29 September 2012

What Christian Is Up To

As of this week Christian gets to start reintroducing the Forbidden Foods back into his diet.  We're taking it nice and slow...he gets to eat something for two days, then we take it away for a week or so and see what happens.  Thursday we started with dairy, and now we're waiting for hopefully no reaction so that he can start drinking big boy milk and eating ice cream and drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
"I don't know what ice cream is."

Oh wait, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are for me.  Also, Pumpkin Spice Latte is quite the mouthful, especially when you're saying it several times in one sentence (which I did this morning), so I've decided it will be more useful to myself to call them P.S.L.'s.   I invite you all to do the same. 
"PSL's!  Sounds good to me!"

In other Christian news, he is so close to walking I'm actually surprised he's not doing it yet.  Right now he appears to be hung up on the fact that he can indeed lift both feet off the ground.  He thinks he can only pick up one, his right one.  Therefore he stands up and takes several steps with his right foot and successfully spins himself around in a circle.  I guess that's something. 
"I'll walk when I wanna walk."

**update:  C took 3 steps in a straight line before he went to bed!  He also didn't nurse today.  Please excuse me while I go cry myself to sleep...

26 September 2012

Playing Together

I realize you're not supposed to let your kids jump on the bed but it's hard to tell them to stop when the activity gives them this much joy.

I wish you could've heard the squeals.

We put together Daphne's big girl bedroom with such love last year, hoping she would find it a good place to play.  Her social nature has kept her from spending too much time alone in there, but every so often she and Christian will disappear to her room and play peacefully for a few minutes.

As soon as Christian is ready we'll move him in there and they will share a room for awhile.  Maybe that sounds silly since they are a boy/girl combo, or because we have more than enough bedrooms (we have 5), but we think it will be fun for them and a good experience while they're young.
somebody loves playing with tractors

With Christian on the move and often in Daphne's business, or Daphne trying to assert her bossiness on Christian, fighting and screeching has reached a high.  Christian has realized that if he wants to be noticed he's got to be loud.  Today we discovered how to let Daph play with her playhouse in the living room without having Christian destroy the little scenarios she sets up inside the house.

Daphne and the house up high with Christian's only access being the doorbell and the ability to peak through the windows. They played peacefully like this for around 15 minutes.  

Watching them play together is by far one of my favorite things.  When they are laughing, I usually am, too. 

P.S.  If it looks likes there are more photos of C over D lately, it's not because he's my favorite.  He is just more willing to pose where as she is more willing to run away.   

25 September 2012

Tip #2

Two-ish years ago I shared my one and only bit of parenting advice.  Today I am going to share my second bit of parenting advice.

rice is fun

At some point in the past 2 years I bought that cheap green tray at Ikea.  It was maybe $1.99.  Anytime Daphne wants to do a messier project, like painting, Play-Doh, marshmallows and toothpicks, etc., she gets to do it on the tray.  The mess is contained, and it is wonderful.

I know you can use cookie sheets, and I have actually done just that when we've had friends over for crafty play dates, but A) the tray is cuter, and B) there actually was a time where I was cooking and using all my cookie sheets, but Daph was free to do art because she had her tray.

So, after nearly 4 years of parenting, I have the second thing that I have learned and feel that I can actually share (because in most situations I feel like we're such a mess that there is NO WAY anyone wants to take advice from me)...

Buy an art tray.  You'll love it. 

**Random side note:  Daphne calls marshmallows  'mishmoes.'  When children mispronounce words you're technically supposed to use the word correctly around them so that they will learn the proper pronunciation.  But mishmoes?  Too cute to correct.  

24 September 2012

Our Computer is Healed

We have our computer back!  We're so happy!  I'll return to blogging with this only slightly embarrassing story about myself, just so you can feel like you know me a bit better:

The other evening I heard the newscaster on the telly say "Thousands of people lined up outside apple stores and I'm sure you can guess why..."

And my first thought was "because it's fall and they want to make pies?"

Then I realized he was talking about Apple stores and phones and not a fall fruit harvest.  

If that doesn't tell you how 1995 I am when it comes to technology, I don't know what does. 

Switching topics here...have any of you locals gone to watch the swifts at Chapman Elementary?  Last night we finally went for the first time, and I tell you, I don't know why we've never gone before. 

I'll let you decide based on these photos what Christian thought of those thousands of airplanes birds flying around:

So cute.

Daphne also enjoyed the birds, but her favorite by far was sliding down the hill on cardboard.  I didn't even know this event was part of swift watching, but apparently it is and it is great fun.
wind in her hair and contentment on her face

C and I went REALLY fast

Vaux's Swifts preparing to roost in the chimney

It was amazing how many people were there, and the fun atmosphere as everyone enjoyed watching the birds put themselves to bed for the night made it a more than pleasant evening.  We're so glad we went and are looking forward to making this a yearly tradition. 

19 September 2012

Miss us?

