Thursday, January 30, 2014

A few randoms...

Waiting to hear baby's heartbeat at 16 week appointment.  Summer loved chatting with the Dr and discussing if baby goes to the bathroom inside Mommy.  She also enjoyed hearing the heartbeat.  Colton's face was adorable when he heard baby's heartbeat--open mouth, wide eyes!

We are so grateful for several wonderful playdates in the past few weeks that have really helped pass the extremely cold January days in a really fun way!  Here we are at neighbor Joy's house for a "picnic" along with several other wonderful friends.

Here is the verse of the week this week: Philippians 4:19.  I am really loving how the routine of saying our verse each mealtime is making Mommy and Daddy memorize scripture too!  Both kids (but especially Colton) love to say "Mommy's turn!" or "Daddy's turn!" to say the verse, providing great accountability for us as well :-).


Playing basketball with friend Brody

Over the past month, Colton's favorite past time of "playing cars" might now be rivaled by time spent playing with some sort of ball...

a) throwing a football, running to get it, throwing it again, etc.
b) asking mommy or daddy to throw the football with him
c) kicking the soccer ball, chasing it, kicking it, etc.
d) kicking the soccer ball with mommy or daddy
e) throwing a basketball into a hoop
f) throwing any type of ball into any type of bucket/basket

It amazes me how long he stays focused on one of these tasks..he will literally entertain himself doing one of the above things for 20-30 minutes.  It is really fun to watch him!

I captured a few videos this past week of him playing some sort of basketball...

This video was at our neighbor Joy's house-- they have the perfect size hoop for Colton and it entertained him as this video shows for most all of our playdate...

This video I took while we were waiting for Daddy to come home from work one night.  After playing football with Mommy and Summer (throwing and catching) for quite some time, Colton created his own game throwing the football into whatever basket/toy bin he could find.  After a while, Summer joined in the fun, and enjoyed organizing Colton's game into some sort of "team" competition.

 I love watching Colton grow into the little boy he is becoming!  He makes me smile!  I am so proud of how he is adjusting to his big boy bed (we are on day 4 of a streak of him not climbing out during either nap time or night time!).  I love cuddling with him in his big boy bed after naps and in the morning and reading his favorite book, The Little Blue Truck, literally 4 times every day.  I love watching his excitement over learning something new, such as his letters and their sounds or when he finds something he was looking for.  This week he learned how to put his boots on all by himself and climb into the car and get into his car seat by himself (with a boost from big sister) and he gets so excited to do it by himself!!!  Each day he communicates more, understands more, and learns more, and it is so much fun to watch.  I absolutely love this little guy more than words can communicate.  I am so thankful God gave me you, Colton!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Random fun and learning

Doing our giant letter puzzle

Both kids love combing and doing mommy's hair.  Summer took this picture :)
Daddy grilled out burgers and chicken in the snow

Auntie Kristin had the day off work on Monday for Martin Luther King Day and asked if she could come play!!!  Here she and Summer are playing "Auntie Kristin's Wedding" in Summer's doll house.

Colton wanted to play "Trouble" so we made it into a color matching game and he loved it!

Playing Barnyard Bingo with Colton and practicing colors and matching

"Racing" from their "start lines" to find and jump on the letter I say :)

Here are random some videos...

Colton playing football with Daddy

Verse of the Week: Psalm 56:3  The past two weeks Colton has wanting to do the verse of the week with us, so he will now be included in the videos ;)  He loves to say whose turn it is is to state the verse :). 

Practicing Colton's Counting: He can count 1 -13 regularly by himself when he is not being video-ed :)

Our Patriotic Summer:  She usually says the pledge of allegiance and then follows it by singing My Country Tis of Thee, but today I guess she decided to set the pledge to music...

Colton likes to follow in his sister's steps and put on shows now too...quite the entertainment at our house...

