Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Elinor's first steps

So it's been a *little* while since my last post.  Listen, we've been busy, okay?  There was school, a pre-school co-op, a bunch of holidays, some crazy traveling, chickens, major projects, a big garden, and a bunch of other things in between.  Which is all to say that I've got a lot of catching up to do!  Let's start with Elinor's first steps... at the beginning of last November. 

She was the latest walker of the three, waiting until the ripe old age of 13 1/2 months before deigning to walk. 
She's also the least graceful walker of the three. 
She falls down all the time (back then and now) and would mostly rely on inertia to stay upright. 
So pretty much, it was the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Updates on the offspring

Isaac
* Really into creating things.  Most recent creations include books (titled "The Gingerbread Robot" and "Car") and surprise cards for Mommy.  Puts me in a great mood every time!
* Getting much better at reading.  Starting to realize he can read things spontaneously, like traffic signs and books.
*  Is really good about eating his dinners.  This may not sound like a big deal, but we're talking about the same kid who used to dry heave when we'd try to get him to eat a tiny bite of mushroom or zucchini or other food he didn't like.  Now if it's something he doesn't like, he politely choke it down without any drama.
* Loves school!  Comes home singing songs he learns there and practicing counting to 100.  A lot.
*  Favorite shows: The Magic School Bus, Phineas and Ferb, Chuck and Friends.
* Favorite food: "Cake!  Muffins!  Pizza!  Cookies!  Chocolate chips!  Joe-Joe's (Trader Joe's version of Oreos)!"  Glad to know he likes eating healthy.  :)
* Learning to ride a bike.  He has the going part down, but the stopping part still intimidates him.
* One day a few months ago (yeah, it's been a while) he randomly told me, "Mommy, I hate gravity!"
* He's our sweet kid, the thoughtful one who helps out with or without being asked.  He takes care of his younger siblings and offers to take the puppy out to pee.  Thank goodness for responsible oldest children!

Sammy

* He's the family clown.  If he can make a joke about it, he will.  If he can do something to make you laugh, he will.  Most everything he says devolves into potty humor pretty quickly.

* He's an unflappable little rapscallion!  No amount of yelling at or disciplining will bring his spirits down.  His retort of choice when asked to do something is, "I won't!" (spoken rascal-ishly with a smile), or if told not to do something, "I will!"  When he sees Isaac having a fit he purposely stands right next to him, grinning devilishly, just to bug him.  It works.
* LOVES to color!  The coloring bug has bitten him hard - he spends hours coloring, then insists on hanging his creations on his bed or the fridge.  We're running out of room!
* Still in diapers.  We tried to potty train him and lasted less than a week (see this post).  It's to do with his pooing issues, and I don't have the wherewithal to deal with it right now.  Isaac went through the same thing, and it took over a year to be done with it.  This time around, I'm just going to call the extra cost of diapers for that year an investment in my sanity.  He'll get it by the time he's 18, I'm sure.
* "Scary face!"

* Loves doing puzzles!  He can put together a 60-piece jigsaw puzzle with minimal assistance (as in, we help him find about 5 pieces).
* Still loves cars.  Not sure if he'll ever not love cars.  If he's not coloring or doing puzzles, he's playing with cars - making monster truck courses, having races and demolition derbies, or just holding and examining them.  He has a hoard of Hot Wheels in bed with him each night and he insists on tucking them in with his own blanket.
* Has a fantastic little lisp.

* Has a promising future working in the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Elinor
* Loves to play with her brothers.  Since her brothers mostly play with cars, she loves to play with cars too.  She'll take one and start rolling it back and forth, pursing her lips and making a "vvvvvvvooooooo" sound. 
* Loves to lounge around.  If there's something soft nearby, she'll go, "Ohhhhhhhh" and fall into it.
* Is an avid reader, sometimes while doing stretches.  (But seriously, she loves to look at books!)

* Is NO pushover.  She doesn't take any guff from her big brothers.  In fact, it's usually her that does the beating up.

