Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Summer update

Some selfies taken the beginning of June
Like I've said previously, this blog is mostly for me! I know there are a (very) few other people that read it, but I love being able to look back at some of the statistics and pictures that I have here. That being said, we've had a very busy couple of months! If you are on facebook or instagram, you can search for the hashtag #14flightsandcounting to see some of the trips we've taken. We went to Oregon, Colorado, Costa Rica and Hawaii and Wisconsin.

Waiting for our plane to Costa Rica

The kids continue to grow and thrive. Just recently they began sharing a room. It is mostly fun, and mostly good. There are quite a few mornings (okay, just about every day) where one of them wakes the other, or a few nights where they stay up too late. But I suppose that's how memories are formed! It is such a blessing to see their relationship blossom and grow. They both love each other so much, and for that I am thankful.
This one doesn't do too well in the heat - makes him all sorts of sweaty!
We have had an awesome summer! Seeing lots of friends, lots of family, and going to new places! The kids are now expert travelers, going on 13 flights this summer alone. I would guess that Georgia has been on close to 50 airplanes by now in her short life, and she has visited five countries (although could be six if Scotland declares their independence!).

Walking in the rain forest
I will try to do a blog post about some of the trips in the near future - but don't hold your breath. Here is more about the kids these days.
Probably my favorite picture I've ever taken! Titus in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest

Titus is starting to talk up a storm. I was a little nervous for a bit because he barely talked (didn't say mama for a long time!), but now he never stops talking. He copies and imitates (Georgia especially). He tells us knock-knock jokes (but never finishes them), says some of his colors (blue is his favorite, and everything else is white), can sort of count (uses intonation and sometimes says things that sound like two or four), can say some of the letters of the ABC song, and so on.

Stuck his head in the sand at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Titus is:
Weight:25.5 pounds
Height: 35 inches (90%)
Teeth: still waiting on his 2-year molars
Diapers: size 4, almost potty trained
My little fishy - Hawaii

Georgia is:
Weight: 47 pounds
Height: 46.5 inches (height of almost-7 year old)

Titus' favorite thing is music. It amazes me how much he loves music. He sings along to things, can keep a beat, sings on tune, etc. Even before he could talk he would sing "Let it Go". He loves watching musicians at church, at Camp Forest Springs we sat in the front row so he could see. He even watched a couple minutes (I thought it was long!) of a symphony on Youtube. Whenever we sing, he pays attention and tries to sing along. He will hear a note and try to match it. It is really neat!

Georgia got to eat a donut after swimming across the pool all by herself!

He is my active kid. He has started jumping off the couch and the coffee table. Now he can jump from one to another. He also runs. Very fast. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time catching him. He climbs out of his crib - we find him wandering the house at night. He is also athletic - he can do a somersault, walk nicely on a balance beam, rides Georgia's scooter better than she did when she was his age. He can throw a ball further than Georgia currently can. He is always amazing me by his courage and ability. He also climbs. Onto the top of dressers, the kitchen (and bathroom sink) counters, etc, etc.

My animal lover at the mini farm in Wisconsin - giving sheep hugs

Titus is still not sleeping through the night. He does randomly, with little rhyme or reason. It is becoming increasingly difficult to help him sleep now that he can climb out of his crib. I am working on weaning him and hopeful that this will help him sleep through the night (since there will be no "reward" for waking up). (Now updated: Sept 8: Titus is now in a big boy bed for a week. He is sleeping a bit better - he likes his space. He still wakes up at night, but is no longer getting out of his bed.) We are also partially weaned. We mostly give almond milk in a bottle. When he wakes in the middle of the night, half of the time he nurses.
Titus loves to drive in daddy's car in the morning. They back out of the driveway together

Georgia has just started school. We are doing Kindergarten Homeschool. Technically because of her birthday, she is in Pre-K or Transitional kindergarten as they call it here. But we have the luxury of going at our own pace. We're working on learning to read, and she loves doing her math book. She asks to do school most days. We are using My Father's World as our main curriculum, and its basically a thematic curriculum - we spend a week on the Sun (letter S, Bible verses and discussion relating, painting the Sun using patterns, reading books related to the topic, etc). There are lots of projects and fun things like painting, cutting and coloring. I think its just right for us this year - she gets to have a lot of fun, and I don't have to plan what we are doing.

