Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We had a great Christmas this year! We got our tree a couple days after Thanksgiving. We found a gorgeous one!

We ❤ Christmas trees!!

I had so much fun decorating our new house for Christmas! I splurged for some new tree decorations and got to hang up the stockings I made last year. Everything looked so pretty!

Some of the decorations in our family room.

The weekend before Christmas we celebrated with my family in Napoleon! We had a great (too short) visit. These kids are so lucky to celebrate Christmas so many times!

My dad, Cece, and I made molasses sugar cookies from my Grandma's recipe. The. Best.

My brother Andy and his fiancee were home from Texas! I wish we could have visited with them longer, but we had a good time.

The following week was Nathan's busiest week of the year at work, so he had to spend most of his time there. The kids and I were able to spend more time with his family and make cookies with friends.

Nathan's parents wanted to wait until Jonathan's family was in town to get their tree, so we ended up going two days before Christmas... but the tree farm Larry had scoped out was closed for the season! After a couple phone calls to the owner, we ended up slipping money under the door and getting our tree. Whew!

Our family Sunday Morning (Christmas Eve).

We decorated cookies on Christmas Eve, as well as opening one gift each in the evening.  Nathan and I usually open our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve after the kids are in bed so we can have a special time together. I planned a year of dates for Nathan, and he got me an Amazon Echo and a robot vacuum!

My beautiful children on Christmas morning :)  We had the kids open their gifts at home before we headed over to celebrate with Nathan's family.

One of the things we got the kids for Christmas was a hamster. Cece especially had been talking about wanting a pet a lot, and this one is SO cute. She's really sweet and the kids are doing well with her. We named her Dandelion (Dandy for short).

Allie brought a special Christmas book to read to all the kids.

We spent the next couple days spending time with Nathan's family and had a wonderful time. It really was such a nice Christmas.

In the evening of Christmas day when we got home, I noticed that the fireplace grate was askew and open. I mentioned it to the kids and they found a shiny wrapped present in the fireplace! Nathan had sneekily bought them a Nintendo Switch (through some crazy combination of gift cards and monetary gifts he only spent like $30 out of pocket!?!). It was SO exciting and special for them.

To finish out our holiday craziness, we stopped off at my parents' house for a couple days before heading up to Michigan to celebrate New Year's with our college friends. We are so blessed to have these beautiful people as our lifelong friends.

What a great blessing we have in our family, friends, and special celebrations!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hazel: 9 months

This beauty is 3/4 of a year old already! What?! I took all the kids' pictures in the leaves, but Hazel wasn't into it. Next year!

Although she eats more than anyone else in the house, it doesn't show. Here are the stats:

Height: 2'2" (5th percentile)
Weight: 14 lbs 7 oz (3rd percentile)
Head: 18.11" (95th percentile)

I swear that her head does not look in-proportionately large!! But it has been consistently huge the last three checkups, sooo...

Hazel has really taken off crawling and sitting up and pulling herself up to stand! She's really getting around!

Hazel enjoyed her first Christmas tree! She did really well not messing with it until the last week or so before Christmas, when she decided that pulling stuff off the tree was super fun. She really did better than I expected, though.

Hazel's move into Cece's room went great! Cece sleeps like a brick, so any crying Hazel does isn't a problem (amazing). Cece has even sung to Hazel and helped calm her down occasionally, which is incredibly sweet. The only problems we have are if Cece throws a fit at bedtime (Hazel will then flip out), and in the mornings the other kids are loud and wake Hazel up. But all in all, I am very pleased that Hazel is sleeping through the night and that Nathan and I have our room back! It looks huge without a pack n play in it! I took the picture of the girls' room because it will never be that clean again. See how cute?!

Big girl has been enjoying baths in the tub instead of in the sink (...'cause my sink is for holding dirty dishes). It makes me nervous because she is prone to slip and fall over and I don't want her to drown!! I'm always right there, of course, but it freaks me out! But Hazel absolutely loves splashing and playing in the bath.

We had a mishap this month and Hazel's foot got hurt in the car door :( It was so scary, but we had it x-rayed and she never complained about it or acted like it hurt, so I guess there was no real damage done (just a nasty bruise). Of course we felt absolutely awful and tears were shed, but, unfortunately, accidents happen. We are SO glad she is completely healed up and fine now!!

