Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Pictures of Micah in October

He loves our phones


Giving himself kisses in the mirror

Playing with the robot

Looking up at Dad while sharing his dinner

Lately when Micah wakes up in the morning, I bring him into bed with me and nurse him.  When he's done, we have some cuddle time in my bed.  It's one of my favorite parts of the day. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jarem Being Goalie

Jarem really enjoys soccer and has become very aggressive in getting the ball.  He loves to play and gets nervous for the games.  He doesn't like being goalie because it's too much pressure.  One of the games, he was made goalie.  While he kept most of the goal attempts out, he did let one in.  He told me later that he felt like he let his whole team down because he let the other team score a goal while he was goalie.  I told him that he should also remember all the balls he kept out.  He was nervous about goalie after that.  

He seems to be the one of the smallest on his team.  Sometimes I wonder, "Is he really that small for his age, or are these guys just Amazons?"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Canning: What's Not to Love?

I've never enjoyed canning.  Let's face it, it's a LOT of work!  But, having been raised on home-canned foods, I really prefer them.  I mean, REALLY.  Especially fruits.  

Anyway, this past summer I was complaining to a friend about how I HAVE to can since I love the taste of canned peaches and pears so much.  She started telling me about how she LOVED canning.  She said she would buy a box of apples and set aside a day of the week that she wasn't too busy and look forward to it all week.  It was kind of "her" time to do something she really enjoyed.  

It got me thinking...  I guess her attitude rubbed off on me, because I started looking at canning in a whole different light.  I really enjoyed it.  In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I canned peaches, pears, applesauce and tomatoes with peppers and onions.  That's not to say it wasn't hard, but the rewards are so worth it!  I can actually say I felt like canning was a PLEASURE, and my attitude even rubbed off on Eric!  I especially enjoyed the pears.  They were perfectly ripe and the skins peeled off so smoothly.  It was a real joy.  Now, since I am posting this several months later, I can say that we have really enjoyed our home-canned pears, peaches, applesauce, and Rotel tomatoes!  Every time I get a jar to open, I feel a little bit of joy knowing that, "I did that!"

These pictures aren't necessarily in order.  We did the peaches in July.  The rest were done in October or early November.

We did peaches around July 28.  That night was crazy and I hadn't achieved the "love part" yet with these.  Eric and I started around 6-7pm on a Saturday night and were up most of the night.  Around 2am when we had 50 jars canned and still had a lot left, I started cutting them up and freezing them.  They have worked great for smoothies.

Micah wasn't cooperating very well that night either.  Usually he would go to bed and sleep all night, but I guess there was just too much noise cause he kept waking up.  So finally,  we brought him down in the swing to sleep.  That worked out fine until I took him out of his swing to put him in his bed.  That was a mistake!  He woke up and was wide awake!  I nursed him (which is usually guaranteed to get him to sleep), but nothing worked.  He was awake, and stayed awake for a long time after we were exhausted and finally ready for sleep.  We were up most of the night.  I felt like I was in a trance at church the next due to my lack of sleep.

It was kind of fun to learn that these apples may have come from the orchard in Washington where my sister works.

My sister, Melanie, got me hooked on bountiful baskets this past spring.  I would get one almost every week, which changed to every other week in the fall when they changed their offerings.  I have enjoyed SO much having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand most all the time.  I was excited when they offered these Washington apples for sale by the 40 lb box!

Honeycrisp Apples
Beautiful Applesauce

We bought this food strainer to help us out with the applesauce

Gorgeous Red Pears from Oregon

Pears finished!  My favorite part is looking at the finished product on my counter.

Skinned Tomatoes

My version of Rotel tomatoes (I thought they were going to be too spicy, but they are perfect!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

8 Months

My Favorite
Micah is now 8 months old.  The time is just flying by.  I took these pictures about 6 days after he turned 8 months since we were on vacation.    
 Micah has been going through a difficult stage sleeping at  night this past month.  I nurse him before putting him to bed, but if he wakes up at all when I set him in bed and sees me leave the room (which most nights he does), he will scream and will not stop.  If I stay in his room and stand by his bed, he will just play and eventually fall asleep, and sometimes it takes awhile.  There's no sneaking out, cause he keeps checking to make sure I'm there.  If I try to leave, he will cry.  I tried to let him cry it out two different nights, and he cried for an hour both times without going to sleep.  I can't handle him crying that long.  Those are really the only times he has ever cried like that, so I think he is scared and I don't want him to feel scared and alone.  I'd rather just stand by his bed so he knows I'm there.  Sometimes I softly rub his cheeks and forehead to help him for to sleep faster.  He usually goes to bed around 7-7:30.  

Then once he goes to sleep, he has been waking up around 11 and again around 2-4am.  Once I nurse him, he will go back to sleep without a problem.  I hope he gets through this stage quickly, cause I'm ready to get some more sleep.  That said though, most of the time I really don't mind getting up in the night with him.  I consider it just a little extra bonding time that I get with him.  Since we had him so much later than the others, I consider him a "bonus round", and now that I know how quickly the time flies, I want to soak in every second.  I try to relish in the moment as often as possible. 

He's been doing awesome on his naps though.  He doesn't have any trouble going to sleep on his own with maybe only a little fuss when I lay him down. 

I think his waking up in the night may be due to his teething.  He cut his first front tooth on his 8 month birthday and the second one a few days later, which bring his total tooth count to 5 (3 on bottom, 2 on top).  He is really good about not biting while nursing though.
He has been nursing really good and it has really become a good source of nutrition as well as a comfort thing for him.  I've been having a few breastfeeding complications, and I hope they get resolved soon so I can continue breastfeeding.  I'd like to make it to one year for him.  He is great at eating solids too.  He will eat almost any baby food I give him.  Even ones that my other babies didn't like, like peas.  He doesn't like to open his mouth very wide, so sometimes you have to just put the spoon up to his mouth and he will almost slurp it off the spoon and into his mouth.  It's kind of funny.
He rolls all over now and sometimes he will try to get into a crawling position, but not much yet.  He sits well on his own.  He is starting to be interested in words and sounds.  He can say Tessa and Dad.  He loves to play with his toes and sometimes he will even bring them to his mouth to suck them.  He is a generally happy and delightful baby.  I can't express the joy that he brings into our home.

One of my favorites cause he grabs his feet like this all the time and I think it is adorable!
I could hardly keep him still for the pictures.  He was rolling all over.

Micah giving the bear cute!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Drive Home

The drive home from Florida went amazingly smooth UNTIL the last 3 hours.  Micah was happy.  The other kids were happy in the back.  I sat in the bucket seat behind the driver and kept Micah happy.  Alex sat in front while Eric drove.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed NOT DRIVING!  Eric drove 100% on this trip, and it was fabulous.  I can't express enough how much I appreciated it.  Usually we split the driving about 60/40.  He drives 60, me 40.  I loved not driving!!  Jarem, Tessa, and Jesikah made rubber bracelets with stuff Grandma had given them for a good share of the time.  They even made some for Micah which you will see in some of the pictures below.  They stole my phone for awhile and took silly pictures.

Anyway, we followed Kyle and Jessica the whole way.  It worked out great, however, when it was time to split off, Eric went with them cause his truck was at their house, and the kids and I went the other direction towards our house.  That was when the hard part began.  I was now driving, and Micah was extremely upset that I was no longer in the seat next to him.  Jesikah sat there and tried to feed and play with him, but he just screamed.  He would NOT stop for anything.  This went on for quite some time and he would not let up.  I was flustered because I didn't know exactly where I was going and I was trying to help Jesikah calm him and it was dark so I needed to focus on the road.  

Finally, I decided if I let Alex drive, maybe I could calm him down.  So, I let Alex drive, which kind of stressed me out cause it was dark and I was nervous about him driving.  But, we did it.  Alex promised to be extra careful to calm my nerves (which I appreciated).  I took Micah out of his seat and sang him a song and put his head against my cheek/chin and he fell asleep almost immediately which was kind of sweet because he doesn't usually fall asleep while I'm holding him.  He had fallen asleep the same way another night while on vacation.  Anyway, I put him back in his carseat once I knew he was sound asleep and he slept the rest of the way.  However, Alex drove the rest of the way home because we didn't want to stop the car and chance waking him up, so I was still a bit on edge, although he is a good driver, I just worry.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Universal Studios

Sunday night we switched hotels and spent Sunday and Monday nights in a Residence Inn where breakfast was provided.  The breakfasts are great!!  These Mickey Mouse waffles were delicious!  I had one both mornings.  It was a better deal with breakfast included cause it is expensive to feed a family of 7!  Monday we spent at Universal Studios!  This time we made it around the whole park.  I liked some things better than Disney and some things worse.  It is a nice park though.  The child trade-off there was awesome.  They had a nice waiting room at the end of the ride at every attraction for the trading off.  A lot of the rooms had games for toddlers and air conditioning and chairs.  It was nice.

Jesikah racing us with the stroller while we walked on the moving walkway.

Just getting there

Butterbeer stand with Harry Potter village in the background.  It really is quite amazing.

Jarem wanted his picture next to the butterbeer stand

A quick pic in Harry Potter World

Castle from another angle

Jarem holding Taegan.  He liked to play with him.  Taegan was amazingly good the whole time for a 2 year old.

Waiting in line for the castle ride

Jarem loved playing with Porter.  He could always get Porter to laugh and smile.

Taegan pushing the stroller around while we waited out on the Dragon's Challenge.

Micah napped off and on during the day in his stroller and didn't cry at all.

Kyle and I waiting out with the kids while the other's went on the Dragon's Challenge.

Ultimate feast at the 3 Broomsticks!  Everyone was looking forward to this!

I love Taegan eating his corn in this one!  He loved it!!!

Everyone LOVED the butterbeer, even Micah!

Lots of cool buildings in Universal

Jarem wanted his picture by this although we decided not to go on this ride.
Not sure who the guy on the end is?  Can you say photo bomber with the backside. :)


Got the guy picking up his water bottle by accident.  haha!

Babies in the carriage on the carousel

 I love Alex's attitude now!  A couple of years ago he would have refused to go on the carousel and been so mad if we tried to take a picture, but he is comfortable with himself now and wasn't embarrassed at all about riding a little kid ride.  Since we had a wide age range, we had to alternate going on younger and older rides and the kids were all very good sports.  I personally thought the CaroSeussal was pretty cool with all the Seuss characters.

One fish Two fish Red fish Blue Fish (aka Dumbo copycat)

I like this one cause the girls are up and the boys right below them.

Lorax forest with Truffula trees and stumps

Jesikah giving her sad look as she looks up at the last Truffula tree.

Jarem listening in the whispermaphone

Jarem standing on the "Unless" stump from the Lorax

Fun speech bubbles

Jarem was trying to duck down and pretend he wasn't tall enough for The Hulk rollercoaster before I took the picture.  It didn't matter cause I stayed out with the babies anyway so he just stayed with me.

Jarem really liked the Dinosaur area
A few family pictures at Harry Potter World just before we headed back to the hotel:
The fam outside Hogsmeade

Kyle and Jes outside Hogsmeade

 We had a great day!  The first part of the day was slower moving and hot with more lines, but by about 4 or 5, no one was there and we kept walking on all our favorite rides with no waits and trading off with the babies.  The water rides at Universal soak you, but we did them over and over at the end of the day, and they were SO fun!  It was everyone's favorite part of the day.