Tuesday, May 31, 2016


We had our two May birthdays again!  And they were closely intertwined I guess I'll just do a joint post again.

First, as always, came The Wife's:
I took the day off so we could have fun times together and make a long weekend of it.  We surprised the birthday girl with breakfast burritos and a free morning to do whatsoever she wished!  Mom came over during nap while we had a little date for Indian food and a couple of kid-free errands, and then we went to our alma mater to check out some favorite museums and fight some crazy wind and beat some crazy rain.  After putting the kids to bed we had Taco Friend nachos and watched The Big Year and readied ourselves for the big fun to follow...
This picture is so much.

A delicious birthday cupcake...
... which was approved of by all.
Of course this boy had no problem helping out with unwrapping presents (it was good practice for the next day).
Because then, of course, came The Boy's:
Finally hitting up the Natural Curiosity Museum!
... Which it turns out is pretty awesome.  Thanks for getting us in, Nana and Papa!
We just had never been to the Natural Curiosity Museum because we didn't think The Boy would be really into it yet, but we needn't have worried, because even Baby was thrilled with the baby play areas and all the things to see and do.  We were worried it would be really crowded on a rainy Saturday but it was just perfect (though it started to pick up as we were leaving) and having seasoned cousin Brady along to show us around was really fun.
Presents and dinner and...
We were worried that no naps would be had by anyone after the exciting morning, but apparently the excitement wore them right out and a great nap was had by all (well, by both), after which of course came the presents and the dinner and the cake!!!  He loved his giant firetruck puzzle and the megablock play table, and he had a great time making his own little pizza, and visits from Nana and Papa and Matt and Jack are always lots of fun, but the biggest hit by far was the construction site cake.  He has hardly let the diggers out of his sight since, and of course it was delicious.
That cake!!!  It was a HUGE hit.
(And then later that evening the parents of the household took turns sprawled out on the bathroom floor, most likely thanks to Arby's drive-through for lunch, which isn't how we wanted to end the day, but at least it wasn't during the day, and that's all I'll say about that.)

And that means our little man is 3.
I can't get over this shot still.
He's so smart and big and independent and funny, his sense of humor is really showing these days.  He repeats phrases and tones that he hears us say when we're talking to each other and they sound hilarious in his little voice.  Along with this independence comes the very occasional mini-tantrum (or not so mini... he can make his voice heard if he's in the mood and something triggers him).  He loves music and is really into a growing handful of Disney songs (Perpunzel, Baby Lion, Mermaid and Crab, Tiana), which I'm slowly expanding so as to not kill some favorites by overplay.  He's still totally into anything with wheels and is really starting to get the hang of his balance bike.  He loves books and reading and always looks forward to the library, which often results in him staying up way too late reading in his bed (in the dark) but at least he's quiet and relaxing.
Playing with a variety of toys at Barnes & Noble.
Snow buddy!
He loves a sheet wrap.
Riding roller coaster skates!  Just like in his beloved Richard Scarry books.
As The Wife says, shades of Ramona.
Long shot of new Christmas jammies from Nana (which are still a popular choice).
That high-pitched-echoing bear is still hilarious.
Repost of him figuring out how stockings work.
I love days off work.
We finally just replaced that beloved and long-lost Yoda hat.  I love to hear him say, "yyeeEEEEees."
He aaaalways wants to go outside first thing when I come home from work. Pajamas are his favorite clothes and he'll change them several times a day. It would be nice if he were a little more forthcoming with the whole potty training thing, but he's getting there.
He figured out how to hold the pen perfectly all on his own.  O, my son!
Same smiles a couple years apart!

He's still that baby boy.
He loves to get out his own tools whenever I'm working on something.

But he loves Kitty best of all.

Such a good helper with yard work.  He insisted he use the big shovel and I use the little one.

Mooooovie night!  He really liked Perpunzel.

