Cecelia is THREE!

Oh, Cecelia. Today you are three years old and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by this birthday all of a sudden. Because how are you ONLY three and ALREADY three years old? I said in your second birthday post that you act like you are fifteen sometimes and holy moly, that means you must act like you are sixteen now. Well, you act either sixteen years or sixteen months old depending on the day. You are a child of extremes, my dear. Like, woah.

(in love with this picture of you....it's so very YOU)

Let me just get this out of the way here: you are without a doubt our most challenging child. That's nothing new, since you've always been our fighter, our most emotional, our most exhausting child from day one (and even your early pregnancy). I'm not sure why I'm surprised by this anymore but I continue to wonder if I'm mom enough to be your mother. My own mom assures me that I *am* cut out for this role as your mommy but I can't help but feel a little deflated after a day of constantly trying to mold you, to hold you, to calm you down and redirect you, to try to figure you out.

You'll melt into a puddle of tears and screams and 'no no no no no's if things do not go your way, and sometimes the meltdowns continue well past the point of reason. I blame it on being overtired, or hungry, or being told 'no' to chocolate for breakfast, or if you bump your knee, or have to share your things with your brothers. Sometimes I think you crave 100% of my attention and none of my efforts to provide that in small doses seem to be enough. So: Emotional Meltdowns (capitalized, yes) happen and they sort of suck the life out of us all.

What I tell myself is this: it's a good characteristic as a girl in this world, to have a strong will, to be determined and 'fiesty.' I think this quality will serve you well over time as nobody is going to make this child a doormat. There will be hell to pay if they try.

Two has been a wild ride at times, Cecelia, and we are lucky we made it out alive. If anyone tells me that three is worse than two here I might knife them, so let's just pretend that you'll get a grip on your emotions before the teenage years provide a fresh burst of crazy;)

(Happy thoughts! Gear shift because I really do love the hell out of you even when you are a lunatic!)


You are incredibly independent, hence the spunky, spirited, determined aspect of your personality as seen above. This independence means that you prefer to get yourself dressed and undressed, sometimes needing help with your shirts. You like to pick out your own clothes and your own shoes but occasionally you'll let it slide if I try to make those decisions for you. You potty trained quickly and completely right after you turned 2.5 and it sort of amazes me how BIG you seem without diapers. You do the whole routine alone--announcing you have to go, actually going, pulling up your undies/pants, and washing your hands. I have to remind you that you aren't quite old enough to wipe your own booty after a number two, though---all of this is funny to me because Truman took quite a bit longer to be fully independent in the bathroom. But getting up in the middle of the night to pee or realizing you should potty before we leave the house means you seem significantly older than three years.

You love to have a task and are genuinely helpful around the house. This is huge! You have a little water squirt bottle and you like to help me clean the kitchen counters, the table, and the floors. You will happily dust bust crumbs but you despise touching dust bunnies or any bits of dirt that might look like a bug. Because bugs are the WORST in your world, Cecelia. Ants are scary, bees are terrifying, and we regularly talk about how flies cannot 'get' you. Also you don't really love thunderstorms or black dogs, and you'll tell me that, 'I not do that monster talk anymore,' out of the blue---because you seem to get yourself worked up if you talk about monsters, bees, or thunder. But you do love most animals, especially ducks and birds. You'd be happiest if we took you to the zoo daily to observe any and all animals, but you still talk about that one time you saw an elephant pee and poop at the zoo. It was the highlight of your life, I think.

Actually, your 'potty talk' with your brother is becoming a thing. It's innocent enough and you really love to get a laugh out of Truman with your 'did you pee on your head?' discussions. I secretly love to hear you belly laugh with him, although most of the time you're only laughing because of pee and poo jokes. My dainty little flower, talking about a 'fart face, poop butt' at the dinner table.


Other things you love? Caring for your baby dolls, pretending to change their (very very poopy) diapers, taking them for a stroll outside, laying them down for naps, and telling them 'It's okay, CC is here.' You are also bordering on obsession for swings, so many of our days at home revolve around getting you on a swing and pushing you for hours on end (it seems). Chapstick and specifically carrying around a dozen kinds of chapstick in a ziplock bag is your fave. Transporting random crap from room to room of the house in various containers will always be a priority for you. The other day I found a paperclip, a random doll shoe, a rubber band, a match box car, and a McDonalds figurine with long hair all scattered across your bed. You have a basket full of randomness on your bed at all times and I have no idea why any of it is important, but apparently it is VERY special junk.

