Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lucy and Ellory are TWO!

Lucy and Ellory are two- what fun! It was so special to celebrate their birthday. Making their birthday boards and looking back on the wonderful memories is my favorite part. Kley and I talked a lot about those first NICU days and how He has been so faithful over their lives already. We are so thankful they are growing happy and healthy.

Stats/Doctor visits: Lucy and Ellory both had a weird something for a bit that gave them diarrhea for about a week, but other than that they acted fine. After that, we had the flu and Lucy and Ellory were both sick for a few days. It was so sad. Ellory only threw up once, but acted really sick, and poor Lucy threw up so many times and also had lots of diarrhea. Ellory and Norah only like milk/water, but Lucy likes any beverage, so she thankfully drank some Pedialyte and we seriously think that saved her from going to the hospital for dehydration. She looked really rough for a bit.

Teeth: 2/13- Both of Ellory's bottom two-year molars are coming in.

Feeding: Feeding is great. They are good eaters and aren't too picky. They do well with three meals and a bedtime snack. Lucy loves dip/sauce of any kind, and basically all foods. Ellory likes most things too, but says her favorites are roni (macaroni and cheese) and cheese pizza. They also took to liking “granola bar that's black” as Norah calls it (one of her favorite things), which is a chocolate granola bar.

Diapers/Clothes: Wearing 24 month/2T clothing. Wearing 5 diapers at night and 4 during the day, but will switch to all 5s soon after this last box of 4. Hoping to try potty training sometime soon (once these sleep battles are calmer).

Sleeping: Unfortunately, sleep has been rough this month. They switched to big girl beds over New Years, and the honeymoon phase has definitely worn off. Getting out of bed has been a big problem, and has made going to sleep take a long time. We want them to go to sleep independently in their beds, so we have been standing outside their door and going in every time they get out and putting them back in bed. We don't say anything (other than an occasional firm reminder to stay in bed), and then go out and repeat it until they give up and fall asleep. We are definitely hoping this subsides soon! Thankfully once they fall asleep they are good. Lucy sometimes wakes up in the night crying, but usually goes back to sleep okay.

Words: Hearing new words is so fun! Ellory's vocabulary is really exploding. She is using short sentences and has been loving to say, “Oh!” a lot after we tell her something or she asks a question. Lucy is starting to say more words too!

Developments: Both are starting to poop on the potty again (or tell us after they went), after their diarrhea stint, so that's good. Ellory still struggles with constipation, but she's getting better at going on the toilet faster, rather than sitting their multiple times and holding it in. Both are pretty good at independent play, Ellory does a bit more because she loves to look at books. Lucy is always going. It's fun to watch them play with Norah, and fun how Norah capitalizes on their top interests, like Norah will read Ellory books and chase Lucy. Lucy has started singing and it's so sweet. Her favorite is to sing, “Let it go!” over and over in a high octave. Ellory loves to walk around singing, “Let it go!” or “Open door!” as well, from Frozen. We've been trying to survive the recent super cold and tons of snow with sensory bins, painting, coloring, books, play-doh, trampoline in the basement, dolls, and an occasional viewing of Veggie Tales or Frozen. They both pat each other on the back whenever they cough and love to give each other bedtime hugs/kisses. It's the sweetest. They love to count, but don't quite get the order right, and love to guess what color things are (though are often incorrect, but are learning more color names!). They love to point at their birthday boards and say who everyone is. They love to facetime people too. Their favorite game to play is to say goodbye, pretend to leave, and then come back and say they're home.

Favorites: Ellory loves the soft blanket on her bed (she likes to sleep on the middle blanket instead of the sheet), puppies, Frozen, Bob and Larry (Veggie Tales), Minnie Mouse, reading books, milk, baby dolls. Lucy's favorite is when Kley comes home from work, baby dolls, helping get things or do things, saying hi to people, milk, and playing with a little bit of everything.

Happy 2nd birthday, our sweet girls! We love you so much!

I did not realize how hard it would be to get a picture of them holding the 2 in the right direction. It was usually always either backwards, upside down, or covering their face!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Lucy and Ellory's two year family day celebration!

Lucy and Ellory are TWO! Ellory sings, "Happy Birthday" in the cutest voice, and they shout, "TWO!" when we ask how old they are, and when we ask who's birthday it is they say, "Ellory! Lucy!" It's the best. Their vocabulary is exploding, especially Ellory's, and it's so fun to watch each day as they learn new words. Girls, you bring so much joy, love, and light to our lives. It's been a fabulous two years. Challenging at times, yes, but God sure knew what He was doing giving us TWINS who are now TWO!

