No More Mr. Serious

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This month Paul finally transitined away from “Mr. Serious” to a smiley Little Man. Within the past couple of weeks Paul has grown to love interacting with people. He loves his Mommy. He loves his Daddy. He loves his big sisters. And he pretty much loves anyone who will look in his cute little face and talk to him.

Not only is Paul smiling a lot more, but he laughs and it’s cute enough to melt your heart. Sometimes Paul cries just to be held and when you pick him up he’ll give you his charming little grin and a chuckle that’s contagious. He’s usually content to sit wherever you put him: in his bouncy seat, on a blanket, in his jungle, or in your arms. Sometimes it’s just too hard to put him down and go “be productive”.

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Paul is still sleeping and eating like a champ. He weighed 14 pounds, 3 ounces at four months old and is our biggest baby by far. Dan and I are amazed at what an easy baby he is! He just rarely cries. He seems to be a little more of a mover than his sisters were too. In fact, last night he rolled over for first (and second) time from his tummy to his back. Way to go Big Guy!

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He’s also getting pretty good at those “neck raises” during tummy time. He’s become sturdy enough that he has taken over Abby’s standing toy. This is the first baby we’ve had who seems to be developing far too fast. Before we know it he’ll be rolling and crawling around, and it seems like we just brought him home! For now, though, we’re enjoying the smiles, the snuggles, and the precious baby laughs.

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I’m Pleased to Announce…

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I know thumb sucking is a controversial topic, and in this case I really do believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As a retired thumb-sucker, I’m partial to the thumb-sucking myself. So I am pleased to announce that, despite our use of a pacifier with this Big Guy, Paul has found his thumb.

His left thumb no less. Three for three. Maybe left-thumb-sucking is a dominant genetic trait…

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Big Things Are Happening…

Big things are happening at our house. On Thursday, at exactly 21 months old, Abby started walking! Here she is just a few days later playing in a puddle up on her two feet:

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Well I guess it’s a tie between Abby and Lydia. They both waited until they were 21 months old to walk. We’ll just have to wait and see if Paul sticks to the pattern or sets a new Taylor record.

Snuggle-Me-Paul

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In a few days, little Paul will be two months old, but he’s already hit double digits on his weight. According to our scale, last night Paul weighed ten pounds. He has nearly doubled his birthweight!

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The theme for this month was SNUGGLES. Paul loves to be held all the time. Most of the time, we don’t mind, except in the middle of the night. After several looong nights up with Paul, Dan and I were about to let the poor guy just cry all night before our pediatrician observed that Paul is suffering from reflux.

Once she pointed that out, Dan and I could see and hear that she was right. He’s like a pitcher! No matter how long you hold him after a feeding, as soon as you go to lay him down the milk starts gurgling right up his throat. I’ve been able to eliminate a couple of foods from my diet that have been making things worse, but Paul still needs a lot of snuggling to feel comfortable. I guess for my own future wonderings I’ll add that he eats about every two hours during the day and every three hours at night, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot as far as sleep goes because we’re up with him fighting reflux a lot longer than it takes for him to just eat.

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As the weather has warmed up, Paul has been spending lots of time in his own little jungle. This is one of our favorite baby toys. It’s not uncommon to find Lydia and Abigail lying in Paul’s jungle when he’s not using it. Actually, it’s not uncommon to find Dan or myself lounging in the jungle with Paul. He’ll (Paul, that is, not Dan) kick his legs and swing his arms and stare at the animals and the lights. It’s great fun.

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The best part about being two months old is that Paul is starting to learn how to smile! Now that we’ve seen those smiling muscles in action, Dan and I will do just about anything to get him to show us a grin. So far, he’s being Mr. Serious and we’ve only caught a couple half-hearted attempts, but we know great big smiles are coming our way. Even when he only grins a little, we just can’t tear our eyes away from his happy little face.

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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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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: 5 Months Old

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Weight: 10 pounds, 2 ounces

Eat, sleep, and smile have been Abby’s main activities this month. She often sleeps eight hours at night, but she makes up for that by eating every one and a half to two hours during the day. One night in January Abby suddenly stopped having her evening fussy time (from 7ish to 10 every night) and she hasn’t gone back. She also outgrew her newborn hold-me-all-the-time desires and sometimes she’ll even squirm and cry until you put her down.

Abby spends a lot of time in her bouncy seat. She hates being on her tummy. Recently, while laying in her jungle, she learned that she can make the hanging toys rattle by swinging her arms at them, so that’s been an exciting development for her. She also loves bath time. Her whale-of-a-tale bathtub came with a goldfish “strainer” toy that we use to drizzle water on her and that always gets her to smile. Lately Abby has been trying to fit her whole fist into her mouth. She hasn’t been able to succeed, so she usually gets pretty frustrated.

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More than anything, Abby loves to bounce. When she’s tired and won’t fall asleep, she needs to be bounced lightly. Whether it’s in her bouncy seat, or in Mommy or Daddy’s arms, Abby just loves bouncing. We’ve dubbed this BBS for bouncing baby syndrome, because it always gets her to fall into a contented sleep.

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Abby’s nicknames continue to be numerous, but the most commonly used ones are: Abby, Abs, and Abster. We don’t really think about it when we use them, but then it’s adorable to hear Lydia tell Abby goodnight, “I love you Abs!”.