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Friday, December 31, 2010

Livi at 17 months...

This baby continues to make our lives sweeter, fuller, and more fun!  We love everything about her, even the little inkling of attitude we can see coming out of her.  She is so full of life, and happiness...and every day is better because of her!
At 17 months, she:
-can say Daddy, Mommy, Mama (Mimi), Popo, Bubba, Sissy, Hi, Uh-oh, shoes, boat, car, Wy-eee (Wyatt, the dog), waner (water), whoa, day-dee (baby), truck, ball, house
-makes duck, lion, dog and (sometimes) kitty cat noises.
-waves her arms around if she doesn't like something or wants someone to stop doing something.
-dances every time she hears music.
-points out all her body parts.
-squints her eyes and smiles when you ask "Where's Livi?"
-waves and says "HI!" to every random stranger in public.
-takes her shoes and socks off the minute you put them on her....hence the pile of shoes and socks in the back of my car.
-points out all her family members.
-throws all her food on the floor when she's full, and then says, "Wy-eee?" because she wants us to call Wyatt inside to eat the food she's dropped.
-calls ALL dogs Wy-eee, even Dixie.  If you ask her to say "Dixie" she answers "Wy-eee".
-tries to sing in her loudest voice when other people are singing.
-points and laughs at the big Christmas tree on Broadway every time we drive by it.
-wants to do everything that everyone else can do...drink out of a water bottle, play Wii, play on the playground at school with the big kids....
-just learned how to drink out of a straw, and makes you help her with a water and straw EVERY time we go out to dinner.  The WHOLE dinner.
-hollers "MAMA!" if she wants something.  We've decided "MAMA" doesn't necessarily mean Mommy or Mimi, but "Do something for me!"  It's a verb, not a noun.
-goes into the kitchen and gets her bottle parts out of the cabinet and brings them to us, hollering "MAMA!" when she wants a milk.
-loves, LOVES books and being read to.  She wants to sit in your lap, and if you try to read it to her while she is standing in front of you by the couch she throws herself on the floor in a fit of frustration because we're not doing it right.
-points and cries at Costco when she sees the flats of water bottles...that's how much she loves water bottles.
-cries at Costco if you try to walk past a "sample" station without getting her one.
-loves hats and pretending things are hats that aren't.
-thinks she is funny, and loves to make us laugh.  If you ask if she is funny, she laughs out loud.
-fake coughs when we say, "Baby has a BAD cough!"
-is the most agile, coordinated baby we know.
-climbs the playscape by herself and wants to slide by herself.  This gives her Momma a heart attack!
-kisses and hugs her baby dolls.
-loves to throw her paci out of her crib, scream "MAMA!" and make you come in and retrieve it for her before she'll finally settle down and sleep.
-is just starting to pay attention to TV....this morning she laughed and laughed at Elmo.
-is a pretty good eater, unless something happens to be green and then it's a little harder.  Every once in a while she surprises us and eats a ton of avocado or a whole salad (just to keep us guessing, I think!)
-still puts weird things in her mouth, but almost always "tells" on herself by walking up to you and making it obvious that she's got something in there.
-is SO proud of herself naked.  This cracks us up to no end!  She loves her fat little gut and pats it in satisfaction every time we take her clothes off.
-is starting to stick up for herself....the twins are having a harder time making her do what THEY want to do....
-still won't wear a headband or bow, much to her mommy's dismay.  (Daddy thinks her head is prettier without one anyway!)
-walks to the bathroom and bangs on the door when we ask "Do you want to pee pee in the potty?"  NOT that I am anywhere near wanting to potty train's just funny that she already seems to show interest.  I hope I'm not missing my window of interest by ignoring this....
-still has super blue eyes...if anything, I think they are getting MORE blue, not less.  This is funny since she had the darkest eyes of all my babies when she was born, so I was SURE she would be the one who had brown eyes like me!
-still has barely any hair, except for a tiny little curl at the nape of her neck.  We LOVE that little curl!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010 (The unnecessarily long Christmas post: part 1)

I feel like Christmas just came and went in fourteen seconds!  Part of my problem was NOT limiting my photography schedule, and trying to accommodate everyone that wanted a session before Christmas.....I enjoyed every shoot, but was running around like a chicken with my head cut off until about three days before Christmas.  Next year, I'll do things a little differently, and allow myself a little more breathing room before the holidays.  It's hard to complain TOO much, because I am so grateful for how many new clients that have come my way this year!
The buildup to Christmas was immense this year....with Sissy asking every day if "tomorrow" was the day she got to open her presents.  I am SHOCKED that all three of my babies left their wrapped presents alone until Christmas morning.  Even the tiny one only tried to tear off a tag once.
We spent Christmas Eve in Devine with Shawn's mom and stepdad and his whole side of the was tons of fun!  The babies ran around the house like banshees (sorry Nana!) and thought the spiral staircase was the best thing ever invented.  Of course, I couldn't stop imagining them sliding down the whole thing head first.  Shawn's sweet family always picks the best presents for my kiddos, and this year was no different.  They LOVE all the things they received....especially these little backpacks with sleeping bags in them that came with a head lamp for camping.  I have rolled and unrolled those sleeping bags about a thousand times in the last few days!  Cale even had to take his nap in his sleeping bag yesterday, even though it made him super sweaty.
 A little nervous at first....

 Headlamps for kids!  One of the favorite gifts! 
 This might be trip number four thousand up and down the stairs.
 In the loft with Nana...
 Our little family...If I look bedraggled, it's because I WAS.  
 Making morose faces we torture them or something!!
 Reading "The Night Before Christmas" before bed.  No, that is not a member of The Village People reading to my children.  It's my husband in a very fashionable black tank top.  (Eye roll) 

Here is a little something about our Christmas Eve that will give you goosebumps....Shawn's grandma passed away two months ago, and Mary (Shawn's mom) inherited all of Grandma's prized Christmas decorations.  Mary has helped Grandma put up and take down her tree every year for about the past thirty years, so she knows each and every decoration like the back of her hand....where Grandma got them, and where she wanted them displayed in her home.  This year, after Grandma passed away, Mary was taking inventory of all the decorations and found this ornament that she had never seen before:
It says: "I love you all dearly, now don't shed a tear, I'm spending my Christmas with Jesus this year."  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I literally can't type that story without getting goosebumps.  Mary has NEVER seen this ornament before, even though she has been the one to handle all the ornaments for so many years.  Where this ornament came from, none of us know.  It's just our own little Christmas miracle.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Christmas story.....and NO, it doesn't involve anyone shooting their eye out....but it does involve someone almost poking their eye out with a stick.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

One crazy week....

We were lucky enough (insert eye roll) to welcome a raging stomach virus in our house this week.  The baby might have gotten off the easiest of us all, with it hitting me the hardest.  It definitely put a crimp in my "getting ready for Christmas" goings on.  On day three of feeling horrible, I broke down and cried to Shawn about all I had to do, so he was sweet enough to spend part of his day being my gopher.  Luckily, we are all feeling much better, just in time for Christmas!!
What's been going on with us (besides vomiting) you might ask?  Well, the baby is thisclose to needing some beginning discipline.  She thinks its funny to smack us, and only feels bad some of the time.  We let her get away with it because mostly she is doing it to be funny...never to be mean.  She is all about turning the TV off while we are watching it, and does this about forty times a day.  The twins howl and fuss when she does it, like she just ran over their dog or something....and since THEY expect me to do something about her, I have been putting her in time out.  This is what the world's sweetest cream puff looks like in time out:
Does she look sorry to you??  Nope, not a bit!  She thinks going to time out is hilarious, and has no problem with it.  In fact, the minute she turns the TV off, she pivots and heads right to the time out spot.  I know, I know.....this is bad parenting.  Clearly she doesn't care about time out.....and I know I need to be more firm...but how HILARIOUS is this?  Smiling and laughing in time out like she is on vacation in the Caribbean.
She is loving hats right now.....or anything she can make into a hat.  She thinks it is super funny to put random items on her head and then see if we laugh.  Sometimes we look into the back seat and she is waiting patiently for someone to see her pacifier balanced carefully on her head.
This baby is starting to wear me out....but in the most fun way there is.  If she isn't playing in the toilet, she is usually climbing something precarious.  Shawn found her like this yesterday in the play room:
Just standing two feet off the ground, hanging out ON TOP of the play kitchen.  The best part of this story is how incredulous we were at how she can get herself down with such agility.  It's a wonder she hasn't figured out how to crawl out of her crib yet.  (Knock on wood!!)
We are finally ready for Christmas...and can't wait to see what the babies think of it....of course, we bought more for them than we intended to....but when the stuff they love is so cheap, it's hard not to!  Several of their toys took some major assembly, which I am going to remember next year when shopping.  Of course, we want them to get the real meaning of Christmas....and hope we are doing a good job at communicating the message to them.  They were so proud to put money in the Salvation Army bucket today...and that made their mommy proud of them.  Tonight as we were trying (in futility) to get them rounded into the bath and ready for bed, they were acting so silly....they wanted me to take pictures of them (as Cale said, "Mommy, take pictures of me making crazy faces.")  so I did.
They are busy, and wild, and silly and lots of work....but they are my favorite things on the planet.  THIS is the place I want to be more than anywhere else in the world.....I can't wait to share Christmas with them!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

After spending a good fifteen minutes in the car discussing the meaning of Christmas, we had a little debriefing at the end.
Cale:  "Mommy, but why do we celebrate Jesus?"
Me:  "Because we love him."
Cale:  "Why?"
Me:  "Because he died to save us."
Cale:  "To save us?"
Me:  "Yes."
Cale:  "Like save us from being stuck in the mud?"

Um....sure.  I mean, Jesus could definitely get you out of the mud, but I don't think he always works in ways that are that obvious.  Unless he sends along a tow truck at just the right moment, driven by a benevolent do gooder.
We spend a lot of time (in short bursts) trying to impress on these babies of ours the meaning of Jesus in our lives....sometimes they crack us up with their funny, literal comments on the subject, and other times they come up with some pretty deep, philosophical stuff.
Tonight at Alamo Cafe, we threw coins into the fountain and made a wish (like we always do).  In the past, the wishes ranged from things like "cookies" to "my purse"....but tonight after throwing in their coins I asked Cale what he wished for, and he said "For the families", and I knew right away what he was talking about.  He is so empathetic, and hearing about families that don't have anywhere to live or enough food to eat seems to really bother him.  On his own, he was worried about those families....yippee!  All my jabbering might finally be doing some good....
 This is an OLD picture of my tiny guy...I don't even think he was walking yet in this picture....I love how little he looks!  I hoped then that he would turn out to be sensitive and kind...and he is.  Yesterday I bought a "job chart" of sorts...a visual aid to help them in working on little tasks.  One of Cale's "jobs" for the week is "Being Respectful".  He is taking his little jobs VERY seriously.  Today I called to him, and he really, REALLY wanted to run back to the playground, but I saw him make a very conscious decision to turn back towards me and walk my direction.  It melted my heart....especially when later, he asked me if he was doing a good job of "being respectable"....I love this age!