Alright, here's an update on each one of us:
Well, his big thing this month was that he broke his arm. Pretty awesome. He was downstairs and I was upstairs with Harper. He stepped on a toy, rolled his ankle, fell, and landed on his arm. Very glamorous. He ended up with a half cast (it only covers the bottom part of his arm) from a few inches below his shoulder to a few inches before his wrist on his left arm. It's been pretty painful but luckily was not a bad break. It's already starting to get a lot better (November 7th) and the doc expected him to be pretty much fully functional (though not ready to play sports or anything) by Thanksgiving. He has figured out how to do a lot of things one handed and is still trying to help out as much as possible.
My current obsession is trying to figure out how to best use my time. This has been complicated by the fact that Tom broke his arm and can no longer help out with many of the things he used to help out with. This includes things like dishes (I hadn't done dishes in a year), picking up the baby, putting clothes on the kids, diapering the kids, etc. etc. And, at least at the beginning, I had to spend extra time helping him do things that I never had to help him with before, like getting dressed and putting on his sling. While this has definitely been hard for me and I have no always looked at it positively, I truly feel like this has been a blessing in disguise. I feel like there's no better way to get a handle on using my time well than having to do even more than I usually have to. It's like an athlete training in a higher altitude location. Make sense? Basically, I feel like if I can get a handle on budgeting my time with the added strain of Tom's broken arm then I'll have an even better handle on it once his arm heals. So far, I'm still not there yet, but I'm hopeful that I'm making progress. Part of me worries that I'll never make progress though and that I'll just live out my life constantly stressed about how impossible it is to manage my time well enough. I'll let you know if I succeed.
Well, the kid is cute. No really, he (like his sister) is just about the cutest baby I've ever seen. It's intense. I can't stop kissing him. That said, he is getting to be a little harder. He's at the point where he is not usually happy, while awake, unless I am actively entertaining him and preferably holding him. I always envy those moms with the babies who are content to entertain themselves because mine are sooooo the opposite. He can now play with toys somewhat, but doesn't care much about them and almost gets mad when I give him toys because he knows it means I'm going to try to stop paying attention to him. Harper has never liked toys much either and I've always wondered if it was due to her farsightedness (aka, she couldn't see the toys very well before glasses), so now I'm starting to wonder if he'll need glasses too. He has about a 1 in 5 chance of having the same issue as Harp. He has his first ophthalmologist appointment in January, so we'll find out then.
The other frustrating similarity between the both of them as babies is that they both took (are taking) a long time with their gross motor skills. Harper NEVER rolled, never did a normal crawl and only started doing her weird Quasimodo crawl around 9 months. That's pretty unusual. Now, Emerson is 5 months old (writing this on Nov. 7th) and he's not rolling either (Harper at least rolled once or twice each way by 4 months. She just never did it again after that.). Neither one liked tummy time and neither one ever (so far) reached the point where they would hold themselves up with their arms outstretched, palms to the ground (like a pushup, but with their belly still down). This is frustrating for a couple of reasons. 1.) Those motor skills are exciting to me! I want to see them do it! 2.) I no longer worry about Harp, but for a long time I worried that something was wrong because she was not reaching those milestones. Now I feel the same with Emerson. Until he is sitting, crawling and walking, I feel like I need to worry. 3.) I have found that the older a baby gets without being able to sit, crawl, roll or walk (to be clear, I'm obviously not worried that he isn't walking yet!!) the more bored and needy he gets. Once Harper learned to sit she was happier for a little while. Same with walking. I feel the same would have been true with rolling and crawling and learning to be happy on her tummy. Anyway, I just want to have a kid who does these normal things!!!
Another frustrating thing with him right now is that he's still not gaining weight well. When he was born, he weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz., which was somewhere in the 70-something percentile. Each time I have had him weighed (probably like 8 times) he has dropped down several percentile points. At his 4 month checkup (October 4th) he was at the 17th percentile. I had him weighed again yesterday (Nov. 6th) and he is down to the 9th percentile. I can't for the life of me figure out why he isn't gaining weight better and the doctor is not giving the issue as much attention as I feel he should. Every time he gets weighed he says, "I'm almost at the point of being worried. Let's see how much he weighs next time." Then he says the same thing the next time! He's said it every visit I think. I mean, my family tends to have small skinny babies, but my mom pulled out her records the other day and he's still gaining significantly less per month than me or any of my siblings did as babies (and definitely less than the Armstrong's babies). Like the motor skills issue, I just want to make sure nothing is wrong! As a result, I have made an appointment with a different pediatrician for his 6 month checkup. Hopefully the new one with pay some attention to it (provided he doesn't miraculously start gaining).
Finally, to end up Emerson, one great thing that has developed this month is that he's starting to wake up just once at night. This has only happened in the last week or so, so I'm still not sure the trend will last, but he was waking up 2 or 3 times/night and now it's down to just once (usually). He's waking up a little earlier in the morning, but that trend was starting before he started waking up less, so I still feel like he's doing better at night, overall. Yay!
