Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In and Out! (9 Months Old)

Bethany is an amazing 9 months old already. I think there's a special name for this age, but I can't remember what it is. Something about being out of the womb as long as they were in the womb. Anyway, she's reached that milestone. And what a month it was!

It has been a struggle to get her to sleep through the night. Historically, we had the girls share the room with us until they were sleeping well. Bethany was still in our room because she wasn't sleeping well. I kind of reached a breaking point where I decided it would be best to move her; as soon as she moved into a different bedroom (about 2 weeks ago) she has had absolutely no trouble sleeping through the night. She sleeps from 8 pm or so until about 5:30 or 6:30. I am a new woman.

We re-arranged the playroom. Toys were moved down to the basement, school desks and Bethany's crib were moved into the playroom. It is a temporary fix for now, but soon (perhaps just after she is one and school is starting) I would like to move Bethany into the girls' room and have a dedicated school room. So convenient that we have a chalkboard wall in there already.

Bethany has been really teasing the idea of walking. She will stand without support for several seconds and on 5/13 she even took a first step. She hasn't done more than that one little inch forward, but she is walking around furniture and really giving walking a good go. She may even be there in the next couple of weeks.

On 5/11 she finally had her first tooth pop through! Bottom center, the one to the right came through first. Three days later the second one started to show through, so now she has a good set of two teeth through her bottom gums. Yay! She loves to give these big, wet, open mouth kisses and bite down when she's kissing; you can feel the kiss a bit more now.  She does not bite when she is nursing (because she already learned not to do that!) so that's been nice.

She eats just about everything we eat now. Her favorite food so far was chili. She ate seconds, and then I gave her a little bit more for thirds, and then she was actually digging through the little tray on her bib to get the rest of the food out of it. She has liked solid foods before, but she was devouring the chili.

Bethy is turning into a chatty Kathy as well. She seems to say "dada" pretty consistently for Chris and she does say "mama". She also makes the "g" sound.  Signs are starting to come through as well. She will sign "milk" on occasion when she is hungry.

The last big change for this month was I think we finally have a lovey. I have been opposed to blankets for kids for lots of reasons, but the main two are: how dirty they get (dragged around, plus we have a shedding and hairy dog, so it would just gather dog hair), and how hard it is to have two of the same thing. But, Bethany just was not attaching to anything. She did have a favorite stuffed cat, but it wasn't really a lovey.  With a painstaking process of ensuring the cat was the favorite (setting two animals in front of her and seeing which one she would go for), I turned kitty cat in a "lovey" but adding a blanket to her paws. She came with me to the fabric store and picked out a soft plushy fabric (polka dot textured fleecey fabric) and I sewed a blanket and stitched it to the cat. She seems to really love it so far. We will see if it sticks.

On Wednesday, for the first time in her little life she is going to travel on an airplane as we go to the wedding in Arizona. I can't wait! It is going to be such a fun time. There will, naturally, be pictures to come of warm weather, swimming, and saguaro.

See my tooth? (Barely!)
New Lovey

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend (Plus Bonus Material)

Thursday was interesting. Earlier, on Wednesday, Chris had to dispose of two chipmunks that had died (and started to rot. Eww.) in our planters to get tomatoes and peppers planted. Then Thursday morning I heard a *thud* and thought to myself, I know that sound! Sure enough, a bird had hit the bedroom window. I saw it from my room and it looked still very much alive, I could see it blinking, but obviously probably stunned. I also saw Copper creeping in like a shark toward its victim. I shouted at Copper and ran to get a shovel to move the bird to safety but when I came back Copper had started to remove some feathers already. *Sigh*. That poor poor thing. It was very sad. I do not understand why a perfectly tame dog... well. Anyway. I won't get into that discussion because he's an animal so I guess it is just what animals do. But it was sad. The bird never did recover and I think the trauma of Copper was too much. So he joined the chipmunks. Our windows must reflect trees pretty accurately because we have had this happen about 3 times so far (that I've noticed, and after Copper's behavior I wonder if he has devoured more birds). (On the bright side, the plants look great in the planters!) After that came Mother's Day weekend.

And what a beautiful weekend it was.

Starting on Friday night with BEAUTIFUL weather. Chris picked up his bike from a tune-up at Erik's (two days late... what a pain). Since he had his bike and it was so nice we decided to take all 3 girls out. For the first time. In tow.

I had the burley attached to my bike with Heidi and Bethany in tow. Chris had the weehoo trailer with Sophia on the end of his bike. I was towing an extra 60 pounds (or more) plus Bethany cried almost the whole time (we went a little too close to bedtime, I think). We biked about 4 miles (and it felt more like 15 or 20). But despite the challenges, I had a lovely time. I am looking forward to doing more of this in the summer and when the girls (Bethany) are in a better mood. What a blast to be able to do that with all of the kids! Just a matter of time before they are on bikes with us, too.

Most of the day Sunday was spent doing yard work. Chris had to mow (our grass is growing like CRAZY) and I weeded the yard pretty thoroughly. I also learned how to re-string a weed whacker. I love learning new skills. Really, the epitome of a great Mother's Day. The girls and Chris made me breakfast in bed that morning (my grape nuts with greek yogurt, honey, and a touch of almond milk - yum!) and hot coffee. Chris also preached that morning out of Colossians, and the kids sang a beautiful song. Sophia was sitting next to Anna Grace before they went on stage and they were sitting and praying together with their arms around each other. It was so sweet.

We had Raising Cane's for dinner on Mother's Day (thank you, BOGO) and it was amazing. Because it's Cane's. And always amazing. I also finally had the brilliant idea to get extra Cane's sauce. The girls usually try to take ours and I am not a very good sharer of Cane's sauce. So this time everyone had their own little sauce and it was fabulous (though I think Heidi just mostly ate her with her fingers.. and then when we told her "no" and to "dip her food" she started to use her french fries and lick it off the fries).

Bethany has finally broken me. I am not a fan of blankies and have fought pretty hard to not allow the girls to attach to a blankie. For one, they get so icky being dragged around (and we have a hairy dog) and two, they are a LOT harder to have doubles of.  But little Bethy has not attached to a lovey yet. She does have a stuffed animal that she seems to prefer and is amused by, but she tends to love to hold onto soft fabrics. So I took her favorite stuffed animal and made a blanket for the stuffed animal to hold and turned her into a lovey. We went to Joann together and she picked out a fabric. It turned out cute; and I made several extra blankets already so if this works out I can make back up loveys. She seems to really like it so far. We might have a winner!

On Tuesday we had Erica visit for the day and that was awesome. We mostly hung around the house and drank coffee (like I said, awesome) and then had an easy Indian dinner before heading to the Mall of America for some ice cream. They had Grape Nuts flavor at Pacuigo; basically I was in Heaven.

I am starting now to prepare for next week when we LEAVE FOR ARIZONA! I can't wait! It seems like forever ago that dear Anna asked me to be a bridesmaid (:D) and now the week is finally here (almost). We fly out on Wednesday so it is officially less than week away. Seriously so excited. I decided today to start packing the girls' things. I have packed all of their clothes; just need to finish up mine and Bethany's. Early? Yes, but here in Minnesota we won't quite need those warm summer clothes this week. So they won't really be missing anything.

It is also time for a new booklist. Of the first five books I read this year,  I will likely re-read three: Safely Home, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, and Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. Excellent reads, and so compelling. I will likely not read The Inklings book again (frankly, I just didn't enjoy it). And the Love & Respect book was also solid with some good principles; I can see the importance of refreshing with that one as well. However, the first ones I mentioned: definitely winners I will keep in the forefront of my library.

Sophia's first bit of curriculum also came yesterday. Saxon Math K. I also purchased the manipulatives and her student book to go with it, which have not arrived yet. I am so looking forward to doing this math together with her.  I think we will probably start sooner than September with the math, just to get the two of us into a rhythm and understanding of how school will work. I am truly looking forward to being able to shape her education and go at the pace she wants/needs. Mostly, I am excited to be able to communicate God's truth for her through education; I love the Classical Conversations motto: "To Know God and Make Him Known"! YES! THAT is what education should be!

Sophia planting her flowers from Miss Sherri for her birthday!
Poor bird :(
Bethany finally got that first tooth!
Sprinkler time! Got super warm on Mother's Day!
Arms around Anna Grace during prayer time :)
The "Lovey" - Bethany picked the fabric!!
She liked chili so much she was digging into her bib to get the fallen pieces