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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Traveling Circus: Blog Break

Hello all!  Just wanted to let you know I'll be taking a break from blogging for a little bit over a week while our family goes on vacation.  Check back here at the Ringley Family Circus in early June and I should have some new posts detailing our travel adventures!  I will leave you with a few fun pictures and videos from the last couple of days:

We got the kids a new and bigger pool for the backyard.  They were so excited after Chad blew it up they climbed in it and played for a good half hour before we even had a chance to put it outside or fill it up with water!

video

Once we finally were able to get it outside and put actual water in it, they had a great time playing in the water.  Poor babies played until their lips were blue and we had to wrap them in towels and change them into their jammies!


Today we went to Story Time at the library again.  We had another fun time, I am so thankful for this free activity for the kids!

"I've got my book Mom, I'm ready!"


Hmm...not too sure about this...


Chloe found a duck


And so did Brady!


Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone and we'll see you in June!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Craft Project: Cut & Paste A-Z Scrapbook

We are preparing to travel with the babies soon, so I have been racking my brain for ideas to keep them occupied on the airplane.  I was thinking back to when I was very little and the things that I loved or thought were really cool.  One thing I remember vividly even though I was very young, was a scrapbook my Grandma made me that just had random pictures cut out from different magazines.  I LOVED looking through it and pointing at different things and naming them with her.  Since I grew up in the mid 80s we didn't have access to clip art or color printers or any of that cool stuff.  We certainly didn't have an iPad to entertain us!  Thinking back about my scrapbook from my Grandmother inspired me to make one for my own kids, just as she did, by simply going through magazines, cutting out pictures, and pasting them in a scrapbook.

This is a time consuming project, but requires very little other than old magazines, a glue stick, scissors, a scrapbook, and time.  The scrapbook I bought at a local craft store is 8X8 and has plastic protector sheets and the white sheet just slides out, which made it easy to do a page and then put it back in the plastic sheet.  I think it would be a cool project to do with an older pre-school or kindergarten aged child.  You could practice cutting and pasting skills, as well as getting them involved in finding the objects that go with each letter.  If you had readers or writers, they could write the words next to the pictures themselves.

Anyhow, I finished my project and I am pleased with how it turned out!  I hope Brady and Chloe will enjoy this book for years to come as I enjoyed mine!  I wanted to share some pictures of the finished project with you:

A


B & C


D-F


G-J


K-N


O-R


S & T 


U-W


X & Y


Z


Well, that's it.  I enjoyed working on this project during the babies' nap time and after they went to bed at night.  I hope they will enjoy this scrapbook, I am excited to show it to them on the plane for the first time!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

15 Month Doctor Appointment and Stats

Today the babies went for their 15 month well check appointment.  I was a little nervous since we moved to a different city we had to change doctor's offices.  It is still the same general group, but now a new location and a new doctor.  The good news is since it is the same medical group, their medical records were already in the computer system.  Yay, technology!

I picked out our new doctor pretty randomly by just viewing her profile online and based on the fact that it said she specializes in babies and toddlers.  I was also apprehensive because at their 12 month appointment they got 4 shots a piece and we basically had to run out of the office afterwards with two screaming babies...not fun!

I was thrilled to meet their new doctor and discover that she was very personable, extremely patient with the babies, and very thorough and took her time with their examinations.  Both babies received an excellent report.  They are meeting all of their developmental milestones, and are on track with their growth charts.

I want to briefly just write down a few things about both babies at 15 months so I can remember them, and then I will post a picture and each child's stats with a few facts.

Schedule:  Our day begins around 7 AM for Brady and 7:30 AM for Chloe.  Breakfast is at 8 AM.  We usually eat and then have playtime until morning nap, which is usually around 10 AM.  After the babies wake up we have more playtime until lunch, normally around 12 PM.  Afternoon nap is usually around 2 PM.  Once the babies wake up from afternoon nap, we usually have snack around 4 PM.  More playing time until dinner at 6 PM.  After dinner we usually take a walk around the neighborhood and the lake, then we have some outside time in the backyard before bath time.  Bath time starts at 8 PM and we read a story and have them in bed by 8:30 PM.

Eating:  The babies eat a pretty big variety of foods.  The babies get a cup of whole milk with every meal.  At snack time we offer water or occasionally juice.  For breakfast they love cheesy eggs, hot cereal, cereal bars, fruit, Cheerios, yogurt melts, and pancakes.  Some fruits they eat include: raspberries, blackberries, pears, peaches, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, apples, and pineapple.  Lunch is usually our lightest meal, and includes Goldfish, cheese, lunch meat or leftovers from the previous night's dinner, fruit, and applesauce.  Snack time is usually pretty light and most of the time it is one of those fruit and veggie pouches for toddlers and some water or juice.  Dinner is a pretty big meal usually, a fruit, a vegetable, a meat or a pasta, and yogurt for dessert.  In terms of meat the babies eat a lot of chicken but they also enjoy beef and steak.  Pasta is a big favorite, I like to use the pasta made from spinach and tomatoes and mix it with butter and cheese and they love it!  Favorite foods:  For Chloe, any fruit.  For Brady, any meat!

