Archive for January 2016

Life of Lucy Violet: 7 Months Old...

Friday, January 29, 2016
Another month has come and gone and girl you just tuck deeper into our hearts.  I tell you 1000 times a day how much I love you followed by copious amounts of kisses, leg squishes, and squeezes!  We just love you to the moon and back darling!  You are happy most of the time, although you do get bored these days so we finally got you to take a pacifier.  You just needed a little something something to entertain you from time to time like at the gym when mommy's running or when you are in the car seat longer than you like or at a restaurant.  YAY you take a pacifier now and the world is a better place to be for you!  We had fun taking photos of you again this were so curious about the blocks and can sit up so well on your own now.  We still put a hoppy out because you don't like it when you bonk your head when you get excited and flop backwards.  

You are still QUITE content to sit and play with a basket of toys, jump in your jumparoo, be held and watch the chaos pass by you.  You are still not consisted with sleeping through the night (and momma is tired, not gonna lie) but most of the time I coherently come and get you (only ran into a door once ;) and get you back to sleep.  You are attached to your white blanket and love to place it over your face to sleep (which mommy promptly removes from said face).  You love to lay on your changing pad and talk to me while I change you and you recently had the most insane blow out of your life after being constipated (started food) for about 4 days.  WOW...that was a complete onesie and tights throw away.  You are a sunbeam and have a smile that is contagious.  Your brother and sister just love you so much and dote on you all the time.  Solon hates when you fuss on your belly so he flops you over, you don't like to roll over on your own often but you do push up on your arms and rotate as if you were hands on a clock.  You still just have 2 front bottom teeth but I am thinking the others will pop through sooner than later as you are always chewing on toys especially Sophie the giraffe!

You wear mostly size 6-12 month clothes but you have a longer torso so some of your pants are still a little long.  You wear 9 month or 12 month jammies.  You wear size 3 diapers and at your well baby 6 month check you weighed 19 lbs 3 oz (90%) and were 34% for height.  You are 99% for head circumference (just like your brother).  I think you look a lot like Vera but you take after your brother a lot measurement and body type wise.

You are very curious and like to put everything in your mouth.  When we have you at the table or within reach of something, we have to watch you.  The other night you got a bunch of dad's salad.  You now eat a vegetable puree for dinner every night and a few bites of apple prune puree to keep you regular.  Much like your siblings the oatmeal kind of binds you up.  You don't love it so as you are meeting more veggies, we are phasing that out!  You have tried green beans (not a fan), carrots and squash.  We do each for 3-5 days before moving on.  Next up is sweet potatoes and peas.  Then we will start alternating veggies.  Once we get through all the veggies we will try a little fruit (we have applesauce and pears to try).  At some point, we will add in breakfast too.  You still nurse every 3.5-4 hours most days.  You usually get up to nurse around 4:45-5am and go back to bed, then nurse around 8am, 11:30am, 3pm, and then a cluster feed at bedtime normally around 8pm.  I hold you after you fall asleep, nurse you one more time before I put you to bed at about 10pm.  You are spoiled but you are my last and I love holding a sleeping babe :). Daddy said its ok :).

Big yawn...

Your demeanor is very chill, you don't mind watching the world go by on my lap.  You don't love getting into your carseat all the time but you stop fussing pretty quickly.  Sometimes at the gym, the ladies say you put up a fuss, you stinker.  The paci has helped.  

You love when we sing and dance and you start rocking back and forth.  We swear you get peek a boo when you put your favorite blanket up and then pull it down, we say "peek a boo" and you smile and do it again.  You also have really ticklish sides and giggle when we tickle you.  You always smile the biggest smile when we come get you out of your crib -- melts are our hearts :).

Girl you are growing up so fast and learning something new everyday.  You babble and "cough, cough, cough" to talk to us.  We imitate you and you do it again.  You purse your lips now and make a pucker sound, play with your tongue from time to time and grab at your toes and take your socks off.  So many tricks I might have forgotten a few...but we love you, our little ray of sunshine!  Happy 7 months!!!!

