Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{Bump Watch}

Mother of the Year, I'm not. Less than a month from my firstborn's 2nd birthday and a mere two pages of his baby book are complete. So it comes as no surprise really that with my second pregnancy I've completely failed to commemorate the process. There is no clever journal, no creative photo montage. No layette has been washed in baby-safe detergent, no coming home outfit has been purchased. (I'm actually starting to freak myself out a bit as I write this).

But sweet baby boy, know that we love you. Far and I pray for you, dream about you, and anticipate your arrival. We talk excitedly (and nervously) about what our family will be like once you are finally here. We teach your big brother about how to treat and care for you.

So here is my late attempt at documentation. At 31 weeks pregnant, I spent ten minutes running back and forth across my bedroom trying to take a decent self-portrait of the baby bump. I hope to squeeze a couple more of these in before your arrival, but let's not hold our breath.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

{Week in Review}

Some weeks I am hyper-aware of God's goodness.  My perspective is filtered, and I'm able to grasp the preciousness of simple moments - searching for undamaged acorn 'hats' along the sidewalk with my sister and my boy, clumsily practicing yoga poses in my aunt's kitchen, coloring polar bears around the kitchen table as a family.  How I wish I could cling to that feeling in moments of ingratitude!

This week Anders and I were able to take a quick roadtrip to my aunt and uncle's new house.  We were fortunate to have my sister come along with us, and we met my mom and cousin there so it was quite the gathering.  The overnight trip included exploring the new house, searching for deals at a few resale shops in town, chatting, eating, and yes - an informal yoga session led by my mom in the kitchen.  

When Anders wasn't playing with all the toys he was spoiled with upon our arrival (the monster truck above could not be abandoned for picture taking), he was more than happy to explore the machinery in the giant barn.  A riding lawnmower and mulcher to sit on provided easy entertainment, but I'm confident his favorite 'toy' was the trail wagon.  Uncle Buck was more than happy to oblige Anders with an off-roading expedition, which pretty much cemented him into Anders' list of favorite people for life.

The rest of our activities this week were more relaxed.  We dug around the piles of acorns readily available throughout the neighborhood in search of perfect specimens.

Andreas helped Anders get a little more comfortable on his bike, which he clearly loved.

I'd say he's getting the hang of it.

When we found an awesome wooden chest on our neighbors curb, we happily adopted it.  Anders quickly saw its potential.

After biking and jumping, we moved the party inside to color some Arctic animals (our most recent preschool topic) and eat a snack.  What do you get when you mix Nutella toast and a boy roaring like a polar bear?

Complete with messy polar bear kisses.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{Week in Review}

This week I decided to begin teaching preschool lessons at home.  'Teaching' and 'lessons' are actually misleading descriptions of what we are doing.  It's nothing near that impressive.  Essentially I created a curriculum of weekly topics that Anders and I will study together using books, crafts, songs, and other activities.  As I reread that sentence, I still think it sounds way too formal for what we are doing, so let me show you.  This week, our topic was Winter.  One day we read Spot's Snowy Day and made a snowman (note:  the bigger the drool circle around the neck, the deeper the concentration).

We actually got snow on Tuesday, which totally played into my Winter theme.  This was a miracle because I was starting to think  that explaining the concept of snow to a toddler in Texas was a cruel joke.

At my mom's suggestion, I tried to get Anders to catch a snowflake on his tongue. His success was limited by the fact that he was only willing to stick his tongue a millimeter beyond his lips.  But he was amused by the fact that the snow stuck to his shoes.

The next day Anders decided to do some yoga while I changed his sheets.

This is Anders doing his best impression of a dancing robot.  I realize that probably doesn't make much sense, but suffice it to say that he has a DVD that teaches numbers through a 'robot dance'.  Please feel sorry for me for having to view such content.

Nanny (my sister) came to visit us later in the week and treated us to sno cones.  Anders loved it, which is no surprise since he's obsessed with all things sugary and delicious.

On Friday afternoon I decided to take Anders to Petsmart.  I wish I could say I thought of the idea on my own, but I had seen a friend on Facebook post something about free toddler entertainment and thought it was a great idea.  It was probably a fair mix of torture and excitement for Anders seeing as how I reminded him every other minute that we were not taking any of the animals home.  The Doggy Daycare viewing wall was our first stop.

We also looked at guinea pigs, which totally backfired when the crazy kind Petsmart worker took one out for Anders to pet.  He promptly poked it in the eye while I stood a foot away.  They smelled.

We checked out the birds and fish too.  I was actually hoping we might find some lizards or spiders, but apparently those are not hot commodities in the pet world these days.

I did learn one thing - it's impossible to get a picture of your child's face while in a pet store.   I hope everyone enjoyed all those photos of the back of Anders' head!

Over the weekend, Andreas and Anders ran around the backyard playing soccer.  

Anders was spellbound watching his dad juggle.

We also ventured out to a local park where Anders did some exploring.  The weather and light were gorgeous that afternoon, and even though he refused to look at the camera I think we got some pretty cute shots. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{Week in Review}

It dawned on me as I reflected on photos from the past week.  Regarding the grand debate of nature versus nurture, this post serves as hard evidence for the nature argument.  The complexity and importance of both facets shouldn't be overlooked, but even as I sit at our table typing this, my toddler son is squeezing a string cheese between his fingers with all his might and chuckling to himself as he passes gas.  I assure you that Andreas and I have not modeled either of these behaviors.  Let's make some further scientific observations.

Each time I bake bread, Anders helps in the same capacity as he does with most domestic projects - dancing underfoot, eager to examine the mechanics of the task at hand.  With breadmaking in particular, this includes attempting to stick his fingers in the dough hook of my mixer as many times I will allow before moving him off the counter.  He's also very enthusiastic about punching down the risen dough.

Sadly this week, Anders was sick with a cold (see reference: Germ Pit from last week's post).  As far as I could tell his energy level was unaffected, but he was tired and irritable.  Every afternoon we were both equally desperate for entertainment, and every afternoon I did my very best to avoid allowing him to watch endless hours of television.  One day, we decided to occupy our time with a bubble bath.

Anders loves to play with bubbles, rub shaving cream all over his body, and splash.  Basically he's super into anything that involves making a gigantic mess in the bathroom.

Thursday we continued our seemingly endless stretch of indoor play.

This time the new bunk bed served as our jungle gym.  I feel like he is so easy to read in these pictures.  "Hey, Mom!  Look at me!  Do you think I should do it?"  What's truly amazing is that he hasn't actually figured out he can climb one more ladder rung onto the top bunk.  I'm not looking forward to that realization.

By Friday, it was clear we were ready to get outside again.  We walked around the neighborhood puddle jumping.  Anders got his pants and shoes completely soaked and then decided he was too tired to walk back and needed to be held.  Mom fail.  Next time I'll push the stroller behind him just in case.

When we were almost home, I tried to coax Anders into laying in our neighbors' leaves for a cute photo op.  Instead he chose to perform the can-can dance while repeating 'kick' at maximum toddler volume.

I love my little boy.  I can't believe I'm about to have another one!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{Week in Review}

We spent the first day of our new year together as a family, doing fun family things... like taking down Christmas lights in the freezing cold.  Mostly Andreas took down the lights, I froze, and Anders took advantage of the opportunity to run behind the bushes in our flower beds and attempt to climb the gutters while we were preoccupied.  The boys did, however, take a break to have a little fun.  Forgive the blurry photos.  I alternated between taking pictures and yelling at them to be careful.

January 2nd marked our return to reality.  Andreas went to work, and I stopped pretending that eventually a maid would come clean my house.  Anders and I managed to clean my car (I'll spare you the picture of an almost-two-year-old's car seat after two 11 hour road trips), but that was exhausting.  We needed a break to play in his new big boy room.

The next day we decided it was warm enough to take Anders' new wagon out for a spin.  Things started out casually, but we ended up on a serious airplane hunt.

Later in the week, we went to an indoor playground at the mall, or as I like to call it - the germ pit.  It's probably as close to the Hunger Games arena as you can get in the suburbs.  The children all fight to the death over who gets to play on which toy, disinterested viewers parents sip on their Starbucks, update their Facebook status on their iPhones, or try to ignore the fact that their 8-year-old is winning the game on a playscape clearly intended for toddlers.  I'm teasing...mostly.

It's a stare-down on Tweety mountain.

Here Anders displays the proper form for channelling your inner caveman.  Conquer toy, stand tall, arch back, let out a big yell to mark your territory.

Navigating the local wildlife, hopping from flower to flower (ignore the other parent photobombing my picture).

I like to call this one 'testing my immune system'.  Pepe is getting a full-on kiss there, people.

This weekend was perfect for a visit to the park.  The air was crisp and the sun was out, so we packed the wagon with snacks and headed across the street.  As if you can't tell, our little man loves the chance to run around and play outside.  And look - some of these pictures include people other than Anders!  Bonus!