Tuesday, June 9, 2015

13 Months Old

At 13 months old Raye:

*says a few words: mama, dada, baa (ball), and buh-buh (bye-bye). She also is a babbler, yakking up a storm but we have no idea what she's saying.
*has 12 teeth. Her bottom two molars have popped through...one of them is almost all the way in and the other has broken the surface but is still working its way all the way in.

Get a good look at all those teeth! And the scrambled egg on her face...

*loves rocks. She especially wants to eat them and gets mad when we won't let her.
*is finally walking! She still falls a lot but overall she prefers walking these days. She's still pretty wobbly and uses her arms to balance herself (flailing them everywhere), but she's super cute waddling around.

Practicing walking.

*points to herself when you ask her, "Where's Raye?" She also usually points to or pats her belly when you ask where it is. And sometimes she'll stick her tongue out when asked where it is, but it's pretty hit or miss.
*loves to go bye-bye. I've caught her climbing into her stroller, standing in the seat, and yelling (while waving) "buh-buh!"

She loves to be outside. Here we're working on "the grass is really ok to touch..."

*loves to eat. She's not a fan of raw vegetables yet, but other than that...anything goes. I don't think we've fed her anything that she refuses to eat (except raw veggies). She especially loves strawberries these days.
*likes to sit in her high chair and wiggle/shake the whole time. I'm not sure if she likes the fact that the whole table is moving or what...but she rarely sits still.

Just doin' some playin'.

*has figured out that she can make a noise when we're on a bumpy road and that it will make her voice vibrate. She thinks it's hilarious.
*can climb on our couches and onto Lane's bed if Noel's bed is pulled out. She also can get onto the lower step of our step stool, which is kind of funny because she can't get back down.

She loves to collapse onto pillows or beds.

*has a short attention span. I think this is pretty normal, but most of her toys don't hold her attention for very long. She's always wandering off to find the next forbidden thing: rifling through my purse, climbing on the couch and then the TV table to grab the remote, trying desperately to get the toilet seat up so she can fish in the water. She's a hoot.

She loves the slide. Going down it, too, but mostly just playing on it.

*likes books but will. not. sit. still to look at one. She prefers to turn every page and try to rip the book out of your hands. She does like to look at pictures of animals, though, and had correctly identified the cat on a page before.
*does not like to have her fingernails cut or her face wiped. But she'll sit almost perfectly still for me to put a ponytail holder in her hair.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Life Lately

A bit of life lately, since my blog gets no attention these days. (This seems to be the trend since having our second child 3.5 years ago. How I wish that when I only had one child I realized that I actually did have free time.)

1) We arrived back home a week ago tonight from our 6-week stay in Turkey, waiting on new visas (and all the paperwork that was required). We received work visas (or Shannon did, while the girls and I received accompanying family member visas) and the wonderful news about that is that we shouldn't have to leave the country again for visa purposes. Wahoo!

One of the positives of visa runs: hooking up with friends that you've known for forever. And letting all the munchkins play together.

2) Upon arriving we decided that it was high time to put Raye in the same room with the bigger girls. We have a lot of people coming in and out this summer and moving her bed back and forth from the guest room into our room just wasn't going to cut it anymore. So we moved her in a few nights ago and they've done pretty well together. Of course we haven't had anyone wake up in the middle of the night sick or anything yet (praise the Lord) but still...overall it's going pretty well. Much better than when we put Noel in with Lane for the first time! I did move the furniture around in their room so that Raye's crib is between the window and the chest of drawers, so she can't see the bigger girls' beds. While I don't love the set-up, it works well for a transition time because while she can still hear them, at least she can't look at them (and them at her).

Classic third child syndrome. One year old and finally getting her first toothbrush.

3) Today I started the multi-day process of cleaning off our balconies from their winter accrual of nastiness. Buckets and buckets and buckets of mop water later and they're still so gross. Tomorrow I'm going to get on my hands and knees to scrub, and maybe on Tuesday I'll vacuum the bit of stuff that's left. And then maybe on Wednesday I'll start on the smaller balcony.

One kid's getting teeth while another is losing them.

4) In June the city usually turns off the hot water in apartment buildings for about a month. Since tomorrow marks June I'm feeling pressure to do things (like clean the balconies) that will just be a lot harder with limited hot water. We do have a hot water heater that we have piped in to our bathroom pipes, so we'll have hot water in there, but no hot water in the kitchen is going to make for lots of simple vegetarian meals.