To start off with, some funny/smart things that she has started saying/doing:
- "Oh shoot!" when she drops something.
- Awesome, delicious, anyways
- One time I was distracted and said something like, "Is that yogurt yummy?" when she was eating cottage cheese. She corrected me and said, "you mean, is that COTTAGE CHEESE yummy?"
- She likes to play with the fabrics I use for sewing. One day she had me wrap one with a space theme around her like a cape and she was running around saying, "I'm going on a journey to outer space!" Then she changed the scenario and said, "I'm a dinosaur! This is my tail!"
- She watches a British kids show called, "Charlie and Lola" (It's really cute. I recommend it.) and she picked up a British way of saying things. Not an accent, per say, but the cadence of her speech and where she would put stress on words was totally British. Really cute.
- One day we walked outside and it was raining, which I mentioned. She said, "I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain." (That's a church primary song that I didn't even teach her.)
- For quite a while now (months), when she is eating, she would say something that sounded like, "wah-day." I'd repeat it back, in question form, and she'd just start laughing. Anyway, finally, she did the same thing, but then said, "wah-day we'll be free!" and I realized she was saying, "one day" from the song, "One Day," by Matisyahu! Haha. Now she requests the, "One Day" song all the time and loves to dance to it.
- Another day, I was doing preschool with her and the letter/number of the day was, "C." It was our first day doing, "C" and I had barely started telling her about it. Whenever I introduce a letter with her I use a chant I used to use to teach English. It goes letter name x 2, letter sound x 3, this is a (word that starts with letter). For instance, C, C, kuh kuh kuh, this is a car. I had only done it twice (two different word examples) and started doing it a third time but couldn't think of a word right away so I said, C, C, kuh, kuh, kuh, this is a....(and paused while I thought of another word). Before I could come up with another one, though, she yelled, "castle!!!" I was pretty impressed. She really does get it! I've known adults who couldn't pick it up as quickly as that.
- Another day, she climbed onto our bed with Tom and grabbed my scriptures. Tom said, "careful, those are Mommy's scriptures." She said, "I just want to read them. They're about Jesus and they make you feel better." Where did she learn that? Nursery (church class for toddlers)? I didn't tell her.
- She watched, "Doc McStuffins" sometimes and has started doing checkups on E. She'll grab some random object (not necessarily from her actual doctor kit), gently (usually)hit it against some part of his body, then say, "I do a checkup. He's ok!" or "He's sick!"
- Honestly, she says and does super adorable things many times/day and these are just a few of them.
The last things about Harp this month is that she finally had her follow-up appointment for her surgery (Nov. 5th actually) and it looks like it was a success! The doc said her eyes look completely straight and that she shouldn't need to do anything from now on except wear glasses. Yay!
The picture part:
One day Tom and I went on a date. We left the kids with my grandpa's estranged twin brother's grand-daughter, who I met randomly and have become friends with. We were originally planning on going in to the temple, but I wasn't sure how the kids would be (and you can't use your phone in the temple), so we decided to just walk around the ground of the temple instead. We had a lot to discuss, including a offer for Tom to take a different job, with Goldman, in NY. So, we just walked around and talked and it was really good. We felt like we came to a really good place. One of the best parts was that we found this neat little nook, by the temple that was perfect for pondering and talking. It's in the video below:
|They're having a tea party.|
|Her cousin Ellie had this sweatshirt and Harp desperately coveted it. Ellie let her wear it and she was so happy. Naturally, she threw a huge fit when Ellie had to go home and therefore she had to give it back.|
|She's shaving her chin with the pears (apples?).|
|Harp got a little mini-sickness the day after Tom broke his arm. She was super pathetic and fell asleep on Tom (who also fell asleep) while she and Ellie were watching a show in our apartment.|
That same night was a pretty rough night. Tom couldn't sleep because of his arm, Harp kept waking up screaming because of being sick and E. just felt like hanging out in the middle of the night (which is highly unusual for him. Usually he just goes right back to sleep after being fed.). I think he was teething because he was moaning a lot. Here are some videos of him being cute (despite the inconvenience) in the middle of the night:
We went to a local farm/pumpkin patch with some of our friends:
One of E.'s favorite spots/toys:
My grandma gave Harp $2 for her birthday. So, I took her to the $ store and told her she could buy 2 things. Naturally she bought a box of candy and a box of fruit snacks ("gummies"). She was pretty ecstatic about it all.
