Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tis the Season to Be Jolly!

Let's pretend for a minute that I didn't bribe my kids with marshmallows to get these pictures. Let's just pretend that they are perfectly obedient toddlers who shun sugar and always smile on cue. 

Or, let's not pretend that. I'd rather have wild, wiggly toddlers any day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Peter and Brooklyn

There are just way too many cute pictures of these kids and their cousins at the Beach House last week.  I'll have to get them up on the blog soon, but in the meantime, I've been meaning to write down a few things Scott and I want to remember about these two favorite kids of ours right now. 


This boy is cracking me up. He is on an unbelievably cute kick lately. Everything that comes out of his mouth makes me feel that gushy obsessive love that comes when you feel like you possibly can't squeeze your child tightly enough. I'm pretty sure Peter is sick of his mom's gushing. But he's so gushable! 

He is in such an imaginative stage lately, which I love and encourage. Everything is a game, and everything is "pretend." Every day Peter takes journeys on a pretend ship, plane, balloon, space ship, mountain, or ocean. He fights fires and pirates; he dodges crocodiles and dragons. Yesterday Peter, Brooklyn, and I spent a good hour sitting on his bed pretending that we were on a pirate ship. In addition to the miracle that we were able to keep Brooklyn busy and content for that space of time in one single activity, we had a total blast. Peter amazes me with his creativity. I kind of look at him in shock as he comes up with all the major events of the game. Every crisis, every solution. The "croco-daddle is coming up onto our ship! Quick, mom! Let's get Tinker Bell and her pixie dust will fly us up into the air." I will never forget watching him scoop his imaginary Tinker Bell in his hands and sake his little fist over all of our heads. Once we were in the air, he pointed out the clouds and birds around us. "Look, mom! A bird! Let's go catch it for dinner! I'll get my net! Put the anchor down! Watch the ship! Yarrrrr! Oh no! The pixie dust got on the croco-daddle girl! He's flying too! Ahhh! Let's have jaguar cub scare him away. Rarr! Oh, jaguar cub is so tired from all of his growling. He will have a little rest. But here comes a croco-daddle girl again!" I forgot to mention all this time, that we are in full costume, complete with pirate hat and eye patch, superhero cape, cardboard frog head dress, elephant ears, and more. All the while, we were sailing our ship to Peter Pan's hideout, which happened to be the Fisher Price Little People zoo on the other side of his bedroom. I can't get enough of his imaginative play. 

Peter is so curious. Truthfully, I am so exhausted with all of the questions, but I love that he's asking, and I'm trying to remember to be patient. I don't know how he has time to draw breath because he is slinging these questions at an un-intervaled rate. I am catapulted with "Mom, mom, mom, mom" all day long. I'm grateful, really. "Mom" is my favorite word, and it is a blessing to be the recipient of so many reminders that I am lucky enough to be a mom. Lately, if I don't respond to his inquiry quickly enough or sufficiently for him to be satisfied, I get a stern reproach of, "Why? Mama? Why? Tell me whyyyy!" or "How? Mama? Tell me hoooooow! Tell me." It's equally adorable and exhausting. I always thought people were exaggerating when they spoke of the chain of why's that come from their kids. The why's are real, however, and they have settled in for a long vacation and not a quick trip. I'm still gearing up for the duration. But truly, I am so thrilled that he is such an eager learner! I love his little voice, and I wouldn't trade my even my most exhausting moments with my kids to be anywhere or doing anything else. 

Peter has an incredible vocabulary for such a little guy, and he's actually usually pretty open about using it. In nursery and preschool, he is extremely talkative, and the consistent feedback I receive from his teachers is that he has a fantastic vocabulary. He is always on task and follows directions when at school, which makes me happy to hear. He is just a sweetheart, plain and simple. He is pleasant and listens well. He is a fast learner, has an excellent memory, and puts concepts together well. At school he knew his numbers, letters, and shapes up into the five-year old range (according to their district standards). I am proud of how well he learns and loves school.  

Things Peter says lately that we don't want to correct or forget:
a "babe" is a bib
"rush-a-naught" for restaurant
"surf" for sir. "Sure thing, surf." or "Thanks for coming to my rushanaught, surf."
"Mom, remember, I can't go nai nais lots of times."
"Mom, is it okay I wake up? I already have had three sips of sleep, and I'm three!"
"Mom, remember the rule. You don't put covers over my friends because they have tails," (referring to his jaguar cub, Mikey, deer, and Sammy seal).
"chogg" is Peter's word for chalk

I would seriously have to record every sentence he says if I wanted to keep track of all the cute because it is ALL CUTE. I have seriously considered, more than once, the possibility of installing a go pro on Peter so we can capture his entire existence. He's just not going to believe us when we tell him how cute he was when he was little. 


