Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Focus: Violet

It's Violet! Her mama decided pictures were okay after all, so you get to meet her officially.  She's not so sure about the idea, but I like this picture.  Shows off her gorgeous eyes.

She cracks me up- I'm convinced there are actually two Violets.  There is the one that her mama knows, and then there is the one who comes to daycare.  Both are fabulous, but they act so differently that it's comical.  Every time I say something about what she's doing, how she acts in different situations, the things she likes to eat, the way she sleeps, ANYTHING, it's almost always the exact opposite of what she does while she's at home.  I'm always so surprised to hear about her evenings and weekends, because I never get to see most of the things that she does there.

Here she's very deliberate and kind of serious.  She gives out big smiles, but I think I've only heard her laugh once or twice, and she's cautious and careful.  She gets her feelings hurt pretty quickly and will be upset by people coming too closely, even if they don't touch her or knock her down.  Rather a large personal bubble.  :)  And at home, she sounds really giggly and carefree.  Of course, Mufasa is never at her house trying to crowd her, so there's that.

I've never had anybody do this before and I think it's the cutest thing!  I bet her mama will be the kind who puts cute notes in the lunchbox every day.  I always think I'm going to do that at the beginning of the school year and I never actually do it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Focus: Maid Marian

Maid Marian has turned one recently and is ready to attack the world with both hands. She's such a sunny little kid a majority of the time.  Lots of fun to hang around! 

She's pretty much always willing to do the cheesy poses.  I can't remember if she put this hat on herself or if we staged it, but she loves having the camera in her face either way.

See!  I will come closer now and show you my cuteness!  Also can I have a bite of whatever you're eating please?

Again with the hats.  I didn't realize we have multiple pictures of her in headgear but apparently that's how we've amused ourselves this summer.

She's not been wildly enthusiastic about making the transition from hand-fed by us to doing it herself.  I could never get her to eat a banana, until I remembered a little guy I took care of years ago who refused to eat cut-up food.  Sure enough, she's the same way.  I mean really, who wants to eat broken food?  It needs to be large so she can drag it home to her den and gnaw it to death.  Clearly.

Uh, no thanks.  Little pieces are for babies.  I'm all grown up and I am far too cool for this stuff.  But check out my snazzy accessories!

She loves being able to pull up and just come stand next to us if we're on the couch.  She does that a lot while I feed one of the babies.  Sometimes she wants to try to sneak a sip of the bottle she's no longer getting, and gives the most pathetic and dramatic lower lip when we tell her no.  Anna says she's a graduate of a bad actress school for babies.  It's so true.  Or maybe soap operas in her future?  Such overblown gestures and melodrama.  I can't help but laugh at her every time.

She's also getting into the stage where suddenly things are scary that never were before.  Highly suspicious of park swings, this one.

She's just full of life and love.  So happy.  I read an article somewhere on facebook (and of course now I can't find it anywhere) that talked about the shifting of balance in the way we talk to baby girls.  There's been that whole thing where you're not supposed to start off by telling them they're pretty because then they think that defines them, and how we should focus on what they DO and who they ARE, not what they look like.  All true.  However, this particular article focused on a study that was done with dads and their daughters.  It found that girls who had dads who regularly told them that they're beautiful ended up more confident in themselves and tended to believe it more.  Even if they roll their eyes and say, "Oh come on dad, you're the only one who thinks so", there's a sub-conscious connection there that does super good things for their brains and the way their self-image is shaped.

Maid Marian's daddy, every single morning without fail when he drops off, tells her "daddy loves so you much baby girl, you're so beautiful.  So beautiful."  She smiles like the sun every time she hears it and it makes me all gushy inside.  You can tell she's hearing it in her brain, not just her ears.  Daddy thinks she's beautiful, and so she is.  I love it so much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


This week the AC is out in the playroom.  I'm really REALLY hoping that tomorrow when the service tech comes, he will say it is an easy fix and that it won't take six weeks like last year.  That unit had to be replaced, and this is now just a year old, so fingers crossed on that.  Luckily this summer has been a bit cooler than last, and it's actually more comfortable to take the kids out in the mornings instead of trying to herd them in the living room all day.

My kids have friends here this week, so even though we're officially full numbers-wise, it's two eleven year olds, a seven year old, and a six year old along with the regular roster of infants and toddlers.  That makes life infinitely easier for walks!  The big kids are super helpful.  Anna stayed home with the three youngest while they napped, and the rest of us headed out.

I'm sure we look like quite the spectacle marching down the street.  At least today nobody stopped to ask me if all nine of them are mine.

We have to cross a wooden bridge over a little creek to get there, and we saw a mama duck with four ducklings.  I think listening to all the kids quack at the ducks was my favorite moment of the day.

The swings were largely a success.  There's just one baby swing at our park, but it's pretty wide and has leg holes in both sides, so I set two of them in there back to back and it worked nicely.

Vanellope cackled like a hyena the whole time.  I love when the wind gets in her hair.

Mr. Flynn enjoyed himself immensely too.

 Miss Olivia, somehow managing to still look shy even while laughing.

Mufasa! King of all he surveys.

And then.  Then there was Maid Marian.  I know that child loves her some swings.  I've seen facebook posts that her mama puts up with all kinds of smiles and swing loving.  That was not the case today.  She freaked out and acted like it was the worst and scariest thing that ever happened.  I even tried to sit on the big swing and hold her and go very slowly and she still was having none of it.

So we decided at that point it was time to head out.  On the way home it was hot and my kids ran Olivia and Vanellope through our neighbor's sprinkler.  They laughed so hard!  It was really fun to see.

Then we came home and Anna said we smelled like sunshine, which is her way of saying we've been outside and smell like stinky puppy dogs, but still, it's the nicest way I've heard to describe that particular smell.  Lots of fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Focus: Miss Olivia Flaversham

I've been having a little trouble coming up with a good blog name for our summer sweetie.  I finally hit on Olivia from the Great Mouse Detective.  Then I wasn't sure if I should use it since the style doesn't really match- doesn't sound like a Disney name, and it's such a popular name right now that we might have an actual Olivia at some point.  But madness lies down the road of second guessing everything, and that little mouse girl is SO cute and I think her personality really matches so there you have it.  Olivia she is.

Olivia is extremely shy if she thinks you're looking at her performance or might be about to comment on it.  If you look right at her and say hi, she usually drops to the floor and hides her face, peeking out from between her fingers every now and then.  It took her over a week to get used to circle time, but now that she's got the routine down, she's right up in my lap with everybody else singing on our story glove.  It's pretty cute.

She's fairly petite, but eats like a truck driver who's been on the road three days straight.  It's comical.  I don't know where she puts it all.  I do know that I would dearly love to have her metabolism.

She's a great snuggler and spends lots of time in our laps.

And she has no problem giving us the serious face if she doesn't approve of our silliness.

Sad we only get her for the summer, but it's been so nice to have her!