Nora Monthly

12 Months of Nora

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Woooowwweeee am I late on this! Like almost a month late?! Definitely the latest I’ve been on any of these updates, but it’s the last one soooo…. Oh well. Nora is officially ONE (and has been for almost a month hahah) and we’re headed straight for toddlerhood! I feel like we were just here with Jameson and now it’s Nora’s turn. It goes so so quickly!

Here’s what’s new for Nora in her twelfth month!

Weight & Length: She had her one-year-old well visit to the doctor just after she turned one and everything looks great! She’s in the 17th percentile for height (2 ft, 4.25 in) and the 32nd for weight, weighing in at 18 lbs 11 oz. Little peanut! This was actually about a pound less than last month which either means my home scale isn’t too accurate or she lost a little weight (could be possible with how active she is/how she’s scaling back on her nursing). Our pediatrician isn’t concerned at all, though, and Nora is meeting or exceeding all of her milestones.

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Clothing: Still in 12 month or 12-18 month things, although some things from Old Navy have to be the 6-12 month size since she’s tiny. I finally got her some long-sleeved shirts and dresses since it’s cooling down over here, especially in the morning. But I cannot find shoes for her that I like! I feel like this shouldn’t be too hard but it is. Her feet are small and skinny that almost everything in her size I’ve found is like…a fake shoe. Like the ones you put on infants. No support or padding whatsoever, just these flimsy little pieces of cotton. And the few other options I’ve found in her size are covered in hot pink glitter or gaudy flowers and that ain’t gonna fly with me. So the hunt is still on for Nora’s first real pair of shoes and I’ll keep you all posted because I know this is absolutely riveting.

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Eyes & Hair: The two things she gets complimented on the most. 🙂 I would say the hair even more so these days because of how insanely curly it is! I’ve been researching in my spare time on how to care for curly hair and it’s way more intense and technical than I ever would’ve thought. High porosity versus low porosity, protein needs, the science behind sulfates and silicones and parabens…not to mention all the categories of curly hair types. I think I’ve figured out that her hair is type 3a/3b and I know I’ll be avoiding anything with sulfates/silicones/parabens to try and keep her curls as healthy as possible. But that’s about it so far. Her hair is still very babyish and not grown in thickly enough for me to do much else yet. And besides, I realize that curly hair is an ever-changing beast anyway haha! I’ll probably be trying new products and techniques for as long as I’m in charge of her hair care. Hopefully I find something that works well so I can give her a good start on loving her curls.

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How it looks just after a bath.
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Such beautiful baby blues!

Sleep: We had a rough patch of sleep this month where she was napping 40 minutes per day TOTAL for almost a week straight. It was absolutely exhausting for all of us. But she’s since gotten back into the swing of things, napping for maybe 3 hours total per day split into two naps, although not necessarily split evenly. She sleeps fairly well at night too but still wakes up eaaaarly, like 5:30-6am. Yay.

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Eating: She is such a joy to feed! Complete opposite of her brother at this age. She will try anything and likes almost everything, even broccoli. I’m writing this a little after her first birthday/party so she had her first official dessert (a piece of cake) and she loved it of course! Her favorite food in the world is probably blueberries but she’ll seriously eat whatever and gets mad if you don’t share. She’s starting to notice if I give her something different than the rest of us have and boy does she get peeved. She usually nurses before naps but that’s about it. The rest is solid foods!

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Milestones: She’s walking so much these days! In typical Nora fashion she just up and decided she could do it out of nowhere, with barely any warning. One day a couple weeks ago she decided she preferred walking to crawling and now exclusively walks around the house. She can stand by herself straight up from the ground and her balance is getting better too, although she’s still adorably clumsy. She points at everything as if asking the names for things, and likes to copy the words I say. She has six teeth total now (four on top, two on bottom) and can climb stairs (and into the ottoman) at lightning speed!

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Communication: She knows the sound for lions (“What does the lion say, Nora?” “Rrrrrr!”) and said her first official word this month, “up!” No surprise there haha! Now she says a few things independently (“mama” and “dada” and “no no” and “ah dun” for all done) and will say “Jame” for Jameson if I model it for her. And like I said, she’ll copy many of the words we say. She is so careful to observe my mouth when I’m talking to see how I form the sounds and I can tell she’ll be quite the chatterbox when she’s older. She’s sooo loud and pretty much constantly chattering on about something or other in her own language (“weedoeweedoe!”). It’s adorable and her little voice is so cute and small. She understands so much of what we say and it’s been fun to interact and play more!

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Loves: Climbing inside our big ottoman to play with the DVDs, crawling all over the bed or couch, climbing up into Jameson’s toddler bed and jumping, moseying around under the kitchen table and chairs, trying to get inside the dishwasher, taking all the wet clothes out of the dryer as I’m trying to load it up, reading books, playing outside, FOOD, shouting about things, dancing to music, Alex’s guitar playing, climbing inside the fridge and/or freezer, and bath time.

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Hates: Crawling on grass (she bear crawls so her knees won’t touch, or just stands up instead). When I tell her no about something she was psyched about (she will just fold in half and lay her head on the floor and cry, it’s so sad and ridiculous). When you strap her into her carseat (after we get going she’s fine). And sitting still for more than a few seconds (church time is heading into the challenging stage since we have family-integrated services and keep the kids with us for the whole time). She also hates when I am not holding her almost 24/7.

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Things I want to remember: How you copy everything that Jameson does and laugh every time Jameson laughs (even when you don’t know what was funny). How you crawl really fast with your mouth in a wide open smile, breathing really loudly, towards exciting things. How you point at everything and say “da” quite confidently, as if that is the name for everything. How proud you get when you walk around by yourself. The way you gently rest your little fuzzy head on Daddy’s shoulder when he comes home from work. How you jump away all wide-eyed from contraband items when you’re caught and I shout, “Hey Nora what are you doing!!!!” The way you dance along to goofy songs or beats I make up on the spot. And that hilarious/creepy face you keep doing with your tongue (you stick it out just a bit and wiggle it really fast back and forth hahaha).

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The creepy tongue face haha!

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From when we went to Mother Nature’s Farm on her first birthday.

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Nora, this year with you has been so filled with love and fun and giggles and happiness. You bring SUCH joy to our lives and complete our family in ways we didn’t even know we needed. I’ve learned so much about who God is calling me to be through knowing you and for that I am forever thankful. I hope you had a wonderful first trip around the sun, my littlest love! Here’s to year two! ❤

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Nora Monthly

Eleven Months of Nora

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Well this is it, folks! The last Nora update before she turns ONE!!! (*sob*) After that I’ll switch to yearly updates for her like I do with Jameson. I’ll still post other things here and there and I’m hoping to keep up with some school-related posts too, since I just started homeschool preschool with Jameson this week. 🙂

This year has honestly gone by so fast. Twelve months is nothing. It absolutely flew. Here’s what’s new for our sweet NoJo girl at eleven months old…

Weight & Length: She’s right around 19 pounds (about a pound more than last month) but I won’t know about her length and percentiles until next month at her one-year-old appointment (I honestly thought I typed that by mistake for a second, HOW IS SHE ALMOST ONE THO?!).

