Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The boys are 11 months old today!

Making a post on the boys monthly birthday is becoming a tradition so here goes. 11 months old today! I can't believe in a month they are turning one.
Both boys are getting really good at standing without holding on to anything. Jacob is a very fast cruiser by now, Lucas a little more slow but cruising none the less. I bet it won't be too long before they take their first steps. They are both saying mama and dada and we're pretty sure they are referring to Michael and I. They are making lots of new sounds.
We're trying to get them to eat more table-foods and chunkier foods. They have no problem eating puffs ( there's only one kind that does not contain soy so not much variety there ), breakfast O's or pieces of soft fruit. But making their oatmeal or other foods chunkier has not gone over well. Lucas seem to be very sensitive to texture while Jacob is more sensitive to taste. Today we gave Jacob a little bit of ground beef  (as Michael was making meat sauce for lunch) and although he didn't gag or anything, he kept that meat in his mouth for a very long time before finally swallowing some and the rest made it out on his chin.

Some of their favorite things:
*Bananas - Lucas bounces in his chair while eating
*Moving around with toys in their mouth
*Standing at the window looking out
*Exploring the house
*Playing in mommy and daddy's bed
*Yo gabba gabba - we have a 15 minute long episode recorded that they love to watch (it's the only tv they watch)
*Puffs
*Water - they absolutely love their water, when feeding we have to hide their sippys or they'll just cry for them. They have not tried juice yet.
*Swinging in the back yard
*Going for walks
*Bath time with mommy or daddy

Boys in the laundry basket - Lucas was there first and loved it but didn't like it when Jacob got in too ;).

Lucas playing with the door stop.

Lucas

Jacob with a washcloth in his mouth.

Jacob doing laundry with mommy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

As per Swedish tradition we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. It was just the six of us and we ate "julbord" and opened gifts. It was very nice although Lucas was still sick and in the evening Jacob got sick as well. Today we just relaxed at home, we ate leftovers, the girls played with their new toys and Michael and I took care of our sick babies. Last night we slept on the floor in the boys room because they constantly woke up from not feeling well and being congested. Poor Jakie has been really miserable since last night, all feverish, eyes watering, nose running and so sad. It seems as though he's got it a little worse than Lucas did although the good thing about Jake is that he will actually take his medicine. Lucas seems to be feeling a lot better today but he still has a hard time laying down to sleep because of his congestion. This makes for a very tired mom and dad ;). I'm soooo happy that Michael is home for this because I don't know what I would have done without him. On top of that I'm getting sick too, I can feel it coming on and by tomorrow I'll probably be miserable.
We didn't get a chance to take a whole lot of pictures yesterday and none that turned out really good but I thought I'd share a couple of what we got.

The girls opening gifts

Michael and Jake

Michael and Luke

Lily, Michael and Lucas

The kids at the table

"Tomtebarn"= Maddie,Lukie,Jakie,Lily ;)

After Santa came the night before Christmas eve

Also, can any of you Swedish people tell us why it is that we celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve and not on Christmas day? Lily was wondering because people asked at school. This is probably something I should know but I don't and I have not been able to find an answer.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter break, Christmas shopping and sick baby.

Friday was last day of school this year and we are now on Winter break, Maddie and Lily are thoroughly enjoying it and looking forward to Christmas. We are alomost done with our shopping, in fact the only thing left is to return a few items that I found cheaper elsewhere. I'm not going to tell you what we got the girls because they like to read what I write on the blog. The boys are not getting any big gifts this year, they won't know what's going on anyway. We have bought them a little people airplane, a cellphone type toy that makes noise, a little radio toy that makes noise and a wooden puzzle. You could say their big gift this Christmas are new carseats, we went a bought two Britax Marathons yesterday. We had the boys try a few different ones but the Marathons seemed the most comfortable, we've always bought Britax for our kids and we really like them. My only complaint is that the covers could be a little cuter, they have some cute ones for girls but none for boys. After all we decided on this one,it was the only one they had 2 of in stock so it's a good thing that it was the one we liked the best.


Lucas came down with a fever last night and has been pretty sick with a fever and runny nose today. He has not been  feeling good at all but did ok as long as someone was holding him. He was able to get a good nap in the morning but the afternoon nap was short. He was still very tired and fell asleep in Michaels arms. At dinner we decided to give hime some Tylenol (fever reducer/pain reliever) but that was a big mistake. He disliked it so much that he threw up everything he had eaten and after that he was not about to eat anything else. We had no choice but put him in his pajamas and put him to bed. So far he's only woken up once (2.5 hours since going to bed) but I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.


