May 20, 2014

Mother's Day

My second Mother's Day was really wonderful.

We went to breakfast at one of our favorite local spots, Mama's Boy (a fitting restaurant for Mother's Day with my little man, don't you think?) ;)

Alden ate his fill of eggs, bacon (a rare treat), and toast and drank the majority of Daddy's mason jar of ice water since Dad's straw was so much cooler than his own.

giving us his "stink eye" :) 

my wonderful boys

Mama's Boy sits right in front of the Greenway so after we had eaten we decided to take a walk in the gorgeous weather. It was still relatively early and the trails were peaceful and relaxing. Alden actually fell asleep in the stroller which rarely happens. Just like we always say in my family, "I'm full, I'm sleepy!"

too busy to look at Mama for a picture...

We headed home after stopping by the grocery store to grab steaks for dinner (yum) We played outside, I cleaned a little and then Alden ate lunch and took his nap. I spent the majority of his nap time reading my book on the couch with the pups (glorious!) and Nick finished up my Mother's Day present. The only thing I asked for was an immaculately clean kitchen and a pedicure. I got both :)

After Alden's nap, I headed to the nail salon and the boys went to Target and Office Depot for a little Daddy-Son time. I enjoyed my relaxing pedicure and met the boys at HomeGoods to head home after a little browsing (side note: I think I found a few things for Alden's new bathroom design!).

We had a pretty normal evening while Alden ate dinner and Nick got the grill going for our steaks. We used a gift card from Nick's parents (leftover from our anniversary) to pick up the rest of dinner at Outback. The blue cheese chopped pecan salad is a favorite of ours and their clam chowder is amazing! And I can't forget the bubbly. Champagne is my absolute favorite so it was a Mother's Day must :)

I hope all the Mamas out there had an equally enjoyable day. Whether you hold your child in your arms, are waiting for your child to arrive, are wishing for a child, or are grieving a child, I remember you and hope that Mother's Day was a day of peace all around.

much love, L&N

May 14, 2014

14 months!

I'm back with Alden's 14 month recap! (Finally. We're halfway through 15 already!)

Month 14 was a roller coaster of new skills, words, and lots of growing up. It seems like every week our baby feels more and more like a little boy. Watching him learn and grow is just so wonderful. I used to think that people were just being cheesy when they would say that they got so much joy from watching their children learn and develop. Now I've become one of them! But it's really true. Seeing their personalities, intelligence, and capability emerge is fascinating and so much fun :)

The Farmer's Market season has begun! Here we are at opening day :)

This month Alden really started climbing. He's always tried and been intrigued by the idea of climbing but now that he can actually do it, he's all over everything! We are constantly watching him to make sure he's not on top of a shelf, the couch, or standing up in a chair. He thinks it's such fun to climb up on the couch and run from one side to the other. I think it's terrifying, haha. We try to find a balance between letting him have fun and staying safe but lately I've been leaning towards staying safe since it seems like he's actively looking for ways to injure himself :/ I think he's finally starting to understand why we're asking him to sit on the couch or not climb on the backs of chairs and he's following directions better. He's also learning how to get down off of the things he climbs on and I will feel much better when he's mastered that skill.

playing with the hula hoops at the farmer's market
Speaking of following directions, this kid understands so much! We can tell him that we're taking something to the bedroom and he'll head off down the hall, or we'll mention feeding the dogs and before we know it he's at the dog food container with one of their bowls :) It's really cool to see his little brain picking up so much information even though he can't say much yet.

