11 Months Old!

11 Months. 1 month shy of a year. This month has been a little crazy! Since I got pregnant with the boys, people have always said things like "I don't know how you do it!" Or some variation of that. And I would politely say, "We really have fun!" It was the best response I could think of. Because honestly? It wasn't bad! We played. They took great naps. Ate well. They are the happiest babies ever. AND they have a playmate all the time. I had it pretty easy, honestly. This month? Oh boy. I am seriously exhausted at the end of every day. Getting the things done that I want to get done is a major struggle. They are into absolutely everything. And still, it's a blast. Don't get me wrong, we have our tough times. We try to laugh them off for the most part because there's nothing else you can do! I get frustrated. The boys get frustrated. Cam and I bicker. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade any moment of this life for another.

Nash discovered the stairs. This is the very first time he found them. I love that devious little look! We have been practicing stairs almost every day since then and today for the first time, Nash went down the entire flight on his tummy without any coaxing from me! Now I just to teach him how to turn around at the top and start coming down on his own and we'll be in business. I am so proud of him. He is such a fast learner!

Gray was less than interested in climbing stairs for a while. He just didn't really care. He would come and play with me while we followed Nash up and pulled him down. And then out of nowhere I came around the corner to Granger standing on the sixth step up with his hands on the railing and grinning ear to ear. He was so proud of himself! It shocked me. Since then, he is such a fast climber! I truly think he knows how to do so much and he just picks when he wants to show off a little bit. 

One night, Cameron was upstairs and I was making dinner. The boys normally hang out in the living room and I talk to them while I cook. I hadn't heard any responses from them in a while so I walked out to check on them. They were nowhere to be seen! I called up to Cameron who assured me they were fine and with him. I asked if he came and got them or if they crawled up. They had crawled upstairs. I asked him if he watched them or if they just showed up. They had just showed up! I'm glad they didn't fall or get hurt. These boys love when Dad is home!

One of our favorite things is to lay on the floor and read stories. I'll read a sentence and then look at either of the boys. They smile huge at me and then turn back to read another sentence.

I made an effort to get myself out of the house. It's one of my new years' resolutions. I was so intimidated by getting the boys out of the house on my own that I could go a whole week without fresh air. That's not healthy! So I decided to change that. This was the first day. I loaded the boys up in the stroller and we went for a walk around the park. It was super windy, but the boys talked and laughed the entire time. I listened to a conference talk and just enjoyed being outside. Their hair was crazy when we got home, but it completely changed my mood and has since become a habit.

Shortly after getting out of the house, it rained for 3 days straight. We were all getting a little stir crazy, so I resorted to laundry basket rides. They were a huge hit! I love seeing Nash and Granger light up. So fun.

On one of Cameron's days off, we went to a mall to get our cell phones figured out. Right outside the cell phone store was a peewee hockey game. While Dad figured out what we needed to do in order to get a discount on our cell phone bill, Mom and the boys watched hockey. It was so fun! Gray especially liked it. It was fun to watch the boys look back and forth as the players skated from one end of the rink to the other.

Pre-nap wrestling is becoming a regular feature. Gray scratched my eye up real good during one particularly rowdy match. I'm sure it is the first of many. And I don't mind one bit!
All of a sudden one day, Gray decided to be talkative. He has always been the more social of the two. Nash is more of the explorer type. Leave him alone and he'll get into mischief. Leave Gray alone and he will just be sad. This particular morning, Gray woke up and could not stop talking for about 20 minutes! We just sat on the couch and discussed the events of the night before. It was a riot! Ever since, he has been talking all over the place. I love hearing the different inflections in his voice. He is definitely starting to pick up on different words. His favorite is still "Mama" but "baba" "meme" and "lala" are also in the mix. Along with buzzing his lips, blowing raspberries, clicking his tongue, and singing/screaching whenever he hears music.

We made the boys some Star Wars blocks for Christmas. They are one of the absolute favorite toys. I don't get them out every day so it's a treat when we get to play with them, and they hold the boys' attention for longer. I really love it when the boys are like their dad.

