Archive for March, 2010

Last week I took Owen to the dentist for the first time.  It went much better than I expected.  Owen’s not fan of people poking around  in his mouth…but then who really is??  I thought his first visit could go one of two ways…he’d either freak out and not let them anywhere near his mouth, or he’d be compliant and surprise me because the person doing the work was not me!. The visit really was a combination of the two…he started out great and only freaked out a couple of times.  We’d been reading a book about the first time at the dentist so he knew about the elevator chair, the big light, the dentists tools, and he knew the dentist’s name.  Here he is before the fun began…holding his new tooth brush:

The hygienist let Owen wear these super cool rockstar sunglasses to block out the light from “Mr. Sun”.  He thought they were fun for about 2 seconds.  Evidently he didn’t like looking at the world through star-shaped glasses so the hygienist gave him a pair of HUGE sunglasses that you see older people wearing in the sunlight…you know, the kind that go OVER the eyeglasses?  These made him much happier.

Then the actual work began.  He did great when they wanted to look at his front teeth.  He was not a fan of them looking at his back teeth.  They were great with him and didn’t push him when he was resistant.  There were several times when they asked him to open his mouth and he said that he was done.  The hygienist was very sweet and tried to coax him to open his mouth by telling him that he could pick out two prizes from the prize bucket when he was finished.  He instantly brightened and said, “Okay, I’ll have yeopard (leopard).”  He’s on a really big leopard kick right now.  She was very sweet and said, “Well, we’ll have to see what’s in the bucket when we’re done!”  By the time we were finished he’d forgotten all about his request for a leopard.  Here’s a picture of him during the cleaning…I love how he’s got his leg up like he’s just hanging out, relaxing at the dentist!

And finally it was over.  We scheduled his next appointment and left for the mall.  I’d promised Owen that we’d get to go to the mall and ride the carousel when he was finished.  He was super excited about this and wanted to ride (can you guess?) a leopard.  When we couldn’t find a leopard on the carousel, he settled for a horse and my mom was his designated spotter.

Since I had extra hands to help me out with the kids, I got to spot Molly on her first carousel ride, too!  She got to sit on the giraffe.  She loved it more than the picture shows.  She had a smile on her face most of the ride.

I sure am glad this first dentist trip is over.  Hopefully his next visit will be more productive now that he knows what to expect!

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This past Tuesday was GORGEOUS!  It ended up being in the upper 60’s (maybe even the 70’s) and perfectly sunny.  My parents have been on spring break this week, and we’ve been trying to spend a lot of time with them during their week off.  I love taking the kids to the zoo, and it was very nice to have my parents there to help out with the kids.  My dad offered to push the double stroller…something I was very willing to let him do.  That thing is like pushing a bus.  Here we are outside of the hippo tank…some of us are happier about taking this picture than others.

Since the weather was so wonderful, the animals were very active.  I’ve never seen the elephants so close to the fence before.  And there were several baby elephants, which is always fun to see.

Both Travis and my brother, Nate, work close to the zoo.  They were able to take a break from work and meet us at the zoo for lunch.  We loved seeing them in the middle of the day…a rare treat!

Here’s a shot of Molly right after Travis kissed her goodbye as he left to go back to work.  She loves her daddy.

And one more of Molly.  Her favorite part of the zoo BY FAR was meal time.  But what’s new?  The girl loves food and really lights up when she sees diced vegetables. 

Such fun.  This day made me super excited for those late spring/early summer days when the weather’s too perfect not to spend it outside.

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Last Sunday we took Owen to his first circus.  A friend of ours had some extra tickets, and we thought Owen was the right age to enjoy the show.  He’s a big fan of Dumbo and recently watched Toby Tyler (remember the movie from the 60’s about the little boy who runs away to join the circus?).  He knows what the circus is all about and was completely thrilled that he was going to get to go.  We couldn’t even get him to tear his eyes away from the show for a second to take a picture.

