Monday, June 29, 2015

Just Another Day in Paradise

My weekends lately have been fantastic. Full of fun and full of what I can only easily describe as "quality family time". Of course during the weekend there are moments of frustration... but by the end when asked what my "high and low" were, I always find myself thinking how wonderful it was to just spend time with my kids (and sometimes with siblings, grandparents, etc). I feel like these weekends are little slices of paradise, the "happily ever after" I waited for before I had kids, or even when I had just Ben and I longed to be pregnant again with each day.

Here is what my happily ever after looks like:
Friday Night: Pizza at my parents house. Ben loves playing outside there. I took Ben for a walk on the northwest passage (a trail through the woods that goes from my parent's house to the road). I told him about being a kid and climbing the old apple tree and promised we would find a tree for him to climb. I told him that I remember my parents cutting that trail. I put him up in the slingshot tree and told him the names of all the wildflowers. When we got back to the house I traded w DH and took Felicity inside while he came out to play with Ben. I had a tasty microbrew beer and hung out with my parents and little sister. Eventually we ate pizza, then watched soccer and played together. Ben was pretty rowdy, but we got some funny moments between the discipline. He likes to play space there. We sit on the couch and pretend to take off and then when we land on different planets he goes out and explores (and we stay on the couch comfortably. LOL).

Saturday morning we went to the Rhubarb Festival. We got there right at 9am, which was apparently just in time for the kids races. We ran the "little kid" race (BEN and I), it was quite a long "course", then we hung out in the shade sipping rhubarb lemonade while he colored a picture of a rhubarb stock (for a coloring contest). Then we headed inside for a treat. He had blueberry rhubarb pie with cinnamon icecream and I had rhubarb custard pie with vanilla icecream. Both were amazing of course. Back outside to pick out a free book, decorate a mug, plant a flower in said mug, and decorate a lady bug to put in dirt. We also found a good tree for him to climb, but as it was so crowded I told him we could go back and do that another day.

Saturday afternoon, after everyone got a nap, we went outside in our yard. Ben colored with chalk on the driveway (he drew a "no parking" spot. How hilarious is that?), and Felicity and I laid on a blanket on the grass (well, I laid there and she climbed all over me). Then I went in and started getting dinner ready. DH grilled brats. We had a family dinner and then gave both the kids baths before bed. They both LOVE Baths.

Sunday morning we did a "Target" run... kinda a family tradition lol. It went kind of rocky because Ben didn't listen and therefore had to forgeit the matchbox car he had picked up. Then we headed up to Enger Tower. We found a tree Ben could get up into a little bit. We climbed Enger Tower. Ben LOVED it and just wanted to run circles around the top of the tower. When we came back down he wanted to take the steps sideways. At the bottom he wanted to run around the tower again and climb on the walls. After that we walked over to the Asian garden where he thought the wooden bridge made a good pirate ship, and we had a near miss of him running into/ruining the Zen Garden (combed rocks). We headed up to the overlook area and let him climb on the rocks. He jumped into a puddle of sludge on one of them. The flowers were amazing, yellows white and oranges, even some wild roses.

Sunday Afternoon we decided to have a movie night. DH took Ben out to rent a movie and he picked Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. DH and him watched that while I mostly cooked and hung out in the kitchen. After dinner we all played together as a family with foam blocks/puzzle pieces. It was a lot of fun. In the evening, and this is a big deal, Ben pooped in the potty! LOL. Yes. Big deal here. We had been trying to get him to go/reminding him ALL day and suddenly out of no where he said "I have to poop" and ran to the potty, and poop he did. We practically threw him a parade - chocolate bar, number on his chart (he is working towards a book), and let him call his Aunt to leave a VM stating what he had done. Hopefuly it continues today but I am not holding my breath.

That is my weekend in paradise. Just everyday stuff... but awesome.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Felicity at 9 Months Old

Felicity turned 9 months old on Monday, the day after Father's day. We had a lovely weekend. She went to her first Grandma's Marathon, and we enjoyed time at the mall. We painted hand/foot prints for dad, spent a beautiful foggy morning at Brighton Beach and went to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

GROSS MOTOR: She is crawling like a champ, she moves quickly and likes to explore. She pulls up on anything that will support her weight (and sometimes something that won't support her weight!) She is interested in the stairs but has not made any real progress on them. She can withstand the occasional intentional and unintentional assaults and attacks by her brother.

EATING: She loves to eat. Some of her favorites: cottage cheese, blueberries, cereal, meat (she had salmon patty last night that she really seemed to enjoy), olives, and any kind of carb. She did not seem to enjoy the sweet potatos last night.

TALKING: Same old.. lots of babble. She is very loud in her vocalizations an the daycare worker who hosted the Grandma's Marathon party we attended emphasized that she is the loudest baby in the room. She loves to clap too and is interested in other gestures, though I haven't seen her make any.

TOYS: Her Favorite toys are maracas, crinkly blocks, small (very small) board books, and anything her brother has.  The books I read her most often are from the "Mini Masters" series (van gogh, matisse, degas and monet)

SOCIAL: She has chilled out a bit though she still is clingy sometimes. She has even let her Aunt L hold her for a few minutes without crying. She likes to play more and that distracts her from being clingy. She loves watching her big brother do just about anything, especially run and laugh though.

SLEEP: We transitioned her to a full size crib a few weeks ago. It has gone pretty well. The main problem is that she is at that stage where she tries to sit up pretty much the second she begins to wake up, and so wakes herself up. I am not really keeping track of how often she is getting up at night. I would say a good night these days is if she went down at 7pm, and got up at 10pm and 2am. That is rare... a third time would be more common. She also has a tendency to wake up at 5:15am, at which time I just bring her to bed with me for the last 45 minutes of the "night". I think this is probably associated with the light in our room.

I have a confession. I didn't take pictures of her holding the 9m sign, but I did take pictures of her on Sunday and Monday. Here they are:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Trip to the Park

This afternoon we went to a park, a different park than normal because it was about to rain (better to drive to a park and be 30 feet from the car then walk 4 blocks there and be stranded if it rains). It was quite the adventure. Felicity was along for the ride (in her carseat, or strapped to my chest), but the real star of the story is Ben.

First, we get in the car, and on the way to the park Ben asks the question dreaded by all parents... "How did you get me as a kid?". I gave a very general answer: "Dad and I decided to have a baby and you grew in my stomach just like Felicity". Nope. Not good enough "but how did you make me?" Uh. Awkward laughter. Aaron started to jokingly say the infamous line "when two people love each other very much..." and we both cracked up. Then I said something like "men and women each have part of what it takes to make a baby inside them and we put them together in moms stomach". DH stepped in at this time and decided to compare it to making pancakes. Something like "Its like when we make pancakes - mom has some ingredients, dad has some ingredients, you mix them together and it bakes in mom's stomach". I asked Ben "Make sense?" and he said yes. LOL. Hope we didn't scar him for life.

We got to the park and walked over to the playground. There were quite a few kids there. Benjamin is not great at making new friends. He tends get this really "mean" face on and stand in their way and sometimes yell random things at them related to what he wants to play... we are working on it. Today though he was yelling "Feeding Mice ahead!!". We asked him to make sure and this was indeed right. We have NO idea what he meant or where he got it. Something about his new nursery rhyme story book (from the garage sale yesterday)... DH and I were both puzzling over it when out of no where another little girl yelled the exact same thing, obviously copying Ben. OMG we almost died laughing. The madness is spreading!! Well, despite his bad / mean face, he did eventually manage to get involved in a game with two other kids... where he was the bad guy of course!! They started calling him Mr Goo and running away from him and he ran after laughing maniacally. Guess as long as everyone is happy it works well!!! As DH said, he casts himself as the villain!

After those kids had to leave we wondered down to the baseball field. I did not know how it would go, but Ben LOVED it. I was pretending to be the pitcher. I would act like I threw the ball, then they would swing and say "CRACK" as if they were hitting the ball hard and run the basis. It was very fun and there were some great moments. First, DH told him he had to touch third or it wouldn't count, he dramatically reached down and placed his hands on it. Later, on the third or fourth go, he got tired and just sat down between second and third base. Then, when DH decided to pretend to be an outfielder, instead of running his bases, Benjamin chased DH into the outfield to help. Fun was had by all!!