Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Guess It's Time...

Holden will be 6 months old next Monday. It is unbelievable how much he has already changed!

Aiden and Holden the day we came home from the hospital. (Holden was 3 days old)

Aiden and Holden now.

And today Holden had his first (semi) solid food: rice cereal. I started feeding Aiden cereal at 4 months, but this time I decided to go by the AAP guidelines and start closer to six months. (This had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I am dreading my adventures in baby food making and stinky diapers... )

First Bites: I had no problem getting the spoon in his mouth, but the cereal was another issue.

Of course Aiden wanted to help out! We got more on his sleeper than in his mouth (or on his face for that matter). Next time I will definitely remember the bib!

Holden didn't much care for his cereal today, but we'll try again tomorrow!

Friday, February 26, 2010

We Get Wild on Friday Nights!

Before the boys, Friday night = date night. Matt and I would go out to dinner, go see a movie, and get ready for our all day Saturday hikes in Anchorage. When my week at school was really rough, I always had Friday nights to look forward to. We had some fun times. Things are a little different now.

But I still look forward to my Friday nights. It has officially become "chocolate cake night." Every Friday, Aiden and I go to Safeway and pick out a special Friday night meal. He usually chooses corn dogs or chicken nuggets, I get sushi, and we always pick out the biggest chunk of chocolate birthday cake to share. I love Fridays!

Since he was really good at the grocery store today (yes, I totally bribed him), I let him pick out a movie from Redbox. He chose Alvin and the Chipmunks. I wasn't sure if that movie would be able to keep his attention since it's not a cartoon. But he loved it! It was so cute to see him laugh at the big kid jokes.

Aiden got so excited when the chipmunks sang and danced around like crazy:

Dancing has become part of our Friday night ritual as well. So funny. I'm not sure where he learned to dance like that...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Imaginary Friends

Admit it, when you were little you used to have a blanket that you carried around until it fell apart. Or a teddy bear that you would buckle up beside you in the backseat of the car. Maybe you had a doll that you would insist needed a plate at the kitchen table.

Well, Aiden has an imaginary friend...

I know that some parents become really concerned when their child invents an imaginary friend, but I know that it is a completely normal part of childhood. Almost 2/3 of children have them at some point during childhood.

In fact, when I was little I had an imaginary friend of my own.

Her name was Carrie and I did everything with her. We played outside on the swingset. We played school with my dolls. We even dug for dinosaur bones together in the backyard. I'm not sure how long we were friends, but one day Carrie had to move away.

While my imaginary friend was a girl my own age, Aiden's imaginary friend is

(photo credit)

A baby hyena! (He looked through pictures of baby hyenas with me until he found one that looked like his). He calls him "Baby Hyenie" (pronounced hi-E-nee).

Baby Hyenie joined our family when I was pregnant with Holden. For a short time, he even lived in Aiden's tummy. Aiden isn't as involved with his imaginary friend as I was. He only gets Baby Hyenie out every once in awhile. Mostly, he likes to tell me the naughty things that Baby Hyenie does to his mommy.

"Mommy, Baby Hyenie took the chewing gum out of his mommy's bag and then he got it all in his hair!" Of course this is followed by excited laughter.

Other times, he blames Baby Hyenie for things that he's worried he's going to get in trouble for doing. For example, today he emptied a bottle of glitter on the table. When I walked in the room, he dropped his jaw and gasped, "Mommy! Look what Baby Hyenie did!"

Here are a few pictures of Aiden with Baby Hyenie:

Did you or your children ever have an imaginary friend?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Happy Birthday Mandy!

Wordful Wednesday: Because sometimes a thousand words are just not enough...

Today is my little sister's 11th birthday! Since we won't be there to celebrate her special day with her, I wanted to take just a minute to wish her a very Happy Birthday (she's a faithful reader of my blog!) and share some random pictures. I really wanted to post a picture of us together when she was a baby, but unfortunately I don't have a scanner and taking a picture of the picture just isn't working.

Mandy's 6th Birthday

I will always remember the day that my parents told me that I was going to be a big sister. I was 15. Fifteen! And the only thing on my mind was being able to drive and getting a car.

