~121~ Ethan update: ONE and a HALF!

That's right, I have a One and a Half year old! 
It's still amazing to me just how much they can change and learn in short amount of time. 
We Ethan's 18 month appointment on Wednesday morning. He's looking great as usual, and in typical fashion his pediatrician said that he's small, but healthy. 

Weight: 20.75lbs (7%ile)
Length: 30.25" (3%ile)
Eating: I wouldn't say that Ethan is a picky eater per se, but he is much pickier than he used to be. He's not a huge fan of vegetables with the exception of green beans and peas. Even carrots and avocado, which he once liked are no-gos.  He does still love any and all fruit though, thank goodness.  One thing that we've noticed more is that he is very clear about when he's done eating or doesn't want something you're offering him. When he's done eating he'll pull his bib off and sometimes start throwing food off of his tray. We still haven't quite figured out how to stop that from happening. When he isn't hungry or doens't want what you're offering, he'll quickly shake his head no and wave his arms in front of him.  We've started giving him spoons and forks, and while he knows what to do with them, he still prefers his hands for now. 

Sleep: We've been so spoiled with a good sleeper ever since Ethan was an infant, so when we had some rough sleeping phases this past month, it was a bit rough for all of us. For about a week or so, Ethan started waking up in the middle of the night and either taking close to an hour to fall back asleep or not falling back asleep at all (meaning we started our day at 3 or 4AM!).  He also was taking longer and requiring more effort to fall asleep at night.  Previously he would go to bed around 8 or 8:15 with minimal effort. We'd do our regular bedtime routine, we'd put him in his crib, and fall asleep on his own.  At this point, we were lucky if he was asleep by 9:30.  Mostly he didn't like it when we left the room.  He would be dead asleep and then decide he need to check to see if we were still in the room and when we weren't he'd start crying pretty hard.

My "Wonder Weeks" App showed that he was in a "developmental leap" at this time, so that could be part of it, but I also think that part of it was that we were pushing back his bedtime because it was summer and that the lack of a daily, predictable routine had an affect on it.  After almost 2 months of this, we finally broke down and decided to use the "Ferber Method" or "Sleep Training" to break him of this bad habit.  We knew that he was "playing us" because as soon as we'd walk back in the room he'd lay back down and start to suck his thumb.  I know that there's a lot of controversy out there regarding any sleep method that involves crying it out,  but it ended up working for us after just ONE night, so I stand by our decision.  And really, it was about him getting more and better sleep, not us. 

Talking: We're still at the same 3 words we were at from his one year update. The lack of progress is a bit concerning (more on that below), but the reassuring thing though is that his receptive language, comprehension and processing is phenomenal. He understands pretty much everything we say to him and can even follow basic directions like, "bring me your books", "help me clean up your toys", "We're going to go in the car", etc.   More recently he's also been able to follow 2-step directions  like pick up the cup and bring it to mommy, and understands pretty much everything we say to him. I always make sure to praise him big-time whenever he does a good job of listening and following directions. It's just production that is behind.  On the exact day that Ethan turned 18 months, he also started signing "please", something that I've been doing sporatically for a few months, but never consistently. We were/are very proud of him for communicating with us in a way that has meaning to both of us.   

After talking with his doctor at his appointment today, we made the decision to have Ethan evaluated for a possible speech display and to potentially receive speech therapy services.  I had talked with a speech language pathologist at my school after Ethan's 15 month appointment because I had concerns even then, and she said it's not a real concern until age 2, so I decided to table it at that point. However, since he hasn't made any progress since then, we decided that it wouldn't hurt any to get started on an early intervention to hopefully catch the delay now and get him caught up to a typical peer faster (vs waiting another 6 months until he turns 2, potentially widening the gap). I will be contacting Early Access services this week to get the evaluation set up. 

I know that it's not my fault, but it's still hard not to question if I'm not doing a good enough job as a parent to help with his language development. We'll just work to be even more diligent and purposeful in our use of language and repetition with him. It helps that a close coworker of mine (and daycare buddy of Ethan's) went through the exact same thing as Ethan when he was his age. He was also a 35 week preemie and is now almost 10 and has a great vocabulary and no issues with speech. Hopefully, some more intensive work with him gets him going in the right direction. 

