Friday, May 18, 2018

Fox is ELEVEN Months Old

Dear Fox, 



You are ELEVEN months old. You're a month away from turning a year old. How is that possible? Every person Mama talks to is in an agreement that it feels like you had just been born, yet you are a month away from turning a year old? Mama's heart is about to burst with all of the FEELS of thinking about this! 


You are always on the GO GO GO GO. You despite staying still. Something on your body is always moving. Let it be your foot. Hand. Arm. Leg. You fight diaper, and clothes changes. Mama and Daddy feel like you are training them to be an alligator wrestler! Thank goodness that the weather is finally warming up...because that means less clothes to fight be put on you! You zoom everywhere as fast as possible in order to keep up with your older brothers. You fight being strapped in your carseat by arching your back, and kicking your legs as if you are saying, NO YOU CAN'T RESTRAIN ME! Once you realize that you are strapped in, you give in, and becomes placid. 

You are quite vocal, and expressive. You scream, and blubber when you notice that you aren't being attended quick enough. You're quite demanding, you. Forrest jokingly calls you our "Boss Baby", because you're always "conducting meetings" from us. You make yourself very clearly. For instance, when we go hiking, you are not satisfied with being baby worn facing in to Mama's chest until you are put on her BACK in order for you to look around your surroundings over her shoulder.  You very much so prefer it this way. You scream angrily when you are placed in your high chair, because at that point, your patience has run out, and you MUST HAVE FOOD in front of you IMMEDIATELY. When you are frustrated, you blow raspberries, and trill until you get what you want. It's quite hilarious. You are always on an outlook for everything. If something happens, then you must be present to witness it. You have a serious case of FOMO--a fear of missing out--and must be involved at all cost. 



You absolutely love strawberries, which doesn't surprise Mama, because when Mama carried you, all she wanted is strawberries! It is a good thing that strawberries is about to be ready to be picked up from the pasture, because then Mama can gather as many strawberries as possible to make the boys' favorite; strawberry jam! You show a strong preference for fresh food. Just like Franklin, you have not met food that you have yet to like, and you are very willing to sample anything. Matter of fact, you have recently tried shrimp, and liked it! You love zucchini, broccoli, squash, and cukes. You enjoy gnawing on a pickle, even though you often show a sour face while eating it! 

You enjoy getting into mischief by opening cabinet doors, and pulling whatever out onto the floor around you. You love banging on pots, saucepans, and tupperware. It is your slice of heaven to be able to just do that! Mama has decided to dedicate one cupboard to you to explore, and play safely without worrying about you getting harmed during the process of doing so. You love climbing up the stairs, even though you have not quite mastered going back downstairs, because the idea of doing that scares you a bit. You love chase after the broom as Mama sweeps around the house. You laugh at Bea when she tries to take your food. Sometimes, you end up blowing raspberries at her! You get so determined to stay with your older brothers, and make it very clear that they are not allowed to abandon you.



Forrest adores you so. He kisses, sings, talks, and shows you things. He picks you up quite often, and carries you around. You show no fear, even when he accidentally chokes or drops you, and you just laugh, and beg to be picked up again (much to Mama's dismay). The only time Mama sees Forrest getting upset with you is when you try to touch one of his books, and accidentally mishandles it improperly. Such a bookworm, that one is. Mama has to remind Forrest that you are only a baby, and need to be gently shown not to mishandle any books so roughly. 

Franklin is showing less interest in you, not because he doesn't love you any less, but because he's 3. Nonetheless, when he does pay attention to you, he often tries to share food with you, and to console you when you are crying. He enjoys playing in a proximity of you, and often show interest in your toys! Franklin likes to notify Mama when you are up, or sad, or getting into trouble. Franklin likes to help Mama to push your stroller, and it makes him feel special when he is able to handle his big brother duties for you! 

You are starting to say Mama, mama, and mama almost constantly! This has started very recently when Mama noticed you talking as she walked away, and it is confirmed that you are saying Mama!  You repeat yourself until you are picked up by Mama, and secured in her arms. While you don't mind being held by your familiar people, you show the most preference to be in Mama's arms, and to be by her. You are nursing less, and less, which fits the timeline of weaning off breastmilk, and Mama is hoping to have you to be fully weaned around by your first birthday. You are sleeping through the night like a champ with waking up once in early hours of the morning to nurse. The only time you regress with sleeping is when you are in pain, and feeling unwell. Teething is still a distance on the horizon. Who knows, you might surprise us all with a tooth soon! 



Your favorite toy these days is being in a box! Yes, just a box. You love to shake, kick, roll around, and explore anything inside a box. You are even happier when you have a strawberry in your hand, and toys surrounding you in a box. What a funny boy that you are! Your legs are getting stronger, and stronger. You are able to pull yourself up with an ease, and without your legs shaking, or you toppling over. You lock your legs stiff when you are determined to maintain your balance! Mama thinks you might be walking around your first birthday, but who knows, you may surprise her by walking later! 

With summer around the corner, Mama and Daddy are eager to take you boys hiking, fishing, and swimming. It will be fun to expose you to all the new things, especially with swimming, and see how you react to them! 


We are looking forward to what month 11 will bring to you, and to us! 

Love,
Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fox is TEN Months Old

Dear Fox,




You are TEN months old. You are officially in the double digits!

