C is for…

C2 DSC_084 - edited DSC_0837 - edited DSC_0927 - edited

3 Weeks

  • BABY girl – this is the last week that you are technically a “newborn”.  WAAH!  Why does it always go so fast!?  :( 
  • You are having more awake periods and love to look out our big windows and really love the light above the kitchen table.
  • You are looking so long and big already.  Your newborn clothes no longer fit you.  Sad.
  • Unfortunately, you got your first cold this week (along with the rest of us being sick).  You handled it like a champ and let me nose-frida you like it was your job.
  • You sleep just like your brother Asher: chin up, mouth open, and hands curled up under your chin or on your face.  Adorable!
  • Other times, you look spitting image of Zeek.  Especially in certain sweatshirts or jammies that he wore as a baby. 
  • You and mom spent a lot of good quality time with grandma this week while the boys went camping!  We had 3 days of girl time and had a blast!  Grandma sooooo loves you (and spoils you).
  • Seriously girl – you are the poop queen.  It’s awful and awesome at the same time.  We have been pooped and peed on more times by you in 3 weeks than we have in 4 years by both of your brothers.  It’s insane. 
  • You are sleeping really well at night still – other than your few nights of congestion this week where you didn’t sleep quite as well, understandably.  I’m still wrapping my mind around having a good sleeping baby and am crossing my fingers that nothing changes!

Other 3 week pictures:

 Those cheeks!DSC_0961 - edited DSC_0974 - edited

I love how you cuddle in bed with me and your body fits so sweetly next to mine.

photo 1 - edited photo copy

You and Asher sleep the same!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 2.17.06 PM

photo 1 copy

Love you, girlfriend!

B is for…

B DSC_0731 - edited DSC_0741 - edited 2 DSC_0788 - edited DSC_0797 - edited 2

2 Weeks

  • Baby Girl!  2 Weeks already!  You are growing so well.  We had your 2 week appt. and you are up from 8 lb 7 oz, to 9 lb 5 oz and from 20″ to 22″.  Way to go, you eating champ.
  • You gruuuunnt and squeak while you sleep.  It’s funny, except for when I’m trying to sleep too.
  • You’re more awake and alert every day and I *think* you’re getting more used to your brothers smothering you with love.
  • You are sleeping so well.  You do not really like to be coddled to sleep.  You like to be fed, swaddled and put down and left alone.  This is really hard for me to wrap my mind around since I had to work so hard to get Asher to sleep.  Sometimes I think, “baby, why are you not falling asleep?!” and then I realize that I’m rocking you and really, it’s keeping you awake and irritating you.  Ok, Ok.  I’ll put you down. 
  • You still don’t have a crib in your room and not much of a nursery, aside from a changing table/dresser and a rocking chair (both of which need to be painted still), but it’s slowly coming together.
  • You take a bottle really well!  Because you do, and because you sleep so well and easily AND heck, because you’re our 3rd child (hehe), we left you in the hands of Grandma and Grandpa when you were 8 days old so that mommy and daddy could have a little date out. 
  • You are just about out of your newborn sized clothes.  You sort of fit in them still, but it’s tight.
  • You’re also out of newborn sized diapers already and into size 1.
  • You are still the spit-up/blow-out queen.  It’s shocking, really.  And so very unlady-like.
  • You love to sleep in your car seat – something which neither brother could stand to do for more than 5 minutes.
  • Before Grandma and Grandpa brought Zeek and Asher back after we got home from the birth center, they went shopping!  Zeek insisted on buying you a sleeper with birds on it because birds are his favorite.

Other 2 week pictures (forgive me, I’m posting a bajillion of them because I couldn’t decide on my favorites!!):

DSC_0367 - edited DSC_0402 - edited DSC_0409 - edited DSC_0417 - edited DSC_0442 - edited DSC_0489 - edited DSC_0496 - edited DSC_0501 - edited

Aunt Donna made you a baby quilt!  It’s the perfect colors for your nursery, has your name and birth info embroidered on it, and made with love!

DSC_0529 - edited DSC_0534 - edited

A sort of picture with you and the quilt.  You were sleeping and we didn’t want to disturb you!

DSC_0536 - edited

Love you, sweet thing!  Your brothers are deeply in love with you, and of course daddy and I are too.  I never thought I’d hear daddy call anyone a princess, but you’ve proved me wrong.  You have him so tightly wrapped around your finger.  :)  So glad we got to snuggle you for one more week already.  We are thankful for every day we get with you.

