Monday, May 31, 2010

Birthday Love

Declan and I would like to wish Daddy a BIG Happy Birthday today! We love you :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Looney For Legoland

This week Jaimie, Casey, and I took the boys to Legoland. We didn't get much further than the Legoland playground - it kept Dec & Micah entertained for hours!
Even though I am fortunate to see Micah and Jaimie at least every other week, it seemed like it was ages since our last get together. All of a sudden Micah grew up! He was full of words and just seemed older to me. Crazy how it feels like it happens over night!





I brought Dec's bathing suit specifically for the splash park, but he got away from me mid way through changing him! Hence, the shorts and no shirt :) The kiddo loves water!


Hanging on mom's leg - this can only mean one thing: tired!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Airplane - Video

Every time Declan hears an airplane, the world stops (his anyway)! He drops whatever toy he is playing with, looks up in the sky, and once he finds the sought after machine, he points until he doesn't see it anymore. It is so cute! I wonder if he will take after his Poppy and become a pilot?


video

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

14 Months

Happy 14 months little Declan!

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment this month? So hard for me to choose! It is a close tie between watching you chase waves, seeing how excited you get while watching Cars, and the purchase of your new hat. I think I am going to have to go with the purchase of your new hat! You were so proud of your hat because Daddy had the same one. This just melted my heart to see how much you love your daddy and also to see how much you understand. Plus I loved how indignant you were about keeping this hat on!

Growing Up:
  • This month you started drinking from a straw and you love it! After talking with Stacie during a play date with the twins, I attempted your straw sippy cup. You took to it immediately - I think you like anything that makes you feel more grown up.
  • We also successfully weened you - it took a little longer than I thought, but we did it!
  • You are on the most awesome nap schedule. I love our little routine - we play hard in the morning, and by 1:00 to bed you go! You always sleep between 2-3 hours and still go down easily by 7:00pm.
  • You spent your first night away from Mommy and Daddy and did awesome!
  • We finished our swimming lessons this month. You did great - you know how to hold your breath under water.
Words: I don't think we have added any new words to your vocabulary this month. But, I have noticed you clearly imitating words we say. Sometimes you say a word(s) right after we say it - clear as day! But I don't hear it again after. This month you said "dat's mine," "bubbles," "bye-bye," and "no" (not your usual "ni". Also this month we started watching Meet the Letters after an inspirational video on the Braly's blog. You are so into your letters now. If you are crying or upset, I start singing the ABC song and you immediately stop. You look mesmerized as I sing - I think it is because you are visualizing the letters. After I finish the song, you also give me a gleeful round of applause (I appreciate this since my singing voice isn't very good).

Communication: Your increasing attempts to communicate with us made this month just awesome. I am loving this age! I love when you reach your hand out looking for my hand, when you point to what you want, when you sign "more," when you drop everything you are doing to point to an airplane in the sky (could you be a pilot like your Poppy?), when you clap and then wait for us to clap, and especially when you give me your special kisses!

Every day I wake up and thank God for the gift of spending time with you. At least once a day you do something that makes me stop what I am doing just so I can watch you. Like today, we were in your room getting organized for our trip. You were at your window watching the boys skateboard out front while I was packing. About every 30 seconds I would hear a little chuckle. Not a belly laugh or anything, just a chuckle. I sat and watched you, feeling so lucky that you are happy and healthy. I just love watching you grow and change and am so grateful that you are our son. We love you!



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To The Point

It seems like about once a month we have a big week where significant changes happen over night. This past week has been one of those. Declan has become much more aggressive in his attempt to communicate with us. When he wants to go outside, he stands by the front door and waves. When he is hungry, he stands by his high chair and points. When he wants to play, he grabs Adam's pant leg and pulls him to his toys. It is so much fun!
On Sunday Dec & I took Adam to one of our favorite hang outs - the Sea Life Aquarium. Declan was so excited to show Daddy all of the fish - of course there was lots of pointing!


And some other fun pics that don't include pointing ;)

Another way Declan is communicating is by signing "more". I have been halfheartedly teaching him this sign, but on Monday he blew me away. Usually I say "Do you want more Declan?" As I am doing the sign. If he wants more, he signs back. But on Monday, for the first time, I didn't prompt him. He just started signing! I was so excited!


