Saturday, January 29, 2011

To be a Green (or one of the many other last names that fit in my family)

I was raised in an amazing family. A family that doesn't differentiate between 1st and 3rd cousins in our love and closeness. A family that looks forward to Thanksgiving and a gathering of 60-70 of us in close quarters as a highlight of the year. A family that encouraged and loved and helped and joked with each other, mostly joked. The kind of family in which I could call and receive aid in any form at the drop of a hat from any one of my many cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, aunts that I call aunt but are really my 2nd cousins twice removed, etc. In my family we always hug and kiss when we see each other even if the last time we saw each other was the yesterday. In my wonderful amazing family the women are taught to be strong and independent. The women of my family are headstrong and willful at times, they are generous to a fault and have an abundant capacity to love. The matriarchs and patriarchs of our family have passed down to even the youngest in our family the importance of respect for our elders and love for family. Regardless of whether or not we were born into this family or married into the family we have been loved equally. It is hard for me to express how lucky I am to be a part of my family, my whole wonderful extended family. I am proud to be a Green (and related to people with other last names who all know who they are) and more than anything I am proud to be able to raise my children to know and love this family. Today I got to take a picture of 4 generations of women in my family and the youngest generation was represented by my daughter and I can't even find the words to express how amazing and wonderful and blessed I am by that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hibernation Day

Due to the snow, Little Man's school was closed again and he was most upset about missing the hibernation station (a cave like part of the room with pillows for snuggling up and reading) that is new to his classroom for this weeks lesson on hibernation. So we decided to have a hibernation day at home instead. Little Man greeted this idea with resounding cheer and even stayed in his room until 7 am as instructed with no complaints to ensure hibernation day happened as planned!!

We started off by staying in our pajamas and making a hibernation station using a card table, sheet and a bean bag in the inside for snuggling into to. But it wasn't big enough for both boys to fit into comfortably (read: without fighting for space) so we expanded it using the train tent and another bean bag. Once we had that all figured out Little Man decided we also needed a nest. So we grabbed all of the couch pillows and made a reading nest. Sweet Pea was sleeping so I snuggled up in the nest with the boys and read 5 or 6 books.

It was a must that all of the stuffed bears and dogs accompanied the boys into the hibernation station so it got a bit crowded after a while which of course resulted in bickering. So following speech therapy (which was interesting with Little Man competing for attention) we moved the nest into the living room and the boys watched Elmo in their nests while I made pumpkin pancakes in the shape of snowmen with confectioners sugar for coloring and raisins for eyes and buttons. Little Man was adamant that we had to have pancakes for lunch because it was hibernation day and pajama day which equals only pancakes to eat all day.

All of the kids are currently settled down for their long winter's nap and this afternoon will find us reading more books in our nests and eating popcorn while watching a movie together. The house is a mess, the couches are disassembled, more then normal tv is being watched but it is all in the name of our very own special hibernation day.

This is the first version of the hibernation station:

Here is the expanded version to alleviate the bickering:

Hibernating/Reading Nests:

Three Happy Kids:

The Kissing Train:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you can't take the Boys to the playground.....

you have to bring the playground to the boys! After weeks of subzero temperatures and feeling trapped inside the house with two very active boys and a baby I came up with a brilliant idea to clean the outdoor play equipment for indoor use. Papa Bear was my absolute hero and cleaned up the equipment on the back porch in 20 degree weather and was up until after midnight reassembling it in the basement playroom. It has got to be one of the best parenting decisions we have ever made. Little Man and Peanut will go down into the basement to play on their own (without fighting) for 30 minutes at a time at least 3 times a day. You can't but that kind of awesome anywhere!! Little Man is a monkey and scales the walls and climbs all over or makes a house under the slide. Peanut yells "wheeee" while going up and down the slide trying to keep up with his big brother. Energy is being burned, imagination is being engaged, fun is being had and best of all Mama is getting a few minutes of peace!!

We started with just this piece from the backyard but it was so popular that we decided to step it up.

So we brought in the large playground piece (donated to us by Mee-Mom- thank you thank you thank you) which was well worth the work Papa Bear had to put in.

Sorry the pictures are blurry, I couldn't make them stop playing long enough to get pictures in focus!!!

Sledding 2011

The snow fell quickly yesterday building up as Little Man and Peanut stared out the window. Schools closed and Papa Bear decided to work from home giving the boys and I a chance to get out and have some fun. While Sweet Pea slept and Papa Bear worked we bundled up (a process that took a good 20 minutes) and headed out for the sledding hill. I made both boys walk while I carried the sled and Peanut looked a little bit like that boy from the Christmas Story who was so bundled up that he couldn't move. Little Man skipped down the street and Peanut waddled after him as fast as his chubby legs could carry him - the kid is seriously adorable.

We got to the very crowded sledding hill and thanks to our 3 person sled immediately loaded ourselves on and down we went. Peanut yelled "Wheeeee" all the way down and was all smiles. The hardest part was getting up the hill. Little Man could make it up and he even pulled the sled up for me but Peanut just couldn't walk in the 6+ inches of snow. So I had to carry my 35+ pound Peanut up the very steep hill. I ended up having to use him as a Peanut shaped walking stick at the top. I would put him down, take a step, pick him up and put him another foot in front of me and take another step. Once we finally got to the top of the hill I would sit and rest to catch my breath because I am horribly out of shape and then start it all over again. For an hour we went up and down the hill and each time we got to the top Peanut would demand "Whee, down Whee" and then when we got to the bottom it was "help me" and up we went again. Little Man loved it because he got to ride in the front and be the "driver" of the sled and it was wonderful to get that time with the boys outside in the snow.

I have no pictures of this to post because as talented as I am managing a camera on top of the bundling and sledding and carrying and falling and snowman building that occurred!!

Oh and just as little side notes on the day:
Peanut fell asleep in his chicken nuggets because he was so exhausted from sledding
Little Man ASKED to take his nap which is virtually unheard of
Little Man ate the carrot nose...twice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Is Peanut Orange?

Sweet 3 Months for Sweet Pea

Oh my baby girl is growing up. Today she is 3 months old and I can't believe how big she is getting.

My Top 6 Favorite things you should know about Sweet Pea:

1. Her smiles! She loves to give her smiles out for free. I have to avoid eye contact with her when she is nursing because if she catches my eye she will smile and stop eating. But I will forget or just can't help myself and I look down she looks right at me and gives me the most beautiful smiles.

2. Her laugh! Today she gave a full belly laugh for the first time which made me laugh and then she laughed because I was laughing. She kind of sounds like a nasal sheep when she laughs but I love it!

3. Her Purr Sneeze continues! It is so hard to explain why this is. When Sweet Pea sneezes which is fairly often she sounds like a sneeze sounds in a cartoon. First there is the Ah AH Ah deep inhale fake out. Then it starts over again ah ah Ah ah Choo followed by a purrrrrr that is so adorable you wish she would sneeze all over you just to hear it again. This purr actually rumbles like she is rolling her tongue in the back of her mouth. A-Dorable!

4. Her sleep schedule. While she is a bit of a bear during the day and doesn't nap very well she is sleeping a full 10 hour stretch at night which gets me the rest that I need to take on a day without naps.

5. Her love for her big brothers. When Sweet Pea is especially cranky I will ask her brothers to dance for her. She just loves watching them and most times they can distract her from her tantrum long enough for her to calm down and recenter.

6. Her voice! Sweat Pea loves her own voice ever she realized that the noise that has been emanating throughout our house comes from her. She started yelling and cooing and talking to us. We have quite the scintillating conversations usually directly after she eats because that is her happiest time of the whole day.

Other updates: She is rolling (and has been for about a month) from her tummy to her back but not the other way. She hates being on her back so she probably won't roll that direction for a while. She spends most of her day in my arms or her bouncy seat since she isn't a huge fan of the swing. If you lay her on a blanket on her back she will start yelling in protest because of her reflux and wants to sit up or be on her tummy.

I love my Baby Girl!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Haircuts and Playgrounds and Dentists and Fun!

This is going to be a bit of stream of conscience rambling because there has been a ton of little stuff going on in the last few days.

It was a long weekend for Papa Bear but also a freezing cold one so we packed in the fun while staying indoors. Just hung out in our pajamas or relaxing clothes and baked and built forts, played in boxes and generally hung out.

Little Man had a dentist appointment for his 6 month check up and he was brilliant. He sat in the chair, listened to the dentist and let them do a full cleaning and check on his teeth without any protest. He was really looking forward to getting to pick out a prize at the end of the visit and had remembered the specific thing he wanted from the last time he was there. When he went to go get his prize the "boingy" thing wasn't there and so he politely asked the receptionist if she had "any of those things that you push down and they pop back up" and she went and found him one much to his delight. I am just so proud of how he handles situations like that. It was 5:30 in the evening, he hadn't napped and had to eat dinner super fast to get there, they made him wait for over half and hour and he "took it like a man" as Papa Bear told him! I have to say that I can't stand going to the dentist and whine like a child about it so he totally shows me up! (those are sunglasses borrowed from the dentist so the lights didn't shine in his eyes)

Little Man and Peanut play really well together (sometimes) and when they do we really appreciate it. Peanut will do anything his brother asks of him up to and including sitting still for a pretend hair cut. Please note: Peanut will not sit this still for an actual hair cut by the semi-professionals at Hair Cuttery and in fact the last hair cut he got he moved so much the poor woman cut herself. But here are my boys playing "haircut" with Little Man's super cape as the drape and his pottery barn chair as his seat.

Papa Bear builds "super duper forts". I have attempted to build them too but not being the architect in the family I usually only succeed at a "super fort" losing the "duper" in my lack of imagination. Little Man even abandoned our cookie baking endeavor for the awesome creation in the playroom. As he ran from the kitchen he yelled back " I'm done baking cookies and want to go play with Papa. Don't cry, ok?" How sweet. I promised I wouldn't cry as I finished the cookies in blissful silence.

