Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Snack Time






After bath time we give the boys a snack in our room and let them listen to some music until bed time. Last week, they were so cute sharing some Wheat Thins in the rocking chair.

Pumping Some Iron





Micah found these and thought it was funny to lift some weights. I guess he remembers me using them with my pilates video. I thought it was hilarious. After we had moved on to something else, Owen appeared carrying one, which, of course, deserved another photo. Don't ask me how it worked out that neither boy had his shirt on, but it makes it even more funny!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Grand Opening












The past weekend, the Spectacle Shoppe had its grand opening. I took the boys up to the office for some bagels and coffee (bagels for them, coffee for me) and we had fun meeting some of the prospective patients and many of the neighbors. Well, let me rephrase that. Micah had fun sitting in the waiting room with his iPod and headphones (he gets a bit of social anxiety), Owen had fun walking around the office until Gatsby ("Dr. Bradley's" son) tackled him in a bear hug (totally innocent, he is only 1, and loved Owen. Unfortunately after the incident, Owen didn't love him back), I had fun assessing the decorative improvements that needed to be made, and Matt had fun selling sunglasses and scheduling appointments. We tried to get some family pictures, but the boys were not cooperating. I thought I would post some of the funny attempts. The practice was open last week and Matt and Bradley actually did some good business. This week also has a few patients scheduled for every day, which is so exciting. Matt loves being at the practice. He claims that it is so much more fulfilling to work in his own place and run things the way he thinks is best. The patients want to be well taken care of, and Matt loves the ability to spend extra time getting to know them and to treat their conditions better. In commercial optometry (ie Wal-Mart, Lens Crafters, etc.) you lose some of the doctor/patient relationship, and everyone is always in a hurry, seeking out the best deals. That is fine for them, it is just not the way Matt wants to practice. All that to say, we feel very blessed by this opportunity and pray that God will continue to send patients our way.

After the big day, Owen had a blast with the balloons. He would get these ideas and try to take them up the stairs, so he could throw them down, or take them outside and send them down the slide. It was hilarious. Yes, he is wearing mismatched pj's because dada dressed him the night before. Oh, we seem to have had some fussy days for Owen, and are backing off the goat's milk for a little while. It is so hard because the type of allergy he has doesn't show up in a blood test so can only be determined through trial and error (hard because he is teething too,) and it is something called a type 3 meaning that the symptoms may take up to 3 days to show up. I am trying to keep my sanity and have added coconut milk to his rice dream for some fat. Supposedly the protein in goats milk is not heat stable. I have found some evaporated goat's milk in a can that I can reconstitute and should be rid of the protein. I think I will give his tummy a rest for a day or two and try again. It doesn't help that, even though I have bought exact matching cups for the boys that I mark with a sharpie, Owen still grabs Micah's milk when he isn't looking and takes a sip. He really wants to do anything and everything his big brother does. Micah is reading up a storm. He blows us away now that he will grab his Bible (not a children's one, but an ESV version from Uncle Bomp and Aunt Katie) and open and read passages. We will hear him on the monitor "Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" and can hardly take it away when he is supposed to be sleeping. The passage is from Micah 6. He has memorized Micah 6:8 (his birthday and the reason we named our blog the common name for the verse: The Micah Mandate) and loves to look it up in his Bible. Micah really just loves words. He is always pointing out words that he sees. The other night he was lying on the floor during prayers and singing and says: "is that Laposa?" Matt and I were confused and he got up and looked on the underside of his night light and said "laposa?" We couldn't stop laughing when we saw LP-01SA. It must be the serial number or something.

