Thursday, July 17, 2014

June at 1 year


It happened, our little baby girl turned one. And one day we'll be calling her our little girl, not our baby girl (okay, I'll probably always call her my baby girl). She looks a little goofy in this picture because for the first time in a year she gave us a hard time during the photo shoot. I'd say we made off pretty well if this was the first tough photo shoot. I do like that this picture shows that she's looking a little bit older. I also noticed in the last few days that her thighs are less chubby - the only chub she really had, she's pretty little.

June is half sweetheart and half spunk. Yes, we'll call it "spunk." Her Grandma Nyland is our family astrologer and has confirmed that June, who is a Cancer with a Pisces moon (is that right?) is highly emotional. No kidding. Our drama queen makes herself cry - I call it "drawing a foul," arches her back in protest, tends to be upset without anything that we can think of to make her happy, and overreacts to Henry bothering her (when she's not the one wrestling him!). The other side of that is that she's easy to get laughing and can be sweet and cuddly.

We've learned that she loves to be physical. Like I just mentioned, she loves to climb all over and wrestle Henry. It seems like since crawling a couple months ago she now has the constant urge to be pushing herself further, physically. She loves to climb stairs, in fact she's a little obsessive - if she sees stairs she heads right to them or fights to get out of our arms in order to climb them. She likes to go up and down slides. For her only birthday activity (because, of course, she's only one so I don't need to actually plan anything for her birthday) we went to the mall play place where she loves to climb the stairs and go down the slide). I've tried to figure out what other climbing equipment she has access to that fits her development but stairs really is it.

She's an excellent sleeper at night. Since our last round of night sleep training when we got rid of all her night feedings a few months back she hasn't regressed at all. She does continue to wake early, though, which is tough. Most mornings she comes into bed with me and nurses and most mornings her and I are both able to fall back asleep. A lot of mornings she wakes up so so early (this morning it was 5:15) but I won't get her until about 6:30 so she's up and crying until then. I feel bad but I know the alternative is that she'll learn to get up earlier and earlier. Naps are hit and miss. She naps a lot in the car during our summer activities but in her crib she only sleeps 30-45 minutes usually. She's pretty happy despite that.

June prefers to feed herself with a spoon and if the spoon happens into the right position in her hands she actually doesn't do to bad of a job! She really loves cereal, just like her brother who refuses almost anything but cereal for breakfast, and will eat 2-3 bowls of cereal with milk (the cereal just sort of soaks up all the milk). Her favorite is still drinking water, milk, anything. If she sees a water bottle she complains until it's given to her. Liquid and fruit - that would make up her entire diet if we let it.

She is a talker these days! All of the sudden her babbling has taken off and it's adorable. "Dabadow" is my favorite. I haven't noticed that she understands a lot, but I wouldn't be surprised if I just haven't paid enough attention. The other day in the tub she was standing and when I would tell her to sit, she would, then stand quickly again until I told her to sit again. She'll do some tricks like clap and put her arms up for "ta da" when we tell her. So, I guess there are things I know she understands.

This is the last of the month updates for our June June. I can but can't believe she's one years old. She still seems like such a baby, so small still. I feel like I didn't take her being a baby for granted as much as I did with Henry, I think that's probably due to being a parent for the second time, so she doesn't seem so "old" to me all the time. I feel really grateful that I was able to cherish those times when she was so little.

We love you June! We are so blessed to have you in our family!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June at 11 months


June in June! I've been waiting for this month to see what it's like to have a baby named after the month we're in. And now I know...it doesn't make a difference.

A day or two after I posted her 10 month update about not crawling - she started crawling. So, she never scooted, army crawled or any other version of a pre-crawl. She just crawled. I forgot how annoying/entertaining it is to have a crawler around the house. It's really funny to me that I lose her ("she was just here, where did she go?") but it's, of course, more work to keep her safe from falling down stairs, off beds, or from accessing choking hazards.

