Monday, October 7, 2013

Jude & Sloane | 11 months

Jude & Sloane are 11 months old!  There's no denying it--they look like toddlers.  It almost feels strange calling them "babies," though I plan on doing it for 60 more years.

This was a big month for both of them and I can't wait to tell you all about it! 

Our once timid (solid food) eaters now eat with reckless abandon.  I made the mistake of giving them a bite of my pumpkin muffin the other day and now anytime I eat around them they crawl towards me like zombies.  It used to be a little difficult to eat in front of them--it is now impossible.  However, I absolutely love that they are eager to try new things.  Gone are the days when I would beg each of them to just take a bite (and not spit it back out).

They're nursing four or five times a day, eating three solid meals, and dozens of Cheerios.  I'm still pureeing some food but am mostly giving them whole (cut up) fruits and vegetables, cheese (I think Jude has a slight allergy), and bits of pasta & bread (whatever I happen to be eating: muffins, pancakes, toast, etc.).  They've mastered the sippy cup and now want to drink their weight in water.  I'm really proud of how far they've come in the last few months, and am breathing a huge sigh of relief because I felt they were behind.  Turns out I will NOT have to pack a blender when they leave for college. Whew!

Not much has changed here.  They nap at 10a and around 2:30p.  They still wake up once during the night--sometimes it is midnight and other times it is 6a.  They're also starting the days a little earlier--typically around 7:30a.  Going down for naps can be frustrating.  They are both so chatty and as soon as I put them down they crawl towards the other's crib, stand up, and discuss the day's events.  They trade, steal, and drop pacifiers, so most days I'm in and out of the nursery multiple times before they finally fall asleep.  The good news is they love to chat with one another when they wake up so if I'm in the middle of something it buys me a bit of time.

Oh do these two love to play.  They are all over the place and can turn our immaculate playroom into a disaster in less than a minute.  One of their favorite "games" is to completely empty the toy box.  Sloane dives right in and recklessly throws toys over her shoulder--you'd think she was searching for treasure.  She also likes to do this with clean laundry much to her mom's chagrin.

They play quite well together and love to mimic one another.  If Jude claps, Sloane responds by clapping.  This is also true for when one coughs, which if you've heard an 11-month-old fake a cough, it's quite funny (think Zoolander and his black lung).  One of my biggest concerns: Jude is very powerful and doesn't know his own strength.  His favorite thing to do is lift his arms above his head and body slam the person closest to him.  When that person weighs 20 pounds, it's not pretty.  When siblings are different ages, the oldest can be told to "be gentle" and "soft hands," but in our case it's impossible.  I hate to get onto him because I know it's completely innocent and his way of showing affection, but we all have bruises and scratches thanks to our not-so-gentle giant.

We take daily walks around the neighborhood in the wagon--we all really enjoy the fresh air.  I will be sad when it's too cold to continue our walks (we're in Dallas so that is approximately two weeks of the year).

At the beginning of the month we went on a small road trip.  University of Tulsa had their annual soccer alumni weekend so we dropped Michael off in Tulsa and then continued driving to Fort Smith to stay with my parents for a few days.  Poppy and Gramsie saw firsthand how much Jude & Sloane have changed in such a short amount of time!  Michael had fun with his soccer buddies and getting the chance to sleep in for once.  :)

I "traveled" to south Dallas (Bishop Arts District) with my life group girls for a few days and had a wonderful time.  We rented a gorgeous house with fabulous gardens.  This was my second time to be away from the kids (first time they were 4 months).  I started pumping again so they'd have food while I was gone and was a little concerned because they've refused bottles for the past few months.  Instead, Michael gave them their milk via sippy cups and all was well.  It felt very strange to be responsible for absolutely no one but myself for a weekend.  I had a great time but was so excited to see my little family. 

As I mentioned above, this was a big month for these two!  Sloane went from two teeth to seven, started standing without holding onto anything for longer periods of time, and took her first steps!  She also started deliberately pointing at certain objects while saying "dah" (light in their nursery, any picture of Michael, and one of our Deep Ellum Film Festival posters). 

Jude is now standing without holding onto anything, balances on his belly on the base speaker, and had his first haircut.  He also chews on his crib--he taught Sloane to do the same--and has taken a keen interest in learning how things operate. 

Both love to play peek-a-boo and if either of us says "peek-a-boo" they reach for the nearest object and put it in front of their face.

9.23 - First haircut
9.25 - Stood alone for 5+ seconds

9.1 - Top right central incisor
9.9 - Top left central incisor
9.13 - Top right lateral incisor
9.16 - Stood alone for 10+ seconds at a friend's house (Jude applauded)
9.26 - Took two consecutive steps and top left lateral incisor
9.30 - Bottom left lateral incisor

Dear Jude,
Beautiful boy, you have changed so much this month!  I know all babies grow rapidly but I feel like you grew into a toddler overnight.  Your face has thinned out, as have your arms, legs, and belly.  You will still hug and cuddle, but only for a moment and then you want down so you can explore your surroundings.  I've put up several barriers to prevent you two from getting to certain areas of the house. I watch you study it for several minutes and then slowly but surely break through the barrier each time.   It is fascinating to see how much you understand at such a young age.

Your eating has improved dramatically this month!  No longer a picky eater, you happily eat anything we put in front of you and only get frustrated when I don't give you a bite of what I'm currently enjoying (I typically break down and give you some but it has made me realize I need to work on my own eating habits as most of the stuff isn't healthy enough for you). 

You are so very strong and while I stand amazed at what you can lift, move, and push, I worry about your little sister who turns into your personal punching bag.  I know you two are playing as you both laugh the entire time... until someone gets hurt.  And someone always gets hurt.  But sweet boy, when she cries you remove your hands from her immediately and I can tell you are upset as well.  I adore how well you two play together and pray your bond grows stronger each day.

I'm not sure how much you weigh, but you are wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 4 diapers.  You have 8 teeth and blonde hair (that no longer covers your ears or neck)!  Your dad and I took you to get your first haircut and it was such a sweet moment for us.  Miss Courtney babysat Sloane so we could make the afternoon all about you.  You sat so still in the chair and loved when she used the clippers around your ears.

I'm not sure why, but you've been waking up at odd hours during the night and only relax when you nurse.  Sometimes I am so tired I fall asleep in the chair, but other times I just stare at your sweet face, play with your soft hair, and spend time in prayer, thanking God for you and your sister.  I remember similar prayers during the middle of the night when you two were kicking inside my belly.  I remember thinking I couldn't love you more.  And now, sweet Jude, I realize it's possible.

Dear Sloane,
You really shook things up this month!  We'd about decided you were only going to have two teeth and then one popped up... and another... and another.  You now have seven teeth, little one!  It has made eating easier for you, though it never was much of an issue.  You are the queen of Cheerios and can clear a plate faster than your mom, which is impressive and also a little terrifying.

We knew you weren't far from taking a few steps, but had no idea how quickly it would all transpire.  From standing on your own for several seconds, to taking a few timid steps, to practically walking (this is cheating because it didn't happen until October 1, but you took eight consecutive steps, my dear!), you blew us away with how quickly you adapted to this new mode of transportation.

You are so observant--you received this trait from your Dad and Mimi.  While your brother is hands-on and focuses on what is in front of him, you look past that to the walls and ceilings.  You point at everything and I love telling you what it is you're looking at.  When you were a newborn and upset, Gramsie would give you a tour of our house and describe the same things you are pointing at now. 

You are mostly wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 3 diapers.  Your eczema is completely gone (hooray!) and you now have the softest skin.  You have long arms and legs and constantly point your toes when you're sitting down.  Several friends have said you will be a great ballerina one day.  I can already picture you in a tutu and tights and can't help but smile at the thought.   While your hair is still sparse on top, it is growing in nice and full in the back.  I can't get over how dark it is (especially compared to Jude's hair).  I think you're going to be a dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty. 

Sloane, you are such a flirt.  This has both of us a little worried.  When we are out and about you smile at every stranger--especially men.  I've watched even the unhappiest of men turn into a puddle when you flash them a smile.  Several strangers have stopped and said you and Jude made their day with your smiles.  I love that you two have the ability to brighten someone's day and hope it is a trait you carry with you always.  But seriously, the flirting needs to slow down a bit.  :)

You and your brother have made our family complete.  I love seeing the world through your eyes--you have taught me far more than I will ever be able to teach you.  What a sweet gift God gave us when he created you, our precious daughter.

Love you - Mom


Laura said...

Oh my goodness-your letters at the end were especially sweet and heart-warming! It's so fun to see them learning and developing like crazy at this age! Jude reminds me a lot of Nolan and for some reason, I always think the twins are so much younger than he is, but there is really only about 4 months difference. I'm nervous to take Nolan to get a haircut but he definitely needs it (hello rat tail!) so I'm glad to hear it went so well with Jude!

Lots to look forward to this month with them, huh? Birthdays, anniversary, Halloween...are you going to dress them up?? Happy 11 months to those extremely cute kids of yours!!

Leslie said...

I love that Jude clapped for Sloane when she first stood unassisted; so precious! They are so, so adorable!

Melissa Brannan said...

I LOVE these pics! I have probably seen them slowly leak on FB, but to see them all put together to crate a story it just beautiful! You have a beautiful family and it looks like you are enjoying every precious moment! :)

Aubrey said...

What an awesome month! I love your updates - they are, quite literally, double the fun!


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