Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nicholas at 13 months

***Notice the battle wounds on his face. Three-fourths of the scratches on his nose were caused by Nicholas scratching himself. The rest of his scratches are due to some falls. It is all part of the process of learning how to walk.

Weight: 26.4 lbs when he is fully clothed
Height: 30 inches
Tooth Count: 6 (two top and four on the bottom)
Favorite Foods: GRAPES and Milk
Other Foods He Likes: Cottage Cheese, Hot Dogs, Yogurt, Oatmeal
Foods He Hates: Vegetables (He will eat about three green beans. Sometime when I hide them in a soup, he will eat a few vegetables.)

Funny Eating Quirks:
  • When he eats a new food, he has a very similar reaction whether he hates it or loves it. First, he will plop the strange looking piece of food into his mouth. (He is usually willing to try any new food.) Then, he gives a look like that was the most disgusting thing he ever ate. He wrinkles his little nose and pulls the new food item out of his mouth and takes a real long look at it. If he liked the food, he will put it back into his mouth. If he didn't like the food, he throws it on the floor. (We are working on making him put it back on his tray, but he is convinced that throwing something on the floor makes it a lot less likely that Mom will try to make him eat it again.) Thanks to this system, Mom has a lot harder time trying to get him to eat foods he has already tried and decided he doesn't like because he is really good at recognizing them at first glance.
  • It is immensely easier to get him to eat a certain food if he has one of his hands immersed in it while your are trying to shovel it into his mouth. He also seems to have a more hearty appetite for something if you let him hold the lid of the jar you are feeding him out of. He likes to hold the whole jar, but Mom won't let him. We have an argument most mornings about who should hold the oatmeal cup. (I usually win.)
  • He is working on feeding himself with a spoon. He has the general idea, but most of the food falls off of the spoon before it makes it to his mouth. He also likes to shake his spoon.
  • He likes it when I hide a bit of food in each of my hands. He then picks a hand and is surprised by what is in there. It is funny when he finds something he doesn't like. He will then pick the other hand to see if there is anything better in there. If there isn't something better in the other hand, he then pushes my hand towards my mouth so I will eat it. I let him feed me the food he doesn't like because I figure that at least shows him that I think that the food tastes good. Plus no food goes to waste when I eat his cast offs.
  • He will take snacks from other people, but when he is really hungry he only wants Mom to feed him. I know that when he won't go to Papa and he won't let me put him down, then he is hungry.
  • He goes to bed around seven and wakes up around seven. He takes one or two naps. The day goes a lot better when he takes two naps. The first one he takes about ten in the morning and it lasts about 1 1/2 hours. His afternoon nap is anywhere between 1 and 3, and only last about a half an hour. He is still really easy to get to sleep.
  • He is getting more stable at walking. He had his first bad spill at Six Flags on the 6th. He started running down a little concrete ramp and fell on his face. His nose bled a little bit and he bit his lip. Poor little guy.
  • He has mastered turning when he walks, so he doesn't just go in a straight line.
  • He doesn't hold his hands above his head anymore when he walks. He still holds them up a little lower than shoulder height.
  • He still won't stand up with out using something.
  • He only does a typical crawl now, so no more army man.
Favorite Activities:
  • He loves playing in our bed. He loves be thrown down on the pillows or be flipped around and tickled. He also loves doing this on the couch.
  • Unloading drawers.
  • He loves bath time. He likes splashing and dropping things over the side of the tub. When all the water drains out, he likes to try and avoid Mom so he doesn't have to get out of the tub. He thinks it is so funny, so I play along.
  • He loves visiting the dogs and cats in the neighborhood. I'm grateful for neighbors who have pets so we don't have to. He loves watching the squirrels in our backyard that come for our acorns. He also loves it when Mom pretends to be a dog.
  • Walks outside and trips to the park.
  • When we go shopping, the only way to keep him happy is to have him stand in the shopping cart. He loves it! He is actually really good at holding on and hasn't ever had a tumble. He also hasn't wanted to climb out of the cart yet. He loves riding in the basket also because then he has access to all the fun things Mom puts in the cart. He loves to keep me on my toes and drop items over the side. When he gets sick of that, I make him push the cart around the store. We go pretty slow, but he loves this. It is super cute, because he laughs the whole time. This only works for about five minutes until he decides he wants to go "shopping" and then I have to put him back in the cart or carry him.
  • He is FINALLY starting to like books. Before, he would just grab the book from my hands chew on it and throw it on the ground. Now, he will look at a few pictures before he sticks it in his mouth and throws it on the ground. Yeah for progress.
  • He LOVES looking at himself in the mirror. He also loves looking at pictures of himself. (Maybe all our compliments have gone to his head.)

