Posted by: Ingrid | January 19, 2015

On the brink of insanity

Despite moving and the long bout with the flu and all of the drama that comes with owning a new home, it has been a lovely month-long break.  Jonathan has enjoyed (ever since Christmas) walking around with his new monster slippers, shark backpack, with his plastic sword  (sometimes an entire arsenal) sheathed down his shirt or pjs, giving a whole new meaning to the term “own worst enemy”.

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Isaac has become delightful at five, as if he is finally figuring out the rules and how things work.

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And Lily, cuddly, babbling, and delightful is still more baby than toddler.  She teethed all four molars within a week and a half in December while chewing on her toes.

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I made the rooky mistake of deciding that it would be fairly easy to paint the walls (and most ceilings) during the last ten days of break in four bedrooms, two hallways, and the living room.  As a novice painter.  With three children under foot.  Surprisingly, I finished one bedroom, the living room, one hall, and almost the guest room, the trim in a bedroom, and the ceiling in another.  I learned that painting is all consuming, there is a not-nice word that describes me when I have to paint with children around, and that painting apparently burns a lot of extra calories!  Eventually we got to the point where there were more paint brushes and rollers in the fridge than easily accessible food.  This past weekend, in pursuit of a more grown up living room, I sent husband and boys off to IKEA to buy supplies for an entire bookshelf wall, which is a funny enough picture as is, all the menfolk traipsing around IKEA, but was made funnier when husband purchased a mattress for the guest room and then lost it four miles from home.  Poof!  No mattress in the truck when he arrived at our doorstep after bedtime.  Thanks to a local Facebook group we found it propped up against a stop sign by the cemetery a hour later.  I love furniture with a good story.

Now we are nearing the edge of the Cliffs of Insanity.  Tomorrow:

Is three months exactly from the Boston Marathon.

Husband begins his semester teaching 6 classes, one of them being Theatre Appreciation (Quick refresher: husband teaches philosophy).  He is thrilled by this.  I think he is crazy.

I start Pathophysiology tomorrow and the second course of Anatomy and Physiology next week: 8 units of science which will supposedly make me eligible for the nursing program in the fall.

That really doesn’t look like much until you factor in the one, three, and five year old; feeding them, taking them places, doctor appointments, etc.

Also, our semester will end in mid-May, followed by husband teaching a two-week history course (again, I say he is crazy), a trip with friends to Estes Park, and almost a full month in California followed by a month and a half for home projects and then possibly me starting the nursing program and Isaac beginning kindergarten.

Maybe I should have squirrelled away freezer meals rather than painting ceilings? Is it even possible to make enough freezer meals for six months?

 

Posted by: Ingrid | January 4, 2015

2014: Resolution Recap

I happily made many resolutions last year according to the philosophy that it’s better to have too long a list and not accomplish anything than to have no list at all.  Ah, list making, it never ceases to be on the short list of favorite and (as the mother of three) necessary things.

I didn’t really keep my resolutions in front of me, mostly because there was that 2 month old baby that wasn’t sleeping.  And then packing to move.  And then keeping half our stuff in boxes.  And then moving again.  I just pulled up January of last year to see if anything really got accomplished.

The good:

1.  Travel. I definitely travelled to new places with our road trip to Tennessee in the spring and then the move to Colorado with the marathon in Estes Park.  Check!

3.  Remember birthdays and send cards.  I loved this one.  I didn’t remember everyone but I love real correspondence that involves a stamp and not a “send” button.  Keeping this was quite fulfilling!

4.  Concerts. I attended several concerts over the course of the year though not as many as I would have liked.

5.  Read more books on our shelves.  Did pretty well at this, particularly after our move when I started binge-reading all of my Lois McMaster Bujold books again.

7.  Learning a new skill… well, I officially had to take two cake requests (since both boys had opinions) this year and I had so much fun.  Jonathan’s blue tiger request puts this in the “new skill” category for sure!  If these requests keep up I really need to take a basic cake decorating class!

