Thursday, July 30, 2009

Festing and Family

This past weekend was Nordic Fest, an annual Norwegian festival in Decorah. We weren't able to make it back last year so it was very fun to be back this year. I got to see friends and family and the boys got to go "Festing" for the very first time.

We left on Friday after work and arrived slightly frazzled after about 3 straight hours of crying. My throat hurt from singing "10 little monkeys jumping on the bed" over and over (and over) and Ben's ears hurt from listening to it. It seemed to be the only thing that kept them from crying. Clearly I need to learn some more songs. Ben implemented a "no unnecessary trips" rule and defined weddings and non-immediate family member funerals as "unnecessary". Don't worry Jess and Nichole - we'll be home for your weddings!

After the weekend I stayed in Decorah with the boys until Wednesday as Tanja was on vacation this week and Ben was in Chicago for a few days. It worked out well - we all got to spend time with Grandma Julie and Grandpa Don and I had lots of much needed help with the boys. 

As usual I ate well. I'm not sure if it was the varme polse (sausage wrapped in lefsa - my favorite Nordic Fest treat) or the Iowa sweetcorn that did it but the boys GREW during our trip. Nearly all the clothes I packed for the trip came home and went directly into the too-small pile upstairs. Even Ben thought so when he saw the boys on Thursday after just a few days away. With a few exceptions the boys are officially in the 6-9 month clothes.

Going back to work on Thursday after my mini 'vacation' was a little rough - of course I missed the boys after getting to spend so much time with them but I was also completely exhausted!

Here are some highlights from our trip back to Decorah...

On Saturday morning we watched the parade and I got to see my cousins Jess and Chrishelle. 

Grandpa Don at the parade holding one of the boys - this picture is so funny. One of the boys (not sure which one) fell asleep in Grandpa's arms.

Prior and Mason. Mason's giving me the look like "Mom - does Prior have to be right on top of me?"

Prior relaxing with Grandpa.
My Dad (thank goodness) took the day off on Wednesday and drove the the circus (the boys, Gus, myself and our exorbitant amount of stuff) back up to the Cities. I'll tell you what's more dangerous than driving while texting or talking on a cell phone and that would be two slightly-spoiled babies in the back seat. The boys decided to be little angels on the way back up North - go figure!

The boys have officially started teething and I feel bad for them as I can just tell it bothers them. Grandma gave them wet washcloths to chew on and they loved them. Prior/Mason

Grandma and Prior smiling for the camera.

Grandma showing the boys her pond, the fishies and all the pretty flowers.

The boys couldn't keep their eyes off the fountain in the pond. Mason/Prior

Happy baby Prior. The big smiles just make my heart melt!

Prior taking a quick bath before bed at Grandma Julie's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Acres is the Place to Be...

Farm livin' is the life for me!

Last weekend we made our first trip back to the Schultes farm in Dedham, IA. Ben's cousin Nic got married. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was a lot of fun to see the family.  

We only made it through the first reading at the wedding before the boys decided it was time to leave but luckily G-Grandpa and G-Grandma Rupiper live right next to the church in Roselle. Another first to check off the list - the boys made their first trip to the bar this weekend. The Roselle Tavern is located where else but right across the street from the church. 5 months may sound young for the boys to be at the bar but I think there's a good chance both Ben and I were in a bar by this age. 

I have also decided that two crying babies in a too-small SUV is a form of torture. The boys' threshold for car rides is somewhere in between 0 and 5 1/2 hours. On the drive down we drove at night which worked out well. But the ride back up north on Sunday was a rough one!

Mason/Prior all dressed up for the wedding. I think Prior looks like Ben in this picture.

Uncle Jacob with Mason and Prior at the park in Carroll. It was just a little chilly so it was a perfect reason to wear our hats. On Friday we met Ben's friend Ryan and Nikki Reiff and their two boys at the park. 

Ben and Prior

Grandpa Denny and Mason having a little chat while the girls were getting ready for the wedding. I bought the boys "P" and "M" bibs on Etsy. It saved us about 400 "which one is that?" questions that day so they were definitely worth it!

Prior and Mason smiling and talking to Grandma Barb. I love their onesies - they say "stop copying me!" I always remember that being an area of contention with my sister and I. "Mom...Cara's copying me!"

Look at this view! Sorry boys - I am referring to the rolling farmland... 

On Friday the boys made their debut at the Carroll County Courthouse. Grandma Barb works in the Treasurer's office and the boys got a mini-tour of the courthouse. They even picked out some license plates.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kiss me...

So Tanja likes hip-hop music and there is a song on the radio now that is called something like "kiss me through the phone". Anyway -  it is super catchy and also super annoying. I can't stand the song or the station for that matter, but that is probably because she's in her early 20's and I'm now an old lady that is practically 30!

