Sunday, January 30, 2011

Make Way for Ducklings

GrandMama and GrandPapa surprised us with a quick visit this weekend. It was pretty chilly out still, so we enjoyed our time with them inside--- playing and reading. Auntie Rorie is spending her Interim break with us as well, so we'll have lots and lots of fun in the days to come!
Justin proclaimed his love of Make Way for Ducklings with a lot of 'oohs' and 'coos'.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Visiting Shakopee

We went down to Shakopee this morning to spend some time with Megan and Emma. After a SECOND night in a row of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleeping, Justin was in a fantastic mood for the visit. He even settled down for a little nap. Alex took that time to give Emma some hands-on experience in the life of a big sister.


Naptime at the Marotz house. Two of my 'boys' enjoying the warm fireplace!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Valentine

Alex was home from school today-- nothing serious, but definitely an icky cold that lead to a whiny, miserable preschooler. As an attempt to keep her mind off her runny nose, I suggested we make her Valentine for school.
Alex's teacher is a genius. Instead of having each child bring valentines for every student, she has each child take their time and make one very special valentine. Then they will exchange and get to really enjoy seeing who gets their creation.

Lots of the crafty Mama blogs I follow have started posting Valentine's ideas, and I adapted this one from Pink and Green Mama. She had her girls make them using 'upcycled' V-Day cards, but
Alex and I decided to make our 'cards' from scratch.
We got out the liquid watercolors and enjoyed some relaxing wet-on-wet painting.

Then I used my xacto knife and cut small slits around the sides of each piece, later piercing them with the needle to make easy-to-see holes for Alex.
She worked so hard sewing them all together, and only had one needle-prick injury (a Scooby-Doo bandaid solved all....). I did have to help a bit with the bottom, as it kept slipping when she was trying to secure it.
The completed Valentine's we just need to figure out what to put inside!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Smiles!

11:00am: I got my first real smiles this morning....will try to repeat experiment and post photos/video. Cross your fingers that he will be cooperative!

UPDATE: 2:30pm: We have conclusive proof that Justin smiles! :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011


To celebrate Graham's Dinosaur birthday today, Justin donned his Dino-wear (and Alex donned her ubiqutous tutu) to PARTY!!!

The birthday boy showed us a great time! We played at the Eden Prairie Community Center, where the guests had unrestricted access to a bunch of cool large motor equipment...including a BOUNCY HOUSE! Alex was completely exhausted after playing hard for an hour. Justin took the opportunity to have a snack and take in all the activity.

We had pizza and cupcakes with the crew after all the playing. Graham opened all his presents, and seemed to enjoy the slightly offbeat one that we got him.... the main present was a rubber stamp that I had made of Graham's face! (You can upload any image at simons and they'll make a stamp for you). We included some alphabet stamps, ink pads, and a Mama-made 'stamp bag' to keep everything together in. Alex carefully wrapped everything and was very excited to see Graham open his present.
Both kids took LONG naps this afternoon- they were completely worn out by a fabulous morning!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Studio with Two

Today was the first day we tried to work in the studio.... I should say I tried to work in the studio with two kids under four. While it wasn't hours of uninterrupted sewing and painting, we managed to make it work.
Alex has been increasingly devoted to Nikki, her doll. Today I decided to try and find some dress patterns so that we could sew her some new clothing. I have never been known for my precision or pattern-reading abilities (I tend to just 'wing it'), and the skirt pattern that I was using ended up being turned into a pretty little apron instead. (The dress that Nikki has on was made by a real seamstress, not me).
This is what the kids were up to when I was on the sewing machine. You will notice fabric scraps on the floor (Alex was sewing) and a pile of fabric on the bed (also Alex). Studio time is mess-making time for all ages!!
Justin really likes it when I sew. I suppose my manic quilt-making phase during the last six weeks he was in utero really predisposed him to enjoy the sound of a sewing machine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dinner with Brad

Brad got back from Israel this morning, so we bundled up the whole family and headed down to his neck of the woods for a visit. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Outback, which Justin snoozed through completely! He's such an easy guy to entertain...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Little Boy Blue

Justin looked so precious today that Alex and I decided to set up an impromptu photo shoot. He's our sweet Little Boy Blue...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tante Rorie

I think we're going to try to get the kids to start calling her 'Tante Rorie' (German for Aunt)...just because it's super-cute. She came up this weekend to spend some time with them, and they both completely soaked it up!

Justin adores her dark hair.

So does Alex.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

8 Hours!!!

Just a quick note to record the fact that Justin slept for 8 hours (and 20 minutes) straight last night! One feeding at 4:30am!! Crossing fingers that it continues--

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bathtime for Bunnies

Alexandra has been dying to take a bath 'with Justin', so tonight was the night. With Daddy's help, we got her baby brother squeaky clean (although he still detests being naked, even if he is in warm water).

My Bathtime Bunnies:

Monday, January 10, 2011

'Babysitting' Justin

Alex is always bugging me to 'leave the room so I can babysit Baby Justin'. While I'm not quite ready to leave my 4 week old in the hands of my 3 year old (however capable they may be), I did allow her to 'babysit' today when we were playing house. Justin started to fuss, and without hesitation Alex popped her pinky into his mouth (something I do in lieu of a pacifier). We then had a discussion about washing out hands before soothing the baby (as well as a quick lesson about how to correctly use your pinky to pacify), and she went to the bathroom to do so before I shot this next little video.

I am constantly amazed at what a nurturing and involved big sister she's turned out to be! I couldn't ask for a better role model for my little guy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Outside time

Since Baby Justin is too little to join in outside play, Alex has been a bit 'cooped up' when it's just us at home. Daddy took her out today and they had fun running up and down the little slope behind our house. I think they tried sledding, but the snow wasn't 'quite right'.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Organizing Frenzy

Over the past few days, we've taken advantage of having extra help by getting the closets organized ( I do have to give mention to the fact that I was inspired by the Mulders recent closet project). Gramps installed new systems in both kids' rooms. They look great!
Alex's closet.

Justin's closet.

Even Nicki received a wardrobe overhaul...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy 1 Month!

Happy 1 Month!!

Justin's Stats:
Height: 23" (97%)
Weight: 11lbs .5 ozs (90%)
Head Circumference: 14" (75%)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Growth Spurt!

For the past few days, Mr. Justin has been eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping, eating some more and then taking a nap. I think he's grown a LOT over this time period! Tomorrow is his 4 week check-up, but we're predicting that he's weighing in at over 11 pounds. He's definitely gained a bunch of neck strength, and is able to 'sit up' when supported, and not automatically curl over into "barnacle-mode".

He also slept in his own room for the first time last night. Up until now, he's been in a co-sleeper next to Dave's side of the bed, but did a fantastic job transitioning. He woke up once at 12:30 and once at 4:00 to have a bite to eat, and put himself back to sleep both times. Yea!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Justin's first trip to the zoo

We braved the negative-degree weather this morning to bring Alex and Justin to the Minnesota Zoo. Even though we're members, it had been quite a while since Alex and I have made it there. Due to preschool schedules, our 'free days' are limited. Combine that with a massively pregnant Mama, and zoo trips were postponed until after-baby.

Justin slept through most of the trip. He did wake up to eat by the scarlet ibis exhibit and in front of the dolphin tank (where we watched an adorable 5 month old baby swim with her Mama and GrandMama). Then he went back to sleep while Alex ran from exhibit to exhibit! After our zoo visit we went to Ruby Tuesdays for lunch, where Justin slept. He is sure cozy and warm in his carseat-- it makes it super-easy for us to be out and about!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Big Girl Booster

So it hit me that bucking and unbuckling two seperate kiddos into five-point harnesses would be really annoying during the negative-degree weather that is to come. Alex fits the criteria for a booster, so we decided to 'upgrade' her. Assuming she is a good direction follower, she is now the proud owner of a brand new PINK booster seat (which she can unbuckle assistance-free).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kitty Love

Did I mention Percy is feeling a bit attention-starved? He is quick to snuggle up on my lap when Justin is napping there. They both benefit from the extra body-heat!

Gramps and Grams arrived for their visit to meet Justin this evening. Alex is looking forward to getting some one-on-one time in with them while I try valiantly to get my back together!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Alex has been pulling out all the stops when it comes to displaying some major nurturing behaviors lately. I wouldn't have predicted she'd be this attentive and motherly to the baby. When she's not gently helping me with him, she's 'practicing' with her own babies....
Alex 'nurses' her baby and gives Percy some much-needed attention at the same time. What a multi-tasking Mama!
Snuggling with her very special doll that belonged to Great-Grandma Alice. This dolly has a place of honor in our living room display, and Alex relishes the moments she gets to spend rocking and singing to her.
And now, the real thing.....I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of pumping, but I'll gladly do it every day in order to give my kids bonding time like this!