Monday, February 3, 2014

First Day of School

Big things going on around here. Today was Gabe's first day of preschool!

It took some preparation, but we made it alright.

vest off. check.
negative degree weather. check.
lots of extra pants and undies. check.
pictures. check.

It's such an amazing school! He goes every day from 8 to 11, gets to eat breakfast in the cafeteria, is in a class with only seven other kids, has his own desk and work station, gets to play in tunnels and trampolines and giant tires scattered throughout the classroom and hallways, and they give him m&ms as reinforcement. Child-heaven.

See here. He's so sad to leave his mommy. I wish. He was just upset that I made him wear his new vest (thanks Grandma!). 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Growing Up

My baby's three. Wow. It's harder than you'd think to keep a person alive that long. But definitely easier than a goldfish. Or a succulent. Good thing my kids let me know when they're parched.

Gabe spent the day running around at exercise group, helping me make his cake, watching a movie with Rubi, playing with marbles, enjoying apples and smoothies and hotdogs, avoiding accidents, not getting shots at his well-check, taking a long nap, opening presents, playing with play-doh and going bowling! 

There are too many wonderful things to say about Gabe, so I think a short list is in order:

1. He's utterly brilliant. He finds ways to solve his own problems, and comes to get Phil or me only after he's done all the legwork and has exhausted all of his other options. He has an insanely intense ability to focus...on the things that interest him. Toward anything only mildly interesting to him, he remains somewhat apathetic.

2. Speaking of interest, he's had a strange one in my hair lately. He combs through it with his fingers, and then makes me move my head around so he can inspect the individual follicles at the top of my head.

3. He could drink every single one of his calories every single day. Milk, juice, smoothies. Yeah. That's pretty much it, but he loves them.

4. Here is the short list of things he likes to/will eat: apples, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, pineapple, pears, bagels lightly toasted with cream cheese, yogurt, pretzels, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, noodles from chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, pbj, steamed crinkle cut carrots, hot dogs and a few other random things that he'll eat on and off. Yep. That's pretty much it.

5. He places my face in his hands at least once a day, looks right into my eyes, and kisses me.

6. He is slightly afraid of Rubi. Cautious. Cautious is a probably a better word. But, he is getting better at taking things to her and sharing with her. Granted, if I hand him two packs of fruit snacks and tell him to give one to Rubi, he'll take one single fruit snack out of one of the packs and give that to her. Oh, and part of the cautious thing, he always always puts whatever it is about two feet in front of her; he never actually hands something to her. Too close = potential maiming.

7. He loves to run. And slam into things. And jump on the couch and the bed and the chairs and on the floor.

8. He says one three-word phrase: "This is awesome." It's my favorite thing to hear. Period. It sounds more like, "disssisssAHHssss," and it's always hard to recognize it at first, but it's there.

9. If I see him butt naked, so what? It happens all the time. But, if I see him butt naked running with a piece of toilet paper, then I know I have to hurry.

10. He is so observant. And considerate. He picks up after himself. Occasionally. And he always seems to be aware when I might need something. For example, when he came to wake me up yesterday morning, he made sure to grab some clothes from the dresser for me (granted, they were Phil's clothes, but what other three year old thinks ahead like that?).

11. He seems to be a lot more sensitive to certain sounds. He'll cover his ears long before anyone else even hears the siren coming (yes, I gave birth to Superman), and immediately after he does something good, he covers them, anticipating my screaming and shouting praise.

12. His giggle is the best. It's hearty and high-pitched, and rare (although, it's been a little more frequent lately), and is  that delicious sound every parent loves to hear.

13. He loves marbles. Or any other little ball he can collect. And playdoh brand new and straight from the container (he carries it around for hours, never smashing or manipulating it in any way).

14. He has a few favorite books. I know, even though he doesn't speak, that he has them memorized because even when I recite them from memory, say in the car, he starts smiling whenever I get to the "page" before his favorite page. And every book has a favorite page. Favorite books include There's a Wocket in my Pocket (this unfortunate finally met its the toilet. so much for giving him personal time with books as suggested by his doctor), Green Eggs and Ham, Bigsby's Best Friend and Bigsby's Big News (but, oddly not Bigsby in the Big City), Llama Llama Nighty Night, Llama Llama Wakey Wake, Hoo Loves You, and Pop! Goes Another Balloon.  

15. He LOVES to bake. Whenever he's bored, he gets a mixing bowl and some measuring spoons out of the cabinet and drags a chair to the counter.

16. He has gotten really good at being super sneaky. He just inches himself toward whatever it is that he wants to "steal", puts himself in the vicinity, and waits. Never looks anyone in the eye, but he always knows where everyone else is looking. As soon as they are occupied with a task or conversation or leave the room, he makes his move. It works all. the. time.

There are about a million other loveable things that we cherish about Gabe, but this is probably enough for now. We love this little three-year-old!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Year Down

I'm a little late, but Rubi's one!
Our home has been so much brighter this past year. She is a joy and a dream. Perfect newborn - slept, slept, slept. Super content and quiet baby. Sweet, loving and sharing. Curious, enthusiastic, happy.

She's got red hair from my grandfather. And an incredibly talented tongue.

She's the tallest in her class. can't tell because she doesn't walk. Or stand.
And, recently, her developing personality has included quite the drama. Just for kicks, since I caught it on camera, I'll show you a demo. I was trying to get her to look at me, so I took her sucker. Here is what happened. This next progression of photos is a typical Rubi reaction. It took less than 20 seconds to go from this:

To that. No joke. She's hilarious.
Now that she's crawling, she is all over Gabe's precious bubble and takes anything and everything right out of his hands. Sometimes he whines and comes to get me, but usually he just gets up and walks away. Just fueling the fire.
She's always been a dedicated daddy's girl. Just a week ago, while Phil was at the desk studying, Rubi sat on the carpet looking up at him, waiting. As soon as he turned to look at her, she smiled and said, "Hi dada!"
We love this little girl so much!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bearded and Brawny

These two were lumberjacks for Halloween. Not that their costume-wearing extended beyond this bench and our small sidewalk. They spent the day throwing up, so we kept them in. No trunk or treating. No trick or treating. No Walmart candy raiding. Just inside. But...Rubi did enjoy her ax. And, Gabe actually wore his beanie for more than three seconds. And, I think red flannel just might now have a permanent place in their closet.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

10 Months

This little lady is only two months shy of a year, and I can't believe it. She cracks us up with her budding personality. She's shy but fierce, demanding but sweet, firm but gentle, and always ready to smile. Here are some things you might not know about Rubi:

1. She has the best legs. And by best, I mean the most soft, gushy and floppy-loose legs ever. I swear there is no collagen in those limbs because she can bend them in every direction at the same time. When she gets tired and just needs a little break, she'll spread them into the splits and then lay down face first in between.

2. She thinks Gabe is the shiz. Anytime he whizes by or goes in for a kiss on her head, she explodes with the giggles.

3. Her hair. C-R-A-Z-Y. However it dries after her bath is how it will stay until the next bath. Straight up on top, fuzz ball in the back, curly swirly on the sides and ever more red.

4. She loves to wave hi and bye.

5. She will only take her binkie for sleeping. And only if she knows that she's ready to sleep. Imagine this: You are snuggly warm and pretty solidly asleep around 4:00 am. All of a sudden, you hear, "Aaaaaa.  Maaaaaa. Maaaaaaa. Maaaaaa!!!!" Not much of a build-up, you think as you stumble around in the dark. Literally. It's very dark since you have to flip the breaker at night to keep Gabe from turning the lights on all night long. You enter the kids' room and catch a whif of you-know-what. You try to sneak Rubi from her crib swiftly enough so that Gabe doesn't wake up too. Because that would mean another diaper change and a drink of milk and probably whatever pieces of fruit he can kife from the fridge while you are trying to make Rubi a bottle and dispose of her waste. But, alas, since Gabe doesn't sleep in his bed, but on the floor (and in a different spot on the floor each night), you accidentally kick him on your way to Rubi. So...after two diapers, a bottle, some milk and strawberries and "find your blankie and get back to bed!" later, you finally lay Rubi down and try to put the binkie in. Usually this is a simple process. Her head hits the pillow and her mouth forms an 'O'. Not tonight (or this morning, if you will). She just giggles and kicks her legs and throws her blankets and rips the binkie from your hand and throws it as well. Ok, you foolishly assume in your still groggy state, I guess she just doesn't want it. Maybe she's done with it for good. You leave the room and go climb into bed only to hear "Maaaaaa!!" as soon as you curl up into your favorite position. So, you stumble to their room again, open the door and Whoosh. You smell it again. Stronger this time. Quietly and quickly change the second diaper while fending off Gabe from the door, and eventually the fridge, lay Rubi down, stick the binkie in the 'O' and leave. See what I mean. Needs the binkie and knows that it means "sleep." If she's not ready to sleep, no binkie. Get it?

6. No crawling yet. We keep thinking she's just on the brink, especially as she's reaching for that chocolate granola bar, but her flexibility can usually get her whatever she wants.

7. She loves baths. And she loves loves to eat bubbles. What is it with my kids? One likes to eat soap (still to this day) and one likes to eat bubbles.

8. She is a smacker. The whole time she's eating, she smacks her lips and says, "omm-yomm-yomm."

9. She looooves being around people - being talked to, smiled at, played with. But, I've sensed a bit of timidness in her too. Maybe it's from the whole not crawling thing, but she tends to just watch all the other kids play. Unless it's Gabe. Then she wants in on the action, and whatever he's playing with belongs to her.

10. Don't ever ever, in any circumstance, wipe her mouth or her hands. Oh the hands! The hardest she ever cries (this is not an exaggeration, for those who might be thinking that I'm stretching the truth) is when you wipe her down after eating...or put her arms through the sleeves of her shirts. Yeah. Just don't try to move the top half of her body at all. Leave her alone!

11. She brightens the mood wherever she is.

Love you Rubi!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

the last vestiges of summer

Oh, hello there Blogger! We've been soaking up what little sun is left and staying busy these last few weeks. Wanna peek? I was only going to post two pictures. Two. And then, as I was going through my phone, I started reminiscing, and...I couldn't stop myself.

Farmer's Market Saturdays. 

Late nights. Really late nights. We hear ruckus from their room every night. Giggling, pounding, bouncing, crashing, the infrequent cry. We often open the door to something like this. Currently, Gabe stays up a good 2-3 hours after we put them to bed, he only sleeps on the floor (and occasionally under his bed), and early this morning I was blissfully awoken to the shrill, blood-curdling screams of a night terrored 2-year-old (well, I guess since it was early morning, it was probably a day terror).

Visits to the school to drop off dinner to Phil. Twenty seconds after this was taken, Gabe was climbing in the fountain.

Parkin' it up! Look at all these baby girls! Well, ok. There are a couple boys in here too. :) Snacks and wading pools and playgrounds and friends. Every other day.

Getting warm and dry after falling head first into the wading pool. No worries - he was running back in after a minute or two.

 The rare self-portrait. Rubi loves looking in the mirror!

Exercise group mornings. I swear Rubi didn't steal this ball from him!

A little leg training. Rubi's had some trouble putting weight on her legs, so she needs lots and lots of johnny jump up and exercaucer time. Now we know why it hasn't been very effective :) He shoves everything he can find down behind her back and then tries to climb in with her.

Church. Nothing's cuter than a dozen little 2-year-olds eating goldfish crackers on mini chairs at a mini table.

Cheesin' it at the park.

Cooking club. And book club. And a handful of other clubs and activities. We had an ice cream recipe identifying contest here.

Double the baths. Summertime is dirty time. They crack us up in the bath. Gabe's always laying on Rubi, and she is always grabbing his back and trying to kiss him.

More of the park.

Throwing rocks in the lake. For Gabe, life just doesn't get any better than this.

Waiting for the pool to the park. Sad note: the pool is already closed until next May!

Eating baby wipes at the park.

Playing at the beach. The lake beach, just to clarify. I'm pretty sure you can't get any further from the ocean than Kirksville, Missouri.