Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Holly

For Christmas Rick had our home videos converted onto DVD's. It's been so fun to watch and remember. It's also a good reminder of how very different a first child is treated. Any little thing Abbie ever did was captured on film. She knew everything we could possibly teach her and we took such great joy in all of it. My blog 9 years ago would have been filled with her everyday achievements.

Four kids later and things have changed. We hardly ever remember to take out the video camera and there are only half the pictures there were before. Poor Holly. Her milestones creep up on us so quickly where as with Abbie we anxiously waited for her to do the next thing. Holly's lucky to get one or two Christmas/Birthday presents and rarely gets a new outfit bought just for her. And I used up too many hours of reading to kids when Abbie and Connor were little. Holly has to beg to get her turn now.

But there is one thing that hasn't changed and never will. I love my little Holly just as much and can't imagine life without her. It amazes me that each child can bring me so much joy and love. Each in their own unique way.

Today I took Holly to a well-child checkup. Of course I was a few months off and the only reason I really took her in was to get advice for her awful rash on her face and to get caught up on her vaccines. But I loved those few precious moments just with her. I loved hearing her chatting, in her own cute way, with the Doctor. I loved watching her empty and fill the drawer of books as we waited. I loved hearing that she, like all of my children always are, is in the 90th percentile of weight and head circumference. And I was surprised that after all the times my kiddos have had shots, I still found myself holding back the tears.
So here's to you Holly. Thanks for letting me relive all those things I cherish about raising a toddler.
I'm awful at documenting "firsts", especially now. But this is one first that needed to be published. Holly has been trying to jump ever since Sage learned how. She would always bend down real good and then stand up super fast. That sufficed. But now she's got it down and she loves it. As do I!

And even though this is supposed to be a "Holly" post, the reality of it is, she shares the stage with three other kids and a very busy mommy. So a quick recap of January:

The week of parties turned into a month of parties. We were lucky enough to have my brother Mark come stay with us for the weekend. He kept us up real late playing games. We loved having him here! We also celebrated Steph and Heather's birthdays with lots of fun parties. And Rick and I even got a weekend away. We went both downhill and cross country skiing. Thanks to Heather for being the world's best baby sitter. Now I'm looking forward to a party free weekend so we can get some much needed yard work done (hint hint).
One last video. While Emily was very patiently waiting for Heather to come for her birthday party, she sat looking out the window for more than 30 minutes, singing songs about birthdays, Heavenly Father, eating, purple shirts, and appearing on computers. Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Week of Parties!

The week after Christmas is my favorite. There's not much to do and the kids are in their happy place with their new toys. Last year I had a party for each of the kids during this week and decided to do it again this year. The kids each got to choose what kind of party, who to invite and what they would do.

We started with Emily. Of course, it was to be a princess party. Abbie was an awesome helper and was eager to set up a princess store for the girls to shop at. She even made them each their own credit cards to use. We are teaching them young! Holly loved dressing up for the party.
As did Emily. This was my favorite part. The girls didn't even want me to help paint their nails. They waited patiently for Abbie to do it. She must be way cooler than me.
Cute!
Lovely dancing princesses.
Makeup!
Party #1 was a success and the next day we were ready for Connor's Lego party. This was my favorite because all it required was a box of Lego's and everyone was happy for hours.
I try not to abuse Stephanie's amazing cake-making skills too much. So I made my own cake for the boys. Actually it's banana bread, but with frosting on it, it's not much different than cake. The boys were totally impressed. I took it as the highest compliment possible when one of them asked me if Stephanie had made the cake.
Later that night we had our favorite party of the year-New Year's Eve! For many, many years Heather, Steph and I have been enjoying this holiday together. It all started years ago when our guests were our Cabbage Patch Kids and other stuffed animals. That was one of the best parties ever. But we've had some exciting ones since then. Mostly we just get entertained by Heather all night and hope that she can keep up the whooping and hollering well past midnight.
She had to take a few breaks to re-energize.
We ate lots of food, played lots of games and had lots of laughs.
Rick's pretending to be really excited in this picture. Truth is, we drugged him up so he could make it through the party. He was sick all day and the next day as well. We were glad he joined us for a few hours of celebration.
Jaxon anxiously waiting for the count down!
And this video is for those dear friends who have been with us in the past and weren't able to make it this year. This will help bring back all the memories and will hopefully be enough incentive to have you back again.
We took a break from parties the next day to recover and all slept in until 10:00. It was fabulous. On Friday, Abbie had her much anticipated American Girl party. She had received the boxed party for her birthday in September and has been begging to use it ever since. The box comes complete with invites, script and clues. It's like a murder mystery dinner for kids. So fun! All the girls dressed up and Abbie even let me put a few curls in. Something I don't get to do much anymore. She looked very cute dressed as Samantha.
We fed the girls a candlelit dinner on our fancy china.
And then solved the mystery.
Then they spent the next hour playing Apples to Apples and laughing and giggling like little girls should. It was the perfect evening.
I had my own little party the next morning. Just Heather and I skiing up on the mountain. Seeing Mt. Hood as we cross-country skied was incredible. It was the perfect end to a perfect week.
Now that real life has started again I like to cling to the fun memories and keep reminding myself, as I'm folding laundry and cleaning toilets, that there will be more parties and more days where I can stay in my pajamas all day. I'm already looking forward to it.