Brynn is One!

It’s hard to believe, but this little girl is a year old! Brynn turned one a few days ago but I’m just now getting the chance to write this.

12 months

GROWTH: She had her one year check-up on Friday morning, where we found out that our peanut is still a peanut. I really thought she’d move up further in the percentiles since she loves her solid foods so much, but not really. She is 17 lbs, 4 oz (up to the 3rd percentile) and 26.5 inches tall (off the chart). I was glad to hear that we have a healthy girl, but I hate that round of shots and that it’s then followed by a blood draw. Poor thing was not a happy camper and has had her first vaccine reaction – a 103 degree fever yesterday followed by a rash on the lower half of her body today. We also had some additional testing of her blood since last week a tiny little cut on her nose bled for 20 minutes. Thankfully the blood draw didn’t show an indication of a clotting problem, so the cut must have just been in a bad spot.

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SLEEP: Baby girl is still sleeping great. It was a perfect month of night time sleeping. Her naps are still about two hours at home and about 30 minutes at school. Her new school seems to be an even brighter classroom than her old school, and she just really needs a darker environment for sleep! It is a bit of an adjustment now with putting her to bed with a cup instead of breast or bottle, but she has done well for two out of her first three nights during this transition period.

IMG_4931FOOD/DRINK: Well, we’ve officially weaned off of the breast as of today. I really didn’t think we’d make it to a year without formula but we did, and we actually still have a bit of frozen breastmilk left. She’ll be getting straight whole milk from a sippy at school starting this week, and at home we’ll mix in the breastmilk with her sippy cups until we run out. The sippy cup transition isn’t going great, but she’ll at least drink out of it when she’s really hungry. Hoping she starts drinking better out of it within a week or so. Her solids intake is still great. Her new teachers are thrilled with how she eats and we are too. She still likes basically anything.

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GROSS MOTOR: Still not a walker yet, but now she is at least trying to stand up from sitting. She pulls up and cruises like a champ, but doesn’t seem super interested in walking if she isn’t pushing her walker. She can climb full flights of stairs and makes a beeline for the stairs from the second to third floor whenever they are in her sight.

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IMG_4880FAVORITES: Waving “hi” and “bye” to everyone in sight. Clapping her hands. Playing with her big sister. Any sort of outdoor playtime. Eating. Being held. Roaming around her playroom.

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Being a mama of two for a year now has brought out so many feelings that I didn’t know I had. I just love watching their relationship grow. As long as Bella isn’t stealing something out of her hands, they play really well together. Bella loves playing “teacher” and Brynn makes for the perfect student.

We’ve been blessed with another easy baby, and for that I am so thankful. If she’s cranky, its usually solved by being carried for a bit. Independent play is happening more frequently now, so that I’m sometimes even able to make meals when its just the three of us at home.

The road to completing our family was filled with lots of heartache, but now that it is complete, I can really appreciate and be incredibly thankful for these beautiful children. They’ve changed our lives in countless ways, and watching them grow and change will bring us joy for many, many years to come.

Happy 1st Birthday Brynn. We love you so very much!

Brynn’s First Birthday Party

Eeeks. I’ve skipped over Easter, Passover, and our annual photos at Duke Gardens, and will hopefully get around to a delayed blogging of those, but I’m going to actually try and post about Brynn’s birthday on time.

This past weekend we hosted Brynn’s first birthday party at our house. Somehow, including us, we ended up with 43 people attending. Wow! It just so happens that almost everyone we invited was able to attend, and every family has several kids – so yeah, it was a fun morning!

We did everything very similar to Bella’s first birthday party, figuring, hey, why reinvent the wheel. We didn’t really have a theme, just a fun morning get together with breakfast foods and mimosas. We ordered donuts from our amazing local donut shop, made waffle sticks with our waffle stick pan, and did some awesome mini fritattas in a mini muffin pan. Add in some fruit and waffle toppings and you actually get a pretty good little spread.

