Well a lot has been going on at the Hoglund household since last post. Chris found out quickly after his NV trip that he passed the Nevada licensure test. YAY. Gma Chris came up Vday weekend to help take care of the kids so Chris and I could get out for some dinner (and drinks out with friends) and even an afternoon movie too. I can't remember the last time Chris and I went to a movie together - I think it might have been Iron Man - and THAT was a long time ago. :) And I have been taking a photography class - one that goes over how to use your camera on manual mode (vs auto) and composition etc. It's very interesting and I am learning a lot, so much so that I shot over 600 photos last weekend while we were visiting Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean. Was just playing around with it... and they have SUCH great natural light coming into their house that it made it really easy to get some fantastic photos of the kids which I am very excited to share below. .... now the bummer of it all. Right after we got back my camera broke and was showing an error that basically meant I needed to send it in for repairs.... so I now I am without a camera for about TWO WEEKS. I feel naked... I use that camera so much, I don't even know what to do with myself. Not to mention, sorta hard to take a photography class without a camera... but luckily there is one other woman in class that has a camera similar to mine (what are the odds.. she is a mother to twin boys as well - 3 yrs old) so I am just pairing up with her to keep learning. I also have found a new addiction.... Matilda Jane boutique clothing (http://www.matildajaneclothing.com/). Unnghhh. I've got probably 10-20 pieces I've bought from trunk sales and eBay ranging from 18 months to size 6. Yes... size 6.. for a 6 year old. So if any of you know of a support group or detox facility for this... please let me know. :) Lastly, I am super excited as we just bought tickets to go to "A Day Out With Thomas" at the Tumbleweed Express (http://www.thetumbleweedexpress.com/) in Lakeville. We bought tickets to go Saturday July 31st and I cannot WAIT to go now. The boys are going to FREAK OUT when they see him. They still are just so obsessed with Thomas and all his friends. We cannot watch a show/movie without them screaming out each character as they appear on the screen. And we're definitely going to plan a couple weekends to come down to go to the Como and MN Zoos as they are learning all the different animals and the sounds they make. They will get such a kick out of that. We've already mentioned it to the grandparents so we can work out both a.) who is going to stay back and watch Evie and more importantly, b.) who gets to come with for each of the trips to help out. It's going to be such a fun summer with how old they are getting and all the things they can do now. Evie too... she should be walking and mobile come summer... can't wait.
Onto Evie.... she is growing so much. Already in her 12 month clothes for the most part, and getting so much stronger. I swear I could stand her up at the couch (holding on) and she could balance herself for a bit before falling... she's just so sturdy lately. Rarely ever (if even ever) falls over unintentionally while sitting... her balance has gotten so good in the last month or so. And her little legs are ALWAYS moving and kicking... so we thought we might as well give her something to do with them, so we put away her swing (which we hadn't used for about a month) and brought up the boys' old Horsie Jumper. She seriously took about 15 seconds to figure the whole thing out and now is just a bouncing machine. And her hair is getting so much longer and thicker ... we've noticed it is very much like MacKay's in both shape (hair line and direction) and in coarseness. So on the positive side of it, MacKay's hair is VERY thick and grows like a weed so she should have enough for piggy/pony tails quickly..... but it is stick straight and very coarse as I mentioned. Last time we were at the doctor she weighed in a 16 lbs 6 oz... which is the 60+ percentile. Which is shocking as this little one eats like a bird.... for the life of me I cannot get her to get the recommended amount of formula in, especially now after starting solids... in fact she won't even take her last bottle of the night (right before bed)... but it doesn't seem to phase her as she still sleeps through the night very soundly. Goes to bed around 8:30 pm (sometimes earlier if she gets ornery) and wakes around 8 am the next morning. We were definitely blessed with good sleepers. But she seems to love the solids.. especially veggies. We've gone through all of them and are now on the Stage 2 foods (a little more fun as they mix flavors) and she cannot get enough of the veggies. Next weekend we have her 6 month (tho she will be more like 7 months) pictures with Trina Sutton from Luminous Prints (http://www.luminousprints.com/). And my good friend Heidi is gracious enough to lend me some cute hats and tutu/pettiskirts for the shoot...cannot wait to see how this turns out.
The boys.... man are they changing.. even DAILY. They learn so much now... little sponges. They now can count to 10 with some help (sometimes they need a little hint)... tho MacKay likes to skip a lot of numbers and goes 1...4...6..8. We're working on it though. They know a lot of colors and love to point them out on people's clothes, toys etc. They also are starting a new fetish with DINOSAURS. They love dinosaur programs (real and animated) and their little figurines they got for Valentines Day. They know, and more surprisingly can SAY, quite a few of them: TRex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, Ankylosuarus, Allosaurus etc. It is just amazing. They mostly speak in 3-4 word sentences, sometimes even more and are generally pretty easy to understand now. They love ECFE class - I love watching them from the other room (when we separate) to see them participating in the songs and dancing the teachers do with them. I rarely can ever get them to do that - what gives? :) And just this last Friday, Shawna and I took our twins (hers are 1 year younger than the boys) and Evie to the Open Gym at the Franklin Arts Center up here. All the kids had a blast at it... it was just sheer chaos getting them all into the building though as there is no way to maneuver strollers as there are just too many sets of stairs. It was a fiasco getting them in and out, but I think it was well worth it for what they got out of it.
