Will- 11 months

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Hello, sweet 11-month old! I’m starting to get a little emotional now that we arrive at the dawn of your 1st year of life…1. I can’t believe how fast time has gone! Is this how it just “is” with each subsequent child? I can’t even fathom how you are almost walking, when yesterday you were barely able to sit up on your own! And 2. I can’t believe I made it. There were many breakdowns, but many many moments of God’s grace giving me supernatural mama strength to get thru each day. This year has been super challenging to my idol of order and control–and for that I praise God and thank YOU for helping me die to myself and live more in freedom with God. You have truly blessed my life. But…before we get ahead of ourselves and become all sappy, let’s live in the moment! You are 11 months old! Hooray!

This month you have become more confident standing, and have started walking! You can walk across the room if you are steady enough! I can’t wait to see you and Jackson walking around and playing together! You also love climbing. Today you climbed thru the window of the cozy coupe and up onto the kids table to get to some cars you had your eye on!

You are still eating everything in sight and starting to nurse less. I have tired most types of food with you and you do a great job chewing and swallowing! You have 8 teeth with more on the way, so that definitely helps! You specifically love applesauce pouches and cheese right now. We have also started trying sips of regular milk–which you love. I plan to wean you when we go to Florida after Christmas since there will be less opportunities to nurse anyway.

You sleep 8:30-8 pretty consistently and nap twice a day (10:30-11:30am, 2-4:30pm).

Your first word was definitely “da-da,” but since you learned “ma-ma” you say it non-stop. Definitely a mama’s boy and a SNUGGLER. Still love being held, nursing, and being in the same room as me at all times.

You love Jackson and would follow him anywhere. You want to do exactly what he is doing, especially playing with his trains or eating his snacks. Unfortunately, Jackson bosses you around and pushes you down A LOT. I can’t wait for you to be a little bigger and able to stand your ground a bit more. But other than the normal brotherly squabbles, you guys really love eachother. Jackson tries to teach you new things, like what things are “no-nos,” and how to drink from the water cup in the bath, and you guys laugh at each other a lot.

Can’t wait to celebrate you this month as you enter into your second year of life. You are such a sweet sweet boy and I adore you!

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Will- 10 months!

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And just like THAT you turned 10 months! What? I mean, when Jackson was 10 months I was already printing birthday party invitations…but you!? You still seem like my little baby!!

But you growing so fast! Not sure weight and height this month, but you are wearing (and slightly growing out of) 12-18 month clothes. You are beginning to stand independently and walk behind anything you can push (the ride-on car, grocery cart toy, a trash can…) You are also cruising FAST and can get to Jackson’s toy or snack in no time. Needless to say, Jackson has become very territorial and often pushes you over or screams, “No, Will!” when he sees you making your move. You love Jackson so much regardless and want to do EXACTLY what he is doing.

You have a hard time going to bed with him in the same room. You will lean over the crib and entice him to be disobedient and climb into your crib. You laugh, he gets your paci, its a win for everyone except mommy and daddy. Some nights we have to put you to sleep in the pack n’ play until Jackson is asleep and we can transfer you back into your room. Otherwise you have been sleeping great: Most nights 9pm-8am. You still wake up in the middle of the night or early on occasion, but those nights are becoming farther and fewer between. You also take two naps, 10:30-11:30am and 2-4 or 5pm.

You are eating SO much this month! Last night we went to Chipotle and you literally ate a whole side of corn, side of white rice, and side of black beans. You still love baby food pouches and some solid food favorites are pancakes, carrots, roasted sweet potato chunks, pb&j’s, cheerios, blueberries, macaroni & cheese, meatballs, and Chick-fil-a nuggets/waffle fries! You also surprised me with your ability to drink out of a straw cup, and you try to steal sips of Jackson’s milk often! Now you have your own water cup.

You actually had to drink you breast milk from a straw cup all last week! You weren’t nursing and I wasn’t sure why. You wouldn’t take a bottle either. I thought it could be weaning or teething. Two days later we saw what seemed to be a large scab on the roof of your mouth. Upon further inspection and with a lot of freaking out, we discovered a perfectly-sized googly eye wedged up into your palate. We had to use tweezers to pry it out. It was super traumatic. But luckily you are happily back to nursing and have probably forgotten all about it. And I have been on a mad search to figure out where that googly eye came from…

We love you, Will! You are aware, curious, strong, and happy! You love being around people, especially mommy. It’s a sweet time being your mama, little man!

