Andrew Update: 9 months

It's hard to believe our little guy is nearing 1 year old.  It seems like just yesterday we were planning on whether or not to have a third child, and now that third child is 9 months old!  Part of me wishes he wasn't growing so fast, and the other part of me (the part of me dealing with the teething and not knowing what all the fuss is about) can't wait for him to grow a little older.
As far as his daily routine goes.  He is doing wonderful.  He pretty much eats the same amount and at the same time every day (8:30 am, 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 7:30 pm).  When you have to be flexible with a baby, it is nice to have something predictable in life.  Now I definitely feel more comfortable going out in the evening with friends, since I know when his last feeding will be and when he'll go to sleep.  However, although he eats on a pretty regular basis, he isn't the best eater.  He's probably one of the pickiest eaters I've had.  He doesn't like most of the vegetables I've tried, and lets you know by shaking his head "no" and persing his lips shut.  I guess we'll just keep trying.

I have started to wean him off of nursing too.  I have kind of always had a love/hate relationship with nursing.  Nursing never went well with my girls.  I had infection after infection, and the process was mostly just painful.  The only reason I went as long as I did, was to save money.  But with Andrew, nursing has gone fairly smoothly (maybe it's a boy thing?).  I had periods of low milk supply, but I have just learned to suppliment.  But now that he is beginning to bite, and rips pulls off the bo*ob whenever he gets distracted (which is quite often), I think I am ready to start weaning him off.  The only problem is, I'm not so sure he's ready.  I thought he was ready, since it seemed to take him close to an hour now to nurse and that he seemed disinterested.  But now that I'm trying, his cues (ummm...turning his head in an obvious direction) tell me otherwise.  I guess we'll just take it slow and see how it goes. 

As far as Andrew's personality goes, he still seems to be a bit of a Momma's Boy.  Along with still being fussy in the evenings, he's also taken up the separation anxiety thing.  He will go to very few people, but if he does go to someone, he is very affectionate with them.  He has such a loveable, cuddly personality.  And the girls love this about him.  Katie has gotten much better about giving him space, but now Kyra seems to be giving him more kisses then ever.  I think his cheeks just have pinch me written all over them.  He has started to babble a little bit too...saying dadada, but in general he's just content to sit quietly and watch his surroundings. 

His favorite toy seems to be the Johnny Jumper.  This kid really gets going.  He jumps quite high, and reaches the door jams within seconds.  He still hasn't rolled on his belly yet, so who knows if he'll ever crawl.  But at the moment, I'm fine with that.  It's kind of nice that I can prolong the childproofing for just a little bit longer.  When I do put him on his belly, he rolls instantly back to his back.  I think he's going to just start scaling furniture throughout the house.  His legs are like tree stumps.  I mean this kid has some muscle.  Yes, our little boy is growing up fast.  Although I am easily frustrated by the bouts of fussiness.  The games of peekaboo, and "so big" are very rewarding.

Happy Birthday Katie


Age: 4

Personality:  Carefree, girly, defiant, hands on, quiet, impulsive, shy, moody, determined, imaginative

Food:  PB&J, strawberry oatmeal, corn on the cob, cucumbers, apples, pizza, chicken enchiladas, salad, crackers, chocolate milk, and chips
Songs: Kenny Chesney's "Young", My God is So Big, The B.I.B.L.E.
Books:  Barbie books, Dora the Explorer books, and Strawberry Shortcake books (notice the girly trend?)
TV Shows:  Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, My Friend Rabbit, Willa's Wildlife
Movies:  Meet the Robinsons, TinkerBell, Madagascar, Princess Stories, Ice Age Dawn of the Dinasaurs
Games:  Chutes and Ladders, puzzles, games
Toys:  Polly Pockets, Barbies, dress up, blocks for building towers/homes for Polly Pockets or Barbies, stroller for playing house, coloring books, and playdoh
Activities w/Mommy:  baking, reading, cuddling while watching movies, dancing contests
Activities w/Daddy:  cooking, helping with building projects, exploring outside

You wanted tacos, chips, chicken, and water for your birthday dinner (interesting combo?)

Dear Katie,
This year has been a challenging, but fulfilling year with you.  We started off a little rocky with efforts of getting you potty trained.  I had hoped to have you potty trained before Andrew was born, but you wanted nothing to do with it.  No matter what the incentive I gave or item taken away, you didn't seem to care.  You truly are a determined little girl.  At times our personalities really clashed and I didn't know where I was going to get the ambition to start a new day with you.  But finally, you seemed to "hit rock bottom" so to speak with the potty training issue, and things started turning around.  I guess you really wanted to learn in your own time.

As you are getting older, your personality is certainly flourishing.  Along with being determined to do things however and whenever you please, you also have quite an imagination.  With Kyra being in school all day, I worried about how we would occupy the days.  But you sometimes go a couple hours making up songs, role playing with your barbies and polly pockets and toy animals.  I have to be careful to remember to set some time aside for you, otherwise I could easily forget you are in the other room.  I have enjoyed watching you build really detailed towers and rooms for your dolls.  They have been complete with kitchen and bathroom!  Your coloring skills have also greatly improved.  Although we are still working on the alphabet, you love to write random letters and pretend to write a story like your big sister.  But perhaps what I like to see best is how you interact with Daddy.  You love to work on projects with him.  The other day you were helping him work on the plumbing in the bathroom.  You were cutting the pipe and working with flux with a little guidance from dad.  You love a challenge, but you don't want any help.  You certainly want to do it your "own self."

