Van @ 5 Years

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Growth & Appearance: Your rat tail is going strong. You asked to cut it but that ship seems to have sailed and we don’t bring it up. Your concern being that ‘only girls have long hair’. You also complained that it bothers you when the wind is blowing. But then we offer to cut it and you say no. And you love the compliments you get on it because they always come from the most awesome characters.

You had your 5 year checkup and are in the 90-something percentile for height and 70’s for weight, I think. You weigh 43lbs and feel denser than a rock to me. It’s harder to lift you up these days.

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Eating: You ask for snacks constantly. As soon as you wake up in the morning, you want a snack. It’s easy to see why considering you do nothing more than play with your food at mealtime.

Bribery goes a long way. The other night I told you you could have a piece of chewing gum if you finished your dinner and not but 3 minutes later, your plate was practically licked clean. It doesn’t always work, in fact other times we have to deal with you pushing your food around only to additionally have to deal with you whining because you didn’t eat enough to earn dessert. In general mealtime is painful.

You love macaroni, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peaches, and all the junk your future-diabetic self will have regretted loving.San clemente family photographer-0215

Sleeping: You sleep on the bottom bunk and won’t let me leave the room until I’ve given you a kiss. You also insist on picking out your own book to ready before bedtime and generally will hate whatever book I pick out based solely on the fact you weren’t the one to chose it.

You’re no longer needing your pull-up at night, which really has been a long time coming but you held on it for longer than we thought you’d care to (cuz only babies wear diapers — your words, not mine). You’ve done just fine wearing big boy undies to bed, as we suspected. San clemente family photographer-0217

Development & Personality:

You started riding your bike without training wheels a few weeks ago, as well as riding a skateboard in peddle-peddle-glide-peddle fashion.

You’re determined to blow a bubble with your gum. You’re almost there.

You can throw a ball with force and accuracy and are all-around super coordinated. You ask to play basketball.

You can write your name in all capitol letters and can count to 30 or 40.

You follow whatever Hooper does or tells you to do and we’re having to remind you often that you need to think for yourself.

You’re stubborn and hard-headed and sometimes it feels like you can’t get out of your own way. You like things a certain way and so often it feels like in ways that aren’t possible. Like you’re particular about how close your laces come to touching the floor; point being, we’ve vowed only to buy you slip ons and velcro-strap shoes to alleviate that problem. Though you’re particular about how tight the velcro is as well, so that’s not necessarily the solution.

You’re wicked smart and catch on to things really fast. I don’t worry at all about how you’ll perform in kindergarten.

Your better behaved and more easy going for others than you are for your Papa and I. We get great reports from your teachers and other parents but your fourth year was kinda a rough one for us here at home; a lot of change, too, with a new baby.

You have the most infectious laugh and are easily amused and well-liked by your peers.

You speak with the cutest New York accent, which is really a speech impediment. We’re fine with it never correcting itself. You say “Hooper” like “Hoopa”.

You attempt to putting legos together yourself but usually need assistance throughout the process, making us all hate legos.San clemente family photographer-0226
Favorites: You tend to claim Hooper’s interests as your own but when given the choice between legos and a remote controlled car, you most always chose the car. You love playing mindless games on my phone but your opportunities to do so are few and far between. You love sports and say that basketball is your favorite.

Sonny @ 16-17 Months

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Growth & Appearance: You have most all your teeth now, with one lingering one that has yet to poke through. We bought you a toothbrush, which you love. We waited with Hooper because for whatever reason the thought didn’t cross our minds. Then, with Van, we started brushing his teeth as soon as he had one. And now, with you, it jus slipped our mind until now. Guess we’ve come full circle.

You hair is officially blond. It took longer than I remember it taking for your brothers’ hair and I was nearly convinced you’d have brown hair, like me. You hair is long and most always in your face. We put it up in a little bun often but you like that take it out without warning or reason and so we’ve lost lots of rubber bands. You get called a girl often, not to worry, the whole idea of gender is going out the window anyway.

You weigh 25lbs and at your last checkup you were in the 92nd percentile for height and 60th for weight. You’re still in size 4 diapers and you wear size 18-24 month clothing.

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Eating: I officially weaned you from breastfeeding in June. It was much easier, emotionally speaking, than I had anticipated. It was the right time and we did it slowly so I think the hormone shift was slight and bearable. I was worried that you weren’t drinking enough from a bottle but ever since we quit, you drink plenty. Life works out like that, doesn’t it?

You love trying to use utensils and will fuss and whine until we give you your own to use. We go through a lot of utensils this way since we’re both feeding you with one and allowing you to play with another. But I suppose that’s how you learn.

You love to throw your food as soon as you’re full and it’s a mad dash to clear your tray when this starts to happen so as to combat it all ending up on the floor. You’re making Jimmie fat.

You’re not the best eater… you like what you like. In the mornings I often make you oatmeal mixed with spinach and berries. You also like yogurt with fruit in it. You love bananas and avocados. Chicken nuggets are your jam. And dinner, when we give you what we’re eating, is usually not successful, with a few exceptions.

You rock back and forth in your highchair so wildly I worry about it tipping over.

You know where the snack cabinet is and are demanding about what you want and when you want it. You prefer fruit snacks and yogurt covered raisins.

We call you the “sous chef” because you’re insistent about being in your Papa’s arms while he’s cooking.San clemente family photographer-0340

Sleeping: Same old story here minus a few naps you’ve been fighting as of late, though I think that’s resolved. You sleep for 3-4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.

Nearly every morning we come in to find your pajamas halfway zipped down, that’s your new thing.

You tend to go back to sleep after the boys leave the room for school.

You’re attached to your blanket and know it’s time for sleep as soon as we hand it to you. You put your thumb in immediately. It’s pretty sweet.

Development: You’re saying all kinds of words, way too many to list here. Here are a few: “go” (said for ‘here ya go’, when you’re bringing us something’), “mel” (for milk), “side” (for outside), “bubbles”, “hooper”, “key-kat”, “doggie”, “hot” and so on and so forth.

Your relatively safe to go down the stairs by yourself. We can’t leave you unattended just yet because of obstacles like laundry on the stairs, or Jimmie running up or down, etc, but you’re able to walk down or slide down with ease.

You love being outside and are at an age where we can cook dinner or do dishes and watch from inside as you play outside. It’s a game changer. And nice to see you gaining independence.

I caught you picking your nose, so you’re aware of those two holes.

You have a great sense of humor.

You like sitting on the skateboard and rocking back and forth. You’ve ate it a few times and could care less.

On the flip side, you make a big deal when anything harms you. Like you purposefully put your finger in a socket like hole and then look at one of us and say “owwwee”. It seems attention seeking so I try to pay it little attention. Which is hard because most of the day I just want to eat you.San clemente family photographer-0333

Favorites: You still adore you g’pa Jeffers, he’s your one and only when he’s around. You love ringing the doorbell and playing with our electric toothbrushes. You love balls — not the two you own but the ones lingering around the home that you like to kick and throw. You love being outside and you love playing with your brothers’ toys while they’re in school.

Sonny @ 15 months

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This post will have to run back-to-back with your 16 month update because, per the speed of life these days, I’m late… Had it written long ago and only now getting the chance to hit ‘publish’. Ugh.

Growth & Appearance: Your hair hangs well below your eyes now and when you have a runny nose, your hair gets stuck to it. Like curtains that are attached to the ceiling and the floor.

You go a thousand miles a minute and at any given time have cuts and scraps and bruises to prove it.

You have a lot more teeth… not sure how many total, but the top middle one that was missing is now coming in so you’re not much of a snaggle tooth anymore. I’d guess you have four up top, four below, and a couple molars. And you bite like a mother fucker with them.

You’re growing out of some of your clothes, sizes 18-24m fit best, with some room to grow. Still size 4 diapers. You’re rocking your brothers’ hand-me-down vintage zips and I’ll be sad to pass those on when the time comes.

Sleeping: You earn your naps, that’s for certain. And, luckily, you don’t fit what you’ve worked for. You go down easy and most always without any protest. Your morning nap has cut back some but it’s hard to tell because we’ve been traveling much of the last month and your entire schedule has been tossed to the dogs.

You sleep with your blanket and seem more aware of it; the attachment is growing.

You wake up happy, most always, and ready to go. Like a gas tank that has been filled. the stork & the beanstalk photography-3893
Eating: True to third child fashion, we don’t keep near the tabs on what you put in as we did with either of your brothers. You’re not the best eater, but not the worst. I suppose it helps that you are plump and strong and your health is of little concern because of that.

You love chicken nuggets, cantaloupe, grapes, banana.

You’re also at the stage where you insist on holding the utensils, meaning I must give you a spoon to hold and dirty and then feed you with an additional spoon. Meaning you need to learn to do the dishes because they add up quickly and we’re out of spoons.

You breastfeed morning and night. I don’t get the sense you care whether I feed you or not; you never ask for it and sometimes it’s a fight to get you settled enough to latch. I plan on stopping soon, though I keep saying that…

You’re not great with drinking, which is part of the reason I hesitate to stop breastfeeding. On a good day I get about 5oz of fluid (milk) in you. On average, I’d say only 2-3oz. And so, we give you a lot of grapes. You can hold your own bottle and you tend to throw it as soon as you’ve quenched your thirst; which ends up being after every sip. Eye roll.