I am really jumping around here, but wanted to mention a new feature that Matt turned me on to. It is called Google Reader. I am always clicking on my favorite blogs looking for updates, which can be a waste of time since I like to read lots of them. Now I can just look on Google Reader, and it will tell me which ones have updates. I hope you will find this time saving tip useful too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Japanese





Matt and I love Japanese food (really all Asian foods, though Thai and Japanese are my favorites,) and we want to expose the boys to it as much as possible. So, when Matt's family asked if we wanted to join them last week at Kyoto, of course we said "Yes." The boys enjoyed chicken and vegetable tempura and Matt and I got a platter of sushi. I think both boys loved it, and were very interested to try chop sticks. The picture in the car is from the way there. Micah hates bright sunlight (he is very sensitive to it for some medical reason that Matt has told me of, but I forgot) and we are starting to get him interested in sunglasses. I found these aviator ones from Old Navy and they are too cute.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Got Milk?






It has been somewhat difficult to make sure Owen gets the protein and fat he needs since I have quit nursing him. He has an allergy to the protein in cow's milk and can't have soy, so finding a milk for him has been a challenge. Until last week, we have used Rice Dream (lots of carbs, hardly any fat, and no protein) in things like his oatmeal and for a snack before bed. I became exhausted trying to put extra oil in his veggies and sneaking extra bites of chicken in, so we went to work researching other options. Goat milk sparked our interest, and as we researched, we learned that it does not contain casein (the most popular allergen) and is actually more similar to breast milk in composition. We went to the store and were so happy to find it at Publix right with the other milks. I have been adding it to his Rice Dream a little at a time praying that he will be able to digest it, and he seems to be doing well! Hopefully, he will continue to do well, and I can feel more confident that he is getting all his vital nutrients. We have joked about buying a goat since the stuff costs $3.50 for a quart. It is well worth it though for a healthy boy. Owen is now only walking. He is so funny to watch. He used to make up little obstacle courses for himself when he could crawl going around the room and under the tables, and now he walks around in his own little pattern all over the house. Lately it is: crawl into the rocking chair, up onto the bed, turn himself around, climb down (a new trick,) and walk around the bed to the chair to start over. It is hilarious. One big difference since he has been walking though is that he is never still. He used to stay in one spot for a decent period of time playing. Now, he is constantly walking, not really getting into anything, just walking in circles around the house. He is in the process of learning to duck under the highchair on his course downstairs. He has added back his morning nap and sleeps about 16 hours a day again. He is exhausted and his little legs are getting so strong.

Owen's favorite animal is an elephant and he loves to tell everybody what one says. The funny thing is, no matter what animal he sees, he makes the elephant sound! I think we have finally mastered the lion over the past couple of days. I think it is so neat to watch the boys' personalities develop. We never pushed an elephant on him, in fact I tried to get him to like ducks since those were Micah's favorite. Micah is keeping us entertained lately with his funny sayings. He is also becoming more and more loving toward Owen. Unfortunately, we went through a phase a couple of months ago where Micah wasn't that interested in him and wanted him to always leave or go to sleep. It came around the time Owen started crawling and staying awake with the family more. I know the oldest has to learn to cope with a new baby, and I think we just dealt with it a little later in the game. Micah never minded Owen much as a newborn (probably because Owen didn't require too much of our time,) but now Owen needs us more. We have been trying to teach Micah about kindness, encouraging one another, and selflessness. I have written out several note cards of Bible verses for us to memorize. The other night as Owen was walking all over the backyard (it was the first time he could really keep his balance in the yard) Micah said "Good job walking Owen!" very enthusiastically. Matt and I were thrilled to see the Holy Spirit working in Micah's little heart. We were so proud of our sweet little boy, and we could tell he was happy too. It is amazing how the Lord can work in a child so small. I think we often underestimate the power of God's word, but isn't that how he works in our hearts? Of course it is how He will work in our children's too. It makes all the hard work of teaching and praying worth it when you see the fruit in your child's life. I am so thankful God gives us glimpses of what He is doing to encourage us to keep it up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fun at the Park








We have been enjoying this amazing weather before it gets too hot. I have found that taking the boys to the park for a picnic and to play has been very rewarding. It gives us something to do (even the boys get stir crazy, and Micah will often ask if we can take a trip, meaning run an errand). It is restful to do different things sometimes. Monotony can be exhausting, so even though I have to pack up a lunch, (which I will often do before bed) it is nice to not have to wipe down the highchairs, load the dishwasher, wipe off the counter tops etc. and the boys run off a bunch of energy and are very ready for a long afternoon nap!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Some Disclaimers