Will- 9 months (a little late)

1621750_2906871837634_7131904158446790886_nWill! You are changing so much and growing into a very loud and mobile little boy! Its still hard for me to believe you are 3 months away from being ONE. Now you are cruising along furniture and eating most anything I put on your tray. You also have 7 teeth! You are very eager to be like Jackson and are only interested in all the toys he is playing with. Currently, your favorite toy is the balloon we got Jack for his birthday. You love to drag it around by its string and yank it around. We went on lots of wagon rides and trips to the park this month. You love swinging! We also transitioned you out of your infant seat and into your convertible seat since you are so long! Clothes are tricky- most of what fits you are toddler-esque shirts and pants. You still move around more easily in onesies, but its hard to find them in the 12-18m size!

You are sleeping 9pm-7am or so. You take a short morning nap and a 2-3 hr afternoon nap. You haven’t been fighting bedtime as much as you were last month and usually you fall asleep without much crying. You are still nursing 6-7 times a day, but also eat 3 meals a day with the rest of us! You love baby food pouches, peas, blueberries, cheerios, cut up pasta, sweet potatoes, apple slices, and muffins. You definitely take after Jackson with having a “snack radar!” Whenever someone is eating, you want some too!

I am excited to see you begin to stand on your own this month, I think you’re so close! I love you, sweet Will!

Jackson- 2 years! (a little late)

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Happy 2nd birthday, sweet boy! You bring so much joy to my life and it is so fun seeing the person you are growing into! God has given you such a bold, brave spirit. You have never met a stranger and you certainly demand the attention of a room! While your will is difficult for me to steward and shape, I have no doubt that God is helping me raise you into a very gifted leader. My prayer for you is that you would use all of your confidence and drive for good and not evil; to bless others and lead them to the King. I love you, Jackson!

Here are a few favorites this year on your birthday:

Favorite food: Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets with honey
Favorite snack: fruit snacks
Favorite drink: diet coke (When he gets a sip of mommy’s)
Favorite toys: cars/choo-choos
Favorite song: “The hot-dog song”
Favorite books: Click-clack-moo, 100 words books, “Punkin” books
Favorite movies: Planes
Favorite show: Leapfrog Phonic Farm, Mickey Choo-choo Express
Best friends: Ana (Eliana) and Sam
Comfort items: blankie
Routines: Sleep til 8/8:30, long afternoon nap, no more paci, begging for snacks morning til night, loves watching shows, content to play by himself with toys, and loves to make Will laugh.
Fears: Diaper changes
New skills: riding his balance bike, swim lessons, and saying 2-word phrases

Will- 8 months

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I can’t believe you are 8 months old! Time is flying by! Now you are crawling, pulling up to stand, and even trying to climb on things! You love playing with all sorts of toys and you are always laughing at/with Jackson. You don’t like to be ignored, and you are VERY vocal when you want our attention. I can tell you are wanting to catch up to Jack so badly! You guys are going to be awesome friends.

You are sleeping 9ish to 7ish. Sometimes though, you wake up at 8 or 8:30 when Jackson does. I love mornings like that because I wake up to the sound of you laughing and squealing across the room at each other! So fun! You also take 2 naps: one is 45 minutes, the other is 2-3 hours. Since it has taken us so long to get you sleeping through the night well, I get anxious if we don’t do parts of your routine. Every night you get a bath, lavender oil, rice cereal, and nurse. I stress out about whether you are too hot or cold and check on you a few times before bed to make sure you’re not up against the wall of the crib or in an uncomfortable position. I know all that sounds crazy, but because you are a lighter sleeper, I am always worried something will wake you up. Hopefully as the months go by you will become a more consistent sleeper and I will be able to relax! Room sharing has been fine, but you still take your afternoon nap in my room in the pack n’ play.

You have been getting really good at eating/picking up puffs and yogurt melts. You also like to eat soft breads like pancakes, steamed carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, and any kind of cookie/gram cracker. You love the majority of squeeze pouch flavors. I would like to try more foods with you this month, but you still struggle with chewing and gagging. We still nurse 6-8 times a day with no signs of my supply dropping or you losing interest. You are growing like a weed though!…Already wearing 12-18 month clothes! Very long and heavy!

