Weekly Wrap Up {homeschool update} with Baby #4 Summary

So, how goes being a mama of 4, 6 years old and under?  It is going really great!

Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

We have fallen into our groove with routines, baby is sleeping great *most* days for her naps, which helps with our learning time as a family.  The kids are enjoying their school time; we have finally gotten pretty comfortable with Mister doing more activities while I teach Lexie.  Ila walks around with her ABC flash cards (I laminated them and put on a ring for her) during most of learning time. She likes to come sit in my lap through out the morning and “read” to me.  =)

Lexie (6 years old)

The Lady is just flying through everything I give her or introduce her to.  She enjoys reading; we are still going over the rules as we work through All About Reading, because I don’t want her to have gaps down the road.  However, she is reading on a 4-6th grade level.  Next we are going to start working to build her vocabulary, because when reading at a higher level, she is coming across many words she doesn’t know yet.

She is learning her math facts in math and really enjoys challenging herself with those.  She does her math sheets independently and we do calendar most days (sometimes I just forget ..).  Whenever we do hands on math with manipulatives Max likes to join in.  He can do math on her level, but his writing skills aren’t there yet so we don’t focus on a math curriculum at all for him- just hands on fun! (like it should be).

We have started using the CD that came with our science (Apologia’s Astronomy 2nd Edition)- that way I don’t have to read, but I can listen along and pause it to go more in depth or explain something a little better.  The kids follow along in the book, and then Lexie does the science journal.

Handwriting and math are part of her “clip board work,” that she does independently; I check over these after she has completed them to be sure she did her best, or understood everything.  She loves watching herself improve, and I enjoy the discipline she is learning in completing her work on her own.

ps-k-weekly-wrap-up3-end-of-november

Max (4 years old)

Mister is just reading like crazy.  He does not like to read formally, off a piece of paper yet. He likes me to write words on the board for him to read, and I am 100% okay with that!  He is only 4, after all.

He is working through Reading the Alphabet by ThisReadingMama.com- I used that with Lexie and she *loved* it, so he is enjoying it now.  Each week we go on to a new letter/site word.  His favorite activities are the mazes (he is constantly asking me to find mazes for him to do), and he enjoys syllable counting.  Max is also very interested in counting to 100 .. every. single. day.  Which is great so I go with it; he likes to get out his number chart for that (check our Rainbow Resources for those!).

PS, K Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

Mister is still obsessed with puzzles and anything he can do with his hands.  We try to make sure he gets plenty of movement, hands on learning, and has lots of play time so he continues to grow a love for learning.

Ila (2 years old)

Ila is tagging along with us in everything we do.  Right now she enjoys puzzles, dolls, coloring, and practicing her letter sounds.  She doesn’t actually know the letters that correspond with the sound, but she likes to try and I like encouraging her.  She is going to follow Lexie in her eagerness to learn and read, I think.

PS, K Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

Our Routine For Now {baby #4 is 4 months old}

  • 7am baby up, nurse
  • 7:15-7:20ish I get Max up for mama and baby time while I give baby a bottle
  • Mister gets “the sisters” up =)
  • I cook breakfast, baby hangs out in bumbo or bouncer, older 3 do morning chores/get ready for day
  • everyone eats breakfast and we do our morning basket “stuff”
  • 8:25 baby down for nap
  • all 3 bigger kids go outside or downstairs to play until 9am
  • 9am we begin school
  • 10:30- it is time to get baby up and fed.  We are usually done with school by this point, Lexie may have some clipboard work to finish on her own for the rest of the week
  • 11:15 everyone has lunch
  • 12:00 baby takes nap, then I put Ila down for nap, bigs go outside to play
  • 12:45 Mister goes down for nap, Lexie has rest time reading books, mama writes blog posts, does chores, or rests
  • 2:00 time to get baby up for feeding- Lexie usually comes in to spend time with me and baby
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps, outside or downstairs to play or we run errands
  • 3:30 baby down for last nap, I prep dinner if not yet done
  • 5:00 Baby up, nurse
  • 5:30 everyone eats dinner, baby gets solids
  • bath, wind down, sometimes we watch a show like Mister Rogers, Bob the Builder, Boxcar Children, etc
  • 6:30 baby gets bottle and goes right to bed
  • 7:00 everyone in bed, unless Mister napped good then he and Lexie get to stay up a little later (but they’re always ready for bed-that’s what happens when you spend most of your day running around a farm!)
  • Mama and Daddy time- this is my favorite part about keeping a good routine while our kids are young~I get 1:1 time with my husband and we can unwind from our days together without little people needing us non stop.  It’s nice!

Not everything is set to a specific time, but naps and feedings are.  Everything else works around that, and just sort of falls into place; it is simple and flows well because I don’t have to force anything.

Coralie {4 months old}

Baby #4- wow.  She is already 4 months old (19 weeks) and SO happy.  The best thing I could have ever done for this baby is getting a good sleep schedule down- without it she would still be crying, fussy, unhappy, and unpredicatable.

Because of her eating and sleep routines I am able to pinpoint what she needs, she rarely cries (and if she does it is because something is wrong), and she sleeps very well as long as I hit her wake time right (too short results in a short nap, too long results in crying).

baby-4-summary-4-months

But the BEST part of her routine-she went from HATING going to sleep in her crib, to *loving* it.  Before about 15 weeks old, she cried every time I laid her down on the changing table to put on her sleep blanket (we use THIS ONE).  Now, the girl is happy, kicking, and ready to go to bed as soon as I zip her up!  We talks and babbles while I sing Jesus Loves Me, sucks/gnaws on her hand (teething), and when I lay her down she goes to sleep within 20 minutes.  Sometimes she fusses after talking for a bit, but never cries for me to get her.  IF she is crying-crying, I will go rub some oil on her gums or try to burp her and then lay her back down.  Then she usually drifts off to sleep.

