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Category Archives: Our Family

Brandon 2.25 Years Summary

Brandon has grown by leaps and bounds these past few months. I feel like he’s turned into a little boy and has truly left his baby days behind. We are so proud of the little man he is becoming. Many of the struggles I mentioned in his last summary have worked themselves out, mainly due to his major increase in vocabulary. His talking has increased 10 fold. We love being able to actually communicate with him and are constantly amused at the things he says. One of the first real sentences he ever said took place after dinner when I was asking him if he wanted a cookie. He quickly and enthusiastically replied, “I LOVE COOKIES!” It was a major turning point for him and now the words just won’t stop coming.

Brandon started school back in September. We were hesitant about it at first, since he was just barely two (only in NYC would 2 days a week for 2.5 hours of school cost as much as most college tuitions – but that’s a whole other topic!), but he absolutely loves it! He asks me daily if he can go back to school. He loves his teachers, classmates, even his puppy backpack. We went through a few days where he would need to be coaxed into the classroom before I left, but now I am totally forgotten once the room/toys/friends are in sight. Why do I have the feeling that he won’t approach high school with the same amount of gusto??

He remains a super sweet kid, and his teachers tell me all the time that he loves to sit in their laps during story time and is giving them hugs and high-fives the whole morning. He does the same with all his friends & family, even Rylan gets hugged before bedtime and naps. Brothers hugging is enough to make my heart melt. I’m so glad he is a cuddler, because every time I get a little sad that he is growing up, he will gladly let me hold and snuggle with him for a few minutes. Again, I don’t really see this lasting into his high school days. 🙂 On this same note, Brandon has been a really great big brother to Rylan. He actually likes to interact with him now, and when he got a new truck the other day, he immediately ran in to “show RaRa!” These are the sweet moments I want to lock away and remember forever. Rylan, in return, could not possibly idolize his big brother more.

Brandon continues to love and be a total whiz with the ipad. He has a very limited amount of time with it each day (and he has to choose between it and tv), but it’s really amazing to see him work it. He especially loves this Starfall ABC app. You can imagine mine and Brad’s surprise when we were eating dinner the other night and all of a sudden he spouts off all the letters of his name which are written on his place mat (even lowercase). We proceeded to jump over to our foam floor mat that has a bunch of letters on it and he could name all of them too. Guess he’s learning something from the ipad after all!! When he isn’t enthralled in technology, in typical boy fashion, his obsession right now is with anything with wheels. Trucks, cars, choo-choos – he loves it all. There are constantly races going on and many, many crashes. He also loves to cook with me. We got this learning tower not long ago and it’s been the best. He stands on it and holds his elmo spoon and helps me stir, pour, and measure practically any time I bake or am doing something away from the stove.

I can’t wait for the upcoming holidays – he already asks for new toys daily, so I know Christmas this year is going to blow his mind! And maybe Halloween will help him put on a few pounds. 🙂 We love you sweet boy!

Here’s a typical day for Brandon at 27 months:

7:20 – wake-up, get dressed, play while Mom feeds Rylan
7:45 – breakfast
8:15 – outside!! (School from 8:45-11:30 2 days a week)
9:30 – playtime with mom (learning activities/crafts/baking)
10:30 – independent play
11 – free play with Rylan
11:30 – dvd or Ipad
12 – lunch
12:45-3:15/3:30 – nap
3:30 – snack & play/outing
5 – independent play
5:30 – dvd or Ipad
6 – Dad comes home (highlight of his day!) and dinner
7 – bath with Dad and bottle of pediasure, family reading time, brush teeth
7:30 – Bed!!

All photos courtesy of the amazing Laura Stone of Artstar Photography.

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Rylan 7 Month Summary

Rylan turned 7 months old this past weekend! Time continues to fly as we’ve had a busy month – numerous trips for Brad & I, a long visit from Grandma, and a quick trip down to see Uncle Cameron get married. Rylan also had his first real cold this month. He has been a trooper through it all and kept his happy disposition.

Rylan has been very active lately, and is on the verge of crawling. It’s funny how I couldn’t wait for Brandon to be able to crawl, but with Rylan, it’s kinda nice being able to put him down and not worry about him getting too far or into trouble. That comfort is pretty much out the window, as he has mastered the inchworm and can work himself across a room in no time. I still can’t leave him alone in a sitting position as he tends to throw himself at whatever he is trying to grab. I’m beginning to wonder where his sense of self preservation is, or if little boys even have one at all!

He’s pretty excellent about entertaining himself, and is usually content just hanging out on the floor with a toy or two. I’ve learned that I have to monitor which of Brandon’s toys he gets his hands on (even though nothing in their reach is a choking risk since Brandon is still only 2), as he will bite down on a toy so hard that he’s actually drawn blood. I’m really glad I stopped breastfeeding!! 🙂

Sleeping has been a little erratic this month, between travels and the little cold he battled. Nothing crazy, but we had a few nights where he would wake-up crying 1 or 2 times. I want to note that even though I am a sleep training (i.e. cry-it-out) advocate, when my baby is sick or in an unfamiliar place while traveling, I don’t let them cry more than a few minutes (just to see if they are passing between sleep cycles). Once the illness has passed or we are back home, it might be a little rough going for a day or two, but it’s usually not bad. Having a baby who has been sleep trained and who regularly sleeps with no problems is actually helpful in these situations, as you know they are crying for a real reason, and that they probably need to be checked on.

“Can’t you see I’m working here!”

Rylan loves his solid foods! There has only been one instance so far where he hasn’t finished off his meal, and he was pretty congested at the time. I did try and increase the amount of food I was giving him, but then he started taking less formula, so I scaled back down. At this point getting him his required ounces of formula each day is more important than more mashed bananas. I plan on introducing some meat and yogurt to his meals this month. I can’t wait till next month when we can start on finger foods!

Here’s a typical day for Rylan at 7 months:

  • 7:30 am – wake-up, get dressed and bottle (8 oz with 1 T rice cereal)
  • 7:45 – breakfast w/ Brandon (usually in bouncy seat, not eating solids here)
  • 8:15 – Outside!
  • 9:30-11 – nap #1
  • 11 – “play” with Brandon
  • 11:30 – Independent Play (blanket time while mom preps lunch)
  • 11:45 – bottle
  • 12 – lunch (Solids – we introduce new foods at this time, so not to mess with bedtime if he has an adverse reaction).
  • 1-3/3:30 – nap #2
  • 3:15/3:30 – bottle
  • 3:30 – “play” with Brandon (tummy time) or Outside
  • 5-5:30 – nap #3
  • 5:30 – independent play in play pen
  • 6 – dinner with family (Solids)
  • 6:40 – bath
  • 7 – bottle (8 oz with 1 T rice cereal)
  • 7:30 – bedtime!

4 Wonderful Years!

Four years ago I married the most amazing man I’ve ever met. I’m so incredibly blessed. Thank-you to our parents for throwing us the most gorgeous wedding, and for the many friends and family members who made the day unforgettable. Much love to you all, and happy anniversary honey.

Photo courtesy of Laura Stone of Artstar Photography

Brandon 2 Year Summary

I know Brandon has been 2 for a while now, but I’m finally getting around to writing about his great 2-year old self. I’m in a bit of denial, I feel like we were just celebrating his first birthday. Guess time flies when you add a pregnancy and newborn to the mix! I’m really trying to live in the moment with him, as I’m sure with school and activities increasing in the coming years we won’t have as much quality time (also trying not to daydream about the bazillion things I’ll be able to do with him in school all day!).

Brandon has really come out of his shell this past year. He always erred on the timid side, but has become much more assertive with adults and children and has also gotten more involved in the classes and playdates that we go to. This summer we’ve done soccer and music classes in the park, and he really loves both. At the end of soccer he is dog tired and dirty, so if nothing else, it’s a great way for him to run out some of his energy. Music has always been one of his favorite things (he must get this from Brad) and currently, he can often be found walking the house with his mini guitar in hand. There’s always some kind of kiddie music playing here. Mickey hotdog song is the most requested. 🙂

Our biggest struggles recently have been with whining and eating. He babbles constantly and his word know-how is growing every day, but he gets really frustrated when we don’t understand him, which usually leads to whining. He’s only had a handful of what I would call temper tantrums, and we generally put him in his crib to cool off when he does. Hopefully as his vocabulary increases and he learns other ways of asking for what he wants the whining will subside. As for eating, Brandon is a skinny kid who does not like to eat, so we naturally have problems. Normally, I would say that he will eat when he’s hungry and not to worry about it, but weight actually is a bit of an issue for him so we’ve tried nearly everything to get him additional calories. Dessert at every meal, creative & fun presentation, serving something I know he likes, etc. Not too much has worked and I am certainly open to ideas! Lately, I’ve been serving his meals in muffin tins and not letting him leave the table without at least trying something from every section. This has cut down on some of our battles, but we are still giving him pediasure after dinner to make sure he gets at least those calories before bed.

Goal!

On a positive note with regards to the usual toddler struggles, sleeping is great! He still does nearly 12 hours at night and takes a 2 1/2 – 3 hour nap every day. I am so glad we did sleep training with him early on, it has paid dividends at this point. He’s still in a crib, but before Rylan came, we bought him a new one that converts to an adorable toddler bed, so we can switch whenever he seems to be ready for it. He’s totally content in the crib right now so I don’t think we will switch for a while. Independent play has also been amazing. While the Ipad is currently his favorite toy, he will play beautifully by himself in his room for up to an hour at a time. I love it!

One of the biggest changes for Brandon this year was that he became a big brother. For the most part, Brandon thinks of Rylan in a similar capacity to the dog. He likes him and is often amused by the funny baby things he does, but he still wants to know that he can have Mommy & Daddy’s attention when desired. He’s been incredibly gentle thus far. He really enjoys bringing out all the baby toys and piling them on top of Rylan. He is also Daddy’s helper at bath time and will use a cup to rinse off the baby. Rylan doesn’t seem to mind, and is almost always entertained and enthralled with his big brother.

This has been an amazing time for me as a mother, as I feel like you can practically see the wheels turning and the connections being made in that little 2-year old mind. He’s starting school in a month and I can only imagine what he is going to come home with to show us.

Here’s a typical day in the life of Brandon:

7:15 – wake-up, get dressed, drink juice/eat cheerios/play in nursery while Mom feeds Rylan
7:45 – breakfast
8:15 – chores (clear table, brush teeth, feed Suki)
8:30 – room time (independent play)
9-11 – outside for class/run/gym/playground
11 – free play
11:30 – dvd or Ipad
12 – lunch
12:45-3:30 – nap
3:30 – snack & play!
4:30 – learning/crafts with Mom
5 – room time (independent play)
5:30 – dvd or Ipad
6 – Dad comes home (highlight of his day!) and dinner
7 – bath with Dad and bottle of pediasure, family reading time
7:30 – Bed!!

Rylan 5 Month Summary

Oh, my happy little boy! Rylan really seems to be growing up so fast, some part of me wishes he could stay this precious little baby forever. Having the experience of already having a baby has taken a lot of the pressure off this time around. You aren’t questioning every decision you make, or stressing about the little details like you did with the first. It’s quite a relief actually, and I find I’m truly able to enjoy Rylan at this stage.

This was a pretty exciting month for him. He went on his first plane ride down to Georgia to see my family (was excellent and slept most of the way), then was showered with attention once we got there. I feel bad that he might not be getting as much attention as he should when we are at home, but I guess most parents of multiple children feel that way. If he is starting to fuss, usually all it takes is for me to look at him and he breaks into a huge smile, like “Yay, you’re still here!”. I hope he’s just as easy to appease as the years go on!

Rylan is a determined little fella. I’ve called him my little snapping turtle since he was born, as he has a way of inflicting serious pain on any appendage he can get his mouth on. Most of the time he can be found with his two right fingers in his mouth, happily sucking away. He finds ways to grab a hold of things (hopefully toys) that I would have thought far out of his reach. The other day he grabbed Brandon’s cereal bowl and yanked it out of his hands. Not an easy task stealing cheerios from a 2-year old.

“Please share!”

Sleeping has been stellar. Still 12 hours a night and 3 naps. He’s super attached to his lovey and generally doesn’t cry at all as long as he can get his hands on him. He’s been rolling over from stomach to back for some months now, but found he had rolled from his back to his stomach in the night after waking him up one morning in GA. A side note for new parents – try not to freak when your baby does this the first time. If they are able to get to their stomach on their own, then they will be fine once they are there. Try and work with them being able to consistently get turned over to their backs during the daytime, so that they will have this ability (and you will have the reassurance that they can) during the night.

I totally stopped breastfeeding in the last couple of weeks. I had wanted to make it to 6 months, but it ended up being time for both of us. Rylan is a big boy and seems to get hungrier everyday. We’ve even taken to adding rice cereal to two of his bottles. He got some cereal on a spoon one morning while on vacation, and I will start him on more solids soon (much to the horror of my pediatrician – they strictly believe in waiting till 6 months). His reflux is rearing its ugly head again, and we are back to wearing bibs for most of the day, even after increasing his medicine dosage. It’s no fun – let’s just say I have a love/hate relationship with my washer dryer.

Here’s a typical rundown of his day:

  • 7:30 am – wake-up, get dressed and bottle (8 oz with 1/2 tsp rice cereal)
  • 7:45 – sit in bouncy chair as we have breakfast
  • 8:15 – watch mommy do laundry/chores
  • 8:30 – playmat time
  • 9 – out and about, will sleep on & off in the stroller (at home naps from 9:15-10:45/11)
  • 11 – “play” with Brandon
  • 11:45 – bottle, then hang out while we have lunch
  • 12:30-2:30/3 – nap
  • 3:15 – bottle
  • 3:30 – “play” with Brandon (tummy time)
  • 4:30 – nap
  • 5:30 – independent play in play pen
  • 6 – dinner with family
  • 6:40 – bath
  • 7 – bottle (8 oz with 1/2 tsp rice cereal)
  • 7:30 – bedtime!

Happy 5 months sweetheart!

Our Life in Pictures

Here’s what we’ve been up to lately…

Rylan got baptized. Brandon squirmed the whole time and gave quite a show for the rest of the congregation. Oh 2 year olds…

                            

Suki turned 6! She’s getting fat in her old age and almost wasn’t allowed on the last flight we took because she weighed too much!

I set a new 4-mile PR of 28:15 at the Run for Central Park. Thanks double stroller!

We visited my family down in Georgia for a week. Brandon had too much fun riding on the boat & jet ski, playing out in their huge yard, swimming in the pool, and getting lots of attention from his grandparents, uncle and aunt!

                     

Rylan ate real (well if you consider rice cereal real) food for the first time. My big boy!

Hope everyone is having a great time watching the Olympics! I can’t wait for the running to start!

Hello world!

Hi, I’m Ashley! I have two fabulous little boys (Brandon – 2 yrs & Rylan – 4 months), an amazing husband and one adorable-but-noisy dog, all in NYC. Everyday is something new – whether we are playing, cooking, out for a run or trying a new restaurant, life as a mommy is never boring!

Back in my pre-mommy years, I blogged over at Culinary Wannabe. I will periodically be moving over some of my favorite recipes so that you can enjoy them here.

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