Learning to Talk

Lynzie is such a precious, wonderful girl!  She will be two in a month and her little personality just shows itself more and more each day.

She is totally our little mother.  She loves to take care of her babies and all babies she comes into contact with.  She is also always concerned if someone is hurt.

But the most fun is how much she has been communicating and saying words lately…

Her words that we’ve known for a while are become more pronounced….shoe sounds like shoe instead of just sh; cheese is cheese instead of smacking her lips.

She even said yellow and purple today!  Although, most of the time anything purple is “mama.”

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The Top of Our World

I talked Zach into driving to the top of Mt. Evans for his birthday.  He told me he didn’t want to spend the whole day driving or hiking and I figured it was a good compromise.  I’ve always wanted to go and it’s not too far from us.

Mt Evans Road is the highest paved road in the North America.  A short hike from the parking lot leads to the top of the mountain where you can stand proud at 14, 263 feet and look around for miles and miles.  Well, if you didn’t go when we went.

The drive up the mountain had me pretty nervous.  I’m not too into mountain driving and we were driving in and out of the clouds so at times we couldn’t see but 10 feet in front of us.  I felt like we were going to drive off.

As we approached the top we ran into a heard of Mountain Goats that actually followed us up to the parking lot where a baby and mama walked right in front of Isaac, about two feet away.  It was pretty crazy and fun.

We watched the clouds come and go and the wind blow.

After a bit of investigating, we headed up the trail to the top of the mountain.  At the top the clouds really blew in.  We had a brief moment to see exactly how high we were.

But as Zach and Isaac stood at the top most point, there was nothing but a white wall of clouds.

We heard some thunder, so headed down the mountain as fast as we could. Mountain tops are not the best place to be in a thunder storm!  We lost the trail and ended up having to boulder down to the car.  It was a good thing I wrapped Lynzie up or I don’t know how we would have managed it.

Back at the car, I started to get a headache.  We drank water and then went in search of a geocache.  We saw a Marmot and Isaac build his very own Rock Tower.

We eventually, got back into the car and started the drive home.  I wasn’t feeling too well, but we decided to try to find another geocache on our way off the mountain.  I knew I was having altitude sickness, although this was a first for me.

As we parked and were searching for the cache on a switchback, a bunch of Sheep came out and eventually drove us back to the car, where they surrounded us.  It was serious fun watching them so close.

I began to feel worse, nausea on top of the headache, but we still stopped by the garden center to explore.  The birds were singing and it was so quiet and peaceful.

 Finally, we headed home.  I got a bit worse, but then began to feel better.  But by the time we got home I was miserable.  I thought I was going to throw up.  Thankfully, my headache had gone away.  I drank a bunch of water and went straight to bed.

Three days later, I was still feeling off.  I was light-headed, sick to my stomach, extremely tired, having trouble catching my breath and had this burning pain in my back.  After Googling (don’t do this), I began to convince myself that I might be having a heart attack and the anxiety of this thought was making it worse (I’m convinced of this).

We were supposed to be going camping with family in Wyoming the next day, but that didn’t seem like the best idea if I was really sick.  After Isaac’s T-Ball game we headed to the ER.

Two hours later and a bunch of test (totaling almost $10,000) I was diagnosed with low potassium, given potassium, told to eat lots of potassium and that I should be okay because everything else looked fine.

It was a scary day, but it gave us the opportunity to talk with Isaac about emergencies and what to do.  Poor kid had no clue, which is completely our fault.

We slept the night and then packed up for camping in Wyoming.

 

Kindergarten

Nine years ago we bought this house.  It’s all of 1300 square feet and was perfect for us and a dog.  Then we added another dog, some fish, a snake, a baby and it started to feel crowded.  Although we are down some pets, we are up one more kid.  It might not feel so crowded if their weren’t so many toys, but I digress.

Nine years ago we bought this house.  We planned on keeping it five and then selling and moving on.  We never thought much of having kids in this house.  And then the economy went crazy and we got cozy.

At some point, it became nine years, and somehow at nine years we have a five year old that is going to school.  I didn’t think it would be too bad.  I mean he has gone to Preschool since he was 2 and it wasn’t really, but it’s gotten me to thinking how fast time goes.

It seems like yesterday we moved into this house…did I mention it was really NINE years ago?

In nine more years, we will have a high schooler!  WHAT!!!

Back to Kindergarten….

My super smart five year old is going to a half day kindergarten.  Afternoons only, just down the street from our house.  I wonder if we did him a disservice by sending him to the local elementary school and not researching charters and trying to get him into one of those.

Really, I was done with driving.  It was 1 hour round trip to take Isaac to school last year and poor Lynzie had to sit in the car for that trip twice.  And just this summer, we’ve seen Lynzie’s development take off.  I think she was spending too much of her awake hours strapped in a car.

And really, what do we want out of Kindergarten?  Isaac can already read extremely well.  Seriously, I had to make him leave because he was reading over my shoulder as I typed.  He can print and spell at level that I’d consider a end of year Kindergartener.  He likes to do simple addition and subtraction and can count to 100 and write numbers too.

Social, more than anything, we want Isaac to learn to get along with other kids (which he already does well), be responsible for himself and his actions, he a leader, stand firm and do the right even when no one else is.  We want him to learn about others and care about them and there feelings.

I’m sure Isaac will learn academic stuff this year, but more than anything we want him to be social and that can happen at any school.

The day before school started, we took Isaac out on a Mommy and Daddy date.  We left Lynzie home with Grandma and Grandpa and enjoyed a few hours a the family sports center.  We played video games, climbed a rock wall, challenged each other to the bounce obstacle course, played a round of mini golf, but we all probably had the most fun playing laser tag.  It was the first time for Isaac and it was definitely fun for all.  I’m glad we took the afternoon to play together.

 

Making Bugs

We are constantly running.  Working, trips to school, fixing meals, cleaning up the house, etc.  It’s somewhat rare that I just let things happen.

For Lynzie’s first birthday, I wanted to decorate the house with ladybugs.  It was somewhat of a last minute thought.  I had plans to do it all on my own, and then I remembered, my sister just moved out here and it would be a great bonding moment.

Somehow the event became her cooking dinner (her AMAZING chicken curry) and us all (my sister, my brother-in-law, my husband and my son) sitting around the table cutting, gluing, painting and chatting through the night.  It was fun.  Of course, Zach did spend a lot of time distracting Lynzie and periodically Isaac.

The best part about it was how much fun it was for Isaac and how much he liked being a part of the group and learning how to make lady bugs.  After my sister and her husband left, we still had several lady bugs to put together, so I was working much faster and Isaac sat there with me whipping our lady bugs – cutting bodies, cutting heads, gluing them together, making wings, painting spots and setting them to dry.  The whole time he was chatting about this and that.

The next morning, I was on a conference call and Zach wasn’t home yet, when Isaac woke up, went downstairs and started making ladybugs again.  When Zach got home from work, he found Isaac working on bugs.

It is so great to see him growing up, to see the skills he is learning in school and to see how eager he is to learn more.  Several years ago, you couldn’t get Isaac to do art, now he can’t get enough, as long as he doesn’t have to get dirty.

Nine Months

It goes so fast.  It’s so cliche, but it’s the truth.  My little baby girl is growing up.  She is no longer a snuggly, tiny baby who needs me for everything.  She is now nine months…

A nine month old who…

  • Has army crawled for months*
  • Eats real food with no teeth better than her brother**
  • Loves her brother, he can always make her laugh
  • knows when she is poopy and wants it gone
  • prefers to go to sleep in her bed, if she is extremely tired she might give in to her carseat or a wrap, but nothing else
  • prefers to nurse standing up
  • loves to dance to “this little light of mine.”
  • loves babies and dolls and shiny things

Lynzie is a quiet little girl.  She does chatter her and there and will copy our sounds, but not too much.  She still prefers to take it all in.  And she is happy as a clam as long as she doesn’t see me…if I’m around, I better be holding her.  She is slowly starting to gain a bit of independence from me and will even whine for Daddy to hold her.

She loves, loves, loves to eat.  We decided this time to go the baby-led-weaning route and have primarily giving her our food, not baby food.  This has worked out very, very well.  The first week or so was a bit nerve-wreaking, but now she happily sits at the table with us and eats, generally faster and better than her four year old brother.  She really likes frozen fruits and breads or anything greasy.

Until today (three days into her 10th month), she’s done it all without any teeth.  Today, one little tooth pierced the bottom gum (bottom left center) and I think the one next to it is close on the trail.

Another big milestone happened yesterday.  She took her first crawl with her tummy off the floor.  I was so excited for her.  She loves to pull her self up to her knees and feet and is really into investigating things.

Lynzie Rain: Four Months

Lynzie is 4.5 months old and I haven’t posted nearly enough about her.  She is such a blessing!  She is the most easy going, quiet little girl.  We are starting to hear a little more from her recently, but mainly she just likes to smile and take everything in.

She had her 4 month visit to the doctor a few days ago and seems to be measuring just about where her brother was at this age.  She was 13 lbs, 2.5 oz, which puts her right in the 25%.

Here are a few photos…

These before and after photos were taken about two weeks apart.

