Monday, March 2, 2015

Ren's 1st Birthday

I started out Ren's birthday with a few throwback photos to remember how different life was just one short year ago before we even met Ren. I actually posted this first photo the week before his birthday, since I was 38 weeks pregnant here (I delivered him at 39 weeks). I do NOT miss that belly. :)

And then this was on his actual birthday. This photo was during his first hour of life when we were doing our precious skin-to-skin time. He was nestled under my gown and we were just getting to know each other.

Then I had to do a comparison of Sutton at 12 months (left) and Ren at 12 months (right) in the same spot. This photo pretty much sums them up. Sutton has more hair, and Ren is happy all the time. :)

Ren's actual birthday was a bit uneventful. It was during parent-teacher conferences for Adam, so Adam was at work the entire evening before and while I put Ren to bed. So I went through the crazy emotions of putting my baby to bed for the last time as a baby by myself.

The plus side was that Adam had Thursday morning (Ren's actual birthday) off before he had to go in to work for the entire afternoon and evening for more conferences. So we let Adam sleep in a little and then we went out to get donuts together for breakfast.

We're used to having our kid's birthday in the summer when Adam doesn't have to work and we can do fun things to celebrate all day. So it was a bit of a let-down to celebrate a birthday during the school year. Although I suppose when he's bigger, he'll be able to take treats to school on his birthday and Sutton won't. The rest of his birthday was pretty much a normal day for us but luckily my parents came over that evening for pizza so we wouldn't have to spend the evening by ourselves.

Ren tried donut and pizza for the first time on his birthday, and that was pretty much the extent of the excitement. He also got to open two presents - one from our friends the Lanes and one from my parents. Our present to him hadn't come in the mail yet. I'm really slacking on this whole second-time-mom thing. :)

But, to redeem myself, I had planned a big party for him two days later. It was a bit of a bummer because two of our closest friends were due right around his birthday with their own babies and couldn't make it to the party. (One had her baby a few days before and the other lives out of town and could've gone into labor at any second.) But aside from that, the party was a success! I planned and decorated (which is NOT my strong suit) and I think it turned out cute.

These were his monthly photos. I love this display and still haven't taken it down. :)

I printed out some photos of Ren from when we announced we were pregnant, some belly photos, hospital, and then throughout his first year, to have the Story of Ren. But then I realized I had no where to display them. So I hung them on a bookshelf and it looked really bad for the photos, ha. But it served its purpose. :)

My parents got there early to help frost cupcakes and prep (THANK YOU!), and Ren had just woken up from his morning nap, so he was still in jammies.

Then I changed him into his cute ONEsie (get it?) that I made - that's an iron-on - and I love how it turned out!

After lunch but before cake and presents, I got a photo of the birthday boy with all of his guests. Here he is with Papa Ed and Grandma Janet.

And with Papa Bruce and Grandma Ancy.

With his cousins Aubrynn and Breegan. Their brother had a robotics tournament that day, so he couldn't make it and their parents (Uncle Steve and Aunt Jessica) could only make it to the party for about 15 minutes before heading out to watch him compete. We missed you! But I'm glad the girls could stay. Funny one point Ren went missing and I found him in Sutton's bed...Aubrynn had lifted him up into the bed and all the kids were playing there. He was having a ball. Yikes.

Friends Melinda, Olive, and Ryan.

Daddy and Mommy with our birthday boy!

Sutton was sooooo excited to be taken away from playing with his friends for a picture, as you can tell.

Friends Brennan, Kurt, and London. We missed their momma Faith, but she had to work.

So thankful for everyone who came and shared this special day with us.

Then it was time for the cake smash! This was the first time Ren had cake. He was trying to figure out what to do with it.

Mmm. Yummy.

Then he realized "Whoa, this is GOOD." and dove in!

I gave him a quick sink bath and left him naked (with a diaper) for presents.

He was so funny with the presents. They were all in gift bags, and he would pull out the tissue paper and then stick his head in the bag like he was trying to crawl in it.

All the kiddos were very intent on watching to see what he got.

This is the classic Ren sitting position:

After most of the people left, Scott (AH! we forgot a picture with Scott) and Kurt + his kids stuck around a bit for a dance party. But Ren was so tired. I sat with him on the couch and he didn't move from this position for like 30 minutes until I finally put him down for his nap.

And Sutton wanted a picture of him doing this pose.

All in all, a great first birthday. I didn't know what to expect because Sutton cried through most of his first birthday party. He was just overwhelmed with all the people and hated us forcing the cake on him. So I didn't know how Ren would do, but figured it would go a little better since he's a lot more laid back than his big brother. He did great...he crawled around, let everyone hold him, ate his cake with no fuss, and didn't cry at all. Good job, Ren!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Carry Your Heart :: 2

Have you been following the I Carry Your Heart blog? If you don't, you should. You'll see a new photo from each of the photographers (including me!) every week at noon on Thursday. I look forward to the new photos every week!

Here are the photos I posted the last two weeks, as well as a few extras.

This is the image I posted for week 3 (thanks Tara for helping me choose!):

These photos are so fun. I love the developing relationship between my boys now that Ren is more than just a baby-blob. Here they are, innocently watching the iPad...

But it soon develops into a wrestling match. Don't feel too bad for Ren...he loved every minute of it, and Sutton is very careful with him (contrary to what it may look like).

This was the image I posted for week 4:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ren {12 Months Old}

Renny! You are a whole year old! And handsome as ever...

You are simply the best. Ren, at 12 months:

*You weigh right at 23 pounds. We don't have your well baby check up til Tuesday, but I weighed you myself today.

UPDATE:: As of Feb. 24 at our doctor's appointment, you weigh 22 pounds, 4 oz (63rd percentile). You are 29.25 inches long (24th percentile). Your head is 19 inches around (95th percentile). Looking at these stats, I have no idea why we are needing size 18 month clothes, but whatever. ALSO, about 2 days after your birthday you started saying "boo-ca" constantly. It's SO cute. You just crawl around saying "boo-ca, boo-ca" and we say it back to you all day long. :)

*You wear size 12-18 month clothes, though the sleepers in those sizes are getting too short. You wear size 3 diapers. Your 3T socks are too small (though they may have shrunk in the wash), and you wear adult size stocking hats.

The shirt below is the shirt that Sutton wore for his party on his first birthday. It was a tiny bit snug on him, and pretty snug on you too, though I had another shirt underneath.

*We have started putting you to bed a bit's usually somewhere between 7:30 and 8 on a normal night, though sometimes you stay up later if we have something going on. Maybe it's bad that we're not super strict with our schedule, but you seem to go with it.

*You had been getting up around 5:45am each morning, but I cannot function that way. Especially when I'm staying up til midnight or 1am to work. So I have started getting up to nurse you at that time, then putting you back down and letting you cry a little til you go back to sleep. I've gotten a 7:30a and even an 8a (on your birthday!) sleep-in time that way.

*You are still getting up 2-3 times per night to nurse. I've tried letting you cry since I know you don't really NEED it, you just WANT it. But you won't stop crying. It's not an all-out loud fit, but you just sadly whimper on and off forever and ever til I come in there. I can't sleep through your whimpering so it's been easier to just get up and nurse you.


*You have been nursing the 2-3 times per night, once before your morning nap, once before your afternoon nap, and once before bedtime. Sometimes you get super cranky in the evening and that's the only thing you want, so sometimes there's an extra feeding in there. My plan has always been to start weaning you when you hit a year. I still want to do that, but I'm not sure how to go about it since you're completely different than Sutton was and seem much more dependent on nursing. I may start replacing feedings with warm milk in your sippy cup and see how that goes.

*You've started actually drinking cow's milk out of your sippy cup. You do much better with it when it's room temperature as opposed to cold.

*You eat baby food or real food at every meal and then usually one or two extra times per day. It depends on what we're doing that day. You still seem to prefer veggies over fruits. But I've found (as strange as this sounds...) that you will eat fruits better if I don't feed them to you right when you wake up.

*You love sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, puffs, veggie straws. We gave you a few bites of donut on your birthday and some pizza, and you loved them both. I gave you a little chocolate ice cream tonight and you were obsessed.

*You stand unassisted now, for quite awhile. But it has to be on your terms, you usually won't do it on command. I get so excited when you do it, which makes you get excited. You've started associating excitement with standing, so when you stand, you clench your hands into fists and yell in triumph. Sometimes you raise your fists in the air. SO CUTE.

*You walk along furniture, but you don't walk alone yet. You don't even act like you're trying to. Like, putting one foot in front of the other is not even on your radar.

*You crawl all over the place like a maniac though. We have to shut all the bedroom and bathroom doors, the door to the basement stairs, and we've put safety latches on all the cabinets. You have tried to propel yourself down the laundry shoot, eat toilet cleaner, and lick up nasty water from the open dishwasher. You have successfully eaten your fair share of dog food, knocked over the dog's water bowl, shut your fingers in a cabinet, played in the toilet water, and escaped a barricade and made it halfway up the stairs. All of those multiple times. You're exhausting but you make me laugh.

*You are kinda over playing with toys and would rather play with boxes, paper, electronics, cords, and trash.

*You are good at playing by yourself for periods of time, but usually you get into something you shouldn't. Often times, you'll get bored after awhile and will find me and crawl over and whine to be held. You seriously love me and I seriously love it. You follow me everywhere, get so excited when I come home from being gone, and you're super cuddly all the time.

*You're also obsessed with your daddy. When he comes home from work, you flap your arms in excitement til he picks you up. In the mornings, I put you in bed with him to wake him up and you get so happy when you realize he's in the bed, you crawl over to him and cuddle until he wakes up.

*And lastly, Sutton is your hero. He makes you laugh all the time and you love to just watch him. You also try to "hug" him (you have a special way of hugging that I'll talk about in a minute) but sometimes he doesn't appreciate it. These next two pictures makes me laugh. I told Sutton to give you a kiss.

*You're super affectionate. It is so endearing. You usually will let anyone hold you without complaint. You like to "hug" us by leaning your forehead against our forehead. Sutton doesn't always appreciate it because you usually block his view of the TV or his toys when you do it. But Daddy and I love it. You do it all the time. Over and over. You also like to lay your head down on our chest and shoulders. Every single night when I go to put you to bed, I put your blankie over my shoulder before we sit down in the rocking chair, and you immediately lay your head down.

*You like to do the head-hug with Diesel too. Love it.

*You've had some dry skin on your cheeks that's been super red lately. I feel like it's windburn from the cold and the wind we've had lately. I've been putting A&D ointment on it at diaper changes and that seems to help a lot. Hopefully this is something you'll grow out of.

*You don't like socks. You don't get mad about them or anything, but like 75% of the time I go to take you out of your carseat, you have pulled off one or both socks. It's almost comical. You often go an entire day wearing one sock. Or none. Even though it's cold, you just pull them off.

*When you're mad, you make fists, screw up your face, open your mouth and yell/cry. It's so darn cute. You've started to get your feelings hurt. Like when we firmly tell you NO about something, you'll get all offended and mad.

*This month, we've discovered several things that you're afraid of: mylar balloons, large dogs, and vacuums. (Apparently we don't vacuum that much if we're just now finding this out.)

*Your favorite activity is knocking things into the bathtub. Before I give you a bath, or before I take one with you in the room, I have to move everything off the side of the tub. You're like a cat. This morning, since there was nothing for you to knock into my bath, you started picking stuff up off the floor and throwing it in the tub. You are so crazy.

*I think you've started saying Ma-ma for real. You say it in context semi-often, so I'm going to go with it. You're still great at saying Da-da.

*Your hair seems to be getting redder but it still only really grows on the back of your head. Hopefully some day soon the front will grow in. :)

*You're kinda able to go DOWN the stairs now, in addition to up. I haven't been brave enough to start you at the top, but you like to climb up a couple stairs (starting at the bottom), and then you slide backwards and then do it all over again.

*We lowered your mattress which makes me feel like you're a lot safer. But its harder for me to reach down there to lay you down or to find your pacifier in the middle of the night. I've started laying you down awake instead of rocking you completely to sleep before laying you down. It's a good thing I waited to start doing that til after we lowered your crib because sometimes you crawl or walk all the way around your crib a few times before finally laying down. You also still like to play with the monitor camera.

The fists in the air! All the time. So happy!

*You love bath time, but you are always wanting to stand. You probably spend about 80% of your bath time standing, which makes no sense to me because it seems like it would be colder than if you were sitting down. You like to stand and play with the faucet, make your way around the perimeter to knock any bottles into the bath, and come to visit me and give me a head hug. You do a lot better with very warm baths than Sutton ever did. He liked the water room temperature (gross).

We love you sweet Ren, and I just know that with as fast as this year has gone, the next will go even faster and you'll be two before we know it. You're beautiful, smart, squishy, and loving. I can't wait to see the man you will grow into, but stay a baby as LONG as you'd like. :) Here's your final monthly comparison, and a few more photos from your 1 Year Session.