Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Military Wife Week 9 - Heidi's 2nd Birthday (and other fun things!)

This week, we enter into the single digit countdown for Daddy coming home.

Sophia had her last two soccer events this week. Practice on Tuesday and a "tournament" on Thursday. It was, of course, supposed to be the hottest day in the history of the entire world in Minnesota on that day, with heat advisories, so we weren't sure how long we were going to stay. However, for her first came it really was not that warm yet with some cloud cover. Then her team had a "rest" while the other teams played, then had their final game. She was so proud of her trophy (doesn't matter that it was for participation!) and really just had a fun time playing soccer, especially because her friend Taylor was there. Heidi had a blast playing "soccer" with Taylor's auntie during the break in the games, kicking around a ball that they had brought with. I think she was kicking better than some of the older kids on the field.

At soccer, my mom learned about the "duck, duck, gray duck" phenomenon. I remember when I first heard someone say "duck, duck, gray duck" my head almost snapped off and I was really confused. Here, and this is the ONLY state where this is the case, they play "duck, duck, gray duck" instead of "duck, duck, goose". Something to do with the Norwegian background or something. Who knows.  But she was just as shocked as I was. What's really weird is to hear Sophia referring to it as "duck, duck, gray duck"...but I guess she is a Minnesota-born girl.

Sophia's newly learned skill this week is showering. I'm not sure exactly what put it into her head that she would like to try to take a shower, but she asked me if she could take a shower. Sure! Why not. She LOVED it. She thought it was great fun to stand under the pouring water. She has asked to take a shower every night now for probably the past week. It's a strange thing; I very suddenly feel as though I'm not needed at bathtime anymore, which is just so odd. It's been something I have to be involved in since, obviously, her birth and now I just kind of stand back in the bathroom and make sure she has her soap and is scrubbing and all of that. She even likes to dry herself off, and is combing her hair (with her detangling spray) and brushing her teeth... It's like my baby became (truly) a "big girl" overnight and I'm just watching now a lot more than I was. 
On Wednesday I reached 35 weeks. 5 to go! Bethany seems to be overall doing well; lots of movement. Lots of heartburn for me. I am trying to keep up with exercise but boy is it getting difficult.

Thursday evening we went to the Mall of America to pick out Heidi's Bitty Baby for her second birthday (yay!). The girls had fun playing in the "dolly store" as usual, and Heidi (kind of) picked out a Bitty Baby and outfit to match. She really was having more fun playing with all of the dolls in the store. We thought it would be fun to go to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner but actually it was quite painful. It all started when they said there was a 15 minute wait, but we waited over 30 minutes (that's a big difference with two kids) and then there was another 10 minutes once we were seated before a waiter came by. At this point, the girls (especially energizer bunny Heidi) are getting restless and have broken into emergency fruit snacks in Nana's purse. When the waiter comes by he takes our orders, and then brings out the girls' dinners first. Great! I love when places do this. However, time keeps ticking away...and then the girls are finished with their food... and we haven't had a grown-up food sighting yet. When I catch the waiter and ask about our dinner his response was "you haven't had your dinner yet?" Umm... no.  Piece together the rest. A 2 year old, a 4 year old, sitting and waiting, for long periods. Let's just say I will be choosing to dine elsewhere for a while... However, Heidi did like the birthday cupcake they brought to her.

The next day, Friday, there was a special with Delta where they had this ice cream sandwiches food truck down at the Jazz Festival and if you had a Skymiles credit card they gave you two free sandwiches. I am not ashamed to say that mom and I drove with the girls down to the jazz festival in St. Paul ENTIRELY for free ice cream sandwiches. In our defense, they were delicious. We were getting some good looks too from Heidi making a delicious mess of hers. The type she got was the "blue" one (pics below) which was two frosted whoopie cookies plus the ice cream in the middle. It was a hoot.

Saturday was the day of Heidi's birthday party. We had a small family party (plus 'Aunt' Erica!), the theme of which was "balloons". Heidi absolutely goes crazy whenever she sees a balloon, so I thought it would be perfect. We went to the Farmer's Market that morning to get some veggies for dinner and some fresh cut flowers (and also made a lovely scratch in my car, thanks to a rather large and inconvenient pole in the parking garage). Side note for the Farmer's market: If you are going there with little kids, play the kid/farmer game they have. They give the kids a bucket with a number in it, and while you're walking around you go find the farmer that has that matching bucket number. They have a prize for the kids and the kids get to meet a farmer. Heidi got a giant bag of veggies (an ear of corn, potatoes, zucchini, cucumber, onion, broccoli...) and Sophia got some beautiful succulent plants that we are going to plant this week. Plus they have this dunk tank game, which was a really cute idea. Very fun. Anyway... The pattern I picked with pooh bear for her shirt on the embroidery machine was pooh bear with a balloon, and I "pinterested" a balloon wreath, picked out a balloon penguin cupcake cake with Nana, and went to the dollar store and got pretty much every balloon they had that was either "Happy Birthday" or generic. We got the balloons while she was napping, so probably the best part on Saturday was her waking up from her nap to a giant cloud of balloons.

On that note, the napping note, I had put the girls down for a nap, which I thought would be not problematic because they had woken up so early. Mom and I left to go pick up the cake and a few other final party things at Sam's Club, and to get the balloons. When we came home, Oma looked exhausted. She told us all of the exciting things that happened after we left. Heidi had a stinky diaper, so Sophia, being the excellent helper that she is (along with thoughts of training for the new baby sister), thought she would try to change Heidi's diaper. She succeeded in getting the diaper off, and then that's when everything fell apart. It was at this point that she went to get Oma and Papa, and told them Heidi had a poopy diaper. Well, Heidi, by this time, with the diaper off, had managed to spread diaper mess on the carpet, on her bed, on her stuffed animals... and Sophia, having a rather weak gag reflex, was really struggling with the whole thing. A bathtime and a big bedroom cleansing later, the girls finally went down for a nap, and about 10 minutes after that Mom and I came home (impeccable timing, really). We have had to have talks with Sophia about how helpful she is, but to make sure she gets Mommy/Daddy/Oma/Nana/Papa BEFORE helping out in that way...

Heidi had a lovely, balloon-filled party. We had hot dogs for dinner (one of her favorites) with watermelon, homemade potato salad, chips and corn on the cob (truly, her favorite). She had fun opening up her presents, and the dolly crib that Sophia and I had painted together for her is, for the time being, a crib for her new giant Minnie Mouse plush. Erica got her "suckies" (tootsie pops) which she has barely been able to get her mind off of, and an adorable outfit. Of course, she is now the owner of her own Bitty Baby! Sophia has probably had just as much fun with Heidi's doll, and is referring to herself as an "aunt".

Sunday was Heidi's ACTUAL second birthday. She wore her little birthday outfit to church, and had a great time at church and really wiped herself out because she napped for over 3 hours in the afternoon. We had planned to go to Stillwater in the evening and walk around, but then with Heidi's nap going until 4:30-4:45 we decided to go to the zoo when they woke up. It's only open until 6, but we figure this would be enough time just to do half of the zoo, because we didn't to the half with the family farm when we went last week. We wanted to do more on her birthday than just a nap! So off to the zoo we went. Heidi's favorite part was probably the prairie dogs, and both she and Sophia asked if they could keep one (umm, no). (Super no). (#StillARat). The otters swimming around with a basketball was also ridiculously adorable. The Family farm is always a hit. Feeding the goats is a lot of fun. Sophia, still a little on the skittish side with animals, mostly just dropped the pellets inside of the fence for the goats. Heidi had just a grand ol' time feeding them from her hands and would sometimes try to hold it out to them pinched in her fingers instead of flat on her hand. I was terrified she was going to lose a finger, but she's still intact! They also really liked the cows and horses. Then it was zoo closing time, so we headed home. Actually, it was a great time to go to the zoo because it really wasn't too crowded. What's amazing to me is how much her language is changing over the past couple of months. Really, it has just exploded. She's speaking in full sentences now, and getting much better at expressing her thoughts.

I still can't believe my baby girl is two. She is incredibly different than her older sister, and I remember being about ready to have Heidi and rocking Sophia to sleep in my lap. Heidi, I don't think, would easily fall asleep that way.  It is amazing just how different they are, but what is also amazing is the amount of love that I have for them. Truly it helps me to understand God's love for me, which is significantly and infinitely greater, when I think of the love that I have for my daughters. And what's even more amazing is how patience is displayed in God; because there are times I find myself short with the girls over things that I shouldn't be, or not handling situations well; but God, who has EVERY RIGHT to just drop the promises he has for me because of my continued disobedience and straying, holds fast to the promises he made through His Son. W. O. W.

Christopher is at his last base on his tour of bases in the South. So far, it sounds as though this has been a very rewarding and challenging experience for him. I am hoping to convince him to blog some of the details, but we'll see :) As we speak, it is the evening of Heidi's 2nd birthday. I have put the girls down for bed and they are (probably) sleeping. The bedroom is set up for the arrival of Bethany (still have to buy newborn diapers, a swing, and get the newborn clothes and carseat cover washed but we're almost there!). I have purchased man-soap (which we haven't needed for a while!) and straightened out the closet in preparation for Daddy coming home. I can't believe we have just over a week left with my Mom here. I can't even put into words how much it has meant to have her here, and how much I am going to miss her when she leaves. I know it has been so special for the girls, too. It certainly made the second half of Chris' training go by faster to have her here. Christopher is scheduled to come home ONE WEEK from today, landing in the late afternoon. I. Am. Ecstatic. I did have a dream last night that he switched from using an Apple phone to an Android phone (bizarre dream... I'll chalk it up to pregnancy).
Crib that Sophia and I painted for Heidi's Bitty Baby!




35 weeks pregnant!








Watching Sophia's "soccer tournament"



Soccer star in the making

My first soccer star! Go, Sophia, Go!



Heidi saw them standing there and had to join in for the picture.








Our ice cream sandwiches!!! Yummy.




Plants Sophia won from the Farmer's Market

My lovely scratch
Cupcake cake! Balloons!



Second and more successful attempt. Birthday outfit.





































Our soccer picture (belongs technically in last blog). Love it.