Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Photo 12.28.12

Now I know why everyone loves Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Photo 12.21.12

Santa is overrated--I'll just ask for it for my birthday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Photo 12.14.12

First time meeting Santa

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Photo 12.7.12

I really, really do look up to you, Finn!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Parker: 11 Months

Weight: maybe 20 lbs
Height: 28"
Diaper Size: 3
Clothes: 12 months
Eats: 5 oz every4 hours if we are lucky;  Anything he can pick up!  Eats a good variety of fruits, vegetables, bread, but not a big fan of meat (except ham and chicken and sometimes ground beef). Loves green beans, corn, peas, blueberries, bananas, toast with butter, macaroni and cheese, crackers, teddy grahams, and more!  He has become slightly pickier, but not too bad.
Sleeps: Usually from 9:00 to 6:30-7:00 (almost always 9 hours)
Naps: Almost always 2 hours at 9:00am and 2:00pm (like clockwork now)
Favorite Toys: Mommy and Daddy (especially if they play peek-a-boo or chase); drawers and cabinets; unplugging cords; his walker; laundry baskets; animal sounds book; remote control; ipad; anything with wheels; balls


* Parker loves to eat with his hands.  When he wants more, he usually bangs his hands on the tray.  He gobbles it up as fast as he can, but as he gets full, he begins to swipe his hands across his tray and loves to throw bits of food onto the floor (and as soon as he gets down from the highchair, goes looking for those pieces).

* It was a rough week or so, but Parker now has 4 teeth on top (all new) to add to the two on the bottom.

* He can crawl fast when he wants to--especially if he is being chased, sees the gate to the stairs is open, or knows he is doing something wrong like having a mystery food in his mouth.

* We have a climber.  Climbing into drawers.  Crawling up the stairs.  Climbing on top of anything he can.

* Cracks up at himself when he sneezes.  Actually, he cracks himself up often!  He has a totally fake laugh that he belts out quite often.  Of course it makes us laugh, and that just keeps him going.  

* Started a bad habit, especially when he wants attention--grinds his teeth together.

* He attempts to give kisses (when HE wants to), which are more like open mouth slobbers on your cheek.  We take what we can get.

* Loves to tackle his dog (we named Guppy the Puppy) and mommy and daddy.

* When a ball or a toy goes under his crib or the tv stand, he will lay on the ground and reach to get it.

* If Parker spots anything plugged in that he can reach, you better believe that it won't be long before he has it unplugged.

* His thinking skills are improving.  He has learned how to drop toys and has even figured out how to push buttons to get what he wants--like pushing the level to make the balls drop.

* This may not be good.  He loves to watch tv.  OK, his favorite channel (BabyFirst) draws him in and I have to admit, sometimes it makes diaper changes go a little smoother.  He also seems to notice any dogs that appear on regular tv.  and still loves to dance to a good beat.

* Has figured out how to slap the water in the bathtub and make it splash--though he hasn't figured out just yet how to make it so it doesn't splash in his face.

* For the most part, he plays more independently--though he always has an eye on mom and dad...and if they leave the room, he follows.

*  When he is tired, he is tired.  Usually we can tell he is at that breaking point because he starts falling down.  But finally we are able to put him in the crib at night and he will fall asleep on his own.  This sometimes works for nap time, but usually after a bit of a crying session, a quick rock will get him fast to sleep.  He also may wake at night, but soothes himself back to sleep.

* We have introduced the sippy cup at all his meals.  We have some work to do, but he is almost getting it.

* More and more, we notice that he plays on his knees (always ready to go!)

* He just learned how to throw the ball to daddy.  He puts it way over his head but it usually does go forward.

* This boy loves all techno gadgets.  But he thinks the ipad is his.  We have several baby apps for him to play with and he loves to hit the screen.

* Parker is really catching on to learning new show-off skills.  He can wave bye; He can clap (thanks to his cousin Katie); And he really has mastered dancing and so big on command.

