Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Almost 2 Susannah

I'm not sure what my intentions were with this post, but it has been sitting in my drafts folder for over 5 years. 2 cute pictures from when my days were mostly just me and Susannah. This was about 2 months before Sylvia was born. 

In the first picture Susannah is playing with some fun "bumpy blocks" that were a Chrslistmas gift.

In the second picture I am pretty sure she was telling me something about whatever she was holding in her hands. Even though she didn't use words mich yet at that age, she still enjoyed communicating. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tiny Talk Tuesday ~ No Noodles! ~ From May 2013

One day this past week we were eating leftovers for lunch which included some pasta.  Susannah was telling me about all the different plants we have in our garden.

"Peas, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower... MOM! Noodles! We don't have any growing noodles!!"

I tried to explain to her then that noodles don't grow on a plant, but instead they are made out of flour, eggs and water.


At the supper table, Susannah reached over and pushed the short sleeve of Daniel's work shirt up. Then she wrapped both arms around his upper arm, gave his arm a big hug with the side of her face smooshed up against him and said "I LOVE your big muscle!!"

Daniel grins, flexes and a big S for Super-Daddy glows on his chest when she admires his strong biceps. :-) I hafta say... I kinda like them myself. ;-)


After lunch today I had planned that we would run to a local produce farm to get another flat of jam berries. It was time to begin getting ready to go so I instructed Susannah to go to the bathroom by herself (which she can do). I turned the light on for her and went about my own preparations which included going outside. While outside, I hear "Moooom!! Mooooom!!!" coming from the open living room window. She had finished and walked out to the living room looking for me.

I went inside and she asked me to help pull up her pants as she was finished going potty. I noticed that her undies and capris were wet. I asked if she forgot to close her knees while she was on the potty and that's how her pants got wet. She said that wasn't the case. Then I asked her how her pants got wet and she said "I peed like a boy!" ... meaning, instead of sitting on the toilet like girls have to, she stood as she has seen some of her boy cousins do. Like Daniel said, "well, now she knows!" that it doesn't work that way for girls.

Sylvia - 16 months ~ Originally written July 2013

It is hard to believe that a whole 16 months have passed since Sylvia came into my arms as a tiny baby (well, an almost 9 lb. tiny baby :) ). She is not so little anymore!!

This summer she has really started using words and will imitate some sounds for us. She knows some baby sign language and we know how to read her.  Her verbal vocabulary consists of Dah! (still said as a shriek if she hasn't seen him for a while), Ma, sometimes 'Nuh (for Susannah), up, hot, help, kitty, ha (like "haha") and the animal sounds meow and ROAR.  Her sign language is very basic, please, all done, milk/drink, and thank-you.

She did a little singing early this spring, but that was short-lived and I haven't heard her sing in quite a while. She DOES sing with her hands, though! It is not unusual for her to burst into song, doing hand motions to many of the songs we sing throughout the days. I just have to figure out which song she's motioning for since she wants me to sing it. :) 

The Goings On Around Here ~ from Spring 2013

The garden is coming along well. The peas are at the beginning of their picking season and I need to get out there today to see what all I find. I picked 2 handfuls on Saturday.  As much as I was not in the mood to plant peas this year, or even really devote huge chunks of my time to a garden, period, this summer, since it's in and it's growing, I'm enjoying puttering around in it and the solitude of working out there during afternoon naptime.

The tiller got a flat tire over the winter and after one attempt to fix it, Daniel realized it needs a new tube since the leak is at the stem. He is a very busy man and hasn't had time to shop around and find a new tube yet.  In the meantime anywhere I plant, I use a hickory-handled "tiller". I tell myself it builds perseverance and muscles!  Needless to say, both me and my back are eager for when I don't have to use this method anymore.

I need to get more corn in, but the weeds have taken off and I can't just go out there and start turning dirt anymore. I need to pull the weeds first. I started pulling weeds for the next rows of corn Saturday, I hope to work on it again today and see how far I get.

I am enjoying having our chickens. :)  A few weeks ago we went to the feed store and they were desperate to get rid of the last 7 pullets and the store owner offered them to me for half-price. Since our 4 hens are older and not laying consistently we were planning to add more chickens anyway, so after consulting with Daniel we took them.  They should start laying soon. I'm so eager to not buy store eggs anymore!!

This year is the year for flowers around here. Susannah loves flowers and I do, too, so every time we go to the feed store I buy a few more to stick in the ground. Tuesday we had to go get more chicken feed and while we were there we browsed the flowers. One of the ladies that works there told me the flowers had been on a 50% off sale for the weekend and I could still get 50% off any I purchased. Instead of just picking up a few, I got more than I was planning to get. Now I am slowly working at getting them into the ground. I am enjoying having some beautiful blooms in the garden and a few flower pots/bed.  We replanted two places with new zinnia seeds since none of the old seeds came up. I had 5 packets of different varieties and just mixed them all up and sprinkled them in the dirt. I am eager to see them up and have their bed bursting with blooms for Susannah to pick!

