Saturday, September 24, 2016

eighteen months


Size: Miss Ezra is wearing size 5 diapers, 18-24 month and 2T clothes and size 6 shoe. She's got a few 12-18 month stragglers in her drawers still, but she seems to be growing like a weed! And while it's sad to see her chunk slowly disappear, we're very thankful for a healthy and growing babe! But when I say "slowly", I mean very slowly... We still can't fit jeans up over her thighs and any shirt with an elastic waistband just gets stuck over the top of her large belly! I'm hoping the wrist creases and knuckle dimples stick around for another year! (Ezra has her 18 month well-check appointment next month, but I would guess she's around 26+ pounds)


Eat: Ezra is eating three solid meals a day and 1-2 snacks throughout. She loves her yogurt, granola and blue berries for breakfast, smoothies for a morning snack, fruit (all fruit!) and cheese for lunch and pizza for dinner (she out eats me on Friday pizza nights!) Other than pizza, she doesn't particularly like bread (she will actually only eat the pieces with toppings and tosses the crust aside!) If you give that part of the meal to her first, solo, she'll eat it (like her pb&j sandwiches at lunch) but if she has something she likes more on her plate, she won't touch it! She still doesn't like applesauce, quinoa or avocado, (add sugar snap peas and carrots to that list!) but for the most part, she'll try anything we give her! Something I want to remember - Stephen made Ezra a Minnie Mouse shaped pancake for dinner once, in hopes of getting her to eat her pancakes. I don't know exactly when or how she figured out who Minnie Mouse was, but she got so excited to have a Minnie shaped pancake! She kept pointing at her mouth saying, "Minn Mou!" She still does that, out of the blue, like the though of eating that Minnie Mouse pancake just pops in her head and makes her smile and laugh! Now, every time we make pancakes for dinner, she'll eat as many as we give her so long as they're shaped like Minnie Mouse!


Teeth: Ezra has 12 teeth in that big smile of hers! 16, technically, but those 4 canines are still working their way to the surface. She doesn't seem to be too bothered by the teething process, which we're sure thankful for!, but I feel so bad for her that these canines are taking so long to come in! She loves to brush her teeth before bed and I love to see that beaming smile of hers!

Sleep: Sleeping Beauty is still continuously sleeping through the night - to bed at 7 and rising at 6. Lately, just before Stephen and I left for Hawaii, she started having trouble going down for bed and soothing herself to sleep. She'd never be able to fall asleep in our arms, no matter how long we rocked or sang, and as soon as she was put down in her crib, she'd stand back up and cry. Usually, it would take her just a few minutes to quiet down and she'd be asleep by the time Uriah went to bed 30-60 minutes later. This is still our usual routine, unfortunately, though just over the last couple of days it has gotten better. Instead, she's fighting nap time! Thanks, Ezra! ;) I think, ideally, she would take two naps a day, but I'm not interested in being homebound all day if her naps bookend Uriah's. She goes down around 1 for an afternoon nap and usually sleeps close to 2 hours, though recently, they've been shorter and shorter, if she takes one at all. I'm not sure what's got her schedule thrown for a loop, but I am just thankful she sleeps well at night (unlike her brother...)


Milestones: So Stephen and I went away to Hawaii and Ezra started talking... COOL! ;) I was sad to miss her new words but it was such a treat to come home to! She finally says "momma" on a regular basis (!!!) and Uriah, too! I thought about trying to type out all the words she says and how it sounds when she says them, but looking around the room at all their toys and all our things... there isn't anything she doesn't say and it would just take too long to write out! Not all her words are completely clear, of course, but she will at least try to say anything we ask her to repeat. Her animal sounds are so sweet, too! And just in the last couple of days, she's been starting to say two words together! I love hearing her sweet voice! She is still climbing all over everything and becoming quite the daredevil. Her hand eye coordination and fine motor skills are improving, too - she can put Uriah's Legos together all by herself and loves building block towers. She is still using sign language, for some basic words, and we've been learning a few new ones in school with Uriah (I love that she gets to join  in on his school time!) She loves signing and singing songs (and I love to witness it!), Three Little Monkeys, The Wheels on the Bus and Jesus Loves Me are her favorites. I'm always so impressed with her level of understanding, too - she knows all the main body parts and she comprehends all that we ask or tell her and can appropriately respond (unless we're telling her to "stop" - she has selective listening when it comes to that word).


Likes: Ezra is still the happy and content babe she's always been - I have friends ask me if she actually cries or whines. And she does, trust me!, but it is rare ;) She loves her daddy and her brother - always wanting to be apart of what they're doing (Stephen of course doesn't mind, but Uriah doesn't always have the patience for it ;) She loves bath time and swimming, playing with blocks and baby dolls, watching Daniel Tiger (which is a pretty rare event), eating (!!), doing anything outside (she is just now starting to like the slides at the park), "making food" with her pretend food and kitchen toys and fighting pretend bad guys as Iron Man or with our superhero figurines (this is actually one of my favorite things she does! - sound effects and all!) She loves playing chase and hide and go seek - loves them! She still doesn't mind the stroller, the Ergo or the carseat. She would happily sit in a sand hold and dig for long periods at a time. She loves her blankey, all stuffed animals, watching Nana's cat on FaceTime and Papa! (her new best friend after our September beach trip!)

Dislikes: She is getting better and better about sharing, but really, I think it's Uriah who needs more lessons ;) so she'll protest when something is taken out of her hand, or if he picks up a toy she was previously playing with, but she can still be easily distracted or soothed. Other than the fights with Uriah, she basically only cries when you tell her what to do, mostly if that demand involves "no" or "stop", neither of which she will listen to. She's persistent and independent and while it's hard to teach a little one like that small life lessons, in the long run, I pray those character traits stick around and help her achieve her goals.


