Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So Lovable

In a conversation about sheep the other day, Erik asked if Xander wanted to be a shepherd when he grew up. Xander said, "Mm-hmm, a shepherd with a Monster Truck!"

A few days ago, Nick was standing at the coffee table. Xander came up and put his arm around Nick for a hug. Nick leaned his head against Xander and grinned as wide as he could, closing his eyes in his little bliss expression. Xander gave a few more hugs, and each time Nick leaned into them with that expression on his face.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Coupon Swap

We had earned a bunch of Beech Nut baby food coupons and were unable to use them all before Nick began eating table foods instead. I carried them around in my wallet for a few weeks, thinking I would offer them to anyone I saw with a baby in the grocery store. I didn't see any babies or if I did, I didn't remember to give away the coupons.

On Thursday night, waiting for Xander's prescription to be filled at Publix, I saw a couple shopping in the baby aisle and the woman was pregnant. I asked if they could use them by the expiration date and they were very grateful. I was just happy to be able to give them away instead of throwing them away.

This morning, on Saturday, I went grocery shopping for the week. They only had one lane open which said Express Lane, 10 Items Or Less, and I had tons of items, but there wasn't any other choice that I could see. I let a couple people go in front of me; they only had one thing to buy versus my family food for the week. It would have been silly not to. So then as I was about to check out, a man came up to me and handed me a $10 off coupon for the whole grocery bill and asked if I wanted to use it. Absolutely! It was a real gift.

It is strange that just after giving away my own coupons I was given one that I could use. Makes you think...

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Hard Day

I've been knitting some projects lately instead of trying to blog each day. But I got the urge tonight.

Tonight I have kind of a heavy heart from taking care of the kids today. In general, we are fantastic. We have each other and all the necessities. We will have good health again. It's just that today was hard. For everybody.

Erik worked two jobs.

I worked overtime even for a mom :) because of the kids' illnesses. Mostly my emotions are worked! I want them to be better.

Xander still has a fever from the ear infection he never complained about. The only reason we took him to the doctor was because I could feel how high his fever was with my hand.

Nick has gone haywire and won't drink much of anything. Hardly any breastmilk, very little cow's milk, the tiniest bit of formula. A sip of water. Just to make myself feel a little better, I'll write what he ate for solids. A scrambled egg for breakfast. A toddler breakfast bar, a handful of raisins, and a piece of toast spread with refried beans for lunch. About a half cup of yogurt for snack and half a breakfast bar. Half of a very small piece of pizza for dinner. He took three naps today which he hasn't done for a while. Then I had to put him down at 5:30 for bedtime! He was just too fussy and tired to be up. He cried so hard at 8:00 that I got him up to see if there was anything I could help him with. I sang to him and walked him around, gave him a little bit of ibuprofen, gave him another chance at the sippy cup, but no. That reminds me, he will actually hum when I'm singing to him. It is very sweet. He really likes to be sung to. We also read Goodnight Moon before bed which he seems to like a lot better than other books I try to read to him. I think it's the bright green and orange colors.

Xander enjoyed a couple books I got for him from the library. One was about Koko the signing gorilla and one was about giant pandas. They were both at a perfect level for him. I've started singing a bedtime song to him, too, since I do it for Nick. It's just the kind of thing Xander likes. I sing "Dream Angus" now. It's a lullaby I found recently that's really intriguing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Erik's Been Busy

On Sunday Erik planted the rest of our produce for this season: two blackberry bushes, pole beans, a collard, three bell peppers, and a marigold and miniature rosebush. We've harvested some lettuce leaves and eaten them already.

On Saturday, the day before his productive gardening day, Erik ran a 15K race, the Gate River Run. He finished it and Nick, Xander, and I were even at the finish line to see him do it! We weren't sure we would catch him out of the tens of thousands of people running, but we did. Just to make sure he got something worthwhile done for the day, he went to work afterward.

