Wednesday, December 17, 2014

one years old (and two months)

 These pictures are Althea at 12 months old, exactly.
I can't believe I haven't written about her birthday yet!  I don't even know where to begin!  Every day I feel like she learns more that I forget where she was just 2 months ago.  I do know this.  Less than 2 weeks after her birthday she became a walker.  It's funny because we never really had to work very much with her.  She just wanted to do it and just worked on it on her own.  It's like as soon as she learned to crawl she wasn't satisfied and was working to pull herself up to cruise immediately. She'd crawl to the couch and pull herself up even though she was super wobbly.  After she was more stable  she would slide toys around the house or her high chair or a garbage can…anything that she could push so that she could practice walking.   I love watching her walk.  This last week she has really improved and is pretty sure footed now that it's been a month and a half.

Looking at the pictures above make me happy.  The high chair picture was taken on her actual birthday.  We were in MA for the holiday weekend.  Our friends Tom and Kelley came out with their two youngest and we went for a hike at W. Meadow and had dinner and brownies.  A very fun time!   When we got back home to the city we had a second celebration with just our family.  The video that Kermit made shows moments from that sweet day.

Just last week I was finally able to wean this girl.  She is now drinking milk from a sippy cup and likes it.  I'm not sure her little system does though.  I need to talk with her doctor because even though she likes it now her bowels are all wonky.  She isn't sleeping through the night consistently but I blame teething.  Erin was here in November for 10 days and got her sleeping through the night.  Every time she would wake up Erin went in there to comfort her rather than me because if I went in there she would just want to nurse.  She was doing it! Erin trained her!  Then….monster molar decided to make it's way through. Ugh!  She's teething once again.  Another monster molar.  Seriously.  This could go on forever I think. Her pediatrician doesn't recommend numbing gels because of a rare but serious side effect. Figures.

Can I just say this girl loves to talk!  It's so funny because she thinks she is talking and she tells us stuff all the time.  She walks into the room makes and announcement and then walks away.  Comes back 30 seconds later with another important message.  It cracks us up.  She just loves it!  When I talk on FaceTime with the family…she wants to hog the time just to jabber and tell everybody what is going on here I guess.  She does have a lot of real words.  She doesn't use them in her jabbering really.  She uses them when she is pointing to pictures in a book or identifying a toy or something.  Not really in her monologues.   I'd say she has 20 words last time I counted.  Mama and Dada are at the top and she definitely uses them properly.   She calls all the sisters Ada.  Even herself.  But she has down Mama and uses it a lot.  It melts me.  She pats my chest and says Mama.  Love her!   She says these words for sure:  bear, ball, baby, moo, baa, owl, duck, dog, hoo (owl sound), bye bye, night night, uh oh (first word), teeth, eyes, nose, hair… name a few.

She loves to play Patty Cake and to sing songs like If you're Happy and you Know it, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ring around the Rosey….Still loves to be read to.  I can't have enough books for her especially lift the flap books.  She has liked pushing around a little basket with a baby doll inside.   She loves her baby doll.  Now that she walks I feel like she wanders around a lot. She gets into everything.  Toilet lids must be closed.  Trash cans put away.  Drawers will be pulled out and emptied.  Computers and all devices will be messed with.  Remote controls are a favorite as well.  She doesn't play with her toys much these days…everybody else's stuff is way more fun.

I thought having a Christmas Tree would be a disaster with a baby around.  She has liked it but to my surprise she has left it pretty much alone.  She loved helping to decorate but doesn't seem de-decorate it.  She loves to draw.  The girls have got her going on the doodle pad and with crayons on paper.  I have a feeling we are going to have some coloring accidents in our future.  We have art supplies everywhere and I think its just a matter of time before our walls or couch or floor become her canvas.

She loves to snuggle me.  The rest of the family can't get her to snuggle much because she is always go go go but boy she loves it when she does.  She strokes my arm or face and just nuzzles right in.  Love that sweet baby!  I seriously can't get enough.  Sometimes it is hard to go back to having a baby but I know how fast they grow and I'm truly just trying my best to soak every moment up.   Other things in life can wait just a little longer.   I'm so glad this girl came along.  Love her.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Labor Day Weekend 2014 - Nauvoo

This year for our Labor Day Weekend we took a road trip to Nauvoo.  We had the best time!  Nauvoo attracts summer crowds but not Labor Day crowds.  We practically had the place to ourselves!  We stayed at a cute bed and breakfast inn that was once Willard Richards' home.  Loved it! It was perfect. We were able to fit our whole family into one room comfortably.  We had our own bathroom across the hall complete with a victorian claw foot tub. (Yes, I used it...and I want one!)  I loved it because it was down in the old historic part of Nauvoo and not up on the hill like most of the other places to stay.  It was a beautiful old house with all the original architectural details.  LOVE!  The rooms were cute and comfortable.  The cost was very reasonable and included bike rentals for the family so we literally rode our bikes from place to place and covered so much more than we would have on foot.  The inn itself and riding bikes were real high lights!
We were able to do just about everything we wanted.  If we were to go again soon I think there would still be a few things new to discover.  The girls loved the animals and loved petting the horses.  We took the bikes out to where the horses are kept when they aren't working and said hello. All the little homes and shops were so interesting to visit.  The missionaries there were all so welcoming and happy to have us there.  We visited the records building and learned that both Kermit and I had relatives that lived there! (Too much time has passed now and I can't remember names except Newell Knight on Kermit's side.)
A great time was had by all.  I'd recommend it folks! You should go! 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Look who's ONE!

This has been THE fastest year on record!  I can't believe this baby is ONE! How did this happen?!

She took her first steps tonight!  She was quite proud and so were her sisters.  We all cheered as she walked between Kermit and I.  I knew she'd be doing it soon because all week she has been pushing around a toy that slides easily across the floor.  She has to lean way over to push it so her  bottom is up in the air but she seems to prefer to be on her feet when she can rather than her knees.  She also likes to push around the high chair.  It's funny to see this little baby push a big chair like that.  (It's super light weight…thank you Ikea.  Not the one in the picture above.)

She is doing great on all fronts.  She loves being read to.  She likes to sing.  She's fascinated with drawers and likes to open and close them constantly.  She likes pulling books out off the shelves.  She likes to point at things.  She loves going shopping with me but must be strapped in the cart or she'll stand up.  Oh I love this girl! She has learned to say and knows where her nose is. She also seems to get it that I'm "Mama" and dad is "Dada". I think.  She uses them interchangeably but doesn't use those names for her sisters.  She is eating well.  Still prefers to breastfeed rather than take a sip cup. She has never really taken a bottle so I guess she never will at this point.  She doesn't seem to like milk, can you blame her?  But I was so proud that I wouldn't have to buy her formula once I weaned her but it seems she isn't liking milk anyway and has no plans to wean herself any time soon.

She got shots the other day for her 12 month exam.  She took them like a champ. Cried for 10 seconds and has been happy ever since.  I was waiting for it all to hit the roof later in the day but so far so good. She really is just a happy girl.  And especially now that we have that nasty molar tooth finally in.  I cannot believe how much that tooth affected her. I'm glad to have my content and happy baby back.

She loves to snuggle.  Every morning we sit in her room for 15 minutes before I go and wake big sisters.  She hugs and cuddles and kisses.  My favorite part of the day right there!  Then I take her in to see her sisters and they are always glad to see her.  She helps them to wake up on the right side of the bed for sure.

I hear her repeat words all the time.  I'm sure she knows some of them and isn't just parroting.  I think she knows DOG and BALL.  I'll have to keep a list as she learns them.

I bought a new stroller for her on Craigslist.  My kids think I'm crazy and maybe I am because it is the 4th stroller that we have for her.  BUT here's why I needed this fourth stroller….it can face me as we stroll.  I would take her for walks and it drove me crazy to not be able to see my sweet baby.  So…this stroller is because she is my last baby and I want to be able to look at her while we stroll. So for her birthday I got her a new stroller so that I could see her more.  Makes sense.  I mean look at that face.

It's late. 10:40pm.  I hear my little angle baby up there stirring.  Looking for a snack. I best be going.  Hopefully she'll only have me up once tonight.  Yeah, we're still working on that.

Baby Love

I love these pictures.  I can't take my eyes off of them once I start.  Just one year ago this baby came and it has been the fastest and happiest year yet.  I will love this baby forever and cherish these memories always.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

11 months already

I can't believe how quickly this girl is growing!  She's huge! At her last doctor appointment she measured in the 90% for height, 50% for weight and greater than 98% head circumference! (She's tall.  She's got good brains!)

She's getting around. When she learned to crawl the first thing that she would always do would be to crawl to the coffee table or ottoman to pull herself up.  She's been cruising and crawling equally.  She's been learning them simultaneously.  She has a few bruises on her face from taking some risks but she's getting pretty confident and is falling less and less. She can also stand unassisted for a few seconds. She  is pretty proud of herself and it's very cute.

Her words!  UH-OH is definitely her first word.  She loves to play the uh-oh game.  That is she drops something and then says "uh-oh".  You pick it up and then she drops it again.  Repeat. Sometimes she'll drop something and nobody is there to get it for her and she will just say "uh-oh" over and over.  It's pretty cute. I love her voice.  A few weeks ago we taught her DADA and she seemed to understand that Kermit was DADA.  But then she was calling me "dada" too.  So then we taught her MAMA and she seemed to get it but then she was calling everybody MAMA.  I think now she understands.

On our fireplace mantel we have individual pictures of each of the girls.  She likes to point to them and I tell her the names of her sisters.  Out of the blue she has started calling them ADA!  So exciting.  Now  just yesterday she started saying ABEE for Avrie! So cute!  Also she says DA for dog and BA for ball.  I'd say she's wanting to talk!  And she is!

Her sleep, oh her sleep. She naps well but her nights are another story. Last week I declared that she needed to learn to sleep through the night.  She has been getting up 2-4 times per night just to check in.  She just wants to be held and have a quick snack then goes back to sleep.  I've never minded getting up with her. In fact I love the time alone to snuggle her when she's not busy trying to pull away.  BUT sometimes I have a hard time falling back asleep and it kills me the next day.   These sleep interruptions leave me dragging the next day.  I really need her to sleep.  I know she's not hungry.  So last week Kermit went in every time she cried in the night.  He eventually could calm her down.  The second night she only cried once and he was able to calm her quickly.  The third night she slept through!!! YAY! It felt great! I was actually rested enough to go to the gym for the first time in MONTHS. Problem is Althea went to the gym too and I think she picked up a bug while she was there.  SO that night she was not feeling herself and was up multiple times.  Also Kermit had to get up early so he couldn't go in to get her.  Then he was traveling.  Now she is teething and in pain all day and night.  So much for sleeping through the night.  Oh well. We'll try again soon.

Her hair.  Love the hair! It's getting long enough that it lays down on the sides and front.  That top tuft though….she needs some product!  It's super cute but it kinda looks like I didn't brush it.  I've been trying to keep bow clips in her hair.  When she discovers them she pulls them out. Oh well.

Althea is about the sweetest baby there ever was.  I'm not kidding when I say that strangers always comment to me on how cute she is and have to stop and talk to her.  Seriously!  It happened all the time in MA and now here in Chicago it's happening.  People love her! What's not to love?!  I love taking her places with me. She is so much fun to hang out with.

Her teeth.  She's got 8. Working on a molar now. She has been for awhile.  Her gums are totally swollen and tender. I can feel the tooth coming in.  None of the other girls had teething molars like this. It looks so painful. I talked to the dentist and she said to expect bleeding. Poor baby.

As I type I'm watching her push her little wagon around.  Adeline is close behind making sure she doesn't get it going to fast.  The girls are all in love with her and love to take care of her.  Only now and then do they find that they need me to come get her so they can work on their big girl stuff.  They seem to take turns.  They are all awesome big sisters.  Althea is one lucky baby!  And we are one lucky bunch to have HER!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

9 months

This baby duckling is already 9 months!  She is so busy!  She finally learned to crawl just this week (on my birthday to be exact) and she loves to explore.  She's so cute because each move she makes is so careful and wobbly.  She is gaining confidence daily though and I know it won't be long before she will be in to everything.  She is very curious and loves to grab things and taste everything. 

She's been working on tooth number 7 and 8 (her two top front teeth).  They are really hurting her.  Poor thing.  She keeps her fist in her mouth and drools and wakes up in the night.  I give her Motrin and chewy toys and lots of love.  Her sisters are great at helping to keep her happy and distracted. 

We are really enjoying having this cute baby around.  Today Addie told me that she didn't want Althea to turn into a little kid.  She wants her to stay just like she is.  I remember thinking the same thing about all my babies but they have sure turned out to be super kids so I know the same will be true for Althea. 

She loves to jabber as usual.  She says "Adoo" a lot.  Other things we hear her say often "baba, dada and gaga"  We are still trying to get her to understand that dada is her dad but that will be awhile I'm sure.

She loves meal time.  She sits in her highchair next to the table.  Lately she's been able to have tiny little  bits of table food which she really likes.  I'll also put fruit inside a little meshy thing that she can suck on.  She loves the watermelon and plums.   She eats baby food pretty well.  There are a few foods that she hasn't liked (peaches and green beans).   She makes a mess and definitely needs a bath daily.  She loves her bath time.

She loves to get outside.  She loves going out to visit the chickens.  She also LOVES going for walks and hikes in the Baby Bjorn.  Loves it!

Life is good with this baby around.  Love her!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eight Month Update

This baby is so darn cute and lovable! I feel so blessed every single day to have her.  She has three new teeth this month for a total of 4 on the bottom and 2 on top (her incisors).  Thank goodness.  She had been working on those for the last month and finally they broke through!  She is still waking up multiple times in the night but I know it won't last forever.  She takes 2 naps per day and has been doing pretty good the past few days.  We are in MA right now and she is adjusting to a new bedroom and house pretty well all things considered.  She likes to be held a lot which has made it hard to unpack and get settled but we are getting there. She's been waking up at 5:30am every day since we've been here but the last few days I've been able to nurse her and get her to go back to sleep until 7:30.  About half the time I've been able to go back to sleep as well.

She eats one meal per day of solids.  She loves to eat puffs in her high chair.  She still is an awesome nurser. She is so sweet when she is nursing. She'll usually pat my arm rhythmically or stroke my arm with her buttery soft fingers.  Sometimes she'll scratch or pinch.  Also sometimes she'll play with her hair or ear.

She is sitting pretty well unassisted.  About once a day she'll fall backwards.  She can pivot pretty well on her bottom.  She also is still working on her crawling.  She can get on all 4s and is working on trying to move.  She is super wiggly when you hold her so I know she just wants to move.

Her hair still stands straight up.  She has one little tuft on top in the back that is an inch or so longer than the rest of her hair. It's like a little Indian feather or something. Very cute.  I'd call her a blond but there is definitely some red going on. Strawberry blond I guess.  Her eyebrows and lashes have the same strawberry blond coloring.

She is a little chatter box and jabbers a lot.  She likes to say DA DA DA a lot.  We try to teach her that Kermit is Dada but she's not getting  it yet.   She likes to sing and hum as well which about melts me.
She loves to bang on the piano, take baths, splash in water, visit the chickens, take walks outside, be held and played with.  A couple of days ago at church a mom sat down next to us with her 12 month old.  Oh my! Althea just loved it! She was so excited to see another baby. It was hilarious! The 12 month old was a crawler so the mom ended up taking him out because he was just too busy to contain. Sorry Althea. Maybe next time.

Love that baby!
 Loves to be outside.  Loves her exersaucer too.
 Her first selfie.
 Helps with the laundry.
 Loves the bath.

Sisters dressed her up in the beret. Loves the puffs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seven Months

LOVE this baby!  Seven months she has been in our lives and our whole family has been smiling ear to ear and in love with this bundle of joy.  I don't think I've ever known a happier baby than Althea.  She has a smile for all that she meets.  Her blue eyes and long lashes melt me.  That smile just puts me in the best mood.  That hair, that hair!  She gets a lot of attention for that all naturally happy hair!  Those chubby legs…who can resist?!  Her fat little fingers and toes!  We all love every single thing about her. 
The picture in the swing above was taken on her 7th month birthday.  It happened to be a hot one.  Below in the stroller was just 4 days later and it was near freezing.  That's been this spring for you.  Every morning and afternoon Althea and I walk big sisters to and from school in the stroller.  For the most part she enjoys the walks and being out.

We were at the park last week and sisters wanted to stop and take pictures of our "Dandelion Fuzz Head Baby" in the patch of dandelions.  A little out of focus. We'll have to try that one again.
I like to call her my little baby duck.

Althea is loving her exersaucer.  She loves her toys and being able to see the world while she plays. We still try to give her plenty of tummy time so that she can practice getting up on all fours and hopefully learn to crawl soon.  Although with 3 big sisters who want to hold her 24 / 7, who needs to crawl?
She is eating solids and really liking them.  She gets one meal of solids a day, usually at dinner time.  She's my Gerber Baby. She still is an excellent nurser.  She is so funny as she nurses.  She no longer has her fingers in my mouth but rather bangs her arm up and down on my arm rhythmically, or she will scratch my arm with her little fingers that are sometimes very sharp. She also often will inhale loudly and hold her breath for several seconds at a time and make a sound like she is hyperventilating or something….but she's not.  I think she just does it because it sounds cool.  Or she will hum while she drinks.  She's just nonstop fun even in these quiet little moments.
A few weeks ago on her 7th month bday she had just her bottom two teeth.  Last week she got another bottom tooth.  It's very cute. She won't ever let me put my fingers in her mouth to show anybody her little teeth.  In fact she always pushes my hands away as soon as I try getting close to her face.  Oh well. Trust me, they are there and they are adorable. She's working on that fourth bottom tooth now and has made for some rough nights lately.  It must be so painful for her.  She literally whimpers in her sleep as she is teething.  Poor baby girl.

She is rolling all over the place forwards and back.  She can pivot around on her belly too.  She loves finding her way to where she is half way under a bed or rocking chair with a skirt or blanket hanging low that she can play with.  It's so cute to see her get excited.

There we have it.  All the latest for this little darling! You're up to date!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spring Break. Part One - Northern Utah

It didn't take us long to figure out what to do for our Spring Break this year.  Two of Kermit's nephews were engaged to be married one weekend apart with our week of Spring Break in between.  One wedding in Provo, UT the other in St. George, UT.  We booked our tickets immediately.   We were so excited for both of them and so excited that we could finally take our kids to see Northern Utah for the first time.

We flew into Salt Lake on Friday afternoon and had a few hours before we had to be down to Provo so we took the kids to see beautiful Temple Square.  We walked all around the grounds and told them all about the day we got married there almost 15 years ago. We went inside the old tabernacle and to the new conference center.  I hope that the girls will remember that day.  I wish we had more time to linger but we had to get to Provo for a dinner for cousin Elliot and his bride to be, Valerie.

 (Just enjoying the view of the most beautiful temple ever….)

 Elliot and Val were married in the Provo Temple.  Here are pictures from just after the wedding.

I think Elliot found himself a great gal!  I had a chance to visit with her a couple of times and I really like her.  Welcome to the family Valerie!

After the wedding and before the reception we had a few hours to spend.  We ended up going to BYU Museum of Art.  The special exhibit we saw was incredible!  It was called Sacred Gifts.  Amazing paintings of Christ from all over the world…some famous artists, some not. All just breathtaking.  I don't like to use the word "breathtaking" because I think it sounds silly but in this instance I cannot think of a more appropriate word.  I definitely felt the Spirit as I went through this exhibit and I think all of my family did too. You should go.  It is there until Memorial Day, so not much time.  Hop to it!

We also went to a favorite restaurant called Bombay House with the wedding party for lunch.  YUM!  A good time was had by all!

Then we got to see our very favorite Michele and Daniel! Hooray! Love these two.  We got to visit with them at their house in Provo.  Michele put together a cute little Easter Egg hunt for the girls.  We got to see their very cool house that they have remodeled.  They have great modern taste.  We also decided to take a drive up Provo Canyon to see a cute little park there so the kids could run around.  So much fun to see them. We wish they didn't have to live so far away.

 Finally was the reception that night!  (What a day!)  This is about all I got as far as pictures at the reception but all had a great time.  The food was all prepared by Elliot and Val and was fantastic!  The music was fun, the company great.  The kids played hide and seek and had themselves a blast among the crowds of Elliot and Valerie well wishers.   Below is cousin Emma with the girls.
At some point that day we also drove around BYU and let the kids play by a creek by the bell tower.  I think it was that morning before the wedding.  Yes, that was it.  Baby ducks and tulips everywhere.  What could be better.  I could not have dreamed up a more fun weekend and so glad we got to go!