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October 11, 2014

Arthur is 9 months old

Another eventful month for our growing boy! We visited the pediatrician last week, so here are the updated stats:
  • Height: 29.5 inches
  • Weight: 19 lbs 10 oz
  • Head circ: 18 inches
  • (Here's Elmer's 9 month post, for comparison)
He got his Hepatitis B vaccine and first flu shot, sported a Captain America bandage, and was ready to go home for lunch and a nap after that.

9 months old! 8Oct14

Since last month, Arthur has mastered crawling, and he is FAST! We have to pick the cat food dishes up off the floor if he's awake, because he goes straight for them if he sees them. He also loves to pull himself up to standing on anything and can balance with one hand. He cruises around the living room holding himself up on the furniture. He can't quite reach to go from the couch to the chair, but he's trying. He likes nothing better than walking around with us holding his hands - too bad we can't do that all the time!

New phone = new camera! 20Sept14

This month was a bit challenging for all of us, because Arthur was transitioning from needing to nurse at night to sleeping all night. We had a few rough weeks while we were all figuring out what we needed to do in order to sleep - Arthur was keeping everyone awake! We finally decided to stop responding at night, and there were a few nights where Arthur cried quite a bit and was pretty cranky with us for leaving him in his crib. But he's slept the past 5 nights in a row without waking up at all, so we're hopeful we're entering a new era of sleep, sweet sleep! And Arthur's great at napping during the day - he still takes a good 60-90 minute nap in the morning and 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon.

A Day in the Life: 21Sept14

Eating is becoming a lot  more fun, since Arthur is getting really good at trying new foods. He really wants to feed himself and often gets fussy if we're feeding him boring ol' cereal because he thinks he should be in charge of the spoon! This month we've expanded to eating bread with butter or jam, bananas (he's finally decided they're okay), cheese, pickled carrots, chicken salad, oatmeal with yogurt and applesauce, pancakes, waffles, pot pie, shepherd's pie, roasted vegetables (he LOVES roasted broccoli and carrots and that's the only way he'll accept potatoes), and squash. We're trying not to cringe as he smears food all over his face, but he loves eating with all of us!

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Blueberry waffles! Yum! 4Oct14

October is one of my favorite months, and the last couple of weeks have been just beautiful! It's so fun to start spending more time outside, especially now that Arthur can play and doesn't spend all his time trying to shove grass in his mouth!

Afternoon shenanigans

Afternoon shenanigans

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We have lots of fun activities planned over the next few weeks: going to the Arizona State Fair, the Desert Botanical Gardens Harvest Festival, and Halloween! It's nice to be able to do more things together as a family!

A Day in the Life: 21Sept14

September 11, 2014

Arthur is 8 months old!

It's been an eventful month for Arthur, he's been growing like crazy!

Oh, hi mama! 10Aug14

This month he:

  • has progressed from creeping to crawling almost all the time;
  • has cut 2 teeth (one is pretty well in, the other just broke the gums this past Tuesday) and I think there are more on the way;
  • pulls himself up to standing on anything he can grab (often Father's or Mama's legs);
  • chases Maggie relentlessly;
  • ditto chasing Elmer, who sometimes enjoys it and runs around giggling like crazy, but other times cries and says "Arthur no get you." Elmer is still learning his pronouns.
  • started eating baked goods, beans (mashed), cheerios, oatmeal, mashed peaches, mashed brussels sprouts, peanut butter, LOVED a beef stew made by Chris, and donuts;
  • graduated into the next size up for our cloth diapers, and is comfortably in 9-12 month onesies.
Arthur!

Arthur!

In mid-August we went camping. It was Arthur's 2nd time, and he really did pretty well. He and Elmer both LOVE the tent, and would probably be perfectly content to just roll around in there on our air mattress the entire time. We went up to Knoll Lake Campground up on the Mogollon Rim Road, which was just beautiful! However, we hit a great afternoon monsoon storm on our way to the campground. It was still raining as we set up camp, and we debated pulling stakes and heading back home, but the rain stopped shortly after we got everything set up so we were happy we stayed. The forest is just beautiful after a good rain! We just stayed for one night since we're still learning about camping with a toddler and infant, but we had a really nice time. It's definitely a learning process - Elmer needs to learn to sleep in his sleeping bag, we need to learn what's the best set up for Arthur in the tent, and Arthur - well, he needs to learn not to hog the bed! We're planning another one night trip later this month so we'll see how that goes.

Camping:Knoll Lake Campground Aug 15-16, 2014

Camping:Knoll Lake Campground Aug 15-16, 2014

Arthur loves being around Elmer so much! The two of them like to hang out in their room sometimes and just giggle and play with their toys. Naptime has gotten a little complicated this month, because now they'll keep each other awake the whole time if we try to put them in the room at the same time. We've found that putting Arthur down first and letting him fall asleep before bringing Elmer in improves the odds that napping will occur by 2:1. But these days, it's hard to take a picture of Arthur solo, because he's stuck to his brother's side like glue.

