Archive for the ‘Adventures with M’ Category

For M’s 1st Birthday, I decided to go with a goldfish theme. Goldfish are cute and so is M. Honestly, I have no idea why I landed on that idea, but when it came to me, I just went with it, as many of my creative geniuses go…there really wasn’t much to do for this par-tay, as it was just close family and no little guests to entertain.

After I found a cute 1st birthday hat, goldfish shirt and some invites on etsy, I pretty much did the rest myself…making the high chair design out of different color ribbon tied on some twine. We took M’s smash cake pics early at JCP so we’d have them to display at the party (and they made my thank-you’s already!). I also found this cute banner at Kara’s Party Supply and added some pics of M as he grew to each pennant.

The food theme was anything “orange”. I served pulled pork sandwiches with wheat and white buns, cole slaw, orange slices, carrot and celery cups w/ ranch dressing, cheetos and sun chips, goldfish crackers and sixlet candy. For dessert, M got to dig into his smash cake (courtesy of Craigs Cake Shop) as the rest of us ate some orange and blue cupcakes.

M had fun opening his gifts. Can’t believe he is 1 year old already!


Happy 1st Birthday, Myles! Hope you had fun! We love you so much!

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Well, look who’s ONE! Myles made it through his first year of life (and his parents lived to tell about it…). What a year it has been, one that flew by so fast I’m so glad I took pictures to prove it actually happened. M is all boy. A phrase that frequently comes out of my mouth as I watch him play and interact with his world, “He’s such a boy.” Bangs on things, investigates how everything works, shows no fear in getting what he wants…his latest trick scares the you-know-what out of me. On occasion, he will just be sitting there and then all of a sudden decide to throw himself backwards and lay flat on the floor.  He does this on the bed, which is a bit safer, but still scary since he could throw himself off the bed, on the floor, wherever he happens to be. Such a goofball. Speaking of goofball, he loves to ham it up with big sis. They are going to be quite the pair, those two. I’m just thankful they get along so well. I know that might not always be the case, but for now, the Sophia/Myles duo is getting along quite well.

Now that he’s learned to scale the stairs going up, his new thing is learning how to go back down. I know he’s said “mama” a few times now (has had “dada” down pat for awhile) and mimics my intonation when I say “all done!” He can sign for “more”…which he does a lot. This kid is seriously the world’s best eater. (knock on wood) Whatever I put in front of him, he eats…and since I like my food to have lots of flavor, he’s had the opportunity to sample a lot of adult-fare, he’s our little gourmand!

He’s 26 lbs and 29 1/2 inches. We’re moving into size 4 dipes and 18 month sized clothes for our big guy. No go on the walking front just yet. He can balance by himself and will take one or two steps forward, but then decides to move to the floor and crawl to his final destination. I thought for sure he’d be walking by his first birthday! All in due time, I guess.  Speaking of time, this momma is basically running out of it. Being with the kiddos doing my solo full-time act, is leaving me with little time in my day to finalize birthday bash plans for M and his big sister. The parties are coming up fast, but going to be a blast.

Thanks for making our hearts a little bit bigger this past year, Myles. We love you so much and are so proud that you are our son. Happy 1st Birthday!

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ImageThis past weekend we spent the day with Thomas. Not just any Thomas, mind you, THE Thomas. You know, the TRAIN? As I expected, S had entirely too much fun meeting the real, live Thomas and his trusty pal, Sir Topham Hatt.

I wasn’t even aware of this event until my dad told me about it. And he found out about it because his company has the honor of hauling Mr. Thomas all around the country this summer as he makes his appearances at railroad museums. I even found out that they require that Thomas be loaded on the trailer backwards so that his eyes are facing out and can greet little ones along the road! How fun!

Anyway, back to the day…there was so much to see and do and the 25 minute train ride was a great finale to the day. There was a Thomas storytime/book reading area, model train demonstrations, magic shows, a meet and greet with Sir Topham Hatt, temporary tattoos, an arts and crafts area…and that was just the indoors activities (nice and air-conditioned, too!). Outside there was a bounce house and a slide, a sandbox and jungle gym area, a hay bale maze, gift shop, food tent, and a nursing/diaper changing area. It was definitely geared for the little ones and staffed by very helpful volunteers. We were so impressed by how organized everything was. It was very well done. They even had photographers set up at the key locations to take your group photos, which you could look up later online or view in the gift shop….which reminds me, I still need to look ours up online.

S was elated to meet Sir Topham Hatt and was not afraid of her first real “character” experience. She went right up and held his hand. And when we got there, Thomas was making his rounds around the track and she was yelling and waving like he was her best friend.


