Monday, December 8, 2014

Addison Mae - 3 years, 4 months

Addie and I are kindred spirits who LOVE Christmas and holidays and special events of all kinds. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. She loves her daily Advent calendar ... and will even listen to the Bible verses before getting her candy out. She also loves our weekly Advent wreath lighting. She can pretty impressively tell the entire Christmas story. She helped decorate, and was delighted when Coco her elf came back from the North Pole. She saw Santa this past weekend and just loved him. Win!

She loved Halloween, especially dressing up like a flamingo. We had a fun family trip to Arkansas/Missouri where we stayed in a cabin, went to Silver Dollar City, toured a cave, toured a big cat park, etc. She loves being outdoors, and she loves all things fall.

Warm World is still her favorite. She cried and cried when she was sick one day and couldn't go. I am so impressed with her ability to write her name and many other letters. She sings every song and can tell me each part of her day (when she feels like it). She has had two special roles in Chapel - once saying the prayer in front of everyone, and once shaking a tambourine while "Mr John" played the guitar. She's not afraid of anything.

Addie is thrilled about her new puppy, Lola, though we still talk about missing Izzy nearly every day. Lola is enamored with her big sister.

And of course Hutch is enchanted with her too. Now that he's getting bigger, feistier and more independent, we've had some rough days ... but all in all, she's a great big sister who's always looking out for him and taking care of him.

Weight: 31 pounds
Length: 36.5 inches

 New things:
  • Writing her name. She even wrote a letter to Santa ... that her mother can decipher at least :)
  • "Reading" her books to me, which consists of looking at the pictures and making up the story. Or recalling it exactly from memory.
  • Doing a lot more things "by herself," like washing her hair, going to the potty, getting ice/water out of the fridge dispenser. It's the little things.
  • Helping more with chores around the house. She's very into helping put away laundry. Yippee!
  • Lots more on-her-own gymnastics, including the zip line, somersaults and the rings.
  • Riding her first roller coaster at Silver Dollar City. It was a little one. We both screamed the whole time :)

  • Playing with all her nativity sets, while telling the Christmas story.
  • Watching Christmas movies. Or any movie really.
  • Gymnastics, which she's doing so well at. She loves doing (very) assisted back flips on the trampoline there.
  • Cooking and baking, which really just means licking the bowl.
  • Still very into playing pretend.
  • Fancy Nancy books.
  • Christmas books and music.
  • Playing games. As long as she can win.
  • Being a flamingo for Halloween
  • Going to Target
  • Wearing boots
  • Candy
  • Her new dog
  • Being in charge of her own meals, which means she gets to decide when she's done. It's a new tactic we're trying as meals were the source of many a throw down. So far, so good.
  • Finding Coco the elf each morning.
  • Sleeping in her own bed
  • The monsters that apparently take up residence in her room

Hutch Marshall - 12 months

A whole year old. Unbelievable. It seems like the blink of an eye, but I also wonder how in the world we ever lived without him.

He's so independent, and like someone else, refuses to perform, snuggle or do anything else on command. So we soak up those snuggles and relish in his words/tricks when he decides to dole them out.

He's officially a Daddy's boy, which only breaks my heart a smidge (yeah, right!) He is ecstatic when Jordan comes home, and if Jordan's nearby, this boy only has eyes for Daddy. It's pretty sweet. :)

It's been a bit of a rough month with a stomach bug, flu-like virus, throat infection and bronchitis (ain't nobody got time for that), but I think my little guy is finally feeling better.

He felt yucky for his first Thanksgiving, but ate a little of the food and had a good time anyway. He LOVED watching the parade - all that music.

The best part of the last month has been watching his eyes light up at all the Christmas decorations. He loved seeing the Chesapeake lights up close - he mostly just pointed at everything, but when we got close to some said "ball." Yep. He loves our Christmas tree and does pull ornaments off it. He also honored Izzy by pulling down my OSU Christmas tree, the same day as she did last year, the day before Bedlam. He actually enjoyed seeing Santa for the first time - looked up at him with wonder and enchantment in his eyes. Be still my heart. He loves his little nativity set (particularly chewing on Jesus and saying "ba" to the sheep) and his dancing penguin toy that plays Christmas music. He also likes to chew on Coco our elf.

