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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

13 months

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24 lbs.
Would wear mostly 18 month size but I need to actually buy him some more 18 month size clothes. I'm trying to get my money's worth out of the 12 month ones (or so I keep telling myself - I may just be lazy).

Originally I was only going to document Reuben's monthly progress for the first 12 months of his life then I changed my mind since new discoveries don't stop when you turn 1 year old and I need a way of recording them and isn't this such a nice way of doing that? Ok ok, I'll be honest with you, I had every intention of scrapbooking every.single.milestone of Lily and Reuben's life and well...4 pages into Lily's book and 1 in Reuben's and I've kinda given up. For the time being anyway. Maybe someday when I have more time and room to work on it. In the meantime, this is easier.

So here we are at happy 13 months! ...And it has been quite a month.

The whole walking thing has really taken off recently. He doesn't walk on his own yet, in fact he doesn't even stand on his own, but he certainly can manipulate chairs and toys, and well anything that moves basically, into an object that can propel him around. And he's fast let me tell you! His high chair, the computer desk chair, a kitchen chair and Lily's doll stroller are just a few of the household furniture/toys that have taken on a new role recently. Its adorable not only watching him "walk" but walking into a room myself and seeing a random chair standing there and knowing that Reuben was on a mission...and then got distracted. :)

In addition to trying out walking he's also decided that climbing is fun too. I've become more aware (since coming across some great articles months ago) of the natural sense of attentiveness and concentration children possess when climbing, oh say, a kiddie slide...or onto the kitchen table. Cause that happens on a regular basis now. I stand back and watch (but stay close enough to catch him if he's about to hurt himself) and try not to freak out. He's still working on getting down from things but if he can't manage it himself he sits there and "asks" for help by screeching really loudly. He knows it works. And if I don't want him climbing on something...or going somewhere or whatever...then I just ask him and he'll stop...some of the time. I know he understands because he stops and looks at me and thinks about whether he wants to obey or not. Its absolutely endearing and adorably frustrating to watch him contemplate whether he wants to do as I say or not. Other times when I go ahead and remove him from a situation he gets upset with me and will let me know it! He tenses up, straightens all of his limbs, raises his voice and will actually back talk me now!

He knows where his tongue is. I've been trying to capture it on film but he's sneaky. :)

He finally looks at books without always having to eat them first and will occasionally sit and listen to a story.

I've tried letting him use crayons to color on paper but they only go straight into his mouth so I gave up. We were in the car the other day and he had Lily's LeapFrog Scribble & Write and he drew a picture on the traceable surface with the stylus...intentionally. You betcha I got a picture of his first drawing. Check out my Instagram feed. ;)

I try not to compare my kids out loud (and especially not in front of them) but I can't help but look at the two of them and notice the unique differences. I never used to be a firm believer in the intrinsic gender differences between kids, but now having one of each, I can't help but see the natural way Reuben, with no prompting from us, pushes trucks along the floor or is way more interested in dirt than Lily ever was or is. Sure he likes to play dolls with his sister, but let me tell you he is all boy! In every sense of the word. I'm having so much fun discovering those special things that make this little boy of mine the rough and tumble little guy that he is!

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^Yup, that happened.^

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Conversations With My Daughter: The Grownup Discussion Edition

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April 21
Daddy: You're feeling bad aren't you?
Lily: Yeah. I feel miserable.

April 23
Lily: Let's crawl out of the room.
Mommy: You want to crawl? Ok.
Lily: Yeah, let's be spiders.

April 23
Mommy (looking in the fridge for something for breakfast): We could have scrambled eggs...
Lily: Or popsicles...

April 25
Lily (putting a bandaid on my knee): There. Your knee will feel better later. I promise.

April 29
Mommy: Don't step on the crack (in the sidewalk).
Lily: That's a worm, silly girl mommy!

May 5
Mommy: I'm sorry I stepped on the caterpillar.
Lily: He was going home to his mommy and daddy.
Mommy: Well maybe he's going to heaven now. Maybe we'll see them up there. That's where you go when you die. Did you know that? Its very nice there with lots of grass and flowers and you can play. Jesus lives there, did you know that?
Lily (very sincerely): That's probably what He does Mommy. You step on worms and they go to heaven and Jesus fixes them. 
Mommy (walks away with tears in my eyes).

May 5
Lily: Help me make eggs Mommy. I can't do it cause they fall out and get dead.

May 12
Lily: We don't want to wake up Daddy, he's going to be very upset. We have to be quiet. Lets tiptoe to my room.

