Thursday, October 08, 2015

Genna is 8 months!

Boy, September sure did seem to hurry right along. I'm thinking back, trying to get a grasp on the past month, and it just looks so blurry!

So what is new with Genna this month?

~got a second tooth through
~is really fast at crawling
~pulls up on everything (and sometimes topples over)
~wears mostly 12 mo clothes (last month I wasn't sure what size fall/winter clothes to put out...that's no longer a difficult decision!)
~says "ma-ma"
~tries to communicate with all of us

She is crawling faster now. She sometimes surprises me. A little while ago I was doing dishes and she crawled in and pulled up hanging on to my pants. I was sure she would fall over, but my hands were all soapy. Thankfully a big brother was able to come to the rescue!

She is slowly improving with eating solid foods. She usually doesn't eat much, but every now and then she surprises me there too. She usually starts out doing great, then drops off interest until she refuses to open her mouth at all. She loves to feed herself. I hope as she gets a little bigger that she will do well with table foods.

Sleep is not improving. :(

Here is some 8 month-old adorable chubbiness!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Update in Pictures!

Gonna hit you with a ton of pictures... They are a little out of order as far as the date goes, but it's tedious to fix in such a long post (in other words, I'm being lazy).

We started school at the end of August. Eden is off to the technical college for her first year, and Micah is in his second year. So far both are doing well.

On the home front, I had a tough time getting started with "the four." (Zeke, Josh, Malachi, and Tirzah). Caleb is working very independently and only needs gentle reminders to stay on track. After a horrible first three days of school, I caved, cried, and eliminated some things from our task list. Now a month later I have been able to add back in those things. We still aren't running perfectly (and never will be), but I am not painting with the broad, dark strokes that I was that day back in August when I thought all was lost. There's always a bit of putting my own desires to death when homeschooling. The sooner I figure that out and take care of it, the better things go. It's not all my fault, though. These guys have had to learn that they will get their schoolwork done, whining or not. Some of them still test me every day...

 Eden had another sewing project she hoped to complete before a friend's wedding in September. We pulled it off just in time (though the zipper nearly won).

One of the last major projects on our list was to fix our back door. Four years ago when we redid the flooring upstairs, we found the back door had been leaking. At that time we took out the entire door and replaced it, but the new door still leaked. And worse, it had a gap in the door so that during the winter the cold wind would come through the door. Obviously we wanted to get it fixed, but it's amazing how quickly four years can go by! A friend from church who is knowledgeable agreed to spend a weekend helping us with this project. He pulled off the siding, and he and Mitch actually raised the threshold of the door. He installed new flashing. We also put a thick vinyl board along the bottom next to the deck to protect the house from whacks with a shovel. We haven't had a hard, driving rain to test the water-tightness of the door, but we feel confident that the problem is solved. The raised threshold isn't as awkward as I feared it would be. The best part so far is that the door closes properly and tightly. I can't wait to be able to get a storm door on the back now and to finish the laminate floor inside! But for now, I'm relishing in another completed project.

 I needed a project. Ha! Ok, I need to relax. I decided the time was right to learn how to do this:

I got a decent distance before I realized my gauge was pretty far off. So I ripped it out and started again. I have recovered my distance, but unfortunately I lost one of my needles. It's ok--I can knit with 4 needles instead of 5, but I can't knit with 3, so I hope I don't lose any more! I also hope I find the missing needle before I try to learn how to do the heel. My gauge is better, but not perfect. If I can figure this out, I will buy a magic loop needle in the size I need.

We have slowly worked on remodeling the boys' old room--my former sewing room--for Eden's bedroom. She was able to move in just a couple weeks ago. We found the dressing screen (above) at the thrift store. It was brand new in the box. It was missing a price tag, and I thought for sure it would be expensive. But the guy tagged it and brought it back--he had put $14.99 on it, and I had a 25% off coupon. I'm pretty sure we "stole" this. :) It is so beautiful.

She took down the ceiling fan blades and painted them. She's so creative!

Eden is learning a little music to accompany her singing. She has been practicing the guitar as well as the piano.

This yummy breakfast will probably always be a happy memory for me.

