Monday, September 28, 2009

Ethan: belated 3-year check-up update

Love that green frosting on the birthday cupcakes!

Enough about me...back to the kids!

Ethan had his 3-year check-up last Thursday. Just as I'm writing this, I'm realizing that I don't have any percentiles to post...oh no! Maybe at this point, they don't check kids on the percentile chart...who knows. They were never given, and I forgot to ask. But, he's tall. Tall, tall, tall. Lots of people assumed he was turning 4 at his last birthday.

39 3/4 inches and 34.8 lbs. They no longer measure head circumference...bummer...that's always a fun one for the Sandberg kids and their big heads. Dr Paul did said that after a certain point in development, they expect BMI to go down, and his is. Not like I was worried or anything...Ethan is a healthy boy, but he is a bean-pole...tall and lean!

There wasn't much to the appointment. However, it was noteworthy to me, just the difference between taking Ethan to the pediatrician last week, and taking Dylan and Owen with Liz the week before. With Ethan, I snatched him up early from preschool and we headed to the clinic. No diaper bag (though I probably could have had the foresight to bring a snack!), no stroller, no planning around a nap or meal...a fantastic difference. I need to reiterate that I am NEVER wishing away these baby days, but some things get easier over time.

When we were called in, I talked to the Nurse while Ethan went with another Nurse to get his hearing and eyesight tested. Ethan was unsure about going with the other Nurse at first which reminded me that I need to be a better Mommy and have the "don't go with strangers" talk...Ethan is so capable of communicating and understanding, that I/we really should have had this talk with him awhile ago. Anyways, I assured him that he would be brought right back to me after a short trip with the Nurse, and he was. He got undressed and into a robe (that was new!) and then Dr Paul came in to talk with us.

I think I might have pushed him over the edge with my "What do you think about the Flu?" questions, but hey, I have a right to ask. Children's Clinic is like the only place on Earth that doesn't have the seasonal flu shot available yet. I'm so annoyed. If any place should get them, it should be the freakin' hospital for kids! But he told me that they don't have as much buying power as say Walgreens or Cub, and that makes me sad.

Ethan was shy during the exam, so when Dr Paul asked me if he could talk in sentences I tried my best to explain just how off the charts he is...but you know, every Mom thinks their kid is amazing.

Since they didn't have the flu shot, he only had one shot to get. He had to lay down on the table and we held hands...the Nurse didn't say when she was going to give him the shot and so he was surprised. He cried, hard, and gave me a look like I had betrayed him before he threw himself into my arms for a hug. He kinda milked it by limping around on our way out of the exam room...but it worked, I'm a softy. Now he talks about the shot like it was no big deal..."Just like a little pinch" he says.

Each visit comes with the pamphlet of what your child might be doing at this age. Let's recap:

  • Your 3-year-old can sit nicely at the table. Yes, but only when someone else ISN'T trying to talk.
  • Eating and drinking aren't quite the mess they used to be. No, but just tonight Ethan stuck his hands in his milk glass...why? Just to see what would happen.
  • You may also find your child prefers the same foods day after day. After day after day after day. Peanut butter and jelly (both grape and strawberry!) in "triambles" for breakfast, lunch and dinner...if we'd let him
  • Around age 3, children may be able to tell you when they need to go to the bathroom. Ethan has been able to tell us since early Summer...but now he takes it to a whole new level of telling us..."no pee or poop is coming out of my pee-pee or butt"...I'm sure that his preschool teachers don't find this very amusing. We're working on when "bathroom talk" is not appropriate. Work in progress.
  • Toddlers are usually sleeping 10 to 12 hours at night. Yea! Ethan is very good about sleeping at night. Every so often he'll come into our bed in the middle of the night claiming bad dreams...we remind him most nights at bedtime that he should stay in his own bed until morning-time, but really, I don't mind the snuggles.
  • Many 3 year olds stop napping in the afternoon. Sweet Jebus, NO!!! Daddy, Gramma Leslie, and Liz would join me in this protest. Granted, some days his nap is very an hour. But you can tell that naptime was short for the rest of the day. He NEEDS it. It's not a battle anymore, he doesn't protest it...let's let this happen for awhile longer!
Growth & Development:
At 3 years, children may:
  • ride a tricycle
  • draw shapes and use crayons
  • be curious about body parts
  • know their full name and age
  • have imaginary friends
  • use sentences
  • learn to use pronouns
  • brush their teeth
  • have more bladder control
  • follow instructions and make a game out of daily routines and tasks
  • be ready for preschool
Looks like we're right on track...and then some!