You celebrated your first Easter by visiting Mama's side of the family. You got plenty of teething toys, baby food, and a few outfits from the Easter Bunny. You enjoyed Easter food! You definitely loved strawberries over anything else at the Easter dinner. You didn't care much for the egg hunt, but enjoyed playing with the plastic eggs that your brothers manage to gather from the hunt. You and your brothers sure looked handsome on that day!



You continued to sample a wide range of food. You loved cooked spinach, blueberries, strawberries, and any type of meat the most over anything else. You loved having meals with your brothers, and often laughed in glee as they offered you their food.

You sport toothless mouth as you giggle, coo, and scream. Dr. Karbon said that she has not seen any teeth about to erupt yet. Mama isn't worried. You boys are late teethers! She is not expecting to see a tooth closer to a year. You are a screamer. You scream when you are frustrated, when you are excited, or when you are tired. It's your favorite mode of getting attention!


Much to Mama's delight, you have started sleeping through the night. Yes, my dear Mr. Fantastic Fox, what an accomplishment! You sleep from your bedtime until 1 am, or 2 am, then wake up to nurse, and go back to sleep until Mama comes in the morning to wake you up. You are also napping like a champ. You sleep for 2 hours to 2 hours and half in the afternoons. Mama is definitely doing a celebratory dance around the house. The terrible sleep has become a thing of the past...*knocks on the wood*.

You're still nursing, even though the nursing sessions are gradually being dropped, and you're no longer as interested as you used to be. You are always distracted, and wanting to focus on something else other than nursing. Mama isn't very worried; you are getting plenty of nutrition by eating meals, and snacks as well as being supplemented by nursing. Mama is hoping that the weaning process will be easy for you, because she has a goal of you being completely weaned by the time you turn 12-13 months old. 

Daddy had to lower your crib mattress, because Mama discovered you standing up in your crib one evening, and ever since, you were very adamant to pull yourself up to try get over the railing! No way Jose! Daddy ended up lowering the crib the following day. You continued to pull yourself up to stand up. However, this time, the top part of the railing was way above your head so you were unable to topple over, and remained safe...and contained!


You are able to crawl off your belly! Because of this, you are constantly on the move. You continue to zoom everywhere rather quickly! You have taught yourself how to climb up the steps. It also didn't help that you had two older brothers cracking up storm laughing, screaming, and encouraging you to follow them up the stairs! Now the adventure of you attempting to explore the rest of the house has begun; you are always getting into everything, and everything is a big adventure for you! You are pulling yourself up to your feet! You are able to cruise on the sofa. You like to grip on anything, then take a few steps. It is not quite "true" steps, but you are getting there! People say that it is a first step toward you learning how to walk. Oh lord. Oh lord. Soon, Mama will have three very ambulatory boys! Who needs a gym when Mama has all three of you?

Earlier in the month, you woke up with a nasty viral rash that left you looking sunburnt! Fortunately, Mama was told that it was a typical reaction to a bad cold, and that you should return back to looking like yourself. Sure enough, by the end of the day; your sunburn rash faded away, and you started to feel better. That was scary though!


You visited Dr. Karbon for your 9-month wellness check recently. You weighed 17 pounds 14 oz, and measured to be at 29 inches tall. You received a last booster of a flu shot, which was something you did not like, and also had your finger pricked for a lead test. Everything else checked out great for you!

You are most comfortable with familiarity, and people you know. When you are around people you don't know very well, you make it known that you no longer want to be in their presence by reaching to Mama. You don't like new situations, and get overwhelmed easily. With some time, you grow okay with the idea, and become more comfortable. It is possible that you might err on the shy side, but it's hard to say, since babies do typically go through this stage between 8-12 months old.



Mama is growing impatient with winter overstaying its welcome. It had not been much of spring these days with a lot of snowing, and freezing rain. Matter of fact, you got to experience your first major historical blizzard that broke records from left to the right! We spent several days snow-bounded, and you boys were quite excited to see all of the snow. Nonetheless, Mama is rather anxious for warmer days to swoop in, and stay for good, then she can start going out for walks with you, and the boys. The boys are always asking to play at a park, and wanting to play outside. Let's hope that spring will arrive very soon?

Love,

Daddy, Mama, Forrest, & Franklin 



Monday, March 19, 2018

Fox is NINE Months Old

Dear Fox,



You are NINE months old. You're three months away from turning a year old. It boggles Mama's mind how quickly time is going by.



Mama decided to start sleep training you, and what an ordeal it had been! She took away your pacifier, because she decided it was a good time for you to be weaned off them, since you were able to fall asleep without needing one for your morning naps. So you went cold turkey! Boy, let me tell you, you were NOT happy about losing your pacifier, and made your feelings very clear about this. You fussed for a half hour before falling asleep for your afternoon nap. That come evening, boy, there was a hell to pay. You screamed, and cried for an hour, and half! It proved to be difficult for you, and Mama. Nonetheless with a lot of patience, you resigned to falling asleep, and stay asleep. To Mama's great surprise, you slept until 2:30 am, nursed, then went back to sleep! The following day, you barely fussed for your afternoon nap, and went to bed with minimal crying that lasted less than five minutes.