Ann asked if my kids were good eaters, and if they would eat the things I posted earlier this week. I thought I would add some disclaimers so that all you moms out there weren't wondering how in the world I get a one and three year old to eat a salmon BLTA! As a general rule in this house, I do not cook separate meals for all four members of the family. Our rule is "you may eat what mama makes!" We have been extremely fortunate in that Micah is not a picky eater at all. He doesn't care for some meat, namely beef, but other than that he loves most all food. He actually prefers veggies over all other options. I have a hard time getting him to eat fruit, so we have turned to smoothies, a great summer treat! I will load the blender up with some juice and a couple of cups of frozen fruit and the boys (along with me and Matt) love it. Owen, unfortunately, has to be picky because he has no choice. He has an allergy to cow's milk. We try a bite every four weeks to check and see if he has outgrown it and Thursday's tummy ache after a bite of Micah's grilled cheese proved that he is not quite over it. He seems to be ok with eggs now though!
Ok, so back to the disclaimers. I cut things up into bite sized pieces and get the boys to try it. I will cut up the toast, bacon, and salmon for example and let them try a few bites. I have learned not to make it a battle. Babies' taste buds are constantly changing. Owen loved bananas until a week ago, now he spits them out. I normally don't go make them a new meal if they don't like what I fix, I just try to make sure that within the meal there is something that I know they like, and then they can just try all the rest. So, I know they like the bread (I usually use a whole grain for vitamins and fiber, and I will add a slice of cheese for Micah) and if they only eat a bite or two of salmon, that's okay, because sometimes you have to try something up to 12 times to develop a taste for it. I also give the boys a multi vitamin along with a calcium supplement for Owen. This helps curb my fears if they are having a "picky" day. I also offer a snack before bed. We usually do warm milk (whole for Micah, Rice Dream for Owen). And sometimes a bit of dessert. This helps me know that they are not hungry before the long night of sleep. For breakfast and lunch, I do make them things that they like (chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, pasta, cheese toast, frozen veggies). Now as far as the casseroles go, here is a trick that has worked with Owen. He loves pasta, so I will just take out a few pieces of the pasta from the casserole and let him eat them (it has all the flavors of the whole dish so he can get accustomed to them on something he loves. Then I will try a piece of onion and zucchini. Since he already likes the flavor, he only has the texture that is new in this bite instead of throwing a new taste and texture at him all at the same time.
I majored in nutrition in college, and eating a variety of healthy foods is very important to me. I have also found though that sometimes I can feel some anxiety about feeding my children healthy foods. I have tried to keep dinner times as pleasant as possible because it is very important to us that we all sit down and eat dinner as a family (and that it be a happy time, not one filled with tears, anxiety, and lost patience.) So, rather than worry so much about what they are eating, we try to work on: praying before the meal, no throwing cups on the floor, saying please, sitting until everyone is finished, and other manners. If they would rather pass on the tomatoes, then they aren't going to starve. I always tell Micah "one bite, and if you don't like it, you can eat the other things." Hopefully I can at least keep him open and excited to try new foods, instead being scared I will make him eat something that tastes bad to him. I would love to hear anyone else's tricks to getting their children to eat healthy foods. The zucchini bread was a big hit around here. I guarantee that no one would guess there were veggies in there. Adding purees (try carrots, sweet potatoes, and all varieties of squash,) to muffins, pancakes, breads, ect. is a great way to get some extra veggies in your little ones and yourselves!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ring Stacker

Owen loves to figure things out. Micah does too. The big difference is that Owen is so patient that he takes the time to quietly work on it, and Micah gets way too frustrated and upset if it's hard. It is fun to watch how similar the boys are in their interests, but how different they are in their approaches. Enjoy Owen getting so proud of himself.
video