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Showing posts with label Ivar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ivar. Show all posts

our growing family

babytres from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

We are overjoyed with this news. We are twelve weeks along as of today and due at the end of September. A few have asked if we were trying and yes, we were trying. :) When the baby comes Elsie with be 3 and Ivar will be almost 5.

About a year ago we were watching America's Funniest Home Videos (all four of us get a kick out of this show) and there was a clip of a daughter announcing her pregnancy this way to her parents, faking the picture and actually taking video. I filed it away for when the time came and I'm so glad I captured these reactions. Hilarious.

Another favorite moment was after I called to tell my brother and his family, I received an email from my nephew, Simon. He wrote, "Hi!!! Currently, I am very excited about the new baby." That's been my favorite line for weeks now. Currently, I am very excited, too.

We wanted to tell the Groves cousins when we were all together so that Ivar could share the news. The adults all knew but he was so excited to share. We hadn't prepped him at all on how to say it, he just stood up and told the room:

after the combines from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

Oh I laughed so hard. At some point I had given him the timeline that first the snow would melt, then the farmers would plant the corn and then the corn would grow over the summer and then the corn would turn yellow. And about the time the combines would come to harvest the corn the baby would come. But that was weeks earlier. And here, he had pieced it all together and made such a sweet and special announcement, "After the combines come out, we are going to have a new brother or sister baby." Hooray!

motherhood is a ride

Rory needed the house silent today while he took a few sales calls. And since we were still in our pajamas and couldn't really go out in public, I decided to take the kids on a country drive. I kept telling the kids, "oh that's a pretty picture!" and stopping the car to take the shot. Later they were telling me, "Pretty Picture! Mom, take that picture!"

We drove to a nearby town and got lunch at the meat locker. We played at the park and did a show for each other, showing our jumping jack skills, demonstrating our favorite give-me-five tricks and singing our favorite songs.

So here's what I was thinking about while on this super lovely outing: each day in motherhood feels like a bit of a crap-shoot. It's as if dice actually are rolled before I wake up, and the trajectory of our day greets me and asks me to adapt. It's why motherhood is the ultimate test in selflessness. Because some days require total selflessness. But other days are like today. They take you on adventures with your kids where you can't believe your life is this grand. Days when your heart is overflowing with gratitude for these two little lives who make for super fun company on these random outings.

And actually it's not days that are the crap-shoot... it's minutes. Everything changes in a matter of moments when little kids are involved.

So you end up with pictures like the one above where there are two happy and joyful kids, playing hard and life is awesome. But what I didn't know is that Elsie is running over to the swing to try to fly like superman. Except she's going to miss her fulcrum and tip forward, planting her face on the gravel below.  And this moment will be followed by screams and sobs until we pull ourselves together to go meet a dog and his old man owner who are walking through the park and distract us back to happiness.

Motherhood is a ride.

On the way home I turned down a new gravel road that, as it turns out, did not loop me back the way I thought it would. I was sincerely lost, scanning the horizon at every high point looking for a grain elevator that might point to some sort of town nearby. Eventually I spotted a tall elevator and found the town we had left about twenty minutes earlier.

And as it turns out, life is the ride.

glazed old fashioned donuts with chocolate drizzle

Last week Rory was out of town and I had a babysitter lined up so I could meet with a friend. Our plans changed, so that I had a babysitter coming, but nothing planned. I thought about cancelling the sitter, but then I came to my sweet senses.

There are many things a girl might do with three unexpected hours to herself. I thought hard about what I would most like to do with my time. And then it dawned on me: grocery shop without my kids. So I went and it was wonderful. (And while in the milk aisle I had the brilliant idea to schedule a pedicure, lest you think I'm super dumb with my sudden free evening.)

It was in the cereal aisle that I came upon the two-year-old that I had heard screaming most of the time I was shopping. The two-year-old sat in the front of the cart, and there was an infant in its carrier in the basket of the cart. The mom was pushing with a four-year-old walking behind. The two-year-old was not happy. At all.

I went to check out and as I stood in the long, long line, I could still hear this kiddo even though their check out lane was not close to mine. And then I heard that little newborn wake up and scream as if it was starving to death. Of course it wasn't, but it thought it was. The cries from that baby were so intense I was worried I was going to start producing milk again.

