Thursday, February 9, 2012


At almost 11 months, Maren is such a JOY! I can’t believe she was born almost a year ago. She is such a happy and pleasant baby especially when she has eaten and slept (she takes after her mom when it comes to hunger grumpiness). She is about 18 lbs but just seems to be such a petite thing especially compared to her friends and cousins who are of similar age. She has two bottom teeth which she got right before she turned 9 months but she still hasn’t gotten any more. We are hoping that more come soon. I am advancing her diet probably a little too quickly but she is managing very well with those gums.

Maren started showing interest in crawling around 7 months and then started to get a hang of it in her 8th month. She quickly started standing soon thereafter so we thought she’d be walking rather quickly but she has been content with taking her time. She has started taking steps and has taken around 8 or so in a row. We sometimes try to encourage her but she typically won’t do it when we want her to. In fact when we try to make her stand up and get her balance so we can get her to take steps, she will completely lean on us and not let go unless she has a really good distraction in front of her. She just walks when she wants too which is random. I often will walk into a room and there she is taking some steps. There is no rhyme or reason, at least to me.

Maren started rejecting baby foods earlier than I had expected. Because of that I started with table foods much earlier than I had planned to. I love that we can give her most anything we eat. She is not too picky but she has her moments. Many times while we are trying to feed her, she will turn her head defiantly. If we wait a few seconds more, she’ll come back and eat the bite. She typically eats regular oatmeal for breakfast (she loves it), sometimes with fruit but then usually eats whatever we are eating for other meals/snacks. I still breastfeed her morning and night and will sometimes give her an additional bottle of formula when she is cranky and food isn’t cutting it. However, she drinks water out of a sippy cup for meals. I’m looking forward to cow’s milk and will probably break down and do it sooner than 12 months (since she already eats other milk products with no problems).

Maren has started showing quite a bit of independence. The feeding story above as well as walking when she wants to are some examples. It is hard for me to let go and let her do things herself sometimes but I’m working on it and it makes us all much happier.

Her personality is really starting to shine. The last month especially I have really started to love her progress and development and have a lot of fun with her. She loves to play chase with James and will crawl after him all around the house. You can also get some pretty awesome laughs out of her as she is very ticklish. She has started the “drop and pick-up” game and loves to do it with balls, her pacifier, and her sippy cup when she’s in her high chair. She is pretty good to entertain herself for awhile but likes to be in the same room as others. When James and Ember are playing with blocks, trains, etc., she likes to be right there with them (which is a struggle for James when she wants THE tower James is working on, for example). She has also started liking peek-a-boo more and it is fun to play that with her as well. She also loves to sit on my lap and play the piano. She will even crawl over and play it while standing right next to it though it isn’t as fun. She is also learning to love the outdoors as much as her brother which is great. She will get right in the dirt/grass/ leaves. Unfortunately, she is also attracted to rocks which typically end up in her mouth. It’s a good thing we aren’t afraid to get dirty! She loves toilets unfortunately especially after she has flushed them! We are reminded of the time when bathroom doors must remain closed at all times!

She is pretty good to let most anybody hold her but most prefers her mom especially when she is tired. The last few months she has become more of a snuggler which I love! She loves her brother and nobody can make her laugh quite like he can. She will let him wrestle with her to a degree which is quite impressive to me. She can take quite a bit of roughness. She doesn’t like being thrown up high in the air like James did as a baby but she does like it when it isn’t too high. She loves to dance when we freeze dance and especially likes to twirl. When it comes to sleeping, she is great and almost always sleeps through the night and has since about 6 months when we did sleep training. She prefers to go to sleep on her own and preferably in her own bed rather than be rocked.

She doesn’t say any words yet but does babble quite a bit. I have started signing with her and she has started doing “all done” even though it isn’t in the right context but it’s a start. She also loves to clap her hands and does a certain voice when we say “yay!”.

-One afternoon both Maren and James had woken up from naps around the same time. James had gotten out of his crib and was playing with Maren while she was in her pack and play. It was fun to hear the squeals of laughter from both of them.
-I had put Maren in her high chair with some food and then ran to the bathroom. Right before I turned the corner back into the kitchen I heard a thump. She had wiggled out and fallen and hit her head (although I didn’t see the fall or hit). 10 minutes or so later she vomited everything she had eaten that morning. I started to panic a little bit and grabbed a pen light to check pupils. They reacted fine and she acted fine as well. She was able to eat breakfast and keep it down and then played just as normal. She also got a good goose egg out of it. It sure had me nervous. Needless to say, she is always strapped into her high chair now.
-We have a little walker toy we borrowed from a cousin. It goes forward fine but is kind of hard to turn. She gets so frustrated when she hits an obstacle and can’t move it. I just bought another walker toy at a yard sale for 25cents which is much better and she is starting to catch on quickly that she can move it on her own.
-We have a little push bike that is a hand-me-down from Pierce. Just this past week we put her on it and she loved it! She especially enjoyed riding on it with James. They both think it is pretty fun.

