Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kid Updates

It has been a little while since I wrote about each child.  I like doing this because sometimes life is so crazy with three little ones that I feel like I don't get to sit down and just enjoy learning about each child's likes/dislikes etc.  For this reason, when i'm alone with a child in the car, I always ask them 1,001 questions about their favorite things.

Cole is such a sweet and active little man.  One minute he is sitting down putting together 100 piece puzzles and the next he is running circles around the center part of the house while yelling "catch me if you can!".  Cole enjoys imaginative play and is constantly pretending to be a race car (he always has to be the fastest or the first to do things).  Cole can run, bike, play on the playground and still have more energy at the end of the day then I have first thing in the morning.  I swear her wakes up in the morning and within an hour he is running around the house.  He is very interested in math and measurements. His newest and greatest love is Angry Birds with his Daddy introduced him to and is now stuck doing every other night.  Cole can be a cuddle bug and recently told me that I am allowed to give him "many smooches" at home but at school I am only allowed to give him one smooch.  When Cole and Mommy are in the car alone he always wants to play "The story game" which consists of us taking turns adding to a story.  When it is Cole's turn he always turns things to someone picking up sticks and then some monster/dragon/dino etc. attacking the person.  The cutest part is that he always ends the story with the little boy running home to snuggle with his Mommy.  Following is one of my favorite Cole quotes from the past month:

Gwen: "It's my turn to pick the show today. I pick Oso!"
Cole: <start of meltdown> "But I don't like Oso and Oso is not good for our brains. We need to watch things that are good for our brains like Team Umizoomi"

Here's another one:

"Mommy, I want to marry you"

And another good one from our grocery shopping trip: "Mommy, what are you going to buy me because you love me?"  (The previous week Gwen came home from shopping and said, "Daddy bought me raspberries because he loves me and they weren't even on sale!")

Gwen is quite a girly girl princess these days.  She also enjoys crafting and will sit for hours working on her original creations.  Yesterday she told me that she wanted to do a craft with her brothers and that they were going to make alligators out of clothespins.  First she had them paint the clothespins green and then they decorated them with markers before they added the perfect sized googly eyes.  She is a huge help around the house and does everything from lying out Cole's clothing so that he can dress himself to holding Reid's hands so that I can change his diaper.  I swear she says "Mommy" at least 1,000 times a day but I really can't get tired of it because she talks in such a sweet voice.  I can tell that she thinks through situations and recently had discovered how to push one of Cole's buttons.  Since Cole likes playing with her, if she says that she wants to be alone and doens't want to play with Cole, the poor guy freaks out.  Following is one of my favorite Gwen quotes from the past month:

Gwen: "No, Cole, Meg is Mommy's middle name!"
Me: "What's my first name?"
Gwen: " Your first name is Mommy. Mommy Meg Stamps"

Club Mom Firehouse Tour 2/22/13

Last week we met up with our Club Mom friends and toured the Lower Macungie Firehouse.  Gwen and Cole remembered touring a firehouse a few years ago when I was pregnant with Reid.  This time they were the big kids and were not shy.  They shouted out answers to the firefighters questions and even grabbed the firefighter's pocket when he was all dressed and crawling to show what he would look like if he came to save the kids in a fire.

 Club Mom crew!
Checking out the firetruck.

Wacky Wednesday 2013

Here are my two oh so wacky preschoolers all dressed and ready to go to school and celebrate Wacky Wednesday.  Cole's swimsuit was a big hit and I was glad that Gwen decided at the last minute to wear something semi-wacky.  I suppose she has been so trained to choose matching ensembles that this was a little too weird for her!

M & M's

There they are.  This is what was left of a full bag of M & M's when i found them under the kitchen table.  Who knows how many the kids inhaled after they ripped the bag open while i was putting Reid down for his nap.  Recently Cole and Gwen have been getting into food while I put Reid up so I always lock the pantry door when I go upstairs.  Well, i guess I shouldn't say "always" because on this day I forgot and this M & M mess and two sugared up preschoolers are what I saw when I came back downstairs.  I guess i'll take this over the few times that they have gotten into the baby carrots and spit them out in mounds all over the kitchen floor...

