Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Yes, I am a little late with his final monthly birthday post... With all that has been going on this month, I figured I would try to squeeze in a few photos while we were in Indiana instead of trying to rush a post before we left. It turned out very well, considering he is a little more sturdy on his feet these days, plus he's learned a few new tricks!

He is walking up a storm, of course, which started about a week after he turned 10 months-- but he has also learned to wave "bye-bye" and also to "dance" to his favorite tunes. And only today, he learned how to remove the latches of his diaper!! Mommy can't wait to see what kind of craziness comes from that newly developed talent.

Height and Weight: We won't have official stats until his 12 month appointment, but we did weigh him on a regular scale while we were home, and it seems that our boy is right around the 25lb mark. No surprise to us... or to my back. ;)

Sleep: Oh, Lucas... You are such a great sleeper! Even with your teething, I really have nothing to complain about when it comes to your naps or even bedtime. You are usually the one who is insistent that you go to bed! I know with your sister's influence, these days are probably numbered....

Diet:  Anything and everything. He usually eats right off my plate. His favorites are roast, green beans, zucchini, and of course-- banana and avocado. I know that he and I are both excited to stop with the bottle feedings soon. :)

Clothes: Still mostly 12-18 month clothes, but fitting into a few 18 month tops. We're getting ready to order some 18 month pajamas too, because he's outgrowing his 12 month jammies.

Comparison to Big Sis:
 Brynn was in size 3 diapers, Lucas is in size 6 diapers.
Brynn was quite the talker, but Lucas is more quiet and reserved (like Daddy).
I think that Brynn really favored Daddy's side back then, 
while Lucas has "Wilson" written all over his face! :)
Brynn didn't walk until she was 13 1/2 months, and Lucas started walking at 10 months.
They are both extremely fast crawlers and give the best hugs in the world! :)

Lucas' Likes: Walking and "running" everywhere. Playing in the dog bed. Dancing. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Chasing his sister around the house. Going under tables and chairs. Splashing in forbidden water sources.

Lucas' Dislikes: Being told "No."-- He has also learned to throw little tantrums when he doesn't get his way, which he certainly didn't learn from his sister. Not a big fan of spoon feedings anymore either.

Taking & Walking: Still not saying much of anything besides "Da-da" and "Na-na"-- He can wave "bye bye" on command, but doesn't say it yet. We got him to repeat the word "Hot" the other day, because he is so obsessed with helping us when we are cooking on the stove, and he's becoming a little grab-y at the hot pots and pans. Other than that, he's not been very interesting in repeating words. He has started pointing at things and saying "Dat" and he is becoming quite the curious little bug.

runaway baby.  
wherever he is going, it is usually very FAST! :)

Happy, happy 11 months, Lucas!
You are growing up too quickly, but we are enjoying all of the adventures that you take us on.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

BRYNN | Swan Lake 4th Birthday

Oh, Brynn...
How is it possible that our sweet little baby girl is now four years old?! It seems like only yesterday that we were anxiously awaiting your debut into our world. You brought the drama with you on that day, and you obviously still don't disappoint us in that department... While we have faced many challenges this year, we could not be more proud of you. You are the most affectionate little girl that we know, which can be a little interesting some of the time, like when you hug the UPS man and tell him that you love him. You are such an amazing big sister- I very seldom have to worry about Lucas' newly discovered toddler activities, or his safety, when you are on guard.

My heart melts when I hear you say those very few words that you haven't quite worked out, like "meed" instead of "need" and "whoot crean" instead of "whipped cream" and "aclariun" instead of "aquarium"-- They remind me that though you might sound and act quite grown up, you are still such a little girl.

Brynn has completely fallen in love with the story of Swan Lake. There isn't much that goes on around our house anymore that doesn't involve the characters or music of Swan Lake. Obviously, when I asked her what she wanted for her very small, very last-minute birthday party-- I should have expected the answer. So, I threw some decorations together, and we pulled off "Brynn's Swan Lake"...

 our little odette.

 sugar swan via this tutorial.

 grammy and pawpaw wanted to help sing "happy birthday" via facetime.

 blowing out her candles!

 odette's performance.

crown headband via this tutorial.
 odette/odile banner by mommy.

 always the lady when frosting is involved-- 100% Mommy genes.

happy, happy 4th birthday
brynnie ballerina!

we could not be more proud of you. 
keep dreaming those big dreams & reaching for the stars!

 My ultimate goal was to make a video of Brynn's favorite things at this age from her own perspective. Of course, it wasn't easy to get a 4 year-old to sit in one place and answer questions for more than a few minutes at a time. There were more than a couple of attempts before we finally scrapped that idea, but this is a little bit of what we came up with. All of these answers are 100% from Brynn's little imagination, and I think that is what I love the most about it.

