11 Months

Sweet Teddy boy is 11 months already! A good example of what an 11 month is like is what happened when I was nursing him before bed tonight. He was laying on my lap and pushed against the armrest of the chair to reach his pacifier on the end table. He popped the pacifier in his mouth and signed that he was all done. My tiny baby has opinions, can do things on his own, and can communicate his desires.

He figured out crawling and gets into everything now. Ben gets a little tired of defending his toys but we’re working how to give them both their own space.

Reading with Mommy after a super short nap
Neither boy napped so we climbed in the van, hit the road, swung through coffee drive through, and both boys passed out. Victory is mine!
Teeth! Teddy has his two bottom middle teeth and the right middle and right canine. He’s cutely lopsided
Playtime in the back of the van while Brian bought a tablesaw
“Hello? Hi Grandma!”

We took a family trip to Binder Park Zoo where the biggest attraction is feeding the giraffes. Ben loved the giraffes as much as he did when we took him last summer.

*All* of us had so much fun at the zoo
“I wanna climb on the ant!”
I call this “Toddler on a Tram”
Snuggle baby
Llama llama, wakey wake!
Teddy’s first ride on Sandy the Pony at Meijer
He is a BIG fan of spaghetti and meatballs
Teddy loves grabbing my face. I am not as big of a fan
Partying hard and having dinner at the park because SUMMER!

Colorado or Bust!

At the end of July, our family took off for a nearly two week long road trip to Colorado for lots of family time and camping at Rocky Mountain National Park. Camping, even in a pop-up camper, with two small kids isn’t always fun but we enjoyed hiking in the mountains and exploring outside. It took us some time to figure out what worked for us (hiking only in the morning, must be back to the campground for naps, quick and simple meals, etc). Ben loved roasting marshmallows, climbing on rocks, and lots of time with Daddy. Teddy learned to army crawl while we were camping so I spent a lot of time trying to keep him from eating grass and rocks.

Perfect illustration of what living with a toddler is like
These deer traipsed through our campsite our first night there. Hello nature!
Looking for fish in Bear Lake
Home sweet camper
Gorgeous, vibrant thistle
Teddy’s first ice cream!
Ben playing with one of his surprise toys next to his “mountain”
We borrowed my parents’ collapsible wagon for Teddy; he loved going for rides!
(L to R): Dad, Ben, Brian, littlest sister, Mom at Sprague Lake
Hiking with T at Sprague Lake
Top of the world!
Ben had more energy (and fewer problems with the altitude) than I did
We spent a lovely morning at Holzwarth Historic Site, a 1920s rustic resort in the mountains
Colorado River
Oh, my heart!

We up followed our camping adventure with 4 nights in the lovely area of Breckenridge, CO. We stayed in a house where there was enough space for all of us to have our own space to sleep, a washer and dryer for me to get laundry done, and internet so Brian could work a bit. It was great to get back to something close to our normal routine for a few days before driving home again. We even had a chance to meet up with the Crowd Favorite staff in Denver for lunch.

Art installation in Breckenridge
We played on lots of playgrounds all over Colorado
Even the big boys got to play!
Playground around the corner from the Crowd Favorite office in Denver
Road trip buddy

10 Months

At his 9 month check up only a few weeks ago, Teddy was 18 lbs (18th %), 28 inches (24th %), and had an 18 inch head (65th %). He’s both lighter and shorter than Ben was at this age, which is weird to all of us because T is so much stockier than Ben has ever been. He’s really comfortable, with plenty of growing room, in 9 month clothes so he’ll probably be wearing them until or even past his birthday. He got one shot at his appointment but barely squawked.

Teddy is sitting, army-crawling, and rolling everywhere. Ben continues to struggle with sharing toys and Teddy is really good at testing Ben’s limits. They make each other cry on occasion but most problems can still be solved with hugs and kisses.

Theodore eats almost everything I give him so, with a few substitutions, he pretty much eats with the rest of the family now. Three cheers for only cooking one meal!

Teddy’s first beach trip was a little cold so he was happy to hang with me in the shade

We’re starting to see the boys playing together a lot more often and I can’t get enough!

