Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Spoiled

My boys are definitely spoiled, but not by me. They are lucky enough to have grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles that spoil them.  I was just thinking the other day when I opened a package that was sent to the boys that I used to do this for Emily and Graysen.

My Aunt Diane, or as John calls her, Diant, was the culprit this time.  She told me to expect a package or two in the mail and I could give it to them whenever I felt it was the right time.  About a week later we got the first package but I was also expecting something else, so without thinking I opened the box.  I got a flap of the box opened and saw part of Thomas the train's face so I quickly shut the box, but it was too late.
"Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, is that for me? Oh thank you Mommy, is it my birthday again?"  I couldn't resist, I had to give it to him.
"No, it isn't your birthday.  This is from Aunt Diane, Uncle Tim, Jimmy and Ericka."  John tore into the box and held the Thomas tent inside its own box for about 15 minutes, aren't kids funny?
"Is it your birthday, Mommy?"
"No, Aunt Diane sent it just because she wanted to"
"Oh Mommy, I love 'just because' presents. (I'm not making this up, he actually said this) Thank you, thank you, thank you, Diant."

He spent the next several hours curled up in his new Thomas tent.

Gus really enjoyed the box.

A couple of days ago we got Gus' package with a musical Octopus.  His reaction was a little more subtle, but I'm sure he likes it just as much.

John liked the octopus too.

Gus seems to be OK with John playing with his toys...for now.

Thank you Great Aunt Diane, Great Uncle Tim, Jimmy and Ericka!!!  They love their new toys.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Tales of John

This weekend we went to Pueblo, Colorado for a PALS meeting.  I can never remember was PALS stands for so I had to look it up-Post-seminary Applied Learning and Support.  Pretty much, it is a group of people that get together, families in tow, and spend a couple of days doing Bible studies and talking about church life.

While John was a bit of a pistol, he managed to do a few funny/cute things.

1.  We went to the hotel first to check-in and John badly wanted to get out of his car seat so I took him in with me.  We got to the front desk where there were two women standing behind the counter.  One of the ladies asked my name to which John replied, "Hello ladies, my name is John William Fiene and I'm (hums a bit of the Superman theme song and then sings) Superman."  Of course these ladies thought he was just the cutest thing and while I somehow managed to check into my room, I'm not sure they ever even looked at me again.  John had all of the attention.  I think he takes after his Grandpa Fiene.

He managed to be a complete pill for the rest of the afternoon and early evening.

2.  When the church members began to serve dinner, John, who had been asking for chocolate for about three hours, was eager to eat.  He ate about three bites of spaghetti then asked for chocolate.  I told him he needed to finish his spaghetti first and he said, "OK, Mommy, I'll be right back."  He went into the kitchen and found a man that had that 'I'll give you anything you want' grandpa look and asked him for chocolate.  The poor unsuspecting man had no idea that this was a trap and said "You want chocolate, huh?"  And John quickly responded "Oh, yes, yes, thank you, thank you".  Then came back to me and said that he, pointing to the nice man, said John could have chocolate now.  We spent the next few minutes talking about what he would get next time he tried that little trick :)

3.  After dinner the men stayed at the church for more talk and everyone else went back to the hotel to put the kids to bed.  I had my hands full with diaper bags, camera bags, kids, keys, etc...  A very nice couple had mercy on me and held the door open for me and John and then John, of course, introduced himself.  Did I mention that John has yet to meet a stranger?  The couple rode the elevator up with us and happened to be staying on our floor and, in that short elevator ride, John had managed to ask this couple 5 million questions, all of which they were happy to answer...thankfully.  When we passed by their door, the man said "Goodnight John, it was nice to meet you." John looked confused and then said "Nice to meet you, do you want to come to our room?"  The man laughed and said he needed to sleep in his own room, but John wouldn't give up.  "Do you want to come in my room and have a party and watch SpongeBob?"  This time the man's wife answered John and told him they would see him later.  John accepted the answer and said "OK, do you want to have breakfast tomorrow?"  They both laughed and told him they would see him in the morning.  We did not see them at breakfast this morning, but thankfully John forgot.

