Friday, February 28, 2014

conversations with Collin

I put Collin into his room for a nap, and then went to put Lauren down for her nap.
When I came out from taking care of Lauren, Collin's door was open and his sound machine was off.
I said, "Bud, what are you doing?" and he said, "So... I had a good snooze."
"No dude.  I was only gone 5 minutes.  You didn't sleep."

"Hey, wanna know something fun?  I love you!"

(while playing grocery store, Collin's new favorite activity)
"So, what would you like to buy today?  A chapstick?  Ok!  That will be $10."

(while watching a basketball game)
"Hey Mom, see the guy with the flute around his neck?  He's the buzzer guy!"
"Yeah, buddy.  It's called a whistle.  And he's a referee."

Lauren Kate: 6 months

Sweet Lauren Kate is already half a year old!

weight:  16.5 pounds (60th percentile)
height:  26.5 inches (75th percentile)
head circumference:  17.5 inches (95th percentile)
clothing size:  6-9 months

Baby girl is getting so big!  She loves to sit up by herself for several seconds, and she's also very happy to have someone help her stand.  She rolls from back to belly and belly to back, and she's learning to scoot forward on her belly!

Lauren continues to be a very joyful little girl, full of smiles and squeals.  Making her smile is pretty simple, though it seems everyone has their own trick for getting her attention.  She recognizes happy voices and has a few favorite sounds that capture her interest, her favorite being Daddy's duck call noise.

She is bright-eyed and attentive, and incredibly laid-back.  She watches carefully, pays close attention to details, and is typically very content.

Lauren is still a good sleeper!  It's easy for other people to put her to sleep, which is awesome.  Her napping schedule isn't much of a schedule, with usually one longer nap and one shorter nap each day we're home.  If she only does short naps, then we have to squeeze in a third nap to make it through the day.  She's been sleeping through the night for months, but the past week has been a little different- going to bed around 8:30, waking up around 5:30 to eat, and then sleeping until 9:30 or so.  She's growing well and she's happy, and we're comfortable letting her dictate her own schedule.

Lauren's favorite toys are her moose, the peacock Collin loved, a stuffed turtle, and her jumper.  She love, love, loves being in her jumper!  She's been laying on a blanket on the floor with toys for playtime, but that doesn't last long now that she rolls.  She also enjoys sitting in the bumbo.  At this point, she enjoys some independence from being held all the time.

Baby girl loves to eat!  She still nurses every 2-3 hours during the day, and she has also loved prunes, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, avocado, and peaches.  She wasn't a fan of peas.  She opens wide and leans into the spoon to get more food, and she fusses when the whole container of food is gone.  She's a hungry little woman!

It's been cold and miserable outside, so we haven't been too adventurous this month.  We've kept up with our regular commitments (study group every other Tuesday & CBS every Thursday), but we haven't been out and about much beyond that.  Lauren snoozes in the car on our way to morning events or playdates, and then in about 2 hours she's ready to snooze again.  Two hours is a great length for a playdate, so we'll leave when Lauren gets tired.  At CBS, she usually gets to snuggle with a teacher for a nap.  Luckily Lauren is so laid-back and goes with the flow of our schedule!

We love our sweet little Lauren Kate so very much, and we're having a blast watching her grow and change every day!  She most certainly is a blessing to our family.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Collin's kidneys

Collin's kidneys...  They were enlarged during ultrasounds before Collin was born, so we've been monitoring the situation for a long time.  His ureters are underdeveloped, so his bladder is refluxing into his kidneys.  It's called vesicoureteral reflux.

To prevent infection, which would cause damage to the kidneys, Collin has been taking an antibiotic daily since birth.

We've done 2 miserable VCUGs to get video recordings of the reflux in action, and we've done about 8 ultrasounds to check the size and condition of his kidneys.


The last ultrasound was a couple weeks ago, and today we saw a pediatric urologist to discuss the status of things.

Collin wasn't sad that there were iPads on the walls in the waiting room.

It was a new urologist we met with today, Dr. Eeg, and he's the first person we've seen who actually specializes in pediatrics rather than just being certified.  He treats lots of kiddos with the same condition Collin has.

