Monday, July 30, 2018

Lucy and Ellory- Seventeen Months.

Lucy and Ellory are 17 months! Many people are commenting on how big they are getting, and we've gotten numerous comments this month that Norah and Lucy look so much alike (though when I look back a pictures, I personally think Ellory and Norah look more alike). Kley and I said one day as we were watching them play that they are sugar and spice in the best ways- Ellory is sugar and Lucy is spice. Ellory is more calm and Lucy is more active. Ellory is more verbal and Lucy is more physical. Ellory is more even-keeled (though when she's mad she gets really mad), and Lucy is more mischievous. They are both the sweetest and bring so much love!

Stats/Doctor visits: Lucy and Ellory were both sick twice this month, but thankfully it wasn't too bad and didn't inhibit us too much. When we were in Okoboji on family vacation, Ellory had a fever for a couple days, and then Lucy had a fever for about 24 hours. Ellory had a fever again for about two days the following week, but neither had any other symptoms. Later, Lucy went to the doctor on 7/19, after waking up screaming multiple times for two nights but no other symptoms, and had a double ear infection. Ellory currently weighs 23 pounds and Lucy is 21 lbs 10 oz.

Teeth: No new teeth. Lucy is done except for two year molars, and Ellory is still waiting for all four canines.

Feeding: Maybe they were going through a growth spurt for awhile, because they slowed down a bit this month, like they didn't eat as much as usual. Except for the Pizza Ranch buffet- we don't go their often, but they sure love that place. Ellory doesn't like fruit as much as she used to, but she really picked up her meat eating. They both are still pretty good eaters thankfully. They sit in their high chairs really nicely, and thankfully rarely purposely throw food on the floor. We have been working on using silverware more this month, and Lucy especially has taken a liking to it. Cheese is probably both of their favorite food, and crackers and oreos are a favorite treat- exactly like Norah! Lucy really loves blueberries. They have three meals a day and that's usually it. Occasionally they will have a couple crackers or goldfish in the late afternoon if they are hungry for supper early, and sometimes a bedtime snack later if we have an earlier supper, but on most days it's just three meals. They still have a bedtime bottle, which is so cute and holding on to their baby days, but know we need to wean off soon. Ellory drinks more than Lucy, and Lucy usually eats a bit more, even though she's smaller weight wise.

Diapers/Clothes: Wearing 18 month and 18-24 month clothes and size 3 diapers during the day/4 at night.

Sleeping: They have both been in a great sleeping pattern, and we are so grateful! They both go down easily, sometimes they will cry for a minute, but it's not long. When we travel they usually cry awhile the first night and then less and less as they adjust, but once they fall asleep they are usually good. Ellory usually takes longer to fall asleep and wakes up first. They sleep from 9 until about 8:45-9, and nap from 1-3:30ish (sometimes up at 3 and sometimes sleep until 4). Having a consistent sleep schedule and routine is a beautiful thing for all of us!

Words: Words are really taking off! Ellory says so many things; she will copy almost everything you say. She's using two word sentences now. The list of words is too long to keep track of anymore. I've realized how much I say okay or all right as transitional words because Ellory always copies me and says them too. Lucy is getting a lot better too! She still does a lot of babbling and you can tell she's trying to say something, but not as much is intelligible. She says dada, cracker, and thank you consistently, and has said a few other things too like baby, papa, mama, bottle, bye bye, and puppy. They are more clear with what they want now, even if they can't say it, with pointing or showing us what they want. Most of the time we can figure it out, but sometimes Ellory gets really upset if we can't.

Developments: Ellory can count to 5! She just whipped it out one day and surprised us all. We have been practicing things like counting, animals and sounds, colors, etc. but they are mostly repeating now and not identifying themselves yet. Lucy is still our monkey and loves to climb. Ellory has somewhat regularly been pooping on the potty- yay! She doesn't tell me when she needs to go, but I can tell when she's starting to push and if I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty, she will and has gone about 10 times now. They are understanding so much, it's so fun to watch that develop. They follow simple directions and know cause and effect things, such as going outside means putting shoes on, etc. I'm noticing that they both can be pretty particular about things too. Ellory wants something just so as she is playing, and Lucy always notices if a toy is in the wrong place and puts it back where it should be. Both girls still suck their right thumb. Ellory learned how to blow kisses. Lucy is such a daddy's girl. She loves to be moving, yet also loves to cuddle too. They have switched in their separation anxiety- it used to be Ellory that struggled more, but now Ellory is fine and Lucy cries/clings when we leave and she wants me to hold her almost the entire Kindermusik class.

