18-20 Month Baby Schedule & Summary {baby #4}

{yes, I am 4 months late on the 18month baby summary … I’m just now realizing it is the year 2018, and spring is here}

Wow. just wow!
My how 18 months has flown! I can’t even keep up with her baby summary posts. My how we love our sweet little baby #4.

Development 18 months vs 20 Months

It has taken her longer than the first 3 children, but Squish has started walking and talking non stop (18 months). She is just totting around everywhere; her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few months. She is saying everything from her siblings names, to pointing and naming objects she wants/needs.

She tends to drag her right foot, which is worrisome, but hopefully that will resolve itself. If it doesn’t we will talk to our doc in July. Her disposition is still pretty tough most days (18 months), she goes through phases where she is extremely happy for a week or 2, and then is incredibly difficult for a few weeks. I’m guessing it is wonder weeks and development related? I haven’t been tracking WW much anymore, but I probably should!

At 20 months, she is now talking EVEN more, is almost always happy, and has really come into her own. She really, really enjoys playing independently, she is a very smart girl, love counting and talking about everything. I often sneak into her room during independent play, before I get her out, and watch as she reads books, dances, and does finger plays to the songs on Pandora (like itsy bitsy spider). She is so full of herself when alone!

Her favorite words are: Lexie, Maxie, Ila, baby, Huck, and every animal sound she can make. We brought Yona (our Anatolian Shepherd) inside for a week or so while she was getting over some tummy troubles (due to her puppy food!) and Coralie REALLY found an outlet for bossing others. haha I think being the 4th, with her 3 older siblings always talking, bossing, and being active around her, she rarely had a chance to be heard. But when Yona came inside, she had someone that had to listen to HER (our dogs are raised to submit to all family members, be calm and quiet around their animal charges and people), so I guess the cure to some of her frustrations was power… that’s a scary thought!

She still signs for some things, especially if we remind her to do so, but she will also attempt to say the words for most everything around her-cups, water, eat, more, two (which means more …), up, down, snuggles, night night, baby, please, thank you, stinky, poopy, t.t., potty, nasty, num num, blanket, outside, downstairs, seat (which means put me there or she is demanding someone else sit there). So, lots of vocabulary.

She definitely loves animals, talking, dancing, counting, and toting around her baby dolls. We put a newborn diaper on one of her dolls, and it was game. on. She is now mama to her babies, gives them bottles, swaddles them, puts them to bed. She recently took to a baby blanket that was Lexie’s and requests it all day long, taking it with her wherever she goes; Squish will tot to her crib and pull the blanket from between the rails and just looove on it. She is counting like crazy, knows all her body parts, sings songs with us, and loves organizing toys “just so.” This video was taken just last week, and is a perfect example of her personality!

SNUGLLES! Yall, oh my gosh, the snuggles. This girl has never been much of a snuggler, but more of a “give me want when I want it or I dont want it at all” kinda girl. It has honestly been hard to “love” on her, simply because she so often didn’t want that connection. But now?!  Oooh, now she is a lovey girl, wanting squeeze hugs, wrapping her arms around our necks, and saying “Nuggle! Nuggle!” It is so fun!

I really can’t say how thankful I am that her personality has blossomed so much; it has been hard for all of us to enjoy her… Not because she didn’t meet our expectations, or our views of having a baby, but because we didn’t know HOW to love her- she didn’t accept the ways we showed her love, if that makes sense? We tried everything, she liked food-check, she liked attention 1:1 with me in the mornings- check, She liked telling everyone else no-check … but nothing really screamed “connection” with her. Oooh how I am thankful for grace and what now feels like peace.

We’ve decided she is exactly like her oldest sibling; if Lady had been the 4th in the family, I suspect her very Type A, independent, determined, sweet self would have been exactly like Squish. They also look pretty identical, and really just have the same personality traits. I predict Coralie will be an early reader, a fast learner, and a determined girl like Lady, but we shall see!

18 months to 21 months has been night and day for her; all of our relationships have flourished with her, even the kids. Her ability to talk more, and finding interest in specific things has truly helped her disposition. I feel like even though we have always known her, we are finally getting a peak at what’s been inside those beautiful blue eyes for the last 20 months, or maybe we are just starting to listen? Either way, it is a blessing!

