Dec 25, 2012

Holly Jolly

Dec 20, 2012

Happy Holidays

I just finished our holiday card and letter. I think it was before Kins was born that I last sent one out*. I even included a letter! I mention it in the letter, but I was surprised to find I didn't have much of anything to really say about my accomplishments this year. It really has taken up about all I have keeping it together through Tim's busy times with work and Max's busy eating times overnight most nights. I don't usually do resolutions, but this makes one for me this year pretty obvious: I resolve to have something to say in the paragraph about myself next year!

* Oh... lol... just looked at my fridge and saw my holiday card from last year. That I did indeed send out. My intelligence has suffered dramatically this year. That's what I should've put in my letter!

Dec 16, 2012

Family Resemblance

Kin's takes after Tim big time. I thought Max looked like my side of the family, but I was really struck by how much when my Mom sent me these pictures of my brothers at 8 months. Below is a black and white comparison of Seth and Max.
 In black and white I think Max and Seth looks very similar.
 Eric and Max share the exact same coloring. I also think Max and Eric may share a closer resemblance in the eyes and face shape than Seth and Max. Above and below are both Eric.
 One more Seth below.

Dec 8, 2012

3 Years Old and interview

Kins turned three a couple of days ago. She is a petite 25 pounds, which, is actually pretty amazing for her. It's 5th percentile for weight, finally on the chart instead of waaayy below the bottom line like she had been for over a year before. I still bribe her to eat. I tried letting her feed herself for a couple of days, and she only ate half of what I can easily get her to eat bribing her. I have quit pressuring her to eat though, if she won't eat a single bite, I just try not to stress it and we're done for that meal. 

She's very easy as far as sleeping goes. At bedtime we read a few stories, and then Tim and I head out of her room. She usually complains some, always saying, "One more time!" even if we've read 5 stories. But, usually once we're out of her room she doesn't mind. She's in a twin bed now, but I do have the alcove in her room where her bed is gated off from the rest of the room. She's got some toys in her alcove, but not access to emptying out every dresser drawer in her room like before. After we leave her room, she usually sings some songs to herself, and plays with her toys for a few minutes before going to bed. She does ask to have her light left on, even though she has a night light. If I sneak in and turn it off after she's fallen asleep, she will wake up in the middle of the night saying softly, "On." If there's no response for 5 seconds, she repeats herself, slightly louder. After about 5-10 repeats, she's yelling it at the top of her lungs. For now, it works out best for everyone to leave it on all night. It doesn't seem to affect how well or how late she sleeps. 
Napping is not always so smooth. If she actually lays down and tries, she nearly always falls asleep for at least an hour, but usually two or more. She often is very resistant to trying to sleep though, and she will stay in her room for 2 hours just singing and playing with toys, finally standing by her gate and yelling for me to come get her. I'm impressed though that she will play for nearly 2 hours totally content before wanting to come out. She probably actually sleeps half the time. If she doesn't nap, she will sleep an hour or two longer overnight to make up for it, so other than being super emotional in the afternoon/early evening, it seems to work out ok either way.

She does throw her share of fits. If she doesn't get what she wants, or if we leave wherever we are and she was having fun, she screams about it, sometimes pretty persistently. I try to just totally ignore the screaming and it doesn't usually go on for too long.

I love that I can have conversations with her now. She is always cracking me up. This morning she said she was a mouse and I was a clock, and then she began trying to run up me. (Hickory dickory dock). Last night I left her downstairs and ran up to toss the laundry into the dryer. On my way out of the laundry room, I ran into the doorway, it was pretty loud. When I got downstairs she wanted to know, "What was that? (noise)". I told her I ran my shoulder into the doorway. She mumbled something that I didn't quite catch. A second later she said it a little louder, "Come here and let me kiss it better!" She did. 