The birthday girl was in a great mood. She loved munching on waffle dippers and fruit, and happily modeled the onesie that took me forever to make with my Silhouette Cameo.

We didn’t open presents until after everyone left, but she happily played with all of the toys lying around. Her grandparents took turns doting on her during the party, Bella happily played with her little friends, and overall, things went about as smooth as they could have.

Her birthday is this coming Friday, and since I have to work late that night, I’m planning on taking her in late that morning. We’re also planning on doing her cake smash (although she had a preview with a cupcake at her party) Thursday evening due to my ridiculous work schedule this weekend.

I’ll leave you with the pictures!

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Brynn: 11 months

Oh my! Is my baby really already 11 months old?! Usually the time between Christmas and summer seems to go so slowly. This year, it has just raced on by. And my sweet little baby Brynn is on the cusp of toddlerhood. Crazy!

11 months

My little peanut has a serious case of separation anxiety right now, to the point where I cannot set her down on the floor without tears unless I join her on the floor. She’s really into exploring the world around her but would definitely prefer that mommy join her on her explorations.

Here is the story of Brynn at 11 months old!

FOOD: Still doing great with solid foods. She’s eating pretty much anything that we give her. I’ve been making myself cauliflower rice recently and she ate it plain. At our family’s Passover seder this week, she even devoured chopped liver. She makes quite the mess when she eats, and recently got spaghetti sauce on her forehead. Impressive. As for her nursing/bottle routine, with my supply tanking, we’re just hoping to make it to 12 months. She had a few days of fussing at the breast, but it seems like we have moved past that issue. She had also been really hurting me with her teeth, but that seems to have improved over the past few days. Maybe she is getting used to having top teeth.

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SLEEP: This is the best month of sleep she has had yet, likely due to limited illness. She goes down between 7 and 7:30 and for the most part has been sleeping until I wake her at 7:30 on weekdays. Naps are the same as last month – great at home (2-3 hours) and horrible at school (0-30 minutes). Since she doesn’t sleep at school, she always passes out for our 15-20 minute drive home.

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TEETH: As I alluded to above, she’s now up to 6 teeth! The top 4 teeth came in quickly. Haven’t noticed any additional on the bottom yet but they should be the next to come through.

TALK: Still no words, although she is making new sounds every day it seems. She can now say the “mmm” sound and is saying something that sounds close to “mama” to go along with the “dada” that she says. She also is doing a great job at imitating and will have raspberry conversations with anyone who makes that sound to her.

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MOVEMENT: While she still isn’t 100% knee crawling, she’s now mixing in knee crawling with the army crawling that she’s been doing since she was 6 months old. The funny thing that I’ve noticed is that she seems to knee crawl when she has the intention of pulling up. So she’ll knee crawl halfway across the room if her destination is the stairs or my legs. Brynn is pulling up everywhere, cruising when she feels like it, and has taken her first few steps with a push toy. She still seems pretty far away from walking, but that is ok by me! She loves the stairs and has gotten up a few of them on her own. She still wants to go down the stairs face first, which means keeping a close eye on her when we are on the second floor!

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FUN: Lots of fun events this month. We traveled to Cancun where she had a blast splashing in the pool every day and eating chips. She had her International Party at school where she got to dress up with her classmates and “dance” on stage. We all made the trip to Philly to see my family and celebrate Passover. We took advantage of the location and made her first trip to the Philadelphia Zoo (a childhood favorite destination of mine).

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It’s time for me to get on the ball and start planning her first birthday party. Wasn’t she just born though? It feels like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time.

Brynn: 10 months

This little lady is 10 months old!

10 months

March has been a fun and busy month. Brynn is developing at rapid speed now and is suddenly not feeling like as much of a baby. She is all over the place, but if she is on the floor, mommy needs to be near by. She is still a little peanut, but with two friends having had babies in the past month, she is suddenly seeming so big! I’m pretty sure this is about when baby fever started creeping back in after Bella, and I sort of feel the same now, except for the fact that we’ve already decided that we are two and done.