My parents had told me that after I got my license, I could have my mom's car and she would get a new one. But as soon as I heard about the baby, I thought, Babies are expensive. I'm not going to be able to have the car! And I burst into tears.

Um... wow! Five minutes later, I asked my mom if we could go to the bookstore and pick out a baby name book. Once I had time to adjust to the idea, I was super excited.

On February 24, 1999 Mandy was born. My mom had a c-section and I waited with my grandmother outside the OR. Once Mandy was born, they wheeled her out right in front of me. My dad told me that I could touch her if I wanted. She was so TINY! I reached in the incubator and touched her little nose. I absolutely adored her.

I loved having a little sister to come home to. I would look forward to getting out of school so I could see my baby sister. If she was sleeping when I got home, I would beg my mom to let me wake her up. Of course she would say no, but I would go in the nursery just to look at her and sometimes she would wake up... Now I'm getting paid back! lol

Mandy, I hope you have a Wonderful birthday. Thanks for being such an awesome little sister. I love you and will see you in a couple of weeks!

For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Seven Clown Circus!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Grocery Store Nightmares

Aiden is such a good kid. He is so smart and funny. He is so sweet and caring. He is so loving and fun to be around. He is simply a wonderful little boy.

BUT as soon as we step inside Safeway, he turns into another child. It doesn't happen at Target. It doesn't happen at the mall or at The Little Gym. There is just something about the grocery store that makes him go CRAZY!

Surely, you're not talking about me!

He turns into Superman and runs around trying to help. He hangs onto the back of the cart. He climbs underneath the cart. He gets too far ahead of me. He gets too far behind. He picks things off the shelf and throws them into the cart. I could go on...

And Holden must be able to tell that Aiden is acting crazier than normal and that I get really flustered because he starts up as well.

Lately, Holden has been throwing a fit as soon we get in the store. Again, this doesn't happen at Target. Not at the mall and not at The Little Gym. Just the grocery store! He screams so loud that I have to get him out of his carseat and hold him on my hip. (As soon as it gets a little warmer I'm going to try the wrap again. It's just too cold and takes me too long to get him in it).


Last time we were at the store, a lady came up to me and asked if everything was ok. I told her that Holden just cries like that sometimes because he wants to be held. She said,

"Are you sure his diaper pins aren't poking him?"

"I'm pretty sure he just wants to be held." Then she asks me if she can hold him and that she will follow me around the store!

And Aiden... He got his finger ran over by the shopping cart. He bumped into one of the displays and knocked all kinds of boxes onto the floor. He pushed the lady's cart in front of us in line and accidentally hit her with it. He ran outside the store in front of me. (He did stop before the sidewalk ended but I always worry that he might forget and run out into the road.)

Once we leave the store, I am the perfect picture of a frazzled mom!

Aiden must have felt bad about how he acted at the store last night. When he got up this morning, he crawled onto my lap and put his arms around my neck. After loving me for a few minutes, he put his hands on my face and said, "I had a dream about you last night. At the grocery store. I will be nice to you today and I will listen." I love him!

How do you keep your little ones entertained at the grocery store?

Friday, February 19, 2010

When You Give a Kid a Camera

I take LOTS of pictures of my boys. I know nothing about lighting or lenses or shutter speed so my pictures are not great. But I do document everything that we do and that's my main goal.

Aiden is very used to seeing me with a camera in my hand and he has always been interested in playing with the camera. At first he would just push the buttons on the camera and get random images. But it looks like he's finally chosen a subject!

He said, "Mommy, Can I use the camera to take Holden's picture?" This is what he captured:

Are we done yet???

My First Venture into the World of Mommy Groups

Was Completely Uneventful! Shell from Things I Can't Say has all of these funny stories about mommy groups and I was so looking forward to having some of my own to share. But, no...

The group met at Chuck E Cheese and all of the kids were really excited and running in opposite directions. So I didn't really get a chance to talk to anyone very much. So there is still hope!

Aiden has been bouncing off the walls lately because it's been so cold and we've not been able to get out. This finally gave him a chance to get out some of his energy. He was really serious about playing his games...

Aiden loved playing air hockey. But it was a little difficult to keep him off the table! Every time I scored he would growl and climb up and lay on the table so he could have a better shot at my goal. He did end up winning.

