January 31, 2018

January Roundup

January has come to and end.... Overall it was a busy, but not especially exciting month. We survived all our Christmas travel and have now settled back into the regular routine, that will get disrupted again in just a few more weeks when baby boy arrives. Here are some notes and photos of things that happened:
  • Davey is definitely starting to develop strong opinions and has entered the stage of "Mine," "Have it," and "I do it." The other day he shushed me when I starting singing a song he didn't like at bedtime and when I asked if he would share one of his crackers, he shut the lid on his cup and said "No. The end." Such cute, but ornery little guy. He also learned to count up to four and select his own silverware from the kitchen drawer. 
  • Sophie has finally started dressing herself without prompting from me, and has even started choosing some of her own outfits. Up until now she's always just worn whatever I chose without complaint. She has also discovered a love for Legos, which isn't surprising because she has always been drawn towards toys that are small and have lots of pieces. This month she was also invited to three birthday parties for preschool friends - her social calendar is starting to fill up!
  • I have been nesting like crazy and am ready for baby to make his arrival. Our medicine cabinet has never been so organized and yesterday I cleaned and sanitized the washing machine :) I know the newborn phase comes with it's own set of challenges, but at this point I am just ready to be done being pregnant. 
  • Dave has been busy researching cars, since we are going to have to upgrade for our growing family. Our current cars can seat 5, but neither fit 3 car seats across without a lot of difficulty. We've looked at several SUVs and mini vans, and right now it looks like the van will be the best fit for our family. He also started a new semester teaching Principles of Management and a graduate Negotiations course, and broke his nose playing church ball. Ouch. 
Davey normally doesn't last long in the bath, but one time I turned the tap on to a very slow drip and that little bit of water kept him happy for a loooong time.

Davey and I went to shop the Target toy clearance (gotta keep up with all Sophie's birthday party invites) and he saw a bunch of robot transformers on the shelf and insisted that they go in our cart. I may have bought a couple to put away for later :)

One afternoon I couldn't find Sophie after her quiet time. I didn't see her in her room when I opened the door, so then I started to search the house. After not finding her anywhere, I went back to her room and found that she had made a bed in the big box we got a diaper shipment in and fallen fast asleep inside.

I have loved January because the Christmas gifts the kids received are still fun and new. Sophie has loved making creations with the magformer blocks and Davey is fascinated with Sophie's marble run. He still has to learn, however, that destroying it ends the fun. 

We found a couple new places to play this month! The Baptist church near our house has a big indoor play area that is FREE! I took Davey over and he was happy there for two hours. They have a couple play structures, and then a big open area with blocks, a tunnel, and play house. There is also a bigger playground upstairs that we go to when Sophie comes along with us. 

Luv 2 Play, an indoor play gym, also opened really close to our house this month. It's a bit pricey, but they started a $5 Mondays/Wednesdays deal that we went to try. The facility was really nice and clean, but the kids spent more time playing with the arcade games (that we didn't get tokens for) than playing on the playground. I'm sure we'll go again sometime, but it won't be part of our regular routine.

My sleepy boy, who only has four weeks left of being the baby of the family

Sophie made this at preschool with marshmallows, and Davey found it... He didn't  seem to mind the taste of not-quite-dry glue.  

We finally gave up on the idea of finding used bar stools for a deal and ordered some online. It has been great to have another place where the kids can eat snacks, color, build Legos, etc... instead of the kitchen table. Eventually we will stain the tops to match the darker wood in our house. 

On a really nice Saturday we made a trip to the zoo. It was Dave's first time joining us. We got there right as the animals were receiving breakfast, so it was fun to watch them all wake up and come out to eat. Sophie, of course, loved the turtles the best. 

We almost never see the porcupines during our visits. They are always hiding in their den, but Davey dropped an apple slice near their fence and they both smelled it and came running over! They started digging and biting at the fence to try and get it, so Dave took pity and pushed it closer with a stick. Their exhibit sign said they eat fruit, so hopefully we didn't make them sick!

Big sky sunset

January 28, 2018

35 Weeks

Only 5 more weeks to go!! We are ready to meet this boy, although he still doesn't have a name, which is so different from my first two who were named years before they were born. I am pulling for Charles Walter ("Charlie") and Dave is pushing for Warren Roger. We like both, so it's just a question of who can convince the other. As of right now, I have no idea what we'll end up choosing... stay tuned!

At 35 weeks baby Howe weighs 5-6 pounds, although I'm guessing he's probably a bit heftier than that. My other babies have been on the big side and my doctor did notice a growth spurt over the Christmas Break, so I'm pretty confident our little guy will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 pounds at birth. At my next appointment my doctor will also check his position, and I'm hoping she will find that he has rotated from breech to head down. 

I haven't fully worked out registration with the hospital or all the insurance details, but otherwise we are ready. The baby boy clothes are out of storage and have been washed and folded, and the bottles, binkies, burp rags and blankets are ready for action. We've set up a changing area in our closet, bought some baby wash and powder for baths, and Sophie helped me assemble the bouncer this week. We also decided to buy a new car seat since our other one had seen some mileage (aka blowouts), and I can't wait to buckle a new little baby inside for the trip home. 

I am doing mostly well at this point, but am ready to be done. The kids seem to have more energy than ever and Davey is at a stage where I have to chase him down to do pretty much anything - put on clothes, change a diaper, go to nap, eat a lunch, get in the car, etc... Sleep has also been elusive, and even though I go to bed around 11, I'm often awake until close to 1 am. Baby boy is so active at night and this pregnancy has come with a crazy case of restless leg syndrome and it takes forever for me to finally settle enough to sleep. And then of course I have to get up an hour later to use the bathroom...so much for storing up on sleep before baby comes.

The kids are certainly looking forward to the end of my doctor visits. We had another two hour appointment earlier this month when I had to reschedule due to travel plans and it was all I could do to keep them from destroying the exam room while we waited, and waited, and waited. Those afternoon appoints are brutal!! Luckily I was able to get back on a morning track for my next visit since we will be starting weekly appointments in February. I'm so glad we just have one month left!

January 27, 2018

Attack of the Stomach Flu

The flu bug hit our family this week. Davey was the first to go down on Monday night, so I'm guessing he probably picked it up at church nursery. We heard him crying on the monitor around 4:30 am, but thought he was just trying to wake up too early and left him alone to work through it. Then when I went in his room that morning I smelled the puke immediately... it was on his sheets, his blankets, his jammies, and all over his hair. He looked at me with sad eyes and said "Yucky, mommy, yucky" and my heart just broke for the poor little guy.

I put him in the bath to clean him up and gave him a bottle of milk to drink (his comfort item). He never threw up again, but he was sort of sluggish for the rest of the day and spent a lot of time just vegging on the couch. Since he didn't really show any other symptoms, we figured maybe he ate too much at dinner, and then was tired from having to sleep in him own mess :(

On Thursday night, however, Dave started to feel bad, and then I threw up during the night and again the next morning. Dave never did throw up, but we both had chills, no appetite, and no energy. We used Netflix as our babysitter and pretty much left the kids to fend for themselves for the day.  It should be against the laws of nature for both parents to go down at the same time. So far Sophie has been spared and we hope she will continue to stay healthy. 

Davey getting his own breakfast

Davey did not like his day without parents and came to cry on my lap every time I emerged from the bedroom. Sophie also struggled, but made the best of it and I am proud of her for stepping up. It helped that we received a Valentine's package the day before from Grandmari that had some stickers and other activities to help keep her busy. 

January 15, 2018

Lights Off Golf

We purchased a Groupon for mini golf at the nearby mall and used the MLK holiday to redeem it. In addition to our two kids, there was also an 8-year-old boy's birthday party, so things were a bit chaotic, but not enough to spoil the day.

It took a few holes for Sophie to figure out how to hold the club the right way, but towards the end she actually had some really good tee shots that went right near the hole. She really had a fun time and we had to keep making her slow down and wait so she wouldn't get too far ahead. We didn't pay for Davey, so he spent most of his time trying to take the club or ball of whoever would share with him.

Sophie loved the black lights, especially since we had matching shoes!

Dave had a handicap on a few of the holes, although when we looked back at his scores he was actually played better during the "one-arm" Davey holding phase than later one. 

I got a hole-in-one on the last hole and won a free game card! When I explained what had happened to Sophie, she said, "Oh, well I got a hole-in-lots! That was good too!" 

Dave and I were pretty much tied going into the 18th hole, but then I got the hole-in-one, which gave me the victory for the round!

January 8, 2018

The Rest of the Dallas Christmas Trip

It's strange because every time we used to talk about visiting Dave's parents we would call it "going to Texas," but now we live in Texas so that doesn't really make sense anymore. It's been an adjustment and Sophie has a hard time understand how both our family and grandma's family can live in Texas, but be so far apart. At least we're closer than we used to be.

For this trip we arrived just a few days before Christmas, but then were able to stay well into January (one of the perks of being a professor!) The long break was nice and the kids really enjoyed spending time with their grandparents and Liz, and Dave and I even managed to get away a few times by ourselves. We also fit in a few nights with friends, including New Year's Eve, although our full group could never get together because the Dallas area was hit pretty hard with the flu and different families were always getting sick. Luckily we were spared and made it through the entire visit without any illness.

Here are some of the photos from our stay:

Davey found these leftover cake balls the morning after Christmas and thought they made an excellent breakfast.

Sophie made "Jiggly Jugglers" for the first time with grandma and thought they were the most amazing thing ever. She cut them into shapes of stars and the state of Texas. 

I had lots of time to work on puzzles and finished this one of "99 beautiful places in the world" that was really fun, and a set of Thomas Kincade Disney puzzles that were actually much harder than they looked. 

On New Year's Eve we had some friends over for food and games. I had put Sophie to bed because I didn't think there would be any kids coming, but then the Palmer clan all showed up so we got her back up to play with them. She thought it was the most amazing night ever! We did a mini celebration with all the kids at 9 pm, and then put them down so the adults could chat and play Code Names until midnight.

Happy New Year! Also, baby boy is 31 weeks in this picture :)

On New Year's Day Sophie went on a special date with grandma to see Coco, eat at Arby's, and then to the Lego store to pick out a surprise. While she was gone, Davey spent a lot of time hanging out with Papa, which left me with some rare time to myself, which I used to sit by the fire and work on a puzzle I got for Christmas. 

Sophie picked out a cute Lego cabin with Grandma and I helped her build it the next day while Davey watched PJ Masks on Papa's lap. 

We used our museum pass to visit the Perot downtown one morning. Our last visit was when Davey was just a baby, so it was fun to go back. Every time the kids are able to do a little bit more as they get older. Sophie loved that Dave was able to come with us, since normally he's at work when we go places. 

We also met Greg for lunch one day at a fancy food court. I got a waffle to share with the kids, and they dug right in! Dave chose some sort of Asian dish that only turned out to be so-so. 

Afterwards we went for a walk through the shopping area since the weather was so nice. It was actually quite cold during our visit and it felt good to be out in the sunshine again after so much time indoors. 

One of the highlights of the trip was a "Ladies Night" that will hopefully turn into a "Ladies Trip" at some point :) The dads watched the eight kids at the Palmer's house while we went and got pedicures, had dinner, saw the Greatest Showman, and then enjoyed dessert. It was a great night out!

Bedtime stories with Grandpa on our last night

January 2, 2018

December Roundup

December really is the most wonderful time of the year! It was so nice to visit family for the holidays and we were also able to celebrate Dave's birthday this month, which was extra special because five of his friends drove up for the weekend to surprise him! I'm still a bit amazed that it all worked out, and am grateful to the wives that let their husbands go off an party while they held down the fort at home.

On a less exciting note, I also had major computer trouble this month, which is why the blog once again fell behind.... A Windows update caused my laptop to crash, killing the operating system. We took it to the repair shop, where after THREE weeks, they were able to recover my data and get things running again. Unfortunately the repair wasn't finished until a few hours after we left on our road trip, so I wasn't able to pick it up until January when we got back, but at least it is now fixed!

Here are some other photos from the month that didn't make it elsewhere:

December means pomegranate season! I still haven't found the perfect way to extract the seeds, but the end product is always worth the mess. Yum!

No trip to the grocery store is complete without a cookie!

The new UPS distribution plan during the holiday season! There was a storage container in the parking lot of Sophie's preschool where packages would be dropped each day, and then this guy would deliver them around the neighborhood in his golf cart. I bet he got much better gas mileage than the regular truck!

I love this goofy boy :)

The only photos we took of Dave's birthday weekend. I kept asking him to take a picture with his friends, but he kept forgetting. The boys arrived on Friday night for XBOX and food (thank you Christie for sending them with this dessert). On Saturday they had a late breakfast, played more XBOX, then went to lunch while Dave had to attend a graduation, then went to play basketball, went out to dinner, and finally saw the new Star Wars to finish the evening. On Sunday morning they drove back to their families, and the kids and I did our own celebration. 

Every month our neighborhood sends out a magazine and when I was flipping through the December issue I saw that our kids had won the Halloween Costume Contest! We had never been notified so it was a complete surprise! Our prize was a jump pass to the trampoline center that Sophie will redeem with Dave sometime this spring.