MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mornings at the Keller House

Do you have a morning scramble?  After graduating I started working in the real world, and I remember thinking what a rush it was to get out of the door and to work by 8:30.  I mean, you had to get dressed in nice clothes and remember your computer and then you had TRAFFIC to deal with...mornings were crazy.

And then...

We had childeren...

I now realize that I had no IDEA what a hectic morning was until kids came around.  Here is a sample schedule from the house of craziness.

6:00   Nurse Hana with my eyes still closed and pray that Max keeps sleeping a little longer
6:25   Put Hana back to bed and give into the dog's insistent whining, pull on jeans and take the Sam for a walk (oops, forgot to turn on the coffee pot)
6:30    Pack up the breast pump (don't ask), Hana's milk and Max's lunch while feeding the dog and wishing for coffee
7:00   Struggle out of jeans and into wrinkled work pants (no time for a shower and still haven't turned on that stupid coffee pot) while trying to find my left shoe and praying that Max stays asleep a little longer
7:05   The baby is crying; change her diaper and decide that pajamas are basically the same thing as clothes and plop Hana in the bouncer.  She won't win "best dressed" today, but  her smile will make up for what her wardrobe lacks. 

7:10   My wonderful husband wakes up Max, brings him downstairs and chases him through the living room with a clean diaper and clothes. While I have finally remembered to turn on that blessed coffee pot.

7:20   Max is dressed and is focused on spilling as much milk as possible while chanting "papa make 'moothies"
7:30   I realize I have yet to brush my unwashed hair so while papa gives in to our two-year-old's demands for smoothies, I slap on some makeup and yank out the snarls

7:43   Leif and I wrestle the kids toward the garage, strap them down, check to make sure that all of our gear is stashed in the mini-van SUV.  Then Leif hands me a green smoothy as the car doors slam (Thank you!)
7:44   Finally drive down the street with two kids, 5 bags, while blasting Raffi and realize I have forgotten my coffee

Hope you have a great day today...we will! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Zoo with Nana

A few weeks ago Margo came to visit, and the kids had a blast with her.  One of the perks of her visits is that she takes the kids in the morning and lets us catch up on some much needed sleeping in.  What a treat!
On Friday, we went to the Zoo in the afternoon and stayed until the park closed at 9pm.  It was a great time to see the animals, because they come out in full force at dusk.  We saw leopards chasing each other, a hyena wreaking havoc on a horse femur, and even a panther who started stalking Max.  Apparently a two year-old running in front of the panther cage at dinner time is the perfect prey.  We were glad there was a strong fence between that cat and our son. 

Here are a few shots I took during our "happy hour." The big girls had beers and Max enjoyed some ice cream while we waited for papa to join us after work.
It started with a little sugar

Then came the african drums...

A back up singer...

and a grand finale!

I highly recommend the zoo after dark.  The crowds have thinned, the air has cooled and there is a peacefulness that you just don't experience during the day.  It starts to feel more like the animals are in charge instead of "the man."  With the crowds gone, we let Max run around to his heart's content. His little legs carried him up and down those big hills for hours.  The next day he couldn't stop talking about "Hyena eat 'da bone" and "aaahhhhh, 'dats 'da camel!"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Five Months!

Hanalei is now five months old!  She continues to be the happiest baby, with smiles and goos for everyone.  She has reached that stage where everything goes in her mouth and she can be entertained for half-an-hour with a crinkled piece of computer paper.  We haven't started any solid food yet, she's still a nursing baby.  She is still sleeping through the night from about 7pm to 6am.  Though for the last week we've had sporadic 4am feedings.  Hopefully that doesn't become a habit. 

She is rolling from hear-to-there-to-everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't rush into crawling, because she doesn't have any need. She can maneuver to anywhere she wants with a roll and a wiggle. If we take our eyes off of her for a minute, we find her rolling out of one room and into another.  A few days ago I found that she'd rolled under her crib!

Hana said "Mama" a few weeks ago and has repeated it several times.  I doubt she knows what it means, but I think she realizes that when she says it, she gets my attention really quickly ;-)  Hanalei is just starting to practice sitting up, and I think that within a few weeks she'll have it nailed. 

Hana and Max continue to be the funniest playmates.  I would never have guessed that they could play together so well at this early age.  Max brings Hana toys, and she laughs and giggles and smiles at him bigger than at anyone else.  They like to roll on the floor together and snuggle under the blanket side-by side.  Sometimes we worry that Max is too rough with her, but Hana will just grab a fist full of his hair and yank it hard.  Those little sisters learn defensive maneuvers early in life! 

Our little Hanalei brings the sunshine into our family. 

Say Cheese!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A day in pictures

It's been a busy day at home with the kids... I am loving maternity leave Fridays!

Washing 'da dishes
Cleaning 'da glass
Lunch with Auntie
Rolling all over the place...Hana can get anywhere she wants
Rolling off her blanket
Rolling under her crib
Sam keeps an eye on everyone
Playing 'da games

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby Work

At the Keller house, this is what we call "Baby Work."
Clearly Hana is working on a proposal for a very important client.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two... Five ... Eleven

Max is jumping all over the place.  I remember just a few months ago when he had to really concentrate to jump off a small curb.  Now he's jumping off of his jungle gym and of course the fireplace mantle. We cannot help but crack up as he counts down to his jumps in an unconventional way...

"Two... Five ... Eleven!!"

 He'll learn 1-2-3 fast enough, for now I am just enjoying his enthusiasm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Updates by Email?

Thanks for all of the positive responses to our blog! It is fun to share pictures and movies of the kids with you and it allows me to document our kid's growth in a semi-chronological way.

