Friday, September 28, 2012

The end of summer

Last week we had some really nice warm weather. Then the calendar stated that it was fall and suddenly we were waking up to much cooler temperatures. I took these pictures last week as the girls enjoyed the warm weather. We've had some nice days this week as well and I've been making it a point to let the kids play outside as much as possible before the rainy, cooler weather begins and we're stuck inside for weeks on end.

The girls played in our sprinkler as I watered the grass. At first they were in their swimsuits but then they wanted to use their raincoats as well.

A picnic outside. Our one cat, Keldorn, joined them. He did try to sniff their food a few times but the girls scolded him for that.

Sanaa made a special veggie sandwich with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and cheese. She insisted that she needed a healthy sandwich and wanted to use a tomato from our garden so I let her make it. She didn't end up eating it but did take two bites which impressed me. Since we started a garden this year I've noticed that she's started to become more willing to eat and try a wider variety of foods (especially vegetables).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just like his big sis

Malakai is turning into a finger sucker just like Sanaa. (Layla never sucked her fingers or took a pacifier). The best part is that he sucks his fingers like she did when she was his age. What is the probability of that happening? (I honestly don't know since I never did good at probability in math class. I enjoyed everything else in math. Just not probabilities.)

Malakai at 3 months.

Sanaa at 2 1/2 months.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Malakai - 3 months old

Today Malakai is celebrating his 3 month birthday. He has become a lot more interactive with us over this past month. He gives Sanaa and Layla big smiles. He coos quite often if he's not screaming and Sanaa has even gotten him to laugh a couple of times. I really want to capture his laugh on video but I never get the camera out in time.

He still isn't the happiest baby (although these pictures show a different story). I'm convinced he has colic. The doctor has increased his reflux medication several times over the past month and while it helps him nurse without crying it hasn't help with the overall fussiness. A typical day includes Malakai crying/screaming whenever we get in the car (which lasts 10-15 minutes) and crying/fussing for a good 2-3 hours in the afternoon and evening. He'll start fussing while I'm making dinner and continue while I bathe the girls, read them stories, and tuck them in bed. During the evening he might have a few minutes that he's calm but if I have to lay him down or place him in his chair then he lets me have it. I dread the evening routine and since Nate's commute is longer out here he typically is only home to help with the evenings on his days off. Some weeks he might get one early shift but most weeks Nate doesn't make it home until after the kids are in bed.

However, yesterday was actually a good day! Malakai still screamed in the car but for the first time in weeks he let me lay him down and he played instead of screaming. Granted, that didn't last long but it sure beats hearing him scream the instant I lay him down. Today has been another fairly good day where he's only cried in the car. Hopefully this afternoon and evening go well too.

Since Malakai was in a good mood after I put Layla down for her nap I took some quick 3 month pictures of him. This morning was such a rush that I didn't manage to get him dressed. But since it's a cool day I figure he can just stay in his pjs.

Sanaa joined the photo sessions this month.

Malakai has started batting at toys that hang above him and is very interested in looking at toys. I can tell he'd love to grab ahold of his toys but just hasn't figured out how to do that yet.

Malakai is a tummy sleeper. He sleeps that way for naps and at night. I was hesitant to have him sleep on his tummy at night but he hates being put on his back to sleep. There have been several times during the night that he's rolled onto his back and he'll wake up. When that happens he typically thinks it's play time and it'll take a good hour to get him back down. Yesterday I found him sleeping on his side sucking on his two middle fingers. He's definitely going to be a finger sucker like Sanaa.

Malakai has also started pushing with his legs. A couple of times I have laid him on his mat so that he can bat at his toys but a few minutes later he is crying because he's pushed himself backwards and his head against the coffee table and he can't see his toys. I know he's not doing this intentionally but I'm surprised he's already started doing that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Art wall and laundry

I've tried to hold off on doing much laundry until our dryer arrives but with Layla going through three outfits a day I couldn't hold off on the girls laundry anymore. That child loves dirt and bugs and mud and water. As much as I get tired of all the laundry and the stains I have to remove, I do love her curiosity. So since I needed to do the girls laundry here is how I ended up drying it. Dresses and shirts I hung up and every thing else got draped over laundry baskets and a clothing rack. I really don't mind drying clothes outside so maybe next summer I'll install an actual clothes line somewhere in our backyard. The only downside to drying clothes outside is that they are an awesome target for a 2 year old who has a spray bottle with water that mommy thought was inside.

For awhile I've been trying to figure out the best way to display artwork by our kids. Our fridge gets very cluttered and our pantry door is pretty much covered with Sanaa's artwork. I thought about a bulletin board but figured that would get cluttered quickly as well. I found some ideas on Pinterest for an art wall where you hang pictures on string. So I figured I would test out the idea and see if I liked by using pushpins and string. We have space on the wall to make the string longer but overall I think I like it. I'll be able to rotate the kids drawings and projects quite easily. Sanaa was so excited about it that she made two more pictures to hang up. Right now I have a mix of clothes pins, paper clips, and tape holding the pictures up. I used what I could find.

The girls thought their balloons needed hung up to fill the empty space.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quote of the Day

"You can take the mud out of the Layla, but you can't take the Layla out of the mud."

Nate Pond - Sept 17, 2012 - minutes after Layla was dressed for the day, when she promptly opened the back door, ran outside and immediately threw herself into the nearest muddy pool.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Recap of our week

Our week was busy and exhausting. I hardly took any pictures this week. The first three pictures are from a couple of weeks ago and I just never got them on the blog. The last picture is from this week.

All of our fall/school activities began this week. Sanaa started preschool and is loving it. BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) started back up and we're studying Genesis. The Rose City Flute Choir began their fall practice schedule, the girls began swimming lessons (just once a week) and MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) started. And my dryer broke. Just dandy. Our new dryer will be delivered this coming Thursday but until then I have laundry hanging all over the place in the dining room. During the day I've been able to set some laundry outside to dry but I only have one drying rack so not everything fits. I'm just glad the dryer broke before the rains started. This week we still have nice sunny warm weather for me to dry our clothes in.

MOPS is something new that I'm doing this year. There are several MOPS groups around but the one I am a part of is at our church. A few weeks ago I attended a meeting at church to discuss the upcoming year because all of the MOPS leaders from last year had to step down for one reason or another. Our church wanted to keep the MOPS program going but had no leaders. Me and the other two moms that attended the meeting were asked to be the new leaders. I have never been a part of MOPS and neither has one of the other moms so it's been fun (and thankfully not too stressful) planning and preparing for the new year. 

So this week wore us out. By Thursday the girls were quite tired and Layla was having meltdown after meltdown. Malakai was just Malakai and spent a good majority of the days crying unless I held him. Sanaa was tired too and had a few meltdowns of her own. Today was a little better but thankfully we don't have anywhere to go on Mondays so we'll be using that day to rest and prepare for the week ahead.

Here are some pictures of the kids.

This is one of the few pictures I took this week. I let the girls "wash" the dishes. Layla LOVED the chance to play in the water but Sanaa got bored rather quickly. Also, Layla decided that Friday and Saturday would be shirtless days. She would not keep her shirt on and if I tried to put one on she would  get mad. So as long we were at home I let her run around without a shirt. There are some battles just not worth fighting.

On Friday and Saturday Nate had the opportunity to attend a mission's conference (Work and Witness) with my dad. This is an annual conference that the Nazarene church holds. Nate came back very excited about the various opportunities he heard about. One opportunity fits his skill set so well that we're praying and thinking about just sending Nate to Bolivia in February as part of a tech team. Later next year (sometime in the summer) I hope to join my dad when he goes to Guatemala. My dad has made trips down to Guatemala about every two years or so and I've always wanted to go with him. However, there has always been some reason I couldn't. I was in school, I just had a baby, I didn't have any vacation days, or something. But next year, I think I can finally go and I really want to!

Today Sanaa asked to go to China. She asks nearly every day and I'm not sure what her obsession with China is about but I asked her if going to Guatemala would be okay and she gave me a big smile and said, "Yes!" So maybe I can even take Sanaa with me (and Layla?). We'll see. I do think it would be awesome to start taking our kids on short mission trips so that we could introduce them to the world around us and the needs that other people have.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sanaa's first day of Preschool

Today was Sanaa's first day of preschool. It seems like everyone else in the country has been back in school for awhile. I'm not use to school beginning so late but the schools out here don't begin until after Labor Day. Sanaa was very excited about going back to school. Last Thursday we went to school to meet her teacher at an open house. Sanaa will be attending school three mornings a week.

It was chilly when we left the house this morning (only in the upper 40's) so we're already breaking out the jackets.

When we arrived at school Sanaa asked if her friend Cole was there. Cole is her little boyfriend and pretty much the only friend she talked about last year. She also talked about him quite often this summer and told me that when she grows up she is going to be a princess and Cole is going to be her duke. Unfortunately, Cole isn't in her class this year. He is in the class next door to her but they do get to see each other out on the playground. It was a lot of fun seeing how excited Sanaa got when she saw Cole at the open house last week. I want to find out from his mom which elementary school he'll be attending next year. It would be neat if Sanaa and Cole ended up at the same school but there are several elementary schools around us so I doubt they'll be at the same school.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A monkey, a dragon, and the ark

Layla can now scale up our cabinets and get on our counter all by herself. She has to be part monkey. I'm constantly shocked at the things she can climb.

Malakai in the dragon hat. It's too big which is how I intended it to be because I want him to grow into it and wear or play with it for awhile.

Sunday afternoon the girls were starting to get a little bored. They didn't want to play outside and kept asking to watch tv but we'd had enough tv watching for the day. So I gave them marshmallows and toothpicks to build with. I showed Sanaa how she could make shapes and build a structure and she had a great time. She did get a little frustrated trying to build walls so I helped out.

According to Sanaa this is the ark that she made (with my help). She had the basic structure but needed help keeping the sides up.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dragon hat

I've finally started to crochet again. I stopped for awhile when I pregnant because I just didn't feel well and then after Malakai was born I was too tired. I'm still quite tired but in the evenings once everyone is finally asleep I need something to do. I found this dragon hat pattern  and thought it would be a fun hat to make for Malakai. (I just now realized I forgot to the spots on. I guess I'll do that another day.) Since it was late when I finished sewing the hat together I used the girls stuffed dog as a model. 

I'm sure both Sanaa and Layla will want a dragon hat as well. Since Sanaa is really into My Little Pony I might make her a purple hat with green spikes like Spike the dragon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A rough week with lighter moments

It has been a rough couple of weeks with Malakai. He has not been a very happy baby and I spend most of my day holding him and trying to either calm him down or get him to sleep. Taking him in the car doesn't help either because he will scream his head off for 15-20 minutes before calming down. So, I took him back to the doctor earlier this week and she increased the dosage on his reflux medication (he's 12 pounds 3 ounces now). She said to call back today (Friday) if there wasn't any improvement. 

Well, there hasn't been any improvement so I called and talked with the nurse. She's going to talk with our doctor to find out what the next step is and call me back. 

But we have had a few good moments with Malakai and when he is feeling good he will smile and coo. I just wish there more of those moments and less of the screaming at the top of his lungs. 

Layla and Sanaa have been able to provide some comic relief which I've needed. It's so stressful dealing with a fussy baby. I think I've handled his fussiness better than when the girls were colicky (at least some days) but I know the girls get tired of the crying as well.

Here is one story that got Nate and I laughing hard.

A couple of days ago Malakai woke up and I was going to feed him. Layla climbed up on the couch, pulled the boppy onto her lap, and said, "A too." (that means me too). She pointed at Malakai and said, "Baby, a too." 

I told Nate that Layla wanted to hold Malakai, which is what I thought she wanted. Nate laid Malakai on the boppy and Layla promptly lifted her shirt up and pulled Malakai's head up to her chest. I was wrong. She wanted to feed Malakai not hold him! After a few seconds Layla pushed Malakai away and let Nate pick him up. Nate and I just looked at each other and busted up laughing. Then Sanaa lifts up her shirt, looks at her chest and says, "Mine are getting big too!"

At least my girls are now prepared for motherhood and they both know exactly how to feed a baby. Below are some pictures of Layla taking care of her doll.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Catching up through pictures

Here are a bunch of random photos showing what the girls have been up to the past few weeks. There is no particular order.

Bike riding. Sanaa and Layla often practice riding their bikes in the garage. The garage has become the "play room" since our house is so small. I don't mind them playing out there at all and I'd really like to finish clearing out the garage so that I could set it up as a better play area for them especially since the rainy season will be here in a couple months.

Painting the patio. I found a sidewalk chalk paint recipe on Pinterest and made it for the girls (it contains cornstarch, water, and food coloring). They really enjoyed it. Sanaa is very artsy and enjoyed creating pictures. Layla enjoyed seeing what all she could paint before I caught her.

The cat was one of Layla's casualties.

Layla's pants were another casualty that got covered with paint.

The girls decided to empty as many containers of toys as they could. The mess drove me crazy! But I remembered a quote I saw that basically said to ignore the mess because the children were making memories. So I ignored the mess. But can you spot Malakai in the picture? He is there.
(Hint: He's only visible from the waist down.)

Making soup for the "caw-caw." There was a crow sitting on top of a nearby tree that continued to caw, so the girls decided the crow was hungry and proceed to make it some soup. Every once in awhile I'd hear from Sanaa, "It's not ready yet." And from Layla I'd hear, "No caw-caw."

Keldorn keeping a close eye on Layla as she colored.

Layla continues to love her baby brother.

And we can't forget Malakai. Here he is with a smile and the best bed head ever.

"Dude. What is that thing?"
He has started to notice his hands and it's fun watching him just stare at his hands in wonder.