Monday, August 20, 2012


We had our 9 month well-baby visit today (they're 10 months, I know- scheduling problems). I was so excited, honestly. Having actual "well-babies" at our well-baby visit, what a novelty! We actually got to go through the "Well Kids" side instead of the "Sick Kids" side of the office.

I ended up walking out of that office with my husband and our two adorable babies with tissues shoved into both of my pockets, swollen eyes, and an overwhelming sense of "why?".

Have you ever had those moments? Those "why?" moments. Where you just have to stop to wonder what the meaning is in all of it? It usually comes after a good long thought session on what the future looks like, what the past has felt like, and where we really are right now.

The well-baby visit didn't do much other than point out and highlight our little man's shortcomings. I absolutely adore our pediatrician, but she hasn't been living this with us, every day, watching it unfold in all of its rollercoaster-like glory. She hasn't felt each and every slope and then ridden every single peak for all its worth. She wasn't there for the neurology appointment and then the second opinion. So she asked all of the questions and we answered like we had to- honest and somber. Knowing that what she was noting in her file wasn't a positive dictation. Caleb isn't where he needs to be. He's behind, he's 'at risk', he's losing some ground.

The flip side to that, and the hardest part, was knowing that we weren't there to get any answers. We've already gotten all of the answers we're going to get right now, and for the near future. There were no magic tricks or perfect solutions. There would be no quick fixes or things to try.

He's not broken. He can't be "fixed".

But I know that he's also not where he "should be", riding that average like the rest of them. And there's nothing to do but give him the tools to use to live this glorious life to its fullest. Whatever that is for him.

And then the "why?". I have dreams for my children. They started to grow before these little ones were even conceived, back when our original dream was to beat infertility, be a part of those few lucky ones. They blossomed as the babies took their place in this world and continued to build as they grew and took on such beautiful personalities to fit my magnificent dreams. And what if our dreams don't fit reality? What if my dreams have to change?

This is life.  It's ever evolving. It's shaping every day, dynamic and flowing. But I can't shake the "why?". No matter how logical I am about what's behind us and what lies before us, that pesky question keeps popping up.

I'm a woman of faith. I know the true answer to that question. In my heart of hearts, I know. But sometimes I just don't want the answer. I just want to question. Scream it out into the ether. Listen to the silence. Know that there aren't always quick answers. That sometimes it's just life. Messy. Painful. "Wrong"...or 'right'.

He's such a good kid. He deserves so much more than I've given him. He's too full of hope to have a Mommy who lacks the strength to dream right now. It's not fair for him.

Hearing those words "in utero trauma".  How can I possibly shake that? How can I unhear those words? Will I ever be able to get past the thought? The what if. The why.    The guilt.

I write all of this knowing that this space is shared with so many who are experiencing far more difficult journeys.  Who's original dream has yet to become reality. Who's growing dreams were shattered to pieces.  It's hard for me to come here and lay down my own stories knowing that they don't touch the heartbreak that so many of you are living with.  And yet, I'm here knowing that this space is home- a place where I belong, surrounded by those of you who know pain and who know victory unlike many others.  So I lay down my worries; my fears.  I need your help to hold me up, yet again. 

I want so much more for my son than they're saying he will ever have.  He deserves so much more than this. I can never let him know that I feel this way.  He's perfect, just as he is.  And yet. 


Caleb had a seizure two months ago.  His brain MRI showed low white matter volume.  Fluid around his brain. A thin corpus callosum. At risk for cererbral palsy. Hypoplasia of the Corpus Callosum. Benign hydrocephalus.  It's just...a lot.

I guess I just needed to write it down.  I needed you to know.  I'll be back in a couple of days to write our ten month update. To focus on the amazing lives of my children- all of their development, their personality, their skills.  To highlight the wonder that this life brings and the unimaginable joy that I get from staring into their curious eyes.  To capture this fleeting moment with them, the good and the bad.  To remember.  I'll be back in a couple of days to forget.  But right now, I needed to write to you. I needed your support. 

Thank you for holding me when I'm too weak to stand alone. This is not the first time that I've turned to you for support, and it won't be the last.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nine Months!

What a whirlwind of a month! To say that you've both really taken off this month would be quite the understatement.  But I guess I say that every month, don't I?

This was 7 months old...but I had to add it today! :)

We've have our ups and downs in your ninth month, little ones.  But those ups were so amazing and there's plenty more to come! I'm having the time of my life watching you each become your own little people, your own personalities. You are, without a doubt, very unique individuals.  You've proven that even more this month, my beautiful luckies.  We've got the best of both worlds going on over  here! I'm a lucky, lucky mama!

Little Grace Face, my boo beary muffin! I almost don't want to write down all of the amazing milestones you've hit this month because it makes it all real.  While I love watching you grow and learn, it's bittersweet to see you leaving your babyhood behind so quickly and entering your toddler years before I'm ready.  We still have a little time to go, a little room to call you my baby girl.  But those days are quickly fading as I watch you take your first cruising steps and even stand all by yourself.  This, my love, this is the definition of bittersweet.

I am amazed by you, little lady.  Not only are you well ahead of the curve on your motor skills, but you're also quite the talker and getting more and more social every day.  You took your first crawling "steps" less than a month ago and yet today, you actually stood for the first time without holding onto anything.  It was only for a few seconds, and you promptly fell right onto your tushy and crawled along your merry way, but it was a big sign of what's to come.  And it's coming at full speed!

You started crawling with trepedation.  You slowly took those "steps", wobbling quite a bit and unsure of where to place your knees or which leg should move next.  Within days you were gaining confidence and crawling from one side of your play area to the other without much thought.  Just a couple of days ago, you crawled all the way from the far side of your daycare room straight to the door in no time when you saw Daddy and I had arrived to pick you up. It was the very best way to end my work day, little face!

You started pulling up on your "baby jail" gate after about a week of confident crawling.  As long as you had something to really grip onto, you could pull yourself into a stand and then sit yourself back down.

We had a staycation with the entire family a couple of weeks ago and you spent some good time working on crawling to the couch and trying to pull yourself up (the carpet was a big help in that hotel don't love crawling on our tile floor- sorry baby!).  By the end of the weekend you had figured it out and now there's no stopping you, you'll pull up on anything.  You've become more and more confident in moving your feet in a walking motion now, so if I hold your hands you will "walk" with me across the room.  You'll cruise around toys once you pull up and definitely on the furniture if we let you (Mommy is pretty paranoid about that tile...but we just bought a big rug to help!).  Today, after pulling up onto your Daddy as he laid with you in the playroom, you just let go and stood next to him for a few seconds.  You wobbled a bit with your arms up and out to the sides, looking rather stunned at this new situation you'd gotten yourself into.  It was pretty amazing to watch, Gracie Mae!

Like I said, it's not just the motor skills. Your talking has really picked up and you've definitely attached "Mama" to me, now.  If you fall down, you will immediately start crying for "Mama".  And you'll babble "ma ma ma ma" when I walk into the room.  You like to say "Mom" sometimes, too!

You started saying "Da da" around Daddy a little bit again just a couple of days ago- you had stopped saying it in the middle of the month and I think Daddy was a little bummed.  ;) You also seem to say "ba ba" when you want your binky or your bottle.  I can't wait until you can communicate more with us, it's so awesome to know more about what you want.  I've started doing a couple of signs with you and your brother, so hopefully you'll pick up on that soon, too!

