Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Whoa! Hold the presses! I'm on time with the FPD!

I found this web site called Pic Monkey that lets you edit photos, make collages & more! It's like a bigger version of Instagram! I've only played around with it for a bit, but I think it's perfect for these Friday Phone Dumps!

A few quick captions: 
Daddy & Ben at bedtime story
Hannah peeking out from the "club house" under our swing set

B&H at open gym (note the piggy tails)
B&H just "hanging around"
More piggy tails for Hannah
Holding hands on our walk 
Sweeping the living room for me!
More hanging around

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Watch this video. It's guaranteed to make you go "Awwwwwwww."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Today we tried something new: lunch at 11:00 and play outside at 11:30. It seems the 1/2 hour of running around before naptime worked - they went RIGHT to sleep! They looked particularly cute playing in the front yard today, so I snapped some Insta-Grams!

Literally saying "Hiiiiii!" to the camera. Note the knob on his
head. We've determined he's head-heavy. Every time he
falls down, he knocks his head. Poor kid.

Wild and crazy hair. Anyone got suggestions what to do with it??

Running through the yard!

Hannah and her "cug-ohs" (colors). This girl loves the sidewalk chalk.
Our front stoop looks like it's been hit by graffiti!
 What a great Tuesday!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Truth About Toddlers, part 2

After my last post my mom said to me "Wow, you must have had quite the day yesterday!" So, in all fairness to the Toddlers, I feel the need to write The Truth About Toddlers, part 2.

You'll recall that when you have Toddler(s), you don't have time to read parenting books. Well, that's because you are too busy playing Babies with your daughter and helping her put a diaper on your old Cabbage Patch Kid.

And you just have to read Where the Wild Things Are just one more time to your son.

And the sidewalk chalk looks way more fun than playing inside. And you just have to sign up for a music class and a story class and an art class. And take a trip to the Y a few times a week.

And who can resist taking a dip in the wading pool? Or digging in the sand?

Sometimes there's even a perfect evening like tonight. You take your kids to the park and they run around giggling. They gather pinecones. They pick up sticks. They hug some trees (seriously!). They pick dandelions and spin in circles in the grass until they are so dizzy they can't walk straight.

Life is good with toddlers.

And even when you tire of all the things at home that keep you from reading those toddler books,  when you have Toddler(s), you're very social. They like to be around other kids. You like to be around other moms of Toddlers. You go on playdates, head to the park, take a class, meet the neighbors, explore museums & zoos. It's a very high energy, high fun time in life.

And those Toddlers. Holy cow are they sweet! They do things like hug and kiss and make friends with everything nearby. Even statues of famous monkeys:

And they develop senses of humor! You think they are hilarious. And they think you are hilarious. It's a total boost for the ego!

And they are just so darn cute. You can't help but love them. Toddlers are a strange mix of baby features (chubby cheeks, big guts, bald heads and full round thighs) and kid features (mouths full of teeth, big stinky feet, long arms and legs) that you can't help but want to kiss and hug them all day long. And most of the time they will let you.

To me, right now, Toddlers are the perfect human beings. They're full of love and wonder. They want to learn and grow. And even when they do something they don't like, it doesn't take long for them to change their mind:

I also might be biased, but of all the toddlers out there, I got the best 2 of them all. How did I get so darn lucky? They are perfect. And I love them. Even when they throw food, run away when I want to change their diapers and scream a bit in the store. Those moments are few and fleeting. The real stuff is the good stuff. And I love the real stuff.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Man, that procrastination gene is sure stronnnng lately. Not only is it NOT Friday, but I also missed last week's Phone Dump Friday. So - without much ado as to not dwell on this tardiness), here's a photo highlight of the last 2 weeks:

Beauty at Lake Harriet
Bath is always fun!
Our neighbor and friend Lucy loves
to play with B&H (esp. B)

We got to see Curious George at the MCM
Theme of the week: climbing.
(This on a railing at Lebanon Hills Park)

We got a potty chair.
Yes, his pants are on.
We're just getting used to it right now. 

Free Fro-Yo for Dad's Day
More climbing: coffee table.
Feeding Baby some cheese
More climbing: the tree house ladder!
Oh. My. Messy!

Please, someone tell me what to do with this girl's hair!! Yikes!

PS: Sorry for the weird layout. I was trying to line it all up nice and neat, but I'm tired and I don't wanna work on it anymore. Someday I'll figure Blogger out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Truth About Toddlers

So, when you become pregnant, you sit down with a big stack of books and read what to expect while you're growing a human (or two). You might even read a book about newborns, one about nursing, a few about sleep training, and one about raising a happy baby. Heck, for fun, you might even read a book about potty training. The thing is, when you're pregnant, you have LOADS of time to read about what to expect. This is particularly the case when you're on bedrest (as I was, for 9 weeks). And there are LOADS of books to tell you all about what it's going to be like when you have a Newborn. So, though you might be scared and brand-new to parenting, you've at least got an idea of what to expect. And an arsenal of books to reference when the going gets tough.

