Saturday, March 31, 2012

EVR: One Year Old!

March 31, 2012
Elizabeth Venice Rees, 1 year old
Height:  31 1/2 in. (95%+)
Weight:  23lb 13oz (90%)

Sweet little Lizzy turned one year old.  It's true:  children make time move at warp speed.  I can't believe it's been a whole year since I walked into the OR, hopped up on the table and she came into the world just minutes later.  Her cute little dimple, perfectly little head, rat-tail brown hair and round little face have turned into a beautiful little girl who gets cuter by the day.

  • Nicknames:  Lizzy, Sissy, Busy Lizzy, O-wiz-a-beff, Foo Foo, Punky Pie, Love Bug
  • She has serious teeth:  all four up front and on bottom, and four molars
  • She's a climber.  I had left in her in her highchair one morning and walked into the dining room.  I had been away from her for no longer than 15 seconds.  When I returned to the kitchen, she had managed to climb out of her highchair and up on to the counter!  
  • She loves the stairs.  She especially likes to climb on stairs that have a banister (as opposed to being surrounded by walls).  She can go up and down the stairs in seconds.
  • She still has a thing for toilets.  And it still grosses me out.
  • Thankfully, she's showing less interest in dog food.
  • Not walking yet.  She stands unassisted all the time.  Occasionally she'll take a step or two.  But she's just not interested in letting go and walking on her own.
  • She's the fastest crawling baby I have ever seen.  Ever. 
  • Her hair is rather thick.  And it's starting to take a mullet-esque shape.  Gotta get on that.
  • She still says "Uh oh" and "Mama," but that's about it.  She may be saying "up" sometimes when she wants to be picked up.
  • Lizzy is a rather stoic, serious baby, especially when meeting someone new.  She won't even crack a smile!  But if she knows you well, she is the smiliest, happiest baby girl.
  • She isn't super snuggly, but she does prefer to be held.  A lot.
  • The only food I've found she doesn't particularly care for is pears.  Granted, she'll still take a bite or two.  She will eat anything and everything else.  
  • Her cheeks are round.  Her arms and legs are squishy.  Her belly is soft.  But she really isn't your usual rolly baby.  She's just...solid.
  • She rips all bows out of her hair.
  • She tries to brush her hair when given a brush/comb, and brush her teeth with her toothbrush.  She's also been known to find shoes around the house and try to put them on her feet.
  • When riding in the car, Lizzy likes to hold her baby doll.  She hugs it and kisses it, and then usually throws it at some point during the drive.
  • Her back and belly are sure tickle spots.
  • She loves when D comes home. As soon as he does, it's like Lizzy turns into beauty queen and smiles and smiles and smiles the sweetest squinty-eyed-nose-scrunched grin.  
  • She's not afraid to get dirty.  She follows W all over the yard, through the grass and into the dirt.
  • She looooves her bottle.
  • W and Lizzy having squealing, spitting matches.  One will squeal.  The other will do it right back. And back and forth they go.  Same with spitting.  No, I don't really care for this game they play.  
  • When left to play on her own, she prefers to go around emptying baskets, drawers, boxes, etc., particularly the cupboard with the cutting boards, or the drawer with the bibs, or the shelf with the cookbooks.  
Oh Lizzy, you sweet, sweet girl.  I think I might blink and you'll suddenly be a teenager; you're growing up too fast!  I am so glad to be your mom.  I love your spunk.  I love your sweetness.  I love your go-and-get-it attitude.  I love that you curl up and bury your head in my neck before I put you to bed.  I love that you are willing to try anything.  I love that you feel safe with your brother when I am not near.  You are tough.  You are loving.  You are happy.  And I couldn't be more.
Love you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

W Birthday with Friends

After celebrating his birthday morning in Utah, we head back to St. Louis for more birthday celebrations.  I'm pretty sure a $20 Craigslist-find-of-a-bike and a new Spiderman fishing pole are probably the best welcome home birthday presents ever.  

Not to mention the pit stop Daddy made on the way home from his fishing trip to pick up some famous pie (never heard of it myself, but he's convinced it's famous) to stick some candles in for W to blow out...again.  And yes, the pie was actually good.  

Later that week, after the bazillion loads of laundry were done, W had a little birthday party with some friends.  Half of the kids were home sick with the flu (that plagued half of the metro-St. Louis area).  The other half brought their older siblings who were on their first day of spring break.  Clearly, I don't have school-aged children, which is why I was clueless as to when spring break actually began.

