Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Daddy from Lauren

Lauren wanted to tell her daddy Happy Birthday, too!

Happy Birthday to Daddy from Brenden

Brenden wanted to sing for his daddy. He loves him!

Happy 30th Birthday, Tim!!!

Today my awesome husband Tim turns 30! I'm a huge fan of lists and, in honor of his birthday, I decided to make a list of all the things that make him so wonderful. I could go on and on, but I'll keep it to 30. :)

1. Every yard we have had he has mowed and cared for without a single complaint. I actually assumed he liked doing it until I mentioned it and he corrected me.

2. He's our very own handy man. If there is even a slight chance he might be able to fix it, he is always ready to try.

3. Even on crutches he was always willing to lend a hand around the house. Whether it was doing dishes or hopping around with the vacuum cleaner, he was ready to help.

4. Everyone has their days when they are just "done". When I have those days he understands and takes over for me, even after a long day at work.

5. He gets excited about the kids' milestones with me, like Brenden drawing a circle or Lauren chewing on her feet.

6. He makes some darn cute kids!

7. When we sold our Mazda, which we both loved, he had no problem driving an older, not as nice, car. I would not have been quite as happy.

8. When I was stuck at an automotive service station for hours waiting on a simple oil change he not only understood my frustration and anger but agreed that we would never go there again. It's nice to have someone agree that your feelings are justified and not make you feel like a crazy, just-had-a-baby, lady.

9. When it comes to getting our cars fixed he is the king of price comparisons. After a dealership told us it would be over $2,000 to fix our catalytic converter he spent days researching muffler shops. Eventually he found someone who was able to do it for less than $400.

10. He has no problem eating pizza with me every week, or even more often than that if I beg.

11. When I'm upset or angry, he'll always hug me, even when I don't think I want him to.

12. He trusts me at home with the kids, which was HUGE to me when I first had Brenden. I didn't trust myself, but he was always behind me 100%.

13. He never complains when Brenden and I call him at work. Or send him a text message. Or email him a random picture.

14. When Brenden really misses his daddy he will always take time out of his day to talk to him. He'll listen to Brenden blabber about pottying, or watching Wipeout, or singing a silly song, or that the dog just licked his hand.

15. He never had a problem getting up in the middle of the night to feed Lauren and would only ask me to do it if he had to get up super early.

16. He always comes up with the silliest nicknames for our kids, like Curly and Super Tongue, which correlate to the stage they are currently in.

17. He answers my phone when I really don't want to.

18. When he was able to work out, before his knee surgery, he motivated me to work out as well. He lead completely by example. I know that he'll do that again.

19. He will always be older than me. ;)

20. He's never made fun of my obsession with taking pictures. Sometimes he ever remembers to take pictures of me as well.

21. He works hard at both of his jobs and he's darn good at them!

22. Understands that I really hate changing the cat litter and has no problems doing that chore so I don't have to.

23. He complained very little about how long he had to be on crutches. I know I would have been a wreck about it.

24. Lets me talk, and talk, and talk, and TALK...even when he's really not in the mood to listen. Sometimes I just can't be quiet.

25. Totally took the hint when I flirted with him at the bar. I wish I had kept the slip of paper he wrote his number on!

26. He knows that sometimes, when I'm being snippy, I just need to eat, and he's figured out how to gently tell me.

27. He always thanks me when he knows I've worked hard during the day to take care of the kids, do the laundry, clean the house and cook dinner. I'm not sure he realizes just how much that means.

28. He calls when he's going to be late at work, or makes sure I know when to expect him. It really helps me plan my day and it's nice to not have to be surprised.

29. He was the one that wanted me to start writing this blog. I'm so glad that he encouraged me. I love looking back and seeing just how far we've come and how much we've changed.

30. He's the most wonderful, caring, loving husband and father that I've ever met and we are so lucky to have him!

Happy 30th Birthday, Tim! I cannot wait to see what the next 30 years bring. I love you!

