Thursday, December 29, 2016

Isabelle: 16 Months!

Dear Abelle,

Abelle.  That's what you call yourself.  If anyone asks what your name is, you immediately respond with, "Abelle".  And you point to pictures of any babies and say, "Abelle".  So the name has stuck and now it joins the ranks of your most widely used nicknames.

You are getting more and more verbal every day and you are even speaking in small sentences!  The sentence that comes to mind is, "I want a snack!"  You are fixated on food.  I seriously think you would eat all day every day if we let you!  But you are getting so picky and don't really like anything healthy.  Especially fruits and vegetables.  I can't think of a single veggie that you'll eat, and now you are boycotting fruit too.  You won't eat bananas, grapes, or pears, which were our go-to fruit choices for you.  You love yogurt, anything sweet, and Rice Krispees.

But back to your vocabulary.  You are saying so much more now, and you you're becoming very polite.  You say, "Thank You!" when someone gives you something, which is so darn cute.  Whenever I hear your little voice say ,"Thank you", it makes me smile.

You have also started being able to run (in that cute, wobbly toddler kind of way).  You'll take off and then laugh and say, "I'm runnin'!"  Or you'll call us to follow you and say, "Come on!"  You've really taken a liking to Daisy lately and you get a kick out of it when she follows you around.  You'll say, "Daisy, come on!" and wave your little hand for her to follow you.  But you've also learned very quickly how to say, "Daisy! Stop!"  like the rest of us do 😉.

What else has been going on during your 16th month?  Tina took some family photos for our Christmas card, and I wanted so desperately to get a good one of you alone to frame (since, being the third child, we do not have ONE SINGLE framed photo of you 😲)  Look at this sweet face...

You were all ready for the photo shoot and full of smiles.  The weather was beautiful and it wasn't cold.  All of the stars were aligning.  Then the photo shoot began.... and your smiles disappeared.  You smiled for the very first family photo (thank goodness.  Christmas card: check), but that was it.  You began whining and crying and we could not get a nice photo of you alone.  We couldn't do it.  Dang Izzy, you are a tough one!

We keep wondering when the switch will flip and you'll be a happy-go-lucky child.... because as a general rule, you are not the happiest of sorts.  Here are a few examples of an average day in our house...

Nothing is particularly wrong with you in either of these videos.  You are clean and fed and had plenty of sleep.  You just cry.  A lot.  And no one is quite sure why.  It is sweet how your sisters try to help you.  Notice Emma rushing in saying, "Belle-belle!"  She was so concerned.  Both of your sisters are awesome with you, and they can often help you feel better, but a lot of times nothing really helps.  Everyone always says colicky babies turn into happy children.  We're waiting Izzy 😉.

OK, onto more pleasant things, ha ha!  You got your first ponytail this month.  You've had one haircut already and your hair is still long enough for a ponytail.  And you love to wear a headband, which is great because if you didn't your hair would constantly be in your face.

Your first ponytail 😊

Big news this month is that we started cloth diapers for you!  Yup, only took almost a year and a half to get back into them with you, where as we started them by two months with your sisters.  Ha ha!  But we are finally getting settled into our new house and life has some semblance of order again.... so I might as well throw us back into a tailspin with cloth diapers, right? 😉

So proud!  And gosh I forgot how cute they are!  And YES to the money saving aspect!  Are they a pain?  Yes, they are.  But we got right back into the grove with no problem since this is our third child we're using them with.  I bought a few (maybe 3) new ones and got rid of a few that were really ratty.  I also bought a set of 8 from someone that only used them once before deciding it wasn't for them.  I got those for $60 total which is wayyyyyy less than I would pay for new ones. (New cloth diapers go for about $20 per diaper.)  So I scored there, and the diapers were in new condition, so I was happy.  I was able to get rid of a few others that had seen better days too.  So Izzy, your cloth diaper journey begins!

During this month you really started walking all the time.  Crawling is now a thing of the past.  You will be an expert in no time!

What else are you into this month?  Well, you love snapchat, and there is one particular filter that is your absolute favorite, and you ask to do "sna-cha" every day.  Here is your favorite:

Another thing you've been introduced to this month is the wonderful world of candy canes.  And you are OBSESSED!  You ask for a candy cane multiple times a day, every day:

It is so funny to see you look at the top of the fridge (where we keep the candy canes) and ask for a "Ca-cane".  I love it!  You are like a little elf!

