Friday, August 29, 2008

French braids, reading, and writing

I've tried doing french braids in hair probably 5 times in my life, and they all turned out looking like I tried creating some sort of knotted crazy mess on top of the head. Because of this I never tried them on Elisabeth. But a couple of days ago she requested braids(I think she saw a friend wearing braids last week) and so I thought I'd give it a shot. It actually turned out surprisingly well...when I say well, I mean that they actually looked like french braids, so that's a good thing! And she requested them again the following day. So hopefully this means I'll get a lot of practice and become a french braid expert. :) I think they curl in at the bottom because she has curly hair, but I'm not sure.
On to another topic, here is a picture of Elisabeth reading to Charlie. They LOVE to read books, and we read LOTS every day. We have a big basket of childrens books that we keep in our living room and rotate with the many other books that we have downstairs in the 'library'.
And of course all this reading is bound to increase her reading and writing skills. Here is one of her latest writings. At the top she wrote her name, 'Elisabeth Drothy SMS', of course that's not how we really spell her name, but she did pretty good for sounding it out alone. And then she wrote a few short words like cat, set, bill, etc. and surrounded them with lots of other random letters. She has her own journal that she likes to write in when she sees me writing in mine or when she sees me taking notes from a book or doing any other kind of writing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Charlie's quirks

Charles has a couple of interesting mannerisms.

1. He does not like me to cut his sandwich, he wants it whole. He then eats two sides and the middle of the sandwich but leaves two adjacent sides perfectly untouched. He's been doing this for probably a couple of months now.
2. He does not like to sleep in his toddler bed. We always start him in his bed, we lay him down, sing to him and give him kisses there, but as soon as we leave the room he grabs his blankets and climbs out of bed and finds another spot. Usually during nap time he'll sleep under his bed. And at night a lot of times he'll sleep in between his open door(I think he likes to be able to see and hear us which is why he picks that spot. He will not tolerate having his door closed, ever.) or some other spot on the floor. Every once in awhile if Scott and I forget to close our bedroom door before we go downstairs to read or check emails, we'll later find him asleep on our bed. We've been much better about keeping our door closed recently because he has gotten a hold of pens from our headboard and drawn on pillowcases and other things.
And this picture is just for fun because I love how his cheeks are hanging out of the bottom of his towel and yet he's completely oblivious. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Annabelle or Thimbletack?

Scott and I recently watched the movie Spiderwick Chronicles and one of my favorite characters in that movie was a miniature goblin named Thimbletack. He looked like a little human, but he was easily provoked to anger and when that happened he would physically change into this mini green monster and throw these hysterical tantrums. But all you needed to do to calm him back down was to give him some honey...or in Annabelle's case, a graham cracker. The biggest difference between our sweet Annabelle and Thimbletack is that when she is suddenly irate, though her behaviour takes a drastic change, her form and features stay quite the same(minus the red face) and so instead we have this little, adorable, red faced, loud, complainer who NEEDS a graham cracker. It's a funny thing to witness. (She doesn't act like this a lot, she is normally quite sweet and easy going. Generally it happens when someone is not playing with or holding her...so those two things just mentioned could probably also pacify her)

In this first picutre you can still see the tears in her eyes
All better

"Lawning the mower"





Here are a couple cute phrases I heard the kids use today while they were helping Daddy cut the grass with their own personal lawn mowers(actually cars):
"Mommy, we're helping Daddy lawn the mower!"
"Daddy, are you done lawning yet?"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Second trip to the dentist...

