Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Whole New Level of Chaos.... Evie is starting to WALK

Yup.... our little girl, just shy of 11 months, is beginning to walk. Just last weekend my mom said she witnessed her take 2 self initiated steps - while holding onto a toy, which she probably thought was holding her up. And just last night Chris was working with her and she took anywhere from 2-4 steps walking back and forth between the two of us. Now I'm not gonna say they are the sturdiest of steps, and she definitely tends to lean forward and fall into us... but she is definitely taking those steps by herself. Not to mention she is scaling everything in the house, pulling herself up and walking around everything as proud as can be with herself. She definitely prefers to be on her feet... tho if she needs to get somewhere fast (ie, when Daddy comes home she crawls at light speed to get to him) she goes straight for crawling. So I guess we will see how long it takes her to finally take those self initiated steps toward something. Wow, didn't see this coming as I thought she was a little further off than this. She also crawled up our entire flight of stairs in the basement this morning... even skipping using her knees and going straight for using her feet on the stairs. And she finally got that 6th tooth we have been waiting for - her upper right lateral incisor is finally in, which I am hoping means we get a break from teething for a while. Not that teething for her was bad, she was a trooper.... but she got horrible diaper rash at times. I thoroughly enjoy that she isn't a major drooler like the boys were though. Boy, with those two they had to wear bibs during all waking hours and had to be changed out every couple hours as they would be drenched with drool, especially Oscar. And yet another new thing .... Evie is now sleeping with a blanket. This was more a milestone for me than for her, as the only reason she wasn't sleeping with one before is cuz I am completely paranoid about that sort of stuff and wanted to be absolutely sure she wouldn't wrap it around her head like MacKay did that one time - I swear my heart stopped when I found him like that. But she does quite well with it just rolling back and forth... but I think sleeping a little more soundly with the chill our house sometimes has from the A/C running. Lately she loves playing the "give and take" game with us. Holds out a toy to give to us, and is proud when we take it... but then quickly wants it back. She's gonna be 11 months soon .... and we'll be celebrating her birthday down at Gma Chris's the weekend before (we'll be down taking the boys to a Day Out With Thomas on that Saturday)... and on her real birthday as Gpa Gary (who also shares August 3rd as his birthday) and Gma Terri will be visiting then. Nothing big, just the usual cake/cupcake for her to smear in her face. :) And then we have her 1 year pictures (and family session) planned for later in August. Thinking she'll probably be walking by then so we should get some good pictures out of that. Cannot believe my little princess is turning one soon. Time goes by so quickly ... most of the time :)
The boys are the same.... though they have been doing some rather hilarious things lately. They now get the concept of titles like Mommy, Daddy, Sister and Brother... not to mention they get the concept of names as well. They like to repeatedly show their intelligence and state that I am their Mommy.... that I am Jill. Daddy is Christopher (or Chris) ... and they know that they are each other's brothers and that Evie is their sister. They tell us they love us ... sometimes not even as an answer back to us saying it - which I SOOOO appreciate and love to hear. And they really enjoy going for our nightly walks after dinner - especially now that we let them walk the last 1/4 of our block back home. They do pretty well at staying on the side of the road, and seem to get the danger of cars as they stop dead in their tracks when they see a car coming. They LOVE our sprinkling system and find utter humor in sticking their hands in the stream. Poor Oscar didn't get the fact that they oscillate and got pummeled with a stream of VERY cold water the other night - his first reaction was to stick out his bottom lip and cry... but within seconds he was laughing about the fact that he was all wet. I love that I can have some pretty good conversations with them about things ... they seem to really like to talk as they are quite chatty lately. I should also mention, we successfully (sorta) cut the boys hair ourselves recently. We used Chris's clippers.... and there was just a little bit of crying but all in all it went pretty well. It got a little shorter than I would have liked as I think we need to get some more attachments (longer ones) for future cuts... but nice to know we don't have to go out and pay for it anymore - especially with how quickly MacKay's hair grows. Only bad thing I have to report is that I think we have hit yet another one of those phases where they are impossible to take out to dinner. Probably related to age/stages/phases.. but might also be that they have graduated to sitting in a booth with us (with or without booster chairs) vs being contained in a high chair. They are just so rammy and too energetic to sit still and eat. From what I hear, this phase lasts for quite a while so we might not be going out to eat as a whole family very often now.
Not much new with me and Chris... other than us eagerly watching the grass grow outside. It's part of conversation on a daily basis .... ooh, it's growing over there now etc. :) Cannot wait til we have a lawn full of grass to go run around in. Did find out that we may be going to a twins game courtesy of Chris' company (employee appreciation thing). Only downfall is it is on our 5 year wedding anniversary - October 1st. Oh well, dying to see the new Target Stadium .... so I'll take free tickets. Will just have to celebrate our anniversary yet another weekend as I know Chris wants to go back to the Capital Grille in Mpls. We went there for our 3 year anniversary and the guy has NOT stopped talking about the fantastic steak he had there and wants to go again to savor it once more. Me.... my idea of a good anniversary dinner will definitely include sushi as it is not something I get to have often living in Brainerd. Otherwise we're just rolling with the punches as usual. Very much looking forward to July 4th at the Hoglund's in Annandale - always a good time there. I'm sure I'll have plenty of photos to share after that trip. But for now.... here's what I have been snapping in the past couple weeks.
I love taking pictures of the boys while I chase them around the house, they always end up getting cornered at our bedroom door and have the silliest faces. Here are some of them

