Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Epic Hiatus!

It has been quite a while since I posted to the blog. Life got a little busy. Who knew having 2 children could dramatically effect your life so much?!? I'm not even sure how long it has been. Clearly by all the red, underlined text I am typing, I have forgotten how to type and gotten to lazy with auto-correct! 
So for this post, I thought I would just catch up a little. At least the last couple of months, anyway.
Lots of changes, lots of growth, two amazing kids!

 I try to do an annual picture to show just how much they have grown. This is their most recent picture. 
Isabel is now 4 and growing like a weed! She is in Pre-K and loves to write everything down. She knows all her letters, upper and lower case and she has started working on reading at home! She loves to work in her workbooks while Maxwell is doing his homework. She is into all things Elsa, My Little Pony and Barbie. She regularly has growing pains, mostly in her hips and knees. I can totally relate! That sums up my wicked growth spurts as a kid also. 
Maxwell is now 7 and in 1st grade! He loves all things Lego and mindcraft. He really loves hanging out with his friends and has a couple really tight buddies. He is a whiz at math and doing really well with reading and writing. He has worked really hard during OT to get his southpaw to do what he wants it to. I am so proud of his progress!

 I have to bribe them for this level of cuteness! I don't really ask very much of them, but sometimes, when mommy wants a picture, I start the day saying, "I just need you to wear this and smile and do what I want for only an hour," just to get the darn pictures!!

 I try to remember to take selfies of all three of us. I want them to be able to look back and remember the fun we had, even if there was a bribe involved!

She was ready to go that first day! Everyday since then has been a bit of a struggle. She says she misses me when I'm not there. It makes me feel loved! 

We adopted a cat! This is actually the second cat we adopted, Isabel's cat, Satsuma. I can't find a picture of Maxwell's cat, Whiskers. He came first, an early Christmas present, 2 years ago. I'll post one of him, when I find it. As you can tell, Satsuma loves the kids!

 What is it about face painting? The kids love it! This was during railroad days this summer in town.

This was Maxwell's first day at school. He was pretty happy to have some kids from his kindergarten class with him again.

 Blueberry picking, in the rain! I love Washington weather!

 Some nights it is just easier not putting up a fight. Batman and Robin, caped crusading in their dreams. The black and white puff between Isabel's legs is Maxwell's cat, Whiskers. Don't tell Maxwell but he regularly sleeps with her. He LOVES her fuzzy blanket!

 This would be Isabel baking her own birthday cake, from scratch! She loves all things kitchen! She got an easy bake oven for Christmas and loves it but would rather have the real thing!

 What's a birthday cake without frosting? She did the whole thing, I swear! Wouldn't let me touch it!

 Decorated and everything. That is one proud baker!

 Oh, yeah, Maxwell lost a few teeth this year! The tooth fairy was very, very busy!

 My dad came to visit! The highlight of my year, maybe even the last 5 years! I can't tell you how much I have missed him!

He stayed for 5 days and the kids loved every minute of it! Trains, with grandpas old train set, Legos, the mystery reader at Maxwell's school, reading books with Isabel, Snoqualmie Falls. It wasn't long enough!

 And my life came full circle. The boy I used to watch when he was Maxwells age, is now Captain Lowe! In charge of his own tank brigade!! Maxwell got an army set with tanks for Christmas and has become obsessed with them.  For Maxwell's birthday Captain Lowe sent Maxwell the sabot petals from his M1A2 Abrams tank gun! Can you tell Maxwell is a little excited? He also sent two great books, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" and "The Illustrated History of Weaponry."  It might be a year or two before we hit that reading level.

 We had another joint birthday this year, co-themed Star Wars and My Little Pony! The cake was AWESOME!! My friend Deanna made it and totally decked it out! 

Sorry for the video image. I botched the picture! You get the idea.

 Maxwell putting together one of his birthday presents. The kid loves Legos! This set was pretty advanced, age wise. He did it all by himself!!

Isabel won a spot in the Evergreen City Ballet dance camp. Frozen themed, of course! She had a ball!

My girl, Rainbow Dash. If it's not Elsa, Rainbow Dash or Barbie, forget it!!

Well, that's it for tonight. I really will try to post again soon. Maybe even from my iPhone?!? Look at me attempting the tech possible! 

Found it! Photographic evidence of a Whiskers cat that loves a fuzzy blanket! And a girl!

Friday, October 11, 2013

1st Fat Lip

Well, as I mentioned we are working on "gentle touch," as in, no hitting. Instead of saying no hitting we tell Maxwell the type of behavior we want to see. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. He is usually very gentle with Isabelly, but last night things got a little owie. I think he forgets, or doesn't realize she is smaller and slightly more fragile then his other, bigger friends.
As she was crawling out of his "fort" made with balnkets and the dining room chairs, he pushed her forward and she busted her lip.

She cried a little, then was over it pretty quickly.  Maxwell had a timeout and apoligized. As an only child this kind of thing is new to me. Terry as the 4th of 5 children, experienced this stuff pretty regularly.
Here she is obviously not all that upset. A homemade grape juice popsicle as an ice bag makes all the difference.

 Still a sweet, if lop-sided smile and ready to play some more.

Getting loves from daddy.
It won't be the only one, I am sure. She wants so much to do what Maxwell is doing. Maybe we will increase her insurance!

Zoobies and Zootles

Thank you, thank you Nana C for the amazing gift subscription for Zoobies and Zootles.

"For me...all to me Momma!"

We have read through this magazine, designed just for babies, printed on thicker, rip resistant paper, nearly everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. She has started to develope her own pace though. Speed reading we call it. We hold the book and read while she quickly, very quickly, like before your done reading, turns the pages.  

We can't wait for our next issue. This one has been thoroughly loved!

Thanks Nana C!! What a great gift!

A Month of Firsts

I have been meaning to post about what a great month August was for us. It was truly a month of firsts.

 Isabel has blossomed before our eyes. She began walking and feeding herself with a fork. She is quite the comedian and laughs her hinder off at most of the silly things that Maxwell and daddy do. Her laugh is so sweet and silly. Like Maxwell, she often can't quite catch her breath. She holds her hands to her head in an "oy vay" reaction and drools copiously all the while. What a deliciously sweet girl she is. 

The first time she walked she took 7 steps with daddy, then 5, then 2, then did not walk for over a week. Just a teaser!! Then when she started again she was really working it all out. A little wobbly at first, but she has gotten better every day and now regularly putters around the house, picking up stuff and moving it around.

This first video was about a week before she took off on her own. She loves pushing this thing around, way more then Maxwell ever did. I think it really fuels her sense of accomplishment.

This is one attempt. After taking out the camera to get some video footage, she decided she was pretty much done with the show.

Attempt #3, it was after this that we would have to wait or a week to see her try again. By the way, that little necklace, she found it one day and now puts it on every morning when she gets downstairs.

She has always been an amazing eater and throughout August she would look at Maxwell, with his fork and point and shriek. So what did we do...we gave her a fork of her own. She is obviously absorbing everything she sees her big brother doing.

Here she is feeding herself with both fork and hand. Much faster that way. Rice and noodles are her favorite to try with the fork. I could literally bathe her after every meal. She is quite the exhuberant eater.

She is growing us so fast, right before our eyes. I feel like any minute words and full sentences are going to come out of her sweet little mouth. What a joy she is!

Maxwell had a first of his own, his first day of school. He had been looking forward to it for weeks, Pre-K. He goes 3 mornings a week and loves it.

Wearing his new backpack he got for his birthday. He and Isabel both love a camelback.

In front of school waiting for the doors to open. He is doing soooooo well. I guess I shouldn't be shocked, but he knows and identifies all the letters of the alphabet and counts to 20 by himself. Handsome AND brilliant, what a combination! He is even a better big brother. Sharing is coming a little easier, now that he has to share at school and we are working on "gentle touches," so Isabel doesn't look like a punching bag. But, really he is doing so much better with his jealousy issues, I am happy to report

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Maxwell is 4

Our big boy is 4!! He has grown up soooo much in the last year and I can't believe it is possible to love someone so much. He has really blossomed into a wonderful little man. He is sweet and sensitive and super loving. He is curious about everything, airplanes, trains, cars, engines, dinosaurs, he loves playing doctor, his favorite thing is reading stories.

At his doctors appointment he weighed in at 30 pounds and 6.4 ounces and he is 39 inches tall.

This year we went back to the bowling alley for his party. He had such a good time last year and he actually asked to go back for his party this year. We tried to keep it low key, but it never really works out. Lots of friends and even a couple of cousins came.
He asked for only a couple of things for his birthday so of course we obliged. The first thing was, a "gunner." We have debated it for a while and finally decided that we would do it with some rules.

He was soooooo happy when he unwrapped it on his actual birthday. He played with it for 3 days straight. Even took it to bed with him and tucked it in. Since then he hasn't asked for it. His rules are, no pointing it at anyone and only using it on the targets. We are teaching him basic rules about gun safety, no looking in the barrel and finger off the trigger. It gets put away on top of the gun safe also. Scary stuff but with a boy and having guns locked up in the house, it has to be done. And like I said, he hasn't asked for it in over 2 weeks.

Flash forward to the day of the party. Our buddy Jake and mama Bridget came to join in the festivities. Jake even wore a shirt he knew Maxwell would like. It had diggers on it. Jake told me special.

Maxwell hefting the ball toward the ramp.

A 5 pound ball gets pretty heavy after carrying it down the lane.

Aimng for his target. So glad the bowling alley has these helpers for the little ones.

Maxwell and Jake checking out the goodie bags.

Maxwell loves party blowers.

Maxwell and Jake having a blower contest.

The theme of his party was Transformers. His cake was chocolate with chocolate frosting with Maximus Prime and Megatron on it.

All the party goers, Maxwell, Kirill, Oisin, Ronan, Aoife, cousin Claire, Isabel and Jake. He had to go early before the cake, but as Bridget and I discussed, frosting is a beast with both of our kids.

I think everyone had a great time. I know Maxwell sure did. He is already talking about having another birthday party. Not sure he completely understands the idea behind birthdays. Our big boy starts school in a couple of days, 3 days a week this year. getting bigger everyday. Sometimes I want to stop it! I want to snuggle him just like he is now. My sweet, handsome boy.

Isabel is 1

Can you believe it?? Isabel is 1! Our beautiful girl turned 1 on July 23rd. She is nothing like her brother and has a personality that overflows with happiness. She is usually smiling and laughing her head off, or she is screaming her head off like a Pterydactyl!  She looks up to her brother and wants to do everything he does. She is already trying to do big girl things. She is starting to use a fork, she can walk behind her walker and she loves being in the water. She even dives into Pine Lake head first from the steps. It is amazing how fearless she is.
Our little one weighs in at 17 pounds 2.4 ounces and is 28.66 inches tall.

The birthday girl! 

Sitting pretty, waiting for the party to begin. 
We celebrated by having a party at my friend Hailey's house. She has a huge yard and great house. We had a few friends and some family join us for the festivities. It was a little more low key then Maxwell's 1st, and that suited us just fine.

"I have the crown, the cake...where are my presents?!?" 

 Pretty birthday princess.

"Oh, birthday candle, I get it!" 

 "Singing... for me... awwwww thanks!"

 Carrot cake with pineapple, chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting.

"Hey, when is my birthday party?"  

 Baby Daddy! Isabelly says, "Hey, that's my binky!"

"Nobody said anything about presents. Wait, what are presents?"

Isabel's friend Elliott, came and helped with presents. He received this same gift for Christmas so he was eager to help Isabel figure it all out. Thanks Aunty Judy and Uncle Dave for coming all the way from Bellingham and bringing presents.

Amazingly these kids were born only 9 days apart. Elliott towers over her.

We had a great day and she slept that afternoon for 3 hours. Quite the party girl!! Here is to another amazing year with our sweet girl and all the wonderful discoveries she is going to make.