Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The blink of an eye

These days time is like the blink of an eye.

Blink. It's May 1. Blink.

Heidi is 6 months old.

Heidi is a thriving, beautiful, healthy and happy 6 month old.

As much as I don't want to compare Heidi and Owen, I do. I didn't realize it then, but taking care of one child is easier. Meals, naps, bedtime can all be easily scheduled and focused around the one child. With the second child, that's not the case because big brother can talk and tell you when he needs to eat or sleep.

But Heidi is wonderful, and takes her not-quite-scheduled-life with ease. She doesn't scream when she is hungry -- although she will let you know she isn't perfectly content. She doesn't get crabby if she gets one big nap during the day or two shorter naps or if she goes to bed at 9 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m.

Although she likes to be held and nursed in the middle of the night. Which I forgot how exhausting that can be.


Heidi has only been with us for 6 months, but it seems like she's always been part of our family. She makes us complete. Her giggles and smile are contagious, and we all love to make them appear. Her cheeks are rosy and full. She has chubby little wrists and thighs. She has blue eyes and a dimple in her chin. She doesn't have much hair, but it looks like it's going to be brown. I love this girl, and I am so glad to be able to call her my own. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Today is a very big day for the Balow Bunch.

We're buying a new house. This is something Dave and I have wanted for a long time, and we're so excited this day is finally here! A house with a yard and enough bedrooms for the kids! It has a gorgeous wooded backyard. And it's brand new. Never thought that would happen, but everything has pretty much fallen into place perfectly once we decided that this house was the one we wanted.

It's way more exciting to say hello to our new house than to say goodbye to our old house. Even with as many memories as we've made there -- we got married, brought home two puppies, and brought home two babies. It was our first house we owned and we put our hearts into making it a home.

But we always knew that we wouldn't live in our that house forever. With no yard and only two bedrooms, we planned on only living there a few years. Even though we lived there for longer than we anticipated, I guess I always had a feeling of it being a temporary home.

Now I feel like we're moving into our "forever" home, and I love daydreaming of all the memories we'll make in our new house. This is the house that our kids will remember growing up in. This is the house that they'll leave to go to college. This is the house where we'll *hopefully* have great neighbors with lots of friends for the kids. This is the house where we'll celebrate holidays and birthdays and create our special traditions in.

This house is our home.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


It's happening. Real conversations with Owen. And it's so fun!

Most nights part of our bedtime routine is rocking with Owen with the lights turned off. I always ask him about his day -- what he did at daycare, who he played with, what made him happy, etc. Generally, when we have these conversations, I have to ask a lot of leading questions to get him to answer. (i.e. "Did going to Papa's house make you happy?") A couple weeks ago, I asked him about circle time. He responded with one word, "posey." I had no idea what he does during circle time, so it was a real unprompted answer about something that happened in his past. And sure enough, when I asked Jen if they do "ring around the rosie" during circle time, she said yes. And the kids love falling down before the song ends.

This morning I was driving Owen to daycare and was really realizing how big his vocabulary really is getting. He saw two smoke stacks, and said, "Mama, two smokes." And at daycare, he pointed to the garage and said, "white garage." There are cranes and trucks, and a Vikings football flag, and trees and turkeys, and he points everything out to me while we drive around town.

Also this morning in the car, he was telling me about our new house. He told me that Heidi gets the crib and Owen gets his big boy bed. Two days ago he specifically requested to drive by the new house. It's so cool that he really comprehends this big change and that he's as excited about it as we are.

Apparently, I tell Owen too often that he has two minutes left to do something. Last night he started a new game trying to get more TV time before bed (for watching Thomas the Train, of course). We went back and fourth, with him saying 4 minutes (4 mitts), and myself saying 2 minutes. I'd play the game all night just to hear him say the word minute.

But for all the progress we're making on language, Owen still offers his cute pronunciations for some words as well. The oddest one is his word for water. It sounds like "fly". Don't ask me how that happened.


Saturday, March 9, 2013


In the car today, I was thinking of some things that were special about today and how I didn't want to forget them. But I know that inevitably as the day fades long into the past the little memories of when they occurred -- or even if they occurred at all would be forgotten. So here I am to document so i have a way to remember this day long when I am old and my kids are grown up. Even though yesterday was a rough day at work.  I know down the road the memory of the stress of work wont mean anything -- or maybe i will feel a sense of pride for making accomplishments and pushing through the battles   But it is the sweet snippets of memories from my family and friends and espevially my sweet little ones that will bring joy and warmth to my heart.

  • Owen made Heidi laugh for the first time
  • At his post tear duct probe surgery appointment, Owen's doctor said all kids should behave like Owen.  Owen was so tolerant of the doctor looking at his eyes.  
  • When I told Owen we were going to the doctor, he wanted to go to his pediatrician, Dr Judy
  • When I pulled into the parking lot for the appointment, Owen announced that we were at the doctor's office. He's only been there twice before but he definitely recognizes landmarks and places as we drive around town -- the pediatrican's office, his auntie's homes, zpap's home, the turkey hill. 
  • Owen always remembers the names to his trains. Even the most obscure ones I've never seen on the show, ie Hank and Molly
  • "miss" is owen's word for kiss
  • Dave telling Owen to give me a big hug when I got home from a long afternoon at work
  • Feed Heidi and after I sneeze, she unlatches and gives me a very serious look.  After a moment of silently staring at each other, she breaks out into a big smile. 
  • Owen asking to hold Heidi

I wrote this from my phone. So please ignore the typos and grammar

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February has come and gone

And just like the snap of a finger, February has come and gone. I've been back at work for over a month already. Life just seems to be getting crazier.