Teeth: Ethan now has 12 teeth! 8 front teeth (4 on top, 4 on the bottom) and 4 molars.  All we have left of his baby teeth is his canines, and second molars.  We continue to brush his teeth nightly and are trying to start adding it in in the morning. 

1. Books! Ethan loves, loves, loves to have books read to him. He is constantly bringing his favorites to us asking (in his way) to sit in our lap and listen to them.  Currently, his most requested books are "Sniff", "So Big", "Marley and the Kittens", "Goodnight Moon" (read by my grandma), and "Little Pea".  Even though I sometimes get tired of reading the same book over and over and over and over every day, I love that he enjoys books and reading so much. I hope he never loses that!

2. Swimming A friend of mine has a pool in her background, so we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to go swimming a handful of times this summer. Ethan still loves the water and will even jump into my arms from a sitting position on the side of the pool into my arms. I'm so glad that he's not afraid of the water or going under.  He's definitely my little fish!
3. Dancing/spinning in circles

4. Daniel Tiger After reading about the positive development effects Daniel Tiger has on kids who watch it, I decided to check it out. Turns out Ethan loves it.  As soon as he hears the theme music at the beginning his eyes light up. Even though I know screen time this young isn't ideal, I figure he could be watching worse things and that the amount of time is pretty minimal. He loves it so much that we got him his own Daniel Tiger stuffed animal that talks and sings to him.

5. Brushing his teeth - Okay, he really just loves sucking the toothpaste off his toothbrush, but I'll take it.  Every time we change his diaper, he grabs his toothbrush and the toothpaste tube and hand them to us. 

In Other News:
At the end of August, we went home to Minneapolis for a mini family reunion with my aunt, uncle, cousin, and her son Noah. Liz and Noah came last August as well, so it was fun seeing the boys together again a year later. This time they were actually able to play together! My Uncle David and Aunt Linda hadn't met Ethan yet, so that made it an extra fun trip.  



~120~ Bridal Shower Planning

I love weddings-everything about them: The dresses, jewelry, photographs,
and of course seeing the happy couple. 
Last month, I offered to help throw my future Sister-In-Law's bridal shower. I was honored when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, so I thought I'd return the honor by hosting her shower. As much I love weddings, and though I've been to many bridal showers before, I've never actually thrown one. The last shower of any type that I hosted was a baby shower when I was 14 for my sister-in-law before my nephew was born. 
After planning my own wedding, in the back of my mind, I've always thought that it would be fun to be an event planner - mostly as a wedding coordinator, but really any type of event. I enjoy putting things together and seeing my vision come to life. 

The first thing I did for this shower was design the invites. I was on a time crunch and didn't really have time to order invites.  Besides, I enjoy a little graphic design here and there - though I'm not so sure how good I really am at it (I only took one class in college). We were combining the bridal shower and bachelorette into one whole day of celebration, so I also had to come up with a combo invitation for those who were being invited to partake in both events.  My solution was to print 2 different invites and assemble them back to back. 
The next thing on the planning list was decorations. My first stop was the Dollar Tree to pick up table cloths, plates, silverware, glasses, and any decorations that I thought might work. The best find was stems of fake purple flowers. I had already planned out in my mind to make centerpieces for the tables with mason jars that I already owned and flowers.  Silk flowers are typically $5-$7 bucks at JoAnn or Michaels, so getting them for a dollar was a steal! My Mother-in-Law came by some clear jewels which we scattered around the centerpieces.
After perusing Pinterest, I also decided that I wanted to paint a large wooden H and have guests sign it in silver and white sharpies instead of a traditional guest book.  I added a silver ribbon to the back so that they can hang in their house later. 
The last decoration that I put together was a banner that said from "Miss to Mrs".  I created the banner panels by layering purple and grey cardstock. To make the point I just used a ruler to mark the center of the paper about 3 to 4 inches from the bottom and then drew a straight line from the bottom corners to the mark and cut the triangle out. I also added a fold 1/4" from the top using a My Score Pal so that I could hang it on string when I was done. Next I simply traced the cut-out triangle area onto the grey cardstock and trimmed 1/4" off each side and 3/4" off the top to create the layered affect.
The rest was created using my Cricut.  The individual letters are from the "All Mixed Up" cartridge using the blackout function. The heart is from "George and Basic Shapes", and the word "to" is from the "Opposites Attract" cartridge. Everything was then assembled using my ATG gun. To add a little extra something, I blinged the outline of the heart using some adhesive crystals that I had. The last step was hanging it on string. I tied knots between each panel, just in case to keep them from sliding together, but really the tape from the ATG kept them in place.