I digress.
For the months previous, anytime I asked W what kind of birthday party he wanted, his response was a "blue" party.  Hmm, ok.  So I turned it into a sort of St. Louis Blues hockey party.  The kids played the hockey rendition of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, appropriately named Pin the Puck on the Goalie.
They also colored some hockey-esque pictures, ate hockey game type food (hot dogs wrapped in foil, pretzels, "blue"berries and blue juice boxes"), and played hockey in the basement.  

In true toddler fashion, W had the obligatory birthday-boy meltdown (You know the one where the kid whose birthday it is completely falls apart?), but alas, he pulled it together in time to open presents, take pictures, and dump bubbles all over the floor.  Success!
Kids were sent home with bouncy balls, bubbles and Oreos (meant to resemble hockey pucks...a stretch?)  W was thrilled to have his "fwends" over to celebrate his special day.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

W is Three Years Old

Winston turned three years old!  Three seems so big.  So old.  I feel like I've joined the ranks of the grown up moms with "big kids."  He's a little person with an enormous personality and an even greater amount of energy.  He is still so sensitive and kind, yet rough and tough and seemingly indestructible.  

Here are some more things I love about this boy and funny one-liners:  
  • He's still obsessive about baseball.  Anything red is automatically associated with baseball.  I thought his baseball athletics were normal -- he can swing, hit, catch alarmingly well -- but as I've watched other kids his age and even older, Winston has some skill.  Really.  
  • (using his Buzz Lightyear straw) "Eyes.  Ears.  Listen to your heart.  Open your mouth.  I dot-cor (doctor)!"  12.12.11
  • "Is dat po-fec?" (Is that perfect?)
  • "No pwob-wem.  No woo-wee."  (No problem.  No worry.)
  • He has this imaginary friend(s) whom he calls his "bwudders," like brothers.  Sometimes his bwudders have a name or names.  Sometimes they're just bwudders.  But his bwudders like to play baseball and hockey and basketball.  Sometimes Winston has to remind them to only play hockey downstairs.  
  • He's been on a dragon kick ever since seeing the Magic Flute at the St. Louis Symphony.  In this rendition, the dragon dies, which was a little traumatic for Winston.  But his greatest make-believe always includes some sort of dragon.  
  • During breakfast one morning:  "Mommy, you a pwincess.  Sissy a widdle pwincess.  And I...a dwagon!!!"
  • Sometimes when I ask him to do something, like brush his teeth, his response:  "OK, Captain Mommy!"  No idea where he got that one.
  • He wakes up Mon-Friday around 6:50 when he hears D getting ready for the day.  Thankfully, D gets him a sippy of milk and they hang out together for D leaves.  
  • W still loves his blue bike.  He can ride it all over with great balance and coordination.  Now, he can't seem to figure out how to steer with a steering wheel (like on a motorized car or push cart), but he can steer a bike.  Go figure!
  • While trying to get out of the door one morning, I asked him (for probably the 10,000th time) to put his shoes on, to which he replied, "Ugh!  My mommy tewibble."  ("My mommy terrible.")  I think he was surprised by my reaction.  I told him he hurt my feelings.  He's only said it once or twice since.  
  • He's currently very interested in using the camera and taking pictures.  
  • He has the world's best giggle and a million tickle spots to coax it from. 
  • He can recite several books verbatim:  Babies, No Room on the Broom, If I Built a Car, The Big Hungry Bear
  • "I wanna go on a mission.  A blue mission."  
  • W loves to play with friends.   Having friends come over excites him more than anything else.  
  • He sings "I Love to See the Temple" and most of "I am a Child of God."  
  • At home, he never seems to be fully dressed.  Either the shirt with no pants, or pants with no shirt.  I think he prefers it that way.  
  • He loves to "fix" things and insists on getting his tools out if anything needs repair.  
  • Lately, anytime you speak to him, he automatically asks, "What?" very sharply.  
  • Everything must be done, "All by my self!"  This phrase my drive me (his mother) to drink.  But I suppose I do see the value in his independence.  
  • He prefers to play alongside me and/or his sister rather than play by himself.
  • One morning W went out to the garage and I could hear him saying, "Ugh, David.  (dramatic sigh) "Aww...Day-vid!"  (another dramatic, exasperated sigh) "Day-vid!"  I had no idea what he was so worked up about, but now I know what I sound like when I'm frustrated with my husband.
  • Likes to say prayers.
  • Often takes handfuls of toys to bed with him.
  • Many nights I will go into his room before I go to bed only to find him asleep with books sprawled out all over him.  W is a bookworm!
  • Mealtime can be a battle.  He is still as finicky as ever when it comes to eating...anything.  I think he would prefer an IV milk drip so he never has to eat again.

 A few months ago when my mom was in town, I had had a particularly challenging day with W.  My mom reminded me that Winston is a spirited boy and I would do well not to quash that spirit, which can be one of his greatest strengths and finest qualities.  Good advice.

  1. Favorite color:  blue
  2. Favorite toy:  choo choo trains
  3. Favorite fruit:  strawberry and 'nanas
  4. Favorite show:  Caillou
  5. Favorite food:  hot dogs
  6. Favorite outfit:  baseball shirt
  7. Favorite game:  baseball
  8. Favorite snack:  pretzels
  9. Favorite animal:  elephant
  10. Favorite song:  ABCs
  11. Favorite book:  dragons
  12. Best friend:  Buzz Lightyear...and Josie (Larson) and Mason (Arch)
  13. Favorite cereal:  ?
  14. Favorite thing to do outside:  baseball
  15. Favorite drink:  milk
  16. Favorite holiday:  ?
  17. Take to bed:  Buzz and blanket
  18. Favorite breakfast:  waffles
  19. Birthday dinner:  pretzels
  20. When I grow up:  big, big, big man

Thursday, March 22, 2012

W's First Time Skiing

 {photo by Eric}

Being in Utah during the month of March, how could we not take advantage of some skiing?  Especially when it was 60+ degrees outside, sunny, blue sky...and pretty much perfect!  I figured there was no better time to teach W to ski than in these kinds of conditions, so we headed up for a Friday and Saturday of skiing.  Winston skied with his cousin "Nonnie" (Maria) and he had a ball.  With help from our small army of my mom, my sisters, brothers-in-law and brother, W learned how to ski quite well.  I was pleasantly surprised.  He had no qualms about the lift, especially because it meant Megan would offer some sweets on the way up.  After a couple of runs, he mastered the "pizza" quite well.  And every time we reached the bottom of the hill, W would shout, "I won the game!"  He was so proud, as was I.  

{photo by Meg}
{photo by Meg}
He's kind of obsessive about helmets, and he instantly wanted to ski if it meant he got to wear one.  

After Winston and Maria were worn out from skiing the first day, I took the two of them up on the gondola.  It was just a round-trip, but they loved playing around and looking at everything from up so high.  They were hysterical, too.  We snacked on Starbursts and crackers.  They joked about seeing kitty cats and dinosaurs on the slopes.  They were a hoot.

When the little ones weren't skiing with us, I got to ski with my best ski partner (my mom!) and the rest of my family.  It was so, so much fun.  Oh, how I have missed it!  I haven't skied in a few years because of being pregnant and/or not being in Utah during the winter months.  But just like riding a bike, it came right back to me.  The beautiful days we skied left my face a little sunburned and my legs a little achy, but I couldn't have asked for better conditions or company.  


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

W Birthday Party -- Utah

The day we arrived in Utah was my little sister Liz's birthday.  (Happy birthday Liz-agna!)  We decided to celebrate her and Winston's birthdays right off the bat.  We headed to Famous Dave's for some barbecue, then headed home for presents, cake and ice cream.  W was delighted to start his birthday festivities.  Unwrapping gifts was great, but it was the anticipation of blowing out candles that made him giddy.  He could hardly control himself.    

My sweet grandma came along for the birthday festivities.  She's a hoot!  My niece Maria was a little put off by Winston getting all of the presents, but my grandma kept slipping her candy again and again.  Thank goodness for easily distracted three-year-olds.  

Thanks, Liz, for sharing your birthday party with the W.  You made his year.  

For Winston's actual birthday, we only had a few hours in the morning before we had to catch our flight back to St. Louis.  My dad had been up early that morning and headed to the store to pick up some donuts special for Winston's birthday breakfast.  When offered to choose from the variety of donuts my dad had chosen, W opted for the near neon blue iced donut.  Of course!  He was in heaven!  We sang to him and he gladly blew out candles again.  He was happy as can be.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo Series: Spring is coming and it's already hot

We just got back from Utah where we had unbelievable weather for skiing and playing, only to come back to St. Louis with even warmer weather!  My house looks like a tornado hit because we've been spending all of our time outside just soaking it all in.  
The spring colors were too good to not whip out the camera for a second and capture spring awakening with the kiddies.

 {she's intense when she crawls}