Sunday, September 28, 2014

Uterine Birthday, on time!

This is the first time I've managed to get this photographed and posted on the actual day.  Which would be a prouder achievement if I hadn't skipped the 8-month-post.  Sorry Teddy, but you should really sleep better if you expect Mama to live up to these absurd things she feels obligated to do.

I decided to post some pics from the last few months that haven't appeared on Instagram yet.  The first several are from our trip to Oregon, as well as a picture of all the cousins together.  The next few are from our trip to Lake Itasca in August, and Teddy's dunk in the headwaters of the Mississippi.  I sucked at taking pictures for the rest of August and September, apparently, because I only have one good (high-res) one of Baba's trip out, none of the fair, and none of our other shenanigans.  Will have to bust out the DSLR for these last few days of nice weather.

These last two months have been fun, to be sure.  Mr. T is becoming a real person.  A crawling, precocious, smiling little guy.  He fits right into this crazy family.  He eats everything we eat, for the most part, just cut into smaller pieces.  He basically refuses to let me feed him, which works out well since I don't really have time to anyway.  He seems to be a pickier eater than the girls were at this age, but he is slowly coming around to a few things he didn't like, such as tomatoes and eggs.  I know, both of those aren't recommended for kids this age, but whatevs.  He tolerates everything, so we roll with it.

The biggest issue has been sleep.  This guy just really sucks at sleep.  When we were in Oregon and for a short time thereafter he was waking up several times a night, only eating a little bit each time.  He struggled to put himself to sleep.  Part of the problem is that he had learned to stand but wasn't good at sitting back down, so he'd stand in his crib and be stuck there.  Shortly before our trip to Itasca, when hubs was working a stretch of nights, I pseudo sleep-trained him.  Except it didn't really work, because he's really darn stubborn.  After a week of attempts, I have basically given up hope of sleep training him.  After that week, he did do a bit better, only waking up once or twice a night for a while.  Now, a month and a half later, he still does kind of okay on some nights.  Maybe sleeping until 3 am or so.  But he's often up again at 5, and him or someone else is up for the day at 6 am.  Now that MJ is up until 9 pm on some nights, it makes for a tired mom.  Even if I went straight to bed when she does, I wouldn't get 8 hours.  But in reality, I need some kid free time at the end of the night for my own sanity.  So I often stay up until 11 or so, and I am just so tired.  And often, he sleeps much worse than that.  He's had a few colds or viruses these past few weeks, which just wears me out.  When he wakes up at night, he's really darn thirsty, so I don't have it in me to sleep train him again. He'll suck down 6 ounces and go right back to sleep.  I think our only hope is to teach him to use a sippy cup so he can drink some water at night.  But that will be months away.... so for now we struggle.  The only saving grace I have right now, is that I now consistently get all the kids to sleep, even MJ, in the afternoon, so I can take a nap too.  It puts me in such a better mood for that tough stretch from post-nap through dinner to bed time.

One other quick note, which is that Greta has been making strides towards being a better sister.  She usually goes out of her way to make sure he is taken care of, with a toy and whatever else she thinks he needs.  If he crawls towards stairs she freaks out and tries to help.  If he chews on something she doesn't think he should be she instantly takes it away.  Although sometimes misguided, she is often thinking of his well being.  I wonder if part of it is that MJ has started school, so there are times when I drop them off at the gym and it is just the two of them.  I have tried to encourage her stepping into the big sister roll, looking out for her bro, and she finally seems to be getting it.  There is less pushing him down, or purposely hurting him (still plenty of accidents... such as when she pushed him down the stairs last week.... ugh...)  So I once again have some hope that they will be close.  Tonight she fed him cheddar bunnies; wouldn't have been my first choice, but the giggling suggested to me it was truly a bonding moment.

In some ways, this past month I feel that I've started to get things together.  I've managed to consistently cook dinner, which is a huge achievement in the craziness of our house.  Teddy entertains himself most of the time, and if I have him in a baby-proofed area I can get some things done.   I've become more sane.  I feel like these past two months I've finally been waking from a dream, because this year has been a blur in many ways.  I'm glad I have pictures.  Many, many pictures.  I remember most things, but if I try to focus in on anything that happened I can't, really.  I'm so glad he's part of our family.  I desperately try to not wish away these sweet baby-filled days, because I love this age.  He smiles at everything, giggles readily, doesn't throw tantrums and is happy doing just about anything, as long as he can squirm.  He's affectionate, crawling up to me when he wants to be picked up or nuzzled.  He blows little baby kisses on my cheek.  It's such a sweet, sweet time.  It's just that the stress of watching a newly mobile baby is constant, and when he goes to bed at 6 pm, I can take a deep breath and enjoy a more relaxed evening with the big kids.  I want him to stay a baby forever, because I'll never get to do this again, and he's so stinking cute.  But also, I want him to grow up so that I can enjoy some calm and reclaim part of my brain, the part that is constantly trying to safeguard the toddler and baby.