You are in the midst of another growth spurt right now, although I think you're at the tail end of it.  You were pretty steadily eating 5oz per bottle, five times per day (with a couple extra ounces at night sometimes).  But the last week or so you've been eating 7oz per bottle pretty regularly.  You are also loving your purees now and we're starting to introduce more chunks! You'll scarf down a full jar of pretty much anything now, including peas and green beans which is definitely new! You didn't really like puffs at first but you're starting to catch on now.  Most of them end up in your high chair seat or on the floor, but your pincher grasp is really getting better every day. It's just getting it into you mouth (and then keeping it there) that's the hard part. You have trouble with banana because it's so slippery and you don't really love avocado still.  I've given you a few cheerios that went over much like the puffs, but I've also broken off a couple pieces of goldfish (the organic bunny kind) and you seem to like that the best. You still do this fake cough thing and spit out a lot of the chunks that we try to feed you.  It's not a real gag, but more of a melodramatic disgust... I'd say you're definitely your Mommy's daughter...

You're not in mostly 9 month clothes because I bought a lot of cute outfits that I wanted you to wear.  I still throw you in a couple of 3 month pants and they fit around the waist just fine. We like high waters around here, so that's no big deal. ;) The 6 month sleepers don't fit you though, you're too long. But when you try to crawl around in your 9 month sleepers, your little legs get caught up in the big leg holes and you trip all over yourself.  I promise I try not to laugh, baby girl!

You had an ear infection at the beginning of the month, so you had to be on antibiotics for ten days.  You seemed to do fine on them and when we took you back into make sure the infection was gone, you were good to go.  You spiked a low fever a couple of times a few weeks ago and couldn't go to daycare, but about three hours later you were completely fine both times and didn't have one fever after that. You've also had a cough most of the month, but it doesn't seem to bother you much, just a bit of an irritant. So, needless to say, you're a pretty easy baby when it comes to health stuff. And believe me, your brother is not so much that way, so thank you for giving us a little break on that side of things my love! :)

Your sleep has been sort of sporadic this month compared to previous months.  I think a lot of your wake-ups are due to all of the new skills you're picking up. We find you sitting up in the corner of your crib all the time, likely pretty confused about how you got there. You definitely wake up when you lose your binky, still.  I hate to say that we'll probably need to wean you off of that soon if the wake-ups continue.  Hopefully you'll figure out how to find it and get it back in your mouth soon, though!

You've started to show a little bit more of your fiesty side as of late, and you're learning how to "play games" with Mommy and Daddy. You love to throw things and watch us pick them up, like your sippy cup or your binky. You also love to do whatever it is that I'm telling you "No!" about, like grabbing your brother's helmet and yanking on it.  Oh we've got our work cut out for us with you, little Miss! :)

Ladybug, my little princess pie, I'm completely obsessed with you and loving every minute of your rapidly evolving personality! You've become quite the mama's girl recently and you cry for me all the time.  I don't want you to be sad, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I love that you need me.  I need you too, love, trust me.  You're so happy and you have the most amazing scrunchy nose smile that's around all the time nowadays! You need a lot of attention right now because of your separation anxiety, but if we give it to you, you'll smile for hours!  I can't get enough of your snorty giggle and I love that you're so curious.  You're such a ball of fun, Grace Irene.  I love you, Boo Bear!

Mr. Caleb, my handsome bubs! This month hasn't been the easiest for you.  And watching you go through what you've gone through has been so incredibly difficult for me.  You are my heart, and it hurts me so much to watch you cry in pain or look to me for help when I can't give it to you.  At the same time, I am completely overwhelmed with pride and unimaginable joy when you learn a new skill or when your smile fills the room and lights up everyone's lives.  You, my son, are an absolute gem.

You started off the month with a really high fever and then some weird spasms that were concerning to the doctor.  We were sent to the ER to make sure you were ok, but they sent us home thinking the spasms weren't much of anything.  Of course, you had to get a chest x-ray because of your horrific cough and you also had to undergo some pokes for a blood draw and an IV.  You didn't like that one bit, I hated hearing you scream. I held you the whole time, trying to calm you down, but nothing worked. You just had to endure did I.

