Sunday, April 22, 2012

This One's for You Grandma

I happen to know that Grandma Francis is one of the most faithful readers of this blog.  Whenever I see her she tells me how much she enjoys reading my blog.  And honestly, EVERY time she tells me that, it just makes my day.  I started this blog right after I had Addison.  Most of my family lives at least a few hours away and I wanted to give them a way to keep up with the every day happenings of our little family when we couldn't see each other as much as we'd like.

I absolutely love Grandma.  From the first day that I met her, before Bart and I were even engaged...she was always so welcoming and nice to me.  She truly has always made me feel like part of the family, and that has meant so much to me.  Bart is the oldest, so I was the first "outsider" to join the family, and as a newlywed trying to figure out exactly how I fit in, it was so comforting to have someone who I felt accepted me and loved me so completely.

For a while now I've been wanting to document some things about my kids that I don't want to forget, but something always seemed to get in the way.  When I realized it was Grandma's birthday today, I decided I would finally do it.  So Happy Birthday Grandma!  This one's for you!

First up is Addison.  My little Addison is growing up WAY too fast.  I can't believe how independent and capable she is becoming.  She is so great at helping around the house.  She knows how to make her sisters laugh, can clean up a room like none other, and will spontaneously give you hugs and tell you she loves you.  It's AWESOME!


She is also quite the drama queen. Sometimes when she gets in trouble it is like the end of the world.  More than once as she's thrown herself on the bed, I've heard statements like, "I'm never going to eat again." Or, "I'll never ever go to my friend's house again."  Often these exclamations are provoked by a statement as simple as, "Addison, why did you cut your hair?  You know you're not supposed to do that." (This was followed by the tearful, but fierce exclamation, "I'm never going to use scissors again!")

And let me tell you, every time she says this, visions of the pre-teen me dramatically throwing myself on the bed dance through my head.  More than once I remember thinking, "I'm never going to talk again!  Mom and dad will be sorry if they never get to hear my voice again, and then they'll wish they never did this to me!"  What you did as a kid really does come back to haunt you doesn't it? (You can stop laughing now mom). 


Now that the weather is warming up she is loving being outside.  Almost every day she asks if we can go on a walk so she can ride her bike.  Most days I happily agree.  I'm hoping she can get competent enough on her bike that she can ride along me as I jog. 

Not going to lie, she's also a bit of a wimp though. She is scared of almost everything...although I think part of that is coming from the drama queen thing.  Whenever we cross the street, she refuses to even try to ride her bike down a driveway, onto the street, and up the driveway on the other side.  Instead she gets off her bike, walks it across and gets on on the other side.

If she thinks there's even a possibility of a spider or wasp being somewhere, she will avoid the area completely.  Just the other day we had to explain to her that it was okay to sit on the grass.  The wasp in her play house that she saw a few weeks ago probably won't bother her if she's on the other side of the yard.

But, if we can convince her there's nothing to be scared of, she goes all out.  :)

Next up, Hannah.

Let me tell you, this one has a will of her own, and a stubborn streak unlike I have ever seen before (and now my dad's laughing...I seem to recall him commenting repeatedly on my stubbornness when I was young...and maybe not so well). 

A few months ago, I realized I really did need to start potty training her.   I figured I had better start trying to consistently have her go in the potty.  I knew she wanted to wear panties, so I thought I would tell her she could if she started regularly going potty in the big girl potty.  Unfortunately this is how I decided to start that conversation:

Me: Hannah, do you want to start wearing big girl panties?
Hannah: Yeah!

Before I could get another word out...let alone explain to her she could if she started using the big girl potty...she ran upstairs, took off her diaper, found some of Addison's panties, put them on, and has been using the potty ever since.  With only two or three accidents too.  I'll admit, I tried to get her to put a diaper back on after every accident (the twins have dramatically weakened my resolve), but this stubborn little one wouldn't have it.  Which wound up being a good thing in the end.  Easiest potty training EVER!

She also loves being outside now that the weather's nicer.  And is working on learning to use her tricycle....although most walks start out with Hannah on the tricycle (or scooter), and end up with mom trying to balance it on the stroller as she runs around.
I've mentioned before that she is our little comedian.  That definitely still holds true.  I swear she doesn't even realize she's funny.  She just always manages to make us laugh.  

She is also INCREDIBLY independent.  She always wants to do it, "MYSELF!"  It's hard though because if I do it, it will be so much faster, so if we're in a hurry, it gets really frustrating to hear her little squeal, and then the yell, "Myself!"  But I have gotten pretty good at telling her to do things way before it actually needs to be done so that we won't be late.

Recently she has learned to get dressed by herself.  It's been a blessing and a curse though.  It's SOOO nice that I can get her out of the bath, help her dry off, and then run to get the babies if they're crying and know that she can get her clothes on herself.  

On the other hand, almost every day after preschool, she runs upstairs and puts on an outfit of her choosing.  It's kind of fun seeing the different outfits she puts on.  She has this little quirky style of her own.  It's cute, but can be quite frustrating too.  Yesterday she went through no less than seven outfits.  It was mildly humorous during the day when all we saw was a new outfit every 45 minutes or so, but when we went upstairs to put her to bed, the pile of clothes in the middle of her bedroom floor...not quite as funny. 
Hannah Last

And my Maya.  I swear, this one is going to get away with sooooooooo much in life because of those darn dimples.  She regularly gets into the diaper changing bin, and me waking in to find her sitting in a sea of diaper wipes is not an uncommon occurrence in our home.  I am always very upset and yell something like, "Maya! No!"  

Apparently she thinks this is very funny because she looks at me, gives me that darn dimpled smile, and giggles.  Let me tell you, whenever she flashes those dimples, all of that anger or frustration I was feeling just somehow flies out the window.  Sigh, they really have weakened my resolve.  I need to move the diaper changing bin up higher. 
She is also showing signs of being a little comedian as well.  See that cute hat with the bow on her head?  Yeah, that's not a hat.  Those are shorts.  I put her in this outfit and was going to put Lilly in a matching outfit, but Maya found the shorts before I could and slipped them on hear head.  

She does this to pretty much everything.  Necklaces, socks, the arm holes of shirts.  You name it, if it has a hole in it and she gets a hold of it, she'll try and put it on her head.


In case you haven't noticed, she also has more hair than any of my other kids had at her age...which, let's face it, isn't saying much.  There still isn't a lot there, but somehow she manages to get it more tangled than ANY of my other kids...including Addison and Hannah NOW.  I do not know what that child does in her sleep, but when she wakes up her hair is CRAZY! 

She's FINALLY beginning to walk...really more than beginning.  She is probably walking about half of the time now.  I think the turning point finally came when we started taking them out on walks.  Lilly would walk out ahead on her own, but Maya had to hold my hand to walk (I wouldn't let her crawl on the ground and she couldn't quite walk on her own yet when we started).  I think she didn't like having to stay with me while her sister wandered and did what she liked.  Not two days after our first walk, she was working on walking across the room.

She is definitely my more active (and reckless) baby.  She loves to try and climb up on things, and explore things.  While we were in California visiting my parents, she realized she could climb down off our bed feet first.  Our bed at home is much higher than at grandma and grandpa's house, but ever since that trip, she tries to get down feet first when I put her on my bed.  I swear some day I'm not going to be able to catch her and she's going to break a leg or something!
And my little Lilly. not so little Lilly.  Maya's still much smaller than my other babies, but Lilly's working on catching up.  She's a little chunker.  She's still no Hannah, but she's getting there.  :)


I LOVE this little smile she does.  She crinkles her nose, scrunches her eyes, and gives you this big grin.  It just makes me laugh every time.  I call it her piggy smile.

And let me tell you, she is a bona fide snaggletooth!  See this picture below, for the longest time, the only two teeth she had were that upper right tooth, and the lower left tooth.  When she smiled it looked so stinking funny!  We learned why her lower right tooth didn't come in with the left one.  Her lower right tooth is a double tooth!  So basically two of her teeth have fused together to make one big tooth.  When you have a double tooth it tends to come in later.  Apparently they're much more common in baby teeth than adult teeth, so we're hoping the adult teeth come in normal, but it wouldn't surprise me if this one ends up costing us a fortune in braces.  :)

Lilly is also my steady little walker.  She is VERY confident in her ability to walk...and to run.  She really enjoys getting into things she's not supposed to, and if she has something she knows she shouldn't have, and I catch her, she'll take off running down the hall trying to get away from me, giggling all the time.  I have to admit, it's pretty stinking cute.  It's pretty effective though because by the time I catch her I'm never mad any more and I usually end up twirling her around or tickling her.  I sure love my little Lil.
She also LOVES being outside.  There was one day that she was practically inconsolable all day (I later realized she was teething).  Seriously, nothing could get her to stop crying.  Even when I picked her up and just held her she would cry.  But as soon as I took her outside, it was like someone had turned off a faucet.  The tears just stopped.  And now that she knows our little walking route, as soon as she's outside, she heads for it...whether I'm coming or not. 
Lilly 4

Lilly 5

And finally, my last kid...well, not my kid exactly.  :)  

Seriously, I just love this man so much.  (He's probably going to kill me for putting this picture on here...I was supposed to be filming a video of him for something he was applying to, but I wanted to get a quick picture in before we started).  Isn't he dreamy...I don't know what it is about that slightly concerned, curious look, but I love it!  He also has those dang dimples like Maya...melts me every time he smiles.

Let me tell you, he has been doing some cool art stuff lately. 

And he's been doing some cool stuff with his students as well.

Oh, and he got his master's degree.
Alright, so technically he doesn't have it yet...he just walked.  But he'll be getting it in June, and let me tell you, we're both very excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And as much as I love him, sometimes I think our kids love him even more.




He's an awesome dad, and an even better husband.  I really am so lucky to be married to him.

So, there you go grandma.  I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of what every one's doing.  We love you!  Have a VERY happy birthday!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Way I View - Happiness

So March's theme was "The Way I View Happiness."  (In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can check out this post, or this post).  This winter has been soooo unbelievably warm.  Instead of a March that felt very much like the middle of winter, there were quite a few days that felt very much like late spring.  For someone who detests the cold (uh, yeah, ME!) it was WONDERFUL!  I even was able to sneak to the park with the older girls while Bart was home watching the twins.


When I was young I LOVED to swing.  I loved going as high as I could and would pretend I was flying.  It was the best!  I think my girls take after me.  I LOVE it.  :)

Now go check out Courtney's blog, she's sharing a picture that will bring a smile to the face of any mom.