Like I mentioned before, last weekend we took the boys to Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean's ... and did those boys have a blast there - WOW. They weren't showing signs of wanting to take a nap (they sorta nodded off on the way down that morning) so we got them all dudded up in their winter gear and brought them outside to play. Eventually the sled came out and it was all downhill (pardon the pun) from there.... as all they wanted to do was sled down the hill onto the lake. Dean and Bonnie have the PERFECT set up there, just a gradual slope right out onto the lake right outside their house. Perfect for their age... and I must mention, their first time sledding ever. From that point on it was "Dat FUN" and "AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN". They had a blast and I got to snap a ton of pictures that first day while Daddy and Gpa Dean did all the work hauling them up the hill and sending them down. That night they crashed when they went to bed - they were so tired out from such a fun day. The next day we did it all again, just Chris and I... so no more pictures, but man did we get a work out showing those boys a good time.
But the biggest news..... the boys are now in Toddler beds, or what we call "Big Boy Beds." I can say it was rough the first couple days. Initially I started it at nap time - thinking it would be better if I were awake for it all, vs overnight. But in hindsight, not so good as naps are not their strong suit. Many days they would (and still do) go without a nap and just play in there. But the first two days (of naps) were hard and involved me going in there every 5-10 minutes to put them back in bed. They would finally fall asleep about 10 minutes before nap time was over .... which didn't make for very relaxing "me time" - which is usually what nap time is for me. But we tried it overnight that 2nd day and they went right to bed, never left their beds. And it has been going pretty well ever since. Sure we have a bad day here or there (like last night when they stayed up until midnight and were CONSTANTLY getting out of their beds)... but it is going so much better than I had thought it was going to go. I was losing sleep planning for this... and here they transitioned pretty darn well, like they have with everything else. When am I going to learn to just go with the flow eh? I must note though... Oscar seems to really like sleeping with his head down at the foot of the bed. It is where I find him most mornings. And EVERY night/morning I have found MacKay on the floor. Most of the time it is in the middle of the night, ~4am when I get up to check on them. He will be on the floor wrapped up in his blanket. Once it was like he was kneeling on the floor and leaning over onto his bed.... and just this morning I had checked on them around 7am and was amazed that MacKay was still in his bed... but then came 8am when we woke them up and he was on the floor again :) And Daddy wanted to put them in bunk beds..... ;)
Well, onto the photos. There are a ton...... a lot of them taken with my new found knowledge of shooting on manual (with the help of my class). And then some taken with our back up camera (CoolPix) due to having to send our other one in. But all pretty good pictures capturing what is going on with the kids lately. Hope you enjoy.
Just a fun picture of Evie and her prized veggies - here she is enjoying her Squash, one of her favorites along with peas.
Don't know what the fascination is with our front hall closet but the boys LOVE going in there and hiding .. or worse, emptying it of all the shoes we have stacked in there.
The boys with their dinosaurs. They both love dinosaurs... but MacKay seems to be a bit more obsessed with them. Oscar's obsession lately has been with TrAAA-Kerrs (Tractors).
Some fun in the snow at our house. While Gma Chris was up, it was such nice weather so we got the kiddos outside for a romp in the snow while Daddy raked snow off the roof.
LOVE these PJs. Thank you Hillmann family (gift for the boys' 2nd birthday). And the boys love them too. Snapped quite a few very colorful pictures of them in these... and surprisingly even have a picture of all three of my kiddos together, thanks to Gma Chris who was getting them to do "If You're Happy And You Know It..." with them.
Evie hanging out in her crib with her bedtime toys..... she, like MacKay, loves her satiny blanket. If all else fails in getting her to go down for a nap, if we give her that she goes right to sleep.
And now ... the pictures I shot on manual setting at Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean's
MacKay and Oscar having fun in the snow.. (MacKay loved shovelling while Oscar was more interested in checking out Gpa Dean's "TrAAA-Ker" - his John Deere riding lawn mower)
TONS of pictures of the boys sledding ... note the big smiles on their faces. I wish we could do this EVERY day.
Just some more fun pictures of the boys .... (Note: the concerned look on Oscar's face is as a result of Gpa Dean firing up the lawn mower while Oscar was sitting on it... freaked him out pretty good. He distanced himself from his beloved "TrAAA-Ker" and stood there still staring at it from a safe distance with this concerned look on his face, talking about how it turned "On" and was "Loud")
Some more adorable pictures of Evie at Gma and Gpa's (the next day)... wearing her velvet Juicy Couture hoodie outfit that Gma and Gpa had gotten for her when she was born.. BTW - LOVE LOVE LOVE the last picture as it has fantastic composition to it (with Oscar in the background). Even my photographer/teacher from my class commented on it.
The boys coloring at Gma and Gpas, and the last of the photos I took on manual settings .... Oscar is more into pointing out the different markers/crayons and stating the colors, where as MacKay is our artistic one who LOVES to color.
This is the last picture I got to take on my Nikon D40x camera before having to send it in for service.... but was trying to capture MacKay and Oscar's antics during their naps in their big boy beds.
Just a super cute picture (with my Coolpix.... as all the rest on this post are) of the boys wearing their warm up suits that they got from the Vagts' boys/family. We were chasing each other from family room to the dining room and when they would get cornered like this they had the biggest goofy smiles on their faces... had to grab the camera. This is the kind of picture I need to look at when I am getting frustrated with their whining etc..... just to remind me what wonderful boys they are.
Lastly... some pictures to show how I commonly find the boys during their naps or in the morning when I go to wake them up .... Note Oscar at the foot of the bed and MacKay on the floor.
Well that is it for now. Hopefully will have my camera back reasonably soon to snap some more pictures. I learned more at this week's class and am anxious to try it out on my camera again. So check back again soon. Take care.