It is funny to watch how she interacts with each of her siblings: Lady she considers her care taker. She helps with Squish’s bath, getting her dressed, taking her downstairs to play, totting outside, sliding, and reaching things. Mister she sees as her playmate; they are silly together, romp, play silly games, get LOUD, shoot guns, and snuggle. The Miss … well, we are working on that dynamic, because the last several months have been all competition! Miss is learning to help care for Squish, and take some responsibility like the older 2, which I think is helping with how she sees Coralie. They both consider themselves the baby, and it is hard on them to share space, attention, and favorite items, but I feel like things are getting easier.

Overall, I am excited for this new phase with Squish!

just one of the gang, watching duckling splish splash


So far Baby #4 is still on a one nap schedule- usually she goes down for nap abut 12-12:15, and gets up at 3:00.

So her days look like this:

  • 7am wake, snuggles, breakfast
  • playtime/workout with mama time
  • read school books with us in mama’s room
  • independent play while we do table work, sometimes a snack first
  • 11:15/11:30 lunch
  • 12:00/12:15 nap
  • 3:00 up from nap, snack
  • 5:30/6pm dinner
  • 6:40 bedtime

She is drinking out of a straw sippy, and Thermos brand sippy cups. She enjoys eating some things with a spoon, and I often let her do the last bite of messier foods with a spoon, everything else she eats with her fingers. Her favorite foods are … pretty much everything! We discovered this winter that she has a cashew allergy, and thus probably has a pistachio allergy. She reacts to the oils and the actual cashew nut; it also appears when she has too much peanut butter she reacts? So we are playing that one safe and avoid peanut butter for her most of the time.

She has recently graduated from her Zipadee Zip to a regular sleep sack. I thought this might lead to thumb sucking, since she sucked on the sleeve of all her zipadees and swaddles, but so far I think we are thumb-sucking free!




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Back Yard Tractor Coop for 6-8 Chickens

Originally written May 2012
our first born is now 7, and Scarlet is no longer with us; we have moved across the country and currently have around 30 chickens in a larger coop. We easily go through a dozen eggs a day with our family of 6.
I thought I would share a picture of the completed chicken coop.  I say completed … We were rushed to get it finished before a family trip, so there are a few things left to re-do.  The ramp will be widened for the chickens,  we are hanging the feeders today.
 We move the coop every weekend to a different spot in the yard.  We have been using the truck for this, but this fall we plan to service the four-wheelers and use one of them for the job.

Nope, this is no typical (small) tractor coop.  This bad boy is currently housing 8 chickens.  The run is 60sqft and the coop is 24sqft.  We were going to hinge the bottom, but the egg collection door (on the back) is so nice and big, we decided there’s no need.  It has two roosts on the inside running along either side with plenty of room for the nest boxes.

We will add the nest boxes once the girls are older- we are expecting eggs from the barred rocks come the end of July/first of August and eggs from my babies the first of September.  with 8 chickens we should get 6-8 eggs a day!  That’s more than we can eat, so I am hoping to sell a dozen or two a week. If nothing else it can pay for their feed.  =)

Scarlet keeps watch over them at all times.  We weren’t sure how she would react (since she was raised hunting and kills cats/squirrels/moles when she can catch them), but she just lays by them all day.  I think she is more jealous that they have food all day and cabbages to eat!  haha  Fingers crossed, no opossums or coons will be messing with our feathery girls, thanks to Mama Bear.

Miss Priss having Scarlet “kisses belly”  haha  They love each other!


Lexie talking to the chicks while Scarlet loves on her.



Baby Summary {21 Months Old}- Baby #3

Dress Up Snuggles {Baby Summary 21 months}

Poor #3 … not nearly as many updates as the first two babies.  =)

This month (June 2016) Ila turned 21 months old.  Next month, she will become a big sister!  hard to believe; we have definitely had the “she’s the baby” mentality with her.

Developmentally Ila has grown by leaps and bounds the last few months.  Here is what she is doing/saying this month:

  • says:
    • “Mi Mi” for Mister (the I says i like icky when she says it)
    • “bar” for granola bar
    • “MMMnum MMMnum” for cup (don’t ask, we don’t know why?!)
    • grape
    • apple
    • bucha (she is obssessed with Kombucha right now!)
    • “back” for having her back scratched, & brings the back scratcher to us
    • cough
    • shoes
    • bowl
    • and she just jabbers.  Lexie spoke in complete sentences at like 12 months, Mister did a lot too.  Ila has her favorite words and the rest is just jabbering. haha
  • She’s been more clingy since about 19 months old; it is a phase I am sure because despite being my little sidekick, she’s a very independent toddler that likes her space.
  • Finally enjoys me reading to HER; she has always wanted to be the one reading to ME, so night time books ended in a fit. I finally just stopped trying and though she still reads to herself all day, she will let me read to her now!
  • She loves playing dress up with big sister; she also enjoys hanging out with the older two and playing in their world
  • Plays pretend- My first two did not play a lot of pretend on their own at this age.  Ila DEFINITELY has a big imagination- she makes the knights and horses talk and play, she plays with her baby doll, dressing and undressing her, and plays with the bath toys in their own world.
  • Enjoys doing the Melissa and Doug puzzles we have, and is learning her shapes this way
  • She brings me ABC bean bags (best purchase ever!) and says some letters or letter sounds, they’re not usually right- but hey, she knows they are letters.  😉
  • She can count to 10- these things (counting, letters, etc) she just picks up from us doing homeschool and living around her.
  • Pats everyone on the back when they are coughing or sneezing (it’s allergy season ..) and is very affectionate.  When Mister or Lexie is hurt or crying she gets their lovey and brings it to them, then pats them.  =)
  • Uses her fork and spoon really well!- Mister at 7 months refused to let anyone feed him and O M GEE he was the messiest eater EVER.  Still is!  So I refused to let Ila feed herself with a spoon or fork until about 3-4 weeks ago.  And she does SO well!  She is a really neat eater and if she can’t do in neatly or easily she asks for help.  Mama’s girl 😉
  • Ila is obsessed with sitting on the potty; she doesn’t do anything on it … and she takes her diaper off all the time!  So is she ready to potty train?  Yea … she probably is.  And if I had a few days to just focus on that, she would probably be trained and done. So, I may try here soon.  It is really just a lack of me being motivated and focused than anything.
  • She gives the biggest hugs and kisses!
  • Learned to roll her tongue and does it anytime she sees her daddy (go figure)
  • She is requires a hair bow to leave her bed.  She loves them.
  • Got her first real haircut at the salon recently; I have trimmed her hair several times since she was about 3-4 months old? But decided it was time for a real haircut!
  • Loves bath time; hates having her hair washed or brushed in any way, shape, or form.  UGH it’s a nightmare trying to brush her hair most of the time.
  • Her little bow-legs are straighter.  We were supposed to go in for her well child not too long ago, and we all ended up w the stomach flu.  So we haven’t been, but since then her legs have straightened up significantly!  At her 2 yr well visit I will have the dr make sure they are looking straight/okay.  I don’t want her to have feet that turn in/knees that knock if we can fix it.  She is already destined to have terrible feet thanks to her mama and daddy, both.
  • At this point she knows all of her body parts and can name most of them
  • Still loves the dogs, chickens, calves, and cats; knows most of her animal sounds
  • Asks for me to swing her when outside
  • Dancing is one of her very favorite things- she dances in the car, in her high chair, pretty much anytime there is music on she dances.  We went to OK with J.Tom’s family and spent most of our time at the pool; Ila really enjoyed dancing to the music there.

{playing Pandora Radio on the TV}

That’s all the new on my list & that I can think of right now …

At the end of May we moved Ila out of her nursery in our room (which is just a second, biggish-closet), to big sister Lexie’s room.  And it has gone SO well!  Oh my goodness, the Lord knew we needed it to work, and it has perfectly.  Ila is in her crib, Lexie downsized to a twin bed (which she loves), and I shifted some furniture around.  It is still plenty spacious and the girls do great.  They don’t wake each other up, we have staggered bedtimes (see Ila’s schedule below), and Lexie is really good at being quiet when she needs to get up for the bathroom or anything.

Since Ila was about 13-14 months old? this has been her schedule and so far it is still working:

  • 7am wake, eat
  • 9:30-10:30 independent play in crib with KLove on and a few music toys.  She loves it!
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 down for nap, usually asleep within 20 minutes but most of the time much sooner
  • 3:00 up from nap (wakes between 2:20-3 most days but stays in bed until 3)
  • 3:30ish after snuggles with everyone, snack
  • 5:30 supper, bath, playtime
  • 6:45pm bed

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our home, but when I do turn something on for the kids, it is usually Curious George on Netflix.  Ila *loves* George and says, “ooo ooo aaaah aaaah” for monkeys.  She enjoys our animal book the most and pointing out bugs all over the place.

