Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New 'do

I'm really just NOT a long hair person. Some women look gorgeous with long, flowing hair; I just don't. I am a short hair person. My first short hair cut was when I was 7. I asked my mom to cut it short. I think I specifically asked for it to be like my older brother, Grant's hair. (See above photo of the very hair I am talking about...both mine and Grant's!) The next year, when I turned 8, I had her cut it even shorter...I basically looked like a boy. It's what I wanted, though. I also started dressing like a boy. Most people, in fact, thought I was a boy. My mom, bless her heart, dealt with it all very well and very positively. Good job, Mom! I had that same short hair cut until one fateful day when I was 10 1/2 or so. I was riding my bike in the neighborhood and a girl whistled at me. Apparently, I was handsome as a boy. ACK! From that day on, I started growing it out. It wasn't until I was 16 and had a bleaching/dyeing kick that ended in fried hair that I cut it short again. I loved it! And I really felt that short hair suited me so much better than longer hair (by "longer" I mean shoulderish length, by the way...I was never patient enough to let it grow longer than that!)
Since that time, I have had a pretty regular cycle of growing it out, then chopping it off; growing it out, then chopping it off. When Fiona was a baby, my hair was the longest it has ever been since I was a little girl. This was my "hippy" stage where I went a year without wearing any make-up or shaving my legs to make a statement about women's beauty. But, the fact remained that I really did not care for long hair. Hair on my neck bugs me and it's harder to style. Longer hair doesn't do much for my face structure and I usually end up wearing it in a pony tail most of the time anyway which leads to the dreaded pony tail headache...not fun!
I think it may be official now: no more long hair! Ever. Again. Why do I keep doing it when I don't really like it? I can be a cute, feminine and beautiful woman without having long hair. So last night I took my trusty hair-cutting scissors and cut off a ton of hair. It felt very good. :) I usually prefer cutting my own hair since I am the one with the picture of how I would like it to look in my head. When I go to someone to get it cut, I usually end up coming home and "fixing" it anyway.
Now with the world of Facebook, if you mention you cut (or color or whatever) your hair, everyone wants to see a picture! (Me, included...so if you cut or color or whatever your hair...post a picture!) So this morning I thought I would take a few photos to post. Ya know, some people are just really photogenic and hardly ever take a bad picture. Some of us, however, are NOT. I remember my junior year in high school the day our school pictures came back. I happen to be working in the office that hour and saw my picture. UGH! It was really quite bad. My dad (who was principal at the time) was there along with some friends, trying to reassure me that it was a "fine" picture. :) We all knew it just wasn't. There was one guy there who said "well, it looks like you and you look good." Somehow that made me feel a bit better...but not really. :)
So jump to this morning... I ended up taking over 100 pictures! I still don't know that I am particularly all that pleased with any of them...but I am not about to take 100 more. (The song "You're So Vain" kept playing in my head...) :) So here are three that I don't hate. :)

Nice to have some help!

Last week I had a women's conference to attend at church where they were serving dinner. Some mom's make something yummy to leave at home for their families to eat while they're gone. I, on the other hand, asked Sebastian to make waffles. Don't get me wrong; waffles are very yummy and tasty...they just aren't what I wanted for dinner so it seemed like a good night to have them. :)
Sebastian would probably really enjoy more cooking opportunities then I currently give him. He is pretty good at following recipes (see above photo of him checking his recipe to make sure he has all the ingredients needed) and cleaning up as he goes along. So far, he makes eggs/omelets, cookies, ramen, and pancake/waffle batter. It is very handy to be able to ask him to make these things from time to time and he does a good job.

