Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Van and Ollie's schedule for Grammy and Pops this weekend.


Vander and Oliven’s current schedule:
7am Vander gets up.
Oliven will be awake and wait for you to come get him.
Vander can get himself dressed just tell him if he should wear pants or shorts and long sleeves or short sleeves based on the weather. Get Oliven dressed for the day. Try and get him to drink milk from a cup. He will be more likely to attempt it if he is sitting with you and not in the kitchen. (Empty Vander’s little toilet into the big toilet and rinse).
7:10ish eat breakfast. Vander eats a wide variety of foods. He can have waffles (I don’t give them butter or syrup or jelly- just dry), cereal dry or with milk, oatmeal, a fruit smoothy, toast with peanut butter (I don’t give it to him with just butter or jelly). He also really likes eggs of any style. Oliven can have any of these options as well, but may need more help. He is working on eating cereal with milk by himself with a spoon, but needs help drinking the remaining milk from the bowl when the cereal is gone. Or you can feed them anything else you want, those are just the easy options. Oliven gets a dropper full of vitamin drops and Vander gets a cars vitamin.
8ish When they are done eating they usually play for a while.
9 cartoon time. They usually watch 20-40minutes. Vander drinks his milk at that time. Try to help encourage Ollie to drink milk too. They watch whatever is on Disney in the computer room, but must be sitting on the couch so if they spill it can be easily wiped up. They both have to put their cups in the sink when they are done. This is one of their chores.
Play time until lunch.
11:30ish They often request snacks at 10am. I try to get them to eat fruit for snack,  and lunch at 11 or 11:30, especially Ollie. You can feed them whenever at your discretion. There are corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks in the freezer, Van likes tuna sandwiches, both like graham crackers with peanut butter, granola bars are their favorite. Leftovers are good. They have hotdogs in the freezer outside. They like macaroni and cheese. There is string cheese in the bottom drawer of the fridge and turkey pastrami. They love nuts. They like most fruit, but Oliven still likes his cut up most of the time. Fruit cups are always a big hit and Oliven loves fruit strips. They also like prunes, but no more than 3 and Ollie needs them cut in half). No cookies or other sweets until after they at least eat fruit. There is frozen mango in the freezer that they both love. Just heat it a little so it’s not so cold. There is also frozen corn in the freezer. Van likes it cold, Ollie likes it warmed up, but not hot.
12:45-1ish Ollie gets his shoes on and Vander goes potty in the big toilet. Read them each a story and put them down. I sing a song to Ollie. He sleeps with soft Mater on his pillow, Mickey and Goofy in each arm. Vander has to organize his own buddies and gets to ask 3 questions, but only 3, then close the door and say, “See you after quiet time.” He will keep asking if you heard him if you don’t say that you will see him afterwards. Vander often poops during quiet time and he will yell to you that he made a pooper. That is the cue to go in and ask him if he is done, sometimes he says he isn’t yet. So I give him a couple minutes. If he says he is wipe him and put his poop into the big toilet, rinse it out and bring the insert back in case he has to pee.
3pm both boys get up. Vander’s clock is about 2 minutes ahead of Oliven’s, so Van usually gets up before Ollie calls out that his clock is green. The boys alternate whose turn it is to pick a cartoon from the DVR in the living room. Friday is Ollie’s turn, Saturday is Vander’s, Sunday is Ollie’s. Ollie almost always picks Super Why and Vander picks part of a movie. Vander has an activia yogurt (if for some reason he asks for milk instead try and get him to eat the yogurt after dinner to keep him regular) and sometimes he asks for a pudding, which he is allowed to have if he eats the whole yogurt. He needs to feed himself, but needs help with the last couple bites just getting them out of the container. Oliven has milk, try and get him to drink some. (He is not liking drinking out of cups…I’m hoping he comes around- if not push dairy at dinner and other times during the day). He can have a yogurt off his shelf or an activia yogurt.
Play/go some where.
5:30-6ish Eat dinner. Vander is pretty good about eating anything you give him. Tell him what on his plate is best for him and what will make him big and strong. He loves to know that information. Oliven is tough. He will always eat a bowl of corn. I let him have yogurt, fruit or veggies if he doesn’t like what we are eating, but he has to try it first and wait for a few minutes before he gets anything else. Sometimes it helps if you eat it and ignore him for a minute and he’ll ask for a bite. They can have gogurt for dessert or fruit. They can have Easter candy, but only a couple pieces if they ate a good dinner. There are tons of family size leftover meals on the top shelf of the outside freezer and they are all labeled. You are welcome to any of them.
6:30pm They take a bath together. They play for a bit. We only do soap every other night, but that’s up to you based on your day. Brush both boys teeth in the tub (you can do it before if you prefer). Van gets a fluoride pill after teeth are brushed and flossed.
7pm Bed. Ollie gets his shoes on, reads a book, turn off the light and sing a song. He doesn’t always go to sleep right away, but he does go down easy. Vander sometimes has to try and poop after bath if he didn’t poop at quiet time. On the big toilet. Then he puts his own pull-up and jammies on. He gets a story and then lights out and 3 questions.
Vander is on a behavior contract right now, so please tally his points and see how he did. If he wants a marshmallow, or only earns a marshmallow, of course before bath time. If he chooses something else (because he earned it) after bath, before bed- special time for an extra story or puzzle.

