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.
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.

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:





Once through with the activities, we crafted a kite like we read about in another book.

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!
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.

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

Here, Wren's snacking on a leaf rubbing.

Everyone took some time to admire all the animal skulls.

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

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.






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.




Let's not forget the great hunt! It was a cold day so we snuck outside real quick to find those ovoid treasures.




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

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 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.

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.


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 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.

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!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Hi, I'm Grey. It was recently my half birthday- now I'm three-and-a-half years old!

Boy, being 3.5 is fun! I really like to be extra sweet sometimes, giving Mommy sweet hugs and telling her that I love her. She really likes that. Sometimes, when I'm upset, doing that helps me feel better. Sometimes I talk extra sweet and say sweet things and look really cute. I like to say silly things that make people laugh. Making people laugh is one of my favorite things!

Sometimes I get in a mood and my favorite thing is hitting my brothers! And throwing things! And destroying things people are making! Mom and Dad keep putting me in time out for it but I don't care, it's so much fun! Eventually, I go back to sweet mode, which most people seem to enjoy more.

I use the potty now! I really like to hold it until the last second before agreeing to use the bathroom. I guess I like to live dangerously. I only wear diapers at night and sometimes I keep them dry!

I like to do the fun and silly things my brothers do. Saying silly things, moving my body goofily, jumping around, all that. I do like to be a bit cautious, however. Even as a baby, I didn't like quick descents, like going down the stairs, and that's stuck with me. I can't do big swings right off the bat, for example, despite how I initially claim to want it.

The thing that makes me most upset is when someone doesn't respond to me right away. "Mommy, you're not talking to me!" Alright, maybe she was already in the middle of a conversation, but still!

I love love love food. Especially sweets and snacks. I'd like to sneak them any chance I get. If only I didn't get reprimanded for it! Now, vegetables... I could pass on those.

I sleep in a room with my brothers now and I generally like it. Sometimes I have a hard time calming down at bedtime and have to lay down in my parent's bed. Sometimes my brothers wake up before me and get me up before I'm ready. But usually I like hanging out with them, peaking over their shoulder and being where the action is. Mommy says sometimes I talk in my sleep- how funny!

My very favorite game right now is TickleTron. That's daddy, he's a tickling robot and he chases us around until he catches one of us and tickles us! It's the best game! Sometimes Mommy is TickleTron and sometimes we take turns, too.

Mommy loves it when I get excited about something. She says my eyes turn extra bright, my smile turns extra wide, and my giggles turn manic. Like, when there's a reward I've been really waiting for and she finally says I can have it, oh man, the elation! It just bursts out of me!

And you know what I'm excited about right now? Being three-and-a-half! Whee!