Dean Family Blog

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Happy Birthday Uncle Ryan!
Sorry you weren't around to enjoy your birthday cupcakes, but that didn't stop us from enjoying them in your honor! Josiah was very proud of himself for being able to blow out the candle all by himself finally. Grace, on the other hand, was a bit ticked that she was in the corner eating pears and peas (not to worry, she ate unidentifiable food from the bottom of the dishwasher and something stuck to the screen door a few minutes later).We love you!

Because It's Not Good When Cars Run Into Buildings
Why? Why? But, why? There's no way I could count the number of times I hear this question in one day and there seemed to be no way to make it stop...until yesterday. On our way home from Illinois Josiah was in one of his 'why?' fits and Philip answered 'Because it's not good when cars run into buildings'...and there was silence! I tried it out a few minutes later (to a question that had nothing to do with cars or buildings) and it worked again! We may have found THE answer to the 'why?' question!

We spent a long weekend in Illinois with Philip's parents and had an interesting visit. The days were great. Josiah loves playing with his cousins and has been asking when Easter was since February because he knows he gets to see them then. Grace had a great time playing with Nanny and Papa and trying to eat everything on the floor. Philip got to play on the computer and I got to run. The nights, however, were a different story. Despite acting pretty good, Grace had an ear infection and couldn't seem to sleep past about midnight unless she was laying on one of us and Josiah couldn't seem to stay in the big boy bed. This resulted in two incredibly tired parents and one good gash on J's chin from his first dive. But, like I said, we had plenty of distractions during the day so we rebounded pretty well. And thankfully, both kids slept through the night when they got back into their own beds last night (yes!).

Due to 'the cousins' recent visit to the dentist we experimented with a sugar free Easter this year. It was great! Josiah had already gotten some candy from Texas, but he's only allowed to eat a few pieces each day. I was beginning to wonder if his Easter candy would last him the whole year if he got more. Each kid got some new summer clothes and a couple small toys and the eggs were filled with goldfish crackers and coins. It worked great and no one complained about the lack of candy.

Ok, time to tackle the mound of clothes I've been washing from our trip. Currently if Philip tries to enter the house he'll have to climb over them.

PS The Easter lessons went great. Josiah and I made bread and ate part of it while we read the Last Supper story from his Bible. Friday he got a cross necklace and we went through his resurrection eggs again. Saturday we went on a walk to the caves and Philip said Josiah kept wanting to see Jesus in the cave. Obviously we're still in the very literal stage. We got so busy Saturday night that we didn't do the Resurrection cookies, but I think we might try them tonight.


The Teacher Is Back!
I've really missed getting to teach and being creative with lesson plans, which is why I'm so excited to see Josiah maturing enough to do mini-lessons. And as opposed to 7th graders who fight learning, 2 year olds just soak it up and are so fun to watch. Last year I heard about an Easter version of an advent calendar so this year I made one for Josiah, except I wanted each day to have something interactive so it would make a bigger impression on him. Today we learned about the parable of the banquet and he helped me decorate the table and make invitations for Philip and Gracie to attend our own banquet and we read one of his Adam Raccoon books based on this story. Tomorrow he'll uncover some money to represent what Judas was paid to betray Jesus and Thursday we'll make some bread for the last supper. I'm hoping we'll be able to visit a cave on Saturday to show him what a tomb would be like. I've been having fun planning what we'll do each day and I'm hoping to do a little more next year and actually try to make a sedar meal. Oh, it feels good to be teaching again.


Can We Go Back?
Well, we made the trip and it was a success. The kids did amazing in the car (Grace was so quiet on the way home that we forgot to feed her...opps!), the kids have a new aunt and cousin, Josiah got a gallon of goldfish crackers and I wore flip flops all week. The kids got early Easter baskets and Josiah had decided that Peeps no longer resemble poop and are now a favorite dessert. We heard 'Can we go back?' all the way home yesterday. As we got closer to Iowa and realized we were under a blizzard warning, I was beginning to ask the same question.

We had a great time visiting family and helping out with the wedding. We ate great Mexican food, played in the sun, crunched acorns in the driveway, enjoyed all the beautiful flowers in bloom right now and read Josiah's favorite dinosaur book that used to be Uncle Casey's when he was a little boy. I hemmed 289 feet of table clothes and runners (I got pretty fast by the end) and kept Grace from spitting up on any of them...although she nailed one of the tulle bows on the chairs at the reception. I should also mention that Philip did a wonderful job taking care of the kids while I was doing all of this're awesome, Sweetie!

We also got a glimpse into how Josiah sees the world. He woke up one night screaming and had a terrible time calming down. We both tried comforting him, but it still took a while. The next morning he explained to Memama that when he is scared his Daddy gives him fuzzy blanket hugs and Mama brings him his water...'they have it worked out that way.' He is becoming more aware of what's going on around him and has started asking if we're talking about him when he can't hear what we've said. I think this may be the beginning of him becoming more self conscious and part of me is excited to see him grow up and part is sad because I love how he expresses himself without worrying about what other people think.

After 16 hours in the car yesterday we're all a little (OK, a lot) tired today and it's time for bed. Good night!


Are We There Yet?
This trip is getting a little trickier each year. We're almost ready to head down to Texas tomorrow...I think. We have diapers, sippy cups, DVDs, the fuzzy blanket, a medicine cabinet in a bag, a potty, the cameras, one toddler suit and one frilly dress. We have one overnight bag so we don't have to unload the whole car at the hotel tomorrow night and then to make the packing really fun we need our clothes to transition from snow flurries here today to the 70 degree weather down there...and it's all supposed to fit in 2 suitcases. I doubt we'll remember everything, but as long as we end up with all 4 people in the car I think we'll consider it a success! Here we come, Memama...ready or not!

She's on the Charts!
WooHoo! Grace has made it back on the charts! She's up to 16 lbs 2 oz (5th percentile) and hit 27 inches (25th percentile). While the rest of her body is still pretty small, she has continued the Dean tradition of having a big's in the 75th percentile. Way to go, kiddo! She didn't scream during all the measuring (this is a first) and thoroughly enjoyed tearing the paper on the waiting table to shreds. She also gained the nickname 'feather duster' because the nurses said her pigtails looked like little feather dusters blowing around as we were trying to get out of the car on this very windy day.

Our little girl is changing very quickly right now. She continues to crawl slowly until Josiah's train or snack is in view and then she moves amazingly quickly. She loves eating his shoes, his books, her socks, plastic bags, lady bugs and Cheerios. She's not such a fan of actual food and has pretty much refused to eat baby food and has moved on to little chunks of fruits and vegetables. She's getting more steady while she stands, but has no real interest in trying to walk. Every time we try she does something that looks more like an Irish tap dance. She now has 7 teeth and is in need of a hair cut again. And she absolutely loves the ABC song.


Before I was a mom...
•I didn’t know changing crib sheets could be an aerobic work out.
•I didn’t know that cheerios turn to cement when gummed and then spit out.
•I didn’t wake up at 2am with the ‘Lance the Turtle,’ the DragonTales theme song or Steve Green going through my head.
•I didn’t buy hand sanitizer in bulk.
•I didn’t have an excuse to ignore housework so I could dress up like a pirate or fly like an eagle.
•I cared much more about my clothes and much less about other people.
•I didn’t know what a great husband I had.
•I watched TV.
•I had never picked anyone else’s nose or dreamed I would try to catch someone’s throw up.
•I had ab muscles that still met in the middle (thank you, Josiah!).
•My life didn’t revolve around nap schedules.
•I didn’t know that playing with puzzles and trains all day could be fun.
•I knew much less about stain removal.
•I didn’t know there was an invisible ‘mom club’ that I would instantly be a part of when I walked out of the hospital.
•I said things like, “When I’M a mom my kid won’t…pick his nose in public…throw a fit in the store…eat junk food…”
•I only had 2 loads of laundry a week.
•I didn’t consider sleeping to 6:30am ‘sleeping in.’ I do now.
•I thought this job would be a lot easier than it is.
•I never said things like, “Don’t eat that ladybug!,” “Where’s the other half of that grasshopper?,” and “There’s poop on my finger!”
•I couldn’t sing the Veggie Tales theme song and thought those movies were only for kids.
•I didn’t know how selfish, angry or patient I could be.
•I never had to come up with a response to things like, “Mama, sometimes I tear up my giraffe and make banana sandwiches. Is that a sin?”


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