Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
But then I remember how fast the kids change, and how I want to record the things they say and do so that they can look back and see that they are cherished, but more than that, see the progress they have made.
On that note, here is a little update of the small men in my life.
- Sam recently joined a local soccer class that he loves! We got him registered a couple of weeks after the rest of the class started, but he was able to jump in and had no problem with the skills the coaches asked him to do. He really enjoys sports, though his passive nature is still hanging on. He's got a competitive side, so we'll see where that takes him!
- Recently Sam figured out the first several notes of Twinkle Twinkle on his electric guitar. Mike and I didn't even know he was working on it! I think it's time for some formal music training...
- Sam loves his baby brother. He's a great big brother to Levi, too, but he dotes on Nate. In fact, both Levi and Sam give Nate kisses and get a kick out of seeing him try to do new things. Sam will sit and play with him on the floor, and Nate loves it.
- Daddy is the apple of Sam's eye. They play an indoor version of baseball every evening before bed; I think this must be Sam's favorite time of the day.
- I've been trying to find creative outlets for him recently, crafty things that he, as a boy, might enjoy doing. Playdo, water-play, and cooking have all been things he enjoys, but this project was also a favorite. It doesn't look like much, but it was fun to make! It came from this website; I'm waiting with baited breath for her a month of "boycrafts" in November.
- He loves pretend play. He always seems to be conducting a little play in his head, usually him vs. the bad guys, and if you listen carefully you can hear him whispering the dialogue. He also loves to play dress up, boy-style. In the picture above he said he's a boxer-pirate. We've already gotten some good playtime from his Halloween costume. And one long weekend afternoon recently we all got into the spirit and "camped" in the living room.
- Levi turned 2 1/2 years old this month! I've read that the terrible twos peak at 28 months, and so far that holds true for us. He seems to be a little more cooperative now than he was just 6 weeks ago, so I'm planning on potty training soon. Except that I've been saying that for the past 6 weeks!
- Levi has had a terrible case of stranger/separation anxiety for most of the year. It was bad. So bad that he would cry and cling to me if anyone so much as spoke to him. But in September, Levi had a breakthrough. After 4 months of not being able to leave him with anyone other than Daddy, Levi is willingly going to kids' church and the childcare at my weekly Bible study. I'm so proud of him... and wow, do I feel liberated!
- He loves music! Recently he's been trying to play the guitars that are hanging around our play area. They are too big for him, so he has his own method of strumming - a little like stand-up bass. He also loves to sing.
- Levi has been "talking" for a long time, but he's really hard to understand. Some days are better than others, but it's progressively easier to catch what he's saying, and he regularly surprises me when I understand him. He can pick out most letters of the alphabet and can count to 20. And he loves to call Mike and I by our first names!
- He loves to play in sandboxes, and loves anything with wheels.
- Recently, he has a new lovey. It is this orange block. If it goes missing for more than 20 minutes or so, he runs around trying to find it, asking me, "orange block, mommy?" It comes with us to the park, to the store, to Bible study, to bed, to meals.
- Levi is very physical. He loves to wrestle, jump and climb. For the past two months he's been able to climb in and out of his crib. We tried moving him over to the bottom bunk, but he wouldn't go to sleep, so we've just kept him in his crib. Strangely enough, he doesn't mind the top bunk. Sometimes we'll find him there in the morning sleeping with Sam!
- Nate is now 10 months old. His favorite activity is sitting in the middle of our play area with lots of little toys surrounding him. He's not crawling or walking yet, but he's getting really close! He gets up on all fours to reach a toy, but then scoots back into a seated position. Not long now, though.
- Nate has learned that if he needs to communicate something, he'd better be clear. If he doesn't want to eat something, he tightens his lips and shakes his head. If he doesn't want to sit somewhere, he'll arch his back. If he doesn't want a toy, he'll throw it across the room. If he doesn't want to wear a bib, he'll pull it off!
- As you've seen in prior posts, he's also a budding musician. He loves to move to music. And is this a little foreshadowing?
- Nate had a milestone recently: His first shiner! He fell over in an attempt to reach something, and hit his eye on a toy. Thankfully it healed within a day.
- Nate already likes to ham it up for the camera. When he sees the red eye reduction light on my camera start to blink, he puts on his best grin!
- He loves his brothers, and is aching to run after them!
There's the news of the Godzwa boys in a nutshell. Next up... our visit to the pumpkin patch!
