Kelly from Mrs. Toes asked several of her blogging friends to write a guest post in November on what they were grateful for and why. While there are billions (and billions) of things to be grateful for each day, it's nice to take the time and actually write something down. I had fun with this and hope you enjoy reading it.
So... what are you still doing here? Go visit Kelly's blog and take a peek at what several of us are thankful for this November! :)
Below are the remaining items from my Instagram sale this morning. Shipping is included in the price (US residents only)! If you're interested in anything, please leave your PayPal email address in the comments (or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org) along with the item you're interested in purchasing! Thanks!
We had a mini-session with Ashley of AVENUE Photography right before Jude & Sloane turned one. It was a very chilly (and early) morning but the kiddos did great! We were so pleased with how the pictures turned out. I'm saving our favorite shot for the Christmas card but here are the rest!
Our babies are one!! Two weeks later and I still can't believe it, which is probably why this is the most delayed monthly update ever. It also may have been the best month ever. Jude & Sloane get sweeter and smarter and funnier each day. It absolutely blows my mind how much they comprehend and I tell them on a daily basis that they are my best friends. Is it weird to be best friends with one-year-olds? Do I even want to know your answer?
1 YEAR STATS FOR JUDE:
Weight: 24 lbs 10 oz (76%)
Height: 30 in (59%)
1 YEAR STATS FOR SLOANE:
Weight: 20 lbs 11 oz (44%)
Height: 30 in (85%)
Eating is our biggest frustration at the moment. Jude & Sloane enjoy eating, but they enjoy playing with their food so much more. When Sloane is done, she cannot stand having a tray full of food. Rather than simply stop eating, she runs her arm across her tray and knocks off all remaining pieces of food. Meanwhile, her brother still throws 15 things towards his mouth at once and only eats a small percentage of the goods. The rest join Sloane's mess on the floor. I almost always strip them down completely, otherwise they would be wearing three different outfits each day.
Regardless, they are doing quite well with solid food and are willing to try almost anything. They definitely have their preferences (e.g., Sloane loves American cheese and Jude does not; Jude loves mozzarella and Sloane does not), but don't make it too hard for me. I've heard meat can be tricky at this age but they're both big fans of chicken, brisket, and hamburgers. When we take them out to eat we have to be prepared to share whatever it is we order.
As far as breastfeeding, they nurse 4 times a day. Once they turned one I cut out a nursing session and replaced it with whole milk, which they seem to enjoy. My plan is to cut out another nursing session every two weeks until they are completely weaned. I originally thought I'd be excited to stop nursing, but like everything else the thought of being done makes me sad. I can tell they're losing interest so I know this is best for everyone, but I will miss the late night cuddles and sweet one-on-one time with my babies.
I always swore I'd never be the mom who blamed bad moods and restless nights on teething. Well. Jude hasn't been sleeping very well and I blame it on teething (ha). I actually don't know what it is but Sloane is consistently sleeping through the night and Jude is still waking up once and sometimes twice. He has two molars and appears to be working on number three and four. They don't seem to bother him during the day but that is the only thing I can think of that could be waking him up at night.
They typically go down around 7:15p and wake up around 7:45a. They take a 2-hour nap at 10a and typically a 90-minute nap at 2:30p. I don't think we'll be moving to one nap anytime soon--these babies need their sleep!
One of the reasons Jude & Sloane sleep so well is because they play so well and so hard. When they're not wrestling with one another, Sloane is running all over the place and Jude is doing his best to keep up. She rarely crawls anymore, which is crazy to me. Once she took a few steps she never looked back. Jude, on the other hand, is slowly accepting this new form of transportation. He has taken several steps (the most we've counted is 8 in a row) but still crawls if he wants to get somewhere quickly. He definitely lacks confidence in walking.
If you follow me on Instagram you've probably noticed that they don't have a lot of toys. We have a small toy basket and up until their birthday party, everything was able to fit in that basket. They always seemed so entertained by one another or their surroundings that toys seemed unnecessary. And expensive. And cluttered. And unused. After their birthday party we gave them two or three toys and left the rest downstairs to be played with at a later time. Our plan is to rotate so they don't have too many at once. And did I mention clutter? It seems like all of their toys have 10 pieces (mostly stacking toys, etc.) and they add up quickly.
Their favorite toy doesn't even come close to fitting in the basket and it is the largest and most obnoxious thing I've ever seen. And we gave it to them (it was their birthday gift). It is a giant ball pit and they ADORE it. The first time they played in it I almost cried because I'd never seen them so happy.
Both enjoy playing with musical instruments and anything that makes a sound. Sloane loves giving her stuffed animals hugs (it is THE cutest thing I've ever seen) and Jude loves to take absolutely anything and bang it against absolutely anything else. We created a barrier (of toys) to prevent them from getting to our computer and printer area. I spend 75% of my day picking them up while they attempt to bypass the barrier--Jude especially. There have been a few times one of them has slipped past while I'm nursing the other and destruction immediately follows. One time Jude made 100 blank copies on the printer.