This is the entire slideshow that Connie helped me make for Tim. Awesome pictures! (Just FYI...If you point your mouse at it you have the option of playing music. Click on the speaker with the red dash through it and it will start automatically.)

Monday, September 27, 2010


When Lauren was first born, Brenden was amazed. He wanted to see her toes and help feed her for a minute or two. He even shared toys without being asked. Then the initial "newness" wore off and he was just plain annoyed. Not in any physical way, just "I want to do what I want to do and I want to do it NOW!" Wait for Lauren to eat so that mommy can play? Unacceptable. Wait for mommy to change Lauren's diaper before he gets his chocolate milk? I don't think so.

Eventually his disgust turned into sighs, then back to tantrums, then back again. (A few timeouts helped change his attitude, at least for a little while.) I was worried he would never get used to the idea of her being in our house. Luckily, it seems how he looks at her is changing, at least for the time being.


In the past few weeks he has willingly played with her, which has not happened...ever. He may have looked at her when she was little but he became completely uninterested long before she could "play" back. While we were visiting Mike in the hospital (something I didn't write about here because I'm waiting for his full recovery...IT WILL HAPPEN...before I bore you with a post) he laid down on the extra bed next to her and let her grab at his ears while he giggled like crazy. I sat there with my mouth wide open, wondering why no one else was as amazed as I was at the miracle happening in front of me. I forgot that not everyone spends ALL day with then so they have no idea this is out of the ordinary. It seemed like a big turning point to me.

Since then he takes a little time out of his day to say hello to her. He'll wander by her exersaucer while she plays, stopping for a minute to bat at some of her toys and laugh at her big grin. (She spends time in it every day. She wants to stand up all the time and my arms get tired.) The other day I was feeding her and he asked to help. I still held onto the spoon but he guided it perfectly. On top of that, he even made the "ahhhh" noise, mouth wide open. It was adorable! And that's not the only thing he's tried to feed her. I went to get her bottle from the kitchen and left the puffs I had just purchased next to her. I heard him yell, "I'm feeding the baby!" from the kitchen and ran in immediately. He had stuffed at least 5 in her mouth, none of which would dissolve. After I dug them all out, I thanked him for helping and then showed him how it was done. Nice thought, though!

He likes to chat with her when I'm not in the room and then tell me what he did. He'll "boop" her check, which is softly poking at her with one finger while saying "boop", and then laugh gleefully as he tells me what he did and how she smiled. He'll lean against the side of the highchair and listen to her babble. I asked him what she was saying one time and he said, "BAHHH!" Which was, well, exactly what she said. Ha! If she's upset he'll find her pacifier for me, before I've even looked for it, and tell me she needs it while shoving it into her mouth. It's a nice shove, but a shove nonetheless.

My favorite thing so far was the day that he ran around on his hands and knees pretending to be a horse while Lauren rode on his back. I held onto her, of course, and she loved it! I'm not sure how long it will be until she can really move and chase him on her own. I know she's ready to move, but I'm not sure I'm ready to chase two kids!

They're gonna be trouble!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I don't remember Brenden being so opinionated about what he does during the day. He was happy to lay down, stand up, or be held. He would take a bottle whatever way he could get it. Maybe I've blocked his bad baby moments from my memory. But Lauren, she makes her preferences known, very loudly. If you try to lay her down and she is not interested, watch out! You can't ignore her protests. If you put her into her bouncy chair and she'd rather be in her walker, you're eardrums may burst.

Her new thing is standing. She wants to stand in our lap, holding our hands, the entire time she's awake. If we try to put her in her highchair to feed her she will lock her legs and back, refusing to bend to the chair. The look she gives us reads something like, "Do you really think I was going to make this easy?"

She has been able to roll onto her stomach since right after she turned 4 months old, but once she's there she complains. She really does know how to roll back over but she refuses, preferring to scream until we roll her back over or pick her up. What makes me laugh is the fact that she hates being on her stomach during the day, but has become a tummy sleeper at night. How does that work?!?