Monday, September 29, 2008
The large "box" you see Sam and Levi playing in is actually the shelf that belongs in our bedroom. We had left the back off so that it didn't cover up our thermostat control, but the shelf wasn't sturdy enough without it. So yesterday I brought it out to the living room to finish up. I figured Sam would have a great time helping me nail (which he did). I put on some music to help us work, and the shelf was christened "the dancing box".
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
And so begins the war against the common cold.
Common Cold: 1
So, here's my gameplan: I'm regularly disinfecting our home (counters, doorknobs, light switches, toys...). Upon returning home I require all hands to be washed. When I remember, I use waterless handwash on the kids and myself when we're out, especially if I give them snacks. I'm going to start Sam on AirBorne Jr., and find out if Levi can also take it. We're all going to get flu shots. And every night I pray that we'd all stay healthy.
I don't know if all this will help. I'll let you know.
On a lighter note, here are some fun pictures:
Check out this cutie! He's not crawling yet, but he's starting to scoot just a little if there's something he's trying to reach. And can you make out those pearly whites? They came in about 2 weeks ago.
Rub-a-dub-dub, three boys in a tub...
And I couldn't resist including this one:
Monday, September 01, 2008
Here's my excited boy, all ready to go. The whole family went along to see what his classroom would be like. The experience was much different this year; most of the kids had been in Pre-K last year, so there wasn't too much clinging and crying involved.
I'm enjoying the new routine, too. I realized that having all the kids with me all the time was trying because they all wanted mommy all the time. Now I can easily spend one-on-one time with each of them: Levi during Nate's nap and Nate during Levi's nap, and because they are happier after some mommy time I am able to spend extra time with Sam in the afternoon. I can also get some housework done.
Speaking of housework, I've been doing some major cleaning lately. I feel as though my household is recovering from infant-hood, a time during which it has endured no deep cleaning or organizing, but much dirty-ing and dis-organizing. I've organized several bins of hand-me-downs, as well as some boxes of books that were given to us. I've cleaned the bathrooms, washed windows, washed slipcovers, disinfected doorknobs, and mopped floors. It feels sooooo good. It's therapeutic.
And speaking of feeling good, I'm also starting a routine of walking Sam to school a couple of times a week. I strap on the running shoes, put the little brothers in the double jogging stroller, and out the door we go. Sam actually enjoys jogging alongside me, so we do that on and off during the walk to school. Afterwards I take a longer route home to get in a little extra distance.
Levi and Nate get to bond a little in the stroller. Hopefully I can keep up the jogging throughout the fall, at least until it gets too cold!
And just for fun, here's a little playtime Levi and Nate had the other day, while Sam was in school:
Friday, August 22, 2008
We are getting very close to a time when they all play together. Nate sits up on his own these days, and is reaching for things but hasn't yet figured out how to actually move. When this happens, my life will simultaneously become easier and harder: I'll have to watch his every move, but he'll be able to entertain himself better and interact with Sam and Levi more.
All the kids have become affectionate of late. Kisses abound. Not good when we have germs. But I'll take it, especially since I'd trade them kissing each other for hitting each other any day (I know that's coming, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts!)
We all got sick about 10 days ago. It was some sort of stealth sinus thing, where you'd wake up in the night and feel all stuffy, even head-achy, but there wasn't much nose blowing or coughing, etc. Levi ended up having the worse symptoms, and ended up with conjunctivitis and two ear infections.
I don't think I even realized I had it, except that my ears seemed stuffy and I felt run down. I thought it was just sleep deprivation from helping the kids during the night, as none of them were sleeping very well. But now that I'm better I can see how it effected my energy level.
Our sickness intersected with Mike's first few days of activities back on campus. This was unfortunate, since he was very busy and gone a lot, and we needed to stay close to home so that everyone got their naps and we didn't spread the wealth, I mean germs too much. That meant we did a lot of this:
Ugh. Sam was even bored with TV after a couple of days. So I started making a real effort to change things, and the pst couple of days we've had lots of creative play.
And a random fact about Levi: He can fall asleep anywhere, if it is between 11 and 12 am and his is riding in a stroller or car. He is helpless.
Notice the half-eaten cracker.
The thing I'll miss most about summer is all of the fabulous family time. Although it makes more work to have Sam home, he is a sweet heart and loves to be home as much as I love having him here. And there's no trading having the evenings and weekends and vacations with Mike. We feel renewed as a couple and as a family, I think.
School starts for Sam on Monday. I am both relieved and melancholy. There goes another summer of endless hours to spend with my sweet boy who is growing up so quickly. He feels the same way. Yesterday he was not himself: pushing the envelope, moody, short-tempered. I asked him what was wrong, and guessed out loud that maybe he didn't want to start school. (A big hint was that this behavior began immediately when I got home from his kindergarten orientation.) He broke down and said, "I'm going to miss you!" Ugh. Break my heart, why don't ya?
But he's going to love it. And so am I. I think it's funny how much I looked forward to the freedom of summer, and now am so looking forward to the structure of the school year.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
The weather was so pleasant, it was enough to make me consider moving back! But then I remembered the snow that covers the ground for 3 months of the year and came back to my senses. ;)
We had a great time, staying at Mike's mom's (or Grandma G's) house with cousins Josh and Abbie. On Saturday everyone headed to the Erie Zoo, where they not only got to see animals, but also pirates and Ronald McDonald!
Sam grew some facial hair while hanging with those pirates!
Getting an autographed picture of Ronald McDonald.
Here are all the cousins who went to the zoo, posing on a termite mound.
Sunday we went to church in the morning, and then to the Lake Erie Peninsula, Presque Isle, for the annual Godzwa family picnic. It's always fun to see cousins, second cousins, third cousins, aunts, uncles, and several other relatives that I know are family but don't know exactly how. The Godzwas are great - it was fun to catch up with people we hadn't seen in awhile, as well as participate in the razzing (or being razzed) about sports teams and other fascinating subjects. Good food, too, including pepperoni bread!
Putting away some grub... er, hot dogs! We don't get to grill out much in our apartment, you know. ;)
I think Nate got his head shape from Mike's side of the family... Or he's just Uncle Jim's Mini-Me.
After the picnic we headed over to the beach. The best thing about Lake Erie is that it's big enough to feel like it's more than a lake, but you don't have the salty water, high winds or larger waves of the ocean. This particular beach, Beach 11, is on the bay side of the peninsula, so it is very shallow and calm, perfect for kids.
The water was a little cold, but the sand was really warm so Sam kept alternating between the two.
Levi enjoyed the sand more than the water.
Dave and Kelly, Tony and Corey, we missed you guys! Maybe next year?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
OK, now he's back. But so is my hand. And we've got some funny facial experessions.
Hmm. This could have been good, except for Sam's "pose".
We're losing control.
Levi's gone again.
Better luck next year?
Plus, a few other things have been going on, which I will update you on in a future post. (Why do I keep saying these things? It seriously puts me into procrastination mode!)
Smith Mt. Lake was great! We were with my parents, my brother and his family, and my sister and her husband. Our rented home was on the water with a little beach and dock. Here's the view from the back deck of the house:
Yes, that's a double-decker boat dock! It was particularly fun for this reason:
Mike was the resident thrill-seeker and took the plunge off the top deck first, but my brother Geoff was soon to follow. Sam thought it was most fun when Daddy jumped off the top at the same time he jumped off the bottom. It made him feel empowered.
The little sandy beach was perfect for the preschool/early elementary set. There was lots of fun sand-and-water-play going on:
Mom and Dad picked up some nightcrawlers for us, and we were able to do a little fishing. The kids had some fun, especially with the worms. They even caught a few fish!
On our last full day, my dad rented a pontoon boat and we spent the day on the lake. So much fun!
The best part was the innertube. Most of us went out for a ride, which was just right for the kids because the boat maxed out at 12 mph with all of us on it!
After frolicking in the lake, it was fun to take advantage of the hot tub on the lower porch.
Besides all the water activity, we got in plenty of family time. Nate had fun discovering daddy's ear:
Nana (my Mom) provided some much-needed stimulation when it was raining, as well as other times. She spent time with the kids playing games, doing crafts, teaching Levi several letters, and building a system of tunnels from carboard boxes that became a little playhouse for the kids in the lower rec room!
Sam had a birthday party, complete with Pinata:
Sam and Emma, who are only 6 months apart, particularly hit it off. At one point early in the week, they were downstairs unsupervised in the "clubhouse" which they were supposedly decorating with markers. They got carried away and ended up colored in markers themselves. Arms, legs, faces, eyelids, and even areas where, well, clothing should have been were nicely decorated. We tried not to laugh as we handed down the punishment: they couldn't sleep in the same room that night. It didn't happen again.
Evenings were spent chatting, as well as watching hilarious Rhett & Link videos and a couple movies (The Bucket List and Bella - both worth renting). All in all, it was a great time away from the city with my hubby and kids. But more than that, when I visit my family I am reminded of the wonderful family I have been born into, and wish we could be with them more often.