Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swimming lessons

Sanaa and Layla started swimming lessons today. They'll be going two times a week until the end of July. This is Layla's first time to take swimming lessons that is not a mommy and me class. Both girls were very excited about swimming and couldn't wait to get in the pool. When Sanaa had her very first lesson she cried through about half of it and I was wondering if Layla would be the same way since I wouldn't be with her in the water. But Layla had no fear of the water. It was actually a bit nerve racking to watch. The kids stand on a table in the water and hold onto the side of the pool when the teacher isn't working them. Layla kept letting go of the side of the pool and bouncing around. The life guard and teacher had to remind Layla many times to hold onto the side of the pool. Even Sanaa was bouncing around and letting go of the side. However, Sanaa didn't receive as many reminders as Layla did.

The girls are both in Level 1 but have different teachers. Layla is with the beginners and younger kids in Level 1 and Sanaa is with the older kids in Level 1.

I was getting ready to take a picture of Sanaa (who is in the middle of pool) and then noticed that Layla's teacher was working with Layla at the same time. So I got both girls in the same picture. When we left both Sanaa and Layla asked when we'd be returning. Hopefully at their next lesson they listen better and hold onto the side of the pool. 

My mom would say that Layla is just like me in regards to water. When I was little my parents had to make sure I had my floaties on my arms before they walked out of the apartment because I would just run and jump in the pool without waiting on them. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Father's Day

If you haven't noticed I'm trying to get caught up on the blog. May and June are such busy months for us that it's easy to fall behind on the blog. Below is Nate and the kids before we left for church. Sanaa and Layla are holding the coffee mugs that they painted for him as a gift.

There is a ceramic cafe not far from us that Sanaa and Layla enjoy going to. They've painted several gifts for family members there. For Nate, they did coffee mugs and each girl used a stencil to paint a little surprise inside the mug. Sanaa chose a ladybug and Layla picked a dinosaur.

The mug Sanaa painted is on the left and the one Layla painted is on the right.

At church the girls played the bells in the Joy Bell choir. This was Layla's first time performing and being in front of the congregation. After a child turns 3 they move from the toddler nursery to the preschool class. Layla had only been in the preschool class for 2 weeks when she performed with the bell choir. She did very well and you could tell that she concentrated hard to ring her bell at the right time. Layla is in the front, the second girl from the left. You can barely see Sanaa since one of her friends was standing in front of her. Sanaa is just behind the third girl from the right.

Since I couldn't get a good shot of Sanaa during the performance I snapped a quick picture of her and Layla walking off stage. Both girls held their bells carefully as they walked back to class. It was a lot of fun to watch both of them perform together.

The beach ball cake

Making Malakai's beach ball cake was probably the easiest cake I've made for one of our children's birthdays so far. I just baked a normal round cake and covered it with white icing. To create the beach ball on top I traced one of the cake pans on a piece of paper and cut that circle out.

I then used my sprinkle container to trace a small circle inside the larger circle that was slightly off center.

Next I free-handed the beach ball lines so my paper looked like a beach ball. I cut along each line from the edge of the paper up to the small circle but did not cut around the small circle. This made flaps that I could bend up making it easier to get sprinkles only on certain sections of the cake.

I then gently placed the paper on top of my cake and lifted the different flaps to add my sprinkles. I saw a suggestion online to use wax paper or even parchment paper but I had just run out of both so used plain paper. If I made a beach ball again I would use wax paper since the regular paper started to stick to the icing. But it wasn't a big problem for me since I was covering the cake with sprinkles.

Once I was done adding the sprinkles I removed the paper and added a little more white icing to the small white circle area.

I finished the cake by outlining the beach ball with more white icing and putting more sprinkles on the side of the cake. It probably took me 10 minutes to decorate. I still struggle with writing in icing, but hopefully someday I'll get better at that.

Malakai's 1st birthday party

Last Sunday (June 16) we had a small birthday party with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. We also celebrated Father's Day at the same time so it was a combined celebration. For Malakai's birthday I made a beach ball cake. I had mentioned to Sanaa and Layla that I was going to made a ball cake for Malakai but wasn't sure what kind of ball. Sanaa suggested a beach ball so I went with that. Malakai enjoys throwing and tackling any type of ball right now which is why I had planned to make some type of ball cake to begin with.

After we sang Happy Birthday to Malakai we pretended to let him blow out the candle.

Big sister Layla had already blown out the candle while we were in the middle of singing, which upset Sanaa since I had told the girls they could blow out the candle together since Malakai was too little to actually blow it out.

