Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good Advice

We had an unexpected trip to the pediatrician yesterday for an issue Spencer was having. It wasn't a huge thing, but something where Bill and I needed some outside advice to help us work through it. I was able to have a great conversation with the PA there about that issue plus a couple others we have been working through for a long time. It really helped me clarify my thoughts on how I want to tackle certain issues as well as provided me with much needed information that the internet and talking to other people just hasn't done for me. I love, love, love my pediatrician's office. She is great, her PA is great, and I love her nurses. We don't have too many reasons to go there besides well kid checks, but whenever we do I always get the best help.

I've only been a parent for three years yet I've discovered that it's really hard to get good advice about parenting challenges. Or not even parenting, just taking care of my kids' needs. Everyone has something to say on a subject, but it's a lot harder to find someone or a place that has information that actually pertains to a particular issue rather than just opinions or anecdotal information about how it worked for their kid. I've certainly run into things that are different than the typical child experience most people seem to be having, and had so much bad advice given to me on those topics. It has given me pause to think and make sure I don't flippantly pass out advice myself to others as if what I do is the gold standard and will definitely work for everyone else. It just isn't the case. Each kid is so unique and sometimes we struggle with things with our kids that are just different than what others experience. It's a good lesson to learn.

But back to actually getting good advice, I really, really, really appreciate the occasional gold nugget of information or person I come in contact with that has really insightful, useful things to say that help me out. It really makes this parenting maze easier to navigate. So here's to good friends, good doctors, and finding the right people to help when challenges pop up. It makes those moments when parenthood seems really lonely and hard to find the answers a little easier to bear.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter

We had a fantastic Easter this year. The young women in the ward hosted an Easter Egg hunt Thursday. The kids totally got into it. They both got a bunch of eggs, including Genevieve snagging one of the golden eggs that had $5 in it. Score for her! They made quick work of all the candy.







Saturday morning we headed to a park in town for the annual Clemson City Easter Egg Hunt. Basically they use a bunch of baseball fields and scatter hundreds of eggs on each field. Then the kids break up into age groups and one after another go clear their fields. It's pretty fantastic. The oldest kids they make a course in the woods next to the park. This year it was just horrible weather. The hunt ended up getting pushed back an hour, but we were already there so we kind of just wandered around. Thankfully the rain let up but it was cold and blustery. Everything was soaked. The kids did surprisingly well having to wait that long. Spencer was pretty bothered, but he found ways to entertain himself, like climbing all over bleachers and jumping off stairs. Genevieve found every single puddle and jumped in it. That girl!







Sunday some of our friends invited us over to their house for Easter dinner. It was so nice of them! They have a tradition where instead of hiding eggs they just hide the whole baskets and the kids have to go find them. Their yard is just a bit woodsy, so it it's perfect for it. We just had a fantastic time at their house. They have two primary-aged girls that just love Spencer and Genevieve and towed them around the entire time we were there. The kids got more and more comfortable the longer we stayed. They had a couple other families from the neighborhood over, so it was fun to get to know them a bit. We had a really fantastic meal and then mostly lounged around on the back deck chatting while the kids played and consumed huge quantities of chocolate and candy. Can't ask for a much better Easter as a kid. :)
Her adorable Easter outfit from Grandma Suzanne. She was so ridiculously tired after church and she would not take her hand out of her mouth for anything. I don't blame her. I get tired after church too. :)
Literally 30 seconds after we got in the house Spencer had his shoes, socks, and pants off, so this is the top half of his Easter outfit. He has a really cute 3-piece suit I'll get a picture of another time that was supposed to be for Easter but he wore it last week because he saw it and loved it so much. He has good taste.
It really does get better and better each year the kids get older celebrating these holidays. Last year Spencer literally picked up one egg at the city hunt and was content with that. This year he thought it was great fun to run around picking up particular colors, and Genevieve caught on plenty quick and was all over that too. Now to just hide the rest of the candy and only let it come out very slowly. My goodness they were so wired all this weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reading

Spencer has a phenomenal memory and loves to read books, so he has tons and tons memorized. Here's him reading one of his recent favorites. Bill and I both think that when he actually decides he wants to read the words he'll learn to read in a snap. He's memorizing these books essentially by accident now, but I can only imagine the things he'll accomplish when he starts putting his mind to doing things. I love watching him develop all these new skills and talents! 

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Singing

I've been trying for years to get Spencer to sing and he just won't do it. That is, until about two weeks ago. Now he's our little virtuoso. I'm not surprised, but it turns out he knows the words to essentially all the primary and kid songs we sing them each night and whenever else we sing songs. He's been singing himself to sleep loud and proud every night for days and days now. I wouldn't be surprised if when Genevieve gets a bit older and able to verbalize this she is like, "Geez Spencer, will you just stop singing!" lol. He sings so many songs. I love it. Here's a sample.
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Ice cream of their very own

We have an ice cream shop here that is a lot like Coldstone. We took the kids there last Friday as part of a family date of sorts. Spencer has been up and down about ice cream at different points in his life so I didn't know if he'd want any. We got there and started sampling some flavors and he wanted to try the bright blue cotton candy one. He loved the color and when I asked him if he wanted some of his own he gave a generally positive response. He's not always clear on what he wants to eat, so I thought, heck, let's go for it and see if he really wants it. We ordered a cup of blue ice cream for he and Genevieve to share with mini marshmallows and sprinkles in it. It was their very first ice cream of their own we've ever bought them. Big milestone here, folks. He loved it! That kid inhaled the ice cream and was so wired and happy afterward. It was fun. Genevieve has been going through a bit of a stage where she says whose everything is, so Spencer's this and Spencer's that and Mommy's this, etc. She kept saying Spencer's ice cream and we reassured her that it was hers too. She was only too happy to eat her share of the bright blue stuff. Bill and I both tried it and hated it, but blue ice cream is blue ice cream and I can't imagine any kid turning it down no matter what the flavor. :)


New Clothes, Easter Eggs, Hair Dos and the Finished Mini Crib

Grandma Suzanne sent a bunch of new clothes our way last week. We haven't done a fashion show of all the new clothes, but I'm trying to take pictures of the kids as they wear new outfits. They are just darling. This morning they were kind enough to pose for me. It's so hard to get either one of them to stop long enough and then smile to get a good shot, so I was super pleased to get such a good shot of Spencer.


We went to our ward's Easter Egg Hunt today. The young women hosted it and it turned out fantastic. The kids had a ball. Last year at the city Easter Egg Hunt I think Spencer got one egg. He was totally satisfied with that. Yeah, this year he and Genevieve were both all over hunting eggs. They came back with quite the haul. Genevieve even found one of a few golden eggs that had $5 in it. Score for her! They immediately wanted to play with the new playdough when they got home.






Genevieve's hair is growing like crazy. Poor child, her hair grows in really crazy directions all over her head. Hopefully when it thickens up it will lay a little more flat, but for now we can do some ridiculously awesome after bath hair dos on her. She loves it.




My friend is letting me borrow an adorable antique mini crib for baby #3. It was a bit rickety and needed a coat of paint when I got it, so I finally got to working on it yesterday and today. Two coats of white paint later and some 1x2s attached to the length of the crib in case our older kids decide to hop in sometime, and it's much sturdier. We thought about putting some corner braces on to make it even more sturdy from twisting, but decided it's not going to have that kind of stress on it, so for now the 1x2s should do the job. It's stinkin' adorable. It's about the size of a bassinet, so it will hold him probably until he's six months old, which is great.

We don't have a place for him set in stone, but the mini crib fits nicely by my bed for now and we'll start it out there. It's so lightweight and narrow that we could easily just move it to a random room when needed once he arrives and we see what kind of sleeper he will be. Spencer slept in our room for his first four months and that worked really well. Genevieve was in her own room probably at three weeks old. She was much too loud a sleeper and she and I both woke each other up. So who knows how #3 will be. I'm flexible. He can sleep in our room or in the hallway or the living room. Eventually he'll move in with the kids, but not until he sleeps through the night and also not until they figure out how to go to sleep faster. We're working through that now. Hopefully by the time he arrives they won't stay up as long each night. Who knows. They'll have new beds sometime soon so that will be a change and we'll see how it affects their going to sleep at night. Teaching little kids to go to sleep on their own is quite the experience!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Living Room Camping

A picture of both kids smiling. Hallelujah! They loved, loved, loved having the tent set up in our living room.  
I brought their pillows out and they just loved it. 

Pillow, dog, blanket = happy Genevieve.

Spencer giving Genevieve a kiss. What a sweetheart!

Just chillin' in Spencer's sleeping bag. We need to get her one sometime very soon. 

They seemed to think this little fleece blanket sewn into a sleeve worked pretty well as a sleeping bag. It's supposed to be a sleeping bag liner, but it's a bit snug. 

