Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bee in the Wild: 15 months

Note: Bee's grandparents were a little sad when we told them her blueprints were being retired after months 1-12. We live close, but not close enough for them to see her everyday. I know these updates are enjoyable for them to read and catch a glimpse into her life they might not otherwise know. I thought about using a white wall background to continue these "blueprint" type updates, but then I pictured trying to get this rambunctious toddler to sit still against a wall while we take her picture. Not gonna happen, right?! The new "in the wild" posts will aim to capture Ms. Bee in her element, un-staged, au naturale.
At 15 months old, this little sugar bee is busy learning and playing and doing all day long. The last few months we have seen the beginnings of her imaginary and pretend play. I love it! She loves to play with bowls and spoons and will "mixy mixy" with such determination. She even brings me the spoon for a taste test of her exquisite cookies, eggs, and other "yummy nummy nums."  When mommy is wearing her apron, Bee must wear an apron too. Often it's all she's wearing. Her pretend play also involves her babies, which comes as no surprise given that we talk a lot about babies around here. She mimics the way I tend to Julian by swaddling, burping, kissing and loving on her dolls. While I'm in the rocking chair nursing Julian she will bring me her babies and blankets to swaddle over and over again. She is learning to be such a good little nurturer.
As a parent it is amazing to observe her constant education and you can literally see her mind working as she processes new material. Bee loves books. We read stories together in the rocking chair before nap time and bedtime everyday and anytime in between. She points to all the ladybugs in every book, and in fact refers to ladybugs, butterflies, bees, and other insects as "bees!" She taps her pointer finger, either in the air or on the object, when pointing at something. It's adorable, trust me. Some of her favorite books include the entire BabyLit series, Little Blue Truck, Welcome, Little One, Goodnight Gorilla, The House in the Night, and The Swing to name a few.
Bee loves her backyard swing and calls it a "weeee!" When she wants to swing she will point outside and declare "weeee!" and when she sees swings or slides with children on them within her books she will point and exclaim "weeee!" Like most toddlers, Bee loves to be outside exploring and investigating. She still puts e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in her mouth and rocks and sticks and dirt are no exclusions.
Bee is a really great sleeper and loves being in her crib with her binky and blankey. Some days she doesn't want to get out and leave binky and blankey behind. She searches the edges of her blanket until she finds the right corner and clutches onto it with her fist, then softly rubs the corner on her face as she soothes herself to sleep. Bee is taking two naps a day, at 10 am and 3 pm (roughly).
I bought a small set of stacking cups for Bee which has proved to be the best $4.88 I could have spent. Bee worked hard for days and days until she mastered stacking and unstacking all the cups in their correct order. She concentrated so hard on mastering the cups and it was a joy to see her brain hard at work. Cups all day, in the car, in the bath, and all over the house.
We taught Bee a few words in sign language to help her communicate better with us. The two signs that stuck the most are "more" and "all-done." This is particularly helpful at mealtimes, but she has found a way to translate them into the rest of her world as well. The sign for "more" has become the universal action signal. If she brings a book and signs "more" she wants you to read it. If it opens, closes, makes a sound or moves, the "more" sign is asking to make it happen. Likewise the sign for "all done" means no more food, no more vacuuming, no more of whatever is ailing her.
Lots of words are beginning to pop out of Bee's mouth, including cuppy, hi, Juju, momma, dada, bee, and baby. She has discovered the word "NO!" and uses it often and repeatedly, especially when she is doing something she shouldn't, such as stealing Julian's binky. She will snatch it from his mouth and run it over to me saying "no no no no no!"
Bee loves her little brother and is constantly leaning her head towards him giving kisses and hugs. Sometimes this translates into a head bonk and both of them are sad. Usually the first word that comes out of her mouth in the morning is "Juju!" and she goes running into our bedroom searching for him. She gets very excited to show him toys and books and as sweet as that is, it's also a lot of work keeping him safe from her excitement. I pray everyday that they will become the best of playmates, but for now we are focusing on being soft and not putting things in his mouth. Let's hope that in a year she will be as willing to share with him as she is now.
Whew! I'm exhausted just reading over this update. It's only taken me two weeks during my brief nap times breaks to finish writing it. Our Bee is a beautiful, smart, strong-willed little soul and we are grateful for her life and spirit everyday.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer nights in the canyon


On a perfect summer night there is no place better that up one of our beautiful canyons. We invited the whole Duncan clan up for a weenie roast in Millcreek Canyon. It was such a perfect evening with family. Dark heavy clouds threatened to rain but thankfully passed by and let us have our fun. Ellie and Cody ran wild while Dan pretended to be a bear in the woods. We played "the secret" game where you pass a secret along to each person and they have to retell it to the person next to them. Hilarious with kids, I say! And Bee got a hold of some cups and was in heaven. A perfect, beautiful night!