She is still a very social girl, loves talking and playing.  She got a jumper from her grandparents for Christmas, which I had to let her play in early because A) babies outgrow things fast and it seemed silly to waste a whole month of having it but not using it and B) she is all about kicking these days.  She loves it.  This way she can see everyone and know what is going on, which is right up her alley.

She is eating every 3.5 hours, her wake time is anywhere from 85-95 minutes (lengthens as we go through the day), and she is experimenting with solids.  We have done soft boiled egg yolk, green beans, squash, carrots, and peaches.  She devoured all of them, and stares at us while we eat.  I think she is ready for more in her day, but honestly I am not ready to have to tote around baby food, spoons, bibs, etc every time we leave the house.  I already have to pack formula and hot water, so Im good for now.  I am going to try to get by without daytime solids until 6+ months.  She is only having them at our dinner time (5:30) now.

That is pretty much it for our weekly wrap up and summary.  We are just trucking through everything, enjoying it as we go.

 

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Baby #3 Summary: 18 month Update and Routine

Well … Talk about dropping the ball  =/  Poor Ila hasn’t had very many baby updates.

But, here I am with her 18 month baby summary!

Personality and Development

Ila walks to the beat of her own drum, for sure.  While Mister and Lexie are out running around on their many adventures, Ila is usually either off in her own world (playing with trucks, or sitting in a hole in the yard playing with dirt), or totting right behind them.  She is still obsessed with animals and tends to talk back to them in their language, more than she speaks to us in ours.  She moos at cows, tweets and whistles at birds, growls at the dogs, and SCREAMS some wild meows at the cats; she can call, “here chick, chick, chick” just as well as I can, doesn’t have a single fear of those calves in the barn.  As far as she is concerned, Thora and Charlie belong to her and she is one of them.  (she doesn’t discriminate!)

Speaking of walking … Ila started walking full time somewhere around November (14 months) which is the absolute latest of all my babies.  The first two were walking by 9-10 months.  Ila just wanted to take her time.

Speaking of speaking … Ila has words, she just chooses not to use them most of the time. Ha!  Her vocabulary consists mostly of: Tho-ra, charlie (which comes out something like chagie), dog dog, meow, cat, air (airplane), mama (for mama, more, please, I’m waiting! and NOW!!), dada, dada home (cause that’s the biggest deal of the day besides meals), and my absolute favorite which comes out plain as day Yes Ma’am! haha  Why of all the words we have taught her did that phrase stick, we will never know…  There are a few more I am forgetting I’m sure, but these are the most widely used.  She won’t say Lexie or Max yet.

She does sign for her drink and please … but that’s about it.  She CAN doe “more-more” but chooses not to most of the time unless I really make her. 😉

I can say this about her- she is smart and hilarious!  She picks up on things so fast, without us even really realizing it, which I am sure is because she is submerged in a literature and language rich environment AKA living with her siblings.  They talk to her, sing to her, read to her, pretend with her, and if I’d let them they would feed her (that may or may not happen on occasion).  One day after dumping the ABC beanbags into the laundry basket, I found her sorting out the bean bags and laundry, putting each item where it belongs.
She is so funny, and will do just about anything to put a smile on your face.  She also finds herself quite humorous … I think she takes after her daddy!

18 Mo Baby Summary and Schedule

My silly, sweet, snuggly little rag-napper.  She enjoys stealing my rag off the kitchen sink

She is the snuggliest of all my babies.  Max was a snuggler, but mostly because he was refluxy and cranky and needed lots of reassurance; that snuggly behavior stuck through his personality to today.  Lexie liked snuggling as a baby (and really craves it now at 5.5) but then she wanted to go do her thing and come back again later.  Ila will just snuggle all day if you let her; she walks up to J.Tom and me and gives the BIGGEST squeeze hugs around our legs.  She often just wants to be held and lay her head on my shoulder.  She gives great big, squeaky kisses that put the slobberi-est of dogs to shame!

Eating and Favorite Things

At meals, she likes to be the first to fold her hands for the blessing so she can start eating.  She has started pointing to things and counting (like she sees Mister do), and she likes to bring me letters and say Mmmmm.  Apparently all letters are M (probably because Max says M-A-X Max! all day long).  She has discovered her spit (ew) and blows spit bubbles to get attention.  Her favorite foods are probably whole pears, which she has been eating since she was about 8 months old, and anything I cook that is warm.  She will devour anything, but like beans and ham, spaghetti, turkey sandwiches with spinach, and loooove green beans.  She really likes the tomatoes out of my vinegar salad and roasted broccoli.

She has finally started enjoying listening to me read to her; up to this point she just wanted to sit in my lap while she held the book and thumbed the pages.  Somehow it just soothed her, the feeling of the pages flipping.  And she still enjoys that, but we have started reading her Bible and she is actually listening and points to the pictures, etc.  So that’s nice.  While Mister and Lexie are doing school, she likes to ask for crayons and paper … but she just eats the crayons.

Her favorite things are our animals, anyone’s shoes, flipping through books, eating, and dancing.  She will play with Mister’s toy trucks for what seems like hours and rolls them all over the house.

Her eating schedule looks just like ours now.  Here is her daily routine:

  • 7am wake/snuggles
  • 7:30 breakfast- fried eggs, homemade oatmeal, and fruit with water
    • play while we finish morning school basket/do morning chores, begin school
  • 9:00/9:30-10:30 she goes to independent play in her crib while we do parts of school that require a little more quiet (Lexie reading aloud, math, me reading aloud if she is being particularly loud!)
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 nap   She usually sleeps until 2 or 2:30
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps
  • outside play/play downstairs if weather is nasty
  • 5:30ish dinner
  • 6:15ish bath
  • 6:30/6:45/7pm bed, depending on what time she woke up from nap.  If she slept until 2 or later bed is 6:45 or 7pm
  • All kids are in bed by 7, earlier if Max didn’t nap good

Everything is flexible by a few minutes other than sleep times.

This month marks the firs that we have truly been Wonder Week free!  Whew- let me tell you, since about Christmas, we have had one WW after another.  Some of those wouldn’t have been that noticeable, except that hers manifest themselves in waking at night- not just waking, but screaming all night unless being held.  A few times I tried to hold her, but she wouldn’t go to sleep, only stop crying.  So we had many wakeful, exhausting nights.  And once she came out of the WWs (I think they were the last 2 until she turns 2?) everything went back to normal.  Thankfully!

I think that is about it on her baby summary.  My next will probably be when she is about 2.  Of course we should have a newborn by then, so the summary may be a little late  😉

 

 

 

Baby Summary 17 Weeks {WW 14-19}

WW 19 summary lookin like big sister {QuietInTheChaos.com}

Looking like her Big Sister, wearing the same jammies, same age. Lexie on left, Ila on right

 

(I started this post last week.  Ila is now 18 weeks and we are still trucking through this WW.)

Ila was 17 weeks Thursday, January 8th.  Really, it has been so crazy here, I thought she was 16 weeks- I can’t seem to keep up.

Ila is in the absolute dreaded WW (wonder week) 14-19.  And oh man, are we aaaaall up in it!  On top of that, she is teething, so life is just hard.  I have been rubbing diluted oils on her gums to help with pain and am waiting on her teething necklace to get here.  Naps and wake time length are just all over the place.  I can’t wait for this WW to end!

She is somewhere around 15 Lbs I think, and is still practicing rolling from tummy to back.  She sits up nice and straight with support, and holds her head up so well.  She is sitting in the bumbo for one meal a day; we are practicing with oatmeal and apple sauce but she really doesn’t care anything about it.  But I figure we should start now so that when it is time that she definitely needs solids (at 6 months or so) it doesn’t take us another month or two to get them in her.  She still spits the oatmeal out; but she is nursing and then taking 5-7ounces of formula so it is DEFINITELY time for this big girl to get some solids in her belly!

She has started practicing with consonant sounds like “buh” and is infatuated with her hands.  She loves to talk, but isn’t her same smiley self these days, thanks to the icky teeth.

Overall she is developing well and is a sweet baby.  We all just lover her  =)

WW 19 summary-trying oatmeal {QuietInTheChaos.com}

Baby Summary Weeks 35-36

Max hit the 37 week mark yesterday, so this is a post for the last two weeks of his life.

To say Max ha started eating is an understatement.  The boy is devouring finger foods.  Everything from dried blueberries and apples to sausage and sauerkraut!  He ate the sauerkraut like it was running away from him!  This weekend he enjoyed my cucumber and tomato salad in oil and vinegar … with garlic!  We still do pureed foods just because sometimes I don’t have a meal made that doesn’t have dairy in it, but he is eating a LOT more finger foods.  I can’t wait for him to try watermelon and cantaloupe this summer.

We still only have two teeth, but I think he is working on the top two.  They’re a little white but not puffy yet. He has been napping great!  Most days are 2 1.5 hour naps, sometimes a cat nap at 4:30 if he is really tired.  But we usually just do early bedtime at 6:30pm instead.


Crawling … well, he is moving about 2 feet at a time before he falls on his belly and decides to roll over.  So yes, he is crawling, but not for long distances.  He rolls and scoots around a LOT more than he does crawl.  **EDIT: he crawled all the way across the living room floor today!  I know, it’s a 37 week update, but had to add it!  YAY MAX!**


He enjoys being outside, and playing in the water.  We have had beautiful, warm weather as of late.  So Mama has been laying out while the kids play.  He sits in the baby blow up bath tub and Lexie plays in her kiddie pool.  Speaking of which, they are finishing our fence!  Woo hoo!  I am so excited.  It should be complete tomorrow morning.  They did most of it today.  Lexie is so excited, she has been waiting on her fence for a very long 3 months.

Helping mama make the salad …


Last weekend was Mother’s day; we went to church at the Methodist church (which I liked a lot, surprisingly, coming from a full gospel girl.   It was really homey).  JTom got me a bread maker for Mother’s day- woo hoo!  We have already used it several times and LOVE it.  way better than doing it by hand, any day.

This past weekend we stayed home and worked around the house.  JTom and Lexie got the garden in and JTom got the sprinklers set up in the flower bed.  He cut into the sprinkler system and put little sprayers in the flower beds.  They’re really cute.  Our garden this year is just: tomatoes (roma, big beef, early girl, burly boys, and cherry), red and green bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and butternut squash. We put the bed in on the south side of the house, where they dug out for flower beds.  It’s the perfect spot, and J.Tom may cut in some sprayers for the garden as well.  I sure hope so.