Entertaining himself while we wait a thousand lifetimes of woe and bewilderment in the post office.

Surprise Valentine's Day snow!  Kitty has proper footwear.

A simple place setting for a tea party at Chez Charles.

Bonny Bobby Shafto.  He's such a little mimic these days, especially of the ever so populated Busy Town books.

An exciting discovery while visiting Nana and Papa.
So glad to have a visit from Grandma!  They loved taking her outside to look at all the green things starting to appear.
Fezes are cool.

Dogsitting a mission friend's lab for a day turned out to be the best thing ever.

Always glad to visit Papa and immediately ask to watch Monster Trucks.

He's on track with his teeth-replacement, and nothing can be wrong when you get prizes after seeing the dentist. 
Helping with the refreshments at my cousin's wedding reception.  You turn around for 30 seconds...
"I sit like Mommy!"

Of late he likes to give birth to Kitty...
He's such a sweet big brother and sometimes he's rough and playful (which makes her laugh like crazy times) and then sometimes he's so gentle and leading her by the end and asking if she's okay when she might be sleepy or crying in the car that it just melts us parents into puddles.
He also likes to emulate the birds he loves watching by finding little nests wherever he goes, even if it's just a manhole cover.
What a sweet, funny, bright and vibrant boy we have.  I cried just a little bit the night before his birthday when I suddenly realized he would never be 2 again.  But we're so happy to have him and so looking forward to what 3 brings.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bathrooms and Easter and Dentist

Things have been happening around here.  These things are closely related.

Thing 1:

When we moved in we had Big Plans to redo our kitchen and add grand wings and expand the basement by 1000 square feet or so (okay, maybe not those last two), but then I lost my job and we had a baby and were distracted and trying to put our money toward other things, so we decided instead to do a few smaller projects along the way and work up to doing the kitchen, maybe piecemeal.  So we've painted a couple bedrooms and artfully arranged some new and old art on the walls, but the latest, just in time for spring, was a freshening up of our main floor bathroom.
Going prematurely green.
It wasn't a full renovation, just a fresh coat of paint and some new cabinet hardware and wall decor, but it was just the thing.  The Wife had just the shade of green in mind (she has a way with color), and even though we were kind of anxious when we had put on the first coat, another time over and a good dry and pulling off the paint and we loved it.  You can read more of the details here.
We worried it was a bit too green but when it was all over we thought it was just perfect
Then when we were finished, because why let a half gallon of Cottage Grove green paint and an afternoon of napping babies go to waste, we decided to do the downstairs one too!  It's only a half bath so it didn't take long, and it sort of took care of the water damage from the Minor Flood of '14, so that's good too.  Lesson learned though: Just tape off the baseboards next time.
(It looks greener in the pictures than it actually is.)
It was fun and quick and pretty inexpensive, which is just how I like my mini-renos.

Thing 2:

Easters!  Hot on the tail of our fresh new springtime bathroom, springtime itself was on its way, which included a really nice Easter Sunday, which fun and candy and baskets and Easter egg hunt practice so that little people might enjoy it more than they did last year.  Nothing could go wrong on a day like this.
Don't they all taste the same??  Apparently they have new "flavors", which sound gross.
The morning was all flowers and sausages, the perfect start to a special day.  I don't understand why the Easter Bunny is kind of like Santa Claus for some people these days, but our little poopsies were thrilled with their jelly beans and chocolate and plastic eggs.  (Baby's featured mostly squeezy pouches of baby food, which she enjoyed very much.)  (Also the new Easter basket grass is just the best thing ever.)
What ho, Easter Bunny!
We went to church and had a very nice time, adorable new clothes and a fun Easterish Singing Time in Primary, and then we plated up our asparagus and headed to my sister's house for the fun and festivities (and to "see cousins"), where there was an amazing dinner and lots of playing in the fun basement and thence to The Hunt!
Me and my little people
The Boy was much more into it just like we hoped, and the practice seemed to pay off, even for adorable adorable Baby, who was very glad to gnaw on the two or three eggs she found (and the Prince Charming she had brought from inside).
C: O, here, Baby.  A: *om nom nom*
I mean, really?!?  (Also, note:  Prince Charming.)
Which leads me to...

