Wednesday, April 27, 2016

American Swedish Institute

Sean has the wonkiest schedule which is usually annoying but it does sometimes have it's benefits. Such as the time Sean was home on a particular weekday and we took the younger kids to the American Swedish Institute.
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It's a castle! Built by Swedish immigrants, later turned into a museum. During this family event, there was a fun storytime (although, my kids never seem to last too long during those) with themed activities.

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For instance, one book featured someone traveling on a paper airplane. After the book was finished, the kids got to look all around the mansion for hidden airplanes, putting a sticker on their paper for each one (or on daddy's shoe, if you please).

As we searched, we also got to see the museum's treasures:
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Once through with the activities, we crafted a kite like we read about in another book.

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Finally, to the top floor that had a bunch of kid play areas. You should have seen Grey zip around there, he just loves the freedom to roam!

P.S. Wren was there but never pictured. Such is the fate of the baby when the photographer and the baby carrier are the same person.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Maple Tapping

We've gone every year to the wild rice festival at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center (and I always end up saying Harriet Tubman any time I talk about the place) and I saw that they were having a Maple Tapping event. Hey, I like maple syrup, I thought. So we went!
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It was a cold day, though, so we didn't spend a ton of time by the tapped trees. Inside, we did some maple related crafts.

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The boys got to make a "paper birch basket" out of paper that Native Americans would use to collect sap.

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Here, Wren's snacking on a leaf rubbing.

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Everyone took some time to admire all the animal skulls.

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Grey liked to look at the reptiles while his brothers did projects.

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Wren getting friendly with Sir Turtle.

We did bundle up and take a stroll around the boardwalk. Take a gander at the photos to finish out this post.
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Easter Eggs 2016

Another Easter, another batch of eggs. The boys are getting old enough that there were no big spills, no stained hands, not even any big egg breaks. And Wren had a good time trying to bite through the egg shell.
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Let's not forget the great hunt! It was a cold day so we snuck outside real quick to find those ovoid treasures.

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This was our last Easter in Minnesota. Oh my.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Update on the rest

Since I gave you an update on Grey, I thought I'd give you an update on everyone! Oh, something I forgot to mention about Grey is his storytelling. He tells us lots of great stories all the time, usually recounting a book or show, but often a tale of his own creation. I love listening to him.

Liam + Dash
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First off, Liam and Dash. I'll group them at first since they're at very similar life stages and are so good at so many of the same things. You know, it's a lot harder to describe a child when they're beyond the physical milestones (although they are getting their next set of molars). It's mostly intellectual, which is more difficult to categorize. Plus it's their birthday next month so I'll be trying to describe them again, but oh well, I'm committed.

They are fantastic in school. They're friends with everyone in their class- if someone's feeling sad, they like to try to help them feel happier. They're eager to participate and learn. Oh man, their reading! They love it and are real good at it. I rarely have to help them at all. Their teacher always reports good things, only pointing out that they sometimes have a hard time dealing with unfortunate, unexpected things (like forgetting a change of shoes at home or someone mistakenly taking a coat).

That's something we've been working on a long time, having a calm, measured reaction to things. They can get really upset, very quickly (particularly if it involves being wronged by a brother) so I give lots of calming reminders. They've definitely made lots of progress.

These two are so giggly. Anything remotely silly sends them into a laughing fit. The sound is heavenly. They like to say goofy, nonsensical things and just laaaaugh and laugh at each other. Often, their go-to silly answer to anything is "eyeball."

When something surprising or interesting happens, they react with perfect shock and awe. It's very satisfying to watch their faces when you tell them cool facts. Bugged out eyes, gaped mouth and all.

Lately, their favorite thing is making domino courses. They get pretty clever with their chain reactions!

Liam
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Liam is a projects kid- he has an idea and then makes it happen. He's always drawing pictures and writing notes. I love his creativity. He often comes up with an art project that Dash then wants to also try.

Liam is very willing to try things that might be tricky, things that Dash does not necessarily want to try at first. That's not to say he's fearless, just that he's willing.

He asks lots of very thoughtful questions. He's able to quickly process things I say and respond meaningfully. We have good conversations.