He brought all his guys in to play with. Happy boy.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jumping and Dancing

Genevieve has recently decided Spencer's clothes are super comfy to wear, so she always brings various articles of clothing to me so I can help her put them on. She has really cute clothes of her own, but that doesn't stop her. She looks so, so, so much like Spencer when she's wearing his clothes, especially since they're not even very big on her, which is startling. 

She and Spencer both have taken to jumping off high surfaces onto pillows, the air mattress like in this video, or they even just run and jump and bounce off the couch. It's hilarious. It does leave Bill and I wondering what it'll be like once we build the loft bed though... Should be exciting. hahaha!

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Also, in case you are wondering, this is what dancing means to Miss Genevieve. She's quite the entertaining little lady.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Talking

Based on my vast experience with two children (note the heavy irony of that statement), I've decided my kids talk early. Whether that is a true statement or not doesn't matter because really I just love watching them develop their vocabulary and I like that it starts so soon. Genevieve has started putting together some two-word phrases to go with her decently large one-word vocabulary. It's fantastic to see her picking up so many new concepts and verbalizing. She'll repeat anything we ask her to say. Lately she's been picking up new words from Spencer, which I particularly love to watch. She is quite a bit more interactive in her speech than Spencer was at this age, so that's fun too. He was very into labeling the world around him. He had a massive vocabulary of nouns and adjectives at a very young age and an incredible memory, so he picked up words lightning fast. Genevieve likes to talk to get her point across and generally to get something she wants. Her vocabulary is also jumping in leaps and bounds. It's definitely the age. She's 19 months old now, which is the same age Spencer was when she was born and I remember he was so much easier to talk to at that point because of the large vocabulary and understanding.

So here's a few things Genevieve has been saying lately that I like:

-back on - she has gotten super particular about choosing clothes and especially shoes. If we take something off, even to change her diaper, that she wants on, she very forcefully tells us to put it "back on!"

-Daddy sleep or Spencer sleep - I came home yesterday to find Bill asleep while Spencer watched a movie and Genevieve playe around him. She saw me, pointed at him, and said, "Daddy. sleep."

-out - this means pick me up and/or get me down from this chair, I'm done eating. Another word she uses very forcefully. :)

-cookie, candy, graham cracker, cracker, milk, juice, water, fish (goldfish), snacks (fruit snacks)... - The little lady enjoys her food. She eats like a champ and let's us know if she sees something she wants. She eats lots more things than these, but the snacks have way easier words than like spaghetti casserole or currey. :)

-shoes, boots - what 19 month-old has multiple words for shoes? lol. She loves her shoes, Spencer's, mine, Bill's. Doesn't matter, she wants to wear them all.

-car, tree, flower, dirt - she likes to label things when we go outside too.

-guys - refers to the duplo figures. She and Spencer fight over them like any good sibling would.

-Spencer, Genevieve, Daddy, Mommy - She has our names down great and she'll repeat names for other family members, though I haven't heard her say them on her own.

-Bless you - whenever we sneeze she's all over making sure we're polite. :)

-please, thank you, you're welcome. We didn't teach Spencer these niceties until he was a bit older. It's delightful to hear her itty bitty voice be so polite.

Those are all I can think of for the moment. I'm sure she has more, those are just what come to mind at the moment.

And in other news, she also has very questionable taste in clothing, though very definite opinions about what she wants to wear. :)
 And I can't end without a picture of Spence. We have a hard time getting good pictures of either kid since they never stop moving, but I caught this one last night when we were doing the bedtime routine.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Picture dump

I was thinking about what to write this week on my blog and realized that there isn't really anything particular going on to report or talk about, just typical life. I'm 23 weeks pregnant. I'm at that point where I feel pretty good but am already pretty big and if feels like the pregnancy is going to last forever. I appreciate being past the icky first trimester stuff and not to the terrible uncomfortableness of the end of my third trimester though, so I'll take it. Bill is in the middle of his semester. Nothing special is happening, but nothing bad is either, so that's good. Spring is slowly coming here and I love that. We've gotten outside a lot in the last week or two, which has been been wonderful. So really it is just one of those good life weeks. I'll take as many of those as I can!

Spencer rarely wears a full outfit while we're at home. I figure he can wear whatever he wants, and he goes to town. I do try to get him to wear at least a shirt most of the time. :)

Reading books in the hammock set up under the desk. The kids love it.

Genevieve just loves shoes. Hers, mine, daddy's, Spencer's. She's an equal opportunity shoe wearer.

Case in point. These are Spencer's.

She also loves her bath towel.

Another quality Spencer outfit and one of his favorite places to hole up, in the pile of pillows on my bed.