|Wearing some new gloves that look like kittens. She's always putting socks on her hands and saying, "you lost your mittens! You silly kittens! You shall have no pie!"|
|E. enjoying all the attention he gets at church.|
|He is SUCH a snuggler. I LOVE it.|
|We made this bracelet for preschool.|
|Harper and Ellie in their "flyboat." (from, "Wonderpets")|
|Tom was reading this and Harp looked at it and said, "That's Dave! (friend of ours) He has boobs!"|
Our stake had a trunk or treat and I got the kids alllll ready for it, only to drive over to the church and find out I had the wrong day. I told Harp we were going to trick-or-treat and get candy at the church, so when we got there she was like, "We're at the church!" Then I decided to check out a different building, just in case, and when we got there she was like, "yay! We're here!" She was breakin' my heart. Luckily, I decided to just take them to City Creek, get her a treat and let her play. She was none the wiser.
|So, can you see why I thought it was on the 15th instead of the 30th?|
As a result, we ended up finding a cool specialty candy/soda shop and here's what we got:
|Cute necklace, which she loves, from our friend Jill.|
One day, we were on the hunt for a fun family activity and decided to go to a place called, Jungle Jim's. It has arcade games, a few kiddie rides, some bounce houses and a little toddler area. Harp LOVED it. I was pretty impressed that she wasn't scared of any of the rides because she used to be a little thrown off by even the simplest of kiddie rides.
On my phone, this video is in slo-mo and it is soooo cute:
|A friend handed her thing bouncy ball, on a whim, and she carried it around like it was her greatest treasure for like 3 days.|
|Harp decided to be nice and give E her firetruck. Can you see the red mark on his forehead where she gave it to him?|
|Was adventurous and took both kids to the pool one day. It was great! Not nearly as hard as I'd feared and I felt like both kids enjoyed themselves.|
Went back to the farm / pumpkin patch mentioned earlier and this time she REALLY loved it. It was a particularly nice outing.
With her "lollipop pumpkin" of course:
There was a market there which was actually pretty good. Harp picked out this apple for herself and a piece of taffy:
|I picked out this gigantic pepper. I don't know if you can tell, but it was monstrous.|
|He woke up early and was just smiling at me the whole time while I talked to a friend on the phone.|
|Watching our morning show together.|
|Went to a pastry shop downtown one day. (Eva's)|
|Harp the giant.|
|Cute Halloween outfit.|
|The way he looks at me the entire time, any time he's in a carrier. So endearing.|
Sitting practice. So cute!:
Went to Jungle Jim's again, with a friend. This time I decided to let Harper try the one ride I thought was too intense for her last time. It's a fast train that just goes around in a circle over and over. It's really fairly intense. She LOVED it! I was pretty impressed. She kept saying, "I like that!" We went on it like 5 times. Poor E. He was strapped to me in a carrier and had been sleeping when we first got on.
|She wanted to play with the toy that goes on E's carseat.|
|"I'm going on a journey to outer space!"|
We went to Cornbelly's a few days before Halloween and I found myself wishing we'd gotten a season pass. It was a dream come true for Harper! We didn't even have time to do all the things she would have enjoyed and the ones we did do were SUCH a hit. The biggest hit was this area where they had all these princess dresses and a stage with Disney music where the kids could dance. She found a pink dress (of course) and was SO happy dancing on the stage. She danced for like 30 minutes and was basically giddy the whole time.
Another favorite was the giant corn pit. It's huge and full of corn and fun toys to use to play with the corn. She was so focused (a rarity for her).
|Made a spider and web at the library.|
Tom's work has a yearly Halloween tradition of letting the employee's kids come trick-or-treating to all the desks. That day was actually really busy. In the morning one friend wanted to hang out. Then, another from out of town said she was in town and wanted to hang out, so I cancelled with the other friend. Then another friend wanted to hang out and I had to say no. Right after naps we went to the work party, then we started heading home to try to catch a visit with my grandma, who was in town, only to turn around when we decided to hang out the next day. Then we headed to the actual trunk-or-treat (see earlier). After that, we headed home to catch the end of a family Halloween party. It was intense. Also, I forgot Harp's glasses at home, so she was blind the whole evening. She didn't care!
She was SO cute while trick-or-treating and had a fabulous time:
All the cousins at the family party:
|This pic cracks me up. Poor E.|
Halloween night we decided to drive back up to our old neighborhood in Salt Lake. For one thing, Harp had some friends who were also trick or treating on the same street. Plus, we'd heard that the street got particularly into trick-or-treating. Finally, that area is just more Halloween-y. It's old houses with lots of big, mature trees with pretty leaves, ya know? It was totally the right decision. It was so fun!
Here she is pre-trick-or-treating:
|They turn all the lightposts on the street into ghosts.|
|Awesome toddler costume. Her shirt says Run DMC and she has a little boombox over her shoulder. Don't worry, I asked permission to take this pic.|
Harp could not have enjoyed herself more. She just wanted to keep going and going. We went from 6-7:30 and she was still running from house to house for more. She kept saying, "I'm running away!" and everyone around was just laughing and laughing. She also kept yelling, "Happy Halloween!!!" to everyone in the happiest way you can imagine.
Here's a couple videos of her trick or treating. One toward the beginning and one toward the end:
It really was a great evening. And that's October!