For a while there, Gray was completely content to drum on this little ledge at the bottom of the stairs. It made me so happy to get the best of both worlds. A baby that is content to stay a baby, and a baby that wants to grow up too fast. Obviously, staying at the bottom didn't last. But it was nice while it lasted!

I had heard plenty of horror stories about babies being able to pull themselves up and then getting stuck and sobbing for help getting down. That happened to us once and only once. Nash got stuck standing up and Gray stood up to comfort him. When I came in to help him down, Gray shrieked and they both grinned up at me. I love when they smile with tears still in their eyes. These two are such good friends!

This month, they also learned how to pull up to stand. Which resulted in Cameron lowering their mattresses to the lowest possible setting. We have really tall boys. It broke my heart a little bit to see them so far away. I have to bend clean in half and life my feet off the ground in order to kiss them goodnight, but they are already leaning over the railings again! They grow so fast!

Regardless of if Mom's around or not, wrestling is a favorite activity. They like laying across each others' calves to keep them from crawling. They like climbing across each other. And they're pretty good sports about the entire thing, until hair is pulled. Then all bets are off and it's not fun anymore. I love that they act all tough and then flip the switch and bawl. They are totally little men.

Emilee gave us this play pen and it has been life saving! It is so nice to be able to corral them for a second in order to get a shower in and not worry about Nash throwing the speakers on the ground or Gray getting tangled up in the kitchen chairs. When they have limits placed on them, they are perfectly happy playing with the toys in the playpen or holding on to the edge and walking around the perimeter. I'm a huge believer in limits fostering creativity.

I don't really believe in pants unless we're going outside or someone is coming over. They like playing the piano just like dad and do it often. Sometimes I turn the sound on and that really gets exciting. Other times they will just play and play without any sound. They drum on the piano bench and play the keys. I think they like the different textures of the wood and the plastic or whatever is on the keys. Again, just like daddy.

Grammy and Grandpa McGuire gave the boys a pony and dump truck for Christmas. They are absolutely the favorites. We have just barely figured out how to move the truck around the house. It is so fun to watch! The pony sings a song if you pull his ear. The boys have figured this out. They love it. So much that I have caught myself singing variations of "rockin' ridin' pony" in the shower.

Dad found this swing on Craigslist for $10. It was money well spent. The boys treat it like a little club house. As soon as they are in it, they talk and squeal and have foot wars while they swing. Unless Mom or Dad puts their head in the middle while they're swinging, they are completely oblivious to our presence! It is so fun to watch. They have become progressively comfortable in the swing and don't always hold on to the ropes anymore. It makes me nervous, but I would rather them be adventurous than not! I want them to grow up thinking it's exciting to see what they are capable of. Because it is.

Sunday breakfast. This was taken the day we cut their hair for the first time. It was absolutely needed, but oh those baby faces! And the bowties. We are now obsessed with bowties. They are so charming and the boys don't pull on them like they do regular neck ties. Win-win!

They are feeding themselves entire meals of finger foods now. Strawberries and waffles were a special treat one Sunday morning. Lucky ducks!

We bought a double jogging stroller with some Christmas money from Wayne and Adrienne. What a treat for dad to be able to take both boys for a run and leave me for some quiet time! I have also taken the stroller out for a jog with them as part of my goal to get out of the house more often. It's tough stuff to push both of these growing boys, but it feels so good to know I'm doing something for us all physically and emotionally.

Figuring out how to have dinner ready for the boys AND me and Cam at the same time has been really tricky. I think I have done it successfully maybe 5 times. I love this picture, because it is real. Sushi while the boys play in the tub. We'll get it someday. I will say that since the boys have been feeding themselves it has gotten a little easier to eat at the same time. I've looked forward to family mealtimes for so long, this has really given me an appreciation for my own mother. Dinner together doesn't just happen! It takes a lot of work!

We buy formula by the case. One of these huge Costco containers of formula lasts us about 4 days. Since we are less than a month away from their first birthday, I think we'll just be giving them milk when we run out of formula. I can't bring myself to buy another one!

One day I put the boys on the piano bench and turned on the sound. We were rocking out to meringue music in no time. They have watched Cameron play countless times. I love that they know where their hands go. I love that the piano bench is crooked. I love that they want to be like Cam. I love that these boys are my boys. They are the best boys.

These are the faces that greet me after their naps. We've been working on waking up happy. They do a great job of it. I love that they have a friend to talk to while I'm finishing up my naptime to-dos.

Gray made it to the top!

I adore this picture. I found it on Cameron's phone. Nash truly loves one-on-one time with us parents. I think this was on a Sunday afternoon and Gray was still sleeping. He got a minute with just the three of us and he looks so content. I don't doubt that Gray is his best friend in the whole world, but sometimes this is just nice. We spend one-on-one time with Gray too. I need to get a picture of it! 

 Crawling is no longer good enough. We now "finger walk" all over the place. Nash looks like a little road runner. He takes HUGE strides with a massive smile on his face the entire time. He shrieks when he's really enjoying himself. I love it. And the boys are both tall enough that I don't have to bend over to hold onto their hands at all if I don't want to. That definitely helps!
 We have been feeding the boys purees/solid foods since they were 5 months old. They have gobbled up everything we give them. Until peas happened. Nash does not like peas. Daddy does not like peas. And Papa does not like peas. It's nice to see some sort of reaction out of them though! No matter what we gave them there was no smile or grimace it was just eating. Now, we have got both a grimace from Nash over peas and clapping from Gray over peaches.

Daddy has the magic touch when it comes to getting the boys to sleep at church. I am seriously incapable of doing it. Some friends of ours also sent us the holiday Darths. They are the favorite church toy at the moment. The boys like eating the pom pom at the end of his hat. 

 Gray has been unfortunately blessed with the Call Crack. Cam has it. Elisha has it. I'm not sure who else does, I try not to pay attention, but man. This happens far too often! Also, this is probably a good time to mention that I made their cloth diapers, right? And they are supposed to fit them until they are potty trained. Well, Gray is on the second to biggest size already on half the diapers. I am hoping he keeps growing taller instead of wider and we can make it to potty training before we have to succumb to disposables! It's probably not going to happen, but I am not about to make 25 more diapers and I kind of completely hate disposables, so we will see...
 Out in the jogger for a Sunday walk. One of our family goals this year is to go on a family walk every week. It is the easiest resolution to keep ever. The weather here is so nice and we live just a couple blocks from a park. We are definitely counting our blessings lately.
 Standing up against the side of the tub is the latest favorite. Mama isn't very nice and makes the boys sit down, but when Dad's around he's a softie and they play and play. Bath time used to be this wonderful, relaxed playtime. Now, it is easily the most stressful time of the day. But we have become pro at jump in, wash bodies wash hair, rinse, towel, bedtime. Bathtime doesn't have to last more than 5 minutes if we're focused and that even includes a little playtime!

One of Gray's favorite games is to cock his head to one side and stare at you until you do it back. When you comply he laughs so hard! It's a riot. 

 My eleven month olds wear size 2T jammies. And they fit normally. They're not baggy. They look normal on them. That blows my mind. I have always wanted my sons to be able to pick me up at some point in their lives. I never envisioned that happening prior to kindergarten, but perhaps I should reconsider...Nash reminds me of my brother JT in this picture. I love that. He definitely looks like my side of the family.
We go in to kiss the boys goodnight every night. Gray always scoots right up next to Nash's crib. I love how much they love each other. They have inevitably been playing with each other before they fall asleep, so we get to tuck them in and wrap them in their heaven blankets before we close the door and head to bed. I swear their cheeks just keep getting softer. Every once in a while, they will open their eyes for just a minute and smile before going back to sleep.

Once, I went in to help Nash settle down and go to bed. I just pick him up, give him a hug and a kiss, tell him I love him and lay him back down with his blanket. After I had done the routine, I went to lean in and kiss my sleeping Granger, but his little head popped right up for a kiss from me. He squealed a little bit, let me tuck him in too and went to bed without another sound from either of the boys. I love the little ways they show they love me and still need me. I need them, too. 

 I was making dinner one night and my heart just soared to see the boys all playing together with dad on the floor. This is the kind of thing I am blessed enough to see on a regular basis. It is the best.

 I am now on stair patrol almost 100% of the time. They are probably good enough to go up them by themselves, but the over cautious part of me just has to watch them closely. I don't know what I would do if they fell. It makes my stomach queasy just thinking about it.
 The sliding glass door is a favorite hangout spot. They have figured out there is glass there. Once, I left the door open while getting them out of the swing outside. I got Nash out first and set him just inside the door. I went back to get Granger and when I turned around to bring him back inside the house, I saw Nash putting his little hand up trying to figure out where the glass had gone. They are so observant and they remember things! It thrills me to watch them learn new things. I also just love the little smudge of Nash's handprint on the door.

 We registered for story time at the library, in an effort to succeed at my get out of the house goal. We missed the second and third weeks. But we did go. We were in the baby story time and the teacher recommended they move up to "Wiggle Worms" the toddler class. They are squirmy and everywhere. I have yet to make it there, but hopes are high for next week.
 This little dinosaur was brought to them by Santa. It pops balls up and out. It took some figuring out, but they have learned to drop the balls in so they will pop out. It is so fun to watch. It plays an array of awesome songs that aren't too annoying, which is nice! One is "Say, say oh playmate." One night Cam even indulged me enough to do the hand rhyme with me. Giggling the whole time.
 The door stop in the bathroom makes a boingy sound. It is a favorite feature whenever we're in the bathroom.
 Ah, the wii remote. This is gold, my friends. Nash loves it. He plays with it as often as I will let him, which isn't very often. I'd rather they not love electronics so much, but I wonder if that's even possible. I try hard to keep them from them, maybe that increases their desirability. Not sure. This picture cracks me up though. He looks like a teenager to me!
 I have mentioned before how much we love the train that goes through our backyard, but really it is the highlight of our day. It trumps everything. These boys love to eat, but if there is a train, I can't get there attention no matter what is on the spoon! They have learned what the rumbling means and will get to the nearest window as fast as they can to watch the cars roll by.

We ran out of jammies one night and I dug into our 2T clothes to see if we could "make do." They fit perfectly. My ten month old boys fit into toddler clothes. We like big boys. Just like dad. But it does have me worrying a bit about the grocery bills in my future. Oh boy. 

 My Gray baby has fallen in love with trying to stand up on his own. I bet he walks by his birthday. He keeps trying and face planting, but he is tenacious and always gets back up! I lean him against anything, the wall, the ottoman, the couch and he gives a good lean forward and tries to take a step. I love this picture because it caught his "singing." He sings all the time. It sounds screechy and loud, but he sings. It makes me smile every single time. I can't help it. He is such a babe!
 Bedtime playtime is one of my favorite parts of the day and it is 100x better when dad is home in time for it. Nash and Granger truly adore their daddy. And that adoration is completely deserved. Cameron is such a good father to them. I couldn't ask for a better husband or dad to my babies.

 Along with trying to walk comes a myriad of bumps and bruises. Nash hit his mouth square on the corner of dad's desk in the office and bloodied it up pretty good. I didn't know anything was actually wrong until I saw blood pooling around his lower gums. It was the first time I've seen blood after an "injury". It kind of made me jump! A good cuddle and a kiss later and he was fine. I love that little bird lip, though!
 One Saturday, I turned on the Eurythmics to dance with my boys. Gray was more interested in what Dad was doing, but me and Nash just danced and danced. Would I lie to you was so fun! He was grinning and laughing the whole time. He has good taste!
 Dad took the boys mattress surfing down the stairs. He is always so good at coming up with fun things that they love and appreciate at the age they are. The boys LOVED it! I love seeing things like this. What a blast.
 I am in love with this little pout. Sometimes naptime gets a little rough. Since the boys have learned to stand up in their cribs it just looks more pitiful when they don't want to sleep.

 One of our favorite games is the "I love your....." game. Whenever I finish the sentence, I give both boys a big hug. When I get going pretty fast everyone gets giggly. It's a blast. My favorite one is "I love your....bumbity-bum-bum." The boys think it's hilarious.

One day, I pulled all the cushions and pillows off the couch and the boys went mountain climbing. They were able to get up on top of the ottoman without any help at all. It made for a fun afternoon. I am learning more how to make things fun and interesting for them. 

 One night, Gray was up from about 3:30 to 4:30 in the morning. Because of that, he slept late. Me and Nash got some one-on-one play time because of it. I gave him his bottle but waited for breakfast until Gray woke up so we would be on the same schedule. There have only been about 3 days where the boys were on different schedules and it is not fun. Nash has such a fun personality. He is sharp. But he is getting manipulative. He likes his alone time with me. And he gets jealous sometimes. Whenever jealousy strikes, he lays flat on his face and sobs like his world is over. A little dramatic, but very convincing. The first time, I thought he had fallen and hurt his little face. The second time, I had Gray on my lap and I watched him, ever so carefully, lay down and start crying. It's a rough life.
 Once Gray woke up, he was in a great mood. A rested baby is a happy baby! He looks so much like Cameron to me in this picture. I adore it.

 This trimester, Cameron has been studying more at home. It works really well. He is able to study until I have the boys ready for bed then we come get him for scriptures, family prayer, and a little play time before bed.

Every time we make it to the top of the stairs, we celebrate a little bit. The boys always turn around and look back on what they just climbed. This has turned into a head-butt war. It's one of my favorites. 

 Grocery shopping has become a little less complicated. Instead of having to strap one of the boys to me in a carrier and having one in the car seat, they both just ride in the basket. They are short enough, for the time being, that they can even stand up and feel the wind in their hair if they so please. They don't normally stand up, though, because they like playing with each new item that goes in the cart. I love little things like this that make me feel like I'm figuring even the smallest part of this life out. It is so rewarding!

I have started the idea of weaning the bottle. The boys do alright with sippy cups. They get about 3/4 of their feeding down before losing interest. It will be a gradual change, but I have no doubt they'll do well. They are such independent little boys, I love being their mama.

There are a few things I don't have pictures of that I wanted to remember about this stage:
  • We like growling. We get in huge growling matches that can last for 10 minutes at a time. The best is when all three of us get going. 
  • We also like breathing through our noses. I don't know why that is so cool lately, but it is a common occurrence. We pucker our lips up, squinch up our eyes, and breathe through our noses extra fast. It gets them all riled up and giggly in seconds.  So funny!
  • Because of trying new foods, we have had a few bouts of diaper rash that have been a little hard to get rid of. One of the ways to combat that is to give them naked time without a diaper on to let things air out. During one of these "naked times", Gray pooped all down the hallway. Luckily neither of them got into it. Today, Nash evened the score by pooping all over the kitchen floor. I would be alright if the score stays 1-1. At least for a while! 
  • Part of me strongly feels like Nash's diaper rash is a reaction to lactose. Cameron has a slight aversion to lactose and I think Nash takes after him in that way. 
  • I think I mentioned before that we have discovered our tongues. Gray clicks his tongue, Nash sticks his out constantly and just leaves it there. Trying to grab mama's tongue is a fun game we play. 
  • Nash snorts when he laughs. Just like me. :) I love that! It cracks me up every single time. I have been tickling the boys like crazy every time I put them down for a nap or for bed. At first I thought it would rile them up too much and they would never calm down, but it's exactly the opposite. It has made going to bed or taking a nap enjoyable. They go to sleep with smiles on their cute little faces.
  • For loving food so much, Gray is a really slow eater. He inspects every piece of food carefully before putting it into his mouth, taking it out again, and finally eating it. On the days when I am prepared with dinner for all four of us at the same time, I put food on the boys' trays, then dish Cam and I up. We all eat together. Then I clean up Nash and let him go play. Cam and I clean up the dishes. We talk and play for a little bit. And ten minutes after that Gray is done. He always eats his food, it just takes him a while! 5 months ago I never would have expected that from him!

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