Wednesday, December 28, 2011

what does uncle daniel do?

Every day while riding home from daycare, we go through a list of educational items for Tristan to repeat back to us. One of our favorite ones to play is when we repeat back the animal sounds from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear book ~ thanks Aunt B.

One day before our Miami trip, Nathan and I decided to come up with something for Tristan to learn about Uncle Daniel. We repeated and repeated so that when we showed Uncle Daniel how smart Tristan was for knowing all of his sounds, he would be so proud. We practiced and practiced and then on the way from the airport to the Villa, we said, "Uncle Daniel, look what Tristan can do!"

Tristan, what does a....
...kitty cat sound like?  Meaowah, meaowah.

...doggy sound like? Ur-Rouf! Rouf!

...boa constrictor sound like? ssssssssss

....Milly (a cow from Milly Waits for the Mail)? Merrrrrahhh. (Yes, I know everyone wants to say that he should be saying "moo", but cows don't say "moo", they say "merrrr".

...bumblebee sound like? bah-zzzzzz-ah!

...chicken sound like? Pa-cock!

...bear do? Ger-rah! (With arms in the air as he pretends to act like a bear).

...lion do? Roooorah!

....Uncle Daniel do? Blu-ahh! (making a funny noise blowing his tongue between his lips).

Uncle Daniel turned around laughing at Tristan because he wasn't expecting him to do that. Too cute!

Now Uncle Daniel is trying to teach Tristan ~ What does Mommy do? ~ I'm trying to nix this one early. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

one, twhoo, free, see-ahx, nine-ahh, tee-hann!

When we were in Miami, Tristan started counting on his own. one, twhoo, free, see-ahx, nine-ahh, tee-hann! He did a pretty good job for knowing most of the numbers - even if he skipped some of them. :)

We were walking in the mall today and he started counting out of the blue without us prompting him: one, twhoo, free, foreah, five-ah.

Oh my goodness! Yes, I'm the mom that wants her son to be so smart...but he did it! He really did it all on his own. He counted to five all by himself. Nathan and I were so proud.

I wonder if he'll listen and retain so much when he's a teenager. ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

daddy playing games

So Nathan started a random game with Tristan this past week...."Where's the Monkey?" I have no idea what it means or where it came from, but whenever he says it, Tristan seems to understand what's going on.

We were in Target (his favorite store by the way ~ mostly due to my influence) and Nathan said, "Tristan! Where's the Monkey?" Tristan started looking around, pulling up things from the cart to look under them, and moving various items to find the Monkey. What was he talking about? Apparently Tristan knew. What Monkey? Is it a code word for the popcorn he loves to hoard while shopping with Mommy through Target (two half bags so he can have one hand in each bag)? Is it an actual Monkey that Mommy has no idea where it came from? Or is it exactly what this blogger is saying? Monkey's are everywhere....

I heard this reference again today when we were on the couch watching Olivia.

Hmmmmm....Tristan! Where's the Monkey?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

mom props

I just have to say that I want to give this mom props for being true to herself without a concern of judgement from others. She is real, open, honest, and really has a personality of her own. I can really commend people who can be themselves without even a worry of the constant judgement from others.

Check out her blog, I'm sure it will make you laugh. :)

Click here for the mom blog.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

hedges family fund help

Calling all people!!!

My friend's house caught fire on Monday night and she has a family of four (husband, herself, and two girls 10 and 15) and two cats who are in need of everyone's help! I know it's a bad time for this to happen to anyone because it's the holidays, so let's make it a little better and a less stressful by donating what we can to help them out.

I have set up a donation button for funds to be donated to the family, as well as a drop off point for all other items needed at 2552 Cedarwood Ave, Lawrence, KS 66046.

We will be taking paypal payments for donations for clothing and shoes (since we don't know exact sizes), food, and hotel stays to Donation Link. Please make sure you click on "gift" so that the fees aren't taken out of the donation made.

Don't have a PayPal account? Use your credit card or bank account (where available). If you follow this link, you can pay via credit card to the left without setting up a paypal account. I will also be putting a donation button on my blog so that you can donate through that as well.

I have informed their relatives to be expecting donations.

I will also be taking donations through the end of the year (12/31) for the following items to be delivered to help them out: non-perishable foods, cash, checks (made out to Paul or Angie Hedges), gift cards, blankets, sheets, beds, furniture, electronics, pillows, utensils, dishes and cups, appliances, men and women's socks, new undergarments (only new), at the following address 2552 Cedarwood Ave, Lawrence, KS.

Please place all items in a plastic bag on the porch before 8pm when you deliver. If you are mailing an item to the address, making a paypal pmt, or delivering goods, please let me know so that I can expect to collect the goods before we deliver everything to the family.

Thank you all for your kindness and support for this family who experienced a tragedy during this holiday season. XOXO

***UPDATE: As requested: Enzi: junior size five pants, small shirts, size 7 1/2 shoes; Rowan: girls size 12 pants, large shirts, size 5 shoes; Paul: 38 by 34 pants, XXL shirts, 13 shoes; Me: size 4 or 6 pants, medium shoes, size 8 shoe

****UPDATE: We did find out that the house will be gutted but we don't have to start all over. So it's great to know that we will eventually be home. Probably in 4 or 5 months. As a side note, I wear 4s or 6s, not an 8. But if you were going to send Angie an 8, that's okay too.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

christmas in love

Christmas time is always a special time for family and loved ones. This was Tristan's second Christmas and although he may not have completely understood what was going on, he understood more at 19 months than he did at 7 months.

This year he helped put up and decorate the Christmas tree, hang the bright red wreath on the door, hang the stockings on the fireplace, and set out the door decorations for all of the closets in the house. Tristan especially loved the "Santa" and "Frosty" (that's what he calls every snowman he sees thanks to Uncle Sterling and Aunt Amy) that sat right next to the vase where he hides all of his crayons. (It's a decorative vase that Tristan started putting his crayons in this past summer so he could use at a later time.) Tristan knows Mommy's not a baker, so we didn't take part in any type of cookie baking or decorating activities ~ but Mommy will certainly do this for his experience in the next years to come. I bet he will really enjoy licking the bowl! I hear it's so much fun!

Next was shopping for gifts and stockings stuffers and then the wrapping of the gifts. Shopping was easy for Tristan. He just got to eat his popcorn while riding around in the shopping cart at Target with Mommy. He always says, "Tar-co". The stocking stuffers were the hardest this year. Since Grandma Kems and Uncle Daniel were coming to visit for Christmas, we had to think of extra special stocking stuffers to include in their stockings. Gift cards don't take up enough room and some items they needed were too big to stuff in there. Eventually we found some kitchen items at Bed Bath and Beyond and Michael's as well as some named ornaments, candy, and cooking spices from Giada for Target.

Tristan's Stocking
Now time for the wrapping of the gifts. Tristan loved tearing the paper apart while I was trying to tape it to the boxes...this made it a much more difficult process for me to complete. :) But when the wrapping paper was gone, he would pick up the cardboard tubes and play swords with Daddy and Feelos. Yes, he loved chasing Feelos around the house with the cardboard tubes and threatening to play swords with her too. We had to remove the tubes from his possession at this point since he didn't understand why Feelos couldn't play swords back with him like Daddy was able to.

Finally Christmas Eve arrives and Uncle Daniel and Grandma Kems are here to celebrate with everyone. So who was up at 6am on Christmas? Tristan of course! He doesn't even know what Christmas is and he's up at 6am....oh well. Coffee is made, breakfast is served, and now stockings are opened!! That was the fun part for everyone. We all went around in circles opening one stocking stuffer at a time (like we were opening gifts since we had to wait until after Skyping to open the gifts). Mommy received a lot of fun clothing accessories that Daddy took the time to find for her stocking, Daddy received his favorite horseradish sauce, peppered beef sick, iTunes gift cards, and more comfy tank tops. Tristan received the entire B car set from Target - too cute, Uncle Daniel and Grandma Kems received a variety of cooking spices and kitchen utensils as well as Starbucks gift cards (go figure, right?).

Ooo this lotion smells fab!

Uncle Daniel got a micro grater in his stocking!

Tristan wanted to smell it too!
Next we Skyped with Grandma and Pa Davis so they could watch while Tristan opened his gifts from them. They were so excited to be able to share this moment with him since they couldn't be here in person. You could feel the love right through the computer screen. :)
Yea! I finally have a car!

Grandma Kems and Uncle Daniel also enjoyed watching Tristan really experience his first Christmas. He was so excited with each gift that he ripped them all open and said, "Elmo?" and "Gro Gro" each time he saw his favorite characters. Thank you to all who thought of including him on your gift list. He truly loves each and every gift! Plus we recieved so many books (YEA!) - which is what we were hoping for since he loves to read and be read to.

Christmas day was filled with cooking dinner with the family and drinking Fragolino wine. Our dinner this year consisted of a meat, cheese, and cracker tray, roasted turkey with a pomegranite reduction sauce, pan cooked kale tossed with olive oil and cracked pepper, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, marbled bread stuffing with cranberries, buttery corn, fresh rolls, and the can 'o crap for Grandma Kems (cranberry sauce). Later that evening, we drove around and looked at all of the Christmas lights in town. Tristan kept saying, "Frosty!" "Santa!" everytime he saw a blow up Santa or snowman.



Feelos and Butterfinger were happy with their stocking as well!

Christmas truly is a time for family, and I am so glad that Tristan was able to share this day with so many who love him. Thank you all for making his Christmas special. 

Grandma Kems loving on Tristan!

santa, maybe?

Darn autoflash was turned off! However.....through the pictures you can see how we were able to get Tristan to sit on Santa's lap.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

blood tests

Do you ever wonder what goes on in the minds of parents when they have a child in the hospital? Or maybe you have already experienced this. I'll tell you what, aside from the obvious, I hope we never have to experience this with Tristan.

Last week Tristan went in for his 18 month appointment weigh in at 27 lbs and 10 oz and 34 and 1/2 inches tall. What a big boy! Because of the zip code we live in, our doctor told us that he had to go in for his blood work for lead testing. So we set an appointment for Monday afternoon thinking he would get his little finger pricked and a sample of blood in a small tube.

Nope, that's not what happened at all. We get in there and they have to stick an IV in his vein in his left arm to retrieve the blood. He screamed and cried so much while the nurse was digging to find the vein (with the needle in his arm). Well, it turns out that she wasn't able to locate the vein, so they bandaged him up and had to try on the right arm now. Again? Are you kidding me? There's got to be another way to draw blood from a toddler....Same thing happened...crying and tears, but we got the samples this time.

We felt so bad for him and didn't know what to do to make him feel better. The nurse asked him if he wanted a sticker and she opened the box and he took one handful and another handful of stickers (as if so say, see, you did this and I'm taking all of your stickers now). We knew what would cheer him up. We took him to target and bought him a bag of pah-cone (popcorn) and a Super Grover doll.

Man, I really hope our little man never has to go to the hospital again - for anything. :(

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Uneven bars!

We started Tristan in gymnastics this month. It's a little place in Ownings Mills called My Gym. He gets to run around and climb on bars, swing on unstable planks, and play in the ball pit.

His first day he was getting himself aclimated and exploring the entire gym. He even was able to do two handstands (with help)! I thought that was pretty impressive.

The second visit he was a little more "wild". He didn't want to sit in circle time to sing the songs - he only wanted to play in the ball pit. He didn't want to jump on the trampoline - he only wanted to play in the ball pit. He did, however, like the uneven bars. Mr. Dan helped him up and he did two flips on them and kept his hands on the bars the entire time! As a previous gymnast, I was very proud. :)

Zip lining
Jump! Jump!
Next we tried the balance beam...he walked a few steps, heard the music, stopped, and then started dancing to the beats ~ right on the balance beam. He didn't want to balance anymore, he only wanted to dance! What a cutie!

