Tuesday, June 30

Around our house

Yesterday Beth was playing and she asked me to take these photos. She did all of this-lined up the chairs, put the dolls into position, and even put her arm around the dolls. The conversation was something about mommy and daddy and baby (Pooh was the baby, Ariel was the mommy and Eric was the daddy). They were talking about loving each other. :-) Yes I notice that Eric is sitting in Ariel's lap, at that point I think Eric was still the baby and not the daddy, haha.

A little later when Luke woke up, I took this video. This is literally the first time I've seen him even somewhat mobile, I realize he's slow but it's the beginning of something big! This is the first time I've put him on our kitchen floor, so he had a little extra smoothness on which to slide around. That probably helped. He's also trying to pull up on things around the house and can successfully pull himself up when I help him out a little bit. ;-) He doesn't stay too long though!

On another note, I am now an aunt! Ryan's brother and sister-in-law had their little boy early this morning, Beth and Luke's first and only cousin! I can't tell you how many times I've teared up today just thinking about it all, we live far away from each other now so we won't meet him until October. But I'm so happy! Congratulations!!!

Monday, June 29

Astros Game

Sunday we trekked into H-town to go to an Astros game, Luke's first! We went with our friends Katie, Pat and their kids Grace and Colin... We piled into their new Honda Pilot- yes, the thing is a bus and can fit all eight of us. Ryan and I squished in the back with Colin, it was quite the site to see us get in and out of the car though...

The game was pretty slow and boring, but given the circumstances the kids all did rather well. Luke fell asleep and Beth wanted to climb and jump (since it's her new thing), and jumping around on the upper deck isn't really my idea of a good time. Keeping her still was kind of hard, but she made it out of the ball park without a scratch. We enjoyed a burrito after the game and debated staying in the area to hang out, but it was too hot and we were all exhausted so we just came home. It was a great day!

first game with daddy!

matching 4th of july dresses

someone had too much fun

Sunday, June 28

two and a half

Saturday was Beth's 1/2 birthday. I know I'm a huge dork for thinking about it so much, but there is already such a big difference between 2-yr-old Beth and 2.5-yr-old Beth, so I'll blog about it! And for my records, she was 29 pounds last week at the doctor when she had her post-hospital checkup.

1. Her fascination with Dora the Explorer/Franklin the turtle. I think she likes the consistency between the tv show and the books, not to mention all the toys! She's starting to repeat the Spanish words she here from the show, especially "Para!" which is a command to "Stop!" Ryan and I liked that she couldn't identify any licensed Disney character for the longest time, and that she still has no idea who Hannah Montana or Ronald McDonald or any Disney princesses are. But that if she sees a painting of a woman holding a baby, she usually says it's Jesus and Mary (and she's usually right!). We're just weird like that, but it makes me proud!

2. Hopping. She doesn't walk any more, she hops. She jumps. Constantly. In fact, I have a small video of it, I will add it here later.

3. Fantasy play. She carries on conversations between her toys, dolls or anything really. They talk back and forth about all sorts of thinks, recently I heard a conversation where one doll was telling the other to, "Shh! Be quiet, the baby is asleep!" Ha! What's really cool for me is that I've read in child development books that this would happen- that little girls incorporate what they experience in their daily life into their fantasy play. Supposedly it helps them gain control over the situation- instead of being told by mommy to keep quiet, she has control over the doll telling them to keep quiet. It has to do with defining her place in the world (or something like that).

4. Attitude. The girl has attitude, but I don't think she's a diva. When she doesn't get her way, she's starting to throw things or hit- nothing major yet, usually she's tinkering with a toy and if she can't make it do what she wants, she throws it. Or if I ask her to bring me something, she might throw it the other way. It's still at the point where I kind of want to laugh because her little temper is so cute, but I know not to reinfoce the behavior either. So I reiterate that we don't use our hands that way, and ask her to pick up the item and bring it back to me. She's started yelling at me too, again just occasionally, but it's a big fat reminder to me that I really shouldn't model behaviors I don't want to see her repeat...

