Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Proof

Edith had her 4 month appointment yesterday. The doctor says she's just perfect and couldn't stop laughing over her size. I don't really think she looks that big, but I guess maybe I'm just used to her. Plus, both Pen and Big were quite a bit heavier at this point. And Edith only weighs 4 ounces more than what Ginger did at her 4 month appointment. It's just normal for around here. 

Then, as I was taking her picture in the exersaucer (aka The Leaky Poop Machine), I realized that, perhaps, she is just a wee bit chunky. The proof is in the puddin'.

The puddin' of her jowly cheeks...

....the puddin' of the rolls on her thighs and dimples on the front of her knees and shins...

...actually, it's possible her whole body is made of puddin'.

The cankles don't lie. 

The proof is in the numbers, too, I suppose.

Head Circumference: 16.5 in. (76.22 %tile)
Height: 26.9 in. (99.67 %tile) (she's a tall drink of puddin'!)
Weight: 17 pounds 8 ounces (98.82 %tile)

I love me some puddin'!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Four Months with Edith

I am so amazed that Edith is four months old already. In my mind, I had pegged the time she reached 4 months as when all would be evened out. When our new norm would be established. The first few months were awfully difficult, so (based on experience) I placed this 4 month mark on a little pedestal in my head as a time when I knew things would be easier. And I was right.

Edith is much more autonomous now. I don't mean that she's making herself a peanut butter sandwich when she's hungry or is changing her own diaper or anything, but she's definitely getting into the swing of things when it comes to being Edith. She's always been a pretty laid back baby, thank goodness, but she has been eager to do a few things on her own and is glad that she is now able to do so.  

Tummy time is much less of a chore these days, now that she's able to scooch around a little and can grab at toys. She's not always successful at hanging on to them for long all the time, but sometimes Edith gets a really good grip and can gnaw on her prize. She is also really enjoying time on her back-- when she's under her play gym, she angles herself so she can play with the dangling toys with her hands and feet. Edith uses her feet like hands more than any of the other babies I've had. It's cool.

A few weeks ago, Edith started doing raspberries. She doesn't blow raspberries just to blow raspberries like all of my other kids did-- she actually seems to be using them as a part of speech. They are interspersed with the coos and gurgles of her sentences while she's telling us stories. 

The girl sure does love to talk. Edith can't keep a binky in anymore because she talks so much. And she doesn't even need a response, apparently. Last night she talked to me from 2:45 am until 4 am while I alternated looking at her silently and blearily and turning my head away, trying not to encourage her to continue. Luckily, this isn't a common occurrence. She mostly just goes right back to sleep after eating. During the day, however, she'd much rather talk than eat. It's a bit of a struggle to get her fed. Not that she's wasting away, or anything...

Edith discovered her toes the other day. But then she forgot about them again. And then they brushed her hand and she noticed them again. Then she let go and they dropped out of her line of sight. Gone forever it seems. Once she sees them she just has to have them, though, and one of these days she'll remember they're there without the reminder.

One thing she just can't seem to forget about is her thumb. Edith seems determined to be a thumb sucker. With the other kids, if they started showing undue interest in their thumb, I could distract them with a binky. Not so with Edith. She really doesn't care for a binky at all anymore, and when I finally got her to suck on it the other day she just stuck her thumb in her mouth at the same time. I thought that I had won the round but she seriously outmaneuvered me. 

Over the weekend, Edith got to start using the exersaucer. Talk about being in heaven. She loves the autonomy that this toy allows her to have. She can stand or sit, depending on her mood, spin around if she wants, play with toys she doesn't have to worry about dropping... it's the best. She's very dainty about it all, touching everything gently and slowly as she studies it. A far cry from the whaps Big used to give the toy. Maybe she'll work up to that after she's sure of what the results will be.

Edith loves evenings and weekends most of all-- that's when she gets to spend time with her bestie. If not for Rophone's pesky job, they would be inseparable. 

Edith and I have been busy at physical therapy for the last month and a half, trying to stretch and strengthen her neck and make her head even. We don't want a helmet, after all (If we had to get one of those, they would shave her pretty toupee!). Anyway, today we graduated! They don't normally graduate babies so young, and after so little time, but Edith and I are overachievers. Now we just have to work on maintenance. 

I am about to make this post very picture heavy, so for those of you who don't like pictures... well, you should just stop right now. I debated whether I should post so many, but it's my blog and I'll do what I like. Plus, I'm indecisive. Buckle up!

Oh, and can I just say how much we both love the Bumbo? Edith loves it when I put her in the window seat in the living room so she can look out into the yard. Perfect.

I know all of these pictures are similar, but I love them all and couldn't decide. I just love how they show her interest in the world around her and a little different part of her personality in each one. Oh, and I love her little chubby arm braced against the window, too. 

Happy Four Month, Edith! I love you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Playing Pigeon

A little while ago the kids and I had this interesting exchange:

Me: "Hey, kids! Are you ready for lunch, or are you still full from snack?"

Kids (collectively): "We're okay."

Me: "Are you sure? I don't want any meltdowns."

Kids: "We're sure."

Pen: "Yeah. We're just having fun playing pigeon."

Me: "Erm.... pigeon?"

Bud and Ginger: "Yeah. We're pretending to be pigeons!"

Big: "So we have to wear big shirts." 

Alrighty then. 

I finally called them to lunch about 1/2 hour later and called out, "Pigeons, time for lunch!" They all looked at me oddly and said, "We're not pigeons, we're people." Silly me. I guess I was fooled by the fact that they're still wearing big shirts.

The Others

You wouldn't be able to tell from my photos on here as of late, but there really are others in my family besides Edith. Edith, of course, has no choice but to sit in one place while I take shots, but the rest of the family runs away, still seeming to be scarred from my prolific camera usage during The Challenge

As luck would have it, my older sister gave me a photo reflector kit for my teeny, rather insignificant, birthday that is coming up and the family agreed to help me give it a whirl. It worked great. Well, great-er sometimes than others, all depending on who was holding it for me (as you will see by looking at the photos). I even got the camera-shy Rophone to pose for a few shots. Amazing.

At first, Big wasn't too thrilled with the idea...

...but then he warmed up a little (note that I didn't say a lot).

Bud was a little more eager to please. (Maybe 'eager' is an understatement..)

But even he had his serious doubts about it all. 

He got over it, though.

Ginger did a good job and was quite pleasant about the whole thing.

Pen, of course, posed with a pre-teen twist.

It just can't be done without a few long-suffering looks and an eye roll.

All in good fun this time, thank goodness.

I'm just so happy that Rophone posed for me.

And now he has the perfect headshot for when he goes on auditions.


I love you family! Thanks for helping me try out my new toy! And thanks for the new toy, sis!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Favorites

I almost forgot! Thank goodness for a husband who knows what I should be doing (And who knows what day it is! They all blend together, people.)

1. We had a lovely dinner at Rophone's dad's house for Father's Day. It was fun to get together. 

2. Monday night, we had a belated Father's Day dinner with my folks. I made nummy homemade pizza and my mom trashed the girls and my dad in the game of Sorry!. My dad came in dead last (of course the kids had to play on to see who came in 2nd, 3rd, etc.. didn't you?). They showed him no mercy, even though it was his Father's Day celebration. Typical. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

3. Edith discovered her toes. She seems to forget where they are most of the time, and then gets excited again when they come her way.

4. A good friend came by for a visit before moving to Boston. I'm glad she found time to come on by, and I think she'll have a fabulous time living back there.

Um. Yeah. That's it.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Graduate

This post is, admittedly, very late. Bud graduated from kindergarten more than a month ago, and I am just now posting about it. It doesn't help that I forgot my camera and had to make do with my mom's (thanks, Mom!). Clearly, one of us is a better mom/grandma than the other. 

The kindergarteners had prepared a little program for all of us in attendance. It included square dancing. (And, yes, the girl next to Bud is gargantuan.)

Here, he is flanked by two gargantuan girls. Please don't squash my skinny little boy.

Then each kindergartener took turns finishing the sentence, "Before I came to kindergarten I didn't know _________, but now I do." Most kids said, "how to read" or "how to write my name" and stuff like that. There were a lot of repeats. Until it got to Bud, that is. 

Bud said, "Before I came to kindergarten I didn't know what an onomatopoeia was, but now I do." A lot of the adults in the audience said, "A what?". Way to go, Bud.

They finished off the lovely program with some cute little songs. Fantastic. Bud can't wait to go to school for the whole day next year and is anxious to get his lunchbox picked out. I told him it isn't a decision to be rushed into and that we have plenty of time. I'll let you know what we get next week. 

Happy graduation, Bud! Welcome to the big time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Favorites

Thinking.... thinking.... okay, just a minute....

1. Pen went to camp for the first half of this week and had a blast. The camp they normally go to is still under 25 feet of snow, or something like that, so they went to an alternate location for only half the time. She had a great time, though, and can't wait until next year. And, I must admit, the lack of her pre-teen attitude for a few days was a nice change. Plus, she came back vowing to have a better attitude! Win-win! (I love you, Pen! I'm glad you had a good time.)

2. Bud got his new brace this week. It appears to be holding his spine straight, so we're glad for that. He got it in a cool camouflage print this time around. (And I love that he narrowed it down to a pink plaid and camo before he finally made his choice.)

3. I finally signed Big up for preschool this week. I was getting worried that I hadn't signed him up anywhere, and was hopeful that I could find something that would fit his personality with spots still available. I heard about a school through the grapevine that I think will be perfect-- it is taught by a woman in her home, but it seems to be a close match to the school I originally hoped Big would be able to attend. 

4. Can I just say that I'm in love with Edith's Bumbo seat? We didn't purchase it this week, but I just think it's fabulous. Where in the heck was it when all of my other kids were babies??

5. I am still so thankful to have Ginger around. She is a great playmate/babysitter for the boys. I don't know what I would do without her.

6. I love being married to a baby whisperer. Not only did he just get Edith to sleep, but he cleans, too. Rophone was instrumental in getting the house shaped up last weekend. What a lucky girl am I. 

I'm sure I'll think of more things after I publish this, like I always do, but I'm going to push the button anyway. 


Ginger made a bold prediction yesterday. 

Ginger: "I know what your birthday surprise is going to be when you turn 40 next month."

Me: "Oh, really?" (secretly hoping she's not really going to reveal something and spoil my birthday surprise)

Ginger: "Yup. Your surprise next month will be getting pregnant again."

Me: "Ummm... yeah, that's not going to happen. Boy, that would be a surprise, though."

Ginger: "Oh, it's going to happen. I know. I have the Inner Eye." 

Hmm... maybe it's time to put a ban on Harry Potter books. A charlatan, that's what that girl is. Nothing but a charlatan. All of this "predicting-the-future" stuff is rubbing off on Big, too, it seems. A few weeks ago he told me that I'm going to have another baby when Edith is four. He says he's positive about it. All of this talk makes me nervous, I know that. And it's something about the look in their eyes. Maybe I should send them to work at a carnival. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Favorites

This week has felt a little wacky for some reason, but it's okay because I'm a little wacky, too.

1. Pen started her summer ballet program. I'm really glad she gets to do it since she enjoys it so much. 9 hours of dance a week sure makes for some sore muscles, though (or so her moans and groans suggest).

2. Ginger got to participate in a two day basketball camp with a few of her friends this week. It's great that she has found a sport she likes to play so much. 

3. I got to have a quick visit from my aunt, uncle and brother yesterday. It's always nice to see family.

4. We have so many possibilities for the future in front of us right now-- it's great to feel optimistic about what's to come.

5. Edith is asleep and no one has awakened her yet (knock on wood). I'm glad she's getting a good nap.

6. The past few days, Ginger, Bud and Big have been acting out the stories in some of our picture books, reading the lines of their characters with great inflection and enthusiasm. This old classic has been my favorite so far, with Ginger playing the part of the mother, Bud was the doctor, and Big was the boy. 

Now I just need to gear myself up because next week is busy, busy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Catalyst

That's what Edith is. A catalyst.

(Who, me?)

Yup. Edith has been a catalyst for some major changes around here. Good changes. I know I mentioned in a previous post that Edith's arrival has been great for equalizing the distribution of household chores (the kids attempted a reversion back to their old ways after the move, but we nipped it in the bud), but it's not just that. 

My need to alter my diet to make a nursing Edith happy compelled Rophone to finally make the dietary changes he'd been thinking about to try and combat his Crohn's. We are eating much less meat (once or twice a week, with no beef, pork, or ham), no processed foods, and we're introducing new protein sources, grains (like quinoa) and more fruits and veggies to our diets. Rophone's new favorite thing to eat is celery with hummus, and considering that Rophone used to be solidly a meat and potatoes man... well, it's awesome.

The best part is that it seems to be working! We have a mostly happy Edith and Rophone no longer has the feeling that knives are piercing his gut. Well, less often anyway. Win-win, I'd say. I think we're all feeling better. Big almost immediately quit asking for his old favorites of chicken nuggets, hot dogs and corn dogs, which tells me that he no longer thinks they sound good. And a few times the girls complained that something less than healthy they ate made them feel sick (not that I'm happy my girls felt sick, but I'm kinda happy that my girls felt sick!). 

Breaking all of these old less than helpful and less than healthy habits has done something else for us. Over the years, Rophone and I have kind of suffered from complacency. Fueled by tiredness, Crohn's, or whatever, we have often waited for life to happen to us rather than making our lives happen the way we want. But, no longer. Now we are proactive. We are seizing life by the horns and steering it where we want to go. It feels good. Great, in fact.

We can't wait for what is to come, for what we create (no, not another "catalyst"), eat and accomplish. We're going to be healthier and live in a more fulfilled way all because of Edith. Having her caused us to finally claw our way out of the rut we were living in. She is our catalyst for change. 

(Aw, shucks!)

Thanks a ton, Edith!

(You're welcome.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favorites

This past week has been a good one. Here we go...

1. The 3-day weekend-- gotta love those.

2. We got to hang out with Rophone's family on Sunday. It doesn't happen nearly often enough, and it was great.

3. Edith rolled over from front to back on Memorial Day. I'm pretty sure it was a fluke (she hasn't repeated it yet), but I'll take it. Now I just need to write it down in her baby book.

4. I got my haircut! It always makes me feel good, although the verdict is still out on the new 'do. After the cut, Rophone, Edith and I went to Whole Foods. We got a vegan burrito to share as a snack while we were there and it was nummy! And, as a bonus, the guy making it wasn't usually a deli worker so he made the burrito HUGE. We were even too full for dinner later (After a shared burrito! That tells you how big it was.)

5. Rophone got our online recording school website up this week!!! We haven't had the money to pay a web guy, and so we've been relying on the services of someone Rophone works with on occasion who said he would get our site up for a percentage of the profits. Now 2 1/2 years later.... kinda tired of waiting, here! Anyway, Rophone had been doing research periodically to see what was out there that would be within his technical capabilities and would do everything that he wanted it to do, but there wasn't anything. Until about a week and a half ago, that is.  Thanks Wordpress! The website may not be what we initially envisioned, but it's up! Our future starts now...

6. It's been great having the kids out of school. Ginger is super at keeping the boys entertained, and having the older kids around has allowed me to take a few naps this week. And Pen watches Edith while I shower. Maybe I'll never let them go back to school.

7. I finally kicked my cold and was able to meet my sister's twin boys last night. They are so cute (and so little!). Hopefully they'll be able to come home this weekend.

8. It's almost the weekend again! Yay!