Monday, February 2, 2015

Family trip to New Orleans

Before heading to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my parents, we decided to do a few days in New Orleans with the kids. Torsten and I had both been to New Orleans previously, but never together (he had gone for a work conference and I had been with my parents at age 19). And the kids had never been. I want to recap the trip not just because it was great but also because it was a real learning experience about traveling with two kids and I have some tips that might be useful for others considering similar trips.

New Orleans is my favorite type of vacation with littles - it's a city where all we'd really be doing is walking around anyway, so we can just throw the baby in the stroller and she has plenty to look at and can nap on the go, and there's lots of cool stuff for the preschooler to see as well. Callum hasn't ridden in a stroller in a long time, and as a result we don't own a double stroller. We debated buying one, or bringing a second one, for this trip since we knew we'd be walking many miles each day, but ended up instead going with a scooter that came highly recommended by Katie, my favorite urban dweller mother of littles, who obviously knows what's up as far as facilitating little kid city-walking (she also helpfully tipped me off when they were on sale). The scooter was a GREAT plan; Callum LOVED it and we walked close to 10 miles most days without a peep of complaint from him.

Scooting along the Mississippi

This stroller nap ended up lasting three hours

Of course, the possible drawback with kids in New Orleans is that half the point of going to New Orleans is the amazing restaurants, many of which are not kid-friendly. We worked around this problem by bringing our au pair with us on the trip. This had the side effect of addressing our other concern, which was not wanting our au pair to be alone on Christmas, and it turned out to be awesome. The only real added expense was his plane fare, since he shared a sofa bed with Callum in our hotel suite (plus side of teenage boys: they aren't picky about where they sleep!), and since he helped out with the kids on the plane we didn't buy a ticket for Annika, so it shook out more or less even. Plus he got the bonus of getting to see an American city he'd never been to.

So our basic set-up for the trip was that we spent the days exploring the city, then handed the kids off to our au pair in the afternoons and headed out for a nice adults-only dinner. This was a LOVELY approach. Highly recommend, if you can swing it. It also worked out well on the swamp tour, which was decidedly not baby-friendly but which Callum loved; Annika spent the afternoon at the children's museum with our au pair while Torsten, Callum, and I did the tour, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip.

The swamp was just so damn COOL

Callum on the swamp tour boat

We were in New Orleans for 4.5 days (December 19-24). Our general approach to traveling with the kids is to try to keep things relaxed; have a loose itinerary with an idea of one, maaaaybe two things that we'd like to see that day, but to generally be willing to change plans to accommodate naps, sudden intense needs for snacks, and stops to run around. This went very well for us on this trip. Major activities included:
  • We spent one day walking around the French Quarter and the Woldenberg Park river walk, naturally including a stop at Cafe Du Monde as well as brunch at Cafe Amelie, which was AMAZING, so much so that we actually tried to go back another day but between our limited time in town and their holiday hours, we weren't able to swing it. 
Beignets were a hit
  • Another day we did a double-decker bus tour of the city (good way to see a lot in a short amount of time, and buses are always a hit with Callum). 
  • One day we did a self-guided walking tour of the Garden District (we left the scooter behind for that one because the sidewalks are incredibly uneven, and that was the right call but Callum was complaining about being tired after two miles; thank goodness we had the scooter for the rest of the trip). This was lovely, and we wrapped it up with a walk through Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which was fascinating.
When your kid starts to complain about being tired is when it's helpful to have an au pair along.

We ended up joining a tips-only tour of the cemetery that some random guy was running, which turned out to be great.
Family tombs. The most recent person to die is guaranteed the top slot for a year and a day. After that, their coffin may be removed and their bones put with the others below to make room for the next family member.
  • And one day the major activity was the aforementioned swamp tour, which was completely awesome. It was the wrong season for alligators, and we didn't see any, but we saw multiple herds of wild boars, including babies, and we saw turtles and herons, and all that was cool but honestly the highlight of the tour was just the boat ride through the swamp itself - so cool and mystical with the shadows and the Spanish moss. Torsten and I both loved it and Callum was enraptured as well, though it was definitely good that we didn't bring Annika. Frankly this would be my number one recommendation for anyone going to New Orleans, with or without kids.
Wild boar in the swamp
This boat was wrecked during Katrina and has stayed this way since.
  • Kid activities: when Torsten and I went out on our own, our au pair brought the kids to a couple kid-oriented activities, the children's museum (big hit) and the aquarium (fine but not as good as expected based on the reviews).
We also did a bunch of what I consider secondary activities, which is to say little things that we squeezed in when the kids' moods and schedules allowed for it, including:
  • The Christmas Concert at Saint Louis Cathedral (we left the kids with our au pair for this one, although Callum probably would have been fine) - this was FANTASTIC, so so cool and the music quality was amazing. 