This is the pool that Georgia swam across!

Georgia attended Vacation Bible School at a local church this year. Every day she insisted that she didn't want to go, and didn't enjoy it. But.... she would come home happy and singing the songs. I think the reason she was complaining was she was tired - we had gotten home from Costa Rica the night before it started, and we were leaving for Hawaii the day after it ended. We had a busy summer!
T sleeping on the plane

I have to say that I love Georgia's age. The 2-4 year old range can be challenging with learning boundaries, tantrums, saying no, and so on. We're slowly coming out of that, and its fun to spend time with my older girl. She asks more intelligent questions, can make jokes, and says what she's thinking. Just yesterday we were out walking, and a group of four or five girls went jogging past us. She asks, "Why are they running? They must be late for a birthday party"
Titus' first boat ride

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A whole year and a half

Note: I had this written a month ago, and just never published it. So.... a whole month late, here it is!
Titus will quickly grow into this little bike

My monthly blog post is a day overdue, which means I better start writing! This month I have been so thankful for how "easy" life is compared to a year ago. Re-reading blog posts and thinking back to my little grumpy son who woke up 5-6 times a night, had food allergies that were un-known and just didn't seem happy..... so thankful for the place we are now in. Of course we still have allergies and may for a long time (or maybe not!) but I now know how to deal with them, how to avoid them, and because of that - I have a much happier kid!

My future handy-man

Height: around 33.5 inches
Weight: 24 pounds
Diaper: size 4
Shoes: size 7
Clothing size: 18 months, some 24 & 2T (and a couple 3T shirts that are quite big on him!)

Titus loves his grandpa (and foot rubs!)

Food: This little man could eat all day long! He just loves to eat. He uses the sign language word for hungry to tell me when he wants to eat. He has been using it to also delay things like going to bed. He signs this in the middle of the night if he wakes up. He loves to eat fried eggs, bacon, chicken and steak, frozen peas and corn, hot dogs, salsa, broccoli and many other things. I always try to have snacks and food wherever we go because I know he's going to need them.
playing in a splash pad

Allergies: About three weeks ago we had an incident where Titus ate a bite of someone else's hot dog at a birthday party - and the hot dog contained soy. That night and about 7-8 nights that followed were a bit rough. He went from sleeping through the night to getting up 1-3 times a night. He had difficulty falling asleep. His nose was really runny the day or two following the accident. His poops were yucky and he had a diaper rash.

I just love this picture of them - even though its out of focus - but that makes it more artsy, right? 

Sleep: For the most part, Titus is sleeping through the night!!! I thought this day would never come! The last week he's been getting up once, but he tells me he is hungry so I'm hoping its a growth spurt and he'll be back sleeping through the night soon. He takes one good long nap. Usually he naps around 11-11:30, but if we are busy in the morning, he can wait until 12 or 12:30 to take his nap. He usually is in bed sometime around 7:30.

Potty Training: This is somewhat unexpected. I've had the potty out for a couple months just so Titus could get familiar with it. Well, what do you know? I set him on the potty, told him to go, and he went! So we're doing some informal potty training. When we're home, he goes around the house naked and goes potty in the toilet. When we leave the house I put diapers on him. He has had a couple accidents, but overall does really good with the toilet.

Activity: Titus loves his Grandpa Wallace. He is Grandpa's shadow - following him around, softly cooing "Ga-pa". Other than that, he loves trucks and tractors. The garbage truck comes down the alley next to our house a couple times a week, and that is a highlight for him! This week, he has learned how to jump off the couch. Georgia and he run around the house giggling and laughing and wrestling for much of the day. They love each other so much and play together very well. He can also be a big bully and is quite the boy. He loves to bite and pull hair when he doesn't get his way. He can be aggressive and roars and grunts when he tries to push or pull something much too big for him.

