Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Endearing Lyra Rose

Lyra turns two this week! I can hardly believe it. She's already started the nasty habit of lying about her age and saying "I seven! I four!" and consistently denies she's about to be two. She doesn't want to be a big girl though, just a bebe. 

Lyra is intensely friendly. She'll walk up to any stranger and declare their life-long friendship before even knowing their name. She generally launches into some story about who knows what. Today, she went up to a teenage girl and told her about how many fingers she had. The girl was polite and listened intently as Lyra counted them "One-two-three-one-two-three-seven" 

Her favorite color seems to be blue. They eat gummy vitamins with breakfast and whenever I ask what color she wants, she says "BLUE!". There have never been any blue ones. 

Lyra is as hydrophilic as they come. She dumps any and all water she can find. It's painful and taxing. I will give her credit for being very dutiful in cleaning it up when I command her to. 

She loves to sing and be sung to. Every night she'll ask Sel or I to sing her "I Love to See the Temple" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' over and over and over again. She usually joins in to excitedly scream random bits of the lyrics. 

We only wear dresses in this house. Trying to get her to wear shorts is like asking a lion to go vegan. It's not going to happen. Someone is going to get ripped to shreds. Even when I try to get her to wear little shorts under her dress, it is a futile battle. Anything girly, frilly, flouncy and fluffy is all this girl wants. She's also VERY into accessories. She loves hats, purses, sunglasses and earrings. 

Lyra still reminds me so much of an animal. The way she moves when she runs away from you while playing (or not playing and just trying to increase my step count and heart rate for the day) is like watching the Animal channel. She loves to hide and is impressively good at finding spots to do so. Her favorites are under the dining room table and behind my legs. 

Rowan and Lyra are the sweetest platonic love story around. They play together in a rough, crazy way that just works for them. Even though Lyra is SO rough on Rowan, he responds gently and with a laugh. They love to chase one another around the house mostly or play hide-n-seek. 

Lyra loves going to church and asks regularly if we can go today. She loves to dress up for it and play with friends and dollies. Honestly, any social outing is easy for her. She just enjoys being around people. Lyra gets so animated and excited about so many things, but particularly seeing her friends (actual ones and strangers too). She'll run full force shouting the name of her friend and crash-hug them. I mostly don't have to worry about her hitting, biting, pushing, or being too aggressive with them anymore. 

Despite her wildness, she is so very sweet. She gives tender hugs and kisses. She loves to give Sel some of her best hugs and kisses in the mornings or when he gets home from work. However, I should share the hilarious story of her telling Sel to go to work one night. When he's home, we alternate who puts who to bed. One of his nights to put Lyra down, all she wanted was me (which is unusual since she truly adores Sel). He tried to sing her some more songs and she yelled "Go to work Daddy! Go away!" Att-i-tude man. 

Lyra loves soup! yeah!!! Both Sel and Rowan are not big lovers of soup, but my gal pal and I could eat it for every meal. She loves broccoli, beans, apples, oats, cheese, and butter. So all things healthy, right? She has been known to open the freezer, take out a stick of butter, and just dig in until I find her and freak out. 

Lyra likes to announce that she's "tootsing out mine bum". She's even announced to people that "Mommy is tootsing out her bum" which is hardly embarrassing. 

She's starting to get some hair! It's really exciting because it has taken 24 months exactly for her to have enough to cover the top part of her head all the way. 

We got chickens and all four are just a few seconds from a broken neck anytime Lyra is around them. She will squish them into her chest saying "Goldie likes me! Hulk likes me!" until their panicked squawking stops and they almost lose consciousness. Sometimes she reminds me so much of Agnes from Minions. Her ponytail is often straight up and she just wants to squeeze anything that's fluffy. 

If I ever cry, she'll get right up in my face and say "Is okay mommy! Is okay mommy. I kiss it." It's both comforting and comical. She just gets sooo close to your face when she says it. 

She's still immune to pain. We found out she does have spina bifida occulta (thanks to her rad radiologist uncle looking at it for us). It's surprisingly common and does essentially nothing to her. I wondered before finding this out if she somehow had lessened sensation in her body because she is just unnaturally tough. Things that would have most toddlers sobbing for awhile she bounces back from in seconds. 

Quantity over quality with this one. She continually tries to carry as many stuffed animals, barbies, dolls, ponies, etc around as she possibly can. She and Rowan both have My Little Ponies and it doesn't really matter to her that he has Rainbow Dash, she just wants all of the ponies in her arms at all times. We know because we bought her a rainbow dash and she still tries to steal his. Stealing from Rowan is usually which evokes her skittish little animal run and cover. She'll snatch it then dart away to hide. While he tries to grab her, she'll sit there out of his reach and giggle. It's awful as a parent because a huge part of me just wants to sit there and laugh, while the adult part knows I can't laugh while my son is being the victim of such deviousness. 

Her language is still pretty impressive for a not quite two-year-old. I'm so proud of all she knows! I certainly didn't do much to get her to this level which makes her abilities even more impressive to me. 

