Tag Archives: month-by-month

Hannah is Eleven Months Old!

And just like that we have an “almost one year old”! Dang that went fast! Hannah sure is acting like an almost one year old these days. From month-to-month her development keeps changing more and more rapidly, it seems. This girl is turning into quite the little spitfire!

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: heavy!
  • Length: not sure!
  • Clothing size: 12-18 month
  • Shoe size: baby size 2
  • Number of teeth: TWO!
  • Eye color: bluish turquoise – it totally depends on the light and her surroundings
  • Words: dada, Ben, mama, yeah, hello, banana
  • Favorite foods: cheese, strawberries, smoothies, ham, bananas, bread, blueberries, watermelon
  • Least favorite foods: jalepeno, sadly – egg 🙁

Hannah’s BIG personality comes out more and more as the days go on. She is a spitfire! Hannah knows just how to get what she wants {we’re going to have to work on this as she gets more into signing!} and is not afraid to ask for it. She’s becoming quite adept at communicating.

Lately, Hannah has been talking more, which is the sweetest thing. She’s been saying “Ben” but it sounds more like “Nen” and she started saying “mama” which, naturally, melts my heart. I swear she’s trying to say “water” – she gets out the “w” sound and looks at her water bottle. I’ll take that to the alternative, which is a bit more demanding. Yesterday when she was eating a banana she pointed to it and said “banana” – her communication seems to be taking off lately.

Just like her big brother, Hannah seems to be rather independent, especially for a baby. She’s cool just cruising around the house, finding her own thing to do. She’ll happily go to a toy basket and find something to do and entertain herself. I will say, though, just like her brother, she’s turning into a wrecking ball knocking things off the table, pulling books off the bookshelf, dumping out toy baskets. Oofta! That sure happened quickly.

Of course there are times throughout the day, usually when she’s hungry or tired, when she’d prefer to be carried around. Lately when she wants some love she’s come up and clung to my legs like a little baby koala bear, which is so stinking sweet. She has also started raising her arms up when she wants to be picked up.

When we’re out and about and she wants the attention of a stranger she’s not afraid to let them know she’s there. She will squak and make her presence known! Occasionally she will wave at people – it’s about 50/50 at this point, but she will clap on command. I love watching her clap her hands – she gets so excited.

New this month – Hannah is pulling herself up to stand! It’s SUCH a big milestone. She has had the lower body strength to stand up for quite a while and now put it all together and can push or pull herself up on things. She’s super sturdy and is able to push off and land on her bum when she’s ready to crawl around again.

I’m so excited for this milestone because it gets her closer to walking. I can’t wait to hold her little hands and help her take practice steps and watch her do some furniture cruising and be able to have a different perspective on the world.

The first day Hannah figured out how to stand up on her own she’d keep practicing standing, then plopping down and laughing hysterically at her new trick. She has the funniest little cackle when she’s just being silly, but her giggle is the sweetest sound in the world.

This is our last month before we can introduce cow’s milk to Hannah. This is going to be such a big change to start transitioning away from breastfeeding. I think both of us have enjoyed that journey tremendously and it will be hard for both of us to say goodbye to those sweet moments we have together every day.

We’ve recently started working on having Hannah put herself to bed. We’re not using any particular methodology or strategy – sometimes she’ll fall asleep nursing, other times she won’t. The times when I put her in her crib when she’s awake I stay in for moral support until she falls asleep. I think it’s our goal pretty soon to remove my presence for the most part. We’ll see how that goes…

Hannah is sleeping really well – the nights she puts herself to bed she typically stays asleep until morning, but when she falls asleep nursing she’ll usually wake up briefly within 30-45 minutes. Very occasionally at home she’ll wake up in the middle of the night. When we’re at the mountain house it’s much more common for her to wake up once in the night. Hannah is typically taking a short nap at some point in the day and then a long two to two-and-a-half hour nap at some point in the day. I’m working on getting her long nap to take place in the afternoon and have her take a short cat nap in the morning.

Hannah is the proud owner of her first two teeth! Her bottom front two teeth are mostly all the way up. She handled teething like a champ!

Hopefully having a couple of teeth will come in handy with eating; however, I don’t really think Hannah needs any support in that area. She is such a good eater and loves to feed herself. She will try anything I put in front of her; however, as she gets older, she’s really beginning to develop preferences.

Hannah typically has 3 meals a day plus at least one snack. These days she is very much into fruit. I have to hold out on giving her fruit until the end of her meal, otherwise she wouldn’t eat anything else. She really does like most things, though I’ve noticed recently she is starting to really develop preferences. Her preference is always for fruit! She’s got a sweet tooth, I think!

For the last couple months Hannah has really mastered using her water bottle. It’s been really fun to watch her drink water. I realize that seems like such a trivial thing, but it’s such an important life skill that takes a lot of practice. She loves water, too, which is just icing on the cake.

Lately Hannah has been so, so into her big brother. The other day we were having family story time and cuddles on the couch and Hannah launched over, grabbed Ben’s arm and gave him a big raspberry! It was so funny and adorable and perfectly Hannah. She sure has a big personality.

Jackson is another pal to Hannah. She LOVES our dog, Jackson! He’s not always so sure about her, mainly because she’s working on being gentle still.

We are going to thoroughly enjoy this last month with our baby girl before she’s not really a baby anymore. It has gone by so unbelievably fast and we’ve had such a wonderful year with sweet baby Hannah here in our family.

Ben is Eleven Months Old

Ben is Three

The toddler years are in full force over here — our little Benjamin Ames is THREE! He sure is acting like a bigger kid these days – he is becoming so independent, opinionated and chatty. Ben is so much fun to be around and dang, he is the sweetest.

Ben’s stats:

  • Weight: 29 pounds 12 ounces {25th percentile}
  • Height: 37 1/4 inches {35th percentile}
  • Clothing size: 3T except for pants and shorts – he’s still 18m, 24m or 2T in bottoms!
  • Shoe size: size 7 toddler
  • Favorite foods: crackers, pasta, any type of cheese, yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, apple sauce, olives, tomato soup {don’t worry, he eats veggies too, these are just his faves!}
  • Favorite activities: make believing, playing independently, pushing his cars/trucks around, painting, listening to music, playing outside, watching Daniel Tiger, riding his bike, the pump track, gymnastics, swimming, reading books together or looking at books independently

So many of the little nuances we’ve seen along the way in Ben’s personality are really starting to shine. Ben is a blast! He is such a fun kid and I feel like his personality is really infectious. He is just the absolute sweetest boy – I just love his innocence and his confidence – the combination is so endearing. Ben is both extremely goofy and gets a kick out of making people laugh and he’s also really serious.

Ben has a lot of leadership qualities and loves to be in charge. He likes to tell us the exact order of how and when we do things or where to put things – fair warning: don’t put something in the wrong spot or you’ll have to answer to Mr. Ben!

As a three year old, Ben is still extremely active, as he has been his entire life. He is very, very physical and needs big body movements every day. He loves to run, ride his bike and climb on things. While he’s super active he is very capable and happy playing quietly pushing his cars and trucks around the house, reading books and coloring. Following directions; however, is not currently one of Ben’s strong suits. I find he has very selective hearing these days.

One of my favorite things about Ben is how athletic he is. His confidence has been beaming lately because he has been so successful in new physical activities. Now that he’s a little older I love watching him climb at the park, challenge his body at gymnastics and fly around the sidewalk on his bike. He got a scooter for his birthday and that has been a source of tremendous pride for him and joy for me. Swimming lessons started recently and that, in addition to the scooter, has been so heartwarming to watch. I so enjoy sitting back and watching him learn a new skill.

Ben is very friendly and rarely seems shy. He is quick to offer a greeting to an adult we pass by, tell a story to his teacher at the start of the day or go introduce himself to a kid of any age at the park. He is quite the chatty Cathy! Sadly, though, he’s started to notice when adults don’t say “hi” back – so, if you’re reading this, pay attention to the little ones waving at you and don’t crush their spirit by not saying hello – or better yet, just be friendly and say hi to everyone you pass along the way – be like Ben.

As with most toddlers, Ben’s emotions run strong and can change at the drop of a hat, especially when tired or hungry. We’ve been so impressed with how well Ben does most of the time at regulating his emotions if they’re getting out of control {unless of course he’s hungry or tired}. He loves reading books by himself or pushing his cars around and finds these activities very calming. Thanks to the show Daniel Tiger, he has learned some songs that he can sing when he needs to settle down, or even when he needs to remember how to be patient while waiting.

Lately we’ve noticed a big uptick in Ben’s emotional intelligence. He has been labeling his feelings so much recently. It is so, so cool to hear him say “I’m SO FRUSTRATED!” or tell us when he’s feeling a little upset because of something that happened, or nervous about something that’s about to happen.

Very recently we noticed a change with his compassion and empathy. Instead of jumping to say “sorry” after an offense, we’ve been coaching Ben to come over, pat the person on the shoulder and ask if they are ok and if there’s anything he can do to help/make them feel better. It actually is so much better than a quick “sorry” {or worse, “sorry, not sorry”} then back to playing and it truly creates a special moment. He’s begun to do this on his own and also in situations he’s not even involved in.

The other day Jackson ate some of Hannah’s food while we were having a picnic and I was trying to model for Ben how I would deal with that. I told Jackson that I was really upset with him for eating Hannah’s pasta and very frustrated that happened. Ben came over and gave me a kiss and asked if he could help. It’s the sweetest darn thing!

Speaking of Jackson, oh my goodness, Ben and Jackson are becoming such great pals! Ben is SO good with Jackson. He’s learning how to use our commands and hand signals with Jackson and when we’re out at The Lodge he will throw the ball for Jackson. A few weeks ago Jackson ran out the front door in our Seattle house and Ben was the one who got him to come inside, easy peasy.

In addition to being a super sweet brother to his dog, Ben is nailing it in the big brother department to his baby sister. He’s starting to figure out how to play independently near her without her trying to grab his toys and he’s also beginning to engage with her in a toy he’s playing with.

I continue to be amazed that most often he can hold it together and stay patient and calm when Hannah is driving him crazy and trying to steal his toys. The moments when he comes up and tickles her, makes her laugh or helps her absolutely melt my heart. I’m so excited about the sibling dynamic and I coach him a lot about how to help Hannah and teach her how to do things and how to talk to her or give her a different toy to play with when she wants to play with what he has. Sometimes I’ll catch him say “Hannah, you’re still learning! I know it’s frustrating!” and gosh that makes me feel like I’m doing something right!

One of Ben’s biggest recent accomplishments is that he has become potty trained! It was a long road getting to that point and we are so proud of him for figuring it out. We spent 8 months trying to rely on intrinsic motivators with limited success and honestly within the first few days of using gummy bears as a motivator he nailed it. We haven’t started tackling overnight potty training but recently Ben has started to protest wearing a diaper at night so I think we’re probably close…

The other day I asked Ben if he could help me and he stared blankly at me and said “No, I can’t. I’m too busy standing here.” There are days when I swear he’s training to be a stand-up comedian with a dry sense of humor – he keeps me on my toes with the things that come out of his mouth. He’s really starting to understand one-liners and more mature responses. “Yeah right, I don’t think so!”

