Monday, September 26, 2011

11 months!

Today is Lila's 11-month birthday! She spent the day at Grandma Bonnie and Papa Jeff's house in North Dakota with her brother and Mommy (Daddy has to go to the field this week).

It feels like this past month has gone by the fastest of all of Lila's months. She's been one busy little girl lately -- so busy, in fact, that I've started calling her my "Squirmy Worm" because she's just too busy to sit still. Diaper changes are completely ridiculous now. Even when she's on all fours and getting ready to crawl, for example, it's not enough for her to just get from point A to point B. She also has to stick her butt up in the air and move it up and down a half dozen times. Sometimes she leans so far forward that I get worried she's going to do a somersault!

Here she is in action at Grandma and Grandpa's house.....

Lila still sometimes crawls on all fours using one knee and one foot, but the past week or so she has started using both knees. She can definitely go faster when she uses both knees. I am interested to see if she continues to go back and forth between these crawling styles or if she'll drop the knee/foot combo altogether.

During the past month, we started walking with her around the house a little. She'll take a few steps at a time, but then she'll try to pull out of our hands so she can get down and crawl. She clearly knows how she can get around most efficiently! Since we've been at Grandma and Grandpa's house, we've been trying to get her to do some "cruising" along the furniture in the living room, especially the leather ottoman. The super-plush carpet here is much more forgiving of a potential misstep than our rugs and wood floors at home. (We had extremely unforgiving ceramic tile in the house we rented in Texas during John's first year, so John didn't really start cruising furniture until we visited Grandma and Grandpa's house in December 2009.)

What else is going on with Lila now? She is.....

.....sleeping much, much better at night after a little experiment we tried earlier in the month to try to get her to stop waking up at night and to finally get her weaned off of a nighttime feeding. We started putting her to bed in the Pack n Play in the office, thinking that if we needed to let her "cry it out," she wouldn't wake her brother up (their bedrooms are adjacent, but the office is at the opposite end of the house from John's bedroom). It worked even better than we anticipated! The first night, she didn't have to "cry it out" at all, since she slept through the night completely! It was the first time she'd done that in a REALLY long time. We've moved her back to her own bedroom now, and she'll sleep through the night most nights.

.....still working on her 6th tooth (the right tooth on the side of her middle two top teeth). It is visible through the gums, but it hasn't broken through yet. It's taking forever! I think I can also see a little redness on the gums on the right side of her middle two bottom teeth. She's had some of the classic teething symptoms the past week (tugging at her ear, having a runny nose, etc.), so I think I'll be reporting on some new "break-throughs" very soon.

.....going through a huge growth spurt. Just in the last week, she has started eating like crazy and has woken up at night a couple of times acting like she's starving. She is also much less content to eat (pureed) baby food. She wants to feed herself! Her mealtime independence is great for Mommy and Daddy because it means we can eat our food while it's still hot. The finger foods she's had so far include mango, blueberries, apples, bananas, avocado, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, cheese and bread. She has added a few items to her finger food repertoire since we got to North Dakota on Saturday (grilled pork tenderloin, for example).

.....vocalizing a LOT more, as of the past two days. It is so much fun to hear her voice again! She hadn't been doing much talking since the post I wrote a couple months ago when she started saying "mama." Now she says "mama," "dada," "gaga," and a few other things that I can't even transcribe (but they're adorable). Today she talked for 10-15 minutes at a time! I'll try to get a video of this in the next few days.

Happy 11 months, darling Lila-pie! We love you so much. Just look at how sweet you are in this video of you eating Daddy's apple (and doing your princess wave at the very end).

Monday, September 12, 2011

John's busy summer, part 2 (30, 31 and 32 months old, potty-training and more!)

Finally, John's 2.5-year-old post! This is the longest post ever, since I've combined his 30-month, 31-month and 32-month birthdays into one post.

Our firstborn turned 2.5 years old on my 30th birthday, July 8th! Mommy, Daddy and Lila were in Texas that day, but John was having fun back in Illinois with Grandma and her friends. Grandma had lined up an activity for each day that we were gone -- fishing with Mr. Mike on the 7th; swimming with Aunt Ruthanne and Uncle Steve on the 8th; a trip to the Arboretum with Aunt Wrenne on the 9th; and swimming with the Repsholdts on the 10th. It was a jam-packed weekend for everyone!