I got some petunias for the back porch and filled the hanging baskets for the front, like I do every year.  Lexie and I planted some giant impatience in a big pot for the front porch; they smell SO good.  (I love having a front door that we use to come into the house)  

JTom also got some new burners for the inside of his grill, so we can get back to grilling again soon.

Overall it has been a low key couple of weeks.  Some how things have seemed really busy, but in all honesty we haven’t been super busy. 


How have you spent your last few weeks?  Anything exciting happening?

water play


she couldn’t resist; we didn’t have a kiddie pool yet




Mmm  blueberries





Our record heat one day last week- 100 degrees here in lil ole York (we had snow on the ground the week before …)


Daddy and Mister


Reading a gymnastics books while waiting on class to start.




My morning Yoga





Mmmm Cucumber!


My Mister’s curls



wearing Daddy’s hat and looking like my cousin Wesley’s twin when he was this age.  Like, if she didn’t have on the lace night gown, she would look exactly like him.


wearing daddy’s hat



34-36 Weeks Baby Summary

*I have been building this post all week, so “today” isn’t actually today ….*

Max has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 5 days! He suddenly went for a bitty baby to a big boy! He is almost crawling (edit: AAAAh!  He crawled 2 knees worth today!), waving hi, giving wide, slobbery, open mouthed kisses, and laughing more than ever. Tonight for bedtime was the first time he put his head on my shoulder and his arms around me while we sang for night night. I usually hold him like a baby while he sucks his thumb and winds down. He’s such a sweet bear.  Today, he also went from the crawling position to sitting position for the first time. 

…. see, lots of firsts!

He said Mama while we were playing downstairs, hiding out from the rain.  I was so excited.  He is trying really hard to talk.  A lot.  The past few days I have had the living room fan, he is mesmerized; and I know all babies love fans.  But this boy like instantly smiles and is hypnotized by the fan!  He likes to play games now, like throwing his head back so you will hold him upside down, and putting his chin up so you can tickle his neck.  It’s so funny.  These are all things Lexie was doing long before 8 months.  But it’s like he just decided, “Hey, I think I’m ready to move and have fun!”  Before, he was so lazy and laid back.  He is still laid back, just enjoys moving around now.

He gets so excited and is so proud that he can get up and rock on his knees, push up on his toes, and crawl backwards sometimes. He will be crawling more by the weekend, we are sure! Lexie gets very excited with him.  She likes to show him how to do it. 

He really enjoys playing in the grass. One of the great things about having a real lawn, is he can play and feel the grass without the fear of stickers.

I have him his first asparagus this week.  He loved it!  He also likes dill pickles (did I mention that last time?) and blueberries.


Lexie has been the sweetest most affectionate two year old ever this last two weeks. She is constantly telling me how much she loves me, hugging my neck tight, kissing me, playing and teasing, loving on her bubby even more, and just growing more kind and loving every day. Lexie has a tender heart; she doesn’t like for other people to be hurt or upset, but has had her share of not being so nice (like a typical two year old)… Pushing, chasing the dog, hitting Max … terrorizing the chickens comes to mind too. 


But lately she has been so affectionate. Last night we were doing bedtime routine, and she just wrapped her arms around my neck, hugged me and said, “i love you more than this much!”


I’m sure my monster toddler will return soon, but until then i will take all these loves i can get!  Her new favorite *obsessive* topics to talk about are the things that make God happy, and being grateful.  It’s wonderful to see Christ in your child’s life, even before they completely understand the implications of their relationship with Him.


sweet Mister Bear

reading her Bible outside

talking to her buddy

I can do it, I can do it!

Heh

She is crazy about her umbrella! 

Mmmm Blueberries!

Yes, I like them!

monkey girl

Mama, look where I can climb!

I’m doing it!

Did you see me?!?!

Mommy and Lexie

water play!

Musings and Ramblings: Unexpectedly Blessed

(originally written Thursday, April 26, 2013) 

The days.  They are so short, go by so quickly.  Somehow Max is over halfway to his first birthday, and my baby bug is going to be 3 years old in 4 short months.  What?!  How did this happen?

I try to absorb each day; each blessed day I get to be with them, to play with them, clean up their messes, and help them reach new goals.  Many days are calm, fun, and messy.  Others are hectic, tear filled, and more than messy.  That’s what it’s about though, right?  I mean, whether you are home all day with your children or you work outside the home, life is all about the messy moments- whether they are controlled chaos or full blown out of control, whirlwinds.

It’s hard.  I’ve never done something that was so challenging in my life. except maybe learn how to drive a stick, at which I was never successful ..  There are days I need more control than I have, and others that I let go and just let it happen.  Those days, I have learned, are the easiest.  This morning J.Tom, Lexie, and I sat on the bed.  I handed her milk and declared today a NO housework day.  No laundry, no vacuuming, no house work day.  I’ve cleaned up the crumbs, and picked up toys after we played with them.  The rest of the time all my attention was with the kids.  I say my attention was “with” them, not on them because though I was there watching and interacting I wasn’t hovering.

Sometimes I wonder if stay at home moms are misunderstood?  Not that it matters, we all know why we are home with our babies, no matter the reason.  But sometimes comments from others makes me wonder, what do they think we do all day?  What kind of person do they think I am?!  We don’t lay on the couch all day watching tv.  It’s not so I can micro manage their lives and create a perfect specimen.  On the contrary, for our family being home is about soaking in all the mistakes and character flaws, then turning them into lessons later.  Not to mention just the time we absorb together, as a family, learning about the each other, Christ, the world.  But you know, being a parent is somewhat about controlling what your children are exposed to, how they’re exposed to it, and at what age.  If I am going to take full responsibility for my children, I think JTom and I probably need to take control of the paths we lead them down.  I never wanted a family; my dream at 15 was to become a forensic pathologist and move to California where I would live in a house by myself, or with my best friend at the time, and live a lavish lifestyle.  None of those things happened… my best friend went to medical school.  I graduated highschool early, partied until I absolutely burned myself out, started college, met and totally unexpectedly fell in love with Jtom.  And then everything else just happened.  Nine years later we are married and have two children.  Nine years of blessings and growing together.

Blessings abound all around our family; we have been talking more and more about those blessings to Lexie. When she is refusing to eat her favorite food, simply because she is being defiant not because she isn’t hungry, I explain that not every girl and boy get lunch every day.  Or even food every day. The same goes for braiding her hair- not every girl has a mama to braid her hair, or give her a warm, clean bath.  Those seem like silly examples, but she understands them.  She’s 2.5 but she knows there is a world outside our four walls, and that some of that world isn’t as nice as hers.  She will smile and say, “Jesus gave me a mommy and daddy and max and lunch!”  *warm tingly feeling*  (insert an edit: we went to the library this morning for story time.  She told a mom there that “Jesus gave me a beautiful daddy.”  The mom responded with, that’s right.  Not every girl and boy have a daddy.  You are so blessed.”)

Then there are moments when I feel completely overwhelmed, asking myself what am I doing?!  How am I supposed to fit God, meals, play, learning, cleaning, and serving my husband- joyfully- all in 24 short hours?  7 of which need to be filled with sleep, so that I am able to serve my family.  This morning I was in the pantry deciding which lunch bag to take on our picnic play date with J.Tom this afternoon.  As a million plastic cups fell out of the lunch bag I’d chosen, I took a deep breath and looked around.  I was standing in a pantry the size of a bathroom, filled to the brim with food for our family and craft supplies for Lexie.  I’m not sure what we have done to deserve the blessings we have been given.  We have a home big enough for the family we hope to continue growing.  It’s warm in the winter and (hopefully) cool in the summer.  You can’t feel the cold air blowing from the cracks in the doors and windows.  The floors are safe and comfortable for the babies to play on.  We have clean, running water, toilets that work (hallelujah!), and silent pipes! (meaning no clanging and banging in the walls that wakes up sleeping babes!  We can flush the toilet after 7pm woo hoo)

Our old home wasn’t bad, it was a blessing as well; just a blessing that needed many hours and dollars worth of fixing up.  We now live in a neighborhood with other young families.  Our home is one street from the disc hockey park and community pool (which is more like a mini water park) so there are many places to run and play during these beautiful warm days.  The people in Nebraska- beyond kind.  I’ve not met one rude person, everyone waves and stops to talk.  Blessings.  They seem simple, but at the end of the day that went all too quickly, when my clothes are stained with spit up, and my hair is falling out of it’s messy pony tail,  this is what it’s about.  It’s not about excess.  It isn’t about more than we need (though we do have more than we need in many ways).  It isn’t about which group of friends you are a part of, or how many vacations you go on a year.  It’s about how we spend our days, day in and day out, with each other.  It’s about our kind words, soft smiles, and oh. em. gee.  the hugs and kisses.  It’s about Max finally learning to fall onto his booty from standing up or almost saying “mama,” but it comes out “na-na.”  It’s about Lexie learning to write an M on her paper, reciting Bible stories to her brother, and showing him the “Moses’s river” she made at the park.

Today, like I mentioned, we met JTom at the park for lunch.  He ate with us, played with Lexie and then headed back to work.  We hung around for an hour longer; Lexie played with a little girl.  Her mama was with her, and being followed by a court appointed supervisor.  The supervisor was wearing a badge, and mama wasn’t wearing much of anything.  Much to my first impression-ed surprise, she was amazing with the kids. She was down in the sand, building a mote and castle with them (which encouraged me to do the same).  She had Lexie and her daughter sharing toys, helping each other.  I probably seemed like a terrible mom, because I just sorta sat back in awe.  This woman, in her skinny jeans and barely there top that matched her platinum blonde hair, seemed educated, funny, and in general like a good mom (not that any of those things would make her a bad mom-don’t misunderstand me.  I was thrown off mostly by the supervisor needing to be there).  She invited us to play with them and their chalk, she made pictures with the girls, and even started acting out Lexie’s favorite story on the playground bridge- The Three Billy Goats Gruff…  I’m not sure where her life  has been or where it is going, but today from 12:00-12:45pm I am pretty sure it was meant to cross paths with ours.  On a day when Lexie and I were both feeling a little lonely, wanting a friend to play with at the park (Dayla and Ryker- we miss you!), she and her girl were a blessing.  Looking back, I am not sure I had quite the same impact on her as she did on me.  But I do pray that whatever her situation is, she can find more joy in park play dates with Kera, than she does in whatever got her supervised visitations.

We have had a beautiful, fun day today.  I cannot wait to see what other blessings are in store for our family in the days to come.  The great thing about blessings, you can’t just sit back and wait for them; you have to put yourself out there, serve others, and get uncomfortable sometimes.  This introvert has learned a lot about that in the last 2.5 years.  (I know this post was rambly.  I warned you in the title!)


How have you been unexpectedly blessed this week?  

Max Week 32/33 Summary.. and a huge photo bomb!

I wrote this entire post, and then it somehow was replaced with a duplicate of another post?!  And now I am feeling very frustrated.  So it’s going to be an abbreviated version of the original.

Max has just finished his 33rd week of life, and will be 34 weeks old (almost 8 months old) on Sunday.

Eating
He is eating better; I got his medicine flavored differently, and he takes it no problem now.  He is eating everything except bananas.  They still bother his tummy

Development
Max is standing better, sometimes without holding onto anything, and has become brave enough to take a few steps in the same spot he is standing (in other words, he doesn’t move, just picks up his feet).  He has learned to fall onto his booty instead of his back, so there is a lot less crying going on now!  Woo hoo

He says dada and has started trying to say mama.  But it comes out na-na.  He does this especially when he is hungry/while I’m making his bottle or food.  Since he has started talking, he has stopped all that screeching.  YAY  He is still signing for milk, and has not picked up the sign for “more” or “please” yet, but I haven’t been very consistent.

We are in wonder week 37 territory.  Naps have been short, but he isn’t too terribly cranky… it could be worse.  This is supposedly a tough wonder week, so we will see.  After this mental leap he will be able to categorize things in his environment, like milk and oatmeal are foods, jtom, lexie and I are his family at home vs people he doesn’t recognize, etc.  He will start practicing crawling sometime after this leap (*edit* during the cat nap he refused this afternoon, he was up on his hands and knees rocking… so I guess the urge to start trying has begun).

It’s funny how different he and Lexie are; at this age she was raring to go, 24/7!  She wanted to move, was loud, and wanted to talk to/get attention from everyone she saw.  I remember my friend Whitney saying how determined Lexie was, and that’s true to this day.  Max is more timid, laid back..  and you could say he is lazy.  =)  He is getting more and more excited about standing though; it’s really cute when he starts flapping his arms, smiling, and cheering for himself.  He’s just a really sweet baby and is sensitive; but I do remember Lexie being sensitive too.  She was scared easily by certain toys, noises, or faces.  Max is the same in that aspect.

Lexie Raye
I had so many updates on her before I lost the original post, and now I can’t remember any of them!  Ugh!

We still have engine friends, though the dinosaurs haven’t been back.  She has been showing more interest in dinosaurs, so we may do a unit study on them this summer just for fun.  Oh yea- she has finally stopped fighting baths.  No more screaming or crying hysteria; and I was able, after many weeks, to convince her washing her hair in the sink would be fun!  So now she will lay on the counter and let me wash her hair in the kitchen sink- I told her how my memaw washed my hair like that when I was a little girl.  She really liked that and mentions it every time we wash her hair.  She also enjoys bath time now; I plugged the hole in all her bath toys with hot glue (pinterest is useful, sometimes!)  The black mold that came out of them freaked her out (uh … it would freak me out, too.  but there was no way to keep them cleaned out).  So, that is no longer a problem.

Mommy and “wittle Baby Essie”

Now I know how my parents felt when I sent my water back 7 times at a restaurant because there were “floaties in it.”  She is the same way about anything she deems should not have dirt on/in it.  But playing in or throwing dirt outside, laying down in mud, and eating bird seed are all A-Okay!  

Suddenly, the crying at bedtime every night stopped.  The first night we waited a few hours then went and checked on her.  She had climbed into her rocking chair to sleep.  We always put her down in her bed, but then she moves to the rocking chair.  At bout 8:30 every night I go move her to the bed.  I don’t care if she sleeps in the floor, as long as she stays in her room, off the couch, and out of our bed!  Anyway, so that’s how she has been falling asleep for the last 2 weeks.  Hopefully it is a phase that ends soon, and she will be comfortable falling asleep in her bed again.  We don’t know what freaked her out about her bed, suddenly.  She has started talking about things getting her.  We have prayed with her about it, and emphasize that in our home she is safe; nothing is going to get her and that most of the things she is talking

about are pretend, not real.  I’m sure it is part of a developmental phase; she is starting to realize there are real dangers in the world, but doesn’t know how to rationalize that idea yet.


Spring is finally here!  YAY!  Yesterday we went to the park for a lunch and play date with JTom. After nap we walked to the school and played on the playground there.  This morning we went to the library for story time, then after lunch we went for a run.  It is the first time I have ran since I was pregnant with Max, so it’s been about 16 months…?  Yea.  So, my calves were sore 10 minutes after we got back home!  But a good sore and I enjoyed every minute of my run.  I pushed them in the double jogger.  We went to the disc golf park across from the house.  There is a wide, paved track that goes all around; it’s very wind-y and has lots of inclines and hills.  It was a good workout.  We ran/walked 2 miles.  My goal is to run 6-8 miles a week, more if weather permits.  I love running and it makes me feel good.

proud Mister Bear

Yea, what’s up?

Hey, what’re yooou doing?

Hrm, I landed on my booty … what do I think of this?

Hey, Na-Na… what just happened?

Hrm…

Oh well, I’ll just rest my eyes a bit

Ha- just kidding!

putting her engines to night-night in their “hallway bed Tidmouth Sheds”

patting them and tucking them in to bed

night night engine!

“are you still in there?”

oh there you are!

Are you ready for wake up time?

upside down- washing her hair in the sink


Tomorrow we are going fishing!  Woo Hoo!  As much as JTom and I LOVE to fish, we have never taken Lexie.  So tomorrow is the day!  There is a really nice lake on the west side of town, so that’s where we are headed tomorrow.  This next week we are going to keep tweaking our routine until we find something that really works best.  I’m trying to get up earlier in the mornings to start my day, and be sure everything is picked up and in order before bed (which I’ve always done, but I’ve been slacking lately).

Here are a ton more pictures of our last week or two.




Dada!


this is a different day than all the other red diaper pics.  This was the first day he stood with the activity table




April 26, 2013

Week 20 baby Summary/Lexie 28 months old

Here we are at the bginning of week 21, which means Max has finished week 20.  I’ve moved him back to a 3 hour schedule.  I did this because his wake time lengths aren’t 2 hours yet, which puts him sleeping between 2.5-3 hours between wake times- that’s just too much day time sleep for him, when he turns around and sleeps 12+ hours at night.  So, we are tweaking maybe a 3-3.5 hr schedule.  The onyl downfall with this is he really isn’t hungry at 3 hours, so he doesn’t eat very well …  It’s just something I am going to need to tweak; I will let you know how it goes next week!

Eating
Max is eating pretty well.  He likes solids, but he still needs the major calories provided by the formula, so I try to do formula first now, then solids, followed by offering more formula if he wants it.  Solids just don’t provide as many calories and he needs all those calories to grow and help his brain development.  Like I mentioned, he is eating every 3-3.5 hours and seems fine with that, but I know he can go 4 hours easily.


Sleeping
Lately, Max has been napping pretty well.  I think he may be getting past that terrible wonder week 19, so his sleep is back to being more routine, thank goodness!

Development
Max is becoming more interested in his feet, but mostly only when he is naky.  I guess then he can actually see and feel them, so it makes it more fun.  Thinking back, Lexie was a naky baby a lot more than I let Max be naky.  Not sure why … maybe he needs more play time without his clothes on.  =)  This would thrill Lexie, she is always trying to take his clothes off (as well as her own).  He is shrieking and talking more, and really wants to sit up more.  He can lift his entire chest up from laying flat, and gets so mad that he can’t sit up.  Thinking back to Lexie again, I had the glider in the living room when she was this age, and I sat her up in it a LOT.  The seat is at an incline, so she didn’t have to risk falling out of it.  I should probably let Max do that some so he can build his back muscles more.  He is also doing SO much better on his belly now, and can push up with ease; while on his belly he holds his head up so well, and looks around.

We went to the dr for his 4 month well child visit; he is just under 16lbs and I think 25.5″ long.  He is perfectly healthy.  The dr said he has great head control.  She suggested I start trying to scrub off the plaques of cradle cap, and continue using head and shoulders.  She prescribed some hydrocortizone cream to apply.  I’ve never heard of this?  But we are going to start using it today- she said it is like eczema and can really itch.  So, we are going to see if that helps.  The dr. also suggested since he isn’t nursing, that maybe we try the prevacid again to see if that helps.  So here comes a long explanation for a short point, stay with me:  Just before JTom left his job in Hot Springs, the company changed insurance.  We have this insurance until the first of Feb.  With this new insurance, Max’s prevacid is not covered; it is $132 a month.  Honestly, with the way we budget we don’t have $132 for prevacid.  We are already paying $36 a can for his non-dairy formula, and he goes through one can every 6 days!  So for now, there will be no prevacid ….  JToms new insurance with his new company will start March 1, so if it covers the medicine, we may try it then, but for now Max can just be on a nursing strike and I will pump.

Lexie Raye
Lexie is just growing leaps and bounds every day.  She knows her left from her right, and has for a while now I just keep forgetting to post it.  She can identify many states, I may have mentioned that before.  I am working on uploading the video to YouTube so I can share it with you on my blog.  She is obsessed with being naky- she refuses to wear clothes at home most of the time, and I don’t make her.  It’s easier for her to go potty by herself, and it means less laundry for me.  =)  I do try to get her to at least where a shirt, but it doesn’t stay on long.

She is getting better at gymnastics; she can do small jumps on the balance beam (with help keeping her balance) and some small sweeps.  She LOVES the doing the bar, and her forward roll is perfect.  She likes for me to take down the hall mirror and put out the yoga mat for her to play.  She likes to watch herself … typical girl.

We read her devotional daily, usually before nap time.  Our mornings are a little hectic with Daddy gone.  But, he has been home this weekend and it has been wonderful!  She loves having her daddy home and behaves much better; I think him being gone for so long is just emotional for her and the only way she really knows how to express that is by acting out.  She has been talking back and not listening very well since he left.  I figure this is also an age thing.  So we are just working through it.  After JTom was home for about a day, her behavior got better.

We are really starting to get to crunch time on the move.  We have a few companies coming to do quotes for the move, then we will turn those in to JTom’s company so they can do the financial end of things.  Then next week I will start really packing up things for us to take, that we don’t want the movers moving.  The following week, we will close on the house (Feb 15th), JTom will come home that Saturday (Feb 16th), we will have the movers here the week of the 18th, and hopefully be in the house in Nebraska that week.  Whew, it’s going to be fast, stressful, and a lot of work. Once it is done, we can really start settling in and getting comfortable with the new neighborhood and town.  The sad part is, we can’t take the chickens.  The bylaws for the neighborhood specifically say no poultry; there isn’t a law against it in the city so we were going to take them and jus put up a fence, hoping no one would really make a fuss.  But, the problem there is we can’t put in a fence until the ground thaws in spring …. so for now we are going to get rid of the chicks.  =*(
What’s even worse, is we lost 2 girls.  I am very angry; the neighbor’s dog got under the fence and came in our yard while the chicks were free ranging, and he killed two of them.  He got one red, and one barred girl. I think JTom is more furious than I am.  So, we are down to 6 chickens.

Anyhow, back to the move ….  all things are contingent on us closing on the house Feb 15th.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly (we are praying!), all the papers are/will be together, and there aren’t any glitches or major bumps in the road.  I refuse to get super super excited until everything is signed and done on the house, because if it gets moved to the end of Feb, we will be a part that much longer.  =/

Anyhow, so this is our 20 week update.  I will try to get some pictures posted soon.

18 Week Development & Lexie Development

Max has completed his 18th week of life.  We have to make his 4 month dr apt … I sorta haven’t done that yet.  =/

He is on a nursing strike … not fun!  He really isn’t eating well at all, from the spoon or bottle.  I am attributing this to his teeth, since they are so close to breaking through, but this is also a normal thing for the 4 month growth spurt, and wonder week 19 development.  The last few days have not been good sleeping days, and I am assuming this is because he isn’t eating well due to his teeth, and just overall probably doesn’t feel good.  He is more snuggly and clingy right now, too.


He has started back rolling around a lot; he spins in complete circles in his crib and on the floor.  Of course, he thinks this is great!  On the floor, he will roll side to side, and has even made it from his back to his tummy once or twice.

His cradle cap is still pretty bad, but since his hair is getting thicker, you can’t tell too much, unless you’re close to him.  He still hasn’t found his feet … just doesn’t care about them that much yet.  haha  Lexie begs to play with him, tells us to hurry up and finish eating so he can play with her!  He is, of course, still “my Max” to her, and she does not like other kids coming near him.  =)  She is only a little protective.  haha

Lexie is doing all sorts of amazing things for not even being 2.5 yet.  She can name and point out: California, Nevada, TX, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma on the map; she knows where Idaho is, but she can’t ever remember the name of it.  Her back-bend is incredible, and of course she still loves gymnastics.  We have started doing some handstands and cartwheels at home; that’s fun!  She speaks in clear, complete sentences unless she is being silly around a big group of people.  She tends to act a little nervous around a lot of people; most people wouldn’t say that about her, but her behavior at home compared to being around a large group is different.  She is shy around certain people, usually men.  Second to gymnastics, she LOVES to sing.  She has so many “favorite” songs, and asks me to sing with her all the time.  She is constantly humming while playing independently.  

Here are a few pics I don’t think I have posted before:



playing with her doll house


reading to her Moose  (obviously she picked out her socks)


Our 8″ snow on Christmas



17/18 weeks old baby summary

Max has finished his 17th week of life, but wasnt 4 months old until the 2nd.  So, his weeks are a litttle off from his monthly age.  He is really starting to come into his own; last weekend we had a play date and we were talking about how quiet and laid back he is.  Then that evening, he just suddenly started squealing, yelling, and growling non stop!  Now, if he is awake and in a familiar place w familiar people, he is talking!

Eating
This boy is devouring solids!  He watches me while i get everything ready and then sits there with his mouth open like a little bird.  Its funny; he loves sweet peas, green beans, apples, and pears.  Oh, and he likes oatmeal mixed into any of those.  Those two bottom teeth?  Yea, theyre trying to cut through.  Some days they bother him more than others, but mistly he is doing okay with them.  His little cheeks stay red (due to the teething) and he drools a lot.  I have also started signing with him, when i think about it.  I do the sign for “milk” right now, but should probably start doing, “please,” “more,” and “eat” as well.  Lexie was signing “milk” at about 7 months i believe.

Development
He isn’t really rolling over much anymore.  He doesn’t like to be on his tummy, and after a few minutes he cries and fusses, like Lexie did.  I need to start making him push back over, because i know he can, since he used to do it.  He does like rolling side to side on his back, though.  Lexie makes him laugh a lot  a lot.  He likes this rattle ball his aunt Courtney gave him for christmas, and loves the wooden squish toy; it was Lexie’s favorite too.

His hand movements have gotten smoother, he reaches for and grabs whatever he wants, and he has found his feet a few times, but isnt really interested in them.  Im wondering if this is because he always has a toy to play with, thanks to his big sister, Lexie.  Haha. She makes sure he has plenty of toys, at all times.  He really enjoys sitting, and standing up these days.  He is very strong, and is so proud of himself while standing.

Lexie is a big help.  When we get him ready for nap, she sits in the glider while i stand and hold max, and we sing “Jesus Loves Me,” then i put him down in the crib, and lexie sneaks out past me.  She loves to “help” put him to sleep.  I cant remember if i mentioned it in his last update, but he is in his sleep sack now, no more swaddle.

Lexie has been out of school for the last two weeks, but starts back monday (the 7th).  Last friday we started back at gymnastics after a holiday break.  It was much needed, and she enjoyed it.  Her backbends are amazing, and now she can do hand stands!  She doesn’t really know shes doing them, it just sorta happens during her donkey kicks, but none the less, she is so strong!  Watching her last week on the bars, her little muscles are just ripped.  She is def not the dainty, ballerina type; i think gymnastics is a great fit for her, at least for now, until she is older and knows more of what she wants to do for fun.

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