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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween?


Not really, but we made the best of it and I think it turned out okay! With some wonderfully crabby kids, it almost was a no go. At one point, John looked at me and asked "Do we really have to do this?" I was very tempted to take him up on that offer. However, we pushed through and got everyone out the door (finally) amid the tantrums and tears. Definitely have some ideas about how to improve for next year.

1. Costumes pulled from stuff we already have is less stressful. That way if they don't wear the costume, I don't feel like we are out money.

2. Eat quick dinner early. Like 4:45 or 5pm early. Easy dinner is big bonus.

3. Don't talk about Halloween until after dinner. Major mistake this year was talking about it as we were trying to get dinner on the table. It took precisely 94827394823942374324 times longer to do anything after that due to the number of questions William had. And then dealing with his frustration when he didn't understand what was going to be happening.

4. Even though it is stuff we already have, it is better to pull the pieces of the costume together before Halloween. We forgot pieces of William's costume and couldn't find a piece to make the hard hat stay on his head. If I had put everything together the day before, it would have made life much, much easier.

5. Review trick or treating etiquette with William. As soon as the door opens, he still walks right in under the arm of the person opening the door. I don't fit under the arm, so I'm left to juggle Amelia and try and snatch the back of William's shirt.

Once we were out the door, we enjoyed ourselves very much. Although it is a little challenging. We both would like to trick or treat, but that leaves no one at our house to hand out candy. I don't have a ready solution for that. I invited Grandma and Grandpa this year, but they were busy. Other suggestions?

And, finally, here are pictures of the kids!
Amelia the ballerina (costume: tights, shoes, long sleeved onesie, knit hat, tutu*)My first Halloween!
One of the problems with getting a late start is we missed the good light for taking pictures. Argh!

William the digger driver/construction worker. He was DELIGHTED once he figured out what was going on. But, up until about 30 seconds before we walked out the door, he was a MESS. A crying, stripping, tantruming, whining, mess. Costume: flannel shirt, jeans, stop sign from a yard stick/poster board, digger, hard hat (with missing head insert which is why it looks so funny. we found the stupid thing about 45 minutes after we put the kids to bed). I forgot to put his tool belt on him, which is too bad.The kids togetherAmelia crawling away, William checking out the packing tape holding his hat together.
On the steps with our pumpkins - Mama pulled out the bib overalls. I'm either a train engineer or a farmer. Take your pick.
Happy Halloween!A better picture of Amelia's tutu

We drove the kids to a friend's house to trick or treat and then managed to hit the same seven houses in our neighborhood as last year. Just before the last house, William said "I don't like it Halloween. I want to go home." So, we finished the house we were at and went home. Here he is enjoying his piece of candy before getting ready for bed. It was a long day.



* Yes, I made the tutu. I am all about all things girly right now. If you want to know how to make a tutu or want me to make one for you, just e mail me or leave me a comment.

7 Months Old!

Amelia is 7 months old! We had such a busy day today, we had to squeeze her picture taking in between all of our other activities this afternoon after her nap. I was very concerned about the lack of natural light due to all the RAIN! I think it has rained here every day for the last month. But, it turned out we had one little sunny corner in Amelia's bedroom. It just required moving a several piles of stuff larger than the girl herself and sprucing things up a little.

Amelia in her room in her rocking chair. A big thanks to my friend Angi for scoping out this cute slip/dress recently at the thrift store we frequent.
Being entertained by daddy and her big brother
Sweet baby girl
Happy girl - my favorite part of this picture is the sweet little dimple on her elbow!
One of the tricks in our bag - the monkey finger puppet held by the big brother
Two bottom teeth made it into this one!
Checking out the 7 months sign
Laughter!
The lighting isn't as great, but the face is!
Sweet neck rolls
Peeking at her DaddyEverything still goes into her mouth
A quiet moment

Watching her brother play with trucksPeeking over the edge of the chair at Daddy
Looking out her window
Amelia has thousands of expressions. Even when the lighting isn't great.
Peeking at her toesAmelia gazing in adoration at her big brother and he is looking right back at her.

These two....there aren't any words to how full our hearts are.Blurry kisses! I am so sad this picture is blurry (and not well lit)! But their kisses are so sweet. Especially when they are

Other Amelia news: We've added lots of foods to her meal time and she appears to be enjoying and tolerating this well. She now puts Cheerios in her mouth by herself (way earlier than William on this one) and anything else you put on her tray. We've also started a little bit of finger food with her to occupy her while we are eating as a family and in between bites from the spoon. She has a VERY loud screech that will let you know it is taking too long for that next bite! So far she has been eating Cheerios, puffs, tiny pieces of bananas, tiny pieces of pears, tiny pieces of [over] cooked carrots and of course, romaine lettuce (and whatever else William has put in there). I don't have a real plan when it comes to her eating solids, but she is eating twoish meals a day at the table with us. While we eat breakfast, she plays/eats Cheerios. At lunch time, she eats some oatmeal and usually some pieces of William's banana either in pieces on her tray or mashed up in her oatmeal. At dinner time, she has been eating several tablespoons of vegetable puree and occasionally a fruit with it if I remember.

Physically, Amelia is crawling full on hands and knees, pulling up, cruising a little bit, and generally finding trouble. If there is a cord on the ground, she'll chew on it. If there is something plugged into an outlet accessible to her, she'll pull on it (and then chew on it). If it is something out of reach on a table, she'll reach and reach until she gets her hands on it (and then chew on it). I have removed more pieces of paper from her mouth in the last week than I'd like to admit. She has no fear and has almost fallen from a variety of high up surfaces in our house with only one real tumble off of her brother's bed a few weeks ago. She is babbling up a storm and has added the sweetest mamamamama to her favorite sounds. I don't mind one bit because her mamamama is so sweet - even if she isn't exactly talking to me yet.

We've had some sleeping regressions on and off in the last month. Our consistent sleeper has been getting me up at least once a night for the past few weeks. She gives me a few days off and then starts the cycle up again. I'm counting on this being a passing phase due to either teething or a growth spurt. If not, I'm not sure what we'll do.

Other than the night wakings, Amelia continues to be a good natured baby with a ready grin for anyone who glances in her direction. Although in the last weeks she has been more particular about her personal space. Those people who greet us and go directly to her face are no longer rewarded with a gummy grin. She is happy and smiley in her mama or daddy's arms. But, approach her too quickly or pick her up without warning and she isn't likely to be happy.
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In Big Boy news, today was William's first day of preschool. Our school district offers a preschool at the high school. Students at the high school have the option of taking a child development course with a lab. So, there is a high school teacher in charge, but the high school students are supposed to do all the planning and interacting with the kids. I think it is kind of a win/win situation. They get to learn about preschoolers, the preschoolers get a mini preschool experience as the class is only 6 weeks long and three days a week. The only negative is that it starts at 7:50am. It is quite the undertaking to get all three of us out of the door at 7:35 when the little ones get up around 7:15am. But, we did it successfully today, so I think there is hope!

Today was an open house style session where families and kids of all ages were welcome to stay and participate in the activities. William played at the train table, drove a bucket full of diggers, colored, played with playdoh, ate a snack (juice and graham crackers....then walked by another kid's snack left on the table and shoved all the other kid's crackers in his mouth also). The kids saw a puppet show, sang songs and danced before saying goodbye and coming home. Based on today, I think he is really going to enjoy it - and so am I. After today, it is a drop off only program. I am supposed to drop him off and leave, returning only to pick him up at 10:30. That is just over two whole hours! The classroom where the preschool is has a back meeting room that has a two way mirror. So, I think on Monday when I have to drop him off again, I'll hang out for a little while to make sure everything is going smoothly. Since I haven't ever left him in this type of situation (where he really doesn't know the people who are caring for him), I want to make sure we have a good transition.

Here he is
I realized on my way out the door that I needed to document William's first day of school ever. Not the best picture, but we were in a hurry (see early beginning time) and on the run.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New foods today

Romaine lettuce & oatmeal cereal 10/28/2009

It isn't as bad as it sounds. Or maybe it is.

We've been eating the rice cereal for awhile now and the box is almost empty. We haven't started a new food in a few days so I decided to give the oatmeal a go at lunch time. I think the texture is a little different as Amelia kept pushing it out of her mouth. She willingly took more and ate it, but was pushing it around in her mouth a lot more than usual.

John has been working late several nights a week for the last few weeks. I'm not a huge fan of this because when he works overtime, so do I. The day can be pretty long when you don't get out of the house on a regular basis and most of your conversations are pretend between the dump truck and digger.

Anyway, John was working late and I was getting dinner ready. William walked by and pulled a very small leaf of romaine lettuce out of the bag. I watched him out of the corner of my eye while running in 70 billion different directions. He examined the leaf, turned it around and then....well, I'm not sure what happened exactly because I got busy with sometime cooking over in the microwave. Moments later I turned around in time to see Amelia pop that piece of romaine in her mouth and gum away on it. My first instinct was to take it away. But, then I couldn't really come up why. So I let her eat it.

These two are so cute most of the time!

Look how much Amelia adores her big brother! He is the best!

Especially when he feeds me Cheerios instead of eating them off my tray!

What a great helper! (Or, oh dear. I guess I'm going to have to start looking at what else he is putting in her mouth...)

Fall Leaves & It's not A Fair Mom!

After what feels like 100 years of rain, we finally had a nice day to get out and take some pictures of the kids in the fall colors. I'm not a huge fan of fall - with less sunshine I am noticeably crabbier, but I love having the pictures in the leaves. I guess any reason to take pictures makes me happy.Taking pictures is fun and exciting for me. For the kids, not so much. For the first ten minutes, William refused to look at me. He was fascinated by the tree.

Turns out it was covered in ladybugs
Playing peekaboo behind the tree
This one might be my new favorite of him
Peek!
Reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaach up for those leaves!


Serious, blue eyed boy.


So handsome - I think he is watching John and Amelia
Technically, Amelia is a better subject because she has an easier smile (for now) and kind of stays where I put her.


But, it was hard work keeping the leaves out of her mouth! Good thing I had assistant Daddy!


No no! No eating leaves!

Serious Mia
This one might be my favorite of Amelia's shots.

Checking out those leaves
And a few tries of getting a cute on of the two together

This one is probably the best, but still not a great shot

My two pumpkins sitting in the leaves!

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We had some friends over last week. That seems to be the only way I get to see anyone these days - if they come to us. The nap time overlay has been very difficult for me to work around. The choices are:

a) Go out during Amelia's morning nap time. As a result, she does not nap in the morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. In fact, she becomes so overtired she never, ever sleeps again. Honestly, when the girl is overtired, she will NOT sleep.

b) Go out directly after Amelia's morning nap, AKA lunchtime. William is a complete pill and fights every step of the way, making a 3 minute errand into a forty minute experience that leaves me wanting to poke myself in the eye to make the whining/crying/flailing of limbs stop.

c) Go out after lunch, AKA someone is usually sleeping, but not two somebodies. Here, take option A and combine will a slightly reduced options B. Add a half a cup of harried mama from the ordeal of hustling two small children out the door who are not in any hurry at all and it sums it up. Also, when returning from our outing, neither child is interested in napping.

d) Don't go anywhere. Ever. Never ever.

e) Become the hostess with the mostess and invite people over on a regular basis.

We happen to do a mix of option D (when I haven't had time to put anything together or people are out of town) and option E. We occasionally throw in some option A, because that is when storytime at the library is and I love storytime.

Anyhow, we had friends over in the morning and William was playing with the five year old daughter of my friend. I was enjoying some adult interaction and I missed any conversation between the kids. Later on, I was certain where this phrase came from:

"But Mooooom (emphasize with whine), it's notttttt a faaaaaaaaiiir!"


Which cracks me up. I know we'll hear plenty of this soon enough. But, I love how he tries on phrases and things he hears from other kids. Even when he doesn't get it quite right.