As anyone can see by the date of my last post, I have not been inclined to blog as of late. I need to though because I need to at least update on the kids if nothing else. I really just don't wanna! I'm wanting to get back into a good routine in the house and I can't seem to get there after the holidays and the plethora of three day weekends we have had. I also need to put all kinds of pics on here and again, I don't wanna! I think I'm burned out from the Christmas season. I really need to stop doing that! I'm really close to only doing the Advent calendar and the tree this coming year and leaving it at that. I guess we'll see when it comes around again.
Okay! I'm just gonna do these updates and stop the procrastinating! Here we go...
Brea is up first because I have been so slack in keeping up with her developments! I am loving her personality! She's still fairly laid back. She's curious and is starting to get into things, but still hesitates in unsure territory. She LOVES her blanket. I mean there is a BOND that is so strong, no other blanket will do! As I'm writing this, I decided to go ahead and wash her blanket because it was just yuck! Nap time is now upon us and said blanket is going through the spin cycle with the drying cycle next up on the schedule and Brea is NOT okay with this plan. She is in there very upset because I tried to substitute another blanket in THE blanket's place. I'm thinking buying THE blanket's twin is looking like a good idea for wash days. Poor baby. :(
She now has another tooth. It made its debut right around Christmas, but because I am who I am, I didn't not do a quick post on the day that I noticed. I'm not quite a month late on documenting it, though, so I could actually count that as an improvement! ;p
She's a very funny little girl. She's still little bitty and is mostly belly with these little arms and legs as accents. This girl can pack away some food!!! I have no idea where she stores it until it bursts forth trying to eradicate her brave diaper. Skeery! She is still grunting as she eats. She's very serious about her meal time. I'm thinking she would do well as a future food critic.;) I was all trying to be good about not introducing kids snacks to her, i.e. goldfish and animal crackers, until she was older, but she has a tendency to scavenge off of the floor under the dining table where her obliging siblings leave her odds and ends. So, in defeat, I gave her some goldfish one day and the next moment they were gone. Okay. Then, I gave her an animal cookie and she gummed it into a pasty mess and down the gullet it went and that was the end of that. Yep. Now, she actually knows where those animal cookies are kept (in the huge Sam's Club bucket size) on the floor of the pantry closet and anytime the door is open, she heads straight for it and grabs at it in the hopes of me acquiescing to her unspoken request. :)
She's been putting her head on the ground and looking back through her legs. She thinks that is great fun. She is also traveling along edges. Walking is not far off. Its very funny to see most people's reactions to her standing up and kinda puttering along an edge. The comment is usually, "She looks too little to be able to do that!" She does nearly look too little to be doing that, but then again she's a little more than 2 weeks off from being 10 mos, so she is a little big for her britches. :) She took a nearly 6 hour nap the other day and when she woke up, I looked at her and I honestly think she got taller!
She LOVES her brothers and sister. Loves them! They are really so very good with her, excepting the occasional times when that is not the case ;). I love seeing them just randomly going and playing with her all on their own. Braden comes and gets her and takes her into the boys' room to go play with everyone else. Zekey will go to her and the next thing I know, she is belly laughing. Ailey is very sweet with her and I think they are going to be great friends! I really do feel so very blessed to be a part of this really interesting dynamic God has put together. Oh another thing is she has been sleeping through the night like a champ! No issues whatsoever. Yay!
Okay, Zekes next. He has been growing up too fast. He is really imitating Braden a lot lately. He will come and talk to me about something in a serious manner and he will move his head in the same way Braden does when he's being serious. Zekey still has his own mannerisms when he is being funny, though. He loves to be super silly about stuff and his big eyes just light up and I love it!
Currently Zekey favorite color is red. It was blue for a while, but he has been steadily firm about red for quite some time now. It'll be interesting to see if that changes or not.