Out in the parking lot, I could still hear this family and just as I was about to sit down in my car, I opened the trunk again to get the donuts out so I could eat them on the way home. I looked three rows down and saw the mom, peeling bananas for her kids, loading the groceries in the back all while the baby screamed its sad story.

And something came over me and I knew what I had to do. I walked right through those three rows of cars with my donuts in hand and said to the mom, "It sounds like your kids are really hungry. I know because I have two little kids at home myself. But I bet you are hungry too. And I wondered if you wanted a donut for the ride home. I was about to eat one myself on my drive home and thought it sounded like you might want one too." She looked so stunned and said, "I do. I do want a donut." (Ha!) And then I looked in her minivan, right into the eyes of her children and told them, "This is your mom's donut. You guys have banana's, but this donut is just for your mom, okay?" And they nodded in terrified obedience.

I walked away back to my car, opened the box again and began to eat my own donut. Because moms deserve donuts.

Elsie and Ido


+Elsie calls Ivar, "I do." One day she'll speak those words at her wedding. Until then, she uses them first thing when she wakes up, standing in her crib with her wrist twisted, palm up, shoulder scrunched "I do?"

+The kids play together all the time. It's a noticeable shift in their relationship. They mostly wrestle and roll on top of each other. It lasts long enough, until someone starts crying. (Not always Elsie...)  

+Elsie wakes up before Ivar during their afternoon nap. We'll play downstairs, but if I'm not watching her she will sneak upstairs, push his door open and poke him in his bed. This does not go over well with Ivar. Or with his mom. If I catch Elsie sneaking up the stairs, she will laugh and squeal, totally busted and then look at me very seriously as I carry her back down the stairs saying, "no. no. no. no. no."

+Ivar and I made up a new favorite game this week. It's called, "Ah! Company is coming!" During this game, I race around a chosen room trying to clean it as fast as possible. There is no company coming, but it's a pretty great mind game for me. Ivar loves how spazzy I become and runs around telling me, "Mom! The company is coming!" And then I scream and yell that I've got to hurry! 

+Along those lines, often when I go to pick up the living room and sunny room, I wish I had a rake to gather all the randomness that is strewn on the carpet into one big pile. I'd call it The Toy Rake or The Knee Saver.

 +Our kids are a blast. And the days seem to be going smoother. I recently told Rory, "What if we end up loving them being so close together?!!" (So far it has been trying and hairy and we'd space our next kids more than 20 months apart next time around.) But they're becoming play friends (which was the hope and plan from the beginning. The 20 months were intentional.) It's a joy to watch them play and wrestle and snuggle.

...and a joy to tuck them in for the night so that mama can have her alone time.

baby shepherds of the star!

Ivar keeps our days full of giggles. And I make a serious effort to grab a pen to get the words down exactly as they were said...because you can't make this stuff up.

My personal favorite as of late was while he was playing the the fabric nativity people that velcro onto our advent calendar. He said,  "Baby shepherds of the star! Don't talk grumpy! Okay. That's better. That's nice."

Ivar was making up silly nonsense words to the song Let it Snow.
I said, "That is super funny."
Ivar replied, "It certainly is."

While he was telling me something he snorted involuntarily. It was like he inhaled too quick and it really surprised him. He said, "Did you hear that sound? That was in my butt hole that is way back in my mouth!" And he pointed between his upper lip and nose.

Ivar wanted a watermelon when we were at Alde and we discussed foods that are out of season. This morning while eating breakfast he commented, "We haven't had rice krispies in a long time!" He ate for a while and then added, "That's nice it's rice krispies' season."

(This picture above stopped me in my tracks. He looks so old. I felt like I caught a glimpse of who this boy will be in a few years. The picture on top is still more "true" to who I see every day...but something about the expression in this second shot made me remember this boy is growing every single day!)

Ivar is three today!

A few favorite quotes from the past few weeks:

Me: Ivar, do you understand why you got a time out?

Ivar: Because I was dumping rocks out!

Me: Yes. I told you three times to stop dumping rocks out of the rock box, but you kept doing it. You even looked at me while you were doing it. That is very naughty and that is called disobedience.

Ivar: (whispering like he's amazed) oh that is craaaaaazy.


Rory was gone picking up our babysitter and I was getting the kids fed before we left for the crisis pregnancy center banquet. I set before Ivar a cold hot dog, a string cheese and a cup of raspberry yogurt. He exclaimed with the hot dog in one fist and the cheese in the other, "Oh that is fun that I am having a meal!"


Ivar was rolling around on the floor and lifted up his shirt, "ow! I skinned my feelings right here!"


My sweet joy boy. You light up my life every single day. Today you are three years old. 

You are fun-loving, social, and silly. You love playing game boards taking out all the pieces and making up your own ways to play. You get frustrated easily and have a real knack for throwing yourself on the floor. You don't want Elsie to play with your toys, but you are never more than a foot away from her at any given moment because you adore her. The two of you laugh and giggle until someone starts crying. You love your family, love your blue and green blanket, and told me tonight, "Svea, Uncle Kyle and Natalee are the best of friends." The three of them don't know each other, so I think you were telling me that they are your best friends. 

You are a sweet boy. I am so glad you're my boy.

soup for mary

Ivar had his fisher price nativity set out yesterday and I asked him what the king had in his hand. He looked at it and said, "Soup." I asked him what the other kings had in their hands. And he answered, "More soup."

Not a bad idea. I would imagine Mary would have appreciated some warm soup after delivering Jesus. Maybe more than gold. Warm soup after having a baby? Good thinking, Ivar.

**It should be noted that the above picture was staged by a 31 year old during nap time. At no time are these characters set up like this. Usually there is a garbage truck and a few tractors in the mix. Usually all of the nativity sets are mixed together so there are three baby Jesus'.

And in other exciting and thrilling sister Annika is blogging again!!! Sort of. Actually, I am blogging for her. But her girls are so funny, she has stories every day, and I decided that I will post them for her just so they get written down. Click here to visit her blog.

the funny/not-so-funny things Ivar says


"In a minute, baby Elsie." This is said when baby Elsie is crying and I am not able to tend to her right away. Ivar sounds suspiciously like me when he says it.

"not quite" said high pitched and encouraging with two syllables on quite. This is said while trying to put duplos together and they don't quite fit. He also says, "just about" in that same high pitched, encouraging tone. Again with duplos.

"Baby Elsie! Daddo downstairs! Making coffee!" This is how Ivar greeted Elsie one morning. Adorable. And so amazing to me. It is incredible to watch his speech progress.

"Oh mama! See Stars!" While dusting off the top of a cupboard in our bedroom a lot of dust started to stream through the light pouring in our window. Ivar was on the bed and saw the dust sparkling in the air.

"Stop it! Stop it, Mama!" Said while I try to wrestle him into his coat, try to put his shoes on, get him in his jammies. This is a hard one to combat. My knee jerk response is to snap back, "Ivar! Stop it. You cannot say..." And then it's just too obvious where he has learned that phrase.

"Sit down. Sit here. Let's play, Mama." Melt my heart. I love this invitation.

"No, mine, Mama." This is said as I begin to play with his toys. I do not know where he learned that four letter word, but I am not a fan. In my head I think, You wanna bet? Who do you think bought you these toys?

"Oh Bible! Jesus! Lions! Big Fish! Noah's Ark!" I am trying hard to get him to sing Jesus Loves Me for the flip cam. Some parts are perfectly clear, other parts take some creative liberty. It makes me so happy.

"Mama! Almost home." When we hit the gravel road on our way back to our house.

sockie booboo

Ivar's favorite game lately is playing "nigh nigh! (tiny pause) good morning!"

His favorite thing to say is "sockie booboo." We have no idea what this means and have tried every coy way to try to figure it out. But he says it just out of the blue, "Hey Mama! Sockie Booboo!" Any good guesses?

The other super fun development is that Ivar can tell us stories now. A few weeks ago he spent the night with Kyle and Lisa. He came home saying on repeat, "Uncle Lisa! Kyle! Scuse Me!" Uncle Kyle had introduced him to Steve Martin via youtube and Ivar learned how to say, "Well Excuuuuuse Me!" Except Ivar's version is very staccato and always with Uncle Lisa and Kyle.

Then on Saturday Ivar spent the day with my dad and Svea. And when I was driving Ivar home he kept saying, "Grandpa say Slllooowwww Slow Slllloooooowwwww." I was almost home before I called my dad and asked what he was talking about. And dad replied, "that kid eats so fast, I kept telling him 'slow Ivar. sllllowww. you'll choke." 

Until tomorrow, Sockie Booboo!

ivar turns two

My little baby boy turned two. And he is nothing but wonderful.
I remember thinking after his first birthday party that I wouldn't do such a huge blow out party for his second birthday. I remember at the end of that party realizing how little time I had spent with Ivar as I decorated the house, prepared the meal, organized the games... this year I was hoping to do something a little more simple.
So instead we had four mini parties. Because four parties sounds like way less than one party, right? Hmmm. Not really sure what I was thinking. We had cupcakes four days in a row, lit candles four days in a row, cleaned the house four days in a row. Next year: one big blow out party.
First, our new neighbors came on Thursday, his actual birthday. Ivar loves them so much and they love Ivar. They knew him well and got him a dump truck that dumps duplos. And a digger and a garbage truck. Ivar was thrilled.

The next day we had over our old (former!) neighbors, George and Katherine. Oh how we miss these guys. They loved seeing our place, and loved seeing our kids. Ivar warmed up to them right away, Elsie got some good snuggles and Katherine brought match box cars and beanie babies for Ivar.
Then on Saturday, we had the Harrington party. Party is probably too strong of a word. I was exhausted and my mom and sister got the meal on the table and Mara and Sonna decorated the cupcakes. Annika, Jedd and Rory all took naps at various points during the afternoon, and that maybe describes the laid back tone of the day the best. But Mara and Sonna found their own fun making a jungle gym out of the scaffolding and a teeter totter out of scrap wood.

And then on Sunday we had the Groves over for what turned out to be the most party-like of the parties. We fit everyone around one table in our kitchen and had taco pie, chocolate cupcakes with little john deer hats my mom had found the day before, cows, tractors and presents. It was pretty awesome.

Ivar was celebrated. He was singing the happy birthday song to himself when I put him down for his nap yesterday. Pretty sure he thinks a birthday lasts days and days.

9 months

Dear Ivar,
Today you turn 9-months. And you just get more fun.

You delight us every day. Like the day I came back from walking around Lake Harriet with you and while giving you a bath found that you had tan lines in the rolls of your thighs. You are a very healthy eater and love all foods so far, though you give us a good gag show with avocado (but you still eat it!)

You are not crawling yet, but still get to where you want to go by barrel rolling side to side, all the while kersplatting on the hardwood floors. In the early mornings I set you up in the living room with all of your favorite toys and then head back to bed, and just this week I found you had almost made it to the kitchen! You also can scootch yourself backwards but tend to get stuck under the couch a lot because of this maneuver. And that is very frustrating for you.

You have acquired a scream that would rival any middle school girl sitting in the front of a roller coaster. It is high pitched, abrasive and terribly unnerving. Unfortunately, you have learned that it is effective. So we’re trying to ignore the pterodactyl that has moved into our quiet little home, but it’s harder to do than you’d think. Hopefully the scream is just a stage.

The flip side of the scream is that you have an opinion and are really starting to show us some personality. You’re still fantastically social. Today your dad and I took you for a walk around Lake Harriet and you stuck your arms straight out and waved your wrists and smiled at the runners as they ran by. You gave sweet smiles and we got lots of quick remarks of “cute baby” “he’s waving at me” or “hi buddy.” It tuckered you out and after a while you fell asleep in the stroller.

It was odd to have you lying back in the stroller, because your normal posture is very upright. Especially in your umbrella stroller, you rarely sit back. You’re very interested and eager to see what is up ahead In fact, when I see you playing with your toys on the floor I am often reminded to roll my shoulders back and sit up straighter myself..

You sing our names as a sweet background to our days. Mamamamamama and Dadadadadada are babbled lovingly all day long and you often times will make us stand quiet for a bit as we listen to you talk to your toys.

We love you more and more Ivar. I’ve stopped lamenting your changing and growing because your new tricks, ever-growing thighs and new sounds just give us that much more to love. And we love and adore you like crazies.
Love, Ma mama ma ma mamama

six months

What in the world. You are half a year old today, Ivar Nicholas. It just doesn't seem possible that it has already been half a year since we all met in that hospital room.

Strangely, all you’ve really known of the world is that it’s really cold outside. We’ve had a really long winter that set in the week you were born and today on May 1st, we had snow flurries! But stay patient, because I really think you’re going to enjoy the next six months of Minnesota weather.

You are learning a few new skills that will be helpful as we soak up the sun together. Just this week you mastered the art of sitting up on your own. Pillows are still helpful in propping you up as you tend to tip over if there is a toy too far out of your reach. But once face planted, you are good at pushing yourself up a bit and deciding to investigate the carpet you’re on, just as long as you’re down there anyway. I can’t wait to walk you to Lake Harriet, sit you up on a blanket in the shade and watch the boats, squirrels, runners and ducks.

This month you started eating rice cereal, carrots and sweet potatoes. You love your high chair and get very worried if the food doesn’t come to you quick enough. The first time I fed you with a spoon you already were trying to grab the spoon to get it to your mouth faster. It means that we cannot feed you without a complete mess on our hands… and your hands, and our sleeves, your sleeves, your face, neck folds and bib. It’s quite the production.

We still consider you to be the happiest baby on the planet. You are pure joy. You smile and everyone, laugh with your belly and have an ability to charm the socks off of any soul who makes eye contact. You are also a very agreeable baby, who rarely fusses and usually with good reason.
Best of all is how much love you are able to give back to me and your dad. You light up when you see us, laugh out loud when we come back into your presence after having been gone for while. There is no greater feeling than the one you give us every single day: that we are loved and that we are adored. I hope you know the feeling is very mutual.

getting myself in the pictures

I am in the middle of a monstrous picture printing/documenting project. Actually, the monstrous project is simply trying to keep up with Ivar's little life. I printed 400 pictures a few weeks ago when Walgreens was running a deal and now I'm trying to get them all into an album. (I know. 400 pictures in 4 months is a bit extreme. But he's our first and this is what parents do with their first child.)

What I began to notice, however, is how many adorable pictures I have of Rory and Ivar together. Mama seemed a bit absent from the shots. I wasn't entirely absent, but if we were keeping score (and maybe we were...) Rory would have won. Though I don't fault him...there have been a few photo opps where I asked that my pajama-pant-dirty-hair-self be left out of the photos.

All this to say, today I staged a photo shoot for me and my baby boy. We were in our Sunday best and feeling photogenic. He was wearing a sweet cardigan and corduroy outfit from Mom Groves that was given at Christmas. Adorable. Reminded me a lot of my Grandpa Bredberg in his button up cardigan.

So mama's, grab the camera and enlist your hubby, sister, bff or mom. And get in the pictures!

shocking news

After almost four months of excuses, I finally clipped Ivar's finger nails. I have been downright phobic. I can't remember if I was present for or if I was just traumatized by the story, but my sister once clipped her firstborns fingernails and accidentally drew blood. Either way, I have been avoiding the clippers. Instead we have filed Ivar's nails, but this takes a lot longer and still left him with little razors on the ends of his fingers.

So today I picked up those baby clippers with great bravery and held tight to my little guys hand. And you know what? It wasn't that bad.

squeeky clean

Ivar loves to take baths as much as I do. Though he is more fond of sucking wet towels while taking his baths than I am. I like bath time at our house because it is such a family affair. Bath time means all three of us are huddled closely together at the end of the day. And I think it will stay that way for a while because I am afraid to give Ivar a bath without Rory nearby to help with the wet-baby-into-dry-towel transfer. That's a tricky, wiggly, slippery maneuver. So until I find my third and forth arms, each night around 7 you can find the three of us splashing together in our kitchen sink.

handmade baby

My friend from high school, Crystal, made this hat for Ivar. I adore it. It's so sweet and I love that it has ear flaps. Ivar loves it too. He can grab things now and is a fan of putting whatever he was able to grasp into his mouth, so the strings on this hat keep him really busy.
My sister-in-law, Sara, made these little slippers for him. They are so stinking cute and STAY ON HIS FEET! A serious bonus in baby footwear.

I am inspired. I want to learn how to crochet. And if that doesn't happen for a while, I want to get crafty again. It's been a long, long time and I miss making stuff. Maybe this weekend...

how to say his name

It never crossed my mind that we were naming our son a name that could be pronounced so many different ways. But I've heard a lot of different vowel sounds since he's been born. That 'a' seems to mess a lot of people up. But his name sounds much more like Iver, with a strong I and an er ending.

As my brother-in-law Jedd likes to say, "It's Ivar like MacGyver