Sick Day Snuggles

January came in and kicked all of us in the butt.  We’ve dealt with colds, the stomach flu, croup, and many, many ear infections.  One morning, when JDubbs had been sleeping on the floor in the living room so I could sleep with a vomiting Em, the kids and I stayed in our pajamas all day and just laid low and snuggled.

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Even Baxter, who is never allowed on the bed, grabbed a spot on the mattress and warmed himself in the sunshine.

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The kids loved keeping him company.

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Jax, who felt the best of all of us, kept up his silly side.

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DSLR selfies are not easy!

And even though the girls were under the weather, that didn’t stop them from still being so cute together.  Check out Thelma and Louise.

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Looking back now, I don’t know how we survived all those days of germs and misery.  Somehow, my kids kept their spirits up and still were fun to be around.  So grateful those days are behind us, however–no matter how many extra snuggles I got!

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Bathtub Black & Whites

Oh, I do so love my babies in black and white, especially in the bathtub.  It’s a love affair that’s been going on for a while.  I even–gasp!–love using flash to capture water flowing and increase contrast, even if I do get a rogue shadow or two.  It’s one of those times I don’t want to have to think about what shutter speed I’m using or whether or not I want to increase my depth of field.  I just want to be present and paying attention to the fun!

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It’s also one of those times that can go by the wayside for Baby #3, scarcely remembered and undocumented.  Bedtime and bathtime are such well-oiled machines, with JDubbs and I tidying bedrooms, laying out pajamas, fetching towels and making sure teeth are brushed, that sometimes I forget that Little H is in the peak of her tubby time adorableness.  I better slow down or I might miss it.

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Love this little girl, love her bright eyes and sweet smile.

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I don’t want to miss a thing when it comes to her growing up.

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We Can Dig It

Jax and Em got some really cool gifts for Christmas this year, but one that I was pretty excited about myself were little chunks of “earth” that they had to excavate to discover a full dinosaur skeleton inside!  They each got one, but Jax wanted to open his first, while Em wanted to save hers for a rainy day.  So one morning we took out our tools and got digging!

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The kit came with both a pokey stick used for chipping away at the “earth” and then a brush to help clear away the chalky substance on the bones, just like real paleontologists use.  It was actually a bit harder than I originally thought, and we really had to go into the center of the brick before we found many bones.  The kids were very determined, though.

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And their faces were hilarious!

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Don’t forget this face, too!

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The whole process took quite a while, but the kids worked diligently until every piece of the skeleton was unearthed.

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Then came the process of assembling the skeleton, which I would say was pretty much a fail.  The pieces didn’t really stick together very well and it kept falling apart.  At one point, Jax said to me, “Mom, this seems like more of a DAD job…,” then trailed off knowingly, insinuating that Daddy can do anything and I could take my useless butt elsewhere now.  Ha!

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But even without a complete skeleton, it was a fascinating study for all of us–the kids and their dinosaur, and me watching them!

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Pebbles

Finally, Little H’s mullet has enough party in the front for a sort of ponytail.  Well, a ponytail on the top of her head with bangs and a still lots of party in the back.

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Next up is pigtails, but she only kept this is for about seven seconds, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull it off.  Maybe JDubbs and I will have to tag-team her.  Maybe for her birthday?  With little bows?  Might be worth the effort.

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She’s almost two! I’m ready to get all that hair out of her face.  Her style certainly is unique!  Thank God for winter hats!

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Good Clean Fun!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after years of admiring Waldorf education, it’s that sometimes the simplest tasks are the most fulfilling for young kids, especially ones that emulate their parents’ daily routines.  Good clean fun.

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So when we were on the tail end of the sickness that never seemed to end and still weren’t leaving the house, I busted out our awesome washing aprons and let the girls go crazy “washing” dishes (spoons, servingware, measuring cups).  The teamwork was really adorable to see–taking turns rinsing things, holding the washcloth, placing them in the stainer–and it kept them busy for quite a while!

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In fact, we did it again the next day, and Jax and Em washed all of their toy animals that night!  All in all, we literally had hours of fun thanks to the simple joy of everyday things.

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And sisters.  The joy of doing anything with sisters is always immeasurable!

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Farewell 2014 Photo Dump

It’s time to say goodbye to all of these delightful little moments that clutter up my phone from 2014: Jax mastering his fine motor skills with Legos, chess, and starting to love the funny pages, Em and all her girlie glory, and Little H who is not far from turning two and she is letting us know she is growing up!  We had a fantastic year and look forward to many more amazing memories, capturing the happiness that abounds big and small.  Still incredibly grateful to be spending my days with these three, having them be such good friends, and loving the life we lead.

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Now it’s time for 2015 to step up its game!  It has brought us nothing but germs!  I’m ready for a fresh start to this year, starting now!  Amazing new memories and lots of laughs, here we come!

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Christmas Collage

What more is there to say about Christmas that can’t be conveyed in photographs?  Well, the hours of preparation and anticipation can’t be felt, but all the little touches of Just a few more days ’til Christmas! make the days of the countdown all the more exciting.

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Christmas Eve we continued the tradition of reading ‘Twas The Night Before Chistmas with Daddy, as they have every year.  Then Jax begged to be allowed to sleep in the girls’ room, so we made the necessary adjustments and even though it only lasted a few hours, it was worth it for the sweetness.

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Christmas morning was as delightful, as early, as excited and as perfect as we could have hoped.  Little H was not sure why our routine as different–why she couldn’t sit with Daddy at the kitchen table and have cereal like they do every morning–but she eventually warmed up.

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Then an hour or two of playing with their new toys…

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…before heading to Nana and Papa’s to celebrate with the family.  My favorite part was how they refused to wear their winter coats–they wanted to wear their new bathrobes instead!

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After Tommy and Stella arrived, the craziness of opening gifts happened all over again, but this time with five times the excitement!

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All the days and hours of shopping, wrapping, thinking, wishing, all lead up to this very special day.  Next year I’m hoping to add a trip to church to the mix, but for this year, I was just grateful that we were able to provide such a wonderful holiday for those we love.

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Merry Christmas!

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