At 2.5 years old, John is quite the character. He is Mr. Personality for sure -- super friendly and outgoing, always ready to meet new people and try new things. He adapts extremely well to new circumstances, which has been a huge blessing given our recent circumstances, and he generally acts much older than his age. I often have to remind myself that he's only 2.5 (like when he's throwing a tantrum, hehe). It seems like he's 3.5!

Here's (a lot) more about John at 2.5 years:

Physical facts:

John definitely started getting taller and leaner over the summer. I had to take him to the doctor on Friday because he's been sick this past week, and he measured 38 inches tall and weighed 30 pounds. He usually wears size 2T or 3T. Now that he's wearing underwear instead of diapers (see potty training section below!), his shorts and pants are a bit big around the waist.

His feet haven't grown a whole lot since the spring. Since August, he's been wearing his size 6/7 slip-on Crocs and size 7 velcro-strap Gap sandals, both of which fit him perfectly, so I'd guess he's a 7 right now. (Update: I just measured him after Steph told me about the Keen sandals Elise has, and he is indeed a size 7.) I'm going to buy him another pair of Crocs in size 8/9 because I think he'll soon be outgrowing the ones he has (and he LOVES his Crocs). I bought them back at the beginning of the summer, and he has worn them almost every day since then. He can easily put them on himself, so there's one less thing for Mommy to do :) I think I'll try a pair of the Keen sandals, too, since they look durable and are on sale for a really good price. Thanks, Steph!

The most noticeable change in John's physical appearance this summer was his new haircut. John sweats profusely when it's warm out, and we decided we needed to have his hair cut as short as possible so he would stay cooler while playing outside. Daddy took him to get his first buzz on July 17th, and when they got back to Grandma's house (this was the week she had her surgery), he was SO excited to show his new haircut to his buddy Brayden, who also has a buzz cut. I love his hair being so short. It does make him look older, but it also makes him look more like his Daddy.


Overall, John is still a fantastic sleeper. Once he falls asleep at night, he NEVER wakes up unless he is really sick and is awakened by a coughing fit (like he is right now). That being said, we did have to experiment with naptimes and bedtimes the past few months because he was having trouble falling asleep. After we got back to Wisconsin on July 17th, John started taking forever to fall asleep at both naptime and bedtime. Some afternoons he'd be awake for more than an hour in his crib during naptime, so I'd end up going to get him so he wouldn't wake Lila up from her 2nd nap with all his talking and playing. He'd be fine for most of the afternoon, but then around 5 p.m., he'd start having meltdowns because he was overtired, and we'd have to put him to bed for good at 6:30.

So we decided to push naptime back to 2 p.m. and bedtime to 8 or 8:30 p.m. This worked ok for a while, but it meant that Mommy and Daddy had less time together at night to get stuff done around the house (plus we were exhausted). I finally figured out that John just needed more stimulation in the mornings so that he'd be ready to lay down for his nap at the usual time of 1 p.m. (and for bed at the usual time of 7:30 p.m.). Now we make sure to play outside for at least a little while and/or go to the YMCA so he can burn all that energy! So he is back to his previous naptime and bedtime.

On a normal morning, John wakes up around 6:30 a.m., so he's getting about 11 hours of sleep at night. He typically naps for 2-2.5 hours, so the total amount of sleep he's getting in a day is 13-13.5 hours.


John is still a great eater. But he definitely has a few quirks. For some reason, he has decided he does not like the breading on chicken fingers. Aunt Ruthanne made us two batches of her (delicious!) healthy gourmet chicken fingers, and whenever I serve them to him, he asks me where the chicken is. He's had chicken fingers once or twice in restaurants, and he won't eat them there either.

Another quirk of his is that he doesn't like the word "breakfast." When I ask him in the morning if he's hungry for breakfast, he'll say, "No, I don't want breakfast. I want a snack." I'll give him some different options, and he'll end up picking something breakfast-like, but he doesn't want me to call it breakfast. Strange.

