Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 Holidays

Thanksgiving: My dad and Kyle and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for the Watson family. There was 15+ dinner guests (and 3 kiddos) so we had a full house!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Table set up
My sister helped with the decor - that's her scripting!
Kyle rocked the turkey!
Kiddos playing together with Great Grandma Pat
Socializing before dinner...half the crew was downstairs
Drew chowing down
Kids table...sweet little Avery enjoying her meal in peace and quiet.
Dinner table! My dad asked the blessing, and then shared with everyone
that we are pregnant. It was fun to see everyone's reaction! The second pregnancy
isn't as shocking as the first to most people, but it still feels great when
your family is excited for you!
Post-dinner football game watching

Christmas: Kyle and I are very lucky to both have grandparents who are still healthy and hosting family Christmas gatherings, but we end up having 4 or 5 celebrations around Christmas time as a result. Which we don't mind, but Drew got a little over-Christmased this year! I had planned on withholding some of his presents to avoid him getting totally overwhelmed, but it was so fun to see his face with each new present that I just couldn't bring myself to be all grinchy. So he had a few meltdowns, but all in all we had a wonderful week celebrating the reason for the season with family!

Christmas Eve at Grandma Eva's house 
Hansens, Amsbarys, Wangens, and Radfords
Socializing after dinner
Every year at least 20 people gather in this tiny living room - it gets hot!
Singing Christmas carols (that's grandma Eva in the middle)
Drew got too hot so his sweater came off and he rocked his muscle shirt!

Song books used for Christmas carols
Boys playing with cars
Pete, Steve, and Jim singing We Three Kings - this is a crowd favorite every year!

Drew got a lot of car toys, much to his delight!
Christmas Morning at the Watson House
Watsons and Hansens
Look at that haul! I have to admit I was a little uncomfortable with how
many presents were under that tree. Could we possible need that
many things between us? But it does feel really good to give nice
gifts, and I loved seeing the smiles of my family member's faces
during gift opening time.

My tradition French Toast Casserole
(which didn't burn this year, thanks to the new oven!)
Mom and sister opening gifts
Drew testing out his new lawn mower. In our family we limit
gifts to 3 per person, and this was one of our gifts to Drew.
My parents do not abide by the 3 gift limit, and Drew got a little
spoiled...but that's what grandparents are for, right?
My mom showing off my sister's beautiful artwork!
Out of all the things Drew got, this book we got him about cars was his favorite!
...Until he opened his new basketball hoop from grandma!

He was so excited, he gave grandma a high five!
And then he played hoops until he got so sweaty we had to take his jammies off!

Christmas Day at the (Pete and Mary Ann) Hansen House
Hansen siblings (Hansens and Christiansens)
Drew had caught on by now that many gifts contained toys
Taking a break
Adam's displaying his new Seahawks beanie
Grandpa and Grandma Hansen and Uncle
Zeke and Auntie Bekah got Drew a new play kitchen!
He got right to work organizing...
The Christiansen girls got a new doll house - so precious!

Late Christmas Celebration at Warm Beach (Grandpa and Grandma Watson's house)
Watsons, Hansens, Walters, Rileys
Drew and Cooper waiting for presents!
Car puzzle!
Drew started bringing all the presents over for
Kyle to open, even ones that weren't his...

Gram and Gramps admiring the calendar my
cousin Sam made them of all their great grandkids (Avery, Drew, and Cooper)
Family Portrait Time!
The original gang: gram and gramps with their 3 kids
The Watsons and the Walters
All the cousins (Watsons, Hansens, Walters, Rileys)
The Watsons and Hansens
The Rileys
The kids: Avery nailed it, Drew and Cooper need a little more practice...
And last (but never least!): the in-laws! They organized
their own photo, which was pretty cute!
This was our first Christmas with a toddler, and I took some serious notes on what to expect moving forward. I thought it would be easier to control the Christmas chaos, but this year I really struggled. I think not feeling well from pregnancy sickness did not help my situation, but I also was just slow on getting shopping going, organizing Drew's wish list, etc. Kyle and I plan out our holiday plans weeks in advance, and that did save us some headache as the holidays got closer but that was about the only place my sanity was spared. But then the holidays actually arrive, and I love just sitting back and enjoying time with family. I love knowing all the gifts are wrapped, lists are made, bags are packed, and all we need to do is be present with the ones we are with. We love spending time with family, and we loved spending another Christmas with Drew. Most of all, we love celebrating the birth of our savior! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Drew: 18 months

Drew loves: cars, car books, toy cars, car, car silverware, car cups, car shoes, and car puzzles. So: cars. I remember the day he first pointed at a car and said "car"; I had never tried to teach him that, and I wasn't even sure I heard him right. But that day began his love of all things cars, and we have since accumulated many, many car items. Drew loves most things right now, he's generally a pretty happy kid.

Drew hates: 5:45 pm (where is DINNER?!), and being contained. This kid has never liked being contained, except for the car. But if he even thinks you might be trying to contain him, he breaks into hysterics. But, since he's a pretty obedient and well-behaved kid, giving him the run of the house doesn't pose much issue. I do still try and encourage "upstairs" play time in the morning, in which his two options are his super-fun room or mom's boring room, and he will play in his room for a while before coming to find me getting ready for the day in my room.

Milestones: His physical abilities far exceed his speaking abilities right now. He understands a lot, but still doesn't say much (that we can understand anyway!). He knows where all of his major body parts are, and is great at following instructions. He helps load the dishwasher, helps take the garbage out (drags the bag to the door for you), helps put clothes in the laundry, will go get his socks from his bedroom when it's time to put shoes on, picks out his bib before dinner and then waits at his chair to be lifted up...the list goes on (and every little thing he does is super cute!).

His tantrums seemed to taper off for a few months, and now he has what I call emotional outbursts. Which I think is fair at his age. As long as I'm able, I try to address his outburst and comfort him, and then leave him be to process through it (so picture him crying on the kitchen floor while I finish dinner). We think it's important to let him know we are there for him, but not take the "stop at nothing to get him to stop crying" approach. Because we want him to know it's ok to have emotions, and we want him to learn how to work through them (and we're there to help if he needs hugs and kisses). I also try to name his emotions for him, so he can recognize what he's feeling (one day). Right now we don't discipline for emotional outbursts, unless he gets aggressive toward one of us. Which is usually me, on the changing table.

Aside from a stomach bug we all had over the holidays, eating and sleeping has been great. And post-sickness, the kid is a bottomless pit! He used to eat B, L, and D with no snacks, and he would barely eat those meals well. Now - it's B, L, and D, morning snack, and afternoon snack...and sometimes he still comes sniffing around the kitchen after dinner signing "eat" because he wants more food. And it shows! He's growing - UPWARD! His 18 month check up is later this month and I'm excited to see how many inches he has grown since 15 months. As far as I can tell, we've finally settled into a long term routine with Drew. He's been down to one nap for a while, and will keep that nap until closer to 3 years old. He eats normal meals at the same time we do, and doesn't really need a lot of gear anymore. I keep a few diapers in my purse when we go out, but that's about it. I remember those first few weeks when he was a newborn, it seemed like eternity until we would reach a point in which we could just coast along with Drew. And now we're about to do it all over again with another little one! 

A funny story about when we were all sick: on New Year's Eve we are proud to admit we went to bed around 10pm. We had put Drew to bed like normal at 7:30 with nothing seeming out of the norm, and checked on him via the video monitor before we headed to sleep. We all wake up about 7AM, and if we are up first we let Drew sleep until he wakes up (which is usually just a few minutes after 7AM). We heard Drew wake up that next morning and start saying "uh oh" repeatedly, so Kyle went it to get him and see what the "uh oh" was. Drew has vomited AT ALL over his crib and himself. It was everywhere! Kyle hollered for me and I could hardly believe what I was seeing: he had clearly thrown up soon after we put him to bed because I was looking at his undigested dinner all over his bed. Why on earth did he not cry for us?! We promptly put him in the bathtub for a scrub down and got all his linens in the wash, and then I called his pediatrician to find out if toddlers could vomit in their sleep and not wake up from it. Sure enough, it's normal. I just thinking about vomiting as an adult and I still don't understand how one could sleep through that. Thanks, Baby Wise? Later my dad added that he came home late New Year's Eve (you know you've really arrived as a young parent when your dad has a more rockin' new year's eve than you do!) and he thought he smelled vomit, but figured maybe it was the garbage stinking or something. So further evidence that Drew had vomited early in the night and just slept through it, and in it, all night. Poor guy! Later on New Year's Day he had another vomiting incident; this time he was awake and facing me, so I was the one covered in vomit that time. Kyle and I had a good laugh trying to clean that mess up. Everyone here got a bit of Drew's flu bug in one way or another, but I'm happy to say we're all on the mend!

The winter months are harder with a toddler, but we've found a good circuit of indoor activities that keep him busy during the week. It's only January, and I'm dreaming of warm weather and playing outside again! Now that I am feeling better from first trimester yuckies, I've been extra intentional about spending as much time with Drew as I can. It's the classic "these are my last months with just Drew" realization. Drew and I had such a blast last summer, and I truly can't wait for the warmer months to enjoy some time together at the beach, park, and splash parks before baby comes. Drew seems to know what babies are and is really sweet to the little boy I nanny once a week. I plan to get a baby doll for Drew once we know the gender and name of the baby so we can continue to teach him how to be "gentle" (and maybe teach him how to change a few diapers?!). I'm so happy that we even get to be thinking about training Drew for a sibling; it still feels so surreal! 

Here are some pictures from the past 3 months:
Checking out his new reading nook, part of his new "toddler friendly" room
This toy bins were a great idea! They are easily accessible for him, and I rotate
 the toys in them every 2 weeks. This has helped with him playing in his room
by himself in the morning. Here he is organizing his stuffed animals...wonder
who he gets that from? :-)
Cutest shopping helper a mom could ask for!
At library story + play time
Getting his first hair cut from grandma!
Grandpa Steve and Drew doing guy stuff at Home Depot...I'm just the photographer...
My lunch buddy! 
Series of failed family photo attempts...

We ended up using this one for our holiday card - I gave
up on trying to get everyone looking at the camera!
Family walk at Green Lake was mostly a fail because Drew wanted to
 walk instead of be in the stroller...which would have taken 6 hours
to complete the loop. But we did get this cute photo where Kyle and
 I had my favorite engagement photo taken, so that was a win!
This is one of the indoor gyms that Drew gets to play at weekly - it's
such a great community center gym. Tons of toys, and $2 to get it.
That's Drew on the red rocker just playing in his own little world...
Main Street in Edmonds on the night of the Christmas Tree Lighting!

Kyle and Drew at the Christmas Tree Lighting in Edmonds - this
was my favorite family outing of the season! 
We stopped by the toy store to play with the trains after the tree lighting
and Drew was in heaven (and so cute!).
On one of the Dadurdays in December, Kyle took Drew to Swanson's Nursery
 to see the reindeer and other holiday specials. Kyle said Drew
would have stood here and watched the train go around for a while!
They saw the camel and reindeers! I love the thought of my husband
and my son just having a fun father-son outing :)
Drew is really good at building towers. Of course I think this makes him a genius.

Kyle and Drew playing trains. These guys are my fav!
I'm very thankful that Drew has always, always liked bath time. I've heard
horror stories of the battle bath time can be in some houses. I have no
idea what combo contributed to Drew loving baths, but he just runs right
up and starts trying to take his clothes off when he hears the bath water
running. Look at that face!
And of course, more organizing... 
Helping me so some shopping...gotta get those items checked off the list!
This was the day he was sick (risky game letting him on our bed, I know).
Like most toddlers, he much prefers water out of mom's water bottle
rather than his own sippy cup. You accurately guessed that I got his sickness
soon after this...
I'll do another post with photos from Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been a little behind on the blogging, but hoping to get caught back up!