Thursday, February 9, 2017
We packed up and headed to Montana for Christmas this year. Our first Christmas there in five years! The drive was daunting but the kids were fantastic basically the entire way there and back. We stopped in Colorado and stayed at Bethany and Jack's. It was so nice to break up the trip and extra nice to get to be in their home and see the bakery Bethany works at and burn energy off at the library, park, and indoor swimming pool.
Bethany and Jack left a few hours after us to finish the trip to Montana. Emily surprised the whole crew and flew up to join us for Christmas. The Clark's made it in on Christmas Eve and Nick and Grace made the drive over from Fargo. (Sadly, Grace was sick nearly the entire time and only got to hold Adeline for like 2 seconds).
We went to the Christmas Eve service at church and Doug and I cried through Silent Night with our sweet family and the boys each inhaled about twelve candy canes through the service. We went home to make potstickers for dinner.
Christmas morning was a blur of chaos trying to get skype to work to see Andrew, making breakfast, feeding children, and exchanging our Secret Angel gifts. The men of the family headed out to ski while the woman and children stayed back to flip through cookbooks, make dinner, take naps, and help children in and out of snow gear all day.
The men came back home with huge smiles plastered all over their faces and Doug told me it was one the best day ever! The snow was perfect and the company was fun. We ate a big dinner together.
We also managed to squeeze in a trip to get Red Tractor Pizza, eat at the Coffee Pot twice!, went to the best thrift stores, went sledding on the big sled hill, and played nightly games together. But isn't the highlight always just being together and making way to many pots of coffee to drink together throughout the day?
We went to the doctor this month and had another round of shots. She was much more needy this time around and poor girl just held her legs like they hurt for a few days after. She also had her first cold this month and we have several sleepless nights working through all the snot and all the coughs.
She weighs 13 pounds 8 oz and is 24.8 inches long!
This month she has started to play with her birds hanging on her play mat more, sitting up in her walker, and chewing on all the toys!
She rolled over for the first time! With much coaching and encouragement and now that she has done it once she doesn't want to do it much. She can go from front to back and back to front.
She is still sleeping and eating like a champion! Besides being picky about the bottles that is.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The Christmas season really is just so much fun. Especially with kids. This year we decided to just put up our mini artificial tree to save money and especially since we were not even home for Christmas day this year. Doug hung lights on our house and the big reveal showed that one strand of lights were not working. The next night Doug headed back up on the roof to fix the problem. I loved getting to hang my FIVE stockings over the fireplace this year. Our little sweet family.
Henry had a Christmas program at school. He did great! All second year students had a speaking part. Henry practiced his line for weeks and when it came time to say it he took a deep breath in and then quickly said "Please join us for pictures and treats". He said it so quickly the entire audience laughed. We were so proud of him.
We took the kids downtown to Doug's office for a fun Christmas evening. Santa was there. Henry asked for a toy alligator and Jack just kept rummaging through Santa's bag for more candy canes. Adeline was not so sure and just fussed through the whole thing. Doug took Henry ice-skating while I kept Jack and Adeline in the warm. We decorated Doug's cubicle with snowflakes while he was gone.
We made christmas ornaments and cookies and delivered them to neighbors. I got some glitter glue this year which helped us not have glitter sticking to everything for months after the project.
We had such a sweet Christmas season together!
This year we went over to Grandma Karen's house for a big meal with family. Charles came over for the weekend and joined in the fun. I made rolls and a pie and stressed out way to much about my rolls not rising. They still tasted alright thankfully. Grandma and Grandpa Johnson joined us and it is always so special when they do. The boys all played well together. So well in fact, I don't think Henry or Jack actually ate much lunch. They were way to distracted by all the fun that cousins bring. Adeline was passed around and won the most adorable award.
There is so much to be thankful for each and every day but I sure do love taking a break from the day to day to be thankful for all the blessings that flow from our lives.
- Sleeping through the night! Still in your little crib next to our bed. We hear you rubbing your head back and forth at night. You still don't take a paci and I have officially given up on trying to get you to take one. I think you rubbing your little head back and forth is your way of soothing yourself.
- You just keep getting more and more talkative. Sometimes you are "talking" so loudly that we can't hear each other talk.
- We still have some rocky evenings where you stay up later than we want to be up. Your favorite is still to be held standing up with a little bit of bouncing here and there.
- You smile so much more and it is our favorite thing throughout the day.
- You love to eat but you have been stubborn about taking a bottle. Let's just say you like it straight from the source. One night this month I was at a girls dinner downtown and you screamed and screamed and refused to take your bottle from Dad. I arrived home to a stressed out Dad and a worn out baby.
Monday, November 28, 2016
- 11 pounds 5 ounces
- 22.5 inches long
- You like to bop up and down to the Justin Timberlake pandora station. Especially during your fussy afternoon hours.
- You sleep like a champion and I don't even want to say how long because I don't want to jinx it. But let's just say, some mornings we have to wake you up because you are sleeping in and we have to get somewhere. Most nights we are ready for bed before you are though. So we take turns going to bed when we want and bouncing you up and down until you fall asleep.
- You are so talkative and smile very easily. The coos are more than we can handle.
- You are still off and on fussy throughout most days and evenings. You just take a lot of work and attention to keep your needs met. Your preferred place to be is in our arms bouncing up and down and having your bottom patted. So you could say we are getting a daily workout keeping you happy.
- You love your bath and almost always let out a lot of gas. I think it is one time that you are able to truly able to relax. Maybe because your rowdy brother's are not around smashing you and suffocating your space with love.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
They say children thrive in a structured environment with routines. I would not say that we are extremely rigid in our routines but when I step back and look at our day to day life I see so many small routines that are part of our family. Some have been intentionally put into place, but so many have come about naturally. Things that happen nearly every single day in our home:
- Jack runs out to get the newspaper and gives it to Doug as he gets in his car. Jack shuts his door for him and then stands and waves good bye.
- The boys eat their breakfast while watching a show in their jammies. Frozen blueberries are eaten nearly every single breakfast.
- We take a selfie every Sunday and text it to my family members. Selfie Sunday as we like to call it. Almost everyone sends a selfie and it is one of my favorite parts of my week.
- On Tuesday's the boys and I go to Fresh Market and get cheap ground beef and then pick out a yogurt or something from the bulk bins and we eat our snacks at the tables.
- Doug makes pancakes every Sunday morning before church. And we only drink juice with our breakfasts on the weekends.
- Most Friday morning involve a trip to a thrift store and many Friday afternoons include a trip to the library.
- Most evenings we eat dinner together and then clean up around the house. Then we have a family meeting to decide what our evening activity will be. Most nights it is a game of memory, Uno, Sneaky Squirrel, Jenga, or a puzzle. On special nights we go to the park and ride bikes.
- After church on Sunday we enjoy a Taco Buneo lunch and we make a frozen pizza for dinner.
- Monday's are full of laundry and cleaning up the house. "Cleaning day" as Henry calls it.
- Bedtime includes wrestling the boys into jammies, getting a little too frustrated during teeth brushing, and then books in bed. After books we have family prayer and generally a song or two. Henry falls asleep first and then Jack crawls over into Henry's bed for the rest of the night to sleep.
- We finish dinner and one of the boys goes and picks out a fruit. Sometimes it is fresh other times it is picking out a can of fruit from the pantry.
I love to step back and look at the rhythms of our family in this stage of life. These will be changing as our children change and grow but I like to think that some of these things will still be sticking around even when our kids are grown. Maybe they will all come over for frozen pizza night on Sunday's even when they are out of the house. Time will tell.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Well folks this is as good as it is going to get this year. I refuse to yell at my children to take pictures. So as long as they are all in one together that is all that matters. Even though none of them are looking at the camera! Our little tiger was grumpy during most of the time. The little bear was in the middle of a screaming fest. And our lion struggled to know where to look even though he was cooperative. I truthfully love these real pictures of our kids at this stage.
So this year we went to a trunk or treat at church (which was hot! and sunny! so we did not stay long) and a trunk or treat at their school (which was cooler! less sunny! so we stayed longer!). On Halloween night we had some friends over for dinner and we were hoping to get out of going trick or treating. But Henry was so set on going to a few houses. So Doug took the boys around the neighborhood. Henry kept saying that it was the best day ever. So our Halloween was a huge success. Bad pictures and all.
Henry has been especially excited about fall and Halloween this year. He kept asking to decorate our house for Halloween. So last weekend we painted paper plates to look like candy corn and strung a banner, we glued googly eyes on bats cut out of construction paper and hung them above the fireplace, and Aunt Emily helped them make ghosts out of paper plates and strung them from the ceiling. He was so pleased with what we had created together.
Friday night I made chicken and rice soup and we ate dinner with all the candles lit. We drank terrible pumpkin cider. After dinner Doug started to carve the pumpkin. It was only a few minutes before we needed a distraction since the boys could not keep their faces and hands away from the sharp knives. Thankfully we had pumpkin painting to distract them. All three of them worked long and hard on their pumpkins while I made caramel apples to finish our fun evening.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
These two. It has been absolutely amazing watching their relationship grow. We pray that it continues to grow and deepen all their lives! Some things I want to remember forever about this stage with an almost five year old and an almost three year old.
- One of our very favorite things is when Jack makes Henry laugh really hard. It happens pretty often. The other night we were walking around Costco and Henry would tell Jack to be happy and he would make a super happy face. Then Henry would tell him to be sad and Jack would hang his shoulders and head and make the saddest face. Back and forth back and forth. With so many Henry giggles.
- They pull all of our pillows and blankets from all the rooms in the house into the front room and build rocket ships, houses, restaurants, or ponds, etc. basically every single day. Truthfully the mess drives me crazy most days, but they play so well together doing this I never have the heart to stop them.
- Jack will drive the cozy coupe car and Henry rides on top holding on for dear life.
- Once we tell them it is time to get ready for bed they go from relatively calm to bouncing off the walls. They start hiding under the beds, running down the hallways, and they get so so loud! It is like one last burst of energy for the day before going to sleep for the night.
- They run throughout the house and yard with socks on their hands and feet taking turns being the bad guy and the good guy. This morning they even added a soccer cleat on each arm and ran around with their nerf guns.
- Over the past year and half they have dug a pretty impressive hole out by our shed in the back yard. They fill buckets, funnels, and cups with dirt and pretend to bake pies, fill their toys cars with gas, and just make a huge mess.
- Jack loves to sleep in Henry's bed at night. Henry does not want Jack in his bed. So Jack has learned to just wait until Henry falls asleep and then he crawls over. Every single night.
- Every time we go to pick Henry up from his class Jack runs down the hallway and they give each other the biggest hug.
- It is not all pretty for sure. We have arguments, disagreements, and fights every single day. I have walked into a room to find them in head locks and laying on top of each other. They know how to push each others buttons. We are all still working and learning how to handle these times. But thankfully their relationship with grow through these times as well!