Monday, April 29, 2013


Happy 3rd Birthday Ryan! I know I will probably say this every year, but your new age seems so old! I can't believe I have a 3 year old. You have changed so much this year.
Perhaps the biggest change since last year is your speech. You went from barely saying more than a few real words to non-stop talking. You say everything and keep up a constant conversation with me throughout the day. You also love to sing, and you probably sing your ABC's about 20 times per day now. Every once in a while I do ask you to stop talking, but 99% of the time I love hearing your thoughts. I waited so long for you to learn how to talk, and I don't want to take it for granted now! You say the most adorable and funny things. Your newest phrase is "Aww man!", which you told me you learned from me.
Becoming a big brother was another huge change for you this year. It was a difficult transition for you at first, but you love your little brother so much and are learning how to play nice with him. I love watching the two of you play together and learn how to share toys and be gentle.
You are still on the smaller end of the growth charts. As I type this, you are wearing size 18 month shorts that you received as a gift on your first birthday. Your hair is much darker than it used to be, but still blond. And your eyelashes are still envied by many!
You rarely throw big tantrums, and for this I am truly grateful. What sets you off is being told you can't do something, or being told you have to stop doing something fun. Leaving parks and playdates usually result in you yelling and/or screaming. Your reactions are less physical and more verbal these days. I find that I can reason with you a bit more now that you are older.
You are still crazy about cars. At all times of the day, including meal time and bedtime, you have a car in your hands. You are so much like your Daddy.
Your favorite place to play is in the garage with Daddy. You show no fear when playing with his tools, and you love running around getting dirty and looking at bugs. Yes, I'd say you are definitely a boy!
 You also have a very sweet gentle side. You love to climb into my lap and cuddle with me, and you often tell me "I love you Mommy so much".
As far as 3-year olds go, I'd say you're pretty terrific. I love you Ryan!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Reading

Ryan is finally interested in books and I am really excited to start expanding his book collection. I have so many fond memories of reading books as a child and I can't wait to expose my children to those same books. The below video makes me so happy because Ryan is "reading" the book to himself. Not only that, but it is my favorite childhood book, "The Little Red Hen".
Of course he is still just a 3-year old boy. So he tends to lose interest pretty quickly. Hence the video below:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Palm Be Gone

When we moved into our house 3 years ago the front looked like this:
Not much going on except a cute little palm tree that has grown by at least a foot each year since then. Adam and I recently decided that we'd like to build a front porch. And in order to do that the palm tree has got to go. We called a local company and got a quote to remove the tree, but it was too much money. So Adam decided he could just take it out himself.
Two days later a man knocked on our front door. He was walking around the neighborhood looking for side work, since the job he had been scheduled to do that day had cancelled. His line of work? Tree trimming and removal. He quoted us less than half our original quote. So an hour later this was happening:
Palm tree be gone!

We then got busy shoveling out all the surrounding rocks. Ryan helped us by searching for bugs, spiders, and slugs in the dirt. He found a pretty cool centipede.
Next phase of the project is to get the stump removed tomorrow and start building the porch this weekend. I will post pictures as we make progress!

Monday, April 22, 2013

More Mobile

I didn't think it was possible to have a son who was stronger, faster or more active than Ryan. Maybe I'm just forgetting what Ryan was like when he was younger.

But seriously? This little guy is nuts.
He's not even walking that well yet, but he zooms around the house, climbing on things and wreaking havoc. He climbs all the way up the slides at the park, slides down, and then does it again and again and again. He wrestles me until I'm breaking a sweat trying to change his diaper. He climbs out of his straps in shopping carts and leaps out of my arms when I'm holding him. His mobility is surprising me more and more each day.

It's a good thing Ryan and Lucas have each other to be active with. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep up with them!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Play Wrestling

This is how my boys play with each other these days. I have to keep a close eye on them, as Ryan can get a little rough sometimes. But for the most part, Lucas is learning to hold his own. It's so cute to watch them having fun together! And is it just me, or is Lucas starting to look really big next to Ryan?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Carrot Battle

Ding ding ding! Round 982 of the ongoing food battles with Ryan goes to.....Mommy and Daddy! I mentioned a few weeks ago that we have been using the "one bite" rule, where Ryan needs to take just one bite of each food on his plate. Sine then we have been wavering a bit, giving him too much leeway on what a bite was, and what exactly he needed to take a bite of. To be honest, the reason I sometimes give in at the dinner table is because sticking to the rules is so darn frustrating, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting.
Tonight I made pot roast. (A new recipe for me! Usually I make it my mom's way, by dumping BBQ sauce over the meat, potatoes and carrots, and then baking for 4 hours at a low temp in the oven. That method is kind of sweet and really yummy, but I was in the mood for something different. Today I put it all in the crockpot and used water and onion soup mix as my only flavoring, in the place of BBQ sauce. After it all cooked I strained the sauce, and then thickened it with a little bit of flour and butter to make a gravy. It was so good!)
 Not a great picture, but you get the idea. Anyways, back to Ryan. I served him a plate of a little bit of each component of the pot roast: chopped up meat, 1 carrot, and one potato chunk. I figured he would eat the meat, since he likes beef, but nothing else. Unfortunately we had to pull Ryan away from something really really fun in order to sit down to dinner. So he was in a really foul mood.

He refused to take a single bite. He just wanted to go back outside to drive his John Deere truck. We told him if he ate at least a bite of each food, he could go back out and play. He wouldn't give in. Fortunately, neither did we. After SO MUCH whining and fake crying, Ryan finally took a bite of meat. By this time the rest of us had finished our dinner. Ryan thought that one bite was enough, and was furious when he learned he wouldn't be allowed down from the table yet. So he shoveled the rest of his meat in his mouth and then said "Yay!". This is where we would have normally given in and let him down. But tonight we got tougher and told him he had to try his carrot. (Potatoes make him gag so I didn't push that on him)

At one point I turned to Adam and asked "When is mealtime going to STOP being such a battle with this guy?"

Of course Ryan refused to eat the carrot. He got really upset and picked up his carrot and threw it at me. I immediately put him in a timeout and told him very sternly that throwing food is NOT ok, and throwing things at people is NEVER ok. He hugged me and told me he was sorry. He probably thought the battle was over, but we were sticking to our guns. I strapped him back in to his booster chair and told him he still needed to take a bite of that carrot. He told me it was too mushy. So I offered him a raw baby carrot, and he said yes. (Keep in mind up to this point, he has never ever eaten a carrot, except in pureed form as a baby).

 He held that baby carrot in his hand and stared it down. I was prepared to sit there all night. Finally, after what felt like hours, he tentatively put the carrot in his mouth and took a tiny nibble. He looked at me with a look of pure torture. I encouraged him to chew it and swallow, but when he started to, he gagged and started to throw up in his mouth. (I saw it. Eww) I encouraged him again that it was ok, and he should just chew and swallow. He finally managed to get it down, and I honored our promise to him. He ran outside and spent the rest of the evening riding around in the backyard.
Whew. On the one hand I am proud of us for not giving in. And encouraged that we eventually got Ryan to try just one bite of a vegetable. But seriously, can you blame me for taking the easier road some nights and not forcing him to eat his fruit or vegetable? Particularly when Adam works late and it's just me vs. Ryan, I don't feel like I have the energy to go to war with Ryan over a bite, while trying to entertain Lucas at the same time. And we're just talking about dinner....there are two other meals during the day, and Ryan is just as strong-willed during those meals.

We won the carrot battle. Which fruit or vegetable will we fight over tomorrow? Who knows. But I am determined to stick with this and make this boy learn to love food like I do.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Lucas is becoming quite the goofball these days. He intentionally tries to play with us, crawling away, turning around to giggle, teasing us to follow him, and then taking off again. He hides his face, and then turns around to flirt with people. He is especially goofy in his highchair.
He shrieks
 Plays with the curtains
And blows raspberries

Of course sometimes this happens when he's not fully awake. I love his crazy bed hair!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Messily Occupied

Sometimes I let Ryan do things that are extremely messy just so that I can have a moment to get one little thing done. To make a phone call. To nurse Lucas. To breathe. To think.

Ryan adores playing with water, and could potentially spend hours "washing" the dishes. Yes, water does end up all over the counter and floor, but sometimes it's worth it.
Another recent discovery? Peeling eggs. I had a few boiled eggs I needed peeled so I assigned the task to Ryan. This kept him occupied for quite a long time.
Any other ideas for keeping busy kids quietly occupied?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday to an amazing husband and Daddy! We celebrated his birthday a little early last night with a homemade oreo cake. Ryan practiced blowing out the candle for his upcoming birthday later this month.
Adam has a 4-day weekend so we are enjoying his time off together as a family. Yummy food and lots of time spent in the garage will make him a happy guy today.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No Yike Me Bed

For almost 3 years now we have been trying to get Ryan to A) sleep in his own bed, and B) stay asleep all night in his bed. And what solution have we come up with after 3 years? Absolutely nothing.

There are many reasons why I view Ryan's sleeping habits as a "problem", but here is the main one: it ruins our evenings. In order to get him to fall asleep in his bed, one of us (usually Adam if he's home early enough) has to lay in Ryan's bed with him until he falls asleep. If he starts the process by about 8pm, it will probably take 1.5 to 2 hours. By this time Adam has fallen asleep in Ryan's bed and his evening is gone. No time to do anything else. (Adam get up at 5am for work) And even after all of that, Ryan is awake and climbing into our bed by midnight. Sometimes we are too exhausted to spend the 2 hours getting him to fall asleep, so we just let him sleep in our bed from the beginning. But this means he doesn't go to bed until we do, so he ends up staying up too late, which means he is cranky in the morning. It's a lose-lose for all of us.
Last night was particularly rough. I got Lucas to sleep at 8pm and Adam went into Ryan's room with him to put him to bed. I can see Ryan's room on the baby monitor and by 9:30pm I could see that he was still awake and whining/crying. Adam came out of his room and said he was too frustrated to continue. So I went in there to try to calm down Ryan. As soon as I sat next to him on his bed and asked him what was bothering him, he burst into tears. The kind where he is crying so hard that it's difficult to breathe. I thought to myself, "maybe he's afraid of something?". We've tried nightlights but they don't seem to help. When I finally got him to calm down and talk to me, here's what he said.

Me: Ryan, why don't you want to sleep in your bed?
Ryan: I no yike me bed.
Me: Why? Your bed is very nice.
Ryan: No, me bed is no nice. I no yuv me bed.
Me: Ryan, you need to sleep in your bed.
Ryan: Me sleep in Mommy's bed with Mommy.
Me: But who will sleep in your bed?
Ryan: Daddy sleep in me bed.
Me: No, Daddy sleeps in Mommy and Daddy's bed. Ryan sleeps in Ryan's bed.
Ryan: I no yike me bed. I want to put my bed outside on the grass.
Me: Oh no! Why would we put your bed on the grass?? We can't do that.
Ryan: I want the fast wind to blow away my bed.

So what did I learn from this? Well, he obviously doesn't like his bed.

And that's all I've got.

Friday, April 5, 2013

3 Year Checkup

Ryan had his 3-year checkup at the doctor's office this week. Yes, you read that right. He will be 3 at the end of this month!! Where did the time go?

His appointment went really well. He was very cooperative for the nurse and doctor, and even showed off his new speech skills for them. Here are his growth stats:

Weight: 30 lbs, 3 oz (37%)
Height: 35.6 inches (10%)
BMI: 71% (percentile)
Ryan was excited to wear the "pecial new shirt" the nurse gave him while waiting for the doctor.

When they weighed him he had on his clothes, including a heavy sweater and some toys in his hands. So he's probably a little smaller than this weight. At home he weighs 28.5 lbs on our scale. His height? Well I can't make any excuses for that. He's just kind of short! (He "failed" one of the questions on a form I filled out that asked whether he can pedal a tricycle. I wrote that he probably could if he were tall enough!) I thought it was interesting that they took his blood pressure and calculated BMI for the first time at this appointment.

We talked about Ryan's picky eating habits and his recent improved speech and behavior at home. Overall the doctor was really pleased with Ryan's progress. And so am I!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lucas: 10 Months

You continued to surprise us with new changes this month, including walking and talking!

Your list of words now includes Mama, Baba, and Ga or Goo. No Dada yet! Your mouth is open in almost every picture I take of you. You love to squeal at your brother and shriek to get attention. I think you will be a very vocal little boy.
You took your first official (7!) steps a few days ago, and now you love taking a few steps here and there. Your walk is still a bit of a drunken Frankenstein walk, but cute nonetheless!
You have been sick this past week with your first ear infection. I'm wondering if this is to blame for your recent loss of interest in finger foods. For the past 10 days or so you have only wanted to eat purees. Even your beloved cheerios and puffs do not seem as appealing to you.

I have been trying to teach you to wave and say Hi. So far I have only caught you waving at yourself, and you kind of said hi a few days ago. Not quite but almost there! Next up on the list of tricks I am teaching you is clapping.

You are still very similar in size to your brother at this age, and I get a lot of comments about how similar you two look. I still don't see it.....instead I see all of your differences. Your hair has lightened a lot since birth, but it's still much darker than Ryan's was at this age. Your face and head are rounder than Ryan's and you may actually be a bit shorter and wider (wow, those thighs!). I think Ryan's nose is a bit wider and flatter than yours, but you may have the same eye color and shape. Here is a comparison, both at 10 months of age.

You don't just drop your toys anymore, you throw them. I've noticed lately that you intentionally drop or throw things just to watch them fall. And to watch Mommy retrieve them for you!
Your sleeping habits are not consistently great, but we have had a few nights lately where you have slept between 6 and 8 hours in a row! You still wake up to nurse once or twice. When I am really tired in the wee hours of the morning I have tried bringing you into our bed so that I can nurse you while I sleep. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) this doesn't work. You're just not much of a snuggly cuddler like your brother is, and you sleep best when by yourself. So I make myself stay up and nurse you in your room, and then once you are back in your crib we all sleep better.
Likes: Splashing in the bathtub, playing the piano
Dislikes: Sitting in shopping carts. Seriously, it's impossible to keep you in them.
 I love you Lukey!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

Holidays become more fun each year as Ryan (and Lucas!) get older. This year Ryan dyed Easter eggs for the first time, led us in prayer Easter morning at breakfast (He told God he loved him and thanked Him for Mommy, Daddy, Baby and doggy), and got his first Easter basket.
Here he is dying eggs with "coffee". He was confused because we used our coffee mugs.

Excited about his Easter basket goodies.
 Lucas is sick with an ear infection and cold right now, but he joined in the festivities by eating plastic eggs.
 Ryan ate too much chocolate.
 And we ended the day by testing out our new squirt guns.
He is risen!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Seven Steps

Lucas took 7 steps tonight! He has been taking an unassisted step here and there for the past week or so. Then tonight all of a sudden he took 7 in a row! It was so cute because Lucas got so excited when he realized what he was doing. He kept standing back up, taking a few steps, falling over and then squealing and trying again. And that's not an April Fool's joke!