9 Months Old Already?

Hi 9 months.  It’s nice to see you.  Can you go away now please?  Go back where you came from and give me my baby back, ok?  Thanks.  Surprise, surprise, you aren’t listening…just like everyone else around here!

D1New since last month…I didn’t think it was possible, and I’ll stop jinxing myself, but the kid moves more than the NYC subway system.  I can get about 20 minutes a day of him in the exer-saucer, and that is in 5 minute increments!  I’m tired!  His crawling has turned into this weird spider walk on his hands and feet.  He’s ridiculously fast.  I can’t pee without him getting into something or somewhere he isn’t supposed to be!  I have baby gates now…something I never had before…o keep the baby OUT of things! D2He has all 6 teeth now.  4 on top, and 2 on bottom.  I believe the teeth are done coming down for the time being, since his face has cleared up and so has his mood!  Except for that damn ear infection he had during this month!  He took his first antibiotic at 9 months old (like a champ)…pretty damn good for a formula fed baby who slept on his belly since birth!  We spent one day a week at the doctor for 7 weeks until we got that ear infection diagnosis!  Not that I ever wish for my kids to be sick, but when they are in pain, you look for a concrete reason with a medicine fix!

Drool status…going strong.  Teeth or no teeth, this boy can drool.  If he’s dressed, he’s wearing a bib.  I change his bibs every 2 hours or so.  They are always soaked.  It is gross.  He’s like a slug.  Everywhere he crawls, he leaves a trail of slime behind.  It is helpful when he crawls off when I’m dealing with Miss A and I can’t seem to find where he’s gotten to!

D4He is still putting everything in his mouth.  Including a ton of food!  The flavor combinations I can feed this kid rival the judges of Top Chef!  I hope to get lots of recipes up here on Fridays!  I hope I can keep it up!  His babbling is getting clearer, and he’s been heard a time or 2 saying Mama.  He’s got Baba, Lala, Nana….and he screams.  In public.  Loudly.  It’s fun when I’m at a restaurant…and unlike Miss A…this one doesn’t have a bobo to stick in his mouth and make him quiet!

D6He is still having his love affair with his puppy.  He spends his days chasing T around and we really can’t decide if he’s trying to get him off his face, or coaxing him TO his face!!!  He has started to really grab at T & pull hard.  I am shocked, but it must be true love because T just sits there & takes it.  Makes no sense seeing as how if I move my foot in bed, he growls at me…and I am the one who butters his bread, so to speak, or literally.  Whatever.

D3Baby D, you are growing too fast.  Slow it down ok?  You are keeping me on my toes and there’s no one I’d rather run around after like a lunatic!  You’re a sweet sweet boy, and a wonderful little brother.  When you see your sister, your face lights up and my heart melts.  When you wake up and smile at me, I just want to freeze time.  You’re a good boy little man and I am looking forward to all that you are going to teach me!

10 months…here we come!!!

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Baby Bar Friday…Couscous with Apricots

A few years ago, I went to a cooking class given in someone’s house.  The class was given by Levana Kirschenbaum, a kosher chef with a flair for the mediterranean style.  I left with a package of recipes that I should have used more frequently.  Of course they were lost in the storm, so I decided to put my memory to the test and try to recreate these flavors for Baby D.  One of my favorite recipes from the class was a lamb and chicken stew? with dried fruits.  I have a really strong aversion to blended meats, so I left out the lamb and chicken, but when I make this for the bigger people in the family I will just put some of the meatless part on the side next time!  For now, I made it more of a brunch item for Baby D!

Makes approximately 4 4oz jars.

  • 8 organic turkish dried apricots (I found them at Trader Joes)
  • 3/4 cup israeli cous cous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1tsp EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • additional water for boiling apricots & lightly pureeing
  1. Put apricots in a pot and cover with water, boil 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate pot, sautee chopped red onion in the EVOO until translucent (about 4-5 minutes)
  3. Add the couscous to the pan and stir to lightly brown.
  4. Add the 1 cup of water to the couscous and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer according to package directions (6-10 minutes)
  5. Put apricots, tumeric, cloves & cinnamon in a blender with couscous.  Add 1/4 cup of water at a time until you reach the consistency appropriate for your baby.