The cake was a sheet cake from Costco (seriously, you can't go wrong with that!) and the punch was a recipe I found on Pinterest of course. I also made some custom water bottle labels in case anyone wanted water instead of punch.

And of course, no bridal shower is complete without games! These were also Pinterest inspired. The first was a Mad-Libs game for guests to help the bride write her vows-just something cute and fun. 
The second was the ABCs of a wedding. Guests thought of a wedding-relate word for each letter with the hopes of matching as many words as possible with the bride.  
I also had large craft sticks in a jar for guests to write date-night ideas on for the bride and groom to pull from later on.

The whole day was so much fun! I can't wait for the wedding a couple of months!

**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For each purchase made using these links, I receive a small commission.  I only affiliate myself with companies and products that I personally use recommend to others.**


~119~ Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Walker in the House!

It's official. 
My little boy is an independent walker.
He's been showing signs of being close for about 3 weeks now, but just wasn't quite daring enough to take those steps on his own. Previously, he easily cruised the furniture or with a walker, just not completely on his own.  Last Friday, he took 1 or 2 steps, but as of last Monday, he's full.on.walking!

We had Ethan's 15 month appointment on Wednesday. As usual, he's small, but growing normally.
Weight: 19.1 LBs (10%ile)

Height: 28.5 Inches (1%)

Eating Habits: 
Ethan is quite the eater! He loves any and (almost) all food! His favorites are avocado, chicken, bananas, raspberries, and grapes. Honestly though, he loves all fruit and eats it like candy. I'll take it. He's even pretty good about eating vegetables. For the most part, Jake and I try to eat pretty clean and healthy because Ethan eats what we eat (I'm not a short-order cook!). As a result, I think this has helped make Ethan a well-rounded eater; for now at least.  He has also taken to share his food and will often offer us (or the dogs) bites. It's pretty dark cute!

He completely dropped all nursings except first thing in morning, even when he eats a real breakfast. I'm okay with that. I savor our cuddle time in the morning.


Dada or Da.

Yes or Yeah.

I was a bit concerned that his language skills haven't quite taken off yet. Although he "talks" quite frequently, he doesn't have a very large vocabulary-yet.  I talked with our speech-language pathologist at school because yes, I'm that mom, and she reassured me that it's not a concern until he's 2, at which the standard marker is 50 words.  

Favorite Activities: 
Putting pegs into the side of his tool box. He's gotten quite good at this and will line them all up across the side. Occasionally he'll have a hard time getting one in, gets frustrated, and will throw a mini-tantrum, but watching him keep trying and get it makes me a proud mom!

Going for rides in his wagon. He loves it and is all smiles!

Climbing on his big-boy chair and looking out the window. He especially loves to do this when daddy is out mowing and he can watch him. 

Playing with and ripping paper. I don't know why, but he loves to do this. He also occasionally likes to "eat" it and I have to go fishing pieces out of his mouth. 

Splashing in his water table. I got Ethan a water table on sale at Target last month and we've already used it a couple of times. Although he can't really use the toys on it quite yet, he loves splashing in the water and throwing the balls around. 

Drinking out of Glasses. We always have to watch our glasses because Ethan loves to steal them and take drinks of his own. This has resulted in him dousing himself with water a couple of times!

Least Favorite Activities:
Diaper changes.  Mostly it's that he doesn't like having to lay still for that long.

Being told, "no". And boy does he have an attitude when you do. He sure does have a temper when he doesn't get his way. We are working on ignoring and praising good listening and positive behavior.

In other news,
School is officially out and I'm home for the summer. 11 weeks or 77 days to be exact! I'm so excited for spending some extra quality time with my little guy.  I have us signed up for a few different story-times at local libraries, and I'm sure we'll spend some time at the pool.  I was hoping to get him in a Mommy&Me Music Class, but I missed the boat on our local one and anything else was just too expensive. Oh well, there's always next summer!

We also took Ethan to the zoo for the first time last weekend with my parents and best friend, Lauren. He wasn't all that excited about the animals, but he did spend some time watching them. I think he liked the polar bear the best!