And he has a new sibling - with four legs. Lola has been here almost a week, and they love to chase each other.

We are looking forward to celebrating this boy with his grandparents tomorrow night and his friends on Sunday.

Weight:  ~20 pounds
Length: 26.5 inches

New things:
  • More talking still. My favorites are his two-word phrases, "Hi Dada" and "Uh-oh Bubba." Yes he calls himself Bubba. I don't think he knows who Hutch is. He also said Mimi, and started calling my mom Mama, a la sister. He calls the cat Ba. (I have no idea) We've been working on baby, and it may be wishful thinking, but I think he pointed at a picture of baby Jesus and said baby. He also repeated me this morning when I said "good boy", though it sounded more like "goo ba."
  • Using all manner of push toys, chairs and step stools to facilitate walking. And standing on his own occasionally.
  • Drinking almond milk. He tried it and never looked back. He's nursing in the morning and at night ... and soon (sigh) we'll be done. I will likely cry. A lot.
  • Repeating animal sounds, with the cow, sheep and donkey from the nativity being his favorite. He points to the sheep and says "ba."
  • Christmas music. So he can dance. And Christmas lights.
  • His new dog, Lola. Unless she licks him in the mouth. But he does love to chase her.
  • Saying "ball" and playing with all manner of them.
  • Doing a better job of "pat pat pat"ing his fur siblings.
  • Smashing his fingers in the toilets. Well, he doesn't like that part exactly, but he's still obsessed with them. And doors.
  • Getting in the dog's crate.
  • Trying to open all gifts under the tree.
  • Pointing at everything and saying "this"
  • Giving hugs and kisses
  • Hugging sister especially
  • Pulling laundry out of baskets - clean or dirty, doesn't matter. And putting it back in, helpfully.
  • Eating dog food
  • His sister. They are so sweet when they play (nicely) together.
  • Bathtime.
    • Sleeping. This is still rough on all of us. Now that he's finally feeling better, maybe this will get better too??
    • Being held by momma when daddy is in the room
    • Getting his clock cleaned by Lola
    • Being refused graham crackers after he's had approximately 27

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Hutch Marshall - 11 months

    This time last year I was doing everything in my power to keep this rambunctious boy in my belly. Now he's almost a year old! How does the time go so quickly?!?

    This boy is the light of our lives. He loves to make his people laugh and is (not surprisingly) quite a ham. He's also very independent and, as his Grammie says, should be the star on the bizarre show his daddy loves, How It's Made. He's constantly trying to figure things out.

    We are amazed at how smart he is and how much he's talking. He has a pretty great role model in his big sister.

    He LOVES to eat and although he has less and less interest in nursing, his momma is still his fave. Seriously, though, I am terrified at what this kid's going to be like in his teens. He screams and cries to get in his high chair, where the eating happens, and always shovels food with two fists like he's starving. I imagine things will be quite similar at age 13.

    After a bout of trying to take him off reflux meds, and two straight weeks of pretty much no sleep for anyone, he's back on them. And as an added bonus, covered in essential oils that will supposedly help him calm down and sleep. We'll try anything.

    I'm slowly but surely planning this guy's big one year party, while living in complete denial that my baby has grown up so much.