You also adore your brothers and both of them are complete fools for you. I see such a caretaker heart in how you interact with Porter, it kind of makes me tear up at times. The other day, Nate caught you sitting outside by Porter when I came inside briefly. Porter was fussing when I walked away, so you scooted over to him and sat very close to his little body. You were talking to him saying, 'It's okay, Porter,' and he instantly calmed down and smiled at you. With Truman you obviously adore him and want to emulate his every move, kissing him goodbye before school and giving him an aggressive hug when he returns home. You two also butt heads like siblings do and you know how to push Truman's buttons, but a majority of the time you get along just fine. Because I picture you as the child with the biggest personality, we sometimes like to imagine a day when you are sticking up for both of your brothers even though they will likely tower over you;)


You can play independently for a minimal amount of time but you absolutely prefer to have me play with you or watch you play, and you haven't found anything that keeps your attention for more than maybe five minutes. Well, except for playing in our kitchen sink---you could fill random cups with water and 'help wash' our dishes for a solid 30 minutes at times. And digging in the dirt next to our house is also a favorite pass time for you, something you could probably handle for a half an hour if I also allow you water to create mud. You both love and hate to be dirty, and you are both really girlie and a total tomboy. Again, a girl of extremes!

Not a big fan of screens---not the TV, not movies, not an iPad, NOTHING. This is admittedly kind of maddening when I want just a quick 20 minutes to focus on making a meal or sitting in silence. Throw me a bone, girl! But other than watching videos of yourself for a few seconds, you simply do not care about screen time. This makes you unique and maybe it won't last, but I know your big brother already loved TV shows at this age.

You seem pretty athletic as you climb all over playgrounds that would have intimidated Truman at age three, you love to run and jump and race. But you apparently dislike organized sports as your soccer practice has been a big flop. Granted, you ARE a little young for the three year old team and the practices are a full hour long---but still, the three practices you've had resulted in very little participation by you. The first practice you lasted 20 minutes before running to me and being 'scared', the second time was maybe 10 minutes, and the third time you only ran out to give the coach a high five then returned to my side without any intention of ever leaving again. Oh well, at least we tried and you like being outside in general, so we will keep bringing you to watch Truman on his five year old team, at least;)


I find it interesting to see you in activities without Truman, since admittedly we've done very little without your trusty sidekick. But you've done an art class (with me and Porter present), soccer (with Truman on a different field), and I have you signed up for gymnastics alone and also swimming lessons alone. We will see how they go, since it appears you are going through a bit of separation anxiety with me. You are fine when I leave you and Porter at Lori's, but you will get sad and fight back tears if I leave you with a sitter or with Papa---I guess that sort of depends on your mood, really.

As far as actual school-type learning goes, I think you are probably right on track for age three. You can recognize some of the alphabet (especially all Cs!), some numbers, and you'll draw circles all day long. When you count you regularly skip numbers 6 and 7 but can get up to 15, and you have no desire to write letters outside of 'C'. I definitely cannot push you to do anything in this life and because you are our second born, I realize that it's okay for you to be a kid and not focus too much on school-things just yet. You also don't care about puzzles, which were your brother's favorite at this age, but you do love to look at books and can make up the best stories based on the illustrations.


Sleep is one of your greatest achievements, when I think back to your first year of life when you hated the Zzzzzzs. You wake around 6:30-7 but don't come out of your room until 7 when your clock turns yellow. You usually request to nap by 11:30 but I try to push it off until after lunch, around 12:30 or so. And then you'll nap for a solid 2-3 hours. Bedtime is at 7:30-8 and although you don't pass out within seconds, like Truman now does, you usually enjoy going to sleep at night. So getting eleven hours of sleep at night plus 2-3 hours of napping is necessary for you because you are a flurry of non-stop activity during the day.