I love this one of her! She looks so beautiful with those sun rays behind her and making her characteristic lip purse. 
Lyra is so endearing. My friend used that word to describe her the other day and it is so fitting. Her little quirks and the combination of her wild and sweet bits make her absolutely captivating. Even if one minute I am frustrated with her toddler antics, she finds a way to charm me right into a laugh. We love our little Lyra Rose! 

She only wants to wear sunglasses every. single. minute. 


Poor Goldie is getting a lot of love in that coop




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lately Baby

These two of mine are the absolute best. They make me crazy happy and also crazy crazy depending on the hour. 

Rowan: Is probably the best three-year-old that has ever lived. He is so obedient, kind, and sweet. His current favorite things are GAMES. Board games, video games, mind games, pretend fight games. He is a gamer through and through. Most mornings, he comes downstairs to find me and will ask to read the scriptures with me.  I think this is partially because he knows I will let him play games after it, but also because I do think they bring a special spirit into our home. The other day he was pretty tired and I asked him why he was so grumpy and he said "Cause I haven't read the scriptures today Mommy!" 

He is going to start a mini-preschool the end of March which he is NOT wanting to do. It will only be three days a week for 90 minutes which I think he will actually love once he gets going. Rowan is now a SUNBEAM! Nursery was impossible and terrible near the end, but he really loves going to primary. His one thing he struggles a little with his is overpowering desire to be picked to do things. If he does not get selected, the world borders on an early destruction. 

Winning is all that Rowan wants from life. This will serve him very well (hopefully) as he gets older, but it makes from some soul-shattering days of gaming. He's learning a little bit everyday how to be less upset and just enjoy the event of playing. 

Rowan seemed to struggle a little with numbers but after some Pinterest practicing ideas, he now has number recognition up to ten and we are working on our teens. 

Rowan can be a littttle dramatic at times. As I said before, he really is one of the best behaved little three-year-olds I've met. He listens really well and much like his father, has a natural instinct toward goodness. When he does have his moments, he has some pretty hysterical ones. Lyra can be a little rough and think it's a game. If she pushes him with all her 20-month-old strength, Rowan will throw himself across the room or into a wall and say "She PUSHED me! She needs to go in timeout!" 

I've noticed him seeking attention from strangers that Lyra is getting. If someone is talking to her or commenting about her, he will step in and try and copy Lyra. The other day at the dollar store, Lyra put a bucket on her head and ran straight into the wall. An older woman was laughing at her so Rowan grabbed a bucket and mimicked Lyra. I really appreciated that the woman turned her attention to him and said "You're really cute too!" It breaks my heart a little to notice the attention breaking from Rowan simply because he is getting older. He handles it well for the most part, but it's still sad. I'm hoping I can help him realize he can get attention in different, equally fulfilling ways by doing things that showcase how great he is as his sweet 3-year-old self. 

He wakes up consistently from 7:00-7:34am no matter what time he goes to bed. It's not an awful time at all, but I wish the nights we got him in bed late he would sleep in purely because he can be so tired and grumpy the next day. He does a good job taking quiet time now that it's become a pattern, but he never sleeps during it. 

We are going to Disneyworld in ten days and Rowan (and all of us!) are so incredibly excited. Rowan prays that "It will be March in two days and we can go to Disneyworld" pretty much everyday. Speaking of prayers, he will remember people to pray with forever. He consistently prays for Sel's grandparents who were in a car accident a few weeks ago, my dad, Baby Grace, Baby Kaio and some other people who come up. 

Lyra: Is still an animal. She has SO much personality. 

Lyra has some small little abnormalities we've noticed. She's missing a spinous process or something in her back that I can never stop thinking about. The pediatrician thought we should wait to do an x-ray because it would only expose her to radiation and it isn't currently bothering her. She'll say ouchie if I rub my hands down her back sometimes, but never a sharp yelp of pain or anything. She also has a ladybit adhesion which is extra sad. They gave me an estrogen cream to put down there and I don't know if its coincidental that she turns horrendously grumpy and horrible the next day or not. I have not been doing it because I cannot handle the PMS baby that happens the days I remember to do it. 

Lyra can talk really well and has an expansive vocabulary. Both Rowan and Lyra have been such good speakers and I don't really know why. I know we aren't doing anything special to really foster that and the only thing I can ever really think of is baby signing time. Either way, it is incredibly helpful to tempering tantrums and connecting with my kiddos. 

Lyra is still nursing. We tried a weaning night where Sel helped. It was three hours of tragedy. I will continue to wake up in the night for the next five years or so most likely. She sometimes will do really great and not wake up until the early morning hours 5/6am then go back to sleep until 8/9am. It's those random 1-3am night wakings that kill me. Lyra's also been really peppy when I go in there during the night. She'll be crying her eyes out and as soon as I walk in, the tears stop and she'll whisper "Hi mommy!" Eye roll. She gets her legs stuck in her crib a lot lately and the other day I was trying to maneuver her knee caps from their prison and she so sweetly said through her tears "Thank you mommy!" It was so tender

Lyra loves running from people. Chase is still her fave game, but she also has the drop coping mechanism. It's SO funny. If you scare her when she's coming around a corner or she starts to get really scared of Sel chasing her, she'll drop to the floor in a splay of baby arms and legs. She drops all four limbs at the same time like some sort of chipmunk. I wish I had a video of it. 

