Thursday, April 17, 2014

June at 9 Months

Baby June June (her most frequently used nickname. Others are Junie and Juniper) is just moving right along. Well, kind of.

Still not doing much more moving than last month.. or the month before that. She can roll from her back to her stomach but rarely does. The fact that she seems less reluctant to roll is the only advancement she's made in the moving department. I don't mind. Actually, I do wonder if I should be concerned...? I guess I'm realizing there are other things. She's sat independently for a long time, and now she'll move one leg behind her in order to reach farther. Like she's about to get on her knees for a crawl. Maybe she'll skip rolling all together and just go for a crawl? And she doesn't hate being on her stomach anymore.

Speaking of reaching farther - she has got quite the go-go-gadget arms. The second she's put in a new location she's reaching and grabbing whatever is nearby. Grabby McGrabberson. That's her other nickname:) Her favorite thing to reach for is Henry. If he's close enough, she's got his hair, mouth, or hands in her grasp. He doesn't mind most of the time. I've been trying to convince her that if she only learns to move she'll be able to go after him and won't have to wait until he comes near before she can get a hold of him!

June has become an early riser, just like her brother was for most of his life. We're barely hanging onto 7am, hoping it doesn't get earlier. Our routine has been that she comes into bed with me to nurse in case she'll fall back asleep, which she does half the time, but only for another 15-20 minutes (blessed minutes when I continue to sleep too). And then she hangs out in bed with me while I try to wake up and read my scriptures. She knows her Dad and brother are outside of the room, however, and constantly looks toward the door either waiting for them to come in or trying to send me the message that she wants to go out. I love that time with just her, though, laying next to her in bed singing good morning songs to her smiling face.

June loves to play peek-a-boo. I'm amazed, she totally did this on her own - she'll hold a blanket or clothes over her head and wait for us to say "where's June?" before she pulls it off, laughing. Sometimes you can still see one of her eyes peeking out at you as she waits. So cute.

She's got one tooth on the bottom that's a third of the way in. So far, like her brother, she doesn't demonstrate any discomfort from teething (fingers crossed!).

I'm seeing her become a little picky with what food she'll eat. The last few times I've tried to give her pureed baby vegetables she won't open her mouth even though I can't always figure out how she even knows she won't like it (I guess she smells it - I don't usually see her look at the spoon). It's those darn super sweet flavors like banana and peach that she's gotten used to. She is getting to be really good at grasping little bits of food on her try (or the floor, or the lawn:)

Something I don't know if I've mentioned yet - June is really sensitive to the sun. She's always squinted a ton even in mild sunlight. Her eyes tear up the whole time we're outside in the sun and today, the first time I haven't put a sun hat on her, her forehead became really blotchy. It's not severe, but strange to me and it just means this summer won't be fun for her if I don't always make sure she's got her sun hat on or she's in the shade. Shade, by the way, is harder to come by here than in Washington.

She's not talking much more than I've already reported. We'll hear her experiment with sounds on occasion but nothing consistent other than her "dadada."And the happy yelling. And the content "mumbling" while she eats something tasty.

I know last month I talked about her clapping. It's one of her favorite things to do and she'll do it on her own or as soon as I start singing a song, especially if I sing "patty cake." She'll rarely do it when we try to show someone her trick, like when we're skyping family, for example.

We stopped swaddling June this last month. She's actually done really well with the transition, though she does get a lot of nap time battle wounds - scratches on her face from her nails. We have a new nap routine. Instead of nursing her to sleep I sit with her on the rocking chair in her room, read a book then rock her a bit while singing to her. I love that short time with her and I especially love that she yawns as soon as we walk into her room at nap time.

We're so enjoying our little baby. As big as she's getting, I love getting her cuddles and try to be aware of how little she still is.

Videos (I went a little overboard):

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Utah Bucket List: Station 22 Cafe

Our first item checked off our bucket list! We enjoyed some delicious food at Station 22 Cafe in downtown Provo. This town has changed a lot since both of us lived here previously - good changes. One of those being the improvements of downtown Provo and lots of new and interesting restaurants. Before moving back we joked that now that there are restaurants we'll want to eat at, we won't have the money to eat there. We decided, at about the time we came up with our bucket list, that we would save up our date money and eat at one of these restaurants every three months. That might sound really infrequent, but we only go on two dates a month and one of those is always to the temple, so every third "date" date will be like tonight's. I am so so excited about this... an actual restaurant! I like going to our typical dining spots: taco joints, cheap Asian food, food trucks. But every once in a while I like (need?) a sit-down "nice" place.