Stole his brother’s sippy cup. Guess it’s time for him to have his own!
Ice cream and baby toes
Teddy had peanut butter for the first time and his squeals of excitement nearly deafened me
My helper boy making banana bread
Cupcakes should always be eaten from the top down
Scrambled eggs were one of the last few foods we needed watch for an allergic reaction. Safe and went over well!
We met some insanely competitive ducks at the park
Dinosaur riding
Playing with the big boy toys while the bigger boy napped


Happy Independence Day 


Benny and Brian at the parade
Teddy and me at the parade
Teddy’s first time in a swing. He was all smiles!
Ben discovered my silicone cupcake cups this morning and carried them around all day
M’ boys

9 Months

How has it been 9 months already? I know Teddy is getting big and all but 9 months seems like it should feel a lot longer ago than it does.

Teddy is round, happy, hungry, loving, learning, and almost too cute for words. He has learned so much in the last month! He gives kisses on request now so every night at bed time after I read him a book, I have to find Brian and Ben so Teddy can give kisses. I think he enjoys it as much as we do. Teddy loves playing peek-a-boo and does so whenever the mood strikes: while nursing, getting dressed, playing on the floor, sitting in the car… He hides his face with his baabaa (the much-loved burp cloth) or his hands and smiles from ear to ear when he uncovers his eyes. He loves touch-and-feel books and giggles to himself whenever he pets something fuzzy. His babbling is starting to sound more intentional, especially the sounds he makes when he sees Brian (dadadada), me (mumumum), the cat (kkkkkkk), and puffs (fffff).

Teddy isn’t crawling yet but I have a feeling that will happen in the next month. He ninja rolls everywhere and is good at correcting the direction so he can reach what he set out for but there are times where he gets angry that the toy he wants is just beyond his reach. I’ve seen him push forward with his toes and lift his belly off the floor so it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later. He might not be crawling but he sits like a champ now. His favorite activity, just like Ben, is to sit in front of a basket of toys and slowly, methodically empty it out onto the floor. It’s simple but it keeps him amused for at least 30 minutes so it’s a win!

The Tedders is always hungry, no joke. He reaches for anything we are eating so we’ve gone full-tilt into finger food. We worked on using his fingers to pinch for a few days and he caught on fast. He loves cheese, black beans, bits of fruit, cheerios, puffs, green beans, chicken, pasta, peas, and blueberries.  He’s still nursing 3 times a day and it doesn’t seem like he wants to give that up anytime soon. I’ve started giving him a cup of water and he thinks it’s about the funniest thing he’s ever done; he giggles constantly as he tries to drink.

He has had a healthy month, thank God! The week after his 8 month milestone he cut his front bottom teeth (while Ben and I were sick and Brian was out of town). He was a pretty good teether, as they go. He was extra clingy so I wore him more often and did less housework so we could snuggle while he played.

Theodore is a bit of a chunk but only because he’s proportionally shorter than he is heavy. He’s our short and wide boy! He doesn’t go to the pediatrician for another few weeks but when I weighed him a few weeks back he was just over 18 lbs but 6 month clothes still fit pretty well for length. He gets his shortness from his mama! He is wearing 9 month clothes for the width and since its warm enough most days to go pantsless, leg length isn’t an issue. His girth is almost too much for babylegs but we make it work.

Beefy baby arms!
The boy napped so hard he left a handprint on his face!
My dinner helper
Important moment: Teddy’s first french fry
Attack of the slobbery baby kisses!
Baths are suddenly way more fun now that he can sit and splash
Family photo at the playground on Father’s Day. It’s a bit of a miracle that everyone is looking in the same direction
Ben had a sleepover at Grammy and Papa’s so we played hooky and took off to the beach with the baby. Teddy ate a huge dinner and passed out on the walk back to the car
Playtime with Mr. T
Strike a pose!
Hi there, Chunk-chunk!
Teddy ADORES spending time with his Daddy and Ben

8 Months

8 months seems really old but our Theodore really is getting big!

The month started with Brian leaving for a trip to Las Vegas for Loopconf. A short stop at my parents’ house after bringing Brian to the airport turned into an impromptu sleepover for Benny. Teddy and I spent our time together going for a walk, running errands, and hanging photos in Ben’s room. It was kind of relaxing to have only one child for a day. The boys and I had lots of fun while Daddy was away but were thrilled that he came home in time for Mother’s Day and his birthday.