2 cool! 25Aug14

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Elmer & co-pilot Arthur

I love that my boys are enjoying one another! We definitely enjoy them both, even when one is teething and the other is...well....2.

Arthur's next doctor's appointment is next month, so we'll have updated stats for the 9 month post!

TGIF! 29Aug14


September 02, 2014

Bizarro Elmer

Our son is resident of Bizzaro World. Elmer has entered into a new stage of language development, where roughly 50% of the time he means exactly the opposite of what he says. Examples:

  • "Elmer not naked" - he is totally naked.
  • "Sauce not hot." - this is sriracha sauce.
  • "No juice." - he really does want juice.
This is especially fun (see, I can do it too!) since we've been working on potty training for the last several weeks. He wears underpants most of the time, and is pretty comfortable using the toilet when we put him on it. However, working with him on communicating his toilet necessities is complicated in Bizarro World:
  • "Elmer not pee." - usually means he needs to pee and is trying hold it, which is good. Best course of action is to place him on the toilet immediately.
  • "Elmer pee" - typically uttered as he is currently peeing. This is bad (unless he's on the toilet already).
  • "Elmer not poo." - could mean anything. He could be pooing at that moment. He might not need to poo at all.
  • "Elmer poo." - The deed is done. Best course is to go immediately to clean it up before he is a total mess.
My current strategy is if he volunteers any information about these bodily functions without being prompted, I immediately place him on the toilet no matter whether he said no or yes. If he answers "Elmer no pee" or "Elmer no poo" in response to a question, I try to give him the benefit of a doubt.

Bizarro Elmer is pretty fun most of the time, but I admit this phase is particularly challenging to work with in conjunction with potty training.

August 09, 2014

Arthur: months 6 and 7

This summer has been flying by so fast - Arthur turned 7 months old yesterday! He's grown so much over the past 2 months. Here are his stats from his 6 month appointment:

Height: 27.5 inches
Weight: 16 lbs 6 oz

(For those keeping track, he's 1/2 inch taller and nearly 1 pound heavier than Elmer was at 6 months).

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We started working on solid foods about a month ago and he's gotten really good already! He eats 3 meals a day with us at the table and still has a few bottle/nursing sessions for snacks and before bed. So far he likes rice cereal and multigrain cereal, yogurt, applesauce, sweet potatoes, carrots and avocados. He wasn't sure about bananas at first, but they're finally growing on him. He wants to feed himself so badly and gets frustrated when he can't get his hands to cooperate. Just like his brother before him, we've discovered that a dill pickle spear is the perfect gnawing food to keep him occupied while we finish getting dinner ready! He'll gnaw all the pulp and seeds off, happy as a clam!

Eating solid foods!

A Tale of Two Pickles: Pickle 2-gnaw gnaw gnaw (better than a teething biscuit!)

In other news, Arthur is on the move! He started chasing Maggie around the living room a little over a week ago, and now no place is safe! He's not crawling exactly, but he can pull himself all over the house. He likes to get up on his hands and knees, and even up on all fours, but he hasn't figured out how to coordinate everything just yet. It won't be long though!

Morning workout: chasing Maggie! The Cap'n is so patient!

He is very good at entertaining himself - we can leave him on the floor with some toys, and he'll happily grab them, inspect them, chew and drool. He especially likes any toy that Elmer is playing with. He loves to watch Elmer and always likes to be near his big brother.
Arthur held office hours for small group consultations.

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Arthur also started clapping his hands together last weekend. He loves to clap and he loves the attention he gets when we get excited about it!

This week we said goodbye to the baby bathtub and starting taking regular baths. Needless to day, Elmer wanted to join in the fun, so now they take baths together!

After some stupid crap at work, it's nice to come home to these guys!

Arthur's also getting much better at sleeping at night. Now he only wakes up once or twice. We are all sleeping a lot better because of it!

Sooo sleepy! 5Aug14

July 21, 2014

Elmer at 30 months

Today, Elmer is 2 1/2 years old! He is growing into such a big boy, it's amazing to see how much he's changed in just the past 6 months.

He's getting much more independent. He can eat by himself pretty well, though I admit I get impatient and still shovel food into his mouth if he's taking too much time. He can climb into his booster seat by himself, and snap the straps. He's been eating at the table lately and seems to really like that. He can climb into the bathtub by himself, and he's starting to insist on fastening his own clothes, though he still needs a lot of help with that.
Fun with Shampoo 9Jul14

We've started pushing him to use the toilet a lot more. We picked out some real underwear a week ago and he does pretty well with it as long as we're just home. Every time he uses the toilet, he gets to pick a mystery treat - we have them in plastic Easter eggs in a basket. Each egg has some mint M&Ms and a sticker or a small toy, like an alphabet magnet, a bouncy ball, a balloon. He gets pretty excited to pick out an egg and announces that it "Probly has 3 M Ms in't."

A boy and his dump truck. 27/28Jun14

His vocabulary grows enormously all the time, and he's getting a lot better at communicating more complex ideas. I love coming home from work and getting him to tell me about his day - it's always interesting to hear what he wants to share. Sometimes I need some interpretation from Father, especially if they did something out of the ordinary. We still have a hard time with pronouns - Elmer refers to himself in the third person all the time. I never realized how difficult a concept pronouns are - how do you correct that? Here's a typical exchange:
Elmer: "Elmer Arthur sit with Mama. Arthur no touch you."
Me: "Yes, you and Arthur are sitting with me. You should say 'I don't want Arthur to touch me.'"
Elmer: "Arthur no touch me."
It's all so confusing!
Elmer requested this photo

Elmer loves to sing, and have us sing with him. Some of his favorite songs include "Three Blind Mice," "Puff the Magic Dragon," "Bibbity Bobbity Boo," and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." We sing when we eat, we sing in the bath, and he always wants one of us to sing before nap and bed. Sometimes he sings to himself.

He also likes to quote from books or poems. Certain phrases will set him off - for example, if you say "Boom!" he'll say "Mr. Brown is a wonder!" from Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You? If you don't know where it's coming from, it can be pretty strange to have a conversation. Luckily, we nearly have all of his books memorized because all this boy wants to do is read! It's hands down his favorite activity, and he would probably sit and read all day if we would do it with him. His favorite book of all time is Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever, which he calls "The Clock Book." He also loves lots of Dr. Seuss books, The Little Engine Who Could, Beatrix Potter's stories, and too many other books to list.
Nice outside

Of course we have some struggles with discipline and the usual toddler drama, but Elmer is very well behaved in general. It's hard to be strict when he knows he's misbehaved, looks up at you with those big eyes and says "Forry!"
Morning in the Sandbox

One of my favorite developments is his displays of affection. He'll come over and lean into my legs or want to hold my hand or cuddle in the chair with a book. I love giving "Big hug, little hug, kiss" when I'm leaving for work, and giving kisses good night. Elmer is such a sweet little boy - we love him so much!
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Flashback: Tarl and Charlee's wedding

I have about 3 posts to write, but I got distracted tonight because I just got a bunch of pictures from my brother's wedding back in January. This was Arthur's first public event - on January 17, he was just 9 days old! Tarl and Charlee had a lovely outdoor wedding, and Elmer was photobombing everywhere! Luckily, he accidentally matched the wedding party, so it all worked out. Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Mr. & Mrs. Tarl Maughan

Meeting her newest Grandson

Rawk on!

Our family!

Tarl & Charlee's wedding

Tarl & Charlee's wedding

Tarl & Charlee's wedding

I love how giddily happy they both look! What a great wedding!

June 29, 2014

Arthur's 5 months!

I know he'll be 6 months in just a couple of weeks, but I want to make sure I keep up with each month! Arthur is growing so fast! Since my last update, here are all the cool things he's doing:

  • Rolls back to front, front to back, and all around - I never know where he'll be in the crib each morning.
  • Getting better at sitting by himself - he can balance all on his own for a few seconds, and sit really well with just a little support.
  • He can stand leaning against the couch or holding onto our hands!
  • He's started eating a little solid food - he'll take a few spoonfuls of cereal and is really interested in trying more.
  • He's so much more interested in grabbing things! You can put a toy in front of him and he will focus on it, grab it, inspect it closely, then cram it in his mouth. He likes reaching for anything he can grab!
Morning exercises! 17June14


He just loves playing with Elmer! He wants to be wherever his big brother is and no one can make him smile like Elmer can!
Ready for summer! #Arthur #Elmer 3June14

He has the best giggle! Check out this little video!
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He's also starting to settle into our preferred nap times - he takes two short naps in the morning, but his afternoon nap is developing quite nicely where he'll nap at the same time as Elmer. Mama and Father both like having a good chunk of quiet time in the afternoon - we need a nap too! He's also getting much better at sleeping at night - he typically only wakes up once or twice during the night.

Arthur 4June14

He's really a talker, too - I don't remember Elmer being this noisy! He has lots of things to say and makes sure that the whole house can hear him!

2014-05-29 06.34.29

6 months, here we come!
Arthur being as cute as can be. I love Saturdays!



Cabin Trip!

This year, for our anniversary, we wanted to spend a weekend with just the four of us up in our favorite summer getaway - Earl Park Lake. We rented the same cabin we stayed in last summer, so we knew just what to expect, and that was really nice!
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Elmer and Arthur both did so well at the cabin! Elmer was big enough to go up and down the ladder to the loft like a little monkey! He did slip once, which scared him a little bit, but Mama's involuntary shriek scared him a lot. He wasn't hurt at all, but he was a bit hesitant to go up the ladder on his own after that. I need to work on controlling those reactions!

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We went on some nice walks around the area and down by the lake, and even hiked all the way around once. Elmer made it almost half-way around by himself, and then we put him in the carrier on Chris's back. I had Arthur in a carrier as well - he napped most of the hike, but woke up when we took a little break.
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Chris did a little fishing, we all took a few naps, and in general just enjoyed the lake. The temperature was just perfect.
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We went up a little earlier in the year than we have in the past, which meant that it was too early for rain. Next year, we'll have to wait until a little later in the summer so we can have some monsoons!

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Full set of pictures here.