Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

I have a lot to get caught up on with the blog! My goodness, things have been busy.

In the meantime, here's a fun fall photo. Never mind that it was 87 degrees this past weekend :)
Amelie is 7, James is 5 and Leah is 7 months old.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Birthday Party

So we didn't celebrate James's 5th birthday on his actual birthday because my co-worker was getting married, and there was the rehearsal dinner and then the ceremony, and Nana Jana couldn't come on the next day, so we thought no big deal to move it to the next weekend. NEVER AGAIN. The week before his birthday, he got chocolate cupcakes and presents out at the Buffaloes. Then we had leftover chocolate cupcakes for dessert in the nights leading up to his birthday. The morning of the 15th, James picked out his breakfast. He really wanted mini-muffins. His verdict after 8 was that they weren't as good as the ones some kid brought to summer school: 


Then James had rice crispy treats at Ready Set Learn and his classmates sung him "Happy Birthday." That night at the rehearsal, there were cupcakes and a candle especially for him. Then the next day of course, there was wedding cake. 


The next day was Sunday and they announced his birthday at church, and then James continued to milk the birthday celebration(s) all week long. He got birthday money in the mail and had a bonanza at Toys R Us. Finally, we had a small birthday party at the park just around from our house with his cousins and our neighbors. Sam made a cookie cake: 


It was hot! I bought out the last of the water balloons and various water-squirting toys on very deep discount at Target for the kids to play with, plus some Halloween stuff for favors, and James got even more presents. 




The balloons even magically lasted over a week at the house.


His favorite thing to do is play video games:



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thumb-Sucker

I think I mentioned before that we have our first thumb-sucker. I tried really hard to get her to take a pacifier. I tried 3 different kinds/shapes doing all sorts of things they said on the internet might work. I could have maybe bought some more kinds to try, but after all the bottles we went through I was a little burnt out.

I looked through my camera and actually don't have that many photos showing Leah sucking her thumb, even though I think it's kind of sweet when she finds her thumb, so I took this one on purpose:


Just a little blurry:

And just a little suspicious:

One thing that is nice is that she never loses it in the car seat or crib, so I'm not groping around in the dark trying to find something to soothe her.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Softball

Amelie's playing coach-pitch softball. I wanted her to play this summer with James, but it's worked out well with her playing in the Fall. The weather is much better than it was for the summer season, that's for sure.

I made a video of her getting a hit (and batting in a run) at her last game (there's 1 more left in the season). I forgot to turn the camera sideways, though! Sorry about that! (In my defense, I was holding Leah and trying to poke the phone camera part through the chain link fence.)



The pictures didn't come with baseball cards showing her height/weight/position (remember those?) maybe because they just rotate them through all of the positions at this level. Amelie's favorite is 2nd base.


James enjoys watching the games and playing with the other younger sibs.


I like the "good game" ritual afterward.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Doctor Visits

Tuesday was very, very busy! It was the big move-in day at the new shelter, plus curriculum night at Amelie's school, plus I'd scheduled James and Leah's well-child checks forever ago for that evening, since our doctor's office does evening appointments one day a week, but you have to book them way out in advance (before the grand move-in had been rescheduled or we'd gotten notice about curriculum night).

Anyway, Sam took Amelie to Ridgeway to learn about Individually Guided Education, and I took James and Leah to the doctor. I'll ask Sam if he took any pictures to make his own post! Ha!

James went first and everyone was very impressed with his spelling and drawing abilities :)



The doctor gave him the pen to test him copying some shapes for her and writing his name (right there on the exam table paper), but then she left the pen in the room while we were waiting on shots.

Vital statistics: 39.2 pounds (39th percentile); 3 feet, 5 inches tall (17th percentile)

He was so disappointed that he didn't weigh 40 pounds, since we said he could move to the booster seat if Dr. Swofford said he could at the appointment. I'm hoping that this spurs him to eat a better supper! Anyway, he'll go back with Leah at her 1-year appointment so he can get his kindergarten shots, and we said we'd weigh again then and he'll probably be able to.

