Monday, November 17, 2014

Tooth brushing


Sorry it's been awhile. 

I struggle with what to blog about because so much of my life is ordinary and familiar to me that I feel like it would be boring for other people to read. Well, my little brother came to visit his weekend after being away for four months and it made me realize that blogging about the little stuff is okay, because I'm the only person who knows it and it might actually be interesting to someone choosing to come to this blog and read about the life of our family. Right??

So I'll start off with something easy. Amy is nearly one year old now and loves brushing her teeth. Well. Not so much tooth brushing I guess, as the actual toothbrushes. She. Loves. Them. Any and all she can get her hands on she sticks in her mouth. She will get up on the step stool in the bathroom and point at the toothbrushes saying "Ahhh! Dat?!" over and over until I grab one for her. 

I know. That face. 

I know. That baby butt. She's actually brushing her teeth in this picture. It's pretty adorable. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Johnny and the neighborhood girl

We live on a cul-de-sac filled mostly with retired couples. There are a couple if families with high school or college-age kids, but mostly, they're people with grown children. Except for one family who has a nine-year-old girl (we'll call her C) and a two-year/old boy. 

Johnny is infatuated with C. When he goes outside to ride his bike he has taken to asking, "I wonder if C wants to ride her scooter!" So finally, we went over to her house where I coached Johnny through asking if she should come outside to play. It was adorable. 

C's dad: Hi Johnny.

Johnny: uh.... Uh... My bike goes so fast!! It takes rocket fuel! 

Me: Do you want to ask if C can come outside? 

Johnny: I'm riding my bike! Does C want to ride her scooter?!?? (Spoken at the loudest volume possible.)

C: I have some homework to finish and then I'll come outside. 

Johnny: Okay!! 

And then C came out and ran around with Johnny and Hank and played along when they "fixed" their bikes and used tools with them. It was adorable. 

Until Johnny says, "C, do you want to come in my house and see my stuff?" Before I can step in and say "uh, that's not a good idea" because our house is a MESS, C has said "Sure!" And they've taken off for the door. Whoops. 

Since then, I've been trying to talk to Johnny about asking me before inviting people into the house and also not just knocking on C's door whenever we're outside... especially when I'm trying to get packed up so we can go somewhere. Because that's happened. 

It's fun to see him want to be around someone and interact with her so effortlessly (kind of). He's been a pretty independent and introverted kid, not liking large crowds and hiding in his room when parties get to be too much for him. Turns out he does enjoy people and is flexing his social muscles. 

C is untangling Johnny's shoelaces from his bike pedal. Afterward he said, "Thank you, C!" and pedaled off. It's nice to see him learning manners too. ;)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Go Fish!

When we went to Oregon for my cousin's wedding in May, my mother-in-law got the boys a special "Go Fish" deck of cards. We didn't end up playing it on the trip, but we've played it plenty of times since we got home. And it's hilarious. 

Hank and Johnny don't hold the cards in their hands. Instead, they lay them flat on the table, facing up of course, and the game ends up being pretty fast since, you know, there aren't many secrets. Hank will take a look at Johnny's cards and say, "So, Johnny. Do you have a.... starfish?" And Johnny will look at his cards splayed on the table, pluck up the starfish and exclaim, "I DO! Here you go!" And both boys will be all surprised and excited. It's adorable. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beach days

I've been trying to hit the beach once a week this summer. Because the beach is awesome. It yields lots of vitamin D, fun times, and usually a nap. 

We usually go to one particular area up by Cardiff called San Elijo lagoon because the water is calm, there's a small beach area and lots of rocks to throw. However, it's kind of a bummer to access. So today we went to Fanuel Park which is by Mission Bay and my brother, Scott, and his girlfriend, Crystal, came with us. It was a blast! The boys had so much fun running in the water with Uncle Scott and Aunt Crystal, splashing them both endlessly, and digging in the sand with their earth movers. Amy and I hung out on the sand. She ate a little of it. I did not. By the end, Hank was practically falling asleep sitting up, so we called it a day. 

Amy's sand mustache:

Johnny cannot keep his pants up. Therefore I need to remember to put sunscreen on his butt. 