Friday, September 5, 2014


The older that he gets, the more I fall in love with him... GAH!

Although, I would love for him to stay a baby forever, I know that some of my favorite times with Brynn were when she was in that 10 to 18 month age range. L is already becoming so independent, and I'm so excited to watch him take on more... I think he's ready for that too, but I'm still all-  "Oh my goodness, how is he going to hit his head this time?" -- I mean, this kid seriously takes at least 5 bumps to the head every day. The kids will be playing "tents" together, which is a new favorite, and I look up to see 3 red goiters on his head! Of course, I am ready to take all of this worry down a few pegs, but that voice inside me-- the voice that just knew when he hit his head the first time-- yeah, she still nags at me. There's a mixture there of "Mom" worry, and also "PICU Worker" worry. It's tough to balance them out sometimes, but I have been on a rather slow and gradual journey to find some trust, if only for my own sanity. Ugh. Boys!

L reminds me a lot of his sister when she was that age, but he definitely has a lot more of his daddy in his personality (Hence, the knocking his head a million times and his sweet-as-sugar disposition)! I am so excited to see him learn to walk and learn to talk... It's all coming so fast.

I just can't get enough of that sweet smile...

Height & Weight: Well, this baby boy is not missing any meals, if you know what I mean... 22.63lbs (75th%) and 29 inches long (65th%). He has certainly recovered his stats from his last weigh-in.

Sleep: Two naps a days and 12 hours at night... He plays so hard that it doesn't take a lot to convince him to take a little break. I very seldom get any resistance when he goes down for a nap...

 this boy talks about his "da-da" all day long... 
when we call him at work, L has the most adorable grin on his face
as soon as the phone starts ringing! i love watching their sweet father/son moments.

 His scuffed-up knees, from crawling.

 he is still quite the daredevil... he is doing his best to start taking steps.

Diet: What doesn't this kid eat? He is not a picky eater at all... He eats everything, except for the obvious- raw berries, shellfish, eggs, and pea- and tree nuts. The word "bottomless pit" comes to mind... One meal usually consists of an entire serving of baby food + cooked or fresh fruits and veggies (usually from my plate- avocado, banana, green beans, broccoli, sweet potato, etc) + puff cereal + teething wafer. His favorite food in this world is... Banana. If he even sees a banana, he wants it! His second-ish word is actually "na- na", which is seriously the cutest!

Clothes: He is wearing 12-18 months clothes. Can still fit into some 6-12 month tops, but cannot squeeze into any 6-12 month bottoms.

 sibling love.
One of my favorite things about their relationship is Brynn's desire to keep him safe. She loves to "mother" him-- which is more or less bossing him around, but in a loving way... He doesn't seem to mind at all-- He thinks Sissy hung the moon, and I love watching him try to imitate her every move. He has always stopped to stare when she starts dancing, and that still hasn't changed. The adoring look on his face gives him away every time. He has started trying to "dance" to the music too.

He has also become her biggest ally. When Brynn starts to cry, he is so overly sympathetic to her that he starts to "cry" too... He just can't stand to see her upset (or in trouble, which is a fairly frequent situation as of late). While she is serving her time on the Time Out mat, I literally have to put him in another room-- otherwise, he has to be right there with her.

They also love to chase each other around, which is so fun to watch... Lucas will take off crawling and as Brynn crawls swiftly after him, and gains on him, they both start giggling hysterically. It's so contagious.

as soon as I started snapping pictures of him, I hear her come in and say,
"I wanna take pictures with Bubby too! Can I help make him smile?"

Lucas' Likes: His Daddy. His Sister. Giving Oz-Dog the sweetest "pets". Being chased by his sister. Watching the Weather Channel. Splashing in water. Typing on Daddy's computer. Pulling the cling out from under the rugs. Cooking meals (he is obsessed-- which is 100% from his Daddy. Allen literally had him pushing the buttons on the food processor the other day-- he loved it!). Tickles. Bananas. Playing Peek-a-boo.

Dislikes: Having off-limit items confiscated from him. Being on the opposite side of the baby gates (especially when we are cooking). Diaper changes. Not having his bottle exactly when he wants it (usually as we are putting pajamas and diapers on post-bath).

Oz-Dog love.

"a little to the left, kid..." - Oz Dog

Comparison to Big Sis:
Brynn was about 17lbs and 28inches at 10 months.
She had 3 teeth, while Lucas only has 2 so far.
She was waving "Bye bye" and saying "Da-Da" and "Bye bye"
She taught herself how to "meow" at Grammy's cats.
She was still mostly army crawling, and pulling up on everything... Lucas is very close to walking!

