Ever since Duke started talking, he would pronounce most words by dropping the first letter or swapping T's for K's.  His beloved cows is "ows", Daddy is "addy", Grandpa is "ampa", Grandma is just "ma", baby brother is "EO".  Milk is"melt", when something broke it "breakt", Capone is 'mone' and my absolutely favorite is that Duke thinks his name is 'Ute (pronounced "oot").
Duke is my wild child. He is full of big personality coupled with the biggest heart. He is so sweet and caring.  He loves to climb on everything, has one volume (LOUD), and a great imagination.  Before he mastered climbing out of his crib, he would sit and play with his stuffed animals for forever before calling for us to come get him.  Talking to them, rocking them to sleep, covering them up with their "binks" (blanket).  Bedtime has gotten a little tougher lately. He's much more sensitive about the "dart" (dark) and wants his door open.

He has so many little routines and quirks right now that I don't want to forget.  We always read the Superhero Rules at least 2 times before he goes to sleep.  The second he gets his coat on at daycare, he asks for his treat, Smarties and tootsie rolls are always top choice, with dumdum suckers coming in 3rd.  He recently started sneaking 2 treats and we think it's so funny we've been letting it slide. totally going to regret it later but look at that face! When I ask him who he played with, he nearly always lists for 4 same kids, "Ash" his cousin Ashlan, "Ae" his cousin Shelan, "Na" his friend Anna, and "Riley" (one name he totally gets!). Did he have a fun day? "YEA".

At least once a week he asks for "boball" (basketball) and "ampa" (my dad).  I can't wait until it warms up because he's been begging for "ractor" (tractor) and "ows".  It's going to be a really fun Spring watching him let loose at the farm. Whenever we're at my parents when it gets dark out, he yells "Niiiighhht! 'Ows" over and over again as we leave.  He's most definitely got a little bit of my Grandpa Moose in him.
Duke loves to 'elp whenever he can whether it's mixing things in the kitchen, "washing" dishes, vacuuming or feeding Capone.  He likes to help feed Theo and actually does a great job with his baby food.  He always asks if diapers are "gross?" when we change he and Theo and likes to practice going on the potty.
We recently upgraded him to a big boy bed and it's been an interesting experiment.  He demands that we 'LAY DOWN LAY DOWN LAY DOWN' and 50% of the time he's crawling into our bed in the middle of the night. We bring him back to his room unless it's after 6 a.m. and then I just snuggle him until we go get ready.  He loves to play in the bathroom while I'm getting ready, whether he's counting all of the Band-Aids in a box ("one, free one! 'ive 'ix 'eight!") or washing his hands 47 times, it's a mad dash to get myself ready for work and keep him alive before Theo wakes up and I've lost all chance at not having someone attached to my body.
Some people tell us we are in the thick of it right now and if that's true, we are truly soaking up every crazy, 'STOP pushing your brothers face into the carpet!' moment.  #thisistwo

Happy Friday everyone!


And just like that...

Theo is 10 months old! We only have 1 more monthly celebration before this baby of mine is 1! Needless to say, I am not prepared. I asked him this morning what we're going to do about the fact that I'm determined to keep him my itty bitty baby.

We have officially weaned and Theo is on formula bottles and purees. He's trying real food but struggling a bit and ends up throwing up everywhere instead of swallowing tiny bits.  It's frustrating but I know he'll get better with practice.  I try not to let all the food stuff stress me out because I know he's getting the nutrition he needs and I'm almost certain he won't still be eating purees when he graduates high school.  #almostcertain

Theo has a total of 7 teeth and continues to chomp on unsuspecting shoulders, fingers, and toes.  He loves to grab hold of his brother with his super human grip and pull hair.  He truly does it all out of affection though, at least I tell myself, because he's basically a koala bear and wants to be attached to someone 80% of the time.  The other 20% he's wiggling all over the place, insisting he be put down so he can explore the world.

Theo got his first haircut this month.  His hair is pretty unruly and was growing stick straight over his ears.  I threatened to cut it myself half a dozen times before Dennis finally gave in and agreed his was ready.  Bonus: he was so well-behaved, standing for the entire haircut, that Duke had no choice but to cooperate for his cut afterwards.  Can't have little brother show him up, after all.

I rock Theo to sleep more often than I probably did for Duke, but if he's cranky he has a pretty hard time putting himself to sleep. Other nights he's perfectly fine to babble away to himself before drifting off, nearly always on his side or belly with his butt in the air.
He loves to stand up with support and will make his entire body stiff as a board if you try to make him sit down when he doesn't want to.  He has the biggest kissable cheeks and loves to smile his big toothy grin. Duke absolutely cracks him up and can do almost anything and get a belly laugh.  While I'm excited for the next stage with this nugget, I am soaking up every moment of his sweet baby-hood.  


9 Months and 2+ Years

My sweet boys are growing up fast and I don't to forget the little moments that are my absolute FAVORITE for each of them at this stage.
Theodore Paul hit the 9 month milestone on the 28th of December and we had his checkup today.  He is weighing in at a whopping 22lbs 12oz and is 28.25in tall.  Theo is the definition of "happy" wrapped up in a chunky little package. He is sweet and snuggly, although he's become extra squirmy these days.  He rolls everywhere and pulls up on his knees often, but belly flops before crawling anywhere.  He manages to get where he wants to go so we'll continue to encourage him but I'm not too worried at the moment...he's got a giant head just like his brother and it's hard work holding up that chub!

