August 30, 2017

Where oh where has my baby gone?? I look at 13-month-old Morgan and just can’t believe that we have this precious little lady in our lives. Morgan’s personality is bursting through and we are in awe of how much she learns each day.

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Morgan is generally happy and full of smiles, and Connor is still the master at instigating her true “belly laughs.” She dances anytime she hears music, can lean in for a hug and a (very wet) kiss if asked, and will hold up her hand for a high five. She also still loves to play dress up with the clean laundry!

After reading to her every night, Morgan is finally at the stage where she is interested in books! Her current favorites are Pat the Bunny, Little Lion, and Doggies. It’s so cute to see her bring a book to me, sign the animal that’s in it, and plop down in my lap to read together.

Morgan loves to pull on Connor’s clothes!

Communication
Morgan’s signing has really taken off! I can’t even explain how much fun it is to see. We endured a week or so of madness when she was constantly holding out her arm and shrieking for things, but now she holds her arm out and then signs “please.” How can you say no to that?? The signs we see most often these days are “Daddy” and “water.” Boy does this little girl love those two things! To top it all off, we even witnessed her first 2-sign request recently: “Water, please!” Other signs Morgan uses include dog, lion, dinosaur, outside, diaper, and get dressed. We see “outside” all the time because she loves to beg to go out!

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Signing “Daddy” while watching him mow the grass

Sleeping
Over the past month, Morgan has been waking up usually just once during the night! Her nighttime is generally 7:30pm-6:30/7:00am, and she takes two naps. When she wakes up in the morning or from a nap, I usually snuggle with her in the glider for a few minutes.  Sometimes she is ready to climb right off the glider and walk out the door!  She always stops and grins at me as she’s halfway off the chair because she knows I’m going to laugh, wave, and say, “Bye, Morgan!”

Eating
I used to have a little baby who only needed to breastfeed, and the next thing I know, I have a little girl who eats three square meals a day, plus a snack! She still nurses to sleep, and sometimes asks for milk during the infamous pre-dinner hour (during which all children seem to have a rough time handling life).

Although Morgan often plays well in the living room (with or without Connor), she is frequently a bit clingy while I’m trying to work in the kitchen, and I often end up preparing meals with her on my hip.  I think she’s mostly just curious to see what’s going on, and she wants to make sure she can sample a bite of everything!

Earlier this month, I thought I was going to need to add an eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy brother’s water bottle.” It started in the car, when I would give Connor his CamelBak bottle and Morgan her sippy cup. That crazy girl would throw her cup down and scream for Connor’s bottle! Being the generous brother that he is, he would give it to her once he was done drinking. This madness spread to the cups at the table as well. Deciding to leave nothing to chance, I bought two new CamelBak water bottles with the EXACT SAME design, and new sets of plastic cups with two of each color. This definitely goes on the list of “Problems I never had when I only had one child.” (But let’s be honest…I feel blessed beyond belief to be Mommy to these TWO kiddos.)

Big Brother
I can’t believe summer is almost over! Connor took a second session of swim lessons and further developed his skills. He’s still not swimming on his own, but he has gained a huge amount of comfort and confidence in the water, and is putting his head under like a little fish!

We have kept busy with trips to the playground or various parks, library activities, and of course, lots of LEGO building. Connor starts kindergarten on September 6th! He has been a little nervous, but he’s feeling much better after meeting his teachers and classmates at Open House.

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Enjoying a morning at Mt. Trashmore Park

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Chef Connor preparing “ice cream sundaes” at the library’s Restaurant Play event

Both kids had a blast another library event, Construction Play!

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My two peas in a pod love riding in the wagon together!

Adventures
Charlie’s sister and her family drove down from the Richmond area to spend a Saturday with us!  The guys (minus Connor) had plans to do the high ropes course at the Adventure Park.  The weather forecast was terrible, but they managed to squeeze in most of their reserved time before it stormed, and came home with vouchers to go back another time.  Meanwhile, the kids, Michelle, and I enjoyed a relaxing day playing at home.  Once the guys returned and got cleaned up, we all went to The Leaping Lizard for dinner.  It’s one of my favorite restaurants in town!  It was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Everything is so fresh and made from scratch.  Morgan enjoyed hearing the sound of her shrieks echo around the small restaurant, and we tried to spend as much time as possible walking outside and looking at the chickens before it was time to sit down and eat.

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Connor and Morgan enjoyed lots of playtime with Aunt Michelle

Another Saturday in August was spent in Yorktown with my Aunt Jackie and her family. Jackie is my mom’s sister. She came to visit us after Morgan was born, but I can’t remember the last time I had seen her before then. She has four sons and several grandchildren, and I hadn’t ever met any of them before. Three of her sons were able to come with their wives, and two of the grandkids were there as well. We all enjoyed spending time with everyone, and hopefully we will see them again!

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The Lohr Family!  From the left:  my cousin Greg and his wife Alison; my cousin Tom (very back) and his wife Carolyn (in front of him); my Aunt Jackie; Bryan’s son Kevin, my cousin Bryan, and his wife Suzanne (in front of them); Kathryn (Tom and Carolyn’s daughter), and us!

Charlie took a week of leave at the end of August, and we all enjoyed having Daddy home for a “staycation.”  Connor had lots of fun outings with Charlie, like going to the indoor trampoline park, building Legos, and doing the high ropes course at the Adventure Park!

Connor and Charlie loved their morning at the indoor trampoline park!  Connor’s favorite part is the foam pit and “Ninja Warrior” course.

Connor was so excited to finally tackle the ropes course!

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Morgan is One Year Old! (July 30, 2017)

I can’t believe our sweet Morgan Louise is 1 year old! This year has flown by, and we have enjoyed every moment. It has been such a blessing to have Morgan in our lives. It has also been incredible to watch the sibling bond form between Connor and Morgan.

(Click here to read about Morgan’s birth.)

Morgan loves to play with balls, carries around as much as she can hold in her hands at a time, and is also known to start dancing anytime she hears music. She loves a cubby full of toys to dump out and/or climb into, and is still my little laundry fanatic. Morgan hasn’t given up her obsession with (clean) underwear, and can be seen most days with Connor’s underwear in her hands or on her head, or my underwear or sports bra draped around her neck. Morgan is growing into quite the sensitive little lady, and often cries if, for example, we tell her not to play in the trash can. (I know, we are such mean parents.)

The underwear thief in action!

Growth
20 lb 4 oz (37th percentile)
29.5 in (63rd percentile)

8 teeth total (2 new on top this month)

Sleeping
Morgan usually sleeps from 7/7:30pm until 6:30/7:00am, waking twice most nights, and takes two naps during the day.

Eating/Nursing
Morgan’s current favorite food is fresh tomato from Charlie’s garden. She can’t get enough! She has been using the sign for “more” when we prompt her, but the first time she used it unprompted was while eating tomato. No time to beat around the bush – she needed more tomato ASAP! She gobbles it up every night, and I hope she will like “regular” tomatoes once the garden is done for the season.

Morgan still nurses to sleep, but she doesn’t nurse much outside of sleep times. She is quite the busy little girl, and doesn’t “need” to nurse nearly as often as Connor did at this age. I have started offering her water from a regular cup and she shrieks with delight when she sees the cup coming. Sippy cups, however, are still toys in her mind and she doesn’t get much water out of them yet.

Communication
While Morgan doesn’t consistently use all of these signs yet, we have seen her sign milk, bath, more, all done, ball, up, Daddy, water, bless you, and waving hi/bye. She also puts her arm up in an adorable “What?” gesture, and claps anytime someone says, “Yay!” or “Hooray!” Morgan loves to mimic sticking out her tongue, blowing raspberries (particularly with her brother), or leaning her head from side to side (one of her favorite dinnertime games with Daddy). “Bath” is my favorite sign that she uses right now. Instead of rubbing her hands on her own chest, she does it on me as I carry her upstairs to the tub! It’s so fun to see her initiate using a sign, such as going into the bathroom at a friend’s house and seeing her sign “bath” when she sees the tub!

Morgan signing “bath”

Morgan claps anytime she hears “Yay!” (Yes, the chair cushion is missing.  Connor loves to take them all off and “build” with them…)

Big Brother
There are certainly difficult moments in their sibling relationship, but the love and admiration that Connor and Morgan have for each other is overflowing! Nothing beats watching her face light up when she sees him first thing in the morning, or hearing her belly laugh when he does something funny. Most of the “problems” we encounter with their interactions are a result of Connor’s wildly energetic personality. He bounces around the living room with such vigor that Morgan often gets knocked over, etc. She usually doesn’t complain too much, and unfortunately for us she often laughs when Connor does something we have asked him not to do to her, which doesn’t help our case!

Summer is flying by, and it has been a miserably hot month. We have tried to keep busy and cool with a few trips to the pool and water park on base, a morning at the splash pad, some backyard fun, a family beach day, and lots of indoor library activities. Connor enjoyed two weeks of swim lessons, and progressed much more than I had anticipated. I felt like it would be a successful summer if he would willingly put his head underwater by the end…but he did it on the first day! That was a huge step for him, and it allowed him much more opportunity to progress throughout the rest of his lessons.

During the last week of July, Connor attended Vacation Bible School at the church where he goes to school. It was a fun week for him, and I didn’t realize what a nice opportunity it would be for me to have some quiet playtime with Morgan. She is a completely different “baby” than she was a few short months ago when he was in school, so it felt like a brand new experience to be home alone with her while Connor was away.


Singing on the last day of Vacation Bible School

Connor seems to have hit a developmental growth spurt. He has begun to acknowledge his wrongdoings on his own (most of the time!) and often takes it upon himself to apologize. He still has plenty of outbursts, but we are grateful that he is more aware of how his actions and choices lead to that point. It’s definitely still a work in progress!! We love our little bundle of energy!

Celebrations and Adventures
Charlie and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on July 7th! We enjoyed a quiet dinner at a great restaurant on the oceanfront. Meanwhile, our good friends Jes and Derek took wonderful care of our kids, along with their own four. It was the first time leaving Morgan with anyone besides family, but she did great! Phew, that means we might be able to go out again sometime!


We walked to the beach after our anniversary dinner

Charlie’s birthday was on July 15th. We went out to dinner as a family, and quickly realized that we have reached the phase of Morgan’s life where we will NOT willingly go to a restaurant again anytime soon! She will sit to eat (although restaurant high chairs can’t contain her the way her chair at home can), but it was almost impossible to wrangle her while waiting to eat. I can’t blame her – she just wants to explore everything – but next time we will just get takeout!!

July brought another work trip for Charlie. He flew to Orlando to spend 4 days at ClarinetFest, representing the Army and speaking to college professors about career opportunities for their students. He had a blast reconnecting with many old friends, colleagues, and students.

Meanwhile, the kids and I kept busy at home. Luckily, Connor had Vacation Bible School three of the mornings Charlie was gone, and we found activities to keep us entertained in the afternoons. I discovered the secret: stay out of the house as long as possible, and when we are at home, have a new LEGO project for Connor to work on. Otherwise, he creates his own fun with the couch cushions and literally bounces off everything around him, including his sister. Our friend Dae was in town for the weekend, so we got together with him and two other families on Saturday evening. We talked to Charlie on FaceTime one afternoon, and poor Morgan was distraught. She heard Daddy’s voice and saw his face and kept crying while trying to grab the phone. We were all happy to pick him up at the airport on Sunday, July 30th, which also happened to be…

Morgan’s First Birthday!!

To cap off the month of July, we celebrated Morgan’s birthday with friends. (The Eskanders hosted the Bannasches, our family, and Dae. It was the youngest Bannasch boy’s second birthday, and Dae’s birthday was a few days prior, so we had lots to celebrate. I think it’s worth mentioning that the Bannasch and Eskander families also celebrated Connor’s first birthday with us in Germany! We are all thrilled to be stationed together again.) Between the kiddie pool, sprinkler, hamburgers and hot dogs, and three birthday cakes, everyone had a good time. Connor was more than happy to “help” Morgan blow out her candle and open her gifts. He also built a LEGO cake topper for her cake! Morgan loved eating her cake. The next day we opened all of her cards from our relatives. I still can’t believe it has been a year since she came into our lives! We couldn’t imagine life any other way!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

We love you to the moon and back, and we are so lucky to call you ours!