* Most of the month, he was just getting closer and closer to walking.  He liked to push his walker in the house and on the sidewalks.  Often he would let go of the couch without noticing.  He can get just about anywhere he wants by cruising along the furniture and walls.

*  A day before his 11 month birthday, Parker took his first steps!  Matt and I were both up in his bedroom playing with him.  We were sitting about 5 feet apart and had just taken off all of Parker's clothes to get him ready for a bath.  With a little encouragement, Parker walked from daddy to mommy.  With more praise, he just kept doing it...probably about 20 more times! We didn't have the video camera handy, but got a clip to share the next night (again, he must walk better without clothes).

Highlights from the Month (October 29-November 28):

* Parker and Daddy went to see cousin Anastasia play basketball at her game here in Peoria.

* Parker was a lion for his first Halloween.  He wore his costume to storytime and we went to see our neighbors on Sesame Street Halloween night.

* Parker got to spend lots of time with Mommy because Daddy  traveled to NC and AR for a week each.

* Mommy's side of the family gathered for Thanksgiving.  Parker liked to have his cousins hold both his hands so he could walk around.  He had almost finished eating by the time everyone else got to the table.

* Thanksgiving Day our family,along with cousin Katie, drove to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  We went swimming at the hotel and hung out with Granny B, Papa D, and Big Brett.  The next day we went to the Arkansas vs. LSU football game.  An added bonus, we got to visit before and after the game with our former neighbors (Jeremy, Lindsay, Katelin, and Jonathan).

 * On the way home from Arkansas, we met Grandma and Papa Ervin at Cracker Barrel for a belated Thanksgiving dinner.

Our little guy is changing so much, almost daily.  I don't know who was more excited when he started walking, us or him!  And I just don't think we can get enough of him clapping, dancing, and waving.  His face lights up and his toothy smile emerges nearly every time he does one of his tricks.  I think he knows that he is our best entertainment!  He's an explorer, an adventurer, and maybe a little nosey.  He definitely is active and just has so much to discover.  We are looking forward to the month ahead as we get ready to celebrate his First Christmas, and begin OUR family traditions.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Photo 11.16.12

Walking the streets

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Parker: 10 Months

Weight: still 19 lbs
Height: 28"
Diaper Size: 3
Clothes: 9 months (pants); But mostly wears 12 months in tops and pants
Eats: 6 oz every 3-3.5 hours; eats cereal before bedtime; Anything he can pick up!  Prefers not to eat baby food, but can't get enough of table food.  Loves bread, chicken, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, and crackers.  So far there hasn't been anything he doesn't like.
Sleeps: Usually from 8:30-9:00 to 6:30 (almost always 9 hours); loves his tummy
Naps: 1.5-2 hours around 8 or 9am and then again at 2 or 3pm
Favorite Toys: Mommy and Daddy (especially if they play peek-a-boo or chase); empyting drawers; balls; vehicles; car keys (real ones, not fake); squeeky hammer; pushing the ball popper toy; closing the pop-up toy; electrical outlets/cords


* We now have a little dare devil.  No fears!  He can climb up to anything, not just furniture, but walls, windows, toys, etc.  He will climb onto anything he can--like a diaper box or his basket with toys.  He mainly walks around with one hand holding on and the other free, but occasionally in the last few weeks, we might even catch him letting go with both hands.

* The gate on the stairs changed our life this month!  Parker loves to crawl up the staircase, and can now master going all the way up.
* And he definitely keeps up busy! He just loves to explore everything he can...the toilet and toilet paper, all drawers and cabinets (which most now have locks); the baskets in the pantry; newspapers and magazines; or basically anything he can reach.

* Nothing makes him smile more than a game of peek-a-boo.  He can pull the cover off of his head, or mom or dad's.  He peeks around the furniture or behind the curtain.  
* He actually was starting to learn how to just touch Shadow (not often but sometimes) instead of yanking her tail, laying on her, or pulling her fur.
* He's got a few new skills that he can imitate:  Raise his hands when we say "so big"; start laughing when we fake laugh (but we can't manage to get that on video); holds up 1 hand in the air, with his fingers clutched, to wave bye-bye; and our soon as he hears any music, he bounces his booty to dance.

* When we say "no" to Parker, he looks at us and starts smiling or laughing.  (And it's hard not to smile)
* This boy loves to eat.  He doesn't really enjoy baby food much anymore and would rather eat with his own hands.  That pincer grasp is nearly perfected because he doesn't let a crumb get past him.  He sometimes has to use his whole hand to get the food in so mealtime can be a little messy--his lap usually has a handful of food that didn't make it to his mouth.

* Speaking of crumbs, Parker makes sure to pick up all the crumbs, fuzzy balls, dirt, etc from the floors.
* It wouldn't be uncommon to find lots of slobber on his shirt from all the rasberries he blows.
* He is starting to notice the t.v. a lot more...especially if there is dogs, clapping, or music (which means an instant dance party).
* He makes all sorts of different sounds now and tries to imitate whatever sounds we make.  If we get louder, so does he...and thinks that's a fun game.
* 2 new teeth appeared this month...not his top 2 teeth, but the fang teeth on top.

* He still hates getting dressed and to make it more challenging, he would much rather stand in the bathtub to play with the duck on the spout than sit to play with his toys.  Relaxation just isn't his thing.

* He might be becoming a mommy's boy already.  He knows that's who to go to when he is hungry, but especially when he is tired.

Highlights from the month (September 29-October 28):

* Matt's Aunt Kara and Uncle Mike traditionally host a chicken fry during Labor Day weekend, but in celebration of their daughter, Stacy and her husband, Micah's return from a year in Afghanastan, it was postponed.  Parker enjoyed some good food, swinging, and getting loved on by family.  But on the way there, we stopped by to watch Cousin Kara and her friends get their pictures taken for Homecoming.  

* We picked a great day to meet our friends Jeff and Brittany with their daughter, Ellie, at Scovill Zoo.  Parker noticed some of the animals, but would rather watch Ellie.

* We joined our neighbors on Sesame Street for Octoberfest.

* Hitting Grand Prairie Drive here in Peoria, we went with our neighbor Christy and her son, Finn for a fun, fall photo shoot.

* We had our first big roadtrip--a 11 hour drive each way!  Matt and his buddy, Heath, went to Talladega, Alabama for a weekend at a NASCAR race.  Parker and I hung out with Sophie, Chloe, and Jude at their home near Birmingham for nearly a week.  We did lots of shopping, eating at my favorite restaurants (Cheesecake Factory; Zaxbys; Wetzels Pretzels; Jason's Deli), went to the pumpkin patch, and just hung out catching up on life.  Parker was in love with the "animal kingdom" at their house--2 cats, a dog, a guinea pig, and a fish.  He also had his first bite of ice cream on this trip.  We always have so much fun when we are with this family and this time was no different.

*  It was a cool, brisk day, but we met my college friend, Julie, and her two cuties at Tanner's Orchard--a place that's been on our fall to-do list.  Parker devoured an apple cider doughnut (their speciality) and loved watching all the kids on the playground.  He especially enjoys Macy's company.

*  Matt's dad's family has gathered for years in October to mark his grandparents birthday (both born on the same day).  We headed to Blue Mound for the day for the chilly weiner roast and hayride. He convinced Aunt Angie that he needed lots of pumpkin muffins.

*  We headed to Bloomington for the first Ervin family picture since any grandkids were born.  

* Our cat, Shadow, went to a local no-kill shelter so she can hopefully find a home with no children.  It was so hard to say good-bye, especially because Parker just adored her.

When I think back on the last month, I think my cheeks might hurt from smiling.  Parker has just exploded with personality.  He knows what makes us smile and repeats those gestures over and over to bring us daily joy.  We used to spend our evenings watching tv and now we find that its much more fun to play peek-a-boo or knock over blocks...or better yet, have a dance party in the family room!  Now we have our moments when Parker shows that he can be stubborn, but we have to admit that's just in his blood.  The days continue to fly by and our little guy is becoming more and more independent.  But we simply can't imagine our lives any other way.