Since mid-July, John usually eats breakfast and lunch in one of the chairs at the kitchen table (as opposed to the booster seat in the dining room). If it's really nice outside and Lila's still sleeping, we'll have a picnic lunch outside. For dinner, we either eat outside on the patio or in the dining room. He usually eats his snacks when we're on the go.

John's favorite things to eat at each mealtime/snacktime are as follows:


-cereal with milk (Cheerios, Shredded Wheat or Kashi Heart to Heart)

-pumpkin muffins


-toast with jelly

Morning snack:

-any flavor "squeezy pack" (blended fruit and veggies in a portable pouch)

-cheese stick or "circle cheese" (Babybel cheese)


-peanut butter and jelly sandwich

-turkey and cheese sandwich with lettuce

-cheese quesadilla

Afternoon snack:

-any flavor "bunny fruit snacks" (Annie's fruit snacks)



-goldfish crackers


-noodles with spaghetti sauce

-grilled chicken

-bratwurst/chicken sausage


Favorite fruits:









Favorite veggies:


-green beans

-carrots (especially cooked)

-sweet potatoes

-butternut squash

John still loves Chipotle. He orders a cheese quesadilla with a side of rice and corn salsa, and we get him a side of guacamole, too, which he likes to eat by the spoonful or spread on top of his quesadilla. We probably have Chipotle for dinner once a week. About a month ago, when Daddy was philosophizing about what to do with his Army career, Daddy asked John where John thought he should work. John answered, "Chipotle!"

One more funny thing about John and eating: ever since Lila started eating puffs last month, John has wanted to eat them too. We give him a little pile of puffs on his plate next to his dinner food.


Believe it or not, but for the past two weeks, John has been wearing underwear during the day!!!The potty-training process started back in mid-July. John started taking off his diaper in his crib the week of July 11th. He would take it off at some point after I'd lay him down and then pee in his crib while he was sleeping. So I had to figure out a way to prevent him from taking off his diaper. My solution was to either put a pair of underwear over the diaper or a pair of pajamas that zip all the way up, both of which are too difficult for him to take off himself. That worked really well. But we soon realized the underlying problem was that John just didn't want to wear a diaper anymore -- he'd complain that his diapers were soggy even when they weren't, saying, "Change mine diaper, Mommy!"

So we decided to start potty-training with him. The week of July 18th, he started peeing regularly on the potty -- whenever it was time for a diaper change and before his nap and bedtime. His reward for going potty (or trying to go potty) was a gummy bear. We knew things were going well when his diaper was always dry. I had already bought him some underwear (Cars- and Thomas the Train-themed), so we started letting him wear it around the house for a while during the day so he could get the "feel" of it. John's first full day of wearing underwear was August 26th. The next day John wanted to go back to diapers, but then the following day he wore underwear again. And he's been wearing underwear ever since!

For a while, we were having issues getting John to poop on the potty -- he'd throw a mini tantrum. He has always wanted his privacy when pooping, so this didn't surprise me. But luckily he's always given us plenty of warning signs when he's about to poop, so we finally figured we just needed to show him what it was like for him to poop on the potty. The night of August 3rd, we took him to the bathroom "by force," so to speak. He was kicking and screaming no, but he was already mid-poop, and he became so interested in watching what was coming out of his body that he stopped his fit. We gave him 6 gummi bears that evening for his big accomplishment! He pooped on the potty again on August 6th, but it took another three weeks or so before he would do it willingly.

He now wears underwear all day long, including during his nap, and he's only had a handful of accidents (most of which were my fault because they occurred while I was distracted by being on the phone or because I forgot to have him go before we left the house). One of his potties is upstairs in his bedroom, and the other is in the playroom by the door that leads out to the garage. These locations might sounds strange, but I've found that it's way easier to have them there because then Lila has something to play with while I'm helping him. He knows that he is supposed to sit on the potty first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and whenever we're transitioning between activities (especially if we're leaving the house).

John sometimes doesn't want to sit on the potty to "try" going -- he can hold his pee for a very long time, and he often protests by saying something like, "I just went!" (He has just started telling me in the last week when he has to go, but this is the exception rather than the rule.) One way I can usually get him to go potty when he's resistant is to ask him if he wants to pee on his "Lightning McQueen" potty -- a seat that goes on top of the regular toilet -- or if he wants to stand up (that's how he goes when Daddy takes him to the bathroom while we're out somewhere).

