Thursday, February 25, 2010

A good day... except one little bump

On Thursday Owen from Ryan and Ross' daycare came to play at our house (and Ryan is going to Owen's house on Friday while Ross goes to work with me). He is almost 16 months old and the happiest, sweetest guy ever. Ryan was pretty helpful bossing him around :) but they played pretty good by each other's sides (I wouldn't say "together").

Are these not the most adorable eyes ever!! Full, long eyelashes and bright blue eyes... ADORABLE!

They ate breakfast together, then we colored a bit, and then played in the living room. After Ross woke up from his nap, they played in Ryan's room while Ross took a bath and I switched some laundry. We ate lunch and then Ross went down for nap #2 and the boys played in the basement while I ran on the treadmill. Owen loved the basement toys (Sara - coupe car and grocery cart if he doesn't have them yet).

The boys started acting tired so they went down for early naps (12:45ish). At around 1:30 Ross woke up and I was getting him and Owen started crying so I went in there. He was looking around the room like he was scared so I sat on the floor by him feeding Ross and rubbing Owen's back. Owen fell asleep so I started to sneak out but managed to hit Ross' head on the door jam as I was leaving (Yep, I sure did... nice one MOM). Ross screamed and Owen woke up crying again. I carried both boys down stairs crying - it was quite comedic as I think they were crying at each other crying - and that was my arms workout for the day :)

I put Ross in the swing and held Owen for a while and he fell back asleep so I just laid him on the living room floor with me. He looked up at me a couple of times and then went back sound asleep.

4 months old...

Well, I didn't forget the day but this one wasn't largely celebrated! Baby Ross turned four months old on Wednesday. It has been a rough week at the McDowell house. Our daycare lady hurt her back over the weekend and had to close for the week. On top of doing the shuffle with the kids and the jobs, Ross got his first tooth... and its been painful for all of us involved. Oddly enough, he's not getting one of his front teeth, it's one of the bigger ones towards the back, lower left side. It officially poked through Saturday night while staying at Grandma Cella's house (Ryan got his first tooth at grandma's house too). I felt it Sunday and it's kept coming out more and more each day. On Monday I stayed home with the boys and Ross had an "ok" day, Tuesday and Wednesday he was with dad, and Thursday he was with me. Tuesday was the worst day of all. He was very upset in the morning and in the evening, although we did get him to take a 2 hour nap in the afternoon by putting him in the car and sending him off to work with me. Wednesday night we got some Orajel and some baby teething dissolve tablets (MAGIC in a bottle)... he's done really well since we got them and has got some good solid two hour naps in today!

Ross' four month appointment is actually on Tuesday so I'll post more on his stats next week but he sure has grown. He's wiggling on the floor and rolling a bit from side to side but no rolling over yet. He is starting to sit in his exersaucer with a little more control and he has started rice cereal in the evenings. He's not in love with the cereal yet but he does manage to get a few bites down and he does sleep better on the evenings he eats it well.

This was the best picture I got but of course it's blurry because I was having to work to get the smiles :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy "early" Birthday Hockey Ross!

Hockey Ross turns 18 years old this Saturday! Of course this Saturday is one of those days where we have a million things going on. Russ and I have plans Saturday night and the boys are going out of town to stay with Grandpa and Grandma Sharp so we planned an early celebration with Ross last night.

The night before I had given him the option of going out to eat Prime Rib on Wednesday, me cooking anything he wanted on Thursday (shocking he didn't pick that, huh), or ordering pizza or something else on Thursday. He said he didn't care... naturally (this kid is EASY GOING!) but we eventually got out of him that he thought prime rib sounded good. We ended up deciding that I would hit the gym and take Ross and Ryan with me while Russ and Reid took Hockey Ross to the Hereford House. I could pass up steak any night... just not my thing.
Funny story though... Ross doesn't request much. He has his list of "wants" in the pantry - Gatorade, orange juice, choc. flavored pop-tarts, and choc chip granola bars. He eats whatever we have for dinner with no complaints and never requests much so I always try to have these few "staples" on hand for him. If we ask if there is anything he ever wants he's always just fine with anything. I sent him a text from work yesterday asking what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday - cheesecake, ice cream cake, regular cake, etc... He responded back that he wanted a cookie cake (double cookie with icing in the middle)! It was so funny that he knew exactly what he wanted! Ryan and I skipped on over to Sam's Club and got just that!
Here's a picture of Ross blowing out the candles on his cake last night. Isn't it nice that he's turning 18 but will still partake in this for us so the boys could really enjoy it with him! We sang him Happy Birthday, he blew out the candles and then we dug in! Reid turned down the sweets (he's Russ' son) but Ryan had double (yep, I wanted to also).