This is what Holden thought of the whole experience:

Even though the mommy meetup basically turned out to be just another day out with the boys, we had a really good time. Maybe next time I will have some fun stories to share!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Little Bit of CUTEness

Aiden absolutely loves his little brother and Holden is fascinated with Aiden. It's so precious to watch them "play" together.

This morning Aiden was lying in the floor with Holden watching Dora the Explorer. Holden started cooing and Aiden said something back to him. All of a sudden, he jumped up and ran over to me. He was so excited.

Aiden: "Did you know that Holden can talk?"
Me: "Are you serious? What did he just say?"
Aiden: "He said, goo ga goo ga goo!"
Me: "Do you know what that means?"
Aiden: "Silly! He said, he loves me because I'm a great big brother. You just can't understand him because he speaks Spanish!"

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: My Big Helper

Aiden has gotten to be such a wonderful helper. This is how he entertained Holden while I fixed breakfast.

Check out 5 minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

About Your Cookies...

Dear Manufacturers of "store brand" Cookie Mix,

Why do you insist on putting a picture of an oversized star cookie on your package and then give the baking instructions for tablespoon sized cookies? Sure, I probably have been cooking long enough to where I should have known that it would take longer to cook big cookies... But couldn't you at least put a note somewhere? You must not know what it's like to hold a screaming baby on your hip and then hear your 3 year old call from the living room, "Mommy! I figured out how to take the lid off ALL of the sprinkles!" all while trying to get the cookies in the oven.

Things like that make it a little difficult to think about how much longer you should bake a big heart shaped cookie. Just a simple request.

My little guy was really excited about having heart cookies.

But when the cookies had cooled for your suggested five minutes, I noticed that there were parts that seemed fully cooked and parts that were still doughy. So, I had to pick out the pieces that were cooked so they wouldn't get burnt when I put them back in the oven. Good-bye hearts!

Luckily, the cookies still tasted great and looked pretty good when covered with icing and sprinkles...

So, if you could just remind me that bigger cookies need to cook longer by adding a little note on your packaging, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Day of Love

Lately, Aiden has been watching Nick Jr. in the mornings while I'm getting ready. All last week, they were promoting their Heart Day Par-Tay (special Valentine episodes of their cartoons). Well, yesterday Aiden was really excited about it and said to me, "Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!" So I decided to try to make today special for him.

Yesterday was our first day out of the house since the blizzards a week ago. And it was crazy out! There wasn't a single parking spot in the entire parking garage at the closest Target and it took 20 minutes to drive around and get back on the road. I guess everyone had been snowed in and needed to get their Valentines at the last minute. Aiden was talking to my sister on the phone while I was driving. He said, "We have to go to the other Target now because we ran out of candy." True, but that wasn't the only reason we were going!

Anyway... This is how I set up the table last night before I went to bed:

The book was for Holden, the heart shaped cake, lollipops, and the Kiss were for Aiden, and the rest was for Matt. I made him six love coupons (for example, redeem for a 30 minute massage) and put them inside a sweetheart box.

And I wanted to make a special breakfast. I found a recipe online that I had never tried out before for raspberry scones with a "yummy strawberry jam".

I have no idea what went wrong. I followed all of the directions perfectly. But when the recipe said to knead the dough, my "dough" was more of a liquid... So, I added more flour. A lot more flour. Unfortunately they were inedible but at least they looked pretty!

Aiden asked for peanut butter and jelly instead. PB&J for breakfast? Why not?

I'm not sure if he ate his breakfast so quickly because of the different shape or because he was excited about his "big chocolate chip".

We also made a super simple craft today. For some reason Aiden really wasn't that into it.
(Wax paper, glitter, tissue paper, heart sequins, and cupcake and heart cut outs)

For dinner I made salmon with a marinara sauce and vegetables. And we ate with candle light. Aiden thought that was pretty neat, but he was much more excited about blowing the candle out when we were finished!

And for dessert we had "Chocolate Decadence"

We ran out of time to make our Valentine cookies. We might make those tomorrow... I think I succeeded in making Valentine's Day a special day day for my boys!