Let me share my morning routine with you to give you a quick glimpse of my so-called-crazy-life.

Alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. with the hope that I got a full nights sleep and no kids woke up. I shower. Go make coffee and grab bottles/pump parts. I wake up Heidi and feed her. Then I put her back down and pump. I get myself dressed. Dry hair. Brush teeth. Apply make-up, etc. Get Heidi's milk in a bag. Wash pump parts and pack what I need for pumping. Get Owen's juice and snack ready. Take Heidi's milk, pumping stuff, purse, laptop, Owen's snowsuit, etc out and put in the car. Go wake up Owen. Change his diaper, get him dressed, turn on Thomas the Train and give him his juice and snack. Wake up Heidi again. Change her diaper. Get her dressed. Put her in the carseat. Get Owen's hat, jacket and boots on. Put up the gate, so the dogs can't go upstairs. Get my hat and boots on. Refill Owen's snack and juice. Get all three of us into the car. And take a deep breath and go.

And I'm sure I forgot something in that routine. I'm luck if I get it all done in 2 hours.

But I'm the proud mother of a 4 month old and a 2 year old, and the wife to a wonderful husband. And they make the crazy all worthwhile.

Also, since I last wrote.

The pacifier is gone. I'm at my post-pregnancy weight. And we're in the middle of buying a house.

And that's why I fall asleep at 8:30 p.m. on the couch.

Gotta run!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's a new dawn, It's a new day

I love the fresh start of a new year. It feels so full of new opportunity. Reflecting on all that's been done in the past year, it's fun to wonder what will be done in the next year. New job. New degree. New baby.

At the beginning of last year, I didn't think I'd have a 2 month old at the end of the this past year. Pregnant, maybe. I hoped so. But being done with a pregnancy and having the little baby to show for it?? Even better. God's timing is so impossible to predict.

There is so much I am hoping for this year -- in terms of resolutions and goals. Also, in terms of how I live my life.

Choose joy. No regrets.

Those were two different mantras I used to live by. As I've become an adult, I think I've focused on those words less. And more I've thought about what others think of me, keeping up with the Jones', and worrying about things outside my control.

I want to live in the moment. Enjoy each moment with my husband, two children, friends and family. I want to spend less time on the internet and watching TV, worrying about what others think, keeping up with the Jones' and worrying about that which I have no control over. I want to spend more time doing family activities, doing crafts with Owen, snuggling my daughter and enjoying conversations with Dave.

But I still have some resolutions, or goals, or whatever you call them.
  • Lose the last 5 pounds of pregnancy weight, and then some more.
  • Start running again. Complete a 10k.
  • Potty train Owen
  • Get rid of Owen's pacifier
  • Go on at least one family vacation
  • Buy a new house
It's a good list. Challenging, yet doable.

And with that, I'm going to go get started. Peace out, internet.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snippets (24 months)

Owen's 24th month has come and gone. I think this has been my favorite age so far. His vocabulary increases every day, and it's so fun to teach him new words and hear him try to say the words back. Here's a couple of Owen snippets from the last month:
  • He loves his sister Heidi so much. He always wants to kiss her, hold her, grab her hands and toes. Sometimes he isn't as gentle as he should be, but we're working on it. I love witnessing the sibling bond that they share, and I hope that it continues to strengthen as they grow older.
  • Speaking of Heidi, apparently we practiced the answer to, "What's your sister's name?" a little too much. If you ask Owen, "What's your name?" He replies, "Heidi."
  • Owen has the most enthusiastic, "Choo-choo," I've ever heard.
  • He pretty much knows the sound every animal makes. The best is his sound for bears, tigers, lions and dinosaurs. They all go "rawr", but Owen whispers the roar every time.
  • Owen had his first kiss on Thanksgiving with my sister's great niece.
  • When we leave for daycare in the morning, Owen says, "Bye-bye, house."
  • He likes giving good night kisses to everyone, including the dogs.
  • He prefers wearing clothes and pjs adorned with footballs.
  • He loves spotting buses. When he sees one, he often waves to it, and then says bye-bye to the bus. 
  • He's learning his colors. Must everything is blue, although snow is either white or yellow. He gets the color of the buses right the majority of the time (city buses are white and school buses are yellow, of course).
  • Snow is pronounced, "nose."
  • Our family from North Carolina came to visit. Owen had a lot of fun with his aunties and grandparents. His aunties even took him to the Mall of America for some shopping.
  • Dinners with Owen are [usually] a blast. He loves making us laugh, and laughs at himself. He also loves telling us his food is nummy, nummy.