I always have to go back and fully read (now I understand your pain) my last post to figure out what new updates to share …. So I’m going to try my best to keep my posts as short as possible, though this is my only means of documenting everything going on with us. I don’t keep a diary, and have NOT done a good job keeping up with the kids’ baby books. I did really good with the boys’ books up until about 8 months. I mean you should see their books …. Every month just TONS of information about what they were doing, eating, etc with tons of little pictures I had printed off bordering every page. But then I got busy and got so far behind it seemed impossible to catch up. Next thing you know I am pregnant with #3 … and well you know the rest. Poor Evie has a very poor excuse for a baby book. BUT… this blog will live on forever for them as testament to what they were doing … at the very least, even I can use this if I were ever to get enough time, to sit down and go through it and move all this information into their books. Anyone willing to watch my kids for an entire week so I can do that? :) Anyway, on with the updates.
News about us…. I’m sick again – it’s never ending I swear. This past weekend Gma Diane came up to visit. She stayed with Jolene and family on Friday night and then stayed with us on Saturday. On Saturday morning, Chris took the boys to their cousin’s (Brandon) basketball game and they had a ball from what I am told. They were very overwhelmed by the gymnasium and loud noises at first, but they warmed up and were clapping along with the rest of the clan when baskets were made and really enjoyed themselves. They had a nice visit with Gma Diane while she was here and enjoyed giving her “boy germs” before she left. Then Gma Chris came up Sunday to help out as Chris had some appointments that I had to take him to on Monday. Her being there also freed us up to go have some dinner out at Prairie Bay that night – MMMM. Gma Chris’s only fault this visit…. Bringing up tons of her books. 1.) We have no more room to house all the books she wants to pawn off on us 2.) My kids go book-crazy every time she brings another batch of them up. Even she was begging for mercy after 24 hours of kids crawling up on her every 5 minutes with the same new books, over and over and over again. And as a result… MacKay can now fully read “Are You My Mother” – doesn’t miss anything in there. NO MORE BOOKS MOM! :) In all fairness, though... my mom did bring some real gems up with her too - the items we ordered from my Matilda Jane trunk show last month! YAY. I couldnt' wait to get my hands on them to check them out. Many of the pieces are too big for Evie right now, but she will probably fit into most of them by this summer. I also had my 2nd Matilda Jane trunk show earlier this week… though this one was just an online show. It was related to the 2nd release for the House of Clouds line (which I now found out there will be a third release for on April 1st) and I wasn’t expecting much for sales out of it, but thanks to 7 great ladies, the sales totaled over $600 so that got me $25 in MJ bucks and two ½ priced items. So I got a dress for myself and another top and bottom for Evie that will go nicely with the things I've already gotten her. I’m even getting some information from my trunk keeper on what being a trunk keeper entails… thinking it would be a fun job to have, so we’ll see if it will be a good fit once I get more information. This week I also finished up my Advanced Photography class - again, I learned a lot more about getting those ideal shots - flash, white balance, composition, lighting, and editing. For anyone interested in learning how to use their SLR camera (must have manual option - vs auto) that are in the Brainerd Lakes area... definitely take these Photography courses offered by Jon Arenz of Blackline Photography. He's great at explaining things in an easy to understand manner. We also recently got the boys signed up for their first swim lessons through SafeSwimMinnesota.com that will start next week. They hold the lessons at a nearby hotel pool up here and I can’t wait to see how it all goes over. We thought about enrolling Evie, but I think we’ll hold off until she is 2 to put her in lessons. I also just booked an “Antiquities” photo shoot for the kids on Friday March 11th. It is a fundraiser put on by the Brainerd Lakes Area Women of Today … you pay $10 (which is the donation) to have your kids’ portrait taken old time clothing and props and get a free 10x13 portrait. Then they have packages for additional prints available as well. I thought it would be worth a try for $10 though – so we’ll see what we end up with. And then later that night, Gma Chris and I are taking the boys as our dates to the annual “Spider Ball” that is put on by Community Ed/ECFE. Apparently it is a pretty fun event and a big thing – everyone gets all dudded up for it. So I got the boys some dress pants and shirts to wear to it. Oscar asked about them (specifically the pants, which were khakis) and I told them I got them for them for a dance we were going to. Since then when he sees them in his dresser he says “Those are my dancin’ pants!” Love it. Can’t wait to have a date night out with my boys. And lastly, I just found out that I got into (lottery) the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth (Gma's Marathon). I signed up as a kick in the pants for me .... that dangling carrot, if you will ...... and now I'm being called out by that carrot. Shoot! Now I gotta get my butt into gear. So I'll keep ya updated on how all that goes. I'm trying to figure out how I fit in training for a marathon while also taking care of 3 kids etc.... but I figure other people do it, so can I...... I think.....
Some news on the potty front. The boys are still doing great and avidly filling up their “Underwater” sticker charts. They were SO excited about the fish (there were sharks, octopi, puffer fish, sword fish, crabs, clams etc) that I couldn’t bear the idea of only allowing them 1 sticker a day for just being dry like I had planned for this go-round. So instead it is business as usual. 1 sticker for pee, 2 (usually) for poo, and then I dole out stickers in the AM and PM if they were dry all day/night. They really enjoy the PM stickers I dole out as I usually give out the “bubbles” stickers for being accident free (which they always are) …. They get pretty excited about getting more bubbles out there. The other ones I dole out are usually the star fishes … which they always know (and remind me every time too) need to be put at the bottom in the sand and rocks. I get a kick out of the sea horses they choose to put on there too … they remember them from Underwater World at the MOA and always talk about how they were “stuck” to the plants – referring to how they wrap their tails around the stems of plants. So they like to put their sea horse stickers on the plants I have on their charts. They still are in undies all day long, and Oscar wears them to bed too. And this is where the excitement begins (at least for me) … I am proud to announce that MacKay has been dry in the AM for the last 5 out of 6 days. The only exception was expected as Chris and I brought home Cold Stone Ice Cream after having a nice dinner out … and all the kids scarfed it all up right before going to bed. I even put Oscar in a pull up that night because I figured he would have trouble with eating/drinking that close to bed time. Fortunately Oscar didn’t sleep well that night … the only “fortunate” thing I am talking about is that he was awake so much that he actually went to the potty in the middle of the night. So that was the only morning MacKay woke up a little wet. I’m hoping that if this continues we can say good-bye to those expensive Pull Ups soon and move MacKay to undies at nighttime too. MacKay’s also been 100% with poo for the past couple weeks too …. Though he tells me all the time how his poop smells like strawberries. WOW… I am so impressed with my little men. And honestly, I don’t think Evie is far behind. She loves the whole sticker concept and wants to join in… demanding a sticker for herself as well to put up on their charts. AND… this cracks me up… she goes over to the toilet, puts up the lids and then lifts her shirt up to her chest and just stands there and smiles. Totally mimicking how her brothers do it. Man is she going to be in for disappointment when she learns she can’t pee standing up like her brothers. I’m going to venture out and make a prediction that she will be fully trained by 2 ½ years … I would even say earlier, but I don’t want to be proven wrong.
Other news about the boys. They still amaze me with what they know and understand … all that they are learning at school. Lately they’ve been running around the house singing some song that has the days of the week in it, so every day we talk about what day it is and how that day fits into the week in relation to the days they go to school. They are also getting so much better with their manners … Please… Thank You …. Excuse Me… etc. It’s so cute to see them rough housing – to which I always warn them someone is going to get hurt – and then one of them will come running to me crying, saying the other hit them…. And that other is not far behind, saying over and over again “I sorry, [name]… I sorry. I didn’t mean to…” in a very concerned voice. Super cute to see how they interact with each other.
Onto Evie… our little diva. WOW is she a handful lately. She makes her presence and needs/wants known. She’s not above screaming her head off just to show you she can be louder than you …. And is quite adamant about what she wants. It doesn’t take her much time to throw a fit …. Just fractions of a second. No patience in this one right now. God I hope this is a phase. And into everything. If the pantry doors are not locked, she comes running out with Cheez-Its every time. Sometimes its craisins… but mostly Cheez-Its. She loves climbing and seems to have no fear. Always climbing up into her high chair and standing up in it screaming for you to notice her. Gma Chris will be bringing up one of her booster chairs she usually keeps at her house for when we visit… as I think it is time to retire that high chair. 1.) She’s gonna fall one of these times 2.) It doesn’t keep her in, either… she’s such a peanut that even when we have the tray snapped in as far as it can go, she can shimmy her way out of that thing and crawl right out. Just today, when I told everyone to get in their chairs for lunch, Evie climbed into one of the dining room chairs instead of her high chair. And when I went to pick her up and put her in her high chair she “Freddy Krueger’d” up my face REAL good. Apparently she doesn’t even want to be in her high chair anymore either. She also has started a new habit of fighting bedtime – crying her eyes out every night when we put her to bed. She will quiet down after a few minutes for a while… then is right back at it for another minute… takes a break for a few again, then right back at it. I’ve even tried shortening her naps in the past few days in hopes that would tire her out earlier in the night – but that hasn’t proven to be very effective yet. Geez she is a handful lately. But on the flip side… she also has been so lovey lately. She loves to kiss and give hugs like they are going out of style. And to be honest…. More than not she is in pretty good spirits, giggling, laughing, and playing with her brothers very nicely. So I feel bad complaining… but I’m just amazed how in the last month or so she has developed such personality, such attitude…. Such a diva complex. So it’s gonna take me a bit to get used to this new personality she’s got… as for so long she was my “always happy little baby girl.” Where did that girl go that people always asked “Does she ever cry?” Please… say it is a phase.
Well…. How did I do at keeping it short and sweet? Failed again didn’t I? Oh well… I have good intentions. Here’s some pictures to make up for it.
Evie (and the boys) donning a bonnet we got from our Auntie Teresa. I can't believe Gma Chris actually got her to keep something on her head .... even more shocked at the boys demanding to try it on for a picture as well. MacKay I think more wanted it for the satiny ribbons on the side.
Sassy Evie in her new Sweat Pea Baby "Ruffle Me" scarf that I got for her (and a matching one for me too) off of zulily.com. Picture doesn't really show it well, but it is quite chic. And if you haven't heard of zulily.com before... check it out, and if you register, be sure to say I referred you.
Had some fun outside while Gma Chris was up visiting (and Daddy was taking a much needed nap). The boys had a blast with the spray bottles again (water and food coloring) ... as did Gma who spelled out each of their names in the snow.
Evie came out to join in the fun after being awakened (earlier than usual) from her nap ... wasn't so happy to go from the warmth of her crib/blankets to the brisk cold outside... but she had a lot of fun pushing herself around on the boys' tricycles.
Evie desperately wanted to ride on the boys' tractor trike ... but kept sliding off the seat. And MacKay just wouldn't give up trying to pedal his tricycle through snow and up the inclines on our driveway fully dressed in his outdoor garb.
See ya soon......