Also, you still get your nuk in your bed for naps and nights, so perhaps that is why you enjoy your snoozing so much. I never would have thought I'd let one my kids keep a pacifier until age three but honestly, it's one of the only soothing tools we have with you when you are hysterical. Going into your bed for a 'rest' with your nuk absolutely helps you to reset somehow, although you've been talking about a 'Nukie Fairy' coming to visit you after your birthday. I'm all for this fairy coming to take your nuks and a few nights you have asked for her to come, but then you'll chicken out last minute. I think you'll readily give it up when you're completely ready, hopefully soon. Just another example on how you've changed me as a mom, forcing me to adapt my expectations as we go. Forcing me to loosen up and ATTEMPT to go with the flow. HA! ;)


You aren't a huge eater in that you prefer to graze all day and can't seem to chow a big meal in a sitting. But you do love to try new foods, usually asking for things off my plate---green beans, spinach salad, pork roast, scrambled eggs, anything! It seems like if you eat the food off my plate it's tasty, but if you get your own serving on your own plate it's disgusting. Very interesting phenomenon for my most adventurous eater! But you do love all sweets, trail mix is a recent favorite, and of course any junky snack foods will always be a hit. I'm just happy that you do eat a variety of foods (ahem, Truman) even if they are in smaller servings spaced throughout the day.

The first thing people notice about you, Cecelia, is your trademark curly-red hair. It's getting crazy long and humidity is your friend for those ringlets--jealous! Plus you have the biggest blue eyes and pouty lips, and you're quite simply beautiful, CC. Stunning, really. You are incredibly tall and thin, still fitting in most of your 2T clothes from last summer but you really need 3T pants and tops because of the length, size 7 shoes. Basically, you struggle with my same wardrobe issues---size up and have the clothes too baggy but long enough, or size down and wear high waters or 3/4 length sleeves at all times. I just weighed you specifically for this post and you are *thisclose* to breaking 30 pounds, which means you gained about four pounds in the past year. You also grew nearly four inches and are about 38.5" tall now---definitely taller than most of the girls your age and some of the boys, too. But you're a string bean, sister, and Porter will surely lap you on the scale soon enough.

Your grandma and grandpa from Colorado, and your great-grandma from Missouri are all flying in today to help us celebrate. Your party at Lori's was yesterday, today you are home with me and you have requested to go to the swings and eat ice cream, and then your big party here is Sunday. I can't wait to see your face when you open up your scooter and Hello Kitty umbrella----the two very specific things you requested for your big day;) You also informed me that you want 'lots of candy' but I'm hoping you forget about that one.

All of this rambling to say that I love you to pieces, Cecelia. You are our firecracker, our big girl, our sweet daughter who keeps us on our toes. We wouldn't have you any other way. We are so glad you are here and can't wait to watch you grow up!

And oh, how much you've already grown.
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(On turning one) (On turning two)



Third Birthday Interview: to hear her sugary sweet voice and die a little. This is the first year I did this with CC, love how Truman kept answering her questions and she was talking in a silly voice so I couldn't even understand half of her answers. My favorite is 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' ;)

Cecelia's Third Year Interview from Julia H. on Vimeo.

Three Years of Cecelia: photo montage. Why do photos set to music always make me cry? I made this in iPhoto this year and really like how it turned out, even though I stayed up until 11pm one night  semi-crying over this making it. I had a lot more pictures than I thought from the year, but I promise the 3:40 are worth it!

CC 3 years slideshow from Julia H. on Vimeo.

Eight Years

Today is our eighth anniversary. This means I write about how lucky I am to have married Nate (and into his wonderful family) and how life has certainly changed since our wedding but oh, how it's so much better now.

Which is all true, so no need to expand on those thoughts, really.

But it is sort of nuts to think about our wedding day. It was a different life time ago, both Nate and I have agreed, but it still makes me smile to remember the excitement in 2007.

There was much unknown for the future laid out before us. I think I sort of expected to move to Wisconsin, for Nate to go through grad school, for both of us to work, and then have children. But I couldn't have known exactly what our life would look like eight years later, although I think my twenty-six year old self would have been pleased.

Together for nearly thirteen years, married for eight, and still writing basically the exact same anniversary post of bewilderment and contentment and happiness.

I love doing this crazy life with you, Nate. It's more than I imagined---more happiness and also more challenges. Just more of everything and I love looking back on our eight years of marriage.

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First: San Diego trip to celebrate.

Second : Chicago trip to celebrate.
nate threw down gang signs

Third: we are parents, no trip! But baby Truman!

Fourth: back to Chicago for a quick getaway. I remember going through my miscarriage here but we still managed to have fun.

Fifth: out to dinner and the next day Cecelia was born!