The cathedral before the concert started
  • Multiple streetcar rides (Callum especially was enamored of these) - some for practicality to get to where we needed to go, but the Saint Charles line is also a great way to see part of the Garden District.
OK, he LIKED the streetcars, but he also fell asleep in more than one of them.
  • Celebration in the Oaks - this was the only dud of the trip. It was SO. CROWDED. We went on a Saturday night, which was the only night that worked with our schedule, and it was just impossibly awful. We had pre-purchased admission and train tickets, and the line for the train was TWO HOURS LONG, so we ended up not riding it, which meant the train tickets were money down the drain. I also bought Callum an unlimited ride band, which also didn't pay for itself because the lines for the rides were so long that he didn't get to go on enough to justify the cost versus paying for individual ride tickets. The light show in the garden was nothing special, and so crowded that it wasn't enjoyable anyway. It was so miserable that our au pair actually just went back to the hotel early. We stuck it out for Callum's sake and he had a great time on the rides, but OMG. DO NOT RECOMMEND. On the other hand, if you're in New Orleans at any time of year OTHER than Christmas, I would totally recommend City Park generally and the Carousel Gardens amusement park specifically, particularly for the 4- to 8-year-old crowd. It would have been great if only there had been room to, you know, walk, or waits of less than an hour for the rides.
  • A ride on the Algiers Ferry. We try to plan for breaks for the kiddos amidst all the walking, and Callum loves boats, so when he started to hit his limit on the first day (before he really got into his scooter stride) and we noticed we were near the ferry terminal, we hopped on the Algiers Ferry for a quick ride across the Missisippi. Nothing fancy at all, but a good way to spend about half an hour sitting down and doing something a little different, and way more affordable than those steamboat river tours. Also the perfect length of time for the preschool set. Callum liked seeing the river and exploring the boat and pointing out all the other boats on the river, but when we got back and it was time to get off, he had no complaints about being done.
View of Saint Louis Cathedral from the ferry 

And, of course, we can't forget about the restaurants; I have to mention some of the highlights:
  • Jacques-Imos: We did this one the first night, with kids and au pair, and it was great. GREAT. Very kid-friendly, very New Orleans, super delicious. It's not really walkable from the French Quarter so we took the streetcar to get there, which was very easy. Absolutely recommend.
  • Restaurant R'Evolution: Both of us considered this the runaway favorite of our three adults-only dinners. So so good. Delicious food, amazing drinks, impeccable service, just perfect from start to finish. Highly recommend.
  • Commander's Palace: This is the classic New Orleans restaurant and it was great. A little bit more suited to Torsten's tastes than mine, but I also highly enjoyed it. Recommend.
  • GW Fins: This was the only disappointment of the trip, restaurant-wise. It was good, but nothing special and not worth the cost or the waste of our limited nights out without kids. There are so many other restaurants in New Orleans that are more worth your time and money.
  • Cafe Amelie: I mentioned this above but it bears mentioning again: YUM. Also they were SUPER nice to the kids. In good weather they also have a gorgeous courtyard to eat in. Highly recommend.
  • The Grill: This is just a little burger place, and I didn't actually go there myself, but our au pair took the kids there and said it was really fantastically delicious and the kids loved it too. A good, affordable, quick option if you're looking for something easy with kids (also cash only).
  • Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar: We picked this one randomly off Yelp for breakfast our last day based mostly on proximity to our hotel, and it was SO GOOD. Small and cash only but DELICIOUS. Also Callum had a banana pancake bigger than his head. He wasn't able to finish it, but the rest of us selflessly helped him out. And really affordable. Highly recommend.
Banana pancake in progress

Curly topknot!

