On His Feet

Paul is closing in on one year, but before he gets there I needed to give an eleven-month update!

This month Paul was up to 20.4 pounds. Compared to his sisters at this age, he’s HUGE. And doing a lot more too. I remember at 11 months when Abby army-crawled for the first time. Paul is not only army crawling…

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He’s getting up on all fours…

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And standing.

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For weeks, Paul liked to crawl over to our fireplace and push up on the ledge. He’d stand there in a sort of push-up position for a long time. Then he figured out how to pull up on things and now he’s really standing. He has yet to take any steps while holding on, but he loves being upright and almost as tall as Abby.

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Paul also likes to get into things…making my job a little harder. His favorites are dirty diapers (while I’m changing Abby’s diaper) and the toilet. Yup, he’s a boy. Other boy things he likes to do include chasing the vacuum cleaner and climbing on top of Abby whenever she’s on the ground. He’s watched Daddy wrestle the girls enough to know that the person on top is the winner.

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Paul’s gearing up for baseball season too. He’s thrilled that the weather is getting warmer. We had our first outing to the playground this month and he desperately wanted to get down and crawl all over everything. It was wet, so we had to keep him in our arms that time, but he was super observant, taking everything in.

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In fact, Paul is often observant. He watches whatever is going on in a serious face, preferring to be in Mom’s arms whenever it gets close to bed or nap time. But if you get down to his level and start a conversation, you are likely to see his little grin. Keep talking and he’ll flash you a huge toothy smile (two front teeth now). His hair is getting pretty shaggy, and he’s due for a haircut soon, but right now we are enjoying his bed head after naps too much to cut it just yet.

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Paul is a content and happy baby. Often before going to sleep he’ll just keep looking at me and giggling. When I put him down he lets out some protests but willingly goes to sleep without too much of a fight. With our late night and early morning feeds, he pretty consistently lets me sleep non-stop in between.

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He loves to eat and play and I just know he’s going to have a ton of fun this summer when we start spending more time outside. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started walking within a few months, and I’m sure he’ll be hitting baseballs with his dad not long after that!

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Little Rascal

This month has been a month of “mores” for Little Man. Paul is 10 months old this week, still weighing in at just under 19 pounds.

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First of all, Paul is sleeping more. Yay! I desperately started cornering moms at church one week asking for their best sleep advice. I didn’t get much that was helpful, but what I did get was prayer. Thank you to you ladies who have been praying!

Normally Paul goes to bed at around 8:00 and gets up at around 8:30 in the morning. In between there I usually stay up a little later before bed and get up at 5:30 to make Dan coffee for work. So, I decided to make use of my already awake time and feed Paul. It’s working! I wake Paul up before I go to bed and feed him, then I feed him again before or after I make Dan’s coffee, and for now, that’s enough to keep him satisfied through the night. Good job, Buddy!

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Oh, and this is Paul’s sleepy face. If you ever see him crawling around like this, it means he is in dire need of a nap. This is also his, “Mommy is holding me and I am content face”. I love the two-finger sucking. Pacifier days are over; we’ll deal with the finger-sucking later.

Paul is playing with his sisters more. Sometimes I’ll send one or both upstairs to wake Paul up from a nap. They’ll talk to him, try to tickle him through the side of his crib, and giggle together. Then, when Paul is not napping, they’ll bring him toys, tickle him and talk to him. It’s super cute.

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Also, I have come to the sad conclusion that good family pictures for the Taylor family are pretty much a thing of the past. These kids…

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Paul is also eating more. Now that he’s figured out finger-foods (and there’s no going back), we can hardly keep up with him. It’ll be a relief when he gets more teeth and fine motor control so we don’t have to tear or cut all his food into little pieces. Whoever is on Paul-duty can hardly get a bite in between refilling his tray or bowl. Two weeks in a row, we’ve practically run out of food because we’re adjusting to the obscene amounts this boy can eat. You don’t even want to know how many bananas we go through in a week!

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Just for fun, here’s a clip of Paul finishing off some of those bananas I was talking about.

Little Man is also crawling more. I haven’t captured a good picture yet, but he’s even getting up on all fours and rocking back and fourth. Neither of the girls did that, and neither of the girls were mobile until 11 months. Paul absolutely loves it when Dan gets down on the floor and army crawls around with him.