Sixth : out to dinner and no new baby the next day;)

Seventh: out to dinner and a new baby a few weeks later.
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Eighth: we are both working long days today, preparing for visitors to arrive for Cecelia's big day, and we hope to get a dinner out together sometime soon. Perhaps some wine after the kids go down tonight, laying on the couch, and watching a Lost? Sounds perfect to me.

Here's to the next year and to the past eight. (cheers!)

Feeling Settled

I know having three kids is getting easier when....

I take all three grocery shopping alone and nobody cried, including me!
Grocery shopping with 3 kids alone

I also feel like life with three kids can be confidence boosting (I got this, life is good, no big deal) or totally humbling (OMG my daughter hates me and hates life and I suck at motherhood OMG)---and those two extremes rest on top of a very delicate balance. Most of time things are ordinary and 'fine.' But the rare really awesome days and the rare really horrible days sure do make a big impact on my perception of being in control. Because obviously I am not able to control all that much as a mom to three little kids!

But anyway, grocery shopping with three kids = one of those events that seemed impossible when Porter was a newborn. Children definitely grow older and more independent and motherhood starts to feel more settled. Who knew?

I've Always Loved You Best...

Memaw sent me a letter for Mother's Day, and in it she included an excerpt from Erma Bombeck. I haven't heard of this author before but I'm glad Memaw introduced me to Erma because she was quite the humorist/columnist and I'm a sucker for any sarcastic and thoughtful words on motherhood. So many quotes of Erma's float around the internet and yet it was difficult for me to find a proper source for this poem. I believe it was originally written by Bombeck in 1971 but there seem to be quite a few variations. Memaw sent this to me because Erma talks about her three children and well, I can definitely relate to much of it. Maybe you can, too.

I’ve Always Loved You Best Because … (By Erma Bombeck)
It is normal for children to want assurance that they are loved. Having all the warmth of the Berlin Wall, I have always admired women who can reach out to pat their children and not have them flinch.
Feeling more comfortable on paper, I wrote the following for each of my children.
To the First-born: 
I’ve always loved you best because you were our first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage, the fulfillment of young love, the promise of our infinity.
You sustained us through the hamburger years. The first apartment furnished in Early Poverty...the 7-inch television set we paid on for 36 months.
You wore new, had unused grandparents and more clothes than a Barbie doll. You were the “original model” for unsure parents trying to work the bugs out. You got the strained lamb and three-hour naps.
You were the beginning.IMG_5567

To the Middle Child: 
I’ve always loved you the best because you drew a dumb spot in the family and it made you stronger.
You cried less, had more patience, wore faded, and never in your life did anything “first,” but it only made you more special. You are the one we relaxed with and realized a dog could kiss you and you wouldn’t get sick. You could cross a street by yourself long before you were old enough to get married, and the world wouldn’t come to an end if you went to bed with dirty feet.
You were the continuance.IMG_5519

To the Baby: 
I’ve always loved you the best because endings generally are sad and you are such a joy. You readily accepted the mild-stained bibs. The lower bunk. The cracked baseball bat. The baby book, barren but for a recipe for graham cracker pie crust that someone jammed between the pages.
You are the one we held onto so tightly. For you see, you are the link with the past that gives a reason for tomorrow. You darken our hair, quicken our steps, square our shoulders, restore our vision, and give us humor that security and maturity can’t give us.
When your hairline takes on the shape of Lake Erie and your children tower over you, you will still be “the Baby.”
You were the culmination.IMG_5495

-Erma Bombeck
That Erma. She really said it best. But I must add that I love these kids so much that it physically hurts my heart sometimes.

Feeling grateful for Truman, Cecelia, and Porter today. 

Girls Weekend in Chi-Town

Things I love: girl time, weekends away, Chicago, and my college girlfriends. Therefore, last weekend was pretty much perfection when you throw in 75 degree and sunny weather.

My 'PT school' friends and I all live in different states now, but the four of us have been through so much over the years that distance doesn't matter. Do you have friends like that? Girls that even though you haven't seen each other in years, you can pick up right where you left off without an ounce of awkwardness? I'm lucky that I have this group of PT friends and also my STL friends that will always be 'those' girls to me.

Keri was featured on this blog many times back in 2008 when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She is 6.5 years out from her diagnosis and is doing awesome, living in Indiana with her husband, and hasn't changed a bit. I haven't seen her since her wedding in 2010.