Things James can do right now:
  • Dress himself
  • Do a summersault
  • Stand & hop on one foot & kick a ball & hit a baseball 
  • Draw a person with many details
  • Write his first and last name
  • Sound out some 3-letter consonant-vowel-consonant words
  • Stay dry all night
  • I don't know how high he can count - I'm pretty sure it's well up over 20*
  • Knows our address, the first & last names of his parents & siblings & we've been practicing our phone number
  • Still hanging on to some baby speech sounds, but uses many complex sentences and can carry on a conversation and tell a story intelligible to strangers.
Link to his 4-year checkup for comparison: http://babybuffaloe.blogspot.com/2016/09/doctors-visit.html *Okay, so when I looked at last year's doctor visit, he counted to 25, so I'm assuming he can still do that! Haha!

Next it was Leah's turn. The nurse took our picture (also pre-shots):



Vital statistics: 14 pounds, 11 ounces (19th percentile); 2 feet, 1 inch long (12th percentile), head circumference: 42.5 cm (53rd percentile)

Things Leah can do right now:
  • Sitting up some (not super stable) 
  • Army crawling! (I thought this came after sitting)
  • Using a palmer and sometimes a pincer grasp (mostly to eat)
  • Babbling lots of "Dadadada"
  • Has doubled her birth weight and is trying new foods
  • Definitely prefers familiar people and has some stranger danger (this seems early to me, too)
  • Likes to bang her spoon on the table and splash in the bath
  • I hadn't noticed if she's passing things from one hand to the other - I think so, but I need to pay attention and make sure - she does grab things with each hand and bring them to her mouth
Here's a link to her 4-month checkup for comparison: http://babybuffaloe.blogspot.com/2017/07/4-month-doctors-visit.html

Friday, September 22, 2017

6 Month Photo Shoot

We're getting professional photos made in a few days, but I took several quick pictures of Leah on the morning she turned 6 months old.


I asked James to come over to see if he could make Leah smile.

 Silly brother.



I have a hairbrained plan for a comparison photo in this shirt/dress - I have pictures of Leah in it at various ages (though I didn't start out thinking of it and purposefully take pictures starting when Leah was a newborn, the fun way my friend Amanda did -- it just happens to be a very versatile dress/shirt and then I remembered Amanda had done a cool project like that and I decided to continue). Also, I need to dig up pictures of Amelie as a baby to see if we have a good one to compare her to Leah in the same clothes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Birthday Interview

James and I started his birthday interview yesterday morning and finished it this morning.  
  1. How old are you? Five
  2. What is your favorite color? Pink and Orange 
  3. What is your favorite toy? Don't know. What toys do you like to play with the best? I don't know. What are you typing?!?! [I read him what I was typing.] A Hatichimal!
  4. What is your favorite game? Mario Smash Brothers. And I invented a new Rock, Paper, Scissors
  5. What is your favorite song? Nothing. What do you like to sing? Nothing! At school? Nothing! At church? Nothing! In the car?  Take It All Back
  6. What is your favorite animal? Cat 
  7. What is your favorite book? Star Wars
  8. What is your favorite movie? Leap 
  9. What is your favorite TV show? Slug Terra
  10. What is your favorite thing to eat? Cheesy Rice Cakes
  11. Where is your favorite place to go? Nothing! Subway! And I'm going to go away! [this is where we stopped for the day] 
  12. Who is your best friend? Clara*
  13. What is something you learned last year? Don't know. Did you learn anything at school? 7 plus 7 is I don't know, but I know what 5 plus 5 is! 10! 
  14. What is something you'll learn now that you're 5? Math 
  15. What is your favorite part of preschool? Eating snack
  16. What is hard for you to do? The monkey bars and hmmm jump roping and ummmm juggling. Well, maybe you'll learn how to do that now that you're five :) 
  17. What is your favorite thing to do? Play Mario. We already added that in though ... Play with the baby
  18. What do you like about Me (Mama)? That you're nice. Anything else? No
  19. What do you like about Dada? That he lets us play
  20. What do you like about Amelie? Nothing! Does she ever do anything nice for you? She let me have her stickers, that's nice
  21. What do you like about Leah? She's nice to me and she loves me
  22. What do you like about yourself? That I get to play Mario. What makes you a good person? That I'm nice to baby Leah
  23. What do you want to be when you grow up? Nothing! [after further prodding] a briefcase. [Amelie said, "He means a lawyer."]  
During his birthday interview last year, James said his best friends were all of the kids at Ready, Set, Learn except for Clara! 

We had a rehearsal dinner and wedding for a friend of mine this Friday and Saturday and Sam's playing at both church services today (plus Nana Jana is out of town) so we'll have James's party next weekend. He's asked several times a day every day since Friday if today is his party, though. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Banana Time!

Leah has been very, very interested in the food we've been eating for a while now. She will grab for our food and acts generally offended if other folks are eating but she's not part of the meal.

Here are some pictures and one very long, slightly gross video of her chowing down on a banana.


Probably it would have been a neater job if I hadn't been trying to make the tape with one hand while helping her out:



We waited til 5.75 months, but as you can see from the video, she was raring to go, and we just jumped right in with table foods. She's also had tastes of avocado, roasted carrot, mashed sweet potato and pulled pork.

I suspected that the big kids would think it was a lot of fun when she started to eat, and I was right. James thinks it's unfair somehow that his and Amelie's first food was a sweet potato and Leah's was an avocado :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Babywearing

Pictures of me in my trusty ring sling downloaded from Sam's phone:

At the park:

At the baseball field:

At the zoo:

Apparently also I have  a lot of blue shirts. Many thanks to my friend Amanda who got the sling for us over 7 years ago! We've certainly gotten a lot of use out of it. I've actually been wearing the structured buckle carrier that Aunt Holly got me more recently now that Leah's a little bigger, just not pictures of it yet.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Columbia, MO was in the path of full totality for the solar eclipse on August 21st. James's preschool sent home a note that said they wouldn't be going outside for safety reasons, so Sam kept James home (actually took him to work with him for the morning), and then they joined his work in a potluck / eclipse viewing. 

Here's James in his NASA shirt filching candy from someone's office: 

And hanging out in Dad's comfortable chair:

Eclipse viewing:

Sam made an eclipse rice crispy treat.

Sam's office viewing the eclipse: 


My work also had a potluck. I took open-faced eclipse sandwiches. We kept going outside every 15 minutes or so to check on the progress. It was very overcast, but you could see the sun with the special eclipse glasses. 
My coworker brought chairs and we camped out in front of the office from 1:00pm til maybe 1:20 (a little after the total coverage). The folks at the tattoo parlor next door were also camped out on their deck right in front of us. 


This is me geeking out over totality! It got so dark we could see 1 star (probably a planet) and the temperature dropped noticeably and the cicadas went nuts.

They made a big deal out of it at Amelie's school, too. We sent her with a beach towel, water bottle, and sunscreen on. She said all the kids were yelling and running around during the minute they could take their glasses off and see the corona. We banged on pots and pans like traditionalists, but some folks across the street were shooting off fireworks. It was an interesting experience for sure. I'm already planning a trip to the bootheel for the next one!

The city was expecting something like 200,000 visitors! I know that every single hotel room was booked, but I dropped the baby off at 8:15am and picked her up at 3:00pm like normal and didn't see any extra traffic. I think most of them were at lakes/parks/special viewing areas.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Day of School

Amelie's first day of 2nd grade was Tuesday, so she's got the first week of school in the books. She's moved up to Unit B (the 2nd/3rd grade classroom) and her teacher is Ms. Malloy (with Mr. Gramke for math). They've got a whole economy going with "B Bucks" and lots of other exciting stuff. All good news so far. She takes the bus both to and from school, and two of her friends are on it as well.


James is in the pre-K room at Ready, Set Learn with Ms. Jen and is enjoying it.



And Leah has started daycare. She's the littlest in the baby room. Right now, it's under-twos, but they're going to do a one-year-old class starting at the end of the month and the (slightly) bigger kids will move out and some 7-month-old twins will move in, but I guess that still means she'll be the youngest. She's doing really well, though I guess that at 5 months she's really too little for stranger anxiety yet. They're using our cloth diapers (which is a big money-saving plus) and she's taking between 6-9 ounces of breastmilk over 2-3 small bottles each day without a fuss, which is also a big plus. The big minus is that she was sleeping through the night, and she's been taking 2 long naps at daycare and waking up at night. Here are some pictures of her at 5 months old wearing her purple polka-dot dress:






She's got a snotty cold of course - they start daycare and then immediately get sick for the first time!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Exersaucer

Leah likes exercising in her exersaucer.



Look at those chubby cheeks!!

 

I suppose our definition of "exercise" is pretty loose.

This is Amelie at 5 months in the same thing - except we had to put books underneath so that she could touch the bottom:

And James (also at 5 months):

I'd say I've gotten my $15 worth out of it (since I bought it used on Craig's List). I think the only disadvantage of this type over the new kind they have is that ours is enormous!