Friday, August 31, 2012

Wet & Wild

Last Sunday, we promised Sydney a trip to the wildlife safari in the area. It was a very wet day, but we couldn't disappoint her, so we went. This was Collin's first time there and we had a great time! I was exhausted by the end of the drive-thru part because he was moving constantly.After that, we could only go to the indoor section of the walking/petting area, but that was fine. And we finished up with a picnic lunch, as usual, under the pavilion... the driest part of the day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

7 months

Collin turned seven months old on the 18th, and I'm sadly just getting around to the post. We've had A LOT going on these past few weeks, so I'll save all that excitement for the next post.

Collin is the sweetest seven month old I've ever known (or at least in a dead tie with his sister).

At seven months, Collin:

- is eating all sorts of food. Favorites include bananas, apricots, corn, sweet potatoes, apple cinnamon yogurt, applesauce, and a blend of mixed garden veggies that we buy.
- has started working on finger foods, and we use puffs and yogurt melts for that practice.
- wears all 9-month clothes.
- is SOOOO close to crawling, it's scary. His best buddy, Drew, just figured it out this week, so I think Collin is next in line. (it's amazing at their age, you can tell who they really like!).
- suddenly doesn't love bath time.
- has adjusted seamlessly to his mobile infant classroom (we love his teacher, Ms. AJ!).
- still thinks Sydney is hilarious and that she hung the moon.
- wakes up happy and full of giggles and smiles.
- sleeps from 7-6:30 during the week and from 7-8 on the weekends.
- loves to practice standing while holding our hands. He may just skip crawling!

It's impossible to imagine anything other than our one little girl and one little boy. We aren't sure how we got so lucky. We also aren't sure how in the world Collin has already passed the seven month mark. This stage is so much fun; I wish time would slow down just a bit.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grape Festival

Friday evening, we went to the 114th Tontitown Grape Festival. Tontitown is a neighboring community, and we knew Sydney would love the rides and we could all enjoy some majorly overpriced festival food for dinner. ($10 for a slice of pizza and a lemonade. Gasp.) We didn't leave until after 9:30, and for anyone who knows us, you know that we must have been high on life. Side note: This double jogger is one of the best purchases we've made as a family of four.

Sydney, despite her typical shyness with people, has no fear when it comes to rides. I really hope our kids will grow up to love rides as much as their parents do. By next year, she should be able to ride more things without a parent, and Collin will be able to participate. I look forward to when we can all go to amusement parks together and we aren't restricted by height requirements. :)

So, while Sydney was doing all of this....

Collin was doing this. He was the sweetest thing and just enjoyed being strolled around and watching all the activity go by until it was time to doze off.

We had no trouble getting them to sleep when we get home, since they looked like this when we pulled in the garage. :)

Surprisingly, there were no tears when we had to leave, which was the case at the end of our last festival experience. We had a great time and can't wait for the county fair at the end of the month!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bath Time x2

This week, we graduated to a new bath time routine --- both kids at once! It is highly efficient and quite hilarious to both kiddos. These pictures are from the first co-bathing event Tuesday evening. They pretty much played independently, interacting only a tiny bit. Collin prefers playing with shampoo bottles and splashing like a maniac, and Sydney plays with water in cups or her bath books.

I didn't think they were attached to the idea,but I learned differently when last night Randall gave Collin a bath while Sydney was finishing her dinner. This was NOT OKAY. When it was time for Sydney to get in the tub and Collin was being dressed for bed, she fell apart. It sounded something like "But, I want my Collie!!!!" (I call him Collie)  It was sweet and sad and surprising. So, we promptly undressed Collin and put him back in the tub with his sister. He resumed his crazy splashing and all was well.

I think this is definitely the new normal in our house!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I enjoy reading a lot of blogs, and I appreciate that women and families can use these outlets to voice their opinions. I don't normally go that route, but I'm going to (for just a minute) today.

Parents make their own decisions for their kids. That's one of the privileges of being a mommy or daddy. You get to decide what's best for your family. I am, frankly, sick and tired of hearing from parents who pat themselves on the back for — and condemn others for not — breastfeeding, co-sleeping, you name it. I've even lost sight of why some people make these choices. Is it so you can brag about it? In some cases, they seem miserable, but they would rather suffer through than admit that another direction may suit their child better. They beat themselves up over being directed by a physician to switch to formula, for example.

Guess what? I chose not to breastfeed. I actually chose not to. Many women try and can't do it, but I never tried. My doctor (a.k.a. the most awesome person in medicine) helped me through the judgement I faced when I was expecting Sydney. She reminded me that if I'm struggling and forcing myself to do something that isn't in my heart, we will both suffer. I finally found a way to ignore the negative speak and just do what I knew was best for us. And I never looked back. The minute she was given her first bottle by her daddy, I was at peace with the decision. I was relaxed, and I was happy... the perfect recipe for fulfilling mommyhood. And the best part is that I've been able to help several mothers who have struggled with this decision. I love that I can help in that way.

Now, onto co-sleeping. Both of our kids were sleeping in their rooms — and completely through the night — by 2.5 or 3 months old. How in the world could that be bad?! I have actually seen mothers write about how parents do not bond with their children as much if they move them into their own spaces too early or break them of middle-of-the-night feedings. Give. Me. A. Break. I feel very bonded with my kids, especially because we all wake up each day rested and ready for quality time together. I'll take that over "quality time" at 2 a.m. any day.

Lastly, I have happily had two epidurals and two c-sections. I don't think doctors are awful people if they suggest a Cesarean. I also don't believe any woman out there is walking around with a golden badge of honor because she opted to suffer through labor with no medicine or chose to go through days of labor instead of having a c-section. Our kids arrived all the same, and I have wonderful memories of mine getting here.

Randall and I do a lot of things right. We do things the ways that seem to work best for Sydney and Collin, the ones that really matter here. And other parents do a lot of things right. Maybe for one second, we could let each other do what we deem necessary to raise happy and healthy children and to enjoy parenthood along the way.

I hope my kids will look back and read this one day and see that they have the right to choose what's best for their families, and I will support whatever they choose as long as it's creating a happy and healthy environment for themselves and their children. If your house is full of love and giggles, I'm all in.

Speaking of love, here are two of mine!