Good Advice

Filed under: funny,photos,Sierra — by Lauren on January 8th, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

Yesterday, Sierra was holding two dinosaur toys – an ankylosaurus and a velociraptor.  She told me, “This one can’t push the cart because he only has legs, but this one can do it with his arms.”  Thank goodness she cleared that up for me.  Now I am all set the next time I run out to pick up some groceries with some extinct prehistoric reptiles in tow.

Winter Break 2010

Filed under: family,friends,photos — by Lauren on @ 12:18 pm

The end of December 2010 was crammed with chaos and fun.  Despite each of the girls coming down with a bad cold and ear infection, we still managed to enjoy Christmas Eve at my uncle’s house, a blizzard, a few playdates, playing in the snow, and a rocking New Year’s Eve at our house with friends:

Christmas Eve:

The blizzard of December 2010:

Some of my friends from high school brought their children over for a playdate:

Playing in the snow on December 31st:

New Year’s Eve with the Wahl family:


Silly girls

Filed under: funny,photos — by Lauren on January 7th, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

Anya called me into the playroom to tell me that she was the same as her drawing.  This is what I found when I got there:

(This was toward the end of December)

Sierra is 2, and then some

Filed under: Sierra — by Lauren on @ 9:42 pm

Sweet Sierra Claire turned 2 years old on December 6, 2010.  We celebrated her birthday with an Elmo-themed party at our house, complete with a visit from a 6’2″ Elmo himself (Does anyone know where Lex was during that time?  Hmmmm).  We continued celebrating with a family dinner at Friendly’s and a little party at her class at Anya’s school.

Oh, Sierra, where to begin?  She is such a perfect mix of amazingly sweet and frustratingly stubborn, walking that fine line between wanting to be a big girl and not wanting to grow up too fast.  At home, it seems like she never stops talking and singing, and she’s constantly asking “Why?” about everything.  EVERYTHING.  Her favorite things to play with are little dolls (like the Little People figures), all things pretend play (food, make-up, and doctor’s kits are on the top of her list), and dinosaurs (courtesy of Hannukah, she now has a big collection of dinosaur toys and she even sleeps with a plush stegosaurus and triceratops).  She loves Dora, Diego, Team Umizoomi, and the Fresh Beat Band.  Much like her big sister, she LOVES books. You could actually start many sentences describing Sierra with “much like her big sister” because as she always has, Sierra idolizes Anya and wants to be just like her.  She loves that she gets to drink out of a big girl cup JUST LIKE ANYA, climb into her booster all by herself JUST LIKE ANYA, and sleep in a big girl bed and wear big girl underwear JUST LIKE ANYA (more on that below!).  She wants to be able to walk up and down the stairs and get into her car seat by herself JUST LIKE ANYA.  Do you sense a theme here?

Sierra rocking out to the Fresh Beat Band:

There have been some big changes for our (getting) big(ger) girl recently.  We moved her out of her crib and to her big girl bed in her big girl room a few weeks before her birthday.  I was worried that the transition wasn’t going to go well since the first day we were ready to try a nap in there, she changed her mind at the last minute and insisted she wanted to sleep in her crib, but then she happily napped in her bed for the next two days, declared she wanted to sleep in there at night, and that was that.  The first few days she wasn’t thrilled when her bed time routine was over and it was time for Mommy or Daddy to leave, but since then it’s been a dream.  She goes to sleep around 8 pm and generally sleeps until 7:30 am most mornings.  Remember that baby who was waking up 2-5 times a night to nurse?  Such a thing of the past.

In even bigger news, the weekend after her birthday, we decided to spend the weekend at home and attempt cold turkey potty training, and Sierra did a textbook perfect job.  The first morning she had a lot of accidents, then a little before nap time she told Lex she had to go to the bathroom and got there on time, and with just a few mishaps here and there since then, she’s been wearing underwear whenever she’s awake.  She wore a pull-up over her underwear when we left the house for the first few weeks, but now she wears just her Dora or Princess underwear out of the house, too.  We’re so proud of her, and she is equally proud of herself.  She even stays dry through her naps or overnight some of the time, although we will likely continue to use diapers for sleeping for several more months.

Sierra had her well check in the middle of December.  She was 33 1/4 inches and 25 lbs, 7.5 oz.  Apparently, she’s a shorty (I wonder who she got that from…), and she still has tiny feet – she just moved to a size 5 right around her birthday.  The doctor declared her very healthy and on target or ahead in all areas.  Taking Sierra to the doctor is a very different experience from taking Anya these days.  While Anya gets very nervous, cries, and sometimes is less than cooperative, Sierra almost thinks it is fun.  She doesn’t even cry for shots.  Both the girls got their follow-up flu shots in November, and knowing how it was going to go, I had Sierra go first.  By the time she noticed what was happening, she was already getting her pink bandaid (and couldn’t have been more excited about that).  Then it was Anya’s turn… oh boy.  I think Sierra summed it up nicely when she told her hysterical sister, “Look at me, Anya, I not ‘creem’-ing!” The only tears we get from Sierra at the doctor are if she’s told she has to wait to eat her lollipop.

Much like her big sister (there it is again), I think Sierra is going to be a great big sister.  I wasn’t sure if Sierra was truly going to understand what was going to happen at first, but she does seem to get it now.  She loves to cuddle with and kiss my belly, and talk and sing to her baby brother.  She tells me that he has to stay in there until March because he’s still “gwowing” and that he’s going to be so little when he comes out.  She says she will give him kisses and hold him on the couch, but she won’t drop him.  When I put her to bed, she doesn’t want to cuddle with me, she wants me to lift up my shirt so she can talk to baby brother, and she just loves if he “boops” her hand.  It will be interesting to see how she’ll react when he actually gets here, though.  She’s very possessive of her mommy.

Sierra is going to start preschool at the end of the month – just two mornings a week – so that she’ll have some regular playtime with friends once the baby gets here and I can’t take her to her two Mommy-and-Me classes anymore.  She has very mixed feelings about it.  Sometimes she tells me she’s excited to go to big girl school JUST LIKE ANYA, and then other times she tells me that she only wants me to stay with her.  I think there will be some tears in the beginning, but I also think she’s going to love it.  I can’t believe she’s already big enough to go to school, though.  She’s still my baby, right?

Hannukah 2010

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on @ 8:33 pm

Hannukah was lovely this year.  The girls received so many nice gifts, Lex got his much coveted TredDesk (a combined birthday, Hannukah, Father’s Day, etc. gift from everyone), and I got, among other things, a new Flip camera.

Eating some latkes:

“Lighting” Anya’s menorah:

Lighting the real menorah:

What Anya made for us in school:

The girls in their new jackets:

Sierra opening a present:

Apparently Anya thought she needed some help:

Little People Hannukah set:

Anya at her Hannukah party at school:

Sisterly hugs:

Our menorahs lit on the last night:


Cruising

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on @ 4:43 pm

We made a somewhat last minute decision to go on one more family vacation before the baby is born, since we don’t anticipate we will be traveling much for the next two years.  We decided that going on a cruise would be the best option for our family and found a great deal through Carnival, and so in the beginning of November we headed down to Florida with my mom and my sister Samantha, met up with my grandmother, and headed out on a 7 Day Western Caribbean cruise.  It was a fantastic vacation, and everyone had an amazing time.  You can see a full album of pictures here, but check out some of the highlights:

The rainbow that wished us “bon voyage” as we left the port of Miami:

Checking out one of the towel animals that appeared nightly in our room:

The girls dressed up for the first formal night:

Anya at Royal Palms beach in Grand Cayman:

Sierra, exhausted from a day at the beach:

Lex and I were picked to participate in the Marriage Game one night:

Our boat, the Carnival Valor:

Anya and Great-Grandma Shirley, waiting for our excursion to start in Isla Roatan:

Lex and Sierra at the beach on Maya Key, Isla Roatan:

Dressed up on the second formal night:

The girls loved the glass elevators:

Cozumel, Mexico – we spent the day at Playa Mia:

Having a relaxing morning in our room:

If there was a stage and music to go with it, the girls were ready to dance:

What’s the best kind of buffet?  A CHOCOLATE buffet:

No child left behind:

Halloween 2010

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on January 6th, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

Some pictures to enjoy:

Pumpkin picking with Anya’s class:

Family pumpkin picking:


Trick-or-treating at the Municipal Center with a friend:

Pumpkin carving and Halloween baking:


The princess and the poodle:


Trick-or-treating:


Baby Boy Friedman

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on @ 10:23 pm

Yes, that’s right, we are officially expecting a baby boy (in only two more calendar months, no less)!  We had our Level II scan back on October 19th.  The baby looked perfect, with everything exactly where it should be, measuring right on target, and some long feet.  The technician said she likes to take all the pictures she needs first and then goes back to show the parents everything, but about 5 seconds into the scan she said she had to show us the image because she didn’t know if she’d get as clear of a shot later.  Definitely a boy!  She basically said, “Well, there are no guarantees with ultrasounds, but if you’re having a girl, you have a problem because she’s got a penis.”

Little feet:

Profile shots:

It’s a boy:


This pregnancy has been pretty routine so far.  Currently, I’m seeing the OB every two weeks, I’ve gained 25 lbs, I’m measuring right on track, and the baby’s heartbeat is nice and strong.  He’s a little maniac in there; so strong and often bordering on violent.  Both of the girls get a huge kick out of feeling him “boop” their hand (Sierra’s words).   It feels like he must have 8 legs or something like that. I just don’t see how he can kick me in so many places at one time.  I did fail the 1 hour glucose tolerance test again, and I’m actually writing this while sitting in the waiting room of the lab during the 3 hour test (Oh, how I hope I pass).  I’ve been finding myself extremely thirsty recently during this pregnancy, which is not a symptom I recall when I was pregnant with the girls.  We’re starting to work on getting things ready at home for Baby Boy, but it’s probably time we pick up the pace a bit.  That first trimester went so slowly, but the rest of the pregnancy has flown by.  He’s going to be here really soon!

Anya is 4, and more

Filed under: Anya — by Lauren on @ 9:19 pm

Adorable Anya Haley turned 4 years old on October 19, 2010.  We celebrated her birthday with a princess-themed party at our house, with Princess Belle in attendance.  Anya had a wonderful time.  We also celebrated her birthday with family and at school.

At 4 years old, Anya continues to amaze and challenge us every day.  She is so bright, so funny, so passionate about everything both good and bad – I am so lucky to be her mom.  She loves school and learning anything she can, and has gotten quite good at writing her letters since school began in September.  Anya adores princesses, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, and anything pretty (according to her), but she still loves Dora, Diego, and of course, books.  Her favorite color changes often, which is amusing to me.  It’s currently yellow.

Anya is an amazing big sister to Sierra.  That’s not to say they don’t have their fair share of arguments, but they play together so nicely the majority of the time, and there is nothing like listening to them make each other crack up and giggle.  I nearly burst into pregnant, hormonal tears when Anya, completely out of the blue, said to me, “Mommy, Sierra isn’t just my sister.  She’s also my friend.”

At Anya’s well-check, she weighed 38 lbs and was 39 3/4 inches.  We voiced our continued concern about some of Anya’s motor skills, specifically her difficulty jumping, to the pediatrician, and this time after having her try to jump for him, he felt that we should take her to be evaluated by a physical therapist.  The only other area of concern during her exam was that she didn’t pass the vision screening, and it was suggested we take her to an eye doctor for a full exam.  Everything else was wonderful (well, other than Anya’s fear of doctors and shots making some of that appointment a screaming struggle).

So, we took Anya for an evaluation with a pediatric physical therapist at the local hospital’s rehabilitation center, and the therapist found that her strength and balance on her right side, particularly when her hip is involved, was notably weak.  Her abdominal strength was also weaker than was to be expected for her age and she was fatiguing quickly, turning out her leg to compensate.  She was leading with her left leg for almost all gross motor tasks involving her legs.  She started going to physical therapy twice a week in the middle of November, and since then we have seen incredible improvement, enough that in the middle of December she was reduced to going once a week instead of twice.  Her therapist, Angela, is fabulous and so creative.  Even though Anya is completely aware of why she goes to physical therapy, she has no idea she’s actually “exercising” while she’s there – to her, it must seem like one big session of fun where she gets to climb, bounce on balls, ride on scooters, and run through obstacle courses.  It’s such a good time that Sierra loves going there, too.  Anya now can jump forwards and backwards with two feet, maintain balance on her right leg for longer periods of time, climb up a step with her right leg without turning out her hip…  It’s really exciting for us to see.  I think she will continue for at least another month, but she may be discharged from physical therapy altogether very soon after that.

The need for a vision exam came as a big surprise to me, though it probably shouldn’t have, given the history of early vision problems in both my and Lex’s families.  It seemed to me that maybe Anya wasn’t being fully cooperative when the nurse wanted her to read the eye chart at the pediatrician, but it was still strongly recommended that we take her to have her eyes checked just in case.  Well, it turned out Anya really needed glasses.

Her prescription is stronger than mine.  The doctor said she’s technically farsighted, but according to the testing she couldn’t see particularly well up close or far away.  We picked up her new purple glasses in the middle of November.  The first week she had a hard time adjusting to wearing them full-time; she needed to be reminded frequently to look through them instead of over or under them.  The second week, we stopped having her wear them full-time and tried introducing them more gradually.  She’s doing much better now, although she had a follow-up appointment with the doctor again yesterday and she wants to change Anya’s prescription slightly.

I love my girl.  LOVE HER!

Blogging

Filed under: thoughts — by Lauren on @ 2:34 pm

It’s been many, many weeks since I have blogged.  The last post was written in October about Sierra’s 21 month birthday in September.  It is now January.  Sigh.  I feel some guilt about my ever-increasing slacking.  When I was pregnant with Anya, I posted practically every time she kicked, and then when she was born, every new thing she did went on the blog.  When I was pregnant with Sierra, I posted every now and then, covered most of her big milestones as an infant, but as she got older I took more of a summary approach.  Now I’ve been neglecting both girls on the blog, not to mention this pregnancy.  I have no excuse other than I have been so busy living life that I haven’t been taking the time to document it.  I want to say I’m going to do a better job in 2011, but will I?  The new year is going to bring even more excitement and busy-ness/chaos into our lives – most notably when our third child is born – and though I want to be able to have a place to come relive all of those wonderful moments, I just don’t know that I will take the time to write about them.  To my dear children who many read this blog one day and want to know where all the posts went:  Please know that it was because I picked enjoying the time with you over writing about it… and because I was TOO FREAKING TIRED at night to blog!

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