Thanks for the fun time, Uncle Scott and Aunt Crystal!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

But first, lemme take a selfie

I never really post photos of myself. Probably because I never take them. And when I do I don't want to show them to anyone because I look like... well, a mom. A haggard one. Dark circles under the eyes, wrinkles making themselves known, hair in disarray, and a Target T-shirt covered in food, spit up, or dirt do not add up to a glamorous picture. However, I realized that I look infinitely better when I take a picture of myself and one or all of my kids, so I think I'll be doing that more often. Especially with Amy because she loves seeing herself in the camera. :) Little ham. 

This is my favorite smile of hers, the closed mouth, fluffy cheeks smile:


Friday, July 25, 2014

Amy is 8 months old!

I wrote this post a few days ago, only to have it disappear when I put Amy down in her crib. So this was actually done on today she turned 8 months, but technology hates me.

Anyway! Look at this baby girl. 

This is what she looks like in the morning when she first wakes up. I KNOW. She's so happy to be awake and to find that I'm there next to her. She's just the happiest baby ever. Seriously. The poor thing hardly ever gets to nap and when she does, it's in the car seat or in the wrap on me and only for about 45 minutes. And then at night I have to juggle her and her brothers' bed time (though I do have John around to help) so she often doesn't get to go to bed when she's really tired. Regardless of her lack of sleep, she's pretty happy all the time. 

She is also quite the grown up when it comes to food. Amy is not the biggest fan of purées and chooses finger foods all the time. Thus, she gets them. I also feed her stuff off of my plate and she's liked just about all of it. Enchiladas, back beans, spinach, corn, watermelon, eggplant parmigiana, etc. The only thing she doesn't seem to like is bananas. Still. So strange. She's also drinks water like a champ. I give her a cup occasionally because I would LOVE to skip the whole sippy cup thing, and she can drink from it with my help, which I find impressive... But maybe it isn't? Perhaps all 8-month-olds are capable of this? No idea. I didn't do that with the boys. 

Amy is also moving all over the place. I was commenting to my brother the other day about how different her mobility is from the boys'. I mean, once the boys could move they were scrambling. It may have been a little uncoordinated, but it was fast. Amy, on the other hand, is very deliberate. Right hand, left knee. Left hand, right knee. You can almost see her saying that to herself in her head. It's adorable. 

She's doesn't have any teeth yet, but since she still nurses, I'm more than okay with that. In fact, I'm kind of hoping that she'll go at least a year without getting a tooth. That would be fantastic. 

Anyway. This girl is just amazing. Amazing Amy. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fancy waggy baby!

For whatever reason, none of us call Amy just "Amy". John and I call her "Amy Baby" which is from an amended song John started singing to her when she was born. With the tune of "Santa Baby". It's quite adorable. Johnny and Hank were calling her "Amy Baby Bucket" for awhile, though I guess Johnny does actually call her "Amy" most of the time. Hmmm. 

Anyway. Hank has taken to calling her a "fancy waggy baby" and that's the first thing he says when he sees her in the morning. He wakes up (usually in bed with me and Amy, holding a fistful of my hair), looks at Amy and says, "What a fancy waggy baby!" 

I don't know. But it's cute so I'll blog about it. 

And now, naked baby pictures! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For the love of Legos

We are now a real LEGO household. 

Up until recently, Duplos ruled our home and I was okay with that. Because they don't hurt nearly as much when you step on them. However, Hank bought himself a tow truck lego set in February and asked to assemble it a couple of months ago and actually did it. With my guidance, obviously, but I tried really hard not to do it for him. I asked questions like "Which ones do we need for this step? Where does this one go?" And then Hank would say, "This one goes there!" and he'd rather adeptly place it where it should go. There was very little correcting on my part. I was impressed. Really impressed considering the kid wasn't quite 3, and he had the fine motor skills to put together a tow truck made of teeny tiny LEGOs. 

Then, as you all know, he had a LEGO birthday party. So guess what he got as gifts? LEGOS! 

He LOVES these things. He's not usually one to hang out alone, but there are many times I have checked on him to see where he went and have found him putting his LEGOs together in his room by himself. He's made planes, trains, a Bat Garage, wrecking ball cranes, trucks, cranes, etc, etc. Sometimes he uses the instructions with my help, but more often he just sits on his floor and builds. 

It's awesome. 