I know Mom has a tough time remembering our blogs web address, so I just figured out how to make it easier on you guys. You can sign up to receive email updates whenever I post something new. Then all you have to do is check your email and you can see a link to the new stuff.

Here is how to get updates by email: 
1. Look to the right side of the page for the box that says "Follow by email" , yep right over there
2. Type in your email address
3. A pop up window will have you type in some letters to make sure that you are legit
4. You will then get an email from "Feedburner."  Click on the link in that email to activate your subscription.

That's it, you will now get emails every time we post some cute new pictures of the kids. 
Love Katie

First Trip to the Dentist

Once you are two, you begin to have responsibilities. It is time to move to the "big boy bed" and you have to pick up your toys. It's also time to see the dentist for the first time.

We told max yesterday that he was going to the dentist today and he said "YEAHHH!"

Though he was a little apprehensive when he got in the big chair, it turns out that Max does think the dentist is a blast. Being two is so much fun!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swimming Lessons

Max has been taking swimming lessons for a few months. He loves the water and shows no fear. Actually, we wish he showed a little bit more fear. Sometimes he just lets go of the edge and floats to the bottom of the pool because he is absolutely certain that mama or papa will lift him back to the surface. Hmmmm...we have to work on that one.

Now that summer is here we are spending more time at our community pool. Hana's been swimming twice now and she loves the water too. Really, she is just so easy going that as long as one of us are holding her, she is pretty much up for anything.

We hope that both of our kids grow up being water babies, and they are well on the way.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Makin' Moothies

Max is of the age where the best activities are adult activities.  Toys are fine, but real Mama and Papa chores are way more interesting.  Case in point: morning smoothies. 

A few weeks ago Leif got a new blender and started making the family uber healthy breakfast smoothies with lots of fresh fruits and those dark leafy greens (kale has a new pride of place in the veggie drawer).  So Leif is our official smoothie man.  Max loves being his side kick and I love the yummy nutritious breakfasts.

Since he was really little, Max has loved doing "Baby Work."  Though he is more of a toddler these days, he still gets absorbed in a task and will practice it over and over.  When he is "makin' moothies," Max pushs his stool up to the counter and will sit there sorting fruits and putting the blender lid on and off.  Sometimes he'll spend 40 minutes or more absorbed in his fun.   

Then we all enjoy the his smoothies together

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hana and Nana

Four Months

A few weeks ago Hanalei turned four months! This little girl is so even-keeled. She absolutely takes after her papa in temperament, even she resembles me a little more in looks. Hana is so content to ride on my hip, or hang out in a bouncy seat, or hit toys, or… well anything! She loves observing the world around her and has a smile for everyone.

I have said it before and I will say it again, she’s just an easy baby (of course a statement like that is an invitation for the other shoe to drop). Hana continues to sleep really well and is an old pro at taking bottles now. That wasn’t always the case. We really struggled with bottles until I returned to work and the lovely ladies at daycare patiently taught her to drink her milk. Sometimes she will go a few days without really crying. She has these cute little “uhh-uhhh-uhhh” noises that she makes when she’s hungry or tired, but so far we rarely get the full-fledged wail.

Hana has also found her voice and we often hear her laughing and making tiny baby shrieks as she talks to her toys and to her brother. Speaking of Max, the two of them are so cute together. I watch Max walk up to her and hold her hand and play with her and her toys. Often he gets excited and we have to remind him to be gentle around Hana, but she doesn’t seem to be phased at all by his rough playing. I cannot wait to see their relationship unfold as they grow up.

Happy Four Months Hanalei!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's missing from this picture?

The only thing that is missing is Max

So a while ago I left you hanging. We were all ready for potty training and had a super successful first day.  On the first day Max ran around sans-pants and had only one accident all day (including a successful #2 in the big boy potty).   I'll admit, I was a little smug as I wrote that post, thinking "yeah, this potty training stuff is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be...Max really GETS IT."

I should remind myself when I get that puffed-up, proud-of-myself feeling that no one really likes a smug mama.  Of course Karma kicked in, or maybe it was just reality, and potty training started going downhill quickly.  I thought I'd share some of the things we learned about how to do the potty training thing wrong.

What not to do when you are potty training:
  • Do not start potty training the week before returning to work from materninty leave (really...what were we thinking?  There is no time to follow through on potty training when 100% of our efforts are on getting people fed and out of the door)
  • Do not spend every waking minute of three days in a row talking about the big boy potty.  On day 1 it was fun but on day 2 Max started getting bored with the concept.  By day 3 nothing we could say could convince him to sit on that potty.  "No Buh-bye potty!!" he'd cry and run the other direction.  I guess the potty just stopped being fun
  • Do NOT take your kid to home depot on day 2 and forget about auto-flush toilets.  Nuf-said
  • Do not underestimate how important it is to have your daycare providers on the same page with you and your potty training strategy.  We had to really fight with our center to get them to continue the training during the day because "he's not in the potty training class yet."  I cannot tell you how much I wanted to yank Max out of that place when I heard that line and put him someplace with a more compatible potty approach.  However potty training is only one aspect of growing a wonderful kid and Max's daycare is GREAT at so many other things (like their great infant program for Hana).
  • Stickers are great, chocolate chips are great too, even plastic He-man figures are fun.  But none of them will make your kid potty train before he is ready.
So, mama is learning to be humble and Max is still running around in his diapers and is very happy about that.  We have decided to de-prioritize the potty training for now and pick it up when Max seems to have more of an interest.  For now we are using our precious weekend moments for fun family time.