Caleb and Micah are learning the guitar as well (all are self-taught). Caleb used babysitting money to purchase an electric guitar. I hope they all keep practicing!! Eden joined Portable Audio at Youth for Christ this semester, where she is being mentored by a sweet woman from our church who often leads worship. Caleb hopes to join next semester, but this semester he has a regular babysitting job.

Mitch and I took a walk with these two cuties...but Mercy didn't ride for very long. She spent most of the walk doing this:

I devised a new system for chores. Malachi was so excited to learn how to mop with the steam mop. My chore system was a big flop, though. Phooey.

Zeke loves to collect bottle caps. When the boys moved into their new "bedroom," Mitch encouraged him to actually do something with the bottle caps. This is what they came up with. Isn't it great??
And you might notice something new about Zeke's smile. He has braces! His dentist recommended a slight adjustment to his teeth, limited orthodontia treatment. It won't make his teeth perfectly straight like a full ortho treatment would, but this is cheaper and is done by his regular dentist. It will improve his bite. He's so adorable.
My garden has the blight so so bad. This fall we will just take the entire thing out. :( I suppose that since it is October, that I should amend that to be any day now...

Mercy has long enough hair for piggy tails!

My pretty girls...I can't believe I have four of them.

Do these even need an explanation?? At least they are washable markers!

Mercy was so excited to show me this bee!

I tried to get pictures of the supermoon eclipse. I need some more practice. ;)

Ok, I wish I had more time, but I don't...

Monday, September 07, 2015

Genna at 7 months

Sweet Genesis Grace. At 7 months old she

~weighs over 20 lbs. At her 6 mo doctor visit 3 weeks ago she weighed 19 lbs 2 oz (90th percentile) and was 26" long (50th percentile). For some geeky numbers, her percentile ranking in our family is 65th percentile for weight (she weighed more than 6 of her siblings at 6 months) and 15th percentile for height (she's only taller than Eden was at 6 months). ^^ For further comparison just among the girls, Eden was 21 lbs by 9 months, so she probably was similar in size to Genna. But Tirzah didn't break 20 lbs until 15 months and Mercy didn't pass 20 lbs until her 18-month appointment. So Genna is a chunk.

Ok, that was quite enough math before 8:30 am.

~is crawling. Sort of. She goes forward and backwards and spins. She doesn't cover ground rapidly, and doesn't always hit her original goal, but she is mobile!

{My friend Heidi sent us this awesome shirt!}

~can get into a sitting position (she LOVES this move)
~is very "grabby." She now gets everything her siblings leave within reach (especially choking hazards). They especially love it when she pulls their hair. ;) We are all learning new boundaries. 

~is still struggling to get her tongue moving the right direction to get food down the hatch: for every bite that goes in, about half usually comes back out, but this is an improvement over a month ago. She loves to eat, though. She gets distracted and doesn't eat a whole ton of food (up to 2-3 Tbs twice a day). She gets distracted while nursing too, so I honestly don't know how she is so fat!
~has loved every food we have given her except bananas. NONE of my other nine children ever ate the jarred meats. Genna chows down.

~is different from her siblings. Since we are on this topic: she is really trying to establish her own identity! She is the first child of my 10 to not poop every day, several times a day. I know you didn't need to know that. ;) I just wanted to say how different she is!

~wears 9-12 mo clothes and I am in a quandary. How fast is she going to grow and what is our weather going to be like this fall? Some of her 9 mo clothes are already too small, others are just great. It depends on the brand/style.

~can stay awake up to 6 hours at a time (I figured this is a more positive thing to say rather than talk about the lack of sleep...ha!). Ok, she naps 3 times a day. One nap is around an hour or so, one nap is usually 2 hours. Then she does this really weird 30-min nap every day at around 7-7:30 pm. It's so close to bedtime, but she doesn't ever stay asleep. She usually goes back down around 8:30/9:00. I hope she grows out of this nap soon.
~likes to party at 5 am. Sometimes earlier. She gets up multiple times a night still, but it's a good day when she isn't awake and ready for the day until after 6 am.

~learned to blow raspberries. It's particularly "fun" when I've just put a spoonful of food into her mouth. Oh well...maybe it's the whole figuring out how her tongue works thing?

~and (drum roll, please) I noticed her first tooth broke through just this morning!