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Archive for the category “Family”

Hey, it’s been a while…

After several (okay, like 3), harassing emails and being called out on this blog by Tim, I’m back at it tonight.  It’s been a busy time.  We’ve been eating meals most weeks even without my Monday Meals posts, and the kids are getting cuter and bigger by the day though there are no pictures to prove it.  Since it’s been so long, I thought I’d just give an update on each of us so we can all just move on from here, okay?

Micah:  Micah, oh Micah.  Could you possibly get any cuter?  I think not.  At his one year appt, he was 29 lbs and 32 inches long.  He’s a big dude.  Solid.  Dense.  One of my friends actually said she would bet money in Vegas that he will be drafted into the NFL.  I told her that was impossible since he was never going to play football, but go ahead and play.  He’s also 100% boy.  I had no idea that there would be such a difference between boys and girls at such a young age.  Micah loves to tackle anything that moves….it’s like he’s a bull and the world is his matador.  He also loves to  bite….everything.  If you get too close, he’ll Mike Tyson you–guaranteed. This might have something to do with him getting 3 molars and both of his eye teeth right now?  He loves being outside and charges at our little baby pool if he sees it filled.  He loves to eat rocks, dirt, mulch and bird poop.  He’s constantly amazing us with what he will and is able to put in his mouth (it’s huge).  He’s very physical and has reached all of the those milestones before Avery did…crawling at 6.5 months, taking steps at between 8 and 8.5 months and walking everywhere around 9.5 months.  He has recently began climbing on everything, too.  I’ve found him standing on Avery’s trike, the kids’ picnic table, in high chairs at restaurants and in the shopping cart when I turn my back…hey, sometimes the straps don’t fit around his sweet chubbalub little belly!  He’s a really, really happy little guy.  He has the most contagious smile and laugh.  I think I fall in love with him more every single day.  If he improves upon on thing, he would truly be perfect: sleeping through the night!!!  That kid doesn’t want to miss a thing…even at 4 am.  Thankfully, he is the cutest little guy on the planet, which is his redeeming quality at midnight or 2 am or 4 am.  🙂  We love you, Bubba!

Avery:  Avery turned 3 on May 28.  She has a ton of personality, and I love it (most of the time).   She is the most fun-loving little girl I know.  Her little personality is coming out more and more and she has apparently gotten my flair for the dramatic:  “Mom, I don’t want to go to WalMart, I want to stay at home FOREVER!”  After a sip of Dad’s Diet Coke: “Dad, that tastes awful!”  After Dad brought her the wrong stuffed animal: “Not that frog, Dad.  I’m looking for the smallest frog in the world.”  She loves her stuffed animals or her Fisher Price zoo animals.  Her love for animals is definitely inherited from her father.  She even touched a snake at the zoo the other day.  She’s fearless.  I think the only things she’s afraid of are the people dressed as gingerbread men at the zoo during Christmastime…and who can blame her?  They’re kind of creepy.  She took swimming lessons this spring.  For the first sessions, they have to do parent/child class which is for ages 6 months through 5 years.  She was pretty much cannon-balling it off the side as the other babies bounced in the water.  Needless to say, she passed onto the next class which we’re planning on starting later this summer.  She is very, very social and loves all kids and babies….she loves her friends and I’m so proud of her and how she treats them when she’s around them.  She wants everyone to be involved and have fun and has a sweet little heart right now.  She loves Micah and my favorite times are when they are making each other laugh.  Although she sees him as a pesky little brother sometimes (esp when he’s trying to bite her), she really loves him a lot and she’s turning into such a sweet little girl.

Tim: Tim’s still hard at work.  He recently got back from Italy and has been playing golf ever since.  Kidding…well, kind of.  He has gotten the golf bug this summer and has been able to get out and play a lot more than in the past few years.  He’s playing in a tournament tomorrow, actually and well, let’s just say he’s been very….dedicated this week:)   It’s been fun to watch him get that competitive drive back, as he’s playing in golf league this spring and summer.  He’s doing a great job as dad.  Avery, as a baby, always wanted Momma, but Micah loves having Daddy around and will follow Tim around whenever he gets home from work.  It’s pretty darned cute.  Tim had a slow year for traveling (thanks, Uncle Sam!), but it seems it will pick up again later this summer and into the fall.  He won a couple of awards at work this spring….an Early Career Award and Junior Force (may the {junior} Force be with you) and had a paper published in Nature, which is one of two top scientific journals.  I’m proud of all he has accomplished, but mostly just like watching him entertain the kids at home….it’s quite humorous watching him dance.

