February 20, 2018

Anderson: 1 Month

When I found out I was pregnant with Anderson last April...I had a bit of a panic attack.
Okay, that’s an understatement. “Mild nervous breakdown” is a more appropriate description.  The thought of going back to what I call the “trauma of the newborn phase” had me freaking out. Sleepless nights? Colic-y babies? 8,000 diapers a day? All of it just sounded overwhelming to me. Having Wren was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I just wasn’t ready to go back to that dark place again. That was my mindset through my entire pregnancy.
I know, super positive thinking.
And then he came.
And the minute I looked at him, every negative thought that had flooded my thinking for the preceding months fled.
He was mine.
And I wanted every perfect inch of him.
I won’t lie and say it has been easy. Sleep deprivation, a nursing baby, and a needy toddler would defeat even the most stoic of contenders
But the joy is there.
It took me a while to find the joy in motherhood the first time around, and I’m thankful that hasn’t been my experience this time.
Little man is already a month old. So, here’s what he has been up to:

Weight: 9 pounds 14 ounces

Length: 23 inches

Like big sister Wren, Anderson started smiling pretty early on at three weeks old. They were timid, little half-smiles at first, but by week four, they were taking up his whole face. Also like big sister Wren, Anderson struggled to gain weight at first. He was a sleepy eater, and REFUSED to eat (shaking his head and screaming) if Mommy tried to feed him before he was ready. He only “maintained” his weight for the first two weeks, but overcame that hiccup pretty quickly. At one month old, he is now a voracious eater and is gaining weight like a champ! Anderson is a decent sleeper, sleeping for four-five hour stretches on some nights and only two hour stretches on others. He’s a light sleeper though, and seems to stir at the slightest noise.

Much to his Daddy’s delight (the “cuddler” of the family), Anderson loves to be snuggled in close. He’s happiest with a pacifier in his mouth, and his face squished against whoever’s holding him. He also loves being carried against Mommy in the wrap, and will snooze for hours when wrapped up. Like his sister, Anderson likes to be “on the go.” He is content to ride around in the stroller and does really well when Mommy takes him on her morning walks.

Bath time! There’s nothing that gets Anderson screaming faster than a dip in the tub. While Anderson doesn’t “hate” his car seat (he does MUCH better than his sister ever did), there are times when he expresses his displeasure at being put down and forced to ride in the seat. And while he doesn’t “rage” as often or as long as his sister did (she would scream EVERY time she was put into her car seat), his cries are much more intense than her’s. Mommy and Daddy often say that they have never heard a baby cry as loudly or as fiercely as Anderson does. Luckily it doesn’t occur too often.

Overall, Anderson is a content little guy as long as he is being held and has a pacifier in his mouth. But if you put him down, watch out! This makes getting tasks done a little difficult, but it’s nothing that a baby carrier can’t fix!

December 18, 2017

Hawaii 2017

Say what? A blog post that is NOT about the little Banshee? I know, crazy. But for the first time in (almost) two years, the boy and I did something without Wren. So, it needed to be blogged about for that reason alone. Plus, I mean...it's Hawaii. Who wouldn't want to blog about THAT?
My VERY generous parents decided last year that they would take one child+spouse on their yearly Hawaii trip. Last year, my sister Justyn, and her husband Dan, were the lucky winners. This year? It was our turn. Graham and I hemmed and hawed about whether or not we should take the time off/spend the money, and remained on the fence for quite a while. Then, I got pregnant. So I decided for us. We WOULD go. Because with two kids, who knows when we will ever be able to get away? The trip was booked, and we eagerly anticipated the day we would hop on a plan and fly to paradise.
That day finally arrived on October 5th. Our bags were packed, our itinerary planned (because I don't do trips without a meticulous plan), and our spirits almost giddy at the thought of  a week without a toddler in tow. We arrived in Kauai where my parents picked us up at the airport, and drove us to our little paradise within paradise, the Westin resort in Princeville.

Day 1:
This was our "Explore the Island" day. It was a bit gloomy, and a lot rainy, so a drive around the island was the perfect solution. We started on the North side of the island at our home base in Princeville, and drove all the way to Waimea Canyon on the East shore, and back. Our stops included a cute plantation town town called Koloa, lunch at Puka Dog, a quick trip to the Russian fort, panoramic views of Waimea, a stop in the mountain town Kok'e, dinner at Verde's, and dessert at Pink's. It was a full day, and we FELL into bed to gear up for our adventures on day two.