I very lightly pureed this so that the couscous is generally whole but the apricots became pasty.  Baby D prefers more solid food to thin purees, but if you add more water and blend more, you can get this to a smooth consistency for younger babies.

It is really delicious!  Baby D devoured it = success to me!

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Baby Bar…Long Island Branch…

A little while ago, Grandma got Auntie H a Vitamix.  She fed her youngest homemade baby food, and the kid’s friends loved it.  So she sold over the summer under the name “Baby Bar”, which I thought it was pretty clever.  Then…Grandma upped her game and bought ME a Vitamix for an early Hannukah present!  This was amazing since I’ve never even owned a blender.  I was making smoothies and soup and loving it.  Then Baby D turned 6 months old and it was time for him to eat some real food!

When Miss A was starting food I had high hopes of making her food from fresh fruits and veggies.  Then we moved.  And we had no kitchen.  And we had ants in a major way in the bathroom we used to prepare her bottles.  She ate organic jarred food…and she is perfectly fine!  I, however, enjoy cooking and really wanted to make baby food like my lil sis’.

Here we are at 9 months and Baby D has devoured every puree I’ve ever made him.  All the basics have been covered.  I’ve done some reading and have decided that at this point we are jumping right in.  With Miss A…we fed her almost every “high allergen” food before we were supposed to…and didn’t even realize it until months too late.  With Baby D…it’s more on purpose, because he has no family history of food allergies & I don’t really believe that waiting to introduce these foods has any real benefit other than perhaps … well … I don’t really think there are any.  If they’re older and need some Benadryl, they are harder to get it into without a fight, and respiratory distress looks like respiratory distress at any age.  All this to say that if I see a recipe floating around that has nuts in it…he’s probably eating it.  If I see a citrus or strawberry concoction that I’d like to try…some of that will be mashed or smoothed or cut up for Baby D.  I do still make separate baby food for him but mostly because I don’t always cook for us and I’d like to have things for him on hand and easily accessible!  This has turned into a seriously fun endeavor for me.  I plan to share the recipes that are a huge hit here…particularly the ones that can be turned into adult food, like the amazing soup I made for New Years Eve!  (That soup will get it’s very own post!)

The meal I most need to prepare in advance for Baby D is breakfast.  See…I don’t really eat a proper sit down breakfast.  These days I drink a Shakeology shake and am on my merry way.  There will be no sharing of that stuff with the baby…no matter how healthy they claim it is…at least not until he can drink it from a straw!  On the hunt I went for a yummy, nutritious, make ahead breakfast that wasn’t oatmeal or rice cereal (those things bind him).

Enter…Polenta.

Blueberry Almod Breakfast Polenta to be exact.  With some modification since the recipe calls for honey, and honey for babies does not = allergy.  It = Botulism, and there’s no Benadryl for Botulism.  So I used a drizzle of maple syrup, 1 because it is a safe sweetener for babies and 2, because I wasn’t making it for myself, so I didn’t see the need to over sweeten it with 1/3 cup!

The other adjustment I made was that I cooked down the blueberries before I whisked them in.  I found it brought out their natural sweetness a little more and also made them softer so I didn’t have to chop them up first to prevent choking.

Makes approximately 8 4oz jars.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups quick cook polenta
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract – or the 1/4 teaspoon of the inside of a vanilla bean if you have one!
  • pinch of cardamom (up to 1/4 teaspoon)
  • creme fraiche or sour cream, optional
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add polenta, whisking constantly until smooth. Add almond meal and continue whisking until the polenta thickens to a creamy consistency. Add butter and whisk until it melts completely.
  3. In a separate pan, cook the blueberries down until they are mostly soft and a little bubbly.
  4. Turn heat off and whisk in syrup, blueberries, vanilla and cardamom. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and an extra sprinkle of blueberries.