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9.  Running and exercise was a broad heading.  While I didn’t do everything in this category, I did do a marathon and ran a PR in the marathon, both big things.  Still no pull ups completed but I’ll take what I can get!

11.  More family fun.  I think we have done better on this one but it doesn’t come easy to me.  Fun with kids is often tied to mess and spontenaity, neither of which I am hugely a fan of.  Maybe I am just learning to let it go a little better.  One thing I am having to accept is that, sometimes, it is just better for my husband and I to tag team with the kids instead of being all together.  In this case, personal survival trumps family fun.

12.  Researching school options for both myself and Isaac for fall of 2014.  I had all my ducks in a row by mid-May.  Isaac was going to do the fantastic young fives program around the block from our house.  I was going to do the nursing program in Michigan full time.  I had completed my pre-reqs, interviewed, taken the HESI (entrance exam), gotten a $5000 scholarship, and qualified for childcare because we were so low income.  So check that one off the list!

Except then we moved.  So now Isaac is doing preschool (again) and I have before me several thousand dollars to spend on an additional three more pre-req classes and a different entrance exam, pushing my potential start to nursing school to Fall of 2016.  Maybe.  This is all making me feel like Sisyphus.

Bonus Resolution: I found a baby book for Liliana and may have remembered to record some milestones.  I get at least partial credit for this one!

Additional Bonus Resolution:  Don’t get pregnant. CHECK.

The undone:

2.  Roast my own coffee beans.  Never happened.  Though I have drunk more coffee this year than possibly… ever.

The ambivalent:

6.  Go back to buying, cooking, and eating more naturally and healthily while on a limited budget.  I am going on three years of making my own bread and do most of my cooking from scratch.  I did find, however, that with the move we have a noticeable lack of good fresh produce and groceries are super expensive.  So I do what I can but would love for our pantry to look a little cleaner.

8.  Find ways to be happier.  I will not claim to have done this AT ALL, but it definitely occupied a great deal of thought during the year.  I think this is a good thing for future growth and happiness.

10.  Date my husband at least twice a month.  Yeah, this wasn’t going so well before we moved.  Then, after moving, the availability of babysitters (almost zero) and the cost and the lack of places to go mostly sidelined this one.  I cannot say how much I miss our surrogate Grandmas and babysitters in Michigan.  Six months and I don’t have a single sitter I can call during the day if I didn’t make it out to run in the freezing early mornings.

13.  Body image and baby weight: Lost the baby weight (Finally!  It has never taken this long before!) though stopped a few pounds short of my 120 goal.  Am I happy with that weight?  No.  But neither am I dissatisfied.  I am less likely to eat everything in sight when confronted with a crying baby, so that’s good.  Finding clothes that look stylish and put together?  Well, that hasn’t really happened but I’ve pinned plenty of things on Pinterest and they all tend to look like this.  Waiting, I suppose, for the day when I look at $100 and think: This could buy a pair of running shoes but maybe I’ll just buy boots.

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I did get some fun jewelry though, and am trying to remember to put on a little makeup most days and pretend like I am a grown up.

14.  Finding sanity as a mother of three.  Yeah, let me know if you figure this out.  I feel like I have better perspective and know what to let slide after a year.  I have figured out what works best (ie. only do big grocery trips kid-free) and we work around those things.  A few weeks ago I even managed to call at 4:05 pm to schedule a 5:00 pm same day doctor’s appointment when we were all running fevers and still in pjs.  I got us dressed, defrosted the car, and drove across town over icy roads and made it on time proving that I have at least found a measure of efficiency as a mother of three.  Am I sane?  Well, I have survived my first year of mothering these crazies.  And I hear sanity is overrated anyway.

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Biggest Lesson Learned in 2014: Sleep is one of the most important things in the world.

Posted by: Ingrid | December 30, 2014

Suddenly it’s December 30th

Sometimes I marvel at how days that sometimes feel so long can collectively fly by so quickly.  I think I am still somewhat in shock that just a little more than five months ago we were in Michigan.  In the past five months we moved to a new state, Husband started a new job, I ran a marathon, we bought a house, packed all the boxes, moved again, got the flu a week later (for 9 days once it completely ran its course), and then two days later it was Christmas.  There has been so. much. change.  I am a little afraid that moving into our own house will feel like a freight train coming to a sudden stop; all the cars in the back slamming into the engine.

Then again, it seems like that has been something of the pattern of our lives for the past six years, so maybe the crash never comes?

Topics and questions that have not been blogged about during the past five months include:

-Is it worth it to keep blogging?

-What no one ever told you about buying a house

-The internet lied and we get way more snow and wind here than I was promised.  I want a refund.

-Why a 2 year nursing degree is going to take me as long as a double PhD

-The craziness of budgeting on one income in expensive (!?!) rural Colorado

-Running plans and goals

-Why you should never EVER move in December

-How much change can you handle before going insane?

-How do you make it through the throes of early parenthood without losing yourself completely?

-Moving to new places with young children and no family around is depressing and lonely

-The Boston marathon is 16 weeks from yesterday!

As an aside, I am resolved to not complain about the hot weather when it hits this summer.  To be able to throw on shorts and a shirt and hit the clear roads would be a dream come true right now.  At least we are over the longest-day-of-the-year hump, right?  It all gets warmer and lighter from here. :-)

I can’t believe that 2015 is right around the corner.  I still have fond memories of my mom stockpiling macaroni and cheese in case Y2K hit and that was fifteen years ago!

 

 

Posted by: Ingrid | November 21, 2014

The downside of realistic optimism

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I do not like to call myself a pessimist.  To do so would conjure up thoughts of Eeyore trailing behind his friends pronouncing doom and gloom over everything.  No, the term I prefer for myself is one that a former pastor of ours used years ago: realistic optimist.

How does this non-pessism play out in real life?  Let’s take a minor example from family life.  Say we need to go out of town on a Saturday morning.  Husband is convinced that we can all wake up at 7 am.  We can drink coffee for 30 minutes, He can send five emails and listen to an online lecture while I run 13 miles.  And we will all be fed, dressed, packed, and in the van and ready to leave at 7:30 am.  I, on the other hand (based on past experiences), am fairly convinced that it will be an arduous task to get all five of us in the same location without wanting to tear my hair out and am pretty sure we will leave no earlier than 11 am.  When reality plays out, there is only minimal screaming and stress, and we are on the road at 9:45, I am quite pleased.  (Husband could care less when we actually leave so his opinion, in this scenario, is inconsequential).

Of course, this does not work in all situations (and definitely not for some of life’s pivotal moments).  For example, I have never entered a pregnancy sure that it would end tragically or that labor would be horrific (I do, on the other hand, try to convince myself that I will be three weeks overdue).  Also, this reticence to be wildly enthusiastic over potentials extends only to my life and immediate family.  For most people, I am happy to day dream and get excited. (What!  You met a Brad Pitt twin at the bar last night and you’re pretty sure you’re going to marry him and live happily ever.  Seriously?  What are the odds?!?  You will have such beautiful babies!)

There are things that are perhaps not the best about this outlook.  It is difficult to get enthusiastic over something that you are fairly certain will not happen and it is hard to figure out my own dreams and how to move towards them because I will happily shoot them down as soon as they are thought up or verbalized.  I would say that it minimizes the highs and lows of extreme excitement and despondency that life can bring, but it by no means does away with them, and all in all, it works for me.

(Side note that Husband is the exact opposite and I am very conscious of how I respond to his dreams and brainstorming and try to be open minded when he tries to help me explore possibilities.  Eight years of marriage has taught me that shooting another person’s ideas down as they are coming out of his mouth, even if my objections make sense, is not a loving, kind, or smart thing to do.)

Anyway, this realistic optimism works so well that it just occurred to me today (after three weeks of being in the process of buying our first home) that we are closing on a house.  In less than two weeks.  And I have packed three boxes (that I may have packed today).  Apparently home buying is the dream of every realistic optimist because there’s always something.  Maybe the roof looked funny.  Or you have to negotiate the price.  Or wait on the inspector.  Or the appraiser.  So you aren’t really buying a house because you have to wait for more information.  I have mentioned the house to very few people because it doesn’t seem real yet.  But we will be moving boxes into our own home, a home in which we can actually have guests (!!!!!), in early December.  Probably there will be a blizzard on moving day.

Either way, it is time for some serious packing to happen here as I (cautiously) celebrate the biggest purchase our lives.  In this case, realist optimism looks awfully close to hard core procrastination! :-)

Posted by: Ingrid | November 18, 2014

Eight Years

Today marks our eighth anniversary so I decided to take a trip back in time.  First of all, eight years of photos is just ridiculous!  Am I the only one who had a little 35 mm point and click camera as a kid?  One that used film that had to be developed using money from my paper route?  And now I store thousands of pictures on my computer.  Craziness.

I noticed a few things as I perused the past.  First, the first three years of marriage we have pictures from actual anniversary celebrations.  As in, we went someplace, spent money on food, within a day of our anniversary.  2011 (Hi Jonathan!) marks a trend towards family pictures which were take roughly during the month of our anniversary rather than two adults out on a celebratory date.  2013 (Hi Liliana!) marked the first year we had zero pictures of the two of us together for the entire month of November.  I am not even kidding!  The last day we were in the hospital (October 29) is the last time we were in a photo together for more than a month.  Truly pathetic.

The other thing I noticed is that, aside from the green sweater that I wore on our first anniversary, I still own everything pictures.  Which may be why my wardrobe is having an identity crisis.

Just FYI, eight years is supposed to be marked by gifts of pottery, bronze, linen, and lace.  That’s your completely useless fact for the day.

So here we are, eight years, seven moves (will be on our eighth move in less than three weeks), three states, and three kids later.  It has been such a crazy adventure!

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Posted by: Ingrid | November 3, 2014

12 Months: Little Princess

Dear Liliana,

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I began writing this on day three of teething viciously (A week later and no teeth yet and here we are.  Gah!).  You have all of four teeth right now and you seem to be trying to get every single other tooth simultaneously.  You are all over drool, chewing on your fingers, making sad pathetic baby-in-pain sounds, and running a fever.  Not to mention the fact that you leave a slimy trail all over the floor as you scoot, like a giant slug.  All that to say that I am tired.  And tired of being a human pacifier.

So, one year.  Yay.  But at the same time, ONE YEAR.  Last year you were this:

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and then suddenly, here you are:

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After looking back on Jonathan’s one year update I feel like you are so far behind.  Which is weird, because I guess I figured babies hit milestones faster the more siblings they had because they would want to keep up.  Held true for Jonathan but not for you.  Though you certainly love being with your siblings.

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So at a year:

You have the parts of your top and bottom two teeth.

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This makes it difficult to eat real food or anything requiring chewing.

But you do actually eat baby food, including the stuff that smells like dog food.  You particularly like sweet potatoes.  You are developing a knack for spitting and blowing raspberries at the exact moment food enters your mouth.

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You are not crawling or walking nor will you push yourself to sitting.

All you do is scoot on your bottom, but boy are you fast!  Though you did get caught on a floor nail the other day and ripped your pants.  I couldn’t figure out why you looked like you were trying to move but weren’t.  I would love to invent some sort of Swiffer diaper cover so that your scooting could cross a chore off my list as well.

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You really like playing with beach balls and bouncing balls.  And you like to chase them as well.  Too cute.

I am afraid that you are going to grow up hating the color pink.  Because I finally have a girl I find that I want you to wear pink and sparkles.  But because I am frugal and buy large totes of clothing off of Craig’s List you are really just going to wear whatever you get stuck with.  Which is mostly pink.

You look very much like Jonathan.  You look even more like your daddy.  In fact, you look more like your daddy than even he did as a baby!

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You will wave sometimes.

You babble often.  Usually “Dada” is accompanied by sweet smiles and MAMAMAMAMAMA!!! gets pulled out when you are A) upset, B) in pain, C) stuck, D) feel like upping the drama.  I am pretty sure you say “hi”.  And ball.

