Monday, October 31, 2011


I’ve never been a big Halloween fan.  I am a big scaredy-cat, so that may have something to do with it.  But I love an excuse to make my cute little ones even cuter, and nothing does that like a costume.  And candy?  Yes please!  Holidays are so much fun with little children!

We started off our Halloween with Mimi’s homemade pumpkin bread for breakfast.  Then, while Meredith took her morning nap, Russell and I decorated a pumpkin.  I asked him whether he wanted to use paint or dot markers – dot markers it was!



We went about our day with nothing else Halloweeny until dinner: mummy hot dogs!


We dressed up our little Calvin and Hobbes and headed out the door for our very first Trick-or-Treating experience!


Before we left, I explained to Russell what we were going to do.  He was very excited.  And not just about the candy – he was excited about knocking on people’s doors, saying “trick-or-treat,” and the candy part.  I think he was happy to do something out of the ordinary.

Our first stop was Grandmother’s house – where Calvin played with trucks and Hobbes needed baby food.


We quickly rushed to our friends David and Lisa’s house. The plan was to get some candy there and then come back and trick-or-treat in our neighborhood (we live 5-10 minutes from them).  But once we saw the great fire they had going in their fire pit, we decided to just trick-or-treat around their neighborhood and come back and hang out by the fire.  (I know Lisa has a few pictures of that so maybe she will send me some that I can post!)  (edit: here's a pic from Lisa!)
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Russell loved “chasing the fire” (really running through the smoke) and blowing on the fire.  I’m not sure if he was blowing on it to stoke it or to try to cool it off.

We all had a great time!  We stayed until Russell’s bedtime – past Meredith’s bedtime – but they were both being good! 

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pops and Mimi visit

We had a wonderful, low-key weekend at home with my parents in town.  (It would have been more wonderful had Russell not been sick again, and had we been able to go to the 2 parties we were supposed to go to this weekend…but that’s life I guess.)

On Saturday, Mimi and Meredith read books – well, Mimi read books while Meredith tried to eat them.  I don’t remember Russell trying to eat books, so this is a little new to me.  I always have to have a toy or paci on hand when reading to Meredith so she doesn’t grab and eat the book.


My lovely parents (and sweet Bogie).


My aunt came into town and visited with us for a little while on Saturday afternoon.  Russell just loves Aunt Nancy.  The feeling must be mutual because she will play cars with him for a good long time!


We went out to dinner at CiCi’s Pizza on Saturday – close to our house, cheap, Russell loves pizza – can’t go wrong, right?  It started well: Meredith’s first time sitting in a high chair instead of her car seat and she was so happy and good, and we were excited to go out with my parents.  But we noticed Russell wasn’t eating (very unlike him) and was being pretty whiny but wouldn’t tell us what was wrong.  So I felt his forehead and he felt warm.  Then, he threw up all over his plate in the restaurant.  Not one of my favorite moments.  We went home immediately and did baths and bed.  I actually think he just got worked up – I don’t think it was a stomach bug.  He had a low-grade fever this morning (99) but that was it.  Who knows.

Anyway, because of that, my parents kept Russell at home this morning while the rest of us went to church:


He was better this afternoon (and even before nap time today) so we are ready for our first trick-or-treating experience tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bad and Good

Two completely different things from the past 2 days:


1) Poor little Meredith has thrush and an upper respiratory infection.  Thank the Lord I don’t have thrush (yet at least) – well, I don’t think I do – I’ve been told I’ll know if I have it.  The doctor said hers is very mild.  As for the infection: she did have a cold last week, but since yesterday afternoon, her main symptoms have been not sleeping well, not eating well, and pulling at her ears, so obviously I thought she had an ear infection or was teething.  It wasn’t until tonight that she had a fever.  She’s now on Ny-something (for thrush) 4x/day and if the infection doesn’t clear up we’ll start Amoxicillin on Friday.  Poor baby girl!

On to better news:


2) Some family friends have started doing a devotional with their little girl once a week.  Just by her telling me, it made me want to do it – so thanks for the great inspiration, Kathy!  Our first family devotional was last night.  We had a lesson on Jesus calling His first disciples (Matthew 4:17-19).  We read the Bible verses, had Russell repeat verse 19, explained it (the best we could) in 2-year-old terms, and made a “fisher of men” door hanger craft.  We all really enjoyed it!


So there you have it: one thing I hope continues for 17+ years (family devotionals) and one thing I hope ends very very soon (illnesses)!  I’m nervous about this winter, sickness-wise.  We had plenty last year with just 1 kid – what will it be like with two?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meredith’s 6 month Photos

Well, I was going to try to get a few more 6 month photos of Meredith, which is why I hadn’t posted these yet.  But since everyone in this house has been sick except me, it just doesn’t seem like it will happen – and I’m very happy with the ones I have!  So here they are!



