Sunday, April 19, 2015

Some more random pictures

Not necessarily in order...
Andrew and Rebekah on the annual snow day where they blow fake snow all over the grass in our neighborhood:
 Rebekah's first lost tooth:
 Benjamin by the Christmas tree:
 Andrew and Rebekah at Halloween:

 Rebekah with  her Elsa dress from grandma at Christmas/birthday:
 Bubble machine fun on Christmas day:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 2015 Update

Here is a little update on each of us:

This picture is a few months old so he looks even older now. He has taken on the 2-year old mantle in all its glory: word explosions, tantrums, funny sayings, very specific opinions on things (like what he wants to wear, the proper order of bedtime routine, what he wants to eat, etc.)
  • He loves being outside and animals (like any kid) but loves flowers more than anything. He also pronounces it "flow-eee". Which never gets old. 
  • Although he is definitely not shy, he is somewhat more of an observer than our other two. He likes to watch and study kids playing for a while before he engages. He also likes playing with himself quite a bit, and shows other signs of being an introvert. 
  • At the same time, he loves his older siblings. He talks about them when they are not around and follows them around when they are. Whenever Andrew is napping and Benjamin has already woken up, he usually tries to sneak in his room to wake him up. Mommy has to keep careful watch.

  • Andrew loves cars (still) including some new shows with cars characters like Blaze (Nick Jr) and Chuck and Friends. . We try to limit screen time to about a half hour a day, although he would probably watch them all day long if we let him.
  • Andrew is very protective of others. When we told him we were signing Benjamin up for swimming lessons, he started to panic, even cry, because he was worried Benjamin would not know how to swim and drown. It wasn't until we spent some time explaining that the swim instructors would watch him and make sure he wouldn't sink that he was calmed down enough to go with him. Once there, he hovered protectively over the first bench where the kiddos were waiting their turn whenever Benjamin was sitting there, and even reached down to give him kisses when Benjamin was wailing after his turn (don't worry, he's doing better now).
  • Has started to read some, mostly just the three-letter words (cat, sun, hot, bus, etc.), and can read some very basic beginner books by himself. We use the BOB books which we borrowed from a friend. Side note: given how popular and commong this BOB series is,  can someone please explain to me how no one has pointed out that one of the main characters, Sam, looks EXACTLY LIKE A KLU KLUX KLAN MEMBER?

  • In the day of DVR and streaming, our kids don't get as exposed to commercials as we did. Most everything is DVR'd or on videos, but every once in a while they will watch a commercial or two on TV and it will really make a big impression on them. They will talk about or ask about the advertised product almost obsessively (the TV makes it look so fun!) and even give me pointers on which toilet paper to buy (At Costco today: "Mommy, you should get Bounty, because it lasts soooo so so so long. Like two years. It will last two years." (Wrong kind of paper but whatever)).  This is very different from how we were--  I think our spongey minds were so oversaturated with advertisements between the Saturday morning and after-school cartoon fests that we built up some kind of immunity to them. Commercials or products had to really be special for us to be convinced. Kind of makes me wonder what kind of voters our kids are going to be...("Mommy you should vote for  him. He is so so so soooooooo nice and he loves babies sooooo much and the other guy will take alllllll your money.")
  • Rebekah struggled to stay focused the first quarter of school but has greatly improved. I do kind of like the modified year round system here, where they are  not in school for any more than 9 weeks at a time, and then they get a 2 weekbreak, Seems like that is about as long as they can go without a breather. Academically she has always done well and has taken to doing made-up school related games. Here was today's homework she made for her made-up student:
  • Speaking of which, she still does a lot of imaginative play, sometimes with Andrew although she is perfectly content playing/pretending/talking to herself for hours on end. 
  • Oh, who are we kidding. The family blog is really about the kids, right? Scott continues to like working for Intel, and I am busy trying to keep up with my own job as well (which is supposed to just be in the mornings but has somehow crept into the rest of my day lately) (jobs are like that when you also happen to be a workaholic/micromanager:  job creep happens every once in a while, but as long as I make a focused effort to beat it back some, it usually stays at bay.)
  • Scott likes watching sports and has started to get the kids involved in playing with him a little bit as well. Andrew especially loves playing baseball with daddy in the backyard.
  • In one of those rare "I want to do something for ME" kind of moments you have as a mom, I decided to buy a guitar (my old one had broken years ago) and re-learn an old talent. That, along with piano and other things, sort of fell to the wayside when I started working. Not sure exactly where I am going with this, aside from learning some Disney songs.  Unfortunately,  a case of carpal tunnel hit within a few weeks, which has caused me to scale back on practice time (either too much too soon or just maybe I'm getting old...) One day though...
  • After hearing everyone complain about daylight savings time on Facebook and how we should abolish it, allow me to sing its praises. I had never had strong feelings about it one way or another prior to moving to Arizona, but now that I have had to live without it for a few summers, I think its the most ingenious idea and whoever invented it should get a Nobel prize in humanity. Especially if you have kids--what we find is that they naturally wake up when the sun comes up or shortly thereafter, no matter how late they go to bed. And the sun is coming up around 5:15 to 5:30 in the middle of the summer. So the only way to get them enough sleep is to get them to bed an hour earlier at night. Thus, we essentially end up trying to  "practice" daylight savings in order to get them the sleep they need, but that's very hard when the rest of Arizona (work time,school time, activities, church activities, etc.) is not on the same page. Usually we just end up exhausted. So count your blessings, you rest-of-America, you.
  •  We got family pictures in November although they are already a bit dated:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Update

