Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baby Bird Eats

We found ourselves a little baby bird a few weeks ago. Jackson came across it after accidentally kicking it. My first inclination was to just leave it, and let... nature take it's course? Seriously, I had no idea what to do, but the kids were very confident that we would save the bird.

So, after seeing more empathy out of Jackson than I thought he was capable of, and Allie at her max of sweetness with an "Oh he's so cute! Where is his Mommy?" every 2 minuets, I knew we had to do something. We started with the local nature center, who instructed us to look for a nest, and if we couldn't find one, call the animal rescue league. The animal rescue league had extensive instructions on how to help baby birds, so we followed the instructions, and eventually got in touch with a woman who took on baby birds. [Side note: Mother birds cannot smell human touch. It is perfectly safe to lift a bird into a nest. Who knew I had been deceived by such a prevalent urban legend for so long!]


After what felt like a jarring 20 minuet ride to Ms. Catherine's house, we bequeathed the little birdie to a volunteer expert who assured Allie, she would try to be a good Mommy for the bird. Allie, most of the way home was seriously concerned with how Ms. Catherine could be the bird's Mother, and how in the world the bird was going to find its real Mother. I hardly blame Allie in her concern, I was mostly curious how in the world the bird was going to eat without a mother bird to chew and regurgitate food into its little peeping mouth. Ms. Catherine assured me that she has food for the bird. Who knew!


Our own little baby bird has been learning to feed himself, and learning how to express which foods he actually wants to eat. He can now lead us to the fridge and point. This pointing method led to the great discovery of his love for Kalamata Olives. Oh my goodness, his diet. The suspense and surprises never end.


We now have an enormous Costco sized bottle of Kalamata olives, which he stopped eating after 2 days. This is definitely not Jackson, who will eat the exact same thing everyday for 6 months (certainly good and bad things to that issue). Porter's taste buds and psyche is much harder to pin down, and it's definitely STILL killing me. Mostly because if he eats well, he sleeps well--so it's personal.

Though, they have different eating styles, Jackson and Porter are definitely brothers. Little P man has taken on the trains, just like big bro, and he has taken to insisting on bringing certain items with him. I love this post of Jackson doing the exact same thing at this age. The umbrella has been a favorite of late, but during a rainy day walk, he wanted to solidify it with the real professional look.




My baby bird is growing up!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Got Teeth?

Oh neglected blog. So many neglected aspects of life... like teeth! I had four cavities at the dentist this week. FOUR!? While some in our family are decaying, others are growing, and others are receiving strange nightly fairies....

Porter, happens to have 8 teeth up front, four molars and no canines. You would think with a mouth like that, he would love to use his pearly whites, but alas. The boy still has an aversion to most foods. Sigh. Veggie Straws, strawberries and blueberries are his usual go-tos, and even then he'll reject them on a whim.

(Look closely at his eyelashes in this picture. He woke up from a nap having perfectly crimped his right eyelashes. It was quite the trip to look at him!)

And here's our recently turned 6 year old (though age 5 in this picture), with a gaping hole in his mouth [and a lovely half-stache scab--they're really quite vogue, you know]. This past year has been a good one for Jackson, as he's grown in maturity, silliness, mental skills, and athletic prose. We love his enthusiasm and energy, and curiosity for life. He crossed the momentous rite of tooth passage at school with very little fanfare. His tooth had been wiggling for a good month, and then fell out without him realizing it.


Of course, there was no sign of the tooth, so a detailed note was given and left up to the tooth fairy to decipher:



Poor little Allie was quite frightened of someone coming into their room in the middle of the night--fairy or no fairy. I don't blame her--the tradition is a bit strange and creepy. Luckily we were able to quell her fears with the thought of glitter and fairy-like wings. She is going through a strong scared phase, where the slightest thing can set her imaginative mind a-light. We remember Jackson going through a similar stage at age 3, but Allies big eyelashes and cuddly nature, sure makes me want to pull all the fears away [until it's the 3rd night in a row I've been woken up]. Hopefully the tooth fairy fear has completely left, since I think the fairy will be needing to make another visit quite soon--hopefully with real evidence this next time.

