Monday, July 29, 2013

Connor: 9 Months Old


Oh sweet boy, what a month it has been. You had your first major illness this month and it hit you hard baby boy. A bad throat infection left you pretty miserable for an entire week, but you have finally recovered completely. Even though you were sick, you finally figured out how to crawl and you are so proud of yourself. Unlike most babies who army crawl and take a bit to go places, you just took off. You now crawl all over the house, getting into anything and everything. Your preferred things to play with are cords, vents, outlets, and the dog's water. Oh and any of sister's small toys. You are keeping mommy busy just trying to keep you away from all of them! You are still your funny, sweet self, but you are a lot more work now!

Trying to take your monthly pictures was a challenge today. I had to wait til Daddy got home and even then most of them turned out like this:

You are on the move constantly. You aren't very careful about your movement however, leading to many accidents including one today that led to that bruise under your eye. You are giving Mommy gray hairs!

  • Your favorite toys are the tunnel, shown above, and Grace's remote control car. You like to try to grab it and play with the wheels. I think you get a kick out of the fact that this makes Grace really mad. You giggle hysterically when she yells. You love to torment her already.
  • You are happily eating mostly table foods now. You love bread, waffles, turkey, and bananas. You love sweet potato puree. I gave you a few cheerios the other day and you wolfed them down. We haven't found anything that you don't like yet.
  • You are definitely saying dada. When Daddy comes home from work, you start enthusiastically yelling it. 
  • You are wearing 18 month clothes mostly and I'm not sure what to buy you for fall/winter. I think you might start to slim down with all the moving you're doing, but you're pretty muscular. We go to the pediatrician tomorrow and I will get an official weight. Two weeks ago when you were sick you weighed in at just over 22 lbs. That's only 8 lbs less than your sister!
  • You look so much older than you actually are and people don't believe me when I tell them how old you are. 

  • You LOVE water right now. You love playing with the water play table with Grace and you think bathtime and pool time are hilarious. The more people you can splash, the better.
  • You have 5 teeth and I'm pretty sure the 6th one is about to pop through any day now. It's making you pretty fussy when it's time to lie down meaning we're not getting a lot of sleep. You're fine during the day, but when it's time for bed you act very uncomfortable. 

You are just the sweetest baby. You are so good natured and you love everyone. You adore your sister and would spend every waking moment with her if you had the choice. You love playing rough with Daddy and snuggles with Mommy. You are still happily nursing and we don't have any plans to stop anytime soon. We love you sweet boy!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Fun with Cousins!

Mario Kart with Uncle Mike

Lunch at Fritz's at Crown Center

Hay ride at Deanna Rose Farm

Fishing with Papa at Deanna Rose

Train at the zoo

Emma riding the carousel 

Mike and Haley riding the African sky ride at the zoo

The older kids wanted to ride while Grace walked and I carried a sick Connor

They love when Mike shoots them with water out of the hose

Before he got sick. He loved the water table!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Healthy Again!

The good news is that both kids are feeling better and they are now back to their normal selves. The bad news is that I am now a week behind on everything after spending all week last week taking care of them through the evilness that was Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Poor Connor was sick pretty much all week with an extremely sore throat and high fever. You know he's feeling bad when he refuses to eat. Grace didn't get it nearly as bad as he did, hers only presented with a low grade fever, a nasty diaper rash, and blisters on the insides of her legs. We didn't leave the house all week and Grace and I were both going stir crazy. I didn't want to risk getting anyone else sick as it is extremely contagious. Our house turned into a disaster zone because Connor would not let me put him down at all. I pretty much spent the entire week rocking him in the glider. 

He was finally feeling better by Saturday which was good because I had his 9 month pictures scheduled for Saturday. I thought I would have to cancel them. He luckily was back to his normal self and we got some amazing shots. Here is a preview:
I love this picture
This is going above our fireplace
So that's my update for today. I will be spending the next couple of days getting my house back in order, running errands, and catching up on posts (including a great giveaway for you!) 

I hope everyone is staying cool in this nasty heat!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Connor is crawling!

I think both kids are finally on the mend after a horrible week of being sick with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. I'll post more of an update about it tomorrow but I had to share the cuteness going on in our house today. Connor might have been miserable, but it didn't stop him from moving and he finally figured out how to crawl. He is all over the place and is also cruising on furniture. He's so proud of himself!

I was trying very unsuccessfully to do the dishes:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sick Babies

I have lots of fun updates for you that I would love to have time to write, but that's not happening this week. On Saturday while we were at the zoo with my family, Connor started vomiting and running a high fever. After a miserable night, I took him to Urgent Care on Sunday where we learned that he has Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease in his throat. It is a horrible throat infection and the doctor said that it is extremely painful. He doesn't want to eat and is drooling everywhere because it hurts too much to swallow his own saliva. We have been alternating Motrin and Tylenol to help keep his fever down and trying to get him to nurse whenever he feels up to it. He is so uncomfortable and just screams and thrashes around until his medicine kicks in. Last night Grace started acting sick. Sure enough, this morning she's got the same symptoms. So we're in for a long week at our house.

