Friday, August 25, 2017

Natalie Grace- 18 months

This sweet girl is 18 months old!

18 Month Stats:
23lbs 15oz

She is spunky, sweet, smily, FUN, busy, snuggly, playful, and oh so squeezable.

She loves her sleep, mealtime, snack time (which honestly didn't much exist in our house before these last three months... so we can "initiator" to that top list) ;) waving/saying hi and bye to anyone and everyone, playing with her brother, holding her sister, being held by her mama and daddy, swimming, and in general being outside.

In the last three months she has started:

Natalie started walking the week before Emily was born. In fact, she was so new to walking that when Matt and I saw her in the hospital we were so surprised and impressed as we watched her strut around our hospital room. And strut is the perfect word for it. She swings one arm (if it's not on her hip) and is quite impressed with herself and her newfound independence.

---Enjoying books!
She will pick out books and bring them to me and then sit in my lap for me to read them. She particularly enjoys animal books, Bubble Guppies books, and first word books.

---Watching a couple of minutes of TV
In general, she prefers to be on the go, but Ryan has been working hard on getting Natalie to sit next to him in their little Pottery Barn anywhere chairs to watch a show, and she'll usually hang with him through the opening theme song and maybe a minute or two of the actual show. :)

---Using more signs and words
She will sign: please, thank you, and more and gives the CUTEST head nod while mouthing "yes" repeatedly if you guess correctly what she is asking for. She is also saying, "Mama, Bubba (Ryan), hot, more, bye bye, hi,  whoa, thank you, alllll done and allll gone, here it is, there it is, and here you go." Her phrases have the cutest, sing-songy inflection. I really need to record her voice more.

She loves climbing on boxes, chairs, (tables), and toys, and usually lets out a loud, "WHOA" when she stands up. It's funny to me that I'm still in "Ryan" mode with the toddler stage and am still so shocked when she manages to get up on the coffee table, or the kitchen table in the literal seconds that I am not looking. She is a mess! :)

---Making animal sounds
She particularly loves the cow, dinosaur, bear, and pig, and tries to wrinkle up her nose like I do for "bunny" and "guinea pig" - it is the funniest!

---Playing with Ryan
This is the sweetest. Watching the two of them play together melts my mama heart. They are such a great buddies, and I am so thankful for that!

We love you, Natalie! You make our family extra fun!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our big boy is THREE

Soon enough I will be back in a regular blogging groove, but for now, I want to try to stay on top of our kids' monthly and yearly posts. I don't want to forget these sweet early days and want each of them to have memories to look back on when they're older. And I'm going to try my hardest to make sure they each get the same "coverage" at each milestone. ;)

So here is my post for our big boy, who turned 3 on July 28th.

I have said this so much lately, especially since Emily joined our family, but Ryan is like a 3 year old going on 30 in so many ways.

He is so aware and mature for his age. He helps me around the house, he looks out for his sisters, he "babysits" Emily when I need to run into a different room for a minute, he reminds me of things that we need to bring places and then asks if I have them once we're in the car. At his party, when the first guests had to leave, he told them all on his own, "Don't forget to grab a goodie bag" as he was splashing in the pool with his friends. And in these moments, he just makes me laugh, because I forgot about the goodie bags, but he was on top of it. All barely 3 years of him. 

He is sensitive, kind, organized, content, determined, chatty, tough, silly, and careful. He is a rule follower, observer, early riser, and book lover.

He is hands down the best big brother around.

His favorite things right now are: anything with a ball, swimming, painting, crafting, working on puzzles, making up silly jokes and words, reading and practicing sounds of letters, playing with bubbles, searching for bugs, and playing hide-and-go-seek and chase. He just recently stopped calling chase, "let's run each other" and also recently stopped telling us where he was going to hide.

Whenever he grows out of saying things that are so cute and young-sounding, I have that bitter-sweet mama moment where I'm sad that he's less little but love watching him grow all at the same time. 

I love how his "L's" are still "W's" like when he says, "weh-whoa chickwing" for yellow chickling, or when I tried to help him fall back asleep in his bed until his light turned green and he told me he didn't "wike the smewl of my sweepin breaf." (translation: like the smell of my sleepin' breath)

Matt and I went to his preschool for the parent meeting last night, and I fought back tears several times. Because things like backpacks and packed lunches and carpool drop-off are totally tear worthy right now. 

He is growing up so fast.

He starts school next Monday, and I'm trying hard to remind myself that this is 3-day preschool, not college. But every time I picture him walking into that classroom on the first day and me not seeing him for the next four hours, I fight back tears. Yep, there they are again. I know he will do great and is ready for the change, but I don't know if I am yet!

Right now, when Matt and I take him to a birthday party, or the playground, or an organized kid activity where he doesn't know the other kids, he often invites us to play with him. And it really doesn't seem like he doesn't want to play with the other kids because he'll join in with them too, but more that he likes having us a part of what he's doing because that's what he's used to. So I know that the first time he runs into a group of kids he doesn't know and starts playing with them and we stand on the sidelines and watch will be a mixed-emotions moment. But I'm sure that's what's coming once he starts school, and I know it's a good thing!

Watching him grow up these last 3 years has been the greatest joy for us as parents. 

Here are a few of my favorites of him over the years. :)

First pair of shoes

He thought he was hiding :)