Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Many Faces of Finley

If you were to ask a group of parents what their "must have" baby items were, you would probably get a million different answers.  In our house, the list has gotten shorter with each baby.  With Wyatt we "needed" a TON of things.  With Finley, it's pretty minimal.  A car seat, a baby carrier (Ergo or Moby), a place to sleep, a swing, and an exersaucer.  It's a nice place to let them get some sensory play, to sit up, to look at colors, etc.  It's also pretty handy if you have to cook dinner and you need something to do with the baby. Ha!

But it is by far one of the best places to get pictures of the different faces that they make.  Reese used to sit out in the backyard in the exersaucer while Wyatt played.  The boys, well, they made some pretty silly faces, but they had a lot of fun, too!

Finley is no exception.

Serious teething.
Is it wrong that I think that the perfect caption for this picture is, "You mean to tell me that this little truck makes noise?"
 This one cracks me up!
I love the serious learning taking place here.  And the drool.  The drool is everywhere!
 There is a dispute taking place over this photo.  Is she smiling at Daddy or is she smiling at Wyatt?   I can't remember, but Wyatt and Brian have differing opinions about that.
 But this little smile.  It's just for me :)!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project 365: Week 4

 Tuesday, January 22
Hudson woke up that morning feeling miserable.  He couldn't talk, and this was his reaction to breakfast.  I'm pretty sure it was all an act though, because he was fine by the time we got back from school drop off!
 Wednesday, January 23
She loves to chomp on her Sophie.  But she also likes to talk to her, too.  I'm not sure whether Sophie the Giraffe understands dolphin calls though.
 Thursday, January 24
I can't believe how tight her baseball hat is getting!  I'm hoping it still fits her through this baseball season.
Friday, January 25
Snow Day!
Saturday, January 26
Hudson has NEVER wanted to take anything to bed with him.  Nothing.  He won't even take a regular blanket to bed, only his sleep sack! On Saturday night, he ran into the family room, shouted "Rudolph!," and then carried his reindeer into the bathroom and then up the stairs.  He threw him in his crib, and even fell asleep with him.  I don't think he enjoyed it, because Rudolph hasn't been allowed in the crib since!
 Sunday, January 27
I know, I know.  You know about the kid's loose teeth already!
 Monday, January 28
Princess Day at school to finish her unit about princesses, castles, knights, and dragons.  The decision about which princess to be was DRAMA, but she finally settled on Rapunzel!  She also ended up being the only Rapunzel in her class. She made a hat and wand to go along with the dress - perfection!
 And just a few more...
I'm on the left.  You know who is on the right :).
Finley really loves Wyatt. He calms her down instantly!  I'm not sure how...
 Hudson and his beanie!  He LOVES to match his Daddy.  And we all love that pitchers and catchers report in 14 days!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Weekend

After the snowfall on Friday night, we woke up Saturday morning expecting Wyatt's basketball game to be cancelled.  Seriously, everything stops here at the first sight of snow.  It was crazy reading Facebook updates on Friday night - it was taking some people up to 3 hours to get home! 
The roads were actually clear enough for basketball games to start at 10:30, so Wyatt's game was still on!  We still spent the early morning cleaning up and hanging out around the house.  Hudson begged me to bring this toy downstairs, but he's not the one who ended up playing with it.
 These kids have about a million toys, but they were somehow drawn to this baby toy!
 Wyatt had a great game!  He really likes to dribble the ball, so sometimes it's difficult to get him to pass the ball. I often wonder if his plan is to just stand there and dribble to show off.  He decided to take a shot, and he got his first basket of the season! 
His friend Aden from his baseball team is guarding him.  He and his friends from baseball have the best time together, and he was very excited to see Aden. We went out to lunch with his family afterwards, and I'm pretty sure the highlight of the lunch was when a fire truck came to put out a fire someone had started in the dumpster at the restaurant!
Sunday morning the kids were playing, and Wyatt decided that he wanted to be an elf.  He was just sitting there, watching everyone like this.  I think that they're starting to miss their buddy Parker! 
Since we weren't really doing much, I turned on the videos that Brian made me for Mother's Day when Wyatt and Reese were babies.  The videos have a bunch of pictures of them when they were teeny tiny, and they're so sweet.  We watched Wyatt's first, and about halfway through Reese's, Wyatt shouted, "Hey!  I have a loose tooth!"  Absolutely crazy.  Sometimes it seems like he was just born yesterday, and now he's about to lose his teeth?
And yes, teeth.  After I checked, he does actually have two loose teeth.  Both of his middle bottom teeth are ready to come out!
I can't wait to see his toothless smile, though!
Speaking of a good toothless smile, look at this little beauty!  Her eyes almost look brown here, but they're really gray.  Or maybe green.  I'm not really sure what they are, but they're not brown!
While I was taking toys down, I brought her exersaucer out of the attic.  Oh my goodness, she loved it.  She would not stop teething on this little elephant!  Love her!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

