Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bunny

Since Easter, Caleb has had an invisible friend.  He isn't around all the time, but he comes out a few times a day.  His name changes once a week or so, but his friend is always a bunny.  He has been called Easter Bunny, Bunny, and Hop. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sitting Up!

Elinore has been sitting on her own for awhile now, but this weekend she mastered getting herself into a seated position!  My mom and I first witnessed it Sunday and she did it several more time and again this morning.  Keith has yet to see it and she'll still lay down and whine until someone sits her up, but she can do it! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Outside

One of my goals for 2013 was to spend more time outside.  It's early in the year, but we've done a few things in our yard that will hopefully help motivate me.

First, we're gardening again this year!  And we're much more focused on it than in past year.  Usually we needed the help of our neighbors and their equipment.  They moved away last year, and I was expecting so we didn't garden at all last year.

This year, Keith bought himself a tiller from Craig's List and he's committed!  He's got a co-worker who is menotring him along the way.  So far, the soil looks better, which I suppose is a great first time.

Second, we're composting!  I've been wanting to compost for a few years now, but Keith has been very against it.  His co-worker/gardening mentor is a big composter and got him on board!  Keith built us this awesome composter and we're using it!  We have a 5 gallon bucket with a lid in our kitchen next to our trash can we collect it in.  We are putting fruit and vegetable leftovers and scraps along with other food scraps, but no meat!  After I run the sweeper I empty my canister into the bin too, that helps keep the smell down and is completly fine to go in the composter!  Once the bucket is full we are taking it out to the bin, dumping it in and covering it with a layer of peet moss. 


Our third and final thing, is this awesome fire pit Keith built for us!


Sometime last summer we moved several plants to help the look of our flower beds.  We removed some of the flower beds and planted grass seed and the plants from those we filled in holes in the flower beds we still have.  Hopefully that helps things look a little better around the house and keeps things easier to maintain. 

All three of the kids love to be outside, we like food off the grill and have a great picnic table in the backyard, so I hope to see a lot of the outside this summer!  We are so blessed to have a wonderful place to live our lives!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chruch Acrobatics

I was talking typing with a close friend of mine the other day about Elinore's activity during church services on Sundays.  She's quite the acrobat and tires my arms out by the end of the service!

My friend asked "he doesn't like to sit still and be held either?"

I responded:
Hahahaha.

No.

Almost never.

She's looking behind me she's looking ahead she's reaching for this and trying to eat that.

She's leaving backwards looking up at the ceiling, she's fussing to sit back up and lean over to touch her toes.

She's reaching for Caden's glasses or to pull Caleb's hair.

She's trying to eat my bulletin.

One of the ladies asked me yesterday if I would be surirsed if she grew up and ran away to the circus with her acrobatics.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Grandpa

I was at our church serving the SOUP supper tonight when a man I'd never met before walked up to me and asked if I was Edson's granddaughter.  I thought about it for a second as my Grandpa has been gone for almost 15 years, before I said yes, yes I am. 

He went on to tell me that he had worked for my grandpa when he was about 14 years old.  He said he was hired to do farm work many many years ago.  He talked about how my Grandpa always had a story for everything, and that is so true. 

He told me my Grandpa once told him that marriage was like bath, once you're in it for awhile it's not so hot.

We chucked and I listened to him talk about the farm work and the people who worked on the farm for a bit.

Later I found out he is actually now married to my Dad's cousin.  They were married last year and coincidentally he and my dad share the same first name too!

Playing in the Gray Area

In a recent performance review I had at work, my boss complimented me on my ability to "play" in the gray area. My job is very full of gray area. There is little black and white when it comes to underwriting. I've always known this about my job and just gotten on with it, never giving it much thought.


Then my boss called it out in my review, and I started thinking about it.

Playing in the gray area is something I do often, more than just when I'm at work.

Parenting is a very gray area.

There are so many choices we make as parents, and none of the are right or wrong, just different. We all choose what works best for our kids and our families.

Aside from those bigger decisions, I find gray area every day in parenting in trying to decide how to teach them about respect and appropriate behavior. I pray about how to handle situations sometimes, though not nearly as often as I should.

It's all about being comforatable playing in the gray area and dealing with a changing game every day. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Parent Tot Swim Class

The first weekend in April, Elinore and I started a parent-tot swim class. 

I was so looking forward to it.  Based on Elinore's limited exposure to water, I thought she would like it.  She loves bathtime and she really enjoyed playing in the water when we went to Great Wolf Lodge earlier this year. 

We went to a new to us rec center to take the classes because it's closer to home, and I'm so glad we went and tried it.  We'll certainly be back with the boys for swim later!

Elinore did excellent at swim class!  She was the youngest there; there were 5 kids in the class.  Most of them were toddlers, but there was one other baby there with his dad.  Elinore did really well with most things, as much as expected for a tiny one who can't follow directions!  She didn't cry in the water and she splashed and kicked and played.  She wasn't a big fan of floating on her back after awhile, but she still did well. 

