Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Cheerio Milestone

Sebastian has hit many milestones lately worthy of making his parents proud, but this new one just might be mommy's favorite. He can eat Cheerios! Suddenly the prospects have greatly improved for what to do with a baby bored in a restaurant, a baby crying in the car, a baby fussing in the stroller, a baby exasperated with sitting at the table watching everyone else nibble on snacks. Give the child Cheerios!

Overly eager for the day to arrive, I tried giving him Cheerios several weeks ago. While he was fascinated with trying to pick up the tiny O's, they really weren't ideal for him to be chewing yet. So we waited. Since trying again, he does wonderfully - he has been practicing picking them up and he doesn't have problems gumming them up.

It's amazing how difficult eating a Cheerio can be for a beginner. So many things can go wrong. Consider:
-you could accidentally brush it off the table in an effort to grab it
-it could get stuck to the saliva on your hand and cause much confusion
-it could end up tucked into the palm of your hand with no conceivable method of release
-you could drop the Cheerio on the way to your mouth
-if the Cheerio actually makes it to your mouth, you could discover that you can't seem to let go of it!

But after much practice, Sebastian has become quite proficient at using the two-fingered grasp to seize each Cheerio, transport it to his face, and deposit it safely in his mouth. He's a pro! It's so funny to watch him concentrate so intensely on his task. He's entertaining himself and feeding himself all at once. I definitely like this milestone.

A few photos of brotherly moments:

We got a nice, small, collapsible stroller, and, as I suspected, Misha loves pushing Sebastian around in it. Works great in the mall!

The classic bubble-bath photo. :)

Boys and blocks. Misha makes elaborate castles, while Sebastian prefers to knock them over. To solve this problem, Misha makes small castles next to Sebastian for the sole purpose of Sebastian's destruction enjoyment. That's pretty sweet of him!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bonding over Butterflies

Since we've been making a lot of trips to Sioux Falls lately, we decided to make a point of taking the boys to the Sertoma Butterfly House. There is no better place to go in the winter than a butterfly house. Stepping into the humid exotic-plant-filled room with the sounds of running water and the feel of mist and dripping condensation is about as close as you can come to a tropical rain forest in South Dakota. Misha loved it - especially when this little zebra butterfly chose HIM to perch on.

Sebastian loved all the new things to look at.

Family shot. Misha kept track of our butterfly identification sheet and he referred to it often, just like a little scientist.

Sebastian grins next to a South American "owl eye" blue morpho butterfly. The inside is a beautiful iridescent blue, though you would never know it once they land. The last time we came, we thought the "blue" butterfly and the "owl eye" were two separate kinds for quite some time.

Misha peeks out from a plant that I would love to have in my skylit living room some day. Note the little butterfly in the thick stems above Misha's head.

The blue morpho again.

Sebastian and me.

Misha and Josh take an up-close look at butterflies drinking juices from fruit slices.

Misha and that blue morpho.

Making friends.

On the bridge.

The Pink-Flecked Shadow butterfly. If that sounds suspiciously made up, it's because it is. Unfortunately I don't know what kind this is, but it's beautiful. It is amazing how many exotic butterflies there are.

The Paper Kite. (Really!)

I don't know what this is either. To get an idea of how many orange and black butterflies there are, type it into Google. Amazing.

The Dead Leaf butterfly. We would have passed right by it had not a butterfly employee pointed it out to us.

A video clip of the world of butterflies:

Butterfly watching made us hungry, so we went out for Italian at Spezia.

Josh and Misha looking classy in their vests.

Misha doesn't look quite convinced that his napkin is as stylish as his parents claim.

Our preschooler enjoying his spaghetti and meatballs. Too cute!

We also stopped at the mall to get some treats. (Because apparently the enormous piece of taramisu we devoured wasn't quite enough.) Misha and Sebastian were like kids in a candy store!

Misha and I enjoying our malts. Don't worry, this is from a previous trip!

The Barns and Noble experience is the perfect way to end a day trip to Sioux Falls. Trains for the kids, books and coffee for the parents.

Misha making some valentines. I cut out a bunch of hearts and he went to town!

Me and my smiley boys.

"So they won't share their pizza with me? Fine, I'll just sit on the box and eat the coupons."

The happy walker.


Seb in the tent.

Checking out the new pop-up board game we got for Misha!

Our adorable four-year-old ... all too soon to be five!

Lunch time with Mommy.

A guitar lesson from Daddy.

Drawing with big brother.

Dad and Seb playing in the tent.

Misha thinks it great that Sebastian can walk well enough to toddle around after him like a puppy. Sebastian truly gravitates to Misha like to no one else. When Misha comes home from school, Sebastian starts bopping and chirping at the baby gate as soon as he hears his brother's voice, waiting for him to come up the stairs. Whatever Misha is doing is, of course, what Sebby wants to do too. Though this is sometimes annoying for Misha (especially when he has his blocks or Legos going full force), we have tried to explain that Sebastian wants to be just like him. And when it comes down to it, Misha likes having an admirer.

In this clip, Misha is encouraging Sebastian to walk to him. He's more excited than Sebastian!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jackrabbit Fever

Grandpa's Jackrabbit fever has spread to Misha - who loves his Jackrabbit sweatshirts, balls, stuffed animals, and now, sports. In the fall, Grandpa took Misha to an SDSU football game (the first one the poor child had ever been to). Misha, fascinated, asked question after question. Last week, Grandpa treated him to a basketball game, complete with popcorn and ice cream. Misha enjoyed the game, but I think meeting the actual Jackrabbit himself was the highlight of his evening!

Grandpa and Misha enjoy the game.

Happy birthday, Josh! For Daddy's big day, Misha drew him a great birthday picture. I love the cake barely containing all its candles! (He's only 28.)

The actual cake that Misha and I made didn't have any candles, but we experimented with marzipan to create the decorations. Here is the little elephant I made:

Sebastian loves to cuddle with Daddy!

Tub Time: Oh the fun of cups in the bathtub!

Curling up with a book.

The Foot Book!

Lazy Sunday afternoon - perfect for a family game of Skip-Bo. Pajamas essential. :)

Misha grins just after a gymnastics class full of trampolines, somersaults, and Duck Duck Goose.

Check out this amusing clip of Duck Duck Goose:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leaps and Bounds

The boys are learning new things every day. It's scary how fast they grow! Sebastian is standing, reaching, and walking. Misha is learning to read and loving every second of it, becoming a master at Skip-Bo, and getting to be a fast ice-skater. Last weekend, we went skating with Grandpa, quite a treat for Misha!

One of Misha's favorite games on skates is freeze tag.

A little chat on the ice.

Zooming around.

Grandpa's frozen!

Chasing Daddy.

Speed skate!


Here's a clip of Misha and Grandpa playing freeze tag:

Sebastian missed out on the rink fun, but he got to stay with Grandma, which is always a good time.

Yesterday, we took Misha to a mini-golf night set up at SDSU. Misha loved the windmill:

He also loved the station where he got to climb up the steps and send the ball rolling down the slope:

Watch out for the water trap!

Playing at home ...
Pretending to be zebras.

Crawling on the big brother.

Ready to do anything!

Tent time.

Sebastian in Misha's jeans! I don't mean that these used to be Misha's jeans; these are actually Misha's jeans, as in, he still wears them.

Monkey in the middle.

A visit from my cousin Misti - and Bones, of course. :)

Misha the Penguin checks out our second lily bloom in the tank.

We made a "going fishing" reading game that Misha enjoyed.

Time for some hot cocoa and marshmallows after a stint in the snow! (And for Tanya's interest, notice his penguin shirt!)

Ready for take-off: Here is Sebastian showing off his walking skills. At 7 1/2 months, he's walking a full three months earlier than Misha did. Crazy! He barely crawls anymore. All he wants to do is stand up and move forward on two legs.

Rock and read: Misha is quite proud of himself for being able to read the Foot Book. A short demonstration: