Wednesday, December 11, 2019

10 Months

Sweet Little Natalie is 10 months old. She's growing up so fast! She can now crawl on her knees- she was only able to army crawl for awhile. It is so cute to see her creeping along slowly and a little awkwardly! She also babbles a lot. Her most common sound is ma-ma-ma and the boys are convinced that she's saying mama. I have been telling them that she's just making noises, but the time she chooses to say it almost makes me think she might actually be talking to me. I'm not sure. Natalie also like to pull herself up to standing. She was doing it a lot in her crib until I lowered the mattress down and made the top rail a little too inconvenient to hold on to while standing. It didn't help her sleeping though. Many nights she is up as often as every 45 minutes (though we do have some better nights) and its killing me with sleep-deprivation. Especially since she only want to sleep while being held and its super tricky to get her back in her crib without waking her. I think we are just going to do some sleep-training, but not until Austin finishes his test and not until I take a break from school with the other kids since its going to mean a few nights of even worse sleep than usual. Despite her poor sleep habits though, Natalie is the sweetest little thing during the day, going along with anything and smiling all the time. Another one of her recent tricks is clapping- its so cute how she does it- holding one hand out in front of her while bringing the other to it to clap. She also waves, but only sometimes when she wants to. Her personality is just bubbling out and she is even more fun to be around. We love this girl! In the busy-ness of the day, I didn't get any photos of her, but I have a few from the last week or so (and yes, she does wear this Christmas outfit all the time-along with another one she has- because once the season is over, its going to look pretty silly)

Trevor is Three!

Oh Trevor- full of personality and mischief. So independent and self-willed. This kid keeps us on our toes, can be completely exasperating, but is a sweetheart that makes everyone happy. Trevor has been insisting most of the day that he's either 9 or 93, but occasionally has admitted to being three. We started out the day with allergen-safe chocolate waffles with raspberries. )He was lucky enough to have his Grandpa here for the morning of his birthday) We then opened up Trevor's presents and he spent the time before lunch playing with them. After lunch he went down for his usual nap without too much fuss. In the afternoon, he hung out with his brothers and dad (who was home for the day supposed to be studying for an upcoming test) while I took Heidi to ballet, then we had a quick dinner and ate cake before Austin and the older boys left for their church activities.  Here are some photos from his special day plus his first birthday interview.

Who is your favorite person? Mommy
What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? Airplanes (He means the Planes movies, which were also Leif's favorite for a long time)
What is your favorite outfit? Ski sweater (pictured above. I love that he likes this sweater. Asher hated it more than anything in the world and Leif wouldn't wear it either, so I'm glad someone does. He looks like a true Swede in it with his ultra-blonde hair)
What song do you like the best? Nothing
What is your favorite cereal? Flakes
Who is your best friend? Mommy and the boys
What do you want to do when your grow up? Make presents
What is your favorite book? Where the Wild Things Are
What are you really good at? Playing with toys (he was referring to the toys he got for his birthday today)
Where do you wish you could go on vacation? On a date with mom, dad can come too and Heidi (when I pressed for where we would go, he just kept repeating 'on a date'- not sure if he knows what that means ;)
What would you buy if you had a lot of money? A dollar
What is your favorite dinner? chicken and rice (this is a common meal for Trevor since he's allergic to so many things and these are the basics of other meals that I make for the rest of the family)
If you could have a wish, what would it be? (no response for this question)
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? my special kind, I can' t have the boys' kind (Austin has found Hagan Daas dairy-free ice cream that Trevor eats, and it really is good)
Who do you want to be like? Like mom
What do you like to do with your friends? Play outside
What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? Eat chicken nuggets (we eat these at least once a week for lunch, so I think he'll be well satisfied)
What is your favorite thing to do? Playing magnets and toys
What are you proud of? building things with Legos
What are you afraid of? Scary animals
What is Mom's favorite thing to do? Read
How strong is Dad? Dad lifts me up on his shoulders
What does Dad do best? wrestling
What does Mom do best? reading
What do you like best about Dad? He teases me and tickles me
What do you like best about Mom? (he was to eager to get away to answer this question)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Il Sette Bello

Since most people don't know what Il Sette Bello is, its The Beautiful Seven. It's an Italian card game that gets its name from the card it revolves around- the Seven of Coins which is also called Il Sette Bello. I thought it was a good title for this post since Seven seems to be an age that fits Leif perfectly. He has always been sweet and thoughtful, but in the last few months, he has become even more so, quickly doing what is asked of him and looking for ways that he can help out. 
This beautiful boy turned 7 today and is a delight to have around. Leif loves music and is a deep thinker. Leif rarely asks questions though- instead he carefully curates his own thoughts, comes up with a thesis, and presents it to us as fact then waits to see how we respond. He then changes his thesis based off of our responses. 
We started our day with chocolate waffles, as is our tradition, then all the kids spent the rest of the day playing with his presents. We had some family friends over for dinner and pumpkin pie and Austin actually came home for the evening- something that doesn't happen all too often lately with how busy he is. Here are some photos I got of Leif followed by his birthday interview. 

