Friday, March 30, 2012

Farm Fun

Russell and I went to visit a farm today (while Meredith and Jason stayed home).  I’d say most of our friends went – wow, was there a big crowd there!  It was a combination of our church’s MOPs group, our Sunday school class, both of my play groups, and I’m sure some others too.  I’m terrible at estimating, but I heard someone say that 40+ kids were there.

We saw the goats first.  They were in a pen with turkeys, pigs, and peacocks.


Then Russell got to brush and pet some of the horses – right before he was shocked by an electric fence (not the fence in this picture).  I’m not even kidding.  Maybe he should have listened to me when I repeatedly told him not to touch the fence and that it would hurt!  Hopefully it won’t cause lasting damage?  I think Jason has touched one before…so if you know him, what does that say? Winking smile

Anyway, here’s Russell with a horsey:


His favorite part of the experience: getting to hold a baby chick.  He held 3 different ones, and he was very gentle.

Looking at the chicks – they were all saying “I want that one!”



Petting a bunny:


I may add more photos from friends’ cameras later!  Despite the “incident” we had a fun morning at the farm!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rainy Family Weekend

My parents (and brother and girlfriend and her mom) came over this weekend – so nice to see them all, and the kids loved it!  I captured most of it on my new iphone, just because it’s new and I wanted to play with instagram Smile

On Saturday morning, we took my parents with us to the children’s museum.  It had probably been a few weeks since we were there last.  4 adults and 2 kids – the odds were in my favor, for once!



Uncle Jon, Kelly, Kelly’s mom, and Grandmother joined us in the afternoon.  We sat and talked for a while while the kids played.  I used my nice camera for these pics – I think these are my favorites ever of Jon and my kids.  I love how hands-on he is with them!  He has always loved kids.


This picture makes me laugh.  I told Russell to put his cheek next to Uncle Jon’s cheek.  He was trying to follow directions!


We often go to Grandmother’s house for appetizers and wine before we head out to dinner.  The kids hadn’t been there in a couple weeks.  They love playing her piano – I’m hoping one day I can teach them how to really play.


Meredith loves Bogie (the dog).  Actually, so does Russell.  Whenever I mention Pops and Mimi, he adds, “and Bogie.”


They came to see us for a little bit this morning before we went to church.  Russell loves to get a pillow and blanket and cover up!


After Pops and Mimi left, and after church and naps, we decided to go on a puddle-jumping walk!  Russell had so much fun!


He always loves a chance to wear his dinosaur boots.


Meredith thought all the splashing was hilarious – she would not stop giggling!


Why do these weekends always go so fast?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Reads and New Kicks

While we were having a play date with Eliza and her baby brother Jacob, the big kids went into another room and got awfully quiet.  When I went to check on them, this is what I found:


A sweet little reading session!


In other news, Meredith has her first set of tennis shoes!


Sweet brown-eyed girl!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bro and Sis

I love how my kids love each other!  They follow each other around all day, hugging, playing with, and yes, sometimes annoying each other!

They both love our glass front door – they like to watch the squirrels run across our yard and the cars drive down the street.


Russell loves to give Meredith big hugs.  She has a love/hate relationship with being touched all the time (and I don’t blame her!)


Sweeties and loveys!


We are so blessed that our children have a good relationship at this early age!

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Russell and I do homeschool preschool work together on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.  As I’ve mentioned, we’re seriously considering homeschooling our children, and this is a good way to 1) test that out and 2) teach Russell in an individualized setting.  (But it’s all stuff I would probably do with him even if we weren’t thinking about homeschooling!)

This week, we learned about St. Patrick’s Day!

I hid pennies in green Play-Doh for Russell to “find the gold” – he loved this game and it was great for fine motor skills.  Her also enjoyed making shamrocks with the Play-Doh.


I printed off a black pot picture and with a dry-erase marker, I would write a number next to it.  Russell would put that many pennies into the pot.  (This was heavily guided and was mostly used to teach him what the numbers looked like, as we’ve worked more on letters than numbers!)