She was holding Kitty in this one Smile



And one non-tutu/fall-ish shot:


Love this sweet baby!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things to Remember

{We have had a low-key week – Russell ended up getting croup on Wednesday (although we didn’t know that’s what it was until Saturday, it was misdiagnosed at first) – so we’ve been keeping to ourselves.  He’s over it now though, so we’ll be out and about again starting tomorrow!}

All of these are cell phone pics – this one is Russell playing in our trailer:


I just want a little snapshot of Russell at this point in his life.  He’s growing and changing so fast!  Here’s the newest news about him:

Favorite song: Wheels on the Bus.  Every time we’re in the car, he wants it on repeat.

Favorite thing on TV: CARS.  While he was sick this week, he watched the entire thing every day.  When he’s not sick, I limit it to 30 minutes of the movie per day.

Favorite foods: yogurt-covered raisins, Graham Bites (graham cracker-ish things that are in the shape of the CARS characters), grapes, strawberries, cheese.

Favorite drink: “apple juice.” (half the time, it’s some other type of juice, but he thinks it’s all apple juice.)


Funny things:

1) The bathroom is right next to Meredith’s room, so when Meredith is sleeping and Russell has used the potty, I sort of whisper “yay!  you pee-peed in the potty!  I’m so proud of you!”  So now when telling someone else he went, he’ll often whisper, “pee-peed potty today!  So so so proud of you!” (yes, he calls himself “you".  And he always adds “today”.)

2) Cooking dinner is a huge accomplishment for me because both kids get crazy around 5 pm and they both just want to be held.  Generally, what ends up happening is that I’ll complete a small part of cooking, then have to hold Meredith in one arm while gathering ingredients/stirring/etc with the other.  Russell has been taking it upon himself to then grab both of my legs and walk with me, saying “goofball.  Goofball.” (because that’s what I call him when he does this.)  I wish I could take a picture – I know this  is quite a site.


3) Russell can say entire prayers now.  At meal times, he will say, “Dear Lord, thank you for this food.  Amen.”  At bedtime, I’ll say, “Dear Lord, thank you for” and before I finish, he interjects his own thoughts.  Some examples: Daddy, Fuzzy, lunch.

There are many, many more funny things; at least this way I’ll remember these few!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy half-birthday, baby girl!

Meredith is 6 months old!


At 6 months, Meredith is:

  • Wearing 6-9 mo clothes and 9 month clothes
  • Wearing size 2 diapers
  • Taking 3 naps a day, (loosely) at 9:30, 12:30, and 4:00 – first 2 are 45 minutes and the last is an hour and a half.
  • Sleeping from 7:30 pm to 6:45 or 7 am – sometimes she wakes up once to nurse and sometimes she sleeps through the night.
  • Eating peas, squash, apples, pears from a jar, and homemade butternut squash and banana, and rice cereal mixed with breastmilk – loves all of it!


  • Sleeps sucking her thumb (since we took away her paci for sleeping) and with her kitty (lovey) right next to her cheek – it’s so adorable.
  • Favorite song is “I love you a bushel and a peck” – she gives a huge grin just from hearing the first line.
  • Sits independently, but still falls over reaching for toys, so I usually leave the boppy around her.
  • Is definitely teething, which has caused a couple of rough nights. Her top gums are swollen and we can see the top two front teeth under the surface.
  • We expect her to crawl within a couple months (at most) – as I’ve said before, she gets up on her knees and elbows and scoots herself forward, and today she was rocking on her knees and elbows. If she can get up on her hands, she’ll really take off!


  • Weight: 14 lbs 6 oz (25th percentile)
  • Height: 26.25 in (75th percentile) - still tall and skinny
  • Head: 16.5 in (25th percentile)
  • Had 2 of her 6-months vaccines today plus a flu shot - she cried but recovered quickly!

Meredith is our little sunshine – our squealy, cheerful girl – and she lights up our world with her frequent smiles! Happy 6 months, baby!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Farm Fun

We had so much fun last fall at a farm about 20 minutes away from us, and we knew even then that we would do it again this year.  Well, it was very different having a baby with us, but Russell had a blast!  And Meredith was pretty content, even though she was very overdue for a nap.

A friend organized the outing so that a bunch of families from church could go on the same day.  It was fun to see all of our friends!

When we first got there (after a potty break for Russell) we headed straight to the area they staged for photos.  I knew we wouldn’t get them otherwise!  From a mom standpoint (though not from a technical/photographic standpoint), I love them!



We then made our way over to this tractor where Russell found his friend Elaina.  I just love this photo – looks like they’re having a sweet conversation!


Then we headed for the swings and the teetor totter.  I wish I had a photo of Meredith and me on the teetor totter – she just loved it!  She was laughing and smiling like crazy.  And so was Russell.


Teetering with Eliza and her dad!


Russell and Jason rode the cow tractor ride again this year.  I don’t know what happened, but it took them forever to get going.  The driver kept getting off the tractor and checking this and that.  I was thinking when they finally did get going, they might not make it back!


Meredith was ready to get down and play.  I ended up picking her up again because she just wanted to eat the grass.  By the handful.


We finished up with the hayride:


I think we’ll go again next year! Smile

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sibling Love

I just love watching my two children interact with each other.  Throughout the day, Russell comes up to Meredith often to show her a toy or give her her paci or sing her a song.  He tries to carry her car seat when we’re going somewhere. 

