Friday, May 24, 2013

Moving Right Along

I wasn't expecting much during this ten month photo shoot, so I came prepared.  I knew the sticker would not work and gave myself a big pat on the back for thinking of the chalk board.  I got a few good pictures, but she ultimately ate the sticker and licked the chalk off the board in a span of about five minutes.  The only situation where she will consistently give the camera a good laugh is touching her big brother's head.  Apparently, he and his head is and are hilarious.  Maybe next month I'll paint a big '11' on his head...or get a sign that doesn't stick, crinkle or smudge.

There haven't been too many earth shattering changes this month but she continues to grow, babbles as if she is having a conversation, and stands longer, has tried to take an unaided step on occasion and gets into things more and more.  Cabinet locks may still be in our future.

Her interactions with everyone have grown a lot this month.  She is very proud of herself when she knows you understand what she wants.  She loves to wave at any occasion, clap her hands and play hide-n-seek/chase.  She loves to laugh at her brothers whenever they are around.  She has two personal comedians at her beck and call at all times.

She can say Da Da and Dadi very well, Baby O's name pretty well, and I am referred to as Na Na when she really needs something.  If I'm right there, a loud cry seems to suffice and she gets what she needs pretty quickly.

Here she is talking to Big Bro number one while he finishes dinner.  Does anyone else's three year old take an hour and a half to finish dinner?  Everyone else was ready for bed.  Including me.  I like to think she was telling him to hurry up.

Big Bro number two loves to entertain her while I'm preparing her bath.  She is one happy camper when he helps out and he is the only member of the household she will give endless kisses to.  It's hit or miss with everyone else.

In one month, she (or should I say 'I'?) has made huge strides.  She is finally sleeping through the night. And just the technical sleeping through the night (which is six hours), she is sleeping 10-12 hours without a feeding.  I took our pediatrician's advice, turned off the baby monitor and stopped going in every time she made a noise.  It wasn't as easy as it sounds-there were nights where I slept on the couch because I was waiting outside her door in case she didn't go back to sleep, and there were some nights where I had to take some steps backward to wake her up to feed her because I was in some pain (the plight of a nursing mom)-but we made it!  And it is so nice to be able to sleep again.

This next month is a big one-she will have both of her brothers home all day and I am preparing our summer schedule.  Hopefully we can have a smooth transition and fit nap times in with our bucket list of things to do. I have a feeling we will see some major 'steps' this next month.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Three Years Later: Celebration

May 10th, 2010-Mother's Day-we stepped off the plane, drove home and became a family.  It's hard to believe it's only been three years.  It's hard to imagine life without my children, the joy, the noise, the laughter and the chaos. If you had asked me back then to look into my crystal ball and look to see what the next few years had in store for us, I would not have believed you.

We celebrated in style on our first anniversary.  Where is year two?  I most certainly regret not recording our second anniversary, but there really wasn't much.  Besides having just moved into a new house, commuting an hour each way for Boy O to finish Kindergarten, I was seven months pregnant and my moods were the opposite of celebratory.  Enough said.  I do remember some tidbits....we did let the kids each pick out a lobster from the live tank at H.E.B.  They loved it and still request lobster on special occasions to this day.  So, not a total wash but it didn't seem to have the same zeal as the year before.

It's been a crazy year adding Miss Sassy Pants to the family, so I thought we needed to take a little more time celebrate year three (although I think we all missed the lobster).  I'm sure the kids would be up for an overnight stay somewhere fun, but Daddy O and I aren't at that point yet and are saving all our energy for an upcoming road trip this summer.

Finding an event or place to visit that a seven year old, three year old and a nine month old could enjoy turned out to be quite a task.  I wanted a place that everyone could participate and not just sit in the stroller or be to small for rides.  So we chose to drive a few minutes South to a place that each of our kids could enjoy.  A fun family park designed for people of all abilities.  When I mean all abilities, I mean kids of all ages and/or special needs.  It was truly awesome.  Rides, activities, playgrounds-Boy O and Baby O ran around like crazy kids, never stopping once.  And because everything was designed for everyone, Newbie O's stroller was welcome everywhere and she could even ride the rides.  No waiting on the sidelines here!

The first photo opportunity as we walked into the park.

Newbie O's first ride on the carousel.  Excited, but looking for her big brothers.

Playgrounds aplenty for all abilities, including Daddy O-minus one hand because he's holding his beloved Mountain Dew.  If you know him well, you might be laughing...

Newbie O didn't require much to make her smile.  Just being able to explore her surroundings and feel like one of the big kids was enough.

Ahoy matey!

This is Boy O trying to be a weatherman.  I'm not sure if this would be a good career choice as he was trying to point to Texas.

Family O riding the train.  Good times had by all!

Swinging is by far one of her favorite activities.

 And one more ride on the carousel before we leave.  Both boys had to take turns to ride on the giant eagle.

Three years and three  I'm working on something slightly more meaningful and introspective than that as well as updating our sidebar pictures, but for now, that about sums it up.  Three years-Wow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nine Months

Every month as I type an update on Miss Sassy Pants, I say the same old thing...Wow...another month...I can't believe it's gone by so fast...yada, yada, yada...

But there is nothing else to say.  Nine months.  It seems like we have very quickly gotten to that stage where I'm running after her or redirecting her at every turn.  I remember it all too well with her older brother. At this point, she seems to be a shade less intense than her active older brother was, but we may just not be at that far along yet.

This little girlie still only has long strands of hair on the top of her head.  The rest looks like a buzz cut.  Very mod.

I still think hats are her best look.

She loves to play with her older brothers.  She wants so much to be involved and be front and center with her brothers.  Baby O is warming up to the idea, but becomes slightly irritated at her attraction to mouthing all paper products.  In the picture below, he was very careful to place all the Go Fish cards just out of her reach.  She didn't mind too much-she's pretty satisfied just to be close to him and make a big racket.

When giving/sharing his toys (she only wants what he has), he is sure to instruct her not to slobber on it.  As you can imagine, there is some frustration when she does not follow his wishes.  Everything gets goobered up in the end.

She is not afraid to get in the mix.  She may not look it, but she is rough and tough (she practically beat up a two year old last week at a play date-she's a pincher).  She fusses at her brothers when they take a toy away from her, she climbs all over them when they are watching television and has no qualms about plopping herself down right in the middle of whatever they are doing.  She loves it and her brothers don't mind (too much).

One of the major differences I have noticed between her and Baby O at this age, is that she knows the meaning of the word 'no'.  More often than not, she will stop, smile, and if you are serious about the 'no', she will cry.  Baby O on the other hand would just forge ahead.  His motto was that it was far easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  And still is to this day as a matter of fact.

A before and after example in pictures:  Rocks are a big 'NO'.  This is before.

This is after.  But she took them out of her mouth and that's what counts.

At her nine month check-up this morning, she weighed in at 17 pounds 10 ounces and is 27 inches long.  After being in the 3rd percentile at 6 months, she has climbed back up the charts to a very healthy 25th.  Her two bottom teeth have come in and she is completely mobile-standing up, cruising along the furniture and crawling at warp speed.  She waves good bye with proper zeal and loves to play peek-a-boo/hide-n-seek with the family.  Too cute for words sometimes.

A full night's sleep is something I still haven't experienced in a good long while.  My pediatrician told me that it will last as long as I want it to and to turn off the baby monitor.  I know she's right.  I know it.  I have an amazing amount of resolve until about two in the morning...I'm going to try harder...this time.  I'll let you know how I'm doing next month.  Anyone taking bets?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Different Scene, Same Old Fun

Our backyard isn't what I would call 'cookie cutter' anymore.  We do love it and it is certainly a work in progress (and most likely will be for years to come), but it isn't the nice family friendly, flat surface with soft grass that we had back in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few glances of the back of our property.  Lots of cactus, rock and some creepy crawlies.

Cactus was an interesting new plant for the kids to get used to.  You can tell them to be careful all you want....but it only takes once of falling into one of these prickly sensations to get the message across.  Boy O learned a painful lesson early on and subsequently spent an extended period indoors having the spines removed from his backside.  Like I said, it only happened once.

We have seen some pretty amazing wildlife from our dining nook and sitting on the back porch.  In addition to the regular herds of deer that infiltrate our garden, there are some things I hadn't expected, such as large walking sticks, tarantulas, a variety of snakes and my least favorite-the scorpions.  I never really thought much of them until I had my own experience of being stung by one in my bed.  Having never thought much of enlisting the help of a professional to come spray our house (not a big fan of chemicals), I informed Daddy O that I would be spending nights elsewhere until our house was scorpion free.  The very next morning, I joyfully answered the door and welcomed in our exterminator who proceeded to drench our house in scorpion napalm.  And I continue to be happy to see him every few months.

This is a picture taken just this evening-they are easy to find if you lift a rock up off the ground.  This little guy is pretty tiny...

...but as you can see, we have quite a few rocks they can find shelter under.  The critters have been removed from our household, but I think we will have to coexist outside.

Despite the terrain being so incredibly different, we have found ways to have some backyard fun.  We seem to be doing just fine without the flat, soft areas.  The kids enjoy having the sprinkler right on the playground.

It makes for some super fast sliding, wet swinging, and about the same amount of splashing.  The only difference is that we have learned to keep our shoes on!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Perfect Match

If you know me, you also know that I LOVE to play board games.  Long before children, when it was just the two of us, it used to take a lot of begging and pleading to get Daddy O to the table.  It was then that I wished for a child that would enjoy playing a good game now and then.

Boy did my wish ever come true.  Boy O and I play all sorts of fun games before bedtime-right now we are wholeheartedly enjoying UNO, but we also enjoy a good game of Sorry, Monopoly, Sequence, Memory (thank goodness we are past Candyland!).

The other night he got creative and spent at least a half hour making his own:

My favorite part was the cards....I like the one that says 8 or 9...I always choose 9.  The game pieces were M & M's.  Whoever wins gets to eat them.  Smart choice on his part-considering I don't care for them.  He's a winner every time.

His time spent making the game even got Daddy O to the table-and I consider that quite an accomplishment.

Loving his creativity, loving his humor, and loving my son.  I am so lucky to be his Mom.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Number Three

Our third Easter.  Same traditions with a little tweaking here and there, but pretty much the same as the last.  Although we are plus one child.  Like I said, it has been a little different-a baby tends to require a few tweaks.

Dying eggs always starts the excitement before Easter and the boys sure did enjoy it.  This was the first time Baby O did it all by himself.  So independent now.

The day before was our neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  The boys had a blast, and with over 500 eggs out for all the kids, the event lasted less than three minutes.

They had separate Easter egg hunts for the various ages-unfortunately for Baby O, there were many 'older' kids who knew the drill and he only got two eggs before the tennis court was completely clear.  Poor kiddo, here he is all alone looking for some eggs that had long disappeared.  I guess instead of taking pictures, I should have helped him out a bit.

On the other side of the field, Boy O knew exactly what to do and was filling his basket full.  Such a good big brother (and probably because his cup runneth over), he shared his candy filled eggs with his little brother.

Newbie O had some help from her Mimi and was completely satisfied rattling her egg.

 Back at home, enjoying all the attention.

Easter morning around seven.  An improvement since Christmas, but Boy O still got up around one.  He heard his sister crying and as I went to her room, I heard a loud whisper...."Newbie O, be quiet!  The Easter Bunny might not come!"

Suffice to say, he was hushed and put back to bed with explicit instructions not to get up until there was light coming through the blinds.

The Easter egg hunt outside was a big success!  We have always lived in places where this wasn't possible, either because of the weather or the size of the yard.  The boys had a blast.  And Baby O 'got it' and was able to collect many eggs for his basket.

Newbie O had no problems watching from the sidelines.


We had a baby egg hunt indoors.  Eggs filled with cheerios.

The annual bunny cake.  I let the boys do their thing.  This year they insisted on bright blue icing.

From our family to yours, hope your Easter was as bright and laced with colorful candy as our bunny cake.  Maybe one day we can make a pink one....although I still might be outvoted.