RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

Baby Graeme and Toddler Graeme

Graeme,

You turned 16 months on August 1st. It’s emotionally overwhelming thinking about but living it is mentally and physically tolling. And you know what? Your daddy and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I haven’t blogged about you since your first birthday party back in April and while cleaning out my external hard drives and computer desktop, I realized I never shared your newborn portraits! I also needed to write an update on you as a 16 months old…

You are obviously walking – scratch that – running! I figured as soon as you started walking well you wouldn’t want me to hold you much anymore but that’s definitely not true! You start pulling on my legs, saying “Up”, and I pick you up and your point and say “Walk” and I walk in that direction. If I’m already holding you and you want down, you point to the ground and say, “Down, walk”, and I put you down and off you go. You are a pro at verbal commands, both giving and receiving them! You even use a little sign language – those Baby Signing Time DVDs came in hand after all!

Your vocabulary is far too extensive for me to list – I think you’re saying 30+ words and learning 1-2 new words every day! Your favorite words right now are “mower”, “bad dog”, “daddy”, and “truck”. In fact, at any given time of the day, you’re saying “mower” and wanting to go outside to either push your toy mower or “ride” or play on the real mower. It’s adorable, hilarious, and sometimes tedious but it makes you happy and you’re content for half an hour or longer! You also love to swing on the hammock in our backyard and it’s usually the first thing you ask to do in the morning – even before you eat breakfast. You haven’t quite mastered the “s” sound, though, so you say “wee” instead of “swing”. It’s also adorable, hilarious, and sometimes tedious (constantly explaining to others that you’re saying “swing”).

Near the end of May, your daddy and I left you for 8 whole days (!!!) for a Disney vacation. It about wrecked me just thinking about the trip but it’s wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not leaving you for that long ever again! You were in great hands though – you spent every night and some days at your Mimi and Papaw’s, some days with your Nana and Granddaddy, and a couple days with your Nanny Jean.

This year was your second year experiencing the Thunder Over Eddy Bay fireworks show. We spent the whole weekend at the lake house with me and your daddy, your Mimi and Papaw, and your Uncle John. You must have known I wanted to keep you up for the fireworks that night because you ended up taking two naps that Saturday and were able to stay up until 9:30pm! It’s definitely not something we plan to do often, even though you handled it incredibly well!

A couple weeks ago you caught hand, foot, and mouth (from Lord knows where) but thankfully only acted sick for a couple days before you were back to normal. You looked awful for about a week and are still peeling on your hands and feet. I was lucky and only developed sores in my mouth but your daddy got it even worse than you did – hands, feet, face, legs, and even arms! He’s still peeling but was well enough to take you and I on your second long distance trip ever – your first trip to see your Aunt Megan, Uncle Bryan, and god-siblings Maddie and Harrison in Ft. Wayne, Indiana this past weekend! The 7 hours drive up there was rough but you handled the drive home so well, we’re already planning our next car trip! Note worthy from this trip – your first trip to the zoo! You saw and said “monkey”, “giraffe”, and “bird” but honestly are probably too young for the zoo. At least it was free and you behaved well!

Your schedule has been the same since you transitioned from 2 naps to 1 nap when you were 13 months old:

Somewhere between 6:45am and 7:45am you’re awake for the day. If daddy hasn’t left for work yet, he’ll get you out of your crib and change your diaper. You love seeing daddy first thing in the morning! After a diaper change, we get you in your clothes for the day and play until breakfast.

Somewhere between 7:15am and 8am is breakfast time. I wait until you tell me you’re ready for breakfast: You say and sign “eat” at the same time, after which I ask “Are you hungry? Ready for breakfast?” and you nod and walk to your highchair saying “Hungry, Breakfast”. Your typical breakfast consists of a banana, yogurt, cheerios, and milk. You eat the banana and cheerios by yourself, I spoon feed you the yogurt, and when you’re ready for a drink, you point to your big boy cup (no lid) and say “drink” and I sit the cup on your tray and you pick it up, drink from it, and sit it back down on the tray without any spills!

On Mondays and Fridays, Nanny Jean comes to watch you so after breakfast we all head to the coffeehouse. You guys play while Mommy works until it’s time to head home for your lunch. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you and I just hang out at home and play and on Wednesdays, I drop you off at Mimi’s house for the day. Your daddy and I usually shoot weddings on Wednesdays so those days are always different but Sundays are usually spent at church and with the family.

Somewhere between 11am and 11:30am is lunch time. We try to always have lunch at home because you’re kind of picky when it comes to lunch food. You have your usual: cottage cheese, berries (all kind, you like them all!), a vegetable from dinner the night before, a piece of whole wheat bread, and milk. Depending on what we had for dinner the night before, you MIGHT eat left overs but it’s not likely.

Noon is nap time – another reason why we try to have lunch at home – and you sleep until 2pm, but sometimes I have to wake you up if you’re still asleep at 3pm. After nap is more play time and or we run errands. Snack time is around 3pm and is usually a pouch, animal crackers, and water in a sip cup so that can be on the go if needed.

Daddy is home by 4:45pm and by that time you are more than ready to play with him! Depending on our plans, dinner is somewhere between 5:30pm and 6pm and you have a snack (or dessert) around 7pm. After that, we start your bedtime routine…

Before my and your daddy’s week long Disney vacation at the end of May, you were nursing in the morning before breakfast and right before bedtime. If I weren’t with you at night, you didn’t take a bottle and I didn’t pump. It was working out well for us – neither one of us was ready to be completely done with nursing. But then I left and you didn’t nurse for 8 days. I hand expressed (and did better than I would have with a pump) but it wasn’t the same and I lost most of my supply. I was really worried but when we got home you nursed that night! And your nursed the next couples nights, but I couldn’t get you interested in the morning. I thought, that’s OK because then I can sleep in on the weekends some and daddy can handle breakfast. But by mid June it had become a struggle to get you to nurse even before bedtime routine and I knew we were at the end of our nursing relationship. I’d been saying the whole time that I would nurse as long as you wanted to… I wasn’t ready but you were so I stopped offering and you stopped asking.

Until one night in July, while I was drying you off in the floor of your nursery right after your bath. You said “boob” and pulled on my shirt. I about cried I was so happy! But I also knew that I hadn’t nursed or hand expressed in at least 2 weeks – I didn’t think I’d have anything for you. But you didn’t seem to care and that night, you nursed for a couples minutes. Now 3 weeks later, I nurse you every night that I’m home, right between your bath and reading you books, for at least 10 minutes and best of all, my supply has come back!

After nursing, we read two books of your choice, sing yours sleep song, lay you in your crib with your Lovey and Sleep Bear, and you drift off to sleep all on your own, without any fussing or crying. Sometimes you talk to yourself (or to us?) for a minute and we actually love listening to you over the monitor. Very rarely, you wake for a minute once during the night but you no longer need us so you go back to sleep. Nights are lovely!

And finally, 16 months after the fact, here are images of my sweet, milk drunk, sleepy 12 day old baby! I miss this little chunk but the little boy you are growing into is so smart, hilarious, and more fun than I could have ever imagined! Be still I ask, slow down!

A Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Session by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGE

The following images were taken by my sweet friend Makenzie for our family session the following day.

A Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGEA Paducah Kentucky Newborn Family Session by Makenzie Lynn PhotographyPINIMAGE

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