Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lots of Pictures.... and of course an update

Well our house is finally on the market. Infact it went on the MLS websites last Saturday, and since then we have had THREE showings. One Sunday, one Tuesday and one on Wednesday afternoon. So things are looking up and we're hoping the interest continues. For those of you interested in checking it out, here is a link:
Some general news concerning the boys: They are now drinking from their new STRAW sippy cups I got for them to try out. I got a couple different kinds (one cheaper, one expensive).. and wouldn't you know it, the expensive one is the one that doesn't leak all over the place. So have to get another one of those since they have taken to them pretty well - they still seem to drink more from their old ones (habit) but they are interested in and get quite a bit from the straws. We brought the boys out last Thursday (3/19) to this somewhat new authentic mexican restaurant in town (El Tequilla) as a celebration for getting our house on the market ...and the boys tried spanish rice, refried beans and guacamole and really seemed to like them. They also drank quite a bit of my Shirley Temple and shared some fried ice cream with us. They also have started eating with their spoons. Early on we had to load up the spoons for them, but they would get them in their mouth.... but on a few occassions since then they will attempt to scoop up their own food. It's a messy event, but they are getting the hang of it and getting better with their aim. They also LOOOOVE Oreo malts - we've had them a couple times in the last week and they are the WORST little beggers, standing there with their mouths wide open practically climbing up us to get more. They even get aggressive about it and push each other out of the way going back and forth between Chris and I trying to get as much as they can. They also really liked the Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy dinner we made for all of us the other night - and even as left overs a couple nights later. Usually Oscar is picky with his meats.. but they scarfed it right up.
MacKay and Oscar are having a BALL at ECFE lately too. This last time neither was shy at first or hesitant, they got right in and played with others and were their normal giggly friendly selves. Oscar was busy giving toys off the shelves to other kids and parents, and MacKay was playing in the kitchen set and playing peekaboo with Ella, a little girl in the class. In the gym Oscar went up the stairs and down the slide all on his own (and feet first down the slide vs trying to go head first) about 4 times... all the time laughing and playing with his new friend he made, Jackson. Meanwhile MacKay tried EVERYTHING out, the stationary cars (big steering wheels to spin), the balls, the play mats... but really loved the incline boards.... crawling up to the top, then walking down them with my help for balance and support. I loved seeing them so playful and making friends with the other kids.... usually when they go out they are so shell shocked that no one gets to see the MacKay and Oscar that I know best - always smiling and happy and giggling. The boys have new favorite toys again now too (wonder how long these will last)... our old Motorolla Razor cell phones. They know how to flip them open and even turn them on. We constantly hear voices on the other side - usually some Verizon message stating that the phone is not in service yadda yadda yadda. But they LOVE those things and can be entertained for HOURS with them. The boys are somewhat helping undress themselves as well. They take their arms