Tuesday, April 30, 2013

First Dentist Visit

Today Adam brought Ryan to his first dentist visit. We had prepped him a little bit and he didn't seem scared but Adam said he did an amazing job! He got his teeth cleaned, a flouride treatment, and then got checked out by the dentist.  When I asked him how it went he said, "MOMMY! The dentist has CARTOONS! Like Ar-fur and Woid Goil!  (Arthur and Word Girl)"  Well done, Joiner Family Dentistry!  He also thought the spit vacuum was pretty cool and he got a little air-rocket toy to take home.  We've been brushing teeth every night but need to get him in the habit of brushing after breakfast as well. Otherwise he's looking good!

Cohen seemed to cooperate well too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cohen's Baptism

This morning we were blessed to have Cohen baptized at Trinity Reformed Church. Well, technically at NWC's Christ Chapel since our new church building isn't finished, but the church is not the steeple, you know? Cohen did great and didn't fuss at all, being quiet the whole service for once! Ryan did okay for this being one of his first times ever sitting through an entire service. He got a little restless on stage but did fine and some books and a new sticker book (and who are we kidding, a Dum Dum lollipop) got him through the rest of the service.

Adam's dad was able to perform the baptism which was very special to us. I don't have any photos from the service, but we got plenty of family pictures afterwards.

Our Family

With Adam's parents, brother, and sister-in-law
With my parents, sister's family, and Grandma.
Adam's grandparents (and Ryan imitating a monkey)
4 Generations picture with my dad and his mom.
4 generation picture with Adam's mom and her parents

 After the service, we had everyone over to our house for lunch.
 And, of course, there was cake.
 Ryan was baptized at about the same age and here's a link to his baptism.

We are blessed to have a healthy and happy baby and I am trying hard not to take for granted the precious time we've been given to help him grow to know the Lord and walk with Him. We dedicate Cohen to God and pray that He will guide his life and ours as we have the privilege to parent him and Ryan.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weird Week

It was a weirdest weather week I've ever seen in April this week along with some other events, so here's  quick rundown.

Monday 4/15: The Boston Marathon was tragically struck by a bombing near the finish line. I learned about it watching the TV in the waiting room at the Doctor's office. As the events unfolded over the next few days, we watched each day as one suspect was killed and another captured. I followed the "news" on twitter which is not the most reliable, but I was struck by how the prevalence of technology likely sped this investigation more than any other major event in history. On a happier note, I brought my birthday treats to work this day and got rave reviews for my Ever-So-Moist Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting. (Ryan enjoyed the Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting I used to frost one of the cakes.)

Tuesday 4/16: Today was the 2nd Anniversary of my 30th Birthday.  Adam's mom graciously watched the boys while we used a gift certificate at Blue Mountain. It was nice to have some uninterrupted conversation time, but I'm sure Adam got sick of me talking about "Big Data" and guest segmentation :)  Adam had Spring Ball practice at 5:30 in the morning in sub-40-degree temps, so maybe that glazed look didn't have so much to do with my boring explanation of data matrices. My mom also stopped by with my cards and a yummy ice cream cake!

Wednesday 4/17: It was our 9th Anniversary but we didn't have plans to go out since Adam was supposed to have football practice. However, it snowed and was generally miserable weather, so we all stayed home and at
e leftover cheeseburger pie for our anniversary meal. Romantic, I know. At least we still had some leftover cake!

Thursday 4/18: Snow had been predicted but it was still hard to see it coming down all day. School let out at 12:30 due to the weather and it was a sloppy wet mess of a snow day. I came home to major toddler drama as Ryan had hit and kicked another child and then refused to apologize. Adam didn't want to waster their time any more so he took Ryan home until he was ready to say sorry (this took about 45 minutes) and then brought him back over. I guess the apology went well because he came home laughing. It's hard to see your child be the "bully" and you just want to "fix" it for them. We're hoping he learned his lesson and will have a better week next week.

Friday 4/19: I headed off to work and Adam had a late start due to the ice. By late morning, school had been called off, so instead of my mom coming to watch the boys, they got to spend the day with Adam. At night, we headed to Hawarden to attend the visitation of Adam's sister-in-law's grandma and then ate at Los Tulipanes. Ryan was pretty excited that he got to have Juliana over and we were impressed to find both boys in bed when we got home! 

Saturday 4/20: We spent the morning getting the house cleaned for Cohen's baptism party and headed to Sibley in late morning for Mike & Lisa's baby shower. Ryan had a great time playing with Kenley and Grant! Ryan only napped for a few minutes and then we was eager to help me frost Cohen's cake. That went about as well as expected, so Adam took the boys to his parents while I finished up the cake. I joined them for supper and we were happy that Adam's grandparents from Minnesota had made it and got to meet Cohen for the first time. Ryan loved talking about the zoo with Andy and Kim and we definitely need to make plans to visit this summer!

So, our weird April week included a bombing, birthday, anniversary, snow day, visitation, baby shower, and ended with a baptism!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cohen: 4 month Checkup

At his 4 month checkup today, Cohen weighed 17 lbs. 10 oz. (86%) and measured 26" (80%) with an HC of 16.93" (85%). We aren't positive the hives last week were from Enfamil (it could have coincidentally been a virus) but for now I think we're going to stick with Similac if needed and delay solids until 6 months, then make sure we introduce one food at a time just in case he does have any allergies.

I also asked about the red area on the back of his head and think it's most likely a birth mark that may fade (and it will eventually be covered in hair) and the blue mark between his eyes is just a vein close to the surface that probably won't show once his skin thickens up. He does have a little cold right now, but his ears and lungs were clear. He turned beet red and screamed again with his shots, but calmed right down after a cuddle and showing him his reflection in the mirror.  

Cohen gave me a nice early birthday present by sleeping from 8:00pm to 6:30am on Sunday night--only the second time he's ever slept through the night.  I think it's because the only nap he took on Sunday was during church! We're discovering that when he gets crabby around 8:00pm, it really just means he's tired and ready to go down. Having both of the boys' bedtimes at about the same time gets a little tricky if only one of us is home, but I can't complain that we can sometimes get them both down by 8:30. Then, it's time to tackle the rest of the house and get ready for the next day before falling into bed!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Here are a few of Ryan's recent comments:

"Storm, storm, go away. Come again on Mother's Day."
~Sung during this week's ice/snow storm.

"Look Mommy, I have a tail!"
~Clenching and waving a long piece of TP that he'd been using to wipe. I don't know what it is about little boys and liking to run around naked but it's hard for this "I only had sisters" momma to understand.

"1,2,3,4,5. Mommy, why does that lady only have 5 teeth?"
~Asked loudly in the nursing home after several nice residents smiled at him in the hallway.

Ryan: "Mommy, why does [Great-Grandpa's roommate at the nursing home] look like his nose is taped to his face?"
Me: "Because [Great-Grandpa's roommate at the nursing home]'s nose IS taped to his face."  (Seriously, he has a prosthetic nose and holds it on with Scotch tape, when he decides to wear it. He is really nice though and loves talking to the kids!)

Ryan: "Can I have dessert?"
Grandma S: "This is dessert" (referring to the cherry pie filling/jello topped with pudding/whipped cream "salad" I'd brought for supper)
Ryan: "Grandma, Jello is NOT dessert."
~Raised that kid right. He eventually conned his way into a mini ice cream cone.

Grandpa V: "Why do I always have to be the bad guy? How come you always get to be the good guy?"
Ryan: "Because I live in Orange City."
Grandpa V: "So, just because I live in Sioux Center, I'm the bad guy?"
 Ryan: "Uh...YEAH!"
 (I SWEAR we did not teach him anything about this rivalry. It must be in the water.)

Ryan: "Tonight?" "Like Today?"
Me: "Yes, today, but later tonight."
Ryan: "You mean today?
Me:"Yes, tonight."
Ryan: "Tonight?"
~Ryan not understanding that tonight is part of the same day, just later today. We can go round and round like this forever like Abbott and Costello.