So I saw Mason "kissing" the phone attachment on the "vegasaucer" as I call it and couldn't resist.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fast Learners

Mason and Prior in their MMC onesies

About a week ago Prior was sooo close to rolling over. The "real" way too (according to Ben - back to front). I was really excited because Mason seems to do everything first even though he's the younger one (by 1 minute). But Mason beat him to it. Last Thursday night Mason officially rolled over for the first time at 5 months old.  On Friday Ben was home with the boys and said Mason did it several times during the day. I'm so proud of him! I knew Prior would be right behind him and sure enough he rolled over on Saturday.

These feelings of excitement were short lived when I quickly learned some of the implications. I thought we would be easing into this new mode of transportation. Apparently not. Until now the boys have been sleeping in the same crib which is located in our bedroom. Within just a few days of first learning how to roll over they are now professionals. The second they are placed on their back (whether awake or not) they roll. Regardless of any objects (or siblings) which might be in the way...

The boys have always done well at sleeping through ear-piercing screams by the other brother but when your brother literally rolls on top of you - you're going to wake up. 

So last night I moved the pack-n-play into the bedroom. Mason is asleep in the pack-n-play and Prior is asleep in the crib. Leave it to me to be sad about the fact that they're not in the same crib. I think I'm more sad about the fact that there is not room for two cribs in our bedroom which means both boys are going to have to sleep in their own crib in their room upstairs. All the way upstairs.... (I know what you all are thinking - it's about time!)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

On Decorah...

This past weekend we visited Decorah for the first time since the boys were born. I hadn't been back since the baby shower last November. We had a great 4th of July weekend, minus the fireworks due to the fact all four of us were in bed by 10:00. No complaints here - the fact that I wasn't in the hospital like I was last 4th of July is a victory!! The boys were on the go all weekend so there was little time for napping. We had a bbq, went on a few really long walks and even got to visit the Whippy Dip. I had great intentions with the camera but just didn't get many pictures taken. We are going back in a few weeks for Nordic Fest and I will be sure to take more then.

Mason & Prior

Ben and Prior

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 Months Old



On Monday the boys turned 5 months old. They are more and more fun every single day. I know I've said this before but I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world. Here are a few of their 'accomplishments':
  • hold a rattle 
  • officially found their voices and love to yell and make gurgling noises
  • found each other and are just starting to interact with each other
  • the drooling and chewing on their fingers is in full force
  • eating cereal regularly and loving it - but prefer to chew on their fingers at the same time
  • they are so close to rolling from their back to their tummy - I think it will be a matter of days
  • can pee about 3 feet in the air the second a diaper comes off

Prior holding the crab rattle

Prior trying to eat cereal and his hands at the same time. They both went straight into the tub after this meal.

This picture cracks me up. Mason is giving me the look like - "put the damn camera down and wipe off my face!"

Here is a video clip of Mason making his "gurgling" noises. The cool part is that he will totally imitate me when I make the noises. The not-so-cool part is the fact that Ben and my vocabulary includes words I would prefer my kids not learn at a young age - or at least not from their parents. Unless we adopt the infamous "do as I say not as I do" parenting approach we might need to make some some point!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Prior and his dilated eyes

Last week the boys went to the pediatric ophthalmologist to get their eyes checked out. They were little troopers. I was interested in learning how one, highly educated or not, would tell if an infant has vision problems. I still have no clue. But the good news is that all looked well.  She didn't notice any issues with Mason and just a teeny bit of crossing with Prior. Prior is going to go back in a few months and they will both go back when they turn 1 year. She said there is nothing to worry about before 6 months of age! Great news! Now what will I worry about??!?!

I did feel bad for them, though...they had to get their little eyes dilated. I despise getting my eyes dilated. They always tell you that it wears off after 2-3 hours and for me it always lasts the entire day. I have learned to just ask to come back next week for the dilating part and then never make another appointment.

The doctor made me feel good, too. She sees a lot of preemies and she commented on how the boys don't have "preemie cheeks". I think she meant they look healthy. It was a nice reminder that the exhausting 'round-the-clock schedule that we now call normal is for a good cause.

So - the good news is that there are 4-eyes but no one needs glasses yet! The better news is that if they have their dad's eyes (which at this point seems to be quite likely) they may not need glasses.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sensory Overload

For Christmas last year the boys each got an 'exersaucer' from Grandpa Don and Grandma Julie. This weekend we got them out of the box and assembled. The boys absolutely love them. I couldn't even get their attention to get a good picture because they were so intrigued by all of the "options". They are pretty darn cool. The boys love to be standing and it is really neat to see them use their hands like they know what they are doing. 

Mason busy in the farm-themed exersaucer.

Mason in the exersaucer. The lights and sounds on this one are Vegas-level intense. In fact it takes 12 batteries. 12. I get tired just looking at it!

Prior in the jump-a-roo. Thanks cousin Miya for sharing with us! I hope you don't mind a little drool! It is funny - these pictures correctly portray the boys' personalities. Prior is much more laid back and Mason is the 'busier' one.
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