The news today was fantastic!  Collin's kidneys are growing and they're appropriately sized.

Now that he's three and we've never had any problems with bladder or kidney infections, we don't have to do the daily antibiotic anymore!

Since Collin has made it this long without any trouble, the odds are good that there never will be any major trouble!  He can have vesicoureteral reflux his entire life with no treatment, as long as it isn't severe enough to damage his kidneys (which is what we monitor with the ultrasounds) and he doesn't get bladder or kidney infections.

We'll do another ultrasound and a visit with the urologist a year from now, and if everything is still good, we won't even have to do another ultrasound or urologist visit for three years!

It's exciting news, and we are praising the Lord for his work in our little mister!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

hand holding

Collin loves to have Lauren hold his hand.  As in, he makes it happen at least a hundred times every single day.

big girl

Lauren Kate is getting so big...

Grown-up expressions.

Flying practice.

Sitting big.

Sweet, giggly girl.

bath colors

Grandma gave Collin a bath color fizzie for Valentine's Day, and he decided to take a midday bath to see how it worked.  It started pink, then the water turned purple, and finally it ended up being blue.

An hourlong bath in the middle of the day?  Woohoo!

post-nap sweetness

Some of the sweetest brother-sister moments come right after Lauren wakes up from a nap.

"Hi my little punky-doodle!  How was your snooze, cutie?  Are you so happy, sweet girl?"

Collin likes to help un-swaddle Lauren so he can hold her hand.

He also likes to lay beside her as she stretches and smiles.

Sweet babes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

sweet cheeks

Lauren Kate has the most delicious cheeks.  There's only one problem with chubby cheeks:  tears get stuck!

Lauren almost never cries hard enough for tears to make it over her sweet cheeks, so the tears stay welled up on top.


While I was feeding Lauren and putting her down for a nap, Collin used the drawers as a ladder to get onto the countertop so he could wash dishes.  I took a picture before I told him to never do that again.

He thought a bubble beard was pretty hilarious.

He can write his name by himself, but has only been doing it when I tell him to.  The other day as we were outside getting ready to leave the house, he grabbed a piece of chalk and wrote his name on the sidewalk without being prompted.  He was proud of himself!

Collin loves to paint, but usually just says "It's a painting." when I ask what he made.  After making lots of random brush strokes this time, he said, "Mom!  Look!  I made a bird!"

He's silly.

We like him!

weather swings

Winter in South Dakota:  snow, then sunshine and blue skies, and then more snow.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

When it isn't blowing and miserably cold, Collin enjoys bundling up to play on the deck.

And he especially loves when it's warm enough for no coat.

Spring, we're ready for you!

squeaky clean + happy

Our kiddos love getting clean!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Collin's story format

Before bed, we tell Collin a story and then he tells us a story.  It's funny because he always follows the exact same format.

"Once up a time, there was a little... hmm...  ________.
His name was ______ (typically -ie after the object, such as "truckie" or "starrie.")
He loved to ______.
But one daaaay, he heard a scary sound.
It was a _______."

Luckily all of Collin's stories have happy endings, so typically the two characters become friends and play all day.  He does a really great job making a simple story line, and his favorite part is when he gets to say "the end."

chatty kiddos

We have a couple chatty kiddos in this family!  Lauren's favorite things to say are "gooooooo" and "mehhhhhhh."

With a little more advanced vocabulary, Collin says hilarious things every day.

"Hey, do you know what something is fun about?"
"Yeah, that's what I was meaning about."
"Ooh, blueberries are my best fruit!"
"Oh shucks.  Doggone-it.  That is very not good."
"It's a cow!  And then he'll become hamburger.  And then we will eat him."

Valentine's Day

We had a lovely Valentine's Day, complete with a party for Collin and Lauren's friends!

We made a "photo booth" to take pictures, and had a great time testing it out with our babes.

LK slept almost the entire time our friends (7 mamas, 10 big kids, and 3 babies) were over.

Collin mostly had fun decorating cookies and eating.  It was definitely his best hosting experience so far, as he was very laid-back about having so many people in his space and playing with his toys.

We also did a little bit of outdoor time with chalk

and stomping around on the driveway.

These are the loves of our life, right here: