Sunday, January 29, 2012

It doesn't always smell like roses...

Overall, potty training is going very well. Miles has peeing in the potty perfected with only 1 accident at daycare when he was playing outside. Going #2 is another story though. He has a fear of going on the potty which results in his holding it for hours until he can't hold it any longer. This makes for a sad and writhing little boy, frustrated (and sometimes impatient) parents, and lots of poop to clean out of little underwear. It's a work in progress though. Here's Miles with one of his potty charts - enjoying his reward of an ice cream cone. Tuesday night Miles was just not himself and we attributed it to the exhaustion of potty training but Wednesday morning daycare called us to say he had a fever and needed to be picked up. Mike and I negotiated and switched our schedules so that I was home on Wednesday and half of Thursday and Mike took the other half of Thursday to stay home with him. Poor guy - his fever was 101-102, he was very lethargic and had no appetite. We did a lot of snuggling and watching "monkey" (Curious George) on TV. Thursday night his fever broke and Friday he was getting back to his normal self. Saturday morning I knew he was completely healed when I came upstairs to find him playing in his Halloween costume.
2 funny things that Miles said this week - he fell down and said "I broke my crown!" We were talking about swimming lessons one morning and I asked Miles if he wanted to swim in a pool with daddy. He said yes and then disappeared into his room. A few minutes later he came out with his sunglasses on and said "let's go to the beach!" I agree - I'm ready to go to the beach too!

I seriously can't get enough of cute, Hadley bath pictures. Here she is with a baby faux-hawk.
This toothless smile is worth a million bucks.
Hadley now has 20 foods in her meal repertoire and eats 3 meals a day. Breakfast is her best meal and she likes her foods (including yogurt) room temperature or warmer. Luckily Hadley hasn't gotten really sick like Miles was...yet... but she does have a cough this week. She coughs so hard at night (lasting a few minutes) that it wakes her up and really upsets her. In our sleepy fog it is often easier to just bring her into bed with us then to comfort her back to sleep. While Hadley sleeps like a little angel (she loves snuggling) Mike and I get kicked in the sides and are practically falling off of the bed when she's with us. For such a tiny thing she sure takes up a lot of room!
Me and my girl.
This weekend Mike and Graham went to the Beer Dabbler in St. Paul on Saturday so Rach and I and the kids hung out. We had a great time and I laughed so hard because 2 toddlers and a baby can be pretty funny. Here are the 3 musketeers.
In matching pajamas - where does one cousin end and the other begin?
It's Rachel's and my turn to go out today so the dads are with the kids and we're going to lunch and a movie. Yeah!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Baths & Potty

One of the highlights of my week was bath time on Thursday. Hadley officially outgrew her baby tub and we tried putting her in the tub with Miles. She absolutely loved it. She is our water baby! She splashed, laughed, sucked on toys and had this perpetual smile on her face. It was so fun watching the kids play together. Miles prefers not to get his face wet and Hadley dunked her whole face in the tub.
Bathing them both at once is not only super fun but also a great time saver for mom and dad!

Our second big news for the week was potty training! We went all in and followed a 3-day potty training method. It started Friday morning with Miles putting on his big boy underwear and throwing away all of his diapers. Pretty cool!
Is this for real?

Miles did so well. The method we followed emphasized having the child proactively tell you when they need to go potty and to be very generous with praise and over the top enthusiastic. I initially didn't want him to wear underwear at night but Mike convinced me that Miles is done with diapers for good - and he was right. Miles woke up from every nap and every morning this weekend clean and dry. He of course had a few accidents along the way but today, day 3, he was completely accident-free and so proud. We are so proud of him too. This is truly a big step and a big accomplishment. A small part of me feels a little sad that I won't be changing his diapers anymore - not because I'll miss the diapers but because he's truly not a baby anymore.

As the weekend progressed the big boy underwear fashion statements got more interesting...
In other news, although he's a big boy now, Miles still likes to be rocked to sleep. Mike or I usually sing "You Are My Sunshine" and rock him a bit before he goes to bed. On Saturday we had Darcy babysit while Mike and I went to a movie. She did his normal bedtime routine and put him into bed and he promptly told her "rock me." (I guess we didn't fill her in on this.) We don't have a rocking chair in Miles' room anymore so she asked him "how do you want me to rock you?" And he replied "hold me in your arms and rock me." So sweet! I'm glad that he still likes to be cuddled and rocked.

Hadley is now eating 3 meals a day and LOVES mango. Here she is feeding herself.

She remains such a joy. These pictures much more adequately depict her joy which is a direct reflection of our happiness with her. How could this little rosy face not make you smile?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

8 months!

Hadley turned 8 months old this week. My how our life has changed (for the better) since her arrival. The kids are growing up so fast. Although I strongly dislike winter (most of the time) I do kind of like the pace which is much slower then the crazy, wonderful MN summers. The four of us are homebodies and there are not a lot of things better then hunkering down together for the weekend, staying in our jammies and entertaining ourselves.

Miles and Hadley are a constant source of entertainment. Miles amazes us everyday with the things he says. He puts full sentences together in proper English - like "Daddy, Ruby is outside. She is pooping in the woods. Ewww, poopy is stinky." This is impressive! He also has such an awesome imagination. When playing with Play-doh he'll make a bunch of people and then have them talk to each other. He also likes to pretend he's a puppy, named Milo. He likes to crawl, lick his paws, bark and eat from his plate without his hands. Like I said, he's a constant source of entertainment. He's also more of a daddy's boy lately. Mike was busy doing things around the house one morning and Miles was following his every move. Mike said "I've got a shadow" as he passed me in the hall. Miles then piped up and said "yeah, I've got a shadow." Here he is helping daddy hang some new pictures on the walls.