I didn’t do the creme fraiche for Baby D…I’ll reserve that and the extra sweetness for the day I eat breakfast with him!

Vanilla Almond Blueberry Breakfast Polenta

Vanilla Almond Blueberry Breakfast Polenta2** The above views on feeding my baby are MY opinions.  If you’re interested in this recipe and have a baby under 12 months old, please consult your doctor before feeding your child anything you are unsure about.  

Baby D can’t get enough of this breakfast cereal.  If anyone is interested in some for their baby or toddler, and they are local, let me know and I’ll whip up a batch for you!

 

Welcome 2014…With Love & Light

Happy New Year from the LKSquared house to yours!

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We brought in the new year with some of our friends and family here at our house!  We ate, drank, and got covered in sparkles!  The kids played together and the adults had fun too!  There was a tuxedo, a gown, some sweatpants, leggings and jeans.

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NY8There was an adorable dog visitor & many pretend “broken legs” healed.

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So what if the kids stayed up until 11:56pm before passing out?!  (They couldn’t make it to 12am????? Lame…)  But they sure were cute!

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NY12It was great to have our friends here…and especially wonderful to celebrate with these 2 sweethearts before their 2 bitty babies make their debut!!!!  We are thinking of you guys!!!!  We can’t wait to meet the babies….but we will! (PS – have we ever seen a more gorgeous pregnant girl?  There are TWINS in there!  She’s magnificent & I’m jealous.  I was hideous…anyway…)

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In the spirit of the new year, I’m putting some of my goals out there!  not resolutions…those never last.  But I’d like to set some goals….so here they are!

BAD HABIT I’M GOING TO BREAK:  Emotionally eating … for my friends!!!!

A NEW SKILL I’D LIKE TO LEARN:  So…I really want to learn to knit, but I think that might not be this year’s skill.  This year I’d like to learn how to be a better self-promoter & be able to grow my photography business!  In search of a lifestyle, portrait, baby, bday party, photographer???? Check me out at http://www.lksquaredphoto.com!!! (always learning!)

A PERSON I HOPE TO BE MORE LIKE:  My cousin S.  After the way that his friends and family spoke about him at his wedding (see here), I hope to be a little more like him everyday.

A GOOD DEED I’M GOING TO DO:  I would like to a little more for someone effected by a natural disaster.  A little pay it forward something…

A PLACE I’D LIKE TO VISIT:  I would love to visit Texas this year.

A BOOK I’D LIKE TO READ:  “The First Phonecall From Heaven” by Mitch Albom.  I have enjoyed his other books and think I’ll enjoy this one too…if I can find the time!

A LETTER I’M GOING TO WRITE:  I will write a letter to Miss A & Baby D this month with some thoughts I have about them! (Good ones…I promise)

A NEW FOOD I’D LIKE TO TRY:  I would like to try Indian food.

I’M GOING TO DO BETTER AT:  Keeping calm.  Finding my balance and maintaining my patience.  I have a tendency to react quickly…especially with Miss A.  I am going to work very hard at this.  Modeling behavior for her, that I like, will hopefully help her to find a way to imitate me and make us both happy!

Wishing everyone who stops by to check out my little family and even those who don’t, a very happy 2014!!!

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The Ramblings Of Miss A…

Baby D has been getting most of the love here on the blog.

2014 is going to be the year of BOTH kids!  I’m so busy making sure to not leave #2 behind that #1 is being hurried along and I need to make this about both kiddos since they are both pretty freakin’ amazing.

Miss A is 3 years and 8 months old.  The workings of her brain are something that I don’t think I can begin to comprehend.  She certainly is her Daddy’s girl!  Smart doesn’t scratch the surface.  Either does sensitive, nosy, and sometimes cranky!  She’s a girl with many emotions, and she’s not afraid to tell you which one she’s feeling…

Surprised“What???? I can’t drown the baby???? But if I do then we can just go get another one.  At the hospital.  Then we can get a GIRL baby!!!!!  Right Mommy?  Can we do that?????”