I can't believe he's only 9 months.  Seems like he's been here forever.  When I think of how much G has changed since she was 9 months old, I wonder what trajectory he will take.  Given that he is crawling like a mad man, and has been for months, and that he looks ready to start walking, I think it will be a crazy one.  Forging his own path.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Greta, 2 years

2 years old.  What a little firecracker.

Looking back to my thoughts one year ago, I barely knew her at all.  I thought she was mellow.  And calm.  And sweet.  I would now use the words busy, devious and silly.  The girl is smart.  I'm not one to use that word loosely, but she is smart.  She is doing puzzles that her sister didn't do until she was almost 3.  She will sit down and work on something until she figures it out.  Currently, she's obsessed with buckling buckles.  Any unbuckled buckle is an invitation; she pauses to buckle every car seat after everyone gets out (sort of annoying), every high chair and even the buckles on the ergo and backpack.

I see her little mechanical brain at work as she obsesses over Legos.  Every night after we tuck the girls into their bunk bed, Greta drags piles of Legos into her bed and builds things.  She inevitably falls asleep on a heap of them, and wakes up with indentations in her extremities.  But if I dare to take the Legos away she loses her mind, so we let it go.  Watching her mechanical mind at work is fascinating, and I will be very surprised if she doesn't end up somewhere in science, engineering, or the like.

I really need to document some of her shenanigans in these past couple months.

A month ago, our babysitter was watching all the kids.  She put Teddy to bed while Greta and MJ were downstairs in the kitchen (which I also do, so not at all out of line).  Greta dragged the step stool over to the touch pad for our alarm system.  She pressed the "Fire" panic button.  Our babysitter immediately called me for the code and I thought we turned it off in time.  Apparently not, since 5 minutes later a fire engine showed up in front of our house.  To make matters worse, my husband does training for the fire department.  When they came in the house, they saw a Saint Paul Fire Fighters calendar on the wall and asked whose house it was....

Last week, after a very long day with the kids, I plopped myself down on the couch.   I was spent.  MJ was upstairs.  Greta and Teddy were in the kitchen.  I could hear them and sort of see them; I thought Greta was feeding Teddy Puffs.  I don't normally allow her to do this, but I was so exhausted I let her get away with it.  After a few minutes, I got up to check on them.  On the counter was a formerly full pack of Orbitz chewing gum, and on the floor was Teddy spitting out little pieces of gum.  Oy.  She apparently gave him about half a pack, but it seems he spit all or most of it out.

One of our biggest struggles with this girl lately has been having her stick her hand in her poopy diapers.  Nearly every time.  It is incredibly gross, and difficult to manage.  How do you stop this behavior?  We tried everything we could think of, and finally resorted to some spanking.  I don't even believe in spanking.  I have never spanked MJ in her life, and yet Greta has been spanked a hand full of times.  When she decided it was super fun to run away from me into the road.  And, now, when she decided it was fun to upset us by sticking her hand in her poop.  It has stopped both behaviors.  We tried positive reinforcement, etc., but this girl is just downright naughty in a way that MJ never was.  She is devious.  She will wait until everyone is distracted, then go and sneak a piece of candy.  Meanwhile, MJ will always ask permission.  In some ways they are such similar children, especially compared to most other kids I know, but sometimes their differences are stark.

She has also gone through a screaming phase.  She will wait until I have a full cart of groceries and then scream at the top of her lungs.  She seems to realize that there's not much I can do.  I can't put her in time out.  I can't just walk out of the store.  I have to just bare it and get out as quickly as possible.  Another behavior I'm at a loss how to deal with.

