Monday, May 18, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 9 months}

Dear Elijah,

Oh, my love. My sweet little man. My happy and hilarious little boy. I really can hardly handle your cuteness. And lord knows I can't resist doing your hair up into that awesome little mohawk. You are just such a bright and shining light in our lives and we love you so very much!

I'm a little over a week late in writing this post, but something tells me you'll forgive me ;) I definitely have a hard time keeping up with certain things (like writing blog posts!) these days, but it's only because I'm having too much fun hanging out with you, Lucy and daddy!
You are an expert at crawling, pulling up, cruising and climbing stairs at this point and it is just too much fun to watch you go, go, go! I feel pretty confident in saying that you will be walking well before your first birthday but I'm certainly in no rush to see that happen. You're already growing and changing far too quickly and my mama heart can hardly handle it! You are quite adventurous already and it cracks me up that your favorite thing to do is to squeeze yourself into small places (under the dining table, under chairs, under the piano bench, into the tv stand). You also love to pull up on things and twerk dance by shaking your little booty around when I play music. Too CUTE! Your favorite time of the day is when sissy gets home from daycare and you pretty much just follow her around from that point on. You are both obsessed with each other and it just melts my heart to see you two laughing and playing together. There's simply nothing better in the world.
You've been sleeping very well (for the most part) since we did sleep training last month. You still usually go down between 8-8:30 (if not a little earlier) and sleep until about 6:30 or 7am. You're waking up earlier in the morning (sometimes before 6am) now that the sun is coming up earlier which would be totally fine if your mama wasn't the worst sleeper in the whole world. Four years into this parenting thing and I am no more a morning person than I was before kids. It takes me awhile to get myself going in the morning, but it certainly helps when I come in and see your beautiful smile beaming up at me when I walk into your room! You are now taking 2 naps a day. Your morning nap is usually only about 45 minutes long, and then the afternoon one tends to be about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. I'll take it!
You are an awesome eater and I love watching you get all messy at meal times. You absolutely love feeding yourself and we've yet to discover a food you just don't like. I really couldn't tell you what your favorite foods are because you seem to have the same level of excitement with any food that we put in front of you!
You now weigh a healthy 19lbs (I don't think your sister weighed that much until she was at least a year old!) and are wearing mostly 6-9 and 9 month clothes. You do have short little legs and a can still fit in some 3-6 month pants/shorts depending on the brand. I am super obsessed with your chubby little toes and your delicious little thigh rolls! You just sprouted your eighth tooth and this one was really giving you some trouble last week but it seems to be okay now. That means you got 4 new teeth just in the last month alone! While you love to eat food, your favorite thing to eat might actually be your crib. Yikes. You chew on that thing like it is your job sometimes! Time for some rail guards!
We have been discovering over the last few months that you're not fond of certain loud noises. For example, we were at mom mom and pop pop's house early last month and we started singing "happy birthday" really loudly when Caley came in the house and made a big hooplah over her as she blew out the candles on her cake. You suddenly started shaking and broke out into massive tears. The same thing happens when I turn on the vacuum cleaner around you and when we play with Lucy's toy flying helicopter. But there are plenty of other loud noises that don't seem to bother you at all.  I'm certainly not worried about it :)
You are babbling constantly these days and up until this point you've pretty much just been saying "babababa", but just a few days ago you started saying "mamamama"! I think I startled you with the very loud squeal that came out of my mouth upon hearing this for the first time, even though I'm pretty sure you're not referring to me as you say it :) But still...all of the hours that I've spent trying to teach you "mama" are finally paying off! hehe.
Some other new tricks that you have figured out this month are clapping and giving high fives (well, a sort of low five really...ha) on command. You've also just started trying to figure out how to wave. Yeah, everything you do is pretty much the CUTEST thing in the world. You are just the happiest little babe and people stop me all the time when I'm out with you and comment about how adorable you are. The mohawk is also a definite crowd stopper, for sure ;)
Working from home can definitely be a challenge sometimes while trying to care for and chase after you at the same time, but even so...I absolutely love spending my days with you, Bubba. You are my little buddy and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to be your mama!