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We’re just loving these days with our little Rascal and the Munchkins. Paul is proving to be just as smiley as the girls, and, if you haven’t picked up on it yet from the pictures, he looks very much like Abby. If this appetite of his keeps up, it won’t be long before strangers are mistaking them for twins.

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Little Man, Big Moves

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Three quarters of a year, already! Paul is getting so big, so fast. During the past month he hit half a billion milestones and is cuter than ever.

We can start off with the one area where our Little Man is not winning our hearts: his sleep habits. Getting up three times a night is usual, four isn’t unheard of, and there’s a rumor that he got up five times in one night (but who can think clearly enough to count THAT high in the middle of the night?). We’re working on this (and someone may be moving out of Mommy and Daddy’s room a little earlier than his sisters). Moving on.

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Paul is so cute. And he’s doing new things. All in the same week, he started sitting up, army crawling, clapping, and babbling. We have definitely heard him say, “baba” and “mama”. Dan claims he has also heard “dada”, but that hasn’t been confirmed. 😉 We just love it when he talks to us. His laugh is contagious. And boy, can he get around! It has conveniently worked out this year that our baby became mobile within a week of our setting up the Christmas tree, so that makes for some exciting times. His sisters do a great job watching him when we ask, playing with him occasionally, and warning us if he tries to pull the tree down or chew the lights.

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Paul has started to enjoy his solid foods more this month too. He, for a while, would glue his lips shut when we tried to feed him. We recently figured out that he will eagerly eat up his food as long as he gets to be the one to feed himself. So meal times are a little messier now, but everyone is a little happier. And we aren’t too concerned that most of his food ends up on the floor since he’s still gaining weight like a champ: nineteen pounds exactly at nine months old.

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Paul still loves Mom and Dad, but isn’t afraid to go with others either. Mostly he just wants attention and the chance to move around. Even when he’s being held or sitting, his arms never stop waving and his feet never stop wiggling. But my favorite is when Dan has him in the other room at Bible study, church, or even at home and Paul starts to get tired. If I come into his line of vision he’ll stop fussing and watch me, and if I step away he’ll start crying. Then I come back, scoop him up and watch him grin, happy to be back in Mommy’s arms.

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“Sing Me a Song, Mommy”

You guys. I feel like I just did an update on Paul. Where does the time go?

Although my last post was late, and this one is early, so I guess it’s my own fault. But still. Where does the time go? How is our baby already 9 months old? That’s three quarters of a year…a whole year. Nevertheless, here is an update on our almost-nine-month-old with several pictures so you can enjoy both his latest antics and his adorable face.

Little man is as cute and cuddly as ever. This month he has shown more of his personality and insisted on snuggling with his Mommy every night at 3 in the morning. We’re working on that.

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Paul likes broccoli and peas. Sweet potato and avocado are alright. Sweet corn is not his thing and he all but refuses to eat oatmeal. I’m sure he’ll grow into it, I mean, who doesn’t like corn? And you cannot survive in this family if you won’t eat oatmeal. 🙂 He’s not the biggest fan of solid foods yet, but we’re easing him into them with tiny hopes that they might just help him sleep better at night.

After getting up several times each night for several nights in a row, I finally admitted that this wasn’t just a six-month-growth-spurt. A couple of nights ago I decided to just hold Paul instead of feeding him. In just two days he’s down to getting up twice a night: once to eat and once to snuggle. And, speaking of snuggling, Paul loves to snuggle with Mommy. Often he enjoys being held by anyone, but sometimes he just wants me (yay!). He also likes it when I sing to him. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet. When Paul is sleepy and grumpy in the evenings, he’ll fuss and cry and stop instantly if I start singing “Jesus Loves Me” to him. He goes into a daze and starts sucking on the middle and ring fingers of his left hand. If I switch into “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, Paul will resume fussing, but “Jesus Loves the Little Children” keeps the daze going.

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Paul doesn’t like noise. Yelling, large groups of people singing together in a small space, and sharp rebukes to misbehaving toddlers will bring tears to his eyes and cause him to stick out his lower lip. One Sunday Paul spent an entire church baseball game snuggled in the arms of one of the ladies from church. Just once she cheered for someone on the field and he started crying. He likes quiet and peace. He also doesn’t like being cold. Normally he’s a smiley guy but put him in a coat in the stroller these days and he’s super serious. Bring him in, take off the coat, and set him down, and he’s back to his smiley self.

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Paul likes books. A few days ago we accidentally left Lydia’s “F” flashcard on the floor and when I found it later it was in shreds. The next day we forgot to pick up the library books and found a quarter of a page gone and the rest of the book covered in drool. We’re learning to be more careful about leaving paper on the floor, but we’re happy that Paul already has an appetite for reading. 😉

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Paul is up to 18 pounds now (probably more, we need to weight him again). He’s getting stronger, but still not sitting up or crawling. He rolls, pivots, and can make it from one side of the living room to the other if there’s something tempting enough. His favorite items to maneuver toward (besides books) are shoes, blankets, and articles of clothing. His favorite real toys are his tiny stuffed elephant with polka dots, and the red animal that we’ve named “The Monkow” because it seems to have the head of a monkey and the body of a cow.

Paul is the perfect age for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we cannot wait for him to meet the Christmas Moose in just a few weeks.

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Peek-a-boo: Abby Update

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Tomorrow Abby turns 17 months old. No, she’s not walking yet. The race is still on to see whether she’ll beat her big sister at that. But this month Abby started crawling around on all fours. She’s gotten efficient enough that she will crawl on all fours more often now than army-crawling.

And the favorite activity of the month is…peek-a-boo. Abby is the perfect age to play peek-a-boo and it keeps her (and everyone else) giggling. Sometimes she gets her hands over her face, sometimes she misses. It’s adorable either way.

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She’s a little mischief-maker, crawling all over the house when she knows I can’t really chase her. Abby will keep herself entertained for hours. Her latest favorite toy is a small metal pot and a small ladle. She’ll stir that pot for the longest time without getting bored. She also knows some things that are off-limits, and if she ever catches a plastic grocery bag on the floor or the bathroom door open, she’ll scurry over to it faster than you can believe.

But for all her adorable mischief, Abby is still very sweet. When I snuggle up on the couch to read to Lydia, Abby crawls right over, pulls herself up to a stand, and starts yelling at me to pick her up too. She has no interest in using real words or sign language, her different grunts and yells all have their meaning and do well enough at getting her what she wants.

Is Abby ready to be a big sister yet? Well, I’d love it if she was walking first, but I think she’s going to be very excited about the new baby whenever s/he comes. It’s hard to believe that once all this snow melts we’ll all be able to go for walks to the park with Baby wrapped up in my Moby, and Lydia and Abby walking alongside. We can hardly wait.

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Abby Update: 16 Months Old

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Abby is 16 months old now and she’s learning new moves! During the past month Abby started pulling herself up on things and now she loves to stand every moment she gets. The race is on to see if Abby will beat Lydia in learning to walk. Lydia didn’t walk until 21 months, but Abby looks like she might just beat her. Only time will tell.

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Abby still army crawls using her one armed, one legged method of getting around, I guess because she knows it works. However, she can now push herself up on all fours back into a sitting up position. I’ve also caught her trying out crawling on all fours, but that hasn’t taken off just yet.

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Abby has also located the nose. If we ask her, “Abby, where’s my nose?”, she’ll happily point it out for us. She has yet to find her own nose though.

She still love to eat. It’s probably her favorite activity. She likes to eat as soon as she wakes up in the morning or after any naps, and if you put her in her high chair with food on the table, she will not tolerate waiting any length of time for her meal.

Abby still keeps us smiling and laughing. She is far less cautious than her older sister and may even be more independent than Lydia, if that’s possible. She’s happy to play by herself for any length of time as long as she isn’t hungry or tired. She’s as smiley as ever and is always adding joy to our days.

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Abby Update: 15 Months Old

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As Christmas approaches, Abigail is as joyful a baby…er…toddler(?) as ever. She’s not toddling yet, but she’s not exactly a baby. So, while I’m not sure how she classifies title-wise, I do know she is the smiliest little person I’ve ever met.

Abby is always happy unless she is very hungry or very tired. She’s always smiling unless she’s very unhappy or sucking her thumb right after a nap. Those cuddly moments are sometimes my favorite.

