Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Break recap

Monday. It's dreaded for different reasons at different stages of life. When in school I had to get myself psyched up to go to classes after two blissful days of rest. When I was working I had to get myself back in the groove of completing tasks and attending meetings. Since I've been staying home with the kiddos I have to get myself ready to go solo for the majority of the day and the attitude changes that occur in my children when daddy isn't around after a couple days with him here. I still don't understand that phenomenon. Now that I have one in school I have to actually make myself look human and leave the house!

Spring break was a nice break from loading the kiddos up twice a day for school drop off and bus pick up. I was hoping to use the break to gently ease Aurelia in to a different nap routine that jived with Malakai's drop off and pick up times...but that didn't happen in the slightest. She barely napped at all actually. 

We took some time to play outside a little longer than usual. We took a trip to the library to stock up on new reading material. We watched tv before lunch (our usual rule is no screen time until after school). I even went out on the town on a weeknight with just Aurelia and hosted an essential oils class!

On Friday Ben took a day off and we headed to the coast, which was a bit windy but not too bad for Oregon in the spring. The boys have been asking to go to the beach for weeks. My mom came with us (it was her idea to go in the first place actually!). We had coffee at our favorite place, visited with my grandparents, and spent some time on the beach. 

{4 generations}

{attempting an aloof model pose. ridiculous}

{a little better, but they didn't want to stop playing to pose}

Ben played with the boys, my mom took pictures and I huddled up to shield Aurelia from the wind while she dug her toes in the sand for the first time and we watched the boys dig. It was a whirlwind trip but a much needed little getaway. 

The rest of the weekend we spent getting things done around the house/to the car and getting rest for two of the kiddos with colds. By the time we went to bed last night all of the clean laundry was actually folded and put away. I can't remember the last time that happened!

Now today, back to the routine of getting barely anything done before the day is coming to a close. Keeping up with our schedules and the chaos that comes from trying to have a schedule with 3 small children. But I love it. I'll be a little sad when our next break gets here and Malakai will have finished his first year of school, all the kiddos will be a little closer to their first/next birthdays, and our summer will go by in a blur of celebrations as it always does. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Aurelia Ann: 6 months

Aurelia crossed the half year mark earlier this month and I'm being a total sap about it. She's our last baby and I am soaking in every single minute of her babyness. I'm mourning that fact that the little baby days are gone. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying each new stage as it comes.

Right now Aurelia is an expert roller. She loves tummy time except when she's tired- she'll plant her face down into her hands and fuss until she's picked up. Since she started rolling we haven't been sleeping that well as she wakes frequently and is struggling to get back to sleep because she just wants to roll around or if it's in the middle of the night she thinks she needs to nurse. 

She is the smiliest baby I've ever met. She smiles almost immediately when anyone looks her way. My favorite smiles are when she's so happy that her little body can hardly contain the joy and she stiffens up and wiggles all over with excitement. She does this a lot for her daddy and her brothers. She loves to watch Malakai and Desmond play and they love to perform for her. I hope that lasts forever, it's so sweet to witness.

She recently went through a phase where she wouldn't let me put her down without a fuss. It lasted about 2 weeks and I'm so thankful for the Ergo carrier we were gifted a few years ago, total life saver...or at least arm saver. My big girl is growing fast!

We had her well check last week and she is weighing 17 lbs, 8 ounces and is 26 1/4 inches tall and believe it or not, that makes her our smallest baby at this stage. Malakai was 20lbs 28 inches and Desmond was 22lbs, 22 inches tall by 6 months. Sometimes I feel like she outgrows clothing faster than they did, but now I'm just realizing it's probably because she has more clothing than they did at this stage so we end up with outfits that I set aside or forgot about that she'll wear once or not at all. I've since gotten better at breaking out the next size so it's ready and waiting by the time she's grown into it.

Aurelia has been loving her jumper that we just broke out a month ago and she also sits in a high chair at the table with us now. She tasted her first food last week at dinner, mashed up avocado. She made a few questionable faces, but ate it up pretty easily! We gave her pureed carrots this week and she always makes a funny face at first but then eats it up like a pro!

I can hardly believe how quickly she's grown. I miss the tiny baby stage but am loving this interactive stage of watching her learn as well. She's developing such a sweet personality. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Malakai: 5 1/2

I haven't posted an update on Malakai since he started school (he already looks so much older!). I remember when he was just a baby I would do monthly updates on what he was learning and how he was developing. Obviously additional kiddos and other life changes keep me from blogging as much as I did those days, but I want to be sure to document their milestones as much as I can.

Malakai technically turned 5 1/2 in January. These photos were taken December 30th (by b.lovely photography). Since then he has lost his bottom two front teeth and has another loose one!

The biggest leap Malakai has made in the last few months is in reading. He had some sight words down before starting Kindergarten and as soon as he started school more concepts just started to click. He is so very interested in school that for a while he would do his nightly homework sheet and then make up additional "homework" for himself. At one point he was getting pretty burnt out and frustrated and we had to talk about taking a break from "school work" to make sure he was playing!

A few months ago I grabbed The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverley Cleary to read aloud to Malakai and Desmond. Malakai would constantly beg to read it himself, and I would remind him that it's good for him to be read to as well. Plus, there were quite a few longer and more difficult words and concepts in the book so I didn't want to induce any additional frustrations. Once we finished it I handed it to him and said he could read it if he wanted. He devoured the entire book (13 chapeters, 158 pages with a few small pictures here and there) in 2 days time. What surprised me the most was that when he comes to a big word that he doesn't know immediately he sounds it out as best he can and just keeps on going. What truly blew me away was when I handed him the next book, Ralph S. Mouse, without pre-reading it to him and he finished it even faster. Same number of pages, and he could recount the story to me. Words can't express how proud I am that he is reading so fluently and comprehending it all as well! I'm so glad he can read to himself whenever he wants, it's the perfect outlet when he's feeling more introverted.

His social skills are certainly maturing and he's picking up on subtle cues, some good...some not so great. There are moments when he'll say something to me with an impatient attitude and that just does not work for me! We've had more talks recently about how to speak respectfully and make sure that we are kind and treating people how we would want them to treat us. I can hardly believe I'm already into this stage of parenting, it's so fun but it's so much more complicated!

When it comes to his siblings, he is definitely the rule keeper. He surely matches all the tendencies of an oldest child. He and Desmond are the best of friends but can also fight pretty easily...brothers. When it comes to Aurelia he just can't get enough. His face lights up to see her when she wakes up in the morning and when he's home from school. He loves to hold her and play with her and if he finds a way to make her laugh he won't stop performing for her.

Malakai and Ben are such a sweet pair. Malakai loves to help out and beams if he ever gets the chance to work on a project with daddy or spend special one on one time with him. He loves to help in the yard or with putting things together, like a piece of furniture or a new toy.

I'm cherishing that he is still little enough to snuggle up with me on the couch and read together or to needs and want a hug or a kiss when he's hurt, sad, and before bed.

All in all my Malakai has such a sweet heart and is so good natured. I'm totally blessed by him and so proud to be his mama.

>>all photos by the talented b.lovely photography<<

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