Words: Titus has been talking up a storm! He is now in a copying phase, and if you ask him, he may try to say what you ask him to say. Most of his words don't sound anything like what they're supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Titus is 17 months (and a 16 month update too)

This month has marked improvements in speech and interests. The biggest change this month is his interest in trucks. He talks about trucks all day long. Truck, truck, truck, truck. He knows the garbage truck comes down the alley next to our house and will point to it. I show him videos about garbage trucks and we have gone to a construction site near our house (many times!) where he can watch all the tractors and excavators.

Height: 33.5 inches (80th %)
Weight: 23.5 pounds (15th %)
Clothing size: 18-24 month, some 2T

His sleep is slowly getting better. He is usually up once during the night, and sleeps from about 6/6:30pm - 6/6:30am. (Now that the time has changed, he is sleeping around 7-7 or even 8-8. Its much nicer!) Some days he takes two naps, but most days he takes one. (I think now at the end of March, he has finally completed the transition!!) I'm waiting for another month or two before his nap schedule gets more regular. His naps really depend on how tired he is and how much sleep he got the night before. Today, for example, he was awake at 6:30 (had a late night last night at small group), so was tired enough for a nap at 8:30. He took a second nap at 2. Some days he only will take one (long) nap for about three hours (although it can be anywhere from 2-4 hours long) and it'll be around 10 or 11am.
His silly face

Allergies are still around. He has a very strong, immediate reaction to soy which is characterized by hyperactivity. Basically, when he eats even the littlest bit of it, he won't sleep. He seems pretty happy and content, but would be awake all night long. He also has a reaction to dairy. I think he had some about a month ago, and he woke up 3-4 times throughout the night, seemed fussy, had gross diapers for the next couple weeks. Thankfully I've been more strict about watching what he eats, and since he's been eating better he's also been sleeping better.

My brown-eyed son

The last couple weeks he has been working on his climbing skill. He has always known how to climb, but the last week he has gotten good. He can now climb up the ladder to Georgia's lofted bed (Lord, help me!) which is about 6-7 feet high. And of course he doesn't know how to climb down. He has climbed onto the top of Georgia's playhouse outside (didn't know he could do that!). I came walking around the corner just as he was sliding off the top of the house. He has also learned how to step down. He can "walk" down steps like a normal person, holding onto nothing. He tries to jump off low chairs (probably because his sister loves to jump). Basically he's busy, busy, busy all day long.
He is a tummy sleeper and moves all over the place while he sleeps

He has started talking a bit more. He often just says part of a word, like, "guck" for truck or garbage truck and "mo" for more. "EEse" is please, "ba-pa" is Grandpa and "na-na" is grandma. He makes a lot of copying sounds, so has said things like, "da-pa" for diaper. He says mama and dada but doesn't have a word for Georgia yet. He also sings, "gooooo!" from Let it Go and can say something that sounds similar to "set, GO!" Today he started saying "ca-cer" for cracker. He can shake his head for yes and no, and so will answer questions quite emphatically.

He liked the beach- but not the water so much! 

Also as of yesterday (3/26), he can go potty on the toilet. When I take his diaper off, I've been giving him a chance to sit on the toilet. He concentrates so hard, and always manages to pushes out a couple drops of potty. Every single time! Its never more than a couple drops, but he makes it happen, so we're celebrating it. It also is really quick - happening within about 10 seconds of him sitting on the toilet. We've been eating lots of chocolate chips around here!

For the most part, Titus and Georgia play together a ton. They make up their own games. Georgia enjoys making him laugh and will make funny noises or do goofy things to get him to laugh. They also get into trouble together - climbing up to Georgia's lofted bed or Georgia helping him in and out of his crib. They have some problems sharing (naturally) toys, but they both love each other so much. It makes a mama's heart happy. Georgia has to say goodnight to him or she has tears at bedtime. If either of them are hurt or crying, the other one either has sympathy tears or comes to see whats wrong.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Living with soy and dairy allergy

I've met a lot of women who are starting a journey I never wanted to take, one of living with kids with allergies. So, I thought I'd write down my insights in one place to refer to them later, so I don't have to type them out multiple times.
The eczema that covered his body from his diaper area up to his head about 2 months old here

My son was never officially diagnosed. When he was just 4 or 5 days old, I noticed he was different than his sister. His poops were green and watery. He would wake himself up in the middle of the night crying and grunting and pulling his legs up to his stomach. He seemed to be in a lot of pain, and I didn't think it was normal. The pediatrician wasn't concerned at all. He was gaining weight just fine. But then he developed a rash all over his body. He had terrible cradle cap, too.