Back to Station 22. We had heard mixed reviews about the place, mostly good despite a 3.5 rating on Yelp (I consider that rating the lowest I would want to try if the ratings were my only guide). We ordered the Jack Kerouak burger and the Memphis Chicken Sandwich, shared both entrees and had a salad on the side. Yes, a salad, not fries. Our sole healthy decision of the night. Both burger and sandwich were good, we were happy with our meal although we wouldn't rush back (that's what Rob said, but the deep fried cookie dough the waiter tried tempting us with makes me want to rush back).

My favorite part of the meal was the great ambiance in the restaurant. It felt like an escape from Provo to me. The other great thing about Station 22 is their soda selection. It's fun to have an "activity" to do while waiting for the food - after ordering we stood from our table to go select a soda. Rob chose caramel root bear.

Oh, we also rode our bikes to Station 22. How fun is that?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Utah Bucket List

Well, we're here for another 2+ years and we want to make the most of it so we created a bucket list: what we want to do, see and eat in Provo and around Utah!

Originally I was going to purchase a notebook and create a passport-like booklet for the things on our list, but I didn't know what kind of keepsake I could put in the notebook for each item (vs. a blog post where I could just include a picture) plus, I'm not very sentimental - a little notebook like that would be something I would want to get rid of a few years down the road.

So, if I can keep this up, here are the posts you'll be seeing in the future as we check these items off our Utah Bucket List:

Restaurants (first things first, let's be honest):
Station 22
Waffle Love
Black Sheep
Pizerria 712
City Trolley
180 Tacos

State Capital
Zion National Park
Arches National Park
St. George
Manti Temple
Park City
Salt Flats
Timpanogos Caves

Springville Art Museum
Provo Center Street Parade of Homes
BYU baseball game
BYU volleyball game
Ice Skating
Temple open house
General Conference
Alpine Slide
Thanksgiving Point
Sundance Film Festival
Ski lift ride at Sundance
Outdoor movie
Sheepdog Festival
Tube Provo River
Y Mountain
Hike Timpanogos
Bike riding in the canyon
Bean Museum

Any suggestions for our bucket list?

PS. We've already done the following things. They would have ended up on our bucket list if we hadn't already done them by the time we made one:
Ride Train to SLC
Lights at Temple Square
BYU hockey
BYU gymnastics
BYU Museum of Art
BYU Paleontology Museum
Seven Peaks

Monday, March 17, 2014

June at 8 months

Eight months!? I probably always say that she's growing up so fast, but seriously, this last month has been the quickest of all! I'm not even sure if she's doing anything new or different - but I'll try to think of something...

She is officially a blondie. She's been turning blonde for a while now but retained a funny "collar" of dark hair in the back and now even that is gone. Now I'm just anxious for it to grow longer so we can see what she looks like with even more blonde hair.

June thinks life is for laughing. She does it all day long and it's usually a fake "I'm supposed to be laughing because I'm awake" laugh. It's quite easy to get a belly-laugh out of her, just tickle her or have Henry pay any bit of attention to her. As I type this I'm trying to also nurse her but she keeps unlatching to laugh.

She likes to kick, clap and "drum" (bang two items together or onto a hard surface). I thought she had a new trick of clapping if I ask her to, but she just did it for a couple days and now can't seem to do it as perfectly since then. She'll now either bring her hands together but as fists instead of open, or she'll have open hands but clap her leg instead of her hands together.

We almost got June to roll over the other night. She's decided that she doesn't like to lay on her back now that she's so good at sitting and she's never liked her stomach, although she hates it less now that she can prop herself up a little higher even though it's still usually mere seconds before she intentionally rolls onto her back to get out of that position. So, anyway, by this age she should be rolling onto her stomach from her back and with the enticement of one of her favorite "toys" - her medicine syringe, she got mostly there except she doesn't know how to get her one arm out from under her. I guess I should be practicing more using the syringe again and other favorite items like her water cup and some food or something.

She cries a little easier and harder these days. She's learning how to use her cry as a tool, I guess (read: she manipulates us with her cry). When she's tired she wants me and if I look away or, heaven forbid, walk away, then she can get pretty upset.

