Sunday, June 23, 2013

{Week in Review}

We fell into a sweet routine this past week. I don't expect it to last long, because if I recall newborn 'routines' only last a hot minute before they hit a new milestone or growth spurt and are completely changing the game on you. But last week, for a few wonderfully slow afternoons, Anders and I spent some much needed one-on-one time playing while Aksel took marathon naps (thank you, Aksel!).

Sometimes, the simplest toys are the most entertaining. Anders could not get enough of these wood blocks this week, and neither could I. It was so much fun watching him balance, build, crash, and rebuild for hours. He would get so proud of himself when he built a tall tower!

Another classic favorite we enjoyed was playing with cars. Lately Anders has been lining all his cars in a row across his bedroom floor. I won't deny that my type A, borderline-OCD personality may have modeled this behavior. And I won't deny that my type A, borderline-OCD personality may find total and complete joy in seeing him copying my example. We also actually race the cars and make fun car noises and all that stuff, too. 

Eventually Aksel would wake up and join our party. How could we resist this sweet face? (Ignore the little scratch by his eye. His nails are like tiny razors!)

We would try to get a little exercise in with some tummy time. Aksel seems to enjoy it so far and only gets fussy once he's completely worn out. 

Help him roll over and he's happy again. He and this little (hidden) pig had a stare-down while he tried to reach it with his feet.

I'm sure he'll be hurdling the baby gym and tossing the stuffed toys just like his big brother before I know it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

{Holiday: Father's Day}

Happy Father's Day!

I am so grateful for the dads in my life. They are wonderful men, and it is an absolute joy to watch them interact with Anders and Aksel. To my own dad, my father-in-law, and my best friend and husband - Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

{A First Time For Everything: The Dentist}

This week Anders had his first dental appointment. I'm not going to lie, we hadn't really talked to him much about going to the dentist or what it involves. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect myself. I have to wrestle the kid into the grocery cart seat each week, so the mere thought of getting him to sit still in an exam chair was enough to give me tremors. My hope remained in the fact that my dad, a dentist, had successfully given him a mini-exam during his most recent visit. However, I feared my toddler's mind wouldn't exactly correlate the MacGyver-esque exam, completed with two dining chairs and a flashlight in our living room, with a trip to the dentist's office.

It didn't take long before I knew we'd struck gold. Upon our arrival, Anders quickly discovered that the waiting room boasted a token-operated carriage ride. While we waited for his name to be called he loudly narrated his adventures to the entire waiting room, 'Ride. Horse. Sit. Chair.' I'm sure everyone else found it just as endearing as I did (or maybe not...).

We chose a pediatric dentist that a friend from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group recommended. He and the hygienist were so great with Anders. They showed him every tool they were working with and explained what they were doing. The hygienist even gave him some sunglasses so that her 'flashlight' wouldn't be so bright. Anders sat still and opened his mouth wide as they counted and cleaned his teeth. I was so proud! At the end of the visit he got a Cars toothbrush, a bouncy ball, and another token from the receptionist to ride the horse carriage. After all that loot, I'm sure he is looking forward to his next visit!

Sadly, Aksel had a blowout just as we were leaving. We trekked to the van where I spent the next 10 minutes sweating my life away (hello summer!) and cleaning the mess. Again, Anders helped narrate, 'Baby. Poopoo.' Yep, kid, that's an understatement.

As a reward for his outstanding behavior I decided to swing by Dairy Queen to pick Anders up a milkshake. They don't have kid sizes, so we were forced to split. I know, so sad. I poured his portion into a kiddie cup and passed it to the backseat. I think we all know where this is going...parenting fail! After drinking a good amount, he pulled off the lid before drinking spilling the rest. I can promise you this - I won't make that mistake again!

It was an eventful day to say the least. Considering I had to strip two kids, clean two outfits, and scrub two carseats when we got home, I would say going to the dentist was the least of my worries! Live and learn, people. Live and learn.

Monday, June 10, 2013

{10 on 10}

Prepare yourself for 10 on 10, summer edition. Instead of featuring ten photos documenting a single day, I'm sharing ten pictures from the onset of summer. Living in Texas, it's impossible to avoid the sweltering heat of the season. Unsurprisingly, Anders is unphased by the extreme weather, and his desire to be outdoors has not waned a bit. 

One of our favorite summer stomping grounds is the local splash pad. As if the free water features weren't enough to keep us coming back, the crowds also draw bicycle carts full of ice cream and trucks serving shaved ice. It's also close to Andreas' office, so he's occasionally able to take a midday break for lunch with the family. (No this is not what Andreas wears to work. I always bring him a change of clothes and some flip flops when he meets us!)

Another regular form of summer entertainment is sure to be our backyard kiddie pool. A gift from Anders' grandparents last summer, I'm actually kind of surprised it survived the off season tucked away on a garage shelf. It reinflated with no problem this summer, however, and I'm looking forward to dipping my feet in daily. 

One of our favorite ways to cool down is visiting the community pool. The price is a bit steep at $120 for a family summer pass, but our local Aquatic Center is more water park than pool, so it's not too outrageous. The toddler area alone contains a gradual incline entry, water cannons, spray bars, and water slides, while the rest of the complex boasts a 200-foot lazy river, a two flume slide, a separate diving well, and several other swimming pools.

We've only been once this summer so far, and Andreas was there to help me tag-team the kids. If anyone has advice on how to manage solo pool trips with multiple littles, I would love to hear it! Seriously, leave a comment. I need all the help I can get!

What do you do in the summer to keep cool?!

Monday, June 3, 2013

{Around Town: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington}

While my parents were in town, my brother and sister-in-law came to visit too! Kirk and Megan made the long drive from Missouri to spend a few days with us, and I am so grateful they did.

Growing up, my brother was always playing baseball. Always. I honestly don't think I even realized there was a baseball 'season', because it was a year-round event in our family. And we loved it. The people who sat alongside us on those bleachers and fold-up chairs were friends, family. We ate together, traveled together, celebrated wins and mourned losses together. We watched young boys grow into young men. 

So, it was especially meaningful to me when Kirk and Megan presented Anders with his first tee ball set. 

Anders' interest in the tee was short-lived.

He thought it was far more exciting to have someone pitch the ball instead, and his Doc was more than happy to oblige.

Did you know the ideal batting form includes closed eyes and rainboots? Well, at least it does according to Anders.

Be warned, however, that wearing rainboots during a Texas summer can induce (even more) excessive sweating.

Anders actually managed to make contact a few times! Whether it was skill, luck, or precision pitching, who could say? I love that Andreas is proudly watching in the background and that Kirk is unknowingly photobombing the picture while practicing his soccer moves.

Anders also spent a fair amount of time instructing various suckers family members to 'catch', a brilliant ruse to con the lucky recipient into pitching for further batting practice. 

During the weekend, Anders coined his latest mantra, 'Hit. Bat. Ball.' Repeat this 1000 times over, and you will still be nowhere near the amount of times that phrase has been uttered in our home since Kirk and Megan's visit.

Aksel watched the action from the patio as long as we would allow. When we worried he was too hot, Nina was happy to take him into the cool house.

With our baseball enthusiasm piqued, we made a trip to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. This was definitely nostalgic for my family since we've been cheering on the Rangers together as long as I can remember. (My favorite Ranger was, and still remains, Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez in case you were wondering...which I'm sure you weren't.)

I was a little concerned about the boys missing their bedtimes, but judging by this face I'd say it was worth it.

Some other random shots from our night...

Kirk and Megan were such good sports about our busy day and late evening, even though they had made such a long drive earlier that morning.

Aksel chose this outfit especially for the occasion.

Anders loved hopping from lap to lap.

Aksel spent most of the night sleeping in the sling. (I love my sling and I love snuggles with my littlest!)

Andreas and Anders took some sweet selfies during the game.

We had a great time at our first family Ranger game. I see many more in our future!