Monday, March 19, 2018

Bedtime Cheerios

Bedtime cheerios. Such a simple little tradition in our family. And yet I have no doubt my kids will have fond memories of bedtime cheerios many many years from now.

It began a few years ago when we only had Ryan and Lucas. They wouldn't eat dinner so then they would be hungry at bedtime. The only food we would let them have was dry cereal. And a tradition was born.
Every. Single. Night. Our kids get a bowl of dry cheerios and a sippy cup of water to take to bed. They expect it every night, and they absolutely never let us forget. What's funny is that nobody in our house eats cheerios for breakfast. And the kids don't even like honey nut cheerios or any other sweetened kind. They are just obsessed with good old plain cheerios.

Lately when Andrew sees his big siblings with their bedtime cheerios, he gets jealous. He lunges at their bowls and grabs fistfuls from them before they can even react. I see a 4th bowl of bedtime cheerios in our near future!
Every night the kids take the bowl of cheerios up to bed. And I would say at least three times a week one of them spills their bowl. Cheerios on the stairs, in their sheets, crunched to powder under our feet. Every morning as I'm cleaning upstairs I find empty bowls and cups, and floors that need to be vacuumed again. It's kind of annoying and messy at times.

But one of these days they will stop asking for cheerios. And then I will miss the days of bedtime cheerios.

Now if only Cheerios would sponsor our bedtime tradition!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I thought it'd be fun to do a round-up of all my favorites from the week.

All the kids have been sick this week, which is definitely NOT a favorite. But seeing Ryan reading to his little sister most definitely IS!

This recipe for Chicken Parmesan Casserole is an oldie but a goodie, and so easy.

I bought these Microfiber Cleaning Towels recently from Amazon and so far I am loving them! They are great for washing windows and not leaving streaks. They also work well for cleaning my blinds when I get them a little damp.

Ryan and Lucas had their first baseball games on Saturday, and watching them play was a huge favorite of mine!
 Ryan opened the game as pitcher, and he did so well for his very first time pitching!

These paint cakes will be in Jenna's Easter basket. But I already know they will be a favorite because Lucas used to use these in preschool. They are a great way for kids to paint with less mess and less waste.

Any picture where Adam isn't making a weird face is a favorite!

This Burt's Bees Night Cream is a new favorite of mine. I like how it is thicker than the face cream I was using previously, and I like the light scent it has. I also love the natural ingredients.

Andrew has discovered the art of covering up his head and walking around until he runs into things. Watching him act so goofy is a favorite for all of us!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Apologizing From The Heart

About 2 years ago I blogged here about teaching our boys to say "I'm Sorry". Lucas in particular was struggling to say the words. After hurting one of us, we were requiring that Lucas apologize. I definitely received some backlash when I blogged about this, with many people saying we shouldn't force our kids to apologize. And I certainly understood the reasoning behind that. But my thought was that if it begins as a habit, it will eventually turn into something our kids do from the heart. At the age of 4 or 5 they may not understand why they are apologizing, but with enough reminding, they will at least realize it is important. And then with age and maturity, they will learn the importance of apologies and forgiveness.
Fast forward two years. Lucas still struggles with anger and aggression, and he often gets carried away and hurts his siblings. And for the last two years we have been requiring an apology from him after these types of incidents.

(This was taken just last week after the boys were fighting after school)
Over the weekend Lucas and Jenna were playing together and I heard Jenna crying. She told me Lucas had pushed her over, so I put him in a timeout. Often this will escalate things, and he will not stay in his timeout. On this day he stayed on the couch, so I left him alone for a bit. When I peeked into the room 5 minutes later, he had a paper and pencil. So I left him alone to continue cooling off.

A while later I found this scrap of paper next to Jenna. She told me Lucas had given it to her. "To Jenna I am sorwe that I pust you ovr"
An apology without prompting, straight from the heart. This makes me so happy! I feel like he is finally learning real remorse, and that an apology is not only required, but an important thing for him to do. I love it when my kids do the right thing without being prompted. I am also so impressed with his writing and spelling. He tries so hard.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Andrew's 1-Year Checkup

Andrew met with his doctor earlier this week for his 1-year checkup. And he slid into 3rd place weight-wise amongst his siblings. I thought he was going to be my smallest 1-yr old! At this age Lucas was over 22 pounds, Ryan was over 21, and Jenna was just over 20. (Andrew was weighed with his clothes on, but we'll just go with this number, making Jenna my smallest.)

Weight: 20 lbs, 12 oz (40%)
Height: 30 inches (52%)
Head: 18.5 inches (74%)
Height-wise, Andrew is the exact same as Jenna at 1 yr, a little taller than Lucas, and a little shorter than Ryan. But really, we are talking quarter of an inch differences. All my kids have been very similar in size at all ages.

Andrew's doctor said Andrew's speech is right on track, even though I feel like he barely says any words. He is walking well, and his bow-legged cowboy legs are totally normal.

The only concern we have about Andrew is his ongoing constipation. It causes SO much pain for my little boy. We have been giving him prune juice in a sippy cup for a couple months now but it hasn't made any difference. I also try to limit cheese and milk, but that's tough because I know how good full-fat dairy is for his developing brain. His doctor said to give him even more prune products, and also to really increase his fiber. If none of this helps, we will begin giving him Metamucil. Has anyone else had experience with this?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Stream of Thoughts

I was sitting at MOPS the other day and something happened that has never happened before. I looked across the room and saw a mother holding her young baby. And I felt a longing. Not necessarily to have another baby. (Did you know I already have a bunch of wonderful crazy children? I do.)
Maybe it was just a desire to hold a baby, since my baby was currently downstairs being watched by a stranger. Maybe it had something to do with my baby turning 1. All I know is I felt something stirred inside of me, and suddenly I wanted a baby. Or to hold a baby. Or something like that. And honestly, I have never felt like that before. In all my years of marriage and motherhood, I have never once longed for a baby. Maybe that's bad and I shouldn't be confessing it, but it's the truth.