Really, it was an amazing trip. All five of us had a great time. We got lucky with good weather, mostly warm but not too hot or humid (though humid enough to make Annika's hair kind of curly!), and I felt like we managed to hit a lot of the major sights without being too scheduled or too exhausted. We did walk an average of about 10 miles per day, according to my pedometer app, but with the stroller and the scooter plus lots of breaks and kid-oriented activities, nobody was too exhausted. (Though we definitely all slept well at night! Well, maybe except our poor au pair - Callum sleeps like a starfish.) It was definitely the perfect trip to travel with childcare. Not sure we'll ever have that opportunity again - but really glad we took advantage in this context. It was the perfect destination and a really nice way to enjoy some family time during the holiday break.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014: The fastest year I've ever had

(Previous years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)  

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Traveled with two children. Went to New Orleans as an adult of legal drinking age. Fed solid food to a child who actually likes to eat. Got an au pair. Finally saw Sarah McLachlan in concert. Took on a more senior management role at work. Cleaned up astronomical amounts of baby vomit.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I didn't make resolutions, per se, but I did say that I was hoping to maintain the organizational levels that I was achieving on my maternity leave nesting kick, and actually, we were very successful at that, and I've discovered that it makes me feel way better about our lives in general to have an at least partly organized house. This year I want to do some more organizing (nursery and basement closets: I'm looking at you), blog about something real from time to time, get the kids' college funds in order, and take more photos with our real camera.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister, Noemi, and a bunch of beloved Twitter friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

None this year. I did, however, take Annika to Phoenix for PJs at TJ's; meet up with my parents in Maine with Torsten and the kids, including a night at Jonna's house in Boston on the way; go to Atlanta and Chicago for girls' weekends; spend a lovely last-minute fall weekend in Aspen with Torsten and the kids; go to DC for work; spend a few days in New Orleans with Torsten, the kids, and our au pair; and visit my parents in North Carolina twice.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Hm. An international trip? But that's a gimme because it's already in the works.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I noticed that Meredith changed this from "dates" to "moments" and I'm going to do that too in future years. So let's see. Seeing Callum and Annika become really-truly friends. Meeting my baby nephew for the first time. The moment our au pair called us in hysterics after being in a car accident (the kids weren't involved and everyone was fine). Watching Annika adjust to her new daycare as though a switch had been flipped in her head, and seeing how happy she is there. Seeing Torsten work so hard on building a fire truck costume for Callum for Halloween. Driving up Pikes Peak with both kids in August and encountering snow at the top. Finding out about Hugo's diagnosis, and finding out about his miraculous, incredible response to treatment.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
After some growing pains, I think we've managed to figure out a daily routine that works well for all of us. I'm feeling like I'm thriving at work and doing pretty well at parenting, most of the time, and Torsten and I are starting to hit our rhythm as a couple with two kids. I feel like we've done a lot of work this year and managed to find some really important balance in our lives.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting frustrated with the people I love for being human, and reacting with stress. Not working out enough.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A nice comforter. Good-quality makeup that I can put on in five minutes. A new car that Torsten and I both love. Bikes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Torsten's, like every year. The transition to two kids was tough on him, even before he changed jobs to a challenging new position, but he did an amazing job dealing with that, finding ways to figure it out, and stay involved and loving and supportive throughout.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Nobody in my personal circle, thankfully.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Same answer for the fourth straight year: our mortgage and childcare.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching my kids develop an amazing sibling relationship with each other. Not having any more babies and seeing our life start to stabilize and balance out a bit.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

Like everyone else: All About That Bass.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier
b) Thinner
c) About the same - maybe a little richer in the boring ways like retirement accounts and home equity

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Working out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being stressed.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent the five days leading up to Christmas in New Orleans with the kids and our au pair, which was amazing (and it was great having our au pair with us because we were able to go out for cool New Orleans dinners that were not kid-friendly), and then flew to my parents' house on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas with them. My sister and her family came down the day after Christmas so we had a few days of a delightfully full house.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

Downton Abbey. House Hunters.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?