out of their sleeves when we pull on them... but more recently they are lifting their shirts over their heads once their arms are out. My boys are growing up so fast. They're both talking up a storm too.... lots of "Get Downs" and "No no no"s - copying us. MacKay loves to say "Hi-eee" and wave when you come into their room in the AM, after their nap, or when Daddy comes home. And Oscar completes it with the "Bub Bye"s when we put them to bed or when people leave. They both are saying their own version of "Peekaboo" as well, and putting their hands over their eyes/faces to hide. And one of their newest is "Yummy" or "Nummy" when they are eating. On he non vocal side..... they BOTH are making it VERY clear when they don't want to do something that we ask of them by shaking their heads back and forth (No no) - doesn't matter what we ask of them, we just get it periodically. Of course it sends Daddy into fits of laughter (quit egging them on Daddy) each time cuz he loves to see their firey side.... We're still working on eyes/nose, ears, mouth, hair... and they get it more and more. They LOVE to grab our noses when we mention it though - they have quite the grasp.
Some MacKay stuff: He's quite the little helper at home... lately when we have juice spills (from those darn leaky sippys) he will grab our wipe cloth (usually for Oscar's drool or boogies) and wipe up the spots on the table. MacKay also tried to climb into the toy box with Oscar (Oscar spends quite a bit of time in there) and fell and hit his lip on the edge and split/bruised it - poor little guy. He's also figured out that when he pushes down hard on round things (specifically Kix cereal) it will eventually shoot out and fly off the tray - which he finds completely hilarious - especially when Angus goes running after it. He's still a little hugger, infact whenever we ask MacKay to go hug Angus or Oscar, he will go over and give them a BIG hug. He totally knows what that is and wants to please us cuz he keeps doing it when we tell him now nice he is being. He also will hug Oscar when I get on them for fighting and ask them to be nice. He also knows what "Naptime" means, as he goes running to the gate at the kitchen and waits for me to get there and put it down so he can go run into his bedroom. Little sponges, I tell ya I said, Oscar spends a good amount of time in the toy box, climbs in and makes himself comfortable and hangs out. He's getting very good at throwing too. Loves playing catch with us and actually has quite a good arm on him - he's got quite good aim and distance with his throws. Oscar has also figured out he has a lot of teeth - on a few occasions I find him chomping his teeth together to make a clicking noise, and he's quite amused with himself over it. Oscar has also found a new game to play with us.... after being chased he will come at us with his arms up (and on tippy toes) and make this "AHHHH" noise that builds up as he gets closer... then he slams his arms down and throws himself on you. I don't know if he is mimicking us when we "attack" him during our games of chase, or if he thinks he is a monster... but it is so hilarious to see in action.
Well, as always I could share more, but will quit here and throw in all the pictures we've taken recently. It's always such a struggle as far as what makes the cut to get on this site..... I try to pare it down, but there are some classics that I just HAVE to include.
MacKay and Oscar love climbing up onto (and into) their exersaucers.... and always seem to get stuck with one leg down, and the other leg up - looks so uncomfortable, but a lot of the time they have no problem with it.

