Sunday, September 30, 2012

What We Did

We were busy little bees this weekend. Two days is just not even close to long enough to fit in all that we want/need to do.

Friday night Landon had a soccer game at 6:30pm. When we left the weather was quite nice, but around 7pm, I was feeling pretty stupid for not having a sweatshirt for Harper and Dakota. Luckily, Harper kept himself warm by running up and down the field and playing at the park while I held Dakota and kept her snuggled in her blanket.

Saturday morning I woke up with a ton of ideas about how we were going to spend our day, but nothing ended up working out. We hit Costco in the morning and then made it out to the pumpkin patch in the afternoon. Harper was very excited about all the pumpkins, and Landon enjoyed pulling the cart around with all of our stuff in it. We ended up getting several pumpkins, a few gourds, some Indian corn and two cornstalks for the porch. I hung my wreath and we’ve got a festive front entrance going on…I’ll try to get pictures tomorrow.

I got up this morning at 4am to feed Dakota and after lying in bed trying to go back to sleep for half an hour, I ended up just getting up. I got lots of little (quiet) things done around the house while everyone slept. I made a dinner menu and grocery list for the week, started packing up all of Dakota’s clothes that no longer fit, picked up toys lying all over the place etc. Nothing too crazy, but I did love the silence…

After everyone got up and moving, we headed to Sears to look at refrigerators. Ours has been making some weird sounds, and we’d like to replace it before it gives out on us. I found the one I’d like to get, but we decided it was expensive enough to shop around a bit before buying. We went to Best Buy and Lowes, but the price at Sears is the best we’re going to get. Hopefully we’ll get to go back soon to order. After a quick stop at Michaels, we came home and all of us ended up in the backyard. The boys were jumping on the trampoline, Dakota was lying on a blanket watching the clouds, Tony was working on the gazebo and I was planting bulbs (tulips, my favorite) around the trees. It was a perfect afternoon.

We worked out there until it got too chilly, and when we came inside, we ate our dinner of potato soup, bread and salad. It was delicious! I got the soup recipe from Pinterest, and you can get it here. It is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. (I’m talking to you, Mom!)

Well, that’s our weekend in a nutshell, and I’m off to bed. Goodnight. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Since She’s Been Gone

I’ve really noticed a shift in my relationship with Zoe now that she’s away at school. My biggest fear when she left was that she wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I mean, let’s face it, I’m not always the easiest person to get along with, especially when you’re my kid and I want things one way while you want it another. But, since she’s been gone, I’ve noticed that our relationship has really become more positive and sometimes I feel like we’re even friends, not only mother-daughter.

Here are a few examples of the way things have changed:

  • We talk more. I guess when she lived here, we were just so accustomed to each other’s lives that there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about. Or, maybe it was just that we were butting heads all the time because I still wanted her to be 8 and she was ready to be 18. Either way, I’ve found that when we do text or chat, it seems more meaningful. Not the old “how was your day” routine. Now, she’s out there doing things that are a first for her, and since I’m not there to see it, I like to hear all about it.
  • We listen more. I guess that’s to be expected when we’re talking more!
  • We value our time together. I give Zoe a hard time about only coming home to see Brandon, but I know she’s really happy to see us too. She made a point of coming home last weekend so that she could watch Landon’s soccer games and eat dinner with all of us at Mema’s house. She didn’t necessarily have to be here for either things, but she was…and it’s nice that she still likes to be apart of what we’re doing.
  • We are more attuned to each other’s needs. For example, when Zoe says, I’d really like _____, I try to meet her requests. I don’t feel like she asks for much, actually hardly anything at all, so when she does ask for something, it isn’t too hard to say yes. Also, I feel like she’s happier to help me out when she’s home. This past weekend when Landon had a late game, she stayed behind with me to help get the two little one’s in the bath and bed before she left for the game. It may not seem like much, but bathing two babies and getting them both to bed is quite a chore and help is always much appreciated. (And, Zoe, I’m not sure if I said thank you, so thank you.)

Sunday Game

Landon had a rare Sunday soccer game this past weekend, and since it was in the middle of the day, I was able to go. It was deceivingly bright and sunny out, so we were a little surprised how chilly it was once we got to the field and the wind picked up. Not so chilly we needed jackets, but chilly enough to remind us that it is in fact, fall.