Favorites: Both girls love to be outside and play- favorite outdoor activities are swinging, climbing at the park, stroller walks, sand box, chalk, small rider bikes, toy lawn mower, water table, and any puddle they can find (they don't really like the pool, but any small area of water they love). Lucy loves slides and finding sticks, and Ellory loves the riding horse at the park and finding rocks. Lucy loves to try on Norah's shoes. Ellory loves to carry things around almost all the time, like a doll or stuffed animal, and she loves to dance whenever music comes on. Ellory especially likes to find belly buttons and play peekaboo. They both love to be chased and play in Norah's room. Ellory really loves dogs and isn't scared to go up to them and pet them. They both love to take a bath and coloring is a new favorite activity. Lucy loves to help empty the dishwasher and hands me one thing at a time. Lucy and Ellory, it makes me sad that you aren't babies anymore, but watching you grow and learn brings so much joy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fun with college friends, swim lessons, and my niece's newborn photos.

Last weekend some of our college friends came to visit us and we had a lot of fun! It was my freshman roommate Jackie, her husband Joe, and their two kids Daniel and Noelle (and #3 on the way!). It was great to catch up and see each other again, and fun to watch our kids play together. A few people asked us what we did, and Kley and I laughed because we basically did everything you can do in our small town- park, play outside, bakery, Pizza Ranch, coffee shop, church, and pool. 

Here's some of our pool fun. It was hard to get many pictures, because my girls need constant attention at the pool. I had been trying to get Norah to try the water slide again (she liked it when she was younger, but had recently decided she was scared of it), and Kley got her to try it and she loved it and proceeded to do it about 15 times. Lucy and Ellory tried it as well, and Lucy liked it (well, she tolerated the slide okay but I think she more just wanted to do what the big kids were doing), and Ellory hated it and cried (as I suspected she would). 

Norah had swimming lessons last week and did SO well! It's so neat to see how far she's come each year. (Check out her first swimming lessons and second swimming lessons.) Last year she was pretty timid, but by the end this year she was confidently dunking her own head in willingly! She was very proud of herself and so were we. She even was beginning to put her arms and legs together at the same time for her first stroke. She was pleased to pick out ice cream cone treats for everyone at the grocery store for her success! I didn't actually get any pictures of her lessons because either Kley or I took her each time and you have to be in the water with her. (She did the parent/child introductory class. Next year she will be old enough and definitely ready for the level one class I think!)

Fun swimming with our friends!

What amazing group photos we got- all 5 kids looking and no one crying!

Thanks for coming to visit us, Joe and Jackie! We are thankful for your friendship!

And, I just have to share a couple of our niece's newborn photos because Jorie is too cute. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kitchen update.

Kley and I worked really hard to paint our kitchen/hallway/bathroom cabinets recently! We are thankful to have a had a couple days kid free while our girls stayed with my parents over the 4th of July, or else we wouldn't have been able to do it. I thought we would get it all done, but it was a bigger undertaking than we originally thought, so we spent lots of late nights painting. We were able to get the inside painted before we got our girls back, and then painted the cabinet doors in our garage later. The pictures are tiny because they are from my phone and wouldn't let me enlarge them/arrange them like I wanted, but you can see the before photo, sanding (oh my word, what a mess!), priming, painting, and the finished product. I did things I've never done before, like use a drill and electric sander. It really brightens the space and we are enjoying it! Thanks to Kley for putting in many hours of work with me!

Friday, July 13, 2018

4th of July 2018.

Happy 4th of July! Ours was a bit different than normal this year. I drove down to Des Moines with the girls (where my parents live) on Tuesday and drove home solo on Wednesday to work on our kitchen cabinet painting project. Kley stayed back to work and begin sanding. My parents graciously offered to watch our girls for a couple days so we could do this, so very nice! We drove back Saturday to pick them up, so we got to spend some time with family on the tail ends too, which was great. Thankful for time to complete this project, even though it was a TON of work!

While in Des Moines, we went to the parade! We've gone to the Tulip Festival parade in our town, but they'd never been to a parade as big as this. There were lots of people and lots of candy! Norah loved waving her flag and getting candy, but did not like the couple times where the fire trucks or police cars sounded their sirens. 

I love this picture of Norah! My mom got them these adorable matching dresses. She's the queen of baby/kid clothes shopping and always finds the cutest things!

We love you Grandma!

My dad walked Lucy and Ellory around for a bit before the parade started. It was very hot and all the girls handled it really well. Very glad we had their water cups!

Group photo!

My Uncle Jeff and Aunt Darla were visiting too, and my brother Keaton came along too. (Rose and Jorie, my SIL and niece, stayed home because it was too hot for Jorie, who is just a month old.) My sister Kayla was there too, home from college for the summer.

As per their personalities, Lucy sat through about half of the parade with me and Uncle Keaton, with a few mad dashes into the street to grab her back when she escaped, and then I just walked around with her in the back. Ellory sat through the entire parade, just mesmerized by everything, on the blanket by my mom and Kayla. So funny to watch how different they are!

Lucy and Ellory tried their first suckers!

Norah kept calling it a party instead of parade and kept chanting, "USA! USA!" It was adorable.

We also got to see Jorie again. Norah LOVES holding her cousin!

She was already so much bigger and more active since we saw her last. So cute!

I had this great idea to get a super cute picture of all four girls and caption it, "4 cousins on the 4th" but this was all I got. Thanks to Lucy for providing exceptional photos this round. :)