Yes, I've been a terrible blogger lately. 

Our regular laptop got some sort of sickness and is out at the laptop doctor for awhile.  Our old laptop is kind of annoying to use, hence the lack of posting and anything else computer related. 

So a few random tidbits about our lives recently:

I think I should have a oil painting made of this photo of David and Daphne.  It would look nice in the living room.

I grew 5 stalks of corn this year which produced exactly 5 ears.  What will I do with so great a harvest, you ask?  While we enjoy an ear or two of corn on the cob each summer, I absolutely cannot stand corn off the cob, which makes freezing it not an issue.   I basically only grow corn so that I can use the stalks to decorate my front porch in the fall. Plus it looks pretty in the garden.

The other night we enjoyed our 5-ear harvest.  Daphne was so excited...

...and Christian was so confused.

And finally, David got out his police car collection the other day.

I was shown this amazing shadow box idea off Pinterest and knew it would be perfect for Christian's nursery.  David also thought it was a great idea and had a good time looking through his collection for the best cars to go in the box.

It's such a great way to showcase favorite matchbox cars.  I will have to save cars that Daphne and Christian loved so that someday their kids can have shadow boxes too.  Because I'm sure this idea will still be very cool in 25 years. 

That's our past week in a nutshell.  Who knows when you'll see us again!  (Please laptop, come back to us soon.)

14 September 2012

Best Week Ever

Football season is in full swing around here.  I like college football and David likes NFL, but since we don't have TV channels that show the games, it's probably not as pervasive in our home as it is in other's.  On Sunday afternoons David has the laptops on and his phone goes crazy with 49ers updates, and on Saturdays I hang my OSU flag on the front porch and dress the kids in darling black and orange outfits. 

Even without ESPN, Sunday afternoons can be a bit stressful as it's David's first day off of work and the kids are so happy to see him, but he's 'in the zone' when it comes to monitoring his teams on the computers.  And while I love that he has this football hobby, and encourage him to enjoy his time, sometimes I am selfish and wish for my own 'football afternoon.'  I wouldn't sit around watching football, but to do as I please for an afternoon while someone else cooks and watches the kids?  Doesn't sound too bad. 

So imagine my joy when this past Sunday came around, and after lunch had been cooked and cleaned, David told me to leave the kids with him and go out to do whatever I wanted.  Nice guy, right?  Before he could change his mind and realize that if I was gone he would be the one changing the diapers, I grabbed my handbag (not a diaper bag!) and ran out the door.  (I'm pretty sure I am not exaggerating when I say I ran.) 

I didn't do anything very interesting, but it was wonderful to be able to run a bunch of errands without dragging along the two little ones. 

On Tuesday two friends (including this beautiful girl that I've been privileged to get to know recently) from Albany came up for an Ikea shopping trip/girls day out.  Again, a great afternoon sans children, and this time filled with the camaraderie and encouragement from two other young mamas. 

Wednesday morning BSF started for the year.  We're studying Genesis this year, and I'm looking forward to getting a deeper look at the book.  More than the simple Sunday School stories we grew up hearing. 
D in her dress and hair clip, C in his camo sweatpants.  It's hard to decorate boys.

Daphne was so excited to start Bible Study up again.  The children's program at BSF is almost the #1 reason why I attend; last year was a hard year starting out with a newborn, and pretty much the only reason I stuck with it is because of Daphne's class.

Last year I kept Christian with me for most of the year, but now that he's big enough to be away from me he gets to stay in his class for the entire two hours.  Once we got home Daphne seemed confused on how Christian could be in a class, since he doesn't know how to sit still like she does.  She asked me "does Christian crawl around while his teachers learn him?"  Yes, he pretty much does, but that doesn't stop the teachers from teaching the babies, too. 

Now that Christian has his class, every Wednesday morning I get two hours free of children to study with my peers.  Priceless.

Wednesday afternoon David was preparing to leave for work when he suddenly asked if I would rather he went to work, or dropped the kids off at his mom's so that he and I could go shopping.  What??  I was so confused, but it turned out he had taken the day off and used it to surprise me with a little shopping spree at the Town Center.  We had a fun 3 hours to ourselves, and David doesn't even mind going shopping with me.  What a guy.

After my Sunday afternoon of errand running, Tuesday with the girls, and Wednesday at BSF and then husband time, I actually had a chance to miss my kids.  I admit that I kind of enjoyed that feeling. 

All the breaks were well worth it as Thursday morning resulted in waking up to a raw meat juice spill all over the refrigerator and Christian's biggest diaper disaster to date.  I had cleaned and disinfected the fridge and cleaned and disinfected Christian, the bathtub, the carpet and myself all before 8:30 AM. 

Good thing I had been refreshed and ready for what those kids can throw at me.

11 September 2012

New Feet

We're in the midst of working on getting Daphne's new prostethics finished.  After a morning at Shriners yesterday, we brought home her rough draft pair to work on teaching her to walk.  They are several inches taller than they will be once they are finished, which is good because right now they make her freakishly tall.  Once she gets to learns to walk on these giant ones, the prosthetics will get tailored to fit her better.

