Friday, December 23, 2011

Lexi at 2 months

Weight: 14.2 lbs with clothes and a diaper
Height: 23 inches
Chins: 2
Clothing Size: She is in 3 month clothes now.
Eye Color: Grey blue

I can't believe my little girl is two months old. She has been such a fun addition to our home. I tease that holding Lexi is better than therapy:) When life gets crazy, Nicholas throws tantrums, or I'm worn out, I grab little Lexi and snuggle with her and the world is suddenly okay. She is pure sweetness and smiles. She is never upset for no reason and is very patient. She waits her turn to be loved on.

Talking: She is making fewer dolphin noises as she is getting older. She has the cutest laugh. She can also carry on a good coo conversation. I talk to her and she will coo and smile back. It is my favorite thing to do with her. My other favorite noise she makes is her very unlady-like burps.

Sleeping: She still has no schedule. She can sleep a good 6 hours straight every once in a while. She doesn't have to be swaddled as much as Nicholas. She likes sleeping in her bouncer chair the most, but will actually sleep in her crib really well. The only thing consistent is she likes to stay up until around 11 or 12. When she wakes up from a long nap, she is always at her happiest. She will sit, smile, and do her superman stretches before she eats.

Hates the Most: Wardrobe changes

Likes the Most: Being talked to and smiled at. (She especially likes it when you tell her that she is smart and pretty.)

Funniest Sibling Interaction: Nicholas had decided to wake up super early one morning and I wasn't too pleased. I was telling him that it was too early to be up. His noises, however, woke Lexi up in the next room and at that point I gave up the idea that he should go back to bed. I went into Lexi's room and brought her back in Nicholas' room. When we came into the room, he said, "Look Mom, Lexi is happy to see me." I burst into laughter. I got the hint. Nicholas thinks we should all be happy to see him, even if it is six in the morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

11 Reasons

We are Grateful for 2011

  1. We welcomed Alexis Elaine Muhlestein into our family on Oct. 24th and had all the grandparents come for her blessing.
  2. Nicholas turned 2!!
  3. We celebrated 5 years of marriage.
  4. We survived the hottest summer on record in Texas.
  5. Joseph finished his second year of medical school and passed his huge, comprehensive Step 1 test!!!
  6. Nicholas went from only saying “Yeah” to speaking in full sentences!
  7. Nicholas learned his ABCs and can count to 10.
  8. During spring break, we visited Louisiana. We saw alligators and celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  9. Maren and Nicholas were able to visit Utah twice. Joseph visited Utah once.
  10. Our family and house survived a huge hail storm and tornado.
  11. We have loved playing tourist and exploring Texas.

Birth Announcement

*Thank you Aunt Kathryn for making the announcement. (Kathryn is a graphic designer extraordinaire.) We LOVE it!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nicholas at 26 months

Weight: 33.2 lbs
Height: 34.5 inches

Favorite Books:
  • Dott the Fire Dog
  • I've Seen Santa
  • Snowmen at Christmas
Favorite Food:
  • Hot Chocolate (He is a little obsessed. I just add a tiny bit to a big cup of milk and he is one happy little boy.)
Big Accomplishment:
He finally learned his colors. For the longest time, he couldn't care less about colors or learning his colors. Now he finally knows them!!

We use to have time out in his crib. Now we just pull a kitchen chair in the middle of the room and make him sit in it. We have him sit in it for 1 minute. During the last ten seconds, we have him count to 10 before he can get out. Sometimes, he will just start counting as soon as he gets in the chair thinking that will magically get him out faster. Sometimes he comes and tells me when he has done something wrong, like touch the Christmas tree, and he will put himself in time out.