For naps and night time, Ila insists that she has socks on and her sleep sack (on backwards or else she unzips it). I always turn on the humidifier for white noise and the ceiling fan (she insists on that as well).

Overall, Ila has been just as happy and sweet as she was the first few months of her life. She never cried much and though she has become fussy and clingy during certain phases, in general that is not her disposition.  She is definitely the easiest-going out of all the kids so far.


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Beginning Sonlight P4/5 Part I: new schedule/routine

Monday, May 26th, we began our Sonlight P4/5 curriculum.  You can read more about my first impression when we received everything here and why we chose what we did, here.

I wasn’t sure if we would begin in the summer, or closer to the fall when baby #3 arrives.  I have been so excited to get started, and in desperate need of a new routine for Lexie’s learning time, that I decided to start now.  I am glad we did!

Had we waited until fall, we would probably be all the way through our current math (which is Singapore early bird) and would begin Saxon.  But, since we are starting early, we are just continuing on with Singapore.  I am not super impressed with their program, and don’t find it challenging for Lexie at all cognitively; but it does keep us in the routine of doing some math thinking skills so we will continue with it for a bit.

We also began our All About Reading Level 1– to say I LOOOOOVE this program is an understatement.  Love love love.  Honestly, everything she is doing now she has been able to do for months; almost a year, actually.  But it is giving her a great foundation and building her confidence in literacy SO much.  Lexie has been sounding out CVC words (like “cat” “cup” “pig” etc) at least since her third birthday, but when I would introduce a reader like Bob Books, she would always say, “I can’t read the words.  You do it.”  So, while we played around with decoding (and reading by sight words), I didn’t push her.  (besides, she has many years before she needs to be a fluent reader!)  I just follow her lead on what she is comfortable with at this point.

All About Reading has built her confidence so much, and in just the first week.  She has been reading any cvc word I put in front of her, loves the short activities that go along with the program, and looks forward to getting everything out of her workboxes each day!  (well, we don’t do learning time every day, but when we do do learning time …)

(In addition to AAR, we are still using our little curriculum from ThisReadingMama.  I will talk more about how we incorporate it in my following posts in this series.)

Like many children her age (under 4) her writing and fine motor skills are still developing.  Her cognitive development is way beyond her writing abilities, so we are practicing fine motor skills and handwriting (just how to form the letters and numbers, not making them perfect).  She does not like to color very much (bummer) and prefers to “write,” in her special books daddy brings home to her.  She is still enjoying Logic of English, but we are only using the handwriting portion (because we love AAR).

So here is what our schedule looks like now for days we have learning time (it’s a little detailed ..):

  • 7am- wake/brush teeth/milk and snuggles/breakfast/clean kitchen
  • (we do our memory work and Bible verse during breakfast)
  • 8am- kids clean up any toys they got out.  I get our Sonlight read alouds for the day and potty chair for Max, we all go to Lexie’s room and read while Max plays and practices pottying
  • 9am- Max to independent play, Lexie’s learning time, then independent play for a few minutes while I clean up, get laundry changed over, and do other chores
  • 10am- walk to park, play outside, pool time in backyard, play games, chores, run errands
  • 11:15- lunch, clean up, free play, baths if necessary
  • 12:00- nap for max.  depending on our morning Lexie will either have a little more independent play here, or she will go down for nap
  • 1:00- Lexie goes down for nap if she had a low key morning
  • 1-2:30/3:00- everyone is napping, including myself if I am super tired (and at this point I usually am)
  • 2:30/3:00- up and go to the pool, park, play outside, or run errands
  • That’s it until dinner, baths and bed!

So, you can see learning time doesn’t take up our whole day, or even a whole hour usually.  We are also doing some lapbooking (which is SO fun) , on days we lapbook or do puzzles or something during learning time it takes a little longer to complete.  But we have FUN and play a lot. On days we don’t do learning time, the kids play out back, either with me or together while I do chores.

I live by routine and schedule; my kids need the structure and so do I.  I don’t do chaos well, however we alway have fun!  We are always dancing, playing music, singing songs, etc.  But we just do it in a controlled-chaos kinda way!  😉

I like this routine, because Max can be involved with our read alouds; but during the time Lexie needs to focus and have my undivided attention Mr. Rambunctious is having his down time in his room.  I would LOVE for him to sit in on learning time, but at this point he is way too hands on wanting to be in the middle of everything she is doing; it just makes it harder for her (and me).  So we play and learn with Max later during the day through songs, puzzles, outside, and just good ole conversation!