And yet she shows no remorse...
* First word: "This," spoken with all the imperiousness of a young lady.  Other words include "nana" (banana, one of her favorite foods), "IIIIII-yick!" ('Isaac', also possibly doubles for 'all done'), "uh-oh", and "tum" (some). 
* Claps any time she hears anyone cheer.
* She still doesn't really like other people, but she's starting to tolerate them more.  The other day I was able to leave her with a neighbor for nearly an hour without too much crying!
* She's taking this walking thing very slowly.  She's been taking a few steps here and there for about a month now, but she still prefers crawling and holding on to things. 

And there you have it.  An exhaustive update on the goings-on of our children!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Say 'cheese!'

We had our family pictures taken for the first time since Isaac was 6 months old. After a minor hiccup in location choice (the place we chose ended up being crazy crowded), we ended up shooting in our backyard and house.  Not the most ideal spot, but our photographer Carrie (who happens to be Collin's cousin) is sort of a wizard at making things look good.  I love how they turned out!  If you're in Utah (and sometimes SoCal) and want fabulous photos for a really reasonable price, go check her out!  http://thesimplelifephotography.com/























Of course, we had our share of not-so-photogenic shots:

And just plain stinky shots:

But overall I'd say we did pretty well.  Thanks, Carrie!!

I've found the perfect weight loss program

It's STRESS!  At least for me it is.  And let me tell you - I have lost some weight this past month!  Sept. 23rd was our 7th wedding anniversary.  The seven fastest and best years of my life.  To commemorate the occasion, we got a puppy!  But not just any puppy.  A white (they're referred to as English Creme) golden retriever.  Here he is, 9 weeks old, on his first day home (pre-bath).

Collin surprised me the morning of our anniversary.  "How quickly can you get dressed?" he asked, "We're going to Bountiful!"  I'd been begging for a puppy for months, and so we went and picked out the sweetest, most cuddly one of the litter and named him Bumi, after a character in our family's favorite show ("Avatar: the Last Airbender" in case you need an awesome show to watch). 

He was adorable! 

He was cuddly! 

He... peed on the floors a lot!  (Here he's looking properly ashamed of himself.)
We kept him tethered to the kitchen island to facilitate mess cleaning, but I would let him roam (supervised, of course) for about 10 minutes right after he did his business outside.  Wouldn't you know it, but the little rascal still peed and sometimes pooped on the carpet sometimes!  He apparently didn't read the internet puppy training advice that said puppies his age should be able to go half an hour without peeing.  Alas. 

Anyway, he's still working on the potty training.  He's four months old now and still has accidents (he peed on my lap just this weekend!), but I know he's trying.  I get heartily angry with him every time he has an accident and vow to cook him for dinner that very night, but then I simmer down and we're mates again. 

Bumi is generally a very well behaved pup.  He (mostly) knows how to sit, stay, come, lie down, shake hands, drop whatever he's holding in his mouth, heel, and is now crate trained.  He's come a long way since we first got him a month and a half ago - his breeders kept them all outside, with no feeding schedule and no rules or discipline, so all his tricks and such have been learned from scratch with us.  Everywhere we go (including the vet) people comment on what a sweet, calm puppy he is.  He's currently learning how to "hide" - I'll post a video when he masters it.

The other day (I think it was Friday) Bumi either ate or got bitten by something that really didn't agree with him.  His face got all kinds of puffy, including both eyes and his mouth.  He looked like Harry Potter after Hermione jinxed his face to disguise him from the snatchers in the woods.




The vet said to just give him Benadryl.  It worked like a charm and he was back to normal by the following morning.  (It takes a while to kick in.)

While Bumi vexes me like crazy, the kids absolutely adore him.  I even like him a bit too, when I'm not busy scolding him for something.  But the boys take it in turns to play tug-of-war with him, and he (and they) LOVES it.


Elinor has become his partner in crime.  The two of them get into all kinds of trouble together.  She brings him all manner of contraband items to eat, tempts him with her fingers (literally - she pokes him and tries to stick her hand in his mouth), and hangs out in his crate with him.  I can't decide if it's cute or gross. 



I'm still glad we got him, but I'll be much gladder when he's fully house trained!