Just a normal day at our house...

Yes we are on the go quite often because quite honestly my kids behave much better when we are out and about and we all drive each other nuts if we are cooped up inside for too long...BUT we do manage to have lots of fun together at the house.

Each day the kids watch approximately 40 minutes of TV.  They love snuggling on the couch and always sit in the same spots.  Cole and Reid can often be found pulling Mommy's soft warm blanket back and forth.  Gwen always holds bunny and blankie.  (Side note:  for some reason a few months ago Gwen started saying "she" in place of "her").  Reid recently learned to climb over the couch into the window ledge behind it.  So...when he gets bored of watching "Oso" (yeah, he requests "Oso"), he usually dives behind the couch and starts jumping on the window ledge or throwing his body over the couch onto the big kids.

 Cole and Reid enjoy playing "Kitty" together.  They always surround themselves with a bunch of toys and sit in the corner pretending that they are kitties in their cage.  Sometimes Gwen joins in and pretends that she is their Mommy.  Other times they ask me to feed them and pet them.  I can honestly tell you that this is one of the only activities these days where Cole and Reid play well together.  Cole often takes Reid's toys and is rough with him which results in Reid running to me yelling "Dole, Dole" while fussing.  Apparently the tattling has begun.

 Even though we have a nice sized home, somehow we can often all be found within a few square feet of each other.
 Playing dress up and make believe is a favorite activity.  Reid refuses to be left out of any activity these days.  Here he is wearing his "fish" costume while the big kids put on a show.  While he has fun in his costume he struggles every time with figuring out how to climb the climber and go down the slide.

Princess Gwen puts on a show while Sharkman Cole prepares dinner in the background.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day 2013

I was determined to catch up on this blog tonight so that I could make a Valentines Day Post and now that I am finally at this point at 10:30 pm, I no longer remember what it was that I had wanted to say.  These are my three sweet little valentines and what I love about them is that they celebrate "I Love You Day" every day.  Gwen and Cole constantly tell me that today is "I Love You Day" and then give me lots of hugs and kisses.  Cole melted my heart earlier this week when we took a snow walk and he thanked me many times over for the fun walk (they loved walking in the snow mounds and pretending that they were making dinosaur footprints).  Gwen melts my heart by creating adorable pictures for me and helping to take care of her brothers.  Reid melts my heart when I'm getting ready to put him to bed at night and he says "Me" because he wants to be the one to turn out the light and then he tries to repeat "Love You" after I say it.

Book Lovers

All three kids love to read books.  They especially enjoy it when Mommy or Daddy read to them but often they are happy to flip through the pages and read on their own.  Right now Cole is into dinosaur, dragon, construction and race car books while Gwen is into princess books (or any book she can pull off of the library shelf that is pink!).  Reid enjoys his Llama Llama books and vehicle books, especially ones that are about construction vehicles.

Mommy is a Sleep Stalker

Every night before I go to sleep I check on my three little ones.  It is  my way to say good night and also to admire how big they are getting.  Sometimes after a particularly frustrating or stressful day, I find it nice to reconnect with them while they are peacefully sleeping.  

 I often find Gwen wearing something different from what she was wearing when I tucked her in a few hours earlier.Gwen got this Hello Kitty bathrobe from her friend, Brookie.  As soon as she saw it she HAD to wear it.  The girl didn't even know what a bathrobe was but she insisted on wearing it to bed  hood and all!  When I go to tuck her in before I go to bed she often wakes up and says: "No, Mommy!".
 Little dude sleeps with two of his three dogs these days.  She holds the tag of one dog (starts doing so while i give him is evening breathing treament.  Cole used to hold and rub the tag on his comforter when he was this age)and i usually position the other dog above his head

I'm on a mission this week to take a pic of my sleeping big boy...

