Sunday, September 27, 2009

13 Months Old

Ever since I returned to work, we have been dealing with something at the drs with the kids. I feel so bad for them. They have had a battery of tests, and just when we thought we were getting some answers, now they have had a upper respiratory virus. They are on about day 9 and doing much better. They have had very stuffy noses, can't sleep, won't eat much of anything and have even had snot come out of their eyes. YUCK!

Our first rounds of visits to the dr were from weeks of diarrhea. We are pretty sure that the kids have a sensitivity to milk. At this point we aren't ruling it an allergy. The dr suggested we put them back on their formula for two weeks and then try milk again. If we have problems, go back on the formula and then we would talk about allergy testing. I guess it isn't very common at this age to do testing. We are currently on the formula and will try milk again next weekend.

I also had to take Bekah to the dr for a very high temperature. Now it is pretty easy to see that it was her respiratory virus that they both have. Bekah got a pretty good sized goose egg on her head on Thursday when she fell against the chair. You can see her bruise in all of the pictures.

Just as I got my camera out to take the 13 month pictures, Billy fell against the gate and busted his lip. So now you get to see what it is really like with two toddlers. Bumps, bruises and all.

Both kids never stop to amaze us. Billy says "hi guy" all the time. He picked that up from daddy saying Hi Guys when he sees the kids, I'm guilty of doing the same. Bekah very clearly says "hi dad" There are quite a few mamas around the house and a few kaylees too. The best is asking them where their bellies are and they lift up their shirt to show you. TOO CUTE!

Well, Bekah is sitting on the desk as I type this and getting into everything, so I must go and get her some "real" toys to play with.

Love and miss you all!
~The Brands

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Kids

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to get everything updated. It isn't easy to find an hour or so to work on posts with two growing kids. Make sure that you see all of the new posts. There are quite a few of them.

I'm proud to say that we no longer are using bottles. We started Labor Day weekend. That Friday night was the last time our "babies" had bottles. I would have gotten rid of them sooner, but they had a bad reaction to Milk, so I wanted to give them some time and get their tummy's stable before I tried switching them over. We had been doing mostly sippy cups, but not all the time.

The week before labor day was difficult for the kids. They were sick, running mild temps and just not happy. It was also the time that I introduced new foods and milk with out lactose. After a week and a half of nasty diapers, I put them back on formula and only gave them foods that I knew didn't bother them. We still used the cups while using formula (big kids, so proud).

Tomorrow I'm going to introduce the lactose free milk back in. I hope that it doesn't bother them and that they weren't having a reaction to the milk.

Billy is starting to put two word sentences together. This is a very early development. He says "hi daddy", "hi Kaylee" "hey daddy" "hey Kaylee" I guess you can tell who his favorites are. He does say mama sometimes, but not as often. He is also saying uh-oh and knows how to use it correctly too. Billy is "talking" all the time.

Bekah is working on her talking too. She says daddy, mama, and tons of babble. One of her favorite things right now is to place a ball or small toy in your hand, get all excited about it and then take it back out of your hand. She is doing great, because she doesn't drop it into your hand, she places it there. She repeats this over and over and gets very excited.

Both kids have mastered climbing onto the couch, and getting down by laying on their bellies and sliding backwards until their feet hit the floor. Billy mastered it on his own, I showed Bekah a few times and now she has it down.

One thing that is difficult for Bill and I is their bed time. We used to put them down at 8 or 8:30, then it went to 8, 7:30 and then stayed at 7 for a while. Now they are to the point that they are pretty much ready at 6:30 or 7. I already hate how little time we get with them, now they are wanting to go to bed even earlier. Even though they are going to bed earlier, they are still getting up at the same time or even later.

Bekah loves it when you put new or "pretty" clothes on her. Her "pretty" clothes are just things that mommy tells her that are pretty, she lights up and is very excited. She also loves shoes. We bought them their first pairs of shoes at payless. Today when we were at the mall, I was looking for some new black dress shoes (didn't find any), when Bill was playing with the kids, Bekah looked down at her shoes pointed at them and then pointed to the ones on the shelves. The little stinker knew what kind of store we were in.

I wish the kids would leave things on their heads. They look so cute wearing hats, sunglasses and Bekah looks cute in head bands. Oh well, maybe when they get a little older.

Well, for now, I need to go to bed. God Bless and love you all.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

1st Birthday Party ~ NC

We celebrated their first birthday at our house on their birthday. We started out the day by going to church and then came home and napped. After lunch we had a small party with Bob, Erica, Meloney, Ben, Matthew and Mandy. Even my dad joined the party by webcam. The kids were so excited to see him, but didn't understand that they couldn't touch him.