You tried juice and you spit it out.the stork & the beanstalk photography-3889
Development: Your lungs are something to contend with. Anyone that spends any extended time with you will surely walk away with their ears bleeding. It’s made going out anywhere kind of miserable.

You’ve stopped saying ‘thank you’ and pretty much say ‘doggie’ non-stop and in reference to anything other than humans that breath. So basically if it has fur, it’s a dog. You’ve also said ‘cookie’ and made attempts to say ‘balloon’.

You’re quite the little dictator and oftentimes only want to be held so you can point and direct the person carrying you to take you where you want to go and do what you want. You’re easy to read and understand but you’re also incredibly relentless and loud.

You follow simple commands.

You know where your belly button is.

You love to bring us books and back up to sit on our laps in anticipation of us reading them to you.

You’re better at going down the steps and can make it down by yourself but you’re still not safe to leave on the stairs by yourself.

Your balance is great; as proven by your ability to stay upright on a plane while running down the aisles during periods of turbulence.

When you’re upset you like to use your body as a weapon, flinging yourself into us or biting our shoulders. When we have you in the carrier and you go through one of your tirades, we joke that all we can do is brace for impact. Such is life.

Favorites:

You love bubbles. And water. OMG, you throw yourself at water. No fear. And totally okay with falling face first into the salty sea.

Your g’pa Jeffers is still your favorite and if he’s in the same room, you’re in his arms. Sometimes begrudgingly because much like most moms, he can’t catch a break. Like a moth to the flame.

Sonny @ 14 months

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Growth & Appearance: Keeping your hair out of your face has become a problem so we’ve started giving you a little whale spout on the top of your head. You’re called a girl whenever we leave the house, but that’s okay. Your hair has lightened significantly and I’d damn near call you blond. Or at least on your way to blond.

I stuck you on the scale the other day and I think you were 23 or 24 lbs. Still in size 4 diapers. Size 18m or 2T pajamas.

You have a bunch of teeth that have popped through. Still waiting on one of your top middle. I think you have three on top and three or four randomly dispersed teeth that have popped through on the bottom. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to the asymmetrical nature in which your teeth are coming in.the stork & the beanstalk photograhy

Sleeping: Much of the same, still two naps a day, one from 10ish to 2ish and another, not long after, from 4ish to 6ish. Asleep for the night between 8 and 9 and up, with your brothers, around 7:15.

You’re growing more attached to your blanket and oftentimes, as I lift you out of your crib, you motion for me to grab your blanket too.

Nursing puts you to sleep some nights but they’re in the minority. You go to sleep fine on your end anyway, without so much as a whimper most days / nights.the stork & the beanstalk photograhy
Eating: You’re all about grapes these days. You even turned down an avocado and whined for more grapes.

I breastfeed you in the morning, before your morning nap, before your afternoon nap, and before bed (we cut out the feed after your morning nap, so we’re down to four). I notice that my supply has dropped and I’m not sure you’re getting much so I’m hoping the ending to this relationship happens more or less naturally. I’ve stopped pumping on the days I work because I wouldn’t get anything. You’ll drink from a bottle but don’t drink much. Not sure if this will increase once we’re done with breastfeeding all together or what. I trust it will all work out as it should.the stork & the beanstalk photograhy

Development: Personality explosion as of late. So much humor and spunk. You love to say ‘boo’ and wait for everyone to scream.

You destroy everything in your path. It’s useless to pick anything up around here because as soon as you’re awake, everything is strewn about once again. Like a drunken octopus.

You’re learning how to go down the stairs but are still far too dangerous to leave on your own and we still have no suitable solution for blocking the stairway from you. We end up moving the entryway bench in front of the stairs when you’re awake so our house is never quite put together and, even when it is, you soon ruin it.

Words you say: “hi”, “thank you”, “boo”, “mama”, “doggie”.

You go limp when you’re moved from something you don’t want to be moved away from. And you bite the shoulder of whoever it is pulling you away.the stork & the beanstalk photograhy
Favorites: You LOVE your g’pa Jeffers and prefer him to even me. In his arms is some of the only times I see you ever still. It’s pretty sweet.

You also love Jimmie and are keen to share your food with him, even when what’s in front of you is something you love.

Sonny @ 13 Months

the bee & the foxGrowth & Appearance: We took you to your 12m appointment late, in true third child fashion, and -in even more third child fashion- can’t remember what your stats were. Except to say that you are in the 60th percentile for weight (and I think you’re around 24lbs, per our shipping scale) and 90th percentile for height (can’t remember how many inches, though).

Your hair has lightened significantly over the last month as is more of a golden color. You still only have three teeth; your two fangs and one top middle tooth. Feels like your teeth are taking forever to come in and you enjoy using your one fang tooth to chip away at most things.

You’re in size 4 diapers, size 18 or 24m pajamas.

You most always have some sort of scratch or scab or bruise on your knee and/or forehead.

Sleeping: Same as always; you wake around 7:30am, down for a nap around 10am, up around 2pm, down again at 4pm, up at 6pm, and down for the night around 8pm. Like a constant game of whack-a-mole. Because you’re more mobile than ever, nursing has been putting you to sleep more than it had been in the months prior but you’ll happily put yourself to sleep too, which is nice.the bee & the fox

Eating: Gone are the days you’d eat anything. You’re much more particular these days and, in general, you eat most in the morning and then just a little for lunch and either a lot for dinner or nothing at all. But breakfast is always a sure bet and somedays it seems like you eat enough in that one meal to last for the whole day.

Your favorites are still your favorites: avocado, banana, sweet potato, taco meat.

You still breastfeed 5 times a day: morning, before and after morning nap, before afternoon nap, and before bed (we cut out the feeding after your afternoon nap). You don’t drink a lot of the cow milk we give you from the bottle; only a couple of ounces a day, I’d say.

Development: You’ve started this fast-paced walking style that’s surely a transition to running; you look grossly off-balanced and teeter far from side to side resembling a drunken sailor. It excites you when you make it across the room moving in this speedy fashion and it brings the biggest shit-eating-grin to your face.

You still walk with your arms in the chicken wing position.

You love playing peek-a-boo and will come around the corner and say ‘boo’ and expect everyone to act surprised.

You can move from a squat to a stand without using your arms. You can also move down or up a small step and when you do so successfully, you tend to want to do it over and over and over again.

Words you know and use on and off: “ut-oh”, “thank you”, “hello”, “doggie”, “love you”.

Your scream hits a decibel that’s sure to deafen a few. You use it often to be heard or to get what you want and it’s hard to ignore because as soon as you hear it all you want to do is stop it.the bee & the fox

Favorites: You love being outside and when I’ve just about had enough of the screaming I let you loose in the yard.

Other favorites include the remote controls, phones, and digging through the kitchen cabinets.

Sonny @ 12 months

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Growth & Appearance:

Your teeth are starting to make their way in. Your one fang is still the most prominent but you have it’s opposite as well as your top two front teeth also just starting to poke through. Otherwise, not much change; your hair is still a light brown, eyes still grey, same size 4 diapers, and same size clothing (12-18 months).

Your hair grows by the second is most always in your eyes. We’re letting it grow out and I joked to your Papa that we should just dress you as a girl for a few months solely for the purpose of using a clip to keep it out of your face.

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Sleeping:

Much the same as last month as well; you’re awake from about 7-10am, then again from 2-4pm, and again from 6-8pm. The rest of the time is spent napping or sleeping through the night. You sleep in your crib, with your blanket, which you don’t show any real obvious signs of attachment to. I try to keep the blinds open for your afternoon nap so as to not create any sort of consistent sleep environment, the hope being of course, that you will nap anywhere and everywhere. You go down without a fight, ever. Nursing rarely puts you sleep except on the rare occasion.

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Eating:

You’ve spent the last month throwing the majority of your food on the floor. With less time to give it much attention, I’ve wrote it off as part of teething and am leaning on a hope and a whim that you will eat when you need to. Somedays it feels like you hardly eat anything at all. You’ve even thrown some of your favorites, which makes me think it’s your teeth causing you pain. You had a fever for at least a week and seemingly a cold for several weeks. You were on antibiotics, which helped, but then you got another cold soon after that. So, eating has suffered this month.

I refer to crackers as my ‘shut-the-fuck-up-biscuits’ and they’re my go-to when you’re losing your shit at the table.

That said, nursing has been easy. I’m ready to be done with it and have weaning in the back of my head, but we’ll get there little by little. I cut out your late night feeding so I am no longer waking you up to feed you before I go to bed. I’ve been going to bed earlier because of it, which is a nice reprieve. I’ve also started giving you some cow milk during the day just to give you a taste and get you used to taking a bottle from me. You don’t drink more than an ounce or two from it, but you seem to take to it well enough. You breastfeed 6 times a day.

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Development:

You figured out how to get off the bed all by yourself by turning over on your stomach and going down feet first. You fell face first off a rock at the beach the other day and I watched as you climbed right back up it and tried again, using your getting-off-the-bed technique. You were quite proud of yourself.

You say ‘thank you’ and you use it appropriately; meaning you aren’t just repeating it back at us but instead you will say it after I give you a cracker.

You’ve fallen off your ‘ut-oh’ kick; meaning you’re only saying it a few times a day, which is a dramatic decrease from the nearly 100 times you were saying it last month.

