Monday, February 28, 2011

Doc Appointment

Annaliese had a doctor's appointment today, a combined one-year well baby with a pre-op appointment. Bright and early tomorrow, her first birthday, she gets tubes put into her ears (I know, wonderful birthday present). At her appointment today, she was once again congested. She also hadn't gained much weight since her last appointment and she's off her curve. Granted it's still the 53rd percentile, but she used to be in the 70s. The pediatrician is hoping that the tubes will make her feel better, and then hopefully she'll pick back up weight wise and stuff. Probably doesn't help that the antibiotics give her lots of diarrhea... Her height measurement was right along the curve at 29.5 inches (67%ile).

The birthday party yesterday must have worn them out because they both took three hour naps. They may have slept all night if we had left them. Ian had refused to take a nap, though he clearly needed one. So we just left him in his room under the guise he needed quiet time. Went in three hours later and found him not asleep in his bed, but in his reading nook:


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Omaha Birthday Party

Only this time, it was for Annaliese. Baby girl turns ONE on Tuesday. How can it be already?! We're having her big birthday back in Iowa in a few weeks, but we had one today with our Omaha friends. Be prepared, this post if very heavy in pictures (since the last few posts have been about Ian, she deserves to have some pictures posted).

Today was really all about the cake. But really, isn't every first birthday about the cake? She was pretty excited to see it on the table, but when we scooted it closer to her, she turned to Darrin and was crying.

It may look like just a normal cake with white frosting, but oh, the inside is so neat! The cake and frosting together had 5.25 cups sugar, 2 pounds butter, 19 eggs, and 6 colors gel food coloring. All to make this:

The pieces were so big, so Ian and Annaliese shared one. She wasn't very big on it, though. We put the plate in front of her, and she just put her thumb in her mouth. I tried to entice her by putting some in her mouth, but she didn't care.

I tried to get her to touch it, but she started to fuss. All that was going through my head was that I had another Ian, who didn't eat his cake and hated having his hands messy until his cake last week.

So finally we pulled out a fork and fed it to her. She'd love the bites from the fork, but not enough to dig in on her own. She just wanted us to feed her. We weren't going to spend the whole time feeding her, there was cake for us to eat (and she really doesn't NEED the cake), so she just sat with her thumb in her mouth.

But much to my joy, while we were eating, she started to dig in!!

And she ate her piece all gone. I think she may have eaten more than Ian.

She is going to be the cutest dressed girl this spring in the outfits she got from Marlena & Noah, and Sara.

And we've got some new books to read at bedtime, and toys to play with before. One of the books she got was about a chameleon and Ian said, "Hey, that's a chameleon. They start off green but change colors." They must have learned about it at preschool, because we've never discussed them before. And my face in the picture, that's my bewilderment face looking towards Darrin, asking, "Where in the world did he learn this?"

We try to do pictures of the three kiddos a lot when we get together, but it's been awhile. It's definitely getting harder; all the kids are mobile now. We started them off on their bellies, but they'd crawl away (well, Ian stayed put the whole time). So on to their backs, but then the rolling would start. Here's the best shots we got.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

He Calls Himself...


And, he uses a Packer sword (okay, really it's a golf club...)


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Birthday Party was "Buzz"ing (edited)

Ian's 4th birthday party was Saturday and it was a blast. Our parents came for the weekend, and were joined by Marlena, Noah, Walter, Elise (their niece), Sara, Meeghan and Alexa. I think everyone had a great time.

Ian was a ladies' man during the lunch . We had pizza (take-and-bake from Hy-Vee), fruit salad, and lettuce salad.

That was followed by the presents. Ian would say, "Whooooaaaa!" for almost each present he opened, and the "Whoa!" increased in volume and length the farther into opening presents we got. Here are a few we got decent pictures of:
I wish we had a front shot of this one. It captured the "WHOA!" on his face.


Then it was on to the cake. I was so proud of myself for how this cake turned out. I got my inspiration from here. It was my first time making and working with fondant. I made marshmallow fondant. It was lots of fun to play with and create, but I was not a big fan of the taste. The bed was made in a loaf pan, with a dozen Buzz and Woody cupcakes to go with it. The head board was chocolate we melted and let cool. It was a group effort with my mom and mother-in-law frosting and decorating along the way. Ian dictated the placement of all the characters around the cake.

Ian did his shy face while we sang to him. And then he blew them out... or at least tried to.

After a few attempts like that, we switched positions.

And he tried again... but it didn't quite work.

He was finally able to get them out, but it took quite a few huffs and puffs. Which is surprising, if you knew how often he pretended to be the big, bad wolf blowing down the pigs' houses.

Cake was followed by playing with the toys. Buzz was first, after the 20 minute wait it took for Darrin to get it out of the box and twist-ties.

And while Ian was playing with Buzz, Alexa and Elise had fun playing with the characters from the cake and the fondant blocks.

We played Candy Land, but with the Toy Story characters instead.

There were many, many trips to the bathroom to run the Sheriff from the movie "Cars" under the water to watch him change colors.

He enjoyed playing with his K'nex tractor after it was built for him. It's since been taken apart and made into an airplane. I'm pretty sure the people that came with it are already driving his CAT excavator in the basement. DSC_0024

And the toy playing continued for the rest of the weekend. It's a three-day weekend for all of us thanks to President's Day. Right now he has his K'Nex, Toy Story coloring pages, and Toy Story magnets out on the dining room table. He's playing with the characters from the cake, along with Buzz and all the cars from "Cars" on the steps. The living room is covered with his gears set and fire station. And the basement, well, I think he has every possible toy covering the floor down there. Definitely going to be a night for picking up before bed. But the mess is worth it. He's having a blast and it's so fun to watch and listen to him pretend.

Post Edit: Just wanted to add that I ordered the characters for the cake online through

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday Mini-Celebration

Our families are coming into town next weekend to celebrate Ian's birthday, but we couldn't let the day arrive without a bit of celebrating.

Ian woke this morning to his 'wrapped' present at the foot of the stairs. He didn't rush down the stairs, but paused at the top, sat and looked at it. Then he got up and walked to the bottom of the stairs. At the bottom, he crouched down to see what the blankets were hiding (on a side note, he pretends to be The Grinch and/or Santa a lot, and uses all the blankets around to wrap up the gifts).

With a look towards us for reassurance, he torn the blankets off with, "My big boy bike!"

At church today, Ian went up for the children sermon as always. Pastor Sara asked him if it was a special day, and then proceeded to lead the whole congregation in singing "Happy Birthday" to Ian. He was standing up tall on the chairs in the front for all to see. I asked him how he felt, and he said, "So happy." After church, a birthday lunch of McDonald's (can't wait til he gets older and knows there are much better restaurants out there for your birthday), and a nap, he got to take his new bike outside. It was close to 60 degrees out today, so it was perfect bike weather. He had a bit of trouble in the driveway. He would freak out because the bike would go when he didn't want it to do to the incline. We swept all the sand out of the garage and he practiced in there instead. There were definitely not as many cries of fright while biking in there.

No big cake tonight, the one for Saturday is a big enough project in and of itself. We used a leftover cupcake and sang him "Happy Birthday."

The problem with a February 13th birthday- Valentine's Day is the next day. So he had to write his name on the 20 cards he needed. The he put the heart sticker on to seal it closed and put it in the box.

Happy 4th Birthday Ian!

My little man is four today. I can't believe he's that old already. I still catch myself thinking of him like this:
"birth" day boy

But he's not.

He's my little man who sets the table and throws fits about what's for supper.

He's my little man who loves to play catch and pillow fights.

He's my little man who reads books to himself after we give good night hugs and kisses.

He's my little man whose voice rises an octave when he talks to his sister, and rushes to her side to give hugs and kisses.

He's my little man who watches movies with a blanket in his lap, because one minute he could be laughing and the next scared and want to hide his eyes.

He's my little man who takes cupcakes to preschool for his birthday, and celebrates when there's some left to eat at home, too.
4th Birthday

Happy Birthday Ian. I'm so very glad you're in our life. You bring us such joy. Can't wait to see all that you'll discover this year!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life in Pictures

She's two-fistin' it! One of her favorite things to eat right now is toast. Actually, I think she'd eat anything we'd give her. She's a great eater.

She's also a master of the sippy cup, which makes me super excited for a few weeks from now when we switch to cow's milk. No more bottles and formula!!!

I took this picture as Darrin and I went to bed after 10 (thanks for the awesome flash Marlena and Noah!). Ian has been coming out of his room a lot at night. He goes to bed around 7:30, and so when he'd walk out around 8 or 8:30, one of our theories became that he may not be tired since he has been taking naps every day at school. To try and stop the leaving, we're trying a strategy in which he can stay up and read books in his room as long as he'd like. We smiled when we saw him in bed like this because he looks he just made it back into bed before he fell asleep. And no, he doesn't have pjs on. Some nights he asks to just keep his clothes on, and in the land of 'pick and choose your battles' this is one battle we choose to lose.

Saturday I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I made prepped beef stew to keep in the freezer (so that I can just pull it out and throw it in the crock pot some day), magic bars, and homemade hot pockets (again stored in the freezer for us to take for lunch). You can add to the list brownie I made on Sunday. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a kitchen that looks like this during a cooking session...

This is Annaliese 98% of the time- she is such a happy girl! She's doing what we call her 'scrunchy' face. LOVE IT! She absolutely loves bath time, especially since we've taken her out of her baby tub and put her in the big tub with Ian. They are so fun to watch together.

She's even not feeling 100% and she's still a happy girl!

Sunday was a big day in our household. The Packers won the Super Bowl (in case you didn't know...). So of course we were all decked out for the day.

Ian's my little detective. He was helping with the dishes and couldn't figure out why the drawer wasn't closing. He ran off and returned with his little Buzz Lightyear flashlight, got down on his hands and knees, and tried to figure out why. It was so darn cute! He kept moving to get a better angle and he'd talk to himself. I think he finally determined that there's a red lid in the way.