Now that our daily highs have started to drop below 90, time to post and update of our summer:
First we went to Flagstaff, a town three hours from Phoenix which looks and feels like an entirely different state (reminded me a lot of the mountains in Utah).

Then we went to San Diego area (La Jolla) in July so the kids could see the beach for the first time.

Benjamin of course was up at 4:30...

Now for a summary of the latest cute-isms:

  • Although he has a lot of common interests with his older brother Andrew (playing cars, throwing/kicking balls, being outside, etc), he is about the exact opposite personality-wise. Whereas Andrew can be a bit impulsive and dives into everything head first, Benjamin tends to be more tepid. Often he will quietly observe a situation for a while before making a move. Sometimes he will stand around and watch kids play at the playground for a half hour (a long time to just quietly stand and watch for a 18 month old) before deciding to join in. 
  • Likes soft blankets. He could care less about the color, but is very picky about texture. (His favorite is a soft pink organic cotton Gerber blanket that we got at Rebekah's baby shower.) I might even call him a blanket snob. 
  • Doesn't like sand. Most parks here in Arizona are built over sand, so basically you are dealing with a large sandbox every time you go play. This has been the bane of my park existence, particularly when they are in diapers (think: wet sand). Kids can't help throwing sand or digging themselves into it. Benjamin plays in a little bit but then comes out "asking" me to wipe his hands off. As if I couldn't love this baby any more...
  • Likes to get himself trapped so you come and rescue him. He can't open doors, but he can shut them. He has used that to his advantage in the following manner: Benjamin goes into a room and shuts the door. Calls "mommy" until you come get him. You go looking for the one door that you might have accidentally left open (open shut, open shut). Then when you find him he squeals in delight. Repeat multiple times every ten minutes or so...
  • Has learned quite a few words, but his first was "no." He would wag his finger at you and say "no, no, no, no..."
  • Gives everyone kisses before he goes to bed or down for a nap. He does the open-mouth slobbery kisses


  • Currently in preschool (same in-home preschool that Rebekah attended). Doing well and making friends. According to his teacher he plays when its time to play and learns when its time to learn.
  • Asks for a lot of socialization. First words every morning: Where are we going? Then, even after he gets back from somewhere: Where are we going after my nap? Sometimes he just says "I want to go to anyone's house"
  • Starting to lose his naps. Still takes a nap about half the time, but they are getting shorter.
  • We enrolled him in preschool since he seemed lonely after Rebekah started school. Before his first day, we told him  "Maybe you can make a new friend in preschool." To which he responded, "No, I just want to make a Rebekah."