Me:  Well, I’ve been really enjoying life with 2 kids lately…especially since Micah doesn’t cry all day anymore.  That part has really upped the enjoyment.  I love seeing them together and being their Mom.  I’m starting to run again after too long of a hiatus.  I feel as if I’m pulling a baby grand again, but I know if I give it a few weeks, it will start to feel more like an upright.  I’ve been able to go out at least once a month with some other mom-friends, which is usually pretty fun.  Tim and I are doing a small group with a good group of people too, and I’m doing a Bible study on Tuesday evenings.  Bible-thumping!  Yee-aww.   I still stink at most domestic things, although I started mowing the lawn again, which makes me feel accomplished as well as allows me to work on a little bit of a tan. (Tim argues that our children are the whitest children on the planet…I argue that albinos are whiter.)  I also have been struggling with post-partum hair loss and re-growth.  I make those men in the “before” pictures for Rogaine feel good about their situation.  It’s bad.  I feel like Charlie Brown many mornings…Should I pull 2 or all 3 of my hairs back into a ponytail this morning?  Tough decisions.  I’ve recently started taking Biotin which, from what I’ve read, either makes your hair grow thick or throws you back into teenage acne.  I’ll let you know how mine turns out.  I’m hoping to update this more frequently now.  I know I need to record more of our family memories, but for some reason I don’t always make time for it.

Hope you enjoyed the update….please comment if you read!

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Proud Papa…It’s Been Awhile

We have cute kids. Doesn’t every parent? I feel constant guilt about the lack of dissemination of pictures/videos/etc. Heck, I can’t even keep up with it myself. Our kids lives will be well-documented. They will have no trouble finding fodder for their wedding slideshow(s).

So here are some pictures:

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Bloganator

I hear your call my fans. The masses are clamoring and I am here to deliver.

In other words – I can’t sleep. Don’t know why. I probably could sleep if I tried but my mind is active and I know I will lay there for 30+ minutes trying to make out the time on our new wall-projecting alarm clock. If you haven’t noticed, I wear Coke bottle bottoms for glasses. I assumed when I bought that alarm clock that it would alleviate my need to put my glasses on to view the alarm clock that was 2.5 feet from my face. It has not. The numbers are 1.5 feet tall, half a foot wide. 12:47 looks like 8:39 and you get the drift.

Avery is so funny. Like the rest of the Johnson clan, she loves her bacon. I jokingly called her the baconator after one episode where she literally asked me ‘Dad, can I have some bacon?’ (I think I had made her bacon and pancakes for breakfast the previous day). Well…although she loves her some bacon…she has a pancake addiction… I told her this morning – “Avery, you’re a pancakeanotor” to which she replied…”Nooooo, I’m the baconator!” Love it.

We have been doing “dream feeds” with Micah. Since I”m the night owl – I try to take it. After feeding him – I usually go check on Avery only to find her in some odd bodily contortion, usually diagonal across her bed on top of the covers. No different last night. So I gently picked her up and moved her to parallel to the long axis of her bed with head on pillow. She happened to open her eyes and look at me in disbelief. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and said “I love you Avery, good night.” In the sweetest, most innocent voice she said “Too. Good night Daddy.” “Too” is her shorthand for “love you too…”

Contrast this to Jaymie. I bound down the steps all proud and happy. My angelic daughter just said the sweetest thing to me. Laying down in bed, typically Jaym will rustle and at times we’ll have a brief coherant conversation typically along the lines of:

“Did you feed Woody*?”

“Ya, fed him 7 oz. Man he had a wet diaper”

“You think he’ll sleep through the night.”

“Hope so. But I made another bottle – it’s up there for later.”

“Cool.”
……….

However sometimes Jaymie is not all that interested in talking.

This was the case last night…

Me: “Avery said the coolest thing to me”

Jaym: Grunt. Grimace. Sigh.

Me: “She said good night Daddy.”

Jaym: Nothing

Me: “You awake? You hear me?”

Jaym: Indiscernible noise that seemed to indicate “Yes”
………..

* Woody: Micah’s new nickname. If he doesn’t have an aptitude for wood carving as an adult I’ll be shocked. The inside of his crib is his art. He’s trying to make his mark on the coffee tables, TV stand, rocking chair, and kitchen chairs if he can. Woody as in Woodchuck.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

*Surprise alert*

This is not a Monday meals post. I know, 3 of the last 5 posts on this blog detail our culinary comings and goings.

This may have been my best Christmas. This was our third Christmas that we shared with Avery – but in many ways, it was the ‘first’. She got it this year (sort of). When she wasn’t singing “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman” she was telling Santa “I don’t like him”. Just tried to reminisce with Jaym and remember some of the more memorable ones. Regardless of the specifics, it was such a joy to share this season with her and Micah. The innocence of her belief in Santa and Rudolph and her curiosity about ‘Baby Jesus’.

Here is a rundown of our Christmas season:
Daily: “I want to watch Frosty the Snowman” “I want to watch Frosty Returns”. Spontaneous singing of “Frosty the Snowman”.

The Yeti from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” that would appear in Bing commercial during the daily Frosty watching. “Theres the Yeti”

A sad, but memorable moment was Avery breaking a sentimental ornament of mine (from my Mom) – and it was touching how remorseful she was. “Daddy, I’m sorry I broke your ornament.”

I finished up work on Thursday (Dec. 22). We got the kids ready and headed to Fairhaven for “Travelers Eve” service. Avery wore her dress:

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After church we came home and had a birthday party for Jesus. Jaymie made a Funfetti cake which we enjoyed. I will share the video on Flipshare (hopefully) over our rendition of “Happy Birthday”…which the classic line was Avery responding to my question “Do you want to say a prayer?” with “I want cake!” After the birthday party, we let her open up one gift. After the kids went down Jaymie and I had our Christmas gift exchange – highlighted by a wireless keyboard (for me, using right now), a new pair of shoes (for me), a bunch of clothes and some boots for Jaym. We then had the joy of helping Santa and assembling the trampoline and MIcah’s walker.

Somewhat disappointingly, Avery scoped out the gifts before she came and woke us up:
“Mommy, out there in the toy room! A bouncy thing and clothes!” It was fun to then trail her as she excitedly got us out of bed to show off these things. We helped her understand that Santa had come and read his Christmas letter. Micah got up about 30 minutes later and was jacked about the walker. But mostly he just wanted to gnaw on the “puffs” that were in his stocking. Later, we showed her the leftover carrots from Rudolph outside.

We enjoyed the day – the kids played with their toys. We had a lot to do to get ready to host Mike and his family as well as prepare for traveling to Fort Wayne on Saturday (Christmas Eve). They arrived around 4:30 and we caught up and had some Godfather’s pizza, a delicacy in their White House. Avery had a great time especially with Tim and Matt. So much so that the next morning the first thing out of her mouth was “Mom, where are my cousins?”

We eventually matriculated to Ft. Wayne on Christmas Eve, to join Dad, Sue, and all my siblings and their families. It was exciting to share the holiday with them, especially for Avery and Micah to hang out with their cousins. We look forward to this occurring at the Johnson Family Christmas’ 🙂

Without belaboring all the gory details – a few funny items for the trip:
“Mom, how did Rudolph get in here?” (regarding Steve’s deer head hanging on the wall)
General craziness running around following her older cousins – including dancing to the talking wreath (formerly Grandma White’s), Frosty doll, and Rudolph doll.

Although Avery was disappointed to leave, I think she is relieved to be home and recharge her batteries a bit with some Mom time.

A week (or two) in pictures

Addisyn's 1st Birthday Costume Party (she's the ladybug)

 

 

Baby MJ

 

Avery with some of her loot

 

 

Trick or Treat!

 

 

Smiles at the park

 

 

Little "butterfly"

 

 

Muscles.

