Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Ridiculously Long Update That Ends With a Perfect Turkey

So.  On November 19th, Everett turned four months old.  To celebrate, we took him to the doctor, so he could get his shots, and we could confirm that he is, indeed, a butterball.  Without further ado, here are our little chunkster's four month stats:

Weight:  17 pounds 15.5 ounces (91%)
Length:  26 inches (84%)
Head Circumference:  43.25 centimeters (91%)

At four months old, Everett . . . 

  • Smiles about and at EVERYTHING.  He is always laughing and grinning.  He is SUCH an incredibly happy baby!  When he has an off day and fusses some I don't know what to do.  He's definitely spoiled us by being so easy going.
  • Still adores Kaden and watches his every move.
  • Could definitely roll over if he wanted to, but prefers to just lie sideways with his head twisted upside down to see what's going on behind him.  I have found him in some interesting positions in his crib, so he moves around a lot at night.
  • Is a little more tolerable of tummy time, but still not a huge fan of it.
  • Does an amazing job putting himself to sleep at night.  We discovered, pretty much by accident, that he much prefers being placed in his crib and letting his mobile lull him to sleep while he coos, talks, and sucks on his fingers than having us rock him into a state of slumber.  When I realized this, I decided it was completely ridiculous to fight with him for an hour in the rocking chair, when he would put himself to sleep (without crying) in ten minutes or less.  He still nurses to sleep occasionally, but for the most part, this is the way he goes down.  He still gets up to eat at least once at night (usually between 3 and  4 a.m.), and then again in the early morning (between 5 and 6, depending on when the previous feeding was).  I just put him back in the crib, awake, with the mobile running, and go back to bed.  This has been so wonderful!  Before I figured this out, I would frequently be up with him for over an hour trying to get him back to sleep after nursing.  
  • Is still trying to figure out a nap time routine.  I probably need to try to train him to go down for naps the same way he is at night, but so far it doesn't work, and naps are hit or miss.  I used to be able to bounce him to sleep in his bouncy seat, but those days are done.  I think he's just getting too big for that trick.  If he nurses to sleep, he can get a couple of good naps in.  Or, if we go somewhere in the car, he usually passes out for a while in the car seat.  He ALWAYS passes out when he's in the ERGO, so sometimes I'll use this even at home to lull him to sleep and then try to sneak him into his crib or bouncy seat to finish his nap, but he usually wakes up shortly after.  I think his room may be too bright, so I'm planning to get a couple more blackout panels for his windows.  Hopefully that will help. 
  • Shows he's excited by kicking like crazy and wiggling his entire body.  
  • Is a cuddle bug!  He LOVES to be cuddled and snuggled, which is strange, since he hates being rocked to sleep . . . but he loves being held over my shoulder and nuzzling into my neck.  I love it.  Kaden was the exact opposite as a baby.  
  • Still goes up to a week before he poops and then explodes, creating a laundry emergency and the need for an immediate bath.  Also, he frequently wets through his diaper and clothes (I've tried all different kinds of diapers, with no luck), so we have lots of late night wardrobe changes.
  • Babbles and coos like crazy.  It's adorable.      
  • Loves it when we sing to him.  Some of his favorites are "The Wheels on the Bus," "Boots" (a song they always sing at the North Regional Library story time), and "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay."  He also loves "Patty Cake"
  • Has been the perfect addition to our little family.  After spending four months as a mother of two, I'm starting to forget what it was like to be a mother of one. We sure love our Everett boy!  

So much has happened in the last four months, some of which I've documented, and some of which I haven't.  I went through Chad's iPhone the other night and saw a bunch of the photos I've texted him over the last few months and decided to post some of them here, so we can remember all of this craziness in the future.  

We went with some friends to Pullen Park pretty shortly after Everett was born.  I have no idea when this was, but it was still hot, humid, and summer:

Kaden with his buddies Liam and Mark on the train (Janet and Noah in the background)
 With Liam on the boats

Kaden has gotten super great at building towers.  This was the first one that made me go, "Whoa!  You did that by yourself?" but they've gotten even more intricate since:

A kid's art studio opened near our house, and they had a drop-in day of free projects to lure potential students.  Kaden had a BLAST!  

We have been on more walks/bike rides on the greenway than I can count.  I love that there's a greenway that runs right through our neighborhood. It's been fun watching the seasons change as we've strolled together.  

This was one of the first walks for baby Everett.  Kaden is finding rocks to toss in the stream.

Every once in a while Everett stays awake.

Most of the time he looks like this: 

We stop for lots of snack breaks along the way.  Our apple budget has seen a huge increase this fall, because we've been devouring honeycrisp apples by the dozen.  Kaden loves them as much as I do!

