Monday, October 29, 2012

Double digits.

Ten months. Yikes. Twelve months is getting a little too close for comfort...although the more she grows the more adorable she gets and that makes me the teensiest bit excited for what's to come.

But only the teensiest. Because what more do I need than a sweet little girl who crawls up to me and stands up with one arm holding on to my leg and one arm reaching up to be held? Who grins at me with a toothy, lopsided smile? Who lays her head on my shoulder while smiling flirtatiously at everyone else? Who sticks her pudgy, wet little finger up to point at everything before sticking it right back in her mouth? Who plays peekaboo by throwing a blanket over her own head? And who says "mama," "dada," "hi," and "hi dada"?

Well, I guess a "hi mama" would be nice. So maybe I'll let her grow a bit more. But just a bit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heavenly days.

Well, two weekends ago it wasn't so heavenly. It was about 30 degrees and we had (outdoor) family pictures one morning. Our children were so cold they were crying and I felt like the most craptastic mother on earth. Can't wait to see how awesome those turn out! But the afternoon warmed up and Nate and I snapped a couple of cute shots with our Bub in the backyard.

Last weekend was heavenly from start to finish, however, and we took that opportunity to hit up the apple orchard for donuts and pumpkins (Yet no apples. Hmm.).

Eating up this gloriousness (and those donuts) while we can, because winter will be here before we know it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The sweet season.

Yesterday on the drive to school, Calvin — delighted by the gorgeous sunrise — said "I wish I was the sun so I could paint the sky like that!"

This morning while Audra was between us in bed, she grabbed the edge of our duvet cover with both hands and covered her face — only removing it when one of us said "peekaboo!" She repeated it over and over again, grinning from ear to ear.

My heart swelled at both of these moments. And these are just two in about a million lately.

Calvin calls Nate Big Lion right now. And sometimes calls me Mama Lion. He'll often call for one of us from his bed, quietly and so sweetly: "Big Lion... Big Lion? Big Lion, I need you. Big Lion, where are you?" He's Little Lion, of course.

The other day, Audra kept putting her open, slobbery mouth on me — my cheek, my shoulder, whatever she could reach. She would leave it there for a few seconds, go "mmmmmmm," and then pull her head back quickly. It took a few minutes before Nate and I realized she was giving us kisses, mimicking the "mmmwah!" sounds we make when kissing her delicious baby cheeks.

Calvin still adores Audra, and he is always the first to come to her rescue. Usually with a "Sweeeetie. Oh, sweetie. Oh, punkydoodle. Little sweetie! It's okay, Audra, big brother's here!"

Last night after baths, we let Cal watch an episode of Super Why on my Kindle. As he sat in the hallway singing along with the theme song, a naked post-bath Audra crawled up next to him, sat down, and started bopping her head and waving her arms to the music.

We're in such a sweet season with our children right now.

Despite the expected ups and downs of parenting a three-year-old, Calvin gets more charming, more articulate, and more entertaining every day. His little mind is beginning to mature and it's obvious his understanding of the world and his place in it is growing. It's incredible to watch him right now, both as he plays independently and interacts with his little friends. His imagination has definitely taken off in recent months — he loves to build tracks for his cars, make up songs, read, and play dress up. Although content to play by himself for short stretches, he is enamored of his friends Jaxon, Allie, Jackson, Matthew, and Ada and often talks about them and what they like/do/have. He's a social butterfly at heart, just like his daddy. I am so proud of my little boy's spunk, wit, compassion, generosity, and bravery. He is incredibly strong-willed, but also tenderhearted and sensitive to the feelings of those around him.

Audra is in my favorite baby stage. I forgot how much I love 9-12 months. She is active, engaging, and absolutely delightful. Her serious exterior has (finally) given way to expose a happy, smiley, and often quite silly little girl. While generally independent, she is happiest in our arms, and often crawls over to kneel at our feet with arms outstretched. But even when we hold her, she's still one big wiggle. Her level of excitement always directly correlates with the kickiness of her legs. She's pulling up now — the other night she cried for us around 3am, and I went in to find her bouncing in her crib with the soother playing a full lights/music show. No amount of rocking or nursing could get her back to sleep — she kept popping up to give me a kiss or offer an endearing "mamamamamama!" We're finally at a point where she enjoys reading, and she's really into babies — recently she and a little friend got into a tugging match over the one doll in their room at school. :) While her teachers always comment on how easy and laid back she is (and she really is), you never wonder where you stand with Audra. She loves you, or she doesn't. She's happy or she's not. Luckily she almost always errs on the side of love and happiness. I love my daughter's sweet spirit, content disposition, and discerning nature. She is a joy to us and everyone who meets her.

While I know every moment I have with my kids is precious, and that someday I will miss them all — even the ones that end up with me covered in poop and wanting to strangle someone — sometimes it's hard to savor them. Not every season is a sweet one.

But this one? It's the sweetest I've known.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pajama Time.

Cal is big into nature walks right now. His preschool is located on a nature preserve and they've been studying leaves and other treasures from their walks. All of which come home in a baggie, sit on my kitchen counter for a week, and then end up in the trash. Where Calvin inevitably finds them while throwing something else away and wonders how they got there. Whoops.

Anyway. We decided to go on a nature walk one night a few weeks ago. In pajamas, because...well, why not? Nate thought it was crazy, I thought it was a brilliant way to avoid the bedtime battle.

I was right. :)

Since I wasn't really interested in bringing any more nature into my home, we just walked around and looked at the leaves. Honestly, I don't think Calvin even cared. He was just excited to be at the park in his pajamas. 

Kinda wishing I'd worn mine, too. 

Read between the lines.

Text from my Mom last night: "Today is October 15th. Just sayin'."

High-level translation: Update your blog.

Detailed translation: I need pictures of the kids. Like, yesterday. Get on it.

Yes ma'am.

No, it is not 75 degrees in Minnesota in October. Well, not typically. Today it's supposed to be 72. But that's neither here nor there. These are from last month. Someday I will catch up. Maybe. Probably not.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Poopsmith Song.

Ever heard it? It's by Over the Rhine and it goes a little something like this:

Not on your arm
Not on your leg
Not in the toast
Not in the eggs
Not on the carpet
Nor the linoleum
Just how'd your little brother get it smeared all over him?

Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty

Not on your brother

Not on your sis
Not on any family member, you might wanna make a list

Not on the plants
Not in your hair
Not on the porch
No, we do not want to share

Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty

Not on the swing
Not on the slide
Not while we're spinnin' on a carnival ride
Not on the window
Not on the wall
No more surprises on the light switch down the hall


Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty
Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty

Not in the yard
You're on your honor
Don't go gettin' no ideas from the neighbors weimereiner

Poop in the potty, poop goes in the potty...

It's actually quite catchy. We listen to it once in a while in the car — it's on a great CD I have called For the Kids Three. I love that it very clearly states where poop goes...and does not go.

If only they'd worked in a line about fences.

Thumbs down, indeed.

Let me sleep on it.


This one:
is nine months old.

I won't even try to explain how this makes me feel. Because, well...


Let's just say I'm not ready for any permanent forms of birth control and I'm not sure whether that's because I actually want more babies or I just really can't stand the thought of losing the ones I already have.

Probably a little of both, but we're going to sleep on that for a couple of years.

Here are Audie Lou's official nine month stats:

Weight: 19lbs (50th)
Height: 28.75 inches (86th)
Head: 17.75 inches (79th)

And her unofficial ones:

At nine months, Audra is opinionated. And active. And she has crazy hair. I keep trying to put little bows and barrettes and ponytail holders in it but she's super squirmy and her hair is super fine and it's just not working, so we're embracing the crazy.

She's crawling now, and she has four teeth with two more working their way out. I'm hoping the next one to arrive is the other top middle, because right now she has the two bottom middles and a top middle and a top side. Her smile is lopsided, adorable, and just a little redneck.

She loves to eat. She's still nursing, but no more baby food for this girl. She is an independent eater with a taste for carbs, cheese, and avocado (for she is her mother's daughter). Plus anything she finds on the floor. If you try to feed her with a spoon or give her something she doesn't like, she waves both of her arms in front of her face like a crazy person doing karate.

Her mamas and dadas are beginning to sound more purposeful, and she has begun to wave hello and goodbye. She loves playing peekaboo and is starting to take an interest in toys and books...Calvin's mostly. Every morning she wakes up and cries and fusses until we come get her, but it's all for show — the second she sees us she's grinning from ear to ear and reaching out her arms for us to pick her up.

At home, she spends most of her time trying to get to the dog's water bowl. As soon as she turns the corner into the kitchen, one of us will say "Audra..." in a gentle tone and wait. Without fail, she backs up, peeks around the corner at us, and grins. She never gets very far.

She often puts her head down on my shoulder in the sweetest little way, then immediately pops it up like "yeah, just kidding." Audra is not a cuddler. She loves being held and always wants to be near us, but she doesn't like to be snuggled and really prefers to do her own thing.

Luckily, her own thing is pretty darned cute.

Nine months is wonderful. Audra is wonderful. Truth be told, I don't really need to sleep on it. Nate does, but I don't. I would love a house full of Audras.

I'm probably good with just the one Calvin, though. (See next post.)
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