Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nathan at 7 months

On June 16, Nathan turned seven months old! He continues to be a happy baby, eagerly flapping his arms when he sees something or someone he loves!

His favorite toy of the month was the exersaucer, which we just recently got down from the attic. He's happy for twenty minutes at a time in there, exploring all of the toys that are attached.

Nathan can sit up really well on his own. He also loves being held in a standing position on someone's lap, facing out so he can see the action. He can roll across the room to items that he wants.

He has sampled a variety of new foods this month -- rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, peas, applesauce, etc. He will eat a few bites of what we're serving him but doesn't seem to love anything.

Nathan takes three naps most days and is napping more often in his Pack and Play and less often in his swing. His bedtime is getting earlier, too -- closer to 9 or 9:30 most nights!

Nathan is getting more vocal, babbling repeated sounds like "ba ba ba." 

This month included a few firsts. ... Nathan had his first time in the church nursery while Momma was teaching Vacation Bible School. (He did well overall, though he did even better when Uncle Jason and Aunt Amy watched him during Daddy and Momma's anniversary dinner. :)) He also had his first mini-swimming lesson with Ms. Amber. (He didn't like it much at all, even though he generally really loves water, pools, and bath time. He has extra room to splash now that he's graduated into the big bathtub as well!)

Some of Nathan's favorites include balls (especially throwing them!), playing with crinkly water bottles, and "helping" with the laundry (especially tapping on the dryer door).

We love our little cutie and love how God is helping him grow bigger and stronger each day! :)

Nathan in action in his exersaucer ...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

June fun

We loved getting into the routine of "no routine" over the summer! :) What a nice change of pace! Here are some fun things we did in the month of June ...

Ian went to his best friend, Caleb's, birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. His hair is spiky since it was Crazy Hair Day at Vacation Bible School at our church (which, by the way, Ryan attended, too. Ryan enjoyed his time with other three-year-olds, which Kim helped to teach. Nathan was a champ in the church nursery during that time, even though he let us know it wasn't his favorite place to be. :))
We spoiled Daddy on Father's Day. Here's a photo collage for Daddy's desk to let him know that "We love you, Daddy!"
We went to our neighborhood pool a LOT! We also had family dinners most Sunday evenings. This particular Sunday, we went swimming as an extended family before we had dinner together -- double win!
We sort of took over the kiddie pool. Thankfully, there weren't many other people at the pool this day. :)
The littlest two, Isaiah and Nathan, enjoyed splashing as much as their older cousins/brothers.

We also played with water in our own backyard a few times throughout June. (That's what you have to do in order to spend time outside in the Texas summer! :))
One day, while playing outside, Ian caught a lizard. Both Ian and Ryan are amazingly fast at catching these little guys.
Ian continued to sleep with his stuffed snake from Uncle Jason and Aunt Amy.
One day, the boys had to get some frozen toys out of an ice block as a fun activity. They thought it was great to pound on the ice and throw it down on the ground.
We tried to get in as much cuddle time with our ever-growing nephew, Isaiah, as we could.
Matt and I celebrated our 12-year anniversary on June 14. We enjoyed a relaxing evening at The Melting Pot, a fancy fondue restaurant, while our boys played with Jason and Amy.

We also went to visit our good friend from church, Mrs. W., at her nursing home. She was excited to hold baby Nathan.
The older boys were excited to read books and play games with her. She's such a fun lady!

Yay for summer! :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Swimming Lessons

Ian has been taking swimming lessons with our friend from church, Amber, each summer since he turned three. She is a wonderful teacher! It's been amazing to watch Ian's transformation from a timid 3-year-old who cried most of his first lesson to a confident 6-year-old that can swim the length of the pool with ease.

This summer, we decided to enroll both boys in lessons. We wanted to continue to build Ian's confidence as a swimmer and to have Amber teach him some of the other strokes besides freestyle. We wanted Ryan to begin the journey of lessons as well -- to learn to feel comfortable in the water and begin to learn some basics.

It was a bonus that the boys were able to take lessons with some of their best friends from church -- brothers Caleb and Samuel. The boys had lessons back-to-back with the older boys (along with a girl from church) going first and the younger boys going second.

Ryan and Sammy were the only two students in their class -- which was probably a good thing. The first day, both boys were crying and asking to get out of the pool the majority of the lesson. Amber remained patient yet firm with them, and they did what she asked them to do. Ryan seemed to really be nervous before each swimming lesson (especially as he could tell Ian's lesson was wrapping up), but he certainly did gain confidence and learn some basics during his five lessons. We're proud of him!

Amber gave lots of encouragement, high fives, fist  pumps, and hugs to the nervous first-time swimmers.

Ryan doesn't look happy here, but "monkey walking" was his favorite thing to do during lessons, probably because he didn't have to get his face in the water!

Ian and Caleb enjoyed playing Uno and other games while waiting for their little brothers to finish lessons
Ian learned more about taking breaths while doing the freestyle and began to learn backstroke, breaststroke, and the butterfly. Ian was able to apply what he learned when we went to the neighborhood pool or other friends' pools this summer, too -- even willingly going off the diving board and swimming to the side! We're proud of him!

Amber even convinced us to let Nathan get in the pool with her. She put him underwater a few times, reminding us that babies naturally know what to do in the water. Sure enough! He did it, even though he wasn't too happy about it! :) We're proud of him!

Thanks, Ms. Amber, for teaching our boys about swimming! You're awesome!

Here are some videos of Ryan:

And a few of Ian ...

Cousin Fun

What a blessing it is now to have THREE cousins living in the area! Here are some pictures of two outings that we went on with the older two cousins.

In early June, we went to Moorhead Blueberry Farm in Conroe. The boys enjoyed picking their own ripe, juicy berries!
Ian and Cody
The boys all picking at one bush!
Nathan was happy observing from his Baby Bjorn.
Ian stayed focused on picking for nearly the entire time we were there.

Ryan was interested in picking them and putting them right in his mouth. When his tummy got full, he was done picking, too. But he enjoyed playing in the dirt until the rest of us were done picking. :)
Here's the berry picking crew -- our family and Amy, Jaden, and Cody (Jason was out of town).

We certainly enjoyed eating these yummy berrries afterwards!

On another morning, we met up with Jaden, Cody, and Amy at Matheson Park (the "Tire Park") in Tomball. It's our new favorite park!

As cousin Isaiah gets bigger, we'll drag him all of these places as well. :) And we're still trying to convince cousin Abby to get her parents to move to the Houston area. :) We love cousins!