My Little Cabbage
Chronicling the lives of my children.

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Baby Capricorn
The Capricorn child may be born looking like an old soul. This physical attribute will shift as the baby finds its childhood bearing, but the presence of an "old soul" will be apparent throughout life. There is a serious nature about Capricorn and a great determination to succeed. This personality trait will be become apparent as the child learns to walk and take care of its own basic needs (dressing, potty training, etc.). Parents may find this impressive focus "adorable," but it is important not to minimize the seriousness Capricorn children bring to these tasks. They tend to set ambitious goals and meet them when they are encouraged to be true to themselves.

Capricorns may have pronounced foreheads and remarkable eyes. As children, they do not readily participate in frivolous games and activities, preferring to learn and apply their knowledge to acquire greater skill. Games like chess may be preferred. Capricorn children will treasure the parent who teaches them practical skills. There is also a great respect for manner and tradition in this personality. Your child may show an interest in older cultures such as Japan, China, and even Europe. Exposure to these cultures through fairytales, children's books, and videos will be a delight for your young Capricorn.

Capricorn children may feel extremely empathic when forming relationships with peers although they may not always have the words to express the deep emotions they experience. Your support in connecting emotions with language will be vital to their development. Foundation and structure is essential to this sign. Young Capricorns will be conscious of their foundation from a young age. The best way to show your respect for your Capricorn child is through regularity and dependability.

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Jul 31, 2012
Mary Journal: 1 year old - Happy Birthday!

Hi Darlin! You have come a long way in 365 days. You are a full on one year old. You're active as ever, and always mischievous. You charm the pants off everyone you meet with your big smile, bright eyes, and happy spirit. You are funny as all get out and enjoy direct interaction, but have gotten very good at entertaining yourself. Your brother is still your favorite person, though, half the time he can be not very fond of you. Growing pains are hard to get through, I suppose. But when he wants to be around you, he's all about you. Now that you are pick up-able, he is loving it. He moves and walks you all over the house. The accidental bump and fall has happened, but over all, he digs taking a bit of responsibility for you. You eat a wide variety of foods, and as long as they are chopped up well, you eat them with ferver. You even like olives! Chicken is always a welcome food on your plate, but you still love fruits over veggies. Spaghetti is a messy favorite as well. You are almost fully weaned off of breastmilk, only requiring one nursing a night, when you wake up. The cuddles are so sweet though. You are full on, on cow's milk at the moment. I have to admit though, it does some weird stuff to your poop if you drink too much of it. You love swimming and water! Anytime is a good time for swimming by your opinion, and you get a big kick out of dunking your face underwater. You drink from the flowing tap in bath tubs or sinks, too. Splash pads are always fun, and you enjoy sprinklers as well. You're very easy to put to bed these days, too. You've never been a fan of getting lulled to sleep initially, only upon middle of the night wake ups; so to be able to put you down and walk away, while bittersweet, is rather nice. We have found a great rhythm to our days together as a family unit. You finally nap! On a schedule! You tend to fall asleep in the car coming home from playdates, but instead of waking up upon getting home and staying awake, I can move you from the car to your crib, and you sleep a good couple hours more. You require a lot of activity to get you this way though. You are one busy little monkey! You reach for doorknobs already. You open cabinets. You chew on electrical wires. You undo boxes of things that I thought I put away and out of your reach. You pull things off of tables taller than you. You always want to explore and be into the next available thing to be into right away. You are Johnny Danger and love every heart attack inducing moment of it. You recently climbed into a baby swing backwards and proceeded to rock yourself into a tizzy. I swore you were going to fall right out any moment, but you showed superb balance! You are almost walking. You have taken a couple of independent steps here and there, but nothing solid yet. You grab furniture and walls and cruise through the house with no problems. You're fastest mode is still crawling, and you love being chased while doing so. All it takes is one "I'm gonna get you!" and you take off in the opposite direction, squealing in delight. You like to run around the house and see if you can find me if I've suddenly gone missing out of your universe. You have finally figured out the ball drop toy that I got for you (ball goes in the top, spirals down, you chase ball, and repeat). I was delighted! You also live for pushing buttons and making things do something. You love musical instruments, especially the guitar, just because of the instant cause and effect. You can now be left behind to be cared for fairly easily by other people. You don't like overnights in strange places as of yet, but as long as there are people you trust around, you make it through. You had your first overnight with Gigi and Papa last month, and you did surprisingly well. You woke up terrified at first, but Gigi was immensely helpful and calmed you down so you could finally drift back off to sleep. You have yet to go anywhere else, but we'll see. You definitely like your crib, your room, your blanket, your environment to sleep in. We recently took a trip to Pennsylvania with you, Gavin, Gigi, Papa, Mom Mom and myself to see where our family started. It was a long road trip, with each day having a portion of it spent in the car. You got to meet a lot of relatives, including your Great-Great Aunts Millie and Charlotte, your second cousins John and Joey Edwards, and second cousin George Compton. We got to see special places for our family, like where your Great Grandmother and her family grew up, where she and her husband met (the very spot!), and the various townships and our family calls/ed home. It was a wonderful trip, and the weather was fantastic. We got to see deer every morning before we left on our adventures! We also got to see chipmunks! You got to swim in the very same lake that your Great Grandmother, and Grandmother spent their childhoods swimming in. It was a very special time for all of us. The trip home, not so much. It got bad enough that you would cry upon waking in your car seat and having to get back in your car seat. You did that for a couple days after we got home, too. It was rough on your little body. I was so proud of you and Gavin both through the trip though. I couldn't have asked for better behaved children on such a long journey. Your verbal skills are increasing, but nothing that resembles a true word yet. You have gestures and syllables for what you need, but mostly, I can somewhat predict what you are needing simply by what time of day it is, or what you are reaching for/looking at. It'll all come in time. You can say mama, but only rarely. You have said "hey" to me a couple times. You still say naynaynaynay for milk. Your facial expressions are more often than not, a lot more reliable than your verbage. It was not until this past month that you really felt like a one year old to me. I said that before you were born, you were confident and strong. My intuition was very right. You have proven to be that and more. You are incredible. This first year has been such a journey in getting to know you, figuring out how to manage this new definition of family, redefining myself and my personal goals, loving your Daddy as he works hard for us, and raising good people. My family, as always is my joy. You are such a brilliant light. Forever shine, my love. Happy Birthday.

