Friday, May 25, 2012

Step by step

Unfortunately for Elliot, our first-born set the bar pretty high on our expectations of mobility.

Except not really.  We have our brain wrapped well around the fact that all babies are different.  Especially since in most ways possible, our babies are very different.  While it was fun that Kendra advanced so quickly and so early (wounded-soldier crawling at six months, hands-and-knees by nine months and first steps at just ten and a half months and toddling around immediately afterward) and we were delighted to witness it, I hated that when other mothers saw her, they often felt bad or that their baby was "behind".  Now as the same thing has happened with Elliot, I say, "Please, don't feel bad.  Feel sorry for me.  This makes my life so crazy!"  And it does.

While Elliot has been a much more avid crawler than Kendra (he was up on his hands and knees within a couple of weeks of the wounded soldier number), walking is something he's definitely decided to ease into.

He did take his first steps at almost the exact same point in his life as Kendra did, that was all he did for over a month.  Kendra took steps and practically started running.  For over a month all we could get out of Elliot was stuff like this:

And mind you, this is the very best take we got after many, many attempts over the past couple of weeks.  In fact, that was an awful lot of walking for him at this point.  Those baby steps only came with loooooots of coaxing and only a step or two at a time.

Until yesterday.  Literally.

I don't know what clicked, but yesterday he just decided that he was going to start walking for realsies.  And boy has he been strutting his stuff!

It's actually rather a shocker to see him make such a drastic change.  He literally went from those heavily persuaded single steps here and there to just...toddling around everywhere.  I still get a little shocked to watch him do it.  When we went to the library today, it blew my mind to watch him push himself up from where I sat him down on the floor and just waltz over to the train table 10 yards away where his sister was playing.


I guess this is for real--Elliot just isn't our baby anymore.  I guess it's a good thing we've got another one well on the way to help us cope...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For the sake of remembering

We've been reading from The Book of Mormon with Kendra (nearly) every night for almost six months now.  Lately she's been opting for one of us to do the marking, but she still sits with us while Daddy reads.  Saturday evening, Grant was busy with something when she was ready to go down, so I opted to take over the reading duties rather than wait--family time is important but this girl really, really needs her sleep (she only has potty accidents on days when she's clearly sleep-deprived).

After I finished reading, Kendra took the book from me and said very plainly, "And it came to pass..."  I couldn't believe my ears, so I asked her to repeat it and she very clearly articulated, "And it came to pass..." and continued with an ad-lib of her own creation.

For those of you who haven't read The Book of Mormon, this phrase shows up a lot.  As in, a very large percentage of the verses in the book begin with it.  Just glancing at the first chapter, five of the first ten verses have "it came to pass" in them.

We have felt like this was a good decision for our family and we've appreciated the added closeness just having the short ritual brings.  But seeing that she's picked up something that she would have only been exposed to in this context was just awesome.

Then again, she's a pretty awesome person.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Children of the 21st Century

My blogging tends to go in a very non-linear fashion and as such I still haven't mentioned anything from the trip a few of Grant's family members made over our way at the beginning of April.

I'm pregnant like that.

But, we did get some very welcome and very company for a few days--Grant's youngest brother and their family was the first to arrive into town, and it was great because Kendra is only 8 months older than their Alivia.  However, Kendra bonded plenty with Alivia's older brother, Simeon, over common interests.

Because, you see, it turns out that while Kendra inherited many of her physical attributes from me, she has already very well-established that mentally, she is very much her father's daughter.  So much that we shopped around and waited for a reasonable price on something we knew she'd get a kick out of:

Yep.  That is a picture of two preschoolers playing with tablets.  And they're having a ball.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kendra's Latest Friends

We transitioned Kendra into a toddler bed a couple of months before Elliot was born, and that worked great.  Though her desire for a menagerie in the bed with her hasn't changed.

One day at the library, she found a stuffed Blue's Clues toy that she became quite enamored with and tenderly carried with her until we left (I was shocked that she put the dog back on the shelf where we found it of her own free will when all I said was, "We can't take her home, she lives here, but we can come back to visit.").

But as it turns out, one of my favorite things to do as a parent is spoil my children.  Kendra is old enough to make the experience particularly gratifying.

So I went online and looked around and found an even bigger, sturdier version of the toy at the library available brand new on Amazon and I gladly cashed in a few of my Amazon gift certificates I got through Swagbucks and got her one.  It's been part of her menagerie since.

But when I had the camera out to capture her loving on her "Big Blue", she wanted to take some pictures with other beloved friends.

Stitch has actually been with us since before she turned a year old when I found him at a neighborhood thrift store in Chicago, but she's only recently discovered his movie, and he's much more appreciated now.

And she's just as attached to her lambie as she ever has been...

Friday, May 11, 2012

More nutrition

Kendra has yet to be a "good eater" for us.  For a long while, it was a cause of great concern and then at some point in the past year, I kinda quit worrying so much because it occurred to me that she has always put on weight, never been seriously ill and never shown any symptoms of any kind of malnutrition.

It's often a debate of quality calories vs quantity calories.  I'd love for her to have a little-to-no-sugar-added diet of lean proteins, whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies, and I make it a point to frequently offer her those options and put them on her plate whether she asks for them or not.

But sometimes she makes a request, and I'm just so glad she's willing to consume something without any encouragement or manipulation of any kind (positive or negative) that I let her have it, even if it's not the healthiest option.

Which is why we have pictures like this:

Ice cream sandwiches don't actually do much for me (Daddy though, that's a whole other matter), but something about these pictures makes that stuff look good to me...

"Yes, I just consumed over one third of that bad boy in one bite.  Any challengers?"


Nobody else wants an ice cream sandwich right now?  Just me?

I think she'll enjoy it enough to make up for anyone else, just in case.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adventures in Fine Art

Kendra loves stickers.  Her first experience with them were stickers that came in junk mail--DVD club offers and ugly return address labels soliciting for financial contributions to charities and the like.  But when I saw how into them she was, I started stocking up.  I got a big bucket of foam stickers from someone on FreeCycle and she had so much fun with them that when I needed some supplies from Oriental Trading Company for my church calling, I added some packages of other foam stickers for her.

One of the biggest surprises of parenting is what a kick it is for me to spoil my children.

And she does enjoy them quite a bit.  But I get a kick out of how she chooses to use them.  We actually are presented with a number of creations that look a lot like this:

Once she feels like she runs out of space on a piece of paper, she just goes vertical on those bad boys.  I love the way she used all the same kind of dinosaurs for each stack on the bottom.  Our little organizer!  We actually have a special drawer full of paper for her exclusive use to color, sticker or paint on as she pleases, I'm not sure why she does this.

But, it's pretty funny, regardless.  Our little budding artist.  :)