Pictures from Christmas 2013

Susannah age 3 3/4, Sylvia age 1 3/4.   I was 6 months pregnant with Charity.

We had very simple gifts this year. Now that I am editing and publishing this 3+ year old post, I don't even remember what they were! I think books. Maybe coloring books and special colored pencils or something.

We also had Christmas stockings for the first time.  I bought sweaters from Goodwill and made stockings from them. 

In the stockings were new toothbrushes, some fun individual snacky things that are special, and in the toe of the stocking an orange, just like in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. :)

One gift we gave Susannah was a ladybug necklace. She loved all things ladybug and Daniel called her "Ladybug".

I made a birthday cake for Jesus, we sang Happy Birthday, and the girls blew out the candles.

Tucking their dollies into a hand-me-down cradle we were given, and I had kept hidden away to give them at Christmas.

Charity ~ The First 5 Weeks

Here is another post I found waiting in my drafts folder today, May 6, 2017.  This was originally written probably about the same time 3 years ago.  Charity is now 3 years old. :)

I am not sure when I blinked and two whole months have passed without a single post about Charity!! I have memories that I don't ever want to forget that I must get written down or I will forget them.

Let's see...

We brought our sweet girl home from the hospital on Wednesday (she was born on Monday), and because her biliruben levels had been up a little bit (low teens) we had to take her for a check on Thursday. She left the hospital weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz. and the next day weighed 9 lbs. even! I wasn't sure my milk had even come in yet but she must've been getting something! I was pleasantly surprised. :)

The first week and then into the second week I got into the "feed every 3 hours, round the clock, even in the middle of the night" routine. I set my phone alarm when it was night so I would be sure to wake up since I, of course, was dead tired. I stopped setting my alarm after she turned 2 weeks old.

She was a pretty good eater (feedings took 45 minutes, sometimes an hour) but I did have to work to keep her awake to eat. That part is always so, so hard to do! She was not a good sleeper. The first week, so many of my sleeping times ended up with my sleeping either in the rocking chair holding her, or lying in bed with her on my chest. If I put her down either in her bed or even in our bed beside me, she would just fuss and fuss and fuss.  At first we thought she was just getting used to life outside the womb. By the time the second week started and this was still the case, I asked Daniel if she seemed to be fussier than our first two babies or had I forgotten? He confirmed that she was fussier. At that point I just about came unglued many times, not knowing how I was going to "get through life" with a baby who most days would fuss her entire naptime at least once, and other naptimes weren't so great, either.

I made sure I wasn't eating gassy or spicy foods and she still fussed. It wasn't at any certain time of the day or night; there was no consistency or regularity to it at all, which made survival with the two big girls HARD. I well remember Daniel's first loooong work day after Charity was born. I didn't get the big girls supper until about 7:30, Charity was crying and crying and crying the entire time I was trying to get their food on the table, both Susannah and Sylvia were very out of sorts and very uncooperative, I finally was able to get Charity and hold her and she continued to cry. Susannah wanted something her way (which was just not possible at the time) and had a major, MAJOR meltdown, Sylvia wasn't eating her food, and Daniel wasn't going to be home until after 9pm. Charity FINALLY fell asleep (it was getting close to 3 hours that she had been awake; way, way too long for someone her age to be awake - in my book!) and I wasn't about to put her down for fear that she would start crying all over again. Susannah was still having her melt-down and I finally decided the big girls were going to bed. That was it. I didn't care that it wasn't bedtime yet, that they should have baths, teeth brushed or even pajamas on. I managed to change Sylvia's diaper while holding Charity and both crying big girls were put in bed with promises that Daddy would kiss them when he got home.

Then I went and had my own cry, deciding that I couldn't handle having a fussy baby and not knowing how on earth I was going to survive if this was how it was going to be for a long time. I prayed so many of those "I am so tired I don't even know what to pray" prayers.

Charity was a really good baby... except when it came to naptimes. Sometimes. It just didn't make any sense to me, at all, and I wasn't ready to just chalk it up to her being a fussy baby. Something just seemed wrong. She didn't spit up, she didn't have excessive gas, she didn't scream or act like she was in horrible pain, she ate, peed and pooped like a normal baby, but my gut feeling was that there was a reason she wasn't sleeping well a lot of the time. She would have better days and worse days, seemingly unrelated to ANYTHING (going to church, noise levels in the house, etc.).