Reid is 17 Months Old (2/3/13)

Reid is 17 months old and quite the little dude these days.  He talks up a storm but he still signs while he talks.  He now calls us Mommy and Daddy and says some words (apple, snow, night night)so clearly that I keep thinking that one of the big kids is saying them.  His newest trick is climbing over the sofa onto the window seat.  It isn't enough for him to get to the window seat-- he loves to jump with excitement when he makes it back there (and gives Mommy a heart attack too!).  When Reid jumps his feet leave the ground.  He also specializes in tip toeing and somersaulting which he taught himself.  One day REid bent down and did the perfect somersault.  I figured it was just a fluke but he decided to practice sevearl times that day and by the time Daddy walked through the door after work, Reid was running and then tucking his head to somersault.  Reid loves expressing his opinion and does not hesitate to throw a fit when he does not get what he wants.  He wants a certain ball in the car and will shake his head "no" until mommy finds just the right one to which he will shake his head "yes".  The same scenario can be seen daily in regards to food, toys, activities etc.  Recently he started enjoying the song We Are The Dinosaurs and screamed with frustration each time the song ended and a new one came on.  Doesn't this kid know there are only so many times Mommy can listen to this one song?  Reid loves singing along when Mommy sings.  He lets me know which song he wants me to sing by letting me sing a few lines and then shaking his head "yes' or "no" to which i respond by continuing the song or trying a new one.

Last week I got to spend some special one on one time with Reid.  I let him choose what he wanted to play with Mommy and he wanted to hide behind the kitchen curtain.  He waited for me to say:  "Where's Reid?  Oh no!  i lost by little boy" and then he would squeal with excitement and peak his head out from behind the fabric.  

Happy kid!!!

Early February Snow

A Weekend Snow!  We finally got some snow on a weekend.  The kids enjoyed sledding into the empty lot next to our home after they helped clear off the driveway and the sidewalk.

 Reid's first sledding experience.  Each time he went on his own he fell backwards and ended up sledding on his back. At least he was all smiles :)
 Gwen's snowman that ended up being a snow mountain.


Remember how I said that toddlers and preschoolers love to put things in bins and then dump them back out?  Well...apparently that includes themselves.  I bought this bin to use with my lending library and my boys enjoyed playing with it and dumping each other out of it.  No, Cole's bandaid did not come from an injury during this process.  He got scratched by Reid and then refused to remove the Bandaid.  When we finally convinced him that he needed to take it off during his bath, he and Gwen decided to raid the cabinet and put another one on his forehead on their own (hence the crooked second bandaid on his head).

 Cole got stuck in the bin under the highchair.  Problem solving, my son.  Problem solving, my son.

Brothers...for one second they are not roughhousing...

Snow Day Monday

There must be some kind of teacher union that gets together on Sunday nights to plan Snow Day Mondays around here.  Sometimes I wish it was Snow Day Thursdays or Snow Day Fridays so it wouldn't affect us but I do have to admit that after I get the kids all bundled up to play in the snow, we have a blast.  All of the kids enjoy shoveling and spend hours pushing the snow around.  AND recently I accidentally discovered that if i give them sand shovels and sand buckets that they will scoop the snow and make all kinds of ice sculptures and even pretend soups complete with snow, mulch and pine needles with them.  

 Is that Gwen under that hat?
 Cole's fun turned to fussing when he refused to wear the waterproof mittens and his hands were freezing...
 Reid is a rather productive shoveler
 Putting snow in a bucket is perfect for this toddler.  I seem to remember some other toddlers who loves to put things in buckets/pails etc. and then dump them right out.  Oh wait!  All three of my kids still do that :)
Post shoveling Lunch Bunch Picnic (Gwen and Cole were supposed to go to lunch bunch so they ate their packed lunches at 10:00 am on the floor.  Whatever works...)

Girls Day 2013

On January 26, 2013, Gwen and I enjoyed an entire day of girl fun with our friends Emmalyn and Lena.  After Cheering we went to Emmalyn's grandparents home where the girls proudly made building structures out of dominos without the worry that they would be destroyed by their brothers.  Next we headed to Cosi for lunch where the little girls had cookies and pizza (in that order) for lunch.  Then we told them that we wanted to see what was going on at Sweet and Sassy and surprised them with getting their hair, makeup and nails done.  Now everyone knows that I am not a girly girl but my little Gwen was over the moon when she realized what was happening :)  Afterwards we went to Parkland high School to see The Little Mermaid.  It was our perfect first Mommy Daughter Day.  I often tell Gwen that she is my little princess.  She really is such a kind and thoughtful little girl.  She helps her brothers daily and even holds Reid down while i change his poopy diapers with no complaints.  

Picky Toddler

What does our picky toddler eat?

 Tomatoes!  The kid insisted on trying them at least 20 times and spit them out every time until this night when he inhaled 4 of them!
 Chinese Noodles.  Now THAT'S a happy kid sitting at the big boy table and eating noodles.
More noodle eating.

Besides tomatoes and noodles Reid lives on yogurt, cheese, beans, sandwiches, cream cheese rollups, pancakes, carrots, fresh fruit and the occasional chicken nugget and turkey sausage link.  If had it his way he would enjoy a healthy dose of goldfish crackers, craisens, raisens,pretzels, and teddy grahams daily.

Post Holiday Party

Our family has a new tradition that was started this year- on the second Saturday in January cousin Laura and Steve have a big post holiday bash at their place (I suppose it isn't quite considered a tradition yet but they did tell us that they plan to do it on the second Saturday each year).  Nana and Pap were unable to attend because they were feeling ill but Andy and I managed to keep things under control with the three kiddos in a non child proofed house.  The big kids actually played hide and seek with some other children.  Cousin Laura's home is perfect for hide and seek except the kids kept losing each other and I was afraid that my kids were going to knock a lamp off a table or something.  Thankfully we survived with no injuries to the kids or Laura's home.

Cheerleading Practice

In early January Gwen started taking Cheering through the Stretch and Grow Program.  She and her twin buddy, Emmalyn, have been enjoying their girl time together on Saturday mornings.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reid is 16 Months Old (1/3/13)!

I know I say this every month but I really cannot believe that my little baby is turning into such a little toddler.  There is not much that he cannot do these days and don't dare tell him that he is not allowed to do something that his big brother and big sister are doing.  He is repeating words all day long and specializes in saying "no, no, no" while shaking his head and arching his back/tantruming.  He recently started trying to say "Gwen" and  "Cole" (Dole).  He learned how to climb onto the couch recently and insists on being snuggled up in Mommy's new blanket while he is up there with the big kids.  He says everything from "Daddy (no longer Dada) to "Love you" and is a big climber.  He enjoys climbing up the ladder and going down the slide outside which makes Mommy extremely nervous.  He is learning to soothe himself with the help of his Dog Dogs (He still calls them Dog Dog even though he refers to a Dog as Doggy or Oscar these days).  Since he's had a few colds this winter we have increased his breathing treatments to twice daily and recently he passed another round of his peanut challenge so we are trying to incorporate small amounts of peanut butter into his diet.  Too bad the kid refuses to eat peanut butter.  He has been eating slightly better recently too.  Foods that he can pick up and eat by taking big kid bites are especially exciting (tortilla wraps with cheese, pancakes with cream cheese, sandwiches, chicken nuggets etc.).  Reid is fairly outgoing when he's in new situations and has been known to flirt with strangers.  When we're at playdates he sticks close to me if Gwen and Cole are not with us but usually runs off to play if they are present.  Reid makes cooking and getting dinner on the table nearly impossible for Mommy.  He insists on being carried on my hip or pulls on my legs and tries to climb up to me when I'm working in the kitchen.  Reid definitely has energy like his older brother.  He loves running laps around the center of our house.  The big kids pretend that he is a monster who is chasing them and everyone joins in the fun.  Reid also enjoys dancing and singing.  He does the sign for "more, more, more" and says "M, M, M" often when I sing Old MacDonald and Ring Around the Rosie.

Holiday Cheer

Who needs holiday gifts when you have three little sweethearts?

 Gwen and Cole love to hug to the point where they are both laughing because they think the other is tickling them.
 Reid still enjoys books and is happy to back his little bottom up into any lap he can find.

Reid's new slim carseat was quickly turned into a rocketship by his big brother and big sister.
Picking up Christmas Tree needles and putting them into an oatmeal container is even more fun when you are doing it with a princess.