Tuesday, October 30, 2012

1 Year!

Well we celebrated Joanna's first birthday over a month ago!  We had a small gathering with cake a few days before her birthday, and then some family fun on the actual day.  As of a couple weeks ago, Joanna weighed 21 lbs  7 oz (75th percentile) and was 31 inches long (90th percentile).  She has 8 teeth and wears size 18 months.  We thought she would be walking by now, but she hasn't really made any progress on this in a couple months.  Just happy speed crawling I guess. Although she has learned how to go up and down the stairs now.  At birthday time, I think she was saying uh oh, mama, da, and up (sounds like dot).  Now she also says ow, she shakes her head no when she means yes, fish (sounds like shhhh), and points with great gusto at anything she wants, and sometimes at everything around just to see what she can get.  :)  She still goes to bed great, and still gets up at night at least once wanting a pacifier replacement.  Sometimes multiple times. 
Joanna new nickname is "Joanimal", and let me tell you - it is very fitting!  She doesn't like to sit still, but instead wreak havoc and destruction on everything around.  But she squeals with joy and laughter (sometimes it is a little evil sounding) while she does it.  It is great fun and exhausting at the same time.  She is quite dramatic, tiny things set her off, but she can be back to smiles in a second.  She screams and throws full body tantrums now when she doesn't get what she wants, but again, when we walk away she gets over it pretty quick.  She still loves animals and squeals whenever she sees one, even far away.  She loves to feed Spot from her high chair and giggle.  Unfortunately, she seems to be taking after Orrin with her eating habits and has gotten much pickier.  When we put something on her tray that she doesn't want, she screams and thrashes her hands to throw the food as fast as she can before we take it away.  She also does that when she is done eating, or she'll just take her tray and throw it.  So meal times are a bit messy.  That's when having a dog comes in handy!
She is becoming a great car traveler, making it happily through two mini vacations in the last month, she even slept pretty well in the hotels.  She is happy when there is lots of activity around to watch, but gets bored with quiet activities like the library and grocery shopping.   Her favorite things to do right now are slide down the stairs over and over, bath time, exploring cabinets, drawers, boxes, etc (she is getting to the "put things in other things" stage, so frequently we will find a toy in a shoe, or some random drawer), play kitchen with Orrin, climb on the dog or Orrin's bed, climb on anything in general, go for walks, and make messes.
We just adore Joanna and can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Monday, August 27, 2012

11 Months

 I can't believe we are coming up on one year with Joanna!  I'm not sure how much has changed in the last few weeks.  She is cruising pretty well along the furniture and occasionally will let go for a second or two.  She still won't eat green vegetables, but anything on the floor is fair game.  Crayons seem to be a favorite.  Mealtimes are getting easier as she will eat more and more normal foods (a cut up peanut butter and jam sandwich, some chicken, etc.) so I actually get a few bites of warm food sometimes now.  No new words, but she does love to say "Ahhhh Choo".   Orrin and Joanna loves to play together most of the time, especially with their little play kitchen.  Sometimes they chase each other, too.  Its so fun to watch.  Just as often, though, they are fighting over a toy. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

3 years old

 Can you believe this kid is 3?!  Some Orrin fun facts to remember:

For his birthday, he wanted a cat and a cuckoo clock.  And green cake.
When he grows up, he wants to be a farmer.
His favorite color (at the moment, changes daily) is green.
Favorite Bible Story is "Cheus the little man", with "Guyloth" being a close second.
Current likes: "mac-o-cheese", trains, thomas the train books/videos, helping Scott with just about anything, veggie tales music and dvds, playing outside, playing the guitar and drums, liger pajamas, switching everyone's names (mommy is daddy, daddy is Orrin and so on - it gets very confusing to carry on for a long time), making up words, helping me bake
Current dislikes: most vegetables and meat (exceptions are carrots, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs), loud buzzing noises, haircuts, wearing sandals without socks, the potty or anything associated with using it,
Current best friends: Katelyn and Naomi
Favorite phrases: "not anything"(said emphatically and stubbornly), "draining your injury", "Jonada is a nada" (translation: Joanna is a banana), "not be real, be tend", "a couple whiles"

I tried to make his birthday special.  I told him he could pick something fun to do (like the zoo or gardens) and got the standard "not anything" response.  So I packed them both up and told him I was bringing him to a surprise.  We went to Centerpointe mall, where they have these coin operated rides.  I let him play on them for awhile, then before we left I let him pick one that I actually put money in for him to ride (too bad the first two that he picked didn't actually work!).