You are really into pushing and pulling things.  Back and forth and back and forth.  Extra fun if they make horrible scraping or squeaking noises.

You are ticklish and giggly and often cuddly.  You are extra cuddly and seem to have difficulty holding up your (large) head when you are tired.

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You will scoot double time if it gets you closer to the trash, falling out of the door into the garage, or into the shower.

Speaking of which, the only way to bathe you is to set you under the shower.  You no longer scream and if you can squeeze a plastic bottle while sitting under the water you are content.

Apparently, you find crushing plastic bottles soothing.  Who knew?

You gravitate towards unsafe environments like this one.

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You like to be held and you like to be held by me.  You are really into stranger anxiety these days, particularly when we are around other women and girls – the people who generally work nurseries and such.  But you love Grandpa.  No question about that!

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You like to stuff everything in your mouth except for food, which you prefer to fling off your tray.

You received your first little girl toy from Grandpa and Auntie Kora.  It says important things like: “Are you hungry?  Would you like some cheesecake?”  Can I just say how funny it is when you pretend to eat the fake food and then fling it across the room?

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You are still a horrible sleeper.  Up until the teething began I’d slept 7-8 hours in a row for 9 nights straight.  Not because your sleep had improved but because there was a night I was up for 2 hours straight and then a night when I was up for 3 hours that involved much crying (on my part) and the desire to drop you, just drop you, in your pack n play.  I do not do well on little sleep or lots of interrupted sleep and that is an understatement.  The next 9 nights I took a sleep aid, put in ear plugs, and closed my door and sleep all night.  From second hand reports, you did not, but I didn’t really care.  I am hoping that at some point when we get you in a crib (may that day come soon) you will sleep better because of the extra space and padding.  Until then, let’s hear it for sleep drugs and ear plugs.

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When someone looks at you and says your name, it’s like you get this adrenalin rush from getting noticed.  You get such a sweet look on your face and often put your hands on your hips or behind your back: Who?  Me???  I can’t even explain it but it is one of those mannerisms that are so precious that we look at each other and simultaneously think: Should we have another if they’re this darling? and This is a really good way to end. 

One thing I can say definitively is that I LOVE having a little girl and I am so glad that you are my daughter.

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Love,

Mom

 

Posted by: Ingrid | October 28, 2014

365 days and a few hours

It is beyond incredible to me that 365 days and a smattering of hours ago we went from this:

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to this:

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to this:

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Congratulations, Liliana.  You have made me more sleep deprived this year than I have been in my entire life and yet I still find you absolutely adorable.  That’s some magic!  Happy birthday, little girl. :-)

 

 

Posted by: Ingrid | October 24, 2014

Three Years of Charming

Dear Jonathan,  IMG_1117

You would never guess that you started out as the most unlikely looking tomato-ish baby.  And now you are such a ridiculous charmer.  You flash smiles at the camera that make it look like you’re trying to model cologne or underwear or something that calls for a certain “look”.  Helps, I am sure, that you got the eyelashes I always dreamed of.  Paired with your hair (that needs a cut), your blue eyes, your grin, and your skin that is still so soft that I can believe you were once a baby… heaven help us all!

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You are sensitive and funny and so very much the middle child.  I was in Walmart a few weeks ago wandering the aisles and trying to figure out what to get you for your birthday.  It made me sad to not actually know what you like because you are the middle child on the heals of an intense and loud older brother.  I stood there, wanting to cry because you completely bypassed the Thomas the Train stage because Isaac had grown out of it.  You want to do what you brother does because he’s bigger but then you don’t because you aren’t interested.  It is safe to say that you like costumes, however.  And dogs.  Whenever we see dogs in the park I am pretty sure they think you are a long lost sibling!

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You are also our clutz.  Maybe because you are still growing into your body or maybe because you run around while looking over your shoulder and run into walls.  Or refrigerators.  Or dishwashers.  You are the family clutz and daredevil all in one and I thankful we have not ended up at the ER for injuries yet.

You seem old for three.  Last year when Liliana was born you were still such a baby yourself; eating in a high chair, still in diapers.  And now you talk so much  and you potty trained almost on your own and you know so much that it seems like you should be older than you are.  With Isaac, I don’t think I knew what I could expect from a three year old.  You are showing me that I could have raised the bar substantially!  You have known your ABC’s and their sounds since you turned two and you can count to somewhere past 30.  Colors and shapes?  Check and check.

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Maybe because you seem older, I was not prepared for you to be the most oral and hands on of our kids.  You are the only one to date who has smeared poop on walls.  You have flushed floss, a toothbrush, and a pair of underwear down the toilet.  I am not even going to speculate as to what you have ingested from the toilet.  It is enough to know that you like to eat your own boogers.

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Right now you are really into things being “cozy” (your word, not mine).  We happened upon the perfect gift for you at Costco, a giant fluffy dog/giant pillow.  The only problem with this dog-sometimes-known-as-Clark is that you keep stripping off every stitch of clothing at night so that you can feel “So cozy, Mommy!”.  As a PSA, everyone else should refrain from getting cozy with Clark for obvious reasons.

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You are a picky little eater.  You won’t eat any veggies, most fruits, cheese, noodles, rice, most cereals, or any type of meat except lunch meat and chicken nuggets.  Consequently you go hungry sometimes because, unlike with Isaac, I am not afraid you will starve.

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You are my little cuddle bug.  You like hugs.  You like cuddling when you wake up in the morning.  And you are enormously ticklish.

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You love the CD “Blue Moo” and you especially enjoy the “What Does the Fox Say” music video.  Sometimes you go around singing the bits you can remember except you still don’t say “fox” correctly.  I try to discourage singing it in public.

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You have the cutest little raspy voice right now and such a great laugh.  I love when you ask for “neg nog” (egg nog) and when I ask you a question and you start with, “Hmmmm… actually Mommy…”

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Despite the charm you can throw your share of tantrums and be quite disobedient when you want.  But you seem to know what people will find funny so you are the one army crawling out of the bedroom under a blanket when you have been asked to stay put, grinning impishly when caught.  You also, when asked to do something you don’t want to do, will answer; “No thanks!” Polite disobedience at it’s best.  Jonathan, go to your room.  “No fanks (thanks), Mommy!”  It is ridiculously hard to keep a straight face at times.  When you are upset or feel unheard your lip quivers and you look stricken.  Cuddling often remedies this.  Sometimes you will sob: “Mommy, you broke my heart!” because we all need a little manipulation once in a while.  When you’re really angry you glower and feed me the line: “You’re NOT the best mom.”

You are very big on your identity and will make it clear that you are JONATHAN.  Especially if you are feeling sensitive then you are NOT “honey” or “sweetie” or anything else.

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Whenever anyone you love leaves (even if I am just going out for a run) you yell: “I need a hug and a kiss and a tickle!” And I always come back to give you one.

I can’t believe all the changes since your last birthday!  You acquired a little sister, moved to a new state, share a room with your brother, and have grown so much.

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Love,

Mom

Posted by: Ingrid | October 14, 2014

I miss Autumn

The good news is that it is cooling off here on the Northeastern plains.  The bad news is that, while Colorado has lots of sky, the tree situation is lacking somewhat.  I remember stepping off the plane in Denver back in July and wondering where they put all the trees.  But that wasn’t really a concern until we hit Autumn: my most favorite season ever.  Now that we are in mid October I can just picture what the Michigan trees are doing and I miss it so much!

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Hopefully once Winter hits I will be able to remind myself that at least it isn’t April with the same snow from December still on the ground.  Because I don’t miss that at all!

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Posted by: Ingrid | September 28, 2014

Eleven Months: You shall be my squishy

Dear Liliana,

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No offense, but I am looking forward to your monthly updates ending next month.  But that means you will be a year!  A YEAR?!?  Hardly a baby anymore which is so sad to me.  I was organizing pictures the other day and I give you exactly a year ago.  Ha!  How much do I not miss that.

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For now though, you are still very much my squishy baby.  So squishy!  You just have the best thighs.  I sort of use them as dual stress balls when I hold you and it works out well.

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This past month held three road trips: Parker, Estes Park, and Fort Collins.

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You are okay in the car for two hour stretches, which is nice.  You also sleep better at higher altitude (that or your schedule is so disrupted by the weekend trips that you are zonked by the end of the days we are on the road).  I think this means that we need to move to any of those three locations.  For the sleep, you know.

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Other than that, you are still a pretty poor sleeper.  I need to enforce no nursing in the middle of the night and no swaddling and I keep meaning to when I get caught up on sleep but that just doesn’t seem to be happening.

You popped out a forth tooth right before my marathon, which was good timing.

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Your latest tooth related exploits involve learning to grind your four teeth so loudly that I want to drop you.  Ugh!  Such a horrible sound and one that you take such delight in.  You like to cuddle against my shoulder and then sink your teeth in.  The more I tell you “NO!”  the funnier you think it is and the more you lean in for another bite.

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You are making other noises now, little singing noises when you are tired, and I could almost swear you have tried to say “hi” and some form of “Daddy”.  You sometimes wave to yourself but rarely to other people.  You have also developed the worst case of stranger anxiety that any of my children have had.  So frustrating since you are perfectly willing to flirt with everyone, provided I hold you.

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You are still chunky, weighing in at roughly 21 pounds.  I still wear you on occasion, in the Baby Bjorn, and your favorite activity in that position is doing baby jumping jacks.  Talk about throwing me off balance!  We were at Fort Fun a few days ago and you got to go down the giant slide in the Bjorn as well.  Me, you, Jonathan, and my purse.  Good thing Isaac was willing to go alone!

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I stopped squishing you into 3-9 month clothes, combed through the garage, and finally found some 12 month girl clothing conveniently located in a box marked “History Books and Misc.”  I am so done living out of boxes.  I guess technically baby clothes fall under the “Misc” category though there were no history books to be found.  At least now you have some fall and winter clothes out!

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You are branching out a little with food but it’s hard with barely four teeth.  You mostly get cheerios in your mouth, are willing to try most purees, and will gum some crackers on occasion.  Other than that, it’s all me.  When I give you something you aren’t interested in you promptly drop it off your tray.  I now have to sweep the floor nightly because you are so messy.  Maybe I should stop doing that since, you are willing to put anything found on the floor, food or not, into your mouth.  You also really like trying to feed me now – I am just not a fan of soggy already-been-gummed crackers and bread!

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You have started moving.  Not crawling and not army crawling, please note.  You still hate to be on your stomach and you are even more helpless on your back – like a flipped turtle.  Your method of movement is more creative.  Half of it involves corkscrew locomotion; the idea that if you spin in circles enough times you will eventually move across the floor.  This works but is highly inefficient.  Your other method involves spreading your legs out into the splits and then pulling yourself forward or sideways using your arms.

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It is the most bizarre and unconventional transportation method I’ve every seen, and, as someone who can barely touch my toes, it looks painful!  You are now at the point where you will scoot to me while laughing and it is so precious to see your joy as you get closer and closer to your goal.  You also like to do the splits when we swaddle you because you know that makes it harder to capture your legs in the blanket.

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You are so cute and adorable and squishy, Liliana, with your long lashes and hair that is growing a bit more and a gap between your front teeth.  You are SUCH a cute baby.  I can’t believe that we will celebrate your one year birthday in a month and that I can make a pink cake if I want!  I asked your brothers what kind of cake I should make and they told me a lion, a monster, a dragon, and an alligator.  Pinterest tells me that I should do something like this:

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Also, I think you need a doll.  We were at a friend’s house and you were fussy and then you got your hands on a doll and you started babbling and touching the nose and eyes.  It was so sweet!  And we haven’t a doll in the house, so maybe that’s what you need for your first birthday.  That, or a sibling, and goodness knows, I don’t need one of those!

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Love,

Mom

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