He is wonderful talker. People are always impressed, mostly because he is just more vocal than other kids his age when talking to strangers. He talks mostly in simple sentences now, but will say sentences with 4 or 5 words. Some of my favorite words and phrases because of the way he says them are:
  • "Oh YEAH."
  • "That's right Mommy."
  • "Thank you very much."
  • "Ozzie. Ozzie. Ozzie. Ozzie. OOOOOOOOzzzzzzzzzie."
  • "I run super fast."
We have LOVED teaching Nicholas about Christmas. He knows it is Jesus' birthday. He knows that Mary and Joseph were Jesus' parents. He does get confused about whether Joseph or Mary was Jesus' mother. He has learned about stars, wisemen, shepherds, and angels. I made him little nativity people that he plays with, and we use them to tell the Christmas story.

He has also learned about Santa, snowmen, Christmas trees, ornaments, elves, and Rudolf. We have a little elf living with us named Jack that watches Nicholas and tells Santa if he has been good or bad. When Nicholas touches the Christmas tree, he says, "Oh no. Jack's watching me. No touch Christmas tree. Time out chair." We also have an advent calendar that has 24 treats. He is always good at remembering to get his treat each day.

Nicholas also loves all the Christmas lights. He even has some colored Christmas lights draped on his bed that he calls his "Nicholas lights." He loves to have them on when he sleeps and when we read stories. He also has loved driving through different neighborhoods and seeing the lights on different houses. He also loves egg nog, Christmas parties, Christmas songs, and candy canes. Nicholas wants a bat and ball from Santa this year.

Nicholas definitely makes me laugh and sometimes cry. Here are a couple reasons why:
  • Joseph has taught him to flex his muscles and say, "Chicks dig it."
  • Nicholas has a good imagination. He likes to pretend he is sleeping or that his toys or puppies are sleeping. Sometimes he tells me, "Sleeping Beauty. Kiss. Wake up." I'll kiss him on the cheek and he will laugh hysterically.
  • We ordered too many size 4 diapers. Nicholas is way too big for them, but they are still doing the job during the day so I have been having him wear them. They are stretched a little tight so they remind us of a thong. Two weeks ago, he suddenly looked up and told me, "Oh NO!! Diaper popped." I thought he maybe was stinky, but I understood the situation when I saw that one of the tabs had broken. This has happened three times since, but he is always good to alert me to the situation.
  • Part of the reason Nicholas loves his new big boy puppy bed is that sometimes I forget to put his binkies up high and leave them on the bed. Then when I am feeding Lexi, he will go back to his room and suck on his binkie until I catch him. Sometimes I sneak up on him and scare him so bad because he knows what he is doing is against the rules.
  • Lately Nicholas, Lexi, and I have been playing store. I put a few items of play food out on the couch and tell Nicholas the price of the food. Nicholas then has to give me enough pennies to buy the food that he wants. He then puts the food in his wagon or his shopping cart. As the game goes on, he gets sick of counting out the pennies and will just give me all the pennies he has and takes whatever he wants.
  • Nicholas is very into drawing. We are working really hard at having him only draw on paper. When we go to the park, he spends half the time drawing letters in the dirt. Last week I was raking leaves on the side of the house while Nicholas said hello to Ozzie. The neighbors keep their convertible parked on the side of the house. Nicholas walked around to the other side of the car where I couldn't see him. He was only over there for a few seconds before I went to check on him because I was worried he was playing with the jug of blue windshield wiper fluid that he thinks is juice. Instead, I see him holding a rock. He looks up at me and smiles proudly and says, "I draw car." My heart sank. I picked him up and raced him inside. I told him it was SUPER NAUGHTY to draw on cars. I couldn't get too mad at him because I hadn't told him this before. He is just a creative, sweet two year old. I cried though. Not because it would be expensive to fix the car, but more because I felt doomed to follow that boy everywhere and never let him out of my sight. There is so much more that I need to teach him before he can be independent. Everything worked out with the car. Our neighbors were very nice about it and even laughed.
  • On Sunday, we don't let Nicholas watch anything but church movies. We tell him it is because it is Sunday and we need to think about Jesus. During breakfast on Monday (Nov 21), Nicholas smiled and announced, "Not Jesus time. Time for new Toy Story. Woody, Buzz, Jessie. Yeah!" He then clapped.
  • Nicholas is really good at praying. However, if you pause too long when you are helping him pray he will immediate conclude with "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
  • If you sit by us during sacrament this is what you will hear Nicholas LOUDLY announce, "I take one bread. I take one water. I take sacrament. I think of Jesus." It is really so sweet you can't get too mad about the volume at which he makes this statement.
  • Nicholas recently has become scared of the vacuum. He will tell me, "That's too scary Mom."
  • He is having a harder time going to bed at night. He will come running out of his room and tell me, "I can't go to sleep." We will tell him to go back to bed and most of the time, he will run back to his bed and lay there. Sometimes he will try to negotiate. My favorite was when he told me, "I can't sleep. I sit on Mama's lap and watch Mama's show." I told him nice try buddy and sent him back to bed.
  • When Lexi was born, Nicholas' grandparents brought their iPads and Nicholas LOVED them. We bought one of the fire-sale touchpads, but the lack of games for it kept him from getting interested. When we put android on it with lots of games, he quickly became more proficient at using it than Mama. His favorite game is "monkeys", or Monkey Preschool Lunchbox.
Nicholas As a Big Brother:
  • Nicholas always wants to carry Lexi. He will try and then say, "I pick up Lexi. Lexi too heavy."
  • He is never mean to Lexi. He is fine with her taking over his crib and his old room. He is not crazy about sharing Mama. At first when I would feed Lexi, he tried whining and crying to keep my focus on him. Now, he has changed his tactics. He tries to get me to stop feeding Lexi by getting into as much trouble as possible. For example, today he went through the garbage, colored with pen on everything laying on my bed in my room, and dumped a cup of water.

I LOVE doing crafts with Nicholas. Nicholas loves it too. The hardest part is convincing Nicholas that we have to stop and clean up at some point. He is always so proud of his creations. (FYI: At first he wanted a pink castle birdhouse. He only settled for a green and blue castle birdhouse because I didn't have pink paint.)

Nicholas loved our Thankful tree.

Nicholas' motto is: Talk LOUDLY and carry a BIG stick.

We drew a little city for his car named Steve to drive around in.

He loves to play with Papa's racket. He thinks he needs to put on Joseph's racquetball glove and glasses each time he holds the racket.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lexi in the Leaves

Today the huge tree in our front yard dumped all of its leaves. Luckily, I was able to vacuum them up with the leaf blower we bought on Black Friday. (You know you are an old married couple when your big exciting purchases on Black Friday are a leaf blower, dress socks, and fabric.) When I saw the huge piles of leaves, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph Lexi in them. (Nicholas was napping at the time.) It was a cold day so I expected a lot of wailing and gnashing of gums during our little photo session. I was surprised when she just laid in the leaves bewildered but calm. I only had time to snap a few shots before I had to rush her back into the warm house. Here are the results:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family Photo Shoot

Our friend Tatia took these pictures when Lexi was almost two weeks old. Thanks Tatia!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lexi at 1 1/2 weeks

Lexi's Blessing

Joseph blessed Lexi on Oct. 30th when she was less than a week old, because all of her grandparents could come from Utah. Lexi was all dressed up with matching shoes, socks, headband, and bracelet. My mother and I had so much fun finding a dress for Lexi when I visited Utah in August. Lexi looked like a little angel and was so good when she was blessed despite the fact that she was starved.

My Little Turkeys

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We ate dinner down at the church with a bunch of families in our ward. I was glad I didn't have to make a whole thanksgiving dinner. We just brought a vegetable tray, salad, and dessert. Below is a picture of "Pete" our perky vegetable turkey. Nicholas liked him, but not as much as Mama did. Joseph was amused by how big of a kick I got out of arranging the vegetables to look like a turkey.

As a mother, it is my right to put my kids in embarrassing head wear. I have really exercised this right with Lexi. For Thanksgiving, I branched out and included Nicholas. In my defense, he LOVED his turkey hat. I thought I would be lucky to get him to wear it for a couple of pictures. Instead, he wore it to Thanksgiving dinner and slept with it a couple nights. We kept telling him, "Looking good Nicholas." Now when he wears the hat he says, "I'm lookin' good, Mama."