...was much better than the first. What a world of difference which was such a relief for me. I'm guessing it went so much better this time because Elisabeth knew exactly what to expect and she's almost a year older than when she went in last. We went to a different pediatric dentist this time because we've only seen one before and I just wanted to have a couple to choose from before we decided on a permanent dentist for the kids. I think we'll stick with Dr. Dave(the one we had today) because the kids really liked him and I liked him too. He was very friendly and seemed to care about me and my children and was very respectful with what we felt comfortable doing. Elisabeth and Charles both went in, they did x-rays on Elisabeth and cleaned her teeth while she watched Finding Nemo on the ceiling. Dr. Dave said she's cavity free(our previous dentist didn't even get x-rays but thought she had a cavity and wanted to schedule a sedation appointment for her to come in and get it fixed...she was hysterical which is why he wanted her sedated. I'm sure glad we didn't set up a follow up appointment for that). When it was Charlie's turn they had him sit on my lap and then lay his head back in Dr. Dave's lap while he poked around a little. The only difficulty we experienced was having Annabelle with us. She was not happy sitting in her stroller and about half way through she started crying pretty hard and wouldn't stop which made for a loud visit :). Next time we'll probably leave her with a babysitter. Both kids did a good job listening to the dentist and his assistants and in the end they each got a little teeth cleaning goodie bag and a golden token to turn in for a prize and an electric toothbrush. I choose to go to this dentist for 2 reasons, 1. he is located about 2 miles from our house and 2. there was an ad in the mail for his office and if you were a first timer you could get an electric tooth brush. I use an electric toothbrush so the kids were/are super excited to have one of their own!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Girls bath time

The girls started taking baths together last week and they LOVE it! Elisabeth loves to make Annabelle laugh and apparently copying Annabelle's splashing is hilarious so they both splash and laugh and have a great time! And I sit on a stool right next to the tub and get to be entertained(and soaked) by these two adorable and happy girls!



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mary and Martha moment

This afternoon, once we were home from church, the kids and I did some baking(we've started using baking as a bribe...'if you can sit reverently during sacrament meeting, which is an hour long, than we can bake something once we get home'; but we pretty much baked every Sunday anyways). We baked sugar cookies which most of you probably know makes a pretty big mess. All the usual bowls, measuring cups and utensils, cookie sheets, cooling racks, ingredients etc. and then on top of that, the big floury mess on the counter top that needs to be scraped off and the rolling pin, cookie cutters etc.It took us awhile to get all the cookies baked and on the cooling racks and by the time we were done we were getting hungry for dinner. I cleaned up the flour and sticky dough counter tops but left the rest of the mess, for the time being, and started on dinner which left another big mess. Once we finished up dinner we frosted some cookies and ate them and then everyone went outside to relax... accept for me. I thought I'd better clean up the kitchen a bit since it looked like a tornado had just gone through. I'd been cleaning for a little while when I started thinking, "I really don't want to be doing this right now, I want to be outside with my family, especially on the sabbath." At that precise moment I remembered the story from the bible of Mary and Martha. Mary was at Jesus feet listening to his word while Martha was back in the kitchen working(or something along those lines). Martha came out and asked, 'Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.' I didn't have that entire scripture memorized, I just looked up the exact quote for blogging, but I had remembered the gist of the story and thought I'd better choose that better part and spend some quality time with all my family while they were awake and enjoying one another; the dishes could wait until later.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sprinkler fun

This afternoon, once the kids finished up their quiet time, we went out back, set up the sprinkler and played in the water. We let the sprinkler water hit the slide because the kids love the speed they get from it. They were having so much fun that Scott and I thought we'd give it a try... and I can now confirm from experience that, indeed, you do go REALLY fast! The first time I went down I ended up on my knees. It was definitely fun though, and we went several times. Once we were done with the slide, Scott and the kids positioned a few chairs so that they would be in the path of the sprinkler. Scott and Elisabeth enjoyed this but Charles did not. After probably half a minute he ditched his chair and went to Daddy for comfort.And Annabelle's thoughts on our sprinkler fun....I think we will have her watch from the sidelines next time. (I promise I didn't prolong her torture by taking pictures...I was trying to make her smile and got a couple straight faced sort of serious looking shots and then the next one, and last one, was this photo so we stopped and she was happy again once she was in my arms and away from the water)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Creative play time

