Monday, May 26, 2014

Megan Monday

I decided that it was time for Megan to have her very own post on this blog, and so I asked her what she wanted to say about herself, and she said "I love my sister!"

She and Amelia can play together very nicely for hours, especially when they can play outside in the sandbox or the fairy garden.  If they are stuck inside, you can often hear Megan declaring "Amelia, sisters are for playing, not just reading!"  Megan is very loving to everyone, especially to Nathaniel.  She loves to tuck him in, wake him up, help him get dressed, hold him, give him toys and play with him.

Oh, and sometimes she tries to eat his head...

She has recently started feeding him oatmeal.  Megan likes to feed Nathaniel more than Nathaniel likes to eat.  After the first time she fed him, I had to remind her exactly how far we put the spoon in the baby's mouth, but other than the one time she hit his gag reflex, she's done a great job!

Sometimes Megan likes to pretend to be a baby, too:

 It is very difficult to get photos of Megan, because when she sees the camera come out, this is what she likes to do:

And if she's not being silly, she gives the evil eye:

 She had a concert at preschool two weeks ago, where they sang "Five Little Monkeys".  When they sang the same song at the Christmas concert, Megan covered her ears and started crying, so we had to go right home.  This time, she sang along happily and did all the actions.  I was so proud of her!  They sang a few other songs, too.

I am trying to be better about getting videos of the kids, so I asked Megan a few interview questions the other day.

Megan loves to dance around, and she asked me if I would take a video of her dancing with Sophie the stuffed cat.  She claimed that Sophie liked this, but I'll bet she had a headache afterwards!

It's 8:15 in the evening, and Megan just got out of bed and came into the living room to tell me she needs another blanket on her bed.  Now, since it's 75 degrees in the house, I asked why she needed another blanket, in addition to the Tinkerbell fleece blanket that is currently on her bed.  She told me that she gave her fleece blanket to her kitty, and so she needed one for herself.  I told her she should go to bed.  She asked me why.  I said because it was bed time, and put her back in her bed.  That kind of sums up Megan's personality - independent, creative and strong-willed.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nathaniel is six months old!

I can't believe Nathaniel is six months old already!  He is such a sweet baby - he's almost always happy!

He loves being held or having his sisters play with him.  He was a little unsure of Grandma and Grandpa when they arrived on Thursday, but he warmed up quickly.

What else does Nathaniel like?  He loves to stand up!

His leg muscles are really strong - when I hold him on my lap, he bounces himself up and down until my arms get tired.  He also loves it when I bounce him and then make him fly in a move we call rocket ship baby. He likes to sit in his bumbo for short periods of time, but he hasn't figured out how to sit up on his own yet.  I took him outside a week or so ago and put him in his bumbo so he could feel the grass. He was fascinated, and then he made this funny face:

Ben's Grandma Marion thinks that Nathaniel is always happy, and that's definitely not true.  But he generally only fusses when he's really tired or when he wants to be picked up.  This evening, for example, he started screaming while I was cooking dinner and put him in his gym, and then he fussed a little throughout dinner, even though I was holding him.  He also still fusses when he's made to do tummy time.

He can roll over both ways now, so tummy time usually doesn't last long.  Although if he rolls from his tummy to his back a few times, and I keep putting him back on his tummy, it's almost like he forgets how to roll over, and just stays there fussing.  He's starting to scoot around a little - on his head!  He can get a few feet away, scooting entirely off his blanket and making his way across the room to where I am (or where some interesting toys, books, or non-baby items are).

Nathaniel is getting very good at grabbing things and bringing them to his mouth.  He really likes Captain Calamari, his electron orbital duck (although Ben and Jeff decided it should more accurately be known as "possible electron cloud duck" or "quantum duck"), his squeaky giraffe, and his taggie blanket.  He is always happy to chew on fingers or knuckles, hair, clothes, and even cords.  (I was holding the cord so that he couldn't get it into his mouth, and I took it away right after this.)

When he's sitting on my lap during meal time, he spends a lot of time reaching for the food on my plate.  Today he managed to stick his fingers in a stick of margarine that we were using for corn on the cob.  He also tried really hard to grab a piece of my steak; Ben said "That's my boy!"  I thought that meant Nathaniel would be interested in eating solid food, but he does not enjoy oatmeal so far.

Nathaniel has discovered his feet this month; when he is laying on his back, he often grabs at both feet.  Even when he's sitting in my lap, he likes to grab at his feet.  The fact that it has warmed up recently probably helps - he can finally see his toes after almost six months of wearing socks.

He consistently takes at least one good nap a day - sometimes that means two normal two hour naps, but sometimes it means one nap over three hours!  He generally still wakes up once at night, although he went through a stage last week where he slept through the night for a week.  I know I should put a stop to it, but he's just so sweet that I keep going in to him.  Plus, now that he can scoot around, he usually is fussing because he's wedged himself in the corner of the crib and is hitting his head.

Nathaniel has already grown out of this adorable hat - he has quite a large head, I think!  He is starting to wear 6 - 9 month clothes.  We have his six month checkup this coming week, so then we'll find out how much he weighs.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nathaniel and Oatmeal

Now that Nathaniel is six months old, it's time to try oatmeal.  Grandma was a little taken aback by the size and coverage of the awesome IKEA bib that he was wearing, but she offered to feed him anyway.

So what's the verdict?  Does Nathaniel like oatmeal?

NO!  Does he want more oatmeal?

NO!  And here's why he wears the smock-like bib:

That's right - he has oatmeal all over his mouth, chin, nose, cheeks, bib, hands and on anything he tried to grab with his hands, including his feet, pants and bumbo chair.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

More Ballet Recital

Mom and Dad drove up on Sunday to go to Amelia's ballet recital with me.  She was really excited to have people in the audience watching her - so much so that she waved to us three times during her performance!  She got this big smile on her face, and then would give this tiny little wave, and then continue on with her dance.  It was so sweet!

She was thrilled with the flowers that Ben picked out for her at Costco.  Rainbow flowers are her favorite.

Amelia was in the second act of the show, so Mom, Dad and I sat in the lobby and played Phase 10 during the first act.  We had a nice time playing games together.  Amelia chose to sit in the dressing room with the other little girls and watch Frozen.  Here's her dance:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beautiful Wildflower Photos

Just kidding!

It's time for our annual photos in the dandelions! 


Nathaniel was NOT a fan of laying in the grass!

Then we spent at least an hour picking flowers and enjoying being outside.

We saw and listened to birds (barn swallows, sparrows, goldfinches and red-winged blackbirds, but the only one we could identify by sound was the mourning dove), we smelled flowers (the girls do not like the smell of dandelions), and we felt the wind.  Amelia made up a poem:

I feel my flowers
I feel a breeze
I feel the sidewalk
I feel the trees

We ran into a few problems this year with the dandelions, because the city mowed the grass at our park the day that I was planning on taking the photos (last Friday) and then they mowed the grass again on Monday, the next day I had planned to take photos.  The grass is growing quickly here, but that seemed a little ambitious for the parks and rec department.  Plus the weather has been wacky - either cold and raining or too bright to get good photos.  So we ended up walking to the prairie area across the street and taking the photos there.  The dandelions were a day or two past their prime, so I couldn't do a shot with dandelions in the background, but the girls still found plenty to pick.  It was a bright and sunny cloudless day, so I brought along an umbrella to provide some shade, but it turns out that bringing a rainbow colored umbrella will result in some interesting colored light on children's faces.

Last year we took dandelion photos on May 13 and the year before on April 14, so spring is clearly later this year than in the past.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Amelia's Ballet Recital

Amelia is at her ballet recital right now; Ben and Megan went to watch her today, and I am going to go tomorrow with Mom and Dad.  Last night was her rehearsal and it went really well.  She told me that she was a little nervous beforehand, but she had fun on the stage.

She knew all the steps, which were very busy and jumpy with lots of jetes, balances and pas de chats, and she was determined to do them all.  Of course, since the dancers were all 5 and 6 years old, they didn't all do the steps in unison...

The music for her dance was "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins.

This ballet studio had a lot of very specific rules for hair and makeup, which explains why Amelia's hair is parted on the right and glued back to her scalp with a slick stick and tons of bobby pins.  It was a challenge to get her hair in a bun, but the (required) hair net did help, and I think she looks really cute:

I took a video (with my phone in my left hand while I was using my DSLR in the right hand - go me!) but I'll have to put it up later, since I can't figure out how to get it off my new phone.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May Day!

We continued our May Day tradition of taking flowers to the girls' teachers, but, since we have only 8 daffodils blooming in our yard this spring, we had to buy flowers again.  The girls picked out this brightly colored bouquet at Costco, and it was so nice and cheerful on this cold and rainy day.

When I took a look at the photos, I asked Amelia why she had such a funny expression, and she told me it was because she wanted to look like a chipmunk.  I think she succeeded!

Megan's teachers put their May baskets on the art table and had the kids draw still life pictures as one of their centers.  Megan doesn't often do the art center, but she did today.  Here is her drawing of a sunflower:

 Here are photos from the last two May Days; last year was a little warmer than this year, but the year before was beautiful!