May 14
Mommy: Can you go get a wipe to clean up the beans you just got on my leg?
Lily: Actually I have a better idea. I can lick it off?

May 18
Lily (about to throw up): This is not got to be good.

May 22
Lily: What's wrong with the bed? Its not c'operating.

May 25
Lily: We need to go to the doctor this morning; they need to check out my eyes.

June 8
Lily: Can I go outside?
Mommy:  Well I'd like to say yes... 
Lily (leaning in and whispering): Say yes. 

June 11
Louisa (knocking on the bathroom door): I need to go potty. 
Lily: You can't come in. I'm organizing. 

June 11
Mommy (asking from the driver's seat): Is Reuben asleep (in his car seat)?
Lily (looking over at Reuben): No. He's not. He certainly is tired though. 

June 11
Lily (looking at a large, flat, circular cut out piece of a tree trunk on display at a museum): Look its a pizza! Oh! Somebody broke it.

June 12
Lily: Its yoyo time! 

June 12
Lily (talking about her brother): He's betermined (determined) to get my nursies.

June 14
Lily (holding a flower seed): You know Mommy, this is kinda nasty.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What a Great Way to Start a Weekend

We got started on our weekend a little early last week. Friday afternoon we dropped the kiddies off at a friend's house and Andrew and I went out for a late lunch date. We chose an Indian restaurant that we love and it was perfect timing as we were the only ones there. The food was delicious as usual and we were serenaded by a screen playing bright, upbeat Bollywood music videos. I've been in love with Indian culture recently, watching movie after movie on Netflix when the rest of the family goes to bed and listening to a playlist I put together on Spotify whenever I need something to motivate me to clean the house. Anyway, after a quick lunch we ended up at a local coffee house owned by an acquaintance of ours. We sipped on a frozen caramel mocha and talked about our hopes and dreams for the immediate and far distant future. And not once did we ask each other "I wonder how the kids are doing?" By the second child you're a pro at forgetting that you're parents for a few moments and reveling instead in the fact that you can have a conversation that isn't broken up into 5 minute increments punctuated by screams or never-ending questions. Ah date nights/afternoons, you are cathartic for the soul.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

{Recipe} Vegan Gluten-Free Mac 'n' Cheese

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When the kids are being picky about what food they will or or will not eat, I pull out this little gem of a recipe and in no time at all I have a yummy meal ready that they both love. If I steam up a veggie such as broccoli to go with it I won't even have any leftovers. I say all this because I think Reuben is starting to become selective about what foods he wants to eat. Up until now he'd eat almost anything I put in front of him, and plenty of it too. Yesterday I noticed however, that very small amounts seemed to make it into his mouth before the rest got swiped on to the floor. Either he's realized that he actually has a choice in the matter or he really enjoys pounding his tray and watching the food fall to the floor. I'm just glad he nurses so at least he's getting something during this phase. At least I hope its just a phase. Until it disappears I always have this recipe to fall back on. You can't go wrong with pasta in this household. Its hubby approved as well. ;)

Vegan Gluten-Free Mac 'n' Cheese

Adapted from Weelicious
Serves 4

4 cups gluten-free pasta, cooked
1/4 cup Earth Balance spread
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Melt the Earth Balance spread in a small pot, turn heat off, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
3. Combine the sauce with warm pasta to coat and heat through.
4. Serve and enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview With Lily: 3 Years

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^Taken on June 27 at 10:03am - 3 years to the minute that she was born^

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? My coloring book
3. What is your favorite fruit? Peaches
4. What is your favorite tv show/movie? Lightning McQueen
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pasta
6. What is your favorite outfit? Polka dot shirt
7. What is your favorite game? The beep one (Catchphrase - she likes to play with the handheld game)
8. What is your favorite snack? Pretzels
9. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe
10. What is your favorite song? The Lord Has Made (This is the Day)
11. What is your favorite book? Daddy Hugs
12. Who is your best friend? Alice
13. What is your favorite cereal? Honey cereal (Chex)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride my bike
15. What is your favorite drink? Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? Presents
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Books
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Eggs
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pasta
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Paint when I grow up

Inspired by this idea I found via Pinterest, I will be asking Lily (and Reuben too once he turns 3) these questions every year around her birthday. I can't wait to see how her answers change over the years!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

12 Months

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23 lbs. 8 oz.
31" long
Starting to wear some 18 month sizes since 12 months are getting snug.

I never desired to be one of those moms who get all teary eyed and sentimental wondering where their sweet little baby has disappeared to and who replaced him/her with this walking/talking child...and then I had kids. Or more specifically I had Reuben. Don't ask me why, but since Reuben was born, as each milestone occurs, I get more and more weepy. Oh my goodness he just smiled for the first time! sob Ahhhhh! He said "mama!" sob sob Look Honey, he's crawling! sob sob sob Every milestone that passes by makes me realize that I will never again experience that first with him.

So I got a little emotional as we experienced another first a few weeks ago. Reuben's first birthday.

Although technically it wasn't his very first birthday. That stormy day one year ago is forever imprinted on my mind in wonderful detail. That moment when, after an exhausting pregnancy and a painful but rewarding drug free labor and delivery, I held him for the first time and announced his name to the world. Reuben Garrett. My son. What a strange thing to realize much less say out loud. I'm still in awe to this day that we were blessed with such a sweet little bundle of cuteness.

Oh how much he's changed in the past year. From (not so) tiny newborn with an abundance of dark hair (which covered his ears as well - so cute!) and pudgy arms and legs to my little boy with a head of now light brown hair with golden highlights (and a touch of red for good measure) and arms and legs that are starting to thin out as he is growing taller. He has 8 teeth now and isn't afraid to use them! I'll be honest I sometimes feel overwhelmed thinking of how much he's changed and how much changing he'll be undergoing in the future. I guess that's why I'm always taking so many pictures and videos. I want to remember him, and his sister too, at every stage of their lives. I wish I could freeze time right now though, Reuben at a year, because its such a magical age.

He just recently started giving me kisses. The open mouth drooling kind. Simply the best in my opinion. He also started clicking his tongue and thinks its the funniest thing ever. He got his first haircut. When I put music on or when he hears music anywhere (like the store...or church) he starts bouncing up and down to the beat. The boy's got rhythm. Also, he doesn't crawl if he doesn't have to. He uses couches, table and walls to get to wherever he's going and only resorts to crawling if there is a large gap in between.

The kids and I spent Reuben's birthday at home except for a quick trip to the store in the afternoon. We started out with some of Reuben's favorites for breakfast. Toast, strawberries and avocado. Then the kids played for a while before I nursed Reuben and put him down for his morning nap. After a nice rest he got up and we got ready to go to Walmart to get frosting for the cupcakes. While there we checked out the children's books section and sat down and read a few. Later at home, Reuben played with pots and pans and watched The Adventures of Chuck & Friends while I started on dinner which was also a selection of some of his favorites - homemade pancakes with strawberries and hash browns. When Daddy got home and after we had dinner, we went outside and the kids ran/crawled around before it was time for cupcakes and blowing out one candle! Reuben was in awe of his candle and didn't know what to do with it so Lily quickly stepped in and blew it out for him. What a great big sister.  A bath was in order after all that chocolatey goodness and then time for nursies and bed.

It was a calm and relaxing day. A fitting way to celebrate the first birthday of our easy-going little boy. Happy Birthday Reuben Garrett.

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^Taken on June 25 at 8:15am - 1 year to the minute that he was born^
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reuben's First Haircut

Reuben and his crazy hair. Part straight, part curly. And always in his eyes. Since he was 6 months or so I've vacillated between "he needs a haircut sooooo badly" and "I don't want to cut off those soft, sweet curls!" Well it finally got to the point where it was too wild and crazy and I could seriously put it up in a ponytail if I wanted to...with hair to spare. So a few weeks ago (a couple of days before his 1st birthday) we took him to the salon to get his first haircut. Here he is pre-haircut. Obviously something needed to be done.

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He took it very first. He kept looking at the stylist like "Excuse me. What do you think you are doing?"

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I was explaining to her how I wanted her to cut his hair and she says "you want a typical little boy haircut." Yup, that's right. :)

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This is about the time that he decided that he didn't need to sit still anymore.

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So he decided to spin around and sit backwards for a while.

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I stepped in and tried helping him hold still so she could hopefully make straight cuts (she didn't do a perfect job but under the circumstances I can't blame her!).

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He decided he needed a few Mommy kisses. :)

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Some kissing, spinning around and general fidgeting later and we discovered a little boy under all that hair! I tried getting a decent picture once we left the salon but Reuben doesn't like to hold still for pictures if he doesn't have to. So these two are as good as I got.

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Its quite amazing how cutting off a few strands of hair can make a person look so different. My little baby no longer looks like a little baby! He's a little boy now. Turning 1 year old helped solidify that tearful realization. But more on that later...

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