Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Special Day for Alex

A few weeks ago, Grandma & Papa P asked if they could take Alex to Toys R Us for a Thomas the Train event.  It turned out to be a low-key thing, with only one small train table for a gazillion kids.  That didn’t stop Alex from enjoying himself, though!  Here’s the proof…thanks to Grandma & Papa for sharing their pictures with us!  September2010 103September2010 104September2010 107 September2010 108 September2010 109 September2010 110 September2010 111

Papa helped Alex pick out a new train car (Diesel) as a special gift.  He also got a little packet with coloring pages, stickers, and a Thomas tattoo…which he wore proudly for days!  He was so excited to get home and tell us all about his fun day!  (They also got Max a cute little Shake & Go Thomas toy.)

What special day with the grandparents would be complete without a trip to McDonalds? 

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Thanks, Grandma & Papa, for a fun day!  Mama enjoyed having Max to herself for the morning, too! :)

(Yes, I did use a full naptime to blog about a bunch of things and schedule them to post once a day.  Since I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, I thought it was time to work on getting caught up!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Max’s Favorite Game

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It’s funny how we fill our homes with Fisher Price, V-tech, Little Tikes, and all these other amazing toys…and our kids want a Huggies Wipes container.

I’ll admit, Max, that your mama really like Huggies, too!  Their wipes and their containers are MUCH better than Pampers flimsy excuse for wipes!  Huggies has a nice little rubbery flap inside that keeps the wipes moist AND makes for a nice little baby toy! (Oh, and CVS has a great deal on boxes of wipes this week if you use the two of the $2/1 coupon from  I wouldn’t pay more just ‘cuz I like ‘em better, ha!)September2010 143

Max can sit for 20 – 30 minutes with a stack of puzzle pieces and a Huggies container.  One by one, he drops the shapes in through the rubber flap.  It takes a little maneuvering to get them in at the correct angle, so it’s a skill-building game, too! When he runs out of puzzle pieces, Alex or I will open it and dump them out.  Max closes the container and starts again. September2010 141He can sit and do this multiple times a day!  He’ll play with his learning walker, mess with his brother’s toys, throw his little football around the living room…but those things all last about 5 – 10 minutes each.  His Huggies container?  HOURS of fun! September2010 144

So, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift idea for Max…just buy him some Huggies wipes! ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Alex’s Key

A few months back, Grandma S gave Alex a key that came in the mail.  It’s one of those “you might be a winner” sweepstakes car keys.  To make it extra special, she put it on a red shoe keychain for him.

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Alex was SO stinkin’ proud of that key.  He went around for WEEKS, trying to find what this amazing little key might open.  He tried it at Grandma’s house, at Kevin & Annie’s church, on our cars, on anything he could think of!  September2010 145

Of course, I kept telling him it was just a “pretend key”, so it really wouldn’t open anything.  Leave it to my kiddo to prove me wrong.  With a little determination, he found out that his key really works! 

One day, I’d been on the phone and trying to get things done at the same time.  Alex, as far as I knew, was playing in his bedroom.  I should have known better!  After a bit, I realized that he had gone through the house and locked all the interior doors.

I sighed and headed to the garage to get the last-remaining little gold key that comes with the doors.  (They keep disappearing, and we keep the last one in a special place in the garage so we can’t lose it.) 

As I headed out, Alex said, “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll unlock the doors with my key!” 

I replied, “Good luck with that!” 

Little did I know that he was telling the truth.  I came in from the garage to find all the doors open!September2010 149Mr. Determination had used his key long enough to find a REAL use for it!  Now we find the doors locked quite often, but Alex is always quick to unlock it for us with his special key from Grandma!

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So, thanks Grandma, for the many hours that you’ve kept my kiddo busy…AND for giving us an easy-to-find key for our interior doors! :)

And yes, these ARE posed pictures that I took today before putting Alex down for his nap.  I try to capture the real moments, but sometimes you’ve just gotta be a little cheesy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little Something Special

It’s funny how God works, and how He teaches us lessons in patience and in His perfect timing.  We were married for 2 years and 8 months before getting pregnant with Alex.  Oh, how we’d wanted a little one.  By the time Alex finally came along, I’ll admit that I wasn’t waiting so patiently.  God’s timing was perfect, though, and we were blessed with our little boy at just the right time.

Fast forward 11 months after Alex's birth.  We decided that, since it had taken quite a while for Alex to come along, perhaps we should start trying.  Little did we know how quickly Max would come along!

Fast forward 11 months after Max’s birth.  We’d made no decisions just yet, but God decided for us!  Yep – another little one is on the way!

Baby #3 is due on April 3, 2011.  That probably means we’ll have a baby sometime around April 10th, if past experience means anything!