The boys are allowed to have a spoon full of honey if they are coughing. Vander can also have a sippy cup with water in it on a washcloth in his room at night. It keeps him from waking up/calling for you too much. Often times when he wakes up at night he is still asleep. Wait until he calls for someone. Better to go in as soon as you can at that point so he doesn’t get too worked up. Hugs help calm him down. Talk to him for a couple minutes. Singing calms him down- any song, but if you leave too soon he will relapse into crying. Offering him water and helping him lay on his side often help.
The boys will be up a little late Thursday night for the Sesame Street show we are taking them to for Oliven’s birthday (sorry, it was the only show we could go to).
***Just so you know we in no way expect you to do things the way that we do or follow this schedule. This is just an outline of what I do with the boys and what they are used to. FYI Vander can skip naps without much consequence- Oliven gets really really cranky around 1:30ish if he is still up.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tapas


  Our dinner group has  been going strong since I was pregnant with Vander, about 4 1/2 years now. We get together about once a month with Sarah and Tom Zwingman and Ben and Sandra Rushatakankovit. We have had lots of varieties of foods from many different places and this time Justin and I got ambitious. We made Tapas. It was not only the most delicious food I've ever made, but also one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten.

Oliven's 2nd birthday Mickey Mouse Clubhouse



We had Oliven's second birthday party at Lake Almaden...there were a few glitches. They had a bike race the same day and closed the parking lot. It was a super hot day (around 88 degrees) and the water area was broken. The cake had to be carried a long way and the front suffered some minor casualties. Overall though, when you combine kids with a park, hotdogs, and cake you can't go wrong. So, Oliven had a Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme and his friends did a pretty good job wearing their Mickey Mouse attire. Happy Birthday to our big 2 year old!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beach day

 Our good friends, who love to play games, Michael and Nicole invited us to go to the beach and hang out with them for the day. Justin said he would do it. I was shocked, but he really likes them (as is evidenced by the fact that he went to the beach and he HATES sand). We ended up having a really good time. Oliven was not too keen on the sand idea at first, but after a few hours and some help from Nicole he eased into the idea. Justin liked the fact that it wasn't hot and he didn't have to be covered in sun screen. It wasn't great for swimming, but really when is it in Nor. Cal? We parked at the Crows Nest in Santa Cruz and had the whole beach to ourselves for several hours. We got there at about 9:20am. Vander, Cynthia, Mia and I made a pretty awesome drip castle. We also made the kids into mermaids, which they enjoyed. Lots of football and snack eating was enjoyed. Casey, Jason, Addison and Jake showed up a little later. We all went on a search for sand crabs. Casey found one little tiny guy. We left around 12:30 for quiet time and because we were babysitting Hunter in the afternoon. The important part was that Justin and Oliven had a good time at the beach. Vander and I always enjoy ourselves, but we weren't sure about our counterparts who prefer to be perpetually clean.

Murder Mystery Party

  I have always enjoyed playing Murder Mystery Parties since I was about 10 years old. I have enjoyed every single one. This one was no exception. Justin and I have actually played this one before, but it was in 2000, so 12 years is apparently long enough to forget. :) It was set in Chicago with the murder of Hal Cappone. Everyone got really into the fun and into their character. It was some of our closest friends who are all good friends with each other so it made for an especially good time. Casey told me about a year ago that she had a Murder Mystery Party, but she never got around to playing it. She said if I would invite her and host it that she would give it to me. Done. She finally gave it to me a couple months ago, so as soon as we were all free the game ensued. We had cheeses, meats, crackers, olives and fruits to start, followed by tortellini and Chicago dogs with all the fixings and dessert pizzas to finish. We drank beer, champagne and limoncello. We had a great time and only one person guessed the right murderer, the murderer herself- Casey. Everyone looked fabulous and we had a great evening.

block building

Every now and again Vander and Oliven get along really well and enjoy each others company without any harassment. I wanted to document one of these times with the block building brothers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese's

  The boys see advertisements for Chuck E. Cheese's on tv at the beginning of most of their cartoons. Vander tells me constantly that we should go there again, so today we gave in and took the kids. Spring break is not the time to go. It was twice as crowded as last time we went. Either way we had a good time. The boys jump from one thing to the next as fast as their little legs will take them. It's pretty cute, but hard to keep up with. In about an hour and a half they had played all the games they wanted to (some are too advanced still), so we headed over to Denny's for dinner.
  All three of the boys got slams with the two little guys getting chocolate chips in their pancakes. I had a yummy salad. A good middle of the week fun activity to do on occasion. Vander told me that we "forgot to go to the burger place." That is where we went last time. Vander is very much a creature of habit. Once he does something once he wants to do it that exact same way forever. During dinner Oliven started singing It's a Small World. He then turns to me and says, "we should go on that ride again." It was pretty cute, so I guess we need to go to Disneyland again some time. :)

Pizza My Heart

A fun and inspired field trip for Vander's group and their siblings doesn't come along that often. This one was super cheap and super fun. The employees let us in 1 1/2 hours before the pizza place opened. They showed the kids how to throw the dough and let them touch it before it was stretched and after. They let them watch a guy spinning in across his back. They they each got to create their own pizza, they baked them, and they each got to eat their own creation. They also made a couple of pizza's for the parents. The shop that we went to had 100 kinds of soda to pick from. All this for only $5! Score. What a fun and delicious morning with like 20 friends and a new t-shirt!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Naughty little man

I can't express how many times I have told Vander, "only pull one drawer out at a time." So very many times. Yesterday morning while I was brushing my teeth he decided to pull all the drawers out in Justin's dresser at the same time. The whole thing toppled over. Luckily, he was able to move out of the way in time and came out unscathed, but how scary. My first reaction was to hug him and make sure he was okay. My second was to make sure he learned a lesson. Justin was worried that he had broken the dresser. It also is okay. What a scary thing to happen. You wouldn't think you would have to worry about baby proofing for an almost four year old. Yikes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

a woman's yearning- kids and woman

What is it about being a woman that makes us want to have more kids??? I don't get it. I have terrible pregnancies, and both my boys were just horrendous the first 4-6 months of their lives. Yet, somehow I often feel like I want another kid- it's truly a biological yearning, not a rational thought. I know if I had another boy it would be utter chaos for a very long time, and while I would love to have a girl, three kids are a lot. I don't have enough hands to hold three at the same time, and I would have to stay home from working several more years (this is Justin's mandate as it wouldn't be fair any other way). I would want the third to be close enough in age to be friends with Van and Ollie, which would mean I would have to get pregnant this year...no thanks. I am also fully aware that there is always a risk that the child would have special needs and that would be very difficult for everyone. I just don't want to regret not having a third child later in life, but I also don't want Justin to resent me later for having three boys. Justin, my rational half says unless I can come up with $350,000 then we just can't afford it. I know he is right. We want our kids to have a good life and lots of great traveling experiences. I know part of my yearning for a girl is that I don't have a woman. I don't have a mom or a sister and I am loosing my grandma to Alzheimer. Every woman needs a woman...I guess there will just be a void in my life until I'm a grandma. Maybe some day in the future it will be filled before that. I know my aunt isn't interested in being there for me, she has proven that many times. It is what it is I guess...I love my boys like crazy and I have an amazing family. I have the best husband a girl could hope for, two super amazing sons, and two brothers who I am very close to. I guess what I'm saying to myself is that I need to be thankful for what I have and realize that for I am not meant to have a close woman at this point in my life for some reason.

Easter party and egg hunt



Saturday was an Easter party at the Walter's house. We had lots of yummy food and who can beat the egg hunt. The boys had a ton of fun. When I heard about the Playhouse Calvary egg hunt I knew they would enjoy it. It's not my favorite place just because it gets super crowded, but Vander said to Ollie, "Wanna go do an egg hunt it's going to be so much fun?!" Ollie responded, "yeah, yeah!" So, what's a mom to do...we went to the egg hunt. They had a craft and a kid concert then the egg hunt and like 5 of our friends were there, so I would call that a successful morning.

Herb garden

We have been talking about starting an herb garden for a while, but haven't actually done it, so we finally went to Osh and bought some herbs. We are starting with basil, cilantro, sage, and chives. We also planted tomatoes and peppers. We still have to plant the rosemary. The lady at Osh helped us put them into their pots. Now, they are currently trying out being outside Ollie's window, we'll see if that is enough sunlight for the plants.

Jon visits

Jon got a new job and has lots of meetings in the Bay area- yay for us. We are excited because that means he will be visiting us from time to time. We had a good time having him around. We took him on a hike one morning and for a walk around the neighborhood another day. It's fun having a friend around to help out with the boys when Justin is at work and having a third person to play games with when the boys are sleeping.

Dinner with the Rodgerson family

Sunday evening Nicole called to see if we wanted to come over for dinner, but we had just put a whole turkey in the oven, so we invited them to come have dinner with us. It worked out nicely. We had a ton of food and who doesn't want to spend time with good friends. So we had a turkey dinner with friends, Jon made some gravy (which was funny since he couldn't taste it- it was really yummy). After dinner the kids "watched" a movie and played while we played Dominion with Nicole, Michael, Tyler, and her friend. Fun afternoon for everyone.