Monday, November 22, 2010

The big 3!

Lil Max officially turned three last week, but we had his celebratory birthday party this past weekend.  For months he had been asking for a "Football cake".  We shook our heads in disbelief for several reasons: a) he doesn't seem to be inclined towards PLAYING any sports -- he prefers to watch others play them; and b) he won't LET us watch football on the TV...  So, you can see why we were surprised when he started telling us over and over (quite emphatically) that he MUST HAVE a FOOTBALL CAKE...

So, anyone who knows me, knows that I like we had a Football/Sports themed party.  I think it went pretty well...


The shrine of lil Max


The football themed goodie bags for the kiddos.

The football suckers that I labored over for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT.  And yes, I FORGOT to give them to the kids at the end of the night.  I may or may not have cried about it later....

The craft corner.  Each of the kiddos had a sheet of card stock with their name on it and then a baggie of sports themed foam stickers to make their own Football Art.

Granna's delicious homemade football cake.  I always remember my mom making me a homemade cake every year for my is such a fond memory for me that I want to try to continue that for Max.  Last year we had a store bought cake, and I regret doing that.  Granna graciously offered to make the cake this year, and she did an AWESOME job!

Grumps made the flags to go around the cake...he thought he was printing them off on red turned out to be pink.  Luckily for us, lil Max is actually a big fan of pink...


Everyone was labelling their cups, so Jared took it upon himself to label his beer...just in case.

Grumps and Sam.
Payton and Max -- best buddies.


Auntie Amanda and Connor.
Nina Bean.

The kids having a blast in the party room.

Opening presents...Max was excited about his 'own Puter'

The Football Cake...proud mom and Max

Little Prince blowing out his candle.


The birthday art work.
Max the morning after the party -- wearing his monkey/turtle pajamas, sock monkey slippers and playing with his balloons.  He is in LOVE with the balloons still.  They have to follow him wherever he goes...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seven Months!

It is really hard for me to believe that Sam is already SEVEN months old.  It feels like just yesterday that he was born.  Heck, it seems like just yesterday that lil Max was born -- but he turned THREE this week also!  Time is FLYING by...and we are doing our best to enjoy EVERY minute of it!!

Sam's personality is really starting to blossom.  He is still extremely MELLOW, but he is starting to find his voice.  He protests lots of things -- toys being taken away, food not being shoveled in his mouth quickly enough, etc.  He will stop whatever he is doing when lil Max enters the room and gaze after him affectionately.  This week he has learned the art of the pincher grasp and has been insisting that he self feed himself EVERYTHING.  So, we went from pureed spoon fed foods last week to lots of finger foods this week -- crackers, mum-mums, puffs, banana chunks, yogurt melts, etc.  So far, the child has not showed any disapproval towards any foods that have gone into his little mouth. 

This week he has also learned the art of shaking his head no.  He likes to shake it at random times and it is always good for a laugh because he gets it shaking into such a rhythm that he knocks himself over!  He is also loving vocalizing -- and mamamammmma and dadadaaaaa are big words around the house right now. 

He is sitting completely unassisted now, pitching forward like he's getting ready to crawl.  He's got all the crawling motions down, he just needs to get up on his knees and put it all together.

He is sleeping like a champ at night; down around 7pm -- sometimes up around 4-5 am -- and then back down until around 6:30 -7am.  Ideally, I'd like him to stay asleep for the full twelve hours, but he has other ideas.  If it was Max, I'd probably have let him cry a bit more -- but I really don't need two children awake at 5am, so I usually don't let him fuss more than 5-10 mins.  He settles back down easily after I nurse him and goes back to sleep -- which buys me a few extra minutes also -- so I really can't complain too much.

He is still 100% breastfed, something I am very proud of.  By this time with lil Max, I had needed to start supplementing with formula.  That hasn't been needed at all this go-around, in fact I have 500+ oz of frozen breast milk stored up in our chest freezer -- another thing that I was never able to do with lil Max.  I attribute it to the fact that I am much more relaxed this time around.

We just graduated up from size 1-2 diapers to size 2.  I still am cloth diapering on the weekends, and it is going well.  He is just outgrowing his 3-6 month clothing (usually outgrowing the length of things) and fitting well into the 6-12 month clothing.  We got him a convertible car seat and I am looking forward to switching him into there completely and not lugging the carrier around anymore!

But enough of that, I think that provides a really good snapshot of where we are at this time in Sam's life.  He is such a joy to be around -- I can't imagine how my life was without these two wonderful boys in it...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Max and the Letter A

One of my other mommy friends clued me in to a wonderful blog for homeschooling, Confessions of  Homeschooler.  I've scrolled through her curriculum, and there are certain activities I REALLY like, and wanted to try at home.

One of those was her Letter of the Week curriculum.  I downloaded all the letters and thought we'd ease into it -- because 1) I am NOT homeschooling my children and 2) my kids learn ALL DAY LONG at daycare and I want home time to be fun. 

I can tell that lil Max needs to be challenged and stimulated already -- he is getting bored with just coloring -- so this week I printed off the Letter A curriculum, laminated it, and set it in front of him.

He took off like I never IMAGINED!!

 Getting ready to trace the Letter A

I was amazed.  I literally handed him the marker and told him "use the marker to trace the lines on the Letter A" -- this is what he did -- on his FIRST TRY!!!

Then we tried it with the circle-dot Letter A.  He was more interested in tracing than using the pom poms...

Pom pom art with the Letter A

We will definitely be continuing these activities at home.  He got such a kick out of them and they entertained him the entire time I cooked dinner.  As long as they don't become a 'chore', I am happy to have them as an activity.

We also printed off the days of the week and weather chart for the fridge.  He loves getting up in the morning and moving the "today" "Tomorrow" and "yesterday" place markers.  He also goes over to the window, looks outside, and decides what the weather looks like so that he can change it on our weather chart.

It's the simple things in life that make learning fun.  I want to keep him challenged and EXCITED to learn new things -- and I think these activities are PERFECT for doing that!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's never to early to think about....Xmax cards!

When Shutterfly offered me a promotion for 50 FREE holiday cards in exchange for a shameless plug for their holiday cards on my blog...well it was an offer too good to pass up...especially considering my Xmax card list is over 150 (GASP!).. (Come on, my Mom is the eldest of 16 and my dad is the eldest boy of 9...and that is just on MY side of the family!  Our wedding was QUITE the party....   But I digress.....)

Now, in the past I have been fairly loyal to another (it shall not be named here in shameless plug for Shutterfly) stationary company, I thought I would check out Shutterfly to see what they had to offer and how it compared price wise.

I have a few criteria for my holiday cards -- I like them to include photos (and LOTS of them), and I like to be able to include some text along with the photos...

I was pleasantly surprised with Shutterfly's selection and style of cards.  They make narrowing down choices really easy with their side-bar choices -- you can refine by number of pictures, card size and color! 

Here are a few of my favorites:

O Mod Tannebaum
Joy Love Story
Monogram Snowman

And it looks like Shutterfly has lots of other good stuff to check out in matching styles like address labels, calendars, gift tags and invitations

You know, Xmax will be here before you know it...maybe this year I will be ahead of the game and order early.... check out the christmas cards and holiday photo cards for yourself!

Ok, Shameless plug for Shutterfly over.

Back to my normal family-oriented posting...


Sam's Six Month Stats

We finally took Sam to the doctor for his 6-month check up. 

Of course, he got a clean bill of health.  He's hitting all the milestones that the doctor wants to see at this age, and, just like Max, he loved flirting with all the women in the doctor's office... :)

So, without further adieu, here are the latest:

Height = 27.25 inches (75%)
Weight = 16 lbs 9 oz (I guessed he was closer to 17, Max guessed he won!) (25%)
Head circ = 44 cm (55%)

It's crazy, but he is following EXACTLY the same growth curves that lil Max did.  Another tall and skinny little man...although he doesn't look very skinny right now.... He's got these delightful little chubby thighs that I can't stop pinching...especially when pinching them makes him squeal with laughter...

I am also happy to report that both boys still seem to be very enamored with each other.  We have a few instances where little Max doesn't want to share something with him, but for the most part, I have to worry about him sharing TOO much with him!  He's even taken to sharing his coveted 'blue' with Sam...tenderly covering him up with it...but then he gets angry when Sam starts chewing on it... LOL.

I'm loving watching these two interact with each other.  I am already dreaming of days where my boys are running barefoot in the backyard, covered in dirt, playing catch...  I can't wait to do all the dirty, tom-boy things with them that I did in my youth...digging for worms, catching bugs, climbing trees...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year we got to wear our costumes TWICE!!

On Saturday, we went to Trick or Treat at the Zoo and met up with some of our friends.  Little Max wore his pirate costume and big Max wore part of his DJ Lance (Yo Gabba Gabba) costume.  Mom and Sam's costumes were in a big that was left by the door. Oops!

Auntie Amanda and Max before leaving



Little Max rode a pony for the first time! I was so proud of him -- he did it all by himself. You could just see how proud he was in his adorable little smile! What a big boy!!




Riding the train with daddy...

On Sunday, we did Trick or Treat in the neighborhood. Both boys (and Mom and Dad) got dressed up:




Strike a pose DJ Lance!!

ArRRRR! I'm a pirate!!

Cozied up in the stroller...

Of course we stopped by Grandma Jan's...