Teething has been hard. We borrowed an amber necklace which seems to help a bit, but you still seem so uncomfortable lately which is sad. Currently you have your two top and bottom front teeth.

However, despite the occasional grumpy day, you really are such a happy, content baby! You are so sweet and I love being your mama! I can’t wait to see you continue to grow and change this month!

Will- 6 Months

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Baby Will! You’re half a year old!

In some ways these 6 months have gone by slowly…You seemed to be in the “infant” stage a lot longer than Jackson was–Not sleeping thru the night, exclusively nursing, and still approaching play and gross motor skills timidly. On the other hand, the past 6 months have flown by! I can’t believe you’re half way to being a year old!

However, I can sense that you are transitioning out of said “infant stage.” The past few weeks you have become increasing louder! You love to yell to let people know you’re there! You have also become mobile: rolling, scooting, spinning your body around to get a full 360 view of the room. Sometimes I lay you down and next thing I know you are a few feet across the room! We are also working on sitting up—you can sit unassisted for a moment, but mostly still need support of a bumbo or boppy. You love toys- The exersaucer, my teething necklace, small stuffed animals, the big loopy ball, and Jackson’s cars are some of your favorite!

The past few nights you have slept 9:30pm-8am which has been an AMAZING blessing! I don’t know if this trend will continue, but I’ve been loving it! You really struggled to stay asleep once we started laying you on your back, but now that you can roll over, we have found you a few mornings on your belly- and I am totally fine with that! We are still working on helping you fall back asleep on your own when you wake up at night or in the middle of nap. Currently you take 3 naps a day (10:30, 1:30, and 6) and they are between 45minutes- 2 hours long. The length of nap all depends if you can transition between sleep cycles and if you fall asleep on your belly or back. Sleep training is a struggle. You fight sleep really hard, and a lot of times I submit and just rock you- which I am also totally fine with.

This whole month we have been doing a bowl of rice cereal before bed. You are such a big boy and I just felt like you were needing more. Now we will start to add more purees and finish out the container of rice cereal. I’m going to wait a few more weeks for BLW. I just feel like you’re not ready like Jackson was.

I am really enjoying this stage of life with you, Will! I am excited to see you keep growing more and more adventurous and become a playmate for Jackson, but I am also enjoying all the cuddles you still give me. Love you, baby!

Love, Mama

Will- 5 months

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Happy 5 month mark, Will! You are such a sweet, happy baby! You are growing so big (probably close to 19 pounds if I could guess) and you are wearing all 6-12 month things. Some of the 12 month onesies are even getting tight! You love playing with toys, especially if they have a little light, rattle, or music. And you LOVE bath time. It reminds me of how Jackson was at your age…You kick and splash and smile so much!

Since I was nursing and laying you down when you were already asleep, I figured it was time to begin teaching you a little self-soothing. I decided to teach you to sleep on your back (since you would just slobber all over your sheet on your tummy). I let you cry for about 3-5 minutes and then go in, check your paci, and rock the pack n’ play until you calm down. Luckily you are catching on and I only have to go in once or twice before you are asleep. I know these changes are good, but having you sleep on your back has yielded much a lot shorter naps and inconsistent nighttime sleep. You still startle and wake yourself up easily and I am not sure how to help you fall back asleep without nursing you. I am hoping now that we have you on a more consistent schedule you will begin to sleep deeply again. Currently you are sleeping around 10pm-4/5 am without waking to eat. You also take two 1-hr naps at 10, 1:30, and a catnap at 6pm.

We haven’t done any solids yet, although we may try some cereal in the evenings to help you sleep a little longer stretch at night. I was going to try BLW with you at 6 months like Jackson, although I can’t imagine you being ready yet… which is fine with me! (Less mess!)

We are still working on rolling over even though we do SO much tummy time. You have rolled both ways a few times, but still need help sometimes. You can sit in a bumbo and in your jumper, but you don’t seem anywhere near unassisted sitting. I am OK taking our time with milestones–you are my calm, content baby and I LOVE YOU!

