I Love Ruffles!

Before I had a daughter, you never would have heard me say, “I love ruffles.”  When it was just “life with three boys” ruffles were the furthest from my mine and I drove past the formal dress shop in town I would be thankful I that I would never have to think about those fancy dresses.  The first time I drove past that same store after Nola Mae was born, my first thought was “Darn it!”

Recently I made a few things with ruffles. Only because I wanted a rainbow dress for Nola Mae that looked like this one my step-mom found on pinterest:

Then I had this great idea…buy a bunch of rainbow fabric with a debit card that I won from the bucket raffles at my cousin’s cancer benefit. My cousin has a nine-year old daughter who was getting an American Doll and would probably like matching skirts with her new doll.  All my life I have said, “I would never make doll clothes!” Well, when a sweet little girl is getting an expensive doll, as her last b-day gift from her daddy, I thought she needed matching skirts!

I searched many sites for ideas and patterns. I found a few patterns that helped me come up with my design. I got the measurements from my cousin’s wife and went to work. The doll skirt was first, because if I made a mistake it would be a small mistake.

I learned a bunch of things while making the doll’s skirt and made the skirt for Ashlee with no mistakes.

 

Then I adjusted my sewing methods  a little more and made a dress for Nola Mae:

rainbow ruffle dress on Nola Mae

 

Rainbow ruffle dress on gate

 

Ruffles are a lot of fun to make! After finishing Nola Mae’s dress I started to look at my fabric stash and started imagining ruffled skirts.  I needed to leave my sewing room because I only have one daughter who would look pretty cute in a ruffled skirt every day of the week and remembered I don’t get much time for sewing because there are other things that need to get done around the house.

Never say, “Never!”

 

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Our Last – Bear Baby Quilts

Our Last – Bear Baby Quilts

 

quilt bears & balloons Robbie

Robbie’s baby quilt.

 I finished Robbie’s quilt before he was born.

quilt bears with bows Charlie

Charlie’s baby quilt

Charlie’s quilt was started before he was born and finished by his 2nd birthday.  I used the same yellow, blue and pink fabric as Robbie’s quilt.  The bears are a collection of browns from my stash, my mom’s, my grandma’s and my mother-in-law’s fabric stashes.  The lace was added because when I nursed Charlie to sleep in my bed he always found the lace on the quilt my mom made me and held it in his has even after he was sleeping.

quilt bears with hearts Henry

Henry’s baby quilt

Henry’s quilt is my least favorite out of the four.  I was in a rut when it was time to plan his quilt.  I wanted to keep the pattern going by using the same fabrics as I did with Robbie and Charlie’s quilts.  I wasn’t able to find one of the prints.  So I took the reds and blues that I have collected over the years for Jack’s denim quilt that I made and did a “crazy cut” design for the border.

 

quilt bears in purple Nola Mae

Nola Mae’s baby quilt

Nola Mae’s quilt was started after she was born.  I found this idea before she was born.   If she was a boy these bears would have had shorts and a shirt on.

 

quilts baby bears

All four quilts are machine appliquéd and hand quilted by me.  All four quilts also have a heart on them, Robbie’s balloon, the quilting in the border on Charlie’s, Henry’s bears’ have a heart, and the quilting on Nola Mae’s.  They were all fun to make.

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Two years ago you started out as the biggest surprise of my life. When you were a few minutes old I still thought you were my fourth son. I saw your little bottom and thought, “Where is the penis?”  Still, thinking you were my fourth boy.  My midwife, Jane, asked “Jenny, Do you know?” Reality hit me and  I said, “Yes, but I don’t believe it.” Everyone else in the room knew you were a girl before I did.

Nola Mae new

3 generations with Nola Mae copy

 

Other surprises you have given me in your first year of life:

You can be so easy-going, not mind meals being interrupted by older brothers, and not put up a fuss when there isn’t any milk, and you were a baby that loved to sleep.

You learned quickly how to go up and down the stairs with very little practice and guidance.

You were happy and smiling 99% of your first year of life.

You loved to be held, wrapped, and carried.

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

You were a mama’s girl and would be a papa’s girl once Papa came home – diving into your papa’s arms when he would walk in the door.

Jack & Nola Mae

You adored your big brothers.

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

You were more adventurous and more of a climber than Henry.

In your second year of life your personality is shining:

You are fast.

You are strong.

You are smart and absorb everything around you.

You love to be high up.

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

You love to cross-country ski.

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

You love to be outside.

You love to play with cars and just started playing with babies.