You love your blankie and it's so interesting because you pull tiny fuzzies off of it and examine them.  You love fuzzies!  And on the floor under your crib, there is always a pile of fuzzies that you must pick off of your blanket and throw down there.  Pretty soon blanket will be pulled down to nothing. And you call your blanket "Blanket", unlike Addy who calls hers "Blankie".  But just like your sisters, the second you get a hold of your blanket, your thumb immediately goes in your mouth.

Your two favorite books are "Moon" and "Sunshine".  AKA "Goodnight Moon" and "You are My Sunshine".  Especially Sunshine.  I read that book to you at least 20 times a day.

You are very into baby dolls lately and you walk around saying "Rock a baby".  You love to sit in your little rocking chair and rock your babies, which is so cute.

You still have crazy bed head, which I love.  Coming in to see you and your crazy mop in the morning just makes me laugh:

The Christmas season is upon us and we went to Emma's preschool for breakfast with Santa.  You were less than impressed...

You are very attached to mama these days, and me putting you in the lap of a big, hairy guy was NOT OK with you 😉. You aren't a fan of Santa, but you are a fan of candy canes.  Check out the death grip you have on your candy cane in this picture.  

And of course, with the Christmas season comes all of the cute Christmas shirts that I've started to whip out...

And here you are on your 16 month birthday.  So darn cute in your teeny, tiny boots:

Oh Iz, you are turning into a little girl right before our eyes.  You are walking and talking.  Gone are the baby days.  You are a full fledged toddler now.  I think I tell you at least 10 times a day that you are so darn cute.  True story lady.  You are so cute, and you adore your mama and your dada.  And we are pretty fond of you too 😉

We love you Abelle!



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Isabelle: 15 Months!

Dear Squiz,

You have really learned how to walk this month!  What a big accomplishment! You started out the month with a few hesitant steps here and there and now you're practically running!  Here's a little look at the beginning compared to the end of the month:

I love how excited you always are to see Daddy 💗

And there are a few other fun "walking" videos that I'll throw in:

It was so funny watching you bounce around and squeal while you geared up for walking!  It took you awhile to get there (just like it did with your sisters), but you learned quickly and now you walk everywhere!  You are growing up so fast!

As always, you love to be outside, and I shudder for the long winter when it is too cold to play out there.

Halloween was this month, and our family dressed as the emotions from Inside Out.  All of them were so fitting (except maybe mine).  Daddy was Anger (ha ha!), I was Fear, you were Sadness, Addy was Disgust, and Emma was Joy.  Here we are in all our glory:

We went to the Baseshore Farms fall festival, and you were in your element because there was food and you were outside 😉

We spent lots of time watching your sisters' soccer games this month, and when the weather got chilly you retreated to the van with some headphones 😊

Here are some more pictures of your Halloween costume.  We had a blue wig for you, but you wouldn't keep it on, so we ended up spray painting your hair blue instead.

Another thing you've been loving is our trampoline.  It's a great size for you and you are so proud of yourself.  I love when you say, "I did it!"

And how about some more outdoor pictures for good measure.  Izzy + outside + food = fun!

You've been loving Adventure Park now that you're on the move!

Here are your 15 Month stats:

Height: 2' 7.5" (76th percentile)
Weight: 21 lbs 6 oz (49th percentile)
HC: 48.5 cm (98th percentile)
BMI: 15.15 kg/m2

Your appointment went well and you got a bunch of vaccines, which you handled like a champ.  It's heartbreaking for mama to watch you get those and then look at me with that terrified face while you silently scream... which turns into a very loud scream.  But we handled it and we're all good, right?
You are developing according to schedule and much more verbal than normal, which is right on par with your sisters.  Dr. Zimmerman was very impressed with your verbal skills.  You have started showing signs of being a picky eater, so we need to work on it, but I have a feeling it's going to be a long, frustrating couple of years with that, as it is with most kids.  You are able to feed yourself, and you don't want anyone else to help you, which gets awfully messy and makes mama cringe a little bit.  But I know that it's how you learn, so I just turn away and let you go to town 😉

You love playing with walking toys these days as you learn to maneuver around.  The basement is always a great place to be, and you have lots of fun with your sisters down there.  

There is nothing too new with sleep.  You either take one nap a day or two, depending on the day.  And you sleep from 7pm-7am at night.  No middle of the night waking, thank goodness.  We haven't had to deal with that in many, many months.  I have no idea how parents of children your age still get up with them at night.  I'd be a zombie.  So, though you give us our fair share of gray hairs, you sleep like a champ and we are so grateful for that!

We love you Squizzers!  Congrats on learning the big milestone of walking!

(Ha ha, the only pictures I have of you and I from this month are Halloween ones!)

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be 💗



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Isabelle: 14 Months!

Dear Squishy,

Big news this month is that you learned how to stand AND you took your first steps!  You learned to stand, and about two weeks later (a week shy of your 14 month birthday) you took those momentous first steps.  You are right on par with when your sisters learned to walk.  All of my girls were early on the verbal game and late on the physical game.  So interesting how you have all been basically the same in that way.

Here are some videos to document the big moments:


Right before you started to walk you were rocking the bear crawl.

Those were steps!

You are so proud of yourself that you can stand!

Your sisters get a kick out of it too.  They are your biggest cheerleaders!

In other news, you are talking up a storm and you've learned how to say "Emma".  We are still working on Addy.

You are still rocking some serious bedhead, although now that your hair is longer it doesn't stick up quite as much.  It's more like mophead now. 😉

You are a great sleeper at night, and you are still taking two naps a day for the most part.  We may transition you to one nap soon since both of your naps are pretty short.  Only an hour or so.  But at night you sleep for about 12 hours (7-7).  (Unless you are counting this video, in which you slept until after 9AM for two days in a row!)

Emma got a new car for her birthday (It feels funny saying that, ha ha!), and you love when she gives you a ride.  Actually, you just love being outside period.  Swinging, playing at the park, walking around.  Anything.  As long as it's outside.

This is a different car, at a birthday party.  Maybe you just love to cruise 😉

You like to be in charge of the tunes in Emma's car.  You get in and immediately get to work on starting some music. 😁

Love that little face trying to balance 😛

Emma also got some Barbies for her birthday and you have been loving playing with those.  And I am getting my first glimpses of you really playing with your sisters.

You have been able to go up the steps for a few weeks now, but now you can go down the steps correctly too.  You are understanding how to scoot down on your belly, which gives me a little bit of piece of mind.

As far as eating, you love your pouches, but other than that, you just eat what we eat.  But, the issue we have with you is choking.  Yup, you choke, like A LOT.  Nothing too scary, but it often seems like you don't really chew.  And then all of the sudden we look over and you have five pieces of food in your mouth that you are trying to swallow.  For the most part you just cough a little bit and then you're fine.  Gosh, I feel like mom of the year even writing this paragraph.  But I don't remember having this problem with your sisters.  Just you Iz 😉.  Always keeping us on our toes.  And oddly, apples are the one food that you cannot handle.  You end up choking and coughing so much that you throw up.  I believe it has happened three times while eating bits of apple.  So we are done with apples for now.  I'm hoping this whole choking issue is short lived, because even for two parents in the medical field, it's a little nerve-wracking.

I would say your favorite things this month are your sisters.  You just want to be where they are and be doing what they're doing. 💗

Happy 14 months squishy lady!  I love you and that little tongue of yours 😋

Here is the only picture I have of the two of us from this past month.  It makes me laugh.  We are at chocolate world, the sweetest place on earth, and you are letting me know that you are still displeased.  Your little personality is one for the books Squish. 😏 I love you to pieces.  Every grumpy bone in your body! 😉



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Emma: 4 Years Old!

Dear Emma Lou,

You have really shot up this past year, and are becoming quite the beautiful little girl.  You love to wear dresses and jewelry and fancy shoes.  You are definitely into fashion over function.  It's so fun to watch your personality grow over the years.

You remain our sweet girl and you have taken on the middle child role like a champ.  Squished in between two sisters with very strong personalities, you are the lover, the giver, the peacemaker.  I feel like I can see into the future with you always having these precious qualities.  You are always thinking about everyone else's feelings, and you have such a kind, compassionate nature.  Sharing seems to come easily to you.

And already, at the ripe old age of three, you became boy crazy.  Yup, you LOVE boys.  From the time (almost a year ago) when you asked a high school boy to sit on your lap at the cheese steak restaurant, to the time you were obsessing over the 8-year-old boy behind you on the plane home from Disney, to the time you followed our waiter around in Ocean City.... there is already a long line of boy crazy behaviors.  Not to mention that in your eyes you are already "married".... to two boys.  Collin and Evan.  Your "marraige" to Evan was fleeting, but Collin seems to be your true love.  And the feeling is mututal.  You two are so darn cute I can't stand it.

This was taken about 6 months ago at the end of the year preschool picnic.  You picked that headband because Collin's favorite color is blue.  It is wild the number of outfits you pick based on what you think Collin will like.  To think that a 3-year-old's mind can even think that way is wild to me.  But it's all so innocent and sweet.  Collin's parents and Daddy and I get a kick out of it.

