Friday, July 31, 2009

Four Months Old

It is hard to believe that 4 months have already gone by, and yet it seems like Peter has always been here.  As hard as it is, I just love having a little baby in the house.  I love how his face lights up and he breaks into a huge grin when I come in to get him in the morning, and he arches his little back letting me know he wants to be picked up. He is a pretty happy and calm baby.  Unfortunately, he still sucks his thumb - either hand will do - whichever is more convenient.  A lot of the time he has both thumbs in the "thumbs up" position - ready to pop into his mouth.
I have to wonder just how recessive those blue-eyed genes are since he is clearly keeping his blue eyes.  He is extremely alert and social.  He smiles at anyone who acknowledges him and will start cooing if they maintain eye contact.
Do I wish I were more in control of my life and my time? Do I wish I could keep my house picked up?  Do I wish I had my pre-baby body back?  Sure, but I can let some of those wishes go (at least temporarily), when I see this little face smiling up at me.

Peter at 4 months old:
weight: 12.7 pounds (12%)
height: 25.5 inches (75%)

More Boating Fun

We have been trying to go boating at least once a week and finally some of the kids are adding to their repertoires and moving beyond just riding in the tubes and on the hotdog.
We managed to convince Jonas to try skiing again, and as you can see, he was very happy with himself.
Shawn has always had many skills, but I was particularly impressed when he was able to get up on the surfboard with Amelia and Samantha (separately).  Yes, Amelia is wearing goggles.  Last week when she fell in she decided she got too much water up her nose so she wore goggles and was all ready to plug her nose this time, but she didn't even get the top of her head wet.
A rare, collective moment of happiness and harmony.  (One of the reasons we like the boat.)
Samantha on flag duty.  (According to the law, the flag holder must be at least 8 years old - she reminds us of this anytime we let one of the little girls hold it.)
Peter enjoying the ride.
Duffy "pretending to be the Mom".  She's been paying attention because she knew about moving the throttle and made sure everyone was in their lifejackets.
Everyone seems to enjoy just hanging out on the boat and relaxing in the sunshine.  (Eating good food helps, too.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Other Summer Updates

We got a Bumbo for Peter, which I just love. It allows him to sit up and see what's going on around him - much earlier than if we have to wait for him to sit up on his own.

Amelia and Duffy have been taking swimming lessons from my cousins Megan and Kimi.  They have made huge progress and just love it.  (Except for the diving - Amelia is not really fond of that at all.)
All 3 girls participated in a ballet camp with some friends this summer.  On the last day, they had a princess garden party at a beautiful house on Walker Lane.  They had so much fun.  Amelia and Duffy had Belle at their parties, which was pretty exciting. (Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me when Belle was around.)
Duffy, Amelia and Caroline Dunford
Samantha and Maren Dunford
And of course, there was pink lemonade and lots of these mini cupcakes all decorated in pastel frosting and sprinkles. (They were tasty, too!)

Peter's First Swim

In keeping with Stringham tradition, Peter wasn't given much time before being expected to be in the pool. The older kids ask me almost every day if Peter is going to get in this time. So last week, on a particularly hot afternoon, I gave in and let my baby get into the pool.

Peter giving a big "thumbs up" to the idea of going swimming.

Of course, Jonas wanted to help in the introduction to the pool.
The sure sign of a good swim is being ready for a nap when it's all done.

Arrow of Light

Last week, Jonas received his Webelos and Arrow of Light awards. We are proud of all the hard work he did to get this done.  His cub scout career is now complete. (Phew!)  Shawn had the realization that the next time we go to a pack meeting, Jonas will be 18! 

He managed to put the pin on my shirt without poking me - with a little help.

Words of Discouragement

A conversation I had with Jonas when he walked into the bathroom as I was stepping off the scale:
Jonas:  How much do you weigh?
Me:  Well, a few more pounds than I usually do - more than I like to.
Jonas: Why? Did you just eat a big meal?
Me: No, I had a baby.
Jonas: Yeah but that was more than 3 1/2 months ago!