About a week later, you spiked another random and very high fever in the middle of the night.  I picked you up after I took your temp in your crib and about three minutes later, you had a full seizure in my arms.  It was a terrifying moment in my life that I wish I could forget.  You were leaning back and to the right, the right side of your body twitching and spasming, and it lasted for about a minute or so.  I called the on call pediatrician immediately as I got dressed to take you to the hospital.  They kept you there for four days and you had to undergo an unimaginable amount of tests.  Not only did your white blood cell count come back extremely high (25,000), requiring a spinal tap, but the seizure being focal to the right side of your body required an MRI and an EEG.  You had to go under anesthesia which was so nerve racking for me.  I waited in the waiting room, watching a random portion of "A Bu.g's Li.fe" on this tiny tv in the corner of the room, completely zoned out thinking of anything and everything that could go wrong.  I was terrified and I never want to go through that again.  I never want you to go through any of that again, my little man.

Unfortunately, they discovered that you had a blood infection and had to go on IV antibiotics. They also found a couple of possible abnormalities on your brain MRI that we will be looking into further.  I so hope that we find that all is well. You deserve to be done with all of this! After three days in the hospital you were given a clean bill of health- your fever was completely gone and the blood culture was negative.  We stayed an extra day for the final meeting with the pediatric neurologist to clear us to go.  He met you and, of course, thought you were fabulous. He was concerned about some of your delays and definitely recommended physical and occupational therapy.  We had also done a swallow study earlier during your admission and were told that you would need feeding therapy, as well.  We will be starting all of your therapies this month, so I'm excited to see how much you'll grow when we know how to help you in the best ways possible!

With all of that said, you've really shown some awesome development in the last couple of weeks since you got home from the hospital.  All of us were pretty tired from sleeping in an uncomfortable place and spending a lot of time crying (yes, I cried quite a bit, too, little man), but after a few days we all perked up and seemed ready to go! You started using your legs to stand up again after not wanting to sit or stand while you were sick.  You also started trying to push up a little bit while on your tummy!

I wish I could say that all has been back to normal since that scary time, but the day after you finished your antibiotics, exactly ten days after the seizure, you spiked another 103 degree fever which just isn't a great sign. Our doctor thought we might have missed something or that the blood infection hadn't fully cleared, so it was back to the ER.  You had to get more blood drawn, which is so hard with you because of your stellar baby fat rolls.  They can't ever find a vein and when they do, they can't seem to thread the line.  You had to be stuck 8 times during your previous hospital visit so I was terrified of what was to come. Luckily we had a great nurse this time and he got your vein the first try! Your white blood cell count came back high again, but not as high (18,000) so they had to give you two shots of antibiotics in your legs (which is just awful, you screamed for a good 15 minutes) before sending us home.  A couple days later we got the results that your blood culture was negative, so no blood infection! Yay! However, this meant that you had contracted another virus in the time that you were back in daycare, only a few days.  It was this that pushed our doctor to recommend that we pull you from daycare.  Like I said, it's been a rough month for you buddy.  But believe me, we're doing everything we can!!!

Since that last ER visit, you've been doing so much better! It's only been a week or so, but you've already started clapping toys together, a new skill, and now you're even rolling from front to back, which you hadn't done in over two months! You can fully sit up now, without any support (although we need to leave a pillow behind you because you get a little wobbly and fall backwards quite a bit still).  You're also starting to push yourself up and reach to the side, helping to turn yourself toward toys. These are the first big steps toward mobility, so I'm so excited that you're on your way big man!

In all of this, you lost a bit of your appetite and actually lost a little weight for a while.  You're back up to over 23lbs, so there's nothing small about you still.  You're wearing 12 month stuff most of the time but sometimes the 18 month clothes fit your belly a bit better.  You've got quite the tummy and I hate to see it squished into some tight shorts! Ouch!  You've recently started picking back up the eating after your little hiatus and you're finally back to eating some purees again. You straight up refused them for a while there.  You're eating about 7 oz per bottle, five times per day.  You'll also finish a full jar and usually another half whenever we give you solids, which is usually twice a day right now. We just recently got to try out some puffs for you for the first time because you started sitting up on your own.  You crunch them so cutely with your front teeth, but usually end up storing them in your cheeks until you spit them out a couple minutes later.  We've tried chunks of avocado but you weren't having that at all.  Oh, and we've discovered that you're very sensitive to bananas and we can't give you any or else your poor little tummy will pay with at least a couple of days of constipation. Ugh!  Otherwise, you eat just about anything as long as we mix some rice cereal in.  You seem to have a preference for that texture, but not always.

