Thursday, February 26, 2009

23 pounds, 32 inches

We went to the doctor for Evan's 15 month well child checkup today. He took the shots like a trooper but was highly suspicious of all the other parts- looking in his ears, poking his tummy, and the meltdown-inducing scale. Go figure. At least coloring on the exam table was fun.

Fun with Friends

One aspect of future homeschooling that I am not at all concerned about is the 'socialization' issue. Ethan loves playing with other kids and we are fortunate to have so many friends with children so we can all enjoy playdates. While we were in Crete, we got together with Lane and Heather. As always, the boys had a great time and were even able to make their own lunch.

While I was working on this, Heather uploaded some old pictures and I stole this one from her Facebook page:
It would have been at her mom's house... summer 2007, maybe?

Last week Brayden came over to play- if only their super hero power was the ability to put away clean laundry.

A couple weeks ago we had a slumber party with our dear friends Rachel, Zach, and Jenna. Matt and I refer to Zach as our 'practice child' because we spent so much time with him when he was a baby and we were newlyweds. It is amazing that now all these kids are big enough to really have fun together.

We are so blessed with wonderful friends, and it is even more fun with a new generation to enjoy each other!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Photo Shoot

Ethan had a major growth spurt in the last couple weeks which resulted in 3 inches of pasty white skin sticking out of the ends of all his shirts and jeans. I took advantage of the attention being showered on the boys by all the aunts and cousins gathered in Omaha on Sunday and went shopping with Tessa. We cleaned out the boys youth (!!!!!) departments of many fine area retailers (whaddaya mean, Old Navy's not 'fine retail'?) and I think the kid should be set for awhile. I had to compensate for the shock of looking at such looong pairs of jeans by buying several really cute soft one-piece outfits for Evan. I'm not sure how I'll cope when I'm out of the baby department forever. Hello, nieces/nephews? Ethan was thrilled with all of his new stuff, espcially with the shoes and boots that he can put on without an adult wrestling his foot into. Just in time to enjoy some sun and snow at Nancy's house.

Evan showed great personal growth while I was gone by letting others hold him AND not immediately destroying Tim's iPod with Toxic Slobber (the bane of many phones and cameras).

All in all, a great day of laughter, fabulous food, and shopping! Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home sweet home (or, I love my bed but disapprove of the adult:child ratio)

We helped Matt with chores tonight. As he filled buckets with grain, the boys and I walked around to look at the baby calves. Evan waved madly to all the cows and Ethan tried a more verbal interaction. "Hi gwirls! My name is Ethan!" he announced. "I am a super hero here to help wif your baby calvies. Cuz when calves are borned, they DIE." "Umm, usually they are fine, Buddy, remember? Usually they don't die." I remind him. Fricking stupid circle of life.

The kids are so happy to be reunited with their daddy. Ethan was full of stories about his adventures and Evan was full of dah, eh, gahs which are cute but not nearly as informative. The drive home wasn't too bad but at one point Ethan let out a big sigh and said "I weally hope Gwanpa and Gwamma visit my house next time." Yeah, I wouldn't mind a break from the endless hysteria of peek-a-boo or the skull-piercing torture marketed as music for children either.
Wheeeeeere's Evan?

I'm glad some people find it entertaining.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vacation, sort of

We had to return Nick yesterday but haven't had too much time to wallow in self-pity because now we are cozily ensconced at my parents' house. Last night we were all in bed by 9 pm and everyone was ready for some fun today. We spent the morning playing with Ethan and Evan's cousin Mason at their Grandma & Grandpa Eggert's house. This afternoon Kirk and my Grandpa Joe came over to play. Not too many children get to spend time with 3 great-grandparents in one day.

Ethan moves up to the big horse, Copper:

I rode today, too. It was awesome! My muscles were a little stiffer than last time (3+ years ago) but the sounds, the smells, the feel were all familiar. I can't wait til the boys are big enough to have horses at our house. My family spent many, many happy hours on horseback. Matt and I used to ride to a nearby lake and picnic. Someday...

Ethan had work to do- with a real drill: No slacking on vacation!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Logic, Thy Name is Toddler

I may have mentioned this one or two million times, but Evan has approximately 1/4th of the vocabulary Ethan had at this age. However, I am not at all worried because his ability to communicate is finely honed indeed.

As usual this afternoon, there was a chair pushed up to the kitchen counter. Whether it was used to better reach some forbidden object or assist with lunch preparations, I don't remember, but it was inconveniencing Evan. He moved it out of the way, opened the bottom drawer filled with kid stuff, carefully selected a cup, walked over to the fridge, and squawked "Dwee! Dwee!" I obediently opened the door and he peered inside. I offered the milk jug and he glared at me while pointing insistently to a container of juice. Ah ha! He rewarded me with a big smile, drank his juice, and went on his merry way.

