Starting off Spring…

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Today, we spent late morning and afternoon with Ya Ya and baby Lyla. We parked at the little park downtown, and walked around in the sunshine. We picked up some lunch from one of the local cafes, and then walked it back to the park to eat. There is a bakery downtown that the kids and I always seem to miss when it is open. Today, I knew it wasn’t closed and wanted to check it out first. They had a sign flipper outside dressed up as the pillsbury doughboy (or at least a poor man’s version), and it actually really freaked out little sister. Once they realized they were scaring her, they tried to stop waving in her direction, but both the babies didn’t seem to mind, and whoever was in the costume seemed very excited to see our cute little babies.

IMG_2676After realizing that the bakery goodies and pastries weren’t exactly what we had in mind for lunch, we walked back to the cafe and ordered yummy sandwiches and smoothies. Ya Ya got a berry & sorbet smoothie, and we ordered the “popeye” smoothie. It was a sweet fruit smoothie, but also had spinach in it. Even though it was green, I knew it wasn’t going to be anything like the green smoothies we make at home. It was going to be MUCH sweeter. It was still yummy, and had the added benefit of all the vitamins and minerals to balance out the extra sugar. Both baby brother and sissy loved it. The sandwich was also extra yummy, and Sis especially enjoyed the cheese & olives from the sandwich.

After we ate our picnic lunch, we went for a walk downtown. It was such a lovely, sunny day! It was so much fun to get out and watch the kiddos interact with the downtown atmosphere. It is supposed to be around 70 degrees tomorrow, then we have more rain in the forecast. If we are going to have rain, at least we are having it balanced out with these great, sunny days!

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Familiar friends

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We had a special treat today at Church. Big brother’s dear friend who he hasn’t seen in months was at the same Mass as we were. And we happened to be sitting in a nearly empty pew, so there was plenty of room for her and her Mom to sit next to us. Big brother couldn’t stop smiling! He was soooooo happy to finally see her! We have been trying to get together since Christmas with her for a playdate, but it seems that someone has always been sick (either one of our kiddos or herself).

At any rate, lots of hugs were had all around, and we are starting to make plans to get together for spring break. Needless to say, they didn’t want to leave, but we got to spend a little time chatting and playing in the parking lot of Church before we said our goodbyes. Such little sweeties. And, yes, this is the little girl that big brother refers to as “my wife”. So cute!

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Snack break

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Fridays are short days for big brother, and he gets out of school about the same time as little sister. They have been trying to collect the Barbie and Hotwheels Mcdonalds toys lately, so we decided to stop by for a quick treat (both snack and toy) right after school. It wasn’t quite lunch, but they did enjoy french fries and ice cream. Yes, a big treat before lunch, but somedays we need these kinds of treats. Though baby brother didn’t get a toy or ice cream, he happily munched on french fries. He isn’t usually a fan of french fries, but I guess today he was hungry enough. Or, he was caught up in the fun mood of our outing. Either way, these fun times and smiles are so worth it!

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45 weeks old

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Baby brother is moving right along and getting bigger and bigger by the minute. Now at 45 weeks old, he is starting to gain a bit more independence, entertaining himself, trying to play along with his siblings (as though he was there age), and starting to eat more chunky & solid foods. He is getting more and more rough, and we have to monitor him closely when he is near baby Lyla or he is likely to bonk her in the face or head, or throw a toy at her chest. He is just trying to play with her and of course, doesn’t understand he is being too rough with her. He understands “gentle”, and will stroke her or grab her cheek when he wants to give her a kiss, but then he starts to play like he is teasing or something. She is taking it like a trooper though, and has learned to use her hands as protection. You can see in her face, also, that she is now more aware of what he is going to do next.

On Friday, baby brother let go of the couch (he was holding onto for support while standing) for the very first time! He did it two more times in the morning and afternoon. One of the times, he let go of Momma’s knees, and the other time he let go of the ottoman. Such a big boy! One of the first things he does in the morning after he has eaten his breakfast, is go right to the play kitchen. He loves to stand in the play sink area, and make lots of noise with other toys. He loves that he is the same height as the sink. I think it makes him accomplished and proud. We are all proud of him!

