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Summer Fun

October 26, 2015
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It’s taken me awhile to get through all of our summer photos. Finally, here are the best picks.

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Potty training Captain Underwear & Risky Business style

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“Blue Bike”

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Cute hats

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Frozen Yogurt

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Swinging with toys

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“Shirt off!”

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“Hide Pillow”

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Dinner with Dinosaurs and bouncing fun

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“Yummy in my tummy”

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“Fire hydrant – Doggy Potty!”

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Bubbles with Daddy

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Downward Dog

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Monkeying around at Austin Zoo

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With Mommy

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@ Seaworld

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@ Summer School

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What a great summer we had! Now onto more fall adventures!

Pumpkin Patch

October 20, 2015

Like a typical family with a two year old, we dedicated an October weekend to pumpkins. We started off with pumpkin carving. It’s been almost a decade since Eric and I carved pumpkins together; the last time was while we were still dating. The experience was vastly different this time around. An hour long activity filled with flirting, drinking pumpkin beer and impressing each other with our artistic skills (or non-artistic in his case) was replaced with two tiny pumpkins, 15 minute prep, five minute cutout and 30 minute cleanup.

Noah and Eric shared a little Jack-O-Lantern, while I took on a more crafty challenge of an owl. The boys were done in less than 5 minutes, leaving the table to do their own things: playing with trucks and loud typing on the computer (guess who did what? Winking smile) I sat by myself with a tiny little saw for the next 15 minutes wondering what I was thinking to pick such an ambitious undertaking. Given the Texan heat, by the next morning our artwork was shriveled and moldy. Oh well.

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On Sunday we went to our first Pumpkin Patch at Sweet Berry Farm. We had a blast!

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While all the little girls posed nicely seated on top of pumpkins, Noah along with the rest of the boys took on the weightlifting challenge of attempting to pick up the largest possible pumpkin.

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Noah’s favorite activity was the Berry Bounce, which we had to repeat 3 times!

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That’s a lot of waiting around…

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We also fed goats, pet the horses and learned about scarecrows.

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There were plenty of things to ride: tractors, a hay trailer, and a barrel train.

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We saved the best for last: Homemade pumpkin ice cream! What a great day at the farm!

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Boy-Oh-Boy

September 24, 2015

It’s a boy! Baby Brother is growing well and is even more wiggly than Noah was. At our appointment this week, the ultrasound technician struggled to capture him still in one position for more than a second to get all the measurements. Just like his older brother, he is ahead of his growth already by 4 days, with a huge head!!! Eric and I surely make brainy babies!

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Noah can’t wait for his baby brother to arrive: “Baby Brother come now!” he keeps saying to us. He’s completely switched over to his big boy bed giving up the toddler bed as he now calls it “Baby’s crib. Baby sleep there.” And he wants to “Read baby books and share toys with Baby Brother.” It just melts my heart!

We are excited and relieved to be having another boy. Yes, my home will be double the loud chaos it is today. I will be tripping over cars, blocks, balls, trucks, dinosaurs, etc. twice as often. And yes, the two of them will continue to destroy the house at a faster rate, with their priceless wall artwork, explorations of gravity (throwing toys off the staircase), animal love (chasing poor Domino around), and Olympic training of running, jumping, climbing, somersaulting, and wrestling. But at the end of the day, they will play together. They will learn from one another. They will support, encourage, challenge, help each other. They will be best friends, who will fight and disagree at times, but they will love and protect each. And they will share the strongest bond as only brothers do!

Hey Brother!

August 19, 2015

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Here we go again – Round 2!

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Watch out world, a brand new Lawrence is on the way! ETA early February. Smile

Noah Turns 2

July 24, 2015
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Noah is 2! He is 36 1/4 inches tall and 30.6lbs, which puts him in the 96th percentile for his height and the 80th percentile for his weight. Projecting his current measurements forward, he is estimated to be between 6-6’’4 when he grows up. (Mama will need a step stool to give her boy kisses.) Smile

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We celebrated Noah’s birthday at home with his grandparents who travelled all the way from Maryland to share the special occasion and shower their grandson with gifts.

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Noah really enjoyed unwrapping all the new gifts and running around in his new bouncy castle.

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My carrot cake was a big hit this year. Noah liked it so much that he kept asking for “cake” after it was all gone.