I think some of the hiatus from eating had to do with your marathon teething.  You now officially have six teeth fully broken through, three on the top and three on the bottom. You have one more that's almost cut through on the top and one more on the bottom that is swollen and working it's way in.   You've been teething for over a month now straight- it's just awful sometimes. Luckily you deal with it pretty well and just drool like a mad man, but sometimes it just overtakes you and you get very cranky, particularly in the middle of the night. But those teeth sure are cute!

Of course, with sickness or teething comes the sleeping woes and we've had no shortage of that around here. You haven't slept through the night more than once in the past month or so, and on your good nights you wake up at around 5am to be fed.  You've been crying for long periods of time at night when pretty much nothing will help you but being in our bed or me rocking you to sleep while singing our lullaby.  That lullaby got us through some long days and nights in the hospital and it's my go-to for rought times with you. You really love it and it calms you down most of the time, unless you're really angry.  I'm so hoping that we can get back to sleeping soon, but in the meantime, I don't mind singing to you my love!  That smile of yours pretty much makes anything worth it...I'll do whatever I can to get that smile back.

I can't write about this month without mentioning the beign of both of our existences...your helmet. You hate that thing and I think I hate it almost as much.  It comes down over your beautiful eyes and makes it hard for you to make eye contact, a skill we've been noticing isn't a strength of yours anyway.  They've remade the helmet once already and done some serious re-sculpting several times to try and fix it, but nothing is working.  They encourage us that it will fit better in time, once your head grows into it a little bit differently, but I'm skeptical. If it stays like this for much longer, I'm pulling the plug on the helmet and we'll grow to love your little flat spot! :)

Caleb, I wish I could say that we've had all good times this month, but, like life, we've experienced quite a few ups and downs.  But with all challenges comes a true silver lining and I'm seeing more and more of your strength and perserverance every day, and I'm appreciating your uniqueness and your special light in an all new way.  We've spent some long days cuddling, just you and I and I feel so much more confident in my ability to support you and comfort you.  We're learning each other in an amazing way, and I hope you know that I'll always be here to cheer you on, or just be that shoulder to lean on, no matter what ups or downs come your way.  I love you, buddy, and I'm having so much fun watching you grow and take on this world in your own amazing way!

Babies, my sweet Luckies, I am completely enamored by your fun spirits and your incredible vibrance. You both have such strong personalities unfolding before our eyes and your precious cuddles still steal my breath.  I can't wait for what's around the next corner, but I will never forget the beautiful memories we've created together.  You've both stolen my heart, and I don't ever want it back.  I love you!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Eight Months!

Ok, several days late this time luckies, but you know what's been going on around here- a whole lot of crazy! At least I'm getting it up in the month of June.

First, I have to say this...please, please, please remember to slow down from time to time and maybe hold up on the growing, just for a little while.  You both have truly taken off, in your own ways, in the development and growth this month.  It's truly amazing to watch you each learning and becoming your own little people.  Your personalities are shining through in a beautiful way more and more, and I'm loving exploring all of the nuances of my two wonderful children.  You both have very distinct and different characteristics and you are sure to show them off at every chance.  I'm having an absolute blast watching you grow, little ones.  I just beg not to grow too fast! I'm already afraid to blink!

Gracie, my little love bug. You're like a little kid nowadays. It's, it's really just... mind blowing.  All of a sudden you've just taken off and decided to take this world by storm, to show us what you're made of.  And Miss,  you're made of pure gold.

This month, well actually today, you started to crawl! We've been watching ever so closely the past couple of weeks as you began finding your balance and getting up onto your knees.  Then the rocking started and the reaching...and of course then came the frustration.  You knew how close you were and you were ready to get there! Today, you took your first crawling "steps", one hand in front of the other and the knees crawling right behind! You mastered the hands first but couldn't figure out the legs part until today.  You always ended up flat on your tummy everytime you reached too far and your legs didn't follow.  You started crawling a bit backwards before forward, but today you took a couple of good "steps" on your hands and knees right toward me.  I snatched you right up and cheered so loud! What a big day, little lady!

You've been having a lot of fun with this exploration of just what you can do this month, including a new sophistication in how you play with toys.  You figured out that certain "buttons" make the toys do fun things and you will reach for those buttons to get your fun result.  You also started banging toys together to listen to their sound and you have a renewed enjoyment of rattles for the added bonus of the rattling that comes when they are banged together!

You are in a bit of a slapping phase and you love to smack everything with your hands- I think you like the noise that makes, too.  You're obsessed with the cat, so we have to watch out that you don't smack her as well!

One of my favorite developments this month has been your voice.   Your brother was taking the cake as our little talker but this month you've decided to try to catch up on that front.  You started truly babbling with all kinds of bahbahbah's and dadada's! You started doing the dadada's around your daddy, so I've decided that you know he's "Daddy" now and you're trying to tell us, even though that might not actually be true. I'll also confess that you've been crying "mom mom mom" since you were a tiny baby- it was just the sound you made when you got really sad and wanted attention. For no logical reason, I've now decided that it's not just the sound you make, but rather, you're actually calling for me specifically.  Just humor your mother and go with it, ok?

You've decided to add some physical growth onto your list of "leaps and bounds" this month and have now gotten too tall for many of your 6 month clothes! You're wearing 9 month pajamas to bed most nights and I finally picked up some 9 month outfits for you to wear out and about as well.  We keep you in your diaper most of the time that we're at home though, it's just too hot for anything else around here (plus you're so cute in your diaper)! You still wear your little size 2 diapers, though- you don't seem to be close to growing out of those. You've got a tiny little waist! You're eating really well right now, but that comes and goes. You've been pretty steadily eating about 5 ounces for most bottles (5 per day) but sometimes you'll chug down 7 ounces and sometimes only 3.  You have baby food at least once per day and I'm trying to make it consistently three times now- although that has yet to actually work out.  You've had and enjoyed rice cereal, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, bananas, pears, peaches, apples, chicken and brown rice pureed.  You do not enjoy green beans, sweet peas, mashed avocadoes, or prunes pureed.  You had your first finger food yesterday in the form of cut up banana- you dug it! Of course, it's not easy to pick up that sticky, slimey banana so it wasn't the most successful thing we've ever tried, but you got a couple pieces in your mouth and I think you even swallowed one! It was definitely a fun time, though.

Unfortunately you've been on antibiotics for the last ten days for an ear infection.  You started coughing about two and a half weeks ago and the congestion ended up draining into your ears and causing the infection.  You weren't ecstatic about it, but you've really handled it like a champ! A couple of rough nights when you couldn't breathe through your nose and therefore could not for the life of you figure out how to keep your binky in your mouth, but otherwise you've been pretty happy throughout the whole thing. Of course, that doesn't mean that you're not a bit fussy from time to time, just because that's who you are.  You like attention and when Daddy or I are around and not giving it to you, you make sure to let us know.  You've recently started showing us more of that diva side of your personality- if you want something, you want it  And if I don't give it to you, or if you can't have it, you're going to let me know how wrong that is.  Case in point- Mommy's cell phone or the remote control.  If it were up to you, you'd swallow both of those things whole.  You don't love it that I've begun telling you no here and there when you're going after something that's not good or smacking me in the face.  I think we're going to be a bit in trouble with you when you gain more independence my little princess.

Did you say no, Mom? You must be mistaken.

We started you at a new daycare this past month and it seems to be going pretty well.  You like the teachers and don't seem to have much trouble there. You sleep like a champ there as well, so that's always wonderful! I make sure to wave at you every day before I leave and when I pick you up (and pretty much all the time) and you've started to do a similar motion with your hand from time to time when you're just playing or taking a bottle.  I think you're going to pick up that waving thing pretty soon, as well!

Finally, this month brought our first Father's Day and such a wonderful time! I don't know that anything could live up to my amazing first Mother's Day, but we sure tried to make it great for Daddy.  You made him acute handprint card that said "I love you THIS much" and we got him lots of workout equipment because you obviously know what makes Daddy excited! We all went out to brunch and then had fun shopping together. It turned out to be a great day because you both did so well, thanks for that by the way!

My little Grace Face, my lady bug boo bear, I'm completely enamored by you.  I'm so proud of you and so excited about everything that lies before you, what an exciting journey.  You light me up in such a wonderful way and I can't get enough of your cute wrinkled nose smiles and your giggly belly laughs.  You're growing so fast and learning new things every day and it's actually a little bitter sweet.  I'll never forget my tiny little lady, so helpless and needy.  But I'm so lucky to have this beautiful and strong girl growing up before my eyes.  I love you baby girl!

Caleb, my little dude! You've had an exciting month of firsts, little man, even if some of those firsts aren't your favorite things. Mostly you've started to pick up some motor skills and it's amazing to watch you learn and figure things out all the time.  You're very calculated and you seem to really study things to figure them out- I love that about you!

This month, you started clapping! Daddy and I have been clapping with you for months- it was the first thing to get you to smile!  Whenever you do something new, I'm always clapping and cheering for you, so I wasn't too surprised when you picked it up- it seems you're always observing, even when I don't know it.  You clap when you're playing and you clap when you're hungry...and you clap sometimes when you're tired and can't figure out what you want.  The clapping even comes out sometimes when you're crying, but you usually realize pretty quickly that you aren't in "fun time" and promptly stop! :)  You'll start putting your hands together and when I say "clap clap clap" you get the biggest grin on your face, it's so cute!

You also figured out how to play with toys in a new way and it appears you taught your sister how to maneuver the cool buttons on some of your animated toys.  You figured out how to get them to play music and you do it over and over, you're truly a smart little man! You've also figured out your own way to jump in your jumperoo.  You still haven't quite gotten the whole bending of the knees thing down, so instead of jumping with your leg muscles, you jump with your arms! You throw your arms up and down to get your whole body to move, it cracks me up! You're starting to move your legs a bit more, but you still think it's much better to just go with the arms.

My little talker, you still love to hear all of the different pitches that your voice can make.  You're not really babbling with repeated sounds yet, you still prefer to just oooooh and waaaah with different tones and pitches.  It's like you're singing and I love it! You might sing before you talk.

It's been a little bit tough this month as your sister has gotten more and more mobile and you're still figuring out sitting up.  We've known for a while that she's ahead in the motor skills and you might be a bit behind. We also know that boys tend to develop later than girls and big boys come in last in that facet.  You're pretty much giant, weighing in around 23lbs, so it's not easy for you to balance all of that weight with your little muscles.  You're so much taller than Grace as well- it's crazy to see the difference in your sizes! You wouldn't even know you were siblings, let alone twins.  You don't look like you're the same age at all!

With that said, you're getting so close to sitting up on your own.  You can do it for a couple of seconds sometimes, if you feel like it, but you tend to fall backward most of the time. You've recently figured out how to push yourself back up into sitting position if you fall forward, so you're right around the corner from this new skill!  We're on the lookout- if you aren't sitting up unassisted by 9 months we'll probably start some physical therapy to help you out.  We want to make sure that you learn all of the skills you need, little man!

