Saturday, November 19, 2011

Livvy Turns Seven

Well, technically Livvy's not seven yet.  In approximately seven hours she will be seven.  She was born in the wee hours of a cold November morning back in 2004.  Seems so long ago...and yet not so long.

Today we celebrated her birthday with all her friends.  It was a Little House On The Prairie birthday.  There were 15 children all together (not including the two babies): five boys and the rest girls.  All of her girl friends came dressed in pioneer dresses and bonnets if they had them.  The boys just came in their regular clothes.  Although my boys like the LHOTP, they're not as keen as Livvy and the girls about getting all dressed up and playing "Laura" - no monster trucks or super heros.

The first thing that I had all of them do was make butter for their sweet corn muffins - something that the real Laura would have had to do.


Once their butter was made, everybody sat down and ate their buttered muffins and drank friendship tea (also known as Russian tea).  I had gone to Savers on Veteran's Day and found 19 little glass tea cups for around $.30 each.  They worked out really well and will be great to have on hand for future tea parties. ~I was too busy pouring tea that I didn't get a picture.

Next we played "Pin The Bonnet On Laura". Yesterday I drew a picture of a little prairie girl on an over-sized piece of paper and made little paper bonnets for the kids to stick on Laura's head.  It turned out to be a really fun game.

After Livvy opened some presents, we sung Happy Birthday and cut her cake.  Speaking of the cake, I think it's one of the best cakes I've done so far (not that I've done that many)!  I always have this image in my head of what I want the cake (or whatever artsy thing that I'm working on in the moment) to look like...rarely does it turn out like I want it to.  This time, with some pointers from our neighbor Heidi, it looked so cute!


Once the cake was consumed the real fun began.  The girls headed outside to play "Laura" and the boys grabbed some hammers and...well, we have this old fence on the side of the house that the kids like to pound on. They call it their fort.  The boys did something over there.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the girls:

Grammie made Livvy's prairie outfit and bonnet.  It was so cute!!
Livvy's best friend Sabrina.
Hannah and Sage.


It was a wonderful party for a pretty special little girl.  We love you Livvy!


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On a side note, Tom's parents got here yesterday.  They'll be staying only a week this time.  We're very excited that they're here!


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On another side note, Tom finished painting the living room early this afternoon - 12:45pm to be exact (the party started at 1pm).  Tom finished texturing the living room walls and ceiling, and hallway on Friday early morning - around 6:30am to be clearer (yes, Tom pulled an all-nighter).  Bye-bye blue/green/aqua walls!  It's now the light tan that's throughout the rest of the house.  It looks so nice!!  Thank you honey!!


There's still lots of little things to do on the house, but having the living area done is so nice!  I can't wait until I can actually start hanging pictures.  Fun, fun, fun! 



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jonathan - 7 Months

It seems that time is going by faster and faster.  I've heard it said, especially after having kids, that days are long, but the years fly by.  It is sooo true!  Livvy is almost 7 years old and Jonathan is 7 months old (and just because you may have forgotten - Sammy is 5 and Ben is 3).  How did I become the mom of 4 (5) kids?  It's crazy..fun, but still crazy.

Anyway, back to our little Jonathan.  He is still a very happy little baby.  He remains on the small side as far as weight goes (around the 5th percentile), but for length is around the 50th percentile.  He's sitting up very well but is making no attempts to crawl - which is fine with me.  It's nice to put him down and know where he is when I come back.  Soon enough he'll be getting into everything and then I'll really have to be in full-on training mode - I can wait!

For a week and a half he had a spell of not wanting to eat from a spoon - which is especially frustrating and unnerving when you're wanting the kid to put on some weight.  He's pincer grasp isn't quite ready for him to pick up all his food and he's little bowels aren't ready for table food.  I stooped to picking up peas, three at a time, with my fingers, and putting them into his mouth (yes, he'd open his mouth for peas in my fingers but not on a spoon).  Thankfully, about two mornings ago, he woke up and realized that his attempts at being a big boy were a little early and started eating from a spoon again.  Thank you!  Thank you!

Here's our sweet little guy - who I'm very bananas about:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Smile

We have a rule in our house, mainly for the children, "Obey: Right Away, All the Way, With a Happy Heart." 


This sign is posted in our laundry room - the location for most of the disipline that takes place in our home.  It's a nice visual reminder that I can point to when I'm talking to one of the children about how they didn't obey the first time, didn't complete what they were asked to do, and/or whined before or during whatever they were supposed to be doing.

One of the kids, Ben I think, asked me a couple of weeks ago why the heart was smiling in our sign.  I explained to him what I thought was fairly obvious and what I'm sure he would have uunderstood by this point, "The heart is smiling because he's happy.  He's not whining or arguing about what he's doing.  He has/is a happy heart."


I consider myself to be generally a happy person.  I'm not one that gets overly anxious about lifes' little things - at least, I'm not so much anymore.  I feel that my heart, in general, is happy doing life here with these littles.  But is it?  Or at least, does it show?

After Ben's little question about why the heart was smiling I started to make sure I smiled when I was interacting with the kids - even when they were frustrating me or plain old not following the sign.  I was so surprised to discover how unnatural it felt (now, don't get me wrong, I smile at the kids, hug them, etc., but somehow this was different).  I think maybe I saved my smiles for when they did something that was pleasing, when they gave me a card, or first thing in the morning.

I have found that when I smile at the kids when I'm talking to them, asking them to do something, or even trying to get them back on track that they comply quicker and more easily.  They find it easier to be happy too.  We still have lots of work to do on all of our attitudes around here, bad habits are hard to break, but just a simple smile on my face seems to help set the tone for them to smile too. 

Who would have thought?  Well, maybe it's obvious to others, I'm a little slow.  :)