Pssst: Cecret Lake!

Seems it is always a giant undertaking to get out the door with these two babes in tow, which is why I've felt particularly cooped up this summer. By the time we are ready to finally go, someone is tired or hungry or poopy again. This hike was much needed and I never regret being up in the mountains once I'm there. Saturday morning we rushed quick as a cricket to get packed and up to the trail head before it was too hot and crowded. Turned out to be a gorgeous morning in the Albion Basin. On the way down the mountain both kids fell asleep in their carriers and Brad and I looked at each other with the biggest of big grins. I'll never forget it. We live in such a beautiful place! What a treat to get some mountain fresh air with the whole family.

This girl. This face. My heart!
Round. Tortoise shell. < $10. I never stray you guys.
'Sploring with mom
Waving "hi" from her perch on dad's back
Aaaaaaand ZONK.
The end.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My summer vacation

Babyless. At the grocery store. International Isle. Walk reeeeeeeally slow. Bam! Instant vacation.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My life is crazy and good: a short rant about stuff

Hi blog! You're looking a little outdated, but I'm going to fix that ASAP. A few things. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Prego. Giant prego. Plus toddler. Packing. Moving. New house. Yay! Birthdays. Unpacking. Labor. Contractions. Never ending. Toddler plus stairs equals anxiety. LABOR. New baby. A boy! We luf him. Unpacking. Burping. Nursing. Kissing owies. So. Much. Poop. Not sleeping. Etc.
I'm working so hard to get caught up on all the fun that's been going on around here. I have draft posts by the millions just waiting for the perfect nap time when both babies are asleep. Yeah, that never happens. So it might take me a while to get caught up. I post things in chronological order, because of OCD, so if you're my mom and wondering why you can't see anything new...scroll down. Love you, my bloggie blog.
Oh. And one more thing. I don't wear makeup anymore. Thought you should know.
Just because: This is what Bee did when I said "show me your happy face!" Her hands are very happy everyone.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Juju's Blueprint: 2 months

Hunka Hunka Burning LOVE be still my mommy heart! Our little bud has sprouted up and out this month and is filling out those long limbs nicely. His hair is growing in a perfect natural mowhawk down the middle of his head. His legs are chubbing up just enough for mom to munch on during every diaper change. Juju is finding his voice and cooing and singing along with the rest of us. We are starting to see plenty of smiles and all our ridiculous goo-goo ga-ga-ing is paying off big time. Even after the longest and roughest of nights he can flash us a big gummy grin in the morning and in an instant all is forgiven. He is a heart breaker, this one. Juju LOVES his bath time. We would keep him in there all the time if we could, he loves it that much! We are making huge progress with his reflux (medication) and digestive issues (probiotics) and he's starting to have longer sleep patterns and more periods of happy contentment. Hallelujah! Julian's eyes match his namesake uncle Tom's, and are the brightest bluest blue I've ever seen on a baby. He loves to be swaddled tight for sleeping and is soothed best by white noise and motion. He also loves to suck his binky, which often saves the day. It seems as though he spits up everything he eats so it's any wonder to us how he's even gaining weight and growing at all. We rotate through 5 or so bibs and nearly a dozen burp cloths each day. Not to mention mom's clothes and bedsheets as well. Juju loves/wants/demands to be held all the time, which is tricky for mom when there are two babies vying for attention and only two arms in which to give it. Slowly but surely we are getting the hang of our new family dynamic. We're glad he's here, glad he's ours, glad he's feeling a little bit better. The happy smiley baby boy we know is in there is starting to emerge.
Nicknames: Juju, frog-man, buddy-bud, Jules, JT, bro.