Anyway, here is more about Brynn at 10 months!

SLEEP: This has been a good month for sleep, especially in the past week where Brynn is suddenly sleeping all the way to 7:30-8:00 am. As sleep goes in the first year or so, I’m sure we’ll regress back into something worse, but for right now, she is sleeping like a champ. Naps at school are still pretty short, but naps at home are typically a good 2+ hours. She has been transitioned to one nap a day for a while now, and we’re loving it.

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FOOD: She may be underweight, but this girl is all about the food, especially food that she can eat with her hands. She is loving pretty much anything right now, so we’re trying to add him some healthier foods to go along with all of the pasta and cheese and “you need to fatten her up” foods that we started the month with. Its so nice that now during dinner we can plop her in the high chair next to the three of us and she can eat right along side of us. She’s still nursing the same as before, but my milk production is really decreasing. I’m hoping we can make it through 12 months, but we’ll have to see what happens. Apparently when I’m not around, she drains her 4 oz bottles pretty quickly!

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MOVEMENT: As I alluded to, Brynn is all over the place. She is still just army crawling, but she is super fast. About two weeks ago, she started pulling up to her knees, and three days ago, she started pulling up to her feet. Today she even tried to cruise a bit. Yesterday, when she didn’t want to nap, she pulled up in her crib for the first time. It’s funny how happy and proud they are when they learn new skills. It’s so much fun to watch!

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LANGUAGE: Brynn’s first attempts at language were “ah dah”. Now she is verbalizing a lot more, including some “dah dah”. I still wouldn’t say that she has had a first word yet, but she is pretty reliable to “talk” back to us now when we talk to her.

FAVORITES: Still with the dangling off of the edge of everything. She thinks its hilarious to go face first off of the couch or bed or stairs (with us holding on so that she doesn’t actually fall of course). Shoveling food into her mouth. Bobbing her head to the music or when her tummy is full of food.

RANDOM PHOTOS: 

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Love this little girl. Can’t wait to see how she develops this month!

Brynn: 9 months old

Our little nugget is 9 months old!

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Here’s a little look into Brynn at 9 months old:

GROWTH: Brynn had her 9 month check-up yesterday. And as expected, she is still a shrimp. Like, really a shrimp. She’s only 25 inches in height, which is the first percentile. And she’s 14.0 lbs, which is off the charts. She was the first one in our family to catch the awful stomach bug going around, and spent all day Friday vomiting. Her pediatrician says she could have lost up to a pound with that virus, so she’s choosing not to be too concerned on her weight. But wow, so small!

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SLEEP: Still doing well with nighttime sleep! Brynn’s been either sleeping all night or waking once. The one time is typically between 5-7, and if she sleeps all night its around 7-7. On the weekends, I put her back down and she’ll usually sleep until after 8 which allows us all to sleep in a little! For naps, she’s napping between 0-30 minutes a day when at school. But on the weekends, she’ll nap 2-3 hours! Girl just likes her naps to be dark and quiet.

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MOVEMENT: We’ve got a fast army crawler now! Still no interest in knee crawling, but she can suddenly fly across the room with an army crawl. She tries to pull up from laying on her stomach and is getting close to being able to do so. Brynn’s also fascinated with the edge of everything. She peers off of the edge of the stairs, her chair, or anything else. We have to keep a super close eye on her. I’ve been debating putting a gate at the top of the stairs (we have one at the bottom), but for now she’s never on her own upstairs so it isn’t a problem. We’ll see!

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EATING: We’re holding steady at five bottles/boobs per day. She’s getting four ounce bottles when I’m not around, and nursing for around 15-20 minutes with me. As for food, she’s getting as much as she wants and at this point we’re letting her eat most table foods. Her favorites are meatballs, lasagna, rice, and scrambled eggs. But really she likes anything that she can eat with her hands!

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DAYCARE: Daycare is still going great. She has her little crew of babies her age and its so cute when they all sit around and play together. Love this age when they can sit there and play before are mobile enough to steal each others toys.

OTHER RANDOM PHOTOS: 

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these little coins are her favorite thing ever

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airplane with daddy and Bella

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peering over the edge…a favorite!

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Love this little girl so much!

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Bella: 3 Years Old

Bella 3 YearsIt’s been almost a month since my first baby girl turned three years old.

I’ve thought about writing this post so many times, but each time I get overwhelmed with the idea and end up not writing. So today I’m going to try jotting my thoughts down.

It is hard to believe that it has been three years since Bella burst into the world (errr…was yanked out into the world). She is our miracle baby – the rainbow after our first miscarriage, and after the weeks and weeks of fear as I laid on bedrest with an impossibly short cervix.

But now that she has spent three years making our lives better (and noisier), I don’t even remember what life was like without her.

Over her past year of life, we have seen SO. MUCH. DEVELOPMENT. It is crazy. I thought the leap from a one year old to a two year old was something, but this leap from 2 to 3 is even better. Now that she can fully communicate it is almost like she is a little person.

The one thing that really, really gets me is her memory. I swear she has an adult memory now. She is constantly bringing things up that were only mentioned in passing months ago. It astonishes me every single time. While there are still occasional tantrums, we can (usually) get her to talk us through them now. Yes, she still will sometimes throw herself on the floor and start crying, but at least now after a minute or two she’ll actually tell us why she is mad.

The girl loves being a big sister. She loves holding Brynn, “helping” to change her diaper, feeding her, and pretty much anything related to being near her little sister. She loves sharing her old toys, and in the car when my comically bad car mirror falls out of position, she’ll excitedly answer my “is Brynn asleep or awake?” questions.

At school, she is the queen bee. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because of her short hair she looks much younger than she is, or because she is one of the only kids in her class that has been there since she was 3 months old, but I constantly have parents coming up to me and telling me that their child always talks about Bella, or loves Bella, or something of that sort. Even parents of kids that aren’t in her class! In the past few weeks, she wants to walk herself into her class, and I don’t object. She has gone from being extremely timid on the big kid playground, to biking all over it on “the blue bike” each day. Such a difference from when she first changed playgrounds with her new class in May.

She has handled all of the crazy transitions that we’ve thrown at her this year with ease. Just this year she has moved from a crib to a big girl bed, been given a sibling, and mastered the potty (during the day). While bedtime has certainly grown more challenging since she gained the ability to get herself out of bed and tell us “I don’t wanna go night night,” she seems to be doing just fine with the change. We followed the 3 day method for potty training back in September, and while it took her closer to a week while we banged our heads against the wall, she eventually got it. Minus one short regression in October, she has mainly been accident-free and we all couldn’t be happier.

In the past 2 months or so, she has started to really resist naps. I think it is more testing her free will than not being tired, but some days it just seems easier to let her stay up than to really fight her on it. Besides, if she is sleeping in until 8:30, it seems hard to force her to go to sleep, even at 1:30.

Bella still wants to eat all of the time and can now get her own food out of the refrigerator. Thankfully she is usually helping herself to an apple or a container of cottage cheese, but if the girl is near the kitchen she wants to eat! She is becoming a little pickier now with dinner. We used to just feed her whatever we were eating, but now she’ll do things like pick the cauliflower out of her cauliflower pasta. She’d eat any kind of fruit anywhere, anyhow, and has also developed a sweet tooth whenever she is given the opportunity. Thankfully we don’t keep cookies or cake in the house, but if she sees them at a party or at school, she is begging to have some.

She is definitely still a daddy’s girl. Daddy puts her to bed on most nights while I’m working on getting Brynn to sleep. She wants to read “5 books” every night, and is currently favoring showers over baths.

We’ve seen more of an interest in drawing this year, with a vast improvement there as well. Amazing to watch the art go from scribbling indiscriminately to actually attempting to make shapes. I can’t wait to continue to watch this develop. We’ve also introduced scissors recently and are working on that skill.