You love sleeping on your belly. It is funny. Each of you boy have your own sleeping preference. Forrest loves to curl up like cat, and sleep in a feral position on his side. Franklin is most content sleeping with his arms, and legs splayed everywhere while laying on his back! You are a belly sleeper.

At first when you discovered this, Mama was not a fan, and worried about your ability to breath while sleeping on your belly.  You were her first boy to sleep on the belly, and it was a new territory for her. She tried to flip you to your side, or back, and you were quite adamant to roll back onto your belly. After mama realized how MUCH better you sleep on your belly, she let you be, and sure enough, you started sleeping longer, and longer at the night. Mama learned that colicky babies often preferred sleeping on their bellies, because the pressure on their bellies reduce the gas pains in babies.



You still nap in the van in the mornings during the weekday, because it's the only time that Mama can consistently keep you on the schedule for nap in the mornings. You nap from 10-11 am. On the weekends, you sleep longer than an hour. For the afternoons, you sleep anywhere from 1 hour and half to two hours...sometimes two hours and half in your crib! What a turnaround from you napping under an hour! You start your bedtime routine after supper, and nurse 20-25 minutes prior going to sleep, enjoy a bedtime story with your brothers and Dad, get dressed, and have your music turned on, then you go to sleep. You fall asleep within 5 minutes! You're gradually sleeping longer, and longer at night. You wake up at anywhere between 11 pm-12 am to be fed, and go back to sleep until between 2-4 am for another feedings. Mama LOVES this new schedule. 

Currently, your sleeping schedule is a tad messed up due to you having a fever. It appears that you have caught Forrest's cold, and sleep has been evading from you. Poor dear. Hopefully within a few days, you will be back to your old self, and be on a regular sleeping schedule. It is also not fun to see you so miserable from feeling sick. You don't handle being sick very well, and most certainly no one blame you for that! 

Along with other dilemma on top of you having a cold, the Daylight saving business has thrown a screw into your brand new sleeping schedule. You, being a particular little gentleman, does NOT appreciate how the DST isn't lining up quite nicely with your internal clock. Nonetheless, Mama is quite determined to carry on as normal with your routine. In time, all should recover for you.



You're getting better at this eating shtick! You're determined to use your pincher grasp ability to pick up food, and shove it into your mouth. You're also able to drink from your sippy cup from observing how your brothers tip the water bottle as they help you drink. One day, you happen to pick it up on your own, and tipped the bottle back. Boom! The history is made on that day, and you're loving it ever since. You continue to eat whatever what the family is eating, and has not met a food you dislike. However, Mama has discovered your favorite food: spinach! It does make a lot of sense seeing that spinach is one of Mama's cravings while pregnant with you. Wilted spinach is a big hit with you! You love eating Cheerios, because it is something your brothers, and you can share together. You demand for Cheerios when you see them eating a bowlful! You also LOVE yogurt melt its, especially the berry flavored one.



You're now sitting up unassisted with no problem, even though you still prefer laying on your stomach while playing, and you are able to also sit upright on your knees for a few minutes before toppling over. You're working so hard at rocking back and forth as you are off your stomach for crawling. Mama can see that you are on the verge of taking off, and it is just a matter of time before you realize you are able to move in that position. You love pulling yourself up on your knees to reach to things above you. Sometimes you do get stuck, and get upset!

You LOVE taking baths! You enjoy splashing, and tasting bath water. You love it even more when one or both of your brothers join you (even though it makes the whole bathing ordeal even messier). You laugh, coo, and kick at the water. You're fascinated by the bubbles. You try to eat them! Water fills you with joy. It's rather endearing to witness.



You are beginning to recognize certain signs. You respond to MILK, SLEEP, and CHANGE (diapers). You get excited when you see the sign for MILK, and respond jovially. You know it meant getting fed! Mama is working on getting you to recognize FOOD for eating. So far, you have not made the association between the sign FOOD with eating solids. Fear not, you will pick up on it in no time!

You are now in 12 months clothing, not due to your weight, but to your height! The only fat on you is in your thighs! Besides that, you're a lean baby. Mama has switched out your 9 month to 12 month clothing for your dresser. It is nice to see a few summer outfits starting to appear among your winter stash. It means that spring is on its way soon...right? Who knows with Wisconsin weather?! 

Easter is coming up soon. It will be fun for you to celebrate your first Easter! Your 9 month wellness check is also coming up next month. Your wellness checks are always fun for Mama, because she enjoy getting stats about your overall well-being, and be updated with how you are doing health-wise. Aside from this fever and cold, you are a generally healthy little fellow, and there is no worry when it comes to your wellness appointments.

Hopefully in no time, you will be back to your regular content self, and warm weather will finally bestow upon us all for spring!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin 




Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fox is EIGHT Months Old

Dear Fox, 



You are EIGHT months old.



"The days are long, but the months [years] are short" saying has entered my mind when I think of you being 8 months old. You have certainly kept all of us on our toes these days with your lightning crawling. You are such a curious baby, and MUST investigate everything. As result, it requires us to be on constant look out for you. More often than not, you are usually hauled out of the way by your older brothers, or rescued from Mama from a perilous doom of a terrible consequence, or quickly secured to be safely kept in Dad's arms. With you being so busy, Mama doesn't have very much time to do anything these days, and that is okay! Things will eventually get done at the end of the day when you are down for bedtime. 