Uhhhhh no….not so much Miss A.  Drowning the baby in the bathtub is generally considered bad…and would likely result in Mommy and Daddy going to jail & you never seeing us again….  (contemplating this fate…..) “oh….ok….well then can I just pretend?”

OMG….

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Serious“Mommy…this is very serious.  Baby D is under the couch.  He is all the way under there and he can’t get out.  You must come now.  It is an emergency!  photo

She wasn’t lying.

Angry

 

I am SO ANGRY!  I am angry and frustrated.  I want to wear my pink dress and you said I have to wear pants.  I won’t wear pants.  I hate pants.  I hate clothes and these clothes look horrible on me.  I will never look pretty.

Right.  Right back in 1930.  Women in pants are ugly.  Somewhere, somehow you’re getting the right message kid.

photo (2)sometimes she wins.

Happy“Do you know what I dreamed about Mommy?  About my family.  I love my family.  When I go to the Doctor and I get a shot, I am not scared.  I am brave.  I just close my eyes and I dream of my whole family hugging me and then I’m not scared.  Then I don’t cry.  And when I open my eyes, then I’m done with my shot and I was brave!  Daddy cries.  Hahaha.  He’s scared.  I’m not scared.  My family makes me happy.”

photo (4)Oh Miss A…with all of your moods, emotions, and tempers that change with the wind….Mommy and Daddy and Baby D love you more than you’ll ever know!  We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for you!  You’re getting very big and I hope we grow together and stay connected as much as we are right now as these years fly by us!

I love you Sweet Pickle.

 

 

 

 

 

8 Months & Late Again!

Oh 8 months.  How you try to kill me!  Miss A and I had the same thing happen around now.  Baby D is non-stop.  He is getting into everything, and everything that Miss A never even looked at.  Is it pre-programmed in the brains of little boys to make a beeline for the cords, wheels, remotes?  How is it possible that this BABY knows what an IPhone is??? Mister LK just figured out what an IPhone is!

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Thinking back to my experience with Miss A around 8 months, we had just moved into our house,  she was equally as mobile, and I was feeling equally as “stuck”.  It’s a little bit better these days since I have Miss A to entertain Baby D sometimes, and I also have my exceptionally helpful M who comes once a week to take care of the things I don’t do around here, and watch the kids while I run errands.  This 2 naps a day, 3 meals a day, 4 bottles a day schedule is really making me feel trapped.

I am a firm believer in getting babies on a schedule ASAP so that you know what to expect and so do they.  They sleep better, eat better, and develop better (IMO) when they know what is coming and don’t feel the stress of the unknown.  I however, am not a scheduled person.  I like to go with the flow.  I like to think of something I have to do and be able to hop in the car and get it done!  ERRRRRRRRRRR not so much with this ball and chain!

This month, this big boy weighed in at 18lbs 3oz (20th %), and he is 28 3/4″ (75th %) tall.  Our big chicken noodle!  He’s basically eating everything, and he had absolutely no problem with the puffs.  He loves the sweet potato Happy Baby puffs.  Loves.  His little pincher technique doesn’t let a puff fall to the floor!

D6About movement….he is a cruiser.  Crawling is a 1 knee to the floor and 1 foot to push him along movement.  He climbs up on anything he can reach.  Sitting still isn’t really happening these days!

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Feeding him his bottles has proven to be a tough task.  I have to tie him into his Baby Bjorn bouncer chair (which I love & highly recommend) to get him to eat.  I used to be able to lay him in there and he’d climb right out when he finished.  Now…he throws his bottle and climbs out after a 1/2 oz.  That’s fun!  He think’s it’s hilarious!

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He’s got a great sense of humor.  He is always laughing and smiling.  The only hitch in our little man’s happiness has been the TEETH.  Holy teeth batman.  He has the bottom 2, the top 2, and the next 2 are making their way down.  You know what happens when a tooth is coming into this guys mouth?  He will not sleep.  At all.  He also gets a crazy eczema episode on his face!  Check out these big teeth & splotches!!!

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We will be visiting the dermatologist in January.  Sensitive skin just like his Mommy!

