September 15, 2015

Times, they are a-changin'.

It's been about 2 years since I've posted. Holy cow. Those 2 years simultaneously have seemed like a lifetime and the blink of an eye. "The days are long but the years are short," as they say. And oh how incredibly visceral that phrase is, especially, when you have children. You hear it so often, or at least I did, before you have children. How time flies. How hard it is. How rewarding it is. How your life will never ever be the same. But it's honestly not something that you can ever convey to someone who hasn't been through 3-4 years of it. Even when Audia was 2 or 3, I didn't get it. Those first 3-4 years of ONE child's life are so intense. At least they were for me. And looking back, I wish so much that I could go back and tell earlier mom me to relax. To enjoy it more. To worry less. But the truth is that was who I was, and that was who Audia was, and that was who Chris was. Callen, in his own way, made things easier. Both because he is so laid back and because it forced me to divide my attention, and my worries, between two kids. Thank heavens for that. Poor Audia bore the brunt of my worrisome nature for three years! Good grief. But holy moley, how wonderfully she's turned out. How resilient she is. How independent, and strong, and brave, and willful....Audia, if you ever read this, I hope that you always know how proud of you I am. You surprise and delight me on a daily basis. That's not an exaggeration. Just this week, you told me how you had decided, on your own, to be friends with someone who was a bully to you at the beginning of the school year. You told this girl that you didn't like how she was treating you last week but you wanted to be her friend. And now you are. And things like that....these amazing, independent testaments of your character...they happen regularly. And I just sit back in awe. You are such an amazing young lady.

And Callen. You have not had nearly as much "blog time", so to speak, but only because the addition of you to our family has forced me to chose between special time with you and your sister or time blogging. Time with you obviously trumps that. But, I want you to know that at age 4, you are the size of the average 6 year old boy (SO TALL!!) You still LOVE your vehicles and regularly correct anyone who incorrectly identifies a vehicle ("No, Mommy, that's not a digger. It's a front-end loader.") You still love Lego more than anything, and build things from scratch and imagination that make both your dad (former Lego Master) and I (also a former Lego Builder) in complete awe. At your age, according to the packages, you should still be playing with Duplos. But you build the 5-10 aged regular Lego sets by yourself. It's truly incredible. You also talk to yourself. A lot. OK, *constantly*. To the point where I regularly ask you who you're talking to, just to double check, and 99% of the time you say "I'm just talkin' to myself, mommy." Your favorite color was anything "Fiery" until about a month ago when you switched back to green (which was your favorite about two years ago.) You LOVE Minecraft and are a true master builder; you build incredibly detailed buildings in Minecraft with incredible speed. Complete with rooms, stair cases, windows, and roofs that look like real tiled roofs. You are still shy(er) with kids your age, and mostly prefer to play by yourself. But you adore adults.

And both of you are, of course, incredibly tall for your age, even this young. Audia, you're in the 95th percentile for height again at age 7. Callen, you are more and more off the charts for height every time we go in. Based on your growth curve, it's estimated that you'll be between 6' 4" and 6' 8" as an adult!

You get along so well, for the most part. I think it's a testament to your love of each other (at least, I'll chose to see it that way) that you would rather be playing together and fighting than have me separate you.

I want you both to know how proud I am of you, how blessed I feel to have you as my children, how much I adore and like and love you. I cannot ever imagine my life without you.

September 10, 2013

Audia is FIVE!

It seems crazy to say, but our sweet little munchkin is now FIVE years old! It is simultaneously impossible to imagine our life without her and so hard to believe that she is five already. Where does the time go? Seriously. We had her birthday party on her birthday this year, and Audia chose a My Little Pony theme this year. It seemed that everyone had a lot of fun, and Audia is already talking about how she can't wait to have a party next year :-)

Audia, you are growing up to be such an amazing person. You are still the biggest sweetheart. Compassionate, caring, helpful, and considerate are some of your key traits. You love to help your family and friends, and especially your little brother. Though you do get annoyed with him some of the time, most of the time you love to play with him and he with you! You are also willful, determined, curious, creative, affectionate, and silly. Making up songs and stories is one of your favorite things to do, and something you are really good at. I am always amazed at the songs that you sing off the top of your head....almost always about love, friends, and family. Your interests range from drawing to gymnastics to reading to dancing to building things with legos and blocks. You've started to learn how to read in the past month or so, and are easily reading three and four-letter words these days. Your favorite characters and toys are My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sofia the First, Transformers Rescue Bots, and the Care Bears.
I am so proud of you, my sweet girl.

