Category Archives: Toddler

Audrey at Two and a Half

Here is my sweet girl at two and a half. How did that half appear there so quickly? Wasn’t she just turning 2 with family in town? I was talking to my mom about the struggles and the joys of this age, and decided I better jot down some of these parts of 2.5 that I want to remember – a snapshot of Audrey right here and now. This is two and a half with the sweet leader of our house!IMG_0304

Let’s start with the sassy. A few months ago she decided to stick a pea up her nose at dinner as I was refilling drinks. She looked at me panicked, “It’s stuck!” From somewhere in my engineer/mother brain I had the instinct to ask her to open her mouth wide, placed my mouth wide over hers (CPR-style), blocked the free nostril, and blew in her mouth. That pea popped right out! Let’s hope that was the first and last item to get a tour of her nostrils.IMG_0068

She loves to play (& fight) with Jack. Like most siblings they adore each other once second and then decide to pass the time by fighting over the same marker. I hear I will be dealing with this phase for awhile….BUT in the last two weeks they have started playing together for longer periods of time without needing a parent. It has been so fun to listen to their make-believe games.IMG_0248

Even with the crazy twos, the fun stuff is SO much fun. She has named her expected little brother, Jack Quack Mack, or Quack for short. She found her inspiration from the children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings. We all now affectionately refer to the baby as Quack too.IMG_0027

She loves to play – anything from taking care of her baby dolls to racing cars, coloring, PUZZLES (her current obsession), riding her trike outside. And the books! So many books every day with favorites almost any of the Little Golden Books and anything Curious George.IMG_0313

She gets to do “Gym Bus” once a week – a converted school bus with the seats taken out, fully open and tumbling ready. This bus comes to their daycare once a week, and Jack has been doing it for almost 2 years. Jack was thrilled to have Audrey in his class (“Mommy, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Audrey was on gym bus today, and didn’t cry or anything!”) She also plays soccer once a week…whatever that means at 2. Ha!IMG_0318

She is Miss Independent and is definitely the leader at our house…but she’s still small enough to curl her body on top of me when we rock. Such a truly wonderful age!IMG_7506

We were home together yesterday, working on a third day in a row of very successful (and focused) potty training. She is so proud of herself (“I’m so HAPPY with me!”) and has enjoyed looking through pictures of herself for this post while sitting and waiting. Maybe this will mean a short diaper reprieve before Quack arrives….

Audrey is TWO!

Goldstien2016-65 (Photo Credit:  Kim Davis Photography)

Audrey turned two on Monday October 17th. We celebrated with Gigi and Papa, all of my siblings, Cousin Maurine, Aunt Stephanie and Michael (while Grandma & Grandpa were en route to welcome our first nephew, Cole). Jack declared it “Audrey’s best birthday ever!” and he was totally right. I don’t know how many birthdays we will be able to celebrate with so much family and it was exactly what all of our hearts needed this month.AudreyParty

Height and weight:  28 lbs and 38.75 inches…although we think the height measurement was a bit generous (70% for weight and 99% for height!). For comparison she was 8 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches at birth and 21 lbs and 31.5 inches last year at this time.AudreyInPink

All Disney music (and she seems to know all of the words), baby dolls, trains, picking out her own clothes and shoes, putting on her coat, pushing her shopping cart around the house, going to the real grocery store (“I get popcorn and cookies, right mommy?”), hikes and walks, puzzles, going along on bike rides, looking at pictures of herself (“May see please?”), books, sucking her thumb.Grandma&Audrey

Being told what to do. She wants to be in charge of EVERYTHING (gotta love a girl who knows what she wants, right?). Me being sweaty (“Mommy sweaty? (with look of disgust) Go upstairs. New shirt peese!”), trimming toenails (ugh!). She can be slow to warm up to people, and the one time in the last 6 months I took her to the gym she freaked out.Audrey&Daddy

Eat & Sleep:
She eats pretty much everything. Most kids seem to be carb lovers but Audrey is a carnivore – Chicken, beef, fish is all fair game. She is adventurous and likes whatever is on the adults’ plates (like raw red onions – one of her favorites!). I am SO thankful for my good eater. I am equally appreciative of her good sleep habits. We usually read books with the boys before she asks me if I’m sleepy. She announces, “Girls are sleepy” before kissing the boy goodnight. We read another couple of books, tell a story, and both sing songs together before she sweetly lays in her bed. She gets a solid 11.5-12 hrs at night, sleeping 7:45ish-7:30 and gets a 1.5-2 hour nap each day.Goldstien2016-61 (Photo Credit:  Kim Davis Photography)

Looking forward to:
Teeth coming in. Two year molars haven’t been too bad (yet) but we keep waiting for it knowing its coming.

More family time! Having Audrey and Jack with their cousin, Maurine, these last few days was SO much fun. They all adore each other and it was so easy to have them together. We are traveling to California in mid December to go visit Uncle Mark and family AND to visit Aunt Tina and Uncle Brandon (& Baby Cole!!). Now we just need a visit to see Uncle Doug and Aunt Candice (& Baby Lee) so we can get all of the cousins together.Papa&Girls

Another Disney Cruise. No plans for one but Audrey and Jack request a repeat often.

Halloween! Audrey and Jack have given a couple of (constantly changing) suggestions for Halloween costumes and I think we have a winner.

I couldn’t love my Audrey Elizabeth more than I do. I am so honored to be her mother, and adore her loving and assertive personality. She completes our family, and has made these last two years even sweeter than I could have ever imagined!Goldstien2016-37 (1)(Photo Credit:  Kim Davis Photography)



Jack – 3.5 years old

Jack is three and a half. I’m not quite sure I can put a finger on it, but his personality seems so much more mature in the last quarter of the year. He is SO much fun to be around, and I find myself thinking that this is one of my favorite phases so far. IMG_20160416_100518153

Playing with this guy is fun! He likes everything outside – soccer, swinging, tagging along on a bike ride or using his balance bike, hiking (huge surprise that he can keep up great for about 2 miles without one complaint!), and posing for the camera (photo courtesy of Aunt Tina!).27031315840_59e74ab683_o


Cars and trucks are a constant favorite too.IMG_6809

(no worries – he doesn’t get to cruise carseat-less in convertibles!)

He’s SO sweet and loves to cuddle with me and Matt before he gets up for the day. This Saturday he was already eating breakfast with Matt when I came home for a run, and he was very concerned that I hadn’t gotten any cuddles before breakfast. His sincerity in offering his cuddles was adorable. His sweetness in the morning (almost) makes his sporadic sleep nights a distant memory.

He adores his grandmas and grandpas too. Makes me so happy!IMG_6709

IMG_20160403_123634407A couple of favorites from Audrey’s last update (full post here). Seeing Jack play with Audrey is (mostly) so much fun!


Next up:  a re-cap from our summer vacation on a Disney Cruise!




Audrey at a Year and a Half

Audrey is 19 months – we missed the one and a half year mark but I wanted to document some of what makes Audrey — Audrey.IMG_6724

She keeps jumping in the growth chart. At her 18 mnth appointment she was 99th percentile for height and 85th percentile for weight.IMG_1681

Likes: Music and dancing, books (especially Llama, Llama which sound like mamamama when she says it, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do I see?), holding hands with Jack, being understood when she talks. Food. She is going through a phase where she eats a lot and isn’t picky about anything. She tried blue cheese this week and was not a fan at all, but I think that is the first thing in awhile she hasn’t eaten. Outside and swinging (when talking about swinging she makes the best swing motion and squeals “sing, sing!”). Her hat, sunglasses (sunnies) and purse.IMG_20160518_171706072_HDR

She loves going on bike rides on what Jack has named “The Orange Krusher.” The duck pond is a highlight on the ride as she yells “dack dack” (her version of quack quack).IMG_6713

Play:  She plays well independently but loves to be playing near Jack. Trains and blocks are fun for both of them until they each want the exact same piece. Ahhh!IMG_6784IMG_20160521_105813489

Dislikes: anyone touching something that she has deemed hers (Mine! Mine!), Being told no. She gives a finger wag if she really wants to emphasize she’s unhappy with you. IMG_20160501_150948232

Personality:  She is such an affectionate little girl (selectively!) giving unprompted hugs, back pats, kisses and “lub yous.” She talks all the time! (sometimes she is understandable).IMG_20160419_081344864She is the life of the party with her dance moves. She really gets into it! She is pretty opinionated about her tunes. While she does love some toddler music, her most frequent requests are “Cake by the Ocean” and “Shake it off.”IMG_6681

She is a caretaker. She usually gets picked up first at the end of the day, and immediately points down the hall and says “JACH!” and runs to go get him. We do stories and bedtime together some nights and on those nights she likes to help me rub Jack’s back. So sweet! She started by putting her babies to bed and loving on them, but now she really likes to love on “Jach.”IMG_20160521_154245701She is a good combination of fearless but not reckless. She thinks she can do everything that Jack can do – and pretty much does. She tows the line between baby and big girl. Some days she wants to sit in her highchair and some days she wants to sit in her big chair at the table. But either way, Audrey wants what she wants. She has an opinion and she make sure we know what it is!IMG_20160521_154150007

She brings so much joy to our house!

2016 March Madness

The kids have grown so much since their last updates that I thought I’d give some updates on Jack at just over three years (3 yrs, 3 mnths) and Audrey at 17 mnths.P11

Love:  The are starting to play together more. And they are very affectionate with each other (with the occasional shove and tattle)P2

Food:  They eat LOTS! Both kids are big fans of oatmeal and fruit in the morning, Jack’s version is doctored up with peanut butter and jelly and Audrey’s with a splash of milk. They pretty much eat everything. Case in point:  We had sauerkraut this week and Audrey scrunched up her face with every bite, but would smile and grab another bite.

Sleep:  Audrey is still the champion sleeper. She goes to bed easily and likes to get a good 11-12 hour stretch at night, plus a decent nap. But Jack makes sure no one is too well rested, as he takes longer to fall asleep and likes to make an occasional visit in the middle of the night.  Imagine this scenario:  3am, pitch dark, I’m in my bed and open my eyes to Jack’s face inches away from mine as he whispers, “Mommy, can you please sing me some songs?” Who needs uninterrupted sleep anyway?! (Thank goodness he is so cute!)

Play:  Like all kids, they love to play. Both kids love cars, puzzles, and books.  They both request and sing along to music all the time.  The both love blankets and their two stuffed animals (each). P15

Out of the mouths of babes:  I feel like I need to do a better job recording some of the funny things they say.  Audrey equal parts makes me smile and breaks my heart when I ask her “Are you mommy’s baby?” and she responds “noo noo, Au dee.” She talks all the time, and expects us to understand everything she says.  She is such a happy little dancer, and is still a big mommy’s girl.  She has started giving unprompted “I love you’s,” melting our hearts. But it comes out very enthusiastically “I yoooou!” She also loves to give hugs and kisses.

Jack is such a fun (and funny!) little person. Matt and I were discussing him not being able to handle a spicy food and he told us “I can handle anything.” When I laughed and told him he was kinda awesome, he responded, “I’m a lot of awesome!” with a huge smile.  He is in soccer and gymnastics each one day a week, and seems to love both. He also loves his balance bike.

Speaking of bikes, look at Matt’s new toy. Every time Audrey sees a bike, she points and shots “bike, bike!!” I think it’s a three-way tie for who likes the bike best! We are looking forward to warmer weather and lots of outside time. IMG_20160228_151836827


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We are stuck at home because Mr. Jack has a stomach bug.  Bah humbug!  But he is on the upswing and hopefully will be 100% soon.

In between bleaching the house I have been distracting myself with pictures.  This was from a Santa dinner at LBC.  Super fun event that we will be sure to go to next year.  Although Jack’s face doesn’t say it in these pictures he was thrilled to see Santa and jumped into his lap as soon as we saw him.

IMG_0780And this one? Ha!  Poor kiddos!  Its clear what Audrey is thinking, but what do you think is on Jack’s mind?

IMG_0803Have a wonderful Christmas evening and stay happy and healthy!E1

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jack!

Jack is two!

2 years

Here’s a little update on Jack as a two year old:

Height/Weight:  Our big boy!  He’s in the 99% for height and 97% for weight and is solidly in 2T clothing for a bit longer.IMG_4228

Likes:  Music (especially Christmas music right now), trains, blocks, reading all books (Dr. Suess is a favorite), playing with mom and dad, talking, blankets, tousling his baby sister’s hair, his balance bike, watching sports, playing basketball, helping grind coffee beans and use the food processor (anything loud in the kitchen).

Dislikes: His two year molars…what a drooling, emotional, hot mess!

Talking:  Matt and I were trying to come up with a real number – and we think he’s close to a thousand.  He speaks all day long and usually in sentences.  “Excuse me daddy, I come through now” is his record max that I’ve heard.  He is very good at please and is getting better at unprompted thank you’s.  He can count to 10 but really only seems to comprehend up to 4 objects.  Jack recognizes letters now like J, C, D and M.  We walked into Monical’s last week and he pointed to the sign and said “M for Mommy!”  And I am amazed in the last month how many songs he knows.  He knows all the words to Santa Clause is Coming to Town and Jingle Bells.  He requests Christmas music. Every. Single. Day.

Sleeping:  After a rough start his first few months, he is an awesome sleeper.  He goes down somewhere around 8 pm and sleeps until at least 7 am with one nap in the early afternoon.

Looking forward to:  Taking Jack to his first college basketball game this winter (Illinois vs. Purdue), Seeing him sit on Santa’s lap tonight, watching him interact more with Audrey, potty training…not the process so much as no diapers.IMG_4389

Jack at 22 Months

I really had intended to do a 20 month update with Jack because I felt like he had changed so much from his 18 month update.  But then life got busy with Matt’s work travel schedule and my fall classes starting back up…and enjoying life with a really fun little toddler.  However, I feel like I need to do a quick update while Mr. Jack is an only child.  (Who knows?  Maybe for only a matter of days?)

We’ve been packing a lot of fun into the last couple of months.  While I was in the middle of my readiness assessment for a few weeks (aka PhD Qualifying Exam) Jack and Matt built a playset in out backyard.  Now Jack loves tools and knows that Daddy has much cooler toys than Mommy.IMG_0640

IMG_3763Our typical hangouts have included the park, the waterpark, and evenings of Scotty’s (a restaurant) followed by a walk to check out the fountain, pedestrian bridge and train station.  Jack now will request “Scoggy’s” at random meal times – Creatures of habit.IMG_0666

Milestones since our year and a half update:  He counts on his own to ten (making diaper changes more tolerable for everyone), is a much faster runner and much more coordinated jumper.  His balance bike is getting a lot more use – and he is getting better and better each ride.

His language developments are really fun.  It is so much fun to have mini conversations with him.  I asked him this morning if he was tickled last night and he answered “yes” and told me “doggy tickled Jack” and then gave me a big grin.  He has some good 3 and 4 word sentences.  My favorite?  Jack love Mommy.IMG_0576IMG_0558

Current likes:  all sports – playing and watching (with the ranking of basketball, football, soccer, baseball in that order).  He will request watching sports on the weekends and Matt is pretty happy to oblique.  I’ll try to post a quick video of his spectating this weekend.IMG_0699IMG_0698

And this past weekend we went to our first Purdue football game.  We went to visit the Boilermaker Special before the game (yay – Trains!) and saw the band warm up.  He loved cheering for Purdue (go, go go!  Fall down!  Pur-doooo!)IMG_0686

Other likes include:  Trains, books, his stuffed animal “doggy”, and blankets.  He is slowing down a bit on food compared to where he used to be but is still a really good eater.  He will try everything and is pretty adventurous.M&J Oktoberfest

And Jack has been talking about his baby a lot.  I know his world is going to change so much, but I think he is going to be an amazing big brother.  Wish us luck in the next few months!IMG_0616

Jack – One and a half years

One weekmatt jack

6 monthsIMG_2009

1 yearHoliday Portrait (21)-editOne and a half years

photo 2 It’s been a year and a half since this fun little man entered our lives.  Here’s what he’s been up to 1

Personality:  Smilely and happy, physical, little daredevilIMG_3649

Height/Weight:  34.5 inches and 30 lbs 4 oz, 99th percentile in both!  He wears 2T clothes most of the time now and really needs to transition to 3T jammies…I think he has his mom’s big feet.

Likes:  Some of the same stuff from our last check-in…still loves bathtime, books, basketball, balls, balloons and songs.  He has started singing along to songs in the last couple of weeks (Wheels on the Bus and Baa Baa Black Sheep).  I love it!  He loves trucks, cars, trains and bikes – real and in books.  Running and playing outside.  The park and especially the swings and slides.  Food!  He still is the best eater – all fruit (especially blueberries, raspberries, bananas, watermelon and grapes), most veggies, all dairy (cottage cheese is his favorite food), oatmeal (every weekday morning for breakfast), fish, crackers, pasta…and anything that anyone else is eating.IMG_3668

Dislikes:  Not having mommy and daddy’s full attention when he wants it.  Stopping play for diaper changes.

Talking:  I have been amazed how quickly words have been coming in the last couple of weeks.  There are so many words that he uses in correct context but my recent new favorites are please, fire truck, all wet, a mess!, pretty, byebye, baby.  And he repeats things we say…his favorite is to repeat “I know” in the same way that I say it.  It cracks me up!

He has started identifying objects as belonging to certain people.  He knows which running shoes are Matt’s and which are mine.  He knows that the Cheez-Its are Matt’s and will happily tell you about them.  “Dada’s!  Hot!”

His favorite books are:  Guess How Much I Love You, Richard Scary’s Busy Town, and the Llama Llama collection.  He is a book junkie, though, and loves to sit in our laps and read almost any book.  My mom spoils him with books nearly every visit, and Matt and I are so thankful.  You need quite a book collection with this little book aficionado!

Thanks for letting me indulge in a recap of some of the happenings of an 18 month old!

Yoga and the Zoo

I’m celebrating the end of my first year as a PhD student!  My last paper is done, and I am taking a quick breather before a big week of research.  We’ve had a lot of fun around here lately, with wonderful weather and a really happy toddler.  Our weekends have included strength and yoga at home…with my favorite little person who likes to be involved in everything Matt and I babyAnd a really fun trip to the zoo and park on Saturday.  zooJack hasn’t been to the zoo since he was a “baby.”  Remember this tiny little guy?  IMG_1898Our outings just keep getting more and more fun.  He loved the monkeys and the petting zoo.  We didn’t get a chance to ride the train through the park but he loved yelling “choo choo” when it was finishing for the night.  We followed our zoo time with lots of playing in the park – plenty of time sliding and swinging.  He was such a happy little boy!  We rounded out our easy Saturday with take-out bbq on our way home.  Just smelling bbq again made me feel like I was in Kansas City.

IMG_3599On the food front, not everything was as indulgent as bbq over the last couple of weeks.  Salad jars are still a favorite.  This one featured quinoa, chickpeas, fresh basil, diced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese all mixed together.  I threw some spinach on top after taking the picture.  It tasted like summer – fresh and delicious!

I hope you’re enjoying beautiful weather and are surrounded by happy people.  Have a great rest of the week!