Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birthday Celebration

We had a party the Saturday after Ethan and Sienna’s birthday (which is the same day).  It was a pretty eclectic party.  I had a tablecloth that had different colors all over it, Winnie the Pooh plates and napkins,  I used the same Thomas the Train birthday hats that we used last year for Ethan’s birthday, and I made a clownfish cake.  Thankfully, at this age they don’t care if anything matches. :-)IMG_4188I tried to do the easiest cake I could do that would work for a boy and girl.   IMG_4197Seven of their friends came over to celebrate.  Sadly, Seth was sick so he couldn’t make it.  Zsuzsi seemed to have a good time despite only speaking Hungarian, and Kata was too young to know the difference.IMG_4201I didn’t want to put a Thomas the Train hat on Sienna, but didn’t have time to cover it somehow, so she just didn’t wear a hat.  We put a 3 on the cake and sang Happy Birthday to Ethan, and then we took it off and put a 1 on the cake and sang Happy Birthday to Sienna.IMG_4206All of the kids either ate the cake and frosting or just the frosting except Ethan (and Sienna, who had lunch instead of cake).  Ethan said that he didn’t like the “orange stuff” (which was the frosting).  It was too sweet for him.  I was very excited about that since we’ve been trying not to give him sweets in hopes that he wouldn’t crave them and like real sweet stuff.  So I cut the frosting off, and he ate the cake.  I was one happy mother!

We asked people who came to the party not to bring any gifts.  I think the kids are so young, they don’t know a difference at this point, and right now I don’t want them growing up thinking all that happens at a birthday party is that they get a bunch of stuff.  Plus, it’s so hard on parents to always have to be buying gifts for someone’s birthday party.  We planned to give them gifts from us and our families, which is plenty at this age.  At some point we will do parties with gifts, but Ethan is so social, just having a party with kids was a great gift for him.  He talked about this party for months and wanted everyone to come!IMG_4238So far we have given the kids one gift from us for their birthdays and one gift for Christmases.  However, we did 2 this time.  We got Ethan this little basketball to use with this small hoop that we got at a school rummage sale.  He had been throwing other little balls in it and wanting to play with my regular basketball in the house (which we don’t let him do).  So he loved having this small basketball.IMG_4240We gave Sienna these little plastic things that have bells inside of them.  They were actually toys of Ethan that we took out of a box.  When Ethan saw them, he said that he hadn’t seen them in a long time.  We didn’t expect him to remember them.IMG_4278The other gift that we were so excited about was this kitchen set.  I have asked around trying to buy a used one for over a year.  I finally decided to ask a family again who told me no a year ago, and this time they said yes!  Not only did they say yes, but they said that they had a shopping cart and lots of food, etc. to go with it, AND that we could have it all for free!IMG_4248It’s still a bit too big for Sienna, but Ethan enjoys playing with it.  We put it in our kitchen, so the kids can cook while I am cooking.  Ethan likes to keep all of the pots, pans, food, etc. in the shopping cart when he’s not playing with it.

One Year Old

I wrote this entry and the “Birthday Celebration” a few weeks ago but just never posted them.

IMG_4047We both dressed in red for Valentine’s Day.  Hard to believe that I went into labor with her just one year earlier.  I hear so many parents talk about how they grow up before you know it.  I can already feel that (though Gary thinks that age 2 lasted forever with Ethan).

She is in the 5th percentile for body weight compared to other girls her age.  This really surprises us because she eats a lot of food.  So far she has eaten everything we give her (except cantaloupe).  She has finally started feeding herself!  Hooray!  Right now, I’m not grinding any food at all.  She has been able to eat all different kinds of meat, so that is nice.  She’s using the “more” sign now, but does it with her hands straight like Ethan did.

She just had her 3rd tooth pop in (2 weeks after her birthday).  So now she has her 2 bottom teeth and one on the top.