Lil Evie playing with one of the boys' sandals and doing raspberries with her mouth - something she does all the time now, making feeding times a little more challenging

More fun at our Gregory Park play dates: Some pictures of my friend. Shawna's, twin boys too - Jackson and Wyatt. And of course, every trip ends with us going over to splash around in the water fountain they have there... including a picture of Evie watching everyone play - she's so mellow, she just loves to watch.

Evie getting into EVERYTHING lately. She even has figured out how to unlatch some of our cabinet locks if they aren't pinched tight enough. And her other favorite past time.... emptying our shelves of all the books - here she is just getting started.

Just a couple of sweet pictures of the boys, and of Evie with her cousins Kelly and Brandon Hehir.

The boys wearing some of my high heel sandals. They actually walked quite well in them - they'll probably kill me for taking pictures of them like this (and sharing them). Finally got them to take them off by taking out some bowls and utensils for them to make a ton of noise with. Evie even joined in on the fun.

Our little walker. She just flies around with this thing now - and can even turn it when she has rammed into something so she can keep going. Now I need to get a picture of her walking sans assistance.

Just a bunch of pictures of the boys and Evie at the park down the street from us. We go for walks on most mornings and stop for a while at the park down the street so they can play. Evie loves the swing and the boys love to play with the many Tonka dump trucks, tractors, bucket loaders and back hoes they have there. We even got to see a sea plane land and take off a ton of times while we were there and they talked about that all day.

I love when the boys are like this..... when they take a break from fighting over toys and just love each other up.

The boys with Gma Chris - reading one of their favorite books "The Goodnight Train"

LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture of Evie. Those big brown eyes just melt me most of the time. We even tried to put a bow in her hair for a while ... tho it didn't stay as there isn't much hair to hold it in there. :) It's growing and getting thicker though so I am holding out that it won't be long before I can put some pig tails in there.

Evie and her first encounter with a pickle. Amazing that almost EVERY child keeps going back to eating it, after making these sour faces every time.

A few more cute pictures of the boys that I was able to snap while chasing them around. I love the one of MacKay... just the composition of it and everything, and I did nothing to it...... no cropping, no color enhancement. It just ended up being one of those perfect pictures you get every now and then.