School Stuff

I have probably declared my love for Wyatt and Reese's school about a million times on here, but I'll say it again, we just love it.  We had such a difficult time making the decision about sending Wyatt to Kindergarten there, and we finally settled on it because even though it's expensive, the curriculum is just that good
Reese knows all her letters, she knows what sounds they make, and she was able to get her Phonics book at school last year.  Once she got her Phonics book, she started working on it at the rate of a page or two a day.  She finally finished it this week, and she got her very own reader on Wednesday!
 This little girl is so me.  She read the first 12 pages at school on Wednesday, and she basically hasn't put it down since she got home.  She took it to her room for quiet time, and she read about three quarters of it on her own.  She didn't even ask me for help...she asked WyattAnd he helped her.
 I was just like this as a child.  I sped through reading.  When I got to second grade I was ahead of the kids in my class, and they sent me back to my first grade class to teach the younger kids to read.  And that was just the beginning.  I was basically Rory Gilmore.  I carried a book with me everywhere.  I became so ridiculously obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club that I read all the time.  Even in school.  I got caught with a book hidden inside my math book in the third grade.  That is probably going to be my girl!
Wyatt loves to get new readers. He got his tenth reader last week, and he got the eleventh this week!
He likes to read, but I wouldn't say he loves it.  I think he's discovering that it's exciting, and that it's helping him discover the world.  He's sounding out words now, and he's able to figure more things out.  Signs, things we spell, his shirts (ha)!  I think that reading is really starting to hit him in a "big picture" kind of way, and that's exciting!
And the things he comes home with just amaze me.  He's able to look at pictures now and write what he sees.  Simple things like "rug," "cap," etc., but when it's coupled with the (drastic) change I'm seeing in his handwriting, it makes me a proud mom!
He can do simple addition and subtraction, fractions, and now he's counting by even numbers.  It is just crazy to me that this little boy is learning so much.  And the idea that he's going to be at school five days a week for the entire day next year?  Just crazy!
Wyatt will be in first grade next year, so he'll be leaving the school, but we just signed Reese and Hudson up for school next year.  I can't believe that Hudson is going to school!  Reese will be in Pre-K next year, which is basically just giving us one more year before she starts Kindergarten.  Her birthday is in late August, so she meets the cut off for Kindergarten next year, but we decided to keep her in preschool for one more year.  She only misses the cut off by a month, so for now we've decided to "redshirt" her. (The linked article provided good info on redshirting, and also links to an interesting 60 minutes segment).  At the end of the year we'll talk to her teacher and make sure that we're making the right decision for her, but for now we think Pre-K is the way to go.
Hudson will be in three year old class two days a week next year, which is just crazy!  He'll be two when he starts, but he will have to go to a year of Pre-K anyway because he's a November baby.  I just can not believe that he's now big enough to be signed up for school!  Is he going to be as big as Wyatt was when he started in September?!  Crazy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Day!

It snowed today!  We don't get it often, but when we do everything basically shuts down.  We had nothing to eat in the house, so I made a Target run during nap time.  I walked out into crazy flurries, and it was sticking!
This kids begged to go outside.  But it didn't start with the Talls, it actually started with Hudson.  He was standing in the playroom saying, "goooooo.  snooooooow."  I guess he's been paying attention to Caillou, because he was only 2 months old the last time we got snow! 
Since we don't have snow clothes, we did lots and lots and lots of layering today!
Reesie wore 2 pairs of leggings and Wyatt's warm up pants!
 And he wore 2 pairs of sweats and 3 shirts!
 They had the best time throwing "snowballs" and making snow angels.  The also left snowballs in the mailbox as "mail."
 In case you were wondering whether or not she was still making this face...the answer is yes.
 Which is just pitiful when she's go this beautiful smile!
 Look at those cheeks!  He loved playing in the snow, but those mittens would not stay on his little hands!
 The house!  Excuse the last Christmas wreath.  We can't really see that window when we pull up in the driveway and we forgot about it...until we took the picture!
After they finished playing in the front yard, they moved out back.  Brian apparently decided that this was a good idea.  Yes, Wyatt is putting snow on the slide before his siblings slide down.  But it's supervised by an adult, so it must be safe, right?
 And this is my favorite part of a snow day.  I get to stay inside with the baby (or stand on the porch and take pictures), and then I get to clean all this up.  Lucky!
 It really was all worth it to watch the kids have so much fun.  But I am kind of seeing the point of snow clothes...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Odds & Ends