IMG_0555Also on Friday, I noticed a small pin-prickle-like rash under baby brother’s arms. I thought it may have something to do with the shirt he was wearing. When I pulled it from the closet, I didn’t realize it was a new shirt that I hadn’t washed yet. Normally I wash all new clothes before I put them away. I think it was an bigger-sized outfit he received as a newborn that was hung up waiting for him to fit into it. At any rate, I figured it would be ok for a few hours of wear without prior washing. IMG_0558When I took the shirt off in the afternoon, I noticed the rash. I didn’t put the shirt back on, but the rash stayed even as we were putting on his jammies for the night. By the morning, the rash was now red bloches on his tummy and under his arms. They still didn’t seem too bad, and they weren’t bothering him at all. After our pancake breakfast (baby brother also made a mess of a fresh banana), I noticed after I wiped him down, the rash was all over his belly, neck, and back. And was spreading quickly. I knew it looked like hives, but the only think I could think of that was new was the shirt he had worn the day before. I also didn’t know the correct dose of benadryl to give him, so I thought I would call the doctor to see what the recommended does would be. Of course, they would always rather be safe than sorry when it comes to recommended you anything over the phone (which I was kind of afraid of), they suggested I bring him right down. The office had just opened for the Saturday sick appointments, so I should be able to just walk right in. The on-call doctor suggested it had to do with the antibiotic he is on, even though Sunday was scheduled to be his last day. He had gone 9 days without a rash, so I thought it was weird that it would present itself now. Also, since he had gotten it around Christmas for another ear infection. Well, she said she would put in his file a developed amoxocilin allergy, and told us to stop it. She checked his ears and said they looked fine, and told us to give him a 1/2 tsp. of benadryl. I held off until yesterday, as I didn’t want him whiny, fussy, or drowsy for our Saturday family day. I was also hoping after the antibiotic had left his system, the hives would go away. By last night, it was pretty clear they weren’t going anywhere on their own.

Aside from a rash that doesn’t seem to be bothering him at all, he is doing pretty well. He seems to be hurting his sister a lot lately, though I somewhat feel she has done that to herself. He has adapted to her rough way of playing with him, and now the result is him being rough right back. I have to watch myself now too, or I end up getting a high five to the face or my glasses ripped right off my face.

DSC_0553One of the fun things about having multiple kids is getting to see all their different personalties. They are all so similar, and are essentially being raised the same way, but they all figure things out on their own differently. DSC_0545And they handle different situations differently. Baby brother certainly seems to fit that ‘little boy’ stereotype already. He is very rough, loves to get dirty, loves playing outside, and already seems very athletic. He has learned to bounce and dance now, and likes to do this while he stands. He even makes sounds that seem like he is saying “jump jump”. He keeps improving his ‘throwing’ skills, and his aim and intensity are getting pretty spot on. We have to watch him now because he doesn’t really understand what is appropriate to throw and what isn’t. Yes, we created this monster by gently rolling the soft balls across the floor to him and encouraging him when he threw it back. Now, pretty much anything in his reach he will try to throw at you and yell “catch” (or at least it resembles the sound ‘catch’). Even if it is something clearly not meant to be thrown, which is most of his toys. He also really REALLY loves to bang two toys together to make noise. All our kids seem to be very musical.

DSC_0536Still no other teeth, though he has started drooling quite a big again. Along with his need to put his gums and teeth on everything lead us to believe we are getting close to more. His sleeping is still staying fairly consistent. Still waking about 2-4 times per night, but the first stretch is getting pretty long, so at least I’m getting a good 3-5 hours before I have to wake up in the early mornings. Speaking of early morning, his new wake time seems to be between 6:15-6:40am. NOT used to this. He doesn’t go back to sleep. I guess this isn’t completely unreasonable, but we don’t really get up this early in our house, unless we have somewhere to be, and in that case, we like the kids to sleep so I can get things done before the chaos of kids. Hopefully this will balance out now that daylight savings time has hit. It seemed to work well this morning getting the kids ready for school. He stayed sleeping while we needed him to, and woke up after Daddy had driven our older two to school. The normal routine until a week or so ago.