Pet Peeves:
  • He absolutely HATES having his diaper changed. It isn't bad if I can find an interesting item for him to hold while I change his diaper; however, I'm running out of new things to have him hold. Another problem is that this item he is examining while he is getting his diaper changed has to be really light, because as soon as I'm not looking he will drop it on my foot. I have two bruises on my foot from when he dropped a big belt buckle and an air freshener.
  • He hates getting dressed. He really just hates anything that gets in the way of his investigating the world. I have become really good at getting him dressed while he is playing. I have not found a good way of getting socks and shoes on without him noticing, so we do battle when it comes to footwear. The worst time is at night when he is cranky and I'm trying to get him into two sleepers, so he is nice and toasty now that it is cold.
  • Mom and Papa being out of his sight. We left him with a babysitter and he cried the WHOLE time. They said Nicholas seemed to have a three foot rule, he wouldn't let the babysitter get closer than three feet or further than three feet away from him. He is getting better at going to other people, but he wants Mom and Papa nearby. It is mostly my fault that he isn't good with babysitters. We have only left him about 10 times during his life and most of those he was asleep for and were under three hours.
Words: He talks up a storm, but the only word he consistently says is, "Yeah." He hasn't picked up any signs, but that is our goal for next month. He is getting really good at following commands. He recognizes the following phrases:
  • "Go find Papa."
  • "Get your puppy."
  • "NO, NO."
  • "Up."
  • "All done."
  • "Pick a hand."
Nicholas is SUPER BUSY and really clingy!!!! I was getting a little frustrated until I changed my perspective. Now, I don't plan on getting anything done while Nicholas is awake except for caring for Nicholas. During his first nap, I run around getting everything cleaned up and I cook dinner. During his second nap, I usually have to clean up all the messes he has made during the day. After he goes to sleep, I clean up dinner and do the rest of my chores. I usually get a few things done while he is up. For example, he likes it when I vacuum and he usually doesn't mind if I exercise as long as I don't mind if he climbs all over me while I'm doing push ups. Nicholas has a way of knowing if playing with him is not my top priority, and when he senses this he becomes super needy and it takes 5X longer to get anything done. So, I'm just working on enjoying him. He really is so CUTE, so HAPPY, and so FUN. I'm never going to have the opportunity again of just having one child to care for, so I've decided to just enjoy it as much as possible.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The End of the Okra

Well, the okra has reached its end, and the only thing as impressive as its 11' height is its complete lack of complimentary root structure. No wonder I had to support it after a rainstorm during the summer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Monkey Walk

Nicholas can now walk across the room. He looks a little like a monkey with his hands up in the air.

Happy Birthday Aunt Mary!

P.S. Thanks for always leaving comments on our blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FALL in Texas

We have a GIANT tree in our front yard that is dropping all its leaves. This week I have raked up six bags. Every other day, I spend Nicholas' morning nap time raking. This is right before nap time when I shot these pictures. He first started out wary but interested in the leaves. I got a lot of photos like this with him wearing his pajamas....

But generally, he was happy.

That is until, I decided to strip him down to his diaper and photograph him in the leaves. Don't worry, when Joseph sees these pictures he will probably call child protective services on me so you don't have to. What can I say? I think he is too cute to stay all covered up.

At first, Nicholas was in disbelief. He thought I had made a mistake and he expected me to fix it.

Then it degenerated into this....

This is the closest I came to a decent shot. I kept telling him if he would just smile it would all be over soon. He didn't believe me. I wonder if he will grow up with a phobia of leaves?

Kids are Entertaining

Life was so different before we had Nicholas. We still have a lot of fun. It is just a different kind of fun. Here is a glimpse into one of our forms of entertainment. (It was filmed back in August.)

ONE of a kind

Weight: 25.8 lbs (84 percentile)

Height: 29.5 inches (34 percentile)

Tooth Count: 5 (Two top and three bottom)

Amount of Ice Cream he ate on his B-day: 3/4 a cup (I was disappointed. We think he got a little brain freeze by eating it too fast. Don't worry, he also ate a cookie and a cupcake. He basically refused to eat anything but junk food the whole day. )

Getting Around: Nicholas took his first steps during the Saturday morning session of General Conference. He can take about five or six steps before he falls. He doesn't really bend his legs when he takes a step, so it is more of a waddle. He is very good at standing. When he first started standing by himself, he would laugh loudly every time he did it so he could make sure that we told him how wonderful he was for standing. He has given up his army crawl and only does typical crawling. He caught on that it was a lot easier to hold something when you crawl on all fours.

Hobbies: He loves unloading drawers. I think his paradise involves being surrounded by drawers that are filled with interesting things to put in his mouth. He also loves taking baths.

Food: He doesn't like lunch meat, Ritz crackers, cheese, or bananas by themselves. I'm having a real hard time getting him to eat enough protein. He does like cottage cheese, yogurt, fruit, applesauce, oatmeal, bread, and sometimes eggs. He LOVES grapes. Sometimes I feel like I'm feeding the ducks at the park when I feed Nicholas because I'm always ripping things up and throwing them on his tray. I feel like I am ALWAYS feeding Nicholas. He is always hungry, but he is picky about what he will eat. I am a believer in the theory that it takes about 10 tastes before a child likes a food, so we are just persisting. It took him forever before he started to like pieces of bread and now he will eat a whole slice. He has been getting in trouble lately for throwing food on the floor. It was his way of making sure I didn't try to feed him that piece of food later (or maybe he was saving it for later). He has got in big trouble for that. Now he is starting to give the food he doesn't like back to me.

Popular Tricks: He will give high fives, turn off the lights, and wave Bye-Bye. He can also stand up in the shopping cart even when the little belt is fastened tight. He is also hilarious when he flirts with himself in the mirror.

Words He Will Say: He makes noises that sound like words a lot. Sometimes I think he says keys, up, no, and yes. My favorite noise that he makes is, "Yeah." We ask him questions like, "Does mommy love you?" and he will respond, "Yeah." His response to most questions is "Yeah." Have I mentioned that he is the noisiest critter ever to roam the earth!!! I can't wait until he really starts talking and I get to hear what all these noises that he makes really mean.

Words He Knows: He knows, "No, n0." He now knows to stop doing whatever he is doing when mom says, "No, no." He knows that he will get in trouble when he plays with the garbage can, goes over by the toilet, plays with the VCR, or tries to unload books from the bookshelf. When he first started crawling, it seemed like he was getting into trouble wherever he went. I felt bad for the little guy. Now we have done a lot of baby proofing, so he isn't being told to stop as often.

Favorite Song: "The Wheels on the Bus" He thinks it is the funniest song. When he starts crying in the car, we will sing it. He doesn't like it when you make up verses and he doesn't like the verse about the babies.

Sleeping Habits: He goes to bed at 7 and gets up at 7. We don't have a long bedtime routine. We just turn his static on, give him his pacifier, lay him down, say "Good Night", and turn off the lights. 95% the time, he goes straight to bed. If he doesn't go to bed, we wrap him up in a big blanket rock him for 5 minutes until he is asleep and then put him in bed. He is just as easy to get down for naps. He naps around 9 and then around 1 or 2. He is horrible at napping when we go somewhere. At church, the only way to get him to sleep is to give him his pacifier and then wrap him up really tight so he can't move. Then you have to cover his face so he can't see anything. Finally, you have to rock him (or Joseph just jiggles his belly) for about five or 10 minutes until he gets to sleep.

Pet Peeves: He hates being dressed and getting his diaper changed!! He thinks it is pure torture. He also hates it when you try to get something out of his mouth that he put in there.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nicholas' Upcoming B-day

Nicholas turns ONE this Friday!!!! I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. My little man is growing up so fast. He took his first steps during the Saturday morning session of conference.

To celebrate our favorite little man's B-day, we are going to have a super casual party this Friday. It is mainly an excuse to eat fall-themed treats with our friends. Anyone who lives nearby is more than welcome to attend. I thought I would post a modified version of the invitation Joseph made.

Also, to celebrate Nicholas' B-day we are going to let him eat as much ice cream as he wants. He loves to take little tastes of our ice cream and has always wanted a bowl to himself. I don't know if he will end up only eating a spoon full or downing half a gallon. I'm betting he will eat two cups worth in one sitting. You are welcome to comment and leave your bets. I'll post the results on Saturday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nicholas 10 1/2 month pictures

Sorry parts of the picture are cut off because they were too large for our scanner. I love how these pictures capture his three crooked little bottom teeth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nicholas at 11 months

Teeth Count: 3 and 1/2 (He has the bottom middle three. The middle one is VERY crooked. His left front tooth has also cut through the gums recently. He had the worst runny nose while this front tooth was making its way through his gums.)

Weight: 25 lbs

Clothing Size: 18-24 month outfits

Height: 29 1/2 inches

Goal in Life: Get the Wii remote!!!

Mobility: He still does army crawl to get around if there is no nearby furniture. His favorite way to get around is to side step along the side of the couch. He pulled himself up for the first time when he turned 10 months old. Now he is doing it like a pro, and he has even figured out how to sit down after he has pulled himself up. I don't know if I'm a fan of his new found mobility. I do think it is cute when he searches around the house to find me or papa. I don't think it is cute when he tries to unload all the knives from the dishwasher. I don't think his new found mobility has made him a happier baby because now he goes to all the work to finally get to something interesting and mom tells him he can't play with it.

Noises: My favorite is after he is done nursing, he will lean back his head and talk to himself and make little happy breathy "heee, hee" noises. It is hilarious. We are working with him to make only "nice noises." He has a real angry grunt that he makes when he isn't getting his food fast enough or he is not getting something that he wants.

Great Parts About This Stage: He rarely spits up anymore. Blowouts are rare. He is over his extreme stranger anxiety and is willing to be held by others.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Help

Some of the med student wives have started a book club. I had the privileged of picking the first book. I chose The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I loved the book!! I didn't actually read it; I listened to it instead. I would definitely suggest the audio version because it will make you want to talk in a deep southern accent after listening to it. We had book club early Sat. morning on the 21st. Despite the fact that it was 9 in the morning, I couldn't resist making "Minny's Chocolate Pie - minus her special ingredient." Everyone who has read the book will get the joke. I also made some blueberry muffins for those who couldn't stomach a piece of pie so early in the morning.

Date Night at the Rodeo

We took Nicholas to his first rodeo last Friday (the 20th) because we got free tickets through UT Southwestern. Nicholas loved the rodeo. I could barely get him to look at the camera because he was so interested in the horses. When he got bored with the horses he would side shuffle along the benches and visit other people watching the rodeo. This was the first outing that he started to get upset because it was past his bedtime. Usually, he doesn't mind staying up late as long as he has our complete attention. This time he spent a good portion of the drive home crying. If this continues, it is going to put a serious damper on our social life.

