Monday, December 5, 2016

Logan 9 Month Update

Since the holiday season is in full swing, I'll start by wishing each of you the happiest of holidays from our happy little elf! I swear this kid gets cuter with each passing day. Just look at those baby blue eyes and that wispy blonde hair that covers that perfectly round head. Those plump cheeks that are begging to be kissed and that button nose that makes me want to have babies forever. I can't think of a sweeter gift this year than wrapping my arms around our two healthy, beautiful children. 

Okay, on to the update. NINE months. Can you believe it?! This month has been busier than ever with Christmas presents to buy, an elf that constantly needs to be moved, a toddler begging to watch Rudolph "just one more time," and a baby darting in and out of your legs. Whew! Logan is crawling like a boss and has recently started pulling up on anything that is stable enough to hold him. He will take steps if you hold his hands and encourage him forward and just this past weekend climbed up three steps. Lord, help us. 

I can't emphasize enough how much happier Logan is now that he can move. He despised being a baby but is really starting to shine now that he can roam the house freely (minus all of the baby gates). He chases Taylor from room to room, stopping to laugh (because he's not great at multi-tasking) or figure out which way she went. He sits at my feet in the kitchen banging measuring cups against the floor, grinning up at me as if he's really doing something. He loves to open and close the drawer under the stove repeatedly, even after being told "no" for the tenth time. He favors Taylor's room over any other and will play with her toys for hours on end. He loves music and will actually sit still for five whole minutes and watch TV if it's something that really catches his eye (like the "Trolls" trailer that we have watched nonstop for the past month).

He is still a chunky monkey and has finally moved up to eight ounces of formula at each feeding. And after weeks of knowing that he is quite capable of holding his own bottle, he will finally do it, but only on his terms. He's quite lazy about the entire thing and usually only holds it when he wants to play with it. Thanksgiving brought Logan's first taste of table food where we immediately learned that he loves mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie filling (who doesn't?). He still eats baby food but is becoming rather picky about the types he will eat. For the most part he's a pretty decent eater, but some days he refuses both table and baby food and will only eat puffs. Boys

Now that he's fully mobilized, he and Taylor have become the best little play mates, whether they're pretend cooking in her play kitchen (with Taylor cooking and Logan chewing on anything he can get his paws on) or racing up and down the hallway on their knees, these two are quite the sight. Taylor is pretty patient with him overall, but they both have their rotten moments and usually end up being pulled apart at some point. Like in the instance below when Taylor was innocently watching TV in our bed when Logan crawled over and sat right in front of her, blocking her view. Usually, she's a good sport and just laughs and moves her head, but on rare occasion it will cause a meltdown of epic proportions that leaves them both in tears. He likes to chew on her dollhouse furniture, slobber on her baby dolls, and pull the ornaments off her Christmas tree. She likes to take whatever he's playing with (claiming it as her own, of course), boss him around, and tattle on his every move. We're in for a wild ride with these two, I just know it.

This boy loves to be outdoors but continues to hate hats. I'm not sure how our babysitter manages to get him to wear one twice a day when I can barely get him to stay in one for five minutes, but I guess that's why we pay her the big bucks. He's wearing mostly 18 month clothes and growing faster than any of us can keep up. Everyone says that he'll start to slim down now that he's mobile, but we have yet to see that happen. He is a very solid 23 pounds, and it takes everything I have to hold him with one hand so that I can help Taylor with the other. I hate to rush things along considering how fast they already seem to be going, but life will certainly get a whole lot easier once this boy can walk!

Our Logi is wild and rambunctious, getting into something new every time I turn around, but I love him so. He has his daddy's looks and laid back demeanor but his stubbornness comes directly from me. Parenting Logan has been a complete 180 from parenting Taylor as the two couldn't possibly be any more different. While she was quiet and content playing by herself, Logan demands attention and will scream his little heart out until he gets it. Taylor was a fantastic sleeper at just 8 weeks old while Logan continues to wake at 4 AM each morning eager for affection. He is loud and bold yet soft and gentle, and at just 9 months old he's claimed his role within our family dynamic.

Happy holidays, sweet boy. I cannot wait to celebrate your first Christmas and experience all that magic that it entails. I look forward to making our entire month fun, festive, and full of firsts!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Logan 8 Month Update

Our baby has officially moved to big boy status. It has been a busy month around our house with Logan fine tuning his motor skills, experimenting with new foods, and putting some serious rug burns on those chubby little knees.

Earlier this month, we upgraded Logan to a convertible car seat (so long pumpkin seat - ain't nobody gonna miss ya!) which led to sitting in high chairs at restaurants and riding shotgun in shopping carts with big sis. We also ditched his bath lounger which has greatly decreased the amount of splashing in the tub each night (hallelujah!). Our sweet little boy is gaining more independence with each milestone he reaches. I can't believe that in just four short months he'll be a year old!