  • Spends most of her free time drawing. Often she has captions and does entire story boards to go along with her pictures. She is good at doing very expressive faces on her people
  • Currently we are teaching her the value of money. In response to her request for something that cost $15, she stated she would just go buy $15 at the "money store"... (she also sometimes goes into her room, shuts the door, and comes out a little while later informing us she was working and now has earned a thousand dollars.
  • Some of her sample art work: 

Here is a mini cartoon she did a few weeks ago:

Her I'm sorry card when Andrew was taken to urgent care with a bleeding head:
This is from a year ago (she had just turned 5):

Friday, April 11, 2014

Year Update

So we are back to blogging after a year absence. And in case anyone was wondering where we've been:

Since we've last updated the blog, this adorable little boy came into our family. He is the sweetest, happiest, funniest little guy, much adored by his older siblings. At first I was waiting until the six month mark to update the blog. Then I was waiting until the sleep-through-the-night mark to update the block. Now that he is almost one year old, I figured its time--not sure who reads blogs anymore, but we wanted to document our children's growing up, and they have changed so much since last year. So its as much for us as for anyone else.
Now that he's in a cute baby stage,  its hard to imagine he was ever in the difficult, newborn baby stage. So, at least in the interest of helping me remember those months so as to not minimize on the next go-round, let's recap:
Sleep: before Benjamin, I thought the lowest common denominator of newborn-hood was (i) 30-minute naps during the day,(ii) waking-up-every two-hours at night and (iii) demanding to be held while sleeping. However, Benjamin lowered the bar for us in this department. Starting from when we got home from the hospital with him, Benjamin needed to be held at night to sleep (seems to be a pattern around here). Fortunately Andrew had me well-trained in this department. Then, at a few weeks old, around the same time his evening fussiness kicked in, he had to be held most of the day (about 60/40). In this aspect, he was a little better than Andrew. But at night he was actually worse: during the newborn phase, he consistently woke up every hour at night after about 2:00 a.m.. Sometimes more often. There were even quite a few nights where he literally woke himself up every ten minutes between 2:00 and 6:00. If I hadn't experienced it myself, I would think this was an exaggeration. During the day, he also didn't sleep much more than a half hour at a time (this went on until about six months old).
The sleep training was not as effective with Benjamin as it was with the others. At 3-4 months (sleep training time!), he screamed quite a while every night to get himself to sleep, and even once he learned the skill of falling asleep unassisted, the rest of the night didn't sort of fall into place like it had with the others. For instance Andrew, once sleep-trained, was down to the age-appropriate one or two feedings a night at 4 months old; one feeding a night at 6 months old, and no feedings at 8 months. Benjamin, however, even after "falling asleep unassisted" would proceed to wake up every hour and was unable to get himself back to sleep. So we had to ignore/cry out in two more installments. Again for the night time wake-ups at 5 months (would have been before that but he had a bad cold that prevented him from breathing through his nose and nursing, so we couldn't exactly let him cry endlessly in the middle of the night...) and then again to get the final wake-up eliminated at around 9 months with another round of crying out (would have been before that if he didn't wake up with a poopy diaper in the middle of the night every night and get bad diaper rash if we didn't change him). He currently sleeps through the night although wakes up most days at 6:00 or before. So, yes, I am still a believer in sleep training, but have found that some babies take to it a little better than others.
Fussiness: All our babies have had fussy time (which might best be described as screamy time); seems the best we can hope for is that its not all day long (Andrew) or too late at night (Rebekah). Fortunately Benjamin kept it at a few hours between 8 and midnight, which was actually quite nice. And yes, he screamed at the top of lungs (not the whole time, mind you, but he definitely exercised his lungs).

So there you have it--if I were to stereotype my newborns, I would say Rebekah was our night owl, Andrew was our fussy one and Benjamin was our lousy sleeper.
The newborn stage is a strange thing--when you're in it, it feels like its lasting forever, but once its over, its all a blur and hard to believe that such a sweet little baby could ever have been that much trouble.

Now for Andrew. Andrew does all the things boys do: fight the "bad guys", play cars, crash cars, etc., yet he also has this tender side that shows up not infrequently. For example:

  • Whenever he sees flowers (in a store, on the side of the road, in a picture in a book), he excitedly announces "Flowers! Flowers! Mommy, those flowers are for you!"  And, if possible, he picks some for me. All flowers are for me apparently,which I am not sure I totally understand as I have never shown any indication of appreciating flowers. Until now, of course. (Although I still don't appreciate flowers that someone paid money for. Think I got that from my mom.)
  • He knows the types of things Rebekah likes and loves to find them for her. For instance, Andrew in the library, upon finding a particularly girly-looking book: "Look! This book is for Rebekah! Pink! Rebekah loves pink! Rebekah look! Pink! And Princesses!" (this is an out-of-breath stumbling-over-his-own words type of excitement, folks).
  • Before bed when daddy plays songs on his smartphone for them, they get to take turn picking a song. When its Rebekah's turn and she picks a Frozen song, its hard to tell who's more excited--Rebekah over the song, or Andrew in anticipation of Rebekah watching a Frozen song.
  • As we go about our day, he is very conscious of who is or is going to be "all alone". If all but one person is going upstairs, for instance, Andrew will point this out and say "But Daddy will be all alone". Or sometimes he looks around and realizes Rebekah isn't in the room, "Uh oh, Rebekah is all alone"
And, as of a few weeks after his 3rd birthday, he was potty-trained. He had been occasionally trying to sit on the potty for months prior but never could quite get much of anything in the potty (even after waking up with a dry diaper over night), so we didn't bother to do too much on that front, figuring it was a waste of time until that skill was acquired. Then one day he told us he had to go, we took him, he went, and then asked for underwear. So we put him in underwear, gave him some space and let him have some accidents (which went on for about a week). And that was that. He's even dry for naps and at night. If we had Andrew first, we would have been in for a rude awakening with Rebekah. As much of a challenge Andrew can be on a daily basis (he currently consumes about 85% of the parenting around here, despite only comprising 33.3% of the children), there are these types of tender mercies.  Another example: once he transitioned from a crib to a bed at about 2 and a half, he never once woke us up in the middle of the night, even when he was sick.
Speaking of which, we got the stomach flu go around the family six times between Thanksgiving and the end of January. That was the reason I didn't update the blog over the holidays. And each time was a good 3 days of the kids throwing up. Supposedly it was a really bad season this year. 

And Rebekah? Let's see...
  • Rebekah is reading Step 1 level books almost independently. 
  • She stopped sucking her thumb. 
  • She has every word to every song in Frozen memorized. She sometimes combines them for a singing-dancing medley, complete with "sunset arms". 
  • She is better than Mommy at coloring and staying in the lines. 
  • She can entertain herself for hours with her pretend friends, pretend stories, and acting out various movie scenes and songs. 
  • In acting out her stories, she even occasionally freezes in a standstill, then proceeds as if nothing happened . We asked her about this once--apparently she is doing what movies do when they "freeze then go back" (i.e., the DVD skipping, which often happens as a lot of her shows are rented from the library). 
  • And no, she doesn't watch too much more than a half an hour of TV or movies a day. She mostly uses shows and movies as a springboard for her own imagination. She was playing Frozen characters and made-up scenes months before she ever saw the movie. 
  • She is quite the little extrovert: She asks everyone she meets (and by "meet" I include "makes eye contact with") in public or private, the following key questions: "How old are you?" "Do you have any kids" (anyone over 12 years old gets this question) and "Can I come to your house?" The last question applies to everyone--the 50-ish plumber with no kids? Yep. The 15-year old teenage boy with skinny pants who doesn't seem terribly interested in the conversation? Undaunted. 
  • We are in the habit of telling stories to the kids individually as we put them to bed at night. Mine tend to be pretty lame, lack basic story structure such as conflict/climax/resolution, but it doesn't really matter because half the time is spent answering Rebekah's questions about the characters. If there is a human girl in the story: What color is her hair? Blonde. How old is she? Nine years old. What color are her eyes? Blue. What color is her shirt? Pink. What does her face look like?" Ummm...a face. Does she have any sisters? No (this question is a trap, don't fall for it) 
  • She currently loves unicorns. But don't even think about introducing a unicorn to the bedtime story. See above item.
  • She would love nothing more than a sister. She has several imaginary sisters and is so consistent and convincing with her imaginary sisters that I have actually had several people ask me if I'm expecting. Ummmm, no.
 Rebekah and Andrew play quite well together--Andrew can adapt to playing with ponies and princesses and Rebekah can play cars and trains. And they are both quite the extroverts and soak up any social activity. Andrew, upon waking up from his nap, always asks "Can we go to anyone's house?" or "I want to go anywhere". 
As for what we are up to--we have found the Arizona weather (even with the summers) to be a good fit for us. I don't think I could ever go back to real winters again and Scott appreciates the sunshine. Scott likes his job, I am still working part time and mothering the rest of the time, although with baby number 3 I have given up most of my few remaining hobbies, no longer facebook or keep up with politics or current affairs even. (I do still run every morning, my last holdout) But I would not have it any other way. Its amazing how much these little people can fill up your life so completely. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Home Pictures

We closed on our new home in Gilbert, AZ a few weeks ago and just got some pictures from the landscaping company that did our back/side yard. We got one of the front of the home (builder landscaped front) and a few more of the back/side. Basketball hoop at the basketball pad will be installed later. Here they are:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Update

 Here is a little about what each of our kids have been up to in the last 6 months or so...