We celebrated as a family the weekend before their birthday, because their big party with family and friends is over their actual birthday. It was a really fun day. We opened presents in the morning. Yes, I am the mom who gives their kid a book for every birthday and Christmas, but I love it and I want my girls to love reading! So far it's working! Lucy doesn't enjoy listening to books as much as Ellory and Norah (because she's always on the move!), but it's so fun to read to all three. A dream come true. 

Veggie Tales is one of the girls favorite things right now, so a "Bob and Larry" book was a hit!

Tearing off wrapping paper is especially fun!

All the girls, but especially Ellory, love wearing play jewelry. We had a few different pieces, and over the course of time they got stretched or accidentally broken, so we were down to one necklace, which was fought over a lot. So, I got the girls a new set with 6 necklaces and 6 bracelets for about $7 off amazon and it was amazing. It's so special when they are young and amazed by the smallest things!

Some more trains for our train table.

They also love Minnie Mouse, so I got a magnetic Minnie/Daisy dress up set. Another hit!

For our evening outing, we went to McDonald's for supper and swimming at the indoor pool. Sound familiar? Yes, we did that for Norah's last birthday too(I just reread this post and the girls are wearing the exact same swimsuits, so check back to see 4 months of growth! Do you think they look different?) We also went last year when Lucy and Ellory turned one. (You should really look at that post to see how much they've changed in a year!) Kley and I laughed that this will probably be our birthday outing twice a year for the next ten-ish years, but we are totally okay with that. They were giggling with delight and it was awesome.

Also, this probably makes me sound cheap, but it was amazing because we ordered one large shake to share with everyone, and they accidentally made two and let us keep the other one. Score!

Let's all pause to gaze at their adorable pigtails! :)

Lucy and Ellory each went down this slide countless times and loved it.

Norah is growing up so much too! She really wanted to bring her goggles.

Warming up in the hot tub. (Don't worry, they were in there for a very short time and it wasn't that hot.)

Ellory is much more cautious in the water and Lucy is a free bird. So fun to watch how different they are.

Slide love! Lucy went down this one a bunch too. Ellory went down twice and had the most scared look on her face, but then was okay when I caught her and she didn't cry!

Ending the night with a free sucker from the pool. What could be better? Norah said it was really fun to spend time together. I hope she says that always and forever.

Happy birthday to the two sweetest two-year-olds ever! We love you so much!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Valentine's Day 2019.

Happy Valentine's Day from these three cuties!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Some Jorie love.

While we were in Des Moines meeting new nephew/cousin Will, we also got to hang out with niece/cousin Jorie! So fun for the girls to have cousins!

Jorie's face in this one is my favorite. Also, per usual, these were the best three photos from about 20. You take what you can get! :) Jorie had her first ponytail this week, isn't it adorable? I love holding Jorie because she's so squishy. Lucy and Ellory have lost their baby squishiness, which is sad, but so fun to hear the new words they are learning!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Welcome sweet nephew/cousin Will!

Guess what? Great news over here! We got to meet our new nephew/cousin this weekend- what a joy! Kley's BIL/sister Brett and Elizabeth had their first baby. Now we can say we have a niece and nephew! My brother/SIL Keaton and Rose had a baby girl, Jorie, in June, and now we've added a boy to the family! The girls were so excited to meet him- what fun to have two cousins!

William Henry Guthmiller was welcomed on January 30 at 12:57pm, 19.25" and 6 lbs 12.5 oz. 

First glimpse!

It was so special to watch all of them hold him. They were so gentle (well, mostly ;) and sweet.

We love baby Will!

Congratulations Brett and Elizabeth! We love all THREE of you so very much!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Norah recently.

Wow, it's been too long since I've done a Norah update! I love spending time together as a family, but since Kley works and I stay at home (which I love and am so thankful for!), Norah and I get to spend a lot of time together and it is a joy. We don't travel that often, but Norah and I have taken three mommy/daughter trips lately- it's been awesome! We went to DC to visit Stephanie in November, and in January we went to Minneapolis and Des Moines for quick one night trips to help a friend who was sick (and see Zack/Karlie and have fun at MOA) and for Erica's baby shower. Norah is a travel trooper and handled it quite well!

Norah started three-year-old preschool in late August, and it has been really good for her. We are so pleased. She was excited to go leading up to it, but was anxious as it drew near. We said lots of prayers for bravery and that she would show His kindness to others. Her first day went so well, no tears and seemed happy! Her teachers said she cried a couple times at school the first few weeks, but we are thankful that it was a smooth adjustment overall (we thought it would be tougher than it was), and she is always excited to go. The main reason we wanted to send her was for the social aspect, so we are glad she can be in an environment where she can practice that. Her first report card said basically exactly what we thought it would say- Norah is excelling at learning, a good listener, but is developing her social skills and interacting with others (more often likes to play alone). Very similar to what her mom's report cards always said! It meets Tuesday/Thursday mornings from 8:30-11, so dad drops off on his way to work and mom picks up. Along with preschool, Norah also still does Kindermusik and loves it. She's in the older class now, so the first 35 minutes is just with the teacher, and then parents come in for the last ten. Norah has really enjoyed it! We tried Awana at the beginning of the school year, but it didn't go well because there were too many people and too many older kids. Maybe we'll try again when she's older. We also go to many of the library programs.