Allison was one of my roommates in college and a sorority sister, she lives in Maryland with her husband and three kids. Al has as a 10.5 year old daughter plus a nine year old and an eight year old from her husband's previous marriage, so she is just sort of busy;). I haven't seen Al since my baby shower in 2010.

Megan was our host, living in a north/west neighborhood of Chicago. She was also one of my roommates in college, a sorority sister, and she's pregnant with baby #2. Her boy Mitch is one year old so just a few months older than Porter, and she was a fab host to us ladies. I haven't seen Meg since her wedding in 2011.

The four of us aren't constantly emailing or texting and we obviously hadn't seen each other much since we graduated. In fact, the four of us hadn't been reunited all together since my baby shower in St. Louis over five years ago so it was HIGH TIME we finally did a girls weekend. We had this planned for 2013 and then it fell through, which is good because I'm pretty sure that previously scheduled trip was right around the time I got pregnant with Porter. So glad it didn't work out for me to be away then!

This is one of the only pictures I have of us four online anywhere (plenty of actual prints in scrapbooks floating around somewhere, though). This was at my baby shower and that would be our 'cute faces' pose. Definitely an inside joke, we aren't really THAT vain but it was just a college thing. You had to be there...
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But this time we vowed to make this happen. Megan offered to host since Chicago is somewhat central for all of us living in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Indiana. I had Tony and Truman drop me off at the Amtrak train station on Friday for the 1:00 train to Chicago. Then the guys picked Cecelia and Porter up from Lori's later that day, and then began Nate's solo weekend with the children. But of course his parents were around for a lot of the time and the kids were on their best behavior for daddy. OF COURSE:)

I took the train to Union Station which is a quick 90 minute ride and a whopping $24 one way. I mean, you really cannot beat this method to the big city because you can bypass traffic! Keri drove to Megan's and Allison flew into Midway, so we decided it was easiest for Allison and I to meet up via the CTA then ride together to a stop near Meg's house. It's always a little 'holy crap, Chicago is freaking huge and so heavily populated and OMG, please don't get lost!' when I go to Chi-town. But I really do love this city so much and Nate and I need to get down there with the kids soon.

Anyway, I took the amtrak to Union Station, walked with  my phone in front of my nose as the maps app told me which way to turn, veered into a Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up and a bit of downtime, then found my LaSalle blue line station where Allison was meeting me after she landed. I saw the Willis tower and noted that downtown Chicago is still quite amazing. Took a few pictures, looked like a tooly tourist, you know...the usual.

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(Finally reading Gone Girl--like it so far! Also, I wonder why the girls were shocked by the amount of coffee I drink, it's not like I talk about coffee that much...right?)
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Once Allison texted to say she was hopping on her Orange Line to meet me, I walked the rest of my way to the blue line station. Allison and I found each other and hopped on the train to the Irving station, where Megan and Keri picked us up via car. I mean, the traffic on the Express Way was incredible. Apparently anything after 3pm on a Friday is just a joke....a small price to pay for a booming city life, but still. Cray.

We got the tour of Megan's adorable house and then chatted our faces off. We had reservations for dinner at 8pm and we sort of had to hustle to get ready because we were so busy catching up from years apart. Megan drove us to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba which was absolutely delicious --- love small plates, love Spanish Tapas, loved the atmosphere. I had a 'Barca Blues' as a drink (vodka, luxardo maraschino, blueberry, basil, mint, lemon, and orange bitters) and it was divine. Also had a peach sangria, then we shared a boat load of small plates--too many to even list. We discussed my lack of a selfie stick but still managed a picture to commemorate our first night together. I hardly took any pictures this trip, was too busy talking!

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Saturday morning we woke up and resumed our constant chatter, ate some fruit and toast and had coffee (I had my first cup from a Keurig, so insane!!). Then we got dressed and went to brunch at Frasca in the Roscoe Village area, where we sat outside in the glorious sunshine and consumed tasty food (I had the Lincoln Ave omelette and we shared a slice of heaven with these puffy donut ball things). Then we walked around and shopped (a boutique called Bazar sort of blew my mind), got pedicures, and eventually landed at Mystic Celt for some drinks. Is outdoor dining/day drinking the best thing ever? I think yes. Also discovered 'Summer Brew' which is a Blue Moon/citron Vodka/lemonade cocktail and my new favorite.