But we got past that little bit of drama and moved onto the best part.... eating the cake. Malakai tested it at first not sure what to think of it.

Then he tasted a small bit....

After that small taste he loved it and devoured it. In fact he liked it so much that he screamed at me the next day (Monday) when I gave Sanaa and Layla some cake but not him.

I also attempted to make a pull-string piñata. Sanaa has been asking for a piñata for awhile and I'm not sure why. It was suppose to look like a beach ball but reminded me more of a hot air balloon. The idea behind it being a pull-string was that the bottom would open up when all the kids pulled on their string allowing the candy to fall out. Well.... instead of the bottom opening, the string my brother was holding on top came off when the kids pulled and it came crashing down. The candy still came out but not in the way I intended. Oh, well. It was my first attempt and I'm sure I'll get it figured out some day. I like the pull-string idea so you don't have little kids running around swing a bat or stick and potentially hitting someone in the head.

Malakai also received some fun gifts which he wasn't interested in at all. We all tried to help him get interested in the gifts and pulling out the tissue paper from the gift bags but he kept crawling off to explore. So, Sanaa and Layla opened his gifts for him.

With our cake we also got to enjoy some homemade ice cream. The girls enjoy eating the ice cream off of the mixer part. They were a sticky mess once they were done but I'm sure it'll be a memory they hold onto as they grow up.

Malakai was also quite the sticky mess after eating his cake. I was going to give him a bath but he discovered my parents water fountain and played and even drank from that. It was impossible to keep him away from the fountain. He loved it! I'm just glad my dad had cleaned it the day before.

This coming weekend we'll be having a big birthday party for Sanaa and Layla with their friends. Both girls are really looking forward to having their friends over to swim and play on the slip-n-slide.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Malakai: the little boy who doesn't stop moving

In my last post I mentioned that Malakai is too busy perfecting his climbing to be bothered by learning to walk, so here are some pictures I've taken over the last week and a half. He just started climbing on stools and anything else he can manage to get on almost 2 weeks ago.

There's a little head peeking over the counter top.

Using a stool was getting too boring since they stayed in one place. However, if you push your bus around and then stand on that you can see so much more and get into so much more trouble. Who cares if the bus moves right? Mommy will make a mad dash across the room nearly tripping just so she can catch you before you bang your head. Besides mommy needs the workout since she's always complaining to daddy about how she'd like to lose some weight.

These stools just aren't tall enough for me. Even standing on my toes doesn't help much.

So mommy thought I was safe outside because there are no stools to climb on. Ha! I showed her how wrong she was when she found me on top of my sisters picnic table. She was distracted by my sisters fighting and I took the opportunity to work on some new climbing skills. You should see how fast my mommy can move now!

And what is up with the silly straps in grocery carts. You know those can't keep me down! And I will not sit correctly for my mommy either. Instead I will scream at the top of my lungs making other shoppers look at us until she leaves me alone!

Malakai started to work on his climbing when we changed up Sanaa and Layla's bedroom. Two weeks ago my parents came over to help put their new bunk bed together. Well, we have the bunk bed but none of the hardware so we couldn't put it together. Instead we just had to put their mattresses on the floor. Malakai (and the girls) thought it was awesome because it made for a fun surface to climb and bounce on. Malakai figured out he could go up and down all by himself and from there has progressed to climbing on stools, toy buses, and picnic tables.

Malakai also likes to just hang out on Layla and Sanaa's bed. The hardware still hasn't shown up. We've called 4 or 5 times over the past two weeks. I'll be calling again on Monday and will do my best to be nice but I'm a little fed up with this company and tired of how small and cluttered the girls room looks right now with two twin mattresses laying next to each other on the floor.

Layla's 3 year checkup and Malakai's 12 month checkup

Yesterday I took the kids to the pediatrician so that Layla could have her 3 year checkup and Malakai could have his 1 year checkup. I miss the days of only taking one kid to the doctor and the funny thing is I remember being so stressed about taking Sanaa to the doctor by myself. But now I'm juggling 3 kids. Wow! Overall the kids did well. Towards the end of the appointment (which was a good hour long since we had back-to-back appointments) the kids were starting to get a tad bored and having a harder time listening.

Layla was very worried about getting a shot and Sanaa didn't help matters by informing Layla over and over and over that she HAD to get a shot at her checkup. Aren't big sisters just great? But luckily Layla is all caught up on her vaccines and didn't need a single shot. When we left the pediatrician Layla told me that that was the best doctor visit ever. Haha!

I filled out an ages and stages questionnaire for both Layla and Malakai. Layla is doing great in all areas (gross motor, fine motor, communication, personal-social skills, problem solving, etc). Her scores were well above the cut off so there wasn't much to discuss about her.

Her growth stats were:
Height: 3 feet 0.85 inches (36th percentile)
Weight: 28 pounds (29th percentile)

Malakai on the other hand received 3 shots and had his finger pricked so they could get a blood sample. Poor little guy. Malakai is doing pretty good in his overall development. At his last checkup there was a lot of concern with his communication, personal-social skills, and gross motor development. We left our last checkup with a referral to ECI. However, since he had ear tubes put in his communication, personal-social skills, and problem solving skills all are back up to what would be considered normal development. Woohoo! The only developmental area that fell in the gray area was his gross motor skills. The pediatrician said that she wouldn't do anything about it except keep an eye on him. She then asked if he is an accomplished crawler and I said yes. Right after I answered her, Malakai took the opportunity to speed crawl across the exam room, pull up to stand at a cabinet and pulled as hard as he could on the cabinet door. We both laughed at his timing to "show off." The pediatrician then said that some children are such good crawlers that they don't see a need to walk. I'm thinking Malakai falls into this category.

Currently Malakai can hold onto furniture and cruise along it as well as push a toy and walk. But he can't alone and he hasn't taken any steps on his own yet. I'm not worried. Sanaa didn't start walking until she was 15 months and I'm sure Malakai will be walking by then. Besides, he's too busy perfecting his climbing abilities to walk right now!

Malakai's growth stats were:
Height: 29.3 inches (33rd percentile)
Weight: 19 pounds 15 ounces (29th percentile)
Head circumference: 18 inches (63rd percentile)

The pediatrician was also happy to see that Malakai had gained a good amount of weight and was finally back on the chart instead of slowly falling off the chart. At his 9 month check up he had lost weight and fallen to the 7th percentile.

This evening Malakai finished off his final can of formula. Yay! We started giving him whole milk yesterday and he loves. He chugs down a sippy cup of milk quite fast so we've had no problems with him transitioning from formula to milk. All day today he drank milk instead of formula but then at bed time Nate gave him the last of the formula just so we could finish it off. He also stopped using the bottle about a month ago and has only been using his sippy cups. I'm a little surprised at how I haven't had to wean him from anything yet. He's just transitioned himself to the next thing.

Overall, Malakai is a good eater. He tries pretty much anything you put on his tray. The biggest issue I have with him and eating is that he likes to throw his food. Sometimes he does it for fun but most times he does it because he's full. We typically take away his food once he starts throwing it but he's pretty fast and can make a huge mess in just a few seconds.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Malakai - 12 months old

Happy Birthday Malakai! We made it through a year of pictures! And I'm not sure I could handle doing this much more. Getting the monthly picture has become a group effort with daddy and your sisters helping. I would stand ready with the camera, daddy would lay you down quickly, and then your sisters and daddy would make silly sounds to try and keep you on your back while I snapped as many pictures as possible. We managed to get a few decent ones and I deleted a lot of the blurry ones.

I kept a few blurry ones of you rolling away just to remember how quick you are and how you don't like to stay still. There is always somewhere you need to be and something you need to get into. The only time you are still is when you are sleeping.

You crawled off but then came back to lay down on your blanket. I guess getting your picture taken was really hard work on your part.

But a few seconds later you were back up and headed out of your room.

This is just a fun picture of you. I asked if you wanted to play pat-a-cake and you put your hands up. Not sure what you were thinking.

This morning I worked hard to get a smile for your 1st birthday. I need at least one nice picture of you on your birthday. It's hard to get a picture of you these days since you're constantly on the move. I can get some great shots of you from behind but you don't stay still long for me to get a picture of your cute face and smile. I also know you need a hair cut. But you don't sit still long enough for me to cut it and I'm to cheap to take you into a hair dresser. We'll figure something out. I know your sisters enjoy putting hair clips in your hair but don't tell daddy about that okay?

Tomorrow we head to the pediatrician for your 1 year check up. It'll be fun to see how much you've grown!

Happy 1st Birthday Malakai

Today is your 1st birthday and what an amazing year it has been. You've grown a lot over the last year and keep me very busy. But I'll write another post just on how much you keep me hopping and all the mischief you get into. This post is going to be about the memories I have from the day you were born that I never wrote down (even though I've meant to for about a year now!).

The day you were born was beautiful. We checked into the hospital in Newberg, OR around 5:30am and were set up in our room. The room we had had a wonderful view. We were able to see hot air balloons rising and I couldn't help but watch them. It was so peaceful. I wasn't anxious at all about having a 3rd c-section. In fact I was just plain ready to be done with being pregnant. This was the last pregnancy for me. I was done. I was tired of all the morning sickness, the lack of energy, and the bad taste in my mouth that made me want to throw up unless I was chewing peppermint gum.

Once we were all checked in we had about an hour to wait. It felt long and short at the same time. There were some moments that the clock hardly seemed to moved but then it seemed that various nurses were suddenly coming into the room to let me know who they were and what they would be doing. You had a nurse just for you and I had a nurse just for me. I also met the anesthesiologist who would be helping me by numbing my back and legs so that I couldn't feel anything from the waist down.

Daddy changed into his operating room getup and soon after that I was wheeled away into the operating room. It was around 7:30am.

Once I was all numbed up and ready to go they brought daddy into the operating room. I was ready so to meet you!

Finally, the doctor said I'd feel a slight tug (which I was aware of from when your sisters were born) and then I heard you crying. I couldn't see you but I could hear you. I just kept waiting and it seemed to take awhile before they had you all cleaned off and I could actually see you. Daddy was standing near you taking pictures as the nurses cleaned you off and checked your vitals.

Eventually, the nurse brought you over and I got to see you briefly before they took you and daddy back to our room. I stayed in the operating room as they closed me up.

I was quite anxious to hold you, but I knew it wouldn't be too long before the doctor was finished and I was wheeled back to the room where you were. The anesthesiologist asked me how I was doing and I was doing okay. I was starting to feel a little cold but that was it. He said if I started feel queasy to let him know but I was doing okay.

They doctor finished up and it was time for them to wheel me back to our room. Right as they started moving the bed I began to feel queasy. I closed my eyes and hoped the feeling would go away but it didn't. We got into the room and I managed to tell the nurse (or whoever was in there) that I wasn't feeling well. And then I started throwing up. For the next 3 hours if I moved my head or tried to sit up I would get a huge wave of nausea and I would start throwing up. Eventually, I had nothing to throw up since I hadn't eaten since the night before. The anesthesiologist came in several times to check on me and kept changing my medication to get the nausea under control. My nurse stayed in the room with me the entire time.

During this time, you slept peacefully in the hospital bassinet and daddy sat nearby. I'm quite thankful you slept for those 3 hours because if you had been crying I think I would have been even more stressed out. I kept watching the clock and thinking that I just wanted to hold you. The hours ticked by and I was not feeling better. I was starting to get frustrated with myself and was trying to will myself to stop throwing up. You were my last baby and I just wanted to hold you! Part of me could not believe this was happening. The anesthesiologist seemed a little surprised too and mentioned he thought that maybe them wheeling me backwards from the operating room to our room had played a part in my queasiness, but who knows why it happened.

Mentally, I gave myself a cut-off time of 11am to feel better. I remember thinking that I HAD to feel better by 11am. I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking all that clearly but I desperately wanted to be better by then so that I could nurse you and hold you before your sisters (Sanaa and Layla) came to meet you with grandpa and grandma Lind. I also didn't want Sanaa and Layla to see me sick. I knew Sanaa would worry since she was already a little anxious about me being in the hospital.

Finally, the anesthesiologist suggested placing a patch behind my ear. The medication they had been trying wasn't working and the patch was a final attempt to get my nausea under control. It worked! I was starting to feel better. I could sit up and move my head without getting sick.

I don't remember exactly what time it was but it was sometime after 11am that I got to hold you for the first time. It was at least 3 hours after you were born and I was so happy I could finally hold you.

Not long after I held you, grandpa and grandma Lind showed up with your sisters and they got to meet you for the first time. Both Sanaa and Layla loved you from the time they met you.

However, Sanaa was also concerned about me being in a bed at the hospital. I still wasn't feeling the best when they arrived to meet you but I wasn't about to let Sanaa know how bad I felt. She seemed to be most concerned about me being in the hospital and I didn't want her to worry or be scared.

Here's a picture of you with Sanaa and Layla a few days after you were home.

And now you don't stay still for pictures so it's hard to get a picture of all three of you kiddos together.

Happy Birthday little guy! You are such a blessing to our family! We are so thankful and grateful you are a part of our family now.