Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vivian Turns One!

For Vivian's first birthday, we had a small, intimate party at our home with just a few family members. It was the perfect celebration for a shy little girl. I made the cake as I always do--and will do every year. I love coming up with ideas for the kids' birthday cakes.

Vivian had so much fun tearing open packages and playing with balloons.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It's 9:45 am, and Seamus and Vivian are chasing birthday balloons around the living room. At this time last year, I was holding a new baby girl and waiting for my son and parents to come visit us at the hospital and meet her for the first time. Little Vivian and I were both tired after a fast and intense (and absolutely wonderful) labor and delivery. She was so tiny and delicate with elegant fingers and sandy wisps of hair. Later that night as she was lying next to me, she would look into my eyes, and I would smile at her. And I swear she smiled back.

Now my baby girl is ONE! And she's been walking for three months. She babbles constantly and can say lots of words. She's curious about everything and loves to get into the cabinets and pull all the dishes out. She climbs the pantry shelves to grab the spice containers. She chases the cat all over the house. And she copies everything we do, from combing her hair to wiping down counter tops to humming a kazoo just like her brother.

She's a sweet girl with a loving and gentle nature. She gives hundreds of hugs and kisses a day and comforts her brother whenever he gets hurt.

This month, instead of writing about milestones and sleeping updates, I thought it would be fun to look back over the 12 months of Vivian to see how she's changed and grown.

Happy birthday, sweet little girl!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy 11 Months!

Well, we nearly made to 12 months before I finally posted an 11 month post. If that doesn't speak volumes about the overwhelming amount of work I've been doing around here, I don't know what does. However, as of Monday, my semester teaching online English is over, and I'll have loads more time to devote to this here blog...that is until next semester starts, and I begin teaching three more English classes.

But enough about me. Let's get on to the real reason I'm writing this post...

Vivian has grown by leaps and bounds in Month 11. She's the family copy-cat, imitating everything we do from wiping down tables (mama) to screaming into mailer tubes (brother) to scowling (papa). This girl has developed one serious scowl, and she employs often throughout the day (anytime she's displease with the turn of events, anytime anyone tells her no, anytime we don't feed her fast enough).

She's now walking constantly and hardly ever crawling, and she's been practicing running--but without much success as each time she's come away with a scar on her face.

Her favorite past times are petting the cat and flipping through books.

She plays with books more than any toys we have around the house, and this includes not only her board books but my cookbooks and novels and brother's chapter books. She loves flipping pages and looking at pictures.

Vivian's language skills are developing at a rapid pace. She now says lots of words, some consistently and some only once or twice. Vivian says these words often: mama, papa, brother, cat, dog, and no. Vivian has said these words only a couple of times: apple, banana, and clap. She's also been learning animal sounds and can caw like a crow, moo like a cow, bok like a chicken, and bah like a sheep. Since cats are her favorite animal, we've been working on meowing as well.

But the big news (at least for mama and papa) is that Vivian is finally sleeping for longer stretches at night (4-5 hours) and now only gets up a couple of times at night. She's also been taking wonderful 2 1/2 hour naps during the day, providing me with much needed grading and knitting time.

Month 11 also brought Vivian's first snow experience. A few weeks ago our town was blanketed in about four inches of snow, and the children and I spend the afternoon playing in it. Vivian enjoyed knocking the snow off the tree branches and watching brother and I throw snowballs at each other.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Creek Boy Discount

Handmade soaps and hand knit hats make great Christmas gifts!

During the month of December, Creek Boy is offering 20% off your entire order. To take advantage of this in time for your holiday shopping, just enter the following coupon code at check-out: HOLIDAY20

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lately from my iPhone

Thanksgiving feast
Downton Sweater made for me by my mom.
My parents visit for Thanksgiving.
Vivian in a leopard print coat
Seamus goes in an expedition in our yard for the ivory billed woodpecker.
Vivian is ready to color.
Big brother reading to little sister

Monday, November 19, 2012


We opened an Etsy shop just in time for holiday shopping! Check it out...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy 10 Months!

I'm a little late here as Vivian will be 11 months old next week (and a year Old next month...eeek), but life has been oh, so hectic in the Gwyn Family household lately.
None the less, we have big news to report: the Little Duchess is walking! Yep, my big girl has been taking steps and toddling around since she was 9 months old. She actually took her first steps on October 13th. But last week, she began walking in earnest--by that I mean walking more than crawling. She's also been climbing everything: stairs, chairs, couches, and beds.
As far as other milestones go, Vivian has added the word "cat" to her vocabulary and must say it a hundred times a day (usually while chasing ours). She'll also point the the cats on her cat pajamas and say the word. She's just started pointing at things over the past few days, and aside from pointing at cats on pjs, she also loves to open books and point at the pictures.
As far as appetite goes, Vivian still nurses throughout the day but is now going for longer stretches in between sessions (except at night). She's also eating three big meals and numerous little snacks each day. Her favorite foods right now are: apples, blueberries, quinoa, and bananas.

There's one thing not going so well in our household, however: sleep. Oh man, the sleeping situation around here is dreadful. Aside from one long stretch of sleep from 7:30-11:30, Vivian still wakes every two hours to nurse at night. Most of the time, I nurse her or rock her for just a few minutes, and she goes right back to sleep, but sometimes it takes a good two hours to get her to sleep in her own bed. She'll go straight to sleep in my arms or my bed, but the instant her head hits her own mattress, she's awake and wailing. Add Seamus's frequent night awakenings to come to our bed and no one is sleeping. I have to say, I'm a bit of a zombie these days and have been forgetting to do all kinds of important stuff such as making Seamus's lunch or paying the electric bill.
With the hurricane and our trip to Tennessee, Vivian has been lucky enough to spend a lot more time with T than usual. The two of them have developed a closer bond, and she's now a little bit less attached to me and loves being cared for by her papa. She gets so excited when he comes home at the end of the day.
But the one person in our home who remains Vivian's closest friend is her brother. Those two are peas in a pod.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recently from My iPhone

We had a lovely time in Tennessee, and as I write this we're on the road back to Jersey. Wish we could have stayed longer and visited more people, but we didn't have the time.

Here are photos of me and the kiddos whiling away the days at state parks, playgrounds, and old fashioned drug stores while T holed up in my parents' basement in a make-shift studio. T's boss allowed him to work from Tennessee the entire time we were without power.
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