When we ask Alden to smile for a picture, this is what we get. I think it's the most adorable and most hilarious thing I've ever seen :) I may actually be a little sad when he figures out how to actually smile and this scrunchy little happy monster face goes away.

watching Daddy mow the lawn

We also had our first major boo-boo this month :( We were outside after school one day, Alden was on the deck and I was standing at the bottom of the steps in the yard. He was coming down the steps by himself (he was learning so I was trying to let him do it on his own), holding on to the railing and everything, but he let go of the railing before his foot was firmly on the next step and he fell forward onto the ground. He hit his mouth on a brick paver that was at the foot of the steps and chipped his front tooth! I was standing just half an inch too far away to be able to catch him when I reached forward and I think it's the worst feeling in the world to watch your baby get hurt, especially when you try to prevent it and you just can't. I know there are LOTS of bumps and bruises ahead of us but I was heartbroken that he broke his tooth :( We ended up taking him to the pediatric dentist the next morning for an x-ray (to make sure there was no damage to the root or the permanent tooth bud) and to have the sharp edges of the broken tooth filed down. Alden did fantastic at the dentist and at least now we have our first dentist visit in the books! (His other teeth look great- the dentist had a glowing report ;)

happy baby before the fall

sad, chipped tooth baby after the fall :(

at the dentist!

handled the dentist like a champ!

We've been spending a lot of time outside, which Alden loves. He's fascinated with the garden hose and loves to play in the dirt!

Sticker King at Trader Joe's

we found a firetruck and a fireman who let us get inside!

One morning, after some bad rainstorms had moved through Athens, parts of the city didn't have power. We got ready by candlelight and Alden kept looking at the candles and saying, "Hot! Hot!"

getting dressed by candlelight

Alden is getting more and more vocal everyday and has learned a few new words. He really asks for things when he wants them and has very definite opinions. Now that he can let us know when he doesn't want to do something, our routines have gotten a little more complicated. Getting ready in the morning is more of a negotiation now than it used to be ;)

We still read lots and lots of books in our house. Alden has definite favorites and he's even started to anticipate the next pages, say certain things along with us, and reacting to the words and stories. It's pretty great. My favorite is on the last page of "Little Blue Truck Leads the Way" when everyone yells, "Hooray!" and Alden throws his arms up in the air like he's on a roller coaster :) I'm unabashedly hoping for a fellow bookworm to evolve out of all this reading!

wearing his new shiny construction shirt. so adorable!
I don't want you to go getting the idea that life with a 14 month old is all roses and rainbows, though, so let me tell you a little bit about the TANTRUMS. My my, we have had some impressive displays of emotions in this house lately. I often think about how frustrating and difficult it must be to be a toddler. It's a good thing we don't remember those parts of our lives once we grow up because it would be traumatizing to remember how emotionally tumultuous baby and toddlerhood can be. We have been working hard at showing Alden that he can take time to be angry, upset, or frustrated but that he also has to keep himself controlled. This means no hitting, throwing things or biting. So far, I think we're doing okay with the tantrums. We definitely see an upswing when he's tired, is getting teeth, or is learning something new- which is to be expected. Nick and I feel like it's our responsibility as his parents to help him navigate the emotional experiences he's having so that he will be able to recognize and respond to those emotions as he gets older. Because of this, we try to stay as calm and non-reactive as possible when Alden gets riled up. I'm also going to point out that this is HARD. Especially when it's almost bed time and he refuses to get ready for bath, is crying the whole time and will not sit still for even a second for you to take off his clothes...not that I've had an experience like that, or anything ;)

We're working really hard on learning to not hit or bite since biting has recently become an issue. We're pretty sure Alden picked it up from school since his first experiences with biting were when other children bit him. But, he has bitten other kids at school a few times both in retaliation (like when someone tried to steal his snack) and in unprovoked incidences. The unprovoked occurrences bother me the most because I can understand his reactions when someone does something to him- toddlers don't have many words yet and, often times, they bite because they don't know any other way of expressing their anger- but when it's unprovoked I start to worry about it a little more. It does seem to have calmed down lately so maybe we're on the right track. His teacher and our pediatrician have assured us that this is completely normal behavior for this age and that as long as we are consistently showing him that it is not an acceptable response, he will grow out of it as he learns more appropriate ways of communicating. In the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and our go-to phrase, "We don't bite. Biting hurts." well-oiled.

Can't wait to get caught up on posts again. We have Easter photos to show you!

much love, L&N