Then the Newborn(s) arrives and you figure that out. Then the Newborn becomes Infant and you figure that out. These are all still stages you've read about in books. Probably sometime between Newborn and Infant you read a few more - perhaps on making baby food and playing with your baby. You got the Infant thing down pat. Life is good.

But then....

Infant becomes Toddler.

What. The. Heck?

Not one of the books you so studied says ANYTHING about the Infant becoming this foreign creature! You've got no reference of what to do! Suddenly parenting is 100 times harder again and guess what? YOU'VE GOT NO TIME TO READ ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT!!

So, if you currently are pregnant or have a Newborn or Infant, here's a head's up: soon you will have a Toddler. And you're life will never be the same!

You won't go to the bathroom by yourself anymore.

You won't be able to leisurely watch the Today Show and drink a cup of coffee while Toddler sits in the high chair content with just looking around. Oh no, that kid wants to GO. NOW.

The looks you get from strangers at the store aren't sighs of loving longing about how sweet your Newborn is. The looks are stares of terror as your Toddler won't stop screeching and has a mega fit because you won't let her hold the kitchen counter spray (true story).

Anything nice you have in your house will effectively be destroyed. Hide your stuff NOW. And be prepared to have to buy new furniture in about 4 years.

Nothing will melt your heart more than hearing "momma momma momma" in a sweet tone. Nothing will churn your stomach more than hearing "MOMMA! MOMMA! MOMMAAAAAA!" in a freaking-out-having-a-fit tone.

You'll break a sweat trying to change a diaper. Because first you'll have to run around the entire house trying to catch Toddler. Then you'll have to pin him down to take off diaper. And, as he stands up and begins to jump, you'll have to put a diaper on one handed while holding him in place with the other. Luckily, this skill gets easier after you do it 100 times.

Remember how successful you were at feeding your Infant all-organic, homemade, high nutrient foods? Remember that dream about doing so with your Toddler? Throw that out the window and buy some chicken nuggets and cheese sticks, because that kid ain't eating anything but that for the next 3 weeks.

Oh, and you may as well buy a dog now to eat up all the vegetables that get dropped on the floor. And the yogurt that gets flung across the kitchen. And the blueberry muffins that get crumbled and smushed into the high chair. Remember. Only. Chicken. Nuggets.

And then teething continues. This time with a vengeance. Molars and Eye Teeth appear and turn your Infant into a crazed maniac Toddler who cries 23 hours a day, no matter how much Ibuprofen you give her. (Serious: I follow all dosing instructions to the letter. Don't worry. Neither of my Toddlers are constantly drugged).

Everything - EVERYTHING - will take twice as long as it used to because you cannot force Toddler to do anything that is not on his own time frame. So, you need to be somewhere at 9:30, you better start getting ready for it at 8:30 (please read the diaper changing tip above). In the event that you do need to rush somewhere, you better bring ear plugs. Cuz Toddler's gonna cry about it.

You darn well better love Elmo. Enough said.

The word "Mine" creeps into Toddler's vocabulary and suddenly nothing in your own house belongs to you anymore. Your shoes? Toddler's. Your toothbrush? Toddler's. Your coffee mug? Toddler's, or so she thinks. No one gets Momma's coffee.

Buy Oxyclean by the truckful. Unless you have a very docile Toddler who keeps her bib on while eating. I don't. So we have a lot of really dirty shirts.

Don't get me wrong. There's lots that is great about Toddler. Toddler can do some things for herself. She can be loving and sweet and cuddly. She can be friendly and play independently. He can explore new things and listen to directions. He can play games with you and go for long walks to look for bugs on the sidewalk. He can get excited when an airplane flies over and wave with excitement to a bus driver. These are all GREAT things about Toddler.

But, just thought someone should warn ya about the Truth About Toddlers. No one warned me, and what a surprise it was!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More for the Bucket List

You'll remember I started a Bucket List. I'm sad report I haven't completed anything on my list yet. But, I have thought of another 10 things to add to it!

11. Go in a hot air balloon.
12. Ride a horse.
13. Learn to drive a stick shift.
14. Go technology free for an entire weekend.
15. Learn how to take good photos on a real camera (i.e. a DSLR, and not my iPhone).
16. Publish a short story or essay in a magazine or journal.
17. Learn to sew (but only if I like it; I've tried in the past and haven't liked it).
18. Ride my bike around the Sioux Falls bike trail with my dad (and maybe the kids?)
19. Visit (more than the airport) all 50 states. (I think I'm at 28 now).
20. Meet someone famous. Doesn't really matter who. :)

I better get busy!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The vocabulary of a one-and-a-half year-old

Egads! They are officially closer to 2 years old than they are to 1 year old. Time, I'm begging you, SLOW DOWN!!! If possible, I think this second year is going faster than the first one. Sigh....

