Monday, October 24, 2011

New tricks for My Littlest Love

Dawson is growing and changing so much each day. We have been having the best time with him! I took him to his one year appointment. He is now 31.3 inches long (83%), 25lb 9oz (81%) and his head is 47cm (63%). I don't believe the head for a minute. I think she measured wrong. The kid has a massive cranium! Here they are passing time with our paper rocks and tractors!
Recently, he learned to stack blocks. He is very determined. I love it. He will get two stacked and them go for a third and often accidentally knock them down. He usually says "boom!"
His other new trick is kicking a ball. He loves balls as most of you know so kicking them is extra fun. He loves it!
Oh and here he is eating his first s'more. Yum! Gotta love that little dirty face!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Little Alone Time

with Dawson! Last night, Ollie went to stay overnight with Nana. I always miss him when he leaves to spend time with her but it is really nice to give Dawson some individual attention. Ollie had 25 months of just me. Dawson had 0. So, this morning, I decided that we would have a little fun.

Typically, Dawson and I build towers and knock them down, read books, play "gotcha" or take rides in the laundry basket, but last night I was looking back at old blog posts and saw some

activities that I had done with Ollie. When I did these the first time, I did them on separate occasions but you live and you learn! So we did them back to back!

I created some baby safe paint by mixing water and flour. I added food coloring which Dawson thought was fascinating. I gave him a large sheet of paper and he painted it, my floor and himself to his heart's content. he licked and smelled it and overall just had a great time!
When he seemed to become bored with that, I filled the sink with water and bubbles and threw some bubbles on the floor. He grabbed them and laughed. He threw them and yes tried to eat them. Then, he slid back over to the paint and had more fun with that. We had a great time! When he became bored, it was off to the tub!

We had such a great time together. It is fun to just focus on him a little bit!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh darn! They used up my yarn.

Yarn. When you think of it, I am sure you think, "oh. My kids love yarn. It is their favorite toy."What? You don't? Yeah. Me either. Before last week. I left a skein of yarn lying on the desk in the living room. It was there from making our leaf collection. Ollie pulled on the strand hanging from the skein and he just kept pulling and pulling. I had to resist my desire to say, "Stop Ollie! You are wasting it." Wasting what? A $2 skein of yarn that is here for craft projects. Come on Autumn! Live a little. So I let him pull.

He pulled and he pulled. He never got tired of it. He pulled and he walked. He walked through the kitchen. Through the hall bath. Through the hall,
and back into the living room. And Dawson followed him and pulled too. Before I knew it, they had walked around the house three times. Dawson tugged and laughed. Ollie shouted, "Look mom!"

And then Ollie got out his scissors. (Sigh) Just let it go Autumn. It'll be ok. Just because you didn't plan to be messy, doesn't mean you can't be. So, Ollie cut. Fine motor skill development, right? Ollie cut and Dawson threw
it. And Ollie cut and cut. And soon it was in piles all over the house. So, what does a good mama do at this point? Well, she grabs some pans and utensils. She throws in the yarn and her kids cook noodles.
They laughed and they played. They stirred and whisked and they threw noodles. They were enthralled with yarn for an HOUR.

We have kept this marvelous stuff called yarn. It is in the playroom. I have been attacked by jellyfish, fed noodles and hissed at by snakes. Yarn. Who'da thunk?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One year ago today!

Flying head first down the slide. Climbing everything in sight. Screaming and holding on for dear life anytime someone tries to take something out of his sweet little hands. Running down the hall after his brother. Roaring and tackling his dad. Does this sound like a whimpy white boy? That's what the nurses said about him in the NICU! Apparently, white boys are said to have, "whimpy white boy syndrome" because they have the highest likelihood of issues when born early.

One year ago today, I brought my sweet Dawson home from the hospital
after 16 long days in the NICU. We were definitely part of the "lucky" group in there. Many who had been there for months with no end in sight and many others who left too quickly without a baby to take home.

I feel like it's a another birthday for Dawson. This day was far more joyful and less scary than his actual birthday. You wrap so much up in that day. You prepare for it. You fantasize about howwonderful it will be and sometimes it doesn't go as you had planned. I'm thankful for a God who
already knew how it would turn out. He lined every thing up just so. He made sure we had the support we needed.

Dawson is an amazing little boy. When we took him home a year ago, he was so thin and frail. I was petrified and went to a breastfeeding support group once a week just to weigh him. haha. It didn't take long for Dawson to grow leaps and bounds into my sweet little chubber that he is today. I swear each day he gets cuter. I am starting to see his personality a bit more clearly each day. He is bold and headstrong. He is a risk taker and is
tough. I am thankful for a wonderful year with him. I think it really is sweeter after experiencing those days without him here.

You can see his coming home blog here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A few planned activities

Here are a few planned activities. I am a little under the weather so I won't give long explanations. But here are a few pics of what we've been up to!

This is a picture of a face. You can't really see it. We talked about our senses. Ollie followed directions by coloring different parts certain colors. He has really been into the human body and enjoyed this!

This really isn't planned but my boys really love to make music. They especially love drums so I often get to listen to them make a beat on my pots!

Ollie and I made a family tree. Each apple had the name of a family member. We did this a few days before the death of my Grandpa so he is on there. Touches my heart.

Ollie and I baked Dawson's cake together. I even let him mix the eggs with his hands. Ew I know. I am not very particular but I typically freak about him touching raw egg. We were just diligent hand washers.
Here is another body activity. Ollie actually cut him out even! I am so proud. He glued the parts in the correct place and we labeled the colors of clothing and what each part was.

Here is Ollie getting ready to be traced. We made a life size of his body. We spent most of our time talking about the organs. I drew the brain, heart, lungs, and stomach. We also talked about blood vessels. Ollie really loved it. I took him to the science center to the Body Worlds Vital exhibit with the plastified people. He was interested for a very short period of time. He did later tell Bob about the heart, brain and testicles. Of course, he had to remember those. Geez.

Learning Unscripted

Sometimes learning comes from just experiencing. It doesn't take pre-cut shapes, or books. It doesn't take carefully planned lessons or glitter! It just takes sitting back and letting your child experience. I often tell myself (and my husband) that we do not need to control their play. Just because they stop the balls half way down castle marbleworks or use a hat for a bucket does not make it wrong. Sometimes as parents we want to jump in a little too fast. He CAN use that much glitter or mix all the paint together. He can dump the megablocks in a pile a kick at them to hear the sound. These are all learning experiences.

Fall has added s0me new delights and new encounters :the crunching of leaves under our feet or the smashing of them in our hands, the feel of the leaves as they come down on us after we toss a bunch in the air or the feel of them over our bodies as we crawl through them, watching them scatter as we kick them or hit a pile with sticks. Our world is so full of amazing things that our Creator put here for us to experience. I love watching my kids in awe of the things that we have begun to take for granted. I have decided that God created the dinosaurs for no more than to spark our curiosity and enjoyment. And believe me we have had HOURS of enjoyment! Fall is just another of gift! Here are a few pictures from a recent afternoon of play. They are so precious!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Bouncing Bash!

Dawson had his very first birthday party on Saturday and I have to say it was a ball! His favorite thing in the world (other than his mother) is balls! So I made sure he had a round party. I had Bob design the invitation. I am very happy with how they turned out. I then made a sign to match it to hang at the party. Decorations were few but I did include balls in a bowl and balloons. Dawson also had on his special birthday shirt. Isn't he

Activities included a "ball pit" in our kiddie pool, popcorn with the parachute and painting with balls. I have done the painting with balls activity before. It was not, however, with so many kiddos. Some of the kids loved to throw the balls covered in paint and others hated it and ran in fear! Ha! The parachute got a bit crazy. Many kids tugging and yelling but I think they all enjoyed it. I ordered some nicer balls off of oriental trading. The kids each got to take one of the balls home.

We served an array of round foods. I made homemade meatballs. I decided to skip and sauces so
that people could choose what they'd like. I set out ketchup, BBQ sauce, marina, and honey mustard. They were a hit! I also made a Fresh mozzarella ball salad, and a melon ball salad. I cut carrots
and cucumbers the round way. We also had rolls.

Instead of a cake, I decided to make cake pops. They were super cute but a ginormous pain in my rear. I will say they are delicious. I may make them again although probably not such a large quantity. I made some funfetti with vanilla coating and some chocolate on chocolate. I say chocolate all the way. Dawson loved it!

All in all, I thought his party was simply adorable. He enjoyed watching the other kids open his presents. He loved the food and the family and the fun!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grandpa Ron

Two weeks ago now, my Grandpa Ron passed away. It was very unexpected and caught me by complete surprise. I was left wishing I had had more conversations with him about his life. I was left wishing I had told him I loved him more and had hugged him tighter the last time I saw him.
My fondest memories of my Grandfather occurred when I was quite a bit younger. He was very active and loved to hike and bike. My Dad and my grandpa used to take my sister and I on bike rides. Long ones! We would ride to Fox Lake and see Grandpa's knife shop and go to the Lake. Both he and my dad really loved nature. We were constantly learning about wildlife. Finding cocoons and owl pellets was the highlight of any of our trips!

My other favorite memories were when we got to go with Grandpa Christmas shopping. Every year he took my sister and I shopping and let us spend a set amount of money on anything we wanted. It was so much fun. He took genuine interest in the things we were interested in. He helped us to figure out if we had the money to buy certain things. We talked and laughed and just had a great time. Over the years, it evolved from toy stores to clothes stores. I wish I could go back and do all those trips all over again.
I think the magnitude of losing my Grandpa is greater than losing other Grandparents along the way. I've suddenly become so much more aware of what losing a parent could mean. I love my parents so much and the thought of being on this earth without them is hard. I cant begin to imagine how my dad must be feeling. I know he must miss him. I know he must think about all the memories and wish them back. I am sure he thinks about all the things he wishes he'd said: I know I do. I also know that in light of this I want to tell my parents all the things I love about them. I want to thank them for being loving parents who made sure we always had what we need. I want to thank them for all the plays, choir concerts and volleyball games they brought me to. I want to thank them for the encouragement they gave, the private voice lessons they paid for, the places they drove me. I want to hug my dad and tell him it's ok. Losing a loved one is so very hard.