Posted at 11:18 pm by Candy
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Jun 11, 2012
Siblings Journal: 10 months, and 3 years 5 months

You're turning into such a fun little girl right before my very eyes.  You have sweet little babbles, and are a lover.  You love cuddles and give me hugs, but nothing delights you more than being thrown in the air.  You squeal in delight.  You have started cruising!  You started crawling last month, but have moved to pulling up and cruising around using the furniture this month.  It's been a delight to watch.  You often bump into the back of my legs and hoist yourself up.  I look down to a proud little face every time.  You love sensory play and are no longer content to sit in your playpen with the same old toys.  I try to make a new container of themed things for you to discover every few days.  This latest one was "kitchen" in a shiny colander with all manner of little kitchen tools in it.  You enjoyed a basket full of wooden blocks a lot too!  You like to give your brother a hard time and take whatever is in his hands.  You particularly enjoy his cars.  He particularly despises it and winds up giving you a shove and a scream in return.  You are all over the place and nothing is safe from your curious grasp.  All the doors in the back of the house get closed on a daily basis.

You have charmed the pants off your daddy, and he taught you "bonk" last month, wherein you give adorable little headbutts upon mention of the word.  If I ask you where my nose is, you smack it, or bite it, depending on your mood.  It's pretty funny either way.  You love patty cake, and so big.  You dig dancing, and love bouncing.  You're still attached to my hip and don't like it when I get out of sight for too long with anyone else but your daddy.  You take off on your own when at playdates, but come back to check in when you're ready.  You LOVE babies your own size, and still cry every time you see our elderly neighbor.

Discovering how you eat best has been quite the journey in and of itself!  You really dislike baby food.  Meaning, if it's not really, really chunky, you'll clamp your mouth shut, and have actually shook your head at me in refusal.  I always took it as not hungry.  No.  It's not like.  I started feeding you whatever is on my plate in the teensiest of bites, and you nearly finished off half a plate of spaghetti one day!  So table food it has been ever since!  You eat like a champ!  You just decided purees were for babies, and you were not going to have any of that. 