    Weight:  19.5 pounds
    Length: 26.5 inches

    New things:
    • More and more and more talking. He's definitely saying milk, usually yelled at me, but also for his cup. He says "hi" while waving ... at everyone. He also says hat (while putting any available object on his head), all done (complete with sign language), ball, Pawpaw, "this" (while pointing) ... and he sometimes calls the cat Ma ... or something that sounds like either Mia or meow. He calls bananas either nana or ba.
    • Pulling up constantly, and cruising minimally. And standing up in the bathtub.
    • Finally eating avocado. I guess we'll keep him.
    • And eating lots of new things. His favorites are banana, sweet potato, pancakes and chicken. He's liked beans, brisket, pork tenderloin, sausage ... all fruits and most veggies. He also loved drinking water from a water bottle.
    • Imitating everything. Addie is very into letters and their sounds, so when she's sounding out a word to figure out what it starts with (G-G-G Grammie, starts with G!), Hutch is in the background saying dadadadada ... like he's trying to participate.
    • First hair cut! He did not care for the holding still part. But now he can see and looks less like a heathen.
    • Dancing to any music remains near and dear to his heart.
    • Laughing when we laugh, and delighting when he does something that makes us laugh.
    • Pulling everything he can reach off the fridge, which usually includes sister's priceless artwork.
    • Chasing Mia and trying to lay down on her. Doing better with "pat pat pat", instead of pulling her fur out.
    • He loved going to Gymboree one Saturday with me. Loved the music and bright colors, and especially the pretty girl babies.
    • Continued obsession with doors and toilets.
    • Picking up toys and turning them all over to see how they work.
    • Loves putting objects into and out of containers.
    • Stacking/nesting blocks, particularly putting the blocks on his head and saying "hat"
    • A hand-me-down signing Handy Manny toolbox. The tools dance. It plays music. It's pretty much his favorite thing ever.
    • Playing with his sister. Anything and everything she does is magical to him.
    • Down to four nursing sessions a day. When I ask him if he wants milk, he makes a laughing/crying combo sound and waves his hands frantically. :)
      • Sleeping.
      • His stationary jumper. He no longer believes in stationary.
      • Having anything taken away from him, including things like dirt or sticks that he's trying to eat.

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014

      Hutch Marshall - 10 months



      I'm gonna go ahead and say it. He's a genius. This guy has really blossomed over the last month, hitting milestone after milestone. Reminding me so much of his sister, especially the part where he's going to do things on his own schedule, his own way. I just assumed he wouldn't speak till he was 5 (boy and second child, you know) and he's totally proved me wrong. I had also assumed he would just never crawl. After all, his sister does everything for him.

      He is such a love bug and is happiest when he's with his people. He's especially enamored with his daddy. His expression and flailing arms when Jordan gets home every day are priceless. And if Jordan doesn't pick him up first, or tries to give him back to me, he let's us all know LOUDLY that he disapproves.

      He is a clown. He loves to make us laugh and to laugh when we are laughing. He's obsessed with all things musical.

      The sleeping is still questionable. Whatever, man.

      Weight:  19 pounds
      Length: 26.5 inches

      New things:
      • The talking. It's unreal. First word at 9.5 months was definitely mama. Followed by dada. And then his favorite word ... Adda or sometimes Addie. He calls for her anytime he wakes up and she's not yet up or when he's away from her. We were at the doctor recently, without her, and he kept looking around saying Adda? Adda? Next was Izzy. This is so bittersweet as we said goodbye to our precious dog just a few days ago. I love that he learned her name before she left this earth (Izzy was his sister's second word). And that he would bark back at her anytime she barked. He also says bye bye (complete with the wave) and uh-oh. He's tried to say book, bubble and milk (which is always yelled at me ... usually sounds like Ma! Ma!)
      • The crawling. Once he figured it out, there was no turning back. He is FAST! He never stays where I put him anymore ... He's very proud of his newfound independence. And his ability to hide from us.
      • Pulling up on all manner of things. His preference is to pull up on his people. Usually pulls up to his knees, but sometimes his feet.
      • He rocks the downward dog pose
      • Clapping. He does it constantly. If we say hands or clap or sing pattycake or say yay ... any chance he gets to clap, he's on it.
      • Eating all finger foods. He pretty much loves everything - even chicken these days. Avocado is still a no-go.
      • Drinking from a sippy cup! Hallelujah! He can even do it by himself.
      • That drinking from a cup means he's doing SO much better at school. He's eating well, drinking his milk ( and consequently not quite so frantic to see me when I pick him up) and taking naps. Praise Jesus. That school thing was pretty touch-and-go for awhile. I continue to be SO thankful for his wonderful teachers who love him so and are so patient with him.
      • Dancing. Listening to any music. Holding Jordan's jam box or a phone and rocking out to the music playing. Homie can always find the beat.
      • Giggling. He and Addie will start laughing at each other and can't stop.
      • Chasing his sister. :)
      • Still loves his jumper. He's especially fond of the ones at school. He jumped himself right to sleep in one last Sunday.
      • His four-legged friends. Even until her last day,  Izzy was so tolerant of him. Even Mia will snuggle him, briefly.
      • Going to the library. He loves the stories, the music and all the people to look at.
      • I think I can finally say he likes school and church. Finally.
      • He still likes to nurse, but we've dropped another feeding and unless he's sleepy or feeling bad, he's not interested for long. I'm thankful, and a little sad, that he's self-weaning.
      • Eating. I think pancakes and banana are his favorite.
      • His sister. He totally misses her when he's away from her. She can do anything to him and he thinks it's hilarious. Someday he'll learn to fight back, but for now he's content with her attention.
      • Doors. He has a serious door obsession. He finds any open door and swings it back and forth, back and forth. Several times a day, he shuts himself in his room and lays against his door so I have to very carefully push it open to get him out. He thinks it's hilarious.
      • Toilets. His father's son?
        • Being alone in the middle of the night.
        • Having anything taken away from him, including things like dirt or sticks that he's trying to eat.