Busta Move Part II - Video

As requested, below is more of Dec and his smooth moves:)



Do you see the way he keeps looking at the camera? He is holding back because he knows I'm videoing him. Truly, there usually is a lot more head shaking (definitely a trait Adam passed on) and feet stomping. Oh well, it's still good stuff!
I feel like I need to write this ity bity disclaimer. We don't let Dec watch a lot of TV. I try to keep it to Meet the Letters and sometimes Thomas the Train. Cars is my back pocket trick, reserved for desperate times - deadlines, conference calls, and videos for the blog :) As you can see, he is absolutely mesmerized by it and it definitely holds his attention.
On a completely unrelated subject - Dec's afternoon nap lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes today. WOW! Is this my child?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busta Move - Video

I have been wanting to post this little tidbit for awhile now, but was hoping to catch better footage. Grandma and Grandpa Herkert were over for dinner tonight and Declan put on quite the show with some awesome dance moves. Of course I didn't capture it on film! But, the evening motivated me to post this video. I may update this blog entry if I get something better...

In the video Declan is watching Cars (currently his favorite movie). He absolutely loves the music in it, especially this song. Tonight he danced the entire time it was on with gusto! I'm sure having a loving audience spurred the extra energy he put into his moves!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dynamic Duo

Declan and Isla are so cute together! We had the Rowes over for dinner last night and enjoyed watching this cute pair play together. Isla is the happiest eight month old and I think Declan enjoyed being the "older" baby for a change!

Block buddies - Isla likes to chew and Declan likes to knock down towers!
Isla loved sitting in Declan's chair. I think Declan was confused as to why another little bum was in his favorite seat :)
Right around bedtime these two got rowdy!

Couch cuddlers!
Awww! It will be fun watching these two grow up together :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Birth Order

I received a handout in a child development class three years ago about the typical traits associated with birth order. Most of the handouts I received during school went straight into the trash can. But, I thought this was interesting, so I kept it. For almost every trait written, I can think of an example to support or dismiss it. So, like most summaries as the one below, I take it with a grain of salt. I'm posting it because I think some of my mom friends will find it interesting!


First Born -As a Child

  • Often becomes eminent
  • Is capable
  • Often strong-willed
  • Usually effective
  • Has a high sense of responsibility
  • Wants to do things right - ought and should are much used
  • Has a high need for achievement
  • Is conscientious
  • Likes to be a leader
  • May be either very close or distant with parents
  • Tendency to be easily angered and/or irritated
  • First born boys are often hard to raise, but later accomplishments will be gratifying to parents
First Born - As an Adult
  • Often highly successful
  • Usually dominant
  • Is directive
  • Likes to be in charge- leaders
  • Works independently
  • Responsible but not comfortable as spouse or parent
  • Prefers dependent spouse
  • Often not too tolerant or warm as a parent

Middle Born-As a Child
  • Is less highly driven than first born
  • Often spontaneous
  • Is easy-going
  • Usually tactful
  • Is relaxed
  • Is patient
  • Usually emotionally stable
  • Maintains balance between opposing forces
  • Less likely to attain eminence
  • Uses indirect means of competitions - may be tricky, sneaky, manipulative, or diplomatic
Middle Born-As an Adult
  • Gets along with others, especially the opposite sex
  • Is gregarious and friendly
  • Is tactful
  • Is efficient
  • Is not usually interested in leadership
  • Likes parent role and is warm and understanding
Youngest Born-As a Child
  • May feel inadequate, inferior
  • Is passive, submissive
  • Accepts domination
  • Is babyish
  • Less driven to accomplishment and excellence
  • Often quiet, withdrawn
  • Develops indirect ways of getting needs/wants
Youngest Born -As an Adult
  • Is relaxed, easy-going
  • Is a pleasant companion
  • Often dependent on good will of others
  • Prefers older friends
  • Good marriage risk-best partner; older
  • Works best with low responsibilities
  • Likes to remain "the baby"
  • Often finds parenting role difficult
Only Child-As a Child
  • Is independent
  • Is self-confident
  • Is relaxed
  • Feels and displays less jealousy
  • Often creative
  • Is self-reliant
  • Is cooperative
Only Child -As an Adult
  • Usually turns out well Needs time alone
  • Has few close friends
  • Has difficulty in assuming adult role
  • May be demanding as parent or spouse
  • Likes to be the center of attention
  • Tends to underrate abilities
  • Works well with authorities -is cooperative
Speaking of school, last night I attended my last class. After 3 1/2 years I am done! Yeah! Without school, practicum, and homework, I'm going to gain about 15 hours a week - yes! Time to catch up with all of the miscellaneous stuff. Anyway, to celebrate Adam, Dec, and I went down to the beach this evening. Adam hasn't seen how crazy Dec gets around waves yet. I think he was a little taken back by our high spirited, fearless child. After some wave chasing, we spontaneously rented one of those double bikes. Totally a touristy thing to do, but hey I was in the mood!