Our time with Hockey Ross is slowly coming to an end. The Stovers have less than two months of their season left. It is going to be so weird having to say goodbye. My only regret about having Ross at our house is that I truly wish the boys were a little older when they were around him. I hope they remember the character that he has! I hope that he will stay in touch with us and come back to visit us over the years. We have housed many great "guys" over the years of housing Stover players and I rank Ross right up there at the top. I'm glad to have such a great role model in the house for our boys.
Happy Birthday Hockey Ross!!!!

(I have no idea what Ryan was doing with his face... but it's kind of funny)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Classic... Atoms Style

I should have asked Russ to guest author this blog for me because I've got a bunch of really neat looking photos but I'm finding myself at a loss for words. I'll do my best here.
Reid had an end of the season tournament this weekend at the Carriage Club in KC. It is an outdoor rink up by the plaza. The rink itself is pretty neat, being outside, but it was COLD! He played Saturday night in the 40s which wasn't too bad. Russ and Reid went to that game while I stayed home with Ross and Ryan. On Sunday, Grandma Cella came down to stay with the little two so I could go watch Reid's last games. He played two games in 20 degree weather. He was one of very few kids on the team that weren't either crying or complaining that they were too cold. He didn't think it was that bad... but mom did! I'm pretty sure I could have thrown a few temper tantrums standing on the side and watching but it was really fun to see. The team has come so far from their first few games. Reid kind of just skated around his first couple of games trying not to fall down, which he did a lot. Now, he gets the game more and is getting much more aggressive. He likes to play goalie and defense so dad has been working with him and talking with him on strategy and where to position on the ice depending on where the play is, etc.

Our entire team likes to play goalie at the moment so they all take turns. Reid seems to get plenty of turns playing it and really does attack the puck when the play is there. Here's an action shot of him in goal:

Here is an action shot of Russ dropping the puck for a face off. Russ is one of the more "active" coaches. Our team has FOUR dads on the ice skating around during the games. As you can see in the pictures, some hang back more than others. Russ tries to skate along telling the kids where they should be in position as well as keeping the puck in play, etc. Such a good coach!!

Reid's pretty easy to spot in this photo - he's right in the action. He's got the white helmet. There are too kids on Reid's team with white helmets - #46 (Reid) and #16. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of a white helmet and a 6 and then I have to do a double take to see if it is Reid or not.

Here are some action shots of Reid that really require no explanation:

I'm not sure that he scored on this but here is a great shot of Reid right in there trying to score a goal.

Here's one of Reid lined up and dad right there with him helping him watch the play and stay focused.
It was a good season. Reid and Russ had a lot of fun. I'm not sure if Russ has decided whether to continue coaching as Reid moves up in the leagues. There is a short spring season that goes mid-March to mid-May and I think we're still undecided on whether Reid is playing in that. He'll have soccer going on at that time too. He will be taking at least one hockey camp this summer that will be ran by Coach Ferschweiler... he will think that is pretty cool!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How to start cereal with an infant

Simple Disclaimer: I'm not really an expert on feeding an infant cereal, I just thought it would be a cute way to write up my blog. Although, after having three boys now, I can honestly say that this method works for me.

Ross has not been sleeping well. He got up three times a night almost every night last week. I typically start my kids on rice cereal around the time they turn four months old and it always helps them to sleep a little better. Since Ross is turning four months old in 11 days, I decided on Saturday night that we would start some cereal. Here's our process:

Step One: Make sure that you have a single grain cereal on hand. I believe rice is a good one to start with. Do not use the pre-mixed baby food jar type of rice cereal yet- it is too thick for starters. Pick a night that is relaxed, not rushed, and you can be patient with your baby. I prefer to start feeding my babies at night time so I have a little extra time and can take advantage of the full belly to help get some extra sleep at night.

Step two: Make a bottle and feed your baby half of what he usually eats or enough that he is still a little hungry but satisfied enough that he's not going to get frustrated because he's hungry.

Step three: Pour some flakes into a bowl with an infant spoon. The best spoons are small tipped and completely rubber, semi-flexible and soft.

Step four: Dump the remainder of the bottle into the flakes so that the consistency of the rice cereal is very runny. (As your baby gets used to eating you can make the cereal thicker but this will make it easier for him to catch on).

You do NOT need to make that much cereal. The serving that I have made in the step four picture is enough to feed several infants, I just had a helper and made a bit too much.

