess the skill to make something so awesome, but Eric's mom, Karen sure does!  I found a tutorial online and sent it to her pleading for help.  She not only agreed, she went above and beyond.  Let's just say there may be adult sized Turtle hoodies, too.  I'll get pics of the big turtles soon.  Updated to add pic!

Emmett and I painted an aluminum roasting pan brown for a shell and used yarn to make straps so he can wear it like a backpack.  We modified the original tutorial a little because I knew he'd want to take the shell off to sit down and not want to take off the "R" sash, too.  This way he can be shell-less and still make it clear that he's Raphael.  As if you'd forget this menacing glare...

And speaking of cows....

Moving on to Theo!  You know how I often joke that he's a huge, giant baby?  Well he has proved it once again by wearing the costume that Emmett wore at his second Halloween.  Emmett was 17 months old then (this is an 18-month sized costume), and here's 8-month-old Theo rockin' it like it ain't no thang.  Sure, it's a little roomy, but not by much!  Mooooove over kids, there's a new cow in town.

There is built-in stomach padding, although I'm not sure he needs it. :/

Got milk?!  No, seriously.  I'm hungry.  Again.

Theo also has some Michelangelo TMNT pajamas that he will wear tomorrow evening during the Halloween festivities.  We are going as a family of TMNTurtles and I'm pretty excited!  This will be our second year of dressing up and we might be getting a rep for it.  The only problem is that I have yet to have to make a single costume.  So, next year could be tricky!  Thanks again to Karen for your awesome costumery skills.  We may keep you in business for years to come...

To see all of the photos of the kids in their costumes, look at the October photo album.

PS. Halloween last year!


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