Monday, May 9, 2016

James - 18 Months

James, you are 18 months old! I can't believe you've been here a year and a half. You have such a special place in my heart and it's hard to imagine life before you. You're getting to be such a big(ger) boy!

Here are your stats:
Height: 35.5 inches-99th percentile
Weight: 33 lbs, 5 ounces-99th percentile
Head: 19.75 inches-98th percentile

You wear mostly 3T clothes, some 2T and a few other smaller things, but not much! You're a very big boy for your age. Sometimes I get a little sad because you don't fit in some of the more baby-like things other kids your age fit into. But then again, you're so darn cute in whatever you wear it doesn't matter. You wear size 6 diapers.
-You're a very picky eater. I'm not sure if this is regular ol' toddler pickyness, or just how you are. You often turn your head away when we offer you food at dinner, and usually eat very little in the evenings. Breakfast is not much better, lunch you eat somewhat more. A great deal of your food ends up on the floor, much to my frustration and Teddy's joy. There is an inverse correlation to your eating: if I spend lots of time preparing a homecooked meal, you turn your nose up at it. But if I offer you a microwaved hotdog, you devour it. You don't like vegetables. You're starting to eat tomato, which is small progress. On the other hand, you love most fruit, sweets, and snacks...you never turn those down!!! One thing is certain...you're a mess, a very loveable one though!
-You drink 2% milk and love it! You're still using bottles...you took to them after you stopped nursing. You don't use a pacifier, so I think it's a bit of a comfort thing, as you'll sometimes walk around with the bottle in your mouth even if you're not drinking. At a certain point soon we need to break the habit, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

- You're talking and babbling constantly! You can identify lots of people and things, and you're starting to say new words faster and with less prompting. Teddy and Aurora fascinate you, and you love to chase them around! Most new animals that look anything like a dog are called "Teddy." We're working on identifying body parts and colors are next!
- You remain a very passionate little person. You're usually either happy and sweet or upset and not afraid to show it. You don't like to be alone or with people you don't know. You still dislike the church nursery. But you love your family very much and give us lots of affection and snuggles. Lately your nickname for Claire is "baby doll." It's the cutest thing ever!!! Claire does not like it though! She doesn't understand why you think she's a baby...haha! You're the perfect little brother...you love your sissy, but you also love to mess with her and her toys! She will have an elaborate toy set-up going, and you will rush in, steal the most important thing, and run away like a football player headed to the endzone! Y'all fight over toys a lot, but you love each other and it makes me and Daddy so happy to see. One of the sweetest moments ever was when we picked you up after a weekend away at a family wedding for which Claire was a flower girl...on our way home Claire said, "We sure missed you buddy!"
- You have a head full of gorgeous hair that curls at the end. It's getting long in the back, but it's not in your eyes yet. I don't know how I'll ever bring myself to cut it! The color is a light brown with a red tint in the sun. It's very close to Claire's hair color now. Your eyes are brown and very soulful, just like your Daddy. They melt me! You have lots of teeth! You're working on your canines...after that, the only ones left will be your two year molars.

- You have such a sweet personality. You say your own version of thank you (pronounced "di doo") almost every time someone gives you something. Sometimes you even say it when you don't really need to! Recently you took a Claire away from toy. She got upset and I told you to give it back to her...when she got it back, you proudly told her "di doo." Such an adorable and polite young man! You are very loving and have the best snuggles ever. 
- You're a good sleeper, for the most part. At bedtime you take a partial bottle while we rock you and read stories. Then it's lights out with some songs. We put you in your bed, turn on your music monkey, and you usually go to sleep on your own. Occasionally you cry, but you've come so far in going to sleep on your own. Once you're asleep, you almost always sleep through the night. You take a nice, long afternoon nap!
- You love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Paw Patrol, Minions (aka "BaBa"), Puffin Rock, etc. You like watching movies and actually have a pretty long attention span for your age. You love watching the Despicable Me/Minion movies, Tangled, and Frozen. You're really getting into superhero stuff, too. 

Current nicknames: Jambo, Jamesie, buddy

Favorite toys: small figurines that you carry around constantly (Flynn Rider in your favorite), books, Cookie Monster toy, toy cars and trucks
Jambo, you are such a ray of sunshine with a smile that can make the cloudiest day bright. We're so blessed to have you! It breaks my heart a little bit that you're getting so big, but I'm also thankful to watch you grow. 

I love you,
Mama

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Claire - 3 Years

Claire, you are three years old! Baby girl, you are growing up! It's been a fun year watching you grow into a little girl. You're a walking ray of sunshine, and you bring so much joy to everyone you know!

