Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Special Guests

We've been so lucky these past couple days to have a few very special visitors. Aunt Glenda and cousin Alison came to stay with us and spend some time with the boys. We didn't do anything super special (although they did witness my best softball game yet this summer!), just played here at home. We played some games and went for a walk and did a bit of shopping, but mostly just enjoyed each others company. Sometimes you don't need to do anything special; it's the people that make ordinary moments special.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


How is it that Drew has gone from this little baby....

(okay, so he was never really that "little")

to this little man??

(and yes, mom did style his hair just like daddy's)

Today is Drew's official half birthday. No, no big celebration with cake and presents, but we did say "Woohoo, Drew! Happy 1/2 Birthday! Hooray!" I figured that was good enough.

Some milestones:
*Sings the ABCs (although L to P can be a bit of a blur)
*Knows most colors
*Talks like nobody's business (he can even say words like "procrastinate" and "catastrophe")
*Understands things in relationship to each other, like over/under, beside, both, etc.

Some Drewisms:
*The other day Drew told me I couldn't have "chocolate" (his word for pudding) because "you're too big, mom."
*I often take Reed upstairs to his room for his naps so he's not so disturbed by the noise Drew makes when he's playing. The other day I told Drew I needed to take Reed upstairs to sleep and Drew said "so we can talk."
*A conversation with Luci: "Luci, you want a cookie? Yes or no? Yes? OK."
*Much like mom, Drew tells dad to "be careful" when he leaves for work.
*I often tell Drew to finish chewing before he takes another bite of food. So Drew turns the table on me and tells me to "finish what's in your mouth, mom."
*Drew was looking at some pictures of me when I was pregnant with him, and I asked him who was in mommy's tummy. "I don't know," said Drew. I said, "That's you in mommy's tummy." "No," said Drew, "it's a bouncy ball."
*"Drew, are you a boy or a girl?" Drew says, "I'm a chubby bunny!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The same little girl that gave Drew his first kiss last summer, gave Reed his first kiss tonight at Brad's softball game.

Ooo...competition. I'm just saying.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chunky Monkey

Off to Dr. Hunter's office this morning for Reed's four month well-baby check-up. (On a side note, I just love the way the pediatrician's office is decorated. The waiting room has a huge wall mural, which is a painting of the store fronts in Diagon Alley, from the Harry Potter books. Each exam room, then, is themed for a specific children's author and his/her books: J.K. Rowling (of course), Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Beatrix Potter (there's a fifth one, but I can't remember what it is). They've moved to a new location between our last visit and today's appointment, and behind the receptionist's desk there was a new sign that read "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy." I'm still laughing out loud about it!)

Anyway, back to our appointment. Reed, as you guessed, is growing like a champ. His stats:

Weight: 19 lbs. 7 oz.
Height: 27 1/2 in.
Head Circumference: 45 1/2 cm
These measurements are all in the 97th percentile. In perfect proportion!

Except for the head, Reed has far exceeded Drew's size at SIX months! What a little rice cereal can do for one's development...

On that note, Reed's reflux is finally managable with the meds he is on. Baby Zantac is a wonder drug!! He still spits up quite a bit after eating, but his disposition is much brighter as the Zantac works to remove the acid and therefore takes the pain away. Two doses a day keeps Reed's and mommy's tears away! Our little baby is finally a happy one!

Here's what else the doctor said...

* She upped his dosage for the Zantac, as it's a weight based med and he's packing on the pounds like a regular defensive end!
* Because the upper GI showed no anatomical abnormalities, she expects to see his reflux begin to disapate between six and nine months. We'll probably have to continue to thicken his formula with cereal until then.
* She gave us a sample of Enfamil's Gentlease formula to begin to ween Reed off the Nutramigen (the formula that's costing Reed his college savings). Cross your fingers that this new formula will treat him as well as the spendy stuff does!
* We can begin feeding off a spoon. As soon as he masters taking cereal from a spoon, we can start giving Reed a bit of color and flavor in his meals with some fruits and veggies. I think we'll start with prunes. :)
* He looks great! (but we already knew that!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Big Brother, Little Brother

The Best Kind of Vacation

Drew and I were able to introduce Reed to our yearly summer tradition this past week... a getaway to Grammy & Papa's house in Minnesota! For the third summer now, as Brad has been away on a mission trip with the youth group, I have taken Drew, and now Reed, with me to my parents house. It's great for both the boys and for me. They get to spend some time away from home, trying some new and special things, and I get to spend some time with my brothers, whom I don't see very often. Oh, and I also get a *few* extra hands to help with the boys! (I was able to take in a Twins game with Dad, go shopping with Mom, and visit a good friend in the Cities, which included shopping, lunch, and a movie!) This year's "vacation" was filled with many fun things for the boys (well, Drew anyway. Reed's pretty content sitting on laps!). Drew enjoyed a parade, played outside, visited Candyland, went swimming, swinging, and sliding, visited an animal park, and got to sit in a fire truck and police car. Drew also had many play buddies, including Uncles Jeremy and Justin, and Avery. Needless to say, Drew is exhausted. He took two naps on the way home, slept in until 8am Saturday morning, and I had to wake him up this morning at 8:45 so we could get to church on time. We're talking about a kid who normally doesn't sleep past 7:15!!

Oh, and both boys did great in the van, considering the long drive. We made pit stops as needed and were able to stop by my cousin's house on the way there and on the way back, to stretch our legs and blow off some energy. As you can see from my previous post, road construction is my nemesis. Ohhhh, do I hate those "Road Work Ahead" signs! Let's just say I'll be content at home for a little while... say, until October?


With Grammy, enjoying the outdoors.

Drew's introduction to Candyland. He liked it. A lot.

Ok, so it was barely 70 degrees outside. The water was a bit chilly, but as you can see, he doesn't seem to mind.

Reed and Uncle Jeremy


Reed and Uncle Justin

At the animal park. I was very impressed that Drew actually fed the pony himself. He found the pony's tongue quite ticklish!

"Hello, goat."




Ah, it's good to know people. Uncle Jeremy pulled a few strings (translation: made a phone call) and Drew was able to visit the fire station. He got to sit in the fire trucks, meet a real-life fireman, and play with the lights and sirens. Let's just hope that's the only time I ever have to see him in the back seat of a police car!

On the job.

Are they...
1) defenders of the public?
or 2) mischievous trouble makers?


Friday, July 10, 2009

Road Math

Equation #1:

One van
One mom
One Barney-watching toddler
One sleeping infant
torrential downpour
hazard lights
A delayed arrival time at Grammy & Papa's

Equation #2:

An already delayed arrival time
One squirrely toddler
One wailing infant
"Road Work Ahead" signs with no actual road work in sight
Rush hour traffic
5 miles @ 5mph for 60 minutes
A "create-your-own" detour
3 miles of back-tracking
2 hours late for dinner
One harried and hungry mom, who needs a bathroom...and a drink. Really bad.

Four Months Old

Funny story: Drew had flipped all the toys over the bar on Reed's bouncy seat. I told Drew that Reed couldn't reach them like that; that he'd need a stool to stand on. So Drew goes and finds his stool for Reed so he could reach the toys! "Here you go, Reed."

The first, and only, time Drew actually wore a hat. And he seems pretty happy about it!

Testing out Drew's bed.


Mmmmm....beaters. Good.

Don't tell me you aren't laughing hysterically at this picture!

Helping Mom get Reed ready for his bath.

"Hey, why don't I get any of that?!?"

Drew's tribute to Michael Jackson.

Oh yeah, we're cool, we know.

Drew will use that potty chair for anything, except, of course, for going potty.

Cooking lesson #1.

Cute, yes. But kinda gross, too.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


tad⋅pole [tad-pohl]
1. (n.)
the aquatic larva or immature form of frogs and toads, esp. after the development of the internal gills and before the appearance of the forelimbs and the resorption of the tail.
2. (n.) beginning swimming lessons for children aged six months to two years at Dragonland Pool (see picture below)

For the past two weeks, Drew and I have been "tadpoling it" at swimming lessons. This was our second summer of lessons, and we had a great time! Not only is Drew becoming more comfortable in the water (he gets so excited before we leave the house I can barely get his sunscreen on before he runs out the door!), it also gives us a little time to be together, just the two of us. Although being in a swimsuit in public is my least favorite thing to do, this is something that I wanted to do with Drew, and will with Reed too, so they enjoy being outdoors and learn basic water safety skills. Heck, they may even learn how to swim! Next year Drew will be eligible to advance to the Pollywog group, where he will swim without me. Until then, my little tadpole and I will enjoy swimming together in our backyard "pond" (also known as the $5 pool from Walmart!).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Game Day

Because we hadn't done enough already this weekend... :) we headed out to O'Brien Field after church today to take in "Carnival Day" with the Peoria Chiefs (the Cubs' single-A farm team). And, as luck would have it, they were playing against the Beloit Snappers, the Twins' farm team. And you can bet your bippy I dressed my boys in Twins apparel! :) (As an added bonus, Cubs DL players Reed Johnson and Aramis Ramirez were playing with the Chiefs this weekend.) Kids ate free, but since we had a huge celebratory lunch at Applebee's, Drew's hot dogs and chips are in the fridge waiting to be eaten for supper. Children were also allowed to run the bases after the game was over, but with a hot hot sun and no nap, Drew didn't quite make it through the ninth inning. We left the game in the middle of the eighth, and got home in time for him to crash in mom and dad's bed.

Mom & Reed

"Ah, just leave me be and let me sleep."

They have a very cool jungle gym area for kids to play, out behind the center field wall. Drew kept Grandpa busy, preferring to play than to watch the game.

A proud, proud Twins fan.

L-O-V-E-S to swing!

The end result of a busy, hot day. Looks comfy, doesn't it? I suppose I'd better go wake him...

Living Water

Reed's Baptism

"Reed Donald,
For you Jesus Christ came into the world;
For you he died and for you he conquered death;
All this he did for you, little one,
though you know nothing of it as yet.
We love because God first loved us.

Reed Donald,
I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reed Donald,
Child of the covenant in baptism,
you are sealed by the Holy Spirit
and marked as Christ's own forever. Amen."

(Liturgy from the Reformed Church in America)

Grandpa & Grandma Clifton, Mom, Reed, Dad, Drew, Grandma & Grandpa Vander Waal

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

With all of the grandparents in town for Reed's baptism tomorrow, we had an exceptionally fun Fourth of July. Unfortunately, rain made for quite a soggy day, so we spent much of the day inside. Thankfully it subsided when it was time to head to the park for the fireworks. We played all morning, grilled burgers for lunch, enjoyed rainy day naps, and then headed to Godfathers for dinner (you know, the great American meal: PIZZA!) before going to the park. What a great day to spend with family!

Family feast at Godfathers.

The people sitting at the next table were enjoying the holiday with cake. They had extra, so they shared a piece with Drew.

Party in the park!

The boys in their Fourth of July best.

"Hey Mom, this is F-U-N!"

Cute, sure, but kind of irritating having to tell him to get out of the way all the time so he doesn't get knocked out with those balls!

A better game for a 2 year old.

Trying to pose like his dad. So funny!

Enjoying the fireworks (that's Reed underneath the blue hoodie).

If anyone missed seeing fireworks, enjoy your own personal slide show here! Pekin put on a GREAT show!