Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Randomness

The weather has been gorgeous, so we’ve been spending more time outside.
 
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Grace and Noah are adjusting to not having Ben around during the day, and they have definitely become closer.
 
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It’s almost October, so we’ve been brainstorming Halloween ideas. This option did NOT make the short list.
 
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Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ode to Rambo

Just after we moved into the new house, we noticed that Noah was forming an attachment to one of his blankets. Everytime we went to get him out of bed, he was snuggling his blanket like this:
 
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It’s a blue blanket that was handed down from Ben. It is made of soft minky dot fabric on one side and satin on the other side. I can’t blame him for loving it so much ~ it is really snuggly.
 
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The blanket is also good for hours of fun. Need a super hero cape? Want to be a ghost? Hiding from your brother and sister? A good blanket should be multi-functional and Noah’s lovey is no exception.
 
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Plus, what good is an episode of Doc McStuffins or Dora if you don’t have something to keep your lap warm?
 
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When we noticed how much Noah loved his blanket, I asked Brian what we should call it. I suggested “bay-bay”. He said that “bay-bay” was too girly for a boy’s blanket. What is the masculine alternative to “bay-bay”, you ask? Oh that’s easy… it’s Rambo. Only in my family.

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So, “Rambo” is now one of Noah’s words. (It actually comes out “Rehhh REH”). Still, if you say, “let’s find Rambo” he chuckles (seriously – every time) and then runs off to locate his snuggly blue friend.
 
This is Noah’s “hands off my Rambo” face.
 
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Ride like the wind, Ben!

It has been a long and sometimes trying process, but Ben has finally mastered the art of bike riding (sort of). His school has a bike rodeo coming up, and that was just the motivation he needed to get it together.
 
About 4 months ago, Brian took the pedals off of Ben’s bike and encouraged him to just push it with his feet and practice balancing. (Who knew that you could remove the pedals from a bike…) Something definitely clicked through that exercise, because when Brian put them back on today, it only took a little while for Ben to take off and ride down the street all by himself!
 
 
Meanwhile, Grace was playing with her sweet friend, Addison, from next door.

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Noah was working on his own biking skills. Bike riding without pants is a hard look to pull off, but I think he kills it.
 
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I'm so excited that we got it on video! Ben is so proud and we are thrilled for him!
 
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brian!

It was Bri’s birthday this week and so the kids and I did our best to let him know how happy we are that he was born!
 
On Monday, I told him to take the evening to do WHATEVER it is that he wanted to do. He could come home and have dinner and relax, or go out and catch a movie or eat wherever he wanted… he had the night to himself. He chose to work late, which may be the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.
 
On Tuesday we had a family birthday dinner at home. Bri requested meatloaf, so that’s what I made along with parsley potatoes and Hawaiian rolls. There was supposed to be corn on the cob, too, but I completely forgot to make it. Wife of the Year, folks.
 
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For dessert, I made this chocolate cake. It turned out really pretty and SOOOO yummy. It was almost too rich, but we solved that problem by topping it with vanilla ice cream. :)
 
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We all sang to him and the big kids helped him blow out his candles.
 
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Noah wasn’t interested in singing or candle blowing, but he was first in line when we cut the cake.
(“More! Please! MORE! PLEASE!”)
 
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Brian had to work and go to his regular part-time on Wednesday, so we didn’t see him much. On Thursday, he met us at Freebirds for dinner after Ben’s gymnastics. From there, we went to Freddy’s for dessert. The Heistands, Ivankovichs and Sullivans joined us. 12 kids + ice cream = chaos, but we had a lot of fun, too!
 
Each day of the week I left a little treat for Brian to find in the morning before he left for work. They included powdered donuts, chocolate chip granola bars, Sunkist, and Dove Dark Chocolates. On Friday, I went to work and Bri was home with the kids. (Ben had an early release day). When I got home, we fed the kids really quickly and then left for Brian’s birthday date. He chose to have dinner at Kobe. We laughed a lot at our crazy chef. Then we went to the movies and saw Trouble with the Curve. It was predictable, but good.
 
On Saturday morning, I had planned a Father/Son day for Bri and Ben. They went to the Natural Bridge Caverns for the morning.
 
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I think this is a picture of the Natural Bridge.
 
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This was right up Ben & Brian’s alley. They are a match made in heaven when it comes to these types of activities.
 
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When they were done with the cavern tour, they did a little panning for fossils.
 
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Ben came home with all sorts of treasures.
 