You had a recent scare, or rather Mama did. You had been so fascinated by the stairs. Just like moth drawn to the light, you had to go by the stairs to explore, and oh so many times, you teetered on the top stairs like a tightrope walker balancing on a thin rope miles above the ground. Mama grabbed you so many times before you fell down the stairs. Alas, one day, it was not the case. You did the same teetering act, Mama ran toward you, and before she could grab you, you tumbled down the stairs! Admittedly, Mama cried way more than you did when that happened! As it was customary for a third child, you brushed off your fright, and attempted the VERY SAME THING. Needless to say, a baby gate immediately went up, and blocked the fateful fall from happening again.



Food continued to unsuccessfully make its way down the hatch these days with you. Food pieces ended up being scattered all over on your lap, between your body and the high chair bucket armrest, and between your legs. Fear not, Beatrice was more than glad to help to clean up the mess! Her favorite spot was sitting beneath your high chair tray with her snout pointing up toward the falling gifts from the great above beyond. She waited until you were removed, then pounced at the chance of lapping up morsels left behind by your feast! 

You are eating three meals a day. Mama has yet to discover what is your favorite food. You eat pretty much whatever that is given to you. This usually  mean Mama has to make sure Frank doesn't give you wrong kind of food! He LOVES to share with you. Food is more of a plaything than nourishment for you since you are still being breastfed. You enjoy practicing your pincer grasp, and fine motor skills by picking up food pieces. About 90% of food usually don't up being consumed, but that is quite alright. After all, the beauty of BLW (Baby-Led Weaning) is that the development of eating grows with a baby as the baby acquires skills, and abilities with self-feeding. When a baby is ready to be able to eat more, then the baby will make it happen for himself. All will come in due time with eating, little Fox!



Sleep is still ever eluding for you. Out of all three boys, you are our least best sleeper, and we are still praying to the Sleep gods that you will one night sleep through the night! You still wake up between 2-3 hours to nurse to make up for not nursing very much during the day. It is something that comes with the deal, since you are constantly distracted, and amused by your older brothers! Being congested, and hit by colds almost constantly does impact your sleep. It has not been a healthy winter season for all of us! Hopefully this come spring with you eating more amount of food, and being less congested, you will be able to sleep through the night? Maybe?

You are currently napping like champ, and knows your routine when it comes to bed time. You are out like a light as soon as your head hits the mattress. To get to this point, it did require a lot of patience, and work on both of your and Mama's part. Within a few weeks, its has become a daily routine for you to go to sleep, and it has become one less battle to fight. Yay Mr. Fantastic Fox!

Dr. Karbon has given Mama a green light to get you started on night weaning. Understand, you aren't expected to drop ALL of your feeds. However, with you waking up between 1-2, sometimes 3, hours every night to nurse, and getting to the point where you are soaking through your nighttime diaper, it is a good indication that you are ready to have some of your feedings dropped. After all, Daddy and Mama suspect that some of those are more for comfort than nourishment. Mama is hoping to get you to drop all the feedings between the final nursing session at 10 pm, and 4-6 am for waking feeding. Mama is eager for more than 2-3 hours stretch of sleep! At the same time, she is a bit apprehensive about how you will respond to this. After all, you are one fussy little man! 



You are starting to attempt crawling off your belly, and loves to pull yourself up on anything you can find. It is still a work in progress to perfect your pulling up stance, and you've been hard at work to achieve this. Mama usually finds you trying to pull yourself up on boxes, laundry baskets, a chair rung, a step leading upstairs (since the stairs to downstairs is blocked off), on anybody's leg. and whatever you can reach. 

You are a determined baby to keep up with Forrest, and Franklin. When they run around the kitchen island...or face it, everywhere really, you try to crawl as fast as you can. It is not very often that one doesn't find you lingering behind your brothers' chaos. You like to crawl by where they are playing, and much to their grimace, you try to steal their toys or crayons to chew on. You want whatever they have. It can be a struggle for the older brothers to understand that you are not quite at the same level of understanding as they are when it comes to toys, and sharing. Nonetheless, it is wonderful to see how much love they have for you. You are ALWAYS doted on. Never have I seen one of your brothers hit you out of anger, or frustration. When their patience runs out, they often pick you up with your knees still on the floor, drag you over to your playmat, and walk away. Mama tries to tell them not to do that, but it still happens anyway! You are never frazzled, or frightened when they do that to you. Third child, I say. 

You are in 12 months clothes. You live mostly in warm footie pajamas these days with Wisconsin winter being in a full force. Mama is looking forward to warmer days so you don't have to be bundled up so much anymore!



You love to babble, and shout. You continue to alternate between happiness, and fits. You most certainly keep us on our toes, and living with you (and as well as your older brothers) is rarely boring! You LOVE the pets in our home. Cats fascinate you, and you desperately want to cuddle with them. Sadly, they don't reciprocate the same feeling for you, especially after Missy discovered that you have a very strong grip! Bea is more willing, and patient with you approaching her. She usually lay with you pulling at her collar, or holding her fur without much resistance. Nonetheless, Mama is very firm with her belief that boundaries should be established, and animals to be respected. Because of this, she doesn't allow you to mess around with Bea, and teach you gentle touch (even though you may not understand the concept yet--it is good to be exposed to it early on). Our family is thankful for such a patient loving dog, and prudent cats that know how to stay out of the way for the most part. 