So thankful this girlie still takes a nap most days.

5) When we arrived back in town we got to see how beautiful it's all become while we were gone! Spring has come and with it is that wonderful rush of energy to get things done. It's come in handy for all the furniture-arranging and balcony-cleaning that I've been doing. I'm looking forward to purchasing a bookshelf and some more plastic bins to continue organizing our books, crafts, and homeschool materials that should arrive later this week. I bought some knobs and hooks to make myself a jewelry holder. And we got family photos taken while in Istanbul so I'm looking forward to printing a few more photos and hanging some prints on the wall. After five years of parenting we do finally have photos of our kids on the wall...I'm ready to get one up of our whole family.

Like one of these. This might be my favorite of all of us.

6) Raye turns 13 months old tomorrow and since we've gotten back I've been reminded over and over again how hard the first year with a baby is. I don't think it matters which number it is, just that the first year is hard. So many transitions, they can't eat by themselves, teething, learning to be mobile, and so on...it's just hard. In the last month Raye has gone down to one (glorious, three-hour!) nap a day. She's learning how to walk. She can feed herself a lot of foods. She has 11 teeth and number 12 is nearly through. And my life is so. much. easier. So mamas of young babies out there, take heart and push on: it does get easier. You will make it, and you will come through the other side of the first exhausting year (or so. There's nothing magic about 12 months...it's just around then). And you will be stronger for it.

And there are my thoughts for now. One of my goals for the month of June is to come up with a schedule of some kind that allows me some me time for things like blogging, reading books that have substance, exercising, and so on. I've realized that I haven't been taking very good care of myself over the past ten months or so. Part of that is because of point number six above...it's just hard to do anything (let along take good care of yourself) when you have a baby. But part of it is because I haven't been intentional or purposeful in these things. So I'm working on learning how to care for myself. I'll (hopefully) let you know how that's going when I figure it all out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

12 Months Old

Dear Raye,

Well, girlie, you've gone and done it. You turned one a few days ago. It's just as hard to believe that you're one as it was when your first sister (and your second sister!) turned one. The time really does just fly. Being my third child you got a little bit of a different attitude from me than Lane did, or even Noel. With you I knew that it ("it" being any inconvenience or "hiccup" in our lives due to your infant-ness) wouldn't last forever and that I really could just roll with the punches for a year. And roll we did.

Raye, you're still the sweetest baby. You love attention and love to play peek-a-boo, be sung to (Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, etc.), and in general just have someone's attention. But generally speaking you're content with playing in the same room as someone else: you don't have to have their full and undivided attention, as much as you love that.

This month you got two of your molars. They're not all the way through yet but both of your top molars are at least part-way through, and I can tell that at least one of your bottom molars is on its way. You handle the whole teething thing like a champ, though, and are not usually very fussy. You are very drooly, though, and the front of your shirt is often wet these days.

You learned how to drink from a straw and while you can do it, you make a huge mess. It's like you suck in and then blow half the water that you just sucked in out. Your shirt ends up soaked anytime you drink from a straw. You're also eating almost everything. You've tried some strawberries now and you really like them, as long as they're soft enough for you to gum. You've also tried some rice cakes, many kinds of crackers, new veggies (cooked mushrooms), and some other things. I've lost track and honestly if you can gum it, you can have it, and usually you like it.

You've finally expressed some interest in walking and standing on your own! You're not walking yet but you can stand on your own for awhile (if you have something to do, like put things into something and take them out again) and love to walk if holding onto our fingers. It's mostly your favorite thing to do these days. And we've dropped you down to one nap a day in the past week and while you're a little grumpy in the mornings, overall you're doing well with the transition. These days you usually wake up around 6:30 or 7 and go to bed at 7:30 or 8, and nap at around noon for 2.5-3 hours.

Gotta love a baby in a bikini.

You're a jabber jaws and like to babble and make a whole lot of nonsense words and sounds. You can sign "all done" and "more," and once this month you actually said "aww done," but you haven't said it since. You love to crawl all over anyone who's in your way or in your space. You got a few new toys for your birthday that you really love: a radio thing that plays [real] music and some balls, and you got a touch-and-feel animals book that you really like. You love to destroy lego structures and to put things into baskets/buckets and to take them out again.

I actually can see a bit of me in you in this photo.

Raye, you're so fun and so sweet. You're content and joyful and a bottomless pit, acting like we never feed you. You love your sisters and your daddy and to pull books off shelves and to rifle through my purse. I love you and am so, so grateful for a whole year with you, and I look forward to many, many more.