While John was really sick last week, we just put diapers on him again because he was miserable and couldn't even sit up straight on the couch, let alone the potty (it's very important that he sits up straight on the potty so he doesn't spray everywhere!). He still wears diapers at night just in case he has to pee, but he's usually dry in the morning. When he started school, I was a little nervous that he might not want to go potty in the classroom bathroom or that he'd have an accident, but so far so good! Speaking of school.....


Since mid-July, John has been attending the Mother's Day Out (MDO) program at Community United Methodist Church of Elm Grove. (This is the church that we've been attending.) From July 19th until August 18th, he went twice a week to the program's summer sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. -noon), and now he's going to the regular preschool twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays (9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). He really seems to enjoy himself!

His first day of regular school was last Wednesday, September 7th. I was a little nervous about him being able to fall asleep during the quiet/nap hour (1:15-2:30), and rightfully so. His teachers said he rested, but didn't fall asleep. John had his second day of school today, and they said he actually did fall asleep for about 45 minutes (maybe the new sleeping bag I ordered for him from Pottery Barn Kids helped). I think he will end up napping better once he gets used to it -- he's never had to nap at school before! At least he is being quiet -- in fact, his teachers says he's a real enforcer of "quiet time" and will say "Shh!" to his fellow classmates if they're talking. Hehe.

I really like this preschool for a number of reasons. First, it's affiliated with our church, just like John's Parent's Day Out program in Illinois. Second, it's a longer day than the other preschools I looked into. I guess a 3-hour day is typical for most preschools, but that's not very long when you factor in the drive to and from the school and Lila's morning nap. Third, it has a huge outdoor playground and grassy area, as well as a sandbox, that the kids use during the school day. (One of the preschools didn't have a playground.) And fourth, it's licensed to handle diaper changes, so if John happens to have a (potty) accident or two at school while he's still training, I don't have to worry that he'll be kicked out (like he would be at other preschools that aren't licensed). After all, he's only been potty-trained for about 2 weeks. I don't want to put that kind of pressure on him.


John behaves himself wonderfully as long as he's healthy and well rested. I would say he generally handles himself with the maturity of a much older child. HOWEVER, if you take either his health or his sleep away (or, God forbid, both!), he can be a beast. This past week has been interesting, as you might imagine, especially since Lila is older now and requires a lot more supervision.

As is the case for any 2-year-old, the most difficult times for John are the transitional times, like when he has to stop doing an activity to do something else or go home. We always tell him how many more minutes he has left before the transition, and this usually works. Sometimes when he's really involved, though, he'll throw a tantrum. We are going to start using an egg timer to count down the minutes so he can be angry at that instead of at Mommy and Daddy.

We still give him his time-outs in his crib. Time-outs (2-3 minutes long) are reserved for especially egregious actions that he knows are unacceptable, such as throwing toys. A month or so ago, he started swatting at us as we'd be taking him upstairs for a time-out, and he'd say, "Go away, Mommy/Daddy!" We'd hold his arms down and tell him we were sorry he was so upset, but we were so mad! We consulted the Love and Logic book to make sure there wasn't something else we could say or do when this happened. Love and Logic recommends saying, "I love you too much to argue with you," so that's what we've been doing. We concentrate really hard on saying this so we don't lose our cool with him.

This past month (August 10-September 9), John had WAY fewer time-outs than the previous month (July 10-August 9). I'm sure all the traveling and changes in July were tiring and stressful for him. By August 10th, we were finally back home, and we've been home ever since. Routines and consistency are so important!


Since we got back to Wisconsin in August, John has been OBSESSED with chalk. He now has an entire shoebox full of different colors of washable chalk. We have a really long, really flat blacktop driveway that's perfect for drawing on, and he will happily draw for an hour or more at a time. That's usually what we do when we get back to the house after our morning activity while Lila's taking her nap. We make hopscotches, draw pictures of John's favorite things (Cars vehicles), and spell our names (John has been able to spell his own name and Lila's name for 3 or 4 months now).