 Summer "jump" spelling names on the big letter puzzle

The kids entertained themselves for a good half an hour creating big piles of pillows and jumping into them off of step stools.  Here is the beginning jump before the pile of pillows grew...

Well, that's my photo and video dump for the week!  In between paragraphs I am currently naming places in the house for the kids to "run" to "as fast as they can"  to get some of their energy out ;)  They then come back to me looking for the next place to run.   I think we will be making a run to Good Times Park this afternoon :).  I had to laugh when Colton literally ran a lap around his room in between putting each article of clothing on this morning!!!  I could tell it took everything in him to hold his wiggly self still just long enough to put his socks on and then he was off and running again! 

Good Times Park

We recently got a membership for the next two months to Good Times Park, an amazing indoor playground, reading room, giant bouncer, basketball court, soccer field, giant block area, etc that just opened this year.  For only $28 a month, we gain an access code that allows us to enter the giant, un-staffed, indoor park anytime, from 7am-9pm and burn off energy, especially when it is negative temperatures, windy, icey, and gross outside!  They have an area with picnic tables, so we can bring in packed lunches and/or dinners to treat it just like an outdoor park.  To me, this is an ingenious for Minnesota winters!  This past week we went twice!  Here are a few pictures...

Summer loves the massive "spider web"

Colton does too...he is such a daredevil and wants to go straight to the top.  It makes me nervous!

Colton loves running and kicking in the soccer area

Colton running and kicking....

Summer climbing on the "path" she created in the giant block area

Colton playing in the giant block area

Here are some videos of the bouncy area:

If you live in the Twin Cities, I highly recommend you check out Good Times Park during this freezing January!  Thank you to my friend Jade to tell us about it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pierced Ears!

Summer is my little diva :-).  Each morning she will pick out the bracelets, necklaces, hair pieces, and stick-on earrings that match her outfit.  However, the stick-on earrings usually fall off by lunch time, get caught in her hair, and she loses them.  When she first started talking about getting her ears pierced, I told her it would hurt for a tiny bit.  After that, she decided she just wanted to wear stick-on earrings.  However, a few days ago she randomly came up to me and told me she wanted to get her ears pierced and that "it was ok if it hurt for a little bit".  We waited a few days, and she still wanted to, despite the fact that it would hurt a little bit, because then her "earrings wouldn't keep falling off"!  After Daddy said it was ok (he leaves those decisions up to me anyway ;) ), we excitedly planned to go to the mall today and get her ears pierced!  The car ride was filled with her singing, "I'm getting my ears pierced, I'm getting my ears pierced!"

When she got in the store, she said to the clerk, "May I please get my ears pierced?" and proceeded to talk to the clerk quite constantly ;).  I let Summer pick out which earrings she liked and she chose colorful mini daisy flowers.  Unfortunately, when the clerk checked, they were out of those, so Summer picked her second choice, pearls "just like Mommy's".  They look absolutely beautiful on her!  Colton did great watching from the stroller with a sucker :).

Here is a little video of her waiting on the special chair to get her ears pierced, followed by a few pictures.

One very excited little girl waits to get her ears pierced

She did GREAT!  She didn't cry at all--she did say it hurt--but as soon as it was all done she had a big smile on her face!


Celebrating with a hotdog from the mall food court (her choice)
Whenever we do anything focused on Summer's outward appearance (curl her hair, put on a pretty dress, etc, I always ask her "Why are you beautiful, Summer?" To which she responds the learned answer, "Because God made me." :-)  The same went for today after we got her ears pierced.  I always want her to solidly know that she is beautiful not because of any outward adornment, but because God made her.  But it is still fun as girls to get giddy about fun beautiful things (and mother-daughter sure did that today!!!)  I don't think God minds :-)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

School Stuff-- Colton letters and Summer writing

Tonight while our crock pot cooked dinner, and we waited for daddy to come home in his very snowy commute, we had school at the kitchen table.  Colton and I worked on his flashcard letters and sounds (at his request--he asked to get them out and do them!) and Summer finished up writing her Christmas thank you notes (at my request ;) ).