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Clothing: She’s in 12 month clothes for the most part now unless it’s from Old Navy or Gymboree and then it’s their 6-12 month size. I have yet to buy her (or Jameson) any fall/winter clothes since it’s still soooo hot here. Like 100 degrees every day. In a way, though, that’s good because by the time we need long sleeves and pants in AZ all the fall stuff will be on sale so I’ll be able to buy it for cheap! Probably the only good thing about missing out on the nice fall weather. 😦

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Probably my favorite outfit that she’s ever worn. Or that anyone has ever worn.

Eyes & Hair: Eyes are still blue and hair is still wildly curly! As my sister put it the other day, “Wow, Nora’s hair is getting so…tall.” Hahaha. It is. It’s tall. And wide. It’s becoming a bit of a fro, actually. And if there’s no product in it she looks like a fuzzy little dandelion. I love it though!!! I love seeing her big fluffy hair bopping all over the house! Just kills me dead. We switched to curly-hair-specific shampoo this month but I haven’t gotten her any conditioner yet. It seems to be working for the time being, as long as I also put some of her Shea Moisture Kids Curling Butter Cream in it. The problem is her hair is so fine that it doesn’t hold product very well. That, combined with the fact that she’s a baby and she’s constantly wrestling and rolling and smashing her head into pillows or whatever, means that her hair is most often a giant fluffball. I feel like we’re just going to be in a kind of awkward fuzzy stage for awhile until she gets more volume and length. Which, because her ringlets are so tight, could be a loooong time.

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How her hair looks with no product in it haha! My little dandelion. ❤

Sleep: Her naps are fairly consistently good (an hour and a half in the morning around 9am, and an hour and a half in the afternoon around 1 or 2). She goes to bed for the night around 7:30 and is up and at ’em by 6am or 6:30 at the latest. She quit waking up and trying to party in the middle of the night, but she does still wake up around 4am wanting to nurse. Alex brings her into our bed and we snuggle until she wakes up for real a little later. I’m giving her until she turns one with this habit and then I think we’re going to try and break it. She definitely doesn’t need to nurse during the night but I know it’s more of a comfort thing so I’m okay with it for a little while longer.

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Eating: She looooves to eat! She’ll shout at you if she notices you’re eating something and not sharing with her. We’ve let her try most everything we eat by now, except for peanut butter, honey, and desserts. She’ll get a cupcake on her birthday, though, and I’m so excited to see how she reacts! She doesn’t even know that kind of food exists! She still nurses here and there throughout the day, and still likes her 4am feed like I said. No end in sight for breastfeeding and that’s just fine with me!

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Milestones:  She’s standing independently for long periods of time now and has even attempted to take a step several times! She doesn’t quite have the balance and coordination for it yet but it’s coming soon. She got THREE new teeth this month (the top two and the one right next to them on the right…I have no idea what it’s called hahah). She’s also still getting the one on the left. It’s been…rough. Teething makes for a cranky and clingy Nora, who is already inclined to clinginess. She’s been in my arms most of the month and it’s been exhausting. But she’s got three new teeth to show for it and hopefully after this last one busts through she’ll be in a better mood.

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Communication: I can tell she understands a lot of familiar words and I think I’ve seen her sign “milk” a couple of times. She also tries to wave her finger for “no, no, no” and will remind herself of the off-limit areas just like Jameson used to do when he was a baby. Her babbling has changed this month and sounds more like jargon (“weedoe beedoe” instead of just “dadada” or “mamama”). She copies Jameson as often as she can and she loves to play “Where’s Nora?”

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Loves: Food and drinking water from her sippy cup, wrestling Jameson, music and dancing, pulling all the books off the shelves (especially the paperback ones), throwing all our DVDs out of the ottoman, chasing the vacuum, playing with things she shouldn’t touch, baths, reading (favorites are “Brown Bear Brown Bear” and a touch and feel baby animals book we have), and jumping on the little trampoline my parents have at their house.

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“Why can’t I go in yet?!”

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Hates: When I leave the room without her, when we make her lay still for diaper changes, and being left out of things. She’s also getting a lot more sensitive to things that are a little scary (she got scared watching the movie “Up” the other day).

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The face she makes when I do something so rude, like chop vegetables instead of pick her up.

Things I want to remember: How you come a’running immediately after you hear the bath turn on. How you do the choreographed moves that Jameson and I made up to the end of “A Spoonful of Sugar.” How you wiggle excitedly when I get a book out to read to you. How you love to share everything with me (if you’re chewing a toy, you’ll give me a taste. If you’re enjoying your meal, you’ll hand me a bite). How sometimes you hand me nothing at all but wait and stare expectantly at me until I say thank you. How you give me a kiss every time we get to the bunny page in your touch and feel book. How cute you look playing “Where’s Nora” with your dress during diaper changes. How you can hold your own during wrestling matches with Jameson. And how you love to give Daddy hugs when he comes home from work.

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J & N

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Beggin’ for food.

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She always bear crawls outside haha!

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Would plummet off the couch if I let her.

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Oh Nora baby, I can’t believe you’re almost one! This year has been the best of our lives because of you. I can’t wait to see how much you grow in this last month before your very first birthday! We love you so, sweet girl.

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Jameson Monthly

3 Years of Jameson

Snapseed 20Happy birthday to our THREE YEAR OLD!!! Three is dirty knees, scrapes and bruises, wonder and imagination, lots of make believe, picture books, BIG emotions, plenty of poop jokes, silly conversations, sweet conversations, deep conversations, questions I can’t answer, dance parties, sweaty arms wrapped around my neck, and more exclamations of “Mommy, watch this!!!” than I can ever hope to keep track of.

Three is the best. Except for when it’s the hardest. And sometimes it’s really, really hard! Jameson is learning to be gentle and kind even when he’s annoyed; he’s learning patience and good sportsmanship; he’s learning to share; he’s learning to work through more complex emotions like jealousy and ungratefulness and being afraid to fail; he’s learning empathy and consideration; he’s learning responsibility and taking pride in doing good work; he’s learning that as wonderful and adorable and fun as he is…the world is full of other people to serve. He’s learning about who God is and what the Bible says about every one of us. Sometimes I find myself lost on how to teach him truths that feel too big for even me to understand. Sometimes I don’t know whether to deal with an issue or give him grace. It’s a lot of learning for both of us. But I go to bed every night feeling ever so thankful for the boy who made me a mother and for every moment I get to spend with him by my side. These are the good old days, right now.

Here’s what’s new for Jameson at three years old…

Height and Weight: At his three-year-old checkup he weighed in right at 30 lbs and stands 3 ft, 1 inch tall. This puts him in the 32nd percentile for weight and the 40th for height. A bit on the smaller side, but still growing well and very healthy. 🙂 He’s meeting (or exceeding) all of his milestones and our pediatrician was happy with his growth over the past year.

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Clothing: He’s in the 3T size now, although some of his 2T clothes still fit him if the brand runs a little big. His shoes are size 8, and (*drumroll please*) no more diapers! We started potty training about three months ago and it really only took a week and a half from start to finish. He was ready. And you better believe I was too haha!