All my heart,

Love, Mama

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 8 months}

Dear Elijah,

It truly feels like just yesterday that I was 41 weeks along and thinking that I might just actually be pregnant forever. And you are. Eight months old and stealing my heart over and over again each and every day.
You are getting super fast at crawling now and you can even go up a couple of stairs! It's really fun to just put you down on the floor and let you do your thing. You definitely prefer to play with anything that isn't actually a toy no matter how many toys we scatter around you. You love sneaking into the kitchen to check if we've remembered to put the dog's water bowl out of reach or not. You also love crawling into the bottom part of the TV stand to knock over the DVD's we have stashed there and to press all of the buttons on the DVD player. It really gets Lucy's goat when you press the power button while she's in the middle of Frozen ;) Your newest trick this month is that you have started pulling up to standing and you do it now at any chance you get! It's just funny because you get stuck in the standing position sometimes and you'll just stick your little booty out and dance around until someone helps you get down. You've even started cruising a little bit which is totally crazy to me! Your curiosity is so stinking adorable....and also exhausting. ha.
Your sleep started getting all wonky again very shortly after I wrote your 7 month post. You started waking up and wanting to be fed/rocked to sleep in the middle of the night again. We knew that you had the ability to sleep through the night since you had been doing it on and off since you were 2 months old, and we also knew that everyone (including you) would be happier and more rested in the long run if we got rid of that middle of the night wakeup/feeding. So, we decided to go ahead and sleep train you a couple of weeks ago. I was reluctant to go the "cry it out" route, but I really wasn't sure what else to do. It seemed like we just needed to go cold turkey, so that's what we did. Luckily it only took 2 nights to get the job done! The first night, you cried for about an hour and a half (with me going in to check on you about every 10 minutes) before you finally went back to sleep. The second night, you cried for about an hour. The third night, you slept through the night! Since then, there has been 2-3 nights that you've woken up, but they crying has only lasted for a super short period of time and the intensity was never near what it was those first two nights. So, you will usually go down around 8-8:30 (same time as your sissy) and you'll wake up anywhere between 7 and 8am. I'm calling it a win for sure...even though it sure was hard to hear you cry like that! Good job, buddy. Now we just need to work on better naps :) For those, you'll be super tired and I'll put you down, but then when I go to check on you, you'll just be standing there in the corner of the crib giggling at me. I usually have to come and lay you back down about 10 times before you finally go to sleep!
You are such a good eater these days! I got a food processor (thank you mama!) for my birthday last month and I have been going nuts making baby food for you. We've yet to find something that you won't eat and I'm trying to get more and more creative with my recipes for you. Your big sister is a great and non-picky eater and we are hoping that you'll be the same way. You still prefer a bit more texture to your food and you love to feed yourself whenever possible. I love watching you suck on big hunks of tomato and avocado and anything else we give you. Such a big boy. (wahhhhh!)
You now have 3 teeth and the 4th one (top middle) just broke through just yesterday. It also looks like there are a couple more that will be popping through any day now. They're making you just a bit fussy, but you really are still handling teething like a champ! You are also drooling like a champ :)
You simply have the sweetest and most delightful personality and you are such a joy to be around. You are so happy and silly and you never cease to amaze and entertain us. It is the most amazing thing in the world to watch you and Lucy snuggle and play and love on each other. Your daddy and I are the luckiest people in the world! Happy 8 months, sweet boy.

All my heart,

Love, Mama

Monday, April 6, 2015

{Happy Easter!}

The days around here have been filled with a lot of rain lately, but we were blessed with the most perfect weather yesterday for Easter. It was a beautiful day spent with family. What else could we ask for? We went to church in the morning and watched my mother-in-law give a beautiful sermon and then came home to put the kids down for a nap. Elijah took advantage but Lucy did not. No surprise there :) Then my parents and niece arrived from Cincinnati and my brother, Michael, came as well. Of course, I had to take Lucy outside to take a few shots of her in her darling Easter outfit while baby brother slept. My beautiful girl is always such a good sport for her picture taking obsessed mama :)
We told Lucy that the Easter Bunny had come during "nap" time and hid their Easter baskets somewhere around the house. She was super excited when she found hers and so began the day-long sugar rush! (A huge shoutout to my amazing mama who put these awesome baskets together!)
Later in the day, we all went over to my in-laws house for dinner and an egg hunt. The Easter Bunny (aka my awesome niece - what a good sport!) made an appearance again this year and Lucy could not have been more excited.
Elijah was more than happy to just observe :)
Here is my gorgeous niece sans Easter Bunny costume :) 
We can never resist that delicious golden hour light.....
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Happy belated Easter to all!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

{spring is in our hearts}

"She turned to the sunlight
and shook her yellow head,
and whispered to her neighbor:
Winter is dead"

-A.A. Milne-
We just got home from 4 lovely days spent at Mom Mom and Pop Pop's (my parents) house. Zach went to St. Louis on a business trip and I didn't want to be on my own with the kiddos all of those days and nights, so off we went to Cincinnati. They spoiled the kids and I just like they always do (and I truly mean that in the best way possible!) They are just the best Mom Mom and Pop Pop in the whole world. 

I turned 32 this past weekend and it was wonderful celebrating with family the day we got there. Every year, at my request, my mom (who's baking skills are akin to Martha Stewart - I kid you not) makes me the most beautiful and delicious chocolate mousse cake. I didn't even get a picture of it this year before we dug into it. I really just can't even tell you how sinfully wonderful it tastes. 

The rest of our days there were filled with a trip to the Cincinnati Children's Museum, coloring Easter eggs, playing outside, a shopping date with my girl, cookie baking and plenty of love and laughter. The weather today is yucky, chilly and rainy...but the weather over the last few days was the most perfectly beautiful spring weather that we could ever ask for. Last night, my mom and I took the kids out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner and I was just drooling over the yummy golden hour light that was peeking through the trees. I was so glad that I had brought my big girl camera with me. Lucy was in her own little world and I was right there with her (while my mama pushed my sweet boy along in the stroller). I just adore her little pink popsicle/cranberry soda mustache, messy bun, the winking daisy on her sweater and the well loved ladybug boots. These are the moments I want to hold onto forever and ever. These are the moments that feel like magic in my heart. 
...and of course I couldn't go without taking at least a few pictures of my sweet boy. 
I think it's safe to say, we could not be happier that spring has arrived.