As usuall, the kids were spoiled and had a blast. Their cake eating was much more fun to watch since they had their "practice" run in Michigan. Billy ended up turning the bath water a blue shade.

We had a wonderful time. Happy first birthday Bekah and Billy!

August 23rd 2009

Happy Birthday Bekah and Billy! Mommy and Daddy can't believe that you are one now. You are doing so many fun things that just crack us up. I don't know where the past year has gone.

Bekah is walking like a champ now. As soon as she got back home she stared walking more and more. She likes to wrinkle up her nose and try to make pig sounds. Her laugh/giggle, makes the entire room light up. She eats like a champ and eats everything you put in front of her.

Billy has mastered walking. He doesn't even hesitate anymore, he is just off. He likes to sit with daddy and watch tv, but most of all likes to steal the remote or phones. He shakes his head "no" when anyone around says "no". He is eating more and more these days, he isn't as picky as he first was.

Both kids now have 6 teeth and are eating solids. Baby food is a thing of the past. Now they can't walk under the desk anymore, and it was quite the learning experience when they found that out.

At their 1yr check up Bekah weighed 20lb 1oz and was 29 1/2in long. Billy weighed in at 21lb and 1oz and was 30 in long. Bekah is closing the gap in on the weight. It is funny looking at them because it looks like there is more than 1 pound separating them, but there isn't.

Binder Park Zoo

Our first trip to the zoo!

We started the day out by visiting our friends at Kalamazoo Missionary Church. The kids did great in the nursery and we were able to talk with people we hadn't seen in quite a while.

After church with my Dad and Deb, we met up with Bill's Dad, Jackie and Dottie at Fazoli's in Battle Creek for lunch. The kids helped me eat my meal and had a blast.

We headed off to the zoo. The kids had a lot of fun, but tired out pretty quick, especially Bekah. Bill and I bought them stuffed animals from their first zoo visit.

Here are some pictures that were taken in Ohio and Michigan.

As most of you may already know, we tried to see as many people as possible. Unfortunately that didn't mean that we were able to see everyone. We did our best, but it wasn't easy traveling with two toddlers.

The trip home was much easier with daddy able to help out in the car. :) I'm thankful that I made the trip up there on my own, I know I can do it, but dont' know if I will ever do it alone again.

August 1st

Bekah and Billy's 1st Birthday Party in Michigan.

Bill's dad picked Bill up at the airport while the rest of us got ready for the birthday party. Dottie out did herself as usual, there was so much food we could have fed an army. Everything was delicious and beautiful. Jackie helped so much too getting everything ready.

The party was so much fun! Kids were able to meet family that they hadn't seen before, we were able to see tons of people and just had an overall great day.


I know this is a long overdue update. Sorry it has been so long. We have been very busy around the Brand house. I'll try to start where we left off. It may take a few posts to get you up to date.

At the end of July, I made a trip to MI with the kids and dog. Bill stayed at home for a week, then flew up later. Just before the trip Bekah and Billy turned 11 months old.

My first stop was to Dee and Tim's house(in OH). Dee is Bill's aunt and her family hadn't met the kids yet. I was able to introduce the kids to Dee, Tim, Rick and Rachel. They also met J.J. and Sara. These are great aunts, but we didn't say the "great" too much :) We had a lot of fun and the kids did great in the car.

The next day we made our way to MI. We drove through Sturgis (making a quick stop to say hi to Bill's Dad, Jackie and Dottie) and concluded our journey in Mattawan at my Dad's house. It was nice to be stationary and to unpack the kids. They were happy to see my dad, but Bekah wasn't so sure about him holding her at first.

Any time I wasn't in the room, she would go great to my dad, but if I was in the room that was a different story. Dad and I took the kids to a few dinners out, as well as a fun dinner with the Smeaders. They were anticipating the birth of their first grandchild and were having a blast with Bekah and Billy.

Bekah wasn't as excited about walking in MI and she was satisfied with crawling at her lightning speed. Billy on the other hand was determined to walk, and that he did.

After spending a few days at my dads house, we drove back down to Sturgis and stayed with Dottie. We visited my grandma and Century Bank & Trust where I used to work. I was surprised at how many people remembered me.

We got everything ready for the party and enjoyed time with Dottie, Bill's dad and Jackie. Our family was also anticipating Daddy's arrival to MI. We missed him very much.

more to come...