The biggest milestone in Logan's life thus far has to be crawling. He had been rocking on all fours and crawling backward for over a month but finally mastered forward mobility this past week. Since then, he's been practicing non-stop and can zip from one side of a room to the other in a matter of seconds. He is increasingly aware of the stairs that separate our living room and kitchen and looks at them as if they are Mt. Everest just waiting to be conquered. I'm sure it won't be long before he learns to climb them and experiences his first tumble back down (thankfully, there are only three and they're carpeted). He enjoys jumping in his exersaucer and will stand assisted for approximately 2 seconds before his knees buckle. He's intrigued by the vacuum cleaner and insists on crawling directly behind it, following me from room to room as I clean. His favorite toys include anything that lights up or makes noise and anything he can stack or throw. He loves playing with Taylor's stuffed animals, ripping pages out of her favorite books, and chewing on her dollhouse furniture. All of which she just loves.

If you've seen this boy eat, it's no surprise that he continues to be a very healthy boy! Weighing in at 22 lbs, Logan is outgrowing his 12 month clothes and is quickly moving into 18 month pieces. He's intrigued by shoes and will usually tolerate them but hates having anything on his head (which is unfortunate since winter is rapidly approaching). He has advanced to stage 2 foods and loves trying a variety of new combinations. His favorites so far seem to be chicken & apples, pear/zucchini/corn, and banana & mixed berry. Occasionally, we give him a handful of puffs but he mostly just slobbers on them and then sticks them to his high chair and/or his face. We also tried giving him water in a sippy cup but he just chewed on the spout and threw it on the floor 57 times. Baby steps.

Logan still loves to sleep and continues to maintain a pretty consistent schedule. He usually wakes between 6:00-6:30 AM, takes an 1 1/2 - 2 hour morning nap, followed by another 2 hour nap in the afternoon, and then goes down for the night around 8:00 PM. The recent time change was a major struggle for our little guy, but after a week of 5:00 AM wake up calls we are finally returning to a normal routine. The only two things that can throw a wrench in his sleep schedule are teething and a stuffy nose and, unfortunately when they hit, they hit hard and none of us get any rest. On the bright side, Logan finally has some teeth! After months of drool, those pesky bottom teeth finally broke through giving our baby something to show for all of his hard work. And if the past few nights are any indication, the top two will be breaking through before long as well. #allIwantforChristmasismytwofrontteeth

Our Logi Bear continues to be the happiest baby on the block, giggling and grinning his way through life. He is fascinated by faces and will touch our eyes, nose, and mouth every chance he can get. He laughs when we make animal noises (the pig is his favorite) and likes when we cheer him on. He gets the biggest kick out of us clapping our hands and saying "Goooooo Logan!" When he fusses out of boredom, I pick him up and we dance around the living room together. He smiles as I sing and twirl him around, letting out a high-pitched giggle when I add in a dip or two. He says "dada" and "baba" upon request but only cries out "mama" when he is in distress. He hates to be left alone and will follow me all over the house just so he can be by my side. He will snuggle only when he's sleepy or sick and, lucky for me, has been extra cuddly due to a recent cold. I hate to see him suffer but welcome his affection with open arms.

We love your sweet and mischievous personality so, sweet boy. I can't wait to celebrate your first Thanksgiving later this month. Bring on the mashed potatoes!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Halloween 2016

Let me just start by saying that this was the best Halloween I've had since my mom let me get a tacky, store-bought Minnie Mouse costume (complete with creepy plastic mask!) that I wore like three years in a row as a kid.

It was that good.

Initially, I was bummed because Halloween fell on a Monday this year and that meant trying to squeeze trick-or-treating in to our already jam-packed nightly routine, but thankfully my boss let us have the day off which meant a three day weekend! We started our festivities off Saturday afternoon by having a pumpkin painting party on our back deck. It was nearly 85 degrees outside so we stripped the kids down to their skivvies, laid a plastic tarp down, and let Taylor go to town. She had such a great time and actually got the majority of the paint onto her pumpkin this year (as opposed to her arms and face like last year). Logan was his usual happy self and spent most of the afternoon laughing and jumping in his bouncer. While the pumpkins dried (and I hosed off the tot), Jake fired up the grill and we feasted on pork steaks and veggies. I know this weather is completely abnormal for this time of year, but I'll embrace it as long as it's willing to hang around.

Sunday was a chilly, low-key day consisting of errands and a quick trip to the park. We took long afternoon naps and rested up for all of the Halloween fun to come. On Monday morning, I woke up so excited to spend the day with my little monsters! I told Taylor I would make her anything she wanted for breakfast to which she replied, "I want cereal and to go to Lisa's (her babysitter)." Love you, too.

Originally, I wanted the kids to dress up as Charlie and Sally Brown from "Peanuts," but Taylor had a different idea (which she conveniently informed me of about a week before Halloween). A little creativity and some last-minute online shopping led to the most beautiful little Cinderella, a slobbery Gus Gus, and a half-ass attempt at a Fairy Godmother (although Jake thought I was Blanch from "The Golden Girls.")

