Monday, January 22, 2018

Brotherly Love {The ONE year mark}

In one week, Alder turns one. That means I have been able to watch my boys interact together for a full year now. I remember this exact week last year. I was extremely pregnant and hormonal and extremely nervous about Aiden no longer being our one and only baby.
I know it's normal for most parents to have worries about the transition to two, but now it all seems silly...even though it wasn't silly at all at the time. It seems silly now because we didn't just bring another child into our house, we added another little person who is now and forever a part of US. A little one to love and to make memories with that we will all share. When Aiden looks back on his childhood, I hope that in his very favorite memories, that his brother is there too.

I remember Aiden first meeting Alder at the hospital. He was so observant and quiet. Then Alder started to cry. And Aiden's bottom lip went out and he started crying too. I will never forget that moment.
When we brought Alder home, Aiden immediately wanted to help. I vividly remember tiny newborn Alder in the swing and Aiden sitting at the edge of it just staring at him and gently pushing the swing back and forth. After a few minutes of this, Aiden got up, ran in Alder's nursery and started pulling out every single burp cloth and pacifier we owned from the drawers. He ran them out and put them all in the swing for Alder.
Aiden has always looked out for his baby brother and makes sure to keep tabs on him. One of his most frequently asked questions is "Where's Alder?" or "What's baby Alder doing?" And on the flip side, Alder is always looking for Aiden too. He gets this gigantic smile on his face when we go in to Aiden's room to say good morning. Also, he thinks his brother is hilarious...which he is.
From the start, Aiden has loved being close to Alder. He would crawl up in my lap whenever I would be nursing Alder (which was not really ideal, haha) or he would sit next to Alder while he was in his swing or bouncer and Alder has never seemed to mind. But the thing that I think I love most that Aiden still does to this day, is to touch the top of Alder's head.
Currently Aiden is attempting to teach his brother words. He also gives him lots of instructions like, "Listen baby, no hands in the potty" or "listen baby, don't eat catfood, it's gross..." Even though Alder is still small, they are already rough housing and then laughing about it (mostly). Hearing them laugh together is my absolute favorite sound on this planet and is something I hope they do a lot of together.

I'm so thankful for their relationship and I pray it continues to grow. I pray that even when they disagree about things (which they will) that they love each other through it.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Alder Jacob {10 Months}

Our baby is growing up so fast. Just like every month, this month was full of new milestones for this guy, but the thing that has become so apparent with him this month is his big personality! He has always been a very laid back and go with the flow kid. He is very content and very happy, but now he actually has opinions about things and openly lets us know when he doesn't like how things are going down. Boy oh boy is this child determined. I should probably start reading all the parenting books now on raising a strong willed child because that is him, but oh how I love him and his budding personality.

He is getting more and more verbal every single day and is always pointing at something and saying "Bah!" His favorite words right now are: Mama, bye-bye, uh-oh, BOOK, Pup Pup (his toy puppy he sleeps with) and Boo (as in Peekaboo).

He is into everything he shouldn't be and his crawling speed has reached an all time high. I literally can't take my eyes off of him. I was refilling a humidifier using the faucet in the bathtub and then heard a thud and turned my head to find Alder in the tub. He was no where in sight when I sat down on the edge of the tub to fill that thing up and then poof he was not only in the bathroom, but managed to get himself in the tub. He has also mastered the stairs. Dun dun duh. I swear this kid loves any household contraption that he shouldn't, outlets being his all time favorite thing followed closely by the cat dish.
Alder is also as sweet as they come. My favorite thing he does right now is lean in and hug me and then pat my back while saying "pat, pat, pat." It just melts me. He is also very easy to please and very easy to distract if he is upset about something. All I have to do is make a goofy sound or hand him a toy and he is all smiles. He is a very joyful boy and the things that make him smile the most are most definitely his family.
The way he watches his brother and the way he smiles when he first sees Aiden in the morning make me so happy. This month they are interacting so much more and I can see their brotherly bond growing. This month they have started to really play together and it is fun to watch (and sometimes stressful as they are ALREADY rough housing.) Their favorite place to play together is on Aiden's bed (which is just a full size mattress on the floor). Hearing them laugh at each other is the best sound ever!

Month ten was full of some fun firsts as Alder met Santa, celebrated his first Christmas, rode on the Polar Express and ended up becoming somewhat of a little celebrity after his debut on stage at our church.

A few stats about Alder at ten months: 

Weight: ?

Height: ?

Size clothes: He is officially in 12 month clothes and size 4 diapers

Sleeping: This month was probably his best sleeping month so far, meaning it was my best sleeping month in 10 months too! We have a sweet little bedtime routine him and I. I put him in his jammies and sleep sack, I read him two books and he helps me turn all the pages, Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You and Sweet Dreams, Peter, I nurse him, rock him for a few minutes and put him in his crib with his puppy who he then cuddles up with and falls asleep.

Random stuff only parents want to know:

Nicknames: Alder J, Baby J, Big Baby, Sweet Baby J.

Likes: Dumping water out of his sippy cup, getting told he is getting a banana (he gets the biggest grin on his little face!) yelling MAMA whenever I am not in close proximity to him, playing with door stoppers, reading books, sitting in the tub like a big kid with his brother, pointing a finger in the air and shouting, "Bah, bah, bahhhhh!"

Dislikes: Not being able to walk by himself yet, being pushed over by his brother, when Aiden takes away a toy he actually cares about, waiting any length of time to be fed.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Alder from this month...

I love being your Mama sweet boy.

Watch Alder Grow...
            One Month Update                        Two Month Update                       Three Month Update
 Four Month Update                        Five Month Update                    Six Month Update
 Seven Month Update                        Eight Month Update                    Nine Month Update

See Aiden at TEN months here!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Our Christmas in Photos {Finally!}

I know, I know, a Christmas post in mid-January? Oh well. I just couldn't not document our Christmas day in photos and since it's pretty much just me and my Mom reading my blog these days, (hi, Mom) I'm going to go ahead and post this to get it out of my drafts folder. So here we go. 

Christmas morning at our house always includes wearing our pajamas as long as possible, opening stockings and presents with a fire in the fireplace, Maple Blueberry French toast (which Aiden actually helped me make this year) and Mickey's Christmas carol. I need to make a mental note for myself that my boys really don't need much. We by no means went crazy this year, but I don't ever want to use Christmas as an excuse to by all the things. Aiden would open a gift and then want to play with it and play with it. He had no interest in opening the next gift until he was done enjoying the one he had just opened. He truly savored every gift and it was a good reminder to us. It's not about quantity, but about the thought. We want to teach our boys to enjoy and be thankful for each gift and not hurry on to the next one. We also want them to know what this season is truly about...the best gift, Jesus.

Next we load up the car and spend Christmas afternoon at my parents house. We all spent some time in the "train room" aka my Dad and Drew's big project and then we made our way in to open stockings and then proceeded to snack, watch the boys play, dance to "Up on the Housetop" by Penatoninx and finally, open more gifts.

Last stop on the Renner Christmas train...Christmas evening with Drew's family. More snacking, a gingerbread making contest, attempting to get all the cousins to look at the camera, a delicious meal, gift exchange and matching pjs! And I'm tired just writing this all imagine how tired we all were at the end of this day. Haha.

Another memorable moment about this boys are getting another cousin in June! Meaning Drew and I get to be Aunt and Uncle to another sweet little one. We are so excited! (Alder is visibly excited too. Ha!)
Our Christmas day was a whilrwind, but in the best way. Filled with lots of love, hugs, giving gifts, packing and unpacking the car, eating good food and being with our favorite people. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

No Fuss Kid's Meals + Products {My go to kid-friendly breakfast}

I have always enjoyed making food for my kids. So much so that I ended up making all of both Aiden and Alder's baby food. Yes, it was time consuming and I spent many nights after they were in bed mashing, blending and steaming vegetables, but it made me feel good knowing what went in to their little bodies. Now I'm feeding an almost one year old and a toddler and I find that to be much harder for some reason so I thought I'd share a few no fuss products and meals that have been helpful for me with a toddler and a little one "just beyond the baby phase." *Sidenote: All of you Mamas out there who have little ones who just eat whatever you eat, congratulations, but that does not describe my children, hence this post. Haha. Someday that will be my life.
No Fuss Products:
A divided plate that sticks to the table or high chair tray.
The one pictured above is from Nuby. When your child can start feeding themselves everything changes. My 11 month old is an eating machine and he is also very opinionated about food so I like to have several options for him on his plate. He is also the messiest eater EVER, I'm talking he should get a bath after every meal, so a plate that sticks to his tray is high on the priority list. I also have this  version for my toddler.

A silicone bib. 
You guys, why did I not ever purchase one of these bibs when Aiden was little? Why?! Being able to simply wipe a bib clean is amazing. I also love that he can't pull this bib off like he can with the velcro bibs we have. The bib Alder is wearing is also from Nuby and is inexpensive for how durable and convenient it is. You can also roll it up to fit in a bag to take on the go! He also got a Bella Tunno bib from Santa. They cost a little more, but are very trendy and have cute quotes and sayings.
No Fuss Foods:
-2 ingredient pancakes-THIS IS MY GO TO KID FRIENDLY BREAKFAST. I make these at least 3 times a week and both kids will eat them! They are so easy that my toddler can whip them up (literally).
-Hummus on Naan bread
-Avocado/Banana Yogurt (Plain Yogurt + mashed avocado + banana) Freeze this to make a great popsicle!
-Carrot Spaghetti (Alder prefers this with Rigatoni pasta)
-Veggie + Egg Orzo 
-Pumpkin Risotto (Canned pumpkin, arborio rice, veggie stock, butter) Alder eats this up. If you want the exact recipe, send me an email or let me know in the comments!)

*This website has been an amazing resource for healthy food ideas for my kids!

I did receive the pictured products for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.