Yes, she's fallen off my bed. And she even fell out of her crib recently (oh, maybe even the day after falling off my bed). So sad. One day she stood up for the first time in her bed and I noted to Rob that it was time to move her mattress down, but that she still wasn't tall enough to fall out, probably. Wrong. The next day during her nap I went in to get her out of bed because she never fell asleep, only cried. When I opened the door she was right there, I hit her! Talk about adding insult to injury: first she climbs/falls out of her crib then her mom hits her in the head with the door. Thank goodness I opened the door slowly. Needless to say, Rob lowered her mattress right then. I still don't understand how our non-climber climbed out (I've never seen her do anything that resembles what she somehow managed in order to get out) nor how she didn't injure herself. I cried when I thought about how scary it must have been for her and how that day could have been much scarier for all of us.

June has turned into a little bit of a drama queen. She too quickly cries when her brother barely hurts her or if she accidentally gets bonked or bumped in anyway (I'm realizing how ironic this is, complaining about her drama when the paragraph above I feel like I neglected her for an actual big accident - maybe I should be a little more sympathetic?). She's gotten a lot more clingy with me just like her brother always has been and in ways she never was before. Tired or sad - she needs me. She has also able to communicate when she does or doesn't want something. If she wants it (usually food, especially a drink) she screams, and if she doesn't want it she'll take it from you then throw it down. Or, in the case of one of us coming near her when she's upset, she bats us away with both arms. I'll be honest, the drama is a little hard to deal with but it's also amusing. If she's especially hard to handle when she's 4, 5 or so on, I'll be able to trace it back to when she was 10-11 months old.

We take June to Seven Peaks water park frequently and she enjoys splashing and crawling around in the shallow part of the kiddie pool. She has been awesome so far at falling asleep at the park, so we're able to be there a few hours during her afternoon nap but she still gets it in. She's gotten quite tan in the sun! Strangers and friends used to comment on her big eyes, now everyone is talking about her dark skin. Her hands and feet are especially dark. Too bad the picture above doesn't show it.

She's got a total of four teeth, I think the last two, those on the top, have come in since the last blog update. Her top teeth are spaced and her buck teeth sure are adorable.

We sure love you June! I can't believe next month you will be one years old!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Provo is for families: Book festival and AstroFest

If Virginia is for lovers, Provo is for families. There have been a lot of days where Rob and I look at each other and remark how great it is to be living here, especially with our young family and especially on Saturdays. There's so much to do and it's a great little-ish town to do them in. Before I share pictures from one particular family-fun-filled Saturday, here's an example that struck me when we first moved to Provo. In Kirkland, where we lived before, each library has one story time for Henry's age group. Here in Provo, there are 14 a week! (three mon-thurs and two on friday). That's just for his age group, there's just as many for babies and for preschoolers. There's just a lot of kids here (#mormons).

May 17th was one Saturday like many others where we just have a lot of fun, provided by the place we live. In the morning Henry and I went to a book festival at the library. I was so impressed with the theme and how it was executed, I was even kind of jealous of all those who were part of the event's planning and carrying out (that was a strange feeling for me - but I've been feeling a little under-utilized here in Provo, but that's an example of what's not great about living here and a topic for another day).

Henry was able to view a cool model train, use a typewriter, dance (?) around a maypole, choose a free book, go through a mouse maze, make mouse ears, listen to a dramatized book reading, watch pet mice, and enjoy a cheese and crackers snack. The best part was enjoying the event with just my boy, which happens rarely.



After we got home from the library we ate lunch then all headed to campus for BYU's annual AstroFest, a family and scouting day put on by the physics and astronomy department. So this event was arguably a lot cooler than the library event and Henry still talks about it.

Viewing the sun on the roof of the Eyring Science building, where everything took place.
 Venturing through exclusive parts of the building...
 ... to find this:
 (spying Venus)

And my proud mama/geeky former BYU portion of the day - Henry is participating in an acoustics demonstration in the very same classroom I took an acoustics class in years ago (oh, and also a New Testament class... only at BYU)!


Rocket building/snack time

About to launch his rocket. Oh man, he loved this!




And last - the trooper who did.not.sleep despite appearing very sleepy.

Utah Bucket List: Black Sheep Cafe

It turns out that a really smart way to get some gift certificates to restaurants you want to eat at is to put them on your bucket list and then blog about that list :) 

For Mother's Day Rob's parents gave me a gift certificate to Black Sheep Cafe. Happy Mother's Day to me! Here is my handsome date, button-down shirt and all. 

Don't get mad at him for being on his phone while on a date - it took about five years for our food to come, so there was some time in between the romantic talk. It was fine that the food took so long, we had planned that our friend would put the baby to bed (that was huge for me - someone besides us putting her to bed! Luckily my friend, Lindsay, is as capable as we are at such things. Oh, we also left her with a half-potty-trained three year old). However, had we planned on this date lasting as short as they usually do (because of said baby) then I would have been stressed about the wait!

The wait was also made better because of this awesome prickly pear lemonade. Truth: after I saw the menu I was less than enthused to be eating here. We realized the items we had intended to order, because of Yelp and friend reviews, were only served at lunch. We even thought about leaving, but we ordered. Then came our prickly pear lemonade we ordered. I thought we'd get one glass but instead it comes in this bottle... lots of glasses worth (and pretty and delicious)? Okay, my attitude totally changed. Do you agree that this is exciting?

Our food that ended up being really really good. I got the red beef navajo taco with street corn (meh) and beans on the side (I was so not in the mood for beans but they were good good). Rob got the green chili stew. Great flavors, another one that I thought I wasn't in the mood for, but ended up totally enjoying bites of. Oh, we also had a great seat by the window and in the corner of the restaurant. I'm super picky about where I sit. I don't ever speak up about it, but it helps me enjoy/not enjoy a dining-out experience.


Another shot of my date.

Thanks for making this date possible, Jerry and Linda! I still have enough left over on the gift certificate... I might even go with girlfriends instead of Rob. It was MY gift after all :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

June at 10 months



This month June is moving all around! Just not in the direction she prefers. She can go from sitting position to on her hands and knees to on her belly to pivoting from side to side. Once on her belly she can move backward but not forward, so eventually she gets stuck in a corner somewhere and upset about it. She's just using her arms for all this, not yet her legs. In no time she'll figure it out then we'll really be in trouble.

She has started to point, it's so cute with her little forefinger and thumb too. She'll point to something random and say, "duh, duh." The other day she did that and Henry said, "where's the duck?" It was like their first conversation :)

June has added to her consonant repertoire (her mom's an SLP) this last month but still just reduplicated canonical babbling (again, her mom's an SLP) "nanana" "dadada." She's a riot, talking all the time and laughing a lot, especially when Brother is around. Any time he's talking near her she seems to think it's to her, so she gets excited. She laughs when he or another child cries a little, but when Henry cries a lot (like, throwing a major three-year old fit) she gets really upset and cries hard.

I've mentioned how her hair is blonde and getting blonder, but I don't think I've written about how it's really fuzzy. It's the funnies texture, it changes all the time but she often reminds me of a baby duck with how fuzzy it usually is.

A second tooth has joined her first that came in next month. The first tooth is all the way in, the other is still short. Her little teeth have made her smile even cuter. What isn't cute is that she has started biting me when I nurse her. She does this only during one or two nursing times during the day and after she's nursed for a number of minutes. I don't know if she's communicating that she's done, if she's trying to see what my reaction would be, or if she's just curious about the biting sensation. It's probably a little of all of those. I've tried getting mad at her and she'll be really really sad, crying like I'm not used to seeing her cry. Other times she gets a little smile and does it then has a fake cry if I get mad. I try to just ignore her but she can really hurt me!

She gets "shy" when strangers talk to her and she hides her head/eyes. But not just strangers, she'll do it with Rob and I too. For a baby that's not overly cuddly, these are the only way we get cuddles out of her so it's actually kind of fun. The other day we were at the park and I was wondering why she was being so cuddly with Rob, then I remembered, oh yeah because he's talking to his friend that he ran into there. I came home one evening while everyone was eating dinner and she had no where to hide, but she tried putting her head down on her booster seat tray. She began to cry, I'm assuming because she was a little emotional and had no where to hide into.

Sleep is going pretty well. She started waking up earlier and earlier. When she woke up at 5:15 we knew we had to deal with it. Dealing with it meant letting her cry until a time we're okay with and Rob getting her so she's not getting up just to nurse. For the week and a half she will now sleep in until about 7am. A couple days into finally "sleeping in" her second tooth broke the gum line, so maybe it was teething waking her up?

June is a big eater and has gotten only more picky and more demanding recently. If she sees anyone eating anything, or opening something she thinks is food then she squaks and gets grumpy if you don't share. Especially with water bottles, she loves to take drinks. If she doesn't want the food she's given then it lands on the floor.

That's our funny and adorable little 10 month old June!





Sunday, May 11, 2014

Henry turns 3

Our baby boy, our sweet Henry Lewis turned three years old on May 2. This birthday wasn't as shocking to me as his second and definitely not as devastating as his first. It was normal, like Henry's been needing to be three for about six months now.

We repeated the tradition we started last year with a whole week of celebrating. And now that we've done that tradition twice we are done with it. Henry was confused all week long, asking "I'm three?" every time we'd say we were doing something for his birthday (his actual birthday wasn't going to be until the 6th day of our week-long plans). And, really, celebrating for a whole week is pretty excessive. Not that is wasn't super fun - I looked forward to and enjoyed the week right along with him, maybe even more than he did! Really, I finally understand parents who treat their child's bday like a holiday. I never really got it and was maybe even slightly annoyed when a parent would say they couldn't make plans on their child's bday. But, like I said, I get it now - celebrating his bday was totally a big deal for me! Or maybe it's because my life is usually so mundane...?

Here are some (a lot) of highlights from this week o' bday fun:

A night at the arcade (oh, I didn't mention - most of our activities were free. For example, we had free tokens for the arcade).
(notice the ball shooting out from behind Henry - arcade games really aren't meant for barely three year olds)

Donuts for breakfast at Provo Bakery.

(June's donut lesson for the class)

A trip to the toy store. Henry loves playing with the toys on display there, but the secret mission was to buy birthday presents without him seeing. This was not one of them.

Thanksgiving Point. (tangent: we got tickets to the museum at Thanksgiving Point on Groupon... or so we thought. On our way there, after Henry being MOST excited for this particular bday activity, we took another look at our Groupon and discovered it was for a different museum! 40 min away! Ugh. So, we went for it and drove all the way to Salt Lake for a museum that wasn't going to be as cool. When we got there IT WAS CLOSED for a special event. Seriously!? Good thing Henry was only turning three and not seven and was just as happy running around the museum grounds, not disappointed at all. Plus, we met up with one of Henry's favorite Salt Lake peeps, Lindsay, which helped make it okay too.) (Oh, where did these pics come from then? The very next day a friend of Rob's offered her free tickets to the original, preferred museum. Tender Mercies.)

Father & Son paleontologists 
The farm at Thanksgiving Point. We were quite surprised that Henry agreed to the horse ride.


And a video "This is so fun!":



Tractor ride. Henry is smiling, he rarely smiles when enjoying something. Usually he's stone-faced.


The actual birthday. Henry was willing to pause playing with his newly-opened toys only because his birthday breakfast had sprinkles on it. Here, he's saying, "Wow, it's my awesome pancakes!"

In the middle of the day Henry had a trip to the movies (Peabody and Mr. Sherman) and to "Old McDonalds" with Dad.

That night we invited a handful of friends over for cake. Henry's favorite thing these days is race cars, so that's what the cake was. A friend brought over a pinata that he had two days previous for his birthday for us to use again at Henry's. It was a Lightning McQueen pinata, turning our party into one that actually had a theme. 

Action shots:


Actual action: (I don't know where he was going)


Henry loves sprinkles, so this cake was full of them.


That was it. Fun week, right? And now he's three. I want to include some of what Henry is like at the end of two/beginning of three:
  • Very cuddly and attached to mom, just like he always has been. When he's sad, hurt, or even mad at me, his cry is, "I want mommy!" even when I'm already holding him.
  • He likes to "get cozy" which mostly means he wants to be naked wrapped up in a fleece blanket. 
  • Has some favorite friends that include boys at church and in our neighborhood. They don't seem to actually reciprocate the feelings, but he loves them and enjoys any "friends" that he meets at a park, etc.
  • He's not potty trained yet and although changing diapers is the battle repeated four times a day, potty training him isn't going to be easy. I think he's ready, but I think he'll fight us on it. Speaking of fighting, he thinks he's being tortured at hair salons and doctor's offices.
  • He hides almost anytime Rob or I (or anyone) come home/into the house. Hiding just means his face buried into the couch or floor and us pretending not to be able to find him.
  • Henry is polite ("thank you mom for my lunch"), silly, and a very sweet older brother. He loves to hide with June by putting a blanket over the two of them, and to share his food with her. Those are also the only things that make me nervous about the two of them alone - the hiding because he doesn't understand about making sure she can breath, and the food because... well, the same reason.
  • Favorite food is cereal (he gets a sugary cereal if he stays in his own bed every night, which is 3 out of 4 nights), favorite toy is his race cars, favorite color is green (I love that he has a consistent favorite color), favorite show is... anything, he wants to watch shows all.day.long. But I guess his most favorite is Frozen (we call it a show, he doesn't know the difference between show and movie). He receives way more "media time" than I would prefer, but it does allow me to get housework done and Dad gets his best cuddles in by bribing Henry to watch a show with him.
  • He sings the ABCs but only recognizes the print form of H, O, Y, and G. He can almost spell his name (just have to get him over the "e" hump in his name, otherwise his instinct is to say the alphabet "H B C D..." He recognizes the numbers 1-5, knows his basic shapes, and most colors. He's pretty much right on par with knowledge a three year old should have but he's an excellent learner. It's a joy to teach him in our almost-daily "mom school" and see him gaining knowledge right in front of my eyes. 
  • He fights us when we say it's time for prayer (at dinner it's always, "we don't pray in this house. Only Grandpa's house." Saying this because we used to tell him he had no choice, in this house we pray. We think he just doesn't like prayer to get in the way of eating), but when we can convince him it's his turn to pray we hear, "Dear Heavenly Father, thankful for this day, thankful for my volcano." We have no idea what that's about.
  • He wants me to play with him constantly and I hear myself telling him "no" most of the time, or so it seems. And I must tell him that I'm busy a lot because that's now his response to why he can't do something ("I can't, I busy."). I get really sad for his lack of playmates, but I'm told that's just a reality of him being the oldest child.
  • We have a cheer, "We are Nylands and we are awesome!" said loudly while holding each others' hands as we raise them at "awesome"
  • Henry's greatest strength is his visual memory which is evidenced in his ability to put together puzzles, genuinely beat us at Memory, and know his way around Provo almost better than me. He gets this from his Dad.
  • I think he is so handsome and he gets so many compliments about his blue eyes and beautiful lips. And his laugh and smile? Can't be beat.
  • He has taught us a lot about patience. He was pretty much a easy and obedient child until almost 2.5, right about the time we moved to Utah which may have helped the onset of the terrible twos. We get over one difficult phase (running away from us) just to start another (refusing to go to bed). I know this is normal and I hear it's just preparing us for the battles that come during age three. Goody.
I want to and could go on and on. I can't put into words the love I have for my sweet boy. He is my whole world (shared a bit by his dad and his sister) and I'm loving spending this time where he's somewhere between a baby and a little boy. Every day I get to hold and kiss him and for that I am so so grateful. I love you, Henry Lewis, my most favorite boy that I ever did know.