Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sofia and Maren at Three Months

WHAT.  Sofia and Maren are three months old?!  This is insanity, but I love it.  The age-old "they grow up so fast" applies here very much.  But I'm one of those crazy moms who doesn't get sad when her kids outgrow clothes at whatnot, I'm seriously just so excited to see our little girls grow so quickly and so well!

We sort of were super late on their two month appointment and as such they were almost three months when we went in.  The jumps in their charts are ridiculous.  What children go from the 14th percentile to 95th percentile?  Apparently mine.  The difference in size between these two is amazing.  Maren is huge.  As in, long.  So long.  She's almost as tall as her cousin who's six months older than her.  She cray on the growth, yo.  She makes Sofie look so petite and yet Sofia is well above average as well in the 70th percentile for everything.  My girls are insanely awesome.

Both girlies are sort of insane in their cribs.  When sleeping, Sofia snuggles in so deep that she'll be completely burrowed down into her swaddle, literally to the point that you can only see the top of her fuzzy head.  I'm constantly going into there to pull the blanket back, slightly panicked that she won't be able to breathe, haha.  Sofie also arches her back like crazy in her sleep.  I'll go in to take care of Maren and when I leave I'll check on Fi only to see her on her side, spine totally curved out.  It's nuts.

Maren spreads out as much as possible.  She's still the master of breaking out of her swaddle, and pretty much whenever I go in there she's moved herself half-way down the bed, arm splayed above her head.  She's a crazy mover!  Sometimes she'll move down so much it'll pull the back of her swaddling blanket up over her head like a hood, sometimes over her face (which, again, freaks me out).  When super exhausted, however, she sleeps much like Sof--super snuggled, burrowed down in her blankie-burrito.

Sofia is so social and happy it's wonderful and hilarious.  Sofia is happy to share the love, she loves anyone who will talk and smile with her, but she talks the most with me.  Oftentimes, I'll go into their room because Sofie's upset, bend over Sofia's crib, and she'll just gurgle and smile like she wasn't yelling in the first place (and totally sucker me into pulling her out for some chatting).  When she gets up in the morning and I go to get her, she always flashes this massive smile and makes the cutest noise she can muster and, yeah, it's just as cute as she intends it to be!  Basically, she knows how to play the field.  And it's the greatest.  She loves people, she loves attention, she loves listening to you talk and she loves softly talking back.  She's just the sweetest.

Maren is just so freaking happy and it's darling as ever.  She doesn't really do the stressball thing anymore (though we still find it hilarious), she has just blossomed (why does that word look awkward?) into this freaking adorable, happy, smiley little girl.  It kind of started with her Grandma Michelle, who she could not stop smiling at.  Now she's smiling so much, and her smiles are just big and sweet!  But there's no one she smiles for like her dad.  He'll get home from work and bend down to say hi to her while she's chilling in her bouncer and she'll just get this look like, "Holy crud, it's DAD!" and her face will go crazy smiley for him.  I LOVE IT.  She's the sweetest (sorry, these girls just embody that word, so I use it a lot).

Pretty much let's just note that we just melt when our girls are grinning at us.  They know how to make us feel good about ourselves.  And also let's make another note that they're probably going to have us so wrapped up in their cuteness that we're going to be total suckers for their shenanigans, just like we are with George.

Maren can hold her head and upper body super well, she loves sitting up!  This is good because at their (very late) 2-month appointment we found out she's got a flat spot that needs to get checked out, but for now it's made the endless tummy time much easier.  She had to get used to me constantly flipping her head on the side opposite of her flat spot, and she hated that at first, but we've slowly figured it out.  Brad and I think that we see a difference already, but we'll see what the specialist has to say!

Sofia can roll to her side on the bed thanks to the squishiness.  The bed is one of her most favorite places to chit-chat and coo at you; she loves to have you lie down next to her and just talk.  Her smiles when you're talking to her are so freaking cute.  They're just huge and light up her entire face.  My dad commented that she's beautiful when she's not smiling, but when she smiles it's like a whole other level of beauty, and it's so true.

Sofia projectile vomits; this will happen from time to time (maybe once or twice a week) as she eats too much or too fast.  It usually happens right as we're trying to get her down to sleep.  She'll eat and then want more, so we'll give her more, then she'll fuss because her belly hurts and the BLEH!  Vomit laser beam!

Maren waterfalls her puke when it all comes out at once.  Again, this happens due to over-eating and eating too fast.  She does that about as often as Sof's projectiles.  However, she does like to do tiny pukes periodically as she's awake.  She'll get up, I'll put her in jammies, and one side of her collar will be basically soaked by nap time.  She's a nerd.

Puking has diminished a lot since we propped their crib mattresses, however.  So that's been nice.  They've also been waaay less bugged by gas.  It'll still keep them up from time to time, but overall it's improved by leaps and bounds, which is a relief!

These girls are still great sleepers.  Sofia has gotten up for about 20-minutes a few nights to chit-chat, but other than that they both sleep like champs.  Maren slept for 6-hours straight one night and I seriously wondered if she was alive!  Otherwise they both sleep in 3-4 hour chunks, eat, and go right back to sleep.