Using spoons: Here we're eating some applesauce. They were actually scooping it themselves, with a little help (and still making quite a mess)

The boys LOVE horsie back rides. I cannot even sit on the ground without MacKay trying to climb on my back, and the minute Daddy lies on the ground to relax he has both boys climbing on him as if he were a circus ride.

.... and we've created monsters with this.....they even expect it from Angus....

More spoon practice: Mashed Potatoes. Daddy did all the loading of the spoons, but the boys had free reign on how they got (and how WELL they got) into their mouths. By the end Oscar looked like Santa Clause (was laughing too hard to take picture) and I love the picture of MacKay with the squirrly eyes going to the side.


MMMMM Oreo Malt Mustaches....

Their very own cell phones....

Lastly - caught in the act. I CANNOT stop them from going up on the very top/back of our love seat to get to the window - they love looking outside (in this picture it was actually snowing HUGE flakes) or banging on the window screens.

THE END .... for now

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MacKay and Oscar are going to be Big Brothers to a little baby.....

SISTER ! ! !
We found out last Friday (yep - Friday the 13th - oooohhhh) at our ultrasound, that more than likely we are having a GIRL ! ! ! I say "more than likely" only cuz it wasn't that the ultrasound tech SAW that it was indeed a girl, but more so just said that due to "lack of external plumbing" it looked to be a girl. Chris was keeping a good eye out during the ultrasound too and was pretty convinced he was seeing a girl in there as well. So a girl it is - tho I am still hesitant to buy any of those cute girlie things I am dying to purchase when I go out shopping. I'll just let it sink in a bit longer. Personally I was quite convinced we were having another boy, tho it seems I was the only one who thought that (so much for mother's intuition).... so the idea of it actually being the little girl we always talked about was a bit of a shock. But, excited that we FINALLY get to use the name we've planned on for a girl for the longest time...... Evelyn Christine (Hoglund). Everything else looked great though - measuring right on schedule for our due date (8/8) and was quite active in there waving and punching and kicking around. We just got back from our OB appt this morning too, and Dr Leland validated that yes, everything looks perfect and "normal" from the ultrasound. I completely forgot to talk about birth options (I think I am leaning toward another Csection), but I still have 4-5 months left, so we have time. Next appt is 6 weeks from now (May 1st I think) where I get to drink that lovely sugary liquid and do my glucose test. So we're moving along swimmingly. I'm just glad to be out of the first trimester and to be feeling "good" finally, which helps considering we are in a mad dash to get our house ready to put on the market (hopefully later this week). So if any of you out there are interested, or know someone who is interested, in a quaint little house that comes with lake shore access to the Gull Lake Chain of Lakes (via Round Lake) up here in the Brainerd area... send them our way. The whole idea of bringing home little Hoglund-ette to this house and having her in our room for the time being is doable.... but not ideal for me. So hoping this little house sells for what we're hoping to get for it and we can start our search for (or building) our new home.
We've had lots of visitors lately and the boys have been loving it. Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean came up to visit Sun (3/8) afternoon and brought the boys some new fun Spring/Summer outfits. Auntie Jolene and her family have been over a few times to visit and watch the boys for us. Gma Chris came up this last weekend for a visit, and Gma Diane and Dave came up this Sunday (3/15) afternoon to visit before heading down to AZ for the rest of the month for vacation. And the boys got to go over to our neighbor's (the Vagts') to be watched while we went to our OB appt this morning. So they've been getting lots of love from all over lately.
I'm happy to report that the boys are both seeming to be fully recovered from their bout with the flu bug earlier. It lingered on for a couple weeks almost, but they are back to being eating machines again and back to their old mischievous selves. They are getting so good at "following" and taking direction too - lately we've been getting them to walk themselves to and from areas (their room, the living room, the bath etc) and they seem to really "get" it when we tell them where to go ("go to your room", "naptime", "bedtime" etc). We're also trying to teach them that their sippy cups belong on the table (vs the floor and everywhere else) and to put them there when they are done with them. I think they get it, but just are being lazy - it will take some time but they really seem to be getting it. This is so good for me cuz I really want them to be able to do this well by the time that our new addition arrives to make things easier, so I am very glad to see it is taking off well. Besides, we might be moving onto "straw" cups soon anyway as I recently found out (while letting them try my orange pop) that they have figured out how to use a straw. So I bought some new cups for them (with straws) so we'll see how that takes off. Speaking of drinks.... these guys are little sponges and learning SO much lately - they don't miss a thing. Now when I ask them "Do you want your [drink]" (milk, juice, water) they come running over to the fridge and grab the handle and try to open it - they totally have been paying attention to where the food comes