She loves her dollhouse. I love watching my kids imaginative play. She'll have her mommy doll come in and out the front door and put everyone to bed. Lyra's favorite thing is to put people to bed and pretend to go to bed herself. She's always been pretty good and going to bed on her own, but we discovered she HAPPILY goes to bed if we put 4-5 stuffed animals in her crib for her. She consistently needs to hold multiple everything- toys, dolls, animals. She is destined to have twins. 

We need a leash for her. She runs away so fast and is far too friendly. She'll go up to strangers, raise her arms up to be held and say "Hi friend!" It's terrifying. Luckily, most people are good people, but I always worry about it. 

She fears nothing. She loves dogs and all animals. When she heard my friend's dog whining behind the door the other day, she dropped down on her knees and reached her tiny fingers under the door saying "He sad. He crying". 

She is so blessedly easy when it comes to dropping her off at nursery or friends houses. She goes without looking back. Rowan STILL struggles way more with this. He would live at the house all day everyday if I let him. His desire to be around people is as strong as mine. It isn't that he dislikes them, it's the actual forced change that causes stress for him. 
Both Rowan and Lyra finally have a really solid friend base. They have friends that they get really excited to see and consistently interact with. 

I had TONS of photos that all got deleted from my phone. Here are just the ones I have since I fixed it. 
She's mostly an animal herself

Lyra will jump onto things like this all the time. The other day at Aldi, Sel was with us and I couldn't find Lyra. I thought she was with him, he thought she was with me. It turns out she was with both of us. She had crawled under the cart to that bottom rack and was laughing SO hard while we looked around for her. YIKES! What is TWO going to look like on this girl?!

Swim lessons. He loved going to them and hopefully I can figure out ways to get Lyra from trying to ruin his happiness by drowning herself. 

Valentines day pancakes that Rowan made ALL by himself. He LOOOOVES to cook and is actually pretty fantastic at it. Between the two of us cooks, he makes less mess and less mistakes than I do. He is also the cutest chef in our house
 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Halflings

Lyra is 1 1/2! And Rowan is almost 3 1/2!
It's been soo long since I wrote a blog and I've been missing it. I love looking back at old posts and remembering cute things they've done that I would have forgotten without this reminder.

Lyra at 18 months is an animal. We say it a lot and it's completely accurate. Here are some fun facts about this toddler-wolverine of ours.

1. She ONLY wears boots. We have a cute little bench in our house where the kids sit to get socks and shoes on. Lately, when I try to put on her sparkle shoes or any of her many other pairs, she'll grab her foot from my hand and scream "No! BOOTS!"
2. When she sees me grab a diaper from the drawer or the wipes, she books it as fast as she can to hide in a small crevice.
3. Lyra is a master at finding things to hide in. She LOVES hiding and will try and crawl in the smallest places possible.
4. She has so many words! She can probably repeat 60-70% of the words we prompt her to. Even if she couldn't talk so well, she has a way of letting you know how she feels/what she wants.
5. She still face rakes us all the time and pinches Rowan way too often. It makes me furious because Rowan has super sensitive skin and will cry pretty hard when she does it. He almost never is doing something mean to her when she does it. Lyra just feels angry and takes it out on his back, face or arms. The other day we told her she couldn't pinch and she started angrily pinching her own face and chest.
6. She's so cute when she tries to hide with Rowan. They really like hiding behind the curtains or under a blanket. I'll see almost all of her and she'll hold up a finger to her mouth and shush Row.
7. She loves when Sel comes home. A welcome like the one they both give him is enough make the day feel like the best one we've ever had
8. She's still nursing and demands "milky" anytime I'm sitting down by her. I've thought about weaning, but I don't think we are quite ready yet.
9. She goes through bouts of happily sleeping through the night, but not presently. She's had a cold since Thanksgiving and she'll get really stuffed up and thirsty at night.
10. She's adorable and so sweet when it's time to say prayers. Lyra will often remind me halfway though lunch or breakfast if we've forgotten it. She'll fold her arms and bend her head down while still trying to look up. She's started to say "mumble Father mumble mumble thank you men!"
11. Lyra adores broccoli. She'll even eat it raw (my least favorite way to eat it) and cry if she sees me cooking it and not giving it to her. I'm hoping that sticks around.
12. Lyra loves babies and stuffed animals. Rowan was always okay with them, but she adores them. She almost always tries to carry more then one. It's hilarious. If there ever was a baby momma ready to have multiples, she'd be it. If she drops one, she can't leave them behind. She'll make every effort she can with miniature t-rex arms to rescue the fallen.
13. Guurrl is tough. She'll get banged up badly and cry for a few seconds max.
14. Row is tends to be more tender-hearted and she is a different brand of sweet. She is particularly more prone to  hugging, kissing and snuggling than he's ever been.
15. She loves Moana and Baby Signing Time. She'll swing her arms and sing the signing time song a lot. She has a Moana shirt from my mom and whenever she wears it, will get so adorably excited to point her out on her chest.
16. Lyra loves checking that Rowan is seeing what she's seeing. She'll look out the window and see something and go "Row-Row! Sun Row-Row?" Or if I ask them what they want to watch in the car Lyra will say "Moana Row-row?" and every time he says he wants to watch something else, she ends up being okay with it as long as it addresses her questioning.
17. She likes going down our little mini slide backwards, face forward, or in any other number of very painful looking ways. She laughs about it for the most part
18. Her dancing moves are too cute. I can hardly handle that little baby bum drop and shuffle.
19. Both the kids love a place called Pizza Ranch because it has games (Her favorite is skee ball and Row's is Terminator). 60% of the times we get in the car, Lyra believes it is to go to Pizza Ranch and will excitedly say "Row-Row! RAAANNCH! Ranch Row-Row?!" It's a sad thing to crush her spirit. The irony is how little they both tend to eat at America's Least Healthy Restaurant. Lyra tends to only eat mashed potatoes and Rowan will at least eat some bell peppers and a slice of pizza, but that's it.
20. Her hair is probably never coming. I've been putting it in ponytails or pigtails, but she rips it out after one minute. She ends up with a mohawk most days which seems to be her spirit hair animal. She just strikes me as a girl who'd dye her hair neon pink, hop on a Harley, and ride around town with her army of stuffed animals strapped to the back. She will NEVER be allowed to do those things...maybe we'll settle on neon hair streaks..but my children are forbidden from riding donor cycles forever
21. Her lack of hair is made-up for by still having such beautiful eyes. People we look at her and smile, but then they look a little closer and will remark on her eyeballs. They look like they'll stay this pretty hazel color for now with her one being darker than the other.
22. Lyra LOVES candy. Rowan is still a chocolate man and while they both happily cross to the other side, they tend to root more for their favorite whichever it is.

ROWAN

1. Man this kid is a heart-melter. He's just SO tender and I love him more and more everyday because of it.
2. He is getting crazy smart. I worry I'm not giving him enough to truly reach his full potential because I can see it RIGHT there. He has full letter recognition which felt like he might have been behind in before. He'll notice letters in words on signs and "spell" them out. He'll say "D-O-L-L-A-R that spells store mom!" Not quite.
3. For the toddler who never let us read him books, he loves them now. He'll read stories out loud to himself at night while I put Lyra to bed and loves checking them out from the library. He has a great memory and can get really close to retelling stories word-for-word.
4. I'm so unbiased in thinking he's crazy handsome. He has super thick, wavy hair to die for. He recently got his first big boy haircut and did a great job. He looks so sharp and grown-up. I miss his longer waves, but it was time someone corrected my terrible chopping job.
5. Rowan loves the color green. It became an obsession over night for him. He asks for everything to be green and sadly lamented the other day "I wish I had green eyes like you. I don't want blue eyes". Oh my broken mom-heart. I assured him his blue eyes were the most beautiful, perfect eyes a 3-year-old could have.
6. When he turns 4, he is going to be able to do some crazy things. He prayed that my nephew (who is almost 6-months-old) would kill all the bad guys in the whole world when he turns 4". Rowan's also said he can't wait to fly when he turns 4. He's going to be way let down come July.
7. He still struggles a little meeting new people or going places with big crowds. It's very hard in the moment, but he usually gets over it.
8. He loves board games and card games and video games and all the games in the whole world. It's fun being able to do more and more with him the smarter and older he gets
9. The first thing out of his mouth every morning is "Where's daddy?" The answer is always "Work" but he asks the same question day after day. It's pretty sweet to me his first though in the morning is for Sel.
10. He and Lyra play really well together. They fight very rarely and if they do, it's usually the younger one causing the ruckus. He does sometimes for sure, but he's more gentle-mannered in this stage of life.
11. He eats pretty good still. Both of them do a good number of vegetables. Rowan, who hated bread most of his life, has finally gotten to a point where he'll eat sandwiches and sometimes ask for "air-sandwiches" aka two slices of bread.
12. Seeing Lyra at this age and her ball-handling skills have made me realize truly how good he is. I wish we fostered it more. We used to go to the gym really regularly in Toledo, but can't quite afford to go anymore. He would play basketball almost everyday because of it and doesn't really anymore. Hopefully we will be able to get him into sports next year and keep that talent and passion alive for him
13. The winter is hard on both of them already. They'll both stand by the back door and look longing out the window. We bundle up and go out to play somedays, but most days it isn't super fun for them. I've noticed a huge difference in how sad/happy Row is by less outside playtime.
14. Rowan is SO good in sacrament meetings these days and so not in nursery. He just hates going. I'm very hopeful the primary transition next month makes him happier about those last two hours of church.
15. He's super creative. He can create hours of fun for himself with his "guys" which are any form of action figures. Little army guys, star wars guys, ninja turtle guys,all guys. He will have them interact and talk to one another. It's adorable.
16. He NEEDS one-on-one time. Not in a "that's always a nice thing" type of a way, but a "Can't function even a little" without it type of a way.
17. Rowan has an intense passion for helping us, particularly helping cook/cut vegetables. He's so sweet about it all. He'll try to open my car door for me every time we get in the van. Chivalry is not dead among toddlers
18. He's become a really good listener. He pays attention to what I ask of him. He's funny if he doesn't want to do what I tell him to because he'll say "I'm Sorry! I'm not going to/I can't. I'm just sorry okay?"
19. He loves being tickled and is most ticklish on his belly. Lyra's is her neck. I'll pin them down during the day and tickle them both and love to see their faces light up with laughter
20. He currently loves Power Rangers and asks to watch them every ten minutes or so.
21. When he wants to do something he'll say "Remember how I wanted that mommy? Remember?" Though it wasn't said up until that moment.

I really love being with them day after day. They are such good, sweet little kids with fun personalities. 
Typical. Sel did this AMAZING life-saving toy re-organization where there is a bag like this for everyday and they only get the one bag per day. It's made everyone over here lots happier. 

She eats like an animal too. Growling and fisting food. She'll still this bag of frozen blueberries out of the freezer when she can coerce Rowan to open it for her 

Her sweet smiling self

Hiding in the library 

Hiding

Believing this 3 lb bag of sugar has her name on it. Lyra is spelled T-r-o-l-l-i

Hiding from me at the post-office. 

Hugging it out frist thing in the morning 

Capturing their personalities pretty well. Lyra with her lips pursued not really sending out the love vibes (because I haven't earned it yet today) and Rowan smiling with a hint of a laugh

Both kids really really love their aunt Sarah. Cause dang! She's fun

Helping cooking breakfast. They both have little step stools they unfold and help me cook

Cutting squash

Cutting peppers

Eating the scraps

Isn't his smile SO cute

Swinging at our zoo. They both WORSHIP the zoo as do I

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rowan Michael is 3!

I started this six weeks ago! And didn't finish it, but the intent was there. I can't believe it's only been six weeks since his birthday! Rowan has changed so much in just a month and a half.

I feel like Rowan has always been a little older than he actually is. I've been telling people he's three for almost six months now and tomorrow he will be. He asked me to tell him a story tonight and I told him about the moment engrained in my heart of when they placed his sweet, soft little body on my chest. How he looked up at me without crying and saw me, saw my soul. He was so very aware even then of people and their feelings. 

Rowan is incredibly tender. His first instinct is to be kind. He'll share things with Lyra without prompting, give hugs to her, and ask me if I'm okay randomly throughout the day. Any meltdowns, freak-outs or belligerent behavior can generally be traced to understandable reasons (tired, hungry, socially overwhelmed).

He had a really hard start to 3. We FINALLY kicked the binky out the window. We had been talking about it and prepping him since January and it just never worked out timing wise to phase it out. He would ask for it non-stop the week leading up to it. We told him he could donate his binkies to the babies in the hospital. He has a cousin in the NICU and we had been talking a lot about Baby Kaio. Once the idea was born about giving the binkies to baby Kaio, he was on board. We took him to Game Stop and let him pick out a game. The price was the five binkies which would be donated by the cashier to the NICU. He was all smiles and super proud of himself afterward. That night though. Yeeessh. We were expecting it, but it didn't make it easy. One particularly inappropriate and slightly funny exclamation was that he would go and punch all the babies at the NICU until they gave him his binkies back. Probably one of the worst images I could ever in my life imagine. I know he doesn't understand that implication and was just fired up about being without his lifelong comfort object.

Bedtime now is pretty dreamy in my book if only a little on the long-side.  As Row could tell you with exactness and ease, "Bath, brush teeth, pjs, books, stories (2 made-up oral stories after reading books), prayers and then songs" I am NOT a good singer. I'm even worse with the perpetual cold I've had. The only thing that really gets him to fall asleep though is when I hold him and sing him hymns. I always dreamed of putting my kids to bed with lullabies, but when you have a voice more like William Hung than Celine Dion it doesn't really go your way. One of my favorite sounds in the morning is his little feet padding down the hall where he will go to the bathroom then come and find me. It just seems so grown-up of him to climb out of his bed, open his door and go potty without needing us for any of that.

 After phasing out the binky, moving his small self across the country (after a year of shuttling him from city to city and state to state), Row went a bit biserk. The poor little man. He needed such a large increase of love and attention while he adjusted and I wasn't giving enough of that to him. Luckily, he has settled back into his mostly normal three-year-old self. It makes me sad when people do see his rage and terror side without also seeing the sweet, pureness of him. The other day while doing dishes, Row came up and gave me a kiss on the back of the legs and said " I love you mommy! I'll keep you safe. Does that make you feel happy in your heart?" He also kissed me on the chest today and said "I will kiss your heart so it feels nice and you will know that I love you"

He really has come full circle from even three weeks ago. Sel had the bright idea to make a behavior chart for things like folding his arms for prayer over meals, not hitting, being good at church, etc. He gets a prize every five stickers though we do a bad job of keeping track exactly. I've noticed Row NEEDS at least an hour of focused, loving attention on just him to function at a happy level.

