December 28, 2012

The best of friends

The friendship developing between Audia and Callen is something that I feel so very grateful to be able to witness. Since the day Chris and I decided we wanted to have a second child, I've been worried about how it would affect Audia and how the two siblings would get along. I know plenty of people who either do not get along with their siblings, or for whom it took YEARS before they started getting along. I am not naive enough to believe that Audia and Cal will always be such close friends; all relationships wax and wane, and there are of course moments where one or the other of them wants nothing to do with their sibling. But overall, I really don't think they could be any luckier to have one-another. From the day Callen was born, Audia has been right there, wanting to help keep him happy, play with him, snuggle him, and love on him. And as Callen gets older and more independent, he turns more and more to his sister for play and assistance and hugs and loves. If Audia is upset about something, Cal is right there to give her a hug. Audia will give Callen half of her cookie, or snack, or whatever she has that he wants, usually without even thinking twice about it. And pretty much every time we go for a ride anywhere in the car, they can be found holding hands. It melts my heart every. single. time. I can only hope that their relationship will continue to blossom in such an incredibly sweet way, and that no matter where life takes them, they will always find their way to one-another.

December 18, 2012

Callen at 18 Months

Well, our tall and skinny boy is getting taller and skinnier! At 35.5" tall, Cal is the height of the average 28 month old boy! He's 26 lbs, 3 oz, which puts him smack dab at the 50th percentile for his age. This explains why 18 month size clothes are too short and 2T are too baggy!! Doc S says Cal looks great, and is right on track with speech, motor skills, social skills, etc.

At 18 months, Cal is
  • Saying new words every day! He has difficulty annunciating some things, but generally he is easy to understand if you pay attention to what he's doing/looking at. His favorite words these days are "wheel" and "ball." He will point at and name every ball, wheel, and light wherever we are!
  • Still obsessed with wheels. He loves anything on wheels, and even just plain old lego wheels. I have a feeling this kid is going to be a total gearhead.
  • Loving playing with his sister as much as ever! He gets frustrated when she goes off and does her own thing, but also has moments where he'd rather play by himself.
  • Getting much better at being gentle with Fievel. He went through a phase where everytime he'd see Fievel, he'd go over and push him off of whatever Fievel was sitting on, or chase him around with his cars. He's been a lot better about being gentle and petting Fievel lately, however.
  • Such a great helper!! He is pretty good at helping pick up toys, and loves to help take dishes out of the dishwasher and put the laundry in the dryer. He will frequently pick up little crumbs or fuzzies off the floor and put them in the garbage on his own, and hates it when his hands get dirty!
  • Very into playing pretend. He likes to pretend to cook at the play kitchen, take care of the baby dolls, and play snuggle his stuffed animals
  • Surprisingly good at building with legos and duplos! He will build something and then proudly show it to whomever's around, saying "Ta da!"
  • Such a sweetheart. He loves to give kisses, cheers everyone at the table, and snuggle. Whenever Audia is upset, he gives her hugs and kisses.

November 7, 2012

Halloween 2012

As the kids grow older, the holidays get more and more fun. This year for Halloween Audia decided that she wanted to be Iron Man. Well, first she decided on the Hulk but then changed her mind to Iron Man when finding a Hulk costume in her size proved to be difficult (they do exist, they were just sold out everywhere we went.) I was a little surprised that she didn't go with Spiderman but I wasn't going to push the issue. And she still does L-O-V-E Spidey. This is really the last year that we got to decide what Callen would be, so I decided to go the oh-so-cute route. I found a super cute Lion costume at Target, and you can't tell me that he isn't the cutest lion you ever saw. Because I will hear none of it!

The weekend prior to Halloween, we went to Ghouls and Goblins at the Arboretum with my parents, and it proved to be a hit yet again. Audia kept running up to all of the decorations and saying "take my picture with him, mom!"

Halloween night we went to the mall closest to our house for Mall-o-ween so that Callen could go trick-or-treating indoors (aka safely) and then stopped by a family friend's house to see her new kitten. Last stop (but not least!) was to go to N,D, A,M, and A's house so that the men could take the girls trick-or-treating and us ladies stayed home with the babies to hang out and pass out candy. It was a very fun halloween for all of us!

October 1, 2012

Mourning the little things

I have written and re-written an opening to this blog entry about a dozen times now and nothing seems to flow properly. I really don't know how to lead into what I want to say, so I'm just going to jump in all abrupt-like and drive my inner-linguist a little bit crazy.

There are little things that Callen does that, because he is my second-born and I now actually know how fleeting stages and phases are, I really find myself mourning, even before he's done doing them. When Audia was a baby I felt like I was always looking forward to the next thing, but with Cal I feel like I am a little more present, and as a result, a little more aware and emotional over the passing of stages and of the fact that my baby is no longer that. He's a toddler, and after toddler comes preschooler and after preschooler is a kid and after a kid is a teen and after that, good lord, the kids are moving out and entering adulthood and WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?! Audia is only four, and Cal only 15.5 months, and I am already feeling the panic and sadness and excitement of who they will be, where they will go, and what they will do.

But the passing of the little things is really hard this time around. Maybe because we don't know that we'll expand our family any further. There is a good chance that Cal is our last child, and there will be no more babies in our house. Little things like the way that Cal will rest his head on my shoulder, even if only for a second, any time I pick him up out of his carseat. Soon he'll be climbing out of his carseat himself and those wonderful seconds, which add up to wonderful minutes over the course of a week, will be no longer. The way that Audia will snuggle in next to me on the couch for a minute when I sit down, before she gets distracted by something and is up and playing again. How long will that last? When did I stop snuggling with my mom and decide that it wasn't cool to be affectionate? The way Cal wants to hold my hand when we're in the car and he's tired, and how without fail, about a minute after I reach back to let him hold my finger, he's asleep.

The passing of time, the changing of seasons, the transitioning of phases. They happen to everyone and no one can stop any of it. But it still comes as a surprise, and as a heartache, when it happens to you. I think of how fast the past four years, the past 15 months have gone and it feels like tomorrow I'll be writing about how Audia's off to college somewhere and Cal is in High School. *sigh*

September 16, 2012

Audia's First Day of Preschool 2012

Audia's first week at her new preschool went so amazingly well! Munchkin LOVES her new teacher, Miss Lacey, as well as her FOUR other teachers. She's in a class of 12 kids and they have one main teacher with four other assistant teachers. She is already talking about other friends that she's playing with and is just so, so excited to go to school every day.

This is all very exciting to me for many reasons. Number 1 is that she's skipped a year in preschool; we got her into the four year old class this year even though she is 8 days past the cutoff (it sounds like it wouldn't be a big deal, but most of the preschools we talked to were absolutely unwilling to budge on their cutoff date regardless of Audia's maturity and readiness.) So she is the youngest in her class. We are very hopeful that she will be able to test into and start Kindergarten next year. Number 2 is that she is at a new school, and was very hesitant, scared, and anxious prior to her first day, about not being at the same school she was at last year. Number 3 is that I was painfully shy pretty much from birth well into college and I've always worried that my kids would have the same disposition towards being afraid of talking to/befriending/meeting new people. Audia is proving over and over again that this is absolutely not the case for her and it literally makes me want to shout out and jump for joy. I felt like my shyness was such a huge limitation for me, and to watch her warm up to her new class in mere seconds on the first day, and to say goodbye to me with hardly a glance back, makes me over-the-moon excited for her. And I am so excited to see what this school year holds for her!

September 10, 2012

Audia's 4th Birthday

Our baby girl turned four on Saturday. FOUR. Growing at the speed of light. We had a party for her at the party room of our housing association; a nice, open space with lots of room for the kids to run around and very little for them to destroy. It was perfect.

Audia picked a Spider-Man theme for her party this year. She is very into Spidey the past few months and there was no question when I asked her what kind of party she wanted to have. We all had a blast.


As Audia gets older, it gets harder to keep track of milestones and interests as she seems to change so quickly in some ways while staying the same in others. It is fascinating to watch her try on different hats, so to speak, whilst keeping these core traits that are already so much a part of who she is. Her compassionate, willful, imaginative, outgoing, and silly nature are things that are steady and constant through everything else. She has been more shy with new people or people she hasn't seen in a while lately, but I can't help but feel like it's just a mask she is trying on, as she will say, either to me or to the very person whom she's shying away from "I'm being shy right now." Minutes later, she's over it and playing with that very same person.

As for her interests, obviously there is the Spider-Man obsession. She is also really into Fireman Sam and still really enjoys Yo Gabba Gabba when it comes to TV shows. Peter Pan, The Care Bears Movie, and 101 Dalmations are favorite movies of the moment (or year, as the case may be!) And as far as play, she loves her stuffed animals, care bears, legos, puzzles, and anything that makes music.
She surprises me regularly with her creativity and rhyming capabilities when she makes up songs about anything and everything.

She still adores her brother, although now that he is getting more and more independent, there is more 'arguing' that goes on between the two of them; fighting over toys and chairs and what-not as well as just general screaming at one-another is becoming more a part of day-to-day life. As an only child, I do find myself struggling to understand how they can be fighting one minute and best friends the next, but I love to watch their relationship grow and as long as they're enjoying eachothers company at least half of the time, I feel like we're doing ok there.

Happy, Happy Birthday, my dear sweet Audia. You enrich our lives in so many more ways than you will ever understand (until you have kids of your own!) We love you so, so much!!

September 4, 2012

Fair Fun 2012

We made it out to the Minnesota State Fair three times this year! Once with my parents, once with my college roomie, Sha (that's a nickname, not her real name. Ha!), and her hubby and little boy, who came from AZ to visit while the fair was running because she's heard me talk about it so many times that she decided she had to see it for herself, and once with our good friends J and L, both of whom I've known since I was a teenager. Unfortunately the stars did not align with scheduling and we did not get to make our annual trip out with friends N, D, A, M, and A this year, but hopefully next year we can make it happen!
What follows are just a few of the many photos we got at the fair this year, trying to cover all of the best parts of the fair and all of the fun that we had :-)

The Carousel was more of a hit with Audia this year

Petting the Bunnies

Checking out the horses

Bumper Boats!



The Mighty Midway

Audia cried when we told her she was too young to go in the Haunted House....

Sha kicked N's butt....

Scotch Eggs

Cal was a pro at taking naps at the fair by the last day we visited!

Audia adored Sha's son, T.

Butterheads, anyone?

Cheese Curds!!!

Photo with Fairchild, the State Fair Mascot

Gotta ride the Giant Slide!


J wanted to check out the hunting stuff...

Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads.....

Family Photo

The kids love the construction equipment

Crop Art

Pronto Pups

Had to hit up that Carousel one last time!