You are such a joy in our lives. You continue to be an anchor of hope, and love for our family. Your older brothers are so proud of you, and love to show you off with every chance they can get. To further prove this, the other day, Forrest proudly showed you off to his classmates! Franklin loves to kiss, and hug you with every chance he gets. You are such a blessed little boy who is very loved.



We look forward to what month 8 brings to you, our little Fox.


Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin






Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fox is SEVEN Months Old

Dear Fox,




You are SEVEN months old.



You celebrated Christmas by participating in unwrapping gifts with a lot of help from your older brothers. Your favorite thing was watching Forrest, and Franklin open their gifts, and showing them off to you. You loved your presents from the Santa! You also enjoyed being lavished on by family members over the holidays. It was a wonderful Christmas despite all of you being sick with a stomach bug.



You've celebrated a lot of your firsts recently! You transitioned into your big boy car seat, and looked so much more comfortable. You also appreciated being able to see your brothers in the back seat, and not having to remain in the infant carrier when you were taken out of the van. The world just got a bit bigger for you, our dear Fox. Frank also ended up getting a new car seat with a 5 point harness, and Forrest switched over to high back booster seat! An exciting time for all of you boys for advancing to a big boy car seats.



You sat up for the first time, and actually stayed seated without toppling over! You loved being able to sit in the shopping cart, and be able to enjoy the sights around you. With sitting up, you also began crawling! One day, Mama placed you on the quilt mat to play on while she turned her back to you to put away dishes, then turned to check on you, you were nowhere on the playmat! With a prompt investigation, she had discovered that you were able to army crawl to your destination that you wanted to reach. Everybody were quite correct in stating that you were going to be able to get moving sooner instead of later! 

Mama and Daddy bought you a 3-in-1 high chair, and introduced you to eating solids for the first time! Frankly, you had no idea what to expect at first, and did not seem to appreciate your first meal, which was chopped half banana. Then you gradually started to learn what stuff on the tray was for, and began to show some interest in eating. Mama decided to just full on introduce you to normal food called Baby-Led Weaning method (just like what she did with Franklin after doing some combined puree-BLW). It basically meant no pureeing, or canned baby food for you. You just jumped right into the world of sampling food right away. You've had chicken, shredded pork, shredded cheese, scrambled eggs, pancakes, carrots, bananas, and avocados. It was discovered that you preferred meat over anything else.


You started sleeping so much better. Your awful 4-month sleep regression lasted what it seemed like to be forever, then one day, it ended. Mama did start sleep training you by nursing you, then placing you in your crib immediately after (of course with a lot of hugs and kisses first).You did not like it at first, and cried on and off for an hour and half. Mama went in to check on you frequently to assure you by stroking your head, and kissing you to let you know you were not alone. The following night was easy peasy. You knew the drill, and went to bed no problem.

Now, sleeping through the night? Not happening yet. Fear not, Mama isn't worried though. Sleeping through the night usually don't come until later, which usually coincides with eating more solids, and meals during the day to help keep a tummy nice, and full. While not sleeping through the night, you are able to sleep longer stretches with being more bundled up. You love sleeping with your minky winter sack, and you don't feel as quite cold as you were in your fleece sack.


Napping also has been going well! It took a few tries, and some adjustments to figure out your napping schedule. Once Mama figured out your rhythm, napping became easier, and you napped usually between 1 pm to 2 or 2:30 pm in the afternoon. The mornings still posed some struggle with not consistent routine with fitting nap time. So you usually slept in the van from 10 to 11 am while you and Mama waited for Frank and Forrest to be done with school. On the weekends, you usually nap during the same time period in your crib. Afternoon naps is usually when you sleep the longest.

You recently had your 6-month wellness check. You were measured to be at 27 inches tall, and weighed at 16 pounds! What a tall, and thin guy that you are! You received mostly third set of vaccinations, and a flu shot booster. It was great to see that you remained in a good health. You continue to be a drooling machine these days. Is teething on the horizon?? Possibly!



Your personality continued to show a great divide between two sides; super happy, or extremely angry. You are very alert, and on the point. You must keep up with your older brothers. You are always army crawling to them, and demanding to be in the sight of them. You get tired, and bored of things quickly. It is a good thing Forrest, and Franklin are always keeping you busy! You enjoy trying new things, and being exposed to new situations. You continue to make things known when you are angry. You make sounds to get attention--the sounds vary between a high pitch laugh, a scream, or coo. You love talking, and being talked to! You enjoy exploring, and getting into things. You are always gnawing, and chewing on anything you can put your hands on. It usually means Mama have to keep a close eye on you to make sure you don't put anything undesirable, like a dog food, into your mouth!

You're such a joy, and give us so much happiness in our daily lives. We look forward to what you bring to us during Month SEVEN!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin


Monday, December 18, 2017

Fox is SIX Months Old

Dear Fox,



You are SIX months old.

It is hard to believe that 6 months ago today I went into labor with you, and that you have been on the earthside for half of the year. It is amazing how quickly time has passed. Those past months have been such a wonderful journey with you in our lives. There has been some moments that were hard, sacrifices to be made, many sleepless nights, rocking you in my arm, and balancing a life with three of you boys. Never I have paused to think about a life before you. You fit in our family perfectly, and it feels like you have been with us forever.