Drive-in theater in the living room
This kid!
Tummy time outside
Snuggles with Mommy on Mother’s Day

Teddy rolls like he was born doing it now. He’s also figured out that rolling can get him to places previously out of reach like Ben’s toys. He is particularly fond of the vintage Little People garage, sucking on the Little People’s heads, and hitting things with a toy golf club.

Play kitchens: Great for imaginative toddlers AND curious babies
Golf club!

We’re working on sitting now too. Learning to sit unassisted is such a gradual process and it’s not like first roll or first steps where there is a moment you can point to as the beginning. He loves sitting in front of his walker toy and attempt to manipulate all the slides, shapes, balls, and noisemakers but will tip himself over on purpose if he doesn’t want to sit anymore.

Sitting pretty (also, that hair!!!)
Playing together

Teddy loves his people and “his people” encompasses pretty much everyone he meets. His daddy, brother, and grandparents all have special places in his heart. He gives glorious, slobbery, open-mouth kisses when you ask.

A sneak peek of what happens in our house between 5 and 7 pm

Sleep training has been going really well; I’ve even gotten to “sleep through the night” a few times in the last 30 days. We’ve completely dropped Teddy’s 5-6 AM feeding and if he wakes up, he can put himself back to sleep with minimal intervention from me. With Brian working crazy, odd hours lately, it’s good that I’m getting (reliably) better quality sleep.

Turns out, Teddy is a tummy sleeper

We spent Memorial Day weekend at a Civil War reenactment at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. This was Teddy’s first event and the kickoff to the summer reenacting season in Michigan. The weather was perfect, the boys were fabulously behaved, and we had more stress-free fun over the weekend than we’ve had in our two previous summers of reenacting with kids. Staying at a hotel instead of tent camping made all the difference in the world!

Playing outside
Chowing down on bread and totally happy
Our family! Photo courtesy of Ken Giorlando

Teddy eats like a champ and will put everything in his mouth, given the opportunity. I’ve been working with Ben on keeping paper books, flash cards, and pieces of cereal off the floor and out of Teddy’s reach. Ben is struggling with suddenly being expected to share toys so it’s rare that I have to remind him to move his toys away from his brother.

The first roadblock to Teddy’s love of all food: Green beans. His face says it all!

We heard over and over again at our reenactment last week that Teddy is the best behaved, most relaxed, happiest, smiliest, most content baby ever. So far, that’s proven to be true! He had one more short-lived ear infection this month (less than 12 hours of fussiness) but even that didn’t bring our boy down for long.

We bought an exersaucer to keep outside for Teddy. He loves it!

Brothers Say Good Morning


One of Ben’s first stops every morning is Teddy’s room. “Good Mawlin, Teddy!” he says cheerfully. Teddy lights up and squeals with excitement. 

Just another start to another day with two crazy, adorable, loveable boys. 

(Just to add a small dose of reality, Ben completely melted down at the store yesterday because Teddy grabbed and ripped the ad Ben was playing with. “Teddy ripped my menu!” They are far from perfect but the dynamics of their relationship fascinate me.)

Lucky Number 7

7 years ago, this guy and I walked down the aisle, said “I do,” and threw a wicked awesome party.


I love you, Brian. Thank you for loving me and taking such good care of me for 7 years. I’m looking forward to another 70!

It Was a Good Day

My grandparents had a wonderful vegetable garden in the backyard for as long as I can remember and one of the bonuses of having bought their house is the three plots of asparagus. I picked enough for the two adults around 5 pm, consumed by 8 pm. Delicious!
Two year olds are not always fun (he threw himself to the ground in anger only minutes after this) but he is sweet, loving, funny, and smart as a whip!
There is nothing better, according to my boys, than playtime with Daddy. This photo is one of my favorites of all time, taken in our own backyard

7 Months

I’m struggling to believe that my squishy newborn is a chunky, active, BIG baby already but for some reason, they don’t ask permission to get big!

