Thursday, June 27, 2013

Owen Year Two: A quarterly review (Part 2)

Happy 1/2 birthday to you, Owen! We told him today that it was his half birthday, and he repeated that same phrase back to us many times. We even sang. Hey, when your birthday is the week after Christmas, you need to celebrate in June, too! He was with our nanny (Kappa Claire... not to be confused with Amelia's God mother, Claire).. and they had a fun day playing with new bubbles, eating popsicles, etc!
His development continues to amaze us....
  • Toys: Cars & Monster Trucks
  • Activities: Playing with the hose
  • Game: "get you, get you". It involves either Mike or me chasing him around the house in circles.
  • Colors: Brown & Orange
  • Song: Take me out to the ballgame or 'The Holy Song'. We're not sure where this last one came from, but Mike and I sing 'Holy, Holy, Holy'. Owen then raises his hands, palms up, and outstretched. It's too much.
  • Book: Anything from the library that's new (it's usually a book about some sort of vehicle)
Letters Identified:
  • 'O' for Owen
  • 'A' for Amelia
  • 'D' for Daddy
  • 'M' for Mommy
  • 'P' for Papa
  • 'C' for Cake/Cookie/Carson =)
  • 'Q'...
  • 'X'... maybe the last 2 are just unique?
Numbers Identified:
  • None, but he's consistently counting to 19 or 20 and sometimes counting objects.
  • We haven't had a time out in a loooong time. I just jinxed myself by writing that, but somehow we are in a good phase of communicating expectations and/or just communicating in general. I know it's a phase, but I like it, ok! 
  • He talks and talks and talks and talks some more. 8- 12 word sentences. 
  • I love watching him learn and put concepts together. Last night he got to the center of his plum and claimed there was a 'rock' in it. I would agree the pit looks just like a rock.  
  • He loves opposites & adjectives & tries hard to accurately describe items.  
.... or 'C' for chocolate. The kid would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let him. He still becomes very engaged while cooking, and very disengaged when it's time to eat.

Another activity to keep him thoroughly engaged... playing in shaving cream. Sometimes we work on numbers, letters, and shapes. Sometimes we play cars.
Car stacking

Stroller hog!

He and daddy have special book reading/cuddle on the couch time every morning. I don't think either of them feel right if their day doesn't start this way!

We still have some jealousy issues with 'AMillie' but he loves to greet her in the a.m., can't wait for me to get her out of her crib, and loves to help feed her, too. She does gag a lot when he helps, though.... ;)

We went to a horse farm last week with MiMa Wade. This is a classic 'I'm thrilled' grin.

She taught him (us) all about the horses blaze, etc. We learned a lot!

New orange shoes.. he hardly takes them off. Picked them out himself... because orange is Carson's favorite color.

We're loving summer time activities...
$13 sandbox has been a BIG hit! 

We're starting to sllllooooowwwwlllly potty train. Sometimes (only 3 times..) I can get him to sit on the toilet without pants. Once he looked down and exclaimed to me, 'My pee pee is big and strong like a rocket ship!' Nice, Owen. He's worn big boy pants once and peed on the floor once... so I guess we've officially begun, but we have a long way to go!
Summertime when the livin' is easy

At the hippo tank during one of our 3 times at the zoo (in the last month)!

Ready to swim!

 Super jazzed.
So handsome! I love this kid;  his energy, his intelligence, his facial expressions, his tight squeezing hugs, his affinity for car names, and his blossoming creativity just warm my heart and light up my life.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Father's Day

The creative portion of my Father's Day gift to Mike & the Papas looked a little something like this...
Getting the pics were a challenge and a joy for sure!

As you can see, O had to run some times & he needed his cars. And Millie, of course, was more interested in chewing on the letters than smiling. Love their sweet faces, though!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Date Day/Mother's Day

As Father's Day is almost here, I suppose it is time to tell you about my amazing Mother's Day planned by the wonderful Mike Wade. I'm not sure what prompted him to go all out. It might be that I'm this close to the edge sometimes. It might be that he left on Mother's Day to fly to Maryland for 2 weeks. It might be that he really knows my love language and what I need. It may be a combo. Whatever the impetus, he did a great job. 
The day began by dropping the kids off at Papa and Mima Wade's house. He even took care of childcare... And then, we hit our 'StL Bucket List', and we hit it hard!
We started at Crown Candy, established 1913. It's an old soda shoppe in a terrible neighborhood of St. Louis, but people line up down the block for the opportunity to get a ginormous malt and sickeningly huge BLT. (FYI- We SPLIT the BLT and we couldn't even finish our own half).

 We lined up and were actually able to sit and eat. You can see that we were not the
only people with this special treat in mind.
My hot fudge malt filled that glass 3 times. I obviously did not finish the whole thing. There's a food challenge (seen on Man vs Food) that requires drinking 5 of these in an hour or something hideous like that. I can't even imagine.

But isn't this old time machinery cool? It's a step back to the 50s... I think that's the right decade.. Obviously that's a guess.

We were totally creeped out by this old woman statue advertising the home tour.  