We went to Kinston one weekend and Gigi and Poppy took us to buy pumpkins for our front porch:

Everett spends a lot of time napping in the ERGO.  Sometimes, it's the only way I can get anything done during the day!

Kaden has done a great job potty training, but started to relapse with wet accidents a little bit (I think the novelty had started to wear off), so we did a sticker chart again for a while with a trip to Jumpin' Beans (an indoor bounce house) as the prize.

Here's Everett hanging out with me, while Kaden bounced away with his friend Mark:

Unfortunately, the trip ended in tragedy, when Kaden decided to bite a child, while pretending to be a shark, at least that was his line of defense when questioned.  While I was nursing Everett in the corner.  I have never been so embarrassed.  I immediately made him apologize, and we then left as punishment.  The story gets worse.  I posted about the incident on facebook, only to have a friend call me later to inform me that Kaden had bit someone before, while her husband was watching him at the Chick-fil-A play place.  Oh, sheesh!  We had a long talk with him, put him on a month long ban from Chick-fil-A and won't be going back to Jumpin' Beans for a while.  So far we haven't had another incident, but what the HECK?  Both times it was a stranger, too.  I don't know what's worse, having your kid bite someone you know, or a stranger's kid.  

This fall we also tackled staining and treating our fence and deck, a job we knew was going to be torture but had to be done.  It was in TERRIBLE shape and looked awful.  We didn't want it to go another winter without being treated.  Chad spent two entire weekends (including one Monday he was off) pressure washing everything first.  
Before (Like I said . . . awful):

Look at the difference just pressure washing made!):

Kaden even helped a little:

Chad's parents came down one weekend to help us start staining, and the missionaries took pity on us and came to help for a few hours, too.  We then enlisted the missionaries' help again the following weekend and finished the project.  It was a TON of work, but it now looks like we have new fencing and decking.  We couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.

The scouts had a cake auction for their fundraiser, as part of our fall party at church.  I made this six-layer beauty, and it sold for $110 (it looked prettier in person):

Kaden fell in love with my glasses and frequently digs them out of the drawer and models them.  He says he looks like Poppy when he wears them.

He's also started sporting Chad's athletic socks throughout the day in all kinds of different ensembles. Here he is in Chad's baseball socks when we were getting ready for church, thus he's wearing his church shoes. He thought this outfit was completely Sunday appropriate:

We found out that one of the nature parks near our house has nature days for kids once a month.  The program is completely free and they had all kinds of hands-on stuff for Kaden to do.  It was somewhat freezing outside, but that also meant there wasn't much of a crowd.  Kaden didn't have to wait for a turn for pretty much anything. 

Water Play:

Giant Bubbles:

 Mud Painting

Our Joy School co-op has been the best decision for preschool this year.  I love that I get to be one of Kade's teachers each month.  It's so fun to see him in this kind of element.  I also love that it's completely free!  Kaden has really enjoyed this, and I know he will be 110% ready for real preschool next fall.  On the days we don't have Joy School I definitely miss it.  He wants a constant playmate now, for sure!

 Letter C week (the kids made crowns with their names on them):
 Building blocks with Juliet:
 Painting sandpaper that we used to make a cactus:
 Play dough:

 Playing dress up at Miss Rachel's house during letter I week:
 I love this picture of Kaden and his buddy Jack:

 Indians eating ice cream on Miss Rachel's porch:

 With their homemade instruments:

Chad scored some free tickets to the NC State vs. ECU football game, so he took Kaden on a fun Saturday outing.  Kaden LOVED it.  ECU pretty much blew State out of the water, so Chad suggested they leave early, but Kaden wouldn't have it.  He told Chad, "I really love this!" so they stayed for the entire game.  

We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, since my in laws spent Turkey day in Denver with Chad's sister and her family.  Tyler and Lauren came from Kinston to spend Thursday and Friday with us.  I was really nervous about the whole turkey thing, but with the help of some of my favorite food bloggers, it came together without a hitch.  

My pumpkin turtle cheesecake:

My first turkey!  Once again, Our Best Bites was golden.  This was FABULOUS.  Like, possibly the best turkey I've ever had in my life.  

The table, before we covered it with food and stuffed our faces:

Successfully pulling off Thanksgiving kind of left me feeling like Superwoman.  I feel like if I can cook a turkey and make gravy, maybe I can also conquer the world?

Lauren and I hit the stores Thursday from 8 p.m. until around 2 a.m.  We had a great time together.  Per our Black Friday tradition, we had at least one laugh fest that left me collapsed over, trying not to pee my pants, on our shared dressing room floor.  In my mind, that equals success.  I sure miss living a few blocks away from her!

I can't believe November is ending.  It's hard to believe that it was on Thanksgiving day last year that we found out we were expecting our second baby.  Where has the year gone?!
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