Where I’m At Right Now…

20 Nov

It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything on this blog that hasn’t been an update on one of my kids. But today, I got my kids to school early (!) so I have a few minutes before work to put down some thoughts.

We’re in the throes of hunting season here in Minnesota, which means I’m at the nadir of my emotional and mental resources. Time and time again, year after year, October is balls-to-the-wall CRAZY busy and I enter November feeling like I could take a nap for a year and it would still be too short.

This year, hunting camp ended abruptly when I declared that I was sick and tired of being constantly stressed out, so we just up and left. My poor husband missed opening weekend of rifle season because my dad got remarried (I’m obviously from a non-hunting family), and then it didn’t work out for him to hunt during the week, and then the second weekend got cut short.

I’m stressed out because of busyness — no matter how much I have tried to create white space this year, it just is not happening. That is one of the great questions that has been rattling around in my brain this year: How do we do less, but not be selfish with our time? How do we serve others without overloading our family? 

I still haven’t figured it out. And from what I hear about other family’s schedules, we actually are less busy than most (which blows my mind). I want off the merry-go-round!!

I’m also stressed out by all the conflict in my life. All 3 kids fighting over toys. Various kids throwing various tantrums over various issues. It seems like at least one child is upset at any given time. Corbin crying because he wants another sucker, or to play with permanent markers, or who knows what else (seriously, sometimes I can. not. figure it out). My husband responding in a situation with a comment that he obviously didn’t think through, or cracking a joke in the middle of a serious conversation (not funny!), or swooping in with the dictator approach to a situation with the kids that I was handling thankyouverymuch.

This post is probably a downer, and honestly I’m not even sure why I’m posting it because I’ll probably read it later, and be like “What the?!?”. But my blog is called Life, REALLY for a reason. This is real life. Deep down, I know that I really have a very blessed life, with a wonderful, caring, thoughtful husband (he offered to leave deer camp for me); 3 creative, healthy kids; a beautiful house; a part-time job that I love; friends who care about us; and a God who died for me.

But I’ve reached a point where I’ve lost my emotional resiliency. I forget library day for my middle child AGAIN, and we’re running out of the house late for school AGAIN, and I forgot to do something important at work AGAIN, and I overreact to my kids not listening AGAIN, and I am just done. Done.

So I’m going to see a Christian counselor. I need professional help. My first appointment is the second week of December. I need someone outside of my life to speak into it. I need someone to connect the dots that are scrambled in my head. I need someone to authoritatively tell me that it’s ok to say no to good stuff, stuff that I should be doing, for the time that it takes for me to get my crap together. Or for that someone to tell me how I can serve others without neglecting my family.

Maybe my hopes are too high. I sure hope not. I know several other people who have received counseling for various issues, and they all say that it was the best thing they ever did, and they wish they would’ve done it sooner. Hopefully by next hunting season, I can look back and say the same.

Corbin Travis: 18 Months

1 Oct

Corbin turned 18 months on September 22. This is such a fun, exhausting age!221777CF-DDCC-4D5E-954D-A15870AD64505EF0D4CF-21DE-4923-B62F-8C826297F19B19BF6AB7-9F49-40F8-ACAF-883F3DBCBE31Size

At his well-child check yesterday, Corbin weighed 26 lbs, 14.7 oz (85%) and was 2′ 8″ tall (32%). His head is now in the 99th percentile for circumference. He is still in size 5 diapers but now wears mostly 2T clothing (except for pants, his legs are still shorties!) and size 5 shoes.

Sleeping

Corbin is still a very good, easy sleeper overall. He has gone through periods of not sleeping as well–when we can’t figure out why, we just blame teething. 😂 During those hard stretches, we’ve tried having him sleep in our bed or having us sleep on the floor with him, but he won’t go for it–instead, he just thinks it’s time to play! The only time he’s actually slept in my bed was up at my in-laws’ cabin. So our only choice is to let him cry in his crib. 😞 Thankfully, he eventually goes back to his normal sleeping habits.

He still takes two naps a day when given the chance. The first is usually 2 hours after he wakes up in the morning, and the other 3 hours after he wakes from his first nap. But he is getting better at stretching his awake time between naps — daycare is helping (forcing) that too. He gets there at 8:30 and only has one nap opportunity from 12 to 2 (at first, he only slept 20-30 minutes, but now he has stretched that out to 90 minutes or so).

He goes to bed between 5 and 8. It really depends on his naps.

Since Corbin started going to a daycare center at the beginning of September, he has been noticeably more tired. He will often lay down on the ground sucking on his thumb, even if he woke up less than an hour ago. He has also let me rock him to sleep more, which is just heaven! I didn’t appreciate it when I had kids who wanted to be rocked a lot, but since he’s rarely allowed it, I cherish it now.54EBCD61-537F-4A54-A5CD-B1EFAC90529AEE885603-08DD-4F5D-A819-FC47296F6206Eating

Corbin is a pretty good eater. He has learned how to feed himself with a spoon, but is still working on the fork (confession: I never remember to give him a fork!!).