You make “motor” sounds with your mouth.

You like to wear your babies on your back, “wrap”.

wrap scarf grass

You like to breastfeed your babies, “milkies”.

You just started to love taking a bath.

You can get yourself dressed and have preferences of what you want to wear.

You still love to be held, wrapped, and carried.

You love to sleep next to someone during every sleeping moment.

Henry & Nola Mae napping

You still adore your brothers and show great love and affection – my favorite thing is when you are on my lap and Henry comes to give us a hug you make sure to kiss him and pat his back.

hugs

You miss the boys and Papa when they are at school/work and often mention them.

Kitchen stool Nola Mae w Robbie

You love to color on your skin with markers more than on paper.

Marker head

You love to read and look at books.

Nola Mae book

I love it when you want to do something yourself, you say “self” or “SELF!!!!!”

My favorite thing you copy what I do is when I yell “I love you!” out the door to the boys when they are walking to the bus. You say, “love you!”

My favorite word  you say  is “Zata” for pizza.

You are constantly saying multiple words to tell me something and that started just the week before your birthday.  Your vocabulary is growing so quickly I can hardly keep track.

I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises you have for us in your little heart and head.  I know there is a lot of beauty inside you and I wish there was a magic potion I could rub on your head to help you see that you are going to grow up to be a smart and loving person who is glowing with beauty from the inside out.

Happy birthday, Nola Mae!

Nola Mae 2nd birthday

Henry’s Favorites – Age 5

Henry’s Favorites – Age 5

Happy Birthday!

Family4-10-09

 

CharlieRobbieHoldHenry

favorite color – red, blue, yellow and green. All the colors no black and no brown.

HenryBellyTimeBWblog

favorite animal – bull

favorite book – Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Henry w chickens

favorite movie – Ninja Turtles

teenage mutant ninja turtle mask

favorite song – Twinkle Little Star

favorite food – corn and the orange stuff that is Macoroni Cheese

favorite drink – juice

favorite breakfast – pancakes and pizza for supper

favorite snack – M&Ms and rice pudding

favorite healthy snack – apple

henry bucket

favorite restaurant – Kabatchi Grill

favorite toy – my robot

Who are your friends?  Charlotte, Gus, Emmett, Michael, Lewis, Sophie, Gwen, Kaylie and Ryan

favorite thing to do – go to the pool

favorite thing to do outside – jumping off trees into the leaves, feet first NOT head first.

Iverson Park leaves

What would you like to do with Papa? – work in the workshop.

What would you like to do with Mama? – sew elephants in the sewing room.

favorite thing to do with Robbie and Charlie – join them on minecraft

favorite thing to do with Nola Mae – play with her in the toy room, build a farm and play animals.

favorite thing about school – Nothing, I’m always tired at school! (in the past he has expressed great excitement about going to school and how he loves Mrs. Fredy, recess, (voice gets louder) GYM, ART and MUSIC! YES! TOMORROW IS MUSIC!)

favorite job – I like to mop!

Week 46 H Mopping4

favorite holiday – at Granny’s

favorite sister –  Nola Mae.

favorite place to go – playground

If you could go anywhere to drive far and sleep over, where would you go? Granny’s. I always want to go Granny’s.   And I want to meet Grandma Hanna and Grandpa Rob there.

What do you want to do when you are a grown up?  I want to be taller than Papa.

It took me about three days to get all these questions answered and when I asked him if there was anything else I could add…

Henry:  My favorite things I am waiting to do is go fishing and that watermelon stuff, that is green and red on the inside.

Henry:  Mom, can I just write what I want to write?

Me:  You don’t know how to spell words

Henry:  Yes I do.

Henry’s typing:

hkjuytv xdews mk,. burq   htrdvc xzfred dcdcffewqaszvbnm,kiut hrrtr5dgcccxswws         tbvgffdehjnmbcvcdewqaassloiujkmnbvcxz gjytgc6nvxfbbbnbfbcghmjjn,mbnbcxxzsawq jhgtrfdedewsqazxcvbnm,kiuybhhg hgdngnvm bcvncvf vhgkfhvgjhvgrogy gurgt rtufjug           y r7fry7fr5wd6dy5deeyyqyw7yqwq77rhkhuytfcvgdgggesnkuiopl,mnb

 

Read about Henry at four-years-old.

 

HenrySits7Months2

Our Last: 4-year-old Henry

Our Last:   4-year-old Henry

Today is Henry’s last day being four years old.  He is the funniest and cutest four-year old I know.  I love four-year olds!

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Have you ever read the series of books by Louise Bates Ames, PH.D., & Frances LIlg, M.D., from Gesell Institute of Human Development?  I own the set of ten books (Your One-Year-Old to Your Ten-to Fourteen-Year-Old) and recommend them to every parent.  There is always a “rough” or “frustrating” time with every age of child.  These books have helped me to understand my child at the age they are, helped me to appreciate all the things I love about them, helped with ideas of how to handle situations and reminded me that this “rough” time will be over soon.

In the book Your Four-Year-Old  Wild and Wonderful one paragraph in the book says this:

“For the most part, we have found the boy or girl of this age to be joyous, exuberant, energetic, ridiculous, untrammeled-ready for anything.  What a change he offers as compared to his more difficult, demanding, Three-and-a-half-year-old, just-earlier self!  If at times he seems somewhat voluble, boastful, and bossy, it is because it is so exciting for him to enter the fresh field of self-expression that open up at this wonderful age.”

henry kick ball

Another one of my favorite paragraphs:

“The child of Four loves language.  He loves to talk, to rhyme, to whisper, to sing.  Or even to shout.  He is his own self-appointed commentator and often his own audience.  He loves words, likes to try them out, likes to play with them.  He likes new and different words.”

There are many things in this book that apply and don’t apply to Henry because every Four-year-old is different.  The authors do a fabulous job describing many characteristics and behaviors you would find in any four-year-old child. 

Now, let’s talk about my sweet four-year-old Henry, so I never forget what a fun four-year-old he was.

 

Henry is a great helper! 

Jobs Henry's coffee

 Henry can put away the silverware from the dishwasher, set the table, sweep, mop, fold and put away his own clothes, feed the dogs, collect chicken eggs, vacuum, get the mail, bring in firewood, load the washer, make a bed, make his own toast/bagel, flip a pancake, follow directions while baking/cooking with me, reach in any of the high places where I hide our candy treats, get himself dressed, answer the phone better than some kids twice his age, play independently for long periods of time, and do many jobs in the garden with me.

We were getting ready to make a smoothie.  He disappeared and came back with hearing protection.

Henry hearing protection blender  Henry hearing protection

And always ready to help as batman with rotten teeth.

Henry batman rotten teeth

 

This day he started helping me get the boys’ after school snack ready, before I was ready, by cutting the strawberries.

Henry & fruit

Often I will say, “I’m going to change Nola Mae’s diaper, then I will be ready to go outside to feed the dogs.”  A minute later, I hear Henry leave the house.  When I look outside he is feeding the dogs!

One day, Nola Mae was carrying around a glass (with water in it) a glass that Jack uses for his “Papa drink” (bourbon and coke) and said, “Nola Mae, you can’t drink that it has coffinee in it!”

Another day:

Me:  Java’s back from our walk.  (Because she wondered off and didn’t come home with us).

Henry: I’ll go put her away.

Me:  No, I’ll do it.

Henry:  I have shoes on, you stay in!

 

I am always entertained and impressed with the things that he tells me or the things that he does.

Henry has taken a small amount of piano lessons (5-10 minutes, once a week) for about 6 months and had his first recital in December 2013, although his song was not recognizable he still amazed me by going on the stage to perform and is very excited about practicing his piano, almost every day!

Piano Henry & Robbie

Last summer we had not one single bluebird nesting on our property, usually we have at least six out of ten bluebird houses full.  While we were out for a run, Henry and I saw a bluebird.  Henry said, “Maybe I could sneak up on her and whisper ‘come live at our house!'”

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Often he draws pictures of me with one of my babies in my belly and goes on to tell me what order they all came out explaining, “Robbie is the biggest, Charlie is bigger and I am bigger than Nola Mae.”

   henry drawing w baby in belly

 henry drawing of mama

Henry copied Robbie’s melted crayon artwork by taping his crayons to the paper after he made the marks, very clever!

Melted crayons art

 

 

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“Chocolate Treating”  instead of “Trick-or-Treating”

I love the way his mind works.

We rent our field to a neighbor who bales large bales wrapped in white plastic.  First thing Henry said one morning, “Yep, Mr. Ernst put marshmallows in the field last night.  BIG MARSHMALLOWS!”

hay marshmallows

One time he came to me…

Henry:  Does my face look sad?

Me:  Yes.

Henry: I can’t get the sadness off.  (Rubbing his eyes)  Now do I look happy?

Me:  Yes.