Favorite phrases:

  • “what the heck?”
  • “what’s going on with….?”
  • “I sure can!”
  • “No. I can’t.”

Ben is becoming so independent. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to let him do things on his own since I’m so accustomed to doing them for him or for Hannah. Recently Ben has started to say “please don’t” when we’re providing help unnecessarily. Just the other day he unwrapped a little Babybel package of cheese completely on his own from start to finish, and the day before that he grabbed a little cup and filled it up with water from a big Gatorade water jug at a mountain resort after a hike. These little reminders keep me in check with how big he’s becoming.

{Practicing getting dressed on his own}

Somewhere around 2 1/2 we noticed how dang observant Ben is – holy cow, the things he notices are shocking sometimes. While on a walk he noticed a Tesla and asked how you open the doors because the handles were different. Ben is very detail-oriented and he appreciates things in order, always knows where things belong and, not surprisingly, appreciates some predictability and routine.

We have absolutely entered the “why?” phase and I LOVE it. Sometimes I’m at a loss for words as to how to explain why something is the way it is and it makes me really have to think. It is so much fun seeing how curious he is and hearing him engage in something enough to ask questions. Sometimes Ben will ask me to “say that again” I think because he is cataloging it in his little brain. His memory also blows me away – some of the experiences or minute details he can recall are so surprising for someone so little.

Ben is about to finish out his first year of preschool {he already finished co-op}. It’s been a big deal having him comfortable being dropped off at school without us, after having spent nearly his first two and a half years at home during the day. Ben loved his two schools and has made some really nice friends and become a part of two sweet communities. It brings me so much joy hearing him talk about his friends from school.

From preschool to gymnastics to swimming lessons to riding his balance bike, Ben has been working really hard at becoming a big, independent kid. He’s had such a confidence boost recently and seems to be starting to figure out who he is.

It’s been so heartwarming to see the transformation from playing alongside other kids to playing with them. This really has started happening over the last three months or so. Occasionally at the park he’ll go up to some other kids and they’ll play together – he’s usually comfortable going up, unprompted, and introducing himself to them. He seems to prefer to play by himself most days at the park. He loves push around the dump trucks or ride his bike. He loves the days when I coordinate with his friend Olive’s mama and Olive can come ride her scooter with Ben.

Ben loves his new big boy room – he even calls it “my big boy room.” The transition to his new room and bed has {so far} been much easier than I expected. I think that’s also been a big confidence boost for him to have that space that is *just* his. He also had the opportunity to weigh in on the room – he helped pick some of the decor and the furniture and it seems like he appreciated that we went with a car theme for his bedroom.

I could go on for a really long time about what Ben is up to these days. He is a ball of fun and energy and he’s just an all-around great kid. Three hit him like a ton of bricks – we’ve seen so many changes in the last week or two and it’s been really fun to see the development.  Ben is acting like such a big kid these days. I am so excited for summer with a three-year old!

Ben is Two

Ben is One

Ben’s Birth Story

Hannah is Ten Months Old!

In her tenth month, Hannah went through some major developmental milestones and has come out the other side officially as a mover! Now that she’s finally mostly healthy after a brutal cold/flu season she’s becoming an independent, on-the-go baby who is showing signs she is getting ready to turn into a toddler.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: heavy!
  • Length: not sure!
  • Clothing size: 6-12 month or 12-18 month
  • Number of teeth: 0, though I can see at least two on their way up
  • Eye color: bluish turquoise – it totally depends on the light and her surroundings
  • Words: dada
  • Favorite foods: cheese, strawberries, smoothies, ham, bananas, bread
  • Least favorite foods: jalepeno

Hannah had a rough bout of all of the viruses this cold and flu season and has a fresh runny nose right now. I noticed during the last two months how much that was affecting her sleep and her disposition and now I’m happy to report she’s back to her normal chipper self, even with the runny nose! It also seemed like her health was working against her interest or ability to hit some developmental milestones.

Within the first two days of finally not being sick, last week she figured out crawling and pulling herself up to stand and both of those days she slept through the night for the first time in a while. These little babes sure do have a lot going on in their little bodies.

Hannah has been mobile for quite a while, she just wasn’t formally crawling. Now that she has figured out she can crawl all over the house and get Ben’s toys or come climb all over Jackson she is enamored with life. This last week has been nuts chasing her around but it’s been SO fun. She’s having a blast with this newfound skill of hers.

Last week we transitioned Hannah to a big kid car seat. It can also be used for infants, so it’s really not a big deal, it’s just significantly more plush and comfy. I’m not sure if the timing of this happened to coincide with her feeling better or if she’s just that much happier in the new car seat but I saw a significant difference in her disposition in the car after the switch.

{These two in their big car seats!!!!}

Hannah is extremely loud! She has an opinion and she’s not afraid to share it – her squeals of excitement or the enthusiastic full body wiggles when she sees food she likes are a day brightener, and then there’s the times when I swear she’s going to make me go deaf by expressing her displeasure in something, usually getting a non-baby toy taken away from her or getting laid down on the changing table. Or any time in the car {before her new car seat}.

This girl has a very big personality – and she has to in order to keep herself in the spotlight with her big brother. That said, she is very calm and easy-going. Hannah is becoming more independent and has been enjoying exploring on the floor on her own lately.

We’ve had some big changes this last month relating to sleep and eating. Hannah is really starting to transition to getting more calories from solid food as opposed to breast milk. We are down to nursing only 3 or maybe 4 times a day now and she really is showing less interest in nursing to sleep.

Speaking of sleep – Hannah had been pretty under the weather for a solid two months or so and her sleep was significantly impacted as a result. Since feeling better, her brother has moved into his own room and she’s been sleeping so well again! Hurrah! Our next mission is to get her to put herself to sleep… please wish us luck!

There are a lot of things that Hannah loves to do. Here are a few of her favorite things:

  • Eating!
  • Taking her brothers toys
  • Grabbing Jackson’s tail
  • Exploring
  • Reading books
  • The song Skina marinka dink
  • Bath time
  • Being included
  • When her big brother does anything even remotely funny

We are rounding the corner to this sweet baby’s first birthday in two short months. I’m so enjoying these days with Hannah Maxine. She has been the happiest, most content baby I’ve known. I adore her personality and her spunk. I can’t wait to see how she changes in her eleventh month.

Ben as a ten month old

Hannah is Nine Months Old!

What a big month for baby Hannah this has been! Hannah has hit so many fun developmental milestones during this last month. She loves playtime, especially if her brother or her dog shows an interest in her.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: 20 pounds 9 ounces {84th percentile}
  • Length: 27.5 inches {40th percentile}
  • Clothing size: 6-12 month or 12-18 month
  • Number of teeth: 0
  • Eye color: bluish turquoise – they’re pretty striking. Her doctor said they’ll stay!
  • Words: dada
  • Favorite foods: mac & cheese!, banana, smoothies, cheese, broccoli!, carrots, raspberries!, pancakes… basically anything we give her….
  • Least favorite foods: jalepeno

One of my favorite things that happened during the last month has been that Hannah has started to feed herself. Watching a baby learn how to feed herself is one of my favorite parts of parenting an infant.

Hannah loves to eat whatever we’re eating and I love to share with her. I can tell she’s really proud of herself too. She has been working on her fine motor skills with picking up little bits of food I put on the tray of her high chair. Her accuracy rate is pretty high for getting the food in her mouth, though holy cow, we have to deep clean the high chair almost daily right now!

In big body movements Hannah has made tremendous growth over the last month. She is rolling and scooting and pivoting all over the house – part of me thinks she’ll skip crawling and go right to walking. I feel like she can get to whatever she wants so she doesn’t really think about a more efficient movement? We’ll see!

Just last week she started pulling herself up to kneel, all by herself, and she’s started pushing herself up into a sit, all by herself. I love watching the day-to-day progressions she’s making. It’s remarkable how much strength she can gain in a day.

Over the last month or six weeks I have been saying Hannah had been at the age of frustration. She just couldn’t quite get to what she wanted or do what she wanted. I sort of think that’s over {at least for now!}. She seems more content and while she hasn’t figured out crawling she can get herself across a room just fine.

One of Hannah’s favorite activities is reading books. I feel like I’m constantly reading to her and if she’s ever upset all I need to do is pull out a book. She especially likes the touch & feel books that are more interactive for babies.

One of Hannah’s least favorite activities is being in her car seat. There are some days during the week where I feel like we’re constantly on-the-go and those are her least favorite days, understandably. I try to balance the car time with lots of floor playtime for Hannah whenever I can during those days.

{I can’t believe HOW BIG she is in her car seat! And obviously I buckle her in…}

We’re in a funky sleep pattern right now. The only predictable part of Hannah’s sleep is that it’s unpredictable. I’d say at least 6 out of 7 nights a week she stays asleep during the times I am asleep; however, it’s been common lately for her to wake up several times between when I put her down and when I go to sleep. I have a feeling all of the major development going on with her {plus the fact that she’s been sick for more than 5 weeks} is just messing with her sleep. Is cold and flu season over yet!?

Hannah is still nursing to sleep at night and for most naps that happen in her crib. Until recently I haven’t cared much to change that habit – we’ve both really enjoyed our run with nursing. Now that Hannah is older she is getting SO distracted while eating and it’s become really difficult to fall asleep at night while nursing. Not to mention it makes it hard impossible for anyone else to put her to sleep. So that’s on the docket for the nearish future to work on changing.

One of my favorite parts about nine month-old Hannah is how LOUD she is! Her brother has always been noisy and it seems like Hannah tries to go a little louder to keep up with him. She squeals and shrieks and screams in the best way. Her smiles are full body wiggles from her toes all the way up to her head. She’s just the sweetest.

A couple weeks ago Hannah and I started attending a music class together. She has a BLAST. Not only does she love the music, she loves seeing the big kids. It’s so fun to have a mama and Hannah activity we can do together. She also loves attending co-op with Ben – they do music at co-op once a month, too, and it’s a hit with Miss Hannah.

Some other fun facts about Hannah are: she can wave, she gets SO excited when she figures out it’s bath time, she can bang two blocks or drumsticks together, and she adores her dog!

I’m so excited to see what is up ahead in the next month for Hannah. We’ll see if she ever starts crawling or just jumps ahead to walking.

Ben as a nine month old

Hannah is Eight Months Old

Miss Hannah is eight months old and full of joy, squeals and smiles. She is getting more animated and excited about everything by the day. It’s hard to keep up with her frequent changes!

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: not sure – heavy! 20-22 pounds??
  • Length: not sure – getting tall!!
  • Clothing size: mostly 6-12 months – inching towards 12-18 in certain brands
  • Number of teeth: 0
  • Eye color: still blue!
  • Words: I’m pretty positive she’s saying “dada” and it is so dang cute!
  • Favorite foods: BANANAS, cottage cheese, smoothies, hummus… anything!
  • Least favorite foods: avocado

Over the last month or so Hannah has been working very hard on moving. She is doing barrel rolls like it’s her job, she loves scooting around the room and can do pivots on her back or tummy. No crawling yet – I thought she was closer than she actually is. She still needs to get up on all fours so I think she has a little ways to go before she starts crawling.

Hannah is making her opinions known and shares them loudly! Hannah is so noisy. She squeals with excitement and screams out of frustration. Sometimes to an untrained ear it’s probably hard to tell the difference.

Our sweet girl loves to be a part of the action. She loves attention and will most certainly let you know if you’re not giving her enough. She shrieks and squeals and makes all sorts of wild animal noises to communicate what she wants.

Lately Hannah has really become a dada’s girl. She has been saying “dada” or “dadadada” and gets super smiley and squealy when Alex comes near her. It is adorable.

Ben is Hannah’s first love, though. Anything and everything he does can get a giggle out of her. Ben loves to roar like a dinosaur to try to make Hannah laugh – he has a 99% success rate I think!

Oh my – eating is Hannah’s favorite pastime! For her first seven months I could say she would nurse all day and all night if I let her – now, she would eat solid food all day and all night if I let her. In the last month I’ve noticed a big shift from her milk consumption to solid foods. She has made a big change in her calories and the amount she is taking in from breastfeeding.

It’s really hard to narrow down Hannah’s favorite foods. The only thing I’ve given her that she doesn’t like is avocado, otherwise she’s loved it all. She can eat a tremendous amount of solid food, too. She has been known to down a pouch and a half in one sitting before {that’s a lot for a 7-month old!}.

I have started feeding Hannah the Once Upon a Farm pouches – in my limited research these seem to be the real deal and Hannah LOVES them. She quickly figured out how to eat straight from the pouch, as opposed to from a spoon – this is much faster and far less messy. Once recently, Hannah got frustrated with me spoon feeding her from a pouch and grabbed the pouch, put it in her mouth and fed herself. This girl knows what she wants!

Hannah has been playing very independently lately. She is very much in the stick-everything-in-her-mouth phase, so she loves teething toys. She also loves our activity cube, a toy we got when Ben was a little older than she was. This is our tried and true attention holder toy – it is so wonderful and Hannah is so into it.

Anything that Ben has is of tremendous interest to Hannah. She is so curious about everything her big brother does and has and this is a great source of frustration for them both.

Since she was about 10 weeks old, Hannah has been sleeping through the night. The last five weeks or so have been more hit-or-miss, I think with the changing environments since we’ve been back and forth to The Lodge a bit more. More often than not she is sleeping through the night – sometimes she just wakes herself up and, really, I probably go in there too soon out of fear that she’ll wake up her brother.

One of the biggest challenges of having two young kiddos is managing the logistics. Hannah’s naps have been so inconsistent. When given the opportunity, she’s a great napper, and when being carted around from here to there she finds the chance to take cat naps and then falls asleep a little earlier at night. These days she’ll either take two or three naps during the day, depending on what we’re up to and how mobile she is. She is such a trooper with sleep, though I do wish I could consistently allow her at least one long nap every day.

This sweet little girl continues to light up the room and our little house. We adore her so very much!

Ben at eight months old – they had so much in common!

Hannah is Seven Months Old!

Our sweet baby girl is rounding the corner and headed straight for age one. I know it’ll be here before we know it. Just like most months, this last one was a blur – especially blurry in fact.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: not sure – 19 or 20 pounds maybe?
  • Length: not sure
  • Clothing size: mostly 6-12 months, though she is starting to outgrow a few things already!
  • Number of teeth: 0
  • Eye color: still blue!
  • Words: we swear she’s working on saying “dada” – it’s the absolute sweetest Hannah is SO LOUD. She squeals and shrieks with excitement {or exhaustion} and loves to be part of the conversation. She’s a chatterbox!
  • Favorite foods: bananas, applesauce, CHILI
  • Least favorite foods: avocado

Hannah continues to bring our family so much joy – lately in the form of whole body smiles that include exasperated leg kicks, cackles, squeals and giant ear-to-ear grins on her face.

She loves playing and being included in whatever is going on. Alex likes to have her chase Ben around the house – everyone gets a good laugh, especially Hannah.

Over the last month Hannah has become more comfortable eating solid foods. With all of the craziness we’ve had going on I really haven’t made as much of a point in trying new foods with her as I should. Once things settled down I got a little more creative and offered her new tastes. She absolutely loves to eat!

One of my favorite recent memories was one of our first dinners at home as a family of four after our families left and after our au pair left. We had chili for dinner and Hannah devoured it! She loved eating the soupy part as well as very small chunks of meat and beans – her first experience with that consistency and also that much flavor. Chili is one of my favorite winter meals to make and eat and it brought so much enjoyment to be able to share it with both of my kids and have them love it.

Developmentally Hannah has been working on getting stronger and stronger with sitting up. She’s at the point where we can really plop her down anywhere and she will be okay for the most part.

Hannah is putting eeeverythingg in her mouth right now. Her favorite teething toys are these and these. She is a major pacifier lover, which at this point I love. She adores her lamb wubbanub pacifier.

As a new 7-month old, Hannah is just starting to be on-the-move! While she’s definitely not crawling yet, she is scooting and rolling and figuring out how to get where she wants to go. She has quite a bit of figuring out to do, still, before crawling comes, but she’s a mover, that’s for sure.

Hannah absolutely adores her brother. She loves getting attention from him and enjoys sitting and watching him be goofy. Her sweet squeals and wide open-mouth smiles light up the room and Ben gets the best show from her.

One major change for Hannah this last month was moving into her brother’s room – now dubbed the “kids room.” The transition has been so much smoother than I could have expected. Hannah is sleeping well and she and her brother rarely wake each other up. I think they both like to be nearby each other. I have a few things I found to spruce up the decor in here so stay tuned for an updated photo.

Thankfully Hannah has been a great sleeper and that continued to be the case during her transition to sleeping on her stomach. She typically sleeps through the night and is transitioning to a new self-led nap schedule. She’s been taking one very long nap during the day, usually in the morning, and then a shorter nap in the afternoon. Of course this all depends on the rhythm of the day – if we’re just hanging out at home she’ll take longer naps, while if we bounce around town during the day she’ll get a few cat naps in and be ready for bed a little earlier in the evening. She’s pretty darn flexible.

It’s going to be so much fun seeing what happens with Hannah in her eighth month now. I’m excited to see what she’s up to and what her favorite things are. Now that I’ll be home with Hannah 100% of the time I just absolutely can’t wait to experience the little things that happen during the day with her. We’re going to have a blast!

Ben at seven months old

Hannah is Six Months Old!

Sweet Hannah Max has been with our family for half a year now and it feels like she’s always been here. Hannah continues to be an absolute delight. Her smile brightens up anyone who looks at her. I get so many compliments when I’m out with her about how happy she is.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: 17 pounds 15 ounces {80th percentile}
  • Length: 26.1″ {60th percentile}
  • Clothing size: 6-12 months
  • Number of teeth: 0
  • Eye color: still blue!

As a six-month old Hannah is mostly still sleeping through the night and takes about 3 naps per day. Usually two cat naps and a longer snooze. Her schedule is somewhat predictable and driven by a combination of the day and Hannah – for the most part she goes with the flow.

We’ve had a tremendous amount of change in the last month or so and Hannah has dealt with it okay. I’ve noticed that she has been rather opposed to spending the day, or really any amount of time, with a stranger or any new person. She had a rather lengthy adjustment period when Anna, our new au pair, arrived.

In the last month we started introducing solid foods to Hannah. It has been so much fun watching her get used to the idea of eating foods and seeing the look on her face when she tries something new. So far, we haven’t found anything she doesn’t like.

We knew Hannah was ready for solid foods a while ago when she’d start reaching out and grabbing the food on my plate and bringing it to her mouth. She’s been so curious about the concept of eating for quite some time.

I’ve had a very laid-back and stress-free approach to feeding Hannah. At this point my goal is merely to get her used to the idea of eating. A few foods we’ve tried with her include: bananas {her first food!}, avocado, sweet potato, cucumber, red pepper, pear, yogurt, cheese and oatmeal. Over the weekend we checked “peanuts” off the list. Fingers crossed for no allergies!

Just a few days ago we made the call to say that Hannah is officially sitting up! She loves being able to have a different outlook on her surroundings. I think she really enjoys watching her big brother play nearby, too.

Hannah is SO CHATTY! She’ll interrupt a conversation or dinner to tell us a story or just start talking out of nowhere. She loves being included in what’s going on. Once she has the words I have a feeling she’s going to figure out how to use them rather quickly! Right now she just sounds like a typical 6-month old baby: a pterodactyl!

Ben is still pretty much the only one who can get a laugh out of Hannah. It is really sweet. Usually Hannah cracks up at Ben being a goofball – sometimes Alex will involve Hannah in Ben’s evening rumpus and she loves it.

Another fun milestone for Hannah in the last month is that she’s been able to ride in the stroller seat and the shopping cart. I have really enjoyed this as a way to interact with her a little more.

Our sweet Hannah girl is all smiles these days. She is the happiest, most content baby I know.

Hannah is Five Months Old!

Our sweet little baby girl is five months old and has been so interactive, active and smiley. We are having so much fun with our Happy Hannah.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: she was 15 pounds 10 ounces at her 4-month checkup (75th percentile)
  • Length: she was 25″ at her 4-month checkup (50th percentile!!)
  • Clothing size: 6-9 months

Hannah continues to be the sweetest baby I’ve ever met. She is always smiling and so, so happy. Her smile lights up the room.

Recently, Hannah started rolling over from her back to her tummy! She had been doing a lot of rolling onto her side for a while and then one day figured out that she could get all the way over. By the second time she rolled over it was already a graceful, swift move. Now she’s working on sitting up!

We pulled out Ben’s old high chair {he’s been in a booster seat for around 9 months now} and brought it up to the table. Hannah loves to be in the action and we thought it would be fun for her to be seated in the high chair for dinner so she can see everyone eating.

We got the green light from the pediatrician to go ahead and start trying some solid foods, so we’re planning on doing that around Christmas. I’m thinking we’ll start maybe with avocado or banana? Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought other than the fact that I’m really excited for her to start eating solid foods. I can’t wait to share my love of food with her!

Hannah has been a great sleeper since day two. She continues to sleep through the night, though this last week she woke up a couple times needing some love in the middle of the night due to a bad cold. Despite the cold and clearly feeling miserable she is still all smiles and somehow is powering right through.

There were a few weeks right around the turn from three months to four where Hannah hated being in her car seat in the car. That seems to mostly be a thing of the past at this point. I’m sure we’ll have a few more of these periods as she gets older, though now she mostly tolerates it just fine.

{I think she’d prefer to ride up front with me! – obviously she doesn’t ride in the front seat ;)}

Christmas came a few days early for Hannah – I gave her a couple of new teething toys and she absolutely LOVES them. These are probably the best teething/baby toys I’ve ever encountered, aside from or on par with the Wubbanub pacifiers.

Hannah has had the dexterity to put things into her mouth for several weeks now – maybe since 3 or 3.5 months and these new toys are so fun for her to hold onto, pass between her hands or chew on. The shape of them is perfect for her to actually be able to get into her mouth. These were recommended by my mom’s group leader who is an occupational therapist.

These days Hannah spends a lot of time playing on the floor. We’ve expanded her baby gym onto one of Ben’s quilts so that she has more space to roll over. I actually think I’m going to get rid of her official baby gym {any takers!?} because it takes up so much space.

Hannah has been so interactive lately with toys and people and is all smiles. She is smitten with her big brother and love, love, loves getting attention from him. He’ll often come over and give her a big hug or try to climb in her rock & play with her. Ben is so tolerant when Hannah grabs his hair out of excitement.

We are so excited for Hannah’s first Christmas in just a few days. We already got her out cross country skiing this week and I hope to do so again in the next few days. We have so, so much to look forward to this holiday season and new year.

Ben is 2 1/2!

Ben has been *just* two for half a year and now we can officially call him our little “two and a half year old.” There is a stark difference between two and two and a half. And let me tell you, we’re there.

Ben’s Stats:

  • Weight: 28.8 pounds as of early November {around 25%}
  • Height: 34.5″ {35-50%}
  • Number of teeth: 19 {FINALLY Ben’s canine teeth and three of his 2-year molars came in!}
  • Clothing size: mostly 2T, though there are a lot of brands of pants that are way too big on Ben. Cat & Jack pants fit the best.
  • Shoe size: size 7 toddler
  • Favorite foods: tuna, any type of cheese, crackers, mushrooms, sometimes broccoli, smoothies, chocolate, sometimes eggs, pork in any form
  • Favorite activities: listening to music, singing songs, running, watching Daniel Tiger, playing with “things that go,” spending time with dada, swimming

Some fun developmental things as of late are: Ben can spell his name out loud, he can count objects up to 10 {reliably up to 4 or 5}, he knows most shapes and he has started drawing circles instead of just lines. I’ve noticed that Ben has started more correctly saying personal pronouns {he used to say “you” instead of “me”}, which is really helpful. And singing! He can sing whole songs with multiple verses. So cool!

Language development has always been something Ben has excelled at. He is speaking in full sentences now. In the last 2 months or so we’ve noticed another significant leap in his verbal skills. He is inquisitive and strings together very complete sentences – often starting with “mom” or “dad” and ending with a question {sometimes an unprompted “please” gets thrown in there too!}.

It’s so fun to see him string together a whole thought or a very accurate sentence. I love hearing him ask questions – it’s so neat to hear that he just *gets* who/what/where/when/why and the difference and he knows when someone is asking him a question. Watching a kid develop is so darn neat.

A few new phrases or sentences he has been saying include:

  • “Dad, can you not help please?”
  • “Sure!”
  • “No way Jose!”
  • “I don’t want you to go.” {my least favorite thing he’s started saying when either parent has to go to work.}
  • “Mom, can you just go use the potty?” {this is usually when he’s up to no good and wants the adult to leave him alone.}

Potty training has been going on now since just after Ben turned two. It was slow and steady with limited noticeable progress for quite some time, partly due to all of the changes going on for Ben and I think partly due to his young age/lack of readiness. In the last month we’ve rounded the corner and are making great strides and by goodness I think he is almost considered potty trained during the day! He’s having significantly more “dry” days than not and has been resistant to diapers at nap/bedtime and we recently decided to eliminate diapers from naps.

About a month ago Ben started showing more signs of independence while using the potty – he’d initiate on his own and at home he can do everything by himself. This was a huge win for him. We started offering rewards if he could make it a certain amount of time without having an accident and that seemed to help pull everything together.

Benjamin is about as sweet as they come. He’s affectionate and caring and shows a lot of empathy. It has been so endearing watching his adoration for his baby sister. The moments when he comes up to her unprompted and says hi or starts rocking her or he’ll just stick his face in her face and then tickle her tummy. Sometimes when she’s crying he’ll tell me to feed “baby sister” or he’ll put her pacifier in her mouth. He got Hannah to giggle for the first time!

He has started really identifying emotions lately, as well. It’s been a fascinating learning experience for all of us to name emotions that Hannah is likely feeling and then next time she starts crying Ben will repeat back one of the possible emotions she might be feeling. We’ve been noticing how much emotional support and language he’s picked up from his new preschool and from Daniel Tiger. Sometimes he’ll go give Hannah a pacifier or rock her in her little seat. He’ll often go over and hug her and sing “rock-a-by-baby” to her too.

Lately Ben has been getting even more advanced physical moves. He has a natural athletic ability and has been working on his balance. climbing and jumping. He’s taken to climbing on top of a big box and jumping off of it, or, his new trick is climbing onto the coffee table and launching himself into the chair or onto the couch. Gymnastics is soon coming! And so is skiing!!

One of the very biggest changes for Ben in the last quarter has been the introduction of a drop-off preschool. Ben began the start of the year attending a Spanish-immersion preschool. Within about 3 weeks of starting school we determined it wasn’t the right fit for him. Shortly thereafter we pieced together a drop-off preschool two days a week in combination with the same co-op preschool he attended last year, which includes one drop-off per week.

Ben adores his teachers at both schools. He very quickly bonded with Teacher Emiko at his new drop-off school and she has been unbelievably supportive of him during his time there. He eased into the drop-off routine very quickly. He still gets a little sad at drop-off, especially when I’m the one bringing him, but I always get a positive report that he’s becoming more and more comfortable.

He is very comfortable at the co-op, which made the transition to dropping him off there very easy. It’s no big deal for me to leave. He love, love, loves Teacher Shannon and is familiar with the space and the toys. In fact, he is so comfortable that he’s started to be rather mischievous at co-op!

Interestingly, Teacher Emiko says Ben is most himself when he’s painting and doing sensory play. Ben has always been very into different arts – he absolutely loves music and he’s been a natural dancer. He really enjoys coloring and playing with play dough. I hadn’t painted with him very often at home {sometimes we’ll do it at co-op} but it looks like I’m going to have to now!

It’s been fun to watch his artwork change recently too. He definitely has a style. He loves to color in circles, mix paint to see how the different colors create new colors and he likes to use as much color as possible to “make it colorful.”

There are a lot of life skills Ben is learning right now. At co-op, he’s responsible for clearing his plate, cup and place mat and putting the plate and cup in the dishwasher {after dumping the water out of the cup and cleaning off any remaining food from the plate!}. I was shocked to see him do it all on his own the first time. Since seeing that, he’s been my helper setting the table at dinnertime.

Ben is a very independent kid. He loves to do things on his own and thrives on practicing new skills over and over again until he’s mastered them. He is very proud of himself that he can climb into his chair at the dinner table and buckle himself in all on his own {and we’re pretty proud of him too!}. He has been practicing using utensils and really has nailed the use of a spoon. He loves eating cereal with milk and practicing using a spoon. Very recently he’s wanted to be in charge of putting toothpaste on his toothbrush or picking a clean pair of underwear or deciding which jammies to wear. He loves being helpful and I can usually get his assistance in setting the table or taking the silverware out of the dishwasher when it needs to be emptied.

One of my favorite recent milestones has been pretend play. Ben has started to play by himself and act out different scenes, if you will. This just came out of the blue and happened completely naturally and it has been so, so very fun to see. He loves to give his cars and trucks baths/showers at night and he has been playing pretend with his baby doll.

Over the last several months Ben has developed an affinity for “things that go” and has accumulated quite a few toy trucks and trains. Garbage day is very exciting in our house – Ben has a step stool in front of the window so he can watch the garbage truck collect our trash. It’s always a special day when we get to see a firetruck or a digger or a big dump truck out on the street. Ben likes very small cars/trucks/trains – ones he can hold in his hand. While some kids have teddy bears or lovies as their security blanket, Ben has a digger or a toy train.

It has been really fun seeing the progression from two to two-and-a-half. I’m not sure what’s ahead but I bet it will be exciting! One thing I’m most looking forward to is getting Ben started skiing! Introducing him to winter sports will be a major highlight in parenting so far. Stay tuned…

Hannah is Four Months Old!

Happy Thanksgiving! Our sweet baby girl is growing, growing, growing and is now four months old! I’ve gotten to the point where I gush about how teeny tiny brand new babies are because Hannah is just getting so darn big. I can’t believe how quickly you forget how little they start out.

We don’t have Hannah’s four-month check-up for another week so I won’t get updated measurements until then. I’m guessing she’s around 16++ pounds {last I knew she was in the 75%}. No clue on her length, probably still short. She’s still in 3-6m clothing. She’s short, so I’m hoping she’ll fit into it for a little longer…

 

 

Hannah truly is the sweetest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. She is SO smiley – I just can’t stop staring at her because she gets so happy and excited to look at me.

Lately Hannah has been really interested in holding things. She will always hold onto my shirt or her blanket and loves to have a toy in her hand. She can already put her pacifier back in her mouth. She’s been chomping on her own hand, too – we are wondering if she’s starting the teething process.

Also! Hannah has started sucking her thumb! She loves her pacifier too – she has a really cute lamb and duck pacifier {or “wubbie” as we call them in our house} that bring her a lot of joy.

Just last week Hannah rolled from her back to her tummy! It’s not a skill she’s mastered – definitely still practicing – but it was really fun to hear that she did that.

Since she has been spending so much one-on-one time in the mornings with Stacey while Ben is at school she’s been getting a ton of tummy time and play time down on the ground. It’s so fun for me to walk in and see her playing on the floor because when I’m down there with her it’s such a different vantage point. I love getting to walk in and see how strong she’s getting during her playtime.

Since I went back to work I’ve been able to work out my schedule so I can continue to attend my Tuesday morning PEPS group with Hannah. It’s a group of mamas and their second babies {most mamas have toddlers too}. I have really enjoyed my experience and the connections and relationships I’m building with the other mamas.

Hannah isn’t on any kind of a parent-led routine by any means. She has put herself on a routine, though, as I’ve mentioned before. Daylight savings time actually helped her get into a great nighttime routine – she’s now going to sleep at about 7:30 p.m. and sleeps until anywhere between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. – usually depending on the 2-year old noise level in the house. During the day she naps at random points throughout the day – more catnaps than anything else. She is so good at going with the flow, thankfully.

Hannah has two birthmarks – one is just above her right eye {you can see in the photo above} and one is at the nape of her neck. The one on her neck is more red/purple and is mostly covered by her hair so once her hair grows in you’ll never know it’s there. The birthmark on her forehead is more noticeable in photos than in person

We are so wild about this sweet baby girl and I can’t wait to see these next few months unfold. Her little personality is just starting to come out. We have so much to look forward to – sitting up, the introduction of solid food, baby giggles, and the list goes on!