Children are a gift from God, a real blessing.... Psalm 127.3



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Worlds Worst Blogger Update

(Can't move the pics where I want them so you will have to just imagine them next to the part of their posts )










So much for attempting to stay on top of blogging. Life is crazy, we've traveled and done a lot this summer and now getting ready to get back into the craziness of fall....that about sums it up.
We traveled to Houston the end of May for my brothers graduation. We missed the graduation with a trip to the emergency room at Texas Children's Hospital for William (he was a..ok) but enjoyed getting to visit with family.

We spent most of the summer at home after that. Steve was busy working for Monte Shadwick and Tracy Mann on their campaigns this summer. The election resulted in neither getting elected but a fun process none the less.
Dance classes continued over the summer but with me teaching a little less...yea! We've enjoyed a lot of walks outside this summer, eating fresh food from our garden, learning how to can those goodies, baking bread and trying to keep up with the boys.

Isak starts preschool in a couple weeks. Can't believe he's already 3! His birthday was early August and we had a toy story themed party. I attempted a buttercream transfer and it turned out pretty good. I will have to try it again for the next event. After he celebrated his birthday, it seems like his vocabulary has increased ten-fold. He has enjoyed playing at the library this summer quite a bit and loves his new dinasaurs from his birthday. They have replaced his cars obsession. We will see how the fall goes with that. I've been working on teaching him to read and so far so good. I've been reading a book this week called "Teach Your Baby How To Read" and it talks you through how to go about it. We've been doing flashcards a few minutes each day with some words, and I can tell he is learning the words as he read the word teeth off his chore chart today and I hadn't even said what the word was yet....we'll see how it goes!
William had his six month appt this week and is 17 lb 9 oz and 27" long. He's growing so fast! We've started eating solid foods. I made some squash the first week, peas next, we are on sweet potatoe this week and green beans after that. With Isak, I had wanted to make all of his food but didn't have the time/resources/drive to do so. With Will, I thought I should give it a shot, and it's been really easy and cost effective. I use a lot of frozen veggies, just cook them and blend them with a little water or veggie broth and then put them in ice cube trays to freeze. So easy and yummy too....tastes so much better than the brands from the store. I gave up rice cereal as it seemed to not like him so much and he seems to be doing better as a result too!
Will has been pushing up on his hands and legs quite a bit the past week. He's doing the rocking movement which is too cute and even pressing out into a push up position. I have a feeling he'll be crawling in the next couple weeks. His teeth keep coming in a bit and then going in....just wish they'd come in so it wouldn't bother him so much.

Well that about sums up our comings and goings. Dance starts early September so we are gearing up for that. Fall should bring new adventure and stories as we continue along the way. Hopefully I can be better about updating everyone. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The art of being Sneaky!

The pictures are at the start as I can't get them to go down where I need them...sorry!



Trying my graham cracker treat.

Eating homemade popsicles

As I've been home more this month, I've enjoyed cooking again. Maybe it's the nice weather or maybe it's just all the free time, but either way I know my husband and son enjoy it :) As I start cooking more, I'm paying more attention to really how picky my son has become with what he eats. I realize he is only 2 and that it is totally normal but I had a huge awakening this morning at my MOPS meeting. We had a guest speaker from the K-State extension office who came to talk about fun cooking ideas, how to save time money and get your kids to eat more. Boy was it great and I am just having a grand time discovering new ways to be sneaky!


As stated earlier, Isak has become quite the picky eater. His diet consists of peanut butter and jelly, apples (which is a good fruit), peas, chees triangles (cheese quesadillas cut into triangles), and apple juice. He hasn't ever liked milk since he gave up his bottle and won't really eat any other fruits/veggies. Somedays he will surprise us with what he trys but then he'll revert back. I know some of it is his ability to control something since his little brother was born but I'm finding ways to work around it after this morning.

Below are some of the things I've learned, reciepes to share and web-sites I've found. They will probably be sporatic and a little random so please bare with me. You'll have to let me know how your sneaky habits go. I don't know if it's bad that I get so excited about it but it feels good to know that I'm giving my son what he needs. Now just for the head slap going....why didn't I think of that earlier.


1. So last night I started with homemade popsicles (Thanks Joanna for the recipe).
You take 4-8 oz vanilla yougurt, 3-6 TBSP crushed pineapple, 1 TBSP milk (optional) and honey to sweeten (optional). I poured that into popsicle molds from Target and he loved them! That was the only way I've ever gotten him to eat pineapple. My next goal is to try it with strawberries and other fruit. The possibilites are endless here.....plus I think they taste good too.

2. Since Isak has never liked milk, I got a great suggestion at MOPS this morning. They recommended taking non-fat powdered milk and mixing it into whatever I'm making him that day...brilliant! She said to mix it with peanut butter, put it in casseroles or whatever he will eat to add in the calcium. I'm so trying that this next week.