His favorite foods are by far crackers (graham crackers, goldfish, Belvitas), French fries, and chocolate. He has a major sweet tooth! He also loves yogurt, applesauce, grapes, clementines, and strawberries. He can now eat small pieces of raw carrots and apples, and take bites of whole crackers on his own (instead of me breaking them up).

Other foods Corbin likes: shrimp, turkey lunch meat, chicken, hot dog, cheese, popcorn, broccoli, banana, avocado, and PB&J sandwiches.

But in general, he’s a moving target. And for the past couple of weeks, he’s been having blowouts several times a day, so we’re wondering if he’s lactose intolerant like Annabelle. (He usually drinks lactose free milk but we had run out and bought some regular milk from the gas station near our house. And now he’s also drinking regular milk at daycare.) But it could just be a diarrhea virus he caught at daycare. We still haven’t figured that one out.

I can’t really remember when it happened (#thirdchild) but Corbin now has all his teeth (minus his 2-year molars). He got all 4 molars and all 4 canines at the same time! 😩A31BE5C6-E288-4CF2-89B7-90BE968BA61CF79A5AC4-B846-41F7-85FF-1B5D9EC8FB17Development

Corbin continues to keep us on our toes. In the past 3 months, he has turned into a climber. At first, he’d climb on top of the girls’ vintage school desk. He had a special shriek to alert us that he needed someone to come help him get down.

Then he figured out how to climb the stool in the bathroom and soak rolls of toilet paper in the sink. (Which we blamed on the girls at first… whoops.)

Then we put the stool out by the futon so he could climb onto that by himself. But he’d climb onto the arm of the futon, and also unzip the futon mattress and pull out the stuffing.

His most recent obsession is climbing on the kitchen chairs to get on the table. He loves playing on the table. Why is that so fun?!

Corbin is very determined, and if you thwart him, he lets you know he is not happy about that by screaming and sometimes throwing himself on the floor in a dramatic “woe is me” pity party. He also will cover his eyes with his hands and pretend that he’s crying if he’s sad about something (which is pretty much the cutest thing ever!). We like to joke that he is a drama queen.  But even if he gets upset, he usually moves on pretty quickly.CDE714BB-5D18-4A90-841C-60CFEA42E385E07659C1-ACE2-4E00-91A2-53817C16C5F9Corbin has learned to go down the slide correctly (on his bum instead of headfirst). He still refuses to go down stairs backwards (though he CAN if needed). He can get on and off the girls’ beds on his own (they’re pretty low to the ground) and loves climbing on Annabelle’s to see out the window.

In general, his common sense and judgment have gotten better but he still occasionally walks off the edge of something without thinking through the consequences. Thankfully it has happened when I’ve been there to catch him! (That may be more than coincidence… it does seem like he has less sense–or he’s more daring–when I’m around.)

Just in the past couple of weeks, Corbin has started to sound like he’s trying to say some words. He’ll hold the baby monitor to his ear and say “Ha.” He’ll throw a ball and say “Ba.” He consistently says Mama and Dada to refer to me and Travis. And a few times it sounds like he has said the girls’ names.65B4C3C0-1074-4CB9-B8FB-79DD602278A588C7DCF7-BF3D-433B-A596-C494F6315100Corbin loves anything to do with water and getting dirty, and EVERYTHING goes in the mouth. His outfit almost always has to be changed after he plays outside because he is soaking wet. He always finds the water, whether it’s a puddle on the rollercoaster, or a bucket filled with rain water. AFB4DBA9-F39B-414E-9D2D-998C41637BFEA0122600-A242-42E6-8692-4FB5A7DA322535CE0801-D61D-47FA-BBC4-FE58C4CF3F56Speaking of throwing things, Corbin LOVES balls (all kinds but especially basketballs, golf balls, and footballs) and he LOVES throwing things (not just balls). He actually has a pretty good arm! But sometimes he throws things that shouldn’t be thrown…C5045E96-78A6-48BD-BE5A-9940A5192745You would think that would mean he likes baths, but it’s really a mystery. He will act excited to take a bath, but then want to get out after two minutes. When you actually do take him out, he’ll try to run away naked, and scream when you wrap him in a towel. I don’t get it. 🤷‍♀️

He did really enjoy the beach and lake this summer, but August was actually too chilly for the beach. In July, he got a sore throat and fever from drinking too much lake water. 🤢 #momfail

Corbin still loves the dogs. He also loves playing with the dog food. It’s actually super cute, even if it does make a mess. He’ll get 5-10 pieces in the measuring cup we use and shake the cup until they all fly out. Or he’ll try to feed the dogs, though he doesn’t quite understand tipping the cup yet. So he’ll shake it into the bowl too.039597FD-3316-48BF-BA15-124A679B08FCOur girls were actually kind of scared of loud noises, but Corbin seems to like them–at least, they interest him. He likes riding the lawn tractor with Travis and just stares at Travis when he’s using the leaf blower. He also likes to play on the lawn tractor when it’s not running. 68FA3B8A-4D8B-4B13-8A96-D290BB613BD3B1BF8DF8-F236-4244-B471-8F5890B45A85For all of his energy, he actually enjoys sitting in the stroller for walks (for 15-20 minutes) and is a fairly good sport about bike rides in the bike trailer too. We don’t go on many walks or bike rides these days though. We did go on a hike with Corbin in the hiking backpack.0DD4EF9A-3A20-42BF-9FCF-3DED448683A9D7716500-C41C-4BF0-A730-608E91A6A916And that’s Corbin at 18 months!

Corbin Travis: 15 Months

25 Jun

Corbin turned 15 months old on June 22. So much has changed in the past 3 months!IMG_4156 (Large)8424A718-CF3D-48FF-814D-FDAD4D6E0478IMG_3796 (Large)Size

At his 15-month appointment yesterday, Corbin was 25 lbs 4 oz (83%) and 2′ 6″ tall (12%). His noggin is still in the 95th percentile. He now wears 18-month clothing but is still in size 5 diapers and size 4 shoes. IMG_3150 (Large)Sleeping

Corbin is still pretty unpredictable with the times of day of his sleeping. He is consistent, however, with his general routine. He takes his first nap 2 hours after waking up, and usually naps for an hour. He stays up 3 hours between his morning and afternoon naps, and usually wants to go to bed 3 hours after his afternoon nap (unless we’re out and about). His afternoon nap is usually 2-3 hours long.

Fortunately, Corbin sleeps through the night 99% of the time. Unfortunately, for the past couple of months, Corbin has taken to waking up for the day early — sometimes as early as 3:30, more often at 4:30, sometimes at 5:30. He never sleeps past 6. As a result, I’ve started going to bed with the kids at 8 PM, and getting my stuff done in the morning. IMG_4165 (Large)IMG_3956 (Large)Corbin still drinks 3-5 bottles a day. He is super attached to them. When he’s really tired and he sees you getting a bottle ready, he giggles (with his thumb in his mouth) because he’s so excited.

Corbin has been our easiest child sleep-wise. Before naps and bedtime, we feed him a bottle and put him down awake, and he falls asleep on his own. He rarely lets us rock him. But he wants to sleep in his crib. He doesn’t often fall asleep in the car, and can be difficult to get down in new places.

Eating

Corbin seems to get sick of eating the same things over and over more than the girls did. Our go-to’s with him are fig bars, cheese, fruit (clementines, strawberries, blueberries, grapes), turkey lunchmeat, chicken sausage, pizza, and teething wafers. Now that it’s summer, we’ve also given him watermelon, mango, pineapple, and peach. He also likes broccoli and cauliflower.

In general, Corbin does not want to be fed–unless Annabelle does it. Then he will gladly eat applesauce, yogurt, or baby cereal off a spoon. 🙂

Corbin loved the cupcake at his birthday party and ate the whole thing by the fistful!943BE214-57CF-43C1-96B5-8B6300555AFB2A421E55-E084-4C45-A7ED-DEB93995E6FDHis first birthday party was a joint party for him and the girls, and it was a fishing theme.

Development

Corbin has made a lot of progress in the past 3 months! The biggest news is that he’s walking! Still falls over fairly often, and he still pulls up to stand, but he can walk! That happened around 14.5 months. Now he’s even harder to keep track of.