New Years at the Lake...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
After saying goodbye to Scott's family the night before, we packed up and woke up early on the 30th to head up to the lake for some winter fun with my family.  I love lake living and winter is no exception.  I wish we lived on it for daily ice skating sessions and exploring.  I especially love to scrape away the snow and look to the depths below the water is crystal clear in the summer so when it freezes its like a clear picture to the world below.  You can see the sand, random objects and ice bubbles that just floated up and froze on the way to the surface.  It might be my favorite part of the ice.  This year the weather has been so warm in MN that there was no permanent fishing houses on the lake yet.   By now there are little streets plowed on to the lake and everyone's fancy houses are placed along those streets -- :).  Minne-snowtans know how to do winter :).

My sister, brother-in-law, Scott and I set about clearing the fresh snow off the ice to make a little rink in front of the house.  My dad built a bonfire and my mom wrangled the kids.  Once we had the rink ready to go, Solon was ready to test out his skates and play some hockey.  The adults joined in for some broom-ball fun and Ellen and I both fell reminding us we are not as young as we used to be.  I had a nice LARGE bruise on my knee cap to remind me of that fact (after I momentarily prayed I didn't do more damage -- as a stay at home mom of three -- yikes!).
Grandpa and Solon...(Grandpa is forever young but he even took it easy ;)

My figure skating lessons came right back to me, I took them for about a year here and there (once in Switzerland and some more in Iowa) before we moved to another place.  I love skating...
I am also quite competitive ;) So we had a rousing game of broom-ball. Solon joined the girls team and we won (not that we were counting!).
I forced Vera on to the ice (kicking and screaming because thats what my kids are like with new experiences - nuts just like their mama!).  She tried it, she told everyone she skated and was off the ice in about 5 minutes but thankful she tried it :).  She then went and hung out with grandma where they made S'mores for us all...I think she got some extra chocolate.
A lovely warm fire...S'mores taste good year round!
Grandma and her grandgirls!
All the ladies...
That night we exchanged gifts to each other...the kids got Grandpa a selfie stick and they had fun messing around with his "gag" gift.  He always tells us we need one so they got him one!  Everyone had fun watching each other open gifts and there were lots of hands to assemble and play with the new goods!

The Smitten Swintons got matching sweaters on accident ;)  They are moving to Seattle this week...nuts we are going to miss them but what a fun adventure for them!  Too bad the discount isn't better with Amazon ;)!
Everyone loves to take turns on my mom's piano, Uncle K took Lucy for a turn.  He can really play, a hidden talent ;).  If I had a piano at my house I think I would play it quite a bit, it comes back to me when I am at my mom's and Solon LOVES to play.  I think he is getting a keyboard for his birthday!
The next few days were repeats of day 1, more hockey (less falling with a little lighter competition), more sledding and lots of fun and laughter!  Winter at the lake is SO much fun!  We didn't leave home once but we had a blast!  In between we ate lots of cookies, played lots of table games - both kids and adult and watched a fair amount of football :).
Uncle K and Auntie E on the toboggan 
How many people can you fit on one toboggan?  4 adults and a Solon and you sled right out on to the ice too!!!!

We wrapped up 2015 with a sparkling juice toast, a pre-recorded ball drop and the kids were passed out from all the fun by 9pm.  We celebrated with the east coast at 11pm and followed the kids to bed! All that fresh air knocks you right out...

Happy New Year from snowy Minnesota!  A highlight of 2015 for sure...

Life of Lucy Violet: 6 Months & 1/2 Year...

Friday, January 15, 2016
How are you 1/2 year old?????  Oh my word we love you more than you will ever know (well until you become a mom ;).  You are so happy and smiley and just generally don't mind all the kisses and touches you receive everyday!  Let's recap the highlights of month 6, you are growing and changing!

You love bath time...and you love to be naked on your changing table.  You only whimper when I put clothes back on you.  You love to grab your toes and coo while I change you.  You also like a good lotion massage after bath.  You splash and smile at us in the mirror while we bathe you on our did try a bath with V this month but you like the solitude for now :).

People think you look like neither sibling, some think you look like Solon but mommy found proof you look like your sissy Vera too!  This dress you both wore for your 6 month photos and you both look very similar (not twins but definitely sisters :).  Both cute as can be!  I get these great smiles because two really funny photo assistants are right behind me...
This sums you up right now, you are putting everything in your mouth.  You just need to check your world out and to my surprise you were also teething.  You were chewing on Nana's hand on your 6 month birthday (12/28/2015) when she felt your first bottom tooth coming in.  I nearly fainted from shock.  You advanced gal you, your siblings didn't get theirs until 9 months.  Unfortunately you have gotten mom a few times while nursing, we are all hoping that ends quickly :(.

While at Bass Pro we had to check out the boats and fish and of course since you are the 3rd child I wasn't prepared with your stroller so we tested out cart sitting.  You LOVED it :)

We have been letting you practice sitting with a hoppy around you since you are still wobbly or sitting in your gumbo.  You like to pull all of your toys out of your basket and watch your siblings.  You are starting to enjoy tummy time more and roll over when you want to.  You also do a lot of turning like a clock.  I will leave you playing and come back to find you rotated around as if you are hands on a clock.  My time of you staying put are coming to an end SOON.

  • We took you in thinking you had an ear infection (there was fluid) but we let the cold pass and turns out it was probably those 2 new pesky teeth popping through.  Both bottom teeth are in.
  • At your visit you weighed 17 lbs. 15 oz.  
  • You are wearing mostly 6-12 month clothes and 9 month onesies and pajamas.  We still squeeze you into some 6 month jammies but your 3-6 month things are just too short!
  • You love to chew on your pacifiers, your fingers, my fingers and everyone else's hands too -- we try to keep hands washed around here so you don't get another cold (you had one in December).
  • We started you on baby oatmeal on 1/2/16.  The first few days you cried when we fed it to you (you still cry when daddy tries to feed you, not sure why) but now you polish off a serving at dinner time.
  • You were sleeping fairly well at night before your schedule went out the window for Christmas.  We let you cry it out a few nights when we got home and you are back to going to bed around 7pm and getting up around 4:30-5am some nights and others sleeping until 6:30-7.  
  • You generally take 2 naps in your crib a day, you take a morning nap (mostly on the go), an afternoon nap and then a shorter nap right before dinner.
  • You LOVE to jump in your jumparoo, you would stay in there forever if I let you.
  • You rub you eyes and yawn to let us know you are tired
  • You have a blowout and if not one multiple.  You wear a onesie to protect your clothes and contain the poop.  Some are worse than others but Oxiclean and I are friends.  
  • We have tried all diaper types but pampers and Target seem to contain the mess the best but you love to poop in your carseat which generally shoots it right up your back.
  • You still don't love when mom eats tomato things (like chili) and milk, yogurt and ice cream.  Mommy can now do cheeses though - yay!
  • I love to watch you in your monitor -- what did I do without it :)
  • You have become attached to your white blanket, I am trying to also hook you on a lovey that is from the same line in hopes we have options :/.
  • You refuse to take a paci so we are learning ways to soothe you besides nursing because girl you can't always nurse to soothe, sorry!
  • You remain highly entertained by the chaos going on around you...the kids love to crawl into your crib in the morning and after naps to talk to you.  You don't seem to mind and actually give us all big smiles.
  • You still hold in your laughs but we are finding ways to get you giggling.  Solon got you going in the car the other day and we all started laughing as a result...nuts its soooo cute!
  • You still are so flexible with all the trips here there and everywhere -- you keep me good company at all the activities.
My baby you are growing up and you completed our family.  My heart aches a little as the baby in you growing up so fast.  I just told your daddy, I would still be carrying you well into your teens and he laughed.  Life flies by and it goes too fast but I love watching you blossom into the little lady God bestowed on us to raise.  Happy 1/2 year birthday girlie.  The next 6 months are going to be filled with lots of exciting milestones, I am so thankful I get to watch them all in the front  row! watching you sleep :)

what a difference 6 months makes!

Christmas at home...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
We spent Christmas Eve just our little family of 5 until late afternoon.  We played lots of games in our pajamas (memory, Spot It, Candy Land and Crazy 8's), had the fire going and ate more cookies for snacks than normally allowed :).  Then late afternoon Papa, Nana and Great Grandma Olive came over to help us with our Gingerbread Houses (which were a near fail because I forgot I normally hot glue the houses together).  We ended up with 4 houses fairly well standing and a little less candy on them then we started with (I heard some went into bellies).  After decorating, we got dressed up and ready to go to our candlelit service at church.  It was a nice service which highlighted the real reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior.  So thankful for His precious gift that we are made right with God when we accept his invitation of salvation.  Praying our children accept Jesus as their savior when they are ready.  No greater gift offered but the reason we share gifts with one another, because he first gave!