You have been dealing with a major sleep regression these days. Every night brings inconsistency with sleep. On some nights, you sleep between five to six hours. On some others, you are up every hour, demanding to be held, and nursed frequently. Mama and Daddy thinks it is a combination of your growing separation anxiety, becoming more aware of the world around you, dealing with transition of sleeping in parents' room to your own crib, growth spurts, colds, and mastering new skills that interrupts with your desire to sleep! It can be quite difficult to run on such low fuel. Fortunately, Mama and Daddy have each other to rely, and a lot of coffee also helps! By the time you are able to eat solids, and sleep training; you should start to show a pattern of better sleep in between teething, and illnesses that comes with the winter season. 



Along with sleeping in your crib, you are adjusting to sleeping with scheduled naps, and it takes some getting used to! You usually take your morning nap in your infant car seat carrier after Forrest is dropped off at 4K for about an hour, then wake up to play with Franklin until it is time for Franklin to go to his speech class. Your morning naps is often squeezed in between school, and doing errands. After all, you being a third child requires you to be able to go on the fly sometimes! 

Then you take an afternoon nap around 12:30 pm. You usually don't sleep that long.  You sleep at most for a half hour. As for right now, you just DO NOT like to nap. Period. Nonetheless, despite you fighting your desire to fall asleep, you have a tell tale that gives it away that you are quite tired, and it is you rubbing your ears! 

You get ready for bed around 6:15 pm  by getting dressed, and having your music turned on for the night. Then you nurse, and get rocked to sleep. Once you are in light state of sleeping, you are put down in your crib for the night, and you are usually fast asleep (unless one of the boys startle you by being too loud) until Mama goes to bed around 10 pm. Then you get fed one more time, and go back to sleep. It depends on that night if you sleep well, or not.

With all of this in the place, Mama is considering about having you drop  a nap from going from three to just two a day.  Mama is planning on having you nap in your crib in the mornings from 9 am to 10:00 am, then again at 1 pm for your afternoon naps. Then you should be good and ready for bed by 6:15 pm. Hopefully, this will help you to get back on the track for sleeping better during the day. 



Tummy time is still so important for you. You love laying on the blankets, grasping at your feet, and rock yourself around. You don't like being on your back for too long, so you flip over onto your stomach, then pose yourself in a superman stance! It looks like you are doing push-ups. Forrest and Frank cracks up when you do this! Forrest and Mama jokingly says that you are trying to fly away just like a Superman. 

Your strength is remarkable. Sometimes you push yourself up so hard that you end up flipping over! You are able to roll from both sides. A complete roll-over is still on the horizon. That time is getting closer though. Before all of us know it, you will be rolling around! Sometimes, it looks like you are also attempting to crawl. You push yourself forward with your feet on your belly! We call it army crawling, and older brothers love army crawling with you on the floor despite you not getting too far. It's great to see you all play together.  

You love jumping in your jumproo. You prefer bouncing over sitting in your activity center. You must be able to rotate, and see what is everybody up to! If you are unable to, then you proceed to scream, holler, and yell until someone runs to entertain you. You love it the best when Forrest, or Franklin, or even both sit down, and play with you! You giggle, and talk along with Forrest when Forrest reads you recipes from a cookbook, or when he tells you what is going on in a book he is reading at that time. You try to bite and chew on whatever Franklin gives to you, which ends up warranting a close watch from Mama to make sure no food has entered your mouth from Frank's hand! You love watching everything, and everybody. You stare intensely whatever a pet is doing nearby. It fascinates you when Bea is eating, or when one of the cats is playing with one of the hanging toys from your jumperroo. Your favorite game is peek-a-boo! When someone yells boo, you jump a little, then you laugh. This game keeps you entertained for good 10 minutes, before you get tired, and want a break. 


                                          


You are always wiggling, kicking, bouncing, waving, and quivering. You are rarely still. The only time you are still is when you are on the verge of falling asleep. Even during nursing, you try to sit up, play with your feet, scratch or grasp at Mama's face, and you try to talk while eating! You usually don't nurse for long. You are easily distracted by your brothers, and want to know what's up. You are definitely a wild one. Mama does not think you are very patient when it comes to food. It will be interesting to see how you are like when you are eating solid food! 

                                       Image result for breastfeeding positions funny

Currently, you are not quite ready to start solids, because you have not started sitting up by yourself, and you are still thrusting out your tongue. Once the tongue movement is lost, you will be able to start accepting food into your mouth, and start eating! Mama is thinking about giving you applesauce as your first food, since it's easy to swallow, and play with. Then next food will be an avaocado or a banana. It's soft and mushy--perfect for a little toothless mouth! 

You spent your first Thanksgiving with you being held by so many people! Mama didn't think she even held you that much at all! You sure got passed around like a hot potato! People just adored you. Franklin celebrated his third birthday close to Thanksgiving. You spent his birthday by sleeping through everything. Ah, such a life of a baby. 
                                                                                     
With you turning 6 months so close to Christmas, it means you are able to enjoy the scenery of opening presents, and watching people around you to enjoy their gifts! Mama is quite excited to see how you react to the whole thing. Santa will definitely be delivering you some of things! You love the toys that rattle, or make sounds. You can easily spend a few minutes concentrating on how an item works. You enjoy the feel of a toy crinkling under your hands. You grasp things, then lift them in the air to see what happens. You are fascinated by how things work, and want to know how they tick. You are always so busy! However, you do get very frustrated if you can't get something to work the way you want it to, or if it's quite out of your reach while you are on your stomach. Sometimes you try so hard that you manage to scooch a few inches forward to your toy! Sometimes you get flustered when you are in your activity center, and can't move to see where a person is going. Then you sure make yourself known! 

Your six-month wellness check is coming up in January. By then, your stats should be known. Mama thinks you are nearly twenty pounds! Your next major transitions will be moving into a big boy car seat, and eating solids. You are becoming to be a big boy, and it makes Mama sad to think that you are getting closer to being 1 than being closer to being a newborn. At the same time, Mama is excited to see what kind of personality will be emerged, and discovering who you are. 


You are currently in 9-12 months clothes! Holy moly. It doesn't feel like a long ago when Mama pulled out 6 months clothes for you, and there you are...already entering 9 month clothes. You are not quite a chunkster, but rather tall! You're just like Frank from when he was a baby. It makes Mama and Daddy wonder if you will end up having similar body type as Frank. Who knows! After all, you are uniquely you! 

Your personality is full of force! You are alert, intense, and full of fire! You blow raspberries when you are frustrated to the point of soaking your shirt! You yell when you demand attention. You laugh when you are being entertained. Everything fascinates you. You adore being talked to. Your eyes are constantly moving. You are extremely alert, and on the point. You DISLIKE with passion when you are left out, or ignored. You can be quite demanding, and particular about how things feel against your skin. You hate having a soiled diaper, and will scream until you are changed. You must be kept busy. Sometimes this can be challenging for Mama to get things done. You lose interest very quickly, and get bored. Then there is hell to pay if nobody gets to you fast enough. You hate napping, or sleeping in general, because you want so badly to be involved with what is happening around you. If you hear a sound, then you must be brought to investigate. While one may think that you are a high need baby, Mama happens to think that you are a perfect fit for our family, because after all, you have to make sure that you hold a place among your older brothers! After all, this isn't Mama's first rodeo of dealing with a strong-willed, and spirited baby. After all, here's a secret; a strong willed child is a lot of fun, and they rarely make a life boring with them in it. 


We look forward to what month 6 brings to you, our dear little Fox.

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

FDR is THREE Years Old

Dear Franklin, 




You are now THREE years old. My middle child. The mischievous one. Full of love. The one who connects the oldest child to the baby. Fiercely stubborn. It has been a true joy to have you in our lives.



From the minute you entered the world to the minute you turned three years old, it has been a such a whirlwind ride to have you in our lives, and there has never been a dull moment with you! 

Why, you are such a mischievous little boy. You love getting into things that you should not be really getting yourself into! When you are being called for, told to quit doing something potentially damaging or dangerous to yourself, or to be reminded to behave in an appropriate manner; you are lost in your own wold of a selective hearing, and it can be quite difficult to snap you out of that world. Some other times, you just absolutely do not care. You want it. Therefore you have to have it.  Grandma Bobbie has said several times how you are your dad's mini me, given with how he had acted like you from when he was a little boy. There have been days when Daddy and Mama jokingly  want to sell you to the zoo (Just like how it is from the book, I Love you Forever)!



Oh my, oh my. You are STUBBORN as a mule. Daddy says that you got it from Mama, and guess what? He's right. Being stubborn is a very good thing. It enables you to stay on the course, be persistent, and not to give up so easily. It will become one of your biggest strengths...and also, it has a potential of becoming one of your weaknesses if you don't mollify it to become your strength. Just make sure you are not so stubborn that you are unwilling to see others' point of view, to work with others, and to be able to ask for help. Use it to your advantage to overcome obstacles in your life, and this trait will never fail you. 


Your sense of adventure is apparent, and you love exploring. That means you have a tendency to wander off! You have a seemingly restless soul. On the other side of the spectrum, you often show a lot of caution. You are usually very willing to try new things, and approach them cautiously until you learn that it is safe, then you go town! Your aim for independence is clearly shown by you wanting to put on your own clothes, and shoes! While you seemingly to be quiet to the strangers, for those who know you dearly are very aware of how much of a spitfire you are! Your crime in the partners are Forrest, and Beatrice. Ah, yes, especially so, you and Beatrice can be thick as thieves, seeing that you always share your food with her, and she conspires to help you get food for her.



Patience isn't your strongest virtue. It is partly due to your age, and partly because of your personality! However, you have been gradually improving your patience by learning that missed opportunities are not fun. Your impatience isn't necessarily a bad trait. It simply needs to be channeled into a right form, which can become a way for you to find solutions to your problems. To be impatient can enable you to strategically think of a next step. Nonetheless, your impatience is apparent during your speech sessions. Once you lose an interest, you no longer want to work with Kim, your speech teacher, or with Daddy to properly say a word. More often than not, Kim often has to come up with creative ways to keep your interest piqued!