You are sweet, and fun, and super cute,,,, but you have a really hard time focusing.  You are not the best listener on the planet, and most of the time I truly believe you don't even hear me.  That's why it's so hard to get mad at you for it.  I don't think you are ignoring us on purpose, but you are the prime example of a kid you have to tell multiple times to do something.  And then you'll look at me like you had no idea I've already asked you to do said thing 4 times.  I wonder how many times in a day I say, "Emma!  Focus!"  You just twinkle around in your own little happy Emma world.  Oblivious of what is going on around you.

We still affectionately call you "Monkey" because you are such a silly lady.  You love to make people laugh with your silly antics, and you have no problem being the center of attention.  We also call you a little elfkin, because you flit around like a little elf.

You love to sing, and we really want to get you involved in the church choir, but you aren't quite old enough yet.  You seriously just sing all day long.  You make up songs about anything and everything, and we often put you to bed at night and hear you singing for a long while until you fall asleep.

You are a bit of a night owl, but that could be attributed to the fact that you are still taking a 2-3 hour nap every day.  Because when we put you to bed at night, you flit around your room and/or sing for an awfully long time before you fall asleep.  But we put you to bed at 8 and you get up around 7-7:30 (as well as still taking a nap), so we'll take it.  And you never protest going to bed, you just hang out in there until you fall asleep.

There are times that you miss your nap, and on those days it becomes obvious to us that you still need one because you become very weepy.  That is the telltale sign that Emma is tired.  You cry at the drop of a hat.  And you are a fairly emotional child to begin with.  If we so much as raise our voices at you, you start crying.  But like I said, we are not often angry with you anyway, so you don't have to worry about it much ;)

You still sleep with that purple woven blanket, and I have a feeling that you will for many years to come.  You don't have a baby that you sleep with, just the blanket, and as soon as you get a hold of it your thumb immediately goes in your mouth.  Just like Addy, and now Izzy too.  I have three thumb suckers.  Your blanket is your comfort item and I am OK with that.  It's very sweet.

Your best friend is Emily (and we already talked about Collin).  Emily is such a cute little thing, just like you, and it's so fun watching you two play together.  You are in preschool at St. James and you love it.  You are able to participate in lunch and play this year, and you love staying and eating lunch with your friends.

You are quite a picky eater, and we have a tough time getting you to eat healthy things.  You don't like veggies, but you don't really like fruit either.  We force you to eat it, but it's tough.  You would live on PB & J and mac and cheese if we let you.  But you are growing well, and you've been very healthy, so we are so grateful for that.  You have gone through a big growth spurt lately and just shot up in the air.  Your 4T pants are getting kind of short on you, but there would be no way we could move you up to 5T because the pants would slide right off of your teeny, tiny bottom.

At your 4 year doctors appointment, everything went well except your willingness to focus, ha ha.  The PA was asking you lots of questions and you just stopped paying attention after awhile and started acting silly.  And that eye exam, phew!  I just wanted you to stand still and follow directions, but you had a hard time with that too.  The same thing happened with Addy at your age and we ended up at the eye doctor because of it.  Luckily we didn't need to go the same route with you.

You were so brave at your appointment, and you loved being examined:

Such a sweet moment when Addy jumped in to help you with your gown

My little elfkin :)

You got three shots and it tore my heart out to watch you sitting there so still, just silently crying.  You are such a good girl Emma, and we went for donuts afterward at Duck Donuts to celebrate.

Here are your 4-year-old stats:
Weight: 36 lbs (54th percentile)
Height: 40.5 inches (50th percentile)
BMI: 15.43 kg/m2
HR: 84
BP: 84/52

Here is a little side by side comparison of you at your party last year and this year:

3rd birthday party                                                     4th birthday party

Yup, you chose Monkey Joe's two years in a row.  It was so very fitting for you.  You had a great time
both years :)

While so many kids are afraid of Monkey Joe, you love him!

A look at all of your friends :)

Your gifts from Collin

Your gift from Emily

And here are some of my favorite pictures of you from your fourth year of life:


You were a monkey for Halloween, of course ;)












Emmy Lou, words cannot even describe how much joy you bring to our lives.  You are a silly, sweet, kind, compassionate, loving, caring little girl, and you are beautiful inside and out.  You love to sing and dance, you thrive on being the center of attention, and you bring smiles to everyone you meet. Emmers, you light up the world and I absolutely adore you!

Keep on singing baby girl, and do me a favor and never grow up!