Isn't Dec cute in his bike helmet?
I thought it would be fun, but we only lasted about 15 minutes. Adam had to peddle the entire time while I struggled to keep Declan from jumping out after anything he found interesting...birds, volleyball players, fellow bikers - you name it! I couldn't help but think...what is the plane ride going to be like next week??? Ugh! So, we ditched the bike and headed to Ruby's at the end of the pier for some hamburgers. Dec ate an entire basket of chicken wings! This kid can put it back! What a fun evening!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Palooka at Play Town

Yesterday we met up with the McHenry girls for a play date at Play Town. Catching up with Misty, we were comparing mother's day stories. The McHenry's got a puppy for mother's day! This part just cracks me up - Misty asked Samantha (her 3 year old) what she wanted to name the puppy and Samantha replied "Declan"! Isn't that funny? Since it was a girl dog, they went with Lulu.
It was our first time playing at Play Town and it did not disappoint! So many fun things to do! Dec seemed to enjoy it all, although I think his favorite activities were the roller coaster and the train set.

Here he is on the roller coaster -
One of his favorite pass times, Dec playing with the Play Town train set-
Our three little rascals - Dec, Samantha, and Kady in their cozy coups!
Dec and Kady were enthralled with opening and shutting the door to this play house.
A few other miscellaneous pics -

Monday, May 17, 2010

Water Week

As I'm sure you have already gathered, Mimi was in town last week. I was thinking about our week and the best way to summarize it -I came up with water! For some reason everything we did revolved around water - which is weird because it isn't really summer weather yet! We had a great little routine - go play in the morning, tire Dec out, and be back in time for a long afternoon nap. I would work and Mimi helped me catch up on house projects. Perfect!
We squeezed in a couple of beach days.
One with Micah, Jaimie, and Casey at Moonlight:

The boys

Dec hugging Mimi

At La Jolla beach, Dec made some friends and built his first sandcastle!


We went to Legoland and spent the majority of our time at the splash park!
Of course we had to get a picture with Thomas! After all, Thomas is Declan's favorite train!
And we went to Carlsbad Lagoon where Declan ran around and splashed in the water. Although, he definitely likes the waves at the beach better!

Like I said, a week filled with water activities!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our First Night Away

Adam and I have both spent the night away from Declan. Adam recently went to Vegas for a weekend bachelor party, and I went to Park City for a weekend to attend a friend's wedding when Declan was two months old. But, until last night we have not both been gone for an entire night at the same time. For Mother's day Adam gave me a night at The La Costa Resort and Spa. What a perfect gift! So, Saturday morning off we went to relax by the pool while Mimi stayed with Declan. We had such a nice time - it definitely got both of us in vacation mode. Luckily we have one coming up in a couple of weeks! And Declan and Mimi had so much fun together - I don't think the kiddo even knew that we were gone! Mimi took Declan to Pretend City for the day and spoiled him with love and attention - what Mimi does best! Declan did wake up during the night. When Mimi went in to comfort him, she put her arms out to pick him up, he looked at her, shook his hands no, and laid right back down and went to sleep! What a funny little guy! Thanks to a great husband and a great mom for the perfect Mother's day gift!



Mimi and Dec right before Pretend City.
(No pics of me and Adam - the camera was on vacation this weekend too!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hat Homeys

Today Mimi and I took Declan to Legoland (separate blog entry coming later). While there, I bought him this adorable hat. When I showed Adam, he said "I have a hat just like it!" Of course he put it on! When he brought Declan to the mirror and showed him their matching hats the kiddo started laughing and smiling from ear to ear. Idolizing his dad, Dec left his hat on during dinner! Usually I am fighting to keep hats on the kid's head these days. What a great buy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Little Fish - Video


About 5 weeks ago I signed Dec up for swimming lessons in preparation for pool time this summer and our upcoming vacation! I thought he would love them because he LOVES water! Bath time, the pool, the waves - I can't tear this kid away. He is definitely a water baby. Boy was I surprised when he whined for the first four lessons...the entire 30 minutes, each lesson! I was almost ready to pull him out. But, he got it together and finally stopped whining! Tomorrow is our last lesson. I can't say he gets excited about his lessons, but he tolerates them without whining. Can he swim? No! But, I wasn't expecting that. He does know to hold his breath when he goes under water though. This is good enough for me. Next year we'll get a little more aggressive with learning to swim. For now, being familiar with what to do is all I can ask for.

His favorite part of the lesson is playing on the steps with the other kids prior to lesson beginning. If it were up to him, he would stay here the entire 30 minutes:)

Enough play time - off to the lesson we go! (That is Mimi holding him).



Below is a video of his awesome water moves.
You can hear him complain a little near the beginning of the video.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brainiac, Part 1

Yes! This is a picture of Declan's brain! Isn't it cute? These are the exact words that sprang out of my mouth when I saw it at the lab. I'm sure the technician thought I was nuts! Only a mom would say that a brain is cute!
You're probably wondering how I managed to obtain an image of Declan's brain. Well, thanks to my good friend Jaimie, I signed Declan up to be part of a control group for an autism study, specializing in early intervention. Starting at 12 months, I take Dec in every 6 months for testing by a psychologist (until he is 3 years old) and every 12 months I take him in for an MRI - hence the lovely brain image above. In return we get $$ for Dec's savings account and a report of his cognitive development every 6 months. I am in heaven!
The MRI was especially interesting. While he was sleeping he listened to stories via headphones. As he listened to the stories, I watched his brain work on a large monitor. More blood/oxygen travels to the part of the brain that is being used and I saw this happening on the screen. It was fascinating!
Onto the results of the testing. I have been waiting for about a month for the report to come in the mail. It arrived today - yeah!! I won't bore you with all of the details. The psychologist administered various tests to obtain the results. Basically he tested average in most areas. Below are the areas he tested above average, high average, or above his age .
Fine Motor Skills - Dec has been stacking blocks (up to 5 high) since he was about 9 months. He has also been able to spoon feed himself (I won't lie - it is messy) since he was about 9 months. When he was 8 months he was able to consistently close our garage door by pushing a button. And God knows how long he has been pressing TV buttons (yes, he knows which one is the on and off switch). But, I think most parents battle with TV and remote controls. During testing, Declan was able to put pennies through a slot!
Motor Skills - People say how much your world changes when your little baby learns to walk. I disagree. I think climbing is much harder to keep up with. Declan started climbing at 8 1/2 months. The kid climbs over, into, on top of everything he can! I CANNOT take my eyes off him!
Receptive Language Skills -Dec is pretty good at following directions, when he wants to. Off the top of my head, some he is consistent with are "feet first", "bring me the book", "sit in your chair", and "bring me your monkey". He also answers some yes or no questions by shaking his head.
Expressive Communication Skills- Declan shrugs with his hands up when he doesn't know the answer, shakes his head yes and no (more often no), waves, points, claps, reaches out when he wants something, and his latest, (which he was not doing at the time of testing) is shaking his hands no when he is finished.
Socialization - Well, we all know this little guy is social. But, I have not shared what I think is the best illustration of how social he is. There is a group of about 5-7 little boys (ages 5-10) that play right outside Declan's window in the evenings. Dec loves these guys and wants so badly to hang out with them. Sometimes they are nice enough to oblige him. One night he was at his window watching them when he started yelling LOUDLY and reaching his hand out. Then Dec attempted to climb out of his window! Of course, it was closed so he couldn't. Goodness! I hope this isn't foreshadowing sneaking out of his window when he is a teenager!

Check back in early November for Brainiac, Part 2.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

We didn't do anything particularly noteworthy on Mother's Day. We were supposed to meet Adam's family at the pool, but cloudy weather changed our plans. After hanging out at Adam's parents for awhile, we came home and Dec took a long nap. The best part about Mother's Day this year is that I spent it with my mom. I honestly don't remember the last time I spent Mother's Day with my mom. She and I have always been close, but I feel especially close to her now that I am a mom myself.
While Dec was napping my mom and I went to Toys R Us to research a playhoue for Dec. I try hard not to fall into the "I'm a new parent so I have to buy every toy for my kid" bit. I like to research and think about how long he will use a toy and what it's teaching him. My mom loves to do this too. So, that is how we spent Mother's Day afternoon. Trying to figure out which playhouse to buy for Declan!
I love you so much mom! Thanks for being such a great mom and Mimi!! I hope we get to spend many more Mother's Days together.

Friday, May 7, 2010

SWAGGER WAGON

As my bloggy friend Kyndal said, this video almost makes owning a mini van cool...

Wave Chasers

Earlier this week we met up with Stacie, Lola, and Ellie for a beach play date. It started out like any other play date as the kiddos played in the sand while Stacie & I caught up. Then we decided to take them down to the water...oh my goodness! Pure chaos! All three tots were chasing the waves, laughing hysterically, and absolutely not afraid. Keeping up with them was quite the workout!

Wagon Riders on their way to the beach
Our wave chasers
Getting them back to the car was quite a task after having so much fun.
Our diapered darlings trying to join a game of football -
Ellie & Lola helping with push the wagon back to the car!
Thanks for the fun play date girls! We can't wait until next time :)


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