She also will not drink her bottle unless she is laying flat on her back. I started doing it when she was younger because I thought it helped with her reflux, so it really is my fault. Holding her during a bottle? Unacceptable. She will flail and shake her head, make it impossible to feed her and causing formula to get all over her face.

I think we may have our hands full with this one. I thought Brenden was a handful, but she might just give her brother a run for his money!

It's hard to be mad at someone so cute!

Friday, September 24, 2010

This Time Around

I knew I would learn a lot of things once we brought Lauren home. I knew I'd have to be a different parent with two little ones to take care of every day. I just had no idea exactly what would change, or how it would effect things we do with Brenden.

I thought with two kids I would be even more strict. More rigid in what I expected of Brenden, more scheduled with Lauren. Wow, I was wrong. From the get go Lauren has been fed when she's hungry, which usually ends up being ever 2 hours or so, which is what I was used to. But it wasn't "10 o'clock, time for Lauren to eat!" We tried so hard to stay on top of what Brenden would want so that he was never upset. With Lauren, a little crying doesn't bother us that much, as long as we know what she wants.

That also extends to solid foods. I was so scared of Brenden being allergic to things (which he is, so I'm glad I was) that I followed the rules exactly. He only had one type of food for 5 days so we knew that he wouldn't have a reaction. With Lauren, I haven't bothered. I even fed her something with eggs in it (with orders from her doctor) and neither Tim nor I batted an eyelash. If she broke out, we knew how to deal with it. So far, the only thing she had a reaction to was rice cereal, and I think that might have just been because she was broken out from the diapers she was wearing. I'm going to try again to make sure.

I also didn't expect to be so laid back about nap times. With Brenden, he went to sleep at the exact same time every day, on the dot, no matter where he was. I could tell you his schedule down to the minute. With Lauren, if she's tired she naps. If she isn't, oh well. Brenden still naps at roughly the same time, but having one kid awake means I don't stress about the other one being asleep. We're much more lenient on Brenden's naps as well. If he doesn't fall asleep and we need to be somewhere, oh well. He may be a little harder to handle, but we won't let us stop us anymore. He still ends up taking one nap a day no matter what, it just may not be as long. He's also fallen asleep on his own several times, which I never expected him to do. He fell asleep in my lap on the boat, on the seat of the boat, and on the floor of the boat. Maybe we should take more boat rides!

All in all, I think we are all happier this time around. Brenden is definitely acting like a 3 year old boy, but that's to be expected. We've had potty training problems, but that was already part of our day. We have two kiddos with allergies and skin reactions, but nothing we can't handle. All in all, this time around, we're all enjoying it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

3rd and 30! (Brenden and Tim's birthday party)

The 18th was the day we decided to celebrate both Brenden and Tim's birthdays. Tim came up with the line "3rd and 30" so we had a football theme for the invitations, which I thought was fun. I was also able to find some football themed plates and, of course, college football played in the background all day.

The house was cleaned, the food was cooked, the pool was set up and the trampoline (Brenden's big gift from all the grandparents and us) was put together the night before. We were ready to party! Brenden was shown his trampoline at the beginning and from then on out he was either in the pool or jumping. Tim and I fluttered from room to room, getting to chat with everyone for a little while and loving every minute.

The cakes were great. Brenden's was made by a lady at my mom's work and she did a great job. It was Thomas the Train, exactly like he wanted. I was able to get Tim a Wanda's cheesecake, which he was very excited about.

They were both showered with gifts. Lots of clothes and toys for Brenden, which he loves and a ton of beer and gift cards for Tim, which he loved as well! Tim's big gift was a kegerator kit, which he has wanted for a long time but didn't expect to get for awhile. By the time we got around to opening them Brenden was exhausted so I opened them for him. Since Saturday he has had a chance to play with all of them.

Thank you so much to all our family and friends that were able to be with us. We are all so happy you were able to make it and celebrate another happy year! (Mike - we saved you some beer! We'll celebrate with you soon!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 Year Well Check - Brenden

Today I took Brenden to the doctor Lauren has seen since she was born, Dr. Koul. It was his 3 year well check and it went better than I had hoped.

