Monday, February 20, 2012


Penny and Michael LOVE the cheerios book. Michael will often pull it out of the book bin and ask for cheerios in a panic (even if he's just eaten breakfast).
There's just one drawback with this book at our house...

You might  not want your kids to read this book when they come over.....its been slobbered on a few times over. Makes me laugh.

Lately, any time we get the vacuum out and start vacuuming, Michael drops whatever it is he's doing and gets our pretend vacuum out, turns it on and begins his chores as well. I wish that this childs vacuum actual did a job and wasn't just a toy. How wonderful would that be to have it just pick up small crumbs....nothing major, just a few crumbs here and there. *sigh* Is it really too much to ask since its already making noise when it gets turned on?

Ice cream cones are Michaels ultimate favorite. Except he always needs a bath when he's done because he makes the biggest even gets in his hair.

But see? It was balanced with a good dinner of veggie salad and fettuccini alfredo and water and rice milk. I love this face.

We got a real treat the other day when a friend called and asked if we could babysit at the last minute as a doctors appointment had got changed at the last minute. She asked if she could bring their 2 month old also......I laughed and said, "uh, are you kidding me? Do you really have to ask me that? YES, please!" He's absolutely dreamy and adorable and my kids and I could not get enough of him. I didn't even mind that he had a poopy diaper, it just gave me an excuse to get him out of the carseat.

Penny and Michael would not leave his side at first. Michael was just as fascinated with the buckles that were holding him in, but he was absolutely smitten by this little baby. He kept saying, "awww cute baby."  Penny was dying to hold him so after he was changed, I let her.

Somebody is ready for their sibling to hurry up and get here. She talked to my tummy all the time. All 3 of the kids love to feel our baby kick my tummy....this was a real treat for us to get to babysit such a new and cute little guy.
Dominic finished his schoolwork and then came and played too. He loves babies and thought this one was especially cute.

I came around the corner and found them nose to nose, but he moved before I could get a picture and then just didn't want to re-pose. Dominic loves babies.

1.5 hours was just not long enough.

Michael loves to FLY on my feet. He was laughing so hard this time that it made him drool! He is super ticklish.

Again, I love his cheese face.


So I feel completely lame and funny to admit this, but my two youngest have barely ever even seen the snow. In fact, I think this was Michaels first time touching real, sky made snow (we touched some man made snow at a park that was more like shaved ice than snow). I was driving home after dropping Dominic off at Blue Oak (he goes in to help his 2nd grade teacher every Thursday morning in the classroom) and less than a block from my driveway was a bunch of chunks of snow that looked like they had slid off someone's truck or something. There is snow about 45 minutes from us so obviously someone was visiting the dentist from up the hill.......anyways. I stopped the car, got out, picked up a big chunk and put it on Penny's lap to take home and play with on the driveway.

These two were more than thrilled, but only lasted about 5 minutes before they were both shivering (it was about 40 degrees out that morning) and wanted to come inside to the nice warm fire.

I felt a great deal of satisfaction all day knowing my kids had (don't laugh) played in the snow.......           sounds pathetic, but its true. =)

I think we're going to schedule a sledding trip within the next few weeks

Penny's drawing have blossomed over the last few weeks. I love this picture of Daddy playing the guitar.

We rarely watch full length movies at our house just because the weather has been so nice and there is always so much to do.....but I was dog tired this night and so it just fit the bill. These two stayed snuggled up on the beanbag watching Jungle Book 2 (a great movie by the way) while Dominic spread out over the whole couch. What a dreamy relaxing night.

So we've been up to a lot lately but I feel like we just post our lazy are some actual updates:

Dominic almost 10- is doing great with guitar lessons They are only once a week and he has been going for 5 weeks. Its amazing what a little coaching and professional instruction can do to help steer in the right direction. He still really enjoys home school and though we said we wouldn't decide what was in store for next year until the year was up....he's already convinced that he wants to do another year of home school. He just finished his 4th grade math curriculum and is trucking away at the 5th grade math. We are using an online program this semester (ALEKS MATH) and he is really getting it and getting it fast! He loves scouts and is almost done with his BEAR. The kid reads like a maniac. He recently read Holes and The Tale Of Despareaux and really enjoyed them and the fact that they both had movies made about them that we watched when he was done. He started playing city league Basketball for the first time this year and absolutely loves it. He's a natural and at his last game scored 5 points. I find it really fun to watch. He continues to be a great brother and helper around the house. His mature nature with his siblings is amazing given that there is 5.5 years between he and Penny. He absolutely adores his 2 younger siblings and can't stop talking about the funny things they do each day. He has recently taken on teaching Penny how to build with bionicles. He is just as proud as she is when she creates something new. I love how encouraging he is. He had probably grown at total of 4 inches this school year. It seems absolutely impossible to keep pants that are long enough on this him. He is a good friend and I love our late night chats after Penny falls asleep reading with me. On a less pretty note, Dominic's ability to find something when given verbal directions to where it is is absolutely horrible (not completely uncommon for a 9 year old is it?), but he's figured out some skills to help him be better at it and its slowly improving. I've also figured out that instead of getting angry when he can't find something that I've given him very clear directions to (and when it is actually where I said it was) that I just give him a extra chore once I show him that it was in fact there. This has made him re-asses and make sure that he's following the directions that I've stated before he gives up and has me come look. He argues with Dad and I about things that he doesn't know or understand and has recently had a breakthrough in realizing that when we insist we know something and he disagrees that he's been wrong 98% of the time. He's learning how to swallow that humble pie graciously and be teachable instead of stubborn and argumentative. I'm learning how to re-direct his thinking in a way that doesn't shame him or pounce on his critical thinking skills.

Penny 4.5 -is a silly goof. No seriously. The girl is silly. Lately she loves to trick us into thinking she's done something when she hasn't. She'll hide behind the couch and say she hasn't got dressed for the day, when she in fact has....and finds it completely and utterly amusing when we "fall for it" *wink wink*. She's usually pretty obvious. She loves to lock her car door right before we try to open it for her. She literally laughs hysterically every. single. time.  Never gets old right Sean? One of her biggest accomplishments as of late is that she has learned to read. And read well! We've been using the "read, build, write" board that I found a month or so ago and she absolutely loves it. It gives her the confidence she needs to know the words when we actually get to the book. We do the board during the day and then read the book at bedtime. Some of the books she is reading look quite hard but she breezes through them. She's on level 2 books for the most part and those are keeping her plenty busy. Her reward for getting ready for bed without me nagging her, is reading. I love it when books are a reward! She's also doing great with math and can tell you many basic math functions. Ipad Games/apps have been a great tool for building these skills. Penny loves to hear her brother play the guitar. She is enamored by anything he does and says she would like to learn guitar too. We'll see what she actually wants to do when she starts kindergarten (in 1.5 years!). Santa bought her a lego set for Christmas (with pink legos) and she's completely hooked. Its fun to see her create things. She even lets Michael smash them without complaint and often says, "its okay, I can rebuild it." Lately she has been a stinker when it comes to playing being Dominic's idea. She likes to play when it is her idea but if it is Dominic's idea she squeals at him and finds every reason why something isn't funny or why she can't play with him. I'm having a hard time knowing how to handle the situation but with trial and error we're making progress. I've found if I stop what I'm doing and join in the fun to get it started, they are more likely to be able to continue playing after I stop rather than insisting that they should just be able to play without fighting. She's slow to eat and the magic wand of the chore chart wore off after only 2 weeks and we're back to 1 hour dinners. I've learned to just hand off the batton to Sean when I get too frustrated as I think spoon feeding my 4 year old is not helping solve the actual problem. Her stool problems seem to have diminished. She's been constipated for over 6 months and we've tried many things! Angry mom was the most ineffective method (just in case you were wondering) and the most effective method has just been to increase water intake and ask for obedience (Miralax only covered up the problem but didn't fix it). When I ask her to go sit on the toilet for a while...we have gotten to the point that she will obey and go sit and eventually, she poops! They are getting to be smaller as the weeks go by and this past week, she had a BM every day (instead of every 3 days) so something is working. She been praying at night that Heavenly Father will help her pull-up be dry in the mornings. That's our next potty milestone!

Michael 22 months -continues to be an absolute dream toddler. I seriously didn't think they got better than Penny until Michael came along. He is always happy, with only an occasional tantrum. His tantrum is usually because he needs a nap, which he proceeds to take for 3-5 hours. Today his nap was 5.5 hours long (he was kinda under the weather BUT STILL!). He sleeps 12 hours at night so its not like he's under sleeping in the off hours. No wonder his waking hours are pleasant! He soaks up everything around him and can talk in full sentences. Its not the talking that we have problems with around here, its the being quite. He can sing more songs than I can count and our favorite thing to do is try to figure out what he's singing (cuz its usually only in bits and pieces). He loves babies. He loves legos (and can put them together). He loves animal books and I recently discovered that those are not good books for church as he doesn't know how to whisper animal noises. Its kinda tricky. He loves to color and giggles with glee when he makes a recognizable shape or letter. He can tell you all his letters of the alphabet and recognizes them too. He can count to 16 and then goes to 70, 80, 90, 100! He loves the ipad and we've found many apps for toddlers that he can actually do. He has learned more than 15 shapes because of ipad games and can recognize colors and letters too. His favorite ipad games are fruit ninja and angry birds though. He thinks he can jump, but this white boy cannot get his two feet off the ground at the same time. Its cute to see him try though. He cheers his siblings on in everything they do and is such an encourager. We've taught him how to wait his turn by cheering the person on while he waits and its fun to see his encouraging nature come out in other ways too. He loves people and has to call them by name, "Hi Dabid. Hi Cafrine" Daddy is his favorite and he pretends all day long to talk to him on the phone. If he really wants him, he goes and looks in the garage because that is where he usually finds him. I often have to sing him "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home" as his lullaby to get him sleepy. I'm not sure how I'm going to ween him off a bottle or his pacifier (plug). Penny never used a bottle and she was done with the plug by 18 months. He only really has it for bedtime or if he gets hurt..... and he's so sweet the rest of the day that does he really have to be done with it? I suppose when the time comes I'll know, I hope. He is a good eater but won't stay sit down in his high chair, we've given up trying to make him. I have no idea where the seat belt for it went. He loves to play with rice and beans and because of that he has really learned how to pour and mix...which has led to him loving to help me cook in the kitchen. He loves his gymnastics class though we took him out for the next couple of months. He heard us talking about it the other day and came running into the kitchen saying "go gymnastics go gymnastics" I might have to put him back in (I took him out because I took Penny out because she wanted to do PGY instead and he was really only it in because it was at the same times as hers and it wasn't as torturous to be there if he had a class to join). He loves to do pullups. His latest obsession is giving knuckles. We all sit around and talk about all the funny things he says and does while he's napping and then fight over who gets to go and get him out of his crib. He's so very under loved around here.

Baby #4  30 weeks gestation- Growing great! At our first ultrasound they found some placental lakes which are pools of blood on/in the placenta. These happened to be right around the cord insertion which can often lead to decreased nourishment to the baby (not enough nutrients are able to pass through the umbilical cord if there is a pool of blood blocking the process). They ordered a second ultrasound to track the baby's growth and since I wasn't having any other signs or symptoms that come along with this type of condition, I really wasn't worried in the least. And 2nd ultrasound concluded that baby is continuing to grow at a normal rate so the placental pools are completely benign and will most likely continue to be. When this condition is a problem it becomes an issue of at what point is the baby more at risk being in the womb than out of the womb. But, since the baby is growing fine, they will continue to assume the baby is at no risk. She/he is very active and we all love to feel those kicks and rolls. Even Michael knows that there is a baby in mommy's tummy and apologizes when he forgets (and jumps on me or pokes at me) and wraps his arms around my tummy and says he's sorry to the baby. We've picked out a girl name but have yet to find that perfect boy name. Boy names have always been the hardest for us. Though we'll welcome this baby's arrival when she/he is ready to, we're hoping that the timing will be closer to the due date rather than early as in times past as my sister is getting married only 2 weeks before. I had to take that awful glucose tolerance test and this time instead of a 1 hour test, they have changed the national standards and it is now a 2 hour test. Lame. I was so close to not taking it because I don't feel any different than my last pregnancies and felt it an unnecessary precaution with my history. But, I had a window of time where Sean's mom was in town and I could make it work and so I did it anyways. Baby #4, if there was any indication that I didn't already love you, it was all washed away with 75 grams of (room temperature) lemon lime flavored sugar syrup, 3 blood draws and 2 hours in a waiting room. We all love you so much and can't wait to meet you.

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