Thursday, July 28, 2011

Growing Kids

The kids are growing like weeds!  Braden and Natalie are 9 1/2 months old now.  Natalie has at least six teeth.  Maybe more.  It seems like every time I look in her mouth there are more teeth coming through the gums.  I think it makes her look older.  She is not at all interested in crawling yet.  She likes to sit up to play sometimes.  She loves to be on her back and belly.  And if she needs to get somewhere, she looks at her destination, then rolls (quite quickly!) to get there.  She is very flexible and agile and uses her feet like hands a lot.  That really cracks me up!  She sucks her thumbs, though not both at the same time.  She will just use whichever one is available.  And sometimes she sucks one for a few seconds, then switches to the other.  I don't know how she determines which one she likes best at any particular time.  When she is tired she sucks her thumb and uses her free hand to play with her ear.  She reminds me of King Richard (the lion) on Disney's animated Robin Hood movie.

Braden has two teeth in and two coming.  He is really interested in the food the big people eat.  He wants to try whatever we have, and gets pretty angry if we won't share.  He loves to sit up to play, and has figured out how to get to a sitting position on his own.  He will probably crawl soon.  He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks sometimes.  Right now he mostly scoots backward on his hands and knees.  He actually crawled backward a few steps recently, too.  I hope he figures out how to go forward soon; he keeps getting really irritated when he backs himself under a chair or into a corner and can't get out.  Braden is a serious mama's boy!  If I am in the room, he will fuss and whine and cry until I pick him up or play with him.  Even Daddy won't do.  It's nice--and exhausting--to be so loved!

Braden just after his first haircut

Natalie with her first (tiny) ponytail
Sorry it's blurry.  I need to learn to hold my iPhone very still.
Braden in pink sunglasses

Natalie in pink sunglasses

 This is what happens when the big kids help out by feeding the babies.  Messy!!!
Maryam just had her first dance recital last Saturday.  She was in a beginning ballet class at a local studio.  She did such a great job!  We weren't allowed to take any video or pictures during the recital, but I did get a few shots beforehand and a video during one of their classes.  Her class did a dance to "Put on a Happy Face."  They were adorable!  I really enjoyed the whole recital, and I hope she wants to keep dancing because I like to watch the performances.  We had decided to take a break from ballet class because she wasn't very enthusiastic about going (read: clinging to mom's leg instead of walking into the studio), but since the recital she has been asking to take classes again.  So, we shall see . . . 

Happy Face pose

Maryam and Peyton
Peyton is loving the summer time and wishing we had a bigger yard so I would let him go out and play sports more.  He loves every sport he has tried so far.  We were hoping to get him in soccer this fall, but we missed the sign ups in March.  I had no idea they were so early.  Now we know for next year, though.  Peyton loves Star Wars and has spent a lot of time working on a Star Wars sticker book that he got for his birthday.  He has been my more mellow child, but is learning to stand up for himself too, especially with his twin sister.

Our summer has been quietly fun. We haven't really gone anywhere. We have done some swimming and played at the park a bunch. I'm still really tired most days, so there has also been a lot of napping for me and the babies and "rest time" for the big kids. Tobin's parents visited in May and June, and I think they will be here again toward the end of the summer. My family is coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. And that's about all of our excitement. Maybe next year we'll do more . . .

I can't believe how quickly time is going. This afternoon Peyton, Maryam, and I bought their backpacks and school supplies. They are now ready for the first day of kindergarten in a few weeks. They have been driving me crazy lately, since it seems their current favorite pass time is bickering. I've been thinking how great it will be to have a few quiet hours with just me and the babies at home during the week. But really I think I'm going to miss them! I love my kids so much, and I'm so extremely blessed to have them in my life!

I'm excited for school to start, and also terrified.  I almost started crying when I had to leave Maryam by herself at her dress rehearsal for ballet.  How am I going to leave my babies at school every day?  I'm also terrified by the responsibility of it all.  I will have to get four kids dressed, fed, ready, and out the door on time six days a week!  Well, I guess technically the babies and I could wear our pajamas to take the big kids to school.  But still . . .  This is going to be a big change for me.  Hopefully we won't be late often . . . or ever.  The anticipation is killing me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stinson Beach

My sister-in-law, Kristyn, and I took our kids (and her niece and brother) to the beach on July 5th.  We intended to hike in Muir Woods first and then head to Stinson Beach for lunch.  But Muir Woods was really busy, and we would have had to hike a mile (maybe not quite that far) just to get to the park to take a hike.  Instead we decided to nix Muir Woods and just head for the beach.  The last bit of the drive to Muir Woods was very windy, as was the drive between there and the beach.  Poor Maryam has inherited my car sick gene, and threw up twice on the way to the beach.  Luckily I already knew this, and the car was stocked with barf bags (aka, one gallon size ziploc bags).