You can blow and make the cutest pursed lips when we put a candle in front of you.

You attempt to jump but your feet don’t actually leave the ground.

You scream at the top of your lungs when you want something. It’s the most piercing and gut-wrenching thing. You’re the worst to bring to restaurants and you shrill turns the head of any guest we invite into our home.

You love the beach and will wander off on your own and entertain yourself in a way that makes me think we need to spend all 7 of your waking hours at the sea.

You play quite well by yourself in your crated off area in the morning but after that you get kinda pissy about being pushed off to the side. You’ve actually started moving the entire contraption; using it like an old man would a walker. It’s quite the scene to be doing the dishes in the kitchen only to be interrupted by you turning the corner pushing a five foot long plastic crate full of toys. the stork & the beanstalk photograhy
Favorites:

You’re quite in to the mini hand sanitizer bottles as well as the kids medicine bottles. I think the ridges on the tops of the medicine bottles feel good on your teeth; in any event, they are strewn all over the floor in numerous rooms of the house.

You also love being outside.the stork & the beanstalk photograhy

Sonny @ 11 Months

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Growth & Appearance: You finally have your first tooth and it’s neither your center front nor bottom but instead your right lateral incisor. The same tooth on the opposite side is making it’s way down as well so I suppose you may look a little vampire-ish here shortly.

You have lots of hair, so-much-so that it could use a cut but we’re opting to let it grow out. You get called a girl every now and again and we think* that’s why. In some photos your hair looks blond but I’d still call it a light brown.

We weigh you on our shipping scale and last I checked, you’re still 22 lbs. I suppose you’re growing in height but not weight, which is typical to your brothers’ growth pattern.

You’re in size 4 diapers and size 18m clothes.San Clemente Family Photographer-6294

 

Sleeping: It’s easier to calculate the hours per day that you’re awake, which is about 8. You wake up with your brothers around 7:15am and go down for your morning nap at 10am. I wake you at 2pm if you’re still sleeping and you’re ready for a nap, again, at 4pm. Once again, I wake you around 6pm so you can eat dinner and then you play for a bit before going down, with your brothers, around 8:30pm. I can’t remember the last time you woke up during the night.

You sleep and nap in your crib, which is in your brothers room. We have yet to buy you blanket of your own, but it’s been on my list of things. (Well that was a time suck because after I typed that I went off into the internet dark hole of blanket shopping and now have over $600 worth of blankets in my cart to chose from. And the good Lord knows we need two of whichever one we by because, gross. Anyway, still haven’t ordered one but I think I found the ‘one’.)San Clemente Family Photographer-6278
Eating: You’re far more particular these days and know exactly what you want. If we’re eating one thing but offering you something else, in general (unless it’s a banana), you’re skeptical. If we’re having pancakes for breakfast, for example, I have to be sure to give you your delicious mix of oatmeal and spinach and fruit before the pancakes hit the table because as soon as dem pancakes hit the table, the oatmeal gets wildly pushed away, hands start flailing, the screech hits a piercing level, and your highchair starts moving from the momentum of your feet kicking so hard.

That said, you eat well enough but your preference, much like your mama, is for the carbs. Anything bread related is a thumbs up. Your favorites from day one, however, are still your favorites today: banana and avocado and sweet potato. Nearly everything else goes through phases; one day you love blueberries and eat the whole carton and the next day you’re throwing them on the floor.

You breastfeed 7 times a day and the distraction at the breast seems to have faded, thankfully. You’re super efficient and don’t take long to eat but feeding you in public is still not a possibility. I’ll be happy to hit the one year mark so that I can take it all a bit easier and try to worry less.San Clemente Family Photographer-6282
Development: You no longer crawl and are walking with confidence, your little scapula pinching together while your back is arched and arms are out like chicken wings. It’s my favorite stage, hands down and most days you’re making my ovaries beg to have another.

You can squat down and pick up a toy and continue walking without falling but haven’t figured out going down steps, but you’re studying them for sure and contemplating the plunge.

You make it hard to go out to eat as you’re still doing the excited scream that’s sure to make even the nicest of patrons skin crawl.

You said your first word, “doggie” last month but no longer say it so I’m not sure whether to count it or not. You do say “ut-oh” on the regular and use it correctly, so I may change that to your first word instead. You love to drop something for the mere sake of being able to say “ut-oh” and, once again, the ovaries… they hurt.

You entertain yourself much easier now and are find being in your fenced in area under the stairs. We find you often with your basket of toys emptied and you sitting in the middle of your basket like an egg in a nest.

You prefer toys that play music and boogie often to the beat.

You point a lot and make baby sign language seem silly simply based on how much you’re able to communicate through pointing. And screaming.

You’re super playful and have a great sense of humor. You’re always looking for something to laugh at or someone to chase you.

Changing your diaper is the pits; you’re super squirmy. But you don’t mind your nose wiped. Makes not sense.San Clemente Family Photographer-6289

Favorites: You love any toy that makes music. You also love eating the wax out of the candle by my bed.

Hooper @ 6 years

san clemente family photographer-5409Growth & Appearance: Your hair is blond, with some brown roots. Your eyes are light brown and your skin olive. At a checkup a few months ago you weighed 42 lbs (31st percentile) and were 46 inches tall (76th percentile). You have a natural six pack and are tall and thin.

You’ve been claiming a loose tooth for months now. It’s slightly wiggly but not about to go anywhere anytime real soon. You’re excited to lose it. Not sure why.

You’ve taken a new-found interest in your appearance and take pride in dressing yourself in the morning. It’s not uncommon to see you come out of your room with pants that are way too short and a button up shirt buttoned incorrectly. We encourage you to rock it all the same. You also like going into the bathroom and putting water in your hair as if it’s gel and slicking your hair back with my brush. This is new and you’ve done it several times a day for the last week or so. san clemente family photographer-5384

Eating: You’re a better eater now than you’ve ever been. You’re not great at trying new things but you also don’t need a lot of coaxing to eat what we put on your plate. Your favorite meal is chicken, macaroni, and peas. You say you like broccoli and will eat a few bites, but you never finish it.

Favorite foods: hamburgers, macaroni, salmon, eggs, bacon, pizza.

New foods make you gag and you spit things out that you weren’t excited to try as soon as it touches your mouth. That said, you’re much easier to have at the table and you eat well. You also seem to self-regulate well on all fronts, even on the sugar front.san clemente family photographer-5389

Sleeping: You still sleep with your blanket but not usually anything else. You love surrounding yourself with pillows. You sleep on the top bunk but aren’t opposed to sharing the bottom bunk with Van; the two of you can be found sleeping together every now and again.

We make you take a nap every now and again, but it’s rare; I’d say once or twice a month but some months not at all. You’re quick to fall asleep in the car though.

You go to bed easily and even ask to be put to bed when you’re tired. san clemente family photographer-5376

Development:

You are into girls and have a grasp on what ‘love’ means. You’re fond of one particular girl in your class and come home often and tell me about all the girls that chase you during recess. I remind you often that you can be in love with boys or girls, but thus far, you’re all about the ladies.

I’ve caught you several times outside practicing your golf swing. Your g’pa takes you to a golf class once a week and you’re into it. You swing both right and left.

You can write your name with ease and are curious about what signs say. You’re getting a hang of your ‘sight words’. Your teacher says you’re a delight to have in class, which is definitely a step-up from your reported behavior last year, where your transitional kindergarten teacher described you as ‘impulsive’. You’ve grown up a lot since then and seem to have better self-control…

…Except for when it comes to your brother. You’re incredibly impulsive when it comes to acting out and are quick to hit and slap and spit before you think. It makes for a lot of time outs and a lot of apologies and a whole lot of whining from your brother.

You love being a big brother to Sonny and are eager to help. In general, you’re happy to help with lots of things around the house. Even more so now that you’ve learned that chores can potentially earn you money. You have 16 crumpled up one dollar bills in a toy ATM machine you got for Christmas and you count your money often. Chores I’ve had you do include hanging up laundry in your closet, cleaning up toys, vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher and setting / clearing the table. I also pay you when I need you to model a new shirt for the shop, something I try not to do these days after having more incidents than I can count of having our product (and images) stolen and posted on other sites. But that’s a separate post altogether. And not one I want to write.

On the same tip, you like having your photo taken and as you’ve gotten older, I feel you really ‘get me’ as a photographer. You’re not always in the mood and I respect that, but when you are, you always quench my creative thirst.

You have a kind spirit and are sensitive to others feelings. That’s not to say you’re always perfect, you’re not, but you have a good soul, a warm heart, and an empathetic nature. Hanging an ornament with a picture of Sarah on the Christmas tree brought you to tears and you spent some time afterward talking about how much you miss her. You also cried at Nanny’s funeral. And it brings you a great sense of pride when you’re able to help me out in times that I’m clearly struggling. All things that make me so proud. And appreciative.

You’re strong and can do legit pushups with perfect technique. san clemente family photographer-5398
Favorites: You love building things; forts, legos, blocks, etc. You have lots of projects in the yard; as of late you requested some ‘carrot seeds’ to plant and made your own swing out of a dog leash, handcuffs, and a wire basket. Your backpack is always filled to the brim with your most treasured items and sometimes when you’re at school I take a little peek and have a good laugh; crumbled up pieces of paper, a magnifying glass, fortune cookies, handcuffs, legos, and other random trinkets.

