Sunday, December 29, 2013

Snow Fun!

Yesterday we went to a friends Christmas gathering!  We had a huge meal with a turkey, a ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, homemade mashed potatoes, Jason's "famous" green beans almondine and more!  It was delicious!

Before the sun got too low we took all the kids outside to play in the snow!

Her first snow angel of the season!

W had a blast pulling Joey around!

Joey and C

Amelia had a blast on a tiny hill with this saucer sled!

Joey shoveled - a lot.  He was "cleaning up!"

These babies were all born within four months of each other!  D, C, W and Joey :)

W and Joey both wanted to pull C and D!

After coming inside the adults played a game called "Last Word" - so fun!  I had never heard of it but it was seriously a blast!  We totally wanted to play another round but unruly/tired kids won and we ended the day after just one round!

Just so he's not left out, here is Jackson:

His first (successful) time in the Bumbo!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

To bring a smile to your face, here is a clip from Amelia's 4K Christmas program last week.  She was so, so excited about this event.  She kept yelling to us from on stage between songs to say "hi!" or to point out that she was on a stage etc.  It was precious!

*She is on the far right, front row, green dress :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lookout Ridge

Yesterday afternoon we met some friends at Lookout Ridge - an indoor play park!  We have already been feeling cooped up this winter and needed a way to burn some energy off!

Amelia showed me to the top of the climbing structure! 

THREE kids SMILING?!?!?!  Success!

Baby Jackson fell asleep towards the end of our play time!

We played for two and a half hours - well worth the admission of $4.50 a kid!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkey to Trees

It's hard to believe it's already the first week in December!  With the late Thanksgiving this year time has seemed to fly the past week!

Attempted family Thanksgiving picture...

I got home from work about 7 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, grabbed approximately two hours of sleep and then we started getting ready to go to Jason's grandpa's house.  Before we left we successfully got a (decent) picture of the kids together!

Three little people I am very thankful for :)

We enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving feast, watched some football and watched the kids play in the leaves outside before heading home for the night.  My parents were out of town so my sister came over in the evening for a bit.  That's about it - a pretty simple Thanksgiving!

Baby's first Thanksgiving :)

Saturday night we put out our Christmas tree and a few decorations/toys - nothing too fancy because, well, we have Joe :)

Sunday morning we went with Jason's family to get a tree for his sister's house.  We've gone as a group the past few years and each year we get more excited to be able to go cut one down for our own house - whenever that year may come!

Amelia and Joey helping Auntie Liz drag the tree out

After getting the tree, everyone came to our apartment and we made spaghetti and watched football!  Daddy's team beat mommy's team :(

Hanging on the couch with Auntie Liz and (sleeping) Uncle Kory

Sunday evening we started a couple advent activities - chocolate advent calendars and 25 days of books.  First one of the kids chooses a (wrapped) book* from under the tree to open and we read it together.  Afterwards they get to open that day on their advent calendar and have a little treat before bed!  

*My mom, sister and I went to half-price books and got 25 books to do this with.  In the future, if we continue this idea, I may just wrap up the Christmas books we have and do something like "12 Days of Christmas Books!"  We'll see.

Advent calendars!

It's hard to believe that December is already here!  What a fast year it was!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Life with Jackson

The transition from two to three kids has been both easy and really hard.  

Jackson has been, hands down, our hardest baby.  We had a rocky start with his low blood sugar and extreme "breastmilk jaundice" that lasted six weeks. 

A typical scene

About a month ago, Jackson stopped pooping on his own, was incredibly gassy and just in, seemingly, constant discomfort.  We resorted to pear juice in bottles of breastmilk, suppositories every night and infant gas relief drops non-stop.  Nothing was working and we didn't like having to give our infant all that "stuff" - especially since it didn't seem to be helping!

My mom convinced me to take him to her (upper cervival) chiropractor last week.  I was skeptical but desperate.  The idea is that if the upper vertabrae are aligned properly there will be no pressure on the nerves running from the brain to the rest of the body.  When the spine is not aligned and there is pressure on those nerves, the body can get mixed signals from the brain causing problems.  Ok, makes sense.

He checked him out by hanging him upside down, by his hips, and watching how his head moved.  It only went one way.  He asked me if he had trouble nursing/favored one side.  I told him he prefers the left and has issues latching well on the right.  The chiropractor told me that one side of his neck was stuck/stiff.  He gave him an adjustment and we went on our way.  A few hours later Jackson pooped - on his own.  Two more days went by with nothing and now he is back to pooping, daily, on his own. 

He's been re-checked and adjusted once since then and we go back in a month for another alignment check.  He is, all around, a happier little guy this past week than he has been in a long time.  He actually lifts his head up during tummy time, he grunts and groans less and can latch properly on both sides while nursing.  