Brooklyn is an absolute joy. She is also a determined little thing. It's actually a great balance. She knows what she wants, and she is eager to learn how to ask for it. She is copying everything we say and do lately. At church yesterday, she figured out that she could fold her arms for the prayers. She did it every time someone prayed. My favorite was in Relief Society when she walked right up to the person offering the prayer, stood inches from her, looked up, and folded her little arms. Every time there was a song, she mimicked the chorister and "led" the music. She is a crack up, and is extremely distracting at church. She is well aware of the fact that everyone is looking at her because she is just too-out-of-this-world-how-is-it-possible cute. Seriously. She is social and happy. She gives toys back to other kids if she's taken them. She waves, kisses, high-fives freely. She is just a happy girl, and we love her. She is accumulating words like crazy, and I need to be better about encouraging her to use the ones she knows more often. She and I are still figuring out our language. She does sign language/speaking combo for our everyday exchanges, but we have found ourselves head to head a couple times when I have been unsure of what she wanted. That never happened with Peter, so it's a new challenge for me. 

Brooklyn loves books. They keep her interest more than any other activity. She also loves balls and cars... courtesy of having a big brother and a plethora of balls and cars. She is starting to also love her bitty twin doll and calls her "ba ba" for baby. She is very fascinated with babies. Whenever she sees them at church or story time, she is so curious and interested. Storytime. I take Peter to preschool twice a week, and Brooklyn and I attend the library story time in the meantime. It is so fun to have a little activity that is just special time for the two of us, and Brooklyn is well aware that it is her special time. She loves it. We sit in a circle with other parents and kids, and she thinks it is the greatest thing ever. Such a social butterfly, Brooklyn walks around the circle waving, touching, smiling at all of our story time friends. If the library worker is doing a song with puppets, Brooklyn is front and center trying to give the puppets kisses. She is so curious and happy when she can just roam. Because of that, I've realized that the best activity for her at this stage is just an afternoon or morning at the park. She loves the freedom and just going wherever she wants and scrambling around. I am encouraged to think about all of our slot canyon adventures to come with both our climbing, scrambling kids. The park. Brooklyn is fearless. She loves the slide and will go down any slide no matter how tall. She is cautious, and always remembers to go backwards. I can't believe how big she's getting. It is crazy for me to think that in one month she will be the age of Peter when Brooklyn was born!

Brooklyn will put anything in her mouth. Anything. I think our family was a little shocked to see what we really meant by that statement. They were laughing all weekend as every other sentence was either, "Brooky, uh uh!" or "Brooky, don't eat that, " or "Brooky, that's yucky. Please bring that to Mama." She always does bring it when we ask, but when will this stage pass?! We have to be on our game 100% of the time with all the rocks, leaves, gravel, sea weed, toys, crumbs, and plants she tries to ingest. In addition to the non-identifiable and inedible objects, she also eats like crazy. Easily triple  what her brother eats. I bring snacks everywhere, and I can't keep up with the demand! She is a busy little think, moving constantly, so it's no wonder she needs to refuel so much, but it amazing me to see how much food she can put away at a meal. 

Brooklyn is so quick to love and smile, and we love her for that. She is such a bright spot in our home. She has been the easiest baby from day one, so it's actually throwing me a bit for a loop to see her personality start to take form in a more assertive way than I thought. I love her spunk, and I am so proud of the little girl she is and is becoming. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Um... Labor Day?

So, we have been so busy the last few months, and I have been awful of keeping track of it all! Before I catch us up, I wanted to be sure to post some pictures of our camping trip over Labor Day a couple months ago. We had so much fun camping as a family. We were shocked at how well the kids did. They both slept through the night all three nights, all in one tent together, and with thunderstorms! They were sweet and happy, and we had so much fun. I love this little family of mine. I am so grateful every day for the happy, simple life that we have. It's amazing. Everything we went through having Peter and adopting Brooklyn has brought us such a clear understanding of what really matters in life. It has helped us simplify and focus on our wonderful family. We are as happy as we've ever been, and we realize that it takes A LOT less to make us happy that we used to think. 

We spent our time at three different spots all along Lake Superior. It was so beautiful and pleasant! 

(Brooklyn was very popular with our camping neighbors!)