It was cool and foggy when we first arrived at Stinson Beach.  We unloaded, picked a spot and got set up.  The sand was nice and warm; a nice counter to the cool air.  We had a fun time relaxing, playing in the sand and water, and eating lunch.  Even the babies enjoyed it!

Braden - Sunscreen makes great hair gel!  Does this kid need a haircut or what!?!?

Happy Natalie

playing while it was still cool

Natalie loving the beach

Braden loving the beach

Braden and Natalie

Heading for the Water!  Kymiyah, Kristyn, Braden, Peyton, Samantha, Maryam

Cute Twins!  Peyton and Maryam

More Cute Twins!  Braden, Lydia, Natalie

Auntie Kristyn and Natalie

running from the waves

Cousins - Peyton, Maryam, Samantha

Dig a hole . . .

 . . . fill it with water!  (I don't know why.  They just thought it was fun.)
Did you notice the gradual removal of clothing?  The weather did warm up as the day progressed.  It was perfect!  Not too hot, not too cold.  A fantastic day at the beach!

Baby Blankets

I've made a few baby blankets in the past weeks, since there seems to be a bit of a baby boom in my life right now. Interestingly, the people having babies all seem to be in different circles of my life. Though I have several friends who are pregnant, few of them know or associate with each other. (Not significant information, just interesting to me.) Anway, here are a couple of baby boy quilts I made recently.

Baby Boy Fowler Quilt

The backing of both quilts is a light-weight, brown polka dot corduroy.

Baby Boy Harper Quilt

I made the quilt with the white center first.  In order to quilt this, I measured and marked each line with pins.  I heard from a friend that there is a special sewing machine foot that can mark the distance between the lines so that they are even and you don't have to do the measuring.  So I bought myself one of those (can't remember what it's called) and a walking foot.  The walking foot can be used to do "free hand" machine quilting.  I'm exciting and scared to use that one.  It's still in the packaging.  I think "free hand" machine quilting looks so cool when other people do it.  I really want to try it out.  But I'm afraid that when I do it's going to look bad.  Then I'll have an ugly quilt that I have to either give someone (and feel terrible for giving them something ugly), keep and use in my home (and nit-pick it's inadequecies each time I see it), or donate somewhere (and feel bad for donating an ugly quilt to someone in need).  Yes, I do know I'm crazy.  Hopefully I'll find the courage--and time--to try my walking foot soon!

Family Time

We have enjoyed some awesome family time over the past few Saturdays.  Our Saturday usually involves a walk to the farmer's market, doing a few chores at home, and sometimes a swim in our community pool.  It's been so nice to spend time together as a family doing things at/near home.  We all love the time together!

We took the babies to the pool for the first time a couple Saturdays ago.  Since we went in the morning before it's really hot (and before the teenagers are out of bed), we had the pool all to ourselves.  That's my favorite!

Tobin and Braden

Peyton and Maryam

Lydia and Natalie

Braden, Maryam, Tobin, Peyton, Natalie

Braden - I don't think he is loving this!

Natalie - A sad bathing beauty!
I don't think the babies loved the pool, but hopefully they will decide to like it next time.  With four kids who can't swim independently, our pool adventures are limited to times when we have at least one other adult.  I'm not brave enough to try to manage four kids in the pool on my own, especially when two of them are infants.  Maryam and Peyton do really well and are quite independent with their life jackets on, but you never know what the other people in the pool are going to do.  I've had to pull them out of the way before they get run over by teenagers more than once in the past.

I'm hoping to get Peyton and Maryam into swim lessons this summer.  I better put that on my to do list for next week and hope that all of the session are not full yet.  If not, there's always next year, right?

I Love Pixar!

We have a friend who works for Pixar, and his family invited our family to go see a preview showing of Cars 2.  Tobin wasn't available since he had a golf date, so I left the babies with my father-in-law and Peyton, Maryam, and I went to the show.  My kids have been to Pixar before with their friend, but I had never been.  It is so cool!  When I got home, I told Tobin I need to find a job I can do for them.  I want to work there.  We enjoyed the movie and then got to look around one of the buildings.  There were lots of neat art exhibits from Cars 2, but we couldn't take pictures since it hadn't been released yet.  Here are some pictures with other Pixar favorites.

Kelsi, Peyton, Maryam, Miles, Holly, Gavin

Peyton, Lydia, Maryam (showing her ticket to the movie)

Gavin, Peyton, Holly, Miles, Maryam - This Buzz and Woody are made of Legos!

Holly, Peyton, Gavin, and Maryam with the Incredibles (and bad lighting)

Maryam, Peyton, Holly, and Miles - Bruce the shark in the background

Gavin, Holly, Peyton, and Maryam with Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc.