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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This family is super cute.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

P is five months old!

At the beginning of the year, I committed myself to taking more self portraits.  I hope that doesn't make me a complete narcissist.  It's an interesting, fun challenge for me.  I took the photo to the right in March when I was 34 weeks pregnant.  I took the second photo on the left yesterday with the help of my handy ring sling.  P is almost five months old.  
At 5 months, she is rolling over both ways and getting her chubby knees up under her bottom in crawling position.  She is eager to grab toys, and is starting to work to move herself towards a toy out of reach.  She coos and smiles at me all day.  On very special occasions she gives us a giggle.  She's stingy with those, though.  She is sleeping from 12-6 at night without interruption.  Upon returning from Florida last week, I started putting her in her crib at night (which is in our room).  The co-sleeper went up in the attic.  I'm hoping a niece or nephew will get to use it, but it will likely never be beside my bed again.  
She's eating rice cereal once a day, and is nursing is going well.  She dropped from 50% to 25% in weight at her last appointment.  I'm not worried, though.  My milk supply seems good and she always seems satisfied.  
I wanted to document what it is to nurse a baby at this age.  She uses her free little hand to grab my necklace, hair, and lip.  If I try to keep her hand at her side, she gets frustrated.  It's sweet and maddening all at the same time.  Sometimes (99.9% of the time) I just want my face to be left alone.  But, usually, she gets her way and puts her little fingers in my mouth so I can nibble on them.  It's weird but not unusual.  Her siblings did the same thing, and I'm guessing most babies do.
Stephen is looking into getting a vasectomy.  One hot August evening when I was nine months pregnant with Maggie, I rolled over and sighed.  I must have sounded miserable because Stephen said, "Melissa, I'll get a vasectomy."  That made me laugh.  I've told him it's his choice.  If I happen to die and he marries another lady, would he want to have kids with her?  I guess his answer is no because he is proceeding towards surgery. 
 A long time ago, we decided on five kids.  It breaks my heart just a bit to never use the name Ulysses.  If I was guaranteed a boy next time, I might be tempted to have another one.  But nothing is guaranteed and so we are content to stop at five.  
Maggie wanted her picture taken, too.  It was bunny's birthday.   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Julian is 7!

So this kid turned seven.

He and his cousin Gabe are still best buds. They keep saying they plan to live together when they get older. He has a best bud at school now, too, named Leo. He also seems to really like his siblings, or maybe he just relies on them for entertainment. The other day we went to the YMCA. While D'arcy was in her tumbling class, Julian played on the indoor playground. The younger kids weren't around because they had fevers. Julian just sat there saying, "It's no fun without Schroeder."

He's a pretty reluctant kid. He knows how to swim, but refuses to without floaties. He knows how to ride his bike, but prefers to ride the one with training wheels which I've been trying to give to Schroeder. I finally put him in swim lessons so he can gain confidence. I'm trying to strike a balance between letting him do things at his own pace and demanding that he try it AND like it. Remember, I've never parented a reluctant kid. D'arcy is the opposite. I was proud of myself. We went to Disney World last week. I encouraged him to ride Splash Mountain. He doesn't like roller coasters or anything with too big of a drop. I'd never been on Splash Mountain, but for gosh sake, it's just a log flume! How bad could it be? He trusted me, went, and liked it! Two years ago, I probably would have tricked him into going on Space Mountain because, really, how bad could it be? I'm glad I've earned and deserve his trust.

I got an email from his teacher today saying he is a smart kid but a lazy learner. He told her he likes video games more than reading. We are working on creating a better reading routine. Two years ago, he wouldn't even pick up a crayon. He hated drawing, but we overcame that. I'm hopeful.

He played football last spring. He ended up playing center most often. After he hiked the ball, he would stay in a the same triangular position (head on the ground, feet on the ground, butt in the air) until the play was complete. I never want to forget that.

I've tried to start singing to him to help wake him up in the morning. Well, only if my first, "JULIAN GET UP!!!" doesn't work. Neither of us are morning people. I sing things like Zippidy Do Da! It usually makes him laugh. Our mornings have greatly improved.

It's getting cold outside. He was getting dressed yesterday and said, "All my pants are short sleeved!" Do you mean that you can only find shorts in your closet. Yes. This made me laugh.

When we were on the way to Disney World, he rode with my parents. At each stop, he would run up and say hi and give me a hug. He does the same thing if I come to school. He's a pretty cuddly, affectionate kid which I like.

He really loves his baby sister. He always has a kiss for her. It's fun to see him take joy in watching her grow.

Julian has such big eyes. The get bigger when he's excited and smaller when he's angry. When I think of him, I think of those eyes. He has the tiniest bit of brown in his blue eyes really close to the pupil. I thought brown eyes were dominant, but that's the only brown I was able to pass down. That brown makes me happy.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We were on our way to Animal Kingdom!

This is our first Clark family vacation. We take a vacation with Stephen's family almost every year and it definitely looks different. I'll leave it at that. Notice that everyone seems happy to be having a picture taken besides most of my kids on the left.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

These were taken a month ago.

She is four months old now, but these were taken at the beginning of September.  She was already rolling over, grabbing objects (and hair and necklaces and mouths).  When she nurses, she, like her siblings, grabs my bottom lip.  I'm trying not to let it annoy me.  You can see her grabbing her feet in one of the shots.  
She's all eyes and ears.  Her face works now so it doesn't feel like she is weirdly staring at you.  Instead she smiles and coos and lets you know that she likes you.  She's even giggled a time or two.  None of my babies have giggled a lot.  Such a shame because that sound is straight from heaven.  
I switched to G diapers in late August.  I read this book called  7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  She has a chapter for clothes, spending, waste, stress, media, possessions, and food.  I'm trying to make a tangible response to each chapter.  G diapers is my response to the waste chapter.  I can't commit to washing cloth diapers, but I can commit to washing the covers and liners with our regular clothes.  The diaper inserts are compostable (the wet ones), biodegradable, and flushable.  They are slightly more expensive, and a little more hassle.  But I'm taking responsibility for my trash.  I'm trying not to add to the enormous pile of plastic diapers that our family has already used sitting in some landfill for the next 100+ years.  
I just scored two new diaper covers for 1/3 of the original price on craigslist plus they were right here in Fountain Square.  That deal totally made my day.