Fun on a Friday

Last night we treated ou’self with a little taste of heaven called Chik Fil A. We loaded up in our bad animal mini van and made our way there. Not abnormal for us…but we went a little wild and decided to go inside and sit down for our mmm mmm delicious meal.

A bit tongue and cheek here…life has changed a bit…and when Jaym and I decided we all needed to get out of the house…and we’d treat ourselves to a sit down meal at CFA…we looked at each other and realized we live a fun yet lame life.

Instagram Pics

Two happy guys

Everyone looking at the camera and no one crying: as good as it gets right now

Beautiful girl

Handsome little fella

Summer recap

Since I haven’t posted on what we’ve been up to lately, I thought I would do a recap of our busy summer and revisit our Summer Bucket List.

June:  Most of June was spent at home with lots of visitors.  In late May and early June, my mom came out and so did Tim’s dad and Sue and Mary to celebrate Avery’s birthday.  It was a fun celebration.  We mostly just hung out here, as Micah was only about 2 weeks old.  Avery’s big thing was that everyone should wear party hats for her birthday, which everyone was a great sport about.  We mostly just hung out, ate some cake and played outside.  My mom was able to come out again with my sister Katie a few weeks after Avery’s birthday…it was a huge help to me with Avery and Micah.  Avers initally wasn’t Micah’s biggest fan…she was known to say “Bye, Addisyn” (her friend Brooklyn’s baby sister’s name) to him, signaling it was time to go.  She now loves him to pieces though, and often says “Hi Big Boy” or “Its okay Big Guy” to him.  One of her first questions when she wakes up in the morning now is usually, “Where’s Micah?”

Tim and the kiddos

July:  We had a very busy July, starting off with our annual 4th of July trip to Iowa City to stay at the Cottage with Tim’s family.  This year was special because we celebrated Papa White’s 70th Birthday.  Everyone had an awesome time eating good food, seeing family and friends and Avery had an awesome time this year playing with all of her cousins.  Her and Micah are the youngest cousins and the older ones really took care of her and played with and included her a lot.  It was really sweet to see.  She especially loved following her cousing Brayden around (although I’m not sure how he felt about it!) and playing with Aunt Mary and Ken’s dog, Millie (also not sure if Millie had ever met someone with more energy than her!)  She went to bed tired and happy every night.  Tim and his siblings also surprised Big Jim with a trip to Canada to go fishing, which they used to do as a family when they were younger.  After Big Jim realized that the trip was already planned and good to go, he was excited and his plotting and planning began.  We then went on an adventure with my family, leaving on July 8 and returning the 13th.  Yosemite National Park which Tim blogged about in an earlier post.  It was an amazing trip and we had a lot of fun, even traveling with a 2 year old and a newborn.  Micah did awesome on the 5 hour flight, and an antsy Avery did pretty well too all things considered.  We were able to see some beautiful sites and enjoy God’s creation…it really was majestic.  Tim and I also were able to go on a longer hike one morning while my parents offerred to watch the kiddos.  It was a fun time to be with family…one of the few times it happens now since we all have our own families and don’t live so close.  It was wonderful.

One of Avery's first ponytails

August:  At the beginning of August, we took the long drive back to Iowa again to stay with my family while Tim went on the Canadian fishing trip with his dad and siblings.  We had a lot of fun in DSM, and my Grandma Harriet was able to come out and spend a few days with us while we were there.  We did some shopping and relaxing and enjoyed the family and I really appreciated the help from my family while Tim was gone.  Tim wrote about his trip in a previous post.  We got back to Dayton on August 8 and started to settle into a routine for the first time since Micah was born.  We enjoyed what was left of the summer.  Avery loved playing outside in the water table again this year.  She loved ice cream and also discovered the deliciousness of ketchup.  She started talking this summer in full on sentences about things we didn’t even know she knew about.  She is truly a joy and her fun loving spirit is infectious.

Typical evening around the house

Here’s how we did on our Summer Bucket List:

First, a few trips:

  1. Yosemite with my fam
  2. 4th of July with Tim’s fam
  3. A week in DSM with my fam, while Tim is in Canada

Around our city:

  1. Listening to live music at our local outdoor mall…still might be time for this?
  2. Zoo
  3. Splash park
  4. Park
  5. Walk to local ice cream shop…Micah wasn’t really game for this one too often.
  6. Picnic (on our picnic table…not sure this counts:)
  7. Fly kite
  8. Running through sprinklers
  9. Attending a local festival (every city has one around here)…maybe next summer.
  10. S’mores over the fire pit
  11. Library
  12. Bubble maker

Personal goals:

  1. Start running again (and get back in shape/lose the baby weight)…half done, I guess I did “start”
  2. Sleep when I can??????
  3. Read a book…hahaha

Not too shabby considering how often we were here this summer, I suppose.  How did you do on your bucket list?

On purpose.

Since the arrival of Micah, the Hubs and I have struggled to get on a schedule.  Obviously, after the nugget was born, it was difficult…he’s not eating, sleeping, pooping on a schedule and we were pretty much reacting to his needs.  Also, we had a couple of trips to the ER and hospital so we were just kind of surviving…thankfully Grandma took over everything during that time.  Then we traveled…California, Iowa and Iowa in the first 3 months of his life, then another trip in early September while Tim was traveling.  All of that, as well as me not being great at keeping a schedule, made us feel a little rushed and like we can’t get much done. 

So, Tim and I were talking last night about how we feel like we are spinning our wheels a lot…we are going going going but not getting anything done.  We would both like to feel we are doing a good job with our family as well as eating healthy, working out and having a little bit of time for ourselves and family fun, of course.  The only conclusion we have come to is that we need to wake up earlier and at least one of us needs to workout in the am.  Usually, Micah wakes up once in the night (yes, he’s 4.5 months old and I have been Babywising, Baby Whispering, and Happiest Baby on the Blockin’ and nothing has gotten him to sleep all night, mmkay?) and sometimes twice and then wakes up for the day between 6:30 and 7 am.  Usually we hear him, roll over, look at the clock, pray that tomorrow he sleeps all night and get up to get him.  Well, folks, this has to stop.  Who knows when he’ll sleep all night?  He’s a {cute} little baby.  He doesn’t know what’s going on…I need to let it go and we decided to we need to start being grown ups and get out of bed and start the day on purpose regardless of when the Big Boy wakes up. 

So, this morning, at 6:30, both alarms (electronic and human) went off.  I got out of bed and went to get the cute one while Tim turned off the electronic.  I made coffee.  Tim went for a run.  I showered.  Tim got ready for work.  We both felt better and less rushed about our start to the day. 

In an effort to try to be more organized (never a strong suit), I am also going to try to start planning meals for the week and posting them on the blog on Mondays..Meal Planning Monday, if you will.  While I try to do this at the beginning of the week anyways, hopefully it will help to have it written down.  Any easy, healthy recipes?  I would love it if you would send me the recipe or the link to the recipe!  I don’t mind making meals, but I  love new ideas….I get stuck in the same old ruts a lot.

Do you start your day on purpose?

 

I almost lost my child at Target.

And no, it’s not the child you are thinking it is. 

The scene:  Target parking lot, after buying a few essential items…and yes, a pumpkin spice candle is something I consider essential for the fall…thankyouverymuch.  🙂

So there I was, getting ready to put my purchases in the back of the Ody (as in Odyssey…as a sidenote, check this out: www.odyclub.com  ).  And because I’m such a clever mom, I developed a system for getting the kids into the car in the most efficient way.  First, I put the groceries/bags in the back of the Ody.  Then I open the door to where Micah’s seat is and ask Avery very cleverly, “Do you want to climb in yourself, or do you want some help?” to which I know the answer will be “I wanna do it myself.”  See, I’m so clever that I can trick my two-year-old…another win for the parents.  This allows me to put her in on Micah’s side so she will walk over and climb into her own carseat while I put Micah in his carseat.  She’s trapped in the car and usually it works very well. 

Today, however, as I was helping Avery climb into the Ody, what do I see out the still open back door?  Micah rolling away in the cart.  The wind, which apparently was a lot stronger than I noticed, took him on a short spin down the parking lot.  Thankfully, a lady walking by ran over to stop the cart right before I got there.

Maybe I’m not as clever as I thought;)

 

 

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