He is now 39 inches tall (80%) and 37 lbs (90%). She asked me how tall Tim is, which is a common question, and told me she thinks Brenden will be taller. We'll see! She was happy with his growth and development but not so happy with his ears. Double ear infection! We had no idea. He's been swimming, jumped around on his trampoline all day Saturday, and had never once complained. He must have never gotten over it from his last one which was about a month ago. She called him a "tough cookie".

Other than some antibiotics he's doing great. She did ask if he goes in time out, which of course I said he did. She seems to think he doesn't mind well, even asked me if I babied him. I laughed! I told her I think I'm pretty evil, sometimes. She said that was good! HA! I think the problem today was that he was excited to be at the doctor's office (crazy kid!) and also, he has a double ear infection! He may not be able to hear me.

We're very proud of our big boy and I hope we can get his ears cleared up soon. Maybe then he'll listen better. Or maybe he's just three!

A Great Birthday!

Hi, I don't write much on our blog but I felt the need this time.

I wanted to thank Amanda for such a great birthday last Saturday for Brenden and I. We had such a great time and it is all because of Amanda. I don't know what Brenden and I would do without you. We love you!

Love Tim and Brenden

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday, Brenden!

My wonderful Brenden,

Exactly three years ago today, at exactly 11:47 am, I became your mommy. Three years have come and gone so quickly. You have turned from that tiny little baby into a "big boy" with big boy thoughts and a big boy attitude. Still, I wouldn't change a single thing about you. The road from age 2 to age 3 has been an interesting one. Everything from how you eat, to when you nap, to who lives in your house has changed.

Your vocabulary expands everyday, even though you still sometimes get tripped up on your words when you get too excited. But OH, when you are excited we can't help but smile! Even the smallest things, like allowing you to have some extra chocolate milk (Your favorite!) causes you to exclaim, "OH! Thank you, mommy!" It's like I'm handing you the keys to Disney World. I hope this love for the little things in life stays with you forever.

The things you know surprise me constantly. I didn't realize that you knew the difference between "bigger" and "smaller". I was amazed the first time you were able to repeat an entire scene from Polar Express. (Another of your favorite things!) You immediately picked up on the idea of the memory game where you turn over the cards and found more than I did. I'm in shock watching you play our Wii. You're better at some of those games than I am!

Showing Uncle Justin how it's done.

In April you became a big brother. Suddenly there was a new person to take up everyone's attention. At the time I thought the transition was really difficult, but looking back I can see that you handled it remarkably well. You are constantly worried about Lauren's diaper, or where her pacifier is, or if she is awake or asleep. You call her "your baby Lauren" and introduce her to everyone we meet. "She's so cute!" you'll exclaim. And you are the center of her world already. She watches you bounce around from one side of the room to the other, smiling at all the silly things you do. She loves her big brother more than I ever could have hoped.

Your obsession with our animals has not changed one bit. Romeo and Riley are still two of your favorite things in the entire world and you are always aware of where they are. They are finally okay with you petting them and playing with them. Romeo in particular is very fond of your ability to throw his ball. The cats have warmed up to you, especially since Maverick is a big fan of playing fetch as well.

You are still friendlier and more loving than I thought a little boy could be. When we go shopping you make a point to say hello to everyone we pass. Any child we meet is instantly your best friend who you can't wait to show your room and your toys. You've shared some of your favorite possessions, like your video game or a new race car, with complete strangers without even being asked. If someone is hurt you are the first to blow a kiss at them and tell them it's "all better". The random hugs I get throughout the day, or the times when you tell me "Mommy you're beautiful!" make my heart swell with happiness.

"It's my favorite!" is one of your most common phrases. There are many things that have made your list of favorites along side chocolate milk and Polar Express. They include: the show Wipeout, Super Mario Brothers on the Wii, any board game you happen across, going out on the boat, every single race car you own, playing soccer (or any other sport), your bean bag toss game, riding on the wave runner, all of your grandparents, Mickey Mouse Club House, several of your books, Romeo and Riley, your daddy, and any number of other things throughout the day. I love that so many things make you so happy.

