Our Happy Family

Our Happy Family

Saturday, November 11, 2017

6 Months!

We have officially made it 6 months as a family of 5!  It's been quite the whirlwind adventure and there were times I didn't think we would make it out, but we did!  Life is crazy, I hardly get a chance to sit down and relax, and my house is always a mess.  But most of the time it doesn't bother me because I know I'm enjoying my kids!  Here's a little bit about the two newest additions to our family:

  • Stats - Height 26.75 in (82%), weight 16lb 1.5oz (48%), head circumference 45 cm (98%)
  • I was worried about this doctor visit for Mia.  At her 4 month appointment, the doctor noticed her head had an odd shape and worried that her skull may have started fusing too early.  If that was the case, she would need to have surgery to make an incision on the skull to allow the brain to develop normally.  I was trying very hard not to cry in front of the doctor as he was telling me this.  But he said to wait until her 6 month appointment before he took any further steps.  But at this appointment he gave her a clean bill of health!  He compared her head to Ava's and Asher's and said they have a similar shape, just not as pronounced.  So basically all my kids of weird shaped heads.  But I was so relieved it wasn't anything else!
  • Just recently started rolling from back to stomach and now whenever I put her on the floor she rolls over and gets stuck.  She also has been trying to pull her knees under her.  She'll be crawling soon enough!
  • When she gets excited she flaps her arms around like a little bird.  It's so cute!
  • Sucks her thumb when she gets tired.  And usually sleeps with her thumb in her mouth.  It must be genetic because I used to suck my thumb and my grandma said that my mom was born with her thumb in her mouth!
  • Her hair is growing back in, but mostly right on top so it looks like she has a mohawk!
  • Still a very relaxed baby.  Doesn't cry too much and is fine just hanging out on her own.  She also doesn't laugh very much, but that just makes the times she does laugh that much more special.
  • Very grabby baby.  She is always reaching for people's faces and hair and will clench anything into her little fist.  She has quite a strong grip and I have gotten my skin pinched many times!

I love her cute little smile!

I love this outfit on her!
Both girls love Millie, but Mia also likes to pull her hair.  Millie is so patient and just sits there and takes it!
Sucking her thumb while taking a nap.

Keny is amazing at putting babies to sleep!  I love this of her and Mia!
  • Stats - Height 26.25 in (64%), weight 16lb 15oz (65%), head circumference 43 cm (71%)
  • She has a spot on the back of her head that the doctor thought may have been caused by the spine not closing up, but we took her to a dermatologist that told us it was just a birth mark.  So I thought after that scare we were done with medical things, but I guess not.  She has a bump on her arm that has been there since she was born.  When we asked the doctor before about it he said it was probably just fatty tissue, but we'll keep an eye on it.  At her 6 month appointment I asked him about it again and he said that we should probably get an ultrasound of it.  So yesterday I took her (and Asher and Mia...) to the Primary Children's outpatient services in Riverton to do that.  Let me say, I just love taking all three kids to a million doctor appointments! But we did the ultrasound (which she hated because I had to hold her down so they could get a good look) and went home to wait until I got a call with the results.  When I did get the call it was pretty good news.  It wasn't just fatty tissue, but it wasn't anything too serious.  It looks like it's lymphatic tissue.  So they don't need to remove it, but once a year for the next few years we'll redo the ultrasound to just keep checking on it.  So it could've been a lot worse!
  • Such a smiley little girl!  Most of the time.  Unless she's in a bad mood, then look out! When she's smiling, she somehow manages to smile with her whole body.  It's amazing!
  • Loves to make gargling noises.  
  • Has 2 teeth!  Both on the bottom.  Teething with her is so much easier than it was with Asher!  She gets a little more drooly and congested, but that's about it.  Not any more grumpy or anything!  Mia is still pretty far away from getting any teeth.
  • Still hasn't managed to roll front to back.  And doesn't like to roll back to front.  She does love sitting in the bumbo or in the jumper!  David and I think she may skip crawling and go to straight to walking. Or maybe do what Asher used to and just scooch around on her back!
  • My chubbiest baby.  And I squish her all the time.  My sister said it's kind of like having a stress ball to squeeze.  And she was very right.
  • Definitely a Mama's girl.
I love it when she's concentrating on something and looks down at what she's doing.  It makes her cheeks puff up even more and they are just so scrumptious!
Look at that cute baby!  This dress is soon cute on her, but she was a little too chubby for it. Oh well, at least I have this adorable picture of her in it!
With Asher, her favorite person. ;)
We had a lot of other things going on this past month as well.  My sister adopted a baby 6 weeks after I had the girls.  They got the adoption finalized and this past weekend they got sealed to her!  I have been fortunate enough to attend all the sealings to her children and it's very special every time.  We are so happy to have Clara in the family and it will be fun to have her so close in age to my girls!