And he just comes up to her and lays his head on her belly like this:


She eats up his attention.  She gives him great smiles and laughs.  It’s truly adorable!


(And on the pottying front, we are doing much better than Monday, thank goodness.  But we’ve still got a long way to go.  Just wanted to update so that my last words on the subject weren’t negative Smile  Oh, and there will probably be lots more pics of Russell without pants because of the potty training thing!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Potty: Day 3

Today was nothing short of bad.  Blah. 

Seven accidents.  He just wouldn’t use the potty.  He wouldn’t stop playing.  I would ask and ask, and 2 seconds after I asked and he said no, he would just go.  And he didn’t stop anymore once I picked him up; he didn’t get a drop in the potty – not even once.  So discouraging, because I know he can do this!  He did great yesterday!  I know he has control because once again, he kept his naptime Pull Up dry.  And he would go 3 or even 4 hours without peeing.

We aren’t really sure where to go from here.  On one hand, we could just put him back in diapers and try again later.  But on the other hand, I know he can do this, and I’m afraid he’s just testing his limits to see if he can get away with peeing whenever and wherever he wants.  And if that’s the case, I think it would just be harder later, because he’d be even more set in his ways.

Anyway, I know that if this is our biggest problem, our family is doing pretty well!  And I also know that Russell will be potty-trained eventually.  But I would have to tell the self-proclaimed “Potty Queen” (author of the e-book) that I don’t agree with her – not every child can be potty-trained in 3 days!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Potty Extravaganza Day 2

Day 2 of our potty training.  Jason and I both woke up with a bit of a sense of dread – it was HARD WORK yesterday!  But the morning started out okay.  I think Russell had a total of maybe 5 accidents all morning?  This was a definite improvement!

The afternoon was even better – much better!  Russell woke up from his nap with a dry Pull Up – hooray!  We were completely not expecting that.  Not only that, but he only had one accident from naptime until bedtime!!  Awesome progress!


Things we are still concerned about:

1) Russell does not tell us when he has to go.  He has pretty much just started to hold it until he can’t anymore, and then he has an accident.  I don’t know if you can even call it an accident because he knows exactly what he’s doing.  So, this afternoon we started taking him to the bathroom every so often (which is not what you’re “supposed” to do according to this method, but oh well).  This helped some…but we really want him to tell us when he needs to go.

2) In 2 days, Russell has not gone #2.  Not a good thing.  I know this is common, but we’ve also heard some bad stories about complications from holding it.  I’m going to read up on what we can do to encourage him.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of the intensive potty training.  I really don’t know how intensive we’ll be, since it will be just me (since it’s Monday and Jason has to work).  We may even throw on a Pull Up and head to the Children’s Museum.  Not going to help the end goal of pottying, but it will certainly help with everyone’s morale!

Potty Extravaganza: Day 1

It’s the end of our first day of the 3-day potty training method!  I’m going to document day-by-day – mostly for myself and interested family, because I know this is probably really boring to everyone else!

It’s hard enough for the 4 of us to stay home all day – we all like to be out and about (including Meredith – when she’s not tired). But it’s even harder when trying to keep a vigilant eye on the two-year-old. This method recommends that instead of asking the trainee to go potty or taking them every, say, 15 minutes, you just catch them (every time) in the act and rush them to the potty. Obviously, this means accidents are guaranteed. However, with consistency and lots of praise, supposedly this will help the child learn his body signals quickly.  We’ll see!

Day 1:

Woke up, ate breakfast.  Changed into “BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!” around 9 am and just a t-shirt – no pants so everyone knows when something’s happening!  I felt like a broken record – one that only says “you’re clean and dry!” or “remember to tell Mommy or Daddy if you have to pee-pee or poop!”

Oh, and one more phrase – “yuck, your underwear is all wet!” – that one, while running with a bewildered toddler who had started to pee on the floor.

I tried to take Russell’s picture in his first pair of underwear – well, while I messed with my settings, he started peeing.  So here’s a picture of him in his second pair:


For the first 3-4 times, Russell didn’t get anything in the potty.  When you think about it, it takes a while to get there: he starts peeing, we run him to the potty, we get his underwear down, we get him settled on the potty (this is a little harder with boys than girls).  So by the time he got there, nothing was left.

However, he started to get it later in the morning.  He would start peeing, and when we said “yuck” and picked him up, he would stop, and wouldn’t start again until on the potty!  Yay, progress!  Come afternoon, he still wouldn’t tell us when he had to go, and would start to go in his underwear, but it didn’t even make it to the floor before he stopped and gave us the look that meant “get me to the potty!”


So while we went through a good 25-30 pairs of underwear, we “only” had to clean about 15 accident spots.

I had all kinds of fun activities planned for the day. Some recent favorites: watching Cars (the movie), racing our Lightning McQueen and Mater toys, playing football, reading books. Some new activities: a new set of animal window clings, some foam pumpkins and stick-on rhinestones, Play-Dough and cookie cutters.


I’m spent.  So is Jason.  We’ve definitely seen progress, but we’re really hoping he’ll start telling us when he has to go!