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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A....B....C......D's

This is how Sam refers to the ABC's and who am I to "correct" him? After all D is the next letter. I try to expose him to letters and numbers every day in hopes that he'll absorb this important knowledge in a fun and interesting way. Today we made letters out of bread dough. Very easy, but I think they taste terrible. Sam seems to like them and that's what's counts.


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What to do with the extra dough? Make a pizza of course!!!

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Smitten


I love watching how Sam and Julia interact. Sam is very loving and kind to his little Jo Jo and she is also quite smitten with her big brother.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sammy's Favorite Games

"Fow Sammy"
Sam walks or runs around the house saying "Fow Sammy Da, fow Sammy! which means he wants daddy to take laps around the house with him. (a great energy burner)

"Peeky-boo"
We taught Sam how to play hide and seek recently and he thinks it is the funnest thing ever. I can tell that he's found me when his giggle changes. He doesn't tap me on the shoulder or call out Mommy, he just does this little chuckle that is too cute for words.

"Bockey Pozie"
This is where I sing Ring Around the Rosie a billion times while he runs in a circle until he falls over.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A wintery weekend

I'd like to be able to post pictures of us all playing outside in the foot of snow we have, but no such pictures exist. Sam doesn't like the snow (something that worries me) and Julia is a little young to be out outside for very long. Instead we had to get creative and entertain ourselves inside. On Saturday we went to a library event before the snow got too deep. Sam played the part of the mouse during the reading of "The Mitten". He was brave and crawled into the mitten with the other animals.




Julia is on a pretty good schedule, so the sling comes in handy at nap time when we aren't at home.

Today we have too much snow to leave the house so we plugged in a crock pot full of chili and crawled under a blanket for a reading marathon. After a half hour Sam was more interested in making shadow puppets with the flashlight than reading, but oh well. It's nice to be able to sit back and let him be creative. The only shadow puppet I can make is a sorry looking puppy/crocodile so we were soon on to the next activity.

This is Sammy finger painting with chocolate pudding. You might be wondering why his face isn't covered with pudding too. We don't eat pudding so he didn't have a clue that this "paint" was edible. I kept this info to myself -why confuse the kid? I figured the next time we got out real finger paints he might try to eat them too.


We miss daddy who's been working overtime to keep the trails in our neighborhood plowed. Maybe he'll be done soon and we will get some of those outside photos I had hoped to post. Stay tuned.....


Ok, It's six hours later and I'm happy to report that we were able to get outside to play in the snow. I think it helped that Sam wanted to go out and help daddy with the shoveling.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Measured in feet

Since we live in Minnesota you might think this post is about how much snow we are getting this weekend (we have 11.5 inches so far), but I'm actually writing about the kids visit to our new pediatrician yesterday. Before we met Dr. Heidi we followed the nurse back to the scale to see how my babies are growing. Julia has gained 2 more pounds in the past three weeks and has only 9 more pounds to gain before she outweighs her big brother who tipped the scales at 29 pounds. Yes, you did the math correctly - my 4 1/2 month old weighs 20 pounds. Julia is 29 inches long and Sam is 2 feet, 11 inches. Two feet! I wasn't prepared for my baby boy to be old enough to be measured in feet. It seems like only yesterday that he was coming home from the hospital at 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and 18 3/4 inches long.


Sam with Daddy on October 13, 2004

Happy Birthday Dad

The snow is piling up as I write this on what would have been my dad's 60th birthday. Kinda fitting since he used to plow snow. He did lots of side jobs when I was growing up in order to buy my prom dress, send me on a once-in-a-lifetime horse camping trip to Wyoming when I was 14 - any other activity that required extra money to pay for - he'd pick up extra work to give me what I wanted.

He was a giver. He would help friends, family, and complete strangers. As a kid it would embarrass me when he'd go out of his way to offer his help when it didn't seem necessary. He liked to talk to the convenience store clerks, the guy in the checkout lane, anyone...... I'm all grown up now and I realize the error of my ways. Now I want to be that person who goes out of their way to help others. Even if that means my kids think their mommy should mind her own business, I want to model that generosity for my kids - to carry on my father's legacy of caring.

