Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Malakai - 8 months old

At 8 months old Malakai is a handful. He is very curious and moving all over the place. He's getting fairly fast with his army crawl and will be on the other side of the room before you even know it. He is sitting up independently and will even get up on his knees to sit. He's trying to crawl on his hands and knees but that hasn't work so well yet. 

The first two pictures are the best shots I was able to get of Malakai. He will not stay still and would immediately roll over to leave each time I laid him down.

I tried to give him a toy bracelet as a distraction so keep him somewhat still but that didn't help. Plus, our cat Keldorn kept walking through the picture distracting Malakai. You can see part of the cat in the lower right hand of the picture. It's the black blob down there.

Not only is Malakai moving a lot, he's also been teething like crazy. Over the past 4-5 weeks he has gotten 5 teeth in. He has two on the bottom and three on top. It looks like a fourth one on top might break through soon.

He loves to chew on his shoes and toes. This makes diaper changes pretty hard since you pull one leg down only to have pull the other leg up.

One of his favorite places to crawl is under his exersaucer. Just this week he has started to get really good at climbing over obstacles. He can now climb over my legs if I'm sitting down and he climbs in and out of the bottom of his exersaucer.

The dishwasher is a new fascination. He was so proud of himself the day he made it over to the dishwasher. I literally had to pry his fingers off of the dishwasher basket so that I could close the dishwasher and he wasn't happy with me when I did that.

Here is an example of him getting up on his knees. He was trying to get Sanaa's skirt and would not let go of her clothes.

The girls dollhouse is also one of Malakai's main destinations. I'm not sure why, but he really likes to play around with the dollhouse. Most of the time he just grabs the different pieces of furniture, bangs them around, and then tosses them to the side.

Malakai still isn't sleeping very well and continues to wake up at least 2 times a night. I think it's due to all the teeth he's getting in. He does enjoy his solids and eats really well. At least most days he eats well. He pretty much wears 9 month clothing at this point. He can still fit into some 6 month clothing but the pants that are size 6 months are getting to short. I guess next month after his 9 month check up we'll get to find out how much he's grown.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Grandma Craul (1926-2013)

Yesterday my grandma (my mom's mom) passed away. It was sudden but expected. Grandma Craul's health had been deteriorating for the past few years. Just before this past Christmas, my grandma's hip broke and she fell. She had hip surgery and then went to a rehab center. We had some hope that my grandma would get better and return home in a month or so. But while at the rehab center her leg and hip just wouldn't heal.

A little over a week ago (Feb 8) my grandma was taken back to the hospital. She had an infection and other issues. She had a surgery on Saturday Feb 9 to remove fluid from her leg (I believe). After that surgery she had trouble breathing. On Monday Feb 11 she had a second surgery to remove the "hardware" that was holding her hip together. It was determined that the "hardware" was causing the infection (or at least not helping things). She came through the surgery on Monday better than expected and things were looking pretty good last week.

Then on Thursday (Feb 14) my grandma started to get worse again. My mom made the decision to fly out to Pennsylvania on Saturday (Feb 16). When she arrived my aunt Nancy took her immediately to the hospital because grandma had taken a turn for the worse. At that time they made the decision to remove grandma from all medication and just give her comfort care.

There wasn't much change in grandma's condition on Sunday and I guess I thought things were okay. But then on Monday (yesterday) I received the call that grandma had died. So while her death was expected it was also quite sudden.

I'm comforted by the fact that my mom made it back to Pennsylvania and was with my grandma when she passed. My mom, her two sister's (Brenda and Phyllis) and my aunt Nancy (married to my mom's brother) were all with my grandma singing hymns when she died. I almost can't think of a better way to go.

Grandma has been ready to go to heaven for awhile. As her health went downhill over these years she was unable to do things she enjoyed such as reading. I'm happy that grandma is in a place where she has no more pain, her eye sight is restored, she can walk, and she is praising God. I'm also glad that back in January I was able to iChat (FaceTime, Skype, whatever you want to call it) with her. She was able to meet my three kids via the computer.

On Thursday we'll be flying out for her funeral. It'll definitely be a hard weekend to get through but I'm thankful that I'll be able to attend her funeral.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"But why mama?"

First off, the girls have started calling me mama instead of mommy and I have no idea why.

Secondly, over the past few weeks Layla has entered a new stage in life. The stage of asking why over and over and over again.

Most days I patiently answer her as she asks "But why" for the umpteenth time. Other days I just say "because" and if that doesn't stop her then I answer, "Because God made it that way." Usually that stops the conversation. If she continues to ask after that answer then I say, "I don't know. What do you think?"

I had a whole bunch of examples in mind to share but now I can only think of one. On the way home from church Sanaa notice a sign that meant no trucks allowed. So she asked me why the trucks weren't allowed on the rode. I answered and then Layla began her, "But why" questions.

I don't remember Sanaa really going through this phase and while it can be super annoying to keep answering questions at least Layla is curious enough to ask (and I try to remind myself that she is just trying to learn about the world around her).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Despite all the smiling faces in the pictures, we actually have had a fairly rough day with lots of crying and lots of meltdowns. Malakai appears to be working on more teeth (I'm thinking 4 teeth is enough for now, but we may have a 5th), Layla has a stuffy nose and is tired leading her to meltdown often, and Sanaa is limping around the house with a leg cramp. Thankfully Sanaa is in a fairly good mood despite the limp. She woke up yesterday with her leg hurting and has been limping ever since.