Talking & Walking: Lucas is saying "Da-Da" a lot. He also just started saying "Na-Na"-- but we haven't figured out if it's from "banana" (his favorite meal) or if he's trying to start saying "Ma-Ma"-- or a combination. Sometimes, if he's calling for me, he will yell "Na-Na!", but he also says it when he is asking for more banana. Funny enough, Brynn has always had a hard time distinguishing Ns and Ms, so I wonder if it's not the same for him... So far, he isn't waving or clapping, which has me concerned (mostly because of his previous head injury), but we are working on it. Truth be told, we don't do a lot of waving or clapping around here, so I'm hoping that adding it into our routine will help solve the problem. Dr. Hauser mentioned that he is so focused on mobility, which may be a contributing factor to the delay... He is soooo close to walking. He can stand up from a crouching position, completely unassisted. He is still working on his balance to stand for more than a few seconds, but he is also very eager to start taking steps. There have been a couple of instances where he will take a step or two between furniture or between Mommy and Daddy... He is almost there!

 be still my heart! daddy's genes are peeking out in this shot... those eyes are my kryptonite.

he has always loved feeling vibrations.
i used to sing him lullabies and rock him to sleep every night,
and he always had to have his hand on my lips-- or my lips on his head. He is very soothed by it.

happy 10 months, lucas!

we love you so much, baby boy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Brynnie Ballerina | The First Class

For most of you who keep up with us, this news will come as no surprise... Brynn has fallen head-over-heels in love with ballet. It is her dream. It is her passion.

Yes, I can already hear your exasperated eye-rolls... "How does a three year-old have a PASSION?" And before all of this, I too would have scoffed at the idea that a 3 year-old could have ideals that could be described as "a dream" or "a passion" in the same context that we would use for an adult... But I'm here to tell you, our girl has completely blown me away with this notion. For the past 10 months, we have lived in a world that has progressively entranced itself with ballet dancing. At this point in time, it's pretty much 24/7 ballet around here. If she is not dancing, she is watching YouTube videos of ballets-- her favorites are Swan Lake and Giselle. She would spend hours (if I let her) watching and mimicking the moves of principal ballerinas. We have recently enforced set hours of the day when I confiscate her ballet shoes and force her-- yes, FORCE HER-- to do something else. And when she is in trouble, taking away her ballet shoes for the day is more of a consequence than anything that I can ever dream up.

I might note that this obsession traces all the way back to last Christmas season. I decided one day that she needed a little festive culture, so I rented the motion picture version of The Nutcracker (you know, the one with Macaulay Culkin when he was like five years-old), which was On Demand-- and on sale, of course. I never in a million years expected the reaction that we got from her... We watched it every single day for the rest of that week (which was about as much as I could take). She was completely enamored. All she talked about for weeks were the characters. When she was playing in her room, my eavesdropping revealed that the Mouse King, Clara, and Nutcracker Prince had become regular figures in her pretend play.

 this is my favorite face, reserved for when she really gets lost in the music...

After about a month of the Nutcracker, I decided that she needed a new set of characters to idolize... So, I offered up Swan Lake. She took that and ran with it!! Before we knew it, I was buying Tchaikovsky's Masterpieces off iTunes so that she could dance to them at will. She memorized almost every piece and its corresponding part of the ballet. It didn't take long before she was requesting to listen to her "ballet music"- instead of her white noise- to fall asleep every night. This is when I knew that she had it baaaaadd.... 

We put off ballet class for as long as we possibly could. I wanted to make sure this wasn't a passing phase (even though I knew that it wasn't), and I really wanted her to start at the beginning of the dance season in the Fall so that she wasn't coming into groups that were already established. This is her first real activity where I won't be with her, so I wanted to make sure she was prepared... 

So, here we are-- her first class is on Saturday morning at America's Ballet School. We have prepared her uniform, her "listening ears," and her contagious anticipation for this moment... And as any mother would, I am just hoping and praying that all goes well for her.

 I have informed her that ballerinas have very good "listening ears"... ;)

I think you would agree that the excitement is written all over her face.

arabesque and relève

Now, before you even ask, I will fully admit that I know a whole lot of nothing about ballet. I took one year of it and I was done... I always loved to dance, but ballet was just not my thing. Also, what I have heard, watched, and researched about ballet has not been the most wonderful stuff. If Brynn wants to give it all up at any time, I will be 110% supportive of that. I am no "dance mom"... 

After all, this is all just supposed to be fun... :)

With all of that being said, I know that there will be a part of me that has tears in my eyes when we walk into dance school on Saturday... Thinking about my baby girl, who has grown up so much, and all of her hopes and dreams coming true for the first time in her life.

 Good luck, Brynnie Ballerina!

We could not be more proud of you.
Shoot for the stars, Sis!