Owen was super excited about seeing the animals…particularly the tigers.  The first act was a tiger-tamer who got into a cage with six white tigers and did a little show.  It was great and I was really glad the tigers stayed friendly.  I had horrible thoughts about what would happen if the tigers remembered their wild side. 

And then there were other shows.  The bears who balanced on the balls were fun.  Owen thought they were so very cool.  The bear driving a motorcycle was my personal favorite, but this far away shot of the bear on a ball was the best I got.

And then there was the lady who trained the Afghan dogs.  The dogs were able to jump amazingly high, which was very impressive.  What was less impressive was the 55+ year-old trainer who danced her way out of a robe to reveal a surprisingly skimpy leotard, all to the beats of Madonna’s Vogue.  Rather interesting, to say the least.  Never thought I’d feel the need to cover my son’s eyes while at the circus.  Nonetheless, the dogs were impressive.  Here’s one of the dogs making a very high leap…

Anyway, we left at intermission.  The show had already been going on an hour and a half and intermission was going to be rather long.  They were selling tickets for pictures with a boa constrictor, rides on miniature ponies, and rides on elephants.  We could see this intermission lasting as long as people were willing to spend $10 per person for a 30 second elephant ride.  Owen didn’t understand why his parents thought the elephant rides were over priced.  If we were fun parents we would have shelled out $30 for 3o seconds of fun, but we’re not that cool.  Instead we took this picture…and Owen was too mad at us to even grant us the privilege of photographing his face.

All three of us enjoyed our circus experience.  Even though we didn’t make it through the whole thing, we got to see the bears and the tigers (the animals Owen wanted to see).  One final picture…you can see the craziness of intermission in the background.

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for nana

She loves loves loves her brother’s Cozy Coupe. 

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This gorgeous spring weather that we sporadically have here in St. Louis has been allowing us to spend time in the backyard.  It’s been wonderful.  The toys in the basement were getting old and the fresh air does a body good.  But Molly is at this really annoying stage that I was hoping she’d be out of by the time the weather turned nice…the stage where she’s crawling, can’t walk, and is into EVERYTHING.  This makes it hard to be outside unless I’m cool with her eating dirt, sticks, and getting completely filthy, which I’m not.  I hate seeing her pretty clothes get all muddy and stained, and I really don’t like her crawling through the grass (remember…we have a dog that uses the backyard as his toilet). 

But here’s the dilemma…Owen’s NOT at an annoying stage for playing outside.  He loves it and wants to do it as much as possible.  And I want to let him do it as much as possible.  For the last several weeks I’ve spent time with both kids outside, but I’ve spent all my time either holding Molly or chasing her around pulling dirt, rocks, and bugs out of her hands (yes, she was about to eat a living moth the other day before I rescued it from her hand).  Not an ideal outdoor play experience for anyone. 

A few days ago I was fed up.  I looked on Craigslist hoping to find a Superyard for a good price.  But evidently everyone hangs onto these things forever.  Not a one was for sale.  I ended up finding one at Walmart for $50 and they had an awesome $0.97 shipping sale that day!  It arrived at my door two days later, and Iwas only out $54 total!  I love this purchase, and so does Molly.

She loves playing with it in our living room…

She will sit in it for close to an hour and play with her toys.  Something about boundaries seems to give her the freedom to sit and play instead of exploring and destroying…

I bought it for the outside and it’s worked great.  I’ve just been putting an old vinyl tablecloth on the ground and letting her have fun.  She loves to be able to sit and watch us while I play with Owen in his sand box.  Owen also loves to play in it with Molly.  Why he wants to do this, I’m not sure.  But he loves it all the same.  He’s been very into playing with his sister lately.  I just have to be sure to monitor them super close because his idea of “play” often becomes wrestling!

