Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ivy Grows: 15 months

Two days ago, Ivy Hope turned fifteen months old. She's in that delightful phase of babyhood where she's growing and learning and changing so much every day, and I want to remember what she's like right now. So, since we write to taste life twice (Anais Nin), I'm writing now in order to taste these days again later. 

Ivy's three biggest siblings are school-age, so she spends some of her time waiting for them. Tuesdays they go to classes and Ivy, Mason and I wait and eat snacks. And play peek-a-boo.

("peek-a-da!")


She has so many words and is learning more every day. Her latest two are kite and chair. She also says the names of her family (Dada, Mama, Eeen, Kiki, Naina, May-may--and can point us all out in pictures), book, pa-pa (pacifier), cup, peas (always said PEAS!! with delight), baby, go, doggy (and the corresponding woof), book, pretty (said mostly about her shoes, her own painted toenails, and jewelry), uh-oh (first word), cracker, cookie, no, stinky (always when she needs a diaper change), clean, okay, hot, warm, thank you (which is purely tonal and sounds nothing like the words), and my personal favorite, yes. Which she says as HEY!

She signs all done, I don't know, more, hot, and cold. More is the only one not made up. She also accurately nods and shakes her head.


She has four teeth solidly in, and is working on a few more. She still doesn't walk more than a step now and then, making her my latest to walk. Which is perfectly fine by me. She crawls in a silly way sometimes, high-steppin' with her hands. Mason used to to that, too. It's hilarious. 


She likes hanging out with her mama. She wants to be held probably 80% of the time, and the rest of the time, she plays with her toys. She cries heartbreakingly if I put her in the church nursery, so I don't. She'll have her whole life to spend going places without me. This time is so short.

She generally wakes up once or twice a night, but lately it's been a lot more often as she works those teeth in. She nurses several times a day and at night when she wakes up. She loves it, and so do I.

(showing off her green shoes)


Ivy seems to be very mechanically-minded, which is pretty cool. She thinks several steps ahead to reach her goal. She knows how to open doors, even round-handled ones. She pulls down on the doorknob with one hand while pushing on the door with the other hand. She scoots chairs out of the way when they are blocking the cabinets she wants to get into (those darn chairs!). She can open the screen door and crawl out onto the deck. She knows what to do with everything: washcloths, toothbrushes, pencils, books, etc. 

(Ivy loves ceiling fans!)

(she's very proud of herself for standing, especially because her four biggest fans--her siblings--cheer enthusiastically every time she does.)


(sometimes she gets around by walking on her knees. It's so cute and unique.)



Ivy loves this perch (below). She kneels on the trampoline and watches the neighbors' dogs on their back deck. She points and yells "Goggy! Woof!"


Her other favorite place is the big trampoline outside. Her delight is boundless when she's crawling and bouncing on it.



(And swings. Always the swings.)


Ivy is the most affectionate baby we have ever had. She gives hugs, kisses, and snuggles freely. She loves holding my hands (she cries in the car unless I've got my hand back there for her to hold). She gives out huge smiles and grins, and her face lights up when she sees someone she loves. Ivy has a sweet, loving, happy personality--a little shy and very silly. She melts our hearts a thousand times a day.



(Ivy's first Easter Egg hunt. She was not too sure about it until her siblings showed her what to do and then crouched down beside her, cheering her on.)


(Baby at the beach. When she saw this picture just now, she said "kite!" which is what she was looking at when I took the picture. She's a genius, I tell you.)

(signing "I don't know.")

"peas!"


She's funny, delightful, smart, and adorable. She's happy and loving and always up for reading a book. She likes playing with her babies and her toy kitchen. And her monster truck. She loves that too. She likes to snack on pretzels and cheddar bunnies. She loves drinking out of her cup. She hates the carseat. One of her happiest places is in the bathtub, and she still fits in her bunny towel when it's time to get out. Sometimes she will "make mama's hair" like her big sister does, and she is always very serious about it. Her voice is high and sweet. She looks like Cory. Her belly laugh is wonderful. She's our sweet baby girl.

Cory Turns Eight!

Cory is a funny guy. Today, for example (Easter Sunday), he said he didn't want to eat outside on the porch because "the moisture in the air is rather unpleasant." He's an old soul, this guy. He loved Teddy Rosevelt, and has followed Teddy's example in starting "a collection." When Teddy--called Teedie as a child--was young, he collected animals. Dead ones. Taxidermied animals, skulls, pelts, etc. Cory has his own collection that consists of a turkey beard (SO GROSS), some birds' nests, cicada shells, etc.
(last day as a seven!)

All of this does relate to his birthday.

He wanted his birthday theme to be "mammals of the North American Plains." So, of course, we made it happen. For one thing, his gifts from us: a fire starting kit, a whet stone to sharpen his pocket knife, a cow skin rug, and a rabbit pelt. Those last two were to add to his collection. He adored them, and he sometimes carries the rabbit pelt in his backpack.

(making his birthday banner)

So how to carry out that theme? My aunt Samantha is an artist, author, illustrator, and art teacher (see her website here). She was in town and stayed and extra day to lead an art class for Cory and his friends. They painted buffaloes, and it was amazing. (Thank you Aunt Sam!)





He also requested pizza bites and brownies and ice cream. And his grandparents gave him a motorized go-cart thing. And his Nona gave him some stuffed plains animals, which he loved. All in all, it couldn't have been a better birthday for our history-buff naturalist.



Cory D, we love you. You are one cool kid. You're smart, talented, thoughtful, clever, hilarious, and kind. You take good care of your sisters and brothers, always looking out for them. You always want to be on God's team, and you say that worshipping Him is the most important thing. We are proud of you! Happy eighth birthday!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ivy's Birthday Party!

What do you do for a girl who was born on Christmas morning? You celebrate her birthday a few days early. :)

Ivy had her first birthday party at Eastwood Park in Florida, on December 23rd. It was a (loosely themed) swing set party--since swinging is about Ivy's favorite thing to do. Here's her simple, non-Pinterest-y brownie cake with a swing set on top. She loved it (she's a brownie lover like her mama. Leave the cake and bring on the brownies!).


It was SO windy. We lost a couple of balloons, and the ones that survived didn't cooperate for pictures. Ah well.

Jeremy's parents came up for the party. My mom, two sisters and their families, and several aunt, uncles, and cousins came. Ivy is a loved, blessed little girl.


Ivy with Papa, Grammy, and Nona.

 See that 1 candle? It's the same one all of my one-year-olds have used. I may have teared up while lighting it for this little muffin. But then the wind blew it out.






Told you she loves her brownies. 




Favorite gift? A four-dollar baby doll from Target. She still loves it.






It was such a fun, simple, sweet little party. Just like our fun, sweet little girl.

Ivy's last day as a "zero." Oh my heart!


Last night as a zero.

And she's ONE! After we opened presents and ate brunch, Ivy and I headed outside for a one-year-old photo shoot. I love these pictures.





Sweet girl, how can you be one? We all adore you: your smile, your silly faces, your snuggles, your babbles, your signs, your personality. You bring so much joy to our family. We love you, Ivy Hope!

Want to see birthdays past?

Iain's Itsy Bitsy Spider party (I was five months pregnant with Cory).

Cory's Airplane party. He liked his cake too.



Ivy's Swingset Party

We are so blessed with these five. Love them so.