These kids all LOVE their baby sister. She has no shortage of playmates and affection, and I appreciate all my helpers! Hazel brings us so much joy.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Orion's 8th birthday

My firstborn is eight years old! Wow! He is getting SO big and is learning and growing so much. He is such a special kid and we are lucky to have him.

What he's up to and into:

-Orion has always loved and continues to love video games and all things technology related. Right now he's most into playing a racing game we recently bought. On TV he loves watching video game playthroughs and other video game shows.
-He continues to excel at reading and is doing well in all of his school subjects. He is able to do most of his school work himself. He's learning cursive right now and I'm very impressed!
-Orion really loves Hazel and is helpful in keeping her out of trouble. He loves to give her kisses.
-All of the kids have continued with Tae Kwon Do, and Orion has his orange belt. Sometimes he talks about playing soccer, but we haven't done so in a long time!
-Orion reads all the time. His favorites are nonfiction (cars, science) and comic books (Calvin and Hobbes, Captain Underpants). He almost always brings a book to the table when he eats, except at dinner when he's not allowed. We've actually banned books from his bedroom because he used to wake up all hours of the night and read by nightlight!
-He randomly gives me hugs and kisses or winks at me from across a room. I love it.
-Orion got to play Pope Leo X in our church's Reformation Day (500th anniversary) Play.
-He loves to whistle and sing and listen to loud music.

Orion has been very into Minecraft lately, so we went with that theme for his party! We were lucky enough to have both sets of his grandparents here to celebrate with us!

The day before his birthday, we drove to Columbus to visit Allie (Nathan's sister), Joran, and Josiah. We had a super nice visit with them, and we were even treated to donuts to celebrate the birthday boys- Joran and Orion share a birthday :)

On the day of his birthday, we had a couple of Orion and Desy's friends over to spend the afternoon and play at our house. They had a great time!

Our birthday interview (done a couple months late):

What's your name? Orion
What day is your birthday? November 19th
How old are you? 8
What's your favorite color? Blue
Favorite number?10,000
Favorite letter? Z
Favorite shape? Circle
Favorite food? I would say French fries and chicken nuggets because it's really good
Favorite candy? Warheads chewy cubes
Favorite game? Forza Horizon 2
Favorite movie? Stay Wars
Favorite TV show? Video game videos
Favorite book: I'd say Calvin and Hobbes
What do you want to be when you grow up? A movie artist
What is your Daddy's job? Working at the Salvation Army office
What is Mama's job? To watch us. 
Favorite place to go? The Farmersville pool
Favorite restaurant? I like McDonald's because it sells that Coke Zero
Favorite animal? I'd say a Tiger
Do have brothers or sisters? Yes
Any pets? Two. Yes.
Favorite song? Vincent
Favorite ice cream flavor? Salted caramel truffle
Who is your best friend? Kylie Vaughn
Favorite cereal? Reece's Puffs
Favorite thing to do outside? Use my helicopter
Favorite drink? Coke Zero
What toys do you like to take to bed with you? Anything, I don't care.
What's your favorite holiday? Halloween
What are you good at? Racing video games
Who is the coolest person ever? Jesus
Favorite toy? The Switch
What makes you happy? Playing Forza
What makes you sad? I don't really feel good when everyone ignores me
What are you scared of? Tornados
What's your super power? Fast running

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hazel: 8 months

I went to catch up on blogging and found this already completed post that I forgot to post. Oops. So here ya go.

How time does fly! Eight months! I would say Hazel is getting big, but, true to Lambes form, she is a peanut. Hazel weighs somewhere around 13 lbs (according to our home scale) and is still in 0-3 month clothes. Ha! Despite that, she's happy, healthy, and developmentally on track.

She's eating three meals a day and nursing 3-4 times. She eats a TON of solid food... I honestly don't know how her stomach holds it all. She was really into Baby MumMums and Puffs for a few weeks, but she seems to be over it now. I think she's figured out that they're not real food...

This girl is a-movin'! She mostly army crawls, but sometimes crawls on her hands and knees. She's into everything, and I have to constantly be on the lookout for little things on the floor that she could choke on. Dead leaves that get tracked in are particularly enticing. 