Your measurements:
Height: 38.5 in-83rd percentile
Weight: 37 lbs-92nd percentile

You wear mostly size 4T clothes these days, though some 3T still fit. You have beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair that naturally curls at the ends. You're a gorgeous little girl!
Here's what you've been up to:

- You are a real character and you crack us up on a daily basis. You're a jokester...you're funny, and you know when you're being funny. You've recently started using your eyes to communicate a lot of your humor...when you say something silly, you open them up big and it always makes us laugh.

- You're a pretty good eater overall! There's typical toddler pickyness and you're very sensitive to things being spicy. You love donuts and will ask for them for dinner! You're also pretty good about eating vegetables, but of course your prefer sweets and snacks!

- We took you to your first dentist appointment last month and it went well! You were a real pro about the whole thing and didn't freak out at all. No cavities! The dentist did say you'll probably lose your baby teeth early because your front teeth have very small roots. It's called root reabsorption and while they say it's related to some kind of trauma to the mouth, (like a fall, but it can often be something minor that parents don't notice) I wonder if it might be genetic. I lost my first tooth at 4 and was always a little early with dental stuff, and it sounds like you will be too. You're still faithfully devoted to your paci. I try to only fight one battle at a time, and between James being born and potty training, we just haven't taken it away. It's hard for me to take away something that comforts you so much, but we're going to work on it. You're also very attached to your pink blanket aka your "sheet."
- You started Mother's Day Out two days a week this fall and you love it! I was nervous to send my first baby off to "school" but it's been so good for you! You adore your teachers Miss Kelly and Miss Irma, and your classmates. Your best buddy is Ellys. It's been so good for you to have this socialization and time to learn with others.

- Your favorite shows & characters: Rapunzel, Mickey Mouse ("Nickey Nouse"), Despicable Me/Minions, all the Disney Princesses, PJ Masks, Doc McStuffins, Paw Patrol, Baby Chelsea (A real life toddler whose parents video blog their daily life. You watch it on Youtube kids and love it! The internet is weird!).

- You're a pretty good sleeper. Naps happen about 50% of the time on non-school days, and you sleep well at night. Getting you to sleep is the hard part, and often involves hours of you coming out of your room for various things...needing to use the bathroom, needing water, etc. You've also started coming into our room in the early morning hours and sleeping with us.
- We're on the long slow march to being potty trained. It's been a lengthy process that started sometime around November. You've mostly got the hang of it, but you don't really tell us you need to go (unless it's nap or bedtime, in which case all of your potty training suddenly becomes priority # 1 ;) ) and you're also not usually interested when we try to get you to go.  I think it's just a matter of every kid being different and the fact that your parents have no clue what they're doing. Having a wild little brother in the mix makes things more complicated too! You've made lots of progress though and I know we'll get there soon!

- You're a very sweet child with a lot of spirit. You enjoy having everyone together, and you love to sing, dance, and play with babydolls. You've definitely had some "threenager" moments that literally started the day your turned 3, but you mostly reserve that behavior for mom and dad (okay, mostly mom). You're a first-class big sister to James, who you call Jambo, Jamesie, or buddy. Y'all really play together now and it's so fun to see!

- You're a very talented artist. You definitely got your daddy's art gene. You love to draw and color, and you often blow us away with what you can draw without any help. You're also a great communicator with a strong grasp of language. You compare things using similes all day long..."this is like this...this is like that."

I decided to interview you the other day. Here are your answers at 3 years old!

Favorite color: purple and pink...and yellow

Favorite food: broccoli
Favorite drink: milky (pronounced mulky)
Favorite book: my name book (a neat customized book Dizzie and Corey gave you for your birthday about all the letters of your name)
Favorite show: Mickey Mouse
Favorite movie: Punzel
How old are you? 3
How old is mommy? 2
How old is daddy? 4...I don't know
Favorite thing to do: play with microphone
Favorite thing to do with James: do babies
What do we do all day? play
Favorite place: school
Best friend: Ellys
Favorite song: Twinkle 
What do you want to be when you grow up: "Like for Halloween?" After some clarification, she said playing with babies
Favorite Animal: octopus
Claire, we love you to pieces! You bring so much sweetness to every day. Daddy and I often ask each other how we got lucky enough to have you and your brother. Being your mommy is the best thing ever!

I love you,

Mama

Monday, November 9, 2015

James - 12 Months

James, you are 1 year old! It's hard to believe it's been a year since you came into the world! We absolutely delight in you and we're so proud to have you as our son.