In other news, little P man has given up crawling for the more efficient use of his feet. Woot woot! In mid-April (at 16 1/2 months) he finally decided it was worth his time to put to use all the steps he's been practicing for 4 months. It is darling, and so much easier on his clothes. Yay Porter!

(Here are the kids on Easter--and Porter still pulling his crawling moves)


And here is our family playing Red Light Green Light for family night this week, and Porter playing along with nimble speed! Sorry for the film quality, multi tasking is so... difficult!



We're so thrilled he's walking, Mark's even got him T-ing up for summer golf. Porter's first shot was a hole-in-one--we think this new standing skill is going to be a fantastic thing for him. Watch out Tiger... or err Jordan, or who ever is the top dog these days, you ain't seen nothin' like the little toothed P-man.




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snowtastic

Porter experienced his first snow as a human who reacts (and can sit, etc). His introduction was a nice quiet way to start the crescendo to the snotastic climax.

A couple of Sunday's ago, it started snowing before church. Since we get to have church at 3pm, there was plenty of time to frolic and taste the white flakes that were not sticking at all.

Superb photo grabbing opportunities for sure--even with a line of snot coming down your nose.

We worked hard to catch and taste the snow, and enjoy it as much as possible.





Everyone started to get really excited by Tuesday, when word came in of a blizzard that was headed our way the following weekend. Especially as the estimated snowfall kept climbing. So, of course, no one paid any attention to the inch that was reported to come during rush hour, on a 20 degree weather day. It was definitely a minor dusting, but we were sure thrilled to not be on the road Wednesday evening when 10 min drives turned into hour and a half parking lot crashes. And what a shocker to have no school on Thursday!

Blizzard warmup:


This was Porter's first snow playing outfit, and we were glad we found some other clothes by the blizzard...


...because that snow sure came! And boy howdy did we play like crazy. Friday there was no school again, as it was to start snowing at noon. So, we had a sledding party when there was enough snow to handle the sled.



The driveway was a fantastic warm up to the next day's snow dump.



Porter was much more prepared clothing-wise during the blizzard. The first 4 times I took him out in all his gear, he helped me find it, and asked to go out. After that, he fought it. I can't imagine why--I'm sure he had all the mobility he could ever wish for.




By Saturday morning, the snow was too deep to sled on our own hill, so we trekked it to the dream hill of the neighborhood, that you can never use because of cars, and we used it! There were no cars, but some car tracks, which had packed it down a bit. A perfect sledding spot!



Jackson's gauge throughout the whole ordeal was if we could see the bush or not. This was taken Saturday afternoon, but it was gone Sunday morning.



Around 1pm on Saturday, I thought the storm was dying down, but it just kept coming, clear until 11pm on Saturday night. The kids went out during some of the heavier wind, and only stayed out 20 min (compared to their normal 2 hour stamina). We were so lucky the winds weren't worse--most of the storm was just plain fun!



Sunday morning, the bush was buried, and there were the most interesting snow drifts, creating a sand dune dessert throughout the yard. 25" was the reading we heard, and that was exactly what it felt like.


Here's the steps to our basement. Quite the artful snow wave!


We had quite a few lost boots as the kids went tromping around. At one point, it took us 10 min to find Allies boot among the snow. We banished her from un-touched snow for a while.



We were all dug out by Monday, but we didn't dare leave the house until the roads near us were plowed. At least 5 cars an hour were getting stuck at our hilly intersection. On Tuesday, we got heavy machinery and we were able to make it to the grocery store. Jackson got to stay home the whole week (+ Monday's teacher work day[!]), and Mark didn't have a full day of work until Friday. 

The snow thankfully helped to quell the onslaught of potential cabin fever, as Jackson and the neighborhood boys had all sorts of snowball fights, sledding extravaganzas and fort digging escapades all week.


Allie enjoyed sledding, shoveling, eating snow (inspired by Jackson who took in copious amounts of very dirty snow), and good naps everyday. Awesome.

