Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas day

Christmas day started out at home where I made pancakes. As I was mixing them up Layla requested to have green pancakes. I thought that sounded like a good idea and then Sanaa asked for red pancakes. I finished mixing the pancake batter and then divided it so that each girl could mix in the food coloring of their choice. The girls were very excited to eat their red and green Christmas pancakes. We'll see whether or not this becomes a tradition that continues for each Christmas.

After breakfast we got dressed and packed up presents to take to my parents house. We arrived at my parents house and opened the door to walk inside. However, there was a rather strange noise inside and the girls hesitated at the doorway and didn't immediately walk in. They finally moved and when we walked into the living room the girls were surprised to see Grandpa Lind's newest toy..... an electric train!

My dad had the train set up around the tree. The kids (all three of them!) had a great time watching it. Malakai seemed very curious and interested in the noisy thing circling the tree.

We ate a late lunch (I guess is would be Christmas dinner) and after that we got ready to open presents. Before opening presents my dad read the Christmas story from the Bible. Sanaa wasn't all that excited about having to sit quietly and listen. She wanted to open presents. Layla sat for a little while and then ended up running off.

Then we got to open presents. We started with our stockings and Sanaa was very excited to receive some more headbands! Layla has broken several of Sanaa's headbands over the past couple of months and it's been wonderful that Sanaa received several new headbands as gifts. Layla also received some headbands so hopefully she'll leave Sanaa's headbands alone now.

Layla was very excited about her new toothbrush. I had also given the girls new toothbrushes in their stockings at home and it really amused me at how excited they were about them. I'm not sure how many years they'll be excited about receiving new toothbrushes but I plan to keep putting them in their stocking for many years!

Malakai didn't really care about any of his presents. He was mainly fascinated with the shiny bows and all the commotion his sisters caused.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A new Christmas tradition

A new tradition I started this year that I hope to continue involves something called the Jesse Tree. I heard about it last year but didn't do it. Then at MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) this fall I heard about it again and knew it was something I wanted to start doing with Sanaa and Layla.

The Jesse Tree is a great advent activity to do with kids of all ages. It is basically the family tree of Jesus and it shows His genealogy. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1 that states "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." Jesse is the father of king David and Jesus's genealogy is traced back to king David (Matthew 1).

Each day during advent there is a scripture reading and a craft that you can do with your kids. I took the easy route and just had the girls color various symbols while I read scripture. You begin reading in Genesis starting with creation and continuing through the Old Testament until you reach the coming of the Messiah. The idea is to read and learn about God's plan of salvation and teach kids the reason Jesus' birth is so important to us.

As the years continue I can add in questions and discuss the scripture we read more with the kids but for this year I just focused on reading scripture while the girls colored. Their attention span is so short that I considered it a success if that sat through the scripture reading.

Our Jesse Tree was branches from an evergreen tree that the girls then hung their colored symbols on.

This is Layla's side of the tree.

This is Sanaa's side of the tree.

In years to come I may change up how we do the tree. I liked the looked of the evergreen branches but the needles did start falling off. I could just use bare branches or I could create a paper tree to tape on our wall or window. If I put more planning into it I could also let the kids make a symbol as a craft instead of coloring.

Christmas cookie baking

The Saturday after Thanksgiving the girls, Malakai, and I headed over to my parents house to bake cookies with my mom. We made several different kinds but the girls mainly helped out with the gingerbread cookies and the sugar cookies. They were very excited at the beginning and helped out for a little while but eventually they went off with grandpa to help him with outside chores.

Both girls took turns rolling out the dough and helped cut the shapes out. Layla kept putting the dough in her mouth so it was a challenge to stop her from eating all the dough.

Layla has to do everything herself. She didn't want me to even help her removed the shape from the dough once she cut it.

Decorating the cookies was what the girls enjoyed doing the most. Sanaa was very precise on where she put sprinkles and icing.

Layla didn't care so much about precision but was more concerned with completely covering the cookie with sprinkles.

When we decorated the gingerbread men I decided to put small dots of icing where the eyes, nose, and buttons went. Then I had the girls put red and green mini chocolate chips on top of the icing to create the features.

Sanaa was very proud of this particular gingerbread man because she added red "cheeks" to her cookie.

These are some of the sugar cookies that the girls decorated. Sanaa's cookies are the first picture and Layla's are the second. Layla had me draw a face on her snowman with icing gel and then she dumped sprinkles on it.