Ryan and Cohen got to spend Friday at grandma's playing with Saylor. Before heading home, we stopped to visit Great Grandpa for an hour where Ryan talked his ear off, including demonstrating how a frog would hop through the nursing home if it ever got inside (and how it would probably get lost in Grandpa's closet) and explaining how beavers cut down trees to build dams and demonstrating how they slap their tail on the water to warn others about danger (picture that scene!). On the way home, Adam called because he'd accidentally locked his keys in his truck in Alton, so we stopped at home where I foraged for any spare key I could find, drove to Alton, discovered none of them were right, brought Adam back home where he found a key I'd missed, drove back to Alton, then finally arrived home at 7:45 with none of us having eaten. Since Ryan was such a trooper through the whole evening, I let him stay up to watch the first hour of Peter Pan that I'd DVR'd.  He loved it and now uses it as a verb, "I want to Peter Pan you!" which means fight with fake swords.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cohen: 4 Months

Cohen is 4 months old and learning to make more sounds (including starting a "g" sound along with his vowels and even buzzing with his tongue a little), giggle, and show us all kinds of smiles. He gets excited while playing in his exersaucer and likes to pick up and play with rings or his bendy ball while sitting in his Bumbo. He can roll to his side, but hasn't flipped to his tummy yet. His favorite thing is standing up on your lap while you talk to him.

Cohen's sleep habits are to go to bed between 8 and 9 at night and then wake up 1-2 times every night for a diaper change and to eat. We usually have to wake him up at 6:30am to get ready for the day. When he goes to daycare, he usually naps from 7:30-8:30 or 9, takes a 30-minute cat nap around 11:00 and then always sleeps from 1:30-4:15. Our daycare provider is some kind of baby whisperer because we NEVER get that long of naps at home. We're lucky to get a few 30 minutes naps throughout the day!

Cohen is now mostly in 6 months clothes and we'll get his official height and weight on Monday. He is drooling more and constantly trying to chew his fist, but no teeth have poked through yet. We tried a little bit of formula recently and suspect Cohen has some kind of allergy to Enfamil, so it looks like we'll be using Similac whenever supplementing becomes necessary.

He's enjoyed a few new experiences this past month, like going on stroller rides and swinging in his swing on the playset (which he loves). It took him a little bit to get used to feeling a breeze since he's mostly been completely covered whenever we ventured out during the winter. We went from 70 degrees to an ice storm/5" of snow and are currently waiting for it to warm up again so we can get outside!

Cohen has become a bit of a stinker when it comes to getting through a church service with one of us usually missing parts of the sermon to go walk/bounce him in the back.  He likes to be part of the action during meals as well, so one of us ends up eating with one hand while bouncing him on a knee.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ice and Hives

This week we experienced a freak ice/snow storm including heavy ice, about 5" of snow, and many downed trees. Orange City didn't get hit as hard as other surrounding towns and our neighborhood doesn't have mature trees, so it wasn't as big of a deal as it was in other areas where they've spent days cleaning up branches and went days without power. It has to be some kind of record, though, having a snow day on April 11!

On Wednesday, we gave Cohen some formula for the first time. We wanted to see if it worked for him since we may need to start supplementing soon, there is a possibility that I need to travel later in the month, and I wanted to make sure he was tolerating it okay before his upcoming Dr. appointment.  He had some Similac in the morning and at lunch at daycare, but we tried 2oz. of Enfamil at 5:00pm. (We just had some samples of each from the hospital.) At 7:00pm I noticed he had a diaper blow-out and while changing him, discovered that he'd broken out in hives on his entire back, torso, one cheek, and a little on his arms.  They lasted through most of the night but didn't seem to bother him a whole lot. His breathing remained fine and he wasn't fussier than normal. We just gave him a cool bath and were careful when burping him since they were hot and looked painful. We suspected an allergy to the Enfamil because of the timing. Later in the week, we gave him Similar Advance a few times and haven't seen any reaction to that brand. I'm going to discuss it with his Dr. on Monday but for now, we think it's just something in the Enfamil brand. Research online shows that certain brands/types can cause allergic reactions in babies and for him, it happens to be Enfamil.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sunny Saturday

Saturday morning started out early (Ryan was up by 6:00), cold, and rainy. I had made a cinnamon roll bundt cake for breakfast. Which made me wonder where all the cocoa powder lobbyists were when the Supreme Court of Acceptable Breakfast Items decided that cinnamon was going to be the deciding factor in classifying baked goods as breakfast or dessert. But I digress.

Adam had a spring ball practice, so Ryan, Cohen, and I hung out inside for the morning. Ryan even built a fort for Cohen and then sang a few nursery rhymes to him.

We had homemade Fuddruckers burgers and fries for lunch (use the seasoning on burgers and toss with potatoes and olive oil) and then tried to do the nap thing.

That didn't go so well.

Adam and I were switching off trying to get Cohen to sleep and Adam was working on school stuff, so we sent Ryan back to bed for the first few of his "appearances" but then just kind of ignored him since he was quiet. I eventually discovered that Ryan had snuck, undetected, upstairs to our bed and was hiding under the blankets. I decided to just ignore him and let him sweat it out. When he did emerge, he had a piece of black vinyl stuck to him and we eventually discovered he had spent the early part of his "nap" picking off and rearranging the letters on our "Family Rules" wall art at the bottom of the stairs.  He was surely planning ahead too, as we discovered while he was sitting in time-out while Adam was left to piece together the rule "Be Forgiving."

The weather had turned favorable, so Adam took Ryan out to try out his bike.  After receiving it for Christmas and giving it one unsuccessful try in the gym, this time he stuck with it and by the time he got back from the park, he was showing me how he could pedal by himself and even steer in circles!

 Ryan did NOT want to come back inside, so we traded off and I ended up taking him and Nika on a walk. He did a great job controlling Nika and we made it all the way to the head of the Puddle Jumper Trail. Ryan loves collecting sticks and soft pine needles along the way and embellished many of the pictures someone before us had drawn in the path. (sorry, whoever was having a treasure hunt/running motivation!) Thanks to Wild Kratts, I convinced him that sticks are happier "free and in the wild" so we could leave them on the path instead of hauling them home. We also had fun playing with our shadows on the way home. It was all fun and games until he wiped out about 100 feet from our house and drama ensued. It makes me wonder how bad it's going to be when he actually draws blood!

At home, he played baseball and on the swingset until dark. I think he spent 4.5 straight hours outside.  I couldn't think of a thing to make for supper, so I ended up going with Ryan's suggestion of pancakes and threw in some sausage links and grapes to call it a meal. So, yes, we had breakfast for supper but since we had cake for breakfast, I figured this was a step up. By the time we ate it was 8:00 and Ryan was so tired out from no nap and playing outside all day that he didn't even protest going to bed.

We LOVE nice days and can't wait for more of them!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fire Trucks!

Tonight we went to a Chili Supper Fundraiser for 3 area fire departments, hosted by Living Water Church.  Ryan was beyond excited to check out all the fire trucks, including one with a ladder that was about as tall as a 3-story building! As we walked in, he said hi to a "fire dog" and was a little surprised that the dog talked to him. He asked, "How come that dog talks instead of woofs?"

We had a great supper with all the food donated by area businesses- chili with toppings, hot dogs, cinnamon rolls, ice cream, and drinks.  Ryan was also excited that his buddy, Collin, was there (and dressed for the occasion!) After eating, they went to check out the fireman who was climbing up the big tall ladder.

Finally, they got to crawl through the trucks and check out all the equipment. It was hard to get Ryan to come out of the backseat of this truck!
It was a very fun event for Ryan and Cohen did a good job sleeping or smiling through most of it. Plus, it's always a bonus when someone else cooks and cleans up supper!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ryan: 3 Years & 6 Months

Ryan is now 3.5 years old! He is still as spirited as ever and has a special talent for making dramatic facial expressions. Adam claims he inherited this from me, but I have no idea what he's talking about =-/

Ryan would play outside in any temperature if he could and lately he hasn't cared if it's in the 40's or 60's...he just wants to be outside. One day when it was in the 40's this week, he went out in his winter coat, hat and mittens, but started to take off his socks and shoes to play in the sandbox!

Ryan is learning how to stick with tasks that seem difficult at first, like getting completely undressed and dressed by himself (although he doesn't have many clothes with buttons so he hasn't mastered those along with starting a jacket zipper), doing more complex puzzles, cutting with a scissors, coloring more in the lines, brushing his teeth by himself, etc.  He sometimes gets "flustrated" and can make quite the scene when he gets frustrated, but we're trying to teach him not to give up. It is fun to see how proud he is when he completes a previously "flustrating" task. He may have even demonstrated a touchdown-type dance when finishing a puzzle :)

One of the things we've noticed that has made him a bit agitated is playing ipad. I don't know if it's just being upset when his time is up, or if not passing the levels gets him mad, but he started to have fits shortly after playing every time, but always claimed he was "crying because I'm tired" or for some other reason. He also complained about his neck hurting, even when he was only playing for 10 minutes at a time. After he threw down the ipad one day, he had to take a break for a 5 days and then he tried to sneakily play it, so he lost it for several more days. Now he rarely asks and we're trying to get him out of the habit of wanting to play after meals. It's one of those things that I wish he could enjoy in moderation, but for now we have to just avoid the problem.

Ryan's new habit is asking for "dezzert" after meals, but usually we can get away with just 1 Oreo as a satisfactory ending.  Now that he has enough Easter Candy to last until Halloween, I think he'll be choosing jellybeans, Starburst, Skittles, or M&M's for either dessert or as a substitute for his usual afternoon fruit snacks.  One interesting thing is that he admits that he "loves sorting". Anything from fruit snacks to mini M&Ms gets sorted into lines by color and he'll eat the color with the least amount first. If there is an "odd man out" with no matching colors, he usually offers it to someone else.

I've noticed that Ryan is developing good matching skills and can name many opposites, like up/down, hot/cold, inside/outside, etc. He also can think ahead and name several steps in a plan. For instance, he told me the other night that he was going to 1) Get jammies on 2) Go potty 3) flush 4) wash hands 5) brush teeth 6) read books 7) go to bed, while counting them off on his fingers.  He can count to 16 but skips 13 everytime. He also knows most of 1-10 in Spanish. He can sing several Sunday School Songs, including "Who Built the Ark", "Wise Man Built His House on the Rock" and "Zacchaeus". He loves getting new books from the library and is also enjoying his Highlights magazine that comes every month.

We've tried to start talking to Ryan more about what to do in a fire, what to do if he is lost, etc. but it's hard to know what to tell him without scaring him!  So far we've kept it really simple and just work on a few fundamentals at a time, like not hiding if there is a fire, calling out for us, and crawling on the floor under smoke. I also talked to him about staying by us in stores and if he can't see us, to first call out for us and if he still can't find us, to find one of the girls at the checkout stand. We practiced saying his name, our names, and what town he lives in and eventually we'll add things like address, phone, etc.  I did find it interesting that when we talked about never leaving the store or going outside without us, that we'd always wait for him in the store, he retold to me an entire incident where he went to return his mini-grocery cart at Fareway while I was checking out and instead of coming back to the check stand, he went out the automatic door. I was watching him and ran right out after him and got him back inside before he made it off the sidewalk, but it must have left quite an impression because that happened at least 5 months ago, we've never talked about it since, but it was all very clear to him.

My favorite part of the day is reading books to Ryan at night and then listening to his stories or questions, or just being silly and making shadow puppets on the wall, tickling him until he begs me to stop (but then begs me to do it again), and hearing his prayers.  As with any 3-year-old, we have our struggles, but at the end of the day, I love him to pieces.