Her physical development has really come along as well. Bella was late to crawl and late to walk, but it seems like she has finally caught up with her peers. We were so proud the day that we first saw her ride one of the big kid bikes at school (with training wheels). As a baby, she didn’t have the interest in climbing that many of her friends had, but she is recently wanting to climb on everything. Better late than never I guess!

I love this little girl’s smile and laugh so much. She definitely has some of her mommy’s stubbornness, but I love watching her little brain work. She certainly loves to push us in the ways that most two-three year old’s do, and its hard to both marvel at how wonderful it is that she is growing up, and also how sad. When I look at pictures from her 2nd birthday to her 3rd birthday, it almost seems like she has gone from a baby to a kid in such a short timeframe. We love you so much sweet Bella boo. May you keep making us smile and laugh for many, many more years to come.

February 2015

February 2015

March 2015

March 2015

April 2015

April 2015

May 2015

May 2015

June 2015

June 2015

July 2015

July 2015

August 2015

August 2015

September 2015

September 2015

October 2015

October 2015

November 2015

November 2015

December 2015

December 2015

Her third birthday

Her third birthday

Brynn: 8 months old

A day late over here, but Brynn is 8 months old!

8 months

Our little peanut is growing up so fast! Here are a few updates on her last month of life.

EATING: At Brynn’s last doctor’s appointment, her pediatrician said that we need to keep trying to get her to gain weight. So we’ve been trying to up her solid intake as much as we can! She is nursing or getting a pumped bottle 5 times a day right now, unless she wakes at night and then she gets fed then too. We’re then trying to do 3 purees a day on top of that. The purees are mostly a rotation of oatmeal, peas, sweet potato, butternut squash, and avocado. Some of those have to be mixed with either applesauce or pear puree (girl has a sweet tooth!). She’s starting to do better about eating finger foods, but not at the point where we can rely on them for their calories. So the finger foods are really more of an added bonus! Just the other day, daycare started adding in a few finger foods from the school menu, so hopefully we’ll be able to get some more variety in her diet soon. Her very favorite finger food is her puffs. We put a container in her Christmas stocking and she has been enjoying them while we eat every night!

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trying some baby led weaning

trying some baby led weaning

Feeding Brynn a bottle is exhausting

Feeding Brynn a bottle is exhausting

SLEEP: She woke up with a cold on New Year’s Eve at 11:50 p.m., and has spent all but a week of this month with a cold. As soon as the first one ended, she spent a few days healthy and then came down with another. For the most part, her sleep wasn’t severely effected by the colds – maybe waking 1-2 times per night. Last night, she slept a solid 12 hours straight until I woke her up, which made for a super happy mama! As for naps, at home she is generally just taking one 2-3 hour nap per day.

happy when she wakes up!

happy when she wakes up!

GROSS MOTOR: Brynn started army crawling two weeks ago! She doesn’t go very far, but she is typically motivated to get to anything she can stick in her mouth. She still isn’t getting up on her knees, so we are probably a ways away from real crawling, but this development came pretty fast. She’s a great sitter and starting to walk herself forward with her hands to try and get things out of her reach.

DAYCARE: She’s still happy at daycare and amazingly, she is the second oldest in her class now on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the oldest on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her class is so young! I’m still going at lunch time to nurse her and I love the break in my work day. Her teachers are super wonderful. We are at the same daycare but she has different teachers than Bella had (the lead teacher was Bella’s teacher in her 12-18 month class). She’s not napping much at school though – today she only napped for 35 minutes!

TEETH: Still just the two bottom teeth, but they are fully through now.

FAVORITES: Puffs. Anything mixed with applesauce. Sticking everything in her mouth. Being held. Watching everything her sister does.

 

her favorite sight!

her favorite sight!

And a few more photos from the past month.

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Love this little peanut and how much joy she has brought to our lives.