I voiced my concerns to my doctor, and she rolled her eyes at me. Then she told me I should try eating yogurt because the cultures in it may help heal his gut. (never mind the fact I had just told her I thought that he was allergic to dairy!)
terrible cradle cap

In my research, it seemed that dairy and soy were the most common things for babies to be allergic too. So, I took them out of my diet. I wasn't very strict though. I would have goats milk. I would eat Snickers candy bars (give me a break, it was just after Halloween!) I have a food diary I kept, and one day my husband went and got me a soy chocolate latte from Starbucks. Titus had a terrible day, and I kept thinking that the chocolate sauce in the latte must have contained milk, never even thinking that the soy was actually the cause of all these issues we were having. I ate lots of little bits of soy lechtin because I had read that it shouldn't be bad because it was processed.
"raccoon eyes" face rash - symptom of allergies

As you can see from these pictures, his allergies weren't getting any better. So, I finally got strict with myself. He was sleeping terribly and seemed fairly happy, but his body was looking terrible. Rashes, dry skin, red eyes, etc. I stopped eating eggs, gluten, oats, dairy & soy. I only ate what I cooked. If we went somewhere, I would ask question after question about the food. I learned my lesson after eating something that had been cooked using Pam Spray.

Slowly, I added things back into my diet. Eggs, gluten & oats were all ok. After looking back on the first few months of his life, I think all his problems were originally caused by dairy & soy, but because I wasn't strict enough with my diet, he was having reactions to the dairy and soy but I thought that the trace amounts I was eating wouldn't hurt him.
Around 4 months - something obviously caused this reaction around his lips
Dairy stays in the digestive system for a long time. It can stay for 2-3 weeks, and so if you're nursing you'll need to wait a full month to see all the benefits of removing it from your diet (2 weeks in your body, then another 2 weeks to clear out of baby's body). That being said, you should see some sort of improvement within a couple of days. From my personal experience, soy seems to have a shorter reaction time. It seems fairly immediate, strong and quick. It seems to be more of a 1-2 day sort of thing.

His current reaction is lack of sleep. For example, if he eats something with soy in it at dinner time, he will wake up 9-10 times at night. He has trouble settling down, he wakes up crying. He will nurse and fall back asleep, but then will be up an hour later. Or he may be wide awake from 10pm-2am before finally falling back to a fitful sleep. In the morning, he will seem happy enough, and he will even take a decent nap (probably tired from lack of sleep the night before!). The next night he will wake up 4-5 times, doing the same thing. For the next 4-5 days, his diapers will be mucousy. Sometimes he gets a diaper rash. 

He has had trace amounts of milk (for example, taking a sip of his sister's milk cup) and not had much of a reaction at all. I wonder if he is outgrowing his dairy allergy, but I don't have the energy for trying it - bracing myself for 2-3 weeks of bad sleep. It just doesn't seem worth it to me. 

What to do if you suspect an allergy

- Talk to your doctor! Hopefully they are more helpful than mine was. 
- If you want to use formula, you will need one free from soy and dairy proteins. (although some kids can handle some small amounts of soy or dairy proteins). The fully free-from formulas are big bucks - around $500-$600/month. 
- So, breastfeeding is the cheapest (and healthiest for everyone!)

To eat Dairy and Soy free, you need to avoid: 

- soybean oil (this is the most processed of all soy products. Most children are okay with consuming this. There should be no proteins left in the oil after its been processed). This is also known as Vegetable Oil. Titus is very sensitive, but is okay with this. 
- soy lecithin (Titus reacts to this). This is the protein found in almost all processed foods. Sauces, dressings, spices, seasonings, PAM spray, breads, cereals, Oreos, canned tuna, etc. Not all kiddos react to this. Once you have a good baseline for your child, you can try this to see if there is a reaction. 
- bean sprouts - most often these are soybean sprouts. Unless you grew them yourself (from alfalfa or something else), its not worth it!
- soy sauce, edemame 
- hydrolized plant/vegetable/soy protein (another word for soy)
- miso, teryaki sauce - from soy
- Caramel coloring - can be made from dairy
- sausages - look carefully! Many have soy proteins in them
- MSG - can be made from soy
- wine - some can have dairy proteins in them. They are used to filter the wine. You can visit the website and they list vegan wines 
- PAM spray - just going to list this again since its so widely used. Soy lecithin is an ingredient
- butters and margarine (even many buttery spreads contain dairy & soy proteins)
Ghee (a dairy product, not supposed to have many dairy protein, but can cause a reaction)
Breads - look at labels carefully. At most grocery stores there is only one or two brands or types of bread that is safe to eat. 

What Can You Eat? 

Right now, I cook mostly normal foods, just using my dairy/soy free substitutes. The good news is that most of these foods are sold at my normal grocery store! You can also find all or most of them at Sprouts or Whole Foods. 

Butter: Earth's Balance (click for their website, use to find stores). They make a butter spread and butter sticks that you can use in place of butter. This is easily substituted in any recipe for butter. One of the kids is made without soybean oil, but my child can handle the regular yellow tub that is made with soybean oil. The red tub is completely soy free. 

Bread: Eureka Baking Company makes their breads soy/dairy free, as does Rudi's. Even when buying these brands, look at the labels as I'm not sure all their types of breads are dairy and soy free. 

Milk: We have tried lots of types of milk. Rice milk has less flavor. Almond milk and Coconut milk are stronger, but creamier. There are milks you can buy that are boxed and on shelves (non-refrigerated) and some that are refrigerated and have shorter life spans. Try to get ones with added calcium since you won't be getting as much calcium in your diet. When I do baking, I try to use a plain, rice milk (unsweetened, no vanilla). It has little flavor, so won't add extra flavors to whatever you're baking or cooking. 

Chocolate: Guittard Chocolate chips. They are made from Sunflower lecithin! (But again, check the packages - I have accidentally bought some from Guittard that still had soy lecithin. So, depends on which type you buy!) 

Cheese Daiya Cheese - There is a vegan cheese made out of tapioca starch I believe. I don't really like it that much, but have heard its good on pizza and grilled cheese. 

Coffee Creamer/Ice cream - all made from coconut milk. There is a company called So Delicious that makes these. I really enjoy the French Vanilla Coffee Creamer. Their ice cream is pretty good, as well. 

Trader Joe's does a good job with allergens, too. You can request a print out list of everything in their store that is allergy friendly. They also have some different types of cookies and snacks that are free from the top 8 allergens. When I first started this journey, I ate their Snickerdoodle Cookies a lot because they were one of the only things I could find that was dairy and soy free. (For the record, its much cheaper to buy those cookies in the store, rather than through Amazon).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Georgia's doings - age 4

Sledding in Wisconsin in November

Well, Georgia's fourth birthday has come and gone. About three months ago now. Really life is busy and I don't understand how some people have so much time to blog. Or do anything else that they do like folding laundry or washing dishes. There is just not enough time in the day for everything I'd like to do, so things just don't get done around here. Here are some things about Georgia and hopefully some sayings that she says.

Georgia's Dinosaur-themed Birthday Party

Height: 45 inches - above 99%  (when we were in Colorado, we compared Georgia to Teresa - my tall sister - Georgia is about 1.5 inches taller than her at the same age)

Weight: 45 pounds (90%)

Clothing: size 6 mostly, some 7s
Shoes: 12 or 13

At daddy's work

Georgia is all about "favorites" lately and most of the time Daddy is her favorite (or as she says, "Daddy is the best today!"). He does get the fun job of parenting - by the time he comes home, he has just an hour (or less) of time with her before bed, so they will have fun wrestling and reading and playing pretend. The plus side of this is that she always wants him to put her in bed. I get to put my feet up while he's busy brushing her teeth and reading her books. It is fun to see them together. (and Dave has admitted that that's the best time of day for him, too)

Georgia at her dance recital - looking so grown up!

