Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Budding Photographer

We gave Little Man our old digital camera to use and he will spend hours at a time taking pictures and setting up shots. In fact, he will usually take pictures until the batteries run out (which doesn't take that long, it is an old camera, after-all). Well he took so many pictures that the memory was full and he asked me to put his pictures on the computer so that he could keep taking more pictures. I wasn't planning on keeping any of them, but when I started to look through them I couldn't delete them. He has an eye for a good picture and I love some of the shots that he set up. I showed them to Papa Bear and he liked them too. We had to delete a few of them that were no appropriate for viewing. He was a bit sneaky when taking these pictures and caught Papa Bear unaware in the bathroom. We laughed hysterically when we saw that though. I am sure if his Aunt Carol gets to see these, she will be very proud. Here are some of the pictures that we can show you....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breaking the Code

Little Man has become very focused on wearing his "handsome" clothes. We went shopping together on Saturday and he got to pick out his clothes for the first time. I have to say, my boy has good taste and expensive taste. It has been of a mystery as why he all of a sudden cares about what he wears. Prior to the "handsome" clothes preference he would wear whatever I put out and only really threw a fit and the change of seasons.

We think that broke the "handsome" code. Papa Bear has recently started a new job. His old job was an extremely casual work environment so he typically wore jeans and a polo. His new job, while still very casual, is not quite so lax. So he has been wearing button down shirts and slacks more often. Little Man always takes notice of what Papa Bear wears to work especially since we have added to Papa Bear's wardrobe for this new job. Since Little Man wants to be like Papa Bear we have changed to the "handsome" wardrobe.

We have seen little changes with Peanut too. He plays "going to work" all the time and has a Papa Bear walk to show he is pretending to be Papa going off to work.

I love that I have such a wonderful role model for my boys and that they want to emulate him from how he walks to how he dresses.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Earthquake and Hurricane stories

I would be remiss if I didn't record the earthquake and hurricane stories for my kids.

On Tuesday, August 23rd we experienced a 5.9 earthquake that lasted 45 seconds. 45 seconds it turns out is long enough for me to sprint upstairs, rip Sweet Pea and Peanut from their naps and race downstairs with both of them in my arms, grabbing Little Man on my way out to the front yard. I had so many thoughts in those 45 seconds. I didn't register earthquake as much as I registered the possibility that my house was coming down and I had to get my kids to safety. We stood on the front lawn, Little Man in a t-shirt and buzz lightyear underwear, Sweet Pea in just her diaper and Peanut crying because he was standing in bare feet on grass and really wanted to be sleeping. After about 10 minutes we all went back inside and Peanut tried to go back to sleep. The house escaped unharmed and in fact, there were no injuries reported in our area at all. There was some significant damage to the National Cathedral and Washington Monument. It is another one of those "where were you" moments in history and so I wanted to record our story since they are all too little to remember. Little Man did end up in our bed that night with nightmares of monsters shaking his bed. I think it was really the 4.2 aftershock that made him think there were monsters shaking his bed. All returned to normal the next day and thoughts of the earthquake started to fade with Little Man UNTIL all talk turned to the impending Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene hit land on Saturday, August 27th and swept up the east coast. It was all anyone was talking about for the days prior because it was the first hurricane to be making landfall in 3 years and it was a massive storm. I took many more precautions than I would normally take because I was still feeling a bit vulnerable after the earthquake and it is different when you have 3 little ones to worry about. The storm lost a lot of power and it was a Cat 1 when it got to us. We lost power and had a rough night with kids awake due to a silent and dark house but other than that there was nothing to report. Our power was out from 3:20 am - 11:00 am which isn't bad, all things considered.

So there you have it, the first natural disasters in our area that affected the kids. Little Man did experience a hurricane in Cabo San Lucas while I was pregnant with him but that was even more of a non-event than Hurricane Irene.

Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Month Update

Sweet Pea is 10 months old and I have to say that I am not ready to think about her turning 1 in just 2 short months. But I think she is more than ready as she is not content to stay and baby and wants to push towards toddlerhood to join her running and talking brothers.

The most notable change is that Sweet Pea is spending more and more of her time vertical. She pulls up on everything and will grab anything that moves to use as a walker, including her big brothers. Her little cruising steps are becoming more and more stable and sometimes she will let go to play with a toy and stand on her own. That standing lasts until she realizes she is doing it and then she will plop down with a laugh.

Sweet Pea loves to dance. She is a moving, grooving little lady. It starts as her little hands and wrists get down but if she happens to be standing she will get her legs and booty into it. She maneuvers all over the house and has also mastered the regular hands and knees crawl. When she is really trying to gain speed she will revert back to her original army crawl slither. She babbles regularly but not usually with meaning and when she wants something she can't have she emits a high pitch scream that lets us know a girl has invaded the ranks of boys.

She is taking 2 naps a day each for about an hour to an hour and a half and sleeps from 7:30-7:00 at night. She won't sleep without her binky and blankets and looks so sweet snuggled up. She is still in some 12-18 month clothes but her chunky awesome thighs fit best into 18-24 months stuff. She is an eating machine just like her brothers. She nurses 4 times a day and eats 3 meals. She typically eats anything that you give her and we have started to just puree whatever our dinner is for her so she will develop a taste for our regularly served food.