3. My new adventure started with snack time this afternoon. There is a web-site called http://www.wholesometoddlerfood.com/ also one called http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ On the toddler site, they had a reciepe for energy balls under the snack tab. I amended the recipe a bit as I didn't have wheat germ or carrots (I added grated zucchini instead) but they kind of tasted like no-bake cookies...just healthier. I thought I was doing pretty good but I found out quickly, he doesn't like raisins. Isak is a kid that once he doesn't like something, he won't eat anything else. I was determined to make it work and so I took out the raisins, grabbed some graham crackers and tried spreading the mixture in between that. It worked for about 2 bites and something about the texture just wasn't working for him. So as determiend as I was I thought I'd break it down a little further. I took another graham cracker, spread peanut butter on it then mixed in some zucchini and put another graham cracker on top and smushed it flat so he couldn't see what was in it and...........he ate the whole thing! Now I know it was only a teaspoon or two of zucchini but it was progress.

4. Dinner tonight I was excited to try it again and see what else I could come up with. On a side note..I have a great fruit dip receipe to share (1 sour cream tub, 1 - 6 oz can strawberry/banana yogurt...not fat free, 1 instant french vanilla pudding mix....mix all together)......

I shredded some yellow squash and thought I could add them to his cheese quesadilla triangles. It worked!....almost. It took him a while to even eat the triangles...I reverted to telling him not to eat them which ended up with him eating them. He ate quite a bit of them until he noticed that some texture was different. At least he ate over half of them.

5. Some other great ideas are:
a. Fruit smoothies - 1 small frozen banana, 1/2 c. low-fat yougurt plain, 1/4 c. OJ - blend
- With the smoothies you can always add pureed carrots/juice of a carrot

b. Banana sandwich - hotdog bun, spread with PB, peel a banana for the "hot dog"

c. Puree/Blend any veggie and add it to pizza, sauces, casseroles etc....

d. Add pureed veggies (carrots/zucchini/squash) to pancakes

e. This one is great....add baby food vegetables to anything you are cooking! Baby food is mostly just the vegetable and water so it can be added to anything and no one would know....I'm going to try this with pizza sauce as my son can tell the different textures so this is a great way to be sneaky.

f. Use spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles

g. Mix in cabbage with lettuce for tacos

h. Mix grated veggies in with ground beef

6. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes with peanut butter/jelly, sandwiches etc... Isak loves when we do this as he gets to pick what shape he is eating, plus I get to use my cookie cutters more often. Our favorites are gingerbread man and stars.

7. Add grated veggies to breads and muffins

So that was probably a little overboard, but I have been so excited all day. It's like a little light bulb went off. I've been thinking...man why I didn't I think of this sooner. It's been like 2 years! Isak used to love to eat all his fruits and veggies and meat and was such a good eater, then we hit 2 and I know Isak will overcome his food pickiness, just in time for William to start his but in the meantime I can make sure he's still getting the nutrients he needs outside of relying on his vitamins. So..hope this gets you excited too! You'll have to let me know if you come up with more arts of being sneaky :) There is a lot of info available on-line. I just have to remind myself...it takes a least 7 times of introducing the same item for a child to try/like the food. Best of luck!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rock N' Roll!

The past month has been full of fun for the Howe's. Isak is talking more and more each day. He has so many fun new phrases that it's hard for me to remember them all. I always say I'm going to start a journal of them, but I've yet to keep track of them all. Yesterday we were getting ready to go and I asked him if he was ready and he looked at me and said "Let's Rock and Roll!" It was too cute. Steve and Isak were talking the other day and Isak told Steve "It's awful". Isak is constantly repeating lines from his videos and TV. I'm not sure where he heard this one but he told Steve the other day "Blue and Green. It's a camoflouge." It is fun to watch his personality develop more and more.

William is growing by leaps and bounds as well. He is 3 months old today! I'm not quite sure how I feel about that as it seems to be going so quickly. He is such a happy go lucky baby. Quite calm and always taking everything in. He isn't easily startled by the tantrums of his brother which is a good thing. He only really cries when tired or hungry. He has the best little smile and laugh too :) I've added a video of him laughing today below. He is quite strong for being so little. He loves to practice standing and talks up a storm throughout the day. He has this new little squeal to get your attention. He'll squeal and then look to see if you are paying attention. It's fun to see him more interactive and social. He is still waking up every 3 hours at night which wears me out a bit. He has one good 5-6 hour stretch from about 9 - 2 or 3 but then after that every three hours he is hungry. I've been really happy that we haven't had to buy formula yet. I didn't think I'd make it 3 months straight nursing without supplementing so I've been excited about that. With Isak, I had to supplement a little while working. I looked at formula prices yesterday and am hoping I can keep nursing for as long as possible. I'm not ready to pay 30 dollars again for formula!

We've been enjoying a week of just family time :) We had our 3rd annual recital "Let the Good Times Roll" at the historic Stiefel Theatre in Salina KS on May 1st. It was a wonderful success and I'm looking forward to another wonderful year. I take the month of May off and we've been enjoying a lot of homebaked goods and dinner and I'm crossing off my list of house to dos that I'm never able to get to during the year. It's been fun spending more time at home at night and being able to spend more time with the boys. The weather has been so nice...70's...and so we've been able to get out more to take walks and play outside. I even took in some garage sales today!

We hope everyone has a wonderful mothers day! We are looking forward to our first annual studio cast party on Sunday to celebrate such a wonderful year. Hopefully I can post some pics later. Below are some recent pictures of the boys.....rock n' roll!


William hanging out in his swing. I love his little polo shirt that he got from one of my dance kiddos :)
Isak loves walking around in daddies shoes!

William at 3 months


Isak loves eating his food cut out in different shapes. The favorites are gingerbread man and stars.



One of Isak's many funny faces.

Isak and his buddy Caden at Caden's 3rd Birthday Party at Church.


Isak and Daddy hanging out wearing the same shirts.



video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Growing and Going!

I took pictures of both William and Isak at about the same age and in the same clothes and boy do they sure look alike. The top is William and the bottom is Isak. William is just a little more filled out than Isak at this age but they resemble one another quite a bit.

William at 6 weeks

Isak at 6 weeks
We had a lot of fun over Easter weekend just hanging out and doing some much needed resting. So much resting in fact, that I forgot to dye Easter eggs. So Monday morning after Easter, Isak and I dyed our Easter eggs. He had a lot of fun telling me which colors to make the eggs and was quite eager to drop them in himself.

We were up bright and early Easter Morning as Steve had to Usher at the 7 am service. I don't think we've all been up and ready for church that early. We had a nice breakfast at church afterward and headed home by 10:30am! We still had an entire day left. I had fun dressing the boys up for their first Easter together. I attempted to coordinate their outfits even :)







We've been able to spend some beautiful weekends at the park lately. Steve and Isak have fun taking "senior" pictures by a little pond. Isak just loves water and everything that he can do with it. If he could jump and throw things in water all day...he'd be a happy guy. We have to work on the throwing things in water though.....it's getting a little messy.





William was enjoying a little nap in the park.


Steve and the boys. They always have a lot of fun hanging out together :)

April is gearing up to be a busy month with dance recital and appointments etc.... I am attempting to get Isak registered for preschool this month so we have some visits to some different schools we have to make this week to get him all ready to go. Now just to finalize potty training...hmm...another post for another day.
Here's hoping you had a blessed Easter holiday spent with family and friends.








Saturday, March 13, 2010

Northern Bound!

(Pictures are first today as for some reason, I couldn't move them down or move the text up)

Ahh...the good ol' Spaghetti Pictures :)


My little professor :)

First Smiles


Thompson/Kocher Grandkids in North DakotaM



My brothers and I (Brian-left and John-right)




The beginning of this week started with a trip to Bismarck, ND to attend my grandfather's funeral. William and I flew from Hay's to Denver and then to Bismarck. It was a quick trip up and back but it was good to see family. I only get to see them all once every couple of years so it was good to catch up. It was quite interesting as now there are all these little guys running around everywhere. It was fun having all the little kids around again :) I've added some pictures of my brothers and I and one of all my cousins and I. It's not often that we are all in the same place at once.

William began smiling the day of my grandfather's funeral. He had smiled before but I could always tell it was the little gas bubbles making him smile. He's been smiling a lot lately and the little tounge that sticks out with his smile is too cute.

William is growing so fast. I picked him up today and realized that he is getting heavy. Five weeks goes by quickly!

Isak is growing by leaps and bounds. His vocabulary is increasing everyday (thank you Little Einsteins and Leap Frog). Yesterday he lined up his toy animals on the floor, pointed at them and said, "Wow....they are beautiful". Too fun.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cuteness....

Isak was too cute when I came home from work tonight. He was sitting across from me on the sofa and looked at me and said "I'm so proud of you Mommy" :). Whenever he does something well or is brave I usually tell him I am so proud of him...especially after the 3 stiches in the ear. Just cute sayings from a cute little guy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 week visit

William is growing so quickly! I took him in for his 2 week visit on Monday and he already weighs 9 lb. 9 oz and is 22 inches long. He's almost a pound heavier than Isak was and is 1/2 an inch longer. I can't believe how much he's changed in the past two weeks. I was a little sad yesterday when I started putting him in 3 month clothes and the length fit him.

He's been such a good baby. I started back up at the studio this week and he's slept most of the time and been really good when I have to take him into class with me. I wasn't quite ready to leave him at home yet, not that I don't think Steve would do a great job with the boys, just not being around him for that long would be really hard for me.

Isak is growing by leaps and bounds too. He loves to do Karoke/lip syncing to his favorite songs. He does sing to William. The other day he sang his ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle. Right now he is infatuated with the Little Einsteins videos. He repeats entire sections of the shows. He's a great big brother who loves giving his little brother kisses and hugs. They are going to be great buddies as they continue to grow :)