Love,
Mom

A is for…

Oh, Miss Ellery!  It’s time for your ABC book, girl!
(See Ezekiel‘s and Asher‘s)
 
A DSC_0304 - edited DSC_0317 - edited
DSC_0278 -edited
 

1 Week Old

  • You are starting to have strength in your neck and you like to hold your head up when you are laying on my chest to look at me.
  • You are the blow-out/spit up Queen, especially compared to your brothers both of whom I never touched a burp cloth for.
  • You are generally a pretty relaxed and calm baby (praise Jesus!). 
  • You love to be cuddled, but are learning to sleep on your own – so long as your bro’s don’t pester you!
  • You sleep well – almost too well – at night.  Mommy always wakes up before you do, READY to feed you.  It takes effort to wake you up to get you to eat.  You are your daddy’s daughter apparently!  Nothing is worth waking up for. ;)
  • You’ve been “molting” your skin off!  Your hands, feet and belly are in sad condition!
  • You lost your umbilical cord on day 5 of life.
  • You love playing with your tongue.
  • You are a thumb sucker already (and have been since in utero!  We saw you sucking your thumb in the ultrasound.)
  • Your little nose came out crooked (likely from being so low in mommy for so long!) but it’s straightening out nicely now.
  • You already have all of us completely wrapped around your finger.  Probably Asher the most. He will do anything to be able to cuddle with you.

Other 1 Week Old pics:

DSC_0139First day of life!

DSC_0154 DSC_0188 DSC_0225 DSC_0238 DSC_0250

Ellery June – you are just so incredibly precious and we are all enamored with you already, and you’ve only been here with us for a week!  What a week it’s been too – a sudden blur of kisses galore, flowers, bows and PINK has entered our formerly dirt-smeared world of blue!  You have all of us wrapped around your finger already, baby girl.  Use it wisely. ;) 

Love,
Mom

Ezekiel Pierce, 4 Years

 Note: This post was started 2 days before baby sis was born.

Zeek-Boy,

This mama-heart can hardly even handle the idea that you made me a mother FOUR years ago.  How in the world, did that much time go by?! 

With me about to have your second sibling, you have been really asking me about birth and your birth in particular.  You want to know where baby comes out of me (you joke that it’s coming out of my belly button, but since we’ve always been open about body parts, you know where baby will be coming from. :)), you want to see your birth photos, you want to know when this baby is coming (trust me son, we all do.). 

I have loved talking about birth with you lately – and even more so, revisiting your birth photos with you.  To see how little you were, takes my breath away.  No longer my sweet baby, but you are now my little boy.  You hardly can cuddle up on my lap anymore (though that may change some once this big belly goes away), but you still love to snuggle and cuddle me.  You just like to come sit next to me, wrap your hand around my arm and lay your head on my shoulder. 

You know what my absolute favorite thing is about you?  You love your mama.  You are like my little protector – physically and emotionally.  You do not like to see me upset or see me in any physical pain.  Even if I just lay down on the couch for no reason, you immediately come up and ask if I am hurt and what you can do for me.  You get me a blanket and cover me up, hand me a toy to sleep with and shoo your brother off to go play in the playroom so I can rest.

If you see me with tears in my eyes, you want to know what is wrong.  You don’t like when daddy and I argue about something and you immediately take my side (even when I’m in the wrong) and tell daddy to stop talking mean to me.  Nothing makes me smile during an argument like you, sweet boy.  Thank you for always standing up for me and protecting me, but to be fair – it’s not always daddy’s fault… so lighten up on him, eh? ;)

I also love how even though you’re a BIG 4 year old now, you still remind me that you need me just as you did when you were an infant.  Maybe not in all the same ways, but you need me nonetheless.  You still want to cuddle and just be held.  You still want to hold my hand and nestle your head into me.  You want attention – and special attention.  One-on-one attention.  You want to have a conversation with me and know what I know.  You ask deep questions and truly want to know the answer. 

We’ve started this thing where when you have asked a question – whether how something works, why something happened, a question about an emotion or reaction – I give you the fullest, most detailed answer that I can.  After I’ve given you all the information that I possibly can think of to share, I ask you, “does that make sense?”  You’re often quite for a moment after I ask that and either you reply, “that makes sense.” or you ask another question from a different angle.  You, my dear boy, amaze me with how smart and thoughtful you are. 