  • Recently started a once-a-week, two-hour pre-school class through the Columbus rec center. She loves it, although Andrew sorely misses her while she is gone for those two hours. All he does is ask for her. He looks so relieved when we pick her up. I think each time he doubts whether or not he'll see her again.
  • Starting to read, write simple words. She also does some basic addition and counting. She can draw simple people too, which usually consists of arms and legs growing out of a face (the toddler classic)
  • Loves to cook (or watch mommy cook). Right now she can't do much else other than stir, but she is so fascinated. Sometimes she even narrates what is going on and makes small talk to an imaginary audience. I really have no idea where she picked this up from--I have never watched a cooking show in my life and don't think she has either, but that is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Since she will be turning four in December, we switched her to underwear in the beginning of September. For the first month, it was basically all accidents all the time. Did not seem to bother her, and she refused to use the potty unless it got her out of something, like sitting through church or going to bed. Finally she got to the point where she was (mostly) pee-trained (as long as we take her for 3 potty breaks in a 24 hour period, and at least now she is pretty okay with this). Still not poop-trained, mostly goes in her underwear.  So we've have had a total of one accident-free day since September.(And, yes, whatever you're thinking of suggesting, we've tried it. And we've also tried not doing anything at all, for extended periods of time.) She definitely has a little mind of her own But at least mom is no longer worried that she will have to start kindergarten a year late due to potty-training, as it seems there is an end in sight.
  • She loves riding her little tricycle and has gotten really good a pedaling, especially around the park.
  • Very good at making friends. When she sees a kid her age at the park, she will go up to them and say "Hi, my name is Rebekah.What's your name?" Sometimes they run away, sometimes they reply. She will say "Nice to meet you. How old are you?" Its really cute, although a little sad when they run away.  But Rebekah doesn't mind. She just runs after them, repeating her question. ("Hey, girl, what's your name?...")
  • One of my favorite Rebekah quotes:  Me: "When you get bigger, you will be a mommy."  Rebekah: "When you get smaller, you will be a Rebekah"


  • Since summer, has basically made a complete switch from being a mommy's boy to a daddy's boy. First thing he wants to do in the morning is see Daddy. Daddy has to give him breakfast and get him dressed. All day long while he's at school, he asks about Daddy, talks about Daddy, points to Daddy's things and says "Daddy". When he comes home he runs from whatever he is doing to Daddy. It is adorable (although can be difficult on the two days a week where Scott's classes run until 9:00 or 10:00 at night so he doesn't get to see him...).
  • Has gotten into reading lately, although it is hard for him to sit through a whole book.
  • Loves his cars. He almost always has one or two in his hand. But, since he still likes to hide things, our car supply is being depleted (we don't salvage the cars that go down the sewer). 
  • Great napper. He has about 2 hours or more a day, although we did go through a scare a little while back where he dropped his nap almost every day for about two weeks. But now he seems back on schedule. 
  • Very intense little boy. Not sure how else to describe his personality. Can be very demanding but can also play on his own, but he is always very intense on what he is doing.
  • He has mastered quite a few words (more than Rebekah at this age), although there are a lot of consonants he cannot make yet, so, while we know what he is saying, its not clear to anyone else.
  • Super picky eater. Lots of things he used to like he doesn't like anymore. He will turn away even kid-friendly foods like animal crackers, yogurt, bananas, ICE CREAM, etc. In fact, there is nothing I can always count on him to eat (most kids seem to have at least one thing they will always eat).  What he likes depends on the day, and some days he doesn't eat much of anything. I mean that quite literally. I would be a little less worried if he weren't 3 percentile for weight (and average for height)....
Now for some Halloween costumes: Rebekah was Rapunzel...