5. Giggling. Everything is a joke! She says something and laughs, and puts her hand in front of her mouth as she giggles. She's so girly, it's so cute!

6. Fears. She's started to experience fear in the mildest way. Today she was playing with Ariel and Eric (her dolls) and quickly ran over to me and said, "Mommy, I need to get by you, the deers is going to get me!" She's never been a fan of the deer at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but apparently they've made a big impact on her! She explained to me that she liked baby deers and mommy deers, but not daddy dears. A couple of days ago, she was playing in our shower stall and pulled up the little drain. She hopped out pretty quickly and told me the crocodile was going to get her!!! Where on earth she picked that up, I have no idea, because we don't talk like that around here. In fact, we don't use the wordy "scary" because it paints an image we don't want her to experience yet. In the hospital, nurses kept telling her not to be afraid or scared- she totally wasn't at all but I wonder if the words somehow got to her.

Beth and Luke, playing and dancing

Friday, June 26

Children's Museum

Wednesday we loaded up my car with my two kids, my mom, and two brothers and headed down to the museum district to the children's museum. Oh my goodness, if you haven't been and your kids are older than mine, GO. It was so cool! It was so big too, there was no way we could have done everything in one day. Beth had a great time in the "tot room" but she also got a kick out of some of the big kid areas with her older uncles. They all had a great time but poor Luke got so tired, he passed out in the sling and actually let me lay him down to sleep in the stroller. He never does that, so that is an indication of just how worn out he actually was!

Yesterday we went to my uncle's house. Beth was all cleared for the pool at her checkup yesterday morning, so we didn't hesitate to jump right in!

Thursday, June 25

Poll Analysis

I only had 16 people vote- is that how many blog visitors I have? Really? I thought it was more. How sad. ;-)

12/16 people want more pictures of the kids
I really think I'm doing as well as I can with the pictures! I take photos nearly every day and upload as often as I can- usually several times a week! Then I have to sort out the bad ones, the overexposed ones, the ones where little eyes are half-shut...I'm sure you all know the drill. But I do love my digital camera with my kids - I take 10 pictures to get 1 good one. I don't know how they did it in the "old" days of film-only!

7/16 of you want more written updates about the kids
This is an important part of my blog for me. I use it as a record of our life, so while my writing might not be as important to some of my blog readers, it's important for me to get down the little details of things I want to remember in the future.

9/16 want more of my musings on motherhood
I think this is what is the most entertaining when I look at my friend's blogs. I love reading about their take on motherhood, how they're handling the balancing act of motherhood versus wifehood versus just being a woman of God. I think it helps to be entertaining- some days I feel like I do a good job of being funny and other days I'm pretty lame. Problem is, I have a million thoughts throughout my day of, "Oh! That would be great to blog about!" but when I sit down at night to blog, the thought is gone. Motherhood has turned my brain to mush.

7/16 want more of my musings on religion
I know that I have a lot of my Catholic friends who read my blog, and I suppose they're the ones that make up the 7 people in this vote. :-) I have been going through a spiritual dry spell lately ("spiritual arrogance" is the term I used in Confession) but I feel like I'm coming out of it. Maybe blogging will help me get back on track. My life is a series of swerves off and on the path that God has laid out for me. Sometimes I get way off but I always manage to make it back on his path somehow!

5/16 want Ryan to start blogging!
Yes, good luck with that. If you'd like this, I suggest you personally take it up with him via phone or facebook. Cause he usually spends all his online time on fantasy sports. ;-)

4/16 want more information for mommys
My least bit of a response, ha! Well I don't write a lot about this sort of stuff (do I?) unless I fell it's big news or super important. Obviously car seat safety is something I'm passionate about, and the other things I do that might not be "mainstream" are personal choices that I've decided to do based on personal research. BUT to my friends and family: I do advocate knowledge. Make an informed decision about what you do with/to your kids. Car seats- yes, some are better than others. A huge number of car seats are installed incorrectly- take the time to check them. Vaccinations- know what you're vaccinating for, how they're made, and the effects they will/could have on your kids. Breastfeeding, cloth diapers, attachment parenting, co sleeping, homeschooling, religion... The list goes on and on. Just educate yourself, that's all I want. Know what's going on, don't just do it because it's what everyone else does or because it's opposite of what everyone else does, know what I mean? Be passionate about it!

