Friday, March 29, 2013

Random Tidbits

Okay, so I still haven't really gotten the writing bug back this month but I have been keeping track of some random things on my phone.  In no particular order, they are...

*Luke has occassionally started taking showers by himself.  It is nearly impossible to get him out because he loves them so much.  I like this but at the same time it makes me sad because that means he's getting older and not needing my hlep in quite so many things.

*Luke had another double ear infection this past week.  The doctor was getting ready to listen to his heart and lungs with the stethoscope and she asked Luke was the stethoscope was called.  He thought about it for a second and said, "Heart-o-scope."  The doctor and I both enjoyed that one.  She told Luke that he was close and said it was a wonderful answer.  Another tidbit from the doctor--Luke weighs 38 lbs and 8 oz.  

*All the kids in Luke's class call him Lukey at school.  I think it's pretty funny.  Luke doesn't see to mind.  I just hope it doesn't stick around too long.

*Hannah really loves to sing Frere Jacques.  I mean really loves to sing it.  She sings all the time.  Troy and I love it!  The best is when Luke sings with her.

*Troy and I have less than 2 months until we go Switzerland.  Troy ordered our train passes last week and we've started talking about our activities and what we're going to pack.  It's really exciting but I'm a little apprehensive about being gone from the kids for so long.

*Troy and I love to keep track of state license plates when we travel.  I have an app for it on my phone.  We're also getting Luke into it.  It might make us dorks but we really have fun.  On our trips to Kansas we probably average close to 35 different states and at least 2 provinces from Canada.

*I don't know why it's taken spring so long to get here this year.  I do know that I'm very ready for it to be here.  Luke is too.  He is constantly asking me when he can play with water outside and when we'll be able to go to the pool.

*Hannah loves to help me around the kitchen--especially closing cabinets and saying all done.  I am amazed how inclined she is to help me already.  The differences between Luke and Hannah are constantly amazing me.

*Troy and I have decided that Luke won't be starting kindergarten for another year.  We had a teacher conference last week and in some aspects he's ready but his fine motor skills and attention span are still a bit lacking.  There are other factors that lean toward waiting as well.  I have to say that Troy and I pretty much decided about a month ago that Luke would wait another year.  Since then I haven't worried about it or thought about it much so I know we've made the right choice.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pinteresting Week

Last week was Spring Break.  We didn't have any big plans around here but Luke and I decided it would be fun to do a whole bunch of different projects throughout the week.  Luke loves to see all the pins I have on Pinterest for kid activities.  The Saturday before break started we went through all the pins and picked out several of them that we wanted to do.  Here's what we did last week.
Sunday morning we cut shapes out of bubble wrap and made prints with them.  I truly enjoyed this one and probably could have spent a significant amount of time doing this.

After much searching on Sunday, we finally found some marbles to use in our marble race track (a pool noodle cut in half).  This one has been used repeatedly since being made.

 This one was also observed and commented on all week.  We started it on Monday morning and the last picture is from Thursday night.  In the top picture you can see two cups filled with colored water and empty cup between them.  There is a folded paper towel placed in the blue water and into the empty cup and also one for the yellow water.  The bottom picture shows the water levels all equal and the blue and yellow water have wicked into the empty cup to make green water.  This was really fascinating to watch.  We did nothing to the green water.  I was skeptical it would work as well as it did.

Benjamin came over Wednesday morning and the boys made aquariums.  This was another really fun project.  They loved gluing the shells in the sand.

 Luke decided that Hannah needed a "project" too.  We made her some finger paint bags.  There is clear contact paper over the zipper bag although Hannah thought the point was to remove the contact paper.  We have two of these still on the windows and she has since started playing with them.

Wednesday afternoon we made bird feeders from toilet paper rolls, peanut butter and birdseed.  We watched off and on to see if a bird was actually using them but I'm pretty convinced the squirrels ran off with them.

 Friday afternoon after lunch at Chesapeake we used a bug maker LJ got for Christmas to make bugs.  Yeah, you see the spider on the left in the above picture--it looks a little too real for my taste.

Our final project we did yesterday afternoon.  We made a train out of different pasta shapes.  Again I wasn't sure about this one but it turned out well and Luke has had fun playing with it on the kitchen table.

During the week we also went for a couple of walks, went to the park, went to the library, ran errands, played trains, colored, played games, put together puzzles and just enjoyed the extra time at home.  One project that didn't get photographed was an attempt to make rock candy.  It failed miserably and we ended up with two cups full of solidified sugar water.  Other than that it was a very good week!

I should also add that with the exception of the bugs all the info regarding the above projects can be found on my Tried it Out board over at Pinterest. 

15 Months Old

Hannah was 15 months old on Friday.  It seems like I was just writing her year update yesterday.  Time goes by so much faster with a second child.  Hannah is full of life, constantly in motion, constantly making noise and loving every minute of it.  

*Schedule: This hasn't changed much.  Hannah is awake no later than 8:30 and usually closer to 8.  Depending on the plans for the day she will take a morning nap for about an hour starting around 10-10:30.  On school days, she usually only naps once from about 12:30-2:30.  I can tell we are getting close to phasing out the morning nap.  Hannah goes to bed at 8.  I am so thankful she sleeps for 12 hours at night considering her nap time isn't always the greatest.

*Stats: Hannah was 23 lbs 7.5 oz and 31.5 inches long on her birthday and I haven't weighed her since then.  She has her 15 month check-up on April 8.  I'm anxious to know how much she weighs.  I wouldn't be surprised if was over 27 pounds.  Hannah is wearing 18 month clothes with a few 12 month thrown in but most are pretty tight.  I'm trying to make them last.  If spring would actually decide to get here it wouldn't be so much of a problem.  Pajamas are 18  month size but her lighter weight ones that I've bought are 24 months.  Hannah's hair hasn't changed much--there are some strands on the top of her head that are long but there still isn't too mcuh there.  It still appears red in the right light.  Her eyes are still blue (no surprise there).  Hannah now has 16 teeth.  Yes, 16!!!  Her upper canines came in about 2 weeks ago.  We get lots and lots of comments about how many teeth she has already.

*Food: Hannah loves to eat!  She is quite particular about how she eats; it's very rare that we are able to feed her.  Her appetite seems to be lessening just a bit the last 3 weeks or so but she still eats a lot.  Either lunch or dinner is a huge meal.  I mean I could eat what she does and be full.  Her favorites: avocado, cheese, fruit (especially blueberries and strawberries), macaroni and cheese and green vegetables.  Oh, and of course anything I'm eating.  

*Activities: Hannah is in constant motion and into everything.  If she can figure out a way to get into something, it's open, pulled out, dumped out, etc.  Hannah loves to draw!  This really makes me happy as Luke never was (probably a boy v. girl thing).  She also loves to dance, tickle you, be tickled, push her stroller around, carry around her dolls and play with Luke.  She likes to bounce a ball back and forth especially outside.  Swinging is still a big favorite and going down the slide is getting to be one.  Hannah is more than a little independent and is not afraid to let you know it.  

*Mobility:  Hannah started walking on January 14.  As predicted, she was running within a few days.  She has an adorable little back and forth waddle when she's moving fast.   As mentioned, Hannah is constantly moving.  About the only time of the day she's not is when it's time to eat.  Snack time is a favorite with Troy and I because she likes to sit with one of us while she has her snack.  Sometimes she'll sit with us for 30 minutes or more.  (The pictures below are all a smidge blurry.  That's because it's almost impossible to get a pic of Hannah holding still.)

*Favorites:  I am still Hannah's favorite but Dad is now a very close second.  Hannah can not wait to see Troy when he gets home from work and is constantly asking, "Daddy?" throughout the day.  Big brother may very well be at the top of this list as far as playmates go.  She definitely misses him when he's at school.  Her eyes light up and she says, "Brother" repeatedly when I tell her it's time to pick him up.    Hannah loves to snuggle!  She is the best snuggler; it has to be her idea but she is the best.  It's so awesome!