 

Will- 4 months

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(Written last week before our vacation)

Hello baby Will! This has been a relaxing month with you. You are such a calm baby. You love to nurse or sit in the rock n’ play or swing and watch mommy or Jackson. You are happy to lay on your mat or have tummy time and you have even started rolling a few times. You are starting to show more of an interest in grabbing at toys, but overall you aren’t as energetic as I remember Jackson being at this age. At the doctor, they were so surprised that you were neither fussy nor overly active– you just “laid there” the nurse reported to our pediatrician. She examined you for low tone (which is crazy because you can bear all your weight on your legs) and told me to keep an eye on your movements, but after being paranoid and closely watching you the past few days, you definitely have moments where you wiggle, roll, kick, and grab toys, and then other moments where you just sit and smile and watch. I am enjoying your peaceful demeanor.

You weigh almost 17 lbs and are 25 ½ inches long. You are wearing mostly all 6-12 month things.

You are still a belly sleeper much to my distress. You sleep from 11pm-7:30am and we are working on bringing that bedtime down. During the day you usually take a morning nap, afternoon nap, and an evening cat nap. In a few months we will start to lay you down on your back and let you pick your own sleeping position and “cry it out” a bit. At that point you should be able to roll around as much as you please, but right now I have to lay you down asleep or you wake up and try to do tummy time!

We tried some rice cereal the other day, just to see if it would help extend your bedtime a little longer. You really didn’t like the rice cereal at all. You also hated the taste of the formula I mixed it with. Praying my milk supply continues to produce enough for you.

You also were just diagnosed with your first ear infection. It’s crazy because you had zero symptoms, even though the doctor said it was really bad. You were happy and sleeping well, so I had no clue! Hoping that you are not going down the road to needing tubes like Jack!

A few other little notes:
– You take a paci sometimes, but don’t keep it in very long. You have found your thumb a few times….
– You’re gums are super hard and you drool and crew on your hands all the time—will you be an early teether?
– You love your bunny rattle and linking rings a lot right now. You also like looking at the toys that dangle on your play mat.

Will, I love your little smiles and coos. You are beginning to make a variety of sounds and giggles. I love watching Jackson try and take care of you, hold you, and give you kisses. You think he’s really cool too. I am excited for this upcoming stage of sitting and discovering toys. And I am also hoping to have my room back here soon once I can be sure you won’t wake Jackson up!

Love, Your mamabird

Will- 3 months

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Hey 3 month old baby! I have enjoyed this month with you, Will! You are becoming more playful and less timid! Now you enjoy playing under your play mat for a while and splashing in the big tub during bath. You smile and coo. You like it when Jackson looks at you and talks to you.

However, you still cry a lot and want to be held. You like to be close to mommy and you nurse all the time. We have been putting you more on a sleep schedule, but I still feed on demand, probably 8-9 times a day. You take 3 naps a day: around 10am, 2pm, and 7pm. I put you to bed around 11 or midnight, when I go to bed. That way you will sleep your long stretch when I do! (I realize I need to start moving that bedtime back at some point though!) You usually sleep around 5 or 6 hours straight at night. And yes, you are a stomach sleeper. I tried everything: swaddling, sleep sacks, putting you to bed in a rock n’ play, laying you on your side…nothing kept you asleep. Since you napped on your belly a lot, I decided to give it a try at bed time. That night you slept 5 hours straight. After watching you nap in that position for so many weeks, I felt confident in your ability to turn your head in your sleep, however I still pray for God to continue to grant you sleep and protection at night.

You are growing a ton, and I’m excited to see how much you weigh next month! You pretty much skipped over 3-6 month clothes and are wearing all of Jackson’s old 6-9 month stuff! It needs to keep warming up because most of it is short sleeve! Its fun to put you in Jack’s old clothes, but you are definitely starting to look less and less like your bro!

I love you, baby Will!

Jack- 18 months

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Dear Jackson,

You are a year and a half old! I can’t even believe how grown up you have become. I am so enjoying this stage! It is trying at times, but I love helping you discover your world, understand your emotions, and enjoy life! God has given you LIFE and I want to help you live it fully and passionately!

Here are some highlights from the past 6 months:

-Weight: 28 lb. 8 oz. (93%), Height: 33.5 in. (85%)

-You are still an AWESOME sleeper. You sleep 8pm-8am and nap from 1pm-4pm. We tired transitioning you to your big boy bed, but you slept on the floor. We decided to keep you in your crib a little longer. You love it!