Theo eats tons of purees and is dabbling in the world of puffs.  I think we'll start trying some other food off of our plates soon now that he's consistently eating his fruits and veggies.  All but peas.  His entire body shudders when he takes a bite and he simply can't stand them.  I think they smell awful so I don't really blame him!

T-man loves to be tickled, read books, bang on toys, and chew on everything.  His 3rd tooth is popping through the top and it looks like he's got 3 more following close behind it. He's about 50/50 on breastmilk and formula and switches between the two really well.  He's sleeping roughly 8:30p-7:30a...we've been working on dropping the 10p feeding and just giving him a bigger bottle around 8 and then down for the night.  So far it seems to be the schedule he likes!
Theo loves to watch his brother, totally tolerates and instigates a little wrestling, and always manages to find his way to Capone and try to pull on his cheeks.  He's got the strongest grip I've ever experienced and can just about rip your face off if you're not paying attention. Duke is pretty patient with his little brother but doesn't hesitate to yell "OWWWIEEEE" if Theo is touching him when he doesn't want to be. We're also working on that whole "sharing" thing...

Duke is in a really fun stage and my favorite things are when he grabs my hand and asks me to dance, gives me puckered up lip kisses and big squeezes, shows me his muscles before bed, grabs a book and wants to cuddle under a blanket, and cooks me food in his kitchen.  He loves to help me do things around the house "Mine? Elp?" so I let him help vacuum and take all of the dirty silverware out of the dishwasher right after I put it in.  He is also a PRO at unfolding laundry.  It's a good thing he's cute.
He has a sweet imagination, loves to pretend to be Capone and gives puppy kisses, is obsessed with his brother and instantly asks for him when he wakes up. "EO" is his favorite little buddy, he always tries to comfort him when he's "rying" and checks on any of us if he thinks something is wrong.  "Tay, mom? Tay?"

He's been dabbling in potty training and we haven't had enough {or any} consecutive days to hang at home and let him really try it out. I'm hoping we can slow down a little this month and see if he's really ready!  He's also saying so much more! He still struggles with the first letter of words and mixes up his "k's" with "t's" but he gets so excited when he can really communicate what he wants and we understand...I can see the little wheels turning in his mind and his face lights up when he gets it right.  I just can't handle how fun and entertaining this stage is!
These boys make life so much sweeter and I am so thankful to be their mama.  


2017 Reflections

2018 is here! It totally doesn't feel like it's possible but here it is and I'm ready to embrace it.  You all know I love the start to a new month and the start to a new year is basically that feeling on steroids! I am easing my way into 2018 with a slow easy day at home today and lots of quality time with my favorite guys.

2017 was an amazing year.  The highlight was adding a sweet baby to our family.  Theo has fit perfectly into our little family and I feel like we never really skipped a beat. He's so easy going and totally content going with the flow.  I was looking back at his birth story and love that I had a feeling he would have his own calm pace about him...he's just the sweetest and I want to keep him a baby forever.

Duke impressed us with his amazing big brother skills all year.  He loves "EO" so much and watching them together is my favorite.  He turned 2 in October and has grown and changed so much.  He talks a lot more now and has the sweetest imagination, whether he's pretending he's Capone or cooking us food in his kitchen or chasing us around with his toy drill because something "breakt" and he needs to fix it.  He gives great hugs and kisses, has a hilarious sense of humor, loves cows, and loves holding hands.

Dennis and I celebrated 3 years of marriage, continuing to reflect on all of the crazy things we've crammed into 3 years.  Last night was our 5 year anniversary of our engagement.  I hope I never forget the moment Dennis proposed...I still remember exactly how I felt, a huge rush of anticipation and emotion as I watched the love of my life down on one knee in front of me with the most beautiful ring in a box. I knew our lives would never be the same and I was right.  It's been the best adventure so far and I have a feeling this year will be filled with even more excitement.
We took a lot of fun trips this year.  Okoboji to celebrate Dennis' birthday, Colorado for weddings, family visits, and meeting my new baby niece, Charleston with my girlfriends...I hope 2018 is filled with lots of travel as well!

We spent a lot of time at the pool this summer, a lot of time snuggling and acclimating to life as a family of 4, and a lot of time at USD football and basketball games. 

Our first Christmas in our home this year was amazing.  There is simply nothing better than seeing all the excitement of the holiday season through the eyes of babies! They just know it's special and have no qualms just soaking up the moments.  We slowed down a bit this year and really just savored the moments and I loved every second. 
We are so happy here and I am so thankful we opted to move in 2016.  I have met amazing friends and truly feel like I have that 'village' I always hear about.  People I could call on a moment's notice who would be there for our little family.  Dennis and I are both involved in different groups- pool league and golf league for him, book club and countless wine nights for me, plus the local United Way Board. :) I've also been meeting some wonderful people through my Rodan + Fields business.  In 2018 I hope to be more present, unplug more often, be more active, blog more, and go on more dates with my husband. I hope you all had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year...we got a babysitter and went out with a bunch of friends. We stayed out too late and had an absolute blast...narrowly escaping freezing to death in the ridiculously frigid temperatures!

Happy New Year!!

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