Her new sounds this month are funny ones: a hiss and a gargle. Sometimes she'll be about to cry and she'll happen to make the gargling sound which stops her from crying and she continues with the vocal play.

We are excited to see what this month brings for our little baby girl and feel so blessed that we'll get to share it with her!

Enjoy a couple videos of June from last week:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

this handsome boy

I took these a while ago (when he was just shy of 2 1/2 and when he was still pretty blond) and was just looking at them again tonight. I tell you, I think this kid is so good looking.

 Even the funny faces.
 And especially when watching him play.

It occurred to me recently that he is only two months away from being THREE years old! I don't know how I feel about this little baby boy of mine getting so big. I call him that often: my baby boy, despite him telling me each time, "I'm not a baby" and disbelieving me when I tell him, "but you're MY baby."

For the record, he never wears his hair like this. I wish he could but it falls down shortly after it gets spiked (with lotion, hair gel and or hair spray) and I've stopped trying.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

June at 7 months

Look at our baby! Isn't she cute!?

At seven months June is now eating solids. We started just a few weeks ago and she's a fan. I planned on doing strictly Baby Led Weaning but we had some issues with June gaining weight so I switched things up, spoon feeding her purees so I could have more control over what got in her mouth (rather than letting her practice with foods and most of it ending up on her lap. Her first bites of purees were not as successful as her first bites of finger-foods (as baby led weaning dictated we give her) but our girl is flexible and will take both textures.

I mentioned issues gaining weight. I don't know how big of a problem it really was, but at her sixth month check-up she hadn't showed the expected growth since her four month visit so we were told to supplement my nursing with formula then come back in two weeks. Two weeks later she actually had lost little (.2 ounces) so I was again told to supplement her and come back in one week. June pretty much hated the formula and I could only get her to drink a couple ounces a day at most, and that was only through a medicine syringe since she wouldn't suck on a bottle with formula milk. When we came back she had gained three ounces, so we're not worrying about it anymore.

She has begun to talk a little. Her "screaming" talking has been replaced by "dadada" and today I heard "bababa." Let me tell you, she has got the sweetest little voice, we love hearing it. Her other tricks are still blowing raspberries and her latest is shaking her head "no" to be funny.

No new gross motor milestones since last month except that she is now a total expert at sitting. She'll sit forever and it's her preferred position. She can reach all around her and lean way forward, all without losing her balance and falling over. She has even taken her first couple rides in the seat of a shopping cart!

To my surprise, June has demonstrated some stranger/separation anxiety. This was the age Henry started too but I guess I didn't think my social butterfly of a girl would experience it. She isn't quite her fun smiley self with strangers (well, anyone besides our family) now and has cried a few times when being held by someone else. She even will cry when looked at if she's tired. Our friend Lindsay babysat for us a couple weeks ago and June was not the happy camper she has been with babysitters up to this point. Dang it! We just got back from spending a long weekend with Rob's parents in Las Vegas. Even though she doesn't see them very much at all she was pretty fun with them and they got to see all her tricks. There were a couple times in the condo with just G'ma and G'pa when she realized that all her family was gone and she got a little teary.

The trip included a 6 hour drive each way and June was great. On the way there she was starting to lose it with one hour still to go but was pacified by a light show app on my phone:) On the way back home she took a nap right when we started, was happy while she was awake, then fell asleep again when it was her normal bedtime. Thank goodness because it was an extra long trip due to some unexpected traffic and she would have been furious if she was awake!

She has been a total trooper with recent sleep training efforts we've made. I've procrastinated getting her to reduce her night-wakings/feedings because I know this girl can be a marathon crier. But, one night we just decided to go for it and not get her when she woke a few hours after her first feeding. She ended up crying for TWO hours (more like 2 1/2 or more, but I'd prefer to remember it as two). But since that night over a week ago she only wakes up once, around 4-5 am for one feeding. So, I guess that's her training mode: one really bad night and then that's it.

So that's our seven-month old. Seven months feels so old - on the way to one year! Crazy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Looking Back: Halloween 2013

The kids in their costumes:
 A close-up of the cutest fleece monkey that ever was (3 1/2 mo old):
Henry's very first "real" trick or treating (It was my job to stay at home and hand out candy. But who could miss the chance to witness this?!):