Porter definitely preferred the lighter dusting, and wasn't much interested in moving once he got outside. I'm not sure if it was the overwhelming height of the snow, or the size 6 snow boots I thrust onto his feet. Either way, he's excited to hopefully visit parks a bit more, now that it's melting a bit.

We felt so lucky to have such a fun week of family time, and we're feeling glad the groundhog said spring should be a-comin' soon, we have had a great fill of snow for the year! And to our friends and family who live through this all the time, we have no sense of envy. We're happy to live a bit further south, and have this feel like an anomaly!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Little P man's the big 1... or was the big 1

Porter's birthday was December 5th. It is Jan 14th today. December is really such a black hole for good habits, I don't feel bad I haven't posted this yet, but I do feel a renewed feeling of determinitaion (that inevitably comes in January).

We had such a lovely time celebrating Porter, it is definitely worth capturing. The birthday celebrations landed on the first Saturday of the month, and as such were squeezed for time because of Xmas decorating and an intense ward Xmas party, but Porter received lots of love and attention, and we think he even had fun!
 

 I tried to imagine what Porter might want to do for his birthday, and all I could come up with was climb! He has been such a climber lately, he'll take on chairs, stairs, couches, stools--anything with a slight elevation. So, I decided a soft playroom would be his dream come true (and his siblings would enjoy it also).

Like many realized dreams, it took him a while to figure out how to really enjoy the room. He observed J & A (and Mark) who got right down to business jumping, sliding and tackling their way through the room. Porter eventually figured out some of the room's secrets and after 20 min or so, decided he loved it. Whew! He crawled, climbed, slid and romped around that room.


Because of all the other commitments for the day, he got to have his "party" right after lunch--which also happened to be right after his nap. What a happy idea! There were no appetites to spoil and no tired kids. I was surprised by how excited he was for most of the event. He definitely knew something special was going on.

 *Don't mind the pink bib. I switched it [to purple] when I realized all his first birthday's pictures would be shot in pink, but this was just too cute of a picture.


He loved unwrapping his [2] presents. I think he knew he was the only one getting them!

Porter chose to eat his dairy-free frosted cake in careful finger pinches. It sure took a while, but he did do some damage. It was great delayed gratification practice for his siblings who had such a difficult time watching him eat the frosting at a snails pace, while they got none. If you want to see this snail-like episode you can watch it here along with all the distractions his siblings could think of. 



Since turning one, not much has changed. He still climbs, still grunts (though is starting to explore new consonants), and continues to wow the world with his big blue eyes (and no hair). I'm predicting he'll walk within the month... but I think I thought that last month, so who knows! 

Happy Birthday little P man. You are well loved!

(Post-cake Xmas light helpers--another fun thing to climb on!)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Halloween and Porter Photo Dump


Porter's face pretty much sums up how I feel about the lateness of this post. I really did try hard to post halloween pictures within a week of Halloween, and yet, here it is, a week from Thanksgviving. Fail. That's ok! I'm posting anyway, and I'm thrilled to be failing at something that really only effects me in the longterm. Phew.

So, without any excuses, I present Halloween of 2015:





And a bunch of darling Porter pictures:







This kid and food. Holy cow, it is hard to feed him. He loves breads and usually will eat applesauce and peaches. Sometimes a green bean or a cooked carrot. He can't eat anything with dairy, chili powder, cumin or tomatoes yet (diaper rashes), and has a disgust for most produce. This healthy mamma is sure having a hard time figuring out what to feed him! Porter and I are in mutual agreement that it is time to wean, but I don't trust almond milk is going to fill in all the gaps in his diet... I am seeking food recommendations for picky, almost-1-year-old little boys.

Good thing he is such a cutie in a high chair. Especially in plaid.


And stripes.




We're pretty sure he's really related to Sam and Cole (Mark's sister's kiddos). Where did we get this blonde, blue-eyed baby?!


Whatever gene pool he came out of, we feel lucky to witness him discover the world. Our curious, happy, funny, picky, mama loving boy is going to be discovering more and more soon. 2 weeks to his 1st birthday. What!? Look out world, a 1 year old Porter is coming soon.









Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quick and Cold Camping

Our family tent has been used for 3 solid years now. It's well loved, and once or twice a year we pack it up and go stay overnight somewhere in the Virginian wilderness.

Camping in Virginia in the summer is a funny experience. There are bugs the size of small birds, you sweat for the majority of the day (negating any desire for a fire), and temperature may dip down into the high seventies in the middle of the night. Sounds delightful eh?

Hence why we really only camp in the fall and spring. We only risk the cold weather--but at least it's not sticky and humid right!?

We got to join our ward at the end of September, and this is what we were wearing:



It was the mid seventies during the day, with a low of 60 at night. We kept the fly off our tent and opened all the windows and had the most amazing view at 10:30 pm. Such a stunning scene of sky only 30 minutes from DC. The kids slept way better than at home, and we slept better than most camping trips.  Despite the amazing weather forecast, I was paranoid about us being cold. We don't own sleeping bags, so I brought lots of extra blankets--just in case 60 degrees was going to make any of us cold. Luckily, it was super pleasant, and we didn't use all the blankets.




 Our one hold up was wearing crocs and socks. Bad idea. Both kids should have been in tennis shoes, but we hadn't pulled out anything appropriate for camping--so alas, there were many stops along walks dumping out shoes. And those socks? Gross.


 We ventured in mid October back out into the wild with some camping buddies. We brought camping shoes for everyone, and every warm blanket we own. It was still gorgeous during the day, but suddenly the nights are now in the low 40s. Having experienced this temperature last year, and getting no sleep, I tried to be as prepared as possible. Mark and I had acquired new knowledge about the cold air that lurks under an air mattress. I tired very hard to fight that air.


The battle was hard fought, and we came out better than last year, but we were both still cold for most of the night. Jackson and Allie again, slept way better than they do at home.



Post this camping trip. I decided that we need to purchase sleeping bags, and Mark decided we could go for longer than one night. We stay for one night to avoid double sleeplessness, but if we get sleeping bags... Perhaps we're entering another new phase or perhaps we're responding to our children's pleas. Jackson asked at least 8x, "Are we just staying tonight? WHHyyy...??" Followed with "I WANT TO CAMP LONGER!" and Allie piping in, "I wanna cyamp a long long long lodda nights."

So... sleeping bags it is! And maybe not a lodda nights, but we could venture for two. Especially if we can bring these awesome friends along with us.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Firsties

That first day of Kindergarten was a while ago, but since we're still in the honeymoon period of this amazing thing called school, it definitely deserves a post. I think every family member appreciates that a large portion of Jackson's energy and stamina is getting a new outlet. I'm sure it will get hard, and that walk to the bus stop is going to get colder and colder, but we love seeing how excited Jackson is and hearing about all the neat things in his day. He loves Kindergarten!



Allie is taking the whole kindergarten thing in great stride, floating through her day as the new first in command. Her temperament is so different without Jackson, it has been incredibly fun to see her stretch in her new space. She flits from various activities throughout the day, with a bit of a song and a lot of self talk. It is beyond adorable. She still checks in nearly daily to confirm that she will go to Kindergarten when she gets bigger, and mentions what she is planning to wear--which does illustrate that she misses her brother a little.



The little P man? He's really working hard at trying to catch up with his older brother.


 This kid is on the move, and always practicing for his next big developmental leap. He just started pulling himself up to a stand at the beginning of last week, and today he was trying it out one handed. His eyebrows are nearly always up, with a look that says, "hmm...what's that!?" Everything on the floor goes into his mouth, and the pieces of loose carpet beat the legos for number of times being swiped out of his chompers. We sure adore this squealing, wrist pumping, little tornado of a kid.


And my new firsty came in a box 3 weeks ago, right after my trusty basic phone snapped in half. SIx years late, with no regrets, I took on a smart phone (when they finally became budget friendly enough for this frugal gal). It's super nice to be even lazier than I used to be--as long as I remember to charge it.

We're all excited for fall here, and the prospect of our first tree! Bring on the firsties!