Um yeah, thanks for that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Signs of Summer

The # 1 sign that it is summer is swimming. Lots and lots of swimming. 5 mornings a week we are at the pool and then once or twice a week we are back in the evening for swim meets. (They last for hours but aren't so bad if you have someone to sit with and talk to.)
Jonas before a race.
Samantha getting ready to swim.
Me hanging out watching the races.
Peter gets to hang out too.
Sign #2 that it is summer is the suits that are always hanging over the side of my tub so they will be dry in time for the next use.
Sign #3: The towels that are always hanging to dry on the front porch. (And goggles-lots and lots of goggles.)
Sign #4: There is always a pile of flip flops by the front door.  (Clearly, several kids were out playing because there are usually more.)
Sign #5:  Popsicles, popsicles, popsicles.  We eat popsicles everyday.  (Yes, every day.)
Sign #6:  Connected to the above.  I find popsicle sticks in the grass, on the kitchen counter, on the porch (often stuck in a melted popsicle puddle) and most often, stuck in the flowerpots.  When we get 30 or so, I clean them out.  
Sign # 7:  Our 100 book reading list.  Every time the older kids finish a book, we write it down on our "bookshelf", with the goal of reading 100 books by the end of the summer.  We surpassed the goal last year.  We are a little behind this year bur Jonas is doing his part.

Sign # 8: The hammock is out most of the time and we all enjoy swinging in it.

Other signs of summer not pictured above: boating,  bikes and toys scattered all over the yard and driveway, late bedtimes, bare feet that are cracked and dry (and filthy by the end of the day), tan lines, Mom's lax attitude about most things, no schedule (other than swimming), lots of playing with friends, lots of doing nothing, days with no hairbrushing, open windows at night, and so on and so forth.... Definitely my favorite time of year!

Revolving Door

I had one of those nights where I feel like a revolving door. Get baby to sleep. Lay down, baby wakes up. Repeat 2 more times. Finally doze off myself and the dog barks to go out. Get up and let him out. Back to bed. Child # 2 has a coughing fit. Check on her. Back to bed. Child #3 starts crying because she's scared. Get her back to sleep and go back to bed. Dog barks to come in. Finally get back to sleep. Child #3 starts crying again because her leg hurts. Rub her leg until she is asleep again. Back to bed. Dog barks to go out. Back to bed. Child #4 starts fussing. Check on her. She is still asleep - but obviously I am not. At this point I'm thinking it's got to be morning because this has been going on so long, But no such luck. Dog barks to come in. Baby wakes up. Get him back to bed. Dog wants in and out and food. I've been in and out of bed and spun around so many times I don't know whether I'm coming or going anymore. All kids finally settled but give up on the dog since he doesn't respond to any of my threats of "If you keep barking and wake up (fill in any child's name here)..... Am up feeding the baby when someone knocks on the door. Completely forgot about Jonas' early morning piano lesson! Stumble to the door. Go get a very cranky Jonas out of bed for his lesson. Oh I am tired. And did I mention that my dishwasher is broken?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One of our favorite places to be

I think summer might finally be here. With the cool weather, 2 weeks of swine flu, a week of Shawn biking with the scouts and a week of family vacation at Bear Lake, we haven't really gotten into the "groove" of summer. Here's to hoping we can find some sort of a routine in our nonstructured summer days. (Don't get me wrong, I love the unstructured days of summer!)

 Here are a few photos from the annual Marsh Family Bear Lake trip.

For most of the time, it was my parents and Jake, us, and Rob and Michelle's family.  Matt and Anne and their kids joined us for the last couple of days.

We did quite a bit of boating.  We were a little worried about how that was going to work out with Peter, but he was awesome.  We just put him in his life jacket and tucked him down on the floor under the seat and he was happy as a clam once the boat was in motion.

The kids enjoyed playing in the water and sand anytime we brought the boat into the beach - Amelia especially.

Everyone seemed to have fun with the "hot dog".  I happen to hate these things and think they are way too dangerous but I guess it's OK as long as we go slow or there's only one rider.  Both Shawn and Jake participated in this extreme form of "hotdogging".

I preferred trying the new surf board.  As always there was plenty to do.  There was also swimming, sitting in the hot tub, tennis, kiteflying, biking, card playing, reading, and general running around and lying around having fun.