I hate seeing them in pain. I feel so helpless. So there won't be any more posts until everyone is on the mend. Hopefully it will be soon!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Grace: 2 and a half years old


I haven't been doing monthly updates for you but I wanted to write one this month because you are now officially 2 and a half. You are closer to 3 than 2 and I can't believe how fast you are growing.  You are so smart and beautiful! I am very proud to be your mommy.

  • You are strong willed. I love your spirit, but at times it can make life very difficult around our house. When you don't get your way, you are quick to throw a huge tantrum and you are not  easily distractable. You know where everything should be and what everyone should be doing and you are not happy if we do not follow your plan. As hard as it can make our day to day life, I wouldn't take away that fire for anything. You are going to be a leader one day my dear girl. You are never going to let anyone walk all over you and I know that you are going to be in charge! 
  • You are so loving and affectionate. You love me, Daddy and Connor so much and it's adorable to watch your interactions with your brother. Every morning, you run into his room and say "it's okay baby!" when you hear him crying. You make faces and talk to him in the car to keep him entertained. You bring him toys and his pacifier. You even try to feed him your snacks.
    Giving him tickles
    You have always been attached to mommy, but your bond with Daddy is undeniable and you're becoming quite the Daddy's girl. Every day when you hear the garage door open, you start jumping up and down and yelling "Daddy's home! Daddy's home!"
  • Your vocabulary has really increased in the past couple of months and you're getting better at putting short sentences together. 
  • You love any and all physical activity and you really have no fear. You will climb anything that you can, the higher the better. You love playing outside and would be happy to out all day long.
  •  You still love your stuffed animals and baby dolls. You talk to them, take care of them, and sleep with them every night. I can't even count how many you have in your crib.
  • Can you see her? I promise she's in there!
  • You love trains and animals. The zoo is probably your favorite outing because you get to ride the "choo-choo" and see animals!
  • You are a skinny little thing. You are still comfortably wearing 24 month/2T pants. You are wearing 3T tops but I think I'm going to have to move up to 4T soon because your head is so big!
  • You are quite the girly girl now. You ask me to paint your toe nails, do your hair, and wear dresses. You would wear your Tinkerbell PJs 24/7 if we let you.
  • You love books and your favorites are "My No, No, No Day," "Goodnight Moon," "Where the Wild Things Are," and "On The Night You Were Born."
  • You have a MAJOR sweet tooth. Ice cream is by far your favorite food. You also love pancakes, pasta, and apples.
  • Your best friend is Lincoln. You love Anna, Evelyn, Brooke, Peighton and Natalie too. You adore your cousins!
  • You are turning into a fish in the pool. With your Puddle Jumper on, you don't want anyone to hold you and you swim all over the place. 
You have the most beautiful smile baby girl. You love giving hugs and kisses and just started giving real kisses instead of the open mouth baby kisses. I see you getting more independent every day and it makes me sad in a way. Feel free to stay just as cuddly as you are now!

We love you sweet girl!
Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Toddler Activities: Contact Paper Collage

I think Tuesdays are going to be my day to share some of the recent activities we've been doing to help keep Grace busy. I notice such a difference in her attitude when I take the time to do some sort of activity or craft with her. However, it is really hard to find activities that are age appropriate. Most things I find on Pinterest are aimed at kids that are older. So I try to modify the activities or come up with my own stuff to try to keep her attention with varying degrees of success.

Doing these activities is as much a learning experience for me as it is for her. I was always a rule follower. I colored inside the lines and did all of my projects step by step exactly like the instructions. So sometimes I have a hard time just letting her play and explore when we do activities. I get so focused on the end result, a pretty picture or a completed science experiment, that I forget the real purpose of the activity, fun! If she's not having fun, she loses interest fast. So I've really had to remind myself that it's ok if her picture doesn't turn out perfectly! The project that I'm sharing this week really tested me on this and I'm happy to say that we had a great time.

Overall crafts are not a huge hit with Grace. We normally stick with sensory activities or science experiments because they hold her attention better, but I got brave a couple of weeks ago and pulled out the contact paper that I recently ordered from Amazon. I taped the dry side to the window. I have a huge supply of tissue paper left over from multiple baby showers and birthdays so I pulled out some fun colors. I tore small squares of various colors and showed her how to put them on the sticky contact paper. She thought it was great and did that for a while.

Then she wanted to help rip the paper. She also thought it was funny to stick the tissue paper on my nose. 
We crunched and ripped the tissue paper for a while until she discovered that it was fun to throw the small squares of paper in the air and watch them fall.

See what I mean about her testing my rule following instincts? Well, I let her do it and we had fun seeing how fast the paper could fall. We then put all of our squares onto the contact paper.

 This was our completed picture:

It was a great way to work on her colors. We even took a break for a couple of minutes when she spotted a deer in our yard. Doing this project has motivated me to try some other craft projects with her. I think we will use the contact paper to make a nature collage with leaves sometime this week.

What is your favorite craft project that you have done with your kids?

Check out other easy and fun activities for toddlers here

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dancing Princess

Trying to explain to a 2 year old why she cannot wear the same nightgown 24/7 is pretty much pointless. I have failed again and again to convince her to wear real clothes. I put my foot down when we have to leave the house, but as soon as we walk in the door, she quickly says "belle." This, my friends, is her word for her Tinkerbelle nightgown. She starts taking off her clothes as fast as she can and frantically searches the house for the precious purple nightgown. This has been going on for over a week. She screamed when I forced her to take it off to wash it. She's sleeping in it tonight and I'm sure it will be a fight to take it off tomorrow.

I have to say that while it is hard to fight with her, she did choose quite an adorable nightgown to be so attached to.

Here is the reason she loves it so much: about two weeks ago, I found a video on YouTube of a show that is performed in front of Cinderella's Castle at Disney World. It has all of her favorite characters in it including Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White, and Peter Pan. It's full of singing and dancing and it's pretty adorable in my opinion. Here's the link if you are interested. Her eyes light up every time she watches it.

One morning I turned it on for her when she just happened to be in her Tinkerbelle nightgown. She started watching and dancing along with all of the characters. When the Princesses came out to do their song, I twirled her around the room and she loved watching her skirt twirl. She used it to curtsy and spin. It was pretty much the cutest thing I'd ever seen. She now thinks the nightgown is her princess dress and she wants to wear it as much as possible

Every time she watches the video, she asks me to dance and we twirl, spin and sing along. It's so much fun and I had to record it. As hard as it can be to have a strong willed toddler, these moments make it all worth it. The video is long, but it's good I promise! If you watch to the end, you'll hear her say "Bye rella (Cinderella), see soon (see you soon!)"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Steals and Deals

I've been a total slacker lately when it comes to couponing, but I still try to keep an eye out for great deals. I've come across a couple lately that I just couldn't pass up!

In a local Facebook group, I saw a mom post a Cars Lego set for $5. It included Mac the semi truck and a Lightning McQueen. Cars stuff is expensive so I thought it would be worth picking up especially since she only lived a couple of minutes away. When we arrived, she threw in a ton of other Cars stuff for free and said that she hoped that we enjoyed it. This was our haul:
A nap mat, puzzle, a Mater ripstick racer, 3 small Maters, a Sally racer, and the Mac and Lightning McQueen Lego set. Not bad for $5!

Then I saw a friend post about a rebate deal from Price Chopper for free groceries. So off we went to Price Chopper where we got about $50 in groceries for free!

I'm going to try to start couponing again so that I can get our grocery bills down, but this was a great start to help refill our pantry.

Have you gotten any great deals lately?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Father's Day Gift for Grandpas

Just like with the Mother's Day gifts, I had to wait to share our creations for Father's Day gits until all of the gifts had been received! So now I'm excited to share with you this cute, quick craft that we did for all of the Papas.

I traced both kid's hands onto construction paper and then used my Cricut to cut out all of the letters and the "I love you." I had hoped that Grace would color on the hands, but she wasn't being cooperative.

It was a quick project and it could be used for all sorts of occasions!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bathtime Fun! Nuby Foam Animals & Octopus Bath Time Toss Review

Grace had been playing with the same bath toys since she was a baby, so I decided that it was time to get some new ones. Nuby generously sent us some new toys to try!

The Nuby™ 16-Piece Bath Tub Foam Animal Characters looked adorable in the package. 

Grace didn't quite know what to do with them at first but she quickly figured it out and spent her whole bath time arranging and rearranging the animals on the walls of the tub. We use them to help identify her colors and she loves telling me which animal is which.

The colors are still nice and bright after several weeks of use. They float and Connor loves trying to grab at them.

The Nuby foam Bath Animals bring underwater creatures to your little one's bath time! The characters float in the water and when wet will stick to the bathtub wall providing countless hours of bath time fun! The fun colorful characters will delight and amuse your little one while stimulating their senses. 

The Bath Animals are available for purchase at these retailers:
We also received the Nuby Octopus Floating Bath Toy.

This toy is so cute. It floats and comes with 3 rings that the child can put on the octupus' arms. It requires some coordination as the rings are small and Grace loves it. She takes the rings on and off multiple times during her bath.

I love that it is BPA free and that it helps her hand-eye coordination. Grace occasionally pulls this out of the tub to play with during the day, and unfortunately two of the rings have gone missing! I'm sure we will find them soon enough.

The Nuby Octopus Floating Bath Toy teaches coordination and enjoyment. This toy is designed with your baby in mind. This product exceeds all government safety regulations and standards. 

The Floating Octopus is available for purchase at these retailers:
 For more information about other great Nuby products, check out their social media pages!

I am writing this post as part of the NUBY Mommy Blogger Program. I did not receive compensation for this post, although as part of the program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.


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