Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

So what did we learn during our 2010 Christmas tree hunt?

We learned not to go during nap time.

As soon as the Packer game was over we packed up and loaded the boys in the car.  Collin got in the car, looked at me and said: Keaton is going to fall asleep before we get there.  I looked into the back seat and said: Keat! We're going to get our Christmas tree! Hoping the excitement would keep him awake.  His eyes grew wide as he exclaimed Dee Dee??!!

Ahhh, the mind of a two-year old.  Christmas Tree = Santa coming (to leave presents under the tree) = the train set he is asking for (Dee Dee = choo choo).  So we had to explain again that no, not yet.  Tree first.  Then you have to be good.  Then Santa will bring a train set.

Unfortunately the excitement didn't last for the 20 min car ride and he was zonked by the time we got there and slept through the whole ordeal.

Our little cold loving Eskimo baby however thought this was the Best. Outing. Ever!!

He was not pleased when it was time to get back in the car.

By the time I got gloves on the sleeping child and threw him over my shoulder Collin had already found our tree. It was chilly, the grounds were a mess of mud, and the wind was stinging my ears, so I was pretty thankful the choosing went quickly. 

Collin and Papa cut it down and loaded it up...

...and if I'm lucky I'll come home from work tomorrow to a tree with lights and garland so we hang ornaments after dinner.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving pictures

I planned on adding these to my Thankful post but was having some trouble uplodaing. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm thankful for...

A husband who questions my every Christmas purchase...
...he keeps my priorities in check.

A toddler who makes messes and breaks my Thanksgiving pumpkin...
...he teaches me patience.

A baby who wakes in the middle of the night...
...more snuggles for Mama before he gets too big.

A dog who sheds all over the floor...
...she makes me feel safe when I'm home alone.

Hoping you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Keaton: 22 months

Dear Keaton,

At the end of September you turned 21 months old. I started composing this letter in my head at that time but finding the time to sit down and actually put it on paper was a challenge. Before I knew it it was the end of October and you had turned 22 months old so I decided I’d just go ahead and write a 22 month letter. As I’m writing this we are less than 10 days away from you turning 23 months but darn it, I’m writing this thing! When I think back to the last letter I wrote you at 19 months I feel like you have aged about 2 years in the last 3 months. Actually, you’ve aged a good year in the last month. The pictures I had planned on using for your 21 month letter no longer even look like you!

When I wrote your brother’s 3-month letter I told him what I predicted for his future. As I was making those predictions I was also thinking about you. At 22 months you are a hard worker. I think you are the hardest 22-month old worker I’ve ever seen. Whether it’s helping me sweep or Grammy do dishes or Papa make wood piles you take your work very seriously. You are also very intense, particular, and determined. The way you love, play, and oh yes, get mad, it comes from deep in your heart and you do everything with all your might. As your mother I hope I do right by you. I hope I guide you in the right direction and provide you with the support you need to achieve your dreams because I believe you could do whatever you set your mind on. And I can foresee you doing big things.

You have also become quite the daredevil in recent months. You love to climb and jump and climb. And did I mention climb? A few weeks ago I was talking to Grammy on the phone and you kept climbing up on the ottoman and standing up and jumping and I was afraid you were going to fall and crack your head so I suggested you go get Muffin Man and ride him (Muffin Man is your ride-on toy that sings Twinkle Twinkle and the Muffin Man song). You looked at me and your eyes twinkled and your face clearly said – that is the best idea ever, Mom! I was confused by the look since you’ve been riding Muffin Man for months but ignored it because I was on the phone. The next thing I knew you were pulling Muffin Man up on top of the Ottoman and riding him on there! A few days later I was sitting at the dining room table when you took Muffin Man, got a running start and rode him right down the basement stairs. Right down the stairs. It all happened in slow motion. I remember yelling Nooooo! But it was too late. You were fine. Shook up, but fine. But your Mother? I’m not sure I’ll ever be quite the same.

You’ve also really started talking in the last month. You’re not speaking in sentences yet but you’re just starting to put a couple of words together and your list of words has really grown in the past couple of months. All weekend long you’ve been telling me Dada! Papa! Bang! Deer! Which, yes, you’re right; Daddy and Papa were deer hunting this weekend. Your new favorite words are wood, fire, move and Oh my! The weather has recently gotten pretty chilly and we’ve been busy bringing in lots and lots of wood to burn in the fire. You watch intently as Daddy loads the wood bin and as he builds a fire and you are constantly saying “wo” and “fi”. Move sounds more like “Meeve!” and it is most always directed at the poor dog. We’re trying to break you of yelling at her and lately you’ve been giving her lots of love and hugs – which is much nicer than the normal hip check as you scream Meeve! at her. Oh my! you learned from Busha and it might be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. Some of your other words include more, which is “mimi”, water “wa”, milk “mi”, car “ca”, Hutton “Ha”, Keaton “Tt”, Busha “Boo”, cho cho train “dee dee”, beep beep, all done, baby, Hi, and Uh oh, which you say often as there seems to be lots of spills around our house. For months and months you called your Nuk “Deee!” but have recently changed it to “nuh.”