Brighton, on the other hand, is not a whole lot of help in the kitchen! He now thinks it is super fun to climb on the stove (hello...dangerous!) and he loves to be in on the action. My left arm is significantly more muscular than my right from carrying him on my hip while I cook and clean in the kitchen!
All the kids are great helpers. They are very ready to grab Brighton off the table, rescue him from falling down the stairs, help find a lost paci or numerous other tasks that make it a bit easier to care for a busy little toddler.
A few months ago, we instituted a "buddy" system in the house. Each of the three older kids has a younger child as their "buddy" whom they help with various tasks and in general look out for them. I was surprised how ready and willing (even excited!) the older kids were to take on this new responsibility. Sebastian is Haven's buddy, Elijah is Scarlett's and Fiona is Brighton's. Generally, the only things Haven really needs help with is maybe finding shoes, help with lunch...not too much else at home. The one day a week they attend school, though, Sebastian is super diligent about looking out for her. He always waits for her to get out of the car at the curb and follows her into the building escorting her to her classroom. He waits at the end of the day to make sure Haven comes out and doesn't come to the car until she is already in. (He actually does this for Fiona too, even though he is not her "buddy".) Elijah is very helpful in being Scarlett's buddy. He will often get a cup for her, a snack for her, a bowl for her, etc. He helps her with shoes sometimes and in general tries to keep an eye out for her when they play outside and things. Fiona is great with Brighton. She is always willing to pick him up, tote him around, give him his paci, get him up from naps, give him a drink or snack, etc. Everyone helps with Brighton, but I try to remember to ask her as he is her buddy and she is always there to help. I have really liked watching the older kids feel a since of responsibility for their younger siblings. It is certainly not their job to take care of them or be in charge of them (that is what parent's are for,) but have some responsibility and care for a younger sibling is a great learning tool and has provided them with a chance to form a bit more compassion and empathy for the younger ones. I think it has helped the younger ones to feel a bit more cared for and loved by the older ones, as well. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby belly

I am 29 weeks pregnant. I know all to well that these last 10 weeks or so will go by too quickly, so I am trying to really enjoy and relish my sweet baby in utero, though I am so impatient to meet him and snuggle him! In my impatience (this happens every pregnancy, of course!) I can't wait too long to buy something for the baby! We don't really ever need many baby items since we've had so many babies...so usually my first (and pretty close to last) purchase and splurge is name-brand newborn diapers with the cute little umbilical cord cut-out. When we were shopping at Target this morning, I couldn't resist buying them!
I realized that we don't really have any pictures of ye ol' baby belly yet this pregnancy and so wanted to get a few shots. I took a zillion while holding the camera at arms length...none of them really turned out too great (weird angle) so I finally used the timer and the kitchen counter and captured that first picture above. The one directly above, Brighton thought it was nice of me to have bought him a fun plastic bag to open. :) He kept stealing the diaper package away. :)

He was just about to start pulling out diapers and I took it away. He was pretty darn bummed, but I think it's a bit early to start getting the diapers out!

Mr. Fix-it

The two little girls have been making little houses and enclosures out of chairs and benches turned on their sides in the living room. Then they fill the enclosures with dress up clothes and blankets for their beds and substrate. :) We have these two little kid stools I picked up last summer at a garage sale. I am a sucker for cute little wood kid furniture and stuff! They are not the most well-made stools on the planet, however, and we really haven't used them all that much. The girls thought they might fit well into their plan for walls, so they brought them out to the living room. Almost immediately, a leg fell off. Brighton found the screw that fell out and set to work trying to put the screw back in the stool!
Here is Haven's hand trying to help Brighton's cute little chubby hand! :) So sweet!

He worked pretty hard on it for about 20 minutes or so! Wow...for such a busy, busy little guy, I was very pleased that he worked on it so long! :) His fix-it session ended, however, when he gave up putting the screw in the stool and started eating it....


Our baby gate is not all that secure...the place we had to install it (due to stud location and banister location) is about 7 inches away from the top step...which creates a large gap. We have pretty successfully kept the baby in the living room by shoving an old couch cushion in the gap. Brighton is now figuring out that if he can wedge himself between the gate and the cushion, he is a free man! Here he is looking all innocent with one leg under the gate and Willow looking on.
I turned around and then heard little giggles that sounded like they were coming from the entry way...and they were! He had escaped.