I should also pause to focus on her good behaviors.  She is sweet to babies she doesn't know, stopping to give them a dropped pacifier or to kiss their toes.  (She's also sweet to her brother, but quickly gets frustrated and does something less than sweet).  She loves dogs, and will watch out the window for them, then let out a squeal when she sees one.  She loves animals in a way her sister never did, always obsessed about bunnies hopping along or kitties passing by.  She is a great eater, and there is very little that she doesn't like (except, I have recently realized, for bananas).  She is gleeful and precocious, and a downright joy to be around.  Although her naughtiness is difficult to parent, it is thoroughly entertaining to see what sort of schemes she comes up with.  She is my best cuddler, and always crawls into bed with me in the morning to cuddle for a while.  Kisses and hugs are abundant, which warms my mama heart.

Her speech is interesting.  She understands just about everything we say.  She loves looking through picture dictionaries and knows many, many words.  Her pronunciation is pretty far off, though, and her attempts to imitate my speech sound nothing like what I have said.  The pediatrician was not concerned, though, feeling that pronunciation comes between two and three, and her understanding of language and attempts to say it are all that matter at this point.  (Also, at her two year appointment, she was up to 60% for height; such a difference from her sisters 7% height).

She adores her sister.  The two of them play together constantly, with relatively little fighting.  They sleep in the same room (and have for the past year) and transitioned to a bunk bed a few months ago (though that was about a three month process that involved lots of nights with G in a pack and play).

We had a little party for this girl on the occasion of her birth.  The first few photos are of that event.  On her actual birthday, I took her to the pediatrician's (shots!) and took her out for ice cream.  I also took her to the train store, and let her run around as much as she wanted.  Happy girl.  She listens a lot better when I get to pay full attention to her.

On top of all this, this now marks 2 years of me being home.  The time has flown.  I only worked for 3 years before staying home full time, and that period of time just dragged.  Every day I questioned my decision.  While staying home is challenging and exhausting, I never wish I was back at work.  I never question whether what I'm doing is worthwhile or the right decision.  The only thing I worry about is whether I'll have a difficult time getting back into the work force some day, but that seems like a minor concern compared to everything else.

This girl.  She is a plotter, a planner.  She is tenacious.  She closes all open doors, buckles all buckles, insists on putting on her own shoes, tries her darnedest to put on her own clothes, and sits for long periods of time on the potty, trying to figure out how to make it work.  But she is also pretty fearless, flinging herself down slides, meeting every stranger and running headlong into every new experience.  When she was born, I worried for her.  Living in the shadow of an older sister with such a big personality would be tough, I thought.  Now, though, I see that she can hold her own. She has wiggled herself into the Greta shaped hole in our family that we didn't even know was there, and we would not be complete without her.

I love you sweet girl.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Teddy, 7.5 months

I have completely missed the 7 month update.  I am now squarely at 7.5 months, so that's where we'll start (the photos, however, were at his 7 month birthday).

This boy.  Just in the past couple weeks he's really starting to feel like one of the gang.  He started the month in Oregon, came back with me to Minnesota, had a camping trip, a week spent with Dad away, his sister's second birthday, and right after his 7 month mark headed back to Oregon for 10 days.

Whew.  No wonder it feels like time is slipping away,  I don't have any of it to spend thinking about it all. When we were in Oregon, the first time, he met his cousin.  His older cousin, by about 5 months, and she was crawling all over the place.  He decided he had to give it a try, and a week before his 7 month birthday he was officially crawling.  Sometime during our second trip to Oregon he started really crawling, getting himself all over the place and making sure he is always where the action is.  I guess that's when he started to feel like one of the gang.  If the girls are playing some crazy wild game in the other room, he high tails it in there so as to be part of it.  And they love it!

His sleep is... pretty awful.  He wakes up many times a night.  No fewer than twice a night.  Sometimes much more.  We are in the midst of sort of sleep training him.  He has recently started waking up often, not actually wanting anything but not really sure how to put himself to sleep.  So we've let him figure it out, because it simply has to happen.  If he seems particularly upset I offer him a bottle.  But he seems so much more stubborn than Greta was (a bad sign, since G is pretty darn stubborn).  He has not figured it out quickly (by not quickly, I mean we are on our 3rd night and, after 3 hours of sleep he has already been up 3 times).  But he is falling asleep more quickly, so maybe there's an end in sight.  I don't particularly mind giving him a bottle, particularly because it's summer and I don't want him to get dehydrated, and he often wakes up for at least one bottle very thirsty.  But he can't rely on us to put him to sleep, that's something he has to learn.