Therapy to learn to walk with her new 'big shoes' (as she calls them) is challenging.  These prosthetics are heavy, so we have several exercises to do to help build Daph's thigh and knee strength.   We have to make time everyday to practice walking.  Finding the balance of encouraging her and helping her without frustrating or exhausting her is challenging.  It's a little rough, but she'll get it.

she found a marker, as you can see on her legs

After Shriners we made a stop to pick up this, something that only one person in the entire world will be interested to know:
So GAL, be ready for this sucker to be shipped to AK!


06 September 2012

Memories To Be Made

Occasionally David and I ponder deep, philosophical questions like "what would we do if we won $100 million?" (hire a live-in barista, naturally), and "mountains or the beach?" (that one changes depending on the time of year, the weather, our moods, etc.).  Then there is my all-time favorite, "if Mt. Hood was erupting and we had 3 hours to grab our most precious belongings before our house was lost forever, what would we grab?"

That's a good one.   I like it because I like cleaning house with my mind, thinking about which items are precious enough for me to grab and which ones I could lose and not really care about.

Keeps me nice and focused on not keeping junk around.   I want to make sure the things I do keep are things I love and would consider grabbing in the event our house was about to be covered in molten lava. 

Ever since Daphne was born we've wanted a place to be able to record our children's heights on their birthdays. (Nice segue sentence.  Stick with me here; I promise this is going somewhere.) We wanted something that could be taken with us, since we don't plan on living in this house forever.  I was determined to get something ready by the time Christian turned one (because we like him best, I guess).  For all who mock Pinterest, I will tell you that it comes in awfully handy in times of crisis like needing a way to measure your kids.  I found this DIY Growth Chart and of course it was perfect.

I found that perfect piece of wood in the garage.

Daph helped with the sanding

It's homemade and unique, it's art that is personal, and I love it.  Exactly the type of thing that you take with you in the threat of an erupting volcano.

I finished it in just in time to measure Christian on his 1st birthday, and we can get Daphne started on her 4th birthday in a couple of months.

I look forward to the years of memories to be recorded here.  Hopefully we'll have it around for the rest of our lives since we can easily tear it off the wall and run, should we ever have that need. 

04 September 2012

Projects and More Projects

The projects never end, do they?

I had one last good idea for our play house.  David has thought it would be fun to build the kids a sandbox, and while I agree that they would love it, thinking about the two of them sitting in sand every day and the mess that would leave makes me break out in hives.  I saw in Young House Love a few months ago where they made a pea gravel box, and once we had the play house built I knew having a pea gravel pit underneath would be a great plan.

Fortunately it was a project that only took about 15 minutes, and now Daphne and Christian are happily digging away while David works on our latest back yard venture, a new fire pit.  He is also going to put decking under the play house on the opposite end of the gravel box.  And something about a shelf/counter-type thing so that Daphne can play store and that also provides a place to keep their digging toys when they're not in use. 

Indeed, the projects never end.

03 September 2012

Birthday Party

We decided to do Christian's birthday party as a cowboy theme, therefore we needed to have his party down in Albany on a farm.  Outdoor parties in the summer are best on a farm, anyways.

It was such a great party.  We sorely missed the family members who couldn't attend (because they live so far away, like Alaska and Ohio, or because they became unexpectedly ill.).

Now those folks can feel like they were there because of the zillions of photos I am about to share. Hooray!

Grandpa and Grandma Roth let us invade and set up in their barnyard.  The location was perfect and the weather cooperated beautifully.  

a special thanks to those who actually "grabbed a scarf "

Getting the pigs out was not my idea.  Not because I didn't think it was a great idea, but because I don't usually think in terms of pigs.  I'm more of a "I don't really want the pig to touch me" kind of a girl.  But Daphne LOVES pigs and I think Christian is pretty entertained by them as well. 

Plus, pig wrangling is a good sport for all young cowboys/girls.

Cupcake time!  The vanilla cupcakes were from the cookbook Gluten-Free Baking Classics and they are really good. 

I love how confused 1-year-olds are at their parties.  We make such a big deal of turning 1 and they just sit there wondering why we're pushing fire in their faces and forcing them to eat sugary baked goods, all activities that we highly discourage any other day of the year.  I fully understand their confusion. 

I would say we make a pretty fine cowboy family.

not thrilled with his cupcake

Becca won the best dressed cowboy/girl award (I had a voting section set up, because there was no way I wanted the pressure of having to choose a winner), but I have to say I was VERY impressed to get a text message during the party from my Ohio family with photos of themselves in cowboy hats.  Genius, people.  Genius.

It really is too bad Christian won't remember his party because it was so much fun.  Good thing we took A LOT of pictures.  
rounding out the night with a lawn mower ride with Papa