World class student #2!

Last week it was Maddie's turn to be recognized as a "world class student". Her teacher emailed us on Thursday to let us know and she said she would let us decide if we wanted to tell Maddie or not. We decided to keep it a surprise. Michael took the girls to school Friday morning and I got the boys ready after they left. Maddie said she knew what was going on as soon as she saw us walk into assembly because we usually don't come to the assembly together unless one of the girls are performing or getting recognized. 
This is what her teacher had to say about Maddie. " I have noticed that Maddie has made an extra effort to participate in class and do her best on work assignments. She is always kind and respectful to others, and she follows directions in class."
We are so proud of her!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Snow day"

School closed today due to the ice accumulation we had last night and this morning. The girls were ecstatic of course. Michael didn't think to check online when he got up this morning so he woke the girls up as usual by 6:45am and then Maddie reminded him to check. 
So today was another very cold day. The girls and I still went out to do some shopping this afternoon. Lily wanted to go to toys r'us to buy something for her tooth fairy money, she decided on a make up kit. Then we made a stop at Target for few things and at several shoe stores to look for boots for the girls. We finally found some at Famous footwear.
Although freezing cold Maddie and Lily wanted to play outside this morning. Michael helped them make an ice lantern.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Our baby girl lost a tooth!

Lily has had a loose tooth now for what seems a very long time, I've been expecting it to fall out any day for the past few weeks. Finally today she said she thought the tooth was ready to come out and asked Michael to pull it. It came right out! She bled a lot for a few minutes but she was just as happy as can be because this means a visit from the toothfairy. The tooth and a note to the fairy is laying under the pillow as I write. Funny girl wrote a note asking for $30 so she can buy 2 new webkinz, one for herself and one for Maddie. I told her I don't think the toothfairy gives that much money but she's still hopeful ;).


On a sidenote;
It is freezing cold here tonight. Right now it's -4C feels like -11C along with some light freezing rain and sleet. Michael had promised to pick up a friend at the airport so he ventured out anyway. The road conditions aren't too bad or he would have returned home. It's going to get warmer during the week and by the weekend it's supposed to be back to the upper teens (celsius) with sunshine. I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A fun (and busy) weekend

Michael came home from work Friday and he now has 3 weeks off before going back to work next year. Last week was a pretty exhausting week for me. The boys have been fighting their afternoon nap which leads to fussy babies in late afternoon. They are all over the place and we constantly have to watch them, mainly because I'm worried about them pulling up or climbing on things and falling on the hardwood floors. People keep telling me not to worry because wood floors are soft but believe me; our floors are not soft, it's basically thin planks glued onto the concrete foundation. Wednesday afternoon I was so exhausted I broke down and used our playyard that we've been closing off the fireplace and Christmas tree with and closed in the playarea instead. Life became sooooo much easier that second! The boys don't seem to mind so much, they actually like to cruise along the sides of the gate. I kept it up until Michael came home and since then we've moved it back and forth a little. I don't want to keep them closed in all the time but it helps when we have other things to do.

This is what it looks like.

Jacob and Lucas playing.

Cute pic of Lucas.

Jacob really likes this spot but it's not as easy to get down as it is to get up ;).

Friday evening Michael took the girls along with their friend Toni (the neighbors daughter) to The Town Square for some Holiday festivities. They enjoyed a lightshow, riding a miniature train, jumping in a bounce house, a snow machine and drinking hot chocolate among other things.

Then yesterday (Saturday) our community had their annual Holiday celebration. They had live reindeers on display, you could sit with Santa and Mrs Claus in a horse carriage, they had a miniature train, face painters, a bounce house, hot chocolate, cookies and more. It was a really nice day although very windy.



Michael and Maddie

Lily and her friend Carly.

Lily

Today I went shopping for a new mattress for Lucas, he's been sleeping on a thin foam mattress from Ikea, and for a soft mattress cover to make Jacobs bed a little more comfortable. I have noticed how much better they sleep when laying on top of their comforters which made me think that the mattresses they have probably aren't very comfortable. I bought a new mattress for Lucas and a cover for each of them and I hope they are very comfortable as they sleep now. As I think I've mentioned before they have been terrible sleepers, waking up 2-5 times a night each so at this point I will do anything for more sleep. Michael and the girls baked Saffron Buns in the meantime, they turned out beautiful and are probably very tasty although I wouldn't know ;).



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

You could only make 5 elves, lucky me....haha. This is just too funny! Thanks Cherie, I got the idea from you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The boys 10 month check up

Here are the stats from the boys check up today;

Lucas: 19lbs6oz (8.8kg ), 19%. 28.5 inches (71cm )
Jacob: 18lbs12oz (8.5kg ), 12%. 28 inches (70cm )

Both boys are doing great, no concerns with either of them. Our pediatrician does not want us to start any dairy products and I will continue on my diet for the time being. She feels that they most likely have a milk and soy protein allergy and although they may very well grow out of it it could take years. Instead we can give them rice milk, hemp milk or oat milk. We will also be giving them more solid foods. So far we've only done lunch and dinner along with breast feeding but we'll be adding breakfast and an afternoon snack to that. That will be a lot of feedings and I'm still supposed to nurse about 3 times a day. Maybe this will help them sleep better at night ;). Now we just have to figure out more things to feed them that does not include dairy or soy.
Lucas got his polio vaccine today, didn't cry at all. Jacob got his third DTaP and PCV, he's one visit behind Lucas because we skipped his 4 month shots when he had colitis. Jacob had a delayed reaction to the first shot and cried a little, the second shot supposedly sting more and he cried a lot but calmed down pretty quickly after Michael picked him up.
All in all a good visit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Deck the halls...

We got a Christmas tree early this year. In the early years of Michael and I celebrating Christmas together we followed the Swedish tradition of putting up the tree and decorate for Christmas on December 23rd. I grew up doing this and I believe most Swedish families do it this way. Most Americans however put out the Christmas decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving. We used to think this was way to early but in the last couple of years we've changed our minds and have started earlier and earlier. Part of the reason we got the tree this early this year is because grandma Eva is here and tomorrow we're celebrating an early Christmas with her, with a smorgasbord ( including a real Swedish ham! ) and Christmas presents. The girls are staying home from School although Maddie has to go for one hour in the afternoon to do an important state wide science test.
We bought the tree yesterday and spent all night decorating it, the girls did most of the work and it turned out beautifully. We got an early gift from Eva, 6 little people ( 3 girls and 3 boys to represent our family ) to hang in the tree, so cute. We love Swedish style Christmas decorations. Here's a picture.

The other picture I took at 2am this morning when I was up nursing one of the boys.


This is such a fun season! I love all the decorations everywhere, the holiday music on the radio and in stores and everything else. December is the time to enjoy it and from now on our Christmas tree will go up in the beginning of December instead of the day before Christmas eve. 

10 months - pictures of the boys


Jacob and Lucas

Jacob


Lucas


Exploring in the house


Lucas and Jacob


Jacob


Lucas


Our favorite spot-looking out the window

Jacob

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

10 months

Ok, 10 months and 2 days. I forgot to make my monthly post on Sunday when the boys turned 10 months old. So what are we up to now? Both boys are crawling and standing, they are starting to cruise a little. Sometimes when standing they let go and stand without holding on to anything for a few seconds and they are walking when we hold their hands. But we are definitely not ready for independent walkers. Keep crawling boys, it's good for your coordination and easier on mommy and daddy ;). They are babbling more and more, making sounds like mama, dada, nana etc, so cute! They are moving around the house more, exploring the areas out of sight from the play area in the living room. We've got the house pretty much baby proofed, we just need to find the right gate for the hallway to Maddie and Lily's room. Our plants and floor lamps have been moved to our master bedroom with a few other things. Our bedroom looks more like a storage area right now but what are you gonna do ;).
I will post a few pictures tomorrow, I don't have any new ones on this computer.
Yesterday we had a play date with our friends Jake and Jonah. Thanks for coming Shannon, I hope we can get together again soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lily singing

Here's a video of Lily singing a couple of songs she learned in school. The first one, the leaf song, her class performed at assembly on Halloween. Our sweet girl loves to sing!


 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday afternoon grandma Eva ( Michael's mother ) arrived from Sweden. We were all so excited to see her, especially the girls who have been counting down the days for weeks. The boys were very curious from the beginning. They watched her intensely and made their way closer and closer until they let her pick them up. 
Today we've enjoyed and a nice Thanksgiving together. We made a Thanksgiving meal with chicken ( instead of turkey ) and the traditional mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy etc. For dessert we made a pecan pie. I was unfortunately not able to eat the pie since I'm still on a "breast feeding diet" of no dairy and soy but that's ok. It's been a really nice day although we missed Michael who had to work, he's coming home tomorrow and we're looking forward to a fun week together.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Swedish lessons

Maddie has become good friends with a girl named Nilsson ( yes that's her first name and it's her mothers maiden name ) in school. Nilsson is half Swedish, 3rd generation. They used to be in separate classes but since a few weeks ago they have been merged to one big class and are being team teached by their teachers who happens to be identical twin sisters...isn't that cool :). I'm not exactly sure why this is supposed to be beneficial ( I was not able to go to the informational breakfast meeting ) but it's the new thing out here and apparently there's positive research on this. Anyway, the other week when Maddie was "Star student" her friends learned that she was Swedish and although I knew Nilsson is half Swedish and I know her parents the girls never showed much interest in getting to know each other until now. We even visited her grandparents in Colorado on our trip there last fall, they own a Swedish store up there. So lately Maddie and Nilsson have been getting together every recess and Maddie gives Nilsson Swedish lessons. They are having so much fun doing this, it's great! 

Fun Run video

Here's a few clips from the Fun Run.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boosterthon Fun Run

Yesterday was the annual fundraiser for Maddie and Lily's school. The PTA organizes a yearly event to raise money in order to make improvements to our school and sponsor extracurricular activities for our students. In previous years we have had carnivals but this year they decided to have a "Fun Run". The students were supposed to find sponsors that would make a pledge in their name, either a flat donation or an amount per lap they would run. When we first heard about this we were a little disappointed because it didn't sound like as much fun as a carnival but it turned out to be really great. At 8:30am all the Kindergartners (Lily) and 1st graders ran and at 9:30am it was the 2nd graders (Maddie) and 3rd graders turn. The children ran, walked, skipped and danced along with some upbeat music and they were joined by their teachers and coaches. Michael, I and the boys were there the whole time to cheer them on. 
I talked a little with Maddie's teacher as I picked up the girls this afternoon and she said that the kids had so much fun that when they got back to their classroom afterwards they asked if they could go out and run some more. Here are some pictures. It was a beautiful morning.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Not enough time...

It's been 10 days since my last post. Not because I haven't had things to write about but it seems as thought there's not enough hours in a day to do it all. I have been so busy with the kids, keeping the boys happy and safe, getting the girls to and from school on time, making sure they get their homework done each day, and keeping the house semi orderly and clean. 

We have now come down with a cold. It started with the girls then Jacob got it and just yesterday Lucas and I started sniffling. Lucas woke up every hour last night and has been pretty miserable all day. I'm not feeling very good either. Oh fun! I'm sure it's not our last cold this season.

So last week Maddie was the "Star student" at school. Each week one of the students are chosen as "Star student" and this is an opportunity for the rest of the class to get to know this person a little bit better. As "Star Student" you get to bring 4 items with special meaning to share with the class along with 6 pictures and a letter written by the parents. This person gets to stand in front of the class and share this and tell them more about themselves. Everyone in the class will then make a page with a picture and facts about the Star Student and together it makes a little book for the child to keep. It is very special for the child and Maddie really enjoyed the attention she got last week. Here's a picture her teacher Ms. C took.

This week is Michaels week home and we have a long list of things to get done. On top of the list is baby proofing. The playpen we ordered a while back has arrived so we will set that up along with a gate by the hallway leading to the girls rooms. We also have a few furniture that needs to be attached to the wall, some decorative items like lamps and plants that will need to be relocated temporarily, some kitchen cabinets need locks and I will need to make sure all electrical outlets have plugs etc. I will feel much better after this is done. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Friday!

I can't believe it's already Friday! I only like Fridays every other week and this is not the one. The reason for this is that Michael leaves for work every other Saturday and gets home the following Friday. The day before he leaves is always a busy day. This evening we've been doing family homework, disguising a turkey, which Lily needs to bring to school on Monday. We disguised the turkey as Santa, we did the same project when Maddie went to Kindergarten and that time we made the turkey a snowman. It's kind of a fun project. Maddie worked on things she needs for "Star student" next week, I'll write more about that next week.