Maybe I'm just realizing that children do indeed get older. Just this week Ryan was having a playdate. When he said goodbye, something about the way he said it suddenly made him sound like he was 15. You guys! His young immature voice is gone. It has been replaced by a deeper voice that must belong to someone else. It must.
Speaking of Ryan, he is really loving baseball this year. I think this is the year where it has finally clicked for him, and he genuinely enjoys playing. He is without a doubt the fastest boy on his team, and his confidence is so much higher this year.

Lucas enjoys T-Ball, but running around outside with his friends is absolutely more fun than actually playing the game. Speaking of Lucas, he is doing SO well lately with his reading! He can sit down and read a whole book to me, and I am constantly impressed by how hard he tries. I know that is a quality that will serve him well in life.

Saturday was such a crazy busy day, and I was quite proud of myself for getting both boys to baseball pictures on time. Dressed and looking sharp. Until I looked down and noticed Ryan's teammates were all wearing white pants and black belts. Unlike Ryan's grey pants and orange belt. Oops. I seriously feel like I am one step behind on everything in life these days.
Also on Saturday was Jenna's first dance class! It was just a free trial, and I think I'm going to look around a bit more before deciding on one. For the first 20 minutes Jenna was scared stiff. She was so shy that she wouldn't move. Then she ran over to me and said "Mommy, I was sad but now I'm happy!!". And then she absolutely loved it. She kept turning around and grinning at me. Unfortunately now she is down with the virus that has been making the rounds at our house. Double pinkeye and a double ear infection for my poor girl.
And here is my baby who is quickly outgrowing being a baby. I think the more babies I have, the more I appreciate the baby stage. It is just so sweet and innocent and protected in this little bubble. As fun as Andrew is becoming, I can't help but mourn the end of the first year.
Oh, and on a happier note, I am trying to plan a summer vacation with this guy below. We are considering renting a cabin in the Bear Valley area, but are open to other ideas. If you have cost effective, fun, easy ideas for families with little kids, please let me know!
PS: All of our goldfish died. The end.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Andrew's 1st Birthday Party

We celebrated Andrew's first birthday yesterday with our family. Adam and I were laughing about how different it was than Ryan's first birthday party. You can read all about that party here.  Basically we hosted 50 people and cooked a ton of food from scratch and cleaned and decorated the house for days....and just thinking about it now makes me tired. Sorry Andrew, but when you're the 4th baby things are done a little differently. We love you just the same though!

The decorations were simple.....a tablecloth for the kids to color on and some coordinating paper plates, cups and napkins. $5 and done.
The ball popper toy we got for Andrew was the exact same gift we gave to Ryan on his first Christmas. So obviously he had to model it for us. Being the good parents we are, we forgot to buy batteries for it. Again, baby #4 issues.
 I made a spiced applesauce cake for Andrew, with a cream cheese frosting. Plus brownies.
 Hanging out with Grandpa.
 Bella isn't letting the dessert out of her sight!
 Time for cake!

Andrew ate some of the frosting but then threw the rest on the floor. (Luckily I cut his cake in half before this happened, so some got saved.)

Andrew opened a few presents from his family, with the help of Jenna and the cousins.

Today he tried out his new ducky bathtub!
Happy 1st Birthday Party Andrew! 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Andrew: One

Happy 1st birthday Andrew John Nullmeyer!
It's so hard for me to believe that my baby is turning 1.You are turning into a big toddler right before my eyes, and I feel like the past year was kind of a crazy blur.
You are getting better and better at walking. You toddle all around the house now with your bow-legged walk. When you do crawl, you still use one leg and one foot. I guess it's your signature crawl.
Lately you have become a huge Daddy's boy. When he comes home from work you walk over to him and squeal. You will willingly go to him, even if you're upset. The other night you were playing with him on our bed and he got up to leave. You immediately burst into tears. You definitely love your Daddy!
Overall you are a happy-go-lucky guy. You smile and laugh easily, but you also seem to have a little temper, and you get upset really quickly. You are happy as long as you're getting what you want, whether that means being held by Mommy or walking around and exploring. I would say your personality reminds me most of Lucas, although I don't think you'll have quite the crazy temper he has! You aren't as serious and quiet as Ryan always has been. And yet you aren't quite as content as Jenna. At this age she wouldn't fuss too much about being strapped into seats but you hate being contained! You can be really goofy, especially when Lucas is playing with you.
Your words include Dada, Mama, "dis", "dat", "Hi Dada",  yaya, nana, and most recently you have been saying outside. Except it sounds more like "Ow-Sii". You don't speak a lot, but you make a lot of noises. You are a really loud baby!

You are finally taking two good naps every day. Praise God! You average 1 to 1.5 hour naps twice a day. Nighttime is still awful and that is my next challenge. Once you are healthy I'm going to start letting you cry it out for longer periods of time in your crib. I feel like I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in years.
Your favorite toys to play with are balls. I think you've got a pretty good arm on you for a 1-yr old! You absolutely love playing catch with yourself. (Or your crazy siblings!)

You are a voracious eater....except when you're not. I feel like you either stuff all your food into your mouth, or you throw everything on the floor. In general you love ground meat, bananas, cheese, cheerios and broccoli. Unfortunately it seems that some foods don't love your tummy. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
I just love so many things about you. I love the way you pat my shoulder while I'm holding you. I love your crazy head of blond curls. I love your deep giggle when someone plays peek-a-boo with you.
I love you so much Drewski! Happy Birthday!

And now for a trip down memory lane! Here are your siblings on their first birthdays.




Who do you most look like?