        Wednesday, October 8, 2014

        Addison Mae - 3 years, 2 months

        My best girl. Who is a big preschooler now!
        I feel like my baby has grown up so much in the past two months. Addie was a jumble of excitement and nerves in anticipation of preschool (which reminds me of no one else I know). She loved going to Cookie Lookie to see her classroom and "meet" her teacher, who is actually the mom of one of her school friends. We had to instruct her that she had to call the teacher by her name, instead of "Tucker's mommy." She cried when we had to leave Cookie Lookie, saying, "but I wanted to eat dinner here and spend the night."

        She did great at her first drop off, with just a few tears. Her teacher is just fabulous and has had glowing remarks about how my girl is as close to perfect as you can get. Apparently she saves all her sassiness, orneriness and inability to listen for her momma. Which is fine by me. She has learned so much in the past six weeks - I am just amazed. I am constantly hearing her singing a new song, telling a story or writing/drawing something she's learned at school. She is such a little sponge.

        This past month was marked by an adenoidectomy and replacing ear tubes. A little rough on all of us, but we're thankful and hopeful it will keep her feeling better. She's also made great strides with her reflux and asthma. We love her pulmonologist and feel like we're finally on a course of meds that's keeping everything under control.

        Addie continues to be the world's best big sister. Which in no way means that she doesn't often (intentionally) smack, push or pinch her brother. But she sure does love him, and most of the time is so good and gentle with him.

        Weight: 30 pounds
        Length: 36.5 inches

         New things:
        • Such awesome sound and letter recognition. She can almost always tell us what words start with when sounding them out. And she is writing so well, sometimes what she draws even resembles letters. :)
        • Preschool! She's doing so great and loving all the activities. She loves going to chapel once a week, and talking about the Bible verse. They concentrate on a letter each week, and we love playing a game where we name everything we can that starts with that letter. Apparently all the teachers love her, too. Reminds me a little of someone I used to know :)
        • Adenoid removal and new tubes. Fingers crossed this will give us an easier cold and flu season.
        • Back to gymnastics, which she just loves.

        • Playing pretend. Coming up with new names for all of us. Playing school, doctor, grocery store, Sonic, anything where we get to pretend. When we told her about her surgery, she reacted by immediately wanting to play pretend. "Mommy, I will be the doctor. I'm putting a mask on your and I'm going to take your add-e-nudes out."
        • All Disney movies. I've successfully removed TV watching, for the most part, other than movies. New obsessions are Tangled, Pete's Dragon and Homeward Bound.
        • Singing songs from school, including the song they sing when getting ready for chapel and a song about mommies, which I suspect is for the special VIP Mom's Day coming up later this month.
        • Her bubs. One of my very favorite moments of the two of them happened at the library when they had parachute play. All the kids got on the parachute and the parents pulled it around, merry-go-round style. Hutch was so nervous and clung to her for dear life. She held on tight and talked/sang to him to calm him. They are so precious.
        • Cooking and baking
        • Gardening and watering. Especially with Grammie.
        • Going shopping, only if we're buying stuff for her. Carter's and Daniel's are her faves.
        • Taylor Swift's new song. And dance parties.
        • Painting, coloring and crafting. Making bird feeders.
        • Crazy 8s and her Snail Race game.
        • Our nightly frog and moon finding routine.
        • Daddy's new fire pit, especially when it involves roasting marshmallows.
        • Pete the Cat books.
        • All things in preparation for fall and Halloween
        • Watching OSU football. And getting videos from Grammie of Bullet.
        • Her brother getting all the attention.
        • Being by herself, which usually means time out.

