He Did It!

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He did it!  Levi rolled over from his back to his tummy last night for the first time!  OK, he did it during the day yesterday too but that one doesn’t count.  He was on a slightly downward slope.  Gravity helped him.  Last night I put him down on his play gym on his back so he could stare at his toys hanging above him.  He doesn’t swat at the toys yet, at least on purpose but he does like to look at them.  He immediately rolled on to his right side like he always does.  And he kicked his leg over and kept rocking back and forth, trying to get all the way over.  Annika was sitting on the floor next to me cheering him on and I made sure Kris was watching from the recliner behind me.  And then he did it, he rolled over!  I think he was pretty surprised because he ended on his tummy with his arms tucked under him, propping his torso up a little bit and his eyes were wide open, looking around.  I got down on the floor, eye level to his, and cheered him on.  It didn’t take too long for him to start crabbing that he didn’t want to be on the floor on his belly anymore.  I flipped him back over but he was tired of being on the floor entirely.  So I scooped him up and brought him upstairs and put him to bed.  He’d had a big night and needed his rest.  Hee.  You can bet I’ll be putting him down on the floor again tonight though so he can practice his new trick.  Oh, and I gave everyone strict instructions that Levi is not to be placed on the couch, bed, etc. anymore and then left unattended.  We can’t have him rolling off anything!

Saturday we went to my cousin Matt’s wedding.  The kids had a great time as usual.  Cupcakes, dancing and unlimited attention from aunts, uncles and grandparents?  What could be better!?  James is so cute sometimes.  He makes me want to just scoop him up and kiss him all over.  And sometimes I do just that.  Friday night we were getting his clothes picked out for the wedding (all his 3T dress pants are too small – he’s in 4T’s now!!!) and he asked me if he should bring his ring pillow and ring too.  Isn’t he precious!?!  I told him that no, he didn’t need to bring it.  That was just for Auntie Krystle’s wedding and is his to keep now.  He was OK with that.  Annika and James and I danced for a while together.  Annika didn’t like it that James was trying to dance with Mommy because she wanted Mommy all to herself at that moment.  Maybe she misses me while I’m at work?  Either way, I made sure that she got a good long turn.  My sweet girl.  Annika was also upset that James was spending so much time with Uncle Dale.  She wanted her turn but every time she looked there was James on Uncle Dale’s lap.  Jealous much Annika May?  She got her turn though, as she did with Grandpa and Uncle Mathias.  She had to know where Uncle Mathias was almost every possible moment.  She’s a little attached to that awesome guy.  I sure wished he lived closer.  She is so lucky though because each of those adults plus all other aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas love her and James and Levi so much and indulge them their every desire…sometimes a little too much!  But if they want to sit by one of them or have one of them help them or dance with them or play with them they always, always make time for them.  My children could not ask for a better family!

Yesterday was another fun day.  We went to Grandpa and Marcia’s house for lunch and played out in the back yard.  I won the bean bag toss game for my team (Uncle Mathias and myself) against the opposing team (Kris and Uncle Pierce) right after Mathias was teasing me about my play.  I’ll show you how to get points, Mister!  Then we packed up and went to the beach and played on the boat and in the sand for a few hours.  We couldn’t fit everyone on Grandpa and Marcia’s boat at the same time so we took turns.  First out on the boat was Grandpa, Marcia, Mathias, Kris, Pierce and Annika.  Time for tubing!  I’m told Annika absolutely loved it and squealed with delight the whole time again, even when she’d get tossed from the tube into the water.  That girl doesn’t have much fear when she has her life jacket on in the water.  I’m glad she had fun.  Next on board was Kris, James myself, Grandpa and Marcia.  James was a little nervous on the boat so first we just cruised around the lake for a little bit.  James sat right next to me and held my hand during that.  Then we stopped the boat, even turning it off so James could see that we float, no problem.  Then Marcia sat on the back of the boat and had James sit by her, which he did very carefully.  He let her hold him down a bit so his toes touched the water.  Then we put the tube in the water and had Kris climb on that, showing James that Kris was floating and it was OK.  A few minutes after that James joined Kris, floating on the tube.  And then we asked if he’d like to go for a ride on the tube.  At first he was scared but he said OK.  So Grandpa started the boat and he led Kris and James on a slow tube ride.  They were having fun until the tube caught a wave and the nose went under and Kris and James were tossed off.  James went underwater for a second (his life jacket brought him right back up of course) but that was enough to scare him and he started crying pretty hard.  I didn’t want to scare him further so I started calling him silly and saying “whoopsy!”  “You silly boy!  You and Daddy fell in the water!  Whoopsies!!”  You know, sing-song-it’s-OK-voice.  And then he was fine.  He wanted back in the boat but he was smiling again about his fall off the tube.  Next Kris and I went tubing together (despite my ever so ungraceful climb onto the tube).  We fell off once after a particularly violent collision with a wave and James got really concerned again.  He said it was time for us to get back in the boat but we assured him we were fine, we were having fun and we were going to go for another ride.  And we did, and we didn’t fall off and when we got back in the boat James was no longer as scared.  Whew!  Annika went out again with another crew and again had a great time.  James was content to play in the water and sand near shore though.  And Levi had his first water experience too.  I brought him to the edge and had him stand with his feet in the water.  He didn’t mind that at all, even when a little wave would come and the water would go higher up his legs.  Later Kris had him stand so that his feet were in the sand.  He was OK with that but didn’t like it so much when Kris was brushing the sand off his feet.  For the most part though Levi enjoyed the outdoors with little snoozes, lots of cuddling and big eyes taking it all in.


Two Days Done

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Two days at work completed.  And I didn’t cry once.  Aren’t you proud!?!  Of course I cried on and off the entire weekend and days leading up to my return to work but the actual days of I was OK.  I still wish I could stay home though.  I’ll always wish that.  Annika wishes that too.  She told me on Tuesday that she wished I stayed home during the day.  If only we had the same maternity leave policies here in the U.S. that they have in Europe and Canada.  That would make things so much easier!  Or, even better, to be independently wealthy!  Now that would be great!  Alas, it’s back to reality for me.  I’m sure we’ll find our new normal and all will be fine.  I’ve done this (be a working mother) for almost six years, I can surely do it some more.

And the report from Kris Wednesday was that things went well.  Levi took a couple good naps in his crib.  Annika and James didn’t get into too much trouble and the tantrums were kept to a minimum.  Success!  However, last night James decided he needed me to do everything for him (go upstairs and get his shorts, get him his shoes, pull out his stool, etc.) and would cry and pout and whine if I didn’t do it for him.  I’m sure it was his way of showing he missed me…or he’s just being three and trying to exert some power but I didn’t bend to his tantrums.  When he wouldn’t put his sandals on so we could go outside I left him to tantrum (complete with feet kicking the floor) alone and ignored and went upstairs with Levi.  Annika was already outside at the neighbor’s house which is where I intended to take James and do some visiting.  It took 45 minutes to get his shorts and sandals on and us out the door.  And of course when we got there they were ready to send Annika home so they could eat dinner.  Too bad for James that he only got to play for a few minutes.  Maybe one of these days he’ll grow out of the tantrums.  Anyway, Thursday’s challenge for Kris was to get all the kids up, fed, dressed and out the door for soccer this morning.  Hopefully that went smoothly too.

And how about a little Levi update?  Last night he was so, so close to rolling over. He was on his side (he always rolls to his right side) with his leg kicked over and he was kicking and almost got over his shoulder.  But then he’d get frustrated and cry so I’d pick him up.  Maybe this weekend he’ll do it when I’m home.  As for the other big question always asked about newborns – he’s sleeping pretty well!  He usually wakes up around 2am and then again around 4:30am to eat.  He usually goes to sleep around 9:30pm so that’s a good chunk of time initially.  Of course I need to take full advantage of that by getting to bed by 10pm which doesn’t always happen.  It has to now that my alarm clock is going off at 5:30am!  Another funny thing about Levi is that he nurses at bedtime but then when he’s done eating he starts yelling at me.  So, instead I give him his pacifier and he settles down and falls asleep in my arms.  If I hold and rock him long enough he’ll be in a deep enough sleep that he spits his pacifier out.  It’s so cute to see him spit it out.  Sometimes it’s with some force like “get this thing out of here!”  Other times he’ll still be drowsy but not asleep and I’ll put him in his bed…and he’ll go to sleep on his own!  I’m still amazed by this.  A baby who will go to sleep on his own.  I don’t think Annika or James ever did that.  Annika would wake up every time you tried to put her down (another reason we co-slept) and James you had to rock to a deep sleep before you could put him down.  I’m trying to get myself in the habit of putting Levi down drowsy instead of sleeping so we can build good sleeping habits with him.  One night last week he even yelled when I tried to rock him so I put him in his crib and he went to sleep all on his own!  I was literally amazed and had to immediately go tell Kris.  Then I joked that our babies keep getting better the more we have them.  Kris didn’t think that was too funny.  There is no way there will be a number 4 if Kris has anything to say about it.  And of course he does.