Michael and I still think of them as newborns and therefore don't challenge them as much as we should. A few weeks ago I named my eyes, nose, and mouth four times and then asked Sloane, "Where's my nose?" She pointed right to it. I was shocked. We're now trying to name everything and be deliberate about what it is we're doing/holding/etc. They both recognize us as "mama" and "dada," as well as say "hey" (hello). They clap their hands and wave hello and goodbye.
One other thing I must mention--Jude's crawling is absolutely hilarious. When he first learned to crawl I was still giving them Cheerios and Puffs upstairs. He would put some in his hand and then move from place to place. Now he crawls with his left hand in a fist, even though he's not holding anything. He's also been working on standing up from a sitting position (without support) and ends up in downward dog every time. From that position he crawls to his desired location, butt straight up in the air. So funny.
I'm going to do a separate post with pictures from their birthday party but we all had a wonderful time. The few weeks leading up to the party/birthday were hard for me--I was even more sentimental than usual. I created an iMovie of pictures for their party and every time I worked on it I cried. I also cried the night before their first birthday while I was nursing them. But the day of their party and their actual birthday, I was just happy. What a wonderful year it has been for all of us!!
Michael took the day off on their birthday. We started the morning with bagels at Einstein's and then went to the Grapevine aquarium. Our original plan had been to go to the zoo but it rained all day. The kids seemed to really enjoy the aquarium, especially the jellyfish exhibit! We had dinner with Mimi and Papa and ended the day at our house with cake. Something sad but notable--Sloane exhibited fear for the first time on their birthday. I was holding her and as I pointed to a very large (and ugly) fish, it swam directly toward us. She immediately turned her head away and buried it into my shoulder. She never cried, but it was clear she did not want to see the fish.
Jude & Sloane also celebrated their second Halloween (they were one day old for their first) by dressing up as the very hungry caterpillar (Jude) and the beautiful butterfly (Sloane). Jude couldn't stand the headpiece. Sloane, on the other hand, could've worn the costume all day. She definitely strutted her stuff as the beautiful butterfly.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR JUDE:
Oct 17 - First noticed lower right molar (it was almost completely in!)
Oct 18 - Took his first steps!
Oct 22 - Top right molar
IMPORTANT DATES FOR SLOANE:
Oct 1 - 8 consecutive steps
Oct 4 - Walking!
Oct 10 - Lower right lateral
"Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." To the moon and back... and a thousand times more. Love - Mom
Michael wrote their 6-month letters so I thought it'd be neat if he also wrote their 1-year letters. I'm afraid if I wrote them they would be 20 pages long. :)
Jude, it is unbelievable to compare you to pictures from your first
weeks with us. You were this tiny little boy with sticks for appendages
and loose skin, and I'm sorry that description is so close in likeness
to that of E.T. That's a movie that was released the year your parents
were born, or thirty years before you! You've filled out to become our
boisterous boy that already loves to rough house, throw balls, and pound
on the table. You always want to be part of what's going on, which
includes an obvious fake chuckle if you hear someone else laughing. You
didn't let your sister crawl around for long before you decided to
follow, and you're quickly joining her in the walking stage as well. We
know you can do it, but sometimes you get nervous and stop to put your
head on the floor. Your yoga positions are very popular with your
Instagram followers. I'm not sure what career this is preparing you
for, but no barrier will deny you access for long. We've found you
planking on the subwoofer and sitting in the toy basket. You also know
your way around the printer, and get to it any time you can. While I
hope you manage to get more food in your mouth and less in your lap
during your second year, we're excited to see all the new things that
make you Jude the Dude.
Sloane, you've obviously grown along with your brother,
but your facial features have looked just the same from the day you were
born. You are meticulous at the dinner table, keeping your food
separate and eating each piece individually after grabbing it between
your index finger and thumb. You love your tours around the family room
upstairs in the arms of anyone that will carry you. You point at all
of the pictures and your favorite poster. Now that you're upright and
mobile, you take tours of your own. You'll walk around upstairs,
checking to make sure all the doors are still closed and you can't sneak
into the bathroom. Your brother likes to roll around in the ball pit
and try to tip the whole thing over. You prefer to sit by the entrance
and calmly remove balls individually. This week, your mom and Gramsie were sorting through some of your old clothes and you went to every pile
they had organized just to throw every piece of clothing behind you. I
found it tremendously funny. I hope you keep trying to be the loudest
one in the room and develop new quirks we can smile about.
I love that you both display aspects from your
parents. Jude, you take a while to wake up in the morning, not unlike
your mother. However, you prefer string cheese like your dad and you'll
barely touch the yellow cheese slices. Sloane, you and your mom love
those yellow melted rain boot cheese slices, but you're sitting up and
smiling as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. We love you both
very much and can't wait to see what else you have to surprise us with
in the next year.