01 June 2018

Felicia: Eleven Months

This month Felicia's biggest accomplishment is pulling herself into a standing position. She's not really thinking about walking yet, which is fine by me. She entertains herself by emptying out the kitchen cabinets.

Felicia still loves all the food, and she loves baths. If she hears the bath water going, she'll crawl as quickly as she can to join in the fun.

She also loves to babble and talk, especially when everyone else is talking. She really wants to join in our conversations. Felicia can be very verbal if she wants food, and when food is in front of her she eats with abandon. Uncle Andrew snapped this picture of her with a noodle stuck on her head a few weeks ago. She was squawking about wanting more food, and instead of giving her more food, he took this picture so we could all laugh at her.

We have this new tiny park by our house, and usually Felicia sits in the stroller watching the bigger kids play, but sometimes we let her on the swing. She prefers to be lying down alone to having an older sibling holding her.

We got to see Grandma Great this week, and Felicia performed very well. She (so far) will let anyone hold her, which makes our church life much easier.

And finally, I took Felicia (and Felix and Trixie) to ride ponies recently. It was Felicia's first time on the pony, and she did fine. She actually didn't care that much about the pony, and really wanted to suck on the saddle horn. (This baby wants to put stuff in her mouth more than any of my other babies. I regularly find her eating food she's found on the kitchen floor. I should probably sweep more often, but I do sweep a ton!) 

11 May 2018

He Comes By It Honestly

I've been doing genealogy for almost 13 years now (!), and Eric is just barely starting to get vaguely interested in it. He's been learning more about some of his ancestors here and there, and it is fun to see him make connections to his forebears.

He read an account of an ancestor who got in a boat with two drunken Irishmen in St. Louis. The boat capsized, and the ancestor was saved by a friend who happened to be passing by. (The Irishmen drowned.) When I asked Eric what ever would have possessed this man to get in a boat with two drunk guys, he said, "Sometimes you just feel a strong need to be in a boat on a river."

We were at a mission farewell for an aunt and uncle, and his great-aunt was there. I chatted with her about how we are going to Europe this summer and Eric has a very full itinerary for us. She told me that his grandmother (who died in 1955) liked to have similarly full itineraries when she traveled.

Eric was talking about road tripping and our upcoming European trip with his grandma. He told her about all the time he spends with the online maps determining how far out of the way various detours might be. She told him that her father used to love maps.

There is something kind of magical about learning where your personality quirks may have come from.

And here are some recent pictures of Eric (with no glasses, because he got Lasik!), just for funsies:

01 May 2018

Felicia: Ten Months

We still really love this baby.

This month she began getting into a sitting position on her own. (It's so sweet to go get her from bed and see her sitting up waiting for us.) She is starting to pull herself up onto her knees on her furniture, but not into a standing position yet. She loves to pull hair, and she loves all the food. She waves and claps, and she babbles a lot. I have even heard her twice make "ba ba" type sounds when somebody is telling her bye. She makes the sound while waving, so I don't think it's coincidental, but I'm not fully convinced that she's actually saying a word already. So put "bye bye" down as maybe her first word.

Felicia tumbled down the garage steps this month when a sibling left the door open. She got a little scrape on her nose, and it was very sad. We are all working on diligently reminding everyone in the family to shut the doors so the baby doesn't tumble down the stairs. And we are also working on opening doors slowly so the baby doesn't get slammed in the head by a door. Keeping babies safe is hard.

This baby loves walks. She is so happy in the stroller! She kicks her feet and babbles away. We have gone to the Ashton Gardens a few times in the last few weeks during the Tulip Festival, and other visitors have commented on how happy our baby is in the stroller. Trixie loves the opportunity to push too.

I know I've said it a million times, but Trixie really does love her baby sister. I am so eager to watch their relationship continue to blossom as they grow up.

This is probably my favorite baby dress ever. We got lots of uses out of it before Felicia outgrew it this past month. I need to take the time to pull all the photos of both girls in the same clothes so we can do side-by-side comparisons of how different the girls look.

My baby looks like me. I still can't get over how much she looks like my side of the family. 

05 April 2018

Felicia: Nine Months

Felicia has upped her crawling game this month. She is more likely to be crawling on all fours instead of the army crawling she was doing at the start of the month. She loves all the food and is pretty good at getting it into her mouth.

She has got such a fun personality and loves to be around people she loves. Sometimes she is in the arms of one parent and gets so excited about seeing the other that she tries to leap into the other parent's arms.

Felicia's favorite things to find on the floor and eat include: paper, cords, shoes, and actual food. It is hard to keep the floor adequately safe for her. She also loves baths and showers. She does well in her car seat still and was better behaved than her older sister for our road trip to Montana for Easter weekend. Speaking of this weekend, she was a big hit with her older cousins, especially Diana, who frequently stated that she wished she had a baby sister. (Four younger brothers, apparently, is not the same as a baby sister.)

I was terrible about taking pictures of Trixie this month, but here are a few:

She is always this happy in the tub:

This month we went to dinner at Grandma Great's and watched Coco, which I love so much. Felicia, (whose real-life first and middle names are actually the same as Grandma's older sister's) was really sweet with her great-grandma.

I was certain that my abnormally fussy, feverish baby had an ear infection. With the next two older siblings both getting tubes, I might be a little paranoid about ear infections because, no, she did not have an ear infection. She was just getting two teeth. It was a rough day.

And here's a video:

(I got a new phone sometime this month, which explains the drastic difference in picture quality between that bath picture and the next one.)

01 March 2018

Felicia: Eight Months

This baby, y'all. She still struggles with sleep sometimes, but mostly she's got it down, and she is just so adorable.

New tricks this month:
  • Crawling-ish
  • Grabbing food from other people's hands and cramming it in her mouth
  • Putting her hands in the air indicating that she'd like you to pick her up
  • More babbling
  • Finding the binkie on the binkie clip and putting it in her mouth
  • Rarely nursing (so much earlier than my others!)
She adores Ike and frequently laughs at him. She thinks Felix is pretty cool too, but he's not big enough to pick her up. She tolerates Trixie, who is still madly in love with her.

And some pictures:

28 February 2018

Trixie: 2.5

I think this may be my favorite age. My little two-year-old is sometimes tyrannical, but mostly she is sweet.

Her speech is still really delayed, which can be exhausting sometimes, but I usually can figure out what she wants using a combination of careful listening, context clues, and a little baby sign language. It's been about a year since she stopped having chronic ear infections. (Even after getting her tubes in December, she still had ear infections for a few months.) I know eventually she will catch up on her speech, and it will happen really fast. We are starting speech therapy (she finally qualified after the third assessment!), and I'm excited about where that will go.

She loves to repeat everyone (but usually what she says is still totally incomprehensible.) Recently at dinner Ike pointed to a part of his neck and said, "My throat hurts a lot right here, and I keep coughing." Trixie (also sick with a cold) then pointed to her throat and said, "Oh. Ah," which I'm pretty sure was, "Throat, cough." Once when Eric tried to distract the boys so he could sneak a cookie, he shouted, "What in the world can that be?" Trixie spent the next few minutes pointing and shouting, "aah eeee?" (Vowel sounds are her strong point. Consonant sounds rarely happen.)

Trixie loves cuddles. There is a guest bed in her bedroom, and before naps and bedtime we like to cuddle with her in that bed singing songs. It is probably her favorite part of the day, honestly. Most of the time when I tell her it's time for bed, she is happy to comply. (We also only let her have a binkie at bedtime, so I know that's a good incentive for her to go to bed.)

There are usually no fewer than three stuffed animals in her bed. Her favorite three are a giraffe, an elephant, and a bunny that she got her first Christmas. Other animals that also make it to her bed: another giraffe, her giraffe costume (see below), her big yellow duck, her pony, a bear she got for Christmas this year, and a bear that actually belongs to her brother which she has claimed as her own.

Trixie doesn't really care about babies, except for our baby. She has a couple of baby dolls, and they rarely get touched.

She spends a good deal of time putting her bears to bed, in the baby swing, and in her doll stroller, and in her sister's car seat. I was the same way. I always preferred my stuffed animals to my few dolls.

She also loves real-life animals, and it has been fun taking her to the aquarium since we renewed our pass this year. And of course, the farm is still a big hit. She loves to choose a pony to ride, and she's always sad when it's time to go.

Whenever I go get Trixie from her crib, I often pretend that I can't find her. I say, "Where is Trixie? Is she under the bed? Is she in the drawer?" etc. I love listening to her laugh hysterically and tell me, "nooooooo" until I finally ask if she is in her bed, and she shouts, "YEAH!"

We do a similar game with animal sounds. She makes the animal sound, and I play dumb trying to guess what it is. She knows: cow, horse, snake, owl, cat, dog, pig, baby (wah), mama (sh), Trixie (hello!), cougar (Ra, ra, Gooooooo 'ers!), rabbit (scrunches up her nose), and giraffe (hangs her tongue out of her mouth).

Trixie also loves to sing and listen to people sing to her. We go to the library for a music and movement class for toddlers and she just loves it. She usually indicates to me with hand motions what song she wants me to sing to her.

As a rule, Trixie is the quickest of my children to reply to a request like, "Go wash your hands" or "Get your shoes on." But then she is the slowest to actually complete said task.

She loves to be included, and she is very aware of people's feelings. When she notices that a member of the family is sad, she will offer cuddles and speak gibberish to them in soothing, empathetic tones.

Trixie is incredibly affectionate. She loves to give hugs, even to people she barely knows. She has a great uncle, in particular, whom she adores. I love to see the two of them together. He gave her this adorable Minnie Mouse for Christmas, and we snapped a photo of them together.

Later he presented us with this painting of Trixie and her Minnie Mouse, which was just so thoughtful of him:

Other things that Trixie loves right now:
  • Baths
  • Showers
  • Lotion
  • Putting on makeup (I just pretend to put it on her, and she thinks that is awesome.)
  • Pretending to put contacts in her eyes
  • Dressing herself
  • Playing tag and other chase games with her brothers
  • Slides
  • All the food
  • Brushing her teeth
  • Jackets and coats
  • Video chatting (usually with Eric, but sometimes with my mom)
  • Ice
  • Pony rides
  • Books
  • Talking on the phone (It's super fun to be interrupted while trying to talk to a non-family member and ask them if my toddler can say hello to them really fast.)
  • Drawing and coloring
  • Helping
  • Having her picture taken, taking pictures, and insisting on being in pictures that were not originally intended for her

One of the things that was most terrifying to me about having a girl was having to do girl hair. I'm growing out Trixie's bangs now (or, rather, she's growing out her bangs, my role is simply to stop trimming them), and I've even tried to do a little braid. The first time was okay, the second time was better, the third time was a total bust and I ended up just doing pigtails, and since then I've managed to do it a few more times with moderate success. Usually if I put on a YouTube video for her to watch, she'll be sit contentedly while I do her hair. (And then beg me the rest of the day to watch the videos, so it's not necessarily a win-win.)

I seriously love this little girl. She is the best cuddler and the most good-natured little girl. I'm really lucky to have her.