Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lazy days of summer...but not for long

Ah, summer. It's been a wonderful 11 weeks of maternity leave and time with my beautiful kiddos. Last week, knowing I only had 2 weeks left of being home full-time, I started to feel sad. Now, with only 1 week left I'm feeling the full-blown weight of sadness for leaving my new baby and stress of not only the realities of my job but the prospect of once again working full-time while balancing motherhood and everything else. Stress manifests itself in funny ways. My whole leave I've had long, strong fingernails (a rarity for most of my life). As of last night they've all been bitten down - short. Which is probably where they'll stay since I nibble away when faced with stress. Boy, this blog is depressing me. I'm going to try to stay positive and find the joy in being home this coming week - my one last week of being a full-time mommy to Hadley and Miles. Please send your positive thoughts and energy my way!

A few weeks ago our day at the splash pad was canceled due to rain but on Friday we took full advantage of the heat and sunshine. Miles and I met Corey and Rachel at Oak Hill Park in St. Louis Park for a morning filled with climbing on the playground, getting wet at the toddler splash pad and having a picnic lunch. The splash pad is the coolest place on a hot day. Fountains and sprinklers shoot out from everywhere while buckets of water and hoses can squirt you unexpectedly. While Corey is a dive-right-in sort of kid at places like this Miles took the laid back approach to splashing. He felt most comfortable putting his hands in the fountain and standing on the drain where the rivers of water rushed.
After about a half hour he decided it was more fun relaxing in the shade with a drink (just like his dad).
Grandma and Grandpa Gray arrived this week from their trip to Alaska. Along with them came a belated birthday present for Miles, a Curious George pal, better known in our house as "Monkey-Ah-Ah-Ah." Today Curious George went most places Miles did - getting upside down piggy back rides from Miles, being beaten over the head with a golf club, wrestled with and carried around by the ear. Miles and Hadley are thrilled to now bask in the love and attention from two sets of grandparents. Besides Curious George, the Grays also brought us 50+ lbs of freshly caught Alaska fish - red salmon and halibut. Yum!
As a two-year old Miles is extremely active and energetic and exercises his independence at every opportunity. He's so smart he knows exactly what buttons to push to get Mike and I going. My particular "button" lately is pushed when he purposefully dumps his plate on the floor (full of food) and tips his milk over. Good thing he's cute. One day this week I asked him what he wanted to do today and he replied "dance!" Love it!
I've probably only been away from Hadley 10 hours during her whole life so the prospect of leaving her for work is breaking my heart. As my second baby I know how fast these precious baby months fly by (it's hard for me to believe that Miles was once a baby) and so I like to hold her 24/7. I can count on one hand the number of times she's napped during the day in her crib. We're both just happier snuggling together. This talented girl not only discovered her arm last week but this week she discovered her foot. It takes a lot of strength to hold your foot up for long periods to gaze at it.
Her smiles come quickly and easily these days. She's got the biggest eyes and her eyebrows are so expressive.
Speaking of strength, tummy time is going well and we again enjoyed our mother- daughter time at BYOB yoga today.
My sweet girl is sleeping straight through the night about half of the time now. She's such a good baby... it's hard for my to write more about her because I'll miss spending every hour with her soon!
Because both of our kids love their pacis (Miles now only gets his at night-night time and I actually see him relying on it less and less during these times) I had to get one photo of both of them together, in their pjs, with them in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


It's too nice a summer night to spend doing a lengthy blog. We are thoroughly enjoying our kids and the now nice weather. Enjoy the pictures!

Hadley loves the monkey mat and is smiling at her monkey and zebra friends here.
"I'm a happy girl!"
"Whoa, what's that? That thing is cool!" Hadley discovered her left arm this week and found many hours of entertainment staring at it.
Sibling love - so sweet.
Who's this cutey?
Hanging with Coco Bean (Corey) and Uncle Matt at the cabin. Where one toddler is - the other is not far behind.
Hanging out during tummy time. Miles is relaxing as our strong girl lifts her head so high.
The automatic bubble blower is a big hit with the toddler crowd.
Bath time!
Picnicking with grandma and grandpa.
Here's a new cousins picture. I was so proud of Miles - as the oldest cousin he got to hold the littlest cousin, Bradyn. He took his responsibility very seriously.
He's a very sweet and caring boy to the little ones.
My two-year old looks so big!
Ahhh, summertime...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

2 at 2

This week marked the official date of Miles' 2nd birthday. For a little boy who loves everything having to do with trucks what better way to spend the morning than gazing out the window at the dump truck, skid steer and paver outside our window as they paved our driveway.
The evening of his birthday we had a celebratory dinner of banana pancakes with 2 candles in them. Miles also got to wear a birthday crown at school.

