Sunday, November 16, 2014

Graham is six months old!

Hi, Graham! We love you so much!

Graham is seriously, for real, the easiest baby ever. EVER. He is a gift from Heavenly Father, pure and simple. He never makes a fuss, he sleeps like a dream, he is happy and smiley all the time... he's just an angel and we love him. 

Graham sleeps from 9am-10am, 12:30 to 3:30, and 5pm to 5:45. Then he sleeps from 7:00-7:00 or 7:30. He is ridiculously consistent. He does tend to sometimes wake up and talk to himself at around 5am, but he will usually just go back to sleep or we will put his paci back in. I debated weaning him from the paci completely, but he's so close to the age where he can put it back in himself that I am just waiting it out. Plus, I've been waking up at 5:30 to go running each morning, so I just put his paci in before I go if he wakes up. I think I just need to feed him more solids throughout the day, but sometimes I get sidetracked and forget. 

He has four bottles each day and three servings of solids. He is doing great! He loves to eat. He is 50th percentile for height, 30th for weight, and 40th for head. Calvin, at this age, was 7th for height and weight and 75th for head. Haha! They will be the same size soon, I think. :) It's funny about his height, because I was expecting another short baby; he was only 19 inches when he was born. But he's turning out to grow pretty fast! I'm not used to a baby who fits into the clothing he's supposed to fit into. :) 

Graham loves people. He loves me most. :) His entire body smiles when he sees me or Daddy. He makes loud squealing sounds all the time - he's just so happy, it bursts out of him! He is zero stress at church. His love and laughter are absolutely infectious. You cannot be sad while holding this sweet little boy. He loves to be tickled, kissed, pinched, talked to, whatever. He's just happy to be along for the ride! He's gotten better about being in the carseat. The only time he's not very happy is when he's missed a nap. He doesn't really know how to sleep anywhere but his crib, so we have to kind of just keep him happy if we're out and about. He's missed his third nap a few times and ended up alright, but still a little grouchier than usual. I think he'll need his third nap for a while longer than Calvin did. He can roll from his back to his tummy but not the other way around. He is sitting, too! All by himself. 

He loves his brother, and his brother loves him (most of the time). Calvin isn't aggressive toward Graham, but doesn't really know how to be extremely gentle with him yet. The few times he has hit or thrown something at Graham, I'm not sure he completely knew what he was doing. Calvin gets in huge, gigantic trouble when he does that, so maybe he is starting to know better. :) Anyway, I am hoping and praying they will be playing together soon because Calvin desperately needs a playmate.

We love you, Graham!! You are such a blessing to me!! Don't get any bigger, okay??

Calvin turns TWO!

My little sweetie pie is two years old. How did that happen?? We love this spirited toddler. He's a lot of fun and has a really funny personality. He's definitely strong-willed, but I can't tell if it's just his personality or if he's just your typical two-year-old. He's smart and cute and sweet, but also hates change and isn't good with transitions. For example - he really doesn't like coming into the house after being at the park. Or leaving McDonald's after playing there. I think I probably just need to get better at distracting him. :) He still isn't great about going to bed happy - he'll cry every time - but if I tell him over our monitor to stop crying and go to sleep, he does! So at least there's that. 

I'm just going to write what comes to my mind about this cutie pie to give him a proper update since I'm horrible about writing in my blog. I've been getting a lot of freelance writing work lately, which is a huge blessing, but it takes up my evenings and nap times. 

Calvin wakes up about 7am every day. He is happy to see whoever gets him from his crib and starts talking right away. "Light!" "Tree!" "Beffast!" (Breakfast.) He eats toast or wheat pancakes or cereal with yogurt and fruit. He eats with a spoon and does really well! When we're done, he plays with me until Graham's nap and then goes into his room to play for a while so I can get ready. He loves these little busy bags I made him a while back - I need to make some more. He doesn't really understand them all that well, but it's something new and that's all that matters! 

He is fantastic when we go on errands. He doesn't cry in the cart and loves to see the new sights and sounds. He isn't upset if we pass the cookie aisle and doesn't get anything, even though he asks for it. "Treat?? TREAT?? Cooooookie? Cookie?!" He says cookie like Cookie Monster does. :) He loves Sesame Street! We watch it every day. If you ask him to do his impression of Oscar the Grouch, he says, "He he he.." in a menacing little voice. He will also do impressions of Cookie Monster and Grover. It's extremely cute. He's learning so many words! He's doing well with his shapes and numbers and says the letters he sees when we're out and about. He randomly knows who Elsa is, so that's interesting... we've only watched Frozen one time. Good job, Disney marketers!

He goes down for a nap around 12:30 and usually sleeps for 2-2.5 hours. Sometimes I'll get a 3 hour nap, but not often. When he gets up, we play downstairs and watch Sesame Street. Then we go up and make dinner together. He's a great little sous chef! He likes to be a part of the action. He pushes his little stool over to wherever I am so he can sit up like a big kid and cook with me. I think he's a chef in the making! He does well with eating and is doing great with his veggies as long as they're mixed with a little ketchup. :) 

He is perfect for Nursery on Sundays. He LOVES it. His leaders say he is the best kid in there; never a problem, always low-maintenance, shares his toys, isn't bothered when some other kid takes his toys, etc. I hate that he's bullied already. TJ and I saw him playing at an indoor playground just recently and some of the other kids were pushing him around. He didn't seem to know what to do; just stood back and stared. Poor little guy. He did once tentatively reach out to try to hit back, but only I would have known he was "hitting" - it wouldn't have looked like a hit to anyone else. TJ and I are seriously enrolling him in Krav Maga classes when he's four. Yep! Seriously. He isn't even on the growth charts anymore. He's dipped to the 1-2 percentile. :( But what I love about Calvin is that he's tough. He has a feisty little personality. He's independent, smart, and isn't phased easily. He doesn't come crying to me wanting comfort very often at all. He is pretty resilient! So I think those personality traits will serve him well should he ever be confronted later in life. He's got the Zinn spark. Zinns are tough as nails, extremely successful, very charismatic, quite stubborn, overly confident, and resolutely independent. I hope I know how to help Calvin harness those traits in a positive way. :)

I am so proud of my little man. He's a great kid. He's a challenge at times, but I know Heavenly Father will guide me in how to raise this strong little kid. Plus, he's so cute and funny, it negates the tantrums. :) 

We celebrated his birthday in Mountain Green with the whole family! It was so fun. I sure love these people. They are so warm, wonderful, loving, kind, and accepting. Calvin loves them, too. 


Kami can get this little kid to sleep every single time! She's got the magic touch. :)

He was scared of his candles. 

Dishes with Mom! He's a great helper. 

He loves to "push" the cart! I hate pushing this thing around, though. It's HUGE and really hard to maneuver. 


Forts and Sesame Street - my kind of afternoon!

We went to Gardner Village during Halloween and it was so fun. They have adorable little shops! It was all decorated and cute for Halloween and Calvin had a great time. TJ... didn't. :)

Haircut! These ladies are amazing. He didn't even cry.

Dad, do I HAVE to watch this show??

Getting lost in the maze! He loved being able to run free. 

TJ made him do this. :)

Twick-o-tweet! Such a cutie. He LOVED it. I was so happy he was finally old enough to get what was going on. 

He ate candy for dinner. :) Oops! We brushed his teeth afterwards. I love this kid so much. No one makes me laugh like he does. I think my biggest challenge will just be keeping up with him. He gets bored instantly and needs lots of new things to do/explore/look at/play with. Always. I've even divided all his toys into bins marked for the days of the week. He can only play with that toy bin for the whole day. This way, he doesn't get as bored. It's been working great so far! I just hope it lasts. :)

Calvin is so special. He is an amazing little spirit. He is a born leader and I know he will look out for his little brother. He is a huge blessing in my life and is my little buddy every day. I love him so much! I can't wait until we are reading chapter books together. I can't wait! He already loves books so much. Harry Potter... here we come! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Graham at Four Months

This little cutie pie is four months old already! He is such a bright light in our household. We love him! He's easygoing, sweet-tempered, and full of smiles. Here is a little bit about him: 

- He loves to smile and giggle. He smiles all the time! You only need to peer over at him and say his name and he will smile with his whole body. He's like a little, happy puppy. 

- He eats 5-6 times each day, takes 2 long naps and one short nap, and sleeps 11-12 hours at night. Need I say more?? He's perfect. I'm so glad he's a good sleeper, otherwise I would have lost my mind long ago. Heavenly Father knew I couldn't handle too much stress at once, so He sure did bless me. :) I mean, sometimes he does wake up in the night to talk to himself and may need his paci put back in, but not very often. I remember Calvin had some sleep disruptions around 4 months, so it doesn't bother me because I know it's just a phase. At least Graham doesn't seem to be doing the 45 minute nap thing that Calvin did for a few months. That was annoying! I think it's because I went back and re-read my old blog post about Calvin's sleep issues and it helped me remember what to do. There are some perks about doing this baby thing the second time around. :) 

- He is trying to roll over but can't quite make it.

- He has pretty bad eczema. :( His cradle cap is very hard to manage because his skin is dry all the time. I put lotion on him constantly! He scratches his head a lot, sometimes to the point where it bleeds. Poor little guy. We have to put socks on his hands when he sleeps so he doesn't maul himself too badly.

- He is just starting some solid foods. He likes the taste but doesn't quite know how to swallow it yet. We're working on it. :) He has tried oatmeal and bananas.

- He rarely cries. He really only cries when he is really tired or when Calvin accidentally bonks him in the head when trying to give Graham a kiss. 

- He is in the 25th percentile for height and weight and 50th for head. Calvin had dipped down to the 15th for height at this age, so I think Graham may soon catch up to his big brother in size.

- He will talk to you if you talk to him! He loves to chatter away and babble. He makes loud, squealing happy sounds when he is excited! I love it so much. 

- He spits up a lot. Watch out when you hold him, because he will probably vomit all over you. It doesn't matter if we give him a tiny bottle or a big one, he will always spit up. His doctor says since he's gaining weight and seems happy, we shouldn't worry about it. 

- He is a very special spirit. We love having him as a member of our family. 

Our schedule these days goes like this:

7am - Both boys wake up, we all eat breakfast and Graham has his first feeding.
7:30am - We say goodbye to daddy and play until Graham's first nap.
8:30am - Graham goes down for his nap and Calvin goes into his room to play while I get some chores done and get ready for our run.
10:00am - Graham is up and eats. We go for our jog in the double stroller and stop at a park afterwards.
11:30pm - We eat lunch and read stories together. Calvin practices his letters and numbers.
12:30pm - Graham has a little more to eat and then is down for a nap the same time as Calvin. And then I get some me time! I love it when the boys nap. 
3:00pm - The boys are up and Graham eats. Then we either do some "school", watch Sesame Street, or run errands. Calvin will sometimes eat a snack but not always. He likes three meals a day, apparently. 
5:00pm - Graham is down for a nap and Calvin helps me prepare dinner (in other words, he just plays at my feet with some bowls and utensils while I prepare dinner). 
6:00pm - Graham is up and has a small feed to tide him over and then we all eat dinner. Sometimes TJ is home by 6, but most days he isn't home until 6:30 or 7. :( When he does come home, TJ usually takes Calvin to the park so I can have a little quiet time with Grahammy Bear. 

7:00pm - Graham and Calvin get baths together, and TJ usually bathes Calvin while I tend to Graham. We read more stories together. TJ will read our favorite book, "Grover's Bad, Awful Day", in a funny voice that Calvin tries to mimic. It's soooo cute. 
7:30pm - Bedtime for Calvin. Graham has one last big feeding and then it's straight to bed for him, too. Then TJ and I crash. It's nice to just be able to relax together after a long day for both of us. But we sure do love our little family!

This was after he started losing all his adorable hair. So sad! His new hair is coming in very light - I can't tell if it'll be blonde or strawberry blonde. We will have to wait and see! I still think he'll have ginger hair.

Happy, happy, happy boy! 

Kisses from Calvin! Calvin knows how to do a real kiss these days - lips puckered with the smooching sound and everything. It's really cute. He loves to hug and kiss his little brother. :) Graham doesn't seem so sure, though. :) 

Don't you want to just kiss those cheeks?? 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

San Diego Family Trip

TJ and I bravely set out on our first trip as a family of four a few weeks ago. It was surprisingly fun! I didn't think I'd have as much fun as I did. Granted, it was challenging to manage both kids in different places who were totally thrown off their schedules, but they did a lot better than I thought they would. The worst part was the actual traveling. Since we flew into LAX (to maximize points), we had to exit the main terminal and take a shuttle to a smaller terminal that services smaller airplanes. SO annoying, especially with a double stroller, two carseats, five bags, and two children. We kept having to collapse the stroller and unload everything to get onto the shuttles. LAX has a shuttle that takes you to the rental car places, and our shuttle took 45 minutes to show up. Then, it took us an additional 3 or 4 hours of waiting to get our car. To give you an idea of the travel time, we left our home in Salt Lake City at about 7:00 am and didn't have our rental car in California until almost 4:00 pm - so, with the time difference, about 10 hours of just traveling!!! Boo! It was awful. But I give three cheers to these little boys because they did great, all things considered. 