Ah, some things never change. Feeling like a GIANT next to these ladies.
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Nearly killed ourselves in the middle of a street for this shot with the word 'Chicago' under foot. Worth it?
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Oops, also had a Margarita. Was perfect.
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We headed home, eventually showered and got ready for dinner, where we had reservations at Pizza East---this place totally rocked my world. We ate inside and the atmosphere was very hip and fun but casual. Basically it was a highlight of the whole trip. The bruschetta with fava beans and radish was phenomenal, the salad with avocado and mustard vinaigrette made me want to hunt for a similar dressing at home, and our pizzas we shared were all great but the veal meatball/proscuitto one was the ultimate fave. Allison and I also split a bottle of Cab/Merlot and it was great but the buttery garlic bread was even better. Really fun evening, not even sure what we talked about at this point but I know I was belly laughing and near crying a lot of the time (from the belly laughs).

Another selfie-pre dinner!
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Megan drove us home and I realized that even at nearly 11pm on Saturday night, the expressway is still freaking packed in Chicago. Maybe a lot of the cool kids were just beginning their nights! We all stayed up and Al and I had more wine, watching some Louis CK with Megan's husband, Kurt. I mean, I'm sure the copious amounts of wine made him much funnier than necessary but I was crying-laughing at one of his routines about parenting. He definitely takes things WAY too far but on this night I thought he was hilarious.

We called it a night and went to bed, and in the morning I was fearful of a wine hangover. I did need a little 'rest' session on the couch to rebound but eventually pulled through. Megan made us an awesome egg casserole, coffee, and fruit before we all started packing up. It was sad to say goodbye to these girls and we agreed we cannot let another 5ish years go by without visiting again. Nope. It was too much fun seeing them in person so it must happen again soon.

Megan dropped Allison and I off at Union station, where I got the 10:20 Amtrak back to Milwaukee and Allison took the CTA (The L?? I think this is the correct terminology) to Midway. Keri drove back home to Indiana. And we all resumed our lives spread out in different states but with a little more reminiscing and laughter under our belts. Love these girls so much. Until next time;)

Little known fact: Nate and I were thisclose to moving to Chicago instead of Milwaukee back in 2007. I even had to cancel an interview I had set up at a hospital in Chicago once we officially decided we were headed to Milwaukee. It's such a fun town and there's just so much to DO there. Again, must take the Amtrak down with our kids soon.

Porter | Ten Months

My baby is not a baby anymore, people! (How big is Porter? Sooooo big!)



He felt much better today and I think he's headed in the right direction after whatever sickness hit him hard. He was well though for a monthly photoshoot but it didn't last long. Still cute;)

Communication/Tricks/He understand what we say: Waves, claps, so big, blows kisses, points and dances all on command. Actually the dancing thing happens when he hears music or sees his siblings running around like fools. Says 'dada' and actively looks for Nate, or will say it when he first sees Nate. If I ask, 'Where is daddy?' he will stop, look towards our back door, and say 'dada' in a perplexed voice. He did this today when Nate was sitting across the table from Porter, so who knows?

Loves Henry's beard.
Porter and Henry

Short arms!!
9.5 month Porter, on floor, chubby belly

Attempting the back carry in the Ergo one day. Sort of liked it.
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My little nugget baby.
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Sometimes Porter mumbles 'mama' but it's usually  directed towards any inanimate object, or when generally disgruntled. I know he loves me but MAN, would it kill a baby to recognize and verbalize that I'm his mom like he can do for his dad? Hmpf. Says 'hi' and 'bye-bye' while waving and I'm officially calling 'hi' his first real word. Uses that one appropriately and it's beyond adorable when he will say it to random strangers in a store. Shakes his head 'no' as soon as he throws food on the ground, learning this is not something he should do....yet not caring enough to stop. Signs 'more' by clapping enthusiastically in his high chair but I've forgotten all of the other baby signs that we were so great to use with Truman. (I won't pretend we signed with Cecelia either, sorry kids number two and three).  Just starting to cry when Cecelia takes something away from him, really asserting his opinions about what he likes and doesn't like.