Contributing to our problem is that he also learned to pull himself up while in Oregon.  So we came back and immediately had to drop the crib after seeing him hang over the side of it.  He is certainly interested in learning to walk, and if I had to bet I'd say he'll figure it out within 2.5 months.  But these babies, they like to surprise!  (On a side note, he actually did fall out of his crib two weeks ago... because his eldest sister decided she wanted him to stand while in his crib.  Ugh.  He landed on his head, and was totally not acting like himself.  I called Aaron to tell him I was going to bring Teddy to the ER, so he pulled himself out of a meeting and came home.  Of course, as soon as Dad walked in the door he smiled and started acting normal again.  Very scary.  This was also the day I feel in love with our babysitter all over again; she walked in while this was happening, and looked at Greta with a hand covered in poop.  She picked her up and changed her, completely unfazed.  )

He already feeds himself pretty well.  His pincer grip isn't great, but he hated having me feed him, and I didn't have the time to sit there and try to coax it in, so he started practicing picking up food on his own.  He paws at it, or slides it over to the edge of his try and sucks it off the side.  It's not elegant, but he gets it in there.  And he likes just about everything.  I haven't been as aggressive with veggies as I was with the girls, but I've also jumped into real food more quickly, haven't been particularly careful with the 3 day wait after new foods, and have just basically gone with the flow.  If it's healthy and seems easy for him to eat I give it to him.  So he's already had eggs, cheese, meat, tomatoes, berries (loved Oregon blackberries!), wheat, and many other things, all with no issues.  I feel so lucky that we haven't had to deal with allergies, I'm sure it's made me less cautious.

So that's our little boy.  He lights up every time he sees me, especially when he first sees me in the morning.  He's just full of glee, all the time.  The world is an amazing place, part of the reason I love this age so much.  He is determined to figure out why he's not allowed to get into Vito's dog food, and determined to get his hands on Vito.  And determined to figure out how to crawl up stairs.  He loves swinging with his sister G (who also loves pushing him).  He still loves taking naps on me, in the Ergo.  He never stays asleep in his car seat (never has, first kid for whom that's true!)  He's getting some blonde fuzz on his noggin but is otherwise bald.  He loves blowing raspberries on my tummy in the morning when it's just the two of us, before the girls have woken up.  He's pretty chatty, with a wide variety of sounds.

I love that he's becoming part of the team.  Greta has been much kinder to him these last two weeks (which I can't say for the month prior to that), and the two of them actually play together.  She brings him toys, but she also sits on him, and he loves both of these.  It's hard to teach her not to sit on him when he laughs hysterically about it.  This guy.  I think he's going to be another precocious one.  I think about where G was a year ago, and I could have never predicted where she'd be now.  Similarly, I can't even imagine what his little personality will be like, other than to say he'll probably be happy and precocious, much like his sisters.

Little man, thanks for joining us.  You make our family complete.  I can finally take a deep breath and start to enjoy how wonderful you are.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crazy kids.

It is a point of fascination to me that the parents who have the most to say have the least time to say it.  I seemed to have a lot to say, and a lot of advice to offer, when I had a wee 3-month-old.  I am embarrassed to look back at those posts.  Truly, I knew so very little.

And the more I have to say, with real meaning and content, the less time I have to say it.

I haven't had time to say how I lost Greta at the playground the other day.  Only for about 2 minutes, but goodness, that girl can run, and I know how far she can get in 2 minutes time.  I found her happily kissing a baby she had just met.

Which she is wont to do.  Kiss babies she has just met.  She is the sweetest, gentlest little girl with other people's babies and other people's dogs.  Not, so much, with her own dog and her own baby.  Though she is obsessed with always making sure Teddy has a toy (even if it may be a terrible choking hazard) and feeding the dog, so at least she's interested in their well being.

I haven't had time to discuss watching MJ flirt with a boy at the same playground.  How she stuck her hip out and perched her hand there, taunting "You want someone to kill?  Bet you can't kill me!"  (Which sounds weird, but the boys were apparently playing a shooting game and that was her way of working herself in).  One boy, in particular, chased her all over.  And then she stole his sword (I kid you not) and he wrestled her to get it back.  It was so awkward and so terrifying of things to come that I had to remove myself to the other side of the playground so I didn't lose my mind.  I'm sure she didn't know she was flirting, but that's exactly what it was and she wouldn't have talked to another girl that way.

