Thursday, July 19, 2012

July musings

It's high time for an update on life a very random (and photo-laden) manner.

We celebrated Owen's 3rd birthday this month with a small family gathering and a Toy Story-themed party. Here's the invitation I designed. (I'm pretty proud of this one, particularly the "Owen is 3" logo I created from scratch!)

Lots of pictures, courtesy of Aunt Jackie (at Jackie Petersen Photography).

I scattered all of O's Toy Story figurines around for decorations and created a couple of banners using a fun font and images I found online. I even attempted a party game (pin-the-parts-on-Mr. Potato-Head), although the birthday boy only played with it for about two minutes and then it just laid in a crumpled pile on the floor for the remainder of the party. And, oh yeah, I drew all those parts free-hand, 'cuz I'm awesome like that! (Ha!)

As you can see, the Batman costume was a big hit!

My alien cupcakes managed to melt in the July humidity (even in my air-conditioned house) so they looked much better the day before the party than they did that day. But they still tasted pretty alien-y and Owen didn't seem to mind at all.

We had fun posing for silly family photos with mustaches. Well, Ryan and I did, anyway. Owen was kind of cranky about it and Nora just seemed indifferent.

Oh, and here's a little interview with the lad (idea via pinterest) that I hope to do with him every year just to see how his answers change. Some of them this year were pretty funny. (Like, this one — What makes you happy? "Green things." Um, ok.)

Now that he's three, I thought I would try to officially assign Owen a few simple household chores. He has started to express interest in putting coins in his piggy bank and is beginning to grasp the concept that you need money to buy things (like toys), so I thought I'd seize the opportunity to start teaching him the value of money. I also plan to set up three jars — give, save, spend — to instill in him the importance of those concepts as well. Anyway, here's the VERY basic chore chart (idea via pinterest) that I created for him. (In all honesty, I would have loved to have gone all cutesy/crafty with the chart, but this is about all I can manage at this stage of life.)

His chores currently include making his bed, feeding the dog, taking the recycling out to the garage, and an opportunity for a bonus chore (at Mom & Dad's discretion), but over time this list will obviously evolve. He understands that he gets a "check mark" whenever he completes one of his chores, but we haven't actually paid him yet (I thought I'd do that once a week — maybe a nickel per check mark?), so the poor boy doesn't truly know the value of a check mark yet. But he sure does get excited about getting one anyway. "Pleeease, can I have a check mark???"

He tried to complete one of his chores (feeding the dog) all by himself the other day. This was the result. (Smile!) At least Kinnick won't be going hungry!

I'm also working on a list of Family Rules that can be posted where Owen can see them (not that he can read yet!) and where I can point to them to remind him when he breaks one. So far, the list includes:
  1. Listen and obey
  2. Be polite and respectful
  3. No unapproved words
  4. Say "please," "thank you," "you're welcome," and "excuse me"
  5. Be honest
  6. Say your prayers
  7. Pick up your messes
  8. Wash hands after going potty and whenever you're asked
  9. No whining or complaining
  10. No throwing toys
  11. No hitting, kicking, biting, or spitting
  12. Ask for help when you need it
  13. No quitting — keep trying!
I went through the rules with him once and he seemed to understand...I guess. As much as a 3-year-old can understand these things. But I figure, you've gotta start sometime, right?

Both kids had check-ups at the doctor last week (Nora's 2-month and Owen's 3-year). Their stats are:

Nora — 11 pounds, 7 ounces (60th percentile); 22.5 inches (70th percentile)
Owen — 34.5 pounds (80th percentile), 39.25 inches (or 3 ft., 3.25 in., and 85th percentile)

Nora is still sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed (we moved Owen to his own crib after just a few weeks) mainly because it's more convenient for me when she wakes in the night, but also because I'm worried that she's more likely to wake Owen from her room which is right next door to his. She still gets up once during the night, but that's usually sometime between 6-8 hours after the last time I feed her for the night, so I'm good with that.

She's a very happy baby, smiling all the time. And she's usually very content most of the time. I haven't pushed too hard to establish a formal routine with her yet, but on a good day, things go generally like this: She eats every 3 hours during the day (though I'd like to see that increased to every 4 hours) and then goes to sleep about two hours after that. She does seem to need help getting herself to sleep (rocking, etc.) instead of settling herself to sleep on her own, but we're working on that. And her nap times vary from about 30-90 minutes, depending on the circumstances. At home in her bed, it's usually the former; out and about in the car or stroller, the latter.

I recently thought for the first time since moving into this ranch-style home two years ago that I wished we lived in a two-story house so that I can better separate her from the household noise (i.e., her VERY loud brother) when she's napping. As it is now, she is currently napping in her bassinet in my bathroom with the exhaust fan running and the door closed. Hey, it's working.

She seems to be hitting her milestones much sooner than Owen did. For instance, she was smiling by 3 weeks old (if not sooner) and has already rolled over in both directions. She's gone from tummy to back several times starting at 7 weeks old (actually earlier than that, but I forgot to write it down so we'll go with that). And just last Friday (at 10 weeks), she rolled from back to tummy! She has also been batting at and even pulling toys into her mouth for several weeks now.

Owen truly loves his baby sister and is very sweet with her (most of the time). He insists on "petting" her (i.e., stroking her hair) constantly. And whenever he talks to her, he uses this cute, high-pitched voice to say things like, "Hello baby gurrl," "Ohhh, she's so cute!," "What's wrong baby sister?," and "You laughin' or cryin'?" I think he's really looking forward to when she's old enough to actually play with him. He wants a buddy!

Here's another random photo dump. Sorry for the immensity of them — this is what happens when I don't post anything for an entire month! (Although, if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you've probably seen most of the following.)

This is what productivity looks like in my house.

Banana popsicles!

Art in the backyard.

Nora at 1 month — June 2, 2012. 

Tummy time + a running vacuum = napping in the wrong position. But she looks too comfy cozy to flip over.

Zoo day!

Big brother, baby sister.

Art in the backyard, day 2. Sidewalk chalk paint.

Picnic in the park.

Finger painting (literally).

Forgot to bring swim trunks to Grandma and Papa's house, but it's ok...we worked it out.

Happy Father's Day, Papa!


Friday night at the pool. We're all smiles!

Someone found her thumb!

Feeding the animals some "delicious, brown beans" (aka. "Don't Spill the Beans").

Nora at 2 months — July 2, 2012.

Hot, hot day at the 4th of July parade with cousin Brody.

Snuggling with this sweet bundle of love makes Monday morning a little easier to bear.

I love that all kids, regardless of generation, understand the joy of flipping over and playing with an upside-down Big Wheel.

My little super hero.

Love these people!!!

Good times in the crib.

Those lashes!

More pool-time fun!

Staying cool in the shade.

Lazy Saturday morning cuddles.

Baby socks!

Since I rarely get to finish an entire cup of coffee while it's still hot, I have been enjoying these delicious mock-Frappacinos lately (found on Pinterest). I highly recommend. Yummmmm! (I told you this update was going to be random!)

We are looking into buying a mini-van. Actually, it's a sure thing that we're getting's just a matter of finding a good deal at this point. I was against the idea initially, but now that I've experienced getting around town with two kids in a Toyota Camry for a couple months, I'm fully on board the mini-van train. I can't wait!!!

I guess that's about it from clan Peterson for now. Here's hoping I get the next update out much sooner next time...but let's face it. It will probably be another month or so. Sigh. This should tide you over in the meantime, though. Petersons...out!