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Sleep: In general, he sleeps fine. He’s still napping for about an hour and a half to two hours every afternoon (praaaaaise the Lord) and his bedtime is around 8pm. He sleeps until 6:30am, sometimes a bit later or earlier. Occasionally he’ll wake up during the night and shout for Alex to bring him water (lol) and there have been a few nights since we switched his crib to a bed that he welcomed himself into our bed in the middle of the night. Alex has found him out on the couch in the living room too haha! But mostly he stays in his own bed and it’s not an issue.

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Eating: Stiiiiiill such a picky eater. He complains a little bit when we make him eat things he doesn’t like, but he still gets it done. Breakfast and lunch are never issues; it’s really dinner that takes the longest. But he’s expected to eat what we eat and he does. His favorites right now are French toast, strawberries, oranges, veggie straws, broccoli, chicken nuggets, Pirate’s Booty, yogurt, PB&J (or peanut butter and honey), tacos, smoothies, pasta, pizza, and quinoa or rice. He’ll also never say no to a hot dog or some ice cream.

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Speech & Language: He’s absolutely full of questions these days and asks “why” about everything. His language skills are better than his speech skills (he’s a little lazy with his articulation of certain sounds) but Alex and I can understand everything he says, even if unfamiliar listeners can’t. He surprises us almost every day with a new vocabulary word, many of which he gets from the stacks and stacks of books we read every day – he’s a total bookworm! ❤ He’s super goofy and has recently been really into making jokes and figuring out humor. Sometimes it’s hilarious and sometimes I’m like, “Okay, enough with the poop jokes. Eat your dinner.” But overall he continues to make progress in this area and it’s a delight to watch him learn and experiment with language! I have a running list on my phone of all my favorite Jameson quotes. 🙂

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Milestones: Like I mentioned before, potty training was a big one this year! He can also identify most of the alphabet and some of their sounds now. We play spelling games where we try to figure out what the first letter of words are (“What does ‘pig’ start with? Hmmm…p, p, p…” and he’ll shout out “P!”). He can identify a few numbers by sight as well, and can count to 15 (although he sometimes skips 14 for whatever reason haha). He can verbally spell his name almost (he often says “J-k-m-e-s-o-n” hahah) and can recognize it when it’s written out. He knows the full answers to two catechism questions and has about six Bible verses memorized. He rides his tricycle with ease and climbs and jumps on ev.ery.thing. He loves doing “cool tricks” and frequently does one-legged headstands and flips off the couch onto cushions below. He’s always trying to impress us. 😉 His fine motors skills are improving and he can color within the lines better, although lately he hasn’t been super into coloring anymore, which is sad to me because I love coloring with him! He’s also able to do 24 piece puzzles independently. He just sees how things go together, sometimes even before I do!

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Loves: His family, superheroes (especially The Avengers, but Batman too), READING, all things high-action (running, jumping, doing cool tricks, being tossed around, wrestling daddy and/or Nora), sweets, making people laugh, playing pretend (especially dressing up like superheroes or running his pretend restaurant or being a doctor), swimming, hanging out with his grandparents, music (especially when Alex plays guitar or when we listen to our hymns during morning time), dancing, and helping me cook.

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Doesn’t like: Many foods, trying new things when he’s not sure how it’ll turn out or when he’s afraid to fail, sharing toys he’s super into at the moment, getting his face wet (in the pool or bath, although he has been improving), and getting his hands dirty (which we are also working on haha).

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Things I want to remember: How I often find you with a book on your lap, quietly flipping through its pages. How you’re always trying to get Nora to laugh. Your goofy jokes and the way you change lyrics of songs to try and be funny. Your little voice shouting “I AM ALL DONE POOPING, MOM!” from the bathroom. The way you still love to run around in a circle while Daddy plays guitar during family worship (I’ll be so sad when you outgrow this!). Listening to Daddy read books and do funny voices with you in our big bed every night before bedtime. Watching you and Nora giggle and wrestle each other. The way your curious mind wants to know the answers to every question. Our morning time routine during breakfast (prayers, catechism and memory verses, Bible reading, poetry or Mother Goose rhymes, and listening to hymns). And how you still say “jump on the booka bookas” when you want to jump off the couch onto the pillows.

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Trying to hold up three fingers in a creative way.

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“Thwip!”

Jameson, we love you SO much! Just knowing you is such a joy. We feel incredibly blessed to be the ones who get to raise you! We pray daily that you come to know and love the Lord, that you grow to become a good man and a servant leader, and that you fill this world with proclamations of the Gospel. We’re so proud of who you are! It’s the greatest gift to watch you learn and grow. Happy third birthday, baby. ❤

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Nora Monthly

Ten months of Nora

IMG_3712Another month with this little beauty and life is so sweet! Nora is so different from her brother at this age in so many ways…she’s much gentler, much more snuggly, much more cautious about things. While Jameson loved to be tossed in the air as high as we would let him go, Nora prefers to be in my arms or quietly reading a book on my lap. I love getting to see her personality and experiencing this stage in parenting all over again with her unique qualities.

Here’s what’s new for Nora at ten months…

Weight & Length: No well visit until her one year old appointment so I’m not sure of her percentiles at this point, but I weighed her at home and she’s right around 18 pounds! About half a pound more than last month. 🙂

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Clothing: She’s still in size 4 diapers and the 9 month range for clothes, but I’m guessing she’ll be heading into 9-12 month stuff soon if I can find it. She might just have to jump into the 12 month size though. Getting soo big!

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Eyes & Hair: Blue eyes and curly brown hair…and getting curlier by the day! I’ve been using Shea Moisture Kids Curling Butter Cream (which smells amazing) to help define her curls, because otherwise the frizz is unreal. I love it when she wakes up from a good nap, though, and her hair is sticking up in fuzzy ringlets haha! So cute. We’ve found that washing her hair just a couple times a week is enough, whereas Jameson’s hair used to get greasy in like a day. Too much washing dries Nora’s hair out. I’m planning on switching her to a curly hair specific shampoo/conditioner product soon, but the Honest Company body wash is doing the trick for now. Her hair is still baby-fine so it’s not a huge deal yet.

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Sleep: Her nap schedule is just fine (an hour and a half in the morning, an hour and a half in the afternoon, occasionally a 40 minute catnap around 5pm). But she’s been waking up preeeetty consistently around 5:30am every morning. Or earlier. It’s been rough. There have also been a few nights where she woke up at like 2am for no particular reason and was just…awake. Ready to party. We’ve never had to deal with this before and I have to say, I’m not a fan. Jameson had his rough patches where he’d wake up a few times a night, but he always went right back down. Nora on the other hand…Alex has literally taken her out to the living room and just let her play for an hour or so in the dead of night because she was just wide awake. I’m not really sure how to fix this. Mostly I’m just waiting and praying it’s a phase haha! But if it doesn’t resolve on its own soon, we’re going to have to take some drastic measures because we all need more sleep around here.

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Eating: This has been the biggest change this month, I think. Nora LOVES food!!! It is so strange and joyous to have a child who actually enjoys eating. We haven’t found anything that she doesn’t like, besides bananas. Literally anything else we put in front of her she chows down on…all types of vegetables, super savory meats, and especially fruits. She will actually YELL at us if we don’t share what we have, or if we don’t give her more food instantly when she’s finished what’s in front of her. I still let her nurse whenever she wants to (usually right before naps) but she eats the rest of her meals with us, usually just sharing food from my plate or Jameson’s. Right now I’m trying to take advantage of her willingness to try a wide variety of things and give her plenty of healthy options!