Some days I feel like I barely have time to catch up with well, anything.  I consider a day "winning" if I'm completely dressed when I take the big kids to school. 
Really.  If I'm out of my pajamas and pink Uggs, it's gonna be a good day.  Or at least, it might be.
This little girl.  Oh, I love her.
But she seriously has GOT to sleep.  As soon as possible. 
Oh my goodness she is precious.
But for the last week she has been up every 2 or 3 hours.  I give her a dream feed before I go to bed.  But she's still up every two hours all night.  And that doesn't work for me.  I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten a complete night's sleep since May? Last night she was up every two hours, and Wyatt and Reese were in our bed (they both usually appear between 2AM and 5AM).  I told Brian this morning that this set up would be a perfect torture system.  I wake up with Finley, feed her (in the complete quiet and darkness because I have two children in my bed), and get her back down.  After I fall back asleep, I wake up every 5 minutes.  Why?  Because I am being kicked, pushed (by someone's bottom), or my personal favorite, slapped in the face by a hand.  That happens the most.  I take a hand to the face at least 4 times a night!
I'm not kidding you.  My children are insane sleepers.  I'm not even convinced they're sleeping.  I think they might be practicing some form of Martial Arts.  If preventing me from sleeping was a test, they would have their black belts.
Finley is enjoying her cloth diapers.  I recently added a few more diapers to our stock because as much as I would like for Hudson to be potty trained, I don't think he's ready.  Hopefully in the next few months!
Reese is obsessed with books, which means that she's very much like me.  When I was little I was obsessed with reading, and she loves to look at books.  She finally got her first reader at school, and she is pushing herself to learn.  She really wants to read her new Tinkerbell book by herself!
Hudson is currently obsessed with football.  He might actually make an exception to his "I'm not going to take anything to bed with me" rule if I gave him the football.  It might be nice to cuddle with.  But he's more interested in tackling.  He runs at Wyatt and shouts "TACKLE!"
While we don't live in a place with snow or any crazy weather, it is COLD here, y'all.  I hate cold.  I think bulky jackets are (for the most part) a complete waste of money (they have to be taken off for the car seat to be safe, we don't go outside when it's THAT cold, they're uncomfortable, and they're not worth the money for them to be worn so rarely), so we don't buy them.  We just layer.
But this week is requiring LOTS of layers.
Hudson was very excited when he and Daddy matched this morning!
 And Finley Quinn.  She's good at keeping her hats on.  And wearing them well! 
 Socks?  Not so much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 365: Week 3

 Another week's worth of pictures!  Brian and I are just starting to get better at taking out our "real camera" to get pictures instead of always using our phones, but I feel like I always have the wrong lens on the camera when we go to use it!   So iPhone pictures it is! 
Tuesday, January 15
Wyatt got his tenth reader at school!  His last reader was a BEAST.  It was about 120 pages long and he got it just before we went to Disney World, and then he had two weeks off for Christmas.  It gave him lots of new opportunities to sound out words :). But we finally made it all the way through!
 Wednesday, January 16
Hudson in his new Darth Vader towel.  He keeps saying "You don't know the power of the dark side."  He makes his little voice sound like a growl when he says it!
 Thursday, January 17
Finley found her toes while she was hanging out in her car seat!
 Friday, January 18
Reese came out of her room during Quiet Time (which was inconvenient because I was trying to watch Grey's Anatomy and Scandal) and her hands were freezing!  She decided to warm them up by the fireplace.  (There's glass there in case you're concerned that I let my children hang out by open fire.)
She also tried to use this opportunity to con me into letting her watch the new Sofia the First. AGAIN.  She's obsessed.  So is Hudson. He calls her "Fia, Huddoo pincess."
 Saturday, January 19
Hudson and I got in extra cuddles at bedtime!  Wyatt spent the night with my mom, Reese went to the hockey game with Brian, and Finley went to sleep.  I love when he "reads" me his books!
 Sunday, January 20
"I'm gonna check your ears, check your eyes, find out how much you've grown!  Time for your check up!"
 Monday, January 21
We had a lot of fun watching the inauguration together!  The kids asked lots of fun questions about the Presidency, and they stayed on the lookout for the Secret Service.  Wyatt also really enjoyed trying to match the military uniforms with their branch, and looking for snipers on top of buildings!  He is all boy.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Bundle of Energy

Wyatt is an active little boy. Like, very active.  He has bundles of energy.  Like, bundles and bundles.
He rarely sits.  If he's up, he's doing something.  From the time he was 17 months old, he wouldn't just watch TV.  He watched TV and practiced throwing a ball.  Or he perfected his swing.  Or he pretended to run the bases.  In the house.  Right now he plays hockey in front of the TV.
We do our best to keep him involved in a sport or activity every season.  I know.  That sounds crazy, shuffling one of my four kids off to practices and games.  Especially when that involves getting all the other kids out of the house to get him where he needs to be.  It is crazy.  But Brian handles the practices, so I just have to worry about the games!
Sports keep him active, and they keep him interested in keeping his body healthy.  They teach him to work hard.  We're able to use them as a talking point about the healthy foods his body needs to play sports ("use it."  That doesn't mean it always works!) . It gives him a bit of a competitive drive (which is actually not something he lacks thanks to his genetic makeup), and he can harness his energy for good (sometimes)!
I always thought his interest in ice hockey would go away.
I was wrong.
He talks about it all the time.
You can't play ice hockey unless you can skate, so he started ice skating lessons last week.  It was absolutely crazy watching him skate across the ice.  It was also absolutely painful to watch him fall.  He spent the first 20 minutes falling and getting back up, and then finally was able to skate back and forth without falling!  I was so happy that he was able to skate, but I was proud of him for falling and getting back up over and over again.  What a lesson for a five year old to learn!
He's also playing basketball for the second time.  He loves it.
The dribbling.
Watching the clock run out.
And passing the ball.
He tends to use his "downtime" for one thing.
Cuddling with his baby sister.  She absolutely adores him. 
Probably because she likes to watch things that move really, really fast!