I don't know why I'm always so exhausted. These kids are practically self-sufficient.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun with Nick...

Sadly, Tessa and Emily had to return to the real world today. (Or to be accurate, me=sad, them=downright giddy.) But oh so very happily, Nick is staying until we go to Crete this weekend. Needless to say the boys (including Matt!) are thrilled.

Treasure Hunt

When company is here, we try to not talk with our mouths full, keep the bathroom door closed, and act like people who know how to enjoy life, not just fall asleep on the couch at 10pm. With this in mind, we had a bona fide Family Fun experience on Sunday. We went geocaching, using Matt's GPS to find a prize box hidden by some other Fun-filled geocacher. This one was at the Calamus Reservoir and we spent a delightfully sunny afternoon trekking through tall grass and laughing together. This was something I have wanted to try for awhile and one reason I sprang for the nice GPS for Christmas instead of going with my usual cheapskate instincts. It was great, and I can see the boys having a lot of fun with it as they get older. Nick was quite the GPS master.

A power nap on the way...

Nick doing the dirty work...

AAAH...SNAKE! Just kidding.

The log book- lots of stories and signatures.
(Contrary to the visual provided by this picture, I am not pregnant.)
Going home...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentines

My fantabulous sister and wonderful cousins came over the river and through the snow this morning to spend the weekend with us. Things got a lot more festive as soon as they arrived.

A holiday just isn't a holiday without massive amounts of sprinkles...

Ethan and I were all excited about our Valentine's Day party. He handed out the cards he had made and the boys opened gifts from my parents. Matt asked "So what do we do at a Valentine party?" Uhh, that was it, honey. Have another cookie.

The Dominoes game deteriorates...

...and all better now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random x 20

In the spirit of the 25 Things list, and because I am an obsessive list maker, here are 20 random things I've learned about parenthood. Add your own in the comments! (Along with perspectives as an aunt, cousin, etc. of course.)

1) Cat/dog food is apparently delicious.

2) Kisses heal a lot of owies, but major ones (wasp sting, smashed fingers) require a bowl of ice cream.

3) Disney movies are a lot more violent than you ever realized.

4) Babies are surprisingly tough.

5) Mothers are surprisingly tough.

6) Toddlers will hear every swear word you accidentally use but are deaf to reminders about cleaning up.

7) Don't listen to the people who tell you not to let your baby sleep in your bed- he won't really still be there when he's 12.

8) You will feel a little lonely when the baby does start sleeping by himself.

9) Dirt is really good for the immune system.

10) It is very important to at least kick the small, pointy cars & tractors out of the way before you go to bed.

11) No matter how many adults are in the room, you will still feel outnumbered by the baby.

12) Even if you think you are too exhausted to do anything, you will somehow be able to keep the kids fed, clean (enough), and unharmed until Daddy gets home.

13) Imaginary friends can be just as annoying as your actual children. (Diego said at his house we don't have to go to bed.)

14) The seemingly innocuous word "why" will make you want to destroy your own ear drums with a dull steak knife to spare you from ever hearing it again.

15) How to play Post Office: 1) Throw all the couch cushions on the floor. 2) Wad up some papers and toss off the couch. 3) Bounce up and down, laughing hysterically.

16) Play groups are even more important for the mommy than they are for the kids.

17) No matter how nonviolent the environment is, boys will turn anything and everything into weapons.

18) Your standards for entertainment will sink to new levels. For example, I find Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus absolutely hysterical.

19) Two kids are more than double the amount of work, laundry, and fun.

20) When you watch the kids sleeping peacefully, you will forget (most of) the tears and look forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


As always, we had a fantastic weekend at my parents' house. Saturday night they watched the kids while I went to Omaha for my cousin Emily's birthday celebration. It was really fun to see her and my sister and meet some new friends (Hi, Libby! :) ) but holy orthopedic shoes Batman, I am old. The bars are so loud nowadays, and there's nowhere to sit, and yawn yawn it is waay past my bedtime. But it was fun and it was nice to have my arms loose for a few minutes. (Sarah: only 5 years and 3 days til you can come with us! If you don't mind holding my cane.) I also did some shopping all by myself and while I did not miss navigating the stroller between the racks and crowds, I felt surprisingly lonesome with no one to talk to. Also, apparently it was Bring Your Newborn To The Mall Day at Oakview- I saw at least 12 teeny, tiny, brand new babies. Aww.

But there are no babies here- Ethan proved that by going to Kindergarten on Monday! Well, with his gramma, and only for the 1 1/2 hours of playtime and recess. He had a blast playing with the big kids and letting them lead him around. He even made a Valentine craft. So big!