The imagination on this kid is unrivaled. WOW! I'm always blown away when he starts telling me stories and they are so detailed, original, and interesting. The other night he didn't want us to leave the room and said the monster with bees on his hand was behind his dresser. Sel moved the dresser out so he could see there wasn't. Once he left, Row turned to me and said, "The monster comes through the ground like a shadow and THEN the bees fly in my mouth. So he's not behind the dresser right now, but he will come after you leave." I remember being so scared of things like that as a kid and it hurts my heart a little to think his powerful imagination is causing him to distress. Luckily, Row's daily mission is to slay monsters and punch bad guys with his ssssttrong muscles. (He likes to say that while flexing).

He is still all sorts of athletic. I'm always surprised what he can do with that body of his. I am hoping we can get him into classes soon enough where he can run and jump and throw and swing. He picks up on anything sporty within 2-3 tries.

He doesn't have any rock solid friends yet in Nebraska. We do a lot with friends, but there hasn't been one he has bonded tightly to. He had his cousin-buddy live with us for a month and asks about playing with him a lot. I struggle doing things regularly enough with others since it is generally easier to not. It lessens meltdowns, fights, and buckets of tears. People are quick to tell me how I should parent and while I appreciate their concern, I do feel pretty solid on giving Row at least three days out of the week where he doesn't have to socialize. His top favorite places to visit right now are the zoo, children's museum, early education learning center, and art museum. Those all inevitably have kids there to interact with, but it's more of a choice for him to say hi or play with children there instead of having a designated playmate outing.

Row still eats really well and I'm so proud of him when he does. Sometimes I catch myself holding my breath when he's eating vegetables as if I might draw attention to the good thing he's doing and he'll stop. The kid likes veggies and it's not like me passing out at the table will change his preferences (hopefully). He is 77% for height and 70% for weight and even though he looks skin and bones, I have to remind myself he's obviously completely healthy and eats plenty.

I love Rowan so very much. I understand him and appreciate all the things that make him who he is. His laugh is the sound I think of when I need to smile myself. Three years with this guy has changed everything about me and I feel so blessed that he's all ours.

He misses Papa and Mimi so much. I just love how much they love one another. 

He looks SO happy here! This is him at our early education center. That place is AMAZING! Both Row and Lyra could go everyday, but we usually go once a week. They do story time, singing time, snack time and have an outside play area. It's run by early education teachers who go around interacting with the kids, planning activities geared toward learning, and generally being my favorite kind of people. 

I loooove this picture! Row was so excited to see Hannah get married. He kept talking about the temple and Hannah and princess. It was really sweet. 

The splash pad at the zoo is incredible. Rowan continues his three-year tradition of worshipping these things. His sister HATES them which makes her runs for the hills and his whooping laughter and splashing about an interesting balancing act. 

He still loves his weapons and practices with them once a day. 

For his birthday, we took him to his favorite place in Omaha, Pizza Ranch. They have pretty decent food, but the only reason Row really loves it is because of their perfectly sized arcade. His favorite one is Terminator and it's hilarious to see him standing on a chair holding this mammoth sized gun. 

On his birthday, he requested to go to the Children's Museum. The stars aligned and apparently it was national carousel day so he got to ride for free and as much as he wanted. He was in heaven. 

He's such a sweet big brother! He and Lyra have started to  play together more and more. I love how they make one another laugh. 

Rowan went through a rough patch up until a few weeks ago where he could not bear  for Sel to be gone. This is him clinging to Sel on his birthday at Chick-fil-a breakfast. He cried hysterically when he left for work which made the birthday less happy to start off with, but it ended with daddy and terminator and pizza.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lyra Rose is ONE

My wonderful little girl is ONE! It is truly hard to grasp time when you're a parent. It feels so very recent that I held her sweet, freshly-born self against my chest and yet it's been ages since she's been that small and new. It's gone faster this time, much to my dismay. 
365 days of life later, Lyra's little personality she had on day 1 is still there. I was rewatching her birth this week and realized how she was herself the whole time. Isn't that strange to look back and see how strong personality was the whole time? She came out SCREAMING. Absolutely enraged. When Sel passed her to me though and she nuzzled her peachy-soft cheek against mine, she calms almost immediately. Lyra is not quiet about the times she is upset, but she calms quickly. She will only cry at max for five minutes when going to sleep whereas Rowan could go for hours (and still could). Lyra throws some major shade to whomever she blames for her upsetness. The looks she can give really are SO similar to my Grandma L's. Lyra is a lot of my mom's side in looks and personality. We needed another Edgar representative since those numbers were small to start with. 

Lyra's eyes are still intent on being free of check-box colors. She will wake up with brown eyes, have green by breakfast, blue by lunch, and grey by dinner. I loooove her eyes. I was telling my family recently more about the character I created for Harry Potter and how she also had magic eyes. Harry got to have his Lily (see what I did there) green eyes talked about every other page and the only way I could make my character feel equally special was to create someone with eyes of changing colors. It feels a little "Stranger than Fiction" to me.