He’s babbling and his favorite word is Dada.  Miss A can get him to say it over and over again!  She thinks it’s awesome that he’s “talking”!

Overall month 8 has been wonderful.  Baby D, you bring smiles to our family every single day.  Even the sleepless days & nights.  You are a sweet soul and a mushy boy who I can’t get enough of.  I could kiss you all day if it wouldn’t cause your skin to hurt!  Ok…I do kiss you all day and that is probably the problem with your cheeks!  Looking forward to all your new moves in month 9!  Love you little man.

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7 Months Of Fun…

My chicken noodle boy is 7 months.  He was 7 months about 2 weeks ago but I never got around to posting our updates.

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That is because at 7 months old this boy thinks that it is a good idea to crawl, and start climbing, and get TEETH!  I mentioned those teeth back in last month’s post, how they were probably coming, and then they did.  The two bottom teeth.  One right after the other.  Popped right out.  Now they are so big that it hurts a LOT when he bites me!

We had a little reprieve when his gums felt better after those suckers popped out, and now we’re back in the “holy bananas my gums hurt” mode and naps are shorter, crying is longer, but he’s still the most smiley baby I know!  Grandma babysat while we had a weekend 2 weekends ago and she told me she was taking this boy home!  I told her NO WAY LADY!

He’s eating more and more solids, and by solids I mean purees that I am making (thanks to Grandma’s Vitamix Hannukah present!!!!) Peas, Carrots, Broccolli, Pears, Sweet Potato…and the list keeps growing.  He’s still not entirely interested in them, but he’s growing and happy and I have no complaints!

He won’t stop the moving thing…He loves his puppy brother…He adores his big sister…

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His Mommy and Daddy love him and can’t get enough of him.  This coming weekend is the last wedding of the season and I am so excited for our friends!  I’m also looking forward to getting to spend the holidays with this happy boy and girl.

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The Big Reveal…

October 29th was the day the storm came…and October 31st was the day I went home.  One year ago today, I had to show my ID to get into my city.  We had to pry the door open from the water swelling it closed.  We had Miss A in the car and Baby D in my belly.  We had a box of black garbage bags and we packed them full of wet clothes, damp clothes, and things we decided to throw in the washing machine for 5 cycles with rubbing alcohol to disinfect.  I stood outside on my soaked lawn, in my rain boots, crying on the phone to Dr W, scared that my racing heart and panic was hurting my baby.  He prescribed me Xanax to keep in my purse…happy to report that it remains there, untouched.

Warning:  In honor of the longest year of my life so far…this is the longest post I’ve ever written!

Here is what I came home to that day…

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Two years earlier we lined the 200 feet of curb with the previous owners stuff when we moved in.  One year ago we lined the 200 feet of curb with our stuff.  I’m hoping to never have to do that again.

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Our best friends came and didn’t let me lift a finger…just lifted my spirits.  They made me laugh till I cried happy tears.  They uncovered my secrets and my love letters to and from Mister LK. They were wet…and unsalvageable….but I knew what they said.  They waited patiently as I cried.  They made me laugh when I didn’t think it was possible.  They froze their butts off.  They got filthy.  They showed us the kind of friends they are.  The best kind.

The months that followed were so busy I barely remember them.  We moved into Staten Island.  Got Miss A settled in school.  Got her transitioned to a big girl bed.  I drove almost daily to the house to make decisions, choose finishes, oversee, take deliveries…just to rush back at the end of the day, go to sleep and start all over again.  Most days it seemed like it would never end.

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Then we. moved. in.  Into a completely unready house.  We camped out in the dining room while the contractors saw we meant moving in business & finished up as quickly as they could!  Mister LK wasn’t happy, but I WAS!!!!

253328_10151440730101935_1205348920_nAnd where are we today?

In our house, which is everything I hoped it would be.  (Except for a little higher up of course!)  We have a little more in the “replace our stuff” category to do…but I am a happy LK with where we are today.  So thankful.  So incredibly humbled by the love and support we’ve been given over the last year.  Sad for our neighbors who aren’t home yet.  In love with my house and more in love with my family.