Speaking of big kids, my son, you are becoming more and more of a big boy every day.  You are such a gentle giant.  Here lately, you have been doing a set list of chores for an allowance.  You decided you wanted a Mack Character Hauler from Cars.  Since birthday and all holidays were a ways off, and I just didn't want to go and buy it for you, I thought I'd see how you would react to working and saving for it.  It was beyond successful.  You worked your chores week to week, and in return received $1.50 each week.  You had to clean your room, help make beds, take out the garbage in the bathroom and Mary's room, feed the dogs, put away the silverware, and be nice to your sister.  After 10 weeks, we finally had enough money to take you to the toy store to make your purchase!  You earned some bonus money picking up small limbs that came out of our tree after a tropical storm came through, even picking up limbs in our neighbor's yards.  You were able to walk in, pick out your purchase, take it up front, and pay for it all yourself.  Your daddy and I have never been so proud.  You worked so hard, for so long, and achieved your goal.  You have since not stopped playing with your new truck.

You had a really great conversation with me the other day.  It all started after we came back from the park from a playdate.  You saw a plane earlier that morning, and on the ride home, you said "Mama, I want to fly a plane!"

"Sure kiddo, you want to be a pilot?" I asked.

"Yeah!  I want to be a pilot and fly a blue plane when I get big!"

Ever since you have been talking about flying blue planes, red planes, and being an aviator.  You finally had your tiny person career declaration, and it was just as awesome as I thought it was going to be.

I love you, my little chickadees.

Posted at 04:55 pm by Candy
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Apr 27, 2012
Gavin Journal: Injuries

Kiddo, I don't know if the universe is aligning or what, but since you have turned three, you are getting majorly injured left and right.

I don't know how I got around not documenting about when you got staples (!!!) put in your scalp, but here it is.  You were jumping around the house as usual, and you decided to climb onto your Dad's recliner in my lap.  Somehow you lost your balance and fell backwards onto one of your Matchbox firetrucks.  You fell so hard, you snapped off a corner of the plastic piece.  Not only that, you also sliced into your head, causing an inch long laceration that I knew immediately upon seeing it, would need closing up.  I put you on the counter, put some pressure on it to stop the bleeding, and explained what happened to you.  You were plenty scared, but we moved swiftly, got you ready, called Gigi, got Mary ready, and Gigi arrived in time to help us load into the Jeep.  Off we went to the Emergency Room.  You were very brave, with your package of mixed veggies held to your head.  We called your dad and he met us at the doors.  You were very verbal in telling the nurses what happened.  Once they irrigated it out, people around us saw why I brought you in.  They decided to use staples instead of sutures, and ooh boy.  Those were about a hundred times worse than the actual injury.  They tried to numb it up using a topical anesthetic, but that, from how you reacted, didn't do squat in relieving the pain of having them put in.  I held you chest to chest, and they proceeded to staple the wound closed.  You howled and screamed.  My heart wrenched knowing you were in pain.  I hated having to have this done to you.  Once they were done, you did okay, but you were still certain that the "click click" was awful.  Quick pick up of Chick Fil A for lunch, and we headed home to let you sleep the anxiety off.

Onto more recent events...
I seriously hope that this is no indicator of how things are going to go as you grow up.  We were at our local Taco Bell for dinner, and while I love Taco Bell as much as the next person, they have ramps inside their older restaurants.  I hate ramps.  I hate that you, and every other child, love ramps so much.  You go full out.  Running up.  Running down.  Running running running.  It's a recipe for disaster.

After dinner, Gigi took you to the bathroom to get washed up and potty before we went home.  You came running out, and no sooner did you leave her hand behind that you hit the front of your head into the handicap railing extending about a foot or so out from the wall before the ramp, knocking your feet right up and out from underneath you, and slamming the back of your head in the floor.  You screamed immediately.  You were consolable and answering questions.  We got ice for the goose egg, and packed you up to go home.  You were fine.  Your pupils looked good, you were talking, answering questions, telling stories, singing, all normal behavior.