Sam and Julia won't know their Grandpa Jim on earth, but he's watching them grow up from Heaven. I know they've already made him proud.
Happy Birthday Dad! I miss you!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rub-a-dub-dub

Julia's in the tub....for now. She's getting too big for the sink tub, but it's so much easier on my back to bathe her this way.
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Can you believe this is the same baby?
Ten day old Julia

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This Mamma Bear isn't ready to come out of hibernation quite yet


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It's finally above freezing here in Minnesota after three straight weeks of FREEZING cold. I decided before we get a bunch of snow this coming weekend as predicted I would take the kids on their very first spring walk. I'm not so sure that I'm ready for all that it takes to get three kids out the door. Here is how our morning went:
* Get Grant and Julia in their snowsuits
* Put Sam's coat, hat, gloves, and puddle boots on
* Put Grant in the carseat
* Put Julia in the sling
* Lay Julia back down because Sam tells me he's poopy
* Take Sam's boots and pants off to change his diaper
* Put said items back on
* Make three trips up and down the steps to the garage
* Load Grant into the stroller
* Find different shoes in the garage for Sam because one of his puddle boots is
already falling off

Now the part that makes it all worth it:
* Get more fresh air in 40 minutes than we have all winter combined
* Talk with Sam about all we see along the way
* Know that the babies will sleep great later because of the fresh air
* Get to see Daddy at work when we walk the trail next to his office
* Puddle jumping!
* Pretend that walking at a toddler's pace will help the baby weight come off
eventually

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'll be singing about slippery fish in my sleep



Sam learned the song "Slippery Fish" at school a few weeks ago, but it wasn't until I made him his own set of felt characters that he asked me to sing it constantly. He sticks the fish to a pillow and sings along. It is really cute even after 30+ times a day. We took the felt pieces to grandma and grandpa's house last night so they could see Sam sing the silly song too. He had everyone singing along.... Why don't you join in too? Slippery Fish, Slippery Fish. Sliding through the water.... Gulp! Gulp! Gulp! Oh no!
It's been eaten by a....
Octopus, Octopus. Squiggling in the water,
Octopus, Octopus. Gulp, Gulp, Gulp.
Oh No! It's been eaten by a....

Tuna Fish, Tuna Fish. Flashing through the water
Tuna Fish, Tuna Fish. Gulp, Gulp, Gulp
Oh No! It's been eaten by a...

Great White Shark, Great white shark. Lurking in the water
Great white shark, great white shark. Gulp, gulp, gulp
Oh NO! It's been eaten by a...

Humongous whale, Humongous whale. Spouting in the water
Humongous whale, Humongous whale. Gulp, gulp, gulp..
BUUUUURRRRRP! Pardon me!


Now wasn't that fun?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Waking up on Christmas Morning


Even though the Christmas season is behind us for now I can't help but feel like every morning is like Christmas morning. I am blessed to have two beautiful, healthy "gifts" to "unwrap" every day. Each day my kids give me something new. A smile, a hug, learning to say a new word...whatever it is, I am striving to make the most of every day with my children. Ever since my friend, Jennifer, gave me the link to baby Noah Steven's blog my perspective about my role as a parent has changed. It is so easy to go through the motions of diaper changes, mealtimes, story times, and bedtimes as the mom of a two year old and a four month old. Honestly, I'm tired a lot of the time. But then I read what Noah's mom talks about on her blog and I am humbled by her faith in God and her ability to reach out to others despite the sorrow of losing her son. I challenge each and every one of you to read about what Adrienne and her family has gone through. EVERY day I think of how they handled their situation with amazing character. Now I hug my kids a little tighter, I read an extra story, and I pray for them constantly. We love Sam and Julia more than anything, but God loves them more! There is a beautiful Angel in Heaven named Noah and next Christmas we'll be adding an angel ornament to our tree in his honor.

