01 July 2015

Finn | Nine Months

When we added a fourth baby to our family, we knew it would mean we would have to give up some things that we loved doing, at least for several years. Traveling and hiring babysitters and getting out of the house more than two hours a day and going to the grocery store with any sense of composure were things of the past. Moving to a new state only amplified the restrictions we felt as we tried to find our bearings with a baby and another baby who was slightly older, plus two more school-aged children. 

Yes, sacrifices have been made for this little guy. No one may feel it more than Finn's two oldest brothers whose lives revolve around his nap schedule. Their summer has been filled with quick trips to the pool, park or beach during the brief window we have in between naps.

Even though right now it kind of sounds like a dream to not have each day dictated by naps and spoonfeeding, I still think I would keep Finn a baby forever if I could. 

I may be completely tapped out for time (as evidenced by posting his nine month mark three weeks late), but any sacrifices I make are a million times worth it. 

We all dote on that sweet little face. How could we not? 
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23 June 2015

Friday Night Pool Night

We wanted to do something fun to celebrate the last day of school. We discussed a few options and ultimately ended up at the pool. Maybe it wasn't the most novel idea since we swim several times a week, but add in some evening light and some poolside In-N-Out and our boys thought it was a rare treat. They sure are easy to please.
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22 June 2015

Breaking Bad Habits

We decided to start with our youngest child and work our way to the oldest to eliminate some bad habits they have acquired over the years. 

First up was Finn. He has been the sweetest, most flexible baby ever. But somewhere in the shuffle of moving and having three older brothers with demanding schedules, he never learned to sleep through the night. He was waking me up to eat every few hours, and after eight months, it was past time to get some much needed shut eye. After a few weeks of heartbreaking on and off cry-it-out sessions, he finally got the hang of sleeping through the night. I still wake him up for a little dream feeding right before I go to bed and then he can make it until morning. Hallelujah.
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With a few weeks of good night's sleep under our belts, we tackled the next bad habit; binky hoarding. Crew was my only baby that took a binky. It didn't seem fair that he had to give up his favorite soother at age two when the others get to suck their thumbs until they're five. But we knew it was time and the whole process happened by accident.

I was out on a rare girls' night out when Troy called me in a frenzy at bedtime, asking where the binkies were. Crew is quite the binky hoarder and if I don't hide them immediately when he wakes up from his nap, he scatters them around the house. That's what happened on that particular day and Troy didn't have the patience to search for the binkies, so he simply turned off the light. And that was it!

Crew went to sleep just fine, so there wasn't any reason for me to give them back to him once I found them. He asked for his binkies at every nap and bedtime for about a week, and we simply told him that the binkies were bye-bye. He accepted that, laid down, and went to sleep. Never in a million years did I think that was going to be that easy.
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Up next is Nash and his thumb. I'm under no illusions that his thumbsucking habit is going to be as easy to break as his younger brothers' habits. I fully expect sleepless nights and many tears. But it is time. And he has his mind set on a reward that will hopefully give him some extra motivation. 

Two boys down, two to go. Ready or not, here we come.

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19 June 2015

School's Out For the Summer

The rest of the country has been out of school for weeks but we are finally wrapping up the school year.

A lot has changed since that first day of first grade. New school, new state, new home, new neighborhood, new brother and lots of new friends. Blake has handled it all with class.
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He finished first grade with a much anticipated performance.
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Blake was a narrator in his class performance of "Once Upon a Lily Pad." He practiced for weeks and weeks to deliver several memorized lines.
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He didn't seem to mind being surrounded by pretty fireflies.
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Especially Lilah, his cute narrating partner.
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He might have been most excited about the jar of Skittles he received after the play and the green hair dye that his teacher sprayed in his hair. 
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His second last day of school this year was filled with much less tears than the first. He was heartbroken to leave his old school behind, but he adjusted so well to his new school. He couldn't imagine going to school anywhere else now. We're so proud of his resilience through some huge changes the last few months. On to second grade!
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04 June 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Surprise, surprise, we headed to the beach on Memorial Day. We checked out a local surfing beach. The overcast skies didn't stop dozens of surfers from hitting the waves.
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We met up with cousins who just moved back to Southern California.
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We also hit up Disneyland one last time before our passes are blocked out all summer. It never gets old how much the characters interact with the boys.
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We met up with cousins once again and with a higher adult to child ratio, we were able to collect tons of fast passes and rider switch passes and hit up a lot of rides that aren't usually doable.
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I think taking the shifts with the non-riders was just as entertaining. Blake had all of his brothers and cousins in hysterics by simply hitting himself with a water bottle.
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The boys enjoyed the dance party in Cars Land while simultaneously getting covered from head to toe in sticky Mickey Mouse suckers.
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Blake was over the moon about getting to ride California Screamin', the biggest roller coaster, for the first time. Everyone else looked on from Paradise Pier. Crew's face says it all; the end of the day with tired eyes, sticky cheeks and a bruised forehead.
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It's safe to say the boys are pretty excited about having cousins nearby.

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