I love you more than anything in the whole wide world!

State Fair 2013

Due to the crazy nature of this year's summer, and also due to the ridiculously hot (mid-90's with 75% humidity?!) weather, we didn't make it to the fair this year as a whole family. Chris and I got to spend a couple of hours there kid-free before the Depeche Mode concert (which was awesome!) and then the kids and I went with my parents on the very last day of the fair. Chris didn't join us because he was in Vegas celebrating his friend B's 40th birthday.
Here are a few photos from the last day:


The cottage 2013

We were lucky enough to have two seperate week-long vacations at the cottage this summer. The first trip, my parents joined us up there for a couple of days, and we also got to see our good friends, E & D, who spend a week every summer up at a lake just a few minutes away. The second trip we got to spend time with Chris' mom and Cooper. Both trips we had amazing weather, with only one or two overcast days total out of 16!
We were also very lucky to be able to use the new pontoon that Chris' family purchased this year! We were able to spend so much more time out on the water as a family. The cottage is always enjoyable, but it made it so much easier to get out fishing with the kids in tow :-) Hooray for the new pontoon!!
Audia had a lot of fun catching frogs, a turtle, a lizard, and a bunch of fish! Callen's favorite thing to do, all day, every day, was play in the sand. We had such a great time, it makes me sad to know we likely won't be getting back up there until next year.
Here are a handful of photos from our trip.

June 27, 2013

Callen's 2 Year Appointment

Callen has never been a fan of the doctor. Probably because he's never been a fan of people he doesn't know very well talking to him, let alone touching him or sticking things in his ears. So all week, I've been playing doctor with him, talking to him about what Dr. S would do, and even going as far as to buy a special set of pull-back cars and telling him that he could have them after his appointment IF he was good and let Dr. S look him over. The preparation (and bribery) seemed to work, and while initially he was resistent to letting her get too close to him, instead of screaming bloody murder like he has the past four or five visits, he did warm up to her and let her measure and examine him. Yay! Thankfully there were no shots today, either, so I am hopeful that his next visit will go just as smoothly.

Cal is healthy as can be, on track with his vocab and motor skills, and, as expected, GIANT for his age. At 31 lbs (80th %ile) and 37.75" tall (off the chart,) he is in the 13th %ile for BMI (which they start keeping track of at 2 years) and is the size of the "average 3 and 1/2 year old boy." Doc even went as far as to say that she had to keep reminding herself of his age when she was asking him questions; to just look at him she said she was expecting him to speak in clear, full sentences. She also said that his height has the potential to cause problems for him for the next couple of years because people that don't know him will expect so much more from him socially and verbally than he is capable of. But he is healthy and happy and to me, that is all that matters!