You have to purchase your ticket for a certain boarding time. Ours was 12:15. If I had to do it again (and we likely will next year), I’d get a slightly earlier time for the train and get there earlier for the activities. Everyone was getting tuckered out by lunch time.

Plenty of restrooms and room for strollers, definitely a very family friendly event. It was so fun to see S so excited about meeting him. She was pretty tired when we got back to the car (kids were both asleep by the time we rolled out of the parking lot), but she said, “I want to come back tomorrow!” Oh, and parking…there’s a shuttle that you can take in, but we just parked across the street next to the school and walked the two blocks in to the museum. Easy peasy!

And in case you were wondering…I did not hear any of the stick-in-your-head Thomas songs during the day, just some nice, soothing music on the train ride. 🙂

They’re two they’re four they’re six they’re eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight…


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Only one more month to go before the BIG ONE! This month was another tough one for Mr. M. He got an ear infection while we were visiting my family for Mother’s Day weekend, so we got the lovely experience of treating our sick little one while out-of-town. A few days after that, he was teething like mad one day and just miserable. Cranky, high temp, fussy and a nice short-lived (luckily) bout of not wanting to nurse. A few days later, another ear infection. Add that to being treated for pertussis and, well, you’ve pretty much said it all. What, pertussis you say? You mean WHOOPING COUGH? Yup, that’s the one. Three of the four of us have been treated for it, actually. Apparently there’s an outbreak occurring in our area and wouldn’t you know which family was one of the lucky ones to possibly contract it? I’m pretty sure we are the center target for all these crazy illnesses these days. If all this sickness leaves us happy and healthy during the summer months, then bring it on…if not, well, let’s just say this is NOT the summer for anyone to be sick. Please God.  

Ah, sweet little adorable Myles, you’ve been up to so much this month. One day you thought it would be fun to carry your toy truck all the way up all the stairs. Such a strong, determined little guy you are. You pull up on every thing, walk with cute little chubby leg struts when daddy holds you up, cackle laugh with your big sis, babble to yourself while you sit in your jumperoo, and screech when you see Elmo anywhere (on TV, books, at the store…). And are you crafty. One day Dadda and I watched you procure a big pink ball from behind your jumperoo without hitting your head or falling over. Such a little discoverer you are! You’ve been eating up a storm. I sometimes wonder if you are stuffing your food down the side of your high chair you eat it up so fast.

I think your words so far consist of Dada and Clap. Although these seem to have fallen by the wayside as you learn so many new skills. Talking is definitely not high on your list of things to do right now. We love how you wave at everything and your blue-eyed smile is quite possibly one of the best things to be seen.

Tonight we watched you take your first few unsupported, wobbly little steps in the living room. How fitting that it was on your 11 month milestone date. Before you strut off into your newfound world of discovery, we’ll take this time to admire your chubby baby-arm crease, the way you snuggle into our shoulders for a cuddle, the fact that you still wear onesies, those cute open-mouthed baby kisses, the sweet smell of your babyfine hair as you sleep your baby slumber next to us, and of course, your chubby baby hands that will grow more and more into toddler hands as the days pass.

Pretty soon we’ll be wishing you a Happy 1st Birthday, Mr. M. Until then, this mommy’s got a lot of planning to do. Enjoy your last month of babyhood ’cause you’re soon on your way to being a full-fledged toddler!

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Ah, sweet baby M, you are learning to do so many things! He climbs up stairs, stands for brief moments all by himself, claps his hands, smiles and laughs all the time, eats “real” food (and poops “real” poops)…yup, just about the only thing he doesn’t do is say MAMA. He’s got DADA down pat and will occasionally repeat it when asked. Mention the M word and you get the blank stare. It will come, I know, but S said mama on her own around 9 months and I’m so eager to hear him say it!

The big 10-month mark…so close to the big ONE mark. At his 9 month check-up, he weighed 23.4 lbs. and was 29 inches. Back ON the charts, as our pedi put it. He’s still in size 12 month clothes and size 3 dipes…he’s been holding steady on those for awhile now. Two more teeth have been added this month, which was oh so fun. He does not handle teething well. With S, I barely knew she was getting new teeth, didn’t make a peep! This one lets you know, poor guy.

His favorite toy right now is…well, ALL of them. He goes on a toy tipping, tearing, knocking down, banging together rampage all the time when he plays. I’ve decided just not to clean up after him until the day is done because it’s so not worth it. It will be messy again as soon as I clean everything up.

On the health front, M has been doing ok this month. He had a few weeks to recover when we were home for spring break and has only had a cold since returning to daycare. He did have a stomach bug on Friday night which was not pleasant and added an extra load to our washing machine’s weekend duty, but he seems to have recovered from that, thank goodness.