While Landon warmed up with his team, Zoe, Brandon and Harper played around with an extra ball. Harper just loved racing Zoe to the ball and was so happy to show Brandon all the rocks he could find.

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I was glad I thought to bring a blanket to put out on the grass so that Dakota could spread out and kick her legs. She was pretty happy the whole game. Harper was content to sit on the blanket and eat a snack and play my iPad.

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They ended up tying 1-1, and it was a pretty good game to watch. Landon continues to improve and I think under his dad’s direction, he’ll only get better.

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National Zoo

The weather has been so beautiful here lately. Fall is really my favorite time of year, and I just love these cool mornings and warm afternoons. We took advantage of the weather this past Saturday with a trip to the national zoo.

Zoe and Brandon were going to take the metro down on their own, but once Tony and I decided we were going to take the other kids too, we all just piled in the van and headed out. The drive down took forever because of traffic, and when we got there all the parking lots to the zoo were full! We didn’t really know what to do, so Tony let us all out to walk around the zoo while he found a parking spot, and somehow he got lucky and found one almost immediately.

Since we’d been in such a hurry to get out when Tony dropped us off, I ended up leaving my camera in the van. Unfortunately, Tony didn’t realize I’d left it behind so I didn’t have my camera for the first few exhibits we visited. I ended up using my cell phone to take pictures until we got close enough to the parking lot and Tony ran to get it for me. He’s awesome like that. The following pics are from my cell…and they’re pretty decent!

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Once we hit the monkey’s I had my camera, and these are some of the shots I got using it:

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Harper’s favorite animal of the day was definitely the elephant. He just thought it was so funny to watch the elephant kick up dirt and walk around. He even used his trunk to drink and spray some water around…he was pretty entertaining!

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That particular day, there happened to be some beautiful and extremely rare animals out and about. I made sure to get photo’s of them as well.

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Those are some pretty good looking animals, huh?

We all had a pretty nice day at the zoo, and I think we’ll have to go back again in the spring to see if the giraffe exhibit is finished. The past few times we’ve been it’s been under construction.

PS. Did you notice the look on Landon’s face in the photo’s? He wasn’t mad or anything, that’s just his new “look” when I try to get a picture of him. He’s such a preteen these days…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mimics

I think these two are gonna be buddies.

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As you all know, it took Harper quite awhile to warm up to Dakota, and while he still just wants me to “put Kota down” so he can boss me around we can play, he’s much more comfortable around her now.

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Sometimes, while I’m in the kitchen and they are alone together, he walks over and talks to her, gets her dolly out for her or tries to fix her with his hammer (I’m always paying attention, don’t worry!). I catch her watching him too, and it amazes me that at a mere 2 1/2 months old, she’s paying attention to what he’s doing. I think she’s taking notes…

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Harper mimics Landon (good and bad) and I can see now that before long, Dakota will be mimicking Harper. It’s crazy how that works!

Twins?

I’ve always loved this photo of Harper. It was taken when he was just about a week short of 3 months old. It was just so him at the time. The sweet look on his face, the legs pulled tight to his body; just so him.

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I thought I’d try to capture Dakota in a similar way, so I stripped her down to her diaper and put her on my bed, and this is what I got:

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They look so much alike, it’s uncanny. I showed Tony these pictures and he thought they were both Harper. She kind of has that same sweet look that he does, only her eyes are less playful and more inquisitive, in my opinion. He looks like he’s going to giggle while she looks like she’d like to figure out what I’m doing with the big lens pointed in her face.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Play, Play, Play

Finding new things to do on a daily basis is a tough job. It’s actually near impossible, but somehow, Harper, Dakota and I have been managing to keep ourselves entertained.

Some of the things we’re keeping busy with these days include:

  • the marble tower

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  • the water table…add a sponge and it’s a whole new toy

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  • play dough

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  • tools

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  • the “mans”

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Right now, the “mans” is the favorite. We play it a lot. I’ve had to become inventive with how we play with them though, because while he has a pretty good imagination, these toys are quite a bit above his age level. As you can see above, one game I came up with was to set them up on his blocks and give him a little shooting toy to knock them down.

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He loved it! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trampoline Weather

Now that the weather isn’t as hot, we’ve all been going outside a little more. Landon couldn’t stand the thought of going outside a lot of days this summer because it was just too hot. He spent a lot of time playing indoors, and probably too much of it was spent on video games.