Now, here is my pretty girl four months later:

Thanksgiving 2012

At some point in my life, we stopped getting invited to my grandparents or aunt and uncles house for holidays.  We’d never done anything with my Dad’s side of the family, even though they all live within an hour of us.  So we always just had our family day.

And then Zach joined the picture.  It seems like he used to do more holiday stuff with his mom than he does now and I’m sure I’m to blame.

Holidays stress me out slightly.  Our family is small — My parents and my sister (and her husband); my father-in-law and brother-in-law; and my mother-in-law and her husband.  Zach is technically and “only child” and his mother’s only kid.  Her husband has two kids in Kansas, but they never do holidays with them.   As a result, I always end up hosting which is a LOT of work.

No one in our family even thinks to offer to host.  If we don’t mention anything, no one asks us until maybe the day before and then it’s only “what are you doing?”  Well, this year, I told Zach I wasn’t doing anything…I was going to have a four week old.

It wasn’t so much the cooking, although that was part of it, but it’s so stressful to get the parents together.  Z’s dad is the most easy going, but Z’s step-dad isn’t too fond of being around his wife’s ex-husband.  My parents, especially, my dad tries to fit in, but I don’t think Z’s mom and step-dad like them very much, which makes for awkward conversations.  Cody fits where ever (I couldn’t ask for a better brother-in-law) and my sister is only around on occasion as she lives in VA and when she is in town, she has to split her time with her in-laws.

I think things would be less awkward and more fun if we had more people.  I love to play games, but can only get about half the people on board and most of those always leave as soon as possible.

So we weren’t having family over, Zach agreed, but he still wanted to have turkey so he could have left-overs.  And I have to admit, Zach makes pretty much the best turkey and stuffing I’ve ever had.  Anyway, the weekend before thanksgiving, Cody asked what we were doing, even though he was working that day.  And then later on Sunday, my dad asked if he could make a turkey and bring it over.  I explained that we were just staying home and I was trying to avoid the stress-out.  We never heard from any of Zach’s parents.  So again, no one was coming over.

On Thanksgiving, we got to cooking really late.  I think the turkey went in the oven at 1 or 2.  When it was cooking, we decided that we’d call/text the family when we took the turkey out and tell them they could come over in an hour to eat if they weren’t busy.  The three of us weren’t really going to eat a whole turkey!  And I was going to make green bean casserole, which is always too much food (but that didn’t work out because I didn’t have enough onions).  Right after we’d determined this, my dad texted to see if we had a meat theomometer that he could borrow to check his turkey that he was cooking.  We said yes, and he came over with Mom and was just going to leave Mom while he went and checked his turkey.  But then Zach called him and asked if they wanted to eat with us.  He offered to make the gravy (his specialty) and carrots.  And then Zach texted the rest of the family (his family).

We ened up with everyone by his mom and step-dad, who eventually texted back to tell us they were at a friend’s house that day.  I hardly did anything.  I made the potatoes and some rolls and whipped cream, but Z did the rest.  It worked out just fine, but had more of Sunday night family dinner than a holiday dinner.  And Z and his dad cleaned the whole kitchen, so I didn’t even have to worrry about that.  I just got to sit around and hold Lynzie all night and chat with the parents.  Now to determine what to do for Christmas and Isaac’s birthday…

The Jet

On Sunday I took Isaac for a walk.  I’ve been trying to walk more and with my due date so close, they say walking can help speed labor along, so it seemed like a good idea.  It was a beautiful day and we have some really nice parks around that Isaac would enjoy.  We picked one of the furthest ones we walk to and headed out.

The park is 1.5 miles away, down a bike path, no streets or cars to worry about.  It was around noon and a half a mile in, Isaac was tired and wanted to stop (but I was feeling good!) and then he wanted me to carry him.  We continued along the way and as we drew nearer to the park we could see a big cargo jet at the airbase that is directly across the street from the park.

We were still about a quarter of a mile or so from the park, but this is Isaac favorite part of the walk because it is also next to a nature preserve and there are lot of praraire dogs barking and he likes to look for them.

When we reached the edge of the park, I noticed that the cargo jet was moving and thought it was probably taxiing for take off.  So Isaac and I sat in the grass, in the shade with our backs against the fence for the baseball field and just watched the jet move as we rested and talked.  Sure enough, within a few minutes the jet was up in the air and we’d had a front row seat.  It was a perfect moment on a Sunday afternoon with my son.  With the new baby days away from making her appearance, it made it that much more special.