Georgia is also pretty much done with naptime. We still have quiet time every day, although I don't know I would use the word "quiet" to describe it. I'm surprisingly not too sad about this, as she goes to bed earlier and easier now. It makes our evenings a bit more relaxing, which is always good. She probably takes a nap once every week or two, or if she's had a particularly long or eventful day.

I think the shirt and her expression capture her can-do attitude

Georgias favorites:
Food: macaroni & cheese
TV show: Paw Patrol
Dinosaur: T Rex
Color: purple
Clothing: red twirly dress (or anything that gives a good twirl - I have to take a video on my phone to show her how much it twirls)
Word: "dinosaur" (she says this whenever she doesn't know what to say or how to answer)

Add caption

So Georgia has been hilarious lately! I've noticed that kids her age get more and more verbal and just say what they're thinking. Some gems:

I have chocolate chips I'm eating. After dinnertime she had a bowl of ice cream (and quite a large bowl) so when she asks for chocolate chips, I tell her no. She knows that I eat dairy-free, so I am unable to eat ice cream, therefore I'm eating my chocolate chips. Georgia goes on to say, "Well, when I have my baby I can eat chocolate chips." Dave and I start cracking up, and I ask her when she'll have a baby and she says "soon!.....  maybe when I'm 10!"

She likes me taking her picture and will make faces for me. This is her favorite outfit to wear. 

We were at the grocery store and there was a rather large man in the same aisle as us. Of course she waits until we are standing right next to him and asks (rather loudly of course and pointing directly at him), "Mom, why does that man have a big tummy?"

"Titus was doing a brussel sprout and I walked over him!" A what, Georgia? "A brussle sprout!" As she showed me, I realized she meant a somersault. Titus loves putting his head on the floor and having one of us roll him over, the beginning of a somersault.

"Mommy, you're my best mommy ever!" (this hardly ever happens! Daddy is usually the best. I think she said it that day because I was letting her watch TV while I put Titus down to nap and did some stuff around the house).

Georgia was sick yesterday and was up a lot of the night coughing. Because of all the water she drank, then she also had to get up to go potty. Needless to say, she slept until 9am this morning. She normally wakes up between 7 and 7:30. I told her, "Wow you slept so long!" and she said, "I didn't sleep. I was awake all night until morning."

Georgia also has some struggles with food. By struggles, I mean that she doesn't like food that most normal kids like. For example, she would eat carrots, artichokes, peas, corn, apples, edamame, or pretty much any fruit (but not bananas) until she was full. But offer her pancakes, waffles, or any dinner food and she doesn't want it. The other day she wanted to make waffles. She helped and when she finally ate one she said, "Mommy, I don't like it. It tastes just like a pancake!" Other foods she doesn't like: potatoes (any kind, mashed, baked, cut into home fries), and applesauce,

She was a little sick the other day (just for the day, nothing serious) and she said, "I need to go to the doctors so I can find out what sick I have!" For the record, she loves going to the doctor & dentist. She loves meeting new people and getting lots of attention, so any sort of appointment that is all about her makes her happy!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Titus at 15 months

Titus is now a happy 15 month old. This last month was a painful one for everyone, filled with teething mostly. He now has all of his teeth (until the 2 year molars come). Praise the Lord!

This month was also a month filled with "conquering", our first trip to the ER (well, second if you count that one time we thought he may have eaten a battery and when we got there realized that no, he hadn't eaten anything so we left), and a little bit of talking.