MJ has become obsessed with history.  "Real stories that really happened".  We've read about Harriet Tubman and Harry Houdini and Jumbo the Elephant and Annie Oakley.  She wants to be a pioneer for Halloween.  It is the first academic interest I've seen blossom in her and it's wonderful.  I constantly have to remind myself not to push her, because any time I do she rebels and gives up.  If I let it come to her in her own time she is usually quite determined to figure it out.  Which is why our attempts at reading so far have not been very fruitful, because I push her and it makes her hate it.  I remember feeling the same as a little girl, when I was pushed to ride my bike or swim.  I still feel antagonism towards those activities, and I don't want to curse her with the same feelings.  So I try to be patient, and encourage these passions when they arise.  Sometimes I do better than other times.

Greta, however, will sit and work at a puzzle until she figures it out.  I remember sitting down with the same puzzle with MJ at 2 1/2 and her struggling and getting so angry.  G is definitely the more patient of the two.  She is also fascinated by building things, legos and and shapes that fit together.  But her language is slower to develop, as well.  I am so curious to see how these little differences will shape them into different people.  

Greta, already grabbing things from me and saying "NO, I DO IT".  Insisting on dressing herself, which she is not at all capable of doing yet.  Today she spent ten minutes walking around with both legs through one short hole, simply because she wouldn't allow us to help her fix it.  

And then there's Teddy.  The baby.  He is off in the corner, quietly teaching himself to crawl.  And, really, he's basically done it.  He's slow, but he moves where he wants to and gets his hands on all sorts of things.  In some ways he's being forced to grow up a little quicker than the others at this age.  He's six months now, so he's starting to eat solids.  But I don't really have time to sit and feed him purees so I am basically giving him things to feed himself.  Baby led weaning, out of necessity rather than out of choice.  

Our house.  It is a crazy, crazy place.  Walking in the door if I've been away from them is like crossing a threshold from the calm, sane place the world generally is, to a screaming, hairpulling, wrestling whirlwind of little children.  I like to take them into the world, because I get to step back (sometimes) and see them for the cute that they really are.  We took them to a "Music in the Park" event last week, and it is always so enjoyable to see the smiles they bring to strangers faces.  Greta stomping her one foot while twirling, completely out of time to the music.  MJ prancing around, pretending she's a ballerina.  Teddy grinning, toothless, at everyone who walks by.  

It is a privilege to spend my days with them, when I can remember to let the little things go.  Like the 3rd spilled cup of milk, or 2nd time G has stuck her hand in her poopy diaper, or the 5th time MJ has burst into tears because I've told her no more sweets.  I always said I wanted a house full of chaos, and it turns out that is exactly what we have achieved.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Half a year

Goodness.  It seems that if I didn't do these monthly posts I might just never post.

It was a really, really good month with this little guy.  This month he gave us a few sleep-through-the-nights, including last night (3 days past the 6 month mark).  So really, once that's taken care of, what else is there? He puts himself to sleep on a regular basis.  When he wakes up in the morning, MJ will often crawl in his crib and play with him for a while. The sounds of them giggling warm my heart (and allow me a little more sleep).

He now rolls both ways on a regular basis.  In the past week, he has started to get up on all fours and rock back and forth, as though he's trying to figure out how to move his leg and crawl.  He has started to get places; not very fast or very far, but places.  Also in the past week or two, he is sitting pretty well.  Still needs a pillow around him because he falls over on occasion, but it never bothers him or frustrates him.  Instead, once he finds himself laying on the floor he seems to see that as his opportunity to practice crawling.

This past weekend, I got to spend more solo time with my baby than I have ever before had.  My Grandmother passed away, so Teddy and I went back to Oregon for the funeral.  Although it was a sad occasion, it was wonderful to spend some one-on-one time with my little man.  And it was freaking easy!  How did I ever think babies are hard?  (Though, to be fair, he's not crawling yet, which makes a huge difference).

I remember. when MJ was this age, getting tons of comments on how cute she was and what a sweet baby she was.  I haven't gotten that with either Greta or Teddy, and last weekend showed me why.  Because I'm always wrangling other kids, too, and no one wants to interfere with that!  Teddy got boat loads of comments this weekend, because he was the only baby in my arms!  Furthermore, we got to play with cousin Kessa, 5 months older than Teddy, which was absurdly adorable.

Although I love my girls and missed them, it was a bit hard to come home.  After the ease and relaxation of dealing with just one immobile baby, it was tough to transition back to craziness.  The first day back was really hard, but after a few days I got back in the groove.

