Friday, February 28, 2014

Bee in the Wild: 21 Months

Oh where to start! Our little Bee is such a character at 21 months. She has an adventurous and social spirit, in the right circumstances, and is always up for getting out of the house wherever that may be. Often she will gather up her boots and head to the front door saying "boots, kids?" Clearly she is letting me know that she needs a play-date and some new experiences outside of what Julian and I can provide. We've been going to a neighborhood music group, story time at the library, or play-dates with friends when possible. All of which she loves. Surprisingly (or not-surprisingly) she's been a little hot and cold with the nursery at Church.
Being outside is a huge deal for this girl and this winter has been particularly challenging to keep her occupied and entertained on days when it's just too cold to be outside. For Christmas she received a little roller coaster from Grandpa Lee and it's been an absolute life saver. She loves to ride it over and over, send her dollies down, and has even mastered going down backwards and hands-free on her own. It's been good practice for learning how to take turns when friends are over. When the weather is permitting we make sure to squeeze in a walk around the neighborhood or stroller ride to the park to work out those winter wiggles. 
Phoebe has taken on the role of little BIG helper and wants to be involved in whatever mom is doing around the house. Whether it's changing laundry or loading dishes or writing thank you notes, Bee wants her hands involved in every step of the process. We've been hearing a lot of "Phoebe do it" and "Phoebe try" and "Phoebe's turn" around these parts. She especially loves helping daddy "fix it" and he can always count on her to hold his tools while on the job.
Our little book worm loves to read books and plays with her books as much as she plays with any other toy, if not more. While I'm putting Julian down for his morning nap Phoebe will gather her favorite books on the couch to read, and much to my great surprise and delight, she usually does stay on the couch and read quietly through her books. Phoebe's favorite books right now are anything to do with Grandpa or birthday's, the Landy series, and the Knuffle Bunny's. The cutest thing...she says "amen" at the end of every book. Of course I never correct her, because I never ever ever want her to stop.
Meal time can sometimes be tricky and lots of food ends up on the floor, which drives mom absolutely bonkers. Currently her favorite foods are hummus, applesauce, peas, pizza and string cheese. Her favorite snacks are dried mango's, Cheerios, and fishy crackers. She is really into dipping foods right now and asks for some "dippy" at every meal. We often have graham crackers and milk after dinner and she loves to dip her own crackers. She will gingerly plunge her cracker into the milk at just the right angle and then squint her eyes and say "no nuff" until eventually mom or dad says "that's enough!" and time to pull the cracker out before it becomes too soggy. No matter what it is, she wants a bite of whatever you're eating, especially if it's a treat.
Birthday's have really made an impression on Bee lately and we sing her own special rendition of Happy Birthday Cake to practically everyone in our family - and even Santa and Jesus - several times each day. Between uncle Dan's birthday, mom's birthday, and plenty of references to birthday's, cakes, and singing from her books, it's no wonder she's obsessed. She understands that life is a party!
Mom loves having someone to chat with during the days now, and Phoebe is proving to be a great conversationalist. She is stringing together sentences and making connections between objects and circumstances. Her memory is razor sharp. Phoebe can't yet pronounce her "L" sounds and substitutes a "ya" sound instead. Words such as "dolly" then sound like "dai-ya" or Ellie sounds like "Ai-ya." But by far our favorite word she has invented is "chip-ix" for "chap stick." She's quite obsessed with daddy's chip-ix and is always hunting his pockets for it.
Phoebe is smart and sensitive, a real thinker and often silly. She loves her brother Julian and although she does have her big sister moments of pushing him over or stealing toys away, she can't stand not to be near him. If little bro is still napping when she wakes up from her afternoon nap, she will stand at the stairs and call down "Juju, wake up!" She loves to love him and is constantly reaffirming her love with plenty of snuggles. Phoebe is a doer and wants to be challenged. She is eagerly learning her colors and shapes and counting. We are amazed daily and are soaking her up, tantrums and all. We simply can't imagine life without her.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One year older, and wiser too!

I had a wonderful, perfect birthday this year and was serenaded by Phoebe's "happy birthday cake" songs and received lots of slobbery kisses from my Jules. BD even arranged for Michelle and Ryan to watch the kids while we had a nice dinner out. Friends dropped off treats and flowers and I had a few fun cards in the mail. I talked to my family both near and far. By some stroke of luck I scored gift certificates to pamper myself head to toe. I'm a tad more wrinkly, have a few more gray hairs, stretch marks in all the right spots, and up a few sizes, but my arms are FULL of love. Happy Birthday to MWAH, through the rest of the month because I don't believe in limiting birthday's to just one day :).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is in the air: Happy Valentine's Day

A few of our favorites from the Valentine's mini shoot with Jessie O'Neil Photography. Obviously couldn't choose just one! These two stinkers would absolutely NOT smile for the camera, but what can you really expect from babies? I will love these pictures forever and ever. Thx Jess!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Julian's Blueprint: 8 months

This handsome guy is now 8 months old, and forever charming. He will smile at anyone, anytime. Teething continues to rock his world, day and night. His first top tooth is so very very close to breaking through, we can see the white ridges. Along with teething comes drool, buckets and buckets of drool, which make his big kisses all the better. It's hard to turn down a wet kiss from this handsome face, even if it leaves you hankering for a towel afterwards. He is getting super strong and you can tell he's thinking about how to move those limbs around in just the right order. He's pretty good at pushing himself backwards until he is trapped under the couch or crib or up against a wall. Any minute now he will figure out how to propel that body forward and then off to college. Eek! Slow down, littleman.
Julian had his first ear infection this month which was heartbreaking for us all. Mom could tell he wasn't feeling himself on Sunday morning and by Sunday evening we were pretty sure something was terribly wrong. Sure enough, double raging ear infections. It was so sad, but the antibiotics kicked in and within a couple days and he was back to his happy self. We are crossing our fingers that he doesn't have any more colds this season that would invite other ear-aches.
My guy is super ticklish, all over his little chubby body. It's the best to run your fingers up his sides and watch him explode into a burst of giggles. The bottoms of his feet are especially ticklish as well. Imagine the torture we can inflict when he's sitting in his highchair! Phoebe likes to share in the fun and will say "Phoebe's turn!" when she wants to be tickled and then "Juju's turn" when she's had enough. No wonder mealtime is such a giant mess with all the nonsense going on. Julian has started self-feeding with rice puffs and mum-mum crackers. But still doesn't want much to do with pureed foods on a spoon. We have to trick him into taking bites when he opens his mouth to laugh at Bee.
Julian is developing his own signature mannerisms, like rubbing the back of his hand across his forehead when he's tired, or crossing his feet and hands when he's relaxed. He loves to watch the dynamics of the family all together, and we can tell he is taking notes on who does what and when.
We mostly call him Juju, taking Bee's lead on the nickname front. She has been saying Juju since the day we brought him home from the hospital and it's the nickname that sticks the most. It's a happy nickname and fits his personality well. But we also call him Jub Jub Bird (stolen from the poem The Jabberwocky) and that has morphed into Jubbers, which perhaps is a combination of "chubby" and "jub jub?" Who knows. Mr. Guy, Big Guy, 'Lil Bro, and Brother Bear also make their rounds, but no matter what we call him we are especially glad we get to keep this little love around.