And then we ran out of ice cream. I had been surviving on ice cream, eating some almost every day. And fruit and yogurt, and chocolate milk. It was protein, it was fast, it was easy, it was filling and I didn't have to cook it, make it, heat it up or anything. I could get a spoon and just EAT.  A few days went past and we did our first grocery shopping since she had been born because we desperately needed some groceries. I bought yogurt and ice cream. That night I had a banana split. The following evening Charity was the most fussy that she had been in a few days. Following my stress-eater instincts and because I was hungry at 10pm, I ate yogurt and fruit. While eating the yogurt I went over each and every single detail of the previous several days to try and make a connection to ANYTHING and her fussing.

Dairy. I hadn't eaten ice cream or yogurt, then I did eat ice cream and exactly 24 hours later she started fussing again. What? Dairy?! I put the idea out in Facebookland. Several people replied that yes, dairy can certainly make for fussy babies. The next day was Friday and I ate pizza for supper. The pizza had cheese on it and I gazed upon that cheese and relished it to the last morsel. I was giving up all things dairy to see if it made a difference.

It made a difference. By the time 36 hours had passed since I'd eaten the pizza, we had a sleeping Charity at naptimes. Which meant a sleeping MAMA, too!!  She slept better, which meant she woke up better, which meant she ate better... which meant life was better for all of us.

Susannah in the Fall

It has been a long time, a little over 1 1/2 years to be exact, since I logged into this blog.  A cousin prompted me today and so I dug up my log-in information and did so. Lo and behold, here sat a post I had written but never published. I was probably waiting to add pictures.  Since this is a glimpse into life as it was in September of 2015, I am going to go ahead and publish this even without pictures. 

Susannah is now 5 1/2 years old.  Her imagination is as adventurous as ever!! She continues to have lots of children in her imaginary family, and she keeps up with all of them quite well.

We started homeschool early August this year and while it took a few weeks for her to get in the groove, once she got there, she has taken off!  We are using a highly recommended curriculum, the American Language Series, which teaches reading and writing. We are also doing Horizon Math, which is very similar in learning style to ALS. Something that especially stands out to me about the reading and phonics of the American Language Series curriculum is it's thoroughness. It goes far beyond what I learned, and I can see that this curriculum is a great base for stellar readers! Susannah can read the short stories that come with the set (from a Biblical viewpoint, another plus), and it is fascinating to hear her get excited as she reads the stories and she gets the stories - it is not just words on a page. One day she was just giggling and giggling over one because she thought it was so funny. :)

Susannah is still a very tenderhearted, affectionate girl.  I think it was last week sometime that during afternoon quiet time I laid down on the couch to rest and read for a bit. She was playing in the living room with some toys quietly. Suddenly I sensed her presence at my head and felt her leaning over. Next thing I knew she kissed me so gently on the forehead!! She didn't say anything, just kissed me and then went back to playing. I rolled over and asked her about it, and she confirmed that she just wanted me to know that she loved me. :)

Daniel broke his foot on Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon he was dozing on the couch. Susannah was beside him keeping him company, snuggled up to him so he would not be lonely. At one point he awoke to her hands stroking his cheeks. :)  That night as we were tucking the girls in bed, she very seriously and sweetly told him that if he got "lonely of Mama" (me) that night, to just call for her and she would come keep him company.  We got a chuckle out of it later. :)

She has enough energy for a herd of horses some days!!  Especially with the week of rain we've gotten, she has put many a mile on her feet running around the house. :)  She loves to be a big helper but isn't too small for snuggles and cuddles. Or for aggravating her sisters. ;)  Her snuggle tank gets empty some days and we spend time filling it up each night.

Her two front, bottom teeth are loose and she is very excited for when they will fall out. She doesn't wiggle them very much so it is taking a while. It will be bittersweet for me when that happens!!

She is growing like a weed, it seems. Her dresses are getting shorter and she outgrew her shoes over the summer.  We were getting ready to go somewhere one day and I had her put on her shoes that day for some reason.  After several minutes she came to me nearly in tears and asked if she could please not wear her shoes. Once she told me why and I felt that her toes were nearly bursting out the ends of her shoes, I assured her that she did NOT need to wear them anymore!! A shoe shopping adventure is in our near future.  I need to either get busy on the sewing machine or go shopping so she has some clothes for this winter! Probably some of both!

She has a hand-me-down bike with training wheels and loves to ride it in and out the lane. Many sunny afternoons she will go out and spend a while riding her bike.

She loves the idea of growing up and being a cook and baker, and loves helping me whenever I'm making something.  I usually have the girls take turns helping me when I'm baking or cooking, and it works out most of the time.  One day when the kitchen was piled high (I was canning pears and every surface was covered), she came to me with her apron on and asked if she could please make some brownies for our dessert.  Aside from me just not "wanting" to, I knew there really was no good reason to say no. So I got out the ingredients, showed her how to measure, helped her measure each ingredient, and she made the brownies! They were the real deal, from scratch, no box mix version. They were quite yummy and she was pleased as punch. :)