Friday, April 23, 2010

The Life

This is the post where I talk about how super cute my baby is and document all her amazing accomplishments thus far in life.
(Feel free to skip it.)

Avery is 6 months old.
And she's got the life.
Her wish is my command (and Noah's and Alex's and Dad's)
Really, is there ever any hope for last children?

Avery gets up multiple times a night.
Insists on being held 98% of the time.
Prefers her mamma to anyone and anything.
Still refuses to take anything but those *%&# hospital binkys (which bounce like rubber balls and disappear every time she drops them).
Does well in the car (especially if she can see her siblings) and will fall asleep in the carseat - but wakes immediately upon stopping.
Loves to be outside and does great in her stroller.
Is super ticklish.
Blows raspberries (so loud I have to take her out of church meetings) and does it while nursing, spraying me with milk - although that's better than when she does it with her solid foods.
Laughs hysterically at peek-a-boo.
Cannot get enough of her brother and sister.
Eats solids and loves it.
Still spits-up like no other.
Loves baths and splashes like a maniac.
"Sings" to us.
Does a super high-pitched squeal/scream when she's not getting enough attention.
Rolls both ways regularly now.
Can sort of sit up on her own.
(Does everything a tad bit late due to the fact that she must be held 98% of the time and still hates/refuses tummy time.)
Grabs her toes.
Has the most perfect little pink mouth.
Hates daddy's whiskers.
Loves to look in the mirror - tries to play with her own reflection and get to her mamma (who is already holding her).
Watches her daddy all the time, while giving huge smiles (and being held by mom).
Laid her head on my shoulder and fell asleep just the other day - one of my most favorite moments.
Still loves to be swaddled, but with her arms out now.
Chews on her thumb.
Has the softest skin in the world with all kinds of rolls and chub.
Can (sometimes) get her binky into her mouth on her own.
Sleeps on her side now - rolls to the left as soon as you lay her down, even asleep.
Still has reddish hair.

Is pretty much the cutest funniest little thing in the world.
Don't you want to squeeze her and kiss her?
I can't stop myself.

We can hardly remember life without her - and at the same time I feel like I just had her.
How can she be halfway to 1???

I love how much the big kids love her. They are always willing to help with her and will do anything to make her happy. They love to hold her, kiss her, tickle her, play with her and make her laugh. Alex loves to help me bathe, lotion, and dress her. Often, they are in her room in the morning giving her the binky, turning on her mobile, and entertaining her before I even get out of bed. They cannot stand for her to be sad or upset. Every time Avery has a doctors appointment they ask me nervously if she will have to get shots - when the answer is yes, they usually start to cry - I have had to make other arrangements for Noah and Alex because it is too traumatic for them.
Avery has the best big brother and big sister.
(Although Alex still makes me too nervous to leave her in a room alone with Avery for more than a few seconds. She has the best of intentions, but...)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You'll laugh

Avery's laugh is the best sound in the world. And she laughs a lot. She's super ticklish and thinks all the weird and crazy things her siblings do are hilarious. You can't hear Avery laugh and not laugh yourself - she must have gotten that from her dad.

I mean, have you ever heard Paul's laugh? When he's really laughing hard? Hysterical.
(voted "Most Contagious Laugh" in high school...don't ask me what award I got, I'll never tell)

Yesterday, Paul told Noah he could hear his heart beating. Which led to the kids pressing their ears to our chests to hear ours. Alex listened for mine for a few seconds then straightened up and said, "I can't hear your heart beating mom - I can just smell the milk in your boobs." Not sure how to respond, trying not to laugh, I looked to Paul for help. All I got was, "Well, maybe she can."

How could you not laugh?

Monday, April 12, 2010

On mothering

It's hard.
Not the crazy-busy-exhausted-everybody needs me for something hard.
Although that's hard too.
But, most of the time, I feel like I can do that.
I can take care of them and I can love them.
I can do that.

But they're growing up.
And the real parenting begins.
I have to actually teach them things.
Important things.
And sometimes I think, "What made me think I could do this???"

Noah is 6.

He goes to Kindergarten everyday.
He is smart, curious, inquisitive and he has chosen good friends.
I'm proud of him.
But I can't protect him from everything anymore.
As a mother, you want to save them from every difficult situation - nervousness, embarrassment, hurt feelings, self-doubt, discouragement.
But sometimes you have to watch them struggle - even if it's just with a forward roll in gymnastics class.
Which, after a week of practicing at home, Noah has now mastered : )
He's now perfecting his backward roll and working on front flips.
Way to go Noah!

Alex is 4

She's our wild child.
And she's got spunk (ahem, attitude).
When I told her I was sick of the way she was acting she responded that she was sick of me.
When Paul told her to go to time-out she told him to go to time-out.
When she wouldn't obey me the other day I asked her who was in charge. She said, "ME. I'm 14!" I almost believed her.
4 going on 14.
But she makes up for it.
While working on a fun project together last week she said, "You're not a mean mommy, after all!"
Maybe not the best example but it made me laugh.
She makes everybody laugh.
Yesterday while riding her bike she was yelling out, "Yee-haw! Ride'em bulls! I'm from Texas!"
Seriously, I don't know where she comes up with this stuff, but we love it.
And if you ask her, Alex will tell you she's a "lover."
Loving people is one of her special gifts.
She's constantly telling you how much she loves you (infinity, binity, trinity is the latest phrase), smothering you with kisses, squeezing you tight and snuggling.
You're a sweetie Alex!

