Friday, February 5, 2016

Our January

So, I had this great idea near the end of the holidays. As the new year approached, I decided that rather than posting monthly updates of my kids and random journal-y entries about our life, I would just do a monthly photo dump. I followed the blog for most of December and I liked the author's style. I accepted the fact that my blog is a family journal. A very public family journal (like 71toes). And I decided I'd write a monthly cap at the end of each month (like 71toes). 

And now I regret it. Talk about photo DUMP! I mean, it was nice to take a break from the constant blogging of my life. I still spend so much of my thought time drafting posts in my brain, telling myself I have to remember something so I can blog about it later. Really, what I probably need to do is just stop watching TV while I blog. I loathe my writing lately, and surely this failed effort at multi tasking is to blame (I'm currently watching the Bernie Madoff ABC special -- blowing my mind!!!). 

Anyway, here are the millions of pictures I took in January that I wanted to share. Little moments and big memorable events, all chronicled for your enjoyment. 

Week #2
(some memories and photos from week #1 can be found back here).

So many things I love about this photo. I love their friendship. I love his confidence (nay, excitement) while wearing a sparkly princess crown. I can't even remember now what those boxes were, their carriages maybe? I don't know. I just love how wild their imagination goes when they have an empty box, new stickers, and some crayons. I just love them both so much. 

(Post publication update: Oh my heck! I am just now remembering that Nell shoved one of those stickers up her nose while I was using the bathroom and Ben was sleeping in downstairs! How did I forget that? I heard Reid tell Nell she had a bloody nose, so she came in to show me and I immediately accused her of picking too hard. The tip of her finger was covered in blood, but her nose was barely running. Without a second thought -- and a lot of huffing -- she said "I'm trying to pick the sticker out." WHAT! "I wanted Coraline to think I am funny." Oh, this child of mine. I immediately woke Ben and he Doctored up and pulled it out. He put on his headlamp and used twizzers to remove it. Thankfully she held very still while I caressed her head and sang her Sunshine. We avoided some tears, but overall I think the experience cared her enough to avoid any future shove-stuff-up-my-nose-crisis (at least from this child). Okay, end of story)

And this little thing, she has gotten into so much mischief lately (see toilet paper pictures below). I think I have photos of each of my kids crawling through the legs of these chairs, scavenging crumbs. Poor little starving things. Check out those cheeks though!

Ah, a new year, a new me! Each week this month I've mapped out EVERY meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. I didn't always stick to each plan, but simply having the plan has made my life run more smoothly. I know what ingredients I have on hand, and I know I'm not just feeding my kids the same foods all the time. I almost always have fresh, raw fruits and veggies on hand, but now that I know they'll be up on the board each week I am sure to stock up when we make trips to the grocery store. 

So, this is embarrassing -- but has to be documented because it is so me! When I was a missionary in Malaysia eleven years ago I bought a few Chinese New Year decorations -- determined I'd celebrate the holiday back home in the states. The first year came and I probably forgot -- until a few days before. Other years I'd think, "oh, I'll wait till we have kids." One year I did put up half of them, but kept these last two little Chinese people. They literally cost me one American dollar, $1. And I've kept them all these years, flew them across the globe, moved them across the country and half way back. Ha, how ridiculous!

Anyway, Reid and Nell were happy to hang them in their room (the New Year is Feb 8th). They even named them Sean and Sharkle -- like sparkle with a "sh." The best part is, Reid always says "Sharkle is the girl because she has an owie on her head. Poor Nell and that permanent owie on her head!

Unfortunately, the very night we hung our two new friends on the wall, Coraline began the horrible week of sickies. More on that back here

We had a lot of time to lay low and snuggle and not nearly enough time to keep up with the laundry. 

Week #3

But soon enough this little girl was all smiles and all energy again. These photos of her have to be two of my favorites!

Or maybe these two are? I don't know. How do you choose when there is so much cuteness going around?!?!

Ripping TP is currently her favorite activity. Poor girl not only had her first bout with the throw ups, she also cut six new teeth, yes SIX new teeth, and had to battle two different ear infections this month. January is rough here in the arctic zone we lovingly call Wisconsin. 

This is just more of Reid's sporadic art time. I love how creative he gets. I suppose this also demonstrates how much we love empty boxes around here. That's Santa on his sleigh -- big bag of toys included. I was pretty impressed with his free style abilities. He later filled in all the Christmas lights along both sides. The box became Little Cubby's home for the remainder of the month. Little cubby is Reid's stuffed animal polar bear. Can I just keep Reid little forever?

And here's miss sass! This girl. "Mom, my face hurts! I need a band aid! Mom, I'm going to scream and be rotten until you put a Minion band aid on my face. Mom! Mom! Mom, I don't care if there is no blood, give me my band aid Mom!"

I tried to get her to check out a mirror and see how silly she looked. But she refused so I snapped that first tantrum filled picture, and once she realized I was ooh-ing and aww-ing over how stinking cute she is she put on a whole show and dance. 

Though you can barely see Coraline's hand in this photo, please note she was not happy about Nell wearing her jacket. She scooched across the floor as fast as she could, shouting "my, my, my, my." Once Nell surrendered the coat Coraline brought it to me and insisted I put it on. And so begins the battle of the sisters. Sigh.   

Okay, I just had to share one more because, seriously, so cute. 

I finally gave the Watson family (Ben's sis, hubby and child) their Christmas present. I've actually made a similar FHE kit for each of our big brothers' (families). And heads up Phil and Kristina, next time we have you guys this is what you are getting. Hands down the absolute most popular blog post I've ever written is Tell me the Stories of Jesus, so one day I'd like to get around to sharing each of these individual FHE lessons. But ... don't hold your breathe.

After fully recovering from the sickies, we finally made it down to Grandma and Grandpa Szilagyi's for some cousin time! I cleared it with the Doctor before we went. We'd been symptom free for over two days, so his advice was to practice proper hand washing and have a fun time with extended family (we were actually at the Doctor for Coraline's ear infection, but I figured I'd make it a twofer). I'm still bummed Ben missed out on quality time spent with two of his little sisters, but I'm very grateful we were able to go and enjoy ourselves for a couple of days. We arrived late Wednesday, and only had time to eat dinner and play for a bit before going to bed. The big kids were jazzed they got to sleep in a tent. 

I found a pile of old family photos that first night there and I couldn't help but snap a few classics. I've seen less than a dozen pictures of Ben's pre-tween years, so this was a special treat. 

Thursday Bizzie and I took the kids to the Children's museum in Rockford. I was amazed that Reid remembered so much of the area from last year's Easter visit . He was telling me all about the duck family we saw walking to the river, and when we got inside the Children's museum Nell asked me where the Dinosaurs were. Kids remember the darnedest things.  

We spent most our time at the museum playing house. Both my kids love that kind of imaginative play. The cousins spent most their time on a train. They were all so busy we really only had them playing together a few times. But this camping spot was Nell's favorite. She keeps asking when we are going to go back and go camping with her cousins. Reid's favorite part of the day was his pet bunny, Fluffy. Fluffy came with us to each and every activity center. Reid did actually put him back in the vet office at one point, but another kid came and found Reid at the baby center and delivered his pet back to him -- caged and all. So that sealed the deal and Fluffy and his cage stuck with us the rest of the day.

I love this action shot of them all dancing around.

I had originally planned on heading back Thursday night (because anytime I bed share with Coraline she gets this crazy idea that she can sleep with me every night until she's twenty), but we were having too much fun and I wanted my kids to enjoy their cousins for as long as possible. From the sounds of it, Friday morning was the biggest hit. There was so much giggling and screaming coming from inside that tent! 

Something not pictured, Reid and Jazella had a great time playing in the snow Thursday afternoon. Grandma went out with them for a bit too. Also, my kids were obsessed with Henry and wanted to sit by him wherever he went. Oh, and I can't forget how much Nell fell in love with Uncle Will -- or should I say Uncle Pill, as she lovingly called him. He was able to stop her tears better than I one time. 

We got back home just before dinner Friday and before you know it Reid and Ben were headed out on their first Father's son camp out. In order to console Nell we had to declare the evening "Princess night", make cookies, and sleep together in my bed. After five days of sickies, and three days of travel, I really didn't mind going to bed at 8:00.

Reid loved the camp out and was the youngest kid there. He stayed up until 11:30 and got to eat plenty of junk food. He also had his first introduction to minecraft and is now completely obsessed. When they got back home he was very particular about explaining the cabin they slept in. He had to give me every detail. He told me little of anything else, but I knew what was hanging on all those walls!

 Week #4

We spent much of the month turning our basement into a playroom. I should have taken before pictures, but I didn't. I love having a play room again. It is essential now that I've started watching a couple extra kids a few days each week. I took the above photos because I thought it was so interesting that my kids gravitated toward their gender specific toys the first afternoon we had it (mostly) set up.

For the most part, creating the play room just involved transferring items from one room to another. The only new item that was purchased for the play room was this kitchen set. Isn't it adorable! All three of my kids just love it. Whenever I start to walk Coraline down the stairs she starts jumping up and down in my arms, giggling with excitement. I love our new space and I hope it's novelty never wears off (ha!).

We still keep plenty of (baby friendly) toys upstairs. Not seen in this picture is Reid laying on the floor in front of her, playing with the other two dinosaurs. He was taking them in and out of a box, so she decided to mimic him by putting them in and out of my boots. It's been so fun to watch her start to act like a big kid this past month. She's just growing too fast and already wanting to do all the things big brother and sister do.

Like climb the stairs

She isn't walking yet but one day she decided to start climbing the stairs and not stop (she usually only goes up a few and then screams for me to come supervise). I didn't help her at all this particular time and captured the last half on video. I love that teethy little grin at the end!

Poor Nell was hit pretty hard with a head cold. Her fever spiked to 103.5 last Wednesday. I called the Dr and they wanted to check her for an ear infection. She didn't have one, just a really nasty fever that wiped her out for four days. Doesn't she look so miserable? She hardly moved this particular day. She didn't eat anything for the entirety of her fever. Well, that's not true, but the few things she tried to eat very quickly resurfaced. After experiencing that more than two times she stopped asking for food and I stopped trying to give it to her. Eventually we realized a few apple slices could stay down. Over the course of a three day period all she ate was an apple and a yogurt cup. Poor girl.

If there is ever a spare article of clothing lying around the house Coraline tries to put it on herself. She screams and hollers until I'll come help, and then the moment it is on she screams and hollers until I take it off. I actually find this little habit quite entertaining. She puts so much thought and effort into getting everything over her head, and she seems genuinely confused when it just drapes her neck across the shoulders.

Reid's preschool spent a week (or two) learning about Penguins. One day the teacher sent home a note asking all the boys and girls to wear black and white the following day so that they could act out a penguin play. Because we take dress ups so seriously in this house, we had to cut out and tape on a belly! He looked so adorable when he came home accessorized with that hat! I just loved my little Penguin.

The next morning he and his dad went ice fishing for the first time (for either of them). Ben sent me a photo of Reid just rolling around on top of the frozen lake, and I knew he was in heaven. This boy was made for Wisconsin winters.

Also worthy of note, that was the first morning since Tuesday that Nell woke up without a fever. She'd been sleeping with me since Wednesday night, so we were both ready to celebrate this big improvement. Her appetite still hadn't returned, but her mood was much improved. 

On Sunday Ben chose one of my old baby dresses for Loubee Du. I tried to get a good photo of my baby looking like me as a baby (fingers in mouth) to send to my folks, but this was just about the best we got. 

However, during our Primary Singing Time I captured this great shot of Jonah, who came to visit us via our awesome time machine. Isn't our song leader the greatest?

We were suppose to ask him questions about his experience as an ancient prophet, but he mostly just giggled and tried to keep his beard up the entire time. 

Anyway, now that it's taken me more than three sittings (across a 24 hour period) to pump this post out, I'm headed to bed! Yeah, not sure I'll be doing monthly recaps anymore. How is it that after 8 years of blogging, I'm still trying to figure out my style? 

1 comment:

Pa said...

Loved the pictures and stories: Reid in his princess crown, Nell and the nose sticker and Coraline and her TP. Thanks for sharing.

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