He never fails to amaze me, this one!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ethan gems & Hilly's big day

My niece Linnea supported me with this cool onesie! Thanks, Linnie!

Ethan cared more about his crackers, but I'm pretty sure he was proud of me in this picture...right after my finish.

Rounding the corner into the home-stretch. I was not a happy camper here (in pink), but then this lady yelled and me and so I kept going!

Oh, make me laugh, sweet boy.

Ethan collects stuffed elephants...before you know it, he will have a whole brigade, like in the Jungle Book. Ernie was the first. Then he received Horton as a birthday gift. And we recently found a blue elephant in the twins' room in their toy bin. For awhile he was known as "Blue Elephant" until I asked Ethan one morning if he wanted to name him. He said, "Yes, his name is Africa"...I thought he said "Apricot"...and when I said that, he firmly told me, "He's not an apricot Mommy, he's Africa!"

Also during this conversation on elephants, he told me, "Horton gives a hoot"...and while I'm sure he does, I think he also "hears a who" as the story goes.

This morning, I was out...doing something...which I will recap below. While I was gone, Auntie Emma came over with Linnea to help Andy with the boys (because we had predicted, and we're ultimately correct, that he might have a hangy after a wedding that we went to Saturday night).

Emma recorded some good ones...

Em: "Your brudders are looking at you, Ethan"
Ethie: "They want to eat me for breakfast!"

Em: "Mommy's going to be running and biking as fast as she can. Doesn't that sound exciting?"
Ethie: "Really, really exciting! I'm going to bring my catch a ball."

So, aforementioned above...I did something today that I never really thought I was capable of doing. But last June, I was ambitious enough one day to register myself for a race in the end of September. "Hey, it's June 1, I have plenty of time to train for a dualthon in the end of September!"...uh huh, right.

Anyways, I registered for Aflac's Iron Girl in Bloomington...a 2-mile run, 22-mile bike, 2-mile run (the bike route was changed last week to 19-miles, all hills, which I am very bitter about for a multitude of reasons, one being the amount of training I did on the original route) as my "get your ass in gear" motivation to get in shape after having babies, and after a number of years of being....well, just lazy.

I trained, though not as much as I would have liked, but I did train. I ran when I could, I did some long bike rides with Kristy and by myself (on the original course...ugh!!), and started to feel good. The previous times that I have tried to get in shape have bombed. I'd work out regularly for like 2 weeks, get frustrated that the workouts were still kicking my butt, and I wasn't seeing any results...and quit. I got to that stage this time too, but you can't quit when you've spent $95 registering for a race, made a promise to yourself to complete said race, and told everyone on God's green Earth that you are participating in said race. So I plugged forward...and how about that?! When you actually keep going with the workouts, they actually do get easier, and you actually can fit into your pre-pregnancy pants (comfortably, even while sitting! :>)

Recently, I've had a ton of axiety about the race, and the training sessions began to get less fun and I began to get more bitter about the fact that I had put myself in this position...I was afraid. But damnit, there was no way I was going to bail out on this...I would have never been able to live with myself. I had to do it for me.

We went to a wedding last night and I would have loved to have stayed past 9:30, but I didn't. I let myself indulge in a couple glasses of wine, and drank a lot of water too...and then headed home. Slept like crap, got up at 5:15, left the house at 5:30 to bike to Normandale Lake to set up in transition. The energy was amazing...even at 5:30am, in the cold of a MN late September morning. I was there solo, and felt like the only one who was, but found lots of people to chat with...which helped keep my nerves at bay. But next time, I am definitely roping a friend into doing this with me!!

I was in the first wave. I felt great during the first 2-mile run. I don't run fast, so I had a 9-minute split. Then on to the bike...hurray...the part I feel confident about! Those who know the Bloomington area will appreciate this whining...when the bike route changed from 22 to 19 miles (because of construction on Normandale Blvd), the new route changed to start going up the hill on E Bush Lk Rd (by Chalet Rd & 84th) instead of finishing going down it. I made it up without getting off my bike the first time through the route (it's two cycles), but the second time, after 10 miles of hills the first time around, I had to get off and walk it up for a few was brutal. But the rest of the ride went great. A few raindrops and some nasty wind (which never seemed to be at my back!), but for the most part, it went well. I finished in 1:27. Just like with the first (and second) run, there's room for improvement here...I know I can go faster next time...I just need more training.

I practiced the transition from bike to run once...last Wednesday. And I didn't bike 19 miles before running. I really underestimated how my legs would feel after the bike. Tree trunks comes to mind. I jog/walked the first 1/2 mile...then I saw Ethan and Andy...what a great surprise!! And just when I needed them!! I ran until about the 1 1/2 mile mark, walked for a bit and finished strong, but it took me 24 minutes to do the last run. So, in total, with the transition times, I made it in 2:17:27. For a first time, I'm REALLY happy with that!

I'm so glad it's over, but at the same time, am totally pumped to do something like this again! This post-race high is absolutely amazing!! And now I can call myself an Iron Girl...and that's pretty cool too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

They say it's your birthday...

Is there ever a point in time when a Mom stops reflecting about their child's birth on their birthday?! During the past week I have reflected so much on where I was/what I was doing/what he was doing, just 3 years ago. On the 15th...the day I went into labor for the first time; on the 18th...the one and only day of official bedrest (since I worked on day 2 and day 3); on the 20th...the day my water broke and I went into labor again, for real this time; on the 21st...the day my beautiful first son was born and whisked away to the NICU. It was a whirlwind and yet I can remember so much of it (despite the adrenaline and drugs!)

At 5:03 today I happened to notice the clock and I yelped, "It's 5:03,'s 5:03!!!" And he looked at me like I was nuts. I explained that at this very minute, 3 years ago, he was born. It was official, he was now exactly 3 years old! Yeah, yeah, Mom...let's go have another cupcake.

Ethan is such a big boy. He started preschool this past Thursday after we found out that the nearby church accepts kids at 33 months by Sept 1st if they are potty-trained. I had been thinking that he'd have to be 3 by Sept 1st, but one of his ECFE friends' moms told Gramma Leslie that wasn't the case...and lucky for us, the preschool had a spot open. He is so ready and loved his first day. I was working from home last Thursday and so I got to take him in for his first day. Class is Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11:30. 2.5 hours felt like a long me. He seems to really like it!! They are going to celebrate his birthday tomorrow so he had a "homework" assignment....a worksheet to fill out all about Ethan. He helped me with all the questions and I printed/cut/pasted the pictures. We're quite proud! He also gets to bring two items in the "sharing bag" that was sent home with him last Thursday. He'll be able to talk about his items to the class and tell them why they are important to him. Parents are invited. I'm hoping he won't be too shy. We've practiced. Tomorrow is also picture day!! It's so real...this is "real" school....homework, picture baby is growing up!

If Mommy doesn't plan a party, there will be no party...note to self for next year (or...note to Daddy! :> hint, hint, wink). So this year's celebration was small in group, Daddy and Ethan...but we had a great time! Last night we went to the Mall of America and went on a few rides. Then we got dinner at Ethan's requested restaurant..."the place where Gramma Leslie gets soup bread"...which happens to be Tucchi Bennuch, so that works great for us too! Then we headed home and opened some presents. Ethan and I had made cupcakes earlier in the day, and Daddy decorated some of them with green frosting and "big red balls" like Ethan had requested. We sang "Happy Birthday" and Ethan ate the frosting off his cupcake. My cousin, Teresa, had been babysitting Dylan and Owen while we were out so she had cupcakes and sang with us and we had a little mini party. It was fun!

This morning the birthday boy had more presents to open. Mommy went to work and didn't cry all day...Go Mommy! Mommy did cry around 5:03 though...Ethan was already looking at me like I was crazy, and so I just let the tears out....whatever. I'm starting to embrace the fact that I'm sounding more and more like my own parents. I used to roll my eyes when they'd talk about time going by so fast and me and my sister growing up. You know what?!'s so true! As Dylan and Owen are developing and doing more and more "kid" things...I remember so much of Ethan at that time...and it was so long ago, and just like yesterday at the same time, and I just try to remind myself to hang on to every minute...minutes with them that I just don't have enough of. And now I'm sad.

Happy Birthday to the not-so-little-anymore amazing boy that made me a Mommy!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

9-month well-baby

Dylan and Owen in the tub like big more bath-insert!! One more baby thing to get rid of (or, um, toss in the garage with the rest of the stuff!)!

I think in my last post I declared that the next post would be all about Ethan...crap. Well, Ethan started preschool yesterday, and frankly, I am just not ready to write about it yet. He's such a big boy...and he turns 3 on Monday! Too much for me in one week.

Andy was out of town for work Monday through Wednesday, and Dylan and Owen's 9-month well-baby check was on Wednesday. One should never attempt to take twins to the pediatrician on one's own...I did so around 4 months and was clearly insane...though I survived. Thankfully, Leslie and Ethan had their ECFE class during the time of the appointment, and they were able to take Linnea, so Liz was able to come with me. Thank God!! I scheduled this appointment way back in the day when they were taking 8/8:30 am naps versus the current naptime of around 9/10am...and the appointment was at 10am. On Wednesday they decided to get up at 7am, which is typically a good thing, but not when you have an appointment at 10am, and they eat every 3 hours. So....

We drove hungry, tired babies to the appointment and they did just fine. The nurse called us in, we got them undressed, weighed and measured and then did a power-feed in the stroller. I love how we have all come up with our own lingo this past 9-months...there's the "double-feed" (which expired a few months ago) and the "power-feed" (a new favorite). The "power-feed" entailed two babies strapped into the double stroller (to supplement for the lack of high-chair)...Liz and I fed the babies half of a jar of food and then swapped jars. Yes...sometimes we feed them out of the jars and with the same spoon....let's face it...if one gets sick, we all get sick. Your germs are my germs, vice versa...unless you have the flu...keep it to yourself! And get your flu shot/mist before you touch my kids!

So...the stats....throw out your guesses....


Write it down...don't cheat...


Dylan is 21lbs 4oz...60th percentile unadjusted (that's birthdate, not adjusted for prematurity)

His height is 28.7 in which is also 60th percentile...and the noggin...well, the Sandberg head proves true in this one as well....90th percentile.

Owen maintains his 3lb variance at a lean and beautiful 18lbs 9oz, which is the 20th percentile unadjusted. His height was measured incorrectly the first time and the new measurement was not written down, but the percentile was, very proportional. And his head...his head is like his brothers'...90th percentile.

They really don't look like they have big heads...or maybe I'm just used to it?!

No shots this immunizations at 9 months, and Children's Hospital doesn't get their flu vaccines until Oct 1 (a serious pain in the ass since Walgreens and Cub won't shoot up kids this young...not even Ethan!). But they had to have their blood tested for something (I was paying attention, I swear...maybe iron or hemoglobin?) so we went down to the lab. Dylan didn't like being restrained, but didn't even flinch when the technician stuck the needle in his arm and took blood. Owen was less pleased. Later that night I gave them a bath and took off their band-aids and Owen had a big bruise/red-mark on his arm where the needle was (he was also very crabby the next day) so I think he just must have narrow veins and it bothered him more....poor kid. No word yet on the results, and I was told if we didn't hear from them that was a good thing.

Dylan crashed out in the car about 2 minutes before we got home (at noon!), and Liz and I made the transfer to the cribs for naps and then took a breath. Wowsers...I can't imagine if I would have had to do that on my own....Thanks, Liz!!

Dr Paul has twin boys too...a couple months younger than ours. At one point during the appointment he looked and me and said, "You know how lucky you are, right?"...I do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

9 months!

In Ethan's "car"...
Ethan, Dylan, Owen

Owen & can see Dylan's teeth

Dylan making his great escape...if it weren't for that head....he'd have made it! Yikes!

I can't keep up with this blogging thing...or anything else for that are some recent

"Mommy, it's really hard for me to wait for my birthday to come to my house. Then we can eat cake with big red balls on it. Emily and Lauren will be there...Cec & Chris will be there. And some other people will be at my birthday too." The same type of sentence was used prior to our trip to Louisville..."Mommy, it's really hard for me to wait for the airplane to come to my house and take us to Louisville to see Gramma Nana and Grampa Dode"

E: "Did I come to you?"
H: "You did, you came to me the day you were born. You were in my tummy, and then you came out"
E: "Did I not like it in your tummy?"
Guessing from his 8-week early arrival, I'm guessing he did not like it in my sad.

Playing "car" with the play-tent...
"Cooperate, Dylan!"
"I have one bad thing in my car and it's Dylan"
"Dylan is making his way out of the car. Go back in, Dylan"
Poor Dylan...he really got picked on this day. While Ethan is typically very lovey with his baby brothers, I think this is a glimpse of days to come...

"Is that potty automatic?"...Wow. At he airport this past weekend, he was fascinated with everything that is automatic...sinks, hand-dryers, potties...though most of it either doesn't work, or is too overactive!

While on a walk...
Gramma Leslie: "Ethan, can you talk to Linnea?"
Ethan: "Hi Linnea, what's your deal?"

Also on a walk...
Liz: "Ethan, I think you should push and I should ride in the stroller"
Ethan: "Um, Liz, you are not funny"

After watching the "Arthur" episode where they go visit Francine's dad's job in the dump, I asked Ethan if he knew what his Mommy and Daddy's jobs were. I asked "What does Daddy do?" and Ethan said, "My Daddy grinds up coffee" Ha!


Dylan and Owen are 9 months today. Wow! I can't believe it. They are so interactive and involved with all of us now. They love to look at each other and laugh and smile...and oh my gosh, do they love their older brother!!

Dylan is crawling really well now and has two teeth. Owen is up and rocking, but still content to roll to his destination. He just popped his first tooth while Ethan and I were out of town this past weekend in Louisville. There are now two on the bottom!

There's been some effort to hold his own bottle by Owen...we're practicing with sippy cups with handles, and they can more or less use the 6-oz bottles when they aren't filled all the way up...I think the issue is more the weight than the ability to hold it and bring it to their mouths. That will be an exciting day!

They are doing this little tongue-clicking thing lately...if I do it, they will mimic me and they think it is hilarious. Little bushmen in practice.

We've demoted the exersaucer and jumparoo to the garage. We have 3 walkers on the main floor of the house, and Andy just washed off the playpen gates this morning from their storage spot in the shed. Once those are clean, we'll be able to block off the living room which is completely child-proof, from the kitchen and dining room, which are also child-proof but just a little more prone to trouble. Dylan recently slid himself through the bottom of the baby gate to the stairs leading downstairs, and was only stopped by his large melon. It happened so second he was in the middle of the living room and the next second....?....there he was...wedged into the gate.

We need to dig the crib-tent out of storage as well, and hopefully find another one on craigslist so we don't have to fork over $70 for another one for the second crib...Owen is getting his legs stuck through the slats pretty much every time he's in there...despite the mesh-bumper. I think he's waking up prematurely because of it, and we need all the sleep we can get!

D & Owen are eating all sorts of combinations of food now...chicken and veggie puree, pasta puree, etc...but I've given up on making my own. Time is at a premium, and I have none. Seriously, there is not enough time for everything I need or want to do...such is life. But when there is time to do anything, I don't want to be in the kitchen cooking and pureeing. So, we're paying the price for organic jarred baby foods. Now that the babies are popping teeth, hopefully we can move on to some "real" foods soon.


Next post will be devoted to Ethan and all of his amazing-ness!