Some Zeek-ism’s

  • You love birds.  You have 3-4 bird books already (adult bird books too – meant for a serious bird watcher – hundreds of pages long).  You pour over the pages and ask questions about the birds.  You know probably a hundred different type of birds.  You know their specific names (exactly what type of grouse or quail is which), you know if you can hunt for them or not, you know if they live in Oregon or not and you can generally spat off some other information about the bird, like what they eat, what their predators are, etc.
  • You almost as much love dinosaurs – specifically pterodactyls.  You are constantly amazing us with how much you retain and remember and where you pick up small tidbits of information.
  • While you have a super tender heart, you are also a typical “big brother” to your lil’ bro.  You roughhouse and pick on him quite a bit.  It’s a habit that we’re trying to tame.
  • You enjoy being outside and on adventures with dad.  You can hike and tromp through forests for miles, fish and hunt for hours, and search for rocks and treasures.
  • You’re in that adorable stage where you really want to marry mommy when you grow up.  You’re always randomly bringing up the subject.  You say things like, “But I don’t ever want to leave your house, mom!” or you’ll tell me you want to marry me and I’ll respond, “but I”m already married to daddy!  Sorry babe, you’ll have to find someone else.”  To which you reply something along the lines of, “no!  But I want to marry you!  We can kick daddy out of the house and he can find someone else!”
  • We’ve started loosely doing pre-school homeschool this year.  We don’t have any organized agenda, but we capitalize on all the great learning opportunities in everyday life.  Sensory play, some activity worksheets, working on tracing letters and writing your name, reading about the things you’re interested in (birds, dinosaurs, bugs, weather, rocks and minerals, etc.). 
  • You have been begging for a little sister since before we even found out we were pregnant last year!  You promised me you would be gentle and not hit her.  :)  Since being pregnant, you insisted it was a girl.  I tried to keep your mind open to the possibility of another brother but you always shot it down saying, “I’ve already got a brother.  I just want a sister.”  You’re welcome, baby boy.  You’re welcome.
  • While you like being outside, you also often prefer to just be home and inside.  Daddy and Asher can tromp around in the backyard cleaning up and working for 6-8 hours, where you last an hour or two before you just want to come inside.  You’d prefer to sit and read your books or play with your little Safari Ltd. Toob animals. 
  • Your new phrase is “I’m 4.  I got it!”  And  you do have it for the most part: dressing yourself, getting shoes and coats on, getting your own snacks and helping set the table, brushing your teeth and washing your hair.  You do so many things on your own now and growing up dude.
  • Whenever your stomach hurts, you tell me “Mommy, I have a stummy-ache.”  It’s so dang cute that I don’t even want to correct you.
  • You love wearing “outfits”, aka ties, bowties and/or suspenders.

Here are some pictures from the last year that show your fun personality:

IMG_1122

You love building train tracks.

IMG_1130

You and Asher love to cuddle up on his bed with a pile of books.

IMG_1229

Daddy loves having his hunting buddies!

IMG_1249

You have an exquisite taste in food – drinking your coleslaw.  :)

IMG_1265

Your “rough love” as we call it… you rough house under the guise of “giving cuddles”.

IMG_1717

You have always loved napping with toys. 

IMG_1733

Like I said, your taste in food….

IMG_1902

You have never had interest in stuffed animals until a few months ago.  Now they’re one of your favorite things!

IMG_2007

 You in one of your “outfits”.

For your birthday, we did our typical “freebie” celebration (which I will take advantage of until you say you want differently!):  IHOP, Chuck E Cheese, home for lunch and naps, scavenger hunt for presents, Red Robin for dinner.

IMG_2035 IMG_2042 IMG_2043 IMG_2048

IMG_2055 IMG_2057

 Our standard Chuck E Cheese birthday photo:

photo 2 copy

After I saw how this turned out, I said, “come on Zeek!  Smile big with mom!”
To which you responded with:

photo 1 copy

I didn’t even make you take another one.  I love how perfectly this captures your funny personality.  I love you, you Turkey.