Their family outside the temple!
Baby Clara.  She has lots of hair and big brown eyes!
While we were in Idaho we stayed with my parents.  My dad made sure the babies were taken care of. 
Zach (in the white shirt) was very brave and tried to teach a 5 year old, 4 year old, and 3 year old how to play Life!
5 Month picture
I think I am 6 or 8 months old in this picture.  Just for a little comparison.

Hanging out with Henry!  He's about 2.5 months younger than my girls and is getting so talkative!
I thought this was super cute.  Every once in awhile Asher takes a teddy bear to bed.  This particular night he tucked him in before going to sleep. ;)
Finally breaking out the jumpers David's sisters bought us for a baby shower present!  I use them every day!
6 month doctor visit.  I like to document this so in 20 years I can look back and think "How did I manage two babies getting shots on my own?"
I'd always heard about David's dog Pudge when he was growing up.  I pictured this fat little bulldog that could hardly move.  I found this picture in some stuff David's mom passed on to us and now I see why his whole family says Millie looks just like her!  Also, it was so fun to see all the pictures of the Clay's growing up!
Halloween!  I made all their costumes.  I probably could've found cheap costumes someone was selling on Facebook, but I had so much fun making them!  I haven't been able to make things in awhile.  While I was pregnant my joints hurt so bad I could hardly use my hands and I've been so busy with the babies.  So I took a weekend, ignored all the cleaning, my house looked like a disaster, but it was worth it!
At Asher's preschool program.  It was super cute.
Trick or Treating!  The girls last about 10 minutes.  David took them home and Asher and I walked around for another hour or so knocking doors.
 All of my family is now back in Idaho, so we are the odd ones out.  So when we make it back to Idaho the whole family gets to hang out again!  My mom wanted some updated family pictures so while we were in Idaho for the sealing we also did pictures.  I think they all turned out so great!  These were taken the day the girls turned 6 months old.
I just love these people so much.
The boys

The girls

Look at those big beautiful eyes!

Those cheeks!
My sister Joni and her crazy kids.  Asher absolutely loves Ledger and London!
My sister Lisa and her family.  Her boys are 4 months apart, so it's almost like having twins!
My brother David and his bunch of boys.  I'm always amazed at how Emily can keep her sanity in that crazy house!
My brother Andy with his wife and son Milan.  They have almost been married a year, which seems crazy!  Life goes by so fast!  Keny is so kind and I feel like every time I see her she has some gift for my kids!
My parents.  I love them.

It can get a little crazy when we're all together, but I love it so much.  Family really is my most favorite thing!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

My Babies

The last month I've been thinking a lot about each of my kids and how thankful I am that they are in my life.  They all have such distinct personalities and are so fun, each in their own way!

Ava Jane:
  • Such a smiley baby!  Well, at least now she is.  She cried for the first few months of her life, but now she smiles with her whole body whenever she finds someone who will play with her!
  • Has turned into a pretty good sleeper.  When she goes down for bed at night, she won't wake up at all (expect to eat) even if Mia is screaming.  
  • VERY ticklish, something we exploit a lot so we can hear her adorable squeal-laugh!
  • Has a birthmark on the back of her head right where her second soft spot is.  The doctor thought it may have been that her spine hadn't closed up all the way (which she would've had to have a surgery to correct), but when I took her to the dermatologist he said it was just a birthmark.  And it's not super pretty so I'm glad it's in a place her hair will cover up.
  • Thinks Asher is just the funniest person ever.
  • Tends to run hot and cold.  Either super happy or super not!  Usually when she's not happy it's because she's hungry.
  • Won't take a bottle.  I did start a little rice cereal yesterday and she seems to like it, so maybe that will inspire her to accept different kinds of food including from bottles!
  • Still spits up all the time.
  • My chunkiest baby!  I squish her all the time and bury my face in her neck rolls. ;)
  • My only child that actually looks like me!  She has my same eye shape (David calls them our disappearing eyes) but David's brown eye color.
Mia Elizabeth:

  • Such a chill baby!  Likes to just sit and observe everyone around her.
  • Doesn't laugh a lot but does like to smile!  Very pleasant.
  • Loves her older brother.  Asher is just about the only person who can regularly get laughs from her.
  • Has rolled over (front to back)!  Ava has yet to catch up in that respect, but she has such a chunky body that I think it's a little more difficult.  Mia figured it out pretty fast!
  • Taken a little backslide on sleeping. She sleeps for longer stretches at night, but it's harder to get her to fall asleep for naps.  And at bedtime sometimes she'll sleep for 20 minutes and then want to be awake for 2 more hours before she'll go down for the night.
  • Still has a milk sensitivity.  The doctor said it might be until she's 6-9 months before that goes away.  So no ice cream for me. :(
  • Takes after her dad and brother in looks! She reminds me so much of Asher.  The only thing I think she got from me was her eye color.  Ava has my eye shape and her dad's eye color, but Mia has her dad's eye shape and my eye color (hazel).
  • Her dark hair is coming in pretty good!  I think she'll have a pretty thick head of hair.
  • Turned into quite a thumb sucker, just like her mama.  It's so adorable!  I know it's probably a bad thing but it helps her calm down and it's just so dang cute that I just let it go.  I'll deal with breaking her of that habit at a later date. ;)
Asher David:

  • This boy is so sweet.  He can throw tantrums like none other, but most of the time he is helpful and kind and loving.  I was picking him up from school the other day when his teacher stopped me.  When she said she had something to tell me, I was worried it was about fighting or something, but she told me he said the sweetest thing to her.  He came up to her and very quietly said, "Miss Jaime, I love you..." She said he said it so quiet that she could barely hear, but quickly told him that she loves him too and that he was so nice.  He loves going to school and loves meeting new friends!  This is one aspect of his personality that I love, but makes me sad because I don't want him to ever lose it or have other kids make fun of him for it.  
  • Loves to help with the babies!  He loves to tickle them, make them laugh, and even helps with diaper changes.  He will help me take off their clothes, likes to guess if they're poopy or not (he tells me "Mom, I hope she has poopies!"), and will throw away the diapers for me.  He also likes to help me pick out their clothes and decide who wears what.  He really loves having 2 new buddies to live with.
  • Still hates to eat.  He is getting better at trying foods and I can usually get him to eat at least one bite of something new, and he has a few foods he'll eat pretty well, but every meal feels like a battle.  All the tips everyone else tells me just don't work for him!  I've been told to give him things to dip his food in to make it fun, but he hates all kinds of dips.  I've been told to help him get excited about food and have him help me make the meal.  He loves to help make food! But he has no interest in eating it after that.  I've talked to about 5 doctors about it and they all say that since he has a steady growth and doesn't act sick at all to just keep doing what I'm doing.  At his last appointment, his doctor said that he was getting enough calories but if I was worried about him getting enough nutrients to give him a multivitamin every day.  So I guess he'll just keep living off of ambient energy and I'll keep trying to get him to eat his tiny portions.
  • He loves school!  I was so nervous before he started, but his teachers have been great and his class is so well organized that he has a lot of fun.  He always tells me things he has learned, points out letters he recognizes, and even sings songs he has learned!
  • Has started calling people "humans".  He loves Transformers and on the cartoon he watches, that's how they refer to people.  So he will tell me "When the human comes back, then we can play in the dirt!" or "When it's dark then it's time for humans to go to bed."  It cracks me up every time.
  • I have really started to admire him.  He gets very nervous about new things, but he tries them (with a lot of encouragement) and ends up embracing it!  He tries so hard to keep those around him happy and is just so full of love.  He loves to help me and goes all out with whatever task I put to him.  I'm so very thankful for this little boy.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Busy Life

Well, Asher is in Preschool!  I was so nervous for him because of how hard it's been to get him to try new things.  He has had such a hard time with transitions in the past (nursery, primary, anything that involves leaving me...) and so I honestly expected him to cry for the first week of school until he got used to it.  

Before the official start of school, his teachers had a little Meet 'n Greet where we could see the classroom, meet the teachers, and they could go over the curriculum and classroom policies.  I think that was the smartest thing for them to do!  While one of them talked to the parents, the other one had all the kids on a table in the back of the room putting stickers on the first letter of their name.  I think that helped Asher feel so much more at ease.  Before then when I would ask him if he wanted to go to school he would cry and say he was too scared.  But after that little meeting he was actually excited to go!  There were zero tears from either of us on his first day!  And he has loved it ever since.  He loves going to school! I hope it always stays that way!

After the Meet 'n Greet.  It's in the basement of one of the ladies house and is such a cute little classroom!
First day of school!

Asher's best friend Monty is in his class.  We got there the same time as them so they got to walk in together!
The next big event for us was David's parents came into town for Brian and Brittany's little boys blessing.  It was the first time they got to see little Henry and the second time they got to see our girls!  It was such a fun weekend and there were so many activities that we were all exhausted when it was over, but in a good way!  You can tell that they love that little boy so much and Brian gave him a very special blessing.  After church we all went to their house to have dinner.
Henry had the cutest little suit on!
That next day was Labor Day, so everyone had the day off.  We all decided to go to a driving range-type place and then to dinner afterwards.  I think my favorite part was watching Asher try to figure out those clubs!  It was a lot of fun getting to spend time with everyone and just hanging out.