Yes, Katie I love your spunky attitude.  You definitely march to the beat of your own drum.  You're a quirky, loveable little girl and we hope to discover many new wonderful qualities about you in your 4th year of life.  Lots of love,

Mommy and Daddy

You wanted a unicorn cake for your birthday, surprisingly it was about the easiest cake I've had to make so far!

Grandpa Bob gave you prunes for your birthday.  Never a dull moment with Grandpa Bob.  Maybe that's where you get some of your quirkiness from?  Not surprising was the fact that you liked the gift.

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Kyra said she wanted to make outerspace with playdoh.  I had no idea she would do such a great job!


What in the world have my kids been watching?

Just kidding, when I asked what the girls were doing with the barbies, Kyra replied that the daddy had flying powers and was carrying the mommy.  He was just temporarily taking a rest.  (Apparently the mommy didn't want the ride to end!?)

Florida 2010

It's hard to believe, just one week ago we were in sunny Florida (sunny maybe, warm...not so much).  It definitely was great to get away and spend time with the girls.  It was good to reconnect with our children while not having to think about work, laundry, dishes, errands, and the daily routines of life. 

We decided to drive the trip this year.  We've always flown in the past, but between trying to save a few pennies and not wanting to carry 3 car seats into the airport, we figured it best to drive.  Plus this way we could visit my Grandma and Aunts in Georgia.  It has been nearly 2 years since I saw them last, and I thought it was high time for a visit.  I was still a bit nervous about this long trek with an 8 month old though.  I knew the girls would do fairly well, but we had just gotten Andrew to sleep through the night not more than a month ago, and I wasn't sure if this would mess up our beloved schedule.  Fortunately, to our surprise he did great.  Not only was he a great traveler, he pretty much kept to his same routine during our whole weeks stay in Florida.  He was a bit fussy on the way back home, although so were the girls.  I think they just knew we would be getting back to the reality of winter for 8 more weeks.

Once we arrived in Georgia, we were able to peel off our jackets and feel the warmth of the air.  I just love not having to take the time to layer up before you go outside.  Of course little did we know that the next few days were going to be the warmest days of our stay, but at least we experienced warmer temperatures for a short time.  Although it still amazes me that we saw ice instead of water running down the mountains in Tennessee.  It just shows you what a cold winter it's been all over, because in all my travels as a child I never saw ice on those mountains.

It was so nice to see my Aunts and Grandma too.  The girls quickly warmed up to relatives they hardly knew.  Of course it helped that my aunt had a little Shiatzu dog that they loved chasing around.  By the end of our stay they were ready to trade in our large dog for hers.  We stayed up and talked for awhile after the kids girls had gone to sleep.  It was definitely nice to catch up and chat for awhile.  And they were kind enough to stock us up with sandwiches for the next day's drive to Florida.

Finally we reached Kissimmee.  We unpacked, while the girls jumped from couch to couch in our new home for the week.  They were so giddy with excitement that they seemed to bounce off the walls.  The hubs parents were nice enough to rent two condo units for our whole extended family, and because we had the largest family, we had a whole unit to ourselves (which meant we even had our own bedroom)!

We spent the next few days simply swimming.  Although both girls were a little leary to swim at first (remember their ongoing fear of water), they quickly grew fond of the water.  Kyra had digressed from her swim lessons from last year a bit, but generally did very well.  Katie however had been petrified from swim lessons last year and would bearly get in the water to begin.  Then once we grabbed coaxed her gently into the water, she clung to us with enough vigor to leave nail imprints into our skin.  She was deathly afraid of us letting go.  I wasn't sure we would ever get her to relax until good friends of ours showed how much their son loved to go in the pool with the confidence of his life jacket.  Fortunately, the following day Katie let us put the life jacket on her, and I simply let her go.  Once she realized she was floating on her own, she didn't want us to touch her.  All week long she said, "No momma, let go.  I want to do it my own self."  By the third day she was even jumping in the pool with no one catching her.  It was fun to watch her grin from ear to ear.  She loved the pool.  I know the life jacket may give her a false sense of security, but at least we are making some progress.  She even said she was open to the idea of swim lessons once again.

Our final big adventure of the week was going to Magic Kingdom.  We had debated whether or not we should go, since we only had one day to pack it all in, but threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it.  We are very glad we did.  My sister in-law kindly offered to take Andrew for the day, so we could focus on spending time with the girls.  And after the packed day we had, we were glad we were sans Andrew that day.  We truly packed in everything we could that day.  I think the first time we stopped for a break was close to 5:30 pm.  I worried about tiring our girls out by doing too much, but at the same time wanted to make sure we did and saw everything we wanted to for that day.  I wasn't disappointed, except for the weather (which started out with 46 degrees!).  But even the colder temps didn't slow us down that much.  We started the day off by meeting Arial.  She was the only princess we met, but fortunately the girls aren't really in to having their picture taken with characters so that worked out okay (more time to do rides).  We went on almost all the rides too.  I wasn't sure how they would do on many of them (since their are a few with elements of pitch black...a little scary for Katie), but they did fine.  A few of the rides Katie told us at the end that she never ever wanted to go on that ride again, but at least she didn't cry.  The parades were fantastic too.  The girls were glued to music and dancing.  But perhaps the best was the light show at the end.  Tinker Bell flew from Cinderella's Castle, and the girls were facinated by that. 

When I asked the girls what the favorite part of their day was, they both mentioned the Jungle Cruise, exploration on the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, and watching the Bear Jamboree.  Although, I'm sure Katie would say her favorite part of the trip was just swimming.  I'm hoping they aren't too young to remember this fun filled day.  Fortunately we have many pictures to mark the occasion.  Yes, it was another memorable vacation, and I'm thankful that we were blessed enough to have been able to go.