Sunday, June 30, 2013

Turning Insignificance into Treasure

What's the best thing to do with a random piece of wood you have laying around the house?  
Give your toddler some paint and some brushes and let her have at it.
That's what went on in our house Saturday morning and it was so much fun.
Emma is getting more intentional with her painting and coloring
and I am absolutely loving all of her creations.  

I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with this masterpiece yet,
but it is definitely going to be displayed some how.  I absolutely love it.  It is beautiful. 
I love it when something so insignificant turns into such an incredible treasure.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ways to Tame my Wild Thing

My Emma Claire is a wild girl full of energy.
She is always bouncing all over the house and running from room to room.
She fills every inch of our house with laughter, screeches, and the pitter patter of her little feet.
I embrace her free spirit and encourage her love to play, but there are times when
I need her to be a little calmer, a little less crazy, and a little more focused on one particular thing
so I can get a couple of chores done around the house or cook dinner.
I include her in my chores as much as possible, but there are some things that just aren't
compatible with my Wild Thing.  Now that she is tall enough to reach the countertops I don't
like her to be in the kitchen while I'm cooking as much.  Knives and a hot stove
are easily within her reach now so I often set her up with some sort of activity that I know
will keep her entertained for an extended period of time.  This usually gives me
just enough time to complete whatever task I am trying to tackle.

Here are three things I've been using lately that Emma seems to really enjoy...

A bucket full of dry beans, spoons, scoops, and cups.
She loves scooping and pouring the beans from one cup to the next.
Another one of her favorite things to do with the beans is to bury one of her
little Minnie Mouse figures under the beans.  I always hear her saying
"Where'd Minnie go?" and then I hear the sound of the beans being moved around
followed by her little squeaky voice saying "There she is!"

And for some reason, she always ends up standing in the bucket.  
I think she likes the way it feels under her feet.

Another activity I have been using lately simply involves a colander and a bunch of pipe cleaners.
I give her everything and then let her loose with it.  She twists and folds the pipe cleaners,
sticks them in the colander, and pulls them out.  Sometimes she puts both ends of one pipe cleaner
into two different holes and sometimes she only puts one end in leaving the other one
sticking out any which direction.  Sometimes she sticks two different pipe cleaners into one hole.
Sometimes she pulls each pipe cleaner out one by one and sometimes she flips the bowl over
and shakes them all out.  Whatever she does she has a good time with it and that's all that matters. 

Another way I keep my wild girl occupied is with a couple of bowls, 
some spoons, and several ice cubes.  Emma absolutely loves this.
The first time I gave her these things she kept running over to me every few minutes
and saying "Brrrrr, cold."  It was so cute and I couldn't help but laugh at her
every single time.  She likes to shake the ice cubes around in the bowl
and hear the sound of them circling around it or clanking into each other.
She likes to pour the ice from one bowl to the other and she likes to try to scoop
the cubes up with a spoon, but that is a little more difficult for her.
Another thing she did the first time I set her up with this activity was bring 
the bowl over to me after she had been playing for awhile with a very confused look on her face.
She held the bowl out to me and said "water bowl Momma."  She was so perplexed
and I thought it was the cutest thing in the world.

Providing Emma with these kinds of activities 
gives her the opportunity to tinker with things and discover all the
different ways she can use them and play with them.  
I love seeing her engrossed in and learning from these type of activities

Super Sunday Sync

Wordless Wednesday: I Want them to Always be Best Friends

Jude Scott: 6 Months

My Sweet Little J Bird,

I'm still not used to the fact that you, my baby boy, are half a year old.
I've had a week and a half to get used to the idea, but it's still unbelievable to me.
I find myself wondering where the time has gone since I first held you in my arms
and I realize that it has been nestled up during middle of the night feedings, it has been
shrieking with laughter during countless tickle sessions, it has been gobbled up with the taste of
your tiny baby feet, it has been splashed upon with great joy during bath time, and it has
steadily moved forward with every turn of the page during bedtime stories.
Six months full of these wonderful moments that I cherish and love have come and gone,
and although it makes me a little sad to watch your days as a baby soar past me,
I know these memories will last forever in my heart.  They will rest easy
knowing that you are a happy, healthy, and sweet boy and because
I find a new reason to love you even more every single day.

Jude Scott, you amaze me and truly capture my heart on a daily basis.
You are such an affectionate little boy and I love every hug and squeeze
you share with me.  I love laying next to you and talking to you because you always
wiggle and twist your way right up against me and bury your head in my chest.
Although you are mobile now thanks to your crazy rolling, scooting, and spinning you
still love to be cuddled just as much as you did as a newborn and that makes me
happier than you will ever know.  Even if they only last a few seconds at a time,
our special snuggles bring me the greatest joy.  There is nothing else like them in the world.