I'm looking forward to continuing classes with her!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Is that new?

I've noticed that I've been getting compliemnts on my clothing and a lot of "is that new?" questions asked lately at work. 

The answer is almost always no.  I mean, when do I have time to shop?  And honestly, if I have some time, shopping is generally not what I want to do!

However, most of the clothes I've started wearing again have not been worn for a good year or two now!  Things are looking new because they haven't seen the light of day as they've been packed away to make room for my maternity clothes and then stayed away because of the cold winter weather.  I can't imagine what it'll be like to have even more clothes when am no longer breastfeeding.  That will open up more of my wardrobe too.

For now, I smile and say thank you for the compliemnts!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Caden Sleeps

Over a month ago I went in to check on the boys and kiss them goodnight one more time before I headed to bed, and I found Caden like this:



Friday, April 19, 2013

Belle

When we added Belle to our family back in 2010, we had great intentions of her being a good family dog, but Belle has never gotten along real well with Caden and Caleb.  We thinking they may have been to rough with her early on and they never bonded real well.  Caden still is too rough for her liking and she growls at him, and Caleb isn't real interested in any of our pets most of the time. 

Belle quickly became my dog.  She slept with me on my side of the bed, she snuggeled with me and she listened better for me. 

Then I got pregnant.  We were still bud for awhile, but she started to annoy me in the bed.  Sleeping between my legs was no longer an option while I was struggling to get comfortable.  She started getting kicked around in the bed more. 

When Elinore arrived, Belle quickly saw a decline in the attention she got.  The boys had moved on and she still wasn't interested in them.  Keith and I were busy with the kids, the house, and more.  She was jealous. 

Now Elinore loves Belle.  She keeps an eye on her and pets her, and by pets, I really mean she pulls her hair.  And for the most part, Belle just sits there and lets it happen. 

I think Elinore and Belle will be the best of friends.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mother-Son Dance

In March, the elementary school held a Mother-Son Dance for students.  Caden and Caleb were very excited to go!

The night before the dance, however, Caden got sick.  He was feeling better on Saturday, but he was still laying on the couch and relaxing most of the day.  It was evident he still didn't feel real well, so he opted out of going, which was a wise choice I'm sure.  (Although part of me wonders if he wasn't too interested in going in the first place.  He told me he didn't want to dance because he didn't want his friends to see him.)

So Caleb and I went to the dance.  We danced, very little though.  Generally he just ran off with his friends and played in the gym.  I talked to a few other moms and watched the kids run around and play. 



It was a great time, and I hope Caden will join us next year!

Prayer Request

I know I don't have many of you out there reading this, but I have a request, and every prayer counts.  If you could, please say a prayer for my friend Kristin and her baby Luke today.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fish Face

I remember when the boys were toddlers trying to teach them how to make a fishy face.  It took awhile, but they were committed to it and loved it.  I'd have to say they looked pretty darn cute doing it too.

Elinore seems to have mastered the fishy face already. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Elinore - 9.5 Month Review

Dear Elinore,
You turned 9 months old. 9 months! I know I'm late again to getting this down, but it's probably because I'm too busy playing with you and your brothers to sit down and write.

You are developing into your own little person; you know what you like and you aren't afraid to let us know. You are delightful, and generally a very happy baby!

When I hold you, you like to bite my shoulder. You usually leave a sloppy mark on my sleeve and you drool and chew on my shoulder. It's always my right shoulder too.

You make the cutest fishy face.

In the last week you've finally started waving! You started waving to Daddy when I was holding you and you've been practicing a lot! Sometimes I'm not even sure what you're waving at. I keep hoping you're going to wave to me one day when I leave you at the sitters for they day, but you just sit and smile. Your hands are too busy with toys to wave. You waved one day after I left at lunch time last week, but that was it.

Speaking of lunch time visits, they've been decreasing in the last few weeks. I've been busier at work and had meetings, and you seem to be doing well. Our schedules aren't aligning as well, and I like being able to get home earlier, especially as we're hopefully getting some spring weather to stay! I'm not sure what the future brings with these visits, but we'll see. I hope to keep at least a one day a week visit at lunch, even if it isn't to nurse, just to see you there in that environment and talk to your sitters to know what's going on.

You said MAMA last week! FINALLY! I've been waiting ever so patiently to hear it. In the last few weeks I've really been encouraging you to get it out and you have!

Sometimes you're with your Daddy and you'll crawl around with your arms moving your head around to look for me and you'll listen for the sound of my voice in the house. I like to play peek-a-boo with you when you find me or just scoop you up for smiles and giggles.