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Probably about to eat that blade of grass.

Milestones: She can stand by herself for brief amounts of time now! Usually only if we stand her up and prompt her to, though. It’s sort of like how she was with rolling and crawling…I knew she could do it before she actually gave it a shot. I think she just likes to be a little more confident before she tries things on her own. She can also cruise around the furniture, crawls super fast, and climbs up stairs. She’s getting really good with her fine motor skills (she’s especially good at finding minuscule items off the floor to shove in her mouth), and…drumroll please…SHE HAS TEETH! Her two little bottom ones popped through this month, finally! Her smile already looks so different with those little chompers and I’m excited for her to get more. Although…not excited about all the side effects of teething, heh.

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Teeth!

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Communication: She claps, waves, gives kisses, and responds with gestures to certain things (“How big is Nora?” she lifts her arms up for “soooo big!”). She babbles (and shouts) all the time; she’s really so. dang. loud. Even when she’s happy haha! She’s starting to understand a lot of what we say, and I’ve been working somewhat consistently on showing her some Sign Language. Simple stuff like “more” and “all done” and “milk” for now. I’m hoping she’ll pick up on some of them soon so she can quit yelling at us about food hahah.

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“Sooo big!”

Loves: Food and her sippy cup, bath time, her family, reading books (especially “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See”), music, playing with my wallet, climbing stairs, going swimming, playing with things she’s not supposed to touch, trying to climb into the dishwasher, flipping through our paperback books, riding in the laundry basket when I pull her and Jameson around, playing in our DVDs, and whatever toy/book/literally any item at all that Jameson is currently holding.

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Hates: When I’m not holding her, when you take away contraband items, sleeping in past 5:30am.

Snapseed 30IMG_3161Things I want to remember: How you drink from your sippy cup like a little hamster, how you peek over the side of your carseat and giggle at Jameson in the car, how you crawl to my feet and then just sit there waiting for me to pick you up, how you swing your head around wildly looking for Jameson when I take you out of your room after a nap, the way you crawl all over the big bed with excitement and then shriek with glee when I grab your leg and pull you back towards me, and how you lift one arm to me in a wave and smile your cheesiest smile whenever you do something you’re sure is really cool. 🙂Snapseed 26Snapseed 27Processed with VSCO with b3 presetSnapseed 22Processed with VSCO with b3 presetSnapseed 23Processed with VSCO with b3 presetIMG_3171IMG_3165IMG_3218IMG_3333IMG_3365IMG_3405IMG_3463IMG_3497IMG_3500IMG_3530IMG_3581

 

 

 

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Nora’s first ponytail ❤

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We adore you, sweet girl! You’re even cute when you wake up at 5am. But let’s work on that this next month. 😉

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Nora Monthly

Nine months of Nora

IMG_3139I’m writing this a little late but I wanted to wait until Nora had her nine month well visit at the doctors to see where she lands in the percentiles. I feel like this month was a big one in terms of her milestones, and we’re getting to see more and more of her sweet personality each day! Of course there have been some tough moments this month too (thank you, teething) but for the most part Nora is just the cutest ball of joy around!

Here’s what’s new this month…

Weight & Length: At her appointment yesterday Nora weighed in at 17 lbs, 5 oz which is only a few ounces more than last month. She seems to be slowing down a bit in her weight gain but still moving along! She’s in the 42nd percentile for height, 34th for weight, and 30th for head circumference. A little on the smaller side but still very healthy. 🙂 I can’t believe her next appointment will be her one year checkup!!! What!

Clothing: Still in size 4 diapers and 9 month clothing, unless it’s from Gymboree or Old Navy which both have the 6-12 month size. I just got her some cute new stuff from Gymboree’s big summer sale (since, you know, it’ll still be 500 degrees here until October) and I love her in everything. She’s wearing one of the outfits for these pictures actually.

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Eyes & Hair: Eyes are still a gorgeous blue and her hair has exploded into ringlets this month! I mean we knew it was curly but it was mostly just on the top of her head before. Now there are curls eeeeverywhere! I’ve been researching curly hair care because I’m a nerd and also because I have no idea where to even begin with curls. I’ve never dealt with this before. Apparently it’s an entirely different ballgame. Special shampoos, special conditioners, detanglers, combs, leave in products, curling creams, ah!!! It’s like a new species of hair to me. SO many rules, too, like don’t towel-dry it and only wash it once or twice a week at the most and NEVER go near it with a brush unless you want your child to look like a frizzball. We’re still getting away with our regular head-to-toe baby wash stuff but we’re almost to the point now where I know I’m going to have to find something curl-specific. I can tell it dries her hair out to use. I bought some of the Shea Moisture kids curling cream stuff to use when I need her hair to calm down before we go out into the world (because otherwise she looks like little orphan Nora) and it works really well but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of trial and error in this department before we figure out what works best for her hair. The main thing is, though, I really want her to love her curls. Not just tolerate them. I want her to be so thankful God gave her curls. I know too many people who hate their curly hair because they’ve grown up thinking it was a hassle or too frizzy or too BIG. I want to find what works well for Nora and teach her to love this beautiful hair because it really is so beautiful already. I can’t wait to see how it grows in. 🙂

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Sleep: We’ve had good days and bad days this month. Mostly, I think, due to teething. (I swear she’s getting her bottom teeth in finally, it’s just a matter of time haha!) She takes two naps a day in general, one around 9am and another around 1-2pm depending on how long the morning nap was. Then she’s down for the night around 7:30 or 8. Occasionally she’ll still add in a short evening nap around 5pm if she’s had a crappy napping day but I try not to let her do that if she can make it to bedtime because otherwise she has trouble settling down for the night. She wakes up around 4am still to nurse, at which point Alex brings her to me in bed and she finishes off the night with us until around 6-6:30am. Or, you know, she’ll just wake up at 5 and be ready to party. Good times. When do kids start sleeping in? Never?

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She still naps in the Ergo when we’re out and about. 🙂

Eating: Good news, people!!! Nora likes food! I would even say (in hushed tones, so she doesn’t hear me) that she actually enjoys when it’s time to eat. There are very few things that she actually spits out now. Her current favorites are blueberries (really all fruit except bananas), plain Cheerios, chicken, applesauce, oatmeal, any type of bread, Puffs, yogurt melts (but oddly, not really regular yogurt), and last week I let her try some of Jameson’s French toast and she was really digging that. Basically she likes anything that isn’t pureed and preferably that she can pick up and eat by herself. She’s not a fan of spoon-feeding, which is quite fine by me. She doesn’t eat enough of anything to actually fill her up, it’s really more for exploration at this point and we breastfeed for the rest of her meals.IMG_2793IMG_2340Milestones: She started “normal crawling” (as opposed to her army crawling) just after 8 months and she’s gotten pretty fast now! She can get from crawling to sitting and back to crawling with ease. She pulls herself up on ev.ery.thing. She cruises left to right on furniture and can stand up on her own if she’s holding onto something with one hand. I thought she was going to take her time with all of this but it’s like as soon as she figured out she could crawl, she got super brave and everything else followed quickly along! She has so much more freedom now with being able to move around the way she wants to and loves roaming around exploring, or following me and Jameson all over the house. Still, though, no teeth! I keep thinking one is going to bust through any day because her bottom gums are super swollen, but nothing so far! I like her gummy bear smile though. 🙂

