Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Morning

Santa Claus came to our house! He stuffed our stockings and left presents, both wrapped and not, strewn about the living room.

Although Spenser was awake at 6 AM, it was not in anticipation of all the exciting presents and Santa's night time visit. He was ready for oatmeal ( his favorite breakfast right now). He was kind of a grumpy pants to start things off.

This shiny new red kitchen quickly caught his eye. It will look really nice with the newly painted red and aqua play room in the basement.

Harper had a stocking full of fun new things to chew on. She was pretty unimpressed with the whole thing.
After a breakfast of tapioca pudding ( breakfast of champions, I tell you!), Spenser was in a much better mood. One of my best presents was getting this nice smile out of him for once.

Our morning was long and leisurely The grown ups had mimosas and sunrise mimosas. Little kids had milk. A present or two would be opened. We would play with the new present and then it would be time to open the next present. Spenser finally got around to his stocking which was crammed full of all kinds of goodies.

He got a set of big building blocks to play with. His favorite thing is to make a giant towering stack and then knock them over.

The aftermath of the present opening. We had a huge southwest strata for breakfast and skipped lunch in favor of lots of little hor d'eouvres in anticipation of the prime rib for dinner. Sometime around 4 pm, the grown ups finally got dressed.

Around 1 pm, we were hanging on the couch and noticed that Spenser had gotten particularly quiet. When I went around the end of the couch to see what he was looking at, I realized that he had fallen asleep! All the fun and excitement had worn him out. He has never just fallen asleep where he was and generally fights taking naps and going to bed.

As the afternoon progresses, he gradually oozed down the couch.....

until he ended up in a relatively horizontal position. He slept like this for an hour and a half. He woke up really really cranky and grumpy. I cuddled with him for a bit and then he and I took another hour long nap upstairs on the bed.

After his long long nap, he was in much better humor and ready to hold Harper.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pre-Christmas Activities

December 2, Spenser's school had a pancake dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus. We had pancakes, sausage, and juice boxes for dinner in one of the larger rooms at the school. Spenser was upset that he couldn't eat unlimited amounts of pancakes.

Pancakes as finger food.
Daddy with his favorite girl. She seems stunned by his awesome pancake dinner

Our pretty girl on Santa's lap. She was pretty unfazed by it all.

While he didn't try to get away or cry, Spenser is still not too sure about this Santa guy. At least it is just fingers in the mouth. He normally sticks a finger up his nose when he is a bit nervous.
The next weekend, we took a trip out to a friend's tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree. Spenser helped C measure carefully so we could be sure that our perfect tree would fit through the door and in the room.

He held onto the tape measure while Daddy cut the tree down.

For whatever reason, the tree fell toward C instead of away. The tips of the branches barely wisped by Spenser's nose. He was pretty stunned. Fortunately no one was injured.

Basking in the setting sun and looking at the miniature donkeys that live on the farm.

My two favorite boys.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Harper's 5 month Birthday

Harper is 5 months old! Our baby girl is getting bigger and more active every day. She thinks her toes make a great plaything. She rolls over every which way and can spin from side to side to reach her toys. Everything is open for tasting and sticking in her mouth. She is getting very very vocal and she loves to rock and wiggle from side to side.

We tried some first bites of rice cereal. It did not go over to well and we have quickly moved on to bananas, apples, peas, squash and oatmeal. She likes these much much better.

She likes to sit on the couch with Spenser and her Daddy.

I heard Spenser laughing and Harper giggling the other day when I had stepped away to the kitchen to start a bottle. When I came back, I saw what was causing the hilarity. Harper's mouth is blue from the pretzel M&M that Spenser kept sticking in her mouth and she kept spitting out. I quickly put a stop to this source of fun.
Spenser loves his baby sister. He's realizing that it can be entertaining to make her laugh.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Spenser's 2nd Birthday

Spenser turned 2 years old on November 28, 2011. This was a busy Monday with Mama and Daddy both working until 5 PM so we put off his official party until the following Saturday. We did let him open a present a day until the big party.

His big present was the Playskool Sesame Street playset. It comes with Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Spenser's favorite, ELMO! Spenser kept tearing little bits of wrapping paper off, stopping to proclaim, "WOW! What's that!"

The big party was Saturday afternoon. We had two kids over, Xander from around the corner and Gracie from school. Their craft was to decorate bags with pom poms to recreate Elmo's face. I later stuffed the bags with crayons, a coloring book, a slinky, Elmo stickers, and M&Ms as their party favor.

The kids had pizza, goldfish crackers, and juice boxes for lunch. If you know anything about Elmo, you know that pizza is his favorite food and he has a pet goldfish named Dorothy.

Instead of a big cake, we had chocolate frosted cupcakes with Elmo decorations.

Spenser knows how to eat cupcakes. There is at least one chocolate-y handprint on my dining table chairs now.

I made cake pops in the likeness of Elmo. While not difficult, they were pretty time intensive.

Spenser's friend, Diane (our neighbor), got him this singing, rocking Elmo.

In addition to the guest of honor, a very special guest, ELMO, showed up to say hello! Gracie was so scared she had to leave the house. Xander, when asked if he wanted to sit on Elmo's lap, replied, "No way!" Fearless Spenser was right up there with his hero.

Later that night was the Christmas parade downtown. We bundled everyone up and lasted about an hour and a half of the parade before we got too cold and too tired of the immense crowd before we left. Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Harper's 4 month birthday

Our baby girl is 4 months old! Time is going by so swiftly, yet we can hardly remember as a tiny little newborn. She weighed in at 15 lb, 16 1/2 oz and was 26 inches long. That's 2 inches longer than she was at her 2 month visit! It makes my bones ache just to think about growing that fast. She's become very vocal with lots of screeching and cooing. She still sleeps about 12 hours a night, which has caused my milk to quit on us. She doesn't seem to mind and actually prefers the bottle since she can eat much faster that way. She still likes to eat about every 2 hours, but don't be late with the food. She gets very loud and opinionated when she has to wait to eat. She is very alert and interested in everything going on. She definitely keeps a sharp eye on Spenser. She can easily roll to her side.

She immediately took to the Exersaucer, batting the toys and chewing and drooling on anything she could get near her mouth.

Spenser has a new way of "smiling" for the camera. I'm not sure where he got the idea that this was the way to do it.

On Halloween, Daddy sits with Little Red Riding Hood and the (not so) Big Bad Wolf. Harper visited just a couple of neighboring houses before going home. Spenser and I went almost all the way around the block. Unfortunately, he wanted to be carried most of the time, which limited how far I could go. He was very interested in the other kids and wanted to talk about the houses that didn't have their lights on. His commentary ran along the line of, "Houses dark, in bed, night night" and "Look at the kids!" He was pretty bashful about approaching doors and saying trick or treat, but he still got plenty of candy for an almost two year old.

Yay! Grandma Gail made us more bibs! I picked out the fabrics and she sewed them up from a pattern we created when Spenser was little. These are double sided and have an internal flannel lining to soak up the slobbers. So cute and much more fashionable than the ones you can find at the store.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guess who came to visit

I bet you can guess who came to visit us just by looking at the collection of kids on our stairwell.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spenser on our morning walk

Harper photo op

Harper bundled against the chilly weather on our morning walk.

Touring the town

Long time friends are visiting for a day.  Spenser is having a blast playing with their kids.  We are touring the historic part of town.  Tonight we are having a homemade southern feast of fried chicken, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3 months old

Harper turned 3 months old this month. We've been so busy, there has not been time to stop and talk about it. She weighed 15 lb 3 oz this morning. She is very chatty and will talk a lot when she is in the mood. She is such a good baby and only fusses when she is hungry, lonely, or really really ready to go to bed. She is sleeping 12 hours a night (we only wish Spenser was sleeping as good). She is very strong and alert. She's always looking around to see what is happening.

I've been busy getting her Halloween costume in order. One more sewing project and it will all be done!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spenser's Milestone

Spenser being oh-so-serious on a vintage fire engine. The local fire and rescue groups are primarily volunteer based. This weekend, they had a fundraiser and open house. They had firetrucks and ambulances open for exploration, free food, balloons, hats, and various other fun and games that were a wee bit advanced for our tow. It was a nice Sunday afternoon activity and let us take a really long walk downtown since we stopped by the wrong firehouse.

A couple of weeks ago, Spenser's teacher, Ms. Pam, let us know that Spenser had asked to use the potty. It was not a successful sitting in that when she stepped away to grab a new diaper, he stood up and managed to get his pants wet. Nevertheless, we took this for a positive sign that he will someday soon show real interest in learning to use the potty. We took the boy to Target and let him pick from a plethora of potties. (I love alliteration) He picked a simple and inexpensive one (no musical flushing mechanism or built in magazine racks). He was so excited about it that he insisted on sitting on it in the shopping basket while we finished our shopping, checked out and made our way back to the car. He has sat on it a few more times, but only when we ask him to right before his bath time. I keep reminding myself, "Babysteps, babysteps."

His vocabulary continues to expand and he is consistently using 3 word sentences. We run through a set of alphabet flashcards each night before bed and he is starting to consistently recognize a few of the letters. He will ask for "cards" if we forget or try to skip over them.

He hasn't been sleeping through the night since shortly before Harper was born. At first, we thought it was just some regression secondary to a new baby showing up, but he is still waking up 2 or more times in the night. He wakes up crying and will sometimes fall asleep with a few minutes of cuddles and back patting. Other times, it's 2 hours of rocking and walking circles with him. More than likely it's still some separation anxiety that is lingering. As C says, this too will pass.

He is pretty protective of Harper. I took Harper to visit C at work and show her off to the office, so the next week, I did the same with Spenser. Spenser was very upset that we were leaving Harper behind at the school.

Just a cute picture of our pretty girl sleeping.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

End of September photo dump

Our big girl sitting up in the Bumpo seat. Her head control is excellent! In developmental news, she smiles regularly. She bats at her toy bar on the car seat. She can roll from her tummy to her back. She's starting to drool and blow lots of bubbles, indicating she's starting to gear up for more solid food than the mommy milk.

She looks quite comfy propped up on the couch.

Spenser, our budding mixologist.

I was making dinner when I realized it was awfully quiet in the living room. He had emptied out this toy basket and was sitting in it, contentedly "reading" a little book.

Enjoying some chicken nuggets for dinner. He's decided he's too old to be bothered with bibs. He's in the midst of cutting four canine teeth. No two year molars yet but they are coming soon.

She's going to grow up tough, since big brother has already decided she makes a dandy footrest.

A morning stretch and smile on the changing table.

Zoe has decided that Harper makes just as good a napping partner as Spenser did.

In her lovely party dress that Grandma Gail bought for her. She wore it when we went to a party in Fawn Lake. At that same party, Spenser fell off a concrete patio onto a lower level (two steps) while standing on a chair and later fell down a short flight of steps in the house.

Grandma Marilyn came to visit!