June 25, 2013

Moments to remember

Tonight was my turn to put Audia to bed. (Chris and I take turns every night with the kids.) After Jammies, teeth brushing, potty, and books come songs, then snuggling and telling her good things to dream about. When I sing, I sing three songs. The first is 'Once Upon a Time' from the Broadway musical version of Peter Pan. The second song rotates between a few different favorites including 'La La Lu,' 'Goodnight My Angel' (Billy Joel,) and 'I Have Never Loved Someone' by My Brightest Diamond. The third song is always 'Twinkle twinkle little star.' The past month or so, the second song default has become 'La La Lu.' But tonight I decided to mix it up and sing 'I Have Never Loved Someone' instead. When I started singing it, Audia snuggled in closer to me and I could feel her smiling. And when I got to the part that says "When you grow to be Queen or Clown or Pauper...." She said to me, "I'll never be any of those things, mommy. I'll always be your sweetheart even when I'm an adult." I told her that she can be whatever she wants to be and be my sweetheart at the same time, then finished the song and the rest of bedtime. Moments like that are so fleeting, but the types of moments that make everything else melt away. They are the moments I want to bottle up and relive when we're having a rough day and not getting along so well. We had a very long day of cleaning and errand running....the type of day where too much menial stuff was planned and there was very little quality time spent. The type of day that I try to avoid, but sometimes just have to trudge through even though I'd rather be doing a million other things instead. But it is so refreshing to know that even though today was not filled with fun things and quality family time, my sweet daughter still would rather be my sweetheart for the rest of her life than a Queen. :-)

June 10, 2013

Now You Are Two.....

Callen on the day he was born
Callen at 1 year
Callen at 2 years

Dear Callen,
Today you are 2! And what an amazing 2 years it has been, getting to know you! You, my son, are the sweetest of sweet boys. You brighten our lives so much with your sweet smiles, your snuggly cuddles, and your amazingly silly personality. You love to poke fun, to tease and trick, to do whatever you can to make us laugh. Lately you've started pointing and saying "Hey!" when someone does something like tickle you. It makes my heart melt every time.

Over the past few weeks, it feels like you have exploded verbally. You are saying so many words now, and stringing 5-6 words together at a time, completing thoughts and sentences! It feels to me like this has just happened over night. You also will repeat what other people say, with a question inflection in your voice like you are verifying that what you heard was correct. You understand so much!

You are still (and will always be, I am sure,) OBSESSED with wheels. You LOVE vehicles of all shapes and sizes, but the bigger the better it seems these days. We switched your car seat to be forward facing a few months ago, due to your height, and you love being able to see forward! Any time you see a bus, you'll tell me, "Mama! A Bus!" and if you see a big semi or any sort of out-of-the-ordinary vehicle (a garbage truck, construction vehicles, etc) you let out a loud, "Wooowwww!" that 9 times out of 10 makes me jump.

Another thing you love to do is play with water! Whenever daddy gets home from work, you want to stand on a chair and play at the sink while he makes dinner. You also love baths, showers, the lake, and the water tables that we have here and the one at grandma and grandpa's house.

Other favorite things of yours are the mall (many mornings when we get up you ask, "Mall day?"), play kitchens (you could pretend cook for hours!), looking at photos of nails on my phone (you frequently want to sit in my lap and look through my instagram pics of nail art) and Fievel.

But your most favorite thing is your sister. You love and look up to your sister in a way that makes this mommy's heart melt into a puddle on the floor. Sure, you have moments where you get tired of her directing your play, or times where you don't want to share, but you always want to know where she is and what she's doing. You also always want to get one of anything you might get from me or daddy, be it a snack or a drink or a dessert...whatever...for Audia. I know you don't know it yet, but you are so, so, so lucky to have such an amazingly patient and loving big sister. Audia loves you so much, Callen. She is always looking out for you, and worrying about you, and frequentlygoes out of her way to make sure that you are happy and having fun.

Personality-wise you are, these days, much more shy than your sister has ever been. You like the people that you know, and you do warm up eventually to people that you sense are "safe," but it always takes a little while for you to warm up to even the people you see regularly. You are very considerate, it seems....either that or you really see the benefit of having a clean play space. I frequently see you picking up toys and putting them away (in the right places!) all on your own! Mommy loves this....please keep it up and try to teach your sister to do the same ;-) You also love to bring people things of theirs if you see they are without them. You are constantly bringing daddy and me our phones or our beverages.

You fill our lives with such love, such light, and so many smiles. It sounds corny but you really do complete our family and make it whole. I feel like there is a perfect balance among the four of us; it is not always apparent or in it's best form, but it is there more often than not. I love you so very much, and I am so proud of you, and so excited to see what you will do, my handsome TWO year old!