You and your brother have discovered the Ernest movies and those are a hit these days. We think that’s where the slicking your hair back comes from (bad Ernest in ‘Ernest goes to jail’ has slicked back hair).

You have a ‘Ninjago’ book that you ask us to read often. You also love the Ninjago show on Netflix.

Sonny @ 10 Months

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Growth & Appearance: You hair is lightening, but still brown. It is fine like Hooper’s but similar to Van, you have a lot of it. And it’s long. As in you seemingly will need a haircut soon. Or we’ll just let it grow. TBD. Your eye color still has me scratching my head. Still no teeth, but your upper gums are swollen and white and at least 4 teeth are ready to pop through any day now. Or at least I’m guessing any day now.

You’re in size 4 diapers and have grown out of 12 month clothing a while ago so I’m buying more 18-24m, which is a little big but a nice amount of room to grow into.san clemente family photographer-5004

Sleeping: I can’t remember the last time you woke during the night and am happy to say those days are behind us. Every day is more or less the same and the predictability is nice. You wake up around 7:15am and are ready for a nap around 10:30am. If you’re not awake by 2pm, I wake you up but usually you’re already awake and just sitting quietly in your crib. You run amuck and are ready for your evening nap around 4:30pm. I wake you up around 6pm because there’s just not enough time in a day for all these naps. Ha.

We moved your crib out of our room mid-way through your 9th month. The transition was seamless and you’re now sharing a room with your brothers.

Generally you’re awake when I put you down for the night and you go to sleep on your own with ease. You’re a blueprint of both of your brothers in this sense.san clemente family photographer-5001

Eating: Breastfeeding can be a struggle at times. I feel as though I should have mentioned this months ago as it’s not necessarily a new development. To keep your attention I feel like I need a bottomless bucket of distractions set to the side of me, to distract you enough to get you settle enough to eat. It’s probably a sign that I don’t need to feed you as often as I do and we have cut out another feeding, so I think we’re working to find a middle ground. I feed you 7 times a day; first thing in the morning, before and after your morning nap, before and after your afternoon nap, before you go to bed, and then before I go to bed.

You still love solids but aren’t as agreeable as you once were. If you don’t like what’s in-front of you, you throw it wildly off your highchair. Your favorites remain the same: banana, avocado, sweet potato. You now like apples and berries so long as they are warm and soft. You’re not the fan of vegetables that you once were; you’ll eat a few, but you’re not a bottomless pit for broccoli like you are for banana.

We introduced scrambled eggs and you love them.

You eat three meals a day.san clemente family photographer-4931

Development: Last month made this month look more-than-promising in regards to walking but lately you’re simply not interested. You can walk with a push toy and enjoy doing so. And you’ve taken several consecutive steps here and there. But your main mode of transport is still crawling. You’re more speedy that way and lower to the ground, which serves your need to put every-damn-thing-in-your-mouth well.

You can stand for minutes unassisted and like to do squats, where you bend slightly at the knees and push back up again. You can also squat all the way down to pick up a toy and stand back up again.

You wave on command and it’s the sweetest wave we ever did see. But you’re stingy as all getup with your kisses; you’ve given ten and refused hundreds.

Jimmie came running into the room the other day and clear as day you said “dog-gee”. We did a double take and were just about to write it off as coincidence until you repeated it, clear as day, about five times in a row. We think you also say “bye” but aren’t totally convinced just yet.

You nap often but when you’re awake you’re moving a gazillion miles a minute. If left unattended for more than a minute, you’re most often found at the base of the stairs or – if you’re near a bathroom – at the toilet. You can climb all the way to the top of the stairs in seconds flat.

Bathing you is an absolute nightmare. You throw yourself all over the place, could care less about going under water, and have zero hesitation to pull to stand on every slippery surface. In fact, as soon as you see the water filling you’re at the baths edge, ready to launch yourself overboard head first. The sink may be the best bet but I’ll be damn if there is ever a time it is clean and empty.

You’re more independent and are able to entertain yourself for a bit when we have to put you in the gated off area. But the more I walk by you, the more pissed off you get. In general, if you can’t see us, you’re fine but if you see us, you want us. Especially me. Cuz, well, I’m still your numero uno.san clemente family photographer-4999

Favorites: The stairs hold your attention more than anything else these days and if you had your way you’d spend your entire day climbing the stairs. I only wish I had the same passion.

You love being chased and teased. Remotes and iPhones still rank high on your list. And me, you love your mama. But really and truly, the stairs rule all.

Sonny @ 9 Months

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Growth & Appearance: We have yet to take you in for your 9 month well baby appointment but they put you on the scale a week or so ago when we took you in to see about an ear infection and you were 20.8 lbs. No ear infection.

You graduated from wearing your helmet, though it wasn’t quite the send-off we had anticipated. I guess I had hoped they would have said, ‘congratulations, all better, you’re done’. Instead they used words like ‘improvement’ and left us with the option of another 14 weeks of treatment to strive toward ‘perfection’. We declined. We’re happy with the shape and any deformity at this point is hard to notice, even when looking at the images they provided us with.

I guess your eyes are hazel. They’re not blue and they’re not brown. So I’m going with hazel. Dark hazel. Your hair is light brown with a hint of strawberry in it; similar to Van’s at the same age.

You’ve grown out of much of your 12 month clothes due to height and are on to 12-18 or even 18-24. We just switched you over to size 4 diapers. Dressing you, in general, is no easy feat. You’re super squirmy.

san-clemente-family-photographer-3320Sleeping: You fell asleep in your highchair the other week. You’ve also been known to fall asleep in your little play area; it’s not uncommon to find you in the sitting position with your head in your lap, flat as a pancake, fast asleep.

When you wake up, you stand in your crib and start making noises until I look at you. And then you cry as I go to the bathroom as if you can’t wait another second to be held and fed. It’s sweet but it’s also loud.

You wake up around 6:30am, which is earlier than we’d like and still just slightly before your brothers wake which means you’re still in our room despite me mentioning moving you in with them every damn month. You are ready for a nap around 10:30 and sleep for 2-3 hours. If we’re home in the afternoon, you take another nap, around 3:30pm or 4pm for an hour or two. You fall asleep on your own around 8:30pm and then I wake you for one last feed before I go to bed around 10:30pm. And you sleep through the night, in your crib, next to our bed.

san-clemente-family-photographer-3301Eating: I finally got you to eat more fruit by warming it up first and mashing it in with your oatmeal. I can now give you strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries but even with the added cinnamon you’re still not into apple. You eat vegetables with ease; asparagus, broccoli, peas, carrots, sweet potato. In general, you eat whatever we’re eating unless we’re eating crap, which we do more often than is worth admitting. You also tried tofu this month and dig it. And egg whites, too.

Your favorites are still avocado and banana.

You recognize foods and get excited when you see something you particularly like; like when I sat down with yogurt the other day and you started rocking back and forth like a cowboy on a horse until I shared with you.

You breastfeed three times in the morning, twice in the afternoon, and 2-3 more times in the evening. Some are better quality feeds than others.

san-clemente-family-photographer-3338Development: I found you splashing piss-filled toilet water around. Gross.

You appear to be right hand dominant and can be found crawling with a toy in your right hand.

You’re happy as a clam and love to laugh and play games. You know when you’re being teased and you revel in the attention.

You still put everything in your mouth; each and every little bit of anything on the floor goes in your mouth. I’ve pulled out leaves, strings, rug fuzz, little itty bitty bits of wrappers, legos (oh the dreaded legos), oh, and yes, dog food. You really liked the dog food.

You’ve begun showing some feistiness. We were at a party and you screamed in disgust when another little baby took a balloon from you. Then, at Thanksgiving, you kept grabbing the face of another baby. I have a sneaking suspicion there is a monster a’ brewin’.

You’re as busy as a bee in the hours that you’re awake and keeping up with you is a full-time job. If you were a snail, you’d have tracks all over the house within just an hours time. You’re into everything and get anywhere in seconds flat. We had a gate up on the stairs but Hooper knocked it down and it has yet to go back up. You love opening the cabinet doors in the kitchen and thrashing around. It’s only a matter of time before you break something and by something I mean everything.

You are starting to follow commands. You know how to kiss but are rather stingy with giving them out. You’ve waved a few times.

Early in your 8th month you started standing unassisted. It started with just a couple of seconds and quickly matured into a good solid stand. Your balance has improved over the month and on the eve of your 9th month you took 5 steps. There were a lot of breaks in-between (balance-step-balance-step) and you have yet to repeat this feat. Crawling is still your chosen mode of transportation. You furniture walk and can transfer between pieces of furniture with ease.

san-clemente-family-photographer-3314Favorites: You love balloons. There is a golf ball that you like to throw and then crawl after and then throw again. Otherwise it’s the same ol’ story: phones, remote controls, and all the other stuff we value and don’t want in your mouth. And mama. You love me and if I’m in the room there’s no one you’d rather be with.

Sonny @ 8 Months

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Growth & Appearance: We went to your 6 week checkup with the helmet in hopes we’d be told that you no longer need it but loandbehold we’ve been told another 4 weeks, at least. You’re cute as can be but we’re tired of not seeing your whole face and the head butts are starting to hurt and your head is super smelly and the way it presses into my collar bone when you want to cuddle kinda hurts. That said, we hope you enjoy your round head for the rest of your days.

