Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nora's Three and a Half!

Well, I thought I would update you all on how Nora is doing!! Now that she's older, updating every 6 months seemed like a good idea 6 months ago. Then I realized today what all I have to say about her and OI!! I should have updated sooner I think. ;)

Nora remains a beautiful, smart little girl. She is truly a bright light on a dark day. He smile and giggles are contagious. At three-and-a-half she talks well, sings, acts goofy, can write her name and others' names, can dance, loves school, loves trains and dolls, loves art, and is perfectly content not ever wearing a dress - unless she gets a "beautiful" one that she can twirl in. ;) She totally rocks!

Not long after my last update, Nora read her first book! She and I had been working hard on "Hooked on Phonics", and she learned the "-at" word family and some sight words. We are not working on HOP currently since Gray came along, but we still do some sight words here and there, and workbook pages out of a workbook. She is also going to Pre-K, and she LOVES it! We love it too. :) Her teacher is great, and Nora tells us daily about her friends at school. We are very happy with her progress.

This is Nora at her first movie in a theater, Finding Nemo 3D. She enjoyed the movie until the popcorn was gone. ;) Her favorite movie right now is "The Lorax", and she also likes to watch Thomas the Train, Veggie Tales, and Dora movies. A few weeks ago she was sick and she watched "Dora's Royal Adventure" twice a day, every day. ;)

One neat thing about Nora lately is that she is really into Legos. This is a photo of her playing with her daddy's old Legos in our basement. She also has a lot of her own Lego City sets, and also some "Duplo" type blocks that she plays with often. Nora's teacher had told us that Nora plays often in block area at school, and that she could see Nora growing up to be a little "engineer". We can see it too!

Nora loves to draw, write, and color. LOVES IT! She's so creative with her drawings, and loves to use stickers to enhance them. She draws and colors so much everyday that the clips on our fridge are OVER FULL with her art! It's just so wonderful to have her randomly produce a picture of daddy or a little piece of paper with "mom" on it. ;) Her drawings and writings are so unique and creative, just like her. ;)

Now that Gray is here, Nora and mommy will go on little "outings" together every so often. Sometimes it's just to the grocery store, but sometimes it's dinner and pedicures. It feels like just yesterday that we did this stuff all the time, but with Grayson here and Nora in school we have to make time for special dates like this now! The second photo is us at a Pre-K event at the library, on a another mommy-daughter "outing". I am thankful that her Pre-K does things like this so that we have the opportunity to do things like this together.

Nora has become a slight drama-queen as she has gotten older. When she gets sick, this is especially true! These photos are of her "waiting for the fro-ups" and acting goofy while recovering from RSV. She also truly believes that going to the doctor makes you feel better instantly. ;) When Grayson was in the hospital, Nora threw up in the backseat of Nana's car, so now every time she gets sick she tells people about that. Drama!

Like any three year old, Nora never misses a chance to show-off for mom and dad. These are all photos that Nora insisted I take - one of her in her "new apple vest", one of her dressed as a butterfly, and one of her with her trains. She also likes it when I take videos of her and then play them back for her. I got some PRECIOUS videos of her not too long ago, and they still make me laugh no matter how many times I watch them! For one she said: "Mom, I just want one of me opening and closing my mouth." And that's exactly what she did in the video! - Just stood there, opening and closing her mouth!! It was so funny and cute, just like her.

This year we got a lot of snow, and Nora got to go sledding for the first time with her daddy. We are fortunate that we live right next to one of the best sledding places ever - and Nora had so much fun! At the very end she slid into a bush and got a little thorn in her hand, but up until then, daddy says "she had a great time!" She and daddy also like to build snowmen together outside - well, they are really more like snow "mounds" with eyes, nose, mouths, and hats. ;)

Nora continues to be a very kind and caring big sister. She loves to talk to Gray, "read" him books, bounce him in his bouncer, put his diapers away in the diaper pail, and dress him up! I think when he gets older he won't appreciate that last part, but right now he just thinks she's the coolest thing EVER. He desperately wants to go chasing after her already, so I think I will have my hands full with them very soon! ;)

And - that's Nora in a (very BIG) nutshell! She is just such a blessing. She's independent, strong-willed (OK, stubborn!), sweet, and a very good friend. We love her and are very proud of our little girl!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Very Thomas (and Percy!) Valentine's Day

Nora got her ears pierced right before Christmas. She did very well considering it probably hurt a LOT! So for Valentine's Day I had told her she could have new earrings. When I asked he what kind she wanted, her response was:

"I want a Thomas the train for this ear and a Percy for this ear, because they're best friends!"

While that was a totally cute response, I wasn't stoked about trying to locate these items. The best I could find was someone on EBay was selling enameled images of both trains out of Hong Kong. Thomas the Train items aren't notoriously very feminine to begin with. (Side Note: I want to write to the company about this. Anyone have a suggestion for how to word the letter? I noticed that recently a little girl got Easy Bake Oven to make a more gender-friendly toy, why not Thomas the Train?)

Anyway, the idea was to make these earrings using earring backs, super glue, and printable Shrinky Dinks paper. It took awhile, but I was eventually able to come up with these:

They turned out a little big for Nora's little ears, but I think they will work out just fine. I am hoping they are durable enough!! I am waiting a few more weeks before I let her wear them because I want to be sure the glue I used won't irritate her hopefully-healed-up little ears in any way.

Her response was a huge smile, with eyes lit up with excitement. It took me a few days to create these earrings, but with that reaction they were TOTALLY WORTH the effort. :)

Until next time . . .

Friday, February 1, 2013

Grayson's Three Month Update

Well, baby Gray had a pretty great month! Now he's three months old!

Grayson's been amazing this month. He's shown us more of his personality: that he's this happy, smiley kid who loves to be cuddled, but can be independent and has a temper too. He plays by himself on the floor and watches Nora (and the TV) very carefully and is just smiling and so alert the whole time. He also splashes by kicking both his legs when he is in the bath tub. He LOVES voices and faces, and will talk to you in happy baby talk. He's a great eater and recently became an EXCELLENT sleeper who sleeps between 10-11 hours every night straight through! (Sometimes he wakes up for a half hour or so, but he no longer requires me to nurse him before he goes back to sleep, so YEAH!) He takes three naps per day now, and practically none of them in his crib although he always sleeps in there at night. ;) He continues to (demand to) eat well and is GROWING A LOT. He got sick this week so I had to take him to the doctor and he's already over 15 pounds! Whoa baby!

Physically, Gray dominates. He was the size and strength of at least a 4 month old at only two months, and is currently wearing some 6-month size clothes. He ROLLED OVER from front to back at ten weeks old! I kid you not - it shocked the heck out of us. He can roll from side to side a little, and bear weight on his legs for a LONG time. He also continues to mostly enjoy tummy time and he just holds his head right up for most of it. He's so alert and strong for his age. When he got his two month shots, the nurse was so surprised at how strong he is and how hard it was to hold his legs. He's also grasping at toys now and he LOVES to look in mirrors at himself. He also loves to chew on his hands a lot - in fact, he MAY turn out to be a thumb-sucker. (I am trying to avoid that by continuously giving him a binky, but he likes what he likes and in the middle of the night, well . . . )
Playtime with Gray and Nora has gotten much more interesting. Grayson LOVES playing with his taggie blanket, and Nora loves getting it for him! He rotates between his baby gym, his mirror, his baby bouncer, and his tummy time mat. Also sometimes I will carry him around for a bit so he can just look at things, or sit with him on the floor so that he can sit up and chew on my hands, or pull himself up to standing. (!!!) He loves to stiffen his body all up, the stinker. ;) He thinks if you are holding him that he HAS to be standing, which shocks almost everyone but Cory and I. Right before I wrote this entry I was holding his hands while he stood up, and - I kid you not!! - Gray did full SQUATS and then stood right back up!! All while I held his hands to steady him only. He is constantly doing things like that - stuff that he really just should not be able to do yet. I mean, my three-month-old -- trying to jump?? WHAT??!! It's just crazy!
Grayson and Nora were both sick with RSV this month. Nora got a bad cough and slept more, while Grayson didn't get as bad of a cough and slept restlessly. But, in true Whitaker-kid fashion they were both still able to smile for the camera:
They are both troopers, to be sure. I swear they really were sick.

Gray goes to the doctor in a week or so for his check-up and I will try to update this post with his "stats" for the month. Until then, happy quarter-birthday little man!! ;)