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We’ve hit some major development milestones over the last few months. It all started right before our trip to Galveston Island mid-May. When Noah was first born, I was extremely focused on developing good sleeping habits: having a consistent bedtime/nap routine, always napping in his crib, no rocking, holding or nursing to sleep, allowing Noah to fall asleep on his own, teaching Noah to self-soothe, waiting a few minutes before rushing into his room if he wakes up crying in the middle of the night. That was all great for about a year and half… Until Noah randomly decided he no longer wanted to take naps and would scream/cry his poor little heart out until I’d pick him up from the crib and let him go on playing. Our days became super long and poor dad would come from work to dinner with two whiny cranks.

A week later we headed to Galveston, TX for a little getaway. By golly, Noah fell asleep in the car for about an hour, first nap in a week! We had an awesome time at Galveston, playing in the sand, jumping in waves, swimming, and exploring.

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Our days were filled with fun beach activities and by afternoon the soothing ocean sounds, warm sunlight and all the vacation excitement would put the boy to sleep.

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Ah, but by nighttime, Noah had figured out how to crawl out of the hotel’s crib and so we were bunking all together in the king bed. Once we got home, Noah, accustomed to sleeping with parents and equipped with his new crib-climbing technique, refused to stay in his crib. We had no choice but to convert Noah’s crib to a toddler bed and sit with him until he’d fall asleep (20-45min per night). We still sit with Noah at bedtime, although lately he’s been exercising his independence by insisting upon sleeping on the floor. We are also teaching Noah to stay in his room until morning by using stars and reward chart. Naps usually start out in the car, and continue on in our bed, lasting max 1.5hrs. I knew that sleep would be rough with a baby, but I was not expecting this regression a couple of years later. The most fascinating thing about this has been the reactions from other moms who have not yet encountered bedtime rebellion. They tend to look at me in horror, pulling their kids away as if we might be contagious.

Other big changes include Noah’s diet preferences. He’s given up a lot of the healthy foods he used to love like avocados, bananas, lentils, oatmeal, and instead prefers typical 2 year-old junk like animal crackers, pretzels, raisins and dried cranberries, and sweet potato fries. Even getting him to eat pancakes is a compromise of covering them with “Moon” (whipped cream).

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Noah is talking a lot! Once he started responding with “yes” and “no”, the conversation just flowed. Now he is picking up words so fast I can’t even keep up with everything he is saying. He takes me by complete surprise by busting out with 3-4 word sentences. “Noah Daddy’s Car” “Daddy back home” “Daddy sit eat” “Big green truck” “Noah watch (Curious) George”. He speaks in third person, must be Elmo’s influence. Winking smile He knows all his colors and can count to twelve (skipping eleven for some reason).

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As Noah enters his second toddler year, his personality continues to shine. He is extremely energetic, active, playful, imaginative, curious, observant, attentive, smart, interactive, a great listener and sharer, empathetic, cheerful, and often really goofy which delights everyone around him! His teachers marvel at his sweet nature, and every day Eric and I can’t help but wonder how we got so lucky to have such an awesome kid!

Rock & Roof

April 2, 2015
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Noah is 21 months! It’s hard to get a good weight measurements these days, as just like with his mom, Noah’s weight tends to fluctuate significantly during the day depending on his food intake. He is approximately 29lbs.

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He’s definitely grown over the last month. He was able to clear the 36 inch mark at the Austin Rodeo (something his parents were not ready for), which meant Noah was able to ride solo at the fair.

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He started off nice and easy with a train ride, but you can tell by his facial expression in the picture below it was not thrilling enough.

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So he quickly made his way to a faster and more exciting car ride (and of course, he picked a flying car which made mom shriek the first time every time it went up).

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He quickly got the hang of cruising high in the sky, resting his arm on the car seat and waiving to mom as he spun around. After four turns, we were able to pull him away while negotiating to return soon.

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The kid loves anything with a steering wheel – “Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!”

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He also loves balls

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and balloons. He often charms sales clerks for a free balloon whenever we go shopping.

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He is big into accessories, shoes and socks (and often borrows stuff from mom without asking!)

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Over the last two months, Noah’s vocabulary has quadrupled. He went from saying somewhere around 7-10 words to learning one-two words per day – apple, shoes, socks, bag, bottle, heart, bridge, park, hat, boots, truck, duck, bath, eggs, rock, roof, door, bug, plane, leaves, walk, etc. I can no longer keep track of all the words he knows. Some he says really clear and some are partial as he is learning to make different sounds. Noah is also starting to copy and mimic his parents. (Eric and I have to watch what we say and do!)

Typing and sighing just like dad.