John has been equally obsessed with our garage and Daddy's toolbox. He loves to climb up the kitchen stool we put in front of Daddy's toolbox and rummage through the tools and other miscellaneous items (Daddy took out all the expensive and/or dangerous things, of course). He also loves to get people drinks from the refrigerator we have in the garage. "You want a beer, Daddy?" is a familiar question from John, even if it's 10 in the morning.

Another favorite activity for John is playing with his Mega Blocks. For a while, he wanted to play with them two or three times daily. We'd build airplanes, helicopters, giraffes......anything he imagined. He really likes the Legos he has from Grandma's house, too. I think we need to get him more Legos, actually.

Last month, I bought John two puzzles from Land of Nod that focus on rhyming and opposites. He started liking puzzles again after Uncle Eric and Aunt Chiara came to visit and brought with them one of Baby Kael's puzzles. I'm going to get him a few more puzzles for the fall, I think. He can do them on the new table I bought for the kids for the playroom.

Funny sayings:

"Ladies and Channels!" (instead of "Ladies and Gentlemen!")
John: (talking in his crib 40 minutes after we put him to bed) "Mommy, bring me mine small potty! I go pee-pee on mine small potty and dump it in big toilet!"
(a few minutes later)
J: "I want to do a somersault, come here, Mommy!"

J: (reacting to Lila's cries in the car on the way home from school) "It's ok, Lila, I'm a doctor!"

Grandma: (sitting on the back deck of her house with John) "John, did you miss the deck?"
J: No, I missed you!

Mommy:(looking at Lila's 9-month photos with John) "Isn't Lila pretty?"

J: "Lila's an angel?"

J: (watching parachuters jump out of an airplane while in Daddy's truck) "No, Daddy, don't drive over them!"

Pics from the summer:

In our front yard, getting ready to slide down the slide of our new pool:

Hanging out on the stairs:

Coloring at the kitchen table:

Making a "house" out of the boxes that Lila's baby food jars come in:

Friday, September 9, 2011

There she goes!

The past 10 days have been huge for Lila! Besides figuring out how to crawl (she had only been scooting before), she has started pulling up on EVERYTHING and even climbed up a few stairs by herself yesterday!

She is definitely more content with this newfound independence. She can get to her toys on her own now, and she can explore all sorts of things she never knew existed before (like the insides of her dresser drawers, hehe). I have noticed, though, that she has started "circling" -- she'll crawl off to something and play by herself for a while, but she'll always come back to me and want to be held. I love that part.

You'll see from these videos that Lila uses her left knee and right foot to crawl. Adorable! I think it's so interesting that she started crawling at 10 months (August 30th, to be exact), since John didn't crawl until the week he turned 1. He did start scooting earlier than Lila, though.

Lila crawling 1 from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

John's busy summer, part 1

John has had quite the summer! Not many 2.5-year-olds have to endure so many transitions at once -- having Daddy come home for good from Fort Hood, leaving Grandma Kay Ellen and her house behind in Illinois, moving into a new house in Wisconsin, starting at a new school, starting to potty-train, traveling back and forth between Wisconsin and Illinois to help Grandma.... it is really mind-boggling to think about how well he has done through it all. He's already an Army brat at this tender age!

Month 30 (June 8th-July 7th):

John started off his 30th month with a 2-week summer session of Parent's Day Out at our family church in Naperville. I was so glad he could do the first summer session there before we moved because it gave me four mornings to get some packing done! Miss Lynne was one of his teachers again, and quite a few of the kids from his school-year class were in his summer class, including his friend Evan.

On June 15th, John, Lila, Grandma and I drove up to Wisconsin to close on the house. I was a little worried about having to take John with us to the closing, but everything worked out perfectly. When we did the final walk-through of the house, we brought John into the house so he could see it for the first time. Grandma kept him occupied while Lila played in her car seat. On the way to the title company, I put in a Curious George video for John to watch on his portable DVD player. By the time we arrived, John was completely entranced and Lila was asleep, so Grandma just stayed in the car with the kids while I went in to do the paperwork. I was gone about 30 minutes, but thankfully everyone did fine in the car.

The next afternoon, I got a call from the movers saying that they would be arriving at the house early the next morning (the 17th). Grandma and I decided it would be best to drive back up to the house again that evening (the 16th, after rush-hour) so we wouldn't have to get up really early. I believe this evening trip to Wisconsin was the one when John first watched the movie Cars (yes, he had been sucked into Disney's highly-effective marketing campaign and was already the proud owner of a couple of Cars vehicles, two pairs of Cars pajamas, and a Cars t-shirt). I had ordered the movie off of Amazon the week before all these trips to Wisconsin in the hopes that it would be the perfect distraction for him -- and it was!
So we stayed overnight in the empty house -- John slept in a Pack n Play in his new room, Lila stayed in a Pack n Play in her new room, and Grandma and I slept on a couple of comforters on the carpeted floor of the 4th bedroom. The kids slept really well, but Grandma and I did not!
When the movers came in the morning, we thought we could turn on John's movie again and all would be well, but John only wanted to watch a few minutes of it. He preferred to be a part of all the excitement with the movers! Luckily, Lila took a 3-hour nap right in the middle of when we were the busiest, so Grandma and I could focus on John. But he (of course) wanted to "help" Mr. Ed and Mr. Leonard (our movers). So we finally decided it would be best for Grandma to take him on an extended car trip to get him out of the house for a while and to pick up some lunch.

For some reason, I thought we'd be done with the movers early enough that John could nap in the car on the way back to Illinois, so I didn't even think about laying him down in the Pack n Play at the house. I should have!! John started getting really fussy around 2 p.m., so Grandma took him in the car again so he could fall asleep. I tried to finish everything up as soon as I could so that Lila and I could just jump into the car with all our bags and drive off without waking up John. It was rather stressful. I definitely wouldn't recommend having two kids with you when you have movers come to your house! Steph, if you're reading this, you and Mike did it the smarter way!

Daddy arrived home from Texas the next day, June 18th, which happened to be the day of John's friend Evan's 2nd birthday party. So we all went to the party, and John enjoyed himself with all the other little kids there. The highlights of the party for John were jumping in the jump house and receiving a goody bag from Evan's Mommy when it was time to go home. I believe this was John's first kiddie birthday party since his girlfriend Elise Powell turned 1!

Three days later, we packed up the car and truck and drove back up to Wisconsin to move into the house. John and Lila were in the car with me, while Daddy drove the truck by himself. During the trip, John kept asking if we were going to Grandma's house. He missed Grandma and her house already! (Even now, when we're making the drive back to Wisconsin from Illinois, John will ask if we're going to Grandma's house.) Grandma's house was his home for almost an entire year, so it makes sense that he'd miss it so much.

John continued to ask about Grandma's house the first few days of living in Wisconsin. We tried to make things as fun as we could for him so the transition to a new house wouldn't be so rough for him. We let him help us open all the boxes and put things where they belonged in the different rooms. He really enjoyed that because it made him feel like a big boy. We took a bunch of walks in the Bob so we could check out the neighborhood, and we went to the park by our house several times too. By the time Grandma and Grandpa arrived on June 24th, John wasn't talking about Grandma's house as much anymore. He seemed genuinely excited to show off "mine new house in Mis-consin!"

The following week, Grandma and Grandpa headed back home and we drove down to Illinois for the 4th of July weekend and the visit from the Boenitzes. John LOVED hanging out with Uncle Eric, Aunt Chiara and "Baby Kael" (John never called him Kael, only Baby Kael). He wanted to crawl all around the house with Baby Kael and play with him. It was really sweet! He was very gentle with Kael -- even gentler than he had been with Lila.

While we were in Illinois for that weekend, John was sleeping in his Pack n Play in his old room. But he started having trouble falling asleep in it at naptime, and I started thinking it was getting to be too small for him (especially since he had started using a pillow earlier that month, and it took up a lot of room). Then, the evening of July 3rd, I peeked into his room to check on him after laying him down for the night and realized that he had fallen asleep sitting up in the Pack n Play! He woke up when I tried to lay him down, and he said something to me along the lines of "mine bed is too small." Grandma Kay Ellen had been wanting to order a crib for her house, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so we weren't sure what to do. We decided to have Daddy stay with John in our bed while Uncle Eric and I went to the store to buy a crib and mattress. The only store that was open that late on a Sunday was Target, so that's where we got them. Daddy and Uncle Eric set up the crib that night and John slept perfectly in it. (We ended up returning the crib and mattress a few weeks later after Grandma ordered a nicer crib and mattress online.) So we all learned the hard way that John had gotten too big for a Pack n Play -- and a big thank you to Uncle Eric and Aunt Chiara for all the help that night!

At the very end of his 30th month, John started off on a big adventure with Grandma Kay Ellen -- a long weekend together, without Mommy or Daddy! This was the first time John had been away from Mommy for longer than 20 hours (he was away from me for about that long when Lila was born), so it was a big deal. We didn't tell him he was going to be staying with Grandma for a few days until we were putting him to bed on the night of July 6th. Rather than tell him that Mommy and Daddy and Lila were going away, we told him that he was going to be spending some time with Grandma and that he was going to be doing all sorts of fun activities with her and her friends, who would be helping. This trick worked really well, and he didn't get upset at all that night, thankfully, or the entire weekend! Grandma said he did ask about Mommy a lot but that he wasn't upset about me being gone.

To wrap up this post, here are some other tidbits (in no particular order) about what John started doing and saying in his 30th month. He started.....

.....playing regularly with Brayden Capen, the grandson of our next-door neighbor at Grandma's house. (I went to school with Brayden's daddy and uncle.)

.....enjoying different activities at the Children's Museum because he was older and finally understood how they worked.

.....using the conjunction "and" in sentences regularly.

.....saying "get away!" to me or Daddy (sounds like "gi-taway!") when he's mad. This would first prompt a time-out in his crib, and then an apology to Mommy or Daddy.

.....saying "that's mine dog!" about Halley.

.....saying "Hi, Mommy or "Hi, Daddy" while patting our back -- his way of saying, "I love you."

.....asking if his friends love him after we tell him we love him at bedtime.
Mommy: "Goodnight, John! Mommy and Daddy love you, and Lila loves you, and Halley, and Grandma, and Grandpa and Grandma....."
John: "and Jack?"
M: "Yes, and Jack too."
J: "And Brayden?"
M: "And Brayden too."

My favorite quote from the month:

Mommy: (while packing up the car to go to Wisconsin) "John, we're going to Wisconsin today! Are you excited?"
John: (at the top of his lungs) "We're going to Mis-consin!!!! So, goodbye, Lila!!!!"

Photos from the month:
Grandma reading to John in his bedroom at her house:

Having a snack on the rug in the living room of our new house:

Having a snack on the stool in the kitchen:

Looking sullen:
Playing Army with Dad's helmet:
Snacking again!
At the pool with Miss Regan on July 3rd:
Hanging out with Uncle Eric:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pics of John and Lila together

My favorite part of the day is watching John and Lila play together. They are so cute with each other! John tells us all the time that he wants to play with Lila in the playroom, in the bathtub, in his crib, in her crib.....

The only place he doesn't want to play with her is in the Bob, our double jogging stroller. When they're in the Bob, Lila always reaches across to his side and tries to take his toy. When she does, he'll say, "Keep your hands to yourself, please, Lila!" He learned that from his Mommy, who has to say that to him sometimes. (Incidentally, we just bought the most WONDERFUL stroller, a Joovy Ultralight Caboose, and because it's a tandem stroller, Lila's wandering hands aren't a problem when the kids are riding in it. This wasn't the only reason we bought the stroller, but it's definitely an added perk.)

So, here are the kiddos hanging out together in the playroom (before we rearranged the furniture and before I changed my mind about the rug and bought the darker green rug).....

Here they are in the family room. John was pretending to ride on top of Lila like a horse, and Lila didn't mind at all.....

Here they are in Lila's crib after they had both taken a bath. They were rolling around, and John started tickling Lila's feet.....

And finally, here they are in the playroom again (with the darker rug and the furniture against the back wall). With Mommy's help, John lifted Lila onto his lap for some playtime. Then he wanted to give her a hug -- but he had a death grip on the poor girl! He loves her so much, and she adores him. No one can make Lila smile like her big brother!