Since when I asked him what he wanted for dinner, I also got the "not anything" answer, I chose macaroni and cheese with cut-up hotdogs.   I think he might have been on to the hidden squash because he didn't actually eat much of the noodles, he was mostly picking out the hotdogs.  Maybe those rank higher to him now.  

With his green cake.

He seriously only ate a couple bites before he was done.  He'll always act excited for sweets, but doesn't really seem to like them.  

Opening presents.  We decided that on each birthday, we would give the kids one new privilege and one new responsibility.  This year, Orrin will start helping set the table, and we will allow him to play some of the wii sports games with Scott or I.  It was hard to come up with stuff now, but we want to at least set the stage for years to come when it might be more meaningful.

The best for last - a set of wooden train tracks to use with his trains!  He was pretty excited. 

It was a great day, and I am exhausted!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


 We've been having a fun summer around here.  A while back we went to Binder Park Zoo with Jeremy, Marilee, Jennalynn, and Lydia.  We loved seeing the animals, and especially the Africa part.  The only part Orrin was interested in was the train.  He was pretty excited for the "train" (a tram" ride) to the Africa exhibit.  And of course the giraffes were a hit.

Orrin and Joanna painted rocks for Scott for Father's Day.  It was an adventure finding the rocks (had to climb a large dirt hill on the other side of our neighborhood where they are building a new house).  Joanna was absolutely covered in (non-toxic) paint, while Orrin neatly painted with his brush and bowl - not a speck of paint on him when we were done.

Orrin is ready for the Grandville 4th of July parade.

Playing with his cousins after the parade.  

Our jungle/garden.  This was taken several weeks ago.  Unfortunately after harvesting a bunch of zucchini, we had to pull out the plants.  So the back third of the garden is empty now.  Zucchini and pumpkin got infested with squash vine borer.  I'll spare you the gross details of what we found in the zucchini stems.  Sad to lose the pumpkins especially since there were a bunch that were growing, but it was clear that they had been infested as well so they had to go.  The watermelons have escaped the garden now.  And we are being overwhelmed by cucumbers.  Scott has had to cut them back a few times already to try and save the tomatoes.  The poor pepper and eggplant plants have just been swallowed up and are barely growing.  Its a learning process I guess.  Next year - not so many plants, more cages and more space between plants!  :)

Orrin loves to help wash the car!

Joanna just loves to watch.

Orrin has been pretty obsessed with umbrellas lately.  He would carry his around everywhere, a very sad sight in this drought.  So one day during dinner, we got like 5 minutes of a light rain.  So we quickly left our plates and ran outside so Orrin could stand under his umbrella.  Since then, I think he has been able to use it in one more rain.  

In mid-July, we went camping with friends.  It was a lot of fun - and a lot of work with two young kids!  Especially with Joanna, who is very difficult to contain at the moment.  We also forgot to take many pictures.  But I do think Orrin is hooked and camping will always be a fun family vacation for us.

Remember how I said we are overwhelmed with cucumbers?  So far, we have made 30 (!) quarts of pickles - 20 of bread and butter, 10 of dill.  Then we harvested a whole bunch more, so we've been giving them away, and Scott is hoping to try canning some relish.  Next up - the tomatoes!

Orrin is super excited about his new Scooter from Oma!

We went up to visit Lisa and Creig this past weekend.  Orrin learned how to skateboard.

We spent some time at the beach.  We had a blast playing in the sand and water, but it is difficult with Joanna b/c she missed her afternoon nap.  She was grumpy after a while, and it was tough keeping her from eating handfuls of sand.  But overall a fun time.

Lisa made Orrin a cake to celebrate his birthday.  This was the smile when everyone started singing to him.  So cute.  I'm not sure I can top that on his actual birthday this week, but I'll try.  :)