Thing 3:

... which I will list separately so as to keep the memories of Easter fun and only dampened by a slightly overcast afternoon.

So as the egg hunting was winding down we decided to go look at the horses on the other side of the backyard fence, and as we were approaching (and it actually occurred to me that he shouldn't get too close in case the horses nipped him or something) The Boy fell teeth-first onto the iron bar of the fence.  Tears, blood, restrained panic, taking him inside, thinking one was broken and the other was gone, not finding any on the ground, calling the emergency number to see if he needed to visit the ER, being asked ridiculous questions (is he complaining about pain??  Didn't I just say he was crying and covered in blood??), texting a picture to the on-call pediatric dentist, calming down, worrying about potential lifetime trauma, hugging and kissing and trying to examine teeth, choking up when a tiny voice says "my teeth are gone...", all aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents being very supportive and helpful and nice (and feeling guilty -- stop it), and eventually...

Putting on pajamas, borrowing toys from aunt and uncle, and heading home, but not before chasing down the kitty to tell it that he bonked.


The dentist said not to panic and if he wasn't in pain or bleeding he should be fine and to bring him in in the morning.

So we did!
Here we go...
We hadn't really planned on his first visit to the dentist being under these circumstances, but it could have gone worse...
Show us your teeth.  And don't be afraid of the impending x-ray chair.
He liked the exciting and interesting ocean-themed office and the movies on the ceiling, but when it came time to sit in any chair he was pretty distressed.  But they were quick and professional and gentle and nice, and told us that [AMAZINGLY] baby teeth sometimes just get pushed right back up where they came from and gradually grow back down just like they're coming in for the first time.  He had a few chips, but nothing close to the root and no nerve exposure, and overall we're just so grateful.  I mean, can you even imagine if that happened to an adult?  I think my teeth would just break clean off and I would pass out from the pain.  I tell you, kids are just designed to withstand bumps and bruises and bounce back.  In the end they gave him a token for the toy machines, from which he picked a grow-in-the-water dinosaur (that hardly grew at all), and as we drove away he proclaimed, "That's not so bad!"  It was still a little heartbreaking whenever he realized that things were different, and when -- the ultimate betrayal! -- his binky took some adjusting before he could take comfort in its companionship, but after a long night and some helpful medicine, the long day came to a close.

After that we were worried that he would have some painful association with horses or Easter or cousins or whatever, but it seemed like the lingering feeling of trauma had faded pretty quickly when he wanted to say hello to the horses down the street and visit the cousins shortly thereafter.  We almost had an episode trying to wear his Easter shirt again a couple weeks later (after the blood actually came off pretty easily), but that was more of a sleeves/sleepiness issue.  Phew.

We had a followup appointment this week (which was much less traumatic, though he still didn't care for the x-ray part of the process) and it looks like they're coming in already, which even we could see as the days have gone by, and, especially after the swelling and tenderness wore off, we're used to our boy's new temporary smile.  He's cute enough that he can pull it off.  He even told the doc that "My teeth are coming back!"

(I also learned that you can't just add your kid to your dental insurance for the first time any old day.  Good to know for future.)

(And I realize now that my post is a bit redundant if you've read The Wife's Easter/teeth report, but that's okay.)

What an eventful weekend.  So many things!  But they are all turning out all right, and even if some of them involved some trauma and tenderness and tears, everyone is fine and we are really enjoying spending time out in sunshine.  And really, what a way to be reminded of the true meaning of the holiday.  We felt a lot of love and comfort through the fear and pain, and it's always good to be reminded to have gratitude.

My teeth hurt while I was writing this.