Late last summer we transitioned to earlier bedtimes, which worked out nicely because preschool was starting and Lucy and Ellory transitioned to one nap. Bedtime is 8:30, but we lay Lucy and Ellory down first, so it's usually 8:45 for Norah. Late bedtimes worked well for our family during the early seasons, but an earlier bedtime has worked very well during this season too. Norah falls asleep quickly if she did not nap, but takes quite a while to fall asleep if she does nap. We do a “rest time” every afternoon for about 1.5-2 hours, but Norah doesn't regularly sleep. In my last update I said she napped about 75% and didn't 25%, but I'd say that's about 2/3 no nap 1/3 nap now. She goes on a string where she won't sleep for awhile, and then will for a couple days in a row usually. Norah does excellent at staying in her room though, so we are very thankful for that!

Norah's memory is like a steel trap and she remembers things from even years ago. Many people still comment on how clear and articulate Norah is with her speech- always has been ever since she started talking and we love it. Generally Norah is as sweet as can be, but occasionally has a temper flare up that can be pretty intense, but glad it's short lived. We've been working on praying after discipline, apologizing, and asking for forgiveness. We are entering into “older parenting stages” we feel in some issues that have come up a couple times, like lying. This has provided great opportunities for discussing issues like sin. Norah is an excellent big sister. They have their typical sibling moments like any kids, but it's so fun to watch them laugh and play together. She is sweet and protective of them. Norah loves to offer for Lucy to tackle her (when she tries to tackle Ellory and she hates it) and for them to chase her. Norah loves to read books to Ellory (or both, but Ellory usually has more sit in her).

Norah occasionally still wants help in the bathroom just for attention, but mostly goes completely independently, usually without any reminders at all (unless we are leaving the house or it's before bed). She often gets herself dressed. We usually do a small side ponytail everyday to keep it out of her face, and sometimes we braid that, but that's usually all she'll let me do. Norah needs encouragement to take her vitamins everyday- not a favorite activity. Norah is a pretty good eater, but doesn't eat a lot. She says her favorite food is macaroni and cheese, and her latest thing she wants to be when she grows up is a dentist. For over a year she said her favorite color was dark blue, but recently she's been going between pink and purple. Her absolute favorite toys are her baby dolls, and also likes coloring/doing crafts, magna-tiles, reading books, puzzles, and she's been really into playing restaurant. She's started playing a few more board games, like Candyland, Don't Break the Ice, and Sequence for Kids. She has been interested in rhyming words and asks often if certain words rhyme or what's a word that rhymes with what she said. It's so fun to watch her improve in writing her name, and she loves to write messages (like drawing lines/squiggles or random letters). She knows all her shapes, colors, and many numbers, and knows some alphabet letters and sounds. She is good at retelling stories and memorizing books/songs. She can pick out many instruments from songs she hears from doing music things with Kley. Her favorite things to watch during screen time are Veggie Tales and shows on the PBS app.

She's had a couple random ear infections lately and a cold/fever or two, but thankfully has been very healthy overall. At her four year check up, she was 42” (90%) and 38 lbs (73%). People often comment on how tall she is! Norah is wearing 5T clothes, and has been for over a year, so the switch to the girls section is fast approaching. She wears a size 10 shoe. Norah chose a Disney Princess party for her 4th birthday. She initially wanted just Aurora, but then also added Snow White (because her dress had dark blue), but I convinced her to do a princess party because I couldn't find anything with just those two. It was so fun! She wanted a smaller friend party, so we did that and she had a good time. She had nine friends come (so it was still a bit big!), and they had macaroni and cheese, green beans, doritos, grapes, and cupcakes. They also did a princess coloring and sticker page and played with lots of princess toys. We also had a family party with both sides too. So fun to celebrate one of our favorite gals! Christmas was so fun this year too because she was old enough to really understand and enjoy everything. She also participated in her first children's program at church and did great!

Norah, you are lovely, delightful, and sweet. Not all the time, of course, but there are so many good and beautiful things about you. It is an honor and a great blessing to be your parents. You are so very loved.

This picture was on the way home from our mommy/daughter trip to Minneapolis, and she said, "This was the best mommy daughter day ever. A+ A+." I will remember that forever!

Reading her Bible all on her own! :)

Riding with Spider-Man at the Walmart arcade- we are getting a bit desperate for winter activities. ;)

Daughter donut date with big sprinkle smiles!