Monday, May 22, 2017

Logan's First Birthday

Our not-so-little Logan turned one on March 3, 2017 to the amazement of each of our friends and family. In fact, the theme of his party should've been "has it been a year already?" because that was the first thing out of nearly everyone's mouth. It is entirely true that time goes by faster with your second child. I'm not sure if it's because you already know what to expect or because you don't stop moving long enough to realize what's actually going on around you, but either way this was definitely the fastest 12 months of my life.

I wanted the theme to be something that encompassed Logan's personality, and "wild thing" immediately came to mind. He is loud, destructive, and makes it known when he enters a room. He does what he wants when he wants and is happiest when making a mess. He can pull everything out of the bathroom cabinet in less than a minute and loves to unroll the toilet paper (and sample a sheet or two during the process). He has a slight obsession with blankets and is happiest when he has one draped over the top of his head. He can eat an entire banana in five bites and will devour three adult-sized pancakes in one sitting. He always wants to be outside and is happiest just sitting in the grass picking weeds. He knows no fear and thinks he is capable of doing everything big sister does. He is rambuncious and energetic. He is w i l d.

We decided to have his party at home, just as we did with Taylor's first birthday. We invited family and close friends and planned on an indoor party since the weather is completely unpredictable in Missouri in March (and really, any time of year). I tasked my mom with making this AMAZING cake: 4 layers of chocolate cake with caramel filling covered in chocolate icing and chocolate bark pieces. It was decadent (to say the least), but she absolutely knocked it out of the park on both looks and taste. Looking back, I'm sad that I didn't get a close-up of it, because it truly was a labor of love and oh so delicious! To compliment the cake, we served a slew of other sweets: fruit (Logan's favorite), cupcakes, and smores pops (marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs).

We kept the decor simple by making jungle vines out of brown packing paper and attaching leaves cut out of construction paper. We printed off scenes from the book along with some of my favorite Instagram photos of Logan throughout his first year of life. My brother-in-law cut a few wood slices that we used as serving trays, and a grass skirt gave the food table a little added flair. I made simple banners for the window and Logan's highchair out of scrapbook paper, stickers, and twine and, of course, lots of balloons!

The poor birthday boy was under the weather with a cold and, to make matters worse, was also going through a pretty intense round of teething. The last thing he wanted to do was open presents or entertain people, but he definitely pepped up when it came to the cake. Just like his sister, he dove right in and ate nearly the entire thing! He was such a mess after that he went straight to the tub for a bath before opening his presents. We bought him a Radio Flyer tricycle which he instantly loved and insisted on being pushed around in for the remainder of the afternoon.

Logan, you are one of a kind and the perfect piece to our puzzle. I don't know how we ever lived without your loud squeals, toothy grins, and the most kissable cheeks I've ever seen.

I'll eat you up, sweet boy, I love you so!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Logan 12 Month Update

Although it has been nearly a month since his actual birthday, I just had to post his 12 month update. While I was capable of posting monthly updates of Taylor until she turned two, I just don't think it's going to happen for poor Logan. I'll update as often as I can, but there are only so many hours in the day and spending time with our family takes priority over blogging about them. With that said, our baby boy is a whole year old! Can you believe it? He turned one on March 3 at 7:47 AM, and it seems like just yesterday I was being wheeled into the OR to deliver him. It's incredible how fast the time goes with your second child. Taylor is knocking the big sister gig out of the park and talking about kindergarten non-stop while Logan is checking off every "first" and holding his own with the big kids at daycare. It is such a blessing to be able to watch our children learn and grow, especially these two beautiful souls that we are able to call ours.

First things first this month, Logan is walking! He had been taking a few steps here and there for a couple of weeks but was mostly lazy about the entire situation. He would walk behind his walker or holding someone's hand but had no real interest in going at it alone until this past weekend when he just took off, walking clear across the room with a giant grin plastered across his face. He's still a little wobbly and has to have his arms out in front of him in order to keep his balance, but he's definitely getting further and faster with each passing day.

Logan also had his first hair cut this month and took it like an absolute champ! We took him to the same girl who cuts Jake's hair, and he sat perfectly still the entire time. No crying, whining, or attempting to jump out of the chair (which was my biggest concern). I was so incredibly proud of him and hope that precedent will continue for all future hair cuts (although I'm not holding my breath). And did I mention how absolutely adorable (and tiny) he looks with that giant cape on?

Over the past month, our babysitter has so lovingly given Logan the nickname "Bulldozer," because he destroys everything he comes into contact with. He will put his head down and ram though anything or anyone (including the other kids at daycare) that is in his way. He loves to knock over blocks, legos, or anything that appears to be stacked. Most kids like to put things together, but he's much happier knocking them over or pulling them apart. He is, in fact, a bulldozer, but a cute one at that.

Logan is still attached to his binky and rightfully so after all of the teething he's gone through recently. He's up to 11 teeth now with more breaking through each day. Cutting 3 molars in the past week has meant even more time with his beloved pacifier than normal which makes me nervous about eliminating it entirely, but after that last molar comes in we'll check the Farmer's Almanac and begin the weaning process. With Taylor, we literally picked a day and threw them in the trash. She struggled for a day or two but did remarkably well overall. I have a feeling that Logan will put up a bit more fight, but you never know.

Speaking of weaning, Logan is officially off the bottle! We weaned him the same way that we did Taylor - we took them away the day she turned one and never looked back! Although Taylor transitioned with eased, Logan has bit a bit stubborn (surprise, surprise) and will only drink out of a sippy cup with a silicone spout. He dislikes the hard plastic spouts and will only drink out of one if his sister has drank out of it first. He loves feeding himself and making great big messes not matter what he's eating. He enjoys a variety of food including broccoli, pasta, chicken, strawberries, and pears. He isn't fond of green beans and has recently stopped eating blueberries but something tells me that will change as soon as summer rolls around and we resume eating fresh fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Favorites this month include opening and closing doors, putting his hands in the toilet, snuggling his face into blankets, digging things out of the trash, and emptying the contents of every cabinet/closet/dresser he comes across. The kid can completely destroy a room in 30 seconds flat (which is quite impressive). As you can imagine, I'm not a huge fan of the majority of his interests which means I spend the bulk of my time telling him "no" and taking things away from him, both of which he strongly dislikes. He still pulls his sister's hair on the daily and recently pulled my favorite silver bar necklace from around my neck with his incredible hulk strength. The difference between boys and girls is remarkable.

And can I just point out how semi-creepy it is that the movie "Logan" just happened to come out on our son's birthday (3.3.16) and that Wolverine was Jake's favorite comic book character growing up? In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason he finally gave in and actually let me name him Logan is because it was the character's real name. Coincident? I think not.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Logan 11 Month Update

Oh where to start with this boy? He is the ultimate sour patch kid, giving sweet smooches and belly laughs one minute and knocking things over while screaming his head off the next. He is a complete 180 from his sister and I continue to struggle to understand him 99% of the time, but the one thing that we always see eye-to-eye on is how crazy we are about each other. He loves to be rough and tough with dad and adores Taylor like no other, but this kid is a momma's boy through and through. Be still my heart, you ornery little thing!

He is this-close to walking but can't seem to find his balance yet. He cruises along the furniture and is a speed demon while holding onto our hands, but he just can't seem to find the confidence to do it on his own. He zooms all over the house behind his walker opening every cabinet and draw he comes across and pulling out whatever he can find, leaving a trail of debris behind him wherever he goes. Since Logan is on the brink of taking those first steps, Jake took him shoe shopping last weekend while Taylor and I were on a girls' trip in St. Louis. Thank goodness his feet were too wide to fit into anything they tried on or I'm certain they would've come home with at least five pair! If there's one thing I hope Logan doesn't acquire, it's his daddy's affinity for shoes!

This boy is loud and boisterous, demanding attention from everyone in the room. He says "bye" and waves (but only when he wants to) and makes exaggerated clapping gestures along to "If You're Happy And You Know It." He recently learned to dance and will stop and drop it like its hot every time "Can't Stop the Feeling!" comes on during Trolls. Other favorite tunes (that aren't Trolls-related) are "Twinkle Twinkle Dinosaur," "The Wheels on the Bus," and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." He loves to be naked and is extremely ticklish. His sweet spots are his neck, thighs, and, of course, his belly! He loves blankets and will snuggle them so hard that you think he may not come up for air - until he does in a fit full of laughter as if it were the funniest thing in the world. He has finally mastered the proper way of going down the stairs (feet rather than head first), but he still topples down them at least once a day, laughing at the bottom as if it were the second funniest thing in the world. See? ALL. BOY.

This kid is a powerhouse when it comes to eating. It's nothing for him to scarf down 2 pancakes, 2 scrambled eggs, and a bowl full of fruit in one sitting. In fact, there isn't much food that this boy doesn't like. He'll throw back broccoli and asparagus just as fast as pasta and grilled cheese, but he continues to prefer meat over all else and will consume as much chicken, ham, and fish as you put in front of him. He weighs 26.2 lbs and has officially outgrown all of his 12-18 month clothes. He continues to grow in length as fast as he does in weight and is at least a head taller than our 24" barstools. Taylor grew at a quick pace during her first 12 months, but it is nothing compared to how ridiculously fast Logan is growing. If he continues at this rate, he'll surpass his sister before his second birthday!

We recently began diffusing lavender in Logan's bedroom at night, and it has made all the difference in the world! The nights that I don't diffuse it he wakes up around 3:00-4:00 AM and refuses to go back to sleep, but the nights that I do it's (usually) sweet dreams until 6 AM, although he has cut two new teeth this past week so sleep has been hard to come by regardless. He officially has eight teeth total and is working on a few more as I type. Thank heavens for all the baby Motrin!

One evening after arriving home from daycare, Taylor ran straight to the bathroom rather than into one of their bedrooms to play. Poor little Logan sat outside the bathroom door patiently waiting until Taylor was finished, eager to play but more excited to play with her. She asks for him first thing in the morning and rushes into his room to greet him as soon as he is awake. He welcomes her with a great big grin and the occasional hug, and then they immediately get to playing. These two...they are everything.

And just for fun, a comparison of Logan and I (roughly) at the age of one. I'd say there's a slight resemblance. ;c )

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Logan 10 Month Update

I realize this update is a little overdue being that Logan will be 11 months old next week, but this cold & flu season has not been kind to us. We've endured three rounds of the flu over the past 8 weeks, multiple runny noses and head colds, and now we've moved on to the itchy throat/respiratory gunk that seems to be never-ending, most of which happened while I was single parenting my way through rush in December and while Jake was out of town for work earlier this month. I cannot emphasize enough how ready I am for warmer weather!

But enough about that, what's new with Logan? Just this week he weighed in at 24 lbs. 6 oz., which is nearly the same amount that Taylor weighed when she was EIGHTEEN months old. This kid is solid in every sense of the word. He loves eating table food with his favorites being pasta, hot dogs, eggs, pancakes, mashed potatoes, and chicken. Clearly, this kid craves two things: meat and carbs (just like his father). He'll eat select veggies (mainly broccoli or green beans) but only if I mix them up with his meat or pasta. He shoves fists full of food into his mouth at a time, so if everything is mixed together he doesn't know what he's eating. #momwin His dexterity has greatly improving and he can drink out of a sippy cup on his own now. Although we limit his sippies to water, he has had the occasional taste of milk - and loves it! In fact, as soon as Taylor finishes her sippy full of milk in the mornings, Logan darts straight across the room, picks it up, and shoves it into his mouth, eager to drink any remaining drops. He would switch to cow's milk right now if we'd let him, but I'm holding out for that one year mark (even though formula is draining on the bank account). Only five short weeks left!

In terms of mobility, our wild child is always on the move (as evident by all of these terrible photos) - pulling up on anything sturdy enough to hold him, pushing his walker or Tay's shopping cart, climbing up and down the stairs, chasing after the vacuum, pulling all the books off the bookshelves, knocking over anything vertical, and throwing the play table and chairs across the living room. It's non-stop exhaustion trying to keep up, but it's great cardio (and free!).  He wants to do everything Taylor does so badly and will try his hardest to keep up with her (even though it usually ends in tears). He chases her up and down the hall and lets out a squeal of laughter when she stops to tickle him or give him smooches. If Logan wakes up from his nap before Taylor, he crawls to her bedroom door and sits, just like a puppy waiting for its owner. I'm not sure who loves who more, but one thing is for sure: these two would be lost without each other.

This boy LOVES to talk and be included in any conversation. If Jake, Taylor, and I are speaking, he screams incessantly until we stop and acknowledge him. When he's mad or feeling ignored, he shouts "Ma!" as loud as he can and sounds just like a little boy from Jersey. Imagine thinking your baby is sleeping peacefully in his crib then hearing "Ma! Ma! Maaaaaaaaa!" from his room. It's equally annoying and hilarious!  Logan has entered the attachment phase where he always wants to be by my side, either sitting at my feet while I'm cooking dinner or pulling up on my legs while I'm sitting on the couch. He is the sweetest little snuggle bug when he is tired and will curl up in my arms and lay his head on my shoulder, making me wish he would just stay this age forever. He is definitely a momma's boy.

