Tiny Talk Tuesday

Kids say the darndest things. Here are a couple of the cute things Kyra has said as of late:

While in Kyra's bedroom:
Mom: Kyra this room is a mess. What happened?
Kyra: (with a big sigh) I know mom. Life happened.
(Where'd she get that phrase? Neither the hubs or I say that one.)

While praying at the dinner table:
Kyra: Dear God, thank you for the day. Please help all the people that are hurt and hungry and have hurt legs. Please help us not to have colds any more. Help us to not be sick in the winter, spring, or summer. And forgive us of our sins. Amen.
(We've been trying to tell them about the people in Haiti that need our prayers, but for some reason she is stuck on people with hurt legs. And I guess it's okay to be sick in the fall, cause she forgot that season!)

If you'd like to read more tiny talk, just visit Mary's blog.

Andrew Update: 7 Months

Wow!! What a difference a month makes. Andrew has made great strides this past month. Last month I was beginning to feel a little beaten down. The sleepless nights, and what seemed to be continual crying were really starting to get to me. I kept giving myself little pep talks, saying "I can handle this for a few more months if I have to," but I sure didn't want to.

So we did our best to let him "cry it out," or at least as much as we could. My family all came for a visit to celebrate Christmas, so we didn't feel we could totally implement our plan until they were gone. The night our family left Andrew woke up 6 times! I finally got up and fed him at 4 a.m. because I couldn't take it any longer. The next night he woke up at 1 a.m. and he cried for an hour straight (I did check on him periodically). I thought it would never end. He seemed to fall asleep for an hour and then cried for another 1/2 hour. The next night he only cried for 1/2 hour and then slept the rest of the night. And now....for almost 2 weeks straight he has been sleeping for 11 hour stretches!! Can you believe it? He went from waking up almost every 2-3 hours to 11! That little guy had me foiled! So we're all definitely feeling a little more up beat around here.

Andrew is also sitting on his own now. The girls enjoy fetching toys for him, and are constantly bringing the toys back when he pushes them too far away. He's probably going to be a late bloomer on just about everything, since they do almost everything for him. But he loves his new found trick and enjoys watching the dogs run around and play. He finally rolled over too. I know to many this isn't a huge accomplishment, but we've been working on some much detested tummy time to get to this point. He still hates the tummy time. He'll lay there and wail for 5 minutes, with his head laying on the mat in defeat. Sometimes he doesn't even try to push himself up, he gives up the minute you lay him on his tummy. But, as much as I hate to see him struggle, I give him his time.

Andrew continues to laugh, smile, and make raspberries. He has to be one of the slobberiest (word?) babies I've ever seen. And he is quite proud of the fact that he is slobbery. He hasn't lost his cuddles either. He loves to play with my hair while I nurse, and rub his head against mine while I hold him close. I know I will miss those moments later as he gets older. I almost get teary eyed just thinking about it. Yes, we are definitely seeing a more joyful baby this past month. And we are seeing a more joyful mommy too. It is nice to be on a consistent schedule. He eats at just about the same time every day and takes naps at the same time. So now, hopefully I can focus on exercising in the morning and getting myself in my own new routine.

Letting Go

This past weekend we finally took down our Christmas tree. I know some of you who like to take down the tree as soon as Christmas is over, and others who hang on to it till the month is over. Personally, I try and hang on to the tree as long as possible because it looks so beautiful (it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a procrastinator of course). I have a hard time letting go. Although putting the lights on the tree is enough to drive me crazy, I always love the end result. Christmas trees are very sentimental and even calming. I love gazing at the tree best at night, when it's dark. Sometimes we'll have a fire, some hot cocoa, and just look at the tree. We'll go down memory lane as we see some of the ornaments we've received from years past. Often just looking at it, helps me to slow down through my day and take a deep breath from the flurry of activity. Of course holding an infant in your arms who looks at the tree in wonderment also makes you pause and smile as you see sights through their new eyes.

So, I wasn't too surprised when my 5 year old held the same sentiments. Every once in a while I casually mentioned that the tree would eventually have to come down. And she would joke that she wanted it to stay up until all the snow melted. Finally, as I tucked her in bed one night, she asked what was on the agenda for the following day. I told her I thought it was time to take down the tree. To my surprise, her lower lip started to pucker. I asked what was wrong, and she blurted out that she didn't want to take down the tree. Clearly, the tree had become one of her favorite Christmas traditions too. Melt.My.Heart. I had a hard time not breaking down myself as I watched Kyra's little face swell up with crocodile tears. She wanted so badly to hold on to the holiday magic. Where would we put the tree, she wanted to know? Well, we'd have to throw it away I tried to explain gently. I tried to tell her that the tree wasn't drinking any more water, and that it had no roots, so it was dying. There was no consoling her, so I decided to hang on to it for a few more days.

I looked a couple days later, thinking maybe it could last one week longer, since we did have one more holiday party to go. But as I looked closer, I saw cobwebs on several of the branches, not to mention more needles on the floor. Yes, I would definitely have to take down the tree. My hubs told Kyra that unfortunately the tree definitely had to come down. After all, he said, it is a fire hazard being so dry. That was all it took. Kyra is very fearful of fires, so she suddenly changed her mind and was ready to get that tree out of here, NOW! Why hadn't I thought of that? Of course as I took down the tree I had to reassure her that we would be fine, and it was only a POSSIBLE danger and we were just taking precaution.

So, the tree is down and all of our Christmas decorations are finally put away. The house is back in shape and I smiled at the sight of a clean home....until my 3 year old tugged on my pants and said, "When can we put them up again?"

Mamma's Boy

Now that the holiday festivities have died down, my main goal was to get Andrew on some type of schedule. He is my only child that hasn't been on some type of set schedule. I was pretty anal retentive about the girls getting their naps and bedtime at exactly the same time every day. There wasn't a whole lot of flexibility there, but you certainly did know what to expect too. However, being my last child, I figured I would more or less just go with the flow. I knew I would be busier with errands to run, and getting Kyra ready for school, so I decided with him I would be a little more relaxed and mainly try and get a eat, play, sleep schedule.

This worked for a little while, but the last three months have been kind of a bear. I know that life changes with any child you had to the mix, but Andrew is simply put not a very content baby. In my head, I keep thinking... but he's the 3rd child....aren't they supposed to be the easiest going? Is it in my head that he is being this difficult or is it reality? Am I doing something wrong, or is there something wrong with him? I know it's been almost 4 years since I had a baby, but I just don't remember the girls being as challenging. Katie certainly was a little bugger, but I don't remember her crying this much through the day. So, I decided to talk to a few veteran mom's and get their opinion.

To my surprise, two of the moms in my little poll seemed to think that he was being spoiled and that he was becoming a mamma's boy. Deep down, I grew a little defensive. This was after all my third child and I think I would know how to correctly raise a child before he or she became attached at the hip. After all, in the beginning I may have rocked him to sleep, but now I was simply laying him down and shutting the door (even letting him cry for awhile). And there are numerous times where he has had to sit there and cry while I make dinner (even though I am ready to tear my hair out by the time my hubby gets home). Yes, there had to be some other explanation. I decided to wait until my well visit at the pediatrician.

Once we arrived at the doctor's office, I explained our situation. I told her that our 6 month old was still getting up 1 to 2 times at night, and that he acted ravenously hungry sometimes and that I had to still feed him at 3 am. Could he possibly not be getting enough from nursing? Should I quit, and go to formula? I told her that I couldn't take a shower without him crying his way through it, or that he fussed so much in the evening that we usually had to hold him while we ate dinner. I told her that I was exhausted and that he just won't give me a break. So she said, "oh yes, I've seen this kind of case before. I definitely have a diagnosis for you. He's got a bad case of....."

Mamma Boy Syndrome!

Dar net! How could I have let this happen? I didn't think I came to his beckoned call every time he made a peep. But perhaps I had coddled him a little too much. After all, he is my only boy, and my last baby. And I felt bad every time he started to fuss, and the girls said he was too noisy and interrupting their play time. And I didn't want my hubby to be woken up in the middle of the night, so I did what was easiest...I stuck a bo*ob in his mouth. Yes, I guess I can start to see where this child has outsmarted his momma. Now, the hard part...I have to start breaking these bad habits.

So, we're doing the best we can in this household. It's probably not going to be easy for the next few weeks. After all, I do like peace, even if it comes at the cost of my sleep. But if I ever want a fuss free shower again or experience a full night's sleep, I guess some thing's gotta give. So, I explained to my hubby that he might have to endure some nights with crying, or sleep downstairs anyway. And I have a feeling Kyra will keep me accountable too, after all she was listening intently to the doctor. Because when I went to pick up Andrew that night, I got a scolding from my 5 year old. "Now Mom, remember what the doctor said. You need to let him cry it out!"

Yes, ma'am!

Bird Feeder or Critter Cuisine?

For Christmas, my hubby got the girls make your own bird feeders. He thought it would be a fun project they could make together. Of course Katie had a blast helping daddy screw in the screws, and using a mini hammer to pound in the nails. Between spending time with her dad and creating something with her hands, she was in all her glory. She really is a hands on type of girl. After seeing a girl become so impatient with so many things, it is nice to see her shine in a certain area. Although I hate to admit it, I find myself struggling sometimes to see where Katie excels, and this just proved that she is good with her hands. Maybe she'll be an architect, engineer, or craftswoman. There are endless possibilities!

Kyra on the other hand wanted nothing to do with the project. She was perfectly happy to have her father construct the whole thing. Along with generally not liking to get her hands dirty, she received a couple splinters in years past and has decided wood is not her friend. So, she won't touch wood unless it has been properly painted or stained. Oh the joy of children's fears! Nevertheless, she did enjoy painting the bird house, and all three seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

After the feeders were painted and dry, they three got on all their winter gear and hung up the bird feeders. For days there were no takers. The girls would gaze out the window and see no sign of life. Then just a few days ago, the first birds began to appear!! Kyra and Katie have had a lot of fun seeing the feathered friends flurry about and tell their friends about the new source of food. We've been trying to identify the different types of birds and enjoy seeing the brightly colored blue jays or cardinals against the pure white snow.

Of course word spreads quickly, because it was not long before Mr. Squirrel found the bird feeder too. It took him only a day to figure out how to get the food for himself. He chewed the rope apart and down came the bird feeder. My hubs attempted to put it back twice now, but Mr. Squirrel prevails. Oh well, I guess now we can enjoy all the critters stopping by for cuisine. Now, if only we can get the dogs to stop from salivating from the windows!

Holiday Season of Long Ago

Wow....I can't believe it is already January, and almost a week into it at that. I remember not too long ago I wrote about our very busy October. Then for a short period of time November slowed down, but it has been full speed ahead ever since Thanksgiving. If months go by this quickly, I'm going to be 40 in no time!

Although it was a very busy season, it was filled with joy. I began the month feeling fairly calm about things that had to get done. We chopped down our tree from the backyard once again (or shall I say my hubby did that while I sipped coffee in my bathrobe!), and after a small battle with the lights it was all decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving. I already had several gifts bought, time to make goodies, and cards were ordered and sent out by the 10th. I decided to have our annual women's get together at a restaurant this year too, so as not to stress my self out with cleaning the house and figuring out where to put the kiddos. Of course in doing that I felt disappointed no one would see our lovely tree or decorated home, so I invited people over for New Year's Eve instead. Then the week before Christmas my sister in-law ended up having kidney stones and was unable to host her hub's 40th birthday party at her house, so I said why not mine? All in all I had 3 gatherings at my house the week of Christmas ranging from 13-35 people. It definitely was a little crazy that week, but we had a great time playing games with friends, gorging ourselves with food, and chatching up with people we hadn't seen in awhile.
I'd have to say one of our favorite things we did over the Christmas season was taking a ride on the Santa Train. The nostalgic train was all decorated for the season, complete with a conductor who took our ticket stubs, the town's queen dressed in a beautiful white gown who read Polar Express, and of course Santa. Our girls had just borrowed the Polar Express from the library, and watched the movie twice, so they were on cloud nine having their own personal Polar Express moment.

Kyra was hilarious to watch on the train, because she wanted so badly to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas, but she has always been a bit afraid of him too. She asked her daddy what she should say when she went up to him, and he said "just tell him what you've been telling us for months...that you want a guitar." We had gotten her a guitar weeks ago, since that is all she could talk about. Yet, when she timidly walked up to Santa, stage fright must have got the best of her because that big jolly voice asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and she looked at her father (too afraid to make eye contact) and hastily said..."I'd like a cupcake maker please." My hubby couldn't believe it. We had spent a lot of time researching guitars on the internet, picked a certain one, and then she wanted a cupcake maker!? Fortunately, she wasn't disappointed on Christmas Day. She just said, Santa still got her something on her list and she'd ask for the cupcake maker for her birthday (hopefully she'll forget about it by then).
Yes, it was a very nice Christmas. We still haven't figured out all the traditions I would like to start instilling in our family to make Christmas more meaningful. I want the kids to understand more deeply that Christmas is about Our Savior and not so much the gifts, but we're working on it. We did read the Christmas Story, Christmas morning and spoke briefly what it would be like if we were there that day Jesus was born. Katie even understands more than I give her credit. So, as a New Year begins, I hope to be more purposeful in my every day teachings. I hope to really dive in the bible and learn together with the girls more about Jesus. I think God has great things in store for us, and I hope He does for you too!