Bed time is funny because it's this hour of them being super tired, but wanting to hang out with both Brad and I, so we're laying them down and then picking them back up because they slept for twelve seconds.  I call it, the "Witching Hour", haha.  It's really not bad at all, though.  I mean, some night the Witching Hour feels long but then I look at the clock and realize it's not even nine yet.  Like I said, once they're asleep they're out for the night, and the up-and-down bedtime routine never lasts past 9:30 PM so they're very nice newborns!  They just need their Mom and Dad time and we're cool with that!  They're cute, so as soon as we walk in to grab them for the fourth or fifth time and we get this big ol' grin from Sofie and Mare does this cute excited kicks they basically trick us into wanting them awake.

Sofia LOVES the bouncers and their toy arches.  Which is great because Sofia will only sit in a room so long without anyone to make awkward eye contact with.  She eventually gets to a point where she'll holler for you like, "HEY.  There's no one in here!  HELLO!"  The bouncer toys make her happy when otherwise she'd be yelling for you to get your butt back in there and stare into her eyes while she tells you a story, haha.  With the arch on the bouncer, she'll gaze at the toys and coo and smile.  It's sort of the cutest thing ever.

Maren does the funniest thing where she'll see you and just get really, really excited.  Her big blue eyes just light up, and she gets this big grin on her face and she'll start talking to you about how excited she is.  It's so funny and so freaking cute, we die every time.  Like I said, she's way more interested in being social.  She seeks out your gaze way more often and loves to talk and tell stories more.  But seriously, I've never see her face light up like when Brad gets eye-to-eye with her!

Both of the girls discovered their hands this month and, holy crud, so cute.  Sofie especially enjoys shoving her chubby fist as far into her tiny mouth as she possibly can.  This causes excessive amounts of drool.  It's an impressive but futile effort, trying to shove her whole fist in there.

Overall--yet again--just the changes in physical appearance are astounding on these ladies.  Just in these pictures you'll be able to tell which ones are taken closer to the beginning of the month, and which hit more near to the end of the month because the girls are just so much, I don't know, heartier as time goes by.  And it's super duper freaking awesome to see.  It's been so weird compared to how George was--he was always hearty in appearance.  I've appreciated how quickly the girls have bulked up, everyone is a lot less scared of holding them now!  They're both so dang charming and fun and they're seriously just blossoming.  Again, as cliche as that may sound.  But hey, truth.  Love these ladies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

George Moment #12

Heather:  Do you know who Pooh Bear is?
George:  Pooping!

Friday, September 18, 2015

George at Two Years, Part Three

Uh, hey, George is two.  He's made that abundantly clear, haha.  He's sort of a Turd Ferguson, let's just say that.  Most days he's my wonderful, sweet George I'm so used to, but other days are spent with over-sensitive Teenager George where life is not fair and that's not what he asked for.  This George pops up most often when you tell him not to do something or otherwise correct or redirect his actions.  Teenager George is not a great listener and requires a lot of one-on-one discussions.  The beast that is Teenager George can often be calmed by making and keeping him aware of what's going on and why, such as, "You said you're tired.  I'm going to change your bum, get you a drink, and then lay you down in your bed to sleep."  When said method does not work, PAW Patrol will roll in and save the day.  Thank you, PAW Patrol, for your fearless service and bravery.

George has begun taking greater interest in his sisters, including learning their names!  He most often just calls them both, "Maren," but he's correctly naming, "Sofia," more and more.  I still think he's struggling with understanding why in the world they're still here, but his lack of interest is still working out for us as he's not hounding them or me all the time, which makes it WAY easier to function, thank goodness!

This kid is growing his two-year molars currently, which I've heard plays into the whole "hi-I'm-a-two-year-poop-head" thing, but who knows.  This kept him up until past midnight two nights, unable to sleep, and started a lovely bought of him literally screaming his head off when it was time for bed.  Let's just say I'm incredibly lucky to have the husband that I have, as Bradley was the one to work with George to understand why he was screaming every night and how we could help.  The process for bed time basically entailed Bradley repeatedly talking to a sobbing, inconsolable George about, "Why are you sad?"  George picked up on that Brad was trying to communicate and help, and eventually began to talk more than cry.  It only took a couple nights of psychotic George before Brad completely figured out the system that I first described of, "Okay, this is what's going to happen."  Bed time very quickly returned back to the pleasant moment that it had always been.

By the end of the month George really did mellow down on the crazy, though.  He began to request more "nap time" or "nah-night" where he'd just go lay down in his crib with a drink and some books for thirty minutes or so and then come out happy when he was finished.  He's progressively done less and less mini-naps and is just happy all day again instead, which is AWESOME.  That's my George!  Overall, George is growing up.  He wants to feel included, wants to feel heard, and he's sometimes a jerk when he feels that those desires aren't being met.  He's very clearly unsure of how to fully handle his emotions, but just this month he's learned so much as we've been consistent with how we handle the tantrums and fussing.  He continues to be a pain in the butt for little moments every-so-often, but the moments are fewer and he's never been a total jerk for entire days, so that's a relief!  We really have it easy on the whole, "Terrible Twos," experience and we're pretty grateful for that!

George has found a new love of climbing.  Tables, chairs, desks, even attempts to get up on the kitchen counter have occurred with this youngin'.  The first time he did it he had run upstairs ahead of me and as I went to find him, I found him on the hearth room table, totally looking for James's laptop.  Turd Ferguson.  Before we got a step stool, he'd climb up on a chair in the bathroom in front of the left sink and exclaim, "Want to brush teeth!  Turn water on!" multiple times a day.  (Now he just does it on his step.)

And man, does he love to brush his teeth.  He loves it when he does it, he doesn't dig it when I do.  But that's how it's done--I actually brush his teeth first, he does his mediocre "brushing" that's mostly eating toothpaste and sucking water out of the bristles.  Hey, as long as he enjoys it.

We have this game where George will find me in my room and say, "3, 2, 1?" and so I'll pick him up, count down from three, and toss him onto the bed, over and over again.  He loves it.  The crazier the throw, the better.  That kid really has no regard for safety (except when there's no need to worry about it, like the vacuum).  Seriously though, he loves it, and it's a good workout for me, throwing 30+ pounds of George around.

Loves counting with fingers.  He's been watching his grandmas and me do it for a while now, and he's slowly figured out how to do it with his own fingers, it's super cute.  He loves to point at your hand and exclaim how many fingers you've got up.  "Five!"  He'll also just count any appendage.  He'll pull his foot right next to his face, stare at it, and then look at me and say, "Five toes," very seriously.  I love him, pretty much.

Interested in going potty on the toilet.  It started with him telling me throughout the day, "I need to go poop," and has evolved into, "Want to use the potty."  He's definitely ready... I'm so not!  Not in a sentimental oh-I-can't-believe-he's-ready kind of way, more in a I'm-too-lazy-to-take-that-on-right-now way.  Yep, he's so ready.  We bought a child's seat adapter thingy and big boy underwear but beyond that we just randomly take him to the bathroom.  He pees every time but so far no matter how much he says, "I need to poop," he hasn't pooped on the toilet yet.  For me, I feel like we've got plenty of time.  I've never been stressed about potty training him by a specific time, but I'm glad that he's interested in it now and we'll definitely be figuring that out soon, just... not right now, hahaha.  Maybe when the girls eat less.  All I can see is crying babies at the same time George needing to go poop and just disaster.  Trust me.

I've been working with George to teach him to clean up after himself and to take direction on that.  For the most part it's been me guiding him through the process while holding my hand or on my lap, but there are those awesome moments where he does it completely on his own, it's schweet!  Just trying to get him into the habit of taking care of his things and helping out; so far it's just a fun learning moment where it's completely just him and me, and that's super nice.

Speaking of holding hands, George is great at it now!  In fact, he now will grab on and not want you to let go, which is a huge jump from the gross-don't-hold-my-hand phase of the past.  He's good at keeping a hold even when he wants to dart away because, hello, Walmart is awesome to run through.  However, if I ever do let go he will take the opportunity to dart should he feel inclined to, especially in the store!  He loves running through wherever we are that isn't at home, haha.

When we're outside (which he still loves and requests it every day, multiple times a day), and we're just walking on the sidewalk, George will often take off running on the path we take to Bluffdale Park.  We'll ask him, "Where are you going?!" and he'll holler, "Go to the park!"

Speaking of outside, now that there's two newborns getting out of the house is basically the biggest event of my life when I try and do it on my own, so sadly George wasn't getting to play outside as much as he's used to.  So we concocted an area in the walk out using a baby gate to keep him contained, sort of like a mini backyard (made totally of concrete, haha).  I put out chalk for George to use and created a makeshift water table from a mini stool and a plastic bin filled with water.  He loved drawing circles with me on the ground, and thought the white trash water table was a hoot.  Brad got the brilliant idea to write the alphabet on the wall and later we added shapes and numbers as well.  George loved going up and counting down the numbers, or pretending to write the letters that he saw.

Bed time got weird for a second.  He suddenly had these two year-old scream fests about it.  He's totally unbarred in his toddler bed, and once he figured out how to open doors he was constantly in and out.  Luckily there's two doors to his room, including the bathroom which has its lock on the bathroom side, not in his room, so we just locked both doors.  He'd go jiggle the handle, figure out it was locked, get back in bed and be angry for about 30-seconds, and then fall asleep instantly.  It was pretty fun to observe.  Now it's just bed time and if he's not ready to sleep quite yet he'll just stay in his bed, read his books, and talk before falling asleep.  In the morning I always find him in his bed, he seems cool with waiting for me like when he was in his crib.  But instead of me picking him up he gets out on his own, he just waits for me to get in there before he does, haha.

Holy cow, this kid is a parrot!  We keep making jokes about watching what we say, but seriously, we need to watch what we say, haha!  He repeats pretty much anything new or anything that sounds good to him, and it's always three times cuter when he says it.

One thing George does is he'll tell us something he wants, say, "Want to go outside," and we'll respond, "You want to go outside?" to verify we heard him right, and he'll answer, "OKAY!" like it was our idea.  It makes us laugh every time.

I know I mentioned this previously, but holy cow, George is so social now.  He loves people, he loves kids, and he loves playing with everyone.  He's such a blast, he'll ask to play certain things or do certain activities and I love it.  He'll say, "I want to play!  I want to play on the slide!" and then run downstairs to go do it.  It's the best.

George has been sleeping incredibly.  He'll go to bed at five or six and then sleep till eight.  Say what?  Yeah, it's amazing.  And he'll sleep through the entire night, he won't wake up once.  It's wonderful.  He could not have better timing!

You know, maybe it was a first time mom misconception thing, but I seriously was always so paranoid about being too loud when George was sleeping.  I'm talking I would use the upstairs bathroom I was so paranoid that the flushing toilet would wake him up.  I made Brad and I whisper quietly, even in the front room.  The door shutting to George's room sounded like a blaring horn to me when I'd do it after putting him down.  It was endless.  My biggest fear with the girls was them being too loud and waking George up throughout the night.  But seriously, George doesn't even wake up when Sofia's screaming.  He's awesome.  It definitely helps that the girls room is pretty soundproof because it's in the audio/visual room, but man, George is a boss.  He'll still wake up if we're extremely loud repeatedly, but I don't know why I spent so much time not peeing in my toilet throughout the night!

We've also had friends over multiple times after George has gone to bed and we've been hanging in the front room and we just keep our voices at a regular level and it's just fine.  It's crazy, when George started going to bed so early I really thought that we'd never be able to hang out past six again!  But he rocks!  Amber and Nathan were over the other night and we played Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. in the front room and had a few times where we got a little loud but squashed it pretty fast and George didn't budge, he's a stud.

George's nosy level has gone up significantly, haha.  He's constantly checking the counter to see what he can reach (you know, to find a "sword") and pushing an button he can find, see, or reach.  He's so obsessed with phones it's crazy, and if he can get to yours, trust me--he'll get to it.  And lock you out of your phone (sorry, Grandma Christy).  He's beyond funny how well he can get to things, but he's also beyond obnoxious how well he can get to things, hahaha!  He's too smart for his own good and especially loves to steal calculators, knifes, scissors, anything that can draw, and flashlights.  He's dangerous, that one.

This month started off pretty rough with all the two-year-old-ness, but in the end that didn't last and for the most part he's just be the George we know and love!  Still afraid of vacuums.  We'll work on that.  At some point.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sofia and Maren at Two Months

Let's start with farts.  These girls, as previously mentioned, fart like dudes.  Seriously.  I leave them to hang with their dad and it's like Fart Town over there, it's pretty hilarious.  Maren's farts are definitely the loudest, however.  Sofia farts just as much, don't get me wrong, but, holy mack, Maren's are vocal!

Speaking of vocal, Sofia is still our vocal one!  Not just yelling, but she's beginning to talk with us.  We'll be chatting with her (while she makes severe eye contact) and she likes to coo and gurgle back.  Okay, and sometimes squawk, because that's just Sofia.  If someone is screaming and crying downstairs my dad will often come to the door and ask, "Who's sad?" and basically the answer is, "Who do you think?", hahaha.  Sofia still hates bows and often hates getting dressed.  Diapers she's pretty cool with unless she's already upset, then it's pretty easy to get upset about the diaper change too!

Maren continues to be our mellow gal, however she's definitely picked up her game.  When she's hungry that girl will definitely let you know as she goes into a full-blown panic like she's fairly sure she's going to perish if we don't feed her now.  The panic sort of builds up from low-volume fussing to full-out cries, it's pretty cute.  She gets a little desperate when it comes to being hungry.  She still hates diaper changes and most of the time stresses out while you change her, haha.  Poor girl!

Both girls are wide awake.  Sofia is all about finding you and getting your attention (which includes yelling at you if you're not there to stare at), while Maren is more into looking at her surroundings (and then maybe stressing about them).  They aren't awake for very long periods--an hour is pushing it--but when they're up, they're alert!  LOVE IT.

Sleep like bosses still.  There are some nights where one will stay up later due to gas, but otherwise you can just lay them down in their crib awake and they'll just fall asleep.  Often they don't even need a binky.  Maren seems to be the boss at this currently; she sleeps for longer chunks of time and doesn't get startled awake anymore.  If she's fed with a clean bum, after laying her down and tucking a fuzzy blanket around her, I can seriously turn around to grab Sofie only to come back and Maren's out like a light.  It's legit, let me tell you.  For Fia, when you put her in her crib and snuggle her in, she'll often look around the room for a while with her bright blue eyes, just sucking on her binky, before she zonks.  It's basically mega-adorable.

Other than gas, Sofia sometimes will stay awake later to demand dad time.  She can't just hang out with him, she needs his full, undivided, mega-eye-contact attention.  It's hilarious.  We're like, "Sofie, you've stared long enough.  It's bed time," and then she'll finally allow herself to rest easy knowing that she got some dad stare-age in.

In other news of their sleeping habits, Maren moves like crazy in her sleep.  We've found her flipped 90-degrees from where we left her the night before.  It's crazy the amount that chick moves!  She can also break out of a swaddle like a boss.  Mimi can basically sense a poor swaddle from a mile away and then, BAM!, she's out and free.  Keeping her swaddled the whole night is a big accomplishment!  With the nicer swaddling blankets--those huge, muslin type--she'll technically stay swaddled.  I mean, she's definitely wrapped up, but she also manages to wiggle down so much the neck of the swaddle ends up going over her head.  Yeah, who knows.  She's amazing.

Sofia stays swaddled but we'll often find her in some crazy c-shape, with her back completely arched back.  She's a contortionist.

Fifi loves her swaddle nice and tight.  I think she's also easier to swaddle because she's smaller and thus the receiving blankets fit around her better, haha.  Did I mention Maren has grown like a weed?  She's so freaking tall!  She's close to ten pounds, it's crazy!

These girls are totally unlike their brother in the fact that when they nap, they nap.  Like, three hour naps multiple times a day.  It's wonderful.  Seriously, so great.  I could not have asked for a better gift, it makes my day go back so smoothly in balancing three kids.  I'm relishing in it while it lasts!

Sofia is smiling quite often, it's adorable.  When she wakes up I'll go in and start baby talking to her and she'll just grin and it's the best.  Her entire face just lights up like crazy.  She just loves being talked to.  She's an attention hog, she can't get enough.  It brings Sofia unlimited happiness just to have someone to talk and listen to.

Maren smiles but she's more choosy about who she smiles for.  She's more into just hanging out silently together, she's not super into chit-chatting yet.  But man, when you get her attention, her smile is amazing!

Maren will sleep anywhere and on anyone, especially when you hold her up, laying against your chest, head on your shoulder.  For Sofia, if you allow her to stare at you long enough she'll happily fall asleep on you.  But overall both girls prefer to be swaddled and in their cribs and they're both really good at letting me know, "Okay, I want to sleep in my crib now."  They'll start getting just slightly fussy and won't really let anything comfort them fully.  They'll take a binky for a bit or calm down as they're being bounced, but ultimately they'll go back to being just slightly fussy and that's when I know, "Ohh, you want to go to bed."

Their bed time usually hits exactly when George goes to bed and if not it's no later than 9:00 PM.  Again, they're miracle babies.  They make this so easy for us.  I'm really waiting for the poop to hit the fan because they're so great at making things simple!

Both ladies poop, like, all the time.  It smells like rotten fish (yes, you wanted to know that detail, trust me).  It's just terrible.  But I'll take poop-all-the-time over constipation any day.

Random note, but through many wonderful gifts of diapers we've discovered that Huggies are sort of amazing.  I feel like George was always needing a clothing change because of peeing through his diapers, but since we've started some of the Huggies packages we got in size 1 the girls can go through the entire night on one diaper, two tops.  No accidents, no diaper rashes.  Huggies are legit, my friends.  SO LEGIT.

Really, these girls are just crazy different.  Maren is a full head taller, their ears are totally different, Maren has my nose, Sofia has my mom's, Maren's eyes are navy blue, Sofia's are ocean blue, Sofia has Brad's eye shape, Maren has mine, their personalities are completely different, and it goes on!  I love that they're fraternal.  I love all those differences in appearance.  They've both changed so much since birth, even since the beginning of the month they look completely different, it's crazy.  They've just been so fun so far and I can't wait to keep watching them grow.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

George Moment #11

This morning was just all sorts of awesome.  I got up before George to feed the girls, who then went right back to sleep.  At that time George had woken up and I went to open his door to let him out; we used to have the exit from his toddler bed blocked off with two storage boxes full of baby clothes, but recently I decided to take them away because I feel like George is adequately comfortable with his new "big boy bed".  So now, instead of having to go and pull him out of bed he can get out himself and will play in his room for a while before he's ready to start the day.

This morning, when I opened the door, George hadn't even left his bed yet, he was still reading the two books we like to leave in there.  "Good morning!" he said.

Because the girls were asleep, George and I immediately had some bonding time.  He eventually requested that I play the game where I count to three and then toss him onto our bed.  We played that a few times--me stopping once or twice to stick a binky back into a baby's mouth--until we were both lay down on the bed, him counting my fingers with me.  I started telling him the story of Sleeping Beauty (Disney version, the classic is pretty dang creepy) and when I got to the end I told him about the prince kissing Aurora awake and George came over and kissed me "awake", annnd it may have been the cutest thing ever.  My Prince George!

After that I asked George if he wanted to brush his teeth with me, so we headed into the bathroom and I got him started before I started brushing my own teeth.  George hates the start where I need to actually brush his teeth for him, but then I give him his toothbrush and let him run it under the water and then suck it out of the bristles--which, I don't know if that sounds weird, but, dude, that's totally something that I did all the time when I was a kid, and thus I'm weirdly proud!

Once George was done "brushing" his teeth, he asked to play on my computer so I plopped him down on the chair and let him pound on the keyboard and click away with the mouse while I finished getting ready.  I was painting on an awesome cat eye when I realized that George was SUPER quiet.  Which, as a parent, you know that either the kid's favorite show is on or they're probably doing something that they shouldn't be.  I glance out the bathroom door and, lo and behold, George had climbed up onto my desk and was busily drawing in his leg with a pen.  I literally started laughing and walked over and started taking pictures--because I'm a good example like that.  I finally pulled him off the desk and explained that A) we don't use pens on our bodies and B) we don't climb on the desk.  And I guess C) no more desk for George.

But yeah, even though it was a total no-no, it was also pretty hilarious.  Luckily it came off really easily with just a baby wipe, I was wondering if I was going to have to go to extremes or just let him walk around looking like a spaz.  (Not that George would've cared at all.)

Oh, and in other adventurous news today... George figured out how to open doors.  Yep.  That'll be interesting.  So far he doesn't utilize the skill like he could, so let's hope he stays in the dark on the usefulness of it for getting into things.

George Moment #10

George:  How are you, Mom?
Heather:  I'm good, how are you?
George:  I'm two, I'm good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why We Are In Love #17

Heather:  Have you ever listened to Shania Twain?
Bradley:  No, she don't impress me much.


Why write about Tuesday?  Well, Tuesday was just one of those days that reminded me how much I loved my upbringing, how much I loved growing up in the family and home that I did, and how much I just freaking love my family.

Tuesday morning, just as George went down for a nap, my little brother, James, popped up at the top of the stairs.  He'll be leaving for college at the end of the week, but for now he's still hanging with these homies, dawg.  (Wow, that was a sad sentence.)  "George and the girls sleeping?" he asked and I said that George had indeed done so.

"Want to play some Super Smash?"  Um, YES.

We started gaming it up.  I sucked so hard.  SO HARD.  When did I start sucking even more butt at that game?  I used to actually be decent once upon a time.  Oh, the humanity.  Drama, I know.  But yeah, it was great.  Game after game (and loss after loss for me), lots of joking and laughter.  Then Alix and Wyatt got to my parent's house and were making their way down into the basement, and suddenly it was us three siblings, playing like we had done countless times in our lives.  This time was a tad different because I had a very cute baby nephew laying on me, but there was still the joking (and me losing some more) and laughter and teasing and sibling-ing.  It was great.

My parents came in for lunch and we went upstairs to join them for some breakfast burritos.  We all lounged and watched an episode of Arrow together and that family dynamic we've had all growing up was back in swing.  Dad fast-forwarding too fast.  James putting his feet on Dad's head, who's laying on the floor in front of the couch.  Dad being a nerd and requesting twelve different runs for things like ice cream, Diet Pepsi, or the remote. Mom usually being the one stuck getting those things for Dad.  Mom being awesome and playing with my hair when I ask.  Alix and I battling over the hair love from Mom.  Everyone making stupid comments about actors and actresses and their hair.  Mom basically being able to write the episode.  Dad always guessing exactly who the bad guy is or what the twist will be.  All of this in a forty-five minute episode.  Epic.

Mom and Dad head back out to work and so we head back downstairs and, with George up and requesting, "It's a game!  It's a game!" we fire up Mario Kart on the Wii U.  Different game console from the Mario Kart we played as kids on the N64, but the same family fun.  Racing, beaning each other with turtle shells to jump ahead, and lots and lots of trash-talking.  (Alix may be the best trash-talker, but James has the best comebacks.)  Did I mention that I love my siblings?  If Ken had been there it would have been the best anarchy.  Brad did come to join us once he was home from work and that was a blast!

At one point when it was just Alix and I playing Mario Kart, Alix was having fun playing with Maren and then George on her lap while I held Wy-Guy.  It was magic.

(Sofia was snoozing during the fun.)

I love my family.  I'm glad that my little family has them in their lives.

Tuesday was a great day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Prayer

Having kids and wanting them to have a strong relationship with their Heavenly Father and their Savior makes me think often about how exactly that happens.  The beauty of Heavenly Father's plan of our Savior's Atonement isn't really something that you grasp in its fullness as a two year-old, but it's not like there's a magical age where I'll be able to just lay it all out at once and George will be all, "Hmm, I get that," and feel all the warm fuzzies that I have with it.  So yeah, I think about this a lot, how to help foster the relationship with God that I know brings a lot of light, focus, and happiness into life.

Today I was putting George down for his afternoon nap.  He was already in his crib, snuggled up and having a drink before he went to sleep.  As I was folding some blankets to go put them away I glanced over at George and realized that we hadn't prayed that morning.  So I knelt down at the side of his crib and began to pray.

George doesn't get super involved yet, but he is silent and watching me as I pray.  I began to thank Heavenly Father for the good morning we had experienced together.  After the girls had been laid down for their naps a little bit earlier, George and I were able to hang out in my bedroom before he was ready to lay down.  We sang songs and played on the bed.  It was a nice, happy, uninterrupted moment with each other.  Because the girls were asleep, George had my full attention and I had his.  There was no TV, no toys, no games, just him and me in a sunny bedroom, hanging out--and I was so grateful for it.

I continued to pray, thinking back on the morning as I did so.  Earlier George had been playing with the video baby monitor, which he's not supposed to do.  I explained that it wasn't a toy and took it from him and he got upset (you know, two year-old.  It's fun times).  I was holding Maren on my knees at that moment and George sort of swatted at her at which point I immediately said, "We don't hit.  We don't touch people like that.  We're soft," and I grabbed his hand and showed him how to softly touch Maren.  "Soft," George said, and he reached back again and touched Maren softly.  I knew that he was struggling with his new sisters and still didn't quite get why they were there, and so I asked in my prayer that we all be blessed in this transition to a family of five, especially George.  I prayed that he be comforted as he struggled, that he could learn to see the girls like Heavenly Father sees them, and that he could come to see them as the blessings they were, that one day the three of them could be best friends.

I felt a strong, warm feeling as I prayed, and I knew that through this small and simple prayer I was opening George up to an understanding of the Atonement.  That even in our struggles with life changes like new siblings that may leave us feeling stressed, we have a loving Heavenly Father who provided a Savior that knows exactly how we're feeling and is there to help us carry that burden.  That's definitely not what I said as we prayed, but I saw that the simple things I did say were a basic example of a larger knowledge of the Atonement:  pray to your Father in Heaven to ask for help when we're struggling to be better.

It was such a cool realization that, hey, these little moments do a lot.  I can show George a love for Christ and his sacrifice with simple things such as prayers for help to do what we need to do.  That's cool.  The Gospel is truly beautiful in its simplicity, and I'm grateful that as a parent it is taught in simplicity as well.  I guess it's something I've always known, like in Jesus and His example as he taught with things like parables and such, but I guess I had never really applied that to parenting.  My parents taught me a love for the Gospel through example.  My mom taught me to serve by involving me as she made lunch for the missionaries.  My dad taught me the importance of listening to the Spirit as he heeded to those promptings himself.  My parents didn't sit me down in front of a white board and drill scripture into my head, they taught me by keeping the commandments themselves.

That moment, praying with George--a prayer that I offered at the last second after realizing I had spaced to do it when we woke up--I learned a lot about how I want to be as a parent.  I don't expect myself to ever be perfect, but I do know that as I continue to work hard to be better then I also feel better.  I know that when I'm not farting around my time, when I'm actively involved with my kids, when I work hard, that's when I feel happiest.  I know that when George is right there with me during the day, working alongside me as I teach him how to pick up, or when we're running outside or just singing a tune together over lunch, that's when he's happiest too.

And hey, George just woke up from his nap!  So here's to everyday being a day that I can work hard to be better not only for myself, but for my kids, because that's where the learning really takes place--in the home, watching Mom and Dad.

George at Two Years, Part Two

NOTE:  Uh, sorry this is so late in being posted!  I've had it written for forever but just got to adding pictures because, well, I suck.  But hey, my house is almost all clean!  And having three kids has sort of been way more awesome than I imagined, so there's that!  Life is great over here, and I'm picking up the writing again, which is nice, right?!  (Okay, fine, nobody cares, alright, alright.  Onto the actual post.)

Man, with these twin girls born everything about George has become so grown-up.  I seriously came home from the hospital and was immediately struck by how big my little boy was!  Seriously, it felt like he had grown a ton while I was gone.  Slightly depressing.  Also weird because it was just like I left him and he was little, and I came home from the hospital and he had become monstrously huge.

The Spider-Man Theme Song strikes again--seriously, you can put anything to that tune!  This month, in our attempts to coax an interest into George for the girlies, I put the phrase "feed the baby" to the tune and George loves it, it's pretty hilarious.  He'll see me feeding either Sofia or Maren and he'll sing, "Feed the baby, feed the baby!"  "Change the bum" also still applies.  That tune can make anything awesome.

George is just talking more and more, forming sentences out of the blue, picking up stuff really fast, it's been so fun to hear.  You can ask him what he wants for breakfast (a lot of the time that's "hot dog", haha).  When he wants more, you can ask him, "More what?" and he'll tell you, "More hot dog!"  "Please" and "thank you" are doing great, there are reminders needed sometimes but he'll do it on it his own so much it's cute to hear!

George loves to tell us that we should go outside.  He still loves being out in the yard, picking up sticks, playing in the dirt, and running around.  He'll play on his own for a long time outside, once you're out there he's basically like, "See ya, sucker!" and goes off to do his own thing.

Recently we turned on the fountain in the front yard for my brother's homecoming and the girl's blessing day and George LOVED playing in that.  Wherever there's water, this kid will find it.  We dumped out a bucket of water we had set aside for firework safety and he immediately went over and sat in the puddle to play.  When he makes his circle around from the side yard to the back where the pool house is he will always make a pit stop at the door to say, "Swimming!  Let's go swimming!"  He loves it.  Still loves bath time.  He'll basically chant, "Water!" whenever he sees it, including when he just sees you turn on the sink.

George has officially upgraded to a booster seat (kindly purchased by his Grandma Michelle), so rather than the high chair he sits at the counter with the rest of us and he loves it.  He's become a more well-rounded eater, and eats pretty much all his food groups every meal.  Vegetables still aren't his favorite, but he's been slightly more open to them.  Otherwise, he's been WAY more willing to try new foods.  He now loves chocolate, blackberries, raspberries, candy, cake, turkey, pastrami, among many, many other things that he previously didn't dig so much.  As for favorites, he still loves marshmallows more than most anything.  If you give him Lucky Charms, he'll pick those suckers right out and then ask for more, totally ignoring the cereal, haha.  It's awesome.

He still has a fear of anything with a motor that lacks wheels.  It's an interesting event, vacuuming in this house.  We have to make sure he's outside or on another floor, he hates it that much, hahaha.  Brad also attempted introducing George to the sprinklers the other day.  Uh, yeah, did not go over so well.  He basically hated it.  Kids are so weird.

He sleeps through the entire night!  Yes, my night drinker doesn't wake up once for a drink, it's awesome--and hey, sort of perfect timing with already waking up with two other babies throughout the night!  Although I truly never minded him waking up for a drink, but still it's made having twins an easier transition.  So, thank you, George!

However, George has truly become a two year-old.  Yep.  Uh-oh.  Repeating directions is what we do all day.  When he gets frustrated with it, he lets out this high-pitch, horrible noise.  It's truly enjoyable, trust me.  There's a lot more tears from him when he's unable to do or have what he's asking for, but he's slowly learning that it gets him nowhere!  We are working hard to talk to him about how he's feeling and the correct way to express it and so hopefully we can help him out.  Overall, it's pretty dang mild, it's just weird coming from George, our normally super-mellow child when it comes to receiving direction.

George is becoming so dang social, it's awesome!  My little brother, James, came home from his two-year service mission to Chile for our church this month; the last time George had seen James was when George was two-months old, so we weren't sure how he'd react to James.  To our surprise, George loves James.  The first morning James was back, George came upstairs, saw James, and exclaimed, "It's JAMES!"

George chit-chats all day long to anyone who will listen, especially to himself.  He's also started singing a lot to himself; he'll make up random songs as he's wandering through the house and it's super adorable.  He still picks up the tunes and words to songs ridiculously fast.  He heard, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" one time and had it down.  He's really good at it.  We still joke he's going to be a choir nerd like his grandma, haha.

Teeth growth was rampant this month and lead to a grumpy George some days.  George has had his last four teeth in the front all growing in at the same time, but it hasn't been until the last two on bottom have finally popped through that he's really felt the hurt.  He woke up with a fever and in pain with those suckers, but then powered through it with a freaking long nap the next day!  But we've yet to see those fabled monsters of the two-year molars.  I'm scared.

George is super obsessed with my mom.  He still loves Uncle Brandon, but I think he's legit favorite is his Grandma Christy.  He'll see her while he's eating lunch or whatever and he'll seriously start exclaiming that he's all done eating because he wants her to hold him so badly.  He loves sharing her drink and making her play Candy Crush with her.  He loves to sing with her, play outside with her, and gets a little upset when she has the nerve to use the bathroom and make him wait on the other side of the door.  He's also not happy when she heads out to the shop to work without inviting him to come along.  Basically, I think he'd choose to marry her if he could.  Or become Siamese twins, whatever works.

As for how George has transitioned to big brother, well, he still technically hasn't accepted that role, haha.  He doesn't hate on the girls, he doesn't bug them at all, in fact he basically just sort of pretends that they don't exist for the most part of the day.  He's kissed their heads and their toes once or twice, and often stops to say, "Awww, cute!" when he sees them, but that's just about it.  If you ask him if he wants to hold one of his sisters he just ignores you or very solidly tells you, "No," before walking away, haha.  It's actually been easier to transition into three kids with this sort of attitude from him because I'm not having to constantly hawk over the girls when he's around since he literally just leaves them totally alone.  He's accidentally leaned on Maren and drove a car on Sofia's head once, however, haha.  Which, both of those times the girls did not care, so it's so far smooth sailing for these new siblings!

Since George totally skipped the wobbly walking stage and just went right into walking like he's been doing it the whole time, it's been easy to jump to the next steps that he needs to catch up on.  We've been working on kicking, jumping, and walking up and down the stairs this month.  He'll also spin around in circles with you, which has been SO much fun and such an easy way to play with him and get some energy out.  He runs so fast, it's hilarious to watch.  Nothing makes him run faster than when he sees my dad's office door open, he just loves going in there and as soon as he spots an opening he's booking it across the main floor!  He loves to be chased, and even more he loves to wrestle with Brad.  He's now to the point that he'll even initiate the challenge with Brad, it's so freaking fun to watch!  It's watch I've always imagined him and his dad doing, it's the cutest thing ever!

We've begun going to the park together again, just him and I, in these last weeks before Brad goes back to work.  Recently he's begun to play pretend concerning his favorite show, PAW Patrol, and in the show when the puppies are going out to save the day they ride down a slide into their prospective vehicles before taking off.  So, when George and I were at the park the other day and I suggested we go down the slide together, once at the top George looked back at me with this beaming look on his face and said, "PAW Patrol is on a roll!" and we had fun playing that we were the PAW Patrol off to save the day, it was so fun!  I love pretend play!

And yeah, I really can't end this post without discussing George's undying love for PAW Patrol.  We were in sacrament for the girls' baby blessing and the moment Brad started Sofia's blessing George started singing the PAW Patrol theme song, it was hilarious, haha.  Alix, Sarah, and I immediately started giggling, we knew exactly what he was singing.  You can find that kid singing that song all throughout the day, chanting the names of all the pups:  "Marshall, Rubble, Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Skye!"  He'll find you and the remote and saw, "Watch a show?  PAW Patrol!"  He's obsessed.  So obsessed.  He loves that show dearly, seriously.  He could watch it for hours if I let him, and he'll sit and watch the whole thing, he's even got many episodes memorized, it makes us laugh every time.