Dash
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It's important to Dash that rules be followed and that people don't get out of line. He likes to remind people of the right course of action.

Many times when we're playing a board game or something, Dash will decide not to play. I think it might be because he doesn't like to lose- if that's the case, he definitely got that from me. Or maybe he just likes watching?

Dash is a very careful reader. I'm very impressed by his ability to sound things out- he rarely rushes through a word or makes a quick guess. He wants to do it right.

Wren
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Little Girl is growing and developing so wonderfully. She's sitting up really well and does a nice, slow army scooch. It's tricky getting that belly up! She's been clapping and waving, too!

She has two bottom teeth. She's started really liking real food. We're not doing too much pureed food this time around- in the past it was just so frustrating to me. With Wren we're giving her pieces of food and letting her figure it out and she's doing great. She really hasn't rejected anything outright, way to go girl.

She's had her helmet about two and a half months. There's two main measurements for her head growth. One is a percentage of the diameter front to back compared to side-to-side, measuring brachycephaly. She started out at 100%. Ideal is 80-90%. At her last appointment, she was 93%, which she has been for the last six weeks. The second measurement is for plagiocephaly, comparing the difference of diagonal lengths from front left to back right and front right to back left. She started out at either 1.8 or 1.6 cm. I assume ideal is 0 though no one has said that to me. There's probably an ideal range. At her last appointment she was 0.9. The practitioner gave me the worst choice. She told me that I could discontinue use, that her head is looking pretty good. BUT she thought that we'd be able to catch one more growth spurt in the next six weeks, which would really help round things out. I reeeeally wanted to say, "let's be done!" but I went with the recommendation to continue. Here's to six more weeks! Back when she had the flu, she had a fever and I kept the helmet off for a day and a half and it was sooo gooood. I love her little head. And she's gonna have to learn about protecting her head a little bit- just in the short time she bumped her head several times.

Wren loves watching her brothers and laughing at the silly things they do. Liam and Dash adore Wren so utterly and completely. They live to make her giggle, to talk to her in their sing-songy voices, and to cuddle her. Though sometimes Wren doesn't like the tight squeezes and I need to give some space reminders. Grey loves Wren too but not in quite the same vehement way as the twins. A lot of the time, he doesn't even pay attention to her but when he does, he's always sweet and loving toward her.

Wrenny Pie sleeps really well, good naps, good nighttime sleep. She's figuring out how to go without a nursing session, as she has for the last many months. She'll have a chunk of days without needing to eat at night, then a chunk where she does, and back and forth.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Wren never wants me to leave. Even moving away five feet from her will result in a Very Sad Wren. This extends to everyone, when someone is playing with her and then leaves, no bueno. Although, there are times when I can hand her off to someone without any issue. So who knows.

Sean
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Sean has about two months left of residency and he's so very ready to be done. He's schedule has been crazytown (though, it's residency, that's to be expected) and he's working all the time at all hours of the day and night. He's so excited to have a job with regular hours and a good paycheck. It's like he's getting his life back!

He's even more handsome than ever and is a fantastic father and husband. His favorite place to be is with his family and we are all so lucky.

Katie
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Just like Sean, I am so excited for residency to be done. With how much Sean's had to work, I've gotten used to doing a lot of things without him. I will like when that becomes more rare. But don't get me wrong, I love being a stay-at-home mom. I'm so glad I can have this time with my kids. I also enjoy doing photoshoots here and there and watching Rusty during the week.

I've been the Young Women's president at our church for about a year and a half. That's been so fun. I've loved getting to know these teenagers- they're so diverse and incredible and smart and beautiful. It's fun spending time with them during mutual each week, although slightly more stressful when I have to bring all the kids with me. I work with amazing women and I've learned so much from them. I've loved this calling!

I'm trying to get prepped to move. What I really need to do is purge a lot of our stuff. And I have done some. But it's hard to do it during the day with the kids around and by the end of the day, I'm tired and just want to relax. I've gotta make the time. Then to start packing boxes!

Alright, this has taken me days and days to write, so I'm calling it good. Phew!