from. :) Recently, we needed to make a change to their schedule as well - Why? Cuz MacKay wasn't napping anymore. The little devil was in there playing and singing to himself during the entire naptime - if we were lucky he sometimes would fall asleep about 15 minutes before it was time to wake him up. So I decided to start waking them up earlier (which was quite hard for me cuz I have been LOVING the fact that I get to sleep in due to my good sleepers).... and voila - it worked. Just waking them up 30-60 minutes earlier has done the trick.... AND, cuz of that we also can put them to bed a little earlier than we were before - so now their bedtime is closer to 8:00/8:15pm which I think is for the best anyway. We've also been trying lots of new foods with them... they LOVE Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (we got those from Sophia Hillmann - thanks again - YUM), brats on the grill, steak, banana bread, fried potatoes (we call them raw fries), etc. There really isn't much they won't eat these days - makes Mommy and Daddy proud. And they are getting so big - we now have moved all their 18 month tops into a storage bin and they are wearing 24 month and 2T tops, but still wearing their 18 month jeans/pants as the next size up is WAY too big and long on them. They love going to ECFE class and are getting so much more adventurous there, climbing up on the apparatus', interacting with other kids, playing on the jumping mats etc. So fun to watch them at places like that - they just are SO busy. We've also started having "art" time most afternoons. I got sick of watching other kids in ECFE who are able to hold and work with pencils, crayons, paint brushes and stamps..... and all MacKay and Oscar want to do is draw on themselves (unintentionally) and eat them. So practice makes perfect right? We've already made a few masterpieces (see below) that definitely will need to be framed and mounted. They even made some drawings for Gma Chris while she was up visiting - we better see those displayed proudly at her house next time we visit ;)
Some details on MacKay ..... MacKay got 2 more teeth recently, bringing his total up to 10 teeth (Oscar has 14). He recently got one of his canine/cuspids and one of his lower lateral incisors. Still very lovable and hugging all the time - whether it be Angus, us or Oscar. He's CONSTANTLY going over and hugging Oscar, even right after a spat. And if you tell him how nice he is being, he just keeps at it. So sweet. And our little love bug has been getting SO upset when people leave. Lately anytime people leave (after a visit etc), he gets SO upset and starts crying and throwing a fit - actually throws himself on the floor and makes a big scene. MacKay also has a new favorite toy.... his Smart-E bear that he got for Xmas from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean. It talks, plays games and music - his favorite is the "Five Little Monkey's" song.... he just hugs the bear and sways back and forth throwing a little bopping (bouncing) in here and there. He loves music and dancing. He also loves doing Patty Cake... tho really only cuz he loves the "rolling" action... so he gets ahead of himself and starts giggling and doing that action way before he is supposed to. MacKay is also being quite vocal lately too..... he's been saying some new words like "Peekaboo" (tho his version sounds a little different), and "Hi" (very high pitched while waving at you), and "Yummy" and "Nummy" while he is eating. And MacKay is SUCH a little ham lately - really getting a kick out of making us laugh and being goofy.
Oscar, still our little brut. Loves to steal toys from MacKay - isn't interested in them at all until he sees that MacKay wants them and then just goes and grabs them. Unnnghh. But he's also our little sweet heart and gives us SUCH big hugs and is a little lover. And he's quite helpful around the house.... he seems to really understand me when I ask him to bring me something - you can just see him working it over in his head, looking at the item, then me. And is helping me out a lot when it comes to disciplining, as he is mimicking me saying "GET DOWN" when the boys are climbing up on and all around on the furniture. He even says it with gusto. :) He also loves playing catch and is getting REALLY good at throwing, ... mostly left handed tho every once in a while he shocks us with a right. He gets so excited after making a good throw and does what Auntie Jolene has dubbed "The Oscar Shuffle". He dances very quickly back and forth on his tip toes like he just cannot contain his excitement. He also does it when he wants something and knows he is about to get it. Oscar is also our little pig pen lately.... is it fate that we named him Oscar and Oscar the Grouch just happened to live in a GARBAGE can? I dunno - but this kid is messy within about 30 minutes or less of waking up in the morning. Always juice stains and food on his shirts.... juice stains on his face even. He's going to be THAT kid - you know, we all knew one :) Oscar also loves to bring you pretend things (pinched tightly in his little fingers), which we always thank him for... to which he says "Dah Doo" back to us. I think it really is about him wanting to get the chance to say "Thank you" to us... cuz he seems so proud of himself every time.
Well.... as always I've said too much..... and it is time for the pictures. Hope all of you are well and we will keep you up to date out here on how things are going as always with us, the new addition to the family, and hopefully soon will have some news about the house (sell sell sell sell sell). Enjoy.
MacKay and Oscar coloring.... and their first masterpieces (coloring and hand prints) that we all worked so hard on.