Avery is almost 6 months

And a serious mamma's girl.
I've honestly never seen anything like it
And I swear she just came out that way.
When she was born and they laid her on my chest she stared up at me with her big round eyes. Just stared right into mine for the longest time.
In the hospital, when she would lay in her bassinet, she would turn her head and look at me some more.
And then we came home. She was fussy as a newborn and (my mother will testify to this) could only be soothed by me.
Almost 6 months later and all Avery wants is to be held by her mamma.
Not so convenient when I'm trying to get things done.
But...secretly...I kind of like it.
I am her favorite person in the whole wide world.
Every time I look at her, her face lights up and she breaks into a smile.
When she sees me from across the room her arms and legs start pumping a hundred miles an hour.
It's nice to be so loved and needed - especially as Noah gets more and more independent and Alex acts more and more like a teenager : )

3 kids.
All very different.
And very strong.
I may not always know what I'm doing.
I may be scared and overwhelmed by the responsibility on my shoulders.
But oh my goodness I'm glad these kids are mine.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Sunday

Paul worked all of Easter weekend.
But we managed to stay pretty busy .
(like that's hard for us.)

Saturday morning we decorated eggs. And while juggling the baby and the egg dye and attempting to keep my 2 crazies from spilling glitter and glue all over the place I tried to listen to the morning session of conference.
(Not the session I got the most out of)

But the kids had a blast.
And I think they are funny.

Saturday afternoon we headed to the park, but only lasted about 30 minutes.
Too windy and cold.
At home I tried to catch some of the second session of conference.

Easter morning Noah came tearing into my room a little after 7am, jumped on me and Alex (who had been in my bed since sometime around 1am, as usual) and yelled "HAPPY EASTER!" At full volume.
Somehow Avery slept through that. And the crazy indoor Easter Egg Hunt that ensued.
(My kids aren't going to know what to do with themselves if we ever move to a place where you can actually have easter egg hunts outside.)

The kids got bubbles from mom and dad
(multiple wands and a no-spill bucket, genius)
and opened presents from their Grandma.

Alex saw the new clothes and was begging to go get dressed

Noah was pretty excited about his Ocean Bingo too.

Thank you to BOTH grandmas for the easter packages - the kids were so excited!

Once it warmed up a little we were outside, soaking up sun and bubbles.

Not sure which is more awesome
Alex's hair?
Or Noah's outfit?
(he insisted on wearing those pj's the entire day)

We pulled our Vitamin D deficient Avery out to the deck in her saucer - she liked the sunhat 'cept when it would flop into her face and cover her eyes...

And I spent a good portion of the day in the kitchen.
This year I didn't care if Paul was working, I was going to eat some good food.
Ham, my famous Pecan Yams, rolls, and pie.
I'm awesome.
Ham and glaze packet, Target
rolls, Rhodes
pie, Marie Callendar's
Pecan Yams, from scratch and so delicious from my "Favorites" cookbook
Too bad my kids didn't eat any of it.
Although Paul appreciated it when he got home at 7:30pm.
And now we are left with WAY too much food - I knew that would happen.
But I wasn't brave enough to host another family for Easter dinner with Paul gone.
I'm not that awesome.
Good thing my friend had her baby on Easter!
Hope they like Ham, Yams, and Rolls...

Miraculously, amid all of this I was able watch all of General Conference.
And what a conference it was. Loved it.
I even got my kids in there for some of it. They were sitting at the kitchen table coloring while I watched on the computer, but they knew they had to come in and listen to the prophet's talk. Every time there was a new speaker Noah would walk in, glance at the screen and say, "Nope, not Thomas S. Monson."
And was that my child who, when it was Thomas S. Monson, said sweetly to his sister, "Come on Alex, it's the prophet" and sat down on the couch???
Yes it was - that became clear a few moments later when he started goofing off on the couch and had to be separated from his sister.
Well. We did have a nice conversation about the General Primary President's talk.

We truly had a beautiful Easter Sunday.
And I am so very grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, for a living prophet, and for eternal families.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Avery (otherwise knows as Avery B'Davery, Avery Baby, Sweetie Girl, Av)

And to Alex she's Avro.

My baby girl is 5 months old.
Well, more like 5 1/2 months now
But here she is on her 5 month birthday.
This was my attempt to get a picture of her on her tummy, holding that big head up.
She looks so cute like that - problem is she wont stay like that.

Avery has hated tummy time from the day she was born - and has pretty much refused to do it at all. As in the second you lay her on her tummy she starts SCREAMING.
And so I cave.
Because of her refusal of any and all tummy time she was a little late at learning to roll.
And now that she can roll...tummy time is even more impossible.
You lay her on her tummy and in 0.3 seconds she's flipped to her back.
She's a stubborn girl.
While trying to take the picture above I was laying across the floor from her, camera in hand and ready to go - I got her on her tummy and smiling and held her there until I was in position - and in the time it took me to get my arm out of the shot, Avery had begun her roll. Believe it or not, that's the best one I got.

The kids get excited every month on Avery's "birthday" so they needed a picture with her too.

And now my sweet baby is fast approaching 6 months.
How did this happen???
One minute she was a newborn and now she's BIG.
I swear it happened overnight.

I have loved every stage with Avery - with my others too, but I think I'm appreciating it more my third and last time around - but 6-9 months just might be my most favorite baby stage.
So right about now I'm really wishing I could s-l-o-w things down a bit.

Which is maybe why I waited so long to start giving her solids?
Last night I gave up the fight.
(She's been grabbing at our food for a good month now, I was starting to feel guilty.)
And...she loved her rice cereal.
Couldn't get it in there fast enough, really.
She was grabbing for the spoon (and the bowl) trying to feed herself.

Yep, she was ready.
And now my baby is a big girl.

And I kind of want to laugh and kind of want to cry.