And was very happy about it! :) He is pretty safe on the stairs and, obviously, knows how to get down. I am not ready to take the baby gate down yet, though. I like knowing where he is and that he can not get downstairs without me. The gate will stay up for a few more months, at least. He has not tried to escape yet today, so that's a good sign, right?!? :)

Helping Daddy

Brighton is getting to the age where he LOVES to be involved in what we are doing and LOVES to feel like he is "helping". It is so adorable! Last Christmas break, we started our kitchen remodel. This Christmas break, we wanted to finish it. :) I had decided I did not like the new lay-out, however, and came up with a new lay-out that I knew would work better. So the day after Christmas, Dave got started on making it all happen! The first step was to turn our "new" half-wall into a full wall. Brighton was very ready and willing to "help" Daddy with this fun project!

Once the wall insert was built and Dave was installing it, Brighton found his little toy squeaky hammer and I showed him how he could "do work" too by hammering the wall. He was so proud of himself! I missed getting a picture of it, however, but I'm sure you can imagine how adorable he was! :)
Part of the new layout involved moving the stove and microwave (again...) Dave needed to go up into the attic and move some wiring and thus needed the ladder. Brighton, who is quite the climber these days, thought the ladder looked super fun! I had deterred him a number of times. When I was out of the room, Brighton started to climb again. Dave thought it was adorable and spotted him while he ventured up the ladder.

As I was coming down the hall and Dave was grabbing the camera, Dave called to me to spot him so he could take some pictures.
Once Brighton got to the top, Dave said "let go and I'll take a picture!" I was a bit nervous about letting go, but I think Elijah (who is such a sweet big brother) was even more nervous!

Brighton was SO happy and proud of himself to be at the top! After this fun adventure there was no keeping him off of the ladder, so it went back in the garage. :)
The kitchen is VERY close to being completed! We now have almost all of the cabinet doors up and all the cabinet trim. I LOVE the new layout and can't wait until it is fully and completely done! I will post pictures of it soon!

December 2009

We had a lovely Christmas break. It's always so exciting and cozy to open up the Christmas tubs and get all of our Christmas stuff out every year! The kids loved playing with the Christmas hats...they especially loved putting them on their adorable baby brother and exclaiming at his utter cuteness! :)
We had some very special visitors stop by in December! Dave's Great Uncle and Aunt were in town and were nice enough to share a few hours with us! :)
We managed to make a few homemade gifts this year (not as many as I had hoped, though.) Above is a picture of the soap that Sebastian made for his cousin (we do a cousin gift exchange every year.) They smelled soooooooooo good!

The kids re-discovered this year the fact that Dave juggles a bit. We thought it would be fun to make him some stuff to juggle! The kids made the balloon (with beans inside) juggling balls, and I quickly sewed the bean bag juggling bags.

One day I let the girls all take turns taking random pictures with the camera. The above is one that Fiona took. We have LOTS of random pictures of obscure household views and items now. :)
We set up the Christmas tree down in the family room this year. Our living room is just a bit too full of stuff to find a place that totally did not block a window (I am not a fan of blocking windows...I need light!) and the fire place is in the family room, so it seemed like the perfect choice. We set it all up one Sunday morning before church with a fire going and Christmas music in the background....very fun and cozy! The baby gate worked well to keep Brighton out of the tree and later the presents (as well as the keep the chewy dog out!)
This year, we gave all the kids new pajamas and slippers on Christmas Eve. (see above picture of them on Christmas morning.) I think we may do it every year...they were all so adorable in their new jammies!
Christmas Eve night ended up being a looooong night...I can't remember why exactly, but there were LOTS of kids waking up LOTS of times...by morning time (which started at about 5am, with us finally getting out of bed about 6am) I was in a bit of a grumpy mood. How sad is that, to have a grumpy mom on Christmas morning!?! I can blame it on pregnancy hormones, right? :) This is why we don't have any pictures of present opening and such. It was a fun Christmas morning once the joy of the children and the occasion melted my grumpiness a bit...very cozy with the fire going and the kids all so excited! The big present this year was a Wii and Wii fit. Dave played the Wii with them Christmas day and I REALLY enjoyed hearing all the giggles and how much fun they were all having!
I grew up with the tradition of having a big breakfast/brunch on Christmas and have carried that tradition on in my own family. After all the present excitement had died down and we had cleaned up some of the mess, I got to cooking. We had waffles, eggs, turkey bacon, little smokies, toast and orange juice. YUM!