Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Four Years and Counting

Today is our anniversary - four years. I know people say this ALL the time, but Ryan and I even both acknowledged that it feels like we just got married...yet at the same time, it feels like we've been together forever. It goes by quickly, but you easily get to where you are so comfortable with each other and your lives together.

This last year has been a tough one for us. Not for our relationship, necessarily. (So nobody start worrying! Haha!) It's just been a tough year in general. We've had less sleep (less than during Aiden's first year, if you can believe that!) and are learning how so little sleep can affect just about every other facet in our lives, more financial stress, and just all kinds of other things going on to cause stress and make life busier. We've had to learn how to connect and rely on each other in different ways. We've had to learn how to balance things we didn't before. Just all kinds of things have made this year more difficult than others. It's part of life and being a family. Nobody's complaining (though an easy year this go-round wouldn't be so terrible). ;)

We're big Michael Buble fans, and, like just about everyone else, I'm sure, it seems like there is always one love song on each of his cds that we feel is one of "our" songs. You know what I mean. On his "Call Me Irresponsible" cd, I'm pretty sure it's "Everything" for most folks, and on his newest cd, it's probably "Crazy Love" (which I especially love because it's in one of my favorite older movies - She's Having a Baby, but I'm getting off track). BUT there is another song from his Crazy Love cd that really speaks to me and makes me think more about me and Ryan, especially after this past year. I think some people that know us, especially those that have known as before getting married and shortly after, think that we're this perfect couple, always so polite with each other and respectful, and that we're "lucky." I don't buy being lucky. We are what we make ourselves to be. It's not about luck, it's about choices we make every single day. If you rely on luck, you will only get so far...and not very far, at that. So many things we have talked or planned have turned out differently than we expected. But through it all, we're still holding on. And neither of us are going to let go. :) We are a strong couple not because we got lucky but because of how we handle things together and how we treat one another.

And yes, we're still crazy in love with each other.

Hold On

Didn't they always say we were the lucky ones?
I guess that we were once
Babe, we were once

But luck will leave you cause
It is a faithless friend
And in the end when life has got you down
You've got someone here that you can wrap your arms around

So hold on to me tight
Hold on to me tonight
We are stronger here together
Than we could ever be alone
So hold on to me
Don't you ever let me go

There's a thousand ways for things to fall apart
But it's no one's fault
No it's not my fault

Maybe all the plans we made would not work out
But I have no doubt even though it's hard to see
I've got faith in us and I believe in you and me

So hold on to me tight
Hold on, I promise it'll be alright
Cause it's you and me together
And baby all we've got is time
So hold on to me, hold on to me tonight

There's so many dreams that we have given up
Take a look at all we've got
And with this kind of love
What we've got here is enough

So hold on to me tight
Hold on, I promise it'll be alright
Cause we are stronger here together
Then we could ever be alone
Just hold on to me
Don't you ever let me go
Hold on to me, it's gonna be alright
Hold on to me tonight
They always say we were the lucky ones

Sorry if it's not showing up right. I even clicked to use the smallest sized video, and it's just not posting right.... Sorry 'bout that! It's just the lyrics and sound anyway. ;)

Basically, if I were to say a certain line applied to us or that I would say it just like it is in the song...well, it's just the ENTIRE thing. All of it is exactly what I would say. (Thanks, Micheal. You summed it up pretty well!)

I love you, babe. I love that we're stronger together than apart. I love that even though some plans don't work out the way we first thought, that what we have is enough and is right for us in the end. I love that we're always there for each other. I love that others might look at our relationship and think we are lucky...but that we know it's more than that, which means it will remain. I love that you support me fully in every single way possible. I love that you give your all to me without me having to ask, even when it means giving more than you have. (And I love that you want to give me even more than that.) I love the husband that you are to me, the father you are to my children. I love every little thing about you. (Well, most things.) ;) And I love that even when we are going through difficult times, we know we will be holding on to one another through it all, no matter what.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Twenty-three months

Welcome to toddler-hood, where every day brings something new....independence, constant mind-changing, can't-do-it-myself-but-don't-want-your-help, let me have it MY way, learning something new every single day. Life is FULL of surprises and changes these days! It's SUCH a fun age, but there are more challenging days lately, too.

  • Stuffed animals. It started out with Aiden deciding he liked this huge pink puppy one day. It suddenly replaced Bunny, and he took Puppy EVERYwhere for a few days. Then he moved on to another stuffed animal. And another. He mostly keeps coming back to Puppy, and Bunny still has his place at bedtimes, but each day there's no telling which animal will be his favorite.
  • The color pink. He really LOVES pink. He does. (And for those of you that think...boys and pink don't go together... We're fine with it in our family.) It's actually pretty cute.
  • Laughing about something and then exclaiming "Funny!" ESPECIALLY when it's something that he knows is wrong or isn't funny.
  • Foods... Bell peppers (yes, really), salad (one week, he ASKED for salad every day!), peaches, black and blue berries, homemade granola. Ice cream... I made some without eggs, and he loves it. (Of course, he loves it! He's hardly ever given anything that contains sugar, and ice cream definitely contains sugar, even homemade!)
  • Music. For a week, I guess, he was obsessed with the Wiggles. Every second music was not playing he would ask for the Wiggles. He'll dance and dance and sing some of the parts, too. Then suddenly he dropped the Wiggles for Toby Mac. Now, anytime there is no music, it's "Mac? Mac?" (Kind of funny going straight from the Wiggles to Toby Mac, but I'll take it. It's nice to have regular music playing in my head instead of the Wiggles or Veggie Tales...) ;) Who knows what he'll like tomorrow, though. Nothing sticks around for too long at this age, it seems!
  • His necklace. We got him a hazelwood necklace that is supposed to help with teething (and eczema), and he just thinks it is so cool.
  • Saying "cool!"
  • Soft diapers. I'll post more about this once we get through our new-diaper-trial, but we're trying some new diapers - mostly pocket diapers (diapers that have a pocket that holds the insert, and usually has a softer material against the baby's skin) because they are so soft and don't have tags and other things that can irritate skin. We've been having all sorts of issues trying to get Aiden's eczema on his lower back under control, and we think a change in diapers is helping. Aiden will even talk about the "soft diapers" and, when asked, will say he likes the softer ones better. He won't always verbally complain about others, but he will pull on them, and, when asked, say it is bothering him and that he wants a different one.
  • Coloring. He loves to draw with colored pencils now! So much fun, and we have an assortment of pictures to send out to some lucky grandparents soon. ;)
  • Talking with grandparents on Skype. He's really figuring this stuff out, and when I'm on the computer, he'll often ask about his grandparents now! (He talks about grandparents all the time, actually, but he knows he can "see" them on the computer.)
  • Giving kisses (to people, things, etc) and then immediately saying "awww." I guess he gets that reaction a lot when we see him kissing.
  • Washing with soap. He used to hate having soap suds on him, now he loves it and asks for it the whole time we're in the shower.
  • Girls. Well, I think it's more that he likes friends and playdates, but there must be more girls than boys... After one playdate (we actually were able to attend b/c we hosted, so Aiden slept through some of it), Aiden was trying to put on his shoes. When asked where he was going, he said to see a "GIRL!" Haha! And he constantly asks about certain girls he remembers seeing at our house, even months ago(!!).
  • CitiBlocs. You CAN get a joint gift for an 11-year-old and (almost) 2-year-old that they will both equally LOVE. You really can! We got the largest set when we found a great deal on-line, and it's been a great gift!

  • Not getting enough sleep. Now that he's getting more, the days he DOESN'T get enough, he is beyond grumpy!! Before, he wasn't like that, and missing some sleep didn't seem to affect his mood all that much. We think maybe he was just used to it and then he started getting more sleep, which was better for him...and maybe now that he's used to getting more sleep, missing some affects him more than before, if that makes sense. Either way, a short nap (meaning two hours) leads to a very, VERY cranky kid.
  • Mommy not joining in with bedtime routine. I've been nursing Aiden downstairs before any sleep routine. He's done fine, but lately he's gotten to where he gets really upset when Daddy takes him up to get him ready for bed. He screams for me. For a while, he wouldn't even let Ryan brush his teeth, which is odd for a couple reasons... Ryan's the main one that does that job, and Aiden normally doesn't want me doing it. Also, I'm all business about it, while Ryan tries to work with him more if he fights. But still, he wanted me. He's gotten better, and now Ryan can usually get through changing, teeth-brushing, and story-time without me having to join in. I still sometimes have to come up after Aiden's in bed, though, to re-tuck him in because he gets so upset if I don't do it. Not sure where this came from, and it does seem to be getting better. He just wants his mama sometimes, I guess!
  • Not being able to go outside... It's just been way too hot here lately. We sometimes can go out about 8am - for a few minutes. But when the forecast is for 100 degrees, it's pretty hot even by 8 or 9 in the morning.
  • Not being able to do something just the way he wants it right away. Hello impatience! And forget letting us help - until he's already gotten angry, probably thrown what it was he was trying to work with, and then calmed down a bit to even hear our offers to help.
  • Not getting his way right away with certain things. Sometimes "no" is easy to hear, sometimes it sends him into his own "no, no, no"s.

New Developments
  • It seems we've recently been able to go back to one nap, BUT we have to get it in earlier than before. He has to eat lunch at 11 and be down by around noon. If that happens, he can get a good three hours in (yes, my son! Can you believe it?!). He might wake up a few times, but if I go right in and lie him back down, he goes back to sleep. I do have to make sure he gets down on time, though, because if he doesn't...the longer nap doesn't happen, and (as mentioned already), it SHOWS! Get three hours in, and he's one happy toddler, though.
  • Time-out... Aiden has become pretty familiar with time-out recently. The other day, he hit me and immediately said "time-out!" He doesn't always like it. Sometimes a warning that time-out will be the consequence gets him to change his behavior before he does something wrong. And sometimes he says he wants time-out and laughs all the way through it. If he stands, which he does sometimes, I reset the timer, too. And he'll even say "beep!" to show he understands he's supposed to sit until the timer beeps. But it works more than it doesn't, which is nice because it never worked for Camden. And at the end of time-out, he always says he's going to be nice and acknowledges what he did was wrong (e.g. "hitting's a big no-no!"). I've been warning him that soon he'll have to sit for two minutes instead of one. I wonder how that will go.
  • The ever-changing mind of a toddler... This happens with everything it seems. One day he wants one specific blanket for naptime (or he asks for all of them), or he wants a certain animal (usually has four in the bed, but he'll say he doesn't want one and adds a different one), he wants a specific book one day but doesn't want it the next. Sometimes his mind changes before you can even give him what he wants. Sometimes he is stuck on a certain thing for a week, and then he switches to another obsession (such as songs) the next week. You never know! For one week or so, anytime we took a shower, he would say "Mommy sing ACD (the ABCs). Goooo!" Actually, for that week he wanted me to sing the ABCs CONSTANTLY! Now we get in, and he says "No ACD."
  • Books are not safe lately. Not sure what's gotten into him! He has always been great about handling books, and lately he just tears whatever he gets his hands on some days. Very frustrating. It seems like he's just a bit destructive lately in general.
  • Memory. He could remember stuff for quite a while before, but it seems now that he just remembers every little thing - and for the longest time, too!
  • Church = Success!! He didn't even fuss when Ryan dropped him off a couple weeks ago, and I even got to walk back with them when taking him to his room recently! There are some Elmo toys...and apparently that really helps! One day at home, he kept asking for "Elmo Church?" and saying he wanted to go there. Now, he will be moving to the next room when he turns two in less than a month, and we're really hoping they have some Elmo toys in there!! It's taken a while to get him adjusted and happy to go in the room while we...don't, but it's also been really nice to sit through and hear the message uninterrupted.

And blogger isn't uploading pictures tonight, so I'll have to post those later.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Experiment of the Day

Camden sat down to watch a movie while Aiden napped today...and immediately asked for a snack. I almost said what I normally would say when we just finish a meal and he asks for more food...We JUST ate. If you're still hungry, you should have eaten more at lunch. But I stopped myself and thought it would be a good chance to experiment.

We all know they say we eat more when we're sitting in front of the tv, watching a show or playing video games. We don't think about what we're doing; we mindlessly put the food into our mouths, not even paying attention to how much we're eating. Nobody needs to tell us that. We know it's true. SO...what if those foods are healthy foods? Even foods we might not really love? Or even like??

Camden and I both read something recently that was about this very topic and there was mention of putting a plate of healthy veggies out for kids when this situation, among others, arises. Here was my moment.

"Sure, Camden. I'll get you a snack." (Mwahahahahaha...)

I got out a few carrot sticks. He will eat those usually, though. Zucchini. HA. That he does NOT like. So, I cut up quite a few zucchini sticks, at least more than twice the amount of carrots. "What do you want to dip your carrots in, Camden?" He usually uses nothing, but I knew he might want something with the zucchini. Yet I didn't want to SAY zucchini. He thought he would go for some honey mustard dressing. That's what Aiden usually uses to dip some veggies - that or my homemade dressing. (Camden does NOT like ranch for some reason, so...) I even got cute and made a smiley face...dressing was the smile, two blackberries made eyes, carrot sticks and zucchini made the hair. Ok, it really wasn't anything too cool, but still. (Why no more berries? Because the kid will ASK to eat those. The whole point is to see if he'll eat the stuff he DOESN'T like!)

I put the plate next to him on the couch (which is also usually off limits, but I'm experimenting here). "No thanks," he says politely. I walk away.

Five minutes later, he returns to me with an empty plate and a smile. "I know what the trick is," he reminds me. I smile, too.

Yes, child. But you still ate it. ;)