Back to Work

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How in the world has it been almost three weeks since I’ve posted here???  I guess my mind has been elsewhere.  I’ve been trying to cram fun things in for the kids while also enjoying Levi as much as I can.  I’m sad to have to go back to work on Wednesday and have been weepy and crying on and off for days.  I also think I went through a bit of the baby blues in the past couple weeks.  I was so down about everything.  Ugh.  You don’t even want to know.

Anyway, what fun things have we done?  On the 5th Annika, James and I went to see Toy Story 3.  It was James’ first movie in a movie theater and I was wondering how he’d do with that.  He did great though!  He sat on the literal edge of his seat the entire time, as did Annika and just took everything in.  We all shared a big bucket of popcorn and a huge cup of pop although I think I ate most of the popcorn.  Addictive that stuff is.  Annika decided she didn’t like the movie due to a scene with a “scary, naughty monkey” and had a nightmare about it that night.  We talked through it though and now she’s decided that she does, in fact, like the movie.  When the movie was over we rushed out, not even waiting for the credits to start rolling because Annika had to go to the bathroom NOW.  So we ran hand in hand through the halls to get to the restroom and made it just in time.  How embarrassing that would have been for my big girl if she’d had an accident!

We’ve also had two play dates in the past couple weeks with Annika’s friend Elyse from preschool and Elyse’s mom Krista and brother Liam who is two and a half.  The first time we met them at the park in town and played for a couple hours.  The kids chased each other around the park the whole time.  Sometimes it was just the girls running around playing hide and seek or making up some princess story for them to act out.  While they were off doing that both boys wanted to swing, swing, swing.  Krista and I stood there for a half hour one time just pushing our boys on the swings.  It was very nice to chat with her though.  They are such a nice family.  Levi slept most of the time there in the baby bjorn and stroller with Kris watching over him.  The next play date was just today at our house.  As soon as they walked in the door Liam was chasing James up the stairs to go play in the bedroom with trains.  And as soon as Elyse had her shoes off she and Annika ran upstairs too.  Krista and I sat downstairs and visited for over an hour while the kids played upstairs.  Again, Levi was with Kris while Kris put him down for a nap.  When Levi woke up Kris brought him down to me and Krista held him for a while.  Then we brought the kids outside to play for a little bit so Annika could show Elyse how she can ride her bicycle.  They also played hopscotch.  It was a fun morning and I hope we can do it again before school starts.

The third fun thing we did was go back to the Minnesota Zoo.  Now that we have a membership there we can go back as often as we want!  We didn’t see the bats the last time we were there and we promised Annika we’d go back before I went to work so we did on the 12th.  We did indeed see the bats along with the monkeys, kimodo dragon, brown bear and lots of other animals.  I do wonder though if their favorite part was not the huge new playground area though.  They had a great time playing in there while I sat on a bench and fed Levi.

Yesterday was the fourth fun thing – a trip to the Children’s Museum!  Yesterday was the third Sunday of the month which means free admission thanks to Target.  We took advantage of that and only paid $3 for parking for three hours of fun at the museum.  A pretty good deal if you ask me!  We enjoyed each room of exhibits.  Annika’s favorite part was the ant room with the tunnels to crawl in.  We had to drag her out of there.  James’ favorite part was crawling through the log and crawling in the cave of the tree.  I think we’ll have to go back again.

On the way to the museum yesterday Annika and James were making up silly names for each other.  I told James that his name was “Lightbulb” and he said “No, Daddy’s name is lightbulb because his head looks likes like a lightbulb!”  Oh, did we laugh at that.  Although he does have a point too.  With Kris’ shaved head, it is lightbulb shaped!

And how about my precious baby?  The one leaving me in tears when I think about leaving him?  Well, he’s completely adorable and lovely and terrific.  He smiles and laughs and coos up a storm.  And he’s so close to rolling over from his back to his stomach!  We put him on the playmat on the floor and within no time he’s over on his side with he leg kicked over.  Just a little bit more and his shoulders will follow and he’ll be on his stomach.  I’m hoping he does it tomorrow so I can see it before I’m off to work!  Otherwise Kris has strict orders to have the camera ready so he can video it and send it to me at work.

And now Levi is awake from his nap so it’s time for me to go.  Wish me luck as I go back to work!


My Babies

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Yesterday Levi had his two month well baby check up. He is a big boy, yes he is.  But we already knew that, right?  He weighed in at 13 pounds, 13 ounces which put him at the 90th percentile.  And he is 25 inches long which put him at the 97th percentile.  He has grown four inches in two months!  His head was only 15.3 inches around which is the 23rd percentile.  Kris and I just make small headed babies I guess.  I knew my baby was big though and this just confirms it!  No wonder he’s in 3-6 month clothes already (which go from 12-16 pounds and from 24 – 26.5 inches).  Before I know it he’ll be out of those too!  The good pediatrician declared him perfect and healthy in every way.  I love our pediatrician!  And she said he has the head control of a four month old.  She was very impressed with our baby Levi (whom Annika likes to call LeeVee as a nickname).  She also commented on just how long he was.  His legs are long, his arms are long, his torso is long.  She wondered if he’d be a good swimmer with those long limbs.  Time will tell.  For now I’ll take the perfect and healthy part.

Tonight at swimming lessons Annika jumped off the diving board twice and went down the waterslide once.  They were the highlight of her lessons of course.  And tonight at bed she had to tell Kris that she liked jumping off things.  Silly girl.

Yesterday in the mail we got a letter from the school telling us Annika would be in afternoon kindergarten.  This is good for at least one reason – Kris doesn’t like getting up in the mornings and now he won’t have to worry about a morning schedule.  This is bad for at least one reason too – James will be in preschool on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and we’ll have to see if the bus schedule for Annika lines up with when Kris has to drive James to school.  Hopefully there are no conflicts and everything runs smoothly.  If nothing else, we have two neighbors who have told us Annika can stay at their house those two days a week to catch the bus if Kris has to bring James to school at that time.  We won’t have to worry about the going home part because James is done with school at 3pm and Annika doesn’t get out of school until 3:45pm so there is plenty of time there.  It’s just the start of school we’ll have to figure out.  Another good thing is Annika’s “best” friend from preschool, Elyse, is also in PM kindergarten.  There are three classes there so Annika and Elyse have a 1 in 3 chance of being in the same class.  Here’s hoping!

And now for James.  My dear sweet little James.  He fell asleep on the couch tonight and I had to wake him up to get us to swimming lessons on time.  And he spent most of the time there cuddled on my lap instead of playing in the sand.  He’s not been feeling well this week, sometimes running a 100-101.4 fever and he’s taken a few naps.  Hopefully he kicks whatever virus he has to the curb soon!

Speaking of James, he has said a few cute things lately.  First a week or so ago we were driving and Levi was fussing.  Levi does not like car rides unfortunately.  James piped up with this commentary on the situation: “I don’t want to whining from that baby anymore” to which Kris and I both responded.   Then Jamesy tacked this on to the end of the conversation: “Or I’ll freak.”  And then Kris and I both cracked up.

And here’s another one.  Today our town had a little kiddie parade to celebrate the 4th of July.  It was basically just a bunch of kids on bikes and in strollers and wagons walking around the block while being decked out in red, white and blue.  On the way to the parade Annika asked why were having a parade.  Kris responded “to celebrate our independence.”  And then Jamesy laughed and said “No, Minnesota!”  (Because you know we live in Minnesota, not “in Dependence!”)  And then I laughed for blocks.  Kris asked me if I was going to be all right.

And that is all that’s new with our little family.  We have very little planned for the holiday weekend but we have a bunch of things to go do and see before I go back to work on the 21st.  Sigh.