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Shopping and yoga-ing just like mom.

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We made it through the Texas winter (with lows of 26 degrees this year..brrr!), skipped spring, and are now headed straight into summer weather.

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After all the fun play at the park, even our ball of energy needs to take a little rest on the bench. If he is lucky some cute girl might join him (and so it starts…sigh).

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Noah still favors a swing, but he enjoys slide rides and monkeying around the tree house.

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Noah is big into dancing. Whether it’s with Gymbo at Gymboree, with the music table at home or the bouncy pole at the park, the boy likes to shuffle, bounce, sway and twist (that’s 3 more dance moves than his papa!)

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Just recently Noah figured out what the shovels are for (they are not just to carry and pass around). Digging rocks is a lot of fun!

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Noah is still big time into books (he says it so well now– “Book!”), but he is also starting to enjoy cartoons (Daniel the Tiger is his favorite, and tolerable for his parents). Every morning after breakfast we lounge around on the couch and watch an episode. Noah is too active to sit for more than 15 minutes in front of the TV (a blessing and a curse), but he still likes glancing over at the TV as he runs around the living area rearranging coasters and magazines and climbing over sofa and chairs. Some days he is pretty chill and happy, and some days he tries to figure out his boundaries and practice manipulation techniques with his fake cry, but as I remind Eric daily, most of his asks are not unreasonable so I am happy to indulge as Noah continues to explore his surroundings, learn new skills and develop independence.

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Little Helper

February 5, 2015
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Noah is 19 months old.

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He had a growth spurt last week, weighing in at 28lbs (in PJs). I can usually tell when he is growing by his increased appetite. Some days this kid can take in more food than me or even Eric for dinner.

Noah is very much into “boy” stuff like balls,

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cars and trucks,

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and bikes. He’s been particularly interested in the balance bikes that the older toddlers have been cruising on. He is still a little small, but something to keep in mind for his birthday.

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He loves playing hide and seek and being chased around.

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He still enjoys playing at Gymboree a couple of times a week. He is showing more enthusiasm and interest in the Play’N’Learn class, eagerly following the teacher’s directions.

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And as always, we spend A LOT of time outside, walking, running, playing, and exploring.

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Noah loves to help out. He swiffers the house, collects leaves, wheels in trash bins, loads and unloads dishwasher (he has yet to figure out where everything goes, but mom enjoys the Tupperware scavenger hunt), carries grocery bags, reorganizes the bathroom cabinets, sorts laundry, and is working on perfecting his cooking skills in his little kitchen (while dressed up in dad’s clothes and rain boots).

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Other big developmental milestones this month include:

  • Body Parts: Noah knows all the toddler-level appropriate body parts like toes, fingers, eyes, nose, ears, belly button, etc. We have had to move on to shoulders and knees.
  • Animal Sounds: Noah is learning animal sound. So far he can sound like a monkey, and sometimes dog and lion. He is all about car sounds now: “Vroom! Vroom!”
  • Talking: He is a man of a few words, but the ones he knows, he knows really well. This month it’s “Up, On, Off, Eye” in addition to the words he already said well “Go, Dog, Moon, Hi,” and occasionally “ball”. He is also starting to put two-syllable words together like “Daddy, Doggy and Dirty”. He still refers to me as “MumMumMumMum” — usually when he needs me to do something for him like get a toy or snack, unlike “Daddy” who is endless fun.
  • Sharing: Noah’s doing great with sharing. Before he used to only hand toys to adults (makes sense since they showed the most interest and appreciation). Now he is sharing toys with other kids his age.
  • Teething: Three of Noah’s canine teeth have pierced this month. After the first four, we’ve recognized Noah’s teething pattern – when a tooth is about to emerge, the gum gets swollen and red looking, Noah’s appetite drops and his nose starts to run a bit. He gets more cranky and wakes up a couple of times crying during the night. That usually lasts from 3-7 days. Once the white part peeks out, Noah resembles a drooling chewing puppy. His mood improves and he is back to sleeping through the night.

I am convinced that Noah is brilliant! Alright, I might be a bit biased, but it’s remarkable how much he understands and knows. For example, I asked him to bring his shoes: he ran to his closet and brought out a pair of his own shoes even though our shoes are scattered all over the house. I then told him that he will be wearing his blue ones instead of the ones he brought, so proceeded back to the closet to retrieve the pair I described. Mind boggling! It is amazing how quickly he is picking things up. We can’t wait to see what he learns next month!