It’s been a very active month for Mr. M. I know he’s just going to keep on moving from here on out! In closing, I leave you with the “photo shoot dismount”:

ta da!


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Look who’s getting bigger! More and more like a toddler every day. He pulls up, bends down, opens cabinets, explores everything, picks up cheerios with his fingers, babbles, laughs and interacts with us in so many fun ways. Not one to be held captive on the monthly chair photo shoots, either. I might have to tie him down next month…

This month was a tough one, ladies and gentlemen!  As I looked at our whiteboard command center calendar on our fridge, just about every day had a little “x” mark on it, meaning M had his daily dose of antibiotics (or THREE daily doses as in the case of the most recent antibiotic…don’t get me started). The poor guy couldn’t catch a break. Sinus infection, colds, double EI’s…ugh. We are now down to ONE MORE DAY of antibiotics and according to our wonderful pedi, we should be clear for awhile. I took him in AGAIN today due to a 101.5 degree fever that he spiked last night. Joked with Dr. E that we were back for our weekly visit and found out that devilmedicine was in fact doing it’s job and cleared up those little ears. That was the good news. The not so good was just the fact that Myles is suffering from yet another cold virus. At least we don’t have to do the 3 shot series.

Ah, so much for the sickkies. Hoping that these next two weeks out of daycare will help M stay away from the germies and start feeling better! What? Two weeks out of daycare? Why, yes, our spring break is quickly approaching. And not a moment too soon. So many fun things planned for M and his big sis. We’ve got trips to the zoo, picnics and of course, a special celebration for big daddy-o, who will be celebrating a milestone birthday himself. Yes, indeed we’ve got some plans!

So, besides the germie bugs, M has been on the move, exploring every square inch of our house and finding all kinds of new things to get in to. He loves our TV stand, which houses some super safe GLASS doors that are apparently so much fun to open and close. Oh, and then there’s the carbon monoxide detector plugged in to the wall. That’s really fun to take OUT of the wall and listen to the hysterical beeping and siren-like sound. Yup…funners.

He’s been trying new table foods, seems to love the fruits we give him, but has a strong liking for BROCCOLI! I love watching him eat the little tiny buds, it’s so cute! He’s been taking baths in the real tub now and loves splashing around. I can’t wait to sign him up for swimming lessons this summer. He still has a strong bond with his big sis. They love playing the “gookie” game, which is something S invented. It reminds me of the “near and far” skit on Sesame Street with Grover. S comes bopping along into the room and yells “GOOKIE!” at the top of her lungs and Myles cackles/laughs hysterically. S exits the room. Rinse. Repeat. About a million times. So much fun.

Another fun thing for M has been stroller rides. He loves to just chill out and be pushed along, epecially in this nice weather we’ve been having. I have a feeling he’ll be a-walkin’ soon. Look out world, here he comes!

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tap tap. Ah, poor neglected blog. Much like many other poor, neglected things in my life right now. My house, the yard, my weight loss program…the list goes on. There is just not enough time in the day or in the weekend for that matter. In an attempt to have ONE “What have we been up to?” post in between the Mylestone updates (which I seriously have to force myself to write…no time, no time!), I give you the D Family events recap:

We’ve been sick. That’s about it in a nutshell. I know, how boring.  J with bronchitis, me with some form of sinus infection, M with double EIs and now S, off to the doctor today with daddy after complaining at night that her ear hurt, is the likely next candidate for some antibiotics. We’ve spent more money at Wags this past month than I care to admit (although most of that comes off of our Benny card…love that!). It seems that as soon as the nice weather hit, we all caught a bug of some kind.

Speaking of the weather, how glorious to have 70/80 degree temps in MARCH! Yup, good ‘ol WI weather, sure never know what to expect. Once I heard the forecast for the week, I dove into closets and boxes and started pulling tags off of all the kids’ summer clothes. It was so much fun. Seriously. I LOVE getting them ready for new seasons and pulling out all my bargin finds.

S has been enjoying all things outdoors…chalk, trips to the park, walks on the nature trail, backyard fun. And Myles has taken his first swing at the park and discovered the weirdness of grass. He’s totally perplexed by it, it’s really kind of funny.

This early summer-like weather has me thinking of all the fun things we want to do this summer. Trips up north, swimming lessons, storybook ballet (S is totally game for another round!), library trips, setting up the pool in the backyard, strawberry picking, etc., etc. Oh, and one big birthday bash for a certain little man who will be turning ONE and a special little lady turning FOUR. Yeah, mommy’s been planning some splashy good fun (in all my spare time). And with spring break quickly approaching (thank gawd!), I’m hoping this weather streak will continue and we can partake in picnics and trips to the zoo and all kinds of outdoor fun things very soon! 

So, not much of an exciting read, but it makes me feel better to get a post out there. And what would a post be without some pics of the kiddos? ‘Til next time…

the cracker clan

mmm…mangoes. and dare I say “I’ll have the roast duck with the mango salsa” in my best caveman voice?

S’s new picnic table courtesy of our awesome neighbors!

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Yup, the little man is a whole whopping 8 months. Time is sure flying by…pretty soon we’ll be celebrating his first year birthday and I’ll be a blubbering mess that my little baby is not so much a baby anymore, but a little  tiny person. But before we leap too much ahead in time, let’s update about what Myles learned this past month.

He discovered his ability to pull up. On everything. All he wants to do is stand at the coffee table, the tv stand or his music table and slap his hands down and give us that contented cough/laugh like he knows he’s doing something special. I have a feeling that he’ll be walking before his first birthday (S’s milestone date).  His highchair eating habits are improving and he has tried a sippy cup but hasn’t really caught on how to use it yet. Puffs are becoming interesting for him and he’s basically tried all types of pureed foods. We haven’t really noticed a preference for any one kind of food though. He has 6 chompers in his little mouth now and loves to babble “da da da” and other cute little sounds. I think he will be saying dada before mama since he hasn’t really made many “m” sounds yet.

He’s about 24 lbs and still in size 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. He hasn’t really seemed to shake the sickness bugs that are floating around these days. Right now he’s on a new antibiotic for continued sinus issues. A few days ago he had tons of eye goopiness and all signs pointed to pink eye. After taking him to the after-hours clinic, the doc said nope, not pink eye, just sinus stuff. I wasn’t really sure how to handle pink eye since S never had it, so I’m kind of glad it was just another round of antibiotics.

He’s definitely becoming more social and smiley. He fusses when we put him down and always wants to be around us. Us and his favorite sister, of course.  Huge smiles and laughs when she’s around. It’s really cute to see them interact. S is so loving and caring for him and he just lights up when she comes near him. We are so lucky to have them in our lives!

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Mylestones: 7 Months

Poor Mr. M celebrated his 7 month mark being all kinds of sick. He’s recovering from a sinus infection that seemed to last forever, caught the stomach bug that plagued our household this past week, and to top it all off…his top two front teeth are ready to pop through any moment. You can imagine that our washer/dryer has been on overload and the baby diaper bin is getting its use, dealing with all the baby messes.

Besides the tylenol doses, teething tablets, and crying at all hours of the night, he’s been doing ok this month. I can’t believe how mobile he is now. And fast! Today I was vacuuming the living room and he hightailed it right over to check it out. I’ve never seen him move so fast. He also loves to check out the laptop when it’s on the floor. He makes a beeline over to it to see what’s going on.

He had his flu shot booster on Friday and he now weighs 22.6 lbs. Seems to be slowing down from all that growing those early months! 12 month sized clothes are still fitting just fine and he’s still in size 3 diapers. I keep wondering when he’ll need to move up in diapers and am hesitant to buy my next big box of 3’s.

He still loves to watch S wherever she is running to and from around the house. His cackle laugh still delights us and his baby blues are just the cutest when he gazes up at us! His favorite thing right now is trying to stand up. He obviously needs some help at this point, and will whine on his haunches while he waits for someone to help him stand up. He gets so excited and gives us that toothy/gummy grin everytime!

Hope you’re feeling better soon, baby Myles!

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The start of a new year always feels so refreshing to me. It’s a time to let the past be the past and look forward to a new year full of possibilities. Saying good-bye to 2011 was not that hard for me. Yes, 2011 brought us our little man to delight us and that was truly wonderful. For that, I am thankful to 2011. I am not so thankful for the political nature of our state that took a toll on my family and friends and put the profession of educating our youth in such a bad light. So, for that, I say, adios 2011…here’s to changing things up in 2012 and giving us new reason to hope!

We rang in the new year in our traditional style. J cooked up yummy things in the kitchen (lobster ravioli, in fact) and we munched on appetizers wearing our NYE hats, much to S’s delight. She even got to stay up and enjoy the festivities this year, thanks to a late afternoon nap. S is all about “parties” right now, so she had fun staying up late with Daddy. Myles and I didn’t quite make it ’til midnight, but I did wake up a bit when I heard S and Daddy cheering “Happy New Year!” downstairs.

So, a new year. Got any resolutions? I think my word of the year is going to be “declutter”. I’m hoping this will apply to all areas of my life…my house, my body, finances, etc., etc.

Best wishes for a wonderfully happy and healthy 2012!

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