But back to Teddy boy.  This is such a sweet, wonderful age, and I love soaking up the chunky thighs and full-body guffaws.  This boy has been practicing taking steps since about 4 months, and is dead set on learning to crawl, so I know it will be craziness soon enough.  Sooner, I suspect, than either of the girls.

Greta continues to be a threat to him.   Although I had previously thought we were past the abuse-of-brother stage, we seem to be back in it this past month.  She will just walk up and slap him out of the blue, or grab his face as hard as she can.  It is always worst when she is tired or frustrated, but there's no guarantee she won't do it at other times.  I'm truly stumped how to make this better.  I keep hoping time will do the trick, but every time he gets hurt I feel just awful that I haven't figured out how to make it stop.

He continues to chew on anything he can get in his mouth and soaks his clothing in drool.  Lots of teething happening, though who knows when we'll actually see a tooth.

I love this little guy fully and completely, and often feel bad that he gets so much less Mama time than his sister's had.  Then I see them coo and fuss over him, tickle him and do silly things to get him to laugh, and I realize that whatever he lacks in Mama time he makes up for in sister time.  He has been born into a crazy house full of life and love, I guess what could be better than that?


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

5 months

I am writing this post under duress.  There is a washing machine that is broken and a blind that is broken and and and.... how dare I take 10 minutes to update my blog?

But alas, it helps keep me sane.  Documenting these little milestones, even if I'm doing so a week late.  There is is always something that NEEDS to be done, it turns out.  So much of the time I just have to ignore it all if I want to accomplish anything.

This month has been a pretty good one.  I have felt, of late, as though I'm emerging from a fog.  Buddy boy is finally napping pretty well.  Generally a short nap in the morning and a long one in the afternoon, so I can finally get a few things done to ease my stress levels.  If it was up to him, his naps would be perfectly out of sync with Greta's, so that he wakes up from his nap right as she's going down for hers.  But instead, we force him to nap on the go so that we can get out of the house and go places.  He does okay in the Ergo, though never naps in the stroller or car seat.  This is life with three.  He's forced to be more flexible than he wants to be for the sanity of the whole family.

This is the month that we finally started breast feeding and finally stopped breast feeding.  He got about a month more than he would have had we kept pumping, but he just wasn't very good at it.  And my supply was pretty crappy, which frustrated him, which led to lower supply, bla bla bla.  I've been through this same thing with three kids now.  With Greta, I did everything perfect, breastfed her nonstop, and still couldn't produce enough.  So I no longer blame myself, as though I could have done something different.  My body just doesn't cut it in the nursing realm, so THANK GOD for formula.  I feel blessed to have finally transitioned and taken the stress of myself.

He continues to get up about twice a night.  It's been so long since I've had good sleep that I no longer remember what it's like.  This feels pretty tolerable, especially when I get to sleep pretty early.  I've been starting to think of cutting out night time feeds because he just doesn't take it very seriously and doesn't really seem to need it.  I think he's turning out to be a side sleeper, which seems to be his preferred position when he can get himself into it.  But still usually a tummy sleeper for coordination purposes, with his movement monitor for my peace of mind.

Little man smiles and laughs readily.  He has discovered his amazing feet and that he can stick them in his mouth.  Also his hands, though that has been less monumental all in all. When I'm feeding him a bottle he grasps my finger so that I don't take it away.  If he wants a break, he'll move my hand away for a minute and then bring it back.  If I dare take it out too soon, he flaps his arms and his legs like a crazy person until I give it back.  He's pretty clear when he's done.

His jaws are fierce.  Still no teeth but he can cause real pain when he clamps down on your hand, which he does every chance he gets.  These photos may make it evident that he is teething constantly.   Lots of "goo goo ga ga" happening.

He definitely knows both his parents, and gets excited right along with the girls when Dad gets home.

This is also the month that Greta has turned the tide.  She is becoming so very sweet to him, which I just love seeing.  She is constantly bringing him toys, covering him up with a blanket and giving him drive by kisses.  Although I still worry she'll accidentally hurt him with her toddler wildness, she is not nearly the threat to him that she used to be.  She now goes up to random babies everywhere and gives them kisses, she thinks they're the best thing ever.  So I'm holding out hope for their relationship, and that she will one day think of him as a true buddy.

As may be evident from these photos, I had a hard time narrowing them down.  Also, someone else could not resist having her photo taken.  Consider it a guest appearance.

As I write this he sits in my lap, trying his darnedest to get his hands on the keyboard.  Pretty mesmerized by this typing business.