For the record, I really wanted three kids. Keith was hesitant, but the day that I learned I was pregnant, he came home from work and said, “Maybe we should start thinking about a third.”  Well, dear, since you mentioned that… ;)

Three is enough, though – especially when there will be three kids ages 3 and under!  We can only imagine how crazy our lives will be!  I guess God isn’t finished teaching us lessons in patience just yet! ;)

Everything was looking good at my first midwife appointment yesterday.   She did a quick ultrasound on the old, fuzzy machine.  I got to see that sweet little beating heart, watch tiny little arms and legs moving around, and she said the baby appears to be measuring on schedule for 11 weeks.  I’d post the ultrasound pictures, but they are SO fuzzy that I can’t figure them out, so it’s doubtful that any of you could, either!  It was easy to recognize head, arms, and feet on the screen.  The pictures?  You can barely figure out what the fuzzy blob is! What a blessing and a relief, though, to see that little heart beating strongly!

Now, to potty train Alex and to get Max into a toddler bed and to teach the boys how to share a bedroom…just a few things to work on while we wait for April to arrive!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tot School again! (Apples, 32 Months)

During the month of August, I mapped out a basic plan for a school year’s worth of Tot School.  I’ve gathered a lot of resources, both in file folders and digital files on the computer, but it’s not all organized yet.  I’m hoping – really hoping – to stay on top of things this year rather than scrambling every Sunday night to pull it all together!  So far, I already feel behind & we’re barely started.  Ha!

For the month of September, we have apples, cows, trains, and leaves on the agenda.  I’ve simplified – just the basics, nothing that takes huge prep work or any other craziness.  The nice part is that I can keep a file folder of each subject & just reuse it with future kiddos. 

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Alex asked me to take this picture of him
with his Tot School work.  He’s very proud of it!

Alex was SOOOOO excited when I told him we’d be starting Tot School again!  I’d set up a little area upstairs with his Tot School shelves and our little blue table.  He was literally bouncing when he saw it! 

The first day I told him we’d be doing Tot School when Max was down for his nap, Alex ran upstairs.  After Max was sleeping, Alex called me upstairs saying, “Mom, I got my Tot School ready!”  He’d laid out everything that looked fun to him, and he was READY to work!  I didn’t realize how much he’d missed it!

Books -
We checked out a BUNCH of books from the library, but Alex’s favorite (by far) was Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington.  (And that’s what he called it: “Mom, can we weed Apple Fahmuh Annie by Mon-ka Well-ton?”)

Patterning -

Oh, how he didn’t enjoy this!  The goal is to use the colored pompoms to complete the pattern.  Alex preferred to just randomly put pompoms on all the apples, giving no thought to color.  I think we’ll wait a while before trying this one again!  These in the picture were completed with a HUGE amount of guidance from Mom!

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Cut and Paste -

Mommy still does the cutting.  Alex only makes random cuts with a scissors.  He’s really getting the hang of gluing, though, and he now understands why glue goes on the BACK of the picture! :)

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Kumon Tracing -

Not apple themed, but we’re slowly working our way through a Kumon book designed to teach control while holding a pencil or crayon.  You have to guide your pencil through a maze or down a line.  The pictures are his very first (amusing) attempt, but he’s understanding it now that we’ve done about 6 or 7 sheets.  I should have taken pictures of some of his more recent sheets…He’s really enjoying learning to make straight lines or guide the pencil through a “maze”.  Oh, and we’re thinking he’s going to be right-handed; he’s always holding the pencil or crayon with his right hand for these pages.

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Dot Art & Magnets -

Working on the letter A and on dotting in the circles.  He was very excited about the dot markers & magnets.

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We also worked on letter A recognition – what it looks like, how it’s made, what sound it makes.  Alex seems to have little desire to match letters and sounds right now.  I guess that’s what we get for taking the summer off!

Shape Matching -

Mommy had half of each apple, and Alex had the other half.  We made a game of finding our matches.  While he doesn’t know diamonds or rectangles by name, he was able to make all the matches and name all of the remaining shapes.  September2010 011

Finger Painting -

We made this Bible verse apple – a nice, simple, not-too-messy painting project.  Mommy had to make one, too, at Alex’s request.  The apple leaf reads, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”

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Field Trip

We’re planning to go apple picking in a few weeks!  I wish we could have done it right on schedule, but it didn’t work out that way.  After that, we can make applesauce and apple muffins and…mmm…I’m typing this before breakfast and making my mouth water at the thought!

We had a few other activities, but we ran out of time to complete them…and this year, I’m not going to worry about that!  We’ll do what we can, and the rest can go in the file folder for Max to do next year *Ü*

All of our activities this week are from Confessions of a Homeschooler and Making Learning Fun

To see what other tots are doing this week, be sure to check out the Carisa’s Tot School website!

