Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Snow picture and randomness!

Exhausting.  A word that describes my evening.  I came home from work to whiny kids, with a little one who had not slept long enough but definitely needed to sleep more.  An evening where Kev had class late so I was parenting solo (major kuddos to single parents).  We survived dinner, but I foolishly thought a bath would be fun.  It wasn't as fun as I was hoping.  Instead it included Mason throwing every single toy out of the tub then constantly trying to stand up.  All while Elliott thought before and mid bath she needed to go pee pee on her potty then refusing to get back into the tub to actually clean her.  I think she is fearful of a bath tub poop accident...how do you reassure a kid about that?  "Don't worry honey, you won't go poo poo in the bath.  And if you do, it's okay."  It all ended up with cries of "I'm cold!" from the child who is NEVER cold and screams while doctoring a diaper rash.

And then Daddy came to rescue us.  He swooped in, told me to go sit down and rest.  He finished dressing Mason and then got E settled watching Boz so we could have a few minutes to catch up on the day.  He let me sit on the couch while he cleaned the kitchen and put Miss E to bed.  I'm so thankful for my amazing husband.
We finally got to take a snow family picture!  We were at a birthday party so that's why E has a balloon.  Side note on balloons....they are really a set-up for total disappointment.  So much fun initially....until they pop.  This caused major sadness in our house.  We then got another balloon at Chick-Fil-A.  Major drama when I wouldn't let her nap with it, so we left in the bathroom for when she woke up.  She got up from her nap, ran to the bathroom, only to find it had shrunk into a tiny little balloon.  Talk about pure disappointment written all over her face.  She just ran into my arms and cried.  Life's tough...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sing songy

Miss E is growing in leaps and bounds...especially in her language.  She talks constantly and generally keeps us laughing.  Of course, she still has extremely strong opinions and since she can verbalize more, she is frequently barking out orders...
Don't sing mommy.
I want to listen to punzel (aka Tangled songs...for like the millionth time)...don't sing mommy (torture).
Mommy, stop that (if I'm doing anything she doesn't approve of).
I don't like this song/food/etc.  I want Beauty Beast/yogurt/etc.
I want to go to mall.  I want to go to Momo's house.

Not to mention her many preferences during meal times.  I see why people feed their kids the exact.same.thing.  If she see that we or Mason get anything differently, of course she wants it.  Meal times are a bit of a fiasco at our house these days.  Mason's screaming for food, and the boy shovels it in.  Oh my.  We may have to increase our food budget.  All the while, E is yelling things she wants and does not want, while Mason is then trying to feed Truman.  I'm sure we look comical, but it doesn't always feel comical when we have to jump up and down from the table 20 million times to get something from the kitchen, put T in his cage, pick water cups off the the floor...you get the point.
 However, with all her strong preferences and opinions, I have really enjoyed this age.  Don't get me wrong, the girl knows how to push my buttons, but she can be unbelievably sweet and so fun to be around.
One of my favorite things she does recently is sing...all the time.  I have longed for this stage.  Nothing sweeter than hearing a little child sing Jesus Loves Me.  She was a late bloomer in the whole singing department.  It kind of made me wonder if she would actually ever sing.  Then it started and it has been glorious.
She will stick to the same song for a while, then randomly will start singing something completely different (sometimes I'm not even sure where she learned it).  She doesn't like us to sing along with her. Anther strong preference.  I also try not to act too excited about it, because usually that makes her want to stop.  But I listen in total delight.
 I hope she keeps it up.  It so warms my heart.  I also want to be more intentional about what songs we sing together.  A friend posted on her blog that she was trying to teach her kiddo one hymn a month.  At the time I read it, that seemed like such a far off goal.  I'm not sure E would be able to yet, but the day may be coming.
 Random picture: this girl is not a fan of coats, or of shoes, but she sure does love the snow.  And that makes boots and jackets more tolerable.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Birthday Party (and stats)!

As promised, a few pictures of Mason's first birthday party.  We were in Texas visiting my family.  I had good intentions to have a themed party, and make decorations before we left and carry them on the plane to Texas.  Yeah...that didn't happen.  Too much to do, too little time.
 Thankfully, my youngest sister Lacey had made some pretty incredible decorations for her daughter's first birthday party in November and she agreed to let me use them.  Have I mentioned my sister is incredibly talented and a perfectionist?  Well, she is.  She had used a lot of oranges and yellows which I felt were appropriate for a little boy, although he did have smatterings of pink.  He didn't complain.
 Yummy birthday cupcakes.

 Singing happy birthday...
and having blowing out his candle.
We invited E to join the family picture but she refused.  No surprise there. :)
Cupcake eating.

He honestly wasn't a huge fan of the cupcake, but he did like sticking his fingers in the icing.  E demolished her cupcake on her first birthday so it was funny to see him just pick at his.

"Opening" his present.
He got help a lot with this one.
So excited to see what it might be.

It was a wonderful little birthday celebration and we were thankful we got to be with family.  We were also thankful to build our "boy toys" collection.

I have been thinking lately how life of a second child is so different.  He is always watching Elliott.  She is his entertainment, his instant playmate (for now), his teacher.  She always tells me what he's doing (she's a bit of a tattle tell), and she likes to join in when he's doing something he's not supposed to.  She is his voice...she tells me what (she thinks) he wants.  I was a first child, so I can't relate.  I  know it has to affect his personality as it develops, it's just fascinating to watch.  I always have loved those birth order theories so I feel like I'm getting to see it play out.  Such a nerd, I know.

We did go to the doctor yesterday for Mason's 12 month appointment and here are his stats:
Height 31 1/4 inch (86%)
Weight 23 pounds (68%)
Head 18 1/2 inches (69%)

He seems so small to me (I guess since E's so much bigger and she has always been in the 90ish percentiles) so I'm glad he's growing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1 year old

Our precious little boy is 1 year old.  How is that even possible?  It feels like yesterday I saw his sweet little face for the first time and now he's turning 1.  Since his birthday falls on Christmas, we had a small party with my family the day after.  The dilemma of how to celebrate a Christmas birthday begins.  This year it didn't really matter since he was so little, but I could definitely see how it could pose problems.  You wake up to Christmas...and oh, happy birthday Mace.  We're going to have to work on it.  I'm thinking of celebrating in October or November, but not going to lie, that also seems a little strange.  I have pictures from his little party but they're on Kev's computer so I decided to share a couple pics from the past month for now.
He is wearing size 18 months although we still roll up the pants.  He wears size 5 diapers and they have prevented almost all blowouts.  He rarely wears shoes so I'm not sure what size he wears.  Poor child lives in socks.  I figure we will have to remedy this as he will be walking sometime soon.  Hopefully.  
He goes for his 12 month well child check on Friday and of course I'm anxious to see his stats.  He definitely feels smaller to me than E at this age, but I think our perspective of a "normal" size is skewed since she was always in the 90+ percentile in all categories.
His big accomplishment shortly after he turned 1 was learning to pull op on things.  He has really been pleased with himself as you can tell from these pictures.  It has caused some increased chaos in our life as he can now get in Miss E's space which has caused some pushing/tears and he has had minor injuries from hitting his head against things.  He's not really cruising yet, but I know it's only a matter of time.
He has been a pretty good sleeper lately and goes to bed around 7 and wakes up at 6:30 or 7.  He usually takes 2 naps for around 1.5-2 hours each.  He is still sleeping in a pack n play in our office.  He doesn't seem to mind it but I'm hoping he'll be able to transition to E's room soon (and to think I thought they would be sleeping in the same room by 6 months at the latest...ha).
 Food has been stressful this month.  I stopped formula at 11 & 1/2 months and tried to transition him to only sippy cups.  However, it has been hard to find a sippy cup he really likes using (so we usually resort to a straw) or any fluids he likes drinking.  I started giving him 1 bottle before bedtime with milk which he thoroughly enjoys.  He still has eczema and constipation (we give him Mirilax daily) so we decided to do a trial of no dairy/eggs/processed foods after Christmas.  I feel like our amazing eater basically went on a hunger strike.  I have had such a tough time finding food he actually enjoys and will eat.  So often, I'e had four or five choices on his tray which he won't eat but he screams like he's still hungry.  I have a whole new respect for moms who have kids that aren't good eaters.  Such a feeling of helplessness.  I've been reevaluating the past several days and considering being more aggressive with his diet when he gets a little older and is able to chew more foods.  Lately, he has been obsessed with Clementines and will easily eat an entire orange if not more and he loves mac and cheese.  He also seems to like bread/crackers (like every child) and yogurt (most of the time), but could give or take bananas, beans, chicken/beef/turkey, and any other fruits/veggies I've tried.  I have been giving him goats milk at nights and he drinks it okay, but he is not a fan of goat cheese or almond cheese (I can't say I blame him).  This whole topic certainly could have been a post in it's own.
His favorite activities include slamming cabinets/doors, clapping, giving high fives, playing with whatever sister is playing with, standing, trying to get in the dish washer, pushing things around while crawling on his knees, splashing in the bath tub, playing with the buttons on the DVD/surround sound, sucking on wipes, hanging upside down, and jumping on the bed with sister.
His least favorite things include changing his clothes/diaper, putting a coat on, getting strapped into his car seat, riding in his car seat, waiting for a meal, waiting for his bottle, being redirected. 
He has entered a phase I must admit, I'm not too fond of...the screaming/whining phase.  He definitely has become much more high maintenance which can be slightly exhausting.  It doesn't help that he has began to employ a high pitched scream that really grates on your nerves.  I know this too shall pass, but this 12 months to 20 months or so was difficult with E.
 He does love his mama and for that I'm thankful.  When I come into the room, he has eyes for only me.  When I come home from work, he holds his hands straight up in the air so I'll pick him up.  Melts my heart a little.  He also has the sweetest grin and the best little laugh.  I know all his tickle spots.