She can count to 19. Not always, sometimes after about 17 she just starts back at 8. She knows what basic sounds every letter makes. I haven't worked with her on how some letters make more than one sound yet, she's just recently gotten consistent with knowing one sound for each letter. She can do sommersaults, and she likes to copy dance moves. She took her first art class, and we're enrolling for the next semester. She will be starting a 3 year old ballet/creative dance class soon. She loves story time at the library, and just recently sat with the kids instead of with mommy fir the first time.
Interview with a 3 year old Kins:
What's the first thing you like to do in the morning after you wake up? Micky Mouse! (I think these answers may be tainted by her just finishing watching a micky mouse cartoon...)
What's your favorite book?  The train story She has been loving reading this book at night. It used to always be Bear of my Heart that she wanted to read. The Goodnight Train is really fun though, it's got a lot of cute and silly things to talk about on each page.
What is your favorite color?  Green
What is your favorite toy?  My favorite Mommy!
What is your favorite food?  My jelly to eat
What is your favorite TV show?  The windmill (I don't know. Oh, now she's talking about Dora. She watched a Dora episode about Don Quixote.)
What is your favorite game? Some red shadow (I don't know)
What is your favorite animal?  My giraffe
What is your favorite song? Amarillo by Morning (Surprising choice, since we haven't sung this song for weeks)
Who is your best friend?  It's my mommy!
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Singing amarillo by morning (Random. Would've thought she would have said jump on the trampoline, or make footprints)
What is your favorite drink? Pediasure (She asked for pediasure this morning, she hadn't had it for over a month or mentioned it)
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Teddy bears! (She was very excited about this answer, despite never, ever, taking a teddy bear to bed with her at night. The real answer is her little bunny rabbits, and/or whatever toy she was playing with before bedtime)
What do you want to be when you grow up?  For mommy and daddy get big, for (mumble mumble mumble) and get big. For pee pee!
What is one special thing about you? Eyebrows!
How old are you? I'm three year old.
What do Mommy and Daddy do after you go to bed? Trampoline.

What do you like best about Max? I'm santa and you're a reindeer. Tim then tried prompting her, "Do you like when Max poops his pants?" She said, "No, I told you, I'm a reindeer and you're Santa!"

Dec 1, 2012

kins says

She handed Max a Christmas stocking, saying, "I'll put it on your finger!" Predictably, he grabbed it and started eating it. Kins said sweetly but firmly, "Max, if you eat that, I'm going to have to take it away." He kept eating it. She followed through on her threat.

She doesn't understand that he doesn't know how to interact yet. When he gets close to her playing with a toy, she screams, "No grabbing that!"

Upon waking up this morning she said in a very deep voice, "I'm not a Christmas tree, I'm Santa!" We've been watching Christmas videos on youtube, I guess that's where she got it. 

Tim and I call each other Mommy and Daddy around Kins, never Mom and Dad. Yet, she's decided on her own to shorten our names. She calls us Mom and Dad a lot more than Mommy and Daddy now. It makes us feel overly mature. I've even tried telling her how my name is Mommy multiple times. She's just decided that Mom is easier, and she's sticking with it.

She remembers everything. One day before her nap I told her when she woke up, we were going to gymnastics class. She had never been to gymnastics class before, or even heard the word before. But, first thing she said when she woke up was, "I want to go to gymnastics class!"

When asked if she wants to do something that she'd rather not, she will say, her voice laced with regret, "I can't."

She has a professional frown. Tim and I can't make our mouths frown the way she can. She likes to randomly pull out the frown occasionally, and she can also make her eyes water on command. It can take a minute to tell if she's actually upset or not.

Nov 30, 2012

8 Months Old

Max is 8 months old today. He is about 50th percentile all the way around, height, weight, head circumference. A contrast to Kins, who is more like 5th for weight and height, although her noggin is average.  Another huge contrast between the two, which has produced the first contrast, is eating habits. I recently discovered that all I have to do is pour a jar of pureed baby food into a cup with a straw, add some water, and Max will down it in a couple of minutes. So eagerly in fact, that he will sacrifice breathing for as long as he can to keep gulping. It makes for really hilarious meal time sounds. Gulping, frantic gasping for air, choking from drinking so fast, all occasionally broken up by miserable crying if he happens to drop his cup. You would be certain I was starving him inbetween meals, when really he gets plenty from nursing between his solid meals. Even when full, he still wants to eat everything he finds. I have to keep all the non edibles out of his reach.
He's slowly starting to sleep longer overnight. I would say as much as half the time now he will only wake up once to eat during the time that I'm asleep.

He pulls himself up to standing on everything he encounters that's taller than him.

He's starting to get good at holding on tight when he's standing and he falls down a lot less often. He tries to cruise too, but he hasn't mastered it yet. He can sit himself down from standing too. I remember with Kins she would get stuck standing and not know how to sit down again safely. He learned to sit back down within a week or two of learning to pull himself up. Probably because he's not afraid of falling down. When he falls from standing, he just turns it into a roll onto his tummy and keeps on exploring as long as he doesn't hit his head on anything on his way down. Kins was sooo much more cautious. She didn't want to risk hurting herself falling down. Same reason why she refused to try walking on her own until she was nearly a year and a half old.

Max still crawls with his belly on the ground. He's so adept at it that I'm not sure he will learn to do a true crawl before he starts just walking instead.

He's understanding how to work his toys, he turns the page back and forth on his stand up entertainment center.
He bangs objects to see how loud he can be, he splashes up storm in the tub, not minding a bit when the water splashes him in the face.

He knows who I am and that I provide the goods when he's hungry. If he's hungry and/or tired he crawls to me and pulls himself up, making his way to any bare skin and attempting to nurse any that he finds frantically. If he's emotional and I walk out of his line of sight he gets upset. He loves Kins and laughs his head off at her if she talks to him or interacts with him in any way. He knows daddy is the one who will bounce him around like crazy on pony friend or other exciting things. He always looks at Tim like the world just got brighter.

Nov 24, 2012


Notice the question mark in the title? It's because I barely know what I've been up to any better than you do. Tim has been working from home and his hours have been pretty easy the past two.. or is it three weeks. A luxurious contrast to his 6 day a week 12-14 hour per day schedule the 2 months before that. Then the day he had off, he had to go work on our old house to get it ready to sell. It was a challenging 2 months. We are really enjoying his schedule lately. We've been able to sit around so much we couldn't stand it anymore, during which time, we watched all of The Walking Dead to date in the evenings over the course of a couple of weeks. Which I am hooked on for reasons that I can't quite put into words. I'm not into the horror genre at all usually, and I don't enjoy the level of detail involved with every injury on the show.

We've been working on some home decorating and various projects around the new place. The previous owner built the home himself, and he made some strange decisions. Like choosing not to put a regulator on the water line leading into the house. Every house has to have a regulator to pass inspections. Apparently the owner had a buddy inspector. Which is kind of disturbing. And I'm hoping the list of items done incorrectly doesn't go on and on. So, a regulator puts a cap on the amount of pressure that can run into your pipes. Pressure over 100 (100 whats you might ask? Damned if I know) can blow out your pipes. Well, our pressure was 140. Which was causing a bunch of leaking from the water heater and other places. Tim put on a regulator and all the problems were solved. I suspect this whole paragraph so far is really boring. I won't go on with the other items Tim has had to fix so far. But, the decorating part has been fun. Here is the kid section of our living room. Picked up that rad cube shelf from Ikea, the drawers hold even more than I'd hoped, and there's space up top for my books.
Picture gallery. Took awhile to mat all the pictures, but from there the project went quickly. We used 35 or so in this display, and had 100 matted. Going to do one or two more of these throughout the house.

We took an offer on our old house, and hopefully everything will go smoothly with the sale. Getting that house sold would be a load off.

Nov 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and Fall Family Pictures

My parents went to visit my brother's family for Thanksgiving. Normally, we'd go visit for a couple of days over the weekend of Thanksgiving weekend, but it's working out about the same overall, since my parents were here before flying out and will stop by for another night on their way home. We went to Tim's parents' yesterday for some delicious grub. Only one sister made it, so it was a small gathering. It was still fun though, and Kins enjoyed crawling all over everybody. This kid has gone from shy last year, to the point this year where she's practically making out with everyone she runs across. She's really become adorably social and loving with everyone she meets. She hadn't seen our brother in law for months, and even though he's a tough looking dude, she crawled right into his arms and proceeded to hug him and cuddle with him as soon as she saw him.

I realized recently that we didn't have any family pictures of all of us since the ones taken when Max was first born. I am happy that we then got a couple of cute ones.

I raked her a big pile of leaves and she loved hiding in them.
This was pretty touching until about 4 seconds after I snapped it, when Kins shoved a handful of leaves forcefully into Max's face, pushing him over, and leading to a very unhappy boy.

Nov 3, 2012

Max is 7 Months Old

He is moving out of our room into his own today. Makes me a little sad. I love being able to hear him breathing and shuffling around at night, and know my little boy is just a few feet away. But, we've started waking him up at night. He's not sleeping as deeply as he used to. We can never sneak into bed without him waking, and last night he woke up when I changed positions a couple hours later too. He was not pleased to have been woken up either time. I think we will all get more and better sleep.

He is pushing up to a sit regularly now, he's a pro. He can crawl very fast when he's got a goal in mind, but he still slithers with his belly on the ground. He is always pushing up at much as possible and reaching his arm up to grab things to pull up on. He can't reach the coffee table edge, and he hasn't learned yet that if he sat up right next to it, then he could pull up on it. He wants to pull up on things badly though, and likes to have help so that he can stand while holding on to something. He doesn't understand yet that if he lets go, he will fall down. I have to spot him so that I can catch him when he falls. He just learned yesterday how to sit himself up in his crib. It's a mini crib, so he couldn't do it before with the limited space.

He tries to grab things with the pincer grasp, between his pointer finger and thumb. He notices very small things and is curious about everything. Usually about what it might taste like. His world revolves around what he might find to sample.
He loves his sister. Here she is sitting in his lap. He was thrilled. (That's red paint on her face, not a brutal injury.) When she talks right in his face or hugs him he gets thrilled. Sadly, these sweet displays of affection nearly always disintegrate into crazed, violent hugs, or pats on the head that turn into pushes; you get the idea. When he hasn't seem Tim in awhile, he will start to laugh he gets so excited. He loves strangers and offers a huge smile to anyone who notices him.

He hates having to part with a newly found prize before even being allowed to devour it. His second biggest dislike is probably when I leave the room after I put him in his crib for a nap. But, usually, within 5 seconds he stops crying and decides that taking a nap isn't a half bad idea. When Kins was little, it would take a bare minimum of half an hour to get her napping or to bed at night. With her to keep an eye on, I don't have much time to get his naps going, so he's had to learn to sooth himself to sleep.

Reading detailed schedules is boring, but, I never wrote this stuff down with Kins, and now that I have Max, I wonder what her schedule was like at different ages, so I want to have the info next time. (Yep. A third baby is the plan. The 3rd will be our last we think.) His schedule right now is going to bed about 8 and he seems to need 11ish hours of sleep. He wakes up every 3 hours to nurse, but often goes one five hour stretch. He goes back to sleep after nursing for 10 minutes or less. In the morning he seems to need to nap a couple hours after waking up and often it lasts exactly 1.25 hrs. He naps again about 1 when Kins does, and this nap is usually a long one, 2 hours or so. He usually takes a third nap at around 5 for an hour. But, this is when we will often go do things, and he's started not napping in the carseat or in the carrier as easily as he used to. So, if we're on the go and he doesn't nap, he is really tired by 7, but I usually try to stretch it to closer to 8 to put him to bed. It used to be that if he was overtired, it would be harder to get him to sleep or nap, but lately, he doesn't resist sleeping or naps when he's exhausted anymore.

Nov 2, 2012


We took Kins to the aquarium on Halloween. They had a spooky haunted hallway set up, and some games and crafts. She had fun. Next, we trick or treated for a couple of hours. She had skipped her nap that day. Sometimes she just plays the entire nap time and resists sleeping. She's then extra emotional for the rest of the day, and slightly abusive. So, she was tired before her usual bed time since she hadn't napped. She soon asked to be carried, and was laying her head down on Tim's head while she was on his shoulders. She looked like she was about to fall asleep. She was still having fun though, and insisted that she didn't want to go home yet.

Tim says the moon looks really goofy in the second pic. Well, I say it looks cooler than a big lamp on the side of the garage, which was there too. It's totally realistic. On Halloween it's natural for spooky things to happen, such as a mini moon dropping down in front of garages.

Oct 30, 2012


The aquarium is decorated for Halloween. They've got one whole hall that's like a mini haunted house. Kins was a little scared of the hall and ran out of it saying, "We gotta run away!" But, when she saw this guy she exclaimed, "Oh! It's Santa!"

Kins is finally out of her crib. For a long time we had her twin mattress and her crib in her room, and when she would get really tired, she had the hardest time deciding which choice was right. She would change her mind and be yelling to be put in the crib or taken out. I wasn't sure how well it would go over to just remove the crib, but we did about a week ago. She never even asked about it and seems happy to not be burdened with having to make the choice.
A bubbles earring.
When asked if she wanted to read her story in her chair or in daddy's lap, "Read in chair IN daddy's lap!" Then she lugged the chair over and put it in his lap.
Max in the carrier while I used the elliptical. He never seems to get tired of being in the carrier.
Tim and I out on our lunch date.
Kins likes to fake cry and wait to stop until you give her a binky. She doesn't actually use binkies for comfort, but she likes pretending that she needs a "dinky".
Her art skills are improving. I demonstrated how to draw a person, and she did her own just right after that. This is daddy. Notice the scribbles on his face? That's his beard. Under all the scribbles there are eyes, a nose, a mouth, and ears. And the scribbles on his legs are his pants.
Her fake smile.
Raaaaarrr! I picked out a few costumes from a used kid's clothing store that would fit her, and this is the one she wanted. She enjoys flapping her arms around and flying.
Showing off his two bottom teeth and his infectious smile. He loves splashing around vigorously in the tub. He's not deterred one little bit when most of the splashing splashes him in the face.
Hangin' with Howie.
Another carrier shot. I can't seem to stop taking these, even though they all look about the same.

Monster (or is it a dinosaur costume) on a zebra.

After being lulled to sleep on a run.
We had our first snow already. She loved making footprints.
Give this kid a tractor and she's happy.
I liked how this filter makes her eyes look. She's cuddling up in our bed after a bath.

Oct 29, 2012

Birthday Weekend

For my birthday my parents decided to come stay with us for the weekend. It was nice timing for me, because I haven't gotten a whole lot of adult interaction lately with Tim working long hours. It was fun to spend most of the weekend with them, and then the fates aligned my actual birthday with Tim's one day off.

Tim and I got to go out on two dates. One night we watched a movie, we saw Looper, which we both loved. The next day, we went out to lunch. It was fun to get out by ourselves.

Kin's got very daring here. Normally, she likes to sit on the bottom of the slide, and after much big talk about how she's going to "jump!" she attempts to make the motions of jumping, even though her feet are already touching the ground. But, THIS time, she stood at the end of the slide and really jumped. Even though she held Papa's hand the whole time. I do not have a dare devil on my hands, and I like it. I can't imagine how many accidents she would have if she manages to get hurt regularly with her careful nature.
A rare picture of me with both kids.
My cute little boy in his warm Bear suit.
Here's Kins doing her typical jealousy maneuver. Ever so softly and slowly elbowing Max in the head, while smiling and pretending like she's playing.
Tim and I got to run sans double stroller while my parents took the kids to the park. I previously thought I was in terrible shape, because I struggle to run three miles at a 10 minute mile pace when I'm pushing the stroller. I thought it couldn't make much difference, but it turns out I can run 8.5 minute miles without the stroller. So, despite still needing to lose 5 more pounds, I'm feeling more fit.
Daring to go down the slide instead of talking about it, but then going back down the stairs.
On the way home, we saw this huge owl on top of a neighbor's roof. I'm betting it normally lives right behind my house, where there's a small strip of undeveloped forested land. Tim and I sometimes hear scratching sounds on the roof over our bedroom, and now we're thinking it's probably an owl landing. I got the privilege of watching this guy puke up something, undigested remains of dinner I guess.
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