I think one of your first words might be dog. I think your Daddy and I heard it from you over the weekend, but you are fascinated with Belle. You reach for her when she's around; you watch her run around the house and you "pet" her, a.k.a. pull her hair!

You like Otis too, and I think you would like if she came around more, but she's a sneaky cat who tries to avoid the dog. You like to watch her and pull her hair too.

You are really learning to use your pointer finger. You like to stick it out and touch things or try to do things with it. When your Daddy peels an orange with you, you like to stick your finger in the top to separate it before Daddy can get it done.

You and your brothers still have a fantastic sibling bond.  They tolerate you grabby hands in their hair and in their face as you reach for them to do many things with them while they're trying to tell a story. 

Just the other day Caleb came in to tell us something and you were there in front of him grabbing his hands and face and pulling on his shirt while he was talking.  Your Daddy and I could hardly stop laughing to listen to what he had to stay and he just kept talking while you pushed him around. 

They like to play with you and are very watchful over you too.  It's sweet to see them be protective big brothers.  Speaking of your brothers I hope brother or their names are some of your first words too.  I think they'll love to hear it from you!  You are already searching the room when you hear them, or when you hear noise you think they're making!  You keep an eye on them all the time as they play around.

You crawl all over the place now with your arms!  You still aren't on your hands and knees, but you get around so well without it I think you're doing just fine!  We'll be in the living room and you will crawl into your bedroom to get toys now.  Or you're getting brave enough to crawl out onto the dinning room floor now too.  You used to crawl to the edge of the carpet and slap the hard flooring with you hand, but now you'll crawl out onto it.  One time you even got all the way to the dog dishes and had spilled the dog water on yourself before you got to you.  You weren't a fan of the wet dog water as your tears quickly let us know!

As the weather has perked up a bit every once in awhile in the last month we've taken you outside on walks, and you love them!  No matter where we are or what we're doing, you love the wind in your hair. 

We put up the swing you received for Easter too, and you love swinging on it.  More wind in your hair of course!

Elinore, we love you so.  You are loved.

Love,

Mom

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Elinore - 9 Month Check-up

This past Wednesday, I took Elinore in for her 9 month check-up.  She's doing well and growing!  Although the nurse had me mighty nervous at first. 

I took all three kids in at the same time.  The boys had their 7 year well check as they turn 7 next month.  (SEVEN DOESN'T SEEM POSSIBLE!) 

The nurse working with Elinore must be new to the office.  Her measurements were low and registering alerts when she tried to enter them into the computer.  The second nurse brought the boys back and tried and came back with much better looking numbers!

She's meeting all their developmental questions except for pulling herself up.  She's not, and doesn't seem to have much interest in it.  She's not crawling on her hands and knees either, but the doc isn't concerned with anything at this point.  Yay Ellie!

Elinore weighed in at 14 pounds, 7 ounces and is in the second percentile for her weight.

She is 27.25 inches long and in the 30th percentile for her height. 

Our sweet girls is a precious little peanut.  :)

The boys are doing awesome too!

Like Father, Like Daughter

I try to take a picture of these two and look what I get!


They both look away smiling in opposite directions!


There, that looks better!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Miles for Madison

This past Saturday was the first Miles for Madison 5K held at our local school system in support a SJS, which an elementary school student has. 

It was a great fundraising and awarness raising event that had over 600 participants!  It was a great turn out and so wonderful to be a part of!

The boys were registered to run the fun run.  I was registered to run the 5K.  I ended up not running the 5K because I double booked myself and chose to take Elinore to swim instead, but the boys still were able to run the Fun Run!

They also had a great time despite the freezing temperaturs we had. 

They ran almost the entire time.  They were to run one lap around the high school track.  Around turn 3 they walked for a VERY short time and then ran through the finish.  They stuck together the whole time and did so well! 


Caden in orange; Caleb is the red hat.




Caleb is in the red stocking hat and Caden is in the orange hooded sweatshirt as they near the finish line!

They are already asking to go back next year and do it again!

Maybe in a few years we'll be running the 5K together!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4-H Cloverbuds

Last night the boys attended their first 4-H meeting as Cloverbuds.

I am excited for them to be 4-H members as I have such fond memories of it growing up.  I also think it has a lot of great development opportunities in their future and has a strong focus on community and other life lessons I hope they find valuable.  I hope they continue to be as excited about it as they were yesterday!

They planted tomato seeds in small plants to grow and water.  They are sitting on our kitchen window sill to get sun and easy watering for them to sprout!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leprechauns

A week or so before St. Patrick's Day, Caleb came home from school talking non-stop about Leprechauns.


Little did I know Leprechauns’ come to your house on St. Patrick’s Day, make mischief and leave money.

For the next week or so, Caleb looked at everything for things the Leprechauns did.

Things that had moved to new homes six months ago were suddenly noticed and the leprechaun was blamed. Messes there were made my little boys quickly were blamed on the leprechaun.

Suddenly the house was full of ideas for building leprechaun traps!

Every morning we were checking for leprechauns or evidence of leprechaun mischief.

I ordered a couple of St. Patrick’s Day books about leprechauns, we learned about the folk tales of leprechauns and what mischief and messes they make.

St. Patrick’s Day did come and while Caden and Caleb were away staying at their Aunt Tanda and Uncle Arts house, the leprechauns came and made a BIG mess!

Elinore was a cute little baby for her very first St. Patrick's Day too. 


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Swinging

The Easter Bunny brought Elinore a swing for the backyard swingset this year.

She loves it!


We loved the change to get outside and enjoy the spring weather this past weekend too!


Monday, April 08, 2013

Cloth Diapering


Almost two months ago now, we started cloth diapering full time. This far in, Keith and I are both happy with the change and no longer even like disposables the very few times we've had to put her back in one.


I was quite anxious about getting started and felt like I was a bit under prepared to start, but once I committed, I dove right in and picked it up along the way. I'm fortunate to have a couple good friends who also cloth diapers. I used them as resources to help me get started and have reached out to them a few times since we got started too when I've had questions.

I wanted to consider cloth diapering before Elinore was born, but Keith was very against it. I wasn't willing to try it without his support. By the time Elinore was about 5 months old, Keith was ready to switch to generic diapers of lesser quality to save money, which I wasn't against, until I realized I didn't like using those diapers at all once we tried it!

That was my gateway to bring up cloth diapering again, and this time, he jumped right on board!

We started researching what brand and style of diaper we wanted to use. We decided we want to use BumGenius diapers and started scouring eBay for used diapers. Keith did most of the eBay work finding diapers, bidding, checking with me if I thought they were alright. Keith got a bit over excited maybe in his purchasing, but we ended with 44 used diapers from eBay. Four of the diapers were Fuzzibunz. About a half dozen were all-in-one elementals and the rest are 4.0s from BubGenius. Excluding one diaper, they are all snap closure, which I’m certainly a fan of. I’m not crazy about the Velcro one we have, and it’s harder to maintain the Velcro and annoying in the wash!

We thought we were going to prefer the all-in-ones the most, but it turns out the 4.0s are our favorites! I don't mind the stuffing them with the inserts, and they are easier to use and clean and they dry faster in the dryer once they're washed. We like all of our BumGenius over the Fuzzibunz.

I'm not sure how much money we're saving by going cloth. I know our water bill increased last month, which is probably a result of the increase laundry. I think we'll really benefit in savings if we use them for future Haynes babies too. :)

Friday, April 05, 2013

Spoiled

I cannot stand the use of the word spoiled. It never bothered me until Elinore arrived. Now I notice the word is thrown around frequently, usually directed at me. As in I'm spoiling Elinore.
This began very early on in Elinore's life, and I was frustrated. First and foremost because she was too young to be spoiled then. Her needs were met and I loved taking care of her.

Her needs are still met, and I still love taking care of her.

I put a lot of things off until Elinore was 6 months old. At 6 months we made quite a few changes to her routine and got into a new rhythm, which helped us out a lot. We used the cry it out method and she puts herself to sleep at night now in her own room in her own crib.

She's well fed and happy, and loves her mommy.

Excuse me for paying attention to her and meeting her needs when she cries. Last I checked knowing your child and their needs was a good thing.

Call it what you want, but I call it taking care of my kids.

I've toyed with the thought that we as society have made the word spoiled into something negative that doesn't necessarily need to be negative too, but I honestly can't come to terms with thinking when someone tell me I'm spoiling my kids that they mean that in a positive manner.

**Note: Generally when I get this comment it's because I turn to take care of her when she's crying or upset about something. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Sleeping Attire

For the last couple weeks, Caden's been wearing pajamas when we tuck him in at night.  Then I started noticing he was already dressed when I would go to wake him up in the morning.  Although, waking him up in the morning is a very rare occasion because he is a very early riser.  I thought he was getting up early in or in the middle of the night and getting dressed. 

Then I started noticing then when I would check on him before I went to bed in the evenings he was already dressed. 

One night last week or so, I had put them to bed and was in the living room outside their bedroom.  I heard lots of noise and lights in their room and told them to get back in bed.  That's when Caleb said: "I am in bed, Caden's up getting dressed for tomorrow!"

And now we know.  Caden wears his pajamas for about 30 minutes, waits for us to put him to bed, get up, gets dressed and then goes back to bed.  Then he wakes up dressed to leave. 

Except for that one time, I tucked him in pajamas, checked on him before bed in his clothes, and woke him up in pajamas.  I'm not sure what happened that day!

The Best Yes

A dear friend of mine had been recommending I read The Best Yes  by Lysa Terkeurst for some time before I actually picked it up.  I was hesi...