So thankful that God gave us this little man to raise although the task at times feels daunting.  He has brought and continues to bring so much joy in our lives and he adds so much to our little family.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Recovery.  The word that comes to mind when I think through these past 10 days.  I've had so many different ideas for blog posts, but I feel like I haven't had the time or energy to sit down and do them.  
Playing a duet.
Prior to 10 days ago, we got to spend 12 days visiting our families.  It was a wonderful time with both families, but I'm always amazed how utterly exhausting it is traveling with 2 small kids.  Maybe I'm the silly one to be surprised it's exhausting.
Aunt Anja time (how can we have no pics with Lace?).
As I think back, overall, the trip was great.  However, scattered in the great were several very difficult days, and unfortunately, sometimes the difficult days are what comes to mind first.  Our first travel day was particularly exhausting.  We flew out of Chicago, which means we had to wake up at 4:30 (3:30 central time), drive to Chicago and fly to OKC (one lay-over).  We made it to OKC around 12:30 or 1, spent an hour or so with Kev's family, then drove 4 hours to Texas.  We made it to my parents' house around 6:30pm.  So our travel that started at 3:30am didn't end until 6:30pm with only a short hour nap in the afternoon for both kids.  Considering the circumstances, the kids did amazingly well.  But when we were in the car still driving at 5, they were done.  Little man was exhausted but inconsolable, Miss E was ready to get out, I was very near to losing my mind (or so it felt).  But we made it...praise the Lord.
Waiting patiently for their presents (extended cousins).
The other low point for me was our first night in OKC.  Miss E hadn't slept great the last two nights at my parents' house which made for a more emotional/ornery toddler and M had been running a fever off and on with a terribly stuffy nose.  The kids stayed up way past their normal bedtime playing with cousins and didn't go to bed until 10.  I slept in the room with M and he was up screaming, inconsolable from 10:30 until 3 (with about an hour of reprieve).  When I (again) felt like I might lose it, I went to get Kev (who was sleeping in E's room).  We switched...then E was up for about an hour and half being especially difficult.  I was so tired, I felt like I didn't have the mental or emotional reserve to deal with her.

Turns out, M had a double ear infection and was much improved when getting on antibiotics.  We even maybe had one night at the end of the week where both kids slept through the night.  Just 11 nights where at least one, if not both of them, was waking up.  Traveling is not for the faint-hearted. :)

I thought many times during the traveling period and since we've been back, we're SO thankful to have family and friends we WANT to visit.  But this is the price we pay by moving so far away.  I don't regret moving and definitely feel this is where God has us, but sometimes it's tough.  I'm just hoping it will get easier as the kids get a little older.  The benefit of traveling frequently is the kids are pros at flying.  We've got our routines so generally the flight goes pretty smoothly.
The little boys LOVED playing together and especially loved the door stops.
Her crowning achievement ("climbing" the pillar at Momo and Papa's house).
Hanging with Papa.
The girls.

Christmas morning.
I wouldn't change these sweet memories for the world.