Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Almost 2 years ... and almost 2 months

Yep that is right. The boys are ALMOST 2 years old (will be 2 in one more month - Oct 30th), and Evie is ALMOST 2 months old (will be in a matter of days). We have Evie's 2 month check up this coming Friday - NOT looking forward to her first round of immunizations. The boys get theirs on their 2nd birthday too - not a very good birthday present if you ask me.
All is going well around the Hoglund household..... including (drum roll) the addition going onto our house. To date (Tuesday 9/29) we have the footings, foundation, floors (floor board and cement poured in garage), walls, sheeting and trusses done...and today they are putting on the roof. We're hoping to be weather/air tight by end of week - Yipee. Soon they will be busting through our dining room to tie into the addition and wall in our new master bath (which will come into our current dining room just a few feet). I cannot wait to see how this all looks. It is amazing how much they have gotten done and how fast they are working. Will have to take some pictures and post them once I get the chance. We're hard at work picking flooring (carpet and tile), doors, paint etc. So many decisions and I hate to make them in a rush.... but such is our life.
The boys are doing well. We've started up another session (fall/winter) of ECFE and they made a lot of new friends. Shawna and her twin boys (Jackson and Wyatt) were able to get into the same class so that made it extra fun.... AND imagine our surprise when yet ANOTHER set of twins was in that class. What are the odds - three sets of twins in one class of 8. :) MacKay and Oscar did pretty well considering they haven't been to ECFE in months (summer break)... MacKay had a bit of separation anxiety when I left to go drop Evie off at sibling care (which she did excellent at) but then quickly became his old adventurous self. Oscar didn't even notice I was gone and was in his own world playing with all the new toys. What WAS a challenge though was getting three children under the age of 2 into the building..... add to that the fact that the entire parking lot was jam packed and I had to park super far away. They did pretty well staying close to me, though they liked to lag behind (thankfully it wasn't the opposite and go running ahead) and needed a lot of prodding. I think next time I might need to use the baby bjorn on Evie so I can hold both of their hands... OR might need to just give in and bring the double stroller along and figure out how to push it with one hand (while I carry Evie in her infant seat). What a dilema, I tell ya. I broke a sweat just getting them into the classroom :)
The boys have been doing so much lately too. A lot of the same from before..... but learning new things as well. They both can now crawl into their cribs (thank god they aren't crawling out) at bedtimes, and actually are excited to do so. They love books (major change from before) but are SO hard on them. If there is a flap or even the slightest lip up from something glued down, they rip it off. We should invest in the companies that make book tape. :) They are getting good with identifying animals and their sounds --> cow = moo, duck = dub dub (huh?), monkey = oooh oooh oooh, gorilla = pounding on chest, fish = doing fishy face, dog = woof woof etc. It's a lot of fun around here as I usually now understand what they want and what they are trying to tell me. They are so smart... the other day MacKay even pointed to the word "ELMO" on the TV (opening credits/title for a movie) and said "Elmo". They are completely obsessed with Elmo by the way... even to the point of DEMANDING to hold their diapers during changes cuz they have pictures of Elmo on them. They love saying "On" - telling me to turn on the music or TV or movies for them. They say "Please" (peez) when they want their milk at dinner time. And they are still so much help to us with Evie... loving her up, putting her empty bottles (and sometimes wrapped up dirty diapers) on the counter for us, bringing us things (diapers, wipes, bibs, bottles) etc. They really are such good big brothers. And they are doing so well at eating lately too..... MUCH better with spoon control with cereal for breakfast and other meals. Same with forks. MacKay still eats quite a bit more (he must have such high metabolism) and the other day ate more pizza than both Chris or I. He just kept pounding it away and asking for "Mo mo mo" (more more more). We thought he surely was going to throw up from how much he ate but it just turns out he LOVES pizza and can really shovel it in. MacKay and Oscar also got some fine new haircuts (tho MacKay looks like Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber as always after a hair cut). Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean came up to stay for a couple days last week to help me out while Chris was in California for work, and they offered to take the boys into town (and out of my hair) for some MUCH needed haircuts. Apparently they did really well in the chairs and as always were super stoked about the balloons they got afterwards. BTW, I should mention that MacKay and Oscar say Gma Bonnie, Gpa Dean's and Gpa Gary's (even Terri's too) names VERY clearly .... I still am working on "Chris" (Doooo) and "Diane" with them but they don't seem as easy for them. We'll keep at it though.
Evie is porking out and I am not sure how I feel about it :) I loved it when the boys got all chubby... but I just love her being this little peanut. Regardless, she is getting chubby cheeks and filling out everywhere. She's a good little eater (not as lazy as she was before) and a GREAT sleeper. She now consistently is sleeping 9+ hours between her last bottle of the night and waking in the morning. Now if only I could sleep like that :) I had JUST gotten to the point where I was only checking on the boys periodically throughout the night (vs going in there multiple times like I was when they were younger) via their monitor before Evie arrived....... and now I am back to getting up every hour or so just to check her. Unnnghhh. :) She is a smiling machine lately too. Very giggly and loves to look around at her surroundings and take it all in. She smiles when the boys come over and kiss her - so I think she knows who they are... very cute. She's graduated to size 1 diapers, 3 month (0-3) clothing .... and is chugging down 6-7 4oz bottles daily. She really is a good baby. Very laid back for the most part (when she isn't screaming impatiently for a bottle). Even the teachers at sibling care (ECFE) said she was a breeze to watch.
Well, enough said..... here are some picture's (out of the hundreds) I've taken in the past couple weeks since the last post. In all fairness, I have cut down from taking ~1000 pictures every month to about 400 monthly. .... I know I know.... still pretty sick. But if I wasn't doing that, how could I end up with all these fabulous pictures I post out here?
Now isn't this lovely? My boys have found their nasal orifices .... I couldn't get them to take their fingers out no matter what I tried, so instead I figured I might as well capture it on film. (They also love to stick their fingers in their ears and test out how muffled things sound when they do that).

Some cute pictures of Evie. Love the (big) last one .... I think it is the one we'll use on her birth announcement. Something so cute about how they look when they are doing tummy time and propped up like that.

My good little eaters ... the first few are showing off their prowess with utensils (specifically a spoon with cereal here).... and then a couple pictures Gma Chris took of the boys during their first successful bout with ketchup

MacKay and Oscar with Evie: They are so good with consoling her when she cries or needs some hugs and kisses.

Some fun (and some goofy) pictures of MacKay and Oscar in my Gpa Skitch's (MacKay) old recliner chair. They love to sit in there together.... lately they love to pile all their toys on there and bury themselves in them.

Just a couple pictures catching Evie smiling. She smiles all the time but it is so hard to catch them on film.

Evie with Daddy and MacKay. Evie loves to just "hang" with Daddy in the crook of his arm like this. I try to do it with her and she won't have it - go figure. And EVERY time I bring out the play mat for Evie, MacKay just HAS to crawl in there with her. Lately he just LOVES being by her and loves to lie next to her like this.

Lastly a few more goofy pictures of the boys. One is of Oscar wearing his Melissa and Doug plush tool set holder on his head like it is a hat. They both love running around like this. And the other is of the boys sitting in Angus's kennel amidst a ton of torn up tissue paper that went with a gift we got for Evie from the Ledweins. (Thank you Tim, Denise, and Taylor for the adorable outfit for Evie... and as you can see, the wonderful "distraction" for the boys) :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