Love,
Mom

World: Meet Baby Girl

Ellery 2-10-15

Ellery June Anderson

Born February 5, 2015
7:25 am
8 lb 10 oz, 20″ long

10968538_10153032746372389_4972916940497381266_n Family 2-5-15 Susie 2-7-15Our wonderful and loving midwife Susie

IMG_2276 IMG_2286 photo

More details and birth story to come…
P.S. I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone before announcing a birth!  We’ve just been fully soaking her in… :)

Asher & Ezekiel’s Simple TMNT Party

Of course, 10+ months ago I had this elaborate birthday party theme planned out for the boys and spent a chunk of time collecting random things in stores and pinning ideas on Pinterest… And THEN. 

BOOM.  Pregnant again, and due in January – AGAIN.  haha.  (I swear, we don’t plan it this way.)

The idea of doing any sort of party with anything crafty made me want to curl up and cry.   Just couldn’t do it this year.  At least not right now.  So, we compromised and decided we’ll try out a fun, big party for the boys’ half birthday – in June/July.  I’ve always wanted to try a summer birthday party, and with being 37 weeks pregnant at the time of the party AND having just moved into a project house a couple months prior – I figured, what better time and excuse than now!

So instead of “over-doing” it… I major “under-did” it.  And it was awesome.  Part of me missed the craft time I get while prepping for parties and the creative outlet that it provides me, but the other part of me was overjoyed to take a trip to Target, pick up a few things and call it good! 

In December, the boys all the sudden became obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even though they had no idea what it was.  A few friends had a few TMNT memorabilia, but otherwise they had no experience with it.  I bought them a DVD with the old skool 90’s cartoons of them for Christmas, and daddy bought them TMNT swords and nunchucks, because he loves any excuse to buy them more “boy toys” and fighting utensils, and any excuse to give mama more gray hairs!  ;)  They have increasingly loved TMNT since December, so it was easy to pick that as a simple party theme – especially since it’s rampant in the stores right now.

I picked up some TMNT plates, some forks in all 4 TMNT colors, green plastic table cloths, some green streamers and a green window marker.  Done and doooooone.

I spent less than an hour “decorating” and setting up, called in for pizza’s (because, duh?  What else would TMNT’s eat?!), cut up some fruit and veggies and waited for our party peeps to arrive.  Because this was a much more scaled back, relaxed party (and since we’ll still have a big party for them this summer), we kept it to our family and each boy could have their best friend (and their family) over.

table Happy Birthday Dudes

Reflection photo op!  Two of my best girls! :)

kids eating kids eating 3 kids eating 2

This crew, while we love them so, has some serious array of allergies!  A couple allergic to nuts, an egg allergy, a couple allergic to dairy and some that prefer gluten free in there too… so when it comes to birthday cake – I have a dilemma every year!  I spotted a TMNT cake at WinCo, but knew I couldn’t just do a sheet cake because of allergies.  So I asked about buying the cake toppers only (and they let me!) and made a vegan cake at home. 

Cake cake 2

Zeek’s a pro at blowing out candles by this point in time, but Asher still needs some help.  :)

cake 3 cake 4

Cake was a success!

They had no probs ripping into their gifts.  :)

presents 1 presents 2 presents 3

presents 4Each boy got a new pirate ship from Grandma and Grandpa.

The kids all vanished into the playroom after gifts, and all of us adults enjoyed the quiet(er) side of the house in the living room, just sitting and chatting.  Can I just say how much I love my house?  This party made me love it even more.

 

 

kids 2

Asher got a new pirate sword for a present and he had no problems keeping up with the big boys!

Kids Asher & Angela

Auntie Angela and Asher

Asher 2

The coolest dude at the party!  He always is finding his pockets to put his hands in.

And by the end of the night, the men found themselves congregating in the playroom all by themselves.  :)

men

Thankful for a mellow party, amazing family and friends, and a good and simple birthday party.  Can’t believe my men are FOUR and TWO!  Yikes. 

The One Where I’m Almost Done.

Please?  Please can I be almost done? 

You know, with pregnancy.

This is the first pregnancy that I have felt this way about.  With the other two, I was feeling comfortable enough, stable enough and was like, whatever!  I feel fine!  Baby comes when baby wants!  This time?  Notsomuch.  More like, “OMG baby, you’re killing me here.  GET OUT!”  I can’t walk, I can’t sit, I can’t lay down without pain.  I’m an emotional basket-case (just ask Skyler.  And my poor neighbor who came over to say hi to me today and I just got the waterworks and cried to her for 10 minutes instead.  *whoops* Sorry to put you through that Michelle, when all you wanted was to say hi!  What a pal.).  Yet, on the other hand, I’m not ready.  I feel myself being anxious about a few things that I wasn’t anxious about with the other births.  In some ways, I’m not mentally ready to give birth. 

