Friday, April 3, 2015

Nine Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

My sweet boy, it's hard to believe that you are only three short months away from celebrating your first birthday!  How can you be so close already?  Weren't you just born three days ago??

You have finally decided that I'm not trying to kill you with food.  You absolutely love yogurt.  Annelise is not a fan of sharing her yogurt with you.  I'm going to have to buy a ton more so that you both can each get your own.  You also like the Earth's Best pouches a lot too.  However, anything solid, and you still think I'm trying to kill you.  You make the worst faces and spit it out.  If you do happen to like something, you gag on it pretty badly, and often make yourself throw up from it.  It's hard for me to watch.  I gave you some ice cream at Annelise's birthday party, and of course you loved that.  I'm glad that we're starting to make a little progress here.
You can sit yourself up from a lying position now.  You mainly do it in your crib when you are supposed to be sleeping.  You haven't really figured out how to lay back down yet, so you just slump over and fall asleep.  It's kind of adorable!

You show no interest in crawling.  However, you have started to try and pull up on things.  You don't actually make it up, but you try so hard.   I think it's just a matter of you building your strength up some and you'll pull up.  It's so adorable to watch you try and become mobile.  I just can't wait until you start crawling.  You may not crawl, but I have a feeling that you'll be doing some sort of moving soon.  I think that you'll be much happier when you can get around yourself.  You always want to be in on the action.  Your sister is going to love it too, until you start getting into her stuff!

Sleep is still so-so.  You've started sleeping in a little later in the mornings.  I've also started putting you to bed just a tiny bit earlier.  I start getting you ready sometime between 6:15-6:30 PM.  You still get a bottle at bed, and you're usually in bed by 7 PM.  It helps to have you down by then.

You got some teeth!  Your first tooth poked through a few days ago.  It's the upper middle tooth on the right, and the left one is not too far behind.  I joked that you got some bunny teeth in time for Easter.  You like to bite on the clasp for your pacifier now that your teeth have popped through.  I could definitely tell that you were in some pain with them.  You didn't like me to touch your gums.  Some tylenol helped.
I think that you might be trying to clap.  You bring your hands together and then sort of shake them up and down.  I have started signing to you a little bit.  You just look at me like I'm nuts.  But, if I say "milk", I can see your eyes light up.  You definitely know what that is.

You have started to be more verbal.  You've had "mama" for quite some time, but now you've thrown in some "ba", "da", and "ya" with it too.  And some screeches!  I love to hear you talk and babble.

You weigh 20 pounds 11 ounces (52nd %ile) and are 28 1/4 inches (49th %ile) tall.  You are still in 12 month clothing and are wearing a size 4 diaper.

As you grow older, I grow to love you more and more.  I just can't believe that you've been here for nine months already and that I am going to start planning your first birthday party.  Slow down my boy!

Love forever,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three Years - Annelise

Dear Annelise,

Another year has flown by and you are another year older.  When I look back at pictures of you from last year, it's hard to remember you like that.  You seem so little, yet, at the time, you seemed so big!  I can't believe how much you've changed physically since then.  It's so fun to compare pictures from a year ago.

It's so fun to actually talk to you now.  You are almost to the point where we can have conversations.  You still have a little bit of work to do, but your speech has dramatically improved.  In fact, I would say that in the past two months, you've had a huge increase in your speech.  You form words better, and speak them better than you used to.  There are still some words that you pronounce incorrectly.  Yogurt is the biggest one.  You say "weegurt" and I absolutely love it!  I took a video of you a few weeks ago pronouncing some words that I thought were cute.  I should take a video of you saying your name and a few other things, just to have for memory.  I know that all too quickly, you will change, your little voice will change, and I won't be able to remember it.

We have been working very hard on asking politely for things, instead of demanding or whining.  Some days go very well, and some days don't.  I usually make you stop and ask again nicely if you fail to do it properly the first time.  I don't let you have things unless you ask nicely.  For the most part, we have a pretty good understanding of that.  Sometimes you really want something that I won't let you have, and that doesn't make you very happy.  I know that you're still trying to figure out all your big emotions.  Some days my patience is better than others.  Same goes for you.  We will still continue to work on it.
You are very polite when we go out in public.  (Most of the time.)  You do a fantastic job of saying "thank you" when you are given something, someone holds the door for you, or anytime the situation warrants it.  That makes my mom heart proud!  I have worked very hard on teaching you manners, and you have done a fantastic job of displaying nice manners.  People will frequently compliment me on how polite you are.  I want you to know that we notice and we appreciate it.  I often tell you thank you for being so polite.  You will tell me thank you back, and then I explain that you should respond with "You're welcome".  You don't fully understand that yet, but we're working on it.

You became a big sister this year.  From the first moment you met your brother, you loved him!  You always want to hold him, feed him, rock him, touch him, pick him up, anything to be around him.  You aren't always supposed to do those things, but you want to anyways!  I have loved seeing you and your brother together.  He loves watching you.  He is going to look up for so many things, and, as his big sister, it's your job to teach him things that you know.  I think that you are going to enjoy teaching him things.  I think that you'll love playing with him even more when he becomes mobile.  I love how fiercely you love him.  I pray that you always love him and have a close relationship.

Things haven't changed too much in the sleep department.  You still go to bed between 8:30-9:00 PM and wake up anywhere from 6:30-7:30 AM.  Most days, you still take an afternoon nap lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours.  On days that you skip a nap, watch out!  You are definitely cranky.  However, if you are entertained and stimulated enough, you can be ok skipping a nap.  I don't like to make a habit of it, but sometimes we have stuff to do, so a nap doesn't happen.

Daddy and I gave it a good effort to try and get you potty trained, but you weren't really on board with it yet.  There were times when you did a great job, and times when you were too busy doing something else and had an accident.  After a few accidents in a row, I threw the towel in and decided to give you a little more time.  You understand the concept, you will go on the potty, you just have a hard time stopping what you're doing to go when you need to before it's too late.  I'm hoping that you'll be ready for it soon.  I feel like, with everything else that has been a transition, you need to decide you're ready and then you do a great job at it.  I know that I'm ready for you to be done with diapers!  I might give it just a couple more weeks and then give it another push.
We've had a taste of what other parents call "threenager".  Let me tell you, it's not very enjoyable.  The talking back is at an all time high!  You point your finger at me and say, "You stop it".  I am not a fan!  I approach it the same way that I do when you ask for something impolitely.  I tell you that you need to talk sweetly to me and once you start talking sweetly we can have a conversation.  You don't always change your attitude right away.  Sometimes it takes a time out for you to relax a minute.  I've found that putting you in your room seems to do a fairly good job.  You take a few minutes to calm down, and then come out and apologize.  As fun as you can be at this age, this age is also very hard for me.  I admit that I'm not a good toddler parent.  It's a lot of work for me to keep my patience with you, especially when you're talking back and yelling at me.  We're both working on it, and some days are better than others.

Daddy and I put you in a gymnastics class, which you absolutely loved.  We only took one session, but you still ask for it sometimes.  I wasn't that crazy about the class.  I like Kindermusik better.  I just signed you up for another Kindermusik class and you're excited to go again.

A big adjustment that we have had to make this year is that Daddy got a new job and is working in Houston right now.  He travels back home on his days off.  You miss him a lot and I can tell that it's hard on you with him being gone.  You always ask how many days until he comes back home.  When he is home, you act out horribly.  You are a completely different child when he's home, and it's not good!  I know that it's because you miss, and because you want attention, and because he lets you get away with stuff that I don't.  It's stressful for all of us.

We've gone to Houston to visit twice and you love it.  You are in the best mood when you know that you are going to get to fly on an airplane.  I love that you are such a good little traveler.  You never act up, you listen very well, and you have a great time!  I look forward to taking more trips with you in the future.  I hope that we can take a lot of mother/daughter trips.  I feel like you are going to love traveling, just like me.  You don't like to nap when we travel and just want to go, go go.

You weigh 35 1/2 pounds (88th %ile) and are 38 1/2 inches (81st %ile) tall.  You are wearing 4T clothing, and I have bought a mixture of 5T and 4 for summer stuff.  You wear a size 6 diaper, and a size 8 shoe.

My girl, I just can't believe that three years have flown by since you were born.  Sometimes it feels like just yesterday.  I can still remember the anticipation waiting for you to arrive.  I love spending days with you and watching you grow and learn.  I am so blessed to be your mom!

Love forever,