Thursday, January 31, 2013

big boy . baby girl . nursery

Well it only took me a few months to complete it (and it's actually still not completely done to my liking!) but I think I am done with Charlie and Emmy's  bedroom.  I knew that I wanted to keep with the vintage airplane theme for Charlie but didn't know exactly how I wanted to incorporate a feminine touch as well.  This is what I came up with:

I like that it's masculine and feminine.  I had made the 'take flight' bunting before Emmy was born and I wanted that to remain the theme.  I had contemplated doing pink airplanes but then I found a gorgeous hot air balloon picture on etsy.  The balloon became my inspiration.  And I would still LOVE to purchase the picture but I can't justify a $45 8x10!  I wanted neutral grays and browns and yellows and pinks to be the color scheme.

Last year, we sanded and then painted the floor gray.  And I absolutely love it in this room!  I changed the wall color as well.  The ceiling has been gray for almost 7 years and I think it's the only piece of the house that has not been repainted since! 

Jordan built the toddler bed out of 2x4s (and Charlie and I adore it!).  The quilt on Charlie's bed was a baby gift made by Charlie's great-grandma and the knit chevron-like blanket underneath was made by Charlie's great-great grandma!  At a flea market last year, Jordan came across 5 original blueprints for an airplane in a $10 bin.  He told the old man he would take them and the guy said, 'oh, I can't sell those to you for $10.  They weren't supposed to be in that bin.' So Jordan asks how much for them.  The guy says, '$15'.... for all five!!  We were thrilled, perhaps you are not :)  Jordan framed his favorite.  The propeller and the rusted star were also selected from flea markets over the years.  The airplane was a World Market purchase. 

this boy is always sneaking into my photoshoots!

yes...that is dust!

I made the bedskirt (and it hides tubs of baby clothes underneath).  The crib was a baby gift for Natalie from my parents and I imagine that Emmy will be the last of our children to use it.  I had to repaint the top trim to somewhat cover the chew marks!  It seemed fitting for Emmy Ellamae to have an elephant stuffed animal and I also cut out and framed the little elephant in the picture frame.  Emmy's quilt was also made by great-grandma Jones.  I made the little pink pillow from my most favorite fabric.  I made some hanging hot air balloons but never could figure out where to hang them.  Still to come... I'd like to make or buy a rag-rug with some grays, pinks, and yellows.

our changing table :)

'Ee' is for 'Emmy'

I removed the closet doors and it made the small room seem much bigger. I turned some extra fabric from Jordan's mom that I had been dying to use into a curtain.  And we took out the old-good-for-nothing-ranch-style closet system and put in the much-better-use-of-space wire system!  And I organized it over and over until I got it just right.  I had seen on pinterest to use egg cartons for organizing baby socks and it has been very helpful.

egg cartons... who knew, right?!

Prior to Emmy joining this bedroom, we had a dresser in here for Charlie and our piano.  But we were able to put those elsewhere (temporarily our bedroom!) and I've been able to do without a changing table (why not just use the crib?!)  So I'm happy with the space we've opened up in this bedroom.  It's only temporary, we won't make Charlie share a room with a girl for too long, but for now it's just perfect for my big boy and baby girl.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

my four littles

I've been wanting to write on each of the kids since I feel like they are constantly changing.  But it seems so daunting to write about all of them in one post!  There's so much to share but I'm going to try to keep it short.

Natalie is loving Kindergarten so much! She adores her teacher and is doing very well academically.  I cannot get over how much Kindergartners learn: Natalie is reading at a basic level, writing, adding, subtracting, she's speaking {broken} spanish...!  We couldn't be prouder.  At her conference in the fall, we asked if she plays much at recess since we couldn't ever get a great answer out of Natalie when we'd ask.  It turns out that on many days she would 'wait in line' BY HERSELF at the door!  Natalie loves to play but she can be shy and when we asked her specifically about this, she said that she only wants to play with the boys and they're not always interested in playing with her (I'm thinking just because she's a girl!)  This broke my heart a little so we really started to encourage her to play with some of the other girls.  Finally I offered to pay her a dollar (what have I become?!) to play at every recess that day... and it worked.  Like a charm.  She's been playing with other girls ever since.  I guess at one indoor recess she and her cousin, Ross, played 'animals' by themselves because according to Ross, 'the other kids don't 'get' it'!!  One day before Natalie got off the bus, I got a phone call from a little boy (Blake) asking for Natalie and so I told him I'd have her call him back.  She was all smiles when I told her and she called him back.  She asked him how school was and if he'd done his homework yet.  He hadn't and she told him that he probably hadn't gotten it done because he was on the phone with her!  When she hung up, I asked her how he got her number.  She had given it to him...duh!  One morning when we dropped Natalie off at her classroom (me and the kids), Blake just marched up to Natalie and gave her a picture he had drawn.  And without exchanging any words, she just took it like she was expecting it!  Natalie is such a tremendous help around the house.  She is very good at cleaning and organizing and helping out with her brother and sisters.  But she is a perfectionist and somewhat of a control-freak so I'm trying to figure out the best ways to deal with that.  She doesn't like it when she doesn't do things perfect and sometimes she gets angry when things don't go just right.  So we're working on those areas!