I wrote a little story about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day and turned it into a book – we’ve read it several times this week.  We also colored a St. Patrick’s Day picture and did a Leprechaun magnet page.


On St. Patrick’s Day, we ate green pancakes!


Russell’s shirt says “Mom’s Lil Irishman.”  This is the face I get when I ask him to smile!  I love my little Irishman!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

11 months old!

One more month until the big ONE!  (sniff, sniff!)


  • Clothes: wearing 9-12 months and 12 months
  • Shoes: size 3


  • Getting 1/2 breastmilk and 1/2 formula 4x/day in sippy cups (she won’t take a bottle, which is fine), anywhere from 3 oz to 6 oz at a time.
  • Eating all kinds of things, but I think she could live off of mac and cheese and bananas.
  • Napping 1-2x/day.  Sometimes she takes a morning nap and sometimes she doesn’t, but she’s not really ready to drop it, because she is exhausted and cranky when she skips it.
  • Sleeping from 7:20 pm – 7 or 7:30 am.

(She was pretty interested in the sticker this time!)


  • A couple weeks ago, Meredith got her two top front teeth – so now she has 4 teeth!  It’s funny, so far her teeth have come in in the same order and at about the same time as Russell’s did.
  • Meredith has started talking!  Her first word, of course, was Kitty (she says “key”), for her lovey.  She also says “da” for dog (she LOVES dogs).  I’ve heard her say “mama” a few times and I think she’s talking about me, but it’s hard to tell.  And she tries to repeat other things that we say.
  • She is now regularly standing on her own, cruising, and walking holding onto our hands.
  • Meredith is both Miss Independent and Mommy’s girl.  There are many times when she’ll entertain herself for long stretches of time doing all sorts of things – playing with toys, pulling her books out of her book basket and flipping through them, climbing in the little chair.  But she very much prefers me to anyone (including Jason) and if anyone is putting her to bed, feeding her dinner, reading her books, etc, I’d better not be in earshot or she’ll cry for me to do it.
  • She has gotten MUCH better in the last month or two regarding separation anxiety.  There was a short time (a few weeks or so) when she cried almost the whole time I dropped her off somewhere.  Now when I leave, she’ll cry for a minute and then get busy playing. 


I guess she’s barely a baby anymore, but I’m still calling her a baby (not a toddler yet) for at least the next month!  Love that sweet sunshine girl!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meredith’s Favorite Chair

We have a little wooden chair that used to be Jason’s when he was little.  Russell loves to sit in it, and now so does Meredith.  One of her favorite activities lately is climbing into and out of that little chair.  She’s very determined and doesn’t get upset when she doesn’t quite make it – she just quietly tries again.  (Very different from her brother!)

Getting into position:


Climbing up:


Tada!  She loves to sit Indian style (criss-cross applesauce – whatever you want to call it) on this chair.


Yes, I know she’s hanging off a bit – that’s why Mommy is right there!  Meredith can spend 30 minutes just on this little exercise, and she’s so proud of herself!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Russell’s “naptime” is from 1-3 pm (or 4, if he sleeps longer).  I put naptime in quotes because then there are days like today, when he flips on his light and his radio and plays in his room.

At about 2:45, it got pretty quiet, so I had a feeling he fell asleep.  When I went to wake him up a little later, I found him like this:


sleeping in his armchair, with his overhead light and radio still on. 

You have to know Russell to understand that this never happens – he sleeps in his bed, with the fan on and an assortment of animals/cars.  That’s it – not in the carseat, never at church, not in our arms, even as an infant.  So I had to document it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day in the Life

If anyone is interested in a typical day in our life, here it is! And if no one is interested, then this is just for me so I can look back and remember how exhausted I was and why!

6:47 – Meredith wakes up. I throw her in bed with Jason and go pump. (She refuses to nurse, but she still gets half breastmilk, half formula.)

7:31 – Russell’s awake. Everyone gets up. I give Meredith her sippy cup of milk and take Russell to the potty against his will. Russell sees Meredith’s milk and informs me that he wants his pink milk. I make him some strawberry milk and leave them to their own devices while I make breakfast.

(this photo is the only one in this post NOT from today!)


7:57 – Breakfast! Today is ham, cheese and egg sandwiches on whole wheat bagel thins. Jason reads a Proverb from the Bible to the family and we discuss it while I make sure Meredith’s food is going in her mouth, not her hair.

8:15ish – Jason out the door. I clean cups, table, plates, and pans from breakfast.

8:30ish – Playtime! We play with puzzles and match Easter eggs (which I just brought out today - novelty is always good!) There are a few skirmishes and “no, Sissy, no”s, but overall playtime is going well.

8:48 – Time to get dressed – similar to herding cats. Meredith flips like a fish out of water and Russell thinks it’s hilarious to run away when I get his clothes out. Oh, and I manage to get dressed too.

9:19 – Russell is pushing Meredith’s buttons and she’s crying easily now. Must be her naptime!

9:21 – Time for school with Russell. Today we’re learning the letter J: on, with a couple YouTube videos, reading some books about Jesus, and coloring a few pictures.


10:40 – Meredith’s awake. Time to get ready and go to the gym. Diaper change, potty trip, sippy cup and lovey in diaper bag, coats on, shoes on. In the bustle, Russell is all over Meredith again and she’s crying. I pick her up; he says, “Mommy, I want my sister back.” Too cute – but I don’t know if she wants you back, buddy!

10:54 – at the gym! Drop the kids off in childcare and Meredith is crying…oh well! I head upstairs for a run and some crunches.

11:35 – Pick them up (Meredith did well – only cried a few seconds!) and head to the library to return some books, play, and read a little.

12:24 – leaving the library – yikes, behind schedule!

12:45 – in the door at home. Coats off, shoes off, potty trip, wash hands, I rush to get lunch on the table while Russell whines.

12:54 – lunch on the table. Meredith has some black-eyed peas and Russell notices. “Mommy, want Sissy’s jellybeans.” I explain what they are but give him one anyway, and he eats it. Not sure if he understood me until he announces, “Boys and girls, we have no jellybeans today. And no hot rods, too.”


1:16 – clean up from lunch, another potty trip for Russell in which I beg him to poop on the potty (vs in his pull-up during his nap, which has become a bad habit.) He repeats, “if you poop on the potty you get M and M!”…but still no poop.

1:25 – everyone in bed. Ahhh. I pump again, make a couple phone calls, and generally relax – the only time of day I get to do this.

3:40 – Meredith up! We play on the couch a little until…

4 pm – I wake Russell up (don’t want to mess up his nighttime sleep). Unsurprisingly, he did poop in his Pull-Up. Change him, put him on the potty (he always goes again).

4:15 – I put on Lady and the Tramp for 30 minutes while I start laundry, do some picking up, get Meredith another sippy cup of milk, and take a shower.


4:46 – Get a call from Grandmother – she is home and would love for us to stop by for a little bit. Pack the diaper bag and head out the door.

4:54 – At Grandmother’s! Snack, watch her fire, play the piano, build a road out of shells for Russell’s cars, and play with her plastic fruit.

5:59 – oops, late again. We head home and see that Jason is already there – he is normally home around 6. He plays with the kids while I prepare dinner.

6:36 – dinner! Veggie burgers, baked beans, and corn on the cob.


7:02 – some clean up.

7:10-7:20 – another sippy cup for Meredith, change her into PJs, her bedtime.

7:25 – Jason and I take turns playing cars with Russell and finishing the cleaning.

8 pm-Russell’s bedtime! Time for us to talk, do our Bible studies, for me to prepare for photography sessions or edit photos, blog, sometimes run errands, do more laundry, etc! Oh, and sleep eventually!