A shot of just some of the cookies we made and decorated.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sanaa at Joybells

Sanaa had her second Joybells performance this Sunday at church. She did MUCH better.

I'll let the videos speak for themselves. Again, sorry for any shakiness.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More of Layla's shenanigans

I'm going to start writing down more often what all Layla does since it'll be fun to share these stories with her when she's older.

This morning I lost Layla. Yep. I lost her in our 1200 sq foot house and it wasn't even 9:30am yet.

It was time for Malakai's morning nap and I had been rocking him in his room. He was very upset and not calming down so I decided to make a quick bottle for him (he downed another 4 ounces after already eating a good 4 ounces 30 minutes earlier). I walked into the kitchen with Malakai and found Sanaa sitting at the table waiting for me to help her with her craft. I had left both Layla and Sanaa at the table but Layla wasn't there anymore.

I asked Sanaa where Layla went and she said she didn't know. So I looked in the garage first since that is typically the first place Layla heads. Plus, she had been in there earlier dumping the cat food out so I wanted to make sure she wasn't playing in the cat food again.

Layla wasn't there.

We looked in the living room, the girls bedroom, and our master bedroom. Nothing. It was so quiet. Layla is never that quiet when hiding.

We searched each room again this time with me telling Layla to come out immediately because we were not playing a game.

Total silence. Definitely not normal.

Where in the world is she? The front door was locked so I knew she wasn't out front. The back door was closed and the curtains were still closed so I didn't think she was there. But Sanaa headed over to the back door and pulled the curtains back.

Sure enough. There was Layla happily playing in the mud. It was in the low 40's and she had no coat on but she did have the good sense to put her rain boots on (without socks).

I sent Nate a text telling him what had just happened and his response was, "You are in for quite a day. Might want to make sure she hasn't learned how to drive yet."

Now it's time for me to make my second and third cup of coffee since I'm probably in for a long day.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The shenanigan's of Layla

Some day I'm sure I'll laugh about all of Layla's shenanigan's, but not today since I'm about at the end of my rope with her. This child gets into so much mischief and I honestly don't believe people when they tell me that a boy is going to be more of a handful than Layla is.

The first two pictures were take a month or so ago. Layla decided she needed some makeup and proceeded to use blue and purple markers for some blush and lip stick.

Yesterday I put Malakai down for a nap and Sanaa met in the hallway where she immediately said, "Mommy, come see what Layla did. I didn't do any of it. Layla did it not me." She led me into the kitchen where I found grapes all over the floor. Layla had taken the grapes we had just bought at the store and pulled all of them off of the stem. She was also sitting there eating some of them. I made the girls pick them all up and put them in a strainer so I could wash them off.

This morning (at least I think it was this morning or it might have been yesterday morning, I'm not sure) I caught Layla holding a peanut butter ball in each hand while eating a third one. She had opened the fridge and somehow opened the ziplock bag the peanut butter balls were in.

Earlier in the week Layla pulled out a container of leftover pasta, opened the lid, and spilled it on the floor. This time Nate found her eating the cold pasta.

Tonight I was helping Sanaa get out of the bath and Layla had run off into the kitchen. I asked her to pick up the toys on the floor while I helped Sanaa get dressed and then we would have some snacks before bed. It was very quiet in the kitchen when Sanaa, Malakai, and I came out of the bathroom. I quickly discovered why it was so quiet. Layla had helped herself to the "octopus" cereal (generic brand of Lucky Charms and it has an octopus on the box). She used a chair to take the cereal out of the pantry, carried it to the table, and removed the bag from the box. What you don't see is all the cereal on the floor. Layla quickly jumped down and started picking up all the cereal.

Those are just a few examples of Layla's current shenanigan's. Who know what she'll do tomorrow.

** Note from Nate **

When I came home from work tonight, Rosa had just finished cleaning up the mess that you see in the picture above. When I walked in the kitchen, Layla ran to me and gave me a hug. Rosa turned her head to me and gave me The Look. 

I knew what The Look meant.

Layla followed me to the bedroom and I changed out of my work clothes. As I did this, the following conversation happened:

"Layla, were you badly behaved for Mommy?"

*laughing* "YA!"


"Because I ate octopus cereal like AHM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!"

