Friday, April 4, 2014

The baby

More from the Sleeping Baby files...

It doesn't get any cuter than this.

I don't care what you say. There is simply nothing more adorable or more peaceful than a baby snuggled up with his blanket.

Only mine isn't a baby anymore, is he? We've thought of Levi as the baby for so long, we totally forgot that he'll be 2 in just a few short months.

But you see, I don't care. He'll be 10 in a few short years, too, and I might not say it aloud so much then, but he'll always be my baby.

I have yet to figure out how to stop this time warp that my kids live in where they seem to grow up at such an accelerated rate. It was only yesterday that my oldest was born, and she'll be 7 this summer. I have no idea how that happened.

I can't seem to stop it, so I'll just go on enjoying every moment.

Especially the sleepy ones.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not tired. Not even a little.

It's 4:30 in the afternoon, and someone does not agree with me about naptime being over.

For the record, that's the same someone who continues to insist he no longer needs to nap. His reasons range from "I'm not tired" to "I need to play monster trucks" to "I left my worms outside and they'll miss me."

I recall his sister making a similar plea not too long ago.

But actions speak louder than words.

And he's not making a very compelling argument.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back to the beach

When our evenings look like this, it's easy to forget the pile of dishes in the sink, the crumbs under the table, and the shift in bedtime that keeps my kids up an hour later.

Who wants to wash dishes and go to bed while the sun is still shining when there's all these sandcastles to be built?

Not this family. Not even a little bit.
Oh, spring, we've missed you so...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring cleaning

Now that the snow and cold weather seem to be (hopefully) a thing of the past, we're ready to welcome some spring weather. And there's work to be done around the homestead.

First order of business: Remove the debris caused by weakened tree limbs and severe wind storms. Levi was undaunted by limbs more than three times his size. For a one-year-old human, he makes a pretty good beast of burden.

Next up: Pick Mommy some flowers! (Which is really a much better motivator than "Hey, pull those weeds.") Caleb's always first in line when it comes to picking flowers for girls. And just like that, the weeds are gone.

And finally, no day in the yard is complete without the finding of some slimy creature. The kids were thrilled with their capture of this rare black salamander. Upon learning that it is a somewhat threatened species, they were happy to return it safely to its home. But not until after they had sufficiently poked and studied it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Random acts of kindness

There's so much opportunity for things to fall apart with so many young kids underfoot all day long. But sometimes, moments like these spring up, and I'm reminded that, along with the opportunity for trouble, there's also plenty of opportunity for bonding, and for relationships to be built among these four siblings.

Moments like these are the ones I treasure in the midst of the chaos. The ones I snap pictures of so I can remember and look back on a few minutes later, when someone takes someone's favorite crayon and pushes it down the floor vent and "now it's melting and it's ruined!" and someone hid a poopy diaper and we don't know where and a sippy cup of milk has gone missing and "it's okay because we'll find it when it starts to stink, Mommy."

Because before it all fell apart, the bigs had decided to start a reading club in the living room. Abby, noticing Levi wasn't joining in, picked a board book for him ("so he can't rip the pages like he usually does, right Mommy?") and plopped him down to read with them.

"This is my book that Aunt Cathy gave me when I was a baby," she explained to her littlest brother. "But since you're the baby now, it's okay, you can have it. Just don't rip it, okay?"

When they tired of reading, they scattered. Levi, confused as to where all his playmates went, wandered around the house, whining and looking sad and lost.

"Levi, come here," his biggest brother beckoned. "We can do this puzzle."

Floor puzzles don't really hold much interest for the one-year-old yet, so Levi tried to swipe his hat instead.

"No, Levi!" Caleb responded. "Don't touch my hat. You can't be a cowboy until you're four, and you can't have my hat. Uncle Matt will get you a real cowboy hat when you're bigger. But you can have my boots when I'm too big for them."

Later, Jacob wanted to color. And logically, so did Levi. I stood back as Jacob dug out paper for each of them from my formerly organized craft cabinet and laid them on the little table in the dining room.

Levi found a crayon that had not been sacrificed to a floor vent and proceeded to do what he must think the rest of us do with crayons and paper, which is to stab the paper repeatedly and make erratic scribbles everywhere. Jacob, meanwhile, continually reassured Levi about his artwork.

"Levi, that's a really cute purple puppy you're drawing," he would say, looking up only briefly from his own project. "I'll draw you a truck for you to color."

They will never know how much these little random acts of sibling kindness warm my heart.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Yep, still there

February 2014
Levi (19 months) and Jacob (3 years)
Apparently, you're never too old, or too big, to climb up on the changing table and show your brother where his nose is.

September 2012
Levi (2 months) and Jacob (22 months)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Room to swim

Caleb learned an important lesson today.

Sharks need much larger tanks.

This one will be taking his next swim in the washing machine.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Public Service Announcement

Eye makeup remover will (mostly) remove permanent marker from a toddler's face.

At least all he did was try to pick his nose with it. This could have been a lot worse.

Next time, he could just save us the trouble, and get a tattoo that reads "I'm the fourth kid. My parents don't pay enough attention to me."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Battle plans

"Leave us alone, Mommy," Caleb requested. "We're making preparations."

"For what?" I inquired.

"Preparations for battle," he replied, without hesitation.

This sounds serious. I should let them get back to work.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why I mop

Levi thinks this is hilarious.

The rest of us have kind of mixed feelings about spaghetti night.

In his defense, he does tend to continue stuffing his face and clean most of it up when we let him down from the table. And he's much cuter than a puppy.
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