Oh my, our Rose is growing! She sits up so well and straight now - no more weeble wobbling for her.
She also is a very fast army crawler. On Friday, she and Miles were playing in our bedroom while I got ready in the bathroom. Miles came into the bathroom to hang out and before we knew it Hadley was peaking around the corner, crawling quickly to catch up with her brother. She's a girl on the go!
She learns new things everyday. Today she had water from a sippy cup for the first time. She loves feeding herself puffs and mum-mums. We love her so much because she's such a smiler, cuddler and she has the best belly laugh - it's deep - not what you'd think should come out of this sweet little thing.
"Hello. Do you like my hat?""I do like your hat!"

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Are other parents like me and think on a daily basis what great kids they have? Pretty much everyday I literally say that I have the best kids in the world and I'm so lucky to have them. Hadley, our little dear, is obsessed with Baby Mum Mums and puffs (finger foods for babies). This week she tried peaches and tofu for the first time. She's still not a ferocious eater but she tries. She's also an olympian army crawler. I was getting ready in the bathroom and she and Miles were playing in our master bedroom and she literally crawled 20 feet and around a corner to peek on me.
Living with a two-year old is like living with a constant entertainer. This week he was really into dancing, play-doh, and cutting with his scissors.
He surprised me this week by proclaiming "holy smokes!" A phrase we don't say so we're not quite sure where he picked up this exclamation.
The highlight of my week though was to see how the relationship between Miles and Hadley is growing. They are like best friends forever lately. Miles is very sweet to Hads and loves to hug and kiss her. She shines in this attention.
Being a great big brother he loves to give her horsey rides. He's also very protective. Hadley was about to touch something that she wasn't supposed to and Miles proclaimed "that's to shark (meaning sharp) for Hadley!"
And they love to laugh together. Today as we were riding in the car I glanced back and caught them smiling, waving and doing sign language together.
This picture of a stand-up hug makes us realize how big Miles is and how little Hads is - but they love each other so much - I hope this lasts forever.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Merry, Happy, Joy

We had a very Merry Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve with my parents, siblings and their families. The party started early in the morning with a new tradition - building gingerbread houses. Miles dove right into the activity - eating all of the candy as quickly as he could stuff it in his mouth rather than decorating his house. After some help from me (and a few gentle threats to drop the gumdrops) he and his cousin Corey decorated their first houses and they turned out beautifully. After lunch and naps we spent a couple of hours opening presents. Miles wanted to open every gift and play with each one right away and Hadley enjoyed crinkling the paper more than the gifts. After playing with the new toys, we enjoyed our traditional meal of our favorite hors 'doeuvres.

Our two Christmas angels

Spending Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa Nickolay
Eating, I mean decorating gingerbread houses.

Lookin' good!

Exuberantly singing Christmas carols

Hadley and Baby Bradyn's first Christmas

Our family

Mommy and daddy made me wear this silly headband because it's my first Christmas and because I'm so darn cute in it!

Opening presents

Miles and Corey are ready to help their moms in the kitchen with their new aprons!

The next morning Santa visited our house and Miles and Hadley opened a huge teddy bear and remote control firetruck. That morning we went to church before boarding a plane to AZ for warmer weather and a visit to Mike's parents.

Christmas morning

Miles left a granola bar out for Santa. Santa ate half and Miles polished the rest of it before opening his presents.

Hadley did so well on her first flight - we have awesome little flyers. We arrived in Phoenix Christmas night and spent the week with Mike's parents and his sister Annette, her husband Roger and their son Nick. This was the first time they met Hadley and her cuteness and sweet nature won them over immediately. We spent the week relaxing, enjoying lots of good food, Mike golfed, I went shopping, we hiked, saw friends and had a great time. Miles was Grandpa Gray's little buddy and visited the playground and Home Depot with him. Hadley spent most of her time being cuddled and passed around.

It's so wonderful to run in the sunshine! If we were indoors Miles was always asking to go outside.

Cooking breakfast with Grandpa Laughing with Grandma

Sitting on the patio with Auntie Annette

Hadley's first sink bath. Can she be any cuter?!?

Mariann made us matching ear warmers. I have a big one, Had's has a mini one.

All dressed up

Playing outside morning, noon and night!

Gray grandparents


We are so lucky to have such wonderful parents. This time of year we get to spend time with both sides of the family and Miles and Hadley thrive in all of the love and attention showered on them by their grandparents. Come January 1 though we leave the AZ grandparents behind and the MN grandparents head to warmer weather for the winter. Miles summed it up best tonight. He grabbed his new little backpack on wheels and said "bye mommy!" I asked where he was going. "On a field trip with grandma and grandpa." I know Miles and Hadley wish they could see their beloved grandparents everyday but we're happy for the time we do get to spend with all of them.


We were very blessed in 2011. The birth of Hadley was our greatest joy of the year. In thinking back on 2011 we're so thankful that we've had stable employment, a healthy family and have so many great experiences as a family of four. We're looking forward to 2012. Happy new year.