Graybeal Family Update

During my hiatus from blogging, I’ve continued to share our family’s adventures over on my Instagram. However, I thought I’d share a more detailed update here with what we’ve been up to, along with our most recent family photos we had taken for the holidays at the end of 2017!

This was the photo we used for the front of our Christmas cards this year!

Truthfully, the past year has been a little bit of a blur, but in the best way possible just because these two boys keep us busy all day, every day – ha! Having two boys less than two years apart can definitely make for some chaotic moments, but it’s also so much fun! They play together so much now and being able to witness the close bond that these brothers are forming is just the best thing ever!

The last update I did here on the blog for Charlie was his 3 month update and if you can’t tell by the photos, a LOT has changed in a year! Charlie turned ONE on Halloween and he actually took his first steps ON his first birthday. I kid you not, I took him out of his crib on the morning of his first birthday and set him down in front of the “1” balloon I had for him and he started walking towards it! It was the craziest thing and I still can’t believe it happened way. Walking has opened up a whole new world for Charlie to try and keep up with his brother and he hasn’t looked back. He is very active and (like most one year olds) he loves getting into things he shouldn’t. He is constantly climbing on things and he keeps me on my toes all day long. While he sometimes can be a picky eater or want to just throw his food, for the most part, he has a really good appetite and loves his food! (He usually eats more than Henry most days!) At his one year appointment, our pediatrician said he was the size of an average two year old and now at almost sixteen months, he already weighs more than Henry did when he was two. So he is really big and quite strong for his age, but he’s also just the sweetest, most loving little guy. He loves to snuggle and I think he gives Lola the most attention of anyone in our house. He seems to really like music and always starts to move whenever he hears it, which is so stinkin’ adorable. He is also starting to get much more opinionated and throw mini tantrums if he can’t get what he wants,  but overall, he’s a generally pretty happy. He has a very silly side – for example, every night at dinner, he has to have a napkin so he can put it on his head, pull it over his face, and play peek-a-boo pretty much the whole meal. (And this has been going on for months, ha.) Knock on wood, he’s still a good sleeper; he usually goes to bed between 7:30-8pm and sleeps until 8am the next morning with one long nap in the middle of the day. He’s brought so much joy to our family and it’s fun to watch his personality come out more and more every day!

Henry turned three in December and he’s matured so much over the past year! He is such a great big brother and has such a nurturing side with Charlie and other kids who are younger than he is. He is constantly cracking us up with the things that come out of his mouth and he has an amazing memory. He loves books and is constantly “reading” if we’re at home, which is something he’s done since he was really little. He knows all his letters and numbers, and he loves reading numbers off signs and buildings when we’re in the car and he’s always quick to notice if some object is shaped like a letter. He is always wanting to learn new things, so I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to encourage his natural curiosity. He’s not in preschool yet, but he and Charlie both go to their “classes” (aka childcare) during the week at church while I go to my Bible study/moms’ group, and Henry seems like he’s really been enjoying that this year. I think Henry seems like he may have a little bit more of his dad’s analytical engineering personality, but he can also be very goofy and outgoing. He doesn’t nap anymore, but he’s wired like an introvert and needs some alone time each day to recharge. He somewhat of a homebody who just loves staying in his pajamas and playing with Charlie, but he also loves to go new places and explore.  It’s been fun to see his relationships with his friends develop as he gets older and he is just such a tender-hearted and sweet boy. He loves doing “activities” while Charlie naps and so I’ve been trying to be more intentional about planning things for he and I to do together in the afternoons. He’s about 80% potty-trained and although sometimes it’s easy for me to get frustrated when it comes to this issue, I know that I can’t make him do things before he’s ready and he’s exactly where he needs to be. We converted his crib (which he loved) to a toddler bed right before his third birthday and it’s been a super smooth transition. Knock on wood, he’s still a great sleeper and now when he wakes up in the morning, he usually just gets out of bed, turns on his light, and then reads books in bed until Charlie wakes up. Even though age three has it’s challenges, I think it’s also so much easier in a lot of ways because I can actually reason with him and I don’t have to worry about him getting into things he shouldn’t like I had to when he was younger. I know he’s going to do great things and as sad as it is to see him get older, I’m excited to watch him grow into  the person he’s going to be.