And since Logan's first Christmas occurred this month, I thought I'd give a little recap on his favorite gifts and a few special memories. Although he was too young to actually open his presents, he had a blast eating all the tissue and wrapping paper he could get his hands. He didn't like waiting for his toys to be taken out of the boxes and assembled so next year we'll skip the wrapping and put everything together ahead of time. His favorite toys included a rocking horse (terrible music and endless neigh-ing included), a tee ball set made entirely out of foam (genius!), a Little People barnyard set and tractor, his walker, and the microphone to Taylor's Doc McStuffins boombox (which is constantly in his mouth). A few memorable firsts for Logan over the holiday season included his first taste of Christmas cookies (which went over incredibly well), meeting Santa Clause and not screaming bloody murder, and scarfing down Christmas dinner like it was his job. Overall, it was a very successful first Christmas - until the flu hit our house, again.

With the holidays (and hopefully the sickness) behind us, it's time to start preparing for Logan's first birthday! In just five short weeks, our baby will be one and we will officially have two toddlers in our house. Say a prayer for me, please.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Open Letter to My Threenager

Let's have some real talk about life with you at age three, shall we? I'm not certain why they call them the "Terrible Two's" when two is a walk in the park compared to three. We've only had the pleasure of experiencing this stage of life for about three months now, but so far it's basically been a nonstop emotional rollercoaster that I can't seem to get off of. To put it bluntly, you are insane.

Now don't get me wrong, we had our fair share of ups and downs when you were two, but since entering the world of three you have completely lost your marbles. You're basically the equivalent of me during the third trimester of pregnancy: lazy, impatient, and overly dramatic about absolutely everything. You are constantly testing your limits and will make the most dramatic scene over the smallest little scratch. (It should be noted that your legs are broken at least five times a day.) At just three months in, I'm ready to end this hell by any means possible. I could probably handle it if you were an only child, but making me endure this torture while I also have to keep up with your newly mobile and very curious baby brother has pushed me to my breaking point. Unfortunately, you don't understand what "take a chill pill" means (nor do you care).

I realize that as your parent (i.e., the person in charge), I am responsible for teaching you things like patience, proper manners, and not to interrupt grown ups while we're talking, but I can only listen to you repeat my name so many times before I want to pull my hair out. I understand that you feel the need to "tell me a question," but I'm trying to have an adult conversation with the babysitter about how many times your brother pooped today, okay?

But constantly needing my attention isn't even the worst of it. You refuse to do pretty much anything I ask you to do these days. It's a 25 minute process getting you out of bed in the morning followed by another 15 trying to get you dressed (or even upright off the bathroom rug) and then another 10 getting you to brush your teeth and stand still long enough for me to run a brush through your hair. Dinner time has become a whole new kind of battle where you refuse to eat anything except fruit and then somehow think you deserve a "treat" whenever I finally manage to force a bite of meat or veggies down your throat. I swear you would live on milk and applesauce pouches if we'd let you and, honestly, some days you do because I can only give a damn for so long.

And then, there is bedtime. You always need "just five more minutes" or one last drink or suddenly have to potty as soon as you're tucked into bed. Then once you are in bed, you need to "tell me one more question" or remember that we forgot to lay out your clothes or decide that you need your baby doll to snuggle with. Once those items are remedied, you resort to kicking your covers off and insisting you're unable to pull them back up (probably because your legs are broken) or telling me that you need just one more smooch before you can fall asleep (proof that you also use my weaknesses against me).

Then comes the holy grail of why I despise this age so much: you use potty training as a weapon whenever possible. I put you in time out so you pee your pants just to prove a point. You're basically saying, "You want to punish me? Fine, I'll punish you right back." How does your mind even work this way? You're only THREE! I'm equally astonished and impressed at the same time that someone so small could concoct such a devious plan. This makes me absolutely terrified of what your actual teenage years will bring.

Now, I get that I'm not the first person to ever parent a threenager. In fact, plenty of other people have successfully done it and lived to tell the tale. The reason that your actions affect me so deeply is because you and I are exactly the same. I know when you're going to listen, when you're going to misbehave, and when you're contemplating between the two based on the look upon your face. You know how to push my buttons unlike anyone else, because my triggers are the same as yours. We butt heads more often than not but also have the best inside jokes and endless fits of laughter. You are strong willed to say the least and I know that in time your sass will turn back into sweetness, but until then can you at least try to keep the crazy down? Because by the time you grow out of this phase, your brother will be turning two and I'll have to start all over. And we both know that he won't go easy on me at all.