And Andrew was a pumpkin, although we couldn't get him to stay in his outfit long enough to get a picture, much less go trick or treating in it. This despite the fact that we picked out the least intrusive costume for him that we could (it was basically just a vest that he wore over his orange shirt). When we went trick-or-treating, since he wouldn't keep his pumpkin on, Rebekah decided that Andrew must be going as a "shirt". And that is what she told everyone (I"m Rapunzel, and Andrew is a shirt")
 Here is a picture from apple-picking, more are on facebook.

And this little video of the two of them dancing, which by the way they totally initiated. And I managed to only video the tale end of the whole thing, which, of course was the least cute portion, but at least you can see Rebekah spinning Andrew to the ground.
What an adorable pair!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pictured above are our two little cuties at Easter time. Update on their cuteness:
Andrew loves taking things out of containers, shelves, buckets, and he also loves putting things in places, although usually not where they originally belong. Sometimes he has climbed into the kitchen cupboard so far that we could close the door on him. Every once in a while we'll find his pants in the blender, or a sandal in the broiler. This last week he did an Easter egg hunt with the blocks--he was being very high maintenance/clingy all morning, to the point where I could not even walk around without him pinning himself to my leg, and then all of the sudden he got quiet for a while. I could hear him moving around, and he sounded busy, but I was enjoying the quiet so I didn't bother him. When I finally looked to see what he was doing, he had been taking his Mega Blocks and hiding them in various places around the house. GOOD hiding places too. I kept finding them in strange places. By the next day, there were some I still hadn't found so Andrew just went and found them all for me. Smart little guy.
He also likes playing soccer. Not just playing with the soccer ball, but kicking it. Just kicking--he never touches it. Even if it gets stuck somewhere, he doesn't grab it with his hands, just tries to get it free with his foot.

Rebekah continues her fascination with Disney princesses. For a while Rapunzel was all she could think about. She likes to act out various scenes, particularly when we are playing the soundtrack we got from the library. I'm not sure how she does this, but when she is listening to the background instrumental peices in the soundtrack, she actually knows what section of the movie they are from. One time while we were listening to the soundtrack, she found me in the kitchen and covered my mouth with the sash from a white bathrobe and tried to tie it around my head. Of course, this is the part where Flynn Ryder climbs up the tree and sees Rapunzel gagged. She also likes to act out the part where Rapunzel realizes she's the lost princess (first she lies down on the floor, looks up in amazement at the ceiling, stands up and staggers around, then hits the dresser. All right on cue with the music).
She also likes to assign us different characters from Disney movies. For instance, she is Ariel, Andrew is Flounder, Daddy is King Triton. Or she is Meg and Daddy is Hercules. And who am I? Take your pick of the villains. In case you hadn't noticed, the mother figures in the Disney movies are all either psycopaths or dead. Lately, I've been "Mother Knows Best" (which is what she calls Mother Gothel from Tangled) and I unfairly keep her from letting her life begin. Thank you, Disney.
The two of them are at a precious stage right now--one of my favorite things is watching them play together. Rebekah likes to hold Andrew's hand and walk him around the house, play peek-a-boo with him, etc. Andrew just loves following Rebekah around and playing with whatever she is playing with. They can entertain each other for quite a long time, and they get each other giggling and squealing so easily.
As for us, we are still planning on all heading out to Arizona on June 1, where we will be for Scott's internship with Intel. Not exactly looking forward to the plane ride with Andrew, but at least it is a non-stop flight! We will keep you all posted.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Long Overdue Update

