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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the long and short of it

Yesterday we took Henry for his first real haircut. For some reason I had it in my head that haircuts shouldn't happen until after the first birthday, but I broke my own "rule" and finally made the appointment after I noticed that his hair was in his eyes and constantly all tangled in the back from rubbing against his high chair or stroller. As you know, Henry has consistently (and by "consistently", I mean "DAILY") been mistaken for a girl since birth. This has never really bothered us, but we figured having his hair trimmed up would help. He was really wiggly to start off with, but then the stylist gave him his own comb and he was happy as a little clam. Well, until the very end when she needed to trim up the back and asked him to "look at his shoes." Yeah...that's not happening. After the haircut, we went to the fireplace store to do a little research and the salesman commented on what a cute little boy Henry was. Dameon and I totally did a mental high-five. Then we went to grab some dinner and as we were waiting to be seated, the hostess said, "Oh, SHE'S sooooo cute! She looks just like you!" You can't win 'em all.

The before:

The during:

The after:

Monday, September 19, 2011

nine months

  • Henry is now nine months. That means we are only three months away from his first birthday. Unbelievable!
  • He is sporting two teeth these days. They are the middle ones on the bottom. I've been trying, without much success, to get a picture of them. Every time I try to catch a glimpse, by pulling down his lip, he sticks out his tongue! I'll keep trying :)
  • He is crawling all over the place, but sometimes bottoms out and scoots on his belly. His favorite activity is exploring the parts of our house where he normally doesn't hang out such as the hallway, the dining room, and any corner where he may find a dust bunny or two.
  • He loves to eat! He sits in his high chair for two meals a day (usually breakfast and supper) and still nurses throughout the day and night. His newest foods are beef ragout, mini whole grain waffles, whole grain pasta, and the baby version of cheeseburger chowder. Yummy! He's getting to the point where he really wants to be in charge of the spoon, so that makes things interesting.
  • The tables have turned and Henry is now chasing after Rufus. Rufus, however, has realized that Henry doesn't understand "soft touch". He pulls Rufus's tail and ears...hard. Rufus usually tries to scurry out of the way before this happens, but sometimes he's not fast enough. Remember Elmyra?? I'm worried we're going to have a serious Elmyra situation on our hands.
  • Henry is a total social butterfly. He will smile and jabber at people as we walk through the store and loves when they smile and jabber back at him. We go to storytime on Tuesday mornings and he loves to watch the other little kids. There's one little two-year-old girl who loves to hug Henry and hold his hand.
  • At his nine-month check, he proved that he is a healthy growing boy! Weight: 20 pounds, 14 ounces (52%ile); Height: 29 inches (74%ile); Head Circumference: Can't remember the measurement but I do remember it was 96%ile...that means big brains, right??
  • He got his first haircut to follow soon!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ABC's, 123's, and scarring kids for life

I've been at a bit of a loss for blog material lately. I have lots of thoughts and a few posts started about some deeper-type stuff, but nothing too light-hearted. Lots and lots of months ago (or maybe even years?? Yep, years) I started a little blog series about my favorite student stories, since working with 3-6 years olds is often quite hilarious. Remember this? Or how about this? Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mom now, but I still have five great years of teaching to reflect on. And lots of good stories to tell.
Today's story comes from my most recent class. Last year I taught four-year-old preschool here in Winterset. Each day there was this awkward six or seven minutes between storytime and lunch. And if you have ever spent time with a group of young kids, you know that time spent waiting around quickly turns into bouncing off the walls and chaos. So, I would always try to come up with some sort of fingerplay, song, or game in order to maintain some sort of ...well... order. On this particular day, I decided to introduce the "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?" game. You know the one. It goes like this:
"Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"
"(Student name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"
"Who me?"
"Yes you"
"Couldn't be"
"Then who?"
And each child gets a turn to be the designated cookie stealer. Seems innocent enough, right? WRONG.
We'll call the kid Joey. Joey was sweet and cute as can be. But he was also a bit oblivious. It was hard for him to understand a joke or an exaggeration. He took everything on a literal basis... Bless his heart. So most of the kids were kinda catching on. Not quite getting the rhythm of the whole thing, but all in all things were going well. Then we get to Joey's turn. "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Joey stole the cookie from the cookie jar." And we all look at Joey and wait for him to chime in with the "who me?" part. It started with him noticing everyone looking at him and his eyes growing very wide. And then he says, "No I didn't, guys. No, I didn't! I didn't steal the cookie!" Now, of course, the other kids understand that it's a rhythm game and they start to say things like "Yes, it's your turn. Yeah, you stole it." This, of course, is even more upsetting to Joey and he starts to unleash a little bit more. "No, I didn't! I don't got it! I don't got a cookie! NO I DIDN'T!!!!" Poor kid. I think he even cried a little. Yes, we got him calmed down and just kinda dismissed the whole thing. The next day as we were playing again, I decided it was better not to set Joey off and just skip his turn. I didn't think he'd notice or care. Wrong again. He insisted on having a turn. Fine. But when it finally came around to him, the whole scenario played out again. Oh, brother. Hope they don't play that game in kindergarten.