Processed with VSCO with g2 presetProcessed with VSCO with b1 presetSnapseed 21Communication: She can clap and wave, “sings” along whenever music comes on, gives kisses when you ask for them (sometimes), and has certain sounds she makes at certain times…kind of like “pre-words” I guess. For example, she always says “mama” when she’s sad. Based on what I know from my schooling as a speech-language pathologist, I know that true words don’t emerge until closer to a year old. But it’s still cute that she’s starting to get there. 🙂 She can understand quite a bit now too and I’ve started working on teaching her some sign language, since babies tend to be able to communicate with that several months before spoken words. IMG_2399Loves: Finding wires, trying to play in Charlie’s dog food and water, books, the little toy piano, music, snacks, playing in our DVDs, sleeping on her side or belly, playing in the diaper bag, BLUEBERRIES, her sippy cup, anything having to do with water, and her family. IMG_2255IMG_2962

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Just loves being near her brother so much!

Hates: Loud, sudden noises. Being away from me for too long. When Jameson has something she wants (which is always).

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“Why haven’t you picked me up yet?!”

Things I want to remember: The Chubby Mermaid (when you lay on your side and sort of prop yourself up with one hand like a chubby little mermaid), your new tongue face (lips pursed, tongue just barely peeking out), the “bababa” thing you do when we start taping your lips with our palms, how Jameson brings you toys when you’re sad and says “I tryin’ to make Nora happy,” the kickstand (when you sit up but hold yourself there with one hand), all the funny (and not-so-funny) ways you wake me up in the morning (pulling my hair, sitting above me and shouting, smiling wide and breathing heavily just inches from my face), and the way you and Jameson are becoming real buddies.

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The tongue face.

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I call this one “teething sucks.”

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Nora, you are just so much fun! You make us laugh and fill us with joy and add so many wonderful things to our family. We love you forever, sweet girl.

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Nora Monthly

Eight months of Nora

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I can’t believe I’m writing this already! Nora is far too close to her first birthday than I would like her to be. In my head she was just born the other day…but then I look at her compared to my friends’ brand new babies and oh my, she’s just so big already! I realize she’s not as much of a baby as I think she is.

Of course, I love all the things she can do now; I’m so proud of my sweet little NoJo girl. But her babyhood is going so much faster than it even did with her brother’s and it’s just not fair! Someone tell me how to fix this?!

Anyway, here’s what’s new for our Nora Joy this month…

Weight & Length: Again, I won’t know her percentiles until she has her 9 month appointment (although I’m guessing she’ll still be ranking taaaaallllll for her age). But I weighed her at home and she’s right around 17 pounds, about a pound bigger than last month!

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Clothing: All 9 month stuff now, or 6-9 month if it runs big. Only if it runs big. She’s so long! Summery girl clothes are where it’s at, man. They’re so easy. A cute snap-on romper and a bow and you’re really all set. It’s so much fun dressing her in bright patterns and pretty florals!

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Jameson’s face in this one hahaha

Eyes & Hair: Blue-eyed and cuuuuurrrlyyyy! So so curly! It’s starting to curl up all over her head but especially on the top. There is no containing it anymore. If you try to brush it down, it flies back up in an angry frizz. Someone is going to have to teach me how to style these curls because I have a feeling I’ll be way out of my element as soon as it grows in more haha! I love it so much, though, my sweet curly girly.

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Sleep: She’s somewhere between two and three naps a day, depending on the times she goes down and the length of each nap. She naps for a couple of hours in the morning and then a couple more hours (or longer) in the afternoon. Sometimes she’ll supplement this with a quick 40 minute nap around 5pm to get her to bedtime around 7:30. It just depends on the day. At night she sleeps for her long stretch in her crib and then Alex or I will bring her to bed with us when she wakes up to nurse around 4-5am. Then she’s up and at ’em by 5:30 or 6am which is SOOOO FUNNNN. Actually it’s usually not too big of a deal because Alex is up and getting ready for work by then anyway so he’ll just hang out with her in the living room until Jameson and I get up around 6:30. It’s still too early for my liking but this is where we are in life haha.

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Eating: I want to say we’ve made a breakthrough with solid foods but that might be a bit of an overstatement. We have made some improvement though! Basically we discovered that Nora just flat out hates baby food. All baby food. Doesn’t matter which kind. We tried so many. But she does enjoy trying regular table food. I think it must be something to do with the texture of pureed baby food and if I’m remembering correctly, Jameson wasn’t one for the pureed stuff either. He just wasn’t so darn dramatic about it haha. So now we’re trying more of a baby-led weaning approach (although still nowhere near cutting out breastfeeding), letting her discover foods on her own and giving her small bits of the things we eat. So far she likes apple slices, rice, bread, blueberries, Cheerios, really most fruits (not too many veggies yet), and of course the infamous Puffs. I never met a kid who didn’t like Puffs. I’ve been nursing her at her normal times and then letting her play and explore different foods each time Jameson and I sit down for a meal. It’s been working fairly well but hopefully next month I’ll have a much longer list to share of the things she likes because it’s still pretty limited at this point.

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Milestones: She’s getting better with her fine motor skills from all that practice with self-feeding. She’s also so fast at army crawling now! She can sit up completely independently and can move from sitting to laying down/army crawling whenever she wants to (albeit, not very gracefully). She gets up on her hands and knees all the time and can move one of her legs forward but still hasn’t figured out the mechanics of regular crawling yet. I bet within the next week or two she’ll have it down. She does this funny plank thing now where she’ll hold herself up on her hands and toes and just sort of stay there suspended in the air for a few seconds haha. She can climb onto my lap if I’m sitting on the floor near her (which she pretty much always chooses to do because homegirl is mama-obsessed) and sometimes she tries to pull herself to stand if there’s something sturdy (or not-so-sturdy, ugh) in front of her. I’m thinking it’ll be awhile before she gets that mastered, but she has surprised me in the past. It’s crazy to think back on Jameson at eight months because he was full-on standing up on his own by this point and cruising around the furniture. He took his first independent steps the following month! Nora is taking it slower which I’m so thankful for because it was absolutely terrifying watching my eight month old trying to stand and walk and climb all over everything haha.

Ps, no teeth yet. She’s still the gummiest gummy bear in all the land.

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Plankin’

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Her little tongue is my fave

Communication: She’s such a chatterbox and loves watching my mouth form sounds and words. I think she might be trying to figure out waving but it’s hard to tell whether she’s really copying or her arm is just flailing around. She knows her own name for sure and I think she’s starting to understand a lot of the other things we say too, like “hi” and “no touch” (although she pays no heed to that).

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Loves: Mommy. Nothing else compares. She whines when I leave the room, when I walk past her without picking her up, when someone else is holding her but she can see me close by. She wants to be in my arms at. all. times. My hip is permanently sore from carting her around but I can’t say no to that face! So she ends up coming along with me for almost everything. But she does also love baths (and now the pool!), playing with books, watching Jameson or our dog Charlie, listening to Alex play guitar, chasing this rogue yellow balloon we have roaming around our house (leftover from Alex’s birthday back in March, lolz), army crawling around to explore (especially the playroom where not much is off-limits to her), banging out “tunes” on the baby piano, gnawing on raw carrots, and sleeping on her tummy (which is adorable).