David's mom and Mia
This was the best smile David would give me.
The cute newlyweds!
Apparently there was a point system for which hole you got your ball into.  I was sharing my turn with Asher so I lost big time, but Brittany beat everyone!

Grandpa and Grandma Clay with Ava, Henry, and Mia! I think this was my favorite picture from the weekend.

Asher loved riding this pig outside the restaurant we ate at, and I'm impressed Joy could get up there!  It was pretty big!
That weekend really wore Ava out.  She fell asleep during bath time that night! (don't worry, I was supervising the whole time)
Two days after our fun outing, we had a not-so-fun day.  The girls had their 4 month appointment, which included shots.  I thought Judy would be in town this day and got a little excited that she might be able to come with me and help play musical children, but they left to go home that morning.  So I packed up all three kids and we headed to the doctors!  It actually went better than I thought.  Mia measured at 13 lb 13 oz (42%), Ava at 14 lb 9 oz (57%) and both are 25.25 in long (80%).   They did not like the shots (big surprise) and one of the nurses tried to help me by holding one of the girls, but she just wasn't calming down so I walked around the room holding both girls and trying to get them calm enough to put them into their carseats.  It didn't take as long as I thought and pretty soon we were out of there and off to take Asher to preschool! 

Taking all three.  I feel like a huge spectacle wherever I go.
Mia has been taking after her Mama and started sucking her thumb.  It's just the cutest thing ever.
The townhouses in front of us have a garden box they don't use.  They let Asher play in it.  He enjoys every minute of it and covers himself in dirt from head to toe.
Poor Mia.  I was trying so hard to hurry and put Ava to bed, but by the time I got done Mia had already fallen asleep in the bouncer.

Asher making Ava laugh.  These girls just adore their older brother.

Last week I watched Brian and Brittany's little boy Henry.  He's 2.5 months younger than my girls and very mild tempered.  Up until this week, I hadn't seen him awake for more than 10 minutes at a time!  It was a little crazy, but my girls are getting easier and he's a pretty easy baby so it was just fine.  And Asher loves babies so he had fun helping me out!  He would tell me where Henry was supposed to sleep, when he was crying, where his pacifier was, and tried very hard to entertain him. 

Asher and Henry
I'm pretty much Henry's favorite aunt.
I will probably post later more updates about the girls because this post is getting to be too long already!  The last thing I want to put on here was brought on by something I saw someone selling on Facebook, actually.  It sounds kind of weird, but if I had any extra money I would've bought it in a second! It's something that really struck a chord with me:

With the exception of our six month stint in Arizona, we have crammed our lives into tiny apartments.  Our first apartment was about 700 square feet, which was fine when it was the two of us but got cramped very quickly when we had Asher.  We've lived in basement apartments, apartments where the walls were so thin you could hear the neighbors talking all the time, and had only one place that was actually pretty big.  I try to tell myself that Asher and the girls probably won't remember most of this time of our lives and that hopefully soon we can have a place that actually has a yard for him to play in.  I feel so much guilt about not being able to give my kids the childhood that I had where we could run around outside all day on our own property and enjoy the outdoors more.  That's why I do my best to make sure we go on lots of walks and trips to the park and every other outing that we can feasibly do.  It's hard living in a small place.  You don't have the privacy you have in a big place.  Other people are always about 5 feet away from you, even if you're hiding in the bathroom trying to get a minute of quiet.  All these bad feelings have been going through my mind so much, that I didn't try to find the good.  Because we are always so close physically, it makes it easier for us to grow together emotionally.  From where I sit, I can see David on the computer, Asher on the couch, Millie also on the couch (ugh...), dinner in the oven, and the girls bedroom where they are taking a nap. Oftentimes David will turn on a piece of music that he wants to show me or a video he thought was funny.  Asher can talk to both of us with just a turn of his head.  I can tell David dinner is ready without ever leaving the kitchen.  Our communication is so much better simply because we are always around each other.  When we lived in our big townhouse, I could tell that it was harder for us to talk.  We each had to make a conscious effort to talk about things because we all tended to hang out in different areas of the house.  Don't get me wrong, we are going to take the first opportunity we can to get a bigger place!  But for now I'm going to try to enjoy how close we are as a family.  How we can spend so much time together and learn so much about one another.  I don't know if love grows BEST in little houses, but I do think it grows better.  So for now I'll enjoy our little house where we've learned to depend on each other and tolerate each other and love each other.