Day 2:
We started the day with a drive into Kapa'a. Once there, we took kayaks up the Wailua River and through a narrow offshoot overgrown with trees. It was seriously magical. Then, we hopped off our kayaks, and hiked through the muddiest trail on the planet to Secret Falls. I was seven months pregnant, and my mom had just had foot surgery six weeks earlier, so we were a comical pair. We did pretty well keeping up with the group, but I'm pretty sure we gave our tour guide a heart attack a time or two as we slipped and stumbled up the trail. At the base of the falls, we ate lunch, fed chickens, and swam in the freezing cold water of the pool (Graham even braved the cascade of water directly below the falls). I don't think I've ever seen such beautiful scenery in my life.

Day 3:
We started the day at church and attended the cutest little branch in Hanalei. After that, day three became our "beach day." We were determined to find a good snorkeling spot on the North shore. I had pored through our guide book, and read all of the blogs for the best spots...but unfortunately, the nasty weather, and strong winds made snorkeling pretty uninspiring. But we persevered. Our first stop was Ke'e Beach (with a quick detour at the "Dry Cave" and Haena Beach). The water was rough, and so we moved on. Next was Hanalei Bay. The snorkeling was, again, nonexistent...but we enjoyed the views (and our lunch) there, and moved on. Our next destination was Anini Beach (but not before we stopped for shaved ice at the Wishing Well), where the water was much more calm and the snorkel gear FINALLY came out. We didn't see much, but enjoyed the bathtub-temperature water, and again, the lovely views. We continued our North Shore beach-jumping, and ended up at Kalihiwai Bay to watch the surfers. Dinner was pizza at Hanalei Bay Pizzeria. Our crew always loves to explore, so even though it took most of the day to find a decent beach, the day was WELL spent!

Day 4:
Day four was our tubing excursion with "Kauai Backcountry Adventures." This was probably my favorite activity of the trip. The day started with a trek out to the former Lihue Plantation, where we hopped on tubes and floated down irrigation canals that were hand-dug in the 1870's. We traveled through a series of five tunnels, with head lamps turned on, and bumped and crashed into one another down the entire mountain. We finished our tubing adventure by 3:30, and drove over to Poipu to try our luck at snorkeling once again. Jackpot! the place was teeming with fish, eels (yuck!), sea slugs, coral, and ONE sea turtle. Graham was in heaven. It was his goal through our whole vacation to swim with a turtle, and his wish came true on day four. We finished the day at Puka dog (again) and made our way back to home base on the North Shore. Because we spent most of our day in the water, I didn't take any pictures on my camera. So you'll have to let your imagination work to envision how FANTASTIC our day looked.

Day 5:
The boys set off on their much anticipated "Kalalau Trail" hike, while the girls relaxed around the pool. Then, we met up, and headed back to Poipu to visit Allerton Gardens where we got to tour 80 acres of beautifully landscaped and lush garden scenery. We finished the night with a stop at some tide pools, and ate dinner at Street Burger in Kapa'a.

Day 6:
Okay, by this point in the trip, I was REALLY starting to miss our little girl. We Facetimed with her every day, and knew that she was having a blast without us...but the sheen of being toddler-less had started to fade by day six. But we soldiered on. We started day six with the best snorkeling of the trip at Tunnels Beach on the North Shore. Then, we stopped for more shaved ice at The Wishing Well. After a quick shower, we headed to Kilauea Lighthouse and toured the grounds there. We finished pretty early (it was HOT at the lighthouse), and decided to check out a couple of waterfalls in Kapa'a. We ended the night by eating in, and walking around our gorgeous resort. 

Day 7:
Our last day in Kauai. Day seven was really laid back...and entirely picture-less. We ate lunch the the Hanalei Bread Company (yum!), and did a whole lot of shopping. Then, we spent the rest of the day sitting by the pool. We cooked dinner in our hotel room, and finished up our last night with dessert at Pink's.

While we were sad to be leaving the following day, we were also ready to squeeze the heck out of our little girl. We had missed our little banshee, and counted down the hours until we could see her again. Paradise was everything we had hoped for, but we were ready to get back to our chaos.

September 22, 2017

18 Months

Now that The Banshee (as her Dad and I so affectionately call her) is 20 months old, I suppose that it is time to post her 18 month stats. Who knows...maybe I'll get the 2-year-old post up before she turns 3. But that may be a little too ambitious...

Weight: 22 pounds

Length: ?

Wren has always been a talker. She said her first word at 9 months old and has never stopped. At 18 months+, her vocabulary has become quite extensive. Wren just had her "18 month" check up last week (which Mommy is also behind on..since, you know, she's 20 months old and all), and the doctor was pretty amazed by Wren's speech development. She regularly strings together six-word sentences, can sing songs from beginning to end (her favorites right now are "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Once There Was a Snowman"), and DEFINITELY knows how to make her wants/needs known. The doctor let Mommy know that Wren's speech development matches that of a three-year-old's, which didn't surprise Mommy one bit. Wren literally NEVER stops talking. Some of Mommy and Daddy's favorite Wren-isms include:
1. "Mommy, look at this one!" She then proceeds to show off a "silly face" while Mommy smiles on.
2. "Mommy, don't be bossy!"
3. "Mommy, don't say that!"
(It must be noted that numbers 2 and 3 are usually uttered after Mommy has told Wren to do something that she doesn't want to do)
4. After being prompted with, "Wren, guess what?" she always responds with, "I love you!"
5. Daddy likes to ask Wren if she's a "good girl" or a "bad girl," and without fail, her response it ALWAYS, "A bad girl!" She then giggles hysterically.
After Wren's last weight check, she is officially in the "average" range. Finally! She's still pretty tiny, but at least she's made it into the 30th percentile for weight. Weight gain has always been a struggle for her (despite the fact that she has ALWAYS been a good eater), so it's a relief to finally see her making some strides in that department. On that note, Wren eats everything in sight. She will eat anything that Mommy or Daddy offers, and always eats a lot of it. Her favorite foods are pasta, cucumbers, yogurt, french fries, and ANY fruit.

Books will always be Wren's #1 love. Bedtime routine is a long endeavor because Wren has to be read a minimum of three books before she'll lay down without a fight. She can name most of her books by name, and often recites key points in her favorites. She can identify pretty much EVERY object in her "First 100 words" books, and has a series of regulars that get read most nights (these include "Good Night Moon," "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," and any of the Little Critters books). Wren also loves being sung to, and has a list of usual requests. The top of the list is ALWAYS "The Wheels on the Bus," which she calls, "Wheels, Bus, Round, Round, Round." Songs are another MAJOR part of bed time, and Mommy usually has to sing several before Wren is ready to close her eyes. Along with her love of music, comes her love of Disney movies. She hasn't seen very many, but the ones she has seen have become constant requests. At the top of her list are Moana (Momo as she calls it) and Mary Poppins. She also loves the "Little Baby Bum" nursery songs on Netflix and asks for them on REPEAT. Wren still loves her stuffed animals and sleeps with her menagerie nightly. Doug, her stuffed weimaraner, is her best pal and she WILL not sleep without him or her two Maymays (blankets) close to her side. Wren also loves being outside and asks to go to the playground daily. She has a newfound love of Daddy's skateboard and likes to ride around while Daddy holds onto her hands.

ANYTHING that is loud, with planes and the vacuum cleaner being at the top of her list. Wren will sob in terror every time the vacuum cleaner comes on unless she is being held by Mommy or Daddy. She will also run to the closest parent whenever a plane flies overhead, and will immediately lay her head down until it passes. Wren also has a newfound dislike of sharing her toys...which can be a problem at nursery and daycare. Thankfully she is easily redirected and responds well to prompts from other adults. The initial screams of protest, however, can be a bit startling to the ears! Wren continues to hate anything that keeps her restrained (car seats and shopping carts rank at the top of that list), although she has gotten better. She's a pretty easy going girl...and long as she gets to roam free!
And since I have been HORRIBLE about taking photos on my camera these days, here are a handful from the last couple of months taken on my phone...


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