The annual "stand in order in your new pajamas on Christmas Eve" picture
Christmas Breakfast on fancy china
Wesley is almost 10 months old. He weighs 17.4 pounds (10th%) and is 29 inches (62nd%). He is definitely into everything, as can be evidenced by the daily trail of destruction he leaves. Pulling all the towels and rags out of the drawer and getting into the kid dishes drawer are some of his favorite things to do. He does like to help take all the clothes out of the washer and hand them to me to put in the dryer. It's adorable. The barstool-at-the-bottom-of-the-stairs-baby-gate worked for several months until he learned how to crawl over it. We've moved on to the constantly-climbing-up-the-stairs-while-terrifying-his-parents-because-he-hasn't-learned-how-to-go-down-feet-first phase. It's a fun one. He's getting a lot better at it, but it's still scary. He loves to stand, but hasn't taken any steps yet. He mostly looks like he surfing because of his stance and the way he balances. (Update-since it's taken me so long to post this: Wes took his first step one day before he turned 10 months. A week later he was taking several steps. 14 is his record. I've never had a baby start to walk this early!!)
Wes is starting to like eating table food but still eats a lot of baby food. His all time favorite food is yogurt and probably eats one every day. He still hates drinking a bottle but does it sometimes. The only way I can get him to drink it is when I'm holding him while standing. So it's like I'm feeding a goat with his head looking to the ceiling. When I try to sit down he goes crazy and stops drinking. The boy still hasn't slept through the night more than 4 times in his life. Last week we moved his crib into our walk in closet (since there's no other room available for him right now) and he seems to be sleeping a lot better in there. It's warm and dark and away from a lot of the chaos that could wake him up. He's been taking good naps, but he has been waking up twice a night since then. Still, a vast improvement from some of the other nights he's had where he would wake up 5 or 6 times and couldn't be consoled. I tell you, this baby has two purposes in life right now: 1-to slowly kill me and Jared via sleep deprivation and 2-to make dang sure, even though we weren't planning on it, that we will not have any more kids. You would think I'd be able to figure out how to deal with a baby by now, but I've never had a baby that didn't sleep before. Ahh, Wes. Some day he will sleep.
We all call him Wessie, or just Wes. I also call him Buddy Bud. He sure melts my heart by how cute he is. The other day we asked who wanted dinner and everyone raised their hands, including him. He also folds his arms for the prayer and loves to clap, something he learned the day before Thanksgiving. He shakes his head no a lot and sometimes does yes. He's got a great laugh. He was sitting in his high chair watching everyone carve pumpkins for Halloween and he just started cracking up by how funny one of the pumpkins was. Love to see the wheels in his head turning.
This was the best I could do for Wesley's Christmas picture. He was super squirmy!
Hallie keeps saying really cute things. Everything that has stripes on it she calls wobbly. She loves her wobbly dress and her wobbly shirts. She found some old cups with Dora on them, claimed them as her own and started calling them her "Nora tups". I guess we haven't watched enough Dora with her, or any come to think of it. Breakfast was "fetuss" and now it's "befduss", a movie is a "fawvie", rubber bands are "wubbin bands", ketchup is "teputch" and zip it is "yip it". Other common phrases are "Mom, where is you?" or "Where is her?" Instead of "I know how" she just says, "I how". Whenever we are in the car she asks, "Aw we dohing home? Aw we?" Oh, and I have to "yisten" to her or she will get really mad. If I'm not "yooking" at her while I'm listening then she'll break down and say, "Mom, you're not yistening at me!" When she wants something and I tell her no, she says, "No, I want it." Oh, see had I realized that you wanted it I would have said yes... Her favorite shows are Daniel Tiger (which she used to call Tigga Daniels) and Super Why (pronounced Supper Why). She talks about her friends all the time, especially Isabella. Usually it's, "Mine fends do dis," and then she'll say something crazy that her friends do but you know she's just making it all up. Hallie started Primary last Sunday! She could not be more excited to be in Primary. She just gets really excited and giggles about it whenever you mention it.
I made her some doll house furniture for Christmas and she loves it!
This was a DIY fort kit that we made for our kids. They made lots of fun forts in the living room (this is why we need our basement to be finished)
Connor is a funny kid. He was the only kid who told Santa what he wanted when he sat on his lap and what was it? A tiny Santa. I asked him what he meant afterwards and he said, "Ugh, Santa knows." So, he got a tiny Santa in his stocking and yes, it is his favorite present. So crazy how the littlest things make them the most happy. I got a text from the mom of a girl in his kindergarten class asking if Connor ever talks about how she kisses him every day. He was pretty embarrassed when I asked him and denied it happening, but did say that she (Eliza) chases him and tries to kiss him every day and that she has a crush on him. When I told him she wanted him to come over he said, "I'll go, as long as she doesn't kiss me." Then, come to find out, Connor is the captain of the boys, since Landon moved that is. After all the digging I've done I've only gathered that the captain is only the captain when the girls start chasing them, that he is the one who makes the plans, and that the dumbest plan they made was "Run!" Also, the reason he is the captain is because he is the skinniest. He says this stuff so matter-of-factly too. All I can do is laugh.
Besides that, he is really taking off with reading. He got the Elephant and Piggie books for Christmas and thinks they are great. He had the longest part of all my kids in the Primary program and he did a great job memorizing it and saying it so clearly. It had some hard words too like begotten, whosoever, perisheth and everlasting. Last week we remembered that he had the scripture at the end of Sacrament meeting. Jared looked one up and read it with him once. He read it great in Primary and then said it completely memorized after church (after only two times reading it!) Another funny thing he said yesterday was, "Mom, you're old" and after I started laughing he said, "Well, not that much old."
Marissa has been loving gymnastics, even though her best friend quit taking classes with her. You know this because she is always doing hand stands and cartwheels all over the place, like in the hall, the kitchen, 2 inches from Wesley's head, etc. She is getting pretty good at them. I took her to be evaluated at another gym and she made it into level 2 (she is already on level 2 the current gym). Hopefully there will be a spot open for her when I try to sign up, mostly because it is half the price and will give her a longer class. Marissa was a very grateful girl this Christmas. She loved getting the Crayola cling creator which produced a good 15 slimy window decorations to be displayed right by our front door. She really did love that gift. The other thing she got was a camera, which she also really wanted and loves. Her best friend at school is Brooklyn, who really, really likes Marissa. Her mom told me that she was so grateful that Brooklyn had found such a great friend because she has a hard time making friends. Needless to say, both parents hear a lot about the other friend. It's nice to be able to find someone like that.
Alex has been loving basketball right now. He is on a team with his neighbor friends and has made a basket every game. He has also been learning some really fun songs on the piano. Over Christmas he learned and memorized a few on his own and a bunch of Christmas duets with Erin that they performed on Christmas Eve. I love hearing them play together! Now they are working on Linus and Lucy from Charlie Brown and it is so fun to hear. Alex will sit down several times a day and just play songs and is starting to learn some chord progressions. He is persistent and talented with it. Alex and Erin also performed a couple of times with the school choir.
Two of his favorite Christmas gifts were a pocket knife (which came in handy opening stuff on Christmas) and a Rubik's cube. All six of the neighbor boys his age got one in their stocking (random, right?) so they all carry them around trying to solve them. He is getting good at it and only has to look it up on certain parts. This year the class field trip was skiing and snowboarding! He chose snowboarding because it looked cooler, even though I tried to convince him that we are a skiing family. They gave him lessons and spent the day up there. He loved it! Now if only we could find the time and money to take him and our other kids up some other time.
Erin has been enjoying her music dance theater class and did a really fun performance at the Festival of Trees, that I have no photographic evidence of due to our other kids being crazy cranky (in their defense, the performance didn't start till after 9 pm) Erin was challenged by her Primary teachers to ready the Book of Mormon this year. The first week she was supposed to ready 50 pages, about 7 pages a night. Instead, she started reading 7 or 8 chapters a night. It's only been a few weeks and she is already in the middle of Alma! She comes down and asks questions about it and is really enjoying it. She said that she wants to read all of the standard works this year. I'm amazed by how ambitious she can be when she sets her mind to something. She has also read all 20 battle of the books titles and is starting to reread those.
Erin was really ambitious with her Christmas presents this year. She made a doll quilt for Hallie, a doll rug for Marissa and made a car mat for the boys. It's really cool because all the roads are moveable. She spent a lot of time cutting and gluing in her room. Just before Christmas I taught her how to use the sewing machine to finish the projects, and that night she stayed up late sewing a little purse that she designed. Awesome. We found out that 4 of her Refelctions projects went to the district and 2 of them went on to the region. I received an email saying that one of her projects went on to the state level! We'll find out tomorrow which one. It's cool to see her succeed at things, especially since she worked so hard on Reflections the last two years and didn't get anything. Erin also just got her second phase of braces on. Hopefully this phase won't take too long and she will have perfect teeth by the middle of 7th grade.
Jared has been gaining a lot of momentum on our basement. We realized some time in November that he had a lot of vacation days that he hadn't taken, so he took two weeks off in December. We decided it was time to finish the basement (since we started the framing over two years ago). In that time we have paid for my Lasik surgery, purchased two new cars, gone to Disneyland, had a baby, had some medical bills and basically haven't had much time to work on it. We hired out the HVAC and Jared has done 75% of the electrical so far. He also finished up the framing, so we are making some real headway. I can't wait to have it done! I'm glad Jared is so handy and talented at figuring stuff out. Even so, there are so many little details to think about as far as lighting and framing that it takes us a long time.
This is obviously my favorite gift I gave to Jared. I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me play racquetball. This was also week 2 of his 3 week Christmas beard.
I, Laura, have been staying alive and keeping my kids alive. That's about it. I feel like this year has been a big blur. I am not depressed, which is good, but I am basically doing what I need to take survive. Someone once said to me that she heard that anything after three kids is easy (this was coming from someone with three kids). Totally not true! While I do remember three kids as being quite challenging, I have to say that having the sixth has been completely exhausting. Sleep deprivation has been pretty brutal. I think it has been most challenging physically, as I haven't had much time to exercise. But I know this phase will not last forever. I am almost done nursing Wes, though he still goes crazy in the middle of the night without it. Being done always makes me feel more like myself again. He is also really hard to leave places because he just cries, so I mostly have him with me all the time. I am leaving on a 3 day girls trip this weekend and I'm hoping Wes will be okay without me. I am looking forward to a fun break.
I got a laminator and Jared and I got really nice new phones for Christmas! I'm excited to be able to take better pictures from my phone.
And this was our Christmas card this year. So basically, I managed to do something last year.