Even though they somehow travel around the entire house and cause gigantic fights between the boys over which block belongs to whom, they do more good than harm.

Except to my feet. My poor feet will never be the same. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hank's 3 year check up

Hank has his three year check up a couple of weeks ago and he passed with flying colors. He stood on an actual scale to get his weight (and stayed still!) and followed directions to get his height against the wall. And then he followed MORE directions when he had his vision test. Covered the correct eye, kept his feet on the line, told the nurse the names of the shapes he saw... I was a proud mama. He had a little trouble with the hearing exam, though. He had on headphones and was supposed to touch his nose when he heard a sound, but he just touched his nose the the whole time. Not bad for three! 

Height: 41 inches - 98th percentile
Weight: 41 pounds - 99th percentile 

He's basically enormous, as I expected. 

He even enjoyed his check up this time around. Dr. Zaguli commented on the game we were playing (Go Fish) and Hank told the doctor all about it. It was really fun to watch him interact with the doctor as he was getting checked out. He answered the doctor's questions, asked his own questions, and was just charming. When asked why he was still in diapers, and not using the potty, Hank replied, "I don't want to." Well. Okay then. Luckily, I've been here before and know that I can't push the toilet use thing. And the doc didn't press me to, either, as he also knows you can't force it. Plus, diapers are waaaaaaaay easier than having a somewhat-potty-using child. Cleaning diapers is way easier than cleaning underwear after an accident. And I'm not looking forward to having two children that can stop me in my tracks with a "Mommy, I have to poop!" I tell ya, it's stressful dealing with ONE boy who waits until the last possible second... I imagine two will be a challenge. Hopefully at least one of them wil be fully toilet-able by the time Amy gets around to it. ::crosses fingers::

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hank's birthday party

The birthday boy! Who also didn't want me to take pictures of him. 
Planning Hank's birthday party this year was way more fun than it has been previously because he has attended enough birthday parties to know how they go and what to expect. Thus, he actually had ideas this year about what he wanted to do for his birthday party. He said he wanted one big party, a bounce house, chocolate cake and delicious food. Okay then, kid. You got it. When I threw out some ideas for a theme he immediately latched onto the Lego theme. "The little ones, not the big ones (Duplos)," he specified.

He even made his own guest list. He had a clear idea of who he wanted to come (both friends and family) and wow, did he want a lot of people there! We had fifty people descend on our house for Hank's big celebration and I was panicking about how I was going to keep all twenty children occupied and how much food I needed to adequately feed all those people. Turns out, I needn't have worried.

I'm lucky enough to have really helpful family in town who are more than happy to bring food or other party essentials. Thanks again, family, for all of your help! You know who you are. ;) 

Hank had a blast. All of his favorite people were there, his favorite food es served (mac and cheese and fruit salad), and he had a huge bounce house with a slide in it. Oh, not to mention chocolate cake with Legos on it. 

The kids made lego cookies with colored frosting and M&Ms on top for their favor.

Quite the pile of presents. 
Bouncing on Daddy's shoulders is always more fun than doing it on your own.

I think he liked his cake.

Johnny did too.

Aunt Lisa and cousin Jack. It's a little blurry, but this is the best one of the set I took. 

The kids were giggling and squealing so loudly when Uncle Dylan and Aunt Lindsay got in the bounce house with them. It was SO CUTE.

Tired birthday boy reading his card with Uncle Scott.
Yep. It was a successful party. And Hank got more Legos than he knows what to do with. And more Legos than I can keep track of, which means my feet are already battle-scarred.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Real food and Amy

Amy loves food. 

The end. 

Just kidding. So I put off starting Amy on solids because I'm lazy. First off, it's such a mess to feed a baby solids! Not just because of the process to get them in the baby, but also when it comes out. Breastfed baby poop is delightfully non-stinky and water-soluble. I can just toss the diapers into the wash without any other steps. Not so once said baby begins solid food. Secondly, I have to prepare baby food. I have to buy it, cook it, purée it, and then thaw it when she's ready to eat it. It's way easier just to pop out a boob. Thirdly, I have to pack some for our outings. On top of the food I already pack for the boys. And sometimes myself. It's just... a lot of work I wasn't going to start doing until I had to. 

Then she started grabbing our food and sticking it in her mouth. Like my pizza. Or John's forkful of enchilada. So I started her on food. 

