Yep - time has flown by. Evie is now 9 months old, and MacKay and Oscar are 2 1/2 years old. I'm so anxious for her to grow and get bigger so we can do more with her, but lately she went through this big spurt of growth and development that it sorta brought a tear to my eye that she is changing so quickly, though I love to watch her learn these new things every day. And the boys are developing verbally so much every day. Constantly learning new words and items in books and shows etc. Wish I could pause it for a little bit so I could take a breath and really enjoy this stage, in all it's chaos and craziness as well as it's amazement.
As usual we always have a ton going on. I found out recently that I was able to secure two spots in our district's ECFE Plus program for the boys for next year. Currently we do the Mommy and Me classes which are just once a week... but next fall they qualify to be in the ECFE Plus program where they go twice weekly - Tuesdays we will go to class together like we currently do, but on Thursdays I just drop the boys off for their own day of fun for a couple hours. I am hoping that on those Thursdays I can find a Mommy and Me class for Evie and myself to join as I really want to get her into this too. Currently all she does is go to sibling care while the boys are at ECFE .... but this fall I plan to get her into a 1+ year old class while the boys have their 2nd day of ECFE plus each week. So we will be busy but I have seen how this ECFE program has been SO good for the boys - I'm sure it will be for Evie too (not to mention good for me to get out of the house and converse with other adults/mothers etc).
We also are starting up the "landscaping" portion of all the renovations we started last fall. We have the stamped/tinted concrete walk ways going in next week, and after that we will FINALLY get our paved drive way. SOOOO sick of our messy and dusty class 5 driveway - so I cannot wait. After that our landscaper will come in and do all the trees, shrubs/bushes and flowers we have laid out on the very extensive plan that he made for us. A mix of some mulch and river rock (little bigger than average rock used in rock beds) and some earth stones leading to walk ways etc. I can't wait to see the end product. Me, I am just excited to get some "red" bushes and trees in the yard - before it was just riddled with brown oaks and pine etc. And I am getting a few of my beloved hydrangea bushes. And somewhere in there Chris wants to reside the old detached garage (which is now the new "shed") to match the house, and we want to get a play set and sand box for the kiddos in the backyard. Gets me thinking - maybe I should call the landscaper and see about planting a "money tree" to help us out with funding all of this. :) Once this whole thing is done I will most definitely post pictures... those of you that had seen the place before I think will be quite shocked at how it has changed.
MacKay and Oscar .... for them, most changes revolve around their speaking. They crack me up daily with the sentences and thoughts they put together. Oscar is finally calling MacKay "MAH-Kay" (vs just "Kay") ... and MacKay is calling everyone "Honey". Guess I must overuse that pet name a bit. :) I constantly hear "Come on, Honey"..... "No Honey"...... Stop It, Honey". They love to talk about the books we read, the shows/movies we watch... and especially on almost EVERY vehicle we pass when we are in the car. They spaz out every time they see a utility vehicle of some sort (back hoe, track hoe, bulldozer etc) which is always a "tractor"... and every time they see a school bus, semi truck, dump truck, bus, or oil truck. So driving around town is quite interesting with things being shouted out from the backseat every 5-10 seconds. We've also started trying to get them to learn to sing some songs. I noticed at ECFE that they would sing along to some of them.... so we've been working on a few at home to see which ones tickle their fancy. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a good one.... they actually get out all the right sounds (not quite all clear words) at all the right points in the song - and clearly get: twinkle, star, what you are, up above, high, diamond, sky etc. So those words get stressed more than others and you can tell they are quite proud they can remember them.
Evie.... oh little Evie. How long do I have to tell you about ALL the things she has learned and done in the past few weeks since the last post. WOW. In the past few weeks she went from being pretty stationary to blazing around the room (by many different means at various stages), eating some solid foods (puffs mainly), drinking from a sippy cup to holding her own sippy cup and really gulping down the juice on her own. Not to mention she loves to "ape" different things you will do - she can now clap (and will even clap when you ask her to most times), and will copy different noises you make with your mouth (smooches, smacking etc). All of this craziness started when she made a couple movements that resembled crawling. But she would tire out quickly so instead she learned to creep/army crawl and just kept getting better and better. And when she got tired of that she would roll like crazy to get where she wanted to go. Then I noticed she could get herself from being on her tummy to sitting up on her own and a couple days later she started trying out the crawling again but it was only a couple steps at a time and she would flop right down and creep again. A couple days later I came back out from changing the boys' diapers to find her kneeling up against the couch - even better, later that day when I came back from putting the boys in their room for some quiet time I found her in the corner of the room kneeling up against the little toy piano we have and totally bopping and swaying to the music and giggling to herself. Went down to Grandma Chris's for a few days while daddy went out west for work and no sooner did we get there and Evie took off crawling and never looked back. She got fast quickly too. She's just jetting from one corner of the room to the other now - spies something she wants from afar and off she goes. So it seems like almost EVERY day this little girl has had something that I have needed to jot down to put in her baby book .... crazy how much she has changed, and so quickly.