Colton quizzing himself on his flashcards

Summer thinking about what letter to make next ( I would write the words for her on a separate piece of paper and then she would copy them)

I love her concentration!

Here are a few of her finished notes.  Because they take her so long, I had her make a "template" in her own handwriting that said : "Dear _____       Thank you for the ______ . I love you.  Summer.  "  Then we made copies of it and she filled in the names and gifts.  If we hadn't have done that, we still wouldn't be done!  I am proud of her persistence though, and it really was a great way for her to practice writing her letters, seeing how words are made, and learning gracious thank you-note etiquette :)
This is how she sounded out "Grandpa" earlier today...GPU.  It's one of the first words she has sounded out on her own and I am proud of her!  She told me that Grandpa must have a "U" because he has an "UH" in his name :)  Makes sense to me!

Here is a video of Colton saying his letters and their sounds.  He gets messed up on E and F, but does the rest of the letters pretty quickly.  My favorite parts of this video?  The C is for "Colton-buddy" and watching his little chubby fingers as he thinks...:-)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Colton's first night in his BIG BOY ROOM!

Paul finished painting Colton's big boy room on Saturday, so this afternoon we all pitched in to get it ready for Colton to sleep in it tonight!   Summer excitedly kept asking what she could do to help--I absolutely love how excited she is for her brother to have his big boy room!!  The kids loved helping pull off the tape on the baseboards and helping carry Colton's clothes from the nursery to his big boy room :).  I still have a few more things I want to hang on the walls (ran out of time tonight before his bedtime) but it is basically done.

ALL weekend we have been talking about tonight, and BOTH kids were equally excited!  After baths, I shot this video of a very excited Colton who immediately ran and climbed into his big boy bed...super excited for his first night!

Here is a video of our first night "skinna-ma-rink-ing" in his new room before bed (after the kids put their laundry down the laundry chute, we skinna-ma-rink and dance into their rooms for bedtime prayers)...

After prayers, he climbed right into bed and said "goodnight!"  Normally when we tuck him into his crib, he cries for a few minutes protesting bedtime...tonight...not even one tear!  As we closed the door, Paul said, "That was too easy!"

It took him about an hour to fall asleep, but he never got out of his bed (I told him he would have to sleep in his crib if he did get out!).  He is fast asleep in there now!

Night #1 = total success.  We will see how nap-time goes tomorrow....!  Hoping for the best!

Daddy and Summer's Snowman

Summer has been asking to play out in the snow, and has been really wanting to make a snowman!  Well, today the temperatures got up to 40 degrees, and Summer's dream became reality ;).  While Mommy and Colton napped this afternoon, Daddy and a very excited Summer went to play in the snow and build Summer's first "real" snowman.  She was especially excited about the carrot nose!

Friday, January 10, 2014

This week: January 3-10

This week was so cold!  High temps for several days were double digit NEGATIVE temps!  Crazy!  School was closed for two days, which meant I got a bonus two extra days off tutoring :) (Well, crazy student still wanted to come!) :)

Anyway, it has been a relatively slow week because we have been at home so much, but it has been so fun!  We had almost a whole week of not-rushing-to-get-somewhere mornings- which are the best--as well as lots of playtime, talk time, reading time, game time, preschool/tot school time, etc! 

We have been playing a lot in Colton's "big boy room"--we are turning our spare bedroom into Colton's big boy room (to open up the nursery for baby #3) and he LOVES it!  We are decorating the whole room in a transportation theme, and all his toys go right with the theme ;).  We have his new bed set up and all his toys moved into his new room.  He still sleeps in the nursery, but we spend a lot of time playing in his big boy room, practicing sitting/lying down on his big boy twin bed (but not standing or jumping), and talking about how Colton will get to sleep in here soon.  EVERY night Colton asks to sleep in his big boy bed and we tell him pretty soon... (Paul is going to paint the room this weekend and then we can hang the final decor on the walls)...and every morning and after nap he asks to go play in "Colton's big boy room".  It is adorable!  It is also so fun to watch Summer get SO EXCITED for her little brother (she might even be more excited than him if that is possible???).  I love it!  I will post pictures of his room once we paint.  We hope to move him in for sleeping sometime next week.

We also got to have several playdates this week, due to our friends' preschools being closed due to cold, holiday craziness being over, and most people are now healthy again after quite the December of sickness!  That was a lot of fun to catch up with quite a few friends, as well as meet the new kiddo of my friend Kaity, baby Lincoln.  So fun!

All bundled up for the short walk to our neighbors' house for a playdate (temp = -15 degrees)

Doing a lot of hot lunches this cold week...this day's lunch was spaghetti....can you tell?

Summer sporting her new warm-up from Grandma T before heading off to gymnastics-- she is looking so old!

Addison and Summer took turns doing each other's hair in Summer's beauty salon during a playdate this week.
Today it finally started to warm up to low 30's :).  We had so much fun going to the zoo!  Over the past two months I have been consistently and painfully ;) working a TON with Colton on learning how to hold Mommy's hand when we are walking in a store/parking lot/library/ect (he unlike Summer at his age, would pull and scream to walk "by himself", and run wherever he wanted!).  We are also learning how to "stay close" to Mommy, "wait" for Mommy, "not to touch" in stores, and to "stay with Summer".  Today, our hard work paid off!  HE DID AWESOME!!!! I was so proud of him.  I brought along the stroller in case he disobeyed or ran off (immediate buckle-in-the-stroller punishment) but he didn't need it at all.  He walked the whole time, stayed close, and obeyed every time I said to wait, slow down, or walk with Summer.  He is starting to feel so big!!  This was such a fun trip to the zoo for all of us...big eyes taking it all in...and especially room to move around after being cooped up in the house for so long!!

I was so proud of Colton how well he stayed close with Mommy and Summer. at the zoo..he got the privilege of walking on his own (which he loved) because he was so obedient.

Watching the monkeys

Near one of their favorite tunnels to run through in the tropics trail

I absolutely love these two kiddos and am so thankful for them!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Preschool/Tot School + Other Fun and Learning

Its been awhile since I have update what we are working on at home in "school", so I'll do a quick update.  Some of these videos/pics are from December and a few are from this week.

Bible Memory
Here are Summer's last two verses of the week:

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."

Psalm 122:1 "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'"

We have been practicing lots of writing over the past month in the form of writing thank you notes :).  We still have many more on our list, as they take awhile, but they are the perfect way to practice writing skills and to watch how letters make words, especially words that come up a lot, like "the" and "and".


Summer is doing awesome at her "at" and "ad" words, so we have moved onto "ug" words.  She is doing great at sounding out her letters.  Here are the words we have recently added to her reading list.


We are working on basic addition with Summer.  She loves doing "her math problem" with mommy and pretending she is one of mommy's students coming for tutoring :-). After she did her problems she had a blast making a worksheet for mommy, putting numbers together for adding for mommy to do :)  I forgot to take a picture of that worksheet, but it was pretty cute!

Cheerios Math
Here is a video of how she currently processes a math problem verbally out loud.  It also shows how long we take to do one problem ;).


With Colton we continue to practice colors, by verbalizing all colors of things we use in a day, as well as having him verbalize colors he sees or wants (in crayons or markers).   He is definitely getting more right than he used to, but we still have quite a ways to go!!!  Here are a few games we have recently played to practice colors (*note they are all action games so he can be "on the move" while he is learning!)

1) Twister
2) Matching plastic letters with colored bowls (See picture and video)


Summer and Colton play letters with foam sticky letters in the bathtub quite frequently, and Summer loves to teach him.  We also practice the letters in his name when we look at and do his name puzzle in his room.  Recently, he has started to pick up the letter names and sounds, largely due to an awesome DVD a friend from church (with older kids who don't need it anymore) gave us last month called Letter Factory.  Both kids love the DVD, it is catchy, and has really helped Colton learn his letters and sounds through the music and way the letters are presented. 

Here is a clip of the movie from youtube:

We have also worked on letters at home in various ways.  Here is a clip of the kids helping their monkeys learn their letters....

Here is another clip of us practicing letters during breakfast...even though Summer knows her letters she likes to do it with us :-)

Colton currently can (most of the time) do about 1/3 of his letters and/or their sounds including: C, S, W, T, U, I, L, K, and H.  He also knows and will add that "C is for Colton" and "S is for Summer" :)


We have done a lot of baking and cooking this month.  Summer loves helping Mommy in the kitchen and truly is helpful.  Colton wants to help, but is still learning how to be "helpful" :)


The kids are almost constantly coloring, drawing, playing playdough, painting, etc etc etc.  If there is a lull before dinner or really anything, they will usually do one of two things...either pull out a book to look at or pull out the paper and crayons!  Here are two pics I snapped of the kids painting the other day.


Both kids (but especially Summer) will often be found singing her way around the house, singing about anything and everything.  Many times Colton joins in the singing, and the house is quite amusing.  They both love to dance when music is on, and they both love playing with their "instruments" and dinking around on the piano.  Here is a little clip of them playing piano together...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Part IV and V - Extended Family Obermayer and Kirkwood gatherings - December 26th-December 30th

It has been a tradition as long as I can remember that my mom's side of the family all gathers on December 27th for Christmas.  While location has changed and number of people has nearly doubled through marriage and kids, I always look forward to reuniting, especially with my cousins.  We grew up together in Chicago and were always very close. 

We normally follow this trip by traveling to Michigan to see my dad's whole side of the family, which I also look forward to just as much!  They are all so close and I have so many wonderful memories with them.  This year, instead of meeting in Michigan, my dad's side met in Chicago at a hotel, which worked out awesome for those of us from Minnesota (less driving) and especially well since the dates worked out to be back-to-back (only one trip to Chicago instead of two). 

We spend the day on the 26th driving down to Chicago.  We got some great time in the hotel pool after naps and before dinner.  On the 27th, we gathered at my Aunt Nancy's with my mom's side.  On the 28th-29th we hung out at the hotel with my dad's side, chatting, playing games, swimming, etc.  We drove home on the 30th.  There were lots of fun pictures taken...I chose a few to post here -- thank you to those family members that took them!

Mommy and Summer swimming - Summer loved showing everyone the new things she has been learning in swimming lessons!

Daddy and Colton swimming - Colton was so excited to be "swimming lessons" too, as he watches Summer every week but doesn't get to go in the pool.  He "swam" back and forth from one side of the pool to the other without tiring, and always wanted to "jump in" each time he reached the side.

Uncle Eric jumped in too!

The three eldest great-grandkids with Gee-Gee Obermayer

My mom's whole side--everyone was there!  Back row: Gee-Gee, Cousin Kendall, Cousin Alison, Kristin, Eric, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Paul, my mom, my dad, Aunt Karol, Uncle Gary.  Front Row: Rowan, Cruz, Roger, Cousin Alison, Cora, Nate, Cousin Amanda, Jade, Me, Colton, Paul, Summer

My dad's whole side -- everyone was there!  Back row: Neale, Cousin Laura, Uncle Scoot, Aunt Brenda, Uncle John, Aunt Lynda, my dad, my mom.  Middle Row: GiGi-ma and GiGi-pa Kirkwood, Cousin Nate.  Front Row: Me, Summer, Paul, Colton, Heather, Lane, Nick, Coleman, Leah, Jenna, Kristin, Eric.

Out for a family walk.

Grandma and Grandpa hanging out with Summer and Colton
So thankful for all of you!  So great to catch up. :)