Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today, Daddy turned 33. (That sounds kinda old, but I'm still in my 20's, so I'm feeling kinda spunky.) :) It was a very relaxing day for everyone. Daddy was even able to sneak in one of his favorite pastimes. Golf, you guess? Nope. A nap! :) We went out for dinner at Olive Garden to celebrate, which was great except for that crying fit Reed thought he needed to have as four other very nice looking families/couples were trying to enjoy their meals!

Then the boys and I took Daddy shopping. We gave him a "gift certificate" to Dick's Sporting Goods... in other words, "Take some money and buy what you want. You're impossible to buy for!" The boys and I had gone shopping earlier last week and had picked out a Cubs baseball hat for Brad, but we told him it was OK to return/exchange. He did exchange for a different Cubs hat, and also picked out a pair of sunglasses.

All in all, a good day. (Easy for me to say...I'm not another year older! HA!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Elmo & Friends

It has taken me quite a while to finish putting Drew's big boy room together. I began moving Drew's things from the nursery into his new room back in December. Our original plan was to transition Drew right into a twin size bed and forgo the toddler bed (who wants to make a major transition twice?!). But when someone at church was giving their toddler bed away, how could I say no to free? (Besides, after finding this very cute Elmo toddler bed set at Walmart, I knew I needed it!) Then the hunt began for all things Sesame! It was quite the challenge as Drew has a lot of wall space to cover and I have a very limited budget for such things. So I put my creativity to work and came up with this!

Drew's artwork, just as you enter his door.

Family pictures among our Sesame friends.

I am the most proud of this wall. I was really stumped as to what I could do to cover a large part of Drew's walls. I found these pictures in one of Drew's books, scanned them into the computer, enlarged, printed on cardstock, and adhered to foam board. Looks pretty good, huh?

Elmo wall stickers bought off eBay.

One of the few non-Elmo items...Drew's Cars collection!

So what took so long, you ask? Well, for starters, I had another baby, if you've forgotten. :) But the greatest struggle has been the Elmo wall stickers. Contrary to the package instructions, these things do not stick to textured walls! After several failed attempts at getting them to actually stick, I have found a solution that seems to be working. And, so now, Drew's room is finally complete (it only took me 6 months, but who's keeping track??).

The nursery pretty much remained the same, with a few additions here and there. In case you've forgotten, or haven't been to our house for a visit, this is Reed's room.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


It is so fun to see our children go through the developmental stages, discovering and learning new things. Drew's most recent accomplishment has been making the switch from talking about himself in the third person ("Drew needs milk" and "Drew take a bath") to first person ("Me need milk" and "Me take a bath"). (It's still not proper grammar but he is only two!) :) I have previously posted about how Drew has learned how to state his full name. Now, instead of saying "Drew Robert Vander Waal," the answer to "What's your name?" is "Me Robert Vander Waal."


Monday, May 18, 2009

Congratulations, Matt!

We made our first road trip with the new van to Des Moines for Brad's nephew's graduation party (man, I can't believe that kid is graduating!...I'm old!). It was fun to be able to say "I'm taking a nap in the back" as Brad drove us home. It's a big step up from snoozin' in the passenger seat! This was also the first time for Brad's family to meet Reed. I'm pretty sure they were all smitten with him! :)

Our thanks to Brent, Esther, Lew and Lauren for letting us stay at your house, and a HUGE thanks to Lew, Lauren, Ali and DJ for playing with Drew all day on Saturday. I hope he didn't become too much of a bother! I know he had a great time as he couldn't stop talking about all of you (and Smokey) when we got home. We are anxious to see all of you again soon!

Hangin' with Lewis and Elmo.

This is what I saw as I came upstairs to find was as quiet as could be as these three were coloring.

Drew's birthday present from Aunt Sheryl and family.

Drew's not going to let a game of b-ball stop him from mosey-in' through.

The usual position...Reed slept during much of the day.

Reed and Lauren

Reed and Alison

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reed's Stats

Reed went to see Dr. Hunter yesterday for his two month well-baby check. Here's where he's at...

Weight: 13lbs 6oz
Height: 24 1/4 in
Head Circumference: 41cm

All of these measurements fall in the 90th percentile.

Not that anyone really remembers Drew at this age, but for comparison purposes, Reed's got a little extra "oomph" on his big brother... he is over a pound bigger and over an inch longer than Drew was at this age!

Reed looks and sounds great. We talked about his tummy troubles (obviously) and she told me at his next well-baby check at 4 months, we'll talk about some other formulas to switch Reed to. She told me that very few kiddos need to stay on this fancy formula until they're one, and it's typically between the 4 and 6 month mark when a transition can be made successfully to a different kind, perhaps eventually making our way back to the standard formula. She also said that once Reed starts eating fruits and veggies, he will probably no longer require the stool softener. He's growing great (!!!) and looks healthy. He's reaching the major milestones when he should be and is gaining more personality every day.

Now we just need to work on the whole sleeping-through-the-night business...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two Months Old

Milestones this month...

*First Easter
*First spring walk
*First smile
*First bath in baby tub
*First overnight

Those Vander Waal's start 'em early.

"Reed need Teddy." - Drew

First "big boy" bath (with a few toys from Drew)

Usually the little brother wants to do what the big brother does. Not the case for Drew!

Yep. He fell asleep like this.

Testing out the new stroller.

Napping on his belly was one of the best things for Reed's tummy.

Sweeping the winter grime off the patio.

A new flower blooming in our backyard...any idea what this is???

This is how sweaty he got on a 70 degree is he going to look on a hot day?!?

Drew's giving Reed pointers on the guitar.

Finally content while swinging.

Happy Mother's Day! Happy indeed!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What a Week!

TUESDAY: Another call to the pediatrician for Reed. A brief update...after returning from MN, I had called his doctor because he continued to spit-up/throw-up after feedings. (Mind you, this is the expensive formula and I just want to tell Reed to keep it in his belly!) The doctor wanted me to try thickening his formula with cereal, which is supposed to make digestion easier. After a few bottles, we had a totally new baby. Happy and content, with significantly fewer crying spells! YAY! It appeared as though we had finally found our solution... until Reed got constipated. What was resolved in one area (the stomach) had generated a new problem in another area (the toosh). So after exhausting all options in terms of trying to fix this new problem (I tried juice, karo syrup, different bottles, prayer!) the doctor prescribed a daily stool softener. I am pleased to report that the poopin' train is back on track!

WEDNESDAY: We left the boys at home with Rich & Chris, a couple from church whom Drew just adores, and Brad and I went van shopping! We hoped that at some point this year we'd be able to buy something bigger for our growing family, but I figured it wouldn't be until the end of the year. Well, when Brad got the "itch" and started doing research, I encouraged it the best I could! We headed to the Honda dealership and signed our lives away. It was such a fun, and stressful, experience. We are so pleased with our new van, and I have officially obtained "soccer mom" status!

"Domestication sweepin' the nation!" - a quote by my brother Justin...too bad that doesn't fit on a license plate...

THURSDAY: Go figure that the morning after we commit our finances for the next 5 years to paying for the van, Luci wakes up bleeding. She had what looked like a cut or gash on her tooshie. Off to the vet she goes, to be diagnosed with a ruptured anal gland (gross, I know) and severe ear infections (she was due for her yearly appointment anyway, and her ears have been a continuous problem and concern so I wanted to be sure the vet looked closely at them). She stayed at the clinic for the day to have a few procedures done, and when I went to pick her up at 5, I walked away with a $400+ bill and three medications. Poor girl. Poor pocketbook. Literally.

FRIDAY: While attempting to stand on his footstool in the bathroom to brush his teeth, Drew slips and somehow bites his tongue. I wasn't sure exactly how he did this (hit his chin on the countertop??) but he started to cry and as I peeked into his mouth to make sure he still had all of his teeth, I see blood. A lot of blood. I admit I had a brief freak-out moment, but kept my cool so Drew wouldn't freak-out, too. He was quite the trooper. He didn't cry for very long, so he was able to wash out his mouth with water and a washcloth, and I could see that he still had all of his teeth, but he had taken quite the bite out of his tongue. It was so sore that he couldn't sip out of his sippy cup at lunch! As you can see, he enjoyed sticking his tongue out at me all day so I could see how it was doing.

TODAY: Up early today to walk in the Peoria Race for the Cure with Terri, a friend from church who is a two-year breast cancer survivor. A bit chilly as we started off; 53 degrees and VERY windy. The boys stayed bundled warm in their new double stroller (thankfully Reed slept the entire walk) and by the time we crossed the finished line, the sun was shining. We celebrated Terri and we remembered my Grandma Gushee, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 1995.

WHEW! I wonder what next week will bring....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Boys, Boys, Boys

On Saturday, my cousin and her two boys came to our house for a play date (and if I'm being honest, a mommy date, too!). We had so much fun! There's nothing quite like cramming four boys with endless energy into one house (make that three boys with endless energy...Reed slept). :) Megan and I had great conversations as the boys played, and Drew was mesmerized by his cousins, tagging along behind them as they moved from room to room. These kinds of days I wish we had more of; where Drew had friends to play with and I had other moms to talk to. We don't get the opportunity to socialize like this very often, so I will certainly cherish them every chance I get! Thank you Megan, Noah and Brady, for coming to visit us! We look forward to doing it again soon!

The three amigos.

Drew and Brady...notice the net on Drew's head. Brady and Noah taught him that, although the net was a little small for Drew's noggin!

Is this what my house is going to look like once Reed is old enough to play with Drew?! At least Noah's trying to pick up...well, maybe not.