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Abby’s crawling around pretty efficiently using her one-armed, one-legged army crawling technique. It gets her where she wants to go so she’s happy to keep using it for now. She can crawl up a step and is pretty fearless, so she keeps us busy chasing her around.

Though she hasn’t taken to sign language like Lydia did, Abby is starting to use a few words. She can say “daddy”, “uh-oh!”, and “buh-bye”. When she eats her food and wants some more she makes a certain little grunt. She tries to say “mama” but more often than not it comes out as “baba”.

Abby’s all-time favorite thing to do is eat.

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And she eats a lot! She’s not too picky as long as she has food when she wants it in a nearly unending supply. If you interrupt her during a meal for any reason, she’s give you a harsh rebuke. If someone else is eating something different from her and she thinks it looks tasty, she’ll give you a few grunts until she gets a sample. Once she’s done eating she wants immediately out of her high chair so she can play or, more often, take a nap. After all of our struggles trying to get Lydia to gain weight, it’s nice to have an eager eater.

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Abby is a joy to the whole family. If find it so entertaining to hear the girls (who share a room now) chattering back and forth after we tuck them in for bed or naps. I find it just as heart-warming to hear their synchronized thumb-sucking once they do fall asleep. Lydia loves her little sister and we all have fun playing with her, tickling her, and getting her to laugh and smile in any way we can.

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Our One Year Old

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Last Thursday, we celebrated Abby’s very first birthday. Dan brought her home some miniature roses which she was thrilled with (mostly because she wanted to eat them). She’s at that age when everything goes into her mouth.

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After dinner…presents! For someone who has never had a birthday before, she seemed pretty excited. Lydia must have given her a heads up.

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In the end, Dan had to help her out a little.

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The jumbo knob puzzles may or may not have been a hit. Mostly, she just wanted to put the puzzle pieces in her mouth. Lydia, on the other hand, was happy to play with the puzzles.

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In lieu of a birthday cake for our not-really-one-year-old-yet preemies, we’ve made a family tradition of giving the birthday girls watermelon instead. Abby loved her birthday watermelon and successfully at her whole piece minus the last bite, which fell on the floor.

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So what’s the little one-year-old up to these days?

Well, she’s officially a big kid. Sometime in the past weeks we caved and started buying jarred baby food. It was just too much work to make our own while we’re living in transition. Since then, Abby eats like a pro, averaging two jars per meal or snack. She’ll eat anything, but has lately shown a little less favor toward the spinach potato combination.

Abby chatters away during the day and at meal times and is (still) always smiling. While we were visiting Rob and Crystal a couple of weeks ago, she figured out how to “crawl”. It’s an interesting version of crawling, but it gets her where she wants to go. She keeps up with her big sister pretty well now, and keeps us busier than ever.

Abby Update: 11 Months Old

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In the past few weeks Abby has really gotten the hang of sitting up. Mostly she just sits in this propped up position until she wants to get somewhere else, than she just plops down onto her tummy. She’s still not crawling, but she can get anywhere she wants to go pretty quickly by rolling around.

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When she’s crawling around, Abby will put anything in her mouth. We have to watch her pretty carefully to make sure she’s not eating dirt, grass, rocks, bugs, hair…you name it. Lydia is a pretty handy helper, always willing to run and get Abby a toy that she can put in her mouth.

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Solid foods are coming along slowly. Sometimes when we’re eating a meal Abby refuses to eat what we give her. Other times she jabbers away angrily until we share some of our food. Her favorites right now are cooked broccoli and raw bell peppers, and she absolutely refuses avocado (and gives us a nice face to let us know how terrible she thinks it tastes).

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Unlike her big sister, Abby’s first word is “mama” and she says it anytime she’s hungry, wants Mommy, or right after she wakes up from a nap.

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She loves attention and she loves playing with or being tickled by her big sister. It doesn’t look like Lydia’s going to be the “big” sister much longer because Abby is catching up. When I was taking pictures of them together this morning I was surprised at how close they are to being the same size already.

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She’s a delight in our home. There’s nothing like seeing her smiles and hearing her jabber away. Here’s a little video of her smiles and giggles. I hope they brighten your day like they brighten mine.