This has been the least prepared for a birth that I have ever been.  Both mentally and materialistically.  I’m now 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, and… maybe I’m ready for this baby… mostly.  Sorta.

+My bff (and my mother) insisted I pack my bags and baby bags the other day and loaded them in the car.

+Both bff and my mom have come over and both spent like 5-6 hours on different days with me stocking my freezer with meals.

+I bought a baby cradle for our bedroom, washed the sheet and it’s ready for a newborn. (oh *ahem* except for the fact that Skyler completely cleared out the baby room yesterday to finish up painting in the closet, sanding the floor and touching up the trim, and now the cradle is filled will some stuff from the baby room…)

+We got the car seat out of the basement and washed the seat cover, moved car seats around in the van and got everything ready to go.

+I washed and folded the nb clothes.

+I stocked up on diapers (for baby and Asher), wipes, toilet paper and paper towels (for our homemade wipes).

+I’ve done my best to stay up on laundry so that it’s not a mountain overflowing as soon as baby is born.

+We DO NOT have names picked out.  Lord, help us.

+And I’ve said a prayer (and a dozen more) that this birth doesn’t go like Asher’s did.  And that I have full confidence in my body’s ability and in God’s protection over me and baby.

With that… I think I’m about as prepared as I can be.  So, come on baby.  Join this crazy crew!  The birth suite awaits…  :)

xbedroom.jpg.pagespeed.ic.g_0hfX1VMu xbathroom.jpg.pagespeed.ic.c4q6pXgfHK

The Christmas Post

…the post that’s a few weeks old…

My goodness – I DO miss the days of regular blogging and actually getting things posted in a timely manner.  I feel like it’s been the entire duration of this pregnancy that I have been so slow in my blogging (and mostly because I’m just too dang tired to wake up at my usual 5-5:30 for some quiet mama time.  Instead, most mornings I’m in bed until the littles make me get up! :P).

Regardless… I still gotta get things documented!  Or I’ll forget.  Thank you, online journal, for helping this getting-older-every-minute mama keep track of our family memories!

And so.  Here is Christmas.  In mid-January. 

Skyler was so lucky to have had Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day off this year (he had to work Christmas Day last year).  We knew Christmas Day would be pretty busy and with the boys being older and more into Christmas and understanding what it is, we wanted to have some dedicated “Family of Four” time for our own Christmas.  So, this year, we decided to make Christmas Eve our day.

I woke up first and just enjoyed sitting by the glow of the lights from the tree, the mantle and the fireplace.  Finally.  My Christmas tree didn’t get up until about 3 days prior this year, because of all the house remodel.  So I sat and stared and really took in those beautiful white lights and my newly furnished living room.

DSC_0580

After the fam woke up, I made them all a big Christmas breakfast of scrambled eggs and avocado, breakfast sausage, zucchini bread, oranges and orange juice.  Even fancy with a table cloth! ;)

DSC_0583

Then, we moved on to the highly anticipated moment!  Presents!

The boys were SO excited and had the hardest time waiting a few days prior to give daddy the present that they picked out for him and wrapped entirely on their own.

DSC_0591 DSC_0595

They had picked out two new pairs of “match-match” aka, basketball shorts, which are their (and daddy’s) favorite thing ever.  They could seriously hardly contain themselves as they gave it to him.  Too precious.

Then they dove into their presents and were tickled with their new books, games and clothes.   Asher is a freaking pro at un-wrapping a gift.  He caught on quickly.  :)

DSC_0603 DSC_0611

Daddy was just as excited to give them his present as they were to open it.  Maybe more.

What is it, what is it?!

DSC_0639

Oh, blow darts.  Thanks dad. 

DSC_0645

Not pictured: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles swords and nunchucks.  Mama’s thinking there’s gonna have to be a toy box that comes out only when dad is playing with them.  I don’t feel up to the challenge of having to break up multiple battles and kiss the many battle wounds. 

After lunch and naps, the boys all spent the afternoon/eve playing in the playroom with their new toys while I spent my time in the kitchen preparing my portions of breakfast, dinner and treats for Christmas Day with my family.