Let's see. I really liked Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and One Plus One by Jojo Moyes.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Like last year: I'm not sure I made any.

26. What did you want and get?
A settled, thriving family of four. Bikes. A work situation that I'm really happy with. Regular date nights.

27. What did you want and not get?

A zen attitude. Bigger muscles.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

We only saw one movie in the theater this year, The Judge, which I liked. Not exactly a favorite film of all time, but it was good.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We went out for lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant, then spent the afternoon walking around Arvada in the sunshine. In the evening Torsten and I went out on our own for dinner at my favorite restaurant. Torsten gave me a beautiful Kate Spade watch and awesome purple earrings. I turned 30.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I'm going to borrow part of last year's answer: Truly, nothing. I'm ending the year with a happy marriage, two healthy kids, and a job that I like. Like I said, there were some growing pains and some tough work as we figured out our new normal as a family of four after I went back to work and Torsten changed jobs, but it was necessary, and productive, and I feel good about having gone through it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

I tried to wear tops that were nicer than just t-shirts. Also to put on makeup at least some of the time when leaving the house.

32. What kept you sane?
My little family. My group of best friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm bad at this.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Pretty much all of them. Health care is a big one.

35. Who did you miss?
Same answer as the last five years: Most of my friends and family, since pretty much all of them live far away now.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My nephew.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
How things are right now isn't how they're always going to be, and I have some influence over getting them to where I want them to be.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I don't think there is one. There pretty much never is.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

12 months old, by the numbers

12: Months old!

84: Gallons of formula/milk drunk

5082: Hours spent sleeping

2241: Diapers changed

113: Hours spent nursing

1: Stomach bug

2: Ruptured eardrums

5: Words you say

0: Foods you dislike

23.6: Pounds you weigh (93rd percentile)

31.25: Inches tall (98th percentile)

7: Teeth

6: Flights taken

4: Flights barfed on

2: Siblings who adore each other

1: Delightful, perfect, red-haired baby (toddler?) girl

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eleven months old

Dear Annika,

Four days ago (sorry!), you turned 11 months old. Meaning that next time I do this, you will be ONE!

This month has been another month of explosions for you, the two biggest being that you have started to walk and you have started to say a couple words. A couple weeks ago you took a few tentative steps, and you have slowly been increasing since then. By now you walk steadily for 8-10 steps at a time, and occasionally walk as a mode of transportation, even though crawling is still faster. You've also figured out how to stand up without pulling or bracing yourself on anything, by pushing into a downward dog and then straightening upright. You LOVE walking and get a huge smile on your face, usually accompanied by delighted laughter, whenever you do it.

This month you've also started saying some words. You definitely say "doggie" (pronounced "dah-gah" like your brother before you), and I'm 95% sure you say "Mama" and 90% sure that you say "more." You follow instructions, or make deliberate decisions not to, which is hilarious--you hear a request, light up with a knowing grin, and then do the exact opposite (such as crawling away when we've asked you to come here). You've also started pointing this month, and will point at the dog or at things you want (mostly food), though you still aren't super consistent about this one.


You're really into toys by now,with a tractor that makes noises and drives as your especial favorite. You are starting to develop your own ideas about how the world works, such as trying to fit a giant teddy bear into a small toy race car in a very determined manner, or copying things your brother does. You also love the toy kitchen, and can happily stand there banging pots and pans together and opening and closing the doors for basically indefinite periods of time. You seem to have a preference for variety, and are happiest when we are out and about with things to do and look at.

You are still eating and sleeping well, without much variance month to month. You still sleep 11-12 hours at night with a 2-3 hour nap most days. You eat every solid food we offer you (pulled pork continues to be a favorite and you also love broccoli, bananas, all meat, and basically everything new), and are eating about 35 ounces of formula most day (this will be milk in the near future!). You got one new tooth this month, for a total of six.

Mealtimes are as joyous for the dog as they are for you, as you've discovered the delight of sharing your food with her. Throwing food is a hilarious new pastime for you, though I personally could live without it. You continue to follow your growth curve perfectly--I think you're about 23 pounds 3 ounces (93rd percentile) and 31 inches (99th percentile)--and you're still solidly in size 18-month clothing.

By now you just have so much PERSONALITY. You're very laid back and mellow and can roll with pretty much anything, but you also demonstrate preferences pretty clearly. You spent much of the last week with your Oma and Opa, whom you didn't really know as you were just born the last time you saw them, and while the first day you were a little fussy and clingy with me in the evening, you've adapted quickly and clearly love them, which is adorable and gratifying to watch. You are very active, always on the move, wanting to crawl and walk everywhere and explore every nook and cranny you can find. It's hard to describe, but you're just an incredibly sparkly little person, with a strong and adorable personality. Being with you is just so fun. We are so lucky we get to have you in our family.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ten months old

Dear Annika,

Today you are 10 months old. Ten! Only two more of these until you are ONE, and we are done with the monthly photos. Judging from your desire to rip your 10-month sticker off your onesie while I took your photo today, I'd say that might not be a bad thing.


This month has been all about the standing. You always want to be upright, and you're very good. You pull yourself to standing on almost anything, and you only need a surface of an inch or two (like a puzzle box) to get yourself upright. Once you're up, you no longer need to hold on to anything to stay that way, and will stand upright totally unassisted, clapping your hands and banging toys together. You cruise and walk behind your walker wagon and once--just once--you attempted to take a step without holding on to anything. You failed, and landed right on your butt, but somehow I'm thinking actual first steps aren't too far in our future. You're also a crawling speed demon by now, and you can climb stairs, swapping back and forth between knees and feet, without any help (other than someone hovering behind you in case you lose your balance, obviously).

This has also been a big month for communication. Your babbling has become more varied and distinct, and you say lots of random syllables in combination as though you think you're talking. In addition to "more," which you still seem to be saying but I'm still not totally willing to make the call on, there are two more words that you are possibly saying, but that we haven't definitively determined: Mama (I'm almost positive on this one) and "doggie" (which I believe you use to refer to all animals and not just Montana as you also say it when looking at books that feature animal pictures, but again, this isn't consistent enough for us to be totally sure quite yet). You still clap your hands and you've started responding to other requests too, such as "hooray" (throw your hands in the air), "dance" (you bob your head energetically), and "come here" (you hold up your arms to be picked up). You've also started shaking your head no, which is extremely adorable.

Generally speaking you're just starting to turn into this person who is starting to understand how the world works. You know that hats go on heads, for example, and you will grab them and try to put them on your own or my head. You know how to get dressed and try to help us take your clothes on and off. You're very good at self-feeding and you've figured out how to drink water through a straw. You give yourself your own bottles. You play peekaboo and pat-a-cake and you try to copy your brother in whatever he does. You're also very firm in your opinions, and if something displeases you, you make it very clear. Your new trick is if you're mad and we try to distract you with a toy, you will take the toy, stare us straight in the eye, and then throw the toy down as hard as you can.

You continue to adore your brother, and have a surprising level of tolerance for his shenanigans and horseplay. His toys are your favorite, and wherever he goes, you will crawl as fast as you can to follow. He loves you too, thankfully, and always asks for you and wants to entertain you, and seeing the two of you together, laughing and playing, is basically the best thing that's ever happened to us.

Your eating and sleeping haven't changed all too much this month. You continue to sleep about 11-12 hours most nights, with a 2-3 hour nap most afternoons. Your formula intake still hovers around 30 ounces most days. You still adore solid food--I think you have a strong preference for variety, and get really excited whenever we give you anything new, and I would say that your favorite foods mostly appear to be meat-based. You got three new teeth this month, all on top, for a total of five. You're still in size 18-month clothing (which I expect will last for awhile), and my at-home measurements have you at 30.5 inches long (99th percentile) and 22.5 pounds (94th percentile).

You continue to have a very delightful, social little personality. You still have stranger danger, and have a strong preference for your family and the people you know, but we've learned about you that if we give you some time and reassurance and don't force it, you will, on your own terms, start to migrate away from us to explore new places and interact with new people. You remain extremely happy, and whenever you manage to do something successfully, you give such a huge, delighted grin, and it's just so clear that you are pleased with yourself. It's incredibly adorable. Just like everything you do. It's amazing--you're so little, not even a year yet, and yet you're already so YOU, and so RIGHT. We are so glad to have you.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nine months old

Dear Annika,

On Saturday, you turned nine months old. Three quarters of a year! (Plus three days. Sorry about that.)

If last month was the month of gradual skill-building, this month was the month of the breakthroughs. The biggest is that shortly after you turned eight months, you started to crawl. You were cautious at first, and often switched between two knees and one knee and one foot, but by now, a few weeks later, you have it down, and go zooming by on hands and knees, invariably on your way to grab something you shouldn't be touching. Baby-proofing is a lot tougher this time around, because the house is full of your brother's choking hazard toys, and of course those are your very favorite. Well, it's a close call with the dog's water dish, but either way, we spend a lot of time chasing after you and moving you away from things, only to have you crawl right back over three seconds later.

Also on the gross motor front, you have figured out standing this month, and you are SO proud of yourself. It's adorable. You pull yourself to standing on anything and everything--your crib, your baby jail, furniture, and most recently, the cover of the grill (which was lying on the patio). You've learned to sit back down from standing without falling, so that's very convenient, and you've also gained enough motor control that you can now bend over to pick up a toy and then stand back up, holding it delightedly. I wouldn't say you're cruising just yet, but you are surprisingly migratory on your feet somehow--some combination of moving your hands along things while shuffling your feet and suddenly you're in a whole new place.

Also this month you've started clapping your hands upon request, and you are so incredibly pleased with yourself when you do it--you get a huge grin on your face and usually end up squawking with delight, like you just can't contain yourself over how cool it is that you! Can clap! And it makes everyone! So happy! You also love peekaboo and pat-a-cake, and are occasionally doing "so big" on request, though not yet consistently. You also love to nod your head yes, though you aren't doing it with meaning--you just find it to be a hilarious game. You also love it when people wave hello or bye-bye to you, and I've found you opening and closing your hand experimentally like you're trying to figure out what the deal is. You are extremely chatty, and vocalize with all sorts of different consonant sounds, and have a great time experimenting with different tones. You still love toys, and have started clapping them together for fun. You've also learned to offer/show us things in your hand, and will hold out your toy or food proudly for us to inspect, then pull it back so we don't take it away.

You continue to eat anything and everything. We still haven't found anything that you don't like. The other day you ate an entire bowl (kid-size, but still) of pulled pork, and the sheer delight radiating off you was a wonder to behold. You kept pausing in your eating to give us a huge pleased smile, all with strings of meat hanging out, and occasionally hold out a piece of the meat for us to see. I think pulled pork may be your new favorite food. You still have just the two teeth, on the bottom, but I'm assuming, since your teething schedule started off pretty close to your brother's, that your top middle teeth will pop through at some point in the not too distant future.

You remain large, but comparatively reasonable when we think about how big your brother was at this age (he was six pounds heavier and an inch taller). You are fully in size 12-18 month clothes by now. Your nine-month well visit got pushed back to the end of the week, but my amateur home measurements have you at 22 pounds (94th percentile) and 30 inches (99th percentile). That's a gain of only a couple ounces over the past month, which makes sense since you became mobile this month. You've also tapered off on your formula intake a little bit, and usually eat between 28-32 ounces per day. You continue to sleep well, with one long nap during the day and 10.5-12 hours overnight.

You are still just the most delightful, happy, squeezable little baby. You are just so HAPPY all the time, and light up delightedly over every little thing. You are so pleased with yourself and your circumstances, and you never radiate more happiness than when your brother is in the room with you. The two of you play together so well by now, and you have such high tolerance for shenanigans with him, and love when he roughhouses with you, even while we stand by cringing. You shriek with laughter whenever he's near.

Generally speaking, you're just really cheerful almost all of the time, and your face and particularly your eyes just give off a vibe of infectious delight and pleasure. You are just so GREAT, I want to eat you. Don't worry, I won't. But I do an awful lot of squeezing. We are so lucky to have you in our family, in all your squishy, squeezable, lovable glory.