Things I don't want to forget:
1. The vampire* smile she gives me when she wants to be picked up and I comply with her wishes.
2. The feel of arms wrapped around my neck, she my best and earliest hugger.
3. Her sneaky ways. If she sees the bathroom door open she will charge for it but her laughter at what she thinks she is going to get away with always gives her away.
4. Her sweet smell. I know it sounds crazy but my baby girl smells like honey and chocolate. It is unique to just her and I love breathing in her sweet baby girl scent.

*vampire smile = her incisors have started to come in before her front teeth so it looks like she has fangs until her front teeth catch up

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trouble and other updates

Sweet Pea's new name is "Trouble". We must find her in some troublesome situation at least five times a day. It is a good thing she is so darn cute or she might actually get in trouble for all of the mischief she causes. She is up on all fours crawling now and loves to hear the slap of her hands hitting the kitchen floor. We love to hear the slap of her hands too because it helps us know where she is so we know what kind of trouble she is getting in like making a mad dash for the bathroom or pushing a bench over so she can climb up on the couch.

Peanut is on a corn-free diet based on a suggestion from one of his doctors and we have seen a huge change in his speech. We were amazed at how many food products in our fridge and pantry had corn in it, especially high fructose corn syrup that we are avoiding like the plague. It was in the ketchup, maple syrup, bread crumbs, crackers, cereals and yogurt. So we found new brands to buy of those products and have already seen a much different pattern in his speech. He has added 10 words in just the one week to his vocab including done, now and gone which are awesome because they are very generic words that he can use at school in a few weeks. We are also getting some better pronunciation on his words and today he said "go" with the proper hard g 3 times in a row! He is a little moody and tired with the diet change but his body is detoxing and we are just keeping him snacking on healthy corn-free food to help regulate his blood sugar without the crack known as high fructose corn syrup.

Little Man is focused on being fancy and handsome. He dresses himself only in shirts that have collars and shorts that have buttons and patterns. He is so grown up. We were making cookies together the other day and I handed him a cookie ball that was too big and I said "oops, sorry buddy, that one isn't a good one" and his instant reply was "That's ok Mama, it is all a part of making cookies. It is the process, not the result". I was so proud of him and it is rewarding to know that the lessons I am trying to teach him are making an impact. I don't want him to worry at the age of 4 of getting things right or perfect when he is working on a project. I want him to have fun and learn from the process. I love all of his "Little Man-isms" and the truth is, that I learn a lot from him too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweetest Words Ever

Peanut made my heart melt. I am talking huge puddle of mushy heart in the middle of the hallway and he knows it. I put him to bed the other night and as I walked out of the room I heard "Night night, love you mama". This was his first unsolicited love you and it is extra sweet because I didn't know how long it would take to be able to hear those words from him.

This past Friday night I was handling all of the bedtimes for the kids because Papa Bear was taking the opportunity to mow the lawn. After putting everyone down I heard whimpering coming from Peanut's room. That is really rare. I often have to tell him to stop playing, singing, getting out of bed...but rarely is he upset. So I went to see what the problem was and I found him standing on the other side of the window shade watching Papa Bear mow the lawn. He was crying and saying "Papa stuck". I explained that Papa was just mowing the lawn and he would be back. Then I asked him why he was sad and he said, "love Papa".

We love our Peanut and we love hearing him tell us that he loves us too.

Handsome Pants and Fancy Shirts

Papa Bear and I both attended University of Virginia which was just voted one of the Preppiest Schools of 2011. I loved this about UVA but when I fell in love, preppy dress never entered the equation. Papa Bear was more of a skater at heart even though he would go through the preppy motions for me. Papa Bear prefers comfort over fashion at all times. But it seems that Little Man's style (though absolutely no coercion on my part) has decided that he prefers a preppy style...or handsome pants and fancy shirts. He will only wear plaid shorts with pockets and shirts with collars. I really wish he had made this clear before I went school clothes shopping for him a few weeks ago.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lost in Translation and other tid bits

Little Man has been attending Vacation Bible School this week or "Jesus School" as he calls it. Every day I ask him about his day and I get his interesting 4 year old version of the day. Today he told me this story:

" There was a lady and a guy and they had a pretend fight and the lady put the pie in the guy's face. Smooch! It was to teach us that people in England have bad behavior and God had to tell them to not have fighting and throwing pies. Mama, if I ever go to England I will remember to have really good behavior." I am fairly certain this was not meant to be the lesson of the day, but I still found it hilarious and will have to inform my friends who live in England that they have to quit the pie throwing bad behavior.

A litte bit after lunch, was sitting on a chair and told me that he was getting so big because his fur was coming in nicely. What? I asked him to repeat it and this time I looked at him and saw that he was looking at his legs and the little hairs that he saw were obviously his fur. I am so glad that my cub's fur is coming in so nicely.

Peanut has been trouble of late. Today he dumped out all of the cherrios on the table, dumped sugar on the floor, made himself a glass of sugar water and drank it and for the third day in a row I found toys in my oven. All of this aside, he said his first 4 word sentence today " Ja Ja Help Lo Lo do" He was asking his big brother to help him make a car light up and roll forward. It was awesome. He also said "smurf" which in and of itself is not worth mentioning but it is a great example of his ever expanding vocabulary that he was able to clearly name a McDonald's toy that he got in his happy meal just yesterday. Trouble he might be, but he is still my hero.

And speaking of trouble, that is Sweet Pea's new name in this house. We are constantly having to fish something out of her mouth, grab her before she falls off of something, rescue her from standing up on something less than stable etc. Yesterday she was playing with a toy and Peanut came and tried to play too and she let out a shriek and pushed his hands away. Already? Seriously, we do not have any more room for drama in this house.