Next up was the CARDS game! Mike somehow scored 5th row tickets. We dream of sitting down low, and the angels were shining on us this particular day because it was 68 degrees with a partially cloudy perfection. It was Mike Matheny pink jersey day, and he was signing them this close to our seats. I thought about pushing my way through the crowd, but I decided to watch the team warm up instead.

It's a completely different ball park from down here!

We were SO close. Love seeing my team this close!

Two of my faves (Yadi & Waino) with their pitching coach.

Waino had an amazing outing. He pitched the entire game and only let up one hit!

Clearly the Cards dominated.

My jersey says Molina! Love seeing him on base. 
 Apparently there are a lot of interviews to have after you pitch an amazing game.
Well the game was at noon-ish, over at 4ish, so we still had lots of time without kids! We checked in to The Cheshire Hotel (another StL landmark) in/near Forest Park, got ready for dinner, and had a drink at the bar. Dinner (also already planned by Mr. Wade) was at Vin De Set in Lafayette Square close to downtown. This restaurant has been on our must-try list for a while. We heard they had amazing mojitos, and I'll admit it was delicious. They also gave us a free sample of their white sangria. It was also amazing! The food, setting, and quite solitude was also impressive, and it was the perfect end to our date day. It was so nice to spend so much uninterrupted adult time together, too! Thanks so much Mima and Papa Wade!

The next morning we were up and ready by like 7:30... we are used to getting up at 6 every day you know. But also we missed these 2 precious babes.

Of course they don't look at the camera at the same time, but they are so sweetsie nonetheless. Amelia is obviously growing a lot... I think she looks proportionally bigger sitting next to Owen than I would imagine an 8 month old to look. Does that make any sense?

The Nieders clan came over for brunch after church, and we kind of got all of the kiddos to sit together. Ava was not really in the mood, and I can't say I blame her!
Mike left at nap time on Mother's Day and then the kids and I went to the Coopers to celebrate. That celebration included an entire Margarita ball. Awesome!
So Father's Day is this Sunday. I'll admit I don't have anything planned that compares to this day. M is leaving town for MD again sometime on Sunday, and since he doesn't spend all day every day with the kids, he does actually want to see them! Ha. I also already ruined his creative gift by letting him look at the pictures on my phone.. I had texted a pic of it to the grandmas that day. Oops. I'll be happy to share that pic on here once Father's Day comes.
Thank you bunches to all of the moms in my life and especially to Mike for loving me so well. Love you all!

Friday, June 7, 2013

8 Months: Standing

 The time from 7-8 months has continued to be very dynamic for our 'sweetsie' (this is how O now greets her!). The Friday before Mem Day weekend, Mike had just flown in from 2 weeks in Maryland, and his little girl had this new trick to show him....
She had figured out how to stand up in her crib. As you can see, she was absolutely petrified because she had no idea how to get down. We both ran in because we heard her screaming. And then we let her continue to scream and grabbed our cameras! She has amazing parents I tell ya.
She's increasingly mobile by the day. She's found the dog bowls (my favorite), and she's now both army crawling and crawling on all fours.

We've been to the zoo 3 times in the last 3 weeks... this is how she likes to roll by the giraffes.

I've been told I take a lot of pictures of her sleeping. It's true... but isn't this the most precious, peaceful face?

Owen prefers her precious and peaceful because now she is stealing his toys. We've really been working on sharing, and it's a hard sell to a 2 year old. We'll keep working. I'm sure it's good for both of them to learn to negotiate and share, etc.
She's assuming her downward facing dog position...maybe she'll be graceful enough to do yoga.
I'm sure not!

She does get pretty pleased with herself as she discovers new nooks (and curtains in this case!)

This lowers my blood pressure.

This raises it. How is she so big? 

Her hair is getting longer...and it's coming in the back as well! Sometimes it looks dark brown, sometimes it looks light brown. Jury is still out.

Classic Millie face... maybe she is teething on her own lip? Still no pearly whites, but we've had a few hard nights and several rounds of Tylenol. Maybe it's just a cold.
Her adorable personality shines more everyday. She's giggly- especially toward Oskee or in response to blowing raspberries on her belly, grabbing the chunk on her thighs, etc.
More updates on our Silly Millie (another common O-ism):
  • She's backed off on the milk (formula & breast milk), and she is chowing down on her solids. A good 3 meals a day, and she prefers food to the bottle. My goal was to make it to 8 months with the nursing. I fed her this morning, and now I'm ready for a quick taper to only formula.
  • She's still not great with the puffs (often gagging and throwing up), but she does love the rice baby Mum Mums... it's a bigger piece of dissolvable processed food =)
  • She still breaks out when given pears (weird), but is doing well with these additional new foods: broccoli, peaches, green beans, apricots, multi-grain cereal, & prunes.
  • In Owen's 8 month blog I recorded all of the sounds he had conquered (b, d, g, etc). I have no idea what sounds she says, but she babbles. A lot. Who says you don't parent each kid differently?
  • She also drools a lot. A LOT.
  • She might be waving. Maybe. I think I'll call it. Yep, she's waving, It's intermittent =)
  • She loves the wind in her hair.
  • She loves bath time, and she'll out-sit Owen by a good 5 minutes in the cold bath water.
  • She is still sleeping generally 6:30/7 to 6:30/7. She naps well, too. I love that about her.