After breakfast, Sanaa and Layla opened their Valentine's gifts. I don't give them a lot of stuff so they each got a new place mat (with princesses on them), a small box of candy, a puzzle, and a couple of heart straws. The new place mat was a big hit!

Gramma Carol sent the kiddos some Valentine's Day shirts and the girls were very excited to wear them. They've been waiting for today just so they could wear their heart shirts. Layla wouldn't smile but insisted on making funny faces each time I asked them to smile.

Malakai even had his shirt that says, "Mommy's Valentine." Right after I took this picture he got mad at me and had had enough of picture taking. It looks like I caught him just before he started screaming at me.

Sanaa's preschool class had their party today. They made heart crowns, ate a Valentine's trail mix (craisins, marshmallows, pretzels, M&M's, and teddy grahams), and played two games. Sanaa also came home with a bag full of Valentine's Day cards that she's had fun looking through.

After Malakai went down for a nap, the door bell rang and I received some purple roses from Nate. Purple roses are my favorite flower! You usually don't see them but for our wedding I had lavender roses in my bouquet. Both Layla and Sanaa agreed that these were the prettiest flowers ever. I love how they also came with a purple vase. The first picture was taken by Sanaa and the second picture was taken by Layla. They both did well taking pictures!

And finally a couple of out-take pictures. We have Sanaa with an almost choke hold on Malakai. Malakai really wants his toes in his mouth and Layla doesn't have her eyes open.

So I thought maybe having them lay on the floor would be easier, but no. Layla started making funny faces, Malakai started to roll away, and Sanaa thought everything was funny. And then Sanaa said, "Mommy I've had enough of saying cheese."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Malakai sitting on his own

I think Malakai is determined to shatter all the milestone records his two big sisters set. He is doing just about everything 1 to 2 months earlier than Sanaa and Layla so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that he began sitting independently this week as well as getting into a sitting position on his own. Yesterday he was playing contentedly with his toys so I seized the moment to walk out to the garage to remove the clothes from the dryer. Malakai has not been the happiest baby this week and most days I'm stuck carrying him around as I do all the chores. When I came back inside I found him sitting in the middle of our floor. And he was very proud of himself.

Malakai has also decided that being upright is way more fun than laying on the floor and somehow managed to get up on his knees to play with the wipes as I washed Sanaa and Layla's hair during bath time. Every week Malakai seems to be doing something new. I guess we'll have to wait and see what he decides to start doing next week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The 4 little amigas

At Sanaa's school this year we have been lucky and blessed to meet a family who has 2 girls nearly the exact same age as our two girls. Sanaa and Lexi are in the same class which is how we met. Sanaa is about 6 weeks older than Lexi. Lexi has a younger sister, Brynli, who is approximately 6 weeks younger than Layla. (Yep, all 4 girls have a summer birthday! We will be partying this summer!) These 4 girls have really hit it off. Next year Sanaa and Lexi will be attending different schools for kindergarten (which is sad) but Layla and Brynli will start preschool and we've requested to have Layla and Brynli in the same class. The other fun fact is that Cara (the mom) is pregnant with their 3rd child and due at the end of March. They haven't found out what they are having but I'm hoping it's a boy so that Malakai will have a little friend!

Yesterday as we left school the four girls had to hold hands as we walked out to our cars. It was adorable. In the picture below from left to right it is Layla, Lexi, Sanaa, and Brynli.

This morning Brynli came over while Cara took Lexi to her new school for a kindergarten orientation. The girls had a lot of fun. Malakai was the only unhappy one. Maybe there were just too many girls for him. Who knows.

Last fall (either in October or November) we met Lexi, Brynli and their mom at a local park which was near a pond. The girls ran around in the field until suddenly a bunch of ducks came waddling out of the pond. The ducks waddled right up to the girls. Lexi wasn't too keen on being near the ducks, but the other 3 thought it was awesome and wanted to chase all the ducks.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Play, play, and more play

Imaginations have been running wild with the girls and I love watching their creativity. One day they began running around with our tunnel on top of them and I found out they were a rainbow caterpillar.

They each took turns being the head of the caterpillar.

Layla has become obsessed with puzzles. She does them nearly every day. I no longer have to help her with the 12-piece jig saw puzzles we have. Sanaa is also getting better at the puzzles. In the past Sanaa has gotten frustrated with puzzles and won't do them, but I'm seeing some competition between her and Layla now. Since Layla has started doing the puzzles, Sanaa now wants to do them as well and both girls will complete the puzzles on their own without my help.

Back in January we had some cold weather with temperatures dropping below freezing several nights in a row. During the day we'd warm up to the upper 30's and low 40's. After being inside for several days I bundled the girls up and sent them outside to get some energy out. They had a blast "chopping" at the ice in their water table.

Legos don't get played with often by the girls but one evening last week Layla pulled them out built tower after tower. Malakai would laugh each time the towers crashed down and that is probably why Layla kept building them.

Malakai is getting around very well and is very curious. His baby toys don't keep his attention for long anymore. He is much more interested in what his big sisters are playing with.

The one thing Malakai does get excited about is a ball. If he sees a ball on the floor he will chase after it via his army crawl. Once he catches it, he will attack it and roll around with it. I've never seen a child do this before and it's a lot of fun to watch.