Joseph and I enjoyed the rodeo and loved going with our friends Dave and Laura. (Dave is also a 2nd year medical student.) I loved the bull riding and Joseph loved the mutton busting. Mutton busting is when terrified children ride terrified sheep. I have a feeling that Nicholas will get signed up to do this if Joseph can find a way. The arena was nice and air conditioned! (It has been over a hundred for the past three weeks.)

Nicholas at 10 1/2 months!!

Weight: 25 lbs with a diaper (90%)
Height: 29 inches (50%)
Head Cir: 18.25 inches (65%)
Cuteness/Happiness: Off the Charts
Tooth Count: 3 (The three bottom ones have come in. The middle one is very crooked. It looks like he is going to have teeth like his mama's. We are going to have to start saving now for all the dental work he will need done. Sorry, little guy.)

Joseph Would Rather Be A Cowboy Than A Doctor

We LOVE having people come visit and stay at our house. We were lucky enough to have Joseph's cousins Nancy and Rachel come stay a night with us. Nancy served her mission in Fort Worth and was visiting some members before she had to go to BYU. We were lucky enough to get to tag along while she visited one of her converts named Chico. He works at a beautiful ranch in Fort Worth. He let us all have the opportunity to ride some of the horses. Joseph took to it naturally!!! He was at home in the saddle. Nicholas on the other hand was scared of the horses, but he did love Chico and riding in the golf cart!

It rained most of the time we were there. It poured while we were headed to Fort Worth making the freeway dangerous! It was worth the scary trip because the rain cooled everything down and we loved watching lightning streak across the sky as the sun set.

This horse is worth over a million dollars. It was fun riding a horse that was worth more than I ever will be.


Welcome to Japan

After our trip to Utah, I was a little sad because I realized that a vacation is not really a vacation when you are a mother. There are no breaks from being a mother. My funk was mainly due to the fact that I was exhausted and desperately in need of a nap. Joseph offered to watch Nicholas and cook dinner while I took a nap. I woke up to this. Oh how I love my sweet husband!!!

(Nicholas was dressed up as a Sumo wrestler and loved eating his chopsticks.)

Our Trip to Utah

Joseph had one week off this summer, so we decided to make the trip up to Utah during the last week in June. During the ride, Nicholas got his first tooth. It seemed to me like he cried about 15 of the 22 hours we were in the car. We also hit a dead deer and the check engine light came on around Vernal. Needless to say, the drive up was not one of my favorite memories. The drive did have some highlights. We drove through Aspen, which was breathtaking, and we stopped at Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. Once we finally made it to Utah, we had a fun time hanging out with our families. I have included a few pictures of some of our favorite memories that made the trip worth it.

BBQ with the Wells

My older brother Richard.

Grandma Wells and Nicholas

Grandpa Wells

My little brother Thomas and Emily

Megan, Lyndie, and Joseph

The Muhlestein Family Reunion in Monticello, UT

Riding in Uncle Jim's side by side.

Nicholas, Joseph, and Grandpa Muhlestein

Joseph and Nicholas in front of the Muhlestein cabin.

Great Grandma Muhlestein with Nicholas

Uncle George, Nicholas and Grandpa Muhlestein

Visiting my Grandpa Wells and getting another four generation photo.

Grandpa Wells, Me, Nicholas, and Great Grandpa Wells

Hogle Zoo

I couldn't pick a favorite picture of Nicholas with his grandparents at the zoo.

We had a lot of fun besides what was captured in these photos. Joseph and I were also able to attend two temple sessions during the trip thanks to wonderful grandparents that were willing to babysit. It was really fun going to the Monticello temple for the first time. Joseph also enjoyed spending a day rafting the Colorado river. That provided another one of the trips memories when he lost his glasses after jumping in the river. We are grateful he kept his old mission pair and are grateful for Christina letting him borrow hers so he could help on the drive home.

The drive back to Texas was a lot better than the drive up to Utah. Nicholas slept a lot because the trip had worn him out. Besides a big, scary hail storm (which Nicholas couldn't stop laughing at!), we didn't run into any problems. We had a really fun time and enjoyed the vacation.