At 21 months you got your first haircut, moved into a big boy bed, and started going pee pee on the potty. You’re not potty trained yet but you are excited about it and I think we need to just buckle down and do this because if we don’t I’m afraid we’re going to miss our window of opportunity. At 22 months you love trains, cars, and tractors. You still love to brush your teeth and ask for your sleep potion. You also love wearing slippers. At night you sleep with two blankets and four stuffed animals and when you mosey into our room in the middle of the night you bring ALL of this with you. You will go back into your room and get 2 or 3 loads if needed, but you make sure you have it all. You are just getting into watching videos and your favorites are Thomas (because, of course, it’s a train) and the Peanuts holiday collection, which you call Woof Woof – Snoopy is your favorite. Your baby brother is your best friend; you ask to hold him by touching your right hand to your right shoulder and you love to tell him Hi and pat his back. Last night Hutton was sitting in the dining room in his bumbo chair and you came in the mud room and said Uh oh and touched your mouth.  I wasn't sure what you were trying to say and so you turned around and went back to Hutton's side.  You came back in the mud room and did it again: Uh oh and touched your mouth.  It was then I put it together and asked you, did he spit up?  And you shook your head vigourously.  I have a feeling you will always be looking out for Baby Hutton.

As I finish this letter you are in the other room yelling “No” (Naaa!) at someone and it reminds me that, oh yes, this word everyone has warned us about, it has finally made its way into your vocabulary and you say it all. the. time.

In a couple short months you are going to be two years old. I have no idea how time has gone by this quickly, but it has, and you have made it so much fun.

I love you, Bruske.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deer Hunter's Widow Weekend

In Wisconsin this weekend is known as Deer Hunter's Widow Weekend.  It's also known as Opening (Gun) Deer Season, but for us women it's Deer Hunter's Widow Weekend. 

Just a couple of years back I would have spent it out with the girls, partying too hard and drinking too much, but with kiddos that's no longer possible.  Instead I spent this weekend making turkey cookies, eating mac n' cheese, watching movies, and dancing to Christmas music.  And the best part?  I woke up to a smiling baby instead of a nagging hang over.  Win and win.

Yesterday Amanda and Kira came over and we, along with our (combined) six kiddos, made Thanksgiving cookies.  These are the girls you want by your side if you're making crafts/cookies with six kids ages 10 weeks - four years old.  Amanda brought all the cookie/craft supplies and Kira came bearing Starbucks. 

Amanda is like a kids craft project professional and she knew it was important to do a test run first.

I am most definitely a kids craft project newbie.  And apparently so is my kid.  Amanda gave each child their turkey parts and when I looked down at Keaton's plate to start working on his turkey I realized he had already taken a big 'ol bite out of his turkey body.

The kids had a good time making their cookies and looked pretty cute as they sat and assembled their turkeys. 

And the final product was pretty darn cute as well.

Hutton and Hannah were too young to make cookies but they still got to spend the afternoon hanging with the big kids.

And getting lots of love and snuggles.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Hutton: 4 Months

Dear Hutton,

A couple of weeks ago you turned four months old. I would have written this letter sooner but shortly after this milestone we packed up the car and headed on vacation for a week – spending some time with your Auntie CaS and Uncle Ben and with Grammy and Grandpa Grizz. It was a much needed break for all of us. Before we left though you had your 4-month well baby visit where you weighed in at 13 pounds 12 ounces (25%), were 23 inches long (5%) and had a head circumference of 42 cm (50%). After looking at your stats the doctor looked up at you, looked back at your stats and looked at you again before saying: He just looks bigger than that! And although I’m not surprised at your stats I have to agree that you do not “look” little. Compared to your brother’s 4-month stats you still have 6 ounces on him but you are ¾ of an inch shorter than he was which is why I think we were able to keep you in 0-3 months clothes a little longer.

The biggest event in this past month was your hernia surgery. You were about a week shy of four months old when we took you in to have the hernia repaired. I was terrified of putting you under anesthetic and while we sat in the waiting room surrounded by other nervous family members I kept my fingers busy and my mind still by tweeting and Facebooking every update I could. Looking back it might have been a little obsessive but at the time it was what I needed to stay relatively calm. You, on the other hand, did beautifully. Although you cried as they carried you away the nurse said you calmed down as soon as you turned the corner and you went to sleep and came out of the anesthetic with no problems. While they had you under the doctor also checked the left side and discovered you had not one but two hernias. The good news is they were able to repair both and you seem to have healed fine. The bad news is I think the months of pain have worn on you and we have a feeling the pain you were feeling in your car seat has resulted in a learned response. You still scream. You still hate the car. However, it is a different scream now. Not the Mama! Mama! Get me out of here it hurts! scream but a Mama! Mama! Get me out of here I hate this place and I kind of hate you for putting me here! Scream. I’m hoping as time goes on you will grow out of this but I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

This month you discovered your hands and now they are always, always, always in your mouth. This also means you have a lot of drool and we’ve been going through outfits at warp speed. Well, the outfit changes aren’t just because of the drool, you also have a tendency to poop through your clothes, sometimes multiple times a day, but the drool doesn’t help. With this new discovery you’ve started batting at things while laying on your play mat or at items hanging from your bouncer and every once in awhile you’ll catch hold of one of those items and you hold on for dear life.