Christmas morning came quick and we all gathered around my mom’s table:

DSC_0659 DSC_0668

After breakfast, Skyler had to show all the kids his new little toy – a self dispensing mentos contraption that makes soda shoot in the air.  Skyler will forever be a kid in that way of loving simple science experiments.  :)

DSC_0669 DSC_0674

Pure joy.

The kids could hardly stand it any more, so we moved inside for presents.

DSC_0687 DSC_0695 DSC_0698 DSC_0701 DSC_0712 DSC_0720 DSC_0735

Around 1 pm, we were still lounging around opening presents and Asher hopped up on daddy’s lap.  He started mindlessly combing through Asher’s hair with his fingers…

DSC_0739

And 15 minutes later?  Out cold.  :)  (err… hot).

DSC_0747

The rest of the day was a lazy hang around, movie watching, toy playing and some more grazing of food.  :)  Was a very enjoyable and relaxing Christmas!

And now, *whew*, I can move on to posting about January events. :P

Asher Milo, 2 Years Old

On Friday the 2nd, we celebrated Asher’s 2nd Birthday!

Little Ash Bug,

You, my dear, have been a super fun one year old – but the time has come to celebrate your 2ND birthday! 

I think this year, mama was much more aware of your birthday and what it means.  I think last year when you turned one, I was still in a fragile emotional state and still reeling from the difficult first year that we had with you.  This year – I was able to be much more present and aware of your birth and your life and the fact that you actually are alive.

This year (and I’m not sure if it will be this way every year or not), I thought and thought about your birth and how we thought you were dead when you came out.  How purple you were.  How lifeless.  How in those moments that felt like forever, I already had a million thoughts running through my head – like how we were going to cope and how we were going to tell your anxious big brother that you weren’t going to be with us.

But little Asher Milo – my little ‘happy warrior’ - thank you for “warrior’ing” on and fighting to be with us.  Thank you for being so strong, even in those first moments on earth!

Buddy, this past year with you has seen some challenges as well, but compared to your first year it’s felt like a cake-walk.  You starting napping and sleeping really well around 15-16 months and finally life felt a little more normal.  You started walking at 14 months which opened up a whole new realm of entertainment for you, as you could finally toddle after big brother and you became less needy of mama.  You and Zeek started really bonding and enjoying playing together.  You started speaking really early and knew several words already at 12 months (probably a good thanks to Zeek who, at 3, had quite the extensive vocabulary). 

You only continued to speak more and more and more and by 18 months, you were saying 3-4 word sentences and were quite vocal about what you liked and disliked and wanted or didn’t want.  :) 

Now, at 2 years old, you are constantly talk-talk-talking.  Telling big brother your opinion, asking for foods or activities, and telling half stories to mom or dad about your day. 

Some of my favorite Asher-isms and quirks (though I wish I could portray your facial expressions through words, because that’s at least half the cuteness):

  • When you’re hungry or thirsty: “I hungy, mama!  I hungy!” or replace hungry with “tursty”.  Spoken with much emphasis, much like the little roly pup from 101 Dalmations. 
  • “Tuddle me!”  Spoken to either mom or dad.  You love to cuddle.  Possibly even more than your father, which I didn’t think was possible.
  • Shivering after a shower and racing to the living room, naked, to see if the fireplace is on: “I told, mama!  Make fire!”
  • When talking about the many squirrels in our backyard – they are referred to as escuela’s (at least that’s what it sounds like to me!)
  • Mama?  You know where (insert name) is?”  Often daddy, “Bama” or “Bopa”.  You’ve always gotta keep tabs on those three.  :)
  • When you are helping daddy make pancakes, or anything where you have to stir, you say “mika-mika-mika!” for “mix, mix, mix”.  So darned cute.
  • You make the BEST sideways glance of any kid I’ve ever met.  If you’re doing something really silly or perhaps naughty, or even just sometimes just because – and someone calls you out by name, you slowly dip your head down and even more slowly swivel your face around to look at them out of the corner of your lowered eyes.  It is hysterical to watch and you do this probably at least 3-4 times a day.  It’s easily one of the things that mommy and daddy enjoy most about you right now.  Your comedic timing is outstanding!
  • You mix your foods.  You are the opposite of a kid who doesn’t want food touching.  If you’re food isn’t touching, it’s not good enough to eat yet.  So you “mika-mika” your food until it’s all blended together.  Yogurt and enchiladas.  Hot cereal and eggs.  Anything.  Everything. 
  • You also will dunk ANY food into ANY drink.  (We think you mostly do this to cool down whatever food you’re eating?  But really, you’ll dip anything, hot or cold.)  Burritos in milk.  Sausage and eggs in orange juice.  Gingersnaps in water.  Salmon in sparkling apple cider.  It’s all gross, and you do it all.
  • You love food almost as much as your brother does.  If you see mommy or daddy’s mouth moving in the slightest, or smell anything on our breath (even toothpaste or chapstick), you will look at us, furrow your brows and ask, “What you eating, mom?  Ahh, ahh?”  And ask us to open our mouth to show you.

Some of your favorite things:

  • Yo-durt – yogurt
  • Feeding peanuts to the squirrels… and then racing to the ones you’ve tossed and snatching a few for yourself to snack on.
  • Grabbing one of the many pretend guns (rifle, nerf, lazer – doesn’t matter the variety) and taking a wide stance, holding the gun to your face to look down the barrel, and “shooting” at anything in your vision.
  • Babies.  You love babies.  You want to give them blankets.  And gently rub their arms and legs.  And give their heads kisses.  And rock them if they’re in their car seats.  Or hold and cuddle them if they are being held by someone else. 
  • Collections.  Your collections change throughout the week, but it often is some assortment of a Hot Wheels car, small airplane, a small plastic animal, and then something totally random like an eraser, small box or pom pom.  Whatever your collection is for the day, you carry it everywhere you go around the house.
  • Your Bopa used to be your favorite thing, ever (aside from mom and dad).  He spent an awful lot of time with you this past summer and spring; babysitting and playing with you.  Then in late summer, “Bama” (as you refer to her) stopped working and has been the go-to babysitter…. and sad to say for Bopa, but I’m pretty sure you’ve traded him in for Bama.  :)  You love her.  You love to cuddle her, rock with her and play with her.
  • You love to run!  You run almost everywhere you go.  No walking for you.

We had such a blast celebrating your birthday with you!  (Sorry for the bad pics, bud.  I didn’t want to haul my big camera around all day, so I only have phone pics!).  As per tradition, we started the day with a special mommy-son breakfast.

You and I hit up Busick Court for some delicious omelets and cinnamon roll french toast!

 photo 1 copy 3

Then home to pick up Daddy and Zeek, and then we hit the town for more fun!  We started with a couple rides at the Carousel and got you a smashed penny from there to add to your beginning collection. 

photo 2 copy 4 photo 4 copy 3 photo 2

After the Carousel, we ventured over to Wunderland for some arcade fun!  You love pumping those nickels into the games, especially the one where you try to dump the dump-trucks.

photo 3

And as a Birthday Treat – you managed to dump one of them and got a ton of tickets!

photo 4

Then we went home for naps (yeah, sorry dude, even the Birthday Boy still needs his sleep!).  You and Big Bro woke up to a hallway full of balloons and your presents.

photo 1 copy photo 2 copy 2

 

Afterwards, we headed out for more fun: Birthday Tradition – Chuck E Cheese!  :)

This time we went “all out” and had pizza dinner and got a ton of tokens to play with. 

photo 2 copy 3

Watching Chuck E Cheese come out and do his show!

photo 3 copy

You really enjoyed taking rides and playing games.  We hadn’t been here since Zeek’s birthday last year.

photo 4 copy photo 5 copy photo 3 copy 2 photo 5 copy 2

And of course, we had to do our annual Chuck E Cheese photo sketch:

2015:

Asher 2015

2014:

Asher 2014

And I realized that your shirt only caught “I Hit” … which looks terrible.  haha.  For the record, the shirt says, “I Hit Homeruns for Mommy”.  :)

Celebrating you and your birthday was so fun, little man!  You just ate it up!  Daddy and I love you and your happy disposition and funny personality so much!  You are such a joy and make us laugh so much.  Here’s to another year, buddy bear!

Love,
Mom

All I Want(ed) for Christmas…

This post was started on Christmas Eve morning and then before I could finish and post, the littles woke up and the computer was turned off for the last two days.  :)

This Christmas has been a bit unusual in a handful of ways.  Just moving into a house with many many projects, not feeling fully settled yet, big pregnant belly to work around (though I suppose this is the 3rd time this has happened at Christmas time and is almost a norm by this point)… a “stripped back Christmas”, as we’ve been calling it.

No fuss.  Minimal holiday decorations.  Minimal holiday outings instead of here and there and everywhere.  Only one Christmas movie watched, and only watched by the boys.  Even cut back some family gatherings. 

Yet, this has been one of my favorite Christmases.  Low stress, low pressure, low expectations.  Just enjoying the family and our time together, making our new house a home.

Normally, I go all out for holiday decor and make it “just right”.  A perfectly thought-out beautiful tree, decorated entirely by myself and no little hands.  Pretty lights strung up outside.  Christmas treats.  Christmas event after outing after family gathering.  Frustrating stress over presents that “had” to be bought, for people I hardly know. 

This year…. all I wanted was for my tree to be up with lights on it and have my area rug and 2 couches in the living room before Christmas.  That’s all.  None of the other fluff.   Not that the rest is bad, or that I’ll never do it again.  But this year?  This year I just wanted minimal.  I needed minimal.

For our “stripped back Christmas”, I let my perfectionist self take a back seat.  Rather, I made it.

Instead, I spent one afternoon making paper snowflakes with the boys.  Normally, I wouldn’t want to put “ugly” paper on my windows.  This year, I enjoyed how in awe it made the boys to have them watch mom fold up a simple piece of computer paper, make some cuts, and unfold it to see the magical snowflake that appeared.
 

DSC_0517

This year, I let Zeek and Asher decorate the only tree we put up after Thanksgiving – their little 3 ft fake pre-lit tree.  They decorated the window with white die-cut Christmas tree’s hanging in a random array.  They insisted on putting the gaudy lit up candy cane in the window as well.  And this year?  This year, I let them.  I let them have their way with all the decorations.

DSC_0518

We had bought a Groupon for a local Christmas tree farm that we had went to last year as well (and loved) and it expired on Dec. 14th, so we had a little bit of a deadline to get the tree in the living room by that date.

Work wasn’t quite finished by then, but we went and got our tree anyway.  We arrived at the tree lot on the last day, in the last hour.  The boys tromped around and we fairly quickly picked a tree that was perfect for us.  (Quite frankly, I think it’s my favorite tree that we’ve ever picked.)

Our attempt at a sorta-kinda-family-photo (and Zeek, who thinks it’s just hilarious to make faces at the camera…)

photo 1

photo 5   And me, wearing the only coat that will still (barely) zip around my belly! :P

The boys both got to help daddy with cutting the tree down:

photo 1 copy 2photo 2

Though we got our tree, it still sat in our drive way for 3 days, and then finally was brought up and sat in our dining room for another 3 days, before FINALLY on Monday night, we pulled the tree into the almost-mostly-finished living room and decorated it.  :)

While ornaments ended in clumps in some areas, the boys loved helping me hang them around the tree and “make it pretty”.  And honestly?  It’s one of my favorite tree’s to date.  Love the little hands that helped me decorate.  After the tree was done, they excitedly ran back and forth from the playroom (where all the present had been stored the last few weeks) and the living room, placing each gift under our tree. 

On Christmas Eve eve, we had our own tradition that we started a few years ago of reading the story of Jesus’ birth, opening stockings, and opening one gift of their choosing.

DSC_0537

Tanya, I promise Skyler’s wearing clothes.  I know it seems that I’ve married a nudist.

DSC_0536 DSC_0548

Choosing the present they wanted to open… They knew IMMEDIATELY that these ones were more Safari Ltd. Toobs (their favorite toys ever) and they wanted to open these ones. 

DSC_0533

Asher got a Toob of trains and one of “Things in the Air” (airplanes, hot air balloon, jets, bi-planes, etc).  Zeek got one of trees (I know that doesn’t SOUND exciting, but he has several of the animal ones already and asked for the Toob of trees for the animals to hide in!), and Arctic Animals. 

DSC_0567

They loved them and Asher had his favorite trains and airplanes selected quite quickly and was toting them around for the rest of the evening.  :)

Christmas Eve morning, this mama was up early.  Enjoying the still.  The quiet.  The beautiful lights that had so recently graced my living room.  And I waited.  Waited for the little pitter patter of four footie jammie feet coming down the hallway. 

DSC_0580 photo 1 copy

We had a lovely Christmas Eve eve and “Christmas” morning as our own little family.  Our own little traditions.  Making memories with the boys.  It’s good.  It’s been stripped back… and gooood.   Thankful for stepping back this year, slowing down, and enjoying the family time we had and new traditions we started.

More Christmas to come in the next post.