You often switch between languages of speaking, and signing. There has been periods where you prefer signing over speaking, and speaking over signing. It is usually when your vocabulary has exponentially increased in the numbers. It is so fascinating to watch how your mind develops, and it shows through your language use. Mama and Daddy are encouraging your level of confidence by playing games with alphabets, letters, and numbers. However, when you are around people you do not know very well, you can go mum, and not say a word either verbally, or signed. This sudden shyness reminds Mama so much of her from when she was a little girl. It is funny how Mama see so much of Dad, and herself in you at times!


Because you are three now, you've been officially released from early intervention program, and has been transitioned into the school system for speech therapy. You are starting a speech class with Mrs. Smaurva right after Thanksgiving. Dad and Mama thinks that it will be really great for you, because after a month of being one-to-one with your speech teacher, other two boys will be joining the class, and you will have a bit of socialization with them. Hopefully, you will make friends, and be excited to talk. It is possible that you will be entering 3K for 2018-2019 school year! It is hard to believe that you are getting to be big enough to be attending school.

It is a bit hard for Mama to let you go into that next step in your life, but that is what life is about--for you to grow up, explore life, and live to your fullest. You will love school so.


You have such a big, big, big heart. We cannot even begin to describe how your heart can hold so much love for everything, and everybody. You give out the best hugs, and kisses. You are also the best cuddler! You love to cuddle, and relax next to especially Daddy while watching movies. You love hard by squeezing, holding on tightly, and long. You share food with Beatrice, even though it is probably not in Beatrice's best interest for her waistline, but you can't bear the thought of her going without something. You two are truly best friends, and love each other so. Along with Bea, you enjoy sharing food with family members, and friends. More often than not, you beg for a bite of our food, and helping Mama with cooking. If you are unable to help Mama to prep food, then you throw a biggest fit, because how dare she to stop you from doing something you love doing. Mama hope that you will grow up with a love of cooking, and baking.

You love going on adventures with Forrest. You look up so much to him. It is evident by how much you love him, and even if Forrest is bossy toward you at times, you tolerate it, because you want very much so to be in his presence. It is rather sweet. You and Forrest get into squabbles quite often, and one of you are often guilty of striking at one other. The culprit is usually over a toy. Despite your squabbles, you love Forrest quite fiercely, and remain loyal to him. You come to his defense when he is in trouble by blowing raspberries, or scream gibberish at Mama or Daddy. Ah, your loyalty will come in very handy, my little one, especially for those who are true to you. Just keep in the mind that it is okay to cut loyalty to those who are not conductive for you. You are very sympathetic, and must suffer the same fate as Forrest. If Forrest has a pain in his elbow, then you also have a pain your elbow. You two are so crazy together! More often than not, Mama often find you two in the cahoots! You love wrestling with Forrest, and causing chaos with him. More often than not, you and Forrest erupt in loudest laughter, and screams as Bea run by your heels around the house.



You love kissing, patting, and laying your head against Fox's cheek. You desperately want to hold him, even though you are a bit too young yet to do this alone. Never once have we both seen you strike at Fox out of anger. As Fox gets older, you enjoy helping Mama bathing him, and encouraging him to roll over while doing tummy time. You are such a wonderful big brother, and show so much love to Fox.

You have been pee trained for a few months now! It must be from watching Forrest using toilet, and you no longer want to be the baby anymore. One day, you decided that you are done with your diaper, threw it away, and used your potty. Ever since, you had not looked back. You prefer either going bare-butt naked, or underwear over your pull-ups. It did not take you too long before you wanted to pee standing up...just like Forrest. You do not want to sit to pee. You have to have STAND UP. Okay, so be it. It just means Mama have to clean the toilet more often than not.

Pooping is still a work in the progress. You are a bit afraid of using the big toilet to poop. Mama and Daddy aren't overly worried. They know you will get a hang of it before you know it! To be honest, Mama and Daddy are just really happy that you are able to get a hang of using potty to pee! Hopefully after Christmas, you will attempt to start going number two on the toilet with some ideas that Mama has up her sleeves to help you to feel less afraid.



According to our scale, you are 34 pounds! You're dubbed as Frank the Tank, and you love food. Matter of fact, Mama can detect when you are becoming sick, because you turn up your nose to food, and that is not normal for you. Then Mama knows you are on the verge of becoming sick, and arm herself with the arsenal to prepare for the Armageddon. With you being the biggest kid in our family, Dad jokingly says that you are our linebacker of the family. You recently went through a growth spurt, and completely bypassed 3T to 4T winter clothes!


You had your first dental appointment with Dr. Tom at First Impressions! You handled it like a champ, and allowed Dr. Tom to explore your teeth. Dr. Tom explained that you yet have had your 2-year old molars, but he wasn't worried upon learning that you were a late teether. He did say that for your next check up in 6 months, you may need x-ray to check the whereabouts of your molars if they had not erupted by then. He was impressed with how calm you were with being examined. He gave you and Forrest a clean bill of health! Absolutely no cavities for you two. You were quite glad to be able to pick out a toy after the exam though! 

Oh be still my heart, you are so funny. The way how you scrunch your face when you smile, little mannerisms that you have, and how you present your sense of humor all are so endearing. It is not often that Mama doesn't go without a laughter in the day. You make Forrest, and Fox laugh. Daddy loves joking around with you. Your smile beams from your face, and it is one of the best thing to see from you.


We are so blessed, and lucky to have you in our lives, our sweet Franklin. You are our sunshine. We look forward to what you bring to us in year three!

Love,

Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Fox