Sunday, April 29, 2012

The zoo

Usually I try to jot down notes of funny things the kids do and say or events I want to remember to record them on the blog because by Sunday night my memory isn't at its' peak.  I don't have any notes for this week.  The good news is everyone is healthy and happy.  We saw the ENT with Hads on Monday and her tubes are scheduled to be put in May 11.  Friday we had an all day play date with Rachel and Corey at the zoo.  Hadley loves being around the big boys and was fascinated with the fish in the aquariums.  The boys were running around the zoo having a great time looking like little salt and pepper twins in their matching striped shirts.  Today we saw the Sievers family again when they came over for dinner.  Miles, Corey and Hadley loved running up and down the hall chasing each other and everyone used very good manners at the table (something we're trying to actively work on).  We feasted on Alaskan salmon and steak and my kids couldn't get enough red meat.  Hadley liked the salmon too.

Every morning these two sit at their picnic table and eat Cheerios together. 

Hadley especially loved the newborn calf at the zoo and pointed excitedly with her little finger.


Miles was in his element on the John Deere tractor.

Watching the fish swim by.
My little chicken.

And my sweet little egg.

One morning I found Hadley in the midst of a pile of Cheerios and a card game.

Miles was helping me make mini cheesecakes.  Someone loves cream cheese as much as I do.

Playing her new drum.  My mom, sister and I found lots of treasures at garage sales this weekend.

Just taking a little rest.

The drum for $1 was money well spent.

Hads loves her family (and Graham's goatee).

Group hug!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Teeth and more

Hadley loves all riding toys, including riding around in a box.

Our little lady walks everywhere now - here she is cruising down the hall hanging onto the wall.

One of his favorite weekend morning activities - skyping.

$2 at a garage sale got us an electric guitar and maracas which = lots of noise and fun.

This girl is climbing on everything now.

We actually had to contain her in the backpack while we were cleaning so she wouldn't climb.

Then much heavier Miles needed a ride too.

The backpack is effective in containing wily 2 years old.

Hadley is at one of the most wonderful baby ages - she's funny, interactive, so smart, loves to cuddle and is super social.  As I mentioned above she climbs on everything now.  I catch her often trying to lift her little leg to boost herself up onto stuff.  She is also a cozy coupe and riding toy maniac.  She's a little unstable and small still which makes riding precarious but she's all guts and glory.  Besides all of her physical accomplishments she is communicating with us so much more.  I feel like she understands most of what we say - we'll often ask her questions and she'll nod her head yes or no appropriately.  When she's hungry now she'll also use sign language for "more," "food," and "all done."

So here's a sample conversation:
me:  Do you want some food?
hads:  (signs) "more food"
me:  Do you want cheerios?
hads:  (head nod yes)

If all that wasn't enough for one week her two bottom teeth finally have poked through.  We're so proud she's got her first two little teeth now.

Our resilient and strong girl is so amazing despite having to go into the doctor again Wednesday for what I suspected was another round of ear infections.  My suspicions were correct.  This series of ear infections started for her in November and it has been since the end of January that she's been infection free.  As her ear infections progressed so did the kinds of antibiotics she was prescribed.  On Wednesday her pediatrician said that her ears looked so bad that the only antibiotic option left was a 3-day dose of injections.  Poor baby got shots in each of her legs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  We're seeing the ENT tomorrow and may be on the road to tubes again.

Miles is a great conversationalist and often asks the hard questions - why does it rain?  why do giraffe's have horns?  why does Ruby pee in the woods?  He has been spending lots of time with his Nickolay grandparents since they returned from Texas and he skypes with his Gray grandparents weekly.  So when we mention something to him about one of the grandparents he always asks "what kind?" (meaning G & G Nickolay or G & G Gray) 

At school this week they learned all about the earth and recycling and one day he came home and this was our conversation:
M:  We saw garbage on the ground.
me:  What are you supposed to do with garbage?
M:  Throw it in the trash.
me:  How does the earth feel when there is garbage on the ground?
M:  It makes the earth cry.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I didn't believe it...

I didn't really believe the hype around the terrible twos/threes. My kids are easy going and sweet. After this weekend though I'm starting to see what these other parents are talking about. Of course I love Miles and he's the sweetest, funniest kid I know but this weekend I think he pushed our every last button. Mike and I are usually pretty laid back parents but the constant whining, not listening (and most of the time doing the exact opposite of what we want him to do), tantrums over not wanting to dress himself and regression in the potty training progress we've made almost put us over the edge this weekend. Mike and I need to regroup and come up with a new strategy (in part consisting of us probably reading several parenting books) for keeping our family calm, happy and healthy.

With that being said, when he sits on my lap and looks at me with his big, blue eyes asking me to read the "To the Rescue" book for the 100th time - my heart just expands for love for this kid.