Sometime around 4:30 you crawled into bed with us for the night.  I was too tired to escort you back, and after my previous experience, when you come crawling in, it's usually because something's wrong.  So we all nodded back off to sleep together.  After I got up at 6 to feed Mary, you woke up at 6:30 throwing up.  I took you to the bathroom and back to your bed to sleep a bit longer.  You were groggy, but I thought it was because you were sleepy still.  At 7:00, your dad and I were packing everything up to take him to work, and the minute I stood you up, you vomited again.  I was a smidge worried at that point.  After dropping off Daddy, I immediately took you to the pediatrician to get checked out.  After another vomit episode they took you back right away.  They looked at you all over, checked every part of your head, asked questions, you answered... you were just off.  Slow.  Quiet.  Sad.  Not my boy.  I felt awful that you felt so poorly.  They put us on the list for Crucial Care, and off we went to get a CT scan to make sure that it was nothing more than a mild concussion.  After picking up Daddy, more vomit, we made it.  A long wait, and some questions, an anti nausea medication, and more looking at you later, we got you in the room with the big machine.  "I'm going to be verwy bwave" you said.  And you were.  It still scared you, and took about seven minutes to convince you that it was going to be okay.  Daddy kept sticking his head in the middle of the machine and you'd laugh at him.  Finally it was time to get you in there, and you clutched Bear, laid super still, and let them work on you.  Daddy played "Dr. Worm" on his phone and sang to you while they worked hard at getting the images they needed quickly so we could let you up.  You did great!  You laid super still, and they only had to do one re-take.

More waiting, more waiting and more waiting, we were finally sent home with the diagnosis for mild concussion, and some paperwork.  You were feeling more yourself, but were so exhausted that we all crashed out for four hours when we got home.  You woke up hungry and ready to play!  Stressful day, but I'm praising God you seem alright.  We'll see come morning.  I love you, Bug.  You SCARE MOMMY, but I love you :-)

Posted at 10:43 pm by Candy
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Apr 22, 2012
Nugget: Milestone

And just like that, my baby is crawling.  Mama bear is awful proud.  MarBear is quite happy with this new accomplishment.

Posted at 04:45 pm by Candy
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Apr 18, 2012
Mary Journal: 8 1/2 months

You're really close to movement these days!  You are rocking on all fours, and you'll even bring a knee under and sit on it for a bit before scooting all over backwards.  You have managed to pin yourself under your playpen, your jumperoo, the kitchen table, the side tables in the living room... you are all over the place.  You'll figure out proper crawling soon, but you're pretty happy to be a little scooter butt these days.

You love your dogs and enjoy interacting with them in front of their crate.  You avoid Duke's licks, I'm guessing because his tongue can feel very much like sandpaper, but he sure does love kissing you.  You always look for them in their crate when you are in the living room.

You prefer to be out of your playpen and on the general floor these days, but it's probably because you like the freedom of moving all around versus just sitting up or just laying down.  You do like having the curtains open while in your playpen though so you can see the world going by outside.  Helps you get some good ole Vitamin D, too!  You totally dig being outside and being on the go with Gavin and I.  You like picking up and eating grass, getting your fingers in the dirt, exploring pine needles and leaves.  You prefer having your face shaded out of the sun, but really appreciate sunbeams licking your toes.

We have introduced you to several new sensory experiences as of late.  You have finally figured out how to splash, so you now get baths in the bath tub with about an inch or two of water to splash to your little heart's content.  You like when I squeeze out the rag over your head.  Bath time is certainly your favorite time of day.  You have always loved water and your baths.  Not surprising seeing as you came into the world in a giant pool, ha! 

I placed you in the tub the other day with a small bucket of flour, some measuring cups, and a measuring spoon.  You literally sat in there for 45 minutes just digging your hands in, pouring it from the cups, dumping out the bowl, and learning all about the texture.  You really enjoyed it, and even tried the hard job of learning how to pull up on the side of the tub when you were done.  You were unsuccessful at the last endeavor, but I'm sure you'll have it soon!  You're a pretty determined little one.