Henry:  I can’t make it happier.

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One of the many times I found evidence that someone was snacking on a sugary treat, I found a chocolate chip bag in the garbage.

Me:  What is this?  What about eating healthy stuff?

Henry:  I don’t have room in my tummy for stuff!  Like oranges, apples and pears.  Just yummy stuff!”

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“I love my blanket because it catches my blueberries and doesn’t make foot prints.”

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“I wish we had a more better potty.  Like a potty dryer next to Papa’s bathroom drawer.  So it sucks up the potties.”

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When we are in the car he talks non-stop and many times I wish I had the video camera mounted on the dash.  I just might do that one of these days.

One day he told me while we were driving he noticed a car going faster than us.  And said, “they better slow down because they may get policed for driving too fast!”

Another time in the car we had this conversation…

Henry:  There is a stinky girl on the bus.

Me: Is she a pretty stinky or a yucky stinky? (holding my breath because I was afraid he told her this fact, that she is stinky)

Henry:  A pretty stinky.  When mamas go dancing with papas, they smell stinky like that.

 Side note:  I don’t wear perfume and sadly, Jack and I don’t go dancing.

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This winter when it was too cold for the dogs to be outside in the kennel they stayed in the mudroom.  Henry went in there and told the dogs, “No eating Nola Mae because she is my sister.  NO HURTING HER!”

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“It is a good thing I have boogers, so I don’t smell anything when you toot.”

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Henry’s teacher told me that during “share time” the question was “what did you do this weekend?” Some kids said stuff like “went swimming”, “played outside”, “went to my grandma’s”, Henry said, “I peed on the couch.”

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About our wedding photo…  Henry:  Why do you have a big one and a little picture like this?  Me:  Because it is my favorite.  Henry:   It’s my favorite too because papa looks different.

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I have saved funny Henry stories forever (in emails and on scraps of paper)  and now seems like the time to put them all in one place…

Henry was playing outside, came running into the house to ask if he could go to Marlene’s because “I know she is home. I hear her in her yard.”   I said yes and reminded him to ask her if she has time to visit when he gets there.  A few minutes later he came back because Marlene wasn’t home.   I asked, “What did you hear then?”   His response, “I think it was just my echo.  I even knocked on two doors.  Or maybe she was sleeping.”

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A few weeks after Nola Mae was born…

Henry:  Do all babies have blood on thems head?

Me:  After they are born, yes.

Henry:  Why was Papa holding my shoulders , so I don’t fall in?

Me: Fall in what?

Henry:  In the bucket.  He was holding me close to him so I didn’t fall in!

Side note:  Henry was in the room when Nola Mae was born.  He retold the story to Korina and Christie (two of our three midwives) and me a couple of hours later.  I wish I had that conversation recorded or written down.  His recount of the birth was amazing for a 3-year-old.  I only remember bits and pieces.  And one of my memories is that the bucket was a key object in the birth.  He told us that Christie didn’t let the baby fall in the bucket, but he thought the baby was going to fall in the bucket.  I have this picture from our birth photographer, Brianna.  This is as close to “holding me close” that I could find in our photos. 

Nola Mae's birth blog

B Pure Photography

 

 Henry retold the story of Nola Mae’s birth to Robbie and Charlie when they woke up to meet our new baby.  Another moment, where he was so darn cute and said some cute things that I will never remember.

Nola Mae's birth boys blog

B Pure Photography

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“Oh Mom!  Nola Mae is done nukking. Her mouth is off a nuker. Now put her in your room!”

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“Nola Mae woke up from a nap crying…Henry:  Nuk her!  Or I will nuk all the milk!”

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3-year-old-Henry was getting tired and crabby while shopping today and asked to “Nuk here!” and went to a bench to sit down. I explained that we could nuk at home because we are almost done. Surprisingly, in his frustrated and tired emotions he said to me “for privacy?” I am sad to say “yes.”  I didn’t have the courage/energy today to do it in public today.

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“You should put some hair on Nola Mae.”

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Nola Mae was chewing on the end of my braid…Henry:  Oh NO! She is eating your tail!

 

Henry’s first “selfie” that he took.

Henry first selfie

 

Please feel free to share any funny stories about Henry in the comments.

I am looking forward to falling in love with our 5-year-old-Henry.

 

Books:

Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful http://www.amazon.com/Your-Four-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506751/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396734050&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+four+year+old

Your Five-Year-Old: Sunny and Serenehttp://www.amazon.com/Your-Five-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396733952&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+five+year+old