I am so proud of him.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today I read a story to Xander called "Ivan Overcomes the Giant" as part of our learning activities. It was supposed to teach about patience, and it surely did because it was one of the longest stories I've ever read to Xander--and with only one picture! Villagers lived near a giant who sometimes came stomping around. They decided to attack him before he could hurt them and their families, but he could not be hurt or killed no matter what they did. Finally a little boy named Ivan went to him in his own home, saw that he was hurting, and asked if they could be friends. The giant was lonely, but with Ivan as a bridge between the villagers and the giant, he didn't have to be lonely anymore.

We have just finished learning activities. I left out the Busy Bugs so Xander could do some pattern work if he wanted to. Xander picked up a few of the bugs and said, "I am going to tell you a story about a giant. Once upon a time there was a giant caterpillar. The caterpillar is going to fight the giant caterpillar..."

I left him to his own devices.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Need to Fix Some Breev

Before his nap, I wanted to give Xander some Vicks Baby Rub because he's been having trouble breathing at night. He told me, "No, I don't need any because I already fixed my breev [his way of saying 'breathe']." I said okay.

When he laid down, he said, "I think I need some. My breev is broke, a little."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vegetable Garden

The beginnings of our vegetable garden:

There are three tomato plants, two lettuces, and one cucumber planted so far. You can also see the trellises Erik make out of our old swing (which was replaced by the beautiful swing he made).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stop, You're Encouraging Them!

Xander has a bit of a cough in the aftermath of his cold. This morning he coughed. Nick made a cough, cough. He coughed. Nick coughed. Nick thought he was being very funny. This view was bolstered by his mommy cracking up laughing. I am such a bad mommy when it comes to laughing at things I will be annoyed with later. Nick has maximized the annoyance of his purposeful cough at an alarming rate. This afternoon he began it while I was on the phone with his cousin Bailey, thus ensuring that when she said (according to her mom), "I have an attitude," I said, "Oh, yeah? Wow, really? Okay!" or something along those lines. (She also told me about her fancy dress and white shoes. I caught that part, but not the part where those are for her flower girl role in June. How cute will that be?)

I cracked up at an inopportune time with Xander today, too. I told him I was having my silent time. My first mistake was letting him continue to play his dinosaurs right next to me instead of getting out his Quiet Bag. As I tried to be in the silence, Xander played a game where with every dinosaur, he picked it up and said, "Remember when we were in the dinosaur valley and we saw a _______?" (Fill in the blank with the name of the particular dinosaur.) Then the dinosaur was placed on the coffee table. Repeat.

I paused and whispered, "Xander, remember that Mommy is having silent time? Instead of saying those words out of your mouth out loud, could you just think them inside your head without saying them?" I pointed to my temple. Okay, he agreed to that. Then he began talking just as he was before, only this time with his finger to his temple. (My second mistake was thinking I could explain this concept to an almost-4-year-old and get compliance.) I asked if he could please just think the words instead. "But I am!" he said, frustrated with me. "I am thinking them in my head!" I tried to clarify one more time. Xander said, "Hmmmmmmm," really loudly with a concentration frown on his face, and his finger to his temple. It was the cutest thing I'd seen in a little while. I burst out laughing. (Third mistake.)

The solution, after all my mistakes, was to plug my own ear and continue my silent time while he played quietly but conversationally next to me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

His Own Agenda

Here is where Nick ended up:

His vehicle is on the left.

The Always-Popular Dance Party

Today the kids and I danced to the song "Take On Me" while recording our dance moves. It's not a smooth-looking video, but we sure had fun and got lots of exercise, too. I was exhausted by nap time. ;) Both kids are sleeping now, so I guess they were, too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Things I'm Loving

I was helping Nick drink juice out of his sippy cup just now. He looked into my eyes as he drank it. That reminded me of Xander and how he would look deep into my or Erik's eyes as he nursed, or took a bottle, or drank from a sippy cup. Even today I will sometimes catch him staring at me as he drinks from a cup. This is strangely one of my favorite things in the world.

Something else cute Xander is doing right now: He will tell us, "I did that last year," when he means that he did it yesterday or this morning. For the most part, he can follow and initiate any kind of conversation (excluding adult topics) now, but we can tell that he's still getting down the "in the past" words. I love it. My first baby is getting rid of all his baby traits and not even having potty accidents, so I am reluctant for him to change some of those things he's still working on.