Ruby has grown up so much lately!  She has grown taller and has matured so much!  A couple of months ago, she really started to critique her speech.  She realized after watching 'Daniel Tiger' and hearing "Grrrr" that "grrr" is the way she would pronouce 'girl'!  I didn't ever correct her on it because I loved it!!  But she realized the err and corrected it!  Between the ages of 2 and 4, she was such a sassy lil thing and many times in a rude way.  It was always hard for me to know what to do about this especially when she was egged on because it was cute and fun!  She's a debater like her dad!  She is still all about princess barbies and polly pockets and we have a lot of fun playing together with them!  She calls them all her 'honeys!'  Almost everyday that Natalie is at school, Ruby insists that we must play school.  But what that has turned into is us pretending that the barbies are at school.  I really need to discipline myself and do more actual schoolwork!  Ruby has learned how to write her name and she's really picking up on letters and sounds of letters.  She knows many of her letters, just can't write them yet.  Ruby adores Emmy and is also a huge help during the day.  I've been busy with the 'bag business' but I am able to watch Ruby and Charlie play while I sew and Ruby mothers Emmy during those times as well.  She is so passionate about all things 'girl'!  Ruby and Charlie have been playing incredibly well with each other!  They love to chase each other.  Charlie chases Ruby with his gun and Ruby screams!  And Ruby is really starting to fall in love with Jesus which is just awesome!  She also has the most heartfelt prayers.  She prays for daddy that he's not cold at work and that Natalie is enjoying her lunch and that Jesus won't die on the cross again.  She has a huge heart for others. 

Charlie is so different from his sisters.... he is all boy!  When Ruby tries to play barbies with him, all he wants to do is run the barbies over with his truck.  He's always running around, then halting, squatting, aiming, and firing his gun.  He is so playful all the time.  He is absolutely obsessed with airplanes!  I love the way he pronounces words, too and talks in a gruff 'man voice'.  Sometimes he'll ask if he can watch 'Star Trek' during the day because he knows it's Jordan's favorite.  He's been in a big-boy bed for about 5 months now and he likes to join us in our bed usually a few times a week... but I like it!  He naps just a couple of times a week but has been going to bed on time and without a fight so it's fine.  But when he does nap, he's been staying dry!  Charlie also loves his little sis.  He frequently goes up to her and just strokes her and says a very dramatic 'Awwwww!'  The two share a room and it works!  Although, Emmy may be the reason that he gets up during the night to come lay with us.  Last week, Charlie said, 'mom, wanna dance with me?'  I heard him clearly but made him repeat it so he said again, 'dance with me?'  So we did.  In silence.  With his head on my shoulder.  And I'm not going to lie, it made me cry :)  Charlie is such a great little boy.  The few weeks before I had Emmy, he was a little terror... getting into everything and yelling at me!  But I was really stern with him (which was easy since I really didn't like him on those days!) and I guess it paid off.  He has been an angel ;) ever since!

Emmy is doing great.  She is gaining plenty of weight!  At her 2 month, she was at the 90th percentile at 12 pounds (I think?!)  She usually gets up just once a night but we just had three nights in a row where she slept from 10p to 5:30a and since that's when I get up anyway, I'm considering it sleeping through the night!  She is still so gassy!  We do the gas drops and we've tried the gripe water.  Both only really seem to distract her until the gas passes or she gives in to sleep.  She was only pooping once a week (typical for my breast-fed babies) but suddenly it's back to everyday.  Not sure why that is important to mention!  She giggles, smiles, and seems to love us all!  Since maybe the 5th week, she's been sleeping in Charlie's room and like I said, it goes really well.  I still can't believe how easy this transition was for us!  It's definately been a blessing! 