So that happened.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Malakai - 6 months old

Half a year old. It feels like it was only yesterday that we were bringing Malakai home from the hospital. Soon I guess I'll be planning his first birthday. I nearly forgot to take his 6 month pictures today because we were so busy with Sanaa's Christmas party at school, Malakai's checkup, and running errands.

Here's the little guys stats:
weight - 15 lb 8.7 oz (17th percentile)
height - 25.98 inches (25th percentile)
head circumference - 16.93 inches (30th percentile)

This last month Malakai has decided that he doesn't like to nurse and would prefer that I just give him a bottle. I continue to nurse because he's my last baby and it's one of those things I'll miss later on. Sure, nursing can be a hassle at times but I'm not ready to give up. The doctor asked how his eating was so I told her that he doesn't like to nurse and prefers the bottle. She said it sounds like he's lazy and wants his food immediately which is why he gets so excited about the bottle. He has been eating some solids, although he's not very excited about any of it. Over the past few weeks he's tried banana, sweet potato, apple, pear, squash, and avocado. I totally skipped over feeding him the rice cereal or oatmeal because I never remember to buy any and mainly because I'm not sure if there is really any nutritional value. So far his favorite food is sweet potato mixed with apples. He's made a face with everything we've introduced and doesn't eat much but a couple of days ago I wanted to see what he would do if I mix two foods together. So far it's the only thing he's opened his mouth for and wanted more of. 

Malakai is a very smiley baby. He is so quick to smile at all of us. In the morning he is very excited to see his sisters and laughs and giggles at them. Both girls are good at getting him to giggle pretty hard.

Malakai still isn't the best sleeper. He typically wakes up 1-2 times a night. He does sleep a 6 to 7 hour stretch from 7pm-1am or 2am and then he's up every few hours after that. He goes to bed between 6:30pm and 7:00pm and is ready to be up for the day around 6:30am (or sometimes 6:45am). His naps are awful. Most mornings I can only get him to nap for 30 minutes. Usually the afternoons are better and he'll sleep for a good 2 hours but the last two days he's only taken a short 15 minute morning nap and then in the afternoon a 1 1/2 hour nap. It hasn't helped that this week Layla has refused to nap at all, so these two have completely worn me out this week. For Sanaa that means she gets more tv than normal because I need a break.

The girls get a huge kick out feeding Malakai. Layla is a little too helpful when it comes to feeding him and if I turn my back for a second she is picking up his spoon and shoving putting food in his mouth. She also likes to share her food and doesn't understand why he can't have spiral pasta, green beans, grapes, etc yet.

Malakai is so much fun to watch when he's playing. He "talks" to his toys and has a great time smiling at that other baby in the mirror. He rolls around trying to get to toys and other items on the floor. I've started explaining to the girls that they can no longer leave their toys on the floor and when they are finished playing they need to pick them up.

Just this week Malakai has started pulling his knees up under himself and I've caught him hanging out on his elbows and knees. He really looks like he wants to move somewhere and just can't get it figured out.

Bath time with Malakai is a race to see how much of him you can get washed before he latches on to you. He is so grabby that he swipes and grabs at anything that comes near him.

Below Malakai is trying to look innocent even though he was caught eating playing with Layla's shoe.

All three kiddos. Sanaa and Layla really wanted to join in on Malakai's little photo session today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some random pictures

I'm procrastinating right now. I have tons I need to do (finish Christmas gifts, cleaning, laundry etc) but Malakai and Layla don't seem to be napping today. So instead of attempting to actually start anything I figured I'd post some pictures from a few weeks ago. This has been one of the busiest Decembers I think I've ever had, so I probably won't get caught up with blog until Jan.

One of the best $20 spent was on this apple peeler/slicer/corer. The kids love it. They request to eat "moon" apples nearly every day.

If I slide the apple on it both Sanaa and Layla are able to turn it and slice/peel the apple.

We had a small amount of snow yesterday but before the snow came Nate raked up the leaves. Sanaa had a great time jumping in them.

Layla wasn't so excited about jumping in the leaves. She preferred scooping them up.

And then there is Malakai. He is rolling all over and tries really hard to get to interesting things (i.e. his sister's sparkly necklaces). Tomorrow he turns 6 months old. I'll try my hardest to get his 6 month pictures taken and up but he has a doctor's appointment and Sanaa has her Christmas party at preschool. So we'll see if I get every done tomorrow that I want.