So with the conclusion of this poll, I will try to take all of this into consideration. More photos- got it! If you have other comments, please feel free to let me know!

Tuesday, June 23

8 months old

Today our Luke is 8 months old! He still has no teeth and does not crawl yet, but he's babbling a "ba ba ba" sound (he'll repeat it if you say it to him!) and dancing! That's right, he's already dancing- play some music and if he feels the beat, he'll bounce up and down to it. So cute! He practically jumps out of my arms to reach for things (including food) and is a little rolly polly once I put him down on the floor. Today he napped perfectly- 2 naps, the first one almost 1.5 hours and the second one 2.5 hours. I would LOVE it if he napped like that every day! He was so happy all day!

edited to add: Here's a post of Beth when she was about 8 months old, for photo comparison. :-)

My mom and two youngest brothers are visiting right now, so we've been spending most of our days with them. My brothers love playing with Beth and Luke, and Beth absolutely adores both of them. It's nice to spend some time with my mom and grandma, too! Here's a pic of Beth on the swing, David and Alex were pushing her too. She has so much fun with them!

Sunday, June 21

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially my hubby who is probably one of the best- if not the best- father in the whole world. I'm so glad I picked you, instead of Ronnie Nelson, to be the father of my children!

(Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of Beth and Ryan today. But here are some cute ones of Luke and Ryan playing on the bed.)

Saturday, June 20

Back at home

Today has been a good day. Beth honestly seems 100% back to her normal self with the exception of her nasty cough and runny nose. Luke is also doing better, his congestion seems to be clearing up. I think Ryan and myself see a light at the end of the tunnel, hopefully tomorrow will be even better!

We started our day with some pancakes and eggs for breakfast, as requested by Beth. Then we went to the park to feed the ducks and swing for a little bit- you wouldn't believe how much energy Beth has after being cooped up in the hospital room for a few days (she was in isolation which means she wasn't allowed to leave her room!). So we got out for a bit in the morning, came home for lunch and naps and spent the rest of the day at home.

ryan likes this picture

Beth is doing great with her breathing treatments, in fact they haven't been an issue at all. We just sit in bed and read while she holds it up to her mouth (she wants to!) and then it's over after a few minutes.

Friday, June 19

Beth is home!

Beth was discharged this afternoon! She was off oxygen for most of the day and keep her intake up above 95%, so our pediatrician felt comfortable sending her home. We are administering breathing treatments at home every 4-6 hours as needed, but other than that she's supposed to be okay. We're staying in this weekend and taking it easy, as we're still not sure if she's contagious or not. I think Luke has really missed me the past couple of days, he's had my milk in bottles but I can tell he's missed me. He's just a little extra clingy, poor boy.

At some point I'll come back and recap from start to finish our whirl-wind of a week, but right now I am exhausted and want to go to bed! Here are pictures.
right after we checked in, she let them put an IV in and take a chest x-ray without any complaint at all!!!

the next day, starting to feel a little better. this is her face she made quite often, i think it was to help the odd feeling of having the oxygen tube stuck up her nose.

her "ET" thumb. this was the oxygen monitor, so cool. it was just on her thumb, nothing was pricking her, but it constantly monitored her oxygen intake.

the hospital had a very nice lady who came and brought toys and special things for beth- a blanket, bear pillows, toys, movies, stickers, and snow cones! this hospital trip was one big dora-themed vacation for her- stickers, movies, books, toys- you name it. it was all about dora!

Going home, yay!


Obviously this is a few days old... from Monday or Tuesday I think.

Thursday, June 18

beth and luke

Bad news

Yesterday Beth had a cold. She woke up with a runny nose and she was breathing kind of hard, and had a little fever of 100.4 or under. She got worse as the day went on, and at 4:00 I decided to bring her to the pediatrician. After examining her, he decided to admit her to the hospital to be monitored, since her breathing was so labored and she wasn't getting 100% oxygen. Last night she had a chest X-ray, which shows she most likely has pneumonia, and given that she's not really responding to the antibiotics it's most likely viral (isn't it always?). So she'll probably spend a couple of nights in the hospital, just to be on the safe side. Last night I stayed with her and right now Ryan is with her while I'm home with Luke. I'm not sure how we'll do this but I'm trying to pump as much milk as possible (which is pretty impossible for me) so that Luke can stay home and away from the hospital. This came on so quickly, and she wasn't really even acting too sick other than her lack of appetite and unusual tiredness- but she was still in a happy mood! Please pray for her quick recovery!

Wednesday, June 17

Eating salad

Beth has recently started enjoying salad, I don't know why I'm so surprised! Here she is chowing down at dinner last night!

Then an after-dinner walk. Just a little short one since it was so darn hot, but it's enough to make the kids and the dog very happy!

Tuesday, June 16

Beth update

My children are hilarious. I love seeing bits and pieces of us in them- in their attitudes, their looks, their sayings, even their gestures and postures. Ok it's mostly Beth right now, but Luke is starting to become a little kid and show his personality a little more every day.

Beth cracks me up. She loves to mimic right now, mostly words and actions. She frequently will "sit like grandpa," "dance like daddy," or try to copy my facial expressions. She is a follower when it comes to her interactions with her friend Grace. They feed off of each other but Beth will totally follow the mood or actions that Grace initiates. This can mostly be a good thing, but not always, as 2 1/2 year olds and nearly-3 year olds can be moody sometimes! Beth will copy everything I say, which really holds me to a higher standard of speaking. Not that I have a potty mouth, but it means I can't even say something like, "Finley, you're driving me nuts!" because Beth will say it to Luke- "You're driving me nuts!" Etcetera. I'm sure it will get worse! The other day I wiped some goop out of Luke's eye, and not even a few minutes later I caught Beth trying to wipe his eye too, only she wasn't wiping very gently! It's the little things like that, not necessarily bad, but just not things I really want her to repeat either!

And now the musings: I've realized lately that I feel like I'm holding her to too-high standards again, I think I went through this a few months ago right after Luke was born. It's easy to ask her to help me put stuff away, go talk to Luke for a second, go grab this, etc., and brush her off when her requests aren't conveinent for me. She is so mature, I think, for her age, but I've had people tell me they thought she's precocious even since she was 8 months old! Yesterday I was just thinking about her, this little girl who is not quite 2 1/2 years old yet, and how she's still just a baby.

Everyone always says time flies, but not for me. I think it's kind of nice that she acts a little old for her age, because it gives me another chance to actually treat her like her age! So, I'm taking a proverbial step back with her, not in a bad way but I'll treat her like she wants me to. I'll hold her when she asks (which actually means she's less whiny about it the rest of the day, who'd have thought?), I'll look her in the eye when she's talking to me, I'll try my hardest to figure out what exactly she's saying to me, and I won't expect her to share perfectly with her brother. I have high expectations for her but I don't think they're unrealistic- Ryan calls this "managing our expectations." After my ponderings and personal resolutions last night, I had a good day with her today. She just needs to be treated like the little girl that she is!

Here we go...

Yesterday in Wal-Mart I had a "first" with Beth. We were near the baby food aisle and I was looking at items on the shelf, Beth was in the cart about a foot away from me and Luke was in my sling. I was half-listening to her as I was reading labels, but I heard her very clearly say, "Mommy, that man way big!" I quickly glanced behind me and there was an overweight man, hopefully out of earshot, on the other side of the aisle. Of course, she proceeded so say it again since I didn't immediately acknowledge her comment. I had no idea what to say to her or how to handle the situation, this is the first time I'd even thought of what I would say/do if/when she said something rude. Unfortunately I'm not quick on my toes, so I pretended not to hear here and quickly changed the subject about something completely different, got her looking at and talking about something in my hand.

Okay experienced mommys- what do you say to your children when they're rude in public? Yes, I know she's only 2 1/2, but there's definitely a right way and a wrong way to handle a situation like that. I'm going over it in my head again and again, and while I think I have an idea of what to say when it happens again, I want to get advice from my friends!

Monday, June 15

Stealing tomatoes

Tonight I went out to water and check on our garden. We had our very first ripe tomato! A beautiful cherry tomato. Beth and Ryan were out there too, so we let Beth pick it and told her to take a bite. She popped it in her mouth, chewed it up and quickly asked for another one. By that point Ryan and I had taken a few steps away from the garden, and as I turned around I saw her grab another one of the plant and as I said, "Beth, not yet!" she popped it in her mouth quickly and ran off! It was yellowy-orange, not quite ripe yet. I guess I'll have to keep a close eye on her when we're out gardening!

Tonight was also a big night for Luke- he ate a whole jar of baby food! I never thought my semi-crunchy self would be so excited, but honestly I'm glad he's eating baby food. It's so much easier, and I really feel like it's better than what I'd be serving him sometimes (tonight we had tacos!). So he ate a jar of ham, rice and pineapple and a mesh feeder full of blueberries. I'm totally okay with that. :-)

Sunday, June 14


quick little family picture after mass today. okay, technically after lunch. :-)

Friday, June 12

Dora and Blueberries

Yesterday (Thursday) we went to see Dora the Explorer! Beth adores watching the tv show Dora, I usually DVR it and she watches one or two episodes a few times a week. I found out a local library was having a special Dora visit, so we went to see the little show. It was cute, I guess, Beth had a fun time and I think that's all that matters!

I didn't tell Beth beforehand that we were going to see Dora, I just told her we were going to the library. I took this picture right after I told her we were about to see Dora- she was so happy!

Luke, however, was unimpressed.

Beth and Grace right before the show started, very giddy!

DORA! (and Adventure Tyler, whoever he is!)

I forget how monster teeth were involved, but all the kids got a pair. I put away my germophobe side and let her put them in, they were so funny looking!

Luke, still unimpressed. It got the best of him.

It's nothing short of a miracle that she wanted to hug Dora. This is the first time she's been interested in hugging a character like this, I was fairly impressed.

This morning we went to a blueberry farm! We got there around 9:00 am- ugh it was already so hot, and we stayed till 11 am. All four kids did great (we went with Grace and Colin too), Beth picked maybe 4 berries first thing and then ate out of my bucket as I was picking, so it was sort of a slow effort! She was eating faster than I could pick! Luke played in our new (used) wagon for awhile, then I held him, then I put him down in the wagon. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I laid him in the wagon awake, did out "shushing" and patting that he's used to, and he fell asleep! I thanked God for this miracle, no small feat! I almost filled our bucket, by the time we left (it was too hot and the girls needed to go potty!) I checked out with almost 4 lbs of blueberries at a whopping $1.50 a pound. I actually wanted more, but maybe this will turn out to be more than I think! Last month's issue of Martha Stewart Living had lots of blueberry recipes, so I plan on making a cobbler, pancakes, and maybe a pie or something else fancy. Plus we'll probably eat some of them just plain!

Happy boy at the beginning of the morning!

Beth's bucket stayed pepetually empty, despite my dropping a handful of berries in there every two minutes.

She also did a little tree climbing!

Thank you, Lord, for the miracles you surprise me with!

small fingers in my bucket

but how could i say no to this face?

Here's Luke at lunch today. He's never gotten so messy before! It was so funny! It's avocado and banana, he was eating them out of a mesh feeder and just smeared it everywhere. I should've gotten a picture of the floor too, everything was just a huge mess!

As an update, Beth had a really good time with her grandparents the other night. I don't think she asked for me but one time, and even then she did just fine without me! Looks like maybe Grandma and Grandpa will be enjoying a little more time with Beth... Hehehe. :-)
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