Monday, June 16, 2014

Nora - 4.5 Years Old

Ok, so we are now about two months from Nora turning five. I think I should post her 4.5 Year Update! :)

Nora is (over) four and a half! I just can't believe it. I just downloaded an app called "Timehop" and it is forever telling me what Nora was doing a year, or two years, or three, or four years ago! It's been making me both sad that she is just getting so big so fast, and happy that she has grown so beautifully!

Last year Nora decided she wanted a short haircut, so she got one! It suits her so well. It's not much longer than this right now - she just loves having short hair! It's been much better for me personally in the morning since styling her hair takes wayyyyy less time, and there are definitely fewer tangles!

Last year Nora also took a dance class. Although she wasn't too sure about it at first, she ended up really liking it. Mommy didn't like the cost, so we are not sure if she will do it again. ;) But she sure was the cutest little snowflake!

This past winter Nora enjoyed EVERY. SNOW. DAY. - to it's fullest! She went sledding, built "snowmen", and ended every snow playtime with ... hot chocolate? NOPE! Nora doesn't like chocolate, so we made snow cones! Her favorites were the ones made with grape Kool-Aid. ;)

This year has been a good one so far for little Nora! Well, mostly. She started it off by getting tubes in her ears, which was really good for her since she couldn't hear very well. It shocked me when we got home and she heard our heater kick on and said "What's that?!" That comment really clarified how poorly she was hearing before her surgery!

The good thing about Nora's surgery is that she bounced back quickly . . . and so mommy and daddy took her bowling for the first time! She had such a great time!

Nora learned how to roller skate really well this past winter/spring. This absolutely thrilled her entire family, since roller skating is something her mommy, her Mimi, AND her Great-Grandpa Fred did a lot of. She took to it really well, and impressed a lot of people - including me! Roller skating got us through the long winter months this year.

She is still really into art, and her skills are getting impressive! Making art is now a part of her daily life. Above are just a few of my favorite drawings that she has created.

At this age, Nora is silly, sweet, and so much fun to be around. She's so independent that it's easy to forget she's only four! But she will always give you a hug when you are down, a smile when you ask for it, and it will ALWAYS improve your mood! She's focused, playful, always trying to impress or to please. She's a great listener and problem-solver. Socially she may be more friendly and outgoing than both of her parents combined! She's a wonderful child with a great heart and attitude. Who's about to be FIVE! Yikes! ;)

Until next time . . .

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Grayson - 18 months (er, 19 months!)

Whoops! I have been a lil' absent from the blog lately. Sorry about that.

(Photo, and end photos, by Heidi Clark Photography.)

Grayson is now 19 months old! We went away to Nebraska this past spring and Grayson came back a CHANGED. DUDE. He said five new words on that trip, and transformed into what can only be described as "personality PLUS". He started to "ham it up" a little more, communicate a little more, and just basically do everything MORE. It was wonderful to watch him grow so much in such a short time.

Size-wise he's still big for his age, but his growth has finally slowed down a bit! At his 18-month check-up he weighed in at 27 lbs., 11 ounces, and is 32.75 inches tall. He's wearing 24-month clothes, and he's actually been in them for awhile now without growing right out of them! ;) He's got 7 teeth, and his molars are also inching in verrrrrry slowly. I have started cutting his hair and he has done really well for me, so we will likely continue to do that.

He still eats really well, although he's much pickier than he's ever been! He loves broccoli, eggs, applesauce, and PB&J. His favorite treat is sweet tea, and he's a little drink theif! He always steals my tea or my mom's tea (or any cup other than his, really.) He will come up to you very sweetly and shyly, smile, and say "Cup?" It's so darn cute, you HAVE to give in. ;) He also has recently discovered how much he loves ice cream. I asked him today if he wanted some ice cream and I THINK he said "OH BOY! CREAM!" And then he went to his booster seat at the table and cried until I scooped him some! :)

Gray LOVES to play outside. He will drive around in his Cozy Coupe, try to blow (eat) bubbles, or just runnnnnnnnnnn up and down the sidewalk. He loves watching cars that go by, and playing in the road. He also loves the sandbox, and has recently learned to climb to the top of the slide! We have played in the baby pool a few times as well too. BUT - by far, Gray's favorite outdoor activity is . . . jumping in mud puddles after it rains! He walks by his boots sometimes, just to touch them and say "STOMP!" He. Just. LOVES. IT!! He and his sister both. ;) You can almost always find us out in the road getting wet and filthy after a good rain.

Indoor play for Grayson consists mostly of him driving cars, trucks, tractors, and trains on our table bench seat. The other day I wrote this about his "collection":
Each day he goes and finds them all, lines them up on the bench - where he can drive them at his eye-level. Eventually I put them away. Not long after I always hear the sound of feet thumping up and down my hallway as he races back to his room to dig them out and bring them back to his spot again. We go back and forth. Tonight this collection (of cars) reminds me of just who Grayson is at this age: smart, focused, determined, stubborn, and sweet. ... I'm leaving them here.

He also loves books! When it gets quiet around here, I know it's probably because he's just sitting and looking at books. His current favorite is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" - this version has different animal sounds he can make. And I love to watch him do it! :) Nora is currently learning to read so he sometimes will let her read to him.

Gray is really shy, but he has recently started talking a lot. He can say lots of animal sounds, and says words like: shoes, down, up, bye bye, hey, roar, duck, ball, cup, look, car, truck, etc. He recently learned to sing "Let It Go", which is about the cutest thing EVER! And he LOVES LETTERS. We started watching "Super Why!" so he could learn his letters, and he took to it right away. He knows G, O, H, and S, and loves to guess at the others. He likes to watch Super Why, but also likes Paw Patrol and Thomas the Train. His communication has just improved a LOT lately. He actually communicated to me that he wanted to go "out" the other other day, by saying it and pointing outside, so that was really exciting. Also, last month he learned to say and sign "please", which I was ECSTATIC about! We worked hard on that one.

To finish up this long post, here are our most recent family photos. They turned out great! I will update more with what's new with us tomorrow (I hope!)

Until next time! . . .

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Grayson - 15 months!


Gray is now 15 months old. At his last doctor appointment he weighed in at 27.7 pounds, and is 32.25 inches long. He's JUST growing out of 18 month clothes as I type this. Naturally - because we only have 5 weeks or so until spring. ;) Also, he has really wide feet and there aren't a whole lot of shoes that fit him. He is really sweet and charming most of the time, unless you tell him no or try to get him to change activities. He has been cranky a lot over the past few months because he was teething. He's definitely the youngest child, and he acts like it! ;)

He has three blankets that I used to use to swaddle him with - two are pictured in these photos. I call them "The Three Musketeers" and he is VERY attached to them. This past month Gray cut his first four teeth, and carried these blankies around a LOT for comfort. He loves to just bury his face in them! He's still sleeping very well, and gave up his second nap in January when he was 14 months. This is earlier than Nora gave it up, if I recall. His transition to giving up the nap lasted three days. Seriously. This kid is a terrific sleeper! Even teething didn't mess up his sleep hardly at all. He also has been sleeping in a toddler bed at Nana and Mimi's houses, although he still sleeps in a crib at home.

His talking is progressing nicely for his age - he's not talking as much as Nora did at this age, but he is making strides. He can say "all done", "oh nooooo", and "yay" very clearly. Right now we are working on animal sounds - which he isn't too interested in, but he does like to "roar" like a dinosaur. ;) He loves to help sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" with mom. Sometimes when he and Nora are driving me nuts, I joke with them that I am going to "throw them out the window". When I say that, Nora has always said "NOOOO!", and now she has Gray saying it! If I say "Momma's gonna throw you out the window!", Gray says "No!", and then I say "OK then!" ;) Gray also is fake-sneezing all the time! Nora used to do that to make him laugh, and now he will do it too and just crack up. He can answer yes and no questions, but is really not interested in trying to copy speech all that often.

Eating he is doing well! He is kind of picky about some things, but he will try almost anything. Sometimes he will still eat broccoli, but sometimes he won't touch it. He LOVES applesauce and smoothies! Each time I make him a smoothie it takes longer for me to make it than for him to drink it. He almost always eats as much or more than his older sister.

He loves his family, and does have some stranger anxiety. When I drop him off at church he cries and cries, however the other day I took him to the child care at the gym and he did just fine. So hopefully he grows out of that. He also just loves his big sister so much! He wants to do whatever she is doing. It's adorable watching them together.

So, that's Gray at this age! What a wonderful child.

Until next time . . .