~118~ Pencil Sharpener Review

Being that my last post was about my first year teaching, I thought that it would be fitting to do a review on a pencil sharpener that I got for my classroom.
I first discovered this pencil sharpener while looking on Pinterest for ideas to use in my classroom. The blogger posted a video showing how it worked and I knew that I had to check it out.  It’s from Classroom Friendly Supplies, a company run by a fellow teacher.  This handy pencil sharpener comes in various colors, of which I chose this pretty purple. This is not your conventional manual pencil sharpener. The design involved pulling out a metal bracket which adjusts to the size of your pencil and grips it while you’re sharpening it - there’s no need to hold on to your pencil while you’re sharpening it. 
As any teacher knows, a good pencil sharpener is a must in any classroom.  Previous to this one, I had an electric sharper, that while it did a pretty good job, it was extremely loud, often got jammed, and did not work on every type of pencil. 

My sharpener arrived very quickly - so already, I was impressed. I was so excited for it and brought it to my classroom the next day.  The first time I tried it out, I was blown away by how quietly and quickly it sharpened my pencil - 3 turns total.  And the point-oh my goodness! And this was a super sturdy point. I’ve had many pencil sharpeners that make a nice point, but as soon as you start to write, the lead breaks off.  Definitely not the case with this sharpener.  Also, although it works great free-standing, it is easily mounted to any shelf.
My (4th grade) students immediately noticed that our old sharpener was gone and were very excited about our new one.  They loved it so much, that they affectionately named her “Patricia”.  As they started arriving in the morning, I showed them how to properly use the pencil sharpener one at a time.    Some were able to get the hang of it, but many had a hard time with the mechanism of pulling out the  metal part, inserting their pencil, and then getting their pencil out. 

As with almost anything that’s new, my students were a bit too excited about trying out the sharpener and shortly after lunch it got jammed with pencil tip that broke off in the mechanism.  It seems that colored pencils don’t sharpen as well as regular pencils.  Luckily, I was pretty easily able to “perform surgery” on our beloved “Patricia” and get back into tip-top working order.  Sadly though, she is off-limits to students.  However, I still love how well and quickly it sharpens pencils for our classroom! I even brought it down to our building secretary to show her how well it works in case we were in need of buying new sharpeners for the building (which is being expanded and renovated this summer).  She is currently looking into ordering them for our associates to have in their work space.

Final Grade: B+
 This pencil sharpener definitely does it’s job.
The quietness, quickness, and quality of sharpening that it does is top notch and really unmatched by any other pencil sharpener that I’ve used in my lifetime (which is a lot!).  

The reason that it didn’t get an A is because it is not really built to be used by kids. I know that a lot of teachers don’t let their kids use their pencil sharpeners, but it’s one of my classroom jobs so that I’m not spending time doing it each morning/afternoon.  Considering that the 10 year olds in my classroom struggled to figure out how to properly use it (and semi-broke it in a matter of 4 hours), means that there’s no way students in younger grades would be able to use it well, particularly 2nd grade and below. 

Bottom Line: This pencil sharpener is the best I’ve ever used, but in terms of classroom use, it is best for adult use, and isn’t really suitable for kids under 10 years old. 

Disclaimer: I received this pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies in exchange for this review.  However, all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. 


~117~ Surviving My 1st Year

Believe it or not, this post is actually not about surviving my first year as a mom (though they may be a good one for a future post).  Instead it’s about surviving my first back in a regular classroom.

At the end of last school year, while I was on maternity leave with Ethan, I received a call from our district’s HR director letting me know that my position of Title I Math had been cut. They decided that there was a greater need for an additional Title I Reading teacher instead.  Not exactly my favorite call to receive, but I had known that this was a possibility.  Luckily this did not mean I was out of a job, just that I would have to take on a different position.  Back to the full classroom it was! I decided to take on 4th grade at one the buildings that I had already been working at.
I’m not going to lie, but after 6 years working as a small-group specialist teacher, I was a bit scared about going back to the a regular classroom! My very first teaching job out of college was 4th grade in St. Paul, MN but that was 8 years ago! Despite this, I decided to take on the challenge head-on.

I’m not going to say that this year has been easy-because it hasn’t.  In many ways, I felt like a 1st year teacher again even though this was my 8th year of teaching. But looking forward to next year and the years to come after that, I can see the mistakes that I made this year and want to change for next year as well as the positives that I want to continue replicating and mastering.