Look at that face....

I can do this!
Daddy helping cross the monkey bars.

miami for the holidays

It's big!
Ahhh, Miami! So beautiful! The Marriott Oceana Palms could not be a lovelier place to stay for four nights while visiting Miami and West Palm Beach.

Uncle Daniel met us in Baltimore since he had a layover. Unfortunately, he didn't check in fast enough, so he was stuck in the back row and not close to us at all. Who was excited to see him? Tristan of course!! He kept saying, "Uncle Dannn-eee-all!" It was especially cute when we landed in WPB, Tristan stood up in his seat and turned towards the back of the plane to find Uncle Daniel and kept yelling out to get his attention, "Dannn-eee-all, Dannn-eee-all!, Dannn-eee-all!, Dannn-eee-all!, Dannn-eee-all!" over and over again. So adorable!

I'm with Uncle Daniel
We loved the Marriott Villa we stayed in right on beach with an ocean view. It had two bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, and even a laundry room! It was so awesome to be able to cook all of our meals right there in the Villa too. Tristan loved the resort playground and kid's club. Here's a picture of him kissing Daddy through the jungle gym hole.

Kissing Daddy!
We spent the next four days relaxing by the pool, taking morning walks on the beach, cooking some fabulous meals, and enjoying our time together - especially the nights with wine on the ocean front balcony. La Bella Vita!

Morning walk on the beach.

Look! I'm in an eagle's nest!

One day we took Tristan to the Palm Beach Zoo and he loved the water fountain more than the animals! He decided at one point to stand in the Bald Eagle Nest above!

It was such a beautiful day that we let him run around in the fountain and have fun. But Tristan didn't just run into the fountain and drown himself in fun. No, he tip-toed through the fountain sprays like a ninja waiting for his enemy. He wanted to step on the water at JUST the right time! Heee-yah! I'm going for it Mommy!

We headed home for a Christmas Eve celebration with my mom and Daniel early Saturday morning. As Tristan says to everything, "Bye, bye, Gro, Gro" (Bye Grover) as we left the beach resort for home.

potty training

Wow! Potty training! Who knew this would be so much fun? ~ sarcasm ~

Research, research, research....that's how I have felt most of my life since initially finding out I was pregnant with Tristan. I can admit that I know nothing about anything new that is supposed to happen with Tristan and so I research, research, research. Internet, books, and advice from friends and family are always sought out when learning to tackle a new phase in Tristan's life. Potty training is no different.

One website that has been very helpful, is the following: How to Potty Train Boys It provides a step by step guide on potty training all types of children including both sexes, those with special needs, toddlers, babies, twins, divorced parents, and even provides various methods and tips for success. Yea! This will be easy, right?

First step is to introduce the potty to Tristan for two weeks. This was done through the purchase of his own potty chair ~ preferably one that actually resembles the toilet instead of one that looks like a car or a Disney castle. We also started incorporating the book Potty Time in with our nightly story time routine. He really likes this book!

The next step is to spend an entire day having Tristan go to the bathroom on his potty chair. This day was designated for December 18th, but....I'm not so sure we'll be able to introduce the new routine to him quite yet. I think I'll have more trouble than anticipated....he's barely acknowledging his potty chair in the first place, much less willing to sit on it.

So the next step that all the literature advises?

Be patient. Don't force it. Be positive. Reinforce the behaviors we want.

This is what we'll be doing until the time is right to have the BIG day. I just hope he acknowledges the little potty chair before his second birthday....we'll keep practicing, that's all we can do, right?

go jaayyyhawks!

Last week while Nathan was watching the KU game, I was upstairs sanding out the new lights we put in and painting the dining room. Every now and then I would hear cheers of joy ~ for the Jayhawks were winning!

Then, every so often, I would hear the KU chant followed by Tristan yelling, GO JAYYHAWKS!!

At least he's moved on from saying "JAH-COCKS" ~ which was the way he first referred our alma mater.