I love you,

Monday, May 4, 2015

And Then She Was One

Little Miss Raye had a birthday this past Friday. We've been out of the country for almost three weeks now so her day wasn't quite the shindig we usually do for first birthdays, but she still had a bit of fun.

First thing in the morning: presents! We've been hauling around birthday presents for three weeks...they even went to the beach with us first! And Mimi and Papa brought a few presents from Shannon's dad and stepmom as well, so even though we didn't buy her anything (didn't want to haul even more gifts around), she still had a few things to open. And she has a few more back home that she can open in a few weeks.

After presents and breakfast (no birthday pancakes this year...while I had everything to actually make the pancakes, we didn't have anything to top them with. So we opted for birthday cereal instead.), Shannon took the girls to Starbucks and to the park so I could finish the cake. It definitely wasn't as pretty as I would have liked, but considering I had to bring the sprinkles and vanilla and almond extracts with me and borrow cake pans and use a regular plate as a cake board...I think it'll do. I'll do it up right for her second birthday. Hopefully.

Then it was lunch time and nap time and I chopped veggies and chicken for stir fry and cleaned the house a bit. Around 3:30 friends started showing up. We're lucky to have lived here before and to have a few pretty good friends who still live here, some who even have small children. So the kids came and the dads took them to play at the park while the moms chatted and watched the babies/toddlers.

Other friends arrived and we ate stir fry and sang to the birthday girl and let her dig into her first piece of cake. She, like the other girls, was not the biggest fan of the cake. My silly kids get too full of their dinner to enjoy their first birthday cake! (But the next day, when I let her eat it for lunch, she was all over it.)

Everyone left and we put the kids to bed and I think we watched a show. Shannon and I reminisced just a little about the last year and about her birth, about how quickly the time goes. And while yes, it's fantastic and amazing that our little Raye is one now, the bigger miracle is that we survived a year of parenting three children. One year down; only a lifetime to go.

Monday, April 6, 2015

11 Months Old

Dear Raye,

A few days ago you turned 11 months old. You'll be one soon, and I'm a little amazed at how quickly this year has gone by. Before I know it you'll be the five-year old in this house. But for now I'll just soak up your grins and giggles.

This month you got three teeth, all on the top. The last one gave you a lot of trouble for awhile but it finally came through and you were almost immediately happier. I think you might be starting to cut some molars already, though, because you're still pulling on your ears and have some pretty nasty diapers, as seems to be par for the course with teething Scarbrough babies. But you're pretty cute for now with your front eight. You bite your tongue on accident quite frequently which is oh-so-sad and yet oh-so-funny at the same time.

Showin' off the chompers. And the haircut.

This month I finally had to give you a little haircut. Your bangs were just getting a little out of control, long and stringy, so I let you lie down on the floor and hold onto something forbidden while I snipped them a bit. It's made for a lot less food in your hair these days.

Speaking of food, you're a fan. Seriously, you eat a ton. We can't figure out where you put it all, but you are hungry. You've had just about everything except citrus fruits, nuts, honey, and obviously anything really sweet (although you have had things like waffles with a bit of syrup, applesauce, sweet breads, etc.). You drink really well from a cup and we're working on getting you to drink from a straw, but you're not very interested yet. We'll be traveling next week and I'm really hoping you figure it out before then, but if not...I guess I'll just have to tote a plastic cup around with us.

Raye, you weaned yourself this month and it made me really sad. You bit me once and I gasped and told you "NO!" and you went on strike for a day. And then the next time you bit me and I gasped you just decided you were done. You haven't nursed since. I would have been more okay with the whole thing if you had given me some indication that you were about done, but to go cold turkey on me...really not cool, girl. I've upped your daily cheese and yogurt intake and have let you go straight to cow's milk. You don't seem to love it, but you get probably 8-12 ounces in a day so far, so we'll take it. I tried to give you a bottle and you would have nothing to do with it, so it kind of limited my options, you know?

You are a crawling machine these days. You're fast. And you're quick at cruising, too, but you have no interest in walking at all. If I try to hold your hands and let you walk you just drop to your bottom, or arch your back and push your tummy forward so that you're forced to your knees. I'm quite curious as to when you actually will take interest in trying to walk, because as of now, your interest level is about .05%. Or practically non-existent.

You're into all 12-month clothes these days and you hate shoes, which is alright since you don't need to wear them often, but is really annoying when they need to stay on and you're doing everything you can to kick them off. I guess it's a good thing you're not interested in walking yet, because with walking comes...you guessed it: shoes. So maybe you'll decide you like shoes about the time you want to walk. And then we'll have a winning combination on our hands.

You figured out how to stick out your tongue this month, and you love to stick it out, especially if someone else sticks theirs out at you. You also love to clap. You clap at the right point in "pat-a-cake" and if someone says "yay!" You wave bye-bye anytime someone says "bye-bye," and sometimes for "hi," too. And sometimes you look at us and just throw both of your hands up in the air with a big grin. It's super cute. You finally said "mama" this month and say it frequently now, but it's usually when you're crying about something and want me to rescue you. You're also doing lots of babbling and spitting, much like last month. You're just a cutie-pie, all around.

Raye, we love you so much. You're so laid-back and content to crawl around and play with whatever you can get your hands on. You love to be tickled and played with and give us great bit laughs and grins when we play one-on-one with you, but you also enjoy playing alone in the room with someone else or getting into whatever your sisters are playing with. You're easy-going and content if your diaper is dry and your belly is full. You sleep all night and take 1-2 good naps each day. I love you, sweetie, and am so grateful for you.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lane: 5 and 2

It occurs to me every now and then that I'm not doing a good job anymore at writing down things my kids are doing. I don't take pictures often (I think that has to do as much with the overcast days and bad lighting as it does with my simply forgetting). I rarely blog anymore. Life is just in a busy season for us right now. But Shannon is out of town and all the girls are in bed and I wanted to take a few minutes to remember a few things, because inevitably I will forget them if I don't write them down. Today is for Lane...I'll try for Noel in a few days.


Girl, you remind me of myself. You are so stubborn and strong-willed. Still. You're manipulative and you've entered a "sassy" stage and you end up with a drop of vinegar on your tongue quite frequently these days. You want what you want and get a bad attitude if you don't get it. But we're working on that attitude and I have to say it's a welcome change from the 2-3 years of strong-willed disobedience that you gave us. You have grown and matured a lot in the past three years and it's given me hope that we actually can help mold you into a woman who is passionate and strong-willed, but who doesn't rebel against authority. I'm constantly reminding myself that God gave you your personality and that it's not a bad thing for you to be the way you are; but it's our job to teach you when it's ok to push back and when you need to listen and obey.

You love art. Our table is constantly covered in paper, coloring books, markers and colored pencils, stencils, sticker books, how-to-draw books, watercolors and paintbrushes, and so on. Most of the time we've given up on putting everything up at mealtime and just kind of pick up whatever can be easily contained and shove the rest aside. You love to do crafts, anything with glue and stickers. Last week you used the rest of our popsicle sticks and some glue and foam hearts and Hello Kitty bead things and had fun gluing it all together. You are starting to show a little more detail in your drawings, giving people clothes or shoes sometimes, giving elephants nostrils, stuff like that.

You are learning how to read. We started reading some BOB books a few months ago (maybe November?) and you have gradually picked up on basic concepts of reading. You know a lot of basic sight words now and can sound out words if I help you by covering up extra letters and helping you work through the word a couple of letters at a time. You can write all letters in uppercase and some in lowercase, although you never actually want to write them in lowercase (because it's harder).

Playing with Raye.

You are very...active. Borderline hyper, I think. Or maybe you're just a five-year old who's been cooped up inside most of the winter and are itching to run and jump and climb. Yeah, that's probably it. But seriously, you are not content to sit still unless it's for art. Even when I'm reading to you or you're trying to read to me most often you're wiggling yourself into an upside-down position on the couch, bouncing your legs, or so on. Your favorite things to play seem to center around two themes: princesses and kittens. You often combine the two. And you'll play other things, too, but these are your favorites.

In one of your favorite "princess" dresses. This is your "Jasmine" dress.

I'm so proud of what a good eater you've become. We've worked very hard with you over the last three years to make you into a not picky child (when it comes to food). And now you like things that you used to hate (most raw vegetables, cooked tomatoes, cooked meat, actually any meat, really...). You finish your food, usually without complaining. If it's something new that you don't really like you might say that you don't like it, but usually you'll eat without a big fuss. And you feed yourself all of your meals most of the time which was not the case even just this time last year. Your favorite food is still spaghetti. You also really like plums and pomegranates, noodles with just butter and parmesan, pizza, and chicken noodle soup, and you love cheese.

Practicing with a butter knife.

You're a good big sister and are a good helper. You like to help me in the kitchen by "washing" the dishes and "cleaning" the sink. You are pretty good at cleaning the windows with a spray bottle of water and a washcloth. You've recently started vacuuming and you enjoy that. You can help me hang up washcloths and towels to dry. You're very capable now at putting on all of your clothes (you might need help with small buttons), brushing your teeth, and taking care of bathroom business all on your own. You love to make Raye laugh and you enjoy playing with Noel, although you do still really want to be the boss and don't like it when you can't always be the boss. But you also frequently make concessions to let Noel have what she wants, or play what she wants, and we like seeing that your heart is sometimes softened to what others want, as usually you're pretty self-consumed. And that's why you need Jesus.

Lane, I love you so much. It is such a joy to see how much you've grown in the past few years and to see your personality shine through. You love us and seem to thrive on attention. You like to be in the driver's seat, to be in charge, and you like to run ahead of the crowd. I'm so excited to see how you grow and change over the next few years, to see what kind of young woman you become. I pray that you love Jesus with all your heart and that you take the strong personality he's given you to be passionate for him. I love you and am so happy to be your mom.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

10 Months Old

Dear Raye,

This has been a big month for you. For starters, you're crawling for real now, meaning you prefer to "really" crawl over the army crawl. You're getting pretty fast, too. You can pull yourself up to standing and you've started cruising along the furniture. You've also stood on your own a couple of times for just a few seconds.

You've tried a lot of new foods this month. Honestly, a bit of it is "third child syndrome," meaning that I'm not quite so worried about what "they" say you can have. I still usually check the books (sometimes after the fact...) to make sure your tummy will be ok, but I'm not so concerned with only giving you one new food at a time since nobody else in our family has allergies. So if it's small enough and soft enough, you've tried it. You've tried corn and black beans, mushrooms, raisins and dried cranberries. You've eaten casseroles and baked oatmeal, chicken noodle soup, pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. You love bananas and plain yogurt and applesauce. There are actually very few foods that you don't like and I think at mealtime you generally eat more than Noel does, although she has more snacks than you throughout the day. Often when we're feeding you you'll scream for a bite until we get it in your mouth and then you'll be quiet while chewing and start screaming when you're ready for the next bite. You also started drinking water from a cup this month and you're doing pretty well at not letting too much dribble out your bottom lip.

Playing in your sisters' "tent."

You are babbling up a storm these days. Your favorite thing to say seems to be "dadadada" but you also throw in a good bit of "babababa" and general spitting and silly noises. You are dabbling in 12-month clothes, although a lot of your 9-month things still fit. Generally you're wearing 9-month tops and 12-month pants, because otherwise they tend to gather around your knees because they're just not quite long enough to stay down.

You also got some teeth this month. You got your fourth bottom tooth and your first top tooth. It's so funny that you have all four front bottom teeth and just that top middle tooth. Your smile is so cute with all those teeth!

Your favorite place in the kitchen: the napkins and plastic bowls. These end up all over the floor multiple times a day.

You're still nursing and generally I nurse you about three times a day. You might get another feeding in the middle of the night if you're up, but during the day it's three times. You were sleeping all night and doing really well until you started getting all these teeth and now you frequently wake up at least once a night. You love your paci and would probably tote it around all day long if I let you, but instead you only get it when you're sleeping, unless you're very upset about something and then I'll let you have it for a minute to help you calm down.

Lovin' on Noel.

You love peek-a-boo and you love for someone to get on their hands and knees and "get" you, meaning you crawl straight toward them with a big smile on your face instead of away from them. You love to knock over block towers, and you love to pull yourself up on the toy bins in the girls' room and dig stuff out, throwing it on the floor after you've chewed on it for a few seconds. You love to crawl up on Noel's bed. You still chase after the vacuum cleaner. You're hilarious in the bathtub, flipping over onto your belly to crawl around in the tub, getting onto your knees to get toys off the side of the tub, and just in general acting like a little fish. I don't remember Lane or Noel being so crazy in the bathtub and while it's cute, it stresses me out just a little that you're going to swallow huge mouthfuls of water or bonk your head on the side of the tub. But you have fun so I just keep a close eye on you (and usually a hand, too).

Raye, you are such a sweetie. We have so much fun with you and love watching your personality develop. I'm so glad you're a part of our family.