So we are finally getting to updating our blog for the first time since Thanksgiving (and yes, that was a lame entry). Feel free to peruse all the pictures below and make some educated guesses about the content: gingerbread house making, cookie-making, etc. If I am feeling particularly ambitious tonight we might get around to adding little captions, but I think most of them pretty much speak for themselves (unless any of you are wondering why Rebekah, age 3, was allowed to go to a Valentine's Day Sock Hop. Answer: it was at the library, she went with her dad, and they did the hokey-pokey).
So now we get on to the important stuff. Here's a little about what our kids have been up to lately:
*Walking: After months of his unique, patented "monkey walk" (in which he would "crawl" on his hands and feet, no knees touching), he is starting to walk more like a biped. Right now its about 60%/40% (human walking/monkey walking), but I think that is mostly because he can basically run when he does his monkey walk and thus get to his destination faster. As soon as he figures out how to run like a humanoid, he'll be at 80/20 (running/walking).
*As you can imagine, he's quite active. Always into something, always frantically grabbing for something or trying to climb on something, whatever. Except that when you put him in a stroller and take him outside, he is eerily calm. Just sits back and soaks it all in.
*Trying to potty train himself (or something like that): we are not sure what is going on, but often he will go all day (ALL DAY) without a single wet diaper, depsite drinking quite a bit. Then we put him down for the night, and when we go get him in the morning, he is soaked, as is his bed, sheets, blankets, etc. His diaper is literally disintegrating and little diaper remnants are all over his body. I thought that maybe he just doesn't like having a wet diaper on so, under that theory, I once tried putting him on the potty before we put him to bed; he just squirmed and twisted around.
*He has got a high tolerance for pain (and low tolerance for not getting what he wants). He will bonk his head (sometimes pretty hard) and the kid cries for maybe 10 seconds. I once took him to the doctor for a routine checkup and the doctor informed me he had an ear infection (although I hadn't noticed anything unusual). Teeth coming in? Not a problem. But you try to change his diaper and he wails. Open the front door but don't take him outside, game over. It takes a while to get him to calm down. Whenever I change his diaper, he contorts and twists his body around, right now I can still pin him down and get the diaper on somehow, but not sure how much longer that will last... (my ability to pin him down, that is. He gets stronger every day).
*Taking one nap a day: which is anywhere from two to three hours. I love it.
*Adores his sister: follows her around, laughs at her when she's being silly. Whenever she is not around, I ask him where Rebekah is, and he bolts to the stairs and goes right up to her room.
*Eating exclusively from one of the following basic food groups: bread with cheese, vegetables with cheese, cheese, and fruit. But he will not drink whole milk, not with chocolate in it, or sugar in it, or vanilla, we've tried everything. He will drink a little strawberry milk if it is warmed up, but only in small sips. Doesn't matter how thirsty he is. If he doesn't like it, he won't drink it. Same thing with food: he went from eating basically any solid food I gave him to refusing all baby food almost overnight; then he went from eating any table food I gave him to refusing anything other than the aforementioned food groups.
He is a quirky little guy with a lot of personality. So easy to get him to smile and he has such an infectious giggle. His monkey walk cracks everyone up at church. I think I am going to miss it.
And now a little on what Rebekah is up to these days:
*Princesses (Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora): this is her current obsession du jour. I am not sure exactly how she got hooked on them, but kudos to the Disney marketing team. You start with a Cinderella toothbrush (gateway drug) and the next thing you know you've got a shelf full of princess DVDs, soundtracks, the piano music, the books and the figurines.
*She is a very polite little girl. She says "excuse me", "thank you" (sometimes "thank you very much"), "bless you". My favorite is when she talks to inanimate objects (Rebekah while trying to move a kitchen chair past the trash can: "excuse me, trash, excuse me" or while rummaging through the drawer looking for a flashlight: "excuse me, tape; excuse me, markers")
*You scared? She is always asking everyone around her if they are scared of things. "Mommy, you scared of fire?" "Daddy, you scared of the Beast?" or my favorite "Mommy, you scared of butter?" Then we say, "no I'm not scared. Are you scared?" Rebekah's answer: "Yes, I'm scared of butter".
*She is very concerned when others get hurt or are crying. She always wants to comfort whoever it is. I also love when Andrew is crying and we can't get him to calm down. Once our usual efforts fail, she'll say "Andrew needs a nap".
*Potty training: she is still in pull-ups (princess pull-ups, of course!), but is down to about one "accident" a day. She ocassionally even goes all day without any accidents. Its taken her some time to start to get it but she's made a lot of progress. She still will only go when we take her and has trouble telling us when she has to go, but she's improving.

As far as the rest of the family is concerned, Scott is going to Intel for an internship this summer, and after some back and forth between Arizona and Oregon, it looks like we will be in Arizona. But we want to make sure its final before we arrange anything in terms of housing.

And now for some more pictures:
Andrew's cuteness:

Andrew's birthday:

And for Scott's birthday, here was my first attempt at a "real" cake (nothing from a box or a can): chocolate raspberry cake with ganache. Andrew got the same one since I had so much left over ganache from Scott's cake.

Valentine's Day Sock Hop