Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Small Thrills

I still remember Benjamin's four month checkup at the pediatrician's office near Wymount. He was a chubby baby, measuring around the 90th percentile for weight, but he was exclusively breast fed, so I wasn't at all concerned. Since he was my first, I was really excited to start solid foods with him. But at that appointment, our pediatrician told me to hold off, noting that he "didn't need the extra calories." I was really bugged about that, and I still am. I mean really- was a tablespoon of rice cereal or a bit of mashed carrots really going to push him over the edge?! But I digress.
I took Lydia in for her four-month checkup this week. I was ready to hear the same old bit about introducing solids (and possibly a caution not to feed my already chubby baby any more!), but what I got instead was a go-ahead to give her any food our family eats- in fact it's now encouraged to give allergy-causing foods before she turns 7 months! Totally backwards! Totally mind blowing. And it totally makes sense to me.
My pediatrician is one of the top ranked in our metropolitan area, and affiliated with the best Labor and Delivery Hospital in the state, so I trust that their recommendations are well backed up by research. I know I've read before that most cultures around the world just give the baby whatever they're eating, and it's not uncommon for the mom to chew up the food before putting it in the baby's mouth. I don't think I would ever go as far as to masticate my baby's food for them (gross.), but no wonder the US has so many food allergies. We're babying our babies way too much.
So basically once I introduce foods slowly like wheat, peanuts, berries, milk, shellfish, eggs, etc, I could feed Lydia a mashed up PB&J sandwich, sushi, or even an omelet. I think the one thing that's still off limits is honey. Maybe I'm the only one who will get excited about this (or maybe this is old news to everyone else...I know I haven't paid much attention to baby feeding practices for the past three years...), but I think it's crazy! Suddenly I'm excited to introduce her to all the wonderful flavors out there!
Admittedly, I still couldn't shake the habit to go right to the grocery store to pick up a few baby foods for her to try. And surprise, surprise, she wasn't at all delighted to try watery rice cereal. Not that I can blame her!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Four Months

Lydia is four months old today! She is a sweetheart, and we're loving how her personality is starting to unfold. Lydia is a pretty happy baby. You wouldn't know it from most of her pictures, but she will smile at just about any friendly face.
Lydia is the first of my children (at least that I can remember) that really enjoys tummy time. She has always preferred sleeping on her tummy, and this past month has really gotten mobile. She rolls onto her back, scoots, and is especially proficient at wedging her head into the corner of her crib.
She sits very well when propped up, and loves to stand when given the chance.
I probably see my baby pictures in her more than in any of the other kids. That said, I also think she's one of my hardest to photograph. I think she's way cuter in real life, and that pictures just make her look...I don't know. Even fatter than she is? Disproportionate? Just not quite like her.
She is very round. I can't get enough of these chubby little ankles. I think the ratio between her tiny feet and giant thighs is awesome.
And her flesh colored sleeves aren't bad either!
Other tidbits about Lydia: she makes the funniest noises. Kind of like shrieky, squealy playful screams. She must think that's how the kids communicate and does her best to imitate them. :) She is super cuddly. She loves being carried either facing out or in, but she just buries her little body into yours, and it is just precious. She loves to suck her thumb or fist, and is getting pretty good at self-soothing. Her eyes are a beautiful blue now, and her hair is finally free of cradle cap and the new (also red) hair is coming in. I love watching her grow.
Four month stats: 16 lbs. 4 oz. (85%), 25 1/4" long (78%), and head circ. is 16 1/2" (83%). Pretty darn proportionate!

Silly Sally

I think losing shoes must be genetic. I remember when I was about Nora's age how the most stressful part of Sunday mornings for my Mom seemed to be finding my shoes. Sometimes they'd be in a random drawer, or in the dress ups basket, or down the laundry chute, but they were never where they were supposed to be. Probably in her exasperation, she even made up a poem about me:
Silly Sally Sarie Sue
Took her baby to the zoo
There she lost her bright red shoe!
Silly Sally Sarie Sue 
 I think this is the infamous "bright red shoe" that remained. Where it's other one is, I have no idea.

Nora seems to have inherited this shoe-losing trait. This summer, she's lost one or both of FOUR pairs of shoes.
This has been a regular sight these days (and no, I did not suggest the socks). I think the Puma lost it's buddy somewhere along the road to Utah, and the silver sandal is in a local dump (at least that's what the pool where we most likely lost it said). So it's probably safe to throw these both away!
I still have hope for this one...just waiting for it to be returned from a friend's house.
And Grandma was nice enough to mail these across the country so that Nora could have them. I think Nora may deserve her own verse to the poem!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


It's finally starting to really hit me that I have four kids and that I'm seriously outnumbered. This time it happened to coincide with Lydia's transition to her real crib. For the first few months of her life, I just kept her in a pack n' play next to our bed, and that worked out perfectly. She even miraculously figured out (on her own) how to sleep 11-12 solid hours a night during this arrangement without a single feeding. I think it must be because she's so chubby.
I've had to eat my words. I was absolutely sure we were not going to be living in this house when we had our fourth child. Since it's a three bedroom home and the rooms are fairly small, I thought there was no way we could possibly arrange it so the baby could have her own room. That's always been really important to me so that they can establish healthy sleep habits. But here we are- four kids, still in this house, and we've all had to adjust- including me.
The first night in her crib and new shared room (she's with Nora now), Lydia slept through the night like she always does. But since then, she's started waking up twice a night. Nora even randomly woke up one of the nights and crawled into our bed. So it's been a bit of a transition. I'm not sure when/if sleep "training" will happen or how, but hopefully soon we'll get back to where we were and everyone will get better rest.
Lydia has been a little more challenging during the day too. Now that she's comfortably out of her "fourth trimester," she doesn't drift off to sleep whenever and wherever. So I've spent a lot of time getting her down for naps, keeping kids quiet, getting her back to sleep when they wake her up, etc, etc. It's been kind of awful, and I've felt a lot of guilt because of it. My heart broke that first time when I had to shoo Nora out of her own special bedroom, because I was still trying to get Lydia to go to sleep. It's broken time and time again when I've had to quiet my boys, who are just being loud, rambunctious boys, because I'm trying so hard to let my littlest one stay asleep.
After a few days of this, I decided to forget the naps and just get out of the house. I took the kids to the zoo, even though it was a sweltering hot day with about a thousand percent humidity. :) I'm glad we did. 
We spent a lot of the time in the reptile and ape houses since they're air conditioned. The kids loved watching the lemur babies.
The sea lion tunnel is also nice for warmer days, since it's climate controlled.
We saw the sea lion show for the first time. "Benny" the Sea Lion was really impressive!

It was a lot of fun. I really love my kids, and hope they still know that. Babies are hard, but they're not forever. Hopefully they'll have memories of their Mom doing fun stuff with them, and not the million other times when she didn't.
I think I really need to enjoy this time in our "snug" house more too. I often find myself on Remax, "just to see" what's out there. I found the perfect house this week- well within our price range (as in we'd be paying the same as we are now), SIX bedrooms, in our dream neighborhood and at the same school as many of the friends our kids go to church with, a beautiful private backyard, and built in 1986 (ours was built in 1950, so that feels pretty new to us!). It would have needed a little love, but I actually enjoy that part of making a house my own. So I contacted the realtor, and almost scheduled a showing. That is until Paul and I stepped back and decided we're just not there yet. Our current house still has a lot that needs to be done to get it ready to sell, and we'd like to aggressively pay it down a little longer so we have a good solid down payment on our next home. Plus, we've felt really strongly all along that this is where we're supposed to be. So here we are, and we really do feel blessed. We really are. But sometimes it's good to write it down, just to remind myself.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Missionary Aunt!

Paul's sister Katie was just called to the Scotland/Ireland Mission, and we couldn't be more thrilled for her! She will be a fantastic missionary!

The Fourth

Here's the last set of pictures from the trip. It's sort of become tradition to do the Fourth of July in Provo. There's the hot air balloons in the morning (we missed them this year), the parade a little later on, and the Stadium of Fire, which we usually watch from a distance. Someday when our kids are a little older, I'm sure we'll actually go to the Stadium.
 We joined Paul's home neighborhood pool party and fireworks show one night. Peter was so excited to go, he took a nap that afternoon at my request. Probably his first in two years. He had a great time swimming...
...and enjoyed the fireworks through these special fireworks glasses, which took viewing them to the next level!
 The parade was perfect. We had a nice shady spot at the end of the route where we saw tanks, princesses, Iron Man, marching bands, Miss Utah, the infamous BYU Cougars (the cheerleaders looked like high schoolers to me. It was really strange!)...
 ...and the missionaries! The kids loved getting a high five as they passed!
 And of course, what Fourth of July celebration would be complete without jumping in Grandma's Springdom Kingdom? Nora has only been asking ALL year when we could go back to Grandma's house to jump in this, and it did not disappoint!

 The girls found a bug while we were barbecuing.
 We all took a dip in the Provo River. It was cold, but so refreshing on a hot day!

 Silly string fun after the river! The kids always love this part.
Many, many thanks to our wonderful parents for a fun vacation! For me, I think the best part is not having to plan meals for two whole weeks, but I know that's only because they're doing it for us. So nice! We love our families!

Timp Cave

Thanks to Paul's Mom for some early planning, we got to hike to Timpanogos Cave during our stay in Provo. Peter was really excited when he learned he could get his first official Junior Ranger badge. Benjamin earned one about a month ago with a friend at the St. Louis Arch, and Peter has envied that little plastic pin ever since. They both hunted for trash to pick up, answered all the questions, and interviewed a ranger.
 It was a pretty strenuous hike for little legs, so we opted to leave Nora behind. One of her most frequently used phrases these days is "I'm too sweaty!" which is her excuse for whenever she's too tired to do something or just doesn't feel like it. I predicted that that would happen about one switchback in, so she got to have a little one-on-one time with Grandma instead. Paul probably could have carried her part of the way if he hadn't had Lydia in the carrier.
 Patrick joined us with Gloria, and I was impressed with her tenacity. He carried her some of the time, but mostly, she just wanted to walk.

 We made it to the cave!
 Lydia's hair...awesome.
 The cave itself was really cool, literally. Lydia started screaming the moment we went in, so I did some sly ambulant-nursing to keep her calm. The boys really enjoyed looking at all the stalagmites and stalactites. I think this is the heart of Timp Cave.
 Helictites! These were fascinating.
I was glad we could do this hike. It was one that I had never done before, and the weather wasn't too bad- especially since we were on the shady side of the mountain most of the time. Maybe next time Nora's little legs will be able to handle it too!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


More trip pictures! After about a week with my family, we headed down to Provo to spend time with Paul's parents and a few of his siblings. Lydia met her cousin Lincoln, who is about two months older than she is.
Benjamin was excited to get his belated birthday present- a penny collection set! He was in heaven, sorting, studying and counting.
Lydia met another Great-Grandma, whose mother's name was also Lydia.
Nora was excited to get re-acquainted with her cousin Gloria. She was jealous of her "long golden hair."
Story time with my youngest three in the playroom. ( I love that Lydia is so snuggly!)
We spent a day at BYU. We made sure to go through the taxidermy cougar entrance of the Wilkinson Center.
The kids liked the modern art installations in the BYU Museum of Art.
Nora especially liked the giant bubble wrap wedding dress.
We met up at a splash pad one day with cousins. Benjamin and Peter really got along well with Adrian.
Lydia loves her big sister!
Nora and Josephine are a few months apart, and became great buddies during our time together.
Lots of good barbecue fun!
Grandma and the three little girls- Nora, Josephine and Gloria.
Abby made cute Hello Kitty cake pops and cupcakes for the girls to decorate. They had a blast!

I hope these girls will always be friends. There's just something special about cousins.