Friday, January 24, 2014

Do You Want Fries with That?

Micah landed his first real job!  On Tuesday he went in for a walk-in interview and was hired immediately.  He started on Wednesday evening, and last night he learned how to make fries.  :)  I love McD's fries!  Congrats, Micah!! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mercy's First Steps

Mitch was able to coax Mercy into taking her first steps this weekend.  So exciting!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mercy is 10 months old!

At 10 months, Mercy is
~eating a few more things, as long as she can touch it first
~doesn't have any new teeth, and doesn't really "chew", so that limits what she can pick up with her fingers and subsequently suck down
~feeds herself with her right hand...sometimes
~makes a big mess
~puts everything in her mouth
~everything from a speck of dust on the floor to things she can reach that we thought were out of reach
~has at least a hundred different cute expressions, I wish I could capture them all
~interacts well with us, and tries to copy us
~feeds herself with her left hand...sometimes
~boldly stands on her own for up to 30 seconds at a time
~can bend over, pick up an object, and return to standing without help (or leaning on something)
~walks on her knees (I need to capture this on video when the kids are not yelling, burping, or farting in the name-calling!  Haha!)
~is about ^this big (here's a perspective for you)
~gets very excited when Mitch comes home from work.  If she hears his voice, she will crawl over to the gate and shout out to him something that sounds a lot like "Hi Da".
~does not like to be left, and gets really upset when she watches any of us walk away
~maybe feeds herself more often with her left hand than her right hand...will she be a lefty?  If so, she will be our first, and will happily join Kathi, Grandma Karen, and my old college roommate Tara to name a few.  :)  Will she also be good at math?  It may be too early to tell, but I think she may.  Which reminds me, she can also
~count to one.  She gets really, really mad when anyone takes anything out of her hands.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of eyes around here watching out for her and wanting to take things away from her (aforementioned dust bits, for example).  And she can
~~count to two.  Over and over again.  She lets me know when she's ready for the other side while nursing.  :)
~She sometimes rolls over to her tummy to sleep, and then she often will put her little fists up under her face.  So cute.
~takes two naps per day, sometimes long, sometimes short, longer if we are holding her.
~is really cuddly (or crabby) if she takes short naps.  That means I spend a lot of time holding her afterward.  So, hold her if she sleeps or hold her if she doesn't sleep.  That seems to be the rule.
~usually wakes up once or twice a night, with us going to bed somewhere around 9 pm and getting up between 6 and 7 am.  She is co-sleeping with us, so that means I'm getting lots of sleep, right? Not exactly.  I use the early bedtime as time to read.  Being forced to slow down and cuddle my girl gives me a chance to remember to cherish this stage.
~On the naughty side, she pulls hair and bites.  She sometimes bites as a seeming natural reaction or curiosity, but lately we have noticed she also bites when she is frustrated.  If I happened to be nursing her when it happened, then I am frustrated.  She pulls my hair as a comfort thing, especially while she's nursing, but she also pulls it when she is bored or frustrated.  It's like she's saying, "Get moving! I want to see things!"  And speaking of that, it reminds me, she
~gets bored easily.  How is that?  The whole world is new!  I suppose we all have a little cabin fever in the middle of January.  She doesn't want to be sitting still--she wants her space to MOVE.  If Mitch takes all the big kids somewhere and leaves us home, she gets lonely.  When they come back home, she is overjoyed.
~She thinks the paper recycle bin is her toy chest.  She empties it until we finally move it out of reach.  Keeping the trash bin turned backwards and emptied frequently is also a must--otherwise she will try to reach inside for "treasures".  While we clean up the messes, she is moving on to be busy elsewhere.  She also loves to empty the crayon boxes that are left within reach (so she can eat the crayons), take clean laundry out of the laundry baskets for us, and pull stuff off of the computer desk or table.  She's just helping us be motivated to de-clutter, right? Apparently she recently learned the joy of being able to throw things down the stairs (through the gate).  Haha.  My stairs and entryway are even more of a wreck!

Mercy is such a blessing to our family.  Micah said today, "She's the princess."  Yeah, that's probably true.  Everyone loves her.  They are always trying to hug her, hold her, bring her things, make her laugh, or teach her something new.  I am excited to see what the next month brings!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caleb is 13!

Caleb turned 13 today!  He celebrated by finally getting a much-looked-for Facebook account.  He has been waiting patiently for years, especially this past year.  Now that he has the account, the excitement has already worn off.  He is so funny.  (To be honest, he's a pretty smart kid, don't ya think?)  He is happy to feel like he's "connected" and I'll give it some time before he starts to realize what kind of connections he's really made.  ;)  I gave him the day off of school because he *always* has his schoolwork done on time.  He invited the Emersons over for dessert tonight.  Now they're playing a game of Munchkin, the hot new card game at our house.

Here's a photo bomb for you.

 {Hey, Caleb, what's that over there?}

 {Don't look now, Obi's got the cake...}

{One more time in case you didn't notice the hats.}

At 13 years old, Caleb
~works independently on almost all of his schoolwork
~gets straight A's
~wears his hat Kathi brought him from Germany all the time
~is planning to dress up, complete with a fedora, this weekend for the Roaring 20s party at Blizzard (a youth group retreat)
~likes black t-shirts
~favorite color is green
~wears only jeans (even to bed) and rarely shorts
~has a certain order by which he sets the table
~might be a redneck (we like Duck Dynasty!)
~is not OCD, but we do tease him about it when he sets the table
~is writing a book (he has some resources to recommend, such as "Go Teen Writers" by Jill Williamson)
~has three pair of glasses
~chose General Tso's Chicken for supper and chocolate cake for dessert
~wears an adult medium shirt, size 16 slim pants, and size 9 shoes
I almost can't believe that Caleb is 13.  It doesn't seem like it.  I have three teenagers!!

Happy Birthday, Caleb!  We are so thankful for you!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Learning to Walk

Mercy has been working on learning to walk.  She often "let's go" of whatever she's hanging on to in order to practice standing.  She loves to push objects around the room to "walk".  We have one of those walkers with wheels, but it doesn't work so great on the wood floors (not to mention that it often gets taken away from her by an older, excited sibling, who wants to show her exactly what to do).  It turns out that she is figuring it out all on her own.  I got a video last night, and even though it's very low-quality, you can get the idea.  About half-way through you can see her let go of the basket (obviously she's leaning on it for balance and not for support, otherwise it would flip).  She's so cute.  :)

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Grand Slam

Zeke's fever returned tonight, so I shipped him off to express care.  Mitch called to let me know that Zeke tested positive for strep AND influenza.  Wowzers.

Upon arriving home, Zeke must have been feeling a little better.  He told me, "The doctor said I should not do school."

Mitch quickly clarified, "She said you should not GO to school.  I said, 'Well, I'll tell his mother, but we homeschool, so I'm not sure exactly where he should go.'"

Mitch said we can tell that Zeke is turning into a young man, growing up everyday.  He is already exhibiting selective hearing! 

When the other kids hear about Zeke's tough break, they'll be lining up to catch what he has.

::sigh:: I'm bracing for a second wave of fevers, if they come, and the thought that it will probably mean more appointments, tests, and medicines.  We're running a regular hospital ward here.  I need a second shift nurse to come on duty, though.

I'm watching Mercy like a far she's been fever-free.  I'm praying that *this time* she gets TONS of antibodies from breastmilk.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We have been fighting one virus after another here in our house.  It has not been all that much fun.  I am bummed that I didn't get the chance to wrap up 2013 nice and tight, but as I scroll through pictures to post from our Christmas celebration, I can't help but stop on some of my favorites from earlier this year...prepare to be photobombed.

{Pregnant with Mercy}

{Praying together as a family before we eat}

{Having THREE girls}

{Getting to laugh at a sign that wasn't supposed to be funny}

{Love the baby, not the puke}



{Some things are just better than google earth}

{First time driving}

{First time losing a tooth}

{Sweet reunion with Kathi}

{First birthday with Kathi}

{God's amazing sky show}

{Enjoying the fruits of our labor}

{Finding our voice of praise}

{Shedding a few pounds...of hair}

{Old friends and new friends, and I am humbled by God's grace}

{Hope fulfilled.  Abundantly!}

{Surprised by joy in thousands of "little" moments}

{Fried okra = dream realized}

{Cutest picture ever}

{Guinea Pig/Squirrel/Chipmunk/Beaver/Skunk}

{Joy lingers}

{Feeding an entire neighborhood after one man's desire to surprise his bride}

{First car}

{No-Shave November, with a nod to Duck Dynasty...go Phil Robertson!}

{She did it--she passed me up!}

{Wise Men arrived from the East...or West? Germany, that is!  From Patrick's family. So beautiful.}

Baby Jesus

{Eden knows: it is more blessed to give than to receive}

{It's always the box that's more fun...the hems cut off of pajama pants Grandma Karen made were quickly and easily turned into Ninja masks that entertained kids for days!}

{When I first had Micah I read an article by a woman who was determined not to give her baby any "artificial nipples" to suck on, because she wanted to establish a good breastfeeding relationship and avoid any nipple confusion.  The woman wrote, "At the end of the first week if you had told me that sucking on a snake would calm my baby down, I would have given her a snake to suck on!"  Needless to say, the woman decided pacifiers weren't so bad.  Mercy thinks snakes are cool.}

{My napkins were wrinkled and we didn't have enough place mats for everyone to have one, but we attempted to make the birthday dinner for Jesus beautiful.  And it was.}