August 4, 2013

Life as I know it - boys edition

     Hank is usually smiling at all times, unless he's tired or hungry.  He is not walking but running everywhere.  He loves blueberries, strawberries, peas, avocado, some meats, applesauce to list a few.  He's a good eater!  
At almost 14 months old, he's still on the bottle, which he gets before naps and bedtime.  He drinks water out of the cup just fine, but when given milk in the cup, he pushes it away and refuses to drink it.  I'm gonna have to tough out his milk in a cup strike here pretty soon.  He still takes two naps usually, though I am beginning to see that it won't be for much longer.  He says "hi" so cutely and high-pitched.  He also says "bah-bah," "mama," "dada," "nigh-nigh," "cookeee," and "Hayee" for Hattie.  
He generally spends his days trying to get into all of the things he's not supposed to get into: the cabinets, the water-heater, the toilets, his brother's toys.  He already plays the role of instigator very well.

    Ben is all boy plus an extra kick of testosterone pulsing through his blood at all waking hours.  He despises when his younger brother enters his room, so of course that is little brother's favorite place to be.  Ben doesn't walk or run around the house; he stomps.  His currents interests include, but are not limited to, super heros, football, trucks and cars, "going to work like daddy" (which includes putting on a belt and dress shoes and a button down shirt), and pretending to fix things or unlock/lock doors.
Not an ounce of estrogen exists in him.  He also recently discovered McDonalds.  I don't know how exactly, but there is one near our house, and every single time we pass it, he says, "It's open, Mom!!"
because his mean ol' mama always tells him it's closed when he asks if we can go.  How much longer
can I pull that?  Not much!  Especially with big sister in the back correcting, "No, mom, it's open.  I see lots of cars.  I see people inside.  Can we go?"  Thanks.  We have actually indulged him and gone there for lunch twice recently.  Every time I go, I am reminded of how much I hate that place.

March 22, 2013

This week

 Sweet baby boy stood up in his crib for the first time Sunday night.  I went in his room to put him to bed, which means rocking and cuddling and a final bottle and found him like this.  He was very proud of himself as you can tell by his smile :).

This boy loves his solids, but he is a messy eater.  Some of the puffs actually make it in his mouth.  Most end up everywhere but his mouth right now.  I made him homemade green beans for the first time this week, and he loved them!  He loves anything with a some butter and salt and pepper. :)

 My brother celebrated his 25th birthday on St. Patrick's day.  I made him this cake, but I used a buttercream icing because I didn't want the lemon to be overwhelming.  It was good, but came out a little dry.  Not sure why?  Maybe bc of the egg whites?  I liked the cake a lot; it's a good birthday cake cake, so I plan to figure it out.  How is my baby brother 25?!

I also did painting this past weekend.  We moved in early December and are just now feeling settled enough to start projects.  There is so much to do!  Slowly but surely.  I love this color.  It's a blueish green.  The color is from Sherwin Williams and is called "contented."  Best color name for my house :).

 Sean and I are so blessed to have a group of friends at our church who really desire fellowship and raising our kids in the Catholic faith.  We get together a lot. This past weekend we got together for burgers and prayer.  The kids always outnumber the adults, and I love that!  It is such a much needed support in my life to have these other mothers alongside me.
I took this picture to show how drastically my life has changed in the past two years.  Two years ago, I was having lots of tea parties and playing with barbies and coloring.  I still do that stuff with the girls sometimes, but since they are in school now, I do a lot of this now.  Ben is obsessed with football.  When he's not wearing this helmet, he wants me to wear it.  We throw balls, we play with cars and trucks.  We sing football songs and read dinosaur books.  We run everywhere we go.  I am adjusting slowly from the pink, peaceful play to the blue, rough and tumble play.  Boys are wired SO differently, and I am trying to embrace that and let go of what was.  NOT EASY for me!
 Sometimes at the park, we take up all of the baby swings, and I get my exercise pushing these 3 little monkeys.

This little boy is well-loved, and he knows it :).

Spring Break starts for my kids in one hour.  At 11 a.m. Hattie gets out of school and everyone will be home for the next two weeks.  I am looking forward to the break from school routine, but I hope I can find things to occupy all 4 of them for the next two weeks.  It'll be a little taste of summer.  Here we go!

March 15, 2013

Mostly a Photo Dump

 Sean and I have gotten to go to the rodeo twice this year.  It's been two fun date nights.  One was for the cookoff.  His work sponsors a tent.  I don't really enjoy the cookoff so much - too many drunk people and smoke everywhere.  But I enjoy the live music and people watching.  We also got to go to the Jason Aldine concert Monday night.  That turned out to be really fun because the couple we had to go with through Sean's work networking cancelled the day of, so Sean surprised me and invited my best friend and her husband to join us.  Such a happy surprise when I answered the door when we were about to leave :).  And I knew a lot more Jason Aldine songs than I thought.  Good times.
 Hank now has a bottom front tooth and the other one is about to poke through.  He is crawling like a crazy boy and already starting to pull up on shorter objects.  I bet he'll be walking before his first birthday.  I've never had a baby walk that early.  He now says "mahmah," and I really believe he knows that's my name because it only seems to come out of his mouth when he wants me to pick him up.  Babbling is "dahdah" and "bahbah."

 Hattie just finished a semester of art classes that she really enjoyed.  We popped into the starbucks next door to the art class one Saturday morning before her class and had a little free mommy/daughter date thanks to a friend who surprised me with a starbucks gift card :).  Hattie had a chocolate chip, extra whip frap, and I opted for a skinny warm drink.  Oh to be young and not have to calorie count!

My granny turned 93 a few weeks ago.  She is an amazing, lovely woman.  Such a testimony of good, solid, joyful living to her every growing family.  We had a big family party for her at my aunt's house.

The weekend after my Granny's 93rd birthday celebration, I took Mary Ellen out to her house because she wanted to show us her chickens that she recently got back on her farm.  At 93 my grandmother decided to raise chickens again - how awesome is that!  She gave us 2 dozen fresh eggs and the handmade (by her) crocheted scarf that Mary Ellen is wearing.  Plus the beanie baby puppy that Mary Ellen was the most excited about :).

 Hank and his 2nd cousin, Anna, are about 2 months apart in age.  They sort of met for the first time this week.  They babbled back and forth and enjoyed pulling each other's ears and poking each other in the eyes, exploring each other, not really caring if the other minded.  Such cutie pies.

 Cousins - clean, silly, and enjoying each other's company.  We are so blessed to live one street over from Sean's parents now because when cousins come to play, we can easily join the fun or they can come over and join our fun, which was bathtime this evening.

 I found a much needed dining room light for our new dining room.  There was no light when we moved in and I have been patiently looking for something vintage.  Found what I was looking for this past weekend in a little antique shop.  Supposedly it's from the 1920s.

Hank flirting with the camera at the park.  He tilts his head and smile flirtatiously.  This is the way to my heart, and he knows it.

A certain 2 year old in our house threw a baseball through his bedroom window during bathtime one night last week.  A certain repentant dad allowed this certain 2 year old to bring the baseball in the house from the garage about 30 minutes before the window breaking.  Lesson learned and window pane replaced as of yesterday.

So glad it's Friday and that it feels like Spring outside!  Looking forward to the weekend ahead.

February 22, 2013

Hankie the Hankster

     Or perhaps that title should be "The Happiest Baby Ever."  Mothering four small children is no easy task, but God has blessed my latest blessing with the sweetest and most easy-going temperament of all of my babies.  Henry, or Hank, as we usually call him, only seems to make a fuss when he is hungry or tired.
     At just 8 months old, Hank is reaching all kinds of milestones.  His achievements are what has prompted this blog post since baby boy does not have a baby book.

     My sweet baby Hank at 8 months old is.........

     *Loving solid food.  As bad as I've been about documenting his life on paper, I've made up for it in food.  He's the first of my babies who I've actually committed and pretty much followed through with making most of his baby food from scratch.  I don't know if this gives him any advantage other than he loves to eat every last bite of his fruits and vegetables, but I enjoy doing it and I don't find it as challenging or time sucking as I thought it might have been.

     *Siting up like a champ!  He started sitting up around 6 months old, and I've been enjoying the sit and stay put baby for two months until.......

     *Crawling like a man on a mission.  Just two days ago, he decided to celebrate his turning 8 months ols by learning to crawl. He's been rocking back and forth on all fours for a while now, so I knew it was coming, and here we are!  I no longer have a sit and stay where I put you baby.  He's my earliest crawler of the 4.

     *Loving his brother and sisters.  Any and all attention he can get from them is encouraged with big smiles and squeals.  Ben, in particular, is a favorite, and while Ben can have moments of pure big brother evil, he is usually very tender and loving with his baby brother.

     *Sleeping through the night basically.  About two months ago he started sleeping through.  He still often wakes for a bottle around 5 a.m. but then will usually go back to bed for an hour or two.  He also recently dropped the 3rd nap, which I was pretty glad to see go.  Because of that nap drop, though, he is usually in bed and asleep between 5:30 and 6 pm.

     *Loving drumming and clapping.  He can't drum or clap yet, but his favorite past time is to watch us drum a book or a table or to clap for him.  These two things make him very happy.

     *Saying "dada" and "bahbah."  We are still working on "mama." ;)

     * Growing slowly.  He's long and lean, and sometimes it's a battle to get him to take 24 ounces in a day.  He's never been a big eater, which was the source of much of my anxiety while breast-feeding.  Now I know that it wasn't me, it was him.  Wish I had known that little fact sooner!

     *Lacking teeth.  He still has a toothless smile, and I'm loving it as long as I can.
(all photos by Katielee Photography)

May 25, 2012

Finally an Update!

It's been waaay too long since I've updated this thing.  So at 5 in the morning, when my body has decided it will sleep no more, I've decided to finally do a little update post......

Baby #4 and me

- While I'm up before the sun today for no apparent reason, I must say, I have slept the best throughout this pregnancy than I have with my others.  I have 3 busy children to thank for that.  However, now at 36 weeks, comfort to fall asleep and an empty bladder are hard to come by, so sleep is getting harder to come by.

- Cravings: I eat watermelon like it's going out of style.  I prefer to eat it doused in lime juice.  We seriously go through 2-3 watermelons a week.  This is part of the reason that it's hard to come by an empty bladder!  Other than the watermelon, I love cookies and milk, cereal, and cheetos.  And with the help of those very healthy cravings (ahem!), I've packed on about 27 pounds to date.  I don't know what it is about cheetos, but those have been a consistent craving for all of my pregnancies.

- Still no name for baby boy.  Atleast we have a short list.  But depending on the week, if you ask me what his name will be, I'll give you a different answer.  Right now, we are between Henry "Hank" and Brooks for a first name.  Thomas as a middle name for both.  Though it could be something completely different, too.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

- Fears: Giving birth.  After having Ben naturally and suffering through the pains of back labor, I find my mind dwelling on it a bit these days.  I do plan to go natural again as I do think it is the right way to go for me, but fear of the pain of labor gets a little overwhelming these days as I creep closer and closer to my due date.

             Juggling it all.  This will be baby #4 for us.  I've been through growing pains with a new child's birth 3 times already.  Each time it is a struggle to learn a new normal and adapt.  Between the hormones and the healing and another person I'm now responsible for, I know I have a few emotional and tired months ahead of me.  And the fact that this baby will come in the summer is both brilliant and crazy of me (as if I had something to do with the timing!).  Good on the one hand that we don't have to be any where at any time.  Bad because I'll have 4 kids staring me back in my tired face all day, wondering what we're going to do next.  I am somewhat prepared.  Prepared as I can be.  The girls are signed up for a few summer things, and I've hired a college girl to help me out 2 days a week.

- Excitements: Witnessing God's miracle first hand.  Meeting this little one for the first time.  Seeing what he looks like.  Getting to know him.  Cuddling my curled up little ball of love.  Nursing.  Seeing my two girls and Ben be big sisters and a big brother.  Newborn smell.  Newborn noises.  Figuring out what his name will be.  Growing as a family.

All dressed up for her farmer program at school.
- Hattie will be a first grader at the end of next week!  Woah!  She has enjoyed school so much.  And overall, the decision to do public school has been a good one for us so far.

- Big milestones for Hattie this year: becoming a strong reader.  learning to skip and hula hoop.  learning to snap.  understanding the concept of addition and subtraction.  getting her ears pierced. losing her first tooth with presently, a very wiggly second tooth!

- She is a joy to raise!  Hattie is my straight-arrow, first-born who aims to please and wants to do well.  She is a great big sister, very tender and nurturing.  She is mostly obedient.  She is a thinker and artsy, a perfectionist.  Very internal verses external.  Things stick to her heart longer, which challenges me to be a more thoughtful mother.  She has the best appetite and will try anything I put in front of her.  She often says, "This is better than I thought it'd be, Mama." :)

Mary Ellen
At almost 4, she still loves the baby swings at the park.
- At 3, Mary Ellen wasn't quite ready to leave the nest, so I pulled her out of preschool early in the year and kept her home with me.  A very good decision for both of us.

- Big milestones for Mary Ellen this year: learning to color in the lines and her drawings are becoming more sophisticated.  Her people now look like people!  learning to dress herself and put on her shoes.  waking up dry at naptime (still working on nighttime!).  getting her first "real" haircut - just a good trim.

- Mary Ellen prides herself in being "the funny one."  Just yesterday she asked me, "Mama, who's the funniest in the house?"  "Who?" I asked.  "I am!" she proclaimed.  She is definitely more external than internal.  She acts more on emotion.  She's 3, afterall, so I am interested to see how much of her personality is her age or just truly who she is.  She is a performer - loves to sing and dance.  Loves to laugh.  Loves to pretend.  Plays very well by herself.  You don't want to cross her, though.  She's our firecracker!  She wants carrots and hummus every day for lunch.

One of the only recent pictures I have of him because the boy doesn't sit still unless he's confined.
- My baby boy who will soon be a big brother.  It has been such a joy having a son and seeing how different he truly is from his sisters.

- Big milestones for Ben this year:  So many!  At almost 19 months, Ben's talking up a storm.  He is learning new words every day.  Right now my favorite phrase he says is, "Doh doh door."  "Shut the door."  He is obsessed with opening and shutting doors.  Really he's obsessed with opening and shutting anything.  He loves repetition.  He loves reading books.  He knows where his eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and mouth are.  He calls his belly button a "bo-bo."  He is obsessed with MY belly button right now and loves to kiss it, though he has no idea what's growing inside :).  His favorite place to be is "ow-side."  He throws fits like his sisters never even dreamed of throwing.  Sean took him, without telling me where he was going, to get his first big boy haircut.  Goodbye baby hair with no pictures to show for it :(.  Hello, big brother haircut!  He loves peas.  And peanut butter on a spoon, not in a sandwich.  He loves roast and mashed potatoes with fresh green beans.  He hates most things from a can.  Smart boy who knows that fresh is better but makes it hard for mom on quick lunch days!

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2