Don’t worry…Molly still has time to freely explore the house.  She doesn’t live in her little baby jail all day.  It’s just a really nice way to be able to play with Owen outside without worrying about what kinds of things Molly is ingesting.  And it’s a great way to get a little housework done without having to worry about Molly chewing on the vaccuum cord…which happens quite frequently.  Here’s proof that she loves her little play area…see her cute little smile?

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Two years ago, I wrote a blog post titled good to the last noodle telling the story of Owen’s first spaghetti experience in pictures.  Molly had her first experience with spaghetti a few nights ago.  As Owen did, she loved spaghetti.  Because Molly is MUCH messier than her brother ever was and makes a mess of herself and the floor around her, we stripped her down to her diaper to save me the hassle of doing some serious stain-fighting. 

Here she is stuffing her face…

Getting ready to chug her milk (it’s official…she’s completely done with the bottle!!)…

Done.  And so proud.

My favorite part is her red beard.  This kid knows how to eat.

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Wow…time has passed quickly.  The past 11 months seem like a blur.  She’s quickly gone from a cuddly little peanut to a constantly moving, independent little gal.  Here’s Molly’s 11 month pic:

Here are some new things about Molly:

* She’s into EVERYTHING!  I feel like all I do is walk from room to room cleaning up messes.  Her favorite activity is emptying out baskets of toys and then moving on to something else.  This seriously delights her. 

* Food.  She is very passionate about food.  Molly eats ravenously and then starts screaming because her tray is empty.  We’re completely done with baby food around here and she eats pretty much whatever we’re eating.  Some of her favorite foods so far have been chicken enchiladas and meatballs. 

* Milk.  Whole milk, that is.  She loves the stuff.  I’ve dropped her late afternoon feeding and have replaced it with a snack and sippy cup of whole milk.  I’m getting ready to drop her mid-day nursing and replace that with a sippy cup of breast milk (I’ve got a freezer full that will last us a while after her first birthday).  As much as I’ve enjoyed being able to nurse Molly for these past 11 months, I’m ready to be done.  And so is she.  Hopefully I can slowly wean her over the next few weeks so we’re done by her birthday. 

* She’s quite a tease!  She loves to pretend like she’s going to hand you a toy and then pull it away before you can grab it.  She considers this the funniest thing ever!

* Pulling up…to her knees.  I keep working with her, trying to get her to stand up on her feet.  But, in typical Molly fashion, she doesn’t really care.  Getting up to her knees is good enough for her.  I REALLY want her to walk before this summer.  I don’t know what to do with a child who crawls when we play outside.  I mean, I know I can let her crawl through the grass, but that means grass stains and there’s gross stuff in the grass (we have a dog…hint hint).  We’ve got a couple of months until summer hits, but her brother wants to play outside even when you can see your breath in the air.  You better believe we’re going to keep working on this pulling up thing.

* Messy.  Molly loves to make a mess. Another difference from her brother…he gets a speck of food on his hands and is immediately freaking out and asking for a napkin (and he’s been like this since he was a baby).  She loves to smear, throw food just to see the mess it makes on the floor, and put food in her hair (what little she has of it). 

This little gal’s a joy.  We love seeing her personality emerge and are curious to learn more about who Molly is! 

Owen is 2 months shy of 3…34 months!

Here are some new things about Owen:

* He loves his sister.  They make each other laugh all the time.  He tries to wrestle her (scary) and has to be reminded to be careful with his sister.  As much as he loves her, he’s very worried that she’s going to mess up his stuff.  I hear the words, “No Mowee!” multiple times an hour.  And it’s not just because she’s touching his stuff.  Basically Owen wants to play with anything that Molly is playing with.  It can be a teething ring and all of a sudden it’s a hot comodity.  Ugh.

* Wearing diapers only at night!  Last month he was still wearing diapers during his nap.  About 2 weeks ago I decided I needed to be brave and let him try to sleep without a diaper during his nap.  I needed to wash his sheets anyway so it wouldn’t be a big deal if he wet the bed.  He did great and has been waking up dry ever since!