We also took you to the Zoo's Splash Park yesterday.  You looked just like your brother sitting in front of the little manatee fountain.  You were enchanted for about 15 minutes, having the water splash on you, and splashing away in the little puddle, and then you were very done and wanted Mama.  Once we got seated, you crashed out in my arms.  The sun combined with water did you in.  But you were super patient for your brother as we tromped through the rest of the Zoo.  You enjoyed riding on the carousel in my arms while your brother went round and round three separate times.  It was a really fun day!  You wound up eating 8 ounces of baby food for dinner that night!  I suppose we worked up quite an appetite!

In bigger news, you got your first tooth!  I noticed it on the morning of April 6.  These things always tend to happen overnight it seems.  You're eating solids so much better than you used to, and much faster, too.  You enjoy a wide variety of foods, and really dig in when there is fruit involved.  You enjoy combination foods rather than each by themselves.  For instance, last night you had raspberries, spinach and greek yogurt blended, with a side car of broccoli, apples, and bananas blended.  It sounds awful, but I have given them both a taste, and they have my thumbs up taste wise.  You like mum mum teething biscuits, celery stalks, and apple slices.  You are still working on the fine motor skill of picking up puffs or cheerios and getting them in there.  You mostly pick them up and they get lost in your fists.  Your favorite food thus far is broccoli mixed with pears.  You also love anything off my plate in teeny bites.  You have sampled meatballs, eggs, grits, sausage, chicken, turkey, pasta, and numerous other delights.  You like eating off of utensils, and can even drink out of a cup if it's put to your lips.

You like being sung to, and in particular Open Shut Them.  You like Twinkle Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider, You Are My Sunshine, Baby Mine, and any tune I make up that features your name.  You like playing peek a boo, patty cake, poo stinky feet (I smell your feet and excitedly declare how smelly they are), get chu get chu get chu (tickles and raspberries all over), and Sooooo Biiiig (you just started raising your hands above your head and playing with me).  You clap!  It's adorable because it's a closed fist meets open palm, but you love it, and when I say "yaaaaay" you proceed to clap.  You totally know your name and how to charm the pants off of anyone.  Your personality is bigger than you are!  You'll flirt and play coy with anyone who looks at you for longer than a second or two.

You love to laugh and really enjoy life and those around you.

Posted at 11:11 am by Candy
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Mar 6, 2012
Mary Journal: 7 months

Hi little love.  I'm sitting here stunned.  Stunned!  I'm so surprised that seven months is here already.  The ending of six months is always so bittersweet; it feels like an ending to babyhood, and a giant thrust into toddlerhood.  I know at seven months, yes, you are very much still a baby.  Heck, you aren't even crawling yet.  You just seem so much older than you did a week ago.  It makes my heart ache a little, knowing that you are not going to be so little, so wistfully full of infant sweetness for much longer.

But life rolls on, doesn't it?  And with it, you grow older, bigger, and stronger, every day.  I read a quote long ago by another blogger named Jennifer of She Likes Purple fame that I cling to in moments like this: "Missing who he was before is like missing a light while I live with the sun."  And indeed... living with you is like living with the sun, you shine so brightly.  You are so effervescent to be around that it's contagious, and it makes me want to coo and get all tangled up in the wonder of you.  While Gavin was my serious baby, you are the total opposite and delight in anyone that comes into your world - quietly, of course.  You squeal out of sheer happiness, you love to laugh and smile.  But, much like your mother, ahem, while you love passionately, you can also fight with much the same.  While your tantrums are short, they are nothing short of dramatic and fuel filled.

You said your first official word!  "Bubba."  I had you on the changing table and you were babbling away, when you paused for a moment, and said, clear as day, Bubba.  Not, BahBah, which you say most times, but Bubba.  You're so enamored with your brother and it just warms my heart how you two just seem to be in sync with each other.  He makes you smile and laugh like no one else, even me, can.  All he has to do is look at you.  You were saying Mamamamama for a while before that when you were hungry, but it was nice to have a solid word come and be noticed.  I still say you said Mama first.  I win.

You also started sitting up!  You can't push up into a sit on your own, but when placed sitting, you can sit for quite a long time.  And you have beautiful posture, I might add.  It made your life so much happier to have the ability to be vertical and play.  You actually play with toys these days.  It's neat to watch you try to figure stuff out, and just experience different things tactily.

You love your jumperoo and will jump and jump and jump and jump and jump... you are just a busy little creature!  You still prefer zen, calm, order, routine.  But when all is familiar, you let loose and rev up your activity level.  When things get too busy, too much, you can be seen burying your head into me, or crying to be removed from the situation.  You do not like when people get all up in your face out of nowhere.  Our sweet neighbor made that mistake the other day, and your little lip came out, eyes welled up, and you let her have it.  When approached calmly though, everything is always kosher.  You like dogs, and I have found you looking for ours every now and again when they are not in their crate.  You don't mind doggie kisses, and in fact, giggle whenever Duke gives them to you.

You eat food lately, too.  We tried on the day you turned six months old, but it seems your gut was not ready, since you woke up every hour on the hour all night for two nights in a row with your belly rumbling, and you wrenching for relief.  So we put the skids on it until you turned seven months, and boy what a difference.  You still only get lunch, but you can at least tolerate it.  You HATE vegetables and the only way I get them in you is if I dip them in the fruit I have sitting to go with them.  You love bananas and blueberries, as well as any other fruit I can give you.  I have also given you bananas and peaches with a great response as well.  You don't open your mouth wide for every bite.  In fact, feeding you food takes forever.  You usually give me the smallest opening possible, I put the spoon in, sort of, and you suck the food off the spoon.  It's a hilariously slow process.  I'm teaching you some signs in conjunction (more, all done), but you seem to have little use for them.

Posted at 09:25 pm by Candy
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Jan 22, 2012
Gavin Journal: 3 years old

Hi Bug!  Your third year.  You are such a little man these days, and it seems harder and harder to keep up with the tiny details that make you such a fun, amazing, enchanting boy.  I delight in your growing up.  This past year has been full of laughter, changes, tantrums, learning, friendships, hellos and goodbyes. 

You are doing so great in homeschool!  You are writing the beginnings of the alphabet free handed, but can trace just about any letter.  You can tell me what any word starts with and sound it out successfully.  Your patience with crafting has improved, but we are still working on your skills with scissors.  It's very hard with you leaning left handed and backwards.  You read right to left, and you are very, very  heavy handed on the left side.  We're working to help you at least write with your right hand, but it's also proving to be difficult.  I'm sure if you play major league baseball, they'll love having a southpaw on the team.  We have made a lot of friends in our little Tot School Co-Op, and you really enjoy the field trips and weekly meet ups that we have.  Just recently, we went to a small air strip, and you got to see and watch planes fly up close!  You really enjoyed that and talked about it all week long afterwards. 

We had to say good bye to your good friend, Ella.  You both really enjoyed getting to know each other, and were often found playing together at playdates.  Remember swimming with her at her pool all summer long?  You were close friends, and it was sad, at least more so for me, to say good bye as they moved away to North Carolina.  Ella refused to hug you or anyone else at her going away party; she views last hugs as permanent good byes and just doesn't do it.

You got to play organized soccer for the first time during a trial session with our playgroup.  I'm working on getting you into that little league of non-competitive soccer since you enjoyed it so much.  You had a hard time not wanting to pick up each and every soccer ball though, and I was often found snickering while telling you to put the ball down.  The coaches however, were used to this, and asked you to place your hands on your head; you spent a good portion of practice playing this way, and even scored a goal!  Other than that, you liked hanging out and sitting in the nets.

You are quite the conversationalist and will talk in complete sentences, even more so, adults understand and interact with you!  You can still be shy, but are still more often serious than not.  You like being surprised and chased.  You also like having stories read to you.  You still enjoy cuddles from time to time.  You love your boy parts and all the joy that comes with them (Lordy).  You love to run and jump.  You like the big kids swings and enjoy swinging on your belly.  You're learning through observation how to propel yourself on them, but find it way easier to be pushed.  You also like anything on springs at the parks, and will bounce back and forth for long periods of time.  You love slides, and stairs.  You have discovered ladders and climb them with such skill that I don't remember teaching you.  You enjoy your bikes, and the scooter you got for Christmas.  You love playing with anything with wheels or wings.  Matchbox cars have become a staple around this house.  You like to clean up your room and keep your things in order.  You love to help feed the dogs, and help mommy cook.  You like to wash the windows when I give you a spray bottle of water and rag.  You do a terrible job, but I just adore watching your little spirit wanting to help me out, and take care of our home.  You like sensory bins, magnets, and exploration bottles.

Potty training is done for the day time!  You totally let me know when you need to go these days, and you pee standing up thanks to Mama.  Your dad was quite surprised when he discovered that you knew how to aim all by yourself.  Now, we wait for the night time to catch up.

You look like your dad more and more each day.  Your baby fat is melting away, leaving behind a slender, tall, handsome little boy.  Your hair is coarse this year, and you got a not-so-wonderful check up at the dentist.  He informed me that you'll be needing braces by age 12.  Your dad had braces, so I suppose there was a 50% chance you would, too, but it was still a blow to my ego since I have never done anything to discourage your thumbsucking (dentist said it was hereditary, and nothing to do with your thumb).

Your third birthday celebration was lots of fun!  We threw you a Cars Drive-In Party, complete with cardboard cars to sit in and eat lunch while watching your favorite movie.  You are totally bazonkers over Lightning McQueen and all sorts of cars.  You had many friends come, including Nolan, Parker, and Cates.  It was a great time, and you got lots of fun things to play and learn with.

We're going to focus this year on science, geography, math, and handwriting in a heavy way with Tot School.  I'm very excited to see how you do.  You take to this like a duck to water; and even though you lack patience with things you are not good at right away, you're figuring things out at your own pace and I love being able to teach you things one on one.

You adore your sister, and I truly think that her presence in your life has helped you learn to share and show you further how to be kind and compassionate to others.  I also think that it made your tantrums more volatile, but it's not something that can't be worked out.  I love the way you entertain her in the car, and talk to her as if you both have your own language.  You constantly take her toys, but you share your cars.  I hope you both are always this close throughout your lives.

I love you, and am so very proud of the little guy you are turning into.  You're always going to be one of my most favorite people to be around.

Posted at 11:33 pm by Candy
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Mary Journal: 5 - 6 months

Hello my Moish-Moish.  You are so completely huggable and lovable that it's impossible to not want to squeeze the stuffings out of you whenever I hold you.  You are the smilingest and flirtiest baby I have ever had the ability to get to know.  You are as sweet as the day is long.  You are also completely honest with your feelings, and the smiles are not fake at all.  You can't be tricked into being happy for the sake of being happy.  But you are almost always in a good mood.

We play "Where's Mary?" in which I will say the aforementioned phrase, and you'll turn your head and lock eyes with me and smile in response.  You love rolling all over, and are never where I leave you.  You find it hilarious when I point that out.  You love chewing on everything and went through a small bought of teething crankies, but have easily overcome them while we wait on teefers to show up.  You're due to start solids in the next couple weeks, but I am in zero hurry considering I remember how much more work it is compared to breastfeeding.  You find it intriguing when I drink water when wearing you, but you don't show any signs of interest in whatever I'm eating or drinking as far as taking them, or wanting any part of them.  Give you a wooden spoon, however, and you'll happily chomp away for an hour.  You hate bottles and refuse to drink from them still.  You love boobahs and they fix any and everything.  You grasp, pull, push, and kick.  Kung Fu kicking while on the changing table is your latest sport (that hurts, by the way).  You are very close to sitting on your own without falling over when placed into that position, and want so badly to do that all by yourself.  You are craving so much independence and want to get up and move all the time.  Your favorite toys are your Raggedy Ann doll, a wooden spoon, a bumble bee with all sorts of teethers for rings, and your activity bar on your car seat.

You like to sit in your high chair or bouncy seat when I cook, and you want to be in the middle of whatever is going on.  You hate playpens, and will loudly voice your intolerance of them.  You love being on the floor with open space all the way around.  You are almost saying "Mama," but it comes with you being a tad upset and hungry at the same time.  It comes out "muh muh muh muh."  Your face when you are scared, crying, or really upset?  Completely adorable.  You have the cutest little square mouth and pouty lip.  Of course, I never let you cry for long, but holy gajeebers, it's so so so cute that I can't help but hoist you up and get you in a snuggle bear hug to figure out what's wrong.