She operates in her own little world. While she truly enjoys people, she seems happy to be doing her own thing without the need for others. Lyra is a climber. Yesssh. She is a wild one. She continually wants to be around the action though not a part of it all. She likes to find perches to observe and scales impressive heights to do so. Sel said the other day how often Lyra reminds him of a small animal and I wholeheartedly agree. She's a bit like a koala bear. Adorable and squishy looking, but will rip your face off if you make it mad. Literally rip your face off. (i.e. YouTube where koala rips man's face off). Lyra will claw at our faces with her claws if she's mad and bit my cheek the other day at church when I wouldn't let her go to the pulpit. She also bit a girl on the arm who was on the slide she wanted to be on. Strong-willed children are good to have is a lesson we are learning twice over now. 

While vicious at specific times, I'd say her overall personality is a sweet one. She's not particularly friendly, mostly she stares at people unblinking to the point of deep discomfort (she does this to me too). When she does smile though, WOW! Her eyes sparkle and pure joy fills the whole room. Sel said he thinks she times her hugs to 10 seconds as she gives some truly heart-melting hugs to those picked to be in her inner circle. She's gentle with babies and will love on any stuffed animal or baby doll she can find

She's quite tall. I don't know what percentile she is since we haven't found a pediatrician in Omaha yet, but based on the kids she plays with close to her age, she tends to be on the taller end. She feels so light and her baby chub is slowly melting away (noooooo). Stay squishy awhile longer my busy-bodied baby. 

New this month:
* Lyra is running now. I love to crawl on all fours and growl at her so I can watch her adorable quickened baby steps away from me. She'll screech then do this little head duck so I can't tickle her neck. Tag will be a favorite with this one. 

*She still folds are arms to pray and has started to say something that sounds like "Amen!" at the end of them. 

*I do the itsy-bitsy spider while changing her diaper and she likes to sign it with me while I do. Diaper changes are still terrible, though Sel somehow manages to keep her still double what I can. 

*Signing is equal I'd say to Rowan's at this same age. She can do around 40 signs and can learn one within minutes. Lyra has had the one-finger point down since she was 4 or 5 months so she does a really excellent job of signs that require more fine-motor skills. She loves the Baby Signing Time theme song and will shake around when it comes on. 

* She loves to dance and it honestly takes 2 notes only to get her shaking her money maker. We've been trying to do a family devotional each night and as soon as we hint we are singing a song, she starts wiggling. 


*She has started to blow kisses and I can hardly handle it. It's so sweet!

* She is speaking actual words more and more. Momma, Dada, and Row-row are spoken multiple times a day. Lyra believes she is also meant to parent Rowan. When I call to him or say his name sharply, she'll follow behind me saying his name over and over. 

*  She loves to bark at anything that is an animal and she'll scrunch up her nose and sniff when she sees flowers. Her nose scrunch is still such a beloved part of her personality. 

*Lyra still loves Rowan. Just tonight he tried to rescue her from the pack-n-play after I put them both down for bed. They both tend to happily do their own thing, but when their paths do cross, it tends to be a positive, bonding-type of interaction. 

* I worry that I haven't given Lyra enough vegetables the way we did Rowan, so hopefully she'll still like them when she's older. She eats pretty much the same thing she has since starting solids: avocados, tomatoes, noodles, rice, applesauce, bananas (she loves to sign for this and plead for them), etc. Her nursing is becoming more sporadic. One day she'll nurse twice and others it's close to six times a day. I have no desire to stop anytime soon and I'm positive she doesn't either. 

*When she throws a tantrum, she throws her head back and lays on the floor. Not always crying which is the stranger part of the tantrum. She'll just look up at the ceiling and make some scrunched up face of annoyance or frustration. She's almost cracked her skull open a few times doing this so I bought her a baby helmet for her birthday. (I didn't, but I probably should have). 

A different theme has been constant in both pregnancies and transferred on to each child. With Rowan, I felt him comforting me, assuring me everything was going to be alright. A general feeling of him emphasizing with me. With Lyra, it was a feeling that "we'd be keeping this one" and an overall sense of calm happiness. She has brought so much calm happiness to our lives and I'm grateful everyday she decided to keep us. Each child truly does come with their own delightful package of love making life feel more full. I feel privileged to be the mother to such a special little girl and can't wait to see what the years ahead look like with Lyra. Happy Birthday Sweet Rosebud! 









6 Months
7 Months

8 Months (The end of the blanket pictures. I'm so sad I didn't  keep it up every month, but there are hundreds of pictures in my phone of her at least)

9 months
10 Months


11 Months 




ONE!




Monday, April 24, 2017

Lyra Rose 10 Months

I missed her 10-month mark by a long shot, but it's still before her 11th one!
Lyra girl is a crack up. She is a climber! The other day at the Y, she pushed an exersaucer from the baby side up to the divider to the big kid side then hopped herself up to the top of that and before Pochantas style jumping to the other side, a worker realized she was up there. They prefaced me coming to pick her up with "Lyra is totally okay, but..". I've found her standing on our train table before too and she can do a pull-up! Rowan and her like to hang on the treadmill and I was helping her and she used her crazy strong arms to do a pull-up with essentially no help from me.
Some of my favorite things she does:

I love her and her boyfriend Kenny together. They went to the zoo and played happily along one another without Lyra trying to love him a little more aggressively than he would prefer. 
* Says cow-cow-cow-cow (less articulate obviously) and gets this big gummy grin while holding this plastic cow

*Says Dada and Mama when she sees one of us

* When she signs baby, she uses her whole body to rock her little arms. It's adorable.

* When she dances, she bounces up and down on her bum then sways side to side until she usually falls over. She was fascinated by Row's recent dance recital and will let out a little scream every time we watch his two minutes of fame.

* She is an eater still! Less and less food ends up on her lap these days during mealtime and more actually ends up in her mouth. She recently discovered scrambled eggs and shuffles them into her mouth before her brother has taken a single bite. She might eat more than he does right now.

* Her little steps she is taking are crazy! I knew it was coming for awhile, but it's still like seeing a fish out of water for me. I almost stop breathing when I see her do it because I can't believe what I'm seeing is real.

* She loves to share her food. She'll reach over and hold a piece of food with the expectation whomever she is offering it to will nibble a little out of her hand. It's pretty sweet. She is a nurturer already. Our friend's six-month old was over and she hurridly signed baby then went over to put her in a loving choke hold. I think it was supposed to be a hug, but it looked a little traumatic for princess Leia.

I love this pic for so many reasons, but one of them captured Lyra sharing with her pal Kelsey. Jennifer had just been hit in the face while drinking her water with a ball kicked by Sel. I can't even handle all the emotions and perfection this captured. 
* When Rowan or anyone else is trying to take something from her, instead of just holding on real tight to the object, she'll rotate her arm behind her (palm up) and do a pretty spectacular job of thwarting the grabber. If it's Rowan taking something from her, it regrettably means he now has to essentially tackler her to get it. She's pretty immune to pain at this point (apparently) and will cry more out of frustration and anger than being hurt. She tumbled off of the couch the other day (ahem...headfirst with me two feet from her), rolled over, and crawled away to whatever she so intently was pursuing.

Pretty proud of herself for getting an egg
*Her favorite game is "gunna get you!". She loves to crawl up me and have Row or Sel chase her. She'll play it with me a little, but she seems to get confused and just try and crawl up me and smack me in the face when I try and "get her".

*She has this hilarious little patch of hair on the back of her head. She's getting some hair. Some. But that patch likely comprises 80% of her current hair.

* We lovingly call her Lyra Sourbum because she is still sooo smelly. It lingers for hours after a diaper change too. I'll walk into their room first thing in the morning and know before I pick her up what's waiting for me.

* She's started to do this downward dog thing that I think is an attempt at a somersault. Row loves to do them and she giggles while watching him. It's adorably hilarious to

*Rowan is easily startled and hates loud noises. I make a smoothie most days for breakfast and will warn Lyra it's going to be loud by putting my hands over my ears. She loves loud noises and generally just laughs at a loud noise. So while making my breakfast I have a two-year-old with his hands glued to his ears screaming to push the red button and turn it off while Lyra sits in the highchair cracking up and clapping her hands. She imitates the hands over ears now whenever she hears any loud noise now and it's sooooo cute!

Covering her ears during the loud laughter that is always present at King family gatherings
*My mom nods very pointedly when she talks and Lyra started to imitate her while Facetiming. She really only does it when talking to my mom, though she sometimes nods if I ask her if she wants more of something
Loving all over her Mimi

* A not favorite is her recent discovery of how to not sit in the grocery cart. Even while strapped in at it's tightest, she'll manage to turn around somehow and stand up. It's awful.
She escaped and I was torturing her by trying to get her to stay in the cart

* Lyra is doing pretty good sleeping! She'll go down around 8:00pm with Rowan and sometimes wake up around 1:00 then sleep until 7:30am. The worst thing is one of them still wakes up right as I drift off to sleep. It doesn't matter where we are, what time they went to bed, what time I'm going to bed, how loud or not loud we were, etc. It's that moment right as I can tell my mind is drifting and I'm completely relaxed that one of them wakes up. I've tried just laying in bed doing something else to catch the crier before I go to sleep, but it doesn't work that way. I must be happily almost asleep. #momlife

I am still smitten with her eyes! Those sweet peepers are just so beautiful! 
* Her top two teeth look like they might be coming through! She hasn't been too fussy and I haven't noticed a change in sleeping habits (blessing from on high! Rowan was always weeks of bad sleeping and fussiness when teething). I'm pretty excited to see what she'll look like with four little chompers.

There's so much more, but I can never think of it all when I start writing one of these. She's darling and sweet while also a little wild and crazy. We love our rosebud.



Babies are just so good for the soul