Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Soren Speaks

SOREN:  Part of the reason I choose you to be my actual mom is not just the things you let me do but also your voice.

(I am wondering what the difference is between an actual mom and the regular type.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Best Things about Leif (at almost 3 months)

1. New babies are so generous.  He will go to anyone and they are happier for having held him.
2. Part of that is because he is extremely easy to sooth; he just wants to be held on your lap and suck on your finger.
3. I like it best, though, when is in my lap.  I try to be as generous as he is, but I don't often manage it.
4. There is something about his nose.  I just want to give him eskimo kisses all the time.
5. I love his bright, expressive eyes.  They are very dark blue right now; I wonder if they will go blue like Sven's or brown like Soren's?
6. He usually glances away when he smiles, like he's shy.  It's pretty cute.
7. I love how still and calm Soren is when he is holding Leif.
8. I also love how attentive Carl is to him.  He always stops and gently interacts with Leif whenever he enters the room.
9. Sven loves on him, too.  He will sit next to me and pat the baby's head, crooning "hi, Leif."
10. He's a little guy.  Healthy but small.  I like to snuggle him and he's just the right size for it.
11. He is a pretty flexible sleeper, which is good because he doesn't have a stable place to sleep in our apartment.  As long as he is swaddled and full of milk, he is good.
12. I love to kiss his soft cheeks.  He frequently smiles when I do.
13. He also smiles when I tickle his toes.
14. He is plenty expressive.  The more kids I have, the more grateful I am for the baby's cries.  I am glad he lets me know what he needs and when.
15.  Nursing: it's awesome.
16. I especially like how nursing him forces me to slow down and take breaks throughout my day.  Amazing oxytocin breaks.
17. They must be pretty amazing for him, too.  I love it when he falls asleep in my arms after a feeding.  That's the best feeling in the world.
18. He's my fourth, so I feel much more laid back.  I know not to sweat the small stuff and he's happier for it.
19. He's Scott's fourth, too.  I like how confident and competent my husband is as a father.  It does my heart good to see them together.
20. He smells good.  Like a baby.  I just want to breathe him in and keep him there forever.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Soren Speaks

SOREN:  We can use spiritual knowledge as a brick separator in our lives, separating our problems so we can go on our way.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Best Things about Sven (at 2 years)

1. His smile makes me smile.
2. He throws diapers in the pail for me.
3. He loves to be read to.
4. He also "reads" to himself during his independent play times.
5. He still loves to snuggle.  I really like it when Scott gets him up in the morning; then he will come find me and snuggle with me.
6. Sometimes he says "mm-hm" instead of "yes".  It's really cute.
7. Also cute: when he says "yes", he hyper-articulates the s sound.
8. Actually, everything he says is really cute.  He's a big talker.
9. He is small for his age.  That makes the talking all the more cute and impressive.
10. It also makes him easy to carry around.  Whenever he asks me to "carry you", I always reply, "I love to carry you!"  And even with a bran new baby, that's true.
11. He will "sing" (rather tunelessly) and "dance" (rather formlessly) around the living room.
12. He likes to play outside.  And life is certainly easier for me when he does.
13. His budding independence amuses me.
14. He likes to play house. Baby dolls are a favorite toy.
15. He really loves Soren and is frequently trying to wrestle with him.  They are usually both laughing hysterically.
16. He is friendly and makes friends of everyone.
17. He can entertain himself and does so happily every day.
18. He reminds me to help him pray before meals.
19. He loves to play this game where I copy his facial expressions.  It's fun for me, too.
20. He is sweet to his new baby brother.  His voice and hands are gentle whenever they interact.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sven's Second Birthday

Sven is TWO!  (Look out everybody, here comes big trouble.)

This is what we did to celebrate:

1. It was Saturday, so I made our traditional pancake breakfast.  But I shaped the pancakes like letters of the alphabet!  Because that's cool, right?  Sven helped me put in the chocolate chips.

2. After breakfast, I put on Sven's birthday shirt.  It has been sitting, folded and waiting, in his dresser for the past six months.  Today was it's big day to shine!  Once he was dressed, Sven and I practiced telling his age.  "How old are you?"  "Six."  "No!  You're two!"

3. A few days before, Sven helped me pick out a cake.  It was funfetti, of course.  So after breakfast, we mixed it up and put some cupcakes in the oven. Sven was really upset about the whole mixing process.  He seemed to think that everything was ruined.  After an hour in the oven, I started to wonder if maybe he hadn't been right.  The cupcakes baked (and baked and baked) and never really got done.  Unbeknownst to me, our oven was on its way out and couldn't keep temperature.  We didn't figure that out until a few days later.  On Sven's birthday, I just thought I must have done something wrong!  So we mixed up a new cake (lemon this time) and made the cupcakes in a neighbor's oven.

4. While the cupcakes were cooking (which was an eternity, it seemed), Sven opened his birthday present from me: a ball!  Audrey told me that was a lame present but he seemed pretty pleased with it.  He went outside to play right away.

5. After the cupcakes were done, we all went to the Children's museum.  We had an explorer's pass so it was free!  Yeah!  The Homer family came with us, ostensibly so that Sven would have a friend his age there.  But he didn't really play with Charlie.  Two-year-olds care more about toys than kids.

6. We went to the food court for lunch and Sven requested that we eat at "the bear store" (aka Panda Express).  So we shared a panda feast with the Homers.  To accompany it, there were lemon cupcakes with blue frosting and fish sprinkles!  

7. During Sven's nap, Soren and Carl went to DI with me.  They wanted to buy presents, which I thought was very generous of them.  Of course, they picked out stuff that *they* liked.  Soren got a wooden race car; Carl picked some weird pink mechanical bug (sans batteries).  Sven was intrigued by both but they didn't have much staying power.

8. Scott and I went on a date that night, so the boys had man and cheese and more cake with a babysitter.  They love that.  We did sing and do candles before we left.  While we were gone, they got to watch a truly, crummy movie, the kind of garbage their mom would never let them watch.  And they were talking about how hilarious it was for weeks to come, so I think it was good times.

9. Presents from the grandparents came a few days later:  some play food from the Bergs and a board book (Max's Bath!) from the Duedes.  When we move, I plan to buy a play kitchen with money from the great-grandparents.  For now, Sven is flush with new toys and gaining more attitude with each passing day.

Happy Birthday, Sven!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sven's Vocabulary

I had intended to keep a log of all Sven's words up to age two, just like we did with Soren.  But, like Carl, Sven's language progressed so quickly that I gave up early.  By around 21 months, I was no longer surprised by any word he said and was probably using five to ten new ones every day.  Now, at two, he is producing multiple clause sentences.

He still says "carry you" instead of "carry me" but other than that, his grammar is impressively good.  We have another talker in the family.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the list that I maintained, up until it became unfeasible:

By 1 year
hi, ow, more, all (as in "all done"), mama

12 months
dada, please

13 months
ball, bye, whee!

14 months
up, no, uh-oh, shoe

15 months
down, diaper, stick, side (as in "outside"), flower, nose

16 months
ears, cat, juice, milk, day (as in "someday"), cake, night (as in "good night"), mine, rice, door, poop, thank you

17 months
stink, snack, meat, hot, sock, monkey, story, head, elbow, up, bike, car, apple, help, fork, spoon, eye, bubble, berry, not, toy, towel, go, open, yeah, stairs, bagel, bottle, rock, love you, teeth, brush, Darcy, cookie, meow, banana, sippy, stupid, outside, scriptures, done, Texas (as in the neighborhood boy), yeah

18 months (2 word phrases)
scissors, pizza, potty, stroller, pancake, Chomsky, bowl, chair, boom, Soren, mac cheese (as in "macaroni and cheese"), Carl, water, duck, walnut, happy, dinner, Oliver, pajamas, yummy, song, Max (as in the books about Max and Ruby), doggy, sit, gone, jump, peekaboo, watch movie, some, bunny, eggs, smoothie, salad, helmet, picture, honey, bed, stroller, swing, clean, spill, oatmeal, very, spoon, beep, blankie, cereal, want, hummus, lego, table, jam, bath, read, night, Thomas, pear, spicy, John, hot dog, dragon, bear, get, puzzle, Megan, chalk, one, money, animal, home, Peter, silly, the end, tablet, home, Evelyn, beans, timer, road, wheel, funny, mouse, going, see you, yogurt, morning, seatbelt, stepping, phone, block, boy, balance, curry, roti, chair, eyes, Piglet, clothes, belly button, tickle, hands, feet, away, alone, dice, muffin, needles, playdough, that way, two, three, four, yogurt, applesauce, button, again, Homer, donut, everything is awesome!, don't, Mr. Collin, popcorn, spider,