When the baby comes along, his/her naps and feeding schedule will go right along with everything we already do.  I am not worried about that at all.  I am actually looking forward to it!  =)

coloring by SIght Words

(I did the red as an example for her, she did the rest)  activity from Reading The Alphabet

  •  My second Beginning Sonlight post will be about how I organize all our materials for everything.
  • My third Beginning Sonlight post will be more details about our Sonlight curriculum and how exactly we use it as well as along with our other programs.  Every Sonlight family uses it differently, but we are really enjoying it this way so far; of course if that changes, I will let you know.
  • And, look for my post on our workboxes!

Sonlight Box Day: P4/5 {our first ever}

As you may know we have chosen Sonlight P4/5 for our homeschool learning fun this year.  I did not buy the entire package they offer for a few different reasons.  As easy as it would be, we already had a few of the resources, some I didn’t really want to include, and others I found less expensive elsewhere.

Our first Sonlight Box Day P4/5

While I did purchase many things directly from SL (my IG, binder, tabs, several books, etc), I didn’t get everything from them. So .. because of that we would not be having a regular “box day” like many homeschooling families get to enjoy.  But, the school supply and book nerd in me desperately wanted a box day (yes, I did it partially for me)  and I also knew Lexie Raye would LOVE it!  And if it involved books, so would Max. So I took an old sturdy box I have been collecting all our resources in, and used it for our “box day!”  I am so glad I did!

Sonlight Box day

Lexie was asking me questions about every single book she pulled out.  I knew several were going to be favorites right away- anything that looked like a chapter book (she LOVES them), the Berenstein Bears Big Book of Science and Nature, and Peter Rabbit.  Oooh how we love Peter Rabbit in this house.  =)

Sonlight Box Day

We can’t wait to dive into our Sonlight P4/5 curriculum!  Lady bug is so excited, and Mister is too.


So Much Happening-life update

Wow- sorry I have been MIA lately. We’ve had a lot going on around here in the last 2 months, this month being so hectic!

As you read, we were all sick with stomach bugs last week. The weeks before that we were drowning in party preparations, chicken coops, and packing for a mini vacation. But, it looks like things will be a tiny bit more laid back in the weeks to come.

All my free time has been spent sewing! I finally got my sewing machine out after a ( …. 6 year?) hiatus, but didn’t start really enjoying it until the first of this month. I’ve been sewing Lexie some cute dresses and just finished some toddler bibs for a friend’s son’s birthday, which is this weekend! I got a serger for my re-found hobby! It is amazing- it’s this one: Janome Juno 3434D serger I can now have those really great-looking, professional seams on anything I create. And I can do rolled hems! I am very excited about that. I used the rolled hem on a ruffle top I made for Lexie, and it’s so pretty. Anyway, so I am excited about that. I have made her 3 dresses and a top, just in May. It’s rather addictive. I am currently working on dress #4 and plan to have it completed tonight or tomorrow at nap time. =)


The chickens are doing great! The 5 Rhode Island Reds are such sweet baby girls. One is extremely feisty, and I think she runs the roost for them (Tessa). Also, I think maybe Dolly is a girl after all, but am still waiting for confirmation on that. 😉
Saturday I went to Bismarck and picked up three 12 week old barred rocks. We named the nicest one Elmo, the other two can be a little crabby towards the babies. They’re not far enough in age or so much bigger than the babies that they hurt them, but they do peck and chase them some. They’re still working out the pecking order, but there have been no injuries, so we’re good.

Yesterday, we hung them some cabbages to play with, and they’ve literally destroyed them. haha They’ve been having a big time. Chickens are like kids- when they get bored they start making trouble with they others (pecking, bullying, etc). So you can add things to their run, like cabbages, to keep them interested and busy. It’s funny to watch them boxing the cabbage.


I am almost 26 weeks pregnant now- 26 weeks on Sunday. The baby has decided he likes my ribs as much as Lady did.


But we’ve been going to kettlebell classes twice a week and yoga on Wednesdays. Now that she will be done with school next week, I will probably go to yoga more often which I’m really excited about. The baby seems to like yoga; he shifts around and kicks a lot during the class.

We go to the doctor on the 6th for a regular appointment and my glucose test *blah* Then it’s appointment every 2 weeks until the last month. I just can’t believe we will be at 30 weeks so soon. Of course it still seems so far far away, but sometimes it is just flying by.

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