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The boys got back in time for everybody to relax and take a nap before church. After church, the Eilers Clan came over for dinner and to watch the Aggie game. The kids played SOOO great together. Ben & Ezra played explorers/Indians/spies while Grace & Emersyn played dress-up. After dinner they all went up to our room and watched a movie and we did not hear a SINGLE peep out of them for over an hour.
 
Meanwhile, Noah & Elynn played downstairs and sister gave him a run for his money. She had zero tolerance for his bullying and put him in his place. I think he learned a thing or two! :)
 
The grown-ups enjoyed watching the Aggies put up another “W”. We also finished off Brian’s chocolate cake. It was an awesome night and a great way to end Brian’s birthday week!
 
Happy Birthday, Babe! I hope you know, this week and every other day of the year, how much we love you and value you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Noah at 18 months

My baby is 18 months old today! This is unacceptable. This means that he will only be “ 1 ” for six more months. STOP IT!!!

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Despite my denial of this particular milestone, I have to say that I love this age. Noah is cracking me up lately. He is SO VERY INDEPENDENT. He will let me snuggle him when he’s hurt or upset, but only for 5.4 seconds (give or take). Then he’s off and doing his own thing again. I definitely cramp his style.

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He had a couple unusually cranky weeks in August until four molars popped out at the same time. Poor little guy. The silver lining is that now he can actually chew his food instead of swallowing it whole. His lovely gagging/throwing up habit has almost completely disappeared. YAY!

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He has been learning a lot of new words. It’s so fun to see language “click” at this age. These are all part of his current vocabulary:
 
More, Please, Thank  you, Hi, Bye-Bye, Night-Night, Rambo, Milk, Banana, Shoes, Shirt, Car, Ball, Daddy, Mama, Bubba, Bird, Uh-oh, Nose, Eyes.

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We’ve finally figured out what Noah has been doing all these months when he was looking so serious and pensive. He’s been forming opinions. He is suddenly very outspoken about what he will or will not eat. By outspoken, I mean he will glare at you and dramatically shake his head “no” when you attempt to give him something that he doesn’t want.
 
He’s also been forming a plan for world domination, and he’s decided to start with his other baby friends. He was getting in trouble at school for hitting and pushing down other kids. I’ve spent the better part of the month hovering over him and coaching him on how to play. His two newest words are “nice” and “gentle” (which he says in a deep voice while rubbing your head in a manner reminiscent of Gollum from Lord of the Rings).

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Another fun thing that we’ve discovered about Noah is that he’s a climber. Luckily his crib has proven inescapable, but he’s managed to scale everything else in the house. The coffee table and kitchen table are two of his favorites. He has almost mastered coming down the stairs, but we still keep the gates closed unless we’re right next to him. He likes to get in and out of the van by himself, and he always climbs into Ben’s seat instead of his own.

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We joke about how serious Noah is, but he really has “lightened up” lately. He smiles and giggles a lot and he’s figured out that he can make us laugh with goofy faces or silly noises. He is doing 100% better at school and church ~ there haven’t been any tears at all lately. He just walks right in and starts playing. He is still dragging his blue blanket through the house. His favorite toys are still balls, and he enjoys trying his hardest to get into everything his brother and sister are doing. He is becoming a big boy right before our eyes!
 
Happy 18 Months, Noah Bug!

Monday, September 10, 2012

So Gracie Thinks She Can Dance

The Peanut has been asking, at least once a week, if she can go to bah-yay tass. We did this once before (summer before last) and she was definitely not ready, but I think it’s ok to give it another try.
 
Her dress code is pink leotard, pink tights, tutu optional. This tutu was a baby gift from a co-worker and has been in her closet FOREVER. I don’t think she’s ever noticed it before this week.

She’s decided that a tutu is NOT optional.

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Noah is not too thrilled about having to spend an hour each week watching his sister dance.

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But he loves her, so I’m sure he’ll come around.
 
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It’s that time again…

College is back in session, which means that these people are going to be hanging around a little more. My kiddos are just as excited as I am!
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I love how comfortable they are. I love that they called ME to tell me when they were coming over instead of waiting for me to schedule something. I love that they walked in and said, “what do you have for dessert?!” which led to me frantically digging through the pantry, coming out with almond bark and popcorn, and pretending like I’d planned for chocolate covered popcorn all along! I don’t love that their phones appear to be surgically connected to their hands, but what are you going to do? :)
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Welcome back, girls!

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