19 months
boots, grasshopper, cheerios, Ethan, Isaac, dinosaur, buzz, Charlie, again, zebra, butt paste, toilet paper, bathroom, puppet, hair, round, garden, itsy bitsy, George (which refers to the book Harold and the Purple Crayon), cricket, sucker, the end, nice, silver, buckeye, pee, blow, beads, house, pee, blow, high chair, couch, build, tower, hooray!, Circle Time, Nora (as in Noisy Nora), hush, Ethan, Isaac, boing, chicken nugget, C (as in "vitamin C"), noisy, buggy, Jackie, Grandma, buckle, strawberry, G (from the song "Go for G!"), waterfall, tram, alligator, scary, fish, elevator, Tim, swimming, sun, hot tub, Grandpa, change, wipe, making, Breezy, home, amen, knuckle, library, Thomas, turn page, moo, Becca, pine cone, doggy, another, candy, cream of wheat, bowl, that's a, Halloween, costume, trick or treat, motorcycle, open, close, peanut butter, cricket, me, I, chocolate, baby, bucket, milk, styrofoam, Jesus, bracelet, Michael, elder, give me, card, knight, another, spam, horse, Emmett, put on, need, harp, doing, could you, scrambled, Babar, sweater, cheese

20 months (3-5 word sentences)
bread, puzzle, follow prophet, Monique, mouth, ride, red rover, elephant, tamale, tiny woman, tang, brown, moo, all, window, carry, knock, who's there?, shut, come in, clap, nap, throw, right, castle, marshmallow, minecraft, soup, cold, raining, watch, stand, monkey, do, wake, listen, feet, snow, Heavenly Father, hug, put on, take off, wear, panda, Owen, carrot, Sven, megablocks, you're welcome, pumpkin, animal, aunt, sister, paper, pie, boot, wash, birthday, pee, potty, draw, hat, dragon, bird, tiger, tornado, whale, hurt, porridge pot, fish, underwear, Sven-y boy, couch, boy, walrus, hippo, fall, beautiful, autumn

21 months
throw, away, let, mighty, bracelet ...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Best Things about Carl (at 5 and a half years)

1. He is friendly and happy when meeting/greeting people.
2. He responds when I talk to him.  He doesn't always like what he hears but I always know he heard me.
3. Sometimes, he responds with a cheerful, "Yes, Mom!"
4. I love to hear him sing.
5. He expresses sincere gratitude without prompting.
6. His lego designs are surprisingly elegant.
7. His new belly button looks great.  He had surgery last month to repair an umbilical hernia and he was a really good sport about it.
8. I appreciate how very attentive he is to baby Leif.  He asks to hold him at least once every day and likes to sooth him when he's unhappy.
9. He is also really sweet with Sven, who is going through an emotionally turbulent time right now.  Carl likes to help his little brothers feel better.
10. I love to watch his pretend play.  Frequently, he and his friends pretend to be lego minifigures.  Carl holds his fingers in a c-shapes in imitation of the minifigure hands.  If he is suddenly still in a strange position, you know that he has been hit with the kragle-lizer!
11. His eyes have changed color and now they are greenish.  Kind-of like mine.
12. He is picking up phonics here and there on his own and his creative spellings are fun.
13. He pitches in to help without being asked.
14. He loves going to preschool
15. and is friends with everyone there.
16. I like his artwork.  His strokes are careful and deliberate; I think he will do well with handwriting next year.
17. He has bonded with his dad over left-handedness.  They are adorably proud of their sinister natures.
18. Sometimes he will come sit next to me and put his head on my shoulder.  I like that.
19. He adapts well to different environments.  He is really good at figuring out the rules of a given situation and responding accordingly.
20. He likes to use a British accent in his pretend play.  It is so charming!