Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nicole // 2 Years

I can't say that I have two kids under two anymore. ;) Haha! We've finished another great year with this bright, happy girl. I am so proud of this little human with her empathy, her humor, her willingness to help and share, her intelligence and cheerfulness. She never fails to bring a smile to my face every day, and I LOVE watching her grow, learn, and develop.

By the way, it's SO true what they say about a toddler's vocabulary all of a sudden exploding at some point. Nicole has hit that phase, and I hear new words out of her mouth daily. She's always very proud and excited when she figures out a new word, and will repeat it over and over to make sure we hear her say it.


Let's see if I can capture the essence of Nicole at 2 years old:

+ She's a happy little social butterfly who loves to follow other kids around and imitate them and babble at them or share things with them.

+ She usually doesn't take a nap anymore (NOOOOOOO!!!!) but she still has "rest time" in her room every afternoon, and she takes it without protest. She will play in there by herself without complaint for up to 2 hours. On some magical, exhausting days she'll fall asleep for a nap... today was one of those days. Being a birthday girl takes a lot of energy, apparently!

+ Bubble baths are heaven.

+ Band-aids are the devil.

+ My dream of having a family of singers is well on it's way because Nicole can definitely carry a recognizable tune. She goes around the house singing the A B C's (some of the letters are correct and identifiable!) or belting the chorus of Let It Go or humming the tune of The Blue Danube. She loves Primary songs and nursery rhymes the most, or songs from the TV shows she watches.

+ She enjoys helping me cook/bake. I let her dump ingredients like flour into the bowl, or sprinkle cheese in the enchiladas.

+ She speaks in short 2/3 word sentences. She'll say things like, "Where it go?!" when looking for something or parade around with Doug's flip flops shouting, "MY shoes!" or ask for a second piece of her Halloween candy by saying "Two cake!" (cake and candy are synonymous to her, apparently) and it's just so fun to understand her better and better. My favorite is when she's trying to comfort Austin by patting him and saying, "I know, baby. I know."

+ One of her favorite foods is homemade pizza with whole wheat crust, covered in bell peppers and onions. She asks for "teeta" (pizza) aaaaaall the time. That was her early birthday dinner of choice last night, of course. She's actually quite the pizza snob; to her, nothing is better than homemade.

+ Other favorite foods: popcorn, clementines, pears, peaches, apples, grapes, Greek yogurt, green beans, ham (the lunch meat variety), and corn. Oh, and let's not forget our family favorite Tuscan Tomato Soup! She would chug that stuff if we let her.

+ She loves reading. When I'm nursing Austin, you'll often find Nicole on the couch next to me with a book for me to read to her.

+ Her current favorite movie is Despicable Me.

+ She has a deep, ever-enduring love for long walks. One favorite walking route is going all the way to the closest park to go down the slides (always on her back, never sitting up) and perhaps catch a glimpse of the horses that are kept on the property right next to the park.

+ Nicole has always been empathetic, but she just hit a SUPER empathetic phase where if a character in a book or movie gets upset or mean, she starts whimpering or full-out crying and asks us if it's going to be okay ("Okay? Okay?") over and over again. Whether it be that fuzzy yellow Seuss creature saying "Stop! You must not hop on pop!" or Miss Hattie scolding Margo, Edith and Agnes for not selling enough cookies, Nicole gets very concerned. Heaven forbid we watch a movie where a character dies. No Lion King for her any time soon...

+ She loves holding her baby brother and goes bursting into his room the moment she hears him wake up from a nap so she can see him. She always gives him a kiss goodnight before she heads off to bed in the evenings. She's a good helper and will find his burp cloths for me, or grab a clean diaper when he needs it. She shares her toys and blankets with him regularly.

+ Asks for frozen peas to eat at breakfast at least twice a week. Another favorite food.

+ Helps with chores such as loading/unloading the dishwasher, sweeping, putting in and taking out laundry, getting the mail, and wiping up spills/messes. I should start having her dust baseboards or something :D hahahaha!

+ Gets very sad when she realizes she's done something to upset Doug or me. She's so sweet and wants to make us happy and proud.

+ Searches the sky frantically whenever she hears a plane or helicopter. She loves the concept of flying (thanks to Peter Pan and that show Jake and the Neverland Pirates).

+ We took the guard rail off her twin bed because she never rolls anymore, so now she's in full-blown "big girl" mode.


Such a sweet girl. I feel like the following moment captures her personality and disposition perfectly: we have a bunch of traditional ball ornaments on our Christmas tree, and we went ahead and put them ALL over the tree, including on the bottom where Nicole can reach. Nicole will walk around the tree and very gently cup each of the ornaments in her tiny hands, never taking them off the branches or being rough. She exclaims, "Ball!" with each one she touches, and then steps back at the end to stare up at the glowing tree. Then she turns to go play elsewhere. She's full of energy and enthusiasm, but knows when to be gentle and draw limits. We love this little toddler of ours with all our might!

Happy birthday, Nicki baby! And here's to many more!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Snow Day


The first major snowfall of the season happened today! When it finally stopped snowing in the late afternoon, we bundled up and went out to explore the winter wonderland! Nicole was all smiles, Doug got the driveway shoveled, and I wandered around with Austin strapped to me under my coat. He snoozed the whole time, all cozy and warm. It's his favorite way to nap, actually... he took two nearly-3-hour-long naps today, both times while I was wearing him in a baby carrier!

Then it got dark, the snow started back up with a vengeance, soon it looked like the driveway hadn't been shoveled at all (aaah, winter...) and we settled in for an evening of comfort food and keeping warm by the fireplace. I had a vision pop into my head of some winter day in the future when our kids are older and we come inside from a snow day to drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie by the fire and it made my heart feel so warm and full.

Family, you guys. Family.

^^^^Snow won't stop her from pushing her little stroller! Hahaha!
^^^^Under the snow, the tree in our yard is still a rainbow of color.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Austin // 1 month


One month, my goodness! That was fast. And this kid is quite the handsome little man already! His smile. I die. So far there are quite a few similarities between him and Nicole in terms of their temperament and whatnot. They're definitely siblings.

At one month, Austin:

- LOVES baths. He wiggles around in the sink making barely a sound. He likes taking showers with me too.

- HATES being cold. Diaper changes are a love-hate relationship because he appreciates having a clean diaper but hates being exposed to chilly air. When his room is warm from afternoon sunshine, he'll be quite content during his diaper changes. Otherwise he shrieks at the top of his little lungs until I start putting his clothes back on.

- Has smiled at me every morning since he turned 3 weeks old. It's a great way to start the day. Happy baby!

- Only sleeps for 2-3 hour stretches at the most right now. Occasionally he'll sleep longer.

- Loves being swaddled.

- Prefers being held during naps and co-sleeping with us at night, but I've started making him sleep in his crib more.

- Tolerates "tummy time" for up to 5 minutes before getting grouchy. He's rolled from tummy to back a couple times already.

- Is not a huge pacifier fan. Nicole was completely indifferent to pacifiers, but Austin will accept them IF he's settling down to sleep and IF he is in the right mood... but even then, he'll still spit the pacifier out right before falling asleep.

- Eats like a champ and is gaining weight really well. I'm guessing he's close to 10 pounds right now.

- Prefers to be held in a way that allows him to see the world. He's content if he can see over our shoulder or if we hold him so he faces outward. Perhaps that's why he doesn't like being put in a baby carrier when he's alert; he can't see everything as well.

- Is starting to make some cooing noises when he's alert and content. So sweet!


^^^That little smile, you guys!!!!!!!