She tends to be quiet, but once she starts talking, then she really does.  She doesn’t seem to be as extroverted as Ethan, but she enjoys being around people.IMG_4083I told you that she began crawling at 11.5 months.  On her 12 month birthday she crawled up the 3 steps from our living room to our dining room.IMG_4300  She plays with the xylophone much more than Ethan ever did.  I don’t even think he played with it at this age (of course, he does now since his sister does).  She enjoys the toys that have music and loves a little keyboard that Gary’s parents got for Ethan.  When she hits a button that plays music she bounces up and down.   IMG_4384 She tends to sit on one knee like in this picture above.IMG_4056We think she is a total cutie!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Three Years Old

Ethan turned three 2 weeks ago.  We had a party for him and Sienna the following Saturday, but I’ll talk about that in another post.  For now, I’ll put some stuff on here that the family and a few others may be interested in reading/seeing.

We took the kids for their check-up on their actual birthday.  Ethan is around the 50% for weight and around the 25% for height compared to other boys his age.  We don’t think that Ethan is fat, but we are surprised that he doesn’t weigh more as much as he eats.  His typical breakfast each morning consists of one banana, either oatmeal or 2 scrambled eggs, then granola, and sometimes Corn Flakes and Special K without milk.  I recently fixed pancakes for him, and he ate 6 of them, granola, and then an apple for breakfast.  An hour later, he wanted more food so he ate dried apricots and dried cherries.  Then he had lunch about an hour later, and he ate a bowl of soup then yogurt with granola.  All of this was eaten in a 4 hour time frame! 

I made about 7 different soups to freeze in January.  Ethan doesn’t like milk or cheese, but he loves soup, so it’s a great way to get some dairy in him if it’s a soup that I can put cream in.  He tends not to like white sauces, and he doesn’t like any casserole that has any kind of cream of mushroom, chicken, etc. soup in it.

He seems to be understanding the concept of “favorite.”IMG_3651 In January he said that this was his favorite car.  His uncle Bret got it for him a little over a year ago.  In the picture he is “fixing it” (nothing was wrong with it… he just likes to “fix” things).  His “favorite” toy seems to change pretty regularly, but he is really into cars now, so it’s usually one of his cars.IMG_4311 He loves using tools, especially real tools.  Otherwise, he makes due with his toy tools or something that isn’t a tool, but looks like one.  Here he is “fixing” the stairs to the attic; he absolutely loves going up and down the stairs and walking around the attic.  (For those of you concerned about that… I think many attics in the US have woods boards to walk on, but if you step off, you step through soft stuff.  Over here it’s all wood.)

In January Ethan asked if we were going anywhere the next day. I told him that I didn’t know. He said, “We need to make a plan.” I told Gary, and Gary said that he is his mother’s child. He has gotten into wanting to go through the schedule of the day and often asks what we will do after such and such.IMG_4074He is all boy and loves to wrestle, run around, and play with balls and cars.  He is very active, and doesn’t tend to play with one thing for very long. IMG_4173Ethan enjoys lining up his cars (actually, I should say different modes of transportation) in a row and is very proud to show us what he has done.IMG_4170The Friday after his birthday was a big day for the Rickard household.  Ethan threw his boppies (pacifiers) in the trash.  This picture looks like he is crying.  He actually isn’t; he is smiling.  We have talked about this for a long time, and he was all ready and willing to throw them away.  He loves the garbage truck and helps Gary empty the trash cans every Friday morning, so I think he was excited to be able to put them in the trash and for the garbage truck to take them away.  So, in this picture he is carrying the trash can that has his boppies.  Even now, 2 weeks later, he asks for his boppies when going down for a nap or bedtime.  We ask him where they are, and he responds, “In the garbage truck.”  I’ve also talked to him about how they are bad for his teeth now that he is older, so he mentions that.  We’ve tried to get him to hold onto a stuffed animal or something (which he is doing), but sadly, he is still having a hard time going to sleep without his boppies.  I wish that we would have done this when he was one (I read that it’s best to do it at 12 months or before).  We tried to do it a year ago, but after he went at least a week of not taking any afternoon naps, struggling to go to sleep each night, and getting up hours before normal each morning, we decided that it was not a good time to get rid of them.  For the first week he kept asking us what he could put in his mouth.  His boppies were the only type of “lovie” that he ever had, so it may be more difficult for him than for many children.  Things are going better than they did last year when we did this, but it’s still taking longer than I anticipated.IMG_4263 Every time it has snowed this year, the snow has been too dry to build a snowman, but finally it was wet enough.  So Ethan recently built his first snowman (or shall I say observed Gary do it).