        Tuesday, September 9, 2014

        Hutch Marshall - 9 months

        This guy. He is so funny. And SO busy. It continues to amaze me how exactly like his sister he is. He LOVES his momma, and his sister and his daddy. Anytime he's been away from any of the three, he acts manic depressive upon their return - crying like he's so upset to have been left and smiling/laughing like he's ecstatic to be reunited.

        Anytime he sees his sister's face, whether in the morning, after a nap, after school, his whole face lights up and he HAS to get his hands on her. Which usually means pulling her hair. When his daddy comes home from work he cries and cries until he picks him up, then he grins and pats his face over and over. Sometimes he rubs his head all along Jordan's beard for good measure. And I swear sometimes this baby acts like he wants to get back in the womb. I am constantly telling him, dude, seriously, you can't get any closer to me.

        He makes us laugh all the time, which he loves. He loves to be loud, babble, drum on anything, listen to music, eat, move and see pretty girls. Any age - he doesn't discriminate.

        He started Starbright, which has been a rough adjustment for a guy who refuses to take a bottle. He won't eat or sleep (much) but I think all in all he has a pretty good time. He just really misses his people. For the record, I miss him a lot, too. :)

        Weight:  18.5 pounds
        Length: 26.5 inches

        New things:
        • Still more new sounds. He says mamama often when crying, upset or tired. And when he's happy/playful, sticks to dadada. Seriously?? Sometimes I think he totally associates those sounds with us, but that may be wishful thinking. A few times I could almost swear he's said Izzy.
        • Still no crawling. I know, right?? But his method of rolling, scooting, pushing himself backward (it's kind of like a crawl, just in the wrong direction), pushing himself in a circle and, my favorite, lying on his back and pushing himself around with his feet get him pretty much wherever he wants to go. He is getting all the way up on all fours and rocking ... and then promptly lying down and rolling. Some day. 
        • Our first bout with croup. Not fun. But not as awful as I remember with his dear sister.
        • The waving is for real. He's stingy with his waves, but oh my are they darling. Please mark that as one of the first (only?) milestones he's hit ahead of sister.
        • Pulling himself up when holding my hands, or up to his knees on a musical toy. Other than that, no interest in that pulling up nonsense.
        • Eating even more finger foods. Loves pineapple, watermelon, banana  and cooked apples. Blueberries remain his favorite. All manner of protein is immediately disregarded. He still does not love avocado. I keep telling him that must mean he's not really a Page, but he doesn't seem to care.
        • Going to school. Which is, as noted above, interesting since he refuses a bottle for the whole five hours he's there. And a sippy. He just waits for me and then screams bloody murder when I arrive. So thankful he has such sweet teachers, who are kind and patient, and remember a certain baby girl who was similar.
        •  Working on a sippy cup. Since that bottle thing is a no-go. Mostly he likes to play with/chew on it, but I think occasionally some liquid makes it's way to his tummy.
        • Singing. Talking. Making any sort of noise with his mouth.
        • Izzy and Mia, who tolerate him so nicely. He loves to pull on their fur. And ears. And tails.
        • Playing with his kitchen toys while I cook.
        • His stationery and doorway jumpers.
        • Dancing. To all music. And turning anything into a drum to make music.
        • Laughing. And making his people laugh.
        • Books, although his preferred method of enjoyment is drumming on them or chewing them. He loves his nightly Goodnight Moon story.
        • Nursing.  He's down to six times a day, and goes for about 10 hours overnight. Sometimes I worry he'll be nursing till he's 12 (don't worry - he won't), but then I remember his sister eventually weaned herself. And I'll be sad when it's over.
        • Swimming and water in general.
        • Watching his sister do anything. He does love to watch her at gymnastics.
        • His lovies. Thankfully he's not partial to one in particular, but he does have to cuddle something to go to sleep. And has to have the paci.
        • His bed. Though sometimes he likes to be rocked to sleep, there are lots of times when he's sleepy that he asks to just get in his bed and be left alone. He's usually pretty good at putting himself to sleep. That does not apply when he wakes up in the middle of the night, however.
          • Bottles.