All of a sudden, the language is exploding around here! Because I am who I am, you'll notice the Words We Can Say page is in desperate need of updating. Would you expect anything less from me, really? So, let me list all the words they can say now! Both are saying mostly the same words. Ben seems to say them more unprompted, but Hannah says the words equally well.

B&H' Word List, as of 6/10/12
Bye (or Bye-Bye)
Hey (mostly Hannah says this one)
Nonna (Donna)
May-Me (Mary, our neighbor. Ben mostly says this, not Hannah)
May-Me (Amy, the nurse at our clinic. And yes, it's the same as Mary. And both kids say it).
Kadee (Callie, our other neighbor, also one of Ben's words)
Nanna (Hannah)
Dubbee (Debbie, our ECFE teacher)
Ji-jee (Sissy, aka Hannah)
Doc-oh (doctor)
Che-Cho (teacher)
Kitty (still comes out Giddy)
Taddee (Teddy, like a teddy bear)
Bah (ball)
Baa (bath, or Baa like the sheep sound)
Buh (bus)
Baby (very clearly Ba-bee now!)
Bub-oh (bubbles)
Bug-oh (buckle)
Gar (car)
Kuck (truck)
Choo-Choo (train)
Glock (clock)
Bobby (potty)
Kack (duck - obviously the sound of the duck)
Behr - Bird
Cog-oh (color, as in crayons or sidewalk chalk)
Num Num (any food)
Nanna (banana, not to be confused with Hannah)
Kack-oh (cracker)
Chee (cheese)
Choo (shoe)
Tinky (Stinky, which is feet to them - I call their feet stinky)
Poooo (like Pew! Stinky! Not poo like poo poo.)

What a list! I didn't realize it was so many until I started listing & video taping them. I will toot my own kid's horns here and tell you they learned Teacher, Debbie, Doctor and Amy in less than a day. It was our last day of ECFE this week and I wanted them to say "bye Teacher Debbie" - so very advanced since they don't speak in sentences yet. But they did in the course of one day say separately Teacher and Debbie. And they still say those words! Then yesterday at our 18-month doctor appointment, I wanted them to say Doctor and Amy (the nurse). They learned both over breakfast. So smart!

In case you need to hear for yourself, here's a short video of some of their words. Sorry you can REALLY hear me and only sort of hear them. And that Hannah's got a cup of milk in her mouth almost the entire time. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our New Summer Home

If you can't find us this summer, we'll probably be at our new summer home - the pool! Aaron & I took B&H to Wabun Wading Pool in Minneapolis yesterday afternoon. It proved to be a big hit!

 Ben enjoyed jumping in!


Those fountains! BIG hit!

Snack break!

 After the pool, we went to Dairy Queen. Do I sense a tradition beginning....? 

Then today we finally bought a pool for our yard! Though we didn't have time to let the water sit for long to warm up, it still was a success, especially for Ben.. I think those swimming lessons paid off. :)

Mostly they enjoyed dumping water on themselves.


Daddy made a toy by poking holes in the
bottom of an empty yogurt container!

Hannah enjoyed lounging.

Check out those abs!
 And, yes, we ended the day with a trip to the ice cream (er, frozen yogurt) store. It wouldn't be swimming without it, right???

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

I read several other mommy blogs and many of them do a Friday Phone Dump where they upload the best photos from the week (of course, taken on their phones - who has time to dig out the real camera?). I thought I better jump on the band wagon. So, here we go! (Because I've been rather diligent with the blog lately, some of these might be repeats. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll slack on the blog again in the future and hopefully you will see new photos on the Phone Dump).

New Saturday Morning Ritual:
Sitting on couch reading w/ Daddy

Ready for swimming lessons

Last day of swimming

Grand Old Day

Petting a camel

Helping Momma pull weeds

Grabbing a warm cookie.
She takes after her mother

He's "winking"

Waiting for the doctor (18 month check up)

Swimming OUTSIDE!

Post pool DQ

Ice cream high

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sea Lions

Last weekend was a big one! B&H finished up their first session of swimming lessons at the Y. And while they didn't master the skills in their "Sea Lions" class (as a matter of fact, they need to repeat it...), they had fun and got used to being in water. Win!

"Yeah! I'm ready to go!
"Let us thru! We know the pool is in there!

Turns out Hannah excels at swimming more than Ben. She likes to float on her back and her tummy (with support of course) and can kick and scoop! She'll be swimming on her own before we know it! She also isn't very afraid to put her face in the water. So brave!

Ben excels at climbing out and jumping in. No surprise there. Every now and then one of us would surprise him when jumping in and put him all the way under. Oh my! That was never received well. He also excels at splashing, a skill he's been honing in the bathtub for well over a year.

The splashing begins!
 I think we'll take the rest of the summer off and revisit swimming lessons again in the fall. Maybe we'll get lots of practice at outdoor pools before then and they'll actually pass on to the next level. Can't have my kids held back for too long!