Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Myann's Halloween Dance Recital

Myann's dance class has been working on a dance that they performed for us today in costume. Myann was a bit shy with all the parents watching, but she did most of the dance. It was a tap routine, which is her favorite, except she tends to slip in her tap shoes. Surprising note, Myann was the only Darth Vader. I bet you were expecting more Star Wars characters in her class. That's my girl, she moves to her own beat. She would like to clarify that she is a nice Darth Vader.

Oh no he didn't

Tonight my eldest and now least favorite child said in reference to the car trash bag. "Mom, how can you call this a trash can when you never empty it?"

This coming on the heels of, "How come Sheryl can keep her car so clean and yours is always a mess?" Sheryl is my neighbor and car pool buddy. My immediate response was, "Well Sheryl does not have 3 little kids messing it up." But who am I kidding, my car from when I was single had any number of miscellaneous things. They add to my clutter, but I can clutter a car all on my own. At least I can blame the kids.

He is confirming our suspicion that he will be the family neat freak. Praise God!!!! This family needs a neat freak, because Brian and I are soooo not.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anders 2 year stats (Technically 25 months)

Our shot schedule is a little off, so Anders had his 2 year well check up today.

He was super shy for the doctor, which meant extra snuggles for me, so no complaints. But he did what he had to do and was thrilled to get his stickers for consolation.

Weight: 34.4lbs (95%)
Height: 35 3/4 in (75%)
Head: 20 in (90%)

Anders ongoings: He now sleeps with 4 animals, they have doubled in the past month (let's hope it is not a trend). He loves his Jesus book and points out every animal including the camels and zebras. Of course, the fox he calls it a box and he calls the ostrich a monster. No clue why. He also loves his foam puzzle books. He loves them so much that now he sleeps with them too. His bed is quickly becoming crowded. He loves fruit and bread and the occasional meat, but not so keen on veggies. He is our first kid to not like broccoli. He counts, but frequently skips the number 2, kind of ironic. He sings twinkle twinkle little star and the abc's. He loves Curious George and Nemo. He loves to announce who is naked, even if it is himself. By naked, he sometimes means you have skin showing. He has no interest in potty training. Well he likes to sit on the potty, but has yet to do anything on the potty. He is in Soccertots and has no interest in following directions or sitting on his spot. He just wants to run and kick the ball, jump when he feels like it, and catch the hula hoop. He is an amazing ball handler and has a good kick.

He also has inherited or learned his brother's propensity to get to the candy. I frequently find him stacking stools or moving chairs to get him tall enough to reach the candy. He loves all candy, chocolate or just sugary. He loves his vitamins and comes running because he thinks they are candy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New way of eating

In an effort to support my brother on his new eating regimen, I started looking into healthier eating. I have begun reading lots of books and slowly making changes around here. Some have been well received and others not so much. Brian let me know that quinoa 3 different ways in 3 different nights was still too much quinoa. So we are spacing it out a bit. The kids are willingly trying new things, but not always fully happy and taking to eating lots of apples between meals. Thankfully, I have children who LOVE healthy snacks. I wish I could snack like them. They beg for celery and cucumbers. But I want to make sure they are getting the protein they need as well as a variety of fruits and veggies. So I researched and settled on this version of a bento box.

It presents all the food at once and forces me to serve a variety of foods. The kids think it is a neat presentation and like the variety. I give them smaller quantities of several different foods. Myann and Anders seem to be eating the same amount as before, but Shane is eating much more and without complaint. Every day at lunch used to be a battle of choices and what he did or did not feel like. It has only been 2 weeks, but so far, he has eaten every healthy morsel of every meal I have served in the box for 2 weeks. I am sold. I do not give him a choice for lunch. I make the food and serve it. And he has been eating it. On my creative days and when I have an extra minute, I cut some of the food in cool shapes or serve the sides in cool shaped silicone cups. I use the silicone cups for the leftover foods because they are less enthusiastic about leftovers, but I serve it in a heart shaped cup and tell them it was made with love. They totally bought it. Score for mommy.

So what exactly are we doing different. Eating as little processed food as possible. We have never been fast food people or even restaurant eaters for that matter. I cook 99% of our meals. However, on my worn out days I would make mac and cheese, like I did tonight. But I have not been buying anything new from a box. We have been eating all fresh or frozen fruit, all fresh veggies, and grass fed beef on the few nights we eat beef. Most nights it is chicken, and we are working on the free range chicken part. I am even going to home make the granola bars and try to get us off boxed granola bars, our car ride standby. As I said, the kids mostly snack on carrots, celery, cucumbers, and fruit, so they are pretty easy. I am trying to eat more nuts as snacks and less protein bars. Next we are going to try to get off canned foods as much as possible. Our ultimate goal is to eat less sugar and less foods that might have added chemicals, pesticides, and sweeteners. It is tough and it will be a slow transition.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shane's Inventions

Lately Shane is all about his inventions. For a month, he has been talking about how his transporter would work. For the record, Shane has never seen Star Trek, so he did not know that the concept was not original. He may have seen it elsewhere, but every time we are running late, he says, "See Mom, when I build my transporter, we will not run late again."

This morning at church they talked about a group raising money for malaria nets. We talked more about why nets are so important. Shane then said he was going to invent a machine that created a laser field around you while you were sleeping and it would zap any mosquitoes that tried to get to you. Original idea, maybe not cost effective for rural Africa, but an interesting idea.

I am torn between posting his inventions, what if I post them and then someone steals his idea and invents it before he his old enough to do it on his own. I know, crazy, but he will never forgive me if someone gets to his invention first.

Warning: Serious Mom Bragging Post, VERY Biased

Maybe he should have been named Thor - it suits him.

I have previously thought that I gave birth to the cutest kid in the world, but now I KNOW it is true. No luck getting him to smile for the camera, he was focused on the task at hand...getting candy.

Here he is smiling. See what I'm saying. Crazy cute!

And we all love his thighs so much we even let him climb on the table in a diaper. So actually pretty gross, but I was so worn out at this point in the day, I didn't care.

Ok, so the other kids are cute too. But I am biased towards Viking superheros.

By the way, I would feel amiss if I did not mention where these pictures were taken. My good friend Jen has an exceptional party planning daughter, Jordan, friend of Myann and betrothed to Shane. She planned every detail of the party and did all the decorations herself. It was the best Halloween Party we have ever been to. The kids had a blast and I was relaxed the whole night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Decorating

Daddy has been gone a lot lately, so our pumpkins were not going to be carved any time soon. I am not brave enough to bring out several sharp objects when it is just me and 3 very eager kids. Shane found these push in pumpkin decorators that I had bought on clearance after Halloween last year. Perfect! All 3 kids could decorate their own pumpkin with just a little extra momma muscle. They were pretty proud and I rather liked the clean up - NONE!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Picking

It was a perfect Tuesday morning, so we decided to go back to Green Bluff to pick pumpkins. We chose our favorite pumpkin patch, Knapps. We were the only ones when we got there and had the entire patch to ourselves for a while. It was peaceful and gorgeous. We convinced the Kipps they had to join us. They arrived in time to pick some tasty blackberries. At that point the kids were done, as were we, so we paid for our load and ventured to Walter's for apple picking. Walters was a bit less peaceful since there were several school trips and we were on a tight schedule to get Shane to school. Jen was kind enough to offer to pick apples for us.

Anders was thrilled to see a tractor, he would have made a great farmer.

Anders saying, "Too heavy"

Running through the patch

My poor attempt to get all 3 in a decent picture. Shane was not cooperating at all.

Blackberry picking is hard work.

I love these pictures of Jordan with Anders. She is so sweet with him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scenic train ride

We took the scenic train ride again from Ione, WA. The weather was pretty terrible, but the kids loved being inside in the caboose. They even had an elevated seat to better enjoy the view. Ok, so they mostly loved screaming in the dark tunnels and eating snacks, but as a great man called Papaw (my SIL's grandpa) would say, "Making Memories." We definitely made some memories. We were with our dear friends the Kipps and Prizemans and even Brian's boss Beth, who we love and happened to be in town. And props to Beth, she rode in the middle seat between Myann and Anders for the 90 minutes there and back. Poor Beth did not know what she was getting into, but she seemed to enjoy it.

Anders sticking his head out the window. I love the rain drops on his face.

The caboose

Myann wanted a picture all by herself

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Harvest Time

Though we have been to Green Bluff already, I prefer the quieter weekdays. However, the weekdays do not have the blow up houses and crazy mazes and festival stuff. So we went there Saturday after Shane's soccer game. Nightmare! It was packed, as I knew it would be, but we did it for the kids. Which meant we did not get apples or pumpkins. Instead, we let them play and then ate pumpkin donuts, ice cream and went home. We shared the misery with the Prizemans of course, so they made it better.
Shane and Myann with the Pumpkin Queen or Fairy?

Shane and James hamming it up

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex

9 more birthdays than we ever thought we would celebrate! Today you spent your birthday driving to San Antonio to meet with more doctors who can hopefully help you celebrate at least another 9 birthdays. What a walking miracle you are. My brother and my hero, I love you and am thrilled that I could celebrate with you early last weekend. Cancer really does suck, but it definitely makes you stop and enjoy the time with loved ones. Last weekend was wonderful and I really could just be in the moment and enjoy all our time together. Given what you are going through, I know it is hard to stop and appreciate the gifts in your life, but last weekend was just one example of the gifts we have. I know you thought it as often as I did, we have the most amazing family. How lucky are we to be related to some of the coolest people on this planet. Of course, I think that about you. How lucky I am to have you for a brother. Danielle was so right when she said that you touch everyone you meet, there is just something about you that connects with people. How lucky am I that I have never know a minute on this earth without you. Ok, so as we reminisced, there definitely were a few minutes in my life when I wish you were not there, like when you tormented me repeatedly. :) But that is just sibling life.

Happy Birthday! We love you!
Your sister, your brother in law, and your niece and nephews

Attachment to socks

Yep, some kids have lovies, some have blankets, Anders has socks. It started a few months ago when he would take off his socks at naptime, but then would want to take them downstairs after nap. I would have to search his crib and floor to find those socks. Now he insists on taking socks to bed at nap and nighttime. Let me clarify, he does not have to wear the socks - he just wants to hold them. He snuggles up with them the same as he does his babies (red teletubby and white lamb - Shane's hand me downs). Then any socks around go with him to playtime. Half the time I find him with the socks on his hands and he talks to them. Maybe I should give him the puppets to play with. Then there is Myann who refuses to wear socks. Winter is going to come as a rude awakening to her cold toes.