Teddy saw the pediatrician for his 6 month check up at the end of April. He was 16 lb 6 oz (20%), 27.25″ long (63%), and has a 17.5″ head (73%). He got two more vaccine pokes and the rotavirus oral vaccine. He was fussy until bedtime but that’s pretty close to par for the course for Teddy and vaccines. He had a DTaP granuloma lump at the site of that shot so I’ll have to remind them to give his next dose at 18 months in a different place. He’s hit most of the developmental milestones expected by 6 months (rolls over (!), likes to look at himself in a mirror, likes to play, smiles at familiar people, talks, puts things in his mouth, raking grasp, sits briefly with support, transfers toys between hands) and now we’re looking forward to things like actual mobility and sitting upright!

He is on the shorter side so he’s still wearing all 6 month clothes. It took me FOREVER to get all of the outgrown clothes out of his dresser so I’m glad I don’t have to do it again soon. I did go out and buy a few more pairs of neutral pants and some long sleeves to help with the transition between seasons. There’s been about a 50 degree temperature swing in the last 30 days so almost every day calls for something different. It snowed since we got back from California but today is nearly 80! My favorite purchase this month was just this past week when I found a pair of R2D2 Robeez shoes for $2 at a garage sale. Score!

Teddy FINALLY figured out rolling over from his belly to his back at the beginning of the month. He is getting faster by the day. He’s also rolled from his back to belly several times (all in his bed). He gets really confused when he wakes up sleeping on his belly!  We’ve been working on sitting unassisted but he either falls over or folds himself in half!

We started giving Teddy solid foods right after his 6 month birthday and he took to it like a fish to water! We started with banana and added in sweet potato sticks, avocado, carrot sticks and puree, applesauce, pear slices, graham crackers, rice crackers, and pea puree. He figured out the mechanics of getting the food to his mouth immediately and really enjoys playing with what we give him. I had forgotten how incredibly awful the diapers during this transition period can be. Ew! We’re still using cloth diapers but I’m not as vigilant about getting them washed and folded so it’s not too out of the ordinary to find the baskets empty and reach for a disposable instead.

Teddy doesn’t have any teeth yet but we’ve had a full month of issues with an ear infection, croup, and general fussiness from his vaccinations. Let’s hope that his 7th month is a free from those complications but I wouldn’t mind the teeth. Let’s just get them over with!

This was a pretty big month for everyone’s sleep habits. Teddy got moved into his own room at night right after we got home from our San Diego trip. Right after that, I stopped swaddling him cold turkey and he had to readjust. THEN I started pushing him to take 2 naps a day instead of 3 by lengthening his afternoon nap to longer than 45 minutes. We’re not completely successful every day (Ben refuses to take naps occasionally so some days I get nothing done in the afternoon) but it’s slowly getting easier for him to sleep longer. He usually naps for 30-45 minutes in the mid-morning and 2 to 2.5 hours after lunch. Sleep training is tough but I know we’ll all be better for it in the end.

Overall, Teddy is still a super contented little guy who loves to play with toys (the ring stacker is his favorite right now) on the floor with his people around. He is happy to be worn in a carrier of any sort, enjoys car rides, nursing, solid foods, the cats, and being tickled. He wakes up happy for the most part and is a much-loved part of our family.

Playing with the kkkkk(kitty)
I bought the boys’ Easter outfits last year right after we found out we were expecting another boy. I’m so glad they fit!
Sitting gives Teddy a whole new perspective on life
“No tummy time, Mommy. I’m just going to lay here.”
Almost every photo I have of Teddy from this past month is him on his belly. C’mon buddy, roll over!
Picnic with Benny
Hey! What are you doing!?
Sweet potato sticks
Contortionist baby
Teddy’s “I have croup and am too stick to play” pose
Woo! Naps!
Applesauce on a basting brush means he can feed himself but I can never reload it fast enough for his liking
Applesauce on toast
Teddy taco
Who has two thumbs and took a 3 hour nap? This guy!
Graham cracker
Trying out the reenacting clothes. This dress ultimately became Ben’s but Teddy does fit perfectly in all of Ben’s hand-me-downs
Happily playing with a stuffed animal while Mommy tries to wake herself up