All in all, it was a fun week with baby brother and his siblings. Yesterday, he accompanied Momma and Daddy to Lowes as we looked for a lawn mower. When we came home, he happily sat in the box it came in while Grampa and Daddy set it up and mowed both lawns. Grampa kept calling it our ‘hillbilly playpen’. After big brother and sister say how much fun he seemed to be having, they insisted on getting in with him. You just never get a moment to yourself in our little family of 5. Though I think all of us would agree, the company is sure worth it!

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The more the merrier

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Family fun day

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Again, we had wonderful, sunny weather in the forecast, and our little family decided to make the most of it! We started out with pancakes for breakfast in the morning, and we even invited Grampa, Ya Ya and baby Lyla over to share. After a quick cleanup (and a brief trip to the doctor to check on a rash baby brother developed), we were headed out for the day.

IMG_2545First stop was the family fun center. Daddy had planned on going pretty close to opening so we could avoid big crowds and birthday parties. We arrived about an hour and a half after they opened, and though it seemed crowded, it was just all the commotion from the arcade. Immediately after we walked it, little sister covered her ears so tightly with her hands you couldn’t pry them off. Baby brother started bouncing up and down as I held him on my hip, and was looking back and forth and at all the lights and sounds. Daddy and big brother got some tokens right away and started playing games. After we found them, it took about 10-15 minutes of watching them play games for Sissy to finally release her hands from her ears. We found a game that you put in a token and push a big red button to win tokens. A big rubber ball would fall into a hole with a number in it and you would win that many tickets. It took about 10 times of Momma doing it, Daddy doing it, and big brother doing it, before she suddenly decided it wasn’t scary. She smiled and enjoyed herself, though she didn’t feel so brave when it came to ANY other game in the arcade. At least she enjoyed something.

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IMG_2591After the arcade, we ventured outside to the outdoor activities. Daddy and big brother raced around in a go-cart, then Daddy took Sis into a bumper boat, where they got into a ‘squirt war’ with a few older kids who were in the paddle boats next to them. They had a great time, and the other kids ended up getting soaked. Good thing it was a sunny day!

Next up, big brother took his own turn at the kiddie karts, and then crashed into the barrier. I’m glad little sister had to use the potty, so I wasn’t outside to see it. Before we left, the kids got to pick out prizes with their tickets. Little sister was mostly excited about dum dums, but she also picked out a princess wand. Big brother picked out some sweet tarts, a few army men, and some big red dice.

IMG_2627Next stop was a lunch out. The weather was starting to get much warmer, and the parking lot at the family fun center was completely packed, so it was good timing. We drove down the street to the Sonic with Quiznos across the parking lot. Momma, Daddy, and baby brother enjoyed sandwiches, while big brother and sister had corndogs and milkshakes. We sat on picnic benches under the shade of beautiful smelling, blossoming trees. The kids played a little in the grass while we finished our meal, and baby brother laughed and clapped at them doing so.

Last stop for the day was the toy store. I had saved up quite a few coupons, and big brother had been saving his allowance. He was happy to pick out some toys, and was somewhat careful in keeping track of how much money he could spend. With all the coupons, he only went over by .37 cents. Pretty good! Sissy and baby brother got a few toys on clearance as well. $7 total. All in all, we saved over $20 dollars with the coupons and sales. Not too shabby, and the kids were proud of themselves for picking out their toys.

It was a busy day, and though we were home by the afternoon, Momma and Daddy were exhausted! It was well worth it though. It was so great to watch them have fun and smile. We enjoy doing things together as a family, but something about this weekend and the weather seemed to make it even more enjoyable.

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Happy endings…

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This week, the weather has been beautiful and our kiddos moods have been great! I credit the weather for the most part, but we have also been trying to stay as active as we can. The kids have enjoyed lots of creative play with rubber duckys, and we have also been using our imaginations when running our errands. Seems to make them go faster and keeps them smiling.

All in all, the end our week brought about many fun little activities. We hung the bird feeders we made for our backyard birds. We hung a few in the big tree in our yard, and two right outside our living room window.

Little sister and baby brother and I went shopping, and they loved getting to sit and play with each other in the special kid cart we shopped in. Of course, shopping is tiring, and they both got bored and drowsy by the end, but they still managed to have with each other, and share a few snacks throughout the trip.

We also played outside in the warm sunshine with bubbles before it was time to go and pick up big brother from school. Ya Ya and baby Lyla even came outside to spend time with us. They couldn’t help it, our younger kiddos have the most infectious laugh!

Today was an early day for our older kiddos from school, but they ‘stayed’ today in the day care while Momma and Daddy had a teacher conference with big brother’s teacher. They were both soooooo excited to finally get to ‘stay’ after school with their friends who also ‘stay’. It is definitely fun to try new things, and because our kids don’t ever have to stay for after school care, they were eager to see what it was all about. Of course, it was only about an hour, but it was still fun and exciting for them, and they enjoyed the extra play time with friends.

After school, we dropped Daddy off at home so he could get back to work, and the four of us headed to the grocery store for a few extra things we didn’t pick up the day before. Because big brother was with us this time, baby brother wasn’t able to sit in the cart. By the end of our shopping experience, he kept reaching for his siblings, and I could tell he was tired of being held by Momma and wanted to sit and play with big brother and sister. He briefly sat in between them, but he is just too squirmy to sit without being buckled in. He kept slipping down, and he really only got to sit with them long enough for the two of them to say “ahhhhh, he sitting with us!”, and Momma to take a picture. Then it was time to be held again while we waiting at the checkout counter.

We are so fortunate to be enjoying unseasonable Spring-like weather at the tale end of our Winter. In fact, it really didn’t feel like we had a Winter at all this year. While the rest of the country seems to be slammed with snow of frigid temperatures, we are here enjoying all this sunshine and warmth!

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It couldn’t have been a more beautiful, sunny day! Ah, the cool breeze made it that much more enjoyable!

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Grocery shopping isn’t for the faint of heart.

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Some of big brother’s school work this week.

Lyla is six months old!

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Date: March 4th, 2015

Height: 25 inches long

Weight: 16 lbs. 10 oz

Sleep pattern: Still is waking up a bit more frequently. Now sleeps in bed with Mommy, not on the couch. We have the crib set up, but not much success using it yet.

Eating habits: Still nurses constantly, but now has been eating rice cereal once daily.

Development: New sound-zerberk. So far, the only person to get a kiss from Lyla is Grammy. And is now able to suck on her own toes. Its so cute!

Mischief: Has started pinching quite a bit. She now has very quick reflexes when grabbing things out of your hands. Especially Mommy’s cups when she’s trying to drink.

Cuteness: Must say she looks adorable with her new earrings. She also flings herself around with a high pitch squeal when she gets excited. And pretty much everything else she does!

Talking: Still no words yet, but hopefully soon. She studies the movements of lips very much and tries to mimic, but just silly sounds so far.

Favorites: Her baby doll she got from Grandpa & Grammy for Christmas. And still loves going to Auntie’s house. And she loves sucking on her toes.

Firsts: Getting her ears pierced! Grammy had to go to help because Mommy felt so bad and couldn’t hold her while she got them done.

Concerns: Rash, eczema all over her body. And 4 more shots at her 6th month appointment.

A day in the life: Same

For the birds

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The weather has been so nice lately, and the forecast predicts it only getting sunnier. So many daffodils are blooming in the front yard, and the blossoms are starting to pop up on the trees in the backyard. The birds are fluttering all over our backyard, and the birdseed bell we bought last year is completely gone. We all miss seeing them come so close to the window. We have had a hummingbird feeder on the grocery list for over a month, and we haven’t been anywhere to buy another birdseed bell. Today, the kids and I decided to work on a diy project and make our own bird feeders. We invited Ya Ya and baby Lyla over to join in on the crafting.

It was messy work, but big brother and sister measured all the ingredients themselves, and then stirred and mixed in the birdseed. The babies watched. After we had it all mixed together, we filled some fun molds the kids picked out, smashed it in tight, made holes with straws for hanging, and left them to dry overnight. Tomorrow, we will add the string and hang them in the yard and in front of the window. Hopefully we will get to enjoy the birds getting a snack soon. Though we are still technically in Winter, I think we are all officially enjoying this Spring weather!

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Look in a book

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Our kiddos have seemed to inherit Momma’s love for theatrics and costume. Today was world book day/Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and so they kids had another ‘dress up’ day at school. Little sis kept asking me what day it was all weekend because she knew Monday was the day she got to wear her “costume” to school. The kids got to dress up as their favorite literary character. Though many of the recognizable book characters aren’t as familiar to our older kiddos, there were quite a few we were trying to decide on to dress up as today. Though Captain Underpants is big brother’s current favorite series, it isn’t exactly appropriate for school. Today, he dressed up as a character from one of his favorite books as a toddler. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” was one of the very first things he asked Santa for when he was a little older than 2. It was the first time he was old enough to actually ask Santa for something, not just sit on his lap for the picture. He had (and has) every line memorized.

Little sister dress up as ‘Sister Bear’ from the Berenstein Bears series. They both got to bring their character books to school, and their classes read them and talked about them. Ironically, Sis just got a Valentines Day Berenstein Bears book on Valentines Day, but it must be a newer book because Sister Bear wears a pink jumpsuit in the book, rather than her pink overalls she wears in every other book. So, she brought in a different one from the series.

The kids had a blast getting to dress up, and seeing what characters their friends choose to dress up as. Not everyone participated today, but the ones who did had fun. Of course, Daddy said there were a few ‘cheaters’ today. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but apparently there were a quite a few girls dressed up as Elsa, or another Disney princess. A boy in big brother’s class just wore a super hero t-shirt. Either way, when you wear a uniform every day to school, getting to dress up differently sure is extra fun!

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44 weeks old

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Today baby brother is 44 weeks old. He had to go to the doctor on Friday, and he weighs almost 17 lbs. He is growing big and strong. Unfortunately, he does have an ear infection (3rd since Christmas!), and he had been pretty cranky for most of the past week. It started with a gunky nose, then progressed to being overly fussy. Then by Thursday night, he would NOT sleep comfortably and had a high fever. I had to have Daddy come in and hold baby brother while I got some baby tylenol, saline spray, and the nasal aspirator. He screamed and screamed, but he eventually got comfortable enough once he could breath through his nose, and then nursed to sleep. At the pediatricians office, his temperature was 102. They gave him some tylenol, and his first does of amoxicillin. By yesterday, he seemed to be feeling almost 10x better.

Around this time with when big brother and little sister got their two top teeth, though it doesn’t appear that baby brother is really that close. Though some of his fussing and clinging onto me could be due to teething, it is most likely due to his ear infection. Aside from the ear pain, he does seem to be having a better time at night. BETTER, not great. Seems like he has been able to start lulling himself to sleep more, and sometimes when he fusses or whines at night, he is able to put himself back to sleep and I’m not having to get out of bed to do it. I still wake up, but physically, I don’t really have to do anything.

This week baby brother has been working on standing and bouncing on his legs more. They are getting stronger, and he seems more comfortable to move his feet. Still not really looking like he is going to start taking actual steps on his own, but we are happy he is getting stronger and more curious about how his legs can move.

Speaking of being physical, baby brother is doing so many cute little gestures and actions lately. He has become very good at playing ‘ball’ or roll and catch. He loves to throw it back to you after you roll it to him. He has a surprising good aim for his age, though I’m not entirely sure how he does it. It is almost a fling to you, but it does roll right to you. For the most part. Baby brother is also giving high fives now. Quite excitedly. One of my favorite things he does is snuggle on the ground with me and ‘hum’. It is kind of hard to explain, but Ya Ya describes it as one of the sweetest things she has ever seen. I have been spending more and more time sitting in the living, usually laying on the floor so baby brother can reach me and climb on my back and side. Lately, he has started to position his body right up against mine and lay his head on my arm or shoulder. He snuggles in right as close as he can. Then he makes cute little humming sounds, or sounds like he is sleeping. Then sometimes he will get rough and try to tickle me or pull my hair. It could go either way.

Baby brother has a very kind, and loving personality. He enjoys the company of family and friends, and loves to hear people laughing. He often looks around to see who is watching him and if you think something is funny or not. He gets excited when he hears his favorite songs or see his favorite cartoon characters on tv. He loves to bounce/dance around with you holding onto his hands. Of course, he still has his moments where all of us scratch our heads and wonder what could possibly be making him cry and fuss so much. I think it is about to get even more interesting when he starts speaking his mind in full sentences, though.

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