Elisabeth and Charles play nicely together for the most part. They like to play with cars, tools, kitchen stuff, books, blocks all sorts of things and it's so fun to watch them because they get so creative when they play. For example they'll make a castle out of blocks or other toys and put different figurines in and around it. They like to line up cars and give each one a name and a role i.e. this is the daddy car and this is Sally the mommy car etc. They like to pack up back packs and pretend to get on a bus and go to school. And of course they wave to everyone while they're riding the bus and once they're inside school they read aloud to each other. Just recently they've started going through our(me and Scott) closet to try on shoes and they'll wear them around the house while pretending to be someone else. They have make believe friends that they talk to and play with. A couple of the names that we've heard daily for months are, Haney(said like the Haines underwear), and Ashey. At first only Elisabeth used those names but not anymore. It was really funny the first time I heard Charles say something like, "Shh! Mom, be quiet because Haney's sleeping." It was mostly funny because I'd never heard him talk about them before so I never knew he was interested in playing make believe like Elisabeth.

It's so fun to watch them interact together. I like to try and put myself in their shoes and figure out what's going on in their little minds. Another creative make believe game that they have started playing(and it's one of my favorites) is when they put together these make shift beds from couch pillows and babies blankets and then they pretend to go to sleep. They'll lay there quietly for probably 10 or 15 minutes! Amazing! And I didn't even teach them to do that! I love to hear them(or see them) playing nicely and being creative....one of the many joys of parenthood!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One little monkey

This is a short clip of Charlie entertaining Annabelle with a rhyme. Just in case you can't understand his words this is what he's saying:
One little monkey swinging in the tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator, "you can't catch me, you can't catch me"
Along comes Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
And snaps that monkey right out of the tree!


Fruits and vegetables!

onionrosemary
chiles serranos

cherry tomatoes
pumpkin
tomatoes
strawberries
watermelon
peaches

Our garden is producing fruit and vegetables now! Here is a list of what is currently growing and ready to be eaten:
onion
potatoes
zucchini
tomatoes
peaches
strawberries
watermelon (not the size of the watermelons sold in grocery stores yet)
pumpkins

We also have some rosemary that's ready to be picked and our serrano chiles are almost ready! We'll be making some salsa this summer, I can't wait! We love to eat the fruit raw and of course we eat the veggies too but I have to cook them into something wonderful first(accept the tomatoes, we'll eat those raw).
Elisabeth enjoying her peach slices

Monday, August 18, 2008

The stats

Annabelle had her 6 month check up today. She got 3 shots (6 immunizations) and everything else checked out healthy and wonderful, as anticipated. Here are her stats and a comparison with her siblings at the same approximate ages(I've put the Weight and HC in bold lettering to help you differentiate between the categories because I can't figure out how to change the layout of this post so that they're not all bunched together really tight):

Name: Weight: Height: Head Circumference:
Annabelle 14 lb 10 oz (22%) 26.8in (83%) 42cm(33%)
Charles* 15lb 6oz (25-50%) 27in (75-90%) 44cm(75%)
Elisabeth 15lb 15.5oz(50%) 25.5in(50%) 43 3/4cm(80%)

Notice that different doctors had different ways of categorizing the percentages. We've gone to 5 pediatric offices(and in 2 different states) in the past 5 years...it's a good thing I've kept detailed reports of all my children and their appointments because otherwise we'd have some problems, perhaps some overdosing in immunizations or something of the sort. (transferring records doesn't always go smoothly and can sometimes take awhile). They are all pretty close in weight and height though there is a pretty big gap in the percentages for HC. Our (Scott and I) theory is that since Annabelle is the only baby that we had sleep on her back from the beginning(the other two we had sleep on their side or tummy because they slept best that way), which means she is also our only baby with a flat head(in the back, I think you know what I mean) which probably makes her head measure a bit smaller than her two older siblings who had perfectly round heads :). Perhaps we're wrong, but that's what we've come up with.

*Charlie's appointments were a bit off so these stats were taken when he was 5 months old

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Annabelle is 6 months old!

I took lots of pictures! She is so cute, I couldn't narrow it down to just a couple, I needed to include different facial expressions and poses. And she has such a beautiful and contagious smile!






Annabelle is 6 months old today! It seems like the time goes faster with each child, I'm almost positive she was born last month. It must just be my crazy, busy, forgetful mom mind. I can deal with forgetting about minor details(like not switching the laundry until days later which means we have to re-wash b/c of the stink, which happens a lot. Or putting milk in the pantry instead of the fridge, or the worst is when you remember there's something really important you were supposed to do just now but you can't remember what, etc., etc....), I'm just hoping I can stay away from forgetting anything really important. So anyways, back to Annabelle. She has her 6 month appointment on Monday so I'll post her physical stats then but for now I'll mention some 'mommy observations':

Favorite positions
-sleeping on her tummy or side
-sitting upright
-when held, she likes to be facing out so she can see everything
-in the army crawl stance...though she's not crawling just yet(Charles didn't start crawling until after he was walking, though he was walking at 9 months; and Elisabeth started crawling one week before she started walking at almost 11 months so I'm hoping that Annabelle will also be a late crawler)
-laying on her back, holding her toes

Favorite foods (which is everything she's ever eaten so far):
-breast milk(not exactly a food but is the majority of her diet)
-sweet potatoes
-squash
-graham crackers
-baby oatmeal

Favorite toys
-baby annabelle(this is Elisabeth's little chubby baby doll that has blue eyes and very little hair just like our Annabelle...Elisabeth doesn't like Annabelle to play with her because, in her words, 'she always gives her slobbery kisses and tries to bite her.')
-winnie the pooh phone
-all sorts of chew toys

Sleep habits
-takes 3 naps a day for a total of about 5 hours of naps
-continues to sleep through the night. she goes to bed around 7pm and wakes up around 7am! LOVE this!

Temperament
-happy
-smiles a lot
-loves to be smiled at and tickled
-still is a bit afraid of being around Charles...but I'm sure as he gets older and gentler that will change
-loves people: playing with them or just being held

Other
-loves to be sung to(as have all our children)
-Annabelle sits up very well
-Annabelle is a fantastic roller! we lay out a big blanket on the carpet and she just rolls and rolls and rolls, she can get just about anywhere moving around this way
-Annabelle's second tooth came in this last month, also on bottom
look at those teeth!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Spot X - hard water stain and spot remover


I LOVE this cleaning product! Growing up in Washington, where the water is soft and glorious, I never had to worry about hard water stains. When we moved into our house several of the basement windows, a couple bedroom windows and our kitchen window were covered in hard water stains. In fact half of our kitchen window was so bad that you could not see out of it. Our shower door and the tile in the shower also got really bad over this last year (we've been here a year now!! Amazing!) We tried washing it with regular glass cleaner but that didn't help. We tried spraying it with vinegar and scrubbing, but that didn't work either. I asked a couple of older women from the neighborhood what they did, but nothing seemed to work for us. Then, when Scott was at Home Depot one day he picked up this Spot X cleaner and we tried it out. It was amazing the difference that it made! I could see out of our kitchen window again and everything looked so clear and beautiful! After we finished our Saturday project of cleaning the windows(which we did a couple of months ago) we forgot about the shower, which has gotten really bad. And then when we remembered to clean our shower we somehow forgot about our Spot X cleaner(or at least that it could also work on tile and shower doors). We tried a couple of cleaning products on the tile and shower door but they did nothing. Today I finally remembered our Spot X, pulled it out, and started scrubbing. Lovely! Now, it's not perfect but as you can see, it's much better than before.

before:
after:
before:

after:
I didn't think to take a picture of the tile until after I'd scrubbed for a few minutes, so you'll never get to see exactly how bad it was...but maybe that's a good thing!
before(sort of):

after: