Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring break '13

Well, it's not feeling very much like spring around here.  But Ethie (excuse me, now he insists on me calling him "Ethan," sad) was out of school for a whole week and a day, so we had to do something fun!  Plus I figured this is probably the last fun little trip we will take as a family of 4 (since Ethie will be in Ohio in June and baby comes in July)!  

I looked around online and asked people and it seems like the favorite place to go around here that's not too far is Branson, MO.  I kind of thought Branson was only for older folk to go watch some singing and dancing, but it was the perfect place for our little family getaway!  I found this place 

and with the spring break package, we got 2 nights at the inn, unlimited access to the indoor waterpark and pool, blacklight mini-golf, arcade spending money, 2 pizzas, and tickets to 2 shows!  It was perfect because it was a super cold weekend, but everything was located right around the inn, so we didn't have to go very far.  And we were constantly doing something!

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures because we were so busy having fun (so I guess that's a good thing :) .  Ethan's favorite was the indoor waterpark, especially playing water basketball with James.  Lilah loved going down the little waterslide on her tummy (over and over and over).  One night they had a family party at the arcade, so we stayed up with the kids til midnight, playing games and eating treats.  It was definitely vacation!
The favorite arcade prize...

I think because the shows were right at the inn, I expected them to be a little bit *lame*.  I made reservations for the "Comedy Jamboree" and "Amazing Pets Show" and they were awesome!!!  The comedy show was actually hilarious (although I seem to think everything's hilarious when I'm pregnant).  There were skits, audience participation, and even a non-funny group of singers.  It gave us a taste of what Branson is famous for and the kids even loved it too.  The pet show was their favorite, of course, and fun to watch with them!
Waiting for the show to start!

The only picture of the 4 of us together

We also managed to visit the outlet stores and some local restaurants.  It was such a happy weekend with my family, with nothing to do but just have fun together!  Now back to reality...
My funny little cuties

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet love

I went to check on Lilah last night and she wasn't in her bed.  I found her snuggled up with Ethie in his little twin bed.

This has actually happened a lot lately and it makes my heart  melt every time.  To think that Lilah would want to be close to Ethie and that she feels safe and happy with him, and that he likes her to sleep with him even though she "kicks a lot and pushes me off the bed sometimes" (Ethie's words, haha :)

Those two have gotten so close lately, I think because Lilah has gotten older and can play more.  Lilah wants to do everything Ethie does, just like he does it.  She follows him around and copies him and he loves it :)  She's started singing "Here comes the boom" and "Gangnam style" (with revised lyrics) just like E does and it cracks us up.
She had to pose like E
Monkey see...

Monkey do!

My favorite thing is when Ethie reads to Lilah.  He loves to read and she loves to be read to, so this is a perfect combination.  Lots of times when I'm trying to make dinner or do something, I ask him to read to her and he is so sweet about it.

  They also love to wrestle and chase each other lately.  It makes me nervous because someone usually gets hurt, but they love it and Lilah thinks Ethie is hilarious.  I guess it's what siblings do :)

 They basically have just become very good friends.  They love to play games together and Ethie is good about helping Lilah.  They hold hands when we go somewhere, which makes life so much easier for me!  Ethie helps Lilah say prayers, takes her to her nursery class, and makes sure she gets treats when he does.  Lilah gets very worried when Ethie is upset and waits all day for him to come home from school! 

They are so blessed to have each other!
Being cute at the zoo

One more story about my sweet kids...  The other day when I picked Ethie up from school, I could tell right away that it had been a hard day.  He seemed grumpy and told me that he had gotten a "yellow" in his class.  He immediately asked if he could play with his friends and when I asked him what our rule was (no friends for yellow), he flipped out.  He doesn't have temper tantrums like he used to, but they still happen once in a while and this was a royal one.  He was kicking the seats, banging the windows, screaming, etc.  I was trying to ignore him and get home so I could help him, and he wouldn't listen to anything I had to say anyway.  He was in his out of control place and I know that I can't get through to that until he calms down. 

After about 15 minutes of this, Lilah was very concerned and reached out her hand to touch him.  He was still flailing and he kicked her hand.  I saw her face in the rearview and she looked totally shocked.  And then she started crying, I think mostly because it hurt her feelings.  All of a sudden, I felt Ethie get still and quiet.  I looked in the mirror and saw him watch her crying.  I could see him totally change and his heart soften.  He quickly reached out his hand to her and rubbed her arm.  Then he leaned over and whispered to her that he was sorry and he would never hurt her and he loved her.  He kept rubbing her arm and whispering in her ear until she calmed down and looked at him.  Then they held hands in silence the rest of the way home.

It was so powerful to me because since Ethie was little, I have struggled to reach him and help him when he is angry.  I usually feel totally helpless and have to just let him get it out of his system, which is so hard to watch.  It was so incredible to see him instantly soften and regain control when he realized that he had hurt his little sister.  He loves her so much and that love is stronger than his anger.  I was so thankful at that moment that they are in each others lives because I know Ethan needs Lilah and she needs him, and they were meant to be siblings.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Lilah, 2 1/2

This little girl.
A classic Lilah outfit, hair, and face :)

She is at such a fun age, learning and changing so much every day!  She makes me laugh all the time with the surprising things she says and many cute expressions she has.  She is definitely full of personality and such a lively little person!

Lilah is a nurturer.  At most times, she has at least one of her many animals in her arms.  Her favorite are her kitties and monkeys.  She spends lots of time dressing them, reading to them, feeding them, talking to them, etc.  If I give her a drink or snack, she makes sure to share with her "kids." 
She lined all her babies up and covered them with a blanket.
She loves to play "storytime" (see above picture).  I've been taking her and Caylee (the little girl I watch) to storytimes at the many libraries around here and lately she loves to pretend that she is leading the storytime.  We do the hello song, then she reads us a book, then we do an action song and the goodbye song.  It's very cute, even if we sing that darn hello song 100 times a day.

She loves loves loves to sing.  When she is happy or excited, you can tell because she is hopping around and singing.  She makes up words and songs and also sings her favorites, "Twinkle Star," "Row Your Boat," "ABCs," "I Am a Child of God," or "Jesus Loves Me."  Her little voice gets so high, it's amazing!

She is a fashionista!  Our house is constantly littered with clothes, because she is constantly changing her clothes!  It is pretty ridiculous.  Her favorites are jammies and swimsuits.  Yesterday she came out with a jammy top, swimsuit skirt over leggings, rainboots, a Christmas lights necklace, and 3 headbands on her head.  She will wear that for a while and then spot something else she wants to wear and start all over again.  She also loves to change undies, just because she loves her monkey and princess undies :)  Also, many times she forgets to put on a top or bottoms, so she is half-naked in many of my pictures.  Oh, well.

She loves to talk, even though she is still pretty timid around new people.  She likes to tell "stories" with lots of hand gestures and some made-up words (and gets pretty upset if you don't listen to the whole thing.)  She just started using the word "actually" and it's awesome.

She loves her daddy.  She is usually a mommy's girl when she gets hurt or needs something, but she gets so excited when James get home every day and she loves to play with him!

 She also loves her new pink bedroom and the jacuzzi tub :)

And I think her brother is her favorite person, but there are too many wonderful pictures of them together for this post...

We love our little 2 1/2 year-old!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Our Ethan, 7 1/2

Our Ethie-man is such a fun kid!  He makes friends so easily, and already has a ton of friends in our new neighborhood.  We kept him at the same school (25 min away!) because he's done well this year and has a really nice teacher that he likes.  And the school counselor and administration are wonderful and really want to help him, which makes a huge difference.  He really struggled at school last year, so it's wonderful to see him happy and thriving!  He still has his occasional difficulties, but he is always so happy when he gets a "green," which has happened a lot this year.  So proud of our Ethan!
Classic Ethan face, haha :)

He played basketball this season and was happy running around and blocking.  He is definitely a "defense" kid!  

He is loving his new room (pictures to come) and the jacuzzi tub... 

He loves to ride his scooter and bike around the neighborhood, visiting new friends and making more new friends along the way!  That's our Ethie.

He loves to play football video games and practice basketball with James, which they like to do after dinner.

He loves legos and knex and he's amazingly good at following instructions and building things!

He loves to read, mostly "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," "Geronimo Stilton," "Captain Underpants," or "Goosebumps" books.  He usually reads in his bed at night with a headlight until he falls asleep.

He is very helpful around the house and earns his allowance by folding his laundry, putting away silverware, setting the table, vacuuming, or whatever else we can think of!

Also, he's been saying "For heaven's snakes" lately, which is just about the cutest thing ever.

We love our 7 1/2 year-old!  

Our baby!

This is our baby at 21 weeks!  James (jokingly) said that people are going to think we are primitive for showing off 2D pictures of the baby, but I still think it's fun to see the little profile!  And the little hand up by the face, if you can't tell :)  Everything looked good with the baby and it's growing right on schedule, so that is happy news!!!     

My amniotic fluid levels were pretty low at this scan, so my midwife is having me drink a gallon of water a day and rest on my left side as much as possible (which is not super easy when I'm walking to the bathroom every other minute and trying to help my little Lilah).  We have a follow-up ultrasound Monday to make sure things are okay, so I'm hoping I was just dehydrated and it will resolve itself.  

For today, resting gives me a chance to blog a little bit!  I want to catch up on our other kids, because they are just so stinking cute...