Anyway, if Miles was a 2 1/2 year old beast this weekend (don't worry - the majority of the blame falls on me and Mike - we probably handled things like 30-something year old beasts) Hadley was our 11 month old beauty. She is a very loud talker these days - she can really get on a roll sometimes mostly saying "Ahhhhh," "ba ba," "mama" and screeching in joy. She does this funny thing where she puts her arm in and out of her mouth while making sounds. She also has waving bye-bye, holding her hands up because she's so big, and playing peek-a-boo down like a pro. I also love this stage because she eats anything we put on her tray - even out eating Miles sometimes. She's getting braver with walking and now loves to toddle behind her walker toy and is finally getting little teeth on the bottom. When I start to think that this is her last month as a baby - it makes me sad because we have so enjoyed her babyhood so far.

Pretty awesome yoga tree-pose!Corey & Miles a blur of action as they wrestled.
Hadley observed the wrestling as she slowly ate all of her lunch.
It was finally nice enough to get the new sand and water table out. A lot of sand ended up on the water side and on their clothes but they had fun.
Yes, this is what happens when I eat dinner when I'm tired -I rub my eyes and food gets everywhere necessitating a bath.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Easter

It's been fun to celebrate Had's first Easter this year. I've been home with the kids since Thursday and we colored eggs...

Hung out while mom and dad cleaned...

Ate our delicious eggs...

And had an Easter egg hunt...

This little bunny loved all of the festivities. Most of the pictures I took of her with this egg are a blur because she was excitedly shaking all of the eggs so much.

I think my years of getting Miles in the bunny ears are limited - so I took advantage of his cooperation while I could.

We had a jam packed Easter day - it started off early with a visit from the Easter Bunny who brought the kids toy cars, books and a sand and water table.
Oh yeah Hads - we are going to fill this thing with sand and water and you'll be able to have crazy fun with it on the deck!

Oh brother!

After playing with our Easter goodies we had breakfast at my mom and dad's and then headed to church. Miles and Hadley were such good kids in church and looked very cute in their "fancy" outfits (fancy, like Fancy Nancy). After church we had lunch at Uncle Tony and Aunt Lisa's house with the Nickolay-side of the family. Hadley, as the youngest, sat at the head of the table and presided over a lovely lunch like a little princess. She ate so much ham, potatoes and vegetables. We then went for dinner to Aunt Jodie and Uncle Lumpy's house to spend the rest of the day with the Giesen side. Miles loved being on the farm - seeing the cows, chickens and cats. When we were driving home he kept asking if Uncle Lumpy was driving a tractor now. When we got in the door after a long day of celebrating Miles summed everything up well "can we have the party again?" Happy Easter everyone! Ok, one last super cute photo - Miles had a Risky Business moment this morning!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Ten months is such a fun age. Hadley's interests and little personality are emerging more and more everyday. She's sassy, funny and tough! When something funny happens she'll look at me with a glimmer in her eye and then we'll both start laughing. She also tolerates Miles taking away her toys less and less - now she let's him know she doesn't like it by yelling, crying and holding on to her toys tightly. If there is music playing - even if she just hears a beat she's dancing and now she loves to sing into a little microphone.

Her vocabulary is mainly mama, dada, baba and other baby babbling but she is doing so well with her sign language - she signs milk, more, bye-bye and all done. Much to my delight, she's a total mama's girl - and prefers to cling to me like a little monkey whenever I'm around. Today she even cried when Mike took her.

Here I caught her up from a nap, standing in her crib, looking out the window.

This morning we enjoyed doing puzzles as a family.

Miles has such a fun imagination. Here he is with a motorcycle helmet on.

Big brother, little sister.

Miles can also be very dramatic. Hadley may have music and dancing in her future and Miles may have acting. He loves making faces to show different feelings.





Silly! Pretty good, huh? I love it!

We had a pretty low key weekend. Friday Hadley had an ear re-check and still has a double ear infection. Her ears have not been clear since mid-February and she's now on her 5th antibiotic. Poor girl! She also is officially teething - Mike can feel a little nub on her bottom gums. In the afternoon we met my aunt, Nancy, at the Arboretum and did a grueling 3 mile walk in 35 minutes - uphill, pushing a 70+ lb double stroller! Friday night we ate dinner at Old Chicago and Hadley was like a pageant queen - waving, smiling and flirting with everyone. The rest of the weekend we hung out, ran errands and played at the park.

Hugging bear.
When I was cooking dinner tonight Hadley had crawled away and I found her playing quietly by herself in Miles' room. I brought her back to the kitchen and after a few minutes she was gone again. I found her reading books in the sunshine.

Tonight Miles wanted to eat dinner at his picnic table. This two-year old keeps us on our toes!