We sure love our girl!
Crawling around while putting the Christmas tree up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


As I haven't journaled hardly at all recently, I thought I ought to do some catch up. I started by writing down some things about James:

At 2 years and 7 months, James is an energetic boy. He loves tractors, fire engines, ambulances, police cars, and trucks and will usually be the first one to notice them while driving. He especially likes to see them when they have their lights on or when they are working. When playing with cars/vehicles/etc. he loves to make noises that go along with them. He also loves to dig in the dirt and use his dump truck to carry the dirt elsewhere.

James is very active. He loves to jump or “bounce” especially on the bed or couch. He likes to jump from high places and likes people to watch him as he accomplishes this task (as well as many other tasks). He likes to run fast as well as do somersaults and other climbing/tumbling. On the bed he enjoys doing “bums” and “divebombs” as have been named by his dad. He loves to freeze dance and has a “freeze position” that he gets into after the music has stopped. He likes to play the letter game (identifying letters on the boggle game), play memory (which mainly consists of finding matches vs. turning them over and remembering), build forts (which means mom or dad build it and James destroys it after playing in it for a few minutes), and wrestle (especially with dad). He usually likes to be tickled and wants to do it “aden” and “aden” (again).

Some FHE games we have played recently which he wants to do all the time are “Go and get the plates” where we hide the ‘plates’ (a piece of candy) and he has to go and get them. We also play “Let your light so shine”. It is hide and seek with a flashlight and the finders tell the hiders to let their light shine when they need help finding them.

He can identify numbers 1-9 but confuses 10, 11, and 12. He can count to 10 but lately has been skipping from 2 to 7 and drops 3-6. If you make him go slowly, he can do it correctly. He can also identify most of his uppercase letters. He has started singing more and his typical repertoire include ABC’s, Eensy Weensy Spider, I am a Child of God, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Book of Mormon Stories, Snowman (as well as the baby song), and Give Said the Little Stream.

He likes to snuggle and will even give hugs and kisses without being asked. He loves cereal and would eat it all day if you would let him. He loves to work outside along side his dad and wants to do what he is doing as well as use the tool he is using.
We love James’ facial expressions. One of our favorites, besides his outright smile is his “trying not to smile” face. He is a little bit of a weirdo but he doesn’t have much choice in that matter when he’s got us for parents! He likes to be covered with blankets before he goes to bed and loves to chew on the corners of his 2 favorite blankets.

He is showing a little more independence but still lets us do things for him. When he gets in trouble or isn’t happy and we make him go to his room, he soon stops crying and says “I’m happy now”. He loves to please and likes to tell us “I did it mom/dad!”

He has been good and bad moments with sharing these days. Sometimes he is great and will share lots of things with Ember Florie (a girl I watch) and Maren. Then other times, I can’t get him to share a thing. Now that Maren is getting older and getting into things, she will frequently grab toys that James wants to be playing with and James will grab them away from her. We are working on trading as well as finding other toys that Maren would like to play with.

Some fun stories:
The past week he has been waking up about 5am and coming into bed with me (phil has already left for the hospital). I have let him come to bed with me as long as he doesn’t make much noise and lies still (even though this rarely happens). When he comes in and I don’t move, he will come up on the bed, lay is head on top of mine and say “Hi mom”. Sometimes while lying “still” he will break out in a whispered song. One morning when he came in, I asked him “What are you doing up so early?” He answered very excitedly, “Eat cereal!” (we had not had cereal for a few days and I had bought some the day before and told him he had to wait until the morning).
Maren has started taking a few steps which gets Phil and I excited. We keep trying to get her to take more and are really encouraging to her. James has wanted to “take steps” too so he will stand a few feet away from us and pretend to be struggling to take steps and then makes it to us and we follow it with praises. He loves it.

Loving his sister (November 2011)
Riding Grandma and Grandpa's motorcycle with Dad (November 2011)