I was on Calvin duty the first leg, and TJ held Calvin on the way back. He did really well! I was surprised. I think all that Sacrament meeting training may have helped. Also - he got to have his paci which is a real treat for him. We used his paci all through the trip; awful, I know. But desperate times call for desperate measures! He doesn't ever use it now at home, except when I go for my run with the stroller. I am planning on weaning him on his second birthday. I'm dreading it because the paci really has been handy sometimes. Oh, well!

The wrap-around line at the car rental place. Nightmare. 

Once we got to San Diego and checked into our hotel, we binged on Rubio's fish tacos. Seriously, nothing has tasted so good! We were starving. Calvin even ate some! He usually doesn't like new things, but I think he was hungry enough to try it. :)

This is where these kids spent a lot of their time. :) We really liked this double stroller because it collapses really easily and gets through any doorway. The kid didn't mind it, either. I felt really bad keeping Calvin in there so long because there's nothing he loves more than running around and exploring. He's the kind of kid, though, that will run off without a backward glance. He will purposefully try to weave in and out of crowds to lose us so he can keep running and discovering his surroundings. It's scary! So we kept him close to us anywhere we went. Graham was fine in the stroller. He didn't sleep, poor thing, but he didn't cry or fuss too much.

We hit up the San Diego Zoo the first full day of our trip. It was so fun! I love animals and I enjoyed every aspect of the 100 acre zoo. TJ did, too. Calvin liked to see some of the animals but didn't recognize most of them. I tried to teach him about animals a few weeks before we left, but he never picked up on it. :) He did end up recognizing the monkeys ("unkees!") and bears.

TJ and I peeked through this fence to see the giant pandas because we didn't want to wait an hour in line to see them. Haha! We did see the pandas in full view from our little hole in the fence. I tried to get a picture but a guy moved right in my way. 

Can you imagine encountering this guy in the woods? Scary.

Calvin had to see a real-life version of his favorite buddy, Hobbes. :)

We finally let Calvin loose in the petting zoo. He LOVED it. Loved, loved, loved it. He just ran around gathering little pieces of hay for the baby goats and fed them. So cute. 

He got to pet the bunnies in their cages, too. Calvin is very sweet and gentle with animals. It's adorable.

This little door doesn't lead to anything, but he had fun pretending anyway. :) 

He crashed the second we took off in the car. He didn't get more than a 20 minute nap all 5 days we were gone! Poor guy. It made him much grouchier than usual, but he still did okay. He made up for his lack of sleep by sleeping tons at night.

Our first hotel, the Sheraton Carlsbad. It was pretty nice! Nothing fancy, but it suited us just fine. 

Meltdown! Mom, why can't I destroy the phone cords?? 

This is the only way we can get our kids to go to sleep when we're sharing a room! TJ set it all up. Graham was in one corner and Calvin in the other. We brought our white noise machines and just played them near each kid and they slept fantastically. We could just sit back and watch HGTV. :)

The kids also went swimming at the pool, but I forgot to get pictures of that. I was bad about pictures during the trip. :( I always forget!

This kid loves the sand, but not the ocean. It's way too scary for him!

Our next hotel was the St. Regis Monarch Beach. It was really nice and fancy, but kind of hard to enjoy with two little kids. Still, they were sweet and brought stuffed animals for the kids along with their cribs. They had robes, slippers, turndown service with chocolates, a fancy bathroom, and nice amenities. I wish we had gotten a room upgrade, though. :( They claimed they were packed and booked full. Oh, well.

Tired of the stroller yet, kids? Haha.

One nice thing about the hotel was how it had a shuttle to their private beach where they set up your chairs and umbrellas for you. They also have sand toys for the kids. Definitely a highlight.

Calvin decided to eat a lot of sand. Poor kid. He would put a handful in his mouth and say, "Uck!" and then go back for more. Haha! Little sweetheart.

It was fun to hang out as a family and create great memories together. I'm glad we did it! It definitely wasn't as relaxing as some of our previous vacations, but I loved seeing my kids experience new things. Plus, we got to spend a lot of time with TJ, which is a luxury considering how much he works. Calvin loves his daddy and had a lot of fun with him. I think the next time we take a family trip, we'll try to make sure we book it somewhere really family-friendly. LA traffic is horrible and their beaches are only okay. Maybe we'll venture to Hawaii together next time... who knows? :)