*Noises/Talking:  Hannah's vocubulary includes: mama, daddy, brother, puppers and Maggie, Daisy, thank you, all done, please, eat, bye bye, hi, baby, ball, bear, uh oh, moo, ba (cup), amen, excuse you and grandpa.  I am not at all surprised by the number of words she uses.  Luke talked very early as well.  Hannah also babbles constantly and loves to sing.  She sings Frere Jacques repeatedly throughout the day--it's so cute.  I haven't gotten a good video of it yet but I'm working on it.  She also makes this adorable blabber, blabber, blabber noise with her tongue that we all love.  Hannah's laugh is unbelievable.  It's infectious, high-pitched and never ending.  She also has a squeal that is ear-piercing, literally. I've never heard one so high.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Convos with LJ

The last week or so has been really tough with Luke.  He has had 5 big tantrums since last Monday and  3 within the last 2 days.  These aren't the regular talking back, grumpy faced I don't want to kind of tantrums; they are throw yourself on the floor, screaming, crying, flailing, door slamming kind of tantrums.  I don't have an explanation other than he's a 4 1/2 year old boy trying to show his independence.  I can tell you it's very draining and trying on the patience.  It's also frustrating because I don't understand it.  So, needless to say, Luke and I have been having some rather serious conversations lately about his behavior and such.

This morning:
Luke had a fit about coming downstairs and eating breakfast.  After the tantrum he had yesterday afternoon my patience was very thin.  Our morning wasn't one I would like to repeat.  Because of the dramatic increase in this behavior I decided it would be good if I talked with one of Luke's teachers to see if they had seen any bad behavior at school.  I wasn't expecting a yes and was glad to hear he's been doing great at school.  When I came to pick Luke up today, the same teacher told me that while on the playground this afternoon she had this conversation with Luke.

Mrs. Griffin: Luke, come here I have a question for you.
Luke: What?
Mrs. Griffin: Is it true that you've been having hissy fits at home?
Luke: Yeah (with a sigh).
Mrs. Griffin: You need to be nice to your mom and stop having fits at home.
Luke: Well.... (as he walked away and put his finger to his lip like he was thinking about something).

Mrs. Griffin told me it was hilarious.  I laughed pretty hard when she told me about it.  I can totally see Luke doing that too.  As he was leaving the classroom this afternoon, Mrs. Griffin told Luke no more fits.  He sort of just looked at her like whatever.  I didn't take it as a great sign.

Late afternoon:
We spent part of the afternoon at the McBride house (where he was perfect) and upon returning home Luke proceeded to throw a fit about taking something inside that was in the garage.  It didn't need to come in and I told him no.  I sent Luke to his room because he didn't calm down and again my patience was rather thin.  After a while he asked if he could come down.  He did and we talked about the day.  As we were finishing our conversation, I was giving him a big hug and this is what was said.

Luke: Mom, you don't smell like you.
Me: I saw Ms. Staci today and she used some different stuff in my hair. (Staci is my hair stylist.)
Luke: Oh, do I get to see her soon? (She also cuts LJ's hair.)
Me: Yep, next week in fact.  What do I smell like?
Luke: Grape.
Me: That's pretty good.
Luke: Yeah.  What do I smell like?
Me: You.
Luke: What's that?
Me: Boy, sunshine, mulch, outside.
Luke: That's me.

I thought it would be good for Luke and I to take a walk together after dinner so we could have some time for just the two of us.  We took a really long walk even for Luke.  We talked about all kinds of different things--some of it about his behavior; some other more random things.  Here are some snippits.

Me: Let's have a good day tomorrow okay?
Luke: Okay Mom.
Me: What does that mean?
Luke: Being nice to Hannah.
Me: What else?
Luke: Being respectful. Listening.
Me: What about tantrums?
Luke: No tantrums or fits.
Me: Sounds good to me.
Luke: Me too.

Me: So, how is it being a big brother?
Luke: Great!!!
Me: I'm glad you like it.  You're a good big brother.
Luke: I wish Hannah could talk more.
Me: She's learning lots of words.  Do you want to her to be able to talk with you?
Luke: Yeah, but I can teach her new words.
Me: You are always teaching new things to her.  She can learn so much from you.
Luke: I'll teach her a lot of things.

After seeing some flowers growing:
Luke: God wanted those flowers to be there.
Me: I bet He did.
Luke: They were pretty Mom.
Me: Yes they were.  What else does God want?
Luke: For us to love Him.
Me: Very true. Anything else?
Luke: For us to be nice.
Me: To who?
Luke: Everyone.
Me: Yes that's true.

At the end of our walk:
Me: I had a great time taking a walk with you.
Luke: Me too.
Me: Thanks Luke.
Luke: Thanks Mom.  I love you.
Me: I love you Munchkin.