But what I lack in imagination for forts, I make up for in fun learning activities. I put some flour in a baking pan and let Little Man practice his letters and Peanut just got to make a mess. (this was not my idea, I read about it on another blog). But it was the perfect activity for my boys. A combination of learning and mess makes them very happy.

Sweet Pea is just as adorable as ever. I have become obsessed with crocheted beanie hats for her and taught myself how to crochet by watching youtube videos. The result has been one hat that only fits Peanut's baby doll, one hat that might be too big for me and 2 hats that look cute on Sweet Pea (plus I bought some before I learned how and a friend made me a few too) I am a bit hat crazy but really I am more Sweet Pea crazy!!

Yes, I know that last one isn't finished and is way too big. And I also realize this should have been 4 different posts instead of one really long one!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mama Bear's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Peanut woke me up at 4 am playing in his crib. I don't know if he went back to sleep or not because eventually we just turned off the monitor. Based on his crankiness, he probably didn't ever go back to sleep.

That started a very early Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

I felt sick yesterday, but Papa Bear couldn't take off of work. I felt even worse by the time I went to bed and was so chilled that I actually slept in 3 shirts and a winter cap. I felt even worse this morning but Papa Bear still couldn't take the day off of work.

I had a feeling it was definitely going to be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

I didn't get a shower or breakfast because I was feeling so sick I laid in bed until the last minute. I took Little Man to school and it took me 45 minutes to drive the 1 mile home from school because of an accident. I sat on the road for 30 minutes before enough cars turned around that I could turn around too. As soon as I turned around to go out of my way by another 15 minutes to get home the line of traffic that I had been in, but wasn't in anymore started moving.

It was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

When I got home I unloaded Peanut and Sweet Pea but since I had forgotten Sweet Pea's binky in the car I had went back out to the car to grab it. Peanut locked the door to the garage. I was locked out. I knew there was a key in the garage to get me back in but I couldn't find it. I could have called Papa Bear to find out where it was but my cell phone was inside and I was lock in the cold garage with Sweet Pea. I finally convinced a crying Peanut to let me back in after 10 minutes.

It was definitely a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

My good friend told me she would bring me cookies to make me feel better but the tree guys stayed at her house too long so she said she would bring them to Little Man's school. She brought them to his school but I forgot to get them.

It was now a cookie-less Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

Little Man whined all the way through lunch accompanied by Peanut who was so tired from his early wake up and Sweet Pea spit up on me in my hair. I didn't know it until the spit up in my hair swung onto my face while I was trying to eat lunch. I lost my appetite.

Next week, I am going to join the circus.

It is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.

I was going to make pot roast with potatoes for dinner but I never found time to start it so now I have to come up with something else for us to eat. I don't like scrambling for dinner plans. I will probably just make pizza. Pizza hurts my sore throat so I won't have dinner either. Not that I have an appetite.

I cleaned up from lunch and broke a dish in the sink. I burned my hand on the hot water while cleaning up the broken dish. I don't have dinner or a clean kitchen and I have a ton of client work to do. I just want to sleep but I can't.

Today has been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day. Some days are just like that, even in the circus.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Perfect Marriage Proposal

"Mama, when I am bigger bigger will you marry me?"
"Yes, Little Man, you can stay with me forever and ever and I will marry you"
"But who will be with Papa?"

I know it is the cliche story that every mom has about the day when her little boy says he wants to live with her forever and ever and marry her when he is bigger. She pulls that story out when he is in high school to embarrass him with his girlfriends and again when he finds the girl he really wants to spend the rest of his life with to tease him. It is cute and you smile when you hear it but then it comes from your son and your heart swells with joy and love. Because at that moment you think of his fast approaching 4th birthday and can't believe how quickly he is growing and realize that in the blink of an eye he will be driving and then graduating and then off to college and oh my goodness I have to stop!!!!! Little Man is indeed getting bigger and wiser and more independant with each day but he is only 3 going on 4 going on 30 so for now I will accept his marriage proposal and have my cute but cliche story!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sweet Pea 2 month update - part 2

I posted an update about Sweet Pea closer to her actual 2 month mark and you can read it here. Today Sweet Pea had her doctors appointment so we got her official weight (even though she is 10 weeks today). She weighs 13 pounds 7 ounces and is 24 1/2 inches long. She seems so petite to me because while she is the same length that Peanut was at 2 months (read his update here) but she is over 2 pounds less than both him and Little Man.

We get more smiles from Sweet Pea every day and she doesn't make you work for them at all. Little Man asks her if her smiles are tucked in her toes and then she smiles at him and he calls her Smiley Lady. He even got her laughing a bit today and while she sounded like she was honking instead of laughing it was really cute.

She is eating about every 3 hours and her naps are a bit erratic during the day but she is sleeping about 8-9 hours straight at night now. Her favorite place is still in our arms but is letting us put her in the swing a little now and will lay in her crib watching her mobile for 10-15 minutes. If I put her on her tummy with her arms up under her chin she immediately rolls over which makes it impossible to give her tummy time. She loves watching her big brothers play and tracks them across the room.

We just love our Princess Sweet Pea!