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Hates: Getting her ears cleaned. When you wipe under her chins (yes, chins). When you take away a toy or other item of interest from her. When she has to get dressed. When I’m in her line of sight but not holding her. When the Puffs are gone. (so sad.)

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Real peeved about something.

Things I want to remember: The way you smile and let your little tongue hang out as you army crawl as quickly as possible toward something cool, the way you check over your shoulder as you crawl away from me to make sure I’m still there and how you crawl back to me as fast as you can when I sit down on the floor, your extra gummy smile (when you clamp your gums together and smile as hard as you can), how I can hear you start kicking with excitement when I walk into the room you’re in, the fact that you have the absolute stinkiest farts ever, the way you and Jameson play so happily and giggly together, the way you follow me around everywhere doing your army crawl (which your daddy calls your zombie crawl), how happy you get when you see me and Jameson coming to pick you up from a nap, the way Jameson has to climb into your crib with you and kiss your cheek when you wake up (“stop movin’ your face around and I can kiss you, Nora” he says), and the way you hold hands with me as you’re falling asleep nursing. I think it’s my very favorite thing about you. (But then again, I say that about everything about you.)

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Father’s Day ❤

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Meeting her “Super Papa”
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Meeting her “Bisnonna” (Great-Grandma, in Italian)

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I still sometimes can’t believe you’re ours, sweetheart. You are everything and more! Just  the most perfect addition to our family. We all adore you so so much, baby love! Happy eight months!

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Personal Writing

The first man I ever loved

“Jessica!” I hear his voice echo through the empty church. “Come on, it’s time to go!”

I peek my head over the smooth edge of the wooden pew and see my dad heading towards me. Running my hand along the back of the pew as I move easily through the tiny aisle, I skip over to meet him. His big, warm hand envelopes my small one and together we walk through the doors.

This is my first memory of my dad. I was probably two or three years old at the time, and I don’t have a clue as to the context of the memory. I couldn’t tell you which church it was, what city we were in, or even why we were there. But I can still remember the feeling, even after all these years, of hearing my dad’s comforting voice and not really caring about anything else. It didn’t matter what came next – lunch, maybe, or home to see my mom; we were together so I was happy.

1011857_10152246234597474_1089348598_nFast-forward a few years. I’m seven or eight now, watching my dad as his fingers skip quickly and effortlessly across the ivory keys of our old piano. The melodies blend beautifully with his voice and the sound floats through the high arches of our piano room, amplified by the wooden floors below. He sings words he wrote to the tunes he created and I watch with fascination as I try to sing along. My dad never had a lesson in his life, I think. Will I be able to create music this good when I grow up? His eyes catch mine and he beckons me to come sit with him. I climb up on the thin cushion of the piano seat and together we sing his songs… “I believe that God made the ocean, then He came and was baptized in the sea. I believe that God made the mountains and led up there to be tempted by the enemy. I believe that God made the forest, then was crucified upon a tree. And I believe that God will return, in Jesus Christ, to glorify His redeemed.”

1530421_10152246234642474_1790361373_nNow I’m ten or eleven. New York is experiencing some of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever seen in my short life. My sister and I lay shivering in our shared room, hiding under the covers as lightening slices through the night sky and thunder cracks deafeningly overhead. “Do you think the roof is going to crash in on us?” I ask my sister, whose bed is pushed against mine. The door creaks open a bit, shedding a sliver of light that breaks up some of the darkness. I see my dad’s silhouette tiptoeing in and breathe a sigh of relief as he climbs to the middle of our beds and lies between my sister and I, putting a big strong arm around each of us. He starts to sing “I Love You, Lord” and a sense of calm relaxes my body. My eyes droop shut and I fall asleep against his chest, listening to the echoing vibrations of his softly singing voice.

My dad is the very best person I know. His heart for Jesus and for people is truly unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met. He was the first one to share the Gospel with me and he is the one who has helped me and guided me in my personal walk with Jesus all these years. I can remember dancing around the living room with him, making up songs to help me remember Bible verses…and then reciting those same verses in my head whenever I was feeling lost. I can remember running through mock evangelism conversations with him while we sat side by side on the front step of our house in New York…and then using some of the ideas I learned from him to talk to my friends about Jesus. I can remember family Bible studies, reading through missionary books together, and one-on-one prayer times. My childhood was more blessed than I ever could have realized at the time, and my dad is most of the reason why.

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Growing up, we never had the biggest house on the block, we never had the fanciest new car, and my parents were always trying to find creative ways to save money (e.g., getting Internet through the Comsewogue Library?? I still don’t know how that worked). But we had more than most and more than we needed. My dad gave up his dreams of stardom and musical fame to make a living for my mom, my sisters, and me. I’ve watched him graciously suffer through jobs he hated, awful bosses, and terribly long hours – all with a smile on his face and the love of Jesus in his heart. He has sacrificed everything – so much more than I deserve – to give me the beautiful life I’ve had so far.

I have very few memories of my dad where he isn’t smiling or laughing or making up very silly songs or playing funny1005559_10151772575327474_1475014998_n jokes on people. He instantly becomes friends with everyone he meets and genuinely invests in their thoughts, ideas, and even worries. When you talk to my dad, he honestly makes you feel as though you are the single most important thing in the world to him. Like absolutely nothing but your immediate conversation is of any significance. Like maybe whatever you’ve been struggling with isn’t so hard, after all. Maybe, because he believes you can take on anything, you should believe that you can too. And if it doesn’t work out? That’s okay. God has a better plan for you anyway.

He has a way seeing through people’s facades, knowing what they need, and bringing Jesus’ pure light into even the evilest darkness. There have been countless times where I thought I was putting on a good show and had everyone fooled by my fake smiles and empty laughter. And maybe I really did have most people fooled, but not my dad. He would just march straight into my room and sit with me while I cried, helping me fix my broken heart and reminding me again to fall on my Savior.

Sometimes, late at night when everyone else is asleep, I walk down the silent hallway to fill my glass with water, and through the cracked back door I see my dad wrapped in his soft brown blanket, looking up in wonder at the stars that dot the sweeping Arizona night sky. I never know what he’s thinking and I never want to intrude and ask. But I imagine that maybe he’s thinking about Abraham from the Bible as he gazes up at the same stars and prays to the same loving Savior. I bet sometimes he’s praying for me, because that is just how he is.

Today on your birthday, Daddy…I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you are and everything you’ve been for me. I’m sure I don’t even realize all that you’ve done for me yet, but the older I get the more immeasurably thankful I become for every bit of what you’ve given me. Thank you for your advice, your wisdom, your jokes, your honesty, your sacrifices, and your love. You are one of the greatest blessings I’ll ever have and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for letting me be your daughter. This letter to you doesn’t come close to saying everything in my heart, but I hope it shows you just a little bit of how much you mean to me. No matter where I go or who I become, you will always be the first man I ever loved.

I love you more than words, Daddy…and I’ll always be thankful that you loved me first, too. Happy birthday. ❤

Love always,

Jessica Joy (I’m a girl, not a boy)

P.S. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and you are my dad. They call me The Rhymer. I make good rhymes.

my dad, dressed in his best to impress his neighborhood crush.