October 28, 2012 I sat in my living room obsessing over Miss A’s big girl room.  Arguing with Mister LK about how we HAD to get everything done before Hannukah so that we could give her a new room as her present!  Busting his chops about getting Uncle C on board to finish up ASAP.  Online window shopping and putting this together…

A's big girl roomLittle did I know that the following day, mother nature would force me to renovate our entire house!  Without further delay….here is what it looks like today!

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When you’re forced to renovate unexpectedly…you look for inspiration everywhere you turn.  This girl became my inspiration … and I couldn’t be happier!

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One Year Later…

One year ago, I looked out my window and saw the water reach halfway up the driveway.  It wasn’t even high tide yet.  I was pregnant and running around our house at this very moment packing bags for each of us with clothes for the next 2-3 days.  Shoving the cat in the dog’s bag and imagining what I thought was most valuable to throw in the car with us “just in case”.  We put our important papers by the front door to grab as we left…then left them there by accident.  We put the box of pictures on the bookshelf, and my babies in the car.  We headed to Grandma’s house and tried not to worry.  I spent the next 12 hours waiting for the 7pm high tide and watching Facebook comments to see if anyone who lived in my bayside neighborhood had anything to report.  Then he commented.  My neighbor from his 2nd floor.  It’s Bad.

I cried.  And panicked.  Where would I bring my family home to?  How long would I be staying with my mom?  Where would this baby be born?  How was I going to tell Miss A that she had no home?  I had a zillion unanswered questions.  2 days from now will mark the day I came home to the nightmare.  And the day my prayers were answered.

We were fine.  We are fine.  Miss A is the strongest little girl in the world.  She waited patiently as her “dirty house” was cleaned up.  Mister LK and I made it through construction and now we have a beautiful house.  My dream house.  My dream family.  My dream life.

Some days I can’t believe we did it…while at the same time knowing all along we would.  I have the best husband.  Without him I would have crumbled.  There was so much to deal with and he did it like he always does.  Without complaining. (to me at least).  He’s my rock and my best friend.

More than anything today I am feeling so lucky that I have him.  I am remembering all of our love letters that were washed away from high school and knowing that I am the luckiest girl in the world to not need them because I have the real thing, right here, in our home…wherever that is.

There is another family that I would like to thank for getting me through this past year.  They are my gift from gd.  To M&K.  Our friends who let us live in their house.  I have never been more thankful for a gift in my life.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay you in any way I can.  I truly felt helpless without a place for my family to live and you saved us.

We are stronger than the storm…even if we’re not from NJ!

 

Half A Year Old & Handsome As Ever…

My baby is 1/2 a year old.  6 whole months.  Holy Bananas.

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He is a big noodle!  27 1/4″ tall and 17lbs.  Long and skinny.  He is a rolling machine and can make his way across the house with a combination scooting and rolling, if I let him!  He’s sitting up pretty well these days.  Although he is much like a big puppy dog.  Huge “paws”, drools like a leaky faucet and he’s very floppsy!!!

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He’s a kicker & will kick anything left near those adorable toes!  He’s still talking non-stop and his noises crack me up all day long!  Sometimes, when I need a quiet moment, I have to put headphones on because there is no place in the house that I can’t hear him!!!

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He is eating 4 8oz bottles a day, and we’ve introduced solids.  We had a little trouble with my mommy guilt that led me to give him organic formula, which tried to kill him.  Like from one of those sci-fi movies Mister LK is always wanting to watch….the formula tried to kill my baby boy.  So we switched back.

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We now have our happy baby back!  Hooray!!!!

Everyday it is more apparent how this little man is making our family a happier one!  He’s always laughing & smiling…and when he sees his sister, his eyes light up and he is brighter than the sun!  He is a doggie lover and a cat puller.  And my daily reminder to smile and life will be good!

Baby D…please stop growing so damn fast.  Keep those teeth under your gums, I’m not ready to loose that gummy smile!  Keep doing everything you’re doing because you are perfect and we love you!

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