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.

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

 

 

Our Last: Toddler Words

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

We are in the beginning stages of “Lasts” in our family.  Nola Mae is our last baby as she keeps growing she will be the “last” of a lot of things around here.  I may have to start a series of blog post of  “lasts” and maybe “firsts”.  One milestone that I missed this past year for “firsts” was that Robbie is the first to get to double digits in age now that he is 10!  And soon he will be the first to drive and a few other “firsts” will happen that I don’t care to think about now.

Nola Mae is my last baby I will be pregnant with and give birth to, she will be my last baby in diapers, the last baby I will ever breastfeed, the last baby I will carry, and the last toddler in our house. I love toddlers, so I will be very sad when this stage is over.

I love the way toddler brains are absorbing everything around them. I love how they see something done once and they can do it themselves.  I love watching them explore new things or figure out things on their own.   I love watching them play and interact with others. I love it when they are being silly and they know it or when a big brother is being silly and they copy them.  I love the innocence they have.  I love it when they are jabbering away and you don’t know what they are trying to tell you. Or when someone else’s toddler is talking and all you hear is a foreign language and the mom translates for you and it all makes perfect sense.  I love it when they start repeating every thing they hear.

Robbie amazed us with his baby sign language when he was a toddler.   I think he had at least 50 signs in his vocabulary by the time he was 24 months old and by 26 months he was talking in sentences.

Charlie was a good-natured toddler, easy-going, didn’t use many signs and started talking before he was two years old and stuttered until he was about four.

Henry was so easy. He was a good-natured toddler and had two older brothers to help him with anything he needed.  I really can’t remember when he started talking, one famous quote of Henry’s with my family was when he was about two years old he walked into the living room, full of my siblings, and said, “Me love donuts!”.   I do remember trying to start baby signs with him.  I stopped trying when they started making up signs for silly things and doing other hand motions for the signs that I wanted to work on. I just didn’t have the energy to take that on.

I am really bad at record keeping in the area of milestones!   I have always wanted to write the number of words our kids could say at a certain point in their toddler years.   I have a list somewhere of all the signs Robbie knew at one point. I don’t know when their first teeth came.  If I thought really hard or searched my blog we could figure out when Robbie and Charlie lost their first teeth.

There are benefits to being the oldest and the baby of the family!

I have spent the last few days writing down the words I have heard Nola Mae say, without me trying to coax her.  I really need to get this post done because her list of words is getting longer as I keep editing my words here in this post.

At 21 months:

Nola Mae can say everyone’s name in our family.  Mama, Mom, Papa, Robbie, Charlie, Henny, Shadow, and Chili.  Other names from our extended family:  Granny and Susie.  If you want to be on this list you will have to spend more time with us!

Nola Mae’s words:

  1. Fart
  2. Money
  3. Wake (Wake up)
  4. Leeping (Sleeping)
  5. Room
  6. Nurse
  7. Bus
  8. Marker (points to the marks on her head)
  9. On
  10. Potties
  11. Wipe
  12. Shoe
  13. Sock
  14. Boot
  15. Teeth
  16. NO!
  17. No (I don’t know and shrugs her shoulders)
  18. Nake (Snake)
  19. Done
  20. Hand
  21. Milk Please
  22. Thank you
  23. Milkies
  24. Down
  25. Hi/Hello
  26. Candy
  27. Ummy (Yummy)
  28. Son (Some as in “I want some”)
  29. Snow
  30. Look
  31. Fast!
  32. Pockie (Pocket)
  33. Get it
  34. Fix it
  35. Happy (Help me)
  36. Found it!
  37. Fun
  38. Button
  39. Buckle
  40. Sure
  41. Bove (Glove)
  42. Skiing
  43. Eew!
  44. Pokie
  45. Bee (any kind of bug)
  46. That
  47. Phone
  48. Ah-oh
  49. Eat
  50. Cheese
  51. Poopies
  52. Fire
  53. Hot
  54. Ride
  55. Nose
  56. Eyes
  57. Ear
  58. Head
  59. Neck
  60. Balance
  61. Ta-da!
  62. Pants
  63. Shirt
  64. Apple
  65. Apple (Pineapple)
  66. There
  67. Hurt
  68. Bite
  69. Excuse me
  70. Butter
  71. Wait (with her pointer finger in the air)
  72. Worm
  73. Hand! (Dirty hand)
  74. Pennel (Kennel)
  75. Footers (Slippers)

The one word I am most proud of (NOT) is:  76. Shit

77. Stuck (see my Mom’s comment).

Nola Mae has a few two-word and an occasional three-word sentences.  And some of the words above are used in combination with each other.  For example, “Pants on.  Marker head.  Butter ummy!!!”

Nola Mae Marker 1

A funny thing she has recently done is say  “Sshh!” to Henry when he is talking a lot.  Henry is the most talkative 4-year-old out of all our boys.  This makes me laugh, secretly of course, every time.  The first time she used  “Sshh!”  was when we were waiting in line at a store and a 3-year-old child was whining about something to the mom and Nola Mae started Sshhing her.  Thankfully, they didn’t notice.