Here are your measurements:

Height: 32.5 inches-99th percentile
Weight: 29 lbs, 12 oz-99th percentile
Head: 19 inches-95th percentile

You're a giant kid. Most of your clothes are 18-24 months, with some 12-18 months. Anything new will need to be a 2T. You're wearing size 5 diapers...I'm worried you will grow out of size 6 dipers before you're potty trained! At 1 year, you weigh just under what Claire weighed when she turned 2...and Claire wasn't small by any means!
Here's what else you're doing these days:

-You're walking and running everywhere! You're a stable walker unless you're really tired. You are a tough kid...my parents always say they don't worry about you falling near as much as they did when the girls were first walking since you're so stout and stable.

- You are a very passionate little person. Whatever you feel, you feel it big! You're extremely sweet but also extremely attached to your people and ready to let us know if you're not happy. You're pretty shy around people outside of your inner circle, but you also really like to flirt and play peek-a-boo! You have a tendency to fuss a lot, but you balance it out with a lot of sweetness and enthusiasm. You are not a fan of being left in the church nursery at all! 
- You like to snuggle and also squirm...it changes by the minute! Rocking you to sleep can be like wrestling a bull! You sleep through the night for the most part and usually take one nap per day. 

- Your eyes are brown and your hair is coming in more and more every day. It's a light brown color with hints of red in the sunlight. You're a little clone of your Daddy, and I find myself calling y'all by the wrong names already. You also favor both your grandpas, as well as your brown-eyed Aunt "Dizzie's" baby pictures.
- You love to eat and hit us up for food on the regular! Your favorite food is beans...a sure sign of a Strutton boy! Mexican food is another fave, along with snacks like graham crackers, goldfish, and cheese. You love fruit but don't seem to be too crazy about vegetables. You're a very messy eater...food is a decorative experience for you! Stuff ends up all over the floor, the blinds by your high chair, and all over you! You're a total mess...Claire finds it hilarious! I would find it more humorous if I didn't have to clean it up...haha! You have eight teeth, and you're on the verge of cutting your molars.
- You like to talk, babble, and you're making animal sounds. Your favorite words are still Dada and Ted-die (Teddy). You also fake sneeze, clap, and "hulk out" (flex your muscles, shake a bit, and growl!)...you crack us up!

- We made it to a year of nursing! I have to brag a little...I'm so proud of us!!! It hasn't always been an easy road but we did it, baby boy! Now on to whole milk!
- Daddy took your birthday off and we had a fun family day together! We got up, opened presents, and then went to eat at Kerbey Lane (this has become a bit of a birthday tradition). Next we went to the zoo and had a great time! Since it was a Monday, the place was empty and you and Claire had a great time running around and seeing everything. We finished off the day by picking up Mexican food and cupcakes. It was a special day spent celebrating you!
- We had your first birthday bash a few days later! The theme was a football fiesta, and we celebrated with fajitas, family, friends, and a football cake! It was a great success, and it meant so much to us that so many of the wonderful people in our lives joined us! You were spoiled with all manner of fun toys and cute clothes!
Current nicknames: Jambo, Jamesie, Jamesie-boy, J-bird, buddy, sweet boy

Favorite toys: Books (you LOVE to read!), Chica doll, play kitchen
Sweet baby James, we love you so very much and can't imagine our family without you! We needed a little boy just like you. The night you were born was absolutely perfect, and I love to think back on it. Your sweet heart and soulful brown eyes make my heart swoon, and I'm incredibly blessed to be your mommy. This first year has been such an adventure, and I can't wait to see what comes next!

I love you,
Mama

Friday, October 9, 2015

James - 11 Months

James, you are 11 months old! Hard to believe you are almost 1, my sweet baby boy. Makes me happy and sad all at once.

You weigh almost 27 lb and remain very tall and strong. You have big feet that are like little loaves of bread, making them difficult to put in shoes! Your cheeks and thighs are so chubby and cute! Most of your clothes are 18-24 months, though you still wear some 12-18 months. We're about to move you to size 5 diapers. At that point you and Claire will be wearing diapers 1 size apart despite being 22 months apart in age. 
Here's what you're up to lately:

- You're a food lover! You love to eat and get very excited about food. You'll eat almost anything, but your current favorites are beans and graham crackers. You also love bread or any fruit. We're still nursing and that is going better lately. You like to nurse for frequent, short sessions. I'm excited to see how you like whole milk next month! 
- You love animals and get a big kick out of Teddy and Aurora. They make you giggle, which is a pretty hilarious sound, sort of like a joyfully happy machine gun! You've discovered feeding Teddy from your high chair and you're always trying to touch Aurora. Not surprisingly, Teddy loves it and Aurora does not - ha!
- You're walking a lot, and really seem to be taking off! You love to toddle around and explore your surroundings. You love to be with people, and will always gravitate to where they are! Seeing you walk is really precious. 
- Your sinus issues have been continuing. We're talking major snot...all the time! After dealing with this for awhile and trying a prescription antihistamine, I took you to the doctor and she diagnosed you with a sinus infection. Poor booboo! It's clearing up slowly but...just lots of drainage. Your doctor says we're in a holding pattern to see how snotty you are this winter. If it's a continuing problem, we might see about testing you for allergies or getting your adenoids checked out when you're a little older. We're hoping you feel much better soon!
- The only positive to being sick is that the antihistamine you were prescribed causes drowsiness. We give it to you before bed and you have started sleeping through the night!!! Your doctor wants  to continue the medicine through Halloween when the ragweed gets better...sure, anything you say, Doctor! ;) You're still not a great napper. For the most part, you take one nap a day that lasts for about an hour. Strangely enough, if I leave you with Daddy or Pinky while I go run errands, you'll take these really long naps! What's up with that, man?!?
- You're talking and babbling a lot. You say DaDa and Teddy (sounds like Ted-dye) regularly, and you'll repeat other things we say to you. You finally said Mama!!! You don't say it a lot, but when you do it's like music to my ears! You have lots to say and even though we don't always understand it, we love to hear you express yourself! You have a sweet little voice and I can't wait to hear the kind of things you say when you're Claire's age. 
- Speaking of Claire, you two crack me up! Y'all fight over toys quite a bit. Since she's older, a lot of times she's the culprit in these situations, but you're definitely staking a claim on things too. Your personality is coming out more and more, and you definitely know how to express yourself when you're upset! 
- We took you up to East Texas for the first time recently for the Strutton family reunion. It was a great trip, and very fun to show you off to my family! Everyone was totally charmed by you, especially when they saw your overalls and "Strut" hat, two old-school Strutton staples!
Current nicknames: Jambo, Jamesie, Jamesie Boy, Jaybird, Strut, Little Man, Buster, Buster Boy, BayBay Swatt
Favorite toys: car keys, books, mega blocks, talking Elmo doll. You're obsessed with shoes! You study them, try to chew on them, and love to carry one around in each hand.
Jamesie-boy, you are joy personified and we can't imagine our family without you! It's hard to believe that a year ago, we still hadn't laid eyes on your beautiful face. The day you were born is one of the happiest, most precious days of my life. We are so excited to celebrate you next month! 

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

James - 10 Months

James, you are 10 months old! Time sure is going fast...we're in the double digits now. Before we know it you'll be 1!

A couple weeks after you hit 10 months, I took you to the doctor because you were sick and you were almost 27 lbs. That's so big that the doctor had to double-check the dosage on your antibiotic because it was so large. You're really tall and freakishly strong. This isn't just a mama's exaggerations...you're huge! You wear some 12-18 month clothes, and lots of 18-24 month. You're in size 4 diapers.
Here's what else you're doing these days:

- You're walking more and more! It's still mostly just a few steps between two people or things, but you've taken a few longer jaunts lately.  Very exciting! Before long, you'll be off!

- You're working on your 8th tooth. You now have four on the bottom to match the four on the top! It seems like we may get a little break from teething here...yay! Your little pearls are really cute and we love your toothy grin.
- Your nose has been really snotty lately, poor thing. It seems you're prone to nasal allergies. We're hoping you feel better soon!

- You're still nursing. This is nothing short of miraculous, because it has not been an easy road. A lot of the time it's still painful and we even had bleeding at one point recently, something that hasn't happened since you were newborn. You nurse like an adult drinks a coke...you nurse a little, sit up and get distracted, nurse some more, sit back up, and so on and so forth. We're also dealing with biting now that you have all these teeth! Getting to a year will be an act of sheer will and determination. There's been an uptick in your nursing frquency recently...maybe a growth spurt or not feeling well.
- Food is your favorite! You seem to really like most everything, and a snack can almost always save the day when you're upset! You have a very hearty appetite. Guess you'd have to in order to keep up that physique, huh?!! You really like blueberries, beans, and cheerios.

- Your sleep is okay, once we actually get you to sleep. Usually you only get up once a night, but getting you to fall asleep is an absolute battle. It usually takes between 30 minutes-1 hour of absolute wrestling to get you to sleep, during which you're chunking your paci across the room, knocking over your lamp and sound machine, and climbing all over me. It's insane! You almost always go down for a morning nap with no trouble around 11 am, but the afternoon nap and bedtime are generally much harder. Your naps rarely last longer than an hour. After repeating this process three times in a day, I usually fall directly into my bed in an exhausted heap.
- You're talking a little more. Your main word is still Dada, but you've also said "Hey Sis" and something close to Teddy and dog. Mama is still elusive. It's almost like you're joking with me...I'll say "Mama" and you look right at me and say "Dada." Haha!

- I'm going to be honest: you are an absolute sweetheart, but you're also a bit of a maniac right now.You're super active and strong, so things like changing you diapers/clothes and putting you to sleep are like wrestling an alligator. You are a very determined little dude! You climb all over me and your Daddy. Baby bulldozer is your default mode these days. You're also still pretty clingy. If I'm not right by your side, there's a good chance you're fussing. Snacks and other people are usually a good distraction though!
Current nicknames: Jambo, Strut, Jamesie, Jameser, Jaybird, and Claire affectionately refers to you as "Buster boy" and "Ketchup boy"...not sure where that one came from!

Favorite toys: You love books, especially our tiny Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street books. It's so sweet to see you studying them intently. You really like the toy kitchen, too. You're also obsessed with our cell phones!
James, you're so precious to us! You bring such joy to our days and your smile is an absolute game changer! Thank you for being ours, sweet boy!

Love,
Mama

Sunday, August 9, 2015

James - 9 Months

James, you are 9 months old! I can't believe you've been on the outside as long as you were inside!

Here are your stats:

Height: 30.5 inches-98th percentile

Weight: 25 lbs, 9 oz-99th percentile

Head: 18.5 inches-92nd percentile

You're a really big, extremely strong kid. All the clothes we buy now are either 12-18 or 18-24 months. You wear size 4 diapers.

Let's see what else you're up to:

- You took your first step a couple weeks ago! From there, you've worked up to taking 2-3 steps into someone's arms. Daddy walked at 9 months, so this is another way you're his mini-me! Soon you'll be off and running!

- You're babbling a lot these days! It's the sweetest sound ever. "Dada" is still your only word, but we're pretty close on "dog", and we're trying to get you to say "mama." You've been busy reaching some major physical milestones, so I'm sure you'll be talking more soon.

- You gave me your first true hug today! It was so sweet. Claire and Grace want you to be their little Olaf and just like him, I guess you do like warm hugs.

- You're still doing major teething. It's a constant transition, but you have 6 total (3 on top, 3 on bottom) and are cutting your 7th as we speak. It has made you pretty miserable, poor boy. I think you've also been going through a growth spurt this week. Lots of shrieking and screaming and you lose your mind if we walk away from you, even for a second. You've also been nursing more frequently.

- You're eating all kinds of new foods! You are obsessed with cheerios...they are a wonderful distraction when I need a few minutes to do something at home or at the store, etc. We're starting to give you more table food. Lately you've had chopped broccoli, chicken, bread, meatloaf, green beans, and pieces of banana. I may have also let you have some pieces of a glazed Round Rock donut. You seem to love it all! You're still eating oatmeal with either peach or mango puree most mornings. Also, you love to drink water!

- Your sleep is unpredictable. On a good night you wake up once to eat. Between teething and being sick with a virus a couple weeks ago, you've had some really rough nights. Lately Daddy and I have spent many nights with you sleeping in the double bed in your room. We haven't even attempted sleep training. I have a feeling you won't sleep through the night regularly until you're weaned.

- You don't really like laying down unless you're sleepy. You constantly want to sit up while you're getting clothes put on, nursing, or being rocked to sleep. You're freakishly strong for a baby so you can be hard to handle. Getting you dressed is one of the most physically difficult things I do as a mom. It's crazy! Unless you're really hungry or tired when you nurse, you want to eat a little bit, then sit up, eat a little bit, then sit up. Ouch!

- You're doing this really cute thing where you give us a really big, exaggerated nod and grunt when we nod at you. Such a tough guy! It's so fun to see you express youself.

Current nicknames: Jamesie, Jamesie-boy, Jambo, J-bird, buddy

Favorite toys: books, play kitchen and food, anything Claire is playing with (seriously, you're really honing your little brother skills!)

Jambo, we love you to pieces! You are a true sweetheart and we love watching you grow...don't rush it though, you're my baby!

Love,
Mama