Her first "official" food was puréed and thinned avocado. She wasn't real impressed. 

So I took that to mean she wasn't ready and waited a few weeks. Her first real food was half a cucumber, because I thought she was teething and I figured a cold cucumber with sharp-ish points on it would be a welcome relief. Then she hollowed out the middle with her gums and ate it... Oops. I didn't really intend for that to be her first official food, but oh well! No pictures to show for it either. 

Then she ate half a peach because I was busy cooking up apples for applesauce and Amy was losing her mind in the high chair. So I handed her half a peach. And I'll be damned if she didn't eat most of it. 

Since then, I've managed to purée some foods for Amy and she's loved nearly all of them. Carrots, brown rice, yogurt, apples, mango, and sweet potatoes are what she's tried thus far. She gnaws on full slices of watermelon, too, and LOVES IT. So far the only food she has flat out hated is bananas. A little strange, that. I thought all kids loved bananas. 

She will eat purées, but much prefers larger chunks of food (like Hank's quesadilla...). She would also much rather steer the spoon herself. She's already quite independent! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting back in the saddle

Two of my favorite people, my brother, Dylan, and his girlfriend Lindsay, are leaving at the end of next month. They are off to Michigan to gain more knowledge/experience/cold weather at the University of Michigan and. I could not be prouder of the two of them, truly. However, their leaving means that I need to dust off this blog and get better at posting about the minutia. I promised them I would try. And since I owe them for countless hours of babysitting, not to mention fond memories and a good chunk of my sanity, it's the least I can do. Thus, I downloaded the blogger app to my phone so that I can blog while I nurse Amy to sleep when I'm allowed to take the time to do so. 

So this is my test run to see if this thing actually works! I'll even include a ridiculously adorable picture of Amy in the bath, because CUTE. 

This girl LOVES the bath. Especially now that she can sit. And she gets them way more often now that she's eating solid food. She tends to hoard chunks of watermelon in her onesie and I can tell you firsthand that watermelon has a pretty rank smell to it after sitting in a warm onesie for a few hours. But more on solids later. For now, publish test! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dear Hank

Dear Hank,

You turn three today. And I'm not surprised in the slightest.

Honestly, you've astonished everyone in the last year by only being two years old. Most people guessed you were three, some even guessed you were four or five, but no one suspected such a verbal, capable, physically-able child with gigantic feet to be a mere two years old. Which is pretty much the same thing I wrote in your letter to you last year. So really, it's about darn time you turned three!

This past year has brought a lot of depth to your character.

  • You started caring about friends and getting excited to see them at various play dates. Blake and Asher and Dax and Drew are your go-to's right now, but you have a pretty good memory for faces and names when you want to remember them. 
  • You have started fighting back with emotional warfare when Johnny pushes your buttons. Johnny will say something kind of mean to you and you'll respond in kind, "I'm going to scratch you all over and put you in the trash so the garbage truck can come and take you away!!!" (said with all the vehemence a pissed off 2-year-old can muster... which is a lot). 
  • You've gotten really good at negotiations and compromise... when you want to be good at it. Your daddy loves to tell the story of you and Johnny going down to Twin Trails park with him and how you both wanted to ride the push-tricycle. Johnny wanted to ride it all the way to the park and half of the way back, but you said that it would be more fair if Johnny rode it to the park and you rode it home. You've also gotten pretty good at getting a few more minutes at the park/museum/friend's house. I'll say, "Okay guys, do you want to leave in ten minutes or fifteen minutes?" And you'll respond, "Um, how about seventeen minutes?" I nearly always agree. Because what's two minutes in the grand scheme of things?
  • Your memory and ability to tell me things you remember is incredible.
  • You will nearly always answer questions truthfully, thus I've learned (often the hard way) that if you tell me Johnny went that way because he wanted to see some flowers, then I should believe you. Because you have yet to be wrong about important things like that.
  • You've gotten adventurous when trying different foods that you haven't been interested in previously. If Daddy or I are eating something different from what you have, you'll often ask for a bite.
  • You have become a little more cautious. You broke your arm this year and have become a little more careful... though I think I may be the only one who notices this change. Everyone else still thinks you're reckless.
  • Your favorite movie is now Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. And you will watch it over and over and over.
  • You can now build with LEGOs and have even put together a tow truck kit with a little guidance from me. Pretty impressive, actually.
  • You can ride a big boy bike with training wheels. Really really fast.
But some things haven't changed.
  • You still like me to cuddle with you when you fall asleep at night and you'll often come into bed with me, Daddy, and Amy early in the morning. 
  • You LOVE Oreos. Obviously.
  • You still enjoy pulling my hair out. Despite my begging and pleading with you to stop.
  • You are still obsessed with all things construction. Workers. Trucks. Earth movers. Tower cranes. Caution cones. All of it.
  • You love to make messes. And think destroying things is HILARIOUS. 
  • You are still thoughtful and kind about certain things, like making crafts for other people. You were so excited to give Daddy his Father's Day card that we made at a play date. Same for the Easter crafts for Grandma and Grandpa. And the Valentine's Day card for Daddy. 
Seriously, kid, your personality has really grown this year. Every day I see more evidence that you "have your own head" as the Germans say. You have your own thoughts about certain things and can be stubborn and impossible to persuade about them. But then everything else? You go with the flow. 

Just an indication of how different you are this year from last year can be seen in your party planning. Last year, I said, "Do you want a construction party?" and you said, "Yeah." Then I went down the list of people to invite and you just said "yes" to all of them. This year? I asked what kind of a party you wanted and you said "Lego party." I tried to persuade you to have a Play-doh party or maybe a balloon party, but no. Legos it is. Then we made the list of people to invite and you came up with 75% of the names yourself. And then you even turned some people down when I suggested them! Not something that would have happened last year, but I love that you've become selective with the people you want to be close to you.

And I love that you have strong opinions on things. Really, I do. Yes, it's exasperating when you want to have Oreos for dinner and NOTHING ELSE WILL DO, but I know that eventually your insistence on such trivial things will change to be insistence on things that matter. 

I also love that you have a sense for fun. You can have fun anywhere doing practically anything. You're game for all sorts of activities from learning to throw a frisbee to painting a canvas. It makes you a lot of fun to be around. 

I hope that ability to find fun wherever you are never changes. And I hope that you are persistent in keeping fun in your life, no matter what you are doing. 

Oh, Hank. I love you so much. Even when we have a tough day, know that I love you and still think that I'm incredibly lucky to be your mom. And hopefully, at the end of those tough days, you're still okay with being my son. :) 

I love you buddy!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amy is 5 months old!

I may be losing it. About a week ago, I was so proud of myself because I remembered to take pictures of Amy the day before her 5 month birthday and planned to post them that night to the blog... but then I realized that HANK'S birthday is the 17th, Amy's is actually the 22nd (today). "Whoops," I thought. "No biggie. I'll just post the pictures I took for the actual 5 month birthday a week early."

Notice anything WRONG with this picture?? Apparently I can't count. And the worst part is I didn't even notice until I went to edit them for this post. Good thing I took some other pictures that didn't have that dopey and incorrect "4 month" sign in the background.


Yay for grasping stuff!
 Eventually the boys got involved since they're all about doing the exact opposite I want them to do... and then I couldn't get them to look at the camera at the same time. And Amy was just stunned by the shenanigans.
Hank, look at the camera!

Johnny, look at the camera!

Hank, look at the camera!
Johnny, look- oh forget it.
Amy is doing really well. She's grasping things, putting stuff in her mouth, then dropping it. She can roll front to back and back to front and wants to sit by herself really badly. She's almost there, but not quite. She's so easy going and just rolls with whatever we're doing. She's still sleeping pretty well and is an excellent cuddler. She chills out in the ring sling, the Ergo, the woven wrap, the infant seat, and the exersaucer equally well.

Johnny and Amy have the sweetest little relationship. She ADORES him and he adores her back. I mean, he does weird things to her sometimes, like lick her face or suck on her toes, but I'm pretty sure he's just experimenting with boundaries... at least I hope so. Anyway. When he gets up in the morning one of the first things he asks is where Amy is. He gives her big hugs and constantly wants to hold her. He tries very hard to be gentle with her and then genuinely feels bad when he hurts her. He tries to make her laugh constantly and she laughs with him when he's laughing. Eventually, though, he gets a little crazy with the fake laugh and it freaks her out. It's all pretty cute though.