Brotherly love at its finest. Lately we've been finding the boys like this at night when we go in to make sure they are covered up before we go to bed. We just stand over them and smile and laugh. It's always MacKay climbing into bed with Oscar. I wish we had a way to see how it all plays out when he climbs in like that (we assume Oscar is sleeping). Once we even found MacKay all nuzzled up to Oscar and Oscar's big satiny tag (at neckline) was sticking out of his shirt.... obvious that MacKay had climbed in, pulled out the tag (he loves satiny things - rubs against his upper lip) and nuzzled up to him to rub his lip against it and probably fell asleep that way. Too funny

Well that is it. Have a fun and safe 4th of July everyone.... I'll post pictures of our fun holiday soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pictures Galore.... and of course a [lengthy] update :)

OK - last I checked there were 70 new photos to upload - and almost all taken in the past few days. I swear I am attached to this camera. Doesn't help that my Best Buy Rewards Zone gave me $100 in coupons to use recently so I got myself a new external flash for my camera. A must for our house that doesn't get a ton of natural light. I have to say, it was worth the money... and I didn't even have to get the super beefy one that I thought I would have to get - bonus. Now I get some pretty darn nice indoor pictures that look as if we had gobs of natural light in our house. I can take pictures at night or on a gloomy day and it will look like it is mid-day and sunny. LOVE it.
Our house projects are ALMOST done. Our detached garage (aka "the new shed") now looks like it matches the house with a few fresh coats of paint. And a little over a week ago the landscaping started and went VERY quickly. This team we have working on it (The Woods - Reed Price) is FANTASTIC. I highly recommend them to anyone up here in the Brainerd Lakes area. We pretty much put all our trust in Reed to make it look nice and put the right stuff in (shade/light etc) and it looks phenomenal. The irrigation system went in earlier this week too, and just today they covered up all the drip and soaker lines in our perennial beds with mulch and seeded the lawn. Cannot WAIT to have a yard again... I am so sick of dirt and mud. Makes taking Angus out for bathroom breaks a REAL treat lately .... constantly having to wipe his feet off.
Evie is now 10.5 months. Cannot believe she will be 1 year soon. She still hates the bottle (I have a couple canisters of formula left and I think once those are gone we will be done and go to whole milk) but LOVES her solids. She cannot get enough of them. She loves fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, bananas. Even likes the canned cooked carrots we give her here and there. And just like mommy.... a big fan of the potato... whether it be mashed and covered in gravy, baked, roasted, fried/fries etc. She's been trying a lot of the boys' leftovers from lunches and dinners as well, like their crackers and cookies, banana bread, muffins etc. And most recently we discovered her love for Dairy Queen. Just the other night we went for a walk after dinner and decided to pack the kids up in the car upon our return to get some DQ. I think I got to enjoy MAYBE half of my dipped cone before she started screaming at me to keep shoving it in her face for more more more more more. She's quite the bright little lady too.... she knows quite a few words now. When we say Hi or Bub-bye she will wave, when we say YAY she will clap (will clap when we say the word clap too), and will throw her arms way up in the air when we say SOOO big. Rarely do you find her without a big smile on her face..... which now includes 5 teeth with the 6th about to pop any day now. Then hopefully we get a teething break as her poor little bottom is starting to get raw with rashes... but she's taking it like a champ. She's scaling all furniture and starting to show a tendency to prefer walking along furniture to get somewhere vs crawling. Before she knew she could get places faster by just getting down on the ground and crawling, but now she gives walking more of a try. Along with that she is CONSTANTLY letting go while standing up against something and testing out her balance. She can stand with no support for a good 10 seconds or so... and when she does drop she does it controlled and lowers herself down vs falling. I still think walking on her own is quite a while down the road, but she's making strides and seems to like challenging herself to try out these new things.