22+ & 1+ months old

Well like the title of this post says.... the boys are now 22+ months, and Evie is 1+ months old now. Man how time flies (when you're having fun?) :) I don't really have a ton of time lately to sit and document and report all the changes going on in our family like I used to so this post may be a bit shorter than some of my past ones (some of you at this point are probably saying "Thank God")...but I still am a picture taking machine so there are photos galore to share.
First off... BIG news for the entire family.... we have FINALLY decided to put the addition on the house (vs sell and look for something bigger). It was something we were toying with while our house was on the market, but became more of a serious consideration after we pulled it from the market and since Evie has arrived. Be both can't stand the idea of parting with our lake shore property across 371 from us.... the house, sure... but not the lake. In the years to come we just think it will be such a fun way to get our kiddos out on the lake, tubing, motoring around the gull chain etc. So after reviewing all our options we have decided to put an addition on the house which will gain us a new master bedroom/suite (the boys will take our current master suite), mud room and ATTACHED (yes ATTACHED) 2 car garage. You always under-estimate attached garages until you don't have one :) For those of you familiar with our house/layout.... we will be building off the left side (as you look at it) where the dining room is..... which means losing our wood burning fireplace/chimney and our shed. Yep... sorry fellas and ladies who have all partied in "The Shed" with us in the past.... that legendary place will be no more in a matter of days. (Sorry Chelte, Monica and Commers.... no more playing with Chris's power tools after having one too many at Ye Old Pickle Factory ... and for Chris's fellas, we'll have to find another place to listen to Old School Country while playing endless rounds of cribbage and 500). We're very excited though and can't wait to get started on all of it.
Little Evie is growing quickly as well. At her 1 month check up she weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz and is in the 25th percentile for all measurements. Still a little peanut.... BUT she is filling out. Her cheeks are getting oh so plump and her little legs no longer look like the saggy baggy elephant's. She's moved into her 3 month clothing now - the newborn stuff was getting a little short on her, but she is still wearing NB sized diapers. She's still only getting us (me for the most part) up once during the night. We'll give her her last bottle around 9-10pm and she doesn't wake up again until around 4-5am for her next feeding. She's drinking up to about 4 oz at each feeding (tho some are less) and eating every 3-4 hours during the day. She gets 5-6 bottles of breast milk (pumped) and 2 bottles of formula a day. I personally am excited as I've been able to freeze/store about 3+ weeks worth of breast milk already (tho I am already tiring of the whole "pumping" thing). The main challenge really is meshing Evie's feedings around the boys' schedules... and trying like heck to find a way to get ME a shower or nap somewhere in there... though I can't remember the last time I was able to fit the nap in (if Chris wasn't here as well). Last week was a challenge as ALL my children seemed to want to wake up at the EXACT same time every morning. Even when I tried to be proactive and wake Evie earlier, the boys woke up too (and vice versa). So I ended up trying to juggle bottle feeding an newborn and spoon feeding (cereal) toddlers (since they haven't grasped doing this on their own yet) --- which I didn't end up doing very well at. So this week I've started working with the boys to teach them how to spoon feed cereal to themselves. They do well with things that stick to spoons/forks (rice, noodles, pudding, applesauce, waffles etc)... so it is just a matter of getting them some more practice. So far... so good. We're hoping by week's end to have a pretty good handle on it so we can surprise Daddy on Saturday morning with how well they are doing at it. Back to Evie though..... I am quite impressed with the control she has of her neck/head. She already at this point can hold her head up while we have her propped up (sitting) during burping etc. She doesn't really love "tummy time" tho she does quite well at it and doesn't seem to tire as quickly as the boys did this early on. She is quite the smiler lately too (and not always gas related) .... so we're getting a lot back from her now.
The boys.... gee, where to start. They both have sprouted some of their 2nd/2 year molars. MacKay has one, and Oscar has two popping through. Lately we're on an every other day rotation as far as if they are having a good or bad day. One day they will be SO well behaved and giggly and fun... and the next day NOTHING appeases them and they are whiny and cranky ALL DAY LONG. I know it is their age (terrible 2s) and this major life change for them... but WOW. What a change from what I last remember before I left for the hospital :) But they still are such a blast no matter what their mood is cuz they are like little sponges lately with all their new words they say... and all the things they WANT to learn. They are constantly pointing at things and saying "Wha dis?" They love watching their new Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder DVDs... and still love Sesame Street (Elmo mainly) and Barney (unnnnghhh - I always swore I would never allow that show to be watched in my house). They love puzzles lately too and do so well at fitting the pieces in. They are learning new colors, animals, sounds, words etc. Every day there is something new and it is so hard to keep up with them and everything new that they learn.
Those little boys sure do love their little sister though. They love to help us feed her (hold the bottle) and burp her (pat her back). They bring us her bottle and put it away when she is done... and they love playing with her toys and play mat etc. Generally they are pretty gentle with her as well... they love to kiss and hug her. Which is pretty amazing as lately they are becoming MUCH more aggressive with each other lately.... and for no reason most of the time. They like to bonk each other over the head with things, head butt each other out of the way, and will just walk over and hit one another. Many times if I scold them and tell them "No" about something they will walk up to the other and slap them. But as soon as I tell them "No hitting" or "That wasn't nice, say you are sorry" they go back over and give them a big hug and say "Sah-ee". Not sure if this is a boy thing or just a toddler thing.... but I would have really liked to have skipped this stage (hitting etc). :)
Anyway... surprisingly that was a pretty lengthy update... just think how long it would have been if I had gotten as detailed as I normally do :) Well here are some of the fun picture's we've taken recently.... hope you enjoy.
Evie loves sitting in the bouncy/vibrating chair that the boys HATED being in. Just some cute pictures of her in it.... one we almost caught a little smile/smirk from her.

Evie on her play mat with the boys.... and some tummy time (poor girl would barely get to lift her head up and the boys would scoot over and smother her with hugs and kisses)

Just a really nice picture of the kiddos with Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean..... we also snapped a couple pictures of us with the kiddos, but what could have been a nice family photo ended up looking more like children fighting off being restrained :)

MacKay and Oscar caught zoning in on the TV with Barney and Thomas the Train. It's so cute how they will stop in their tracks when those shows come on and either go sit on the couch or right in front of the TV to watch it.

MacKay and Oscar being silly during Gpa Gary (Go-wee) and Terri's visit last week. They are going through a phase where they don't like wearing shirts..... MacKay is spinning wildly out of control on the bouncing Zebra that Noreen and Dave Doerr got for them a while back. And Oscar is showing Gpa Gary his favorite trick to do to someone who is lying on the ground - he stands up on them and then flops down after you count 1-2-3... lots of grunts and groans from Gpa Gary with that game. (Sorry Dad - but Chris thanks you for letting him take the night off from being pounced on all the same) :)

Lastly, had to post these pictures .... old and new, of MacKay, Oscar and Evie and how SIMILAR they all look. For the most part Evie really seems to look like MacKay as you will note in the pictures below.... but surprisingly I have come across some pictures of Oscar from when he was Evie's age that look A LOT like Evie. I think she is just a really nice mix of the two of them.
The first sets of pictures (sleeping and in swing) are of MacKay and Evie - MacKay is on the left, Evie on the right.

This last set are pictures of MacKay (left - blue background) and Oscar (right - green background) at around 1 month old on their changing table.... same with Evie (larger picture below). Uncanny how she looks like both of them at the same time.

Until next time....