You LOVE the boys in our house.  The sun rises and sets in your daddy and your bubba.  I find it completely adorable.  All you have to do is simply hear their voice, and you are craning to find them and smile at them.  Gavin is the only person who can put you into a fit of belly laughter, and you will do every trick your repertoire for your daddy, just to get him to smile back at you.

You fit so beautifully into our family, that while I sit and acknowledge that you are coming up on six months in disbelief, it feels like you have been here for so much longer.  I love you, sweetie.  You make me entirely too happy.

Posted at 11:16 pm by Candy
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Dec 25, 2011
Letter: Christmas Eve

To my wonderful, precious children,

I'm sitting here, doing the very same thing my mother used to do before Christmas morning rush was official, and that is bask in the glow of this holy night.  It's late, the house is sparkling clean, the stockings are filled, presents wrapped and under the tree, and it is now that I offer my thanks to our Lord for the both of you.

I am moved with such love by the Holy Spirit on this night, that my eyes are brimming with tears at the amount of joy you two have brought me this year.  I can hardly believe how natural it feels to have the both of you here this Christmas; how natural it has felt all along.  While I hope you enjoy your gifts later this morning, I hope even more that this holiday becomes such a celebration of your walk with your God.  Remembering this miraculous birth of Jesus, so close to the birth of you, Mary, just fills my heart with wonder and awe.  It's still so fresh in my memory.  I hope to instill and pass onto you, the traditions of our faith, and the traditions of our household.  I hope that this holiday brings you joy, fills your heart with peace, and brings you both such love.

As you slumber peacefully in your beds, I pray over you.  I'm so very grateful for healthy, vibrant, smart, beautiful children.  You are the joy of my heart, and I find myself so wrapped up in your smiles and laughter.  This family is blessed beyond measure.  I hope you two are as close as you are now for the rest of your lives.  I hope that you know how loved you truly are.  I hope your future brings happiness with each of the challenges that you rise to meet.

I love you Gavin.  The charming boy who brought me my highest honor by making me Mama first.  I love you Mary.  The sweet little girl who has charmed the world around her. 

Smiles, hugs, laughter and love,

Posted at 02:26 am by Candy
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Nov 30, 2011
Mary Journal: 3 months 4 weeks

You're almost four months old now, and a complete delight to be around.  You finally hit that smiley, happy, bubbly phase of babydom.  I love listening to you babble on and on in the car, or wherever we are; you talk to whoever will lend an ear.  You giggle when tickled behind your cheeks, near your ear.  And you giggle when I change a particularly smelly dipe and tell you all about it in animated fashion.  You love seeing my face come over your crib in the morning, and are all about snuggles during nursing.  You smile to anyone who will smile at you.  You have the most beautiful grin, and your dimples show right up when you start beaming; those you got right from your Daddy.

You live for Boobahs and snuggles.  You enjoy being worn and carried everywhere we go.  As far as physical accomplishments, you're thiiiis close to rolling over on your own.  You want to sit up so very badly.  Every time I place you in your bouncy seat, you lean forward to try to sit up.  You're incredibly strong, and when held, hold yourself up quite nicely.  You grasp and hold things, and just the other day, picked up and put your pacifier back in your mouth!  You dig Sophie Giraffe, and you finally figured out that you're supposed to chew on her.  You also like your own reflection, though not as much as your brother did.  Not so easily fooled into playing with a mirror.

You celebrated your first Thanksgiving this year.  It was a busy day!  You went with your Daddy and Grandparents Kent to the finish line of a race that I was in that morning, then it was off to Grandparents Williams to enjoy the company of family for a little while.  You got to meet your cousins for the first time there as well.  You nursed yourself into a mini coma, and after the parade, we headed over to Grandparents Crawley to have dinner with them this year.  You did amazing the whole day.  Once we were at my parent's, you babbled for a long time in the playpen, and then enjoyed being passed around to all the family members.  Towards the end you were so done, though, and slept sound once we finally got you to your own bed at home.

You like your routine, and you like your own sleep space.  You are less temperamental than you were a few short weeks ago, and have blossomed into such a beautiful, happy baby.

Posted at 11:00 pm by Candy
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