And I must mention a first we had in our happy household recently. For those of you on Facebook you probably already caught this.... but we had our first poop in the tub just the other week.... all thanks to our little princess. My niece Kelly was over for the day visiting and helping with the kids so I decided to give them all a much needed bath considering I had some help with her there. She pointed out some floaties in the tub wondering what they were and I told her they were fuzzies from their feet/socks (which they were.... THAT time). Then a few minutes later she pointed out a much bigger "chunk" which we quickly noticed was poo. I tried to pick most of it up with wads of toilet paper... thinking it just a few little specks. But as soon as I lifted Evie up we found out it was a full blown turd all over the place. So my wonderful niece watched the kiddos run around naked the room while I emptied and scoured the tub and then filled it back up to continue the bathing. I was really banking on us being able to avoid ever having to deal with that issue as we had already gotten this far (2.5+ years) without an incident like that. The boys had never done that ... so I figured we would just be lucky. Oh well ... I now join the ranks of the majority of parents that have had to deal with the ever fun incident of poo in the tub now. Is there a badge or a pin I should be receiving in the mail soon?
MacKay and Oscar are pretty much the same. Still not fans of "mobile Evie"... tho they have their days where they cannot get enough of her. They will console her and say "Don't cry Evie" and hug her like she is a rag doll and give her every toy they have. But... those days are few and far between, so I just try to enjoy them when they surface. MacKay's favorite saying is still "Stop it" and Oscar's "Be Quiet." I thought the girls were supposed to be the sassy ones. We started up a new session of ECFE (summer) just this past week and they did very well playing with the others in class. Luckily this session is only 6 weeks long and then we have a break before they start ECFE Plus in the fall which should be fun as they will go twice weekly, one of those days being all alone without mommy in tow. They have been in hog heaven watching all the bob cats, track hoes, skid steers and such working on our landscaping the past couple weeks. I would go into their room in the mornings to get them and find them peering out their window already at the guys starting work outside... pointing out all the machines they were using. I still think it is funny that my boys know terms like skid steer and track hoe though. I tried telling them that it was a bob cat (brand) and they corrected me by telling me it was a skid steer.
Well I should note again, that almost all of these pictures were taken in the last few days.... we've been quite busy this week. Mondays we meet our old ECFE pals at Gregory Park for a play date... and this week when we got home from that Grandpa Gary and Grandma Terri had arrived for a visit from Duluth... and as always, chaos ensues when visitors arrive. Tuesday we had ECFE which Gma and Gpa joined us for. And after dinner on Tuesday night we rushed off to their hotel room to take all the kiddos swimming at their hotel pool - which was a hit. Oscar wasn't a fan of the restrictive life jacket we put on him.. but once he hit the water he completely forgot about his discomfort. They were constantly squealing "Throw Me".. "I Did It" (jumping off the side)... "I Swimmin'". They had a blast. So we got done with that and bathed them in their hotel room bath tub, got them in their PJs and headed home in time for bed. Then Wednesday morning we got up and scarfed down breakfast in time to meet Gma and Gpa up at Nisswa Park for a while before they were going to leave to go back up to Duluth. It was a great visit... action packed and busy, but the kiddos had so much fun.
MacKay sitting on the Track Hoe that the landscapers dropped off the night before they began working. Both boys stared out the patio door forever at it.... but amazingly when I brought Oscar out to sit on it he wanted nothing to do with it. Just wanted to LOOK at it... even after seeing his brother get up on it. Check out the picture of Oscar in the background peering out the door at it. :)