Originally posted on Becoming Mrs. Iwanski (February 25th, 2014)

Nora Monthly

Seven months of Nora

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Seven months old! It makes me want to cry if I think about it too much, so I really can’t let myself. I’ll be planning her first birthday party before I know it.

This month has been so good. Some things have been hard of course, but Nora is such a sweet presence in our lives that I forget all the difficult stuff the second she goes to sleep at night. Like right now all I can think about is snuggling her up and feeling her tiny little hands wrap gently around my cheeks. She’s so cute you guys. I can’t stand it.

Here’s what’s new for little miss NoJo this month…

Weight & Length: I’m not sure of her percentiles or height (her next doctors appointment isn’t until 9 months) but I weighed her at home and she’s 15.8 lbs, which is just a bit more than she was last month. And three pounds less than her brother was at this age!

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Clothing: All 6-9 month now at least. Some brands only fit if they’re in the 9 month range. My sister just gave me a whole bunch of my niece’s old clothes and it’s like Nora got a whole new wardrobe! I’ve been loving seeing her in all of my niece’s little outfits. It seems like just yesterday I was seeing Madelyn in these things and now it’s Nora’s turn! It all goes by so quickly. Gah I’m so sentimental today.

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Eyes & Hair: There is no stopping the curl on this little girl’s head. It hardly ever lays completely flat anymore and I love it! I can’t wait until it’s grown out a little more so we can see just how curly it’ll be. Her eyes are still such a pretty blue and sooo big haha! She has the roundest eyes I’ve ever seen.

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Sleep: She’s a pretty scheduled baby at this point, pretty much all by her own doing. She takes 2-3 naps a day (depending on how long they are) for several hours each. Her third nap (if she needs one) is still typically 40 minutes and really just to hold her over until bedtime around 7:30. She gets up for the day preeeetty consistently around 6am, although sometimes it’s before then (wah). I know she wakes up at least twice a night to nurse but it’s all a blur to be honest hahah. She may only wake up once sometimes, or maybe more and I just can’t remember. Who knows! We’re just starting to transition her to her own room at night. She sleeps for her first stretch in her crib and then I just bring her to bed with me when she wakes up wanting to nurse late in the night. Eventually I’ll probably go into her room and nurse her in there before putting her back down, but I honestly love having her with us at night for right now. I remember being so darn stressed about getting Jameson to sleep through the night in his own room by this point but it’s so different this time around. She’ll do it when she’s ready. She still seems so little to me that I don’t mind a bit. And…there’s always coffee.

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Eating: Breastfeeding is going just swimmingly but solid foods on the other hand…I wouldn’t describe it as a “disaster” per se…but it kind of is hahah. She has hated everything so far. Bananas, sweet potatoes, applesauce, rice cereal, pears, blueberries, grapes. Hates ’em all. Just spits them straight to the floor the second they touch her tongue, all while making the most dramatically disgusted faces she can muster. She even figured out how to clamp her gums together so I can’t get the spoon in there, which is simultaneously hilarious and incredibly frustrating. I’ve found that she tends to do better when I give her food in her fresh food feeder, but even then she’s making grossed out faces the entire time. Oh brother. We’ll keep trying!

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Don’t let this excited face fool you. She was really only happy to bang the fresh food feeder on the high chair tray.

Milestones: She’s such a little wiggle worm these days, rolling all lengths of the living room and scooting herself in different directions (although not very far and not very fast yet). She can sit up by herself for short periods of time but has a habit of simply forgetting to hold herself upright, at which point she’ll just launch in one direction towards the ground. So basically I never leave her sitting up alone. She loves being upright in her walker or bumper jumper and the other day I actually watched her try to pull herself up to stand! What in the world. I’m not ready for that yet. Figure out how to crawl first, Nora. 😉 All in good time.

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flop.
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Big girl!

Loves: Tags on toys, all types of music (most especially Alex’s guitar), playing on our toy piano, mommy mommy mommy, Jameson and all things having to do with Jameson, when you dangle a blanket over her face (I don’t know, okay? she loves it hahah), peekaboo, baths, being outside and going for walks in the stroller, and watching me put on my makeup (she loves to sit on my lap the whole time and watch me carefully in the mirror).

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Hates: Food. Being by herself. Really being away from me in any capacity. Even if I’m sitting right next to her, it doesn’t take long before she starts whining to be in my arms. She’s a liiiiittle obsessed with me.

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So pissed I left her to wash the dishes.

Communication: She babbles all the time (and I adore it) and she watches my lips so closely whenever I’m talking to her. I can tell she really wants to know what I’m yammering on about all the time. She also started copying certain things this month… when we shake our heads and say “Nora, do ‘noooo'” she’ll shake her head back at us. It’s so cute! But she really only does it when she’s in the right mood, otherwise she just stares blankly at us like we’re a bunch of lunatics. Real judgy, this one.

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Things I want to remember: The way you hug my face, how you start breathing really fast and excitedly when we dangle a blanket over you (lol), how I sometimes catch you staring quietly up at me when you’re on my hip (and then you smile so sweetly and bury your face in my shoulder), the way your face breaks into a gigantic grin and you squeal so loudly whenever I kiss you or talk to you, the way you laugh at everything Jameson does (even when he’s being cranky about something…which subsequently makes him sort of mad. “It’s not funny, Nora!” But it kind of is funny), the way you try to swipe whatever is in my hand if I’m holding it near you, the way you smash your fresh food feeder on the highchair loudly and proudly, and how cute you look when you’re determinedly scooting towards a cool toy (or, you know, something you’re not supposed to have).

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Nora Joy, we love you little sunshine girl! You are so smart, so much fun, and getting more and more beautiful by the day. We can’t wait to see how much you learn and grow this next month! ❤

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Letters to Littles

Letter #2

My sweet Nora Joy,

Hi baby! You’re six months old now and so much fun! The last time I wrote to you, you were still in my belly. Now you’re becoming your own little person and I can’t imagine life without you in it. You fit into our family as if you were always part of it. In a way, you always were.

Just like your name means, you are truly a joyful light. So smiley, so giggly, so so cute. We love tickling you and playing peekaboo and snuggling you tight. Right now you’re a total mama’s girl, always wanting to be in my arms or at least very close by. I don’t mind a bit. You are so content to just sit on my lap, or ride around the house on my hip as I play with Jameson and get things done. I loving having you as my tiny sidekick.

You and your brother are absolutely obsessed with each other right now. You scream with excitement just seeing him, and he loves helping you sit up and making you laugh and telling you everything that pops into his head (even though you have no idea what he’s saying…you are just so happy that he’s talking to you). Seeing your relationship is one of the best things in my whole world. Sometimes I want to join in on the fun of you two giggling and playing but lots of times I’ll take a step back and let you bond, knowing that I’m watching a friendship form right in front of me…a friendship that’s just for the two of you. You’ll always have each other and that gives me so much joy and peace. I hope you choose to stay friends forever, even when you don’t have to anymore.

I’m so glad you’re here with us, sweet girl. You’ve given us some scares but the Lord has blessed us with your life and we’re deeply, unfathomably thankful. I’m sorry if I get too protective over you now and then; you are so precious to me and I would do anything to keep you safe. I pray you know this kind of love someday too.