Well, I know I am forgetting a ton of other stuff here.... but I have SO many pictures to get on here and things to explain about so many of them that I must get onto that portion of the post.
Evie and the boys playing outside during some of our nicer weather - Evie in the grass, and the boys getting pulled around by Grandma Chris in their wagon from Grandma Diane. Always fun to watch their first reaction to grass.
Just a few fun and silly pictures of Evie. She loves pulling off her socks (what she's trying to do in her high chair), loves standing up whether it be with your help or holding herself up with something, and a few pictures of her mimicking us making smooching noises
This was the day where I found her on two occasions pulling up (to kneeling) on things - the couch and the piano. (Note - she now LOVES that piano which drives the boys crazy - share share share)
Silly boys - here they were trying to look through their Cheez-It crackers and saying "I can see you, Mommy"
Fun at Nisswa park with the Williams' (Shawna and her twin boys Jackson and Wyatt who are one year younger than MacKay and Oscar)
Wyatt is just enamoured of Evie - constantly wanting to play with her and give her hugs. Who knows, maybe someday down the road we will be related to the Williams' :)
Just some cute pictures of Wyatt and Jackson - love the one of them both just looking out at the playground at what they will conquer next
The swings were a hit with almost all the boys. I couldn't get Jackson, MacKay and Oscar off of them ... meanwhile Wyatt was happy just running around the park (with his mother trailing after him). Tho eventually we were able to rope him in and give him a few pushes in a swing. Oscar even ventured to try out the "big boy" swing but couldn't quite trust it enough to fully sit down on it and put any weight on it.
MacKay and Oscar just couldn't get enough out of crawling into and out of (and just hanging out inside) the jungle gym they have there.
And boys will be boys - and you gotta love them for it. Oscar and MacKay were playing in some mud (we had been watering a newly planted tree) and Oscar got stuck (his boot) and fell over in the mud - he wasn't too happy about it and wanted it washed off ASAP. Instead I ran inside to get the camera.... :)
Yet another trip to the Nisswa Park - this time to meet up with Gma Diane and cousin Tyler
Finally Evie gets her chance at the swings - and she LOVES them. Just smiling and enjoying the breeze going through her hair etc. At times she just couldn't even contain herself and was just shrieking and hyper ventilating.
The boys are ALWAYS all about the slides - and they HAVE to get to them all by themselves. They get very upset if we help (other than one slide that is covered and they need help stepping up to)
Some pictures of Oscar running to yet another slide, in the jungle gym again, and sitting on the big metal car frame thingy they have there - he thinks it is a train
Some pictures of MacKay ...... at times when he was giving me a heart attack. Out of no where this child has decided he has NO FEAR and wants to try everything WITH NO HELP. You cannot even "spot him" while he does it. Whether it be trying the ladders on his own, to eventually trying the highest ladder when no one was looking ..... and then demanding to try the rope ladder as well. He just wouldn't give up and you could see his little legs and arms shaking from doing this over and over and over again. He really got a work out. Also loves to hang from the bars there and can hold on for quite some time and then goes right back for some more.
Finally, a nice relaxing ride on the merry go round with Daddy and cousin Tyler (while Evie got loved up and spoiled by Gma Diane) :)
The boys with their Thomas the Train Carnival track set - amazingly I set this up and it lasted for about 45 minutes before they both played "Godzilla" and destroyed it.
One of Evie's new favorite toys - the scooter that eventually turns into a push toy for practice walking. The boys love pushing her around on it too.
At Gma Chris's house: stacking pegs as high as we could (new toy Gma got this last time) and the boys enjoying watching a movie (probably Cars) with their Uncle Dennis. And Evie hamming it up for the camera wearing one of my favorite outfits from Gma Chris.
Now this cracks me up ..... while we were bathing the boys we put Evie in Gma Chris's walk through closet that has sliding mirror doors on both sides. She was so enthralled and just raced back and forth between sides trying to catch all the babies she was seeing in there (you see multiple versions of the same image). This kept her entertained for quite some time.
Bathtime: The boys enjoying a bath in Gma's big tub with their bath blizzard bubble machine. They had a blast grabbing up handfuls of suds and slathering them on each others heads and faces. Even Evie got her first bath in just the kitchen sink (no infant tub etc).
Lastly - my mom was able to get out early one of the days we were down so we took the kiddos to a park.... only to have it start downpouring on us just minutes after we got there. But before that happened I was at least able to snap a few pictures of Evie enjoying swinging (while the boys were running Gma all over the play gyms) :)
Bub Bye for now - come on back - I'm just getting better and better with my camera (which I almost ALWAYS use on manual vs auto now - thanks to my photography classes).