* American Idol.  His newest obsession.  We didn’t let him watch the city audition shows because there were a lot of crazy people that loved to say inappropriate things, but he loves to watch the girls and guys sing every week.  He thinks Randy is super cool when he says “Yo” and he walks around talking about how Ryan Seacrest says “This is American Idol”. 

* Stickers.  He’s completely enthralled with putting stickers in his sticker book.  We do this daily.  I’m always on the lookout for new stickers in Target’s dollar bins.  I recently brought home a booklet of dinosaur stickers and we’ve been busy creating page after page of dinosaur art.

Owen continues to be so much fun.  We love listening to the things that come out of his mouth.  He’s quite a character. 

That’s all for this month.  Big month next month…Molly’s 1 year birthday celebration!

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happy st. patty’s day!

Kids in green.  Sitting in a green chair with a green striped cushion.  In the background, a green shutter.  How much more St. Patty’s Day cheer could this picture muster?  Protect yourself from friendly pinches…don’t forget to wear your green!

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the big 29

His last birthday in his twenties.  Big stuff.  We did lots of celebrating.  It all started a week and a half ago when we were in Mena…and because I’ve already written about that celebration here, I won’t repeat myself.  Travis’ second birthday celebration happened last Saturday when we went to my parents’ house.  They made him a delicious steak and potatoes dinner, followed by cake and ice cream (of course). 

The kids had a great time helping Travis open his presents.  Molly was way more interested in tearing the paper and pulling the ribbons…

…and Owen was determined to find a toy in one of Travis’ presents.  He was sorely disappointed to discover that his packages only contained clothing and a DVD. 

Today was Travis’ actual birthday, and we wanted to make it special from start to finish.  Owen woke up excited to wish his daddy a happy birthday and sing to him.  In case you missed it, Owen takes singing “Happy Birthday” very seriously.  Trav had to head into work so Owen and I took advantage of the morning and made him a birthday cake.  Owen hasn’t really been very intereseted in cooking with me, but I think I convinced him when I mentioned that the cake was chocolate and he could taste it.  He was very serious about his job of stirring together the dry ingredients…

…and he thoroughly enjoyed licking the spatula.  So much so that we had to do an outfit change before our lunch with Travis.


With the cake out of the oven and cooling on the counter, the kids and I headed down to the Central West End to meet Travis for lunch at a fun pizza place called Pi.  Evidently when President Obama came to St. Louis he loved the deep dish pizza from Pi…so much that he actually had some shipped to the White House.  Cool, huh?  We were VERY impressed with the pizza.  After just eating deep dish at Gino’s in Chicago, I have to say that I think I liked the pizza at Pi better.  That’s a bold statement.

When Trav got home from work that night, the table was filled with presents waiting for him (and yes, wrapped in Missouri Tigers bags to support our team in the NCAA tournament). 

After a fajita dinner (his request), the kids helped Trav open his presents. 


And then, more cake.  Owen was very proud to show Travis the cake that he’d made.  And yep, more basketball theme.  Ever since we got married and Travis got me hooked on college basketball, I’ve always made a cake with these sillly little basketball figurines on top.  We celebrate his birthday and also the kickoff to the tournament and the fabulous games that we’ll be watching over the next few weeks. 

Trav’s birthday was a great day for all of us.  We are now looking forward to Friday when he’s staying home with us to watch basketball all day!!

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March 16 is a big day for birthdays.  This is Travis’ last birthday in his twenties…big stuff!  March 16 is also Harrison’s birthday!  Harrison is Abbey’s son, and Travis and I are his godparents.  He’s a very special little boy, and he’s turning 2!  Owen is pretty pumped about these birthdays and has been singing to both Travis and Harrison all day.  Pay special attention to how he changes octaves at the beginning of Travis’ birthday song…the kid’s been watching a little too much American Idol.

Happy Birthday, Travis and Harrison!  We love you!

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