You have grown and developed a lot this past month.  You finally decided
that it's okay to consistently roll from your tummy to your back so now you move yourself
from one end of the room to the other.  If I put you down on a blanket to play you are off of it
within a few minutes.  I don't know why I even still bother with the blankets.
You can sit up by yourself and you are starting to intentionally get yourself out of
the sitting position by leaning forward and then kicking your legs out behind you instead of
just falling over to one side or the other.  You get up on your hands and knees and rock
all the time.  You are trying so hard to crawl and as a result of this you have taken your first
face plant into the floor.  You are able to get your knees moving, but your arms are still holding
you back from being a completely mobile little man, but I don't think that will be the case
for much longer.  You get stronger every day.  You are also so close to waving hi.
When I wave to you you raise up and open your hand.  You don't quite have
the motion down yet, but I think you are just days away from getting there.

I have loved every single moment of these past six months Little J,
even the ones that have occurred when you awaken me from my sleep in the middle of the night.
I absolutely love taking care of you.  It is my most important responsibility and my
most rewarding job.  Thank you for your sweet smiles and your gentle hugs.
They make my job as your Momma so easy.  I love you Little Man.

My big boy wants to be crawling so bad.

I call these last two "Trying to go Home."

Six Month Photo Comparison

Babies and Beyond

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We Need to Feel the Sunshine

We live extremely close to the flight line that's on the Air Force Base over here
and for the past three weeks or so there have been jets taking off nonstop.
They literally fly right over our building and they are still extremely low when they do
so they are insanely loud.  Depending on where you are standing in our apartment when they fly overhead, you can feel the building shake.  And to make matters worse, 
they always fly in pairs or groups of four so their deafening roar comes back to back.
One day I counted twenty different jets within an hour.  It's been that bad.
Because of this we have not been able to go outside much lately.
I don't know if the jets hurt Jude's ears or if they just scare him, but every time 
they take off and we are outside he cries.  Emma runs to me, grabs whatever part of me she can
and holds on for dear life.  As a result, we have spent multiple days, entire days, 
cooped up in our apartment and staring at the beautiful beach and ocean that seem to be 
calling our names.  The glistening ripples in the water and the piles of coral 
are just a tease at this point.

Last week I finally decided that enough was enough.  We were all getting a little stir crazy.
We decided to take Daddy to work a couple different days so we could have the car
and go to the park.  The fresh air and sunshine were exactly what all of us needed.
It's amazing how much of a difference getting out of the house and being able
 to play outside makes for both the babies and me.  All of our attitudes changed 
as soon as our faces felt the warmth of the sun and the wind blew through our hair.
There is nothing better than the freedom to run, climb, yell, and scream that being outside allows.

I love that Jude is old enough to play by himself on a blanket 
so I can help Emma climb on the playground.

This is one slide loving girl.

Jude's first taste of grass.

Rocking away on the elephant.

Little J loves being outside.

Momma and Baby Girl going down the slide together.

Just hanging out with my J Bird while Sissy runs wild.

I love that I have outside babies.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Her Future Already Looks Bright

Emma is very quickly nearing two years old.  She is learning, developing, and growing
at lightning speed.  She is even starting to shed off some of her precious baby rolls,
 although that process is still moving slower than anything else.
My little girl is progressing in so many ways, all of which amaze me,
but there is one in particular that completely blows my mind and makes me very proud.
Not only is my Emma Claire sweet and funny, but she is also a very polite little lady.
She says please, thank you, you're welcome, and even bless you when
someone sneezes.  Now she doesn't say these things in every situation where they would
be appropriate, but she says them on a very consistent basis without being prompted to do so.
This fascinates me because this is not something the husband and I
have specifically worked with her on.  Sure there have been a few times here and there
when we have asked her to say please or thank you; we haven't completely
neglected this aspect of her development, but it's not something we have put a whole
lot of effort in to.  I guess this is just proof that she learns so much simply by
watching, listening, and interacting with Daddy and me.  The behavior that we as her parents
model, every single aspect of it, is so influential on her personality and her attitude.
She sees and hears something once and it is forever embedded in her impressionable mind.
To me, having manners and using them is a sign of respect and consideration of others.
I believe being polite and well-mannered are extremely important values for someone to possess,
and unfortunately I think they are severely lacking in both children and adults in today's society.
Since Emma has picked up on these basic yet crucial social behaviors at such a young age
hopefully they will be so deeply rooted in her personality that they will remain a part of her
throughout her childhood and even into her adult life.  You can never make a first impression
twice and I believe a person's manners speak very loudly about their character as a whole.
I am under the impression that my beautiful daughter is not only well on her way to making several
great first impressions, but that she also has the characteristics and values to make those first
impressions hold true and that makes me extremely happy and proud.
I couldn't ask for anything more.  My baby girl has a very bright future ahead of her.

The Life Of Faith

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Glimpse into the Future

The other day I was sitting in the chair and feeding Jude a bottle.
He was dozing off and Emma had just gone down for her nap so the house was quiet.
I was just sitting there looking out the window getting lost in my thoughts...

I can't believe how big both of my babies are.
When are we going to leave the island?
Should I try a new recipe for dinner tonight or stick to what I know?
I have a lot of research to do about homeschooling.
The ocean is so beautiful.  I wonder if I'll miss it when we leave.
I hope this ends up being a good nap for Jude.
I'm more than ready to see Lilly and Raley again.

Then my thoughts were interrupted when a bird landed on the balcony.
I think this was the first time I had seen a bird 
actually on the balcony instead of perched on the railing.
This little bird held my attention for a good ten minutes.
When it landed, it had a bug in its mouth.  I thought that in itself was pretty cool.
I couldn't think of another time I had seen a bird with something actually in its mouth.
It's probably happened, I just didn't pay much attention to it.
For some reason this time was different.  I immediately started to think about
how in a few short years Jude would probably think this was the coolest thing in the world.
But then the bird started tossing the bug across the balcony, which is definitely cooler
than just holding it in its mouth.  As I watched this little creature play with an ever littler creature
I was literally laughing.  Not so much at the bird, but at the images
that were flashing through my mind of Jude at age 5 or 6 sitting at the window
and being fascinated by this great display of nature.  
I imagined him pumping his fists, shouting things like "awesome,"
and smiling from ear to ear.  Then the bird made this little glimpse into the future
even more exciting for me.  It ate the bug.  
Now I imagined Jude jumping up and down and laughing uncontrollably.  

Finally, the bird flew away and I was left with images of my little boy turned big boy.
I looked down at my sweet baby sleeping in my arms and smiled. 
Although I am in no way ready for my precious baby boy to be grown, 
I can't help but be excited for the "dirt on his face and bugs in his pockets" phase.
I know it will bring great laughter and cherished memories. 

Wordless Wednesday: Minnie Fanatic

The girl is obsessed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why I Love the Weekends: Lazy Mornings

Sunday mornings are often my favorite part of the entire week.
Although we get up at the same time as we do every other day of the week, 
the mornings are spent waking up slow.  Daddy doesn't leave.  
We all hang out in the living room, usually all four of us on the couch.
At least for a little bit until Emma can't be still anymore.
We cuddle.  We watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as a family,
meaning even Momma and Daddy get into singing and dancing to the Hotdog Song.
Daddy cooks breakfast (he's a way better cook than Momma will ever dream about being)
and we usually eat in the living room. We laugh and play.  
We spend time together as a family creating memories and growing our happiness,
which is really what life is all about.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tiny Arms Give the Biggest Hugs

My sweet, sweet boy,

You have been making me happy long before you even came out of my belly,
but the joy you have created for me the past few days has been a sweeter, more rewarding kind of bliss.  Jude Scott, you have been showing affection towards me and it is the most
precious thing in the entire world.  I don't know the words to accurately describe
the way each one of your hugs makes me feel.  The best I can do is to say that they provide me
with the deepest, purest, and most genuine kind of happiness I have ever felt.
I believe the love a parent has for his or her child is already the greatest and strongest kind of love
one can experience, and once the child begins to reciprocate those feelings
the love only magnifies.  And let me tell you Jude Scott,
my heart is bursting with love for you right now.
You are the sweetest boy.  I want to hold you just a little bit longer
and squeeze you just a little bit tighter each time you wrap your arms around my neck.
Every embrace that we share, the sound of your grunts and giggles, the feeling
of you nestling your head into my shoulder, the touch of your little fingers grabbing
my neck and hair, the tapping of your feet against my stomach,
I love it all.  Each hug holds so much love and I cherish every one of them.  They are priceless.
I love you Little J.  Thank you for being my son and for showing me your sweet side.
My arms will always be open and ready to accept a hug from you.

Blogger apparently doesn't want the world to see the adorable video of
Jude hugging on me, but luckily Facebook doesn't have a problem with it.
Please check out the blog's page to see one of these sweet hugs in action.

 photo NEWRIButton275x150_zpsf908716b.jpg