Each of our kids is such a blessing to us in such a unique way.  I've really been wanting to read 'The Five Love Languages for Kids' and figure out the different ways they want to recieve love and how to go about that.  Just when I think I've got them figured out, I realize that I desperately need some extra parenting help!  Knowing that I have a tendency towards being selfish, I'm hoping this book would help me be more intentional in showing my love to my kids in ways they can relate to.

Our house is frequently filled with music.  And when it's blaring in the living room or kitchen, there's no escape from hearing it throughout the rest of the house.  Currently our kids favorite songs are:  'Breakable' and 'It Snowed' and any other song of Meghan Smith, 'Always' by Switchfoot, 'Sail' by Awolnation, 'We Are Young' by Fun, anything from the Tangled Soundtrack, 'Days of Elijah' by Twila Paris, anything by Lady Gaga although we limit those :), 'Gangnam Style' by Psy.... just to name a few!  Quite the variety!!  I love it when the kids can sing along now!  And the instant energy we get when we dance together!  Music is so near and dear to me.  From the time that I was young, we would have family sing-a-longs in the car and we always laughed in spite of our {cheesy} selves but we all so enjoyed it!  I want music to be a part of the kids' interests and a form of worship for them.  My niece, Hailee, sang in church for the first time on Christmas Eve.  My sister has been a soloist since she was 6 so it was so special for all of us (Katie especially!).  We were so proud of her!!

So that's the latest.  The winter had been mostly dry and boring until this week when we got more than a foot of snow dumped on us.  Now we need to get out and play in it while it's here. Always gotta be intentional with this life or the important things that need to happen don't happen. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

one hundred kisses

Our sweet Emmy is two months old already!  Time is seriously whizzing by me!  Emmy is an amazing baby.  She's a great eater and sleeper.  Pretty much content all the time.  Except for lately, as soon as Jordan comes home, she is a little fussy and he doesn't believe me that she's perfect during the day. It appears to be gas!  She is full of it all the time and doesn't seem to have any problems getting rid of it.  But at night, it makes her uncomfortable.  Either that or she is giving her daddy an earful the only way she knows how as if to say, 'thanks a lot for the gas-genes'.  Emmy gets me up just once, maybe twice, during the night to eat.  But we enjoy the quiet, uninterupted snuggle time.

And oh the places she has gone in her life already!  At 3 weeks old, she went on an overnight trip with me (plus my mom and sisters) to Schaumburg for a weekend of shopping.  And the next week, she went on the train to Chicago for our annual 'Christmas in Chicago' trip :)  A hearty shopper already!  She has also been out to her first movie (The Hobbit) which isn't something we ever did with our other babies nor will we again!  She was just getting into her fussy night stage so I think I had about one hours worth of standing and rocking her in the shadows (but I made sure no one heard a peep from her!)  Jordan and I have gotten many comments on Emmy when we've been out with her and most of them imply that this must be our first baby.  I usually just kind of go along with it but Jordan gets sick of people starting to give us advice so when he's around, he stops them short and makes sure that they know we have four and that this one is no big deal!  It's pretty funny actually!

From birth to about 4 weeks, she slept in her bassinet. I would park her in the living room during the night because her little noises would keep me up when she first slept in our room.  After one month, we moved her into her crib in big brother's room.  He must notice some of the extra noises, too since he ends up in our bed during the night.

The kids ADORE her.  They are quick to help out with her which is very helpful for me.  Other than one incident where Charlie accidently kinda stepped on the side of her head (*gasp*), we have had no issues with the 'new baby'.  And Charlie was so sad about that happening as he is always so gentle with her.  The kids are always in her face and she seriously must get one hundred kisses a day. 

Except from about 8-10p (fussy time!), she is all smiles when she's awake.  She is starting to do that silent, quick-laugh and is finding her voice.  She's also ticklish!  She is sleeping as I write this and I just want to get her out of bed to cuddle with her. 

Sweet babe, we could not love you any more!  When you smile, your eyes sparkle and when you sleep, you purr!  It doesn't get any better than that :)

emmy ellamae at 1 month old

and suddenly she's two months old.