OK, last one...
After we got in our room it was late and I really needed to get the boys to bed.  John would not allow himself to sit still for more than two seconds for fear he would fall asleep and Gus was just overtired and wanted to be held.  I tried putting him in his hammock, which he hasn't been in since July, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  I didn't realize how much Gus had grown, but the hammock was a little short for him and there was no extra wiggle room.  I figured if I could just get him to fall asleep in my arms I could place him in the hammock and he would be fine.  Thankfully I was right, but I had a hard time getting him to sleep while John was bouncing off the walls.  I was trying very hard to be considerate of our neighbors, as John was running up and body slamming the walls, and keep myself calm so Gus could fall asleep in my arms.  Gus had just fallen asleep and John was jumping on the bed and I told him to just lay down and close his eyes.  John just looks at me and says....get ready for this 'cause it's gonna break your heart.  It did mine.

"Mommy, can you stop being so mad at me?"

I felt so bad.  He had just been testing the limits the whole day and probably felt like he was getting yelled at all day.  I told him I wasn't mad at him and laid next to him after I put Gus down, and as I expected, my head had not even hit the pillow and my active 3 year old was out like a light.

He can't just smile at the camera

I love this picture, but I'm pretty sure he is planning his next move.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting Gus to Eat

Technically between 7-9 months we are supposed to feed Gus three small meals a day.  With John this would not have been a problem.  My problem would have been keeping him from eating too much so he would still nurse.  Now Gus, he is a completely different story.  After many attempts and numerous trials I finally found a couple of things he will willingly eat.

The first thing is popcorn, who would have thought?  This is actually a pain because it is a lot of work to get the kernel parts off so he can eat it.  But he loves it.

The second is oatmeal with apple butter.

Don't confuse apple butter with apple sauce, Gus can tell you they are completely different.  My friend Jan gave me some homemade apple butter and I decided to try it out.  To my surprise Gus actually opened his mouth for more.

Oh, and I guess there is a third.  He loves all of those finger snacks.  His favorite snack is the yogurt melt.

Now for the avocados...he HATED them.  Hate is a pretty strong word, but these pictures are from the third attempt to eat them.


"Not cool, Mom."

"I hate these."  He is actually spitting them out.

Just to prove his point he started gagging.

He's already screaming at me.  He continued to scream until I put the bowl of avocados in the sink.  I'm pretty sure I was cursed out in baby language.

I may not try avocados again for awhile, but I'll keep plugging away at the rest.  I'll satisfy the picky eater until he is one.  After that, he learns to choke it down or do without.  Hopefully it won't come to that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

7 months

I can't believe August is 7 months old today.  Time is going by so fast.  Gus doesn't have to go to the doctor's office until 9 months so I don't have official stats, but I am pretty sure he is 27 3/4 inches long and 20 pounds.  The last time we went to the doctor my suspicions were confirmed that we were feeding him too much formula.  I think I was trying to compensate for the fact that he wasn't eating any baby food and he was pretty fussy (he has two teeth now).  So when in doubt, we fed.  Not such a good idea. Food is still a struggle, but we are working through it.

Other than the eating issues, Gus is doing very well.  He can get from sitting to a crawling position without hurting himself and Hans saw him briefly crawl last night, but he was too mad and hungry to repeat the process for me.


Mostly he just scoots around the room and tries to get John's trains, crayons and coloring book.  John is actually handling this pretty well, meaning he doesn't hit Gus.  He just sits there and screams at the top of his lungs like he is being attacked.  I guess I should be thankful he hasn't given Gus a black eye...yet.

John saw this picture and said, "Look mom, I'm kicking Gus."  At least he's honest.