Hazel pulled herself up to standing for the first time this month! I packed up the co-sleeper right after taking this picture and pulled out the big pack and play. She seems too teeny to be standing up!

She's also sitting up really well now. I finally feel comfortable setting her on the floor without surrounding her with pillows to prevent a head bonk. She still spends most of her time on her belly.

She's very popular among her siblings. Orion and Desy have decided they like to carry her around the house, and they've been helpful keeping her out of trouble. 

Hazel still sucks her thumb when she's sleepy :) It's adorable. Hazel has been going down for naps really well for a long time (lay her down and leave- she goes to sleep on her own), but she was getting up 3 or 4 times a night to nurse until last week. I finally got up the gumption to do night time sleep training. I was ready for the worst... but it was SO easy! She cried only a little the first night, and I haven't heard a peep out of her at night since. I guess she was ready!! YAY SLEEP!!! I'm hoping to move her in with Cece soon!

Her hair is kind of a dark blonde/light brown and her eyes are undecided. Right now they're brown in the middle and dark blue on the outside. We're still rooting for hazel... for obvious reasons. But whatever... have you ever seen a child so cute?!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hazel: 7 months old

Hazel has been keeping busy and learning new things every day!!

She has been enjoying tastes of food for a while, but this month she started eating full meals of solid food. She has made some funny faces at some tastes, but so far she hasn't turned anything down. I never made much baby food for the other kids, but I decided to give it a go this time, and I guess it must have turned out pretty ok!

She has teeth! It's amazing how quickly teeth erupt once you can see them under the gums. She was a bit extra fussy for a couple days, but was back to her fussy self once it was out. She got two teeth within a week (once right before the 7 month mark and once right after).

This month Hazel started army crawling/squirming to get where she wants to go! She can make it across an entire room if she's motivated.

She loves to stick out her tongue. As you can see.

Hazel remains a great joy in our lives! If anyone thinks four kids is too many, they clearly don't have a Hazel.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hazel: 6 months old

Look at this happy girl! What a joy. We have so much fun talking and playing with this sweet girl. She likes to roll and scootch her way around the floor and chew on all of the things. 

Her eyes are definitely brown in the middle, but still blue on the outsides for now. Her hair has gotten lighter but is still darker than the other kids'. No teeth yet. 

We went to Whit's Frozen Custard on her half birthday. She loved it, of course. She grabbed the custard when I was taking this picture!

Here are the stats: 
Height: 26" (54%)
Weight: 12 lbs 12 oz (3%)
Head: 17.22" (88%)

So maybe she should eat more ice cream? Haha, par for the course. Hazel has definitely become interested in "big people food" and devours bites of whatever we give her. I made and froze a ton of baby food (butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, carrots), but we haven't fed her much of it yet. We need to bring the high chair home. 

Hazel's favorite activities include dumping out the diaper basket all over the floor, chewing on anything she can find, getting stuck under the couch, eating, riding in the car, scratching my face, "talking," watching her siblings run around like crazy people, and sucking her thumb.

She falls asleep on her own for naps and bed time. She generally takes about three naps a day, and it's  a struggle to keep the other kids quiet. Right now she is getting up about three times a night to nurse. Thankfully, she falls right back to sleep when I lay her down, but I think overnight sleep training is in the near future. Remember when she used to sleep through the night when she was two or three months old??

Hazel isn't crawling yet, but gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. She's not sitting up on her own yet either. Both are right around the corner!! Wow!

Hazel: 5 months old

Month 5 was a very big one for this very tiny girl! She became a master roller and really started figuring out how to get where she wanted to go. We stopped swaddling her at night because of that, and she did well with the transition.

Hazel had some really rough days where she was fighting sleep HARD and was just generally cranky and tense, so I did some sleep training with her and it made a world of difference. She was physically so much more relaxed after getting good naps for a day (Really. It was striking.). It took about two days of CIO when I laid her down to sleep for naps and bedtime before she really caught on, but it is fabulous to be able to sing her a song (You Are My Sunshine), lay her down, and walk away. It's definitely a great benefit to her as well.

After about a month of using her pacifier, Hazel ditched it in favor of her thumb when we did sleep training! She's our first thumb sucker! It's suuuuper cute, though I know it'll be a challenge later on when she needs to quit! I love it for now :)

Hazel loves her daddy. And everyone. She's a very popular girl.