You make us laugh every day, intentionally and unintentionally. I never knew that a little boy could have such a sense of humor! You like to pretend not to know something, like calling me "daddy" and giggling madly. You make the funniest faces! And if we're sad you know exactly how to cheer us up.

You are our big helper, whether we like it or not! No matter what we're doing, washing the dishes, feeding Lauren, folding the laundry, mowing the lawn, you are always there to say "I wanna help!" Sometimes you're more in the way than really helpful, and often you'll become bored with the task long before we're done, but that doesn't mean that we don't appreciate the thought.

Brenden, you are my absolute favorite little boy and I am so proud that you call me mommy. I don't know what I would do without you.

Happy Birthday my crazy monkey!

Love Always,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

5 months old!

Five I don't think the first 5 months of Brenden's life flew by this quickly, but with Lauren it feels like I just had her. It seems like every day she changes or does something new. I'm sure most parents feel this way, but it still surprises me.

She is definitely asserting her independence in what she wants. If she is hungry she is HUNGRY. Although if you start shaking a bottle in the kitchen she can hear you in the living room and will start wiggling like a happy little worm. It's hilarious to see! She used to spend a good amount of time rolling around on the floor but in the past few weeks she decided that was not okay anymore. She preferred to sit in her exersaucer or walker. If we put her on her playmat she would flip herself onto her stomach and yell at us until we picked her up. In the past few days even that has become unacceptable. What changed? She realized she can STAND. She will sit in my lap, hold onto my hands, and pull herself up. She can even stand there for a few minutes with me steadying her. scary.


She is still a chatter box when she wants to be and sometimes she squeals so long that she makes herself cough. She has started to smile at strangers, but her favorite person to watch is still Brenden. She's also content to watch the dogs play or try to grab the cats' tails as they wander by. Most days she's super happy as long as we don't wait to long to feed her, change her, or put her down for a nap.

He's my favorite!

She has tried several different "first" foods, like rice cereal, oatmeal, applesauce, carrots, squash, sweet peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes. She's become a wonderful eater, opening super wide when she sees the spoon coming. She hasn't quite figured out that the food on the spoon will take care of her hunger. The only thing she has had a problem with is rice cereal. She definitely inherited her dad's skin problems. Poor thing breaks out all the time but we're getting better at treating it.


Every morning I walk into her room to find her grabbing at her feet and smiling like I just promised her a new puppy. Some days I won't hear her but when I go check on her she's just playing, content to talk to her baby doll. She is definitely a "blanket" baby that absolutely needs to have some fabric in her hand when she falls asleep. Sometimes she'll even pop her pacifier out and fall asleep chewing on her blanket instead. (Just like her brother does now with his bibs!) She's also fallen asleep with a piece of paper at Walmart or the strap from her carseat in the car. She's no longer sleeping like a baby, on her back with no moving during the night. She usually falls asleep on her side with an arm thrown over her forehead and a leg over her blanket. Most mornings I find her with her head at the other end of the crib or on her tummy.

Happy girl!

One of my favorite things is her obsession with grabbing at our faces. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but when she does it she pulls our faces towards her and gives us big, sloppy kisses. She also grabs at Brenden, which he is finally starting to enjoy. We "chase" him from couch to couch and he lets us "catch" him so she can "tickle" him. I'm excited to see how their relationship changes as she becomes more mobile. I think I'm going to have my hands really full!

Every day is something new, and I wouldn't change a thing. Happy 5 month birthday, Lauren! We love you!

5 months!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So proud of him!

This is my Brenden swimming, all by himself. I'm so proud of how brave he is! Now only if that would extend to what he eats. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

“His laughter, which was never far below the surface of his conversation, now sparkled like a splash of water in sunlight.”
- Joseph Lelveld

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

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