We had some hungry and present-ready munchkins when we got home but first I had to capture the annual picture in front of the tree...
...and good thing we got a sweet kissing picture because this was the "smile" photo :)  They are all mine folks and I love them to bits and pieces!  And loved their coordinating outfits!!!

While the appetizers were heating up, we let the kids open their gifts to each other.  They were so excited to open and share their gifts.  They each helped Lucy open hers...she was quite intrigued by the wrapping paper and would have happily eaten it had we let her.
This year they gifted Lucy bath toys and bibs from Vera and fleece pajamas from Solon, Vera got mini twin babies and bunk beds from Solon and a doll house pool from Lucy.  Solon got a remote control helicopter from Lucy and a lego truck and porta potty set from Vera (which got lots of laughs :).  They all loved the gifts, they know each other well and asked for no help from mom and dad.  Lucy is a whiz with amazon one-click shopping (kids these days :).

After dinner and before bed Scott read the Nativity story and Twas the Night before Christmas before setting out a generous portion of cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer.  Then off to bed they went...with some reminders :).

We woke up the next morning at 7am on the dot (after a 4:42 am attempt and mommy saying it was still the middle of the night :).  We had gifted Solon a lego alarm clock for Christmas so they knew what to look for on the clock to come and get us but apparently playing in Solon's room was okay at 4:42 am :).   We woke up to frost covered trees and a beautiful white Christmas.  Beautiful.

Santa found us and the kids got the items they wished for (lego police set, Elsa karaoke machine and Lucy got a walker toy) and a few extra fun things for the whole family (play kitchen and basketball game).

Solon even requested this photo this year -- yes its a yearly tradition (I did it as a kid too).  Christmas morning and matching jammies, my heart :).

Scott's brother and sister-in-law and our new niece Ella arrived late on Christmas Eve so the two little lady cousins met on Christmas morning before they headed out for Scott's parents.  We hung low at home all morning, having our traditional reindeer and snowman doughnuts as well as eggs and sausage and copious amounts of coffee.
Solon got a pair of inflatable boxing gloves...what was Santa thinking ;)

We headed to Scott's parents for a late afternoon Christmas meal and hanging out before we came home as the kids were exhausted from their EARLY morning and so was mommy!

The next day Scott's sister's family came from MN and we had his uncle and cousins from West Branch over for a meal.  Lucy enjoyed some more lap time with Great Grandma (95 years young).
We had the meal at their clubhouse so the kids and Uncle Scott came up with a fun exercise game of knock the kids over...
That night we exchanged all the gifts and gave Scott's parents a book Raquel masterminded and we contributed to honoring their childhood home that Scott's parents sold this year.  There were lots and lots of pictures of the architecture and times gone by and then everyone contributed memories of our time at the house.  They were very touched and it is a very neat momento from the time spent at BuckRidge!
We had one more day together with everyone before a snow storm shortened Scott's brother Paul's trip.  We enjoyed pancakes by Papa and then went bowling at Bass Pro Shop and had Brown Bottle Lasagna (Cedar Falls specialty) for a late lunch before saying goodbyes to Great Grandma and Paul's family.
Great Grandma enjoyed more Lucy time and even got a sleep and cuddle out of her :)
Auntie Raquel gifted Lucy with this cute outfit -- :)
Grace, Vera and Lucy
We had a blast having chips and cheese and sprite while bowling.  Grace and Lance are so good with my kids and helped Vera out (so much so that she won!).

Solon just loves his LANCE!

We had two more days with the Malins and a blizzard in the mix so we stayed close to home and played lots of games including charades, Wii bowling and Wii Just Dance as well as some adult table games of Catan and Ticket to Ride Asia!  And ate.  We ate a lot :).

What a fun way to spend Christmas.  We are so glad to be with cousins and celebrate Christmas with them!  Next we were off to MN to ring in the New Year on the lake :).

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