In this picture he was headed to the step at my parents house that separates the dining area from the living room.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reflections on a Massacre

In the wake of children who are almost as young as Sanaa being cut down while they sat in their classrooms, I find myself unable to sleep.

I've been reflecting on the Revelation. On the one hand, I read tonight about the 4 Horsemen who bring violence and death in their wake, and it feels sometimes like they ride among us even now. But Revelation also brings about the completion of God's plan, when he makes all the wrongs right.

Rev. 21:4 - [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more - or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.

I also find myself reflecting on Jesus, and on how He would act if He were here right now. As if to answer my unspoken question, God keeps bringing this passage to mind, and I'll leave you with it tonight:

Luke 22:47-51 - While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd appeared, and the man named Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He walked up to Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said, "Lord, should we use our swords?" Then one of them struck the high priest's slave, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said, "Enough of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The "Joyful Noise"

At Church today, Sanaa sang in her preschool group called "A Joyful Noise." I shot a video of her performance. Sanaa is in the front row, right in the middle.

Occasionally, the camera will start shaking and you will hear me giggling hysterically. This is because a little girl named Grace stood in front of Sanaa and was SINGING AS LOUD AS SHE COULD into the microphone which was right next to her.

After that happened a couple times I couldn't take it anymore, and just lost it.


Edit: I can't get the video to embed correctly in the blog for some reason. Click the "YouTube" button on the video to watch it directly off the YouTube site.

Thanksgiving Pictures

Getting Thanksgiving pictures with our three kids was a bit of a challenge. We did get one good family picture with a whole host of not so good one.

This is my personal favorite since it shows how our family really is. Malakai is very grabby and if you get near him he'll pull your hair or clothes.

Sanaa picked out the outfit for her and Malakai. Layla saw that Sanaa was wearing red and picked out red to wear as well.

The Lind side of the family. We got this picture on the first try!

Our family picture that will be on our Christmas cards this year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The day I lost Sanaa

I'm sure I'm not the only mom this has happened to but when your child disappears and you can't find them it is terrifying. Today started like any other Friday. Girls arguing, Malakai crying, and me rushing around the house trying to get the kids dressed and diaper bags/backpacks packed. We then headed out the door to BSF. It was my discussion group's turn to volunteer in the children's ministry and I wanted to be there a little early so I could find out what room I would be assigned to. I got my three kids dropped off, breathed a sigh of relief, and headed to the toddler room where I would be helping.

Fast forward three hours and BSF is over and I am now picking up my kids after listening to the recorded lecture with the other volunteers. Layla is starting to meltdown and fuss about everything, Sanaa is giving me attitude and not listening, and Malakai is yawning and very tired. I just want to get out the door and to the van.

We head toward the stairs and Layla stops to throw a fit about needing hand sanitizer but it was too high and therefore I needed to lift her while holding Malakai. Sanaa went and sat on the steps and I asked her to stay there. I took care of Layla and then turned to go up the steps. We went around the corner (the stairs turn a corner) and all I saw was Sanaa's backpack. I called her name but she didn't answer. Layla picked up Sanaa's bag and carried it all the way up the steps for me. When we got to the top I looked around the foyer but didn't see Sanaa anywhere. I called her name and there was no answer. I looked behind some of the places she likes to hide but she was no where.

I headed back downstairs thinking maybe she went into the ball pit and I didn't see her since I had been dealing with Layla. I passed a mom (Gena) from my discussion group who was headed upstairs and told her I couldn't find Sanaa. She headed up the steps and said she'd look around upstairs while I looked downstairs. I then ran into Sanaa's teacher who was sitting with her kids and asked if she had seen Sanaa. She hadn't but jumped up and said she look around downstairs for me.

So I headed back upstairs where I ran into Malakai's teacher and another mom (Megan) from my discussion group. Megan took Malakai and Layla from me so that I could look outside while Gena and Malakai's teacher looked around upstairs.

By this point I was trying hard not to panic. I'm sure only a few minutes had passed but it felt like an eternity. Thankfully I didn't see Sanaa outside anywhere so I headed inside again. I was getting ready to start looking down a different hallway when Malakai's teacher said, "Is that her? Is she wearing a black coat?" She had spotted Sanaa walking back towards the foyer coming from a hallway I know Sanaa had never been down.

I think I was shaking at this point and told Sanaa she needed to get her back immediately. I turned and tried hard to not start crying but Megan came over, gave me a big hug, and said it's okay to cry. I know Megan probably understands how terrifying my short ordeal had been since there was one day I arrived at the church to find her standing outside a locked door with one child in her arms and the other child locked inside the building. That day I helped Megan rescue her child and today she helped me find my missing kid.

I'm really hoping something like this doesn't happen again and I'm fairly sure Sanaa won't wander off anytime soon (she was upset and crying that she couldn't find me) but I am thankful this happened at BSF where there were other moms to help me look for Sanaa.

Layla was a very good listener while we looked for Sanaa and if you ask her what happened she'll say, "So scary. Couldn't find sissy. Sissy lost. So scary."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Picture-less posts

Well fiddlesticks. I tried to upload pictures and got a message saying I'm out of space. I'll have Nate help me figure things out but that's a bummer. I was going to post pictures from Thanksgiving. We set up a make shift photography spot and my sister-in-law, Karen, took some great family pictures for us. I used some of the pictures on our Christmas card but I was going to upload some of the funnier pictures where Malakai is trying to grab Sanaa's hair, Layla has her fingers in her nose, the kids aren't looking, or someone is just being goofy.

We did have a good Thanksgiving. It was a fairly relaxing day of eating and hanging out. We spent the day at my parents house and since it wasn't raining the girls enjoyed playing outside and running around.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're heading into a really busy couple of weeks. So don't be surprised if you don't find any new posts. Between this Saturday (Dec 1) and Friday (Dec 14) I have 4 flute concerts with the Rose City Flute Choir. Sanaa has her Christmas program at church, I have the final MOPS meeting to plan and prep for, and all that is on top of our normal activities of school, Bible study, and swimming lessons. I enjoy the holidays but each year it sure seems to get busier!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Malakai - 5 months

Our little guy turned 5 months old today. He is a pretty happy baby. He has started teething and chews on anything he can get his hands on. This includes toys, blankets, stuffed animals, fingers, and toes. He swipes at anything within reach and will try to grab it.

He sleeps okay. Most days he takes at least one good nap in the afternoon. His morning nap tends to be short. He typically only takes 2 naps during the day but if his naps were short then sometimes he'll take a third nap around 4:30 or 5:00. At night he still wakes one or two times, which is quite tiring. One good thing is that I can lay Malakai down fully awake in his crib and he'll put himself to sleep. I've done this a number of times when I've needed to help the girls with something. I always intend to return and rock him but 70% of the time he's fallen asleep before I can get back to him.

Malakai is a fairly hungry boy and my milk supply can't keep up with him so at night before bed he now gets one bottle of formula and he'll drink anywhere between 4 and 6 ounces. We haven't been feeding him solids recently and that has a lot to do with me being lazy. I had hoped the solids would help him sleep better at night but it didn't. So I quit feeding him cereal and we started giving him a bottle of formula at night instead. I've tossed around the idea of starting solids back up again after Thanksgiving but the month of December is incredibly busy for us and I'm not sure I want to. So we'll see. I do have quite a bit of food made and frozen for him already.

Last week we were blessed to receive a good amount of formula from various people and I think we have enough to last us a good 6 months if not longer! I got three 8 ounce cans of powder formula from the pediatrician on Monday. On Wednesday one of the moms at MOPS asked if I used formula and I said I just started supplementing with formula. She handed me a bag with three 8 ounce cans of powder formula, one 12 ounce can of powder formula, 8 small single serving (4 ounces) packets of powder formula (great to throw in the diaper bag!), five 8 ounce liquid containers, and one 3 ounce liquid jar of formula. Then on Friday a package arrived from Nate's parents with five 22 ounce packages of powder formula. I nearly broke down crying on Friday when I realized how much free formula we had received. It was/is a huge blessing and while I really want to keep nursing as long as possible it is reassuring to know that we have a lot of formula on hand to feed our hungry, growing boy.

Malakai is doing some rolling. He doesn't roll to get to places but flops over when he feels like it. He's rolled from his back to tummy a few times (never when I'm watching) and frequently rolls from his tummy to back.

Here are some pictures from today.

I didn't have time to print out a paper that said 5 months on it so I scrounged around until I found some toys to use instead.

Wrestling with the bear.

"Hey. You lookin' at me?"

Malakai really enjoys hanging out with his sisters. I tend to have more pictures of Sanaa with Malakai than Layla with Malakai. Sanaa will sit next to Malakai and show him toys where as Layla will lay on him or make silly faces at him and then rush off.