There are so many things I want to say to you. So many things I can’t wait to watch you learn. There are some things I’m nervous about teaching you, too. Being the mother of a daughter is already so different than being the mother of a son. I pray I can be a faithful example to you, and that you grow up to be a good woman who loves the Lord. I’m so thankful that I get to be the one to guide you and help you grow.

I love you from the depths of my heart, from every corner of my soul.

Love,

Mommy

Nora Monthly

Six months of Nora

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Another wonderful month with this little beauty! I’m a bit late on getting this posted because things have been extra busy around here. But both kids happen to be napping right now (blesssssss!) so I’m able to write for 0.38 seconds before one or both of them wakes up.

Nora is sugar and spice (but mostly nice) and she gets cuter by the day. We finally had her neurological follow-up appointment this month and it looks like we’re in the clear, praise God! In fact, the neurologist was kind of confused as to why we were even there haha. She assured us that Nora looks absolutely perfect. Of course we’re going to watch her carefully (I will always and forever be slightly more worried about her) but for now we’re moving on with life and putting that scary episode behind us. On her medical records it’s labeled as a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) and hopefully it never becomes anything more than that. She is happy and healthy and here with us and that’s really all we can ask for.

Here’s what’s new for our little six month old! (Phew, can’t believe it’s already been half a year!)

Weight & Length: At her six month checkup this morning she weighed in at 15 lbs, 5 oz (I think about a pound heavier than last month!) and she’s 2 ft, 3 inches (adorable). This puts her in the 84th percentile for height (!!!) and the 29th for weight. And interestingly (well not really hahah but it is to me) her head size is only in the 9th percentile! For some reason I feel like her noggin is bigger than the average but apparently it’s much much smaller. Maybe it’s all that delicious chub in the cheeks throwing me off. 🙂

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Clothing: She’s almost out of her six month clothes (especially Carters brand, which runs a little small). I generally look for the 6-9 month stuff to buy her, or 6-12 month at Gymboree. I bet I’ll be getting 9 month stuff before I know it; she’s just so tall! I bought her a couple of cute bathing suits for this summer and I’m so excited to see her splashing around and playing in them in the coming months! It’s already getting toasty over here.

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Eyes & Hair: No change with those baby blue eyes (everyone always comments on how blue they are!). But her hair is starting to change! It is definitely going to be curly. I’m so excited! A little curly Nora will be adorable. I’m not surprised at all, though, because Alex has insanely curly hair and my hair was in giant crazy ringlets when I was a toddler. I’m actually surprised that Jameson doesn’t have super curly hair. Some days Nora’s hair is tame and other days it will not lay flat. It just springs back up into big curls. It is so stinking cute. Plus, I think it might be going red! Or maybe more like an auburn. It still looks light brown for the most part, but the sun brings out allllll these gorgeous red and blonde highlights. I can’t wait to see the color when it fills in a bit more.

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Sleep: I feel like this is pretty much the same as last month. She’s down to three naps a day (one around 8:30am, one around 11:30/12, and one around 4:30 or 5:30pm depending on how long the afternoon nap was). Her morning and evening naps are typically short (around 40 minutes each) but she usually takes a good long afternoon nap, around two and a half hours at a time. But it’s not an exact science of course. Nothing in parenting ever is. Sometimes her morning nap is long if she had a hard night and that throws everything off. She’s still having trouble staying asleep for long stretches at night (some nights she’ll wake up once or not even at all, other nights she’s up every three hours) so I think we’ll probably transition her to her own room at night this month so she can get used to it and hopefully get her act together haha. I’m just kind of scared. It’s so convenient having her nearby and I don’t want her to cry super loud and wake Jameson up (their rooms are right next to each other). But I know it has to be done eventually… ugh. Maybe the next month haha. I might drag my feet just a little bit longer.

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Eating: We tried out her first solid food this month (mashed banana) and she HAAAAAATED ITTTTT!!! It was actually hilarious. I’m so glad I took a video of it. Is that mean? Oh well, she’ll think it’s funny one day. She was seriously so offended that we tried giving her such a horrendous substance. We tried applesauce too and she had the same reaction. I might pick up some of that super bland rice or oat baby cereal at the store and see if she’ll tolerate that. And then gradually add food in to get her used to flavors in a more subtle way. Feeding her straight from the table is obviously not going to work for Nora just yet. It’s okay though, she has time. And breastfeeding is still going well so I’m not worried. Table food is just for fun at this point anyway.

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Milestones: She’s officially rolling back and forth all over the place! She had been doing it on the bed and on the couch for awhile now but absolutely refused to try on the floor. Literally nothing could entice her. Then one day, she just rolled with total ease as if she could have done it all along. I’m pretty sure she wanted to make sure she had the coordination and strength down before she gave it it a try. Whereas Jameson had no problem trying and failing over and over until he finally got the hang of it, Nora really wanted to perfect her rolling game plan before she showed off. She sits up with support (she does best with the Boppy around her) but I don’t trust her enough to just leave her there to play without toppling over (or folding in half, that’s always funny) so I’m always nearby. She really does love being upright though and seeing everything going on around her so she enjoys jumping around in the doorway bouncer thing and being in the walker she has at Alex’s parents’ house. She can even take little steps and push herself forward in there! Her fine motor skills are improving as well; she can pass toys from one hand to the other and flip them around to check out all the interesting sides.

 

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Loves: Finding the tags on all of her toys, holding hands while she nurses to sleep (my heart!!!), playing in her walker, anything having to do with Jameson, being on my hip, baths, going outside, when Daddy gets home from work, listening while I read books with Jameson, and she really liked her first time in the swing this month!

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Hates: The usual culprits. Tummy time, car seat, being away from me for too long. Ps, these pictures crack me up:

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Communication: This has been a fun one this month! Just a few weeks ago she started officially babbling! She had been getting close for a couple of weeks, saying things like “aaaaaaba.” But then one day she started the real deal babbling and now she babbles all the time, things like “bababa,” “mamama,” “dadada,” “nanana,” and “papapa.” I know that’s not super interesting to anyone but to someone who studied and loves speech and language, these are my favorite things! Jameson was all about the physical milestones (he was legit crawling by this point) and didn’t bother with speech sounds until 8 months. But Nora is so interested in it. She watches my lips so closely when I’m talking to her and tries to copy what I do. So sweet! She also figured out how to blow raspberries which is simultaneously adorable and gross because of all the drool. Just constant drool with this one.

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Things I want to remember: The way you grab my face with both your hands and smother me with “kisses,” the way you actually hug me with your tiny little arms (you are so snugly), the way your sweet fingers find mine when you’re nursing to sleep and you hold on so gently, the way you hold your brother’s face in your hands when he’s playing and talking with you, your kicky little legs when you’re so stoked about something, how you “swim” when you’re on your belly (arms and legs up and moving in all directions), the way you reach for me when you want me to hold you, the way you play with your soft baby books (hold them up over your face, drop them there, and kick happily until someone lifts the book off to reveal your huge grin/tongue sticking out), and that big gummy smile you have on your face 90% of the time.

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Happy half birthday, NoJo baby! We love you to bits and pieces. ❤

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