Weight: around 23 pounds
Height: around 32.5 inches
Teeth: 16!!!! (never been so excited about this!)
Shoe size: 6
Clothing size: mostly 18 months (some 12month pants still fit)

We had our first trip to the ER - like I mentioned up there. It all started at the park when I was trying to wipe his nose (runny from all that teething I mentioned). He jerked his head away from me, and ended up falling sideways onto the cement ground. Pretty hard, right on his head. He took one of those deep breaths and just passed out. Never got the cry out. He was out for maybe 10 seconds at the most, and I was pretty sure it was just because of shock and the whole not breathing thing. The other moms at the park freaked out, and after finally getting a hold of our new doctor/insurance (this was the first Monday of the year after we changed insurance, and didn't have any cards or anything yet), they wanted us to take Titus in to the ER. By this time, it had been over an hour since he passed out and he was seemingly fine. No bruise, no throwing up, no confusion. Completely normal. But, I complied and drove him to the ER where we sat for three (or maybe four) hours. We got checked in, but waited and waited and waited. There was too many people there (probably because it was the first Monday in the new year). After all this waiting, we finally just left. Titus was acting completely normal (still), and mind you normal for him is crawling on the ground, climbing on chairs, touching everything and putting things in his mouth. None of those are great in an ER. I'm hoping we never get a bill for that terrible day!

I also mentioned "conquering". Titus is a boy. Boys like to do things just to see if they can do them. They climb, they jump, they explore, etc. Titus has a face of determination when he tries to do all these things. When he finally does it, he has conquered! And then its time to find something else to conquer. He loves walking on the cement edges - around the park, in the parking lot, etc. Its much like a balance beam. He climbs on the table and chairs. He loves trying to build with duplos. He gets that same look of determination while he stacks the pieces together.

Titus is finally done teething. He had a rough go of it. Seven teeth in about three weeks. He is not a fun teether. Whiny, feverish, runny nose, sleeps poorly, etc. He is finally back to normal (although he has a slight cough at night - I think he has Dave's cold!).

Titus has been talking a bit more than previous. He now says "up" a lot. He says when he goes up the stairs, when he goes down, when he wants to be picked up.... basically he says it for movement. His other words include "dada", "eh-ma" (mama), "up", and "ah!" (hi). He also sings the phrase "let it go!" almost perfectly. He just started saying "na!" (no) and "eese" (please). He is also randomly using sign language - more and please and eat. He basically uses any of those signs anytime he wants something. For example, yesterday he brought me his sock and signed the word "more". I knew that he wanted me to put his sock on, although technically the words he used weren't correct.

Other stuff: He is a book lover, nature lover, and animal lover. He pulls all the books out of his boxes and brings them to me, especially the books that have animals in them. He can make many animal noises - cow (his favorite), duck & chicken (which sound very similar), fish (puckers his lips - super cute!), pig, birds, horse and sheep. He absolutely loves watching the garbage truck and any other truck. He could spend all day outdoors. (Thankfully we live somewhere with nice weather and he can spend lots of time outside!) He loves rocks and sticks and dirt.

One of his other favorite things - playing in daddy's car

His sleep has been really rough this month, mostly due to the teething. He had two nights in a row where he slept 11+ hours straight (amazing!) and I was sure he was done teething..... then the next night he was awake 7 times. So I checked, and sure enough there was one lone tooth struggling to make its way through. It took a couple nights, but it finally came through. He is sleeping better, but has been waking himself up with coughing fits. I really do think once this cold of his is gone we're at the end of the sleep-deprivation tunnel!
The reason why he has so many bruises/bumps/scratches - he has to conquer everything!

The other thing that has been difficult with his sleep is that he transitioned from two naps, down to one. He usually takes one long nap from about 10-12am. If I try to push that nap later in the day, he is overtired and sleeps poorer or takes a shorter nap. This makes for a long afternoon, and an early bedtime. Hopefully as he gets more used to his one nap-a-day, he'll be able to handle the long stretches better.
After a year of bath-hating, he finally likes bathes! 

He is an eater! He out-eats Georgia every day. He always amazes me at how much he eats. Since he still has some allergies to soy and dairy, we have to be careful with what he eats. But, we went to In-N-Out last weekend and he ate 2 1/2 hamburger patties (plus quite a few french fries!). This morning for breakfast he ate two fried eggs (along with some oatmeal). He eats mostly fruits, veggies & meats, although one of his favorite foods is salsa.