We continued onto the park, played for a while and headed back towards home.  Isaac wasn’t going to make it, so we called Zach to pick us up at the only point on the trail that passes a street about a half a mile from the park and I still had to carry Isaac a least half that distance.  Both Isaac and I were wiped out when we returned home, but oh, what precious time spent with my first born.

Moving and Shaking

Today I’m 24 weeks pregnant!  I really can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but also how much still remains.  I’m so excited for our little girl to arrive, but I’m also nervous about the changes to our family.

Who is this little one?  What will she be like?  Will she be tiny like her brother?  Calm and collected?  I’m guessing not so much as her brother on that one.  She is a little mover.  Kicking me all over the place.  My memory of Isaac was of being quieter, less active and mainly in one place, but I could just be remembering the end of the pregnancy when he didn’t have as much room to move.

I’ve been feeling baby girl move around for a few weeks, not as early as with Isaac and not as early as the book say, but that can be attributed to the face that the placenta is on the front of the uterus and essentially a buffer for all her movements and kicks.  I’ve been trying to get Zach to feel her for a while, but until yesterday he still hadn’t felt her move.  Now, Isaac is convinced she kicks him all the time!

Yesterday afternoon, while I was working, little girl was being very active.  I happened to look down and see my belly actually bounce and move around.  I was sure if I could see it Zach should be able to feel it.  Thankfully, she remained active for most of the evening and into the night.  Isaac helped out by giving her raspberries and Zach was finally able to feel her move and see my belly move from her kicks.  It’s so nice to finally get to share that him.  I hope Isaac settles down enough sometime to experience it as well.

Whirlwind of Excitement

When I was 12 I had a summer that changed my life.  I went to youth camp for the first time and was miserable because I had no friends and refused to let anyone in.  A few days after youth camp I went to spend 10 days on the farm with my uncle and his family.  I can’t remember exactly how the trip came about, I’d rarely seen my uncle and his kids and I never remembered meeting his wife.

I remember being so scared getting off the airplane in Fargo.  Although my aunt and uncle have three kids, my cousin Joey was the only one that was there the whole time.  Monica is older than me and had already moved out and Rachel was on a trip of some sort most of the time I was there.

But oh, was I kept busy. I was taught how to drive a tracker and left out in the field for hours turning hay.  I flipped it the wrong way on one row and fretted so much…my uncle just said, “guess you won’t do that again.”  I chased cows that got out (I’m pretty sure this is where my fear of cows developed).  I dug up potatoes for dinner (what! Potatoes come from the ground and not the store?) I rode my first horse, learned about reflexology and spent time out in the fields looking for the right wildflowers for my uncle’s teas.  But my favorite place was with my aunt, whether she was teaching me how to cook and make Peach Crap Pie or if I was in her warehouse helping her package soups and ship them out.  I grew up a bit that summer and learned a lot about myself.  It was 10 days of farm packed fun that I’ll never forget and I’ve always wanted to go back.

On Friday my mom mentioned that my uncle might be in town on Sunday.  We were already planning a turkey dinner, so I told Mom they should all come over.  Well, my uncle and his friend got a little behind, car overheated and they got lost, so they didn’t make it for dinner.  They did arrive at Mom and Dad’s sometime in the night to sleep, then this morning I got a call from my mom:  “I just wanted to let you know you are about to be invaded.  Dewane has left, Dad has left and I’m about to pull out.”

Good thing she gave me a little notice.  I was still in my PJs (of course, I pretty much live in my PJs, no wonder they are getting holes) and Isaac wasn’t even awake.  I dressed quickly and got Isaac up – he was excited to have Grandpa coming to visit – and I got Isaac breakfast.

Isaac, of course, was his typical host.  He shook everyone’s hand and when Dad told him  that Dewane was his brother, Isaac said, “I like him” and when Dad said that Brain was his friend, ” Isaac said, “Oh.”  It was quite funny.  Dewane sat at the table while Isaac finished his breakfast and told Isaac all about his tractor’s, cows, chickens and cat.  Then Isaac was dragging Brian and Dad up to his room to “play,” coming down a few minutes later to tell me I can talk later and taking Dewane’s arm to lead him upstairs.

We did manage a few pictures before the guys took off outside before they took off.  And Zach arrive just in time to shake hands…maybe next time.  So can you tell the big guys are brothers? 🙂

It was a whirlwind of excitement.  They were here for about 15 minutes and then gone, but I’m so glad they stopped by.  I really enjoy my uncle and always wish I had more time to talk to him and I really think Zach would enjoy talking to him, but has never gotten the chance.  I wish my family wasn’t so far away.  This summer is shot, if we go anywhere it will be to Nashville, but maybe next year we can take a trip up north and let Isaac experience a farm and really spend some quality time with family.