He can also climb up the stairs, and back down them too, but he usually first tries to crawl down them headfirst. He’s taken a few diggers, the worst being at the library. He tumbled sideways down 2 shallow steps, with his forehead catching the corner of a brick wall on his way down. It actually didn’t bleed at all, but it swelled up and got black and blue. 5901CD17-EF41-4208-8493-1513D0895F29He is a maniac! We were at a park with the girls one day and Corbin decided that he wanted to climb the ladder up into the play structure. It was a ladder at an angle that had flat, wide rungs so he was able to do it! As soon as he reached the top, he scrambled over to the slide and wanted to bomb down head first! I held on to him until Emma was at the bottom to catch him. I am surprised daily at the things he is willing to do!IMG_3967 (Large)Since my last post of him at 12 months, the snow has melted outside and we’ve been loving all the different types of weather! Corbin loves getting dirty and wet, and he is curious about everything. He rarely wants to be held–he wants to check everything out! Some gross things he has put in his mouth include: a bike chain, a live beetle, handfuls of sand, dirty flip-flops, tissues, leaves, acorns, and oak catkins. I also caught him one day with dog poop all over his hands but thankfully he did not eat it! (mom fail)IMG_3801 (Large)IMG_3170 (Large)IMG_3205 (Large)E1D4431C-DFD4-430C-9F91-AA3BB5B0F37E9F54A163-F5EA-4FA8-9523-AE9CFF18F3FD18A5C5A8-870A-4664-BCE8-A6DCB6AAE099Corbin loves the water now. He enjoys bathtime (if he doesn’t have to deal with both sisters in the tub with him) and has been LOVING the beach. A few weeks ago, it was 90 degrees and we went to the beach, and he went all the way in the water (me holding him), without me even coaxing him! I’m guessing the water temperature was only in the 60s so he has those Minnesota genes after all. He has also been loving playing on the beach. This boy needs a sandbox at home!IMG_4132 (Large)IMG_4138 (Large)IMG_4145 (Large)We’ve tried taking Corbin on some bike rides in the bike trailer, but it’s not his favorite thing. Just like our girls, he’s a mover! He does ok in the jogging stroller. I took the kids to the zoo a couple weeks ago, and he was content to sit in the stroller if we were moving. We went into the cage where you can feed the parakeets, and had a bunch of birds on my arm, and Corbin was screeching in excitement. He wanted to touch them, but they’d fly away. IMG_4152 (Large)IMG_4174 (Large)Corbin also LOVES our dogs, and always tries to get close to them. Charlie is not having it but Katy will let Corbin snuggle and pet her. She’s only barked at him once, and it was when he pulled her hair too hard. She never nips, but the loud noise scares Corbin. Still, he is undeterred!

Corbin also loves rough-housing with Annabelle. We have two bean bag chairs, and he loves climbing on and under them with Annabelle, and tumbling off them. Emma loves Corbin too, but he and Annabelle have a deeper bond.

Other things Corbin likes to do:

  • Push the wagon and truck around outside, though now that he can walk this has less appeal5D35F24E-E3F3-472A-A244-5BDAA32DF359
  • Make loud noises with whatever he can find (like banging a golf ball against the window or banging a cookie sheet and cooling rack together 🤪)
  • Rip up tissues and toilet paper
  • Flush the toilet and turn on the tub water (we close the bathroom doors all the time now)
  • Get things out of the garbage can (it is now locked in the laundry room)
  • Pull clothes out of his hamper into his crib (and then play peekaboo with them)
  • Empty things out of a bin or cabinet by throwing them behind him as hard as he can, or by handing them piece by piece to someone as they say “Thank you”2772A74B-8326-41AF-BC37-197C7057DD2DIMG_3972 (Large)IMG_3187 (Large)
  • Look at his touch & feel alphabet book (and rip out all the pieces that move)

Another big change in Corbin’s life this past month is that the nanny who had watched him since he was 2 months old moved to Nebraska. So now we have a new nanny (actually 2, they’re two teenagers who are watching all 3 kids together). We will miss her!IMG_4077 (Large)IMG_3894 (Large)B68DA80B-3516-4BCD-97A2-4BC7CDE15470B72BD604-5755-4898-AC0D-CBA93B04D04B6B9DAEA7-239C-4AFA-8F2E-0906CA2D769EAnd that’s Corbin at 15 months!

Emma Grace: 6 Years

1 Jun

Emma turned 6 back on April 7. You can read my last post about her at 5.25 years old here.IMG_5198 (Large)img_4092img_4106Size

At her well-child checkup right after her birthday, Emma weighed 44.5 lbs (49%) and was 3′ 10″ (66%). She wears some 5T, some size 6 clothing in big girl’s sizes (single tear) and size 12 shoes.

Sleeping

With Emma being in Kindergarten this year, she has been pretty much exhausted by bedtime, so if we follow the bedtime routine of books and tick, she’s pretty easy to get to bed. She almost always sleeps through the night. She’ll get up once or twice to pee. If she gets up to pee just a couple hours after going to bed, we go help her, because she’s so out of it that she often can’t figure out how to open the door or where the toilet is (and has accidents as a result). The funniest accidents she’s had is that we once found her peeing on Annabelle’s bed (and incidentally, on Annabelle as well – she didn’t even wake up!) and then sitting on the chair of the vintage school desk they have in their room. But if she goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night or morning, she can get out of bed and back in without help. She usually goes to sleep at 8 PM, and wakes up around 6:30/7 AM.IMG_9793IMG_9790Eating

Emma is a good eater, as long as it’s foods that she likes and can recognize. She’s not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. She’s motivated to finish her dinner by the knowledge that she’ll get dessert if she does.

Her favorite foods are fruit (clementines especially), toast with PB and honey, PB&J sandwiches, pizza, milk, Shakeology, waffles, cereal, mac & cheese, and jello. She says her favorite foods are tacos and chili soup. She doesn’t like pepperoni or spicy things. She went through a period of not liking grapes but then the other day she told me, “Grapes used to be yucky, but now that I’m 6, I’m just going to deal with it.” Her favorite restaurants are China Garden (“China Buffet”) and McDonald’s.0070BF2F-5C19-4705-B093-AD0D6F21EB42IMG_0029 (Large)Development

Emma loves, loves, loves drawing, coloring, and writing. She uses probably 15 sheets of paper a day. I can’t keep up with the papers! She loves making gifts for her friends and grandparents, and loves writing her friends’ names. She can often be found drawing unicorns, mermaids, makeup, jewelry, dresses, high heels, and pictures of her friends and family.IMG_0054 (Large)She did well in Kindergarten at Pillager and can read sight word books fairly easily. She also likes to pretend to read books, making up her own story to go with the pictures. She has also started sounding out words and writing sentences on her own. The harder words aren’t spelled correctly, but I love that she is trying! She’ll even repeat slowly things that we say, and I can tell that she’s thinking about how you would write that.

She seems to have a group of friends at school that she enjoys playing with. We invited five of them over for a unicorn birthday party at our house; three came. It was a fun time – we decorated t-shirts with fabric markers, played unicorn bingo, ate turkey and cheese croissant sandwiches and cupcakes, and opened presents. Emma got a Pomsie, Twist-a-Pet, nail kit, and a couple mermaid Barbies from her friends.

Back in the fall, Emma threw all-out tantrums quite often. Kindergarten was a hard transition. But in the spring, things went much better. There were still mornings that Emma didn’t want to go to school, but she’s usually a pretty good trooper. If we tell her to go get dressed, she is pretty good about listening and going to do it herself. And when school ended, she said, “I don’t want school to be over!”IMG_0124 (Large)IMG_0070 (Large)In February, Emma got strep throat and Influenza A at the same time, and she did nothing but lay on the couch for about a week straight.

Emma struggles with telling white lies about things, ranging from who used the bathroom and didn’t flush, to who ate the snack and left the wrapper on the floor, to who used Mommy’s makeup without asking. She almost always comes clean when we press her about it, and we’ve tried explaining to her that her lying makes it hard for us to trust her, but it seems like lying is almost a knee-jerk response.

Emma loves makeup, and all things girly. We’ve had to make a rule that she can’t wear makeup to school or church, just when we’re at home. Last winter, Emma decided kind of out of nowhere that she wanted to grow her bangs out (which meant of course Annabelle did too). After making sure they both understood that they’d have to wear ponytails in their hair everyday, I agreed that they could grow their bangs out. And they’ve actually both been really good about it. Previously, they had both hated having things in their hair, but this hasn’t been a battle. We didn’t even really need the sticker chart that we made!IMG_0066 (Large)She has gotten better about praying with us at dinner. She used to refuse to fold her hands and would just keep eating, but now she’ll stop, fold her hands, and even sometimes offer to pray for us.

Last fall, Emma went duck hunting with Travis out on the river. She collected all the empty shell casings from other hunters and put them in a pile.

Emma is generally very helpful and generous. I can ask her to do me favors or help Annabelle or Corbin with something, and she almost always does it (she does flake out on occasion). Annabelle on the other hand…

She still loves to make messes (aka take out all the toys and books we own), though now her messes are organized and intentional. They still take a while to clean up (and she’s not always the most willing participant in cleanup) and they annoy me to no end, but I’m glad she’s using her imagination.IMG_9854 (Large)She loves playing with Annabelle, and is still usually the boss and mastermind behind their activities. They can totally be two peas in a pod, but they can also be at odds with one another. One day recently, Annabelle had set up her outside kitchen stuff and was pretending to cook mud pies. She walked away momentarily and Emma came along and started using the kitchen, putting things in a slightly different spot. When Annabelle returned, she started crying and collapsed into a puddle, looking at Travis. When Travis didn’t intervene, Annabelle went and got a stick, and started hitting Emma on the back with it. Undeterred, Emma played with one hand, and blocked the stick with the other, telling Annabelle halfheartedly to stop it.

Just a few weeks ago, Emma started riding her bike with no training wheels. She’s also been learning how to paddleboard on our river (Travis follows her in the canoe). We are so proud of her bravery, especially since Emma tends to be on the more timid side for things like that. When she first started riding a bike at age 4, she ended up rolling backward and falling off, and refused to get back on it that year. And every spring, she is terrified of boat rides, but usually loosens up by the end of the summer. This year, though, it only took one ride and then she has been all about it!073BB29E-52F2-40E6-9373-09DB9ABAC7FB06ABDC78-4670-4BFD-8C40-709B51C3E5C0A9486619-94EB-46CD-A1FA-C252839F3C38And that’s Emma at 6 years!

Annabelle Lyn: 4 Years

31 May

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted about little Miss Annabelle (read her last post at 3.25 years here). She is now 4 years old as of March 27!IMG_5213 (Large)IMG_9792IMG_9791Size

At her well-child check at the end of March, Annabelle weighed 35 lbs (54%) and was 3′ 4″ tall (52%). She is starting to wear 4T clothing and wears size 8 shoes.IMG_2381Sleeping

Annabelle and Emma still share a bedroom, and are pretty good these days about going down at the same time (usually between 7:30 and 8). Some nights, they get a little riled up and won’t stop talking, but usually they’re pretty good about just going to sleep after getting “tick” (though we do still stay in the room until at least one of them is sleeping).

Annabelle hasn’t napped since she was about 3.25 years old. She still falls asleep in the car fairly often if we’re driving in the late afternoon (like to pick Emma up from school), and once she falls asleep for a nap, she’s really hard to wake up. She would sleep 2-3 hours if we let her. Then she’s up until 10. We started asking daycare to make sure she doesn’t nap, because she was ping-ponging around her bedroom at bedtime.IMG_2312Even so, she still fairly hard to get to bed at night. She still likes rough-housing, and can frequently be found using Travis as a slide when we’re reading books before bedtime (or Mommy’s back if Daddy’s not around). Her bedtime shenanigans usually result in her hard noggin hitting someone else. They get hurt; she doesn’t feel a thing.

Annabelle will still put herself to bed if she’s really tired, or sometimes just ask to go to bed. But if she does that, you better be on top of it, because the window is thin. If you don’t catch it, she revives and is up for another several hours.

For a span of a couple weeks, Annabelle started coming into our room at night, usually around 2 AM. She was generally content to just sleep on the floor if we made a little bed for her, but one night, she demanded to sleep in our bed, so Travis was kicked out to the couch. She said it was because “no one is my bed.” When I asked her why that had just started bothering her now (because she’s slept alone in her bed most of her life), she said “Because there are monsters under my bed.”

Annabelle still wears a diaper to bed at night, but is dry about 40 percent of the time. She wants to wear undies to bed but just isn’t quite there. She also still has ezcema pretty bad, and we have to put lotion on her whole body twice a day.IMG_9986IMG_0324 (Large)Eating

In general, Annabelle still eats a lot in the beginning of the day, with a peak of snacks right before dinnertime, and then doesn’t want to eat dinner. Ten percent of the time she scarfs down her dinner, but 90 percent of the time, she requires a lot of wrangling and still doesn’t eat much.

She still really likes meat, and has a fairly adventurous palette. She will try foods that Emma won’t. She even tried a bite of a dog biscuit with Travis just to see what it was like.IMG_2390Her favorite foods are YOGURT, bacon, grape juice, graham crackers, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, egg sandwiches, jello, mandarin oranges, and applesauce. She still seems to prefer water over milk (though prefers juice over water), and doesn’t like the cheese that comes with Lunchables. Her favorite candy is gummies and Hershey kisses. Once, she hid in the bathroom eating chocolate eggs she had stolen from Emma’s backpack. Her favorite restaurants are China Garden (“China Buffet”)and McDonald’s.

She still makes the ‘yum, yum, yum’ noise when she’s eating something that she really likes. And she has started to like cold treats like ice cream and popsicles a lot more. Her lactose intolerance seems to have decreased, as she can eat one serving of regular yogurt a day and be fine. She (we) still drink lactose-free milk though.IMG_0328 (Large)Development

Her favorite phrase is Poopy Butt.

She still likes singing in the loudest voice she can.

She has the highest, most ear-piercing shriek, and when talking, she has two volumes: LOUD or inaudible.

She loves her Big Purple Baby and almost always takes the doll shopping and to bed with her.IMG_8972IMG_0188 (Large)Around age 3.5, she was obsessed with asking us “What you like today?” and taking our order. She would also set up an ice cream shop and yell, “Ice cream for sale, ice cream for sale.”

She loves playing with and imitating Big Sister, but has become more assertive as she’s gotten older. When Emma does something that frustrates Annabelle, she has two reactions: either melting into a puddle of tears, or fighting back dirty (hitting, biting, scratching). Even so, they play well together most of the time, with their Barbies, baby dolls, Legos, or just water and dirt. Since the snow has melted, Emma and Annabelle have enjoyed playing in the Focus, bringing “presents” for their babies out in old gift bags.IMG_9085IMG_0014 (Large)Last fall, Emma got mad at Annabelle and cut a section out of the back of her, so both girls got 5 inches or so trimmed off their hair. (Emma wanted her hair cut short like Annabelle’s.)56081683425__36940D8C-72C3-4504-901C-B1AF1698E16BAnnabelle sporting her new shorter ‘do:IMG_0121 (Large)Annabelle loves her baby brother Corbin, and plays with him a lot. She has enjoyed pushing him around in her doll stroller, or pulling him around in the Mega Bloks wagon. She will also stop to squeeze or tickle his cheek as she walks by (one of her main expressions of affection). If Corbin is crying, Annabelle will go find him a toy to play with, and if he wakes up from his nap while I’m busy doing something, she’ll climb into his crib and entertain him. Lately, though, Annabelle will just walk up to Corbin and tip him over, which he of course doesn’t like. Not sure why she does that?IMG_9808 (Large)img_1925 (large)img_2317 (large)IMG_3013 (Large)IMG_0050 (Large)IMG_0046 (Large)Annabelle flip-flops between demanding independence (No, I do it!) and acting like a wet noodle. She *can* get dressed on her own, go to the bathroom on her own, get on her jacket and shoes on her own, but she often acts like she can’t, or doesn’t even try. And then she makes you chase her when you try to help. ::sigh:: Though I will admit that when Annabelle puts her own shoes on, 90 percent of the time, they are on the wrong feet. She’ll ask “Is this the right foot?” When we go shopping, she either wants to push the cart, or ride in the cart.

She has started to be much more detail-oriented when she’s coloring, and has mastered writing the letters A, E, N, L, and T. She can’t pronounce compound sounds, like cr-, tr-, gr-… Crown in cown. Tree is tee. Grinch is ginch.

Annabelle is pretty adventurous – she loves snowmobiling, went down a zipline and big kid water slides with almost not a second thought, learned to ride a bike (with training wheels) last summer at age 3.5 (and will now ride her bike down the hill of our driveway almost as fast as she can possibly go), and loves boat rides. Last summer and this winter, she has been able to “swim” around in the pool with her PuddleJumper life jacket on. Her favorite is floating around a lazy river in her life jacket or a baby float.IMG_1864 (Large).jpgIMG_0131 (Large)IMG_0545 (Large)One time this past winter, we had been at our neighbor’s house and Annabelle didn’t have the energy to walk home. So I left her on their driveway and told her I’d have Travis come back and get her on the snowmobile (we have a very quiet neighborhood). By the time he was on his way over, he discovered that she had ended up walking home on her own.

In the past year, Annabelle has gotten stung by a wasp on her upper lip; got road rash on her chin from falling off a sled on the driveway; got strep throat, Influenza A, and an ear infection all at the same time; split her chin open on the floor at Walmart and got it super-glued shut; fallen down a whole flight of stairs; and fallen over more times than we can count. Sometimes her tumbles are actually quite comical (when she doesn’t actually get hurt) and when I kind of chuckle, she’ll say, “It isn’t funny!”IMG_9245Annabelle is naughtier than Emma was, and back in January, I came downstairs after making dinner in the crockpot to find Emma and Annabelle, completely naked, throwing wet paper towels and wads of toilet paper around Travis’ office and hallway (which we had just refinished with engineered hardwood) and sliding around in the water. Just, wow. Emma informed that Annabelle had been the instigator, and she tried to tell Annabelle that they shouldn’t do it, but then she got sucked into doing it too because it looked so fun.

Annabelle also drew on the walls of our bedroom with a whiteboard marker; on our old couch and Corbin’s wall with a pen; on our kitchen table with a pencil; and on our coffee table and inside of our minivan with a crayon. “That little duck!” is what we always say. (Her nickname has been Duke, and then Travis started calling her Fon Duck Duke, now it’s shortened to Duck.)IMG_1930IMG_2072 (Large)And that’s Annabelle at 4 years!

Corbin Travis: 12 Months

29 Mar

Our Little Bud is 1 year old (as of March 22)! Read his birth story here.IMG_2990 (Large)IMG_3028 (Large)Size

At his 12-month well-child check, Corbin weighed 22 lbs 2.5 oz (63%), was 2 ft 5 inches tall (11%), and had a head circumference of 19.09 inches (97%).

He’s still wearing mostly 12-month clothes (though some 18-month shirts), and size 5 diapers.IMG_2995 (Large)Sleeping

Corbin still takes two naps a day — one from about 9 to 11, and another from about 2 to 4. Since he’s napping so long during the day, his bedtime has moved from between 5 and 6 to more like 7:30. His awake time between naps is still about 3 hours, but in the evening, it’s more like 5 hours.

Corbin is still a pretty good night sleeper. If he wakes up at all, it’s just once between 3 and 5. Unfortunately, he almost never goes right back down after waking up. He’s usually up for about 1.5 hours before he’ll go back down. So then I have the conundrum of 1) Getting up for the day at 3:30 or 2) Going back to bed at 5, only to feel like a turd when I have to get up at 7. I usually choose option 2. (It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase.)IMG_2899 (Large)IMG_3014 (Large)Eating

Corbin got his appetite back after being sick! He can still be kind of finicky with food but overall, he’s a good eater — as long as you give him food that he can feed himself. He will hardly ever let me feed him, which rules out yogurt and cereal.

His favorite foods right now are: CHEESE, grapes, clementines or mandarin oranges, blueberries, fig bars, avocado, pizza, PB&Js, teething wafers, graham crackers, and meat (chicken, chicken sausages, shrimp, turkey lunchmeat). He also really likes chocolate.

He tried broccoli this month and liked it, but he didn’t like cooked carrots. He also tried strawberries again and did fine, so I think his fussiness before was more related to still being a little sick and not the strawberries themselves.

Corbin is still drinking formula, usually right away in the morning, before his naps, and before bedtime. We tried cow’s milk about a month ago, and while he drank it fine, he was really fussy afterward (but like the strawberries, it could’ve been more sickness-related? He wasn’t himself for several weeks after getting sick.). So we’re waiting until he’s acting like himself and then we’ll try again.IMG_2973 (Large)IMG_3033 (Large)Development

Little Bud has made a lot of progress with gross motor this month! He is pulling up on everything in sight (including his crib), and just in the past few days he started cruising around the furniture, and moving from the couch to the coffee table and back.IMG_3005 (Large)He also figured out how to really crawl, so now he alternates between that and the army crawl. He’s learning how to crawl up the stairs too.

In addition to mama, dada, and nana, Bud has started saying baba.

His favorite things to do are pull books off the bookshelf and “read” them, empty the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, be near his sisters, and be outside. It’ll be nice once the snow melts (if it ever does?!?!) so that he can crawl around outside on the grass (crawling around on pavement isn’t ideal).IMG_2925 (Large)IMG_3004 (Large)Corbin is definitely a Mama’s Boy. Often, he’ll be crying, but once he gets me, he stops. He’s also been having a hard time in the Nursery at church, but I think that’s more because it’s during his naptime. So we’re going to try keeping him home for a nap during the 9 AM service, and just take him to the 10:45 service. IMG_3065 (Large)IMG_3062 (Large)IMG_3013 (Large)IMG_2942 (Large)BFFF529D-01B9-40AE-92E1-B713DD723E25And that’s Corbin at 1 YEAR!

Corbin Travis: 11 Months

12 Mar

Corbin turned 11 months on February 22, so this post is hideously late but better than never, right? (And actually, I wrote it just a few days after he turned 11 months, but never got around to taking his 11-month photos.) Size

Corbin is getting too big for his 12-month clothes but 18-month clothes are still a little too big on him, so he’s in between sizes. He’s still wearing size 5 diapers and 9-12 month soft-soled shoes.

Sleeping

Corbin’s sleeping habits haven’t changed much in the past month. He usually goes to bed between 5 and 6 PM, wakes up once between 3 and 5 AM, and is up for the day between 5 and 6 AM.

He still takes 2 naps, usually 1.5-2 hours long. His awake time is still about 3 hours between naps.

When he’s not sick, Corbin falls asleep on his own. But Corbin got sick again this month, just a week before he turned 11 months. He has a runny nose, bad cough, and is whiny and wants to be held all day. His sisters were diagnosed with strep and Influenza A. (We found out later that he tested positive for both RSV and Influenza A. Poor bud!)The one nice thing about him being sick was all the baby snuggles. I got to rock him to sleep several nights, which he’s never allowed. Eating

When he’s sick, Corbin has very little desire to eat table foods. And even when he’s not sick, he often gets sick of foods and doesn’t eat things he previously gobbled up. So this past month, his favorite foods have been a moving target. But he usually likes pretty much any kind of meat, grapes, teething wafers, graham crackers, PB&J sandwiches, yogurt, avocado, baby cereal, tortellini, and cheese. He’s been eating cheese for the past couple weeks with no problems, so that’s good.

Unfortunately, he seems to get an upset stomach from strawberries. He also is not a fan of blueberries, broccoli, and banana. When he doesn’t like something or is done eating, he waves his hand in front of his face like he’s rubbing his eyes, which usually ends up making a mess with whatever you were trying to feed him.

He usually drinks 4 oz of formula when he wakes up, before both his naps, and at bedtime.

He got his eighth tooth this month, giving him 4 on the bottom.Development

Corbin has started pulling up on things, though only lower surfaces. He still hasn’t pulled himself up in his crib.He is still army crawling. He gets up on his hands and knees a lot, and tries to crawl, but ends up giving up. He can move his hands just fine; I think he’s having a hard time figuring out what to do with his legs.

He loves crawling under and over things. He crawls under our coffee table often, and on top of the rollercoaster toy we have in our basement.He enjoys standing at his activity table and at the edge of the tub watching his sisters take a bath, but he is still pretty wobbly and needs supervision in case he falls over. He hasn’t quite figured out how to get down from a standing position, but a few times he has looked down at his feet while standing and fallen onto his bottom by accident.

His favorite babbling sound is dadada. He also loves to shriek.

He loves being thrown up into the air, and he still loves going outside (can’t wait to see what he thinks about being outside when it’s actually enjoyable!).

And that’s Corbin at 11 months!