Tot School

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shrinking Max…

I did this with Alex when he turned one. Now Max gets a turn. How I wish I really could shrink you, Big Boy!

12 Months

August2010 451 11 Months

July2010 013 10 Months

June2010 219 9 Months

May2010 226 8 Months

April2010 224

7 Months

March2010 0726 Months

February2010 282 5 Months

January2010 293 4 Months

8x10 3 Months

November2009 035 2 Months

October2009 121(almost) 1 Month

September2009 022

blogheaderMax at one year old:

    • cruising furniture, walking behind push toys and kitchen chairs, but not yet confident enough to take off on your own
    • eating anything and everything that you can get to your mouth – dryer lint, sand, leaves, dog fur, and occasionally…food ;)
    • “wrestling” with Daddy & Alex
    • getting into cabinets and drawers
    • loves the basket of dog toys
    • very social – you LOVE people!
    • enjoy telling everyone bye-bye in your sweet little voice


    • You’re a slightly picky eater, but we make you try everything!
    • You LOVE baby food, and you’re not ready to give it up just yet. You squeal and shriek for baby food whenever you see a container of it!
    • Your favorite meal is probably macaroni & cheese or pizza.
    • You love graham crackers, ritz crackers, puffs, Fiddlestix breadsticks, noodles of all kinds, shredded cheese, small spoons of mommy’s soup, small chunks of soft fruit, and any kind of bread.
    • You do NOT love most meats. You’ll eat it when forced, but it’s not going in your mouth by choice.
    • You’re in the process of weaning, and you only nurse before bed & in the early morning. During the day, you’re getting better at drinking from a cup. You won’t drink straight milk, but milk/kefir mixed together is pretty yummy to you!
    • Tonight, I was chopping a raw onion for dinner. You squealed and squealed at me because you wanted a bite. I finally gave in, prepared for you to make a face and spit it out. Know what you did? You squealed for more! You ate 5 chunks of raw onion. (Your big brother loves it, too. Interesting, isn’t it?)


    • You enjoy your new Zany Zoo wooden cube from your aunts and uncles
    • You love your big brother’s Thomas trains, and you even make attempts to drive them in the train table – although it usually ends with you throwing trains at Mommy & Alex!
    • You love your musical table
    • when your brother lets you at it, you love your push walker
    • any small toys that your brother leaves out
    • whacky ball – and you’re dangerous with that hammer! ;)
    • soft toy balls – you love to throw!


    • Other than signing “more” for one day, you refuse to attempt any sign language – even if you recognize the sign when Mommy uses it.
    • Your only clear, definite, often-used word is “bye-bye”.
    • Your other words, although used sporadically, are: see, what’s that, hi, daddy, mmmm, mamamama
    • Your main form of communicating is SHRIEKING. Please, Max, could you learn a few words or signs before you cause permanant hearing damage for the whole family? :)
    • At one year old, you weigh 18.6 lbs – exactly what your big brother weighed at his one year visit. You’re barely on the charts with that weight, but you’re healthy and happy…and that’s what counts!
    • You have the funniest hair. It curls into little ringlets in the back, and it sticks up all over on the top of your head. It’s so cute that I’ll have a hard time dealing with your first haircut when the time comes!
    • You sleep from approximately 8:15 PM – 6:45 AM. You’re still waking up once at night, usually around 5 AM, to nurse. Don’t expect that to last much longer, buddy! Expect a few sips of water and a quick return to bed…
    • You nap every morning for 1 – 1.5 hours and every afternoon for 2 – 2.5 hours. I love your naps; you’re a very good sleeper!
    • You get to watch more TV than your brother did at this age, simply because Alex watches things. No show captures your attention just yet, but you like to watch the bright colors on just about anything.
    • You love for Mommy to rock and sing with you at naptime. I won’t rock you to sleep, but we sing until you relax. Your favorites right now are Hip-hip-hippopotamus and ___(I forget!)___ and we always end with God Is So Good.
    • You are the sweetest baby boy I know! WE LOVE YOU, Max!

Thank You, Derek!

There hasn’t been much time for blogging lately, but I couldn’t let this week go by without acknowledging my nephew, who grew up far more quickly than he was supposed to…

See, this is what he’s SUPPOSED to look like:


Instead, here’s what he really looks like:

Derek and his dad, TonyAugust2010 419Derek & MaxAugust2010 435my sister Deb & TonyAugust2010 418  my parents with DerekAugust2010 420Derek with Alex & Max, after he won stuffed animals
for them from a crane game at a restaurant August2010 434

Anyway, this boy who has grown into a young man left on Tuesday to begin basic training.  We won’t see him again until after Christmas!  We wish him the very best as he gets started in the army.  We love you, Derek!