Waking up on Christmas Morning


Even though the Christmas season is behind us for now I can't help but feel like every morning is like Christmas morning. I am blessed to have two beautiful, healthy "gifts" to "unwrap" every day. Each day my kids give me something new. A smile, a hug, learning to say a new word...whatever it is, I am striving to make the most of every day with my children. Ever since my friend, Jennifer, gave me the link to baby Noah Steven's blog my perspective about my role as a parent has changed. It is so easy to go through the motions of diaper changes, mealtimes, story times, and bedtimes as the mom of a two year old and a four month old. Honestly, I'm tired a lot of the time. But then I read what Noah's mom talks about on her blog and I am humbled by her faith in God and her ability to reach out to others despite the sorrow of losing her son. I challenge each and every one of you to read about what Adrienne and her family has gone through. EVERY day I think of how they handled their situation with amazing character. Now I hug my kids a little tighter, I read an extra story, and I pray for them constantly. We love Sam and Julia more than anything, but God loves them more! There is a beautiful Angel in Heaven named Noah and next Christmas we'll be adding an angel ornament to our tree in his honor.

Julia Grace.....our little piece of Heaven


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Making Sweets With My Sweetie


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Monday, February 12, 2007

Uh-oh


A picture of a soybean and a tweezers? What could that possible mean? Yep, you guessed it. Sam got a soybean stuck up his nose last night. I was enjoying a rare day at the mall with Julia when I got the call from Brian that I needed to get home asap. We don't know if Sam stuck it up there on purpose because the soybeans are always sticking to his hands and he rubs them off on his face. Either way, I was very scared and got home as quickly as I could. (Sorry to the man I honked at for going 10 miles under the speed limit, but my baby needed me!) It worked to our advantage that the bean had been up there for an hour because the moisture loosened the outside so I was able to grip the edge and remove it. Thank you Lord!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Yummy!

Today Julia had her first taste of brown rice cereal. I was hesitant to start down this road because I remember all the work involved in making baby food for Sam, but the time has come. She's waking up 2-3 times a night so we thought maybe she is getting hungry. My friend Wendy affectionately calls her daughter her "little science experiment." I completely agree! We're always trying something new to see what the outcome will be. Just when we think we have something figured out a variable changes and we have try a new approach. I'm to the point where I'm so tired I'm not willing to try one new thing a night. Tonight we're putting her in a bigger/better diaper, giving her a bottle right before we go to bed, and she had rice cereal this afternoon. Let's hope at least one of these things helps!

I'm ready for my first solids Mommy!


The very first bite.


Daddy did the honors. You can see the love in her eyes for her daddy.


I love how she crosses her eyes to watch the spoon.



I don't know that she's completely convinced that this is fun.


Check out those rubberband wrists!


Big Brother Sam showing Julia how to open her mouth wide for another bite.


Sam's reaction when I offered him a bite.


She's already trying to feed herself.


That was fun! When can we do it again?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A Family Field Trip

Brian says St. Paul, Minnesota might as well be Moscow. He doesn't know his way around either city, but if you ask me the road signs are easier to read in St. Paul. We ventured out to the Children's Museum last week on a VERY cold Friday afternoon. We made it there with only one wrong turn. (completely my fault - I'm a terrible map reader) The reason for this little outing? Bob the Builder and his crew were in town. Sam fell in love with Scoop (who he calls Scoops), Muck, Roley, Dizzy, and the rest of the big eyed construction vehicles a few months back.
We started out in an area where kids could build with the construction stuff they had set out. Brian had just as much fun as Sam. He's a big kid at heart. That's what makes him such a great dad.

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Next it was on to the Bob the Builder Exhibit. Sam had so much fun running from one thing to the next he was oblivious of the other kids in the room. What a great way to spend a Minnesota winter day!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Money well spent

1.72 lbs of soybeans: $ 1.36
box of elbow macaroni: $ 2.50
plastic bin: $10.00

hours of creative play and self entertainment: PRICELESS!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

An Unpleasant Reminder

It was one year ago today that morning sickness overtook my life and wouldn't you know I came down with the stomach flu yesterday. It has been an unpleasant reminder of why we aren't having any more children. After Julia was born I started thinking that we should maybe have one more, but the thought of feeling this way for months has me wanting to slap myself silly for even allowing the thought of another pregnancy to enter my mind. Brian took care of Sam almost the entire month of February 2006. I was so sick I barely could get out of bed to participate in Sam's bedtime routine. Brian changed every diaper for a month (except those changed by Auntie Sharon, Grandma Gayle, and Grandma Rena) . I was hospitalized 4 times and lost 15 pounds. The scariest part of the whole ordeal was having to take medicines that hadn't been tested on pregnant women before. We spent lots of time praying for a healthy baby and God answered our prayers. Julia is a beautiful and healthy gift from Heaven. Thank you to all who prayed for us during my difficult pregnancy.

Monday, February 5, 2007

It's Art Time!

While the babies sleep Sam and I try to squeeze out some creative juices. Today it was Play-Doh. Yeah! I don't have to wash paint off my walls.
Sam's first ba-LOOO pay-doh (blue play-doh) creation is titled "Mickey Mouse"


This masterpiece is called "Frosty" after Frosty the Snowman.

In the first photo I snapped of Sam with Frosty he had his eyes closed and silly mommy said, "Sam, keep your eyes open please." That obviously backfired when I retook the picture, but his expression was too cute so I used this one anyway.

Before Julia went down
for her nap
I (lovingly of course) smooshed
her hands into some clay.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

This little piggy

I saw this done once in a flier for a pricey photo studio and thought I'd give it a try at home. It's amazing what a black t-shirt and a little natural light can do for you. Sometimes in my photography I spend so much time zooming in to get the details I lose perspective, but by adding our wedding bands I was able to capture how little Julia's piggies really are. If she weren't wrapped up like a baby burrito in her swaddle wrap while I write this I'd be smooching those tooties right now. It'll have to wait until she wakes up tomorrow morning.....
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I'm always way off


Julia celebrated her four month birthday on February 2nd with a trip to the doctor for her checkup. Before we take our kids in to see the doc Brian and I always try to predict what their weight will be. I've rarely been the winner of this little game. I guessed 16 pounds 5 ounces and Brian guessed 17 pounds, 3 ounces. Boy was I way off! She weighed in at a hefty 18 pounds! She's in the 95th percentile for height and weight AND she has two teeth. No wonder she doesn't even fit into 6-9 month clothes anymore. She'll always be my baby girl no matter how big she gets. Check out her first pictures from the hospital photo site to see how much she's changed.
Good thing I take 100 pictures a week.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Thomas the Tank Engine has many expressions, but not as many as Sam


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My 30th Birthday

Sam made me a cake for my birthday.

The best gift I could ask for - my kids.

I probably had the most unorthodox 30th birthday party ever. Picture this: 13, yes 13 kids under 3 years old in my in-laws living room with their parents and another 6 kids outside sledding in sub-zero weather. It was wonderful to have a house full of family and friends. I will forever be impressed that I only heard crying once. The kids were VERY well behaved and I think everyone had a good time. I know one little boy did because he told his mom as they were walking out the door, "That was the best party I've ever been to!" I had to agree.

Getting Sam to put his coat on is a battle so you can just imagine how difficult it is to get him ready for sledding. By the time he got to the top of the hill and was busy throwing sticks on the fire with Grandpa I think he'd forgotten that minutes earlier his mom had been cramming him into layer after layer of winter gear.

Here's Sammy, all bundled up!



My friend Owen and his daughter Virginia braved the cold to take a ride down the hill - a hill we had to haul snow to cover the morning of the party because it was 45 degrees the day before.

Wheeeee!


It was only 12 degrees outside, but that didn't stop these hearty folks.

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Let it snow!


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Julia received this beautiful winter coat from Joy, a co-worker of my mother-in-law's. I am so grateful to her for giving us this treasure. I love putting it on our little princess.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

She's off to college - or so it seems

Ok, so Julia's not really going to college quite yet. She'll only be four months old tomorrow. I am just so shocked that I found her first tooth two days ago. How is this possible? She's too young! I've never heard of a baby getting a tooth that early. Has anyone else?

Have a good morning!

It's back to school season and whether your kids start before or after Labor Day new routines are on every mom's mind these days. T...