39 weeks and 22 pounds later and we are officially on Baby Watch 2012. Yaya and Pop Pop have the kids for the next 5 days, so I’m hoping of two days of basically what I did today (haircut, pedicure, lay on the couch for 2 hours doing nothing) followed by immediate labor. Is that too much to ask?!
Roman celebrated his fourth birthday about two weeks ago! We hemmed and hawed over what to do for his birthday, and ultimately left it up to Roman. He decided that he didn’t want to have a birthday party this year, but instead wanted to go to a Nat’s game and have a “family day.” It was such a good decision, and he had an absolutely wonderful birthday. Pop Pop scored some huge tickets to the game (in the VIP box right behind home plate), which turned out to be key because the heat index was 112 that day!
Pop Pop and Daddy took the big kids to the game while Ada and I stayed home and rested (literally – she slept for 3 1/2 hours that day). The kids had so much fun at the game. Roman got to feast on his favorite meal – ketchup on a hot dog bun – and they at all of the popcorn and Gatorade their little tummies could handle. Oh, and they saw some baseball too!
Roman had asked for a number of very specific gifts for his birthday, and he was SO excited to get his Thor (“Four”) Lego, among other things. We got a funny video of him opening his Lego:
He got a bunch of other Legos (his passion right now) and of course plenty of super hero gear!
Harper decked out for the game, and Pop Pop building a Lego with Roman:
I took Roman to his 4-year checkup yesterday and he weighed just under 41 pounds (84th percentile) and was 41 3/4 inches tall (79th percentile). As always, he is a big dude! He is officially 2 pounds heavier than Harper at this point, and is the only kid in the family heavy enough to ditch the 5-point harness car seat.
I am always telling people that Roman is our “easy one.” He still has such an easy-going personality, plays really well by himself, and is just content. We can always count on him to be “the good one,” and if you ask him, he won’t hesitate to tell you “I’m the GOOD one!” He is! Although he is starting to act more and more rambunctious (as a 4 year old boy should), he listens well, is cooperative and patient, and we can always count on him to behave in the middle of chaos. He is also our easiest by far at bedtime. Since he no longer naps, he falls asleep in literally seconds. In fact, I’ve had to rearrange my bedtime routine with the kids because the girls take a lot more time to settle down. Roman is always the first to go to bed since I can count on him to just fall asleep when I turn out the lights!
Roman craves a lot of attention from Daddy right now. He comes into our bed almost every night, retrieves his Daddy, and the two of them go back and sleep in Roman’s bed for a while. Harper went through something similar at the same age and slept in our bed a lot, so we figure he will grow out of it. One of his favorite things to do right now is play Legos, usually with Daddy. He’s also perfectly happy to play Legos quietly on the floor of Daddy’s office while Portman works! Often in the morning he will come into my room, see that Daddy isn’t there (he’s usually up with Ada already), and say “hey, where’s daddy? Playing Legos?” Just a boy and his dad.
While Harper and Roman are still the best of friends, I’ve noticed Roman playing a lot more with Ada lately. I think he likes that she is so wild, and he can always count on her for a good wrestling match. I’m excited to see the two of them play more this year since Harper is starting kindergarten.
We have a number of things to work on with Roman over the coming months. He has expressed zero interest in learning to write or draw, and he does need to start learning to write his letters. He can write all of the letters in his name, but it’s like pulling teeth to get him to do it! He also has little interest in learning to ride a bike or do any “activities,” which is fine – after all, he is only four. However, in the past few weeks he has asked repeatedly about doing Karate, so we are planning to sign him up for a Tae Kwon Do class as a start. So far he has not been a fan of any of the activities that we’ve tried, so we’ll see how it goes! This year he will be a “Shining Star” at preschool, so he gets to go 4 days a week. He is so excited about being the big kid at school and getting to help Ada to her classroom in the morning!
We love our boy and are excited to watch him grow as a big four year old this year!
Today we took the kids to Udvar-Hazy since we are still waiting for #4′s arrival. We hadn’t been out there to see the Space Shuttle Discovery since it landed at Dulles, and we really wanted the kids to see it up-close. The last time we saw the Shuttle it was on the back of a 747 flying over the Potomac!
We love Udvar-Hazy – it is far and away our favorite museum in the DC area, and we have a lot to choose from. Even on a crowded day like today, we had plenty of room to run around and didn’t feel like we were fighting crowds. The kids love the museum, were so excited to see the Shuttle, and Roman was fascinated by all of the rockets and missiles on display in the Shuttle hangar.
38 1/2 weeks and waiting:
The big kids are at a great age for museums. They asked really good questions and absorbed all of the information that we threw at them. Roman, in particular, wanted to look at every single rocket and missile in the Shuttle hangar. We meticulously went from display-to-display and read and learned about them. The kids also thought the display of an old computer (one of the huge ones) was interesting and learned about technology improving every year (“that’s why our computers are so different now.”)
Ada was Ada – she romped around in the stroller and hung from any bar that she could reach, but she stuck with us and was very cooperative. We have got to get this girl into gymnastics – she is such a strong little monkey!
We’re making a last-ditch effort to get out of the house while we can before #4 arrives (any day now!) Last weekend on the spur-of-the-moment we took the kids up to Port Discovery in Baltimore. It’s been on our “bucket list” for two summers in a row, and we were so glad to finally check it out. We spent a solid 4 hours in the museum, ran into one of Harper’s classmates, and had an all around awesome time. It’s a fantastic museum and the kids had a blast! I took a few terrible photos, then lost interest in the camera – it was too fun to bother.
The kids in the play grocery store:
Roman turned 4 a few weeks ago (more on that tomorrow after his 4-year checkup), and one of his favorite birthday gifts was a Captain America costume from Grammie and Grandpa Anderson. He lived, ate and slept in the thing for at least a week straight before it sprouted some holes in the seams and we had to retire it until I get a chance to mend it!
A friend sent me this recipe last week and it was too good to pass up. We really like quinoa and usually have some on hand, and I can always convince the kids to try something with corn in it. The only changes I made were to use shallot instead of onion, increase the amount of vinaigrette, and add fresh cilantro on top. It was a big hit all around!
Sweet Corn and Quinoa (adapted from this recipe)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 ears sweet corn, cut off from husk
- salt & pepper
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under running water in a fine mesh colander. Combine with water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then place a lid on top and cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette in a mason jar or small bowl, then shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and sweet corn, season with salt & pepper, then saute until corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Add in cooked quinoa and Honey Lemon Vinaigrette, then toss thoroughly to combine. Taste, add more salt & pepper if necessary, top with handfuls of fresh cilantro then serve.
Harper posed for a taste-testing photo (served with pecan-crusted trout fried in olive oil and strawberries):
On days that we don’t go to the pool, my go-to activity is to turn on the hose and let the kids have at it. It usually buys me time to make dinner or clean up dinner, or just sit on the couch and put my feet up for a few minutes! This week we had a lot of afternoon thunderstorms that produced absolutely no rain, but nonetheless we couldn’t go to the pool because of the thunder. I had the idea to stick the kiddie slide in the little pool and it was so much fun! I’m just mad that I didn’t think of this earlier in the summer.
They took turns pouring buckets of water onto the slide until I thought to put the sprinkler on it.
The big kids played in the sprinkler while Ada napped one afternoon. Obviously they needed goggles “so that the water doesn’t spray our eyes.”
Ada loves to play with the hose. Her first move is always to take off every stitch of clothing. Luckily our house is pretty isolated and I don’t have to worry about her running naked through the yard! I got some quick photos of her today before she cackled and turned the hose directly on me and my camera – I really should have seen that coming! Miraculously, two of the photos I took came out PG.