After nap time, the kids and I put on our costumes then headed out to make our rounds. Our first stop was at Jake's work followed by a quick hello at the hospital before heading to their daycare party. We played games and ate snacks, and Taylor twirled around in her dress 47 times. Next, we hit up an indoor trick-or-treating event hosted by a local business (which was mostly just crowded and chaotic), but Taylor had fun and encountered lots of other Cinderellas! By the time we made our way home, the sun was setting and our street was full of kids, so we headed down the street for some trick-or-treating. Taylor had the time of her life running up and down driveways and proudly yelling "Trick or Treat" at each house. She was polite and patient, waiting her turn and only taking one piece of candy at each house while poor Logan spent his first Halloween chilling in the stroller, likely wondering what was going on, why he had a tail around his waist, and who all of the strange looking people were.

Trick or treating was short lived due to Taylor's new shoes causing blisters on her feet (we've all been there, right ladies?), so we headed back to the house to hand out candy and put the boy to bed. Taylor decided to stay outside and hand out candy with Jake, and girlfriend had an absolute blast! She really got into the gig, scaring kids as they walked up the stairs and complimenting the girls on all of their pretty dresses. She made certain, however, that she handed out the candy, giving each kid 3-4 pieces of the same kind (whether they liked it or not). She has such a strong personality, and I just love to watch her shine!

Overall, it was an awesome weekend, and we're slowly working our way through the kid's Halloween candy. Taylor is elated when we give her a single Starburst and Logan doesn't have any teeth, so I'm guessing it'll be hanging around for a while. But that's okay, because the next candy-laden holiday isn't until February and it's going to be a long winter.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2016 Pumpkin Patchin

Fall wouldn't be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch. This activity is usually at the top of our fall to-do list along with painting pumpkins, roasting marshmallows, and going on a hayride. I'm happy to report that we have crossed the latter items off our list along with visiting not one but two different pumpkin patches so far this season. I've obviously been spending more time in corn mazes than blogging, but I'm hoping that the photo overload below will suffice as an apology. There's just so much to do this time of year and with these 70 and 80 degree temps hanging around, the last thing I want to do is be indoors on the weekend.

I must say that the pumpkin patches in mid-Missouri have really stepped up their game! The amount of activities for the kids (and the variety of snacks for the adults) is quite impressive. For our first visit, we decided to try out Lloyd's Pumpkin Patch in Ashland, MO (our soon-to-be hometown) where we all had a great time. We arrived just before noon on a Sunday, and it was the perfect time to go. The weather was cool and overcast and the kids were in great moods. Taylor loved the barrel rides, corn maze, and ducks, and Logan was mesmerized with the giant corn pit. We only stayed a couple of hours as nap time was quickly approaching, but we definitely got our money's worth and will be sure to put it on our list again next year.

Logan in these bibs makes my heart swoon. I swear, I envisioned him in this exact scenario when I purchased them during my pregnancy.

Our second visit was to Pete's Pumpkin Patch in Rolla, MO. We had so much fun there with my parents, sister, nieces, and nephew last year that we decided to make it an annual thing. Jake was out of town competing in his first Tough Mudder, so the kids and I headed south for a weekend at Granny and Papa's. If you're anywhere close to this place, I definitely recommend checking it out. It is by far the best pumpkin patch we've been to (and we've been to our fair share). Although there are a lot of activities and it's usually packed with people, you'd never know it. It's very spacious and built to hold a lot of people at once. Our kids ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, constantly pulling us in different directions because they were so excited to get to every activity. We had our usual kettle corn break halfway through but substituted the hot chocolate for ice cold water since it was 75 degrees and the sun was blazing. After a long, sweaty afternoon running from one activity to another, we headed out to the patch, picked a few pumpkins, then headed home. Logan was asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot.

How funny that my dad thought he could nonchalantly take Logan for a ride on the train without everyone else wanting to tag along! I took the first photo below and before I could even get out of the way, the rest of the troops were climbing into the car with him. Definitely more than he bargained for!

As I was going through my photos, I realized that the photo below depicts each of their personalities to a T. Taylor always looks sweet and innocent but is usually up to no good. Riley (to Taylor's right) is mother hen, watching over the younger kids and tattling to the grown ups whenever they do something they're not supposed to. Garrett, the sole boy of the family until Logan arrived, is typically quiet and usually tries to make a friend wherever we go so that he isn't stuck dealing with a gob of girls. Logan is interested in what everyone else is doing and is probably trying to squirm out of Nat's arm so that he can eat something off the ground. Nat is the oldest of the group and therefore the true mother hen. She is so good with all of the kids and usually has 2 or 3 of them in her sights wherever we are. She is the absolute sweetest, most selfless person I know. And then there is Reagan, as sassy and outspoken as they come. She knows no limits and has no fears. A true force to be reckoned with.

I love these kids with every ounce of my being and spending time with time with them is always entertaining. I hope that we can continue our pumpkin patch tradition for as long as possible, and I can't wait to watch little Logan running alongside the big kids next year. Hope you're all having a wonderful (yet warm) fall!