Maybe it's the chiropractic care or maybe it's the fact that he is also on reflux medication now.  Maybe it's a combination of both.  All I know is that he is happier and feels better :)

We still can't get him into even a loose routine of eating and sleeping.  Every day is a new adventure.  There is no "norm" with him.  The late nights are straining mine and Jason's relationship heavily.  We are stressed out, tired and we point fingers at each other constantly.  I know this will all pass.  He will eventually sleep but right now it is just hard.

I returned to work two days ago and I'm hoping that some time out of the house will benefit me.  The family can get back into the routine of hanging with dad in the morning and mom at night - during the week.  

Despite all the struggles - I get to snuggle and enjoy this little guy so it's all good!

Science Sunday

This past Sunday the kids and I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota with my family.  My dad's work sponored their current special exhibit so over the weekend employees were allowed to bring their families  for free!  

We went to the exhibit first - MAYA: Hidden Worlds Revealed.  It was very interesting and a lot more hands on than I remember previous special exhibits being which was a plus since we were there with small kids!

Making patterns like in Mayan weavings

Excavating bones!

Three scientists studying slides :)

T-Rex eating Joe's hand - oh no!

After leaving the museum we had dinner at our favorite, Cossetta's, and Amelia was in the chair with Papa's jacket over the back.  She decided she was cold:

It was a fun day!  

And just so he is not left out, here is Jackson before we left in the morning:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Joey is Two!

Last month, little Joey turned two!  Time really has flown by!

He had his two-year well-child appointment earlier this month and, as expected, he is still in the 100th percentile for everything.  That's our big boy!

His speech has really taken off and he says so, so much.  He even can put together 6+ word sentences which impressed the doctor!  

He copies every single thing Amelia does or says - including the naughty stuff.  He is her little echo - hilarious.

His favorite thing to do, still, is drive things around the house.

Trains, monster trucks, cars etc.  You name it, he will drive it.

He is a loving big brother.

He calls Jackson "Bebe Jacks" and is constantly worried that he needs a hug, a kiss, a pacifier or someone to hold his hand.  It's hard to get him to leave Jackson alone some days!

He is creative.

"Haircut Glasses"

If you have food or drink he will promptly walk run up to you and say, "I want some."  He is a bottomless pit and is usually willing to try just about anything.  However, like his sister, vegetables are still a tough sell!

He keeps us busy, is so incredibly loud and (usually) a big sweetheart who always wants hugs.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had a fun Halloween this year!  Daddy worked the morning shift (after working the night shift the day before...) so he could come out with us in the evening!  

This year we had a monkey, an airplane and a Ninja Turtle!

We made a stop to see Jason's family on our way to my parent's neighborhood.  They had Halloween treats for the kids which, of course, spoiled their dinner ;)  Jason and I had burgers with my family before we went out trick-or-treating!  

Ready to go!

This was Joe's first year really understanding the whole trick-or-treating thing and he had the best time!  

He would run up and greet them with all different things, including "good morning!", "Halloween!" and "Hi!"  He'd get his candy, say thank you and run off in search of the next house.

We only visited about 10-12 houses but both kids filled their buckets to the top!  Good thing too because Amelia was tired of walking in the dark and told us several times, "I can't walk forever!"

On our way home we stopped and saw Jason's grandpa and Ardie.  By the time we left there it was well past bedtime and we had sleeping kids when we got home!  Thankfully the transfer from the car into the house didn't get them too excitable and bedtime went smooth :)

Jackson stayed up until almost midnight...

...and then slept NINE straight hours for us!  Happy Day!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Indiana Trip

Last week, the kids and I were traveling with my parents in Indiana.  The trip was mainly for my parents to continue getting my grandma's affairs in order, an estate sale etc.  We tagged along mainly so my grandma could see the kids and meet Jackson.  

Hanging out with Oma

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - Idea Factory

Amelia attended Disney's animation academy - her Mickey Mouse drawings!

*Click photo to enlarge and see her drawings better :)

Gino's East, Chicago - best pizza EVER!

On Oma's spiral staircase one last time

Glowstick (and glasses!) bath at the hotel!

Cashier Amelia @ BellaBoo's

Water fun @ BellaBoo's (Joe was drenched from head to toe by the end!)

Amelia and Cousin P @ BellaBoo's

Amelia and Cousin A @ BellaBoo's

I lost this guy at BellaBoo's only to find him in the men's room, washing his hands :)

Pit stop on the way home to McQueen and Mater!

Joe sharing his hat with MeeeQueeeen!

Long days in the car, six nights in a hotel, eating nearly every meal out...yeah, travel is not high on my list of things to do any time soon!  As stressful as the week was I'm glad we went to see family.  I'm also glad to be home though ;)