Now take your time and feed your baby. Most of what goes in will continue to come out. Use the spoon to clean up his mouth with everything that keeps coming out and stick it back in. He won't eat "much" but he will continue to swallow some with each spoonful. Continue to feed him until he gets bored, frustrated, or uninterested and then give it a rest until the next night.

I had a helper Saturday night... not an essential step but I wanted to share the picture :)

All cleaned up and happy. Ross swallowed more than I expected and was happy through the whole "meal". After he ate his cereal, he nursed and went to bed. I'm happy to report that he went to bed somewhere around 8:00 and slept until 1:30. He only got up ONE time Saturday night. I woke him up at 6:00 to feed him before I left for a run and he then slept again until after 9:00. Great night!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another big milestone for Reid...

And yet another sign that my first born, sweet baby boy is growing up way too fast. Seriously people - this kid that Russ and I swear should still be a toddler...

(ok, so I was looking for an older picture and got carried away reminiscing... back to the point)

Reid lost his first tooth today. And he lost it at Beth's house! I just blogged the other day about how special Beth is to us... how convenient that one of Reid's big milestones happens on the one day he went to hang out at her house because it's a no school day. Of course Beth made it special for him and they sent us pictures and I talked to him on the phone. It's not every day a boy loses their first tooth, right? Thanks Beth! Here's some great shots she took for us:

Monday, February 8, 2010

We got off work early on Friday to beat the traffic home as it was snowing... AGAIN! This was a heavy wet snow and it was 32 degrees so it wasn't too brutal cold. I picked up the boys and when we got home Russ was out shoveling the driveway off. The boys wanted to help him so they got their little red shovels out and went to work. After a while Ryan got bored with shoveling and he and dad starting making a snowman - which Ryan has wanted to do all winter. This was a good snow for it! I got out the snowman kit that grandma Cella got us years ago and my camera. By now I was cold and not interested in helping :) A snowbunny I am not! I long for the days of shorts and tanktops, bike riding, driveway socializing with neighbors... but I digress.

They made their snowman and even posed for some great pictures for me!! Ryan and I headed in after a while and Reid and dad stayed out a while longer to play. (Reid did drop one red shovel down the sewer - darn it - and even wanted me to climb down and get it for him... No, I did not!)

Friday, February 5, 2010


So, I haven't quite crossed the line and decided to do Project 365 (for my scrapbooking friends). I HAVE to get my normal scrapbooks caught up before I take on any new project... but I do enjoy seeing other's POTD (Picture of the Day). I LOVE Becky Higgins and her ideas on how to document life in a non-traditional way. SO, for the heck of it (and because I'm getting kind of attached to my camera lately), I took this picture today. This is a view that I see A LOT of in my day. My round trip to work is at least an hour (and sometimes longer with traffic). And on a few days, I do that trip twice a day. I could drive 15 minutes to work but we made the decision FIVE and a half years ago not to switch day care providers when we moved and I still haven't had the heart to. We were very close last summer... and then we were blessed with Ross and I couldn't imagine anyone except our "Bether" watching him. So, this is the view in my van - yes, the maintenance light is on - I need an oil change! Yes, the air pressure light is on - it always is! And yes, the light is green - but it had JUST turned and I put my camera away quickly :) So, this is a huge part of my days and I don't regret the sacrifices that I sometimes personally have to make to make sure that my kids are well cared for, safe, and loved every day that I am at work. We don't tell Beth enough how much we love her and feel blessed that she has helped care for our kids for over 6 years now. All three boys are with her today as Olathe schools are out today (some professional day).
Oh, and if you hadn't noticed - it's snowing... AGAIN! I'm SOOO done with winter. I have running club at 7:00 tomorrow morning. Am I hard core enough to go run in this... not a chance! I'll be at the gym doing a cycle class... and that's okay too!

Birthday Party Success!

Ryan got invited to his first solo birthday party. He's been to a couple for mutual friends of his and Reid's but he's never been invited to one by himself. He had been excited for the day ever since he got the invitation but I was still questioning how he would do. I was expecting him to be shy and make me follow him everywhere. I expected that he'd be hiding behind my legs and whining through the whole night. I was pleasantly surprised!! He had a fabulous time. He played solo, he ran, he left my side (and came back many times). I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Ryan kept wanting me to take his picture but I couldn't get him to stand still for many so I have about 20 pictures that look like this:

But I also got some great ones:

I hadn't fed him dinner before because the invitation said pizza... but the pizza wasn't until AFTER an hour of play at 7:00 - oops. He was STARVING. He ate a slice of cheese pizza and a cupcake in about 30 seconds and he didn't leave a crumb. He even had popcorn when we got home from the party.