Cameron has continued working from home full-time in as an engineer in the wind energy industry and it’s been really nice having him around so much, especially as we transitioned from one kid to two. And while we are together a lot (which can lead to some minor frustrations day to day…ha), overall, it’s great having him home! Late last year, he actually got an offer to relocate with his current job and we actually very strongly considered it.  But ultimately, it ended up not being the right fit for our family and he decided not to move forward with it. However, things ended up working out really well and he recently accepted an offer for a new job that he’s going to start this spring. And the nice thing is that he’s going to continue working at home full-time for this new position, so in terms of our day to day, it won’t feel like anything has really changed, which is great. Other than that, Cameron has just continued to chip away at our list of home projects and I’m so thankful for all the work he’s always putting in on that front since it’s definitely not my area of expertise, ha! And now that the boys are getting older, it’s so cool to watch what an awesome dad he is, especially now that he’s able to involve them in more things he loves, like taking them to car shows or playing football, and I’m so glad that they have him to look up to.

As for me, I feel like I’ve shared a lot over on my Instagram about various things I’ve been up to, so I don’t have too much to share that I haven’t already put out there – ha! I stopped nursing Charlie right around 14 months, but really since he’s turned a year and gone down to one nap a day, I feel like things have just been easier schedule-wise and we’re in a pretty good groove right now. And although I haven’t had time for blogging this past year, I’m lucky that a lot of my time has gone into my real life friendships and I’m super thankful for the supportive community of mama friends I have here in Portland. As for activities, I attend to a weekly womens’ Bible study and a moms’ group at church, which meets every other week; this is my third year doing those two things and I appreciate the structure that they help give to our week. As for the rest of our days, thankfully I do have a lot of flexibility but they get filled up with things like playdates, Costco runs, traveling, laundry, and just life in general that keeps us busy. This year, I’m trying to be more intentional about allocating time for things that are important to me that have kind of fallen by the wayside the past couple of years. So getting my blog going again is a definitely a start in that department, but getting back into a groove with working out is next on my list – ha!

As for highlights from 2017, it was really all about adjusting to life as a family of four! We took a few trips back to Michigan to see my family, including an amazing week vacationing in beautiful Northern Michigan back in July, which was really special. We took a fun trip to LA last spring, we got to see a total solar eclipse here in Oregon in August, and we ended the year with a great trip to Maui in December, and that was actually the first time to Hawaii for all of us! Celebrating holidays and the changing of the seasons has been lots of fun too because kids just make everything so much more special. And while I know a lot of people were not sad to see 2017 go, for us, it was a really good year!

As for what’s in store for 2018, only time will tell! We don’t have any major changes on the horizon, but we try to just take things day by day and stay open to whatever comes. We’ll celebrate four years of living in our house this May, and although it works fine for us now, we definitely didn’t buy it with the intention of this being our forever home. While there are lots of things we love about it/our current area, there are also some things that are not really ideal as the kids get older, so we’re definitely weighing our options as to how much longer we want to stay here. The Portland housing market is kind of crazy though, so even though our house has gone up significantly in value since we bought it…so has every other house we’d be interested in moving to. So while we don’t have any definite plans at this point, we’re just trying to keep an open mind as to what makes the most sense for our family. And then other than that, we are definitely planning to do some more travel this year! We don’t have all the details nailed down yet (honestly, we tend to be a little more last minute when it comes to travel planning anyway), I’m excited to make lots more memories with my boys this year! And finally, as for the question I get a lot from friends and family, are we planning to have more kids? And the answer is yes, hopefully! But not quite yet…ha. After Henry turned one, both Cam and I were super ready to go for baby #2 and it’s been so much fun having the boys close in age. But now, although we do want more kids, I definitely don’t have the same urge to dive right back into pregnancy right this second. It feels like we have our hands pretty full right now and there’s no rush, so we’re just kind of taking things one day at a time and we trust that our family will grow when it’s supposed to. But for now we’re really just enjoying this season as a family of four and we’re so thankful for these sweet boys!

Thanks again for taking the time to follow along with our adventures!

Photos by Layce Bauman Photography – November 2017