Daddy-Time: The boys were dying to get up in Daddy's lap to read the newest Cabellas magazine. Such boys I tell ya..... And MacKay getting a horsie back ride from Daddy. He LOVES getting these and actually grips on pretty tightly with both his hands and his legs (pinched into Chris's sides). Chris will just be lying on the ground watching TV or playing with the boys and MacKay sees his opportunity and just runs over and plops right onto Chris's back waiting for a ride. (P.S. Oscar is more about the piggy back rides).

Our little Hugger. Some pictures of MacKay hugging Angus (over the side of the couch) and Oscar. He really knows how to give a good hug too - must be genetic cuz his Daddy and his Great Uncle Jerry give the best hugs around.... (he's giving them a run for their money though).

Crazy eating pictures. Both MacKay and Oscar love to CRAM stuff into their mouths to the point where they can barely even chew. Caught Oscar in the act here..... and MacKay was just being a little ham that day.

Lastly, just a cute picture of the boys today, wearing their new shirts (2T) that they got from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean for Xmas this year. I remember them looking so big months ago when we got them..... crazy that they now fit them.

Bub Bye for now.....

Friday, March 6, 2009

OMG - Sick AGAIN ! ! !

I didn't think it was possible... but the boys went through yet another round of sickness again, tho this time it was the FLU and the ENTIRE family got hit by it. It started last Sunday (3/1) when Oscar vomitted about 30 minutes into his nap. He started crying, which I normally ignore as they do this sometimes and go right back to sleep, but something sounded wrong this time. Went in to find half his crib covered. Chris cleaned up the bed and I took Oscar... got it all cleaned up and got him back down for his nap, tho he moaned and cried through most of it, which I chalked up to an upset tummy. Then after nap and right before dinner he did it again, but just a little. Just stood there behind me by his toy box and just let 'er fly. I don't know why - but I STILL was in denial that this could be the flu. Mainly cuz he had no fever to go along with this and was his normal happy, giggly active self. That next day (Monday 3/2) it was coming out the other end (diarrhea) all day. Yet, for some reason I still wasn't thinking flu.... maybe I was just hoping for the best..... that is until later that night MacKay got violently ill and was vomitting every 10 minutes for 4 hours. From 7:45 - 11:30pm it was non stop - that poor little guy, he always draws the short stick on stuff like this. Finally at 12:30am, after no vomitting for an hour (tho the last 2 hours of it were all dry heaves and foam/spit) we put him to bed and accepted that we were dealing with the flu and got ready for another long day ahead of us. Tuesday (3/3) neither of the boys would eat, which I knew was okay, but were slugging down the juice and water like crazy (good boys).....and I have to say - WOW to the amazing amounts of diapers we went through due to the boys STILL having it come out the other end like crazy. Chris came home for lunch that day with some pedialyte that we quickly found out the boys wouldn't even touch.... only to stay home for the rest of the day cuz now HE wasn't feeling well. Well around 6pm it hit Chris pretty hard and I came to the realization (tho still hoping for the best) that I was next and needed to prepare. And at around 2am and 5am on Wednesday (3/4) morning it was my turn. I can say I NEVER want to go through that again.... tho I know we won't be that lucky to avoid it. WOW. Just so glad to be on the other side of all that now.
As for now.... I feel loads better as does Chris. And the boys seem to be back to their normal selves, tho they get picky at eating here and there and still are having some on and off again "backside" issues :) ... but for the most part I think we are on the mend.
Onto more positive things and new things going on with the boys. MacKay and Oscar are now 16 MONTHS (as of the end of Feb). On a daily basis they both are climbing machines. They love to scale the furniture then climb back and forth between pieces.... Oscar has even managed to climb into the toy box, which is rather unfortunte cuz that usually results in all the toys coming out (which there are way too many of). And they are little beggars - worse than our canine child, Angus when it comes to us trying to have a snack while sitting on the couch. Tho it is a good way to get them to eat things they normally wouldn't while sitting in their high chairs. We've been to ECFE (the new session) twice now (had to skip two sessions due to them being sick) and they are doing so much better at playing there now. Not as apprehensive and getting into everything and playing with others. They also spent two nights alone with Daddy while I went down to stay with my mom who was having a surgical procedure the other week. Auntie Jolene came over one of the days to watch them so Daddy could go into work (her day off) and they were very well behaved from what I heard. And they are little mimicking machines... copying so many things that we do - making popping sounds with our mouths, gasping (taking a big breath), shaking, dancing, stomping etc. They love to find the tiniest of things (I don't know how they find them) like piece of lint, fuzz, hairs etc.. and bring them to you - tho most of the time it is nothing and they are just pretending. And when you say "Thank You" for the item they actually respond with "Tah Tah". They amaze me every day. Speaking of communicating... they are both getting VERY good at letting us know what they want and don't want. Shaking their head (esp at food they don't want) or letting us know what toy they want (but cannot get) out of the toy box when they are frustrated. We need to get them talking more, but they can actually relay most of what they need and want now. And the newest... we've taught them how to give kisses. If you ask for a kiss they will come over and put their mouth to yours (sometimes open - unnghh)... and funny enough MacKay will actually mimick the smacking sound but the timing is off cuz he does it afterwards while walking away. :)