One cool skill you have picked up this month is standing up!  For a while we were struggling to get you to put much weight on your legs but now you absolutely love to stand up. But what's even better is that you pull yourself up into a standing position with just a little help from Mommy or Daddy now!  If we grab your hands and put your feet on our laps, you'll pull up on our hands and push your legs from bent to straight to stand up! I love seeing that you're building muscle in your legs- you'll be sitting, playing, and crawling around in NO time!

Now, we can't have a monthly post without your health check-in, and unfortunately I can't say that you get a clean bill of health this month either.  You were on antibiotics for your last upper respiratory infection and ear infection until just a week and a half ago, but you started with a new cough a few days ago and ended up with a bad fever today.  You actually started spasming and doing some random twitching this afternoon and scared the daylights out of me so after talking to your doctor we took you to the ER to get you checked out.  Luckily all was fine and we were sent home, but with no explanation for the spasms. So we have to keep a close eye on it, and your high fever, to make sure there's nothing serious going on.  I think you'll be fine and I'm glad that all of the tests came back negative and the spasms stopped today!

The not so fun first for the month was your first day in a helmet.  We had to get you a helmet because your beautiful little head is beautifully crooked.  Whether it was your position in my belly (your head jammed up into my rib cage) or your difficulty with tummy time or your tendency to turn your head one way while you slept, you ended up with quite the crooked little head.  So we bit the bullet and got you a helmet and you hate that thing.  You didn't seem to mind it much at first but then realized that it wasn't your favorite and it wasn't going away, so you didn't really dig that discovery.  We've had some rough nights with that thing and unfortunately they have to make you a new one because it wasn't fitting correctly, so you have a week without it- which means when we put it back on you you're going to freak out.  At least we get a week of sleep!  I do have to say that I miss your head.  I go to kiss you while I'm holding you and I always get a face full of plastic, I hate that.  So know this, I hate the helmet almost as much as you do!  It looks so uncomfortable, I hate that for you bubs.

On a happier note, you're still our big eater and you seem to love all food.  When you're not sick or teething (you have FOUR teeth now, two on the bottom and just recently two on the top),  you'll finish most of your bottles, usually around 7 ounces 5 times per day, and then finish all of your baby food as well.  You're not getting as much baby food as I'd like, we're working on the schedule, but you've tried and loved rice cereal, green beans, sweet peas, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, mixed veggies, prunes, apples, pears, peaches, and bananas.  You don't love mashed avocadoes or chicken with brown rice pureed (but, the only time we tried it you were sick, so we'll try again!).  With all of this eating you're still growing non-stop. We have you in mostly 12 month clothes but you fit well into 18 month stuff, too, so we put you in those from time to time. Goodness, you're a big boy! You're still in size 4 diapers- thank goodness! 

Your first Father's Day was such a fun one.  You did awesome all day and loved being out and about as a family. You slept really well most of the time and had fun playing with your toys while we ate. A couple days later you actually got your first try at a high chair in a restaurant and did awesome- and you also rocked out the grocery cart seat as well! Big exciting things happening every day around here. Of course, you had a hand in picking out the cool Father's Day gifts we got Daddy too because you want to be big and strong like him one day- so you made sure I got him some good workout stuff that you can share.  But bud, not anytime soon, ok?  You're still my little guy!

My handsome man, I am so madly in love with you buddy.  I'm having just an absolute blast watching you grow and figure out this world.  I love that you study things so intently and learn in your own time, I'm proud of that little man.  You're an incredibly gentle boy but you've got some fire in you as well.  You crack me up and you adore to smile- it's such a blessing to laugh with you and share your happiness with everyone you come in contact with!  I'm such a lucky mama, and everyone tells me how wonderful you are.  I love you, Bubba!

Luckies, my babies. You're getting so close to growing out of that baby phase and yet you're still so new.  This has been an indescribable journey, one that I am so proud and so lucky to share with you.  I can't wait for what's coming around the next corner and I will never forget the beautiful memories we've already made together.  I love you, my little ones!