Monday, September 5, 2011

a wonderfully fantastic labor day weekend

Ya gotta love a good three-day weekend, right?
It started on Friday evening with our good friend Jon and his little girl, Bella, coming over for dinner. They were out for a bike ride while Megan (wife/mom) was running musical rehearsal and stopped by to say hello. I was about to put my gourmet's fish the oven, so we invited them to stay. And the Vandekamp's ended up being pretty tasty.
Saturday brought the much-anticipated opening game of the Hawkeye football season! I'm pretty sure Dameon has been waiting his whole life to sit on the couch with his baby boy and cheer on the Hawks :) We had our usual game day smorgasbord including nacho hamburger dip, salami and crackers, and brownies. We also had a few close calls when the power went out 45 minutes before kick-off and then the Big Ten Network basically failed at broadcasting the entire first half of the game. My husband gets a little intense during Hawkeye Football. (Can you imagine that?) So, every time I felt like saying something like, "At least this is happening during a game that isn't very important", I decided against it. Things like that don't usually go over very well. Saturday evening we tried out a new recipe that I got from my cousin, April. Chicken Tacos = delicious!! Here, you should try it:
Because who doesn't love a good crock-pot recipe?? So pumped to eat the leftovers tonight. Yum.
On Sunday we headed east to Oskaloosa for Grandpa Charlie's 80th birthday party. It was neat to see such a great turn-out of family and friends. And the cake was outrageously good!! After the party, we stopped over to visit our friends, Matt and Molly. It is always great to catch up with them and let our dogs catch up, too. :) Next we went to Pella to spend a little more time with Dameon's dad and step-mom. They had supper ready for us (taco salad!!) and then we got to enjoy the beautiful weather even more with a bonfire and s'mores. Good friends Barb and Bill stopped over to get in on the action. Henry was quite the comedian the whole night, which seems to be his new thing. His current shtick is to fake laugh and get other people to laugh at him. Then his laugh gets louder and more forced until it turns into more of a holler. And, of course by then everyone is laughing so hard at him that he decides to shake his head back and forth as quickly as he can, only taking breaks to make sure people are still looking at him. Hmmmm....I'm pretty sure he's going to be a "watch me, watch me" kind of kid. Not that I was ever like that or anything. ( and tumbling routines in the basement, anyone?)
We got home late and Henry was totally wiped out so he slept really well last night, but was ready to get up at 7 this morning. My amazing husband got up with him, fed him breakfast, and played with him so I could sleep until 8:30. SOOOOOO GREAT! Then Dameon did some drill work while I got ready for Mom, Dad, and Grandma to come over. They arrived around 12:30 and we had burgers on the grill, sweet corn, and toffee brownie trifle for lunch. We ate out on the patio and enjoyed this lovely Iowa weather. Henry is on his third nap of the day, so he's either catching up on sleep or growing or both. When he wakes up, we're definitely all going on a walk. Hooray for fall, football, and family!