MacKay... some specifics... MacKay has been learning "Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Hair" and is getting pretty good. I can't say he gets them right all the time, but he's interested and learning (Oscar shows no interest). He also has learned how to lock/unlock our patio door, tho he hasn't the strength to open it yet (whew). He loves this "Tshirt" game where you hold his shirt and he tries to get away from you but cannot - will even come over to you and hold out his shirt for you to grab. He's also very perceptive. The other day I tried hiding a book he wanted (that has this annoying laugh sound when you hit the button) in his bookshelf... unaware he was watching my every move and paying attention... and when I wasn't looking he went STRAIGHT to where I hid the book and wedged it out (it was in there tight too). He also had his 4th haircut the other weekend (Oscar has had one since he was born)... and it was definitely needed, but for about a week afterwards we referred to him as "Lloyd Christmas" from Dumb and Dumber cuz the lady cut such a drastic line straight across his forehead in his hair in the front. It's grown a bit since then and looks quite good now. :) Lastly, MacKay has been very lovey lately, constantly giving Oscar hugs for no reason - even after Oscar has stolen something from him, bit him or pushed him away.... just will walk over to him and embrace him. I wish I could capture it on video but it happens so randomly.
Oscar.... our little vampire. I say this cuz he has now bit MacKay on 3 occassions (that I know of) where he has left quite a mark. Usually welts up for a couple days and then turns to bruise. The first two were on MacKay's arm, and this last one was just yesterday (Thurs 3/5) on MacKay's FACE. I have pictures below to show the damage. We always thought MacKay was going to be the biter (cuz he started to show those signs a while back) but Oscar has that full mouth of teeth that really does some damage and he really clamps down and doesn't let up. Speaking of teeth - Oscar got 2 more since last I posted.... and now has 14 teeth. The only baby teeth he has left to get now are his 4 2nd molars (he has all 4 1st molars), a lower lateral incisor and a lower cuspid/canine. He also has taken to tip toe walking a lot, usually when he gets excited and starts stomping around on his tippy toes. Oscar has been quite the loud one lately with tons of babbling and such as well... even has started flapping his tongue making that fast "Lah-dle" sound where he curls up the end of his tongue and flicks it against his upper lip/teeth... he does that CONSTANTLY now. He also loves when Daddy growls at him and tries to make his own growling noise back. Oscar lately is quite interested in details too... he plays with very detailed things, checking them out... especially the knots (one in particular) in our hardwood floors. I'll find him lying on his belly just fingering and picking at one of them for long periods of time. Hes very tactile... even doing this fiddling thing with his fingers (his thumb and forefinger), rubbing them back and forth like feeling his finger tips... which scary enough is something I find myself doing when I am just sitting doing nothing. (weird).
Well there is always so much more to share, but that is most of the interesting stuff... so I will leave you here and begin with the pictures I know you all come here to see anyway.
MacKay and Oscar LOVE paging through books (tho they have no patience for us reading and entire book to them lately)... here Oscar is trying to get in on a book with MacKay (the one with the giggling sounds) but MacKay isn't having any of that and is pushing him away (hence Oscar crying)

... and here Oscar finally finds a book for himself (and happy cuz it was one MacKay wanted), but quickly finds interest (rubber necking) in the new book MacKay is paging through.

The boys LOVE Oreos, which they usually get some of when Chris tries to have them as a snack on the couch (little beggars)... but here I let them have some as dessert for dinner and they made quite the mess of themselves with them.

MacKay and Oscar reading their first postcard from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean (their Laughlin trip recently)... they were checking this thing out for a good hour or so before it became a bent/wrinkled mess.

MacKay getting stuck (teetering on the edge) trying to get into the toy box.... and Oscar successfully in the toy box with all the toys thrown out on the floor surrounding it.

Some goofy pictures of Oscar nuzzling up with Angus, and sitting in Daddy's recliner ripping apart his paper - Chris had taken off to take a phone call and this is where I found Oscar minutes later.

"Poor Little MacKay" pictures: First, MacKay's horrible night up vomitting - taking a breather here leaning back on Daddy. And two pictures showing the evidence of being "attacked" by Oscar the vampire.

Lastly - just a cute picture I managed to snap of the boys sitting on Daddy's recliner together and giggling.