There are a few things that definitely made my life and job easier this year:

1. Erin Condren Planner
I decided to treat myself at the end of last year to help me get excited about changing jobs and took the plunge when I saw that they were on sale in May. Some of my favorite things about this planner are how colorful and pretty the design is, and the large blocks for writing in my weekly lesson plans.  I also really like the notes pages that go with each monthly calendar. It made it easy to find notes that I took from various meetings (staff, PLC, PD) and have it all in one place.  The checklists at the back of the planner were also very handy.   And, I loved the super durable, clear page protectors (I ordered an extra one) to keep my class list/parent contact info and master schedule in.
The only things that I would change are to put the zip-lock pouch in the front instead of the back and make it a sliding ziplock instead. I didn’t use it as much this year because it was a pain to get in and out of.  The absent pages were also unnecessary. I had planned to use them instead for keeping track of parent contacts, but I didn’t do a very good job of that past October.
I’ve already received my planner for next year and I’m excited about a couple of the changes that they made to the planner.  There are fewer notes pages that correspond with each month calendar, which I’m okay with-because it makes the planner slightly less bulky.  They did make the monthly calendar spread slightly smaller and added in a column on the right side with an extra “notes” section and small 2015 and 2016 dated calendars.   One thing that I want to utilize more this year are the graph pages. I hardly used them last year. I started playing around with it in the last month of school this year to track weekly reading test data, but I’m not sure that I’ll have enough pages as they made the grid squares larger, meaning that there’s fewer squares per page.
I've already filled in all of the dates, and started putting in things that I want to remember for next year (one of the many reasons I buy my planner so early).
Want one of your own? Grab yours using this link and save $10 off your order!

2. Deep Desk Drawer Organizers
I bought two at the beginning of the year to put one in both top drawers of my desk.  While the top of my desk is almost always a cluttered mess and I’m constantly losing that one piece of paper in some pile, my drawers are very neatly organized and it’s easy for me to find what I need in a pinch.

3. Weekly Drawer Organizer
I saw this idea on Pinterest before school started and knew that I needed one in my classroom.  I bought two 3-drawer organizers zip-tied them together.  I then labeled each drawer Monday-Friday.  The bottom drawer is labeled “print”.  It’s been vary hand to have items printed out a week ahead and be able to file them in the drawers based on what day I’ll need them.  Then when the day rolls around, I can easily find and grab what I need. If it weren’t for this, a lot more papers would get buried and lost on my desk than already are.

4. A Good Teaching Partner
I’m extremely lucky to work in a building with some exceptionally amazing teachers! Included in this cohort is the other 4th grade teacher, who really did a great job of showing me the ropes this year! Had I been left to navigate this transition on my own, I’m pretty sure I would have floundered.  It was also really nice to be able to talk with and collaborate with someone who teaches the same thing as me.  When I taught Title I, I was the only one who taught that exact class in the entire district. While I did love my job, it was very isolating in many regards. Unfortunately, my teaching partner will not be back next year, and I will miss her a lot!  At the same time though, I’m excited about my new teaching partner, who is also a friend of mine.  I just hope that I can do as much for her next year as my current teaching partner did for me this year.


~116~ We Have a 1 Year Old!!

How is that even possible? Seriously. 

But yet, here we are more than 13 months since Ethan was born.  And boy has a lot happened since then! Each day I’m in awe of just how - in such a short amount of time - we went from a teeny-tiny baby spending his first day of life in the NICU to our hunky-chunky guy who is just steps away from walking by himself, and with a personality (and attitude to go with it) all his own. 

To celebrate Ethan turning the big O-N-E, we through a big, semi-traditional Korean birthday party.  The hallmark of a Korean first birthday (Dol) is Doljabi where the birthday boy (or girl) is set in front of a table of items and people watch in anticipation to see what he picks.  Tradition has it that whatever he chooses predicts his future.  There are several different items that people choose to present to the birthday boy as options, but we decided to have: 

Thread-Long Life

Leading up to Ethan picking an item, guests vote for what they think he will pick ahead of time. A lot of party is centered around the theme of “What Will Ethan Choose?”  To go along with this, I created a large board, fittingly called a Doljabi Board, that displayed the options along with mason jars for each item and little raffle tickets that guests used to cast their vote.  We also dressed Ethan up on a traditional Korean outfit called a Hanbok, to wear during his Doljabi ceremony.  The rest of the day he work his custom made onesie that I ordered from Etsy.
In the end, Ethan ended up choosing the.....

...Stethoscope!!  Say hello to Dr. Ethan Hockenberry!

Other Korean items that we had were Dol Towers that I made using oatmeal containers wrapped with paper, and covered in black and white beans, and teal/silver colored candy.  One tower spelled out his name in Korean hangul, one had his name in English, and the 3rd the Chinese zodiac sign for the year that he was born-the year of the ram.  These were quite time consuming, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.  

I also made some traditional Korean food with the help of my mom. We made Mandu (wontons filled with pork and veggies), Bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef), and Mujigae-Tteok (Steamed rainbow rice cake). In addition, I bought Kimchi (Spicy picked cabbage-a staple at any Korean meal), steamed rice, a veggie tray, fruit tray, and pinwheel wraps.  

For beverages, we had water bottles, pop, and a teal punch that I made to go with our color theme. 
Other decorations included a Happy Birthday banner, balloons, and pictures of Ethan each month. One of my favorite things was a marque sign of the #1 that I added teal glitter to. I had wanted it to be the letter “E”, but of course that was the one that they didn’t have a JoAnn Fabrics when I picked it out. 

We had over 40 people at Ethan’s party and he was perfectly behaved. I really couldn’t have asked for a better day. I think (*hope*) that everyone and a good time. Ethan certainly had fun crawling all around and seeing everyone. But, I think his favorite part was his cake. This boy loves to eat and he didn’t waste any time digging into his cake. Or should I say frosting since the was about an inch of it on top of the cake. 

I really can’t think of one thing that I would change about the day. It really was perfect! Our sweet little boy is ONE and each new day has been sweeter than the last. 
We are very lucky to be his parents :)

The next day, on Ethan’s actual birthday, we had a quiet day at home; and a week later his 1 year appointment at the pediatrician. Here are his official stats: 

Weight: 18lbs
Length: 27.75”
Likes: Food, splashing in his bath, playing with his toys, walking along furniture, being chased up the stairs
Dislikes: Having his diaper changed, being told “no”.
Teeth: 7

Here’s to year #2!
Until then, 


~115~ Last month...

....as a less than 1 year old! *tear*
That’s right, Ethan turned 11 months old this week. This past year has been an incredible and wonderful whirlwind. It still blows my mind that this time last year I was a little over 30 weeks pregnant, and while I thought I was almost 10 weeks away from meeting little man, little did I know then that It was only 23 DAYS away.  

Ethan has really taken off in the last month, and it’s become quite evident that we transitioning from  little baby to little boy. 

Weight: According to the bathroom scale he’s about 17.6 LBs . We’ll have an updated official weight in a little over a month when Ethan goes in for his 1 year(!) appointment.

Teeth: 4! His top 2 teeth popped overnight a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been so lucky (knock on wood) that teething has noticeably bothered him.

What Ethan’s Eating: It would actually be easier to write, “What Isn’t Ethan Eating”, because in reality he is eating everything! In addition to nursing morning/night and getting 2 bottles of pumped milk at daycare, Ethan is also eating 2 full meals a day.  I pack him a solid food lunch using consisting of some sort of protein (ground turkey, chicken, PBJ, Greek Yogurt), a fruit, and a veggie.  Occasionally he’ll also get some goldfish crackers, whole wheat ritz, or Cherrios. A couple of weeks ago, Ethan dropped his 5:00 nursing session on his own in favor for real food at dinner.  At dinner he eats whatever we’re eating (sometimes modified).  I love that he is so self-sufficient with feeding himself and is able to enjoy his meals WITH us. Honestly, baby-led weaning was one of the best decisions that we could have ever made.

1. Transitioning from Standing to Sitting and vice-versa For a while, Ethan has been able to pull himself up. However, he would start whining after a little bit because he got “stuck” and had a hard time getting back down. Now it’s no problem and he can even lean down to grab something without falling.  

2. Climbing stairs.  Ever since Ethan started crawling and pulling up on things he’s started to take an interest in stairs. The day before he turned 11 months he decided to take the plunge and tackle the stairs. He conquered them in 1 go!