He always wants to help me cook. Whatever I'm making, whether he would actually eat it or not, he wants to be right there with me being all involved in the process. He also wants to be able to do everything himself now. He and Braden pretty much take care of breakfast all by themselves when we are having cereal. He gets the bowls and milk down and Braden gets the cereal and spoons and he can pour his own cereal and milk and only makes a little mess for the most part now. He also usually prepares Ailey's cereal for her, too. I can also have him fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone for lunch (or dinner ;)...he is such a great helper!
He learned how to ride his bike the week between Christmas and New Year's. He was having some trouble and he wouldn't let me or Sam help him because, "Braden is teaching me how to ride my little bike." Well, okay then. :) I remember going out every day for about two weeks getting Braden to ride his bike and then he just took off and he's not slowed down since. Zekey is no different. He and Braden were out there diligently learning and teaching, respectively, and Zekey got it and away he went on the little bike. Then, he felt the need to switch to a bigger bike. Its a girl bike that I thought was more the size of the little boy bike, but when I got it, it was the size of Braden's bike. I just kept it because Ailey will, no doubt, be riding it before I know it! Anyway, Zekey has no care for whether its a girl bike or not, he's riding it anyway. I think he was able to ride it a bit easier than a boy bike anyway because the middle bar is lower and he is able to get on and off of it easier. Anyway, off he went on that and it took him less than an hour of trying on that to get the hang of the braking and all that jazz. Kids are amazing, aren't they?! So, now he and Braden are out riding bikes together. Wow! Time, where dost thou goest? ;p
Braden is like a blur before my eyes these days. I can't keep up with him. He is so interesting to watch and talk to and spend time with. I can't get over how he retains what he learns. Its amazing. I also really enjoy how he tweaks things to his own specifications.;) He still has days when we really have to deal with his heart attitude, but he is learning to recognize that there needs to be a change there and he is capable of making that change himself most of the time. His looks are changing, too. He is looking older and he is moving in to the older boy stage. He is trying to come and have more serious conversations with Sam and I. He wants to relate to us on a different level now and its just interesting. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but this kids has a six-pack tummy. Seriously. I don't know what his body fat percentage is, but it can't be very high because he is just nearly all muscle. He's a lean, super-duper high energy kid. He doesn't slow down 'til bedtime. I want some of that energy! I think Sam is right, though, if we had that kind of energy, it would probably kill us! Hahaha!
Braden also likes to help me cook. It can be very interesting trying to fit me, Braden, Zekey and Ailey all in the kitchen together, but I can already see that eventually they will be an amazing food preparation team. :)
He has been making some new friends lately and I love to watch him interact with other kiddos. I don't think he's met anyone he doesn't like yet. He just has that type of personality. I heard him talking to the little girl who lives next door. He was telling her that she is his second best girl friend. He already has a first best, you see. He went on to explain that the little boy who comes to visit his grandparents across the street is his best boy friend...that is until we go to co-op and then he has several best boy friends there, too. ;) He's just funny. Another funny thing of note is that Braden's favorite color changes from one week to another. It usually coincides with something that has caught his attention, like angry birds or an airplane that he saw that is specifically appealing to him at the moment. Again, funny.
Lil' Miss Ailey is keeping me on my toes, too. She is my shadow. She loves to have my attention all to herself. I'm learning how to enjoy this season with her. Though there are many challenges, there are soooo many rewards, as well. She is such a little sweet heart. She is very quick to make sure all is well if she has hurt someone or done something she is not supposed to do. She is mostly very willing to clean up her messes and apologize to whoever was the recipient of harm. :) She is so stinkin' curious about everything and that's where she has a tendency to get into trouble. She also wants to do what I do and what her big brothers do and more often than not, she's just not physically or developmentally there yet to be able and well, that is just not going to stop her from trying!
She is now very into coloring....with whatever medium is available to her. Most of the time WASHABLE (totally learned my lesson about the ones that do not specify washable) crayons and markers are her artistic utensils of choice. We are finally mostly in agreement with those being used on just the paper specified for creative outlet, but I still come across the occasional defacement of the table, floor or unsuspecting piece of furniture. Most of the time, she transitions into body art and I find that her nostrils and mouth have not escaped her particular decorating flair. Again, washable is the key here. :)
She is now able to put her own pullup, clothing and shoes on herself. She's been able to take all of that stuff off all by herself before, but I can now just set the stuff in front of her and tell her to put it all on and she usually can without any help from me. LOVE!
A few weeks ago, she started to wake up in the middle of the wee hours of the morning and she would slap and pull at her pullup and say, "Ow!", which would then break down into all out crying. I at first was thinking maybe she had an infection of the yeast or urinary tract sort or maybe she was constipated.... After the third straight night and whole lotta no sleep, I took her to the doctor and he said he was thinking she had just realized she could hold her pee and was having trouble figuring out how to release it. So we have been on a very interesting potty training adventure with her. The doctor asked me how the boys were potty trained and I told him that I watched to see when they seemed ready to transition and then just told them it was time to go to the potty and they just obeyed. Ailey is, however, not cut of the same cloth. I fully believe if she wanted to, she totally could be fully potty trained (aside from the wiping part). BUT, she doesn't WANT to. She has gone both teetee and poopoo on the potty several times and still there is only occasional interest in wanting to actually accomplish this on a regular basis. I've actually caught her several times hiding in the bathroom, pooing in her pullup and then trying to keep me from getting in the bathroom. I remember Braden and Zekes would go off and find a nice quiet little corner to squat and do that, too, out of the way of my watchful gaze. :) So funny! Anyway, I think with her, she will eventually not like it in her pullup for starters and also want to be like her brothers and me and sit on the potty every time. I also think it will be a sudden decision and all of a sudden it will just be like that. She seems to do things that way.
The other interesting change has been her wanting me to fix her hair. For a long while, I would put her hair into pigtails or a pony tail and she would leave it there for a few minutes and then pull it out. Now, she comes to me and asks me for tails. She will keep them in for most of the day. She is also enjoying putting on her princess dress up clothes that her granny brought her. Yep, I think she's starting to enjoy a little more girliness. ;) She still favors pink first and then purple if no pink is available. She doesn't really have a favorite baby, exactly. She kind of rotates between about three or four things (a bunny head attached to a little blanket, the little doll I made her that she named Bella, a little posable doll she named Ella and a set of stuffed poodle puppies that was a recent gift at Christmas. ) and then occasionally will concentrate on a doll or something outside of the usual. Remember all the time and effort I put into finding the perfect first baby doll for Ailey? Yeah, she doesn't really ever even pay attention to it. The ones she seems to favor are ones that have long hair and look like an older little girl. Oh, well. On the other hand, I have seen that sometimes the doll (named Brenna) has gotten attention from Brea. Hmmmm....could be something there. We'll see. She also rotates between having to have one of two specific blankets when she lays down for a nap or to sleep at night. She is still sleeping in the pack and play in our room, but she sleeps all night long and in her own space. I think Sam and I are just okay with this situation right now because we are getting some sleep! I think there will be a time when she will want to sleep in her own bed in her bedroom and want to be in there with Brea, but I think this is working fine for now.
One more thing about all the kids is they are all into Pingu right now. Even Brea likes it. Its so funny to me how each one of them enjoys a show about penguins where there are no actual words, only mumbling like they are actually talking. Funny. I am just wondering where they are getting all the stuff they use in their daily life when they live on Antarctica. Yeah.
Just as a side note, Brea never did actually go to sleep when I put her down with the impostor blanket. It finally finished drying a few minutes ago and I pulled it out of the dryer and she immediately buried her face in it, stuck her sucky fingers in her mouth and laid her head down on the blanket. I just laid her in her bed and there was no protest whatsoever. In fact, there was complete relief. I think a back up blanket would be a good investment! :)
Okay, thus ends the ginormously long monologuey update on the kids. I will bring relief to those of you who actually made it this far and give other updates in other posts sometime in the near future. ;)