-You are a pretty good eater, although you are picky– matter-a-factly saying “no” when you don’t want to try something…(almost in the tone of “why would you even ask, mom?”) You are, however, more apt to try anything if it is on a fork or a spoon. Sometimes you need us to load the fork/spoon for you, but the past few weeks you have pretty much mastered using utensils! You have been enjoying this new way of feeding yourself! Your favorite foods are: apple cinnamon oatmeal, pancakes, blueberries, mashed sweet potatoes, chicken with honey to dip it in, cut up cheese, spaghetti, chicken and rice soup, and mandarin oranges. Your favorite snacks are: Mini chips ahoy cookies, vanilla wafers, raisins, Lara bars, cheese crackers, and applesauce pouches. We have cut back significantly on juice and only really drink it watered down or when sick. You love milk, and have also been enjoying water more and more.

-In terms of gross motor development, you can run, climb, dance, spin, bounce on your mattress, walk down one step without holding the wall, and go down slides. And when I say you can climb, I’m talking about scaling up the side of a barstool and flipping light switches. Ah!

-Your play has also changed a bit! You like to drive cars on the track, instead of just banging the cars around. You also love to build with your big legos. You love magnets, coloring, books, and cars!! We usually watch one t.v. show a day and you love Curious George and Sesame Street.

-You have added a few more words to your vocabulary: Mama, Dada, juice, more, no, baby, hi, bye bye, moo (cow), this, book, uh oh, all done, shoes. We still are working on saying “down,” “up,” and “help.” However, you respond to most commands I give, which amazes me! For example, when I say, “are you thirsty?” you run to the fridge. When I say, “throw that in the trash…” you run and throw the item away. When I say, “Oh no, where is the baby?” you run to the living room to find Will. It is so fun to be able to communicate with you and I look forward to having less one-sided conversations in the months to come.

-We have also been working on learning animal sounds, body parts, and letters. You like to sing the tune of the “ABC’s” and daddy says you can identify a handful of letters during bedtime while reading “Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom,” your favorite book. You also love to read “Snuggle Puppy,” “All of Baby, Nose to Toes,” and any of your books that make noise or have lift-a-flap.

-Socially, you love interacting with Will and “playing” with him…Rocking the car seat, giving him his paci or a toy, etc. You also give kisses on demand now!! I love it! I’ve been waiting months for a snotty, crusty-faced kiss on the lips! I’m a happy Mama! You like playing with friends, but still struggle to interact with others in a group setting. You tend to parallel play when we go to brunch club or the Mama’s Hip playgroup.

-We have entered full-blown toddler tantrum stage now. Lots of crying, falling to the ground in anger, screaming at mama or a friend when a toy is taken away or play is disrupted with a diaper change. We also are seeing a little “stranger danger” shyness or clingy-ness when new people talk to you or when we drop you off at the church nursery.

Some things to look forward too:

-We started “school.” Everyday during Will’s first nap we have learning time. The teacher in me can’t waste that 80 k education on nothing! We have short plan for each day, mostly taking a week to learn one letter, practice some skills thru centers, and work thru the catechism. I’m looking to helping you extend your attention span and spending intentional time introducing you to a few new concepts. We are mostly starting with simple concepts of letter identification, colors, sorting, matching, fine motor, and one-to-one correspondence counting. And there will definitely be some fun art along the way! It has brought me joy to create some age appropriate activities to start with you. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.

-I have also been trying to take you on more outings lately. Play groups like brunch club and mama’s hip have been good for teaching you to share and be kind to others. It’s also good for Mama to learn how to speak to you and discipline you in public. I love taking you to gym class, however it’s expensive. Hopefully every 6 months or so we can do a class. You are so active so I love having a outlet to focus your energy in a positive way!

-We are looking forward to lots of walks, playing at the park and splash parks, trips to the zoo, and playing with others!

-We will also probably transition you to your bed in the fall and give up the paci!

Jackson, you are still my baby. I love holding you and loving on you and hearing you laugh. You are passionate and determined and will be a fantastic leader someday. I am learning more about you everyday…You need “time outs” (not for punishment) to cool off and be removed from the situation that is causing you to feel intense and frustrated…You need me to empathize with you and understand the confusing emotions you feel when you disobey…You need me to communicate to you why you are being disciplined. I am learning to slow down and have lots of opportunities everyday to say, “Yes!” to you. I love seeing your personality emerge and watching you learn new things. It’s so fun being your mom!

Love, Mama