3. Giving Kisses Typically at night, Ethan loves to give his mama and dada big, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses, and we love them!

4. Asking for Food He’s not exactly saying words, but Ethan does have a sequence of sounds that he uses when he wants food (typically when he sees us getting it ready).  I’m pretty sure he thinks that all food is called bananas (because he just about eats one a day), but he leaves off he ba- and just says, “nana” over and over.  It sounds like he’s saying “no-no-no-no-no” though. LOL.

5. Calling for Mama and Dada. I’m still not completely convinced that it’s purposeful vs. random, but I’m starting to feel like it’s very directed when he says it. The other day, he said “mama” and then leaned over, grabbed my face with both hands and planted a big wet one on my cheek. Talk about melt your heart!

6. Pushing his Sit To Stand Walker. He got this for Christmas from us and has loved it since the moment he unwrapped it. He can’t quite push it from a full stand-but he will do it while up on his knees. I have a feeling we’ll have a walker in no time!

1. Cheering on the Vikings in the Playoffs - Sadly he also got to experience a defeating loss. There’s always next season though, right?

2. 1st Snow Day at home with mom.  We spent the day snuggling, playing, napping, and playing some more. Pretty much my idea of a perfect day!

3. Puzzles - Ethan has taken a particular interest in puzzles. So far it only consists of taking the pieces out, but he’s gotten really good at grabbing them by their little handles.  The fact that he enjoys doing puzzles makes my nerd heart happy :)

I am now into full-on party-planning mode.  My mom has joked that it’s almost as if I’m planning another wedding. Ha. It’s definitely going to be big, but I don’t know about that big ;)

More on that next month. 
Until then,


~114~ 10 months and Crawling!

Happy New Year!

Our family had a wonderful Christmas and I hope all of you did too!
Celebrating Ethan’s 1st Christmas was so magically and I’m so glad that I have my new camera to hold onto some of those special moments forever. 

We spent Christmas Eve at our house and Christmas Day at Jake’s parents’ house before we left for Minneapolis. We then spent a long weekend in MN with my family and friends.  Ethan even got to meet his new friend Ryan who was born just a little over a month after Ethan. (Their original due dates were only 6 days apart!)

When we got back, we had Ethan’s 9 month appointment - which was a bit delayed since he was almost 10months old by the time we got it scheduled. His doctor confirmed that he’s perfect, just like we know he is. 

Weight: 16.2lbs (6%)

Length: 26.5in (5%)

2! His first tooth sprouted the week before Christmas. We almost didn’t even notice it at first because it didn’t seem to bother him at all! The second one popped up shortly after.

What Ethan’s Eating:
There really isn’t much he isn’t eating. Of course no honey until after 1, and I’ve also been leery of introducing strawberries and grapes, and will probably wait another month or so. He is eating solids at daycare everyday - typically a mixture of fruits and veggies. At home he typically eats dinner with us 5 out of 7 nights. 

Ethan started crawling on Thursday, December 10. We initially called it the “Airplane” crawl since he paused between each scoot and kicked his feet while spreading his arms out to his sides and flapping them up and down. It may look silly, but let me tell you-he gets where he wants to go pretty quickly!  By Christmas, he was full-on crawling and get where and what he wants a lot faster than you’d think!

Today, he also started pulling himself up for the first time. We had a feeling it would be soon since he had started hanging on to our ottoman from his knees and trying to pull up, but not quite having the guts to go for it. Well, while I was taking his 10 month pictures in his crib he went for it! Needless to say as soon as we were done, we lowered the mattress.

1. Christmas!
Like I said, we celebrated Christmas eve and day here in IA with Jake’s family. It was lovely and a great way to celebrate Ethan’s 1st Christmas! After spending Christmas morning at Jake’s parents’ house, we drove up to MN and spent the extended weekend there with my family. Lots of quality time together, good food, and relaxation!

Ethan of course was beyond spoiled and our house is now bursting with new toys.  His new favorites are the Sit and Stand Walker, an elephant he can ride, and a Little People Zoo.
2. New Year’s Eve.  
It’s crazy to me that it’s now a different year than when Ethan was born. We had a great New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house with all of the kids. Ethan didn’t quite make it until midnight, but had a blast staying up later than usual.  He also gave us quite the gift by sleeping in until 11:30am the next day! (He certainly takes after mom in that department).

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