Friday, February 26, 2016

Nathan at 10 months

Nathan is getting more and more fun! Our happy ten-month-old can now easily pull himself to a standing position, cruise along furniture, and crawl QUICKLY! He seems especially fast when crawling to items that he knows he's not supposed to play with -- tiny toys, cords, moss at the bottom of our fake tree, etc. :)

He likes to clap, wave, and flap his arms (especially when he hears music). Nathan still loves being held, and he enjoys giving big, open-mouth kisses. More and more friends and family comment on how much Nathan looks like Ryan as a baby.

with cousin Jaden

He's finally starting to like some table foods! He can feed himself finger foods and can swallow them now instead of gagging!

Nathan consistently takes two naps each day. Now that our family has to be out the door early in the morning for dropping Ian off at school, we've moved Nathan's bedtime earlier as well (to around 8:00). He's still waking up a few times each night.

Nathan can let us know when he doesn't like something. He arches his back and protests loudly when we're trying to put him in his car seat at times. He's getting better, though, at going to the church nursery while Daddy and Momma are in Bible class. He will cry when we drop him off, but the workers tell us he recovers quickly and plays happily while we are away.

Nathan loves helping Momma with chores -- like "helping" load/unload the dishwasher, putting clothes into the dryer, "helping" find things in the refrigerator, and playing with Tupperware when Momma is cooking.Nathan also loves bath time (he doesn't even mind water being poured over his head) and time playing with his older brothers (although Nathan has come down a few popularity points with them since he can now destroy their toy set-ups :)). Nathan gets VERY excited when he hears Daddy returning from work in the evening. Other favorites include the beach, trying to eat sand, putting things inside of bowls/cups/containers, playing outside, and dogs like Ace and Belle.

We thank God for you, Nathan Paul! :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

September fun

Here are some September highlights ...

Amy asked Chelsea and me if we'd like to sign up for a 5K race with her; she had been good about signing up for races to keep her motivated to exercise while she lived in Montana. Chelsea ended up not being able to since she was coaching volleyball in the fall, but Amy and I signed up for a 5K to benefit the Tomball Pregnancy Center. Knowing I had a race coming up DID motivate me to workout more often, and the race itself was fun, too. Amy ended up getting first place in our age division, and I got second! (Honestly, there weren't all that many people running. :)) Most of all, we had fun! Matt and Ian also signed up to do the 1 mile run/walk. Ian got to help shoot the starting gun, and then he wanted to run most of the way alongside Matt. Ian was SO proud of the medal that he got (they gave one to all child participants in the 1 mile run). All in all, a great cause and a fun morning!

Ian loves to build forts, and now that he can sound words out even better, he LOVES to make signs to hang up all around the house. :)
One morning, while Ian was at school, Nathan and Ryan enjoyed some time splashing in our kiddie pool.
Ian, all dressed up in his NInja costume, in his homemade cardboard car (with flashlights for the headlights).
Nathan and Ryan are good playmates. Nathan loves being pushed around in the Cozy Coupe!

While shopping at Sprouts one day, Ian and Ryan expressed interest in a coconut that we saw. I was happy to buy one so they could see what it was all about. They enjoyed pounding nails into the outside and watching the coconut water drip out. Neither boy liked the taste of the coconut water or the coconut itself, but it was a fun learning experience!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ryan's activities

I love the chance to focus on my sweet middle kiddo, especially when Ian is in school and Nathan is taking a morning nap. 

I wanted to be intentional this school year about planning letter-related, preschool-type activities for Ryan. Amy was already planning to do something like this with her boys as well. Amy and I decided to take turns planning "letter of the week" activities for each other's boys. We search the internet for fun crafts, fine-motor activities, games, and other learning activities related to the letter of the week. We'll each choose a bunch (or in a really busy week, a few) activities that our child(ren) might like from the list. Ryan really likes these planned activities as well as the tactile alphabet book that we're making in the process.

Here are a few pictures from our letter "T" week ... like painting with a toothbrush,

making a tree,
and making a traffic light from cut paper.
I've also been intentional about giving Ryan practice cutting with scissors and drawing along a line (and using lots of lots of dot stickers .. ha ha!).

This dinosaur-thawing activity was a fun one that Amy had found that went with the letter D.

I've been thankful to continue twice-a-month themed playdates with other friends who have three-year-olds. Ryan LOVES this time with friends and his cousins.

Our train playdate included a clever snack and fun train craft that Ryan still wants to have hanging in his room months later.

The teddy bear playdate included a fun relay where we had to dress up our teddy bears (and ourselves),

as well as a creative and elaborate "bear hunt" my friend Kati planned, where everyone had to climb through the jungle and under a spiderweb, among other things. The kiddos asked to repeat this activity at LEAST three other times.

The kids enjoyed making their own bear-faces with paper plates and even got to paint with pom poms.

I've loved playing with Ryan in these intentional ways and watching him learn and have fun in the process. It *almost* makes me open to considering an early childhood teaching position when I go back to teaching someday. :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nathan at 9 months old

Our happy nine-month-old brings us so much joy! This month, he's starting to be even more mobile. He can pull to standing and can scoot/army crawl. He'll be able to really crawl soon!

Even though he's mobile, Nathan still likes being held, and he doesn't mind being contained in his exersaucer. In fact, it's one of his favorite places to be. He'll happily play with the toys on the exersaucer while Momma or Daddy get meals ready for the family.

Nathan is getting to be more vocal as well. He gurgles, blows raspberries, hits his mouth to make a play-Indian noise, and makes lots of happy grunts. He even said his first word this month: Momma! (which makes Momma's heart melt every time)

Nathan still takes two short (30-45) minute naps each day, though sometimes his afternoon nap is a little longer. He falls asleep each evening close to 9:00 and wakes up for the day around 7:30/8:00 ... with multiple wake-ups/feedings during the night. He still sleeps in the pack 'n' play in our room.

Nathan is still not a big fan of much table food. He gags on any small bit of food we try to give him (that he hasn't thrown off the side of the high chair). He turns his face when we try to feed him pureed food on a spoon. He does like trying table food that we place in a "fresh food feeder" (mesh bag) for him to gnaw on. His favorite food in there is cantaloupe, and he ends up with lots of juice all down his shirt. :) For now, he's still getting the vast majority of his calories from nursing. We're just happy that he's healthy gaining weight.

Nathan protests loudly when we leave the room or drop him off at the church nursery during Momma's Bible study time. He'd rather be with us all of the time. :)

Some of Nathan's favorites this month include: his activity table, swimming, balls, splashing in the big bathtub with his brothers, finding any sort of choking hazard we've accidentally left on the floor, door stoppers, Tupperware containers and lids, and pulling his own hair. He also adores his brothers and will giggle whenever they shake their heads back and forth, make silly sounds, or play peek-a-boo with him. Ian and Ryan also created a game Nathan loves when they run up to him, jump, and say the made-up word "Row-bah." It makes Nathan laugh and laugh, and it brings us such joy to see our boys enjoying each other.

This third time around, we're enjoying more and worrying much less ... and we're trying to savor every stage as it happens. How quickly little Nathan is growing up, and how much we love our baby! God is so good!

Here are some videos of our littlest in action!