This week we have done lots of things. Monday we had our last weekly therapy session for Jacob, from now on it'll be monthly visits. He's doing very well. Also on Monday Michael had a little incident picking up the girls from school, he accidentally hit a RV that was parked a little awkwardly outside school. Unfortunately our van sustained quite a bit of damage so it is now in the body shop and won't be done for another 2 weeks or so. In the meantime we have a rental car, also a minivan but not as nice as ours. It's a Toyota Sienna, basic model, and I really miss our rearview camera and entertainment system among other things. Oh well, nobody was hurt and it could have been a lot worse.

Wednesday we had playgroup at our house, it's really fun to see how all the babies are developing. Maddie and Lily have had a couple of play dates this week, at our house and at Lily's friend Kenzie’s. Michael also had a chance to get out one night and hang out with a Swedish pilot friend who was in the area. We also did an IKEA run; Lily desperately needed a hutch for her desk to organize her pens, notepads, scissors etc. It turned out really nice. 

What else did we do? Oh yeah, two trips to whole foods, one trip to Wal-Mart, one trip to the hobby store for supplies to our turkey project, one dentist visit and Michael took the girls to the pool at the rec. center one day. No wonder it feels like this week went by fast!

Oh and we have more teeth news. Maddie lost another tooth Wednesday. The Tooth fairy made a visit that night but oddly enough she forgot to take the tooth and just left money under the pillow, it must have been one tired fairy ;). She did come back the next night to get it. Also, today we noticed that Lucas has a new tooth on the bottom and we can see two more on the way on top. So that's 5 teeth for Lucas and 2 more on the way!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Treats for the troops, a trip to the dentist

I wrote this draft on Tuesday so I'm a little late posting it, sorry ;).

Maddie and Lily's dentist has been collecting treats for the troops in the past two days. All of her patients were welcomed to bring in their leftover Halloween candy in return for cash at 50 cents a pound. All the candy will be donated to the troops. We made a deal with Maddie and Lily Friday, they were allowed to eat all the candy they wanted thru the weekend and the rest we would give away. So today we put all of the girls candy along with the candy we had bought to hand out to kids in a bag and brought it to the dentist office. 8lbs total! The girls were happy to trade for money. 
Since we were going to the dentist anyway we decided to bring the boys and see if the dentist could take a quick look at Jake's front tooth/swollen gums. His upper right tooth has been halfway thru the gum for several weeks, i.e. the left corner and a big triangular slice has come out but the right corner is still embedded in the gum and it's very swollen. The dentist was able to squeeze us in. She took a x-ray and did a brief exam. The x-ray showed something very interesting. It looks like little Jake have an extra tooth next to the one that's "stuck". It looks like it's about to come out, possibly sideways. The dentist said it may be loose so that she can just remove it after it comes out or it could be attached to the tooth next to it and if it is she will just leave it. We have an appointment to come back in 6 weeks to see in anything has changed. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween. After Maddie and Lily came home from school we ate cupcakes and drank witches brew(with dry ice). Later Michael used the dry ice to make water bottles explode, very much a Michael experiment ;). The girls love experiments and it was fun to watch. Then we carved pumpkins...well, Michael did. Maddie had chosen a template with mice and Lily wanted stars and a moon.


After dinner the kids dressed up and we went tick or treating with the neighbors, Lily's classmate-Nick. Maddie dressed up as Hannah Montana, Lily dressed up as an angel and the boys were puppy dogs.





After trick or treating we headed to Kelly and Joe's(Nick's parents)house where they had a Halloween party. BTW, Joe is also a pilot. They had invited some other neighbors along with some of their family members. We had a really good time but didn't stay very long as it was way past the boys bedtime. They were behaving very well though, everyone commented on how good they were. Since staying up so late we thought they'd sleep in this morning but oh no...Jakie was up at 6am and woke up the rest of the crew. I stayed in bed however and didn't get up until 10am :)!

Tonight we're setting back our clocks to adjust from daylight savings time. This probably means we'll get a 5am wake up call tomorrow, I'm sure it'll take a few days for the boys to adjust. I'm glad Michael is home because he usually gets up in the morning, that's only fair since I get up 4+ times a night. Right!?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Our world class student!

This week Lily was chosen as the "world class student" of her class! Her teacher informed us yesterday so this morning Michael, I and the boys went to school for morning assembly to watch her get recognized. This award is given to students who are modeling the key behaviors of the schools motto, they are: prompt, prepared, productive,polite and proud. Lily was so excited to get up on stage and get recognized with all the other chosen students. Being the "world class student" for the week also means you get to be the line leader and in charge of some other fun things in class. We are very proud of her!