Gus also loves his johnny jump up.  As long as he can see you he is pretty content to bounce in this thing for a long while.  Even when he is ready to get out he'll cry but still be bouncing.

Last but most certainly not least, my baby is sleeping through the night!!!  I'm not sure how I ever made it through my high school or college years, or even through John being a newborn, but I need sleep.  While Gus was only getting up once a night I was still barely functioning during the day and my poor husband was getting the brunt of my bad moods.  I decided for the sake of my sanity, my marriage and my husband's hope of having more children that I needed to let Gus cry it out.  Since we were feeding him the one time a night he would awaken, I thought I would ease Gus into this whole idea by going in and rocking him back to sleep the first couple of nights.  This turned out to not be such a good idea.  The first night I went in his room to rock him which just seemed to make him more and more angry. After we finally just left him alone he went to sleep.  The second night he cried for only 5 minutes and now, with the exception of one freakish night, he sleeps through the night. I feel like a new person, I should have done this months ago!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Tales of John

Today has been a rather tough day for my big boy as he can't seem to keep himself out of trouble.  Earlier this afternoon, John went upstairs to go to the bathroom and then I heard him rifling in his dresser drawers.
"What are you doing?" I asked
"Um, I need new underwear."
"I peed in my other underwear"
I went into the bathroom to get his soiled underwear and stepped in a huge puddle.  The puddle started from the step-stool and trickled down the side until it reached the floor.
"What is this!?!"
John just looks at the floor, then looks at me and says, "Don't stress out mom.  It isn't a big deal. It's only pee."

I just couldn't believe my ears, what a punk!  After looking at him for a couple of minutes, and trying not to laugh, I told him if it was no big deal then he could clean it himself.  I handed him a rag and a bucket with water and told him to get scrubbing.  Too bad I was too baffled to get pictures.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Latest Project

When we moved into this house we pretty much painted every room.  I originally painted over the horrible green paneling in the family room with a blue color and while it was a little dark it was WAY better than the ugly green color.  However, last November we had a water pipe burst underneath the house that caused water to cover the family room and furnace floors.  After getting the pipe fixed and the walls dried we thought everything was fine but in August we discovered some mold.  Our landlord is the sweetest lady and when I called to tell her about it she said to get someone out to replace all four walls.  We hired a wonderful contractor and about 4 days later we had a brand new room.

This is the room before it was textured.  I didn't think to get pictures of the demo, but it was pretty amazing.
 New drywall, we even had the ceiling re-done.
 The blue you see next to the fireplace was the color of the whole room.

This is my new family room.  It is amazing what new, straight walls and a lighter coat of paint will do.

I decided to paint the fireplace a darker color just to add a little something to the room.

These are the stairs that go from the family room to the living room.  I decided that since the room was getting a face lift the stairs should too.
 Bye bye carpet!
The carpet was just hideous and so hard to remove.  I spend three days pulling up tacks, nails and staples.

New stairs!!
It took me about 2 hours per stair to do this pattern.  I think the thing I'm most proud of is I didn't use any tape, this was all done by hand.

I am the kind of person who has these great ideas and starts a project with no realistic view of time and energy, about halfway through I don't think it will all be worth the effort, but it always is in the end. I thank my husband for being ever so patient with the monster that stayed up painting until 2 in the morning for a week straight and was horribly grumpy the next day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Tales of John

John, like most kids, does lots of crazy, funny things.  Many of the stories that I have don't have accompanying pictures so I haven't posted them, which I'm told is a darn shame.  Since it is a blog I decided I would start sharing some of the stories, for those that don't have kids yet, or those that have newborns, infants or toddlers let these stories be a lesson to you that kids pick up on the littlest things.