MacKay and Oscar enjoying one of my favorite treats... a cupcake from Schaffers Foods Bakery (they have the BEST frosting... and the cake aint bad either)

ECFE Play date at Gregory Park
Evie could seriously be content swinging ALL DAY LONG .... and luckily on this day she had 3 very willing participants to give her lots of nice gentle pushes. Usually there are quite a few other parents/kids that join, but on this particular day Janelle and her daughter Audrey were the only ones to show. Audrey took an immediate liking to Evie .....

Oscar swinging, sliding .... and even more importantly, he was adventurous enough to try out the rock climbing wall to get up to the top of the jungle gym. MacKay (our little dare devil) hadn't even attempted that yet. Go Oscar.... :)

MacKay doing some belly swinging.... AND giving me a heart attack. He is such a little climber and isn't afraid of anything on these jungle gyms. I'm sure he sees success with each of these challenges... meanwhile all I see are the possibilities of face plants, tears and blood. And it doesn't help that he doesn't want ANY help, in fact wants you as far away as possible... putting his hand up to tell you to back off every time to go to "spot him".

MacKay loves to hang from any bars he can find at these parks..... apparently Oscar wanted to give it a try too, but didn't quite get the "hang" of it (no pun intended, really).

A picture of all 3 ECFE buddies (and Evie) hanging out at the swings.

LOVE these pictures. MacKay and Audrey were teaming up pushing Evie in the swing and got really squirrely in the process, which ended up in a good ole game of chase/tag. MacKay and Audrey were laughing hysterically running all over the park chasing each other down while we (Audrey's mother included) were dying of laughter at them. My cheeks still hurt hours later when we got home from laughing at them.

Some pictures of the kiddos with Gma and Gpa (note: this is where my trusty new external flash came in hand - you would never know it was a rainy night by the look of these pictures). BTW - note the wet head on MacKay - he was running around full throttle all night and was sopping wet with sweat.

Oscar beating up on Grandpa... a favorite late night activity, tho usually Daddy is the victim.

Grandpa reading the boys their favorite book "Trucks" ... even Evie snuck in for a picture too.

MacKay and Oscar reading their own books. Oscar LOVES his Triceratops dinosaur book he got from Gma Chris (came in a pack with a bunch of other books on other dinosaurs too.. but "Ti-Ter-tops" is his ultimate favorite)

Evie hanging out with Grandma Terri... doing some posing and waving back at the camera.

Oscar and his tractor and his "car ta-porter" (car transporter) toy.

MacKay and Oscar were like little fishes in the water - they couldn't get enough. Oscar loved to be bounced around and splashed, and MacKay wanted us to let go and let him swim by himself (which just ended up being quite a few facefuls of water for him) :) They kept Gpa Gary, Daddy and myself quite busy in the pool.

Even Evie had a blast swimming for the first time in her new little surfer girl swim suit.... sitting on the steps and splashing water and swimming around with Daddy. And just had to include this picture of Oscar goofing around in his new suit and vest (which I really didn't try to match, but they just did).

The kiddos sitting on the edge of the hot tub (which was barely warm) dangling their feet in.

More of Evie hanging out by the hot tub and the whole gang (minus me as I was taking all the pictures).

Fun at Nisswa Park with Gma and Gpa
Swinging is always a hit. I love the looks on their faces .... it is so classic.

Had to include this picture of Oscar taking a moment from all the fun to point out a garbage truck that had driven in to pick up a load. They are both obsessed with garbage, cement, fuel, semi, and dump trucks lately..... everything must stop when they see one.

Again, Oscar got adventurous and took on the rope ladder that up until then, only MacKay would attempt. He did quite well and was very proud of himself.

Lastly some pictures of Gma Terri and Evie hanging out watching everyone at the park and even getting on the rocking dolphin (which Evie rocked all by herself) ..... and MacKay just being his normal goofy self.

Just some random pictures of the kids. I had a request by Gma Bonnie to round up some pictures of the kids for her to frame at the house, including a picture of all three kids together - something I just don't have. So I attempted the impossible and actually got a few shots of all three of them together - though don't ask me how many I had to snap to get these gems.

MacKay actually wanted me to take pictures of him, usually I get the "No take picture, Mommy" - but this time he was diving in front of the camera and acting all goofy just begging me to snap one. And Oscar wanted me to snap a picture of his prized train he put together and was playing with as well.

And to end it all off.....Love these pictures of the boys lying on the floor with their heads in their hands. They look so angelic don't they? I mean not that they aren't.... but just so sweet.

Well that wraps it up - all 70 or so pictures I believe. July 4th is just around the corner so I'm sure we will have more to update on and tons more pictures - so come back soon. Take care.