I’m glad the weather is a bit cooler now though, and he’s able to get outside to burn off some of his never ending energy. He and his friends spend a good deal of time out on our trampoline. They come up with countless games and just have the best time.

The game they were playing a few days ago was pretty funny to watch. One person, in this case Landon, would lie in the middle and count while the other two “hid”. After counting, he had to get up and try to tag one of the other two and then they would be “it”. It was funny because the one with their eyes closed would be completely off balance as the other two ran around keeping away. Landon had better luck staying on his knees and just reaching around him, like in the picture below.

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The Potty Story

So, as promised, here is Harper’s first potty story.

This story really begins with a pair of red socks. Yes, red socks. See, a few weeks ago it was actually chilly enough in my house that I needed to wear a pair of socks. I have a pair of very warm socks that I like to wear, and they just happen to be the most obnoxious, vibrant red. Of course, Harper noticed them right away and after he touched them remarked how soft they were. I told him they were my “puppies” and pretended to bark and chase him with them. (Yeah, I know, weird.) He, of course, absolutely loved that and has been a bit fixated with them since.

So, the other night when he was sitting on the pot, one of the “puppies” told him he should try to put some potty in the pot…and that’s exactly when it happened. Apparently, those “puppies” know how to talk to a two year old in order to get him to go!

I hadn’t realized he’d gone, but when I picked him up to put him in the bath he said, “see my pee” and sure enough, there it was! I made a huge deal out of it and he beamed with pride! He sat back on the seat and squeezed out every last drop that he could muster just to get more crazy hoorays and cheers out of me. :)

Last night he was waiting for me to finish with Dakota’s bath and sat on the potty to play my iPad and he ended up going again. As soon as he finished, he jumped up and looked at the potty in the seat; he was just thrilled with himself.

I guess from here, we’ll just keep trying a little each day. I think I’ll keep having him try each night before bath for awhile and eventually I’ll start working on other times of the day. He still wakes up pretty wet each morning so I don’t think he’s totally there yet, but now at least I know he understands when he has to go and how to make it happen!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Oven Mitts

Every time someone uses the oven mitts while Harper is around, he has to have them. He just loves to put them on and walk around saying “hay-yo” (hello) to everyone. It’s pretty cute.

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After he says hay-yo to everyone, he likes to try to pick things up with the mitts on.

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Sometimes he’s successful, other times, not so much. It’s actually a pretty good way to keep him busy; hand him some mitts and a few items to try to pick up and bam!, busy toddler.

Kota and her Dolly

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Whenever I put Dakota on the floor where Harper and I are playing, he always gets her dolly out of the basket and gives it to her. He says to her “here’s your dolly Kota” and it’s just too sweet.Sometimes, as he’s playing, I’ll catch her watching him and I just can’t believe she’s already paying so much attention to what’s going on around her! She follows his movement with her eyes and sometimes, he’ll notice and walk over and talk to her. I think they’re going to be great friends…well, at least I hope they will be.

Catching Up

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted again. As usual, life has been busy and exhausting, therefore, the blog suffers.

At the moment, I have two sleeping babies, a very rare occurrence. So, I figured now was as good a time as any to post. 

First, the “boop boop” battle has ended. Harper did a terrific job, really. He had a few rough naps and nights getting to sleep, but other than that, it really wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. Once he went to sleep at night, he didn’t wake up asking for it…it was just the initial falling asleep that was hard for him. I’ve had to catch myself a few times telling him “let’s go upstairs and get your blankies and binky for naptime” but, luckily he’s just let it go. He never asks about it anymore and if he sees Dakota’s he isn’t fazed in the least. I’m proud of my big boy!

Also, in big boy news, Harper went pee pee on the potty before his bath last night! We’ve had a potty chair in the bathroom forever now, and he almost always sits on it before getting in the bath, but last night he actually went! I was shocked!! It actually deserves it’s own post…so, I’ll get to it.

Dakota has had a couple of crying episodes that may belong in the Guinness book of World Records, and I think she may be a touch colicky. My mom reminded me that when Zoe was an infant, she was a bit colicky, but I guess I blocked it because I sure don’t remember! The other night when she started her crying I remembered reading about turning on the vacuum to help soothe a colicky baby, and it certainly did the trick! I don’t know if it will ever work again, but I’ll have to remember to try it if we need to…and my carpets will get a much needed cleaning as well! Go me!

Landon had another soccer game this past Friday and they played even better this time than the last. I think with time, they are going to get better and better. Tony and Landon left ahead of the rest of us the night of the game, and when we got there they had already started. As we were unloading our chairs and whatnot, I was watching the kids and made the remark that whoever #14 was, he was really good! I looked all over the field for Landon (who the week before was wearing #2 jersey) but didn’t see him, and that’s when I realized Landon was wearing #14! He was on the opposite side of the field and it was dusk, so it was hard to tell it was him. They got their official uniforms this week, so that’s why his number changed.

Zoe was here this weekend, and she made a point to be back in time to go to Landon’s game. He was thrilled that she was there, but Harper just couldn’t get enough of her! He pretty much sat on her lap or hip the entire time. She didn’t seem to mind. :) It’s always nice for her to be here, she seems to really relish her time at home. She made the comment that when she’s gone it feels like forever, but once she gets home she feels like she’s never left. I think that is precisely how home should be for anyone. I know when I go to my parents house, wherever it may be, I am home. I always feel like it’s been an eternity since I’ve seen them, but once I’m there, it’s like I’ve always been there. It’s a good feeling, and one I’m happy Zoe has when she’s here. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Soccer

Landon had his first soccer game this weekend. All of his games are on Friday nights this season, with the exception of one Sunday game.

Our first game didn’t go too terribly (they lost 5-1) considering the boys only had two practices before hand. They barely even know each other’s names yet, so playing as a team is really going to take some time. This year we’ve had some problems with getting a coach, and after a few failed attempts in securing one, Tony stepped up and said he’d take the team.

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I’m hoping that this will work out and that this team will stick together. It’s tough bouncing from one team to the next and it’d be nice for Landon to be on a team from now until high school. We’ll see how things go…

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Well Visits for the Little’s

Yesterday Tony and I took Harper and Dakota to the doctor for their check-up’s. Harper needed his 2 year well visit, and Dakota was there for her 2 month well visit.

I knew that they were both going to be getting shots and that Harper was not going to like the doctor looking at him, so I was happy that Tony had taken the day off work to help me out. If he hadn’t, I would have had to reschedule for one of them because there was no way I was doing both at the same time.

Harper was pretty much a hot mess the entire visit. He started crying when the nurse asked him to stand on the scale to get his weight and pretty much cried the rest of the time we were there. Our pediatrician is wonderful though, and he examined Harper as quickly as he could while still being thorough.

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At two years old, Harper is:

  • 29.8 pounds
  • 37 inches tall
  • 50 cm. head circumference

He’s healthy and strong and smart and beautiful. He loves to play “gonna get you” and peek-a-boo. He loves to read books, play on my iPad, build tunnels with blocks, and jump on the trampoline. He looks forward to Rolly Pollies every week, and talks up a storm. He doesn’t eat as much as he used to and is becoming picky about what he will eat. He hates having his teeth brushed but still enjoys bath time. He has absolutely no interest in potty training, but likes to sit on the potty every night before he gets in the bath. In other words, he’s awesome and we couldn’t love him more.

Dakota did great during her appointment and didn’t cry at all until they gave her shots. It was a total of 5 vaccines; one oral and the other 4 are combined into two shots. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, after she got her shots, she wasn’t feeling well. She slept and slept, but when she’d wake she was terribly fussy and wouldn’t move her little legs. After sleeping through most of the day though, she was feeling better in the evening and by this morning, she was back to normal. Those shots were rough on her little body. I hate that.

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At two month’s old, Dakota is:

  • 11.14 pounds
  • 23 1/4 inches tall
  • 41 cm. head circumference

She too, is healthy and strong and smart and beautiful. She loves to be held and talked to. She’s noticing toys around her, especially one little baby doll that rattles and squeaks. She still naps quite often and has no particular set schedule, but she does sleep rather well through the night, only waking once or twice and then going right back to sleep after eating. She loves to snuggle up to me in my Moby wrap, and she coos to me when I talk to her. Her brother’s scare the devil out of her with their loud noises, but she seems to be getting used to them and their noisiness. Every once in awhile she lets out a little happy screech and it’s really cool to see her change from newborn to infant right before our eyes. She’s very aware of things going on around her and just today I noticed how she whenever I’d walk away or around her she’d track me with her eyes until she couldn’t see me.

Both of my little’s are doing great and are healthy and moving ahead in the right direction. I couldn’t be more thankful.

Battle of the Boop Boops

I mentioned before that Harper’s binky’s (boop boops) have been breaking lately. (I’ve been clipping the tips off so that they won’t work.) Two of them broke and we had to throw them away and then the very next afternoon (Thursday 9/6) at naptime, Harper forgot to ask me for one. I realized he didn’t have one, but somehow, he didn’t…so, I just put him down for his nap and left and he fell asleep. Just like that.

So, I decided that we were going to go ahead with operation no binky from that point on. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal since he’d completely forgotten about it for naptime.

I was wrong.

That same night he was up for an hour and a half asking for his binky. He’d cry enough for us to go in his room and we’d have to talk about it and soothe him, and then we’d leave and he’d start right back up. I ended up rocking him to sleep that night, which I didn’t mind, but I just kept thinking how I didn’t want to get rid of one crutch while inventing another. He slept through that night just fine and woke up as happy as usual the next morning.

There was no talk of the binky the entire day Friday, and then nap came around and he was upset again. And, just as I had the night before, I rocked him to sleep. Landon had his first soccer game on Friday night, so we ended up being out pretty late that night and when we got home Harper was exhausted. I thought we may have a bit of a struggle on our hands without the binky because he was so tired, but luckily, he was just so tired he went right to sleep without any crying at all.

Again I thought we might be in the clear.

Again, I was wrong.

Today’s naptime wasn’t too much of a struggle but it did take him awhile to go to sleep. He was pretty tired though so he didn’t cry and carry on, he just kind of talked to himself until he finally passed out. Then tonight at bedtime he started asking about his boop boop, but I just reminded him that they were broken and gone and he seemed to be okay with it…until he was in bed. Then he started crying and I went in to rock him for a few minutes, but this time I didn’t let him go to sleep on me. I really need him to continue to put himself to sleep like he always has. Tony ended up going in after I did, and eventually he did get to sleep. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is just going to keep getting easier. That is how this works, right?

I feel terrible taking away his beloved binky, but I know it’s the best thing for him. It’s strange to see him go to sleep without it too. The times I’ve rocked him to sleep I’ve noticed how much older he looks without that binky and it’s sad. I’m really happy he’s growing up into such a wonderful little boy, but at the same time, I hate to leave all those baby days behind.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

She Failed

Today was Dakota’s third hearing screening. The first two screenings didn’t go over very well, and this one wasn’t really any better. The doctor was awesome and the equipment was working fine, but Dakota was awake the whole time and not exactly happy about the whole process.

The doctor did the testing to the best of her ability, but the results weren’t good. Dakota failed the screening in both ears. I was surprised, but honestly, I almost expected those results. (Dakota was eating during the test and the sound of her eating messed up the test numerous times. But, even when she was perfectly quiet the results weren’t stellar.)

Our next step is to have a full blown hearing test done at St. Agnes hospital. I’m absolutely dreading that appointment and I haven’t even scheduled it yet. 

The doctor tried to reassure us that her screening didn’t mean a whole lot and that we shouldn’t worry about these results. But, I can’t help but worry. I realize that there are many things in this world that are far worse than hearing loss and that it is manageable, but I’m still so incredibly concerned. I guess it’s just the fear of the unknown at this point…it’s an awful feeling.

I have to call and schedule her appointment tomorrow, and I’m just going to hope that we won’t have to wait a very long time to see someone. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Her Clothes

Dakota is growing out of everything she owns. She’s so long that nothing newborn fits anymore. We’ve graduated to 0-3 month clothes and we’ve even added a few 3 month outfits to the mix. Baby girl clothes is so fun!

She’s just perfect in her little pink and white jumper.

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Purple looks great on her too, but it’s still just a bit too warm for this outfit.

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Blue and white polka dot dress? Yes, please!

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Sock Bun

When Zoe was home this weekend she decided she wanted to try something new with her hair. We started looking for bun idea’s on Pinterest (can’t get enough of that site!) and found a video tutorial on making a sock bun.

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We watched it and were able to recreate it very easily, and it looked great!

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I’m tempted to grow my hair really long just so I can wear it like this!

Elf Antics

I've made it to day 9 without forgetting to move Peppermint and I have to admit that even I'm surprised. Here's what our elf has...