I'll start with today's incidents since they are fresh on my mind.  Today we went to Mt. Zion in Castle Rock for church because John and August's second cousin, Maren, was baptized today.  As we were walking out the door to go to church I remembered to grab John's new SpongeBob coloring book and a handful of crayons.  When we arrived at Mt. Zion we picked a pew and were sitting for all of 30 seconds before John asked to color in SpongeBob.  Happy that I remembered to bring the book I handed John his book and the crayons.  John opened the book and started to pick up a crayon then he turned to me and said "Mom, I don't have all of the crayons."  I then told him that this was all I brought and he had plenty of colors to choose from.  He looked at his page again and then looked at me and said "What am I supposed to do now?"  You see, John is very particular about the colors of SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and all the other characters.  I don't know any other three year old that cares what color things are. I thought they just all scribbled.  John again made his coloring specifications clear when we were at the restaurant after the baptism and the Pastor of Mt. Zion picked up a crayon to help John color.  Pastor Ziegler picked up a green crayon to color Patrick and John grabbed his hand said "No, not that", handed Pastor the pink crayon and then said "his name is Patrick and he is pink."  While humiliated, I'm actually amused he cares that much.  So, if you ever color with John, you'd better ask what color something is if you don't already know.

Oh, and just because I want to brag... John put together a 24 piece puzzle all on his own yesterday.  I sat next to him the whole time, but never touched a piece.  John has become quite a puzzle kid.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sleepy John

For the most part John doesn't take a nap anymore, but sometimes he just falls asleep playing or eating.

I'm not even sure how he came to be in this position.

He looks cold.  We keep telling him he'd be warmer if he kept his pants on.

He was right in the middle of eating when he fell alseep.

Nice outfit, huh?  At least he is wearing shorts.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting Back to Normal

We've had an exhausting week or so in the Fiene house.  Both of the boys got sick and Hans and I struggled to stay well ourselves.  Poor little Gus was hit the worst with a fever that lasted four or five days, runny/stuffy nose, upset tummy and swollen eyes.  I think the worst part for him was his inability to suck on his pacifier.  He loves playing with his pacifier during the day, but it is a necessity to get him to sleep at night.  I have to admit we had a rough couple of nights since Gus would only sleep 49 minutes at a time...yep, I got a whole 49 minutes of sleep before he would start to scream again.  However, I'm so glad that this whole thing only lasted a week and nobody was sick enough to warrant anything other than home remedies.  We have a couple sets of friends here who each have several children and in both families the whole family got pretty sick. To make matters worse, after it circulated the family the first time, it went for round two.  I had a hard enough time with two sick kids I can't even imagine having 6 or 7 kids and being sick myself.  I also just found out today that Hans' cousin Anneliese is very sick and in a children's hospital diagnosed with H1N1 and pneumonia.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Anneliese.

On a lighter note, here are some pictures of the boys.

Doesn't he look HUGE in this picture?

It is ridiculiously hard to get a picture of John these days.

I think Hans was trying to give Gus something to play with, but he still wasn't feeling well and started crying.

John decided he needed to pick out his own outfit.  Hans told him he needed long sleeves so he came back with a sleeveless shirt and a long sleeve shirt and wanted to wear both.  I'm actually surprised he picked two shirts that matched pretty well.

Gus loves chewing on his pacifier.

Only my son would wear a long sleeve fleece with no pants.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow Day

We woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground this morning and John couldn't wait to go outside and play.  It really isn't that cold outside, only 27, but John still had to dress in the full garb.

As you can see there really isn't much of anything, but it made John so happy just to have something there.  It didn't take long before he was licking the snow off of things.

We decided to get Gus dressed and have him outside for a little bit.

I think the mittens are so cute.  My grandma makes mittens for the grandchildren and now great grandchildren every year.  Gus thought they were great at first, until he tried to pick up his pacifier.

As usual, Gus wasn't that impressed.  When he gets older I'm sure he will like the snow as much as his big brother.

Believe it or not this is the best picture I have of the three of them.  It is really hard to get three boys to look and smile at the same time!!

We enjoyed our dusting today and best part is the snow will melt today and we are back to 60 degree weather by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.