Soccer practice fun.
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Greatly enjoys watching cartoons with big brother.
Porter and Truman watch TV

One thing Porter doesn't like? Mobility. Porter is SO not mobile, it's sort of starting to worry me. But I also selfishly LOVE the fact that my baby will sit happily in one place, since we all know a mobile baby is 1000x harder than a happily immobile one. Porter will roll and lay on his stomach but he's not barrel rolling everywhere, sometimes gets stuck on his tummy and then gets angry about that. He will not get up on all fours. He will not army crawl. He does not pull to stand. He mostly just sits or lays on his stomach, and he can scoot around while sitting, too. It's interesting because third babies seem to get the reputation to be super mobile early, trying to keep up with their siblings. I think Porter is not motivated and highly content to sit still, knowing his siblings will bring him toys and his mommy likes to carry him and snuggle the baby of the family. He likes to stand if we help him get there and I don't think he's 'low tone', so I'll continue to tell myself that every baby is different and I should enjoy my slow-to-move baby as long as possible. I'll of course talk to my pediatrician at the next appointment, too, but I think he might say that Porter is his own person and not to compare my kids. SO HARD though.

Obsessed with swings.
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Immobile baby in the Missouri grass.
Immobile baby loves being in the grass

Note the crossed ankles and clapping. And why is there always a laundry basket in all of my pictures??

Sleeping is still one of Porter's most prized talents, although he's waking a bit earlier for the day around 6am instead of 7am. But he still clocks about 11 hours at night with bedtime around 7-7:30 so I cannot complain. His morning nap is usually a quick 30 minutes and the afternoon nap rocks my world at 2-3 hours. NICE. I know. I love this category now, even more so after I read about Cecelia at ten months waking anywhere from 2-4 times at night and NOT napping. (shudder).

Fat belly.
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Oh, hi. I'm trying to crawl but not really.

Eating is another one of P's specialties. Food and formula are his favorites. He's drinking less in bottles and amping up his solid food intake, but still probably drinks about 24 oz in formula plus three meals in real food. He thinks he is an adult and still really prefers to feed himself, but will tolerate Greek yogurt via the spoon and occasionally applesauce or pureed baby food. Lori says that at daycare Porter gets really really angry if the bigger kids are eating something he can't have (like popcorn) and he is highly driven by food. He would seriously be content to sit in his highchair most of the day, shoveling food into his mouth-- a boy after my own heart.

Porter loves blackberries

Loves those bottles.
porter 9.5 months

Scary sister smile.
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Hmm, bananas are so boring, mom.

Superficial matters: Besides the simple fact that he is the CUTEST? 18 month clothes fit now, and I have a mix of 12 month, 12-18 month, and straight up 18 monthers in the rotation. Kind of boggles my mind because 18 month sleepers always look gigantic compared to 12 months for some reason, but they fit my long boy. He was about 21 pounds a few weeks ago, but apparently he lost at least one pound being sick (probably just fluids, but still sad). So he's not ssuper fat but he's sturdy and plump and...perfect. Size 4 diapers, size large ears, growing more hair, big blue eyes. STUNNER. Little stud muffin. I'm under his spell, I can't help it.

happy porter 9.5 months

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Two teeth. He only has two teeth! The other kids had six each by now, and I swear to you that Porter's top four teeth will all come through in a matter of days. They look painful and swollen are just taking their sweet time up in his grill.

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He still doesn't take a nuk, but someone else does in this house.
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Comparing sibs: 
Cecelia's 10 month post: was army crawling, crawling on all fours, pulling to stand, had six teeth, fantastic nurser, horrible sleeper, and loved solids.

Truman's 10 month post: was just starting to army crawl, had six teeth, winding down with nursing, just starting to sleep, and was hit or miss with solids.

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I mean...

Loves to pick his sister's nose.
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And wear hats with big brother.

So Porter is officially my slowest motor guy, my best sleeper, my earliest to wean, and has the least amount of teeth. HE HIS OWN MAN, guys. He's probably the smiliest and possibly the sweetest, too, but that might just be my obsession for this baby speaking.

Luckiest mom.
Mom and kids for her birthday

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Meh, whatever, ma.
kiss face porter

No seriously, I'm madly in love with you, Porter. What a privilege to watch you grow and to be your mom. Ten whole months of this life with you. I'm not sure how this is possible but I'll do my best to embrace the passage of time instead of cursing it. Because you are way too much fun to waste time being sad.

Love you, Porter P.
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