And now we are home, trying to avoid the mountain of stuff I carried in and left by the door. The sun is shining and the yard is one big sloppy puddle so the boys should be able to have some fun. All that's left for me to do is find my camera and document it. Then do all the laundry. Again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Random rerun

There is a "25 Random Things About Me" deal circulating through Facebook (aaaahhh Facebook) and since it took an incredibly long time to think of 25 things about myself (boring much?) I decided to share them over here, too. Also most of my readers fall into the category of #16 so: I am very very very sorry. I wish I could go back and eat every single delicious thing you prepared.

1. I have a strong faith in God, through Him all things are possible.
2. I can tell if a cow is close to having a calf. (And they don't teach that at Dana.)
3. I have an awesome family & extended family.
4. I am seriously considering homeschooling my kids.
5. My favorite movie is Cinderella.
6. I love to cook but am very tired of figuring out what to make for supper.
7. I really love to bake.
8. I really really really love to eat baked goods.
9. My sister is my best friend in the whole world but we don't get to see each other nearly enough.
10. I have the most adorable children in the world.
11. Also, the most stubborn and opinionated. Definitely the loudest.
12. I love to read, especially medical dramas and non-fiction historical stuff.
13. Ethan's favorite shows are Dirty Jobs and "Destwoyed" in Seconds.
14. I have a major crush on Jon Stewart.
15. My ginormus baby is nursing right now.
16. I wish I could apologize to everyone who ever tried to feed me when I was a young, extremely picky eater. Now I know what it is like to SLAVE AWAY over a hot stove ALL DAY and what do you MEAN, you don't like meatballs- you ate 5 yesterday!!!!!!
17. Sometimes I get a little carried away.
18.Once when I was pregnant and gained 50+ pounds, I reached for a cookie and Matt suggested I eat an apple instead.
19. But we're still together. :)
20. We started dating in high school.
21. He is an amazing father and happy to include the boys in whatever he is doing.
22. I am 5' 3" AND A HALF.
23. I wish I had some kind of artistic talent.
24. I love to waterski, snow ski, and snowboard even though I am the most uncoordinated person on the planet.
25. I love writing on my blog, and I really love when people leave comments.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mitts and Glubs

Or mittens and gloves, if you prefer enunciating all the syllables. Life will be much simpler when we can leave the house without spending 30 minutes finding hats, mittens, and boots. These days the sun shines invitingly but it's not quite warm enough to forgo all the gear, just sunny enough for the thaw to create some mighty tempting mud puddles. Some muddy water, a stick, and a few rocks = very happy boys.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Literary Musings

I read an article in BabyTalk magazine once about keeping your baby happy all day. It listed, like, 7 things: Exersaucer, tummy time, look in a mirror, go outside, blah blah etc. So a more accurate title would have been "How to Keep Your Baby Happy For 7 Minutes". I was reminded of it the other day after the kids and I: 1) made play-doh 2) played tractors 3) painted 4) read stories 5) played puppies 6) 'wrote' a letter 7) played hide & seek and 8) made brownies. Then I looked at the clock and it wasn't even 11 am!

(Could someone please explain how this time warp works? Loooooooong days=years that fly by? Physics (?) was never my thing, so, a little help please. And don't be afraid to dumb it down.)

Anyway, I was thinking I could write a fricking book about keeping small children happy all day- heck, make it a week!- and then maybe I would write a book about The Magic Sleep Technique (hint: Benadryl. That'll be $34.99, it's e-g-g-e-r-t) and while I'm at it I could publish the results of some of my research with an article called "Parenting Is Easier In The Summer When Kids Can Play Outside." Because apparently any idiot can just take something obvious, throw in a bunch of big words, and publish a book. Then any other idiot can regurgitate that thought in a magazine, as long as the article is next to a clean, smiling baby. (And don't even get me started on that kind of false advertising. A clean shirt on the mom AND baby? Highly unlikely.)

In other news, The Minds of Boys is a Big Fat Disappointment. Most of the content is a list of the ways that public school systems aren't set up to accomodate the learning styles of boys. What- boys have a hard time sitting still for 40+ minutes?! I am SHOCKED. Where is the insight as to why they eat mud or turn every harmless object into a WMD? How is it possible that they can detect an engine 3 miles away but can't hear me tell them to put away the blocks?

Maybe I just need a decoder ring.

Weekend in Pictures

After a weekend of hard labor, , I'm too exhausted to think of any cute or meloncholy stories to share. I promise to get back to the regular program of I love my kids/my kids are killing me soon. (Sorry Laura.)

Evan helped Gramma by taste-testing all the treats. A tough job, but someone's got to do it, right?
The ranch hands- Ethan and Kirk.

And finally, a rest.