Thursday, June 30, 2011

selma at 4 months

so i think i mentioned on here before that our friend holly has been taking selma's pictures every month. here are the latest pictures...can you believe that selma is 4 months old? or that she looks so cute sitting in a bowl?

holly does such a fantastic job capturing our sweet selma girl. check out the slideshow of pictures.

this past weekend, joe, selma and i headed to vermont for johnmark and anne's wedding. we had toyed with the idea of leaving selma with grandma and grandpa (like greta and otto) since she is sleeping through the night, but i couldn't really see leaving her when we would be so far away. not to mention that as far as breastfeeding goes, i wasn't really prepared to leave her for four days. so she went with us. and was such a trooper! she did so great on the plane, as you can see. on our flight from detroit to burlington, we fed her a bottle but she wasn't content with that so i nursed her in my seat (much to the chagrin of the old man across the aisle from me) and she just rolled with it. she hung out with us at the pub for drinks and slept through most of our meals out at restaurants. she slept soundly in her pack and play and didn't make a peep at the wedding. we missed G and O like crazy, but joe and i were laughing at how this is the first time we've had HOURS of uninterrupted conversations with some of our friends in who knows how long.

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after our fun day at glenwood gardens, we took a nap and then headed up to the pool. we are so lucky to have a pool within walking distance to our house. we ordered pizza to the pool and spent the evening swimming and just hanging out.
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glenwood gardens

on wednesday we headed up to glenwood gardens to check out their 'big bugs' exhibit. i had never been to glenwood gardens before and really had no idea what to expect. this place is amazing! the bugs were gigantic and pretty cool to see, although they were set up along a 1/2 mile walking path and the kids were exhausted by the time we got to them. the last part of the walk was otto drudging along behind me, whining "mama carry me" over and over.
the rest of the place was great too.....there were ponds and gardens and lots of things to check out and explore. and there was this really neat tree climbing structure with lots of tunnels and caves and stairs. we'll be headed back there soon.
we were so busy exploring that the only photos i got were one of greta and otto with frog and toad (we love those books). can you tell it was sunny? neither of them could look at me it was so bright out. and then a picture of greta reading a book in the visitor center. she is such a bookworm. :)
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practice makes perfect

first....a cute picture of greta hugging otto. totally on her own. well, she hugged him on her own, and then i asked them to recreate the moment.

the last two pictures make me laugh. i was telling the kids that we will be getting family pictures soon with grandma and grandpa hansbauer and all the ford cousins. then i asked them to show me how they will smile for the photos. we'll work on it before the time comes....
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otto armleder park

this morning we headed out to otto armleder park. this is the park where greta had her fun run/end of the year celebration for school, so i fielded lots of questions today about whether or not there would be a fun run and would her school friends be there.
the weather was gorgeous, although there is absolutely no shade to speak of by the playground equipment. well, that's not entirely true. selma found a spot beneath the climber where she could stretch out. we were the only people there almost the entire time, and the kids kept busy playing, "going on a trip" and "monster attack". these games consist of yelling or singing the chosen phrase/name of the game and then running around. over and over. "MONSTER ATTACK!!"

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

bubble bath!

i think ellie's got the right idea!

the doctor is in

greta and otto spent the night at grandma and grandpa hansbauer's while joe, selma and i traveled to vermont for johnmark and anne's wedding. here is doctor greta and nurse otto, giving gramps a thorough checkup.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

productive parenting

being a mom is hard. being a GOOD mom is harder still.
as a stay at home mom, i treasure all my mom friends but i am really so very thankful for the other stay at home moms. the ones who make me feel sane, or who can relate when things get crazy and all we can do is wait til naptime to take a breather. high on my list of favorite mom friends is anna. we don't see each other that often, unfortunately. maybe that has something to do with the fact that between the two of us, we have six kids under four years old. SIX KIDS UNDER FOUR.

anna is an awesome mom with some really great kids. and she's hilarious. don't believe me? then go to her blog and read about how she put her 3 month old in timeout. :)

anyway, anna is writing and blogging for a very cool website called productive parenting. it's a website FULL of quick and easy activities to do with your kids. and i love it. anna asked me if she could interview me for the productive parenting blog and i was thrilled to be a part of it. check my answers out here:

and then go check out the website here:

i can't wait to use some of the activities i've read about!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


greta needed a headband at dinner to keep her hair out of her face (and her food). otto asked for one to keep the hair out of his face, so i obliged.

Monday, June 13, 2011

no piggies on the table

grandpa hansbauer likes to play a game called, "no piggies on the table". the kids think this is hilarious. after one extended stay at grandpa and grandma's, it took us about 3 months to convince the kids that this game was fun to play with grandpa, but that we don't play it anywhere else. poor otto had his chair pushed away from the table many a night because he kept sneaking his little toes onto the table.
anyway, here is proof of that little game. gross, i know. but that old grandpa....he's just one big kid with an extra big heart for these kids. so piggies or no piggies on the table, he's pretty great.

hold your head up

she's getting pretty good at that tummy time stuff.

seeing red

so our kids dress themselves. and on this particular day, they were going to the REDs game. clearly, they take supporting their home team very seriously. monochromatically, some might say. wow.....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

natural reader

sound and letters have been greta's 'thing' for some time now. when she was little, she was constantly asking us what the sound and name of letters was. by the time she was 2 or so, she knew the names and sounds of every letter in the alphabet. she was able to memorize parts of books and repeat them easily. after she started school this year and started composing words with the Moveable Alphabet, she began to read. she was able to read 3-letter, phonetic words (cat, mud, tin, etc). we checked a set of early readers (BOB books) out of the library, and she could read them. however, she wasn't all that interested and would get frustrated easily. i mean, come on, she had just turned 3 and was READING. so we let it be. we knew she was getting the stimulation at school to encourage her skills, so we just let it be. this was tough for me, but i knew it was best not to push.
lately, we have noticed her reading words more and more. words in books, on signs, cereal boxes, everywhere. so when school let out this summer, i thought we'd check out those BOB books again and see what she thought this time. these books are very simple text, starting out with one or two words on a page.
so....we're at the library. i'm looking for the simple books when greta says, "hey! we have these books at my school!" and points to another set of books. also early readers, mostly phonetic, but definitely more advanced. she pulls them out and starts reading them. not sounding them out, not that halted, slow reading that beginning readers do. but READING THEM. flying through them. my jaw dropped.
so we checked them out. and she read all ten of them as soon as we got home. and it was like a gate was opened....and she (and we) realized she could read. and now she's reading everything. in the first video below she is reading a book from that set of books from the library. the second two videos, she is reading the book 'big dog little dog'. two things about the video....first, sorry for the HORRIBLE fuzziness of the video. and also, i left out the middle section of the book that she read. so if you're trying to follow the plot of the book, you might be a bit puzzled. :)
and tonight at bedtime she read a 'frog and toad' story. she still needs help with words but she has an amazing ability to remember words.

i know everyone thinks their own kid is the smartest, the cutest, etc. and i know i'm her mom, but as an educator i am also truly amazed by greta's skills. everybody has their something....i think this is hers.

Friday, June 10, 2011

three's a crowd

my mom took the day off today to accompany the kids and me to the zoo. i wasn't sure i could manage the outing on my own with all three kids, and boy was i right. the zoo is just so and out of the stroller, holding kids up to see animals, snacks, etc. i am SO thankful my mom was able to go. and that our kids are such troopers. maybe i could take them to the zoo on my own, but i can't really wrap my mind around how that would go.
we got there right when they opened, which was great because it wasn't yet too crowded or too hot. fast forward 2 and a half hours later and we were all pretty toasty and ready to head home. but we got to see a ton of great animals. usually i avoid the children's zoo because it always gets so crowded, but we were able to get in there no problem.

selma had her first ride in the stroller, and let's just say she was less than thrilled. i guess she really just wanted to be pressed against my sweaty body in the baby bjorn.
all three kids went right down at naptime and all three slept for 3 hours!! and even grandma joan took a nap.

Friday, June 3, 2011

selma speaks

here are a few videos of selma talking. i think baby talk is amazing. and i like these two videos because in one she's pretty calm and serene and in the other one she's almost yelling, and starting to get all worked up.