In addition to finding your hands you’ve also started babbling a lot this month. I remember your brother saying a lot of agoo’s and agee’s and while you also have these sounds they sound different from his; and your favorite sound seems to be Oooh. I love these subtle differences between you two. When we talk to you you really study our faces and it almost seems as if you are trying to form your mouth in the same shape. I can see your little brow furrow as you think hard and your mouth adjust before you let out the next sound. Of course as your mother I think it is the most adorable thing ever, but then of course I think everything you do is adorable. Well, except for the pooping through your clothes. I could do without that. My most favorite sound you made this month though was a deep hearty laugh. Not the baby giggle but a laugh that comes from your gut. You’ve done it for me a few times and I usually get it out of you by nom nom nomming on your neck.

At four months we finally moved you into 3-6 months clothes, you continue to set your own bedtime between 8 and 8:30 and you let us know when it is time to go to sleep (hello Mr. Crabbypants). We now make you 5 oz. bottles and you usually eat the whole thing, still about every 3 or so hours. You’re not a consistent fan of the nuk – sometimes you love and sometimes you hate – and you have finally become very relaxed in the tub. You don’t like to be overheated and you sweat more than any baby I’ve seen but yet you love to be held close and cuddled.

Before you were born, before I knew what you looked like and how you felt in my arms, I knew I loved you. But every day I’m astounded at just how deep that love goes. Sometimes I look at you and can’t help but exclaim, I love that kid! You have added so much to this family and I look forward to every new day with you. I can’t wait to see what next month brings.

All my love,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stop what you are doing and go get yourself a pie pumpkin

And then make Kim's Pumpkin Salsa Soup.  I promise you will not regret it.

This was on my Soul in the Season list for fall because we made it last year and we liked it.  But Oh Em Gee, I forgot just how good it was!!

We put ours over tortilla chips and topped with cheese and sour cream and served with homemade bread.  Also, because we like our soups thick I put a little extra of everything in it. 

Bonus!  If you make it this weekend you'll have some left over pumpkin puree to use in your Thanksgiving muffins, pies, or morning oatmeal (my brother filled me in on this little secret and we'll be testing it out in the morning!)

So go!  Go get yourself a pie pumpkin!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

PSA for the Ladies


Yesterday I:

Slept in snuggling the baby,
Made a Starbucks run,
Watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving with the boys,
Cuddled them both before naps,

Yelled (again) about the state of the house,
Lost my patience with an inquisitive toddler,
Became frustrated with a baby who wouldn't sleep unless he was held,

Made sweet potato fries and homemade chicken strips for dinner,
Colored and played trains,
Watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as a family.

Today I vowed to do more of the first and third and less of the second.

So far I've:

Watch Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving (again),
Made pancakes with a helper,
Colored and made cards,
Danced during music time.

Being happy and enjoying these days (even during the crabby times) is so much more fun than yelling.  Why can't I remember this more often?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Halloween 2010: Pumpkin Carving

This post was supposed to go up last week, before we left for Indy, but the night I had planned on writing it I was busy packing and picking up the house for our trip. I thought I'd be able to jump online and finish it up while we were on the road but that just never happened because when I did have the time I was too busy soaking up all the TLC I possibly could.  Related: it's probably a good thing we don't have cable.


The night before Halloween we went to Papa & Busha's for a little celebration which included homemade pizza, caramel apples, and pumpkin carving.

We had planned on carving three pumpkins that evening but as we turned the corner on our way there we heard a clunk and we instantly knew one was a goner.  So these were the two we had left.  Hutton's on the left and Keaton's on the right.  Actually, the one on the left is the one Keaton picked out at the pumpkin patch but because it was the smaller of the two we decided to make it Hutton's.

Keaton wasn't quite sure what to make of this pumpkin carving business...

We were able to get him to reach in and touch the inside...

but I'm not quite sure he liked the sliminess.

He preferred to watch Collin do the cleaning.

But we did get a smile when he and Daddy pretended to eat the gunk.

As Collin was cutting out the face Keaton kept touching his ears and asking huh? huh?
So Collin pleased him by including ears on his pumpkin.

While we turned our attention to caramel apples Collin dug out Hutt's pumpkin.

Our jack-o-lanterns are still sitting outside. 

Keaton's has one tooth because he is 1-year old.

And Hutton's has none; just a big gummy smile.

And some of my other favorite pictures from the evening...

Papa & Busha gave Keaton a train whistle in his Halloween goodie bag.  This whistle is so awesome, it's handmade and really sounds just like a train.  It was perfect for his costume!