Development:  We keep t.v. time to one hour a day, and that consists of Sesame Street in the morning while I cook/prepare their breakfast.  Both babies are walking like pros!  Chloe is talking up a storm and picking up on quite a few words!  Brady is really branching out socially and is getting more and more comfortable venturing out on his own in social situations!  Both kids are LOVING The Little Gym activities and are very comfortable playing and exploring on their own now!  I am so thrilled!  A lot of our play during the day right now revolves around reading.  Our bookcase is at the babies' height and is easily accessible to them right there in their playroom, so they are constantly bringing me books to read.  We do a LOT of pointing and naming objects.  We also have a few iPad apps that we try to incorporate in the learning process.  A lot of our reading focuses on animal names, animal sounds, shapes, colors, opposites (i.e. hot/cold, short/tall), letters, and counting.  By the end of the day I don't know about the babies, but my brain is pretty fried and I couldn't tell you a cow from a sheep or a triangle from a square!

Growth:  Interesting that they both gained 2 pounds since their last well check 3 months ago.  Also many people think Brady is much bigger than Chloe weight wise, but since birth they have never been more than a pound apart in weight!

Okay, now time for the babies' individual stats:

Chloe Renee

Weight:  21 lbs, 2 ounces (23rd perecentile)
Height:  30 1/2 inches (52nd percentile)

Chloe is such a precious girl!  Her personality shines through no matter where she is or what she's doing.  She does not hesitate to jump into the middle of whatever is going on and to participate with whoever is around.  She is an excellent sleeper and napper, and sleeps longer than her brother both at night and nap time.  She LOVES to read, read, read.  She is a great little talker.  Some of the words she knows are:  Ball, Duck, Bow, Bear, Dog, Uh Oh, Bye Bye, Night Night, Ma Ma, Da Da, Baby, and Babies.  If you ask her to point to a certain animal or object in a book she will get it right most of the time.  She will point out a ball or a dog without being asked.  She also knows where her eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are.  She still has 8 teeth.  She can recognize Chad and I from a picture.  If she hears the dog bark and run towards the door during the day she will say "Da da, da da?" because she thinks Chad is home.  Sometimes she asks for him when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap.  She is beginning to show a little bit of an independent and willful streak, and you don't want to mess with the child when she is tired!  She has a favorite bear that she calls "Baby" and also two stuffed dogs that she loves to carry around the house too!  Chloe is such a joy and we love her to pieces!  

Brady Matthew

Weight:  22 pounds (16th percentile)
Height:  32 1/4 inches (82nd percentile)

Brady is a sweet, sweet man!  He gives the best hugs and he has the best belly laugh you've ever heard!  Brady's walking is just amazing and he is so sturdy now!  He is an amazing eater and loves to eat almost anything.  He loves cars, trucks, balls, and being messy.  He LOVES to play in water or sand.  He has recently become just as obsessed with books and reading as his sister, if not more so.  He has one book that is HUGE but he insists on dragging it over to me to read at least three times a day.  He can say several words including: Ma Ma, Da Da, Ball, Uh Oh, Night Night, Truck (but sounds like Guck).  He confidently goes up to play around other children at The Little Gym without us now.  He has 12 teeth (4 upper, 4 lower, and 4 MOLARS)!!!  He has been known to still want to cling to us or be held by us, particularly if he is hungry or if a situation is too noisy/crowded.  He hates to wear shoes and spends most of the time he's wearing them trying to find a way to get them off, and usually succeeds in getting at least one off.  He also hates to have his face or hands wiped!  He has recently become very attached to his blanket and likes to go pull it through the slats in his crib and walk around the house with it.  He is quite a skillful climber and loves to climb up on the glider in the playroom.  Brady is such a great boy and we love him a ton!

Whew, these posts are always LONG!  Congrats to you if you made it this far!  Hope everyone had a great start to their week.

 

Weekend Water Bugs!

This weekend was jam packed with a lot of fun activities!  We managed to do a lot and get to see several of our friends too, so it was a great weekend.

We had Birdies class like normal on Saturday morning, and then Chad watched the kids for me so I could go to a used book sale at the library, which then turned into going to get my nails done afterwards, and even an impromptu lunch with my friend Jessie!  I am so thankful that Chad enjoys spending time with the babies and is so good at watching them so I can get out every now and then for some "me time".

When I got home we got the babies ready to go to our neighborhood's pool.  They had a blast!  We went around 5:00 and didn't get home until 6:30!    We spent quite a bit of time letting them float in the baby pool, and then when the big pool cleared out we took them to float around in there too.  They just LOVE the water and I am so glad.  Here are a few pictures:






When we got home we decided since the kids were already wet and dirty, we would let them play in the backyard with their sand and water table until bath time.  They had a great time but by the end they were soaking wet and covered in sand!

Busy playing...


What a mess!



Drinking from a cup full of sand:


Brady was still for a moment and I managed to get this picture.  I can't believe how fast his hair is growing!  They just had a hair cut and he already needs another one!  We are going to my cousin's wedding soon and I don't think we'll have time to get it trimmed beforehand so he'll just have to have wild hair I guess!


Yesterday our good friends and old neighbors from the city, Carlea and Dustin, came to visit us for lunch and we had a great time catching up with them at Cici's and back at our house for a little while.  We are so glad they came to visit!  Then yesterday afternoon we went to visit the Dermody family to celebrate Sam and Abby's 2nd Birthday!  They had a water table and a pool set up in the backyard and our kiddos had a blast playing with all the kids in the pool!



They were the youngest babies there but they didn't seem to mind at all!  Chloe is in the pink hat and Brady is standing in the middle in the blue shorts with red crabs.  We were so glad we could be there to celebrate Sam and Abby's Birthday!  We finished up our Sunday evening by eating some birthday cake before we headed home after another eventful day.


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Chloe and Brady have their 15 month doctor appointment today, so expect a 15 month stats post tomorrow most likely!

 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Story Time at the Library!

Today I took the babies to their first Story Time at the library.  As they are getting older, I think it is important to start doing some more structured learning and social activities.  We already go to The Little Gym once a week on Saturdays, but I'd like to start doing some other things with the kids during the weekdays.  So I found this Story Time at the library and decided to give it a try.  It is one thing to go to a class when you have two parents and two babies, but it was a whole different experience getting them ready and taking them to class by myself today!

We got there only a minute or two late but we were surprised to find a class full of babies!  I don't know how many were actually there but it felt like 30 or 35 at least!  Each child had a mat to sit on, and two books laid out to read.  During class we sang a lot of kid songs (I didn't know the words to a lot of them, shame on me!), read the two books, and at the end of class they had free play time with a bunch of toys in the middle of the room as well as bubbles and balls to play with.  The babies were very familiar with the bubbles and balls part since that is a regular part of their classes at The Little Gym.   They also loved playing with the toys.  New toys they've never seen before are a big plus!

The babies seemed to really enjoy themselves, I was very proud of both of them.  Brady in particular seemed comfortable walking around and looking at all the new toys all by himself.  He found a truck and happily played with it on his own.  Chloe of course was all over the place and enjoyed playing with the balls and making new friends.  Here are some pictures from Story Time:

Getting ready to read a story:


It was a big room!


Brady found a truck and a new friend:


Chloe having a ball as always:


It was a fun experience and I believe we will go back again soon!  Happy Thursday to all, we're almost to the weekend!

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Recap and Tuesday Hodgepodge

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and that you all got to spend some quality time with the Moms in your lives.  I had a great Mother's Day and spent it with my sweet husband and babies. I was spoiled with beautiful flowers, a new bedding set for our bed, and Chad took me out on a date Friday night to an awesome Italian restaurant and to see The Five Year Engagement.  Saturday I got to take some time out for myself to go get my hair done, and Sunday I even got to enjoy some shopping time!  It was a fun weekend and I felt very loved.

We also spent some time Skyping with our Moms who we couldn't actually be with in person, but we were glad we got to see them over the computer.  In a couple of weeks we will actually be taking a trip home to attend my cousin Hannah's wedding and to visit our families, so we are looking forward to getting to see many of our family members in person soon!

I didn't take many pictures over the weekend since we were busy most of the time, but I did snap a few.

First here are my beautiful flowers from Chad and the babies:


Next, here is Ms. Chloe hanging from the bars at The Little Gym during Birdies class on Saturday:


The other parents can't believe she can do this.  She can hang on the bars longer than many of the kids in her class who are bigger and older than she is!  She loves it!

Now here is a picture I took on Friday of Mr. Brady sitting in the glider in the playroom.  That might not seem so remarkable, except that I didn't put him there.  He crawled up there and sat in it himself.  Unfortunately for me, he has mastered this skill and is apparently a climber.  He can climb onto the glider, the couch, and he also enjoys climbing under the coffee table.


Just look at how proud he is of himself!   He is into everything these days!  He is now walking at light speed, so that doesn't help!  Here is a little video of him from yesterday:

video

Chloe of course is also keeping me on my toes.  It is amazing to me some of the things they come up with to do.  Here she is last night sitting in a decorative bowl I keep on the coffee table.  It usually holds three decorative balls, but I think it looks even better with this little girl sitting in it!


Speaking of decorations, I mentioned our sitting area a couple of posts ago, and the long wait we've had in order to get the furniture in.  Today the missing and final piece was delivered, the chair!  Yay!


Well this post turned out to be quite the hodgepodge!  I guess I had a lot to catch up on!  I hope everyone has a great day!

 
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