You have a good head of hair, more hair than I recall either of your brothers having. It’s a light brown. Your eyes are hazel, I think.

You’re in size 3 diapers and size 6-12m clothing.

No teeth.

san-clemente-family-photographer-1026Sleeping: I had all the intentions of moving you into your brothers’ room this month and then daylight savings hit and threw a wrench in that plan. Whereas before you were sleeping until after 7am, now you are awake and ready to go around 5am or 6am. This is changing now that we’re adjusting but those first few days, where you were ready for your morning nap at the hour I was ready to actually get out of bed, were hard. And long. Hoping we can get back on track and make the move this month.

You’re now taking two naps a day; one in the morning, around 10:30am for 2-3 hours, and another in the afternoon, around 4pm for 1-2 hours. Though I should note that the second nap is hit or miss.

We packed away the wombie after I found you in your playpen sitting straight up like a little caterpillar. It was time. And you adjusted just fine.

Breastfeeding still puts you to sleep at night but you’d go down easily either way these days. You’re awake after the feed before your morning nap, usually, and you don’t fuss at all when I put you down. san-clemente-family-photographer-1034
Eating: You love solids and tend to favor vegetables over fruits. Some of your favorite foods include: squash, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, asparagus, banana, avocado. Things that I thought you would love that you’re just not into at all: strawberries – or any berries for that matter – and apples. You spit them out. We also give you a small amount of cereal and / or oatmeal. You’re now eating three meals a day and when appropriate, you eat what we eat. You love chicken and fish and show interest, in the form of wildly flapping your hands and rocking back and forth as if you were a cowboy on a wild horse, in just about everything we eat.

You breastfeed at least 7 times a day.san-clemente-family-photographer-1023
Development: You pull to stand on everything and have started taking a few steps (while still holding onto something) or at least figuring out that you can move your feet while in the standing position. You crawl everywhere and require attention one hundred percent of the time because of how mobile you are.

In the hours you’re awake, you’re constantly on the move. It’s no wonder you’ve worked your way up to two naps a day; you’re non-stop.

You have yet to figure out the single step that separates the kitchen and family room. It’s gotten the best of you twice now and the other day I saw you sitting there contemplating giving it another try. You must have retracted your extended arm at least 5 times before crawling away.

We have a little area crated off for you that we use when we have to put you down or can’t keep an eye on you. You don’t particularly like it and are definitely aware that we’re passing you off. You seem to entertain yourself better so long as I’m not in sight but as soon as you see me walk past you, you lose your mind.

You love to cuddle and tend to morph into whoever is holding you.

You suck the thumb on your left hand.

You say ‘Ma-ma’ but not with any meaning attached. You’re very vocal and make a lot of noises and squeal excitedly when you’re excited.

At the very end of the month you discovered the stairs. You’ve climbed up the first step or so. Our neighbors gave us their baby gate and it’s time we start using it.san-clemente-family-photographer-1042

Favorites: The remote controls. Our electrical toothbrushes. Jimmie’s bones. And, of course, mama.

Sonny @ 7 Months

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Growth & Appearance: You have a full head of hair that’s somewhere between blond and brown. You have way more hair than I remember either of your brothers having. Your eyes are no longer blue but aren’t quite brown either.

You’re long and despite ‘falling’ in the weight percentile, you have plenty to pinch.

You’re rockin’ the helmet and we’re noticing improvement. You don’t mind your helmet one bit and you wear it 23 hours per day. It’s made for some interesting hair-dos as your hair has learned to grow up and over it, making for an ocean wave appearance when we take the helmet off.

You’re in size 3 diapers.san-clemente-family-photographer-8676

Sleeping: We still put you in the wombie overnight but you’re outgrowing it in the developmental sense; meaning you’re squirming around enough that the thing ends up backwards on you by the time the sun is up. You’re also able to roll onto your belly and I think it’s time to give you the freedom to move about freely.

You sleep through the night most every night, with the middle-of-night wakings being a once a week or so occurrence. On average you go to sleep around 8:30pm, I wake you before I go to bed around 10pm to top you off, and you wake up around 7am. You nap around 10:30 for 2 hours or so. You tend to nod off in the late afternoon but never for very long and sometimes just during your feeding at that time; it’s far from an official ‘afternoon nap’.

You’re still in a crib in our room but now that you’re more consistently sleeping through the night, I think we’ll put you in the boys room soon enough.san-clemente-family-photographer-8233
Eating: You’re blowin’ and goin’ on solids. You have yet to find a food you haven’t devoured. You’ve had carrots, zucchini, broccoli, peas, banana, avocado, yogurt, pear, sweet potato, chicken, corn.

You love food. We often get distracted while feeding you because of everything and everyone else that needs our attention, causing you to flail about and whine until we pick up the loaded spoon and deliver the tasty morsels into your mouth. It’s a joy to feed you based solely on the fact of how happy it makes you.

We feed you with a spoon but let you practice your pincer grasp on your own, which you haven’t quite mastered. When you make a total mess of yourself, I bring you and the highchair outside and literally hose you both down.

We feed you solids twice a day, once after your second morning feed and again at dinner, when we’re all eating together.

You still breastfeed every few hours for an average, I’d guess, of 8 feedings per day.san-clemente-family-photographer-8690

Development: Within a weeks time you pushed from belly to a sitting position, then were able to scoot back but not forward, and then – just like that – you were crawling. The day after you started crawling you pulled yourself up in your crib. You crawl with ease now and have pulled to stand on a few different things.

You laugh a lot and are easily entertained.

You tend to reach for things with your four fingers and pressed together and your thumb tucked in, as if making a tight number four. Occasionally your pointer finger will bend in and it looks like you’re making an alligator shadow puppet.

You’re happy going from person to person but can’t stand watching me repeatedly come and go into a room and will ultimately cry for me. You also do the craziest squeal when you see me come home from work or from running errands.

You open and close your fingers into and out of a fist when you’re excited; it’s like you’re trying to catch excitement but haven’t quite realized that feelings aren’t tangible.

We use the playpen, which we didn’t use for either of your brothers other than for sleeping accommodations when traveling. That’s because there are so many legos and small toys everywhere and keeping you safe is nearly impossible. And so, we box you in. You don’t mind it. In fact, in the late afternoon you’ll lay down in there for a cat nap and it’s always nice to see you drift off to another land in a well lit room, with all the chaos surrounding you.san-clemente-family-photographer-8227
Favorites: With crawling, you are now able to reach beyond what we simply set in front of you. That said, you have a new found affinity for Jimmie’s dog bones and gross, dirt stained, stuffed toys.

Sonny @ 6 months

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Growth & Appearance: Your hair is still lingering in the light brown stage and I’m beginning to wonder if you’ll be blond like your brothers or not. Your hair on the back part of the top of your head stands up like a rooster. You eyes are still are dark blue but they’re so dark blue that I think the majority would mistaken them for brown and I’m fairly certain they’ll be brown soon.

You’re in size 2 diapers because we still have size 2 diapers but the story remains the same; you should have been in size 3 some time ago.

You’re 28 inches long, which the doc said is the average size of a child nearly double your age (you’re over the 97th percentile) and are 18.2 lbs (55th percentile). You are the same exact size as Van at the same age and the same size as Hooper was at 9 months old.

No teeth yet.san-clemente-family-photographer-6948
Sleeping: Some nights you sleep all the way through and others you wake up just before the sun comes up, feed, and go back to sleep.

You typically go down for a nap around 10 or 11 in the morning so long as we’re home, otherwise you nap on the go but don’t get the same nice, long stretch that you get at home. You sleep anywhere from 1 to 3 hours at this time.

You tend to dose off later in the afternoon while feeding but wake up when I detach your body from mine and we keep you up until 8 or 9, when you hit the proverbial wall and either serenade us with your screams or dose off to sleep on your own. I wake you when I’m ready for bed for one last feeding and then you’re down for the night.

You still sleep in your wombie; that thing is worth it’s weight in gold. Once you start sitting, we’ll stop using it and allow you the freedom to sleep with your little butt up in the air.

You’re in a crib that’s currently in our room because you don’t have a designated space yet. I think we’ll keep you there until you’re sleeping more consistently through the night and then move you into the room with your brothers.san-clemente-family-photographer-6970

Eating: We’ll be introducing solids this month. We gave you a small taste of guacamole at dinner the other night and it proved promising. On the day you turned six months, we gave you avocado. You spit most of it out but chowed down on it the following night.

You breastfeed often; somewhere in the ballpark of 9 times per day.san-clemente-family-photographer-6956
Development: It’s like all the sudden you’ve woken up and crossed whatever barrier stands between newborn and baby. You’re well aware of your environment; you see things that you want and it’s as if you will them to move to your direction. You know when I leave a room and oftentimes it makes you cry.

That said, you require much more attention these days. You don’t like to be left in a room alone. You’re happiest being held.

You put everything in your mouth. You still enjoy sucking on your toes but your thumb is still your consistent go-to.

You love being on your tummy; so-much-so that you don’t appear to have any interest in sitting. When we try to sit you up, you topple over pretty quickly.

You’re perfectly content on the floor with some toys and can scoot yourself, via rolling, toward whatever direction you’re trying to go.
You only seem to poop every 8 days or so. And most every time it’s a complete and utter blowout.san-clemente-family-photographer-6950

Favorites: You love my iPhone, the keys, and – well – your mama.

Sonny @ 5 Months

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Growth & Appearance: Your hair is still getting lighter and your eyes, darker. You’re following the same track as your brothers.

You’ll be fitted for a helmet sometime this month to correct the flat spot on the side of your head that resulted from those early days of preferring to sleep with your head only turned to your left. We’re told you’ll have to wear it for 7-10 weeks and we’re all prepared to poke a little fun and move on.

You love to spit and eat your clothes. If you have clothes on, they are soaked after just a few minutes.

I think you caught a slight cold from Van and have been doing this scrunch face and overly exaggerated breath through your nose in an effort, it seems, to get a booger out.

You belong in size 3 diapers but so-the-story-goes I just opened the box of size 2. I’ve been peed on a few times trying desperately to get the size 2 to work. We’ll end up donating them, just as we did the size 1 that we tried to fit you into longer than we should have.

You’re in size 6-12 onesies though really we rarely put you in anything other than a diaper. Overalls, though, are you’re favorite as you like to get the metal latching in your mouth whichever way you can. San Clemente Family Photographer-5641

Sleeping: I’ve finally moved back into my own bed. You sleep next to the bed, in a pack-n-play until we move (if we ever move) and then you will go in your crib. You don’t seem to even notice a change, which is how we expected it to go given your easy going nature.

Since making the transition out of bed and into the pack-n-play, you are now sleeping to the other side of me and, just like that, you now only sleep with your head to the right. Always in the direction of your food, I suppose. In any event, it’s helped significantly with the flat spot on your head, though the flat spot is still there.

We still straight jacket you in your wombie but have added something that prevents you from rolling onto your belly because it’s near impossible to put you down on your back without you rolling onto your belly these days.

We’re trying to get more consistent about putting you down for a formal nap each day. Come about 2pm you’re usually asleep in the pack-n-play for an hour or two. You nap in the morning on-the-go but never seem to get any significant stretch.

Breastfeeding still puts you to sleep. I feed you before I go to bed, around 10pm, and you’ve been waking up sometime in the 5 o’clock hour for another feeding before going back to sleep again. You’re usually awoken by your brothers who come running into the room just after they wake up. San Clemente Family Photographer-5647

Eating: The doc said we can start giving you some rice cereal at your 4 month check up but we have not done so yet. Baby-led weaning really worked well for Van and I think we’re excited to go that route again.

You’ve entered the distracted eating phase and will not latch on until you’ve arched back every which way and fully assessed everything around you.

You love my phone so more-times-than-not I get you to latch by holding my phone to my chest, which grabs your attention and settles you enough to latch while you try to grab the phone.

You take a bottle with ease and can gulp down a number of ounces in under a minute.

If I had to guess, I’d say I feed you about 8 times a day. You’re super efficient at the breast and don’t take more than a few minutes on each side. San Clemente Family Photographer-5714
Development: You’ve found your hands and you love them. We catch you starring at them, mesmerized, often. Your thumb finds your mouth with much improved precision and you suck it often.

You can grab hold of things with better coordination. Where as before you liked to grab hold of a blanket, you’re now able to grab onto things that require more precision, like a  rattle.

You can roll and scoot yourself all over the place and if left unindented for even just a few minutes, it’s surprising to see where / how you end up. The amount of ground you can cover by just wiggling around on your belly is impressive.

You respond quickly to your name.

You grab at everything and suck on anything. You’re entertained by being on the floor with a few toys around you to grab at and suck on. San Clemente Family Photographer-5681

Sonny @ 4 Months

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Growth & Appearance: The left side of you head is still flatter than the right. You prefer turning your head to the left and even if I turn your head to the right, more times than not, two minutes later you’re facing the left again.

Your eyes still appear blue, but a dark blue. Nearly gray. If I had to bet on your eye color at this point in time, I’d guess they’ll ultimately be brown.

Your hair, it seems, is on it’s way to blond. It seems to be closer to Hooper’s in texture; soft and fine as opposed to thick and wiry like Van’s. It has grown significantly in length.

You’re in size 2 diapers and on days that we put you in clothes, you seem to be in the 6 month range. And on the days you’re in clothes you’re usually wet, from all the drool. Lots and lots of drool these days. The amber necklace is worthless, but beautiful, so we keep it.

You weigh 17 lbs, are 28 in long, and have a head circumference of 17.5 inches. You are above the 97th percentile for both height and weight.

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Sleeping: You still sleep next to me, in your wombie. I say it every month and one of these months it will finally take place, but the plan is for you to go to your crib as soon as we move into our new home. Until then, the crib has remained in the garage and you’ve remained next to me. We have no intentions of continuing to co-sleep and I’m eager to get you set up in your own bed.

You tend to fall asleep around 9:30pm. I wake you up before I go to bed (around 10:30), feed you one more time, change you, throw you in your straight jacket, and put you down. Nursing still puts you to sleep but you’re fine with putting yourself to sleep too, it seems. You’ve slept through the night several times, waking up about 6am, sometimes 7am. If you wake at 4 or 5 or 6, you’ll feed and go back to sleep. If you wake at 7, we start our day.

You never cry when you wake up; instead, I’m awoken by you lifting your legs up in the air at a 90 degree angle and then slamming them down on the bed, making a loud thud. The thuds get closer together the longer I ignore you. We refer to this as “the whale flap”; Papa, “did the whale flap wake you up this morning?”, Me, “sure did”.

If you’re not waking me with your whale flap, you’re waking me with your monstrous, man-sized, farts.

You nap throughout the day, with no noted routine. san clemente family photographer-3349
Eating: You nurse every two hours, on average, during the day. You’re much quicker and efficient, taking about 10-15 minutes total during most feeds.

You love to grab at my shirt when you’re feeding and you watch your hand catch my shirt and release with fascination.

I’ve tried pumping after your morning feedings but am getting very little extra now that you’re sleeping through the night and my milk has regulated to such.

You seem to have some awareness of what goes into my mouth and like to watch as I eat. san clemente family photographer-3344
Development: You love sucking your thumb and your toes.

You’ve rolled from your tummy to your back a few times and are able to scoot, without rolling, over enough of the bed that it’s unsafe to leave you unattended. You’ve rolled from your back to your tummy a few times as well, but it’s hardly a regular thing; more of a fluke.

You smile with your whole body and are happy most always.

Everything goes in your mouth. You love to get ahold of your onesie and stick it in your mouth. You also like putting whatever blanket is on you in your mouth. My favorite is when you grab my fingers and direct them to your mouth.

Your hand-eye coordination is still developing but every now and again, by chance, you’ll get a grip on something. Like the other day when I left you on the bed and you caught hold of a candlestick and smacked yourself in the face with it.

Your little legs never stop kicking. Always in motion. san clemente family photographer-3327

Sonny @ 2 months

San Clemente Family Photographer-6679

Growth & Appearance: You seem gigantic to me; I feel robbed of ever knowing what it’s like to hold an actual newborn because you and your brothers all seem to be the size of a one month old at birth.

At your two month appointment, you weighed 14.9lbs (94th percentile) and were 25 1/2 inches long (97th percentile).

You grew out of the 0-3m size within a month or so and are now wearing 3-6 and even some 6-9, which you fill out easily as far as length but with room to grow in terms of width.

All your hair that fell out has grown back in. It seems a little lighter than the hair you were born with but is still definitely brown. Your hair, in general, is still funky. Investing in a bonnet was a good decision. Never mind the fact you’ll kick my ass one day when you stand over 6 ft tall and pull out your baby pictures only to see that your mom had a bonnet on your head. Forgive me.San Clemente Family Photographer-6671
Feeding: I feed you on demand throughout the day. Typically this means every two hours but in the evening, still, you seem to cluster the feedings together a bit more.

I pump every morning, after your initial feeding. I’m ready to donate milk, as we have way more than we’ll ever need, but have not found anyone to give it to yet. In fact, I’ve been putting it your brother’s sippy cups instead. They like it. They also don’t know it’s breastmilk.

We still give you a bottle every now and again to keep up that skill, though Papa struggled this morning so I think we’ll need to increase the frequency of these sessions. San Clemente Family Photographer-6682

 

Sleeping: You’re ready for bed about 9pm but I try to keep you up a bit longer so we’re on the same schedule. We settle on 10pm because you just can’t keep your eyes open any longer.

There have been a few glorious nights where you made it an entire 7 hours, waking around 5am and then falling asleep again until the rest of the house is up just after 7am. On average I’d say you sleep about 4 hours, waking around 2am or 3am, depending on when you go down.

You take about 15 minutes on each side when you feed. At night, I change your diaper in between breasts in an effort to wake you because you usually fall back asleep after taking only one side.

You’re still in your woombie at night though soon enough you’ll be too long for it.San Clemente Family Photographer-6673

 

Development: You smile a lot and have let out a few giggles, too.

You can track me across the room.

You very rarely cry or fuss, will go to anyone, and are perfectly content wherever we put you (even if it’s in a basket while I’m doing the laundry). You’re adaptable and patient.

Sonny @ 1 month

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Growth & Appearance: You were born with brown hair. It’s not as dark as I remember your brothers’ at birth and I anticipate that it will lighten, as theirs did, over the next several months.

I had to trim your nails in the hospital as being ‘overdue’ allowed you to be born with daggers. You scratched yourself often until I was able to give them a proper cut. I’ve had to cut them twice since then.

By your third week of life, you developed a bald spot on your head. Near your cowlick you have a longer patch of hair so you look a bit like this.

Your eyes are a deep ocean blue, which again is reminiscent of your brothers and I imagine they, too, will change with time.

Your fingers, toes, and limbs are all long. Like, really long.

At birth you weighed 10 lbs, 22 inches. At about a week old you were 10.4 lbs and 22 1/2 inches. At your one month appointment (at 5 weeks) you weighed 12.5 lbs and were 24 inches long. Your head circumference is 15.5 inches. sonny05b

 

Eating: I breastfeed you on demand. I’ve been floating through these days too much to take note of any sort of pattern, but there does seem to be some vague sense of one forming.

You like to cluster feed, especially in the evenings and will either flip flop between breasts several times or separate feedings by a mere 30 minutes.

You have a great latch and fortunately the whole breastfeeding gig has been smooth for both of us.

You’ll take a bottle and we’re trying to remember to give you at least an ounce of expressed milk once a week or so to keep up on this skill.

You’ll latch onto anything. A video of you latching onto your Papa’s nose has generated over 81K views on instagram with only a small handful exercising their social media policing powers. Hashtag: eye roll.

If I had to guess, I’d say you nurse a total 8-9 times during the day and 2-4 times during the night. sonny07b
Sleeping: By your second week, you were sleeping in 2 to 3 hour increments, with a rare 4 hour stretch thrown in once, I think. For the first two weeks, feedings took an average of an hour (30 minutes on each side).

By the third week, our nighttime schedule looked like this: go to sleep about 10pm, wake up around 1am, 4am, 7am. I think there was one 5 hour stretch slipped in on one of those nights. Feedings took an average of 15-20 minutes on each side, for a total of 30-40 minutes per feeding.

At one month, you wake, on average, every 3 hours and nurse for a total of 15 minutes or so on each side. Sometimes you’ll fall asleep without taking both sides. Most nights we go to bed around 9 or 10pm and you wake around 1 or 2am, again around 4am, and for the day around 7am.

We’re sleeping together, in the guest bed.

You’ve been sleeping in the woombie, which Hooper refers to as your ‘worm packet’ since week one. You sleep much better in it.

Even when you wake to feed, you don’t cry; instead you let out a few grunts and gently start kicking your feet.

Your farts during the night are enough to make the bed vibrate. sonny20b
Development: You spend much of your day either sleeping or eating.

You prefer turning your head to your left over the right. The doc noted that the left side of your head is slightly flatter.

You’re independent in the sense that you don’t need to be on or around anyone; you’re content to snooze wherever we lay you and in true third child fashion, not much disturbs you. This is in-spite of the fact you’re constantly being kissed by your brothers or licked by Jimmie. I suppose it just comes with the territory and you’ve proven to combat any distractions with some wonderful adaptation techniques.

You don’t mind being on your tummy.

Other than peeing on me during your bath, twice, you have not sprung a leak while having your diaper changed. Considering your brother peed in your Papa’s mouth, we’re all celebrating this small victory.

You’re patient. Again, I chalk this up to being the product of a third born. You rarely cry when you’re hungry or need to be changed, using quite grunts to tell us gently that you’re hungry or uncomfortable.

When you are awake, it’s obvious the wheels are spinning. You lock eyes with us on occasion and study our smiles; I can tell you’re trying to smile back, it just isn’t translating quite yet.

You don’t care who holds you, you’ll cuddle with whoever’s arms you’re in. I’m sure this will change in time, but I remember both of your brothers’ always preferring to be on me, at all times.

You’ll take a pacifier for a short period of time but end up spitting it out. You prefer to suck on a finger instead. And not your own, unless – that is – it happens to land in your mouth. In general, you’re just not that coordinated yet.

sonny08b

All of these lovely images are by my talented friend, Noel, whom I am greatly indebted to. You can check out her site here and follow her gorgeous instagram feed here

Van @ 3 years, 9 months

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Appearance & Growth:

Your hair is turning more brown and is more aptly described as “dirty blond”. I wonder if that will change come summer. Your rat tail is in full effect and is looking rather good; you get compliments on it often. You hate having your hair cut because the little shards of hair make you “itchy”.

You have your Papa’s build, with a good chunk of meat on your thighs that is so grab-able that we end up squeezing a little too hard at times. We refer to you as “munchy” often. You’re dense, with a barrel-like chest.

You’re in size four pants and shirts and share shoes with Hooper despite probably being a size or so smaller.

You insist on wearing your cowboy boots often, a staple in your wardrobe since Halloween. You’re very particular about what you wear and if you deem something as ‘not cool enough’, you refer to it as ‘too funny’ with the same kind of attitude and disgust a teenager would exhibit. You prefer shorts over pants, no matter the weather, mostly because you like utilizing the added pockets n’ loops as sword holders. I pulled out a pair of jeans to put on you the other morning and you told me you were going to call the police and that people were going to laugh at you because ‘power rangers don’t wear jeans’; a defense used often with ‘jeans’ being the fill-in-the-blank for whatever it is you don’t want to wear.

You’re always grubby. You care little about food on your face or stains on your clothes. You do, however, have an annoyingly insistence that your laces not touch the floor; even if your shoe is tied correctly, you want the ends of the laces tucked into the shoe so as to not drag or even hang near the ground.San Clemente Family Photographer-4457 copy

Eating:

It’s a wonder most days how we can refer to you as “munchy” when you seem to hardly eat. You’re at the stage where everything else holds you attention and sitting at the table for even a 10 second period is nothing short of a challenge. You typically eat breakfast well and then it’s all rather downhill from there. You rarely eat dinner. It’s frustrating.

When you don’t want to eat a meal you say you’re ‘full’ but then proceed to ask for something you do want. Usually dessert.

You drink your smoothies well so long as the straw is of your choosing. Ingredients include: OJ, chia seed, flax see, spinach, pineapple, and strawberries and you always come up to the counter and steal a frozen strawberry during the blending process.

Rewards and encouragement do little to get food in your mouth. The tantrums that follow when you don’t get whatever reward offered do not reflect this (you’d think if you cared that much about not getting the reward that the initial offer of a reward would mean something to you, but alas, it does not). And so, eating in general is a bit of a struggle and source of stress.

There was a time when you’d eat, or at least try, just about anything. This is not the case anymore. You refuse things like asparagus and take forever to eat other things, like chicken. Then there’s other times we turn away for what feels like ten seconds only to see an almost clean plate in front of you. Point being, when you want to eat, you can eat fast and when you don’t want to eat, it just sits there.

Favorite foods: bananas, carrots, oatmeal, bread / carbs in general, raspberries.San Clemente Family Photographer-4534
Sleeping:

You nap from about 1:30 to 4pm, which we’re ever-so-grateful for. On average you sleep about 11 consecutive hours, from about 8:30pm to 7:30am.

You sleep with your blanket every night, with a changing conglomeration of stuffed animals, toys, or trinkets surrounding you.

You still sleep in a diaper overnight and have gone through periods of not needing it followed by periods of needing it and so, we keep it on. Each morning you like to prove to us that it’s dry by grabbing our hand and directing our hand to your crotch. It has a very against-my-will feel to it, yet makes me giggle.

You’re scared of the dark and ask often that we keep the bearded dragon’s light on, which we do during your nap but not at night. The night light seems to be enough to ease your fears, in addition to the fact your brother is in bed right next to you.

Your Papa gets you ready for bed and then you get in bed, pull the sheet over your head, and hide from me. Every night. It’s pretty easy to find you considering all the squirming around and squealing that goes on while you’re “hiding” under your sheets.

Each morning you come into our bedroom, bring Papa his watch that he keeps on his nightstand, and climb into bed to cuddle with Papa. Always Papa, never me. Ho hum. San Clemente Family Photographer-4502
Talking:

You ask a thousand questions a day and get upset if your question is not understood or if we write you off and simply say “I don’t know”.

When you can’t hear, you ask, “what’d you said?” and it’s so cute we make you repeat it over and over.

You insist on having someone to keep you company while you take a dump, insisting the entire time that you’re actually not dumping and that it’s – in fact – “just pee”, then this sly little grin spreads across your face when your dump plops into the water.

You whine a lot. 90% of what you say seems to be said in a whine. We’re working on it. San Clemente Family Photographer-4438

Development:

Your head still does this adorable little lazy bob from side to side when you run, which has been a longtime favorite characteristic of yours.

You’re hard headed and stubborn, but at the same time easy and carefree.

We asked you to stop sucking your thumb and, just like that, you did. We catch you every now and again but you seem to quickly realize what you’re doing on your own and stop on your own. It’s bittersweet, but hopefully translates to less colds / germs.

You love to do things by yourself and get quite frustrated when you’re unable to do something you’ve set out to accomplish in the absence of help. You refuse help, most times, and prefer to whine about whatever it is you’re having trouble with instead. It’s a cycle that never leads to a good ending.

You mimic everything Hooper does or says… at times you seem like nothing other than a puppet. Sometimes I wonder who you’d be in the absence of your older brother. Ha. San Clemente Family Photographer-4588
Favorites:

You’re deathly stubborn when it comes to dressing yourself, your favorite shirt being a long sleeve vintage GI Joe shirt I managed to find in a thrift store for you. You care not how hot it is outside and insist on wearing it whenever you see it hanging in your closet.

For months, since October 31st to be exact, you have insisted on wearing your cowboy boots with everything. You’re just now starting to let that phase go. You’ve moved on to rain boots, even though it’s not raining.

You love the Power Rangers and refer to yourself as the red ranger often, declaring red to be your favorite color.

Hooper @ 5 years, 4 months

San Clemente Family Photographer-3291

Appearance & Growth:

You are tall and thin and if I were to continue doing these updates for the remainder of your life, I’m pretty sure I’d just copy and paste that little known fact. In general, you’re whimsy like a bicycle. But strong. You can do push-ups with ease.

Your hair is still blond and when it’s clean, it curls just a bit at the ends. Your hair is currently down to your shoulders, but you don’t like wearing it up in a pony tail.

You’re in size 5T in pants and need a belt with just about every pair you own, with the exception – per usual – of the few vintage pairs you own that seem to have a smaller waist. We forget the belt often and you’re constantly tugging at your pants, pulling them back up. You can wear size 4 or 5 shirts and I think you’re in size 11 or 12 shoes, it’s hard to keep track. You weigh somewhere in the ballpark of 40 pounds, qualifying you for a simple booster seat now in-leiu of the big honky carseat, but you’re still in the big honky carseat for now.

The dentist found two cavities. We’re now flossing and rinsing with fluoride.

 
Eating:

We’ve turned some sort of corner and whatever difficulties we faced in the past have all but disappeared. Sure, it’s rare to get through an entire meal without reminding you, or your brother, to sit back down a thousand times, but all in all, the eating situation is much, much improved.

I make you a smoothie a few mornings a week. You need some motivation to get it all down, but most days you do pretty well. Ingredients include: OJ, chia seed, flax seed, spinach, pineapple, and strawberries.

You do well with rewards for good eating and encouragement.

Foods I never thought you’d eat but you do now: asparagus and green beans.

Favorite foods: Cheeseburgers (all day, everyday), grilled cheese, macaroni, bread / carbs in general, raspberries, american cheese.

You’ve told on yourself several times for “sneaking up on food”, which translates to you raiding the cabinets while we’re upstairs working and usually equates to missing candy corn or a rim of cheese from Doritos around your mouth as leftover evidence.

San Clemente Family Photographer-3294Sleeping:

If we’re in the car for a long period of time, you’ll usually take a nap. But not always. On average you sleep about 11 hours, from about 8:30pm to 7:30am.

Most nights we find you sleeping side by side your brother in his little twin bed. It’s just about the cutest thing we’ve ever seen and it’s becoming the norm.

You still sleep with your blanket every night, with various stuffed animals making their way in rotation and changing their levels of significance. But more nights than not you’re fine without any stuffed animals at all.

We no longer close your door at night and allow you the freedom to get up and take yourself to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It’s been fun to see you gain this independence and you’ve accepted this new freedom well. We’ve added night lights in your room as well as in the bathroom.

San Clemente Family Photographer-3279
Talking:

You asked me the other day if you could marry Jimmie.

You came home from school the other day, told me you kissed a girl in your class twice, and then proceeded to tell me, “Mama, I weally wyke (really like) gurls (girls)”.

You think it’s funny to say “I’m going to throw up”, followed soon after by “just kidding”.

Since our last trip to Arizona, you’ve been saying you want to work with cows when you grow up, like your grandpa Niles.

Not sure where you picked it up, but you’ve started counting to ten in Spanish, only it’s resemblance to actual Spanish is questionable, at best; “Cuatro” sounds more like “colossal”. In any event,  you’re showing interest in learning more and it’s been fun to hear you pick up on a few words: “excellente”, “vamanos”, “perfecto”… You know how to say “my name is Hooper” in Spanish and pick up on others in public speaking in Spanish.

You use the word “dude”. The other day you got upset at me for asking you to clean up and told me, with angst in your voice, “Knock it off, dude”.

There was a period of time where you responded to requests like, “Hooper, can you pick up your toys” with, “Five year olds aren’t good at picking up toys”.

You use the word “yesterday” to refer to anytime in the past… no matter how long ago whatever event you referencing occurred.

San Clemente Family Photographer-3315
Development:

You write with your left hand but are able to use scissors with your right. I keep intending to buy you left handed scissors to give a try but you seem pretty well adapted to the right handed ones. You’re left leg dominant as well and are able to hop better on your left foot than your right. You’ve attended a little golf class with your g’pa Jeffers and the coach there says you’re a right handed golfer.

You won’t let us take the training wheels off your bike. We pick our battles.

Rather suddenly you’re aware that there is some inherent degree of embarrassment associated with being naked and though you still like to strip off all your clothes and surprise everyone with a naked rampage, you also worry about people “laughing at you” and don’t like to step foot out the door in your underwear much anymore. But then, just the other day, you rode your bike in nothing other than your choines without giving it any thought. So you haven’t made the full transition.

You often refuse to blow your nose and are constantly sucking your boogers back up into your nose whenever you have a cold.

You’re really exercising your independence as of late; this includes climbing on top of the counter and fetching your own snack as well as pulling a chair into your closet to reach your shirts so you can fully dress yourself. You brush your teeth on your own but definitely benefit from a little assistance. You wipe your own butt. Things I can’t wait to check off the list: getting your shoes on by yourself and strapping yourself into and out of your carseat on your own.

You can do a poor excuse for a cartwheel, but it resembles a cartwheel none-the-less.

You ask lots of questions, good questions. Like today you inquired, “mama, when the baby cries in the middle of the night is it going to wake me up and aren’t you going to be tired having to get up all the time?”. You ask lots of questions that prove wheels to be spinning and point to good intuition. You’ve asked more than once how Papa “put his seed in me”.

You love school and have lots of friends. Your teacher describes you as impulsive as well as the class “reporter” (apparently you tell on people a lot). I describe her as a saint for putting up with the 20+ boys in your class.

San Clemente Family Photographer-3277
Favorites:

Legos are your latest obsession. The swords and guns have been put away in the closet and we are now dealing with stepping on little itty bitty pieces of legos all day long.

You have a fascination with Star Wars despite never seeing the actual show / movie. It’s amazing what marketing and influence from friends at school can do…

Jimmie, hands down, is high on your list of favorites. You play with him all the time, love to cuddle him and give him treats, and point out how cute he is constantly. You really enjoy his presence and company.

You love doing what you refer to as your “science experiments” which really just involves filling test tubes with whatever you can find: soda, juice, or my favorite from this morning, granola.

Hooper @ 4 years, 8 months

hooper-4-years
You insist on sleeping in your underwear. Anytime we’d put you in actual pajamas, you’d wake up in the morning with them on the floor. It’s made getting ready for bed that much easier, so cheers to that.
You’re more rambunctious than ever. Sometime within the past few months the top of the energy jar just flew right off. You’re like a bull in a china shop these days. The thought of getting anything done in the hours that you’re awake has become a joke.
With that said, you’re no longer napping. I wrote about it here. We’re still adjusting…
You started at a new school. When asked about your day, you said, “Felix (your best bud from your old school) wasn’t there, but I didn’t cry”. You seemed to enjoy yourself and participated right along with everyone else.
Disciplining you has been a challenge. Most of the usual techniques have zero impact on you, some you even find humorous. It can really make my blood boil. The other day you spit in my face. Another time you threw a rock at me that landed right on my jaw bone. We’re still figuring out this parenting thing… Times like this make it very trying.
When writing your name, you almost always leave out the ‘e’ and the ‘r’, so it just reads “Hoop”.
Even with that, you’re equal parts sweet and sour. You still love to cuddle and if there were cuddling competitions, you’d certainly have a shot at winning. You can curl your body into the smallest, most fetal position while on my lap. You caress my arm often and tell me you love me numerous times throughout the day.
You can take your clothes off but haven’t figured out to put them on. You’re like a slutty teenager.
You write mostly with your left hand and strum the guitar with your left hand, too.
All things associated with your butt are humorous. You think it’s funny to back up into us with your pants pulled down just enough so we can see your crack. You also like taking off all your clothes and referring to yourself as a “poo butt”.
You tell lots of stories and have a great imagination and a noteworthy memory. You were able to direct the babysitter all the way to Nina’s house.
Books about reptiles, dinosaurs, or sea creatures hold your attention most these days. You’re not particularly into sports, but you like climbing and digging and building.
You go to bed around 8:30pm and wake up anywhere between 7:15 and 8:30am.
You have a natural six pack and can do push-ups with impressive technique. The other day I punished you by making you do 10 push-ups. It felt good.
You’ve switched from hating swim lessons to loving swim lessons. Probably because you now know how to swim, though I’m not sure you’re entirely pool safe yet. And some days you get asked to leave class for not listening.
American cheese is your jam. You ask for the individually wrapped kraft squares constantly. You pronounce it “‘merikan”. It goes without saying that a grilled cheese sandwich is the one thing I can serve you and not have to hound you to sit down and finish your food.
Other things I love that you say: Popsicle is “pa-sickle” and lobster is “womp-ster”.
You’re in size 4T clothes but can still fit into size 2T underwear.