Things I want to remember: Her resilient attitude - always getting knocked down, always getting back up. Her white blonde hair (especially in those pigtails!) Her perfect, smooth skin. Her fighting sound effects. Her dance moves. When she comes running around the corner with her hands in the air yelling, "supize!" Her genuine belly laugh. Her monkey face, as I have come to call it, when she stretches out her top lip and pouts at the bottom one, usually reserved for when she's examining something. Her mischievous smile. Her big squinty eyed smile, too. Her affection for my dad, her "Bapa". Her "no". Her ever present and contagious JOY.


Miss Ezra Lee, you are loved something fierce. What a joy and honor it is to be your momma. Thank you for keeping smiles on our faces and happiness in our hearts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

long lost pictures from Stephen's phone

I was looking through the pictures on Stephen's phone recently and discovered several from December to April that I had never seen before! Ones I had at least not shared here. If I was really on top of my game, I would search back through old posts and update them with these pictures, buuutttt I'm just going to dump them here instead ;)

 ^^ Picking out our Christmas tree last December! You guys! Look how little she was!! 

^^ "Helping" mommy shop at Gap ;)  

^^ It was definitely empty. And only maybe washed out. We're good parents, I promise. 

 ^^ Beach days! When Ezra was little enough to wear in the Ergo on your chest and her head not get in the way of your own! 

^^ Lunch at The Chowder House in Alaska! Playing under the table with cousin James  

^^ Touring campus with the Winders during their visit in March  

^^ More time at the beach! Go figure ;) I like my babies sandy!  

 ^^ Our sunny, yummy trip to Pescadero! Maybe I shared some of these pictures...? It was definitely a trip worth sharing! 

^^ A date with dad to "the little park"! I'm so grateful for a hubby who enjoys being a daddy and willingly takes the kiddos on adventures so I can have some Allison time!

August

August! And look at that, September's not even half way over. Good job, me! Good job! 

My mom has promised a "while mom and dad are away" blog post for me to share and keep for the memory book of her time with Uriah and Ezra while Stephen and I were in Hawaii, but for now, I'll share some of my favorites that she sent throughout the week! 


Stephen's mom, Sherri, stayed one extra day after we got back, since she arrived after we had left for Hawaii. We spent that Tuesday at a Stanford fountain before sending her back to Alaska with lots of hugs!


We had the next few days as a family of four before Stephen's vacation block ended and he started back at work with a 28 hour shift (welcome back!) We went to the beach (of course!) and did a lot of playing - the kids, especially Uriah, were pretty happy to have us back! 


Sunday best! We are so happy to have found a church home here. It's been almost a year since we first went to Grace, but we were slow to get connected - most days I'm taking the kids by myself and I don't have the time or energy to put forth much effort in meeting new people between drop off, pick up, snacks, potty breaks... I truly feel connected to this church now, though, and its people, and we are so grateful for the relationships it has brought into our lives.


Stephen's 28 hour call days seem long to me before they even start - just knowing no one will be home as a buffer for dinner or bedtime routines (or to answer their early wake up calls!) is daunting. But the kids and I try to make the best of it filling those days with playdates and errands to keep us busy. One particular call day lead us to have a picnic dinner at the sand pit close to our house and it was one of the best evenings in our August! We stayed long after we should have just letting the kids run around - Uriah actually requested to stay longer because he was having so much fun with his sister (!!!) Who am I to interrupt that?!


Those people I've met through church that I'm ever so grateful for...?! This is them! We're one baby short, though... Better get working on that! ;)


Lots of crafts this month! Coloring will hold both of their attention for a surprising amount of time, so we've been keeping the crayons in sight and busting them out much more often than normal. Gives momma some time to read, too! Until someone requests I draw a Minnie Mouse... Over and over and over again.


May we never take for granted the fact that daddy works just across the street! Stephen doesn't always have the time to pop outside, but we're always up for a walk to the fountain in case he does!


On one of Stephen's evenings off we took a pre-dinner walk up The Dish. We didn't go in search of lizards or squirrels or hawks, but became quite the animal hunters on our way up! I'm always surprised by the bravery of my kiddos. I guess they just don't know any better...? Though I have no reason to be scared of a tiny little lizard! I was so proud and impressed that they were both so eager to hold it (and kiss it!)


More Sundays, lazy days, pool days, crafting, play dates and beach days. Even with his long call days, it seems we got a lot of Stephen this month and that always makes it a good one. And that California August weather, well it's hard to beat! 

 ^^ The firs time Uriah wrote his name! With no promoting and no help! I was so very proud and it made me so very excited to start preschool with him! ^^

Speaking of... Preschool! It has always been the tentative plan to homeschool our babes until we're done with training and therefore done with moving - up to or through third grade. That's all fun and games to say and talk and dream about, but when I realized that Uriah was preschool age and if we wanted to homeschool we could in fact start right now, well I started to get a little nervous about it! Could I really do it? Did I really want to do it? I talked in length with some friends on the topic and did my research on curriculums and have decided to commit to the next two years of homeschooling - preschool and pre-kintergarden. After that, we'll see, though the dream is still to homeschool for a few more years following pre-k, I'm using these next two as an experiment to see how we all like it. We decided to use a curriculum, because while starting from scratch seems like a great idea, it is totally daunting. It came, it's organized and we start (late) on September 19th! And truthfully? I CANNOT WAIT! I might decided to do a post on it all once we're a month or so in - we'll see!