(please note that Trevor's Chrismas PJs haven't arrived by mail yet, so he's the only one not wearing them- he's naked most of the time anyway unless I battle with him to keep clothes on)

(we discovered several years ago that the word life has the same letters as Leif's name, so we cut them out of the cereal box and stuck them in his pie :)
Who is your favorite person? Natalie
What is your favorite color? Orange
What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? Minecraft (not really watching since its a video game, but by far his favorite thing to do that involves a screen)
What is your favorite outfit? Christmas Snoopy Pajamas (he says this now because he and Asher lived in these PJs last Christmas season until I put them away for the year, and they were so excited when I got them out again with the Christmas stuff. But in reality, the outfit he loves most is his yellow bear shirt-pictured above- or complete camo which he got from my dad)
What song do you like the best? If You Could Hie to Kolob (he taught himself to play this on the piano after he found out that its his grandfather's favorite hymn)
What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios
Who is your best friend? Asher
What do you want to do when your grow up? Be an astronaut (this kid loves all things space)
What is your favorite book? The Happy Hollisters (he just got these books for his birthday, but he has read a few excerpts from them which is why he asked for them for his birthday)
What are you really good at? Playing the piano (he loves to practice and often works at it much longer than I ask him to)
Where do you wish you could go on vacation? Colorado
What would you buy if you had a lot of money? A Taj Mahal Lego Set (He's had his eye on this since we learned about the Taj Mahal a couple months ago. Its a very advanced set, but he and Asher have done hard ones before, so I'm sure he could do it . . . if he had a lot of money)
What is your favorite dinner? Chicken Rolls
If you could have a wish, what would it be? To be able to pull whatever I want out of the air
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip-the green kind
Who do you want to be like? Our Dad
What do you like to do with your friends? Play outside
What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? Have fun
What is your favorite thing to do? Look into a microscope (he just got this today, but apparently it trumps all for fun)
What are you proud of? Reading
What are you afraid of? Lava
What is Mom's favorite thing to do? Take care of us
How strong is Dad? Really strong
What does Dad do best? Work
What does Mom do best? Take care of us
What do you like best about Dad? He takes care of our family
What do you like best about Mom? She makes cookies

Monday, November 11, 2019

9 Months

 Our sweet little baby is getting bigger and bigger every day. Natalie hit a few milestones this month- all within the same two days. She figured out how to clap one evening just as I was getting everyone to bed (that delayed bedtime by about 20 minutes as everyone wanted to clap with her) and the next morning she figured out how to army crawl. The kids spent that whole day placing desirable items near her then pulling them just out of reach to get her to crawl after them. Natalie is still just about as delightful as can be- smiling and babbling. She has started to develop some stranger danger and shies away when anyone outside of our immediate family tries to take her from mom. Maybe I'm imagining it, but it seems like Natalie, more than any of our other kids at this age, follows daddy around with her eyes and tries to get his attention all the time. If he is standing near me while I'm holding her, she leans to him trying to get him to pick her up.
As you can tell, Natalie's hair is getting thicker and longer, but is a bit unruly- so cute. I got one picture of her when she first woke up, but the others didn't turn out well so I tried later in the day.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Halloween

Halloween was as much anticipated as ever as we made Halloween costumes and the kids dreamed about all the candy. We carved pumpkins with our friends a week before Halloween, which ended up with the parents and older kids doing most of the work after the initial excitement wore off for the younger kids, but they were still enchanted by the fun of a carved pumpkin.
 We've also been loving the fall colors, which are now all blown off the trees after the terrible wind storm that happened on Halloween night.
It was a bit windy and quite rainy all during trick-or-treating, so we only did a few streets, but the kids got plenty of treats and also enjoyed watching "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" afterward. Trevor dressed up as a fox- my favorite costume of all time! I made this costume for Asher when he was two and Leif wore it too, so now it was Trevor's turn. It took a bit of convincing at first since he wanted to be something else, but once he saw the tail, he was in love and was very protective of it. I teased him a bunch that I was going to cut it off because the first time he put the costume on, he told me not to pull the tail off (not really sure where that idea came from in the first place)

Heidi has wanted to be a unicorn since last Halloween, so we made all her dreams come true with this costume.

I had enough scraps left over from Heidi's costume to make a costume for Natalie- I only had to buy a zipper, so her costume was pretty cheap! I almost didn't make one for her at all because I've just been too busy and tired, but at the last minute, we decided to throw it together. The only participation she has in trick-or-treating was riding around on my hip as we followed the other kids, but at least the costume kept her warm while we were out.
Leif originally wanted to be a ghost for Halloween, and we made the costume by cutting holes in a white sheet, but he discovered that its hard to see out of and decided he really didn't want to be that anymore. I told him I didn't have the time or energy to make him another costume, but he was quite content with the Pikachu costume that Asher wore last year.
Asher wanted to be a blue dragon ever since he saw Trevor's green dragon costume last year. In an effort to save a little time, I found some blue pants and hoodie and just sewed the wings, spikes and tail on. It wasn't perfect, but it turned out pretty well and Asher was happy.
Here are all of our trick-or-treaters getting ready to go out:

And here they are with the treats they made off with before the rain chilled us too much:

Friday, October 18, 2019

8 Months and a trip to Utah

 Natalie and I took a trip to Utah so she could meet some family members that have never seen her before. She also turned 8 months on the trip, so these photos can serve to show her at this age. We stayed with my Grandma, which was delightfully peaceful and lots of fun (although it was a little busy for her).  Since we got in so late the first night, we stayed with Austin's cousin's family and had fun visiting with them a bit.

We enjoyed going out to eat with my grandma, with my dad and siblings, and with my mom and her family.

 Here is Natalie passed out on my grandma's sofa bed, exhausted from all the busy activities I took her to.
One of my favorite activities from the trip was a hike with my dad and sister up the mountain behind the Bountiful Temple. It was a little chilly, but so beautiful and a nice little exercise.

 The ice proves it was a little chilly, but Natalie was nice and warm tucked into my baby carrier and I was plenty warm from carrying her up the mountain.

 My dad loves feeding my kids! Here is Natalie experiencing her first taste of an orange.
 My mom drove with me up to Idaho to visit Austin's grandma. It was a nice little visit and Natalie got to meet her great grandma! (She also got two descent naps all the way there and all the way back)

The night before we left, we had pizza with my dad and he got a little extra time with his youngest grandkid.