This week both kids had their regularly scheduled well-baby visits at the pediatrician's office. This was the first doctor's appointment in which Miles got to stand on the big boy scale and stay fully clothed. This right of passage was exciting for Miles and he only cried a few times during the visit (compared to the entire time as had been the norm) - when the doctor looked in his mouth, getting a shot, and when he couldn't have anymore stickers (he already got 3). His stats:

  • Height: 33 1/2 inches (30%)

  • Weight: 27 lbs (40%)

  • Head: 20 inches (90-95%)

He remains a little guy with a big brain! New things with Miles lately include imitating everything we say and do, talking in bigger sentences such as "milk spill on the floor," wanting to do everything on his own time which sometimes means getting him dressed in the morning takes a long time and his new obsession is this little step stool I bought at a garage sale. He wants to wash his hands non-stop now and a toddler tantrum happens when we finally pull him away to move on with the day. Hadley turned 2 months old this past week! One of my favorite things (and Hadley's too) is snuggling in bed together. She will grunt and thrash sometimes in her own bed but as soon as I snuggle with her she falls right asleep. She also had her 2-month check-up and only cried when she got her 3 shots in the legs. Mike and I felt terrible because she was smiling at us up until the point they stuck the needles in her legs. Her stats:

  • Height: 22 3/4 inches (70%)

  • Weight: 12 lbs 6.5 ounces (90%)

  • Head: 15.39 inches (60%)

Hadley is growing so much and can now lift her chest off the ground during tummy time. Her favorite distraction during this not so favorite exercise is watching Miles. If Miles is in her line of vision she is a content little sister. She is also talking to us more and more. I just had a conversation with her and I could tell she was working so hard to respond to me with her "ah-goos," squeaks and coos. She also is starting to grab onto things, like the blanket that covers her. I don't know if I've already mentioned in a previous post that she's pretty much sleeping through the night. Most nights her last feeding with be around 10 pm and she can sleep until 4-6 am. Good girl! This weekend was busy. Friday I spent the day with the kids at Rachel's house. We had planned on doing outdoor activities with the kids all day but the rain drove us inside. Miles loves all the new toys at Corey's house though. Saturday Mike and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary by renting bikes in Minneapolis for a 20 mile cruise through downtown, along the Mississippi River and around the lakes. We also had a fabulous dinner at Vincent downtown. Today we attempted to do yard work but the extreme heat hindered our efforts. We also had a great dinner at my aunt Nancy's house. Hadley really loved snuggling up to her second cousin Emily. Big feet, little feet... these kids are growing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Party, Party!

"Party, party!" That's what Miles chanted this week. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays because it epitomizes summer - sun, heat, and outdoor activities. Our family reserved our spot in the shade early the morning of the 4th so that we'd have prime seats for the annual Chanhassen parade. I don't know if this year the parade was particularly good or if I'm just newly seeing it through the eyes of a toddler. This parade was perfect for Miles. It had everything he loves - firetrucks, police cars, dogs, and music. He squealed in excitement, proudly stood and waved his flag, and stared in awe during the whole thing.
Hadley snoozed on my lap during the festivities and got a few ooohs and ahhs from people passing us on the floats. We all had a great time.
Here is my future little ballerina.
On Friday we headed to Big Swan Lake to spend the weekend with my family at my parents' new cabin. The trip started with the guys doing some projects around the place while the rest of us unpacked. Our two littlest family members, Hadley and Bradyn relaxed in the "baby parking lot."
The boys just finished putting bunk beds together.
One of Miles' favorite activities this weekend was getting rides on the tractor. Grandpa's back will probably be tired after pushing the boys around for multiple rides.
We all also spent time playing on the beach...
And playing with some alternative toys - like a dog leash.
On Saturday afternoon the party really started as we celebrated Miles' 2nd birthday. We marked the occasion with leis, balloons, one of Miles favorite dinners at the moment (grilled turkey brats, corn on the cob, blackberries, raspberries and watermelon). We also made a zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting decorated with a pick-up truck. Here's the birthday boy with everyone.
One of the party decorations was an inflatable monkey I bought for $1. This monkey got to be in our family picture and even got to sleep in bed with Miles.
The birthday boy got many cool presents like a t-ball set, golf clubs and sports balls.
Our future athlete chowed on his special dinner...
And thoroughly enjoyed the cake - licking up every last crumb.
We had a great weekend at the new cabin and can't wait to go back.
Partying sure is exhausting!
Tomorrow is Miles' official 2 year birthday so the celebration will continue. Here's a funny story from the weekend. At the cabin Miles slept on a little bed of cushions my mom made up for him in the corner of the bedroom we stayed in. Saturday night I sat up in bed to check on Hadley in the pack-n-play and then looked over to where Miles bed was. He wasn't there! I woke up Mike and we discovered him curled up on top of one of our suitcases - sleeping the night away. Happy early birthday my little son!